Wednesday, 30 March 2016

Loving life in Liverpool

why go to liverpool

Liverpool is one of those places, no matter where in the world you go, you say Liverpool and people know exactly where you mean, strangers will start belting out Hey Jude and asking you how big Fred’s weather map really is (sadly it’s not even here anymore!). Liverpool is steeped in history, from the White Star Line offices to the infamous Liver Buildings, the old Lewis’ building, The Cavern club, St Lukes, the cathedrals, China Towns arch and more. 

Looking at the Liverpool of yesteryear using Travelodges interactive evolving cities guide, it’s amazing to see how much has and hasn’t changed around Liverpool over the years. Every street you walk, every corner you turn, you are bound to find a gem, be it a blast from the past or a modern day marvel. 

4 Reasons to love living in Liverpool City Centre

I’m at the heart of everything. If you stand on any street around town long enough you can physically feel the pulse of the city. The ships coming in, the trains underground, the tourists and locals meandering along Bold Street. No matter the day or time, the city is jam-packed with an infectious energy that you can’t help but be carried along by. 

Ever changing, ever evolving. From repurposing old, abandoned buildings to pop up independent shops, bars and restaurants, nothing around here stays still for long. There’s always a new place to check out, a new exhibit at the Tate to go see. This city just doesn’t keep still.

People watching. Ok, this might be a strange one but hear me out. There is nothing quite like finding yourself in Lime Street train station on a Saturday afternoon, grabbing a spot on the bench and just watching life unfold. Much like the opening of Love Actually, people coming together, saying goodbye, loves lost and found, the wide-eyed wonder of kids coming into the city for the first time, the relief on the faces of those who are finally coming home after time away. It’s a very grounding experience. 

The people. Scousers are not just people, ok, maybe I’m being a little biased here, but we’re really not. Scousers are some of the friendliest, outspoken, caring and funny folks you will ever have the pleasure of meeting. You can stand at a bus stop, ask someone for the time and know their entire life story by the time the bus pulls up. Growing up, that was just normal for me, but speaking to more people who live outside of the city, they always ask me, is everyone like this? Yes. I know no matter where I am in town, if I need help, I can find it, be it needing assistance in the loo on a night out when you decide to wear a jumpsuit, or simply looking for a place to eat. Someone is always ready and willing with an answer, a direction or two and a genuine smile on their face. 

visit liverpool

I love exploring the world, I have a list as long as my arm of places I want to see, things I want to do, people I want to meet, but my heart and my home will always be here, in Liverpool. 

How did you feel the last time you explored the city of Liverpool? Tempted to pack an overnight bag and come see for yourself?

Until next time,

Monday, 28 March 2016

No7 Beautiful Skin Foaming Cleanser

no7 beautiful skin foaming cleanser review

When it comes to cleansers and oily skin, they really are the be all and end all to my routine. Regardless of what other products I’m using, if the cleanser isn’t right then nothing else really matters. I love the feeling of squeaky clean, freshly cleansed skin, it just makes me feel all shiny (thought that could be the oily skin talking) and new. I picked up the No7 Beautiful Skin Foaming Cleanser on a bit of a 3 for 2 whim - I had two products I really wanted and needed something else to make the most of the offer, hey it would have been rude not to!

Oily skin has a love/hate relationship with foaming cleansers. Sometimes, the right cleanser just works, sometimes, it’s a complete and utter disaster. I used to always go for products specifically targeted at oily skin and I actually found these made my skin worse, go figure. This cleanser is for normal to oily skin, so I was hoping it would gear towards the more normal side. Products targeted at oily skin tend to be very drying which just causes the skin to produce even more oil which in turn, winds me right up!

Soap free, hypoallergenic, this foaming cleanser is designed to remove dirt, impurities, excess oil, tighten pores and remove make-up, leaving skin feeling refreshed and ready for anything. It has a mineral blend rich in multivitamins that should hydrate skin and leave you looking bright and awake. Extra added zinc should control oil production, leaving you looking less like a used frying pan. 

Ok. So. No. 

Damn. I hate to be a negative nelly, but the No7 Foaming Cleanser just hasn’t worked for me. My skin does feel fresh, smooth and tighter after use but if I don’t slap on the moisturiser within 10 minutes my skin feels uncomfortably tight and dry, especially around my chin, forehead and nose. I’ve been using it twice a day and it’s left me with a snake-skin shedding dry patch right in the middle of my forehead that makes mineral foundation impossible to wear - the foundation just clings to the shedding skin…right in the middle of my face

That’s just not a look I can rock. 

no7 beautiful skin foaming cleanser review

It also smells like bubbles. The ones you blow in summer and have the dogs chase and bite at for hours of endless amusement (don’t tell me you haven’t done this!). At first, it made me feel all nostalgic and want to run out and buy a puppy, but after about a week it just smelt very chemically. The pump also got stuck about half way through the bottle so I have to yank it back out every time I use it, now I’m just being picky. So let’s try a positive.

It does leave my skin looking, and feeling, squeaky clean. My pores feel tighter and my skin doesn’t look any more or less oily as the day goes on than before I started using it. Ideally, this should probably only be used once a day, if not less, maybe 2-3 times a week, but I’m trying to not have about 10 different products on the go at once. It hasn’t caused me to breakout at all, which is a nice bonus. 

Would I buy it again? I doubt it. But, I will finish the bottle, it’s not all bad, it’s just not for me, and as long as I slather on the moisturiser stat, things aren’t all bad. 

How do you feel about foaming cleansers? Any you’d recommend?

Until next time,

Wednesday, 23 March 2016

Easter Home Decor

easter home decor

Easter home decor

I love seasonal decorations, just a few hints here and there around the home. Sure, I guess if you’ve got kids you’ve got a better excuse than me, but I just think it’s really cute and fun and a great way to mix up how your home usually looks. 

Most of the Easter decorations are geared towards households with tiny chocolate covered hands, but I did manage to find a few cute, maybe slightly more grown-up, understated Easter decor pieces. 

Easter Ears Napkin Ring £3

Just a touch of fun to your Easter table when the family come around on Sunday for their roast dinner. These little napkin rings are too cute and very understated if you haven’t got much else in the way of Easter on your table, apart from the mini egg that got away. 

Pastel Egg and Flowers Wreath £36

Seasonal wreaths are too cute, thought I wouldn’t be looking to put it on the front door, I don’t trust this weather, it would look really cute on a living room door or hung on the wall in an alcove or above a side unit. The pastel colours are not garish and it isn’t covered in fluffy illumines yellow chicks that look like something of juniors easter bonnet competition. 

Mini Wooden Bunny £3.50

Small, ridiculously inexpensive and cute, you could easily pop one on a bookshelf for a very discreet homage to the Easter Bunny himself. I really like the idea of putting them in a less than obvious place, especially if you don’t want to make it obvious you're decorating for Easter, it seems like a more ‘natural’ decoration, if that makes any sense at all!

White Egg/Yellow Yolk Candle £4

Fun, fun, fun, again, a few of these dotted around the coffee table, on bookshelves, windowsills etc, are just a quirky and fun addition to your easter decor. You could easily reuse the egg shells next season and just pop in a yellow coloured votive candle. 

Eddington's Pastel Egg Cup Buckets £8

Personally, I’d use these all year round, just look at the mini pails with their little handles, can we all say cute? I love them, they’d be a great addition to the Easter morning breakfast, filled with runny eggs and served with lots of soldiers for dipping. Ok, now I’m hungry. 

Crouching Straw Rabbit £10

I had something similar to this years ago but it was a bear and it was adorable. Ok, it’s a little obviously easter decor but for the price, I’d say it’s reasonable and these things tend to wear well over time as long as tiny hands and paws are kept at bay. How cute would this little guy look chilling on the bottom stair or in the porch?

Now, it's time to go eat another hot cross bun!

Do you decorate for Easter?

Until next time

Monday, 21 March 2016

Lunya - Liverpool

lunya liverpool review

When you’re in the mood for a little bit of everything, tapas is always the answer. It’s probably one of my favourite kind of meals to go for, variety is the spice of life after all. Lunya, located in a beautifully converted 18th centre warehouse in the heart of the Liverpool One shopping centre is Liverpool’s first Catalan inspired deli, restaurant and bar. Lunya is about bringing passionate and inspirational dishes from their kitchen to your table and is easily one of my favourite places to go as the sun is finally starting to make an appearance. Tapas, sangria, good company, what more could this city girl ask for?

I headed down with Just Add Ginger blogger and personal bestie, Jackie, for a catch-up-lets-eat-all-the-food session. Being a Friday night in the big city, I managed to book us a table online, there was no way I was going to wait around getting hangry. We were seated upstairs, surrounded by 300-year-old exposed bricks and beams adorned with fanciful and brightly coloured Catalan artwork (turns out all of it is for sale too - now that’d be an interesting doggy bag to take home!). 

The worst thing about tapas is trying to choose. I love a little bit of everything but Lunya has such an extensive menu and such a wide variety of dishes, from true Spanish favourites to old school classics with a Catalan twist. They also serve up traditional, freshly cooked paella too. Everything is a labour of love at Lunya, they locally source everything that goes into each and every dish, so you know you’re only getting the good stuff here.

I usually opt for 3 - 4 plates per person, so that’s what we did. We deliberated over a very delicious Port of Dragons gin and eventually made our choices. All food comes out as and when it’s ready so there’s always something fresh on its way and the dishes are well paced, giving you time to enjoy each one. 

lunya liverpool review cabrales

Cabrales was a recommendation of our waitress, a very strong cheese and cider pate in mini pastry cases with caramelised walnuts…was what the menu said. What we got were essentially mini breadsticks and a dip. OK, slightly disappointing, not what we were expecting but we dived in. If you like Herculean strength cheeses, then you will love this. It was nice but I found it too over powering and could only handle a little at a time. We ordered the piquillo pepper hummus as a fresher alternative, that again was described as coming in pastry cases but came to us as breadsticks and a dip. I get that they don’t always have what’s on the menu but I felt like we should have been told things might be a little different. Not ones to fuss we gave it a try and this, I really liked. I love hummus and this was full of flavour. 

lunya liverpool review bacalao

Bacalao was a battered salt cod with garlic, parsley and tartar sauce served up in a mini brioche which was really scrumptious and tasty, a little fishy nugget of delight. We also ordered some croquetas, little-mashed potato balls that often come in a variety of flavours. We forgot to ask the waitress what today's flavour was but it definitely had a deep, meaty flavour to it that was absolutely gorgeous. Only I could order something off the menu and not have a clue what it is!

Now, comes the dishes that I have no name for. I’m a terrible blogger, I know, you don’t need to tell me twice. Lunya changes their menu all the time so more often than not you will find new and exciting dishes every time you dine. Now that's variety for you. I’ve scoured the menu but I can’t find anything that comes close to describing the last two dishes we had. So I guess I better get creative.

lunya liverpool review

Fancy pants black pudding was probably one of my favourite dishes of the night. It was so light and soft, nothing like the black pudding I’m used to having on a fry up, served with a piquillo pepper dressing. The black pudding had rice running through it and an almost paprika-y after taste. Last, but certainly not least, my favourite dish of the night (why is it I love the ones I have no name for? What’s wrong with me?) the Call me Cauli-Cauliflower. Jackie had been tweeting Lunya earlier that afternoon to see what they recommended and this was the dish they were most excited about. The Cauliflower was cooked almost like a pakora meets an onion bhaji, full of flavour and seriously, I couldn’t believe it was cauliflower! It came with the most amazing dip that we ended up using on everything we had because it was that good. 

Lunya is high up on my Summer eats list, they have a few tables outside that would be the perfect place to a gin and nibble and just watch my beautiful city go by. All with a sangria in one hand of course. We had a brilliant evening, filled our boots and had a great catch up. The deli is full of all kinds of can’t find elsewhere in the city delights, including fresh, straight off the bone, cured meats, olives and oils as well as some very delectable wines and spirits. 

Have you eaten at Lunya before? What do you prefer, tapas or one big main meal?

Until next time,

Friday, 18 March 2016

Minimalist packing for beginners!

Minimalist Packing - Overnight bag

I don’t know about you but when I pack, even just an overnight bag, I find an excuse to pack all of the things. The amount of times I have overstuffed a bag, broken the zip and put my shoulder out carrying it all because I simply can’t be without things. Things, things, all the things, and how much of what I pack do I actually use? I’d say less than half easily. I’m a worrier, I pack for things that may or may not happen, I take extras just in case and pop in bits and bobs because you never know.

Well, now I know. 

When I went away overnight recently, I challenged myself to pack as minimalist as possible. I wasn’t leaving the country, anything I desperately needed that I might not have packed, I could buy, so I boiled everything down to the bare essentials. Minimalist packing an overnight bag actually turned out to be not as hard as I thought - once I stopped picking up all of the things!

I started by putting everything into piles, then put these piles into multiple toiletry bags. I keep everything so I’ve got a horde of wash bags, toiletry bags, gift bags etc that look like they’re going to be ideal for travelling. I figured if I limited the space I could fill, instead of seeing how much I could toss in a suitcase, I’d have no choice but to only take what I really needed.

1) Make-up brushes
I’ve had this Bare Minerals gold travel brush case for years, it fits around 10 brushes in, so 10 brushes is all I can take. Hands down, this was the easiest one to do; foundation, concealer, bronzing, blush, highlighting, flat eye brush, fluffy blending brush and a blending/finishing powder brush. I could have actually doubled some of these brushes up and took even less. 

2) Teeth
No, not actually teeth, but dental care. Toothbrush, floss, toothpaste and mouthwash. I’d have took smaller, travel sized toothpaste and mouthwash but decided to go with what I had on hand. 

3) Evening clutch
My perfect Kate Spade black clutch never leaves its dust bag, so that was easy enough to pop in. I did pre-pack the bag with perfume atomiser and evening purse, then put other bits like make-up and money in before we went out. 

4) Shoes
I tossed my evening shoes in a tote bag to stop them getting scuffed and to stop the heels damaging the clothes that would be going in the case. I’ve actually started storing my shoes in canvas tote bags instead of shoe boxes - takes up much less space in my wardrobe!

5) Wash bag
My trusty Cath Kidston is waterproof inside and out, making it great for face clothes, towels and anything else that might get wet after use. I put my deodorant, hairbrush, hot cloth and face towel in here. The hot cloth and towel could have stayed at home, especially as it was only one night. I could probably scrap this bag altogether in the future. 

6) Clothes
OK, not all my clothes, but my pjs, underwear and socks. I think I put them in a bag because everything was in a bag by this point and it just looked good haha, small things amuse me. Get over it!

7) Skincare
Hands down, the hardest bag to pack by far. I ended up picking out sample sized products I had rolling around my drawer and tester sachets I’ve picked up on the counters. This made it so much easier, especially the sachets as they’re pretty much only good for one use. It was one night, so I had to be realistic about what I was going to use. Was I really going to do a deep cleanse and a face mask? Hell no! I took the basics; cleanser, day moisturiser, evening moisturiser, eye cream, make-up remover, lip balm, serum, and cotton pads. I could have easily dropped the evening moisturiser and serum but they were so tiny, they took up zero space! 

8) Make-up
I knew exactly how I was going to do my make-up so I took only what I needed for that. I opted for compact, slimline palettes, and travel sized mascara and lipgloss. I cut down on as many separates as possible, e.g taking my Sleek combined contouring kit, but could have packed my Urban Decay ‘On the Run’ palette; it houses eyeshadow, highlighter, bronzer, blush, mascara, liner and lipgloss all in the one palette! 

Once all the bags were in, I popped in my straighteners, evening dress, leather jacket, alcohol and snacks! 

I discovered one great bonus of packing everything in toiletry bags too; it took me 10 seconds to unpack! I can’t stand living out of a suitcase, and all the bags fitted perfectly into one drawer. 

It was clear by the next day I could have easily cut back on a few things, and there was nothing I had to run out and buy, so I'm going to call my first attempt at minimalist packing a success! Winner winner, chicken dinner and all that.

Are you a minimalist packer or a leave no-thing behind? 

Until next time,

Wednesday, 16 March 2016

Working and living with your partner

working and living with your partner

Do you know, around 14% of British couples meet at work? Being in that small percentage myself, I’m often asked how do I work and live with my partner? It got me thinking (now there’s a dangerous sport). Working together is one thing, but living with your partner too? Surely that spells disaster? Stress, strain, talking numbers and strategy over the dinner table, quite literally living and breathing out of each others pockets 7 days a week?

How the hell do we do it?

We work the exact same job in the exact same department. We have the same responsibilities, colleagues, shift pattern, uniform. You name it, we twin it. Before we moved in together, I never really thought about how things might change, how things would have to change between us to keep doing what it is that we do without destroying our relationship.

Physical space

Think Johnny and Baby, this is my dance space, this is your dance space. No spaghetti arms! It's not that we don't love each others company, we're pretty fond of each other, but that space is like a no-mans land - if you spend too long there, don't blame me if you loose a limb. At home, I have my end of the couch, the Mr has his, and the same applies at work. I have my section, he has his. At times, we have to work right alongside each other, but we're professional and we keep the spaghetti arms under control. 

You’ve got to leave work at work

Work stays put like a well-trained puppy, no amount of puppy eyes will convince us to bring it home. It's not always easy, especially when one, or both of us, have had a really crappy day, heck, one of the best things about working together is we never have to explain the job to one another, we get it, we know whole heartedly why the other might be stressed or pissed off, and we will happily vent to each other, but there comes a key in the door moment when you have to leave it until another day, race into the sanctuary of your home and leave the damn puppy behind. 

And home at home

Your partner left their wet washing on the bathroom floor again? You've been waiting how many weekends for them to cut the grass? When you're working together you can't go airing your dirty laundry around the water cooler - your colleagues are their colleagues. Whatever you say to them, it's going to influence how they see your partner, and there are some things you just don't want banded about the tearoom like a Judge Judy drama. So leave Judy at home, you can always pick up right where you left once you get back, away from gossip-hungry eyes!

Me time

We commute together, we work together, we commute home together. That’s a lot of together. Everyone loves a little me time, be it hitting the gym, writing, gaming, or just catching up on some programmes that your other half might not watch. It’s not unusual for us to spend most nights apart. Sure, talking about work is fun (ok, who am I kidding?), but without separate interests what else would we have to talk about? The weather? 

Don’t drop date night

Just because we work together and live together doesn't mean we have to drop the ball when it comes to spending quality time together. Date night is so important, I love nothing more than heading out to catch a film or a drink, trying out a new restaurant or just simply going for a walk with the Mr. It’s too easy to get home from work, kick off your shoes and sit around the house, it gets too comfortable and requires zero effort. All relationships require work and effort, no matter the length or situation, you can’t stop putting the effort into your relationship - the moment you do, it’s over. 

Somebody once asked me if they thought our relationship was more difficult because we worked and lived together. Honestly, I don’t think we have any issues that other couples not in our situation have. We work really hard on balancing work and home life, we make time for ourselves and for each other. We go out socialising together, and separately, just like I’d expect any other couple to do! Sure, we’re in a different situation but it works for us. 

Could you work and live with your partner?

Until next time,

Monday, 14 March 2016

MCM Comic Con Liverpool - 2016

mcm comic con liverpool

This past weekend saw MCM Comic Con, descend on Liverpool's BT Convention Centre. From Cosplay to movie memorabilia, gaming competitions, celebrity signings and Q&A session, and more, I couldn’t wait to head down and see how Liverpool would get it’s Comic Con on!

mcm comic con liverpool

I’ve attended Comic-Con in the past, been arrested by Storm Troopers and bought my weight in quirky tees and Japanese confectionary but it’s been a good few years since I last went. A few things might have changed but it’s still one of my favourite conventions. The BT Convention Centre, next to Liverpool's Echo Arena was filled to the brim with stalls literally selling the weird, the wonderful and the stuff a collectors dreams are made of. I grabbed the baby Bro, picked up some weekend passes and decided it was time to get my geek on.

MCM is known for it’s special guests, from the worlds of science fiction and gaming, you can guarantee there will be someone on the bill you recognise. I was super excited to see Lindsay Wagner (The Bionic Woman), Thomas Craig (Murdoch Mysteries), Andrew Lee Potts and Hannah Spearritt (Primevil) on the lineup, as well as Paul Amos and Victoria Atkin (Assasins Creed) and Jessica DiCicco, Flame Princess from Adventure Time. I always feel a bit weird seeing famous people in the flesh, but everyone at the MCM events are just too nice, super approachable and great with the fans. Though we missed the Q&A sessions on the main stage, we did catch a few mini chats on the MCM Buzz couch, I loved hearing Lindsay Wagner talk about working with Sandra Bullock - I had no idea Lindsay wanted Sandra to front a spin-off series of The Bionic Woman as the next Bionic Woman - and the producers said no because they didn’t think Sandra could hold her own! I bet they’re kicking themselves now!

mcm comic con liverpool

When you think Comic Con, you think Cosplay. The talent, time and energy that go into some of the costumes on display this weekend was mind blowing. From full Iron Men suits with lights and sound effects to tiny miniature heroes in the form of newborn Supermans and toddling Batmans was enough to make anyone's ovaries explode. Hands down my favourites had to be the guys who were going around with giant hand made Onyx and Gyrados puppets, Pokemon was my life growing up and seeing all the Pokemon trainers wandering around the centre had me itching to pick up my poke balls again. I’m sad we missed the infamous masquerade as it’s a great way to see some of the really really fancy pants costumes - you can’t always nab Batman or Darth Vadar for a photo pop when they’re tucking into some Pocky!

mcm comic con liverpool
Merch, merch, merch! From tees to shot glasses, handcrafted jewellery, steampunk goggles, if you can think it up, you can find it. MCM did a great job at spacing all the tables out and giving vendors decent sized spaces making it slightly easier to have a mooch about the goodies on offer. I eyeballed a really cute, simple Deathly Hallows necklace that I had to have, and my brother picked up everything from gaming cards to framed prints. Me being me, I had to come home with a box of cakes from the Custom Cupcake Company too. I did have my eye on a lightsaber Katana sword - though what the hell I would do with it is beyond me, but what a conversation starter that would be hanging on the living room wall. There was so much artwork and poster prints on offer, I could have easily decked out the whole house into a Nerdvana. 

mcm comic con liverpool

One of my favourite sections of any MCM Comic Con is the Comic Village, or Artists Alley as it’s sometimes called. A showcase from some of the most talented comic book artists and illustrators in the business. I was blown away by some of their work, from the fantastical to guts and gore, there was something for every taste to fawn over. I was bowled over by the guy drawing people as Sloths right then and there, they looked fantastic and it was great to chat to some of the actual creators of graphic novels and comic books on sale. 

mcm comic con liverpool

One thing that massively stood out this weekend was just how family friendly Liverpool MCM Comic Con was. I have never seen so many young families at one of these events and it was just downright brilliant to see. Have you ever seen a three-year-old dressed as Batman run the length of a room to hug his idol? For that idol to come down to his level and interact with him, to play along and just have fun with ti? these people in the costumes are just like you and me, they’re normal people and they just go with it, just to put a smile on the kids face. It was amazing to see so many families all dressed up and enjoying themselves. They had special kids zones set up with hands-on activities like creating your own Captain America shield or drawing their favourite comic book hero, it was great!

mcm comic con liverpool

I had the best weekend, seeing all the amazing costumes, feeling the real sense of community these events have. There’s something seriously amazing about seeing a group of people come together and just embracing each others passions and interests, of literally having an ‘anything goes’ attitude, I imagine for many who go this is one of the few times they really get to openly be themselves and I love the MCM guys and gals for making that happen. 

mcm comic con liverpool

I can’t wait to see MCM come back to Liverpool in 2017! You can guarantee I’ll be there! Now, don't mind me, I'm just going around the block in my pod racer!

mcm comic con liverpool

Have you ever been to an MCM Comic Con event?

Until next time,

Wednesday, 9 March 2016

Wedding Guest - Dresses

With wedding invites dropping through the door, hen parties partied and the big day just around the corner, it’s got me thinking about the perfect wedding guest dress. I love a good excuse to dress up and with a wedding to attend just around the corner, I can’t help but have a mooch around online at what's on offer. With 4 weeks to go I’m still not entirely sure what I’m going to be wearing but here’s just a few of the wedding guest dresses that have caught my eye recently!

Lindy Bop £40 

Simple, formal, cute length and a huge pleated skirt that would look amazing twirled around the dance floor after the nuptials. I’m picturing this with big soft curls and a chunky statement piece around the neck. 

Ted Baker £199
Can we just stop. I said stop. Let’s just take a minute and a breath or two to appreciate the beauty that is this dress? The colour, the cut, I wouldn’t even bother with accessories and pile my hair on top of my head to really show this one off, something loose and boho but out of the way.  I’m not a huge fan of cut out panels on dresses but on this, I like it. A lot. 

Chi Chi London £67

I’m thinking regal, royalty, a very formal occasion that calls for something that’s going to make a serious statement. There’s a lot going on here; the metallic lace, the rich navy, the detail, I don’t know where to look. Paired with simple heels and an understated bag, this dress will do all the small talk with fellow guests so you don’t have to!

Tenki £27

Nothing says wedding guest more than floral! The colour is perfect for any Spring/Summer weddings with a relaxed, bohemian vibe. The looser fit means I can pack away an extra slice of wedding cake and the price won’t go breaking the bank. 

Coast £159

I’ve never been one for full on skirts, but this, this is calling to me! The fabric is so luxurious and floaty, you’ll look like your gliding around the reception. It’s a very loose but flattering fit that would just drape beautifully. The print is so bold and eye catching, it’ll look great in the photos that’s for sure!

Are you attending any weddings this year? What will you be wearing?

Until next time,

Wednesday, 2 March 2016

After Eight Mug Cake

after eight mug cake

I always thought my hours spent on Pinterest would come in handy. Turns out, the fifteen minutes that the Mr spent on Pinterest would be an absolute game changer in my foodie-venture. He was craving something sweet but we didn’t have anything in (a rarity), so he searched around what little we had and came across the ultimate in sweet, gooey, microwavable dessert goodness that is the mug cake. Quick, easy, and oh so tasty, mug cakes are a huge deal, this is student approved, convenient cooking at it’s best. So of course, I had to try it.

I present to you; After Eight Mug Cake.

Somehow, we still have a couple of boxes of chocolate left over from Christmas and with Easter just around the corner, we’re about to get another truckload on the doorstep (no complaints from me!). I love After Eights, I love their minty gooey centre and the memories of Christmas dinners and bad jokes they invoke. But I’ve never thought of cooking with them, until now.

after eight mug cake

Ingredients for one mug cake

You will need;
  • 6 After Eights
  • 4 tablespoons milk
  • 4 tablespoons plain flour
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking powder

As for the mug, I find smaller works better for this, so something that holds around 250ml (and is microwave safe!)

How to make quick and easy mug cakes

after eight mug cake

In your mug add the 6 After Eights and 3 tablespoons of milk. Put in the oven on high for 20 seconds. Whisk is vigorously with a fork until chocolate and milk are combined, then pop it back in the microwave on high for 20 seconds. Next, add 4 tablespoons of plain flour, 1/4 teaspoon of baking powder and 1 tablespoon of milk. Mix everything together until it forms a thick batter that ribbons off the fork. Put this is the microwave on high for 1 minute. Use a knife or toothpick to check the cake is cooked throughout, if not, put back in the microwave for no more than 10 seconds each time.

If you overcook your mug cake it won’t be gooey and fluffy, it’ll be hard and turn into a mug biscuit, which we ended up losing a spoon to!

Once cooked, leave it to cool down for 20 - 30 minutes then enjoy! Serve as is or with a dollop of ice cream on top, depending how naughty you want to be!

magnum chocolate mug cake

This is easily the most versatile recipe ever. Just swap out the chocolate for whatever you like. We tried one with 1/3 bar Magnum white chocolate which turned out great. You can literally throw in whatever you’ve got to hand, so this will come in handy when you’re fed up with cornflake cakes and still need to find a way to use up leftover Easter chocolate! 

What’s your favourite mug cake flavour?

Until next time,