Free Spotify Playlist – August 2014

free spotify playlist
For this month’s free Spotify playlist, I put the breaks on before I filled the entire list with Sheryl Crow’s greatest hits…

Something about summer and Sheryl, am I right?

Instead, I have popped a few old school jams with some of my most modern favourites. These are the choons you should be waking up to, listening to on your way to work, and playing for your friends before you paint the town red. Or whatever colour makes me not sound like an eighty year old.

(Need to catch up on last month’s? Click here for July’s free Spotify playlist.)


(Download Spotify here. It’s free!)

Track listing:
Harlem by New Politics
Doo Wop (That Thing) by Lauryn Hill
Kangaroo Court by Capital Cities
All I Wanna Do by Sheryl Crow
Play With Fire by Vance Joy
Farrah Fawcett Hair by Capital Cities
Groove Me by Maximum Balloon and Theophilus London
Out Tonight from the RENT Soundtrack
Wildfire by Sybtrkt
San Francisco by The Mowgli’s
Pumpin Blood by NONONO
Trojans by Atlas Genius
Breezeblocks by alt-J
Soak Up The Sun by Sheryl Crow
Ways To Go by Grouplove
I Lived by OneRepublic
Cheers (Drink To That) by Rihanna

The Technology Fast

the tech fast
Last week, the guys at Insurance2Go challenged me to go technology free for 24 hours.

It is safe to assume that every reader of this blog is somewhat dependent on technology, and I am not excluded from the assumption. I am a self-diagnosed tech addict.

Hidden under the jazzy lighting of the photo above are all the portable devices I have used over the past month; two phones (though I am positive I will only use my new LG G3 from this point on), an iPad, a laptop, and a Surface. This is not including the computer I spend all of my work day at.

The 24 hours was going to be a challenge akin to ripping Kim Zolciak away from her wigs.

Did I make it? Not exactly (when you hear your phone buzz 50 times while working out alone, willpower is low).

My livelihood is technology and if this experiment taught me anything, it is that I am proud of it. While I am probably prone to an extraneous Instagram or two, technology is my lifelife, overall. It connects me to the continents I no longer live on, connects me to my clients, readers, friends, and news (both personal and impersonal).

To be tech-free is to be alone in this day and age. I’m happy to be a junkie.

A Tour of Innocent HQ: The Art of Good Taste

innocent hq 1
Last week, I traipsed on over to innocent HQ (aka Fruit Towers) to spend the evening chatting, nibbling, learning, and juice-making – all in an ode to The Art of Good Taste.

Welcomed to the evening with my own Lela London-branded innocent smmoothie (I’m genuinely going to make this happen), I was then taken on a tour of innocent’s headquarters; all inclusive of lego walls, phone boots, juice labs, train track-covered meeting rooms, and more…

Between taste training and catch-ups with friends old and knew, we enjoyed moreish nibbles from The Dip Society (including a so-called ‘Crack Brownie’ that had everyone loopy like it was served with a side of Ryan Gosling).

After undergoing innocent’s official sensory training (I passed! #SUPERPALATE) and trying our legs at juicing fruit and veg with a cycle-powered blender, we capped things off with an interactive talk by the authors of the best-selling ‘The Flavor Bible’, Karen Page and Andrew Dornenburg.

All in all, a fabulous evening.

innocent hq 2
innocent hq 3
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Interior Design: My Home Tour

home tour
Welcome to my home tour (if we weren’t chatting through a screen, I would offer you a drink).

To set the scene: The Manfriend and I moved in roughly two months ago. Moving out of a rather enormous house and into a two bedroom apartment meant we came up against a few space issues, but I am altogether incredibly happy with the way our small time interior design projects and investments have come together.

It is not my dream home – far from it – but it is amazing value for renting in the centre of Leeds and a stone’s throw from the station, which means easy commutes to and from London while working in dual cities.

Let’s take you around…
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In Review: Vapiano Soho, London

vapiano soho london
The well-reviewed Italian ‘chain’ restaurant Vapiano recently opened their third UK site on Wardour Street in Soho.

Try as I might to avoid chains, my intrigue finally got the better of me.

Dragging my best and hungriest guy friend along for the ride, we decided to spend a long lunch hoisted on the bar stools of Vapiano’s least-busy location (the Great Portland Street restau is always heaving with The Lunch Crowd).

The concept, in theory, is ingenious: upon entering, you’re given a Vapiano card that gets charged every time you order an item from one of their various food and drink stations. When you’re ready to leave, you simply hand the card over to the F.O.H. team and settle your bill.

The issue? There is something lost in translation. Do you wait for your food to be made and take it back to your table? What if you have an issue with your food? What if you want multiple items – or courses – but don’t want to leave a conversation or wait in a queue? What if you’re in a large group and other people get their food much quicker than others (I saw this happen a few times between antipasti lovers and patient pizza lovers)?

Regardless of the card hoopla, I really enjoyed Vapiano. I found it to be great value, fresh, and a lovely atmosphere to dine in. The card system is simply not being executed in a way that does the food justice.

Lucky enough to arrive before the lunch rush, I got through a gorgeous strawberry and fresh spinach salad (dressed with goats’ cheese, red onions, pine nuts and homemade raspberry maple dressing), a plate of carpaccio, and the ‘death by chocolate’ cake – all of which totalled under £20. While my friend opted for a carby mix of bread-based antipasti, an ‘internationally inspired’ barbecue chicken pizza (topped with smoked cheese, red onion, tomato sauce, mozzarella, and barbecue sauce stripes), and a classic baked vanilla and lemon cheesecake, his feast was equally cheap and equally delicious.

My advice? Avoid the lunch rush, go with no more than three friends, and stagger your ordering. The food is worth it.

vapiano soho london review
vapiano soho london review
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