Five Books To Add To Your Reading List

7 July 2020


From the beginning of lockdown I've been on furlough (not the best time to be working in travel!), and whilst the boredom has been too much for me on many occasions, it has given me plenty of time to make a start on my reading pile...which has been piling up for months. I found most of these books from other blogs and through Instagram, so I thought I'd share what I've been reading lately and what I thought in case you're looking for your next gripping read!

Three Women - Lisa Taddeo

I'd seen this book all over social media and finally picked it up after seeing Kate La Vie recommend it, and whilst I found it quite hard to get into initially, I'm so glad I did. This book tells the story of you guessed it, three women. At first I found the writing style a little hard to get into, and it took me a few chapters to really get to know the characters, but once I did I was hooked. The book explores many topics relevant to a lot of women's lives in a really raw and honest way, and although the characters stories are anything but ordinary, you can really catch yourself resonating with the emotions they share. 

I See You - Clare Mackintosh

This book was recommended to me by a colleague and I think I must have read it in a few days, which is unusual for me, but I was hooked. Thrillers aren't usually my thing, but this one really hit close to home (as it's set in London, on the tube mostly), I still think about this book whenever I'm on the tube and somebody is staring a little too long - which although creepy, is definitely the sign of a good book. 

This Is Going To Hurt - Adam Kay

This book has been doing the rounds for a while now and I must be the last person to have read it, but it really is worth a read. It tells the tale of a Junior Doctor in a humorous way whilst also getting the point across that the NHS is extremely stretched. I always knew that the NHS were struggling with the long hours and pitiful pay, but as I've never really needed to visit the hospital (luckily) or known anyone who works for the NHS, I've never really known the full extent of how bad it is...which I recognise is very privileged of me. Definitely a good read if you want a laugh while also learning a little bit along the way, although if like me, you're already terrified of child birth, this one might terrify you even further. 

Everything I Know About Love - Dolly Alderton

If you grew up in the MSN era like I did, then you need to read this book. Dolly's memoir will take you through the highs and lows of life, friendship and love and really make you feel - I laughed and cried at this book and that's not too common for me. I've also read it twice, again, not common for me. 

Our Women On The Ground - Zahra Hankir

In this book, nineteen Arab women share their experiences of what it's like reporting from scenes of conflict their homelands, as a woman. It's understandably quite a heavy read but one well worth reading, and so very eye opening. Definitely something to read if you really want to get your teeth stuck into a good book and possibly change your perceptions. 

xo Becky

A Step by Step Guide To Making Gnocchi At Home

15 May 2020


As we're currently not allowed to visit our favourite restaurants, I've been making an effort to cook 'restaurant style' meals at home, and using this extra time to make everything from scratch. I have some cook books published by my favourite restaurants {This one from Polpo and this one from Dishoom are my faves!} and they've been great for recreating the restaurant experience at home, but I've also been learning how to make some of the ingredients from scratch instead of just purchasing them in a bag {yes I am the typical millennial in lockdown caring for my Sourdough starter 😅}. I posted this 'how to' on my Instagram Stories the other day and the response was so great that I thought I'd also pop it up on here for future reference!

To make gnocchi, you simply need 500g potatoes with the skins on, 130g 00 flour although I'm sure plain flour also works, and 1 egg...so it's a great recipe to make when you have limited supplies.


The first thing you'll need to do is boil your 500g of potatoes (any kind work) until they're just cooked, they should be soft all the way through. Then drain the water and leave the potatoes to cool, when they're cool enough to handle peel off the skin and leave to cool completely. Cooking the potatoes with their skins on mean that they keep more of their flavour which will make your gnocchi even more delicious! 


Once your potatoes are cooled, you want to grate them and make a 'well' in your mixing bowl. Then crack your egg into the well and mix together until you have a wet mixture. 


Add your 00 pasta flour to the mixture and knead until you have a dough, you may need more than 130g if your dough is particularly wet, as it should be dry enough to not stick to a surface. 



Once you have your dough formed, place the ball onto a floured surface and cut into quarters. Roll out each quarter into a sausage shape using your hands. The sausage should be around 1cm in diameter and then cut into 1cm pieces that look like little parcels. 


To add grooves to your gnocchi, roll each piece along a butter curler {if you don't have one of these then a fork also works!}. Adding grooves means that the gnocchi will hold the sauce better and be more flavoursome. 


When your gnocchi looks like this, it's ready to be cooked! Bring a pan of salted water to the boil and pop your gnocchi into the pan. When the gnocchi floats, it means its cooked and is ready to be transferred to your sauce! My favourite sauce recipe for this is tomato and mascarpone, topped with shavings of pecorino cheese...I'll also pop my sauce recipe below for anyone interested.

To make the tomato and mascarpone sauce you'll need 1 can tinned tomatoes, 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar and 250ml vegetable stock, 1 teaspoon dried basil {or fresh if you have it} and 150g mascarpone cheese. Simply put all of the ingredients into a pan apart from the mascarpone, bring to the boil and simmer for 15 mins, then stir in the mascarpone until it's melted and you're good to go!

I hope you liked this recipe and the step by step photos were helpful! Please do let me know in the comments if you've tried this yourself or if you'd like to see more recipes on here! 

xo Becky


Lockdown Beauty Favourites


It's safe to say my lockdown beauty regime has been a little different to normal. Before the country went into lockdown I came to my parents house so I could make use of the outside space and of course, the dogs company! However, I {perhaps naively} didn't realise that I'd be here for 10+ weeks so I've been a little low on skincare and have had to purchase a few bits and bobs. Today I thought I'd share the bits that have really stood out for me while I've been trying to combat a number of new skin and hair issues that the lockdown lifestyle has thrown at me...there won't be any makeup today as honestly, I've only been wearing it once a week for a trip to the supermarket {otherwise known as the social event of the season 😝}. 

Darphin 8-flower Oil Cream Moisturiser - Here. 

When I first came home my skin was horrendously dry, something I've never really had to deal with being an oily skinned girl for my entire life, so I actually pinched this one from my Mum who thought it might help. The cream is quite thick in texture so I mix a little in with some facial oil {at the moment I'm using the Kiehl's Midnight Recovery Oil} to make it apply a little easier and to also make the cream last longer as it's quite pricey for someone who can't work right now! This was a game changer for me though, instead of waking up in the morning with skin so dry it was sore, it was plump and felt fresh, so I've been using it a few times a week for the whole of lockdown.

Olaplex Hair Perfector No3 - Here.

I've had Olaplex in my haircare stash for a while now, but being the lazy person that I am, I rarely used it because it meant I had to leave it on for 20 mins before a shower and I was always busy doing something. So I've been using all of my free time to take a little better care of my hair. I gave my hair a little DIY chop and cut about 4 inches of dead ends off and have been religiously using Olaplex to get it into the best condition I can. Instead of the 20 mins I used to leave it on for, I've been leaving it on all day and washing it off in the evening, and my hair is definitely thanking me for it - it's so much healthier and thicker now and hopefully it will continue on in that way as it grows!

Antipodes Aura Mask - Here.

Like I said, when I first came home my skin broke out in the worst break out I've had in years, it was sore, red and just all around annoying. I have so many masks at home which I know would have banished it but I didn't want to purchase something I knew I already owned, so after a few recommendations I decided to try the Aura mask from Antipodes and I've been pleasantly surprised. The Aura mask contains Manuka Honey which is known for its blemish fighting properties and also hydrates your skin at the same time, so it was perfect for my spotty, dry skin. It also has a really calming scent so its perfect for a lockdown pamper evening!

Jo Malone Vitamin E Hand Cream - Here.

With all of the extra hand washing, my hands have been so sore and sometimes cracked which was obviously quite painful. To combat this I've been road testing a few hand creams and the Jo Malone Vitamin E Cream has been the best out of them all. It's thick so its perfect for really dry hands, and its not heavily scented so it won't interfere with your perfume. My hands are now lovely and soft and really that's all you can ask for with all of this hand washing! It is quite expensive {as with everything from Jo Malone} but the cream, although thick, spreads really well on your hands so you only need a tiny bit meaning the tube lasts a very long time. 

xo Becky

Bakery Style Chocolate Chip Muffins

31 March 2020


As I've been spending a lot of time isolating at home recently (I'm sure when I read this post back in a few years that will seem like an odd statement to make!), at a loss for things to do to distract myself from everything thats going on, I've been spending more and more time in the kitchen - particularly baking! I posted these muffins on my Instagram and had several requests for the recipe, so you're obviously all keen bakers too! So today I thought I'd share with you my favourite chocolate chip muffin recipe, for those bakery-style muffins, perfect for if you're missing your trips to your local coffee shop for coffee and cake 🍰. Apologies in advance for the shoddy picture quality, I'm isolating at my parents and didn't think to bring my camera with me! 

Ingredients:

310g plain flour 
1 tbsp baking powder
1tsp bicarbonate of soda 
1/2 tsp salt 
114g melted unsalted butter 
200g granulated sugar 
2 large eggs 
250ml buttermilk (if you don't have buttermilk, grab some regular milk with a little lemon juice and leave it for 20 mins)
1tbsp vanilla extract 
275g chocolate chips (or whatever you want in your muffins, blueberries are my second favourite!)


Method:

1. Before you get started, pre-hear your oven to 200℃ and line a muffin tin with 12 large muffin cases (this recipe makes 12 large muffins, if you only have small cases you'll need more than 12). 

2. In a bowl, mix together the flour, baking powder, bicarbonate of soda, salt and chocolate chips and place to one side. 

3. In another bowl, whisk together the eggs, melted butter, buttermilk and vanilla until combined. 

4. Slowly add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients and fold together, try not to overmix here, this recipe works best when the ingredients are just combined. 

5. Spoon the mixture into your 12 muffin cases and bake at 200℃ for 5 mins, then reduce the temperature to 180℃ and bake for a further 12-15 mins. When the muffins are done the tops should be golden brown, and you should be able to pop a toothpick into the centre and have it come out clean. 

6. Leave the muffins to cool for 20 mins and enjoy! 

I hope you enjoyed this recipe, I'd love to know if you made these yourselves or if you'd like me to share any other recipes that I've been baking at home! 

xo Becky


Mini Post: Brunch at Chiltern Firehouse, London

30 January 2020



Hello hello! Today I'm coming at you with a little 'mini post'...not my normal style because in all honesty, I never really learnt when to shut up so I could waffle on forever. However, I don't think every post needs to be a lengthy one, and today I just wanted to share where I had breakfast...a little inspo for anyone wanting a lovely brunch in London!

So today I headed into town for a little breakfast meeting and the location couldn't have been any more perfect. Located just a stone's throw away from Bond Street in the heart of Mayfair, Chiltern Firehouse was a lovely escape from the London drizzle {that seems to be never ending at the moment!}. The restaurant is so pretty...nothing too in your face but the crockery and the little touches like these super cute sausage dog salt and pepper shakers made everything look so put together and 'instagrammable' if that's what you're looking for. 

I went for the pancakes as it seems to be what everyone was having and I had major food envy while I was deciding what to pick, but I was torn between the pancakes and the truffled eggs on toast {I'm a sucker for anything truffle}. The pancakes were delicious and came with a little tray complete with different toppings...so naturally, I added all of them 😅. 

If you're looking for a cosy brunch spot in London, I'd really recommend Chiltern Firehouse...and in the summer definitely go for a lunch in their garden. Unfortunately it was too drizzly to sit out there for me, but I'll definitely be back in summer! Not the cheapest place {where in London is?!} but definitely one for a little treat! 

xo Becky 

My Best Beauty Discoveries of 2019 - Skincare

12 January 2020


Every year around this time I say to myself 'this is the year I'll start blogging properly again', and every year without fail...I completely fail. Shockingly, this year is no different {new year, not so new me} and the other day when I was pondering which hobbies I could take up to fill my time, I thought why not fall in love with one I already have again? So here I am, putting it out to the world that I'll start to show this little blog some love, in the hope that it'll hold me a little more accountable. 

That being said, I'm not entirely sure what I'm going to blog about yet {probably a little bit of everything!}, so for the time being I'm going to stick to what I know and share all of my favourite beauty products from the past year. I figured this would be quite a lengthy post so I've split it into three hopefully bitesize chunks and today I'm starting with skincare. 

I work for quite a large beauty retailer and one of the perks of the job is that I get to test out a lot of different skincare products, however this year I felt myself {and my skin} getting a little overwhelmed with all of the chopping and changing - my skin was dull, breaking out every other day and over sensitive - so this past year I've really made an effort to stick to a skincare routine, and only use products I know work for me and that I really really love. I'm sure it comes as no surprise that this has worked wonders for my skin, it's clearer than it's ever been {apart from a few hormonal spots but what can you do about them?!}, a little more predictable and generally a lot happier. So without further ado...


Omorovicza is a brand I only discovered in 2019, and they've quickly become one of my favourite brands, however there are two products which have really stood out for me {the Moor Mud Mask almost made it into this list too}. One of them is the Balancing Moisturiser, and I'd probably go as far as to say it's my favourite beauty discovery of 2019 {or ever!}. My skin is dehydrated and oily, prone to breakouts and generally just really difficult, which makes it really hard to find a decent moisturiser. A lot of moisturisers that are designed to combat dehydrated skin are too heavy and leave me with sticky, spotty skin and a lot that are designed for breakouts completely strip my skin. The Omorovicza Balancing Mosituriser is the perfect combination of the two, its light enough that it just sinks straight into the skin, it doesn't irritate my sensitive skin, and I've never been so breakout free in my life! When I ran out earlier in the year I really noticed a difference in my skin and I've not been without it since. It's a little on the pricey side but worth every penny in my opinion if you've got troubled skin. 


Another Omorovicza favourite of mine for my troublesome skin is the Silver Skin Saviour. Silver has antibacterial properties and the salicylic and glycol acids in this mask help to unclog pores, so if you're acne prone like me then I'm telling you now, you need this in your life. It is quite strong though, so now my skin isn't so terrible I only use this every other week to keep it clear, and it's also quite expensive so I don't want to get through it too quickly! I've also heard rumours that Omorovicza will be adding to the Silver Skin range so I'll definitely be picking up some bits to test out!

Drunk Elephant Retinol Cream

The Drunk Elephant Retinol Cream was a fairly recent discovery for me, I'd never tried the brand before so it was an impulse buy while I was in the states {I can always guarantee this will happen as soon as I step foot inside a Sephora}, but I'm so glad I did. I'd been trying to add retinol into my skincare routine for a while as this past year I've been noticing my skin ageing slightly, but all of the creams and capsules I tried either broke me out or were a little too strong for my skin, leaving it red and sensitive. The Drunk Elephant Retinol Cream combines 1% vegan retinol with fatty acids which help to calm the skin, so I've been getting all of the benefits of retinol without the over sensitivity that comes with using such a strong ingredient on your skin - definitely one to think about adding to your routine if you're looking to start using retinol!



Charlotte Tilbury Magic Eye Cream

For ages now I've struggled to find the right eye cream...as my skin is quite young still, a lot of the thicker 'anti-ageing' eye creams tend to be too much for my skin, leave me with tiny little spots around my eyes and just don't feel great on the skin. The Charlotte Tilbury Magic Eye Cream is a game changer though, it's creamy enough to feel soothing on the eyes, but not so thick that it feels like it's dragging across the delicate skin in your eye area, and helps to keep my puffiness at bay! 

Sunday Riley Good Genes

Another thing I picked up when I was in America this summer was the Sunday Riley Good Genes serum. I'd heard great things about the brand, and I'd also heard that the american version of this product was better than the UK version as it used lactic acid instead of glycolic acid. Designed to deeply exfoliate the skin and add more radiance to your skin, I've been nothing but impressed by this treatment. I don't use it very often because its quite pricey and I know I won't be able to replace it when it runs out, but whenever I do use it, I always wake up with brighter skin and all of those little texture spots that plague my face are visibly reduced.

Kiehl's The Skin Rescuer

Earlier in the year when I ran out of my beloved Balancing Moisturiser {which was sold out everywhere - nightmare} I rushed down to the Kiehl's counter to find an alternative, as they used to be my go-to skincare brand for pretty much everything. The lovely lady who served me recommended the Skin Rescuer and I loved it so much I ended up going back and buying another bottle. It essentially works to reduce the signs of stress on the skin such as dehydration and redness/blotchiness - both of with I had in abundance at the time. What I loved was that it was super light so perfect for my oily skin and left my skin feeling fresh and looking clear..essentially everything I want from my moisturiser. It's a great alternative to the Omorovicza Balancing Moisturiser too if you're not looking to spend that much on your moisturiser.

xo Becky 

Latest Instagrams

© Sail Away. Design by FCD.