Current Skin Care Routine

I am going to start this by being really annoying and saying I have always had good skin, I don’t know why I feel like that’s annoying but I have family/friends who have suffered with acne and other skin problems and I know how painful that has been for them and how annoying it is when people talk about skincare etc when you have been trying everything to help yourself, we are all so different so I am just going to share what I am using and why, in the hope that someone might try some of the products and see results like I have!

That being said, what works for me, will not necessarily work for you, skin care is such a personal thing but I wanted to write a blog post about my current skin care routine firstly because every single thing I am using currently has been influenced by either people I follow on Instagram or YouTube videos I have watched. I absolutely love seeing people’s recommendations, especially when they are (I hope) genuine and it makes me try things that I wouldn’t of even known existed if I hadn’t seen them online!

Everything below is a genuine recommendation and I will talk through exactly what I have been doing and for how long, this blog is not sponsored in anyway shape or form but includes products that I received in a goody bag after an event so I didn’t buy it.

And secondly I wanted to write a blog post because I have been getting so many compliments about my skin recently not just from my stories but IRL too, which is lovely and I can say myself that my skin is the best it has been in years! After I had Isla, my skin took a huge turn for the worse, I was breaking out regularly and my forehead was covered in bumps that just weren’t going away not matter how much I exfoliated. I would say all of the products I have been using, have improved my skin by making it smoother and brighter, and haven’t been getting many spots, only when I’m due on I just get a few round my chin but I can live with that.

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So firstly, I have been limiting dairy in my diet. I say limiting because there is absolutely no way I would ever give up cheese. I have swapped cows milk in my drinks for Oat milk and I haven’t really been eating chocolate. It’s not something I’m hugely focusing on or worried about… like if I pop to my Mums for a coffee I’ll just have normal milk but I would say I am definitely eating less dairy than I was and just being a bit more conscious of what I’m eating in general.

Sticking with the point of what I’m putting in, water water water. I cannot stress this enough. I try and drink as much as I can, which lets be honest, after two very large baby’s and never doing my pelvic floor exercises can be a bit stressful. So I have a rule that the days I’m at home most of the day (and always near the bathroom) I will drink lots and lots of water. And then alcohol, I’ve been trying to just stick to one day a week if I fancy a drink, not always do able if there is stuff going on but generally I do think the weeks where I don’t have a lot on and I’ve not had a drink, my skin is just that bit brighter!

Right let’s get to the fun stuff, the products. I will just talk about this in like a step by step way and try not to waffle too much.

Cleansing

I have been using Clinique Take the Day Away for quite a while now. It was one of those products I’d heard of but was like really does it live up to the hype?… I had some Amazon vouchers to use so I bought it… and would say I noticed a positive difference to my skin fairly quickly. All the bumps on my forehead which I’d had since having Isla are now practically gone and it is absolutely amazing at removing makeup. I use this as my night time cleanser for my first cleanse. You can buy it from loads of different places but I order online, will pop a link here.

Then for my morning cleanse and my second evening cleanse I use Superdrug Cleanser. I feel like I’m not explaining this very well so just to clarify, I cleanse once in the morning using just the Superdrug cleanser and in the evening I cleanse twice using Clinique first, Superdrug second! I get mine direct from Superdrug, and it’s usually always on offer either 3 for 2 or half price.

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I have about 12 flannels in my airing cupboard, they are cheap as chips from Primark and I use a new clean flannel every morning and every evening, and another thing I always do is make sure I wash my hands before I wash my face, clean clean clean.

I would say that cleansing is probably the most important and beneficial thing I have been doing. I used to be so lazy at washing my face and now if I’m feeling lazy and can’t be bothered I will at least make sure I’ve cleansed.

Tone

Is this even actually a thing anymore? I don’t even know what to call it… I kind of think of this as like a third cleanse or an acid cleanse but whatevs I’m just going to call it ‘tone’.

I use the Superdrug Glycolic Toner, morning and night after my cleanser.

I have found this to really help the texture of my skin and just think it’s a lot smoother since I have been using this product and best part is it is so cheap!

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I just squeeze a load onto a cotton pad and swipe it all over my face and neck.

Another product I have been using to tone, is Alpha H Liquid Gold. This has quite frankly been a game changer for me. I noticed results pretty quickly and I just love how my skin looks and feels in the morning the night after I’ve used this. I use it every other night as it is quite acidic, my skin is really tingly after using it and I don’t use anything after it on the nights that I use it. I just cleanse twice, swipe the Alpha H Liquid Gold all over my face and thats it. I will pop a link of where you can get some from here. It’s on the pricier side of skin care, but I’ve had it around 2 and a half months and would say I definitely have another 4-6 weeks left before I would need to re purchase (which I will 100% be doing).

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Serum and SPF

I recently went to an event with Murad Skin Care, I honestly have never heard of them before but after using their Rapid Age Spot Correcting Serum  for a couple of months, I would be swayyed to try other products of theirs. I was kindly gifted their Serum and also their City Skin SPF which not only protects against sun damage but pollution too. I have been using both of the products and loving them. The Serum is really light and I use it in the morning after I’ve cleansed and toned, I find it really brightens my skin, then I pop a bit of the SPF on after that. If I’m wearing makeup I don’t use the SPF as all of my base products contain SPF, I just hate the feeling of too much stuff on my skin so I will leave it out. Both of the Murad products are probably a lot more than I would normally spend on skincare, but if skincare is your bag and you like high end, I would definitely recommend. As alternatives I’ve been looking at other serums high in Vitamin C like the Murad one and really like the look of The Ordinary’s version (very cheap) and also want to try Elizabeth Arden’s Prevage City Smart, as I’ve heard great things.

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Night Oil

This is something I’ve wanted to treat myself to for a very very long time! I have naturally oily skin and was a bit sceptical but I always see others using Oils at night and saying great things, so I took the plunge, which I always think it feels like a bit of risk when you spend money on skin care just incase it doesn’t agree with you, but this particlar brand, I generally always see very positive things about so I knew I wanted to try it. I went for Sunday Riley Luna , my skin is always glowing and smooth in the morning and I use this on the nights that I don’t use the Alpha H Liquid Gold. I will definitely be re purchasing this, it comes in a small or big bottle, just make sure you screw the lid on properly, I had an incident with Isla where I hadn’t screwed the lid back on the night before, in the morning she grabbed it off the side saying ‘bot bot’ (its got like a teat/dropper on the top) and spilt some of it… that being said its lasted me around 2 and a half months.

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And thats the lot!

I am definitely spending more time and effort on my skin now than I ever have, but can honestly say I’m reaping the benefits! If anyone else uses these products and loves them please let me know or if you know any great dupes of the pricier items, I would love to know that too!

L x

This blog post contains some affiliate links. As always, all thoughts and opinions are my own.

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Garlic and Parsley Prawns, New Potatoes, Tomatoes and Rocket

I feel like thats a bit of a mouthful but I didn’t want to leave anything out of the title!

I nearly didn’t bother with a recipe for this as its just so simple, but I took some photos and thought I may as well pop it up. Just a few good quality ingredients made for a really tasty, quick dinner, perfect for the end of a hot day.

For 1 person you will need:

  • 6-7 Tiger Prawns
  • 3-4 New Potatoes cut into quarters
  • 12 Cherry Tomatoes
  • Handful of Rocket
  • Half a Lemon
  • 2 cloves of Garlic
  • Chopped Parsley
  • Rapeseed Oil
  • Salt and Pepper

Put the Potatoes into salted water and bring to the boil. Drizzle some oil into an oven proof dish and pop into the oven on 180′ to start getting hot.

Par boil the potatoes for 5 minutes, drain then, toss in the hot oil with some Salt and Pepper and roast in the oven for 10 minutes.

After 10 minutes, add the Cherry tomatoes to the tray and put back in the oven for 5 minutes.

After 5 minutes, remove from the oven and add the Rocket and mix all together so the Rocket starts to wilt then set to one side.

Start frying off the Prawns in a hot pan with a little oil. Fry on one side for around 2 minutes, flip them over, add salt, 2 cloves of crushed Garlic, a squeeze of Lemon and a dash of water then cook for another 2 minutes till the liquid reduces. Add the chopped Parsley.

And thats it! I had mine with an extra wedge of Lemon to squeeze on top.

Hope you enjoy.

L x

‘next level’ Tuna Nicoise

Exactly what it says on the tin, next level! I bloody LOVE a salad but tbh yeah, they are boring AF.

If I’m making one, I will always try and jazz it up a bit and this is so much nicer than your bog standard Nicoise with just a little more effort put in.

You will need:

  • Tuna (I used a Tuna steak which I found in Asda)
  • New Potatoes
  • Green Beans
  • Olives
  • Cherry Tomatoes
  • Eggs
  • Lettuce
  • Lemon
  • Olive Oil
  • Salt and Pepper

First slice the Cherry Tomatoes in half, season with salt and pepper, and either grill or oven roast on a rack, on a very low temperature for about half an hour. They turn into like fresh slow roasted Tomatoes, that are packed with flavour and so SO much nicer than your regular Cherry Tom.

Boil the New Potatoes and once they are very nearly cooked, add the Green Beans for the last 2 minutes.

Boil some water for the Egg, boil for 6 minutes then refresh into cold water.

For the dressing, zest 1 lemon, then mix with the juice of 1/2 a lemon and 1 tbsp of Olive Oil, this made enough for one person… so if you are cooking for others, multiply the recipe.

For the Tuna, lightly oil and season on both sides, pre heat a Chargrill pan to very hot. Then sear the Tuna for a few minutes on each side, you could also Pan Fry or Grill the Tuna.

Mix the Potatoes, Green Beans and Olives with the dressing.

In a bowl, put the chopped Lettuce, then the Potatoes, Green Beans, Olives and Tomatoes. Top with the Tuna and the boiled Egg cut into quarters.

And thats it!

Hope you enjoy.

L x

Creamy Chicken Caesar Pasta

Another day, another Pasta recipe.

I love Pasta and I love Chicken Caesar, but I wanted to be able to have it hot and not use Caesar Dressing. So this Pasta sauce is made using all the flavours in Caesar dressing but using Chicken Stock and a little Cream for a seriously tasty Pasta sauce. I know some people might read the recipe and turn their nose up at the Anchovies, but trust me, they add so much flavour to the Sauce and doesn’t make it taste fishy at all, they add a certain kind of saltyness and just take it to next level yummy.

For 2 people you will need:

  • 2 Chicken Breasts sliced
  • 4 Bacon medallions cut into lardons
  • 3 Anchovies finely chopped
  • 2 cloves of Garlic chopped
  • 200g Penne Pasta
  • 60g Parmesan
  • 300ml Chicken stock
  • 100ml Single Cream
  • chopped Parsley
  • Salt and Pepper

Heat a large frying pan and boil some water with a large pinch of salt. Fry off the Chicken and Bacon with a pinch of Salt and Pepper and start boiling the Pasta.

Once the Chicken and Bacon has started to brown, add the Anchovies and Garlic and fry for a minute.

Add the Chicken stock to the pan then reduce by half till thickened slightly.

Next, add the Single Cream and reduce by half too.

Keep an eye on the Pasta it will only take around 8-9 minutes, drain when cooked saving some of the Pasta water.

Add the Pasta to the Chicken along with most of the Parmesan and stir through. Add some of the Pasta water to loosen the sauce a bit.

Plate up, top with the Parmsan and chopped Parsley.

I had mine with some Veg on the side, it was SO GOOD. I think this will become a regular in our house, I usually avoid using cream in Pasta but 100ml for two people is not alot and it really makes a difference to the sauce, feels like such a treat!

Hope you enjoy!

L x

Herb Crusted Salmon with Cous Cous and Roasted Tomatoes

This is the sort of food I could never get bored of. Fresh, summery, lots of flavour, filling and balanced… win win win. It wasn’t too tricky either… I just made it for myself but the crust would be enough to top 2-3 pieces of Salmon!

For 1 Person you will need:

  • 1 portion of Salmon
  • 1 slice of Bread blitzed into Breadcrumbs
  • 1 Bunch of Parsley
  • 4 sprigs of Basil
  • 2 cloves of Crushed Garlic
  • 1 Lemon
  • 2 tbsp Olive Oil
  • Salt and Pepper
  • Cherry Tomatoes on the vine
  • Tenderstem Broccoli/Green Beans
  • Cous Cous
  • 1 Chicken Oxo
  • 1/4 tsp Mild Chilli Powder

First preheat the oven to 180′, then blitz the Bread Crumbs with the Crushed Garlic, the zest of 1 Lemon, half the Parsley, half the Basil and a good pinch of Salt and Pepper.

Once blitzed, mix with 2 tbsp of Olive Oil.

Put the Salmon skin side down onto a lined/oiled tray, top with the Crust. Put the Cherry Tomatoes on the same try, season and put into the oven to roast for 10 minutes.

For the Cous Cous, I always use equal amounts of Cous Cous to boiling water and use this glass with a line to measure it out. Mix the Cous Cous with 1 Chicken Oxo and the mild Chilli Powder then add the boiling water, clingfilm and leave to stand for 5 minutes.

Chop the remaining Parsley and Basil and mix with the Cous Cous. After 10 minutes, take the Cherry Tomatoes out of the oven and set to one side (there is nothing worse than biting into a boiling hot Cherry Tomato) and leave the Salmon in to roast for a further 5 minutes.

Blanch and drain the Broccoli then the Salmon should be ready!

Plate everything up with a wedge of Lemon to squeeze on top.

I could eat this again right now and it would go so nice with a large cold glass of Sauvignon

Hope you enjoy!

L x

Thai Prawn and Salmon Noodle Soup

Firstly, WOW. Birdseye Chilli’s are seriously hot. It’s only as I write this I remember being a Commis Chef at my first restaurant job and the older more senior chefs getting me to eat one…not fun!!! TBH I think if I make this again I would leave them off… I love a bit of heat but it was a little too much for me!!

So anyway, I wanted something quick, easy and healthy for dinner and this definitely ticked all of those boxes! You could totally make your own paste if you wanted to, but lets be honest, no one has time for that… and the shop bought Curry Pastes are pretty spot on IMO.

For 2 people you will need:

  • 1 Salmon Fillet
  • 12 Tiger Prawns
  • 2 nests of Noodles (I used Rice noodles)
  • 1 handful of Beansprouts
  • 1/2 pack of Stir Fry Veg (I got the one below from Sainsburys, it was really good for a Thai style stir fry!)
  • 300ml Chicken Stock (I used 2 stock cubes and 300ml boiling water)
  • 1 tbsp Thai Curry Paste (Green or Red, whichever you fancy)
  • Chilli, Coriander, Spring Onion and Lime to Garnish

Season the Salmon with Salt and Pepper then Roast in the oven for 10 minutes on 180′.

After 10 minutes, boil the kettle, put the noodles into a large bowl and cover with boiling water. Then make up the Chicken stock in a jug.

Heat a Wok/Large Frying Pan with a little oil and start frying off the Veg, keep back the Beansprouts.

After a minute of frying the Veg, add the Prawns, take the Salmon out of the Oven and set to one side.

Fry the Prawns for a minute, add the Thai Curry Paste and then fry for a further minute.

Drain the Rice Noodles from the boiling water.

Layer up everything in a bowl, flaking up the cooked Salmon and adding in the Beansprouts too.

Pour over the hot Stock, then top with Chilli, Coriander, Spring Onions and a wedge of Lime.

And that’s it!

So quick and simple, but it certainly packs a punch with the Birdseye Chillis so leave them out if you don’t want to knock your socks off.

Hope you enjoy!

L xx

Lemon, Thyme and Garlic Chicken Pasta with Creme Fraiche

I’m forever just thinking of yummy, different ways to eat Pasta. This one in particular was so nice with a Spring/Summery twist, it felt fresh and light for a creamy Pasta dish and I had it with a side of Tender-stem Broccoli and Asparagus.

For 4 people (2 big, 2 little) you will need:

  • 3 Large Chicken Breasts diced
  • 250g Pasta
  • 500ml Chicken Stock
  • 3 cloves of Garlic
  • 2 tsp chopped Fresh Thyme
  • 100g Creme Fraiche
  • Salt and Pepper
  • Chopped Parsley

Start frying off the Chicken in a large pan on a high heat, put a pan of water on to boil. Once the Chicken has started to brown, add salt and pepper, the Thyme and Garlic then fry for a few minutes.

Add the Chicken Stock, bring to the boil and reduce down for 5 minutes.

Add the Pasta to the boiling water whilst still reducing the Chicken Stock, cook the Pasta for 8-10 minutes.

Once the Chicken Stock has reduced right down, turn down the heat.

Once the Pasta is cooked, drain then add to the Chicken. Turn off the heat and stir in the Creme Fraiche, the juice of half a Lemon and some of the chopped Parsley.

And that’s it! This is so simple and easy and packed with some of my favourite flavours! I went heavy on the Garlic because I love it but you could use less if you aren’t as much of a fan.

Hope you enjoy!

L x