Sunday, 25 September 2016

Juice Kitchen Chelmsford | They are Juice Geeks!

I went along to meet Richard, the mastermind behind Chelmsford's swanky new Juice Kitchen, I really wanted the chance to get to know the guy who wanted to fill the gap in the market in the town by giving us not only something much needed but also different. Chelmsford is full of chains, we have all the usual suspects, Starbucks, Costa, Nero, Pret..... the list goes on. What we really lack in the town is independent and unique vendors providing something a little different. Luckily Richard spotted that Chelmsford would welcome an idea such as his eagerly.

Juice Kitchen, chelmsford, essex
Juice Kitchen, Chelmsford

In 2015 Richard dreamt of opening a juice bar and set about looking for the perfect location, after some time he came across the disused bank at the top of the high street and envisioned what he could do with the vast space. In the summer of 2016 his vision started to come together as his team gutted out the old bank and turned it into the open, clean and modern space it is today. He has paid particular attention to the staff at Juice kitchen, he has selected all the individuals based on their personable attitude and talents in their field to make the eatery something really special.

Juice Kitchen, Chelmsford

I sat with Richard for almost 2 hours talking about his decision to step away from his previous career and take a leap into something new. Wanting to provide the local community with good healthy food and drink choices was something close to Richard's heart after suffering from ill health himself and turning his eating habits around to get himself back on the right path.

Juice Kitchen, Chelmsford
Chocolate brownie at Juice kitchen, chelmsford, essex, gluten free

As more and more people are making conscious decisions to look after their health by eating better, we seem to be moving away from the junk food trends and instead opting for good honest healthy food, Juice Kitchen is definitely at the forefront of that for the town. Currently you can pop in for a freshly pressed juice or smoothie made from local ingredients, or get your caffeine fix from their wide menu of Lavazza coffee, you can even have it made with almond milk! They offer lots of options for lunch as well from wraps to salads all prepared with fresh ingredients on site in their kitchen. Soon you'll also be able to grab your breakfast from Juice Kitchen as they are working on their fantastic menu which will include breakfast pots which will be a god send for those of you running to catch their early morning train because they are early birds and are open from 7am.

Fruit compot and yogurt, juice kitchen, chelmsford
Juice Kitchen, chelmsford, essex

Richard is passionate about creating food for everyone so they have put thought into providing options for people with dietary needs as well as offering vegan friendly food as well. Their is such a wide selection to choose from whether you are looking for a meal or just a snack they have it covered.

healthy snacks at juice kitchen, chelmsford
juice kitchen chelmsford

Behind the scenes a lot more is also going on; with big plans to make their healthy food so much more accessible, they have been setting up lunch time delivery with some of the local businesses, because we know so many of you eat your lunch al desko! But don't worry if you don't work locally because they also have meal prep options available as well for those of you who are too busy to be able to make yourself healthy meals. You don't have to live off the dreaded microwave food when you can have delicious and healthy food prepped for you by Juice Kitchen. All you do is pick your protein from a list including honey and coriander salmon, vegan mixed bean falafel, or lemon & basil chicken, add in your carb such as wild rice, herby cous cous or sweet potato wedges and a side like broccoli, or grilled mixed veg and you've got yourself a healthy meal all ready to go. Meal prep prices start from £3.50 per serving for bulk orders, so now you have no excuse not to eat well!

Juice kitchen ethos

They are also offering Juice Cleanse packages if you want to benefit from a detox and kick your body back into action. You don't have to go the whole hog if you don't want to, the options are flexible and you can do a one day juice cleanse right up to a 5 day cleanse.

cold pressed carrot juice, juice kitchen, chelmsford

Juice cleanse, juice kitchen chelmsford

Richard wants to take a charitable approach with the Chelmsford business by giving back to the local community and supporting something that is also close to my heart by working with Essex based homeless charity Chess. Juice Kitchen will be providing the coffee and bacon butties for the annual sleep out in the Cathedral grounds to raise money for the charity taking place on November 25th.

Richard has a very giving nature and will also working with the charity this year to provide a hot meal and warm place to sit and eat for up to 50 homeless people on Christmas Day. This is an incredibly admirable thing to do, especially for such a young business. Whilst most people will be tucked up in their warm homes opening their gifts, Richard's team will be working to feed some of Chelmsford's many homeless. I think you'll agree that Juice Kitchen is setting a great example and is just the sort of business we need more of in our town!

If you're interested in their juice cleanse or meal prep service ping them an email for more details on

Juice Kitchen
Chelmsford High Street

Tuesday, 20 September 2016

Crafting Collaboration with Gem's Country Life

This post encompasses two things for me, there have been studies that show that crafting can help with depression. The concentration needed for crafting can help produce a natural high and create feelings of happiness and calm, this is definitely something I need in my life. Social connections are also another factor for happiness, people who have good friendships and live in tight communities often live longer happier lives.

Blogging brought Gem and I together, without it we would never have met. I am grateful to have found such a wonderful friend through our hobby. Being in similar circumstances in our personal lives has brought us closer and means we have an understanding of where the other is on an emotional level and can provide support.

Autumn garland

Bringing friendship and crafting together creates an all round therapeutic environment, then if you throw in wine, pizza and plenty of tea and biscuits you have the makings for a perfect afternoon! Gem and I each picked a project and kept it a surprise, I chose an autumn garland made from old book pages, string and mini wooden pegs, Gem chose a watercolour painting.

Rustic autumn garland

Whilst the Cricut was cutting out the leaves from the book pages we stuffed our face with pizza and doughballs and then set to work on making our garlands. I love Autumn and really like the idea of decorating my home with more natural rustic colours which is why I chose to use string, wooden pegs and brown card to make the garland. I'm really happy with how it turned out and can't wait to put it up.

watercolour canvas
watercolour paints

A couple of weeks ago Gem and I spotted these cute watercolour canvas kits in Hobbycraft so I was really happy that she picked these for us to do.

I'm really happy with how my canvas turned out and it is now sitting proudly on my sideboard in my living room.

Getting together with a friend to have a chilled day of making things is really fun, so grab some great food and get crafting. After all, it's good for your mood!

Wednesday, 14 September 2016

Jane Means Pop Up Store Launch

I was lucky enough to attend the launch party for Jane's new pop up store in the beautiful clifton nurseries, this was my first visit to the picturesque nursery nestled behind a little walkway in the tranquil streets of west London. This was also my first time meeting Jane and she was one of the friendliest people I've ever met, she has that rare quality of being able to make you feel like you are so special within seconds of her greeting you. She is a born hostess with the mostess, and it was mesmerising to watch her mingle amongst so many people and put a smile on their face. She is definitely a woman I aspire to be more like.

Jane Means pop up store, clifton nurseries
Jane Means pop up store

The store itself is like a playground for anyone who loves ribbon, cards and gift wrapping items and is beautifully decorated with so much attention to detail. The pop up store will be open until Christmas so it's the perfect opportunity to get down there and stock up on goodies to make your gifts look extra special this year!

Jane Means pop up store
Jane Means pop up store

I would love to attend one of her gift wrapping workshops and could even think of a certain man that could very much benefit from being taught how to wrap something without using an entire roll of sellotape to do so. Too many of us are too eager to stuff a present into a gift bag, when taking the time to wrap something with care and make it look truly beautiful is almost as important as the gift itself.

Jane Means pop up store
Jane Means pop up store
Jane Means pop up store

Clifton Nurseries
5A Clifton Villas
W9 2PH

Saturday, 3 September 2016

Cinema under the stars

It's been a bit of a tradition of mine to watch a film outdoors every year in the summer, since the trend first emerged about 5 years ago it's grown at an epic rate and now you can watch a movie pretty much anywhere. From parks, rooftops to floating in a dinghy you can find a movie being screened in lots of unusual places.

I was lucky enough to be contacted to say I'd won free tickets to the screening of Purple Rain at Rooftop Film Club at Roof East in Stratford. I was so excited by this because since going to Roof East to play crazy golf I had dreamed of going back to watch a film under the stars, and unusually enough I did see a couple of stars in the sky which is rare for London.

Rooftop film club, roof east, London

We arrived at the top of Stratford shopping centre in plenty of time of the film so we could enjoy a couple of drinks from Spirited Mixers and get food from Rockadollar. For two days I had been fantasising about their amazing fries, their crispy, golden, crunchy little morsels of heaven in every bite. When I went up to order, they were sold out!! I could have had a breakdown on the spot, I had been looking forward to them so much! Sadly I had to settle for nachos instead but the guy from Rockadollar is a top human being and made me laugh so much I felt better about missing out on my much awaited fries.

When it approached 8pm we made our way over to the screening area that is gated off with a cute little picket fence, we were given our blankets and strolled in to nestle down in a rather large deck chair. I loved watching a movie whilst being surrounded by high rise buildings, there is something special about it. It reminded me of my first ever outdoor movie in 2011 on the roof of the Queen of Hoxton which is another perfect, almost romantic spot.

Roof East Stratford

My tips for watching outdoor movies are to wear lots of layers, even though its summer you won't necessarily get a really hot evening and nothing puts a dampener on your time like being really cold! If you go to a park venue where seating isn't provided make sure you take your own in the form of camping chairs or similar. Trust me it's not fun spending the night sitting on the floor on a picnic blanket because you just can't get comfy. Other than that, cosy up and enjoy the outdoor film experience!

Rooftop Film club have viewing still for the next couple of weeks, so if you haven't already enjoyed a movie alfresco you still have time. I really recommend it, especially The Queen of Hoxton because it's a smaller building and is surrounded by taller office buildings which at night provides a really lovely view.

Thursday, 25 August 2016

My V experience & 10 things I learnt about festivals

I had never been to a festival before, I'd always dreamed of going but was put off by the cost. This year I threw caution to the wind and bought a weekend ticket to V.

Michelle Louise Love

I went in not knowing what to expect, I was a total festival virgin! My first impression when I arrived was how "real" the girls looked. This may sound like a strange thing to say but I'll elaborate on what I mean, in this day and age we are surrounded by airbrushed photos in magazines, and perfect celebrities on TV which quite honestly for a lot of us makes us feel shit about our-self. I often see girls on TV that look like they have flawless bodies, but being a V and seeing huge numbers of girls wearing shorts and dresses flaws and all made me realise that the things I am always bothered about my own body weren't as unusual as I thought. Don't get me wrong, there were girls there that were quite clearly blessed with good genes and had perfectly smooth toned thighs, but there were a lot of girls that had a little cellulite and a little wobble when they walk and they seemed to be comfortable with who they were.

I loved that it felt like a free place where girls of all body types could don a pair of shorts and not be judged, it's not something I've seen in every day life but it made me feel a little more comfortable in my own skin. Girls are prone to cellulite and not everyone is a size 6 or 8, not all girls have a thigh gap, or perfect boobs so it was really refreshing to see people's little imperfections and realise I am not alone and these things are all natural.

Jess Glynne at V festival 2016

I discovered boys will be boys no matter what their age and some will always act like idiots! They don't always know how to handle their drink and will quite often have way too much and find it hilarious to be falling all over the floor in a paralytic state. Festivals will attract people from all walks of life, and you will have to put up with boys gobbing on the floor and peeing in the corners and generally acting gross!

Michelle Louise Love, V festival

There will be more rubbish on the floor than you will have ever seen before, I personally was utterly shocked and found it quite sad and a bit disgusting to be wading through rubbish. There were hardly any bins for those that actually want to put their litter in one. Not that I think many people would use them anyway sadly. I felt immensely guilty putting rubbish on the floor despite being surrounded by everyone else's.

If you don't fancy being pushed, shoved and generally crushed then don't attempt to get to the front of the crowd. Lesson learnt here, on the Sunday I wanted to get closer to the stage to see Rihanna and although we weren't really close to the front it still made the experience a little less pleasant for me. People are in much closer proximity when you get further towards the front and the chance of getting stuck right by some drunkard that keeps elbowing you in the ribs becomes highly likely! I spent the majority of Sunday night being shoved in the back, having cigarette smoke blown in my face and getting generally irritated by stupid people shouting obscenities like "Rihanna sit on my face!" it seems that v festival certainly attracted some questionable people and there were a lot that lacked basic morals and decency, funnily enough quite a few of these sorts of people were more than happy to barge their way right to the front knocking people over as they went! So if like me you don't have a lot of patience for things like this then it may be better to stay a little further back in the crowd where the people are a little more chilled.

Falafel flatbread, V festival
Halloumi burger, V Festival

There's a lot of people who think it's entertaining to throw bottles into the crowd, not giving a shit about the poor sod it might whack in the back of the head! This really bugged me, and it wasn't one o two bottles it was lots that were flying across the horizon over the crowds heads hitting some poor unsuspecting festival goer as they made their crash landing. I just couldn't understand the type of people who would do this because the way I was raised that sort of thing was NOT ok!

V Festival

As if the chucking of bottles wasn't horrendous enough, some revolting individuals actually pee into said bottles and then throw them into the crowd. I still can't even believe this is a thing, when Gem told me I stared at her in disbelief thinking she was winding me up. Sadly she wasn't and people did actually do it, I just can't get my head around anyone wanting to do that to other people and question the type of upbringing they must have had to even contemplate throwing a bottle of urine! This another reason why it's safer to be mid to back of the crowd.

Your feet will ache like never before, you probably won't sit down much all day long so the heels and balls of your feet really take a bashing. I felt like a cripple at the end of each night and taking my boots off was almost as painful as keeping them on!

V festival 2016

You're going to be ripped off for everything you buy once inside the festival, from drinks to food to rides you are going to pay through the nose for it all. £8 for a tiny burrito (that wasn't even that nice) £6 to go on a ride and £10 to have a little bit of face paint put on one corner of my face. You need to go with plenty of cash and just accept the fact that it's all going to be uber expensive.

The excitement of seeing the bands and artists walk on stage is amazing even if you don't really like them that much! The atmosphere from everyone else around you is contagious and before you know it your hands will be in the air and you'll be dancing along.

The toilets will quite possibly be minging, and may be out of loo roll so remember to pack tissues. Always start queuing when you very first feel like you could do with a wee because by the time you reach the front of the queue you might be crossing your legs doing a jig trying to hold it in. If you wait until you really need to go it could end in tears!

V Festival

Festivals are an amazing experience, but you very quickly need to figure out the tricks and where you fit into the whole scene. Not everyone is cut out for the mosh pit covered in someone else's urine, sleeping in damp clothes in a tent covered in mud not having washed for 3 days. For some of us we are more suited to rocking up in the afternoon, chilling towards the back of the crowds safely away from flying bottles enjoying a little more personal space, listening to the music and then heading to the comfort of a shower and a bed for a proper nights sleep. We are all different, and there is no point in making yourself miserable trying to be something you're not, because the immense cost of a festival ticket with just seem like a huge waste of money if you don't follow your heart.

Festival season may be coming to a close for another year. But I can promise now that I have found what I am comfortable with, I will be purchasing tickets for a fair few for next year, along with accompanying hotel room bookings because I'm not really cut out for a weekend spent sleeping on the ground and no showers.

Have fun festival goers!

Thursday, 18 August 2016

Turtle Bay | The caribbean comes to Chelmsford

Chelmsford is having a serious makeover at the moment, new restaurants are popping up all over the place to temp peoples taste buds and the latest to join the party is Turtle Bay. Located right outside the exchange entrance to High Chelmer shopping centre which provides plenty of space for outdoor dining. Turtle Bay is a welcome addition to Chelmsford, variety is the spice of life and we were screaming out for something different in town. Turtle Bay certainly brings summer energy into the dullest day, when you step inside, the eclectic mix of lighting and decor transports you to a crab shack on the beach and you can almost feel the cool Caribbean breeze blowing through your hair. The smell of spices and BBQ fill the air and the music pumps through your veins.

Turtle Bay Chelmsford
turtle bay, chelmsford, restaurant, caribbean food

The cocktail menu is in my opinion one of the best things about this place, its extensive with 15 different drinks to choose from and they are fresh and new not the same old stuff regurgitated.

one love cocktail, turtle bay, chelmsford

Turtle Bay really manages to bring soul and good vibes into restaurant form, when you step inside you can really feel a very unique energy, a real party atmosphere that makes you want to drink a little too much! Good for their bank balance, but maybe not so much for yours.

one love cocktail
cocktails, turtle bay, restaurant, chelmsford

There's a large choice of different food that should hopefully suit most palates, just remember majority of the dishes will come with a slap around the face from the spice! Even the spiced chocolate pot came with a huge serving of chilli that my friends were less than impressed with, so order with caution and only if you like it hot!

I have to say the Run Down one pot was delicious; brought to the table in a rustic looking pot with a couple of dumplings on the side. Inside a spiced coconut stew is sweet potato, butter beans, carrot and pieces of corn on the cob all served with a hearty portion of rice and peas!

Caribbean food, turtle bay, chelmsford
run down one pot

Turtle Bay adds a little bit of sunshine and spice to Chelmsford and is well worth a visit or two! If you check it out let me know what you think?

Monday, 15 August 2016

Crazy Golf at Roof East

I spotted the crazy golf course on top of a building in Stratford and decided I had to go!

Roof East occupies the space on top of the original Stratford shopping centre, they have created a chilled out recreation space for Londoners to enjoy, with roof top cinema, a bar, food stalls, ping pong tables and a 9 hole crazy golf course.

I sat outside Stratford station waiting for my friend to arrive being bothered by some random man asking me if I liked fashion and wanted to swap social media links with him. I was pretty glad to spot my friend and escape the barrage of questions, not to mention the smoke from his cigarette that was encompassing me!

We entered the lift on the ground floor and ascended all the way to the roof top, upon stepping out we were met with a security guard who wanted to check our bags and he spotted a muffin that I had bought and not yet eaten and insisted that I had to leave it in a box by the entrance or eat it before going in! I understand that they don't want people bringing a picnic and pitching up to enjoy the view but I thought he was taking it a little far to confiscate a muffin! So a word to the wise make sure you have nothing in your bag you don't want to lose, even a bottle of water isn't allowed!

birdies crazy golf, roof east, London, roof top golf
Birdies crazy golf, roof east
Believe it or not it was actually a really hot day, just very stormy looking.

The roof top used to be an open car park, so the worn parking bays of its former life remain on the ground, the space has been decorated with quirky old cars now living out their days as elaborate plant beds. Spirited Mixers provide the bar service, and although busy you don't have to queue for too long to get a drink. They have a good selection to temp you into having one too many and have a list of cocktails on offer. They also have neat little chip and pin machines so you don't have to come loaded with cash which is always a bonus in my book, the never carry cash queen!

Roof East, Stratford

The view over Stratford is wonderful, especially as the sun goes down so I would recommend sticking around into the evening, but why wouldn't you, it's a great way to while away the hours and with food, drink and music on offer whats not to stay for?

Birdies crazy golf

The atmosphere is super chilled, and it seems that most people are pitched up for the whole day so tables and chairs are a scarce commodity, I suggest if you see one free you run for it and tackle anyone who gets in your way.

spirited mixers, roof east

The golf course itself wasn't as impressive as I thought it would be for its £9 price tag, in my opinion it could have been a little larger in size but it was fun none the less. There are handy tables at each hole so there's always somewhere to put your drink whilst you take aim and most importantly somewhere to lean when writing down your score! Whoever said its the taking part that counts probably always lost! ;)

It didn't take us long at all to complete the course despite there being people in front of us it all moved fairly quickly. Because there was just the two of us we progressed with speed and all in all it took us about 20 minutes in total.

roof east, roof top golf, London, birdies

Rockadollar dogs was our eatery of choice and man was it good! Their chips are triple cooked to perfection and could quite possibly be the best chips I've ever eaten! Their cheesy dog was also amazing even though it's quite possibly a heart attack waiting to happen.

Rockadollar Dogs, roof east, london

All in all we had a pretty good afternoon and I do plan to go back before the summer is over, I highly recommend it.
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