I had great fun writing one of these at Christmas, so I thought I’d put together a cheeky little list of things I’m currently coveting.

Maria Tash earrings

Olympus Pen

Still lusting after one of these and looking forward to being able to up my photography game – and start vlogging too. Eek!

Pearl & Queenie ring

Pearl & Queenie is actually an independent brand, based in Hastings (where I’m from originally). I absolutely adore this fox ring.

Olivia Burton watch

Another tattoo

I already know what I want, so watch this space!

Electric piano (and lessons!)

Some of you may know that I already play the keyboard, and have done since I was 10. I fancy a slight change though, so I plan to sell my keyboard and get an actual piano. I already have a lot of the skills I’d need, but I’d love to take lessons and get really good.

Plus, I think a piano would look really nice in our dining room. I’m not set on any particular make or model, so if anyone has any recommendations, let me know!

Also, if you’re looking to buy a keyboard, mine’s a Yamaha PSR 1000, complete with adjustable stand, carry case, switch pedal and volume pedal.

I tried The Croft for the first time a few weeks ago and I’ve been hooked ever since. They have a lovely menu full of vibrant salads, wraps and the most incredible cakes.

They also make fantastic coffee and wonderful smoothies. As soon as Bournemouth was treated to its first rays of sunshine, I cooled off with a lovely watermelon, strawberry and apple smoothie.

Smoothie

My two favourites, the sweet potato and beetroot salads, are both bursting with colour and flavour (though of course I had to add a cheeky bit of halloumi to mine).

Sweet potato salad

Beetroot salad

If you’re feeling more in the mood for some carbs, their fries are absolutely divine! My absolute favourite thing from there though, has to be the chocolate orange gluten-free polenta cake. It’s moist, it’s sumptuous, it’s moreish – all those unsettling words that for some reason actually sound alright when you’re talking about cake.

Cake

Their menu is packed full of tasty, healthy options (and a couple of indulgent treats as well!) – I highly recommend. It’s probably a good thing I don’t work round the corner from them anymore, if only for the sake of my bank account!

Takeout box

 

I’ve never really enjoyed having any sort of facial treatment. Having always struggled with problem skin, facials have often felt clinical rather than luxurious. I’ve never looked in the mirror afterwards and thought my skin looked radiant, or felt like the facialist has taken the time to understand my skin and tailor the treatment to tackle my problem areas.

So when I was offered the chance to have a skin scan and bespoke facial at HI Therapies, I was definitely intrigued.

The reception area

Make up display

The salon, based on Charminster Road, was lovely and airy, and I felt instantly welcomed.

When I went into the treatment room I was greeted by Shelley, the Environ consultant, who asked me questions about my current skin care, as well as any concerns I had. Then it was scan time, and I had stick my face into this rather terrifying looking machine!

Skin scanning machine
It was obviously fine – I just had to close my eyes while it took a few snaps of my skin. I went through the results afterwards with Shelley, which I found really interesting.

The scan revealed areas of oil, bacteria and UV damage. Warning: super sexy photos below!

Using these results, Shelley talked me through the products she was going to use for my mini facial, and drew up a personalised skin care regimen. She was really knowledgeable and answered all my questions. She too struggled with acne when she was younger, so it was nice to swap stories and hear her experiences. Also, her skin looked incredible, so she was definitely a glowing advertisement for her products.

The facial itself was really relaxing, and left my skin feeling tingly and refreshed.

Facial

Shelley used sound waves to help the products penetrate deeper into the skin.

Verdict: The whole experience was really enjoyable and felt much more personalised than treatments I’ve had in the past. Afterwards my skin felt moisturised but not oily and, the following day, my blemishes were less angry looking. I would definitely consider having similar treatments in the future, and trying out some of the products Shelley recommended.

You can book a treatment at HI Therapies here.

Find out more about Environ here.

Apologies for the slightly clickbait-y title, but I honestly can’t oversell how amazing this product is (or the amount of joy it’s brought us).

I’m talking, of course, about catnip bubbles.

Now I’m known for buying ridiculous things for my cats – bandanas and Easter eggs, just to name a couple – so naturally, when I found these in the pet shop I couldn’t resist.

Plum isn’t too fussed about Catnip Bubble Time (as it’s come to be known in our house), but Marty? Well, it might just be his favourite time of day. Aside from 5am (yowling at the bedroom door o’clock) and anytime there’s food, that is.

He was a little wary at first…

Marty sniffing the bubbles

I cannot cope with his little face here!!

Sniffing a bubble

Marty reaching for bubble

Plum and Marty looking up at bubbles

Marty checking out the bubbles

But then…LOOK AT HIS FACE.

Marty inspecting a bubble

PURE JOY.

Close up of Marty

GO MARTY, GO!
Marty jumping for bubbles

Marty catching bubbles

Marty catching bubbles

MY HEART.

You can buy the key to pure, unadulterated cat joy here.

If you’ve read any of my other food related posts, you probably already know that I’m a massive fan of the Urban Guild group of restaurants. In fact, two of them get a mention in my guide to the best places to eat in Bournemouth, and I was lucky enough to take a pizza making class at Urban Reef last year. Spoiler alert – I was very bad at it!

Naturally, I was thrilled when I was invited to review the menu at Urban Beach. Dave and I popped along and had ourselves a lovely date night. We started out with some cocktails (I can highly recommend the French Martini), before ordering our three sumptuous main courses.

French Martini

Starters were a tomato and asparagus salad for me, and some delicious crab for Dave.

Tomato and asparagus salad
The salad was vibrant, fresh and bursting with flavour.

Crab meat starter
I must admit, I was very jealous of Dave’s crab. It had a wonderful fresh, delicate flavour that was perfectly complemented by a lovely rich sauce.

The only thing that left me slightly disappointed was the lack of choice for vegetarians. On the specials menu there was no vegetarian starter at all. Even on the main menu, my options were fairly limited. Luckily I eat fish, which gave me a bit more variety.

EDIT: It’s been brought to my attention that there is actually a separate veggie and vegan menu. I guess this means I’ll be going back there soon! All in the name of research, of course…

Onto the mains. I had the sea trout in lobster sauce, while Dave had the Beef Wellington.

Sea trout

My mouth is watering just thinking about this dish. The fish was moist (a tiny bit more rare than I’d usually have, but lovely nonetheless) and melt-in-the-mouth, while the black rice and lobster sauce rounded out the textures and flavours perfectly.

Beef Wellington

I didn’t try Dave’s, but the beef looked like it was cooked perfectly and the whole lot disappeared pretty quickly, so it’s probably safe to say it was a winner.

Even though we were both very full by this point, we somehow managed to squeeze in some dessert (I know, what a hardship!).

Dessert ended up being my favourite part of the meal. I ordered sticky toffee pudding, which is not normally something I would go for, but it sounded too delicious to pass up.

Let me tell you, it was absolutely incredible. And the toffee sauce? I wouldn’t mind taking a bath in that stuff. Honestly, I could drink it as a beverage. I shouldn’t, but I definitely could.

Sticky toffee pudding

Chocolate fondant

Dave had the chocolate fondant, which tasted as amazing as it looked. Seriously though, that plating!! Gordon Ramsay would approve, for sure.

Verdict: As always, Urban Beach did not disappoint. The atmosphere and service were both excellent, and the food was divine. I would have liked to see a bit more choice for vegetarians, but quite honestly, with a sticky toffee pudding that good, they could offer a bowl of gruel as the veggie option and I probably wouldn’t care.

Book here.

Places to eat in Bournemouth