Tuesday, 31 May 2016

Week 7 | The 16-week challenge

7 down, 9 to go!

Cannot believe another week has gone so quickly, and I'm still slacking. This is not good! I wish I had some reasonable excuse for it but I do not....recently I've just been lacking in so much energy to do anything, and exercise seems to be last on the agenda at the moment. I know it's realistic for people to fluctuate and have breaks, and I didn't want to be the one to do that, but life happens and the past month or so hasn't been the easiest at all. I'm hoping to get back on track when I've caught up with what's happening in my life....until then I have little energy.

Food wise I'm keeping fairly on track and making sure I still treat myself when I want to. I feel my emotional eating is getting less and less, which I'm happy about, but given current circumstances, I'm still keeping an eye on it!

This is going to be a short one I'm afraid as I'm very tired writing this (not a good blogger I know, but hey, at least I'm honest about it) and not in the best of mindsets. Fingers crossed to a better week!

Thursday, 26 May 2016

God's Own Junkyard | London

Over the past few weeks or so, I've been making a list of all the things I want to do/go to over this summer. Turns out, so had my friend! So last weekend, we decided to head on over to God's Own Junkyard in Walthamstow in East London to check it out.

I've seen photos of the place on Buzzfeed a fair few times but never really knew what it was. It's actually like an art museum but dedicated to neon and vintage signs that have been collected over the years, and you don't need to pay anything to get in.

When you walk in, it's absolutely incredible. Lights absolutely everywhere, full of bright colours...instant mood booster. So many of these signs cover the walls floor to ceiling - we even went round several times and found some we missed each time.

The place also has a lovely little cafe/bar, which sells homemade cakes, pastries, etc., and you can pick up a range of drinks too. We both went for a Pimm's (if you're not from the UK, it's basically the nation's favourite summer drink) and a slice of cake, with my friend opting for a berry cheesecake and me choosing a victoria sponge with fresh fruit and cream. THEY WERE SO GOOD.

It's a popular place, and definitely a good spot to meet up. We both said we'd definitely go back, and we would, because it's somewhere a bit different that's fun, inexpensive, and with really tasty food. It's one of my new favourite places in London!

Wednesday, 25 May 2016

4 Years in Milan

About 2 weeks ago, my boyfriend and I celebrated our 4-year anniversary by taking a city break to Milan. We usually do a little something to celebrate, and after doing a short break in Paris last year, we thought we'd try somewhere new!

We got to Gatwick Airport in the afternoon before boarding our flight to Milan Malpensa Airport. Unfortunately due to the weather, we didn't get much of a view on the plane, as it was very cloudy pretty much the entire way there!

We landed late afternoon (it's only about a 1hr 30mins flight from London) and hopped on the metro to our hotel. We stayed at the B&B Hotel Milano Cenisio Garibaldi, which was pretty much ideally located - not far from the centre at all! The hotel itself was modern and cosy, but not expensive! It was basically an Italian version of a Premier Inn which suited us just nicely!

On our first night, we explored a little, but were so tired so we made food the priority. We found a little restaurant called Spontini on Via Cenisio. They have a few of them around Milan, and they're a combination of a fast food place and a sit down restaurant; for about £5 each, you get 2 big thick slices of margherita pizza and what is basically a small tankard of drink - very filling and a great place to pick up something quick! The food came so quickly!

After this, we were craving some proper Italian gelato, and found this place again on Via Cenisio (afraid I can't find the name of it!) where we had strawberry cheesecake, stracciatella and chocolate ice creams, so good!

The next day, we headed to Lake Como, which you can read about in my post here!

When we got back from Como, we thought we'd make the most of it and explore a bit more of the centre of Milan. We wandered around Sforza Castle, which was built in the 15th Century. It houses many of the city's museums and is a must see! It was a lovely day, so afterwards, we had a quick stroll around Parco Sempione, stopped by the Arco della Pace for a quick picture, and then went to get dinner!

We found a place nearby called Pizza OK (seriously), where we got a pizza and a carbonara, and drinks for about £15 between us! It was a really nice evening, and had we not been absolutely shattered from the long day, we would've stayed out longer for drinks. Lots of areas of Milan have happy hour deals which include dinner and drinks for about 10 euros each, so it'd definitely be worth trying.

On our penultimate day, first, we headed for San Siro Stadium. I'd promised my boyfriend we could go, but unfortunately when we got there, we were told we couldn't get in to the tour and museum as there was a game going on that night! So instead, we went and explored around the Duomo, which is perhaps the most iconic landmark in Milan. The square was very busy, and it was a boiling hot day - which was great as our forecast had said to expect thunderstorms! We grabbed some food in Il Mercato del Duomo which is right next to the cathedral. The food wasn't too bad, though I think had we not been so hungry we would have found something else.

Next, it was the Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II which was just something else! Full of designer stores, we fell in love with sooooo many beautiful pieces which were far out of our budget! That's the thing about Milan - the fashion is amazing, but also so expensive! :(

For the next few hours, we walked around the streets near to the Duomo, window shopping and occasionally actually shopping. It was such a warm day that we decided to treat ourselves to more gelato at a place called Autogrill, again opposite the cathedral. I went for stracciatella, blood orange sorbet and strawberry sorbet, while my boyfriend went for blood orange sorbet, passionfruit sorbet and mango sorbet. They were delicious, but a bit sharp - the blood orange sorbet in particular!

Later, on our final night, my boyfriend managed to get us tickets for about 20 euros each to see AC Milan v AS Roma at San Siro. It was a great game (unfortunately Milan lost) and I really enjoyed it, but some of the fans were rowdy as you'd expect!

Finally, it was our last day, so we grabbed breakfast at this place called Bianco Latte. I had a hot chocolate - which was essentially just a pot of melted chocolate, sooooo good - and a croissant, whilst my boyfriend had orange juice, fruit and yoghurt and a pain au chocolat.

We got to the airport around lunchtime and browsed duty free for a bit before getting on the plane. Luckily this time it was fairly clear out so we could see the Alps out the window. A wonderful end to such a lovely trip!

Tuesday, 24 May 2016

Week 6 | The 16-week challenge

6 down, 10 to go!

I'm afraid this week's update isn't coming from the best place; at the moment I'm feeling quite low and tired and generally rubbish - lots of stuff has been happening and I'm just beginning to feel the effects of it all.

Exercise wise, I'm walking to and from work every day still, so about 40 minutes of exercise a day (apparently more than the average). I'm trying to build up some confidence to start running again, but because of my new routine for work, I'm up earlier and don't feel comfortable going my usual route - that's anxiety for you...! I'm also completely knackered - from a busy city 'break' in Milan, jumping head first into a new job that's been a little overwhelming (but more or less good!), catching up on uni work and submitting an assignment for the first part of my dissertation (stressful) to another busy weekend in London celebrating my anniversary, I feel like I've barely had a chance to relax. I've still got more uni work to catch up on which I'm fitting around work, but as I'm still in the whole 'new to the job' phase, I'm still trying to adjust and perhaps my body hasn't quite caught up yet! I'm hoping when I've had a chance to catch up I'll be able to grab my motivation back, but I feel I just need a breather!

Food wise, I've been pretty good! I'm getting through so much water a day it's brilliant, and I'm getting into the habit of making my own lunches again - meaning I can have exactly the balance I want. I'm really enjoying creating new things to eat when I can!

Mood wise, as I said, I'm feeling a little down due to feeling worn out I expect. Starting my new job has welcomed back a lot of anxiety as I've not worked since last summer, so I'm dealing with that again. However I'm loving that I'm keeping busy and feeling more productive! I guess it just takes time and patience to adjust properly and hopefully I'll be feeling more like myself soon. This weekend should be slightly more relaxed and I am definitely taking full advantage of the bank holiday!

Hope you've had a lovely week!

P.S. All the quotes I post are on my Pinterest boards - feel free to head on over and check them out at https://uk.pinterest.com/maevewaite/ :)
Thursday, 19 May 2016

Holiday Makeup Haul!

So I was in Italy last weekend and decided to pick up some bits at the airport (got to take advantage of duty free), as well as in Milan itself. I bought bits and bobs from MAC, NYX, Kiko, and Madina!

I went slightlyyyyy mad, and bought 3 lip liners, 3 liquid lipsticks, 2 blushes, and 2 lipsticks. MONEY WELL SPENT!

Clockwise from the top:
Kiko Milano Extra Sculpt Waterproof Mascara - I'm so excited to try this! I wanted a new waterproof mascara and this was on sale for only around 3 euros! Plus the packaging is beauuuutiful!
Madina Nail Color in 01 - I'd had a look at Madina online before, and they have a really great collection. This nail polish was only around a couple of euros, and I wanted a white/cream for the summer to go with a (fingers crossed) tan! It looks a little on the thin side, but I'm excited to try it!
MAC Cosmetics Lipstick in Chili - I could not resist looking at MAC at duty free in Gatwick Airport, and I've been wanting more of their lipsticks for a while since they're such great quality; I fell in love with this colour when I saw it! 
NYX High Definition Blush in Bitten - This colour is just beautiful! A lot of blushes are quite expensive, whereas the pigmentation on this for around 5 euros or so is brilliant and at such a good price so I had to get it!
Kiko Milano Velvet Touch Creamy Stick Blush in 08 - I tried this in the store in Como, Italy. It gives such a gorgeous colour that would suit a lot of people and the quality of it is so good! The fact that it's a stick blush doesn't stop it from blending easy too!
MAC Cosmetics Lipstick in Velvet Teddy - The classic, best-selling shade. I didn't have it and I had to buy it, it's the perfect colour.

NYX Soft Matte Lip Cream in Copenhagen - How gorgeous is this colour?! I really like liquid lipsticks as I find they last really well, and the consistency of these was really nice when I tried them in store!
Madina Lacquer Fluid Liquid Lipstick in 02 - Again, I couldn't resist another one haha! This was such a good price at around 7 euros for the quality of the product. I'm really into nudes/pinks on my lips at the moment, so I had to get it!
Kiko Milano Creamy Colour Comfort Lip Liner in 304 - The pigmentation on these is great and I usually prefer to have a lip liner to complement a lipstick if I can for definition!
Kiko Milano Everlasting Colour Precision Lip Liner in 402 - I loved the colour on this as a rosey-pinkish hue, which I really like to wear in Spring time! Part of a new range Kiko are putting out, it also comes with an applicator at the other end to make sure it defines really well!
Kiko Milano Creamy Colour Comfort Lip Liner in 305 - Having bought the other one, I wanted another! There's a reason these are best-sellers; they glide on so well, are so easy to use, and the packaging is lovely!
NYX Soft Matte Lip Cream in Cannes - I had to get another shade in another pink/nude hue because spring is here and summer is just around the corner!!!

Wednesday, 18 May 2016

A Day at Lake Como

Whilst my boyfriend and I travelled to Milan for our 4-year anniversary trip, we made the decision to take a day out to go to Lake Como. Through doing a bit of research online, we found a guided tour for about £63 each, which considering it included all transport to and from Como, a guided 2-hour boat tour across the lake, and a walking tour in Como itself, it wasn't too bad!

We caught the coach at about 8.30am on the Friday morning in the centre of Milan. It was about a 30 minute walk from our hotel but very straightforward. We piled on the bus - which was full! - and were given a headset to use later on to hear our guide. As we were driving out of Milan, our guide was able to give us some more information about some of the sights and monuments of Milan which was really interesting!

It was about an hour or so's drive, and our guide told us to prepare to look out the window; when you turn off the motorway that leads across the border into Switzerland, you go through 2 tunnels one after the other, and after the second one, you're suddenly in full view of this beautiful valley with the lake running right through it. It was honestly breathtaking! The town of Como lay at the end of the winding road down the mountain, and all the building had terracotta roofs. It was like something out of a movie!

We stopped first at a very fancy house called Villa Olmo, which was designed and used by members of the Italian aristocracy as a summer resort back in the 1800s; it's so beautiful, and looks right out onto the lake!

After that, we drove into the centre of the town of Como, where we could opt for a 15/20 minute walking tour, which my boyfriend and I decided on! It's what you'd expect when you think small Italian town: beautiful buildings, cobbled streets, flowers everywhere....so perfect! We had a wander around some of the shops, picked up some breakfast, and then headed to the port to catch our boat.

The boat itself sails from Como all the way to Colico, on the north-east of the lake. We travelled up through the south-west side of the lake, stopping at Cernobbio, Laglio, Argegno, and Tremezzo, alongside many others! We even passed George Clooney's lakeside villa, and the house that's right at the end of the film Casino Royale (where Daniel Craig shoots Mr White in the foot)! The views were gorgeous, and as we got further north, we were able to see some of the Swiss Alps!

However, our trip took us up to the town of Bellagio, which is the centre point and called 'the gem of the lake'. We stopped here for a couple of hours, where my boyfriend and I could have lunch, explore the town and do some shopping. It really is one of the most beautiful places I've ever been!

After our time in Bellagio, we hopped back onto the boat to the other side of the lake where our coach was waiting to take us back to Milan, where we arrived back into the centre at around 6.30pm. It was a long day, but completely worth it, and another place on my bucket list ticked off! :)

If you're interested in the tour, this is the one we chose! I can't recommend going enough!

Tuesday, 17 May 2016

Week 5 | The 16-week challenge

5 down, 11 to go!

The past week has been slightly different, not exactly as I'd planned. I managed to go for a run only once last week unfortunately, but as my boyfriend and I went to Milan for our 4-year anniversary (a post on that to come), we did LOTS of walking. According to my health app, 23.94 miles of walking in 4 days so quite happy with that!

It's been a random week apart from that too; I've started a new job which I'm enjoying, and just trying to settle in. It does mean I now walk to and from work, so at least I have some sort of exercise during the day! When I'm more settled I'll be trying out the local gym after work, so will see how that goes! I love having a routine again though, and I can control any snacks and lunches I have at work too - no more boredom eating! :)

Mood wise, I feel like I'm doing ok. I've been pretty anxious and having anxiety attacks before I started my new job, but now I've done a couple of days, I feel so much better! One thing that actually helped was looking at positive quotes on Pinterest (I swear it always makes me feel better) to give myself a boost and a bit of a reminder. I feel that reading these after a while does actually give me some perspective and gets me out of my head and negative thoughts! If you've not seen my new board, check it out! :)

I feel like I've lost a little focus as life has got in the way again, but I guess this is just how it can be sometimes, so I'm not worried. I'm happy to have balance, and I know that I'll just work even harder from now on!

Apart from that, I'm afraid there's not much of an update this week, but I'll get back to it! :)
Friday, 13 May 2016

Little Venice | London

Recently, it was the Canalway Cavalcade festival in Little Venice, near Paddington. God knows how many boats were lined up and decorated so beautifully on perhaps the sunniest of Sundays, and my friends and I decided to go along.

It was a very warm day, so ideal to be by the water! The festival was very busy, with lots of people attending over the bank holiday weekend. There were lots of stalls selling food, art, jewellery, souvenirs, clothes...you name it!

The boats were there to compete in a number of competitions from all across the UK, and everyone was high spirits. We even managed to fulfil minor childhood dreams, and found Rosie and Jim! (Who else remembers that show? AMAZING)

Little Venice is named after Venice in Italy, because of its many canals - some of which you can grab a boat on to sail all the way to Camden too. It's a small, but very beautiful area of London, not too far a walk from Bayswater, and from there, towards Notting Hill too.

We ended up walking down to Bayswater to get an ice cream from Snowflake Gelato (it was so yummy). I got a tub with mint chocolate chip and nutella ice creams, for about £4.00 which isn't too bad for London!

It was a lovely way to spend the day, and has really got me in the summery mood now; let's hope we don't have a typical British summer....!
Thursday, 12 May 2016

My 10 All-Time Favourite Friends Episodes

So anyone who knows me knows that I have a huge obsession with Friends. I've been watching it since I was about 9, and I have the boxset, and I watched alllll the repeats on E4 and Channel 4 once upon a time (unfortunately I don't have Comedy Central). It's one of those TV shows that will just always make you feel better no matter what, and I know lots of people feel the same way about it; sooooo here are my favourites that you must watch if you've never seen it, or if you feel particularly rubbish haha!

1. The One With The Rumour

Brad Pitt was in this episode whilst he was married to Jennifer Aniston, playing a character who despised her character from school. Enough said really. One of my favourites, with so so many brilliant lines!

2. The One With Ross' Tan

Oh Ross. The picture alone shows how funny this episode is, as Ross tries and fails to successfully to get a spray tan. Chandler (as always) has some brilliant lines in this too: 'Was that place...the sun?'

3. The One Where Everybody Finds Out

This has been one of my favourites for years, just because I love Phoebe and I enjoy watching her mess with Chandler haha! The fact that Joey gets caught in the middle of everything going on makes it funnier!

4. The One Where Ross is Fine

Because Ross is all of us when trying to deal with bad news but trying not to let it show.

5. The One With The Unagi

I love this one because it's so funny watching Rachel and Phoebe mock Ross and him getting annoyed by it (Ross really does seem to have some of the best storylines?). 'DANGERRR!'

6. The One With The Embryos

This episode is a must-watch for all Friends fans. Monica & Rachel vs. Chandler & Joey in the battle of the apartments, answering questions about each other. It gets very funny very quickly as you find out more about each of the characters, while at the same time it's heartwarming as Phoebe starts to prepare for being a surrogate mother having embryos implanted.

7. The One With The Football

Again another one where Monica and Ross show their competitive sides to win the 'Geller Cup' which, as Chandler puts it, is just a 'troll doll nailed to a two-by-four'. Rachel attempts to play sport, Phoebe is pretty much in her own little world enjoying learning about football, and Chandler and Joey are fighting over a Dutch girl, trying to impress her. I even have this one on my iPod, it's so good!

8. The One With The Prom Video

Through old videos, we see Monica and Rachel getting ready for their prom, and Ross doing something really lovely to try to help. We also see 'Fat Monica' for the first time, and it's the episode that gave us the famous 'you're my lobster' quote thanks to Phoebe!

9. The One With All The Thanksgivings

This episode takes another trip down memory lane, showing how Ross and Chandler know each other, and how Monica lost all her weight. It also involves Monica putting a Turkey with a Fez on her head, so you can't go wrong really!

10. The One Where Ross Got High

Jack and Judy Geller, Monica and Ross' parents, come over for Thanksgiving, where Rachel prepares a somewhat interesting version of an English trifle. Lots of secrets about Monica and Ross come out and Chandler saves the day!

I'm sure I've missed some out, but these are the ones that I love the most! :)