My Summer Picks | Food, Culture, Beauty

July 12, 2017

Lifestyle - Summer inspiration, things to read, cook, summer scent & beauty

Image: Design Soda

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A couple of weeks of sun drenched days, and at least a few slightly balmy nights, and my mind turns to acid hues, lurid looking cocktails, and a longing to shoot the breeze (or else become a character in a Tennessee Williams novel).Well, I’ve really struggled with feeling at all motivated lately, I’m not quite sure why, just a part of the ebb and flow of life I guess. As much as I always have at least 10 posts in draft for the blog, I’m not especially feeling like I want to write any of them today. So, I thought I’d do something a little different instead. In the spirit of not being an entirely 2-D interiors addict (not entirely you understand!) I thought I’d share with you some of my essential Summer picks from food and books to make-up. I know I’m going slightly off piste but I’d love to know yours too. I’m looking for inspiration that might drive me out of my lull (oh and an eye cream that works, more on that later) so if you have anything that’s lit up your summer list let me know about it in the comments below, I’m all ears.

 

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Books:

My Summer reading list - twentieth century European classics (2)

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Who reads books by season? I think I kind of do, not in any concious way, but as winter sets in I may read a ghost story, in Spring something with a romantic leaning and in summer something where the climate or emotions are hot. A great summer novel I loved was Truman Capote’s Other Voices, Other Rooms, set in the sizzling heat of the Mississippi south full of the eery and gothic and recently I read George Simenon’s The Blue Room which is an existential novel full of tense foreboding and the darker realms of human intent. I class all of the books in the shot above as perfect summer reads, especially if, like me, you take your lit with a heavy slice of European twentieth century classics, next on my list for this summer are Madonna in A Fur Coat by Sabahattin Ali and To The Lighthouse by Virginia Woolf. Id love to know if you have any reads that offers perfect escapism during the summer months along this line.

 

Food:

Ottolenghi Chermoula Aubergine Sabrina Ghayour Aubergine and zatar sweet potatoes with harissa mayo recipe (2)

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Like pretty much everyone with an interest in modern cuisine these days, summer spells OTTOLENGHI – (I think you may find that recipe knowledge from these cookbooks are a modern rite of passage for the middle class, Jerusalem is sure to soon be included in that Sunday Times 100 objects of modern life list that sends up the Middle Classes for their obsession with talismans) but it is true that this middle eastern inspired cuisine, particularly all these quinoa, bulgar & barley salads come into their own at this time of year, as the perfect dip-in tapas-style lunches and suppers. I recently tried a Freekah salad in a cafe for the first time and I’m definitely going to be making some of that this summer. My current favourites are this Greek herb pie, these Chermoula Aubergines, Sabrina Ghayours Cumin Roasted aubergines and Sweet Potato wedges sprinkled with Za’tar oven cooked and then drizzled with a mix of harissa, Greek yoghurt and mayonnaise. Yum. 

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Beauty: 

Best Summer Beauty Products, a bloggers list of essentials

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Finally my beauty hit list for summer months, I know this is going a little off piste for me territory wise and I’m definitely not an expert, but I get sent quite a few products for free these days and as I’ve always loved having a nose in other people’s make-up bags I thought I’d share mine. Summer always means pink nail varnish to me, I think it’s such a pretty shade against tanned hands and feet, I don’t have a real stand out Favourite but this shade Eternal Optimist from Essie is pretty near the mark. Ditto lips, I picked up this Primark Lipstick Crayon recently in a pretty summer shade called Ballerina and am really impressed with its coverage and longevity. My skin staples at the moment are all in shot, I didn’t start wearing any kind of moisturiser on my face until I had my son 3 years ago (I know, I know, this is some kind of beauty crime right? But at least I’ve joined the party now) and I’ve got quite into testing all the moisturisers I’ve been given by brands. But before we get to creams I have to mention the MOA Green Balm which I bought last winter and love, it’s a great skin detox. Everyday I’m using the Aveda Botanical Kinetics as it’s so light and hydrating on my skin which I think mainly likes to be left alone (another reason I was late to the party), but when I’m putting on make-up I use a product by This Works with the most millennial name I think I’ve ever heard “In Transit Camera Close-Up“. It can be used instead of any face coverage but also works well as a primer under a light layer of make-up (I never wear heavy so can’t tell you the results there). I genuinely love this product, it’s slightly gunky so you don’t want to use too much but it makes skin look so much glowier without using either really obvious light reflecting particles or too much dew! Moisturiser may only be a recent crush of mine but hair products definitely aren’t, if you have straight fine hair like me then I wholeheartedly (commiserate you and also) recommend pretty much everything Bumble & Bumble make. I’ve tried at least 10 styling products by them over the last decade and loved them all, they smell great and provide just the right level of hold without weighing hair down. I see hair products as one of my life’s luxuries and guilty pleasures and the eye wateringly expensive Bumble & Bumble Full Potential Spray is my current indulgence (though I’ve never bought a full sized bottle)  on a tighter budget H&M make Defining Moment Texture Paste which is brilliant too. If you’re hair is in need of some post-sunshine TLC you can’t go wrong with this Philip Kingsley Elasticizer, it’s one of those products I’ve had free and now really want to buy for myself when it runs out. Now over to you guys, my big bug bear of the last year has been dark-ish circles and wrinkles appearing around my eyes, obviously at 36 this is inevitable and lack of good sleep doesn’t help, but I’ve really struggled to find any products that actually help with reducing appearance of either, does anyone know of anything vaguely miraculous that may save me?!? If you do, let me know in the comments below, I will love you forever!

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Culture:

Summer Cocktail

 

What’s on your summer wish list? I’d really like to visit this years Pavilion at The Serpentine in London, but mainly I’m just looking for some downtime to shoot the breeze. Lana Del Ray’s fourth studio album Lust For Life is out this month, and if the first single is anything to go by, you’ll most likely find me, cocktail in mind, listening to that for all of August. Normal (interiors-focussed) service will resume again on Friday! 

 

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