Monday, 27 July 2015

Summer Haul

We finally had a bit of summer sunshine here in Yorkshire and this inspired me to do a bit of summer shopping (not that I need an excuse to shop!)

I needed to pick up a few summer body essentials which lead to a bit of a spree in Boots and Superdrug before ending in Primark!

The first thing I picked up was the new Co-Lab extreme volume dry shampoo in Monaco. I am a huge fan of this dry shampoo, it's excellent for getting rid of oils and leaving my hair feeling and smelling brilliantly fresh. This is a new fragrance and is designed to give you more volume than the sheer invisible Co-Lab, so I thought I'd pick it up and give it a whirl. £3.49 from Superdrug.

Next I picked up the Zoella (@ZozeeBo) beauty range. I've watched Zoe for years on You-Tube and when she released her beauty line last year at Superdrug I really enjoyed the products - they are inexpensive and I love the fragrance. So when she released her new line recently I thought I'd pick up some bits. The first thing I picked up was the 'foam sweet foam shower gel', £3.50 from Superdrug. I gave it a cheeky smell whilst in store and liked the more tropical fragrance (her new line is tutti fruity inspired).

I also picked up the 'lets spritz' body mist, £8.00 from Superdrug. I am an avid user of her original  'blissful wistful' body mist which I use as my everyday work perfume and am excited to try this new offering.

I also spotted these Carex complete wipes in the strawberry laces fragrance. I am a big fan of the new limited Carex hand washes in the retro sweet scents. They are designed to encourage children to wash their hands and they are definitely winners on that front in my house. So I thought these would be brilliant for my handbag for wiping those sticky fingers and faces (mine as well as the kids!) and they were on offer for 99p at Superdrug.

Boots was my next stop and I went a little crazy with the Soap & Glory products! Not only did they have an offer on that if you spent over £10 on Soap & Glory products you get a free product, they also had reductions on all the skin care range. So I picked up the 'Foam Call' bath and shower wash. I've always been a big fan of the Soap & Glory shower products, as they smell amazing, feel awesome and you get a lot for your money. I have used this one before a while ago and really liked the fragrance as it smells fresh but not sweet. £6.50 at Boots.

Then treated myself to some skincare products. I've never used their skin care range but have read a lot of blogs that seem to swear by them so I thought with reductions why not! I went for  the 'Ultimelt deep purifying hot cloth cleanser'. I have mentioned before that I am a big fan of cleansing balms and hot cloth cleansing, having used the Emma Hardie Cleansing balm for a few years, so I decided to try this when I run out. It usually £10 but is on offer at the moment for £8.00 at Boots.

I have always struggled to find a moisturiser I like, I tend to buy one and use it till it runs out and then try another, so I thought that I would give this one a go. It's the 'Fab pore micro smoothing moisture lotion'. It says it brightens, reduces pores and is mattifying so I will see how I get on with this. It's is usually £12 but is currently half price at £6.00 at Boots.

As I mentioned when you spend over £10 you received a free product - a full size 'The Righteous Butter'. I LOVE this stuff. It is moisturising, leaves your skin feeling amazing and smell gorgeous. I love a freebie especially when it's as good as this!

I then carried on my Summer haul with a little trip to Primark. I like Primark for summer things, as it is great for summer staples at great prices. I loved these Bardot style tops and picked up a couple for £3 each. I have worn them loads and am probably going to have to go back and pick up a few more in some more colours.

I also went a little shoe crazy. These may only last this summer but I am loving the pumps available at the moment and again at £3 each, what's not to love! I chose the fab coral colour and these little white and silver leopard print style ones as they are soon cute!

The last item I got were these black bow ballet pumps for £8. You can never have too many ballet pumps and the only other black pair I had fell to pieces recently, so these were perfect to replace them.

Thats it for my haul. I am spent up but I am excited about trying all my new products and wearing my new clothes and shoes in the sunshine! I will keep you posted how I get on with the beauty products in the coming weeks.

Friday, 17 July 2015

Date Night- Rare, Leeds

It was date night again this week and as a belated Fathers day treat I took Karl out for a meal at a restaurant called Rare in Leeds.

Rare is a steak restaurant and cocktail bar in the heart of Leeds. I discovered it through Bookatable back at the end of May when I received an e-mail about taste nights that they are running over the summer. I loved the idea of a taster evening and promptly booked into the next available one which was the 'Sirloin and Merlot' night.

I had been looking forward to it for weeks and it was made even better as it was beautiful summer evening (a rarity in the UK let alone Yorkshire!) We were early as I had met Karl from work and the event wasn't due to start till 7pm, so we had a good hour to kill. We decided to head over and maybe get a drink in the bar, what a stroke of genius that was! Rare has a lovely little enclosed courtyard, that was decorated with graffiti, bunting and faux grass. It had a lovely trendy yet relaxed vibe about it.

The staff were amazing from start to finish and should be very proud of the excellent customer service they provide. I am a huge stickler for customer service and Karl is even worse than I am and we were both impressed with everyone we came into contact with.

We decided to have a cocktail in the courtyard while we waited, we both ordered cocktails that weren't on the menu, Karl and old fashioned and I asked for a non-alcoholic cocktail. There was no fuss about ordering something not on the menu and they promptly brought over two amazing drinks. Mine was a lovely fruity yet refreshing concoction and Karl's old fashioned was excellent (if a little too strong for me).

We enjoyed sitting out in the sunshine, chatting and the staff were the perfect mixture of attentive but not overly so, letting us enjoy our drinks in peace.

We were then shown to the restaurant downstairs where the taster meal was to take place. Each group was individually seated and a brief overview of the first wine explained. The restaurant was very well designed, with lots of dark leather (in keeping with the steak theme) and wood which gave it the perfect feel of good quality but still retaining a relaxed vibe. They even have a taxidermy cow as a centre piece which was very impressive (if not a little off putting when your eating steak!)

The menu was set out in front of us with each course and the accompanying wine. Then the tasting began. Each course was brought out and an explanation given by the servers along with a overview of each acompanying wine. The servers were knowledgable and friendly, answering any questions. The food came out a good regular intervals without too much of a wait and I was very impressed with how organised they were to ensue that everybody was served quickly and efficiently without losing that all important customer service.

As for the food, it was amazing. It was well presented without vearing on the pretentious side and you could see and taste the quality of all the ingredients. I especially loved the Sirloin 'Pie' and piccalilli funk for starters, it was exquisite! The wines complimented each course very well, I only tasted each one with the food as I was driving but Karl greatly enjoyed them all.

Sirloin and Oyster Flavours

Sirloin 'Pie' and Piccalilli Funk

Steak and Chips

Cherries, Merlot and Meringue

Overall the experience was excellent. The atmosphere was relaxed and comfortable, the only downside being that because the ceilings are quiet low, it was a little noisy and could be difficult to hear each other at times, especially with the music in the background.

I would highly recommend checking out this little gem of a restaurant and if you can get into one of the taster sessions, it is definitely worth a go. We paid £30 each for 4 course and 4 drinks, excellent value considering the quality of both the food and drink. We have already booked in to the last session in August - 'Duck and Cider' night! Hope to see you there!

Monday, 13 July 2015

London Tea Club - July 2015

It's that time again, at the beginning of the month and I received my second London Tea Club monthly subscription.

I used up all the Chocolate Mint Rooibos and the Apricot Peach from last month, as they were so tasty and it made a nice change to have something a bit different. I wasn't so keen on the Iron Godess, so passed that onto a tea loving friend as I hate things to go to waste. So two out of three wasn't too bad and I was very excited to see what was in this months package!

Again it arrived in its super cute little box that can fit through the letterbox (thoughtful packaging design - it's a shame not all subscription boxes can't be like that!)Again, it arrived with its little hessian bag and all the tea bags as well. I thought it might just be the first box that came like that, so I was impressed that obviously each box arrives like that, not just because it's looks nice but also the little bags are handy for storage!

The 3 teas available this time were Black Jasmine, Kukicha and Moroccan Mint. Again, a great mixture of different teas to try. It also came with a little recipe for coconut milk pudding, which although I haven't made it yet, sounds yummy and I thought was quiet a nice idea.

Black Jasmine

This has a lovely floral smell to it, very sweet, which I liked. It took a while to brew to get it to the strength I like, but with a little bit of milk was lovely, light and sweet. I didn't need to add any sweetener. It's a very light tea to drink and would be nice in a morning. It felt a bit similar to Earl Grey, which is one of my favourite's, so if your not of fan of fragrant teas this probably wouldn't be for you. I really enjoyed this one and wouldn't choose a jasmine tea as a rule but it has definitely changed my opinion. 


This was my least favourite of the three. It's a green tea, which I am not a big fan of, as they are not only difficult to get right but the flavour pay off for me is never great. I had to try this few times, as I couldn't get it right but eventually managed. It's a bit too bitter for me, almost like drinking vegetable water (if that makes sense!) I generally prefer sweeter teas than this. I also didn't like that I had to have a few attempts, I like things to be easy and don't like watching my tea bag like a hawk to ensure it's right, this one is a miss from me!

Moroccan Mint

This was by far my favourite of the three. I do love a strong mint tea - reminds me of the tea I had on holiday, in Tunisia. I like to brew it for a good amount of time and then add sweetener (I can't use sugar as I'm diabetic but I'm sure it probably tastes as good, if not better with sugar!) It's definitely a personal thing, especially with the sweetness as Karl is not the biggest fan of such sweet tea. I like how refreshing mint tea is, and brewing this one for a longer time, gives a real depth of flavour. A thumbs up from me on this one.

Again I liked two of the three, I'll maybe persevere with Kukicha and see if it grows on me but the other two were lovely. I'm really enjoying receiving the teas every month and would recommend giving it a try. Give it a go, visit London Tea Club to sign up.

Sunday, 5 July 2015

Keds for Kate Spade: Mini Review

Just a quick mini review this week, as sadly I have been so busy with work and family life that I have done very little else this past week, but hoping to get an injection of summer fun soon!

So, I wanted to review a little purchase I made the other week. I've been looking for a new pair of summer pumps for a little while now, but I am very picky when it comes to shoes. I like style but I definitely like to be comfortable more! I purchased a pair of Converse ballerina pumps a month or so ago but they just didn't fit quite right, so I returned them and kept looking.

I recieved a cheeky little email from Kate Spade a few weeks ago letting me know that their summer sale was about to begin and that I could have a little early preview and I thought - it would be rude not to: -) I do love Kate Spade. The designs and patterns may be a bit ditzy and kitsch for some but I absolutely adore them, especially their spring/summer designs.

I saw these little beauty's when I was in London in the Convent Garden store back in May. I loved them when I saw them, but having made a few big purchases decided to restrain myself! A decision I regretted until now!  They were in the sale, and I found them in my bag before I even knew what was happening (or that's the story I am sticking too). However when they arrived they were the wrong size! I sent them back and re-ordered and found in the interim they had been reduced again to £32! What a bargain, a twist of fate if you ask me. Anyway, I recieved my new pair very quickly but again they we the wrong size! I rang the customer service line and I have to say they were very helpful and looked into it and found that there was a problem with the sizing on the website. The customer service I recieved was excellent, and I asked for the response via e-mail as I was in work and couldn't take calls. They were fast to respond and extremely helpful! I had to return the wrong pair again and wait a day or so until the problem was resolved on the website, then very promptly recieved the correct size, woop woop! I just wanted to say that the customer service I recieved was excellent, well done Kate Spade!

Anyway, back to the shoes. I love the ladybird design, it is so me, with the classic Kate Spade logo on the heel, I just think they are so cute. Plus you get white and pink laces so you can switch them about a bit. I have had Keds in the past and find them very comfortable, but I would recommend going down a size as they do seem to come up a little bigger fitting then other brands. I purchased the smaller size and the fit is excellent and extremely comfortable, and I've worn them loads since I got them. I can tell already they are going to be my go-to casual shoes all summer! I like to wear them with my skinny jeans and tee shirt for a very casual feel but with the warmer weather recently I've been wearing them with casual day dresses and loving the combination. I love the fact they are so versatile. Heres a few pictures to give you a good all round idea of the style and fit.

I think they were a great price and more than worth the £32 I paid for them. The sale itself was excellent and I'm still debating over making a few more cheeky purchases while it is still on, check it out here and grab some bargains while you can.