Meat free Monday, 2015 – Day 01 of 52.

The Husband and I have decided to do Meat free Monday for 2015. This means that each of us will have an entirely meat free Monday… every Monday for a year. After being a very strict vegetarian for almost 8 years, I thought that this would be easy, but after vowing to “never eat that much meat” after going back to being a meat-eater, I now eat it every single day. This meant that when it came to meal planning this week, my mind went blank. I’m a little worried that I don’t know what I lived on for so long!

I decided on halloumi in filo parcels for tonight. I was inspired by the starter at the Christmas party that I went to this year. Each parcel I filled with 1/4 of a halloumi block, some lime juice, fresh red chilli, fresh coriander and a drizzle of oil and I baked them for 15 minutes in a pre-heated oven. I also grilled some pineapple and made a fresh pineapple and chilli salsa. It went quite well. It’s a recipe that will need to be tweaked in the future, but it’ll be worth the effort I think.

Here’s my effort… [there’s also some chilli mango sauce and some couscous going on there]

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If you partake in MFM, what are your favourite recipes? Actually, even if you don’t, what are your favourite meat-free recipes?

Happy Monday.

L.

Eslor firming collagen day cream.

This is a really nice moisturiser.

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I got it in my Birchbox in December. The full retail price is £50, but the one in my BB is a smaller, 10ml sample size that looks like it will last a couple of weeks if I just use it once a day. It feels quite thick when you scoop it out of the jar and it feels silky on the face. It has a sort of powder-like finish that comes from products which usually describe themselves as non-oily. The smell seems to put off a lot of people if you look at reviews from the US, however we seem to like it here in the UK. It smells like evening primrose oil and the smell is very strong, I can smell it hours after I’ve applied it.

It has very minimal ingredients [taken from US site] which is comforting:

Active Ingredients: Lactic Acid, Ginseng Extract, Aloe Vera Gel, Avocado Oil, Wheat Germ Oil, Sesame Oil, Avocado Butter, Olive Butter and Hydrolyzed Marine Collagen.

Bonus: The Husband, without knowing that I was trying a new product, complimented me on my skin today, telling me that I had a natural glow. I’m not wearing make-up, which makes this a huge compliment and really, it was the prompt I needed to write this sort-of review. I’ve had a cold for a week now, so I was not expecting my skin to look good.

If you’ve tried this product, or you’ve been inspired to give it a go, let me know how you get on with it.

L.

Happy 2015!

Hello everyone. Please, grab a squishy cushion, light a scented candle, make a cup of chamomile tea and get comfortable. This might be a long one! I’ve got lots of Liberty advent goodies to catch you up on. Then there’s Christmas. Let’s do it…

[I won’t post all of the pictures because this would be super picture heavy, but you can find them all on my Instagram].

I had so much fun with this advent calendar. I worked out that on one of the days I was wearing 7 of the products from my calendar!

Day 6: Kiehl’s Creme de Corps. I’ve wanted to try this for years. It’s thick, luxurious and super nourishing. I have been keeping this in my bag for on-the-bus hand moisturising, which I do a lot.

Day 7: Trish McEvoy line refiner. Very posh! Sadly I think that this gave me spots. I’ll try it again in a few months.

Day 8: REN makeup remover cream. I’ve used this a few times and it does what it says on the tin. I quite like cream make up removers, so this is nice.

Day 9: A nude lipstick by Hourglass. I didn’t like this as first, because I don’t wear nude shades, but I added some gloss and it became lovely.

Day 10: ESPA cleanser.

Day 11: Deborah Lippmann nail polish in a shade of purple. I’ve not tried it yet, but it’s in the polish box, ready to go.

Day 12: Decleor body milk. This smells wonderful. I love body milks, they seem to smell more than lotions and creams and the smell seems to live on my skin longer.

Day 13: Rum body wash by Malin & Goetz. I’ve not tried this yet, so I can’t say if it’s good, but it gets great reviews.

Day 14: One of my top 5 products from the advent calendar – Rose Salve from C.O.Bigelow Apothecaries. I think I will repeat purchase this once it runs out. I use it daily. It smells amazing, it makes my lips feel supple and it tastes nice too.

Day 15: Weleda skin food. It smells herby & it’s thick and waxy, which is fab. I have this next to my bed and I use it for moisturising my hands before bed. Seriously, I get through so much moisturiser. I might have a problem.

Day 16: Surratt eye smudge pencil thingy. It’s double ended with an eye liner on one end and a sparkly eyeshadow on the other. The packaging is clever, with the eye shadow applicator being like a sponge which is built it. The colour is nice too – like mink?

Day 17: Dermalogica cleanser. I’ve not tried it yet.

Day 18: Lip balm. One of the best I have ever tried, ever. This is up there with the Creme de la Mer lip balm. It’s expensive (£32), but amazing. I will buy this again.

Day 19: A voucher for a facial at the Liberty spa.

Day 20: Laura Mercier lip gloss. This is a lovely colour and it’s slightly sparkly. I now carry this in my handbag.

Day 21: Dr Sebagh repairing serum with hyaluronic acid. It’s pricey at £69 (it was a full size one in the calendar!) and it really is quite nice. I didn’t know that I needed a product to go in-between cleanser and moisturiser, but this has shown me the error of my ways – it makes my skin feel tight, in a nice way.

Day 22: Kai body lotion. I wish I could describe the smell of this. It’s exotic and beautiful.

Day 23: Eve Lom. More cleanser. I would have chosen to have less cleansers, but it is what it is. This is the one I’ll try first.

Day 24: Molecule 01 perfume by Escentric Molecules. This is a full bottle and it’s like a concept perfume. The wearer can’t smell it after 5 minutes, but others can. It adjusts to the wearer, so it smells different on every one. I like what I can smell when I first put it on, it’s quite masculine, cedar-like and fresh.

Day 25: Diptyque candle. This is the one I was looking forward to the most. It’s really lovely. Liberty’s best selling candle. So there we have it, that was the calendar. The box is rather nice, so I’m going to do something with it for next year. That’ll save me some money!

What else has been happening? We had a Christmas party at work. That was a great night. There was a photo booth, shots were consumed, great food was enjoyed and there was dancing. I wore this dress and belt from ASOS Curve… it was swishy and lovely. It’s so hard to find dresses that don’t have thigh-high slits in them at the moment. I blame Angelina Jolie. I wore my favourite pair of heels, which I can’t show you because I can’t find a picture of. You’ll have to trust me that they’re nice. Screen Shot 2015-01-04 at 19.01.01 Screen Shot 2015-01-04 at 19.01.26 Screen Shot 2015-01-04 at 19.00.49Screen Shot 2015-01-04 at 19.05.21

I went out for a drink/food with a friend to The Cow in Brighton. The food was very good, we had little tapas type things. I also had a couple of milk stouts, which were lovely (you can even see my rose salve on the table).

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The Husband and I also tried out a new burger joint in Horsham called Meat in the Middle and Bo decided to help me wrap Christmas presents. The burger place was a bit trendy, it sells pulled pork and ribs too and they let you choose your burger bun (I went with brioche, obviously). It also has Lego on the walls and the salt and pepper come in light bulb shakers. We’ll be back to try out some of the other things on the menu, it was really hard to choose because I wanted everything. Screen Shot 2015-01-04 at 19.11.46

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Christmas was lovely. We had a roast pork dinner on Christmas Eve, we spent Christmas day with The Husband’s family, and we spent Boxing day with my family. It went quickly & I was back to work before I knew it.

The Husband got me a Montblanc pen to match the one that he got me last year. It’s this one…

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I got him a music box thingy [it’s electronic and makes drum noises] and also a helicopter flying lesson. We both also got each other some stocking fillers. It was lovely. NYE was a bit of a disaster as I had a cold and spent it on my own. But there’s always next year! I’d like to spend New Year somewhere abroad at some point. That’d be fun. I made some resolutions [of course]…

  • Eat at least 1 piece of fruit per day [so far I’ve had oranges, bananas, Physalis, and asian pears – it’s only the 4th!]
  • Drink more in general [my kidneys can’t keep putting up with my lack of fluids]
  • Do more
  • Sell at least one piece of jewellery this year. I really need to get my business up and running
  • We will partake in Meat Free Monday for a year

There we have it. Nothing too tricky. Wish me luck! I’ve hit a bit of a wall; a combination of a cold and the winter blues will do that, I think. This means that at some point I’ll have to start planning something and I’m thinking summer holiday! We’ve talked about it already and we’re going to skip America this year. I LOVE Belgium, France, Switzerland, Italy, and Germany, so that would be a good move. We will see… TV at the moment has been dominated by Lost. Yes, I know, I’m almost a decade behind everyone else, but at least I’m there finally. It’s awesome, which of course you also know, because everyone else seems to have seen it. I’m on Season 3, so I am not willing to tell you when I started watching it. That would be embarrassing. I’ll stop there, I will try to write more regularly in the future. Keep smiling, happy 2015, and let’s talk soon! Thanks for reading, L.