Last Friday, a friend and I managed to get ourselves tickets for Django Bango, the awesome wild west themed pop up bar in London.
Photography copyright: Breaking Point Flix

I was very excited because I love anything pop up and contemporary/new/very ‘in’ and I love everything that’s themed too. Choosing our outfits was simple – I just wore a chequered top I’d bought recently off of Vinted, jeans, my boots and a cape that my brother always tells me makes me look like Clint Eastwood (cheers bro).
The venue itself was easy to find and get to, but upon approaching, we weren’t too sure. It required walking down a near empty street into, well, what looked like a warehouse in a dodgy looking car park. But we persevered. We know from past experience that the coolest things are usually found in the weirdest places, so we ducked inside, ushered through the vintage games arcade and found ourselves in the wild west.
They’d really paid attention to detail. With mini bars and ‘barns/houses’ throughout (that could be rented for the evening), we quickly explored. We were delighted to know if we checked in online (which we always do regardless) we’d get a free shot, so we redeemed our delicious Cactus Shot (Amaretto, Tequila, Apple, Lime), ordered a bunch of food (hot roast burger with these cool hard garlicky things – lolz – and cowboy nachos – omigod I’m drooling at the thought of it all, it was all so delicious) and went in search of somewhere to sit down.

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My only qualm here was that although you could book and reserve rooms for you and your friends, this was mainly for larger groups (small groups and even couples could book rooms, but it works out cheaper having a bigger group obviously as you can split the cost, as there was just two of us it seemed pointless) meaning that for the smaller groups it was hard to find somewhere to sit. There were a few public areas which we later found, but it might have been nice to have somewhere right by where the food was for ease. We ended up ducking into a house and sitting at what may or may have not been a reserved table – who knows.
Despite this though, it did make it easier to meet new people and get talking, so perhaps this is a good thing.
What I loved about Django Bango was the attention to detail and how much was going on – as well as a food court and two bars, there were also games you could play, people walking around in character and even this awesome all-female band who played some really cool covers. Everyone was up and dancing and it was a lovely atmosphere.


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 We got a bit photo happy with all the arrows and such…and please excuse my shiny face, I’d just been for a facial that morning!

The people walking round in character were hilarious, at one point my friend and I were sitting on some hay bales and she took a photo of me, only for the saloon window doors behind her to swing open and two cowboys make us jump out of our skin, before telling her not to take a photo as I was so scared I’d probably sh*t my pants, HA. They were very funny, it was nice to have characters come round and engage you in conversation.
With so much going on, we were worried we’d miss half of it! But overall it was the perfect Friday night – kicking back with some friends and exploring and relaxing in this alternative setting. Everyone really made an effort to dress up too (so many fake moustaches) and the band were a lovely touch, turning the venue from a laid back quirky bar into a more upbeat almost-night-out.
Very fun, and something I’d no doubt return to if running again (or before it stops running at the beginning of April).

What do you think? Will you be making a visit to Django Bango before it’s over? Let me know!

Django Bango | For the Good, The Bad and The Hungry


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Earlier today (well, when I wrote this post anyway, which was, er, boxing day, so a long time ago now…), I slid into my gallery seat (I would thoroughly recommend choosing gallery seats if you’re ever at an IMAX. Free soft drinks, nachos and popcorn? It’s well worth the extra five pound or so) and braced myself for one of the biggest films of not only 2015 but perhaps the century overall.
Yes, I finally got around to watching Star Wars.

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Let’s set the scene a little here.

I quite like a sci-fi movie, enough to call myself a geek and be proud of it. I grew up watching Star Trek but kind of hated it until the movies with Chris Pine were released, and I adore anything that J.J. Abrams marks his stamp on.

But Star Wars? 
I wasn’t a fan. I fully appreciated the fuss around it all and had watched bits and bobs from the movies throughout the years, maybe having watched just one full one from start to end. At the back of my mind, I’d always wanted to sit down and watch them all in one go but had never gotten around to it.
So although I was really happy to see the new Star Wars, I cant say I was as psyched as I could have been. But when the opening scene started, with that iconic music and the text rolling on the screen, I couldn’t help but feel both excited and appreciative. 
I definitely felt swept up in the atmosphere of being able to see this huge block buster movie, a film that people once thought wouldn’t carry on for any more movies. I mean, the first Star Wars was released in 1977, way before my time, and I never really ever thought another one would be released in my lifetime, if at ever at all.
I’m not really sure why I thought that, considering they’d have to do another movie in my lifetime if they wanted the original cast.
But I digress.
Anyway. I really felt the excitement and I loved – still love, really – that people were so pumped up – it’s so cool! And even though I was never a fan, I was totally pumped up too.
As it turns out, for my first ever full showing of ANY Star Wars film, I was blown away. It was way better then I expected (I don’t know what I expected really). It was witty, intriguing and drew me in.
Plus, it stars Harrison Ford.
Enough said.
By the end of the film I was a converted fan and swore to myself that it was about time I sat down and watched them all.
I won’t have time to do it all in one go obviously, but much like my B-List Horror Movies Challenge, if I’m gonna do this, I’m gonna need a lot of snacks and whilst I’m at it, I might as well blog about it too.

And why do I think it will be fun? Well, much like that famous quote about a zombie apocalypse, there are two types of people in this world. People who have seen Star Wars and people who haven’t.

For the most part, im the latter. I know little to nothing about the films (so my notes should be at least amusing) but I’m also a total film geek, so you’ll also read about me appreciating the films.

And plus it helps me. When I watch Star Wars: The Force Awakens again when it’s out on DVD, I’ll understand it more and won’t need to pester my brother or dad by constantly asking ‘who’s that’ every two minutes.

Win win.

So here’s my second challenge of the year – to watch all of the Star Wars franchise and let you all know how I get on – whether that’s a blog post after every movie or an eventual post summing up my experience of the movies overall. 
Wish me luck, and may the force be with me..!
Oh, and obviously, if you haven’t yet already, go and watch this damn awesome movie. Whether you’re a fan or not.

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I know this post might seem contradictory – the whole idea of working out is to just get off your arse and do it, as opposed to being sat at home on your phone. But in such a modern world where there is an app for everything, I thought it might be helpful to share with you my favourite fitness apps.

These are apps that have help motivated me, help me plan my work outs and generally get more of an overview of *that* part of my life.

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GYMJAM
GymJam is a really useful app that kind of sums up all gyms and classes near you. This one I’d use more if it listed the classes along with my local gym – Puregym – but Puregym has it’s own app for classes so that’s okay. It’s really helpful because it’s all in one place (generally) and includes classes that aren’t part of a gym – so for example, there’s a local park near me where people run and this app lists running classes, timetables and facilities at all close-by gyms too. I’m still getting used to it, but so far I’d recommend it if you’re looking to switch things up a bit and do more than just what your gym offers – such as swimming, a run in the park, or a random other class here and there.

ZOMBIES, RUN
I have spoken about this many a time before, so I won’t go into detail, but this is still hands down one of my favourite fitness apps. And better yet – it works. The general premise is that you’re in the middle of a zombie apocalypse and you listen to this app on each run. Each run reveals more of the story in brief intermissions between your music, and yes, zombies will sometimes chase you, encouraging you to speed up. It’s really fun and different, and there’s a 5k app you can download to help train for their virtual 5k race coming up too. I recently downloaded this add-on 5k training app and I’m considering taking part! This app is so, so good and I cannot recommend it enough.
 
MAP MY FITNESS
Map My Fitness is a little like My Fitness Pal. On the whole, I do really like it My Fitness Pal, but not the elements of tracking your food. I found it tough to record what food I’d eaten and how many calories everything is, as I have home cooked food sometimes and to be honest, I find it quite confusing. So for a while I stuck to using My Fitness Pal just for the work out element, until I found Map My Fitness which does exactly what I need it to. You can log food, but it isn’t a huge part of the app. It’s such a fab way to just keep track of everything and as a bonus, it can be used with Bounts (see below), whereas My Fitness Pal cant.
 
BOUNTS
Bounts is great motivational app that rewards you with points for working out. So genius! It takes a while to rake up enough points to actually get an award, but it’s still a great idea. The only thing I don’t like about it is that it’s not yet partnered with Puregym which is my local gym – however, I do believe there is a way to still gain points by checking in. I’ll get back to you on that front. Overall, a great way to motivate you to get benefits from your fitness.

SPOTIFY
Okay, it’s not strictly a fitness app but it’s still necessary because everyone needs music when working out. I tend to listen to more upbeat rock music, but Imagine Dragons, You Me At Six and The Blackout definitely feature on my Apocalypse Now play list, created to listen to when running with the Zombies, Run! app..!

Do you use any apps like the ones above to help with your fitness? What ones would you recommend? Let me know with a comment!

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So, after taking part in Veganuary this year, you might be wondering what’s next for me following this challenge – aka will I be/have I stayed vegan. 
Well, the short answer is no.
Sort of.

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No, I haven’t stayed vegan. As anyone would (except for maybe those who had gone veggie first and transitioned into it), I found going vegan hard and did miss meat. Not as much as I thought I would, but I think what I missed most was the home comforts.
I missed Friday night curries with my dad and my brother (and sometimes other family members) – a tradition that had been in our family for years. I missed my dad’s roast dinners – trust me, you haven’t had a proper roast dinner till you’ve had one made by my dad. His roast potatoes are to die for. And, finally, I missed pizza.
Not really a home comfort, but I do love a pepperoni pizza every now and then as a treat to myself or when I’m feeling down.
What did I not miss? Pretty much everything else!
I mean I missed proper cheese and that, but I found with my vegan cheese I wasn’t really missing out on much. My dad bought a KFC the other day and I’ve discovered I’ve gone off KFC completely. McDonalds I’m in too minds about – I did miss it, but not as much as I thought I would and it’s not as nice as I remembered.
And how has it affected me, eating ‘normally’ again?
Well physically I don’t feel much different, but I’ve noticed I am bloated more again and I do feel more groggy after eating lots. As in, when I had a big hearty vegan meal, even if I felt stuffed, I felt…ok. But when I pigged out after Maccy D’s the other day, I’d eaten way too much and felt sick. Maybe it’s just that I’d eaten more, but the general gist of it is that I definitely felt better in myself eating vegan foods.
So what now?
Well, the general plan was always to take a month off to stuff my face with all my favourite foods to congratulate myself for lasting that long. I’m so proud of myself.
But, the easier being vegan got and the better I began to feel in myself, the more I was tempted to carry on.
So, I’ve decided to kind of be a half vegan. 
Yes, that’s a thing.

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I haven’t quite worked out the complete plan yet but generally I’m leaning towards maybe just eating meat at weekends, or now and again. The only thing I’m worried about is wanting to eat a bit of meat during lunchtimes at work – a ham and tomato sandwich for example, or some salami in a wrap. I struggled a lot with thinking of different lunchtime ideas that were vegan, so this is something I’ll have to look into more.
I do feel that by incorporating a vegan diet into my lifestyle as much as possible, I’m still doing good.
Before all this, I thought vegans were really strict. They’re not. To be vegan is to try but to be accepting if you accidentally eat a bit of chicken in what you think is vegetable spring rolls (*raises hand slowly* that will teach me not to read packaging properly). It’s about trying to incorporate a healthy and vegan diet into your lifestyle as much as possible, but not being so strict that, if you’re finding it hard and end up giving in for a chicken nugget or whatever, it doesn’t automatically mean you have FAILED and you’re a bad human being.

Basically, if your intentions are good, your still doing a hell of a lot better than most.

I read this fab post explaining it and found myself agreeing completely – and feeling less bad about my decision.


So, in conclusion, Veganuary has taught me a lot by myself and a lot of it will stay with me. I’ll be incorporating a mostly vegan diet still (perhaps 85%), but, long term, looking to introduce being vegan back into my life completely.

And I’ll without a doubt be doing Veganuary again next year.

What do you think? Would you ever consider being a ‘part time’ vegan? Let me know!

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I have a little secret.

A ‘bit on the side’ if you will.
This affair has been going on monthly – sometimes weekly – for the past few years or so now. I don’t always have time for it regularly but if I’ve had a busy month, I always make sure I dedicate one full day to this secret.
But now the cats out of the bag and I know I’m not the only one.
Sometimes, I date myself. And sometimes, it’s the best day ever.

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Dating yourself is a fairly new concept (at least, the name is) which is on board with the year of zen – eating healthy, working out healthy and generally learning how to love yourself. 
And it’s about time too. Who’s going to love you when you’re single? You’ve got to get that appreciated feeling somewhere! So why not from yourself? Why not sit down and appreciate yourself – treat yourself to that giant greasy pizza you’ve been saying no to for the past month, or book yourself in for a relaxing spa treatment.
A day spent dating yourself? It does wonders.
Here’s the best way to have a solo date this Valentines Day, without even leaving the comfort of your own home (barely. Maybe.)
10am: Get up. Or not. I’m a firm believer of a lie in on the weekend, but Saturday is usually the day I sleep in the latest. Since I get up between six and seven most mornings, 10am is a lovely time for me to get up on a Sunday because it involves a bit of a lie in but also getting up early enough to do stuff with my day.
11am: Make breakfast – and then take it back to bed with you for some Netflix or to read a magazine. I usually enjoy some avocado on toast whilst catching up on New Girl. Alternatively, if you’re being good and still on a health kick, an hour of relaxing yoga wouldn’t go amiss on a Sunday morning. Yoga is great because it’s an all body workout, but it doesn’t feel like it. It relaxes you too.
12pm: Some lunchtime ‘dating’ activities can involve reading a new book, calling a friend for a catch up and a gossip (and yes, I said call, not text or Whats’app) or going on a walk. This might sound stupid, but when I was with my ex boyfriend and things were going to shit, one of the few things we did together that actually felt really nice was leaving our phones at home and walking to the local park for a slow stroll around, holding hands and catching up. This can work when dating yourself because it’s appreciating nature or just having some peace and quiet away from whoever you live with and social media. Alternatively, take your iPod out with you to listen to your favourite music. (Yes, iPod’s still exist).
1pm: Catch up on things that need doing – but only enjoyable things. It’s usually on a Sunday afternoon that I like to catch up on blogging, even if that just means reading other people’s blogs and commenting. I find myself most inspired to plan and schedule content on a Sunday, and more likely than not, I’ll use this time to take any photos I need to – when I can use lots of natural light.
2pm: Give yourself a manicure. It took me a long time to realize that doing my nails last thing before I went to bed at night on a Sunday just wasn’t working. Do it early and get it out of the way so you can a) see the colour properly and be a little bit neater with the natural light and b) don’t have to rush waiting for them to dry. Just kick back and stick Netflix back on whilst you’re waiting.
3pm: Plan for the month ahead. No, I’m not talking about the boring stuff like bills and budgeting but the fun stuff. Scour the internet for whats coming up – cool pop up bars in London, quirky film showings or bar openings – fill your diary with lots of fun stuff to do.

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4pm: On that note, plan your outfits for the week ahead too. It sounds boring, but once you get into it you’ll enjoy taking the time to experiment with different looks and this will make sure you remember accessories and such too. Monday morning you will thank you, and you’ll feel ever so stylish.
5pm: Dinner. Really treat yourself here. Take your time cooking a delicious meal you know you enjoy, one with tons of flavour or..order in. Yes, you’re trying to be healthy. Yes, a giant big fat Domino’s pizza is bad for you. But it’s Sunday. And life’s too short to not treat yourself to bad and greasy but oh so delicious takeaway food, even if it’s just one Sunday once a month.
6pm: Relax with a movie of your choice, and don’t even feel guilty for what you choose. So what if you pick a corny romcom over Making a Murderer – no one will know and there’s nothing wrong with not wanting to think. My favourites are What’s Your Number, Ghosts Of Girlfriends Past and 17 Again. They’re corny – but they’re my guilty pleasure.
7pm: Do some online shopping. You know you want to. If you’ve got that urge but not enough cash to splurge, why not just treat yourself to something little like something from Accessorize or Paperchase. Or, alternatively, order your food shopping for the week ahead. Again, it might sound boring, but it’ll make you feel great planning healthy meals in advance.
8pm: Take a long, hot bath. A really long one. With bubbles and candles and a stack of books and magazines to read. And don’t get out until you’re beyond wrinkly.
9pm: Pamper yourself. You’ve done your nails, but nows the time to do all that stuff you forget to do in the week, like moisturise all over, pluck your eyebrows, put on a face mask. Give yourself some self maintenance, but feel relaxed when doing so.
10pm: And finally, get an early night. Or just stick on Netflix again and eventually fall asleep at 3am after back to back episodes of Gossip Girl…
And there we have it – how to successfully date yourself in 12 hours this Valentines Day. Self love is so very important – even if you are in a relationship – and there’s absolutely nothing wrong with switching off social media on a Sunday and focusing on just YOU for the day. In fact, I believe the world would be a better place if we all took the time to do this…  

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