Ciao, welcome back to my blog!
I hope you are all well and feeling the Autumn vibes coming your way!
August is gone and so is the summer, at least here in the UK but don't let the nostalgia of the heatwaves get in the way and ruin your present.
To cheer you up I am here with my usual end of the month favourites.
For those that are new, I am basically listing what I purchased, tried and loved in August.
This post may contain affiliate links, which means I may receive a commission, at no extra cost to you, if you purchase through a link. Please see my full disclosure for further information.
This time I will also add a small section about what I didn't like.
I am not a complainer, it's not my style but sometimes it feels necessary and now I am letting out a couple of things that were on my chest lately.
Beauty product of the month:
Estée Lauder Advanced Night Repair Synchronised Multi-Recovery Complex.
As the skincare junkie that I am, I couldn't miss the chance to try one of the most popular night serums right now.
I must say, I am impressed.
I didn't want to spend 60 quids on a single product so I have tried a sample first but let me tell you: it is really worth the money.
I am not into luxury brands at all but this is even better than my beloved Kiehl's midnight concentrate.
I have seen huge results from the first two applications and after a month, even better results. Overall my skin is supple, soft and most importantly much smoother and radiant.
I would highly recommend it if your skin is dry and sensitive like mine because it is very gentle, I had no irritation whatsoever and it also feels super lightweight. Bonus: it comes in a recyclable glass bottle.
- Multiple signs of ageing
- Visible age prevention
- Loss of firmness, tone
- Lines and wrinkles
- Dryness, dehydration
- Dullness, loss of radiance
- Uneven skin tone
Fashion item of the month:
Heart shape crochet bralette by Elena May.
From the heatwave days: that was the only thing I was wearing.
Comfortable and chic, it really was my favourite fashion item of the month.
I kept wearing it as a layering piece with a cute cardigan on top when the temperatures dropped as it is far more comfortable than my bras when nipping out of the house.
Song of the month:
Definitely some summery vibes here: the rhythm has the power to make me dance every single time. I have been listening to it non stop, especially during my workouts.
It's no surprise there's Dua Lipa, one of my favourite singers at the moment. She never fails to deliver great songs! Click on the image to listen
Tv series of the month:
Tv series featuring Orlando Bloom and Cara Delavigne as main characters.
I was super curious to watch it mainly for them to be fair. I haven't seen Orlando Bloom in a TV series before and I have always been a fan of Cara as a model and I really wanted to check how they would perform. Nothing sensational but I overall enjoyed it.
It is a good escapist plot, set in a sort of 19 century London's replica with the addition of fantasy elements to add a bit more interest to the whole thing.
I have heard about chia seeds a long time ago but I haven't tried them until this month. When I finally decided to give them a go, it was such a revelation!
No more sugar needed for my homemade jam and making healthy and yummy puddings is super easy and quick. They will be a must-have item in my pantry from now on!
Find the recipe here: https://www.femicate.com/single-post/chia-seeds-jam
After the heatwave the weather has been rainy and windy, I went out for coffee with a friend. I came home feeling a bit groggy so I have been drinking this powerful healing tea almost every day to reduce cold symptoms.
Its zesty and spicy taste is perfect to warm you up for the next season and to boost your immune system against flu.
If you'd like to check the recipe:
Home product of the month:
I made my first ever order from them as I really wanted to reduce further my plastic consumption. This was an easy and effortless swap from the old school detergent.
It is very practical as they just shipped the parcel directly to my place so I won't have to carry extra items when shopping now. That also means I can avoid big supermarkets even more than I used to and shop locally all the time which is great as I really want to support small businesses weekly.
I only managed to try the washing up liquid so far (I still have some of my old items to finish first) and I really liked it! The price was fair: 2.99£ for 1L of fragrance-free washing up liquid.
I chose the fragrance-free option as it is kinder on sensitive skin (I don't like to wear marigolds).
It is a powerful detergent and all my dishes were spotless clean without using too much product, which is absolutely brilliant.
I really like that the parcel is plastic-free and the fact that they included a return label so I can send back the pouch and they will refill it without delivery charges.
I am definitely going to be a regular customer from now on.
Place of the month:
This Japanese Teppanyaki restaurant is a must-have experience for an impressive date or special occasion.
The chef cooks in front of you at the Teppan grill while interacting with you.
My boyfriend booked for my birthday and I really enjoyed both the performance and the food.
The place is decorated in typical Japanese style while the lights were kept to a minimum to highlight the dazzling showmanship of the chef.
The show was great, the food cooked to perfection and the staff super kind and friendly in the most professional way.
They knew it was my birthday from the reservation and they made me feel special every second during the evening without being overwhelmed.
After the bill, the waiter also secretly asked Nic to wait before leaving and then the chef and the staff made us a surprise coming at the table with a slice of chocolate cake and strawberries singing Happy Birthday first in English and then in Japanese, which was very sweet.
I loved the fact that they looked genuinely happy and having fun with us and I really appreciated the kind gesture.
What I didn't like this month:
Eat out help out:
For August, the government here in the Uk decided to give a hand to the hospitality industry that was massively affected by the temporary closure during the lockdown.
Below are the rules as stated from www.gov.uk:
"Use the Eat Out to Help Out Scheme at a participating establishment:
to get a 50% discount on food or non-alcoholic drinks to eat or drink in (up to a maximum of £10 discount per diner)
every Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday between 3 and 31 August
as many times as you like
You do not need a voucher to use this scheme and you can use it at the same time as other offers and discounts. There is no minimum spend.
You cannot claim a discount on alcoholic drinks or service charges.
The discount will be automatically available to you at participating establishments.
Establishments will then claim a reimbursement from the government for the discount they’ve given you.
Participating establishments may include:
restaurants, cafés, bars or pubs
work and school canteens
All diners in a group of any size can use the discount."
There is a long list on the website that shows which restaurants and pubs taking part in it and all of my favourite places are there!
Sounds great! I was super excited about it.
But I soon find out that many of them were not adhering to the rules:
Some were giving only 10% or 20% off, which is crazy because the government will give them the money back so I honestly don't see the point.
Discounts are available for taking away food as well. I was about to make a Deliveroo order from my local sushi restaurant and found out that they literally doubled their prices to get the discounts from the government while making us pay the full price of the meal.
I am sure of it because I checked on my previous order list available on the website and confronted the prices. What an outrageous thing to do!
But there is more:
When calling a couple of places to make a reservation for my birthday dinner they were extremely rude.
The first restaurant I called replied to me that they were fully booked, without even offering a different date instead and hung the phone bluntly without even saying have a good day or something like that. Appalling.
I then decided on another restaurant and this time to book online instead to avoid problems. After I made the reservation I got an email which stated that the menu shown online was not available anymore and I could only order the menu a la carte. Fine.
I emailed them asking about the a la carte menu to check what's on it and they replied it was on their website, contradicting himself. Are you kidding me?!
I honestly didn't even bother to reply and I cancelled my reservation.
I am not going to mention their names but one thing I know for sure: they will never see my money thereafter their behaviour and their disgraceful customer service.
I then asked my friends and colleagues if I was the only unlucky person that couldn't take advantage of the scheme and I have heard terrible reviews from them as well, saying that now with the social distancing rules, restaurants were struggling to serve the customers on time and many people were left out queuing for a long time and treated very bluntly from the staff once at the table.
Overall, I think the rules were not clear at all and many establishments were cheating to make more money. I found the whole experience frustrating and disappointing to say the least.
I am aware that we are living in an unprecedented situation and that restaurants and pubs are desperate to get back on track and they are under a lot of pressure.
But so are the families that have been furloughed for months or that have lost their jobs.
Speaking of prices inflation:
Our internet provider, which is the biggest here in the UK, is regularly and conspicuously raising prices for their broadband.
Last year monthly charge: 30£ per month
This year: 50£.
I mean, seriously?!
This year has been difficult for many families and they are charging us 20 pounds more for the same basic service?
Every year rents, price tags, transports fees and so on are getting higher and higher but our salary is not following this trend.
All of my friends and previous work colleagues but one left the country this summer.
More and more people who came here to find a better job while enjoying the big city life are leaving London for good to come back to their motherland or other European cities where there is a better work-life balance, including proper British people because quoting one of them, "it is just not worth it anymore".
Is that the end of an era like the American dream?
Thank you for reading my post today, I hope you enjoyed it despite my little final outburst.