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Despite a recent election that I don’t really want to discuss I do really LOVE the US.
So I say from America with love from me to you!

Honestly I do wish that I could get to the US more but with lack of time and funds it is quite impossible to visit as much as I would like. This visit however is one that just had to happen as it is a special occasion for my lovely cousin – she is getting married. With all of that aside this post is certainly not about the wedding (I love you cuz but NO!). This post is one that is going to highlight all of the fabulous things that I miss about the US when I am home in glorious London.

Nowadays unlike the days of my youth (oh wowza!) we do have access to some of the little treats that were not previously available – of course they are at a premium price. But for those that are still not available I have highlighted the ones that I made the most of whilst out there and those that I sadly missed out on.

Bath & Body Works

I’m not sure that this particular place needs any fancy introduction – this is one where I love to grab as many candles as possible and of course being a nurse grabbing hold of as many pocketbac’s as I have justify cramming into my bag (and of course many more for my gorgeous god-daughter! We have a healthy obsession for clean and scrumptious smells!). On this visit I have a few that I have had my eye on, a couple of which will just be replacements for the ones I love and have burnt out knowing that I was coming out again and others that just look truly scrumptious!

Georgetown Cupcakes

This place makes me think of 2 Broke Girls – I know it is no Williamsburg but you know cupcakes, cupcakes and of course more cupcakes. Who doesn’t love a dirty great treat yo’self moment. I went for a Salted Caramel cupcake that comes with salted caramel infused buttercream frosting with a generous caramel drizzle and an iced tea. I mean Georgetown Cupcakes IN FRIGGIN’ GEORGETOWN.

Frozen Yoghurt

For the majority of the trip the weather was absolutely fantastic and my Vit D levels felt like they were at their peak. It was the perfect opportunity to grab some Frozen Yoghurt and Sweetfrog was the place that I wanted to go, sadly I didn’t make it for FroYo but there is always next time. Apparently there is even a Sweetfrog in the UK (Southend-on-sea – I’m not sure I will be getting there anytime soon sadly!) so I will have to make do with heading into Soho and being jostled from left to right.

The Mall

During my last visit to the US my cousin took me to Tyson’s Corner – I have never in my life seen anything like it and was truly astonished to see a shopping centre of such magnitude. Obviously I am used to Westfield but this was something else entirely. Unfortunately Tyson’s was a little on the far side to get to so my aunty took us to a place called Arundel Mills and it was just as amazing. The deals that we got were phenomenal, the size of it was once again astounding and the food was just so friggin’ tasty. I was able to get a lot of shopping for birthdays and Christmas done whilst there which in a way wasn’t great as my case was busting at the seams but what’s done is done.

Sephora

Do I need to say much more?! Well, in keeping with all of the above I will! Those of you that are located conveniently within visiting distance to a Sephora much like Bath & Body Works don’t know how lucky you are! Thankfully however Sephora US now delivers to the UK which I will be taking advantage of from now on of course. On this trip once again this haven provided me with the perfect opportunity to get some birthday and Christmas presents as well as some personal treats. I have put together a little haul that I will be posting soon so keep your eyes peeled.

So with all of the above in mind I really think that I need to get back out to the US more often and see a little more of it with regards to states as well as my family of course!

It is ridiculously picturesque and the shopping really is on another level.

Have you been to the US?
If so what do you like the best about it?

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Why is the question always fit OR fat, can you not be fit and fat?

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Have you gone through life constantly questioning yourself? I have to admit that this has been me for quite some time now. Second guessing myself with regards to personal appearance according to the latest trend, a comment or even what some call ‘advice’. I mean seriously who the fuck are you to be making me feel like shit warmed up – well, let me tell you! No-one!

I refuse to let anyone else make me feel substandard when it comes to my appearance. Now, that is all good and well making such a bold statement but living with it is something completely different. I have never been a skinny minnie, I tend to teeter on the average/voluptuous scale which is fine by me. It would just be a bit nicer if there were more options open to those of us that are in the same category as my ironing board. I have no aspirations of becoming a home appliance – I am a person godammit. No I am not crazy peeps just a bit peeved.
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Luckily we live in the age of social media and body positivity. That was not so much the case when I was growing up. Of course social media can be dangerous at the same time as positive. As much as we cannot control what is posted out into the ether we can make a conscious choice about the material we see and actively make an effort to absorb. With only a small portion of media focused on body positivity it is quite hard at times to weed what is deemed as normal to get to the devils in the detail.
From my mother to one of my closest friends there is a significant age gap, those in between at this current moment in time are just getting on with it. The two polar opposite ends of the age spectrum however seem to be suffering with the constant need to buy into the negativity that they are just not good enough when it comes to weight and loving their bodies.
It would be great if there was a happy medium when it comes to loving yourself but it really does take a lot of work on both a physical and mental level. My personal feelings on this subject may seem a bit obtuse but honestly it would be so much better if you spend time on making a conscious effort to love yourself instead of striving for a life that is not yours. If you feel the need to go to the gym because it makes you feel great then do it, if you want to sit at home and eat a bucket load of cheese in front of the tv then do it. The only one that can judge you is YOU.
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Overall we need to stop chastising ourselves for feeling good about being what the media describes as bad and enjoying life. You only get one life so FUCK the media and their idealistic views on what your waist size should be and how you should live your life – go and LIVE YOUR LIFE FOR YOU.

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In 1886 Walter Whittard at the age of 25 set up his first tea shop on Fleet Street – it was one of the busiest years for the British tea industry with new highs two years later of tea imported from India reaching 85million pounds (in weight!) – this apparently exceeded the import weight of teas from China – thats a lot of tea! Many cast aside the idea of success when it came to Walter’s tea shop as something that would be a passing fad.
Walter had a secret – that was his special blends which went on to become favourites of London’s elite. Walter would cater to the tastes of the masses but also very closely to the individual customers needs which clearly did not go unnoticed. By the time it got to the 1890’s Walter and his growing trade we fast outgrowing his humble abode on Fleet so it was time to move on and that is just what he did to none other than Mincing Lane which in the late 19th century was also known as London’s ‘Street of Tea’ and the world’s leading centre for tea and spice trading (I did not know this!) – it is a little one way street in the City of London linking Fenchurch Street to Great Tower Street.
After the war and the complete ruin of the Whittard Warehouses thanks to the blitz the Whittard brother set to work at establishing new premises. New digs were set up on Fulham Road and of course the loyal flock of customers followed. Chelsea was now the new tea hotspot in London. Bringing us haring into the present day of Whittard’s the company works to their founding father’s philosophy of only providing the best and brightest blends of tea to their customers and from personal experience I can most definitely say they do take the individuals tastes into account and try and fit you with something that is just right for you. To say I felt like goldilocks was an understatement – these guys are not only friendly but some of the most astute teachers of tea that I have met in a long time – their knowledge is second to none when it comes to the leaves that I will be gracing my much loved china cups with. There are of course many companies out there that will blend some truly fantastic brews but Whittard’s of Chelsea really does stand out amongst the crowd for both quality and service.
 
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A number of months ago I was kindly invited to Whittard’s in Kingston who hosted a small session for National Tea Day and despite being ridiculously late with my post I am so glad that I waited. I will of course being writing separate posts on the individual and maybe even some of the teas grouped together but for now I just wanted to show you the level of kindness shown by the lovely Whittard’s people.

What was in the box?

Whittard of Chelsea, Whittard Teas, Whittard, Whittard Coffee, Tea, Tea Time, Biscuits, Food, Drink, Beverages, Hot Beverage, Fruit Tea, Black Tea, Green Tea, Blogger, Lifestyle Blogger, Food Blogger, Blog A Book Etc, Fay SimoneOh my . . . I can’t even!

I mean this box is full of tasty treats that I literally could not wait to break in to. To start with the biscuits were absolutely heavenly I will most definitely grabbing a few more packets when I am next in store as well as stashing away some of the new Christmas biscuits ready for the festive season ahead.
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Although tea is one of my favourite drinks I don’t talk about it enough on the blog so my great loves from the tea world won’t be obvious. However, times are about to change (I hope!) – I love a good green tea especially a flavoursome mint tea. Marrakech Mint made an incredibly tasty brew and really does leave you feeling fresh from the inside out – sounds weird but when you try it you will get it! I hope!
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Previously when making tea I was under the impression that you could just boil the kettle and go – that however was in the days of just grabbing a tea bag and stirring. Whittard takes things to the next level of brewing and really gets you involved from the degrees to the minutes. If you are unsure then just pop into your local Whittard shop and the lovely staff in there are always willing to help.
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Have you tried Whittard yet?

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I’m back and It’s time to get cosy peeps!

Homemade Pumpkin & Squash Soup

With the weather about to change I love nothing better than hunkering down with a nice steamy bowl of soup, my favourite blanket and a cuppa. So, with that in mind Catherine & I decided to make our own belly filler before the weather really does turn. As we are

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Welcome to my life – Nurse Life!

It’s 6:48am and I am writing this whilst I sit and watch my patient sleep and wait patiently for the day staff to start filtering in. It is my second night shift out of three but I cannot complain as the next (and last for this group of shifts!) is a bank shift which despite meaning a couple of extra quid also means the tax man is gonna have a medieval banquet when it comes to my monthly wonga. You may be able to tell that I am in a bit of a sarcastic mood – how I hear you ask or roll your eyes at me! It is before 7am on a friggin’ Sunday! Nurse life is just riveting.

Well, as I mentioned above it is my second night shift out of a block of three and I am really bloody tired. I have been awake since 5pm last night and I am just about to hit the daydreaming side of reality where I can feel the soft, gentle caress of my pillow against the side of my head. BUT NO – There goes another patient alarm!

Some may say that due to the nature of Intensive Care we are the lucky few nurses that get our one nurse to one patient ratio and at times this can be very true. However, when the shit hits the fan it gets real and that shit happens real quick, most the time we are by the bedside on our own with our neighbour (another nurse) for assistance until doctors and a nurse in charge rush to the bed space in the event of any emergency. But when I say the shit hits the fan real quick picture the scene – you are riding out the night shift like a pro, your patient is comfortable and sleeping, their blood pressure is stable and all your meds are topped up so you can actually breath for five minutes or more.

THEN you hear the alarm and their blood pressure is through the floor and their heart rate is through the roof, you don’t have the one drug that you need right now and you have sent your neighbour to go and get it whilst you pull the crash bell and get those legs up in the air quicker than a can-can dancer at the Moulin Rouge. You are not panicking because you are in the zone. Meanwhile their blood pressure is still through the floor and your neighbour cannot find the drug cupboard keys. The crash bell is still sounding out as at the other end of the main part of your unit the surgeons have cracked open a chest and the nurse in charge is standing by as over watch for the junior nurse that has just shit their pants at the fact that it is their first open chest EVER.

A doctor is running towards you and another nurse is pushing the crash trolley but you are still not panicking. You see the doctor running but in true nurse style that crash trolley is coming in good time but not speeding. By the time the doctor gets to you and looks at all the monitors, the patient and their history to try and figure out what is causing this event your nurse colleague has helped you get some pads on the patient, connected them to the defib just in case and those legs are still up in the air.

Before you know it is 10 minutes later, the patient is now sedated, tubed and you are back at the end of the bed space in the intensive care bliss that is intensive care patient management. To those that say I am lucky to have one patient I agree, because if I had more than one and such an event happened they would probably die and I am so glad that I decided to leave the ward and go to intensive care to continue my training and come out the other side and be able to use the knowledge I have gained in my recent years here. Thankfully last night what not one of those shifts!

When I started writing this post I am not sure what direction I thought it would go but a good point to end on is – despite having to work some honestly quite shitty shifts and very long hours I can happily say that I get paid to do a job that I love and the majority of the time look forward to going to work. Of course, when I am a lot more coherent (awake!) I will probably write a post about many of the other aspects of my job, but for now… that is all!

Have a great Sunday lovelies!

p.s. I apologise for any bad grammar or spelling mistakes! 

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