It feels like only yesterday that we were sharing our spring favourites with you all… But alas, here we are, and it’s mid-July!
With that in mind, below you’ll find everything that we’ve both loved in our down time, since we last checked in back in April.
It’s been a very full on few months behind the scenes here at LEM Online, so we apologise in advance that red wine features heavily..!
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 – I’m not one that’s often wowed by the difference a product has made – particularly when I find it difficult trying to pinpoint which part of my routine caused it – but my goodness, Beauty Pie’s ‘super healthy skin anti ageing moisturiser’ is INSANE. Lydia isn’t lying when she says us girls are all hooked on Beauty Pie! Be it the texture, the way it sinks in, the fact it’s light but still nourishing… urgh, I’M OBSESSED!
BOOK – Oh my word do I have a book for you! I should caveat this by saying I LOVE to read and I read a lot. I’ve also been fortunate enough to have been on holiday since we last checked in, where I switched off and ploughed through 7 books in two weeks! One of those books though, actually bought me to tears (and not in a bad way!) I don’t think I’ve ever been so wrapped up in nor moved by a story. I URGE you to read the truly brilliant Heart Bones by Colleen Hoover. Weirdly, I downloaded this on my Kindle about a year ago, forgot the blurb of the story and the cover image was putting me off from starting it. This is 100% a ‘don’t judge a book by its cover’ example! I don’t want to give anything away but truly, it’s beautiful. I went on to download everything by the author.
RESTAURANT – Gah it’s so hard to pick these. Going to restaurants and exploring is what makes me happiest so my partner and I tend to head out a lot! During the last few months our highlights were as follows:
The Bel and Dragon, Odiham – A random last minute mini break in Hampshire, we stayed here as they’re dog friendly and it was pure joy. The food was great too, our dinner was exceptional and the breakfast was brilliant with so many fresh and wonderful options.
The Coal Office at Coal Drops Yard, London – HOW did I not know about this place?! A date day that ended here (after we’d failed to book anywhere on our list of ‘must try in London’ restaurants) and my goodness what a blessing it was. The service, the cocktails, the atmosphere and the food were all incredible. The menu changes daily which I love too! It’s a small place so get in early and be friendly to the bar tender – I lost count of the number of free mini cocktail tasters we were given!
Last but not least, if you’re ever in St Lucia, you must try The Cliff at Cap. Voted the best restaurant on the island (for very good reason) it’s an open restaurant with 270 degree views over the ocean and sunset. Not only does it look wonderful, the wine list is exceptional too and my word do I really mean that! Our starters were better than our mains and desserts (but that’s only us being picky) but for a date night on holiday, this is your place.
FOOD OR DRINK ITEM – It’s a wine. Sorry. (No, not sorry – I love my wine!) If you love a big cherry, chocolate, oaky red (specifically to have with the meal from my book recommendation and menu below!) then this one is pretty darn special. Beronia (2017) A Spanish Rioja using Tempranillo. It really hit the spot – absolutely delicious.
NEW PURCHASE – Since our last check in the seasons have changed quite dramatically! But I have a couple of new purchases that have just bought me joy! First up, when Lydia, Fi and I went to The Country Brocante back in April, I fell head over heels for The Make Shed’s bomber cardigans. I bought the orange one there and then loved it so much that within a week, I’d bought it in another colour too! Handmade, supporting small businesses and feel good clothing! I’ve had SO many compliments on it too 🙂
Secondly, my trusty tote bag was showing signs of giving up the ghost (I felt like I was dicing with my laptop falling through the bottom) so I knew it was time for an update asap. I treated myself to the Marc Jacobs jacquard traveller tote and I LOVE it. Perfect in size, rigid enough to stand upright and a zip close (which is rare on totes), it’s sturdy and feels so much more secure.
GAME CHANGING FIND – Girls. Strapless AND backless bras. Minefield, right? Well good old Instagram served me an ad for Perky Pear and I was in, hook, line and sinker. Admittedly, for what looks like 4 large plasters (!) they are pricey, for sure. However, never have I ever felt so comfortable wearing low cut dresses with no ‘proper’ bra. Safe, secure and comfortable all day, I’m officially a Perky Pear convert!
PODCAST EPISODE – I haven’t listened to many podcasts lately, tending to opt for audiobooks instead. After a particularly testing few weeks though, I downloaded Jacqueline Hurst’s audiobook. I was incredibly fortunate to be a client of Jacqueline’s too and she changed my life. That being said, we can all be tested sometimes and need a reminder (or a kick up the backside!) Hearing her voice in my head again instantly helps me to think clearly and more objectively – she’s my go-to voice of reason.
MONTHLY MANTRA – Rejection is redirection. I feel this in my core!
RECIPE – Not a recipe here but a book that I revert back to again and again for dinner parties – Sabrina Ghayour’s Persiana. Recently, I made a spread of the marinated cod with pickled salsa, the Turkish white beans, the red rice and roasted vegetable salad and a tomato, onion and pomegranate salad. It was all GREAT (even if I do say so myself!) so if you love Persian food, you need this book in your life. For pudding I made this recipe for Persian Love Cake which I just served with natural yoghurt. While incredibly sweet, it was delicious to round it all off.
Shop Carrie’s Favourites
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 a big fan of Weleda in general but having recently started using their ‘Skin Food’ lip balm, it’s gone straight up to the top of my all-time favourites list. Au natural and oh so soothing, I honestly can’t get enough of it. (It’s only £6 too – bargain!)
I’ve also been using Elemis’s Japanese body oil for the past few weeks. It’s funny, this has been sat in my bathroom cupboard since Christmas because it solidifies when it’s cold and you can’t pour it out of the bottle (they recommend soaking it in a bowl of warm water to melt it but quite frankly, when I’m stark naked I can’t be dealing with that faff!) As soon as the summer sun started to come out though, it finally melted and is so worth the wait. It’s like having an Elemis massage every evening – don’t mind if I do ladies, don’t mind if I do!
RESTAURANT – My partner and I have spent the past few weekends with friends by the coast so if you’re heading to Bridport in Dorset or Wells Next The Sea in Norfolk any time soon, I can vouch for the following two places.
Rise in Bridport is popular with locals and tourists alike. Set at the bottom of a jetty next to the harbour, I’m still banging on about the mushroom burger I had there to this day! As for Norfolk, Ground at the bottom of the high street did a damn good iced black Americano!
FOOD OR DRINK ITEM – The history geek in me fell head over heels in love with the ’19 Crimes red wine’ that was served at my best friend’s wedding last week. Though the majority of the table had already heard of it (where have I been hiding all this time, I know?!) each bottle shares the story of a British convict turned colonist who was shipped to Australia for breaking one of the 19 crimes. Apparently some of the others can be hit and miss but I LOVED this one. Smooth, rich and so delicious, it was pretty lethal because it tasted so good!
NEW PURCHASE – I’ve started to play a little game of ‘Find Lydia’s looks for less’ when I fall in love with something Lydia buys and then see the price tag (!) so I was pretty proud of this season’s two discoveries. These M&S flats remind me of her Manolo’s and this H&M jumper reminds me of her gorgeous one from Beaufort & Blake.
Not the sexiest purchase, admittedly, but I also bought this nude bra from M&S (I was en route to a wedding and my bridesmaids dress was v. Pale!) It’s hands down the comfiest bra I own. Perfect for wearing under light colours this summer, I might go crazy and order another one!
GAME CHANGING FIND – Vichy SPF spray! I took this to Norfolk last weekend and despite hiking for four hours in the heat of the day, none of my friends nor I managed to fry! (Which if you knew my skin, says a lot!) It’s not greasy in the slightest, smells lovely and dries on the skin in seconds.
PODCAST EPISODE – I’ve been a huge fan of Emma Barnett’s work for years now so hearing her open up about her IVF journey as it unfolds in real time was utterly refreshing and powerful on Fearne Cotton’s Happy Place a few weeks back. I’ve always been interested in hearing from women about their fertility journeys and am a huge advocate for more honest conversations about the here and now (as opposed to chatting about struggles in hindsight when everything’s all rosy) so it really stood out and made me respect Emma even more than I already did.
MONTHLY MANTRA – ‘Surround yourself with only people who are going to lift you higher.’ – Oprah Winfrey
RECIPE – One of my go-to snacks in summer are Vietnamese fresh rolls. I buy a giant bag of prawns from our local Asian supermarket (along with all of the other bits and bobs that you need) and whip these up when I’m peckish at the weekends. Though I don’t stick rigidly to this recipe, this is a good step-by-step guide to follow.
Shop Fi’s Favourites
We think that’s everything…
Have an amazing summer everyone – we look forward to catching up in Autumn!
Carrie and Fi
PS. Want to know what Lydia’s been loving lately. Take a look at her favourite summer flats and sandals here…