21/08/2017

SUTTON AND SONS FISH AND CHIPS, ISLINGTON


Last weekend, we had a full family day out in London which was really lovely. It started off with the sun shining and no rain made an appearance during the whole day. An utter shocker at the moment, because it seems to be raining non-stop!

I will always remain honest on my blog, as I would hate to recommend something if it hasn't lived up to my expectations. I wouldn't want a consumer to spend their hard earned money on something that isn't great. 

We was booked in to review a premium style fish and chips restaurant called Sutton and Sons. They have three different locations to choose from; Islington, Stoke Newington and Hackney Central. However, we chose the Islington branch as we know the area very well due to living there a number of years ago.

Being a huge breakfast person, I made the conscious decision to skip breakfast for lunch booked at 1pm at Sutton and Sons, so you can imagine how hungry I was!


Upon arrival, I am sad to say that the restaurant had no idea that I was there for a review and instead of sorting this out immediately to save embarrassment for the both of us; they didn't seem too bothered about the miscommunicated booking. 

I tried to explain to the waitress that I was there as a blogger and had booked this restaurant on X date with X person, but I was made to feel very silly because I was laughed at by the waitress. The waitress became very flustered and after waiting around; she then finally got in touch with her manager. She then informed us that the restaurant could only offer us complimentary drinks. It was then changed to drinks and starters - again not what was agreed in the first place. 

After 15-20 minutes of sitting down and trying to converse with the woman, I was about to give up trying to explain the situation, when she settled and agreed to what was agreed with beforehand. Finally!


We had completely lost our appetite and excitement by the time we was finally somewhat allowed to look at the menu. 

Putting that very embarrassing and awkward situation aside, I was tempted to try the crab on toast (£5.95), but ended up ordering the whitebait starter (£4.50). With an added squeeze of the lemon slice, these were actually really nice and the portion size was very generous. The batter surrounding the fish was perfect and not too oily. 

My mum went for the smoked haddock and cod fish cake (£4.95). These came on its own with a slice of lemon to garnish. She said it was very nice to eat and fried perfectly. She also commented that she could tell the fish tasted very fresh. 


I wasn't too sure what to order for main. The menu has quite a varied amount of different dishes you can order, so I was spoilt for choice. I was torn between the chicken and mushroom pie and cod goujons. I ended up choosing cod goujons and imagined these to be like the texture and look of chicken goujons.

Their version of cod goujons (£8.50) are just mini style battered cods. Somewhat deceiving, but the portion size was extremely generous. Sadly, I hardly ate the fish as the batter was really greasy and quite sickly tasting. It seemed that the ration of batter to fish was very outweighed, so these really let me down. However, the chips were very nice and were enjoyed a lot with a pot of mayonnaise. 


My mum ordered cod and chips (£10.50), which looked a lot more appealing than my own dish. She thoroughly enjoyed her meal and had no negative comments about the fish. It seemed her batter was a lot more cooked and less greasy than my own. 


It would have been nice to explore the dessert menu as I noticed they offer battered chocolate bars and Mrs Sutton's home made cakes. However, we didn't and was pretty full up anyway. 

Overall, my experience at Sutton and Sons was a bit of a mismatch. I think if the service had been better and I wasn't laughed at, then I'd say the food could have saved it - considering the food overall was nice. Maybe the other two branches are a bit better with their service. However, I won't be returning to this branch in particular. 

Disclaimer: A complimentary meal was offered in return for an honest review on my blog. All words and photographs are my own. 
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14/08/2017

NANSHY GOBSMACK GLAMOROUS BRUSH SET


It was definitely time for me to upgrade my makeup brush collection. With a few face brushes that have lasted me for 5-6 years and only a few new-ish ones from XIP Professional; my collection was starting to look a little sorry for itself. In the bin went the really old brushes and out came these aesthetically pleasing beauties.

Nanshy is a makeup brush brand that launched a few years ago. All of Nanshy's brushes are cruelty free and vegan, so perfect for anyone who looks out for these kinds of products. I personally wouldn't want to use any kind of animal fur on my face (including mink lashes), so using cruelty free and vegan brushes is a must for me.

I was sent over the 5-piece Gobsmack Glamorous brush set. The set costs £34.95 and it comes in black or in this gorgeous style; Pearlescent White. The 5 brushes are all face brushes which is what I needed to replace, so I was very excited to give them a try!


Firstly, I adore the packaging and the way these brushes are designed. I only had a few white brushes in my collection beforehand, so these now look super pretty in their brush pot. I was pleasantly surprised to find that these brushes are incredibly soft, with anti-bacterial cruelty-free bristles. Being that of a high quality means that these brushes can be used with liquid, mineral and cream makeup products with no mess or problems. 

So, what did I think of these brushes? 

FO1: Flawless Foundation Brush 

I thought I'd start with the brush that is not only my favourite, but the one I highly recommend out of them all. This a flat top brush that distributes and blends your foundation perfectly. I find I need very little amount of time buffing product into the skin; meaning minimal effort when it comes to creating that perfect base. 


A01: Blush & Bronze Brush 

Another brush I have been enjoying using is this one. It's a fluffy brush with a slightly angled cut; perfect for creating the illusion of cheekbones with bronzer or contour powder. 


FA01: Angled Airbrush 

This is the one brush I haven't used as much as the others, but one that works as a great backup for a foundation brush. It's a flat top brush with an angled cut, which would work amazingly well for cream products. However, I only contour with powder products, so I haven't been able to use it for that purpose.


P01 Conceal Perfector Brush

I have been using this brush just before my foundation when colour correcting with some Smashbox cream correctors. I have tried using it for concealer, but find the brush is a little too big for an accurate and blended application. It's definitely one of those brushes that can have a purpose. 


R01: Buffed Base Brush

This brush reminds me a lot of the buffing brush from Real Techniques. These types of brushes were my favourite for foundation applications, but then I discovered stippling brushes and of course; flat top kabuki's. However, when my foundation brushes are in serious need of a wash, I always reach for a buffing brush to use in the meantime. 

This one works really well at buffing foundation into the skin. I have also used it a few times to apply liquid highlighter to the tops of my cheekbones and it works really well for that too. 


For £34.95, I think this is an excellent brush set that every girl needs - although it does come with a  popular demand so is currently sold out, but is available in black. Each of these brushes can also be purchased separately for £9.95 each if there's one or two you would like in particular. 

It's also worth mentioning that I have washed these brushes a handful of times now and they look as good as new.  No dye runs through the water and no brush hairs come away - something that I find often happens with cheaper brush brands. 

There's many I'm an avid fan of Nanshy and can't wait to try some more of their brushes. There's just SO many more to choose from!

Disclaimer: PR sample. All words and photographs are my own. 
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10/08/2017

LILY'S KITCHEN BIRTHDAY SURPRISE


It's no where near Elsie's birthday yet (5th November, FYI), but I thought all you dog owners out there might like to hear about this. It certainly got Elsie's tail wagging...


Lily's Kitchen is a pet brand we have worked closely with before and support fully. Their food ranges for cats and dogs are  made using naturally nutritious ingredients. The range of recipes use grain-free foods and there's even meat-free alternatives. With no unnecessary additives, flavours and rendered meats; you can guarantee your pet will be eating something even you would consider eating. Well, maybe not... but you get my drift...


Our cat Albert is a big Lily's Kitchen fan and loved trying out their organic cat food range. I get so many emails from different pet brands wanting to send things for Elsie to try, but I am very fussy with what I say yes to. So, when the team at Lily's Kitchen sent this over, of course I said yes and Elsie licked her lips when it was time to shoot for the brand!


Elsie will 2 later this year, so we have only celebrated one birthday with her so far. However, she is my fur child (incase I haven't made it already very obvious over the past year and a half), so of course I spoilt her rotten. It isn't just children that deserve to celebrate their birthday!


Lily's Kitchen have introduced a brand new product called the 'Lily's Kitchen Birthday Surprise' gift box.  Inside is their 'party meal'; made up of different fresh cuts of steak, potatoes, broccoli and herbs. There's also a bag of organic cheese and apple training treats; hidden away for when your pooch rips open their gift box. 

There's even a miniature birthday card, which is just the sweetest thing. With room to write your pooch's name, you can celebrate their birthday with them in true traditional style.


(You have no idea how much patience she had sitting here for photographs! - the puppy eyes came out!)

Many pet owners are now celebrating birthdays with their dogs, but it's important to not let them indulge on things like chocolate and birthday cake. Instead, there is now a friendly alternative with an utterly special twist.  It's a thumbs up and paw up from us two!

The new Birthday Surprise gift box is now available on the website for £9.95 and is also now sold on Amazon for £13. 

Disclaimer: In collaboration with Lily's Kitchen. All words and photographs are my own. 
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09/08/2017

3 STYLISH AND PROTECTIVE IPHONE CASES I AM LOVING

Last month, I decided to bite the bullet and get a shiny new iPhone 7 plus. I decided I really needed to up my game and get a new contract that serves me well. Being a person who's constantly active on social media, having 3GB of data with my previous contract wasn't enough.

A month in and I am absolutely head over heels with my new phone. I went for the 128gb, rose gold and it's honestly been amazing so far. I don't have to delete photos and apps to create more storage anymore and I have been using the portrait camera mode way too much. It's the best feature with this particular model, I have to say!

I have never managed to smash an iPhone from my own fault before, but I wanted to play it extra safe this time and get some cases that will protect my phone as much as possible.  However, I didn't want a boring flip screen case that would look really masculine and quite boring to the eye.


Speck is a technology brand that have cases for all types of Apple products; including MacBooks. They also have phone cases for Samsung Galaxy phones for those of you who aren't team iPhone. The cases are reasonably priced and are some of the best quality phone cases I have ever used. 

Speck sent over a bunch of different style cases for me to try, but this Presido Clear Neon Edition case is my favourite. Retailing at just under £24.95, it's the case I am currently using and it's done very well at protecting my phone. Saying that, I am still yet to drop it (touch wood!), but I have high hopes that the durable material of this case will protect the phone from smashing. 


Another brand I was recently introduced to is that of MMORE. Their iPhone cases are truly unique and unlike any other I have come across. Their Organika Cases are made from handpicked and natural materials; which consequentially still smell like nature too - with no allergies passed on!

Each case is priced at £33.97 (free shipping available too); made using a durable material that is long-lasting, protects from damage and gives you a better grip too.  You can choose from Alpine Hay, Coffee and Roses. However, I went for Jasmine and have really enjoyed using. It's a strange concept, but a really good one!


Gear4 is another technology brand that I had actually heard of before. When I was offered the Gear4 Oxford iPhone case, it really sounded like something I would benefit from. It's made for those people who are constantly on the go and always out and about using their phone. Sound like a blogger to you?

The case is a flip one and has plastic brackets on the right hand side, which is where you secure your phone into. On the left side, there's a couple of slots for cards - really handy for me too as I hate carrying a purse around! It retails for £34.99 which may be a little more than I would usually spend on a case. However, this is the one out of the three that is guaranteed to keep your phone as protected as possible.

Which one would you go for?

Disclaimer: This post contains PR samples. All words and photographs are my own.
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07/08/2017

UNDERSTANDING CLOTHING CARE LABELS


Still living at home means that I'm pretty much banned from using the washing machine. It's like my mum's pride and joy and only house chore that she does on her own through choice. This means that at 24 years old, I am pretty much clueless when it comes to wash labels. Not only do I not bother looking at the labels inside when buying new clothes, but it's not something I have ever needed to look at.

Don't get me wrong, I know HOW to use a washing machine and put on washes when I really need to or if my mum's busy or away. However, this would be light washes such as my gymwear or some towels and pyjamas.  In terms of washing normal everyday clothes, I steer well clear.


A recent survey conducted by Data Label has reported that 56% of people do not always understand the symbols on clothing care labels. This consequently leads to clothes being damaged as a result.

500 people were surveyed and asked the question "Do you find the symbols on clothing care labels to be confusing?". The results were actually quite shocking. With 56% of these 500 people saying yes to finding them confusing; 24% admitted to not understanding the symbols and a further 32% confessed to sometimes feeling confused about them.


I have a tendency to buy a lot of clothes that require hand washing; something that really bugs my mum. However, with clothes that can be machine washed, there's an awful lot of symbols on wash labels. It's hardly surprising that over half surveyed admitted to not understanding what these symbols mean!

There's a staggering minimum of 22 basic symbols to know. These are split between washing, hand washing, ironing, tumble drying and dry cleaning. Is it to any surprise that a lot of people are actually quite clueless and guess when it comes to cleaning clothes?


Admittedly, I tend to wear 'hand wash only' clothes very rarely, in somewhat fear that they won't be washed again for ages. I even quizzed my mum the washing machine queen if she knew what these symbols on care labels meant and even she was puzzled!

I will without a doubt need to educate myself on all of the symbols when I get around to moving out. However for now, mum's the word

Disclaimer: Information provided in a press release by Data label. 
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06/08/2017

CLIPHAIR DOUBLE WEFTED REMY HAIR EXTENSIONS


Today, 3 years ago, I made the change of going from dark to blonde and haven't looked back since. I've experimented with temporary crazy colours over the years, but my actual hair style hasn't changed. I've had my hair at shoulder length for about two years and went for a graduated 'bob' for a while before that. 

I used to wear hair extensions when I was younger, so I am completely used to the process of clip ins. It can be a bit of a mare putting them in and does take a lot of practice to make it look right, but they are fairly easy to get the hang of after some practice. I had been looking at various places for hair extensions and spent ages browsing. My hair is quite thick, so I knew I needed thicker extensions to blend in naturally with my own hair.


Cliphair is a hair extensions brand that I had heard many good things about in the beauty blogosphere, so I was delighted to work with them on this review. It feels like a very long time ago that I had long hair, so it was time for a change and sport princess locks once again.

The double wefted clip-in hair extensions from Cliphair are what I ended up choosing. I went for the 18" length in the shade ash blonde. When they arrived, I did need to tone them twice, because they looked very warm compared to my own ash blonde hair. This was no problem though, as I had a bottle of Scott Cornwall's Colour Restore toner in Iced Platinum. I also applied some purple shampoo to the extensions prior to using a toner. This took all the warmth out of them and now they match my hair perfectly. 


The extensions are made using 100% remy human hair, so need to be treated exactly how you would treat your own hair. I have already washed these and left them to air dry over night. I have used heat tools on them and had no problems. I will also be using hair masks on them once a fortnight to make sure they keep their silky, smooth texture. 


These double wefted extensions have clips already attached and double the amount of hair that you get in a normal pack, but with less clips and strips! A dream come true for anyone who would want to wear these most days. They are priced at £79.99 for 18", which I think is a great price for high quality hair extensions. I can tell they will definitely last for ages due to the high quality of the hair and of course, as long as I treat them with TLC. 

I am extremely happy with them and will definitely get more from Cliphair when they need replacing. I might even treat myself to micro ring extensions if I want the commitment to my new princess hair in the future!

Disclaimer: In collaboration with ClipHair. I was sent some extensions for the purpose of an honest review on my blog. All views are my own. 
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04/08/2017

NEW NESTLE ROWNTREE SWEETS - NOW WITH 30% LESS SUGAR


Sweet treats are rare for me at the moment, as I am trying to eat healthier and have been doing really well. However, when I was told about the brand new revised Rowntrees sweets; I couldn't turn down trying them out.

Nestle's Rowntrees has unveiled a brand new version of their best selling sweet products; fruit pastilles and randoms. 

They now have 30% less sugar - with fibre content being replaced instead. They have fewer calories too and remain free from artificial flavours, colours and sweeteners. 


I have been snacking on Rowntrees Randoms all week, whilst getting tasks ticked off of my never-ending-to-do list. I noticed immediately how much fruiter and better tasting they are. Sometimes, I find sweets are too 'sweet' for me (pardon the pun) and so I try not to eat too many. However, these have been enjoyed guilt free. 

The Pastilles are also really nice and less chewy and somewhat hard to get through. I always used to avoid the original ones, but I can now actually enjoy them without feeling like I'm going to crack my teeth! I was also really happy to see there's many more red and black pastilles in a pack. I always found I bought a pack that was lumbered with too many greens and yellows! 

By 2018, Nestle are hoping to remove at least 10% of sugar across its confectionary range by 2018. It will be interesting to see if they follow through with this announcement. Hopefully, we can enjoy our favourite Nestle sweet treats with no guilty feeling of ingesting too much sugar. 

Priced at £0.51 for a single pack of Rowntree’s® Fruit Pastilles or Rowntree’s ® Randoms® and £1.29 for sharing pouch. These are available at all UK supermarkets.

Disclaimer: PR samples.  All words and photographs are my own. 
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03/08/2017

NN INSPIRATIONAL GIFTS CANDLES & 3 WINNERS GIVEAWAY!


If there's one thing I love about being a blogger; it's discovering brands that are just fabulous and have no faults to be picked at.

NN Inspirational Gifts is the homeware brand behind the talented Natalia Nicholson. The brand's extensive range of candles are made using 100% natural soy wax, lead-free cotton wicks and the finest fragrances and oils. They are available to purchase through Amazon and eBay.

NN Inspirational Gifts kindly sent over some candles for me to try out, which I have really enjoyed burning most evenings.


The first candles are Grapefruit and Basil scented, priced at £20.00 each. Available in both gold and silver pots, each candle is given an inspirational quote. Not only are these the best smelling candles I've smelt in a long time; I've never seen anything like this before. With the quote being there, these would make adorable gifts for someone who likes quoted things.

Soy candles are 100% natural, so they are non-toxic and don't leave behind that nasty, black residue. These candles are weighty, with 300g of wax ready to burn! They are bound to last you a long time and are also biodegradable for when it comes to finishing with them.


Another candle I have been trying out is the mighty 370g 3 wick candle (£19.99). The scent I have is White Tea & Ginger, which is very calming and a nice one to burn whilst unwinding before going to sleep. Again, this one comes with another adorable quote and is packaged into a gift box - readily available to give away to a loved one.

It can be easy to find candles in any shop, but the majority of these candles are very bad quality. If you have ever purchased a candle that ends up burning the glass black within minutes, this is a bad quality candle and should be thrown away. This black soot can rise above the glass and stain things like your walls, curtains and vents. It's also not a great thing to breathe in!


Finally, they also sent over the Reed Diffuser and Candle Set (£29.99). I'll be honest here, I've never used a reed diffuser before. It's not something I have ever really considered, so it was great to try one out for the first time. 

This one has lasted very well and barely looks untouched, so you definitely get your money's worth! This would also make a fantastic gift for someone. All you need to do is add a black bow and it's good to give to away!

NN Inspirational Gifts are kindly offering 50% off all her candles range if you purchase them through Amazon! Just add the code 4Z98953M at the checkout and your discount will be added! - Expires 14th August

Secondly, they are also offering THREE people to win a candle each from the other ranges! These will be the following scented candles: Cotton, Pomegranate and Cashmere & Lilac; all worth £20.00 each! To enter the giveaway, just enter the form below.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Giveaway ends August 11th and the 3 winners will be contacted. Each prize will be sent at random per winner. No cash or prize alternative and this giveaway is open to UK readers only.  

Disclaimer: In collaboration with NN Inspirational Gifts. All words and photos are my own.
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02/08/2017

CREATING A #GIRLBOSS WORKSPACE


Being self employed and working from home means that I try to maintain a #GirlBoss workspace. I'm not going to lie, of course it gets messy from time to time. However, I find that I am a lot more productive when I have a clean and open desk to work from.

My original work space in 2015 was very cluttered and needed a serious makeover. Not only was I working from on top of a chest of drawers with no leg room, but I had no storage systems going on. I was incredibly unorganised with my work load, and generally hated working from home.

Last year, I was challenged by IKEA to give my workspace a makeover (above), so you can imagine how much I jumped for joy! I invested in the infamous ALEXA drawers to keep all of my makeup in and a MICKE desk. I've had this workspace for over a year now and it hasn't changed much between then and now.


I am always heading over to Pinterest to look for inspiration to improve my work space. At the moment, my work space is in my bedroom so it can get a little cramped at times. However, as we are possibly moving house next year, I thought it would be an excellent time for me to get thinking of how I want my dream office to look!

I like the idea of having a feature wall with glitter wallpaper to really emphasise that it's a woman's workspace. I would also definitely add shelving to add extra storage above my desk, but this wouldn't work in my current work space; so it's an idea for the future. I also love the grid peg board, which would be an excellent contribution to my work space. I imagine I would pin things to it that need to be done. 


It can be easy to completely change the way a room looks. A girl boss work space needs to be clear and open and let you be able to work with motivation and not procrastinate along the way. 

Here's another few workspaces that I really like. I have a typical blogger aesthetic and would always go for black and white. Hell, my work space now is black and white! However, I do really like this neutral pop of colour and adding plants to a work space makes it a much more appealing work space to sit down at. 


However, this is probably my ideal work space that I can only dream of. Pushed against a banister that overlooks another floor of the apartment. Note how I have chosen something with that grid peg board too. It just looks so appealing to me and would really help with inspiration! 

Do you work at a desk? What would your dream office look like?

Disclaimer: In collaboration with Taskers Online. All words are my own. Images are from Pinterest. 
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01/08/2017

THE 30 DAY CHALLENGE WITH SQUAT MAGIC


Today marks the first day of a brand new month, so what better way to set a new goal for myself? This month, I will be taking part in a brand new fitness challenge and I can't wait to get started.

High Street TV have just launched a new fitness brand called New Image. Their range has many different at-home fitness products for every body and for every goal. Whether you can't afford a gym membership, have just had a baby or simply just want to add something extra to your fitness routine; there is something for both men and women, of all ages to try.


I know how difficult it can be to maintain a regular fitness routine. Life can simply just get in the way; but with New Image fitness products, you can #BeYourBest and work towards having the body that you want.

The product I am going to be trialling in a 30 day challenge is called Squat Magic. This is a brand new strength and toning machine that helps you to grow that booty, strengthen that core and grow those legs... all in the comfort of your home!


I won't lie and say squats are easy, because they're not. They're a killer and you'll feel the burn after at least 15. Squatting is one of the best ways to make your bum perkier, but also lift it completely. Thanks to Squat Magic, it's never been easier to achieve a peachy butt at home.


Squat Magic is essentially a seat with 3 levels of resistance, which you can alter depending on the level you want. The highest level will be a lower squat, but I've already given this a go when I unboxed it, and it's super easy to use. It doesn't even need setting up or building!

The 30 day challenge consists of me using Squat Magic for 30 days - with some rest days included. Compared to squatting with dumb bells or a barbell, this way of squatting is much easier on the legs and core. Therefore, day one involves squatting a whopping 150 times!


I will be starting the 30 day challenge tonight and adding to it every evening. It goes without saying, that I will still be carrying on my fitness regime at the gym 4 times a week and also will still be making healthier eating choices.

I will check in half way through the challenge to let you all know how I am getting on with Squat Magic. By the end of the month, I will report back with my overall booty results too. I can't wait!

Squat Magic is available now and retails at £79.99 exclusively at High Street TV.

Disclaimer: In collaboration with High Street TV, in exchange for an honest review. 
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