With my ‘out of office’ officially switched on, I thought I’d hand over to my team this week for the spring edition of Team Favourites.
It’s always one of my favourite posts to publish each season because I know how much you all love hearing from them (selfishly, it also means I get to hand over the writing to them too!) so I hope you enjoy their latest loves.
Without further ado ladies and gentlemen, I present to you Team LEM…
Official best friend and Chief Operating Officer at LEM Online, I like to think that I’m the glue that keeps this business together. I’m also quite the expert in drinking alcoholic grape juice and herding small, energetic dogs.
SKIN TYPE – Normal to dry, prone to sensitivity with weather changes or hormonal fluctuations.
HAIR TYPE – Half wavy, half curly, fine but lots and lots of it.
MAINTENANCE LEVEL – Minimal effort always!
INTERESTS – Food and wine, cooking, my little Bolly Moo, hiking, travelling, date days with my friends, staycations.
BEAUTY – The Decleor Night Balm has been UNREAL for my skin recently. As a result of trying stronger acids recently, my skin had become slightly drier than usual, so allowing this to soak in overnight has been unbelievable for keeping my skin hydrated and glowing.
I also can’t believe how late I am to tell you about one of my staple beauty items (for at least a decade!) Being a natural blonde, my eyelashes and eyebrows are almost invisible if they’re not tinted. With that in mind, with the way my diary pans out most weeks, I got so fed up of trying to book in to a salon, I started using Juliette Lash and Brow tint at home. Yes it’s a tad messy, but for the sake of convenience, it has been a life saver!
BOOK – Conversations With Friends by Sally Rooney... (Sally Rooney is the lady behind ‘Normal People’ which I loved!) It has taken me some time to get round to this one in my ever-evolving and constantly added to, reading pile. Whilst I don’t think it carried the same pull as Normal People, Conversations With Friends beautifully depicts the evolving nature of friendships and being tangled in controlling relationships. It was a good read but I can’t say I struggled to put it down!
I’m currently reading A Slow Fire Burning by Paula Hawkins (who also wrote The Girl on The Train.) Again though, I feel like it’s another slower burner! I’m a third of the way through and the scene has absolutely been set but I’m not as gripped as the authors predecessor! Update…. I put it down – sorry!
I’m relieved to say that I did finish Beyond Possible by Nimsdai Purja on Audible though (the man behind ’14 Peaks’ on Netflix) which instantly transported me back to the Himalayas. I always LOVE hearing stories about humans pushing limits in difficult situations and environments. I highly recommended for anyone outdoorsy.
RESTAURANT – Kassia in Stony Stratford. I’ve not had a full meal here (yet!) but having a late night bar for date night where we can sit and order wine and poppadums (such a winning snack combo FYI!) has proven to be quite a popular option for my boyfriend and I recently. To the point where the staff actively recognise us as, ‘the poppadum people!’ … Maybe we need to get out more!
The two of us also took Ali and Lydia out for their birthdays to Lutyens in the Ned and all of us agreed it was some of the best steaks we’ve ever had!
FOOD OR DRINK ITEM – Mine and Lydia’s meetings finished early in London the other week so we went to visit one of our favourites – The Kensington Hotel – for a late lunch and drinks. Though our mains were fairly average, we shared a crème brulée and a banana split for pudding and the childhood nostalgia of both puds both gave us all the wonderful vibes!
NEW PURCHASE – Converse x Comme de Garçon. On top of feeling more myself with having my hair back to ‘me’ again, I’m starting to find the confidence to reclaim my style identity again. Converse and print dresses all the way! So I treated myself to some high top CDGs with that in mind and have barely taken them off since.
GAME CHANGING FIND – This face roller from Nanshy. The Nanshy team SO VERY KINDLY sent the whole LEM team some goodies to try and this incredible face roller was included. I swear to God, this has done more for the tension in my jaw than anything else. It feels so satisfying and icy cold at all times. I never ‘got’ the gua sha/ face roller hype but this product has converted me.
A random one here, but I recently commissioned a pet portrait as a gift from Victoria Leeves fine art too. I cannot tell you how similar the finished portrait was to the photograph provided! The recipients were so moved and absolutely loved it, so if you know someone with a valuable furry friend, I highly recommend her portraits as a gift with true sentiment!
PODCAST EPISODE – Nadia Hussain on Off Menu was just pure joy. Her infectious enthusiasm and happiness combined with her commitment to dissecting the secret recipe for her favourite fries from a particular chain restaurant made this well worth a listen and was just the kind of auditory soul food I needed on my morning dog walk.
MONTHLY MANTRA – Mother Nature is the purest form of therapy out there. You can’t lie or hide from her.
RECIPE – I have made a fair few new dishes this month, and a dinner winner was Rukmini Iyer’s ‘Tuna Mango Quinoa Traybake’ recipe from Roasting Tin Around The World. I LOVE Iyer’s recipe books. They’re all one pot, all SO easy with accessible ingredients and most importantly, never fail to deliver (I have her first 4 cook books) Truly delicious and highly recommended.
I had some coconut yoghurt that needed using up too so whipped up this Lemon Yoghurt Cake (which I adapt to be gluten free by switching flours and adding xanthem gum for texture) My word, it was so light, fluffy and completely moreish. So much so, I think I’ve made it twice in 2 weeks!
Shop Carrie’s Favourites
A Slow Fire Burning by Paula Hawkins
Nanshy Face Massage Roller
I’m the PA to the main woman herself! Whether it’s going all Marie Kondo on Lydia’s dressing room each morning or making sure that The Millen-Gordon’s day-to-day life runs smoothly, I work best when I have a giant ‘to do’ list that I can plough through each day… so long as there’s a decent cup of coffee on standby.
SKIN TYPE – Normal/Fair – leave me for 10 minutes in the sun and I’ll fry like a tomato!
HAIR TYPE – As my hairdresser always says, “you don’t have thick hair Fi, you just have a ton of it..!”
MAINTENANCE LEVEL – Minimal effort/the basics unless I’m going out out, in which case I might go wild and curl my hair!
INTERESTS – Cooking, exercise (I rotate between HIIT, yoga, pilates, running and horse riding), discovering new coffee shops, supporting indie businesses and spending time with family/ friends/fur babies.
BEAUTY – I’m currently using Beauty Pie’s JapanFusion range and my skin feels softer than it has done in a while. My all-time favourite (aka. Emma Hardie’s Moringa Cleansing Balm – so. damn. good.) ran out a few weeks ago and I found this cleanser on Beauty Pie for a fraction of the price. Not only does it remove every ounce of make up in an instant but my skin looks bright and feels smooth too.
RESTAURANT – Casa Cento on Stony Stratford High Street is a lovely little Italian if you’re on the hunt for a low key date night ft. Carbs and wine. We went a few nights back and I opted for the green risotto which hit the spot. Whatever Malbec was on the menu was rather delish too.
FOOD OR DRINK – I’m not sure why but I’ve found myself sacking off gin in recent weeks, in favour of tonic on its own with a slice of grapefruit or cucumber. Not pregnant FYI, just mixing it up! With that in mind, The London Essence Co’s Grapefruit and Rosemary tonic has my name all over it. Unlike some flavoured tonics, it doesn’t taste sickly or fake and could quite easily be drunk solo, without the garnish.
I’m also going through a Hot Cross Bun phase. I’ve had one a day for the past 2 weeks +. I won’t lie, I’m slightly intrigued to see how long I can keep it up..! For the rest of April? Oh go on then..!
NEW PURCHASE – I stumbled across this hot pink midaxi shirt dress on ASOS a few weeks back (whilst searching for a bright midi/maxi dress for a friend’s wedding) and though I ended up wearing something else for the wedding itself, I instantly fell in love with the colour and ordered it straight away. In my opinion, it can be dressed up or down all year round so I have a feeling it’ll be coming out a whole lot in the months going forward.
Technically, it’s my boyfriend’s new purchase but we’ve recently just bought Sage’s Smart Grinder Pro to go alongside our Sage coffee machine and it has taken our caffeine game up a notch. (We were using a handheld grinder before) If you’re into coffee, you can adjust the grind settings depending on what beans you buy, along with the amount that you grind so nothing goes to waste and the results taste *insert chef’s kiss*
GAME CHANGING FIND – I was at a friend’s wedding over the Bank Holiday and woke up feeling a tad fragile on the Sunday. With that in mind, I popped this INCREDIBLE face mask from Luneia on later that evening and 15 minutes later, my skin looked so much fresher. It’s the best face mask I’ve used in ages and will revive dull, tired, post-alcohol skin in minutes.
I’ve also recently started wearing STRONGER leggings for my morning workouts and oh my gosh, they’re the comfiest, most flattering fit going. It was love at first wear. I couldn’t recommend them more.
PODCAST EPISODE – I caught up on some old episodes of Happy Place with Fearne Cotton this week and the episode with Annie Mac stood out by a clear mile. It was such a refreshing chat about taking leaps of faith regardless of age, changing careers and following your creative instincts. Well worth a listen if you’re currently feeling restless and/or unsure of your next steps.
MONTHLY MANTRA – It’s not so much a monthly mantra but I love following Kirsty Gallagher on Instagram for her daily insights into the moon, astrology and how it can affect our emotions throughout the month. Whether you’re open to it or not, there’s always comfort to be found from her words and questions that prompt a whole lot of self reflection and thinking!
RECIPE – My partner’s been in Boston for work in recent weeks so I’ve found myself gravitating to more veggie/pescie meals in his absence. I followed the ‘Lime & coriander mushrooms with pak choi & asparagus’ recipe from The Green Roasting Tin the other day – such a simple, delicious dose of greens – and another reason why that recipe book is just. so. good. Erika bought a homemade chowder in for lunch the other day too (which smelt divine FYI!) which prompted me to share this BBC Smoked Haddock and Cream Corn curry recipe with her and Carrie. Cue another office chat about how much we all love cooking..!
Shop Fi’s Favourites
STRONGER Etna High Waist Leggings
Unfortunately there’s no Erika this month but have no fear! She’ll be back next time.
Until then, have a great month everyone. We’ll be back next season for our summer edition!
Carrie & Fi x
PS. Interested in what Lydia’s spring favourites are? Take a look here.