A FEW DAYS SPENT IN CARDIFF, WALES

A FEW DAYS SPENT IN CARDIFF, WALES

We spent a couple days in Cardiff recently, which was lovely. A friend invited us to her wedding and we thought why not turn this into a mini break. We’ve started to explore the UK a bit more, and really enjoy learning and discovering new places a little closer to home. Especially when we find those hidden gems.

Just a few minute walk from Cardiff City Centre, we stayed at the Mercure Cardiff Holland House Hotel & Spa which was very comfy and cosy. It offers a great spa if you fancy a day, or a few hours of relaxation, away from the hustle and bustle.

Cardiff is the capital and largest city of Wales, it’s the eleventh-largest city in the UK. One of the main tourist attractions is Cardiff Castle. When Queen Elizabeth II passed away a 96-round gun salute was fired on the castle grounds to mark every year of the Queen’s life. A 21-gun salute was also held to mark the proclamation of King Charles III.

Packed with so much history which spans around 2000 years. The castle has secret underground tunnels which were used as air-raid shelters during World War II, with room to protect well over 1,000 people. This part of the tour was our favourite. We walked the tunnel grounds whilst an audio played of air-raid sirens. It really made us feel as though we were taken back in time.

Inside the castle was just spectacular. With grande rooms, Victorian interiors and the best home library we’ve ever seen! It is said that the castle underwent a transformation carried out in the late 19th century, with some of the most lavish interiors in Britain, inspired by Gothic, Mediterranean and Arabian styles.

It also has nearly 150 acres of green space that surrounds the castle, and trees from all around the world.

We had the shortest but best time spent celebrating, eating, drinking and exploring. And we’ll definitely be back, hopefully for a longer stay next time.

Shelley & Michelle xx

PROUD CABARET ALL STARS

PROUD CABARET ALL STARS

If you’re in the UK and fancy an unforgettable night out filled with circus acts, burlesque artists and fire breathers then Proud Cabaret is the place for you. You can choose different shows to see from Cabaret Underworld, Drag Brunch, or Cabaret All Stars. We chose Cabaret All Stars and loved it so much, we went twice! Cabaret All Stars has a celebrity host to lead the stellar cast of performers. From boyband Blue’s Duncan James, Love Island’s Amber Davies, and actresses Denise Van Outen, Claire Sweeney and many more.

Cabaret All Stars is a Vegas-style show introduced to London’s West End, so be prepared for an unforgettable night out. Proud Cabaret have glamorous venues around the UK including Embankment, Brighton and Proud City, which is located in the city of London.

You can enjoy a delicious three-course meal whilst watching the show sipping on Prosecco, wine, or a cocktail of your choice. The seated burlesque entertainment usually starts from 7pm until 10.30pm. You won’t be seated for long, by the end of the night you will be up on your feet dancing along to great tunes sung by the celebrity host to close the night on a high.

Shelley & Michelle xx

OUR QUICK AND EASY CHOCOLATE CHIP CAKE RECIPE

OUR QUICK AND EASY CHOCOLATE CHIP CAKE RECIPE

As the weather begins to brightening up, and as cake lovers we thought what better way to enjoy the new season than baking and eating cake! Packed with gooey chocolate chips throughout, we chose to make our go to chocolate chip cake which is so easy to make and is perfect for any occasion. You could serve with a dash of cream or ice cream, as a sweet dessert, or simply lovely to enjoy with a cup of tea. This chocolate chip cake can also be made into chocolate chip muffins (see one of our previous posts).

Ingredients:

250g self-raising flour

2 tsp Baking powder

1/2 tsp Salt

1/2 cup of Milk

1 tsp vanila extract

200g Unsalted butter

200g Granulated sugar

3 eggs

100g chocolate chips

100g white chocolate chips

Method:

1: Pre-heat the oven to 200°F, then combine all of your dry ingredients which includes the salt and baking powder to the flour. Whisk through thoroughly so it has a smooth effect with no clumps.

2: Pour the vanilla extract into the milk. In another separate bowl add your butter and sugar, then whisk until your batter is light and fluffy. Next crack in your three eggs one at a time. The egg helps combine the mixture and also adds moisture.

3: Add a third of your dry ingredients into the butter and sugar mixture. Then add half of your milk and vanilla extract mixture and mix it in. You want to alternate the dry ingredients and the milk and vanilla mixture until it’s all eventually in, and mix with your hand mixer. Your batter should look smooth and creamy.

4: Now it’s time for the chocolate chips. Put a fare amount of both chocolate and white chocolate chips into your bowl. But leave a little bit of your chocolate chips to the side to add at the end. Begin to mix so your chocolate chips are thoroughly distributed into the mix. Next pour your batter into your greased baking tin. Always make sure you have greased your baking paper before adding your batter, as it prevents your cake to stick. After placing your mix evenly into the tin, sprinkle the last of your chocolate chips on to the top.

5. Lastly, place your mix into your pre-heated oven for 30 minutes, or until a tooth pick inserted into the cake comes out clean and not sticky.

Shelley & Michelle xx

5 WAYS TO KICKSTART A HEALTHIER LIFESTYLE IN 2022

5 WAYS TO KICKSTART A HEALTHIER LIFESTYLE IN 2022

Invest in yourself: Always make time for you, it may sound a bit cliche but not taking care of yourself won’t give you the ability to be your best self in everyday life. This is easier said then done, as the days can disappear before our eyes so quickly… I mean we are at the end of January already! Try and find ways to show yourself some love and keep your stress levels down, whether it’s getting your hair done, buying that new outfit or a piece of jewelry you’ve had your eye on. Retail therapy can be a good remedy to feel good. Lastly investing in your wellness, for example vitamins is a good way to get through those long winter days. We have a lot of vitamins and minerals in our foods, but if you are suffering with those January blues and needing that extra boost, invest in the vitamins you need to help give you energy.

Make time for sleep: Getting enough sleep is one of the most important health benefits ever! It reduces stress and improves your mood, leaving you refreshed and alert for the day ahead. Without enough sleep the brain cannot function properly. A healthy sleep also helps the body remain healthy. It’s not easy for us all to drift off to sleepy land straight away and to get in the recommended six to nine hours a night, but if you try getting into bed at a decent hour most nights, and making it a point to shut out all the distractions such as phones, you may see a difference. Enjoying a hot bath with your favorite bath salts is a great way to help sooth the muscles, unwind and clear the mind. We love spraying lavender mist on our pillows before sleep which helps get us to sleep quicker. If that’s not for you, you can never go wrong with a good book before bed.

(Photo credit: Susan Wilkinson)

Choosing healthier food options: We’re not fans of diets and tend to eat what we want and also enjoy, all in moderation of course! If you are watching what you eat then the best way to monitor this is by evaluating the time of day you have your meals. We find that when we make time for breakfast, lunch and dinner we snack less during the day. A substantial breakfast is not on the cards for us every day due to busy mornings. When on the go grab that banana or fruit pot so you don’t miss out. Try eating at fixed meal times daily, this will help control your hunger. Just have fun with your meals, we are foodies and like a variety of different cuisines. Experiment more in the kitchen and bring fresh tastes to your dining room table.

(Photo credit: Claudia Soares)

Exercise: Being able to fit the time in to even get to the gym a few times a week is a miracle. So when life gets hectic, being physically active throughout the day helps. You don’t need to hit the gym every day to burn calories, deciding to take the stairs over the lift, taking a half an hour brisk walk at lunchtime. And even try a ten minute quick Yoga and Pilates session first thing in the morning or just before bed at the end of the day. Sticking with this routine will keep your fitness levels on track.

Mind and soul: We all have our own way to de-stress, clearing the mind is also important for overall health. Learning to switch off from your day fully is a mindset, to achieve this, you can meditate, pursue a hobby, listen to music and watch a great tv series. Why not treat yourself to the cinema or theatre. Put yourself first, when you try to do that you will feel happier and be able to tackle whatever life throws at you.

Shelley & Michelle xx