Sunday, 25 May 2014

Two great apps for my morning mind and body start-up routine.

Alice and Mum, today I bring you my first post on Under The Umbrella (eeep!). With my second to last exam on Tuesday, subletting my room and trying to find somewhere to live in Somerset before the big move (see This Redhead Says' blog post for reference), I've been trying to find little bits of time for myself to cool off and concentrate on not concentrating on anything for a few minutes. It seems to me that this is something that we all might benefit from at this stage in our lives so I thought I'd share. The two apps that I have been using are Headspace and Johnson & Johnson's 7 Minute Workout app.

App list

Johnson & Johnson's 7 Minute Workout app
This 7 Minute Workout app is one that I've been using for a while and my favourite out of a bunch that I've tried. I do the workouts to get me going in the morning and so that even if I've spent all day in the library I know that I've at least got a few of my muscles working even for a bit.
What do I like about it?
1. The workouts are as long or as short as you want, and do-able, with a video guy announcing the move and showing you how to do it.
2. Pips counting down the last few seconds of the move.
3. Customisable workouts - you choose from a list of exercises for each muscle group, how long you want the pauses, how many circuits.
4. EVEN I CAN DO IT :)

I originally started these exercises after climbing in Croatia and wanting to improve my strength and fitness, but I'm not really dedicated enough for that, I just need to climb more. Instead, this little workout has proved a good start-up mechanism, especially when coupled with the Headspace app discussed below.

7M home 7M Homescreen
Headspace
Headspace is a meditation app that starts you off with a free ten day program and then, if you like it, invites you to subscribe to daily meditations for a small monthly fee. The meditations are ten minutes long and, although you are guided through them as if you are sat on a chair, I quite enjoy just lying flat on the floor and taking ten minutes out to give my mind and body a break from the hustle and bustle. The past few days I've found it enjoyable to do a short workout in the morning using Johnson & Johnson's 7 Minute Workout app, take a shower, and then use the ten minutes of meditation to ready myself for the day.
Headspace loadingHeadspace homescreen

Tuesday, 29 April 2014

The Sisterhood of the Travelling Gourmandes at Bageriet

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So this weekend my lovely sister Alice came to see me in my London pad for a weekend of lounging around. Before the lounging, though, we walked from Waterloo to Covent Garden to try this lovely looking Swedish bakery, Bageriet, on Rose Street. We got there half an hour before it opened and the smell of cardamom and freshly baked tasty things was wafting out of an open window, making us salivate. By the time we were allowed in there was a little throng of us with our noses pressed against the glass watching the morning's pastries being displayed in the window. Inside is tiny and cute, with two tables and a beautifully soft curly sheep skin on the bench. Alice and I plumped for three likely looking treats, much to the envy and wide eyes of the little girl sat at the table beside us. Benefits of being a grown up! My favourite was the soft Mormors Sockerkringlor or Granny’s Sugar Pretzels, a buttered and sugared fresh brioche pretzel that is one of the simplest, tastiest things I've ever tried. The nutmeg laced hot chocolate that we shared hit the spot and we waddled out, stuffed and content.
I love the The Nordic Bakery - their cookbook, denim aprons, stark cafe and trendy crockery. Bageriet is a completely different kettle of fish, though. It's stylish and uncomplicated but homey and unpretentious, which I respect. It's all about the cake. Good on them.

BagerietBageriet
Bageriet on Urbanspoon