Ever heard of Enzo in the city centre? Maybe not, but I guarantee you’ve walked past it before. Situated on Fountain Street, at the back of Primark, this popular little pizza joint is quite the hidden gem in Manchester so when I was invited to try out their brunch menu last week, I was intrigued.

When you think of brunch in Manchester, its natural to think mainly of the Northern Quarter and all of the popular places there, but Enzo is one to keep an eye out for. More popularly known as a pizza joint, Enzo has been open since summer this year. Specialising in fresh pizza dough baked daily and their own recipe tomato sauce, it’s easy to see why there’s a buzz around this place.

Why you walk in, you’re greeted by the smell of fresh herbs and spices, garlic and pizzas cooking in the oven; what more could you want? The decor is very colourful, with brightly coloured lights against exposed brick walls, and big wooden tables. The word pizza is also done in festoon lights at the back of the restaurant.

The restaurant is owned by James, who has quite the story about how the brand was born: One day when his car wouldn’t start, he was forced to get the bus to work, when he was greeted by a smiley driver named Enzo. After getting the bus daily for a number of months, he struck up a friendship with him based on their love of food, and they discussed their dream in which to start a restaurant. Unfortunately, Enzo’s mother became ill, so it was down to James to start the business alone; fast forward to the present day and Enzo is certainly coming into its own.

I visited Enzo back in July for a blogging event, but as I had just started my new job, I only caught the last 10 minutes. As the staff as so lovely, they boxed me up some food to take away, but I have always wanted to go back to try it out properly. When I was invited to brunch by the lovely Sophie, my first thought was, brunch, in a pizza restaurant, I wonder what that entails?

When I got there, I remembered how central the location is, literally less than 5 minutes from the tram station. I was greeted by Vicki and Sophie and saw Tanesha on my way in before Christine joined us shortly after. We met at 11:30am, and the place was already packed full of families, couples and groups of friends, which is always a good thing.

We ordered hot drinks and had a peruse of the menu. I was pleasantly surprised to see my favourite, poached eggs, with loads of different side additions as well as eggs benedict, pastries, and ciabattas, but the thing that caught my eye was the breakfast pizzas, which Sophie went for – I opted for the poached eggs, cherry tomatoes and avocado.

The brunch menu is served until 12, and I would definitely recommend giving this place a go – the staff were so friendly, the food was delicious and the portions were huge, although I didn’t struggle one bit, naturally. We finished the meal off with some lovely girly chat over a mulled wine and a mince pie; very festive indeed.

If you’re struggling to find somewhere in the city centre, I would highly suggest Enzo, and I will definitely be back to try some more of the menu. It’s right in the centre of town, but away from the hustle and bustle of Market Street, and the menu has something for everyone including gluten-free and vegan options.

xx

My meal at Enzo was complimentary. All views are my own. 

Is December going by in the blink of an eye for anyone else? I can’t believe Christmas is less than two weeks away, and I’m still to buy any presents. Usually, I’m quite good at being organised, but this year its just slipped away from me and before you know it, the day will be here.

But before I start to have a freak out about how much I’ve got to do, I thought I would mention everything I was loving last week.

After reading this post back, the majority of it has reveovled around food, which is just the way my life is going at the moment. Is it even Christmas if you don’t look like a Christmas pudding?

1.Christmas Party

On Tuesday evening, I dolled myself up for my work’s Christmas party at Artisan in Manchester. We’d hired the whole of the top of the restaurant because there is so many of us, and we had a three-course dinner and drinks. There was a free bar all night, but I was actually quite well behaved and got home around 1:30am, which was a few hours before a lot of other people by the sounds of things. It was really lovely to be out with work people as everyone really let their hair down.

2. We Blog North

Wednesday evening was the We Blog North’s Christmas party so I made my way into Manchester after work and over to Randall and Aubin. It was so lovely to catch up with everyone, and the food was delicious. I had a salmon terrine to start, baked cod and an apple pie with custard. We played pass the parcel, got a few Christmas treats and had a really lovely evening.

3. Alchemist Lunch

One of our suppliers at work came in for a meeting this week, and very kindly took me and the rest of my team to The Alchemist in Alderley Edge for lunch as our Christmas present. I had a cajun chicken wrap with sweet potato fries, and everyone else got the chicken katsu curry which looked and smelt amazing. I always think going out for lunch in the week is a little treat.

4. Friday Pamper

I had an evening at home alone on Friday evening, as Jordan was out at his work’s Christmas do, so I took the chance to have a proper pamper and chill. I had my pj’s on by about 7pm and caught up on TV shows I’d missed and watched Elf to get me in the Christmas spirit. It was a really lovely evening and reminded me that I need to have a chilled evening every once in a while.

5. Enzo Brunch

I was invited to a blogger’s brumch on Saturday morning at Enzo in the city centre. I’d been there once before when it had just opened, but didn’t make it for very long as I was at work in the day. It’s primarily a pizza place so I was intriuged by their brunch offering. It was a lovely little morning with some old friends and some new: I’ll be doing a full post on what I thought next week so look out for that one.

6. Tapeo and Wine

On Saturday evening, a couple of girls from work and I went for tapas at Tapeo and Wine as a bit of a pre-Christmas treat. I’d walked past the restaurant a few times before (it’s on Deansgate, if you know Manchester), but never been in so we thought we would give it a try. We had the Christmas tapas menu and the food was honestly some of the best tapas I’ve ever had. We had a whole selection of different dishes, and my favourites were the king prawn in a chilli infused oil, the Spanish omlette and the cured meat board. I would highly recommend checking it out if you’re in Manchester.

7. Sunday Morning

I felt like I hadn’t had a great week of sleep this week, so when my alarm went off on Sunday to get up and go to the gym, I turned it off and decided to have a morning in bed instead which is just what my body needed.

8. Catch Up

I met up with my friend Rosie on Sunday for a catch up as we hadn’t seen each other for a couple of months, and in that time she’s managed to move house and got herself a new job. We ate blueberry French toast at Pot Kettle Black which was the most indulgent breakfast ever (it was Sunday after all) and if that wasn’t enough, we took a trip to Teacup in the Northern Quarter and shared a cake afterwards. The most foodie weekend ever!

9. Sunday Dinner

If eating multiple courses of sugar for brunch wasn’t enough, Jordan and I decided to cook something from the Jamie’s 5 ingredient book for dinner, because my life is all about balance. We went for the garlicky breaded chicken which was super easy to make and really tasty.if you don’t own this book, I would suggest getting it!

10. Vlogmas

This week I’ve really been getting into Vlogmas videos and I’ve loved having a few to catch up on. I will be the first to admit that I have a bit of a YouTube addiction, but I find it comforting to watch them before I go to bed, and it’s the best time to be snuggled up watching your favourite bloggers.

Do you feel Christmassy? What were you loving last week? 

xx

I’ve decided to write today’s post as a bit of an off the cuff one about the amount of pressure we put on ourselves as human beings.

I’m a huge advocate of life is too short and we should attempt to inject as much happiness into our day as possible, but at the same time, I also put a huge amount of pressure on myself to achieve in the different areas of my life, and when it doesn’t go to plan (which, let’s face it, is a lot of the time…) I feel a huge sense of guilt.

I got a notification from Facebook this morning (of all places) to say that the people who have ‘liked’ my blog page hadn’t heard from me for a while. My initial reaction was, oh yeah, I haven’t written a post all week, and I hadn’t even realised because I have been so wrapped up in the other areas of my life and planning for the fortnight ahead. I could have felt a huge amount of pressure from this reminder (and ironically, it led to me writing this post…) but I’ve come to the conclusion that once you remove the pressure from something, it because much more enjoyable.

I have the same problem when it comes to going to the gym. Back in summer I was really in the zone and had a proper routine that I stuck to; but as I’ve got busier in the last couple of months with work commitments, blogging events and general festivities, I’ve not found the time or motivation to go as much, and I’d been punishing myself for it. But in reality, I’m in charge of my own body – it’s up to me what I put into it, how much I exercise and how I chose to live my life, and in all honesty, I’d forgotten what it felt like to not stick to a strict exercise schedule.

Once I’d taken the pressure off myself to go to the gym, I’ve felt much better about my decision to not go, as strange as that sounds. It’s not the end of the world if I have a week off here and there, and if anything, it’s made me feel even more inspired to get back into it when I have the time. I also spoke to my friend, who is a personal trainer, about this, and she made me realise that if we start punishing ourselves for not going, then eventually it will feel like a chore, which is what I’ve been feeling this week.

The thing about my blog is that it is a hobby: I don’t earn the big bucks from it, and I only write about something when I’m really passionate about it and I’ve always stuck to that. I try to post three blogs a week, but sometimes other things get in the way and I fall behind, which is exactly what’s happened this week without me even realising.

Even just a couple of months ago, if I’d got this notification I would have been sent into a frenzy, cancelled all my weekend plans and not leave my office until I’d had at least 6 blog posts written and scheduled for the next couple of weeks; but recently, I’ve been blogging because I love it, not for anyone else, and it’s like a huge weight has been lifted from my shoulders: Blogging is something that I do that brings me joy, and that’s my number one priority.

About 3 months ago I wrote this post about the reasons I deleted Instagram, and I still believe that it was one of the best things I’ve done for my mental health. Before that, I was so obsessed with my insights, my blog’s page views and how I could drive more traffic, and it just wasn’t healthy. Now I’ve stopped being so obsessed when it comes to stats, I’ve found more motivation than I’ve felt in ages to blog, which is really refreshing.

Yes, there are some campaigns that rely on facts and figures to make sure you are a good fit and will do the job properly, but until I need to look at them, I’m happy in my own little bubble, creating content, and getting excited about where this blog is heading for the future.

In 2018 I want more of the same attitude: I want to continue to enjoy my time writing, attend events where I can and build the network of awesome bloggers that I know. I want goals that are achievable but also broad, that will take me down a number of different paths without me feeling pressured; I want to start loving my body for the way it is and not feel the need to look a certain way and really invest in my own self-care.

It’s fair to say that once you live life for you, it becomes a whole lot more enjoyable.

 

Because when you stop, and look around, this life is pretty amazing xx

 

This month marks 9 months since Jordan and I bought our house together. 9 whole months of coming home to the same place every night, waking up in the same bedroom every morning and loving every second of having our own home.

In the last 9-months, a lot has changed, especially work-wise, but I have always found comfort in coming back to our house every night. I absolutely love being a homeowner, and I am really happy with how everything has turned out: It’s the first time I have felt fully content in a number of years, and I can’t believe how fast the past few months have gone.

I don’t really talk about my house on here a lot, mainly because I’ve never really had anything interesting to say or any nice photos to share, but today I’m going to show you some of the prints we have put up around our little home recently, from Desenio, which have made it feel much more homely.

For those of you who don’t know much about the brand, they are a Scandinavian design company, who specialise in prints and frames. They have them for all different rooms in the house, carefully curated on their website, and with an inspiration section too, you’ll be spoilt for choice.

Although there are bits to do here and there in our house overall, furniture still to buy, and things to be put away in their rightful home, I am really happy with how everything is looking at the moment – especially with the introduction of our new prints.

I’ve always been a fan of Desenio and had a couple of their prints already in our lounge, so I was really excited to receive my order. The prints came within about 4 working days, and are rolled up in a cardboard tube to make sure they don’t crease.

One of the rooms that I thought could do with a bit of colour in was our kitchen. After having a search on the corresponding section of their website, I found these three prints – Bon Appetite, Gold Pineapple and the Pink Banana – which I thought would really brighten the room up. When they arrived, I was really happy with the quality of them, and the colours were true to the website.

(if you look really closely, you can see my red Christmas pjs…)

The next print I chose was a much larger one for our bedroom. It was 50cm x 70 cm and it says the word ‘love’ on it because what better word to wake up to in the morning and remember all the things that are amazing about your life. The lines also make me think of a heartbeat, which I think is really sweet as well.

The great thing about Desenio as well as they’re beautiful prints is their frames to go with it. The frames already come in the perfect sizes for the different prints they do, and come in a range of colours. For the kitchen prints, I went for a gold one, and for the larger ‘love‘ picture, I went for the black, as I felt this would look striking against the white walls in our bedroom.

And now for the exciting stuff…

From the 5th – 7th December, you can get 25% off posters (except for hand-picked/collaboration posters and frames) when you use the code eleanorgraceful so now you have an excuse to treat yourself to a little present before Christmas.

I hope you enjoyed this little peek into our home, and liked the prints I chose as well.

Let me know what you buy if you use my code!

xx

This post was sponsored by Desenio. All views and fangirling of the company, are my own. 

Happy December everyone!

I can’t quite believe we’re into the last month of the year, but hasn’t that just been the way that 2017 has gone? I’m really looking forward to Christmas after a rather festive weekend, and I can’t wait to catch up with my nearest and dearest.

1. In Conversation With Megan Ellaby

On Tuesday evening, my friend Alex and I went to Topshop in The Trafford centre to attend an event hosted by Megan Ellaby. She’d chosen some of her favourite items from the Autumn-Winter collection and talked us through it, whilst answering the audience’s questions. I’d met her once before at an event a couple of months ago, and I almost cried with joy when she recognised me. Cringe I know…

2. Kasabian

On Thursday evening, I went to the Kasabian concert with my friend Phil at the Manchester Arena. I’ve seen them once before about 3 years ago, but they were even more brilliant live than I remember. They played a mixture of songs from their new album, and some classic tracks.

3. Tree

Over the weekend, Jordan and I bought our Christmas tree from Tesco. Normally at my parent’s house, we would have a real one, but because Luna is still a kitten, we opted for a fake one as we thought the cats wouldn’t be able to do as much damage… we were wrong. I still want to put a few more bits up here and there to make the whole house feel more festive, but the tree was definitely the starting point.

4. Seeing Family

On Saturday afternoon, Jordan and I drove over to my cousin’s new house to catch up with her and my Nan. My other cousin was also there, so it was a really lovely reunion with them and their kids. I love seeing my family, especially around the festive period.

5. Chester

After we’d been to my cousin’s, we headed to Chester for my friend’s annual wine and cheese party. We got there a bit early so decided to have a wander around the shops and the markets, which are basically the same as Manchester but much less busy. The wine and cheese party was one of my favourite nights of the year because of the amazing food and company. Already looking forward to next December!

6. Manchester Markets

On Sunday, I met up with Hannah and her boyfriend, with Jordan, at the Manchester markets for some food and drinks. As usual, they were absolutely heaving, but I hadn’t been this year yet, and it’s a necessity at Christmas. I had currywurst and apricot strudel afterwards which was amazing.

7. Lily Pebbles’ Book

It was actually last week when Lily Pebbles (one of my favourite YouTubers) announced that she had written a book, but I left it until payday to pre-order it. It’s called The F word and it’s out in March.

8. Shelves

This is when you know you’ve become officially old… Whilst I was at Kasabian, Jordan very kindly put up some shelves for me that we’d bought from Ikea last weekend. The spare room is slowly being turned into an office, and it’s really coming together now they’re up.

9. Vlogmas

Because its the start of December, that also means it’s the start of Vlogmas. If you aren’t aware of what Vlogmas is, it’s basically when YouTubers film and upload a video every day until Christmas, and it means that there’s loads of extra videos being uploaded, which is great for someone like me with a slight YouTube addiction!

10. Nails

I couldn’t resist booking a nail appointment when my favourite place was doing a Black Friday sale. I’ve gone for a black with a hint of shimmer, plus a glittery nail on my fourth finger on both sides, which is definitely a look I haven’t done for a while. I wanted something festive, but also that would go with everything.

What have you been loving this last week?

xx