TOP THINGS TO DO FOR VALENTINES DAY IN LONDON

Now that winter wonderland is shut and the cold weather settles in even more, let’s talk about ways to spend time together and keep each other warm for everyone’s favourite commercial holiday, Valentines day. Below I list the top things to do on valentines day and thoughtful presents/experiences you can buy.

Make a photo book with Snapfish

Snapfish is one of the world’s largest companies for Online Photo Printing & personalised Photo Gifts. I’ve made a photobook with Snapfish and I was impressed with the pristine quality. What better way is there to say I love you or at least I’m thinking about you than making a personalised gift. Check out their reviews here.

For promo-codes up to 70% off click here

Spa day/Weekend

Why not leave the stresses of London behind you and spend a few hours of even nights at a spa hotel. For spa weekends and spa days I would check lastminute.com, spabreaks.com, the hotel website and TripAdvisor to ensure you’re getting the best deal. To ensure you don’t limit yourself, there are spas, all around the country so look far and wide, but don’t forget to incorporate travel costs and use promo codes.Last min.png

Go to a food/drink festival and explore new food options with your favourite person.

  • Craft Beer Rising – the UK’s biggest craft beer at the Old Truman Brewery on Brick Lane 22-24 February 2018: https://www.craftbeerrising.co.uk/
  • Vegan Life Live – Where you can embrace plant-based living and discover delicious vegan-friendly foods to eat. Hosted at Alexandra Palace, London on 10-11 February 2018: https://london.veganlifelive.com/

Bowl the night away at All Star Lanes

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Photo by Matthias Zomer

Have a few laughs at a Comedy Club:

May the course be with you:

Junkyard Golf, Manchester

  1. Crazy Golf
  2. JunkYard Golf

There’s always time for tea:

  • If they’re a tea lover why not buy them a giftset fromTwiningsTwinings Gift Collection - Tea Tray with Tea for Two (Image 1)

Cooking classes anyone?

  • If you or your partner have a sweet tooth why not spend an afternoon at SpunCandy and learn how to make lollipops, candy faces and edible flowers.
  • If you like spicy foods and consider yourself a curry connoisseur spend time at Spice Monkey
  • Have your own tea party at home with Caroline Hope
  • Make authentic Japanese food in Yuki’s Kitchen without paying for flights to go there.

Want Breathtaking views of London?

  • The Shard – The Shard is the tallest building in the UK and you can see most of London. It has three restaurants and one hotel: Aqua Shard, Oblix and Hutong and the Shangri- La
    1. I had cuttlefish for the first time at Hutong— it was delicious but very expensive though (as expected) £51 for a set menu with several different items that we couldn’t finish, bottled water and non-alcoholic cocktails.
  • Stay at the Novotel London Canary Wharf.
    1. I loved this hotel. I stayed in the first week of November 2017 and it was amazing, the views were stunning, I could see the shard, the cheesegrater building, the gherkin and all the canary wharf banks from my room and while eating at their 37th floor restaurant Bokan — London is magical at night.
      Word of warning, they charge a £50 deposit per person, per night, so be prepared. The hotel has several meeting rooms, a pool, sauna and fitness centre.
  • Sky Garden
  • Oxo Tower
  • Vertigo 42, A stylish resevations only bar in the city of London
  • Madison Rooftop Bar
  • Coppa Club, Tower Bridge
    • Stunning views of tower bridge and the shardigloos-3

Celebrate yourself 

Today I reached 1000 views on apieceofsarah.com

It was my goal for January and I’m over the moon. It’s nice to see my website taking shape. I also have an Instagram where I post healthy food and a Twitter account, if you didn’t know already. I would like to thank everyone who have supported me through retweeting, following, liking & reposting. It does not go unnoticed and it is so appreciated.

I decided to write this post because as humans we really don’t give ourselves enough credit on what we have achieved and focus on all the bad things we have done or time we have wasted. So I thought it was fitting to celebrate my first major milestone on this site because if you can’t celebrate yourself, who’s going to celebrate you?

Thank you for reading. If you like this post and want to receive more like it please click the follow button on the right-hand side of your screen.

Toxic friendships 

Friendships are weird, you meet someone, you start talking, notice you enjoy the same things and you build from there. As time goes on you become friends.  

Over the last few years I’ve realized the significance of friendships and why it’s essential  to limit who gets to know the real you. Friends have an affect on our happiness, self esteem and not to mention stress levels. So it’s wise to not accept or entertain everyone as a friend because not everyone deserves you. Not everyone has the same heart as you and quite frankly not everyone is entitled to your time.

From my experience there are so many “friends” you need to be cautious of.
All are toxic. 

A toxic friend as defined by Jenn Berman WebMD  “Someone who, after spending time with them, makes you feel bad about yourself instead of good; someone who tends to be critical of you — sometimes in a subtle way and sometimes not so subtle; a friend who drains you emotionally, financially, or mentally, and they’re not very good for you.” 

I’m going to speak about 5 types of toxic friends, sometimes more than one of these traits are in the same person:

  1. The emotional freeloader
  2. Extremely negative friends
  3. Friends who always talk about themselves 
  4. The friend who can’t take constructive criticism 
  5. The friend who gives really bad advice

I came up with the phrase “emotional freeloader because freeloaders are people who take advantage of your generosity without giving anything in return. In this case they’re your friends and they are always emotional, hence the name.

The emotional freeloader uses you as their therapist but is never available  for the important things like meet up or attend your birthday. Always calls you when things are going wrong in their life but never asks you if you’re okay. You’re last place in their life and even the people they say they  hate  are prioritized over you. They’re untrustworthy and overtime you’ve  realized what they say doesn’t add up. As their “therapist” they usually don’t listen to you and get into the same situation again and again and again. Which regularly takes up your time and energy. No one should waste your time nor energy. Let’s face it, your friendship is one sided and you’re making all the effort. They don’t value you and  their problems are not worth headache they’re causing.
Either communicate or cut them out. 

Extremely negative friends. AVOID. AVOID. AVOID.

I feel like there’s two types of negative friends in the world: 

  1. The one who thinks the world is constantly against them 
  2. The one who wants the world to be constantly against you 

For most of  this section  I’ll  be focusing on the latter. Negative people are bad for our health. Google it. Misery loves company and all negative people  do is bring you down with them. They want you in the same place as them, if not, below. You tell them your ideas, they say “it can’t happen/it won’t work” or something unsupportive along those lines. Remind you of someone? Yeah? Steer clear.

If you have to pause before telling a friend positive news because you fear the backlash you will receive, or they’ll say something negative to put you down?
Chances are you shouldn’t be friends in the first place.
Don’t let people project their negative thoughts and feelings onto you. 

I’ve learnt to always listen to people’s response and tone when talking about good and bad things. Why? Mainly because too many people are more excited to hear about your failures than achievements, which is why it’s  good to keep things to yourself sometimes.  

Part of me thinks “friends” are negative  to compensate for their own shortfalls as it makes them feel better about themselves. Another part thinks they believe they’re  in some sort of competition with you. The rest of me believes it’s because they’re evil. 

Cheque please!

The friend who always talks about themselves. You’re trying to say how you feel and they’ve interjected with something completely unrelated but totally about them. Or your friend will interject with something related but they will make the conversation about themselves and this happens constantly. You feel as though  you’re fighting to speak and in the end you give up. You’ll end up talking  about them for what seems like an eternity and  as a consequence your problem is still unsolved so  your emotions are neglected.  Sometimes people are unaware and they don’t notice their selfishness. Talk to them about their behaviour, otherwise cut them off or limit the time you time spent with them. 

The friend who can’t take constructive criticism: Your friend is in the wrong, you’ve told them and they’re angry at you?! Anyone who can’t take constructive criticism and is angry/insulting when you give it to them needs to be avoided. I say constructive criticism because the aim is to get a positive outcome and it comes from a good place. 

I had a friend a few years back who could never accept when she was wrong and her attitude was vile. She was a funny person when she wasn’t being horrible but she was too proud to accept her faults.  One day in the summer of 2012, she walked off because I was apparently  “taking too long in a shop and why should she be heading home late because of me?”

¿Que?

Bearing in mind I had spent roughly six hours with her that day trying to buy the  things she needed. We went from East London to South London then back to East. That’s one hell of a TFL journey  with several tube changes and a bus. I told her, her attitude was still horrible and I was upset since I did all those things for her but she didn’t have the courtesy to spend 15 minutes in River Island with me. (I say “still” because we had spoken about it before and she had lost friends because of it.)
Anyway she didn’t take that text well at all and I found out how she truly felt about me. Let’s just say it was horrible and I laughed at the texts with my mum. Anyone with that kind of hatred in their heart shouldn’t be in my life. We thank God.
What you call a wolf in sheep clothing.

A year or so later she  messaged me to apologize which I think I replied to and she added me back on Facebook years after that which she ended up deleting because I just left it there. People like that should never be in or allowed back into your life, ever.

Burn that bridge before it burns you. 

The friend who gives you really bad advice: I can’t even repeat the worst advice I’ve ever received but let’s just say my excuse for ending the call was “I need to get back to reading the Da Vinci Code.” Anyone of a sound mind who gives you bad advice or you make several bad decisions around should be avoided. If your friend tries to push you to do negative things, act dangerously, unhealthily, do something that’s borderline illegal  or downright stupid they need to go, they’re not good for you. 


Good friends will always want the best for each other. Period.

When people show you who they are, believe them. Don’t use the length of your friendship as an excuse to keep them . When I was younger I used to hold on to friendships, not anymore, I value my time, energy and sanity too much. I don’t regret any friends I’ve lost because people are never worth the inconvenience they cause. Overtime we mature and become conscious of who our friends really are, it’s acceptable to cut people out, especially those you’re not growing with and starting to resent because they are one of the friends I spoke about.

If you really want to hold on to the friends I’ve mentioned, then talk to them because sometimes people are unaware of their actions. Unless they can’t take criticism like #4 then run for the hills.

If you’ve read this post and can relate to it,  then leave a comment/share your thoughts.

If you’ve read this post and can’t relate to it,  you either have a great friendship group which you should cherish or you’re the toxic friend.  Hopefully it’s the former. 

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Consistency.

Today I’m writing about consistency because it affects my life in more ways than I had originally thought. I remember all the times where I wasn’t consistent and failed to get the results I wanted. Then I remember all the times I’ve been consistent and I was happy with the outcome because I had exceeded my own expectation of myself because I was consistent. Both times the only person that could control the outcome was myself.

CONSISTENCY /kənˈsɪst(ə)nsi/ The ability to behave and act in in a similar way overtime. I say ability because it’s a skill and it’s bloody hard.

My favourite times where being consistent has worked in my favour was finding a placement and losing weight in second year of university. I spent months finding a placement, 30 different CVs and cover letters made, 2 assessment centres and 3 interviews later I unexpectedly got my placement  in July. 2 months after I finished my second year of uni I had my interview and got my job. Even though working for a year was very hard and I complained about lack of sleep most of the time, taking a placement was one of the best decisions I have ever made.  Ever. Apart from getting paid, it gave me experience in my field and showed me what I wanted and didn’t want from my next job and helped me start the next project I’m working on.

Losing weight in my second year of university:

I lost two stones, dropped my BMI (Body Mass Index) from 33 to 28 and have been able to post two full length bikini pics on Instagram ( I’m proud & yes that’s important to me.) I had been trying to lose weight for years but I had finally had enough. I signed up to my local gym, sometimes went with friends but mostly went alone. The only reason I lost weight is because I went to the gym 4 times a week and tried to eat well. It was hard at first but once I got into it, it became part of my routine. I am currently trying to lose four stones but trying to find time to go to the gym right now is hard due to third year.

But where there is a will there’s a way. 

My main point of this post is to never give up and don’t stop just because you want to quit. “Anything that’s worth having is sure enough worth fighting for” word to Cheryl Cole. Even though she was talking about love I realized this can be applied to everyday life. Relationships, friendships, studying, weight loss, creative projects etc. Life only works if you’re consistent and all of these things need consistency to work.

When you want to stop ask yourself this:

  1. Why did I start in the first place?
  2. What do I want to achieve?
  3. Why do I want to stop?
  4. Am I happy with the way my life is going and will I be upset if I don’t complete this task?

Once you’ve answered these questions you’ll know exactly what you want to achieve because life only changes when you do.

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