31/10/2016

Lifestyle: October Favs & November Goals

October Goals Overview:

- Take a day/weekend trip to somewhere new in the UK [✓]
We took a lovely afternoon trip down to Oxford, which was our first time and we loved it!
- Attend more blogger events [✓]
We attended our second blogger meet up, also to a blogger event and maybe planning our now ;)
- Reach 1,500 Twitter followers
So close, yet so far.. follow us here
- Organise ALL photos together from THIS YEAR
Didn't even try haha
- Create more veggie friendly recipes [✓]
We did two, here and here, and we look forward to doing more!

Previous Goals Now Achieved:

- Reach 60 subscribers on YouTube [✓]
If you'd like to add to this, you can sub to us here
- Go back to Brighton, for certain ice cream shop [✓]
Didn't get the flavour I wanted, but nevertheless we went and you can read all about it here

October Favs:

FOOD

Restaurant: Gastro MK, Marrakech


I know, I know, you must be so sick of me mentioning this restaurant but honestly. AH-MAZE-ING!!
And I know technically we went end of September but we posted this on the day after in October but it just couldn't be missed out! Defo a top favourite!

Home cooked Meal: Pesto, Spinach and Tomato Quesadilla


This was one of the dishes we created as a part of our attempt of making more veggie friendly dishes and this was so simple to make, so quick but yet so tasty, it deserved to be a fav!


PEOPLE

Twitter to Follow: @KMHVlogs & @Francesca_nels

THESE GIRLS ARE LIFE! If you don't follow them, then you're missing out! We are squad goals and we're so so so excited to meet them in December!

YouTube: Charlie Friend


She's just so easy to watch; fun, bubbly and we had the privilege to meet her and she's super lovely! And hella smart, if you need to know anything about being a blogger and taxes, she's your girl! Go check out her channel, a good mixture of variety!

OTHER

Date Night: At Home Ideas


Recently, we've been such at home people and we believe these are some good ideas for some at home Date Night ideas to share with you!

Activity: Camel Riding


Sorry, holiday talking again, but this excited me so much! This has been on the bucketlist for ages and we're so so happy to have finally done it!

November Goals:

- Start Christmas shopping
- Finalise our Christmas Blogger Meet & Feast event
- Reach 80 subscribers on YouTube
- Create more 'main channel' videos
 - Read and comment on more blogs

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What are your October favourites? Do you have a goal/bucket list? Leave them in the comments below!
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30/10/2016

Date Night: Chocolate Fondue & Heads Up: PlanOurDate


Following our previous date night post, you could also subscribe to date night boxes like this one! We've tried this box before which you can read about here, and now we took to having our last Plan Our Date box before they get taken over by subscription box Date Night - yes it's called Date Night!

This one included a cute little ceramic fondue set, along with a candle to light at the bottom and of course milk chocolate to melt and marshmallows to dip in. We thought this was super cute and just perfect to have after our quick homemade dinner. As well as it being reusable for any time we like.

Following our marshmallow chocolate dipping, we continued on with the rest of what we were given; Heads Up, PlanOurDate version. We were provided with 3 cards each, which we took turns in writing down a special memory or occasion and the other would have to place it on top of their head, while asking questions to guess what has been written.


This was a cute idea as you are reminiscing on good times with your other half, as well as having fun. This could also be done at home yourself, make your own cards and rules.

Being the people we are, we didn't only just write something sweet and romantic things, we wrote completely silly things like "the time you fell on the beach in Spain" which he surprisingly guessed in 3 questions, probably because I couldn't stop laughing and that memory will always be as funny as when it happened.

The idea was the person who asked the least questions would be the winner to take all three tokens, which included: Choice of Movie, Choice of Activity and One Free Massage.

Jessica lost by far with a disgraceful 15 questions, while James held strong with only 7 questions. 




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Lunch @ The Yard, City Road - Chester



As the clocks went back and we all cheer for an extra hour in the day, you'd think we'd still be lying in bed at 11 am. Nope, not us. Even after the long and eventful day before, we were up at 9 am. 

In this time we decided to head over to Cheshire Oaks to do a little shop and browse, before picking Nan to head over to another lunch celebration for Olivia's birthday, this time with the honour of the Grandparent's presence.



Jessica and I both went from the fixed price menu and had starters of mackerel and prawn brioche, and basil and tomato soup. Once I had got Grandma to very kindly peal my prawn, the flavours were subtle and complemented each other perfectly. From the taste of Jessica's soup that I had, it was also strongly flavoured and extra hot - it definitely had some secret ingredients in there because that was no ordinary tomato soup!


We both went for the Chicken supreme as our main course, a dish I think I've had here once before. The meat was stunningly tender and tasty. Of course we had to get a side of hand cut chips each, and these were also up there with the best posh chips we've had. Other than us, everyone else had a different dish and suddenly the table fell silent. Always a good sign!




To top things off, dessert arrived and all were exquisite once again. We cannot fault the food at all!



I, James have been here a couple of times with the family, and it's now on the list of places we will come back to time and time again. The welcome and service has always been impeccable, and the food is outstanding for taste and value. Whilst most of the menu is understandably pricey, the set menu of three courses for £15 is an absolute steal.

The restaurant is bright, light and very aesthetically pleasing, full of quirky features such as the signposts for the bar and toilets - 3 yards away. 




It is a family run business, we were mostly served by the Father of family, whilst also waited on by his two sons. Just knowing that somehow gives it an extra dimension and welcoming feel - especially at the standards which they carried out their jobs with. The head chef has previously worked for Gordon Ramsey, but there was no shouting or swearing here - it's the perfect place for a relaxing lunch, whether it be for an occasion or just because you love good food. 

Food: ★★★
Customer service: ★★
Atmosphere: ★★★
Toilets: 



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29/10/2016

Lunch @ Ginger - Northgate Street, Chester


This weekend we are in Chester, for my, James' sister's birthday. We were up at 6.30am and were in Chester for 10.15am, where we headed straight to the house to give presents and get ready to head out for lunch.

Ginger was new to all of us and I'd been looking forward to trying out one of the newest additions to the City Centre's dining options, having opened just under a year ago. This place came about after the owners desire to open a wine and deli bar in Chester, spotting a gap in the market for a relaxed bar/restaurant where customer's can enjoy nibbles and a drink over a catch up with friends, whilst enjoying a spot of live music which they host from time to time. 

Charcuterie board - Three varieties of chorizo, spreadable, delicate cured tenderloin Lomo Embuchando, & slices of Serrano Ham. Served with a stack toasted ciabatta drizzled with olive oil & leaves.
Continental cheese board - Three spectacular cheeses (6 month aged Manchego; Murcia al Vino, a semi soft goat’s cheese soaked in red wine), with spelt biscuits, quince jelly & figs. Accompanied by a Spanish blue cheese wrapped in maple leaves & matured in caves.

We opted to share 4 half platter's, whilst Olivia had a 'posh' bacon butty. Although it mysteriously took the sandwich 45 mins to arrive, all of the food was scrumptious - so much so, that it wasn't long before we ordered more and followed this with cakes from the deli counter. 


Pate selection board - Stilton & Guinness, and chicken liver & brandy pate, served with a stack of toasted ciabatta & leaves. 
Seafood selection board - Smoked salmon, peppered mackerel, and a prawn cocktail served with leaves & a stack of toasted ciabatta drizzled in olive oil.

Posh bacon butty - Rosemary & rocksalt focaccia toasted with bacon, sautéed mushrooms & cheese. Served with a grilled tomato & ketchup - £3.95

I personally felt like the intimate atmosphere was a tad too intimate - the small tables are very close together and doesn't leave much room to squeeze through the gaps and fit all of the delicious food in front of you. But this didn't take away from the thorough enjoyment of this perfect weekend lunch, topped off with fantastic company.


Keep up to date with our posts this weekend! We are heading to The Yard restaurant tomorrow, not one we've been to together before. But I have had the pleasure a couple of times, and I can tell you that we are in for something special!

And just as we thought we were done, we spotted this frame which made for another "take a picture" moment - we can definitely relate!


Food: ★★★
Customer service: ★★
Atmosphere: ★★★
Toilets: 



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26/10/2016

Event: #TBHXBWB Blogger Meet & Greet - London


On Saturday we had the pleasure of attending a blogger's meet up, organised by The Bloggers Hub, in collaboration with Bloggers Who Brunch. Set back from Oxford Street, it was in prime position for London bloggers and beyond to come together, and get to know the people behind their twitter handles.



Once arriving and finally making our way through the very complicated door (don't ask), we were introduced to the organisers and began to mingle with our fellow bloggers. Jessica was particularly excited to be meeting Charlie Friend, and also close friend Ashlee Moyo was in attendance after recently launching her travel blog and events business.



I was one of just three male bloggers there, which came as no surprise. There must be more lads out there! But I got chatting to James Vincent about his hugely successful fashion blog, and took some tips from him too.


There was prosecco and cupcake aplenty, and for the ladies a nail painting artist in the house. Unfortunately chatting took over and the line was rather hefty by the time it was time for us to leave. But that was no shame as it was amazing to meet so many people with a common interest, and to hear about their inspirations, ideas for the future and all about what they do.

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We have been so inspired to meet more of you lovely bloggers and vloggers, we're hoping to hold our own blogger Christmas event in collab with our friend Ashlee, as mentioned above. So do look out for that and we hope to meet more of you in the future!


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23/10/2016

Dinner @ Pizza Union - King's Cross, London

Calabria - tomato sauce, mozzarella, mascarpone, nduja sausage, rocket - £5.95 - James

After an afternoon apart from each other as I, James met up with a uni friend and Jessica was at the Miss and Mr Philippines reunion, we met up in Euston for some dinner. Seeking something fairly quick and cheap, we had remembered this place after visiting the nearby Honest Burgers a little while ago. 

Stagioni - tomato sauce, mozzarella, ham, pepper, mushroom, black olives - £6.50 - Jessica

The only thing you don't have to do yourself here is cook the pizza, so no wonder the pizzas are as cheap as they are. But for what it is, it's hard to criticise as the pizzas were good and there's a great atmosphere - it was Sunday evening and it was more or less full in there.

Dolce classico - warm dough ring with nuteella and mascarpone - £3.25

We ended with this dessert to share - not the most presentable dish in the world but it went down a treat! Practically a nutella pizza, it fulfilled our need for something sweet before heading home for an evening of blog writing and vlog editing.

Fully recommend this place if you're after a quick pizza perhaps before a train journey from nearby King's Cross St Pancras, or are simply in the area with friends. Student budget friendly, and relaxed atmosphere to boot, just don't expect silver service. 

Food: ★★★
Customer service: ★★
Atmosphere: ★★★
Toilets: 

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Date Night: At Home Ideas


You know when you simply just want to snuggle in bed and stay at home? Yeah, that's pretty much been us since we've come back from holiday. Don't get me wrong, we still go out and to be honest, all our weekends for the rest of this year are all booked up. But once during the week, after work, we usually plan to go out for Date Night and we love it, but sometimes, you just want to stay at home, you know?

We had a stay at home Date Night planned for this week, but we felt just staying at home and simply watching The Apprentice is what we wanted to do. So instead of telling you what happened in The Apprentice, which I'm sure you'd already know anyway, we wanted to share with you, some of our 'At Home Date Night' ideas.

1. Homemade Candle Lit Dinner

I know it sounds super cliche, but honestly, it's not the eating and sitting down I'm talking about, we're more about the cooking together part. It's actually so much fun and complete bonding time. It's about making the mess and having a laugh, with the outcome of a romantic dinner.

2. Netflix/Movie Marathon


This one is easy, how could you go wrong with binge watching your favourite TV shows or series of movies. Or maybe this could be the chance to watch what your other half wants to see, watch The Notebook or The Hobit or simply re-watch How I Met Your Mother from the beginning - whatever floast your boat, with some candles, one blanket and unlimited popcorn, you are set!

3. Be Creative


Play some muics in the background or some YouTube videos on a playlist, get your creative juices flowing - paint each other a painting, on a canvas, a mug, anything! If not painting, try some baking - again, same like cooking, it's more of doing it together than eating it - decorate it as you like and have fun with it, it's not the Great British Bake Off.

4. Pampering

Create your own spa at home, throw on our fluffy robes and slippers. Light some scented candles around the room and bathroom, run each other a bath or have one together ;) and if it's not already a regular thing, give each other a back massage, that's always a treat! Oh and face masks, who said they were only for ladies and hey, it's only you two, so why not - go all out!

5. Go Old School

Get out those dusty old board/card games and do it like the good old days. Monopoly, UNO, Jenga, you name it! Pretty self explanatory this one and to top it all off, the 90's music, all the good stuff!

Hope all you lovelies enjoyed this little post. Let us know what are your musts dos for an evening in? 

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20/10/2016

How To: Pesto, Spinach and Tomato Quesadilla


Here's another vegetarian dish we've made, something super easy and quick as well as full of flavour!

Serves: 2 | Prep Time: 5 mins | Cook Time: 15 mins

Ingredients:

- 1 roma tomato, thinly sliced
- Baby spinach
- Pesto
- Feta
- Shredded mozzarella
- 2 large tortillas (per person)

Instructions:

1. Place a tortilla on a skillet over medium heat, and spread a layer of pesto on top
2. Add a layer of mozzarella cheese and feta
3. Add tomato slices, spinach, and top with another layer of mozzarella cheese
4. Place the other tortilla on top, heat for about 3 minutes, flip, and heat for another 3 minutes or until cheese has melted
5. Cut into 4 and serve immediately


We do love including spinach in as much of our cooking as possible! It is such a great way to add an extra dimension of nutrition into your meal. To read more about the health benefits of spinach, give the below article a read...

https://www.cookingdetective.com/33-amazing-health-benefits-of-spinach/

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19/10/2016

How To: Cheesy Vegetarian Chilli Mac


This evening we've decided to cook a vegetarian friendly meal, as we are not vegetarians, we don't usually tend to cater for those who are - so this is what we made (even my sister who hates vegetables said it was nice!)

Serves: 6 | Prep Time: 10 mins | Cook Time: 30 mins

Ingredients:

- 1 cup Frozen Sweet Corn
- 1 can Black Beans
- 1 can Kidney Beans
- 1 can Pinto Beans
- 1 can Tomatoes
- 1 Onion
- 2 cloves Garlic
- 2 cups Vegetable Stock
- 1 can Tomato Sauce
- 1 tbsp Olive Oil
- 2 tbsp Chilli Powder
- 2 tbsp Flour
- 1 cup Cheddar Cheese
- 2 cups Uncooked Macaroni 

Instructions:

1. Chop the garlic cloves and onion. Heat  the olive oil in a pan/wok and fry for 3 mins. Combine your chilli powder and flour.
2. Pour in your frozen sweet corn, black beans, kidney beans, pinto beans, can of tomatoes and mix.
3. Boil your water and mix in your vegetable stock, pour the mixture into the pot/wok, along with the tomato sauce.
4. Once combined, pour in you uncooked macaroni and mix until the stock is absorbed and the macaroni is cooked. 
5. Throw in your cheddar cheese and serve immediately!

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17/10/2016

Day Trip to Oxford, UK





On Saturday, James and I headed to Oxford for an afternoon day trip, week took the 11:20 am train from Paddington straight to Oxford and took just under an hour to get there.

On arrival, our first thought was coffee and much needed at that, we searched online for an independent coffee shop and found one. We decided to take the city sightseeing hop on hop off tour bus around, which we thought it would save us travel money, as well as getting the full history tour of Oxford, which costed us £14.50 adult and a student for £12.50.




We took the bus for a few stops until we were close enough to where we thought the independent coffee shop was, following google maps, we found The Missing Bean. As an independent coffee shops always are, it was quite small and very busy. James got a large latte, as I got a large chai latte. We were unable to grab a seat but were happy enough to take a walk while venturing towards the Covered Market, which Abbey suggested for us to go for Ben's cookies, we've both not had Ben's cookies before but we do have several in London, but it showed to be popular that the line was too long for us to want to wait for it, but we'll be sure to try them in London.


We walked around and admired the different shops and stalls before heading back out to get on the other bus tour, which is the green route, as we were on the red route which is the city and the green is more of the country side to Oxford. While it was still bright and sunny, we wanted to take a trip around the green route and do one of the suggested walk tours you could do on your own.


The first time we went around, the bus barely stopped, so we were confused were we should have gotten off and before you knew it, we were back to where we started. So since that was the case, we got off the bus to take stroll through the Christ Church. We didn't end up going in, as the line was super long, but we did take pictures outside and walked around it to find the stop to catch the green bus again and making sure we got off the right stop this time.


We followed the map, to where to thought we should be and eventually found our way, we didn't exactly follow the route on the map but as the natural adventurist I am, I wanted to "get lost" in the nature, we followed a unofficial path along the grass and found our way to a very Instagramable log which was near the river, where the original route would have taken us. We eventually found our way back and jumped back on the bus to where we could again get the red bus,


Before getting on the red bus to get the where we were having lunch, which again Abbey suggested we should go, we stopped at the Alice (and wonderland) shop to have a browse around. It was a cute little shop, but there was nothing that I wanted at the time. Now I wish I had bought some candy canes.


We went around the red route, passing the museums we had every intention of visiting but it was late afternoon and we were hungry, as mentioned previously, Abbey had suggested we visited this Lebanese Deli (which you can read all about by clicking the name) followed by visiting the outside of both The Bridge of Sighs and the Radcliffe Camera.



Once we realised the time, all the museums have closed and it was starting to rain. The tour bus had also stopped running, so we decided to find a cafe close enough to where we were, as well as near enough to the station.


James had remembered when we were on the tour bus about the oldest coffee house in England and of course we had to go! The Grand Cafe

When walking towards the station, we took a few detours as we kept finding other places which we didn't pass on the bus.

It was a shame we couldn't do everything but we intend of returning to Oxford before Christmas, to visit the museums and campus' that Abbey suggested, as well as having afternoon tea in The Grand Cafe and fulfilling the other suggestions we had received by the lovely Kayleigh.


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Have you been to Oxford? Have you been to any of these places or have any more suggestions for us to visit?
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16/10/2016

Lunch @ Shuang Shuang - Piccadilly Circus, London


This afternoon we had met up with our lovely friends Micah and Eric. Our original plan was to go to the Zoo but a few days prior, we checked the weather and it was predicted to rain. So we opted to meet up for lunch in Central London.

I had suggested we come here, as it's somewhere I've wanted to take James for a while since my dinner here with Rochelle. Great food for great value!

The restaurant is set up like YoSushi! Different coloured plates, each colour representing a different price all on a conveyor belt with seating around.

We must admit this wouldn't be the best place for a large group of friends to meet up, as we all sat in a row to each other, rather than facing each other but we made it work and conversation was still flowing.


We each went for making our own which consisted of 3 simple steps:

Step one: Choose your broth (unlimited)
Step two: Mix your dipping sauce
Step three: Choose your ingredients

The deal we went for included all of the above, with 3 green plates and noodles. All for £9.90 but extra if you chose a certain broth. Also 15% discount with student cards (which both James and Micah forgot to use)


Both James and Eric chose the Tom Yam broth, spicy! Which surprised me actually, that James picked a spicy one and I didn't. Micah and I opted for the Black Bird, Micah doesn't like spicy food and I controlled my spice with my dipping sauce.

For the amount you pay, compared to how much you can get out of this meal is definitely value for money! We were all happily stuffed and enjoyed the dining experience.

Crispy Matcha Sundae - £4.95
Straight after, we headed just around the corner into Soho for some dessert!

Neither of us has been here before but I've passed it several times before and it shows to very popular as I've never seen an empty seat and there's always a queue. Today wasn't too bad but still no seating.

Although I've wanted to try this for ages, I forgot how much I wasn't a big fan of Matcha, James wasn't a fan at all but we believe Matcha requires a particular type of taste and it wasn't ours but Micah seemed to have enjoyed hers very much.

Shortly after, we walked around and found a Starbucks to chill at as it started raining before we departed. It had been such a lovely little catch up and we may or may not have planned our next get together in another UK city.

Food: ★★★
Customer service: ★★
Atmosphere: ★★★

UPDATE: VLOG IS NOW LIVE

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