Monday, 21 November 2016

An ode to the Pret Christmas sandwich.

My favourite part of Christmas is the eating: tonne boxes of Celebrations, M&S party food and enough roast potatoes to cater for a small principality. There is no festive feed mightier however, in my humble opinion, than Pret's Veggie Christmas Lunch.

A Christmas sandwich is a wonderful thing: an edible celebration contained within two slices of delicious bread. It is a taste of the best of times that can be eaten at the worst of times, a little bit of festive cheer for a long train journey or a joyless lunch stuck at your desk.

Pret offers 2 Christmas sandwiches (3 if you count the vegan one, I don't) and while the traditional meat number is delicious it is the vegetarian alternative that has my heart. Perfectly roasted chunks of butternut squash sit alongside something akin to stuffing, nutty and rich with a surprisingly fruity edge. Add in some mayo, some rocket and a smattering of crispy onions and you have a taste sensation. Just thinking abut said sandwich has made me ravenous.

Basically what I'm saying here is go to Pret today for your lunch, buy it, eat it and feel fucking fantastically festive. No need to thank me.

Wednesday, 16 November 2016

Treat Yo'Self

Sometimes, despite your best efforts, the simple stresses of life permeate your soul. I'm talking about the everyday Everest's: a particularly painful week at work, an empty bank account a fortnight before payday, the anxiety of an overdue smear. Like Jenga, these individual non-issues stack up unsteadily before one rogue piece (a misplaced set of keys, a finger burnt while cooking dinner) renders the whole thing a messy heap.

So how can we help ourselves when we feel overwhelmed? 'Don't worry' is a comforting phrase but I'm the kind of person who assumes my boyfriend's been in a terrible car accident if he's over 15 minutes late getting home from work. When I was young I would lock myself in my bedroom and cry if a member of my household was poorly, worried about what fate awaited them.

So, to stop myself from crying in the work toilets or reaching for a weeknight bottle of wine, I've found a few things that help me look after myself:

Sheet Masks
I am obsessed with Japanese style sheet masks. Soaked in cooling serum, these super thin cloth/paper masks require the wearer lie down for a minimum of 15 minutes. May I recommend pairing with a comedy podcast for ultimate escapism.

Going for a walk in the crisp winter weather is perfect for clearing your head. I find I get some of my most rational thinking done when powering home from work after a hectic day.

Get into a TV show with loads of episodes and get caught up in somebody else's world for a little while. Warning, binge-watching American Horror Story may result in some weird dreams.

While my inability to write as regularly as I'd like makes me agitated, I find quiet comfort in composing these mundane monologues. Carefully selecting words and phrases challenges my brain and calms me down.

Eating pizza in my pants
Because sometimes carbs and the Kardashians is just what you need...

A winter walk