A beauty, lifestyle & photography blog.

Sunday, 17 March 2019

Zushi Restaurant, Banbury

It was a Tuesday, a very rainy Tuesday that my husband and I decided to try the Zushi restaurant in Banbury. It was to celebrate the regression of my HbA1 (diabetic blood glucose), the fact that we were child free for the day and mostly spend a bit of time together. I have to say its probably the first time we had a lunch together since we got married in January early this year. It s been a while that we wanted to try the Zushi restaurant, as we are both big Japanese food fanatic and the reviews being so good we had nothing to lose but try it.

As soon as we walked in I could straight away feel the Japanese vibe. A simple but chic atmosphere with over sized leather sit, bamboo light, stone decoration element, Japanese wall art and dark wood. A nice welcoming atmosphere without being to impressive or intimidating.
Being a lunch week date we decided  to just go for soft drink and order 2 starters to share and have them also served with our main course. Chris and I like to have all the food in one go especially when were are having Japanese or Chinese food. which is the Japanese dinning style having all the food serve in one go. having travel to Japan its a way of eating out that I really enjoy. And if the Japanese doing it so I will. We were actually offer if we wanted to have all the food serve at the same time and we obviously accept straight away.
Our 2 starter of choice were the follow:

Soft Sheel Crab Tempura £9 -A deep fried soft shell crab in a light batter, served with a Dashi-based sauce and a Tabasaki Wings £6 - deep friend chicken wings with homemade mayo sauce. Where shall I start? Both of those 2 starter were absolutely succulent. The soft shell crab was fresh, light and crispy at the same time. And you know its  a quality batter done freshly when you get this divine combination that wake up your taste bud the Dashi sauce add that little Japanese stock style to the dish that just add that lottle salty flavour. 

The chicken Tabasaki wing were scrumptious and moist and let me tell you the homemade mayo sauce served with it was so delicious that I end up eating it with my chopstick even after finishing the dish. 

Our main meal were the :  

Chris choices was the Pumpkin Katsu curry £8.40 - Deep fried pumpkin in Panko breadcrumbs with Japanese Curry sauce served with salad and steamed ricea. My choices was  the Teriyaki Salmon Bento box £9.50 - A selection of chicken Gyoza, pickle, rice and Teriyaki salmon 

According to Chris his Pumkin Katsu Curry did not need any word he absolutely loved it and he refused to let me try it. What more can I say?
My Bento Salmon Teriyaki was really nice. I had similar Bento in Japan and in London and this one was on point. I always loves Bento box for the variety that it offer and this one offer on the variety. From the fluffy steamed rice, the succulent Gyoza, pickle and the salty and sweet Teriyaki salmon. 

I have nothing more to add that Zushi restaurant was a success , we tried, we loved it and we will be back. If you ever travel across Banbury or simply live around then I strongly advice you to stop by and try one of their succulent dishes. 
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Thursday, 14 March 2019

How To Take Care Of Your Cactus- Easy steps

I am in no mean a specialist on how to take care of cactus. But my oldest one is about 7 or 8 years old and since then I learned a lot on how to take care of them. I made mistakes along the way, don't take me wrong, but like everything else in life you learn and progress by making mistakes. 
Here's my few easy and simple tips on how to take care of your spiky (or not so spiky) friends and how to make sure they thrive and grow healthily.
I know sounds like the obvious one but very often people have the misconception that cactus need no watering or very little water once every blue moon (I used to believe that). The truth is far from that. Your cactus, like all living things, need water and I mean a good soak, especially during the growth period during Spring. To check if your cactus need water : Use simply your finger and check if the soil is dry on the surface and also just below the surface by digging the tip of your finger to about half your finger nail. If the surface and below the surface are dry give then give it a good soak according to the size of your cactus & pot.
Always water your cactus when the soil is dry never when it is wet or slightly moist.

Also sounds like the obvious but cactus do love the sun so try to provide this as much as you can. 
Although on very hot day (like the crazy hot summer we had last year in UK) cactus can get brown patch if they over exposed, especially if they are by a window that reflect and over heat the room. In this case move them to a place that is not in direct sun light. This never happen to my cactus but I though I would still mention it.

Do not bother buying over priced special cactus soil. My tip its to mix 1/2 of normal compost and 1/2 gritty sand that can be find in any good gardening shops. Cactus love a good drainage soil but they also need the nutriments hence why I always provide them with both world.

I have to admit that I am still not good on the fertiliser wagon tip. I try to give them at least once a year during Spring  (when I don't forget, that is!) a boost of fertiliser high in phosphorous. Use a natural / organic one that can be found everywhere, better for your cactus and the environment. 

Last but also very important its the size of your pot. I very often see people on Instagram, blogs etc. leaving their cactus for months in those brown plastic pot which very often come with your cactus. I have to say it break my heart as I know they won't survive like this for months.  Your cactus are not meant to stay in those pot. Those pot are just for the purpose to be transported from the cactus supplier to shops where you going to buy them. My advice, as soon as you buy one of those cactus, its to transfer them automatically in a bigger pot with some extra soil.
Also as your little friend grow it is without saying that they need bigger pot as they grow bigger. 

Hope those few tips will help you. I was once someone, many moon ago,  who used to kill every living things in my home so being able now to have a better understanding and mostly seeing my cactus, succulents and house plants thriving give me lots of satisfaction.
A cactus is for life not for a spring blog prop. Haha!

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Wednesday, 6 March 2019

The Past Few Weeks #7

Lets welcome back my chapter 7 from my beloved series : The Past Few Weeks. Its been now almost 3 years since I started my little series and its my favourite one to say the least.  My last one was  in October 2018 which you can find here. So what s have been happening the past few weeks?

How was my Wedding ?
 If you've been following me for a while you might now that I got married in January this year. It was a simple registry ceremony. Having said that it was nothing but simple. It was beautiful, full of laugh and love. What more to ask really? So have been now married for about 2 months. Many people already asked me how it feel to be married? To be honest with you ...nothing changed. Everything remain the same apart that my name changed and that I wear on extra ring on my finger but life in general is the same. But it is lovely to be officially recognise as a family, and to have our house bought on my husband name to be now officially on my name too. If you would like to see my Hair and Makeup Wedding then follow this link.

Have you decided on your honeymoon?
Yes and no. Yes has we decided on two potentials destination. No has we haven't booked anything yet. I bet you are wondering what are our two chosen destinations? The 1st one is Japan. I actually been to japan in June 2009 so almost 10 years ago. I spent 2 amazing weeks there between Tokyo, Nikko etc, (find my japan post here and another one here ) but my husband never been and it is a dream of his to go one day . As I absolutely love Japan I am absolutely delighted on the idea to go back and perhaps this time try to see things that I miss on my first trip.
Our second destination is actually more like a journey. we would love to do a road trip to North Europe and by that we would love to see perhaps Norway , Denmark, Sweden etc. I do not think we will, of course, physically be able do see all those countries but if we can visit two of then in the space of about 3 weeks then it would be bloody fantastic. 

Any holiday planned aside the honeymoon?
Dorset is next on the menu and the departure is due in few weeks time. Yet I understand it is not a paradise island in the middle of the Pacific but it is one of our tradition to go away, in a charming cottage, fro a week or so somewhere in England each year. This year Dorset is on the menu. we mainly chooses this destination for the Jurassic cost (also because I never been to Dorset before) , being a lover of fossil I want to get my hand (if lucky) on fossils. Perhaps i 'll come back empty handed ( most likely) but I can only try. Also we do love beach holiday and our 2 years old toddler absolutely love playing with sands so perfect destination. I will most likely post about our little holiday  on my return so stay tuned.

What is happening with my blog?
As I mentioned on my latest The Past Few Weeks, I was planning to do more lifestyle post and especially more home renovation style post , well I finally jump on my renovation post and the first on the menu was Our bedroom renovation. I am planning to do hopefully soon my living room and my daughters s room. Home interior is something I am very passionate  about at the minute or since we moved out of our rented flat in London and bought our first home in the Cotswold must have help a lot!  
Also I am already thinking to change my blog layout yet again. My current layout is not as I imagined when I purchased it about a year ago. I am on the market for a fresh one but so far none attract me. Who know next time you check on my blog a new layout my welcome you?

Any blog event planned?
Unfortunately no blog event planned at the minute. I have to say that I have not been invited to any or look for any. I do miss them but I knew moving away from London would affect my number of invitation a year. But lets be honest I don't blog just to go to events otherwise I would have stop a long time ago. Having said end of last year I got invited to a fabulous press event which was the Cinderella Experience & The Illuminated Christmas Trail at the Blenheim Palace. It was a fantastic experience , and if you can go on the next Christmas edition then I strongly recommend it. 

What is happening with my Instagram?
I noticed a shift in my posting with a more home interior. I did warm that the change will happen and I enjoy much more doing so . Right now, like my blog, my Instagram reflect more lifestyle and home interior post. The algorithm is still shocking and I barely grow any genuine followers for months but I came to accept it and I am happy as it is. Although we all do wish the old Instagram could be back isn't it? Perhaps one day or wish will come true.
By the way all the above picture, as per usual on my The Past Few Weeks series are form my Instagram.
What have you been up to lately? Tell me all!
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Sunday, 3 March 2019

My reading list

I have a little secret. Although perhaps I should not share this but last year I read not a single book! I know! shocking! I used to read at least 6 or so book a year sometimes more sometimes less but as long as I read couple of books I was happy (it never been about the numbers for me but as long as I read I was happy). 
I believe the reason for me for not reading last year was that I had lots of things on my mind (anxiety etc.). and open a book was kind of 'forgotten' in my every day struggle with my mental health, taking care of a toddler, renovating our house, planning our wedding etc.
I never been a person setting myself read challenges. But this year I want to come back to what I used to be and I set myself a little challenge, even so it is not a read challenge with a set number of books to read but I set my own challenge to start a new book as soon as I finish one. I am not necessary a fast reader (although if a book is exceptionally very good I can read in the matter of few days) and if I take 2 month to read one book then I am going to be fine with that.
So far I have a little selection of books that are patiently waiting to be read as soon as I finish my current read which is : Artemis by Andy Weir.


Les Disparus du Clairdelune - Part 2 of the series: La Passe Miroir. 
The Missing of Clairedelune - Part 2 of the Mirror Visitor Quartet by Christelle Dabos.

This is the French version (the author is French) as I am French and I usually prefer to read in my own language. But don't worry the series have been translated in English and are available on Amazon or any good library.
As you are probably guessing I read Part 1 a few weeks ago and as it was a very enjoyable story, I decided to buy Part 2 which is the follow up story. If you want to read my little review on the Part 1 I suggest you follow this link. The Mirror Quartet series is in the fantasy spirit so if that's your kind of story I suggest you give it a go. This book won few prizes so must be good right?
Crazy Rich Asian by Kevin Kwan.
This book is my latest purchase and I have to admit my purchase was very motivated by many 'influencers' out there. I do not usually follow trend when it comes to book but every now and then why not? I heard or read this book was a very amusing read and I am open to have it a go. And if I don't like it there is always someone else that I can pass it on. Have you read it?


La quete d'Ewilan- Part 1 
Quest of Ewilan -Part 1 by Pierre Bottero 
In the same spirit as The Missing of Clairdelune, this is a fantasy book highly recommended by French awards and book shops and after hearing many French You Tubers or bloggers mentioning it as their 2018 favourite reads I had to have it. Like The Missing of Clairdelune, La Quete D'Ewilan is a series of 3 books.
Oh ! And don't worry the author have been translated in English, which you can find here.

The Bees by Laline Paull.
I originally bough this book for my husband as a birthday gift. He hasn't read it yet but he asked me to have the 1st read so I can give him the review if its worth to read or not. Its a bit cheeky of him but we share books like all household so I don't actually mind. I originally bought this book as he remind me a lot of The Empire of the Ants by Bernard Werber (French Author) which is one of my favourite book that I read about 20 years ago, perhaps the Bees which is more recent release is a plagiat of the world famous Bernard Werber The Ants series but as I am curious I am open to try it.   
What is your reading list? Have you read any of the above?
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