London Leopard ♥

Sunday, 30 June 2019

30 by 30 Bucket List ♥


I turned 25 at the start of this year. Although I've been enjoying my 20's there are still so many more things I would like to experience before I turn 30. I don't expect to achieve everything on this list, and I have crossed off some things I have already done.

1. Get a facial

2. Visit New York
3.Get a leg or bikini wax
4. Go wine tasting in France
5. Volunteer abroad
6. Get a tattoo
7. Visit Israel
8. Get a degree
9. Create something with macrame
10. Visit Japan
11. Fly in a hot air balloon
12. Do a healthy cleanse
13. Go for a spa day
14. Buy a homeless person a meal
15. Ride a segway
16. Go cheese tasting
17.Get married
18. Visit Brazil
19. Get a driving licence
20. Join a yoga class
21. Vote
22. Visit a European Christmas market
23. Stay in a 5 star hotel
24. See the Olympics in another country
25. Do a boudoir photo shoot
26. Go on a safari in Africa
27. Do a charity walk/run
28. Sleep in a capsule hotel
29. Visit Morocco
30. Go for afternoon tea

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Saturday, 15 June 2019

How I Make Sauerkraut ♥

Sauerkraut is very popular in central and eastern European cuisine. I first tried it in Germany and then in Poland. It is basically fermented cabbage and tastes very sour as a result. It is very good for your digestive system and contains many healthy bacteria. After doing a bit of research on google and YouTube, I figured out that it really isn't that hard to make. All you need is cabbage, an airtight mason jar, and some salt. Now...as usual I don't ever weigh ingredients so this is not going to help someone who is precise. 
                 Method:

Step 1: Peel off 2 leaves and chop up the cabbage as thin as you can. (you will need the 2 leaves later).

Step 2: Add salt (the amount varies according to the size of the cabbage. 1 tablespoon is usually enough).

Step 3: Massage and knead the cabbage. It will start to soften and produce a liquid brine. 

Step 4: Pack the cabbage tightly in a mason jar including the natural brine liquid. It is important that the cabbage sits below the brine. If there is not enough liquid then add a little bit of water. 

Step 5: Add the 2 leaves on top of the cabbage to keep it submerged below the water. Some people use small weights or a big rock to keep the cabbage down...but I have never needed to do this. 

Step 6: Seal the jar and leave to ferment. They say that the minimum amount of time you can leave it for is 3 days. Some people leave it for months or even a year. I have made it a few times and personally enjoyed it the most after 3 weeks of fermentation. 


You should also know:

- It needs to be kept at room temperature (roughly 20 degrees Celsius)

- You may see bubbles...it's normal and usually a good sign.

- You may see yeast. This is usually an indication that you didn't use enough salt. Or that the temperature of the room is too hot. 

- Mould will grow if you do not keep the cabbage submerged below the liquid. 


🍴         🍴          🍴             🍴         🍴            


                                                                                  llondon leopard
                      xoxo


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Monday, 27 May 2019

Bouncing Around Bristol ♥

We just had a bank holiday weekend in England (3 day weekend). I could not afford to fly out anywhere abroad because I have just started a new job. So I decided to book a domestic day trip instead. I haven't really explored much of England so I thought...why not do a day trip?. I managed to bag myself a £16 return coach journey to Bristol. 

Just before arriving I saw these colourful balloons floating in the air. So after getting off the bus, I went back and retraced the bus route to find them at Cabot Circus. Bristol has a hot air balloon festival every year in the summer...maybe I will come back to see it one day. 


By the time I reached the city centre it was midday and time for brunch. I always try to eat proper English food when I travel outside of London. So I found this restaurant chain called "pieminister" which sells pies. Mine was a chicken and mushroom pie, with mash potato, crispy onion, and mushy peas. 


After stuffing my face with pie, I did a 20 minute walk to Bristol Harbour. I found a cheese shop along the way but didn't feel like buying any. The harbour is very different compared to any others that I have seen abroad. It really does make you feel as if you are in the 1900's. There is still a train track and I saw a steam train pass by (probably to transport tourists). 



 There was a museum along Bristol Harbour called "M Shed". It's free and tells the story of Bristol and how it has developed over time. I found this display about slavery very interesting. 


 It started pouring with rain so I had to take a detour. There was a cafe called "Sprinkles Gelato" selling coffee and cake for £3.50! how cheap is that? In London a cup of coffee on it's own is £3.50. So I thought I would stick with the English theme and order a slice of Victoria sponge cake. I began writing in my travel journal as I was waiting for the rain to calm down. 


When the rain calmed down, I took a 35 minute hike up some VERY steep roads to reach Clifton Suspension Bridge. It was well worth the hike because this view was beautiful. The area was also very nice full of little independent boutiques. 


Behind me is the Clifton Observatory. I think there are also caves underneath as well. I didn't bother with either of these because I was on a budget, and I have seen enough caves in Europe. 


I like these colourful houses...


Looking like the olden days. If only our food could be this fresh nowadays...
 Okay so I really enjoyed my first "domestic solo travel" experience. Brexit may mean that I have to do a lot more of these trips within Britain. May Bank holiday is over, so I guess it's back to work in the morning.

                       llondon leopard
                             xoxo






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Sunday, 5 May 2019

Cities I Did Not Enjoy


Venice

1. It is very expensive... like ridiculously expensive. For example a 1 day travel card is 20 euros!.

2. Venice also has the worst food in Italy, I don't know what they serve but it's definitely not Italian. I ate in a place full of locals and the food was still not great.

3. Venice is very overcrowded to the point where it is unbearable. Most major touristy cities are crowded...but Venice is on a different level. You cannot even pause to take in the beauty because of the crowds. I went at the beginning of December and it was still overcrowded.

...spiacente non mi piace.
---------------------------------------------------------------- Dublin

1. Nothing about Dublin really appealed to me. It reminded me of London in every way shape and form. It has museums, restaurants, and pubs.

2. The weather is awful...even worse than the weather we have in London. I went there in August, and was greeted with gusts of wind mixed with heavy rain.

3. The city lacked atmosphere (at least when I was there...maybe I didn't come at a good time)
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Vienna 

1. The locals are very cold and unfriendly.

2. The architecture is genuinely beautiful...but not much different to any other major European city. I guess it would stand out more to someone who is visiting Europe for the first time.

3. The attractions are ridiculously expensive. You have to pay roughly £15-20 for each museum. I don't think it's worth it. Similar attractions are a lot cheaper in other European cities.


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                                                        llondon leopard 
                           xoxo


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Sunday, 14 April 2019

Eating Alone When Travelling Solo ♥

Picture: Switzerland, June 2015

This is a major worry that most people have when considering solo travel. I will be honest...it sort of freaked me out too. My first solo trip was 3 days in Paris during autumn. For the whole trip, I remember feeling so awkward and uncomfortable when eating out in restaurants. I felt like everyone was looking at me and judging me for dining alone. Of course this was probably not the case and I was just paranoid as it was a new experience for me. Since then I have probably taken more than 10 solo trips, and have learnt a few tricks on how to make yourself feel more comfortable dining alone.

1. Use your phone 
Ask for the WI-FI password and take the time to reconnect with everyone back home. This can be very helpful especially on long haul solo trips. Fill the awkward gap between the menu and meal by updating loved ones on how your trip is going. 

2.Write in a journal/read a book 
Another thing you can do is read a magazine or book. This is usually a nice thing to do in an outdoor cafe during breakfast or lunch. I keep a journal and will sometimes use this time to write about what I did during the day. 

3. People watching  
If you are seated by a window, one of the best ways to pass time is people watching. just sit and watch the world go by. watch how local people interact. I usually enjoy doing this while sipping on a cocktail or glass of wine. 


                   llondon leopard
                        xoxo

                                                   
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Wednesday, 27 March 2019

My Thoughts About Brexit

Before I start writing... it is important that I address something. I barely know anything about politics, and this post is me simply expressing my random thoughts.

I am a British citizen who was born and raised in England. We are now days away from Brexit and I have to admit that it's making me anxious. It doesn't feel great to not know what your future will hold. There is a pit in my stomach that is telling me Brexit will be a disaster for us. Younger people like me will be the ones who suffer (if things go wrong). Some of my friends think that I am being dramatic...but I have always been the kind of person to analyse situations. I am not just thinking about the next few months...I'm thinking about the next 5-10 years. 

Food prices going up is one of my worries. I live on my own and have watched all of my bills increase every year. I mean it's okay if wages go up but they rarely do. I also think about the quality of food that we will have. At least there are regulations within the EU that protect us from being exposed to certain "toxins". 

I also worry about the job market. I am within the age bracket of people who suffer with the highest rate of unemployment. A degree is not as valuable as it used to be, so most employers are looking for someone with years of experience. I wonder whether Brexit will make this worse. A lot of companies are likely to relocate to stay within the EU. 

Then there is my little travel hobby...#firstworldproblems. I mean it's really not a major concern compared to my previous points. Travelling is a luxury not a necessity. 

I don't know what the future holds, but this situation definitely has me thinking about life.

                   llondon leopard
                        xoxo




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Sunday, 17 March 2019

Banana And Cinnamon Cake ♥

            On Sunday's I like to bake the only thing that I can...banana cake. I don't weigh my ingredients when I cook. I tend to rely on instinct and my sense of smell. So I cannot really provide a recipe with measurements. This post is not going to be of much help to those who rely on accuracy. But I will tell you what I use and how I make it.

Ingredients 
1 egg
2 bananas 
Butter
Sugar 
Self raising flour
Cinnamon 
--------------------------------------------------------------
Method
1.Melt some butter in the microwave, and then stir some sugar into the melted butter. 

2. In a separate bowl mash 2 bananas and add cinnamon to the mixture.

3. Add the mashed bananas to the other bowl (containing butter, egg, sugar). 

4. Gradually stir some self raising flour in to the mixture. 

5. Add another pinch of cinnamon to the mixture. 

6. Transfer the mixture to a baking tin and leave it in the oven for 20 minutes (180 degrees). 
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I have only had an issue once when I didn't add enough flour. It was nice and still edible but the cake was thin. I now realise that adding more flour will make the cake thicker. But you don't want to add too much because it can turn the cake hard. All of this is not going to make much sense unless you are someone who likes to "wing it" with cooking. I'm not going to say good luck with your baking...because I know that this is not the best example of a recipe. 

                        Happy Sunday! 🎂

                                                          
                        llondon leopard
                              xoxo

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Sunday, 10 March 2019

Do Amber Healing Crystals Work? ♥


I have never really been much of a spiritual person in general. But I have started to become more interested in things like meditation, mindfulness, and the soul. I bought Amber  during my first visit to Poland. I never really wore it because I wanted to save it for special occasions. Then I went to Latvia and bought some more Amber. This included a bracelet that I now wear every day. 

Amber is said to be a good pain relief, good for negative energy, and helps anxiety. Now on to the real question...does it work? It is so hard to answer this question. Sometimes if you believe something will happen then it will. Our thoughts are so much more powerful than we think...which is why I cannot provide a definite answer to this question. 

However, I can tell you what I have noticed since wearing this Amber bracelet 24/7 for the past 3 months. I haven't had any period pain which is weird. Period pain is something that I have struggled with since I was a teenager. I have been put on the contraceptive pill for the pain. It minimises the pain but never completely takes it away. Since wearing the amber I can honestly say that I have barely noticed any pain whilst bleeding. It is so strange...like the pain has just magically been taken away. Can I prove that the amber is what helped me? No. But the change definitely took place when I started wearing it. 

As for the negative energy...it's difficult to judge. I have always been sensitive to the energy that surrounds me. I can feel it when someone is negative...and I can feel it when someone is positive. There have been times when I have been very anxious so I don't think the amber has helped with it. But I have noticed that I do feel slightly better when I play with the amber during times of anxiety. I don't know if this is a "placebo effect" or if the amber really helps. 

Then I guess there is always the question over authenticity. You can never really be 100% sure regardless of where you buy it from. My overall conclusion is that it definitely helped with the pain. There is no doubt about that. It can't be a coincidence that my period pains subsided after 12 years the minute I started wearing amber. 


                       llondon leopard
                             xoxo

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Friday, 25 January 2019

A Day On A Filming Set ♥

   Please excuse the awful photo...I look very rough.

So my friend is a director and I had the opportunity to go on set for a day. She is filming a short film about domestic violence. It was so interesting to see how things are filmed, and it's certainly not easy at all. Every scene had to be filmed at least 3 times from different angles.

The actors were amazing at what they did. There was a scene where the abuser tries to stop his girlfriend from leaving. He throws her on the bed and she starts screaming. It was so realistic and they kept their acting consistent. I watched them film this same scene over and over at least 10 times, and keep the same level of emotion.

I can't wait to see the full film when it's ready. Feel free to check out her work here.

                      llondon leopard
                            xoxo



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Wednesday, 23 January 2019

A Weekend in Gdansk Poland on a budget ♥

I recently returned from a winter weekend in Gdansk Poland. I stayed for 1 night from Saturday morning until Sunday afternoon. Poland is cheap in general so I tracked all of my costs and will document them here. I am giving a rough estimate based on the conversion rate I got. 1 British Pound was worth roughly 4.5 Polish Zloty.

Pre-departure costs 
Airport transfer (Easybus): £1.99

Flights (Wizz Air): £35.98

Hotel (Grand Hostel-private room): £25


Spending in Gdansk
Airport to hotel (public transport was free because it was the mayors' funeral)

Sightseeing: zuraw- the crane building: free to look at from the outside

Brunch: pierogi dumplings and a shot of cherry vodka: £6.50

Souvenir bookmark: £1

Sightseeing: the museum of second world war: £5

Dinner: zurek soup and a local beer: £5


Day 2
Breakfast: Polish sausages with bread and salad: £3.50

Sightseeing: Dlugi targ- long market (free to wander around)

Sightseeing: Neptune's fountain (free)

Bus to the airport: £0.80

TOTAL PRICE OF WEEKEND TRIP: £84.77

This was my second trip to Poland...and there will definitely be a third. I think that Warsaw will be next on my list. 

                  llondon leopard
                        xoxo




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