Christmas at home

Today I’m back in Manchester after about a week at home for Christmas.

As always it’s been a much needed rest, I actually feel like I’ve been on retreat! I spent most all of my time eating, snoozing, watching films and reading books, and also exercising – we managed a three mile walk on Christmas day, an almost-six-mile walk on Boxing day, and the day after that my dad and I went for a nine mile run (!).

I always use Christmas as a chance to switch off and take stock, deciding which direction I want to steer myself in next year. This time I’ve decided I want less stress and more fun.

I want to focus on doing a good job at work and to keep learning new, relevant skills. I want to keep this blog ticking along nicely without putting any pressure on myself for it be to ‘established’ or ‘professional’. It’s mine so I can do what I want.

I want more time for leisure next year. I want to do a bit of travelling and really explore every last nook and cranny in Manchester. I also want to get my second book published, but you know what? If it’s late, it’s late!

Mum’s coconut and limoncello cake

This morning I baked shortbread and cooked a vegetarian bolognese, now I’m lounging around watching rubbish films and idly writing bits and pieces on my laptop. I feel very relaxed. This is what I don’t make enough time for – time where I can be idle, even lazy!

If I’m going to significantly reduce stress in my life it means I’m going to have to stop caring about a lot of things. I need to declutter my mental space. I did this after leaving Sheffield, and possibly took it a little bit too far (always one extreme to the other me!), but bloody hell it worked.

Less stress, more fun, and giving less of a f*** in 2017!

Bundobust Manchester

Bundobust is an Indian street food restaurant that has opened in Manchester.

I’ve been to the one in Leeds many a time, and I love the food, so I’m very pleased there’s now one here too! I had to let Lima know about this place to get her verdict on the food too, but unfortunately neither of us could make the press night for the opening. Fortunately, they offered for us to try the food on a night that suited us instead.

Before photos of the food, here are my top three reasons you should come to Bundobust:

  • It’s the perfect place to bring your partner, friends, parents, colleagues or kids at any time of day. It ticks all social boxes!
  • It’s very affordable – you can mix and match the dishes and they also have a few different platter options for bigger groups.
  • The food is spot on
  • Okay, four reasons! They also serve Mongozo beer, which is my most favourite beer of all time.

Bundobust is a fun place to eat – good layout, decor, music and of course food. And now, ze photos!

You can find Bundobust just by Piccadilly Gardens and Piccadilly Station, at number 61 Piccadilly.

Etsy Made Local, Manchester

Last weekend Kay came to visit me. It’s been flippin’ ages since we last saw each other, so I did my best to organise a good Manc weekend for her.

We did all sorts. We ate Caribbean food, munched on samosas at the Makers Market, listened to the music of Sarah de Warren at a gig in town and had brunch at The Elk. Before all that however, we went to the Etsy Made Local Christmas market. These markets are always a great place to pick up Christmas present and discover some new independent businesses.

I took a lot of photos, and I’m going to *try* and link you to the relevant seller for each one!

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First off we have Nicola Briggs Ceramics above!
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Detailed trinkets by J.R Hayes.
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A funny story about this stall, I stopped for a look and quickly realised I knew the brand – it was Rock On Ruby. This was set up by a blogger known as Rock On Holly, who I’ve followed on Twitter for almost three years. Thinking aloud, I said ‘Oh this is by Rock On Holly!’, to which the woman at the stall went ‘Yes! I’m her mum!’

We had a lovely chat about how much blogging has changed and how weird it is that bloggers I first discovered years ago are now weaving their way into my real life and vice versa.

I noticed at this market that stall holders cottoned on to me being a blogger very quickly, whereas years back they might not have even known what a blog was. It was nice and heartwarming to see this change!

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If you haven’t already noticed, I am incredibly detail-orientated, so I love stuff like this! These two prints below were by Charlotte Hicks Illustration.
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These beautiful items were by Fox and Lilly, I particularly liked the ‘Keep Going’ print! It’s a good sentiment that I’d like to be reminded of every day.

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This stall was the only one I photographed and forgot to pick up a card for – I regret it, because these plant and candle pots are so cute.

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And finally these lovely prints are by Rianna Phillips! I really liked her stuff – you can make personalised orders on some of the items too.

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I love going to these kinds of markets. I’m always inspired by people who have built their own brands from the ground up and made a sustainable business that suits their lifestyle. It’s these kinds of people that first hooked me into the world of blogging and social media – a big one who I still follow to this day is Junkaholique.

The Whitworth Gallery

I love a good art gallery, I find art very relaxing.

But what I like more than the art inside a gallery, is a well designed gallery. I recently went to The Whitworth with my folks and it is an extremely well designed gallery. There was something ‘right’ about the space in there, and the cafe has some lovely views of the park too.

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I love it when a space that houses anything creative is made to feel atmospheric. It makes the space far more experiential. If something is experiential, I’m more likely to be impacted by it and remember it.

Focus on you

When I lived in Melbourne and in the two years after that, I really learnt how to focus on myself.

What happened as result, was that I started finding I could make time for the things I truly wanted. I started forming new habits and making different lifestyle choices. The people I was surrounded by changed too – I started meeting the kind of people I’d always wanted to meet. I lost my FOMO (fear of missing out) and replaced it JOMO (joy of missing out – real term!).

It’s carrying on here in Manchester. I am surrounded by good people. People who also focus on themselves.

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It makes me giggle when folk say social media makes people fake, I find the it’s the opposite. I can remember when I first found Lima’s Twitter page, I think it was just before or just after I moved here. I immediately knew I wanted to meet her – my first digital impression was that she was proactive, creative and enthusiastic about the things she cared about. She also has opinions – and I think that’s a sign of a person who thinks about things bigger than them. I really like people like that.

I had the same gut feeling the first time I digitally met Daisy, Sophie and many other good people. I even had the same gut feeling when I first viewed the flat I now live in! My housemate wasn’t actually here when I came to look around, so her friend let me in instead. Even though I hadn’t yet met her, straight away I knew I wanted to live in this flat. It’s the flat of someone who knows they want and is focussed on themselves.

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All the good in my life has come from focussing on me. I’ve been able to become fitter, healthier, more confident and less anxious about what the future might bring.