Tuesday, 1 April 2014

New running blog

Just dropping in to let you know I am now blogging about running over at runningupthosehills.com

I may still post here occasionally once I rediscover some inspiration, but anyone interested in running should head on over to my new blog.  

Thursday, 21 November 2013

HOST, Liverpool

As a wedding gift one of my best friends gave us some money when we returned from honeymoon to treat ourselves with to combat the post-holiday blues. Coming back from an amazing honeymoon to the dark & cold was a bit of a comedown to say the least, so it was a pretty good idea. We decided to go to Host last Friday. Host is on Hope Street (ho-st, get it?) and is just opposite where our wedding reception was so it was a bit of a walk down memory lane. Hope Street certainly is one of the prettiest streets in Liverpool.

Host Liverpool

Host serves 'pan-asian' food and it is faultless every time that we go. It's a bit like an upmarket wagamamas. 

Host Liverpool

You're greeted by a super-lambanana outside - a quintessential scouse sighting. At Host you can order lots of small plates as a tapas style feast or small plates and large plates as a normal 2 course meal. I was feeling quite greedy (and selfish) and didn't want to share so we went with 2 small plates to share and large plates to ourself. We picked the duck gyozas and deep fried ham hock for starters to share. I've had the gyozas before but it was the first time having the ham hock and oh my, it was amazing. I didn't get a photo of them but you get 5 cubes of perfectly formed and then lightly deep fried ham hock with 2 delicious dips. 

Host Liverpool

This was the duck gyoza, about to be demolished by Scott. 

Host Liverpool

I picked Nasi Goreng for my main which was served with a deep-fried soft-boiled egg on top which was amazing. I always wonder how they do that and still keep the yolk runny as I find it hard enough to perfect a soft boiled egg!

Host Liverpool

And finally, the dessert. This is the peanut brûlée served with a chocolate macaron. The chocolate macaron wasn't that amazing if I'm honest but the peanut brûlée by far made up for it. It was like the lightest, fluffiest whipped up peanut butter with a brûlée topping. Perfect for a peanut butter addict like me. I could honestly eat a huge bowlful of that peanut buttery custard. 

And now I'm really craving all this food again - especially the ham hock and peanut brûlée!

Monday, 18 November 2013

"Party" season

Oh yes, it's that time of year when all the Christmas partywear guides pop up everywhere. My calendar is looking pretty full for December and I always like to buy one dress to last me through the Christmas party season. However, Christmas party season is a MYTH. I say my calendar is full, I just mean full of various meals with people I'm catching up with to say merry Christmas to. If only I was actually swanning about all these fancy schmancy parties that women in their 20s are supposed to. Also, I have never-ever been invited to a cocktail party. Who does cocktail parties?! Anyway, it's still pretty nice to have a pretty dress to wear out to meals, but in my head if I really was one of these mythical social butterflies with lots of fancy cocktail parties to go to, I would quite like this Coast dress

coast dress 1

And of course to my fancy cocktail party I could wear my wedding shoes, red and glittery! I bought them with the idea that I would wear them again and again but to be honest they aren't the comfiest and are actually a bit big on me. I'd love an iconic Lulu Guinness lips clutch also. 

Another party season myth is that you need an 'office to bar' outfit. Maybe if you live in London or in Sex and the City, but really, who has ever done that? Maybe because I always drive to work (and obviously don't have that hectic of a social life) I never really fancy just going the pub straight from work. Anyhow, if you do live in a party season myth, why not dress the Coast dress down with a smart blazer and colourful scarf? I am quite a big fan of this scarf from Hobbs. And the shoes, swoon. 

coast dress 2

This final outfit reminds me of what I would wear when I was 15. I really miss my Doc Martens actually. I also have a Kanken backpack on my Christmas wishlist at the moment, but in royal blue and not this khaki green. When we were on honeymoon I wished that we had a backpack to carry everything in, tote bags get pretty uncomfortable after a few hours of walking. I think as I get older I'm going more and more for practicality over prettiness! Obviously I try to get a balance of the two though and won't go for ugly, practical things. (still a shallow twenty-something after all).

coast dress 3

How would you wear this black velvet prom dress? Do you agree with me that party season is a bit of a myth perpetuated in the media? 

Post in collaboration with Coast

Tuesday, 12 November 2013

Shopping in NYC

When you think of New York, you think of shopping! We actually didn't do too much shopping really because we were too busy seeing the sights but I did have a few shops I wanted to visit.

NYC shopping

Of course, Tiffany's! I have had this necklace on my wishlist for so long and when we booked our visit to New York I knew that this would be my honeymoon souvenir. Tiffany's on Fifth is such a spectacle, spread across five floors there is a whole floor dedicated to diamonds and engagement rings! Out of curiosity we did go for a little nosy. This necklace worked out about £40 cheaper in the US too, so that was an added bonus.

NYC shopping

Of course, any trip to America or Europe isn't complete without a visit to Sephora. I picked up a Clinique chubby stick in Mega Melon, which Scott had a giggle about when he realised because Melon is the affectionate nickname my sister gave me when I was growing up (Helen the Melon...). It's a really nice formula and just the right shade for everyday wear, somewhere inbetween a balm and a lipstick.

NYC shopping

I also bought my first pair of Nike Frees after admiring them for a while. I love this colour combination (almost Tiffany blue!). I've been using them for my shorter runs as they're a 'barefoot' style so want to use more supportive shoes for bigger mileage. As you can see they've got quite muddy already! Myself and Scott are contemplating entering a marathon next spring so we're vaguely following a training plan and have clocked 28 miles so far in November, so it's quite good to have a few pairs of running shoes to rotate depending on the run.

We also brought back lots of American chocolate (anything with peanut butter in, otherwise American chocolate is rank) and lots and lots of Clif, Lara and Luna Bars. Why are they all so cheap over there?! I could get 5 luna bars for $5!

So sad now that we have munched our way through them all. Also, I would quite like a Whole Foods up north please.

Wednesday, 6 November 2013

Honeymoon pt 2 - St Lucia - Hiking the pitons

Flying out to St Lucia after 4 crazy days in New York was amazing. The contrast between the two places was huge but we were ready to spend some time relaxing on the beach and resting our poor feet. We had a few beach days not really doing much and then decided to hike the Gros Piton.

St Lucia

The pitons are two volcanic plugs that are iconic in St Lucia and the local beer is even named after them! The one on the left is called Petit Piton and the one on the right is Gros Piton. Petit piton is smaller (although it doesn't look it here because it's closer) and is also a hell of a lot steeper so it's generally not recommended to hike that. The Gros Piton can be hiked with a tour guide, either from just below halfway or from the very bottom from the beach. We opted for the latter and hiked all 771m of it.

St Lucia

A water taxi picked us up from our resort early to beat the heat and took us over to meet our guide, Joseph. The picture above doesn't really do justice to how BIG it seems from the base at the beach! But it was big. And steep. And sweaty.

St Lucia

The view at the halfway point. At the start of the hike, our guide told us to empty our bags so we were carrying as little as possible but that we should take a full litre water bottle. By about the halfway point the water had nearly all gone! It was so humid in the jungle and it was barely even 8am. It did improve once we got higher up and we could feel the fresher, cooler air meeting us. Some parts were so steep, I had to jump up huge rocks and hold on to trees. 

It took us about 2 hours to get to the top and we did stop twice at rest points.

St Lucia

Hurrah! At the top! There are 2 view points at the top, one towards the south of the island and the other towards the north-west with views of the Petit Piton. We climbed around to get to both.

St Lucia 

St Lucia

St Lucia

Shiny, sweaty happy people!

The descent was almost as hard. It wasn't as much of an aerobic workout, but I was pretty damn scared of slipping down some steep rocks and even lost my footing a few times. When we reached the halfway point, we bumped into some other tourists but they had decided to turn back as the first half was too difficult for them. Afterwards our tour guide laughed and said that happens to a few. Reaching the bottom felt pretty amazing and it wasn't too hard all in all. By the time we finished we'd taken 4 hours. We rested on the beach and had a swim to shake out our tense muscles. It was such a great experience. I don't think anyone should go to St Lucia and miss out hiking the pitons, it was a definite highlight of the holiday for us! 


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