Mac & Wild: A Wee Taste Of Scotland

Mac & Wild on Great Titchfield Street, London, is lively, fun and authentically Scottish.  I was delighted to be invited in for a real taste of the Highlands.  Their menu revolves around venison, beef, pork, lamb and seafood – a meat lover’s idea of heaven!  I love that all their venison and game is wild and comes from their family in Ardgay, Scotland.  They also source their produce from a handful of friends, neighbouring estates and farms.

Wee Plates

The staff were all friendly, attentive and helpful and the food was amazing!  My server Iain could not have been nicer, his enthusiasm about the menu and the restaurant was evident, every restaurant should have an Iain! He recommended that I begin my Scottish culinary adventure with two popular wee plates.  The Haggis Pops were delicious and the Venison Scotch Egg was perfection served on a wooden board.  Iain told me that some people come in especially for the scotch egg and I can honestly say that I am not surprised, I will be joining them in the future.

Haggis Pops - a wee taste of Scotland

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Main Course

Angus, the manager, recommended I try the Scottish Breakfast for my main course.  I think that I have found the best bacon on earth!  The mushroom, homemade tatty scone, Lorne sausage, scrambled egg, black and white pudding were also yummy but I did struggle to finish as I was quite full up after my wee plates. Next time I visit I will definitely be trying their Veni-Moo burger which was voted the UK and London’s best burger 2016.  The couple at the next table loved it!

scottish breakfast

delicious bacon

Pudding

I Shouldn’t But I Will. Yes, my dessert was aptly named. It was heavenly – dark chocolate, salted caramel, orange, almonds and ice cream.

dessert salted caramel

I enjoyed my Virgin Mary, a non-alcoholic alternative to a Bloody Mary.

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I was impressed with the food at Mac & Wild. The restaurant was full at 3.30 on a Saturday afternoon – the popular Wild Brunch Club runs every Saturday and Sunday from 11 until 4pm.  The music added to the wonderful lively atmosphere in this rustic stylish restaurant. I really love that I can download their playlist from Spotify.

The best dishes at Mac & Wild are some of the tastiest food to be found in London.  I will definitely be going back for more!

*This is a collaborative post.

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UK Fibromyalgia

Posted in Fibromyalgia, review | 17 Comments

Taking Time To Relax Is Important

Taking time to relax is vital in maintaining your positive mental health. Relaxing releases your body’s feel-good hormones—serotonin, prolactin, and oxytocin—and lowers the stress hormone, cortisol. By incorporating moments of relaxation throughout your day, you will find a happier, healthier you.

Taking Time To RelaxToday I’m sharing with you how I’ve been relaxing my body and mind this week:

Listening to Mark Bowden’s Stress Relief Hypnosis download – hypnotherapy has been shown in clinical studies to reduce stress and promote mental health.  I’ve only been listening to Mark Bowden for two weeks but his soothing voice is really helping to focus my mind and relieve my day to day stress.

Reading a book in the sun – reading stimulates my imagination and helps me to relax. I’m enjoying Karen Slaughter’s emotionally complex thriller The Kept Woman.

Watching Game of Thrones – I’m on season 6 and loving it! It enables me to switch off from reality for a while and escape into a world of political manipulation, violence, love, sex and complex characters.

How have you relaxed your body and mind this week?

*This is a collaborative post and contains affiliate links.

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UK Fibromyalgia

Posted in Chronic pain, depression, Fibromyalgia, health, positivity | Tagged , , , | 34 Comments

Simply Delicious Seafood Linguine

Are you looking for a delicious meal that you can whip up in a flash?  Well, this seafood linguine is simple but super tasty.  I love it!

Delicious seafood linguine

My delicious seafood linguine recipe:

Ingredients

200g Linguine

Extra virgin olive oil

1 clove garlic

Seafood mix (fresh or frozen – king prawns, scallops, mussels and squid rings)

Juice of one lemon

2 tbsp half fat creme fraiche

Parsley

Method

Cook the linguine in salted boiling water for 9 minutes.

Heat 1 tbsp of olive oil in a frying pan, add the finely chopped garlic clove and seafood mix, cook over a medium to high heat, turning occasionally.  Remove from the heat.

Add the drained pasta to the seafood mix, then add the lemon juice, creme fraiche and the parsley. Mix together until well combined.

Delicious seafood linguineThis simple seafood linguine is yummy served with salad. Enjoy!

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UK Fibromyalgia

Posted in recipes | Tagged | 19 Comments

8 Invaluable Lessons Fibromyalgia Taught Me

8 Invaluable Lessons Fibromyalgia Taught meBeing diagnosed with Fibromyalgia has changed my life. It’s easy to focus on all the negatives but today I’m focusing on the invaluable lessons Fibromyalgia taught me.

  1. Fibromyalgia taught me how to lean on other people. Asking for help is a sign of strength, not weakness. It took a fibro diagnosis for me to really get the meaning of this. I now know that seeking support is the best thing to do for my health.
  2. Fibromyalgia taught me how strong I really am, that I am able to get through whatever life hands me. Adjusting to life with a fibromyalgia is tough, but now that I’ve done that, I know that I am better equipped to handle whatever else comes my way. I learned that I have more courage and strength than I had ever given myself credit for.

    Fibromyalgia taught me how strong I really am, that I am able to get through whatever life hands me.

  3. Fibromyalgia taught me to appreciate the simple things in life – snuggling with my cats, homemade ice-cream, the beauty of nature or a call from a friend. Some days every muscle in my body will be in agony but this makes me appreciate the good pain days even more and to value the positives in my life.
  4. Fibromyalgia allowed me to tap into a more empathetic side of myself. I can relate more to people who may be going through tough times. It taught me how to be more empathetic and understanding of people and their situations. My heart breaks for anyone who is in pain.

    Fibromyalgia allowed me to tap into a more empathetic side of myself

  5. Fibromyalgia taught me the importance of saying ‘no’. I had to learn how to distinguish doing important things for other people and doing important things for me. I alone am responsible for not only setting my health boundaries but enforcing them as well. My energy is precious, I have to use it wisely. Sometimes I have to say ‘no’ so that I can rest and look after myself.
  6. Fibromyalgia showed me what true friendship looks like. Some people don’t understand what it is like to live with fibro. I have discovered my true friends, those who are here for me no matter what. Fibromyalgia has shown me an appreciation for the people that have stuck with me on my journey. I am blessed.

    Fibromyalgia showed me what true friendship looks like. (1)

  7. Fibromyalgia taught me that self-care is important. Self-care is a necessity. It is as important as the air you breathe. If you don’t put yourself on your own priority list and take care of yourself, no one else will either.
  8. Fibromyalgia taught me that I could belong to a wonderful online community. I’ve become part of a strong, supportive community. They remind me that I’m never alone. Being able to lean on people in the same situation who know what I am going through is so inspiring and comforting. Sharing my story through this blog has helped and inspired others. I never knew that being so open and honest about what I go through and how I live my life would be so helpful for other Fibro sufferers.

    Fibromyalgia taught me that I could be part of a meaningful online community

Living with Fibromyalgia is a challenge, but I know I wouldn’t be the person I am today if it wasn’t part of my journey through life.  Whatever else life throws at me, I am ready. I am a fibro fighter!

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UK Fibromyalgia

Posted in Chronic pain, Fibromyalgia, positivity | Tagged , , | 33 Comments

Delicious Bramley Apple Brioche Bake

I enjoyed baking the delicious Bramley Apple Brioche Bake recipe that I discovered on the Bramley Apple website.

Delicious Bramley Apple Brioche Bake

Delicious Bramley Apple Brioche Bake

Ingredients

350g Bramley apples, peeled, cored and sliced thinly
60g caster sugar
150g brioche, sliced (approx 6 slices) and halved into triangles
2 eggs, beaten
300ml double cream
300ml milk
150g raspberries
25g butter
2 tbsp demerara sugar

Method

Firstly, I arranged the apple slices in my ovenproof dish and I sprinkled caster sugar over the apple slices.

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I placed the brioche slices on top.

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I then beat together the eggs, cream and milk and poured the mixture over the brioche.

While I left it soaking for 20 minutes I pre-heated the oven to 170C.

I dotted the brioche with butter, scattered the raspberries and sprinkled with the demerara sugar.

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I baked it for 30-45 minutes until set and golden.

Delicious Bramley Apple Brioche BakeDelicious Bramley Apple Brioche Bake

Our verdict? Absolutely delicious!  I will definitely be baking this again…….and again!

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UK Fibromyalgia

Posted in Baking, Fibromyalgia, recipes | Tagged , | 31 Comments

7 Things I Loved in July

July was another challenging month – my fibro pain was intense and I felt so fatigued. My depression hasn’t lifted but I’m working on building my confidence again, I’m practising mindfulness and I’m focusing on the positives in my life.

7 Things I Loved In July

Today I’m sharing 7 things I loved in July.

1. Reading and relaxing in my garden.  We had a few sunny days  🙂

20160723_1029402. Making homemade ice cream in my new ice cream maker. I bought two recipe books to indulge my love for ice cream. I LOVE the mango recipe in Ice Cream Made Easy: Homemade Recipes for Ice Cream Machines. The vanilla and chocolate chip was a favourite with my friend’s girls. My friends also tried the delicious strawberry pavlova ripple, the banana and passion fruit and the yummy strawberry and clotted cream. The mocha ice cream recipe from Ben and Jerry’s Homemade Ice Cream and Dessert Book was a winner too.

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3. Watching movies at the cinema.

Independence Day: Resurgence – Two decades after the freak alien invasion that nearly destroyed mankind a new threat emerges. This Allen mothership is more than twice the size as the last one and once again, the world’s armies must band together to save the world. Do they have enough firepower or will this battle change and will aliens take over? http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1628841/. I enjoyed this movie, it was full of thrills and special effects but I did miss Will Smith!

Now I See You 2 – One year after outwitting the FBI and winning the public’s adulation with their Robin Hood-style magic spectacles, The Four Horsemen resurface for a comeback performance in hopes of exposing the unethical practices of a tech magnate. The man behind their vanishing act is none other than Walter Mabry, a tech prodigy who threatens the Horsemen into pulling off their most impossible heist yet. Their only hope is to perform one last unprecedented stunt to clear their names and reveal the mastermind behind it all. http://www.imdb.com/title/tt3110958/. It had its entertaining moments but it wasn’t as good as the first movie. It has lost its magic!

4. Homemade freshly baked bread. Yummy!

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5. Freshly squeezed orange juice in the morning.

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6. Watching Amazon Prime videos through my Sony BDP-S3700 SMART Blu-Ray.

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7. Lunch with my friends  🙂

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*This post contains affiliate links.

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UK Fibromyalgia

Posted in Chronic pain, depression, Fibromyalgia, invisible illness, positivity | Tagged , , | 24 Comments

The Benefits Of A Supportive Online Community For Those Who Live With Fibromyalgia

Each fibromyalgia diagnosis begins a unique journey, sometimes it’s a lonely one. If you have been diagnosed with fibromyalgia you may find comfort and strength through online support forums or groups, where you can discuss and share your feelings and experiences with others who are facing common challenges. Talking with other people whose lives are affected by fibromyalgia can create a sense of community. I’ve learned that others are experiencing similar thoughts and fears, and have similar questions, and that sharing and discussing these issues make me feel less isolated. I’ve become friends with some amazing people who also live with fibromyalgia. We don’t judge each other, we cry and laugh together, and we support each other on bad pain days. These wonderful online friends have enriched my life.

The Benefits Of A Supportive Online Community For Those Who Live With Fibromyalgia (1)

Being a member of a supportive online community can be liberating, allowing you to share your experiences, and have your feelings, fears and frustrations validated by others. I find it easier to share things with my online friends because I feel more comfortable typing the words than saying them. By sharing with those who understand what you are going through, you realise that others are also trying to work through the same personal struggles; this can help reduce your stress and anxiety.

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An online community creates a sense of belonging that can help you feel more understood and less alone. They provide 24-hour availability, as well as bringing together people from different geographic areas.  The internet knows no boundaries, I’ve become friends with wonderful people from all over the world.

Online support groups and forums allow people to learn from others and share invaluable practical tips and coping strategies for managing the day-to-day challenges of living with fibromyalgia. You can easily share resources such as websites, disability aides, information, and fibromyalgia research news. You can share your tips on how to manage pain and fatigue, you can discuss medication and the various side effects. Exchanging information and advice may provide you with a sense of control and reduce any feelings of helplessness.

The following are friendly supportive online communities for those living with fibromyalgia:

UK Fibromyalgia forum:

http://www.ukfibromyalgia.com/forums/

Facebook groups: 

https://www.facebook.com/groups/UKFibromyalgiaPrivate/

https://www.facebook.com/groups/FibromyalgiaImages/

https://www.facebook.com/groups/MenAndFibromyalgia/

https://www.facebook.com/groups/YoungPeopleWithFibromyalgia/

Keep smiling  🙂

Claire

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UK Fibromyalgia

Posted in Chronic pain, Fibromyalgia, invisible illness | Tagged , , | 26 Comments

A Hug In A Box – My July BuddyBox

A Hug In A Box- My July BuddyboxSelf-care is vital in maintaining a healthy relationship with yourself, it’s about identifying your own needs, taking proper care of yourself and taking the time to nurture you.  You need to treat yourself as kindly as you treat others. Self-care enhances positive feelings, which improves self-esteem and confidence. The BuddyBox subscription service is a fantastic way to enjoy a little self-care every month, it also makes a thoughtful gift for anyone affected by depression, anxiety or stress.  Packed full of great treats it will lift your spirit as it encourages self-love and self-care.  Quite simply – it’s a hug in a box!

What’s in this month’s box?

  • Superhero pencil with a rubber cape – it certainly brought a smile to my face. It’s a gentle reminder that I’m a warrior, fighting the effects of Fibromyalgia and depression.
  • #365daysofselfcare post-its! The Blurt Foundation have challenged me to commit to doing something as self-care every single day. This challenge will encourage me to look after myself – physically, emotionally and mentally. Challenge accepted! Lots of people have accepted the challenge and we will be using the hashtag #365daysofselfcare.
  • Pineapple 3D air freshener – my friend will love this, it will look super cute hanging in her car and it smells amazing!
  • Face mask (pomegranate and blueberry) – I’m looking forward to treating my skin to a little luxury.  My skin will thank me!
  • A5 notebook – a cute fox with feathers ( I love stationary and this notebook is the perfect size for my handbag)

I love this month’s BuddyBox, it’s just the boost I need as I battle with Fibromyalgia and depression. This month I will be taking better care of myself so that I can improve my health and get stronger so that I can deal with the challenges ahead.

Keep smiling  🙂

Claire

UK Fibromyalgia

Posted in subscription box | Tagged , , , , | 20 Comments

Zingy Lemon Crunch

Zingy Lemon CrunchThis zingy delicious lemon crunch is the perfect summer dessert and a great addition to any family party.

Ingredients

200g Ginger Nuts/Digestive biscuits

80g unsalted butter

125ml double cream

397g tin of condensed milk

Juice and zest of 2 Lemons

Grated chocolate

Method

  • Crush the ginger nuts/digestives in a food processor.
  • Melt the butter in a microwave or a saucepan, then stir in the crushed biscuits and mix well.
  • Add the biscuit and melted butter mixture to a 30cm flan dish, press the mixture into the base of the dish and chill for at least 30 minutes.
  • Put the lemon zest and juice into a bowl with the condensed milk and cream and whisk gently until the mixture is thick and creamy.
  • Pour the lemon mixture over the biscuit base, then grate over the chocolate.
  • Chill for at least 4 hours but preferably overnight to intensify the flavour.

20160201_193446_Fotor3 You could also decorate the zingy lemon crunch with strawberries or raspberries.

Enjoy!

Keep smiling   🙂

Claire

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UK Fibromyalgia

Posted in Fibromyalgia, recipes | Tagged , | 26 Comments

9 Things I Loved In June

9 Things I loved in JuneToday I’ve been reflecting on the month of June, it’s been a challenging month, my health has not been great – physically and mentally. I’ve seen a number of doctors and consultants, I’ve endured being prodded and poked and I’ve had various tests done. Hopefully I will begin to see that light at the end of the tunnel soon.  My blog and your comments, messages and tweets keep me going. Thank you!

Today I’m sharing with you 9 things I loved in June:

  1. Receiving my BuddyBox filled with goodies. The BuddyBox is a subscription box which is designed to counter the pressures we face in modern life and is packed full of thoughtful, mood-lifting treats.  This month’s box was filled with summery treats – cooling ‘panda eye’ pads (These are fab!), refreshing mint tea, a cute tropical toucan badge to remind me of warmer climes, a summer journalling project in the form of a ‘paper time capsule’, instead of sending postcards from my holidays, I can write letters to my future self (I LOVE this!) and a multi-coloured biro to pen my letters with.20160613_120855_Fotor2
  2. Eating watermelon on a hot day, we did have one good week of sunshine this month. Hopefully July will see its return.  At least the rain is warmer! Slice of Watermelon
  3. Spending time with my cats, they love keeping me company and they are wonderful snuggle buddies.IMG_20160605_232251
  4. The joy of watching plants flourish in my garden.  I really enjoyed my strawberries with homemade meringue and cream.  20160630_203408_Fotor11
  5. My new butterfly garden lights – I love sitting in the garden at night, drinking a hot chocolate or herbal tea, it’s so peaceful and relaxing. http://amzn.to/29dN6NH20160621_222531
  6. The surprise sighting of The Lord Mayor’s Hot Air Balloon Regatta which flew over my house at 6am on a Sunday morning.IMG_7mqi5l_Fotor10
  7. Completing my mindfulness journal.  I’ve been taking the time to slow down and learn, simply, to breathe. http://amzn.to/29e4Kiz
  8. Taking the bold step this week to move my blog from wordpress.com to self-hosted, learning along the way about plug-ins, broken links and http://.  I have so much more to learn, but I belong to a wonderful supportive blogging community that will hopefully be able to answer my queries.
  9. Enjoying a raspberry smoothie for breakfast – refreshing and tasty, it’s a great way to start the day.  http://amzn.to/29pgaP420160606_120401_Fotor

What did you love in June?

Keep smiling 🙂

Claire

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*This post contains affiliate links.

UK Fibromyalgia

Posted in Chronic pain, Fibromyalgia, Home grown, positivity | Tagged , , | 29 Comments