The month that was: August

What happened:
August started with being evacuated from The Shard and having to walk down from the 32nd floor of the building - thank goodness we weren't all the way at the top on the observation deck! We'd gone to the Aqua Shard for dinner and had just ordered when the fire alarm sounded and we had to leave. To be honest, I wasn't impressed in the short time that we were there, and we didn't stick around for the 2.5 hour wait to get back inside.

We headed to Stratford to the Lee Valley Velopark as Olly (and the men in his family) had a date at the velodrome, which was fun to watch. You don't realise how steep the sides of a velodrome are, but they are! It was quite busy when we were down there, and it was great to see the Olympic 2012 facilities being used.

I had a lazy long weekend by myself (and with Comps, of course) whilst Olly was in Belgium at the Grand Prix, which I spent writing and making espadrilles. Yes, you read that right! I made a pair of espadrilles using some The Very Hungry Caterpillar fabric, and you can see how I made them here. (Found is still on track to be out later this year.)

Finally, I had a signature facial at Liz Earle - see what I made to it here - before heading to Kent for a family wedding. I can't believe that is another month gone and that we're now in September!

What I ate:
Because of the aforementioned evacuation, instead of eating at Aqua Shard we ended up going to Roast for dinner - I last ate there about five years ago, but the standard has remained the same. If you want generous portion sizes with beautiful British flavours, do book a table there.

The service can be quite hit and miss at Wahaca, though they'll always tempt me back because I absolutely love their pork pibil tacos. We headed there for lunch at their Westfield Stratford branch after our visit to the velodrome, and the pork pibil tacos did not disappoint.

However, I did have a disappointing lunch at Big Easy in Covent Garden. The service was dreadful, and they kept getting our orders wrong - a shame as I've eaten there before and enjoyed it, but I'm not sure if I would return now. I hate it when that happens!

What I watched:
I implore you to watch Paddington as soon as you can as it's an utter delight and an awesome feel-good film - it's definitely my favourite film that I watched in August.

I also watched: Insurgent, The Breakfast Club, Almost Famous, Gone Girl (and then had to reread the book), Pompeii and Delivery Man, plus I rewatched Shrek, The Baby-Sitters Club (yes, *that* BSC!), Interstellar, Warm Bodies, Richie RichDeep Impact and Inception.

What I read:
In August I read 27 books and abandoned reading 7 books. I really enjoyed The Longest Holiday by Paige Toon, The Story of You by Katy Regan, Finding Audrey by Sophie Kinsella, Somewhere Only We Know by Erin Lawless, The Good Girls by Sara Shepard, Ugly Love by Colleen Hoover and rereading Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn.

How was your August? x

Beauty: Liz Earle signature facial

Last week I headed to Liz Earle's London store to have their signature facial, which was a late birthday present. I already use quite a lot of Liz Earle products and had heard good things about the facial, so I couldn't wait to have it, especially as I was going to a wedding the next day.

The signature facial is a whopping 90 minutes long, and this also includes a neck and shoulder massage, plus a choice of more shoulder work, a scalp massage, or a foot massage. Most of the time is taken up on your face though, and the time flies by quickly. (Or it did for me.)

After chatting for five minutes about my skin - and feeling smug because she didn't think I looked my age - I got undressed and snuggled down under a duvet. I took a few deep breaths of one of Liz Earle's gorgeous oils, before my therapist explained about the machines that she was going to be using.

After cleansing my face with the Liz Earle Cleanse and Polish in the jasmine and osmanthus scent - such a gorgeous smell - and treating my eyes, my face was exfoliated and then my arms were massaged and cocooned back under the duvet. (I'm going to get the order a little wrong, no doubt, as I was trying to relax but at the same time take secret mental notes so I could write this review!) If I remember rightly, balm was put on my face at the same time as my arm massage, and a steamer was angled over my face ready for extraction.

The therapist then covered my eyes and shone a bright magnifying light over my face so she could have a proper look at my skin - I was very pleased to hear that I have really clear, plump and radiant skin and that, unusually for a Londoner, I don't have excessive blockages. Apparently most Londoners have really congested faces because of the grime and what not, but all I had was a tiny blockage at the side of my nose and congestion on my cheeks which she thought was down to product build-up. She recommended switching to a lighter moisturiser and massaging my skin at least once a week during my evening skincare routine.

The one bad thing about my skin that she did point out was that I had a little dehydration on my forehead, and even though I do drink between one and two litres of water every day, she recommenced that I drink more(!) and that I consider drinking coconut water, too.

Congestions dealt with - it was painful at times, but it was a fleeting and tolerable pain - my face was treated with a high frequency bacterial machine and then a vacuum suction system. This was also used over my chest and neck, which treats the lymphatic system and all adds up to wonderful-looking skin. My shoulders and neck were massaged whilst I had a treatment on my face - I lost track about this time what was happening, but everything that went on my face smelled heavenly - and then whilst I had a combination of face masks on my face (three different ones for different areas), I had an extra shoulder massage.

One thing I will say about the extra massages is that the focus is the facial so don't expect a really deep and long shoulder massage, for example. I don't want to say that they are a time filler, but they sort of are - think of them as a bonus rather than a massage, and if you want a massage, book a massage! My face, of course, was massaged really well.

To end with my skin was moisturised with Liz Earle's Superskin serum, moisturiser and eyecream, and that was that! The signature facial costs £120 for 90 minutes, plus I was given a travel-size light moisturiser, toner and shampoo (which would cost about £20 to buy) and a card detailing recommendations from my facial. I left with super soft glowing skin, and I'll definitely return to Liz Earle for another facial, though I'll probably try their healthy beautiful skin facial next time.

Are you a fan of Liz Earle? x


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