A Beauty and Lifestyle Blog

Thursday, 31 December 2015

Jamie's Italian, St Paul's | Food





Turns out I don't actually need to go all the way to Florence to get yummy Italian food, I'll come back immediately! I'm joking of course, but I did want to say that this food at Jamie's Italian was delicious. 

My old work pal was invited to check out the new restaurant at St Paul's which is just around the corner from my previous office, he thought it would be a great idea to turn it into a team lunch and well I'll use any excuse to have a glass of prosecco at lunch! I know there are a lot of mixed reviews about Jamie's Italian restaurant, like I get it, if you go to Italy the food will always be better, I get it but you know what I like food and I'm not pretentious, I'll always give it a go. I've never been to and Jamie's restaurants before but I will say that I was pleasantly surprised. I do have to say that the staff was amazing, our waiter was the sweetest little guy always make sure we were OK, offering his opinion on the food we picked out, very accommodating. 

The choice on the menu was vast! Everything from burgers, to steak, to pasta to Italian nachos, which i think is really great.There was 7 of us so obviously people are going to want different things and I must admit as I was looking around what everyone else had I would have been happy to have any of those, apart from risotto, can't stand the stuff. But let's talk about what I chose, which was the Penne Carbonara. I love a carbonara, the creamier the better really and I do prefer penne pasta to tagliatelle or spaghetti just because it's less messy. I would say that portion size was a pretty good size perhaps fractionally too large for my lunch but I wouldn't have it any other way. When it came to the table I did look and think that there wasn't as much sauce as I expected. However, once I stuck my fork into it I realised that all the sauce and chunks of pancetta was underneath the first little layer of penne. The sauce was spiced perfectly, it had a peppery kick to it. The little flakes of bacon on the top was incredibly fine and crispy, very delicate. Overall, I think it was pretty damned tasty. We had a discount on the food but personally, I think even at full price it would have still been well worth it. 

Have you been to a Jamies Italian restaurant?
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Tuesday, 29 December 2015

Kiko Pencil Lip Gloss | Beauty




It's a beauty isn't it? Now, what I'm going to say may shock you but it's ok because I assume you're sitting down when reading this and if you're not then you should because it's dangerous to walk and read at the same time, but I have never tried any Kiko products and never before have I even wanted to. I know, how dare I even call myself a beauty blogger. 

Again, I was aimlessly wandering and stumbled across this massive Kiko store, it was so busy but I thought as I'm out I may as well have a look. It was beautiful, everything was laid out so clearly and considering there were so many people store wasn't a mess at all. As it looked so high end I thought, oh geez how much does this stuff cost...I was stunned to realise that some of these products we be considered budget make up. This Kiko Pencil Lip Gloss cost just €3.90, just €3.90 that is nothing considering the quality. I was a little overwhelmed but I though just focus on what I could do with instead of just purchasing everything within arms reach. So my readers will know that I love a nude (we're talking strictly makeup you pervs) Always nude on the lips, I will sometimes venture down the pinky red road but not very often, I like all the drama on my eyes not my lips. I saw this little gem and gave it a quick swatch, it doesn't have a name but it's number 08. As soon as a swatched it I noticed that it had a very soft buttery texture, but wasn't sticky like lipgloss. Me and lip gloss don't get on, my hair is often down and with even a slight breeze it's just chaos. But a Pencil Lip Gloss is something I can work with. 

I'd say because it is nude you would have to reapply as often as you would with anything else, it's not matte so it wears quite easily but for me that isn't really a problem. I found it didn't leave my lips feeling too sticky and it almost reminded me a little of the NARS lip pencils because they also have the lipstick texture but in pencil form, however Kiko is a fraction of the cost. I have found myself reaching for this pencil literally everyday, it goes with everything and I'd say this particular shade is a perfect nude match for me. I'm definitely going to check out Kiko for foundation to see whether they have a nice pale shade for me. 

What Kiko products do you love? 
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Saturday, 26 December 2015

The Christmas Post | Lifestyle


And then it was all over. 

As you're reading this you're probably nursing a Christmas hangover, let's face it you've probably eaten too much, drank too much and never want to see tinsel again...that is until next year. This Christmas has been really different for me because I didn't go back home. Which meant that I stayed in the flat in Florence by myself, but you know it what, it was fine I celebrated in a very low key style and spoke with my family for the majority of the day. Of course, I would have loved to go home for Christmas but with a new job and everything I wouldn't have been able to stay for very long, not only that but my mother was actually working on Christmas day. Like so many hospital staff, they were working on Christmas day to make sure your loved ones were ok, we should be more grateful for that. 

I hope you all had a wonderful Christmas and spent it with all the people you love and if you couldn't spend it with them, I hope you at least managed to speak to them on the day as well.

xx
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Thursday, 24 December 2015

Konnubio, Florence | Food





I'm a bit sorry for the picture quality in this post, sometimes the lighting just isn't my friend and there isn't a massive amount I can do about it. Today I'm going to introduce you to a restaurant which at first glance you wouldn't necessarily associate with Italian cuisine but the second after you taste it, you just know. The restaurant is called Konnubio, it's very interesting because not only do they do a range of meats and fishes they also have a variety of vegan options and do offer even gluten free foods as well which I found incredibly impressive. The thing that melted my heart a little was actually that they had an English version of the menu, sometimes it's just nice to see words that are familiar. 

The restaurant was actually an old converted leather shop, Florence is known very well for it's leather but I thought that was a little interesting fact about the restaurant. I must admit when I was looking at the prices I though that they were a little steep for just a main course but I wasn't even expecting it to arrive as it did. At first I was really torn between having the Lamb or the Calf Cheek but because I've never hard calf cheek before I went with that option. The cornmeal mush was interesting, again it was something I've never hard before and cornmeal is basically like a flour that is made from dried maize, it was a looser texture than standard mashed potatoes but was very appealing anyway. We all ordered a side dishes of just roasted potatoes which you can see in the picture. We didn't order starters but still kinda got one anyway, as with most restaurants they provided us with bread and there was a wide variety of different breads and tiny little buns, I particularly liked these tiny little rolls that had raisin in them, but the bread itself wasn't sweet. Then we each were given these tiny little bread balls which you can see pictured. Well I had no idea what to expect, I mean I didn't even now whether it would be warm or not, but when I cut into it with my knife there was like a meat paste inside, bloody delicious which was also infused with herbs. I still have no idea what it actually was. 

When my main arrived I couldn't wait to tuck in, as you can see it was beautifully presented. The calf cheek was probably the most tender meat I have ever eaten in my life, you barely even needed a knife to cut it because it literally fell apart. The cornmeal mush was a nice accompaniment to the meat but I wouldn't say it tasted amazing, it was nice but the real show stopper was the meat of course. As I mentioned I also got a little side dish of potatoes and they were gorgeous, they were roasted with rosemary and had some olive oil over them, really really tasty I pretty much ate the whole dish. Another thing that arrived which you can just about see in the back of the picture was a little square of fried polenta, which melted cheese on top something I wasn't expecting at all to come with my dish. That was pretty tasty but the cheese was very strong, I couldn't eat it all. 

The evening was then finished off in a very traditionally Italian way by each of us having a little shot of limoncello, delicious. We split the bill 6 ways and it only came to 30.50 EUR each which I think is bloody fantastic considering we had wine etc. I think if you want to try out something a little different than "stereotypical" Italian food then you should check out Konnubio. 

What is your favourite type cuisine?


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Tuesday, 22 December 2015

Pupa Light Active Foundation | Beauty




Today we are talking about foundation and my hunt to find a good one it Italy! If you have read my latest cream eyshadow post you will know that I have just discovered a brand called Pupa but the beauty store I visited only had a very small range. A couple of weeks ago I was casually wandering around, which is something I do very otfen here now because I don't really know where I am going so I just walk. Anyway, I was walking and all of a sudden I heard Last Christmas by Wham and found myself walking straight into this random shop, and I am so glad I did. Inside was massive and filled with all of these beauty brand there was a lot of high end but there was also brands like L'Oreal I was thrilled. Their Pupa stand was bloody huge and I went straight to the foundation. 

As you guys know, I often wear my Sleek Makeup CC Cream and I adore it however, I am going to run out of it at some stage so I need to find a nice replacement. Already a massive fan of the cream eyeshadows I thought I would have a look at what Pupa has to offer. Firstly, I was thrilled to see they did a really light shade, and I swatched the tester and fell in love! It melted into the skin and left a beautifully matte finish. It cost €20 which I must admit is a little pricey but based on the tester it was wonderful. However just as I was about to walk away I noticed they were selling a Duo kit with concealer for the same price, bloody bargain, so I snapped that up and went on my merry way. 

The next day rolls around and here I am so excited to try it all out on my face when I notice that the concealer is a little dark for my complexion but that's no big deal. I pump out the foundation onto the back of my hand and thought because of the texture of this product I'll use my stippling brush, it's very runny so that will buff everything onto my face fine. The moment I dabbed it onto my face I was over come with the scent, envision a little old lady, it was overpowering to say the least but I thought it's fine I'll carry on. Then I started to notice my face grow more and more orange... After I had finished I looked in the mirror and laughed! How was this possible? I picked up the right shade and everything, I had to wipe it all off! It was awful. I was SO gutted, I loved the little tester but the colour of the tester did not match the shade inside the bottle. The next day I tried to use just a tiny amount over my acne scars and pores to blur them out a bit and then used my cc cream over the top and it was ok but not ideal. The day after I didn't bother using it at all! I'll keep it because who knows maybe when I get a bit of a tan it'll blend a little better but right now, it just wasn't a good match. 

What foundations have disappointed you? 
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Sunday, 20 December 2015

An Aperitivo | Lifestyle


The literal meaning to an aperitivo is an aperitif, which is basically an alcoholic drink to stimulate the palette before a meal. In Italy, they love an aperitivo, which is what we do over in the UK, quite often we’d go out for drinks after work or go to a bar before go out for dinner but today I really wanted to talk about the differences.

Most places in Florence have a Happy Hour, but it’s not like the UK where it’s two for one cocktails or half price drinks, what this actually means is that the price of the drinks are slightly more expensive but you also get food with your drink. This food is mainly nibbles and small little dishes but there is a lot of it. I thought this was a really interesting concept, what I have noticed is the relationship with alcohol very different to the UK and even mine to an extent. Normally I’d just walk into a bar order a glass of wine, not too fussed about what kind, especially when it came to red wine you go out to get a bit drunk and have a laugh. Whereas here, you take you time to decide what wine you may like, the wine menus aren't massively long instead they are a carefully selected to appear on the menu.

In the picture above we were at bar called il Santino which genuinely was the cutest little wine place I’ve ever seen, but was tiny, it also had an amazing selection of meats and cheeses. We went here before going for dinner just to have a couple of glasses of wine, the thing I really loved about this place was that each glass of wine you order there is a little piece of bread that comes with it topped with a meat, each bread is decided dependent on your wine choice. How wonderful is that? I really like the idea that the wine is linked to your food, it really pairs everything together and makes it much more of an experience as opposed to just going for a drink. We ordered two glasses of wine each at this place the first bread we got had like a salted beef tartar that was delicious and the second, as you can see was salmon. I’m in heaven over here, the 4 main things I love, cold meats, cheese, bread and wine, what more could a gal want?

Also I’ve noticed that I’ve started to slow down with the wine I’m drinking and overall enjoy it more. I’ve also become quite accustomed to Chianti, which is a very typical Tuscan wine very rich in flavour but some people find it quite heavy. That’s not to say I don’t get drunk, I do, but it’s really good to have a bit of food there as well.

I love a happy hour but now, I think I’m starting to prefer the Italian Happy Hour more than the UK one.

What’s your favourite wine to drink?
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Thursday, 17 December 2015

O’Munaciello Pizzeria , Florence | Food







I know, it’s another foodie one and it’s another pizza, but I mean I’m in Italy how could I not have pizza?!

I am so lucky to have my roommate Valeria because she know all the best places and is happy to take me wherever, she is a great person to go to restaurants with. A couple of weeks ago she took me to a very traditional Neapolitan Pizzeria. Now I know what you’re thinking, I’m not in Napoli so surely I should be going to more traditional places that are linked to Florence, well when the pizza is this good it doesn’t matter. I have never seen a place so busy in all my life, we had to book a table and the earliest we could get was 10PM, bloody 10PM! I’m normally in bed by that time, but I guess I have to start getting used to these European dining hours, but I do love that they make an entire night out of it starting with an aperitivo which is something I will go into in another post and moving onto dinner later.

O’Munaciello is an incredibly lovely Neapolitan restaurant just situated over the river with lots of quirky design pieces to try and make it as close to Napoli as possible, they even had a washing line going across it which is actually very typical of Napoli apparently. When it comes to service the place was fine, but we went on a Saturday night so it was completely rammed and the staff were just so incredibly busy so there was a little wait with our food but I didn’t mind so much because I got to see everyone elses delicious pizzas.

I was very fortunate to have Valeria take me through each pizza and what they had on them, there were some typical topping with meat and mushrooms but I settled for the ‘Nduja pizza which you can see above. This is quite a simplistic pizza but the dark red dots on the pizza you can see are actually Nduja meat which is like a very spicy pork sausage but it’s more of a spreadable type of meat kinda like a pate consistency. I love spicy things and I love meat so I was pretty damn happy. When the pizza arrived I literally couldn’t wait to dive in. Since being in Italy I  cannot get over how intense the flavours are here, I mean they are incredible even down to the pizza base, it’s much thinner but still very doughy. The tomato sauce on top, was very rich and you could taste how fresh the tomatoes are, the mozzarella...don’t even get me started, I have just become obsessed with cheese atm and the sausage was incredible. I’d say it was slightly spicier than expected but it wasn’t over powering, it was the perfect amount to create a delicious dish. The thing that amazes me is that the pizza was only like 10EUR which for the quality is amazing. I decided to keep it fairly traditional and had a light beer to wash it down with which went very well actually.

I’m not gonna lie, I couldn’t quite eat it all, I did however eat all of the cheese because...just wow! But I was very full and incredibly satisfied. In keeping with the theme we decided to end the meal with a Limoncello which I loved! O’Munaciello

What is your favourite pizza topping?
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Tuesday, 15 December 2015

Australian Bodycare Body Lotion | Beauty


Today I am talking about a brand I'm actually very familiar with called Australian Bodycare and was one of the products I brought out to Italy. I have written a post about their lovely Cleansing Face Mask but my beautician actually used their After Wax and I bloody love the stuff. 

I get a lot of waxing done, once a month, I get everything. I'm pretty lucky because I have very fair hair my leg hair is almost impossible to see. I never get my legs out anyway but I just like to have them waxed as well. However if you get a lot of waxing done like myself you can't always escape the odd ingrown hair which is incredibly annoying. I went to a PR event a few months ago and Australian Bodycare was their discussing their wide range of products and the lovely lady advised that after waxing I should try out the lotion because of it'singredients it actually helps with keeping the skin soft and works as an antiseptic as well, which is always a good thing. 

What really stands out about Australian Bodycare is that every product has tea tree in it, in fact it's pretty strongly scented. So if you're not a fan of tea tree oil or that type of scent stay well away because it is strong but if you don't mind it you need to check this stuff out. I used this lotion after my wax and it kept my skin lovely and soft. But the thing I was really impressed with was the regrowth of my hair, because it kept my skin super soft it mean the hair could grow back my easier. 

For me, this is a brand I would definitely repurchase, even if it isn't something I would use every day, it's there for when I need it which is the most important thing really. The products are actually a pretty good price, the 100ml tube is on £8.99 so it's not that bad. 

Have you tried any Australian Bodycare products? 
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Saturday, 12 December 2015

Trying to learn Italian | Lifestyle


Before moving out here I downloaded an app called Duolingo and I must admit, it’s amazing how much this little app really helped me whilst I was at home. Duolingo works really well because it is repetitive and we all know if you do something enough times it will eventually sink in. You have to pass each level to move onto the next however over a day or two it will prompt you to go back an redo the previous levels so that the words remain fresh in your mind. I have one issue with the app and that it start of so incredibly basic that a lot of the words I have learned I can’t even really use such as, whale, bird, orange, skirt, newspaper etc. Like it’s good to learn those type of words but it’s not something that comes up every day, I would have rather have started on sentences such as “how are you?” “May I have?” “My name is” these types of basic sentences that would actually help me a great deal in everyday life. I was doing quite well but unfortunately you can only use this app when you have wifi or data and being in Italy, still using my English phone I have neither or very limited. If I had known I was moving out to Italy like 3 months before I think this app would have be absolutely perfect.

I have also go the Marco Polo phrase book, which I must admit is incredibly good, it breaks down words phonetically which means regardless of how I read it I can still say it and it makes sense. I guess on of my favourite things about this little book is all the helpful tips such as the importance of pronouncing double letters. For example the word “penne” you can see it has two “n” which means you should pronounce it “pen-neh” if you just say it like “peneh” it means penis… These types of tips are funny but actually incredibly helpful. Not only this but you also get a little cheat sheet that you can cut out and carry around with you that has the basics whether you are shopping, at a restaurant or just small talk.

As you guys know, I don’t speak any Italian, I guess the frustrating thing for me is that I have literally zero knowledge and it makes me feel really bad when the native speakers have to speak in English just so I’d understand. Of course, I appreciate it but they shouldn’t have to, I should have at least the basics. That said, I have to keep reminding myself that I have only been out here for less than a month and these things do take time and I am learning some words like “allora” which Italians say A LOT it just means “so” at the start of the sentence. Little steps guys.


Do you know any other languages? 
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Thursday, 10 December 2015

All’antico Vinaio, Florence | Food






As I know some of you like my little foodie posts I thought I would share with you my delicious meal at All’antico Vinaio. Just to give you guys a bit of background, this is a small chain of sandwich shops around the centre of Florence more towards the Duomo so in the main tourist area. This shop is literally famous for is amazing sandwiches, guys there is literally a 20 minute queue just to get to the door of the shop. Whilst you are waiting you see everyone with these giant focaccias filled with delicious meats and cheeses, so you totally know the food is worth the wait but in this specific area there is also a restaurant which doesn’t serve the focaccias but offers these wonderful platters of cold meats and cheeses.

I was taken for lunch to All’antico Vinaio by one of my very lovely roommates Valeria who wanted to show me what real Tuscan meats and food really are. As we were in the queue waiting for the sandwiches she said that she wanted to see whether there was any space at the restaurant and we were actually lucky enough to get in. I genuinely mean we were very lucky because had we been but a minute later we wouldn’t have been able to get a seat, this meant we could enjoy our food at a more relaxed and comfortable pace. As I just mentioned, inside they don’t offer the sandwich but instead the offer the biggest range of platters I have ever seen, ranging from vegetable ones to just meat or just cheese, plus a whole range of sizes to cater for who you are dining with.

Me and Valeria went for a medium sized platter which had a bit of everything as you can see we have 4 different types of meat such as prosciutto, salami, roast pork and finocchiona (which is like a spicy sausage), two different types of cheese one was a goat cheese and the other I can’t quite remember but was delicious anyway, Tuscan jam, roasted courgettes, sundried tomatoes, Tuscan pate and two little meat ball things. I must admit that this sounds like a lot of food but I’d say it’s actually the perfect amount to share between two and I was in heaven. I absolutely love meat I’m the biggest fan of cold meats from all around the world, I actually think I get it from my father because he loves it too and this was right up my street. I literally didn’t know what to try first, Valeria advised that the jam is to be had with the cheese, it was like a strawberry jam but very nice, not too sweet but a great combination together. The finocchiona was probably the spiciest of all the meats but it was amazing, so incredibly flavoursome as it had peppercorns in it, but it was a must softer texture than other hams I’ve had before but still great. The little meat ball thingys weren’t quite what I was expecting, they definitely had meat in them but it was more of a breaded texture I kinda bit into it not really expecting for it to taste the way it did, it was good. I do just have to take a moment of appreciating for the pate…Oh. My. God. I mean, I don’t even know where to begin. I have always loved pate, I once ate so much of it I actually made myself sick because it was too rich for my young stomach, for years after I couldn’t touch it but as I got older it worked its way back into my heart. Just at the right time too because apparently Tuscany is known very well for its pate and I can wholeheartedly say I completely understand why now. I won’t talk about the salami or proscioutto because you can get both of these meats in England but they tasted fantastic, but the dish as a whole was delicious, the only thing I didn’t really have an opinion on was the roast pork, it was great but ya know roast pork is roast pork.

For dessert we decide to just have something very small which was a dessert wine and some almond biscotti, I must just point out, there is a very big reason for why this dessert wine is so small because bloody hell does it pack a punch. I took a sip not expecting it to be anywhere near as strong but geez it made me wake up a bit. That said, it was a very good accompaniment to the biscotti which was wonderfully sweet.

My first experience at All’antico Vinaio was amazing, we were sat at the bar an watched the chef create each platter in a beautifully artistic way.  I can’t wait to go there again and cannot wait to take my pals or family there as I know they will probably love it as much as I did. However I would definitely try and book a table next time because I don’t think I would be that lucky again.


Is this the type lunch you’d like or have you even visted All’antico Vinaio’s before?   
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Tuesday, 8 December 2015

Beauty Essentials | Beauty




As you guys know, when I moved out here to Italy I already had a job so I knew that when I was moving out that I had to have at least the essentials to look presentable for when I’m at work. So today I just thought I would talk through what I have brought out here and as you can see I actually managed to bring a fair amount of products with me.

Starting with the skincare bits, of course I had to bring out my Garnier Micellar Water, it’s quick and easy but just gets the job done, you can see that I also have a little bag to the right hand side of the picture with more facemasks, cleansers etc. But you will also see I have two of my favourite moisturisers Olay for my face and the Body Essential for my body, my skin would seriously suffer without these products. I also have the Nip + Fab Glycolic Fix Serum, I actually ran out of the facial pads before I left and couldn’t quite justify spending that type of money before I came out here so I just thought I’ll use the serum instead. I have my Oral B Brilliance toothpaste, I’m actually very fussy about my teeth so wanted to make sure I had the toothpaste that I am confident with and of course my Dr. PAWPAW tinted lipbalm. You will also see I have two nail polishes, some nail polish remover and make up brush cleanser. The reason I bought the brush cleanser out with me was because I actually didn’t have time to wash my brushes before I came over so I had to do them here.

Moving onto the make-up things, now I know what you’re thinking, did I really need two make up palettes out here? The short answer is yes, but there is a method in my madness you see. The Naked On The Run palette is just perfect because it has a bit of everything in it, it’s got the eye shadows, the mascara (which I’m obsessed with right now) eyeliner, blush, lipgloss, highlighter it’s a great all-rounder. That aside, it has a massive mirror and to be honest that was my primary reason for bringing it. When I came out here I didn’t know whether I would have a mirror or what the light would be like and turns out I didn’t have a mirror so this palette has been a life saver. The other palette I bought with me was the Sleek Au Naturel eyeshadow palette. As you guys know, I love a bit of shimmer never really been a matte girl but what I have realised since coming out here is that the Italian women are very much about the natural beauty, I mean they are gorgeous in an effortless way so I almost look a bit OTT with my eyeliner, highlighter, contour etc so I am laying around with some matte shades, I’m actually really loving them and this palette has 7 to choose from.

To be honest, inside my makeup bag is pretty uninspiring I still used my beloved Sleek CC Cream that I’ll need to find a replacement for soon *weeps uncontrollably* but I have also bought a long with me the other products I’m obsessed with. The Soap & Glory Kick Ass powder is just that – kick ass, it’s great for just setting everything without making me look too chalky and also I have got a Rimmel Bronzer that I randomly bought when I forgot my makeup bag one time. This bronzer is great because there isn’t any shimmer in it and it helps tone down my pale skin, especially when I am in a country filled with olive toned beauties. In addition to these two, I also go my Blushing Hearts blush because not only is it a great highlighter but has a little slice of colour perfect for blush as well.


So there we have my essentials, what are yours?  
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Sunday, 6 December 2015

5 Picture Post | Lifestyle







Today I just wanted to share with you 5 pictures I have taken whilst I’m in Florence, I may turn this into a weekly/monthly thing. I think there are so many beautiful things to see and I suppose the most obvious one is the Duomo and whilst it is stunning I wanted to share with you some images I’d class as "everyday beauty", searching for the beauty within something that isn’t so obvious like some flats or a piece of graffiti. 

Where have you been that is simplistically beautiful?
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Thursday, 3 December 2015

Food Glorious Food | Food




Well it just wouldn’t be right if I didn’t have at least one post on the food here would it. I do want to apologise for the quality of some of these images, the lighting isn’t always the best but what can I do?

On my first week in Italy I tried out a lot of traditional/stereotypical Italian dishes, mainly Pizza and Pasta. As you know this year I had pretty much eliminated all carbs from my diet and developed a wheat intolerance but as I started to eat carbs/wheat again I started to build that tolerance up so now my body can handle carbs much better, thank god! So first things first, let’s talk about that funny looking pile of brown stuff in my first picture, which is truffle tagliatelle. Now, I have had truffle infused things in my time, it’s an acquired taste but just look at the amount of truffle on that! I was pretty shocked, truffle is a very unusual taste but packs a punch. The pasta was also in a creamy sauce which of course, had just a little more truffle thrown in for good measure. Truffle is actually in season right now for Italy as my tour guide/wonderful roommate Anna told me, so we both got a portion each. I do have to be honest, I wish there was just a little less truffle, I think I would have enjoyed it slightly more, but it was delicious but the truffle was a bit over powering. How many times can I say truffle in one paragraph, clearly trying to break a record or something.

Moving onto the fine specimen of a pizza, this was a takeaway pizza we got from the local restaurant not far from our flat. The thing that makes it different is that it’s a white or “Bianca” pizza meaning that it doesn’t have a tomato base, just cheese. My one also had Speck which is like a smoked ham and some tomatoes on top, it was by far one of the tastiest pizzas I’ve ever had. The thing about Italians/ Italian Culture is they really care about the ingredients they use, the mozzarella was buffalo mozzarella which comes from Napoli and the oregano that is added on top is from a roommate’s friend’s herb garden in Sicily. I love knowing where all the different ingredients are from.

So there is my carb heavy post, maybe I’ll write a healthier version another time. What is your favourite pizza topping or what type of pasta do you love? 
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Tuesday, 1 December 2015

Pupa Vamp! Cream Eyeshadow | Beauty





See, I told ya there would still be beauty on my blog, though come to think of it I’m pretty sure you guys prefer my lifestyle and food posts... Ah well, we have beauty today.

I found it quite hard to find a typical “drug store” like Boots or Superdrug, there are a lot and I mean a LOT of pharmacies but I have found you can actually pick up most beauty/skincare/haircare products from the supermarket. That being said I managed to find one, CAD Bellezza & Igiene which has a whole 4 different brands of makeup. Pupa is one of them, they seemed to have a pretty big range of this brand so that’s what I went for first. I was on the lookout for a new eyeshadow, I know I know, I have a vast amount of eyeshadows and eyeshadow palettes so surely I don’t need another one? Well you’d be wrong, of course I need another one (!) especially one from a brand I have never tried before. There were quite a lot to choose from but I’d say the range of products in this shop was mainly shimmer eyeshadows and I do love a good shimmer. At first I was just going to do for a powder shimmer eyeshadow but then I saw these little Vamp! Pots and thought I would just have a closer look at them.

I haven’t used a cream eyeshadow in a very long time, in fact since the Rimmel Scandaleyes ones, they dried out on me though but I loved how easy it was to use cream eyeshadow, just a quick swish of colour and a bit of blending and you’re done. I was incredibly impressed with this Pupa eyeshadow because the texture was so light but incredibly creamy as soon as I dabbed my little finger into the tester. I’d say if you are into your champagne, chocolate, golden shades then Pupa definitely caters to you, I was a little spoilt for choice but some of the shades were just a little too dark for me so I went with this one which is 101, which I would say is more of a champagne colour. I don’t think the pictures really show just how beautiful this shadow is and it cost 10 EUR which I kinda think is a little more towards the expensive side considering I have never spent £10 on a single eyeshadow before.

I found that when you actually use this product it dries pretty quick but not only that but it’s pretty damn hard to get off. If I just used a dry finger to rub it off then that stuff is NOT moving, even with water you still have to be pretty firm, really amazing. This is the type of cream eyeshadow you’d apply with your finger first and then quickly blend with a brush. Also you can definitely apply it thickly to create the ultimate metallic look or use it for a more subtle shimmery lid. I’m completely in love and can’t wait to try out more products.

What are your favourite cream eyeshadows?  
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Sunday, 29 November 2015

Meanwhile in Florence | Lifestyle


As I type this, as you guys read it, I am currently sitting in my apartment in Florence deciding what to have to eat. Isn’t it crazy how in a week your whole life can change? I have never been to Florence or Italy for that matter before so never, ever, considered that I would move here to work and yet here I am feeling rather content in my little space. So in today’s post I’m just going to chat about how I’ve found my first week here and how I am getting on so far.

When some people move abroad they move because they want to be in a different country and may not have a job yet or will look for one while they are out there but for me that wasn’t the case because I was offered my absolute dream job, so that was the easy part for me. What I did find it incredibly hard finding an apartment to start off with, I spent a week or so emailing various different agencies trying to get more information about the apartments but it was really hard trying to get through the language barrier or even getting a response. However I was very fortunate, a girl I would be working with emailed me to say that her and her roommate have a spare room for me to rent if I was interested. Of course I replied immediately saying yes, I was so grateful and it was a massive weight off my shoulders to know I didn’t have to worry about having somewhere to live, genuinely thought I would be living out of a cardboard box on the streets for a hot second there. 

Before moving out, I knew I had to get a Codice Fascale which is basically a tax code so that I can be taxed on the pay from my job but you can only get this when you are in the country. I arrived about 7:30pm on a Monday night so I knew that on Tuesday that was the first thing I had to sort out. I must say that getting the Codice Fascale wasn’t too painful, because I had all my right documents etc but trying to find out where to get it from was another story and I was without WiFi or 4G…nightmare. Needless to say, I know that particular street in Florence very well now.

I have to mention how wonderful my roommates are, everyone I have encountered over here has been so welcoming and helpful, it’s completely amazing. Not knowing any Italian has been a massive hindrance though, don’t get me wrong I knew it would be a problem but I just wish I already knew the language. I won’t need it for my job, but ya know, if I want to actually live here I’m kinda gonna need it! I must admit on one day I felt really shit, just really useless because I have no understanding at all it makes things very hard but it’s ok, I will learn it, it just takes a bit of time.

My first week in Firenze, as it is known to the locals/Italians, was just wonderfully odd, I spent hours just exploring and walking the streets, everything you have heard about this place is true, it’s breathtakingly beautiful. What I really love about this city is that you can turn down a street and right at the very end of that street, in the distance, are mountains. There is history and art on every single corner, when I first saw the Duomo I was speechless, it’s just so pretty. I loved just walking wherever my feet were taking me, I didn’t have google maps or anything just a rough idea that I was going in the right direction, where that may be. By the end of the week, I was really craving the comfort of a routine, I couldn’t wait to start my job because I knew that every weekend from now on I can always explore.  

I’m aware that this post is getting rather lengthy and most of you have probably switched off by now but I just wanted to give you a little snap shot. Over the next few weeks/months I feel like my blog is definitely going to take more of a lifestyle turn which I’m fine with, but fear not, I have spotted a few beauty brands that I’ve never heard of before and they certainly will be making an appearance. 

Just thought I'd give you guys an update, get ready for regular post on Tuesdays, Thursday and Sundays! 
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Wednesday, 11 November 2015

A bit of a break | Life Update


If you are of the regular 3 readers who actually read my tiny little blog, you'll notice I haven't posted for a couple of days which I do feel bad about. As you may know I am moving to Florence, which is happening really soon, like on Monday 16th November to be precise. So I have kinda been a bit all over the place because I've been trying to get my life together, trying to see all my friends, finishing work, etc which has meant I haven't been as engaged with my blog. It's not about the content, I have many drafts but it's finding the time to take pictures or proof read and then to promote and join the chats. I've had to turn down many opportunities because I couldn't promise when I'd be able to write about those products. 

The really great thing is I will have so much more time  when I am in Florence because I won't have the crazy commute I do here from Essex into London everyday, I will also be experiencing so many new things that I will want to share with you guys too. I love blogging and love my little blog but just to get my life in order I'm going to take a little break, I will still be active on social media but no new posts for a week or so. I don't want my absence to last longer than 2 weeks really so in the background I will be making sure my drafts are all up to scratch and then I'll be posting regular life updates about the relocation to Italy etc. 

Come follow me on Twitter  and Instagram 
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Thursday, 5 November 2015

Gift Idea: Jimmi Jamms | Lifestyle





Honestly, how cute are these pjs? I mean, they are called Jimmi Jamms* for goodness sake, I'm in love.

When it comes to winter and Christmas we all love a good set of pjs, we know that Primark do a really good range of cute yet affordable ones but where else could you go if you wanted something a little different? You need to check out Jimmi Jamms, in fact their entire sleepwear range is super cute. They also do hoodies, loungewear and even have a "cuddle" blanket. I like that Jimmi Jamms do a range of different type of pjs, I actually get very hot in bed so I couldn't bear to wear anything fleecey which is why this particular set is really good for me. But I do like that they also do fleecy pjs for the ones who do get cold. 

When this arrived in the post I was shocked at how big the box was but then when I opened it up to find a milk carton, I just thought it was a fantastic idea. I mean if you were to wrap the milk carton under the tree the person would never be able to guess that it was sleepwear when they felt up the pressies! Also, don't lie and say you never touch the presents, we all do and this would be a great curve ball. 

This set is the Heritage set and comes in 4 different colours, Lemon, Mint, Blue and Pink and the sizes range is from XS to L. I got the L because I've got some big ol' hips and I like things to be a little baggy on me. I would say that the material loosens a little after you wear it a few times but they are seriously comfy. I'm all about the details, I love that there is a bunny on the arm, the draw string also has a little blue bunny on it, there is a little side pocket. This set retails for £26, which I don't think is too bad, they do have a short set which is like £16 so I really do think that you'll be able to find something for every woman here. 

Do you like getting pjs at Christmas? 
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Tuesday, 3 November 2015

Gift Idea: Steamcream Cracker | Beauty




So now it's November, I really need to start thinking about Christmas so this week I just thought I would share with you a couple of things that I think would make a good present like this little cracker. 

There are lots of brands that bring out different ranges especially for Christmas and sometimes it hard to figure out what to get people. This cute little cracker is from Steamcream and retails for £8.95 for a 25ml tin.  Personally I love these types of stocking fillers, it does get a little boring when all you get is chocolate, personally I would much rather recieve something beauty related than chocolate, well that's a lie, I want both actually!

The really great thing about the Steamcream moisturiser is that it's perfect for all skin types so yo don't have to worry that this product might not be suitable for who ever you are gifting it to. It is also packed with 11 naturally active ingredients such as Lavender Essential Oil, Sweet Almond Oil, Orange Flower Oil and Coco butter as well as many other ingredients. When I first applied the cream, you smell the lavender straight away which I'm not really a massive fan of but the really impressive thing is that after second you can't even smell it anymore and can pick up on the various other scents. It's really lovely. 

The size of the tin is a fair size but I'd probably suggest you'd just use this as a facial moisturiser or use on specific areas. Everyone has that one beauty lover in the family and if you're reading this that person is probably you, but I think this would be a really nice gift to have on the tree or in a stocking. 

Have you used any Steamcream products?
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