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Getting the Glow

Hello I'm Lis and I'm a health freak (well not quite, but I am moving in that direction and I think I kind of like it - most of the time!) 

I mentioned a few weeks ago that I've started going back to the gym again.  Well... I've taken the healthy living up a notch again after purchasing the much talked-about book, "Get the Glow" by Madeleine Shaw. 




I'd been toying with the idea of getting this book for some time and had heard some pretty awesome things about it.  I also follow Madeleine on Instagram and having regular 'mmm that looks good' moments while scrolling through pictures of her food prompted me to buy it on Amazon last week. 

After reading the blurb at the beginning I've decided I'm not going to be able to fully embrace the whole concept of the 6 week plan.  There's NO. WAY. I can do without sugar in my diet.  However, what it has done, is certainly open my eyes to alternative ways to eat healthy, without purchasing 'low fat' this and 'low calorie' that.  I've also managed to cut a lot of sugar from my diet, but I just can't do without it completely! and I certainly won't be banning myself from any foods completely.  Life is for living and treating yourself is never a bad thing. 

So here's what I've been rustling up over the last few days,...

Breakfasts





Bacon, Eggs and Roasted Vine Tomatoes and the Watermelon & Lime Cleansing Juice






Pesto Eggs with Avocado and Lime


Salads



Green Goddess Salad (Spinach, Kale, Avocado, Boiled Eggs, Sesame Seeds, Lime with a dressing)





Halloumi and Kale Salad with a Strawberry Vinaigrette Dressing


Main Courses




Buckwheat Coconut Risotto with Pea, Asparagus, Spring Onion and Walnuts









Mexican Mince and Salsa in Lettuce Wraps



Salmon with Paprika Spiced Yoghurt and Cucumber Ribbons with Chives and Sesame Seeds


Sweet Treats



Guilt Free Brownies 






Banana and Cinnamon Loaf



As you can see, I've been busy! But in all honesty, what I really like about this book is everything is so quick and easy to make, ingredients are just 'thrown' together and nothing is too tricky.  

It does require a little bit of quite specific shopping, coconut sugar is not something you'd find hanging around in the aisles of you average supermarket so a trip to the Health Food store will definitely be in order! and be prepared to spend a few pennies, health food ingredients are not the cheapest! Nevertheless, I think it's worth it and if you're spending nearly £4 on a coffee at Starbucks on a regular basis (come on, we've all done it!) then spending £4 on some coconut sugar to go in a cake isn't such a big deal is it? :)  

All the food has been really tasty so far and I can't wait to make some more recipes in the book.  The post work-out protein balls are next on my list along with the Thai Beef Salad. 

I can really recommend it :)  Has anyone tried the 'Deliciously Ella' cook book? That's next on my list to try.

Back soon when service will resume to normality again (ie. me waffling on about clothes and make up!) 

Have a great week!


VVB x Nails Inc





So here's the thing....I have NEVER purchased a Nails Inc Nail Polish before.

Shocker, I know!

Some people will be surprised by this, especially since I have over forty nail polishes in my entire collection.  It seems hard to believe that I've never been tempted by anything from Nails Inc, but it's the truth.  I think it's because I didn't used to particularly like their old packaging (because I'm one of those people who needs my products to be aesthetically pleasing!) and I was always more drawn towards Chanel (before I realised how 'not so good' their formulation was) and of course, good old Essie, whom I remain loyal to over the years! 

I spotted this limited edition VVB (Victoria, Victoria Beckham) Nails Inc set some time ago and got totally sucked in by the packaging initially.  Monochrome...need I say more?!  

Surprisingly though, the contents are a different story, two gorgeous shades and actually a lot better than I was expecting! More about that in a bit. 

In addition to being drawn in by the gorgeous packaging I admit I was also gravitating towards this little set because it was a collaboration with Mrs Beckham, I have a lotta love for that woman! However, the £45 price tag for two poxy nail polishes did put me off initially and I decided not to purchase for a bit. 

Until I spotted it on eBay for £25 recently :)






Firstly, let's discuss the packaging.  

Wow. 

Sleek, sophisticated and the bottles themselves are thick, chunky, heavy and feel expensive.  They are made of glass apparently....Venetian glass! and each bottle is hand frosted. Well well well! 

The formulation of the nail polishes themselves are absolutely fantastic and apply like a dream.  The brush splays in just the right amount so it makes coating your nail easy-peasy, even for the super shaky handed (like me!)  You do need two coats but that is enough.  Apparently it created with 'stretch to fit technology' which helps them glide onto the nail.  I'm all up for that shiz! 

It also has 'bamboo extract' in it for healthy nails, although how much good that actually does I'm not really sure! 














So colourwise these are a winner for me for a mani / pedi combo.  The red is a gorgeous Tomato colour called 'Judo Red' and it looks fab painted on the toes and paired with white. 

My favourite of the two has to be the one that I thought was going to be 'off white' but is actually more of a pinky white, reminiscent of Essie Fiji but a million times easier to apply and gives a slightly better colour I feel.  It's called 'Bamboo White' and I love it, a lot!





So in conclusion, I am very very pleased with these nail polishes, they by far superseded my expectations and now I'm keen to try more Nails Inc!

What are your recommendations?





Safari Chic


Isn't it funny how you can put the word 'chic' after a word and it instantly makes it sound like a Vogue fashion story?! Because that's exactly what this little outfit of the day post looks like obviously! (sorry, it's been a long and tedious day and I'm entertaining myself here if nothing else!! ha!)

 I almost eBayed these trousers a few weeks ago and I'm glad I didn't now, there's something about them that makes them so comfy and flattering that every time I wear them I'm glad they're in my wardrobe and they're a nice change from the usual black, white and grey 'get up' I usually end up in! 

They also look really good with the Valentino Rockstud bag I purchased with the money made from my big wardrobe clearout! It's such a great size and I'm really pleased with it.  I wear a lot of black and white and I love the combination of tan accessories with this kind of look.












The Details

Sunglasses - The Row - get them HERE

Vest - Whistles - (last season) 

Blazer - Zara - (the one is old, but they have this style every season)

Belt - H&M - get it HERE 

Trousers / Jeans - Hudson Paisley Relaxed Straight Chino - sold out at the moment but you might get lucky if you google and search for them for long enough!

Flat Shoes - Dune - (last season)

Bag - Valentino - get a similar one HERE









A Flutter at Royal Ascot


So those of you who follow me on Snapchat will know that I was lucky enough to spend yesterday at Royal Ascot.

I hadn't been before and have to say, I thoroughly enjoyed the whole experience from start to finish.  It was a fantastic day out, and albeit the weather was not the best, it certainly didn't spoil the day!

We left the house very early to meet friends, which meant getting up at the crack of dawn to allow ample time to get ready (of course!).  Long-wearing make up was key for today (side note - the sample of Estee Lauder Double Wear Light I picked up on eBay is fantastic - I will definitely be purchasing a full size of this when it runs out!)



Yesterday also marked the maiden voyage of the Christian Louboutin Pigalle's I bought when I went to Dubai in March - I had been waiting for a special occasion to wear these and this was it! (the red sole has now disappeared - if anyone knows where I can send these in the UK to get a rubberised red sole put on them please let me know!)




My perfume of choice for the day was Narciso - not only because I absolutely adore it, but also because it matched my outfit! (and because I'm sad like that!).  I was also really pleased with the fascinator I managed to pick up last minute!







We arrived at Cardiff Central Station to meet friends, armed with Champagne and Pastries for breakfast! (a must!) and finally arrived in Ascot a couple of hours later, in good spirits! 

The weather was a bit on the cloudy side but it was still nice and warm.  I was glad I'd brought my sunglasses because despite the cloud, it was very bright (plus sunglasses hide a multitude of sins when drinking during the day!) 


Quick outfit run down for you...

Fascinator - eBay purchase

Dress - H&M (bought last week but I can't seem to find it on the H&M website, it was a bargain at £29.99 though and is really good quality - I was overjoyed when I found this!!)

Bag - Chanel Classic Jumbo Flap bag

Shoes - Christian Louboutin Pigalle 100 Patent Black


After stocking up at the bar on jugs of Pimms, we found a nice spot near the race course to sit and ordered some food whilst waiting for the Queen to arrive to get things started! (excuse the dodgy photo but I had to get her in and I'd used the zoom on my not so great iPhone 6 camera for this - you can just about make her out in a peachy coral ensemble!) 
















A few bets where made (I chose my horses purely on what the jockey's jersey looked like and to be honest I find this way works best! haha)

We did have quite a few wins between us though and actually wound up finishing with more money than we started with and that (of course) was a cause for some champagne for the traditional Royal Ascot 'sing-song' at the end of the day!













And then.....

The heavens opened!!! Before the band had stopped playing the sky went very black and it literally started to bucket down.  The walk to the train station was over 10 minutes long and we had no umbrellas, so you can imagine just how wet everyone was by the time we got to the station.  I'm not going to post a picture of what I actually looked like when I got on the train at Ascot (think drowned rat and you'll be along the right lines!) but since it was the end of the day though it didn't really matter! 

If you live in the UK and you're looking for a great day out, I can highly recommend Royal Ascot.  Even if you don't like horse racing, the atmosphere and 'people watching' potential really make the day such good fun! I'm definitely going to be returning next year! 

Hope you've all had a great weekend,  I'll be back around these parts soon with a little outfit of the day post for you! 


Slouchy Sundays



Last Sunday was one of those just 'haven't got anything important to do so I'm going to mooch around all day' type of days and when I'm in this kind of mood, I like an outfit to match! 

Does anyone else do this? Match their outfit to their mood? or is it just me?!

This ensemble just screams 'Sunday' doesn't it? Everything is slouchy and comfortable and generally looks like it doesn't fit properly and this is the look I was after :)  

Early evening we took Clicquot out for a walk to the park and I sprung the camera on the OH for an impromptu photoshoot.  Because he just loves that :) 



























Outfit Details

Cardigan - Topshop (about 6 years old but it makes an appearance every Summer!)

Slightly cropped Vest - Zara - this season - can't locate this online but it's this season and is still in stores

Boyfriend Jeans - Zara - get them HERE

Sandals - Birkenstock Arizonas - get them HERE

Sunglasses  - Miu Miu - similar HERE - although mine are a sort of grey tortoiseshell effect

Bag - Mulberry



On a sidetone, Clicquot did not enjoy this walk.  The last picture of her on my lap is where she actually jumped when she heard a dog barking! something had spooked her and she wasn't her usually plucky self, bless her! I think she was glad to get home!


In other news, I had my hair done last Friday and had quite a bit chopped off and had it lightened gain, to go a bit more blonde for Summer.  Although most people haven't even noticed it so I'm guessing it doesn't look a whole lot different! 

Hope you're all having a good week so far.  I'm off to Royal Ascot on Saturday so getting excited for that at the moment and currently selecting an outfit!















Life Lately #16


Let's have a bit of a catch up shall we? :)  It's been a little while since I did one of these posts and since I love reading other blogger's blogposts of this kind, mainly because I'm incredibly nosy and love getting new ideas for things to do / see / buy / wear, I thought I'd do an up to date one for you.  So grab a cup of tea or coffee and let's get on with things!



EBAY

Now those of you who know me, will have probably noticed that I've been on a bit of spending spree lately.  This isn't due to a recent lottery win or a huge increase in my salary (I wish!) but because I've had a MAHOOSIVE clear out over the past couple of months with regards to clothes, shoes, bags and make up.  I have been pretty ruthless when it comes to making decisions about what stays and what goes and pictured above are just a tiny sample of the things that have gone onto trusty eBay! with the cash I've made I've invested in a few new staple items (the Chanel bag that you will have seen superglued to my side being one!). 




HOLIDAY BOOKED

The British Summer doesn't seem to be arriving any time soon :( *sobs*

Whilst I'm typing this I'm sat in my lounge with a blanket over me - it's JUNE!!!! Anyway, enough of my moaning... As a spur of the moment decision last weekend, the OH and I decided we should book a short break in the South of France. Within the space of 20 minutes flights were booked and a few days later (once I'd had chance to do my thorough research on hotels - a holiday MUST!!) the hotel was all booked too! I'm very excited!  It's only for a few days but it will be nice to get away for a bit! :)




SNAPCHAT HAPPY

Ok, so I'm incredibly late to the party on this one.  I thought this Snapchat malarky was only for kids (probably because when I downloaded the app over a year ago I had absolutely NO idea how to work it!) It has however crept into my social media 'addictions' now and I have three people to thank for this - Lowri, the adorable and hilarious 19 year old who sits opposite me at work and makes me feel 21 again!, Stacey from Expat Make-Up Addict  and Zara from Mouldyfruit .  I'm also loving the fact that some of my favourite bloggers are also joining in on the fun now too (Laura, Laura and Simone I'm looking at you!) 





ALFRESCO DINING 

Yes I know I may have been having a little dig at the British weather previously, but there have been a few days where the weather has made it into the twenties and that has made me very excited to get the garden furniture and cushions out again from storage over the Winter months and go and relax in the garden.  

My favourite thing to do in the Summer is eat breakfast outside, there's nothing better! :)





GYM (YAWN)

So after a year of refraining from going to the gym, firstly due to a back problem and then afterwards using the back problem as an excuse because, well, I just couldn't be bothered really! I've now decided it's time to go back and get myself a little bit more toned and just generally to feel a bit healthier in general.  

And I have to say, after my first week back I'm actually enjoying it (although I can't tell you how much pain I'm in after 'legs' day!)

The experience is also significantly better due to the monochrome gym theme I've got going on.  Easily pleased some might say! hehe

Oh and on a side note, I promise not to be one of 'those' gym bores!!!




BIKINI LUSTING

Oh hello lovely white bikini that I can't really afford (but will probably find some way of purchasing before aforementioned holiday next month!!)  I know that Kiini do this type of bikini in lots of different styles but it's the plain white one I'm lusting after the most (just look at it!) *sigh* 




BURBERRY MAKE UP COUNTER IN CARDIFF

Now to some, this will just be a 'oh whatever - who cares!' but for me, this is a big thing.   

Cardiff, although a wonderful city with lots to offer really lacks on the retail front in terms of being able to buy certain brands of makeup (No Space NK - how is this even fair?!).  I often see Burberry being talked about on make up blogs and of course I can buy online, but sometimes you want to go and test things out, feel the products etc.  After making a quick visit to the Urban Decay counter this weekend (mini haul coming up) I stumbled across this....

Cardiff....you're getting there....slowly!!!

Now I need some Burberry recommendations please! 




TRUFFLE CHEESE FRIES 

Look. At. Those. *drools*

And yes, they were every bit as good as they look! GBK (Gourmet Burger Kitchen) have just launched a new menu and for lunch today the OH was fancying a really good burger.  I'd heard about these truffle cheese fries online and wanted to give them a go.  I'm obsessed with truffle anything at the moment, it's such a unique flavour.  I've recently bought some truffle oil and made a simple pasta dish with it the other night.  Yummy. 


Hope you've all had a great weekends :)







My First Byredo




Byredo....so let's start with how I have no idea how to pronounce this correctly! If anyone can help with this please enlighten me!

I'd heard this perfume brand being thrown about over the last few months on a variety of Youtube channels and blogposts and naturally felt intrigued as to what all the fuss was about!  That, and the fact the bottles looked so elegant and nondescript - totally my kinda thang! :)

So, of course, just like every other item I'm considering purchasing, I couldn't get hold of this in Cardiff and it ended up on the 'Things To Look For When Visiting London' list instead....and we all know where I've just been! :)

So, the concept of the brand is simplicity, unique scents and all 'natural' fragrances, they use no chemicals so you don't get that nasty 'after-smell' like you do with some perfumes.  I was told this by the very helpful and lovely guy on the Byredo counter at Selfridges who also assisted in my final choice.  I can't remember his name but he was great!




On first application you can get very confused at the counter, because the whole range really does smell incredibly similar when you spray initially. The real scent seems to appear after a few minutes and it smells quite different when wearing it to what it smells like on the little cardboard perfume sample cards.  So I'd recommend before purchasing that you try the scent on and wear it for a bit to ensure you're making the right choice (at £88.00 for a 50ml you can't afford to make a mistake!!)




I eventually (after a lot of umming and ahhhing!) decided on 'Blanche' and I'm happy to say I couldn't be happier with the choice I made :)  it's such a beautiful, unique smell.  So unique, I am really going to struggle to describe it to you if I'm being completely honest!

Byredo says this

"The idea for Blanche is, as the name suggests, built around my perception of the colour white.  For the first time I actually made a fragrance for and with a specific person in mind.  I wanted to capture her innocent and untainted side, with a fragrance almost transparent in nature.  Blanche also represents and appreciation for classic beauty. The fragrance is pure and simple in structure but extreme in character"

So this is totally me right?! I have to say, I read this when I got home and wasn't aware of these facts whilst choosing my scent, but it actually makes me love the fragrance even more so now! ('cos I'm shallow like that!)

The fragrance is described as

Top notes: White Rose, Pink Pepper, Aldehyde
Heart Notes: Violet, Neroli, Peony
Base: Blonde Woods, Sandalwood, Musk

The musk is very slight and I can definitely smell a hint of Peony in this, it almost reminds me of what Narsciso and Jo Malone Blush Suede and Peony would smell like if they were put together. It's very non-offensive and a good 'every day' sort of perfume. 

The only (and it is the only) downside to this perfume is that it doesn't seem to last as well as some other perfumes, I'm suspecting that this is because of the natural ingredients. With this in mind, I'm considering buying one of the rollerball oils to pop in my bag for a midday top up!



Ok, so from this post we've concluded two things.

I'm still not very good at describing perfumes.  I don't think I ever will be!  Secondly and more importantly, this is a beautiful fragrance and one I will definitely be repurchasing and would go as far to say it has a strong possibility of being my signature scent I love it that much.

I've fallen for Byredo, has anyone else tried any of their scents?










Elisabeth Rilatt. All rights reserved. © Maira Gall.