Rudy’s Pizza- a new favourite.

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A quick Wednesday night payday treat took myself and Liam to Rudys Pizza, and boy were we in for a treat! I’m not a massive Pizza fan, however I’d heard great things and after weeks of begging Liam to go, he caved. Rudy’s is situated in Ancoats, which is a short walk from the absolute city centre where we both work. It does mean walking in the wrong direction of the bus stop to get home, which is why it took so long for us to go! I know this is a lame excuse, but when you’ve been working all day it’s really big detour for some food- especially when there are so many places to eat nearby.

The restaurant itself is adorable. Its simple decor with succulents and cacti as far as the eye can see really appealed to me. The service was great, with friendly staff and some light entertainment from the chefs who sung and danced at any opportunity whilst making the pizza in a giant stone oven, in an open kitchen. Opening from 5pm-10pm in the evenings, with lunch service throughout the week and weekend, it is the ideal place for a quick after work bite to eat, or lunch if you work in the surrounding area. We managed to speedily walk up there in record time, meaning we were seated whilst the restaurant was still quiet. As it got closer to six o’clock however, the place was packed, which I imagine continues as the evening goes on.

As I mentioned above, I’m not a massive pizza fan, however I could appreciate how great this pizza was. It had a floppy base, which personally I think is the best kind of base, and was packed with flavour (which is saying something for a tomato and mozzarella pizza. Whilst I’m not a pizza enthusiast, Liam absolutely is. He stated that his prosciutto cotto pizza was the “best pizza I have ever had”,Β which is a big deal considering how many pizza options he has tried in his life. The menu is small, with enough pizzas to satisfy all, however not so many that you’re left confused about choices an stressed over it not being the right one.

Now here’s the best part. The meal for the two of us came to around Β£20, which if you ask me is an absolute steal. We will definitely be making more of an effort to that short walk and filling up on amazing pizza more often!

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Premature Autumn Excitement.

Since it hit September everyone seems to be going on about Autumn. Now, not to jump on the bandwagon, but Autumn is 100% my favourite time of year. We don’t really get Summer in the UK, especially when I lived back in Scotland, so Summer dressing and holidays have never really been my thing (though I did go away this year, which you can check out here, here, here and here). Autumn isn’t too cold, but cold enough to wear bobble hats and boots, whilst I work my way through endless hot chocolates and wear loads of knitted jumpers and cardigans. Basically Autumn is my idea of heaven.

The shops are slowly filling up with coats and boots- and although I desperately need to purchase both this year, I can’t seem to find any that I like enough to buy. I live in boots, even in the summer, so when my two trusty black pairs both started falling apart, the fear set in and I realised I really need to get on that! I always start with knitted cardigans when it comes to autumnal dressing when the weather start to get a bit colder- however this year I seem to have taken it too far…

A couple of weeks ago, before I even went on holiday, Liam and I had a rare day off where we spent the whole day together about town, not doing all that much apart from mooching around and spending so many hours in Ziferblat that the guy gave us a whole loyalty card full of stamps when we left. Ziferblat is a cafe in the Norther Quarter in Manchester where you pay for the time you spend there, rather than everything you eat and drink. Now we even had soup for out lunch, amongst numerous coffees and biscuits- so I honestly think it was money well spent. We even stopped off at the sit-in chippy on the way home to complete the OAPs day out. I was feeling a little bit fragile following my work night out the night before, so opted for the most comfortable outfit I could lay my hands on. Looking back, August was definitely too early to be kitted out in this cardigan that my Granny knitted for me (it was meant to be baggy- she doesn’t actually think I’m that size), but it was cosy and made me feel warm and fuzzy whilst walking around in the rain. I wish my hair was still this colour, but the Lanzarote sun, and multiple washes made it a lot less vibrant- so the roots are back to being dark brown with the ends fading to a pink/lilac colour. I’ve got to be honest, even though I’ve had it cut and it seems to be in okay condition, I’m kind of worried that it’s all going to snap off so I’ve decided to stop colouring it for now. Thank you to Liam for talking these photos of me all wrapped up- there are so many funny outtakes that I can’t release into the internet, but honestly, I’m so attractive it kills me!

This time of year also means the lead up to Christmas. For the first time since I moved away from home, I think I’m going to be excited about it this year. I don’t know what it has been, but all I can think about is cosy nights in next to the Christmas tree (even though we have no idea where to put it) and our Christmas bedsheets making an appearance. I absolutely can’t wait for the Christmas markets to come to Manchester, and for the shops to get in advent calendars and christmas sweets. Oh and who could forget the classic Christmas sandwiches which fill all the shops? It’s waaaaaaay too early to being talking about Christmas though, so I’m going to stop now- because I’m definitely going to get too carried away before the festivities have even started.

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Jardin de Cactus.

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The hidden gem of the holiday! It was the last day in the car, and we were all a bit tired and grumpy having explored some caves (you can have a look at that here), however I had been banging on about going here since day one so it seemed necessary. Dad even joked about peering over the wall rather than going in, but as there were little tiny cacti around the top like barbed wire (and the fact the walls were really tall), it was definitely not an option. We walked in and our breaths were taken away- I honestly said ‘oh my god, I was not expecting that’ about a million times.

The place is absolutely insane! Cacti everywhere you look, and a million different types! Dad forced me to give him my camera incase I missed something- so thank to him for a large chunk of the below photos!

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Curva de los versas!

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Now it’s time for my favourite part of the holiday- the Green caves. Now, I’m fully aware that these pictures aren’t going to do them any justice, which is the problem with having to use a flash! We undertook roughly a 1k walk/tour of the caves, which involved a lot of ducking and laughing from Mum and myself! On this tour you experience a concert hall, which I can imagine has the most amazing acoustics, and the secret of the caves, which I’m not going to ruin here!

We also met a very cute cat in the car park- Jeremy the cave cat!

Cue the photos!

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Timanfaya National Park.

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This was everyone else’s holiday highlight- it was amazing (but more of my favourite in another post). Timanfaya park is made up entirely of volcanic soil, and there are bus tours which show some of the most incredibly landscape views I’ve ever seen (see below)! There is also a gift shop, where of course Mum went to town, and restaurant, which we didn’t eat in, but saw the chickens being roasted for over a hot pit, and they looked delicious!

Anyway, here’s a load of photos from this day trip. Please excuse the window glares and awkward skirt positioning in some photos- the wind was not kind!

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Lanzarote 2016- Shimmos on tour!

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August brought the first typical summer holiday I have had since Portugal about three years ago (possibly longer, I can’t really remember).

My Mum, Dad, Hazel and I took a trip to Lanzarote for a week. A week filled with exploring and relaxing- lots of sun and more than a few cans of Fanta lemon. The main few days of our holiday wouldn’t have been possible had we not hired a car. It allowed us to see pretty much the entire island, including Teguise market, Timanfaya national park, the Green caves and the cactus garden (more photos to follow in other posts). I couldn’t believe how strangely beautiful the island is, in its own unique way. Being volcanic, there is very little greenery and once away from the coast, it became a bit chilly, and Hazel required her giant knitted cardigan to keep warm.

Lanzarote is known for being windy, and boy was that wind a complete gift once the car had be returned and we had a few days to laze by the pool. We are Scottish, and don’t really go away very often, which means we are not used to the high temperatures that we experienced! There was a fair few dips in the pool and hours spent in the shade, nursing Fanta of course. I’ve come home covered in freckles, with a bit more of a colour than I left with! You wouldn’t believe this to look at me, but there are lines where my bikini has been, which concerns me when I think about how pale I was when I left, perhaps the translucent shade of a ghost? Who even knows!

It was lovely to spend some quality time with the family. I don’t go home very often, but even when I do, my time is often crammed with seeing friends and doing stuff, so spending all day, everyday with the was a nice treat- even if we did test each other’s patience at times. So thanks for the holiday fun guys! Also, a massive thank you to my friend Adele and everyone at mums work who recommended things to see, do and places to eat. There’s so much we couldn’t fit it, but next time!

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I managed to take around a million photos on our day trips, so I’m going to post a couple of ‘photo album’ posts with those- so keep your eyes peeled.

46,000 steps in London.

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If you had asked me years ago, after my first trip to London, what I thought of the place, I would tell you it was overhyped and too bust for little old me to handle. After a few more trips my opinion is slowly changing- especially after spending a weekend there with my friend Annie, who lives there now.

Last Friday, after the first full working week I’ve done in about a month, Shaunagh and I grabbed some train snack and a cheeky bottle of wine and headed to London to be reunited as three friends- something that hasn’t happened in a good few months now! After making friends on the train we were there before I could believe it. It never fails to astound me how quick it is to get to London from Manchester, just over two hours, which considering it’s about the same distance to Edinburgh (which takes three and a half), I think thats pretty impressive. After a long day we spent the evening chatting over crisps, dip and some strawberries at Annies- the perfect first night with friends.

Saturday was the day of action. With Shaunaghs fitbit starting at zero steps, I don’t think any of us imagined that roughly 28,000 steps would be taken over the course of the day. We started with breakfast at 26 grains– where I experienced the best porridge I have ever tried. They specialise is wholesome grain food (mainly of the breakfast sort, which I love), so it was the perfect start to the day. The place itself it tiny, but judging my the number of people crammed round the tables and people balancing quinoa on their knees, it’s clearly a popular place.

The rest of the day was spent walking around in the sweltering London heat. It was 29 degrees when we were there, which I would normally love, however the muggy air and busy streets made it a little bit uncomfortable. We walked to Liberty London, spending way more time than I am proud of taking silly snaps outside, before eyeing up all the beautiful goods and outstanding interiors of the shop itself. I’ve wanted to go to Liberty the past few times I’ve been in London, however it always gets pushed to the bottom of the list. Luckily it lived up to my expectations, which made me a very happy girl. A bit of shopping on Carnaby street later (I’m looking at you Monki), and it was time for a bite to eat to tide us over till dinner. It was a girls weekend, so a cheese board only seemed appropriate. We ate it sitting outside with the sun shining on Denmark street. Hilariously a giant team of Pokemon hunters walked past, making people watching even more enjoyable (I don’t know about anyone else, but I really don’t get the hype).

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After a short walk home and a quick change (and a nap for Annie), it was time to head out. We went to Escapologist for some cocktails purchased through groupon. I have to admit, they were the strongest Caprhinahs that I have ever tasted and Im surprise I managed to make it out the door still standing after two! We then went to Sketch, which was absolutely everything I wanted it to be. I cannot recommend it enough to people. We sat in a rainforest inspired room, as we were just there for cocktails. I would love to go for afternoon tea and sit in the pink room though, the art work is so cute and hilarious- I reckon I could spend hours taking it all in. I’m sure everyone talks about the toilets when they go to Sketch, but they really are something special. Individual pods, glowing pink, under a sky of colourful lights- it isn’t your everyday toilet is it? It was then time for dinner, Franco Manca (as recommended by Liams sister Jess, and Annie of course), for the one of the cheapest meals I think you can get in London- and it was delicious. We had one more drink on the way home, but by that post all those steps had really caught up with us and it was definitely time for bed.

Sunday morning brought more walking, and another breakfast out of course. We headed to Chelsea and to The Good Life Eatery. I’ve been there before, however opted for something completely different to before- poached egg, avocado and hollandaise sauce with tomato. It was then time to head to the Natural History Museum, armed with bags full of snacks and enough water for the whole day. I’d say I’m more of an art gallery than museum kind of girl, but it really is something else in there and I would definitely recommend to anyone visiting London with some spare time on their hands. Split into four sections, I think we covered most of the areas in around three hours, before retreating to the gardens before I overheated in the crowded museum rooms. We then took a trip to Harvey Nichols Knightsbridge to take in the new destination menswear- which I was very impressed with! It’s interesting seeing a store that I’ve heard so much about through my work and being able to put pictures into reality.

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Before we knew it it was time to head home. We were all exhausted from an action packed two days, but filled with optimism and motivation. All three of us agree that spending those two days together, doing fun things and making memories was the best possible thing that could have gone on for us. Even now, over a week on, I’m still filled with the positivity that came from that weekend. So heres to spending more time with friends, no matter how close or far away they live.

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