Banana Tree – Milton Keynes

I recently went to a beautiful restaurant in town called Banana Tree which is a Thai inspired restaurant.

I did that classic thing of intending to take photographs of the beautiful food then remembering after I’d started as I was so hungry! However it was simply gorgeous and took some control to stop for a photo!

I didn’t snack on any of the prawn crackers as they’ve got a bit of spicy-ness to them, I highly recommend this place if you like spicy food too. They have a lovely Green Curry that’s got a little kick to it.

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Oh my goodness the Pad Thai, was simply to die for. This was so incredibly mouth-watering and delicious. It originally comes all separately with a little card that suggest you mix it together to enjoy it at its best. It also come with a little side order of prawn crackers. I had mine with a chicken and prawn mix.

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I ordered a side order of their satay sauce, for no other reason than I love it, this was really good as I used it to dip the big prawns in, I then drizzled it over my remaining noodles and it was divine!

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I would seriously recommend that if you like Thai food and have a Banana Tree near you that you go check them out. I will certainly be going back to visit them soon!

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Fudge Kitchen

While in Bath we dropped off into a fudge shop called Fudge Kitchen as it was just far too inviting not to!

The gentleman in there was making some at the time and boiling it down in the storefront window. He was incredibly chatty, gave a nice welcome and was a great salesman!

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They had a nice little selection to pick from and let us have as many samples as we wanted to try. Personally I didn’t try any, I’d eaten bad enough that weekend as it was but I have a family of fudge lovers and wanted to take some home.

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They had an offer of 6 for £20 which I thought was a bargain, mass-produced stuff local to me is about £3.99 a bag let alone hand-made slabs!

So I picked four and a couple of the girls I was with picked one each.

I walked away with Double Chocolate, Traditional, Vanilla and Salted Caramel.

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I adore the Traditional and Salted Caramel.

I found the Vanilla slightly too sugary for my tastes a shame as its one of my favourite flavours/smells.

The Double Chocolate is sinfully rich and butter soft.

I would highly recommend walking away with some of these on your visit, especially the Salted Caramel if you’re a fan of it.

K

Bath Series – Pump Room

Our final trip during the Hen Do weekend was a bit of tourism and afternoon tea. We had a look round at the lovely shopping streets, the river and at the buildings. Bath really is a stunning place and I’d love to go again to hike and take in the sites.

We went to the Pump Room for our afternoon tea which is a grand room, with lots of tables, live music, chandeliers and very old paintings. This is how an afternoon tea should be done, unlike my last one!

We were seated by a waiter who was very good at his job. We each ordered the standard afternoon tea, I had a drink called Totally Minted with mine as it was a very hot day but there really was dozens of tea options.

We chatted for a little bit before a lovely platter was brought out with enough of everything for one each. We shared between three.

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The sandwiches were delicate and fluffy, the fish souffle pot with the toast was stunning, I wasn’t a fan of the savoury scones but I never am.

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The scones were fantastic, a plain and a raisin with clotted cream and strawberry jam. I’m not a huge fan of clotted cream but this one was surprisingly nice!

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I love, LOVE fresh cream strawberry tarts and this one had crushed hazelnuts which made it even more amazing. The glazed profiterole was filled with a tart strawberry/raspberry cream, nice but very strong, I didn’t have the chocolate one but was told it was quite similar to tiramisu. The little macaroons were very well done, I pinched the green one.

It was £22.50, well, well worth the money and I highly recommend visiting if you’re in the area!

K

My Town

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We have a very large cineworld in our town centre. This has the options of 2D, 3D and 4DX. There’s also a popcorn, hotdog and nacho stand. A loose sweet section and a Starbucks. I love going here so much that my parent’s gifted my partner and I an ulimited card each for Christmas. This was also where I experience my first 4DX film, Age of Ultron, and I loved the experience.

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The shopping centre is very large and has pretty much everything that you need. It’s got high-end such as Micheal Kors down to things like H&M. Shops for everything that you could need so you really can go to just one place for everything, very convenient.

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The Milton Keynes Theatre is somewhere that I go several times a year, there is nothing quite like seeing a live performance and I for one love catching a show, from fun things such as CATS to more dramatic things like Dirty Dancing and the real laugh of the Full Monty. Great night out!

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We have a few different lakes in Milton Keynes, however my favorite is Willen Lake. This has a glorious large lake to wonder around, a pub/restaurant, a park, a climbing frame and is beautifully packed with extra’s in the summer months.

Do you have specific places in your own home towns/city’s that you love to do? Link me your favorite places!

K

 

Courgette Loaf + Raw Nuts

I decided that I wanted to make a courgette cake, I have very fond memories of it from a co-worker and desired to re-create it at home.

I found a recipe online, simply typed in healthy courgette cake and it came up with dozens.

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Ingredients:

  • Butter for the tin
  • 2 large egg
  • 125ml vegetable oil
  • 85g soft brown sugar
  • 350g courgette, coarsely grated
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 300g plain flour
  • 2 tsp cinnamon
  • ¼ tsp nutmeg
  • ½ tsp bicarbonate of soda
  • 140g sultana

Method:

Heat oven to 180C/160C fan/gas 4. Butter and line a 2lb loaf tin with baking parchment. In a large bowl, whisk the eggs, oil and sugar, then add the courgettes and vanilla.

In another bowl, combine the remaining ingredients with a pinch of salt.

Stir the dry ingredients into the wet mixture, then pour into the tin. Bake for 1 hr, or until a skewer inserted into the centre comes out clean. Leave to cool, then serve, or freeze for up to 1 month.

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Result:

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It’s gorgeous, I would highly recommend eating it fresh and warm from the oven with a cuppa.

I also made two recipes from my Naturally Sassy book. This is a great book for raw, healthier, cooking and baking. Highly recommend buying it.

Peanut Coco Balls:

Haven’t tried these yet but will update when we do!

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I also gave a second whirl at the peanut butter cups. They we’re much prettier and successful the second time as the ingredients didn’t scare me as much!

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1st Attempt
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2nd Attempt

Guess the photography set up is improving a little too, huh?

K

Health

I have been looking over BMI scales and ideal weights. I know the old NHS BMI scales are flawed now as they don’t take into account that muscle weighs more than fat. However I’m pretty sure I have minimal muscles, so I’m going to see what sort of weight I should be. NHS BMI Calculator

I am 5’1 and I weight 13 stone, according to this I should weight in the region of, 6.7-9.3, this feels like a huge drop in weight (4 stone at the least) but it also makes me think about the implications that having this extra fat is doing to my body.

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We have Rheumatoid Arthritis (a chronic progressive disease causing inflammation in the joints and resulting in painful deformity and immobility, especially in the fingers, wrists, feet, and ankles) which in our family, mainly centered in the knees.

My knees already ache/click and I’m thinking that the extra weight is really speeding up the possibility of me developing this early. This isn’t a thought that brings comfort, it makes me feel that the burger I sneaked on a Wednesday night was not worth it.

I am however trying to think really positive about the whole situation. I don’t want to punish myself for eating bad in the past and making this a really negative life change.

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My eating is very attached to my emotions and I want to make this into a change that I can carry on through my adult life. I don’t want it to be a ‘diet’, I want it to be a new habit. I have been reading a lot of Inthefrow blog and the lovely Victoria has an incredibly positive and healthy outlook on her attitude to life. I highly recommend you look at her blog, the effort she puts into each post is astounding.

I’ve particularly been reading her Advice section which is really inspiring and has helped me to see that I’m letting a lot of outside influences effect my own inner being, that its dragging me down and I need to learn to brush off other peoples negativity and hate, to really focus on repairing my own confidence.

This is a reason why I’ve been trying so hard to cook so many more things at home from scratch. I’ve recently learnt how to make Chicken Katsu Curry, Chicken Teriyaki and have been trying out healthier home made pasta sauces, to try and stop consuming so many calories and MSG additives. I was gifted a lovely cookbook by MrGuine for Christmas and cannot wait to try the recipes in there either.

Have any of you been struggling with your weight and self confidence lately, if so how did you make the change, have you yet, will you?

K