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Columbia Road Flower Market: A Sunday Well Spent

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I’d wanted to check out the Columbia Road Flower Market in South-East London for a long time, but being right at the other side of London, it seemed like a mission to get to, especially for a leisurely sunday.

However, after carefully planning a trip which incorporated a fun day exploring a part of the city I’d left untapped, I was really excited to get going to the market.

I wasn’t disappointed and came away wishing that I hadn’t left it as long to discover this amazing gem the city I’d lived in for five years had to offer. It’s everything you would expected from a typical London market and more, the flowers are exquisite, there is so much to see, paired with the lively hustle and bustle of a popular sunday market that makes it a special experience you won’t forget.

It’s definitely a great way to spend a sunday and I can’t wait to go back with a better idea of exactly what I want to buy. I have heard that if you visit the market not long before it closes there are bargains to be had, so that’s possibly what I will be doing the next time I go. It’s also worth nothing that it was absolutely heaving, so if packed crowds aren’t your thing then this might not be for you.

All in all a great experience – pair it with finding a cosy pub for sunday lunch and you’ve got my version of the perfect way to spend a sunday!

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Two ingredient pancakes

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When I first saw this recipe I couldn’t believe that by using two simple ingredients, you could make something so delicious yet healthy. All you need for this recipe is three eggs and two small bananas.

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My first attempt at these was disastrous – they are best made into smaller pancakes rather than the large crepe style that I attempted. 

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Method

  1. Simply blend all the ingredients together in a food processor or similar (I used my nutri bullet) until they form a goopy liquid consistency.
  2. Then simply use coconut oil or an oil of your choice in a hot pan and pour a small amount of the mixture into a pan.
  3. Let the pancake cook for one-two minutes and flip it over to cook on the other side.
  4. Continue to do this until all the mixture has gone and you have a lovely tall pancake stack!
  5. Add a topping of your choice – I used a small amount coco powder but I think Agave Nectar would be a really nice treat.

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Perfume Edit: My all-time favourite scents’

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Recently I’ve built up quite an array of fragrances, some new and some old favourites.  I like to pick and choose which perfume to wear according to the occasion, how I’m feeling and time of year.

There’s nothing better than selecting a holiday fragrance which with one spritz can take you back to a beautiful beach holiday or exciting city break. I love how different smells bring back cherished memories ready for you to relive them again and automatically enhance your mood.

With that in mind, I thought I would share with you some of my go-to fragrances. There are such a plethora of perfumes on the market; I am always looking out for my next new scent via recommendations so hopefully you may find this a source of inspiration for your next purchase!

My every day scents:

There are some scents that are great all-rounders. One’s that you can spray every day and rely on to make you feel great and suit any situation…

Burberry Body: This is my most recent purchase from just last weekend. I have loved the smell of this ever since a colleague in my old company had it in their desk draw years ago. It’s a light floral and fruity smell, very wearable. However, as it is quite a pricey scent I had not yet invested in a bottle and it kind of fell off my radar…. That was until I snapped this up in TK Max reduced from £67 down to £25! It was an absolute bargain and while I wasn’t able to test the fragrance in the shop and was a bit nervous that I remembered it correctly, I wasn’t disappointed. You could describe it as an elegant and memorable scent with top notes being freesia, peach and wormwood. Middle notes are sandalwood, rose and iris and base notes are vanilla, amber, musk and cashmere wood. As it’s inexpensive, I don’t feel guilty for using it daily, but it still feels like a really luxurious and special product.

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Buy it at the same price here: http://www.allbeauty.com/861025-burberry-body-eau-de-toilette-spray-85ml

Michael Kors: This has to be my all-time favourite perfume. It’s just everything I want in a scent and more, if I had to choose just one to wear forever, this would be it! For me, that’s quite a big statement to make! It’s also kind of surprising given that Michael Kors wouldn’t really be a brand I would have chosen or thought would make my kind of smell. Similarly to Burberry Body, a friend of mine had this perfume and as soon as she sprayed it, I HAD to have it. It’s actually been around since 2000 and I’m a bit worried might be being phased out (god forbid!). Apparently the scent reinvents the exotic scent of tuberose with its creamy florals meet warm spices, tamed by Moroccan incense to create a modern scent of contrasting notes. It’s a great all-rounder and is my ultimate go-to scent.

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Buy it here: http://www.allbeauty.com/6456-michael-kors-michael-eau-de-parfum-100ml

Summer scent:

Chloe Roses: This is quite a musky yet floral scent, the mix of the two make it girly yet sexy and perfect for a warm summers day or a holiday. The Roses De Chloe fragrance which was launched in 2013 celebrates 50 years of the House Chloe. The rose scent immediately exudes incredible freshness, a sensation derived from the bergamot. This top note flows into a damascena rose essence, modernized with a magnolia accord. The base note leaves the trail of white musk and amber on the skin. It’s a special type of fragrance and comes in a really pretty bottle that will make any dressing table look stylish.

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Buy it here: http://www.allbeauty.com/203225-chloe-roses-de-chloe-eau-de-toilette-spray-75ml?ref=%7Badtype%7D&utm_source=%7Badtype%7D&utm_medium=FREE&currency=GBP&country=48&&gclid=CjwKEAiA9om3BRDpzvihsdGnhTwSJAAkSewL8myMxEbZNWSsWko4ntPkzWrfRA0dE4d19D3JnK6IWhoCn_nw_wcB

My sophisticated scent:

Dolce by Dolce and Gabbana: This is my go-to fragrance when I’m looking for something fresh and a bit more grown up, I’ll wear it if I’m going somewhere really special or getting dressed up. Dolce is a gentle, feminine mix of white flowers. It is made up of a unique combination of White Water Lily and bold White Daffodil blend with the full-bodied White Amaryllis. According to official website, the flower stopper pays tribute to Sicilian customs and a thin black grosgrain ribbon, presented in an elegant bow, conjures images of the white shirts and bow-ties that were a signature of early Dolce&Gabbana catwalk shows. The final, and most personal, touch: Dolce signed in a flourish of black script, a replica of Domenico Dolce’s father’s own signature. It’s a really special treat to wear this and has great lasting power. However, it’s definitely as the more expensive end of the range, I think I bought mine for around £90.

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Buy here: http://www.theperfumeshop.com/Dolce&Gabbana/22/brand

Old Favourite:

Jo Malone, Wild fig and Cassis cologne: This one I’ve had for years, having first become obsessed with the smell in a perfumery in the centre of Paris on my gap year about seven years ago. It’s a woody floral musk fragrance for women and men (are you sensing a theme here?). Wild Fig & Cassis was launched in 2002. Top notes are cassis, cherry, grass and fig; middle notes are hyacinth, cyclamen, jasmine and pine tree; base notes are patchouli, cedar, amber and musk.

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I think they must be out of stock on the website but you can purchase the candle or bath, body lotion here: http://www.jomalone.co.uk/product/3560/9741/For-the-Home/Home-Candles/Wild-Fig-Cassis-Home-Candle

What are your favourite scents?

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Friday favourites: This week featuring – Becca’s Shimmering Skin Perfector, Monica Vinader, Reiss and Kiehl’s products

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Becca Shimmering Skin Perfector in Champagne Pop

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I’ve finally managed to get my hands on this highlighter after lusting after it for months. I first went into Space NK to ask for it back in November and was told that they didn’t stock it in the UK but might start to for Christmas, well, Chirstmas has come and gone and I still couldn’t seem to find it! However while queuing at the counter ready to purchase a different item, I saw the product ready for purchase at the POS and I knew I had to have it.

The product has not disappointed – the powder is a lovely soft texture as it is very finely milled which creates suitable yet buildable highlight which looks beautiful as it catches the light. I’m really not a big fan of very glittery highlights so this one is perfect for me. Although it is quite a pricey product, this is hands down the best highlighter I’ve ever used. Well worth the extra pennies. It is also the only product from Becca I’ve tried but having heard so much about the range I’m very tempted to try a few others.

£32 from Space NK: http://www.spacenk.com/uk/en_GB/brands/b/becca/jaclyn-hill-shimmering-skin-perfector-pressed-champagne-pop-MUK200015845.html

Kiehl’s midnight recovery concentrate

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Having suffered from very sensitive and breakout prone skin for a few months now, I’ve been looking for something to help calm this which isn’t too harsh on the skin. There are many different skin oils on the market at the moment and I’ve had my eye on a few. The Kiehls midnight recovery oil stood out to me as it’s had fantastic reviews and is a brand I know and love as well as being a slightly more affordable option.

Having said that, first impression were mixed – while the oil made my skin softer I didn’t notice it become visibly clearer overnight. Perhaps my expectations were a bit too high. However, having used the oil every evening for about three weeks now, my skin does look visibly clear and plumper in the morning and my blemishes have cleared up. I’m not sure if it is down to the oil or if it’s just cleared up on its own, but either way I’m happy.

The concentrate is very oily and not serum like at all – be warned as I managed to spill half the bottle on bed sheets the first evening I tried it! It has a lovely smell of essential oils which make me confident the concentrate uses naturally occurring substances and so won’t warm my skin.

It’s £37 from Space NK: http://uk.spacenk.com/en_GB/midnight-recovery-concentrate/MUK200006357.html

Reiss coat

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I love my new coat from Reiss, purchased at Cheshire Oaks Designer Outlet. I’ve been after a lighter spring coat for a while and as soon as I tried this one on I knew it was perfect. It’s the kind of coat that you could dress up for a wedding with heels and a hat or wear to work in flats and an oversized scarf. It was an absolute bargain at £117 down from £265.

http://www.mcarthurglen.com/uk/cheshire-oaks-designer-outlet/en/

Monica Vinader – Ava Button Ring 18ct Gold Plated Vermeil on Sterling Silver

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I’m totally obsessed with Monica Vinader jewellery and had been after one of her rings for a long a time. After trying out many of the rings in store, this week I finally relented and purchased the Ava button ring. This beautiful ring features pavé set diamonds totalling 0.10 carats in 18ct Rose Gold Plated Vermeil on Sterling Silver. The diamond button measures 8mm in diameter and 5.5mm in depth. I love the fact that you can wear it along or stack it with other of her creations.

£215 from Monica Vinader http://www.monicavinader.com/ava-button-ring/gold-vermeil-ava-button-ring-diamond?search=%2Fshop%2Frings#slide-3

 

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Foundation: The ‘Can’t Live Without’ Edit

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I’ve tried and tested many different foundations in my time – both luxury and drugstore. After sorting through my makeup today, it made me realise that I’ve finally whittled my collection of foundations down to a pretty great mix of products covering a whole mix of uses and requirements.

It took a long time and a lot of testing but I’m really happy with my current collection and although I’ll always enjoy testing and experimenting with new products, I thought I’d share my ‘can’t live without’ foundations. These are the few that I’ll alternate throughout the year, changing them up depending on the climate and how my skin is at the time, I know I can always trust them to stay put and do the job perfectly.

L’Oreal: True Match Foundation

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAI became an advocate of this foundation back at University when I was looking for an affordable, good coverage foundation. At the time (about six years ago) when this product was relatively new, it was pretty cutting edge and I’d put it top of the drug-store offering. I still remember trying it for the first time and being blown away by the blendability and durability of this foundation. Since then, this has become a firm favourite and although there are many other good products now available at the drug-store, I still find myself reaching for this one often, I know it will always do the job and for the price point it is unbelievable value for money. I pretty much used this foundation exclusively for three years as it was so reliable and high quality, I’ve heard it compared to many top luxury foundations.

It’s also worth noting that it has added SPF 17 – always a bonus to have a bit of SPF in there. What’s also great about True Match is I find it really buildable without looking cakey. This one would be TOP of my list if you are looking for a good drug-store foundation that’s good coverage with a dewy, light, fresh finish. For £9.99 you can’t go wrong.

http://www.boots.com/en/LOreal-Paris-True-Match-Foundation-30ml_1727639/

Estee Lauder Double Wear, Stay in Touch Makeup

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This is an old faithful foundation, quite possibly one of the first I’d ever tried. This is because my mother has worn it for as long as I remember, so as a teen, when I was first experimenting with makeup I would always use my mums. This is extremely full coverage which stays in place all day.

If you are after something that you just want to completely even out skin tone and that will cover every blemish and red spot easily and in one coating then this is for you.

The problem with starting off using a foundation like this is you find that anything you use afterwards, never quite gives you the full, even finish that this one offers. However, what I will say that it can be a bit of a shame to use this type of product on young, youthful skin that doesn’t really need the full coverage. It can be a bit heavy and has been known to give my skin little bumps if I’m having skin sensitivity. I find this product is best in heavy winter, when the weather is horrible outside and you want a good coverage to last you all day, while protecting your face from external weather conditions.

http://www.esteelauder.co.uk/product/643/3894/Product-Catalog/Makeup/Face/Foundations/Double-Wear/Stay-in-Place-Makeup-SPF-10

Nars Sheer Glow

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This has become such a cult classic foundation that I finally gave in and purchased it, after reading about all the hype for so long. The first things that come to mind about this product is a) it’s buildability – depending on your skin and how you are feeling you can give a simple wash of colour or build up a proper covering, and b) the ‘glow’ or sheen that it gives your skin, leaving it looking radiant and fresh.

If you are after a product where those two elements are top of your wish list then this is definitely the one for you. It doesn’t feel heavy on the skin and gives a super natural finish. There are loads of reviews on this foundation that you can search for if you would like an in-depth review. It is a bit more on the pricey side at £31.

http://uk.spacenk.com/en_GB/sheer-glow-foundation/MUK200005274.html

L’Oreal Infallible 25-Matte Foundation

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This was a new discovery when it launched last year and while I wasn’t necessarily drawn to pick it up straight away due to it being primarily a matte finish (I’m generally more of a fan of the dewy look), I was totally in LOVE as soon as I had it on my skin. This product glides on so easily, gives a great coverage with hardly any product and leaves your skin looking nice and even in tone.

I think it’s always a good idea to have a matte foundation up your sleeve if you are going to be in photographs, particular in a hot climate and want to ensure you don’t have that shiny, sweaty gleam that is never a good look. This product is perfect for that use and if you want something that won’t budge once set. The only thing you do have to be careful about is not using too much product as it can be cakey if you pile it on.

This is one I’ll use if I’m having a good skin day as my skin can become quite sensitive too it, or if I’m going on summer holidays for an evening look. Last year this was the only foundation I used throughout the summer, they have a great tanned shade in ‘sand’ which I would recommend once you have got a bit of colour on your face. Again, this is another one that is great value for money and I have heard many people rave about; even those who primarily use luxury products have become obsessed with this drug-store buy. For £7.99 you can’t go wrong!

http://www.boots.com/en/LOreal-Paris-Infallible-Matte-Foundation_1655157/

Estee Lauder Double Wear Light: Stay in Place Makeup

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I HAD to try out this product given how amazing their original Double Wear Foundation was, and I wasn’t left disappointed. Having said how heavy the original can be, this is completely the opposite, it is a much lighter version in both coverage and consistency. What I like about it is that it is still a buildable product depending on what level of coverage you want as well as being one that will stay in place all day. This is another one that I will use in the summer, when I’m after a lower level of coverage and something quite dewy and natural looking on the skin. It is also SPF 10 added in for a bit of protection. It’s around the £31 so more of an investment foundation.

http://www.esteelauder.co.uk/product/643/3542/Product-Catalog/Makeup/Face/Foundations/Double-Wear-Light/Stay-in-Place-Makeup-SPF-10

Vichy Dermabend: Fluid corrective foundation 16h

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This is the newest edition to my collection and one that is a current favourite. As mentioned, I’d been having some problems with my skin recently and wanted a foundation that didn’t have any ‘nasties’ or pore clogging properties. After doing a bit of research, this one was recommended for anyone with problem or acne prone skin so I hot tailed it down to my local boosts and picked it up.

I wasn’t sure what to expect as I’d never used this brand before but I was really pleasantly surprised. It is a medium to full coverage foundation that will cover any kind of blemish, scar or discolouring in an instant. For a drug-store foundation the coverage is amazing, a little product goes a long way with this one. It is more of a matte finish, and not unlike the L’Oreal one but a little less thick in consistency. I’m not surprised at all that it is their best selling product and will definitely be repurchasing. A big thank you to Em Sheldon for blogging about this product, check out her amazing review here: http://www.emtalks.co.uk/2015/10/vichy-dermablend-review-my-favourite.html

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I guess there is a running theme throughout all these foundations – I’m always after a durable product that I can put on in the morning and will still be there in the evening with zero to minimal top up. There are so many foundations out there that just slide off your face after a few hours and it drives me mad. I want to use a product with a good level of coverage and that’s reliable which all of these foundations are. I think there is something for everyone in this list of foundations and I would recommend everyone.

http://www.vichy.co.uk/foundation-make-up/corrective-foundation-dermablend/p2210.aspx

Which foundation is your favourite?

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