Monday, 29 August 2016

Nails Of The Day - Roxanne Campbell - Stormy Weather*

Hi Guys x I hope you've all had a lovely Monday x I have, because in case you haven't already guessed I got my laptop back! The parts came in early, so I managed to pick it up on Saturday, and now I'm back online, and ready to start blogging again with renewed enthusiasm and optimism!

I thought I'd ease myself in gently though with a nails of the day post from one of the newest nail brands on the market, Roxanne Campbell.

Although you might not be familiar with Roxanne Campbell herself, you'll certainly be familiar with some of her work and some of her clients. Roxanne Campbell has over 10 years experience in the nail industry, and in 2013 she was awarded the prestigious Manicurist Of The Year award. During her work as a celebrity manicurist she's worked with celebrities such as Adele, and supermodel Jourdan Dunn, and she also worked extensively painting athletes nails at the 2012 London Olympics. She's also worked on editorials for a number of UK and overseas magazines including UK ELLE, and Italian Vogue, and she's also worked as a manicurist on runway shows for designers including Pam Hogg and Amanda Wakeley.

Working so often in the fashion field Roxanne noticed a gap in the market, for luxury, high quality, fashion lead nail polishes so she decided to create her own line of nail lacquers. Released on the 1st August this year, Roxanne's range comprises of a top coat, a base coat and 10 luxurious, high gloss, nail colours.

The range of 10 shades, contains a mixture of subtle, classic shades, and flamboyant, fashion forward colours. From classic shades like Clean & Classy, a natural pink, to Kiss Me First, a pillar box red, to more fashion inspired colours like Snow Fights, a block white, and Violets Are Blue, a bright cobalt, this range may be small but it contains something for everyone, no matter what your age or style.

I've been lucky enough to try out a couple of polishes from the more fashion lead side of the line, Violets Are Blue, and Stormy Weather. I'm going to feature Violets Are Blue in an upcoming post, but today I'm going to talk about my love for Stormy Weather.


The packaging of these polishes is quite minimal but at the same time, it has a classic and designer edge. The square style bottle features a chunky style black lid, These lids are quite hard to paint with on their own but like another brand that has a similar bottle, the cap pulls off to reveal, a conventional handle which is much easier to use and control.


The brush is quite thin and the formulation is quite liquidy but the coverage is still pretty decent, The dry time was really quick so applying a second coat was no great hardship. I achieved full coverage in two coasts, and the finish was really glossy.




Taken from Roxanne Campbell's Winter Collection, Stormy Weather is a beautiful light grey, which darkens slightly as it dries. Every time I wear a grey nail polish I always ask myself why I don't wear it more often. Grey is really one of the new neutral shades, you can wear it with most colours, and it gives the nails a really classic, and sophisticated finish.


What can I say- My first Roxanne Campbell experience was a good one! This polish gets a huge thumbs up from me, the polish quality was good, the application was easy, it wore well and I love the colour. Roxanne Campbell Nail Lacquer in Stormy Weather comes in a 12ml bottle and retails at £10. and it is available exclusively from the Roxanne Campbell UK website. What do you think of this shade and grey polishes in general? Let me know your thoughts below xx

*Sample

Tuesday, 23 August 2016

Keep Calm And Watch Cat Videos





When I'm a bit stressed I always find that watching a cute cat video on You Tube helps to lift my mood and over the last couple of weeks I've been overdosing on cute cat videos (including some of my own which you can see above) in a desperate bid to keep calm and carry on.

Over the last fortnight or so if something could go wrong it probably has - health issues are again besetting my family, I broke my glasses and I also broke my laptop screen!

Thankfully it's fixable and all if my data is safe, but the computer repair place that I took it to needs to order some parts in which should be delivered around 30th August, so unfortunately I'm  going to be AWOL for another week or so at least :( 

Don't worry though I will be back blogging and on You Tube as soon as I can, and in the meantime I'll be taking photographs, shooting videos and working on lots and lots of new content. To see some sneaky peeks of what I'm up to don't forget to follow me on Instagram (link in the sidebar) and keep an eye on my Snapchat - I'm DurhamLouLou for silly selfies and more X 

Thanks in advance for sticking with me and hopefully I'll see you soon xxx



Sunday, 7 August 2016

Nails Of The Day - Nails Inc Haymarket

It's funny how your tastes change when it comes to nail polish. I love trying out different colours and mixing it up a bit but I do go through phases where I buy lots and lots of the same or very similar colours. At the moment I'm loving lilacs, and blues but a few years ago all I seemed to buy were turquoise and mint green shades

Thanks to my new IKEA Helmer, I'm currently sorting my nail polishes, and one of those beautiful turquoise, mint green shades that I've rediscovered is Nails Inc - Haymarket.


I remember wearing this shade an awful lot, when I first bought it but for some reason I never posted a nails of the day on the blog, so today I've decided to remedy that and show off this almost Tiffany box shade (on my all be it fake tan covered hands!)


It's a beautiful cream polish and as a result your base coat and your application technique needs to be pretty much spot on. Unfortunately this polish wasn't as self levelling as I'd hoped so even though this is two coats, it's a touch streaky and the finish isn't quite as perfect as I remember.


I love the colour so much though, that I can live with the less than perfect finish, The wear time was also fantastic so you win some you lose some. Haymarket is a beautiful, fresh spring and summer colour, that can brighten your day in an instant. Unfortunately Haymarket is pretty hard to get hold of now but if you search for it you might be able to find it or at least something similar. Are you a fan or turquoise or mint green nail polishes? Let me know x

Saturday, 6 August 2016

Lavera Self Tanning Lotion - A Review For My Pure*

In the UK, there are 3 ways to get a tan , Number 1 - Go abroad! Number 2 - slather yourself in tan accelerator and sit in the garden on one of the 7 ish sunny days  that we get in a year or there is option Number 3, which is probably the easiest and cheapest - fake it!

I'm not gonna lie we have had a few sunny days this year, and thanks to a combination of using good SPF's and tan accelerators I have managed to get a little bit of colour but in the wider scheme of things my natural tan is probably someone elses pale and pasty look!

I have to be honest and say I really don't mind embracing the pale, I'm not one of those people that slaps on the fake tan all year around, in fact I don't actually use it that often, but sometimes you just feel as though you need a bit of colour in your life and on your legs.

I've been feeling a bit mehh lately and in my weird mind a tan was just what I needed to make myself feel a bit better and look a bit thinner so instead of using up one of the self tans that I already have , I decided to try something new from My Pure.

Traditionally fake tans are crammed full of chemicals, they might have the odd natural ingredient but they aren't always the most eco friendly product on the market. Throw in the fact that they aren't always cruelty free and they can be quite drying on the skin and it makes you wonder why we even bother. Thankfully though there are now a few more natural fake tanning options out there, and over the last month I've been using trying out the Lavera Self Tanning Lotion.


If anyone can make a natural and cruelty free fake tan then it's probably German brand Lavera. Like all of the products in their range, this NaTrue certified self tanning lotion is made from both natural and predominantly organic ingredients.It is suitable for vegans and it is free from parabens, sulphates, petrochemicals, silicone's, and artificial colourings and fragrances.


Packaged in a recyclable plastic, squeezy tube, it contains a wide variety of moisturising ingredients including organic sunflower oil, soybean oil, macadamia oil, and shea butter. It also contains
calendula extract, aloe vera, beta carotene and Vitamin E.


When I first squeezed some of the product out I have to say I wasn't expecting a lot, the majority of fake tans out there have a guide colour but this is just an off white, creamy lotion. To be honest it looks more like a body lotion or a body cream and it certainly smells more like a luxury body cream than a self tan. It has a really pleasant lavender, aromatherapy citrus scent that lingers on the skin.


Application is like most other fake tans out there, it's best to exfoliate first, and then you apply it on to clean, dry skin, avoiding the knees and elbows. It's very, very creamy and a little goes a long way, I definitely used too much at first but if you just keep massaging it in until it's absorbed. Obviously there is no guide colour so you just have to apply it as evenly as possible. You could just use a mitt I guess but because of the cream like texture it's just as easy to use your hands but remember to give them a good wash afterwards.


My skin did feel a tiny bit tacky for a few minutes so I'd avoid getting dressed or sitting on any fabrics for a few minutes. Once it sunk in though my skin just felt really smooth and as though is had been covered in a deliciously scented body cream. Lavera advise that you leave it for around 5 hours to see the full results and as per usual with fake tans I did the one leg challenge so I'm going to let the photographs speak for themselves

Before 


After


Before


After


After - Close Up 


I really can't describe how much this product surprised me, when I first saw the white creamy lotion, I'll admit I wasn't hopeful but despite the lack of guide colour, and more gradual tan appearance, within 5 hours I had a natural looking, golden tan, and super soft skin with only the tiniest hint of digestive biscuit aroma. It is quite a natural colour but you can reapply it every day or so for a deeper colour.

What can I say, I'm a fan! The texture and the scent made it a pleasure to apply, and despite the lack of guide colour I managed achieve a pretty even, natural golden tan, without any of the dryness or nasty smells that you normally associate with self tan. I still don't think I'm ever going to be one of those permanently fake tanned people, but I'm definitely going to be using this regularly and enjoying both the smooth skin and the healthy glow. Lavera Self Tanning Lotion retails at £13.50 for 150ml tube from My Pure. Are you a fake tan fan? or do you embrace the pale? Let me know your thoughts. 

*Sample

Wednesday, 3 August 2016

Lavera Illuminating Eyeshadow - Vibrant Gold*

All good things must come to an end, and over the next few days I'll be reviewing my final two products for online natural beauty store, My Pure. I've really appreciated all your feedback, questions and recommendations, and I've loved trying out so many new natural  products and new to me, brands. I thought I'd finish off by reviewing two products from one of my most recent and best discoveries, German brand, Lavera.

For those of you who aren't in the know, Lavera are one of the longest standing brands in natural beauty. They were founded in Germany over 25 years and they produce a large range of natural cosmetics, skin care products and toiletries. They only use natural ingredients, and ones that are certified organic whenever possible. All of the products are also formulated without synthetic preservatives, colourings or fragrances and their range is also cruelty free.

I've tried a few of their make up products now and for one of my final My Pure reviews I decided to try out one of their eyeshadows, they have a few different shadows to choose from but I went for one of the Lavera Illuminating Eyeshadow.


This is a baked eyeshadow that is suitable for contact lens wearers and vegans. It's a mineral based shadow that's crammed full of natural mineral pigments, and moisturising ingredients. Packaged in a basic clear and black plastic compact, this is a domed, baked shadow. There were 4 shades to choose from and the colour I went for was Vibrant Gold.


In the pan this is much more of a soft yellow gold tone , rather than an out and out metallic gold.


I'm usually a sucker for a baked eyeshadow but unfortunately this one just isn't that great. The pigmentation and the pay off just isn't strong enough. Instead of the solid yellow gold that I was hoping for, this shadow just gives you a subtle wash of gold with a touch of sparkle.


Liked all baked eyeshadows this one can be used both wet and dry and although I haven't managed to take any pictures of it wet, it does improve both the pigmentation and the vibrancy.

This shadows wears well both wet and dry and if you want a subtle wash of colour, then this could be for you,especially if your looking for something that is cruelty free, unfortunately though for the price, I would have like a bit more pigmentation and a bit more vibrancy from this shadow. Lavera Illuminating Eyeshadow comes in a 1.5g compact, it comes in 4 shades and retails at £11.50 from My Pure. Thanks for reading and if you have any questions please leave me a comment x

*Sample


Monday, 1 August 2016

Trimming My Stash - July 2016 Edition - Empties And Mini Reviews

Hey Guys x It's the first of the month and that means that it's empties time again. I've been a busy bee this month sorting out my entire toiletry stash, so I know exactly what I've got and what I need to use up. and what needs to go in the bin. I've moved everything that's been opened and half used into the bathroom and my aim is to use those up before I start on anything new. I really love trying new things but toiletry wise I'm looking forward to rediscovering some old favourites and of using some products up. Speaking of which lets see what beauty items I managed to finish in July.

Primark PS Love Your Skin Oil Balancing Facial Cleansing Wipes For Combination Skin - 25 Wipes
Nivea Daily Essentials Extra Gentle Eye Make Up Remover - 125ml
Easy Nails Fast & Fruity Acetone Free Nails Polish Remover - Peach Fragrance - 50ml
Balance Me Skin Brightening Exfoliating Body Polish - 220g
Fair Squared Vanilla Shower Gel - 10ml
Make Up Gallery Well Polished Cuticle Oil - 10ml
Lush Snow Fairy Shower Gel - 100g
OPI Chip Skip Nail Lacquer Chip Preventor - 15ml
Total - 8 Items 

Although I didn't managed to surpass or equal June's total of 14 items, I still pretty pleased to have finished 8 things. Again I've finished a nice variety of products including some body care and some skin care items, and I also managed to finish a few things that have been lingering on for a while.

1. Primark PS Love Your Skin Oil Balancing Facial Cleansing Wipes For Combination Skin - 25 Wipes


Nuff said really, hot, and sticky weather, and lots of swatches to clean means another packet of these bit the dust

2. Nivea Daily Essentials Extra Gentle Eye Make Up Remover - 125ml


It always seems that I'm on the lookout for something beauty wise, and at the moment I'm on the hunt for a good, budge eye make up remover. Gatineau is my brand of choice but it isn't cheap so I'm on the lookout for something a bit cheaper. Recently my local Superdrug had an offer on their Nivea skincare so I picked this eye make up remover and the Nivea Daily Essentials Eye Make Up Remover. I've only managed to use this one so far, and I have to be honest and say that I don't love it. Don't get me wrong this stuff removes even the most hard wearing mascara, and long wear eyeshadow but like a lot of removers it makes my eyes sting and water. I'm going to give the other bottle ago but based on this one I'm not expecting a lot and my search for the perfect eye make up remover goes on.

3. Easy Nails Fast & Fruity Acetone Free Nails Polish Remover - Peach Fragrance - 50ml


This was an emergency purchase many moons ago on the way to a blog event. Three of my nails chipped before I even got on the bus and I needed something quick and easy to take my nail polish off. I bought this pot from Bodycare and an emergency purchase was about all it was good for. If I remember rightly it struggled to take the polish off, the quality of the sponge inside was really poor and it the tub leaked everywhere. I've been using it to remove clear  nail strengthener which was about all it was good for thankfully now though it's dried out and I can bin it. The only plus point was the peach scent - needless to say I won't repurchase!


4. Balance Me Skin Brightening Exfoliating Body Polish - 220g


This was a My Pure review product from way back in 2014 and I loved it. I love a good body scrub and that's exactly what this one is. I love salt and sugar based scrubs and this one is salt based, it was nice and gritty with a moisturising oil and shea butter base, this scrub had a refreshing and revitalising spearmint based scent. It left my skin feeling silky smooth and alive. Fabulous stuff - you can read a full review here. I don't think My Pure sell this in this format now but they have do have do sell a product in a tube that sounds almost identical x


5. Fair Squared Vanilla Shower Gel - 10ml


This was a subtly scented, moisturising shower gel that  was kindly sent and I recently reviewed in one of my Sample Saturday posts x You can read my full review here x

6. Make Up Gallery Well Polished Cuticle Oil - 10ml


This is the second bottle of this Poundland oil that I've finished lately and it probably shows my current obsession with cuticle oil. It makes such a difference to the state of your nails and at the moment I'm applying it numerous times a day. My favourite oil of all time is OPI Avoplex but it's pricey, this was a pretty decent accompaniment to my OPI but my new love is Primark's PS Cuticle Oil. It's the same price as this one and I prefer it so I'll only be buying this one again in an emergency

7. Lush Snow Fairy Shower Gel - 100g


What can say about this cult product from Lush that hasn't already been said! Snow Fairy is one of Lush's most popular products of all time. This pink sugary, sweet shower gel, which is packed full of fine glitter is a Christmas limited edition, So come December time me and my fellow Snow Fairy lovers try to stock on as much as we can for the year ahead. I've used it quite sparingly so far this year so I still have another small, and a medium size bottle to use up but come December, I'll definitely be buying more x

8. OPI Chip Skip Nail Lacquer Chip Preventor - 15ml



Ah Chip Skip, one of OPI's most misunderstood products and one of my personal favourites. I have heard so many people referring to this as base coat and then saying it's rubbish! Well that's because it isn't a base coat. If you can't get nail polish or strengtheners to stay on your nails then you need this. Chip Skip is a clear watery liquid that you paint onto your bare nails, it soaks into your nails, and then you apply your base coat and polish on top. What Chip Skip does is remove any of the grease and oils from your nail surface that can lead to your polish peeling and chipping. A lot of people recommend wiping your nails with either alcohol or nail polish remover instead but this product is much easier and less messy to use. I think it's makes a real difference and it's something that I will continue to use. A little goes a very long way and because it isn't a polish, it doesn't go thick or gloopy so you can use it till the very bottom of the bottle.

I'm pretty excited now I've completed my toiletry sort out, to get going, and to get some products used up. I've rediscovered a couple of half finished shower products that I'm going to start with and hopefully I'll manage to work my way through a few more products in August.

I know I mentioned Product 10 Pan in my last empties post, and although I'm not quite ready to start it, it is definitely going to happen next month. I've got a lot of beauty haul posts to go up and then hopefully I'll be able to start Project 10 Pan in September and get some of my make up used up. If you've posted an empties post on either your blog or on your You Tube channel then link me up so I can have a nose x

Sunday, 31 July 2016

A Small July 2016 Primark Haul - Home, Jewellery And More

It's taken nearly the whole month but earlier this week I actually managed a little Primark trip. I know, I know I broke my own rule to never go into Primark during the school holidays but since I was in Intu Metrocenter anyways it made sense to brave the teen and pre- teen shoppers.

If you're a fellow North Easterner then you'll probably be pleased to know that the store refurbishments are now complete so there are no more banging and drilling noises to disturb your shopping trip! The store is now much bigger, the checkouts have improved and there generally seems to be a lot more space and air. Understandably though nothing is where it used to be so if you go in you'll probably need a bit of time to familiarise yourself with the new layout. For me though time was something that I didn't have so it was very much a dash, grab and run visit.

I entered the store on the second floor so I headed straight to the new home section, unfortunately it's not much bigger than it was before, but they did have quite a few new things, including this little pineapple candle which was just £3.50.


I already have a few ceramic pineapple trinket boxes, and candles from H&M but I didn't have one in this beautiful chocolate, bronze tone. This one is a candle, and unlike the H&M one I have, this candle is fragranced and has a beautiful fruity, Kiwi and Lemonade scent. It also comes in white, which has a different fragrance.

Next up yet more fairy lights - I've already got a set of plain blue LED lights for my office / study / craft room from a previous Primark trip, but in my opinion you can never have too many fairy lights so I decided to pick up these ones as well.


In various shades of blue, and white, this set of 10 battery operated LED lights resemble balls of wool or balls of string. They're a lot chunkier than the previous set and I think that they will tone in perfectly with the blue and white paint work and the blue carpet. I have a long white shelf that stretches along nearly a full wall, and think that they will look great hanging along the edge. They were £4.

They had some other fab fairy lights and pineapple related goodies in but for once in my life I showed a bit of restraint and headed down in the lift to the first floor. I was a bit of overawed clothing wise and since I didn't have much time, I ignored the majority of the summer things and had a look at some of the new autumn arrivals


On my receipt this is described as a Bardot Ribbed Dress, but there is no way on earth that I could ever wear this as a dress, on me it's definitely a long top or a tunic. It doesn't look much on the hanger but it's a really nice classic piece that I will get a lot of wear out of. The vertical ribbing is really flattering, and I love the wide neckline. This was £8 and it also comes in a blush pink / nude, that I would have also bought if they'd had it in my size.


No trip to Primark is complete in my eyes without a visit to their jewellery section. I love a bit of cheap bling, but nothing really called to me this time round, so I just got a few pairs of earrings. I own lots and lots of earrings but I'm a creature of habit and having four piercings in each ear I just tend to stick to my sleepers. I've been fancying some nice, large hoop earrings for a while now but I didn't want to spend a fortune on them because I knew I wouldn't wear them that often, so I decide to get this set of 3 pairs for just £1.50.


You get a pair in a silver tone, a pair in a gold tone, and a pair in a rose gold tone. All of the hoops are slightly different and it's hard to describe it but depending on which way round you wear them, you can get two different looks from each pair. I know a lot of people can't wear cheap earrings but providing I don't leave them in too long I'm usually okay with them, so with that in mind I also bought a pair.of rose gold tone,sparkly stud hoops, which were just £1


Right next to the new jewellery section you'll find the accessories and the beauty. Unfortunately like the home section the selection seems to be pretty similar to what they had before. The stands were a lot tidier but there was still no sign of the PS Pro line so I just picked up a nail polish.


I hate it when nail polishes don't have shade names, but in this case Primark I'll forgive you. This is one of their PS Gel Effect Nail Polishes and the colour is simply sublime. I already have a few shades like this but I really love this lilac, blue almost forget me not type shade. I haven't really tried a lot of nail polish from Primark, but at just £1.50 this one was well worth a try.

As per usual I've made a video to accompany this haul which you can see below or if your on a tablet or a mobile phone, via this link x



I know this wasn't the biggest of hauls but I hope you liked this post anyway x If you have any questions on anything I've bought please leave me a comment below and again if your a blogger or a you tuber and you've posted a Primark haul lately then leave me your links below and I'll seen you soon with a new post x  .

Saturday, 30 July 2016

Unboxing The First QVC UK Tili Beauty Box

If you're a regular watcher of my You Tube channel you'll know that I love beauty boxes. I love the element of surprise when you open the box and for me it feels a bit like Christmas - ripping open the packaging to see what goodies lie inside.

I personally love the surprise but unfortunately you do have to be prepared to be disappointed - you're not going to like everything in a box all the time and I know that the surprise element can put some people off. Thankfully though there are now ways that you can embrace the whole beauty box trend, and try new products without that unknown factor.

An increasing number of companies are now releasing boxes where you can either choose your own content, or where you know exactly whats in the box before you place your order. The boxes in these cases or either one offs or the subscriptions are more flexible. That way though you can choose what you want to try and minimise the risks and the disappointment 

If that's the route you want to go down though, then there is a new box in town, and you can buy it exclusively from one of my favourite place to shop QVC UK. Tili stands for one their well used phrases Try It Love It, and that's exactly what their box is all about.


The first addition went on sale just over a week ago, and I ordered mine on launch day. The whole idea of Tili is to give customers, and beauty lovers the chance to try some of QVC's newest and best selling beauty products and brands. The website provides you with a full product listing, so you know exactly what your going to get before you checkout. This is the July box and you can see what was inside and my initial thoughts by watching the video below or if your on a mobile device, via this link


At just £20 and free postage I think this box, is pretty good value. The contents has a retail value of around £55 which seems about right - the Alpha H alone works out at about £15 ish, the Elemis Micellar Water retails at £6.90 direct from Elemis, and the full size Essie polish retails at around £7.99. I can't wait to try out some of the products in this kit and I'll definitely be picking up the next Tili box if I can get my hands on it x 


This box doesn't seem to be a monthly thing, in fact I don't think that the next one is released till October, so you're not tied to anything, just a warning though, it's way to easy to shop with QVC and one purchase will inevitably lead to another!. You can find out more about the Tili box and how to order via this link. What do you think of the Tili box? Do you like the flexibility and the knowledge? or do you like a surprise? Let me know and I'd love to know what subscription boxes you like, so hit me up with your recommendations, oh and of course don't forget to subscribe to my You Tube channel for more unboxings, shopping and beauty content x 

Friday, 29 July 2016

Foodie Friday - Lentil, Roasted Vegetable And Halloumi Salad

Hey Guys x Happy Friday x  I know Foodie Friday posts have been a bit thin on the ground this year but today I'm going to share with you one of my favourite and easiest, gluten free and vegetarian recipes, that proves that salad doesn't have to be boring.

If you've been reading my blog for sometime, or if you follow me on Instagram, then you'll already be quite familiar with this recipe or least what it looks like. I first discovered this recipe  last July in my first Hello Fresh box (you can read about my experience here) and it's rapidly become one of my go to dishes.

You can find the original Hello Fresh recipe of Lentil, And Chargrilled Vegetable Halloumi Salad here x and I have to say I love it but here I've made a few tweaks to make it just a little bit easier and even more flavourful.

In the original recipe the peppers and the courgette or either fried or char grilled. I normally use my George Foreman grill but since it's just a tiny one, it can take a while so in this version I decided to roast my vegetables in the oven instead. I also sprinkled them with a bit of lemon zest before I put oven and I added some extra lemon zest to my dressing to make it extra zesty.

Lentil, Roasted Vegetable And Halloumi Salad

1 x Large Courgette 
1 x Large Red Pepper 
1 x Can Green Or Brown Lentils
 1 x Lemon
Fresh Thyme 
1 Bag Of Rocket 
Pack Of Halloumi
Olive Oil
Salt And Pepper To Taste

1. Preheat your oven to 200° C, then rinse and dry your lemon, then zest or finely grate the peel into a small bowl.You just want the yellow parts as the white pith can be a bit too bitter.



2. Then chop your vegetables, my courgettes were quite small so I used two. Cut them in half length ways and then chop them into chunky half moons. Core and deseed your pepper, and cut it into similar size pieces. Again if their just small ones use two, you can also use yellow or orange peppers. Put the vegetables into a roasting dish or onto a baking try and drizzle over some olive oil, and a little bit of the lemon zest. Give it a mix so all of the vegetables are covered and then pop them into the over for around 20-30 minutes.


3.Now it's time to make your dressing, first of all juice half of your lemon, and put the juice into a small bowl.


Add a couple of tablespoons of olive oil, a little bit more of the lemon zest and some salt and pepper. Then add a couple of sprigs of thyme (I used about 3 here). You just want the leaves so just run your fingers down the stalks and the leaves should come loose. You can used dry thyme at push but your probably won't need quite as much. Mix all of the ingredients together and set aside.


4. Now it time start opening tins and packets! First up the rocket and given the recent press coverage regarding salad leaves and e-coli, this stuff needs to be washed and washed well. Give it a good wash and rinse, then drain it and dry either by using a salad spinner or wrap it up in a tea towel to soak up the excess water.


5. Lentil time! Obviously you can cook your own - lentils are one of the easiest pulses to cook but for ease just open a tin of good green lentils. Again give them a good rinse and leave them to drain.


6. Next up, open your halloumi, and drain off the excess liquid that usually resided in the packet. Cut it into to thick slices, at least a centimetre wide. This wasn't a full packet so I only ended up with 5 slices - whoops!


7. Mix the remaining lemon zest with some olive oil 


and then coat your halloumi slices in the olive oil and lemon zest mixture.


8. Take a large salad bowl and then add your lentils 


and your washed and dried rocket.


9. Put your oil and lemon covered halloumi into a large pan, and turn the heat up to medium, and keep an eye on it, turning occasionally


10. By this time your vegetables should be about done, the courgettes and peppers should be soft, and slightly charred and crispy.


Take them out of the oven, and carefully pour the vegetables into the lentil and rocket mix and give it a stir


Then pour over your dressing  and give it a good stir, then add salt and pepper to taste and give it another gentle mix.


11. It can take a while but by this time your halloumi should be golden brown and crispy - be careful not to burn it.


12 Put the salad mix in to bowls,


top with the halloumi slices and serve.


This recipe easily feels two hungry people, but if you want it to feed more people, then just add some more veg and some more lentils and maybe a little bit more halloumi ( read about my love for halloumi here).

Whether you char grill your vegetables or whether you roast them in the oven, this is still a super tasty, filling and simple salad to make. Salad doesn't have to be boring and this dish definitely isn't - the salty halloumi, compliments the earthiness of  both the thyme and the lentils, the peppery taste of the rocket and the tang of the lemon perfectly.

This salad is pretty much perfect as it is but I guess you could mix it up a bit and use either a different pulse, or even a grain or rice as a base, and try maybe some different vegetables like aubergine or maybe red onion, and of course you could change the cheese, and sticking with the Mediterranean / Levant theme you could go for a feta or a goats cheese.

I love finding new recipes and thanks to buying the occasional Hello Fresh box I've lots of new recipes and new ingredients. Cooking for me is all about experimentation, and that's really why I love the Hello Fresh scheme, you get your box and your basic recipe, but then if you like it, you can make it again and again, changing cooking methods and ingredients based on what you like and what you have to hand.If you're interested in trying out some new recipes and trying out Hello Fresh for yourself then you can find out more about them here and you can use my coupon code A2NEYL * for £25 off your first box. Do you think salads are boring? Let me know your thoughts and your favourite salad recipes x

*Affiliate Coupon Code