Monday, 15 October 2018

Lifestyle // Fortnightly Round Up #4

Time for another instalment of the Fortnightly Round Up

In the last two weeks I’ve been on more work trips, celebrated Curly’s birthday, had lots of Harry Potter magic, a lot of pampering and finally introduced Andy to my family. Let’s go.


Curly’s Birthday and Meeting the Parents 

It was Curly’s birthday on the 6th October so of course I went to visit the old bear! I decided it was finally time my parents met Andy so he came as well and no surprises they all bloody loved each other! 

My dad's an absolute legend, so I always love buying him presents. This year I got him some chocolates, the new Cormoran Strike book and - dad classic - some new socks which he was well chuffed with so job well done!


Curly's Birthday Lunch

The four of us went out for lunch for Curly’s birthday, heading to a lovely Italian near their house. Andy and I shared a mushroom bruschetta topped with a poached egg and parmesan shavings and Rockefeller Rock Oysters with a butter and parsley sauce to start. We then moved on to split a Rack of Lamb with mashed potato and buttered veg and Surf and Turf with lobster tails and fillet steak.

It was all really good, but the lamb was definitely the star of the show - so delicious and perfectly cooked. We were *almost* too full to eat some of Sue’s homemade mocha cake when we got home. Almost. 


Booked tickets to the Harry Potter Studio Tour - Dark Arts

I’ve been feeling a little bit antsy that I haven’t been to the Harry Potter Studio Tour this year - yes it is necessary to go every year - so I persuaded Andy that visiting for Halloween was essential.

I’ve never been to the Dark Arts event before and I’m beyond excited to see the Great Hall bedecked with pumpkins ready for the Halloween Feast. 


Work Trip to the University of Kent

Another week another work event! This time I headed down to Canterbury to the University of Kent. Whilst I literally just got off a train, walked down the street and got a bus to campus, I was in awe of how pretty and quaint everywhere looked. I’ll definitely be back for a day trip to explore properly soon.


Work Content Creation Competition

I work for a large travel company and they recently launched an internal content creation competition. There were four categories - photography, writing, social media and videography - with some great prizes available including a camera, money to spend on flights and even trip to Japan. Fingers crossed! 

Even if I don’t win it was really fun to enter and I submitted a photo essay with pictures from my trip to Iceland and a blog about my volunteering trip to South Africa last year. Will keep you posted.


Harry Potter Primark Haul

Partly in celebration of booking Dark Arts, partly because I was so damn excited by the new trailer for Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald (and partly because I’m just so damn cool) I paid a little visit to the Harry Potter section of Primark Tottenham Court Road.

I was actually very restrained - thank you very much - and came out with just this beautiful vintage Hufflepuff scarf (£8) reminiscent of Newt Scamander’s which I will definitely be wearing to the tour in November. I also picked up this Hogwarts mug for £1 in the sale and these cute Hufflepuff cosy socks (£3) which are oh so soft. It would have been rude not to.


Friday Night Dinner with the Girls - Jalisco in Brixton
More food! The girls and I went out for dinner in Brixton on Friday. They’d not explored Brixton much before so it was nice to show them around my neighbourhood and we had a really nice time catching up.

We headed to my fave Latin American place in Brixton Village - Jalisco. I had the spicy chicken quesadilla which was as good as normal - just the right level of spice, all the cheesy, crispy goodness and extra guac to smother all over it. You wouldn’t guess I’ve got to be in a swimming costume next week would you?!


Getting Holiday Ready 

Talking of being holiday ready - I’ve been in that slightly frantic pre-holiday mania stage this last week. Not only have I been trying to get everything tied up at work, but I’ve had my nails done, got my brows done and had a haircut. You can’t beat a little pamper! 


M&S Opticians* 

I was kindly invited down to M&S to try out their new Opticians service. I’ve got a full review coming soon, but I was so impressed with the service I received, it was definitely the most thorough eye test I’ve ever had and their new range of frames is stunning. Thanks guys!


A bit of a slower paced fortnight than normal, but it's about to be a BIG ONE - as we're finally off to India this fortnight. I still can't quite believe we're really going, but I'm so excited for such an adventure. 

I'll be updating my Instagram while I'm there so check that out to see what we're up to - @emsypickle

Any last minute tips for Jaipur, Delhi or Agra before we go?

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*Thanks so much to M&S Opticians for inviting me to try out their new eye test service. All thoughts are honest and my own. For more information please see my Disclaimer Page.

Wednesday, 10 October 2018

Favourites // September 2018

I really enjoyed September - I got to catch up with friends - big shout out to girls weekend at Center Parcs and Curry and Couture pre-India shopping day! I also got closer to having a consistent blogging routine (aiming for every Monday and Friday, with a new Fortnightly Round Up every other Monday!) and I ate a lot of good food. 

Check out what I got up to here and here and keep on reading to see my September beauty, fashion and lifestyle Favourites


Harry Potter mugs

How adorable are these please? I bought them a while ago from Primark in the sale for just £3 for the set. Wingbargain Levioyeah! 

Luckily Andy is also a HP fan and finds these cute not cringe, and we’ve been enjoying having a hot drink in the evenings with them. A match made in Hogwarts! 


Yves Saint Laurent - Black Opium

I've been wearing this perfume non stop in September. I've very nearly run out and definitely need to get another bottle, as it's just so beautiful.

It's quite a sexy scent which is gorgeous to wear in the evenings, with hints of vanilla, coffee and a floral twist - I always feel a million dollars when I wear this. 


Dairy Milk Marvellous Creations Jelly Popping Candy Chocolate

This is the best chocolate ever. Don’t @ me.

I love the mix of textures - from the smooth milk chocolate, crunchy candy shells, chewy jelly nibs and crackling popping candy. It’s so different to any other chocolate, and reminds me of something you would buy at Honeydukes. The Harry Potter obsession continues. 

The only problem I have with this chocolate is that it’s way too easy to eat a lot of in one go! 


New York T-Shirt 

I saw this on Hannah Gale’s instastories and knew I had to buy it ASAP!

I love New York so much and was so disappointed to miss out on *that* Topshop t-shirt earlier in the year, so I snapped up this ASOS number straight away.

 It was only £12 but is really nice quality and washes really well. It’s also a great length and sits perfectly with skirts and jeans. Can we have a Chicago one next please ASOS?


Fig Tree Candle - St Eval Candle Company

Hurrah for cosy Autumn evenings! I’m a huge candle fan and they are back out in force in my house after a summer break.

One I’ve particularly been loving recently is this Fig Tree scent by St Eval Candle Company. It’s a beautiful light fruity smell which really does fill a room, and burns nice and evenly too. I can’t wait to light my other scent - White Jasmine - soon too.


Heathers The Musical

I wrote about my trip to see Heathers The Musical in last week’s Fortnightly Round Up post (so go read more about it there) but what can I say - I’m obsessed!

I actually can’t stop listening to the soundtrack and it’s been my go to belt out in the shower selection. Much to my boyfriend’s enjoyment... There’s some great ticket deals out at moment so if you can, definitely get yourself to see it before it ends in November.


I’m ready to go full steam ahead into October. This month is set to be mega exciting as I’M OFF TO INDIA!!! I’ve also got my Dad’s birthday to celebrate and I’m taking the plunge and introducing my boyfriend to the parents at long last. Wish me luck!

What were your September faves?

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Saturday, 6 October 2018

Lifestyle // Fortnightly Round Up #3

Can you believe it's October?! I love October - the weather always seems to settle down a bit, there’s usually lots of walks in crunchy leaves, Halloween brings a bit of festivity and you can justifiably start to think about Christmas. Don't @ me.

I rounded off September with lots of fun, including a trip to the theatre, some Harry Potter magic, a few good meals out and Indian clothes shopping. Let's go.


World Rhino Day

22nd September marked World Rhino Day. I fell in love with these Jurassic creatures when volunteering in South Africa last year when I was lucky enough to see many of the endangered species in the wild as part of the work to conserve and protect them.

Rhinos are sadly hunted for their horns, leaving many brutally and needlessly killed. To help raise awareness a Rhino Trail was set up in London with 21 uniquely decorated statues dotted around the capital and I’m really gutted I didn’t get to see them all before they were taken down to be auctioned off.


Noble Collection

I’m a huge Harry Potter fan, but had never been to to visit Noble Collection before. Based in Covent Garden, the store stocks amazing replicas and collectables from the films, as well as many other movies including Lord of the Rings, The Hobbit, Suicide Squad and more.

It's a stunning shop, and there's so much to look at. The staff are so friendly, and are more than happy to let you browse, even if you're not looking to buy, and are really happy to answer any questions you have.

I could have spent all day in there, and I will definitely be heading back soon - it's so relaxing wandering round and checking out all the HP bits. I was very restrained but wanted to empty out my vault at Gringotts to buy EVERYTHING!


Coffee shop catch up

I headed back to visit my parents the other weekend, and met with my friend Gemma for a quick catch up and coffee on the way. 

It was really lovely to see her and have a good all natter and hear about her news. I had a delicious coconut milk cappuccino at Starbucks, then wandered through the shopping centre before jumping onto the bus back to the parents. 


Tredwells Roast

I haven’t had a roast in forever so last Sunday Andy and I went to Tredwells - Marcus Waring’s Covent Garden restaurant. I’m going to do a full post about our experience as we loved it so much, so won’t bang on too much about it now, but it was brilliant!

We had 3 courses for £30 which is itself a great deal, but Andy is a chef so we got an additional 40% off with the Code Hospitality App. Bargain! The food was great and we will definitely be coming back again soon. 


Neon Lion in Trafalgar Square

Andy and I went for a nice walk through Trafalgar Square after our roast at Tredwells to make the most of the nice weather and walk off our delicious lunch.

Excitingly there was a bright neon red lion who had been erected with the famous bronze lion sculptures that call Trafalgar Square home. Part of the London Design Festival, you could speak poetry to the lion and it would then roar words back to you! Rawrsome.


Trip to University of Birmingham 

I headed up to Birmingham for work, to hold a stand at The University Freshers Fair. Wow, nothing makes you feel old like realising it was 14 years since you started uni! The university campus is beautiful and I felt like I was in Dawson’s Creek - lolz, just for a bit more decade old nostalgia. 

It was a great day and the fact you can get halfway up the country on just a two hour train journey has made me start to write a list of where else I want to explore on a day trip. All suggestions welcome!


Dirty Bones

I went to Dirty Bones with some work friends for midweek drinks and dinner, which was really nice. I’m lucky to work with some really great people and it was nice to chill together outside the office. Dirty Bones is just round the corner from work and it’s a great place to stop for some classic American deliciousness, and they do cocktail happy hour - what’s not to love?!

I had an Uptown Spritz - Tanqueray Gin, Aperol, Campari, pink grapefruit and ginger ale - and a Spicy Chicken Burger which was super filling and really tasty.


Heathers the Musical 

Oh my actual god this was AMAZING! My cousin and I decided last minute to make our dinner date a theatre date (we do that a lot!). We nabbed ourselves great seats at the front of the Royal Circle for Heathers The Musical for just £25.

Neither of us had seen the classic 80s high school film, but knew the basic storyline - three popular girls help an unpopular girl glow up, however things take a darker turn and several students end up dead.

It was absolutely brilliant - a very smart dark comedy and the songs were incredible - I cant stop listening to the soundtrack. Carrie Hope Fletcher played the lead and was fantastic - her voice really is insane! I highly recommend checking this out if you can - it’s the perfect feel good laugh for a girls night and is on until mid November. 


Indian shopping

It’s now only a couple of weeks to go until I head to India for my friend’s wedding. On Saturday we all got together with the bride and groom to go sari shopping. It was a really fun day, we all got kitted out for the Big Day!

My cousin has kindly lent me her sari to wear, but I also bought myself a beautiful hot pink, royal blue and gold lengha aswell. It's a far cry from my usual uniform of black and grey everyday, but I'm very excited for my friends and I to all be wearing the beautiful jewel bright colours we all chose. I'm so excited for India now!


This post was meant to go up on Monday, but unfortunately I had a migraine on Sunday and then work has been crazy, so soz and that. Normal service will resume next week! I've also got Curly's birthday to celebrate, friend's leaving parties, and my boyfriend is meeting the parents for the first time. Wish me luck!

Where would you suggest going for a UK city break / day trip?

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