Month: December 2016

Book Review: The Vacationers

This was a very easy read; the Post family head on holiday to Mallorca, escaping their dismal lives, full of lies in Manhattan. Of course, all the cans of worms open and chaos ensues. None of the characters grabbed me, nor were they colourful enough for me. A little predictable, but an easy, enjoyable read nonetheless. Perfect for a holiday or aeroplane novel!

Finding my inner Hygge

There has been a new buzzword thrown around in recent months (actually, years, I’m just behind): Hygge (pronounced heu-gah). The art of building a sanctuary of happiness and wellbeing. We are in a fast paced world where we can often forget to stop and “smell the roses”, but this Danish concept of taking genuine pleasure in relaxing and being cosy, in my opinion, could never go too far. You can find and create this in your everyday; whether its lighting a candle as you curl up on the sofa to read your new book, a glass of mulled wine in front of the fire, relaxing in your favourite armchair listening to your treasured music collection. These are all brilliant examples of creating yourself a warm atmosphere and taking time to breathe and be in the moment.

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Birchbox: December review

I received my December Birchbox surprise in the post last week and was thrilled with the contents.

I’ll admit I can be useless with these packages – I think I’m most excited about the opening of the box and looking to find out what’s inside. I’m absolutely rubbish at actually using the products. This month though I have already made a conscious effort to use everything.

Top of the list for me is the Percy and Reed Perfectly Perfecting Wonder Balm, it does wonders on your hair. I have mentioned before that I have fine hair – this Wonder Balm does what it says on the package. It’s wonderful. My hair looked full, thick and stayed styled the whole day and night. I did get caught in a rain shower and my hair became lank and heavy and a little greasy. But I can’t blame the balm for that – that was the rain.

Next favourite is the LAQA & Co. Eyelighter, which under your eyebrows, under your eyes or even used on your cheekbones gives you an instant lift. I’ve not savvy with the whole contouring malarkey – God do I wish I was – but this is an easy cheat to get a similar result. Especially around this Christmas period with lots of late nights out, it does wonders for dark circles under the eyes.

The full size product this month is the Ciate Fierce Flicks Eyeliner. While I myself do not partake in the eye flicks style – because of how it’s designed it’s very easy to add a thin or thick line without very little skill. You also get a dramatic line the first time, no need to go back over it and hope to get it right with each stroke.

Another winter Christmas requirement is a touch of golden fake tan – great to touch up your arms and décolletage in these cold weeks when you want to add a healthy glow. This month I was sent Benefit’s Hoola Zero Tanlines. I love that this tanning product comes with a sponge applicator attached to the tube, so it’s hands free and no one ends with orange palms. Winning!

I’m confused by the final product I received as it is a moisturiser for oily skin, even though I registered on the website that I have dry skin. But a bottle of Amie Skincare Morning Dew Matte-Finish Moisturiser showed up and I used it anyway. I did notice it dried out my skin so I haven’t used it again since. Which is a shame because it smells delicious. But having dry skin means if I don’t lather on a lot of moisturiser or oil my face can feel tight and dry all day.

All in all I’m happy with the overall package – I can see myself using the first three products every week, and the tan applicator on special occasions. When I’m not covering up my arms in on of my many seasonal Christmas jumpers.

Space

This Sunday, for the first time since the man and I got together properly (after the first two times) in January, was the first day I felt like I needed space. When I say “space” I don’t mean anything drastic. I mean a day to myself for some R&R. Not to have to answer questions or direct him in his daily events or attend to his puppy nature. Just to sit on the sofa and watch some trashy telly or soak in a tub overfilling with bubbles. We’d just come back from Prague so I was tired and just not in the mood. I know most people have moments like this in their relationships but it was significant for me as it was the first time with him. Ever.

We’ve lived together for three years prior to us dating this last year. It is one of those 21st century relationships that started with a bit of flirting and an alcohol infused one night stand. Don’t judge, he was only up the stairs! Anyway, we absolutely ballsed up the first two times, but this time is different. It’s real and we’re both 120% committed. I never question that.

He knew I wasn’t in to it on Sunday, he can read my mood a mile off. He knows that if he gives me a cookie to shove in my face I’ll be a happy girl once again. This was proven once again by my sudden mood improvement while scoffing down a Christmas mince pie. Sometimes a gal just needs some sugar and carbs. Don’t question it, just provide, guys.

Bottomline, I adore him. But sometimes I need to pull myself out of the “us” and be the “me”.

Creamy chicken and mushroom soup, with no naughty bits

After our weekend away in Prague scoffing only carbs, fatty meats and beer we’re both feeling rather sluggish and keen to eat light meals consisting of mostly vegetables. Because it now feels like the middle of winter we thought we’d get going with soup.

I am a huge fan of a creamy mushroom soup, but often with all the added cream, butter and salt, it can be healthier for you to pop down the road and order a BigMac. Last night I whipped up a creamy chicken and mushroom soup with no added naughty bits, but still with the indulgent creamy texture and packed full of flavour. This soup is also very filling as we are back to skipping carbs at night, so didn’t have it with any bread. Completely satisfied.

Recipe below:Read More

Prague

The man and I jetted off to the beautiful Czech capital of Prague this weekend. Boy was it freezing. Averaging -4 to 1*C (24-33 F) each day meant we had a grand excuse to pop into pubs and sipped mulled wine whenever we were on the move.

The whole city was beautifully kitted out for Christmas; twinkly lights, Christmas trees, Santas, huts selling hot beverages and ham. Hot roast ham! Everywhere! Everyone had raved about how cheap everything was, especially the beer. We were not disappointed; £1 beer! Although on day one we got a bit ripped off with the roast ham and somehow paid the equivalent of £12 for one plate of ham. Damn expensy ham, but so damn good with a dollop of mustard. By day three I was a bit over the food, I do admit. It’s all very stodgy: meat and dumplings. I was craving vegetables and the only thing on offer was pickled sauerkraut. Don’t get me wrong, the sauerkraut was yummy, especially alongside potato pancakes and spicy sausages, but steamed broccoli or grilled asparagus would have had me jumping for joy. It’s definitely not a city you want to visit if you’re eating a Whole 30 diet.

We walked around the city a lot, it’s small, so even though there are trams, buses and a metro we found walking just as easy. We wandered through the Old Town square, across the Charles Bridge and up the hill to Prague Castle. On our third day we went up the Town Hall Clock tower at dusk to view the beautiful square and lights below. We also did a bit of window shopping and drank beer in pubs whenever the cold got too much.

I can recommend Prague as a city break (if you’re in the UK/Europe) for a long weekend. I don’t think you’d need much longer than that to see everything, unless you’re a keen gambler because there seemed to be a Casino on every street corner! I also wouldn’t recommend going in January or February unless you love the cold – December was beautiful because of the Christmas charm, but I can see that Prague would be pretty as a summer spot too.