Athleisure – Best trend of 2019?

Sports wear that you don’t have to break a sweat in? I’m there.

You may have noticed a rise in sporty looking everyday clothing and even workout inspired evening wear – you can’t walk down the street without seeing someone in leggings or joggers at the moment and I’m loving it. Up until probably the beginning of this year you would’ve felt out of place going to the shops in your workout gear but move into summer 2019 and its positively encouraged! Ever wanted to go on a night out in joggers?  Now you can!
It’s a trend that I think confuses men and divides women, you either love it or you hate it. I was slightly reserved at first but then Femme Luxe Finery sent me a lounge wear set and now I’m slightly hooked! I love that you can buy the matching sets and either wear them together or mix and match like I have in the picture below. You can style them down with trainers and a cap or dress them up with hoops, a killer pair of heels and extra sass.

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Cinema City Norwich & The Dining Rooms

Everyone has their own favourite genre of film whether it’s sci-fi, horror or a good old rom-com. One of mine happens to be biographical films about famous figures, I love knowing about the childhood and life of people before they were the people we know and see in the spotlight. The best ones I’ve seen are The Theory of Everything about Stephen Hawkin, Bohemian Rapsody about the incredible Queen and, as of last Friday night, Tolkien. I was lucky enough to be gifted two tickets, one for myself and one for my partner, to see the new film about the creator of Lord of the Rings – the brilliant J.R.R. Tolkien.

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But these weren’t any old cinema tickets, they were for a viewing at Cinema City, Norwich. I love this cinema with a passion, it is one of the countries Picture House cinemas – a small chain of special buildings which are a world away from the big cinemas you may be used to visiting. Fewer screens, better food and drink, special events and a better atmosphere all mean I would always choose a Picture House cinema. This being said, better snacks to keep you busy whilst watching the film isn’t always a good thing as I found out – my lovely fiancé Daniel decided on some rather posh looking pork scratchings without thinking about the crunch factor! Cue waiting for noisy parts of the film for him to crunch his food and trying to stifle our laughs as we realise the ridiculousness of the situation – lesson learnt haha! I myself skipped the snacks but did have a delicious glass of rosé whilst watching the film, a welcome step up from a tango ice blast I must say! I have reviewed this cinema previously, a few years ago, so you may already know its a favourite of mine – and it just keeps getting better.

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Recipes for the health conscious – Buy Whole Foods Online

It’s been a while since I’ve shared my own recipes for you all rather than reviewing other people’s food, so when Buy Whole Foods Online kindly sent me some ingredients to try I jumped at the chance to get the creative juices flowing! If you’re anything like me and spend hours browsing health food stores and love healthy, natural ingredients then you have to check out the Buy Whole Foods Online website – they have all kinds of ingredients in bulk, everything you could ask for – I literally have to stop myself buying everything on their site!!
I would just like to tell you a little about the company before sharing my recipes for their beetroot powder and juniper berries, as they have a lovely back story. BWFO was started in 2007 by two cousins who loved whole, healthy foods, and their first office was a garden shed! The two men worked from a shed developing the company for 4 years, before finally moving into larger premises in 2011. The business is now more as you would imagine a global enterprise to be, running from a large warehouse in Ramsgate and is growing all of the time! It’s such an inspiring story, I wish I had the patience and drive to do something like that but unfortunately for me if something isn’t an overnight success, I give up pretty quickly – something I’m working on.

Below I have two amazing (if I do say so myself) recipes for you using ingredients from Buy Whole Foods Online – I would love to hear from you if you do recreate these yourself – send me some pictures or tag me @justhollieblog on both Instagram and Twitter!

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Rum ‘n’ Tonic – the new gin?

It’s no newsflash that I like my booze. If you follow my Instagram you’ll often see me sipping on a wine or a gin, in fact I’ve got a crisp, cold glass of white on the go whilst I write this – but until now I hadn’t really ever tried rum.

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I was kindly invited by Turtle Bay last Friday to try their new food menu but also their new Rum ‘n’ Tonic menu. They have added six premium parings to the rum menu, all slightly different but available as a single or double with a Double Dutch tonic.
Having not really drunk rum before I was intrigued and this sounded like a tasty way to try the Caribbean liquor. There are 40 rums on offer in Turtle Bay so I was pleased that the descriptions were so good on the new rum’n’tonic menu – I selected the one I wanted as it said that it had coconut and vanilla notes which are flavours I love. It was an El Dorado 3 ‘n’ cucumber & watermelon tonic and it was really tasty! I would probably ask for it as a longer drink if I were to have another one in future as I’m a bit of a wetty when it comes to alcohol and don’t like it to taste strong but other than that I would definitely go again. Don’t get me wrong it’s no replacement for a gin (my number one tipple and can’t see that ever changing)  but it really did compliment the gorgeous curry I was eating.  Continue reading

Afternoon tea, Harry Potter style

If you don’t already know, I bloody love Harry Potter.
SO when The Assembly House, Norwich, started to advertise their recent Harry Potter themed afternoon tea I was all over it. It seems they were understandably very booked up from the word go but we managed to get an 11am slot. So more brunch than afternoon tea but beggers can’t be choosers and all that.
Unfortunately the night before we (myself and my fiance Dan) were due to have our afternoon tea a few glasses of prosecco and a few more gin cocktails threw themselves down my throat (not my fault obvs) and made me feel rather fuzzy on the Saturday morning. To be honest if it was anything other than Harry Potter themed food waiting for me I would not have left the house!

I did however drag myself out of the house and managed to look half respectable for a morning at The Assembly House. If you haven’t been to this lovely place in Norwich it’s a stately home type looking building with opulent decor and feels ‘a bit posh’. It is next to the Theatre Royal in Norwich so a popular spot for a pre theatre dinner.
I must admit, this isn’t a glowing review, so apologies to The Assembly House now but I have to be truthful in my opinions on this blog!

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The Ivy, Norwich Brasserie

Monday night I was lucky enough to bag an invite to the press launch of The Ivy Brasserie in Norwich – a new restaurant opening on Tuesday 21st August in the city centre.
I have been getting excited about this swanky new restaurant opening for a couple of months now – the social media team have been very clever in teasing us with just enough  on Instagram to already make me love the place.

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The Ivy have restaurants all over England, mainly in the London area, so it was very exciting to hear that Norwich is joining the lucky cities to boast that we have one. The interior is nothing short of luxe – it is breathtaking when you walk in; the chandeliers are enormous, the floor is glaringly shiny and the atmosphere makes you want to sit up that little bit straighter, but in a good way. Continue reading

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

Erpingham House

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Flower walls everywhere, a huge fake tree covered in fairy lights, dusky pink velvet chairs, neon signs and cocktails in watermelons. You want to go already right and I haven’t even told you what it is?!

Erpingham House is the gorgeous new plant based, mainly gluten free restaurant opened in Tombland, Norwich. Up until its opening I had been tracking the progress of this exciting new venture on Instagram for a few months, where owner Louis Blake kept teasing followers by sharing snaps of the interior or some mouthwatering vegan food, I couldn’t wait to get my first visit booked!
Finally after literally months of anticipation Erpingham House opened on the 27th May to the public and within minutes of the first bums beings on those snazzy pink seats they were all over social media and causing a real stir. Naturally I don’t like to miss out so I booked up pronto for the weekend after, 3rd June, as it was my birthday (26, better start adulting properly soon!).  Continue reading

Operation glowing summer skin

My skin isn’t the best.
I mean, it is supple, protects my body and I know it will age well, but all in all I’m a  big ole oil slick. I have always had an issue with spots and greasy skin since I was around 11-12 years old and at the ripe age of 25 I am still waiting to ‘grow out of it’.
As with most people my skin is sometimes better than others but I am really conscious lately as I plan my wedding (it’s next year) that I want it to look in tip top condition for the day and forever thereafter!

I have been fairly successful with improving the amount of blemishes on my squishy little face so I thought you might like to hear about it! I’m not reinventing the wheel here, it’s pretty basic stuff but I think sometimes we need reminding of the basics as there is so much noise out there in the beauty world but sometimes we need to take a step back.

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Step 1) Water 

Told you it was simple steps didn’t I? I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, mainly to myself mind you. I go through phases with water – sometimes I’ll get through the day on several cups of tea, a wing and a prayer and sometimes I’ll be the picture of #healthblogger and drink 3 litres. I have been a lot more consistent lately drinking 1-2 litres a day, starting from first thing in the morning and ending with a glass of water in bed and I genuinely feel better for it as well as looking more awake!
Do you ever get the clammy feeling where your skin feels a bit oily and you can feel a breakout coming on? That used to be me most days and I accepted it was my horrible skin but I actually think it’s just dehydration! Now, if I feel that my skin is lacklustre and I’m feeling sluggish, I chug a glass or two of water and it’s like I’m a flower which has been watered!
I challenge you all to up your water intake continually for a month and you’ll get used to feeling more hydrated and you will definitely notice in future when you need to drink more. Clever our bodies aren’t they? Continue reading

Bowling House, Norwich

Friday night, date night?

When was the last time you went on a date with your significant other? Like a proper date – bowling, cinema, meal for two?
For me and my other half it had been a little while so I decided to take the bull by the horns a couple of weeks ago and book us in for bowling and food at the snazzy new Bowling House in Norwich city centre.

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I had seen ‘BoHo’ on Instagram and I thought it looked really cool so this seemed the perfect place to go for our date. There seems to be a trend at the moment for bars/eateries with an added activity – such as the ping pong bars you can find in some major cities and the funky crazy golf bars which seem to be popping up all over London.
I think they’re a really good idea – they would be the ideal place to take someone on a first date to break the ice!

I booked Bowling House for 7pm Friday night last week, we were having 3 games of bowling and then they book you a dinner table for the rough time they think you’ll finish. The interior has been done so well, I absolutely love the use of lighting inside and the blue colour on the walls is absolutely dreamy, I would love a room in my house that colour. The actual building is near Toys R Us in the city centre, on Dereham Road – we parked in St Andrews car park, it’s only a 2 minute walk from there.
There are 5 bowling lanes in the perfectly sized building and you pay for bowling per game, per person. Bowling varies from £5.50 – £7.50 pp and there are different offers depending on which day you go so it’s worth checking out their website before you book if you are thinking about checking them out.

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