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Monday, 27 April 2015

Beauty: My Little Box April 2015 Review - My Little Dream Box

After last month's My Little Box, I very nearly cancelled my subscription, but a mixture of forgetfulness and curiosity led to me subscribing for another month and I'm so glad I did. This month's box, The My Little Dream Box, was a wonderful treat and a delight to unbox.  There were some minor changes which were probably cost cutting measures, but to be honest I prefer them.

The My Little World book now came as a pamphlet which when opened fully, becomes a poster. Perfectly fine for a magazine that I generally read once, in less than 5 minutes, and then discard. Gone are the extended  fashion pages and recipes, however the nail art, hair and makeup tutorials and interview remain. This makes the pamphlet much slicker. The interviewee this month was skincare guru, Caroline Hirons. I've discovered some wonderful skincare products through her blog, so enjoyed reading this, even adding a few more products to my skincare wish list. The inspirational card which was omitted last month, also made a return in this box. I've been displaying these in my makeup cupboard so was delighted to see their return.

Friday, 24 April 2015

Travel: Islay - Scotland's Whisky Isle

We've just returned from a week away in Islay (pronounced eye-lah), the Scottish island most famous for its peaty single malt whiskies. The island is reached by ferry from either Oban or Kennacraig on the mainland and has beautiful beaches and numerous whisky distilleries. The island is very friendly, with everyone saying hello to you or waving as they passed in their cars. The littlies loved this.

Wednesday, 22 April 2015

Food: Poached Egg with Asparagus, Hollandaise Sauce and a Balsamic Vinegar Reduction

I mentioned my Eggs Benedict obsession previously on this blog (here)  and since then I've been experimenting a bit more in an attempt to find my favourite variation on the theme. I love asparagus and since its short season is finally upon us and I decided to marry the two and came up with Poached Egg with Asparagus, Hollandaise Sauce and a Balsamic Vinegar Reduction. I served this with a toasted English muffin and avocado which made it perfect for brunch, though I'd also serve it as is, without the muffin as a small starter portion.

Monday, 20 April 2015

Beauty: My Streamlined Makeup and Beauty Bag for Travel

My motto for travel beauty is "the lighter the better". I prefer not to take any bottles or decant anything, which is why I turn to sample sachets which I tend to stockpile specifically for travel purposes.  I tend to buy any online beauty products from places that send samples with orders anyway (Caudalie, Cult Beauty and Space NK are fantastic for providing sachets), which makes compiling my travel beauty bag quite easy.

Friday, 17 April 2015

Life: What I've Been Reading in 2015 Part 1

The combination of an addiction to Pride and Prejudice fanfiction and a lack of time has meant that I've read fewer and fewer books over the past few years. I'm keen to change that this year and have been trying to squeeze in a bit of reading whenever I can, especially before bed or when the kids are at extramural classes. So far so good. I've certainly noticed that eschewing technology before bedtime helps me to sleep a bit better at night. 

Wednesday, 15 April 2015

Food: Roasted Cherry Tomato Pasta Sauce with Roasted Vegetables

I often find myself planning meals that the littlies are sure to like, rather than ones that I enjoy eating. As they get older, though, I'm keen to introduce them to new flavours and re-try foods that they previously loathed. My roasted cherry tomato pasta is one that the littlies loved from when they first started eating, but it's a recipe that lends itself quite nicely to tarting up. Roasting the tomatoes beforehand, ensures that the sauce is never too sharp. I add some roasted vegetables into the mix to make my own palate happier, which gives the kids the opportunity to at least try something new. 

Monday, 13 April 2015

Beauty: Four Nail Colours I'll be Wearing This Spring

After nursing my nails back to health, I've been enjoying eating nail colour again. I've stopped filing my nails down, opting instead for very sharp nail clippers and think that this has also contributed to my stronger nails.

Friday, 10 April 2015

Life: My South African Wine Recommendations

I've become nearly teetotal since having the littlies. Who wants a hangover when you've got to be up by 7am? Not me. The by-product of this is that I've become very picky about the wines I consume when I do enjoy a glass of wine and while I do experiment from wines particularly from France and Argentina, I always come back to the South African wineries that I love so much.

Wine-tasting in the Winelands near Cape Town taught me a lot about the wines I like but my recommendations are also wrapped up in wonderful memories of when my husband and I first started dating The romance of a wine-tasting date at a beautiful vineyard is hard to beat. While I have used specialist wine importers to buy South African wines in the past, all my recommendations have the added bonus of being available at Majestic Wine, which makes them easily available in the UK. My recommendations are all vineyards that I discovered years ago and have visited a few times. 

Wednesday, 8 April 2015

Food: Lemon Madeleines for a Quick and Easy Tea-Time Treat

I'm sure I'm not the only foodie that has succumbed to the temptations of a French Cookware shop. Let's just say that I have a few pans that I've yet to use, but can't bear to part with because of how pretty they look. Occasionally I justify their existence my whipping them out and making something delicious. French Madeleines are baked in shell-shaped pans and as they are better eaten on the same day, I only make a small batch, which needs just a single egg. Great for when you're in the mood for baking something but find that you're running low on eggs, which in our household is an all too frequent occurrence. 

Monday, 6 April 2015

Beauty: Light Radiant and Glowy Makeup for a Bank Holiday Weekend - FOTD

I wear makeup most of the time, even when I'm just planning to potter about the house. The thing is though, I don't wear makeup for anyone but myself. I've always worn eyeliner and lipstick but it's only in the past few years that I've really started experimenting with makeup and I still find it so much fun. It helps, I suppose, that I am able to do my makeup in under 5 minutes. I always go in with a pretty light hand and right now, while my skin is clear, am aiming for radiance and glow.