So Pho from home…

Last week I returned from Australia. It was my first long haul holiday and also the first that I took all on my own. There are lots of stories I could tell you but I wanted to share one about human kindness.

In my last few hours in Melbourne before I flew thousands of miles home I wandered the streets looking for somewhere to eat. I stumbled across Pho & Co and since Pho (I’ve even made it myself before) is only second to ramen on my favourite foods I thought I’d treat myself.

I ordered summer rolls (chicken) and a bowl of their eye fillet pho. I had expected my started to come out first but they were both set down in front of me at the same time. No worries as I had some time to kill before my flight.

PhoNot the actual bowl of pho…

The summer rolls were lovely, fresh and full of soft herbs with a nice flavour from the pickled mango (which is a first for me). The dips were standard, sweet chilli and a slightly puzzling hoisin sauce (didn’t feel very Vietnamese to me).

Then onto the Pho. I was a little worried about the lack of inciting smells steaming from the bowl and when I took a spoonful of the broth I could taste why. The broth was very light and had very little depth in the flavour. I expected to be able to taste the star anise and touch of cinnamon I have come to desire. Alongside was a plate of accompaniments. Including fish sauce, more hoisin sauce and some crushed nuts (I think) and chilli if I wanted to add. I don’t react well to fresh chilli so I left that out and added all the fish sauce and a little of the hoisin. It still didn’t lift the broth. I ended up eating some of the noodles and the beef, which was amazingly tender but again lacked seasoning as it languished in the watery broth.

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Just a hint, of a tint

After a long hiatus from my blog I’m back. Last year was an exciting time for me. Lots happened, good and bad (some fantastic) and my life changed in so many ways. Needless to say I’m viewing the way I live my life differently.

Facing my fears and saying yes are a big part of this change. As a child I had no fear of flying but after a large gap when I hardly travelled it grew and grew but no longer. This year I am taking my first long haul flight and a well deserved holiday.

This led me to thinking about my lashes, which are naturally very fair, something which I hate when going to the beach. So I am having them tinted to save me from panda eyes.

After having a patch test where my wrist was dyed with a rather fetching circle (hurrah no reaction!) I booked in with a local beauty parlour in Richmond, Beauchamp Beauty.

So here is a before look at my lashes…

Before Lash Tinting Open Eye


I wasn’t told whether I should wear mascara on the day or not so I opted not to. I never normally venture outside without it so I felt quite spooked until my work colleagues told me that I looked no different (off to buy a new, better mascara then!).

At the salon I was introduced to my beautician, Stephanie who showed me into a room with a really comfy bed complete with blanket (it has been quite cold recently). All snuggled up under the blanket she took me through the process and how long it would last before starting.

Barrier cream was applied to my lids to prevent the tint staining my skin and then a cleverly shaped pad was placed under my bottom lids before I closed my eyes. The application was okay, it felt quite relaxing and after the tint was applied (blue-black colour)  a further pad was placed on top to stop me from blinking.

A hand massage later and the pads were removed and the tint wiped away. It took about 20 minutes in total so perfect for a lunchtime visit.

I looked in the mirror at my newly darkened lashes and the tint has given me the appearance of wearing eye-liner as well as longer lashes. I wasn’t able to curl my lashes after my appointment so I waited till I got home to do so.

Eyelash Tint After

Eyelash Tint After

When I went out to buy some make-up at the weekend several people said that they thought I had naturally dark lashes. I have to say I’m loving not having to remove mascara every night.

The lash tint should last between 4 and 6 weeks with the use of a water based eye make-up remover so I have booked in for just before my holiday to make sure my eyes look their best for the beach.

I’ll update my post to let you know how well it lasts.

Have you been tempted to tint your lashes?


It’s now 5 weeks later and I’ve had my lashes tinted again. Only within the past 10 days have I noticed that they are looking like they needed a top up, mostly at the base of my lashes with the false eye-liner effect wearing off. But I have been really impressed. My lashes look great with only curling required and I’ve found that my eyes have been less sensitive, normally I itch my eyes a lot so I’m putting this down to the lack of mascara irritating my eyes.

Next month I am trying out a brow tint too (as they have a special offer on) so I’ll be posting about that at the end of March.

Planning for skiing holiday

Last month I went on my first ever ski holiday. I had missed out on the school trips as a teenager and well the opportunity had never come up before. I have to say I was nervous, scared even but not of the idea of skiing (although that did spook me a fair bit). No, the first thing to cross my mind was “what the hell do I take?” followed swiftly by “will I actually need to take a full on suitcase?” as most of my previous holidays involved either hand luggage only or a shared suitcase.

Skiing in France

I had months to worry. All that time to try to research, I asked friends who had been before and spent hours looking at photos trying to figure out what people wore on these skiing vacations. To me it felt like I would need a massive suitcase and several bags. It all came flooding in and tried to overwhelm me. Packing for a cold weather holiday had never happened to me before. It was alien. Normally I would throw together a heap of sun-dresses, shorts and flip-flops and have plenty of room for goodies picked up abroad.

Other thoughts started to occur to me. “What would Continue reading