London Leopard ♥

Wednesday, 16 January 2019

Soup Maker Vegetable Soup Recipe ♥

This has become my winter staple and I am so glad that I bought a soup maker. I can put the ingredients in and spend the next 20 minutes doing other things around the house. I made this recipe up myself through trial and error.


1. Chop vegetables up small. I used parsnip, green beans, carrots, and tomato. You can literally use any vegetables that you can find in your fridge. 

2. Boil lentils with some chopped garlic. The garlic will add some flavour to the lentils. 

3.  You need some seasoning. I have added Himalayan salt, kucharek vegetable seasoning (which is Polish), and an organic vegetable stock cube (the brand is named "kallo"). 

4. Add all of the ingredients to the soup maker. 

5. Let the soup maker do all the work and then enjoy your meal. 

I purchased this soup maker online from Argos. It is a lifesaver because I hate making soup from scratch. I also use this to make beetroot soup, and tomato soup. 


                                                             llondon leopard 
                              xoxo
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Tuesday, 1 January 2019

Reflecting on 2018 ♥

What went well?
1. I changed up my eating habits and became more healthy.

2. I also travelled a lot to countries that I never thought I would be brave enough to visit (Turkey, Macedonia, Czech Republic).

3. I managed to get my salary raised in my old job  which meant that I had more disposable income.    

What did not go well?
1. I went through a life changing experience which I wouldn't wish on anybody. It may take years to recover from.

2. I decided to switch jobs, and ended up in an organisation full of corruption with a culture of bullying. I had to leave just before Christmas (either that or they were going to force me out).  


What lessons have I learnt?
1. Be mindful of the advice of those who have never been in the same situation. 

2. Your health is one of the most important things because you only get one body.

3. Be careful who you surround yourself with. 



What are my plans for 2019?
1.To find a healthy work place with a decent salary. 

2. To spend less time travelling and more time saving money. "Brexit" is about to happen and we are about to leave the European Union. Nobody is certain of what the future holds so it would be wise to save. 

3. To spend more time connecting with myself (meditation, yoga). 

                    llondon leopard
                          xoxo
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Sunday, 30 December 2018

A Day In Bratislava Slovakia ♥

I did a day trip to Bratislava from Vienna. The drive across the border only takes one hour and I got the ticket for £10 return with flixbus. One thing that concerns me a little is that nobody checked any of the passengers passports. It scares be because...is that how easy it is for criminals to move around Europe?. Anyway...take a look at some of my photos below from Bratislava. 

This is a picture of the UFO bridge. It looked even prettier when the sun set and everything lit up. 

     


This is "Bryndzove Halusky" which is Slovakia's national dish. It is potato dumplings mixed with sheep cheese. Bits of bacon are added on top. I looked at photos of halusky before my trip, and was not impressed with what I saw. But I have to say that it tastes absolutely delicious.


The famous blue church. 



This is the Christmas market. It was so much cheaper than the Christmas markets in Vienna. I drank medovina (hot honey wine), and ate Loksa (a potato flatbread filled with cheese).


Beeswax candles for sale at the Christmas market.

llondon leopard
xoxo

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Friday, 28 December 2018

Racism In Austria


So the title reads Austria and racism. It's a rather strong statement to make...but the racism I experienced was 10 times stronger. My experience happened in Vienna, but I have chosen to label this post as "Austria" instead of "Vienna" because I have heard stories of racism all over the country.

I have been all over Europe, the north, the south, the east, and the west. I have never had issues in any countries. Not even in Eastern Europe (where almost everyone warned me to be careful). Funnily enough I find people in Eastern Europe to be the friendliest. They don't come across non-white people very often...so will be cautious at first. Once you smile at them, show manners, and make an effort to speak their language they tend to warm up to you. Well...that has been my experience anyway.

So why Austria?
I chose Austria because it is famous for the Christmas markets. I thought the capital city of Vienna would be a good choice, because there would be a lot to explore. It was also one of the few European countries that I had never visited.

So what happened?
Day 1 and I noticed that people were cold towards me. Not a problem at all because most countries in central Europe are culturally cold in general. It's a cultural thing and usually nothing personal. I thought nothing of it until Day 2. This is when it became clear that it was racism.

1. Austrian people moved away from me on public transport.

2. Most Austrians gave me filthy looks in the street and crossed over to the other side the minute they saw me.

3. People who didn't cross the road quickly clutched their bags as they walked past me.

4. People in shops walked away from the till when it was time to serve me.

5. I walked into a local Austrian restaurant. The waiter sat me on a table near a local woman. She gave me a filthy look, made a disgusted noise ("urgh"), quickly picked up her bag and put it under her leg.

Am I sure that this is not just me being paranoid or dramatic?
100% not. I have never had this behaviour in any other European country. This behaviour was clearly personal because they treated other locals with respect.

Do I think this is just a one off unfortunate experience?
Definitely not. I did my research to make sure that it wasn't just me over reacting. Can you guess what I found? A whole load of news articles and trip advisor reviews talking about racism in Austria. 

I read many reviews from Asian people writing that they were refused service at restaurants. Some people wrote that they were segregated on a different side of the restaurant from all the white people. I read that some tourists had to endure Austrians shouting "go back to your country" whilst out in the street. I read that border control made fun of a Romanian/Moldovan man's nationality whilst checking his passport. So it seems that racism in Austria is not only linked to skin colour. I also met an Albanian girl who said that she was treated badly because of her nationality.

Would I ever go back to Austria?
I don't think so. It ruined my trip and ruined my mood. This was to the point where I felt that I didn't want to spend any money. Why would I want to contribute to the economy of a country that displays pure disgust towards anyone foreign?

                     llondon leopard
                          xoxo
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Wednesday, 26 December 2018

Vienna Bucketlist ♥

I had a bucket list of things that I wanted to do on my recent trip to Vienna. Lets see how many things I managed to achieve off this list...

Try a sacher torte cake 
Visit Schonbrunn Palace gardens
Climb to the top of St. Stephen's cathedral
Eat a weiner schnitzel
Visit 3 Christmas markets 
See an opera or ballet show 
Read a book whilst drinking Viennese coffee
Visit a museum 
Buy a bottle of shnapps
Ride a tram 
Take a photo with the popp and kretschmer bow 
Ride the ferris wheel

Well...it looks like I have managed to do most of the things on this list. I never got to see a show because I didn't book anything in advance. I did try Viennese coffee but never actually got to relax and read a book in a coffee shop. I never bought a bottle of schnapps because my suitcase was already too full. I never took a photo with the famous Christmas bow because I honestly could not be bothered to find it. I never rode on the ferris wheel because I just did not feel like doing it when I got there. 

                     llondon leopard
                          xoxo
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Sunday, 9 December 2018

Sundays Are Off Limits ♥


What do I do on Sundays? Nothing...unless I am forced to go out. I like to keep Sundays as my relaxation day. I feel like it's very important to have a day where you can rejuvenate for the week ahead. All of my close friends are aware that Sundays are off limits. "what are you doing on Sunday?" my response is usually something along the lines of "rotting in bed far away from the human population".

Breakfast
I like to have a nice breakfast on Sunday mornings. Usually either pancakes or fried egg. I don't have time to prepare things like that during the week, so my weekends are when I get to treat myself for breakfast. 

Deep conditioning my hair
Sometimes I will take Sundays as an opportunity to deep condition my hair. I will sit with the treatment in my hair for a good 4 hours sometimes. 

Travel planning
There is almost always a trip booked. So I sometimes like to research the destination and plan on Sundays. 

Bubble bath
This is quite rare. But during the winter it is nice to have a bubble bath on Sunday evenings. But this sometimes depends on how cold it is outside. 

Reading
I find it very relaxing to get cosy and read. Especially with a blanket and nice hot drink. I am currently reading a book called "Lagom" which is about how Swedish people manage to live a balanced lifestyle. 

Adult colouring book
I bought an adult colouring book at the start of the year. Mine is called "we travel in colour", and it's focused around black women who travel. It is really relaxing to colour in whilst listening to some relaxing music.

watch a movie/tv series
Catching up on my favourite shows is a nice thing to do on Sundays. 

                     llondon leopard
                           xoxo

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Sunday, 2 December 2018

How I Cleaned Up My Diet♥

I have always been a slim girl. I used to hate being called "stick legs" but I would love the fact that I could eat a lot of junk and not gain weight. I had a very high metabolism which started to slow down when I hit the age of 21. I started to gain some weight and went from 50kg to 60kg within a couple of years. This is still considered a reasonable weight in England...but I did not like it. So I decided to clean up my eating habits and have managed to get back down to 52kg. I didn't realise that it was as simple as changing the type of food you eat. Here are the changes that I made:

Breakfast

I used to eat a full on English breakfast on the weekends and my days off. I have swapped wheat bread for rye bread, because it is higher in fibre and lower in fat. I have also decided to swap the bacon/sausage for some freshly chopped pepper or tomatoes instead. So my version of an English breakfast would consist of an egg, sometimes beans, and a freshly chopped side salad.

Swapping cows milk for nut milk has also made a difference. It tends to be lower in calories and lower in fat. I make my pancakes with cashew or almond milk, and eat my porridge with nut milk as well. Nut milk will also be used if I am drinking coffee (which is rare).

During the week I have made fruit my staple breakfast. I may have a banana and orange, or cut up some kiwi and plums. It is a healthy and low calorie breakfast, and I tend to have a breakfast bar as well to fill my stomach.

I have also swapped cheddar cheese for cottage cheese. It is lower in fat and very high in protein. I will still eat cheddar cheese but very rarely. I also eat Greek yoghurt instead of fruit yoghurt (which contains a lot of sugar).

Lunch
I try to make most of my lunches salad based. So I will have some cucumber, tomatoes, peppers, olives, and add some feta cubes on top. Sometimes I will add a few beef meatballs, tuna, or a chicken fillet to make it more filling.

Dinner
I try to eat more soup during winter because it's healthy and low in calories. I will make it from scratch because tinned soups have a lot of sugar, sodium, and chemical preservatives. My favourite homemade soups are chicken, vegetable, beetroot, and lentil soup.

I have reduced my overall rice intake. I used to eat it at least 4 days a week which is very bad. It was probably the rice that created a weight gain. I have swapped white rice for brown rice and only eat it around twice a month.

I have also cut down on my pasta intake. I would eat pasta roughly 3 times a week which is also not the healthiest. I now only cook pasta roughly once or twice a month.

I have more vegetable based food now. For example I would make salmon with vegetables on the side. Or sweet potato with vegetables on the side. Cauliflower and potato. vegetable stir fry.

Snacks

I eat popcorn instead of crisps. There is a brand called "Propercorn" which I really like. I usually eat the salted flavour which is only 85 calories per packet. Normal crisps are usually 150-300 calories per pack with a lot of fat. Fruit is a snack that I try to include in my weekly diet as well. I will sometimes eat a rice cake instead of a chocolate bar. Nuts are also a healthy addition to my diet.


                      llondon leopard
                           xoxo
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Sunday, 25 November 2018

A Girly Weekend In Milan ♥

I went for a girly trip to Milan, Italy last weekend. This is my second visit to the city and I have to say that it is still beautiful in the winter. It was cold but nowhere near as bad as the weather we have in England. We ended up doing more shopping and drinking than sightseeing, but it was still so much fun. I am planning to come to Milan for a proper shopping trip in the future, because I want my whole wardrobe to be Italian. This may possibly be my new years resolution...

Posing outside the Duomo cathedral at night.


We found an Italian buffet for lunch. We paid 10 euros which included the food and free coffee. They had nice traditional food on the buffet stands (caprese salad, pizzas, panzerotti, pastas). We decided to get a glass of red wine for 3 euros.


We visited the Duomo rooftops and it was so worth the money. I have never experienced anything like this.

We visited Sforza Castle on our first evening.


The castle has beautiful lights in the evening. It looks more like a palace in my opinion. 

 I looooooove seafood. So I tried the orecchiette with mussels and white beans for dinner.



 This is Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II shopping mall. It's the oldest shopping centre in Milan. We didn't go inside but did some shopping on the back roads. We found some more affordable Italian brands. I went over my budget but it was so worth it.



Our last night in Milan included lots of alcoholic beverages. We went to the Navigli area (canal area with lots of restaurants and bars). We shared a pizza, drank aperol spritz, drank limoncello, and then went for a cocktail. 


This picture was taken in the airport on our way home. There was this cool wine shop...I kind of regret not buying anything from here.

llondon leopard
xoxo

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Sunday, 28 October 2018

2 Day Itinerary For Riga Latvia ♥

I recently got back from my trip to Riga, Latvia. I was there for 2 days which is more than enough for a trip to Riga. The city is small and very walkable, which meant that I did not really use public transport when I was there. The only time that I used public transport was to get to and from the airport. Take a look at my itinerary below: 

Day 1 



























1.Airport to the city centre (30 minutes by bus)
Take the line 22 bus from the airport to the city centre. You can buy a ticket from the machine at the bus stop and it costs 1.15. Don't forget to validate your ticket on the bus by pressing it on the machine. 

2.Naughty Squirrel Backpacker Hostel
I stayed at this hostel which is within walking distance of the old town. The staff are very friendly and gave me 2 welcome shots of Black Balsam. I paid €15 for one night and the beds have privacy curtains. 

3.The Cat House (5 minute walk)

A building with statues of cats on top. 

4.The Three Brothers (5 minutes walk)

Three buildings which were the oldest houses in Riga. 

5.The museum of the occupation of Latvia (5 minute walk) 

Museum that tells the history of Russian and German occupation in Latvia. 

6.House of Blackheads (1 minute walk)

A beautiful building

7.Riga Cathedral (5 minute walk) 


8.Dinner: Zviedru Vārti (5 minute walk)

This is a cheap traditional restaurant. I tried "Pelēkie zirņi ar speķīti"  which is grey peas with bacon. I also had "Kartupeļu pankūkas" which are like potato pancakes. As a beverage I drank "Kvass" which is like a sweet juice made from rye bread. 



Day 2



























1.Riga Central Market (10 minute walk from hostel) 
A market that is full of local food and products. The food is cheap (a coffee costs 0.50).  

2.Riga Ghetto & Latvian Holocaust Museum (10 minute walk)

An outdoor museum that tells the history of Jewish people in Latvia during the holocaust. 

3.Amber queen (15 minute walk)

This is not the cheapest place to buy Amber, but it is still a beautiful shop/museum to look at. 

4.Province restaurant (5 minute walk) 

This is a little cosy traditional restaurant and the food is very cheap. I had beetroot soup with a local beer for lunch. 


                    llondon leopard
                          xoxo



















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Sunday, 14 October 2018

Live Your Life However You Want ♥


I feel like a lot of people fail to realise that life is what you make it. You can create whatever you want and there is no right or wrong way to live. Yes society has norms but it does not mean that you have to follow them if that is not what you want.

Okay...so I started this post sounding like it is going to be an angry rant. Well I guess it's half a rant...but it's something that I feel strongly about. Like I said before there is no wrong way to live life. Generally the norm in most countries is that you need to get a degree, get a good job, get married, buy a car, buy a house, and then die. Sorry but I personally believe there is more to life than all of that. Yes I do agree with studying and working towards having a stable future. But I do sometimes feel like the fancy car and fancy house can sometimes be about competing with people and showing off your wealth. If that is what makes you happy then fair enough okay...but I do not think it is something that should be a norm.

Now you are probably wondering where is this all coming from? what is her problem? My problem is that I don't think it should be frowned upon if you are not keen on following this norm. Take me for example, having a fancy car and house are not high on my priorities. This seems to be a problem for many people in London when I tell them that. They look at me as if I am strange when I tell them that I don't see the point in buying a car unless I get married and have kids. I tell them that I would rather use the money towards travelling and gaining life experiences than paying car insurance every month. The response is usually "but don't you think it would be easier to get around?" like come on! we live in London where there is transport left right and centre. In reality I probably could afford to save for a car if I wanted to...but I don't. That would mean that I don't get to travel abroad. 

It is the same with travelling. I feel like as a woman there seems to be some kind of stigma against travelling. I would be rich if I had a penny for every time somebody said "calm down with the travelling" or "don't you get tired of travelling". The answer is no I don't get tired of travelling. I have chosen to spend my 20's travelling and learning because that is what I like to do. I am not harming anybody so I don't see what the problem is. I've been told that I should start looking for a boyfriend/husband. Lets be honest, I am a free spirit and need to be a with someone who is the same. Becoming a housewife is not an option for me (haha!). It has got to be someone who wants to take our kids on an African safari during the summer holidays. Or spend our honeymoon watching fire dancers on the beach in Hawaii. 

I am literally going off topic and managed to turn this post in to a full on rant. But you understand what I am trying to say right? It is okay to live your life however you want. You do not have to live a certain way and should do whatever makes you happy. It's okay if you would rather work abroad for 6 months and not go to university. It's okay if you would rather set up your own charity than buy a 5 bedroom house. It's okay if you don't want to be married by the age of 25. Whatever you want to do...it's okay. You only live once and you should do whatever makes you happy. 


                        llondon leopard

                              xoxo


                                                             
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