M.I.A.

Hello blog. I’m sorry I have been M.I.A. for a while. I really need to be more organised! I have tried to start a new regime where I get up at 6am. It worked Monday, but after reading about lucid dreaming on Monday night, I decided to try it out on Tuesday morning rather than get up :-/ I WILL GET UP AT 6am!!! My excuse this morning was that I’m going to my friend’s leaving dinner tonight in London, and will therefore be going to bed late…so should try not to overdo it. I am recovering from a cold after all…I have read if you stick to it for a month, your body gets used to less sleep. So I will be more determined to get up in the morning to write more!

 

 

StumbleUpon is SO good. Thanks to my friend Nicola who introduced me to it! Such a good way to find out hidden treasures on the internet that you may never come across. The idea is you press the ‘Stumble’ button and it picks a website that it thinks you might find interesting. When you sign up, you select all your interests from a range of things such as animals or computers, and you can either stumble within one interest or at random (but it will only show you things from the interests you have selected). Then if you like it, you can ‘Like’ it and it saves the page for you in your profile. You can also ‘Dislike’ and it will avoid showing you similar pages. I came across this page on High Existence 50 Life Secrets and Tips and found it inspiring. Not that I don’t abide by some of the tips already…but No. 17 is an encouraging point for me right now! (Like I already mentioned) Not sure I’ll be going for 2 hours of sleep per day because I’m not a total freak, but may try out the alternate sleep cycles.

17. Fully adjusting to a new sleep cycle can take up to 21 days so don’t give up if you feel tired after switching to 5-hour nights. The “required” 8 hour/night is for normal people. If you’re reading THIS article on THIS site, you are not normal. So figure out how much sleep YOU really need and adjust accordingly. As enjoyable as sleep is, waking existence is much more fulfilling and efficient. IF this really sparks your interest, check out alternate sleep cycles with which you can be fine off of 2 hours of sleep per day.

Anyway we’ll see…Talking of M.I.A. (Missing In Acton) I have recently been sporting my Nike Air Max trainers, which do remind me of the singer that I love. I’ve had these since I was 14 – no joke. (Yes I’ve had size 7 feet since I was 13) I remember wearing them to Thorpe Park back in the day when I used to go with just one other friend (Hannah from the wedding special photos), we were a gruesome twosome. Bless us loners. But these have had a comeback for the better. I’m wearing a Corduroy Jacket: Gap, Checked Shirt: Charity Shop (my friend Frankie’s), Vest-top: Topshop, Bag: ASOS  Jeggings: Topshop, Trainers: Nike (obv)… and the Bandeau in the last photo is H&M.

 

Thought I’d leave you with this song to reminisce – released in 2003!

Vapiano

Shopping on Oxford Street can work up quite an appetite. When I think of places to eat in that area I am always stuck because you either have go for something quick and cheap (plus unhealthy) i.e. McDonald’s, or quick and/or healthy and relatively expensive. Cafes like Pret a Manger and Starbucks can be tasty but a sandwich and crisps won’t put me in good stead for an energy draining shopping trip. Wasabi offers some sushi and hot food but again it’s either unhealthy and full of oil and sugar (the hot food), or you end up spending a fortune on sushi, which is a bit of a tease. Sometimes it’s just nice to get a reasonable portion of food and a nice seat in a restaurant. Carnaby Street has some nice pubs and restaurants, but most of them are overpriced. Then you have your usual suspects on the side streets like Pizza Express and ASK but they’re not quick. I love a bit of Nando’s but I have that all the time so it’s nice to go somewhere different when you’re in London (if you don’t live in London).

 What I wore shopping: Stripey jacket, Charity Shop Vest top, Triton | High-waisted chinos, American Apparel Espadrilles, Oxfam

I used to walk down Great Portland Street quite a lot when I was living in halls and used to go past this place called Vapiano. I never really understood what it was. From the name on the outside I assumed it was a jazz bar or piano school. WRONG. How wrong I was. I was shopping the other day with a friend and suggested we come here after I had been told by my sister it was actually a really nice restaurant. How right she was. First of all, it has a completely different set up. You are given a card as you walk in. There are no waiters, so this acts like a tab. You have to go up and order your drinks from the bar and food from the pasta or pizza stands. The bar has a good range of drinks, even 3 types of draught beer (good for the boyfriend or if you like beer!). The pasta menu is organised into 4 price ranges A – D, starting at £6.75 for Group A going up to £9.75 in Group D. You get to choose out of 11 types of pasta, which are all made fresh on site (you can watch it being made while you wait).

 Queuing system 

Once you’ve chosen what pasta and sauce you want, you choose a queue where there are chefs waiting for you (in the above photo). After you order it then gets cooked in front of you and takes around 10 minutes. Quick, cheap and healthy. The same idea goes for the pizza, apart from you don’t get to choose a base or anything like that, and it can be a longer wait. Obviously you just choose your topping out of the 4 price ranges. There is also a menu for antipasti and dessert but I didn’t get any so I can’t really say what it’s like. I can safely say the pasta and pizza are a-ma-zing (my friend got a pizza). So I’m sure it’s the same for everything. I went for the Granchi di Fiume pasta: Crayfish, fresh vegetables and lobster sauce from Group D.  Was quick, delicious and fresh. Need I say more?

Granchi di Fiume pasta washed down with some Magners. Yumitiyum. 

I love the decor. It really does complement the style of the food. It’s like a modern, sophisticated cafeteria. You have your own fresh herb selection if you wish to add a few more flavours to your meal. As it is a quick self-service arrangement, there are no bookings and the seating is mostly communal. I’m going to stop here as I am getting very hungry talking about this place and my stomach is screaming at me to go back. Where do you like to eat if you’re in this neck of the woods?