NYC day 1

Last week I did the most spontaneous thing I think I have ever done.  Jamie had some meetings in NYC and I decided to tag along which was a fantastic excuse to see my wonderful friend Ashley who lives out there and experience the city that never sleeps.

I’ve never been to the Big Apple and now reflecting back as I sit in London typing away I have completely fallen in love with the city.  It buzzes and has a proper positive ‘can do’ energy about it that is infectious and I would go back right now given half the chance.

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We’d heard great things about air bnb and decided to book accommodation through it wanting to get a real flavour of the city; I have to admit I was slightly apprehensive.  However, we found a great place to stay in Brooklyn- how Gossip Girl did I feel!! – I felt like I was going to run into Dan any moment.

Air bnb was great for us  – we left first thing in the morning and arrived back late.  The subway was right across the street and we zipped into central Manhattan in 20 minutes. It added to our overall experience in so many ways as you really felt like you were submerged in living in New York.

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Jamie went off to his meetings and I had a list of places I just had to go….Macy’s and Bloomingdales were very high up this list so what was the first thing I did- yes sorry!

34th streetI met Ashley at Macy’s and we went for coffee.  I’d like to say that we went somewhere brimming with culture, however we were so desperate to catch up that the Starbucks in Macy’s was calling our names.  This is no ordinary Starbucks though, it is hands down the poshest one I have ever been to.

Macys

We walked and we walked and we walked.  To the Rockefeller Center, Bloomingdales, Radio City Music Hall, via the Magnolia Bakery for cupcakes – well if it’s good enough for SJP it’s good enough for us.

Roosevelt Tower

Bloomingdales

 

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Magnolia Bakery

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Down Fifth Avenue, Park Avenue through Central Park, Times Square.

Times Square

 

Park Plaza Hotel

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Apple Store NYC

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Central Park

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My little legs were delighted at the prospect of a quick cocktail.

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However this cocktail had to be slurped down as we had an important engagement that night….a Yankees game.

Yankee stadium

 

Yankees

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Jamie loved it, I however felt my school rounder games were more interesting *hangs head in shame*.

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The atmosphere is amazing and it was great to experience but it amazed me how often they don’t even hit the ball.

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Then every 5 minutes you are interrupted with some sort of crowd cam or advert.  My favourite part was the sand sweepers breaking into a rendition of the YMCA.

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Tiredness started to take over so we decided to avoid the crowds and snuck off before the last innings when it looked like certain defeat for the Yankees.  Of course being us it was the talked about game the next day as the Yankees had suddenly come back in the last innings.  Oops!

Join us tomorrow for day 2…

A x

NYC day 2

Waking up super excited at the day ahead, we leapt out of bed and quite literally hop skipped and jumped across to the subway.

subway

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A local market was on in Union Square on 14th street so we grabbed fresh juices and breakfast muffins and soaked up the sunshine before Jamie had to dash off to more meetings.

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Peaches

I did some more exploring whilst I waited for him. The New York Library.

The New York Library

The Post Office.  They certainly don’t do things by half here!

The Post Office

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With the weather being so stunning we decided to walk the High Line from 34th street down to the Meatpacking District.

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Industrial

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The High Line is the old railway line that sits above the city.

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It is so well thought out with little seating areas and food stalls along the way and the views are wonderful.

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This would be up there with one of the best things I would recommend to do.

The High Line

I was told that there was a restaurant at the end that served the best pulled pork burgers and we reckoned that it must be Bubby’s.

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This was the most fabulous restaurant full of locals…two actresses were on the table next to us and were making us try their cocktails and helping themselves to our mac n cheese – this just doesn’t happen in London.

DSC01884If you are in this area go go go.

We walked down to the river and caught sight of Lady Liberty in all her glory.

Statue of Liberty

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Ashley came to meet us and we went for an adventure around the area.  We were deep in discussion…

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The Meatpacking District used to be as the title suggests, but now is super trendy and we have earmarked it as the area we want to live in.  Of course it is eye wateringly expensive – think of it as Shoreditch crossed with Sloane Square.  We walked for miles around the West Village, Greenwich Village and Chelsea ending up in Washington Square which was stunning.

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Jamie had an evening meeting so I went for a potter around Chelsea Market.  This isn’t like a normal sort of market, rather than stalls it is made up of lots of little shops.  You can buy anything from jewellery to bread or stop for a glass of wine.

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In New York there are lots of areas just with tables and chairs where you can rest your feet and soak it all in.

Meatpacking districtI did a lot of this.  

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I was so overwhelmed that I was finally here and overwhelmed at the vibrancy of the city.  We finished off our wonderful day with late night bubbles and a charcuterie board opting for a window seat to watch the world go by.

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A x

 

NYC day 3

Our adventure into town today was certainly that..an adventure.  Just like in London, at the weekend the subways are all up the creek, but a girl took us to the shuttle bus (rail replacement service) and all was fine.  See I told you the locals are great! I was delighted to have experienced another mode of transport reliving all the programmes I used to watch as a kid on Nickelodeon.

A mad dash for Jamie to make a meeting ensued but we got to go in a cab! The cabs are so much cheaper but you have to remember your 20% tip!

NYC taxi

I grabbed a cuppa in the Upper West Side and went for a leisurely stroll through Central Park, past the Jackie Onassis reservoir across to the Upper East Side.

Cup of tea

I had to go here and experience Blair Waldorf’s neighbourhood (sorry Gossip Girl reference – I’m slightly hooked at the moment!). People in this city are mad for running I felt quite out of place walking in the park!

The Upper East Side is where the big museums such as the Guggenheim and the Met are.  The sheer size of the buildings in this city is what certainly struck me!

Guggenheim

The Met

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I stumbled across a ‘run for life’ and happily cheered on the runners feeling very at home.  See two days and I was hooked!

Run for life

That afternoon we had very kindly been given tickets to If/ Then the musical at the Richard Rodgers Theatre.

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If/ Then

The theatre was stunning and I am a huge Idina Menzel fan so couldn’t believe my luck that I was going to see her on Broadway.

If/ Then

photo 2-2I liked the show it was refreshingly different and the songs were nice – I didn’t feel that there were stand out songs but you fall in love with the characters and I sobbed my way through the second half.  Serendipity is the running theme and about half an hour later we had our own bit of serendipity!

Our friend Alex is opening in Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night Time on Broadway and our friend Katy is the Associate Director.  Both fellow Brits!  With them being super busy and us packed to the rafters we knew that meeting was going to be tricky so we got them some goodies to drop off at stage door.  We quite literally bumped into Katy at stage door and Alex was walking down the stairs – a wonderful case of serendipity in a city far from home.

Curious Incident

There were so many things we were still desperate to do but hey not fitting them all in means we have an excuse to come back.  We decided that we had to see Grand Central Station which is awe inspiring.

Grand Central Station

 

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A where’s wally moment…

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Our friend Poppy had recommended a restaurant called El Centro for supper (54st 9th av) and as soon as we stumbled across it we knew she had come up with a gem.

El Centro NYC

A mexican with delicious cocktails and heavenly food! It buzzes with locals and quite a theatrical crowd.

Cocktails

The photos didn’t come out very well – I think I was just too excited at the amazing food to hold the camera steady…or even remember to take a photo, but do go if you’re in the area.

We were both gutted that tomorrow was our final day but we still had some more time for exploring before our flight and so were going to make the most of it.

Broadway

Join us for our final day in NYC tomorrow

A x

Courgetti Spaghetti

This is so simple there is no need to write a recipe, but I just had to share it with you.  Whilst trying to cut down on carbs I came across this alternative for spaghetti thanks to the fantastic Madeleine Shaw.

Courgettes.

Yes I know I was skeptical and in my head I was hoping some miracle occurred when they were thinly sliced to make it taste like pasta…it didn’t.

However, it’s brilliant.

Courgetti

Thinly/ thickly/ however you want slice the courgette.  We used a cheese grater for thinner slices and potato peeler for larger slicers.  You can buy a special spiralizer thing but I’ve never been afraid of a bit of man power.  One courgette is enough for one person.

Then go crazy with whatever topping you fancy.  We went the whole hog and made a bolognese.

Courgetti bolognese

It wasn’t pasta, but it was delicious and a far more interesting way to eat courgettes.  I didn’t feel at all bloated after, so this is now my go to staple for spaghetti.

On our next vlog there should be a snippet of me trying it for the first time for the real review!  If you haven’t visited our new YouTube channel yet, click here and go have a little visit. We’d love it if you’d subscribe to our channel.

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Do have a go and let us know how you get on.  If you use substitutes for anything else then pop it in the comment section below and we’ll give them a try.

A x

Banana Pancakes

Having over indulged last week I felt that there was no way I could justify another piece of birthday cake…for breakfast!

Cue my guilt free, gluten free breakfast of dreams

Drum roll please…..

banana pancakes

Banana Pancakes- ridiculously easy to make and absolutely delicious.

First: Play this and leave it running in the background! Jack Johnson- Banana Pancakes.

You will need (1 serving):

  • 1 ripe banana
  • 2 free range eggs
  • 1 tsp Lucy Bee Coconut Oil

ingredients

  • Any toppings of your choice

toppings

blueberries

I added a tsp of flaxseed to mine but this is optional.  As long as you have the banana and eggs you are good to go.

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1) Mash the banana

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2) Whisk the eggs together

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3) Combine the banana, eggs and flaxseed and mix

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4) Pop your Lucy Bee Coconut Oil into your frying pan

5) Laddle a good sized dollop (technical term) into the pan

6) Wait for the down facing side to set and flip over…I’m not brave enough to try a proper flip with this mixture…yet!

Voila you are ready to serve

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My serving of choice was syrup and blueberries.  Jamie of course went for the indulgent addition of nutella.

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Jamie had looked at it and said “I might make normal pancakes” he tried it and then asked for more.  A convert right there, particularly when he’s never one to go for the healthy option over the real deal!

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I think you should kick start your week with this…Monday will suddenly seem that bit better!  Let me know how you get on and any fabulous combinations you recommend.

A x

 

Morning yoga

This last week I have been a bit naughty as not only was it my birthday, I also went with the girlies to Ireland for our friend’s wedding, so over indulgence was key.  However one thing I have kept on track with is my morning yoga.

On my quest for a healthy body and mind I have been following the wonderful Rachel Brathen on instagram.  I have been completely inspired by her attitude to life and the world around her.  She is a yoga instructor but in my eyes is a life coach at the same time.  She writes beautifully and makes me want to be more like her.  For me I see yoga as a meeting of the body and mind and think it crucial on my journey.

Yoga

I have been doing her yoga routine first thing in the morning and have found it a beautiful way to stretch out and start my day.

It may sound silly but I swear it gives me a spring in my step for the day ahead.

Can you recommend any other inspiring people or yoga workouts to have a look at?

A x

 

 

 

A Healthy Mind

Let’s start with a healthy mind because isn’t that behind everything we do and want to achieve?

The power of a positive mind amazes me.

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I know people who swear by meditation for relaxing, clear thought, reducing stress, focus and countless other reasons. Personally I didn’t see how I could justify sitting and not getting any physical benefits, like an ab-workout, out of it.  Wasn’t it a bit self involved to sit there and focus on me…?

Oh, how naive I was.

I wanted something user friendly – nothing too far removed – as meditation is a state that you learn.  It can’t just be achieved by sitting there closing your eyes and trying to force yourself into a form of calm.

Headspace

I downloaded the ‘Headspace’ app and have been doing their ten day free trial.  Ten minutes for ten days.  Andy, the founder, talks you through everything.  I did find initially that I would get anxious that ‘I wasn’t doing it right’ and that ‘I didn’t feel in some zen like state’.  Andy explains that you are allowed to let the mind wander but it is about letting the thoughts come and go and not holding onto them.  He is brilliant and just reading his tweets calms me down…psychosomatic, I’m sure, but nevertheless a nice calming distraction in what is a busy London life.

Meditation apps

Am I going to sign up after ten days? – I’m not sure.  I haven’t tried anything else yet except for chanting which we did at drama school with Nikki Slade which was absolutely amazing by the way! There are so many different types of meditation and I need to explore which one is for me.

meditation

I also downloaded an app called Digipill.  It provides you with a free relaxing ‘pill’ (podcast) and once you get over the filmic narrative I can’t tell you much more as each time I have listened to it at night I have fallen asleep during it!  You can purchase other ‘pills’ targeted at specific concerns i.e. anxiety, focus.  I’ll let you know if I’m a convert when/ if I manage to stay awake.

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Can you recommend any good meditation books/ sites/ classes/ dvds/ apps that I should try?

A x

Mind and Body Overhaul

With the nights getting longer and a hint that summer is almost here I have been feeling that I need to sort myself out.  With working, running my own business and auditions I tend to just grab food and fit in workouts here and there.  I do have in comparison to most a healthy lifestyle.  I grew up in the country and danced from a young age.  I have always been sporty…my mum is a tennis coach so from the age of 2 I was given a racquet!  I am a grazer when it comes to food and am always hungry, so little and often is probably the appropriate term for my eating habits.

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I have been feeling a bit sluggish and am interested to see if a healthy lifestyle overhaul might bring back the spring in my step.  I know that people will say there is nothing of me…this is not to lose weight. Not all food and exercise regimes need to be.  I don’t weigh myself and have never owned a set of scales.  Mine is to cleanse the body and feel better about myself and also learn to slow down and take time for myself which can be hard when trying to juggle a lot of balls.

the country

There is a lot of pressure on girls to appear certain ways.  I think it is far more important for girls to be happy in their own skin and that comes from the inside out.  What you put into your body is crucial to this as is putting time aside for ‘you’ time.

My vices: I have a sweet tooth.  I love a good cup of builder’s tea and a full fat latte.  I am always rushing and try to cram too much into a day.  I’m an awful sleeper.  I think and worry far too much…

Vices

I am going to use the blog to share with you my journey.  I will share tips, links, workouts and recipes that I think are fantastic alongside our usual blogging.  Will Jamie join in….who knows?!

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So you know my current pattern: I go to the gym about three times a week and focus on interval training – I don’t believe in lengthy workouts I just prefer a blast as I get bored easily.  I am a huge fan of Pilates and am slowly but surely getting more into Yoga.

Gym

My first golden nugget is to follow The Body Coach @thebodycoach.  He was recommended to me by some wonderful friends who have been doing his 90 Day SSS plan.  The change in themselves they can’t believe…they are leaner and full of energy.  He is inspiring and his instagram is a joy in letting us in to some amazing recipes.

The Body Coach

Is anyone else getting in shape in mind and body for summer?  Let’s do this together and share our journeys.

This is what I aspire to:

F. Scott Fitzgerald

Quote by F. Scott Fitzgerald.

A x

Balmy summer evenings

The weather in London over the past few days has been incredible.  There is a real sense that summer is on the way and there is nothing we love more  than spending long balmy summer evenings with friends.

I used to live with Lucy at University and we have always been partners in crime, particularly partial to a few G and Ts and a shared love of wining and dining!

Friends

Twins

Friends

She and her boyfriend Adam invited us round for supper. Lucy has always been a fabulous cook and when I used to crawl in late at night exhausted from rehearsals, she knew I would just grab a piece of toast with cheese so would make sure I ate properly by casually saying to help myself to something she had whipped up earlier.  Needless to say it was always a culinary feast!

This time though she outdid herself…5 courses for us little piggies!

Adam was chief bartender for the night and he certainly didn’t disappoint with his cucumber G and Ts – yes cucumber it’s brilliant!

cucumber gin and tonics

We chatted happily and animatedly away on the patio as we caught the last of the evening sun.  I love England in the summer, in my opinion there is nothing better than the long light evenings.

summer evenings

Rose wine

Then course number was served al fresco.  A little tomato appetiser number to wet the palette. Tomato Consome. Yes no more University cheese on toast for us!

appetizer

Amy and Jamie

As the sun set we moved inside for course number 2.  Asparagus, poached egg, hollandaise sauce and parma ham.

Poached eggs

Did you know that you could pre cook poached eggs? – no me neither.

asparagus, poached egg, parma ham

starter

Delicious is an understatement.  A perfect concoction of flavours and light enough that we weren’t too full up for the main…

pea risotto

Pea Risotto.  The boys had seconds – of course they did!

Pea risotto

A perfect British summer’s evening main course. Followed with my personal favourite…Chocolate Mousse.

Chocolate Mousse

Looking perfectly fabulous in martini glasses.

Chocolate Mousse

I’m salivating looking at the pictures…

Chocolate Mousse

And of course what is a meal without cheese and biscuits to finish us off.  My trousers were certainly getting a little tight by this point!

We went for the trilogy of wines, because if you can’t break the rules when you’re with your Uni friends, when on earth can you!

Friends

A wonderful evening spent with our wonderful Lucy and Adam.

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Here’s to many more long summer evenings with friends this summer.

A x