Monday 30 May 2016

EATING OUT: Caffe Grande | Piccolinos Manchester

So, I know I don't normally do 2 of these type of posts in a week but I just couldn't resist putting this post up. I went today for lunch with a hubby and a good friend and was blown away by how lovely this place was! The service was great - albeit the waitress couldn't get our plates off the table quick enough! Like seriously, she was waiting for me to put that last potato in my mouth then whipped the plate from under me! Ha ha! Nothing like efficiency is there!
But, ignoring that, this place is beautiful. There were seats outside which people were sat in (it was such a beautiful sunny day) but inside is where it's at! Check out how stunning this place is :)

{ Kitchen Area }

{ Wine Bar }

{ Always love how they always give you free bread to nibble on! }

{  Our lunch! King Prawn Linguine with garlic and chilli, broccoli with garlic and chilli, roasted potatoes, roasted Mediterranean vegetables, house salad and calamari }

I have started having lots of side dishes for my mains recently. I'm super happy with the choice of food I get and it's generally all plant based. I find if I order a vegetarian option it's loaded with cheese and I'm trying to cut back on fish so this works so well for me. I had all the sides in the middle, hubby had linguine and our friend had the calamari. Food was delicious! 

{  Dessert Area }

The cakes were to die for! They all looked so stunning! I love the way they have these little bar areas for different things, one for pizza, wine, cakes and here is the 'steak area'

{ Steak Area }

{ Pizza Area }

I love how this chefs head is hidden by the giant paddle ha ha!

Then we had dessert! Melt in the middle chocolate pudding and Crepes Suzette! I love the way they flambĂ© them in front of you! These were seriously delicious too! Can't beat a good dessert, fresh mint tea for me and cappuccino for hubby as well. 
I would so recommend checking this place out, I had such a lovely time. Great food and great company - will definitely be going back very soon!

Thanks so much for reading! Let me know if you go and what you think!

Happy Bank Holiday Everybody!

Emmaline x


Sunday 29 May 2016

EATING OUT: The Railway Kitchen, Alderley Edge

So we fancied dinner out the other night but didn't want to venture too far out of our way. Hale sometimes can be a bit too much as I work there everyday, so Alderley Edge was our place of choice. I love the village even though it's pretty small. They have a great selection of restaurants there though and so it's always a nice choice of an evening out - far enough away that it's not too 'local', but not a mission into town either! Oh, and it's relatively easy to park - unlike the city centre which can be challenging sometimes to say the least!

We decided that morning we wanted to go to The Railway Kitchen, so we booked our table for 7pm (I love to eat early!) and off we went!

I've been here to eat a few times in the past and the food is always superb. The last few times we went the food was more Indian inspired, but this time it had more of a Japanese theme to it. I love this kind of 'street food' style with lots of little bits to munch on. We ordered quite a lot of food to eat (typical us!) but everything was so so good :) 

{ yummy }

{ Seared Yellowfin Tuna }

{ Raw Papaya Salad, Soba noodles with tenderstem broccoli and Crispy Squid }

{ Teriyaki Chicken Wings, Shichimi Chips }

{ All gone! Delicious! }

Definitely give it a try if you fancy some really good food locally.

Thanks so much for reading

Emmaline x

Tuesday 24 May 2016

LITTLE GEMS: Post Weekend Food Coma!

Wow! How much food I managed to pack in this weekend was quite amusing! Saturday especially was as busy food day - but you know me, I never complain about eating!

How was your weekend? I spent it in what seemed to be the Trafford Centre all day Friday and a good chunk of Saturday! Not my fav place in the world by any means, but sometimes you have to do what you have to do!

I managed to visit the OM Yoga show on Saturday which was great fun. I went to an amazing workshop on flexibility by a lady called Anne-Marie Newland. She was so so good! I really wanted to take some pics but I didn't know if I would be allowed to so I've found one on her Facebook (I'm even in the background - can you see me! ha ha) Have a look at her website to see what other workshops she has done, super impressed!

I also managed to get a bit of shopping in too! I bought the cutest tee from a girl called Emma Nissim who makes her own clothing. Really cute stuff and they had some great offers on too. Check out the tee I bought here. Really cute stuff plus the girls are both half Chinese - so we gotta support them ha ha!

Saturday I went to the Trafford Centre again and went for lunch at the Yang Sing Restaurant. Gerry is a very good family friend of ours and so we thought we'd go visit and get some food! He organised some really yummy nibbles and then we ordered a Bimbibap - what a cool name (it's a Korean rice dish)! Will do a post on eating out here soon!

We went for dinner again that night to The Railway Kitchen in Alderley Edge. This was a super yummy dinner. Will be posting about this place soon too!

I hope you had a nice couple of days off

Thanks for reading

Emmaline x

Tuesday 17 May 2016

FIVE FAVOURITES: 5 Ways to become more productive!

I think we have all got to that point sometimes where we just want to scream! Aaaaaaaahhh!! Let it out!

Well, I completely understand. It's so hard when you have so many thing to do and so little time to do it, but unfortunately, worrying about it doesn't get the work done!

So, here are my 5 tips on how you can become more productive in your day and in turn, free up more time for you!

First things first though, what's most important to you? What is the one most important thing that you need to do each day that you are finding is not getting most attention? Is it spending time with your loved ones? Working out in the gym? Cooking a nice meal for dinner? Whatever it is, that is what we are going to work on. We also need to figure out how much time you want to spend doing this particular thing, then we can work on freeing up time by making you more productive. When you can do that, you can spend more time doing what you love!

No. 1 - Make more time!
If you don't have enough time in your day, why not try making more! Why not try getting up a little earlier in the morning. The 'Golden Hour' as some experts call it is 5am. Yes, I know you're probably screaming at your laptop right now, but it's so amazing when you wake up that early. Don't worry, I'm not saying that you need to start waking up at 5am, but maybe even just a little earlier can help. We are all more productive in the mornings (and that even includes you night owls out there!) so why not give it a go. If you normally get up at 7:30, then try waking up at 7:15am for the next week. Once you can do this, maybe try 7am and so on. You don't need to do this every day, maybe just try it for a few days in the week such as Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday or if you can, Monday to Friday. You will be amazed at how much more you can accomplish in that time. By the way, this does not mean waking up 15 minutes earlier and then scrolling through Instagram for an extra 15 minutes a day! Put your mobile or alarm clock on the other side of the room to make you get up and turn it off. It's a great way to force yourself out of bed!

No. 2 - List!
So, we all know about writing lists, some of us (you know who you are!) may even write lists about writing lists! This is great, but if you are not getting anything done, it's not going to help you. So, a great tip is instead of writing a list of jobs, write a plan for your day. This is perfect to do either just before bed or when you first wake up. If you have managed to start waking up earlier each day, then why not try using this extra 15 minutes you've made to plan your day, job by job so you know what you need to do and how long you need to spend on it. For example if could be simple chores...

- excercise (morning run/yoga/gym) - 30 minute - 7am till 7:30am
- breakfast/shower/get ready for work - 1 hour - 7:30am till 8:30am
- go to work - 20/30 minutes - 8:30am till 9:00am and so on...

Or alternatively, you could just write a plan for the jobs that need completing at work in order of importance such as...

- email invoice to customer - 15 minutes
- call customer regarding new job - 15/30 minutes and so on...

If you can work in either 15 or 30 minute increments it will help with your productivity as you can actually plan how long each job should take. If you don't do this, it's quite easy to get distracted and do something else mid email for example. If you want to add the time to this (i.e. 9:30am till 10am) then do so. This plan needs to be strict, not loosely based around this or that time! Stick to it!

No. 3 - Give it your all!
When you begin one of your jobs you must stay focused. It's all very well getting up early, writing a plan, but if you get distracted and end up checking emails/sending texts etc that 30 minutes that you decided to spend on a task may run into 45 minutes - or even worse, it never gets completed that day! When you write your plan in the morning, you must stick to it. Allow yourself enough time to do each task and when you start each task give it your 100% attention. If you are working on your laptop, turn your wifi off and work offline if you can. Put your mobile onto airplane mode just whilst you start an important task or set a text so that you can just send it to somebody to say your are currently engaged but will call them back shortly. Make sure when you sit down to spend 15/30/60 minutes on a task, you completely focus all your attention on it - do not get distracted. If you are easily distracted, then keep your mobile phone/tv/other distracting device far far away!

No. 4 - Give yourself a break!
Your day should not just be work work work either. In your plan for the day, give yourself mini breaks every 30 to 60 minutes or so. When I say break, I'm talking 5 minutes not 30! Go and make a quick drink, walk outside the building and get some fresh air (literally 5 minutes around the block!), nip to the toilet or even just sit back and meditate. You can't just keep working without a break either, your brain will just end up getting distracted. After 30 minutes, our minds can start to wander, so allow it to. Just make sure you bring it straight back to work after 5 minutes and you should be back to feeling refreshed and ready to go again.

No. 5 - Get some help!
If you think you will struggle managing your time or planning your day, there are so many books, apps and programmes out there to help you become more productive. A lot of people like to use the Pomodoro Technique to help them work more efficiently (this includes setting a timer for your time bursts to keep you on track), there are many apps in the app store that can help with productivity too. Or, if you prefer the good old fashioned pen and paper, you can use something like The Productivity Planner book or even The Happiness Planner to help plan your day and work on creating a feeling of gratitude in your life.

Well, I hope this blog post has helped some of you become more productive. Why not give the tips a try and see how much time you can make for yourself!

Thanks so much for reading

Emmaline x


Saturday 14 May 2016

RECIPE: Vegan Oat & Banana Cookies

So, I do love me some cookies! The other week I was feeling a little peckish and really fancied something slightly sweet - but healthy too. So, after a lot of rummaging around in different recipe books, I came up with these little babies - and you know what... they turned out just great! So much so, I thought I would share a recipe with you! Seriously, you're welcome ;)


  • 1 overripe banana
  • 4 tbsp maple syrup
  • 2 tbsp coconut oil
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 tbsp nut butter
  • 125g gluten free plain flour (I like the Dove Farm Blend)
  • 170g rolled oats
  • 1/2 tsp bicarb of soda
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 85g dark, vegan chocolate (if you want to keep them vegan that is!)

  • In a large bowl, beat the wet ingredients together with a fork or something similar
  • Then add into the bowl the dry ingredients which should make a nice, thick mixture (if it feels too dry as in too crumbly, then add a little nut or oat milk)
  • Give another good mix together and then (using an ice cream scoop), put each spoonful onto a large, lined baking tray.
  • Bake at 180 degrees for 12-14 minutes or until golden brown and cooked through

So, as you can see these are super easy to make and really tasty too!

I hope you enjoy them as much as I did

Thanks for reading

Emmaline x

Tuesday 10 May 2016

EATING OUT: Gymkhana London

We (as in hubby and I) decided to venture down to the 'Big Smoke' to have a few days away for his birthday over the bank holiday. All that we did was eat! Eat and eat and eat! So, I thought I'd do a post on some of the places that we visited and let you know what we had :)

We arrived on the Saturday and didn't really eat properly until the evening as we arrived late afternoon. We organised a meal with some friends and family and booked a private room in the Indian restaurant called Gymkhana in Mayfair. As there was quite a big group of us we got to try lots of food!

So for starters we had popadoms and Gol Guppas with chutneys. Please excuse the mess in the background, but this place was like being at home. We had our own little space where we kind of just dumped our bags and coats ha ha!

Yummy non-alcoholic cocktails. This is a Pomegranate and Lemongrass Fizz and a Shalamar Rose - Both were delicious!

Oh my god! This was only half of it! There was so much food! We had fish, aloo tikki, cauliflower tikka, dahl, aubergine, lamb, kebabs, naan and rota, all sorts of food! - obviously I didn't eat any meat but the food was seriously good. The came desserts...

First there was Cardamon and Strawberry Kheer (Rice Pudding)

Then Ras Malai with Tandoori Pear Chutney

Then Mango & Lime Falooda, Mango Kulfi

And finally... The Happy Birthday Cake!

We had such a lovely meal, great friends, great family and a very Happy Birthday! I would really recommend this place, everything I ate I enjoyed a lot. I didn't get to eat any dessert (all a bit too much dairy for me) but I hear they were excellent!

Thanks so much for reading, more London posts coming soon!

Emmaline x

Friday 6 May 2016

LITTLE GEMS: London Break

Oh what a fabulous Bank Holiday Weekend I had. It was my hubby's birthday and so we decided to 'up sticks' for a few nights and went to the Big Smoke.

What did we do all weekend? We ate. We ate and ate and ate some more - plus got a spot of shopping in too which is always nice.

How awesome is this!

What did you do for your bank holiday? What was the weather like? We were so lucky to have pretty much glorious sunshine every day! Even on Monday, the skies dulled a little but it was still nice and warm.
So, I will be sharing all of my 'Eating Out' and Travel pics soon, but just wanted to check in and say a quick hello. I also wanted to post some great pictures I took of some amazing buildings.

We visited the National Art Gallery too whilst we were there which was amazing. I love looking at these old paintings that have so much character. I can stand there for ages just looking at them. You can almost feel what it was like back then, I just find it fascinating, I really do!

The building for the National Art Gallery is so so beautiful, itself is like a piece of art too. I love the beautiful designs on the ceilings and the super height of them too.

I also discovered this beautiful chocolate shop that sells vegan chocolate! Oh my god it was so beautiful! It was called Carpo (I'm sure all you Londoners would have heard of it already, but I've never seen it before). They gave us different pieces of dried fruits to try and they were delicious! Must go back to London just to shop here again ha ha!

We also visited Harrods and did a little shopping in their food hall. Their cakes looked fantastic, but sadly we couldn't buy any as we were travelling back (plus I'm sure they were all stuffed with cream so I don't think my tummy would be too happy with that!)

Yummy Salads


Beautiful Food Hall

Tea Boutique

Amazing Coffee!

We did however, but some lovely herbals teas and coffees. The sales assistant was just so helpful and allowed us to smell all the different types of coffees - he was also so knowledgeable about them all. I'm really not a coffee person, but they did smell much nicer than your usual pot of coffee at home. Hubby said they tasted good too, I'm sure they did but coffee is coffee to me ha ha! I literally have a coffee no more than 3 or 4 times a year and anybody who has been around me will know I go loopy on the stuff! :)

We did a spot of shopping in Selfridges too (obviously would be rude not to!) and had a quick mooch around Liberty too. This must be THE most stunning department store in the UK. It is so perfectly designed and branded that you just want to buy something just to buy something!

We also popped into another mini department store - the name has completely slipped my mind but it was right next to Liberty. This was so cool, the vibe was very simple and clean designs. They also displayed their products so beautifully - Love this boutique style of shopping, it just makes everything feel so glam. How cute are their displays! I will post food pics up very soon.

I hope you all had a great weekend and have a good one this weekend too!

Thanks so much for reading

Emmaline x

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