Wednesday, 29 April 2015

Afternoon Tea at The Colonnade Hotel, London | FOOD


Hello!

"the good thing about Afternoon Tea, it's all very relaxed, calm and you're not in a rush to go anywhere - utter bliss"

Afternoon Tea is a great way to spend an afternoon. You may have noticed it becoming a reoccurring topic on BBXO (see here and here). Yet, this time, the weather decided to treat us a little better, and the sun was shining. All the other times I've been, it's been pouring down with rain! Nonetheless, let's take a peak into the beautiful Colonnade Hotel. 


First things first, we went around in circles and passed the place about twice before found it! It was quite discrete and the only sign was a little menu (pictured in the title). I've got to admit, the area was beautiful, but more on that later. 

The atmosphere was light, and the glass roof ensured the sun was shining through and making everything look 10x prettier! You had to walk down stairs to the seating area and enter a pastel coloured room, with pastel paintings and very clean, white plates and cups, which instantly makes you feel calm. That's the good thing about Afternoon Tea, it's all very relaxed, calm and you're not in a rush to go anywhere - utter bliss. 

"What's an English Afternoon Tea without Scones?"

As for the tea, there was a range to choose from. Although the range was not that big, it was enough to get something you liked. We went for the Darjeeling, and although it was my first time trying it, I fell in love! Such a beautiful, mellow and slightly sweet tea. 

The food was lovely, and to my surprise, there were macarons! In all the places I've had tea, I've never had macarons included! Oh, and they did taste amazing! Mine was pink, but didn't have a particular flavour, it was a plain macaron sporting all of the glorious texture it's known for. 


What's an English Afternoon Tea without Scones? They gave us jam in a cute little jar that was just adorable! It tasted amazing too. 

"You can bet your bottom dollar that I instagrammed that!"

Of all the other Afternoon Tea places I've been to, this is definitely been one of the best. I loved the light, airy atmosphere, the polite staff and the lovely treats. If you're looking for a place to go to on a lovely sunny day, definitely check out The Colonnade Hotel near Little Venice. 


Speaking of the area, it is absolutely stunning. The buildings are white with huge doors and pillars. It was like a dream! You can bet your bottom dollar that I instagrammed that! But more on the area will be coming to a blog near you very soon, so keep your eyes peeled! ;)

All in all, a wonderful place to visit, I would definitely recommend you go. Plus, there's a beautiful canal a mere 5 minute walk away - a great way to spend a Sunday afternoon.

Tell me, have you tried Darjeeling, and what's your favourite tea? 

Monday, 27 April 2015

Massage – Techniques and History | GUEST POST



Hello!
Just a quick forward before we get onto the post: this is actually a guest post from the Spa themselves. Who better know about massages than the ones that provide them, hey? 
I hope you enjoy it and who knows, you might learn a thing or two, I know I did!
:D x


Massage is a health treatment that was around for quite a while. Even the ancient Egyptians used it as a way to relieve stress and to increase the overall function and strength of the body. Today, it is one of the best practices for dealing with numerous physical problems and issues. It has become an important part of modern culture and many people use it for relaxation. Massage has a particularly good therapeutic effect. It helps us to increase our metabolism and eliminate all the toxins which are stored within our body. Besides that, it is good for lymphs, blood, it helps with the reduction of swellings and improves the trophic of the tissue. First and foremost, it influences our skin, given that the pressure is put on it, by removing epidermal cells and it increases secretion activity of glands as well as elasticity of the skin. Besides that, it has a special, analgesic impact. In other words, it reduces the pain. Furthermore, it reduces the stress and fatigue; it has a relaxing and spasmolytic effect. Also, it increases the circulation of blood in body and reduces future fatigue. If you ever wish to have a good massage, Uptown Spa & Beauty salon is just the place for you.

Basic techniques for massage are effleurage, petrissage, friction, tapoment and vibration. We always apply one of these moves but the massage always starts and ends with effleurage. People usually start taking massage in order to resolve many issues with their body such as lumbar and cerebral syndromes, neuralgias and neuritis, posttraumatic contraction of the wrists, local swelling, injuries of the ligaments and muscles, different paralysis, arthritis etc. Side effects of the massage might be bleeding, tumors, skin diseases, acute diseases and inflammations.

As previously mentioned, massage is the older, known to man, physical therapy. Its origin is unknown. Some say that it originates from Arabic word Mas which means gentle pressure. Other sources say that it is from Greek word massein which means to squeeze. It is possible that the French invented it because in French language word masser means to rub in. At the beginning of the fifth century, Greek physician Hypocrite, known as the father of medicine, wrote that it is possible to fasten loose joint with rubbing and to loosen the joints which are too stiff. Besides that, he discovered that the massage can influence the muscle and bone tissue and influence the growth. Galen, physician of the Roman emperor, prescribed massage to injured gladiators but also as a part of preparation for arena fights. In ancient Rome, it was used in medical, sports and combat purposes as well as in daily life. Romans nurtured hedonism and everything that pleased their senses. So, in that regard, it is no wonder that massage was so popular in their culture. Even the great Julius Cesar was treated with the massage and it was regarded that it helped a lot with his epilepsy. Unfortunately, during medieval times, it was deemed as unfit way of treating people. But in renaissance it resurged and progressed up until today when it is commonly used.

Friday, 24 April 2015

The Emoji Tag | LIFE


Hello!



With the ever-growing range of emoji's, including the new range in the iOS 8.3 update, there are bound to be ones you love, ones you loathe and random ones that you have no idea what-in-the-world they mean!

I've actually been seeing emoji related videos on YouTube but not many posts about it on the blogosphere, until I found this one in on LunarLook, and decided to give it a go.

Most used emojis?

πŸ’— πŸ™ˆ 😊

I feel like everyone has their favourite heart, and hands down, mine has to be this one! Oh, and how can we resist a cute little smiley face? 

Favourite emoji?

πŸ₯

Okay, this may not the first one that comes to everyones mind, but I adore this little chick! I use it all the time: to convey an excited emotion, a don't-shoot-me emotion and even a 'feeling chill' emotion! It's a winner for all!

An emoji that is not there but should be?




source
Not going to lie, this was a hard one. Not only is it difficult to decide what emoji there should be, but it's hard to find an image of it too - you can imagine!
Though if this is meant to be a 'shrug of the shoulder, what-can-you-do' kind of emoji, I'm all for it!

An emoji that you hate?

πŸ˜ͺ

Hate is a strong word. I don't particularly hate this emoji, but it does convey 'feeling sorry for myself', which is not really a nice emotion to have, as you know, positivity and all

The most random emoji you can find?

🐹

You may know of Susan the Squirrel (refer to: here), and if not, she's a squirrel that visits us everyday! Anyway, she has become quite a thing, and what better way to describe her than an emoji, right? Technically, there is no squirrel emoji, so I guess a hamster will have to do! Oooh, maybe a squirrel emoji is one that should exist but doesn't! 

Emojis you don't understand?

πŸ”— πŸ“Ž

Another difficult one, as I don't really try to understand what the emoji's mean. It's kind of like: if it feels right, I'll use it! Yet, after searching around I found this one.
I did not know what the first one was, as I originally thought it was a paperclip, but the one shown next to it is a paperclip.. whatever, I'll probably never use it anyway!

Do you have an emoji next to all of your contacts?
No :)

An emoji you overuse?

😬

I'm quite the awkward person, so you can imagine how often I use this! I feel like it just sums me up a lot of the time! 

The emoji with the most swag?

⛄️

C'mon, how much swag does that snowman have? Too much, that's how much! He's just so... chill (no pun intended). 

Well, that was a fun, little bit random, tag to do this friday! 
I hope you liked it, and tell me, if you were to choose ONE emoji to sum up you, which would it be?

Wednesday, 22 April 2015

May 2015 Calendar | FREE PRINTABLE


Hello!

"As always, it's free to download, available in a PDF version and print as many times as you wish!"

Is it already nearly the 5th month of the year? How is that even possible?! Do you feel like the first few months of the year always go by super quick? I don't know what it is, but 2015 has literally ran past us!

Well, anyway, us believing time is just super fast right now doesn't make it any slower, so we've got to keep up with the times and get the latest calendar! So, here it is, in the 'flesh'!

Click HERE to Download
As always, it's free to download, available in a PDF version and print as many times as you wish!
I hope you have a fabulous May, even if it does mean spending most of your time at a desk if you're a student - exam time is upon us!

Anyone else feel like time is going particularly fast? :)

Monday, 20 April 2015

Fuchsia with a bit of Glitter | MANICURE MONDAY


Hello!

"a lovely shade that screams 'ME'"

Spring is well and truly upon us, and if you caught a glimpse of the Spring Nail Colour Picks, and had a little look at the Spring Inspiration Board, you'd know this colour is definitely a go-to Spring shade. Oh, and what better way to spice it up than with a bit of glitter, ey? :)


The combination is one of those, you know, the ones that you do not want to get rid of, even if it's chipping from left, right and centre? Yep, one of those! You can bet your bottom dollar that I'll be wearing this shade, if not the combo, again sometime this season.

"what better way to spice it up than with a bit of glitter, ey? :)"

In all honesty, I was going for the gold glitter, but as I only had a candle lit and the lamp on in my room (you know, to create a nice atmosphere and all), I blindly picked out the silver glitter instead. However, I loved the way it looked - everything happens for a reason, right?! 

All in all, the fuchsia is a lovely shade that screams 'ME'. Shame it was a limited edition, though! Nonetheless, I'll enjoy it while it lasts!

Tell me, if you were to pick one 'ME' shade, what would it be? 

Friday, 17 April 2015

The Lucky One | MOVIE


Hello!

image source
"Did you read the book or just watch the film for the hunk (a.k.a. Mr Zac Efron)? Trust me, I won’t judge. ;)"
The other day you saw the book review. Now it’s time for the movie to be reflected upon. I must say, I was so excited to see this movie, not only because Mr Zac Efron was part of the deal, but because of the incredible story I had yet only finished a couple of days before.
There are no big spoilers in this post, and when there is, there’ll be warning ;)

I was expecting to see the opening scene that they had in the book, of Keith by that creek being a creep on those college girls. I did understand they weren’t going to keep the scene exactly the same, as the movie didn’t want an “18” age restriction, yet something of the sort would have stuck to the story. So that was tick number 1 next to the not-the-same-as-the-book tally we’re keeping.

Another thing: Logan was meant to have long hair! If you read the corresponding book review, you’d have known I always imagined Zac to play Logan, yet, I did find it a little difficult imagining him with long hair and was intrigued to see how he’d pull it off in the movie! Next thing I see, he doesn’t have long hair!! What?!

Now that the little rant is over, lets get on with the good things. Logan, being the protagonist, was played very well. I also like the selection of Taylor Schilling playing Elizabeth. Ooh, that reminds me: in the book, Logan was the only one that called her Elizabeth and the others called her Beth. This was a little detail that was so cute in the book, yet the movie missed it completely. It was only Beth. Either way, Taylor pulled off the slight naΓ―ve, but uber gorgeous-but-doesn’t-know-it kind of character. She did a good job!

Overall the movie was touching and Keith did make your blood boil, just as he did in the book! It was a good watch, and one of those that you’d like to watch on a chilled out night!

Although it was a good movie, I just wish they made the ending better. In the book it was slightly rushed, but it was better than the movie. The movies ending was very much rushed, in my opinion, and there was so much potential for a better way to end it. 
*SPOILER ALERT: In the book, both men were very much injured when trying to save Ben from the crazy river. We, as readers, knew that they both got hurt and Ben was saved. Then we read about Beth going to the graveyard with two bunches of flowers. At this point we don’t know whether the flowers are for each Logan and Keith and that they had both died, or Logan and Drake meaning Keith had survived at the risk of Logan's death, or what happened at all! The whole suspense of it really gets you worked up. Then she comes home to Logan and Ben, and you’re literally over the moon! THIS, ladies and gentlemen, is how the movie should have ended.
*END OF SPOILER

Gosh I feel I totally deserve the role of director and producer now! Only joking, they did a great job of creating the film, and there are a few bits here and there that I wish they did include from the book, but that’s just the perfectionist in me talking

Right, so that was a bit of a ramble, but it definitely summed up my deep feelings I had for this book. I don’t exactly know why, but The Lucky One still makes me feel slightly giddy, and it’ll be a story I’ll never forget!
This one is definitely for the dreamers!


Tell me, what did you think of The Lucky One? Did you read the book or just watch the film for the hunk (a.k.a. Mr Zac Efron)? Trust me, I won’t judge. ;)

Wednesday, 15 April 2015

Smile, Be a Dreamer & Bloom | QUOTES


Hello!

"you know what they say, think good things, and good things will happen!"

Quotes are lovely. They make you take a step back and realise what life is about. It's so easy for us to get bogged down into our own little troubles and we forget how irrelevant they might be in the long run. Or we forget our morals and values, so it's always nice to take a moment and refer to them. That's one of my favourite things about these posts, we get a chance to just bring ourselves back down to Earth. Here we go:

"we get a chance to just bring ourselves back down to Earth."
Living in London, there's this 'unwritten rule' that you should never smile to strangers. Or so there seems to be. I, for one, don't follow that rule. Being lucky enough to live in a neighbourhood where people do say good morning to you, where it's acceptable to smile at someone out of courtesy, it's totally normal to say hello to 'strangers'. 

I remember going out and about with a friend who lives nearby, and I said hello and smiled to a 'stranger' as they did so back, and the friend said 'How do you know them?!'. I don't know what it was, but that completely shocked me. Is it not normal to do this? Do most people just walk past others as though they did not cross paths?

"so easy for us to get bogged down into our own little troubles and we forget how irrelevant they might be"

If you read my last blog post, you may have picked up that I'm a bit of a dreamer. I saw this quote on Pinterest and thought I had to include it. It's okay to dream a little - you know what they say, think good things, and good things will happen! 

"take a step back and realise what life is about."

This one is just speaks for itself. Just be you! <3

Hope you have a fantastic day, and tell me, if there's one quote that's stuck to you right now, what is it?

Monday, 13 April 2015

The Lucky One - Nicholas Sparks | BOOKS


Hello!

"Many times, I caught myself physically smiling as I was reading"

Everyone knows of the oh-so-famous Nicholas Sparks based movies. You know, the ones with Ryan Gosling, Liam Hemsworth, Channing Tatum and in this case, Zac Efron. I must say, good choice of actors! Although I had known of the films, and watched a few in my day, I never really thought about picking up the book. Then came a day I decided to take a read of this one, and I've never looked back.

"yet there's something about it that just makes real life seem that much more magical"

Seeing as I hadn't yet watched the movie, I thought it'd be a good idea to flick through the book first. Let me tell you, once I picked it up, there was no way I was putting it down. I must admit, the moment I read about Thibault, Zac Efrons' face jumped into view, and he totally fits the character. Thibault is an awesome guy. He's done so many great things but is so modest. I don't know what is it about those kind of characters, but they are my favourite. So every time his good nature was mentioned, it made me feel somewhat 'warm and fuzzy' on the inside. Many times, I caught myself physically smiling as I was reading. And that's just one of the myriad of things I liked about the book.

"I don't know what is it about those kind of characters, but they are my favourite"

The overall story is quite interesting. It really does make me believe in destiny, and as clichΓ© as it may sound, I guess I am a believer of fate. Don't get me wrong, I totally understand how this is a book and only a story, not real life, yet there's something about it that just makes real life seem that much more magical. Am I going crazy? I don't really know what it is, but the book gave me a sense of hope, the idea that 'good things are to come' - okay, this is just proving how much of a dreamer I really am!

"Then came a day I decided to take a read of this one, and I've never looked back"

I'm going to watch the movie and give you a verdict, was the book better than the movie? Keep your eye's peeled for that post later on in the week! However, to round this post off, let me just tell you, if you're looking for a nice escape, a good read and overall a lovely story rammed in a neat little book, this one is for you! 

Tell me, what do you think of Nicholas Sparks' books, any suggestions?
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