Healthy eating on a budget

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Healthy eating doesn’t have to be expensive. You don’t have to shop in Whole Foods and you certainly don’t have to spend more money. So many people think convenient fast foods are cheaper than fresh wholesome foods.  We want to put this myth to bed and help people maintain a healthy diet whilst eating on a budget.

If you have any other tips and tricks then please share them with us!

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Buy in Bulk- We would suggest purchasing your food in bulk for example buying bigger bags of rice, oats and pasta will be cheaper and these are as good go to staples to have in the cupboard.  You should also think about purchasing your meat in bulk there are several established websites that sell meat such as Muscle Foods.  Compare pre packed fruit and veg to loose fruit and veg. Check the price per kg some brands will make loose more expensive where as others will bump the prices up on pre packed goods as its more convenient.

Cook in bulk and from fresh- If you don’t enjoy cooking and it feels like a chore this is probably the last thing you are going to want to spend your evening doing. It will definitely be worth it and your bank balance will thank you for it. If you cook in bulk then you can freeze meals or eat them the next day for lunch or dinner, that way it will limit your cooking time in the long run.

Limit eating out/ ordering take away – Eating out can be expensive, why not eat out when you are celebrating something or as a treat when you want to catch up with family or friends. Don’t just eat out because you cannot be bothered to cook or wash up the dinner plates. Eating out is not only expensive it is likely you will end up eating a less nutritional meal.

Buy frozen fruit- We love purchasing frozen fruit and Tesco have recently introduced single fruit bags e.g. kiwi or mango. These are so much cheaper than fresh fruit and have a longer sell by date. We like having frozen fruit in our porridge for breakfast or enjoyed in the evening as a snack with some yoghurt.

Shop online/write a list- Ever been to the super market and ended up purchasing items you really don’t need? Yes we have all been there! When ordering food online it is unlikely you will purchase foods you do not need especially if you are following a shopping list.

A few other tips- purchase all nuts in the world food sections of the supermarket they are always half the price, Purchase produce when they are in season and don’t throw away leftovers eat them the next day or freeze them.

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Why you should visit Wembley Park

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We decided to visit the designer outlet at Wembley Park one Saturday. As it was a super sunny day we thought we would make the day of it. The London Designer Outlet (LDO) in Wembley Park is so easy to get to via train, we both just hopped on the Metropolitan Line from our homes but you can also easily visit here from Central London and take the Metropolitan Line from Baker Street to Wembley Park Station. It was such a beautiful day when we stepped off the train, the sun was shining and it was warm enough to take our jackets off. We couldn’t wait to make the most of our day at LDO.

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LDO is a short walk from the station and you get to walk past the stadium giving you the chance to see the iconic arch up close. When we arrived at LDO we headed straight for a coffee at one of the many coffee shops LDO has to offer. This time though we opted for Neros as we noticed there was outside seating. There is also two Starbucks & Pret a manger. We both had an iced soya latte with a shot of sugar free vanilla syrup. We also decided to share a berry crumble slice and a piece of cappuccino cake both of which were delicious. We made our way outside and found a little table in the sunshine, it was amazing to be sat outside in the sunshine watching the world go by.

Once we had finished at Neros we headed straight to H&M as there were massive signs on the shop windows that said there was an extra 20% off all items. We both bought the same jumper for our Easter photo shoot as it was only £5 you can’t really complain! We also spotted a super cute grey hooded jumper that we both just had to buy again this was only £5.

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There are so many sports outlets in LDO that we decided to head to the sports shops straight after H&M. We were definitely not disappointed there was so much choice and it was all so cheap, if you love fitness activewear then this would be your idea of heaven. There is a Nike, adidas, New Balance and Aasics to name a few.

The first sports shop we went to was Nike and we were really happy with the collections they had on offer! We picked up a pair of black running shorts which cost us £19 which some might say is expensive for a pair of running shorts but trust us when we say it is worth spending the money as the materials they use are breathable which is great when training in the summer. We also purchased a red t-shirt from the kids section which was actually boys. You wouldn’t even know it wasn’t female and with it only costing £10 we couldn’t say no!

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Next up was Adidas which is one of our favourite sports brands! We didn’t know where to start looking when we entered the store, the collections on sale were beautiful and all the colours were incredibly vibrant it made us so excited to add some more vibrant colours to our active wear collection. We both spotted a lime green sports bra that we immediately fell in love with and was an absolute bargain as it only cost us £15. Our favourite purchase of the day was definitely some amazing atzec pattered shorts which only cost us £11! We will be shooting in when we go to Paris on the 29th April so keep an eye out for those photos!

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We were having so much fun shopping (it’s not often we spend a full day shopping) that time flew away and before we knew it it was 3oclock and we hadn’t eaten lunch. There are so many restaurants at LDO you will be spoilt for choice when deciding where to go. We opted for Nando’s as you can’t go wrong with chicken. There was a 20 minute wait, but we wanted to sit outside so we were seated straight away, It was so warm we wanted to make the most of the sunny weather. We started with humous and pitta and of course had bottomless drinks. Then for the main we went MEGA! We shared a whole chicken with four regular sides (spicy rice, chips, macho peas and super grains) we then also ordered sweet potato mash and halloumi! It was delicious and sadly we couldn’t squeeze in a pudding.

At 4:30pm we started to make our way back to the station, we were both grinning from ear to ear as we were so chuffed with our purchases. We had such a fun day at Wembley that the following week we decided to return and were fortunate enough to get tickets to Craig David concert at The SSE Arena, Wembley to re live our childhood! We had seen Craig David at the Summertime Ball last year at Wembley Stadium and he was amazing, so we knew we were in for a treat!

On the afternoon of the concert we arrived and headed to Pret a Manger for a fresh smoothie, it was such a hot Sunday we sat outside and watched the world go by, everyone was in high spirits drinking before the concert and enjoying the glorious weather.

We headed to TGI Fridays for some dinner before the concert, where we both enjoyed delicious meals and great atmosphere. After dinner we decided to quickly head to Treats which is a dessert bar. We love dessert so a place dedicated to desserts is amazing! We both got mango lassis, which tasted incredible. We also shared a apple & blackberry crumble with custard and a chocolate brownie sundae….. ooo naughty!

We then headed to The SSE Arena, Wembley to boogy the night away with Craig David,  sorry the photos below are not great quality its hard to get decent photos when its so dark inside!

We are so fortunate to live so close to Wembley Park to make the most of the amenities, however its so easy to get to by train that we would recommend a visit to the shops or restaurants, or see you can get tickets to an event at The SSE Arena Wembley  or Wembley Stadium. We are hoping the Summertime Ball is at the Stadium again this year because we definitely want to go again in the summer!

Don’t forget to watch our  vlog all about our day shopping too!

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Brunch Review 3 : Jackson and Rye

ifesWe had a day out in London so we had to try out a new spot for brunch and had been recommended to go to Jackson and Rye who serve brunch until 4.30 at weekends.

There are 6 Jackson and Rye’s and most of them are in London; Soho, City, Chiswick, Richmond, Kingston and then Guildford. We visited the one in Soho which was on Wardour Street, very close to China Town and an excellent location for all the London theatres.

According to their website their brunch is ‘legendary’ and to be fair we were really spoilt for choice and it took a long look at the menu to decide what to have. However true to form, we both went for the same thing AGAIN! This might start to become a problem, because then we don’t get to give you guys reviews of 2 dishes, however we can’t help that we have similar tastes buds and love pancakes!

Therefore we both went for the caramelised banana pancakes and were very intrigued by the maple cream. The pancakes arrived super super quick and looked very fluffy. We were given 3 pancakes each and half a caramelised banana and a pot of maple syrup creak, there was also extra syrup on the table.

The pancakes looked fluffy and tasted fluffy too and the banana complimented the pancakes perfectly as did the cream. We thoroughly enjoyed our pancakes however wish we had more banana, maybe a whole banana as it tasted so good!

The place was very dark and at first we didn’t like it but then it grew on us and we liked the dark atmosphere and the relaxing music. The menu was large with lots of choice and this place would cater for all needs.

We would definitely recommend this place at weekends for brunch and think it is great that you can enjoy brunch all the way until 4.30, who said you have to eat brunch at 11.30!!

Where shall we visit next? Please send us your recommendations!

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!

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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.

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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.

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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.

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Brunch Review 2: Sopwell House

Your country home from home- Sopwell House

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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.

Brunch Review 1: Muriel’s Kitchen

We are on the hunt for the best places to go for brunch in London and Greater London and couldn’t think of a better topic to blog about. As you can probably already tell we are absolute foodies and we would say breakfast is our favourite meal of the day, you can read our blog post about it hereAt the weekend going for brunch is ideal because it means a later breakfast and you can go all out on a big meal to start the day.

We read about Muriel’s Kitchen on The Culture Trip so when we were in the area before a blogging event we just had to take a visit. We tried to book a table online but it was fully booked (we would recommend booking in advance at the weekend), however decided to risk it and turn up. We had to wait around 15 minutes for a table because the whole place was jam packed but it was worth the wait.

Firstly we ordered drinks with Rachel opting to try a juice and Annie going for the bottomless filter coffee (£2 is a bargain!). The juice was delicious and very refreshing and we like the little touch of the cucumber on the side.

We then ordered the toast to share, this came with butter and a whole jar of jam!! The bread was very tasty and there was certainly enough for us to share whilst we waited for the main event! It was so hard to decide what to order for the main brunch. We had watched all the dishes come out the kitchen whilst waiting for a table and were eying up a couple of dishes. As Rachel doesn’t like eggs it was a bit easier to decide, (most brunch dishes always include some form of egg!), and choosing the pancakes was a clear winner. It was harder for Annie to decide however in the end she also went for the pancakes.

When they arrived, our faces and gasps of ‘wow’ even made the waitress chuckle. The presentation wad impressive and the portion size even better! We do not know how the pancakes were made  but they were so fluffy and a bit cake like and had berries in them too. They were then topped with berry coulis, icing sugar and greek yoghurt. We were then given a very generous jug of maple syrup to pour over. I don’t think we need to write any more about because you can just drool over the pictures instead!

We are advocates of brunch and love trying out new places to go. This was definitely a great place to start our hunt for the best place for brunch in London and Greater London. Where would you recommend we try next?