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Category Archives: healthy

Five Friday Favourites #13

New Brogues

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I treated myself to a new pair of brogues for work. These are the ASOS Mai suede brogues are a little more pointed than my last pair. I love the preppy look they give and they are really comfortable too which is a must when you are on your feet all day.

Nut Butter

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The humble peanut now has some competition in the nut butter stakes – I love almond and cashew butter on my morning oats and this one from Pip and Nut is delicious!

A Cream Blusher

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Not something I usually use but this cream blusher from Rimmel in the shade Radiant Rose gives a lovely, natural wash of rosy colour and blends in really well. Sometimes a powder blusher can feel like it is just sitting on top of your make-up whereas this product really feels like part of your base.

Vans Sunglasses

Now I am usually loyal to my Ray Ban collection (Clubmasters and Wayfarers being my favourite styles) but this pink pair from Vans have been my first choice recently. A gift from my bestie Lu, these are a really fun pop of colour and have a cool, retro shape too.

Midweek Wagamamas

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In the run-up to our all-inclusive holiday in a few weeks, we tried to be really good this week making healthy meals, going to the gym and limiting our treats at night. I don’t really ‘diet’ but I know we will be eating and drinking a lot when we’re away so I wanted to offset that a little bit! However, on Thursday night I was devoid of inspiration for something healthy and tasty so we popped to Wagamamas for some delicious new beef buns and a steaming bowl of noodles.

Latest Purchases #111 – A Primark Haul

What a beaut of a weekend! The sun was out and the clocks changed which means lighter mornings and evenings which are guaranteed to improve my mood.

Last weekend, I popped into Primark to hunt out the silver Gucci-inspired loafers I have seen everywhere and of course, picked up a few more items…

Here are the silver shoes I wanted. I am still wearing them in but think they will be perfect for Spring.

I love Primark’s loungewear and pyjamas. I find they are made of super-soft cotton which hang beautifully and are really loose and comfortable. I picked up a couple of cosy tops to wear in the evenings or as pyjamas.

On the pyjama theme, I bought this silky black pair of pjs which feel quite luxurious on.

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This top was probably my favourite purchase of the lot and one that I think encapsulates a lot of this season’s trends in the embroidery and the flared sleeves. I ended up getting this a couple of sizes bigger as I wanted quite a loose, almost floaty fit.

I really liked the colours in this knitted jumper and I think it looks more expensive than it was. Again, I sized up as a I wanted a baggy, over-sized fit and this looks great with jeans.

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I am after some green leaf prints for our bedroom and this cacti one is a good start. I may collate a gallery wall of sorts and I like the colours and gold detail on this print.

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I am slowly replacing all of my old mismatched hangers with these slim, copper ones so I picked up another 4 packs of these. It’s amazing how much more I can fit in my wardbrobe and they look really nice too.

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Whilst in the home section, I picked up a candle and reed diffuser. They definitely don’t have the strongest scent but do offer a subtle fragrance to a room.

Finally, a little at-the-till purchase of these coconut chips. I am trying to snack healthier at the moment and not reach for the biscuits and these coconut chips are really tasty.

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Latest Purchases #110 – A Weekend Haul

With the rise of ‘going live’ on Facebook and Instagram, I think we all are getting a taste for more real life, up-to-date content. So, I thought I would try something a bit different and share a random selection of things I picked up when I popped into Bath yesterday. I was there to get my braces tightened (they are coming off soon!) and I ended up diving into a few different shops in an attempt to avoid the sudden downpour I was caught in.

First of all, I went into Tiger and came away with some goji berries and a pair of thinner gardening gloves. I love having a mooch around this shop and I always end up buying something.

Next, I popped into Primark but I really didn’t see anything I liked. I ended up buying a couple of packs of their thin copper hangers (planning a huge wardrobe sort-out soon), a travel pillow for when we travel to Japan this summer and a new pair of slippers. I love their memory foam slippers – they are the comfiest ones I own.

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Finally, New Look had some beautiful items in store (I have my eyes on a dusky pink embroidered shirt) and I bought 4 dresses: a simple burgundy velvet one (which I really struggled to photograph!), a black ruffle-detail long-sleeved dress, a cosy navy knit with cute ruffled sleeves and hem and a mustard-yellow ruffle-detail dress.

I was a bit unsure about the last one as I read somewhere that blondes can’t pull off this shade of yellow but it fits really nicely and I don’t think that you should be confined by others’ ‘rules’ if you really like something.

So, I hope you enjoyed this mixed bag of items – I much prefer reading little snippets like this. We’re off to a pub quiz tonight after a big bowl of mac ‘n’ cheese. Happy Sunday x

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.

Recipe – Lime and Coriander Chicken

In an effort to eat a little better after the over-indulgence that was Christmas, I have been playing around with different ways to flavour my food to make it a little bit more exciting. Let’s face it, we all know courgetti is never going to taste better than a proper bowl of spaghetti but with the right herbs and spices, it can taste pretty good!

I have made this recipe every week for the past three weeks and every time, I think how fresh and tasty it is. I have stuck to chicken breasts but I’m sure it would work well with turkey or even pork.

Ingredients

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The juice of two limes

A handful of chopped fresh coriander

A good glug of olive oil

A pinch of dried chilli flakes

2 cloves of crushed garlic

Half a teaspoon of paprika

Salt and pepper

4 x chicken breasts

How to make it

  • Make the marinade by mixing together the lime juice, coriander, olive oil, chilli flakes, garlic, paprika, salt and pepper in a large bowl

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  • Add the chicken breasts and ensure they are well coated in the marinade

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  • Leave for at least 2 hours (I pop some clingfilm over the bowl and put it in the fridge)
  • To cook, heat a large frying or griddle pan on a medium-high heat and cook for 8-10 minutes on each side until browned and cooked through
  • I like to serve mine with a giant cous cous salad with the juices from the pan drizzled over

(These chicken breasts are also really tasty cold in a salad for lunch the next day!)

Five Friday Favourites #1

Welcome to a brand new weekly feature! I like to mix this up every year as I tend to get bored of doing the same style of post for a whole year and having categories, such as fashion and food, can be a bit limiting at times.

So, I have decided to move my weekly summary-style post to a Friday and just post whatever things have floated my boat, whether they are food-related, a film I have seen or somewhere I have visited.

Healthy Eating and Meal Planning

These two kind of go hand in hand and I’m sure most people are trying to undo some of the gluttony of Christmas! I find meal planning so handy to ensure we eat healthily and don’t end up throwing anything away at the end of the week. My favourites this week include a cauliflower curry with brown rice, trout and couscous, lime and coriander chicken with giant cous cous, eggs and avocado, thai style seabass with brown rice and edamame stir fry and banana pancakes.

A new favourite eyeliner

I am in love with this Ciaté eyeliner that I received in my December Birchbox. The Fierce Flicks Eyeliner is a true black, lasts all day and the thin tip ensures perfect application. I would definitely repurchase this.

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Cross Stitch

I don’t do this very much but I feel I should as I find it so relaxing and I am always so pleased when I finish and have something to show for my efforts. I made this one for Ian as it is a joke we make a lot and I love how the flowers give it a kitsch, old-fashioned look. I have ordered a frame for it so just need to find the perfect place to display it.

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A Great Meal

We treated my parents to a meal at our favourite pub, The Longs Arms. I am yet to have a bad meal here and the food is always seasonal, sourced locally and packed full of flavour. I enjoyed a beetroot and cheese soufflé, brill in a lobster sauce and a scoop of Parma Violet ice cream.

A New Podcast

I have really enjoyed listening to Dawn O’Porter’s Get It On podcast. Each week she talks to a different guest about what clothes and style mean to them and I just find the relationship people have with clothes fascinating. I particularly enjoyed the chats with Dawn French, Dermot O’Leary and Edith Bowman.

Latest Purchases #105 – Organic Surge Beauty Bundle

I was unusually organised for Christmas this year (well, last year now!) so when Black Friday rolled around, I avoided the mad rush to buy things online. However, when I saw an email from Organic Surge I couldn’t resist a quick browse.

Organic Surge are a lovely, all-natural beauty company whose products are free from parabens, animal testing, artificial fragrances and other harsh chemicals. I don’t have particularly sensitive skin but I can sometimes flare up and have a slight reaction if I use anything too heavily perfumed. I have tried several Organic Surge products before and I was really impressed at how gentle they were on my skin and also how wonderful they smelt.

I spotted a collection of products on offer for Black Friday so bought a set for my Mum for an extra Christmas present and a set for myself too…please say I’m not the only one who treats themselves whilst shopping for others?!

Here is the complete set of products I received:

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First up, the Deep Cleansing Face Mask. I love a good face mask and I really like the fact that you can use this the traditional way for 10-15 minutes or as a more intensive treatment overnight. This is packed with essential oils which smell amazing.

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Next, the Rose Whisper Hand and Body Wash. This is a really generously sized item and as you know, I am obsessed with anything rose scented. I think I will use this as a shower gel as opposed to a hand wash.

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A different scent in the Tropical Orange and Bergamot Hand and Body Lotion. Although I love rose-scented products, I like the fact that another range was included and this is so fresh and summery. I use body lotion after every bath or shower and I like the pump dispenser too.

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Next, the Lavender Meadow Gently Cleansing Hand and Body Wash. This is a slightly smaller sized product than the rose one. Lavender is not my favourite fragrance but I will use this as a handwash.

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I have just run out of my Boscia Makeup-Breakup Cleansing Oil so was on the look-out for a new cleanser. My favourite is probably still the Liz Earle one but this Brightening Hot Cloth Cleanser looks lovely. Firstly, it is rose-scented and it also has great reviews. It would have been nice to have included a flannel or muslin cloth with this but I do have loads already!

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I feel like face washes are waning in popularity now but I use one every time I shower and find them really refreshing. This Refreshing Face Wash looks really gentle to use and is another beautiful-smelling product.

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A real treat now with the Replenishing Facial Oil. I have made no secret of my love of face oils and this one contains argan oil which I think I have only ever used on my hair before. This can be used alone (how I prefer to use it) or mixed in with your day or night moisturiser.

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I have loved Organic Surge moisturisers in the past so was really pleased to see the Super Intensive Moisturiser included in this bundle. This is a rich, daily moisturiser which feels incredibly hydrating – just what I need at this time of year.

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Finally, I got a tube of Gently Does It Baby Cream. This looks like a really gentle body lotion and although I usually prefer a scented body lotion, I do have the occasional flare-up of eczema when I’m stressed so this will be good to hold onto for then.

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My Mum loved this pamper set too and I can’t wait to start using everything. I’ve never made organic beauty a priority but this is a brand I really like and will buy from again.

Can you recommend any good organic brands to try? x

2017

img_9228Happy New Year! I hope you’re not nursing too sore a head after celebrating last night?! Ian and I started off having quite a chilled night in with an M&S meal deal and planned to pop up to the pub for a quick drink at midnight. Well, that quick drink soon escalated and we ended up wandering home at about 3am – I do love our village pub! I’ve managed to dodge a hangover but Ian is feeling a tad delicate today.

I used to start the New Year with a whole host of ‘New Year, New Me’ thoughts, only to beat myself up a few months later when I hadn’t managed to stick to my highly ambitious resolutions. I don’t think we need to start the year off trying to change who we are but rather make some small and manageable adjustments that will ultimately make us happier.

Reflecting on my resolutions from last year, I didn’t do too badly. I carried on going to the gym and actually managed to run a 5K for charity, I read a whole host of books and even joined a book club and I am slowly conquering my fear of needles by giving blood twice.

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I didn’t manage to master vlogging but I’m OK with that. I like writing and have seen how many hours editing videos can take and, to be frank, I just don’t have the time!

I also wanted to perfect an ideal work/ life balance but slowly came to realise that this is a constant juggling act and I don’t think anyone really knows how to do this!

So, in 2017 I plan to continue with giving blood, staying fit and healthy and reading more and the good things is, I know I can do these and they make me feel great.

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Additionally, I want to work on decluttering and having less ‘stuff’. I am getting better at giving things away to family and charity shops and I always feel great after a purge of unused things (my Mum is the ultimate minimalist and despairs at my hoarding at times!)

I also feel I have stopped cooking as much as I used to so I am determined to dust off my cookbooks and start experimenting in the kitchen again. I tend to find a set of quick and easy recipes to make through the week and stick to them so I want to mix things up a bit and try a few new dishes. I love cooking too so I know this is one change that will make me happier.

Have you made any resolutions for 2017? x

Beauty Review – Nuxe Rêve de Miel Lip Balms

One of my biggest regrets this Christmas is not being able to rock a statement lip colour. I love a deep berry shade or a bright festive red but the state of my lips has meant I have been reaching for lip balms instead.

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I have a pretty decent collection of lip balms but when my lips are sore and chapped I reach for the Rêve de Miel balms from Nuxe. They are bestsellers and I use both the balm and the stick formula.

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The little pot of balm comes in pretty frosted glass packaging and I tend to keep this on my bedside table. I’m not usually a fan of lip balm pots as I don’t think it is overly hygienic to keep dipping fingers in but I use this before bed and it really does work. It is a nice matte texture that doesn’t disappear but equally doesn’t feel sticky or greasy on the lips.

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The lip balm in stick form is much more convenient for when I’m on the go and has the same moisturising qualities. The formula is slightly greasier than the pot of balm but both have the lovely honey and citrus scent.

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The lip balm is about £10 but I bought my most recent pot with my Birchbox points. The stick balms are about half the price and if you buy them from the Nuxe website they are currently doing a buy-one-get-one-free deal plus they always send a load of nice samples.

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The only other high-end lip balm I want to try is the By Terry Baume De Rose but at almost £40 it would need to be pretty amazing stuff! In the meantime, this duo from Nuxe does the job for me.

Sunday Summary #46

Life

I have struggled with jet lag this week – going into work after two hours sleep was certainly interesting! I am back on UK time now although the darker mornings are making it harder to get up. We also had our first frost this week so the heating is officially allowed to be on!

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We started watching Going Clear, a fascinating documentary on Scientology. I am really interested in what makes someone dedicate themselves to cults and religions like this and this is a good insight given by ex-members.

We headed over to Bristol midweek to watch Ed Gamble’s stand-up show. He was really good live and, despite being knackered, we both really enjoyed it.

It was my school’s firework display on Friday and I roped my brother into coming and helping. It was freezing but such good fun and I love that smell of bonfire and fireworks.

This weekend, I was at a friend’s wedding. It was such a fun and special day and I spent most of it laughing with my colleagues.

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Food

After a very indulgent week of lobster, beer and doughnuts in Boston, we have tried to eat well with lots of greens. I have got quite into kale again too, making kale chips or lightly sautéing it with lots of salt and pepper.

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I bought this tea to try, having really enjoyed the Salted Caramel Green Tea that Twinings do. The Cherry Bakewell flavour isn’t quite as nice but it is still pleasant enough.

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We bought quite a bit of food in America (mainly sweets!) and have been working our way through it – the almond snickers are delicious.

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Fashion

I had a really disappointing delivery from Boohoo this week. I really want a camel-coloured coat and ordered a few to try on. I found the quality of them really poor and ended up sending all 5 back.

I remembered why I don’t wear heels this weekend after lasting less than an hour in them before changing into flats so I could dance properly at the wedding. I just think some girls aren’t made for heels and I’m definitely in that category.

Beauty

We didn’t really do anything for Halloween this year but I thought I would paint my nails black and orange to celebrate.

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I’ve been loving this hand lotion from Molton Brown. It smells lovely and I need something to help keep my hands soft as it gets colder.

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Finally, I have been using this shade (Bella Cappuccino) from Milani almost daily. It is a great base colour and I like the formula too.

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