Tuesday, 28 April 2015

Wishlist | Spring lovin’

I bought the most gorgeous dress the other weekend (link) – I don’t normally shop in Dorothy Perkins but they had some really lovely bits in the window and there was 30% off dresses so I couldn’t resist. I saw a cute navy and lace number, which unfortunately wouldn’t go over my head, let alone my boobs, so I had to settle for the one item. But it made me realise, I need to sort my spring/summer wardrobe; not only for work, but for holidays and weekend-wear. Here are a few bits I currently have my eye on; I love pastels and floaty fabrics:

What are your spring style tips?

Sunday, 26 April 2015

Pub review | The Angel

Last Friday, I booked the day off work and promised I’d treat mum to lunch. As we were planning on visiting dad in hospital afterwards, she decided on The Angel at Broomfield, which was just around the corner. It’s part of the Village Inn chain, so I knew what to expect – all those pubs seem to be fairly similar: cosy interiors, traditional decor and pub grub, although the menus also vary depending on season.

There’s a light bites section of the menu, with smaller main meals and sandwiches from a reasonable £5.50, with the option to upgrade to two or three courses for an additional £2 k course. A three course meal for under a tenner? You can’t go wrong!
After much deliberation, I played it safe with the warm chicken & bacon sandwich, a giant cob stuffed with chicken breast, bacon rashers, beef tomatoes, cos lettuce and mayo. It was huge and so filling, but surprisingly good. The chicken wasn’t dry and there was plenty of salad. The roll was slightly toasted, which was a shame as it would have been much better soft and fresh. I had the option of fries, chunky chips or salad and went for the regular chips. By my standards, that was a big lunch!
Mum went a bit more adventurous with the lamb kofta open sandwich, which she thoroughly enjoyed – the photo doesn’t do it justice. I think this was a new addition for the spring menu, as there was so much salad. It was served on a similar roll, but the two halves had different toppings. It’s a shame we weren’t able to enjoy the British spring and sit outside.
We didn’t have room for dessert, which I’m still gutted about – they’ve brought back the peanut butter & chocolate cheesecake which is absolutely lush (I just had to include the photo of when I last had it; I mean look at it!). It just means I’ll have to go back to another Vintage Inn again soon.

£14 isn’t bad for lunch at all and it was great for a quick pit-stop.

Monday, 20 April 2015

What’s in my hand bag?

This is such a classic lifestyle bloggers post and because I’m really nosey, I love reading these kinds of post. Although it’s mainly to have serious bag envy over anyone with a Mulberry, or a high street bag which looks like it could easily be a couple of hundred pounds. Unfortunately, I don’t think I’m very exciting!
The bag
I got this Ted Baker bag for Christmas two years ago and I’ve used it practically every day since. It’s perfect for work as it’s got two compartments, as well as the zip-up section in the middle for valuables. It’s even got a place for my phone and work pass. I love the size, the colour, the fact it’s still in very good condition and that it’s got the iconic Ted Baker bow. You can find similar here.
The contents
I couldn’t be without my purse (Accessorize) which is full of store loyalty cards, my business cards and Boots/Marks & Spencer vouchers. It’s very rare for me to have actual cash on me and I’m forever just putting everything on my credit card – food, petrol, you name it! I’m actually on the lookout for a new purse, because although this one’s big, it doesn’t have enough card holders. I’ve always got my keys on me too, as I use the car every day. I love my Barnet keyring.

For the working week, I alternate between two lipsticks – Illamasqua’s Glamore in Cherub and Wild About Beauty’s Nurtilips in Maddy. Both are a similar colour, are long-lasting and are moisturising. I love the finish of the Illamasqua lipstick and it never goes clumpy. I also carry around two balms and swear by Babylips. I’m currently in love with Peach Kiss, which has a neutral colour to it. My best friend Laura bought me the Disney Princess Lip Smackers collection and I’m currently carrying around Aurora – Spun Sugar Shine, which tastes like candy floss; it’s lush! My eye liner stays in my bag as I find it easier to apply when I arrive at work, as I’m less tired and have a bit more time. I use Clarins Instant Liner, which is perfect for creating flicks or the winged look. Obviously, my compact mirror comes in handy!

I don’t like the feeling of a hairband on my wrist, so I’ve always got a couple of Invisibobbles in my bag. I recently bought two lots from Latest in Beauty, so there’s no chance of me running out, or hopefully losing them all. I much prefer those to bands, especially when my locks are as damaged as they are.

My perfume of choice has since run out, but I like to carry a smaller bottle, a tester or mini atomiser in my bag. I’ve just finished using Burberry Brit Rhythm (30ml) which is a lovely light, fresh but floral scent. I’m moving on to the travel-size Escada collection.

I always carry chewing gum, a packet of tissues (note to self, buy some more), my phone (obviously taking the photos) and diary, with two biros (busy planning) as I love to keep organised with work and social events. I take my book to read at lunchtimes, although I love to read in the bath and before bed (new routine!). I’m currently reading The Undomestic Goddess by Sophie Kinsella and so far I’m thoroughly enjoying it. Expect a review in two/three weeks.

What’s in your bag? 

Friday, 17 April 2015

Degustabox | March Box

At the end of March, my monthly Degustabox arrived and I think this one is my favourite to date. If you’re not familiar with the concept, Degustabox is a monthly subscription to food and drink products, the majority of which are new to the market. You get around nine products, all at a cheaper price than you’d expect to find on the supermarket shelves. The March box should have been named the Treats box, as it contained so many great snacks, perfect for Easter too.

The box contained:
·         A pouch of Jordan’s granola
·         Two bottles of Juice Burst
·         A bottle of BBQUE sauce
·         Two packets of Lindt assorted mini eggs
·         A packet of Jelly Babies berry mix
·         A packet of Sour Patch Kids
·         Two bottles of Crabbie’s alcoholic fruits
·         A  Kent’s Kitchen posh noodles pot
·         A box of Natvia sweeteners
·         Two packets of Brioche Pasquier baked bread bites
Just in time for Easter were the Lindt Lindor chocolate eggs in milk, dark and white chocolate. I gave one packet to my brother and shared the other with my parents, as let’s be honest, who doesn’t love these? They didn’t last long either! I’m definitely sweets over chocolate, so two packets of jelly sweets were much welcomed! The red and pink jelly babies are my absolute favourites so Jelly Babies berry mix are a genius idea (although it’s a shame they also contain the purple ones – yuk). I also love fizzy sweets so the Sour Patch Kids were right up my street, although a bit sour, even for me.
I’ve become such a granola fan, whether it’s for breakfast, a dessert or even a snack straight from the box. This variety of Jordan’s granola contains 30% less fat than standard granola, although I did find it quite sweet – probably because of the freeze-dried berries. This is another hit in our house though and probably my pick of the box.
The Brioche Pasquier bacon bread bites were another delicious treat and are basically like smoky bacon croutons! I ate them like a bag of crisps but I reckon they’d be tasty as a topping to a salad or soup. I would definitely buy these again – and pray there’s a variety of flavours too. The only other savoury product (excluding condiment) was the Kent’s Kitchen posh noodle pot, which I received in spicy Szechuan flavour. I can’t wait to give it a try as I loved the meal kits and other products from this brand in previous boxes.
I’m buzzing for barbecue season and I don’t think it’s too far away with the beaut weather we’ve been having recently. I’ve seen fellow bloggers and tweeters raving about this sauce. From Germany, the BBQUE sauce is apparently like nothing we have on our shelves. I can’t wait to get it open and if I can’t wait for our first family barbecue, I’ll be dipping chips into it, or chucking a rack of ribs in the oven! I don’t actually drink hot drinks with sweetener, but the Natvia sachets will come in handy with baking, or even sweetening stewed fruits. There are 10 sachets in the box and each serving contains zero calories. Again, I’m looking forward to trying out this product.
I’ve seen Juice Burst in a number of stores, but never actually purchased it as I don’t really drink fruit juices, as a rule. The mango and lime flavour was lovely, as it was more tangy than sweet and really refreshing. I was going to save the cranberry variety to use a mixer or make woo woo, but I just couldn’t resist when I saw it in the fridge this week.  The Crabbie’s alcoholic fruit drinks were the perfect spring aperitif. I preferred the raspberry & rhubarb to black cherry variety, as I found that quite artificial. But to be honest, I couldn’t even tell they were alcoholic.

Want to try Degustabox? You can by following this link and receive £3 off your first box.