Guinea's Monthly Lifestyle Blog
November always feels a very unsettled month; the glory of autumn has faded, ending all too soon, even though it has only just begun, while Christmas and New Year loom on the horizon.
November is also a month where you can end up forgetting entirely about yourself - what with present buying, event organising, school plays, concerts to attend… the list can go on and on, so sit back, take five minutes just for yourself and enjoy this month's Guinea Confidential.
Rest, Read, Relax
This month Guinea Confidential has two fiction recommendations for you. First, we have The Lost Bookshop by Evie Woods. Set predominately in Ireland, this novel splits its chapters between three characters, whose lives intertwine. Two are set in the present day and one in 1920's. This book explores the idea of discovering yourself, so you become the main character in your own life. With well rounded characters, this is a quick and statisfying read.
Our second book is The Walled Garden by Sarah Hardy. This book is recommended by our blogger, and keen reader, Emma. Set after World War II this book focuses on the men who have returned from war irrevocably changed and their wives, who struggle to return to their roles of domesticity; while finding themselves living with men who now seem like strangers.
If you have ever read and enjoyed the Cazalet Chronicles by Elizabeth Jane Howard, Emma says you are bound to enjoy this too, her only negative was, she rather hoped there would be more about the walled garden mentioned in the title, but over all, well worth a read though!
It is far too easy to get into the habit of making the same old family favourites, so looking for some inspiration for Bonfire night - beyond gourmet hotdogs and burgers which can get far too messy and hard to handle with gloves on, we checked out Delicious Magazine's online article for a Bonfire Night Menu.
And Jo, in our order fulfilment team, who is vegetarian, was rather taken with the Spinach and Ricotta Rolls recipe.
A lovely veggie alternative to a sausage roll!
Hattie, our Operations Manager, loves Trinny London products and has made us aware of a new product we cannot help but be intrigued by, the Plump Up Microneedle, which aims to reduce fine lines and wrinkles - and who doesn't want that!
An alternative facial tool to try, and our marketing assistant, Charlotte, swears by it, is a Gua Sha. Gua Sha is a traditional Chinese medicine technique to reduce inflammation and puffiness and improve circulation.
To learn more about it, click here.
At last the wait is over!! The final season of The Crown arrives on 16th November.
If like many of us on the Guinea team, you have watched this stunning production from the beginning, it will be sad to see it draw to a close.
So I think it's only appropriate, to see it out in style, by dusting off the tea service, getting the cucumber sandwiches and scones on stand by, and indulging in an afternoon tea fit for royalty, as you savour and binge the last remaining episodes.
Split into two parts the second part will air 14th December.
Having mentioned The Cazalet Chronicles earlier, Emma also informed us, that back in 2001 the BBC made an absolutely marvellous adaptation of the early books in the series, starring Huge Bonville - pre Downton Abbey days. If you can track it down, she says it is well worth a watch, with an absolutely fabulous cast!
Guinea's Lifesaver Lifehacks
It's never too early or late to make Christmas cake!
Yes, I know, I know, every year Christmas seems to begin earlier and earlier, but one tradition we love to follow here at Guinea HQ is making our own Christmas cake.
Nearly everyone, has a family Christmas cake recipe, or you may be in search of a new one - Rowan, one of our fulfilment team, is going to try out this Gluten-free recipe due to a family member's new dietary requirements.
So if you'd like to make your own, but feel you haven't left long enough for it to properly mature, never fear, get to mixing now. If you are ahead of the game and have already made it, remember to feed it regularly in the run up to Christmas - as no one likes dry fruit cake!
Also have you considered Christmas cake eaten with a side of cheese? If not, you really should give it a try, as it's delicious! Wensleydale or Cheddar works best, and it is a long-held Yorkshire tradition.