Blueberry Lemonade

If there’s one thing I’ve learned over a few attempts at making my own, life’s gotta give you a whole load of lemons before you can make much lemonade!

This recipe, however, is well worth squeezing a few lemons, and I know I’m gonna be making it over and over through the summer months because I could drink this all day!

You will need:

  • 5-6 lemons
  • 1 cup blueberries
  • 1/2 cup granulated or caster sugar

In a medium saucepan, combine the sugar with 250ml water and add the blueberries. Start to heat this over a medium heat.

While keeping an eye on the blueberry mixture, squeeze the lemons – preferably using a hand juicer to get the most juice out! You should be aiming for about 175-200ml.

After 3-4 mins of simmering, the blueberries in the pan should be broken down, and the liquid should be a nice purple colour. Remove the mixture from the heat, and drain using a fine sieve to ensure none of the skins or bitty bits get through. Let this cool down a little.

In a large jug, combine the lemon juice with 1.25 litres of cold water, then pour in the blueberry syrup and whisk to combine. Pop into the fridge to allow the mixture to fully cool, then serve over ice and enjoy!

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Get Sparkly For Summer

Who else is mega excited that the sun has finally started making an appearance?!

Sun means summer, and summer means beach days, festivals and pretty much every day is an excuse to be your best and sparkliest self – so get sparkly!

As a self-confessed highlighter addict, I make my love of all things sparkly pretty obvious, and here are a bunch of products that are perfect to get you shining away this summer:

Unicorn Heart highlighter from I Heart Makeup

I don’t reach for this highlighter nearly as much as I should do, but its multicoloured shine is perfect for music festivals and carnivals.

Barry M Dazzle Dust

I’ve loved Dazzle Dust since I was a teenager; its super pigmented and lasts really well, plus it feels so light! I have quite a few brighter shades, but at the moment I’m loving Aphrodite, which is a shell-pinky/nude which works amazing as a loose powder eyeshadow, but also when lightly dusted on your cheekbones as an extra shiny highlight.

Dandelion Twinkle from Benefit

I’m really a sucker for everything from Benefit’s Dandelion range, but I couldn’t help but pick up this new highlighter when I was last in Sephora and its so pretty!

Shimmy Shimmy Shimmer Bar from Lush

This just sorta fell into my basket when I was last in Lush.. Its a cocoa butter based bar which has the most beautiful vanilla scent, and is packed with environmentally friendly glitter! Its essentially a moisturiser which leaves you super sparkly, but you can also use it as a solid perfume and a highlighter. Rub it all over your arms and legs to sparkle away on a night out!

Illuminating Strobe Cream in Frosty Pink from Barry M

Not only is this a fab product for under Β£5, but this is also a highstreet dupe of Clinique’s Chubby Stick highligter which is Β£19.50!

Anastasia Beverly Hills x Nicole Guerriero Glow Kit

Remember when I bought this back in February and fell in love with it? Well I’m still in love with it and its going to be my best friend through the summer. Full review and swatches here!

What are your favourite summer beauty products?

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My Summer 2017 Bucket List

It may not still be able to quite make up its mind, but the sun is finally shining in Bournemouth today and I’m hoping and praying that summer is finally on its way at last!

I have zero holiday allowance left at work, soΒ this will be the first summer in a good few years that I haven’t been jetting off somewhere on a grand adventure, but I won’t be letting that stop me from filling my free time with as many little adventures and activities as I can. I wrote a summer bucket list last year, but I hardly scraped the surface with that list so I’m starting anew and hoping to actually complete this years!

  • Go to a music festival – no, I’m not gonna be hitting Glasto or V-fest, but we have a few great local festivals and I really fancy spending a day on a picnic mat listening to good live music and eating from food trucks in the sun.
  • Pick your own – I’ve always fancied going to one of those farms where you can pick your own berries and stuff
  • Bingo night – I have never been to a bingo club before, and I’m a little dubious, but so many people say its a good laugh so why not?
  • Go to an outdoor cinema – something on the list from last year that I never managed to do, here’s hoping for success this year
  • Take Matthew to the air festival – Bournemouth Air Festival is a pretty big deal, and Matthew’s never been before and put a pilot at an air festival and I’m pretty sure he’ll be happy
  • Actually get a tan – I normally spend too much time indoors to see any sort of colour change in my skin, but after a bit of a top up on my trip to California, I’m keen to spend as much time outdoors so that my legs stop reflecting light.
  • Tale as Old as Time Afternoon Tea – late to the party, but I’m finally going to the famous Beauty and the Beast afternoon tea at the Kensington Hotel with two of my favourite people in June and I can’t wait!
  • Go Ape – I’ve been saying for ages that I want to go back to Go Ape at Moors Valley, and I need to actually get round to swinging in the trees again
  • Celebrate our first anniversary – when I wrote my summer bucket list last year, one of the things on that list was my first date with Matthew. Well that was almost a year ago now, and I can’t wait to celebrate a whole year with the love of my life.

I’ve kept the list a little shorter this year in the hopes that I’ll actually achieve all of them! Wish me luck!

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My New Fitness Routine

I mean, I couldn’t stay at Muscle Beach forever..

In line with my post from Sunday, I’ve gotta get back on track with my fitness training. Having only just recovered from the jet lag, this morning was my first day back at the gym since before holiday, and although I did spend my holiday running a 10K and a half marathon, I’m definitely feeling the slump from a lack of workouts recently!

Now I’m a firm believer that the term ‘bikini body’ is a load of bull, and it really does grind my gears when health and fitness companies try to use the summer as a way to shame people into thinking they should be slimmer, but while my motivation has nothing to do with that, I do want to up my training heading into the summer months, for myself, my body confidence and no other reason.

Running

Personally, I hate running during the summer. I live on the beach and you’d think that would be perfect for running during the summer but I cannot stand it; it’s busy and the sun is glaring down and there’s no shade plus kids and dogs and bikes are everywhere. No thanks.

I also don’t do any big races during the summer, primarily due to heat, so I don’t have to worry about training too much, but I do want to maintain my consistency, so I’ll be aiming to do at least two runs a week – preferably a 5K and a 10K, just to keep myself moving and on form. I don’t see the point in pushing myself too much as I’m too prone to injury!

Gym

The gym is probably where I feel my most confident when it comes to fitness. I’ve seen such amazing progression that I don’t feel at all ashamed to say that I’m proud of myself, and I’m not stopping here. I’ll be aiming to visit at least 3-4 days a week, mixing both weight and strength training with some cardio options like spinning and rowing.

Given that I’m reining back my run training, I can get away with doing more leg training, as when I’m preparing for races I’m very cautious about what lower body work that I do, so I’ll definitely be stepping up with squats and lunges galore. My main focus has always really been upper body, especially my arms, and that will still be a big focus for me, but I also really enjoy finding more functional moves and workouts to get my whole body engaged!

Home Workouts

Where most people would probably have an area rug on their bedroom floor, I have my yoga mat rolled out at all times. I try not to waste precious gym time doing exercises that I can easily do at home, so evenings are the times that I generally do more calisthetics. I have both the Tone It Up and Blogilates apps on my phone, so I’m aiming to stick to the TIU daily moves every day, as well as one video by either K&K or one of my Blogilates faves.

I’m also hoping to fit some more yoga into my routine, both for strength and flexibility as well as time for meditation and relaxation, and praying I can master that forearm stand!

Fun Fitness

On top of everyday exercise, I’m hoping to squeeze a lot more fun into the summer months – Swimming, long adventurous walks, high ropes, trampolining, anything that’s a little bit different and a whole lotta fun really! If I’m enjoying myself and I’m being active then even better, right?

Do you mix up your fitness routine when summer comes?

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Lesson Learnt by a First Time Fake Tanner

That’s right. First timer..

I’ve always thought myself lucky in that I’ve always tanned fairly well naturally, but that generally involves spending a lot of time in sunshine, which is something that I haven’t really had much of recently, and with my trip to California looming, and my legs shining whiter than the moon, I decided that I was going to do something about it.

Being a first timer, I knew that a proper fake-tanner was never gonna be a good idea, so instead I opted for a gradual tanner instead, and took a recommendation to try Palmer’s Cocoa Butter Natural Bronze lotion, and here are a few things that I’ve learnt along the way..

Always read the label

So my first tanning faux pas came the morning after my first attempt. It said on the label to wash hands after use, and did I? Well my bright orange hands in the morning might give away that answer..

Get a feel for it

If its your first time using a particular product, trial it carefully. Either test it on a small area that can’t be seen, or do a super light layer to see its effects before you totally slather yourself in it.

If you’re uncertain, go gradual

There was no way I could have thrown myself in at the deep end with a regular fake tanner on a first attempt!

Even coverage matters

Even when using a gradual tanner, being sure to get a clean spread is still super important to avoid any weird lines or streaks.

Creases collect

Knees, armpits, ankles are a few of the biggest culprits, watch out for weird lines and darker patches!

Exfoliators and scrubs are your friends

Orange hands, weird patches, these products are like little erasers.

Results are slightly addictive

Once you find a product and a routine that works and you start seeing results, you might find it a little difficult to stop.

I’m really happy with the results I’ve been seeing, even after just a few weeks. It started out as just a way to fake it until I get to California and can build a little bit of a tan for myself, but I may just have to keep it up through the summer, especially as everyone knows you can’t trust the UK sun.. But also cos its cocoa butter based and it smells delicious.

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A Pre-Summer Pastel Mermaid Haul

While it may seem a little overplayed at times (I’m looking at you, Primark), I’m still a real sucker for the mermaid style trend.

I’m also a sucker for cute swimwear, and despite telling myself that this year I wasn’t going to buy anything new, I then discovered South Beach, and this beautiful pastel seashell dream of a bikini just fell into my online basket.. And so did these adorable colour block shorts.. What can I say, I’m weak.

The bikini is just the prettiest and really great quality for a really reasonable price, although I’d recommend sizing up if you tend to fall between sizes, or if you’re a little larger up top, just to be on the safe side! I’m generally a size 10, but my B/C cup boobs only really fit in once I took out the removable padding, as there was no chance they’d fit with padding in there! The shorts on the other hand are a perfect fit. The fabric is lightweight and ever so slightly stretchy which is ideal for pulling on and off down the beach or frolicking in the sun without feeling constricting, and I’m super excited to take them to Disneyland with me next month!

However, a not so accidental purchase was my GORGEOUS new yoga mat from PopFlexActive, which is the fitness brand from Blogilates founder Cassey Ho. I’ve been lusting after the Mermaid Couture mat for ages now, and I’d set it as a little reward for being good with my fitness, so with the summer approaching and to encourage myself to get back into yoga going into the warmer months. I love that the mat is eco-friendly and latex free, its feels absolutely top quality and of course its such a stunning and unique design and I’ve been wanting a cute mat to replace my boring grey one for almost a year now.

Is it summer now please?

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Homemade Turkey Burgers

Just because its September first doesn’t mean barbecue season has to be over just yet, especially as the weather has only just started picking up!

That being said, burgers aren’t just for BBQing, and these turkey burgers are a particular favourite of mine, and super easy to make!

Homemade turkey burgers

For about 6 burgers, you’ll need 500g turkey mince, 1 tsp oregano, 2 tbsp breadcrumbs and salt and pepper to season.

  • Tip your mince into a bowl, and using either your hands or a wooden spoon, break up the mince until even
  • Add the oregano and breadcrumbs to the mince and knead the mixture to ensure and even spread throughout. Add a pinch of salt and pepper and combine.
  • Using your hands, make the patties – the more you knead the mixture, the easier you’ll find this is to do, otherwise they can break up a little!
  • If you’re making these to eat another time, you can freeze the patties at this point, keeping them separate using greaseproof paper.
  • If not, these are good to go straight under the grill or onto the BBQ! Cook on each side for about 5 minutes, then pierce each side with a kebab skewer before continuing to cook. Just like chicken, you want the juices to be running clear!

Homemade turkey burgers

Now I’m a sucker for classic burger cheese, but if you’re feeling a little fancier then halloumi would also be great on these burgers, and I like to add a smear of green pesto for extra yumminess!

Homemade turkey burgers

Have I tempted you with this recipe, or are you a classic beef burger kinda person?

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