Sea Salt & Dark Chocolate covered Dates

Whilst being off sweet things for lent, I have been trying to find a healthy alternative to sweets/cakes and chocolate covered dates are my absolute favourite! Filled with coconut almond butter and sprinkled with sea salt, these treats are to die for!

Ingredients:
  • Dates (any kind but the bigger the dates the better -bejouled dates)
  • Coconut Almond Butter (Pip&Nut) or any almond butter will do
  • 70% Dark chocolate
  • Sea Salt
Method:
1. Line a tray with parchment paper

2. Pit and open the dates half way so they are easy to fill

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3. Spoon in almond butter into each date

 

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4. Melt the dark chocolate and using a spoon, pour over each date

 

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5. Sprinkle sea salt over each of the dates whilst the chocolate is still wet

 

6. Place in fridge for a minimum of 25 minutes so they chocolate cools

Cowshed Spa: Primrose Hill

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Earlier this week I spent a glorious afternoon at one of the Cowshed spas in Primrose Hill.

Their biggest branch in London, the Cowshed spa in Primrose Hill is only a 4 minute walk from Chalk Farm station.

A café and spa in one, the experience is simply delightful. With a range of different services available, there is a treatment for everyone. On this occasion I went for a 60 minute deep tissue massage (price: £110.) I also decided to head there an hour and a half early to try their delicious food and coffee. Each treatment comes with a free tea or coffee, that you can have pre or post treatment depending on what you want. The whole environment is super chilled and zen and the staff are really helpful and nice.

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My treatment was amazing and they only use their own Cowshed products which are available to purchase both in the spa and online!  Vouchers can also be bought in store or online and are a great gift to give! I would recommend booking as far in advance as possible however as appointments can get booked up very quickly.

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So if you’re feeling like pampering yourself or a friend/family member, then I would definitely recommend checking out Cowshed.

March Haul

Boohoo

Leopard Print Sweetheart Neckline Crop Top

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Satin Button Through Blouse

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River Island

 

ZARA

GATHERED SLEEVE DRESS

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FADED-EFFECT T-SHIRT (in black and white)

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Polka-dot jacquard dress

Handy for work with tights and boots or casual with trainers.

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NEW LOOK

New Look is my new favourite place for jewellery so picked up these earrings for less than £4!

 

Gold Reticulated Midi Hoop Earrings

 

London: My February Restaurant Picks

Bar Douro:

As far as I can remember, I don’t think I have ever been to a Portuguese restaurant before in the UK, let alone a Portuguese tapas restaurant. Located at Flat Iron Square, Bar Duoro did not disappoint. Small in size, this place is the perfect spot for a couple or small group, who enjoy great wine and sharing plates.

$$$: It isn’t cheap, but also is not overly expensive – would definitely recommend this place going forward!

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Gunpowder:

I’ll be honest, I rarely eat Indian food, and I don’t remember the last time I was in an Indian restaurant. However, after visiting Gunpowder, my thoughts have completely changed! The food was simply delicious! Indian small plates, with a modern twist, this restaurant is suitable for both meat lovers and vegetarians alike. You can’t book so be prepared to queue/put your name down and wait, particularly in the Spitalfields branch. However, it is all worth the wait.
$$: The food is reasonable priced and not overly expensive.

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MILK (Brunch Spot)

I have been to MILK several times, as I live in Balham, and yet I don’t think I have really mentioned it in my blog before. This is definitely one of my local favourites, however on weekends be prepared to queue. Due to popularity this place regularly has queues out the door! It’s the perfect spot for coffee, breakfast, lunch or brunch!

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Senior Ceviche:

Unfortunately I didn’t manage to get pictures when I visited this restaurant, but I will definitely be returning in the future. A Peruvian restaurant, this place also focuses on small plates and is absolutely delicious! Meat and fish focused, the vibe is very causal, encouraging sharing and Peruvian beers. It is also in the super cool spot that is Kingly Court on Carnaby Street.

$$: Mid-range prices

Good Egg

Also in Kingly Court is Good Egg, a cool brunch spot in the heart of central London. (They also have other locations) This place does not take bookings so be prepared to queue, although the venue is big enough that you shouldn’t be waiting too long. The food is delicious and given the name is egg focused, but includes other dishes too! The restaurant serves Jewish-inspired breakfast, brunch, lunch + dinner, plus craft beers, natural wines + cocktails.

$$: Mid-range prices

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Other:

Flotsam and Jetsam (Wandsworth Common): Breakfast, Brunch and Lunch spot

Les Petits Gourmets (near Warwick Avenue): Gorgeous French restaurant

 

 

The Cotswolds

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Earlier this week I spent 2 nights in the beautiful, English countryside. The Cotswolds is notoriously famous for being one of the most ‘quintessentially English’ and unspoiled areas in England. The area is known for its river valleys, beautiful brickwork and sleepy towns.

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How to get there:

You can drive to the Cotswolds, however on this occasion we were not in the mood to take on that challenge! Instead, we got the train straight from Paddington Station to Honeybourne. The hotel is about a 10-15 minute drive from there and the hotel can book a taxi for you. We booked our tickets well in advance and got them for £10 return on trainline.com! The taxi will be about £18 each way from the station to the hotel.

 

The Hotel:

We stayed in The Lygon Arms Hotel in Broadway. Broadway is one of the most quaint and beautiful towns I have ever seen, and looks like it is fresh out of the movie ‘The Holiday!’ This Mr & Mrs Smith hotel was the perfect location for us, as the premises are located right on the high street, in the centre of town. Friendly staff, an old school look and feel and good food, I would definitely recommend this hotel going forward.

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Food/Restaurants:
  • Russels: Main restaurant/fish and chips
  • Tea Rooms & Cafes: The Bakehouse, Market Pantry, The Tea Set Broadway, Hunter’s of Broadway.
  • No. 32: Nice spot for fresh juices/smoothies, coffees, sandwiches and cakes. This is definitely more modern than the other traditional, Tea Rooms
  • Lygon Arms Wine Bar

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  • Lygon Arms Bar & Grill
  • Broadway Hotel restaurant (photos below)

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Things to do in Broadway:

The Cotswolds/Broadway is a very sleepy town, so prepare to seriously relax!

1. Walk to the Tower (Broadway Tower, Worcestershire) This is a 45 minute walk up and back and boasts great views of the town of Broadway.

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2. Swim/Sauna/Spa at the hotel
3. Try the local tea/cake shops and restaurants

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4. Browse the shops for local products and gifts

I would recommend stocking up on books, movies and board games that you can use whilst relaxing in the hotel.

 

Couple of things to note:

1. Book the spa in advance (month or so in advance) as it was fully booked a week before we arrived.
2. For walks, bring shoes that you don’t mind getting dirty. Some hotels provide wellies but its good to have a pair just in case.
3. Book your train ticket and any restaurants you want to visit in advance.

My Fake Tan Removal Tips

Let’s face it, taking off fake tan is a bloody nightmare, and at times virtually impossible! From living in a house with 4 other women who love fake tan as much as I do, it has helped me compile a list of the best ways to take off stubborn fake tan:

 

Exfoliating Gloves

You can get these gloves in Boots, Primark and most pharmacies and they are a life saviour when it comes to taking off tan! Don’t even bother taking off the product without them, as you will not get the same effect.

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Tanning Eraser

Having a tanning eraser on before you shower, definitely helps when it comes to fake tan removal. I wouldn’t say it takes everything off, but it certainly helps. Try and apply the eraser as far in advance of your shower as you can, for best results.

 

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Baths

If you have the time to have a bath instead of a shower, then this will definitely help when taking off your tan. It gives your skin time to soften and soak in the hot water, making it easier to scrub off remaining product.

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Lemons

Lemons are also a great way to remove fake tan. You can either slice up a few segments and throw them into your bath, or use a wedge to directly scrub off stubborn tan!

 

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Salt Scrubs

When used with an exfoliating glove, salt scrubs are also great for exfoliating the skin and targeting stubborn fake tan. It leaves the skin super smooth, making for a better base for when you re-apply your tan. You can get these in Boots, Superdrug, Tk Maxx etc.

 

My Current Skincare Routine

I thought it has been a while since I updated my skincare routine on my blog, so I thought I would share my current skincare routine, featuring all the products I have been using recently:

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For Anti-Ageing:

Retinol is supposed to be great for anti-ageing, however it is a very strong product so avoid using every night, and make sure you start with the smallest dosage and work your way up. The Ordinary products are great for this, as they are set in squalene, so you can start to build up a tolerance gradually. Also be aware to always wear SPF after you put it on, as the sun can directly damage your skin when exposed to retinol. I apply this product before bed 3-4 nights  a week.

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For Eye cream:

As I recently turned 27, I have noticed a puffiness under my eyes that is really starting to irritate me. I came across this product by chance at a train station in NYC, but had heard great things about the brand, and so far have been loving the product. It comes in a larger container, but I’d advise trying the small one (below) first to make sure you like it. I apply this in the morning or evenings whenever I am feeling tired or think my skin is looking puffy.

 

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For SPF:

This is one of my favourite skincare products as it is so light and smoothing on the skin. A little also goes a long way with this product so it tends to last a very long time.

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As an alternative I also love La Roche Posay 50+

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For Serums:

I tend to suffer from dry, rather than oily skin, so I love serums that are super hydrating! I now never use a regular face moisturiser, as I don’t find them affective enough for hydration – serums are definitely the way to go. The two I have been loving are:

 

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The Ordinary Hyaluronic Acid

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For Cleansers:

I always switch back and forth between 2 cleansers, one being a slightly more affordable option than the other. My 2 current favourites are IMAGE at the higher price point and Liz Earle at the more affordable price point. Both of these cleansers are very gentle on your skin and help to clean your skin without being overly invasive.

 

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For Face Tanning

For facial tanning, I have been loving the TanOrganic face product. It gives a really natural glow and with natural ingredients, I don’t feel like I am doing excess harm to my skin.

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For Dry Lips

Dry lips during Winter are an endless battle, but this product I swear by, because it actually works! It’s super cheap and you can get it in Boots and definitely beats using Vaseline or Carmex.

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Exfoliant:

This product is a 3-in-1 micro exfoliant with 3% glycolic acid and salicylic acid to refine, brighten + renew your skin. Glycolic Fix Scrub works deep into pores to cleanse, polish + reduce blemishes and can help reduce signs of ageing. It’s also very affordable and available in Boots.

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