As a resident of Greater London, I’m not far from a fantastic choice of eateries that the Big Smoke has to offer. However these days with a toddler in tow I opt for restaurants much closer to home and Saffron Summer fits the bill when it comes to Indian cuisine. Recently my Indian parents were staying over with us and my dad kindly wanted to treat us all to a restaurant of my husband’s choice. (I appear to have slipped down the pecking order on the favourites list). Mr M who would normally choose a Thai restaurant decided to stay with the eastern vibe and suggested a visit to one of his favourite curry houses but this isn’t your ordinary curry house.
This was actually our second visit to a haute cuisine restaurant based in Chessington and rated among the top 3 Indian restaurants in Surrey according to Trip Advisor. The moment we arrived the staff were again friendly, polite and the restaurant was nicely laid out with beautiful decor. The service is also excellent without being invasive.
Executive Chef Awanish Roy trained at the famous Oberoi hotels in India and has spent time working at the legendary Cinnamon Club in Westminster which showed in the quality of the dining experience. Ralph Sousa the restaurant owner has owned restaurants in Portugal and Goa and with this experience has a successful team here who take pride on their work. The restaurant staff are wonderful and special thanks to Nacito who kindly took the time to explain the dishes.
I’m a huge fan of Indian street food and tapas style dishes which were great especially to share and they certainly didn’t disappoint. I think I will be back soon for the special Sunday Indian roast lunch! My parents are vegetarians and were impressed with the choice offered. I have to say I normally don’t bother with starters but they all looked so good! I’d eaten light all day so that I could enjoy three courses.
Dal makhani with lotus seeds crisps.
You can expect a lovely twists on classic dishes which work brilliantly and I can’t wait to return. I only wish I had the cooking skills to match Chef Awanish!
Gol Gappa a ‘street food’ spicy shot accompanied with stuffed puri.
Hakka Chilli Paneer, fiery Indo-Chinese paneer from the popular China town of Kolkata.
Okra do Pyaza Stir fried bhindi with onions.
Calamari Banjara Gosht.
Elwy Valley lamb simmered and cooked in a specially grounded Rajasthani recipe.
Butter Chicken a household dish also known as Murg Makhni. Tandoori chicken thighs, tomato and fenugreek sauce, truffle malai.
Sticky toffee pudding with an infusion of ginger caramel & served with vanilla ice cream.
Coconut ice cream.
I can genuinely say we left the restaurant with happy and full tummies. There is a good variety of fish, seafood, meat and vegetarian dishes in a relaxed informal setting. The food has incredible flavour and I love the modern twists to traditional dishes. It may sound very silly but my favourite part of the meal was the herby naan bread which alone I would have been very happy with!
Saffron Summer has a lovely neighbourhood feel about it and I highly recommend a visit here. This isn’t your typical indian restaurant and I thought the prices reflected the high standard and quality of the food. The meal worked out to £40 per head including drinks. If you live near or in Surrey and like indian food make sure you visit.
I realise I haven’t written a personal post for a while so here I am giving a little life update because in the blogging world it’s good to be consistent and of course write from the heart about the things that matter to you. Writing as I’ve come to realise is not only an art form, it can also be a form of therapy. This blog has always been a creative outlet for expression. I have been inspired by three lovely friends of mine to get tapping away at the keyboard. Vicki, Lucie and Jess.
Motherhood is a lot harder than I thought it would be I still haven’t worked out whether that’s because I am a little older or whether it’s just that I over complicate things. My life in the past 4 years has drastically changed and I am a resilient woman who has tackled a lot during this time. I think more parents in particular are turning to blogging and video blogging (vlogging) as a way of connecting with like minded people record memories as well as share the good and the not so good. This guy is the main reason I started writing my blog on the 5th July 2014.
I love having a YouTube channel to run alongside the writing although it is quite challenging managing both at times. Yes it can seem like over sharing but in my opinion a great way to help others and inspire. Becoming a sponsored vlogger for Channel Mum continues to be one of my favourite things ever.
I genuinely work with a wonderful team and I can really appreciate the power of YouTube working to influence and entertain many people. My advice to anyone thinking about starting a channel is to “just start”. If you’re not sure or don’t feel confident then you can always record videos on your phone use insta stories get used to filming yourself, little steps which might just be the start of something amazing in your life!
For those that already know me I am devoted to my family. I have been a stay at home (working mum) for a few years and Jay starts Reception Class at Primary school next week. I am already beginning to get the butterflies, you know this thing called separation anxiety, I have it really bad. He is my shadow pretty much always by my side and September heralds big changes for us all.
We have had a busy active summer and Jay starts school next week. Some of you may know how much we love going to National Trust locations I genuinely recommend becoming members, it almost forces you to head out and take notice of the many incredible places that you have on your doorstep. Also good for your mindset and we all know how important that is to maintain.
As I also approach my 42nd birthday very very soon, I am preparing for a lot of change at home. We have a house extension taking place now which is to go on for a few more weeks yet. My intuition tells me it’s going to be tough and I trust my intuition a lot. I might be a little quiet on social media while I get used to the dust around me. I must keep thinking of the end result, a brand spanking new kitchen with a utility room, a study and a downstairs toilet. See I don’t ask for much. Mark and I celebrated 8 years of marriage last month and totally forgot to write the cards we had bought for one another. That’s how busy things are.
Last May we went to the beautiful island of Menorca our very first holiday abroad other than the time we visited my brother in California. Contrary to what I thought we did relax with a few tantrums thrown in which was expected. I came home wanting us to travel and experience more together.
I have absolutely no regrets in staying at home raising Jay, after all we waited so long to become parents this is definitely what I wanted. I have the upmost respect for the women and men who go to work and use childcare. I know for some women this is their choice and for others it’s not how they would like things to be but have no choice. We all need to do what we need to do and there mustn’t be any shaming in that.
Jay attended the loveliest Pre-school locally and this has been a wonderful experience. From the moment I held him to this very day I have flashbacks to milestones and accept that time appears to move very fast. Motherhood was something I was frightened of to be honest and now I take it day by day, trying my best to enjoy the present which inevitably brings it’s highs and lows. Exhausting as it is, there is something so magical about it that I feel very grateful for even when he is making me answer 100 questions in 10 seconds.
He’s at a fun age when he wants to know so much. Our bright boy who is ready for the next chapter in his life amazes us with his speech and observations and I can’t wait to see how school education will take it to another level. He is 4 years old and often acts like a teenager which is funny and scary at the same time. His latest interest is learning the Highway code signs which he has been viewing on various youtube videos. I have been driving for just over 24 years now and he seems to know more signs than I do! I reckon he’ll be ready for his theory long before his 17th.
There has of course been heartache in my recurrent miscarriage which I have written about here. I know we all experience some form of loss or grief at some point in our lives but it is devastating when the plan doesn’t go to plan. We also recognise how incredibly lucky we are to have our son here to love and nurture. I accept that life is full of surprises and joy and pain all part of this existence here on Earth. I recently read that something won’t go away until it teaches us what it needs us to know. I view life very differently now because things can be taken away from you in an instant. I believe in turning negative situations into positive ones somehow something good can come out of it.
Working on media campaigns for Tommy’s the Baby loss charity and helping a recurrent miscarriage study at St Mary’s hospital makes these loses bearable. I advocate for more research on this subject to help prevent loss and suffering to people. Baby loss is one of life’s cruel events. Despite the emotional battlefield I enter from time to time I am choosing hope over darkness. Life though will never be the same.
Society now is much more open to people talking about mental health breaking down stigma and working through issues seeking help because its okay not to be okay. A positive mindset is essential to moving forward but also working on the things we perhaps might not want to face. Despite my many losses I vowed I’d never let it take me into a place I could not get out of because I have a very special mummy role to fulfill. In fact I feel stronger than ever before in my intentions to work hard and enjoy the free golden 24 hours we are all given each day. I am currently reading a fantastic ebook by Turia Pitt about mindset. I set aside 15 minutes a day and work through the book. If you don’t know who Turia is please take a moment to read up about her story I can tell you it’s definitely influenced me and pretty sure it might just get you thinking about your own life.
Recurrent Miscarriage recovery meant that I took the decision to sort my head and body out and began personal training in March 2017 3 weeks after I had surgery following the loss of my sixth pregnancy. I just went straight into it to help me focus through what was a really hard time. I totally surprised myself by training hard each week for months. I saw results I felt better lost body fat in the areas I needed to, and it has done wonders for my mind. Then in November I stopped personal training which was a mistake as I noticed I wasn’t feeling as positive and motivated. I kickstarted my sessions with new personal trainers Jacob Paul (400M Hurdler) and James Daly . I have said this before but Personal training has been one of the best investments ever. I have noticed a huge change in my physical and mental health. I’m not going to say this will be the best thing for everyone but movement is vital for us to feel good. Walking is hands down my favourite exercise. Jacob and James are brilliant people and I highly recommend them if you are seeking personal training.
Through my work on social media I have been fortunate to work with small and big brands and use Instagram daily as it’s also a source of inspiration to me. Ever since I started posting 4 years ago I’ve seen more and more people engage with me and it’s been really wonderful having this platform to share content. I have received lots of kind comments over the years and have formed wonderful friendships which significantly out ways any negatives from people who have unkind vibes. For those of you who read my blog and instagram posts and take time out of their day to watch my videos I thank you. I think back to the time when I started using social media mainly Facebook and I was 32 years old. These days it’s all very different. The younger generation are exposed to so much. I do realise I am starting to sound very old but I do worry about the pressure young people face theses days all due to social media.
When I stopped working full time at 35 weeks pregnant in 2014 I had no idea what would happen to my career. My first priority was always going to be Jay no matter what but I also knew how much I loved working and I genuinely still feel very lucky to have had the oportunities that I have had since I became a parent. I will be focusing on my YouTube channel and business more once Jay starts school and be around to make sure I drop him off to school and pick him up after school.
I started an online beauty business in April with an American Company as a distributor for their products and it’s been an exciting venture as I have an interest in beauty and helping others while at the same time learning and making income from home. I do have a Facebook group Belle de Beauté if you ever want to stop by to browse my posts and please feel free to contact me if there is anything I can help you with. I hope to build this business and help others build a business from home to work around existing commitments, so please do send me an email if you’d like to find out more.
Despite me wanting time and financial freedom. Ultimately health and my family’s health is paramount. I am currently in a good place working hard and celebrating achievements. They are usually little milestones but that’s fine by me, I’m not in a race. I am working on a law of attraction planner which is something I purchased after reading The Secret. For me a woman in my 40s self awareness and discovery is becoming a huge theme as well as waking up each day with a grateful heart.So that’s really where things are at the moment with me and mine. Thank you for your kind words and friendship and to everyone who engages with me on social media platforms I am truly grateful you take the time to do so.
Tomorrow is the launch day for the AMAZING Insta Glow a self tan product which sold out in the States in seconds when it launched over there. Starting my online beauty business Belle De Beautéhas meant I get to try a number of products but I have to confess I have never used self tan until recently. I can tell Insta Glow is going to sell out quickly as I’ve seen the results on friends so for anyone who uses fake tan please keep reading, this is definitely one not to miss.
My natural skin tone is brown due to my Indian heritage but there are parts of my body that are fairer than others like my legs. I managed to get hold of my very own Insta Glow ahead of the launch on 6th June to get an even tone all over and it’s exceeded my expectations. I’ve heard many conversations over the years from friends who use tanning products and smell is the one of the biggest deterrents from using fake tan products. Most commonly compared to biscuits, curry or even more undesirable substances!
The British summer as we know can be very unpredictable but a beautiful glow all year round is possible with this easy to apply gel building up to a bronzed glow. Safer for your health and skin, self tanning is without a doubt the smarter approach to tanning. If you would like to order this best seller than please do send me an email.
Last year I attended a work event and a friend of mine Lauren was wearing a tee that basically made me do a double take. Lauren was chatting to a group of friends and I joined the conversation to discover that this clever lady had designed the tee herself with the help of her mother-in-law. Not only that but it was even more of a surprise when she showed me that there were hidden zips on each side just under the armpits to allow easy access for breastfeeding or expressing.
You’ve got to admit that is a clever design! Lauren kindly sent me a tee of my choice for an honest review (she is so sweet) and she genuinely has spent a lot of time and effort into starting a business alongside being a busy mum to two beautiful young girls.
Most of you who know me will know that I don’t have a breastfeeding baby but I wanted to write about this innovative design as I know many mums who would benefit from this. I ordered a t-shirt in small as I am a UK size 8-10 and I like the fact that they are longer in length than the average 68cm meaning they won’t ride up while feeding and can also be worn over leggings or jeans.
Even if you’re not a mum you may know someone who would love a tee like this. They are made from 100% cotton, EKO-TEX® certified, meaning the material doesn’t contain any harmful substances and is safe for even delicate skin. In fact I wear mine because I love the design and how comfortable and soft it feels against the skin. I’ve received compliments each time I wear it and there is usually a fun surprising reaction when I explain the design. I really wish this was available when I was breastfeeding Jay as I used to struggle especially with finding tops that were practical and comfortable. This Love tee retails at £29.99 with free UK shipping over £50. Do look out for flash sales often advertised on Instagram linked below. I highly recommend this wonderful and fun collection of Milky Tees available in different designs. I love the slogans all which parents can relate to!
Recently Lauren decided to launch the same tees in black which again are gorgeous and really stand out. I can see them being a huge success. I genuinely hand on heart think this is an item of clothing worth investing in. I wear mine for the fashion aspect and I think that is totally okay. Please do share this blog post with anyone who you think would benefit from this item of clothing. I highly recommend The Milky Tee Company, good quality clothing and I really wish Lauren continued success. Every business starts with an idea and I’ve a lot of respect for Lauren who is one of the kindest people I know wanting to help mums make life that little bit easier.
With non-stop product launches and a never-ending stream of trends born on social media, the beauty industry thrives on newness. Skin care I admit can be a tricky to navigate sometimes buried in confusing pseudo-science and baffling beauty marketing. I am however someone who does take an interest in the science of cosmetics because ultimately our skin is the largest barrier against infection that we have.
I recently spoke to a lovely Instagram friend of mine who knows a thing or two about beauty and she mentioned the Nu Skin Beauty Box. Nu Skin is a major, if not one of the biggest, players in the multilevel marketing beauty space. Founded in 1984, Nu Skin began developing their personal care products in the Midwest US. Their product portfolio spans over 200 items all focused on anti-aging benefits and helping people look younger and feel more youthful.
I was eager to get my hands on this pre-assembled kit and was invited to an event in London where I got to see the products first hand. This September I will be 42 years old which isn’t old I know but I am looking for anti-ageing products that will help the health of my skin. I came away from the event eager to purchase and try them for myself so that’s what I did. The box arrived within the week and I started using the products straight away. I wanted to share my honest thoughts here. To start with you get seven products within the box which have been chosen due their popularity.
I have been loyal to the wonderful Benefit Roller Lash for many years so I wasn’t sure whether this black mascara would come anywhere near it. I can tell you that it does and the wand separates and lengthens lashes making them very noticeable. I applied one coat and used the tip of the brush to add more to the corner lashes. I have sensitive eyes so I was a little nervous about how my eyes would react. I may not wear mascara daily but this is now my go to mascara and I love the formula which adds length and volume. My lashes do appear curled after application which is good as I’m not a fan of using an eye lash curler! Curled lashes opens up your eyes and make them appear more alert. It’s non clumpy formula means the mascara coats and thickens the lashes without clumping for a satisfying boost. The packaging is simple in its silver tube and I really think this is one to try if you are looking for a new reliable mascara.
AP-24 WHITENING FLUORIDE TOOTHPASTE
I’m a coffee and tea drinker so over the years I prefer to use whitening toothpastes. I was genuinely impressed with this product which claims to brighten, remove stains and whiten teeth while fighting plaque formation. I started seeing noticeable results four days in and it really does give you a long lasting clean brushed feeling. As with any anything results will differ from person to person. Most of the reviews I have seen on this have been positive and I can certainly vouch for that. It doesn’t have the powdery taste like charcoal whitener or bicarbonate whitener would. I was sceptical at first but really happy to see that my teeth were definitely whiter. I had been contemplating having a white teething procedure but have changed my mind since I started using AP-24 as I am happy with the whiteness so far. This gentle, vanilla mint formula freshens breath and provides that clean feeling. A fabulous discovery! Some feedback from Nu skin Customers like the following:
I think you either fall into the I love green tea or I loathe green team camp. A bit like marmite! I actually don’t mind it but I can think of better things to drink hence why the tegreen capsules suit my lifestyle as I can still enjoy the impressive benefits. One capsule per day each morning with food and you have the equivalent of six cups of green tea in you. There is so much research now available which shows how green tea extract is rich in antioxidants called catechins, which have been shown to increase antioxidant capacity and protect against oxidative stress. It is also known to boost metabolism with fat burning properties. I have been working on my health and personal fitness over the past year and these green powerful capsules are a part of my daily lifestyle.
MOISTURE MIST SPRAY
I’ve never really invested in a moisture spray product before so this was a first for me although I think I recall my wedding makeup being set with a mist style spray by my makeup artist. A quick spritz of enriched water can not only help calm and sooth irritated skin, but also gives it a boost of hydration for a naturally dewy look. This is a refreshing spray which I felt plumped up the skin too. I have found this spray useful lately especially with the central heating on in the house drying the air. I find this definitely keeps my skin hydrated and I can see this being something I use regularly in the summer. If you haven’t tried a moisture mist spray I recommend it as you can use this on your hair and body too. The scent is subtle and it really does freshen and lift the skin during the day.
GLACIAL MARINE MUD MASK
I remember shaking the tube and hearing the liquid swishing around and wasn’t sure if that was right as I imagined the product would be thick and paste like. I was surprised to see it’s a liquid formula and I found it easier to use a brush and paint the product onto the skin. Enriched with nourishing active ingredients, this mask deeply cleans your face and pores leaving your skin fresh, clean and glowing. I had seen before and after pictures and was really keen to try it as I am a daily make up wearer and I want to make sure I treat the face to a mask that will draw out impurities. Although I have relatively clear skin it is prone to the odd spot or two and this mud clay is great as a treatment and also dries very quickly so you don’t have to keep it on for the full 15 minutes if you don’t want to. You can visibly see the oil being pulled out. The great thing is this mask is suitable for all skins types. I even got Mr M to try it out and must admit I thought he looked slightly Hulk esque! (I think I can get away with saying he is approaching his late forties). He too was impressed with how the skin looked fresher. Once the mask was washed off he did have a little redness but it went away within 5-10 minutes. I didn’t experience any redness and I have really sensitive skin. The only downside is that I’m not too keen on the smell if I’m honest but I will forgo that as the skin definitely looks better after.
POLISHING PEEL SKIN REFINISHER
Exfoliating using beads or chemical peels is a go-to skincare strategy for sloughing off dead skin and revealing a smoother complexion underneath but it’s important to make sure you’re not aggravating your face in the process. This peel is a game changer for me. It might not be to everyone’s liking but you actually see the dead skin cells coming off very much like a microdermabrasion. Polishing Peel is an alternative to professional treatments, it delivers a fresh, healthy, complexion due to the pumpkin enzymes and bentonite clay working to remove toxins and slough off dull skin. I was a little apprehensive at first putting this onto my face but I really shouldn’t have been as I can now see how important it is to use a peel from time to time. I know this step may see a but of a phaff to some but there is no point in putting on face creams if you still have a layer of dead skin for it to work through. This non-abrasive peel sweeps away the old, to make way for the new. While this non-abrasive exfoliant can help you attain smoother, more refined skin, it also means that subsequent skincare can be absorbed more easily. I don’t have time to go to salons for facials (sometimes I wish I did) but this used once or twice a week has helped improve my complexion and gives you professional results in the comfort of your own home.
Lip gloss is a product used primarily to give lips a glossy lustre, and sometimes to add a subtle colour. I am a huge fan of lip gloss I much prefer it to lipstick and personally like lips to appear fuller. This was actually the first product from the box I was eager to try and it did not disappoint. The ultra shiny gloss is clinically proven to stimulate collagen production but this isn’t going to be an instant plumper. The oligopeptide formula builds over time and results are likely in 28 days. I have been wearing this gloss daily and there is definitely a tingle in the lips upon application but nothing uncomfortable. Wear this alone or over lipstick. The box has the clear gloss but its all available in a subtle colour too. I will definitely be buying this one again.
If you are interested in purchasing the beauty box or would like to find out more about the products mentioned above please feel free to email me email@example.com. I was so impressed with the products reviewed above, that not only did it prompt me to immediately jump over to the website to order some more items, but I decided to start out my own little ‘mini franchise’ with Nu Skin because I love what I have seen so far.
I’m excited to start working my way through the whole range and sharing my reviews with my lovely friends and followers. Nu Skins tagline is ‘the difference demonstrated’ meaning that you will see an instant difference more or less straight away and from what I’ve seen thus far, you do.
As always though, I will NEVER recommend something that I don’t like or feel doesn’t work. I hope that you will all support me in my new mini venture which I’ll run alongside my blogging and vlogging activities. Starting out something new can be quite nerve-wracking but I’m also very excited to see where it takes me.
Thanks for your continued support by reading my blog and supporting me on my social media platforms!