Sophia-Jane

Friday, 11 May 2018

AMSTERDAM BABY!

HALLO! (Lol, I wanted to greet you guys in Dutch.. to then find out it's just 1 letter different from our Hello.. which now just looks like a typo). IT'S NOT A TYPO, I'm glad we cleared that up..

So those of you that follow me on Insta will know that it's been quite a few weeks since I went to Amsterdam. I'm sorry for the delay, my laptop blew up (not literally, slightly dramatic there) and I've not long had it back! HOORAHH, I'm back :)

So as soon as I booked this lil weekend trip away for my boyfriends birthday, I just knew I had to blog it for you guys. It was my third time visiting and I absolutely love this city! We had already done the main tourist'y bits during our previous trips so here's a quick summary of my must-dos (that we didn't re-do on our third visit) that you just NEED to know about:

- Visit the Ann Frank House
I don't think I've ever seen a 'must-do Amsterdam list' without this being on it - that's gotta count for something right? Well, I personally love a bit of World War 2 history - I think it's something that has rubbed off on me from my ole' man. The first time we actually under-estimated the queue and didn't get a chance to go so BOOK YOUR TICKETS IN ADVANCE GUYS. This actually is your only option at the mo anyway (due to some reconstruction work) but hey, just always buy them online, ok? 

- Rent bikes and cycle everywhere
We were super lucky the second time visiting, it was actually my birthday weekend (early April), and the weather was lushhh. We hired a tandem - lol, legit the scariest thing ever..(in a fun way) - and cycled everywhere. Not only is it bloody good exercise but everywhere is so beautiful and by cycling you really can see it all..especially if you're short on time! I say exercise but I definitely just sat with my feet up at the back whilst Keith done all the work (lol, soz babe). Not only that but I feel like you really are in Amsterdam, if that makes sense? Like, this way you really are experiencing their culture. So guys, join the locals and hop on ya bike!

- Picnic in Vondelpark
So if you are as lucky as we were with the weather, cycle up to Vondelpark - the largest in Amsterdam - and enjoy a picnic, pimms & ice cream (dream combo) in the sunshine! In the summer they put on outdoor live concerts so deffo check that out too! 

- Visit Bloemenmarkt
Tulips are a symbol of Dutch culture so it wouldn't be right to visit Amsterdam without feasting your eyes on the beautiful Bloemenmarkt - the worlds only floating flower market, pretty cool huh! And guys, every girl likes to be bought flowers... #justsaying!

So now I've got those out the way.. let's take you to my third visit!
Sadly, we weren't so lucky with the weather this time around. When I say it was cold, I mean it was bloody freeeezinggg (-6 to be exact). I'm not usually put off by the cold, I'm more of a wrap up warm and suck it up sorta gal - but blimey, I struggled. Luckily, as we had done all these incredible things listed above already, the focus quickly shifted to food (I mean, it wasn't far off anyway) and the best places we could eat. So if you're hungry, I'd grab some snacks cos there's a lot of good food coming your way...don't say I didn't warn ya!

MAMMA KELLY'S

Our first evening I had pre-booked Mamma Kelly's - a chicken & lobster restaurant whose all pink everything interior I fell head over heels with. It's not particularly central so you do need to get a taxi but it's well worth the ride! Reservations can be made 3 weeks in advance and, lil heads up for ya - I received an email just before our booking date asking me to confirm that we were still coming.. in Dutch. No confirmation, no booking! I deffo just thought it was a 'looking forward to seeing you' aka junk mail but hell no - translate them emails!


In true Sophie fashion, I went straight to the bar for a cocktail - I mean, can you blame me? The bar is pretty snazzy! So it turns out the 'all pink' doesn't stop with the interior.. my cocktail was pink too! I can't remember the name but I feel like you wont go wrong with any cocktail you order here. 

Now, let's get into the food..I'd re-eat this all over again right now if I could. For my starter I went for a bbq chicken salad and it really was the turning point for me when it comes to salads. I've always had the opinion that they were boring, flavourless and would leave me unsatisfied. Oh how I was wrong! The chicken was so soft, cooked to perfection and the watermelon added the perfect sweetness to contrast the bbq sauce - ok, not quite a Masterchef description but hey, you get the idea. Keith opted for the Calamari (his personal fave) and there were no complaints his end either! 

We couldn't decide between chicken or lobster for main so we opted for both to share with a side of chips! I love the whole sharing agreement but there's always that one dish that wins you over just that little bit more. For me, this was the lobster. Maybe it was because I had chicken to start or maybe it was because the sauce was to die for but either way I did not want to share that lobster (still regretting that decision today - can you tell?)

Luckily for me, I did not have to share my dessert. Oh. My. Goodness. My first ever Blondie and it has set the bar high! I even contacted them after we left to check what exactly it was (I had no idea a Blondie was a thing) just to make sure I could tell you guys.  Well I can confirm it was their white chocolate brownie with caramel and sea salt and it is bloody amazing (picture above) <3 <3

METROPOLITAIN

Ahh Metropolitain <3 So, we did not stumble across this little gem either - I had a sort of restaurant bucket list going on and this was straight off it (what can I say? I take my food seriously!) GO FOR BRUNCH! The end. Just kidding, well kinda.. because it really is the perfect place for brunch. It's so cute and chilled, you really could sit in there for hours! I had my normal brunch dilemma of do I go sweet or savoury? The outcome always being the same - both, duh! When in Dam eh..

NOOCH

Ok, I confess.. another one on the list! This was actually super last minute so we were so lucky to get squeezed in - I always take it as a good sign when a restaurant is fully booked! An Asian kitchen that fuses Chinese, Japanese, Vietnamese, Indonesian & Thai - now if that's not spoilt for choice then I don't know what is. To be honest me and Keith were totally out of our comfort zone here - me being an Italian cuisine sorta girl and him a steak/burger sorta guy. But if there was one place that surprised me the most it was Nooch. Bloody delicious! For starters we had the Duck Pancakes *best duck pancakes ever* and for main I went for the Curry King Prawn *best curry ever*. Those words literally came out of mouth after every dish. I now have a new found love for curries but am yet to find one that can compete with this!


THE DIRTY CHICKEN CLUB

Now this one was a find! Ok, I confess.. I did have a cheeky little google before stepping inside (reviews are important ok) but it was not pre-planned - I know, I'm so wild.
If you're looking for good cocktails, street art & dirty chicken - ta daaa! We sat in these really cool converted carriage booths (picture below) giving some serious NY underground vibes. I'm such a kid when it comes to sitting in something a little different to your average table and chair - like c'mon, lets change things up a bit. Ok you got me... I didn't read the reviews at all, I saw the cool chairs and I was sold.

To start off we went for the 'Dirty Chicken Nachos' to share. Chicken on nachos? I know, this was new for me too but omgaddd they were dreamy! Literally everything you'd expect from 'dirty' nachos and more..Move aside pulled pork - there's a new combo in town.

For main I went for the 3 Pulled Chicken Tacos.. yes yes yes! One thing I would say is, if you've got a big appetite or haven't stuffed your mouth with nachos beforehand (#sorrynotsorry), it is on the smaller side. But even so, definitely worth an order. I need to go again, not only because their burgers look insane but also because I didn't get dessert - who even am I?




PLUK AMSTERDAM

Ok guys, I've saved the best til last.. my personal fave - Pluk Amsterdam. I may have been swayed by their Unicorn smoothie bowl and their homemade cakes (yum) - but can you blame me?




I would recommend visiting on a week day, as it gets super busy over the weekend and it is quite small inside. And if you're not already convinced, they sell the cutest bits for your home, kitchen and food-related products - so you could just pop in for a cheeky shop. Of course I couldn't leave empty handed (and by 'empty-handed' I mean with 1 smoothie bowl, 2 cakes and 2 coffees) - so I took home a mug as a little souvenir. Truth is, I could have taken the whole shop if I had the suitcase space. 

So there we have it folks! I told ya to grab some snacks didn't I! 

If you've got any recommendations of your own, I'd love to hear them for next time. Also, if you do happen to take my advice on any of the above, lemme know what you think! <3 

Until next time Dam,


SJ


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Sunday, 11 March 2018

Nasty Gal Haul

STRIPES
Because a stripe T/denim combo is always a winner! Did I mention that this baby has ruffle sleeves too? Cuutteee! It's these types of tees that you can never have too many of (or so I tell myself when I'm shopping!) 
£20

NUDE DRESS 2 WAYS
Casj V Glam - what's your winner? I'm a casual sorta girl so that's an easy choice for me! But it's always nice to have a piece that you can mix it up with, get ya moneys worth eh! I'm obsessed with nudes/pastel colours, they look great paired with denim or even just with a tan! (Hurry up summer!)
£20

FLORAL FEELS

Ok I might be a little obsessed with layering.. but c'mon, it's super cute with a denim and lil tee underneath! Oo and I love the scalloped neck line - the perfect lil dress for spring paired with some converse, and soo cheap!
£14

PINK LADIES


What to do when you need to iron your shirt but you're too lazy? Ta-daaa! It actually looks just as cute tucked into high-waisted jeans (in case you didn't fancy getting ya belly out!). I lurvv this colour though, lately I have been buying pink a lot more - who even am I right now? Lol. Anyway, oversized shirts are everythingg.
£12.60


TROPICAL VIBES


I saved the best till last! I don't know if it's because it gives off some serious tropical vibes (I feel like I need a margarita in hand to complete the look), but this is my winner! The mustard/brown tones really compliment gold accessories and would look beaut with a golden glow on hols!
£17.50

So there we have it, all £20 and under - not bad eh! Let me know your fave <3

SJ
  
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Thursday, 1 March 2018

LFW goodies

Although I don't walk at LFW, (I have my short, and rather big, ass to thank for that) I was still lucky enough to getta hold of a #NevsFam LFW goody bag - woo! Now I think about it, I'd probably fall and make an even bigger ass of myself and end up starring in one of those rather unfortunate Youtube videos.. you know the ones! #RIPankles. 

So huge thanks to my Nevs fam for hooking me up with one of these! Did I mention the whole bag is completely Vegan.. pretty cool huh! Right, let's have a look inside.. 

Eco Glitter Fun
Did someone say environmentally-friendly glitter? HELL YAS! Ok, seriously, who doesn't love a bitta glitter? Especially during festival season, glitter is legit my go-to .. everyone loves to sparkle! But wouldn't it be nice to sparkle knowing that no fishies were hurt in the process.. I know I would! Ladies & Gents (no judgement) - say hello to Eco Glitter Fun! 

On a more serious note, who knew that glitter is polluting our oceans and killing our marine animals? - I gotta admit, I had never really thought about it before. So why not join me in making the switch to guilt-free glitter? Click here to visit their website for more info and glitters - you wont be disappointed!

Pulsin
So it's no secret that I lurvvv a Pulsin bar! If you follow me on Insta, (if not then get yo shit together) you would've seen these babies a few times! Here's the Vanilla, but I gotta tell ya the Mint Choc Chip & Orange Choc chip are just as good .. if not better! They're the perfect pick-me-up if I'm running between castings or off to the gym and need a quick protein fix!

Completely Vegan, this little bar packs a mighty punch - 13g to be exact! Did I mention that there are hampers available online? Yeah my birthday is in April, just in case you're wondering. 
Ooh and they have also just brought out a brand new range of protein powders that I am dying to try. If you have already, let me know what you think! 

Form Nutrition
I'm currently staring at the screen wishing I could eat these dreamy pancakes all over again. Ok, gimme a break, I'm no Jamie Oliver but they're so yummy and so easy to make with just 3 ingredients! (Recipe below)
But can we just talk about Form Nutrition for a sec.. if you're looking for a new protein then here's your winner! This is my go-to protein so I was super happy to find it inside. And it's Chocolate Peanut - my fave flavour, win win!
Not only does it taste amazing, provide 30g of protein per serving and is completely natural with no added sugar (a big factor for me when looking at protein powders), but with every product bought a meal is provided to The Family Feeding Fund at Bansang hospital in The Gambia too! What more could you ask for?

Protein pancake recipe:
Ingredients
- 1 Scoop Form protein powder (obvs)
- 1 banana
- 1 egg
Method
1. Place all ingredients in a blender and pulse until smoothe
2. Add a dollop of coconut oil into a frying pan and heat
3. Pour your first pancake..& cook! 

I love to top mine with some fruit & peanut butter - & voila, so easy! 

Click here to shop Form Nutrition products

Yogi Tea
I have become completely obsessed with herbal teas lately. I don't mind a good traditional cuppa, but I always end up dunking in a biscuit (or three) - so my solution is to switch it for a nutritional herbal tea. I don't know about you but the idea of dipping a digestive into a herbal tea just doesn't quite do it for me.

So who else woke up in Narnia this morning? Lol ok, Kent isn't quite like the scenes in the movies .. but it was snowy and wintry - so the perfect opportunity to try Yogi Tea's Women's Balance. With a light blend of lavender, thyme, liquorice and raspberry leaves, it's no surprise it won the Great Taste Award back in 2016. I'm already on my third today and it's a really great way to keep hydrated without feeling like you are forcing yourself to down lots of water. It also leaves me with a feeling of warmth and fullness, which also helps when I'm trying to cut back on snacking!

There are SO many varieties available on their website (click here), all of which are based on unique tea recipes from one of the world's oldest holistic healing systems - Ayurvedic medicine, developed over 3,000 years ago in India. Pretty cool, huh!

Natures Alchemist


Lets start with the lil baby on the right.. Well, there really isn't a better time for a hand moisteriser. I swear this -4° weather isn't doing my hands any favours and I can't be alone! With a winning combo of coconut, agave extract and dragon fruit and avocado oils this really is a dream! Is it just me or are some hand creams a bit overbearing with their fruity/sweet smell? Well, this one is pleasantly subtle with a refreshing scent of cucumber and mint - super fresh and nourishing.

Now onto the face mist. Two words for ya - refreshing and hydrating! Honestly it feels so nice to freshen up with a quick spritz whether you're commuting, travelling or just on the go. I can just see this being a handbag necessity in the summer months and a travel essential on my holidays! Like all of Natures Alchemist products, it's a combination of all natural ingredients, leaving your skin with a natural glow. Lavvly jubbly!

 Available in Superdrug stores.

Foreo's Luna Play Plus
That right here is the most exciting addition to my skincare routine since like forever! Perfectly portable and travel friendly, this little baby removes 99.5% of dirt and oil from your skin in just 1 minute - including dead skin cells and makeup. Ta-daaa! Hello soft, smooth and glowing skin! Oh and did I mention Kim K's a fan? *Mic drop* (lol)

Shop cleansers here

Ooh and it's worth noting that the Luna Play Plus is the starting cost price at £39. I would recommend giving this a go first before diving straight into the more advanced/costly options. It's surprising what this little fella can do - honestly, read the reviews! And don't forget ya batteries, can't imagine it does much without them!




So there we have it! Now excuse me whilst I indulge in some protein pancakes with a side of herbal tea followed by a quick facial cleanse and spritz. Lol, just kiddin' - I'm off to bed! Might have one more tea though...

Thanks for reading :)

SJ







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