Thursday, 25 April 2013

A Really Interesting Post

Some people are SO good at blogging about nothing, or the little things in life - I wish we were a bit better than that, but our 'nothing' weeks are SO BORING!! I literally can't think of anything to write to you that may be interesting to you. But I'm writing this post anyway, because we've been so boring/busy this month, it feels like we've hardly blogged!! So I hope you make it all the way through this post!

So... as of today, I've lost 20 lbs! I can't really tell that much, except my cheek size has decreased. Does anyone else measure weight loss in cheek size? I measure mine on a scale from 1 to chipmunk. It's a good place to get thinner though, because everyone's always looking at your face!

Anyway, obviously with the wedding next year I've had to get serious about this - which sucks because I love junk food and hate sweating - but I've really noticed an improvement in my energy levels, water consumption, lack of zitty face-ness, and that I'm better able to stick to it. But of course, I still treat myself at the weekends, because I'm not a monster!

We've started this 'sweating for the wedding' ritual - before bed each night, we do squats and crunches - we started with 30 crunches, and go up by 10 each day, and do half that amount in crunches. It probably doesn't seem much to people who love to exercise, but its a lot for us! Tonight we are on 190 squats and 85 crunches. THIGHS OF STEEL!

In sadder news, my lovely old girl Abby had two seizures over the weekend within 24 hours. She's on meds now and hasn't had another since, which is good, but I feel so awful for her. She's 13/14, so she's had a full life, but I just hoped she'd make it to August so I could see her one last time. We'll see!

How amazing was yesterday's weather? It was sunny and 18 degrees C here in London, so Sarah and I figured out how to meet in Hyde Park for lunch. Which is awesome because I still absolutely hate not being able to see her, and because I got a little sunburn! Woot! Today isn't quite as nice though - I can't at all wait for summer - summer in London is the absolute best!

We are going to the Brentford football game this weekend - it is the last of the season, and I am super excited. I don't always get football (for some reason I can't grasp how people can tell the offsides rule so quickly) and I don't like how low scoring it is (I invested 90 minutes of my life for a 0-0 score??) but I really like going to Brentford, which is my Dad's team, because I feel like a real Londoner :)

There is a fly in my office at the moment, which defies all logic - it's been warm for one day, dude, how are you already alive and annoying me??

France legalised gay marriage this week, which is wonderful!! I was really surprised at all the anti-equality protesters there though, I think of France as a romantic and accepting country, so was kind of shocked. Either way, its really wonderful! Definitely one of my favourite countries in Europe (mostly because of the cheese).

Speaking of cheese, I organised a rockin' cheese and wine tasting at work last night! 6 cheeses, 6 wines, lots of mayhem. It went really really well, if I do say myself, and I got to eat my weight in cheese, but I also learned that I full-on don't like wine. I thought perhaps I haven't found the right bottle of wine, but it turns out, 6 bottles of varying types, and I don't like any of them. I couldn't even finish the little bits I'd poured myself of any except the dessert wine, because it tasted like candy.

When everyone else was identifying the subtle fruits and flowers in the different wines, I couldn't taste anything except... what I assume battery acid tastes like. Mixed with water. And when we identified a celebrity that personifies the wines, and coupled them with the cheeses (it's an awesome idea, you come up with some hilarious couples!) I couldn't think of any celebrities - except maybe Chris Brown for all of them (awful).

I've never liked admitting I'm not a wine person, because I feel like I'll be judged for not being a proper adult (same with coffee) but I can no longer deny it - I only like tequila and gin. And Diet Coke.

And I'M PROUD!!! Kind of.

What is something you don't like that you feel like you should? Lets all admit it together, it'll make me feel less bad! :)

Woah, this was a random post.

Sunday, 21 April 2013

Date Night Review: Jersey Boys Show in London

Thursday night was an amazing reminder of how lucky we are. It's not something we forget but in the middle of hectic working weeks we sometimes forget to take a step back and appreciate the fact that we live in one of the most amazing cities in the world.

We have both always loved London in the summer - it seems to come alive with the lighter, warmer evenings and people seem more interested in having a good time than running to the nearest warm covered place. Thursday night was thankfully one of those warmer evenings.

Superbreaks had asked us to review Jersey Boys for them and having seen the show with my (Sarah's) mum last year we jumped at the opportunity. Seeing the show with my Mum had meant I was worried about her having a good time and looking out for her. Thursday was all about Laura and I.

We met in Piccadilly Circus, after taking various buses from our work locations, and grabbed a bite to eat on Shaftesbury Avenue. As the Prince Edward theatre (where the show is on) is so central in Soho, we had time to enjoy dinner and still get there at 7.

I am one of those people who hates being late but together Laura and I are always late! It's strange as Laura too hates being late and it's never intentional. In fact, we would both rather be early that late, it just never works out that way. I digress - we wanted to be there for 7, even though the show didn't start till 7:30 so we could check out the theatre.

The theatres in London are all so different and as we had sat in the balcony last time we only really saw down to the stage - still a great view of the show mind you! This time the seats we had were in the boxes - well kinda boxes - they were separate seats at the front of the dress circle. They were like being front row with the best view. We felt like the actors were looking right at us - it was incredible!

And what a show to see up close, in fact see from anywhere! From the opening line to the closing song we were on a rollercoaster - in a good way! Without ruining the show too much - the story is based on the true events of Frankie Valli and the Four Seasons- the highs, lows and drama from their creation to induction into the Rock and Roll hall of fame - and so you go from celebrating their successes to tearing up over the breakdowns.

We sang our hearts out the whole way through!

We were a little afraid that the gentleman we were sat next to might find us distracting / annoying / crazy but we chatted to him beforehand and when he told us this was 5th time seeing the show we warned him that we may not be able to resist singing and he said that was fine. In fact he was so kind that when he disappeared to get an interval drink he came back we the show's soundtrack and greatest Hits of Frankie Valli and the Four Seasons on CD for us! His kindness overwhelmed me to the point of tears. Only a little bit embarrassing!

It was a great end to an amazing evening. We hadn't heard much about Superbreaks previously but the way it was organised, the seats and the communication was all first class so we will make sure to use them next time we book something. If you are heading to London any time soon and want to check them out - the Jersey Boys the page is here:

Thank you Superbreaks and Jersey Boys!

Friday, 19 April 2013

What's a Pirate's Favourite Pattern to Wear?? Arrrrrrrgyle!

I'm SO excited - went to the hospital today, and got a great report!

My CNVM has improved dramatically (though they originally told me there was no chance of it improving, so thanks guys...) and I will no longer need to get eyeball injections!

They said the scarring will always be there as retinas can't heal themselves, but my brain will eventually adjust so I don't notice it as much when looking out of both eyes. I've definitely noticed an improvement over the last two weeks, in that I've used my eyepatch a bit less.

I have one final check-up six weeks from now, but they don't expect it to get worse.

Thanks for keeping me in your thoughts, you made this difficult month and a half much better - full of pirate jokes, and with much less upset than I thought it'd be :)

Wednesday, 17 April 2013

New Zealand - Feeling the Love!

When we heard the news about New Zealand we weren't at all surprised that they voted in favour of legalising same-sex marriage! We fell in love with the country- well the South island- when we visited during our time living in Australia - and the news that they now accept us and our love is just great.

For a small country the diversity in people and landscape is breath-taking. From beach to snow covered mountains, wide open sounds to fields filled with sheep, it was and still is, one of our favourite places! If you haven't read our post on our trip it's here: NEW ZEALAND!

Not only did the country vote in favour of same-sex marriage, they actually stood up to applaud when it was announced and then spontaneously started singing a Maui love song! We challenge you not to cry watching this:

We hope we get the opportunity to return at some point, but until then we will be happy to reminisce about how much we loved it and how happy we are that the gay marriage is now legal in a 13th country! Times are a'changing and we can't wait to see the country we live in be on the right side of history!

Monday, 15 April 2013

So Much Fun in London!

The week before last was more fun than we'd had.... for a long time. Perhaps since our Idaho/engagement/NYC adventure!

You see, it was the lovely Lauren's 27th birthday on April Fool's Day (no kidding!), so she and her fiancee Sarah came down to London to celebrate with us!

I know that my Sarah wrote a post already on the awesome pillow fight we had with them, but I wanted to also highlight all the other things we did with them!

When they arrived last Wednesday, we met them from work at the Big Easy in Chelsea. You already know all about how fantastically yum that place is (from our previous post HERE) and it did not at all disappoint. We ate ourselves silly, and had some delicious margaritas to help it all down! We then walked home to make a little room in our dessert stomachs. That's a thing, I'm sure of it!

Upon arrival home, Sarah and I presented Lauren with our Eton Mess inspired cake - meringue, whipped cream, strawberries, and marshmallows! It started off well enough, but the cream quickly slid off the side of the meringue, and it looked.... like this.


Luckily, Lauren didn't judge our failed attempt at birthday cake, and instead we all tucked in - it may not have been pretty, but it tasted AMAZING!!

L enjoying our 'cake'
Then L opened our prezzies, and we chatted until late.

On Friday, we got to go up the Shard with them, thanks to some fabulous planning by Lauren's Sarah! It was just breathtaking. We timed it for just before sunset, and somehow S managed to ward off the constant rain and cloud we've had for the last few months, and we were rewarded with so many beautiful colours, and an incredible view of London - we could see all the way out to Heathrow! (that's a long way, for any non-Londoners reading!)

It was gorgeous, romantic and wonderful - and we saw it all from the 72nd floor of the tallest building in Europe!

Afterwards, we took the girls to another of our favourite restaurants in London (see post HERE), Mother Mash. It was once again delicious, even for the girls, who are both vegetarian! They've got veggie sausages and pies, so we're all covered. We were 'Mmmm'ing throughout the meal (though that was mostly my Sarah, practically re-inacting that famous scene from 'When Harry Met Sally'!) and treated ourselves to a lovely crumble, as well as more cake when we were home.

L&S, & L&S
Even when we weren't out seeing the best London has to offer, we had so much fun at home, just chatting, watching TV and laughing together - they really are the best of friends.

See Lauren's post about her birthday week HERE!

Wednesday, 10 April 2013

Laura's Rogue Eyeball - An Update

Thought I'd give you all an update on my CNVM! Lucky you.

Last Friday, I went to get my first injection into my left eyeball, to hopefully stop my CNVM from worsening. I was SO nervous. Sarah came with me to hold my hand, and we both took the afternoon off work. When I arrived, I went through quite a few tests, while Sarah sat in the waiting room with the oldies - everyone there with my condition were in their 70's+!!!

After having my eyes dilated  photographs and all sorts taken of them, I went to see the doctor who would explain the procedure to me. 'Is the spot still there?' was the first thing he asked. I thought it was a trick question, of course it was!! He went on to explain that it looks like there has been improvement in my eye. The pocket which is there now has no liquid in it, which it did last time. The injections apparently are to remove liquid from the pocket, so there would be no point in getting the injection.

Dilated eyes
I breathed a sigh of relief, but also was quite annoyed to be told something different once again than previously. When I said to him that the previous doctor I saw said there was no chance of it getting better, he shrugged and said 'that's not right'. Great. I'm so tired of being told different things every time I go back! To be fair though, I think they didn't expect it to improve, it seems like my condition is not something they see often in young people.

Apparently, over the next few weeks, it could either improve more, in which case they won't do any injections and will just monitor me, or it could get worse again, and I'll go through with the injections. If it gets better, its likely I'll still always have trouble seeing out of my left eye, because there will be scarring. But if it gets worse, apparently I won't go completely blind in my left eye (preferable) but will have a blind spot like below. I don't want that!
Top left :(
One other thing, apparently the injections aren't covered by the NHS. Someone had applied for funding for me last time, but didn't, oh you know, TELL ME that I may have to pay for them myself, potentially twice per year for the rest of my life!! Not sure how that detail could have slipped his mind.

Anyway, as frustrated as you can tell I am, this is good news - keep your fingers crossed for me that by my next appointment on April 19th, it will have improved even more!

Sincerely, Eyepatch Magee

Sunday, 7 April 2013

International Pillow Fight Day 2013!

It's no secret that we love living in London. Furthermore it may not be old news that we love to try new things! So when our home city announced it was hosting its annual pillow fight in Trafalgar Square, we had to check it out!

As with most things, timing is everything - we realised that the pillow fight was happening on the Saturday that Sarah and Lauren were down as part of Lauren's birthday celebration and so we were already planning to head into the centre to visit Whole Foods at Piccadilly Circus. Except now we'd just need to take pillows with us!

I headed off to pick up the cheapest pillows possible with everyone else still tucked up in bed, so we were ready to go after breakfast. It turned out our trip up the Shard(that's another story), the night before, had worn everyone out so breakfast started at 10:30 - but after a round of 'McLauras' we were ready to go.

We arrived as the pillow fight was starting - it was INTENSE! My memory of pillow fights is that they were a fun, crazy light-hearted way to beat someone up :) What I don't remember is the mess or how hard it is to breathe surrounded by feathers! Within minutes all four of us looked more like chickens than people, covered head to toe in feathers!

Typical lesbians in our Converse... :)
There were two rules for this activity:
Don't hit anyone without a pillow
Don't hit anyone with a camera

As I had a pillow and no camera I was fair game for anyone and boy did I get hit! I got hit by Laura, hit by Lauren, hit by Sarah and hit by so many randomers that at times I had no idea who I was defending myself against! And it was a hard, physical work out! It was the first day the sun had shone in London for quite some time, and being out without our coats was liberating. The free feeling after the pillow fight added to that too. Who knew hitting strangers with pillows could release so much tension!

After a week that had involved more food than I can remember, a trip to the hospital for Laura's eye, an amazing trip up the Shard, another visit to Mother Mash for a delicious meal, filling our faces at The Big Easy with all you can eat fajitas and spending way to much at Whole Foods on a hot food box we are in need of a break from all this fun and yum!!

On that note we officially booked to head to Iceland in November! It had been a place on our 'to do' list  for 3 years after we pit-stopped there coming back from Idaho once. We never left the airport but we loved the country and were determined to come back and explore. Every time we see deals we've never had the money so we've always thought that it'll have to wait - that was until a Groupon deal came up last week! Lauren and Sarah booked the deal and then invited us to go with them - and it turned out that we had just enough in savings to be able to join. Bring on the Northern Lights!

In other exciting (wedding related) news we are almost there with our Save The Dates and videographer. We have decided on our photographer and are now in the process of sorting out how to change my name after a long discussion about what we are doing with our names post wedding!

Have a lovely week!!

Wednesday, 3 April 2013

What We Love Wednesdays: Whole Foods (An innermost thoughts rant, brought to you by Laura)

We are unashamedly in love with Whole Foods. Visiting numerous times with my parents in Boise, I was shocked to find out there are two locations in London! (Old news, I’ve been told, but new news to us!)

Us enjoying a WF lunch in Boise, and the much less impressive London entrance on the right. Cheese thrown in for effect.
So naturally, the brand-loyal foodies we are, we are going to take our besties Sarah & Lauren there for lunch when they come down to London this weekend. We’ll take them to the High Street Kensington location, which is apparently the biggest in the whole world! (woah.)

I find that every single time I go to lunch at WF I go through what can only be described as a full-on emotional journey. For those of you who have yet to experience the ready foods section at WF, it’s an entire floor of the most delicious foods ever, with a great variety – you pick up a plastic tub and put whatever you’d like in it. Simple enough, right?

Not for me (and I daresay everyone else!) – lunch at WF goes like this in my head.

Every. Single. Time.
‘OHmygod this is the best place on earth. I actually feel like crying, that’s how much I love it. I think this’d be what heaven was like, if there was one.’

I grab a tub and walk around the entire floor with it, trying to figure out my next move.

‘Oooh I want yellow Thai curry, ooh butternut squash stew sounds nice, oh my god Chinese food! Italian meatballs? YUM!’

All of a sudden my joy turns to panic.

‘I can’t just pick one! I want all of it, what do I get? Do I get rice with the curry, what goes with squash? Am I just wasting room in my tub if I go for filler foods? What if it all mixes together?!?! This isn’t heaven, this is hell – American consumer hell – too many choices, I am not good at choices - I CAN’T HANDLE THE PRESSURE!!!!’

I’ve lost it at this point, and decide to get a bit of everything I wanted, but no filler foods like rices or potatoes. It’s all in nice lines in the tub until I drop a meatball in there, at which point it kind of all mixes together to make a kind of Italian butternut squash curry.

I’ve shoved as much as I can physically fit into the tub in an effort to outsmart WF by getting more for the price of the tub.

….and then I remember that it’s measured by weight, not size of box.


I weigh my lunch on the scale which helpfully tells you how much of your hard earned wages you’ll be giving them today. £9?!?!?
Panicked, I look around me to see if anyone will notice if I put some of my food back. But as it’s all a bit mixed, I decide it’d be much too embarrassing to attempt, and if they’re smart enough to overwhelm me with choice, they’ll no doubt have security cameras everywhere. In my fragile state, I couldn’t deal with having to explain why there are green sauced mini corns in the yellow curry in the WF holding cell (I’m just assuming that exists at this point).

So I sulk over to the checkout counter, but the person at the till is so nice, and seemingly excited for me to enjoy my amazing lunch, that I feel a bit better about my food purchases. I know they’ll be delicious, after all, and perhaps I deserve to treat myself?

By the time I sit down to eat, I’m back to loving Whole Foods again – and by the second bite, I’m loving my odd mix of foods so much, I resolve to come back again next week.

Whole Foods, you’ve done it again.

Have you been through this roller coaster of delicious choice emotions, or am I just crazy and indecisive?