Tonight’s tea – winter warmer 💕

lifestyle

It was Tazmyns turn to cook this evening and after a pretty full on day, it was lovely to sit down to something really comforting and hearty. We still have snow, although it’s clearing up now, it’s like an ice rink in most places. There’s nothing better than getting cosy in your favourite pyjamas with the heating on and having dinner.

Tonight’s tea was sausages, swede, mushy peas, sweetcorn and onion gravy. Just what I needed!

We used the British pork with caramelised onion sausages from Waitrose, they’re really full of flavour and yummy! £3.29 per pack of 6 and part of the 2 for £5 deal which is pretty good. We got another pack that we’re going to use later on in the week!

What did you have for your dinner? 💗

Love,

Sinéad Anna Chalke x

• Follow me on Instagram & Twitter

Advertisements

The skincare game changer

lifestyle

For the past 5/6 months I’ve suffered really bad with my skin, like never before. I’m almost 29 years of age, so I kinda thought I was past the breakout stage and heading towards clearer skin, but no, that just wasn’t in the plan for me. It got to the point where I had to go to the doctors and got prescribed multiple different things to try. None of which really made much difference (I may do a separate post on that!) – I’m actually in the process of being referred to a dermatologist to get prescribed something a little stronger to really tackle the underlying issues with my skin, so I’m looking forward to that & might document that here, we’ll see.

In the mean time though, I’ve been using various things on my face. It’s been a bit trial and error, my skin type is super sensitive but also quite dry! I tend to react really badly to a lot of cheap products as well so it’s cost me a small fortune in different moisturisers and masks etc!

I’m quite a fan of the body shop, as I’ve spoke about a few times here on the blog. I love the tea tree 3 in 1 facial scrub. Although tea tree can be quite strong, my skin reacts quite well to it and it leaves my face feeling really refreshed and clean.. so I make sure I always have one of those handy for when I want to do a scrub type mask.

Superdrug are pretty good, I’m loving their vitamin e range! Really affordable and perfect for every day use. Vitamin e is again something that is quite gentle on my skin type and works well for me. Every brand has a vitamin e range pretty much, but I’ve found that Superdrug is so cheap and affordable, it does the job, so I haven’t needed to purchase anything in a higher end range. My favourite product from the Superdrug range though, is this leave on moisture mask! It’s my absolute favourite go to. I have one beside my bed and one in my make up bag. I use it as a leave on moisturiser throughout the night and it really hydrates my face and just feels amazing when applied. If you have dry skin like me, this is an instant rescue and a real treat for the skin! It’s only £2.99 and my must have!

Most recently though, for the past 3 days I have been using the Eve Lom cleanser after it was gifted to me at Christmas. It’s super pricy at £55 per 100ml so quite high end in terms of affordability, however, it’s dreamy. I’ve been using it twice a day. Morning and night. I use it as part of a hot cloth cleanse and it honestly leaves my skin feeling super soft, super clean, and just really really nourished as well.

I would absolutely recommend this if you feel like treating yourself. It’s amazing and truly is the game changer. I’ve used lots of other cream based cleansers and nothing really comes close.

As well as cleansing my face twice daily, I’ve cut out fizzy drink (there of course is always the odd exception!) I have gone sugar free as much as I can & I aim to drink around 2 litres of water daily too. I feel like this massively helps in trying to keep your skin healthy. Of course my skin is nowhere near close to how I want it to be, but I feel like I’m taking the right steps to ensure I’m doing all I can do until I meet with a dermatologist! I hear dairy plays a huge part in skin breakouts too, so I’m curious to know whether this has been the case for any of my readers. Have you eliminated dairy and noticed any differences? Let me know.

I hope you enjoyed this post. What skincare products do you swear by? 💗

As always, love

Sinéad Anna Chalke x

• Follow me on Instagram & Twitter

The Olde Bell inn Hurley: Review

lifestyle

So we just spent the most amazing weekend at Tazmyns favourite place ever, which is The Olde Bell in Hurley. This was actually a Christmas gift from me to Tazmyn, it’s what she really wanted so I was super happy I could surprise her with this. We have been lucky enough to stay at this hotel four times in total and each stay has never let us down. I thought I’d combine this blog post with a review of the hotel for you guys as there’s really so much to this luxurious 5 star hotel and we all know I love to give credit where it’s due, so here goes!

History of The Olde Bell Inn

Probably known for being the most well known building in Hurley, The Olde Bell first opened its doors in 1135 AD, as a guest house for visitors to the near by Benedictine Priory.

Some notable guests have included Elizabeth Taylor, Richard Burton, Cary Grant & Errol Flynn.

The Olde Bell has had many owners during its long history, but despite its many changes of ownership, it still keeps to the traditions of St. Benedict, that true hospitality be provided to travellers and strangers.

My personal review & experience

Okay so we’re locals to this beautiful hotel, with it being just a 10-15 minute drive from where we live. My mum and dad actually had their engagement party here in 1987, and more recently Tazmyn and I attended the wedding fayre here just a couple of years ago when we first got engaged. The Olde Bell is the most fantastic wedding location, if you’re looking for a barn style wedding with the shabby chic feel. The wedding fayres take place regularly throughout the year too and are definitely worth paying a visit to, all information about that can be found on their website which I’ll link you to at the end of this post.

Our first stay here was in 2016, the weekend of our engagement. Tazmyn surprised me with a luxury night away & she just so happened to have chose here! Situated right in between the beautiful town of Marlow and the picturesque Henley-On-Thames, is this beautiful, historic inn that bodes so much character. Since our first stay back in 2016, we have been lucky enough to return a further 3 times and each stay has topped the last.

This stay however, was of course for Tazmyns Christmas present so we were both really excited. We arrived at around 1pm and although check in isn’t officially until 2pm, the member of staff at reception was super helpful and offered to take our luggage for us, whilst we waited in the bar area until our room was ready. During this time we decided to have lunch in the hotels restaurant which was really busy with lots of guests but we still were given a really lovely table very quickly.

We both thought the menu choice was really lovely, and to some, the price of some of the dishes may seem a little expensive, however The Olde Bell does accept tastecard, should you have one and want to use it, which of course would then bring down the price of your meal quite considerably by 50% so well worth using if you do have one.

So for lunch, I chose the roast beef dinner, of course I did.. what else would I order?! Tazmyn went for the fish and chips. Both meals were served really quickly which was a bonus as the restaurant was busy so we did anticipate having to wait a while, but fortunately we didn’t. I also asked for extra gravy with my roast dinner too which was no problem for the staff at all, & this was accommodated really quickly too.

I’m going to be honest, because aren’t I always? Whilst I think the presentation for Tazmyns fish and chips is lovely, I do feel like the roast dinner could have looked a little better. For £18 I would expect it to be presented nicer, perhaps on a different plate, I’m not sure how exactly but the meal itself looks like something I could cook at home and for the price, and coming away for the weekend to a luxurious hotel, I would want that theme to be spread across into the restaurant also but maybe that’s just me. Presentation aside, my roast beef was gorgeous and tasted perfect. The gravy was really rich in flavour and I couldn’t fault the meal at all what’s so ever.

For pudding, Tazmyn ordered the sticky toffee pudding which was served with custard and ice cream! And for me, the apple crumble tart, served with calvados cream (life changer I’m telling you!) best dessert I’ve had in a really long time!

After lunch, we went back to reception to check in to our room and we were really lucky to have been given a little upgrade! Our room was 11, which is located in the main building, so not far to walk at all. The staff couldn’t be more helpful, they offered to take our bags and literally couldn’t do enough for us.

Our room was stunning. Equipped with a super king size bed, (always a winner) a walk in shower which is definitely big enough for two people (tried and tested!) plenty of wardrobe space, a vanity table with mirror, tea and coffee making facilities, both still and sparkling bottled water, a TV, and bedside tables. Inside the room is also a welcome pack from the hotel, with all the relevant information you should need regarding the hotel and the local area which I think is really lovely for those who are visiting and not familiar with what there is to do locally.

Breakfast is always a bit hit & miss with this hotel which is a little annoying. During the busier months of the year, the hotel offers a hot buffet of both continental and cooked breakfast, and during the quieter periods, breakfast can be cooked to order from the breakfast menu provided, in addition to the continental style buffet that is beautifully set up for you to help yourselves to at your own leisure.

For this particular stay, we were pleasantly surprised to find breakfast menu’s at our table in the restaurant as well as the continental buffet set up. We much prefer ordering from the menu, as we feel the hot food is a lot more fresh that way.

We both ordered a cooked breakfast which came relatively quick so we were happy about that, however the sausages were not edible due to the taste of them being incredibly cheap and we didn’t like the egg either, as it tasted like it had been microwaved. Such a shame because we have experienced first class breakfast at this hotel before so it’s just really unfortunate that we were able to find fault on this occasion. The staff did offer us alternatives but we chose to stick to the continental buffet and fill up on toast and cereals and fresh fruit instead which was lovely.

Tea & coffee is also provided as much as you like, to your table so you don’t need to get this yourself.

If you’d like to check out The Olde Bell, you can find their website here.

Give them a follow on Instagram too for all the latest updates of what’s going on.

I hope you’ve enjoyed this post/review. & I hope my darling wife has enjoyed this stay as part of her Christmas present! 💗

Sending love,

Mrs Chalke x

• Follow me on Instagram & Twitter

Weekend plans

lifestyle

I’m so sorry I haven’t blogged in a couple of days, life’s got in the way and we have been so busy I’ve barely had time to pick up my phone. I guess this post is just a little update really, we are currently packing as we are going away for the weekend this weekend. It’s my Christmas present to Tazmyn so she’s really excited, as am I. Expect lots of photos. Foodie pics and hotel related posts too! I’ll probably do a full blog post on the actual hotel once we are back Monday lunchtime because the hotel we are going to is actually the oldest inn in the country. We have been lucky enough to have stayed there 3 times already and this will be our fourth. It’s Tazmyns most favourite place to stay & it’s what she wanted for Christmas so I’m super happy I could surprise her with this. We absolutely love our weekends away and after having the most busiest of weeks, this is just what we need.

I think this morning we’re going to have a mooch around Waitrose and pick up some snacks (something we always do before we go away anywhere!) and then maybe get some lunch somewhere too!

What are your weekend plans? Have you had snow? We haven’t but it’s definitely been freezing.

Sending love,

Sinéad Anna Chalke x

• Follow me on Twitter && Instagram

Gracie Selfies And Westlife

lifestyle

I lost my buzz for blogging a little while ago. I think there was like a two week break where I had no words to say and no motivation to type them even if I did. But it’s back and I love writing here every day. Whenever there’s something to say or show, I’m here. This blog is my little diary journal.

So this morning started with my normal cuddle on the sofa with Gracie and the strongest coffee I could make. How is my little angel baby going to be two next month please? I love her more now when she’s apparently overweight than when I did when she was tiny and just a little fluff ball who would sleep under my arm in bed at night. We did a little photo shoot this morning.

I then did an intensive clean of the house. Got a chair and scrubbed the shelves and cupboards in the kitchen, 1001’d the shit out of the carpets, used my favourite method (wild rhubarb) on all the sides and kitchen surfaces. Stripped beds, hoovered. Took rubbish out, lots of rubbish, and decided I love the new westlife song.

For lunch, I had chorizo, chicken and prawn paella from Marks & Spencer’s balanced diet range which was super yummy at 429 calories.

We met one of our best friends new born baby today when they came over for coffee which was super cute. We’re surrounded by babies and children at the moment!

It’s been raining all day, I currently have a bath and body works candle burning, some clothes drying in the tumble dryer, and I’m desperate for a two hour soak in the bath but I’m cooking dinner tonight (I promised!) so stay tuned for that post and recipe later on!

How’s your Wednesday?

Love,

Sinéad Anna Chalke x

(I love how that sounds)

• Follow me on Twitter && Instagram

My must have home buys.

lifestyle

It’s my favourite thing to do at the moment. House shop and search interior design accounts on Instagram. So in this post I have compiled my must have home essentials, basically all of my favourite things at the moment! I hope you enjoy it! 🙂 x

1. Pom Pom placemats.

Pack of two Pom Pom placemats from NEXT home. This pack of two is £6 and comes in both the grey shade but also a blush pink too. I’m all over the Pom Pom design at the moment as I think it’s so on trend and pretty. I just can’t decide between these or the blush pink?

2. Confetti mugs

This set of 4 confetti style mugs from NEXT are super cute. They’re priced at £18 & I love them.

3. Catherine Lansfield Canterbury bedding

From NEXT again, we actually purchased this bedding set a while ago and LOVE it. The design is so pretty. Priced at £18-25 depending on size.

4. 12 piece peyton dinner set

Priced at £45 from NEXT I am living for this set at the moment, but we have actually recently purchased a very similar one from Waitrose which was slightly cheaper and I’ll show you that below. Love this whole design though.

5.Harrogate 12 piece dinner setWe recently purchased this from Waitrose as it was down to £30 so absolute bargain and really really good quality. As you can tell we love grey!

6. Jo Malone candle Because everyone and every home needs a Jo Malone candle. Absolute must have!

7. Framed plaque

How stunning is this framed plaque from my absolute favourite independent shabby chic Instagram store perfectlovelyinteriors – we pretty much had them furnish the contents of our first flat together. We purchased this plaque a couple of weeks ago and it’s priced at £23.95 – make sure you check their store out!

8. Pom Pom cushionsTo add to my ever growing love for all things Pom Pom. These are super cute and priced at £10.95 each from perfectlylovelyinteriors

9. Oversized star clock This would look super cute in a kitchen I think? I love that it’s really big and can make a statement piece for any room/wall. Again priced at 23.95 and from perfectlylovelyinteriors.

10. Bloom candles

My favourite go to place for candles on Instagram. Affordable and unique. We have had a variety of bloom candles and wax melts in each of our homes, they’re perfect for every room!

11. Fridge freezer of dreams

It wouldn’t be a dream home without one of these. I know I love grey, but I think these look nicer in a dark charcoal almost black shade. Love love love.

12. An espresso machine

Still working out what the best one on the market is, but this sage by Heston Blumenthal has my name all over it.

13. Bath towels So we tend to always buy towels from either Marks and Spencer or NEXT purely because the quality is so good. We love the charcoal colour.

14. Artificial flowers & plants

They’re pretty & you don’t have to look after them! This particular one is £55 from NEXT but Matalan do some amazing ones too for very cheap.

15. Wicker baskets/storage baskets

Sticking with the very on trend Pom Pom theme, I’m loving this wicker storage basket! Perfect for the the bathroom, bedroom or wherever! We actually have wicker baskets for our throws and blankets in our living room. This particular one though is £12 & from ASOS!

16. No1 Handwash

£2.49 from Aldi, absolute bargain! We have this handwash in all the bathrooms and toilets. Love the scent too. It’s our favourite.

17. Throws

Everyone tends to have throws and blankets in their house, for their sofas or in their living room. We have a wicker basket for our throws in our lounge, and this throw from The Range priced at £15.99 is a real bargain.

________________________________

So that’s it for my must haves/essentials! Of course there’s so many more things I’ve got or I want but I’d be here all day listing them 😭 house shopping is so much fun though! What are your must haves or on your shopping list?

As always, love

Mrs Chalke x

• Follow me on Twitter && Instagram

Marks and Spencer to the rescue!

lifestyle

Both of us were just extremely tired to cook from fresh tonight, so it was a last minute dash to our favourite place on Earth, Marks and Spencer of course! Dinner is a throw it together kind of meal and also a carb coma but who cares.

So we’ve got, hot & spicy chicken tenders, potato gratin dauphinois (never tried the M&S ones before so it’s a treat!), broccoli cheese bake and good old french bread with all the lurpak you can dream of. Really trying to stay away from oven food as much as we can and instead cooking fresh, but on those busy days when you’re ovarly tired, Marks and Spencer definitely comes to the rescue!

We also have a naughty pud too! It would have been rude not to, right?

profiteroles!!! 💗✨

Dinner was super super good!

We’ll try to eat fresh the rest of the week, promise!

What did you have for dinner?

As always, love

Mrs Chalke x

• Follow me on Twitter && Instagram