Hi everyone! Welcome to our third takeover introducing our monthly round up of things that have impressed Team LEM this month. Things have been getting busier round here, with society opening back up in the UK, Lydia being away more often, and the impending start of the busiest time of year for Team LEM, we know we will be on the hunt over the coming months for the bits and bobs to help see us through.
With that being said, here’s our round up of favourites from August! Let us know if you think anything would be up our street.
Official best friend and Chief Operating Officer at LEM. I like to think that I’m the glue that keeps this business together, but I’m also quite an expert at 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, running, hiking, travelling (soon please, Boris!), date days with my friends, staycations.
BEAUTY – There’s something about good shower gel, isn’t there? Faith in Nature’s Grapefruit and Orange shower gel smells SO good, and it’s so invigorating, it wakes me up first thing and makes the bathroom smell fantastic too.
BOOK – I finally read The Midnight Library, by Matt Haig, this month. I must admit, as much as I did enjoy the book, I REALLY didn’t understand the hype around it. It was an enjoyable read, and it definitely adds perspective to the way you view choices and decisions in life leading to potentially different outcomes, but I can’t say I’d rave about it if I’m honest! I then tried Sally Red Shoes by Ruth Hogan, having LOVED The Keeper of Lost Things, which I read last summer- but I gave up on it! I didn’t find it as enjoyable to follow! I’m currently half way through Ghosts by Dolly Alderton though, and having spent 3 years on dating apps until 18 months ago, I feel it is SO relatable to the thirty-somethings of us living in the modern age of dating and social expectation – really recommend it despite having not finished it yet!
RESTAURANT – Akasaka in central Milton Keynes has become by go-to sushi haunt. Tucked away in the Business District, you wouldn’t find it unless you knew it was there but my goodness the sushi is spectacular!!! The Miso Aubergine is also a must try!
FOOD OR DRINK ITEM – I have been trying to mix up my breakfasts and break routines in my life a bit more this month. I do love my morning porridge and despite always varying the toppings, I found the Eat Natural Gluten Free buckwheat, seed and honey granola and it is incredible. With a scoop of coconut yoghurt and some fresh fruit, it’s not sickly sweet like so many granolas and I’ll often have some as a pudding after my dinner too… it’s that good!
NEW PURCHASE – With the easing of restrictions, I’m trying to see more of the UK, and one thing I love doing is packing a picnic and taking it to somewhere beautiful. This picnic backpack has been fantastic as it has 2 compartments so it doesn’t crush everything together, plus the whole thing is insulated and wipe clean so keeps everything cold for hours and hours. Win for days at a beach or a lovely country house garden.
GAME CHANGING FIND – Sauce Shop South Carolina BBQ sauce. We had this at a friends’ BBQ and it’s spicy, tangy and goes with everything. It’s one of those sauces that once you’ve tried you want to pour on everything. Just delicious!
PODCAST EPISODE – New Scientist. My morning dog walks with Bolly are always accompanied with a podcast, and every Friday morning it has to be New Scientist. The episode a couple of weeks ago surrounding the growing of organoids, specifically brain tissue and an eye that respond to light I find fascinating and terrifying in equal measure. I find this podcast a really great way to hear about science from a less biased perspective than main news channels too. Science is cool, OK??
MONTHLY MANTRA – There will always be waves in the ocean, but we are all at sea level. I heard this on a podcast which I’ve unfortunately forgotten which, and it really stuck with me. The understanding I took from it is we can’t control the waves and tides that come and go in our lives but we are all human and will all face challenges on differing scales. Learning to ‘ride the waves’ is part of the journey.
RECIPE – I love to entertain and my sister’s birthday this month meant cooking a feast of her request and that request was Persian cuisine. For those of you who are thinking – “what a niche request”, I have to say that Persian food is an incredible discovery. I adore Sabrina Ghayour’s books and revert back to Persian again and again. The flavours just deliver in all recipes (except the Saffron Chicken!), but The Lamb and Sour Cherry Meatballs were a complete hit!
I am the Personal Assistant to Lydia Millen herself, and if something needs to get done, I’m your girl! Always in CC, I am the eyes and ears of the LEM team – nothing gets by me.
SKIN TYPE – Healthy/Fair but tans easily.
HAIR TYPE – Long, thin and fine hair, can be fly-away depending on the weather. Easy to maintain and grows really quickly.
MAINTENANCE LEVEL – Weekdays/basic, Weekends/I go all out!
INTERESTS – Renovating my Victorian home, going to the coast whenever possible, up-cycling furniture, dinners with friends, lots and lots of family time.
BEAUTY – Not so much beauty, but I have just started wearing Space Masks. I have trouble switching off and these masks are a game-changer. They are infused with jasmine and when you put them on, they feel like heaven. They aren’t cheap so I treat myself to one a week before bed as a treat and its always given me the best night’s sleep. I think they would be really good for someone that does a lot of travel or suffers from headaches.
BOOK – Jane’s Patisserie : Deliciously Customisable Cakes, Bakes and Treats. I follow Jane’s blog and have loved it for years so I had to buy her new book. What a fantastic baking book, very easy to follow new recipes. I cannot wait to bake some of her delicious recipes.
RESTAURANT – I went for the most charming traditional afternoon tea at the Orangery, at Woburn Coffee House last weekend. Now I’ve been to a lot of afternoon teas in my life and they can become a bit same-y, but this was unique – not a sandwich in sight! It’s the perfect place to take someone for a special treat.
FOOD OR DRINK ITEM – Have you heard of DA-SH Water? I found it first at Costco. I love sparkling water and this is a low-carb flavoured water but without the horrific artificial sweetener. I love the variety of flavours including Cucumber which is an unusual but fresh taste, but you have to try the Peach and Raspberry (they are really my favourites). They’re now conveniently stocked on Amazon too!
NEW PURCHASE – I know it’s only September but I have purchased tickets to Santa’s Grotto on Christmas Eve with my family. No one loves Christmas more than this girl!
GAME CHANGING FIND – Heatless Curl Headband Set – I purchased this from Amazon and I wasn’t expecting much however I am SO impressed with this product. I’ve spent hundreds on the latest curling wands and this is so easy. Heat-free so no hair damage (uhhh come again??) and it’s really comfortable to sleep in. If you are looking for a product that you just wake up and you have curly hair with minimal effort, then I can’t recommend this enough.
MONTHLY MANTRA – More of a life saying than a monthly mantra : “Be who you are and say what you feel, because those who mind don’t matter and those who matter don’t mind.”
RECIPE – I baked my first ever birthday cake this month and I decided to go big and attempt to make a rainbow cake. It didn’t look as good as the one in the recipe but it wasn’t too bad for a first attempt and certainly tasted nice. https://www.bbcgoodfood.com/recipes/rainbow-cake
Show me the money, honey! Well actually, show me the spreadsheet with your revenue and expenses, because I’m the finance whizz at LEM and I like to make sure we are on track in terms of numbers. I’m more fun than I sound, I swear.
SKIN TYPE – Very fair (reflective), burns easily but can get a light tan.
HAIR TYPE – Long, thick, frizzy and wavy (Irish heritage). Naturally light brown/dark blonde but dyed fiery copper red. Not always brushed.
MAINTENANCE LEVEL – Usually very low maintenance, no makeup and jeans kind of girl. But I love to bust out the gold sparkles and a bright red lip for a night out.
INTERESTS – I’m learning to cook and absolutely loving it; painting is something I’ve enjoyed for several years and don’t do nearly enough of. I’ve loved reading since I was three years old and this year I’m planning to learn photography.
BEAUTY – After complaining to a friend of mine about my hair colour always fading she suggested I try Aveda’s Colour Conserve Shampoo & Conditioner. This is honestly one of the best things she’s ever told me, besides her cheesy broccoli recipe (amen to this!), and I’m so grateful because it’s really helped the colour on my hair stay fresh and vibrant for a lot longer. A more expensive hair care brand, but definitely worth it for the results.
BOOK – I devoured Bella Mackie’s first novel, How to Kill Your Family, in less than two days. Whilst, the ‘anti-hero’, Grace, languishes in jail for a crime she didn’t commit, she details exactly how, and why, she has actually killed 6 members of her family (and never been caught). Brilliant writing by Bella Mackie.
RESTAURANT – If you are in Poole and love seafood (why wouldn’t you?) then you need to go to Rockfish Seafood Restaurant (The Quay). A wonderful place that serves a varied, but not overwhelming menu, along with specials based on what’s been caught that day; charts decorating the wall; and shipping forecasts piped into the loos, both the atmosphere and cuisine here is delightful and definitely somewhere I’ll revisit.
FOOD OR DRINK ITEM – Aldi’s Moser Roth Salted Caramel Dark Chocolate. This is without a doubt the best chocolate in the world. And no one can tell me otherwise. End of discussion.
SECOND-HAND PURCHASE – This year I wanted to learn photography so I splurged and bought the Nikon D D3100 14.2MP Digital SLR Camera (eBay – used) on the recommendation of my brother-in-law. I’m really looking forward to completing an online photography course next month and getting outside to start shooting.
GAME-CHANGING FIND – After arguing with my husband for nearly a month that it absolutely wasn’t my turn to clean the oven (it was, but it’s always worth trying), I decided to try something new to see if it made the task any less hideous. Enter ‘The Pink Stuff Miracle Cleaning Paste’… and thank heavens for the B&M instagram account that posted about it on their Stories. At £3.00 per tub it’s an absolute bargain and it’s honestly the best stuff I’ve ever used for the job. Don’t get me wrong, I will still adamantly claim it’s not my turn to clean the oven every single time, but at least the task will be much easier now.
PODCAST EPISODE – Having listened to Ed’s music for years, like the rest of Planet Earth, I’d never actually heard him give an interview. He sounds like such a down to earth guy with excellent ‘Table Manners’ (S11 Ep 31) and I loved listening to this podcast episode about the food at his wedding, drinking vintage wine and his wife’s homegrown vegetables.
MONTHLY MANTRA – Keep trying and keep growing. All the little steps will add up in the end.
NEW RECIPE – One of my favourite new recipes is Thai Corn Chowder with Lime Shredded Chicken from Sarah Lou’s Kitchen cookbook. Honestly one of the tastiest and easiest dishes to make, but I added triple the amount of chicken because it was so delicious and made it a more filling meal.
What products do you swear by that you think the LEM girls need to try? Let me know in the comments! And come back next month for more team favourites.
Loved reading about your team, who they are and their latest favourites…