Author Archives: parisrachael

Things To Do – May

May

With work being super busy with travelling, I won’t be in the City that much for the next month but I’ve managed to find a few things that I want to try cram into my free time.

Shaun in the City: I’ve been trying to walk home some nights after work, either all the way or at least some of the way and I’ve come across several differently designed ‘Shaun the Sheep’s’ which looks really cool. There are 50 sculptures across London to find. You can even download an app (costing £1.49) to help you find all the sculptures which makes it really interactive. This makes this a perfect day to spend in London following the trails and seeing some sights at the same time. And it’s all for a good cause as the Wallace & Gromit’s Children’s Charity is a national charity raising funds to improve the lives of sick children in hospitals across the UK. All of the sculptures will be auctioned off later in the year to raise even more money.

London Transport Museum Friday Lates: I’m not the most cultured person in the world and whilst I like going to the odd museum, I’m not in one every other week. But when you add entertainment, drinks and most importantly food, my interest rises through the roof for it. Lots of museums in London tend to have later opening times mostly on Friday’s and put something extra on. I really want to go to the London Transport Museum where they have film screenings, quizzes and music. Tickets are £12 each. More info here.

Outdoor Sport: I’ve spoken about this before but I am really getting into more exercise over the past couple of weeks. Something that I’m really keen to get into even though I am shocking is to play more tennis. There are a couple of parks near me that have tennis courts and it’s really simple to book a court, just choose the hour you want, no need to be part of a club so it’s super easy. Tennis rackets will be going on my birthday list! I found a useful website here that will help you find local tennis courts:

Outdoor Bars: As we look forward to the summer months, I think London changes and its nice to sit out and look over some spectacular views with a pimms of course. Timeout have done a great top list of the best places to go found here. The addition I would make is the Searcys One New Change which is near to Bank Underground where you can get a view of the Shard and St Pauls Cathedral.

Have a good May!

Advertisements

Making time for sport

Trainersongrass

Now that the days are getting lighter and I’m feeling like doing more after work, I’ve been really wanting to do more exercise. I’ve always loved sport at school and university, and realised that I was starting to really miss it. I’ve been doing the weekly park run but since I’m away lots of weekends, I rarely do it 3 weeks on the trot. It made me think back to when I was doing my GCSE’s and I spent an hour doing badminton every Monday and I felt so much better about all my work after I had exercised and chilled out with friends. It’s such a little thing to do that makes such a big difference.

And the best thing of all is that it doesn’t have to cost the earth. Yes, you can join gyms for around £40 a month but I’ve managed to find something different. I’ll be honest, I’m not that into these different classes like Zumba and Pilates, I still don’t know what they are despite taking part in them both! I like sports that I get my heart buzzing instantly and I can feel the workout. so I was looking for circuit classes. And I found it with a running club, that mainly focuses on running but also has a circuits class every week. Whilst I do a bit of running, I decide to mainly use it for just the circuits class. But the best part is that it costs £8 a month for membership, so if I only take part in circuits once a week, its £2 a session. And so worth the money!

I think its much better than a gym membership because they tend to be smaller, its the same people that go every week so its just like meeting up with a group of friends to hang out. Everyone is so friendly and its something that I look forward to. And the guy who runs it, is basically like your personal trainer without the extortionate cost! So what to do to find these places? Well either do a quick google about your local area or visit http://www.getactivelondon.com. You can enter your location and sport that you’re interested in and show all the local clubs available to join!

I challenge you to join a local sports club, it’s an avenue for a stress relief, some exercise of course and a chance to meet new friends!

Hotel Etiquette with Work

Hotel Etiquette

Within my placement, I’ve been spending a lot of time travelling around the UK. One course meant that I spent a week in Manchester with two other grads. Whilst I was there, there were certain things I learnt about hotel etiquette!

Balanced Breakfasts: The buffet breakfast was pretty overwhelming in our hotel, fruit salad, cereal, danish pastries, cooke breakfast and the opportunity to order poached eggs on toast! I had breakfast in the hotel for 4 days, I started off with the full english with a sausage sandwich. Amazing food! But let me tell you, by the end of the week, I was feeling pretty unhealthy and all stodgy so remember to keep it balanced!

Inventive lunches: Now I know I’m talking about food again here but it is so important… Given that we had to eat out everyday for lunch, I wanted to go a bit further than the £3 meal deal at Sainsbury’s. I got quite inventive with Moroccan cous cous with added chicken, freshly baked bread with mini hummus pots and a mini quiche with a prepared salad pot. Not a stale sandwich in sight!

Take Advantage of all the Facilities! There was a swimming pool, jacuzzi, sauna, steam room and a gym but I didn’t spend much time in the gym. I managed to go for a swim everyday after the training course before we all met for dinner which meant I at least attempted to balance out all those sausage sandwiches…

Mingle: There was a large group of 16 people on the course and I was already friends with three of them. We all went out for dinner together each evening so make sure you make an effort to sit next to different people each night so that by the end of the week you are one big group and not lots of little groups that don’t talk to each other!

Lines that don’t cross: During the week, we spent a lot of the time all together which means you become very close. But under no circumstance does this ever mean it’s a good idea to hall creep into your colleagues bedroom! Just never!

All of this seems pretty simple but thought I would just line them out anyway. Enjoy your time away if you go away with work. Make the most of it!

Monthly Challenges

I’ve come to realise that I love having projects on the go outside of work and this is something that I’ve struggled with since moving to London. My first desire would be to completely redecorate the house I’m living in and buy lots of new furniture and do it up but since I’m in rented accommodation, this isn’t so easy. I also get bored of doing the same thing for long periods of time so I thought of setting myself a monthly challenge each month. Something completely different to the next. In March, I decided to challenge myself with watching a different TED talk each day, of you don’t know what a TED talk is a global conference with the main aim to spread ‘ideas worth spreading’ usually in the form of short powerful speeches by a range of different people. These topics can stretch from social entrepreneurship to science to ways of living. So over my 30 odd videos that I’ve watched I thought it would be great to share some of the great ideas I’ve watched over the last month.

1.  Hackschooling makes me happy Link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=h11u3vtcpaY

Hackschooling

A 13 year old Logan LaPlante talks about what he wants to be when he grows up. He talks about his hack schooling, a new way to learn and achieve his goal in life. It’s a really interesting way to think about living that’s really easy to take bits and add into your own life. One of the things that Logan talks about is spending at least one day a week outside all day, something that makes me happy.

2. Kelly McGonigal: How to make stress your friend Link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RcGyVTAoXEU

stress firned

An interesting talk to listen to especially right now when the amount of responsibility I’m getting at work is beginning to increase more and more as I’m no longer seen as the new grad and I’m beginning to be expected to work at the same level as everyone else in the office. It talks about how stress is a good thing and not a bad thing, there’s even some scientific proof so definitely a good video to watch!

3. Simon Sinek – Start With Why: Link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IPYeCltXpxw

Simon Sinek - Start With Why

This is a cut down version of the talk but it communicates the key idea so well. I’m naturally interested in this since I’ve always had a love for marketing and communication. It’s what I love most about TED talks – extremely simple and obvious once you’ve watched it!

Things to Do – April

April

With April just around the corner, I’m looking forward to the Spring weather and all the bank holidays included too! Here’s my top things I hope to be doing over the next month to see the lighter days in.

Unseen Tours: Since it’s lighter in the evenings, I really want to do more things after work exploring the City and what better way to do that than to go on a walking tour of an area in London. However Unseen tours come with a twist, each tour guide is either homeless or has been homeless in the past and with Unseen Tours they are able to share their own stories and the history of the streets that they have potentially lived on. There are loads of tours in London and if you had to do just one, this would be the one I chose for the individuality and the inside stories you get to hear. Tickets are £10 for adults and they have tours in Covent Garden, Brick lane, Shoreditch, Camden and London Bridge. For more information click here.

Just in case you hadn’t clocked yet, Easter weekend is only 5 days way from the time I’m writing this. Most Easter related events are aimed at children but this doesn’t mean to say I don’t want to have some fun too, so I’ve been trying to find some events adapted for the 20 year old plus kids of the world like me and I think I’ve found it in the form of Rabble Easter Egg Hunt. Apparently, for this hunt you need stealth, strategy and speed in order to be successful. Expect dodgeball and ‘quid ditch’ style games as opposed to the gentle run around! More information can be found here.

The other favourite thing about Easter is the long 4 day weekend, I value 4 days off immensely and it feels like a lot longer than just 4 days! Given that we have extra time to usual, I recommend taking this opportunity to get out of the big smock and head to the outskirts of London and even venture outside the M25. My top pick is Windsor, it is a beautiful town with lots of little shops and bags of character without forgetting the big park that is simply stunning! You can get to Windsor from London Paddington in just half an hour so there really isn’t any excuse not to go!

Since the days are getting lighter, I plan on working earlier and finishing earlier so that I have more time to explore the City after work. And to do this I also want to improve my photography skills so that I know what all of the buttons on my camera do apart from the auto button! Therefore I’ve been looking for photography day courses that aren’t ridicicuously expensive. I’m still doing my research but have found this one so far which seems the best of the bunch. More information here.

The final thing I’ll be doing this month is getting myself down to watch the London marathon with my own eyes instead of watching it on TV. I’ve always secretly wanted to take part in the marathon and perhaps seeing it for real will either persuade me to sign up there and then or put me off it for life!

Whatever you do in April – make sure you enjoy the warmer weather.

Just Alice – Film Review

Just Alice

This week I went and watched Just Alice at my work’s film club. It’s amazing, it’s only £2 and you get free snacks and wine, a much better deal than any London cinema. *Don’t worry – no spoilers*

Just Alice tells the story of a intelligent professor and Mum who finds that she has early-onset Alzheimer’s Disease. Undoubtedly, its a subtle film following Alice as she deteriorates over her life time and how her relationship between her and her family changes. Alice is played by Julianne Moore who I thought was excellent, the irony of Alice being a linguistics professor juxtaposed with her now discovering forgetting words is really gripping. And whilst there are some points that really open your heart and sad, I feel that it could have delved into the emotion and heartache of the relationships between Alice and her family. Also, it ended when I was totally unexpecting it, in a bad way. It didn’t feel finished, you didn’t see the despair with the family, it just sort of ended.

I would call this film average, despite some strong moments within the film that nearly bring you to tears, it doesn’t grab you as much as it could have. I felt like it had a lot of potential but wasn’t used. It really was ‘just’ average.

New Work Wear

I’ve just changed teams at work and begun my new placement, one of the biggest advantages of a grad scheme is that you get the chance to reinvent yourself for every placement and try out a new style in terms of working style and clothing! So I took this opportunity to do some shopping! My aim was to buy some things that would smarten up my wardrobe. I want to experiment whether dressing smarter will lead to my colleagues taking me more seriously, sometimes I struggle being so young and a grad. I’ll let you know how I get on!

I first headed to Deichman to get some new shoes and I walked out with two pairs! The first pair are an updated version of my old black shoes to wear with just about everything, I love the shape of slipper shoes as I hate being able to see my toes in ballet shoes. They are really comfortable and are a black faux leather as they were only around £15! Link to shoes

IMG_1093

The second pair of shoes are heels. I often don’t wear heels to work but I think it’s a very easy way to make any look smarter even if I’m wearing black jeans and given that these were also just £15 I just couldn’t resist! I’ve always wanted a pair of grey heels and I’ve finally found them, plus they aren’t too high so I can still balance on the crowded tube! Link to shoes.

IMG_1092

I then headed to Primark and picked up this interesting jumper, it was £12 and is a light woollen material with a sheer back that I thought was a bit different. It also has a faux collar so it still looks smart. I plan to wear this with some black cropped trousers, adding a statement necklace would make this look more put together.

IMG_1099 IMG_1097

In Warehouse, I found these pair of blue trousers for a pricier £38. I’ve been trying to find some more trousers for ages that aren’t black and are a bit different but will also go with a lot of the workwear that I already own. They are a very light material and are fairly high waisted so love the way they fall especially when you have your hands in your pocketsI I think the belt detail makes them something justifiably different. I definitely think they look best with a plain top tucked into them unlike the pictures on Warehouse’s website – I don’t think they do the trousers any justice at all! Link to trousers. 

IMG_1096IMG_1095

Finally, I headed into Accessorize because I had being eyeing some of their rings for a while now. And I got a bit carried away buying one set of 4 rings that are all fairly vintage-y looking, I absolutely love the simple bow that is midi ring if that’s what they’re called! I love simple jewellery so most of these pieces are actually quite bold for me! But the main reason I’m trying to wear more rings is to try make my hands look more feminine as I have such manly hands! All together, these five rings were around £17 so not too bad considering the price of other things in Accessorize. Link to rings Similar infinity ring here.

IMG_1103

I’m all shopped out now until next months pay day! Enjoy your weekend.