Get some Headspace...

These days everyone is trying to find a way to be more 'mindful' with the high stress of society, but it doesn't happen by magic, it takes time to de-stress and there are different ways you can go about it. Recently, i've been reading the book 'The headspace Guide to Mindfulness and Meditation' by Andy Puddicombe, the creator of Headspace. 

(photos by Simon Teasdale)

So what's so good about the book? Firstly it's extremely easy to read, and very relatable. The book is full of anecdotes of about his life as a Monk and how he became a circus performer, and other people he has met on his journey and their stories. One story that particularly caught my interest (I won't give away details) was a man in India that had lost everything and still remained mindful. It really put things into perspective that no matter how bad things get, someone always has it worse and being angry about your difficulties doesn't help anything. 

Another great thing about the book were the case studies at the end. Andy has his own practice helping people with meditation and it is amazing what he can do, from the average person that you think is okay but really needs help, to people suffering with mental illness, meditation has helped where the doctor can't. With mental health being a big topic of conversation at the moment, it is important to remember alternative remedies such as meditation because I believe that drugs don't always work. 

How has it helped me? I can be quite prone to getting stressed out at times, especially with lots of uni work and being such a busy person, but I can honestly say that this book has changed things for me. Reading it has made me take a step back from my own life and feel gratitude and see what is really important. Now I don't get as worked up about things and I really feel like I appreciate things more, I am reminded everyday how much I enjoy life. I read this book along with using the Headspace app, if you want to give mindfulness a go, take a look at the website here


Rock Over Climbing

So i'm going to try out a new thing for my least once a month I am going to take part in a new sporting activity, whether it be close to home in Manchester or somewhere far away. By doing so, it means I get to try loads of different sports, and you get you see what there is on offer in terms of fitness activities so you don't have to stick to the treadmill, try something new.

This week's post is on Rock Over climbing centre in Manchester, situated a few minutes down the road from the MEN Arena. Simon goes quite often with his friends so I decided to give it a go and see what the buzz is about. If you're looking for something a bit different to do in the city centre and still get a full body workout it's a good place to be.

Climbing is an all over workout and it really does put your strength to the test when you're clutching onto the little coloured rocks and trying to pull yourself up. Even if you are a regular gym goer you may find it difficult at times because your body isn't used to this type of exercise so it's a nice way to spice up your strength workout and get your heart rate up at the same time. You will also find that your fingers ache gripping onto the rocks as you don't usually use your finger muscles that much.

Tips: After going a couple of times I have a few suggestions...
1. go at least a size up from your normal shoe size in the rock climbing shoes you hire
2. take tape or plasters because cuts on hands are inevitable 
3. Wear comfortable clothing that you can move around easily in 
4. Bring water 

My favourite thing about Rock Over is that there is loads of room to climb and specially in the afternoon when it's quieter you can really spend loads of time there trying out the different difficulties and walls. The great thing is that you don't pay an hourly rate, you just pay and spend as much time as you want there, but trust me it is exhausting! 

If you want more information check out their website here


What's in Windermere

March was a pretty exciting month for me, lots of travelling and adventures, one of them being a trip to the Lake District as a late birthday weekend away. We spent the weekend in my friend's parent's pretty spectacular static caravan and saw everything that Bowness-on-Windemere and the surrounding areas had to offer. 

If you haven't visited the British countryside you need to get it on your to-do list, Britain has the most picturesque sights that you may take for granted when it is one of our great gems. One of my favourite parts of England is the Lake District, only 1h30 from Manchester and it holds the biggest lake in England. The Lakes cover such a vast mass of land you can never get bored, it hosts villages such as Windermere, Bowness, Kendal and Ambleside, all unique and full of quirky shops for you to explore. 

We stayed just on the outskirts of Bowness-on-Windemere, in a place called Castlethwaite, there is little to no phone signal, lots of fresh air and silence, it really is a place that you can relax and unwind. Across from the caravan park was a hotel/pub called the Damson Dene, which suprisingly had delicious and pretty upmarket food, not the normal pub grub i'm used to. Although I will admit, my favourite food was the greasy chippy we had on Sunday, followed by Nutella and Hazelnut ice-cream and the classic kendal mint cake on the drive home. 

If you're a shopper, it is a great place to be, Bowness especially, a short walk from the lake and you're surrounded by the village shops. You MUST visit the fudge shop, you'll smell it before you see it. When you go in you can try the different varieties and see them making it there and then. There are so many flavour (including peanut butter) and you can grab a variety bag to taste them all. There are lots of cafes and restaurants about and shops you can find all sorts of bits and bobs in. If you head up to Windemere, there is a fabulous handmade beauty shop called Agnes and Cat, they sell soy wax candles and bath goodies, like the delicious parma violet bath bomb I bought. 

If you've got more of a thing for exploring and adventure, do not worry, there is so much for you to do. At Brockhole there's loads land, including a tree top adventure park, a play area for children, mini golf and you can also hire boats to go out onto the lake. Or, if you're feeling like you want a rest, just have a stroll and take in the beautiful scenery. After this we visited Wray castle and had a quick look through Ambleside on the way. Unfortunetly the castle was closed whilst we were there, but the view was spectacular so we just took a walk around the grounds instead which was equally as pleasing. 

If you're visiting England, make sure you don't rule out our great countryside, and if you're from Britain, what about a holiday somewhere closer to home this year? 


Ramen at Shoryu

If you don't know what Ramen is it is delicious and you should try it and make sure you go to Shoryu for your first experience. Shoryu Ramen specialises in Hakata tonkotsu ramen from the Hakata district of Fukuoka city on the southern island of Kyushu, Japan. Hakata tonkotsu ramen is a style of ramen made with a thick, rich, white pork soup and thin, straight ramen noodles. Sound delicious? Course it does, here's what we thought...

You're in the middle of Manchester, but when you step into the restaurant you feel like you've walked into Japan. All of the staff welcome you with a traditional Japanese greeting, which I am not exactly sure what they said but it was great. The restaurant has such a cool and laid back vibe to it, it is the epitemy of casual dining, especially as we requested bibs because ramen is a sticky situation. There's an open kitchen with only a few chefs, even when the restaurant is busy, they keep their cool and still shout a welcome to all of the customers. 

We were looked after by the most friendly staff and they told us how it all goes. We both ordered the Shoryu buns, chicken for me and pork for Simon. Reflecting on the meal, this was my favourite part and I would have ordered more to take home. The buns are a light, sticky texture and don't leave you feeling bloated like normal bread, plus they also do gluten free and veggie options. 

Next for the main... Kotteri Hakata Tonkotsu for Simon and Miso Wafu Chicken for me. Tonkotsu is a 12 hour pork broth ramen, filled with pork belly, egg, kikurage mushrooms, spring onion, sesame, ginger, nori seaweed, but of course he had to get the dish with extra meat and egg. From what I was told it was delicious, there was lots of slurping going on and he even drank the juices left at the end. As for my meal, it was certainly a pretty picture, this was the first time i've seen pink ginger and i'm sure that'll be the same for most people! You get a generous helping of meat and I was surprisingly too full to finish the meal, which meant more for simon. 

Obviously never too full for dessert, I tried the matcha cheesecake, which I must say has an unusual taste. The matcha is very powerful but makes you feel like you're eating something healthy for dessert. All in all, it was a very interesting meal and not like any other place in Manchester, I've had my fair share of Asian food, but nothing quite like Japanese. If you want to widen your pallet and explore great places to eat, this is definitely one to tick off your list.