March Favourites 

March has been a great month! We have celebrated a birthday, saw one of our closest friends get married, both got new jobs, started a YouTube channel and most importantly finally tried Leon porridge which by the way is SO delicious!

Overnight oats-  We had never tried overnight oats before this month and to be honest they sounded gross, who wants to eat cold oats? How wrong were we! With work Annie has to travel a lot so on the go breakfasts are exactly what she need so decided to try them! It’s safe to say we both have been loving them and Annie looks forward to them every morning if she has to get up and go somewhere early! We will be posting a recipe soon so make sure you look out for it!

VLogging- In March we filmed our first ever vlog, it was our friends wedding day so we thought it would be a nice start to our YouTube journey. We absolutely loved it and although we have a lot to learn still we are having so much fun! If you have been thinking about vlogging for a while but haven’t stated yet we are telling you to just bite the bullett and go for it!

Mornflake- We have been loving Mornflake this month they have some amazing products you all need to try. First up is their no added sugar granola oh my gosh it’s so nice to find a granola that isn’t packed with extra sugar. This granola is so moorish and one bowl isn’t enough. We have loved it so much we have already finished our bag and trust us the bag isn’t small! You can taste that it hasn’t got lots of added sugar in but it’s actually really nice to have a granola that isn’t overly sweet. They also sell individual protein porridge sachets which are great, the portion size is perfect and much bigger that some other brands that sell individual sachets so it definitely won’t leave you feeling hungry.

Hangry- We tried hangry snack bars for the first time this month and absolutely loved them. We especially enjoyed the original flavour it was so good! They are the perfect afternoon snack when you need something to satisfy your hangry belly!

TRX workouts- We have been incorporating the TRX into our workout routines lately. It’s a great piece of equipment at the gym and you could even use it for your entire workout. We are planning on filming a YouTube video all about the TRX and the different exercises you can do using it.

Nutri Ninja – We had a basic blender but it wasn’t very powerful so decided to purchase a more powerful blender as they are ideal to make pancakes, smoothies, juices etc. We love our Nutri Ninja firstly because its so easy to clean (everything can go in the dishwasher!), and secondly because it whizzes up food in seconds. We have been experimenting with lots of different recipes, with our first one live already – watch this space for more to come!

We cannot wait for April as we are off to Paris for the weekend – BRING ON DISNEYLAND, we are already planning our pictures, blog posts and we are super excited to vlog the whole weekend! However before that we are both going away for Easter with Annie off to Suffolk and Rach off to Northern Ireland. We are both going to vlog our holidays so make sure you watch it. In addition Annie can finally eat chocolate again! What exciting things do you have planned for April?

It’s okay to stand up for yourself!

stand-up-3

Recently we were put in a situation where we had to stand up for ourselves. At first we were scared to speak up, we felt intimidated by the group of people that we didn’t know very well. The problem was ruining our weekend and after a quick chat we decided we had every right to speak out as we were not the ones in the wrong.

Stand up 1.png

Standing up for yourself can be really challenging and incredibly scary but once you have done it you will feel a sense of relief and so much better about yourself afterwards. I think people sometimes think that standing up for yourself can make you argumentative but that doesn’t have to be the case, people should respect your opinion.

Stand up 2.png

When we don’t stand up for ourselves we end up feeling frustrated and misunderstood.   We have walked away from so many situations and end up wishing we had dealt with the situation differently and spoken up.

In the last few years we have learnt to stand up for ourselves and one another why should we let people walk over us and think it is okay to be disrespectful. It has taken hard work, perseverance and hundreds of pep talks but we are finally there and we will not be turning back anytime soon.

Stand up 4.png

Review of: Cambodia and Vietnam on a Shoestring – G Adventures

At G Adventures, we encourage you to step off the beaten path, embrace the unexpected and immerse yourself in the extraordinary. Our award-winning trips embrace authentic accommodation and local transportation to bring you face to face with the world’s most fascinating cultures, customs and awe-inspiring wildlife.

 I booked onto a G Adventures tours as I had been recommended it by a number of friends and I loved the motto and beliefs of the company.  My expectations for the tour was the it would be organised and we would be taken to each destination, but we would also get a lot of freedom, especially when arriving and visiting our destinations. I thought that we would arrive to the destination, maybe sometimes given an orientation walk, or given a map, then suggested places to visit and the key attractions to visit, and told how to make the most of our time. I thought it would feel like a tour but with a lot more freedom, whilst being surrounded by likeminded people where I would make friends for life.

I decided to do a G Adventures tour because I had never been to Asia before an didn’t know what to expect. As a female traveller going with a young tour company seemed like the best way to experience a place, and get the most out of the destination, whilst feeling safe and not having the opportunity to be put in danger. In addition I wanted to make friends and be able to travel with some great people.

However, my experience of a G Adventures tour was not fully as I expected. Firstly our tour guide did not really let us have much freedom and it was frowned upon if we didn’t want to take part in the OPTIONAL activities. Additionally, it was also frowned upon if we wanted to do our own thing for dinner and find our own places to eat. We wanted to do our own thing because our tour guide took us to tacky, touristy restaurants for dinner where we were surrounded by tourists. We wanted an authentic experience and to eat local food like the locals. By the time I reached Vietnam we had plucked up the courage to tell our tour guide that we wanted to eat alone (which we didn’t feel went down very well, but oh well, it was our holiday at the end of the day and we had paid for the trip!), and we hardly joined our tour guide for dinner.

In addition our tour guide seemed to like the sound of his own voice and treated us as if we were on the classic tour not the YOLO tour, sometimes he wouldn’t even let us cross the road on our own! There were times when he needed to be quiet and not constantly talk at us, in addition when another guide was with us for particular tours it was as if it was a competition for the G Adventures guide and he wanted to look as if he knew more about the particular destination than the official tour guide. We found this to be very embarrassing and just wanted to tell the G Adventures guide to shut up

Lastly, it felt like the trip was all for our G Adventures tour guides gain, we went to restaurants where he knew people, so he could catch up with his friends, or where he could eat for free. You could tell the tour guide was focussed on his commission which is not what the tour should’ve been about, particularly as he tended to lie about certain things to get us to book onto activities or tell us false information about where we were eating.

 I have always wanted to visit South East Asia and when I found this tour decided it was ideal for me, especially as visiting Angkor Wat is on my bucket list as was Halong Bay. I wanted to experience a totally new culture, and taste amazing food whilst meeting great new people. I wanted to learn a lot about the places I was visiting and wanted to also live like a local and experience life first hand. I wanted an honest and real experience of both Cambodia and Vietnam. I do not believe that the G Adventures tour fully let me experience the culture of country I was visiting.

 Despite this, I think that tours are a great way to travel the world and an excellent way to meet like-minded people. I always felt safe on the tour and liked the fact we were taken to places and everything was organised. In addition the hotels we stayed in were incredible, and I couldn’t fault them at all. I think the whole trip was excellent value for money, the hotels were spot on and we had lots of meals included. . I did meet some amazing people on the tour and certainly made friends for life, it was definitely the people I was with that made the trip so memorable and so fun. In addition I absolutely loved visiting Cambodia and Vietnam, they were amazing countries and I sure did make memories that will last a lifetime. I ate some delicious food, and visited incredible places; Angkor Wat, quad biking across rice paddies to watch the sunset,  Boat trip and snorkelling in Sihanoukville, the tailors in Hoi An, motorbike tour in Hue and Halong Bay.

 I will definitely book another G Adventures tour as I cannot judge the company by our unfortunate experience with the tour guide (I think I was just unlucky, but believe it’s best to be completely honest) and my friends still rave about how good the tours and in particular the tour guides are. I am already looking at a G Adventures tour in South America!

You can read all the posts about all the different locations here:

Siem Reap
Phnom Penh
Sihanoukville
Vegan Café Sihanoukville
Cao Tao Home Stay
Saigon
Nha Trang
Hoi An
Cookery School Hoi An
Hue
Halong Bay

Blender recipes series 1: Pesto

We have just bought a Nutri Ninja are are loving it, so much so that we have decided to write a series of post with recipes to make in a blender. Blenders are great as you can make a variety of different things in them, from smoothies, juices, ice cream and sauces.

We decided to start with pesto as it is so quick and easy to make, its crazy most people will buy it in  a jar from the shops.The trouble with shop bought is the added nasties they put into it, the large amount of salt and quite a lot have the addition of garlic, which is a no go for those on a low FODMAP diet.

There is not specific recipe that we followed we just chucked a handful of basil, kale, 1 tbsp pine nuts and 1 tbsp good quality olive oil into a blender and whizzed it up.

Pesto can also be made with the addition of spinach, or substituting the kale for spinach.

You can make a small batch or make a large amount and freeze it

Pesto

Enjoy the pesto with pasta or we quick enjoy putting pesto on top of salmon.

Vanilla protein pancakes with raspberry yoghurt and peanut butter

If you haven’t guessed already we basically had a pancake party on the Saturday morning before Pancake Day, except we were the only ones attending the party. It was great for us as it meant we got to eat all the pancakes until we were completely pancaked out (if that is even possible).

These vanilla protein pancakes with Peanut butter and raspberry taste absolutely incredible! They are the perfect breakfast choice and we thoroughly enjoyed them post the 8 mile run we did on Saturday morning.

Our protein of choice was the Whey Ahead vanilla sachet but you could in fact use any of their flavours using the recipe below. They have so many flavours e.g. toffee, cookie dough, banana, strawberry, chocolate orange and that is just naming a few.  We cannot wait to experiment and don’t worry they will be recipes to follow!

PB pancake.png

Makes 10 Pancakes
Ingredients
100g oat flour or oats blended
1.5tsp baking powder
1.5tsp bicarbonate of soda
2 tsp cinnamon
1 scoop/sachet or vanilla whey powder
3 egg whites
50ml Milk we used oat milk

Toppings
Peanut butter
Fage yoghurt
Chia seed jam or any other kind of jam
Flaked almonds

Method
Blend your oats until they form a flour
Add the rest of the dry ingredients and blend.
Add the rest of the ingredients and blend until it forms a batter.
Heat your pan (medium/high heat) and melt some coconut oil.
Add a table spoon of mixture to your pan and flip once bubbles appear on the surface.
Mix the greek yoghurt in a bowl with the raspberry jam
Sandwich the pancakes together alternating the fillings each time (one raspberry yoghurt and the other peanut butter)
sprinkle falkes almonds over the top

Enjoy!

Red Nose Day: Malteser Biscuits

Red Nose Day is on Friday 24th March, which is a day where money is raised for Comic Relief by doing lots of fun things. Many celebrities get involved by doing fun activities to different challenges, you can buy Red Nose Day merchandise at TK Maxx and Sainsburys and of course the gang will be back on your TV on Friday night on BBC One at 7pm, we will be tuning in for sure and cannot wait to watch the Love Actually Comic Relief Special.

A great way to raise money is to bake goodies for charity, so we have come up with a fun things can bake with a Red Nose Day theme, you can also order a fundraising baking kit to help get you started here

bake a massive difference 

Malteser are doing a campaign where they aim to raise £1 million for Comic Relief, and for every bake uploaded to social media with the hashtag #bakeamillion before 24th March they will donate £5 towards the £1 million. We decided to take part and bake our favourite naughty treat ever that uses maltesers. This will also be uploaded to social media with the hashtag #bakeamillion
There are lots of other recipe ideas for baking with Maltesers on the RND website

For our signature Malteser biscuits to make them extra special we added a red M&M to the centre of each slice to look like a red nose!

For the biscuits:
100g dark chocolate
200g milk chocolate
3 tbsp golden syrup
100g unsalted butter
200g digestive biscuits
50g Maltesers
For the topping:
100g milk chocolate
100g dark chocolate
Red m&ms

1) For the biscuits melt the chocolate, butter and golden syrup in bowl over simmering water
2) Put the biscuits in a freezer and crush until you have crumbs, we also like a few larger chunks of biscuits too. Add the Maltesers and crush these slightly too, again we like to have a couple of whole Maltesers in the mixture too
3) Pour the biscuits and Maltesers into the melted chocolate mixture and stir
4) Press into a baking tray that has been greased with butter and lined with baking parchment
5) Melt the topping in the same bowl over simmering water and pour over the biscuits and leave to cool

 

Brunch Review 2: Sopwell House

Your country home from home- Sopwell House

sopwell-1

One Saturday we ventured out to the Hertfordshire countryside (which actually isn’t that far away from us) to enjoy a delicious breakfast at Sopwell House. Sopwell House is a luxury hotel that is set amongst 12 acres of countryside. They have over 100 rooms, two restaurants, bars and a health and wellbeing centre.

We were not able to book breakfast we were just told to turn up before ten o’clock as that is when it is their busiest time. We arrived a little before 9:30AM and were taken to the breakfast restaurant. We were able to pick the table of our choice and as soon as we were seated the impeccable table service began.

The service at Sopwell House was faultless. The waiters and waitresses were very efficient and incredibly polite they really did make our visit even more enjoyable. We were served tea and coffees and were told to help ourselves to the breakfast that was on display in front of us.

There was so much choice including; Yoghurt, berry compote, selection of cereals, dried fruit and seeds, assortment of pastries, smoked salmon with cream cheese and capers, full English breakfast, freshly baked bread to toast, jams and spreads and also an array of hams and cheeses.

As you can imagine we didn’t know where to start and we basically worked our way through the entire selection, we were one of the lasts ones in the restaurant when it reached 11oclock.

We thought the breakfast was charged fairly at £17.50 per person. The only thing we were slightly confused about was the fact you were allowed to dine in your robes but then again it is a spa hotel and they do want you to feel like you are home from home so we will let them off.

We would love to return to Sopwell House for a Spa weekend as we were blown away by the quality of the breakfast. we can only imagine how relaxed and refreshed we would feel after an entire weekend of pure relaxation.