Unique places to visit in Paris

Of course when visiting Paris you want to see all the toursity places, and get that shot of the Eiffel Tower. However there are also some hidden gems that you have to visit when in Paris. We have written a post on the hidden gems that we visited on our trip.

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Rue Cremieux
This street is bloggers paradise and you wouldn’t know it was there unless you knew about it. Close to the Gare du Lyon its a very short street lined with stunningly colourful houses. Many bloggers come here for photoshoots along with other professional photographers carrying out a variety of photoshoots. However on visiting Paris this is an absolute gem and must be visited.

Rue Mouffetard
This street sometimes has an amazing market to visit full of incredible stalls. On non-market days however its equally as beautiful and there are some amazing restaurants to be visited. A number of restaurants from this post are here too.

Palais Royal
This featured in our Tourist Guide to Paris post, but we decided to feature it here as its not a place that is on many peoples ‘places to visit in Paris’ list but we think it should be! The gardens and the courtyard with the black and white pillars are so beautiful and when here you would never think you were in the centre of Paris.

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Rue Montorgueil
This street is very old and very pretty. You enter the street under an old fashioned archway and there are many restaurants and cafes to visit.

Passage Choiseul
This passage is very hidden and you wouldn’t know it was there. Its such a cute little passageway with random shops and restaurants

 

Why you should take progress pictures

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Its easy to forget the progress you have made when you see your body day in day out. Taking photos of your body is so important and we would say a necessary aspect of your fitness journey.

Step away from the scales and instead take progress pictures to track your progress. The Scales are not always your friend and they can make you feel extremely disheartened if you don’t see the number on the scales drop especially if you have been working hard.聽We cannot remember the last time we weighed ourselves we don’t think its an important part of our fitness journey and your weight can change by the minute depending on the food you have eaten and the liquids you have consumed. If you do still want to weigh yourself then maybe just do this every other week or once a month instead of stepping on the scale day in day out.

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Taking progress photos will help keep you on track and you can look back and see how far you have come. Transformation can take time and its important to remember it wont happen overnight. Take a photo once a week, pick a day and time and take your photo at the same time each week. This could be first thing in the morning or last thing at night it is completely up to you. We would suggest taking it first thing in the morning when you first wake up before eating or drinking any food.

Even if you don’t want to look at the photos straight away because you don’t like what you see in a couple of months when you look back you should be able to see a big difference in your body if you are living a healthy balanced lifestyle and keeping on track with your diet and fitness regime.

Don’t beat yourself up if progress is slow, you will make progress no matter how slow or quickly it takes!

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Refined sugar free Apple loaf cake

We love apple cake and decided we wanted to create a refined sugar free apple load because as proven previously in our banana loaf recipe you don’t have to use refined sugar in a cake for it to taste delicious.

We had a few goes experimenting with the recipe but we are finally happy with it and easy to share it with you! Let us know if you decide to make it and we would love to see your creations as always 馃檪

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Ingredients
2 Braeburn apple
200g oat flour (we just blend oats that we already have in the cupboard)
1 tsp baking powder
1tsp bicarbonate of soda
100ml milk of your choice we used almond milk
3tbsp coconut sugar (optional)
2tsp Cinnamon

Method
Pre heat your oven to 180oc
Line your loaf tin and grease with some melted coconut oil
Blend the oats until they are fine and resemble flour
Chop 1 1/2 apples into medium sized chunks- with the remainder of the apple you will need to cut it into slices that can be placed ontop of the cake (as seen in the photo above)
Mix your oat flour, baking powder, bicarbonate of soda, cinnamon, 2tbsp coconut sugar and diced apples together until combined.
Pour in the milk and stir until mixed well.
Pour the mixture into the loaf tin
Place the sliced apple on top of the mixutre
sprinkle with 1tbsp coconut sugar
Bake the apple loaf for 30 minutes until cooked throughout
When cooked let cool and enjoy with a cup of tea or coffee!

A Tourists Guide to Paris

Paris is an amazing city and we were lucky enough to spend the weekend there at the end of April. There so much to see and do so we have written down the top 10 things to do when visiting Paris:

1) Eiffel Tower
Of course you have to see the Eiffel Tower when visiting Paris, although you don’t necessarily have to go to the top of it, sometimes you want it in pictured as its so iconic and if you have climbed up it it wont feature in your pictures. The best place to go for pictures directly in front of the tower is the Place du Trocadero, you can walk through the gardens and up the stairs and have stunning views of the Eiffel Tower. As for all places in Paris to get good pictures it best to go early and beat the crowds.

2) Arc du Triomphe
You can climb up the Arc du Triomphe and get amazing views of the streets of Paris or head to the Champs Elysees where all the amazing shops are with the Arc du Triomphe at the end. On the first Sunday of every month it is free to climb to the top of the the Arc du Triomphe.

3) Notre-Dame de Paris
This famous cathedral is located on the Ile de la Cite and is very popular with tourists so is a great photo opportunity. You can visit inside and climb to the top too. When here make sure you also visit the Ile Saint-Louis which is the slightly smaller island but has some amazing shops and restaurants. Make sure you also visit the green market stalls on the streets surronding the Notre-Dame de Paris!

4) Sacre-Coeur – Montmartre
Another touristy place you must visit when in Paris and great photo opportunities. This stunning church is located at the top of a hill. Whilst here make sure you visit the artist market, which is iconic for Paris and can be seen on many postcards! The Sacre-Coeur is also very close to the Moulin Rouge if you are a fan of the film then pop here for a picture outside the famous red windmill.

5) Galeries Lafayette
The Galeries Lafayette are a huge department store, so if you fancy a spot of shopping then head here. However we recommend you visit here for the free amazing views of Paris. If you head right to the top of the building there is a roof terrace that looks out over Paris and its not to be missed.

6) Boat trip
We went on a boat trip with a company called Bateaux Mouches which took us up and down the river with commentary. The commentary pointed out all the landmarks and also gives a brief history too which is interesting. The commentary is in English, French and Chinese. However there are many other boat companies to choose from and all as equally good.

7) Grand Roue
This is like going on the London Eye only much more cheaper. To ride this costs 12 euros and you go around twice. This is a different way to see the sights of Paris and get some pictures from high up. From the wheel you can see all of Paris so its pretty spectacular.

8) Palais Royal
These gardens and courtyard are stunning and the black and white pillars and perfect photo opportunities. Its best to visit early to avoid all the tourists to get a good pictures without massive of crowds spoiling it

9) The Ritz
This is the hotel that Princess Diana stayed in when she visited Paris. The Ritz is on the Place Vendome and is surrounded by designer stores including Rolex and Chanel. Its good to go here for some stunning photographs of the square, and oogle at the expensive cars.

10) Museums
We have put 2 museums into on point in order to make this list only 10 (oooops!). The Louvre is where the Mona Lisa painting lives, however be prepared to queue to enter the museum and also be prepared to see how small the painting actually is! If you don’t fancy going inside you can take some cool pictures with the famous glass pyramid. When visiting the Musse D’Orsey make sure you go and see the iconic huge clocks and take that Pinterest worthy picture! This museum is in a former station so inside it is pretty impressive.

 

Northern Ireland National Trust

On my short visit to Northern Ireland we visited a number of different National Trust places so it seemed fitting that our next post about the National Trust was all about Northern Ireland.

In total there are over 30 National Trust places you can visit, the country is so beautiful that I can see why there are so many stunning National Trust places to visit.

Castleward
Castleward is where some of Game of Thrones was filmed, I personally haven’t watched any of the episodes but for the avid fans you can take a GoT tour to all the set locations. Coincidentally whilst we were there the BBC were actually filming a TV drama called The Woman in White, they were filming a scene with a horse and cart and doing take after take. Castleward is so close to the sea and you can do a coastal walk along the bay overlooking Portaferry. You can also visit the mansion and grounds too, that are beautiful.

The Giants Causeway
This is one of the most famous places in Northern Ireland where all the rocks are naturally hexagonal. This is a very popular tourist destination and they arrive by coachload! This is free to visit for National Trust members however I would recommend you do what we did and park in Portballintrae, where you can park at the end of Beach Road and walk to the causeway to save money and also see the stunning Norther Ireland coastline where you can also see Scotland!
The Giants Causeway itself is very very busy but most definitely worth a visit.
The walk back to the car you can do a loop and walk along聽the mainland next to a railway track.

Rowallane Gardens
These gardens were really close to our cottage so we visited one morning, would recommend going early in the morning as you will have the place to yourself. The grounds at Rowallane are simply beautiful and we were lucky to be visiting in spring so there were lots of flowers in bloom. We took advantage of the map and did a nice loop around the grounds. We then ended the walk at the tea rooms where I enjoyed a soya luxury hot chocolate and gluten free chocolate cake. There is something about National Trust tea rooms, they are so cute and cosy and the food is always amazing. This is the sort of NT place that you don’t need to spend the day at, but can visit on route to somewhere.
This NT place is very close to the small town of Saintfield where there are 2 fish and chips shops if you fancied a spot of lunch.

The Crown Bar
This is the oldest bar in Belfast and surprisingly is owned by the National Trust. However saying that by being a member doesn’t give you any perks, you can’t get a free pint! This bar is a must see on a visit to Belfast its so cute and there are loadsa booths to sit in, but you have to be wait a bit for a free one!

Carrick-a-Rede
Visit here if you a feeling very brave where you can walk along a rope bridge at Carrick-a-Rede. You used to be able to turn up here and walk across the bridge, however to manage the crowds (Northern Ireland has become very popular recently, most probably because of GoT!) you now have to turn up and pick up a ticket for a slot that day.
This means you have to go and get your time slot and potentially go back for your allocated time slot.
However, it is totally worth it to get that Instagram snap of your daring to cross the rope bridge to show off to your friends!

Now summer is nearly here we shall be making the most of our life memberships and visiting some more National Trusts places, expect to see lots more posts!

 

Cr猫me br没l茅e

Cr猫me br没l茅e is a very delicious dessert and we were inspired to make this recipe after our trip to Paris. We wanted to make cr猫me br没l茅e but fancies making it with a twist so after some delving into Pinterest decided to make cr猫me br没l茅e tarts.

The pastry is our classic pastry recipe that we swear by and the filling is a custard recipe. We then topped the tarts with sugar and used a blow torch to make the classic cr猫me br没l茅e texture. These are great as you can make the pastry in advance and also make the custard in advance. If you are hosting a dinner party as these are ideal as all you need to do before serving is sprinkle on sugar and use the blow torch.

Enjoy!!

Ingredients
Pastry:
175g plain flour
100g cold butter
1 tbsp icing sugar

Filling:
300ml double cream
1 tsp vanilla essence
3 egg yolks
1 whole egg
2tbsp caster sugar

Granulated sugar

Method

1) Pre-heat the oven to 180 degree and butter and line with grease proof mini tart tins
2) Put all the ingredients for the pastry in a food processor and pulse until the ingredients come together (you may need to finish with your hands)
3) Pour onto a flour surface and roll out the dough until 1mm thick. Lay over the tart tins and press into the ridges, then leave the pastry hanging over the edge as pastry shrinks when cooked
4) Line with foil and pour in baking beans and blind bake the pastry for 15 minutes. Take our the beans and finish off the pastry for 5 minutes
5) Reduce the oven temperature to 130 degrees
6) To make the custard filling, put the cream in a large pan with the vanilla and heat until bubbles form around the edge. Let to cool for 5 minutes.
7) Mix the egg yolks, whole egg and sugar with a hand mixer then add the cream
8) Pour the custard mixture into the pastry and cook for 18-20 minutes until almost set. They will be a little wobbly
9) Leave to cool
10) Sprinkle with granulated sugar and use a blow torch to caramelise/cook the sugar

How to juggle a blog with a full time job聽

When we are not working at our day jobs we spend the rest of the time blogging. 95% of our weekends have something blog related going on and it’s very rare we ever stop working on our blog. We have a to do list that just seems to grow which is great but it can also become very overwhelming. We are lucky we have each other to talk to and discuss what our priorities are for that week.

If you are also juggling a full time job with a blog which lets be honest is basically a full time job as well, then you might be interested in our top tips below! These basically help us get our shit together instead of having a mini breakdown halfway through the week!

Blogging

Write a to do list- we don’t know where we would be without our to do lists. It’s impossible to remember everything you have to do unless you write it down. We each have a to do list we work off of in hope that if one of us has forgotten something the other has remembered.

Write an Instagram schedule- at the begging of the week we write an Instagram schedule on the sort of photo we want to post whether that is fitness, coffee, breakfast etc. We don’t write the exact photo as sometimes we haven’t even taken it yet but it just saves us time during the week as it is one less thing to worry about.

Put time aside at the weekends- schedule in some blogging evenings and weekends so you can work on your blog without feeling rushed. We love our blogging days and evenings they are always so much fun and we always end up having so much content by the end of the weekend.

Work through your lunch break- we regularly work through our lunch breaks, this can include going to the shops to buy props, ingredients or new active wear. We also plan what we are going to bake so we constantly scroll through Pinterest looking for inspiration for our weekend baking sessions.

Wake up earlier/ go to bed later- we are early birds and love getting up early in the mornings and recently we have been meeting up at the gym to film workout videos for our YouTube channel. We love getting into bed early at night but we definitely make the most of the evenings when we get in from work before bedtime.

Communication is so key especially if you work on a blog with someone else. We are constantly talking to each other about the blog, we always wonder what we did before the blog came along!

Getting the recognition you deserve- if you work with a brand or a brand have contacted you you should ask yourself whether or not the content you produce will be worth your time and efforts. We are after all working on our days off and I’m pretty sure you wouldn’t work your day job free of charge or without getting some sort of recognition.

Utilise your commute by joining a Twitter chat, commenting on Instagram photos, replying to emails, writing blog posts on the notes section of your phone, buffer tweets and the list could go on and on!

Make the most of the good weather and get outside! If you know the weather is going to be lush at the weekend then try your hardest to get outside. We have met up early in the morning on a Saturday just to fit a photo shoot in as we had other plans for the rest of the weekend.

Don’t stress when your blog has to take a back seat, although this is probably the last thing you want sometimes it has too.

Use scheduling apps to keep on top of social media, we recommend Buffer or Hoot Suite but would love to know if you have other recommendations. We schedule our tweets on Buffer and it means we can continue to promote our blog throughout the day on twitter. We don’t pay for the app yet, so can only schedule 10 at a time but means we can have a tweet promoting a post at lunchtime when we are at work or in the afternoon.

Blog about what you love and it will never feel like work!聽