Wednesday, 29 January 2014

Rugby in the Rain.

London's been pretty grey and miserable this week, but I've certainly not been either of those. Grab a sturdy umbrella and some waterproof footwear and I will take you to the park.

On Wednesday, looking for any excuse for a bit of day drinking, we all waded through Regents Park to watch our friends play rugby. To say it was a great game would imply I understood it all, but fortunately I had some knowledgable advisers on the sidelines with me to tell me when to cheer and when to boo.






An Indian and a promise.

Some may think that getting lost in London 15 minutes before you're supposed to meet a friend is hell, but yesterday it was the perfect way to discover some seriously cool new places. I spend a lot of my time around Tottenham Court Road, Gower Street and even Oxford Street but I've never headed west of TCR before. Last night, I realised I'd really been missing a trick. It is full of the cutest cafes, little romantic restaurants and even A YOG! (Girl loves her fro-yo). My promise to myself, and to you, is to go west more and check out some of the places I stumbled across on my walkings...

Oxford Street still rocking the Christmas decs. Luckily the restaurant was just a hop skip and a jump from Oxford Street and all my exploring had left me hungry!! Sagar is a South-Indian vegetarian restaurant that is cheap as chips (or curry in this case) and is definitely nothing like your usual naan and a chicken tikka type places. We ordered a plain dosa (a rice and lentil pancake), raitha, onion sambar (a tomato-y curry with a really thin consistancy) and bhel puri, which we ordered because we didn't know what it was, and I still don't really...





The food was so tasty and something slightly different for a Tuesday evening. It didn't feel too heavy and we left with enough room for a Yog. However, the yellow decor and poor lighting did not please this amatuer shutterbug. I love getting loads of different dishes and sharing, it makes going out for supper so much more sociable than just getting one dish each. Miriam and I have a pact that we meet every other Tuesday and try something new in London - we both love all the galleries and museums but are never free until about 6 which rather limits our activities! If you know of any good late opening galleries, please let me know!!

Tuesday, 28 January 2014

Southbank

Definitely one of my all time favourite things to do in London is to mosey on down to the Southbank. There is something about being near water that just makes me happy...even if it is the brown and murky expanse that is the Thames. Last week, I caught up with an old friend but seeing as we are both feeling the January pinch, we wanted cheap and cheerful. She is an amazing voucher fiend and grabbed a two for one at the Giraffe on the Southbank, so we ate like kings for £7. Afterwards we had a little stroll through the National Theatre to browse the landscape photographer of the year exhibition which was free entry and totally astounding. My itchy feet were desperate to see all the amazing places photographed!




We are going for supper this evening to a place she loves so I will make sure to blog about it tomorrow!

Tuesday, 14 January 2014

London, you cheeky cat..

So I was sort of dreading coming back because Christmas had been SO nice, but when I woke up yesterday and looked out of my window London was at her most sunny and glorious best. In one short day she made me once more a sucker for her amazing transport links, her beautiful architecture and bustling atmosphere. I'm not sure how long it's going to last, but right now, I'm truly proud to call her home! Just look at her...



Sunday, 12 January 2014

Oh this boating life of mine...

Yesterday we visited the boat my boy has just bought. He found it through a company that buy boats from insurance companies. This particular boat was badly fire-damaged, so it is essentially a completely blank canvas ready for him to make his own! Which I think is super exciting. I can't wait to see what the finished result is going to look like, as I know he's got some pretty big plans for it (think shower sauna and log burning pizza oven).







Don't they look excited? I hope these happy faces remain when the work begins!

I am back to number 47 today so look out for some fun London-y posts coming from this week.

Friday, 10 January 2014

Product Review: Korres First Wrinkles Day Cream, Creation's Garden Conditioner with Soy Peptides, Sukin Protein Shampoo and Ionix Deep Treatment

Whoa that's a long blog title. Well, having resisted oh so strongly until yesterday, I decided I was long overdue a little shopping trip. I am still in Oxfordshire so I was rather limited in choice but I am a loyal fan of TK Maxx. My local one is beautifully organised and lacks the jumble sale feel of some of the London ones. As I'm all out of my Aussie Miricle Shine shampoo and conditioner, I headed straight for the cosmetics and picked up a new shampoo, conditioner and deep treatment. Whilst perusing, the Korres Magnolia Bark First Wrinkles Day Cream caught my eye - I'm a sucker for anything that looks scientific. I did briefly google all the products to see if there were any reviews of the products online but, being TK Maxx, these products seem not to be massively well known. There was nothing overly negative online though, so I decided to commit.


I bought: Korres Magnolia Bark First Wrinkle Day Cream, Ionix Deep Treatment with Argan Oil, Sukin Protein Shampoo, Creation's Garden Conditioner with Soy Peptides.

This cream looks so stylish - I loove the nude colour, and smells divine!! Not overly perfumed or even of anything in particular but I just want to slather it all over my face, all the time. I read somewhere that it has been especially formulated to go under makeup so it isn't greasy and soaks in really fast. It feels really lux and almost like a primer, which I love. My skin stays soft all day and I am pretty sure it even helps my makeup stay on longer. For £7 for 40ml it's not cheap BUT I know the jar will last a long time and it is still cheaper than some of the primers I have bought before, that don't do half as much as this does. Amazing. It was such a spontaneous purchase but I fully recommend!


 Ah. Now, my hair is naturally wavy and frizzy. I have to straighten it every day and I am always on the look out for a miricle that is going to tame my locks, leaving me with shiny swooshy hair that I don't need to straighten (think Kate Middleton - ultimate hair idol). I bought this because I've used argan oil for a while now and its really helped my hair - I hoped this would have a more intense effect on my hair and leave me with my dream hair. Alas this is not a miricle product. It did not make my hair any silkier or shinier than normal (as it claims to) and after washing out and drying, I was left with a residue. On no planet is residue ever a good thing. It doesn't even smell nice. This was £12 and I honestly want to return it (darn you TK Maxx for not accepting cosmetic returns). I know this will just sit in my bathroom untouched, until I forget how rubbish it is and attempt to use it again. (I should have known it was going to be rubbish, "treatment" on the tub isn't even spelt right!)


I picked this up because it's carbon neutral, full of natural ingredients and claims to reconstruct the hair. This product can be summed up in one word. Meh. It makes my hair feel a bit brittle and dry at the ends but I am told this is normal for products containing protein. Once the hair is dry, it does not feel brittle or dry but it doesn't feel at all special. Although it smells quite nice (think of an organic spa) the smell fades really fast. I used it both yesterday and today - just in the name of fairness, and still meh. It's not worth the £7.99 I paid - I will be sticking with Aussie in the future.

I settled on this product because it claims to be moisturizing and restorative and smells expensive. It detangled my hair and left it feeling smooth. It did nothing to help my frizz when my hair dried and the smell has gone too, in fact my hair smells a bit like fried food. Which is not what a girl wants in a conditioner. However, on the instructions on the back, it does make a note of saying that it takes a few uses to see any effects, and after just 2 uses it may be premature to judge. I'm pretty sure I am going to stick with this one, even though again I've not seen any real changes or even any effects at all. I wouldn't recommend it, but now I've bought it I feel I need to persevere. I will update you if suddenly it revolutionises my hair.

A long title to match a long post, so to finish on a lighter note, here are some photos of me pulling silly faces with big, wild hair.

Do you have any recommendations to give me K-Midd hair?

Thursday, 9 January 2014

Gluten Free Pancakes!

Breakfast. When I was little, it was the thing that stood in the way of me and an extra 10 minutes in bed. My mum would force a piece of toast on me as I was walking out the door, but invariably I wouldn't eat it. However, in my old age (well...) I have discovered that breakfast is the best meal of the day. There is an old adage: at breakfast you should eat like a king, at lunch you should eat like a lord and at supper you should eat like a pauper. Now, I don't always follow this, but I always try to eat a big breakfast. I'm pretty sure its been scientifically proven that eating breakfast kick-starts your metabolism so it actually HELPS you lose weight! So this is a recipe for my favourite healthy(ish) breakfast, that still feels utterly indulgent.

Bananananana.....PANCAKES!

I woke up this morning and found this rather lonesome looking guy staring at me from the fruit bowl.

Now, I couldn't just LEAVE him there! Normally I would just shove him in a smoothie but I fancied something heartier. So I grabbed 2 eggs, 1/8 teaspoon of baking powder and 1 tablespoon of milled linseed (I picked a big bag up from Aldi for about £2 and put it in everything, but it is completely optional in this recipe, I just used it to make it healthier). The chia seeds behind it are also amazing, I didn't add them to the pancakes but I mixed a spoonful with water, left it for about 2 minutes and drank it. It has no flavour but they're super good for you! Look them up.

Mush up the banana (technical term), crack in the eggs, add the baking powder and linseed if you're using it.




Mix it all together, then heat up a big pan. I didn't use anything to grease the pan - again in an effort to keep them as healthy as possible. Wait until the pan is super hot (a drop of water should sizzle in it), then using a ladle, spoon the mixture into the pan. Wait until it bubbles on top and, using a pallet knife or a fish slice, turn the pancakes over. Wait about 2-3 minutes and they should be done.



I smothered mine in maple syrup but they are also pretty darn good with nutella or even just on their own. Is there a better way to start the day? (also, totally accidental banana-coloured nails, but its the Barry M textured polish and its GREAT)

Tuesday, 7 January 2014

New Year, New Blog.

This seasons festivities have kept me from doing any fun London-based activities as I've been with family for a couple of weeks. So I thought I'd take inspiration from Victoria at LilyLovesLola and share with you 5 things that are making me smile right now.
First: This delicious pea and chorizo soup I had for lunchies with a slab of my mum's amazing beer bread. I'm determined to learn how she makes it before I head back to London!

Second: There is something about sitting inside drinking endless mugs of green tea (I'm trying to force a love of the stuff on myself this year; not really succeeding so far, I'm craving some PG tips) whilst listening and watching the rain that I find SO calming.

Third: Home is great and all, but I am missing the freedom and choice that London brings. I'm going back in a week and I am really excited - even if the next couple of months are going to be very stressful.

Fourth: Having a dog to walk again, albeit only temporarily. I don't know about you but I always feel a bit stupid if I just "go for a walk". I like to have a .point or a reason to a walk. And this little monkey is a perfect reason!

Fifth: My beautiful new camera!! I've bored my entire family by constantly making them pose for me this Christmas. I love the detatchable flash and all the different shooting modes. Even for a total photography novice like myself, the photos come out beautifully.

My apologies for the wonky photos in this post. I'm a complete beginner at this and was feeling quite proud of even attempting to edit code, but I am stumped at how to make it all look neat and pretty.