Low Key Valentines Date Night

Valentines is a sweet night that offers the opportunity for a little extra thought and care than usual. Whether you’re dining out or staying in as we are this year, it’s thoughtful to make an effort for the one you love. As Valentines falls on a Tuesday this year (aka a school night!) we are celebrating on the Friday therefore shareing several glasses of fizz and enjoy each others company. This is my “recipe” for a simple yet romantic night in…

1. Pop a bottle of your favourite fizz or tipple in the fridge, to chill well in advance!

2. If cheesy heart shaped bunting isn’t your thing, scattering small tea lights around your living room or bedroom adds a simple yet romantic touch

3. I’ll apply few extra coats of my favourite (non toxic and cruelty free) mascara — I love this particular one as it someone how curls and thickens my lashes

4. & 5. Have queued up on Spotify a playlist of your mutual favourite songs – you may favour something more smooth and melodic to set the mood on this particular date night

6. Download the latest episode of your favourite current TV show, or a movie you’ve been aching to see. We’ve been watching Taboo on BBC iPlayer and are obsessed with this new moody, gritty period thriller. Tom Hardy is menacing, sexy and intriguing in equal measure!

7. Of course I’ll be wearing my favourite perfume, it wouldn’t be date night with out it 🙂

8. So I’ve discovered this brand of candle recently and love them! It’s a wood wick candle and as well as lightly scenting your room, it crackles and pops as it burns thus giving the subtle sound effect of a small crackling fire — If like me, you don’t have a fireplace, talk about added ambience right?

9. For DINNER: Choose a mutually loved recipe that isn’t too difficult and preferably low maintenance. You don’t need to cook several courses and feel moderate amounts of stress. I’m going for Jamie O’s scrumptious Paella — 1 pan dishes are perfect! It also reminds me of our first holiday together to Barcelona, which has many drunk on love memories 🙂
Final tip! Sophisticated napkin folding tutorial is a sweet final touch to smarten up your table!

I hope whatever you do for V day, you eat well, exchange cards with friends or lovers and furthermore enjoy your own company!

What are your plans?

Love & hugs

xxx

Isn’t it great 2016 is FINALLY over? January Goals | 2017

Happy New Year Darlings!

Goals or, resolutions are synonymous with the start of a New Year, so I thought I’d share mine for 2017.

I hope your hangovers weren’t too bad on New Years day and that you are feeling as joyous and excited as I am for the start of a fresh year. There are some huge goals that I’m about to disclose…  These aren’t only for January but for the next twelve months. Long term commitments aren’t often shared (on my part) so publishing them for public consumption will be a good way of holding oneself accountable

Volunteering at a museum  — There’s a beautiful literary and historic museum near where I live. I’ve been meaning to submit an application to volunteer there for a while now. I want to commit a couple of days a week, offering my skills and experience from previously working in the Museum and Heritage sector. This is a reminder to fill out those forms and give some support!

Slimming World Online — Oh Gosh. A diet plan, weight loss goal for 2017. I will do a “proper” post explaining but briefly, I REALLY need to lose weight. My health, well being, and body need a serious shake up from some of the poorer lifestyle choices I make. Starting this plan will be the first steps I take toward being a healthier human in 2017 and I will be sharing the results and efforts with you

Keep Reading 3 Books a Month — I couldn’t keep up with a-book-a-week attempts in 2016. I have slightly adjusted this to something more reasonable, that way if I want to take on a huge 600 page, historic biography, there’s still breathing space for some easy reading

Paraben free and Cruelty free — I’ve gone Paraben free, cruelty free and am now using products with high percentages of organic, natural materials and ingredients. This applies to not only beauty, make up and skin care but all other products in my life. Whether they’re used in the kitchen, bedroom, or bathroom, I ultimately want to move forward utilising healthier alternatives

Have you made any NY goals or resolutions this year? Please share them with me, I’d love to know!

Love always,
Charlotte x

Barcelona | 2016

1

2

3

4

5

6

7

8

9

10

A few snaps from our recent stay in Barcelona, this August.

1. Boyfriend and the beautiful boulevard by the Arc de Triomf
2. Incredible underground Roman ruins
3. Another shot of the museum, slightly creepy…
4. & 5. Our villa was part of a huge vineyard, the hosts gave us a friendly, personalised tour of the vines and their factory/company. It was educational and I got to do my first wine tasting after!
6. The temperature was around 30-33 degrees every day, I’ve never stayed somewhere so hot or been spoiled with so much sunshine.
7. My little nephew, who is currently fascinated with my glasses and keeps pulling them off my face, declaring “Wow, it all looks funny!” before passing them back
8. This. Pizza. Ohmy. Truffles, truffle cream, delicious herbs, rocket… also located next to the Sagrada Famillia so lunch with an awe inspiring view
9. Mid jump shot! Our infinity pool was one of the best parts of our villa, the view across the hills and vineyards was incredible
10. This bar boasted the best mojitos in the city, they were fresh, sugary, zesty and bloody potent!

August Goals | 2016

photo-1439894671367-1904e126d8f1

Hello there!

I appreciate this late in the month is a little late for “goalz” but in my defense I’ve been on holiday for 2 1/2 and half weeks and with packing/last minute errands, I didn’t have time before that to post!

 

  1. Properly unpack when back from holiday and not leave laundry stagnating in a suitcase! Decant make up products and hand out gifts and souvenirs for friends and family — you know, the proper holiday decompression process.
  2. Wardrobe clear out! Put up on Ebay the masses of unworn clothes that have been sitting (or hanging up) in my wardrobe, I’m never going to wear those weird tweedy Ralph Lauren trousers that I impulse bought, they cost quite a bit, so I really should sell them on and let someone else appreciate them in all their eccentricity and get a bargain…
  3. Make an effort to spend some time with my little sister, hang out and try not to antagonise each other… possibly have fun! This is a biggy as we live relatively close but aren’t good at making time for each other, its mutual but I feel as we get older we should be getting into a habit of it. As I type this, we’ve got a sister day out at Ikea planned, cheap scented candles and new bedding here I come!
  4. Ask a favour of my Dad and get him to come and fit my new copper light shade — I haven’t been able to do this since I recently redecorated my bedroom and it’s one of the final touches to complete.
  5. Rewrite and update my CV. This is something I’ve been putting off for a while, I’m currently searching for a new job so really need to get a new covering letter together and update the whole document. Eurghhhh. (If anyone has any hints or tips, hit me up!)

What are your plans with the remainder of this summery month?

 

xx

The Easter Tag | 2016

IMG_2864

This tag is currently going around Twitter so I jumped on the chocolate laden band wagon…

1. What does Easter/Good Friday look like in your country?

A long extended bank holiday during which most families get together, exchange eggs and sit down for a big roast on the Sunday!

In our household, Easter Sunday is a long lie in, then usually a special breakfast with croissants and fresh coffee, followed by exchanging chocolate and small presents. We normally have a roast followed by parlour games or silly quizzes and drinks.

2.Do you have Easter/Good Friday Traditions?

When we were little, Easter time meant a lot of church/mass as my sister and I were brought up Roman Catholic. Although I would not deem myself a “religious person” anymore, my fathers side of the family are, so our extended family drop in to our house more frequently as they attend mass with my Dad post-various services during this period.

Due to our religious upbringing, Easter seemed to be infused with so much more meaning and celebration in our family than it was in any of my friends from school. None of my class mates or friends from my neighbourhood were Christians so for them it was seen as “chocolate weekend!” whereas we understood it was a symbolic religious celebration.  I don’t remember feeling bothered about this, although I felt a little resentful when I was younger about the amount of church we had to attend, giving up all sweet treats for lent and generally feeling a little scared about the mass involving the crucifying of Jesus.

I remember the frisson of excitement which was on par with Christmas eve when Good Friday came around and remember getting significantly more presents than my non-Christian friends on the Easter Sunday, result!

3.What is the perfect Easter/Good Friday?

Relaxing really! Normally doing a few last minute chores to make the house look extra clean and tidy. We put an Easter tree made of twigs and decorate it with small painted eggs and tiny decorations such as rabbits and chickens. My Mumma normally lays the table in advance of the Sunday roast as she likes to decorate the dining room, put up bunting, special candles etc. then we aren’t allowed in there until the Sunday.

4. Do you believe in the Easter Bunny?

We don’t really have the Easter Bunny in England — presents are shared and given amongst family members.

5. What is your favorite Easter Candy?

I love Lindt chocolate, although I don’t really have a sweet tooth so often I will melt my Easter chocolate down and make scrummy hot chocolates over the next couple of weeks.

6. What part of the chocolate bunny do you eat first?

Ears to feet? I feel so cruel saying that!

7. What is your favorite thing about Easter?

I love shopping for pretty Easter cards, chocolates and finding small gifts for my family and boyfriends family. I look forward to decorating my house with neat little bunting, bunches of daffodils and spring flowers and generally treating Easter as a celebration to welcome Spring into our house, after a very long, cold, dark winter in England.

8. What was your favourite Easter memory?

Probably my earliest memory, coming down from my bedroom to see our dining covered with chocolate eggs and toys.

9. What are your plans for the Easter weekend this year?

I spent it with my boyfriends family, we cooked a big dinner together on the Saturday, played with our niece and nephew, organised an egg hunt for the Sunday morning, went out to a local country bistro for a Sunday lunch and I had a yummy nut roast followed by an insaaaane cheese board (possibly a highlight of the weekend?). We then relaxed, curled up on sofas and watched a couple of family movies together. It was really special.

10. Do you colour eggs?

When we were little we did, I still remember aged 3, dying eggs at Nursery, dipping shells in warm coloured dyes and painting them once they had dried.

11. What would your perfect coloured egg be?

White with rose gold details.

12. Favorite Easter/Good Friday treat?

It’s allllllllllll about the big Sunday roast: chicken (or trout for me), crispy roast potatoes, greens, roasted butternut squash, broccoli, Yorkshire puddings, gravy…

13. Do you hunt/hide eggs?

We hide eggs for the little ones, so in addition to their big Easter egg, they have little baskets to hunt for smaller chocolate eggs.

14. What do you typically put in Easter baskets?

We don’t have baskets here, gifts are just given out in gift bags.

15. What does Easter/Good Friday mean to you?

Family time, food and rest.

 

Birthday Week | July 2015

IT WAS MY BIRTHDAY!

I had a whole week a celebrations planned.

I took an indulgent few days off work, went up North to visit my best friend where many snuggles, drunken silliness, trips to Ikea, dinners out, mischief and catch ups happened… then I had a more relaxing, beautiful evening at Cote with friends closer to home, delicious bubbly, conversation and French food. Perfect.

On the day of my birthday, boyfriend and I headed into London and visited the eccentric oddity that was the Sir John Soane Museum. We ate at Bob Bob Ricard where I had the famous lobster burger and my boyfriend had the pork belly with the BEST truffle mashed potato. If it hadn’t been my birthday he wouldn’t have let me have steal so many spoonfuls!Paul Winch-Furness / PhotographerSource

In the afternoon we went shopping in Harrods and later on I was treated to Oysters and Champagne in the food court. Whilst the bubbly was crisp and delicious, I detested the bitterly salty Oysters! We wondered around,  gazed longingly at many beautiful diamonds (me) and watches (him), bought my yearly birthday cigar and had enough time to purchase some Macarons from Laduree before catching the train home… Tummies full with rich food, sugary treats and arms heavily loaded with glossy dark green Harrods bags.

I was lucky enough to receive many lovely presents but since forever I have wanted a Mulberry handbag. What I didn’t expect was that the kindest individual would treat me to my first one! When my boyfriend presented it to me the night before my birthday, I was too stunned to even speak, except to give a little squeak and stare disbelievingly at the chic, grey carboard shopping bag, with gilt gold writing.  It was the most thoughtful  present I have ever been given. mulberry1 mulberry2 It’s a Blossom tote, and I am head over heels in love with the colour. What do you think? Next was this adorkable macaron bracelet from Laduree at Harrods. It’s in pistachio, my favourite flavour. Yum! macaronbracelet This perfume by Jo Malone. I had wanted to try this range for a while now, the scent is sweet, complex and I adore the crisp, woody notes. joe malone

Boyfriend’s parents gave me this necklace from Mint Velvet, I love the bronzed, golden colour. They also treated me to a cream dress from Mint Velvet, to wear out in London on the day of my birthday.

necklace

I also got so many candles, I’m pretty much obsessed with candles, after I took this photo I received three more! The Gardenia Blossom is particularly gorgeous, a heady mix of coconuts, beaches and white gardenias.

candles

Oh and it wouldn’t be my birthday without a little geekery… the new pokemon game — I am obsessed with!

I admit, I was feeling very anxious about aging another year, creeping closer to 30 (well, in a few years) but with the company of my good friends to celebrate, plenty of fizz and decadence… It all made it a little less painful 🙂

Hope you’re enjoying the sunshine!

Love,
Charlotte

 

Date Night, or, The Best Fries I Have Ever Eaten.

This is a post dedicated to the best fries I have ever eaten in my life.

YES, FRIES. Get on board now and bare with me, it will make this all a little easier…  Fries are one of my favourite snacks and whilst these are a far stretch from a healthy Alkaline green smoothie, if you are going to indulge in a little decadence you need to go all out with these:

20140816_184919 20140816_184923

These are truffle and parmesan fries and they are the most incredible pub snack you will ever eat. They are the creation of The Thomas Lord,  a  traditional period, country pub that does astoundingly good food which supersedes your average local. My boyfriend and I both live in “middle of nowhere” villages and on one of our first dates,  he took me to the Thomas Lord. It was love at first bite.

They are cooked multiple times in order to create the perfectly crisp outer skin that crunches with each delicious mouthful. Not only is the texture sublime but for added taste they are cooked in flavoursome truffle oil. This  is not an over powering flavoured oil, it lends a distinctive richness and mouth-watering scent that I have not experienced or tasted previously. They are finished with a light coating of salty, parmesan shavings that are the final scrumptious seal.

As you can see, I enjoy these with a large glass of Rose whilst my boyfriend opts for a local ale, Ringwood.

If you are ever in the county of Hampshire and are headed South, I would highly recommend dropping by this beautiful little Bistro, it is one of my favourite places to curl up on an old creased leather sofa, with a lovely glass of wine, catching up with my love and tucking into some tasty eats.

bar_tables-2

Charlotte xx