Hyped Products Haul

Birthday money spending time! Eeek! I went on a lovely little spending spree by myself and wandered around the shops picking up a few things that I fancied. I realised when I got back that the products I bought are all ones that beauty bloggers and youtube people love and rave about, which I didn’t even notice when I was picking them up. So I thought I’d do a products that are hyped haul with a bit of a mini first impressions because I’ve not had enough time to fully test the products. So without further ado let’s get into it!

Within the first few swipes of the Too Faced Better Than Sex Mascara I knew it would be everlasting love. Two days later I still love it. I’ve not had this reaction to a mascara in a long, long time. I see instant volume and length, the colour is jet black and it doesn’t smudge at all throughout the day. Next up is the Clarins Instant Light Natural Lip Perfecters in 05. I’ve been wanting to try these for a while now (obviously a Vivianna Does Makeup inspired purchase) and I haven’t been disappointed! It smells very sweet which I wasn’t expecting but I really like it and the colour is a very ‘my lips but better’ colour. The colour doesn’t last very long on the lips (couple hours maybe) but that’s to be expected. It’s nice to have something that I can just casually put on without having to worry about it. The Naked Skin Concealer in Fair Neutral is something that I have needed ever since my Mac Pro Longwear Concealer came to an end. The coverage is full which is what I really like but doesn’t look caky on the skin. I’ll keep you posted on more of my thoughts when I’ve given it a proper test run! Last but not least was a bit on an impulse buy, The Body Shop Drops Of Youth Youth Bouncy Sleeping Mask. I’ve read a lot of rave reviews on this over the last few weeks but I thought that it was more for people with really dry skin. From what I’ve seen over the last two days I was wrong. It’s a lot like my Origins Drink Up Intensive Face Mask as it gives my face some much needed moisture but is a lot lighter and is something that I can use on a nightly basis. Again I’ll keep you updated on my thoughts!

Afternoon Tea at The Spiced Pear

One of my amazing birthday presents from my parents was afternoon tea at the Spiced Pear in Hepworth near Huddersfield. Walking in it felt like a modern restaurant but the cups and plates were very ‘cottage-y’ which I liked a lot. There were three types of afternoon tea, the traditional one with sandwiches, scones and cake, the champagne one which was the same as before but with a glass of champagne and the gentleman’s afternoon tea which had a selection of savoury treats instead of the sandwiches. I had the gentleman’s afternoon with a glass of champagne and it was amazing!
So, the first thing I delved into was the scotch egg with balsamic onions. The two went perfectly together and as this was my first scotch egg experience I have to say it has set the bar high for future scotch egg endeavours! The meat was tasty and the egg wasn’t overpowering, I liked it a lot. Next up was the pork pie with piccalilli. I’m a massive pork pie fan and I wasn’t disappointed! As with the scotch egg, the meat was tasty and the pastry was the perfect thickness. I’ve never tried piccalilli before and I don’t think I still know what it is but it was delicious and went really nicely with the pie. Bread and dripping was next up and yet another thing I’ve never tried. I think this is going to be one of my new guilty pleasures because it was so good! Basically it was bread with meat fat spread on it and it just tastes like delicious meat juices. It’s probably very love it or hate it. Last but not least is the cream of the crop, a yorkshire pudding with beef, gravy and horseradish. Think of the most delicious roast and then put that into one single yorkshire pudding. Yeah, it was that good. The pudding was crunchy on the top and soft on the bottom, how it should be, the beef was tender and tasty and the gravy was thick and perfect. Amazing!
Next up are scones. They’re pretty self explanatory. Soft and sweet with clotted cream and jam, what could be better. Also, let me know if you do cream first or jam first. I used to be jam but then I moved to cream because I find it easier to spread. Wow we are asking the important questions today! Moving onto the final layer of cakes. I had to take most of my cakes home with me because after the bottom layer my stomach could take no more! I started off with the strawberry mousse. Lovely and light it was very fluffy and creamy so a lovely palette cleanser before the hard core cakes! The passion fruit cheesecake was my favourite of the lot! The biscuit base was the perfect amount of buttery and crumbly and the main bit was super creamy with a delicious passion fruit jelly on top. I didn’t eat all of my carrot cake but the bit that I had of it was very nice. It was like a standard carrot cake and was very delicious. The same for the Victoria sponge. Light and fluffy and amazing. Last but not least is a chocolate explosion. I don’t know how to describe this but I’d say it was a bit of a chocolate tart with the same biscuit base as the cheesecake. The chocolate flavour was just the right intensity and the texture was a cross between a tart and a brownie, sounds weird but trust me it was delicious.
Another afternoon tea post will be coming soon as my amazing friends took me for another one the day I’m writing this post so stay tuned for that!

What I Got For My 21st Birthday

The past few weeks have just been birthday crazy, and I’m not complaining! I thought I’d do a little ‘what I got for my birthday’ so in a few years I can look back and see what I got. Disclaimer: not all of my presents will be mentioned so if you are someone that got me something don’t be offended it your gift isn’t mentioned. I have the worst memory so I’ve most likely forgotten some but don’t worry I have appreciated all gists (especially the alcoholic ones, even though the outcome wasn’t great).

I’ll start with one of the most useful presents which was a black clutch bag. For my three years at university I’ve had a small leather clutch bag which I use on every night out. It’s okay but it’s literally the size of a largish purse and I needed something bigger so I’m really excited to take this out and be able to bring the kitchen sink out with me! Something to add to my ever expanding footwear collection was some fluffy Mickey Mouse slipper socks with bobbly ears, so cute! One of the most emotional presents I got was from my cousin, and when I say emotional lots of tears were shed. She got me a bracelet from Disney Couture and it’s a silver bangle with ‘Only an act of true love will thaw a frozen heart’ on it which is a quote from Frozen. I couldn’t hold myself together, it’s just so thoughtful and cute! In terms of fluffy creatures I got a grey dog who’s soft and squishy and I’ve called him Rough (Rough? Ruff? I’ve never had to spell it before so it could be either!). One thing I’m really excited to try out is my new cake pop making kit. I got a stand with it as well so it’ll be easy to decorate them. Sticking with the baking theme I got a £20 voucher for Lakeland which I’m so excited to spend. I got many things from my mum and dad but the two ‘main’ ones, if that’s what I’m going to call them, were afternoon tea (a post about that will be coming tomorrow) and a weekend away to a place of my choosing so any suggestions would be much appreciated because I’m useless at thinking of things like this! My brother got me an amazing disney game called Pictopia which I would really recommend. Once you get your head around the kind of random rules it’s a great game to play!

My 21st Birthday Makeup

I can safely say that I’ve had the best birthday weekend ever and what excites me most is that it’s not over yet, I still have a week to go! I’ve seen a lot of bloggers do a ‘here’s what I wore on my face on my birthday’ post so I thought that I’d do the same. It’s pretty obvious how I applied these products onto my face so I’ll just leave you with a list. The big 2 1, now I have to actually be responsible!
Makeup Forever Mattifying Primer
Rimmel Lasting Perfection Primer
L’Oreal Infallible 24 Hour Matte Foundation // 00 Porcelain
Maybelline Age Rewind Concealer // Light
L’Oreal True Match La Touche Magique Concealer // Ivory Beige
Bourjois Healthy Balance Powder // Vanilla
Soap and Glory Brow Archery // Hot Chocolate
Maybelline Brow Drama // Medium Brown
Mac Pro Longwear Paint Pot // Painterly
Charlotte Tilbury Eyeshadow Palette // Dolce Vita
Rimmel Kohl Kajal // Jet Black
Soap and Glory Thick and Fast Mascara
Soap and Glory Solar Powder Bronzer
Tarte Amazonian Clay Blusher // Tipsy
Charlotte Tilbury Matte Revolution Lipstick // Sexy Sienna

21 Things for 21 Years

As my birthday is tomorrow (the big 2 1, woo!) I thought I’d share 21 of my most favourite memories from the past 21 years. So, in no particular order, here we go!

1. My 20th birthday meal at La Tasca- It was such a great night and a really lovely way to spend my birthday. It was me sharing tapas with my friends and it was so nice that it is one of my favourite birthday memories.

2. Florida holiday- If you’ve been reading my blog for a fair few months then you’ll know that I went to Disneyworld Florida on holiday last year. It was such an amazing three weeks and a holiday that I won’t forget in a hurry.

3. Watching Anne of Green Gables at my grandma and grandad’s- I still enjoy doing this a lot. It’s nothing too exciting, just nice cuddles on the settee for four hours with tea and biscuits. Snuggly times!

4. Just being at my other grandma and grandad’s house- I used to love going round to my grandma and grandad’s house. Have lunch, breakfast and lunch if it was the holidays and we went all day, make tents out of a clothes horse and chairs and just have an amazing time!

5. Refreshers week in second year- What a week. Go out, have a great time, come back, go to sleep, wander round town, come back and nap, go out again. Sorted!

6. Family parties- My favourite way to celebrate any family event. Food and fun board games are a winning combination.

7. Ocean Wednesdays- Who doesn’t love dressing up as a unicorn or a robber or whatever and parade the streets of Nottingham like an idiot. It’s my favourite night out of the week.

8. Trip to Las Vegas- My grandma and grandad took me to Vegas for my 18th birthday and it was seriously insane! It was the weirdest place but I loved every second of it and I definitely want to go back again some day.

9. Watching Nativity for the first time ever- I watched this for the first time with my friend Kelly and it was just a really funny night. Lots of random things happened, we watching the film, learnt the lyrics to the soundtrack and tweeted one of the people in it and got a reply!

10. High school sleepovers- Throughout secondary school we used to spend a fair few weekends sleeping over at my friend Hollies house. Fun times were had by all. We went to the park, played Band Hero and went into town the day after. Good memories!

11. Lanzarote holidays- I’ve been to Lanzarote 18 times. It’s one of my favourite places and I can’t wait to go again this summer. We eat at the same two restaurants, basically do the same things all the time and I absolutely love it.

12. Year three school trip- I once went on a school trip to an Anglo Saxon day and it remains to be my favourite school trip that I ever went on. It was an experience day where we lived like Anglo Saxons and we got to do so much that it has still stuck with me until this day.

13. Going to Barmouth- My year 5 residential trip to Barmouth in Wales holds some good memories. The main one being that the three of us that shared a room together got to stay in what we called the Penthouse Suite. Everyone else had normal rooms but we were on the top floor with two singles and a double bed with an ensuite.

14. Midnight feasts in the Lake District- The year after Barmouth we went on another residential to Buttermere in the Lake District. It was a really good trip but the best part was that we had multiple midnight feasts and one night all of the girls came up to our room. I don’t remember what we did but I just remember that everyone was there!

15. Saturday teas- Saturday teas in my household are just really nice meals that we have on a weekend. One of my favourites is chicken with a mushroom sauce and a potato rosti.

16. Watching Pretty Little Liars- One of my main achievements in life is watching five seasons of Pretty Little Liars in two weeks. I know, my life is sad.

17. Dancing Shows- From the age of four right until I was 18 I danced and the best part of the year was doing dancing shows!

18. Going to Beth’s house- The only thing I’m going to say is that fun things always went on at Beth’s house!

19. Tour- Going on tour with university to Spain was such an amazing experience. A weird, blurry experience that I will never forget!

20. London Trip- In either 20111/12 me, my mum, dad and brother went on a trip to London. We saw all the sites, rode up and down the Thames in a speed boat and wandered around a food market. Such a lovely weekend!

21. The cruises- We have been on a few cruises in the last few years and each one have been amazing.

Las Iguanas! (Take Four)

I held back on this post for a few weeks because I went to Las Iguanas two Tuesdays in a row for various birthday celebrations. The last time I went I did the standard main and dessert thing but this time I wanted to try out what tapas they had to offer, and luckily I had a friend that had the same thought. I said in my last post that their choice of main is very limited and all a bit same-y but the same cannot be said for the starter/tapas side of the menu. There is such a variety and it’s just the right size so there’s plenty to choose from but you’re not over-faced. We decided to go for three in the end, nachos with chilli, empanadas with chicken???, the little pastry things with lamb and a side of curly fries.

Let’s start with the nachos. They were incredible. It was a nice large portion that we still managed to polish off between the two of us and everything was in proportion. It came with sour cream, cheese, salsa and guacamole and we added the chilli for something like another £2. The chilli was really nice and I think that if I was just having that as a sharing starter then I’d have it again but in this situation the chilli wasn’t a necessity, but it was a nice little addition. The nachos themselves were large and crunchy, well salted and overall just super tasty.

The spicy chicken quesadillas were very tasty but I think that it may have been my least favourite dish of the bunch. Not to say that it wasn’t still good but compared to the other things that we had, it just lagged behind a little. The inside flavour was very good but overall I found it a little bread-y with not much filling. The portion size however was great as there were four meaning both of us got two each, which isn’t too shabby.

These little pastries of wonder were seriously out of this world. They were the tender lamb empanadas and on paper to me it’s like, yeah okay sounds alright, but they were so amazing that I think this was my favourite of all the dishes. The lamb tasted like lamb, obviously, and with the cranberry sauce it was very wintery but it still had a very fresh flavour. The pastry was thin and crisp but sturdy enough to be able to hold in all of the wonderful goodness that was inside. I can’t explain how good this was so you’re just going to have to go and try it for yourself. 

These curly fries were incredible. I mentioned them in my last Las Iguanas post as they came as a side with my meal and I’d say this time they were even better. They came with an aioli dip (which I also had last time) and neither of us two tapas sharers could get enough. It was creamy and garlic-y and writing about it now is making me want to eat a whole bucket of it. They weren’t a bad price either and the portion size was pretty much the same as the other actual dishes.

Overall everything was delicious and the tapas definitely wins outright in this food establishment!

Round Up #4

Another busy week in the life of work experience and I have to say it’s been a great one! I don’t think I’ve ever been so busy, journalist by day, doing extra-curricular activities by night (I know, me voluntary activities that include moving!). So without further ado shall we delve in? Okay!

Birthday Fever

Last weekend I had a mini holiday, the mini-est holiday ever as it was less than 24 hours, down to Wokingham. Little fact; Wokingham is the safest town in the UK, true story. If you’re wondering, Abz why did you take a 9 hour round trip to the south, then I’ll tell you. It was my housemate’s (and friend’s, because housemates can be friends too) 21st birthday! Party! I had such a good time. A little too much fizz was consumed but it was great! I learnt two things when I was down there: 1. Posh vodka does not sit well with me and 2. bouncers do not take kindly to people trying to sleep on the club sofas. I have to mention that I was very tired from a busy week and not just heavily intoxicated. I have some class.

Soap and Glory Solar Powder

Yesterday I found something that excited me greatly. The Soap and Glory Solar Powder is now in a plastic case. A few months ago I was watching a YouTube video and I swore I saw this but nothing was mentioned anywhere online so I just assumed that I made it up but clearly I didn’t! I think that this will be so much better. I don’t have a problem with the current packaging but this will make it nicer to carry and with a big mirror, easier to use.

Costa times

As I’ve been at work experience the only place that there is to go on my lunch break is costa. I’m not even joking when I say that this place has become my second home. Recently I’ve been going in in the mornings and lunchtimes which isn’t great on my bank account, especially at the minute when I’m not earning a wage. I have a latte and sometimes toast or a lemon muffin. It has to be one of my favourite places and I don’t know what I’m going to do when I finish and I’m not there everyday.

Las Iguanas! (Take Three)

Back to Las Iguanas I went for a friend’s birthday meal (I love this time of year, everyone seems to have a birthday and it’s just an excuse to go out for food). I think that they’ve changed the menu from the last time I’ve been and streamlined it because the selection was very limited and I found it quite hard to find something that I actually fancied eating. I had a very nice experience but the service at this restaurant (we went to the Nottingham one) was very slow. It took an hour between our main and dessert and by the time they came to take our dessert order we were a little bit over it. That aside the food was lovely so let’s get into it.

For my main I finally settled on the South American Dream which was a beef burger with an array of different sauce inside it. There was a tomato and guacamole creamy sauce, pesto and chimicurri slaw on the side. The burger was very nice but I have to say, there were so many sauce inside it and it was still a little dry. I’m glad I ordered a side of aioli because not only was it delicious, it made the burger less dry and more delicious. The curly fries were absolutely gorgeous and I couldn’t get enough of them, especially with the aioli. The coleslaw was very nice and moistened up the burger even more and was super tasty. The portion size was perfect and I finished every last bite.

For dessert, even though in the end I wasn’t really feeling it, I had the vanilla cheesecake. It came with a dulce de leche sauce and roasted macadamia nuts and I have to say that without these two things it would have been nothing. The cheesecake alone was very bland and had a lot of the cheesecake filling in comparison with the base, but the sauce was delicious and the nuts stole the show! The portion size was good but as I said I wasn’t really feeling it and there was too much filling and not enough base, which was a shame because the base was delicious, buttery and the biscuits crumbs melted in the mouth. If I was to go again I’d be tempted by the chocolate cake as on the menu that sounds delicious! Overall a good visit and I had a good time with friends but not my most favourite Las Iguanas visit ever.

Favourite Friday: The Glam Guide

I promise I’m not going to mention it anymore but it was my birthday last week! As soon as Friday came I was like “Today is the day I’m finally going to buy the Glam Guide”. Since I found out that the launch date was on my actual birthday I felt that it was a sign that I was meant to have it. So, I met up with one of my friends and we headed straight for Waterstones and right for The Glam Guide stand. As soon as I got it into my hands and was ready to head to the till my friend kindly said to me “If I were you I wouldn’t buy it yet”. Instant thought: Birthday present. And I was right! I literally can’t put it down. Every night before I go to bed I’ll have a flick through and I’ll always have it near me just in case I want to have a read. I like the way that she’s written a book but stuck to her makeup/lifestyle tips route and stuck to what she knows instead of making into a ‘glorified autobiography’. My favourite parts are the makeup section, travel and the drawings, the drawings are insane! I’d recommend this book to anyone as I think that it’s a book/keepsake that I will NEVER get bored of.

La Tasca!

O. M. G. This has to be one of THE best meals out I have ever had (be prepared for more bold statements). As you will know if you read my blog last week it was my birthday and to celebrate I invited a group of my favourite people out to La Tasca for tapas. I’ve never been there before and I love that kind of food so it seemed like the obvious choice. I had some vouchers to use as well which we were extremely grateful in the end because it’s not a cheap meal, but this is reflected in the quality. To make things easier, and to make sure that everyone got the kind of thing that they wanted, we split into groups of 2/3 and ordered 3 meals each, but different so that we ended up having six between two. My pairing chose two portions of Patatas Bravas, which are roast potatoes in a tomato sauce and it came with alioli on top which is a tasty garlic mayonnaise. These were insanely good! Tasty and soft but with a little crisp from the skin. We probably could have shared one of these as I didn’t finish mine but they were so good. We ordered the standard calamari which were crispy from the batter but to my delight the squid was perfectly cooked, soft and tender rather than tough and chewy. Big fan. The chorizo was a big favourite of the table and there’s no surprise why. It wasn’t chewy in the slightest and was full of flavour. The oil it was cooked in was also super tasty. Albondigas was next which were meatballs in a tomato sauce. Loved these! The sauce had a slight heat to it and the meatballs were soft and melted in the mouth. My favourite of the whole lot were the chicken croquets which were a creamy chicken sauce in little breadcrumbed balls. Insane! I can’t really explain how good these were but trust me, they were. We also had garlic bread which was also INSANE! I seriously want to go back here so much that writing this is making me sad because I know that whatever I eat for tea tonight won’t be as good as the food there.