Sunday, 22 May 2016

Instagram #5

Lean in 15: Oaty chicken with paprika potatoes – Barnet v Yeovil: final home game of the season – Bedtime selfie after a long day – Amazing meal at Les 110 de Taillevent – Nougat glace dessert at 110 – OOTD/N: Pink Boutique – My monthly favourites ft. gorge brushes – Enjoying the sunshine in the back garden – Pre-London night out selfie – The morning after – Bottomless Bellinis & crispy squid at The Botanist – Avocado & strawberry protein smoothie

As I mentioned in my last post, my weekends recently have been so busy. Luckily the last couple haven’t, so it’s given me a chance to relax, get house bits done and just re-charge my batteries.

At the end of April, I went to The Hive to watch Barnet play their final home game of the season. It was a long day, with daytime drinking, the match and then I went into London afterwards. You may have seen my review of Les 110 de Taillevent, which was a really beautiful restaurant with amazing food and wine. It’s safe to say, I wasn’t feeling too clever on the Sunday, so was very grateful for the Bank Holiday Monday.

The following weekend I was back in London – this time, I had booked dinner at The Botanist (Broadgate Circle). I went for their After Dark experience: bottomless Bellinis/prosecco/wine with live music. I definitely want to go back (and I’ll be blogging about that soon). I stayed in London at one of my favourite hotels: the Radisson near Canary Wharf. There’s nothing better than breakfast on the terrace the following morning, overlooking the Thames and the O2. And as you can see, I've had my hair coloured. I didn't fancy going all over blonde, so my hairdresser dip dyed the ends. The sun normally colours my hair anyway, but I love that this look is quite subtle. I've not curled my hair since it was done, but I can't wait to see how it looks - I have a feeling it will look a lot better.

I’ve been a lot less strict on my eating, which is something I really need to change. The Lean in 15 oaty chicken is one of my favourite recipes, which I make once a week (with paprika new potatoes and seasonal veg) but I’m really struggling for inspiration for evening meals. I have been using my Blend Active lots as I’ve got into protein powder and have been been experimenting. Does anyone have a good banana & nut recipe?

So why do I need to get back on the lean wagon? Well I’ve finally booked a holiday! My best friend and I are having three nights in Mallorca at the end of June and I really cannot wait to catch some rays and enjoy a change of scene. Expect to see lots of holiday prep, healthy meals and summer-inspired posts on my Instagram!

What have you been up to lately?

Love, Lucy xx

Thursday, 19 May 2016

YooHoo Mail Subscription | April

If you saw my March review, you’ll know I renewed my subscription for another three months and in today’s post, I’ll be letting you know the contents of the April YooHoo box. The theme this month was ‘Retro’ and I’d love to receive more themed boxes in the future – they’re definitely more interesting.
If you arent familiar, Yoohoo is a monthly subscription box for the stationery geeks amongst us. Each one comes beautifully wrapped and fits through your letter box. Containing items like greetings cards, to do lists, prints, stickers and postcards, they also make the most perfect gifts.
In this month’s box, we also received some fabulous freebies that fit the retro theme perfectly: a couple of balls of Anglo Bubbly bubblegum and a fortune-telling fish. I used to love both when I was growing up, so not only did it make me feel really nostalgic, but it was a lovely touch which made me smile.
Up first we have this month’s print which I absolutely love. I just love the simplicity of it. I need to get it framed and mounted on the wall next to my bed. I’m even considering creating a DIY frame, maybe with some glitter.
The smaller items this month included the strip of smiley face stickers and the phone list. I’ll definitely give the latter to my mum to add to the family address book, as I keep all my numbers in my phone and it’s pretty much with me all the time. The stickers are super cute – we last got a strip in February’s box for Valentine’s Day. I love to personalise envelopes or note paper with stickers, so I’ll definitely be using these soon.
The three cassette tape postcards added to the theme so well – I wonder how many people don’t know what a cassette is? Again, this item made me feel nostalgic (and old!), bringing back memories of when I’d record the UK Top 40 on my tape player, or worse, create a mix tape! I think these would look great on a mood board, or even on a personalised memorabilia board for a ‘big’ birthday. Maybe I’ll have to get creative!
And finally my favourite, the selection of greeting cards with matching envelopes. The Pacman design is really cool and this will make a great birthday card for one of my 80s baby friends. I particularly love the milkshake one which has the lyrics of the Kelis song on the front. I would love to receive this, because it would make me smile. I also like the colourful rollerblade one and as it’s blank inside and on the front, would make a great card to send to say ‘hello’ or catch up.
As always, the quality and variety of items was excellent and the boxes are such a clever idea and probably my favourite subscription I have. Like I say, they make an ideal gift because theyre wrapped and packaged so wonderfully; alternatively, they make a great self-purchase. The April box is now sold out – but you can subscribe to the three month option here.
Love, Lucy xx

Tuesday, 17 May 2016

Get Summer Ready with Scholl

When Scholl recently invited me to test out the Velvet Smooth Wet & Dry Foot File*, I jumped at the chance. At this time of year, it’s vital to get summer sandal ready and with the gorgeous weekends we have been having, I’ve been loving my gladiator sandals! I think in our beauty regimes, we often neglect our feet, especially after months of tights and ankle boots – but there is nothing worse than being on the beach or poolside and clocking someone with really grim feet. Am I the only one to find feet pretty repulsive anyway? The Velvet Smooth Wet & Dry Foot File* is so easy to use and the results are instant – I was pleasantly surprised.

The Velvet Smooth Wet & Dry Foot File* is a handheld electronic device, which instantly makes it more desirable than a manual pedi. It comes with a charger and it’s recommended you charge the product for three hours before use – once charged, it’ll last for hours! The roller mechanism is what files the dead skin and you can buy re-fills for this once you find that the product is less effective. Again, this last for ages, so don’t worry.

The wet/dry element is definitely one of the product's USPs and it can be used in the bath or shower as the device is waterproof. The first time I used the file, I had just been in the shower, but used it on dry skin. I found this initially made my feet quite sore and dry. It’s definitely more effective when used on wet skin.  I found using it in the bath made my skin smoother and softer. I’m also tempted to try the product after a home foot spa.

The Velvet Smooth Wet & Dry Foot File* could not be easier to use: simply turn on and roll over the backs and sides of your feet. There are two settings and I personally prefer the higher/faster one. My feet aren’t particularly dry or rough so I only use it for a couple of minutes max – but the time will vary from person to person. I’d definitely recommend it for those looking for an alternative to a salon pedi and haven’t got the time or patience for manual ones.

After use, you simply need to remove the file and wash the handheld part – but again, it’s so easy to do. And I personally love to slather a foot cream (like Soap & Glory’s Heel Genius or Elemis’ Treat Your Feet cream) all over and apply woolly socks to ensure my feet are super smooth the following day.

Have you tried the Velvet Smooth Wet & Dry Foot File or any similar products?

Love, Lucy xx

*Product was sent to me FOC for review purposes but images and opinions are 100% my own.

Thursday, 12 May 2016

Instagram #4

Happy FriYAY - @_threadingthelove 200 follower giveaway – Dinner at Banquet 1408 – The morning after... – ...The night before – Quote of the day – Work selfie: my graduation dress – Work selfie: love my new sunglasses – Gorgeous new Lipsy shoes – Mansfield v Barnet selfie – My view at Field Mill, Mansfield – Cute (but tinpot) sign at Field Mill

The last month or so has gone so quickly, so expect to see two of these posts in quick succession – I’ve just been super busy with work and at home and feel like I haven’t stopped! So what’s new with me?

Well three weeks ago, I went out for dinner with one of the girls after work. We went to a gorgeous Chinese restaurant in Stanway, Colchester called Banquet 1408 and the food there is just incredible. They even do dim sum so I was in my element. You can read about that evening, here. Then the following day, I went out for drinks in Central London with friends. It was a bit of an impromptu one but was a good night – even if I was dying all of Sunday! I think Adventure Bar is one of my new favourites and I need to go back for the cocktails and sweetshop-style shots.

The following weekend I wasn’t at home again – and took the train to Mansfield as Barnet were playing them. I ended up going on my own, but met up with friends upon arrival. It wasn’t a particularly good game and it was such a long day; my train left Shenfield at 10am and I was back just after 9pm. I definitely fancy a night out in Nottingham, though!

I’ve been treating myself loads recently – the gorgeous glitzy stripper heels are from Shoeaholics, my new favourite online shop! The heart-shaped sunglasses are just ASOS, but they’re so cute – and I’m sure they have them in rose gold too. I cannot wait to start summer shopping, but need to book my holiday first. Also if anyone knows where I can get some tailored cropped trousers, suitable for work, please let me know in the comments below.

The next update will be next week – eek! What have you been up to lately?

Love, Lucy xx

Tuesday, 10 May 2016

Restaurant review | Les 110 de Taillevent, Maylebone

Dining, Review, London, Les 110 de Taillevent, Book a Table, Marylebone, Fine Dining, Taster, Fdbloggers
As you may have seen in my last post, a couple of weekends ago, my friend Vicky had booked a table at Les 110 de Taillevent. It’s somewhere we had been meaning to go to for a while (and it’s also on my restaurant list) and this had been planned months in advance. Vicky had been prior to our visit, recommending the restaurant thoroughly. In case you were wondering, the name derives from the fact that there are 110 different types of wine served by the glass. This I cannot vouch for, maybe I’ll need a few more visits first.

Our table was booked for 7pm on Book a Table’s Star Deal offer – four courses and a glass of champagne for £35 per person. The set menu consisted of two choices for each course with its own wine pairing. There were four varieties of wine for each course ranging in price. Obviously we didn’t get to see the a la carte menu, but this deal we were on was excellent value for money and I thoroughly recommend seeking out the deal, if you can.

I loved everything about the restaurant – it was light and airy; the decor was sophisticated with dark woods and plush leather; the walls were adorned with images of Bordeaux’s vineyards and it just screamed French brasserie. The staff were excellent, the service was efficient and the food came to our table promptly, but beautifully presented. The atmosphere was warm and although we were eating fairly early, the restaurant was still reasonably busy.

We began with our inclusive glass of champagne, as we looked over the menus. Every drink that was served came with a small card explaining what it was and there was also a number, so that you could order a specific wine or champagne. I really wish I had taken note of these, as not only did they look good, but the champagne we had was beautiful – the second glass (which was paid for), was much crisper, colder and it was just perfect.
Dining, Review, London, Les 110 de Taillevent, Book a Table, Marylebone, Fine Dining, Taster, Fdbloggers
To eat, I began with the baby artichoke barigoule with parmesan and rocket. It was a really hearty dish, with plenty of earthy flavours. The saltiness of the parmesan wasn’t too overwhelming and the artichokes were soft making it an easy dish on the palate. Vicky chose the other option – the peas veloute, which was served cold and was very green!
Dining, Review, London, Les 110 de Taillevent, Book a Table, Marylebone, Fine Dining, Taster, Fdbloggers
To follow, both Vicky and I opted for the langoustine ravioli with a basil and citrus butter. I hadn’t had pasta this good since I was in Italy. We were presented with a giant ravioli, filled with langoustine and red pepper, which was incredibly light. I could have easily eaten this three or four times over. The basil and citrus butter was more like a foam and definitely included some of the seafood stock. Steve chose the other option, which was a lovely looking risotto, with asparagus – it was like spring in a dish and I think Vicky got food envy!
Dining, Review, London, Les 110 de Taillevent, Book a Table, Marylebone, Fine Dining, Taster, Fdbloggers
We both then chose the beef tenderloin medallion with bone marrow, red wine jus and violet mustard. We decided to try the wine pairing with this dish, which was a full-bodied red (if only I could remember what exactly it was) and complemented the rich flavours of jus and mustard well. The beef was excellently cooked – I had mine rare – and my first experience of bone marrow wasn’t actually that bad, although I still don’t actually know what it is. We definitely could have done with a couple of handcooked chips – but that’s me being fussy.
Dining, Review, London, Les 110 de Taillevent, Book a Table, Marylebone, Fine Dining, Taster, Fdbloggers
After a short pause (and another glass of champagne) the desserts were brought to us. I chose the nougat glace, which was the perfect end to the meal. It was more like a semi-freddo than an ice cream and was packed with pistachio nuts. The biscuits around the edge were incredibly moreish and also acted as a base. The sweet creaminess of the dessert  was met by the sharp contrast of red berry coulis – and I’m desperate to find the recipe as it was one of the nicest desserts I’ve ever had. Like everything else we ate, it was also beautifully presented. Vicky had the chocolate mousse, which would be a hit with any chocoholic! The waitress even brought over a jug of rich hot chocolate sauce to pour over the mousse at the table. I think it would have been far too sickly for me!

The quality and presentation of every dish was outstanding and as I mentioned before, nothing could be faulted. The Book a Table was excellent value and the options available were varied – but I need to return to sample the a la carte menu and see how much of the wine I can get through!

Love, Lucy xx