Monday, 30 June 2014

City hopping: Berlin

I would definitely recommend buying a 48 or 72 hour pass, or if you’re staying even longer, a five-day one – it allows you to travel as much as you like within certain zones, much like a London travel card. I think I paid just under 25€ for mine and it definitely was worth it, particularly when there’s so much to see. The only problem will be cramming it all in!
Visiting the Jewish Museum was a harrowing experience. From the exterior, the architecture was really modern and it isn’t until you step inside that the severity hits home. Walking around actually send shivers down my spine and the zigzag format was incredibly complex, with each sector representing a different concept. The windowless holocaust tower was cold, dark and empty and I physically couldn’t stay there longer than a minute. The garden of exile consisted of eight columns of eight pillars representing isolation, again everything was grey and cold. The most distressing part was the fallen leaves exhibit: an art installation in the memory void, whereby over 10,000 open mouthed faces lay piled on the floor, representing all the innocent victims of the holocaust.
Checkpoint Charlie was the crossing point between East and West Berlin during the Cold War. The spot is now heaving with tourists, largely due to the photo opportunity with men dressed as American soldiers. I didn’t wish to pay an extravagant amount of money and instead, sat in the Einstein cafe with a cappuccino and large slice of carrot cake. Even today, the following notices can be read from posts and buildings: ‘You are leaving the American sector’ and ‘You are entering the non-profit sector’.
There are sections of the Berlin Wall as you walk towards Checkpoint Charlie, as well as at the memorial. Although, covered in graffiti, it could have been anything, but for the notices. The Black Box is worth half an hour of your time. This monument was just opposite Checkpoint Charlie and was another popular spot with everyone wanting their picture with a part of the wall.
The Holocaust Memorial was a further vast space, consisting of nothing about over 2,700 concrete slabs in varying sizes, in a space of around 19,000m2. It can be accessed from any side or angle and leads to the Holocaust Museum – well worth a visit (it’s also free!). It’s underground, which is eerie enough but inside houses a number of memorabilia from the victims. From letters and postcards written to family members, to the video room where sound clips tell stories of the lives of some of the children. Each story is told in German and English and if each victims’ story were told, the audio would last many years. The walls are black, but for the names of each victim projected on to the walls – again, I couldn’t stay any longer than two minutes.
The Brandenburg Gate is nearby and it was lovely to walk through the pedestrianised zone and through the Neo-Classical arches. The size of the bridge is pretty phenomenal, especially with the horse figure on top. It was even more spectacular at night, as the monument lights up – and there was a very good view from the top of the Reichstag!

You’ll have to register two days in advance to visit the Reichstag but it’s free and well worth it – especially if you go in the evening. It is open all day and you’re allocated a half an hour slot. After getting a lift to the first floor, it’s time to ascend the spiral walkways to the top and from here,  you’re free to walk around as you please. There’s an outside terrace which offers fantastic panoramic views. The centrepiece consists of a bench, where if you lay back, you’ll be able to watch the stars (as the domed roof is made of glass). The mirrored cylinder at the heart as you descend is pretty incredible too!
I rode the U-Bahn a fair bit and couldn’t help but feel as though I was stepping back in time to the ’50s or something – the trains were probably the same as those that were running them: very basic looking, bright yellow, just out-dated. The majority of stations were practically empty, with little amenities and those that had kiosks, were closed and shuttered. The modern trains were nice though: clean, spacious and without damage. I think out of all the underground services I’ve used abroad, this was the worst, but if you can look past the exterior, it’s an incredibly convenient way of getting around.
While I don’t like beer and didn’t eat any sausage while in Berlin, I did manage to tick one thing of my ‘to do’ list and that was to buy a pretzel. This one was a little weird – there were cornflakes in the chocolate topping. The texture wasn’t really what I was expecting and I was hoping it would be warm and doughy, as opposed to cold and stodgy. At least I managed to eat something typically German though, after all they aren’t really known for their food.... not like the French or Spanish anyway!

Sunday, 29 June 2014

Living with PCOS: Part Three

I’ve tried every diet going, as well as the likes of Slim Fast, Celebrity Slim and Weight Watchers and nothing seems to work! I mean, I eat pretty healthily: I cook most nights of the week, I always have breakfast, at work I’ll have salad for lunch but I can’t seem to shift the weight. It’s definitely got worse since I’ve been stuck at a desk all day – and it will only get worse! That’s one of the worst things about PCOS, the inability to lose weight; weight gain normally stays around the stomach as well, so I constantly look like I’m nursing a food baby. I can’t wear body-con, even if I’m feeling super confident.
When mum brought home The PCOS diet book from a lady at work, it became my bible. I read it cover to cover and took note of the diet plan they recommended. I only managed to stick to it for a week, despite there being 10 days worth of sample meals. I really want to try it again and commit to it, to see if it makes me feel better about myself and more importantly, lose weight.
Sample meals
Wholegrain cereal with fresh fruit, nuts and seeds
Rye bread and low-fat yogurt with fruit
Two boiled eggs with wholemeal toast
Half an apple with granola and low-fat yogurt
Wholemeal toast with peanut butter and banana
Wholemeal pitta with chicken and salad, followed by fruit and 10 almonds
Salad with cheese (30g max), followed by fruit tart
Lean meat with jacket potato and salad, followed by fruit-based dessert
Steamed fish and vegetables, followed by fruit salad
Salad nicoise with a wholemeal roll, followed by mousse
Fishcakes with salad, followed by small bar of dark chocolate
Wholewheat pasta with tomato, red onion and greens, followed by pears poached in red wine
Quiche and green salad, followed by fruit compote with low-fat yogurt
Meat/fish salad, followed by strudel
Steamed fish with brown rice and stir-fried vegetables in ginger, followed by berries and low-fat yogurt
Snacks (two a day):
Handful of dried fruit, nuts and seeds
3 jaffa cakes
Vegetable sticks with dip
Whole wheat biscuits with fruit spread
2 fresh apricots
apple and nuts
2 rice cakes with cheese and cucumber
Blueberry oat muffin
Banana and sesame seed crackers
Low-fat yogurt with strawberries
There seems to be a real hype about tea-toxing at the minute and I’ve heard of one brand: Your Tea, which is something I’d love to try. I drink a lot of green tea anyway but I read that this particular brand is good for PCOS sufferers and helps to prevent bloating. If you’ve tried it, please let me know how you got on! 

Tuesday, 24 June 2014

OOTW: Summer Lovin’

Well I hope you all had a lovely weekend and made the most of the sunshine! I had a fab time and felt so summery for the first time in ages and for once, my outfits were bursting with colour!

Dress: Boohoo // Shoes: Matalan
On Saturday, I was at an 18th party most of the day. It began after lunch with a picnic of Pimm’s, homemade sausage rolls and scones and a couple of games of rounders, before heading back for a garden party. I had no idea what the plans for the day were, hence the outfit. Luckily being so covered up, I didn’t get sunburnt but at the same time I wasn’t too hot as the dress is reasonably light. You can never have too many maxis and I bought this one last year for my city break to Madrid – I’m still in love with the print and rainbow colours. As it got colder in the evening, I wrapped up in my Boohoo batwing cardi (you can buy a similar one here).
Dress: New Look // Shoes: as before
I can’t believe the number of compliments I got on this dress, particularly as I must have bought it seven years ago (I was definitely at Sixth Form) from New Look. I rarely wear it, but now I’ll definitely be wearing it a lot more and I’ll be packing it for my holiday in Portugal, in September. I really fancied a pub lunch with a huge sandwich and OJ & lemonade so I jumped in my car and did just that! I love the floral print and style of the dress, which flatters my figure – and even though I sat in the shade in the beer garden, I felt so summery and had a lovely lunch.
What were you wearing this weekend?

Monday, 23 June 2014

Restaurant review: Wildwood

Where I ate:
Wildwood, Backnang Square, Chelmsford
The weekend before last I met up with my friend Laura and we decided to meet halfway in Chelmsford for lunch. We’d both been wanting to return to Wildwood since the time we went pre-cocktails and had been craving the hoi sin duck pizza ever since!
As it was a beautiful day, we dined al fresco – there are a number of tables outside, shaded by canopies, which is lovely. The only downside was all the pigeons – and the rain which started as we paid the bill, but luckily we ran for shelter in the shopping centre. I have to say by sitting outside, the service was lacking slightly – I mean we had to wait 20 minutes for drinks and I was so thirsty! That aside, it was very good again.
What I drank:
Mandarin mojito
As I got the train to Chelmsford (definitely quicker than driving and at £6 for a return, probably cheaper!),  I decided to have a drink. I didn’t really fancy wine and I wasn’t impressed with my raspberry bellini last time so finally settled on the mojito. I was really refreshing, but went down far too easily, although I only limited myself to the one. The mandarin flavour was strong and with the chopped mint, managed to keep its crisp freshness. I’m definitely contemplating making this by the jug load for garden parties or barbecues this summer.
What I ate:
Hoi sin duck pizza with rosemary fries, followed by Wildwood sundae
We both knew we were going to be sharing the pizza again as it was so good the last time; honestly, whoever thought up the concept of a duck pizza is an absolute genius! It’s almost like a giant duck pancake, the base is so thin! It was just as good as I had remembered, although seemed bigger than last time – I don’t even think the photo does it justice. We ordered a portion of rosemary fries each as one just wouldn’t be enough to share and they’re so moreish! I love the springs of rosemary and rock salt, seasoned to perfection. I’d definitely recommend sharing a pizza and then adding sides – the portion sizes are pretty big!
We managed to save some room for dessert and in true lunch date fashion, shared an ice cream sundae! We both had our eye on the Wildwood sundae, largely due to the amaretti biscuits so it was an easy decision to make without disagreeing. When it arrived, I was glad there were two spoons as there was no way either of us would have managed a whole one; it was so sweet and sickly. The amaretti biscuits were crushed on top of lashing of whipped cream; while raspberry and chocolate sauces were swirled between vanilla ice cream and there were even chocolate brownie chunks throughout the sundae. I dread to think the number of calories or amounts of fats or sugar in the thing, but my was it good! I’m sure I’ll be sampling the chocolate variety next time, it sounds divine!
It was so lovely to catch up with Laura, given I don’t see her everyday anymore and it doesn’t get much better with good food and sipping cocktails in the sunshine. I think next time we’re heading to LDN...

Thursday, 19 June 2014

Restaurant review: Bistro on the Quay

Where I ate:
Bistro on the Quay, Wherry Quay, Ipswich
Situated on the waterfront, Bistro on the Quay is a lovely little restaurant, ideally placed with scenic views, a lively atmosphere and a great selection of food and drink. It was my first visit to the Bistro and with expectations high, having eaten at a number of restaurants on the docks, I wasn’t disappointed.
I would definitely recommend booking and booking early, the restaurant soon fills up – and it’s only open from 6:30 to 9:30 in the evenings. While we booked for 7, there were very few empty tables and with the weather as it has been (maybe not so much this week), it’s bound to be a popular choice, especially with so many options for pre-dinner drinks.
From the outside, it looks as though the restaurant would be cramped and narrow, but that isn’t the case at all: it’s spacious with the tables a reasonable distance apart and there are so many corners, it’s as if the restaurant has been split into sections. The decor was minimalist and neutral; I loved the canopies that were draped from the glass ceilings and the mix between leather and velvet chairs.
What I drank:
A small glass of Pinot Grigio Rosato
I was really impressed with the wine list, which was extensive (I mean four choices of rosé is pretty good!) and although the glasses were only small (175ml) and started from £4.25, I was pleased with my choice. It was cold, crisp and fresh and really complemented my choice of main course. Bottles ranged between £15.95 (reasonable, imo) and £41.50 – you could even buy by the smaller glass 125ml.
What I ate:
Grilled fillet of cod in tarragon butter with new potatoes and samphire, followed by tropical taster platter (mango sorbet on a lemon shortbread round, griddled pineapple soaked in rum, passion fruit brûlée and white chocolate & coconut mousse).
The Bistro has a fixed menu as well as a la carte options, with the former starting at £10.95 for a main meal and additional £4 for other courses. I couldn’t decide what to have (the bang bang chicken starter portion sounded good, as did the duck breast) but finally decided on the grilled cod from the fixed menu. It was lovely and fresh and very light; served with new potatoes, green beans, broccoli and samphire, with tarragon butter. I couldn’t manage all the potatoes and don’t think the dish really needed them – the fish was more than enough in itself.
I was tempted by two of the desserts on the fixed menu – vanilla crème brûlée and a gluten free chocolate mocha cake. In the end, I decided to choose the tropical taster platter from the main menu, something else I had my eye on – it also contained a mini brûlée so it was a win-win situation. As soon as it arrived to the table, I knew I had made the right decision and couldn’t wait to sample everything... although it was definitely a case of eyes bigger than belly syndrome! I ate the pineapple first which was surprisingly cold – and very boozy! The mango sorbet was a little sweet for me and the by time I tried to finish it, it had turned to soup. My favourite was definitely the mousse, which was lovely and light – the perfect consistency; while the passion fruit brûlée was the perfect ending, although there’s no way I’d have managed a full-size one.
At £50 for two – five courses and three drinks – I’d definitely recommend eating at the Bistro on the Quay and think the amount we paid for the quality of food is more than reasonable. With so many places to go for pre- or after-dinner drinks, it’s perfect for relaxation and the quayside boasts some beautiful views.

Sunday, 15 June 2014

Sunday Snapshots #31

On Monday night, dad cooked for everyone, making one of his specialities: teriyaki beef with udon noodle broth. I love Asian cuisine and this dish gets better every time he cooks it. I don’t even think the photos do it justice – it really is so tasty and filling, too. I previously blogged the recipe here, if you want to give it a go for yourself.
I ordered a new phone case just over three weeks ago and much to my impatience (and excitement), it arrived this week! I love ClaireaBella stuff because it’s so unique – you personalise your aBella to suit your own look and so each dolly is individual. I now need to buy a bag for my holiday in September! As soon as I get round to dying my hair blonde, I’ll probably have to design another case, although my phone upgrade is in two months so I might have to wait until then. You can buy a ClaireaBella case from Toxic Fox for £24.99.
Midweek selfie – and for the first time since I started my job last August, I went to work tights-free. I’ve been tanning using Palmers Gradual Tan and with the weather being so nice, it’s just too hot for tights so I finally braved it. I’ve mentioned this dress in a couple of posts before, but it’s from AX Paris – and I wore my Forever 21 shoes; I felt so summery!
On Saturday morning, I went to Waitrose cafe for breakfast as I wanted to go out but the weather was abysmal which meant having to sit inside somewhere. I ended up buying sushi and fruit for dinner as well and it’s a shame I was strapped for time as I’d have loved to spend a few minutes in John Lewis looking at all the homey stuff. I was pleased to see both hot and cold menus labelled with the number of calories, as I think this is important – I chose a large cappuccino and lemon & sultana Danish, which were lovely. I keep meaning to pick up a Waitrose store card *note to self*.
Saturday night was spent watching the World Cup: Uruguay v Costa Rica, England v Italy and the first half of Ivory Coast v Japan which kicked off at 2am. Needless to say I’ve felt like absolute death today! My parents were hosting a dinner party so I set up camp in their room (I’m still waiting for the aerial for my new TV to arrive) with food, coffee and my laptop.
I hope you all had a good weekend,


I’ve been meaning to blog about these purchases for ages and it’s been scheduled but I’ve just been so busy with work and the sunshine, so apologies! Every day for the month of May, Feel Unique were running different offers and discounts – from free gifts with purchases, to special prices and buy one get one frees, you get the drift! Unfortunately, I only found out about it towards the end of the month and on the first two days, the offers sold out; but I still managed to bag myself a couple of bargains! The first was a ‘buy one get one free’ on Montagne Jeunesse face masks and the second was a 25% selected brands in which I purchased another bottle of Palmers Natural Tan and Burberry Brit Rhythm for her, in 30ml.
Montagne Jeunesse masks
I love the Montagne Jeunesse brand and I should have stocked up long ago but when I saw packs were buy one get one free, it was my cue. I bought 11 masks for £5 (+ £1.50pp) which is a complete steal! With various collections to choose from, I chose the Fabulously Fruity set which contained:
Very Berry (x1)
Passion Peel-off (x1)
Strawberry Soufflé (x1)
Dragon Fruit Sauna (x1)
Pawpaw Peel-off (x1)
The collection I got free was the Peel-Offs mix and this multi consisted of:
Cucumber Peel-off (x2)
Passion Peel-off (x2)
Green Tea Peel-off (x1)
Lemon Zest Peel-off (x1)
I have used the Passion Peel-off masque before and while I wasn’t impressed first time round, I’m hoping for better results with these three. My review can be found, here. I’ve had mixed reactions with peel-off masks from a number of brands but I’m really looking forward to trying the Green Tea variety. Strawberry Soufflé sounds lush as well – good enough to eat – while the Dragon Fruit Sauna sounds interesting too. I’ll be blogging once they’ve all been tested, I’m sure...
Palmers Natural Tan
I found out about Palmers Natural Tanning Lotion through a couple of bbloggers on Twitter and immediately bought it (I so should’ve stocked up as it was half price on Superdrug at the time...) – and soon fell in love! I was gonna re-purchase it anyway, but when I saw Palmers were one of the brands with 25% off, I made it my first buy. I have to admit the smell isn’t as nice as some of their other products – there is that hint of fake-tanny smell, but I love the results and the colour is very natural. I try and apply it every other day or at least twice a week – and obviously I’ve caught the sun a bit anyway, so it all helps. I used to stick to instant tan for nights out and special occasions but I’m now loving the gradual stuff for a constant glow. It’s affordable and as it contains moisturiser, I can apply it after a bath or shower and not have to worry about mixing it with another cream!
Burberry Brit Rhythm
Burberry say that Brit Rhythm is a free-spirited irreverent fragrance and it’s one I’ve been meaning to buy, ever since it launched in Selfridges – largely due to its cute bottle and dusky pink colour more than anything else. It’s a mixture of floral and fruit with a hint of musk thrown in for good measure; it’s an intriguing scent which reminds me of something, but I can’t put my finger on what.
Top notes – lavender, neroli, pink peppercorn
Heart notes – blackberry, orris absolute, orange flower
Base notes – vetiver, musk
It’s the first time in possibly over six years that I’ve bought a Burberry fragrance and I’ve worn this most days last week; I love it! It’s long-lasting and I find I don’t even need to re-apply it at work.
Did you buy anything from Feel Unique’s #UNIQUETREATS campaign? I’d love to know which deals you took advantage of!
Oh, and you can receive 15% off your next order by entering code: BRAZIL15 at the check-out!

Tuesday, 10 June 2014

Graze: 17.02.14

In this box, I got:
  • Triple Berry Smoothie
  • Track & Field
  • Tutti Frutti
  • Tomato & Basil Pizza
How random that all my snacks in this box began with the letter ‘t’? Really, what are the chances? I’d already tried Track & Field and Tomato & Basil Pizza before – and coincidently, I got them both in the same box. Click here to find out why I rate them so much.

Triple Berry Smoothie is one of your five-a-day (or should that be seven, now?) and also sports a Graze Light badge, coming in at only 107 calories. The three berries: strawberries, cranberries and blueberries are perfectly complemented by the soft banana coins. I do think I’d prefer it if the punnet contained banana chips instead, for a bit of crunch, but I do LIKE it.
I also rated my Tutti Frutti box with a LIKE and it’s another fruity mix, hence the name. This punnet contains 120 calories and like Triple Berry Smoothie, counts towards your five-a-day. The flavours are a lot more tropical with pineapple and sour cherry infused raisins, while the cranberries taste like blueberry and the green raisins add some colour. I love dried fruit, purely because it prevents me eating sweets – natural sugars are so much better.
Follow this link to receive three complimentary boxes – remember you can pick any snacks you like and can also cancel at any time. There are so many new treats to try – and you can even search by ingredients you like!

Sunday, 8 June 2014

Sunday Snapshots #30

It was my brother’s 21st birthday on Monday and we celebrated on Sunday evening with a barbecue at home. I’ve promised to take him to Catch (one of my favourite restaurants) but it’s finding an evening or Saturday lunchtime when we’re both free. Mum didn’t buy a birthday cake, but one of his friends made this – with raspberry butter cream and topped with Jelly Belly beans. I could only manage one small slice, it was far too sweet and sickly – even for me!
In amongst the rain and storms this week, how gorgeous has it been when the sun’s been out? I’ve only managed to sit outside twice at work for lunch but when I have, I’ve really made the most of the hour and it’s nice to finally get a bit of colour (NOT from a bottle!). Hopefully this week will be just as nice...
It was one of my colleagues’ birthday on Saturday, so we celebrated in the office on Friday and I spent Thursday after-hours trashing her desk and printing out pictures. We all chipped in and bought New Look vouchers, a bottle of vodka and created a hamper with lots of American treats from Candy Hero. She loves snacks and all things random so it was nice creating something a bit personal. It was also so much fun being in charge of organising the present – I love birthdays at work!
While I was hoping to spend Saturday in the garden sunbathing, the rain and storms got in the way – and instead I had to make do with a DVD day (not a bad thing, of course). Luckily I got my tan on this morning and spent two-and-a-half hours out there to make up for it! Mum was busy with work so there wasn’t much else to do than watch Chick Flicks. I watched How Do You Know, followed by Just Go With It and Definitely Maybe. The highlight of the day was finally eating this coffee and walnut cake which I accompanied with a caramel latte; yummy!
What did you get up to this weekend?

Saturday, 7 June 2014

Restaurant review: Loch Fyne

Where I ate:
Loch Fyne, Duke Street, Ipswich
Anyone that knows me will know I love seafood, so after a tough week at work, a trip to Loch Fyne was definitely on the cards – even though I was driving and couldn’t enjoy a much-needed glass of wine!  It must have been the fourth time I’d been to the restaurant and I’ve never had a bad meal there. The table was booked for 6:45, which gave me enough time to get there from work, as well as re-apply my makeup and on arrival, there were only four other tables occupied. It got busier as we ate though – including a large party of 10 who sat next to us.
I always love the interior of the restaurant as there are so many large windows – meaning it’s always really bright and airy. Sitting by the window, it’s nice to sit and people-watch, while the evening sun shone through. Even though the decor is minimalist, it’s very welcoming and you immediately feel comfortable and at ease.
The service was excellent, as usual – but then again there’s no reason for it to be anything less, when there are so many waiting staff and only a handful of tables in use. I find it encouraging when the staff mention recommendations or point out the specials – which is what the waitress did on this particular visit.
What I ate:
Tempura battered squid with seasonal salad, followed by crème brûlée
After starting with the bread box, which I was disappointed with – I remember a previous visit, there were a number of speciality breads cut in thick hunks; this wasn’t the case this time, we were presented with a couple of slices of French bread and a few wafer-thin slices of granary – I opted for the tempura squid from the starters menu.
I’d been meaning to order the squid for some time and it was certainly worth the wait. It was definitely generous for a starter portion: four large pieces of squid, plus a tentacle and it was presented beautifully, with edible shoots, spring onion and chilli. The dipping sauce was incredible, although it was described as a chilli jam on the menu, it was sticky or gelatinous like a jam. While it packed a punch with heat, there was also a slightly sweet element – the waitress said it was plum, but it didn’t taste at all fruity. She also said it was very popular, although I couldn’t manage the whole pot. The batter was light, although it could have done with being crispier – it wasn’t soggy, but it was a little soft for my liking.
I had the seasonal salad to accompany my meal and it was lovely, largely because it wasn’t your typical side salad. It contained rocket, tomato, radish and pear, with a drizzle of oil so was quite unusual. But it was lovely and fresh and I actually really enjoyed it – I didn’t even need (or want!) chips.
For dessert I chose the crème brûlée, because it’s my favourite! It was yummy and just the right consistency – the only downside was that the sugar hadn’t fully set so there wasn’t that delightful crunch as I stuck the spoon in. Served with two mini shortbread rounds which just melted in the mouth, it was the perfect end to a perfect evening.

Wednesday, 4 June 2014

Latest in Beauty: The Spring Collection

My name is Lucy and I’m addicted to Latest in Beauty. There, I’ve said it. I was absolutely devo’d when I went on the website and found the Beauty Mart box sold out the day before payday and even more so when I had money and missed out on the BBB Dream Box. I was almost tempted to build my own again, but decided to wait until I’ve used (or at least tried) everything in the last one, so bought The Spring Collection box. The box costs £14.95 (+ £3.95 pp), but I got 20% off with a code from an email – plus two Dragonfly tea samples. The box contains:
  • Rimmel BB cream matte spf 15 (8ml)
  • Teeez mysterious crystal eyeliner (0.3g)
  • Teeez desert metals mascara (10ml)
  • Essie repstyles snakeskin magnetic nail colour (13.5ml)
  • Paul Mitchell dry wash express dry waterless shampoo (50ml)
  • Neom organic complete bliss hand cream (50ml)
  • Jurlique calendula redness rescue soothing moisturising cream (5ml)
  • Dermalogica ultra calming starter kit (various sizes)

I’ve already tested out a couple of the products and love the BB cream; it’s certainly worthy of the hype and I can’t believe I didn’t jump on the bandwagon sooner. It’s definitely in my May favourites (I should really start writing favourites posts!) and now a part of my daily makeup routine.
Ever since my Hand Food by Soap & Glory ran out, I’ve been using the Neom hand cream on a daily basis and it currently stays in my work bag. The scent is floral but not too strong. It’s so summery. I love the moisturising formula and it isn’t at all greasy. It’s a good replacement until I head to Boots!
I was disappointed the last time I received a mascara in my box  - L’Oreal’s Miss Manga. I just didn’t like the wand, the amount of product on the brush and the way, no matter how much I scraped off, I always ended up with clumps and/or spidery lashes. Not good. Anyway, after that experience, I’m really looking forward to trying this mascara by Teeez – the tube itself is very cute.
I’m also waiting for all my nails to grow back so that I can try the Essie polish. I’m really intrigued to see how the snakeskin effect works as there’s a little magnet on top of the lid. I don’t tend to wear metallic shades at all, especially not in the summer – but it’s worth testing briefly before I go back to pastels!
Did you purchase The Spring Collection? What were your thoughts?

Monday, 2 June 2014

Graze: breakfast

How exciting, Graze have created a new range of cereals. Previously, there were a handful of porridges to choose from – these five have now been joined by a host of granolas, 15 in total. As soon as I saw them on the website, I knew I had to order a box and with £3.79 sitting in my account, I got this for 20p! I’m already considering buying another.
I immediately removed all the varieties I knew I wouldn't like – so that was goodbye peach, chocolate orange – in fact, anything containing orange – and while I was happy to try everything else, I chose five to request with ‘send soon’.
Breakfast doesn’t get any better than this, believe me. In my box, I received:
  • Summer Fayre (blueberry granola, apple, strawberry pieces, crispy rice flakes & rye flakes)
  • Rocky Road Granola (chocolate granola, dark chocolate curls, cherries, pistachios & pumpkin seeds)
  • Strawberries & Cream (oat & barley granola, strawberry & raspberry pieces, yoghurt coated strawberry pieces, crispy multigrain flakes & malt coated oats)
  • Ski Lodge Spiced Apple (apple, cinnamon & ginger-spiced granola, chopped pecans, honey almond slivers, jumbo raisins & crispy millet flakes)
Firstly, how cute is the box – just like the kids’ boxes, these ones have been personalised and it definitely put a smile on my face; I soon forgot my Monday blues.
I’ve only tried the Summer Fayre and Rocky Road sachets so far but I am most looking forward to the Ski Lodge Spiced apple granola – I love the combination of cinnamon and apple. I don’t think this is a bad box actually and I already know the strawberries & cream variety will be a winner. With a packed summer of sport coming up, I know I’ll be eating plenty of strawberries and cream – it epitomises the British summer.
Summer Fayre
This was summer in a bowl. The blueberry granola was lush – not too sweet and had the perfect crunch. I loved all the additional dried fruit pieces. There’s nothing bad I could say about this cereal at all and if I were to choose another box, I’d definitely pick this.
Rocky Road
With the chocolate granola and curls, combined with cherry, I couldn’t help but think this was more reminiscent of black forest gateau, than it was of rocky road. The pistachios and pumpkin seeds added bite to this cereal. The only thing I wasn’t keen on was the whole cherries, which soon went hard in the cold milk and were difficult to eat.
Fancy trying Graze granola (or porridge) for yourself? New and existing customers can benefit by visiting the website and using my friend code which is LUCYW7Y5. New customers can get their first, fifth and tenth box free – there’s no obligation to buy after your free box and you can cancel at any time (not that you’d want to – my addiction lasts two-and-a-half years). Existing customers: receive an additional box free when you buy one.
Will you be having breakfast Graze style?

Sunday, 1 June 2014

Sunday Snapshots #29

This week, I planned my meals after looking at The PCOS Diet Book. I’ll be posting a meal plan in the next couple of weeks, but I found it so easy to stick to. I eat healthily anyway, but I was seeing if the plan would make me feel better as well as lose weight. My lunch at work on Tuesday was incredible – Italian meats and cheese with salad and pickles. It definitely made a change from the chicken salad I have most days!
Midweek selfie! A serious bad hair day meant sticking my hair in a massive bun with my invisibobble for work. Not that you can see my outfit, but it was H&M Basics – a black long-sleeved top with hot pink skirt. Now it’s getting warmer, I’ll probably end up wearing my hair up a lot more and I’ll be using my straighteners a lot less, especially when I go on holiday!
I love sitting outside at work for lunch – it’s so nice to get some fresh air and when the sun’s out, it’s just beautiful. The area is so peaceful and luckily there’s never anyone else out there which makes it even better. The only thing is, it’s difficult returning to the office once my hour is up!
On Saturday, I went to Ipswich docks for breakfast and it was the perfect morning to be outside so early. I went to Isaacs on the Quay and had a sausage sandwich, with a cappuccino – and it was lovely, reasonably priced too. It’s just a shame I didn’t stay very long, as it would have been nice to go for a walk afterwards.
Happy June 1st! I can’t believe we are halfway through the year already – how quickly does time go?! Again, the weather’s been beautiful, which meant getting one of my maxi dresses out the wardrobe. I bought this one last year for my city break to Madrid. I still love the print and bright colours and look forward to wearing it more in the coming weeks.  I was only going to Sainsbury’s, so chucked on the bleached sleeveless denim jacket (also Boohoo) and some black sandals, from Linzi.
I hope you all had a good weekend.