Saturday, 30 August 2014

The Body Shop Buys

I'm in the throws of a new obsession, namely make up and beauty products. It'll peter out soon enough, when my attention turns to something else, but as this blog is a reflection of what's filling my head at any given time, it's likely that you'll see a few more beauty related posts over the next few weeks or possibly even months.

This new obsession of mine is fueled by YouTubers such as Lisa Eldridge, A Model Recommends, Zoella, Vivianna Does Make Up et al. I don't know why I started to watch these videos, I haven't really watched YouTube videos before, other than those posted onto Facebook timelines, so I'm somewhat surprised by it, but hey, it keeps me out of mischief!

Having seen The Body Shop Honey Bronze Bronzing Powder, and the Camomile Waterproof Eye & Lip Make-up Remover, on a few of the afore mentioned channels I hopped on to The Body Shop website to purchase.

The Body Shop almost always have a tempting offer code online (they currently have £10 off when you spend £25) and this time was no exception, I could order three items and save 30% or five items and save 40%. The logical thing to do would be to order one more thing, but we all know I didn't.

I popped Indian Night Jasmine Eau de toilette, Honeymania Bubble Bath Melt and Honeymania Hand Cream into my basket as well.

The Honey Bronze Bronzing Powder is lovely. I am pale skinned and don't often tan so I've always given bronzers a wide berth but the 01 light matte shade is fair enough to suit paler skins. A light sweep of this over my cheeks and temples gives me a subtle colour and a healthy glow - and no scary shimmer in sight. Love it.

Camomile Eye and Lip Make-up Remover. The one I'd been using wasn't shifting my mascara so I needed something else but wanted something gentle. I've rediscovered Benefit They're Real mascara, which I love, but I like to remove it all before my head hits the pillow. You need to shake to mix this solution, which is quite watery, but I find it so gentle and moisturising and it removes every last trace of my eye make up. Win.

The Indian Night Jasmine EDT is a gorgeous scent. I ordered the 10ml mini size, just in case I didn't like it, but I love the smell of jasmine so I shouldn't have worried. It's lovely for summer evenings, or to remind you of summer in the gloomier months. I'll be keeping this to hand for the foreseeable future.

Next, I was tempted by the Honeymania range. Both the Bubble Bath melt and the Hand Cream smell sweetly floral with the slightest hint of honey. The bubbles are moisturising and soft but it's the hand cream that I love the most. It's non greasy, feels super nourishing and the scent lasts for ages. I get a waft of it as I flap my hands around (which as it turns out is something I do quite a lot).

Have you tried any of these products?  What did you think?

Feel free to share your beauty favourites, I'm like a squirrel foraging nuts when it comes to beauty at the moment.


Sunday, 24 August 2014


Yesterday evening I was asked 'what are you doing tomorrow?'

'I've got to work' I replied.

Yeah. That didn't happen.

After tea and toast in bed, I got up and decided that I'd nip into town - just a quick dash in and out, nothing major. A few hours later, I was still there, with shopping hat well and truly on.

The reason I went in was to find an alternative to a lippy I received in the latest Glossybox. It was Essence Longlasting (ha!) lipstick in Natural Beauty (07). The colour was fabulous (my natural lip colour, only better) but it had the staying power of butter on hot toast.

I'd decided that, if I could find a good colour match, I'd treat myself to a high end lipstick. It's a colour I'd get a lot of wear out of after all. I found a good match on the Clinique counter in Boots but the sales assistants were too busy chatting to take any notice of me. So I went to Debenhams instead, same thing happened there.

So, I decided to go back to Boots and try to find something from the self selection counters. I didn't linger long at the No7 counter as I had no interest in listening to the sales assistants talking about how they prefer to wash 'down there' - all I wanted was a nice lipstick, thank you very much.

So to the Max factor counter, blissfully free of snatch talk, I found a good match in the Colour Collections Lipstick in Rosewood (833). This was £6.99, a little more expensive than the Essence, which is £2.29 but not break-the-bank by any means. Typical though, that most people try to find cheaper dupes of more expensive products, and I do it the other way round.

This is where the day started to go wrong (or right, depending on how you look at it). I went into Superdrug to buy the Rimmel Stay Blushed liquid cheek tint in Sunkissed Cherry but also came away with B. Replenish Oil, Maybelline gel eyeliner, Eyelure lashes, NYC Smokin' eye palette and Rimmel transparent lip liner (I've been watching way too many beauty videos on You Tube recently).

I then took a diversion which ended with me bagging two sets of PJs. On my way back to the car park I decided to pop in to Waterstones to 'do some research' for a book I'm collaborating on. I spent ages happily flicking through books of my childhood - The Tiger Who Came To Tea, Room on the Broom, Mog, and Slinky Malinky. I wished that I could buy them all (I didn't, things didn't get that out of hand). In the end I came away with a Jane Austen 5 Year Journal. I fail at writing a full journal, but think I can manage a short sentence a day. I plan to start it on my birthday. Just because.

So, into TK Maxx which is en-route to the car park (if going up the escalator, through the shop, out the other side and down the stairs can be called en-route). I found a lovely clutch bag in red and blue - perfect for a wedding I'm going to in September. And, randomly, some strawberry flavour soft liquorice. I've eaten too much of it and now feel a teensy bit sick.

Out of TK Maxx and down the stairs, I found myself in New Look. One pretty top and a massive, soft, blanket/scarf later and I finally decide to go home... after I'd made a pitstop in Patisserie Valerie for a Cherry Frangipan Tart and a latte.

After a short nap and a late lunch, I decided that it was probably time to do some of that work I'd spoken about...

Did you have a lovely Sunday?


Monday, 18 August 2014

A Week of Eating Out

In early June Andy and I spent a week 'doing lunch'. As neither of us had the time for a holiday this year, it was our way of spending some time together and doing something a little different.

Day one didn't get off to the best start. The first pub we tried was closed, as was the second. Although we did find this amusing, by the time we reached no.3, The Bildeston Crown, we were both really hungry and very pleased to find it open!

My fish cake in chowder at The Bildeston Crown

Sitting outside we ordered our food, tried not to fill up on bread and chuckled at the other diners. We've done this since our second date, commenting on how happy / annoyed they seem to be in each others company, eavesdropping and making up back stories for them.

Posh fish'n'chips

I started with a fish cake in chowder and it was delicious! We both had Cod and Chips with crushed peas for our main which was equally good.

Norfolk quail breast, soft quail egg and asparagus and almond crust at Maison Bleue

Day two we went to Maison Bleue in Bury St Edmunds. It took us a while to find it but when we did I instantly loved the quiet subtle decor, the crisp white table clothes and heavy cutlery. Andy commented that the 'art appears to have bits of sack in it'. He's more of a John Constable kinda guy, but I liked it.

Salmon fillet with langoustine and cognac sauce and buttered salsify

I loved my food, especially the starter - Norfolk quail breast, soft quail egg and asparagus and almond crust. Sadly Andy couldn't identify most of his starter and didn't enjoy his main as it was overwhelmed with corriander - neither of us like it and it wasn't mentioned on the menu.

Coffee and petits fours

My main was salmon fillet with langoustine and cognac sauce and buttered salsify. The petits fours where lovely and the coffee divine but Andy was so unimpressed it's unlikely that we'll be returning, but I think it's definitely worth a visit.

On day three we ventured out to the coast. The Anchor at Walberswick is a lovely spot, sadly I was too much of a wimp it was too windy to sit outside but it's just as lovely inside. We both ordered steak, I had one small bite of mine and it was delicious, so flavoursome and cooked just the way I like it. Then I picked up the salt seller to add a little salt to my chips. I turned it the wrong way and emptied half of it onto my plate (so no photo). I wanted to cry.

I scrapped it off the best I could but it was still really salty, never have I drunk so much water with a meal! Shame. When the waitress came to take our plates, I explained what happened and she just gave me the oddest of looks. Andy said 'she thinks you're an idiot'. She was right of course but it did make me laugh.

Caramelized mackerel starter at the Fox & Goose

Day four was a real treat, we went to the Fox & Goose in Fressingfield. I love it there, the food is always amazing! The starter - caramelized mackerel with gooseberry and peppercorn relish, apple, radish and lemon balm salad.

The first glimpse of Andy on World of Joy!

Swiftly followed by cod fillet with runner beans, samphire (I love samphire), tomato confit, lobster sauce and sauté potatoes. Di-vine!

Sitting in the beer garden at The Buxhall Crown

On day five we went back to the pub we tried to go to on the first day - The Buxhall Crown. I had free range slow roasted pork belly, glazed with Crabbies ginger beer glaze, served with spring greens, croquette potatoes and a chunky apple sauce, followed by three scoops of ice cream - lavender, elderflower and beetroot ripple - all made in-house.

Homemade ice cream

I have to be honest I couldn't tell which was the lavender and which the elderflower but both were delicious. Before we ordered, Delia Smith came in and sat down, you can be pretty sure that if Delia Smith is eating somewhere, it's going to be good.

Can you imagine being the owner of a restaurant and having Delia Smith wander in with a rumbly tummy? The pressure!

That concluded our lunching, it felt very decadent and was a real treat to get some proper time together. An added bonus was that neither of us were hungry come supper time so I didn't have to cook for a week.

Any recommendations of where to eat in Suffolk?


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