Lifestyle: June Favourites

Another month gone, this year is racing by. June has been a wonderful month. Plenty of sun, a holiday, and finished off nicely by my boyfriend moving in with me over the weekend. We’ll be sharing my not-quite double room for the next two weeks (it’s a bit of a squeeze – giving each other space is one of us on the bed, other on the floor!) before moving out to our London flat for the summer. Now, onto my monthly favourites!
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Italy

Of course, this has to be top of the list. We spent a few days in Rome before catching a (very modern and fast) train to Venice for another few days. The holiday was full of sight-seeing, blistering shoulders, heat, a few thunderstorms and a lot of canals. Utterly stunning. I’m in two minds about how to post about it – I wrote out ideas and have a potential 15 posts! Or I could try grouping it up a little, so do tell me what you would prefer!

Venice was without a doubt my favourite city of the two, it’s one you could return to many times and always discover something new. I know I’ll be heading back!

A Little KIKO Haul

My poor boyfriend was dragged round no less than four KIKO stores until I found a palette insert in stock. I wanted a 3 pan ideally, but in the end plumped for a 4 pan out of desperation. I managed to get all the shades I wanted too…

I also visited my first ever Sephora (or 3!) and despite being hugely tempted by two items (Nars God Created The Woman and Marc Jacobs Lolita palettes) I didn’t pick up anything. I resisted duty-free too. #feelingproud
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Food, Glorious Food

I’m really struggling not to make virtually every item on here Italy related – whoops! I’ve had some wonderful meals in Italy, whether it be a delicious white pizza, a stunning sandwich (I’m not over-exaggerating when I say I’ve eaten the best sandwiches in existence), or the most yummy specially-made seafood pasta. Plenty of ‘fried fish’ too. And maybe a scoop of gelato. I’m avoiding the scales until next weekend so I have time to get rid of the damage…

I also had a pretty yummy Indian meal (review tomorrow!), with one of the greenest curries in existence!
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Couple Time

Having been in an LDR on and off for more than half of my relationship, having some quality couple time isn’t something we take for granted! I’ve been away on placement since last July so the last time we had more than a weekend to ourselves was over a year ago now. Italy was the perfect chance to reconnect, and now we get to spend every morning, evening and weekend together. It’s early days, but I’ve not killed him yet…
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A Visit to the Zoo

My team’s away day was held at the beginning of the month, and an afternoon at London Zoo was a great way to unwind. We lucked out with fabulous weather (glad it was also dress down –  suit would not have been pleasant!).

All in all, a damn good month! How was your June? Any holiday plans for the summer?

Personal: The Importance on Thank You Notes

I always mean to write thank-you notes after birthdays, after Christmas, but it’s something I’ve never gotten round to. DOn’t get me wrong, I always make sure I thank the person, just never a specially written note.

 photo 2015-06-28 10.53.24_zpsvboomoix.jpgTaking the time to handwrite a letter, seal it in an envelope, buy a stamp and then take a trip to the postbox expresses so much more gratitude than sending an email or text ever could. It tells the recipient that they’ve not been forgotten and shows them just how important they are to you. Handwritten notes also have some permanence. Many of us decide to keep an old shoe box over the years and fill it will letters and notes from family, friends or colleagues. Years later people often read back through those letters and remember the fond memories that are attached to them. The same feelings are not evoked through emails or text messages, physical letters are enduring and much more memorable.

Pen Heaven have found some of the most uplifting thank you notes to inspire you to reach out to someone you care about and say thank you.

The most thoughtful thank you note goes to… Emma Watson

Harry Potter actress Emma Watson took time in between filming to thank fellow actor Steve Carell. She wrote him a beautiful handwritten note for supporting her cause #HeForShe. Emma also shared her admiration for the actor at different parts in his career. Her beautiful words and of course that beautiful handwriting were bound to make Carell smile. Carell wore #HeForShe cufflinks to the Oscars when he was nominated in the Best Actor category for his role in Foxcatcher. Watson did a great job at expressing her gratitude and wins the title of most thoughtful thank you note from us.

The thank you note with the most character goes to… Honor Smith

9 year old Honor Smith wrote a charming letter to the Virgin boss, Richard Branson. Clearly overwhelmed by the letter Sir Richard shared it across his social networking sites and took the time out of his busy schedule to handwrite a thank you note back to her. Young Honor Smith has so much bravery for writing this honest and open letter. Honour thanked him for sharing a video on dyslexia and explained how his video has helped her overcome the issue. This letter was bound to make Sir Richard feel incredibly proud and what an incredible little girl Honor is to write this note, she truly deserves the award for thank you note with the most character.

The most emotional thank you note goes to… Bethanie

This touching letter was written by a lady named Bethanie and given to the pilots who took her home. In the heartfelt note, Bethanie showed compassion, gratitude and appreciation for a job that is often overlooked. The timing of this letter made it even more impactful as it was delivered shortly after the tragic Germanwings plane crash. The letter did as Bethanie wanted and ‘spread love’ as the grateful pilot took to Twitter to share the note which then went viral. This was bound to bring a tear to the eye of the pilot who received it and is worthy of the most emotional thank you note award.

The thank you note everyone wants to receive goes to… Beyonce

One of the most idolised women in the world, Beyonce wrote a moving thank you note to First Lady Michelle Obama. There is no doubt that Beyonce is one of the most powerful women in the world and to see that she has written a handwritten thank you note is humbling and shows just how grounded the queen of music really is. In the handwritten note Beyonce thanked Michelle for being a great role model for her and Jay-Z’s daughter, Blue Ivy Carter. There is not one woman out there that wouldn’t want to receive that letter so the award for the thank you note everyone want to receive is definitely from Beyonce.

The most inspiring thank you note goes to… Barack Obama

Now we turn to the President of the United States, Barack Obama who in 2010 wrote a heartwarming letter directly to Life of Pi author Yann Martel. If this note doesn’t inspire creativity then we’re not sure what would. Not many people will have the privilege of receiving a handwritten letter from Barack Obama but Mr Martel is a very lucky man. In the beautiful note Obama described Life of Pi as an elegant proof of God, and the power of storytelling. There’s no denying that Obama is a busy man so it’s incredibly humbling to see that he took the time to write this beautiful note, it makes you want to step up and write or do something that impacts somebody as much as this book clearly has. That’s why the award for the most inspiring thank you note goes to Barack Obama.

After sharing Pen Heaven’s favourite thank you notes we turned to CEO David Cole and asked him how he feels when he receives a handwritten thank you note.

“Receiving a handwritten letter creates feelings of excitement. It’s not often we get them so it’s always a very pleasant surprise to see a handwritten envelope in between a pile of bills. There is something incredibly personal about a handwritten note, the gratitude that it expresses, the memories that it brings back and the appreciation you feel really does boost your mood.”

Now it’s time for you to send a thank you note to someone that truly deserves it.

*Sponsored post from Pen Heaven

Whilst I don’t often send thank you notes, I do like sending and receiving handwritten letters. Me and W used to write to each other at university and I loved receiving the letters – I’ve kept all of them too. Do you send handwritten notes?

Lifestyle: May Favourites

May has been a long month for me. Busy at work, insommnia, and W’s exam period means it’s been more than a little stressful. I’ve been making the effort to appreciate things a little more in an attempt to keep myself from falling apart – and it worked!
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Making Nice Dinners

Despite still being firmly on the healthy-eating wagon I’ve been making more of an effort with my daily meals. Making sure I love what I eat has made dinner a highlight of my day. I’ve been loving Falafel Salad with seeds, tzatziki and pitta bread, me and W made a delicious Massaman Curry, and I’ve been experimenting with some pulled pork. My Cauliflower Mac’nCheese proved popular too. Yum yum!

I say I’ve been healthy, but I’ve also had some damn good cheat meals – mainly thee aforementioned curry and pulled pork, but also one of the most AMAZING burgers I’ve had in a long time. Considering it wasn’t on a beach, wasn’t cooked pink, wasn’t even particularly tender, it was just delicious. Mustard mayo and cheese for the win!
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New Clothes

I felt really proud of myself for avoiding the 20%-off-for-students weekend at New Look, and it definitely paid off a fortnight later as everything I wanted to buy was in the sale. I picked up two more playsuits and a few skirts, all with 50-60% off. Winning! All I need now is a black cami style top to wear with skirts in the evenings and I’m all set for my holiday!

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Starting to Bake Again

I’ve been avoiding baking due to trying to lose weight, and not really being tempted by many ‘heathlier’ recipes. This month I made a pretty delicious superfood cereal bar that I’ll be sharing with you soon – and it’s definitely encouraged me to get back in the kitchen. I’ve been craving cupcakes recently too, so I’m sure you might see a recipe pop up soon!

Italy Countdown

Now we’re in June it’s nearly holiday time! Mid-month me and W fly out to Rome for a few days before catching the train to Venice. We’re super excited…and then three days after we get back he moves in with me. I’m frantically trying to plan out posts as the next few months are going to be hectic!
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Blog Reading

I’ve mentioned this a few times, but I follow a HUGE amount of blogs so it can be a little difficult keeping up with them. This month I’ve made an effort to read and comment on as many as possible, and I’ve read some gems in the process. Jack’s post made me feel a lot better about my misrepresentation in the press a few months ago, and with Em being in the Bahamas and Katy in Mallorca these girls have been feeding my wanderlust. No-one more so than Angie though! She’s been talking about her amazing safari experience lately, which is something I am desperate to do. Rosie has made me a little bit tempted to try camping again, whilst Jasmin Charlotte has a playsuit I LOVE. I’d be here all day if I talked about all the recent posts I’ve enjoyed!

I’ve also just been making the most of time to myself, as I know there will be less of that this summer. Painting my nails, face masks, sitting in the quiet with a book, generally just relaxing. Here’s to a more exciting June!

How was your May? Full of revision and exams (I’ve not missed it this year!)?

Lifestyle: “How To Live”

There’s a few quotes that really stick in my head, and they are ones I always try and think of when making big decisions, or even smaller ones. In a way they help me live the kind of life I want to live!
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“A Little Bit of What You Fancy Does You Good”

This has basically been my mantra throughout my losing weight period as I really didn’t want to deprive myself. As part of my diet was increasing the amount of fat I ate (I was advised by a gastro consultant my diet lacked it) I found it quite easy to allow myself a small portion of what I wanted – generally this involved an indulgent salad dressing, cheese and a bit of nutella in my morning porridge.

It’s also a great thought to bear in mind when you are budgeting – I feel you are more likely to blow your budget if you deprive yourself all the time. Whilst I’ve been out on placement my aim has been to save as much as possible (I’m pretty pleased with how I’ve done!) but I’ve still allowed myself a few small treats each month.

“Be Silly, Be Honest, Be Kind”

It’s a quote I originally came across through Little Miss Katy, and rather embarrassingly I didn’t realise it was a quote until last week – I just thought it was a delightful phrase she came up with! It’s such a lovely idea, a simple phrase which is perfect to live by.

Small decisions, big decisions, even just thinking about it improves my mood. It makes me appreciate simple things, makes me realise I don’t need to be too serious, and the kindness bit speaks for itself.

Katy has actually penned the quote onto a t-shirt as part of a competition – there’s some fab entries and entering automatically enters you into a prize draw for some vouchers so you have nothing to lose!
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“Friends Are Like Flowers, They Need Love to Grow”

I think this was on the wallpaper in my sister’s nursery – as she’s sixteen this year it’s an awful long time for me to have remembered this quote but it’s stuck with me.

I have a fear of always being the one making the effort with friendships, and a flight-not-fight mentality. If me and a friend have a slight falling out I always take it as the end – and I’m stubborn so unless something is genuinely my fault I won’t make the first move back. This quote is lovely as it reminds me that friendship is a two way thing and needs work to happen. Since I’ve been at university I’ve made close friends which have stuck (and I can’t imagine my life without them).

This quote also works in the other way – I found having left my secondary school I was always the one arranging things with my friends (I was the only one to leave), always the one texting first, and it just starting getting more and more awkward. Friendship isn’t just one sided, and this quote made me realise that if they weren’t willing to make it work, it probably wasn’t worth it. In the end I was all the more happier for letting them go and concentrating on friends who were there for me.
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“Dreams Don’t Work Unless You Do”

Such a good one currently, as I approach the time when I’ll be frantically searching for a graduate job. I have the long-term dream of becoming an actuary, but I know that will take patience to get the job, then hell of a lot of dedication whilst working towards qualification.

I know I’ll never, ever get there without putting the work in, and that’s the same with most things in life. Relationships are never just ‘perfect’, they take work. Dream jobs don’t just appear. Opportunities don’t always present themselves – you need to get out there and work for success.

What quotes/sayings do you live by?

Personal: Memories

Memories are so important to me. Making them and, even more so, keeping hold of them. Five years ago my granddad was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s. It’s been three years since he recognised anyone.

 photo 2015-05-04 13.11.13_zpswt015cem.jpgI don’t know whether it runs in our family and I’m not sure whether I’d want to find out. Whilst I’d like to know to sort out financials in later life, if I knew at this stage it would put an end to me wanting a family. What I do know is this – I’ll do anything to keep my brain ticking. I do daily memory exercises, take recommended supplements, try and force down oily-fish (or cod liver oil capsules). And I document my life.

 photo 293801_3323895148611_845060848_n_zpsnemazdal.jpgSometimes people get annoyed when I take my camera everywhere. Yes, most days out are an opportunity to blog, but it means so much more than that. Photos are visual reminders are what we got up to, and I find these bring back stronger recollections than just thoughts. Trying to balance living my life myself verus through a lens can get difficult, but I know in a few years I’ll look back grateful at all these photographs.

 photo 2015-05-04 13.11.30_zps0a6shtna.jpgWriting in my One Line A Day diary helps too. Short sentences means I’ll actually keep up with it, and reading back means the lack of detail works the brain muscles as I try to remember. I only wish I’d started this sooner! I’ll be 26 when I finish it (scary thought) and I’m looking forward to seeing how my life changes in the next five years.

 photo 2015-04-06 13.51.08_zpsrtpvhrxl.jpg photo IMG_2210_zpsy8uxbfra.jpgI don’t want to forget the picnic me and W had the weekend before we parted ways to separte university. I want to remember how snuggly Tee-J is when he is sleepy. I want to remember how stunning Edinburgh is, how much I love Brighton, how yummy Wahaca is. I want to remember how W sticks his tongue out at me every time he meets me off my train on a Friday night (and probably at my back as I leave on a Sunday). I don’t want to forget the sights I’ve seen, how my sister has grown into a friend, even the teen arguments I had with my mum.

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I don’t know what’s going to happen in the next five years. Probably marriage, possibly even (though more unlikely!) children. I don’t know where I’ll be in the future. But however my life changes, I’ll be glad of the memories I’m making and the steps I’m taking to preserve them.

Do you try and document more of your life, or do you live in the moment?

Lifestyle: April Favourites

I probably say this every month, but I can’t believe how fast the year is going. It’s pretty damn scary to think that this time next year I’ll be facing my final university exams and preparing to start (hopefully!) a graduate job. This month’s been a bit odd for me. Most of it has been great, but this past week I’ve been pretty ill and down in the dumps. I always find a bad patch at the end of the month means I’ll think back on it negatively…but here’s the best bits!
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  • Finding my perfect blushers. I only wish Max Factor had brought these out before I splurged on my Nars Douceur, though at least they are completely different and I’m still getting plenty of wear out of it. They are stunning – easy to blend, neutral colours, natural looking finish. Love, love, love!
  • Reading an actual book. I love my Kindle, I’d chose Kindle over smartphone if I could only have one, but sometimes I just love the relaxing feeling a real book gives. This ones not the most thrilling of storylines, but for a book given by a stranger on a train it’s pretty good!
  • Spending time with family. It was my dad’s fiftieth earlier in the month and we hired a large house in the middle of the Rutland countryside. Utter bliss…though not exactly relaxing with energetic dogs and children running around! Me and my sis also had a trip to Hogwart’s – pretty awesome!
  • My new Barbour jacket*. It was absolutely perfect for the weekend away, and despite it being a men’s version I adore it. Thanks Repertoire Fashion!
  • Realising how much weight I’ve lost. Since Christmas I’ve lost 23 pounds. My goal of fitting into my old size ten jeans got obliterated (they’re now too big) and I’ve even managed to fit in my sister’s summer shorts.

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I’ve also grabbing McBusted tickets. Admittedly this could have been in March, but it’s going in this month’s! I’m of the age where I was a 9/10 year old when Busted were big (Charlie was my boy!), and just a little older when McFly made it (I remember them supporting Busted at the NEC many, many years ago). I was pretty excited when they merged to form McBusted and went to see their first tour – and yep, it was awesome. I didn’t manage to get time off work for a Sunday show this tour, so when I found out they were hitting Delapre festival just a few miles from my parents? I spent an anxious 15 minutes trying to get tickets. The outcome is I’ll be taking my sister to her first festival as long as she’s back from her Duke of Edinburgh in time (she better run!).

 photo 72c042eb_original_zpsswww6xwa.jpgThe best thing about the last month? Sorting out a flat in London for the summer! Yep, I’m living in London for just under three months. Me and W have managed to score a rather snazzy little place in Wandsworth, and I’m super excited. One, living in an amazing city. Two, actually living with my boyfriend of nearly five years. It’s making me feel rather grown up! Fingers crossed I’ll be able to make more blogger events too…

So yep, busy month! I made the most of the bank holiday weekend to relax and do some serious blog work. No rest for the wicked! How’s your month been?

Personal: Weight Loss

What feels like ages ago, I wrote this post. I wrote about making little changes to improve my lifestyle, make me feel better about myself. Last month I was overjoyed to slip into a pair of size 10 skinnies and be under 10 stone for the first time in years. But this weekend, this happened.

 photo 2015-04-12 12.23.16_zpssnthxlfm.jpgSize 8 skinny jeans. And high waisted too. I cried in the changing room. I’ve tried them on everyday since buying them, to make sure it wasn’t a fluke. I’ve pictured them above against the jeans I have been wearing for a few years. And yep, that’s the true size difference. They’re both stretchy denim too, both high-waisted!

To make me even happier, these jeans were pretty much a bargain courtesy of my favorite new app, Zeek. Basically it allows you to buy and sell unwanted gift vouchers, and they let me test it over the past week. You make a small saving on the voucher you buy and they are often electronic, meaning you pay on your phone even in store. Pretty useful, especially if you receive a voucher for a store you’ll never use! And using my code 2vcbyd you’ll get £5 off your first voucher too…

 photo 09fd7913-ae36-4933-8b8e-e14f1c314ddd_zpsmeysmzow.jpgTo be honest, slimming down this much wasn’t in my goals. I wanted to feel comfortable in myself, to stop over-eating. I haven’t really ‘dieted’ excessively as such. I’ve cut down the carbs in my evening meals, I’ve made sure i’ve stopped eating when I’ve been full. I’ve exercised more. I still have curves (miraculously, I’ve not lost anything from my chest at all), but I’m healthier and fitter than I’ve been in years. I’m sleeping better, I can run from the tube to platform 18 in Victoria without still wheezing at Clapham Junction (scratch that, East Croydon!).

 photo 2015-04-11 13.54.41_zpsuegeep9l.jpgYou may wonder where the above burger fits in with a weight loss post?! Well, I’m not depriving myself. I enjoyed this treat on Brighton beach last weekend (an hour after buying said skinny jeans!), it’s from Burger Brothers and it was AMAZING. Blows Gourmet Burger Kitchen out of the water, and it’s pretty clothes to Byron standard. If it was a little thicker, cooked a little pink, it would be pretty spot on. The deal with burgers and weight loss? No fries, and no doughnuts from the pier.

 photo 5af187a2-1c5c-4133-892c-c42071c0fb25_zpszmi2uypt.jpgI’ve eaten more salad, but I’ve never enjoyed it more. I’ve upped the fat in my diet (I was advised by a gasto consultant my food was actually significantly lacking in the stuff), so salads are actually yummy. Nuts, dressing, eggs, bacon. All the kind of things that make a salad enjoyable. Spicy salad made with tabasco? Hell yes! Chilli salad with beans and cheese? A weekly staple.

 photo 00fc096e-2a13-493f-838b-c5e68add6745_zpsmg8phizh.jpgI’ve enjoyed using A Salad for All Seasons. It’s a book I was sent as part of an un-salady collaboration a few months ago (the Florette one, where I made a salmon pasta). I didn’t use it for that collaboration and wasn’t asked to make a comment about it, but it’s become one of my favourite cookbook. It’s perfect!

 photo 2015-02-08 17.08.52_zpsztvdyxqu.jpg photo 2015-01-10 20.10.13_zpsn6lc6hz5.jpgI’m not going to slip back into my old ways. I’m going to keep exercising, I still want to do a bit more toning work on my thighs. I want to improve my fitness, keep up the running and manage a 5k. I want to maintain the shape I am right now, because quite honestly, I do feel pretty damn confident. I’ll be less strict with myself, I’ll let myself have a bowl of pasta a week, but that weight is staying off!So if you’re struggling with weight loss, it is doable. I’ve gone from avoiding mirrors to being so proud of myself in less than four months.

The downsides? I’m using safety pins to make my skirts stay up. And my younger sister thinks she can steal my new clothes (though I can also have my old ones back!).

Did you make an lifestyle changes over the last few months?How have you been getting on?

Lifestyle: Second Time Lucky

When I was 10, I was meant to go to Disneyland Florida. A three-week holiday was booked, along with all the park tickets and a dolphin-swimming trip. I was SO excited.

The six-month count down made it seem so close, yet so far away. The three-month count-down meant it was soon – to a ten-year old anyway. And then came a phone call. My granddad was seriously ill in hospital having had several major heart attacks. Despite the fact I knew he was majorly ill (I’d watched, unknowingly at the time, him suffer the first heart attack), it came as a huge shock. But what I wasn’t prepared for was the cancellation of the holiday. The trip had been planned as part of celebration of my grandparents ruby wedding anniversary, and a seriously ill granddad meant there was no way it could take place. I was gutted. I feel ashamed now as I know I should have been more worried about my granddad, but I cried, I ranted, I raved. What made it worse was two of my friends went on a similar trip that year. My sister felt equally devastated.

Fortunately my granddad recovered, and he promised myself and my sister he’d take us when we were older. Unfortunately that’s never going to happen, as the dreadful thing that is early-onset Alzheimer’s decided to rear it’s ugly head. I know he’d dearly love us to get that Disney experience and, though I’ve given up my Florida dreams, I’d dearly love to take my and my sister to Disneyland Paris to both relieve our disappointment, and fulfill some of my granddad’s dreams for us.

 

If I had a second chance, I’d book a trip to Disneyland Paris for myself and sister. We’d visit Baloo and all our favourite characters, scare ourselves silly on the rides (we’re big wimps, so even Big Thunder Mountain is pushing it for us!), and spend a fortune on Mickey ears. We’d get to do all the things we missed out on that year of our childhood, and I know my granddad would love us to go. And that’s why I’m entering this Ocean Finance competition, which gives me the possibility, the chance, the glimmer of hope that one day I can treat my sister to the holiday we missed out on.

What would you do if you have a ‘second chance’?

Lifestyle: March Favourites

It’s finally starting to feel a little bit like Spring! There’s warmth in the air which means I can just about get away with a mac rather than full coat for my walking commute. It’s light for a good while after I get home, which does wonders for both my mood and productivity each evening. And warmth means I’m more inclined to eat lighter foods, which has started to fuel the last little bit of weight-loss I want. I’m at the stage where there’s only a little bit left to lose, and naturally it’s sticking to me for as long as possible.

 photo 2015-03-07 14.43.48_zpsotja8obk.jpg photo 2015-03-17 20.45.54_zpsnykmcwu1.jpgI’ve loved being a little more experimental with food over the last few weeks. I’ve moved towards salads and lighter foods, and with some yummy additions they aren’t nearly as boring as I was expecting. Courgette with pasta actually works; my no carb-onara went down really well! A carrot and baby-leaf salad is livened up with a lemon dressing, crunch added by some baked pitta, flavoured introduced in the form of falafel. Yummy, quick, and fills me up so I don’t need that crème egg.

This brings me to another favourite. CRÈME EGGS. Because yummy. I seriously love them, but this year I’m not quite so enamoured. Could be one of two reasons – my new healthier diet has made me less  fond of sweet things – or (more likely) the fact they’ve stopped making them with Dairy Milk. Sob.

I may have even done some sneaky baking with crème eggs…check back tomorrow and all will be revealed.

 photo 2015-02-08 16.01.57_zps7y4ylsav.jpgI’ve also gotten much more into fashion over recent weeks. Possibly because of my weight-issue, but I’ve not been hugely fussed before. I’ve stuck to the same style of things, and though I have a LOT of clothes it was beginning to look uninspiring. I’ve purchased a few new bits (including a playsuit and what makes my second whole pair of jeans), and I’d like to slowly work towards a slightly more capsule wardrobe. I’ll never be able to hit the 37-pieces or whatever the optimum is, purely because my go-to is patterned dresses and cardigans. I’d end up with around 7 outfits if I did that, which just isn’t happening. But I’m starting to think more about the whole outfit rather than just one item when shopping. I’ve also got some exciting collabs up my sleeve…

 photo 2015-03-13 17.45.16_zpsthto9dyh.jpg photo b66458f9-d74a-4ce0-b8b9-9bbac06532da_zps3lioogaj.jpgA few days in London have brought yummy food. Tacos featured highly, but I also have other delights to show you!

 photo f6685f27-37b0-41eb-93fa-129b45bc4683_zps1uqd2iva.jpgBeauty wise, and nothing much has excited me in the past month. I wanted to pick up a new MAC offering, but after an elbow (twice) in the ribs by the ASSISTANT I gave up trying to get a glimpse. I’m really liking my Bold Metals Tapered Blush Brush, the price might have made me wince but I’ve reached for it daily and it’s really impressed me. I’m not tempted by the eye brushes in the range, but I’ll probably have a look at the other face brushes. When Boots run their next promotion!

 photo 2015-03-07 14.43.08_zpsirkkpfgs.jpgBut other than that, it’s been a quiet month. Work has been extra-busy, and I’m looking forward to several long weekends in April. I’m also starting to plan my summer holiday – I have flights booked out to Rome and back from Venice, so any suggestions of what to do in between would be great!

How’s your month been? Enjoying the lighter evenings?

Fashion: Everyday Floral Style

I’m a massive lover of floral clothes, particularly dresses. It’s of much amusement to W, he’ll just pick up anything in a shop and suggest it to be just because ‘it has flowers.’ My go-to outfit, summer or winter, rain or shine, is a floral dress, and a plain-ish thin cardigan. Add a coat in winter, lose the tights in summer, alternating between sandles, flats and boots. It’s pretty much all you’ll find me wearing.

 photo 63091836-865e-415f-a535-2c2679bceb38_zpsvrqmroub.jpgThat being said, I have recently purchased a pair of jeans, taking my total pair of trousers owned up to two. Though I may have a pair of shorts hiding somewhere…

 photo d241e614-96b7-4d28-a065-03c748feaf9a_zpshjuceosa.jpgThis dress pretty much sums me up. It’s red, a colour I love. It has flowers on. It isn’t tight – I hate bodycon dresses with a passion as my hourglass shape means I have to size up at least once. It looks good with tights and boots, and not bad with bare legs. It’s a little short, so the bare leg situation will be on one of the hotter days of the year when there’s zero chance of wind. It has the tendency to make me look slightly like I’m hiding a bump due to the fit, so I’d always belt it, but this has the bonus of hiding the massive lunch I had before taking these photos…

 photo 812a5dab-8dba-4d34-a83d-e0f5b4d312ca_zps9fckalx0.jpgIt’s from Less Than 10 Pounds, who offered to send me a few items. Understandably the quality isn’t brilliant (think similar to Primark), but it’s fab for the price. The site would be fab if you are experimenting with different styles, or need a few going out clothes. I love this dress. They also sent me a jacket, which I’ll be featuring soon, which was of AMAZING quality, I wouldn’t have complained paying three times the price for that. Other items in this outfit are Primark coat (lovely, but it’s bobbled like hell, a pet peeve of mine), Dorothy Perkins boots (reduced to £10, and the first non-fat leg boots I’ve worn in years), scarf from a scarf shop in Edinburgh, and my beloved Leather Satchel.

What’s your everyday style? Are you a fan of dresses, or living in jeans?