Lilla Loves


Wednesday, August 03, 2016

Beauty| My Latest Beauty Adventure

When I was younger, apart from the years that I spent wanting to be a singer (#delusionalteenager), I wanted to be a hairdresser or beautician. I used to spend hours perfecting my cat-eye, or attempting to do treatments at home, not always successfully, with several awkward eyebrow looks, bad dye jobs and patchy waxing. 

Recently, I have got back into the habit of looking after myself, getting my nails done, regular trips to a decent eyebrow lady and even a spray tan! Often I sit there wondering if I could learn to do these myself and how much money would it save me? So, I decided to start a Beauty Therapy Level 2 course in my spare time online, with NCC Learning.

I am not thinking of packing in my career and becoming a beautician, but it has always been something that I have been interested in.  In the future, I could possibly earn some extra money doing treatments at home, or work part-time while bringing up a family. But most importantly it will mean that I will hopefully have amazing eyebrows and make up forever.

Despite the awful stereotyping of beauty students being dumb, looking at the modules, I am pleasantly surprised to find that this might be a bit of a challenge. The online course has modules on the usual beauty treatments, facials, skincare, nails and more, as well as some business units, which could really help not only me but Joe and his barbershop. Aside, from business and beauty there is also a whole module on Anatomy and Physiology, including sections on the lymphatic systems, blood, and cells.

Having looked at the course, my first unit will focus on Facial and Skincare – this looks at the structure of skin and how its health and condition is essential. The documentation provided for this and every module seems very comprehensive, and while it looks quite daunting, I think it includes everything that I need. I will let you know how I get on if this goes well I’d also like to do a photography course and maybe some sort of science A-level!

If you could do any course or training even just as a hobby what would it be?

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Friday, July 29, 2016

Fashion | Beach Holiday Confidence Styling

beach holiday lyst

I write this from my hotel balcony while in Spain, it's almost time to come home, but this holiday will forever stay in my mind as the one I found my beach body confidence. No, the flight didn't miraculously make me lose 3 stone, my abs didn't suddenly gain definition, I am still the size I have always been. I don't know what has changed in my mind, but I know after I did Whole30 in June I feel better in myself than ever - I will write about my Whole30 journey soon.

Feeling better about myself, I got some acrylics and a much-needed spray tan, along with some new clothes that I felt amazing in and I have never received so many compliments. But the thought of getting into my swimwear was still awful. I left my swim shop too late and couldn't find any swimsuits that would support my boobs and would be delivered in time. So I bought two bikinis which I found using Lyst (I will post these separately) and that is all the swimwear I packed! I was dreading sitting with my family in a two piece, although I don't know why or what I thought would happen. To make myself a bit more confident I bought this ASOS embroidered cover up, which I love so that I didn’t feel totally exposed. But as I looked around I realized that so many of the women in bikinis were not slim, some had big tummy’s like me, others had gorgeous thick thighs and big bums but they all looked happy and beautiful. What on earth had I been so worried about? I felt like I had woken up from a 30-year daze and all of a sudden I saw the light.

If you are still not fully confident about your body don’t jump out of your comfort zone, I have donned a bikini in the past, but was so self-conscious I couldn’t enjoy myself. Instead, opt for something a bit more daring like this ASOS cutout D+ swimming costume.

I find that if you have a full outfit on you tend to feel more confident about yourself too – why not wear jewellery to the beach? I love this Gold Chunky Stone ring. It’s also important to have protection on your eyes, and these Catseye Sunglasses by Whistles are my favourite shape and look super chic. Teaming all of this with a lovely printed beach bag, like this Circle by Sam Edelman one, and these cute Popbands complete the look.

I know swimwear can be a daunting thing for everyone, not matter their shape, but as my mum's friend always says “who’s looking at you?” the answer is no-one, and even if they are I can’t worry myself with other people’s opinions because I can’t change them. All I can change is how I feel about my body – it may not be perfect, but it is mine and if I want to I can make it “better”, but that doesn’t mean I can’t love it and feel confident in the meantime. I’ve wasted 30 years letting people dictate how I feel about my body and that is stopping now.

What do you do to make yourself feel beach confident?

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Monday, July 25, 2016

Food | Azaros Dhaba Hove Review

I do love a good curry – this can’t be a surprise, there isn’t really a food I don’t like. Oh, wait, there is – who on earth created crab sticks and what did we do to deserve them? Anyway, here I am getting side tracked again.

Back to curries. I very rarely tend to go out to eat curry, in fact, I don’t remember the last time I went to one in the UK. We used to go to the one down the road from the villa in Spain once in a while. I guess for me it’s a takeaway food, you know what I mean, you order the same things from the same place every time.

A couple of months ago, things changed when I was invited to review Azaros Dhaba. I’d heard great things about the restaurant, but because I was stuck in my curry rut, it was never high on my list of priorities.

Tucked away on Church Road, in what from the outside, looks like a tiny space, is Azaros. In a traditional setting where female head chefs are almost unheard of, Azaro Dhaba is not only challenging the ‘norm’, but they are also changing the way we think of the much-loved ‘curry house’.

Head chef Kirti Patel and husband Az, who attentively sees to the patrons, followed their life-long dream of setting up a restaurant that represented them and offered proper Indian food and culture with a contemporary, Dhaba-street food twist.

Azaro Dhaba offers proper regional, locally sourced, desi-food that is carefully selected for a truly authentic, Indian experience with a gastro-meets-contemporary vibe. They also cater to everyone’s needs, whether you’re dairy-free, gluten-free or vegan.

Greeted by Az, we were shown to our table, and given a drinks menu – get a cocktail they are amazing – I had a Mangollini. Az is a great host, you feel like you are in his house, he talks to you as if he has known you forever and is filled with so much knowledge (he would be really good on your pub quiz team). The more you talk to him, the more you hear how passionate he is about his culture, the food they serve and the history behind Indian food.

We started our meal with poppadums and 6 amazing chutneys, all made on-site at the restaurant. They were all fantastic. These were accompanied by Chevra (Indian street snack) and Far Far (like Indian crisps). We also had some sneaky gluten free onion bhajis - these are my new favourite thing! I could just eat these all day and be happy.

For main, I chose the Meat Thali, which is a mixture of several traditional Indian and desi dishes. Although there was a lot on my plate, it wasn’t overwhelming, the dishes were incredible, most notably Dadi-Ma’s dhal makhani was divine – I am not a big lentil eater, but I could not get enough.

Joe went for their Award winning Hyderabadi Biryani which is cooked covered with parda (bread) to lock in all the flavours and fragrances. He was defeated by the dish, but found it delicious and would order it again.

Since going to Azaro’s, I completed Whole30 and as a result, will be cutting down on gluten and dairy – so I see myself making a few return visits!

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