Sunday, 27 October 2013

Sunday Snapshots #18

I bought these as they were ‘buy one get one free’ at Sainsburys, and anyone that knows me will know I love Disney films – I’m such a big kid at heart. It was a tough choice and I don’t know how I didn’t come away with more than two, but I went for Dumbo and Bambi, both classics. I’ve not seen either for years either, so looking forward to settling down with a Disney day now the days are shorter and darker! What’s your favourite Disney film?
It’s my best friend’s engagement party next weekend and I cannot contain my excitement. I’ve not seen her since her surprise 21st, as she lives in Telford. I bought this beautiful card from ‘Not on the Highstreet’ (links for website/Twitter here) – which is where I buy all my cards. There are so many lovely bits, particularly if you’re struggling for gift ideas... I spend way too much time on the site. Now to get my outfit sorted, I love a good party!
Another week, another outfit shot. I bought this dress from Boohoo as I was in desperate need of more clothes to wear for work. I’ll be blogging all my new purchases once I’ve worn the final bits, but I love this dress. From the bold colours (I would never normally dream of wearing lime green!) to the houndstooth print and belt, it’s just lovely. Perfect for work, too!
On Saturday, it was daddy and daughter day. I took dad to Westfield at Stratford for lunch and then we went off to The Hive for Barnet v Concord Rangers in the FA Cup. Whenever I go to Stratford (normally with Jake), I go to GBK for food, so decided to take dad there. He went for a cheese burger with American cheese, while I opted for the avocado and bacon burger. I wish we had shared some fries as surprisingly, I was hungry all afternoon. It was a great day and nice to have some family time – we went home and had a Thai takeaway for dinner too.
Sunday was another busy day – I shopped, I baked and I tidied. Again, the treats I made for my work colleagues will be blogged when I have the time – but as a spoiler I can reveal they were rice krispie cakes (my special recipe) and cornflake cakes (with a twist). After much chaos, I finally got to relax with a caramel latte and butterscotch yumyum. I can’t believe the weekend is over so soon – at least it was productive one.
I hope you all had a good week and enjoyed your weekends!

Wednesday, 23 October 2013

Pub review: Lexden Crown

Where I ate:
Lexden Crown, Lexden Road, Colchester
Working in Lexden, I often take my own lunch in as there really isn’t anywhere to go – and particularly not within an hour; no way would I make town and back. There is a really gorgeous pub across the road though and I try and go at least once a month, usually as a payday treat. The Lexden Crown is definitely a traditional pub, but it also meets the needs of the contemporary diner with a modern menu and classics reinvented.
The first couple of times I went, it was August/September time, so we sat outside. There’s a lovely beer garden with many benches – ample space considering the size of the lawn. This time round we sat inside and were placed in a little cubby hole the other side of the bar. This was because part of the pub was shut off, due to a wine tasting afternoon. That said, there was more than enough room for the four of us, and at no point did I feel crammed in or like there was a lack of space. It was so snug and cosy and perfect for a cold autumnal day. The atmosphere was relaxed as always, the staff friendly and efficient, particularly given our timeframe.
What I drank:
Diet coke
What I ate:
Pulled pork bap with crackling, apple sauce, salad, skinny fries and autumnal coleslaw
From the light bites section of the lunch menu, this feast was anything but – it would quite easily fill two hungry bellies. It was amazing though, but then the food always is at the Crown. We all opted for the pulled pork, after the rave reviews from the other half of the office who went out before us. The bap – a large, fresh ciabatta roll – was filled the brim with pulled pork and the apple sauce was the perfect accompaniment, although the sandwich wasn’t at all dry. Being so large, it was difficult to eat and even after cutting the sandwich in half, we all made a bit of a mess – as one girl said, it certainly wasn’t the sort of thing you’d order on a date! The meat was cooked to perfect, slow-cooked and so tender – it melted in the mouth. You probably didn’t really need the fries or salad but I absolutely loved the coleslaw. It packed plenty of crunch and for me, there’s nothing better than a homemade coleslaw, it’s funny how something so simple can taste so good!
Needless to say, I couldn’t eat it all and when I got back to the office, I wanted to fall asleep! Instead I soldiered on with a huge food baby! At £12, it was fairly expensive as far as lunch goes, but it’s a lovely pub and the food is always amazing – not forgetting the portion sizes. I always look forward to my next visit and it’s fair to say, I’m lucky I work next to such a little gem.

Saturday, 19 October 2013

Graze: 10.07.13

In this box, I got:
·         The Graze Brownie (finally!)
·         Scrumptious Blueberry Swirl
·         Nacho Libre
·         Tropical Daiquiri
Two LOVES, one LIKE and one brand new treat I’ve been waiting what seems a lifetime for – but was definitely worth that wait.
Described as ‘better for you’, the Graze Brownie is unbelievably yummy. At only 129 calories, it doesn’t taste like it should be guilt-free and honestly, you wouldn’t know any different. So what makes it so special? The butter has been replaced by vegetarian marshmallow, yet it retains its fudgy texture. The flour has been replaced by ground almonds, yet the cake remains surprisingly moist and not at all like a dry crumble. There’s even beetroot in the Graze Brownie, but you couldn’t tell – apparently it helps bring out the chocolaty goodness. Like the flapjacks, this comes in pre-cut pieces – but there is no way I would share this! Thank you Graze! LOVE
I absolutely LOVE the Scrumptious Blueberry Swirl – I must have had it six or seven times. Back in the archive, I blogged about it here. The mix of soft dried fruits and sweet yogurt raisins is just beautiful.
Another LOVE of mine is the Tropical Daiquiri. I love the dried fruit mixes that Graze prepare, as not only do they count towards your five-a-day, they also prevent me craving sweets and other bad for you snacks.
Nacho Libre is another snack I’ve had a few times now, and unlike some of the other Graze savoury mixes, it isn’t too salty. Here’s what I thought last time round. LIKE
If you want to try the amazingly guilt-free Graze Brownie, or any other of the sweet treats for that matter, go to and enter code: LUCYW5XXP and not only do you get your first, fifth and tenth box free, you can choose what you want to try and can always cancel your order at any time!
Happy snacking

Saturday, 5 October 2013

Payday treats: Ciaté

I go through phases of loving certain nail polish brands, but for the last year or so, it’s been all about Ciaté. Their polishes are long wearing and when it comes to nail art trends, they are the true innovators – just look at the success of the caviar manicure, velvet manicure and more recently, the chalkboard manicure. There’s even a new addition to the collection: a feather manicure. I’m certainly going to look in to that one; how interesting does it sound?
Through their Twitter account, I noticed a 48 hour flash sale – with 50% off all colours and further savings on some of the manicure kits. I needed a few new bits anyway, but it certainly would be rude not to indulge with a sale on – how could I resist?
I bought the following:

·         Very Colourfoil Manicure in Wonderland – was £18.00, now £5.00*
Ciaté say: inspired by London’s urban street artists, Ciaté’s Very Colourfoil Manicure creates edgy, cool, grafitted look with this easy to apply long-wearing manicure
·         Glametal shimmer polish – was £9.00, now £4.50*
Ciaté say: turn heads with this unique mixture of melted silvers, golds and demure darks
·         Sugared Almonds crème polish – was £9.00, now £4.50*
Ciaté say: a gorgeous peach orange nude that will lighten and uplift any skin tone
*Prices have since gone back to pre-sale prices.
I chose the two colours based on what I normally wear to work – the Glametal will definitely add some much needed sparkle to my outfits, while Sugared Almonds will add a subtle pop of colour to the drab black I generally wear every day.
I’m considering testing the Very Colourfoil Manicure at some point over the weekend – if I can pick myself off the sofa and stop coughing, that is! I really don’t think I’ll have the patience for it, although I did eventually perfect the caviar nail trend. As soon as it’s tested, I will be blogging, so keep your eyes peeled!
What are your favourite Ciaté shades, and have you given any of the manicure kits a go? I’d love to read your posts and see pictures, so leave some lovely comments below!