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My London Bucket List 2016

30 Jun 2016


The time has come for my annual London Summer Bucket List. I made one last year, I've made one this year and I will make one every goddamn year until I have ticked everything off my list. I had a look at my 2015 Bucket List the other day and realised how gushy I am about the city, so I'm going to tone it down a notch this year and just say that I am absolutely buzzing/over the moon/excited/happy/ecstatic about moving over there at some point in the near future. There seem to be so many opportunities in London to go places, meet people, eat wonderful food, drink wonderful drinks, be all cultural and just have a fab time in general, so I've had to narrow my list down a bit to just 10 when really it should be about 50.

1. Open-Air Cinema

This is very touch-and-go because the weather is so god-awful in England but I just think the atmosphere would be so lovely and chill (so long as it wasn't raining). The Nomad Cinema, The Luna Cinema, and Rooftop Film Club are all looking promising, and appear to be showing a range of classics and very recent films, but we'll just have to see.

2. Pergola on the Roof

On the website, Pergola on the roof is described as 'an incredible food court set 170-feet-high under a canopy of flowers and filled with some of London's finest restaurants.' Seriously, how could anyone not want to go there?


3. See Guys and Dolls

Anyone that has been reading my blog for a while will know that I am big on musicals. I mean, big. This year, Aladdin The Musical is on the cards with my family, but I'm also dying to go and see Rebel Wilson star in Guys and Dolls.

4. Sample London Nightlife/Bars

Honestly, it is shameful that this still hasn't been ticked off my list. Shameful. I'm looking forward to this when I actually move to the city, and I'm looking forward to meeting a load of new people.


5. Fly down some tunnel slide

The ArcelorMittal Orbit is apparently Britain's largest structure, it's part of the Queen Elizabeth Country Park and you can go down this great big slide so that sounds super fun.

6. Revisit Madame Tussauds

We have this god-awful picture of me, my brother and my sister standing next to Johnny Depp about ten years and I finally got a new picture the other day when I went with my friend. I'm now almost taller than him which is kind of funny.


7. Notting Hill Carnival

My social media feeds are always full of photos from the Carnival over Summer time and I'm determined to go this year.

8. The Shard

Yep, still have not fulfilled this wish which I've had ever since it opened. There was one time I nearly got there, but it was a spontaneous decision and I was wearing converse trainers. Big no.

9. Harry Potter Studio Tour

Yet another unfulfilled wish. My life is so difficult, isn't it?

10. Cocktails in the City

I heard of the one in Leeds, not the one in London but either way, I love a good cocktail and I'm sure I would be completely and utterly in my element if I went to this event.

There's so much more going on in London than what's in my bucket list and I would love to hear your recommendations in the comments! What's your favourite thing about London in the Summer?

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What a beautiful sunset you have, Barcelona.

27 Jun 2016

So, I went to Barcelona, I walked up a hill and I watched the sunset over the beautiful city. I love a good sunset but it was particularly special watching it from so high up and with such a spectacular 360 view. It also really makes me want to find the best places to watch the sunset in Britain from, and go on a little road-trip to seek them all out. Anyone with me?

We found this little view point through my friend from home who is currently living it up on her year abroad in Barcelona. Luckily, she's very much on the same wavelength as me when it comes to exploring cities and knew my priorities would be fantastic views and tasty food, so she gave us some great recommendations for both of these. One of her recommendations included watching the sunset from Bunkers Del Carmel, a very un-touristy spot, and another was a fab little brunch place.

Turns out, this place was a serious international student hotspot. I mean, a solid 90% of us looked under the age of 25 and for the most part people were listening to music, drinking and speaking English. The general vibe and atmosphere was great and was something I'd liken to being at a festival but without the drunkards and with a better view. Also, the music was meh and the oldie in me wanted it to be all peaceful and quiet. We brought a picnic with us and ended up looking like embarrassing tourists with our chorizo and baguettes but hey, nobody wants to be hungry on top of a hill, do they?

In terms of getting there, it was quite a journey from the Gracia neighbourhood we were staying in. When I say quite a journey, I don't mean that it was long but more that it involved me taking the group a good 10 minutes in completely the wrong direction (I did warn them that my talents lie elsewhere). Then we got on a bus and had to stand for 30 minutes while Georgie's gin and lemonade leaked all over the floor and all the Spanish people around us just frowned. After being dropped off in what looked like the middle of nowhere in a random Spanish town, we eventually found the place and unanimously agreed that it was well worth the struggle to get there.






I hope you all saw my first post about Barcelona last week, where I posted pictures from the spectacular Parc Guell and its mosaics. Gaudi really is great, isn't he? Next up will be a post about the day when I got all cultural and visited the Sagrada Familia, along with some try-hard shots of Spanish streets and the Casa Batlló. Yay!

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I think I love you, Barcelona.

24 Jun 2016

I spent my final year in a very average student house with very above average housemates, and without them I would've had to eat all those cookies I made on my own and I would've never started watching Millionaire Matchmaker (which is bad but also kind of entertaining). So, to celebrate the end of uni, we arranged a little holiday because are you even a graduate if you don't go abroad to celebrate?

After a second or two's deliberation, we settled on the super original holiday destination of Barcelona. It feels like everyone is off there at some point this Summer but we booked in October, so you could say that we set the trend and everyone else just followed. I actually spent a short weekend there last year and I was surprised at how many different things we did this time, and how little overlap it had with my 2015 trip. You'll realise when you see how many photos I have that we got a lot done in four full days. Georgie also kept on checking her phone pedometer which said that we managed over 12,000 steps on most days, although I doubt this would've made up for all those patatas bravas and ice creams.

Day 1 & 2: Parc de la Cituadella, Parc Guell, Arc de Triomf




The first two photos show Barcelona's Arc de Triomf and Parc de la Cituadella, neither of which I saw on my first trip to the city. I honestly thought the park would be your average, run-of-the-mill city park and wasn't even bothered about going or not. I wouldn't say it was the world's best park but the little fountain area pictured above was a beautiful surprise and an extraordinary contrast to the standard apartment buildings behind it. It kind of shows what I love the most about the city which is that it has these stunning arhitectural designs, beautiful green areas and a beach, kind of like an 'all-in-one city'.













When I last went to Barcelona, we didn't have time for the Mosaic section of Parc Guell. It cost us 7 euros this time and was definitely worth booking in advance, and although I'd say it's not essential if you have a lot of time restrictions, there are some smashing photo spots. We didn't get to my favourite viewpoint right at the top of the park this time but it is extremely hilly, so be warned!

Have you been to Barcelona? What are your thoughts? Next up will be watching the sunset over the whole city which was undoubtedly one of the loveliest moments of my life. Who doesn't love a good sunset?

Imogen x

Matchalicious Baby // The 14 Day Matcha Challenge

9 Jun 2016


Ever heard of this Matcha thing? Apparently it's caused quite the stir in the health industry, so when teapigs tweeted about the 14 Day Matcha Challenge, I was very keen to jump on the bandwagon. They very kindly sent me over some of their Matcha sachets to try out and I set out about incorporating them into my daily breakfast foods and drinks with, shall we say, some varying levels of luck...

I'm going to split this into three parts to make it simpler: the first section will be talking about how I used the Matcha and what I made with it, the second will be the results and the third will be my general verdict and tips.

How I took the Matcha

Straight up: I initially thought that because I don't mind green tea, I would be fine with a Matcha tea. WRONG. So very, very wrong. I just think it takes like earth too much, I'm sorry!

Matcha/Normal Green Tea: So while Matcha mixed into hot water on its own was an absolute no for me, mixing the powder into my own Lemon Green Tea was an absolute yes. It barely added to the taste so it was just like drinking normal green tea.

Matcha Pancakes: I blended up an egg, some oats, some yoghurt, a banana and some Matcha and made some smashing green pancakes. They looked kind of weird but tasted more or less the same as my normal pancakes.

Matcha Shot: This one is fine if you whisk it and make sure that the Matcha is fully mixed in. Don't be lazy like me because you will make your life more difficult by having to drink powder and nobody wants that. 

Matcha Smoothie: This one was probably by favourite way to take the Matcha because you couldn't taste a thing. My classic choice is a banana, yoghurt and raspberry smoothie. Simple but effective.

Of course, this is just my own experience and do bear in mind that I'm not big on green tea unless it's flavoured, so I was never going to enjoy the taste of Matcha. My lovely blogger friend Mimmi does like it, however, so you never know!

Results

Mood: I was actually in a really good mood throughout the 14 days, apart from when somebody wound me up or when I was hungry. So, the same as usual probably. 

Energy Levels: Again, I can't put this down to the Matcha but put it this way, I managed to be up at 7am for a run a couple of days a week, I was always in the library by 9am and I didn't collapse in the middle of the day from exhaustion. I also slept like a baby throughout my exam period which is weird. 

Weight: I really can't vouch for Matcha helping me to lose any weight because my exercise regime and diet were so weird in exam season and I also didn't go near a set of scales for months. The weird thing is that when I hopped on the other day I realised that I have actually lost a few kilogrammes for the first time in possibly a year, which could be partially down to Matcha, or it could be something else, who knows.

Overall Verdict & Tips

I feel like this whole post is one big pool of ambiguity and I really am sorry for that, because that kind of thing winds me right up. To be honest with you, I don't think I did the whole challenge thing properly. I think that some days I didn't mix the Matcha in properly and sometimes I forgot. All in all, I'm really happy I tried it, I think it did have a little effect and I'd really like to give another 14 days a go when I'm not in my exam period, to see what my energy levels are like on a normal day.

Would I recommend you try Matcha? Absolutely. Would I like to try it again? Absolutely.

Oh, and my biggest tip? That would be to buy a little tiny whisk and make sure it's almost frothy before you drink it otherwise there will be powder left over and that really sucks. My second biggest tip would be to commit to it every single day without fail.

Are you a Matcha fan? What's your favourite way to use it?

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The Future of Me

7 Jun 2016

I'm writing this from the comfort of my family home, lying lazily across the sofa with a large cup of tea, a hot cross bun and my hyperactive dog, while thinking about how great it is that there's a fully stocked fridge just metres away from me. Home is good so far. University is over, my time in Leeds is done and I am back down South for good. My last week was spent partially in Manchester on the Bank Holiday weekend visiting a close friend who I hadn't seen for ages and sampling Gin & Tonics in far too many bars. Bearing in mind that the sunshine didn't seem to reach Leeds until I was stuck indoors revising, so I hadn't actually sat in a beer garden properly until that weekend (!!) so yeah, it was fun. Perhaps too much fun. We got back at 5am. On a Sunday night. Good times.

I also went to Roundhay Park in Leeds which has been on the bucket list for years, so I'll be posting a few pictures of that in the next week or two. On top of daytrips I spent a lot of time shopping for my whole ball outfit because I literally left every fancy item I own at home, because I'm an idiot. I ended up settling on the black dress above which was a last minute French Connection find, but it ended up being perfect for me. I tend to have certain criteria for dresses and with this one I was looking for something long, because at 5ft 9 a lot of dresses are too short for me, and something that could be an investment. Now, what says investment more than a classic black dress?

I also shouldn't forget the few last lunches/coffees I had in Bill's (Fish Finger sandwich hello please be mine forever) and Hotel Chocolat's Roast + Conch which I have been banging on about for ages. Unfortunately, I didn't try any of their cocktails but I did sneak in a salted caramel brownie which was just as tasty as I thought it'd be. I'm sure there's one in London so I guess I'll just have to go back for a chocolate cocktail at some point, what a shame.

Now I'm back and I swear I feel busier than when I was in classes or working in the library for exams. At the moment, I'm beginning to job hunt and I'm currently on the lookout for a Marketing position in London (I know, probably a classic Blogger job). I've worked for a Digital Marketing Agency before and loved it, and any of you who have been reading this blog for a while will know that I've had my heart set on London since forever, so fingers crossed I can find something that suits me. I'm also pretty excited about moving to such a busy, amazing city and meeting a tonne of new people, so I guess that's a good start.

In terms of blogging, I don't want to make any promises and I think we'll just have to see where I go with it. imogenscribbles has always been a hobby for me and I've never wanted it to be anything more, which does mean that I tend to prioritise other things over it. I do have a bit of time on my hands in the next few weeks though, so I might surprise you all with a new design and a billion and one posts, only time will tell...

Now I think I might go and read a couple of my very first posts just to laugh at myself/get emotional at posts about Uni in second year. It feels weird that it's ended, but a good weird...

Lots of love as always,
Imogen x