Thursday, 17 August 2017

Living with PCOS: part four

Health, Life, PCOS, Personal, Pregnancy,
It’s been a while since I wrote a health post and I really wasn’t sure whether or not to post this. It’s quite personal, but I honestly think it could help someone else – which would be great, as I don’t know anyone in the same position so have had nobody to talk to.

Although I was completely discharged by my gyno when I was no longer on tablets, over five years ago now, my symptoms are still evident – I do definitely have more good days, than bad. The worst of the symptoms seem to be behind me now and it’s been well over a year since the sharp abdominal pains that would keep me up at night, have struck. This has been a massive positive. I think my lifestyle choices have definitely had an impact and when I was going to the gym, despite complaining about it, I felt so good afterwards!

Going back to when I was first diagnosed, I remember being told quite suddenly that I would never be able to have children naturally. At the age of 17, I guess this didn’t completely bother me, as I was young. After being on tablets for the best part of three years, I was told before being discharged that my chances had increased, but to 15% at best. Again, the thought was never in my mind – although I had prepared myself for the worst... and my mum also thought she would never have grandchildren.

So here is the good news... I’m growing a little human inside me. Without any help, considering my condition and while being on the pill, it’s a big thing and basically a miracle. Okay, I’m terrified but at the same time, so excited. I never thought it would happen and it’s happened so easily.
Health, Life, PCOS, Personal, Pregnancy,
Obviously with my condition, the hardest part is falling pregnant; but there are so many complications that can happen on the way, which I was aware of. But I’m pleased to say everything is okay. My health is not at risk at all and the progress of bubba’s growth has been good.

I’ve always wondered how women fall pregnant without knowing – but now I know! Having been told it would basically never happen, I didn’t suspect a thing. I never had any symptoms in the early stages, particularly the sickness; like I said, I was on the pill (albeit, not taking it properly... quite common, apparently!) and since the date of conception, I’d had three periods. I explained this to my GP, my midwife and the antenatal team. I got suspicious when I kept getting muscle spasms and one of the girls at work (who’s also pregnant) recommended I take a test and go to the GP – it was apparently one of the early signs she had. Four tests and an appointment later, it was all confirmed. My tiredness levels are dwindling dramatically, too... obviously in readiness for the inevitable sleepless nights! And in the last month, I have ballooned – despite losing weight in the first trimester and not actually putting much weight on at all.

At most of my appointments, they’re not aware of my condition and I did actually have to fully explain the history at one for my folder – annoying because it should all be on my record and it would answer the “why were you a late booker?” question I get every time I attend any kind of appointment. Surely a later booker is better than not booking at all?!

I guess what I want to say is, don’t always believe what the doctors tell you; some things are just meant to be.

Love, Lucy xx

Tuesday, 15 August 2017

Am I Putting Too Much Pressure on Myself?

As I’ve said in previous posts, I realise I’ve been massively MIA lately and I’ve certainly not given my little space my all. We get so wrapped in social and trying to portray our lives in the best possible light – but sometimes there are more important things to worry about and things are not as rosy as filters and captions may show. Grab a cup of tea, as you’ll be here for the long-haul, while I round-up everything that’s going on right now...

Work
Despite thinking in my mind I am on top of everything, I am forever playing catch up because of all the time I have off. I write a weekly ‘to do’ list and try and keep weekly tasks to the same day each week. Obviously sometimes other jobs come along and things need to be prioritised. I feel like I’m not working hard enough when I don’t complete my ‘to do’ list, because I feel like I should be arriving earlier or finishing later – when in reality, it’s not a big deal. If I don’t get something done one day, there’s always the next! I have tomorrow and next Monday at work before holiday – but I also know I have a hefty handover to pass on while I’m away and need to get that in place, too!

Blog
Like I’ve said countless times, I really haven’t put much effort into this. It’s either been the case of no content planned and/or writer’s block, or having ideas but lacking time and energy to actually write, photograph etc. I have always put pressure on myself to keep my blog updated – since the day I transitioned from graduating and being unemployed, to working full time and commuting. I have always wanted to blog twice a week and have tried my hardest to keep this to Tuesday and Thursday (not sure why, but I like it). I want to carry this on; I want to keep my Facebook page active (despite the lack of engagement); I want to take part in more Twitter chats and feel part of the community again; I want to catch up or do things with my blogger friends; I want to buy a layout and make it all look prettier; I want to have content worth reading. Blogging has been my favourite hobby for the best part of six years and I don’t want it to end.

Social Life
At the moment, my social life is pretty shocking. Okay, so we go away next week and are attending a wedding; there are a few birthdays next month; and I have about three free weekends until the end of October. But I have friends I’ve not seen since the beginning of the year and it’s rubbish! I have noticed, as you grow older, the number of friends you have dwindles and it’s difficult coming together when people work different patterns, have numerous social circles and generally, busy lives... but it makes me want to see my friends more and be more appreciative of them. The last couple of months, I’ve realised who my friends actually are – it’s funny how quickly people change, or don’t wanna know as soon as you have good news or something to talk about! I feel as though there are people I should make more effort with.
Home Life
The last fortnight was strange, as my mum was on holiday and my brother has moved out – so it was just me at home. Most people would be buzzing at the prospect, but not me. It was a massive eye opener and made me realise how much I take living at home for granted – but I struggled. There were nights my sleep was so broken, I didn’t want to wake up for work; I didn’t enjoy cooking for one every evening; and I certainly didn’t enjoy all the cleaning/tidying/bin sorting that needed doing! I don’t like being on my own and I could certainly never live alone. And then there was the Sunday I bit off more than I could chew... I decided to cook a roast, followed by making individual crumbles. I don’t think any of the meal went right, I burnt my arm and hand and ended up in floods of tears – and I still don’t know why. I know I can cook, I think I was over-tired and then hormones got the better of me.

Appearance
One thing people who read my blog and follow me on social may not know: I severely lack self-confidence... yes thank god for filters! It stemmed from being bullied at school, to shitty comments by ex-boyfriends and then obviously everything to do with my condition. There was a point last year (up until as recently as March this year) when I felt good, but there are days that’s completely gone. I care too much about what others think – even when those people don’t matter. There are three things currently that get me down: spots, stretch marks and the fact I cannot laser... anyone that knows me, knows that the IPL machine is life! My skincare routine has become hell – I must use at least nine products a day (most of those are Palmer’s, btw... thank you Beky) and to no avail. I’ve been scrutinising my outfits, especially for work, to compensate. I’m getting my hair cut on Friday which will be a boost and I’ll be packing my fake tan when we go away. I know that the break will do me the world of good. And as soon as I can, I’ll be booking a brow tint and shape.

If anyone has any advice on how I can chill, please leave a comment or Tweet me!

Love, Lucy xx

Thursday, 10 August 2017

Degustabox | Summer Box

Degustabox, Food, Drink, Monthly Subscription, Fdbloggers, Unboxing
If youve not heard of Degustabox, then where have you been? Its a food & drink monthly subscription box bringing you 10-15 surprise products, many of which are new to the market. When you sign up, you get to fill in your very own profile, meaning a couple of the products may differ. Its actually the highlight of my week when this little beauty arrives on my doorstep so (much later than planned) what was in July’s box (themed a summer box)?

·         A bottle of Blossom Hill Spritz
·         A carton of Crafted fruit juice
·         A packet of Ryvita Thins three cheese
·         A packet of Rowntree’s Randoms 30% less sugar
·         Two pouches of Oloves olives
·         A pouch of Merchant Gourmet red & white quinoa
·         A bottle of Frylight cooking spray with avocado oil
·         A box of Weetabix Additions coconut & raisin
·         A jar of Maille Original Dijon mustard

Due to the exciting few months I have coming up, this will be my last Degustabox review. I know plenty of bloggers who receive the box for free in exchange of a blog post or unboxing video, but I’ve always paid for mine – and it’s an expense I can no longer commit to. With that in mind, I was SO disappointed with this month’s box and despite being a ‘summer box’, it really didn’t give me those summertime feels.
Degustabox, Food, Drink, Monthly Subscription, Fdbloggers, Unboxing
I’ll start with the drinks one last time and once again, there was alcohol in this month’s box. The bottle of Blossom Hill Spritz I received was flavoured with lemon & elderflower and does sound super summery... it’s just a shame by the time I’ll be open to this, summer will be long gone (as if it hasn’t already!). However, I enjoyed the mango & passion fruit juice by The Cracker Drinks Company – it was so refreshing, smooth and not too sweet. I don’t drink juice often but I would buy this again.
Degustabox, Food, Drink, Monthly Subscription, Fdbloggers, Unboxing
Over the last few months, there’s been plenty of cereals and granolas and this month saw the newest product from Weetabix: Additions coconut & raisin. I’d seen this and the other flavour (apple & raisin) in the supermarket and to be honest, the apple one would be more up my street. I did like this though, maybe not enough to buy it again – and ate them for breakfast with the addition (see what I did there?) of berries.
Degustabox, Food, Drink, Monthly Subscription, Fdbloggers, Unboxing
There were two savoury snacks in the form of Oloves olives (flavoured with chilli & oregano) and Ryvita Thins (three cheese). Oloves have featured before but I really dislike olives, so won’t be eating though – annoying that there are two pouches, as opposed to one. Ryvitas are a familiar brand in our house and I’ve bought from the Thins range before – because they are so much nicer than the original cardboard crispbreads. Of all the flavours on the shelves, I had yet to try the three cheese variety, but these are definitely my favourite! I’ve got a real problem with snacking at the moment, so these curb all those cravings I have. I’ll definitely buy these again, not just because they’re tasty, but they are so versatile.
Degustabox, Food, Drink, Monthly Subscription, Fdbloggers, Unboxing
The red & white quinoa from Gourmet Merchant sounds interesting and the microwavable pouch is perfect for convenience. I am yet to try it and have no idea of meal ideas, so if you have any suggestions, please let me know in the comments, or tweet me @Luuuce_x. I don’t eat mustard, so the jar of Maille Original Dijon mustard went straight to my mum. There’s currently a jar in the fridge, so I know she’ll use it. The recipe card suggests using it with steak, which I may find palatable. Similarly, Frylight is something she uses when cooking and we’ve got a couple of bottles of various oils in the cupboard – so this avocado oil is a welcome addition. I’ve been using it over the last couple of weeks and haven’t found it enhances the flavour of food like other oils, but it’s a handy product to have.
Degustabox, Food, Drink, Monthly Subscription, Fdbloggers, Unboxing
And finally, saving the best until last – Rowntree’s Randoms 30% less sugar. Anyone that knows me will know I have a sweet tooth and I love my sweets/pick n mix, so was really pleased to see this product included in July’s box. Despite containing less sugar, they taste exactly the same as original Randoms – and of course, all the shapes and flavours are the same. But still, you can’t go wrong!

So in all, as you can see, I wasn’t that impressed with this month’s box – which is a shame, as I hate writing negative reviews and on the whole, the products are generally very good. There’s no point me sharing my discount code now I have de-activated my account, but why not look back at previous reviews by using the Degustabox tag.

Love, Lucy xx

Tuesday, 8 August 2017

July Favourites

Month, Favourites, BBloggers, LBloggers, Boohoo, Soap & Glory, Perricone MD, Viridian
Month, Favourites, BBloggers, LBloggers, Boohoo, Soap & Glory, Perricone MD, Viridian
Apologies again for being a little MIA lately and for uploading this post eight days into the month. I really struggled this month, because there weren’t any products I’d been using that were new or exciting – and my mind has totally been elsewhere. But here are my monthly favourites...

I’ve not bought new clothes in absolutely ages but I got this cute sheer blouse from Boohoo, when I was buying a couple of basic bits. I absolutely love the style and the gold button detailing. It’s perfect for work and keeps me cool, because it is so loose-fitted. Being that chiffon-style material, a vest or cami top is needed underneath but the fit is so flattering – exactly what I need at the moment!

There are two Soap & Glory products I’ve been using religiously, because my skin has become ridiculously dry, itchy and flaky – these have both helped loads, to stop the irritation and keep my skin soft/smooth. Step forward Orangeasm and Sugar Crush. I definitely prefer the citrus-scented S&G products, as the others seem to irritate my skin – and I find these stronger scents last longer. I use the scrub once a week, sometimes twice if needed; but the shower cream I use every day. I always receive a little S&G haul at Christmas, so it’s great to have products like these in reserve.

I’m not totally sure where this Organic Rose Oil by Viridian came from – but I am in love! I’m not usually one for oil-based products, as find they leave my skin far too greasy, causing breakouts. I’ve not been using this on my face (which is probably what it should be used for), but instead, been using it as a massage oil every evening, which has been hugely effective – before I sort my Palmer’s haul! Of course, rose oil is great for dry skin to restore balance.

And finally, I’m sure this product featured last year (or maybe even the year before), but Perricone MD’s No-Foundation Foundation Serum is without a doubt, one of the best products I’ve ever used – hence why it’s a re-purchase! Not that we’ve been having hot/summer weather lately, but I prefer to use this as a base during the summer months, as opposed to a heavy foundation. My everyday foundation is one that I often build upon, but this is so light and silky on the skin – you don’t need to layer it. It’s great for creating natural looks, too.

What were your July favourites?

Love, Lucy xx 

Thursday, 3 August 2017

Sunday lunch for Nan’s birthday at The Old Windmill, South Hanningfield

Dining, Review, Essex, The Old Windmill,South Hanningfield, Chelmsford, Sunday Roast, FdBloggers,
A fortnight ago (and the day after my mum’s birthday), we took my Nan out for her birthday – and when deciding where to go, she suggested The Old Windmill, having not been there for a while. I don’t think I’ve ever been, despite being at a couple of the pubs nearby, but it’s at South Hanningfield, on the way to Chelmsford – and not too far from where Nan lives.

Mum booked a table for five, for 2:30pm and it was the perfect time to devour a roast dinner! It’s a good job we booked, as the bar, dining room and beer garden were all busy. We sat in the dining room and there was plenty of space and natural lighting, as it was next to the garden. One thing I will mention is the sign outside saying ‘Dogs Welcome’ also extended to inside the pub. There were two dogs in the dining room, which I found quite unusual – but thankfully, we didn’t notice they were there. Next time, I would be more inclined to sit somewhere where there are no animals though.

On a Sunday, The Old Windmill offers two menus: the standard a la carte option, alongside traditional roast dinners. With a selection of meats, including a mixed roast of beef and pork, there was plenty of choice. Of course, being Sunday, we all decided on the roast – and as the portions were so generous, we didn’t need feeding for the rest of the day... although it didn’t stop us looking at and ordering dessert.
Dining, Review, Essex, The Old Windmill,South Hanningfield, Chelmsford, Sunday Roast, FdBloggers,
Dining, Review, Essex, The Old Windmill,South Hanningfield, Chelmsford, Sunday Roast, FdBloggers,
Dining, Review, Essex, The Old Windmill,South Hanningfield, Chelmsford, Sunday Roast, FdBloggers,
My mum, Nan and brother all chose the braised shoulder of lamb; Ash picked the rare topside of beef with giant Yorkshire pudding and horseradish sauce; while I went for my favourite: roast loin of pork, with sage & onion stuffing, apple sauce and shards of crackling. All the meals came served with roast potatoes, red & green cabbage, leeks and lashings of gravy. I really enjoyed my dinner, particularly the pork, which wasn’t at all fatty. The gravy added enough seasoning to the rest of the meal, so luckily the vegetables weren’t seasoned, but were cooked perfectly. Although I was really hungry, I struggled to eat all three potatoes!
Dining, Review, Essex, The Old Windmill,South Hanningfield, Chelmsford, Sunday Roast, FdBloggers,
Like I said, we managed to have dessert and as I was limited as to what I could have, I chose the sticky toffee pudding with vanilla ice cream. It was just as good as it looks – light sponge, rich sticky toffee sauce and ice cream simply melted. As always, I ate it far too quickly and honestly, I could have eaten it twice over! Robert picked the American waffle with strawberries, clotted cream ice cream and Pimm’s syrup, which looked incredible – I was SO jealous.

Everyone else ended the meal with coffee and it wasn’t long until we then got the bill. Despite being a pub, there was table service and it was very good. From the moment we arrived, we were taken straight to our table and our drinks order was soon taken – there was no waiting around at the bar. We don’t go out for Sunday lunch often, so it made a change and I would return.

Love, Lucy xx

Tuesday, 1 August 2017

Celebrating mum’s birthday with afternoon tea at Haymarket Hotel, London

Afternoon Tea, Haymarket Hotel, London, Review, Brumus, Piccadilly,
Two weekends ago, we celebrated mum’s birthday with afternoon tea at the Haymarket Hotel, Piccadilly – as organised by my brother. He had been to other Firmdale Hotels before, but never Haymarket – and everything was kept a surprise until we actually arrived at the hotel. I knew about it, of course, having to put in special dietary requests.

I’m not sure if he had specified it was a birthday in the booking, but I was very well looked after, from the moment we arrived – in fact, I felt as though it was my special day. There were plenty of other parties celebrating birthdays though – all groups bigger than our table of four – and during our two hour sitting (booked for 3:30pm), the Brumus Restaurant was busy, mainly those indulging in afternoon tea.
Afternoon Tea, Haymarket Hotel, London, Review, Brumus, Piccadilly,
We were sat in a booth, which was really comfortable and gave us plenty of space – something very important when having afternoon tea, especially when they brought three different cake stands and three different pots of tea over. The decor’s incredibly quirky, with lots of abstract and colourful art on the walls – and the lampshades hanging from the ceiling resembled umbrellas... something we could have done with, as it poured with rain all day! The china was beautiful and I loved the table set up, especially with the small table lamp – perfect for those blogger snaps!

While I stuck to mineral water, everyone else toasted the occasion with a flute of Pommery champagne. The standard price is £24pp, while the champagne afternoon tea is £31.50pp. At this point, we also chose our teas and there was plenty of choice. While only three options were available on the standard afternoon tea menu (breakfast tea, earl grey and Darjeeling), for a £2.50 supplement, there were numerous varieties and flavours to choose from. Mum and Robert went traditional with breakfast tea, Ashley had earl grey and I upgraded to the vanilla rooibos (caffeine-free!) from the speciality menu. My pot of tea arrived immediately, before the cake stands were brought to the table; however, the champagne drinkers were made to wait for theirs – eventually asking, as the food was being devoured.
Afternoon Tea, Haymarket Hotel, London, Review, Brumus, Piccadilly,
The cake stands, as usual, were set up for two. Ashley and Robert shared as they sat opposite each other. Because my plates differed from the normal treats on offer, I had a stand to myself, which meant mum did too. Don’t worry, I’ll be running through both lots of afternoon tea! Like I say, the Haymarket Hotel did a really good job in catering to my requirements... there’s also gluten-free, vegan and reduced sugar options, if that’s something you require – as long as you make this known when securing your reservation.

On the standard afternoon tea, the savoury items consisted of a pea & ham hock arancini; a smoked and poached salmon & cream cheese wrap; a feta & black olive finger sandwich; and a second finger sandwich with cucumber & crème fraîche filling. My salmon wrap was replaced with a third finger sandwich: cream cheese, peppers & rocket – and while I really liked it, I was devo’d I couldn’t have the wrap, especially when everyone remarked how tasty it was... I do love smoked salmon, too. I loved the pea & ham hock arancini though and could, quite easily, have had a whole plate of them!

The next tier contained the scones, which were freshly baked and wrapped inside a linen napkin to keep them warm. There were two scones per person: plain and fruit and these were accompanied by clotted cream, strawberry and raspberry preserves. The scones were so beautiful: glazed and crisp on the outside, but soft on the inside and not at all dense. The jams were a good consistency too and there was no scrimping on portion size.
Afternoon Tea, Haymarket Hotel, London, Review, Brumus, Piccadilly,
The sweet treats on the top tier also differed and I have to admit, I was even more jealous then! For the standard afternoon tea, there were four different items: a strawberry & cointreau verrine in a shot glass; a mini apricot & passion fruit tart; chilli chocolate torte with Griotte cherry; and a strawberry & cream Darjeeling cupcake. Unfortunately, I could only have the tart and the cupcake, so had two of each – which was fine, as I thoroughly enjoyed both. The cupcake was incredibly light, the frosting thick and creamy; while the flavours were delicate and worked well together. I love fruit tarts and while these mini ones were gone in a mouthful, the balance of sweet and tartness was spot-on. My choice of tea was good, too.

In my opinion, the service was good – I felt like my requests were met well and everything from ordering to receiving my tea was satisfactory. I know everyone else was a little annoyed with the time it took for their tea to be brought to the table, but the food arrived in good time – and everything was well-explained to us.

Compared to other hotels and restaurants, the afternoon tea was good value for money – and there’s even a Wind in the Willows themed one running at the moment. It was a lovely leisurely afternoon celebrating mum’s birthday and so nice to have everyone together. I would return to Brumus Restaurant – for dinner, rather than afternoon tea, though!

Love, Lucy xx

Thursday, 27 July 2017

Degustabox | BBQ Box

Degustabox, Food, Drink, Monthly Subscription, Fdbloggers, Unboxing
If youve not heard of Degustabox, then where have you been? Its a food & drink monthly subscription box bringing you 10-15 surprise products, many of which are new to the market. When you sign up, you get to fill in your very own profile, meaning a couple of the products may differ. Its actually the highlight of my week when this little beauty arrives on my doorstep so (much later than planned) what was in June’s box (themed a BBQ box)?

·         A bottle of Eisberg Sauvignon Blanc alcohol-free wine
·         A sachet of Capsicana Brazilian chiili & coconut quick cook sauce
·         Two bags of Haribo Summer Frenzy
·         A packet of Spoon apple & peanut granola
·         A packet of Walkers shortbread Scottie dogs
·         A packet of Original Os cumin & sesame nibbles
·         A packet of Superdrug Light Bites – mango with yogurt fruit chips
·         A Superdrug Light Bites – superfood fruit bar
·         Two sachets of Schwartz Authentic American flavour seasonings
·         Two cans of Westons cider
·         A bottle of Berry Whites organic drink
Degustabox, Food, Drink, Monthly Subscription, Fdbloggers, Unboxing
Last month’s box was themed a ‘BBQ box’ and there were plenty of items perfect for barbecue season, or even for summer garden parties and picnics. As always, let’s begin with the drinks... Unfortunately, I couldn’t try the two cans of Westons cider, but the two fruit flavours (damson and rhubarb) sound really good – and different compared to the usual flavours found in the supermarkets or pubs. I can’t wait to give these a go. Eisberg have featured in previous boxes, but the mini bottle of Sauvignon Blanc was much-welcomed and I enjoyed mine one Saturday night while everyone else was having a proper drink. I also thoroughly enjoyed the Berry Whites organic lemon & lime soft drink. I’ve not seen it in shops, but would buy it again – it was so refreshing!
Degustabox, Food, Drink, Monthly Subscription, Fdbloggers, Unboxing
I’m yet to try any of the sauces or marinades from this box, but there’s plenty to get through. By Schwartz, there were two American-inspired seasonings: spicy buffalo wings and bbq pulled chicken. These will be perfect for barbecuing – I absolutely love chicken wings, too! I was even fortunate enough to receive three sachets, rather than two... winner! The other cooking sauce may be too hot for my tastes, but sounds delicious nonetheless. The Capsicana chilli & coconut sauce will be perfect with chicken and peppers, accompanied by rice; or even used as a sauce in a fish or seafood stew! I think we’ll be giving the former a try this week!
Degustabox, Food, Drink, Monthly Subscription, Fdbloggers, Unboxing
There have been plenty of cereals in recent boxes, much to my enjoyment as it’s given me the opportunity to try some things I usually wouldn’t. Spoon’s apple & peanut granola was absolutely lush. I had this over 10 days in 40g portions, with some natural yogurt – and it was so filling, meaning I didn’t need to snack. I would definitely buy this again. Superdrug now have their own range of ‘diet snacks’ and there were two products to try in this box. The freeze-dried mango with yogurt chips were perfect for a sweet fix, although the texture was quite unusual. The superfood bar was packed full of seeds and was naturally sweet. It was enjoyable, but I doubt I’d buy either again.
Degustabox, Food, Drink, Monthly Subscription, Fdbloggers, Unboxing
Perfect for pre-barbecue snacks or even as an accompaniment to an aperitif, the Original Os cumin & sesame snacks look good – although I’ve not tried them yet. You can’t go wrong with shortbread though and Walkers are much-loved and respected brand. I loved the Scottie dog shapes, which actually tasted a lot better than the petticoats, but not as good as the original fingers. The only downside was they went soft quite quickly once opened – any excuse to eat the whole box quickly!
Degustabox, Food, Drink, Monthly Subscription, Fdbloggers, Unboxing
And finally, my product of the month: Haribo! There were two varieties in the box, both from the summer frenzy range: berry Starmix and ice cream & sorbet Tangfastics. I’d had both before and still couldn’t choose between the two. I ate both bags within three days... it’s little wonder the hospital called me in for a GTT!

Try your first box, with a £7 discount. Either follow this link. Or go to the website and enter my special reference code: LUCYW-2B19. Enjoy!

What were your thoughts on June’s box?

Love, Lucy xx

Tuesday, 25 July 2017

Instagram #18

Instagram, Life, Update, Personal, Social Media, Lucylocket_x
Sunday stroll to Dunstable Downs – TBT: Mallorca 2016 – Lush weekend in the garden – Soy glazed chicken with courgetti – Monthly Favourites – Walk around Grove Lock – Happy 57th Birthday, Daddy – Work Awards, ft. Paddy McGuinness – Thai banquet with the fam at Lemongrass – TBT: Love old family photos... that blonde hair!

So despite feeling massively busy recently, I’ve not done too much to shout about. I’m also really relishing a quiet weekend, because my energy levels are at an all-time low and I’d love nothing more than not worry about my social calendar and driving. I realise my little space and presence on social has deteriorated – but sometimes, there are far more important things to worry about... I’m honestly so tired at the moment, so don’t feel I can give the time to it all or give you the best content to read. I know for a fact this will change soon, so keep with me.

The weather may be pretty awful now, but we did have some lovely weekends and I made the most of it – spending time outside, whether it be in the garden, or going for walk. Surprisingly, I have a better tan from being outside in this country, than I did when I was in Sicily... not saying much though, I’m still pasty AF! We spent a lovely Sunday afternoon walking to Dunstable Downs, where we sat and watched paragliders, as well as the local gliding club in action. More recently, we drove to Grove Lock and enjoyed a cold Pepsi in a beer garden, before walking along the canal – almost making it to Leighton Buzzard... But I got too tired!

A couple of weeks ago, I attended my annual work awards, which was an enjoyable evening – even if I was drinking and drove home early on. I bought my dress from Little Mistress the week before and I was so pleased with it – it fit so well. I received some lovely comments from colleagues and on Insta as well, which made me feel a million times better, as I’ve been feeling a bit bleugh, lately. Paddy McGuinness hosted the night, which was amazing – and one of the Cruise Lines also sponsored it – but the magic mirror photo booth was incredibly popular and a hit with me!

That weekend, my auntie and uncle were over from Madrid – so of course we went out for dinner (read: An extensive Thai treat at Lemongrass, Brentwood). Earlier in the day, Ashley and I went to visit my Nan; before we came back, ready for an evening in Brentwood. On the Sunday, we spent the afternoon at Ash’s mum’s house. And on Monday, after work and a trip to the hospital, we (me, mum, Robert, my auntie and uncle) went to the local pub for dinner. So it was definitely a weekend of eating! But like I’ve said, it was incredibly busy.

What have you been up to lately?

Love, Lucy xx

Wednesday, 19 July 2017

An extensive Thai treat at Lemongrass, Brentwood

Dining, Review, Lemongrass, Brentwood, Essex, Thai, Fdbloggers
Brentwood has been screaming out for a good Thai restaurant for years now and finally we have one – hello Lemongrass! I had previously ordered a takeaway from there, following a friend’s recommendation and knew it wouldn’t be long until I dined in.

My auntie and uncle were over from Madrid and as they both like Thai food, I suggested to mum we book a table for the Saturday night. Booking is definitely recommended, especially if you’re a larger party – the restaurant only has two tables that accommodate six and they were both occupied that night. However, there was only five of us, as Robert couldn’t make it.

We were trying to work out what Lemongrass was before, but couldn’t remember and considering the size, the interior is lovely and modern. Brentwood’s other Thai restaurant is very dated and lacks atmosphere, but Lemongrass is the complete opposite. The section by the bar is quite narrow and can be a bit of a squeeze when busy – especially with people calling in to collect takeaways – but the space between the tables is reasonable. We were sat at the far end of the restaurant and didn’t feel out of the way, nor were we forgotten about.

Enough about that – let’s talk food... and what a feast we had! When we previously ordered a takeaway, the portion sizes were large and we made the mistake of ordering a portion of rice each – and we certainly made the ‘order too much’ mistake again! But it’s so hard not to, as there’s lots of choice and the food is incredible.
Dining, Review, Lemongrass, Brentwood, Essex, Thai, Fdbloggers
To start, we ordered the Lemongrass mixed platter (for five) – a selection of hors d'oeuvres and accompanying dipping sauces. We sampled golden vegetable spring rolls, chicken satay sticks, prawn toasts, filo prawns and Thai fish cakes – with satay sauce, sweet chilli sauce and a vegetable relish. I particularly loved the prawn toasts, which were crisp and golden – and not at all greasy, like you often get at a Chinese. The chicken satay was tender and fell off the skewer; while the sauce was also divine.
Dining, Review, Lemongrass, Brentwood, Essex, Thai, Fdbloggers
Dining, Review, Lemongrass, Brentwood, Essex, Thai, Fdbloggers
We decided to order a main course each, with the intention of eventually sharing... not that I tried many other dishes, I loved mine too much. I ordered my favourite: beef penang, which is what I ordered when we got a takeaway – and it was even better second time round, possibly as it was fresher. There was plenty of beef and the sauce was the perfect consistency, while also being mild enough for my palate. Ashley chose the Thai green chicken curry, which I did try. It was lovely but a lot spicier, with coarsely chopped chilli in the sauce. There was plenty of chicken and vegetables and rice mopped the sauce up well. Mum picked her favourite: lamb massaman; while my uncle opted for the roasted duck red curry and my auntie chose the lightly battered chicken with cashew nuts, vegetables and dried chilli. We had a good selection of dishes between us.

We shared three bowls of jasmine rice and a portion of prawn pad Thai, which was very good – with all the condiments around the edge of the plate, ready for us to dress the noodles to our personal tastes. This was more than enough.

The drinkers shared a couple of bottles of rosé, which is always my drink of choice when having a Thai, because it complements the variety of flavours, fragrances and spices well. Unfortunately, I couldn’t partake – despite the waiter trying to get me to taste it. He also offered it to mum, who was the designated driver. He was such a character and the staff overall were friendly and efficient – the service couldn’t be faulted at all.

We had a really good evening: great food, atmosphere, company and service. There’s no doubt we will return to Lemongrass and I am so pleased there’s finally a decent Thai restaurant in Brentwood. And when we can’t secure a table, there’s always the takeaway service!