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Five Friday Favourites #16

Broadchurch

WOW! After not massively enjoying series 2, I was optimistic about this third series. Ian and I didn’t watch each week but instead save them up and had a big binge over the Easter weekend and it was great. I also really want to visit West Bay where it was filmed.

Bingo

Our local pub currently has a temporary manager who is really trying to engage the villagers. There was a bingo night this week which isn’t my usual thing but we wanted to support the pub. We ended up really enjoying it and I even won one round!

Candle

I love Lily Flame candles and I started burning this Rose Petals one this week. I think the little tins look great and the scent really does fill the room.

Spring Walks

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I met up with some friends this week for a long walk and lunch in the sunshine. We saw ducklings and baby moorhens as we wandered along in the sunshine and I had a fab veggie breakfast when we reached the café for lunch!

Face Masks

I have been using two different masks this week and like them both for different reasons. Firstly, is the Balance Me Radiance Face Mask which is exfoliating yet hydrating.

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I also repurchased the Sephora Lotus Sleeping Mask. This gel mask is soothing and moisturising and I love the fact that it is working its magic overnight while I sleep.

Book Corner – Latest Reads April 2017

It has been a little while since I wrote some book reviews but on holiday I devour books (about one a day) so I have a couple of good ones to share today.

The Versions of Us by Laura Barnett

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This book was one I chose for my book club to read. I have to admit that I did feel the pressure to choose a decent title for us but this went down quite well and it was an interesting read. The book follows two characters who meet at university and we then follow three different versions of their future, both together and apart. I always wonder ‘what if’ and this book follows that idea of making decisions and the consequences they have. Each chapter was from one of the three versions and I have to admit that in places it was quite hard to follow and it was one of the only times I have ever wished that I had a Kindle title in hardback so I could flick back a little easier to remind myself who all the characters were. After a while, I stopped getting hung up on not remembering every little detail and just read it although I found the ending a little unfulfilling. An interesting yet quite tricky read.

The Radium Girls by Kate Moore

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I first heard about this book on Woman’s Hour (and here is the link if you are interested) and this fascinating story stuck with me. It was an incredible read and it even prompted me to tweet the author who actually replied! The book follows the tragic stories of dial painters in America during World War One who worked in factories painting luminous dials using a radium-based paint. Amazingly, at the time radium was seen as some sort of wonder product and was added to drinks, cosmetics and toothpaste, often called ‘liquid sunshine’. Many of these factory girls were earning more than their fathers so it was seen as an attractive and glamorous job and the girls would encourage their sisters, cousins and friends to join too. They were all encouraged to ‘lip point’ which meant putting the radium-covered paintbrushes in their mouths, inadvertently ingesting this element.  There were no safety precautions and the women would literally glow in the dark as they walked home in the evening. Years later, the women gradually started to get ill. It would often begin with losing a tooth but soon would leave them in horrendous pain with appalling and crippling illnesses. The book follows two factories and the brave women who decided to take on these huge corporations and not stop until justice was served. This was brilliantly written, moving and one of the best books I have read in years.

Yes Please by Amy Poehler

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I really wanted to love this book and while it was an easy read, I was just left a little underwhelmed. It was very funny in places but almost identical in style and content to the Mindy Kaling and Tina Fey books I have read. It did make me realise that Amy is really good at what she does and that she has slogged away and worked incredibly hard to get to where she is now. I haven’t seen Parks and Recs so the chapters on that were a little irrelevant to me. Some chapters were really interesting whereas others were really shallow, especially the really blasé one on drugs. I think my favourite thing that I will take away with me was her motto of ‘good for you, not for me’ which is applicable in so many situations!

Latest Purchases #112 – A Little Holiday Haul

So, I didn’t buy too much when we were on holiday in Tenerife last week. We didn’t go to a market or spend that much time shopping but there were a few cool stores near to our hotel that I couldn’t resist a little browse in as well as picking up a few staples from the supermercado.

We discovered honey rum on holiday and enjoyed it both as a mixer with coke and on its own with ice. It’s a lovely sweet liquor and a good addition to our drinks trolley.

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I discovered Canarian mojo sauce when we were away. There is a red and green variety but my favourite was the green and I had it slathered over meat, fish and salads every day. I wanted to bring home a jar and although I know the fresh version will always be better, this jar looked fairly authentic. I have since managed to get my hands on a proper recipe from my friend who lives in Gran Canaria so will hopefully be making my own soon.

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I totally didn’t need this many pins but they were just so cute, I couldn’t resist! I think I will pop these on my leather and denim jackets. Also, just note the little chain on the cactus which has a mini watering can on it!

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As always, when in Europe I buy Milka and sweets.

These adorable castanets aren’t for me but I feel I should apologise in advance to my friend whose children I bought these for!

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Finally, due to being very pale and wanting to avoid getting burned at all costs, I love a good beach cover-up. I found these kaftans and after buying one and wearing it for most of the holiday, I went back and got a few more designs.

Beauty Review – Burt’s Bees Box

It’s a beautiful sunny day today and I have already been to the gym, done two loads of washing and am in a very productive mood. This doesn’t strike me too often so I am making the most of it and blitzing the house!

Today’s post is all about this fab little box Ian bought me. I have a huge drawer full of skincare and beauty products so it has taken me a little while to get around to unpacking and testing these out. I always think of Burt’s Bees as being a very ‘natural’ brand and have previously used (and loved!) their cuticle cream and lip balms. This box had a little bit of everything in it…

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This Coconut Foot Cream is a little love/hate. The texture is very greasy, more like an ointment than a cream, akin to the Elizabeth Arden 8-Hour Cream. Although I’m not too sure about the texture, I cannot deny that it smells amazing and it really does work! I tend to apply liberally then pop on a pair of socks until it has all been absorbed and it has left my feet feeling so smooth that I think I can get used to the formulation.

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I also got a Peach and Willow Bark Deep Pore Scrub. I’ve started to move away from really harsh scrubs on my face so I think I will use this as a body scrub instead. It doesn’t contain any plastic microbeads and again smells wonderful.

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I have almost used up this Intense Hydration Day Lotion. It smells glorious but, for me, is too thick and heavy to use as a day cream. I have been applying a generous layer of this at night and have been really impressed with it. It has a nice pump applicator but doesn’t absorb too quickly which is why I think it is better suited as a night cream.

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I am usually loyal to body butters from The Body Shop but this Honey and Shea one smells delicious and feels really thick and moisturising.

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Onto the lip products now which came in a very pretty tin…

This lip crayon in the shade Hawaiian Smoulder is really nicely pigmented and also feels very moisturising on the lips. This is a perfect everyday shade for me.

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I also got a Lip Shimmer in the shade/ flavour Guava. Although it smells lovely, this pale pink frosted effect just isn’t for me so I think I will pass this on.

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I already love the Burt’s Bees lip balms and this Wild Cherry one smells delicious.

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I also got a tinted lip balm which gives a really natural sweep of colour. I got the shade Hibiscus but to be honest, it leaves exactly the same colour as a different shade I have.

Finally, I received a tube of Lip Shine in the shade Spontaneity. I didn’t think I would like this and sadly I was right. Again, it smells lovely but I just really dislike the sticky, shiny lip gloss look so I will be passing this on to someone else.

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I think this is a great selections of products from the brand with some things I already loved plus the chance to discover a few new things. Are there any other Burt’s Bees items you would recommend? x

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Mani Monday – Easter Hues

What do you do when you can’t decide which pastel shade to use over Easter? Use them both!

My nails grew so much when I was on holiday and I was in desperate need for a manicure when I got back. I trimmed and shaped my nails then chose these two shades from Ciate to apply.

I began with my Rococo base coat then applied Double Bubblegum on most of my nails and Ahoy Sailor on my ring fingers.

I finished with a Calvin Klein topcoat and I really like this pastel combination. I do however plan on furniture moving and gardening this week so I will really put their staying powers to the test!

Tenerife

I love looking back at my travel posts and remembering little details I may have forgotten. For this reason, I wanted to write a short post on our 5 nights in Tenerife. It wasn’t the most jam-packed all-action holiday but we literally googled ‘hottest place in Europe in April’ and the Canary Islands kept coming up so we booked it a few weeks ago and looked forward to sun, good food and a chance to relax.

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We stayed in a little town called Puerto de la Cruz. I liked the fact that our hotel was right on the beach and that we could wander along the seafront at night watching the sunset and the waves. We managed to see the Semana Santa parade one evening too and indulged in a fish pedicure (Ian’s idea of hell!)

We did paddle on the black sands one afternoon but the current was so strong we didn’t wade in too far!

Our hotel itself was lovely. I was surprised at how lush the north of Tenerife was and we had an abundance of palm trees, plants and cacti in the grounds of the hotel – and loads of lizards running around too.

The food was wonderful – I got a bit obsessed with churros and Nutella for breakfast everyday, paella with clams for lunch then mojo sauce which is a garlicky, herby salsa that I liberally spooned over everything! We also had a Spanish cheeseboard every night as I am just not a fan of Spanish desserts.

One evening, we ate in the hotel’s a la carte restaurant where we enjoyed a great meal including a delicious duck dish.

One of my favourite places to hang out was our balcony. We had the sun on it in the late afternoon so we would sit out with a beer before dinner then again before we went to bed with candle lit, planning future holidays and putting the world to rights.

I still have a week off work so plan on using that time to read and get all those little jobs done that I keep putting off!

Happy Easter x

Ten Friday Favourites #14 and #15

I’m back, both from holiday and from my accidental blog break! And without sounding too smug, I feel great. We had five blissful days where all we did was read, lie in the sun, walk along the beach, eat amazing food and indulge in a fair few cocktails. I feel so refreshed and really inspired to blog and get a few things around the house and garden finished this week. Seeing as I missed last week’s favourites, I thought I would kick things off this week with a bumper edition from the past fortnight.

Sun

In top position has to be our break in Tenerife. It was so lovely to feel the sun on my face again, speak some Spanish, eat churros and paella every day and enjoy doing absolutely nothing without any guilt.

Braces

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After almost a year, the braces I have had to straighten up my bottom teeth are off! I am so pleased I went ahead with this, despite the aching jaw and sore mouth, and plan on writing a blog post soon with a few before and after pictures.

Eyelash tint and lift

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I have written before about how much I love these beauty treatments and it was lovely to not have to bother with mascara or curling my eyelashes all week. In fact, I spent most of the time make-up free which was lovely and I think my skin is better for it.

Ballet

The day before our holiday, I went to watch Matthew Bourne’s production of The Red Shoes in Bristol with friends from work. It was a great way to spend an afternoon and my second time watching this art form.

The Radium Girls

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I read this book on holiday and it was incredible. Moving, brilliantly-written and shocking in equal parts, I will be recommending this to everyone. I even got a reply to my tweet from the author which makes me love it even more.

Travel Pillow

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I bought this for our trip to Japan later this year but decided to test it out this holiday. I’d never really rated travel pillows before but this was lovely. For once, I actually napped on the flight without my neck swinging about and I even used it through the day on the sunbed and it was a gamechanger – I actually had 3 naps one day!

Striped Top

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I have been loving this top I picked up in Primark a few weeks ago. I feel it ticks off a couple of trends (flared sleeves, stripes, embroidery) but it also just feels great to wear.

Chai Shower Gel

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This Body Shop shower gel smells of my all-time favourite drink – enough said.

Fish Pedicure

I know these were a craze a few years ago but I never had one and when I saw this little spa, I decided to have a go. I actually quite liked the nibbling sensation and I have to admit my feet were lovely and smooth afterwards. Ian however, having very ticklish feet, found it torturous!

Coconut Chips

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I always grab a packet of these at the till in Primark and I love them. They are delicious to snack on their own but are also a great addition to overnight oats or porridge for a bit of a crunch. I think they also have chocolate covered ones which I need to try.