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Category Archives: film

Five Friday Favourites #5

I’m not in the best shape on this Friday night. I have pulled a muscle in my neck so can only turn it in one direction and I have also got the start of a cold which is making my nose and eyes stream alongside constant sneezing fits…not the best start to the weekend! Nevertheless, this weekly Friday post gives me a push to focus on the positives of the week.

New Leggings

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I have been trying to exercise regularly and one thing I love is a good printed pair of leggings. Ian treated me to these leopard print beauties this week and I gave them a trail run at Pilates this week.

Women of the Hour

I love these podcasts from Lena Dunham. I think they are clever, witty and cover a wide range of women’s issues. I am currently binge-listening to Series 2

Gallery Wall

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I have started a gallery wall in the kitchen. I want to fill it with colourful prints and add to it throughout the year every time I find something I love.

Spotlight

Ian and I watched this film last weekend and it was incredible. We missed it at the cinema and it feels like we have been waiting for it to come out for ages. It was worth the wait though and we both really enjoyed it. It was also set in Boston so it was lovely to see some of the places we had visited!

Winter Walks

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As much as I love staying in under a blanket when it’s cold outside, last weekend we wrapped up and headed out. It was a crisp, sunny day and surprisingly refreshing.

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Five Friday Favourites #3

This has been a long ol’ week! I knew January was going to be a bit manic work-wise so I have purposely left my weekends relatively free to relax and reboot. However there have been some highlights this week…

The Moonraker

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Ian very kindly surprised me with a 5-course tasting menu at this lovely pub last night. The food here is always great with lots grown on site. My particular favourites were some tasty venison arancini balls and the pudding which was a banana sticky toffee pudding.

Secret in Their Eyes

We are quite partial to a Saturday night film and this one we watched last weekend was excellent. A very dark thriller with a great twist and a top notch cast.

Fresh Flowers

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I treated myself to a bunch of roses this week and they really do cheer me up when I see them sat on the table.

Getting Sorted

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I try and set myself a mini task to achieve over the weekend, and this time it was to sort out our hallway. We bought a lovely little vintage ladder that I use to hang scarves from but it had become a bit of a mess. I had a good sort out, sent several scarves and snoods off to the charity shop and can now actually see what I want to wear rather than rifling through a big mess.

Good Coffee

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We toyed with the idea of getting a new coffee machine in the January sales but I have read so much about how awful the pods are for the environment that it put me off. Instead, we got a new coffee pot and have been enjoying freshly brewed ‘proper’ coffee in bed at the weekend and it is lovely!

Five Friday Favourites #2

Ahhhh Friday! I think I’m going to enjoy writing my weekly summary on Fridays rather than Sundays as there is no way you can be in a bad mood when Friday rolls around! This weekend I plan to have a lie-in, bake and generally potter about. Whilst I love a busy weekend, there are times when you crave slowing down a bit and that’s exactly what I’m going to do. Anyway, on with the five highlights of my week…

Absurd Bird

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Ian and I had a lovely meal at this new restaurant in Bath. I wrote a review of it here. If you like chicken, it’s great but don’t be fooled by the size of the portions!

Organic Surge Rose Hot Cloth Cleanser

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I have loved using this Organic Surge cleanser. It smells like Turkish Delight and is so gentle yet effective at removing make-up at the end of the day.

10 Cloverfield Road

Ian and I watched this film and it was an unexpected hit with us both. I don’t want to give too much away but it was very cleverly done with a great twist at the end. Although it’s the sequel to Cloverfield, it is nothing like the original.

Comedy Tickets

This week, we managed to get tickets to see James Acaster on tour and Ricky Gervais when he comes to Bristol. I am so excited to see Ricky live and I always think it’s great to have something in the diary to look forward to.

New iPhone

My cracked iPhone6 has finally bitten the dust and been replaced. In other words, my contract was up for renewal so I upgraded to a beautiful rose-gold iPhone7. I’ve already ordered a protective anti-smash screen cover (and some pretty marble phone cases!) so I’m hoping this one lasts a bit longer than my last one did.

Travel Diaries – A Week in Boston (Part One)

After a busy week back at work, I have finally found a spare evening to start writing up our amazing trip to Boston last month. I had always wanted to visit New England during Fall and Halloween and this trip did not disappoint. As well as the seasonal joys of everything being pumpkin flavoured (beer, coffee, doughnuts…you name it!), it was fascinating to see the final run-up to the US elections and enjoy some amazing seafood. I also tried to master the Boston accent which was a little less successful!

Day One

We flew from Heathrow Terminal 5 with British Airways and it was a pleasant enough flight. I watched the films Money Monster, The Shallows and Finding Dory all of which I would recommend for different reasons. We landed in the evening and got a free shuttle from Logan Airport into Boston then a taxi to our hotel.

We stayed at The Chandler Inn Hotel in South End and I really liked it. South End is seen as quite a hip, cool area and our hotel was surrounded by beautiful brownstones. We were about two blocks away from the T (Boston’s subway system) which made it really easy to get around.

I was struggling to stay awake at this point but managed a short walk around the neighbourhood to pick up some essentials – pizza, root beer and M&Ms!

Day Two

Well, I was awake at about 4am on our first morning and itching to get outside and start exploring! We started with another walk around the surrounding area to get our bearings and delight in the pretty window boxes most houses had. It was a beautifully sunny, crisp autumn day and my first impressions of Boston were great.

For breakfast, we headed to The Pour House for eggs and homefries which would keep us going all morning.

I love a good bus tour and really do think it is a great way to see a city, especially if the tour guide is a local. We did a trolley tour and struck gold with our driver who was hilarious and had lots of funny tales about the city. Boston is a very historical city and we saw all the main sights with a little bit of history thrown in too.

An added extra with this bus tour was a mini-cruise around the harbour. This was really fun and gave us a different view of the city…plus they sold beer on the boat!

That afternoon, we visited Quincy Market where there is an amazing selection of food vendors. We wandered past the mouth-watering stalls before deciding on clam chowder and lobster rolls for lunch. We ate this whilst enjoying an Acapella contest! It wasn’t quite Pitch Perfect but very cool to watch.

We caught the last of the autumn sunshine at Boston Common (where there was a cute kids pumpkin decorating event happening) before going to Octoberfest, a beer festival complete with pumpkin beer, pretzels and live music.

Day Three

Our third day started with bagels at Berkeley Perk Café followed by a trip across the water to Cambridge. I had really wanted to visit Harvard University and we had a great tour from a student. I found the history fascinating and the grounds were beautiful…almost as pretty as Birmingham Uni!

We headed back to Quincy Market for lunch, stopping at an amazing little farmers’ market on the way, and had lobster mac and cheese in the sunshine before an afternoon of shopping, trying a Blackbird Bakery doughnut and burritos for dinner.

Sunday Summary #44 and #45

Life

I’m back after a packed week in Boston! We had such a good time there and I am already writing up some blog posts from the trip and reliving the food and fun times. A big thank you to my parents who popped up while we were away and finished laying the tiles in our porch, put fresh sheets on the bed, left flowers and a huge vat of homemade soup for us…just what you want after a night of no sleep! It is back to reality today though as I am back to work tomorrow (no idea how I am going to get up in the morning #jetlag) and need to unpack but first, my Sunday Summary from the past two weeks.

Finally, the new series of Black Mirror is here! Ian and I love this show and it is such a cutting, dark look at society today. So far, we have seen the first three episodes and cannot wait to watch more.

I just can’t sleep on an aeroplane so I tend to binge-watch films. On this trip I managed to watch six: Finding Dory, The Shallows, The Boss, Money Monster, The Jungle Book and the new Night at the Museum: Secret of the Tomb. I mostly picked easy-to-watch/ children’s films but Money Monster was really good (and has George Clooney in!)

Sadly I missed the final of GBBO but have now caught up and had a little cry when Candice won. I’m also still enjoying The Apprentice too.

Food

I have most definitely indulged this week! America just goes so over the top for Autumn and put pumpkin and spices in everything…beer, doughnuts, cheesecake, pancakes.

Ian bought me a bottle of the new Pumpkin-spiced Baileys which I have enjoyed on ice, in coffee and as a milkshake. If you like the Starbucks drink, you will love this.

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You can’t go to Boston and not indulge in seafood. We had great clam chowder and lobster when we were away which we just don’t really do in the UK.

We visited a couple of breweries in America and enjoyed some lovely craft beers. My favourites were a pumpkin-spiced beer from the Octoberfest beer festival we visited and a blueberry wheat beer from Salem Beer Works which came with a handful of fresh blueberries floating in it.

Finally, I tried my first ever cronut and it was goooooooood!

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Fashion

While we had lovely, sunny weather in Boston, there was a definite chill in the air so I lived in my ASOS parker, my tartan scarf (River Island) and my Wolf Academy beanie hat.

I have been looking at leather backpacks for ages and finally bought one when we were away. I like that it is practical yet still smart and I think it will be great for future city breaks.

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Beauty

I did my first autumnal manicure using this lovely deep, berry shade from Nails Inc which actually lasted the whole week with only one chip.

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I suffer with dry skin after a flight so I decided to try and combat that by slathering my skin in Weleda’s Skin Food which I love. I am adamant it smells just like gin and tonic but it really works and gives your skin a real moisture boost.

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I also gave myself a mini facial when I got home yesterday using REN’s Glycolactic Radiance Renewal Mask which I find revitalises dull, tired skin.

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Finally, one of my highlights of our trip was a visit to Sephora. I actually went twice as got so overwhelmed the first time I left with nothing! I did get a bit spendy but I had budgeted for a few treats and will share them soon! Sidenote – I know we are meant to be getting Sephora in the UK soon and I kind of have mixed feelings about it. Yes, it will be great to have all the brands here but it will take away that excitement you get at visiting a store when on holiday.

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Sunday Summary #43

Life

I have one more week of term left which means a mad rush to fit everything in then we are off to Boston! If you are a regular reader of this blog then you will know my love for visiting America. I haven’t been to Boston before so am planning to fit in as much as possible and have spent a chunk of today booking us in for various things and, of course, finding the best place for East Coast chowder and lobster rolls!

Ian and I have been enjoying Scandi dramas a lot lately. We are watching The Bridge and also watched the film ‘The Keeper of Lost Causes’ last night which was great…any other recommendations?

Food

I’m a real grazer so always looking for new snacks, especially healthy ones. Now these aren’t perfect but they are a bit better for you than crisps and taste delicious.

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We had a really disappointing dinner out this week at the newly renovated Dandy Lion in Bradford on Avon. I don’t like to bash local businesses but this was slow service, coupled with a really bad burger and I won’t be revisiting to make the same mistake twice.

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Fashion

I bought a new pair of boots for this Autumn/ Winter. These black leather ankle boot have  cool tassle on side to add a bit of detail and look good with jeans or tights and a dress.

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There are so many nice knitted jumpers around at the moment and I opted for this leopard print number from H&M. it is heavy enough to keep you warm, has a nice zip detail at the back and is a cool, loose boxy shape so looks great with a pair of black skinny jeans…I love it!

Beauty

My nails are finally getting back to a decent length and condition so I decided to indulge in a bit of nail art. I spotted this nude and navy spotted look on Lena Dunham and am really pleased with how they turned out.

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Finally, I have been using this Lancome duo this week and both are lovely. The serum is quite a wet formula but feels very hydrating. The moisturiser however is the real star. I think it is aimed at slightly more mature skin than mine but it leaves my face feeling as smooth as if I had applied a primer and my foundation sits well on it. I may keep an eye open for this at Duty Free next week…

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Sunday Summary #39 and #40

Life

A two-week catch-up today as, quite frankly, I was exhausted last weekend! I completed the 5km Pretty Muddy at Bath Racecourse and was so filthy afterwards, I had a hot shower and a nap in the afternoon. Despite it being a nightmare to get out of the car park (over an hour and a half!), I really enjoyed it. I ran with my colleagues and it was a real laugh getting covered in mud and water.

I’ve been trying to get the work/ life balance right since term started and it’s such a balancing act! I feel as though I am on top of things at work but failing slightly at home as I haven’t been to the gym all week and have been relying on quick meals for dinner (pizza and pasta have been a lifesaver!)

In the evenings, we have been enjoying some great dramas, especially after reading that boxsets are good for relationships! We watched the whole series of Stranger Things which I surprised myself by really loving. I’m not usually a fan of anything involving aliens but I just loved the kids in this and the 80s setting was just so cool. We also watched One of Us, a British drama which was OK and the film, The Big Short, which is fascinating.

In slightly less exciting news, I’ve been on a Speed Awareness Course after getting snapped on the motorway. Annoyingly, I was rushing to get home for a takeaway curry so that will teach me to be so greedy!

I finished reading The Sister which I thought was pretty awful – I don’t usually dislike a book as I’m fairly good at picking ones I know I’ll like but this just wasn’t for me. I’m not sure what to read next – my Dad has leant me an Ernest Hemmingway which I may try.

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Finally, Ian and I spent a good chunk of this weekend planning our trip to Boston in a bit more detail. I have a rough plan (it’s the teacher in me!) of places we’d like to visit and I just can’t wait!

Food

It was Ian’s birthday this month and despite claiming he didn’t want a cake, we definitely enjoyed this chocolate delight.

After my run, my Dad asked me what I fancied and a big bowl of his BBQ ribs hit the spot!

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We went out to Wagamamas this Friday to celebrate my brother getting a promotion at work. I ordered my favourite of Yaki Soba and it was perfect. I also really like ordering a fresh juice there.

Today, we both fancied a roast dinner but didn’t want to cook so we went to The Crown pub nearby where they do an amazing Sunday roast with red cabbage and huge Yorkshire puddings.

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I have made an apple crumble tonight with some apples from my friend’s garden which I am looking forward to in a bit.

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Beauty

I went for a facial yesterday and my skin feels so good today. It was meant to include some micro-dermabrasion but my skin wasn’t quite right for it which I suppose is a bit of a compliment.

My friend Lucie very kindly bought me a tube of NYX Soft Matte Lip Cream in the shade Stockholm (and actually gave it to me when we were on the plane just about to land there!). It is the perfect nude for me and I love the smell of this formula too.

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Lastly, I have been really enjoying this facial spritz by This Works. It is really gentle and refreshing on the skin and smells very clean and fresh.

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Fashion

I made an ASOS order for Ian’s birthday so ended up adding a few pieces into the basket for myself too! I bought some dresses but I’m also having a real moment with hats. I know summer is over but these two straw hats caught my eye. Both the trilby and fedora have coloured stripes around the brim to add a bit of interest and will be perfect in the sun.

Today I wore my pale brown felt fedora and actually had someone tell me how much they liked it when I was shopping!

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Finally, a present from my Mum who knows how much I like copper/ rose gold. These hangers from Primark are lovely and I am always running out.

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