Wednesday 30 July 2014

Nails inc

Nails inc
Summer is my favourite season. I really enjoy the outdoors and in the Summer months like to make the most of getting outside.  

It's the one season that us Brits banish the Winter coat, don our summer finery and purchase those additional sandals that you might not need, but you may just find a good use for.

With the purchase of new sandals brings the wonderful excuse to buy new nail varnish. 

I hate spending time painting my nails to find a few days later that it has chipped. Nails inc has been a firm favourite of mine for years due to the high quality nail varnishes they offer at affordable prices. 

Nails inc

I love painting my nails as an easy way to change my look and add some much needed colour. It also helps that their nail varnish colours are bang on trend. 
Nails inc are always at the cutting edge of fashion. They do some brilliant colours, something for every occasion. 

As a Londoner I love that they name each of their varnishes after famous London destinations. The Kensington Palace Gardens nail varnish is my favourite shade.  It is such a lovely orange. 

Top tips on making the most of your manicure, make sure you remove all dirt from your nails, apply a base coat, apply two coats of your favourite nail varnish colour and apply a top coat. Applying a top coat every few days will help your manicure last. 

Do you have a favourite nail varnish make and colour? Any top tips to make sure it lasts and doesn't chip?

I love their new Covent Garden Place Gel effect nail varnish, which will definitely be the next purchase I can't wait to get my hands on one. 
Nails inc 

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Friday 25 July 2014

Happy Birthday Happenstance

The Happenstance Restaurant
Everyone loves a good birthday celebration and a first birthday is all the more special. This week I was lucky enough to join The Happenstance Restaurant and Bar to celebrate their First Birthday.  

The Happenstance sits right next to London's most iconic landmark St Paul's.
St Paul's Cathedral
A birthday wouldn't be a birthday without lots of surprise and treats. The first of which was a wonderful cocktail "Houdini Tini".

The Happenstance Restaurant and Bar
Snow queen vodka, cloudy apple juice, vanilla and ginger infused syrup de gomme, grapefruit and lime juice. A perfect way to begin the celebrations. 
London Cocktails

Followed by wonderful summer canapés.

 Yummy Butternut squash crumble. 

The Happenstance
The Happenstance had also pulled out all the stops with entertainment, Miss Ballooniverse and wonderful acrobatics. 
Balloon modelling
A birthday party wouldn't be complete without cake and what a cake.

Birthday cake
A wonderful evening. Thank you to The Happenstance for having me, wishing you many more successful years.

1a Ludgate Hill
EC4m 7AA

tel: 0845 468 0104
Square Meal

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Wednesday 23 July 2014

Around the World Blog Hop

Around the world blog hop

The concept of this blog post might be simple, but the idea is a wonderful one all the same.

This week the lovely Cate the author of What Catey made next kindly invited me to take part in the Around the World Blog Hop, where I share my little world and why I blog.

Bloggers are invited to share some of their loves and reasons for writing. The hope is to have different bloggers from around the world taking part, sharing their blogging space and hopefully for people to meet and read other blogs along the way.

Cate has a really wonderful and creative blog space in which she shares her beautiful creativity for making lovely craft projects and foodie treats.

After Eights, are one of my favourite chocolates saved only for Christmas, but thanks to Cate this is no longer the case. With the wonderful creation of After Eight cookies I can now happily munch away throughout the year.

After Eight Cookies

Thank you Cate for the wonderful pictures. If you would like to read Cate's Blog Hop you can have a read here.

Well on with the questions...

What am I working on? 

Well I have a few loves which I try and combine into my blog. I love food, eating, making and creating anything that involves food. 
London Food Bloggers
My blog allows me to use the love I have for photography, to share my passion for where I live and bring people along on my mini adventures.

At the moment I am trying to improve how I take pictures and share blog posts.   

How does my work differ from others of its genre?
I enjoy putting my passion for food, travel and pampering on the page and sharing it with others. 
I don't really like to compare what I do on my blog with other bloggers, as this can be crippling and prevent you from ever writing or doing anything.  

One of the things that is great about the blogging community is that people are really supportive. 

Why do I write/create what I do?
I like to do a million and one things all at once. My mind is a bit like Mary Poppins bag full of all sorts. 

Blogging has allowed me the freedom to be creative, I can share my love for London, the places that I enjoy eating and my travelling adventures.

I really enjoy trying new things and challenging myself. Blogging is my little oasis of creativity and calm (it is my house by the sea, with wonderful views, lots of fresh air, endless adventures and great neighbours). 

How does my writing/creating process work?
I would like to say that I have blog posts planned out for the next three months. Heck no, with a busy work life, blogging has to be flexible and fit round my week. This means that weekends are often jam packed with taking pics, editing them and composing stories. 

A great deal of thought goes into posts. I spend considerable time planning and writing my posts. I want to bring my love and passion for something to life on the page. 

To aid my planning for my blog I have a scrap book that I add ideas for stories and ways I would like to develop my blog. It is jam packed with exciting ideas that I can't wait to share with you on my blog. 

I hope that you enjoyed reading my answers. Stop by on a Wednesday and Saturday for posts. 

London Blogger

Share with me why you blog and where you get inspiration from in the comments below.

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Friday 18 July 2014

Real Techniques

How do you create the perfect makeup look? 

Well having makeup that suits your complexion is a good start. Getting your hands on the perfect tools and having someone to show you how to make the best of what you have all helps. 

Sam and Nic Chapman who started out as makeup artists and who helped design Real Techniques are well aware that the end result is only as good as your techniques and tools. They have their own blog and YouTube channel too, Pixiwoo offering tips; tools and techniques.

I recently replaced some of my beauty tools; mainly because they were about to grow legs and walk out of my makeup bag by themselves. They were that old. 

Choosing makeup tools is a mind field, sometimes too much choice is not a good thing.

I decided on Real Techniques for a few reasons; their brushes; sponges and makeup come highly recommended; they are 100% cruelty free and they don't over complicate things. 

Each brush comes colour coded corresponding with: base coat; eyes and finish.

I am so glad I settled on these beauties, on doing so I have found some beautiful new tools that have really helped me to perfect my makeup look.

The two items purchased: 

1.The Miracle Complexion Sponge (£5.99)
Miracle Complexion Sponge

I have always used a sponge to apply my foundation and my view was always what difference does the shape make. Opting often for the cheap little triangles that come in a multi pack.  

How wrong I was; I now use the rounded sides of the sponge to blend my foundation perfectly around the contours of my face. Using the flat edge of the sponge in a dabbing motion to cover up dark circles under my eyes. The precision tip also comes in useful to cover up blemishes.
Miracle Complexion Sponge

If your keen to see it in action check out this clip. 

2. Expert Face Brush (£9.99)

Expert Face Brush
Brushes I have an entirely different view of. I have learnt from experience that a cheap brush gives a cheap uneven finish. The powder brush is aluminium;  has soft bristles that don't fall out on applying and the result is a great flawless finish.

Expert Face Brush

Have a look at this clip to see it in action. 

I am really looking forward to using many more of the Real Techniques range, they do beautiful beauty products and I can see why everyone raves about them. 

Next purchase has to be the limited edition makeupkit

What other tips do you have to share? Wishing everyone a lovely weekend. Any nice plans?

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Wednesday 16 July 2014

Yalla Yalla

Yalla Yalla Oxford Street
Oxford street is best known for its shopping exploits more than for its culinary scene.

You could however have judged it to quickly. Hidden down Winsley Street is Yalla Yalla offering wonderful Beirut street food. 
Restaurants Oxford Street
Sister restaurant to the first Yalla Yalla in Green's Court Soho. It serves Lebanese and middle eastern food at its absolute best. 

Yalla Yalla

Yalla Yalla

It is a great place to stop half way through shopping, relax and eat wonderful food. 

We always start our meal with a refreshing watermelon and lime juice.  
Yalla Yalla

For starters the choice is always easy as there is so much to choose from. 

We opt for Hommos Shawarma: Chickpea purée topped with marinated thin slices of lamb fillet. With Lebanese flat bread it is a yummy starter to share.  
Yalla Yalla

Jawaneh Meshoue: Charcoal grilled marinated chicken wings with garlic and harissa sauce.
Yalla Yalla
Halloum Meshoue: Grilled Halloumi Cheese with tomato, black olives, fresh mint and olive oil. 

Yalla Yalla

Before we go any further I need to hold my hands up and admit something. FoodieForce got so carried away with the food that I started eating 
dishes before taking pictures. Now don't judge me. If you haven't noticed to this point carry on. 

For the mains we share two meals. Kreidis Meshoue: Charcoal grilled marinated king prawns with citrus scented rice and spicy tomato and coriander sauce.
They have the largest king prawns. 

Yalla Yalla

Mixed grill: Charcoal mixed grill of a chicken skewer, lamb and kafta with grilled tomato, sumac, parsley and red pepper salad. 

Half way through the mains we see a number of photographers running backwards down the street and shouting "look this way". 

Ever the journalist, I grab my camera and begin to take pictures, with no idea who I am taking pictures of. 

Denise Van Outen
It turns out that it was Denise Van Outen as she left Magic FM studios. Now if I look this fashionable at 40 I will be mighty happy.

A wonderful meal had by all. Time Out has rightfully included Yalla Yalla in the top 50 restaurants in London and I can easily see why. So if you are in Oxford Street or Soho you know where to head.

Square Meal Yalla Yalla Beirut Street Food on Urbanspoon
12 Winsley Street
London W1W 8HQ
T: 020 7637 4748
Monday to Friday 10am –11.30pm
Saturday 11am – 11pm

1 Green’s Court
London W1F 0HA
T: 020 7287 7663
Monday to Saturday 10am – 11pm
Sunday 10am – 10pm

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Sunday 13 July 2014

Back to the Future

Secret Cinema Back to the future

If you had the choice to travel back in time, would you? 

Maybe you long to wrong the rights that you might have done in your past, have a conversation with someone you have always wanted to meet, or to share one last moment with a loved one. 

All of you who were thinking about putting the lottery on, to make a couple of million, it didn't even exist, it was betting on sports in those days. For being so greedy you need to go and look in the mirror and have a long hard talk to yourself.

This week, I was invited to the launch of Secret Cinema who run large scale film events for film lovers in London. They show secret films, in secret locations their new adventure is Back to the Future showing July 24th - August 31st 2014

When I was little I remember watching the Back to the Future films and loving them for their time travelling antics, who couldn't really love Marty and the Doctor going back in time in the DeLorean.  

I didn't really appreciate when I was little watching it that one day I might want to actually relive my past. The innocence of youth, what I wouldn't give now to go back and have one last conversation with those that I love. 

Hill Valley Stores is a fully theatrical pop-up shop (59 Hackney Road, London, E2 7NX) as part of their Back to the Future production. 
Back to the future secret cinema

The stores include Ruth's Frock shop...

Back to the Future
Secret Cinema

Secret cinema

Roy's Records...

Secret Cinema Back to the future

Secret Cinema Back to the future
Roy is said to have the best taste in music this side of the Californian Mountains. 

Back to the Future secret cinema

1950's vinyl stock

Secret Cinema Back to the future

There is also the Elite Beauty Salon with grooming for men and beauty sessions for the ladies. 

Back to the Future secret cinema

Secret Cinema Back to the Future

If after all this shopping you get peckish, 'Lou's Dinner' from the Back to the Future can make you a refreshing drink or milkshake. 

Back to the Future Secret Cinema

Secret Cinema Back to the Future

If you live in London and haven't been to a Secret Cinema event I can't recommend them enough. I have had some brilliant nights out with them.

As the largest theatrical live show of its kind, over 84,000 people will attend Back to the Future this Summer. They have built Hill Valley in a secret London location, that will transport audiences into an imagery world. Audiences will travel back in time and become citizens of Hill Valley living between 1955 and 1985 with secret alleys and entrances into the town will allow them to travel back in time. 

You will have to get on your hoverboard quickly as tickets are selling out quickly. Secret Cinema presents Back to the Future July 24th - August 31st at a secret London Location. 

Back to the Future

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