Hi everyone! Welcome to this months’ takeover introducing our monthly round up of things that have impressed Team LEM this month. This is a super exciting month as it’s our wonderful Dee’s last post before her maternity leave starts, so from all of us- we know you’re already a super mum, but we can’t wait to meet the newest a youngest member of the clan! Next month sees the lovely Fi start with us, bringing a whole host of new recommendations for you. So, without further ado, here’s what has impressed us this month!
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 – A few people have commented on my skin looking good this month and the only thing I’ve changed is reintroducing Omoroessence from Omorvicza back in to my morning skincare routine. It’s super gentle and makes my skin feel prepped for product and ready to face the day, a beautiful product! As a life-long insomniac, my sister found and gifted me these sleep masks from Health & Her. They’re self warming, lavender scented and just bliss when you’re blooming knackered- highly recommended!
BOOK – I’ve read two books this month, the first was the follow on from The Salt Path by Raynor Winn (which I loved!) but the new book, The Wild Silence I really didn’t get in to in the same way. Quite repetitive and I personally felt like the magic of the writing wasn’t there like it was in the salt path. The second was So Lucky, by Dawn O’Porter. This was a super easy ready, entirely enjoyable, if slightly predictable. The premise is surrounding the way we, as women collectively, isolate other women as being ‘lucky’ for what we see on the surface, but underneath everything, we all have our own insecurities and hang ups and dramas to contend with and we shouldn’t jump to conclusions so quickly. A nice reminder of the importance of girl power!
RESTAURANT – My boyfriend and I finally had a date night at Ole Tapas Bar in Wolverton this month followed by drinks in MK Biergarten next door. Ole has a reputation in these parts for family run excellence and boy did it deliver. Sublime food (LOADS of Gluten free options too!), wonderful service, fantastic wine menu and all round great vibe. We also spent some time in Norfolk with friends and dined at both The Gunton Arms which had great food, but, if you’re in to Art, is worth a trip for the Art collection alone! And not to forget Number 29 and Burnham Market delivered a very crummy Sunday roast while we escaped the British weather! I also dined at Petersham Nurseries for the first time this month and holy cow, the monkfish was dreamy!
FOOD OR DRINK ITEM – Pip and Nut Almond Butter. I’ve actually met Pip, the founder of the brand, and not only is she a bloody lovely human, she really does make the best almond butter which I top my breakfast porridge with every day. It’s an absolute staple in my life. I also discovered Whittard’s 70% hot chocolate powder this month. If you have a sweet tooth that isn’t a sickly sweet tooth, my word this is delicious!
NEW PURCHASE – This month my kitchen, utility room and cloakroom have been renovated, so self presents have been super low on my priority. That being said, I have had my first cold in about 2 years due to mixing in society again more so I have stayed topped up with my vitamins. I love the Better You Vitamin D spray which is minty and lovely, Hairburst for my hair, and Solgar Immune Support and Vitamin C along with a turmeric supplement, it keeps my immune system fighting back against the lurgy! I did also find these shoes from Karen millen, a slight dupe on Lydia’s Jimmy Choo at a fraction of the price, so I got the black and the red ready for feeling snazzy enough for a night in a bar again!
GAME CHANGING FIND – 4 words. Method Coconut Fabric Conditioner. I admit, I am like a magpie towards anything with a coconut scent but this is so natural smelling, not too overpowering and as the weather has turned, wrapping up warm in knits smelling like my most comforting smell is just that dose of self care you don’t even notice you’re doing!
PODCAST EPISODE – Not an episode, but I binge listening to the whole mini series, Grounded with Louis Theroux. This started during lockdown 1 whereby Louis started interviewing people he had always wanted to speak to but never had the opportunity, during the height of the pandemic. Truly fascinating hearing such incredible names in the same humbling situations we all found ourselves in and discussing it so candidly. Highly recommended.
MONTHLY MANTRA – I will have a great day, because that is my choice. Learning from the best, Jacqueline Hurst, the moment you actually realise your entire life is a choice, it’s freeing!
RECIPE – It’s harvest season!!!! Which can only mean picking ALL the fruit from the fields on dog walks, apples from the garden, pears and quince from my parents’ orchard and batch cooking like a mad woman! Apple, pear and blackberry crumble bases are ready for after hearty Sunday lunches and chutneys all jarred and ready for the Christmas cheese boards and entertaining. As a foodie, I can only imagine this is the home-cooks version of nesting when expecting a child! It just brings SO much happiness! No particular recipe followed, I think when you’ve made these things for years, you just throw all the core ingredients in a pot and allow it to simmer away to let nature do its own magic.
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 – My Little Coco Baby Mama Hydrating Bump Sheet Mask for pregnant ladies. I am obsessed with these bump masks, I use them once a week and it make me feel so hydrated and relaxed. A pregnancy must have!
BOOK – I haven’t had time to read any new books this month but I have brought a diary for next year and have already started filling it out… does that count?!
RESTAURANT – The Olive Tree Turkish Mediterranean Restaurant and Bar in Milton Keynes. The food was amazing and made my palette sing with the different spices and aromatics from the food. My advice to anyone dining in a group, go for sharing plates. Word of advice : wear elasticated trousers. Be prepared to leave uncomfortably full.
FOOD OR DRINK ITEM – Hellman’s cheese flavoured squeezy sauce – this should be my dream sauce and I thought it would be good for nachos and jacket potatoes and chips as a dipping sauce, but I’m really disappointed as it’s quite bland.
NEW PURCHASE – The Ninja Nutri Slim Blender – I ordered this product after a recommendation from a friend. I was looking for a good smoothy maker that works with frozen fruit. It’s a compact size and very powerful, so far I’m very impressed!
GAME CHANGING FIND – Scrub Mommy, its a dual sided texture changing sponge for the kitchen. I think any cleaning fanatic will love this product. Who would have thought I would be raving about a sponge to my friends and family, yet here we are!
MONTHLY MANTRA – Surround yourself with people who would shout your name in a room full of opportunities.
RECIPE – I made the Joe Wicks Fruit and Nut Yoghurt Bark. It’s so easy to prepare. Mix up greek yoghurt, honey and a squeeze of lime. Spread ingredients onto a tray and add raspberries, strawberries, blueberries, pomegranate seeds and pecans. Freeze over night and its the perfect breakfast.
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 – Another corner cutting beauty purchase for me this month. When moisturising lips and then applying lipstick is just too much effort on a day-to-day basis I cheat with this fantastic Nars Afterglow Lip Balm in the classic shade ‘Orgasm’. Excellent nourishing formula with a flush of that classic colour is perfect for both dress up and dress down days. The ultimate all-rounder.
BOOK – Reading novels/non-fiction books isn’t something I’ve been able to focus on recently, so that’s when a book of great poetry that I can dip into is my go-to. Rupi Kaur’s new book of poetry called ‘Home Body’ is her third and it’s just as raw and wonderful as her first two, touching on embracing change, self-acceptance and everything in between.
RESTAURANT – I was treated to one of the best thai green curries I’ve ever tasted at Lumpini Thai Restaurant in Dunstable recently. The decor is not the most up-to-date but don’t let that detract from the delicious food they serve. The only disappointment of the visit was when I realised that I lived too far away to order home delivery.
FOOD OR DRINK ITEM – A couple of months ago I made the switch to decaf coffee to see if it would help with my anxiety and sleep issues. No surprises, but the improvement has been significant so this is now a staple in the weekly food shop. I am buying Colombian coffee from Tesco but if anyone has any suggestions for me for really good ground coffee please let me know.
NEW PURCHASE – After waiting (im)patiently Smart Panda finally released their 2022 January to December planner. I was introduced to this fantastic planner last year by Carrie and we have both been complaining at how long they were taking to bring out 2022. Can you tell we both like to plan way in advance?
GAME CHANGING FIND – If like me you love to keep your wedding rings and other precious jewellery sparkling but are reluctant to pay the fee for taking it to a jewellers to be professionally cleaned all the time then this is the purchase for you. Imagine the YSL Touche Eclat pen, but for your diamonds. I honestly couldn’t believe the difference this made to my engagement ring in less than 5 minutes.
PODCAST EPISODE – As with not being able to read prose recently, I’ve also not been able to focus on listening to podcasts so I switched fire to jazz music. This has been an ideal way for me to get some soothing white noise and my favourite playlist is Jazz Fruits Music on Amazon Music.
MONTHLY MANTRA – Make the brave decision to keep going anyway.
RECIPE – This is honestly the tastiest risotto I’ve ever tried and as we start to head towards the colder months I wanted to add to my stock (get it? ?) of cosy comfort food recipes.
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.