Friday, 18 April 2014

Summer Ambitions

From touristing to relaxing, BBQing to beaching, 2014 is ours for glorious enjoyment. 
To get the most out of every last drop of sunshine, this summer let's pledge to:

- SURF the waves
- TAKE a hike and soak in the view
- BUILD a sandcastle at a new-beach
- INVITE uni friends to Oxford for a day of punting
- WEAR a daisy chain headband
- DRINK many a-pitcher of Pimms
- SAIL away on the tides
- BIKE ride to picnic time in the uni parks
- SEE the sunrise & sun-set of the same day
- EXPLORE a new city
- PLAY a new sport
- STARGAZE whilst lying on our backs, snuggled in a blankey
- CREATE dairy-free ice-cream 
- CRUISE a road trip to the south coast, then camp on the cliffs
- ASK mumma Q to make her delicious summer pudding
- PICK raspberries with blogger gals

What are your plans to make this the best season yet?

Friday, 11 April 2014

La Bohème

Oh goodness, how is it already Friday?! 
Sorry (again) for the radio silence this week; I handed in my dissertation first draft on Wednesday and seem to have been rushing all over the place as well, what with gym classes, Staffs' mummy coming up to Brum to cook us all a mighty feast of a roast, a girly cinema date.... it's all go go go!

So let's rewind back to last weekend when I escaped back home to the 'shire for a rather special weekend. Mumma Q had been her usual uber organised self and way back in the Autumn had managed to obtain us three highly sought after tickets to a LIVE streaming of La Boheme, direct from the Met in New York. 

With beer, vino and popcorn in hand we snuggled ourselves down into our seats, the cosy auditorium was jam-packed with the usual crowd of Oxford academics and familiar faces. It's a very small world back home, I even recognised my old french teacher and some friends' parents!

La Boheme is without a doubt one of the most famous and most produced operas ever, and there's good reason to this. The show is absolutely encapsulating, the story lures you in with the tale of the lovers and their daily plights of suffering the poverty of Paris in the winter. The voices are enchanting, whisking you away to another world, where you real experience the joys and torments through the cast's emotions.

It was a truly memorable experience, and although we were tired and drained from a busy week, our eyes did not once leave the screen. The opera still manages to cast us viewers under its spell after all these years. Thank you so very much Mumma for inviting me along, I love that you always strive to culture me further.

Part two of the evening comprised a cheeky visit to their new favourite haunt - the Sole Luna pizza van. Now, I was rather taken aback when my mum was raving about how much she had enjoyed street food, but these boys don't mess around. Truly addictive pizzas, and with a touch of chilli oil, they were the perfect end to our family saturday night.

Saturday, 5 April 2014

Belle & Jerome

Happy Saturday! Sorry if things have seemed a little quieter than normal around here, life has been going so fast recently I've barely had a spare second to sit down and catch my breath. 2014 is absolutely whizzing by and I often forget what day it is, let alone what month we are in - but it's been a cracking year so far. It only feels like a couple of days ago that we were all wrapped up in winter coats in Oslo visiting Mimi and now students are often strutting about campus in their flip flops!

I know they say that time goes faster with every passing year, but this year has just been so manic. It's very true what they say about final year at uni, one second you're deciding a dissertation topic and in a blink of your eye it's only a few weeks until handin and then onto graduation!

Add to that mix, all the exciting work we've been planning for RibNights, AND trying to make sure my life and fitness are all in order for full-time Army life starting September AND wanting to spend evenings with the girls and quality family time at home, it's no wonder I've had to let this lovely blog space take a bit of a back seat recently.

I am so excited to share this next stage of my adventure, the end of my University chapter of life is on the horizon and the Army one is yet to be written. At the moment, I'm still leaping out of bed at silly o'clock each day, making the most of the little things and living my dreams.

(Photos are from a spontaneous visit to see my little bean in Notts, we popped out for a catch up with smoothies and traditional English fayre - Yay for weekends)

Sunday, 30 March 2014

Team Meetings

I think I've finally learnt how the ideal Friday should be-

Team planning sessions with a cheeky tipple, great company, delicious nibbles and awesome productivity.
It just goes hand in hand when working for a food/drink/events company.
What greater way is there to start the weekend than relaxing back with your pals AND some cracking projects in the pipeline with uber positive feedback?!

Details have to remain secret for the time being, but last friday went something like this....
Venue visits + cocktails
Calendars + vino + crisps
Company update + root beer + catfish goujons

New team member initiations + cocktail + truffle popcorn + pistachio ice cream
Peach vodka tasting session + peach bellinis

More meetings + introductions + plannings

Staff dinner + mango & prawn rice rolls + prawn tempura 
RAMEN + beers

Event & venue co-ordination + chicken feet + shots

All in the space of 2pm - 9pm, probably some of the most productive hours of this year so far!

All very positive, and some really great stuff lined up for the next few months and beyond....
For more details and juicy info follow @RibNights 
Watch this space....

Wednesday, 26 March 2014

Natural Hues

'The sun has got his hat on, hip hip hip hooray'

My last day in Norway and we awoke to the sun streaming through the blinds - pretty ideal, especially for a monday morning!

Mimi knows I am a nature lover and promised to take me to a really special place, so we laced up our trainers, slipped on some sunnies and headed out the flat to find our oasis of calm. 
Grabbing a smoothie en route to gulp down those 5 a day!

Welcome to the absolutely stunning Vigeland Sculpture Park, a large public green space in the centre of the city which is adorned with 212 statues. ALL of which were lovingly created by the same man, Gustav Vigeland who sadly never lived to see this stunning compilation of his work.

The Monolith, is the most popular attraction here. Standing proud at the top of the Frogner Park, this is a giant granite tower, made from one solid piece of rock, and featuring over a hundred carved human figures. It's simply incredible.

It's like nothing I've ever seen before and, quite remarkably, there is no graffiti - something that you would just turn a blind eye to here in England.

People were merrily going about their daily business; children were chasing each other around, young indie kids were busking on the bridge and the elderly were sitting on the benches just watching the world go round. A true circle of life.

I can imagine that in the summer this park gets busy with people enjoying pic-nics on the lawns and partaking in a relaxing afternoon stroll.
But for us, in the brisk spring morning, it was nice and empty and ever so calming on the soul. I could have spent the morning traipsing around art galleries and museums, but this is much more my sort of touristing - blending in with the locals.

We even snuck onto the ice rink to practice our yoga moves....maybe we're not quite ready for the Olympics just yet!