Pancake Sundays

The only way to start a valentines Sunday is to have pancakes for breakfast, and I went all out with a whole stack and extra toppings, with the greatest combination of ingredients out there- blueberries, maple syrup and bacon! I’d usually be up for making the homemade dodgier versions but there was no point messing around on a day like today, so the only place to do it right was Pickle & Rye…

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Next stop, Richmond Park. Some well needed fresh air and exercise was needed to walk off those full stacks of goodness! As always the park was full of families and couples, some with their dogs, cycling or jogging, and as the sun appeared through the clouds this Sunday was made just a little bit brighter.

A cold walk then called for a Cafe Nero pit stop, or more like a few hours curled up on the sofa reading my new book (The Versions of Us), doing some back and forth research on Iceland (the next trip on my list), and taking a few trips to the counter to refuel on coffee and tea. It’s days like these I wish every day began with pancakes…

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Lemon & Ginger

Recently I have been starting my day with the concoction of lemon and Ginger tea. I had read about it’s amazing way to revitalize your body and help in so many different ways to improve your health. I used to think how on earth could you start your day without coffee!? But this really works, and if you can get through two days of replacing coffee with this drink, you are on your way to a more hydrated, more detoxed and healthier you! These are just some of it’s super powers…

* Relieves stress and mood swings
* Fights off flu, cough and cold
* Fights against cancers
* Keeps motion sickness at bay
* Aids digestion
* Eases joint pain in arthritis
* Improves immunity
* Enhances blood flow
* Prevents heart disease
* Cures low grade fever
* Refreshes the mind
* Detox your body and eliminate toxins

Easily make it by just using 5 cm ginger root, 1 Litre fresh water, 2tbsp  organic lemon juice, 1-2 tsp honey– Finely chop ginger root and infuse in freshly boiled water for at least 20 minutes, so the infusion maximizes the transfer of the active ingredients into the liquid. Add lemon juice, honey and stir. Serve hot or cold for a refreshing and revitalizing treat 🙂

 

 

Lanzarote Adventure

Desperate for some sunshine I spent a week exploring this amazing island, with the guaranteed good weather, volcanic landscape, beaches and my camera in hand, it was the perfect little adventure.

The best way to get around the Island is to drive, so hiring a car was a good option for the trip, that way you got more freedom and can explore every little bit of the island. It’s definitely more exciting finding somewhere off the beaten track, away from the tourist destinations that you can call ‘your place’ and that is almost undiscovered by others. My favourite place from the trip was the mountain just up and around the corner from the Beatriz hotel, here you could climb to the top of the volcano to see the sunset, and see the view of the trailing volcano peaks in the distance. Unfortunately there was some cloud cover but in a way this made for a more effective photo shoot as the clouds became wispy and patches of pink sky started to appear through the gaps.

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COSTA TEGUISE- MOUNT CORONA
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COSTA TEGUISE- MOUNT CORONA

With good weather every day meant there was a sunset opportunity every evening! On the first night before discovering Mount Corona I wasn’t sure how to get the best shot of probably the clearest sunset of the week, so I decided to chase this one in the car, heading south towards Playa Blanca there were some great opportunities to get different angles and views of the sun setting, the colours were so vibrant and dusk quickly followed which allowed the colours to change into a hazy pink and purple once the sun had disappeared…

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SUNSET REFLECTION
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DUSK-TEGUISE
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SUNSET- TEGUISE
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SUNSET- TEGUISE

The beauty of this little island is that nothing is too far of an hours drive along deserted roads and picturesque scenery, so to drive anywhere is a breeze, just as long as you have a rough idea as to the place you’re heading! For one of the days I had to make way for visiting the Timanfaya National Park (also know as the fire mountains). It’s here that you can see a spectacular volcanic vast land, which was the center of a massive volcanic catastrophe 250 years ago and erupted for over six years! As the cars are banned from driving around the narrow roads, a bus tour takes people around the park instead, which allows you to see the most breath taking views of the craters and the lava valleys. The crusty land is burnt red in some places making it seem like a spacey ordeal, almost like you’re on Mars! Once back at the top, there is a great restaurant (El Diabolo) at the highest point in the park where you can have a meal or drink and look out at the view. It is also here that chicken is cooked on top of a hole in the ground with only natural volcanic heat cooking it from beneath the earth’s surface- it’s without a doubt the worlds coolest BBQ!

One of the highlights was getting to meet a camel- or i should say many camels! As there were at least 50 or so all lined up in groups ready to take people on trips just a little way up to a small view point around the Timanafaya area. They were very friendly animals, as I had expected them to be spitting all over you, as I had heard that camels and lamas are known to do this! Luckily they had fairly sturdy seats on them so you didn’t have to straddle one so it was a fairly comfy ride, although on the way up the camel in front of mine needed the loo and ended up peeing for nearly half the journey!

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TIMANFAYA
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TIMANFAYA
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TIMANFAYA
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EL DIABLO
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TIMANFAYA
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TIMANFAYA

Another great attraction were the caves, The Jameos del Agua and the Cueva de los verdes are separate caves and very different, but are part of a 6KM long lava tube that formed 4000 years ago! I was excited to visit the Jameos Del Aqua as I had heard about the species of blind albino crabs that you can see in the natural lake which was formed within the cave, and it is the only place in the world you can find them! Surprisingly they were absolutely tiny, so small in fact that my camera even found it hard to pick them out, they covered the bed of the lake and looked like small white glowing pebbles from a distance, which made the cave look even more magical! The entrance to the cave was amazing, as you enter by climbing down a stone stair case into the first cave known as ‘Jameo Chico’, there was an unusual bar / restaurant, and then looking down you get a great view over the small blue lake. The Cueva de los verdes was a completely different experience, as the caves were much deeper underground, you could only see these caves as part of a tour, as there was every chance of getting lost if directing yourself alone. The lava tubes were lit up with special lighting effects, and this made for a real theatrical experience, as you also had to duck and crawl along narrow ways to get round parts of the cave.

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JAMEOS DEL AGUA
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JAMEOS DEL AGUA- ‘JAMEITOS’
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CUEVA DE LOS VERDES

Think, Share, Decide.

“One vital component of decision-making that is often overlooked is quiet contemplation. After looking at all the stats, speaking to all the experts and analyzing all of the angles, then take some time to yourself to think things through clearly.” – Richard Branson, founder of Virgin Group

I find that decision making is one of the most difficult aspects of life, and thinking is a large part of it, and working out whether the right decision will be made.  I always try to say to myself to go with my gut instinct, however it should never be a snap judgement call, as thinking carefully is vital to weighing up the pros and cons of a situation, looking at the factors and seeing which may work out best for the long term and short term. However we can’t predict the future, so dwelling on something too much isn’t healthy. So what is the right length of time? How long should it take before you can feel comfortable in the decision you make? To help, take insights from others, get a conversation going, more brains put together can be more valuable than one just thinking alone. As Thinking can be lonely, and you can get caught up in a frenzy of unhealthy thoughts, and in the end not make a good decision. There will come a time when you will need to make the decision, and in the end you will make it, so what ever it may be think carefully, share it and Decide.

In response to The Daily Post’s weekly photo challenge: “Victory.”

Having heard about the horrific Paris attacks this morning I am finding it difficult to write about a personal victory. Therefore I am dedicating this post to all of the victims that lost their lives last night, and their loved ones.

I’m sharing the below image which was tweeted by many celebrities and people this morning to #Prayforparis and hope that one day we will celebrate the victory over defeating terrorists.

Celebrities have taken to Twitter to express their love and support for Paris after a series of horrifying attacks that killed more than 150 people have shocked the entire world

Amsterdam Weekender

What a beautiful City. I visited a few weeks ago with quite a few friends, but it’s only just now that I decide to blog and share my photos with the rest of you! I was in ore, and completely fell in love with this city. The lifestyle was so relaxed, and the landscape so colourful this time of year due to the trees that line the canals changing to golden red and orange blankets. The canals themselves with the long boats floating along quite peacefully, and the cute bridges arching over  just added to the romantic setting.

One of my favourite places was Vondel Park. As there were quite a few of us, we decided to hire bikes and traditionally ride around the City for a day. It was the best idea we had had as it made the getting around much more quicker and enabled us to admire the good Dam life! Although some of us didn’t take to the bikes quite so well…

The coffee shops and array of bakeries around the main square were just amazing, every shop was so quirky, with different groups of people relaxing or chatting amongst themselves. We mooched around the streets, trying all sorts of tasty pastries, mostly the ones covered in Nutella for me. My best find was the Nutella Ice Bakery which provided all sorts of treats including warm muffins filled with Nutella and extra smothered over the top- absolute bliss!

                                       

                                       

Seasons change

Is it me, or has it been one of the warmest November’s!? It’s usually September that’s the Indian Summer month, but we are now nearly mid November and I have had no need for a scarf or woolly hat through this Autumn! Kind of disappointing seeing as I am a winter person, and love the cosy nights, wrapping up and feeling the cold crispy air on my face. Question is, when will the season change, as it still feels as though we are in a summer month!

I took this photo the other day, walking along the south bank, whilst coat was in hand. The sun was starting to appear through the mist at lunch time, it had lurked around all morning and once it was out, the warmth was incredible..