Home Comforts

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There’s nothing better than a bundle of home comforts after a bad day at work. I’ve collated my most needed, most used and most loved for those times where you feel like you’d rather hide under the blankets and take a break from the world!

Capri Blue Aloha Orchid Candle:

One of  my favourite things to do when I walk in the door after a long day is to turn on the TV and light some candles. My favourite one this summer has no doubt been Aloha Orchid  from Anthropologie. It brings me straight back to lovely childhood memories of being on holiday, and makes my whole living room smell fresh and homey.

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Nespresso:

If you haven’t already noticed, I’m a slight coffee addict… My bright red Nespresso machine gets turned on first thing every morning, and is always the first step to a cosy moment at home.

Sketching:

The perfect way to zone out – turn Netflix on and get the sketchbook out. Pinterest usually works for some inspiration and I then go from there. I’m not particularly good at this but I like doing it and just hide all the really bad ones into my booklet🙂

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Gardening:

A bit of a new obsession since moving into a flat with a balcony, gardening is now my happy time🙂 I started by growing a few little lavender and strawberry plants, and now I’m on to chilis, tomatoes, sunflowers… You get the picture.

Headspace:

Dealing with pretty regular and random bouts of anxiety can make me feel pretty horrible at times. Something that definitely helps manage my daily stress levels in particular is an app called Headspace. It’s free to download and has a 10 step guild to meditation (made easy). They’re each only 10 minutes so it’s not too difficult to dedicate the time. I usually do it just before leaving for work to help my overall frame of mind.

Give it a go and let me know how you get on🙂

Slow Cooked Lamb with Kale & Leek Salad

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If you haven’t yet heard of the Hemsley sisters, you’re missing out. After they created a complete spiraliser craze a couple years back, I was one of the first to pick up their cook book ‘The Art of Eating Well’ and it’s become my new food bible. Most of their recipes are low carb and gluten free, and they talk you through fresh ingredients and the best produce you can use for each dish.

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This Sunday was the perfect day (aka TV & laundry day) to test out their slow cooked lamb and we enjoyed it so much and I thought it would be rude not to share…

The recipe is pretty simple: add garlic, anchovies and thyme to lamb and leave it covered in the over for 3 hours.

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The kale & leek salad needs to be done at least an hour or two before serving, as you mix it with olive oil, mint and lemon, which helps soften the kale over time.

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Try this out and let me know what you think – if you like it I’d also recommend their ragu or curry with coconut rice recipes, or my cucumber salad that was inspired by this book.Screen Shot 2016-04-24 at 20.31.09

Bon appetit🙂

 

Pharmacy Favourites:

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Before I start this post I have to admit that I pick up most of my skincare products at Belgian pharmacies because they’re usually much cheaper, but you can find all of these in the UK somewhat easily, so I’ve added links to the cheapest UK prices for them throughout the post.

La Roche-Posay Lipikar Lait & Micellar Water:
I cannot recommend La Roche-Posay enough – their products are some of the only ones that I can be sure that my skin will not react to, and they always have a nice scent but nothing too strongly perfumed. I just feel very very clean after using these products.

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Soap & Glory Smoothie Breakfast Scrub:
Not one for scrubs because of sensitive skin, I have begun using this on my legs no more than once a week and have really noticed smoother, softer skin. It also smells amazing…🙂

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OGX Coconut Milk:
This is the one product that I always save up my Boots points for! I have tried a few different OGX hair products and they’re all great – but this coconut milk shampoo & conditioner leaves my hair smelling amazing even the day after washing, and it really seems to nourish my hair without leaving a heavy or greasy feeling.

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Neal’s Yard Refining Cleanser:
This is one of those lovely face washes that comes with a little muslin cloth, so you put it onto dry skin and then use the hot wet cloth to gently cleanse the skin. I have been using this for a couple months now and feel like it really works with my skin – gentle but still gives the impression if giving you a full clean. If you suffer from eczema and have never tried Almond Oil, I would highly recommend popping into a Neal’s Yard store and checking that out too!

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L’Occitane Almond Shower Oil:
Shower oils are my new obsession, and this little beauty is where it started. Not a cheap one, but this shower oil is just the nicest texture and smells amazing! My bathroom also stays smelling like this all day, which isn’t a bad plus.

Rituals Yogi Flow:
I cannot express to you how good this smells. I’d say about 95% of why I use this product is the smell, and the other 5% is because it comes out as a kind of gel and foams up when you mix it with water into such a nice texture.

La Roche-Posay Lipikar Oil:
Have you noticed my little obsession with shower oils by any chance? As with the La Roche-Posay products above though, this shower oil is great for everyday use, and smells lovely but is not too overpowering. Out of all of these, it also keeps my skin the most hydrated after use so I would definitely recommend it for anyone who has eczema.

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So there you go, my secret pharmacy obsessions..! Let me know what you save up your Boots points for, or if you have any recommendations🙂

Crazy for Kikki K

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After having only just found out about this shop before Christmas, I have somehow managed to buy about half the shop!

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Just outside the Covent Garden tube stop, this shop is so inviting with its simplistic yet colourful & exciting design. Notebooks, stationery, handbags… What more could someone ask for?? Having spent just a little (/way too much) time in this shop, let me tell you about my favourites:

The Mindfulness Book:

2016 resolution? Practice mindfulness. Thanks to my lovely little mindfulness book that I recieved as a Christmas present, this task has become lemon squeezy. Taking the time to write down my monthly progress and reflect on what the past month has been like gives me that little bit of motivation to meditate more and see everything through a mindful eye.

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The 2016 Planners:

I collect notebooks like no man’s business, but dropped everything when I picked up one of these Kikki K 2016 planners. Having not even gotten the largest one  they sell, it is still pretty huge, and gives me plenty of space to write up my daily to-do lists. You also get a sneaky little treat at the beginning of every month courtely of Kikki K online🙂

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The Important Documents Binder:

If you’re anything like me with papers, you might just stack them all in a hidden drawer somewhere and pretend they don’t exist… Only to hate yourself when you can’t find your NHS number or proof of address when you need it! This binder not only looks pretty damn nice on my desk, but also makes me really enjoy filing my documents (honestly!). It comes with stickers, too, so you can’t really go wrong.

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Let me know what you think and if I’ve missed any of your favourites…So that I can go buy those too!

 

 

Flat Iron Covent Garden – Restaurant Review

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The best way to celebrate two years together, you ask? Steak. Lots of it.

I have to admit I was a bit reluctant to try out this new restaurant because although its Shoreditch restaurants are so very loved, I’ve never walked past it without seeing a massive queue, and you can’t book in advance. Although that butcher in the window was pretty mesmerising…

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Soooo in order to pull the good girlfriend card, I left work as early as possible and got to the restaurant by 6, to add myself to the hour long waiting list. Met the boy at our favourite pub around the corner just in time for a drink, and got a text about 45 minutes later saying our table was ready!

Walked past the incredible bar in the centre of the restaurant while being seated, with a casual bartender chipping off ice from a big block of ice into an endless row of cocktails.

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Then steak. That’s pretty much the menu, and I approved… big time.

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The steak was perfect, the wine was perfect, the fries were perfect… and cheap too! For such a fancy meal, I was pretty sure they’d given us the wrong bill by the end of the night!

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The meal was also rounded off perfectly, when the lovely waitress gave us mini steak knives, which were our tokens for free salted caramel ice creams!

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We walked out very full and very happy, with salted caramel ice creams to go. By this time the waiting list had extended to THREE hours!

Top 5 Lipstick Loves

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The Everyday – Between the Sheets by Charlotte Tilbury
The most recent addition to my collection, Between the Sheets has immediately become my daily must-have, always in my bag for when my look needs a little pick me up. It’s the perfect ‘your lips but better.’
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The Red Number – Cruella by Nars
Perfect for adding something fun to a simple look, and ideal for the festive season. This is the first red lipstick I have ever bought but I fell in love at first sight and it works perfectly with my strawberry blonde hair and pale skin.
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The Winter Wonder – Creme Cup by Mac
All I wore over the winter season, this lipstick is perfectly cute and girly. Pretty sure this would be flattering on any skin type but it’s the perfect underestimated shade for my pale skin and lack of freckles in the winter. Creds to In the Frow for getting me hooked!IMG_0736

The Office Lip – Sex Machine by Nars
The first Nars product I ever bought, and have never looked back. This lipstick just adds a little sparkle to your look, and is perfect for the office as it stays all day!Image-1.jpg

The Evening Look – Lovelorn by Mac
Perfect for switching a work look into a fun evening look. Never thought I would be one for a bright pink lipstick but I have been absolutely addicted to this one since picking it up a few months back.IMG_0735

And here’s a sneaky Christmas polaroid featuring the Cruella lip pencil (:

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#TwitterFlightSchool

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Since kicking off my career in digital marketing last year, I have been trying to take part in Twitter webinars as often as I can. I find it the easiest way to keep up to date with the platform’s changes, and how to use it as a marketer/brand. It also gives you the opportunity to directly ask questions to Twitter employees. They’re always really friendly and happy to answer any questions🙂

Through their most recent webinar on an overview of 2015 campaigns, I heard about Twitter Flight School which is their own platform where you can learn precise tips and tricks that are relevant to how you use Twitter, whether that is for a brand or an agency.

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I took the Planning & Strategy Flight Path, and found it really helpful. It was easy to follow but tricky enough that I feel like I really got something out of it. I would definitely recommend trying it out! Only took me about 45 minutes to complete it. They also gave some really interesting insights into UK demographics:

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As well as some interesting stats on the most tweeted UK events:

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If you follow me on Twitter you’ll know by now that you recieve a pretty cool little Twitter branded paper airplane with your @handle on it too! That, I have to say, was a definite highlight – it ended up flying around the office for the rest of the afternoon!

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Their UK account was also kind enough to offer me a Christmas bundle of Twitter swag🙂

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Check it out here and let me know what you think!

 

Christmas in London

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It’s Christmas already!!!

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I have completely immersed myself in the Christmas spirit and have taken advantage of all things Christmassy in London over the past week!

It all started with an office trip to the Natural History Museum’s Ice Skating Rink, which was absolutely magical! Sponsored by Swarovski, there is a little corner photo booth that automatically takes (rather embarassing) pictures of you skating around, which you can pick up for free at the upstairs chalet.

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Although it was a pretty clumsy affair, I was abolutely hooked, and went to the ice skating rink at Somerset House just three days later! A little obsessive, I know…xmas4

Then came a few romantic evening walks around Regent Street and onto Carnaby Street…

 

And there’s no Christmas in London without an obligatory trip to Winter Wonderland in Hyde Park… It was quite early in the season so wasn’t too crowded. A lovely evening filled with mulled wine & bobble hats: my favourite combination!

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Review: Smiths of Smithfield Market

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What better way to celebrate my birthday than to try out the new menu at one of my favourite restaurants?

Smiths is a huge building right in the middle of Smithfield Market near Farringdon Station. It’s got a very New York feel to it, with the look of a renovated warehouse, with exposed brick and pipes going along each wall.

When you walk in, the ground floor is an amazing cocktail bar. I would recommend the Espresso Martini…. (:

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We had a drink at one of the tables downstairs and then walked up to the third floor grill.

Hint: their house rosé downstairs is amazing, but they don’t sell it upstairs so we picked up a bottle from the bar and brought it up.

As a starter, we had the sharing platter between the two of us. I’m pretty sure this changes regularly, but we loved everything that was on it! Worked quite well because I could shove all the gluten-y bits over to my boyfriend, and I got extra hummus! It’s all about the compromise, right??IMG_6214

I have to say the highlight of the dish was the thai steak salad!

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No surprise – I went for the steak frites as a main. I asked for it medium, and to be honest it was quite overcooked so I (very embarrassingly) sent it back. They brought me back a perfectly cooked steak within minutes, and the manager even popped by to check it was alright which was greatly appreciated.

Unfortunately, I struggled to find anything gluten free on the desert menu, but my boyfriend was very happy with the cheesecake and I had the chocolate ice cream that came with it (sorry, no images).

Overall, I love the atmosphere of this place, and the service is fantastic! I will definitely be going back soon, and recommending this to anyone visiting London.

New York Cheesecake

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My favourite cheesecake ever is the recipe from Le Pain Quotidien. This one here is a gluten free adaptation of that recipe, hope you enjoy!

Ingredients:

  • 4 eggs
  • 2 egg yolks
  • 600g Philadelphia cream cheese
  • 1tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 x 50g Dove’s Farm Gluten Free Flour
  • 200g sugar
  • 1 pinch of salt
  • 50g melted butter
  • 25g oats
  • 50g mixed seeds (pumpkin, flax, sunflower)
  • 1tbsp baking powder
  • 2tbsp milk

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Directions:

  • Preheat the oven to 200C
  • Grind the oats, mixed seeds, baking powder, 50g of flour and milk until it forms a dough (add milk if too crumbly)
  •  roll out and cut into digestive sized circles
  • bake until lightly golden (15 minutes)
  • Leave to the side to cool
  • Mix the sugar and the salt in a mixer
  • Add the cheese, mix for one minute
  • Add the eggs and egg yolks one by one
  • Mix until smooth
  • Butter a cake tray (preferably one with a removable bottom)
  • Mix the cooled cookies with melted butter in a blender, then spread  evenly at the bottom of the tray, press down lightly
  • Pour the cream cheese mix on top
  • Cook for 10 minutes at 200C
  • Lower temperature to 140C and cook for a further 35 minutes
  • Cool overnight in the fridge before serving (I promise, this bit is worth it!)

Tada!

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