I’m almost having to sit on my hands to prevent myself opening this post with the words ‘how is it nearly December, where the actual fuck did 2016 go!?!
I don’t even dare look back at my archive to see how long it’s been since I did a favourite things post, because it’s far too long. My life seems to have got so much busier, really really quickly, with many things having to take priority over my blog, and it’s frustrating me.
Another reason for the radio silence is my migraines. There was two weeks last month, where I was suffering, to some degree, every day. The medication I’m taking has ensured I’ve remained upright and able to go to work (albeit it with a medication-addled brain), but not much else. A positive to come out of it is how amazingly supportive people have been. I’ve had about a dozen messages in the month alone, with tips, suggestions and just outright sympathy, and I can’t tell you how touched I am. Migraines aside, life has been pretty damn good recently and I’m feeling like I have a lot to be grateful for.
And to those of you who voted in my Twitter poll for my Chilli Pickle review to be my next post… it’ll be up tomorrow, I promise – I just sat down to finish it off and was overwhelmed with the need to write this x
Food glorious food
I’ve been cooking up a storm recently, despite eating out a lot. I’ve developed a slight obsession with spaghetti squas, the bottom left photo was a particular triumph – stuffed with spicy sausage, homemade marinara sauce and all of the cheese – de-lish.
Baked potatoes have also been making a lot of appearances in the P&P household – so good, and so overlooked by me for too many years. My winning formula for potato perfection is – dampen it and roll in salt, then put in the oven on maximum heat for 1 hour – this method hasn’t failed me yet.
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My Birthday week
The slightest glance at my social media or the pics above do not give the impression of someone who isn’t especially fond of Birthdays… but I promise you, getting old doesn’t excite me in the slightest. I never have a big group gathering as even the thought of putting all mates together makes my socially awkward nerve twitch uncontrollably… the upside is I get a lot of celebrations and quality time with time with them all individually.
I was going to devote an entire post to what I got up to, but it’s a bit late now, so instead, here’s a load of pictures instead. I was SO spoiled I was by my lovely friends, colleagues and Mum, with presents, love, cakes and an obscene number of meals out. I’ll be doing a round up post of all the places I’ve eaten at recently, because there’s a lot, and they were all fantastic!
Beauty stuff I’ve been loving recently
You all know I love my products and treatments and whilst I do try to keep this space almost exclusively food, my social media posts about beauty get a lorra lorra love, so I thought I’d give some of them a shout out on here too.
- I tend to avoid full face makeup, sticking to a bit of concealer for blemishes and my dark circles, but I picked up this La Roche Pose BB cream and haven’t looked back. It’s a mousse-like texture which blends beautifully, and literally does ‘blur’ the appearance of any imperfections. The range of colours isn’t great but the light shade matches my pallid winter complexion pretty well.
- Lush products are a permanent feature in my bathroom, those NYX lipsticks won’t be getting a repurchase, but if you’re keen to try their lip products, the matte lip creams, are excellent. If you’re in the market for a reasonably priced blusher then this soap and glory one is super pigmented and is different hues of peachy bronzer, blusher and highlight all in one.
- Benefit relaunched their entire brow range and I picked up this kit for £27. I think it might have been limited edition as I’ve not seen any more at their counter in Boots, but all the products are for sale individually and the girls in the Brighton store are lovely and will give you a demo.
- Big up my girl Jamie Louise for doing yet another fab job on my lashes. The hour in the chair with her goes in a flash, and I can totally vouch for the fact they hold their curl for the majority of the six weeks between appointments. I don’t even go near mascara or lash curlers for at least a month after getting them lifted, and they make me feel like I look a bit more awake/human on makeup free days. I can’t recommend her enough. The services menu on her website is getting a revamp but do give her a follow on Instagram and Facebook.
Things I’ve enjoyed reading/Watching
Never fuck a fusspot – This article in The Pool is just SO good. Caroline O’Donoghue talks about why she thinks picky eaters are significantly less attractive, and probably worse in bed, than people who eat everything, with gusto. I have to say, I think there might be more than a grain of truth in it.
Carrie’s shit list – I’ve followed Carrie’s blog, One Pleasant Day and perved on her Instagram for years now. As a fellow Brightonian, festive season lover and migraine sufferer, with the bonus of her being totally lovely IRL, I guzzle her content as I would the festive lattes she regularly writes about, but this post about what to do when everything has gone to shit, really struck a chord with me.
Toast Hash Roast Mash- My flatmate got me Dan Doherty’s (of Duck & Waffle) book for my birthday and I’ve already recreated four of the recipes with at least another dozen earmarked and I can’t recommend it enough. Check out the #toasthashroastmash hashtag on instagram and give me a follow while you’re over there, pretty please. I may do a round up post once I’ve made a few more meals from it. You can buy it from Amazon in hard back of for your kindle, here.
A Street cat named Bob – I’ve read and loved both books in this series and felt slightly uneasy at the prospect of it being turned into a film and it being ruined… I needn’t have worried, it’s a masterpiece. I went to watch it with my flatmate and we were both sobbing unreservedly throughout. Cats b2b homeless people b2b estranged family members, complete with happy ending was always going to render me an absolute stretcher-case. I loved it so much I’m going again next week, with my Mum.
It’s the moooooost wonderful time, of the yeeeear!
I know people have mixed feelings about the C-word in November. My mates seem to fall into two camps on this. ‘wooooo yeah, let’s get this party started, crack open the mince pies and Mariah Carey anthems’ or; ‘shut up you freak, it’s November’. I think one thing we can all agree on is, that 2016 has been fairly bleak in many ways, so let’s all get our kicks where we can, and the countdown to Christmas is one of my absolute favourite. Last year I was heartbroken and had just quit my job in Croydon, so whilst I still managed to get my festive spirit on, this year will be SO MUCH better.
In terms of things ticked off my festive checklist so far:
- Numerous mulled beverages consumed
- Extravagant M&S beauty advent calendar purchased (£35 spend to be get it for £35) and I refuse to feel any guilt about it because it brought me endless joy last year.
- The first of many Pret Christmas sandwiches demolished and the M&S one is on my radar.
- If you buy one seasonal snack this year, make sure it’s that scotch egg from M&S. A lot of people have said the thought of a cold runny yolk gives them the ne
- Once Bert’s have dressed their windows accordingly, as far as I’m concerned, it’s the green light for me to get into full hysterical Elf mode.
As if that wasn’t enough action, tonight I’m going to watch the Brighton Christmas lights switch on and go and review the festive set menu at Giggling Squid. I don’t care about scrooges trying to rain on my parade ’tis the season and I am loving it!
While we’re on the subject of festive spirit, If you’re struggling to get in the mood, then may I recommend a visit to Woodlandia. This Narnia themed pop up is an instagrammer’s dream come true. The entire of the upstairs at Patterns night club has been transformed into an immersive installation of CS Lewis’ universally adored winter wonderland.
I’ve been to events put on by these guys before, and as always I was blown away by the attention to detail. From the initial PR package pre-event to the lampost and wardrobe door outside, the fur coats hanging in the entrance, and little pots of turkish delight dotted around the venue – they thought of everything. There’s a menu of Woodlandia themed drinks – AKA boozy hot chocolate and hot buttered rum, and even a few festive additions to the the hotdog menu as well. I did take a picture of my pulled duck and caramelised apple dog, but, I’d immersed myself a bit too heavily in the booze and it looked… questionable, but tasted great.
Woodlandia will be at Patterns until Spring 2017, and the installation will evolve and grow with the seasons, before thawing and turning green with the first flushes of spring.
For as long as I can remember my Mum has talked about Random acts of kindness. When I was younger I just thought they were a part of her hippiness, and loveliness, but when I became an adult I began to see that they are an actual ‘thing’, and an important thing. There’s whole organisations, websites and even a 1 million strong Facebook page devoted them.
Last week I was feeling incredibly depressed after the election result and after seeing this on Twitter the lovely people at The Chilli Pickle sent one of their lunchboxes* to my office to cheer me up. A few days after this, my favourite Waitrose checkout lady, Annette, gave me a bunch of roses as a belated birthday gift. Both of these gestures reduced me to (happy) tears and I headed straight over to all of my social media channels to spread the love, the response the posts got was overwhelming, and I’m hoping, inspired other people to do something to make someone smile too. If someone does something lovely for you, tell people, then pay it forward-simple. I guarantee the world would be a nicer place if more people did.
*Someone made a ‘joke’ on Twitter about it being sent to me just before I was due to post a review, the implication being that it was done in the hope it’d make a difference to what I say… I will take a lot of shit about my outspokeness/opinions and I like to think I’m in possession of a sense of humour – but I don’t find my integrity being called into question, funny, ever. So just to be crystal clear – it was a lovely gesture, on a sad day, not a cynical attempt to curry favour (excuse the pun) and someone attempting to dirty that did not go down well with me, at all.
What have been your favourites over the last couple of 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