We Were On A Break

 

Hi!

 

It’s been a while since I was last on here and I apologise for my leave of absence, but I’m back and very happy to be re-launching Not Givin In with a new, hopefully impressive grown-up design.  Like I might know what I’m doing!

 

Absence really does make the heart grow fonder and my forced mini-break from blogging last summer, whilst giving me an out to toy with the idea of closing Not Givin In, made me realise how much I enjoy chewing the fat with you gals.

 

So, what’s new?  Well, I’ve turned fifty for starters and I’m sweating like a …….

 

Yep, right on cue the hot flushes have begun.  I’ve sat through quite a lot of very uncool moments of late so I’m pretty sure it’s the menopause.  A call to the doctor’s surgery, asking the receptionist, “Can I see a Dr please?  My body feels like its on fire for 10 minutes at a time and my tongue is savage,” resulted in vainly suppressed giggles, and an acknowledgement that the lady knew exactly what I meant and a booking to see the doc in February was secured.

 

I’ll let you know how that goes!  For now, let’s just assume I’ll be awake in my bed every night more than I’m actually asleep and my acid tongue will be glued to the roof of my mouth in the hope I don’t lose my husband.

 

So what else is new?  Well I haven’t been shopping as much.  Lack of time, little inspiration and a pretty full wardrobe has meant it couldn’t be justified and to be honest I’ve been really happy wearing last year’s closet and ramping up my pounds per wear holier than thou fashion tiara.

 

However, now that we’ve had our first flurry of snow, I’m starting to feel a little bored with winter and can’t wait for spring to arrive and with it some new togs.  With pay day just around the corner, the timing of freshly stocked New In sections of our fabulous retailers isn’t lost on me and I’m keen to wear something different.

 

Stores and sites remain heavy with sales stuff and you can still pick out bargains, but if you’re like me then you can peek your head into what’s coming down the track online or on the high street.

 

One item I want to bring to your attention as its firmly creeping through my Instagram feed, is the boiler suit.

 

I’ll be completely honest, the thought of wearing a one-piece that leaves my shoulders cold every time I go to the loo, doesn’t have as much appeal as it did in my twenties and thirties, and a look at some of the options out there does have me wondering if it’s a flash in the pan I can live without.

 

When I think of boiler suits, I think of this fella!  So to satisfy my curiosity I googled boiler suit and wikipedia threw up the clarification that a boiler suit is a loose-fitting garment covering the whole body except for the head, hands and feet.  So basically this fella!

 

 

Pic via Pinterest

 

I mean I can understand the appeal of a one-piece that covers all!!  Give me a kaftan any day of the week, but this is quite a utilitarian look and unless you’re going full on androgyny it will need, I think, some feminine touches.  Let’s take a closer look.

 

Here is one from Miss Selfridge.  Worn relaxed with white flats or trainers it’s a handy addition for casual dressing. Perfect for the weekend, I like how they’ve teamed it with large ear-rings and a statement bag.  I think it would also look great with a colourful handband (which is very In now), or even with a small crossbody bag, to jazz it up a bit.

 

I think the shade of denim on this version from Top Shop helps lift the look, quite a bit.  I also love the idea of wearing heels with a boiler suit and a bright accessory.  Bangles and a statement necklace can also work.

Better yet, move away from denim and choose a colour.  You can bet your Friday glass of Chardonnay on there being a sparkly version out for evening wear sometime soon and any number of stripes and prints will follow.  Again, I love it worn with heels.

 

Still, it doesn’t get around the fact that you won’t want to bust out the Chardonnay for the downside that is getting undressed in a public toilet cubicle as your evening progresses.   You know what I mean?  Or is it just me?   Perhaps I just need some warm weather.

 

What about you, are you going to step into the boiler suit trend? Please share your thoughts below.

 

Have a great weekend.

 

Gail xx

P.S.  Going forward I will be posting every other Saturday, instead of each Friday.  It gives me an extra few hours to write a post if I’m working on a Friday.

35 Things I Learnt In My Forties

 

 

There’s nothing like facing a new decade to make you take stock of the years that have gone before it.  So before leaving my forties I decided to write a list of what I’ve learnt from those years.

 

 

I also wanted to take this opportunity to say that I’m taking a little break from writing my weekly posts.  You’ve probably noticed that I’ve been sporadic in posting on Not Givin In this year.  My time and energy have been needed to take care of family matters, which are obviously a priority, and to be completely honest I just don’t have the head space and time to think about my little space on the internet right now.  I will return when time allows.  Til then, thank you so much for our weekly chats and here are my 40-somethings musings.

 

Lots of Love

 

Gail xx

 

  1. My forties were some of my best years. By the time you dive in to middle age it’s likely that you’ve experienced some dark times along the way, but it does make you rejoice even more so when the good times roll in.  I don’t just want to visit Ayers Rock, I want to drink champagne on the back of a Harley Davidson going around it.  Because I know those dark times will happen, still happen, but if I load up on the good days, then maybe they’ll override how I feel when the crap ones turn up.

 

  1. Belts are not the enemy. I definitely had a drawer full of belts in my twenties, but somewhere along the line I thought drawing attention to my waist was a waste of time and only drew attention to how thick it was.  How silly was I?  It helps the situation, giving you feminine curves.  All hail the belt, which I only recently discovered, is my saviour.

 

  1. It will cost around £6,000 to rid me of my double chin. I asked a cosmetic surgeon. She said it would be cheaper to lose a little weight.  It’s true, I lost some weight and the double chin, but they’re both back and I’m trying to lose them again.  I’ve set up a savings account.

 

  1. I can’t ignore my mobile phone, but I’m trying to. It’s not that I dislike it, in fact the problem is I love its ability to keep me in touch with my nearest and dearest, but I’ve really got to work on being present. Texting while walking, running, cooking dinner, talking to SP, visiting family, all comes with a price.  Have I concentrated on what I’m doing, who I’m with and what I’m saying?  Possibly not and it’s not fair and sometimes dangerous, so I’m trying to keep my priorities in order

 

  1. The coil isn’t as scary as I thought. I have always had short, punctual periods but around my mid-forties my ‘monthlies’ really started to play me up and I was having a lot of trouble managing the flow. Numerous doctor appointments later and I was offered the coil.  I didn’t want it, but, other than the discomfort of having it put in it has been the best thing for me. I’m a no show nowadays and couldn’t be happier. It will also last five years and I’m hoping it will see me through the menopause.

 

  1. Forgetfulness can work in your favour. If I ‘forget’ the clothes washing, Steve will do it. Win

 

  1. People’s noses can get bigger as they get older.   Google it.  Mine has.

 

  1. I’m not a slave to fashion but wearing it is fun. I used to love fashion when I was younger but lost my mojo somewhere along the line.  Fed up with the way I looked, who wouldn’t be, same old sloppy jumper and jeans, I started to really take an interest again. I don’t go mad, there’s no credit for this savyy shopper, but if buying a new style top for the season or a trendy pair of jeans gives me a confidence boost I need I’m on it.

 

  1. What I weigh still matters to me. No-one is sniggering behind my back in the playground and SP (thankfully) hasn’t left me cause I’ve eaten all the ice cream, yet still my weight continues to be a source of angst, after all these years.  You would think I’d give up and relax into middle age, but I can’t.  I blame it on those sodding eighties supermodels, but I always want to be the better version of myself.

 

  1. Colour my happy. That time I spent on a floor in a friend’s lounge with a woman holding squares of coloured fabric against my face in my twenties was worth doing.  Getting a colour analysis and knowing the colours that make your complexion look fantastic is the quickest way to getting a compliment and not looking like death warmed up.

 

  1. Jamie’s fool-proof dinner trick is a real people pleaser. I can’t remember where I read it, but this Jamie Oliver tip has helped me out on more than one occasion. Basically, if you don’t have time to make dessert just buy good quality bars of milk, dark and white chocolate and break them into pieces on a plate.  Voila!

 

  1. Multi-tasking sounds great but it’s a total wind-up. I can do several things at one time, balancing campaigns and clients in one hand while hanging out the washing and calling Sky to complain about a lack of Wi Fi in the other, but it makes me so stressed.  It’s a bit like the high I would get from smoking a cigarette, which is also horrible.  Now I try and start one job and complete it before starting another.   I don’t want to juggle plates and its way more satisfying than running around like a headless chicken.

 

  1. Being a smoker is a big regret. It’s probably the silliest thing I ever started, and I hope I never pick it up again.  To clarify, I puffed on my first cigarette that I had pinched from my mum’s packet before I started secondary school. I can’t tell you how happy I am that I finally kicked the habit.  At times it ruled my life and it wasn’t until I realised it made any anxiety worse that I finally stopped it, for good.  That said I would say I am a smoker.  I will always have been mindful that I could easily do it again, and it scares me to think I would

 

  1. You’re not a failure when a career choice doesn’t work. Although it feels like it at the time, I’ve been employed twice where I didn’t feel that I fitted in.  However, it wasn’t the end of the word, it just meant I had to keeping moving forward until I found the right role.  Square peg in a round hole sounds about right, but it’s not anyone’s fault and a better opportunity is likely to be just around the corner

 

  1. Love was worth the wait. I had boyfriends, some serious, some not, but when it came to me being settled, I guess I was single half of my life.  I really did marry my better half, soul mate, truest companion, love of my life, but it was a hell of a wait and one I loathed at times. I wouldn’t wish singledom, unless they’re happy with it, on anyone. If not keep looking he/she might just be out there.  I hope so, I really do. And I hope you don’t have to wait like I did.

 

  1. I still want to dance into the dawn. I don’t, of course, I can only imagine the looks I would get going down to Motion on a weekend throwing some Saturday Night Fever shapes.  But I love dancing, I do!  Probably why I love Vegas so much.  I can go dancing and the guy next to me is 92 (true story).

 

  1. Wine packs on the pounds. Call me stupid (please don’t), but I didn’t realise how much weight you gain from drinking wine (and other alcoholic beverages) until I slipped into my forties and staying in was the new going out.  Wine goes with cheese, crisps, cake and chocolate as does other alcohol, but there’s less calories in gin…so avoid unless you want a double chin or other problematic areas of your body

 

  1. I’m not an imposter, I’m just me. I know I’ve felt like it so many times, imposter syndrome is a ‘thing’, a feeling that someone is going to find out that you’re not as smart, funny, successful, clever as you feel you need to be.  And it’s bullshit. I’ve come to the conclusion that everyone feels this way in some way or another at some time or another and it’s just a trick to hold you back from bigger and better achievements in life. Feel the fear and do it anyway

 

  1. I’m not good at everything. Steve is really good at hanging out washing….and bringing it back in, folding it and lying it on the bed ready to be put away. WIN

 

  1. You really should brush your teeth twice day. I don’t know when I started the habit of not brushing my teeth at night, but boy have I paid for it, and feel there is more squirming in the hot chair down-the-line.

 

  1. Fad diets are not the answer. Any routine that suggests cutting out a food group to ensure weight loss is likely to fail.  I have tried them all and although I have seen good results with some (anything with less carbs works for me) it is NOT sustainable.  We don’t live in a protein only world, or a world where cabbage soup is in every store.  Follow the fad knowing that it will help you be party ready, if that’s what you want, but know you’ll be eating greasy pizza come 3 am.

 

  1. Always have a back-up. And my back up I mean good quality hard drive.  There’s no going back, we are paper-less people, and if your lap top or other device breaks you’re screwed, let alone broken hearted to lose all those precious memories of holiday past.  Worth the investment and the time, it takes to set it up (yes, I hate this bit too).

 

  1. Wardrobe basics will see you through. You don’t need to follow fashion, but if you have some good quality basics in neutral shades in your wardrobe you’ll be ready for anything. Think dark jeans, a white shirt, black trousers, striped T.shirts, ankle boots, trench coat, black turtle neck, checked blazer and khaki jacket.  You get the gist.  Then keep an eye on the sales for on-trend pieces. The sales start so early you should get plenty of wear and most pieces can be kept for the following year.

 

  1. Unless you exercise like an athlete you won’t lose weight just by working out. There’s a reason why those in the know say Eat Less, Exercise More in that order, the first rule is the most important.

 

  1. Camping doesn’t come easy to me, but I can survive it. A boyfriend once said that I wasn’t an outdoor pursuit kind of gal, which I took as a compliment.  However, with the right amount of positive thinking, a case of ale, warm socks and a bobble hat I can get through a long weekend under the canvas.  My hair meanwhile cannot.  Fine wavy hair equals tangled bird’s nest by day three, but thankfully by then it’s time to head home.

 

  1. I can also do festivals, if they’re fancy schmancy. I absolutely loved my first-ever festival.  It was at Wilderness in Oxfordshire and we stayed for the whole four days.  It was fun, interesting, exciting and the toilets stayed clean right up until the last morning, when I was very glad to leave.  We were also lucky that the sun shone gloriously, every single day.  Rose tinted glasses, you bet.  Highly recommend it

 

  1. Saturday night TV sucks. Just because I’ve hung up my disco pants for family life does not mean I want to spend my much-loved Saturday nights watching a dog do tricks on the box or watch an Irish guy dress up like his mammy.  It’s supposed to be entertainment, but really, I’m glad to go to bed

 

  1. Make sure your car battery never runs out. On my return from a trip to London I found that I had accidently left my car headlamps on all day, which in itself is a pain in the ass, but was made 10 billion times worse by being parked in the middle of nowhere in a car park known for dogging.  Waiting for the AA man was the longest hour of my life and luckily a friend was with me, though that also meant creepy old men kept coming up to our vehicle, flashing torch lights to watch us “make out”.  It was hell on earth and kept me awake for weeks to follow.  I don’t know what I would have done if I’d been on my own.

 

  1. You don’t need to worry about bumping into an ex past 40. Uh uh, life’s journey is just as hard if not more so for them (I would hate to lose my hair) and if you don’t have your glasses on you won’t see them anyway

 

  1. Say what you want, but I love Botox. I started to notice the two vertical lines shooting upwards between my eyes from my early forties and by around 45 it was all I could see when I looked in the mirror.  Obviously by this time I had read everything I could on Botox and was interested but scared, then one day I couldn’t face seeing the 11s anymore and made an appointment.  I’ve never looked back and have minimal injections every six months that clear those “concentration lines”.  It doesn’t hurt, there’s no side effect and honestly, it has given me back my confidence.  I love it, and no-one can tell me otherwise.

 

  1. Pick an exercise that easily fits into your routine and you’ll keep doing it. I go running.  Though strictly speaking it’s a jog, I do it three or four times a week before I start work and have been doing it for so long it has become second-nature to exercise before I shower and get dressed and is part of my daily routine. I wouldn’t do it if I had to get dressed, drive to a gym etc, but it’s free and neatly fits into my day. I have no excuse.

 

  1. Saying thanks goes such a long way. I blush to my roots when I think of the times I received cards and gifts as a child and didn’t respond and acknowledge the thought with thanks.  My parents didn’t instil the discipline in me and now I’m older I realise how much the gesture means.  I try to remember now

 

  1. Working with young people motivates me. I notice it more and more, people in charge are now younger than me.  Whether it’s the store manager, policeman, doctor, a client, I feel like I’m always thinking how young people look and how able they are.  It frightens me a bit, because it means that I’m in the generation that has passed its first flush of life, but I also love working with and surrounding myself with young people.  It rubs off, that youthful motivation, goal-driven passion for all that can be achieved in a day and gives me a kick up the backside to do my best.

 

  1. An eyebrow is important, two are preferred. I don’t have much beauty advice, but after Botox the one treatment that I can’t live without is Microblading.  It has changed my face.  I can’t see for toffee, so pencilling in my eyebrows was a joke.  Eyebrows frame the face and this tattoo-like treatment means I only must pluck a few stray hairs, which I can just about do, and my face looks alive even before I feel it

 

  1. Be careful what you say. I’m always going on about my love of flying, because it generally means I’m getting out of dodge on a big old aeroplane and heading somewhere far more interesting, but for my 50th Steve has bought me an hour’s flying lesson in a two-seater plane!!!  I’ll let you know how that goes….

5 Ways I’ve Made Working From Home A Success

 

I became a freelance PR at the end of 2006.  It wasn’t planned, at all.  I had become sick in the summer, suffering from Bells Palsy, which had me laid up for a few weeks and during that time I realised that I just didn’t want to go back to my job, working in a PR agency in Covent Garden.

 

While convalessing back in Bristol, where I’d fallen sick, I started to think about what I would do if the Bels Palsy left me with permanant damage to my face.  I was suffering from stroke like syptoms down the left-hand side of my face, and I began to wonder if I could do my job, which mainly involved writing and talking to the media, from home.

 

I met up with a good friend who said she was looking for some freelance support and that was all I needed to hand in my notice.  I leapt into an unknown future.

 

What I love most about being self-employed, though it has its ups and downs, is working from home.  It has surprised me that I don’t mind being alone for one thing, because for the most part I’m on my own and I love to talk.  I mean I can really chat some when I want to and I love company.  You only have to look at my old school reports to know, “well, Mrs Dibble, Gail is easily distracted”.

 

More and more people are choosing to work alone, so I thought I would share some tips that I’ve learned.  If you have tips and tricks please share in the comments below.

 

1 – Music All Day Long

Steve is the real music fan in this house, so I’ve learnt from the best and have a radio on in the background all day long.  It keeps me up to speed on the news of the day, there’s chatter that can imitate a noisy office background and I turn the dial to suit the different moods I’m in or need to get to.  If I need to quicken my pace it’s Kisstory club sounds all the day, but there’s plenty of times that I’ll go on Youtube and pick out a favourite and enjoy The Best Of…

 

2 – Early Morning Jog

It wakes me up with a blast of fresh air – there’s nothing more mind-numbing than moving from bed to desk in one move – and means I can tick exercise off the list before my day really begins.  I just have a quick espresso, start up Strava and stick on my head phones.  Admittedly sometimes I feel like I’m running in my sleep and my legs are still heavy from the night’s sleep, but I really am chuffed.

3 – Watching the Clock

It’s not what you think.  I watch the clock to do the best, most effective job I can.  By keeping track of my time, from the start of a piece of work, to when I finish, not only means I’m efficient for my own purposes, I’m accurately billing for my businesses.  If you don’t, you can easily think you haven’t done enough and over-service, equally, the people who pay me want their money’s worth.  Using timesheets means we’re both winning.

 

4 – Office Essentials

Includes a clutter free desk (have I said I can be easily distracted), good coffee (see last week’s post here), hand cream – (currently loving Neutrogena Hydra Boost), a pin board with motivational quotes and pics of family and friends, cute fairy lights to cheer me up in the winter and a leafy plant to help clean the air.  I have a Spider plant on a shelf, which I bought years ago.  I’ve never looked after a plant so well.  And I talk to it!

 

 

Lastly, I always have a bottle of bubbles on the side of my desk. It reminds me that my job is supposed to be fun.  I’m not saving the planet, but sometimes it can get stressful when working to others deadlines.  You remember Ab Fab, right?!  Successful pitches, wins, achievements just need to be celebrated…

 

5. Decor

 

We turned our small bedroom into an office space.  Aside from the usual equipment (desk, exec-style office chair, printer/copier/scanner, modern table lamp, white blinds and a mug coaster) I added a snazzy rug and brick wallpaper, to give the space a sense of being in a real office.  There’s no room for lying on a bed when you’re trying to earn money.

 

Have a great weekend.

 

 

Gail xx

 

P.S  I didn’t take the photo on the front page.  Credit: wong via unsplash

Being Present

Credit: Priscilla-du-preez via Unsplash

 

I was seriously craving some ‘time out’ last weekend.  The plan was to chill, enjoy some sun, fun, food, family and friends and unwind the knot that was giving me some serious gyp in my neck.

 

So imagine my frustration when I spent the first 45 minutes of Saturday morning working.

 

That I’m aware of, I don’t save lives for a living, but it has become second nature to look on my phone ALL THE TIME and it was my addiction to grabbing my phone, while in bed, that got my weekend off to a bad start.

 

The annoying thing is that it didn’t have to go that way.  If I hadn’t opened the email I never would have known that someone had contacted me, or felt the need to respond, there and then.

 

I’m the same with text and whatsapp messages.  I’ll be sat eating supper with SP or we will have just sat down to watch a film together when a message beeps at me from the coffee table.  I don’t think twice about responding, sometimes with messages going back and forth for an hour at a time.

 

Of course, I start those conversations off as well.  I’ll ping off messages to friends late at night, assuming they’ll answer.  Of course, they will.  We’re all on our phones, aren’t we?  To be honest, I think a lot of us are.  But is being available 24/7 good for us and is it starting to affect our relationships with others in real life as well as our health and wellbeing?

 

Certainly, I’ve seen SP throw me some side eye when I’ve picked up my phone at every ad break to continue a message with someone else and as Saturday demonstrated, spending nearly an hour dealing with a work query was not the best way to start a much longed-for weekend of fun.

 

Emails, Instagram, LinkedIn, WhatsApp and Facebook, are all time thieves allowed into my life daily and I think it’s down to me to use them more wisely.

 

The internet and the invasive way it has entered our lives won’t be slowing down any time soon and to be honest I love the way the use of mobile phones has opened up my world.  I meet new people through it all the time, can multi-task life admin without leaving the sofa, and even glean new opportunities for work.  So what’s the problem.

 

It’s just too much.  I’m on it too much.  I feel anxious that I have to respond to every beep that lands on my phone.

 

I started dumbing down notifications, but have you noticed that with one single app you can receive three notifications, in separate ways, per message. I’ll get a ping, then a notification at the top of the phone screen and just to back both those up, a message to say I’ve got a message in my emails!

 

I mean!!

 

So, taking control back in to my own hands, I’ve decided that first off, I’m going to turn off the phone at 8 pm each night.  I need to give myself a cut-off point and SP keeps his phone on, so if anyone needs us in an emergency then they have his number, or our landline.

 

Secondly, I thought I would start reading my emails at scheduled times of the day.   Checking them constantly gets in the way of my to do list. As a PR, I communicate all day long, but I often need to sit down, gather my thoughts and write copy.  With constant interruptions it can take some time.  So perhaps a schedule of 9.30, 12.30, 2:00, 4:00 and 5:15 will be enough to read and respond to queries, even if it is to say I got your message and will get back to you tomorrow.

 

With this in mind, I started the experiment this week.  Here’s what happened:

 

Monday

Phone went off at 8 pm.  Twitched for two hours til bed-time, but slept better than I had in a while.

No work, no emails.

Tuesday

Phone off at 8 pm.  Less twitching, but my eyes were closing earlier than normal and I had to excuse myself from the Ten O’clock news…

Checked emails at 9.30 am.

Wednesday

Phone off at 8.10 pm.  I had to finish off a text…

First checked emails at 9.45 am.

Thursday

Phone off at 8:05 pm.  Responding to a text…

Checked emails at 9 am.

 

So I think I’m doing pretty good.  Albeit there does appear a loosening of the rule as the days go on, the deadline is firmly in my head and that’s because I’m already starting to feel the benefit.

 

Without the phone on and my eyes constantly staring into bright lights, they are naturally dimming ready for bed.  My mind is also less anxious for the two hours before bed-time, well unless SP puts The Walking Dead on!

 

What you will have you noticed is that I have paid hardly any attention to the email scheduling.    Apart from starting to check them at 9.30, I have still been looking at my emails all day long, until the phone goes off at 8 pm.

 

Still room for improvement obviously, but I’m glad I have nailed the timeline for the phone.  I instantly feel relaxed when it’s off and the world hasn’t caved in.  Yet.

 

As for keeping in touch with family and friends, I hope my relationships will benefit. It’s already on my mind to make arrangements and meet up with people and when I go out with them, I’ll leave the phone in the bag…as soon as I’ve taken a pic of my food for Instagram.

 

I can cut down, not out.

 

Have a good weekend.

 

Gail xx

 

How do you feel about your mobile phone?  Friend or foe?  And even if a ‘friend’, is it over-staying its welcome at times?

 

Brunching to the Beet ‘n’ Roots

 

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What a difference some spring sunshine makes.  I was driving home from work on the hottest day of the year this week and all I could see were crowds of people outside pubs and even more walking to the nearest park with a rug and pack of Corona under their arms.  It’s the good life and long may it last.

 

Eating al fresco is one of the greatest pleasures when it’s beautiful outside and I started this week off right with brunch at Beets ‘n’ Roots Cafe on Cotham Hill, where a brand spanking new menu full of organic fresh food has just been launched.

 

The sunken, sundeck at the front of the cafe is a dream location for brunch, so basking in some glorious morning sunshine I quickly nabbed a freshly pressed raw juice and dived into the menu.

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It was hard to suppress the desire to try everything on it, and to be fair, I gave it a good go (!), but I was lucky enough to meet Lisa aka The Fuss Free Foodie, who like me, wanted a little of everything, so we buddied up for some brunching.

 

Everyone loves avocado toast and I often make my own at home.  What’s great about trying it when eating out is that sometimes you can pick up a fresh idea, which I did here.  The cafe spreads tahini  on to the sourdough toast before topping it with avocado, china rose sprouts and paprika.  I absolutely loved the taste of the tahini, which is made from roasted sesame seeds and tastes a bit like almond nut butter. I absolutely loved the additional nutty taste and it’s a trick I’m going to try at home.

 

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While I’m talking about nut butters can I give a quick shout out to Nutcessity.  I’ve not heard of this brand before, but Beets ‘n’ Roots were offering samples on the bar and I devoured this. A long time nut butter lover, this was one I haven’t tried and just loved.

 

Next, and literally we couldn’t help ourselves, we ordered buckwheat pancakes complete with banana, chocolate and maple syrup, sprinkled with coconut shaving and pumpkin seeds.  What’s not to love.  It was utterly divine.

 

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Yes, this was as delious as it looks and I can’t wait to take SP here.  He will love it.

 

Lastly, and we did this the wrong way round, we tried our hand at making our own smoothie bowls. We used the chocosmooth, with all its fabulous ingredients (raw cacao date, banana, avocado, nut butter and coconut milk), as our base and covered the top with raspberries, seeds, bee pollen, kiwi fruit, etc, etc!

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As wholesome, nourishing food goes, this was up there and who doesn’t like eating a rainbow of colour.  I really like the raw living approach the cafe offers and I won’t lie I felt pretty virtuous when I left.

 

Set up for the rest of the day, I headed home, feeling full and happy.  If you get chance, head to Beets ‘n’ Roots, it has a really great, chilled out vibe and I’m going back with SP to try a buddha bowl salad or chilli wrap.  It’s in a lovely part of Bristol that’s great for a little mooch around afterwards.  Perfect for warm weather weekends!

 

Have a great one.

 

Gail xx