Month: Mar 2016

Life // Why Blogging in the North is So Great

I live around 30 minutes from Liverpool and work 20 minutes from Manchester, two of the largest cities in the North West. Both well known for their culture, shops, music scene, nightlife and two popular student cities. Something that’s on the rise though is their blogging culture. The blogger industry is one that has a massive London focus yet there are loads of us plugging away up here. Attending well put-together events, having regular contact with PRs in both cities and creating great content that rivals our blogging friends down South. Now I want to make it clear from this of that the purpose of this post isn’t to have a moan about Southern bloggers. It’s merely to highlight how many great blogs are created in the North. It’s just a shame that larger brands don’t always recognise Northern potential. Both the Manchester and Liverpool blogging industries are so supportive with amazing outfit posts, beauty reviews and restaurant reviews, it makes me want to do more and push my blog further. Since I expanded into …

Food // Leaf, Bold Street, Liverpool

On Good Friday the sun was shining and it was the perfect excuse to head into town with my Mum to browse the Easter sales and go for lunch. I’ve heard lots of great things about Leaf but never actually been. Locates half way up Bold Street, it’s neatly tucked away in between lots of independent coffee shops and eateries.       We arrived just after 12 missing the breakfast menu, sadly as it looked amazing! The place was full with many tables around us tucking into stacks of pancakes and Instagram worthy breakfasts!  The menu is short yet sweet with enough variety to tempt you. I settled on the grilled feta cheese sandwich whilst my mum went classic; steak ciabatta and chips. The hardest decision was to choose which tea to drink!  Leaf is aptly named for a reason with lots of varieties of tea. Eventually we settled on the Darjeeling and the baked apple green scented tea. Both lovely and the perfect lunchtime treat! 

Beauty // Toning My Hair Grey 

Since we moved house I’ve left my hairdresser behind and my regular appointments for blonde highlights are no more. Instead I’ve started box dying my hair again and this usually spells trouble as I can experiment with colour! I’m loving the soft grey tones that are appearing on my Instagram feed so I decided to get in on the action.    First I had to lighten my existing blonde to strip away the yellow tone that has started to come through before I applied the toner. This one from Garnier worked really well and I was white blonde in half an hour! I picked up two of these Jerome Russell blonde toner kits in slate. I’ve applied one so far for the advised 30 minutes. It’s taken on my ends and my hair looks slightly darker on top but I’m gonna use the second one and leave for an hour. Hopefully the colour will develop then!  I also picked up an argan oil conditioner as I need to take care of my hair after applying …

Life // A Week in Pictures

   The last 7 days have mainly consisted of –  Homemade chicken quesadillas. First attempt wasn’t too bad but I’m excited for another go to get them just right.  What’s that? A new beauty post? It’s been a while since I’ve beauty blogged so this post signals the start of beauty again. A creme egg….that’s all on that one.  Lunch on Saturday at an American style place called Junk. The cocktails sounded amazing so this place is on our list to visit again.  Toasted choc hot cross buns, tea and daffodils in the sunshine on a Sunday morning.  And lastly, my attempt at cocktails using my Blend Active and new jars. Sloe gin, frozen fruit and tonic water. Delicious! 

Beauty // March Favourites 

It’s been a while since a beauty post graced the blog and to be honest, I’ve missed them. Don’t get me wrong, I love food blogging – both creating recipes and sampling new restaurants, but I equally adore investing in new make up. So what better time to do a March favourites haul? Rituals Magic Touch Rice Milk. This product smells amazing and leaves your skin so soft afterwards. Defo one to buy again. L’oreal nail varnish. This bold green colour is perfect for nights out as it vamps up your nails. I love the leopard print packaging too. Foundation brush from Wilkos surprisingly! I’m a sucker for rose gold and I couldn’t argue with the price! L’oreal eyeshadow palette in greens. I picked this up as its a nice twist on the smokey eye for a night out. And finally, a Nars blusher in Orgasm. Everyone’s favourite blush that does the job. You can’t argue with old favourites can you?

Food // Chicken & Chorizo Tray Bake

I think I’ve touched on this before but I’m not really a traditional roast dinner kinda gal. I’m not huge on going to a carvery and I don’t enjoy loads of plain veg smothered in gravy. There I said it. I prefer a mix of roasted Mediterranean veggies with a chicken breast, maybe some stuffing on the side and roasted parsnips. So this weekend I made just that! It was my second attempt at a kind of roast dinner and it’s another one that went down well in my household! I stole the recipe from Plates and Places and it was all kinds of amazing. Chicken and chorizo in an olive oil dressing – oh wow.           It’s really easy which is just what you want on a Sunday evening. Chop your veggies; chuck in a roasting tin with the chicken breasts, chorizo and a healthy dollop of olive oil. Cook in the oven for 30 minutes, or till the chicken is cooked throughout and then serve. If you’re looking for an easy weekend …

Food // Speedy Dinner Ideas on a Budget

Lately I feel like I’ve slipped in old habits and been eating out rather than making meals at home that cost half the price. So to get back into cooking, I took a trip to Aldi and filled the fridge with loads of fresh veggies to give me a much needed kick up the bum to make meals from scratch again! Since we got Molly, our French bulldog puppy, when I get in from work I want to play and enjoy puppy cuddles so I’ve been enjoying tried and tested recipes that don’t need hours spent in the kitchen! I cook for the two of us and I hate spending loads on random ingredients when I can rustle up a few tasty meals using the same range of ingredients throughout the week. Chicken, Leek & Mushroom Pasta Bake         Everyone loves a pasta bake and you can’t go wrong with a chicken, leek and mushroom combo plus a cheesy sauce! It’s dead easy and requires minimal effort. Chop up and gently fry your chicken …

Food // Federal Cafe, NQ Manchester

Federal cafe is the latest firm blogger fave if you wanna get your avo and eggs fix. So naturally, I thought I better get on the hype and see what the fuss is about! As soon as I arrived, I got it. Cute, kitsch interior with a rustic feel thanks to wooden tables and an open kitchen.         Once I found my spot I set about taking my pick from the menu. There was lots of choice but as I was there at half 9 in the morning I went for my old faithful – poached eggs on sourdough with avocado on the side. Just what I fancied with a pot of lemon and ginger tea to boot!  The NQ is a little out of my way these days but the next time I fancy a spot of brunch in Manchester I know where I’m headed! 

Drink // Veeno Liverpool Wine Tasting

Earlier this week I was invited along to classic wine bar, Veeno on Castle Street, Liverpool. As a self-confessed lover of wine I was intrigued to try a selection of reds and whites and understand what makes Italian and Sicilian wine just so delicious. Veeno is a small wine bar and what it lacks in space, it makes up for in wine! The cosy atmosphere makes it the perfect place to stop off for a glass of red before heading out to dinner or to unwind after a day at work in the city. Our server, Ryan, had extensive knowledge of the different wines available and whether they should be drank with food or enjoyed alone. I should put a disclaimer in here that I’m not usually a red girl. Partly because I’m yet to find ‘the one’ and with so many on offer I never known which to order. But by the end of the night I was definitely converted! We were treated to two large platters filled with cold meats, breads, pate and …

Food // The Aviary, Ormskirk, Restaurant Review

Since we moved to Ormskirk, I’m on a quest to try the many different restaurants and eateries in the area. And somewhere that caught my eye during a weekend walk was The Aviary. We (I) decided it was the perfect place to take our mums for Mother’s Day and it didn’t disappoint! Set just off the main road, it’s aptly named as there’s a huge aviary, next to the outdoor seating area and a field at the front filled with goats and llamas.  The attention to detail inside is just superb with staff who couldn’t be more helpful and a lovely bird themed décor with gold birdcage lampshades. There was a set menu and a choice of either 2 or 3 courses, but there was lots of choice, making it the perfect place to suit everyone! We all settled on 3 courses, with the pate and the fishcakes being our starters of choice. I had the fishcakes and they were divine. Served with a side salad and lemon and garlic mayo, they were light, fluffy …

Home // Meet Molly the Frenchie

Earlier this week our household grew by a member when my boyfriend returned home with a dog!    We’ve spoken loads about getting a dog when we moved in together but I didn’t expect it to be so soon! But last Tuesday I got home from work to find a little girl French Bulldog chilling on my rug in the front room. She’s playful, chilled and so loving and Molly felt like the perfect name! The last few days have been a whirlwind of adjusting to having a playful puppy, introducing nap times and running in the garden. But she’s truly settled in her new home and got us wrapped around her little paw so expect to see more of Molly the Frenchie!

Life // Reading Inspo 

At home you’ll more than likely find me curled up on the couch, either in my reading corner sat in the sun on the weekend (yes, that’s a thing!) or in bed with a magazine.     I’ve always been a magazine addict and as I’ve grown older this habit hasn’t changed. It’s even one of the reasons why I have a magazine journalism degree!  I love the glossy monthly mags so I can read about fashion and beauty as much as I adore food magazines. These are where I get most of my recipe ideas from. I even have a recipe folder where I rip out and store ones I want to try!  It’s just my way of relaxing and if I’m not reading a mag I’m probably checking my BlogLovin for new blog posts to read!  We’re still yet to buy a bookshelf for the house but I can’t wait till my recipe and fashions books can come out on display too!