Wednesday, 29 July 2015

The importance of "me time" for those with busy schedules

The last time I felt truly relaxed was on my last holiday. More so my visit to Plitvice lakes, which you can read about here. There something about been disconnected from technology, the hustle and bustle of city life and feeling the fresh air and warm breeze against my skin which made think about just how often I feel peaceful. 

Image source 

The truth is never. Not unless you count those first few minuets of awakening from a long nights sleep, still snuggled tight under the duvet trying to remember the dreams of the night. The few minuets or seconds even, before I'm fully awake. Before the long list of things planned for the day ahead dawn on me, before I start thinking of just what have I scheduled in the diary, how much time I have to run for the bus, before I rise from my bed to the cold light of morning and present myself the best I can and start another day. 

As you know I have two job, treat blogging like a third and I've always admitted I enjoy been busy. Quite frankly I'd be lost without a busy schedule. That and the ability to record my favourite TV shows. Honestly I generally don't feel I relax that often. When Victoria Plumb got in touch to ask me to write my tips on how I like to relax, it got me thinking harder than most. Surly I must have the occasional moments of "me time". 

Image source
For me relaxation is defiantly the small moments through out the day which gradually help me unwind or even prepare for the day ahead:


  1. Waking up when the sun is shining through the windows, warming my face. Those first few minuets stretching in bed and having a few moments snuggled into the duvet are bliss. 
  2. Commuting to work. It's a strange one but the chance to listen to Kerrange on the radio, catch a few new songs and a flick through Buzzfeed, brightens up my mornings. 
  3. Morning coffee, especially when I have enough loyalty points for a free gingerbread latte. 
  4. Taking a few minuets to make a cup of tea before tackling any big tasks at work. 
  5. Flicking through a magazine, lusting over the latest beauty and fashion trends, at lunch time.
  6. Arriving home, lighting my favourite scented candles and unwinding with a catch up on bloglovin.
  7. Taking of my make up and cleansing my face.
  8. Enjoying a warm evening shower with my favourite beauty products. 
  9. "Cosying up" in my favourite pyjamas with a hot cup of camomile tea. 
  10. Climbing in to fresh bedding. 
How do you find time to relax?
Is it the little things through out the day or do you make a concious effort to unwind?



SAMMIE

Sunday, 26 July 2015

Exploring Plitvice Lakes national park, Croatia

Living in a busy city, finding true peace and quiet is a little hard to come across. Not that I don't love city life, or more so my home town of Leeds, but finding a true place to escape to isn't the easiest. 

Exploring Pltivice lakes when I visited Croatia, I experienced the true beauty of leaving city life behind and finally finding time to relax. Getting lost amongst the water falls and natural scenery of this stunning national park, was such an incredible experience and made me realise the true allure of nature. 

Plitvice lakes national park Croatia

Plitvice lakes is one of Europes oldest national parks located about an hours bus ride from the city of Zadar. 

Travelling to the park was easier than I thought, despite my slight fear of getting lost in new places, the bus station was a short and easy walk from the old town of Zadar and purchasing tickets was straight forward. The bus ride was comfortable (the bus is actually an air-conditioned coach with music) and once we arrived at the national park a tour guide hopped on to explain the different entrances to the park and the times and locations of the buses back.

Plitvice lakes national park Croatia
Plitvice lakes national park Croatia

Entry to the park varies between 55-180 Kuna for adults (roughly 10 kuna to £1.00) depending on the time of year, which also includes a boat ride through the lakes. Suggested walking routes around the park vary between 2-3 hours and 6-8 hours, although I would say these route times don't take into account the chances (which are inevitably high in peak season) of been stuck behind slow walkers on narrow one way bridges. 

I would advise anyone planning to visit to ensure you have a few hours extra to play with if you need to leave by a certain time. Whilst there are certainly worst places to get lost, some parts of the park aren't signposted and some of the track can become isolated , so don't always expect to be able to ask for directions. 

Plitvice lakes national park Croatia
Plitvice lakes national park Croatia
Plitvice lakes national park Croatia
Plitvice lakes national park Croatia
Plitvice lakes national park Croatia
Plitvice lakes national park Croatia
Plitvice lakes national park Croatia
Plitvice lakes national park Croatia

You can find more of my travel posts: here.

SAMMIE

Tuesday, 21 July 2015

Fire Lake, grill house and cocktail bar, at the Radisson Blu Hotel Leeds

I hadn't really heard much about the new Fire Lake restaurant & cocktail bar which has recently opened at the Radisson, following the hotels new £3.5 million refurbishment (someone's splashing the cash). However when I casually mentioned to a friend I was invited to dine at the new swanky joint, her eyes lit up as she excitedly told me how good this new place in town was suppose to be. Needless to say my stomach had been rumbling all day, until I finally got to enjoy the delights which awaited me.
Fire lake grill house at the Radisson Blu Hotel Leeds

The new restaurant is virtually unrecognisable to anyone who has previously dined, drank or slept (hopefully in a nice warm bed...not the bar) at the Radisson. The new space is warm and welcoming, taking on an Indian American influence whilst proudly remaining connected to the home of Yorkshire. Pretty cool collaboration. The theme not only reflects in the d├ęcor but the in the cooking, where as many dishes as possible are flame cooked or wood smoked to create unique flavours whilst ensuring all ingredients are sourced locally. 

The unique collaboration of mixing the mid-west with the Yorkshire also extends its self through to the cocktail menu, where the bartender whipped me up a rather tasty  whiskey based "Ilkla Moor Baht' ah" cocktail.

Fire lake grill house at the Radisson Blu Hotel Leeds
Fire lake grill house at the Radisson Blu Hotel Leeds
Fire lake grill house at the Radisson Blu Hotel Leeds
Fire lake grill house at the Radisson Blu Hotel Leeds
Fire lake grill house at the Radisson Blu Hotel Leeds
Fire lake grill house at the Radisson Blu Hotel Leeds
Fire lake grill house at the Radisson Blu Hotel Leeds
 
After a guided tour around the dining area and kitchens, where I got the meet the fabulous, witty, team of chefs and a chance to make my own donuts...they was delicious. It was time to put my rumbling stomach out of its misery and finally sample the food.  Apparently by Radisson standards this literally translated to ALL THE FOOD.
 
 
Up first was the fillet steak, which unfortunately got demolished before a photo opportunity, however when steak is cooked flame grilled, pink in the middle and cuts like butter, I'm sure you can all forgive the blogger faux pas.
 
We were treated to a whole host of dishes including, line-hooked sea bass, corn fed chicken, pulled pork steam buns, lobster served with fat fries and of course Yorkshire puddings didn't go a miss. I'm not going to sit back and say it was the most coordinated of meals I've ever eaten but my god was it all good. The sea bass and pork buns were particularly delightful. 
 
Fire lake grill house at the Radisson Blu Hotel Leeds
Fire lake grill house at the Radisson Blu Hotel Leeds
Fire lake grill house at the Radisson Blu Hotel Leeds
Fire lake grill house at the Radisson Blu Hotel Leeds
Fire lake grill house at the Radisson Blu Hotel Leeds
Fire lake grill house at the Radisson Blu Hotel Leeds
Fire lake grill house at the Radisson Blu Hotel Leeds
 
 
When the deserts finally arrived I would of liked to have thought I would have perhaps, well, stopped eating. However when presented with a board of the finest five cheeses from Yorkshire, and well, I love cheese. It would of been simply rude to the host not to devour it all right?
 
Accompanying the cheese selection was a selection of "favourites" including ginger cake and liquorish ice cream. Personally I'm not a liquorish fan but the ice cream had been the hot topic of conversation for a large proportion of the night, I felt obliged to taste the now famous liquorish ice cream. Even from a liquorish-hater the ice cream is pretty unique and delicious, but I suggest this is something you need to try yourself. 
 
Fire lake grill house at the Radisson Blu Hotel Leeds
Fire lake grill house at the Radisson Blu Hotel Leeds
Fire lake grill house at the Radisson Blu Hotel Leeds
 
 
A huge thank you to the Radisson for inviting me to dine with them for the evening and a special thank you to the hotel manager Sarah, who is quite frankly a pleasure to dine with.


SAMMIE
bloglovin . twitter . instagram

Radisson Blu Hotel
No1 The Light,
Headrow,
Leeds,
LS1 8TL

firelake.leeds@radissonblu.com 
 

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