14 September 2014

all white ish

S U R V I V A L K I T #2 || Skincare

Hope you've all had a good weekend. We've been pretty lucky that the sun's still making a bright appearance over our weekends. Even so, don't be fooled my friends - autumn and winter are well on their way [already?! I know, I know]. This means my skincare routine has started going up a notch again to prepare for those chilly breezes. A bit of an all-white products scenario [not planned I promise] so I thought I'd throw in my recent bargain Urbanears headphones which I found at Tesco for £8.50 - that's right, they have infiltrated my skincare regime because they were that good of a bargain [thanks Tesco]. And yes, that is a fluffy white tail in there too - your eyes have not deceived you.

Anyway, it's been a while since I've done one of these, a little different to my usual posts but hopefully 1] you find it interesting / maybe helpful and 2] I can get some tips from some of you on what you do to combat the cold and protect your skin. Let me know either way and thanks for stopping by!

If you're interested in my other survival kits, check out my summer one from last year.


|| eye cream - that's right people, I have started to use the old eye cream because let's be honest I have been doing a lot of smizing [thank you Tyra Banks] in my twenties and this shall continue. Seriously though, I woke up a few weeks ago and my eyes were feeling a little puffy and unloved so off I went to find an eye-sidekick. All based on recommendations, I first looked at Clinique All About Eyes which was a great little product, very light, absorbed quickly and had a smooth consistency. Then I checked out the much-talked-about Bobby Brown Hydrating Eye Cream which was the most expensive of the three, felt a little more luxurious and richer in texture in my opinion but again smooth texture. Finally [and predictably], I ended up with Origins A Perfect World for Eyes which is more of a serum, felt the lightest as a result and just smells amazing. Having used it for a few weeks now, I fully recommend.
bought @ Boots, buy online

2 || day cream - I've said it before but I think moisturising your face is so important. A good day cream should be number one on any skincare list and if you can only use one thing, I would say day day day all the way. Daytime is when your face is on its highest combat mode so you should give it a little helping hand. Previously, I've been quite loyal to Origins A Perfect World SPF 25 and if I could buy it every time I would. This time I ended up prioritising my budget with the eye cream so instead have been using Boots Botanics Skin Calming Day Cream SPF 15 which does such an excellent job that I haven't missed my Origins. The marshmallow makes the cream really soft, supple and light plus at 1/5 of the price of Origins A Perfect World, it's a winner. The whole of the Botanics range at Boots [based on what I've tried] seems to be a great all-rounder at a reasonable price point - and there are even products for boys [incase you're also reading this!].
bought @ Boots, buy online

3 || night cream - "the experts" say your skin does most of its repair work while you're asleep. If that's the case, why not give it a little boost so that every time you wake up you can feel like a fresh new you. This is priority three on my skincare list so the amount I spend on it is usually relatively low. I've used The Body Shop Aloe Soothing Night Cream before and although I like it a lot I wanted to mix it up a bit. Recently, I've been using Dr. Organic Virgin Coconut Oil Night Cream which is packed with so many good oils. This means it does feel a little oily but I reckon my pillow absorbs quite a lot of it because by the morning my skin just feels soft and supple. The coconut oil makes it smell so good too.
bought @ Holland & Barrett, buy online

4 || lip balm - probably the best impulse purchase I have made this year: Hurraw lip balm in Grapefruit. I was in Wholefoods buying some tea for mummy and BOOM right there at the check-out I saw this [so many colours, it was like a rainbow]. Yep, they got me good. I then got out of the queue to browse the many flavours and opted for grapefruit because it smelt amazing. The balm itself is easy to apply, very soft and moisturising. I want to buy the whole range, aaargh. There's even one called Moon Balm which is for night-time care and the name makes me so happy. Go try them!
bought @ Wholefoods, buy online

[All products are paraben free and as natural as I could get my paws on - excluding the headphones, of course.]

10 September 2014

coco curry

D I S H Y #12 ||

It's been fun getting back to [amateur] home cooking, I've missed it. Here's my most recent 'creation'. It's an easy-peasy recipe [a good cheat curry for midweek] so have added a how-to in case you guys want to have a go at it too. It was super yummy and made my belly very happy. Now to find something new to try… Any suggestions?

Hope you're all having a good week.

Step-by-Step || a 30 to 40 minute creation

1. dice x1 brown onion, x5 garlic cloves, x1 green chilli pepper
2. add to a pan with a teaspoon of olive oil and cook until onions are soft
3. add in the chicken thighs and brown in the spices
4. add 3 spoons of curry paste [I used this cheat-rendang paste]

5. add in your bright bright greens [I added peas, baby leeks and spinach]
6. stir and leave to steam for 5 minutes until spinach has wilted slightly

7. add a can of coconut milk [yum yum] - stir away to your heart's content and simmer for 10 mins

Taste towards the end and add more seasoning (curry paste, pepper, chilli, whatever) if needed.

And voila!

Let me know if you try it out and how it went.


1 September 2014

two years young

B L O G I V E R S A R Y #2 ||

Flowers for me guys, flowers for me*. Because guess what? I've reached that time of the year again where I realise that I still have this little gem of a place on the interweb where I get to ramble about anything and everything; and for some amazing reason [which I am always super grateful for] you've all kept going along with me. I won't lie, it felt surreal the first time I wrote one of these [Jingle Jungleone year young], and a year later it still feels surreal. It's been a challenging last few months for me personally but looking back over the whole year, there are so many amazing memories I've managed to capture [and share with you all]. Without getting all emotional up in here, whether you have just found me, have been following me from the start or just an every-now-and-then-visitor, this is another MASSIVE Thank You [yes, with capitals] for stopping by, supporting, commenting and just taking out your valuable time to browse my little blogster. You're all ACE, so thank you.

Here's to a super duper year two and to hopefully another year of more adventuring. Wahooo!

*completely unintentional timing but going with it - more of these flowers to come sooneth.

blog stats || the story so far

total posts | 155 posts
most viewed |  backpack bonanza, let's be clear, playing camouflage, coachella crush & dancetastic
most readers | UK, USA, Germany, Russia, France, Canada*, Ukraine, Australia, China & Italy
*thank you shout-out if that's all you Pip!

top fives || by key themes

personal style posts

1 | black and white - the time I realised I had only packed my overnight bags with black and white clothes. Oh and the bags were black and white too.

2 | gold leaves - styling +UNIQLO UK's Orla Kiely autumn collaboration collection by the river. This post makes me miss being [a fifteen minute walk] riverside.

3 | sunny spring - celebrating International Women's Day with +Diane over a yummy brunch @ the Table and a gloriously sunny walk over to St Paul's.

4 | a proper garden - having a proper English afternoon filled with garden walks, cream teas and a spot of croquet at Paycocke's House & Gardens in Essex with Gina.

5 | cutie koala - an animal themed [don't worry, no animals were harmed in the making] chill out after +Diane got back from Australia and brought me cutie mr koala-bag.

lifestyle [& travel] posts

1 | carnival vibes - another fun and colourful outting to Notting Hill Carnival [2013], which led to our photo being published in a beautiful book on the history of carnival this year [thank you Ishmahil!].

2 | concrete jungle - exploring the Barbican complex post brunch and seeing a childhood memory grow into a beautiful piece of architecture with a touch of nature.

3 | the red island - I was lucky enough to spend the start of 2014 in beautiful Madagascar. This is what I got up to and if you're interested in what I ate [pretty important] then check out I LOVE RICE too.

4 | pick a colour - probably one of my most colourful posts to date, bartering at Columbia Flower Market in peak spring season on one of my many London explores with Mim.

5 | the big bang - WOMAD festival has always been one my summer highlights and this year was just incredible, definitely one of the best I'd been to.

[a sneaky] 6 | a leafy pause - taking a pause from city life, escaping and admiring grandma Sheila's beautiful award-winning garden.

nail game posts

1 | hare's got game - the realisation that nail art rules and painting animal faces is the best activity to steer away the sunday blues; and more funny bunnies for you via bunny love.

2 | the oriental meringue - they were meant to be meringues… they became a nice oriental, maybe Japanese style pattern?! The "experimentation" had clearly started.

3 | diva bees - THEY ARE WEARING LIPSTICKS. That is all.

4 | panda proud - the animal theme was strong at this point and given black-and-white animals rule ten [very surprised looking] pandas were born onto my nails.

5 | good grapes - nail art inspired by volunteering in a new vineyard @ Forty Hall Farm & Vineyard.

[a sneaky] 6 | three stripes - getting bargain new kicks and becoming a little protective of my +adidas City Marathons even ended up inspiring my nail art.

foood posts

1 | brunch regen - probably the longest [and most ridiculous] wait for brunch with the bros. The frustration ended up disappearing into thin air almost instantly as brunch grub had been taken to a new level @ Caravan in King's X.

2 | craft beer here - I got an invitation from the lovely +Chris to go to Craft Beer Rising. Ate, drank and boogied to some Mr Scruff with +Asad - a deliciously good time.

3 | work it - recommended by Adrian, this is another mighty fine brunch spot in London and my goodness was their coffee goooood.

5 | seeing stars - amazing food meets a good old explore of Brussels with some good friends. Loved how full of yummy food this trip was. A big shout-out to 'T Park in Tervuren - venue to one of the best meals I've had yet - and Max for showing us an excellent time.

6 | back to basics - invited by +Chris to learn how to make fresh pasta and tiramisu from the lovely Rosalind and wonderful team @ The Cookery School. I learnt a few things or two and it was a really good giggle.

new feature example | good morning kuching - I started a new DISHY of the week feature and this is one I've been missing recently: the glorious Laksa Sarawak from my trip to Malaysia & Borneo for Raiman's wedding.

What a year, still surreal. THANK YOU again for stopping by!