Friday, 28 February 2014

Hanover Street Social - Lunch Menu Review

Last Friday, Ginger and I headed into the City Centre for a girlie afternoon of catching up and shopping. Now if you ask me, there can be no shopping on an empty stomach so as soon as we got into town we headed over to Hanover Street Social with fingers, toes and tongues crossed that we could get a table. Ginger has dined here before and said it can get super busy around lunch time so we hoped and prayed they could seat us.

Stepping through the door/heavy velvet floor length curtains, the place was rammed! So much chatter, platters of food flying past, glasses clinking, to say it was busy was a it of an understatement. Turns out the goddesses of empty bellies where smiling down on u this day and they managed to seat us right away! We got pretty lucky because as soon as we sat down, they started to turn people away - talk about lucky!

Hanover Street Social offer a fantastic lunch deal; Monday - Friday 12pm - 6pm and Saturday 12pm - 5pm, you can get 2 courses for £10.95pp, or if you're feeling really hungry, 3 courses for £13.95, from a set menu. We all know how many courses I went for already don't we? Thought so! They also have a small tapas style offer, small plates for £4.50 each or any 3 for £12. Perfect if you just want some nibbles with a glass or two of wine (shopping can be hard work!).

Slight oily top to the soup was a bit strange looking.

To start, I chose the soup of the day which happened to be tomato and paprika soup with a side of Libby bread. The Libby bread came with a pat of soft butter. The bread was similar to soda bread, but not as dense. The soup was piping hot! Like I'm talking magma hot - not very mouth friendly, much slurping ensued! The soup was lovely, really hearty and warm and you could really smell the paprika, but it was just a touch too spicy for me which was a shame! As soon as the bread ran out I didn't have much more of the soup, shame.

A little on the crispy side...

Next up, mains! I went for the fresh fish of the day, which was Salmon on a bed of sweet potato and tarragon sauce. We'd waited a while for the mains so where starving once they showed up, Ginger had to remind me to snap a picture before I threw my face in there! The salmon was cooked perfectly, it just fell apart at the touch of my fork. It was really moist and full of flavour. The sweet potato was a little burnt but still tasted delicious, especially when smothered in the tarragon sauce. I'd have liked a tiny bit extra sweet potato though! Greedy, I know!

Those green flecks are from the lights above!

To finish, I had to have some dessert! Who can say no when there's Crème Brûlée on the menu? And this wasn't just any Crème Brûlée, it turned out to be chocolate flavoured! It was pretty perfect! We waited forever to get someones attention to order dessert, then waited a good while for it to come too. It was worth the wait though. The top was so thick, it was very therapeutic to smash my spoon through it. The dessert was denser than other Crème Brûlées I've had in the past, but it wasn't overly filling or too sweet! It was so delicious I could have happily ate two - and believe me I was tempted!

I had to keep in mind the place was extremely busy but they really could have done with a few extra pairs of hands on for the lunch time rush, especially over half term! The staff seemed run off their feet and trying to get someones attention to order or top up drinks was a work of art. There where a couple of big parties in too, so as a twosome we felt a little forgotten about - one of the serves did tell us that the bigger parties where the reason our food was taking so long to come out. It was around 1.30pm wen we dined, right in the middle of the lunch hour, so maybe a little earlier wouldn't have been so busy?

The atmosphere at Hanover Street Social is great though. I loved the ceiling of twinkling fairy lights over the bar and when it's full of hustle and bustle it really comes to life. It feels a little on the small side but I actually quite liked that. It's a great spot for lunch and the deal they have is on parr with other set menu prices across the city centre. I saw quite a few of the other dishes coming out of the kitchen and everything looked amazing, especially the chicken breast and the burger! It looks like a poplar place for business, or 'power lunches' too, lots of 'banker' types suited and booted. 

I'd love to go back and try a few other things on the menu, and hopefully at a slightly quieter time, there where moments when it got so loud we could barely carry on a conversation! Overall an enjoyable experience and you really couldn't fault the food. Everything was delicious and I left feeling full and well fueled for an afternoon of shopping!

Have you eaten at the Hanover Street Social?

Until next time, 

Check out the official Hanover Street Social website here and find them on twitter @hanoversocial

Wednesday, 26 February 2014

Lush Eau Roma Toner Water Review

In my last post I mentioned the Eau Roma Toner Water by Lush. I picked this up with their BB Seaweed fresh face mask on recommendation from the lovely employees in the Liverpool store. My skin's been in a bit of a pickle lately, a combination of ill health and bad weather has left me with pretty lack luster skin, dry patches, redness, that kind of thing. It was really getting me down, considering how good my skin was doing back at the beginning of the year! Arghh the frustration!

I've always had a love/hate relationship with toner. Having oily skin, toner can be more of a hindrance than  help. Toners can be pretty astringent, drying out the skin - which is great at first if you have oily skin, but the problem with oily skin is than when t gets too dry, it starts producing more oil to compensate for the dry skin. Now all skin types do this, just at different levels - and oily skinned ladies will know, our oil production levels can go through the roof! A few years ago I stopped using toners completely and it really did help.

Until late last year. I was gifted the Dermalogica Oily Skin starter set which included a toner. I used it as stated on the regime and wow, toners have changed over the last few years! I really enjoyed using it, my skin felt cleaner, and it didn't overly dry out my skin - awesome! So since then I have been slowly introducing toners back into my routine.

The lovely employees at Lush recommended the Eau Roma Toner Water to me as it's a gentle toner for everyday use that hydrates, soothes and evens skin tone. it's two key ingredients are lavender water and rose water. Lavender water is so gentle and soothing to the skin, and also tuns the toner water into a ready made aromatherapy spray. Lavender is known for it's calming properties and a quick spritz of this really does just that. It also contains Rose water, a delicate floral water that helps skin retain moisture without getting overly oily or greasy. It's a very mild astringent which helps to even skin tone and improve the appearance of skin.

This product really is so gentle to the skin. I was originally planning on picking up the Tea Tree Toner but the Lush employee told me it might be too harsh on my skin right now as it will dry it out more - that's more of a 'summer' product for my skin we decided. I love how knowledgeable the staff are at Lush!

Now, you can spritz this directly onto your face after cleansing, but I prefer to soak a cotton pad and wipe it over my face, removing any excess dirt that cleansing might have left behind. I don't like putting toner anywhere near my eyes either so doing it this way helps me to avoid that delicate area!

My skin never feels dried out after using this, just really supple and hydrated. I use it twice a day and so far no reactions - hurrah! I have noticed that since using this, my breakouts do shrivel in size, and as pesky as they are, it's easier to deal with the smaller ones over the big ones!

You can pick up a 250g bottle for £7.50 - a little on the pricey side for what it is, a 100g bottle is just £3.95 if you just fancy a taster.

Have you used the Eau Roma Toner Water?

Until next time,

Monday, 24 February 2014

Lush BB Seaweed Fresh Face Mask Review

It's been forever since I picked up a fresh face mask in Lush but my skin hasn't been playing very nicely lately so I decided it was time to bring out the big guns and show it some love.

I popped into my local Lush and had a little chat with one of the employees, regaling to him my skin woes and he just knew exactly what I needed. He recommended the BB Seaweed fresh face mask because it pretty much ticked every problem box I presented to him. My skin right now has been all over the show; excess oil, break outs, redness, dry patches, you name it my face has sported it of late, frustrating much?

BB Seaweed is filled with nutritious ingredients that will feed your face with all the goodness it needs to get right back on track. Designed for skin that's perhaps been through the mill lately, it tackles most skin woes. Rose absolute will calm and balance the skin, olive oil moisturises, seaweed and aloe vera soothes and softens. There's also rosemary for regeneration of damaged skin cells, kaolin to mattify and remove excess oils and a few millet flakes for gentle exfoliation.

This ticked all the boxes for me so into my basket it went. I had a good chat with the employee about how I've been so run down and sick lately, he assured me this would help to put some life back into my skin and improve its current condition. He also recommended me the Eau Roma Toner which I'll be talking about later this week.

As soon as I got home I thoroughly cleansed my face, patted dry and applied the mask. I love the fresh face masks as you have to keep them in the fridge - so when you apply them to the skin they are really cold and feel amazing - like when you purposefully put your feet onto the cold patches when you're in bed! I smothered my face in the mask and left it on for 10 minutes. The mask itself feels mildly grainy but goes on smooth - the chunks of seaweed can be a pain though, they often fall off my face when I'm applying the mask making it extra messy.

Excuse the blurry Instagram close up!

The mask dries in about 10 minutes but it's not that uncomfortable, 'I feel like there's cement on my face' kind of drying, you can comfortably smile and talk - if you're brave enough to face another human being when looking like the creature from the deep! The mask smells really nice, and is nowhere near as over powering as some of the others. You can really smell the seaweed and aloe.

I rinsed it off with warm water. It goes quite milky, so I massaged it in like a face wash. Again, the seaweed was a bit of a problem, clogging up the sink hole, so I now pick those chunks off my face before I use the water to take the mask off. It took a while to get it all off but afterwards my skin felt so refreshed. On the recommendation of another Lush employee, I went straight in with the Eau Roma Toner which really moisturised my skin and left everything feeling lovely.

I've used this mask about 3 times now, and there's a least two more masks worth in the pot. They recommended you use the mask within 3 weeks of purchasing so I've been aiming for 2 - 3 masks a week, usually at night too. The dry patches have gone and my skin is feeling really supple and soft, the redness has also reduced around my nose (I'd had a cold for a while, my poor nose was in a right state!). I've had some tiny breakouts on my cheeks but I don't think this is down to the mask, I was having them before I started using it.

My Mum isn't the biggest fan of fresh face masks, I think she worries that by keeping it in the fridge my brother will try and use it as a sandwich spread, so I've double bagged it and plastered a big 'DO NOT EAT' across the bag, so far so good!

If you're in the market for a fresh face mask then I'd highly recommend you give this one a go! Be sure to have a chat with the lovely people who work at Lush too, they know so much about the products they sell, it's like having a free personalized skin consultation (which I actually think they do do if you ask for one, anyone know any more about this?).

You can pick up the BB Seaweed fresh face mask for £5.95!

Until next time,

Saturday, 22 February 2014

The Liebster Award!

Let me start by saying a BIG thank you to Olivia over at Olivia's Catastrophe for nominating me!

I've been seeing the Liebster award popping up all over the blogsphere so I was so excited to take part!

What is a Liebster Award?

The Liebster award is given by bloggers to fellow bloggers who have less than 200 bloglovin followers. It's a chance for smaller blogs to get a little exposure and to show your love for your fellow bloggers. It also encourages bloggers to get to know one another a little better too - and for you, our wonderful audience to get to know us better, and maybe discover a new blog or two!

How does the Liebster Award work?

It's simple! After you've received your nomination you then create a blog post with the following;
  1. List 11 facts about yourself
  2. Answer the 11 questions put forward by the person who nominated you
  3. Ask 11 new questions to 9 fellow bloggers with under 200 bloglovin followers
  4. Go to their blog and let them know you've nominated them

11 Facts about me!
  1. My dream job would involve meeting new people and writing everyday, two of my favourite things!
  2. I put more things on my bucket list than I cross off
  3. I am obsessed with dresses
  4. I have a Masters in Writing Studies
  5. I get really competitive when pulling Christmas crackers
  6. I love to people watch and make up little stories about them in my head
  7. I'd love to start a YouTube channel but just don't have the confidence to go it alone on camera!
  8. One of my biggest regrets is selling my car
  9. I really love tapas style dining - I'm greedy and always want a bit of everything!
  10. When I was a kid I was convinced I would grow up to be either a vet or a teacher - neither happened
  11. I actually enjoy doing housework....yeah, I think there's something wrong me too, it's ok!
Questions Olivia asked me!

  1. If you were a superhero, what would be your power? 

Telekinesis! It would be brilliant to move things with my mind like a jedi!
  1. Favourite television show/movie
Right now I’m loving Always Sunny in Philadelphia, and The Following!
  1. Favourite animal and why?
Meerkats! I could spend hours just watching those little guys, they’re so cute and playful.
  1. Tea or coffee?
Green tea! There’s no problem a good brew can’t solve!
  1. What would be the first thing you'd put on your bucket list if you had one?
Most of the stuff on my bucket list is to do with travel. I really want to see more of the world!
  1. What accent do you have? Do you like it?
Born and bred in Liverpool so I have a scouse accent, it’s not particularly ‘strong’ and I’ve been mistaken for being Scottish by Americans! I love living in Liverpool so of course I love my accent too!
  1. What is your favourite word?
  1. What do you like/dislike most about your blog?
I love creating new content. Having the blog has really encouraged me to go to new places, try new things etc to have something to write about. It pushes me out of my comfort zone and towards new experiences that I can share with you all! The only thing I’d say I dislike about blogging sometimes is photo-editing. Photo editing for one blog post can sometimes take longer than creating a weeks worth of text content!
  1. How big is your family?
Not so big, it’s pretty much; Mum, Dad and my brother. I have a lot of close friends who I consider my family!
  1. Beach or museum on holidays?
Museum – don’t get me wrong, there’s nothing better than a few hours on the beach, soaking up the sun and relaxing, but I get bored of it pretty quickly. I love having something to do, places to go etc. I love visiting landmarks, theme parks, local attractions etc, being really ‘touristy’!
  1. What are your interests?
I always find this question so hard to answer! I love all the usual things; reading, writing, going to the theater, cooking, that kind of stuff, but I love to try new things so my interests can change on a daily basis! Like right now, I have a thing about Space, so I’ve been reading a few auto-biographies and watching some documentaries; I highly recommend you all check out The Astronaut Wives Club by Lily Koppel!

  Questions I propose to my nominees;

  1. Reach for the nearest book, open it to a random page - what's the top line?
  2. What would your last meal be?
  3. What's your favourite Disney movie?
  4. Have you ever broken a bone?
  5. What's a lyric from your favourite song?
  6. If you could close your eyes right now and go back to a particular moment in your life - what would it be?
  7. Who is your favorite historical figure?
  8. If you could trade places with the opposite sex for a day - what would you do?
  9. Sweet or savoury?
  10. Who would play you in a movie of your life?
  11. What's the most recent thing you bought that you regret?

Bloggers I nominate for a Liebster Award!

Laura @ Laura in Wonderland 
Zee @ GlitZeeGlam 
Hannah @ Hannah Rosalie Words 
Jackie @ Just Add Ginger 
Steph @ Just Steph 

OK, so I know you're suppose to nominate 9 fellow bloggers - but there's only these lovely ladies above on my bloglovin feed under the 200 followers mark! So go say hi, show them some love!

Until next time,


Friday, 21 February 2014

Her (2014) Movie Review


"The heart is not a box, it continues to grow the more it loves"

Her – a postmodern love story about a man who falls in love…with his operating system.

Orange Wednesday is the perfect excuse for a mid-week date night. Pair that with one of the most awesome cinemas in Liverpool, The Fact, throw in a passion fruit cider and some lemon and poppy seed popcorn and BOOM…date night is complete.

Her came out on February 14th and I’ve been counting down to see it ever since (ok…so I didn’t have to wait too long but that’s a rare thing!). The film itself is set in the not too distant future where everyone is walking around in high-waisted trousers and staring at their hand-held devices with tiny little smiles on their faces. Everything looks so soft, like that moment on a Sunday afternoon just before sundown, it’s utterly utopian…on the outside.

Enter Theodore, a soulful, quirky guy who makes a living writing heartfelt letters on behalf of lazier, less poetic folk. He has a gift for reading between the lines on people’s faces and telling the story they didn’t know they had in them. I’ll be honest, I couldn’t take my eyes off the glasses/moustache combo that looked like something you pick up in a joke shop, but looking past that, there’s a pretty genuine guy whose had his heart broken in the past and can’t accept it. He just wants to love and be loved in return – don’t we all? The whole premise of the film is connection, how we connect to one another and the world around us. Suddenly its synopsis of ‘man falls in love with operating system’ seems a whole lot more complicated!

Theodore upgrades his operating system to OS1, an artificially intelligent operating system that grows to suit your needs by learning more about you and your world the more you use it. OS1 names herself Samantha and starts to change Theodore’s life from the get go! Theodore is going through a divorce and has become pretty introverted. Samantha becomes the guiding light in his life that pulls him out of himself, puts him back into the world and makes him realise dreams he never knew he had. 

"I think anybody who falls in love is a freak. It's a crazy thing to do. It's kind of like a form of socially acceptable insanity"

Theodore and Samantha go beyond user/computer and they enter into an intimate relationship with one another. Though this sounded like a little ‘geek freak’ from the synopsis, it was anything but! Their relationship was so honest and sweet, as an audience we come to sympathises with both characters, Samantha becomes as real to us as she is to Theodore.  

"I think I have felt everything I'm ever gonna feel. And from here on out, I'm not gonna feel anything new. Just lesser versions of what I've already felt"

What I love about this film is that they have taken the concept of digital relationships and showed how they will ultimately evolve. People fall in love online everyday with people they’ve never met, and like Theodore, we never see Samantha. She doesn’t exist in the physical world, she’s and artificially intelligent consciousness…and haven’t we seen that before? It reminded me so much of Bicentennial Man when Samantha started talking about her lack of body, her lack of being human. For me, she’s probably the most human AI there’s been in film! Her non-physical form never matters to Theodore and it never matters to us either – the relationship itself is so believable and so powerful that the idea of a man having an out in the open relationship with an operating system is considered practically ‘normal’.

As love stories go, Her is high up on my list of all time favourites. It manages to create a solid, believable relationship that somehow dodges all the clichés, even the cyber sex becomes more touching than ‘weird’. I really thought this film was only going to go one of two ways – really cheesy, or really tragic. Somehow, it managed to avoid both of these outcomes – well done Spike Jonze! The ending was so beautiful and just, I couldn’t argue with it!

This film really highlights the concept of connection and intimacy and it challenges us as to what we understand about being intimate with someone. Is intimacy purely a physical act or is it something more? Can we be intimate with someone on a none-tactile level? It also begs the question, can we really love another if we don’t truly love ourselves? The film has such a beautiful message and breaks down so many Hollywood romance clichés it’s a breath of fresh air. I also love how it portrays a more accepting society – I mean who can imagine a society where a man falls in love with his operating system and doesn’t end up on the Jeremy Kyle show? The society here is more curious than critical about Theodore’s and Samantha’s relationship – oh how we wish the real world was more like that!

So get yourself down to your local cinema, get yourself a ticket and don’t forget the Kleenex!

Have you seen Her yet? Thoughts?

Until next time,

Wednesday, 19 February 2014

Birchbox UK - February 2014 - What's in the box?

The weather has been beyond miserable here recently so when that mint green box with a big B on the front landed on my doorstep my day day got a lot brighter! Step aside wind and rain, hail and snow, there's a Birchbox that needs investigating - and this months box really put a sun-shining smile on my face!

I was hoping for a Valentines Day theme - I'm a sucker for themes, so they lost a point or two there, especially after all the good things I've heard about the V-Day themed box Glossy Box sent out this month, but the products more than made up for a lack of glittery hearts and rose petals. In fact, I'd possible stick my neck out and say Birchbox outdone Glossy Box this month!

The theme this month is all about your own personal style, not just fashion, but beauty, scent and the books you keep on your coffee table.They've brought back the little drawstring bags too *hurrah* and the info cards are filled with pin-board must have inspiring quotes about style. 

Enough of that, onto the box!

Beauty Protector
Everybody loves a product launch, especially when you get to try out a really cute little glass vial sample! This hair oil smells like caramel sauce! I love hair oils, but I only use them around once a week so I'm still working my way through other oil samples I've been sent. I'll be sure to give this one a try at some point - at this rate I'll never have to buy a bottle myself!

Eyeko Skinny Liquid Eyeliner
This eye-liner is amazing! It's like using a sharpie on your face (don't use a sharpie on your face!). It has a really fine precision felt tip like applicator and is so small it makes it very easy to control. The black is so deep it really pops. This is perfect for travelling - now I just need to perfect my Alexa Chung-style feline flick! I really love Eyeko liners and have had so many from subscription boxes, they're really pigmented and last all day.

Urbanveda Radiance Exfoliating Facial Polish
I feel like we get an exfoliating wash in every Birchbox - now this isn't me complaining because I love to try them, but I', yet to find one I love even half as much as my trusty St Ives Apricot Scrub. This Urbanveda one claims to be gentle on the skin and packed with super-fruits - the packaging is so cute and reminds me a lot of the brand Balance.Me. It also contains turmeric which is the most popular guy on the block right now, boasting a boat load of anti-aging and skin loving properties. The wash itself is packed full of tiny micro exfoliating beads that actually feel pretty harsh on the skin and it is heavily perfumed which puts me off a touch, it's got a ready heady lavender scent that borders on those air fresheners your Grandma has.

Gilchrist & Soames Shower Gel
Everybody loves a travel sized shower gel, they come in so handy for over night stays with friends or romantic weekend getaways - and they're perfect if you've got a house guest coming over! The labelling is reminiscent of Jo Malone, clean and simple. It's a paraben-free formula with red tea, grape seed and milk thistle to refresh and hydrate. It smells pretty nice but there is a really strong soapy under tone that gest stronger the more I sniff it.

Leighton Denny - Coconutty
Seriously. This is the reason I love this box so much. I love Leighton Denny varnishes and I was so excited to see a full sized one in this months box! What's more, I got the perfect colour for me too! Coconutty is a really pretty taupe colour filled with flecks of gold. I'm in love with it and can see myself getting a TON of wear out of this one! The flecks are all different sizes and catch the light so nicely. It's such a pretty natural colour - I'm sold! Leighton Deny varnishes always wear well and have pretty good staying power too.

Green & Blacks 70% dark chocolate
I love the little lifestyle extras Birchbox throw in, and usually it's something sweet too! I love these mini bars of Green & Blacks, and I love dark chocolate, it's so god for you and it tastes great! I'll be savouring and enjoying this little delight you can count on that!

If you ask me, this months box did not disappoint at all. Everything is usable and right up my street. I'm still so happy I made the switch to Birchbox, they're yet to have a 'bad' box. And it doesn't look like they'll have a bad box any time soon...they've partnered with Lulu Guinness for the upcoming March box!

Until next time,

Monday, 17 February 2014

Ghost on Tour - The Review

Ghost The Musical : On Tour

Last week I headed out for a night at the Liverpool Empire to see the stage adaptation of the timeless tearjerker Ghost. I’ve been counting down to this performance for months and was so excited to see how it transferred from screen to stage. Last year I went to see another screen to stage adaptation; Dirty Dancing. As much as I loved the show, the music, the cheesiness of it all, there was just something it didn’t quite capture for me that Patrick Swayze did in the film. I know I shouldn’t compare it to the original – but when it’s one of your all time favourite films it’s pretty hard not to!

I was a little worried about Ghost, Dirty Dancing was so cheesy, I was worried Ghost might go down the same road – I love that I was wrong and had nothing to worry about!

20 years on from the award winning move starring Swayze and Whoopi Goldberg, Ghost came to the stage as a musical and the fans have been loving it ever since. It’s been a while since I saw the film but I knew the story line – and after instantly falling for the chemistry between the main two stage actors playing Sam and Molly I knew the tears where just around the corner – damn!

They had some of the most amazing on-stage visuals I’ve seen since Starlight Express, the scene in the subway was fantastic, it really did look like the characters where whizzing along subway tunnels right there on stage. The quick changes from living to dead where pretty seamless too which impressed me – as long as you ignored the really old school looking CPR dummies they used!

I loved the numbers Are you a believer and I’m Outta Here, both with Oda Mae front and centre. I’ve got to give a shout out to Wendy Mae Brown whose performance of Oda Mae Brown (originally played by Goldberg in the film) was brilliant! She was so funny and really livened up the audience when things got a little dark or sad.

Though the dance numbers seemed really ‘samey’ the ensemble filled the stage with rhythm and energy, I was especially partial to their routine with the umbrellas, it looked great on stage and so synchronized.

The core four on stage seemed to have great chemistry which really helped to keep the story going but I’ve got to admit, I found Sam’s overly enthusiastic attempt at a Brooklyn accent really annoying by the end of the performance – as great as the guy was, I’d rather he stuck to singing or silence!

If your a fan of the film then seeing it on stage is a must! They story flows really well and I couldn’t note any un-finished storylines or plot holes. The show is perfect if you’re looking for an idea for date night, nothing like a little unchained melody to bring you two closer together! For ticket information click here!

Have you seen Ghost on tour yet?

Until next time,

For updates on the Tour be sure to follow them on Twitter @ghostontour and check out the official tour site here!

Saturday, 15 February 2014

#2014BloggerChallenge - Most Wanted High End Beauty Products

When Gaby put out the latest #2014BloggerChallenge prompt; high end vs high street, I knew exactly where I wanted to go with this! I've been scrolling around the internet like a kid in a candy shop with a platinum AMEX eyeing up all of the over priced beauty luxuries I can only dream of taking home with me one day.

That day doesn't look like it's going to come any time soon (though I might go and put the lottery on tonight just incase!) but it's always fun to window shop...right?

So let's jump right in and take a peek at the products making me drool all over my keyboard!

1. Narsissist Eye Shadow palette (£50)
I still have yet to purchase anything Nars but if I had my way, this palette would break my Nars-ginity! I'm a neutrals girl and a sucker for pretty palettes - and just look at this beauty! I love the pigmentation in Nars products and this palette is so versatile for day and night, it'd create numerous awesome looks. 

2. Elemis Pro Collagen Oxygenating Night Cream (£95)
I used a sample of this a while ago and fell head over heels in love with it. I'm pretty sure they discontinued it for a while but it appears to be back and I'm OH so tempted to give in. This really helped my skin out, reducing redness and leaving it plump and silky smooth come morning. I've used a couple of Elemis products but this has been the best by far!

3. Sisley Palatte L'Orchidee (£62)
I'll be honest, if I actually owned this I don't know if I'd be able to use it at all because it's just too darn pretty to spoil! The above image really doesn't do it justice, the mixtures of pink and coral and the shimmer...the shimmer, the shimmer! It's more like a piece of art than a beauty product! I also love their luxe packaging!

4. Guerlain Meteorites Pearl Powder Blush (£37.50)
When something is described as the ability to transform light invisible to the naked eye into a pure and endless glow on the skin - who doesn't want a pure and endless glow? I love the multicoloured multifunctional pearls; yellow to counter redness, pink for freshness and mauve to catch the light, it's like a walking light studio for my face alone. swoon

5.  Molten Brown Ylang Ylang Body Wash (£18)
OK, so it might be the cheapest thing on the list, making it seem a little less high end than the other products here but, I generally pick my body wash up for under £3 - so £18 is way out of my minimum wage price range! I got a sample of this a while ago and it was so foamy and luxurious! It smelt heavenly and made my bathroom feel like a luxurious hotel room. Yes, a shower gel can do just that!

6. Creme De La Mer (£105)
I have always wondered just what the hype - and the price tag, are all about when it comes to Creme De La Mer. I would love to bag myself a pot and found out (and of course share it with all you lovely people!) but alas, this is nowhere in my near future! I could never justify spending £105 on a moisturiser when my current one costs under £10! I'd be too terrified to use it!

7. Lancome Visionnaire (£59)
If you've been around the blog over the last couple of weeks you'll know I've recently fell in love with Lancome skin care - especially Visionnaire. I received a sample with my Clarisonic and it worked absolute magic on my skin - I miss it terribly! I tried to find a dupe but it just didn't work out as well as I hoped it would! I'd love to treat myself to a full sized bottle one day!

8. Mulberry Make-up Case (£210)
If I was ever to purchase all the goodies on the list then they all deserve a case equally as luxurious to be kept in - and what's more luxurious than a Mulberry? Ah, a girl can dream can't she?

So what would you all put on your must have high end products list?

Until next time,

Thursday, 13 February 2014

The Valentines Day Tag

Love is certainly in the air this week! Continuing with this weeks Valentines theme, of course I had to find a tag that fit in every so nicely with everything going on around here this week! I present to you; The Valentines Day Tag! I found this on BeyondBeautyStar ! Let's get cracking!

1. What are your thoughts on Valentines Day/Why? 
I actually really like Valentines day! I'm a complete sucker for any holiday and any excuse to celebrate or doing something different/special - and Valentines Day gives me that excuse! I love all the themed goodies; the flowers, the balloons, the cards, the treats. If it's got a big red/pink heart on it and it's covered in could I not? It's the perfect excuse to show that special someone in your life just how much you care about them - it doesn't even have to be a Valentine; it can be your best friend, your parents, even your milk man - who can say no to a double chocolate dipped strawberry or a heart shaped short bread?

2. Have you ever had a valentine before? 
Yup. Can't say I've got any embarrassing or awkward stories though!

3. What is the cutest thing that you have ever experienced/seen a friend experience on Valentines Day? 
I honestly do not know! Most of my friends have/have had really sweet boyfriends that have always spoilt them on Valentines Day but nothing comes to mind as being out of the ordinary!

4. What is your favourite Valentines Day candy? 
I'd have to say heart shaped cookies covered in white chocolate and red/white/pink sprinkles - delicious! 

5. Do you have a valentine this year?
I do :) It'll be our first Valentines together too!

6. If you were to get a gift on Valentines Day what would it be?

Wine me, dine me, take me to see a show, buy me flowers - I love traditional gifts. Though I wouldn't say no to a Lush gift set or something shiny either!

7. If you were to have a celebrity valentine, who would it be?
Has to be Leo DiCaprio! "Paint me like one of your French girls" Would asking him to re-enact all my favourite scenes from Titanic be a little...weird?? I'd let him share my floating board!

As always, I tag you all! Spread the love!

Until next time,

Wednesday, 12 February 2014

Valentines Day 2014 - Date night ideas in Liverpool

original base source

All you need is love
All you need is love
All you need is love, love
Love is all you need

I bet you're singing along now aren't you? I knew it. Liverpool is an incredible city, and if you're looking for the perfect Valentines date night in the city this year then you'll be spoilt for choice. Music, food, culture, even a stroll along the famous docks, love can be found on every corner of the city this Valentines day. If you're looking to spend Valentines day in the city, be it a first date or a fiftieth Valentines together, there is something going for all of you loved up couples out there!

Here's a quick run down of my top picks across the city centre this Valentines day!

1. Liverpool Philharmonic : Valentines Concert
Be swept away on keys and strings with a performance by the infamous Liverpool Philharmonic orchestra. Covering classical romantic favourites including; Bolero, Carmen Suite and Habanera. Guitarist Miloš Karadaglić will be making his Liverpool début, whisking you away across the romantic plains of Spain.

2. The Wheel of Liverpool : from £7pp
The Liverpool skyline is so impressive - but even more so when seen from 60meters high! 41 individual capsules and one very special VIP capsule, will take you on a 360 degree panoramic view of the city. What could be more romantic than seeing the city from the skies when it's all lit up at night? The wheel makes 3 rotations, giving you plenty of time to enjoy the views and each others company. You can even get some champagne to take aboard!

3. Ghost @ The Liverpool Empire : from £10pp
Just in time for Valentines day, can you think of a more romantic performance to see this Valentines day? Ghost is the timeless story about the power of love. Ghost is a roller-coaster ride of emotions, from comedy to tears.Would you cross the barrier between this life and the next to save the one you loved?

4. Mal Maison : A truely epic romance 
Great food, fine wine and two lovers looking to escape for a night of luxury and indulgence - how does that sound this Valentines day? Mal Maison, situated on the infamous water front, is offering you the complete Valentines package this year - 4 course Valentines menu, over night stay, breakfast, chocolate dipped strawberries and  a cocktail each. What more could your Valentine ask for? I've heard too many good things about this place!

5. HER @ The Fact 
Coming out on Valentines day itself, HER is the tale of a lonely writer who develops an unusual romantic relationship with his operating system. The films looks brilliant and I can't wait to see it - and when I do it'll be here at The Fact. With three exhibition halls, a cafe, bar and three film screens, screening both mainstream and  independent films, you're in for a cultured night. They even have more intimate couch seating known as The Box for those who are really loved up this Valentines day. Be sure to try the speciality flavoured popcorn and get your wine in a plastic flute if you want to take it into the film with you!

How will you be spending Valentines day this year? A trip into our fair city perhaps?

Until next time,

Tuesday, 11 February 2014

Valentines 2014 - Gift Guide for Him

Another day during this week of love special, today we'll be looking at fantastic gift ideas for that special man in your life. Valentines day has always been made out to be more about the girl than the guy, but our guys need to be shown a little love too on this day! It doesn't have to be all pink bows and rose petals, there are plenty of 'manly' gifts out there that they're sure to love!

1. Reel me in lure (£13.14)
If your guy loves to spend his weekends away around the lake fishing, then what better way to keep you on his mind? This cute lure is a great way for him to take a little of your love to the lake if fishing isn't as much your thing as it is his! It's also showing him how well you know him and his hobbies!

2. Ted Baker wallet (£37)
Well he needs somewhere to keep all that hard earned cash he's going to spend on you! Wallets make great gifts, you guy will be sure to use it every day. You could even pop a picture of your two inside or a hide a little love note in one of the card slots. It's a practical gift that isn't overly mushy for Valentines day!

3. Grow me Hot Stuff (£4.95)
This is the perfect gift for the foodie loving man in your life - what better way to prove his manliness than by growing then chomping down on his own hot chillies? Once he's grown his chillies, he's got a great excuse to cook you a romantic meal too!

4. Sushi making workshop with YO! Sushi for two (£45)
Why just go out for a romantic meal when you can have fun making it together first? They say a way to a mans heart is through his stomach and if you're on a first date this is sure to help break the ice and get you two talking! Not only will you learn how to make delicious sushi but you'll get to eat your culinary delights afterwards and receive a discount the next time you dine - the perfect excuse for a second date!

5. Custom Engraved Pocket Knife (£11.58)
Let's face it, boys love their toys, especially if those toys are fancy pants tools. These engraved pocket knives are perfect for the man in your life, he'll be so impressed he'll be wanting to open every letter or run around the house thinking he's Bear Grylls!

What will you be buying the man in your life this Valentines day?

Until next time,

Monday, 10 February 2014

Valentines 2014 - Gift Guide for her

Love is certainly in the air this week! Whether it's your first, fifth or twenty-fifth Valentines day together, your probably looking to get that special lady in you life something to show her just how much you love her this Valentines day! I've put together a little gift guide just in case your overwhelmed by all the bouquets and balloons and teddy bears adorning the high street right now!

1. TWOgether monogram sweetheart necklace (£24.40)
This simple and sweet 24k rose gold necklace is the perfect way to show your sweetheart that you belong together. It's chic and elegant without being over the top. The little monogrammed hearts hand-stamped with his & her initials are the perfect keepsake for years to come.

2. Prestat Assorted Truffle and Chocolate Box (£30)
Prestat make the most delicious luxury chocolates, and what better way to spoil that sweet one in your life with something equally as sweet? These are so good - you'll be lucky to get a look in! Pair them with a bottle of bubbly and you Valentine is sure to be swept off her feet!

3. I Love You Sweet Pea Seeds (£4)
I'm a sucker for a romantic metaphor - and what's more romantic than watching your love grow and blossom from these tiny seeds? This is such a cute little gift that is sure to put a smile on your Valentines face and remind them of your love every time they water them. It'll also last longer than a bunch of store bought flowers!

4. Name a Star Gift Set (£15.99)
Picture this; you take your Valentine on a romantic stroll after a wonderful meal, a glass of champagne, the sky is clear and filled with stars above you - you suddenly stop and tell your Valentine to look up, look up at the stars - because up there, somewhere, is one with her name on. Just when she thinks you might have had one glass too many, you pull out this beautifully boxed gift set and show her the certificate inside that tells her there really is a star up there with her name on! Romance win!

5. Infinity Heart Ring (£14.39)
As soon as I saw this I just knew I had to include it on the gift guide! So thin and delicate, it's the perfect gift for that very special lady in your life! Whenever they look down at their hand they'll be reminded of you infinite love for them and how much they mean to you.

What would you love to receive off your Valentine this Valentines day?

Until next time,


Friday, 7 February 2014

Jamies Italian - Liverpool One Review

Last weekend the Man and I took in a very last minute matinee of ‘Tonight’s the night’ – The Rod Stewart Musical. The show was great, as is pretty much everything that graces the stage of the Liverpool Empire – but afterwards we were starving! We had no idea where we wanted to eat or what food we fancied. My lovely Ginger told me she was eating at Jamies Italian earlier in the day so we decided to follow suit and give it a go!

I’ve been meaning to eat in here for a while but I’ve just never got round to it! Well, no time like the present and you know, I don’t need an excuse to eat out!

We headed over to the restaurant around 5.30pm, a somewhat busy Saturday afternoon in the city centre and no reservation – I was pretty surprised we got seated straight away! The place was packed out and the second we sat down a horde of people started to arrive – so it’s certainly a popular place. I’d recommend you book to ensure you get a table around this time.

The restaurant was buzzing, lots of chatter and delicious food smells floating from the open kitchen. I sat with my back to the kitchen and couldn’t help but stare at everything they served up – it all looked and smelt delicious. Oh – and you can’t forget too quickly whose restaurant this is – you can see his many cookbooks adorning pretty much every shelf! I’m pretty sure you can purchase them here too.

The menu is really varied – and for an Italian restaurant I was surprised to see no pizza on the menu. Starters are pretty much bread selections and cured meats. They do these great ‘planks’ that are perfect for sharing, especially if you’re dining in a big group. I saw tons of these being brought out from the kitchen. They have quite a few pasta and risotto dishes on offer – a lot of them are shellfish based too, not really my thing but I can see this place getting a big tick from the vegetarians out there. Lots of meat free, vegetable based dishes. In the mains section it’s mostly meat based dishes; beef, lamb and chicken and there’s always the fish of the day (which was rainbow trout when we dined).

We decided to skip on the starters, everything was so bread based it would just fill us up too much before our main! I ordered the rib-eye steak cooked medium, served with wild mushrooms, peppery endives and ‘funky’ chips. Mr. Man ordered a free range garlic and rosemary chicken with a tomato, olive, chili and caper sauce – surprisingly not served with chips so he got some ‘posh’ chips on the side. 

'Funky' chips

The ‘funky’ and ‘posh’ chips had me intrigued. When they came out, they looked identical, except the posh chips had a minimal sprinkling of parmesan on top. Both chips where thick cut. The ‘funky’ chips where topped with fresh garlic and parsley, the ‘posh’ chips; truffle oil. Taste wise, I actually preferred the ‘funky’ chips. The ‘posh’ ones didn’t taste of anything. I wasn’t sure what to expect from the truffle oil but I couldn’t taste anything there. I love the little touches when it comes to eating out – so the little metal pails and moped blue print paper the chips are served in was a cute touch for me. 

My steak was delicious. Cooked more on the medium-rare side, it was so moist and juicy. I mocked the gigantic wooden board they served it on – there was no table left once that was put down! It did come in handy keeping it all in one place as I cut into it! The side salad tasted fresh too, which makes a change – and no dressing, that’s a winner for me right there! The wild mushrooms were scrumptious – I could have just eaten a bowl full of them! They complemented the steak perfectly – but I’d have loved a few shallot onions in there too! The 8oz rib eye was so filling – but I made sure to clean my board! It was too good to leave any morsel behind. I do wish I had swapped the chips out for some extra veggies, slightly more nutritious and wouldn’t have left me feeling so bloated!

I managed to grab a quick pic before he demolished the lot!

The chicken was really tasty too! The garlic and rosemary had infused into the chicken so well that every bite was flavourful! I was a little put off by the sound of the sauce but I needn’t have been, it was really thick and rich and went so well with the chicken! Mr. Man regretted getting the side of chips, there was so much food already in front of him!

We where so full from the mains that there was no room left for dessert – but I did spot a pavlova on the dessert menu that I would definatly go back to try!

Our server was great and everything came out so quickly – another surprise seen as though both the restaurant and bar seemed so busy! The only gripe I would be forced to make is the restaurant  feels on the small side, all the tables feel really close together – but that’s an Italian thing I’ve been told! They had many big family groups in so it’s clearly a favourite with that demographic! I’d happily bring my family here if they weren’t such fussy eaters!

I’d love to come back at a quieter time or in the summer; I love out door dining in Liverpool One, watching all the shoppers go by. I couldn’t fault the service and would eat that steak again in a heart-beat. Jamies Italian burger seemed to be really popular, they where constantly flying out of the kitchen so that could be worth a try next time!

Have you eaten here, or at any other Jamie Oliver restaurant?

Until next time, 

Book a table and check out the menu here!

Wednesday, 5 February 2014


It feels like an age since I last did a tag post – and I’ve just loved seeing this one floating around the social-sphere! It’s a long one so you might want to go an put the kettle on, even grab a few cheeky digestives and make yourself comfy!

TMITOO much information!

1: What are you wearing?
Navy dress with a whole bunch of beige birds fluttering about all over it. Bought it in New Look last summer and have been wearing it to death for every season - it's amazing what a pair of thermal tights can do for a summer dress in winter!

2: Ever been in love?

3: Ever had a terrible break-up?
I think all break ups are pretty terrible, I can’t say I’ve ever heard anyone say, ‘Oh we broke up – it was fun!’, it just doesn’t work like that for me!

4: How tall are you?
5ft 3 or 4 inches I think!

5: How much do you weigh?
I don’t actually weigh myself, I find it a pretty negative experience. As long as I’m comfortably fitting into my size 10 skinny jeans then I’m happy! If I had to guess I’d say I’m around 8 ½ stone or there about.

6: Any tattoos?
Nope. I love tattoos, but I have a low pain threshold! I could never decide on something I wanted forever inked onto my skin either.

7: Any piercings?
Only my ears, that’s enough for me! I’ve got really tiny earlobes, if they were just a little bigger I would love to have them double-pierced.

8: OTP?
Harry/Hermione, hands down! No matter how many times I re-read the series I can’t not see the chemistry between them. The epilogue of the final book is firmly stapled shut – sorry JK!

9: Favourite show?
Right now, I’m loving Greys Anatomy and America Horror: Coven. Favourite shows of all time would include; Friends, How I Met Your Mother, Haven, Eureka, Fringe, Always Sunny in Philadelphia, and the X Files, Sex and the City...I watch A LOT of TV so narrowing it down is too hard! The list is endless!

10: Currently listening to?
Lorde, Vance Joy, San Cisco, Gavin Mikhail and Avicii!

11: Something you miss?
Max! He passed quite a few years ago now but he was seriously the best dog anyone could ask for! He was just this furry little lazy old man with the strangest allergies and loved nothing more than sunbathing and eating tuna! He was a part of the family for 12 years. I miss having a pet around the house so much!

12: Favourite song?
This is so hard! There’s a whole bunch of songs that have special meanings/memories attached to them for me. One that got me through some tough times over the last year or so had to be Ben Howard – Keep your Head up.

13: How old are you?

14: Zodiac sign?
Libra, though balanced is not something that comes to mind when I think about myself!

15: Quality you look for in a partner?
Talking! I’m a talker! They have to be able to talk about anything and everything! And they have to like the theatre too!

16: Favourite Quote?
I’ve been collecting quotes for years, the first one that comes to mind has to be,
“All our dreams can come true if we have the courage to pursue them” – you just knew it would be a Disney quote, didn’t you?

17: Favourite actor?
Coin flip between Johnny Depp and Leonardo DiCaprio!
18: Favourite colour?
Pink or purple, I’ve spent my life trying to decide!

19: Loud music or soft?
Something soft in the background works for me!

20: Where do you go when you're sad?
To bed if it’s cold outside – outside it it’s warm outside!

21: How long does it take you to shower?
As long as I can get away with. I love really long showers – unfortunately we only have one bathroom and I live with people who have the tiniest of bladders!

22: How long does it take you to get ready in the morning?
About an hour, unless I’m running late. If I’m running late I can have it all done in about 15 minutes – no idea how that magic works!

23: Ever been in a physical fight?
Nope! I’d be useless!

24: Turn on?
A well fitting suit!

25: Turn off?
If you can’t turn your phone off, you’re turning me off!

26: The reason I started blogging?
I love to write and I love to read other peoples blogs. Therefore, I put the two passions together and this is what happened!

27: Fears?
Ventriloquist dummies and marionette puppets. *shudder* I can’t even think about them!
28: Last thing that made you cry?
Ant & Dec receiving their landmark award at the TV Awards the other weekend. Brought me to tears! I’m getting emotional in my old age!
29: Last time you said you loved someone?
Just a few hours ago :)

30: Meaning behind your blog name?
Saloca has been my online handle for years. It’s made up if the first two letters of my first, middle and last name. Saloca in Wonderland was the original name for the blog when I used to blog about Walt Disney World.

31: Last book you read?
Wolf Hall - Hilary Mantel. Been meaning to read this for an age and finally got around to it. I love anything Tudor but this is the first I've read that looks at Henry VIII and his court from a male perspective, that of Thomas Cromwell.

32: The book you're currently reading?
The Astronaut Wives Club - Lily Koppel. Last year I started reading more about Space exploration, mostly focusing on the Astronauts themselves. This, so far, has been fascinating, reading about how the wives and families had to cope with the fact their loved ones where being blasted off into the unknown, sitting atop massive sticks of dynamite, and never knowing if they would ever return home.

33: Last show you watched?
Helix – didn’t enjoy it! Felt like I was watching a bad Sci-fi movie!

34: Last person you talked to?
Good ol’ Dad, I’m pretty sure it was about food too!

35: The relationship between you and the person you last texted?

36: Favourite food?
Crunchy peanut butter on Melba toast with sliced cucumber on top!

37: Place you want to visit?
Barcelona is coming up in a few months! I’m really getting a taste for short city breaks so who knows where will be next. I’m thinking possible Germany or Italy! I wouldn’t mind a city break here in the UK somewhere either, there’s so much of my own country I have yet to see!

38: Last place you where?
Last ‘holiday’ style trip I took was to York. Such a beautiful city, I’d love to live there!

39: Do you have a crush?

40: Last time you kissed someone?
Last night.

41: Last time you were insulted?
No idea. I’ve either pushed it to the back of my mind or I didn’t hear them insulting me!

42: Favourite flavour of sweet?

43: What instruments do you play?
None! But I would love to take piano lessons someday!

44: Favourite piece of jewellery?
Tie between my Chamilla leather wrap charm bracelet and my Swarovski drop necklace!

45: Last sport you played?
Sport? Played? What? Next question!

46: Last song you sang?
Pharell Williams - Happy. Can't help but sing a long when that comes on the radio!

47: Favourite chat up line?
I really don’t like chat up lines! They just make me laugh and I can’t take them seriously at all!

48: Have you ever used it?
Couldn’t even if I tried – I’d be too busy laughing about it!

49: Last time you hung out with anyone?
Went for shopping, lunch and a catch up with one of my oldest friends at the weekend, fantastic! It seems to get harder and harder to meet up with friends the older we get, life just gets in the way all too often!

50: Who should answer these questions next?
As always I tag you all!

Hope you all enjoyed that, it took me an age to fill in but I do love these tag posts. As much as I’m sharing stuff about me with you all, I feel as though I learn a little something new about myself too!  

Fancy leaving an answer to any of the above in the comments below?

Until next time,

Tag originally found on ghostparties (YouTube), some questions modified for the blog!