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Sunday Catch-up #27

It’s been a very low-key week for us but we have been out and about this weekend to farmers markets and a new restaurant for lunch. Unfortunately, it is a grey and rainy afternoon so we are watching films, reading books and drinking copious amount of tea to get us through.

This week I have been…

Making: the effort to eat outside as much as possible

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Going: to Frome market this morning and eating pizza in the sunshine

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Wearing: Ray-Ban Clubmasters

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Eating: tapas

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Drinking: Thai iced tea

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Reading: Girl on the Train – I’ve only just started but am intrigued

Watching: Wimbledon get underway

Buying: a few bits from The Body Shop

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Planning: our America trip

Cooking: tomatoes on the vine

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Baking: a mascarpone and lemon cake (which I forgot to take any photos of!)

Writing: a list of restaurants I want to eat at in New York…5 days may not be enough!

Favouriting: this amazing eyeliner look by Pixiwoo

Working on: writing my school reports

Trying to decide: whether we should buy the CityPass

Wishing: my Mum a very Happy Birthday this week!

Enjoying: giant couscous…I just love the stuff

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Needing: these pretty tiles steps in my house somewhere

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Feeling: much better after getting over this cold

Giggling at: Ian fast asleep in the garden

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This Week’s Nails – Sugar Skulls

After trying to sleep through that thunder and lightning last night, I woke up feeling strangely refreshed today. My cold has finally gone so I felt much better and even attempted a bit of yoga this morning to try and get back into some semblance of exercise.

We discovered a great new place to eat today and enjoyed a tapas lunch in the sunshine before coming home to sleep (Ian) and read (me) in the garden…a lovely Saturday!

Today, I wanted to share my latest manicure and these cool sugar skull nail decals. I found them online and think they are so pretty.

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I wanted them to stand out so decided on Color Club’s Mod in Manhattan, a creamy off white. I really like this shade and think it is a great way to rock the white nail varnish trend if you are a little hesitant to wear a full-on white.

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These are water nail decals so I simply cut out my skull, held it under water for 20 seconds and placed it on the nail.

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A quick layer of Seche Vite topcoat sealed the look and this lasted me almost a week.

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Latest Purchases #83 – A Mini Body Shop Haul

Hello! This week has been boiling hot and I have also had a horrible cold so spent the last few days feeling generally rubbish. Thankfully, it is much cooler today (but still sunny!) and after an early night, I seem to be able to breathe again. I even managed to do a spot of baking this afternoon.

Today, I wanted to share a mini haul that recently arrived from the Body Shop. I had my eye on these items and waited for one of their fab sales to save a few pounds and ease the guilt!

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First up, the Camomile Sumptuous Cleansing Butter.

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I have fallen in love with their Camomile Silky Cleansing Oil so thought I would give this solid version a go as I have been known to get the oil all down my bathroom shelf…the pump on it can be perilous! I’m sure it’s me and not the packaging but I thought this solid balm would be an interesting one to try.

Next, I blogged recently about wanting a daily moisturiser with a decent SPF to use on holiday. I was using one from L’Oreal but did a classic and managed to drop it all over my bedroom floor/ mirror/ wall/ slippers/ washing basket…yeah, that was fun to clear up! I received some recommendations for this Vitamin C Daily Moisturiser from the Body Shop and was so pleased when I saw it had SPF 30. I like this range – it reminds me of a bargain version of the Origins GinZing moisturiser and it will definitely be going in my travel washbag!

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A repurchase next – I love this serum from Body Shop’s Vitamin E range. Whilst I like trying new brands, this is probably my 3rd or 4th tube of this serum and one that is an oldie but a goodie!

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Finally, I picked up a little tub of their Elderflower Eye Gel – I think I was trying to spend enough to get free delivery but this seems like it will be perfect for puffy eyes, especially in this warmer weather.

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Recipe – Fish Tacos

Phew – it is hot! I have been loving the sunshine so far this week – we are even thinking of an impromptu camping trip at the weekend if it continues. My weekly food shop reflected this today too with lots of lovely fruit and salad ingredients and treats coming in the way of salted caramel ice cream!

One of my favourite summery recipes is fish tacos. They are light, vibrant and full of flavour and don’t take too long to cook either. I serve my fish with a salsa, salad, sour cream and hot sauce. I would usually have guacamole too but my avocado didn’t ripen in time for this recipe!

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Ingredients

Olive oil

2 garlic cloves, crushed

A handful of fresh coriander

The juice of one lime

Salt and pepper

4 small white fish fillets (you can use any firm white fish for this recipe – I picked up haddock this time)

A handful of cherry tomatoes, chopped

About 1/3 of a red onion, finely chopped

A couple of radishes, chopped

Mini tortilla wraps

Salad leaves

Sour cream

Hot sauce

How to make it

  • Begin by making the marinade for the fish. In a bowl, add a glug of olive oil, garlic, coriander and most of the lime juice (save a squeeze for the salsa!)

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  • Add the fish fillets and allow to marinade for at least an hour
  • Next, I made up my salsa by mixing up the tomatoes, red onion, radishes, some more coriander, salt, pepper, olive oil and a squeeze of lime juice

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  • Heat a griddle pan to a medium heat then lay your fish fillets in the pan
  • Cook for a few minutes on either side

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  • Now layer up your tacos! I like to start with salad, then the fish and finally the salsa and sauces…sooooooo good! x

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Sunday Catch-up #26

Hello! I am writing this on the sofa in my pjs, having just had a long soak in the bath and a very lazy day nursing a completely self-induced hangover…I never learn! This week has felt exhausting. It is so warm at night at the moment that I am finding it really hard to sleep and keep coming home from work and nodding off on the sofa meaning I am wide awake for the rest of the evening. It’s a silly pattern to have gotten into so next week I am all about getting a good night’s sleep and laying off the booze for a while!

This week I have been…

Making: an effort to straighten my hair…it just takes so long!

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Going: on an excellent staff night out in Bath with my colleagues (and paying for it today)

Wearing: this gorgeous two-tone metallic shade on my nails

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Eating: meringues with fresh strawberries

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Drinking: far too much this week!

Reading: I’m just about to start Girl on the Train

Watching: the new series of True Detective. We loved the last one and this one seems pretty good so far

Buying: teabags as we had that scenario that every British person dreads where we ran out this week!

Planning: on always having a plentiful supply of teabags (see above!)

Cooking: these ribs from Waitrose – pretty good for a midweek dinner

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Baking: bread with my class

Writing: and filling out our ESTA application forms so we can travel to the States this summer (4 weeks to go!)

Favouriting: James Cordon’s Carpool Karaoke videos – hilarious

Working on: a big shoe and handbag cull – I’m being ruthless

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Trying to decide: whether to buy a spiralizer

Wishing: Ian gets better soon as he is really grumpy when he’s ill!

Enjoying: fresh berries

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Needing: a healthy and alcohol-free week

Feeling: sad that I had to throw my favourite pair of jeans away as I had worn them to death…they are the Rock Stars from Old Navy in America and I am hoping I can repurchase them when we go

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Giggling at: the late night living room dance party I had mid-week with my bestie Lu who may or may not have slipped over whilst dancing to Iggy Azalea!

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Beauty Review – June Birchbox

I for one am so happy it’s Friday! It has been a tiring week and I find myself sat on the sofa with a beer watching the Glastonbury highlights as the rain pours outside…the weather is definitely helping my festival jealousy as I’ve done Glasto in torrential rain before!

I received my June Birchbox earlier in the month and was looking forward to its arrival as I was given the option of its design and opted for a chic Parisian nautical style. I really like it when I am contacted by Birchbox prior to delivery to state my preference on a product or design.

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This month’s theme is ‘Step Outdoors’ with a nod to spending more time outside in the sunshine whether that is in the park, at a festival or a BBQ. Birchbox have collaborated with French Sole who do such lovely ballet pumps and subscribers had the opportunity to buy some of these limited edition shoes through the Birchbox website.

Anyway, here is my first look inside the box:

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First of all a French Sole ‘shoe bag’. I can’t say a shoe bag is high on my list of priorities but this is a lovely wipe-clean design that I think makes it a perfect wash bag for a night away.

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A perfume next by high-end fragrance house Penhaligon’s. I received the scent Iris Prima which is inspired by the English National Ballet. This is a grower on me – I wasn’t keen at first but after a few minutes, the strong muskiness fades to a soft, sweet vanilla. A good one for the handbag but I don’t think I would buy a full-sized bottle for £85.

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Who doesn’t like trying out a new mascara?! This one is from ModelCo and looks to be a good black mascara with a chunky brush.

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I hadn’t heard of this next brand, HIP, an all-natural French hair care brand. This shampoo sounds similar to the Sunday Shampoo I love from Bumble and Bumble with the aim to refresh your hair and scalp.

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A decent-sized product next from one of my favourite beauty brands, Balance Me. I received their Super Moisturising Body Wash which smells amazing. This is a creamy shower gel which feels really moisturising – great if you’re in a rush in the mornings and don’t have time to moisturise!

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I love REN products but haven’t tried this particular one. The Instant Firming Beauty Shot, sounds a great boost for skin that’s looking a bit tired – it is actually described as ‘an espresso shot for the face’ which I am definitely in need of some days!

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The final item is a fun summery one. I really like these metallic tattoos from STYLondon – I’m going out in Bath on Saturday night so if I remember, I may wear one!

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No amazing stand-out products but a decent box this month. I think I am most looking forward to trying out the REN face serum although I have been hoarding all these samples for the past few months ready for my travel bag when we go to America so have lots to get through! x

Restaurant Review – Lucha Libre, Manchester

We were in Manchester this weekend and I had a real craving for some Mexican food. After a quick look on Google, we decided on Lucha Libre in the centre of town as it looked cool and had tapas-style Mexican street food meaning we could try lots of smaller dishes.

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After a quick drink at BrewDog, one of Ian’s favourite places for a good pint of ale, we walked over to Lucha Libre and sat down with the menus. The restaurant itself is in a huge, converted warehouse and I loved the decoration of bright sugar skulls, garlands of red chillies and lots of Mexican food packaging.

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I made my first fundamental error by allowing Ian to order a cocktail for me…cue this enormous green skull and two flaming limes! Despite taking up a fair proportion of our two-person table, this tequila-based cocktail was actually pretty good, with a refreshing hit of apple and grapefruit juice.

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After a look through the extensive menu (which reminded me a lot of Wahaca with its fresh, street-food style dishes), we settled on a sharing platter with a side of ‘Dirty Fries’.

I was really impressed with the selection we received on our ‘Street Food Tray’; pulled pork tacos with pickled red onion, buttermilk fried chicken tacos with an amazing coriander sauce, rib taquitos, chicken tostadas and a chorizo and potato quesadilla. My favourites were the quesadilla and the fried chicken – if I wasn’t so stuffed, I could have ordered another portion of them both!

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The side dish of fries was a mix of white and sweet potato, topped with beef brisket chili con carne, cheese and sour cream.

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Mexican cuisine is one of my favourites and one I almost always choose to eat at when we have the chance. Previously, I had to wait until I was in London but I heard this week that Bristol is getting a Wahaca so my craving can be easily satisfied now!

We had a great meal at Lucha Libre and if it were closer, I would definitely be back! x

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