Here’s a little video we made, to remember our trip to Thailand. It’s a fairly long one – but we did cram a hell of a lot into the time we had. Enjoy!

Money isn’t always flowing, especially when you’ve got a big holiday you’re saving up for. Sorry, have you heard? We’re going to Thailand. Here are a few cheap date night ideas to ensure your relationship stays fun and exciting.

Cook together
It’s actually a whole lot of fun mooching to the supermarket to pick out ingredients together and then work as a team to make dinner. You can make something pretty decent for less than £10. We make a pretty good team, Will and I – bacon cheeseburgers have been mastered.

Watch a film
Standard. But perhaps go out of your comfort zone a bit, choose something together that neither of you would choose usually. If it’s good, discuss it. If it’s shit, turn It off and laugh about it.

Walk together
We’re not great at this – as Londoners we need somewhere to be going. A to B – not meandering around until we come back to A sometime in the undetermined future. So, usually we are usually walking to a pub, rather than getting a bus. It’s really companiable, you can hold hands, and science shows that being side by side (as opposed to face to face) is easier when you need to tell someone something (something to do with lack of confrontation). So if you either want to tell them you love them or that you absolutely hate their t-shirt, now’s the time.

Visit a museum
We are soooooo spoiled for choice in London! We recently went to the Imperial War Museum. It was such a nice way to spend a day and it was totally free (bar a donation). There’s the Science Museum, the V&A…so many to choose from. DO IT.

People-watching
This doesn’t have to be deep and meaningful. Grab a coffee or a glass of wine and sit on Southbank and watch people as they pass by. Obviously keep your voice down, you mustn’t hurt anyone’s feelings – but having a giggle over a toupee in secret is hilarious.

Have them teach you something
Whether it’s a recipe, a song, or even how to play Fifa, having them teach you something is rewarding on both sides. It doesn’t have to be anything technical. For example, I now know how aggregates and the leagues work in football, and Will knows how and why we colour-correct. Bangin’.

Join friends
Inviting another couple for tea or going for a few drinks is a great idea for changing things up on a date night. Go to a pub that has pool or darts and take it in turns to pay for games. Girls vs boys or couple vs couple? Intense.

Shag
Well. Obviously. Sorry mum.

Have you got any other ideas for great date nights? Let me know.

As a little girl Dawn seemed to have a charmed life, but she was hiding a dark secret: that her older brother, John, was abusing her. Then, aged fourteen, she was groomed by the father of a schoolfriend, a local businessman who seemed to love her. She ran away from home to be with him. Pregnant at sixteen, rejected by her parents, she ended up marrying him. She had no idea that he was a notorious criminal.For years, Dawn suffered horrific abuse from her husband and was frequently hospitalised. She was also forced to work all hours in the bars he owned and realized she was good at business – better than him. As her confidence grew, she found the strength to tell the police about her brother. Gradually, Dawn realised she was more than a battered wife – she was a survivor. When she fell in love with a genuinely good man, she hatched a dangerous plan to free herself from her abusive husband and take the thing he cared about most – his money.

I warn you now, this book will be uncomfortable read, involving child sexual abuse, grooming, domestic abuse and controlling coercive behaviour, but it is uncomfortable in the right way.

I found this book refreshingly written, as too many shy away from some details when tackling the theme of child abuse as if they are ashamed or too scared they will shock and horrify, or they try to be overly clinical – but this Dawn gives enough detail  to help readers understand the reality of what happened to her, and tackles the topics in an open way that gives a very real insight into the world of a victim turned survivor. You will feel both disgusted for yet also inspired by this young girl as she grows into the strong woman she becomes.

I found this book unputdownable. I started it and quite simply could not put it down until it was finished. A very gripping and compelling autobiography. The book very clearly illustrates early sexual abuse and coercive control and how such experiences affect the victim’s sense of their own self-worth and what is normal behaviour in a relationship.

Dawn said in an interview:  ‘Today, my freedom and independence mean the world to me. I believe that everybody has the right to be where they want, with whomever they chose. Now I want to inspire others to find the confidence to search for that freedom too.”

If you need help, call the Freephone 24 Hour National Domestic Violence Helpline on 0808 2000 247. Trained counsellors are there to listen and provide practical information and emotional support, every hour of the day.

I Own You is out now, at £3.80 for a Kindle Edition, or £4.00 for a paperback.

I’ve got to say, I absolutely abhor protein shakes. Absolutely gross! No matter how tasty the first sip is, I also find swallowing it gross and gag-worthy, no idea why. I’d rather just smash a boiled egg after a workout than mixing grim powders with milk or water.

However, I got the chance to try Savsé protein smoothies – a brand created by Guka Tavberidze.

A lot of smoothie-type drinks use heat pasteurisation to make the product last longer and kill bacteria. The ingredients are boiled at 78 degrees, which strips out the goodness. Savsé smoothies are different as they’re cold pressed.

They use a method called high pressure processing (HPP) to make their smoothies. The fruit and veg ingredients are packaged in plastic containers and put in a high-pressure chamber filled with water. When the chamber is switched on it reaches pressures of 87,000 psi. Everything is completely fresh and the process gets rid of bacteria and gives the product a longer shelf life

You can look at the range here, but I tried Protein Blast, Protein Smash and Protein Punch – perfect when you’ve just had a work out and nicely refreshing too.

My favourite was definitely Protein Punch. Here’s the description:

“We took the classic Piña Colada and stirred it up, Savsé style, to make drinking protein a whole lot tastier. What’s more, this is the UK’s first cold-pressed protein drink preserved using HPP. This smoothie is a great way to pack protein into your diet and help repair tired muscles.”

Ah, modelled after an alcoholic drink. Probably why it’s my favourite. Go me. I’ve popped the nutritionals below – I’m a big calorie-watcher so 70cals was nice to see:

Honestly, take a look at the range – I’m a big fan now and will continue to be. The range can be found in Boots, ASDA, Sainsbury’s, Waitrose and more.

I was also sent some other goodies to try out to help me on my way to fitness, and I have been really enjoying the water infuser from Bobble. Priced at £10.49, Bobble is a stylish, reusable bottle that filters water as you drink, using an ingenious replaceable carbon filter. when water passes through the filter, the carbon removes chlorine. bobble is intended for municipal tap water making water better, with every sip.

I’ve been drinking so much more water!

In addition, these Happy Plugs earphones have come in handy, both when working out and when listening to playlists during work hours. They come with different sized ear buds, such a good idea for those with little ears!

 

images courtesy of savse.com, water bobble.uk

If you didn’t know already, I’m heading to Thailand in April and I’ve been trying to get this ass in shape. Problem is, I’m really lazy with my food at the moment, especially seeing as I’m still living in a studio flat (until 25th March!) and cooking / creating anything is a full blown operation.

Enter Lizi’s Granola. I’ve always avoided granola as I find it difficult to find some without loads of sugar or without mountains of dried fruit (gross).

Lizi’s Granola looked really interesting with plenty of varieties in the range; I’ve been trying out both the low sugar and high protein products which are suitable for vegetarians, vegans and are GL tested (the science-y thing that works out how to make us fuller for longer).

I mixed mine with Greek yoghurt, but often just had it plain with semi-skimmed milk and either chopped up banana or a few raspberries chucked in.

I’ve got a really weird thing about soft cereal as well so if it’s been sat on a shelf for a while I’ll just throw it away (I know, I know) – but these have a resealable top so there is no issue here!

The granola kept me full until lunch as well, something really important if you don’t want to be reaching for the biscuit tin at 11am! In short, I’m a big fan of this stuff – I hope you will be too. Enjoy!

images courtesy of lizis.co.uk and http://www.freshmarketing.eu