Applebee’s!

Here we are. We’ve finally come to the end of my American food journey. A sad moment but it’ll be nice to get to things other than chicken and chips! Last on the agenda for the food was Applebee’s. It reminded me of Texas Roadhouse in terms of decor and food with there more on offer than just steak and burgers and there was a lot of wood and TV’s playing sport on the walls. Nice atmosphere and a good way to round off a fantastic holiday!

No starters this time so straight into the main. I went for the chicken tenders with fries, coleslaw and ranch. Now if you’ve been following these america food posts you’ll know that I’ve developed a serious obsession with ranch so when they asked me what dip I’d like I jumped at the ranch chance. I have to say I was very disappointed. It just tasted weird and a little bit off, not creamy and delicious like the other ranches I’ve had. The chicken was delicious. Crispy on the outside and soft in the middle. Tasty coating and there was just the right amount. Fries were good too, crispy and had lots of flavour just how I like them. All in all, a great meal to end my little food tour.

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Uno!

Continuing on our Florida food trip we go to Uno, a place I’d never heard of before going. I didn’t have a clue what kind of thing they offered so I had no expectations going into it and I have to say I was very impressed, it was one of my favourite eateries from the trip and I think that could be said for the rest of the family. So without further ado let’s take a foodie trip down memory lane! The restaurant itself was very similar to the other ones that we’d been to, wooden inside, sports on in the background, that kind of thing. From what I gathered from the menu it was Chicago based and focused on pizzas, but it also did burgers, steaks and everything else that they offer in American restaurants.

For starter we went for another combo, the uno sampler, which is great when the portion sizes are so big. This one had onion rings, tortilla chips, guacamole, eggplant fritters and buffalo chicken quesadillas along with a mayonnaise, a salsa and a tomato sauce. Th onion rings were what I call proper onion rings (meaning you could tell that it was a whole slice of onion) but it had flavour on the inside and was sweet and tasty. The eggplant fritters were nice but made me really thirsty and I couldn’t have more than one. I really liked the quesadillas, they had a barbecue flavour and were packed full of chicken and vegetables, really tasty. The star of the show was the guacamole. I’ve never been the biggest fan of it before now but this was so tasty! It was seasoned so nicely that I could just not get enough. That with the tortilla chips was a winning combination!

Seeing as though the place boasted about its amazing pizzas I thought that I might as well give it a try. I went for the Chicago classic which had crumbled sausages, tomatoes and mozzarella cheese. It was deep dish, the classic Chicago way and also my favourite because I’m all about the base. This pizza was a bit backwards. The cheese was on the bottom with the tomatoes on top, whether that’s the right way to do it or not I’m not sure. This was out of this world. The base was crispy on the bottom but doughy in the middle and it was filled with flavour. I couldn’t eat it all but was very grateful when I took it home to eat it the next day. Yum!

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IHOP!

Well, what a bizarre experience this was. This has to be one of the weirdest but greatest culinary experiences I’ve ever had. I had heard of IHOP before I went to America but I had always thought that it strictly pancakes. Boy I could not have been more wrong. This menu was literally so extensive that it was hard to narrow it down. We had to wait for about 15 minutes for a table, it was literally so busy, there must have been about thirty people waiting for a table. It was totally worth it though!

I went for the steak, eggs, hash brown and pancakes. I know, steak for breakfast is a bit weird especially when it’s deep fried but it was literally amazing! It tasted more like a sausage than a steak but that didn’t matter, it was still delicious! The hash brown was the star of the show! It was what I’d call a rosti as apposed to a hash brown which is totally more up my street than a ‘normal one’. So nice, crispy on the outside and soft in the middle yum! The whole thing came with a cream gravy which was very bizarre but I’m not complaining! Super tasty. The eggs were nice but just like normal eggs. I was in pancake heaven! Fluffy and delicious. The only problem was there was butter on them and because I ate them last the butter had melted a whole in the middle of the pancakes and they went soggy and salty. Next time I’d take it off before I started tucking into my meal. Overall it was a great meal and one of my first breakfast out experiences which has made me want more.

American Drugstore Haul!

I tried, I really did, but I just couldn’t resist the temptation. I had to see what all the fuss was about when it came to drugstore makeup across the pond. We didn’t go to Target or anywhere like that so I had a little browse of our local Publix supermarket and this is what I came across.

First things first, guess what idiot bought the wrong thing, this girl! I meant to pick up the much coveted Maybelline Age Rewind Concealer that has been raved about by beauty bloggers for the past year. It was top of my list of things to buy but when it came down to it I thought bigger was better. There were two Maybelline products with the sponge on top and I just assumed that they were both the same and that one was just better value for money. They weren’t the same. At all. What I bought was the Maybelline Age Rewind Eraser which was more of a tinted SPF that didn’t have much coverage and practically the complete opposite. I’m going to give it a fair trial so that it wasn’t a complete waste of money and if it’s any good I’ll report back. Sticking with the base theme I wanted to try out a foundation and I settled on the Covergirl Ready Set Gorgeous. I don’t know why I went for this one but it said oil free, the packaging was interesting so I thought that I’d give it a go. I’ve just it pretty much everyday since I got it and so far I’m loving it! It’s lightweight but has a pretty good coverage and lasts all day. The plastic packaging makes it really easy travel with and I think that this will become a firm favourite of mine. Last but not least is another Covergirl product, the Covergirl Clump Crusher Mascara. I’d heard about this product before and I was in need of a new mascara so I thought that I’d pick it up. I love it. It curls, volumises and lengthens my lashes without any flaking or smudging. I don’t know what I’m going to do when I finish it because it’s so good.

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Longhorn Steakhouse!

Week two of the Florida food trip and this time it’s the turn of Longhorn Steakhouse. Unlike Texas Roadhouse last week the menu is a little more limited. There are a lot of options but it sticks more towards steaks and burgers and different versions and flavours of those. The service wasn’t as good as last week’s but it wasn’t awful and the decor was nice and cosy, like a log cabin, lots of dark wood.

Let’s jump into the meal and for starter we all shared chicken bites and handmade kettle chips. The chicken bites had a slightly spicy batter which was tasty and gave off a nice heat as well as having a sweet chilli sauce which went really nicely with the bites. The portion size was large for one person, but as a sharer for four it was absolutely perfect. The pieces were bite sized and really moist. The kettle chips were lovely. Crispy, not greasy at all and you could tell that they were made in the restaurant. It came with two dips, a garlic one and a barbecue one. The garlic one was okay but tasted a little funny and I didn’t try the other one as I’m not the biggest fan of barbecue. The chilli sauce however from the chicken bites went really nicely with it so I just used that. Overall I enjoyed both of these and the meal got off to a really good start.

For my main I chose the parmesan steak with seasoned fries. It also came with a salad before they brought this which was huge. I didn’t eat it because it had grated cheese in and I do not do raw cheese but it’s quite good that it came included with the price of your main meal. The steak was cooked lovely, near perfect but it could have just been a little bit pinker, I asked for it medium rare. The parmesan crust was needed because I like to have a sauce with my steak so this gave it a bit of something else. It was crispy and there was the perfect amount. The fries were very nice, tasty and crispy. The portion size of the whole meal was perfect, surprising from what we’d experienced before, and I polished off the whole lot. Lovely!

To finish off the meal I went for the chocolate lava cake. I have to say I was a little disappointed. I expected it to be a bit like a chocolate fondant, rich and full of chocolate-y flavour but it was a little bit tasteless. Too sweet, too clacky and too big. Sorry to be a bit of a downer but I just wasn’t a fan and it was a shame because for me it let down the meal a little bit but overall I really enjoyed it and pretty much everything was tasty.

Texas Roadhouse!

This post is the first in a line of America food posts and I know that I’m going to feel seriously hungry when writing all of them. Without further ado, her we go with Texas Roadhouse. The menu had a wide range of food items, from burgers to steaks and chicken so there is something for everyone. Drinks are free refills (on pop) and the service was top notch so I’d definitely recommend going here. It was one of my favourite places that we ate all holiday.

For starter we decided to go for the combo, that way we could try out a few different options and not be too full for our main (because these portions sizes were something else, as you’ll find out later). The dish came with loaded cheese and bacon potato skins, rattlesnake bites, which were a breaded jalapeño and mozzarella mix, and spicy chicken pieces. This has to be one of my favourite dishes of the entire holiday. The chicken was nice but rather than blow your head of there was a little bit of heat and it went really nicely with the cool sour cream. The rattlesnake bites were a lovely little addition. They also had a nice heat behind them and were super tasty. The outside was crunchy and the inside was soft which was a nice contrast. The star of the show was definitely the loaded potato skin. I am totally not a fan of this kind of thing, I’m not normally a cheerleader for potato but the crispiness of the skin and the taste of the bacon totally won me over! I literally could not stop thinking about these things for the rest of the holiday, especially when we went out to eat. What a winner!

Southern Fried Chicken with mushrooms, onions, a cream gravy, chips and a sweet potato was on the agenda for lunch and boy was it delicious! It was weird and a really bizarre experience, but delicious all the same! The mushrooms and onions mixed with the cream gravy turned into a really nice mushroom sauce and went really nicely with the crispy chicken. Fried chicken is one of my guilty pleasures so this was right up my street and did not disappoint! It wasn’t greasy in the slightest but was full of flavour and I would definitely have it again. The chips were a little bit too chunky for me but I enjoyed the crispier bits but the sweet potato was out of this world! Soft and sweet, I was in love. The only downside of this meal was the shear portion size. There was no way I was going to finish all of this. It tasted pretty amazing though, yum!

First Sephora Haul!

Now isn’t this exciting! During an amazing three week holiday to Florida I jumped at the chance to visit a Sephora and I had a great time. Last year I went into one in Spain and it was a bit of an under yet also overwhelming experience. There wasn’t the brands that I wanted and I there were so many products that I had no idea what to buy. This time I did my research, made a list (which you can read here) and went in there ready and raring to go!

There were some things on the list that I didn’t end up getting but I think that my little collection (which had a rather large price tag) worked out well. The first section I went to was Tarte. I have been dying to try this brand out for a couple of years, ever since I was introduced to the ‘YouTube scene’. The Tarte Amazonian Clay Blushes seem to be a popular product and since that is something my collection is lacking I picked one up in the shade Tipsy, a deep-ish pink colour. I’ve never tried a waterproof mascara before and the Tarte Lights Camera Splashes Mascara is supposed to be good so I put that in my basket. A few weeks ago I noticed that Benefit had brought out a base related gift set which looked right up my street so the Benefit Operation Pore-Proof Set went into my basket too. It comes with a selection of minis including the Professional Primer and Shy Beam, a matte liquid highlighter that’s exclusive to the set. As soon as I clapped my eyes on the new Urban Decay Naked Smoky Palette I knew it had to be mine. The shades are completely up my street and I cannot wait to do a full blown smoky eye with it. The Makeup Forever Step 1 Primer was a bit of an impulse purchase as I’d heard from somewhere that it was good at mattifying and making foundation stay put so I picked one up. I don’t often buy perfumes but the Elizabeth and James Nirvana White smells too good to miss. I also love the fact that the rollerball packaging means it’s easy to take around with me. Blotting Papers also made their way into the basket because they are really good and can be hard to find.

Somehow with my one visit I managed to clock up 200 points on my Sephora Beauty Insider card that I had signed up to in store. This meant I got to pick out two product minis. I didn’t really know what they were but I went for a Clarins Facial SPF 50 and a Clinique Revitalising Moisturiser. As an extra freebie I also got two Bumble and Bumble Hairdresser Oil samples. Although the price tags on the products were large you get rewards for you spending and rewarded very well. I will definitely be returning!

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Florida Round Up #1

Welcome to the first Florida round up! We’ve only been here for a few days and it’s been amazing so far! This week was a Universal week because we’re not starting Disney parks until tomorrow. So, I’m going to do a run down of the days and a bit of what happened each day. Let’s go!

Monday- Downtown Disney

Wandering around. Taking in all the disney. Trying a mango black iced tea lemonade from Starbucks. Loved it. Made our way to the ‘disney hub’ Had mini breakdown. Too much disney merchandise. Reined self in. Only bought some Minnie Mouse ears. More shopping and browsing. Home time.

Tuesday- Universal Studios

First stop Harry Potter. Escape from Gringotts ride was amazing and a little terrifying. Wander around Diagon Alley. Simpsons world and Simpsons ride. Waste of space and came off feeling sick. Lard Lad Doughnuts tasted very good. Animal show was great and cute. ET to shelter from the rain which was also cute. Waited around for Woody Woodpecker rollercoaster which was okay. Disaster next which was long and drawn out but good in the end. Home time.

Wednesday- Islands of Adventure

Back to Harry Potter world but this time for the Hogwarts Express. Amazing. Went on one of the two HP coasters and it was insanely good! Went on the actual HP ride and I’ve never been so terrified. Hated it, never again. Wandered around. Jurassic Park ride. Good but shut eyes at the scary part. Dr Seuss land led to a torrential downpour. Got the Hogwarts Express back to Universal and went on the Men in Black ride. That was surprisingly very good. Home time.

Thursday- Shopping

Florida Mall. Sephora trip. Upcoming haul. Very warm day. Hurting feet.

Places I want to visit

I’ve been abroad quite a few times already in my short little lifetime but there are still so many places that I want to visit! I’m tempted to get a giant map of the world and have different stickers for places I’ve been and place I want to go and actually see how much I’ve got around already.  Here are five places that I really want to visit, hopefully in the next few years:

  1. Paris– To say that in the grand scheme of the world it’s not that far away, I’ve still never been to ‘the city of love’! I’m hoping (with my fingers tightly crossed) that next Easter this might happen, but we’ll just have to see. 
  2. Machu Pichu, Peru– This is a place that when you see pictures of it you just immediately go ‘Yes. This is going to happen.’ It looks absolutely stunning and the fact that only a few people get to see it each day and the journey to get there is something like three days long must make it even more special when you get there.
  3. Disneyworld, Florida– Now, this is a bit of a strange one as i’ve actually already been to Disney once before. The thing though was that I was only six so to be honest I don’t really remember much so I’d love to return now as a full grown disney-aholic!
  4. Australia– I think that once I’d gotten over the stupid hour flight I would really like this country. I’d want to visit all the main places like Sydney and Ayers Rock, but most importantly I’s love to cuddle as kangaroo. How cute!
  5. Canada– Recently one of my friends went around Alaska and Canada on a cruise and the pictures of the views looked super duper stunning and I think it would be sun an insane holiday.