REVIEWS

Be:Fit Women's Health & Fitness Festival --- aka, a hall filled with empowering women to kick start your fitness routine through crazy diverse workouts, and a healthy mind set.

Gym outfits were on point being an all female event - with braiding stations, prosecco and glitter everywhere. Women of varying fitness levels, with matching sports bras and leggings decked the stalls grabbing protein shakes and acai bowls between classes.

So your TICKET gives you access to all the classes. AND there are loads of classes back to back to choose from:

The Reebok Fitness Studio and Protein World Functional Studio have mainly HIIT classes (with Bradley Simmonds and Clean Eating Alice).

There's the Yoga Studio and Zen Den for those who are not into intense workouts, or just want a class to slow down and recuperate.

And then there is Another_Space . They have their own Cycle Studio and HIIT workouts - but Spin, was by far my favourite workout of the day!

They have the best tunes blazing out, a full body workout, and instructors who will keep you motivated and push you through the class even when it's your third one of the day and you're feeling the burn. #kick A_S

To top it all off - there's hundreds of pairs of leggings to buy, and all the food any fitness junkie loves (although I did grab a Wagamama's after....). Acai bowls, vegan protein shakes, vegan ice cream, and all the peanut butter in the world.

So if you're up for a challenge, wanna grab some healthy freebies, and get sparkles all over your face - the festival is still on this weekend!

Big love and shout out to Be:Tribe (who do awesome organic vegan protein #getwellthy ) - for hooking us up with the tickets!

x

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The sun has finally graced rainy grey London, and it's now totally acceptable to whip out skirts and dresses and bare those pasty white legs without freezing ☀

My favourite part of a spring/summer's day is just that point when the sun is setting over the city, and the skies change and have every colour strewn across them.

On my way back from uni I always walk across Waterloo Bridge, and as the sun sets it reminds me why I love this city so much.

This little area is in SE1 - directly behind the Young Vic. It bypasses all the traffic and Londoners on their way home, leaving behind the busy sounds of a buzzing city, whilst getting views of the Shard.

So grab yourself a Pad Thai, sit in Jack's bar and surround yourself with a couple of shrubs.

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FOOD

For me, smoothies are my way of getting all the nutrition my body needs. Or using up any fruit and veg which look like they've had better days.

Smoothies are a great way for cutting out processed and refined sugars from your diet - hitting that sugar fix naturally.

If you are anything like I used to be and actually addicted to sweets and chocolates, this could be the step in the right direction. Not only since incorporating smoothies into my daily routine do I not crave supermarket sugary treats anymore, but my skin has also cleared up significantly and I have more energy.

Doctors acknowledge that the sugar today is addictive and bad for your immune system, partly being because of the quality.

But fruit and veg are natural sources of sugar. They taste 100% better than sweets you get in the supermarket (I'm converted now) and they can be a great pick-me-up when you're down.


So here's a few of my favourite smoothies for breakfast, as a snack or as a post gym pick-me-up :)


1. 'Golden Goodness' - Black Pepper Turmeric Mango Smoothie

I was apprehensive at first. Black Pepper corns in a smoothie?! I was almost certain it would be like adding chilli to my ripe mango and a waste of my favourite fruit. RIP.

But HELL NO. This is now my top smoothie. My numero uno. It has so much in it to help you fight off any lingering winter colds, and has such an unusually good taste that I can't wait till I next get mangos to make this 'Golden Goodness'.

Ingredients:

- Grated Ginger

- 1/2 tsp of Cinnamon

- 1/2 tsp of Turmeric

- 1/2 tsp of Black Pepper (or about 6 grinds)

- Handful of Almonds

- Two fresh mangos

- A few pieces of frozen banana

- A splash of coconut water

- Couple dollops of yoghurt

Add all into the nutri-bullet/mixer and tadaaa!

Enough to share <3

2. Cherryade

I'm not really a fan of cherries in smoothies as I find them quite rich, but the banana and spinach work really well together! And with the superfoods powder it's an easy afternoon snack for me to whip up quickly, and top up on any nutrients I'm missing that day.

Ingredients:

- Frozen Cherries

- 1 Banana

- Handful of Spinach

- Splash of coconut milk

- 2 tsp of Oh My Glow powder

- 2 dollops of yoghurt

- Desiccated coconut for the top!


3. Eat Yo Greens - Fluorescent Spinach Smoothie

This one is great if you have any spinach going soggy and wanna get your greens in for the day. I've literally squished in loads of spinach in the nutri-cup - more the merrier! The coconut butter makes me feel like I have my life together with all the benefits such as a Low GI, and being high in fibre and antibacterial.

Ingredients:

- BIG handful of spinach

- Couple pieces of avocado

- 1/2 frozen banana

- Couple pieces of frozen mango

- 2 tsp of coconut butter

- Lots of coconut milk

- A dollop of yoghurt

- Water (for consistency)

Whizz it all up and drink this lovely fluorescent drink containing nearly all your 5-a-day needs!


4. The 'Healthy' Pina Colada

I literally had to stop myself from gulping this one down before I could get a snap. I don't know if it's because I haven't had pineapple in like ages, or because the sun was shining through the kitchen with Tay Swift in the background, but this one literally made me feel of summer, AND tastes AMAZING.

Ingredients:

- Frozen pineapple

- Frozen mango

- Peeled orange

- Grated ginger (1 inch)

- Handful of Almonds

- Splash of Coconut milk

- 1 tsp of Baobab Powder

- Water (don't add if you want it slushy style)

Baobab is high in Vitamin C, Calcium, Potassium and Fibre - and comes straight from the fruit of the African Baobab tree. :)


5. The Ultimate Berry

Great for on-the-go breakfast. This is my quick staple smoothie if I'm in a rush or not feeling that creative that day. It takes less than 5 minutes to make: I just chuck everything in and it tastes pretty good.

Ingredients:

- As many blueberries as you want (any berry)

- 1 Banana (whatever mushy stage)

- 2 dessert spoons of oats

- Couple dollops of yoghurt

- Lots of coconut milk

- 1 dessert spoon of Flaxseed

- Sprinkling of desiccated coconut

- Tsp of Oh My Glow

Oh My Glow is a powdered superfood mix which I incorporate into my diet daily (with the odd days when I forget 😉). It has 10 superfoods in the powder: Maqui Berry, Chia Seeds, Acai Berry, Goji Berry, Maca, Strawberry, Lucuma, Guarana and Cranberry. The powder is also gluten free and vegan.

I'm nearly 100% positive this powder is what has helped prevent getting spikes in my sugar levels and helped control my cravings - it's also been great for my skin and overall energy.

6. Pumpkin Latte Protein Smoothie

My go to either before or after the gym (when I make it there....). Keeps me going and fills the hunger straight after exercising.

Ingredients:

- 1 Banana

- 1 dessert spoon of Pumpkin Spice Latte Protein

- Frozen mango

- Coconut milk

Enjoy!!

xoxo

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LIFESTYLE

Like most people, before the New Year came around, I made a mental plan of my 'New Year's Resolutions' - challenges and changes for a 'new year new me'. But according to statistics if you don't carry something out for 21 days, it doesn't become a habit. And I didn't complete any of my resolutions 21 days straight.

So here I am --- Starting again :D #marchthenewjanuary

So at the end of February I said adios to my resolutions, and instead went with the YES RULE.

Basically I watched really 'inspirational' summer movies in cold cold February and decided I would no longer be wrapped up in my duvet 24/7, and start doing all the things I said I would like to do but never got round to them.

One being fitness. Like lots of people I've made so many excuses from continuously injuring myself, to saying I'm super busy, to cancelling my gym membership.

And then there's the 'be more of a student' one. The YES rule is pretty much an obvious go to if you're a student, but in London even going out once a week could potentially set you back by £50. And then you've got to factor in all those morning after 'commuter coffees'...

But this cheesy YES rule is now going to factor in work, embodying the library life, and cheap cheap nights out. #wishmeluck

So March is my fresh start to 2017 😃

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London has gotta be one of the prettiest cities at Christmas time!

From random christmas carollers, to streets decked out in fairy lights, and christmas trees on every corner, it tis the season to be jolly fa-la-la-la-la la la la la!

So here's a few things which have graced the streets of London just before the actual day - like it's less than two weeks away omgggggg 🎄🎁🎅🎄

x

Somerset House SKATE

It doesn't matter where I am, or how many days after Christmas it has been, every year I make sure I go ice skating at Somerset House with friends, and every year I convince them I can skate....

I'm literally Bambi on ice.

Skate along to those xmas classics whilst getting sniffs of mulled wine and hot coco from Tom's Kitchen and Fortnum & Mason's lodge.

The toffee nut vodka hot chocolate is definitely worth a try.

Christmas Lights

The Christmas lights in London seem to get better every year, and this year the Regent Street ones are just the star on top ✨🌟

Walk under the angels on Regent Street, buy a christmas star for charity on Oxford Street, or do a little shopping at Cartier or on Bond Street.

Covent Garden

One of my all time favourite spots to do shopping is Covent Garden, and at Christmas time they have the tallest Christmas tree in central London at 55ft - so it's definitely one to put on the list.

The Market at this time of the year looks amazing and it probably has the biggest mistletoe opportunities there are around.... 💋💗

So head down there for some festive christmas shopping, get lost in the Seven Dials, and check out the mulled wine and mince pie cart in the Market building.

Have a Merry Christmas xxx

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REVIEWS


"It's a big world in here".


National Theatre


'Billie Piper' Yerma Review @Young Vic

Ticket Price: £5

Recommend?: YES (Tissues were needed!)

One of the most outstanding performances I have seen to date.

Billie Piper literally transformed ‘Yerma’ into a one-woman show - you literally could not keep your eyes off of her.

Australian Director Simon Stone transformed Lorca's 1934 tragedy set in Spain, into a poignant modern play set in London.

Set and contained within a glass box with audience members on either side, you witness Yerma's life deteriorate over days, weeks and years. A character which seems so stable and strong at the beginning of the play, soon starts to lose all mentality and friends; and experiences a divorce.

Executed from her husbands point of view, in summary: she goes crazy over the fact that she cannot have a child. And a restraining order is also subjected onto her...

Billie Piper's performance was so physically and mentally straining, that all were left in awe afterwards. (I even walked into a pole on my way out...)

RUN FINISHED

Threepenny Opera Review @National Theatre

Ticket Price: £5

Recommend?: NO

Pronounced 'Thre-penny' not 'Three Penny'.

A Brecht and Weill's dark comedy which left some in fits of laughter and others speechless with its execution.

I'm not one to read a review before seeing a play - but I'm starting to consider doing this after a second awful performance put on by the National Theatre.

More like a pantomime, and an opera which should be renamed "a performance which totally goes wrong and doesn't pick up until the second Act", many people left during the interval...

Also, I'm not a prude BUT even despite the number of kiddies in the room, no one was a fan of the constant swearing with some so pointless and irrelevant.

"My ears are burning". --- lovely lady behind me who cursed herself every time the actors swore.

FINISHED (but in certain cinemas...)

The Seagull Review @National Theatre

Ticket Price: £5

Recommend?: Yes

Great play for a literature and theatre lover to go and watch.

The majority of the cast's acting was very good, only a few slip ups here and there. Director Jonathan Kent, produced a crazzzzy amazing Young Chekov season, creating new layers to characters and meanings. Scenery was on point too.

FINISHED

Platonov Review @National Theatre

Ticket Price: £5

Recommend?: HELL YH

When critics keep going on about how Chekhov is a comedic playwright, it's not until this play you really witness it for yourself. Having read and seen a handful of his plays myself - you can come out quite depressed, and wonder what the point was.

The National Theatre marathon was probably the best to date - highlighting the extensive interpretations of a Chekhov play.

The chemistry among the actors/actresses was on point. James McArdle who played Platonov and Olivia Vinall who played Sofya (and Nina: The Seagull) were superb - with such a varied and constant performance by Olivia across the three plays, and James who won an award for his performance.

The staging, lighting and sound were amazing too.

FINISHED --- Hopefully coming to cinemas soon!

A Man of Good Hope Review @Young Vic

Ticket Price: FREE

Recommend?: Yes

So I got told an hour before the show someone had a spare ticket to a Young Vic performance.

I had no idea what the play was called or what even in the slightest it could be about....

Encapsulating true identity and culture, it turned out to be such a diverse and unique musical/opera, holding poignant messages throughout.

Exploring a refugees story from when his entire life changed for the worse; at the age of 8 Asad Abdullah lost his mother, brother, father and his home. The musical explores his life journey of asylum from Somalia to Cape Town.

Accompanied by gripping Marimbas (African xylophones), you will feel like you have dived into the life of Asad, experiencing the ups and downs of life.

At the Young Vic until November 12th 2016

The Red Barn Review @National Theatre

Photos by Manuel Harlan

Ticket Price: £5

Recommend?: Yes.....

On this occasion I couldn't get any pictures of the staging due to the layout. BUT --

The overall execution of this play was brilliant. The staging and music immersed you into the atmosphere of a horror/thriller movie with the audience constantly on the edge of their seats.

A naturalistic play, starring Mark Strong - the reality of domestic life is explored. The boredom, the creature comforts and the idea of settling, are all brought to an end, with the unexpected murder of the protagonist's wife. An escape for Mark Strong's character 'Donald', unexpected unanimously by the audience.

A production to see if you are looking for an alternatively staged play, straying away from the theatre's norm.

At the National Theatre until 17th January 2017


x

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GO, SEE, EAT, DO, LISTEN, REVIEWS


LONDON - one of the most vibrant cities around the world, encapsulating a wide cultural and religious audience - whilst also being one of the most expensive cities to live in.....

In a city which seems to offer everything apart from the sun and warm weather (and maybe cheap living) there is an endless list of things to do around the city on a daily basis. From art exhibitions, to London Fashion Week/end, to gigs and concerts every night at venues across all zones – you can never be bored here.

The inevitable problem of being a student – ‘broke’ is our frequented word of the day.

If only our bank accounts looked like the inside of Harry Potter’s vault at Gringots…(Still waiting for the owls to deliver my Hogwarts acceptance letter...)

But being a student can have its plus side. Nearly EVERYWHERE does student deals.

And for those of you who are already DYING after the first couple of weeks of university, AND don’t know which places AND how to get these savvy student discounts, here’s a few of my faves...

Old Vic (below left), National Theatre (below right)

THEATRE/BALLET/MUSICALS/OPERA (the whole shabang):

1. £10 tickets at the Old Vic and Young Vic – half the seats for the first 5 performances for each show are released at this price, courtesy of PwC......P.S. Do note (from my own experience) cursing and crying may occur due to crap wifi signal when they all sell out - even though you were waiting waaaaay before the 12 o’clock queue start…….

2. The Royal Opera House – they give priority booking for students, AND the student tickets start off at a mere £4 instead of the hefty starting price of £50 per person. AND!!! £10 Student Standby means unsold tickets go on sale to us 24 hours before the show…. 17th October next release date

3. The National Theatre has a student 16-25 Entry Pass Membership (which is obviously free for us) and means we can get £5 tickets for every performance (just book WAY in advance!), new season is on sale now! (November is the next release date).

4. The V&A has unique exhibitions on every month and the tickets are either FREE or start at £5 for us

5. BFI Southbank – tickets are £3 for students. Just sign up and then queue up 45 minutes before the screening to grab your cray cray cheap cinema ticket!

6. The Barbican – all I can say is BAR-BI-CAN. Sign up to the student page, you honestly won't regret it. £5 cinema, theatre, art, music and dance tickets just sayin’.

7. The Globe Theatre - £5 pit tickets. Use those broke ass legs and stand

8. Royal Festival Hall – concession tickets, up to 50% off. Ludovico Einaudi is the only thing keeping me sane rn...

9. £5 Mathilda tickets? HELL YEAH – just queue up at 8am and bring ID…it gets quite busy.

10. Sign up to all the theatres in your specific Borough – select theatres will allocate a certain number of tickets for each performance, which are FREE for students living in that borough. FREEEEEE. Just gotta do paerpwork….

11. Lottery Tickets – nearly every musical in the west end does this! Just fill out your contact details on a piece of paper at each location and go back at 5pm to see if you’re the lucky winner! Front row tickets for £20? Well yes, thank you ma’am.

Royal Opera House (left + right)

Platonov, Frankenstein, The Seagull

SO:

Always ask for student discounts everywhere you go! The majority of the times there will be some form of discount for us, or special ‘student only’ events.

Organisation is key! (sound like my mother now….) But in all honesty, to take advantage of all the above discounts you have to plan, and be at the ready for when these tickets go on sale, as they are few and get snapped up like Adele or Bieber tickets :D

And finally.....

Student finance came out last week, so, what we complaining about... #broke #student #university #whatislife #potnoodlefordays #meandoverdraftalways #forever #bankaccountbanter

x

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FASHION


Goodbye Somerset House.

For the second year running, the British Fashion Council have moved London Fashion Week to a CAR PARK, on Brewer Street in Soho, to be more in the ‘hub’ of the capital’s fashion.

Controversy over this significant change has sparked up again with London Fashion week coming to a close. A previous spectacular venue was Somerset House - holding historic values, as well as its picturesque views. The former venue will be greatly missed in contrast to the exciting views from within Brewer Street Car Park.

With my university just being next door to the stunning Somerset House, I feel an obliged biasness towards Fashion Week’s former venue. However, speaking with stylists, press and fashion students this Fashion Week, all have aired the same opinion: they want Somerset House back!


Freelance photographer Bami said, "it's really hard to get the right shot of street fashion when cars are constantly passing through - at Somerset House it was so much easier".

Models exclaimed how they felt like they were "going to get run over on their way to a show", saying how Somerset House was a "safer" environment.

Skimming through Instagram, many designers and fellow Fashion Week goers were also nostalgic of the lovely Somerset House.

However, a photographer we met in The Outnet's 'Light Up The Room' pop up hangout, thought: the "move from Somerset House is good! It's a change that Fashion Week has to go through, and Brewer Street is in the hub of London culture.


Although... Somerset House is just a mere 10 minute tube journey from Soho, AND provides views of the river Thames, AND is lined with numerous tourist sites.... just apparently not quite the "hub of London culture".

But as someone who goes to London Fashion week regularly, the Somerset House venue created space. It didn't feel claustrophobic. You didn't need to swerve in and out and do that tube/street dodge among the fashion industry bees. The walk to the venue from any surrounding tube was stunning. The venue was enclosed. It was safe - no risk of being run over. AND, it was Somerset House.



Savannah being filmed for The Evening Standard

(left)


Me meeting the lovely blogger Natalia @natinstablog

(below right)


Pedestrians nearly dying

(below left)

But despite the conflict in venue - Fashion Week was still a blast once again.

From cocktails, to vegan/gluten free nibbles, to the crazy friendly paparazzi - it's that rare occasion where even the wackiest of them all still appear to be normal.

Or is that just London for you....

X

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GO, SEE, EAT, DO, LISTEN

Hello lovelies - I hope you all had a venturous week and enjoyed the summer sun!

The sun graced us with its presence here in London, and all those London moles resurfaced to street level, almost seeming to enjoy their Friday commute...

On my day off from work, I decided to go Ice Cream hunting around town, and happened to stumble across some gems which are definitely share-worthy!

x

1. Milk Train - a little independent ice cream cafe just off of the Strand on Bedford street.

I knew it was meant to be when one of their 3 flavours included Matcha! For those of you who are new to matcha, I would suggest one of their sweeter options like the vanilla or hijacha (green tea), as it was even quite strong for me! This is definitely the place to go if you are looking for something a little bit more extravagant than a Mr. Whippee. I mean, its literally ice cream floating on a candy floss cloud.... No biggie.

Behold the Matcha-Candy-Oreo-Ice-Cream-Floss wonder!

2. Amorino - Italian ice cream with no artificial colours or flavourings... in the shape of a flower :D What more could you ask for! There are two near Leicester Square tube station and another couple dotted across the city, with one off flavours every week.

3. Nardulli - little Italian ice cream shop on The Pavement in Clapham Common, open till 12pm if you're having those midnight ice cream cravings, or back early from a night out.

4. Dum Dum Doughnuts - don't be fooled by the doughnut appearance, but this is in fact a "crone". An ice cream cone made out of dough, topped with ice cream and toppings galore! Find them in quirky pop up food markets or currently in Camden.

5. Scoop - Italian ice cream made fresh daily in the heart of Covent Garden. Find stacks of sorbets and their ultimate white chocolate chip ice cream...just saying :D

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REVIEWS

Cocktails in the City Review

When: 30th July

Where: Bedford Square Gardens (5 minute walk from Tottenham Court Road)

Tickets cost £15 which included a free cocktail in the form of a chip, a wristband and a cocktail guide for the evening.

Doors opened at 5pm, but we were "fashionably late" and got there around 6pm.

By then the place was already buzzing. It was a mix between Alice in Wonderland themed decorations, to the sound of jazz and 80's/90's classics with a modern twist.

On entering we were prepared for each stall offering something different to entice us Londoners, from iced cocktails to smoking jars to watermelon bowls. But we were not prepared for the games.

One stall had bikes out front, daring the "sober" Londoner to bring out their competitive side and go bike to bike to see who could blend their cocktail the fastest.

"Javelin? Not always the best at sports? Don't worry our javelin field is just 2 metres long!" But by the end of the night, no one had appeared to have gotten the javelin into the 1inch opening of the Vodka bottle.

Considering I'm still one of those Londoners who hasn't passed their driving test yet - I mean why wouldn't I want to be a penguin in a hot sweaty tube for the rest of my life and miss out on TFL's quote of the day?! ......But anyway! It was pretty fitting that the aim of the game was to drive the golf ball into the hole first, and somehow I lost... (SHOCKER) and managed to get my mini in the hole instead. The guy at the stall even proceeded to ask if I had passed my test - he got a unanimous "NO" from my friends.

Saving the best till last... THE SILENT DISCO. Not only were we jamming away to some absolute classics, where I'm pretty sure my friends and I were the only ones who knew the lyrics... but we had slush puppies and mini skate boards in hand, singing our hearts out to those unlucky few without headphones. We just didn't want them to miss out on the quality tunes!

Towards the end of the night, we got wind that there was in fact a competition between the stalls, and confirmation from the judge that The Bloomsbury Club Bar was in for the winning cocktail, with their signature dark chocolate.

Ping pong, juggling, fire breathers, photo booths, hook-the-duck, raffles.... We are definitely coming back next year!

x

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