Monday

Summer Wine

Waitrose Taste of Summer by What Laura did Next
Brighton (more towards Hove) beach is one of my favourite places in the world. I've spent pretty much all my summers hanging out and swimming in the sea with friends. As the years have gone by I've moved even closer to the beach, which means packing up a lunch or dinner picnic and heading to my favourite pebbly spot with my loved ones has become a regular occurrence. Even our Boxing Day involves a breakfast picnic on the beach - we just add a few more layers!

We had a few bottles ordered from Waitrose Cellar and, as soon as the sun came out one day last week (I sit here typing this as it pours down for the 100th time of the week) we decided to pack up a picnic of delicious foods from Waitrose, and head down to the beach.
Waitrose Taste of Summer by What Laura did Next
One of my favourite English sparkling wines is the Ridgeview Fitzrovia Rosé. Produced here in the UK - literally just up the road from Brighton it is delicious and really gives the big guns some competition.

We always have a couple of extra guests/gatecrashers try and join our picnic, the cheeky scamps.
Waitrose Taste of Summer by What Laura did Next
Fingers crossed for some more sunny days before I have to pack the picnic hamper away!
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Wednesday

Back Soon.....

If you follow me on Twitter, you'll know I've had an absolute nightmare with my blog over the last couple of weeks! Annoyingly, it was sort of my fault and ended up with me having to delete a couple of hundred (yes, that many) blog posts.

Now, because of this, you may have noticed I haven't posted for just over a week. The next few days are going to be a little quiet as well as I'm trying to focus on sorting through the posts I managed to salvage and, giving it a 'lick of paint' so to speak.

Whilst I'm sorting things out, you can take a peek some of the older posts I managed to save pretty quickly. Including these favourites of mine;
Hamburger Birthday Cake by What Laura did Next
Le Voyage de Courvoisier by What Laura did Next
Brighton City Guide: Eating by What Laura did Next
Bond by Kurt Geiger by What Laura did Next

Normal service will resume on August 31st which, isn't actually too far away come to think of it! Check out my Instagram and Twitter where I'll still be posting in the meantime. 

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Monday

Look Fantastic August Beauty Box

Lookfantastic August Beauty Box by What Laura did Next
Beauty boxes have been around for a while now and as per usual, I am a little late to the BB game. I've got to admit, I've recently cancelled the My Little Box subscription as I felt it was becoming a little...meh. So when Lookfantastic got in touch asking if they could send me their August beauty box, I thought I'd see what they had on offer.

Beauty boxes are a good way to try out products you may never have thought about trying before, and for the beauty-obsessed which, I'm fast falling into that category!

Let's take a peek
Lookfantastic August Beauty Box by What Laura did Next
1. 10 in 1 Miracle Spray by Beauty Works (50ml). This lightweight spray claims to deliver 10 different benefits to the hair. I've never heard of this brand before but, if it does what it says on the bottle, I may have found a new hair product winner! 

2. Eve Lom Cleanser and muslin cloth (200ml). My skin is a little temperamental and, ever since I hit 30 last month, I've been breaking out a lot - more than I have done over the last few years! I was excited to see this product in the box. I've heard ALOT of good things about it and, can't wait to try it out. Fingers crossed it helps my skin out.

3. Caviar CC Cream by Alterna (25ml). Another hair product which, also claims to have 10 different benefits and, is free from parabens and sulphates. This one is a leave-in product which, I'm not a huge fan of - I find this type of hair product doesn't ever agree with my hair so, I avoid them. 

4. Wake Me Up Wonder'full Mascara by Rimmel (full size). I am a massive YSL Babydoll fan and, have been since it came out. I very rarely wear any other mascara but, love to see what's out there. This one smells amazing (yes, I said it smells amazing) and, gives my very flat, stubborn lashes a little curl. This month’s Look Fantastic Beauty Box will all contain a full size Rimmel item, but there are four products which will vary from box to box. 

5. Queen of Hungary Mist by Omorovicza (1.8ml sample). I've never heard of this brand but, it smells divine. This is a little sample so, perfect for chucking in your handbag for on the go. It refreshes the skin and claims to be a perfect post-cleanse toner, leaving the skin firmer, suppler and younger-looking.

6. Shimmer Powder by Bellapierre (full size). Again, a beauty brand I've never heard of. This product is a loose powder, and I'll be using as a highlighter rather than all over as it's quite shimmery. 

I'm already a huge fan of Lookfantastic - they always have great offers on top beauty brands - I recently went a little crazy as they had bareMinerals on offer! The Lookfantastic Beauty Box is £15 per month and unlike other beauty box brands, you purchase boxes whenever you choose without a rolling contract. Lookfantastic offer a 3, 6 or 12 month subscription to this beauty box as well. 

Overall, I was impressed with the contents and, I'm already feeling the temptation to order their September box - I've heard it's going to be a good one as they will be celebrating their 1st birthday of their beauty box. Expect some treats! 
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Wednesday

My new hair BFF's

Recently, I've been introduced to two new hair products that have fast become part of my daily hair routine. Schwarzkopf got2b Beach Matt Texturizing Salt Spray gives you instant mermaid-like waves - just spritz on to damp or dry hair, scrunch and away you go. Perfect for anyone that wants that effortless curl and, it gives a little volume as well. For the girl who has fine, flat hair and struggles to find products that give a little 'jush' this product is a delight.

The Wet Brush may just be better than the Tangle Teezer. Serious. I can't say enough good things about it. It glides through tangles easily, with hardly any hair falling out. Stocked on Cult Beauty and I swear I saw it in the Beauty hall in Selfridges, this tangle-busting brush is a must have for anyone.

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Monday

Kate Spade Diary 2016

Kate Spade 2013 Agenda by What Laura did Next
I love a good piece of stationary, and will quite happily spend lots of time browsing in my favourite stationary departments and stores (Liberty, Muji, Paperchase and Selfridges are my personal favs). Recently I have a new-found love for online stationary shop, Quill after meeting the owner Lucy at a show I work on in my 9-5 job (more info on that here). We both share a love for all things stationary and got talking about Kate Spade and Rifle Paper Co's gorgeous designs. 

I was sad to miss out on the Kate Spade agenda's for 2015 so, when Quill got in touch to say they had just placed an order for the 2016 agenda's, I grabbed the bank card and pre-ordered one.
Kate Spade 2013 Agenda by What Laura did Next
You may think I'm a little ahead of myself by already purchasing a 2016 diary however, this is a 17-month one and started this month, going all the way through until December 2016. 

With agenda's and notepads being a bloggers BFF, this one is perfect for keeping stylishly organised. It has a few little helpful sections and, is covered in polka dots. Plus, it's the perfect fit for your bag so you can carry it round with you. 
Kate Spade 2013 Agenda by What Laura did Next
Word on the street is that Quill only have a few left, and won't be getting any more back in stock (they've already sold out of the other design) so, if you fancy one head to their website quick! 

Whilst you're at it, check out all the other gorgeous bits and bobs they sell....it's a stationary geeks dream!
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Friday

Little Blue Smokehouse, Brighton

I haven't done a food review on here for a long time. But, it would be rude not to share this meat feast with you. 

I'd make a meat pun, but I'd probably butcher it.

No?

At least it wasn't a sausage joke. They're the wurst.

Sorry, I'm pretty terrible when it comes to puns.

The Seven Stars is right in the middle of Brighton, and is a great place to pop in to if you're in need of an escape from the hustle and bustle of the city. The decor may seem a little on the 'hipster' side, with murals on the wall, caged seating areas and exposed brickwork but, it's a great place and the staff are very friendly and know their stuff. Plus anywhere that plays old school rnb, funk and hip hop gets my vote.
The Seven Stars, Brighton by What Laura did Next
The Seven Stars, Brighton by What Laura did Next
Like most new pubs in Brighton, there’s a craft beer menu which didn't appeal to me but, did to my date. I went straight for the cocktail menu - the team behind the pub have infused Sipsmith gin with various flavours themselves.

But, the main reason why I popped by was to the check out the food. 

This is the place to go if you like all the meat. 

The kitchen is run by the guys behind The Little Blue Smokehouse. Their love for Southern-style, slow-cooked, BBQ food was initially a hobby but just over 2 years ago they decided to give Brighton's first street food market, Street Diner a shot. The queues at their stall every Friday were always the longest, and then last month they took over the kitchen at The Seven Stars. 

A match made in food and drink heaven in my opinion. 
Little Blue Smokehouse, Brighton by What Laura did Next
We may have over-ordered, but when everything on the menu sounds delicious (take a look at the menu here) - from small plates perfect for sharing, to dishes that are perfect for a hangover, and a whole section offering a lot of fries in different guises, they've got your back.
Little Blue Smokehouse, Brighton by What Laura did Next
Little Blue Smokehouse, Brighton by What Laura did Next
To start, we went for the Mac n Cheese bites with bacon Jam and ranch dressing, Smoked Pigs Head Fritters with piccalilli, which I was a little dubious in ordering, as I'd seen the actual pigs head on their Facebook page the morning before my visit (not for the fainthearted!) and the standout for me, the Korean Chicken Wings which had just the right amount of heat in the sauce and didn't leave you with no tastebuds left and chugging water for ages after. 
Little Blue Smokehouse, Brighton by What Laura did Next
Little Blue Smokehouse, Brighton by What Laura did Next
We both ordered a 'main' which I feel was a little adventurous but, we powered through it -I had the Chargrilled Smoked Belly ribs and honestly, if it hadn't been for all the other dishes we ordered, I could've eaten more than the one that was brought out - tender on the inside and crisp on the outside. So, darn good. My date had the Brisket which, he liked but ended up leaving the bread it was sandwiched between to one side as it felt a little too heavy. Both came with homemade Slaw and pickles, which were a perfect accompaniment to the dishes.
Little Blue Smokehouse, Brighton by What Laura did Next
Little Blue Smokehouse, Brighton by What Laura did Next
The Kimchi cheese fries are definitely worth a shout - a perfect 'snack' if you don't fancy tucking in to the full menu and I can only imagine, a great hangover cure as well - they're also the manager's favourite dish and she's tried the whole menu! 

I loved the smoked ham hock greens and, will be making my own version of those at home. The flavours were great and they weren't stingy on the meat either.

I finished with (another) Sipsmith cocktail. The Rhub my tini is a concoction of rhubarb and vanilla infused gin, apple juice, lemon and sugar finished off with a shortbread rim (anything featuring shortbread gets my vote every time). I could've drank a bucket of these - not too sweet and sickly and a perfect drink to finish off with. 
Little Blue Smokehouse, Brighton by What Laura did Next
All in all, the food was brilliant and the portions very generous. Prices start from around the £3 mark (small plates), and rise to £12.95. It's a great place to go for lunch or dinner - food service times are: Monday – Saturday 12-10pm and Sundays until 9pm.

I'm already planning my next assault on the menu, and will be dragging my little brother along when he next comes down from London. I just better remember to wear an elasticated waistband next time - walking all the way back to Hove with the top button of my jeans undone was a little inappropriate, but totally worth it. 

The Little Blue Smokehouse and Seven Stars pub can be found at: 27 Ship Street, Brighton, East Sussex, BN1 1AD

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Wednesday

ASOS x ELLE UK

We all know by now, that I love a wish list. Who doesn't? 

Like most ladies, I'm a huge fan of ASOS. I've been a fan since back in the day when they were known as 'As Seen On Screen' and were a much smaller website, stocking only a handful of brands. I've watched them grow over the years into an uber brand, pushing boundries and dressing the fashion-savvy ladies and gents across (most) of the world. Plus, their 'Premier' package they offer is just genius - unlimited next day delivery for under a tenner, for a whole year straight to your door, with free collection as well? Yes please! 
ASOS x ELLE UK by What Laura did Next
For the first time ever, the lovely team at ELLE Magazine (UK) have partnered up with ASOS to give their readers 20% off - grab their September issue from tomorrow, 6th August. Whilst you wait for the magazine to arrive in to your local newsagents, have a gander at what's already in my shopping bag.
ASOS x ELLE UK by What Laura did Next
ELLE UK is out from 6th August. Grab it quick, as this issue is going to go fast! 
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Sunday

St Tropez In-Shower Gradual Tan

St.Tropez Gradual Tan Shower by What Laura did Next
A gradual tanner that you slap on in the shower and then rinse off three minutes later AND it develops over the next few hours? Too good to be true I thought but, I obviously had to pick up a tube of it when it was released last month in Boots and have a little try.

Now, when it comes to fake tan I fail majorly when applying the stuff. I end up looking like I've been tangoed and don't get me started on the streaks. I very rarely use it as I just find it to be a faff and, then I usually end up wearing jeans until the streaks fade. 

But now, this product may change all that.

Application: Is a doddle. Cleanse skin as normal in the shower, and then switch water off, apply St.Tropez In Shower Gradual Tan all over (no the face though) in circular motions - think of it as though you're applying moisturiser. The formula is thick and creamy so it doesn't budge when you're slapping it on plus, it rinses off quickly as well. 

The good bits: It does exactly what it says on the tube - no streaking which for me, was the biggest drawer to the product and perfect for newbie self-tanners out there. Just remember to give it a few hours after you've rinsed off to see a difference.

The not-so-good bits: Like other fake tanning products, this does smell a bit 'biscuity' and I did find after a few applications, I could smell it on my skin. Also, three minutes may not be that long but, when you're naked, standing in the shower with no hot water running waiting for it to develop, it will seem like a loooong time! 

Overall, this product is definetly a tanning winner for me. It's easy to use for those that are rubbish at applying fake tan and, it does leave you with a lovely Summer glow after a few applications. I would say it's perfect for if you already have a tan (lucky you) and just want a little top up. 
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