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Wednesday, April 16, 2014

A Foodies Guide To Italy

It's no secret that Italy is known for its food. From pizza, to pasta, to wine, and ice cream, no one does it quite right like Italy. I've been fortunate to travel to Italy a few times in the past, and I've experienced some great food on my way. Each region of Italy has it's own specialties, and you really need to travel around to make the most of fine Italian cuisine. There are several guides you can find on the best places to eat in Italy, but with so many different regions it can be hard to decide where to start! On my travels I've been lucky enough to try out a few different places, so here's a few places I definitely recommend you should try. 


Puglia is the home to miles and miles of gorgeous sandy beaches and delicious Italian cuisine, surrounded by some beautiful views. Over the past few years the region of Puglia has been discovered as a huge talking point for foodies. Offering foodie events running throughout the year, with at least one event taking place each month. The contemprary fairs still continue on the tradition of producing some of Italy's finest olive oil, as well as being the sixth biggest wine-making region in the world.

Tuscany & Umbria

With its miles of rolling fields of olives and long stretches of vineyards, it's no surprise that Tuscany should win a place on this list. Tuscany is famous for offering some of the finest wines and cuisines that the country has to offer. There's one place that all foodies certainly need to pay a visit to, and that's the Chianti region, the wine-making capital of Tuscany. Wine-tasting and winery tours are of course available here, where you can have the chance to taste some of the most famous wines; Brunello di Montalcino, Vino Nobile di Montepulciano and Vernaccia di San Gimignano. On past trips to Italy I've fallen in love with the wine so much, I've had to bring it back home with me! When it comes to the food, Tuscan cuisine reflects the regional way of life, adopting the mantra of taking i slowly. Slow-cooked food and slow-paced dining packed full of flavors are the norm here. 

Neapolitan Rivieria

For those with a well-developed palate and a taste for finer food, a holiday in the Neapolitan Riviera is not to be missed! With culinary delights such as fresh fish from Cetara, a local fishing village, and fresh spaghetti served with a rich anchovy pesto. And of course who could forget the signature dish of the region, Neapolitan pizza! Freshly made, thin-crust bases topped with tomato, mozzarella, and basil, scattered with either fresh seafood, meat or vegetables all cooked in a traditional wood-fired oven - who wouldn't want to visit?

Italian food is certainly more than just pizza and pasta. It's about exploring the different tastes of each region. You won't regret it!

Avène Soothing Hydrating Serum

If you read my blog frequently you'll know I'm bit of a skincare addict. I'm constantly talking about lotions and potions, but something I've only just started using properly is serums. I never used to understand how important they were in my skincare routine, and didn't really know what ones were best for me. I was recently lucky enough to be given the chance to try out Avène's Soothing Hydrating Serum from, a great French skincare brand that I've not had the chance to try.

I've never really heard of Avène, so I wasn't too sure what to expect from this serum, but once I started using it I found I couldn't stop. The first thing I was impressed with was the packaging. I really like pump dispensers, as it's really easy to control how much you use, and it's a lot more hygienic. It also has this frosted glass kind of look, which I think looks really pretty. The serum itself has a nice texture, not too greasy which I've had a problem with in the past, but I find it thick and hydrating. I often have dry skin that feels a bit "meh" and dehydrated, and I've found that using this twice a day has really helped to make my skin feel softer, smoother and more moisturised. I'm glad I was given the chance to try out this Avène Soothing Hydrating Serum as it's really made a visible difference to my skin, and I think it's a product I'll be keeping in my skincare routine for sometime! Avène's Soothing Hydrating Serum retails for just £17, making it an affordable addition to my skincare routine. Avène products have impressed me so far, I'm now eyeing up some new products to try out!

*PR Sample

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Kindle ebook Haul

One of my new years resolutions was to take the time to read more books. Reading is always something I've loved since a small child, and I've been bit of a book worm since. Although since I went to university I've slowed down a bit on the reading front. I think because I was having to do so much academic reading I didn't really want to do any more in my downtime. Sadly I got out of sync with reading, and its something I really want to get back into. I've set myself the challenge of reading 30 books before I turn 25, which I spoke about here. To kick start my reading challenge I decided to treat myself to a few new books that I've been eyeing up for a while to motivate me.

I was having a browse on the Amazon Kindle section to see what sort of books stood out and appealed to me. It then recommenced me a few based on past selections, and I picked out a few that I've heard good things about from other people. One of the first books I decided to pick out was The Devil Wears Prada by Lauren Weisberger. I'm a huge fan of the film, so I'm hoping the book is as good. I've also picked out a couple more books that have been made into films; Twelve Years A Slave by Northup Soloman, The Perks Of Being A Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky, and Eat Pray Love by Elizabeth Gilbert. Sometimes it's great to read a book before you've watched the film, but sometimes in the past I've found it disappointing as the film isn't in as much detail as the book.

I also bought the I Heart series by Lindsey Kirk. I love a good chick lit, and I've heard some good things about the I Heart series, and it's been on my wishlist for a while now. Another good chick lit book I've heard about is Here's Looking At You by Mhairi McFarlane. I've heard a lot of people talk about The Fault In Our Stars by John Green, but it's something I've never got around to reading, so I'm looking forward to seeing what everyone's raving about. A couple of books that caught my eye were The Happiness Project by Gretchen Rubin and the P45 Dairies by Ben Hatch, both of which look like an interesting read. 

I'm looking forward to getting started on reading all of my new books, and it's nice to see some colourful front covers loaded up on my Kindle app. Hopefully I'll rediscover my love for reading again. Have you read any of these books? What do you think?

Monday, April 14, 2014

Current Everyday Make Up

I've done a few of these posts in the past, they're something I love looking back on to see how my make up tastes change, and it's even a great way to rediscover old favourites I might have forgotten about. I find it easy to get stuck in a make up rut, using the same products day after day, without giving much thought to other products in my collection. Recently the products I'm using for my day to day make up have stayed the same, but I'm quite enjoying what I'm using.

I start off with Benefit's The Porefessional, which I find great for keeping my make up in place on days I'm at work. Then I use one of my favourite bases at the moment, Bobbi Brown's Skin Foundation, which I find a great lightweight foundation, which also gives me enough coverage. I then team that up with my Bobbi Brown Creamy Concealor, which is just amazing at covering up any dark circles or blemishes, and set my foundation with my Seventeen Miracle Matte Pressed Powder. I then move on to filling in my eyebrows with my Naked Basic's palette, using the shade Faint, and then use my Bourjois Khol & Contour eyeliner on my waterline. I'm currently loving Maybelline's Rocket Volum Express Mascara, as it gives my lashes fullness and volume that I'm looking for. For my cheeks I like to use Bourjois Cream Blush in Rose Tender, which is great light pink shade giving me a natural flushed look. Lately I've then been using the light highlighter shade of Benefit's Hervana blush as a subtle highlight on top of my cheekbones. I then finish off my make up with Soap & Glory's Lipstick in shade Blush Pink, which is a soft matte pink shade. 

This has been the make up I've found myself reaching for the most lately, and I think it's a look I'm going to keep reaching for for a while. I've got so good at picking out the same make up choices everyday I've even got my application down to 5 minutes - which is always good first thing in the morning!

Sunday, April 13, 2014

The Sunday Post #9 - Being A Technology Addict

Hi my name's Lisahh-Jayne and I'm a technology addict. I find myself constantly needing pieces of technology just because they're the latest thing. I find myself constantly upgrading my phone to the latest iPhone that's just come out, or needing the latest gadget that somehow will make my life easier even though I've coped fine without it in the past. The latest addition to my technology hoarding ways is my new iPad mini. Something that I definitely didn't need, but still found myself buying.

I actually bought the iPad 3 two years ago as "21st birthday present to myself", and it was still working fine, and I still found myself using it. It didn't really need upgrading, but somehow I found myself agreeing to a contract with EE to get an iPad mini, and selling my iPad 3 to a friend. Why? Because I needed a smaller, more up to date version of something I already had. Although I do find myself agreeing that my new iPad was an "investment", and really it is smaller and cuter than my old one. I've even bought it a pretty floral case to make it look more girly. I like to think that one day I'll stop my need for the latest bit of technology, but for now I'm going to sit and play with my new iPad until Apple come out with a new one in a few months time that I'll then claim I need. 

Wednesday, April 09, 2014

100 Day Spending Ban Challenge - Week #13

I'm now 91 days into the worst spending ban you've probably seen in the history of spending bans. Finally the end is in sight, only another 9 days to go! Keeping up my theme of doing terribly with a spending ban, I have another confession this week. I shopped.

Last week I took a day off work for my mums birthday and went shopping with her. I had no intention of buying anything for myself, but once we were going around the shops I kept finding things I liked the look of. And then I decided that because the weather was warming up, I really needed some summer dresses, and found myself buying not one, but four dresses. Oh but I didn't just stop there. I then found myself in Boots buying a few hair products, and a benefit blusher, meaning that I spent a whole £150 in a day. I'm officially the worst person on a spending ban, I'm pretty certain I have spent more money in the past 91 days than I have saved.

Although I'm a terrible person, I have learnt a lot about saving money, and I've created a few savings 'pots' as well as paying off some debt. I'm learning to be a little more responsible with my money, despite having broke my spending ban a few times. Maybe 100 days was a little ambitious, maybe with a shorter one I would have succeeded. Anyway on to the last 9 days of my spending ban, and no doubt I'll update again next week with how I got on overall!

See how I got on in other weeks - 

Tuesday, April 08, 2014

A Night to Remember With Hospice of St Francis

Charity has always been something that's close to my heart. I like to think I'm a caring, giving person, and when I can I like to help out a worthy cause. I really like to help out local charities, and I even volunteer at one every few weeks. Recently I was contacted on behalf of a local charity, The Hospice of St Francis who are based in Hemel Hempstead. The Hospice of St Francis is a charity that provides free professional support and care for people living with life-shortening illnesses. Their goal is to bring peace, comfort and dignity to patients and help them live life to the full, for as long as that may be.

The Hospice of St Francis are organising "A Night to Remember" for the communities of Hemel, Berkhamsted, Chesham, the Langleys and beyond, on the 28th June. It will a night to remember for many reasons - Over the past eight years the Hospice of St Francis Midnight Walk has ignited the community spirit of Hemel Hempstead and the surrounding area. The charity walk, which begins at 9.30pm on 28th June, brings hundreds of pink-clad people together not only to support the Hospice, but also each other as many use the event to honour and treasure the memories of loved ones. It has become known as a truly memorable event to share with friends and family.

This year The Hospice is planning to be bigger and pinker than ever! The Midnight Walk offers a 5-mile walk from Hemel to Berkhamsted, as well as a more challenging 11-mile looped course starting and finishing in Hemel. Open to anyone over the age of 11, it is the perfect night out for families, friends, work colleagues or fitness groups. As an added incentive to join the walk, all those registering before Easter Sunday will get their own set of flashing bunny ears to wear on the night - and who wouldn't want some flashing bunny ears!

To join in it only costs £20 for adults, and £15 for under 18's. Registration also includes a free t-shirt, medal and a decent post- walk cuppa and buttie. Event organisers are encouraging participants to get involved by sharing their #HospiceMidnightWalk memories on social media. Tell other people about your involvement in the event and see what others are up to during the build up and throughout the night. I think it's a great cause to be involved in, and who doesn't need an excuse to dress up in pink?!? 

You can find more information about the campaign and how to sign up here