You may be aware that I started my new role in Group Audit (not an auditor, Business Manager) three weeks ago for a global investment bank. I used to work for the same bank, but in a consultancy capacity, in that the company I worked for provided recruitment services to the bank. So I technically worked for that company, not the bank, even though I sat onsite and had the bank’s logins and email address.
Now working for the bank has it’s perks; not only do I get a lot of croissants, but I also get to get involved with Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) events. Today I attended my first CSR event, to re-build, maintain and generally improve a community playground. Being an office worker I very rarely get my hands dirty – so this was a great experience to get out and do some physical work. I put my hand up for the gardening crew, this involved digging holes for plants, planting, wheelbarrowing mulch, lifting and moving heavy logs and raking said mulch into place. It was wonderful to spend time with 28 of my colleagues outside of the office, mingling and having a laugh – it definitely showed another side to the auditors I see everyday.
Now at the end of the day I feel absolutely shattered and my arms feel like jelly. But really, I feel fantastic – that sense of achievement looking at what we achieved in the playground makes me feel good for spending a day improving something that kids who may not be too well off get to enjoy. It cost me nothing, just a day and the use of my non-existent muscles. Coming home to a hot shower and a chilled beer was immense pleasure. I will definitely be signing up for the next CSR day, no matter what it entails.
I’m a firm believer, that unless absolutely necessary: hot date night, promotion day, professional photo day or mass spot break out day, there is no need to wear foundation every day. Some people may argue with me and say they have awful skin and simply must cake it on every morning, some may be right, but I think majority could get away without it. Plus, the less you wear foundation, the clearer and cleaner your skin is (not proven fact, just from my own experience). And of course, some days I’m just lazy and rushing out the door to work, my solution: BB cream.
Two weeks ago I purchased a new BB cream, the Maybelline Dream Bronze BB in light/medium. I’ve used many BB creams before, including some in the Maybelline range, but this is by far my favourite to date. It’s gel based so doesn’t dry out my sensitive skin, and means it is easy on application like another layer of moisturiser. I also love that it has a built in bronzer to give you a sun-kissed look, even on the most dreary of London mornings, plus the advantage of the SPF protection means I don’t need to add a daily sunblock.
I have found that it lasts all day, needing a touch up maybe if I were going out after work, but that would be the same with all make up. For the price (£6.99 at Boots), the convenience, the fact it’s travel size and it doesn’t dry out my skin throughout the day I can’t knock it. I’m thrilled to have found a reliable, every day product I can slap on my face and feel confident about.
I’m trying my best to be healthier, so after last night’s martini, gin & tonic, wine and pizza, I needed to be extra good tonight. I decided to try and make up a yummy vegetable soup. Both the man and I were pleasantly surprised and thoroughly enjoyed it. As we were having just veggie soup with no pasta, protein or lentils I decided to add a potato which I ended up blending with a few of the other veggies to thicken it.
I was shocked at the colour, but who doesn’t love eating food that looks like it’s radioactive, but knowing it’s so damn good for you?! I brightened mine further by adding a swirl of hot Sriracha sauce.
- 2 potatoes
- 3 carrots
- 2 leeks
- 1 onion
- 3 garlic cloves
- 1 celery stick
- 1/2 head broccoli
- 1 bay leaf
- Vegetable stock
Sauté the garlic and onion in a little olive oil. Add cubed potato, carrot, celery and leek and stir for 2-3 minutes. Add your vegetable stock and bring to the boil. Next add the broccoli, bay leaf and thyme and season with salt and pepper.
Simmer the stock and veggies until the veggies feel soft. Scoop out the veg into a blender (remember to remove the bay leaf and throw it away) and keep the stock simmering, pulse the veg until a smooth paste. Add mushrooms and peas to the stock to cook through while you’re pulsing the rest.
Add back the veg paste to the stock and see how thick and rich your soup is now! Bring to the boil and stir through some freshly chopped parsley.
Serve with an awfully large glass of red wine.
I can see this being an autumn favourite of ours.
What’s your favourite vegetable soup recipe? I need some more!
In a bid to gain a few more “culture cells” in my body, on the weekend the man and I went to check out a pop up art gallery just down the road from us in Greenwich village. In the last year or so I have gained an interest in art, and the collecting of pieces. Whether they be paintings, prints or sculptures I’m keen to get on board with collecting pieces that make me happy.
We checked out the Fine Art Gallery housing oil paintings by the Royal Institute of Oil Painters. We were especially interested as all of the paintings featured landscapes and scenes from around Greenwich – where we live and first met. We’ve always said we’d love to buy a painting/print to take to New Zealand one day that encompasses where we found each other and lived in London. Triple cheese, I know.
While I enjoyed a lot of the paintings, sadly I didn’t love any. I’m a firm believer in falling in love with a piece of artwork, no matter the price, as you’re likely going to have to look at the damn thing every day – much the same as picking a partner. If on first sight one thing really annoys you about the painting (or your partner), it never going to improve! It’s always going to be that lemon in an open cut or tiny stone in your shoe that pisses you off. We will keep hunting, we’re only new at this, so really should see as many pieces as possible before plunging our house deposit into an art collection (my other half is far too sensible and would never let me do this).