Norridge Summer Wellness Event

What do you do on the eve of your 26th birthday? ‘Get on it’ to prove you’re still young enough to do so? Throw a party? Cry because you’re now closer to 30 than 20?

Whilst all of the above were tempting, I booked myself into a pop up yoga and wellness event and it couldn’t have been a better choice. I saw the Summer Wellness Event on Instagram via @norridge.popup and instantly knew I had to be a part of it.
I have been getting back into yoga for the past few months and whilst I am loving my sessions with ‘Yoga with Adrienne’ on YouTube in my living room, I do think a class every now and then is really motivating. The Summer Wellness Event was advertising yoga, meditation and energy work with raw, vegan cacao treats afterwards – you can see why I was instantly drawn to it!

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The event was ran by the Norridge girls, two lovely ladies who are still currently studying at university whilst running pop up events in the city. They have mainly held food events up until this one, with the last being a pop up cafe for the weekend in the city centre serving seasonal, delicious yet nourishing treats – and as the name would suggest, it included porridge! They wanted to expand their events by doing an evening of yoga and people coming together with good energy, finishing with scrummy food.
They really delivered, as myself and the 14 other people who attended the evening all absolutely loved it and left feeling centered and ready to take on the world with new intentions.

We began by doing around an hour of slow, mindful yoga with Cata Parrishwain who is the most calming and welcoming person you could hope to be leading a yoga class. We focused on doing what felt right for ourselves and our bodies rather than ‘perfecting’ the poses which is such a refreshing view on yoga. I have been to classes before where the instructor has literally came over and moved me into the positions because I wasn’t perceived to be doing it right but actually, you should be relaxing and enjoying the experience not bending about so much you put your back out!  Continue reading

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A rainy bank holiday in Lavenham

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Happy Easter everyone!
I cannot believe it is the 2nd of April today, where on earth has the time between New Year and Easter gone? I hope you’re all filling your faces with chocolate, I’m currently face down in a vegan chocolate cake (you can see a pic on the ole ‘gram) – it’s the first vegan baking I’ve done and it turned out really well so expect to see more of that going forwards! Also I have to share with you lovely lot, I’m currently listening to The Weekend’s new EP ‘My Dear Melancholy’ and it’s absolutely wonderful, I’m obsessed with his music.

Anyway before I veer any further off topic, Lavenham. I don’t know if you know, but I’m a HUGE Harry Potter fan. I have been since that first book was released and I can’t step foot in Primark without leaving looking like I’ve been to some sort of convention. This was my initial reason for wanting to visit the small Suffolk town of Lavenham on Saturday. I don’t know about you but I like my Easter bank holiday weekend to be filled with walks, exploring and relaxation – often myself and Daniel will take ourselves off to a random town/city we haven’t been to before and go exploring. I had seen an article on Lavenham a few months ago and the topic was the Harry Potter film set.
The scenes in Godric’s Hollow, Harry Potter’s birthplace and house where he gained the infamous scar, were filmed in Lavenham! If you’re a fan you will know what I’m talking about, apologies if you don’t. Naturally anywhere which is anything remotely to do with Harry Potter draws me in, but it also was the pastel coloured medieval houses which I wanted to visit to see – hopefully you can tell from the pictures throughout this post why! Unfortunately the weather wasn’t the best for our visit so I will be making a beeline back there in the summer as the colours will look even more amazing in the sun. Continue reading

Veganism and me

So you may have noticed (if you follow me on Instagram you will definitely know) that I have recently taken up following a plant based diet. This essentially means I am now a vegan, but honestly I try and tell people I’m plant based as for some reason when you tell people you’re vegan it can evoke unwanted reactions. If you too are plant based you’ll know what I mean!
But anyway, I’m vegan now and I wanted to speak to you about it a bit and about the reasons why. I’ll start from the beginning;

I used to be a vegetarian, from the ages of around 12 to 19 (I think, can’t remember specifics) and back then even at 12 I was always really health conscious and I didn’t like the thought of what meat eating did to my body. I found that the vegetarian life always presented so many more healthy options and that naturally I gravitated toward foods which were better for me. I lived off green tea, fruit, grains and lots of other deliciously healthy things.
But then at around 19 I thought I would go back to eating meat, honestly very influenced by my boyfriend at the time (toxic, awful guy!!) as he was a chef, I was impressionable and he pretty much convinced me that I was missing out by not eating meat. I was discovering my love of food and cooking at that age and I really did think that maybe I could make much more adventurous and ‘chef like’ food if I included meat. So gradually I re-introduced all meats back into my diet and actually went too far the other way and ate everything an anything and put on around 3 stone over a couple of years (he also really liked chinese takeout which naturally meant I really liked chinese takeout?! Honestly what is wrong with teenagers – girls, never let boys tell you what to do).

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Thankfully that relationship went south and shortly after I got with my lovely Daniel, whom is now my husband to be (eek!). God love this man as he encourages everything I ever want to do and always gets behind the latest ‘thing’ I’m into – trust me there have been a lot of ‘things’ – knitting anyone?
Obviously, when I first spoke to him back in Autumn last year about wanting to go back to not eating meat, he was his usual kind self and told me to go for it – on the condition I didn’t make him do the same haha! But after reading a few bits and seeing a lot online about the health benefits of veganism I decided to go balls deep and go fully vegan. I thought well I was vegetarian before, so the not eating meat thing won’t be hard for me and there are so many dairy alternatives now why not give it a go?

I never thought it would change my life in the way that it has. Not in a ‘I’m now a millionaire living in St Tropez’ kind of change but a ‘I feel happy, content and back to my true self’ kind of way. I’ve read a lot of vegans feel like this after they make the change, like it makes them feel a more rounded, true version of themselves. I’m aware of how hippy dippy that sounds, but it honestly is that case (I would’ve rolled my eyes too previously, I know). I have lost weight (a stone to date), I eat WAY more veg than I used to, I enjoy cooking more as it forces you to be a little more creative in the kitchen and I just bloody love it.

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2017; A year of brunching, reviewed

Who invented the word brunch, does anyone know? Also, did they invent the action of brunching along with the word, or was someone continually having a late breakfast and thought sod it, I’m going to make this a thing that everyone does?

Whoever it was and whatever the answer is, I would like to meet them and possible hug and/or kiss them because I f’ing love brunch. So much so that last year, it became an obsession.
I would now like to share this information with you so that I can say ‘I did it for the blog’ rather than ‘I did it because I’m a habitual and borderline addicted brunch attendee’ and someone invents some sort of brunch rehab and makes me attend. (I’ll say noooo, noooo, no).

First of all, I’ll keep it local – Earsham Street Cafe.

I have posted about the cosy cafe in my hometown of Bungay before in this post, so I won’t bore you too much BUT I would like to mention polenta (not something I write everyday!).
As many of you know, I stopped eating meat and dairy recently so when visiting this cafe back in the autumn, I ordered the veggie breakfast. I knew it would be lovely as their food is always top notch, myself and Daniel visit regularly, but never in my life had I had polenta before until now. What.A.Game.Changer. It was in the form of a fried/baked ‘polenta cake’ and was heaven on the palate. Sometimes you do worry that when you order a vegetarian or vegan option of a breakfast they will literally just take the meat and eggs off and not put much thought into it but I really would recommend this one to all fellow non meat eaters. I am going to start replicating this at home occasionally; if you’re interested I will post a step-by-step recipe?

http://www.earshamstreetcafe.co.uk/

Earsham street breakfast

I’m taking you slightly further afield now to Stokes High Bridge Cafe, Lincoln.

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Scarlett & Mustard

Every now and then you come across something which excites you and makes you feel like you want to tell everyone you know about your little find. This is how I felt when I first came across Suffolk company Scarlett & Mustard. I was walking around a local food fayre in 2015 when I saw a stall advertising dressings and sauces with really jazzy packaging which made me gravitate toward their wares. After many a taste test (we all know the drill at a food fayre, aren’t they just the best places in the world) I decided I was going to purchase some truffle oil and a lime and mint curd from a company which was new to me called ‘Scarlett and Mustard’. Oh.My.Gosh is all I have to say – the truffle oil was packed full of amazing truffle flavour and was great value for money and the curd was absolutely to die for. If you haven’t ever tried either of the latter I would suggest popping on over to the Scarlett and Mustard online shop and buying asap because words cannot describe how delicious they were.

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So bearing that in mind, can you imagine how giddy I was when I arrived home one day to find new Scarlett and Mustard products to get my sticky little paws on! They kindly sent me one of their rapeseed oils infused with dill and also a peppery chilli rapeseed oil to test and share. I quickly got to work (oh what a hard life) and knocked up some food so I have some recipes to share with you lovely lot!

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The first oil I tried was the ‘Peppery Chilli Rapeseed Oil’ which is made with spicy piquant chilli and is right up my street! I am totally the sort of person who puts chilli sauce on everything and anything, I love spice, so I was extra excited to try this. It is fairly hot so if you can’t take too much heat maybe use sparingly but aside from that, drizzle away! I used it like this… Continue reading

Rooftop Gardens

Every now and then something lands in your inbox which makes you squeal in such a way people look at you like you’re mad. I had one of those moments when I received the mail inviting me to the VIP & Press launch of Rooftop Gardens, Norwich. I had been following the progress of this new bar and restaurant on Twitter for quite some time and had really been looking forward to trying it – I had never been to a roof top bar anywhere, let alone so close to home!

The new Rooftop Gardens is situated in Rose Lane, on the top (6th) floor of The Union Building, which used to be an Aviva office. The rest of the building is mainly office space which are being used by all sorts of local businesses, I believe you can still enquire about letting one if you are interested – they look very swanky! It is also home to Train with Core which is a private gym and also hair salon Edge Norwich; Couple this with the new Rose Lane car park which recently opened and it has brought a previously somewhat neglected part of the city to life, something I love to see.

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As the lift rose to the top floor on Thursday evening for the launch party, you could hear the buzz before the doors even opened, it sounded promising to say the least. I was greeted by a very handsome waiter who handed me a glass of the most beautiful Argentinian red wine as I walked through the door – instantly I was sold! The atmosphere was a mix of sophisticated schmoozing and relaxed fun, it made you feel like you were somewhere quite special yet not uptight or stuffy in the slightest. The dress code seemed to be fairly glam, it would be the perfect place to go for a first date or a drink with your partner due to the mood lighting and chance to snuggle up in the outside area, very romantic!

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My favourite brunch spot in Bungay

So i’m writing this on a Sunday morning whilst watching Legally Blonde 2 – I literally only watched the first one a week ago, despite it being released in 2001, oops. Why didn’t anyone ever tell me how fabulous they were, it is making me feel like a 15 year old again and reminding me I really need to colour my hair and wear more pink.
So I really wanted to write this post for those local to myself on the Norfolk/Suffolk border and also for those who are planning to visit. I have been visiting The Earsham Street Cafe in Bungay for over a year now and it has never failed to be delicious.  Continue reading

Perfect little Mexican breakfast

So if you follow me on Instagram you may or may not have seen last weekends brekkie of Mexican inspired eggs, sweet potato, tomato and advacado. It is a lovely change from the traditional English breakfast and full of ‘good for you’ ingredients that don’t make you feel guilty after stuffing your face (which you will do as it is so god damn delicious).
It is easy to make so you don’t need to be a michelin starred chef and doesnt take too long. Also you can switch out some of the ingredients to your taste and whatever you have in the house – this is a bit of a throw it all and it will come out just as tasty dish. Continue reading

First post: Who is Just Hollie?

SO, you may have come across this post by accident or you may have seen my Instagram and clicked on the lovely little link that brings you here 🙂
Either way, i’m glad you’re reading this and I hope you will continue to do so!!
In this post I am going to give you a list of 5 things you can expect to see a lot of and to be honest, if you don’t like any of these things then this blog isn’t for you. However if any of the below is of interest to you, bingo, maybe you and me will get along just fine!

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