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Lazy Sunday | Things I’m Loving At the Moment

It’s Valentine’s Day weekend and as such I have decided to write a Things I’m Loving post. Here’s a list of the little things I am obsessing over at the moment….

ACCESSORIES | Olivia Burton Winter Garden Leather Watch

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I have been absolutely head over heels in love with Olivia Burton watches ever since I wrote my Top High Street Watches post, back in god knows when. Her designs are simple and delicate, and I always planned one day to invest in a really beautiful watch. I’ve had some really horrible news this week, which I’ve really been struggling with, and my mum and my boyfriend have been really amazing supports on the phone in reassuring me that things are actually ‘going to be ok’. Anyway, I came home on Friday to a parcel from John Lewis and my wonderful mum had sent me this lovely surprise with the note “Just a little something to cheer you up, Love Mum”. I nearly started crying right there, because it was so sweet and thoughtful and the watch itself is so chic and elegant. I am absolutely in love, I can’t stop looking at it. I would definitely recommend having a look at her collection on John Lewis or ASOS, as she does a really great range of watches, some at pretty reasonable prices.

EATS | Hot-Cross Buns

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It’s that time of year again where there are hot cross buns all over the supermarkets, and although I have never liked them before, I am becoming a bit obsessed. Get me a hot cross bun, a cup of tea and a book at the weekend and I will be happy. They’re so yummy and so cheap to buy! I’m very excited to do a little Waitrose shop soon and see if I can pick up a few different flavours – cinnamon and raisin here I come!

FACE:  No7 Makeup Goodies

IMG_0127I’ve had a pretty hectic couple of weeks, with lots of Uni work to do, and as a result my makeup situation has gotten pretty dire. I ran out of foundation completely on the day I planned to go into town to restock my makeup bag, and ended up covering my face in the last smidgen of concealer I could find – not a good look. It was rather embarrassing, when the lady at the makeup counter asked me what base I had used that morning: “Ermm…”.  On the search for both foundation and concealer, I was hoping there might be a good deal in Boots. It was the Buy One Get One Half Price deal at No7, which caught my attention, and of course the added luxury of finding a lady to help me find my perfect shade without too much effort, was too good to pass up.  I ended up walking away with the Beautifully Matte Foundation and the Instant Radiance Under Eye Concealer, both of which match together beautifully. And it only came to £20, a little bit more than I might usually spend, but so far I’m really happy with both products so that’s good news, and of course having proper makeup doing its actual job is always nice.

HAIR: Schwarzkopf Essence Ultime Crystal Shine Shampoo and Conditioner

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On this journey to get myself back to some kind of normality (just trying to make myself feel more like myself really) I have also had my hair done – as the roots of my blonde highlighted hair where almost covering the whole top of my head, making it look more like I’d just dip-dyed the ends blonde, as opposed not having enough time/money to sort my barnet out. I did, however, read a comforting snippet in Fabulous Magazine, which was talking about how roots are in, so that was nice for a week or so. But I am happily blonde again, the split ends have been trimmed away and my mother (again the wonder that she is) has found me the best shampoo and conditioner set. I’ve actually had this set since Christmas, but I sadly forgot to take it back with me to Uni and as a result we have only just been reunited. It’s the Schwarzkopf Essence Ultime Crystal Shine Shampoo and Conditioner developed with Claudia Schiffer and it is absolutely divine. The scent is a bit hard to put my finger on, it smells quite like coconut and vanilla, and completely like you’ve just had your hair professionally washed in the salon. And it feels like that too, really sleek and soft and light – I am completely in love. The shampoo and conditioner set themselves, do come in at about £10 together, fully priced (fingers crossed for some deals soon), which is expensive when I consider that I usually try and stick to more around the £3-£5 mark, but for a little treat or if you’re got a bit of cash to spare I was totally recommend these products – they literally make me feel like Claudia Schiffer after I’ve blow dried my hair, hair swishing adverts here I come!

WEAR: BDG Mom Jeans 

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I’ve been on the search for a pair of light denim Mom Jeans for a while now, so with Urban Outfitter’s tempting me with £10 off offer, I had to try a pair on. Then of course I had to buy them, just to see if they would potentially go with any of my tops at home – I can always take them back after all…. Although not quite as soft as my faithful black Topshop pair, these jeans are super comfy, and not too tough around the tummy area, which is nice. They’re a great colour for spring and are currently making me feel summery already, even if they do still have the labels in…

That’s my list of things I’m loving at the moment, what are you loving right now? 

Harriette

Birthday Celebrations in London

For my birthday last week, Lewis took me to London for a surprise meal out. I’d just got back from University so it was really lovely to get a spend a bit of time just the two of us and it was easy enough to hop on the train and stay over at Lewis’ student accommodation for the night. It was a nice day so we went to Covent Garden for a wander round. I love Covent Garden because there’s always something going on, whether it’s the decorations in shop windows or street entertainment.

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Here’s Lewis proving that he’s a 6ft 5″ big kid….

He wouldn’t tell me where we were going for dinner so I found it a bit difficult to decide what to wear. He just told me it was a sort of casual, cool place as opposed to a posh restaurant. In the end I decided to wear my new skirt (that he bought me as a birthday present) from Topshop and an Urban Outfitters top.

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Top – Urban Outfitters

Skirt – Topshop

Leather Jacket – H&M

Bag – River Island

Necklace – Republic

Shoes – Topshop

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I was so excited when I turned round a corner and saw Jamie’s Italien and Lewis told me that that was where we were going. I’ve been going out with this boy for two years now and he definitely knows how to impress. I was tempted to ask to sit outside as the little chairs and tables and lovely flower beds looked really inviting, however it was a little bit chilly so we decided to stay inside. The interior had a really cool warehouse feel – a bit like an old wine cellar – and cosy lighting. They had really cool copper taps in the bathrooms swell, which probably impressed me more than it should have.

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Of course I was very excited to get my hands on the menu. I’d purposely skipped lunch so I could enjoy every mouthful – knowing that Lewis would pick a good place to visit. There was certainly a lot of choice available, so I was pleased that I didn’t have to decide right away. Lewis went for a “Jamie’s Own” Liberta Beer, which he said was very nice. I was tempted to go for a cocktail but settled for an non-alcoholic Refresher, [fresh lemon, elderflower cordial & cranberry juice, topped with lemonade] which tasted amazing.

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After scouring the menu for a while, we both went for The Jamie’s Italian Burger [prime British chuck & flank steak with smoked mozzarella, mortadella, balsamic onions] and Funky Chips with fresh garlic and parsley. When the food turned up it was huge – of course Jamie Oliver isn’t know for making delicate little dishes and so I should have expected a good healthy plate of food. It tasted SO GOOD. The chips in particular were my favourite.

I said to Lewis if I could go back in time like the guy in About Time I’d go back and eat that meal a couple more times. I didn’t understand why in the film, he didn’t use his power to re-eat anything. We all have those moments where we eat something amazing and then feel sad when it’s all gone don’t we?

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I have no idea how I had room for dessert, but I couldn’t pass up trying this Raspberry & Chocolate Rippled Pavlova. My nan makes the BEST pavlova in the world, but sadly I haven’t had one in ages so I thought I’d give Jamie’s version a try. It was pretty nice and I especially liked the raspberry sauce, however I think my nan’s is still my favourite. Lewis opted for the Epic Homemade Brownie which was really rich and yummy.

After dinner we were both pretty full so went for a wander around The Strand to stretch our legs. Then we walked back across the Waterloo Bridge. I have been jealous all year of the fact that Lewis has this amazing view that he gets to see everyday on his walk to University.

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We were both quite tired after dinner so we ended the evening watching the last couple of episodes of Breaking Bad together in bed, a great end to the night as far as I was concerned.

The next morning I was eager to get up and out as we had to get the train back home at two, so Lewis and I decided we’d go back to Chelsea.

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We’d been to Chelsea previously and really enjoyed it. There’s a great range of shops and cafes on the Kings Road, and loads of pretty parks and fountains. Sloane Square in particular is wonderful to explore, and it was lovely to just sit and relax in the sunshine and people watch – there’s certainly a lot of people to be watching in Chelsea.

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Dress – Topshop

Leather Jacket – H&M

 Floppy Hat + Shoes – Topshop

After we’d wandered around the shops for a bit, we took a walk slightly off the main road and had a look at all of the beautiful rows of houses. I was particularly impressed with all of the well kept flower boxes.

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We stopped for a bite to eat at My Old Dutch, a really cool pancake place that I’d been to once before with my best friend and her family when I was 11 and really wanted to take Lewis too. The pancakes are pretty big (although admittedly they looked considerably bigger aged 11) and you can pick from the menu or customise your own. Lewis went for the simple, sweet ice cream and maple syrup choice and I chose a savoury pancake.

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It was sad to get the train home as I love London and I’d had such a wonderful couple of days with Lewis, but I felt like we’d managed to fit quite a bit into our day and a half and I was grateful to him for organising it all. Now I’ve just got to get my plans together for his birthday….

Harriette

Photo Credits: Lewis Foster 

For the Love of Breakfast

I would definitely say, since coming to Uni that I have become a breakfast person. I love everything to do with breakfast, I am obsessed with tea, and toast with Nutella, granola and yoghurt, chopped apple, eggs and bacon, pancakes, French toast etc etc. I try quite hard to make breakfast one of my biggest meals of the day, as usually I forget/ am to busy/ have nothing for lunch, so I don’t eat properly again until dinner. Recently, I’ve also started going swimming in the morning, as the outdoor pool near my student accommodation has opened up, and so by the time I’ve done an hour in the pool I’m usually starving for a good breakfast.

The best thing about self-catered student living is definitely that you can have breakfast at anytime of day. The thought of having to get up before 9.30 to have breakfast in catered halls, especially after a heavy night out, is certainly not an appealing one. And ofcourse, the most satisfying breakfasts that you’ll eat all term will be those after a drunken night out in town. In Exeter, there a few really great breakfast places, but the best one to trudge to with you hangover, is definitely Brody’s Breakfast Bistro.

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Brody’s is basically this American-style breakfast buffet place, where customers can buy certain packages like the pancake breakfast for unlimited pancakes with a variety of toppings, or the ultimate breakfast, which is a fry-up buffet complete with all different types of eggs,breakfast meats and breads. Eachpackage comes with unlimited bread and cereal too, so there’s plenty to fill your boots with, and the long tables mean that you can take your all your hungover flatmates to gorge on the most wonderful breakfast in the world. I have visited Brody’s a good many times and I really like it, although you have to be pretty hungry to get your money’s worth of bacon.

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Another great breakfast place that I have yet to visit in Exeter is Boston Tea Party, which I have heard a lot of great things about. They do a lot of posh, quirky breakfasts such as “Baked Eggs and Chorizo Sausage” and “The Boss”: Smoked bacon, traditional pork sausage, Hogs (white) pudding, garlic and thyme baked filed mushroom, rosemary and smoked paprika roasted new potatoes, roasted vine cherry tomatoes, scrabbled egg with tomato and basil, and baked beans. With two rounds of Sherston white or granary toast. If that’s not enough to make you hungry I don’t know what is! I’ve heard they also do great pancakes, delicious cream teas and cakes, and an assortment of yummy smoothies and teas. I’m certainly looking forward to giving this place a try.

This week,  however, all of my breakfast joys have been realised. I’ve been staying with Lewis in London for the past week and yesterday morning we went to The Breakfast Club in Spitalfields. I have wanted to go to The Breakfast Club for ages, as the likes of Lily Pebbles and Lipgloss and Lashes have very much convinced me via their blogs and photos that it is the ultimate place to go for a breakfast foodie like me.

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The restaurant itself is a little tricky to find in Spitalfields, as it’s slightly off the main road. Going inside you do feel a little bit like your in a ‘clubhouse’ with all the random decorations and bits of furniture everywhere. On the way in there was a wire mesh fence on one side where customers had clipped up passport photos,  old train tickets and scribbled notes on napkins. Lewis and I were seated next to an old TV connected up to a Sega Mega Drive  [according to Lewis ] with all the old games like Sonic the Hedgehog and Crash Bandicoot around it. We were also near a fluorescent sign, which read “Sex, Drugs and Bacon Rolls.”

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We were so busy looking around and taking everything in, that we didn’t actually pick up the menu, so when the waitress came over I panicked and asked for a chocolate milkshake, which of course wasn’t on the menu. I felt really bad, but the waitress said she thought they could probably make one anyway, so I said ok. Feeling guilty I watched her go a chat to the guy making milkshakes, and then walk over to us with a metal cup – hands down one of the best milkshakes I have ever tasted, needless to say I didn’t feel bad for too long. Lewis just ordered a Coke and he was very envious.

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Our breakfast was basically brunch, as we had been to the New London Theatre at 10 that morning to see if we could get any day tickets to see WarHorse, which turned out to be really worth the gamble as we got two tickets for £30 for that evening, reduced from £120 – and we had great seats too. As a result we got to the Breakfast Club at about 12.30, and so a lot of people were having lunch, but we’d come for the all day breakfast.

Lewis ordered The All American, which was basically a fried breakfast with scrambled eggs, bacon, sausages, fried potatoes and pancakes with maple syrup. I had the Pancakes with Berries, which was a stack of 4 pretty big pancakes with gorgeous fresh strawberries, raspberries and blueberries and this really sweet vanilla cream which tasted like American frosting/ British buttercream. Although, I did sneak a bite of Lewis’ maple syrup pancakes with bacon.

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We were both absolutely stuffed when we’d finished, and went for a long walk around Spitalfields Market before getting back on the tube. The Breakfast Club is certainly up there on my list of great breakfast places to visit – I think another time I might have gone for the full fry up with pancakes too!

What is your favourite breakfast to have? Do you ever go out for breakfasts? Are there any places near your that you would recommend for a top breakfast?

Harriette

 

Something Sweet in London…

Today me and my boyfriend had a big lunch with my mum and my sister in London, so we decided to go out for a late dessert instead of having dinner. I was planning to take him to The Hummingbird Bakery in Soho, but on the way we stumbled across this “luxury gelato” cafe called Snowflake.

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I went for a CRUMBLE Crepe  with caramelised apple, brown sugar, ground almonds, cinnamon, fresh whipped cream and a cheeky side scoop of Chocolate and Raspberry Ice cream. To drink I had a Luxury Hot Chocolate that was made with melted Milk Chocolate ice cream. It all tasted absolutely amazing.

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My boyfriend Lewis had a  Nutella Waffle with two scoops of ice cream – Amoretto and Sea Salted Caramel. To drink he had a Vanilla, Chocolate, and Caramel Snowshake.

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We had a really nice afternoon, wondering around Soho and stopping in here for some really nice sweet treats.

Where’s your favourite place to go for a little treat?

Thanks for reading.

signed