dinosaurs and more

This week’s challenge: Appreciate the dinosaur bones at your favourite museum.

I’m in Germany this week on holiday and thought this might be real challenge. I know where to find dinosaur bones in London – I love the Natural History Museum (and being greeted by the T-Rex when you walk through the door). But where do you find dinosaur bones in Munich? Definitely not at the Hofbrauhaus which we checked out a bit too well one night. And not at the English Gardens, Munich’s equivalent of Hyde or Central Park, where they have a surf beach and nudist area, right in the heart of the city. Another thing on our list of things to see was the Pinakothek der Moderne, the modern art museum where we found this:

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Dinosaur bones with a bit of a twist. Not a bad discovery. My favourite thing though was sitting in the cool rocking chairs checking out the design wall.

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Lesson learned: how to see old things in a new light.

Caz x

Next week’s challenge: Grab a friend, dress up like tourists & go & do all the really schlocky things on offer in your city. Take LOTS of photos, & be sure to flash the peace sign in 70% of them.

paradise

This week’s challenge: Go out for a milkshake.

Yummmmm.

That’s nearly all I need to say about this challenge. I’ve been waiting for this week for a long, long time. I’m not a really big ice cream fan (well, I love it but my stomach doesn’t quite share the same feeling) so I had the next best thing – a Frozen Yoghurt shake.

This completely takes me back to my school days (all those gazillion years ago)  when I bought Frozen Yoghurt at the tuckshop when I had lunch money every second Friday. It had to be one of my favourite treats (besides Cherry Ripes) but when I arrived in this big country, I couldn’t find it anywhere. Until recently. Now there are loads of cool frozen yoghurt places like Yoo Moo, Snog and Frae.

The flavour that we went for (Sam wasn’t going to let me do this challenge solo) was Paradise – a mix a pineapple, passionfruit, banana and vanilla frozen yoghurt. I don’t think Sam got more than two sips. It was pretty darn good.

I still want to try out places like:

I think I might need to go on a milkshake crawl over the next month to judge for myself the best milkshake in London. You can’t say that I don’t take these challenges seriously.

Challenge Happiness Rating: Paradise

Caz x

Next week’s Challenge: Appreciate the dinosaur bones at your favourite museum.

love is in the air

Last week’s challenge: Write a ridiculous online dating profile & marvel at the people who come out of the woodwork. (“Oh, a threesome with you & your wife in New Jersey? Sign me up!”)

I couldn’t quite bring myself to make up a funny online dating profile because I think online dating is pretty cool. We try so hard in the other parts of our lives, like furthering our careers, and building up our friendships, so why not do the same when it comes to love. When looking to meet people, London sometimes doesn’t really seem like the big city that it is. It’s difficult to strike up conversations with strangers especially when tube etiquette means lowered eyes with absolutely no interaction of any kind. No matter how close you are standing to the people next to you.

I really noticed how different New York is in comparison after our recent trip there. New York caters for people who want to go out by themselves or are trying to meet other people. I love how most NY restaurants and drinking establishments have stools set up around the bar where you and eat, drink chat to people around you (or the barman). It’s so refreshing.

So what I did last week is help a friend write a profile for a dating website – my single friend. It’s pretty nice reading a profile that someone has written about you. And yes, I have tried the online dating thing before. While there are those people that like to tell you about how they can talk to plants, what the?! (makes great stories for your coupled friends though), there are those people who are just trying to meet someone like you are.

Challenge Happiness Rating: Love is in the air.

Caz x

This week’s challenge: Spend an hour in your variety store of choice, set yourself a budget ($20?) & buy some junk. Lip treatments, candy, maybe an exfoliating scrub… Then go home & play with your new purchases. There’s a reason it’s called retail therapy, you know (though of course, it doesn’t last).

new york, new york

This week’s challenge: Plan a holiday.

Well, I have to say that this challenge just came to me. As you know I was in New York last week and it has to be one of my favourite places ever.  Just two weeks before this challenge, I was still thinking what I was going to do – I haven’t been out of the country since the beginning of the year! Ekk! So, I was super lucky to be able to travel to New York at the last minute for work and even luckier to be able to stay a little bit longer with Sam to see/eat/do our favourite American things again.

As I stepped off the plane, the first thing I noticed was that it was summer. Yes, proper, wear your shorts and singlet top, summer. After experiencing mostly rain for the last two years in London I was pretty darn excited. Off to Central Park with the rest of New York I went.

Other things I discovered along the way – like The beautiful High Line – with some help of some good friends. An old railway track which has been transformed into an amazing garden and walking path well above the busy roads underneath.

And some pretty cool street art exhibitions.

Really, there was so much to do. I haven’t even had time to cover the shopping (I’m loving my new Perricone MD No Foundation, Foundation and very jealous of the iPad I bought for my friend – no amount of convincing Sam would get me an Apple Mac), the eating (lots and lots of it – still didn’t have time for my steak though – boo) and seeing many things (mostly the inside of excellent, hidden little brunch places and I even managed to see the running track once in central park).

It’s nice coming back to London though but I’m really glad I have my next holiday already booked. A nice long weekend in Sardinia. Heaven.

Challenge Happiness Rating: Everyone needs a holiday.

Caz x

Next week’s challenge: Write a ridiculous online dating profile & marvel at the people who come out of the woodwork. (“Oh, a threesome with you & your wife in New Jersey? Sign me up!”)

a trip through my profile pictures

I really couldn’t believe how many good memories there were waiting for me in my facebook ‘profile photos’ photo album. Here are some of them (in no particular order):

 

 

Snow Day in London – hanging with my sister (this has to be the most talked about day ever in London).

 

 

 

 

Glasto – the very first time.

 

 

 

Holidays. Cuba!! With the gang. Happy Birthday Amanda. Blurry times in San Fran with Em. Read Yes Man. And ROME!! First holiday with the boy. I was definitely on good behaviour back then. Not so much now.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Achievements: Live on The Racy Knickers.

 

 

and hanging out with the Family – just before my sister’s wedding…

Ahhhh, such good times!!!

Challenge Happiness Rating: Lots of happy memories

Caz x

This week’s challenge: Listen to old Motown hits. Come up with dance moves. Wear something sparkly & work it out. (DJ Z-Trip’s Motown Breakdown is an excellent time, too.) 

as a baby

This week I asked my dad to scan me through some photos of when I was little from the family photo album.  He sent me through a photo with them in their younger days so I could see how ridiculously good looking they were (still are, sorry dad).

My dad was also the one that brought these glasses back into fashion – and yes dad you were right, this is why you should never, ever throw anything out.

While looking at these photos of me, my mum mentioned how cute my two little nephews look in photos. I’m sure she didn’t mean that I wasn’t a super cute baby as well of course.

Caz x

things I might add to the list – London Marathon

After watching all those amazing people running the London Marathon today, I’m pretty inspired. Although I going to wait until tomorrow before doing anything crazy like signing up to one. Just in case I wake up and realise that it actually means running 5 hours. Non stop. On the one day. And being chased by a giant, angry gingerbread man.

Caz x

waiting for sushi

I can’t remember the last time I ordered delivery food. If you asked me what it was I had, I couldn’t tell you, it was that long ago. I think it’s because I equate delivered food with food that’s really bad for you, but as I found out this week, it doesn’t have to be.

Tonight, I’m having a Saturday night in after a busy week of not being in. And while I usually love cooking, there is not much food in the house and I’m feeling so completely lazy that I can’t summon up the energy to walk to the local Tesco. This is the perfect delivery food night.

So I logged onto my latest find, Just Eat, which has pretty much every single place in London that delivers food to your door – just enter your address and a list appears. 147 for my area. The hardest decision was how to narrow these down – Nepalese, Lebanese or perhaps something safe like Thai. It was Japanese that won out in the end though, because I’m addicted to it and also because I needed something healthy to equal out my not so healthy week.

But once that order was in, I couldn’t stop there. I knew there was more healthy food out there just waiting to be delivered.

I locked in a weekly Graze box that comes with four healthy, different types of snacks – just something little to stop those cravings. I love being surprised with new snacks each time. See you later predictable and boring 3pm oatcakes.

I’ve also been trying to eat a bit more organically these days so I think it’s time to restart my Abel and Cole deliveries. My first is coming on Monday – a small fruit and vegetable box which will dictate my meals next week. How can I not be healthy now?

And finally one of my favourites, Milk & More, the milkmen that bring milk, and so much more, at the crack of dawn. I love waking up and finding fresh croissants, eggs and bacon at my door step. Now, I truly never have to leave the house ever again.

Well, the food has just arrived. It smells pretty good and it’s the perfect time to start a movie. This is the life.

Challenge Happiness Rating: Completely Full (and happy)

Caz x

P.S. I was just about to press publish on this post but my friend, Nayan, texted me about this company that has re-invented delivery food, Housebites. Check them out!

Next week’s challenge: Look through old photos. With a friend if possible. If it’s an old friend, you can reminisce (“Oh my god, do you remember when we did that?!”), & if it’s a new friend, you can tell grand stories (“Well, let me tell you about this guy…”).

ready to do

This week’s challenge: Send a text message to one of the most interesting people you know — maybe someone you don’t know that well, just to say hello.

I’ve been reading a lot about surrounding yourself with like-minded people recently. One of my favourite finance blogs, the Barefoot Investor, says that to make money you have to surround yourself with those who are doing pretty well for themselves financially. Any of you millionaires want to hang out with me this week? But it’s true, just being part of a group of people who are working towards the same thing as you can be pretty inspirational. Just check out the Escape The City website – the crew left their big city banking jobs for something a little more exciting (I get the newsletter every week just to make myself jealous).

I decided that my first step to getting in touch with some inspiring people was to get onto twitter (yes, I’m a few years behind).  There are a few blogs that I love at the moment so I decided that I would follow these first – Gala Darling for starters (the reason for my blog) and the fun HelloGiggles (Zooey Deschanel is the co-founder).  I sent my first few tweets and now I’m waiting patiently for my replies. Do celebrities tweet back? I’m sure they do.

I thought I had better not stop there so I facebooked, emailed and texted some friends who I hadn’t spoken to in a while, some who were also doing some pretty cool things – travelling, having babies and starting new careers. It seems it’s always the right time to do the things that make you happy.

After a week of hearing about some exciting plans and setting up Saturday morning coffee shop brainstorming sessions, I’m pretty inspired and ready to start doing a lot more things rather than just thinking about them.

Challenge Happiness Rating: Ready to Do!

Caz x

Next week’s challenge: Order delivery food, just to bask in the glory of the fact that if you pay people, they will come to your door. With food. Warm, good food. What an age we live in, huh?

my favourite things this week

At seven pm tonight I was at work after a particularly stressful week in the office for our team. After missing my favourite Friday night yoga class, with a headache, and feeling a bit grumpy and angry at the world, I wasn’t in a good way to start any kind of Friday night fun. What I needed was to let it all go so I could start the weekend in a good frame of mind. I needed to be a bit positive about my week – there were lots of good things in there along with the tough work. Here they are:

  • A short week – yet again. I found out that our fellow Americans don’t get any extra time off over Easter so that made me extra appreciative.
  • Seeing All New People. Ok, I did only go because Zach Braff was in it (you know the funny guy from scrubs) but it was actually so clever. He wrote it too – that guy is talented.
  • My new shoes – I have only worn them once this week but just knowing that they are there, sitting in their box, fills me with joy.
  • Emails from my sister – I love getting emails from my sister (this week’s was about birthdays – hers – and clothes – the best kind). She has two little boys so emails only arrive in the middle of the night or during a rare moment that we call spare time.
  • Trying a new recipe. This week, I tried Jamie Oliver’s Moroccan Lamb Burgers. Twice! They took a little under seven minutes to prepare and will totally impress at summer BBQs. Just substitute the burger bun with pita bread.
  • Taylor St Baristas for the best coffee (Australian of course) and LAMINGTONS. For the non-Australians, they look funny I know but you just have to try them.
  • Pay day – today – I love feeling rich for a day.
  • Reading The Hunger Games. Best. Book. Ever.
Happy weekend everyone. Now for a glass of wine.

Caz x