RSS Feed

Monday Catch-up #45

I’m really annoyed that I didn’t manage to get this post up yesterday but I’ve hardly been home. I drove down to Cambridge on Saturday morning for an early Thanksgiving with some of my oldest uni friends followed by Wahaca and seeing Chris Ramsey live with Ian last night…a good weekend!


This week I have been…

Making: the final amendments to one of Ian’s Christmas presents…I’m going to earn so many good wife points!

Going: to watch Chris Ramsey live (he was great!)

Wearing: nail gems…they’ve last a week


Eating: all day Saturday with my friends!


Drinking: this delicious mint tea from M&S


Reading: my satnav so I don’t get lost!

Watching: the film Chef and wanting to go to Miami

Buying: a gym membership

Planning: Christmas presents

Cooking: a chorizo and butterbean stew


Baking: two pumpkin pies


Writing: in pencil – it feels lovely!

Favouriting: this photo taken 10 year ago in Morocco and recreated for 2015!


Working on: getting fit

Trying to decide: whether or not to give vlogging a go?!

Wishing: I lived closer to good friends


Enjoying: this mozzarella, pesto and tomato toastie from Ian


Needing: to put our Christmas tree up soon!

Feeling: all warm and cosy after seeing festive lights


Giggling at: my recent dinner guest (he’s so naughty!)


Sunday Catch-up #44


Writing about nail varnish and recipes seemed somewhat futile after the events that took place in Paris this week. However, life must go on, even if things do feel very uncertain at the moment…

This week I have been…

Making: bacon and avocado sandwiches for a lazy Sunday brunch


Going: for a mid-week Wagamamas

IMG_4198 IMG_4199 IMG_4201

Wearing: pyjamas for most of the weekend!

Eating: Ramen


Drinking: ale


Reading: In the Kitchen (still!)

Watching: Season One of American Horror Story – I liked it, Ian hated it!

Buying: my first Christmas Costa


Planning: holidays

Cooking: two beautiful pieces of hake


Baking: some lovely almond and chocolate cupcakes


Writing: the start of my Christmas lists

Favouriting: Twitter – I was glued to it from Friday night onwards

Working on: finishing the book I’m reading

Trying to decide: how many of my cupcakes it’s OK to eat in one evening…2? 3?

Wishing: I could start every day with a sunrise like this one


Enjoying: this present from my brother


Needing: to share how good these cookies are


Feeling: very relaxed after a bath with these bad boys


Giggling at: Josh Widdcombe live – he was great!


Mani Monday – Kiko Nail Varnish 320


I recently discovered Bath’s new Kiko store and had to try out a few new things. One of the stands I was drawn to was of course the nail polish. Despite an array of colours available, I decided to skip my usual mint greens and corals and opt for this…


My only criticism of this brand is that the shades have numbers, not names – I love some of the names that Essie and OPI come up with!

After a bit of online research, I have found that shade 320 is also known as Beige Mauve which is a perfect description of this grey-toned lavender. I like to think of it as a more autumnal Porchester Square (one of my all-time favourite varnishes from Nails Inc.)

IMG_4180 IMG_4181

Considering it has such a low price point, the quality of these nail varnishes is excellent and they dry to such a glossy finish that you could easily forgo a top coat.

I only bought one of these polishes to test the water with the brand and formula but after using this one I will no doubt be back for more!

Sunday Catch-up #43

Hello and Happy Sunday! I went back to work this week and the dark nights are closing in. I don’t mind too much though as I had a great time at a fireworks display, started Pilates again after a month off and later today Ian and I are off to watch Josh Widdicombe and grab a spot of dinner.

This week I have been…

Making: better use of my time

Going: to watch Josh Widdicombe live (tonight!)

Wearing: black tights…my winter essential

Eating: a delicious steak dinner (with a side order of mac ‘n’ cheese!)


Drinking: dessert wine with my salted caramel pudding


Reading: the final draft of my essay…it’s done!

Watching: American Horror Story – we finished Narcos (amazing series!!!) and so far we’re not that convinced by AHS

Buying: some treats from Birchbox


Planning: some healthy meals for the week ahead

Cooking: a delicious chorizo, cherry tomato and spinach omelette for my breakfast yesterday


Baking: nothing so far but I plan on trying out a toffee apple crumble recipe later this week

Writing: blog posts

Favouriting: this amazing video from Lisa Eldridge about make-up through the ages

Working on: clearing out our spare bedroom

Trying to decide: what colour to paint my nails today

Wishing: the rain would stop

Enjoying: firework displays

Needing: more candles!


Feeling: well rested after two lazy lie-ins this weekend

Giggling at: how much this guy needs his coffee in the morning!


Latest Purchases #92 – A Birchbox Haul

I was looking to up my skincare routine now that the weather is getting colder and the heating is on. I suffer from quite dry skin in the winter so looked to the Birchbox website for a couple of new items to try out. Of course, my search for skincare soon led to other things and before I knew it, a large box had arrived on my doorstep full of goodies, followed by a second order using the free shopping points I had earned from the first one!


First up, the two items I actually needed: moisturising cream.

I bought this jar of Aquaporin Plus by Bluemandarínes, a 24-hour hydrating cream. I always think a glass jar adds a little bit of luxury and this cream is rich yet sinks into the skin quickly and has a beautiful, delicate floral scent. I think this would work as a day or night cream.

IMG_4142 IMG_4143

I also picked up a jar of Melting Moisturising Cream by Akane. Upon further reading, this brand uses the Akane red apple tree from Japan which has antioxidant properties and is perfect for normal to dehydrated skin. Whilst also quite a thick, rich cream, this has an almost matte finish which I think makes it perfect for use in the morning before makeup.

IMG_4145 IMG_4144

On the few occasions that I wear my hair straight, I have been struggling with some fine, wispy pieces of hair that seem to want to curl up again so I was after some light hairspray that would hold these flyaway hairs down without a heavy, sticky feeling. Montibel·lo is a good haircare brand and I bought their Flexible Hold Finishing Spray. It sounds like exactly what I’m looking for and this huge bottle should last me a while!


I really like the brand Weleda and their all-natural approach but I had a few hit and miss products from them this time. The one I loved was the Wild Rose Creamy Body Wash which smells amazing and is just a really lovely shower gel.


I also picked up the Oat Replenishing Shampoo and Conditioner which I’m just not a fan of. The shampoo was fine and I will use that up but the conditioner was so thick and heavy and it left my hair really matted and unmanageable.


Finally, I earned enough points to splurge on a luxury product I just love. At £28 for a little 30ml bottle it isn’t cheap but the Make Up Base by RMK is amazing. This milky formula sinks into the skin so quickly and leaves you with a soft, flawless base. I use this base with glowy and matte foundations and it really helps them last. I first tried this as a sample through Birchbox and it was only when it ran out that I realised how much I love it and it has actually replaced my silicone-based primers like Benefit POREfesstional as it feels much kinder to my skin.

IMG_4147 IMG_4148

Overall, a pretty successful haul and I’m hoping my skin thanks me for it! x

Recipe – Sicilian Sardine Pasta

I had a tin of sardines hanging around in my cupboard so wanted to find a recipe to use them up that was not too ‘fishy’. I know that probably sounds ridiculous but I’m not a huge fan of the taste of oily fish on its own but mixed with other things, I quite like the saltiness it can add. I found a few versions of this Sicilian dish online and kind of mixed up a few recipes to create this one. We enjoyed this for dinner one night and the fennel and pine nuts add really lovely flavours and textures.


A generous handful of dried raisins or currants

1 can of sardines in oil

1 fennel bulb, chopped – save the fronds too!

A pinch of chili flakes

Diced bread – you could use normal bread but a sliced up French stick is better

One onion, roughly chopped

A handful of pine nuts

Enough pasta for two people (I used fusilli)

A small handful of fresh parsley

Salt and pepper

How to make it

  • Begin by soaking the raisins in hot water for about 15 minutes until plump then drain


  • Pour a little of the oil from the sardines into a large frying pan on a low to medium heat
  • Add the chili flakes and the fennel fronds then sauté for a minute
  • Add the diced bread and fry for about 5 minutes until crisp and golden


  • Transfer the croutons to some kitchen paper to soak up any excess oil
  • Add the rest of the sardine oil to the pan followed by the fennel and onion


  • Soften on a medium heat for about 10 minutes
  • In a separate pan, cook your pasta until al dente then drain
  • Add the pine nuts and raisins to the fennel and onion followed by the sardines (you can break the fish into smaller pieces using a wooden spoon)

IMG_3465 IMG_3466

  • Cook for about 5 minutes then add the croutons back in and cook for another 3
  • Add the pasta and mix well
  • Season to taste then serve with fresh parsley sprinkled on top


A Mini Garden Makeover

Over the summer, we gave our front garden flower beds a little revamp and before it gets all cold, dark and dead-looking, I thought I would share our simple improvements.

I feel I should firstly start with the incident that caused us to need to makeover our front garden. The house next door to us was empty for a little while and before the new neighbours moved in, they had a complete clear-out of the very overgrown front garden. Unfortunately, the gardeners got a bit carried away and along with next-door’s weeds and dead plants, they also pulled up all of the flowers and plants in our garden leading to me writing several angry emails to various garden companies until I was offered an apology and compensation for the cost of new plants!

In retrospect, our front garden wasn’t looking that great and although we lost some nice plants, they also pulled up a lot of weeds, in particular a rather invasive climbing plant that we could never seem to get on top of!

Here is the long flower bed in our front garden a few weeks after the gardeners had visited with a lot of weed regrowth. We (I roped in my parents to help!) began by pulling all of the weeds up to create a blank canvas then laying down a good layer of topsoil.

IMG_1558 IMG_1559

My Dad then secured this lovely little white picket fence to separate our front garden from our next-door neighbours’.


Then it was time to get planting. I’m no Charlie Dimmock so cannot give a proper list of plant names but I do know we now have a jasmine tree, several hydrangea bushes, some osteospermum daisies, some ferns and a yellow poppy plant amongst other things.

IMG_1562 IMG_1564 IMG_1565

After nightly watering and weeding, things seemed to flourish and this is our garden at the end of October. I love how the little pink flowering plant hangs over the side of the wall and how alive and colourful everything looks…the bees seem to love our new flower beds too!

IMG_3825 IMG_3826 IMG_3827 IMG_3828 IMG_3829


Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 1,040 other followers