Oh my goodness, GRACIOUS me, it’s been absolutely ages since I wrote a favourite things post, and I’ve missed it.
I’ve been loving getting back into the swing of my review writing again in the last few weeks. When I’m down in the dumps, which I have been recently, the words just don’t flow like I want them to, unfortunately. That said, the reaction (and traffic) I’ve had to my recent reviews have spurred me on again, so as well as working my way through a dozen or so posts that have been sitting unfinished in my drafts, I’m also booked in to check out some new (and exciting!) places, so watch this space…
As always, thank you all for sticking with me, I love you long time
… and to Paul x
Today is Father’s Day and thanks to social media, there’s absolutely no getting away from it. In a way it’s lovely to see that not everyone’s Father is as negligent as many seem to be, but in another way, it’s a painful reminder, for me, and the millions of others who don’t have Dads to celebrate with today.
Earlier I saw someone on Facebook thanking their Dad for always doing everything he can for her and her siblings; and that’s exactly as it should be. If you’re a Father (or Mother), and your child couldn’t say that about you, if you routinely put your own selfish wants and needs ahead of spending time with them, or if you’ve ever let them go to bed feeling unwanted… don’t think for a second that that won’t affect them, because it will, however young or old they are.
Big love to my Mum, all of the single Mothers doing it alone and to everyone else who today is a shitty day for. To the Fathers and Step Fathers who continue to put their families first, regardless of circumstance – Happy Father’s Day x
Food glorious foooooood
As well as vast amounts of eating out recently, there’s been a lot of cooking going on too, and this is one of the best times of the year (IMO) for seasonal produce, in particular I’ve been loving:
- Heritage tomatoes – M&S sell them loose for not too extortionate a price and they’re great for salads, bruschetta, in pasta sauce or baked with anchovies and lots of fresh basil.
- Asparagus – the season has gone by in a flash and is nearly over already. I’ve been enjoying it at every possible opportunity – wrapped in parma ham, as soldiers for dippy eggs, roasted, steamed or griddled, it’s all good, especially with a slick of melted butter and lots of pepper.
- The grill range at M&S – I was a fan of this last year and they’ve upped their game with the selection even more in 2016. In the 3 for £10 offer there’s all sorts of fish and meat plain or already marinated. I can highly recommend the jerk tuna steak, beef steaks with chimchurri and spicy mango chicken ‘flatties’. I’m sure I’ll have more to come in the following weeks and always keep an eye on my instagram too, everything I cook gets posted on there.
- Burrata – Waitrose stocking great quality burrata is one of the best things to happen to me food-wise recently. Also give @Burratagram a follow on Instagram too – total food porn/inspo.
Other than that there’s been many portions of pasta with marinara sauce, fresh fish and lots and lots of vegetables. Fewer things make me happier or more relaxed than cooking, or eating well, do.
Goodbye eyelash curlers, hel-lo lash lift!
I’ve had a problematic relationship with my lashes the past few years. They were long and lustrous (love that word) for as long as I can remember, then one day I got greedy and had extensions, which ruined them and I was truly gutted. The next what seemed like forever was spent wearing falsies, using growth serum and trialling many different mascaras to help restore them to their original glory.
Despite being a lot less lacking in the lash department these days, they stubbornly refuse to grow any way but straight out, making them almost invisible to the naked eye (top pic).
Enter Jamie Louise Beauty and her lash-lifting skillz. For just £30 and an hour of my time she transformed my lashes with a perming solution and tint that should last 6-8 weeks (I’m 5 weeks in and still thrilled with the result). I haven’t curled my eyelashes since and have barely used mascara at all, it’s opened up my makeup free eyes in a way I never thought possible. I can’t recommend this treatment enough and I’ll definitely be back in a couple of weeks for a top up.
Highlights, lowlights and the bounciest of blow drys
On the subject of pampering and vanity, last week it was time for my bi-monthly trip to get my hair did at House of Hair, in Kemp Town. In addition to serving the best coffee, having the nicest staff and the most gorgeous salon, my hairdresser (and longterm pal) Rob’s recently graduated as a colour specialist after spending a year as part of the Loreal id artist team. In short, he’s the best, and the only person I would trust to colour my hair.
He used three tones of blonde to create a natural looking and non brassy effec,t and then lovely Luke gave me the most fabulous wash and scalp massage before doing a bouncy blow dry that stayed in place for days after. Check them out on Facebook, Instagram and/or Twitter and get yourself booked in pronto.
Kemptown Carnival 2016
I’m a long time fan of the Kemptown Carnival and have been to every one since they began, but this year’s was the biggest and best ever. Other than a woefully average pulled pork bap (with coleslaw from a massive catering tub and Booker’s own brand BBQ sauce) the entire day was absolutely fantastic.
Each side street off St George’s Road had a ‘stage’ playing different kinds of music, my friend Christina and I spent most of our day drinking gin, eating donuts and dancing to reggae surrounded by clouds of smoke from the jerk chicken vendor behind us. There were literally thousands of people partying in the street and generally loving life. We were both smashed by the time it finished at 6pm and I was home and in a bubble bath by 7pm – absolute bliss. Salute to the organisers – I cannot wait for next year’s event.
My new favourite Brighton pizzeria
Franco Manca landed in North Laine at the end of last month and has had queues out of the door ever since. I’ve visited three times in as many weeks, a rarity for any restaurant since starting my blog, but it really is that good, and it got the royal seal of approval from Mama P&P too. Check out my full review and get yourself down there for the cheapest and best pizza on offer in Brighton.
What I’ve been reading and watching recently
The School of Life:is a youtube channel devoted to emotional education… bear with me, it’s not as wanky as it sounds. It uses thought-provoking short videos and animations to talk about life, love and self-understanding (amongst many other topics) in an easily digestible way. It makes perfect and relaxing bedtime viewing.
The Dolly Mail: I think I may have mentioned this in a previous favourite things post, but this weekly email is like a series of the best links, interesting guest writers and a whatsapp group message with your best mates, all rolled into one. Subscribe, it’ll brighten up you Wednesdays.
Locked up: I binge-watched this series over weekend and it’s SO good. It’s like a Spanish and more hardcore version of Orange is the new black. It does require total concentration as it’s subtitled (not my favourite) but it’s worth it. It’s not on Netflix but a quick internet search should provide you with a choice of links to other sites… I watch on my iPad incase of viruses. Enjoy. Update: Someone just posted in the comments section that it’s available on 4od so you can watch ‘guilt and virus free’ – Thanks Kelvin x
Thought Catalog : Someone I know put a link to this article on their Facebook, called; How to ruin your life (without actually realising you are) by Bianca Sparacino, and it massively resonated with me. I posted it on my blog’s Facebook page and it got a lot of love, so I thought I’d share it with you lovely lot too.
Love is Love
The last week or so has been fairly traumatic in terms of news, probably the worst since the Paris attacks late last year. I’m not really one for being publicly vocal about my feelings on world tragedies, there’s just too many… but I walked through Brighton the other day and felt overwhelmingly lucky to live somewhere that’s so liberal, so diverse and so full of people who are totally accepting of the fact that love IS love.
Here’s a picture of my cats, just because it’s been a while…
What have been your favourites over the last few weeks? Post in the comments below telling me lovely things please, or head on over to my social media (links below) and give me a like, that always puts a smile on my face x