Monday, 30 May 2016

The Trout Oxfordshire | Restaurant Review

Now that I have a full time job Russell and I find ourselves going out for dinner quite a bit and I thought I would share a few of the amazing places we have been to. After a few stressful and difficult months at the end of last year we made the decision that in 2016 we would try to enjoy living in Oxford a bit more and make a conscious effort to go on dates rather than sit in and watch Harry Potter. Me and Russell are both very foodie having been brought up in families where food is the centre piece to family life and every special occasion so its no surprise really that one of our favourite dates is trying new restaurants or popping over to a pub thats had a very good recommendation. The Trout was one of those pubs we'd heard a lot about, walked past on a walk along the Thames path and almost stopped to have dinner at numerous times. But it wasn't until a beautiful hot sunny day in Oxford that we decided quite randomly to go and sit in the sunshine and have a drink by the Thames.

The Trout is a lovely little gastro-pub situated right on the bank of the Thames and just in front of beautiful Port Meadow in Oxford. They have a large patio on the front which has always been full every time we've gone past as its a real sun trap and perfect for a drink with friends or a lazy summer meal whilst you soak up some rays. We were lucky enough to find a table right by the river so we could watch the water cascading down and even share our dinner with a few ducks who hopped onto the wall to say hello.

Russell and I are lucky enough to share the same taste in food and so we often find we either order the same thing at a restaurant or we like to share food and try each others. Although we both love a good burger we decided to try something a little bit different at this pub and the Sticky Platter was just perfect. It was essentially a sharing platter of different meat and was absolutely delicious, full of flavour and spice with amazing home made chilli jam and tzatziki to dip into it was the perfect summer meal.

We really enjoyed The Trout and seeing as it's only about 10 minutes from us I'm sure we will be going back over this summer. 
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Friday, 27 May 2016

Snowshill Manor

Another beautiful summers day in Oxford and some time off work can mean only one thing for me, time to visit another National Trust. If you've read my blog before I'm sure you will have seen that I spend the majority of my time off at National Trusts. Having membership means its just such an easy day out and we often just go to sit in the gardens or wander in the grounds away from the business of Oxford life. This time we popped over to Snowshill manor to catch up with family and see some of the interesting if not bizarre artefacts in the collection. We have now been to quite a lot of National Trusts but I have never been to one as interesting and diverse as Snowshill, Mr Wade the owner of Snowshill in the early 20th century was a collector of arts and crafts and the entire manor houses his collection of thousands of different items. There are some beautiful pieces and some down right wacky pieces but it was certainly interesting. 

I loved wearing this outfit, the skirt is a relatively new addition from Asos, it's ridiculously comfy and seems to just go with everything. The top is a random one I found at home, I love the 50s/60s style neckline and the stripes. I love it as the weather gets warmer and I can start to get my legs out more, I'm definitely looking forward to wearing more vintage outfits this summer. 

I hope you're all enjoying the summer sunshine! 

What I Wore...
Top - George | Skirt - Asos | Cardigan - Marks and Spencer | Shoes - Clarks | Bag - Old 

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Monday, 23 May 2016

Night Time Beauty Products

After doing a post on my Night Time Routine I decided to share with you guys some of the amazing products I've found that really help during my little nighttime pamper ritual. Nearly all of the products do come from The Body Shop, one of the perks of working there is I get lots of freebies and get to try many new things however all the thoughts and opinions are my own and I've not been sponsored to do this. So lets get started!

1. Garnier Micellar Water - This is amazing! It takes off all my make up super quick but is incredibly gentle to my skin. I have sensitive skin on my face and so I often find make up removers react but this one is fantastic. I use this every night to take off eye make up and my foundation. 

2. Vitamin E Essence Lotion - I had never used an essence lotion before joining The Body Shop but having used this one I am now totally hooked. You apply it after cleansing and toning your face but before your moisturising products and it basically acts as a sponge for your serum and moisturiser. It helps the skin to absorb all that good moisture and lock it in over night. Its amazing! And since using it I have noticed such a difference in my skin. 

3. Oils Of Life Facial Oil - Again, before working at The Body Shop I had never used a serum or facial oil before but after I started to use this I noticed a huge difference in my skin. It goes on after the essence lotion and before your night cream. An oil is different to a cream as it soaks down to the third layer of the skin and works it way up rather than a cream that sits on the top layer. Its a really important addition to the skin care routine and this particular leaves my skin feeling hydrated, radiant and protected. I only apply it at night however as I find it too heavy for the morning but if you have very dry skin you can use it for both day and night. 

4. Vitamin E Night Cream - I love the vitamin E range, having had dry skin my whole life this is the perfect go to product for me. The night cream contains wheatgerm oil which is a really natural source of Vitamin E and super hydrating for the skin, it helps to replenish moisture, protect and hydrate the skin throughout the night when the skin is going through its cell renewal process. 

5. Spa Of The World Hawaiian Kukui Cream - This stuff smells divine! And the texture is lovely. I like to apply this over the whole body before bed and really spend my time massaging the product in. 

6. Shea Butter - This is another wonderful body butter and I do sometimes use this over the whole body particularly if my body is feeling dry however I've found that shea is particularly good for my feet. I like to take a little bit of the butter and rub it to the soles of my feet before getting into bed, I find this helps to keep my feet soft and nourished and stops them from cracking which is often what happens when your work involves standing all day. 

7. Oils Of Life Sleeping Cream - This is actually a night cream however as I have such particular skin on my face I found that it really didn't suit my face at all however the product is also for the neck and collar bones and so I apply it there. Its designed to help with wrinkles and ageing in the skin obviously not something I suffer with at the moment however it also contains essential oils such as lavender, lavandin and camomile that really help to relax and calm you. I like to put this on just before I go to sleep and let the essential oils relax me into a nice deep sleep. 

And there you have it! My night time beauty products, I'd love to hear your suggestions in the comments below if you have any great products or tips to share. 

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Monday, 16 May 2016

Five Reasons To Get Up Early

After writing my Night Time Routine I thought it would also be good to share a little bit about my morning routine or why I get up early. I never used to be an early bird in fact I would tend to stay in bed till gone 10am on my days off and sometimes when I know my body really needs that I will do it. But I find if I sleep in too much my body can become very sluggish and tired through out the day and so I try to get up as early as I can. To me it's all about balance and listening to your body, now I am more in tune with my bodies needs I am able to know if I need a little extra lie in or if it would in fact be better for me to wake up early. I do try to get up at a similar time every day normally between 7:30 and 8:00 because I like my body to have a routine it can get used to. Obviously this doesn't work for every, everybody is different and what works for me won't work for all but I thought I'd share the benefits for me. I hope you enjoy!

1. Its calming - for me waking up early with the birds singing and the quiet stillness is extremely calming. I love the house being so quiet and tip toeing around as I get ready enjoying the sun slowly creeping up. I find its a great relaxing way to start my day.

2. You can do more - If you get up early you can often fit in those things you can't seem to find the time to do. Sometimes I get up and I write, or I read a book or I finish that blog post I haven't had a chance to sort out. Its a great way of fitting in the things that you love doing whatever they may be. For ages I found it very hard to fit my daily bible study in but now I do it every morning when I wake up and I feel great that I am able to do something I love each day when I first wake up.

3. You can fit in a work out - I used to be one of those people who hated working out and now I love it. I find it so relaxing and it really sets me up for the day. I normally go for a jog or I do yoga and I find this is such a great way to start the day. I feel energised and amazing as I've already accomplished something for the day even if it was just a quick 10 minute yoga session.

4. You have time for a healthy breakfast - for years and years I didn't eat breakfast and now I can't get enough of it. I love to start my day with some form of protein normally eggs and I also love a bit of fruit. I find this really sets me up for the day and I don't feel so starving hungry when it comes to lunch or feel the need to snack all morning. I love giving myself the time to nourish my body.

5. You don't rush - I used to be one of those people that would fly out the door, no time for breakfast, not time for anything, forgetting half my lunch and only just finishing my hair. Now I leave the house feeling relaxed, rested and proud of myself for achieving that run or finishing that blog post. I'm not hungry or worrying about fitting in some breakfast before work, I am completely calm and ready to take the day on.

I hope these tips helped you, I'd love to hear in the comments if you have any tips that have helped you!
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Friday, 13 May 2016

Lady Of The Manor

If you've been reading my blog for a while now you will know I have a real interest (obsession) with history which mainly culminates in visiting National Trust Properties. Russell and I are lucky enough to live within easy reach of quite a few beautiful properties and as we have membership we have found ourselves visiting a new place every time we get a lovely day. This day was absolutely gorgeous and so we packed up a picnic in my super cute picnic basket and drove out to Buscot Park

We had such a lovely time exploring the grounds and wandering round the house learning all about the family who still lived there and have lived there for generations. We discovered Egyptian walk ways, water gardens and some beautiful blue bells in the woods. I always forget how stunning a carpet of blue bells is and every year I am astounded by the beauty of them. I am going back to Hereford where my parents live next week and I am really hoping to catch the blue bells there as they are always spectacular. 

The dress was a little present to myself this month. I'd tried it on and felt amazing but I decided it was quite expensive and so would have to think about it. Three weeks later I still couldn't get it off my mind and so decided to just go for it. I have never been one to change her wardrobe due to fashion I've always been more of a classic style kinda gal however I have been guilty of buying cheap badly made clothes and replacing them each year. I decided about a year ago to try to change this and to buy really well made good pieces that are timeless and I will get a lot of wear out of. I bought this dress with that in mind and I'm pretty sure it'll live up to its name. It was comfortable and light weight, absolutely perfect for swishing around a national trust on a hot day. I can't wait to wear it more this summer along with my trusty Tribe sunglasses - they really are the best sunglasses I've ever had. 

What I Wore...
Dress - Aspire Style | Sunglasses - Tribe | Sandals - Old

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Monday, 9 May 2016

My Night Time Routine

As I've mentioned numerous times on here 2016 for me has been all about creating the life that I want to lead, I've been working on my physical health, my wellbeing and also my spiritual health and I have been enjoying sharing it all on here. I have tried lots of different things, some have worked others haven't and I thought I'd quite like to share some of these experiences. I haven't really done many health and wellness posts on here but I do feel that they go hand in hand with my faith posts and so I'd like to share them more and more. Starting off with my night time routine.
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Friday, 6 May 2016

Wild and Free

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Monday, 2 May 2016

The Calming Sea Breeze

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