DISCOVERING SUFFOLK: THE GRAZING SHEEP

Saturday, 30 September 2017

DISCOVERING SUFFOLK: THE GRAZING SHEEP

There's nothing I appreciate more than a big 'ole plate of food. Well okay, there are lots of things I appreciate in life more perhaps BUT food is definitely up there. And why the hell not I mean at the end of the day it's the sustenance of life right.

As the nights set in and Summer is ripped away from us just as quickly as it lasted, I am conscious that the abundance of enjoyable day activities is now at a bare minimum. What is there to do now that the weather is gloomy and the days are too cold to be outside. Well there is one thing to do, eat and drink. 

I am picking back up on a venture I started earlier this year to discover the many hidden gems Suffolk has to offer, however this time around I am focusing more on good food places. So to start off my new (old but new) chapter of my blog I headed to The Grazing Sheep which can be found on Ipswich Waterfront. 

The day in question is a nice warm Sunday morning and after about an hour of lazing in bed we decided we fancied a deliciously cooked breaky which involved us doing minimal work. So off to the Waterfront we wandered to try out a nice little cafe which a friend had recommended. If there's one thing that can be said, Ipswich has a scarcity of cute (Instagram worthy - yes I said it I'm a basic bitch) places of interest so when my friend pointed out this place I was mega keen to try it out as I especially love ascetically pleasing interiors. And that's exactly what the Grazing Sheep is

There's not a huge amount I can say when it comes to writing the food part of the review as I think the pictures speak a thousand words for themselves. Especially as I'm sure no one really wants a full low down on how each part of the meal tasted. All I can tell you is that the food was absolutely delicious and well worth the price of £8.00 for a full English Breakfast. Drinks weren't included however this is probably a privilege in few places anyway. I got myself a Latte and Ollie got himself a Green Juice which I definitely stole a sip of and can safely say was totally yum. 

The cafe has a lovely outside area which is where most people chose to sit that morning as it was so warm (shock) leaving the upstairs area nice and quiet for us to explore. This floor is full of rustic wood and metal tables which is pretty trendy right now in the interior world and cosy colourful scattered cushions were plentiful. 

The pricing is really affordable, I have been to several London cafes before which have charged me well over £10.00 for a cooked breakfast. Although we may not be in London it's still nice to be able to find places which don't charge an absolute arm and a leg for good food in a nice surrounding. Of course a Full English wasn't the only breakfast item on the menu  with other options such as Eggs on toast readily available. Plus they offer an amazing selection of wholesome Lunches and bakery items which look very very good on their website.  

So if you live local to Ipswich and you're looking for a new coffee/breakfast/lunch joint then I highly recommend The Grazing Sheep. With its enticing rustic interiors and it's delicious good food it's definitely an absolute gem in the heart of Suffolk. Plus it's upstairs has a lovely view of the marina which is a real added bonus.


REFRESH YOUR AUTUMN MAKEUP WITH THE NEW BOURJOIS VELVET COLLECTION

Monday, 25 September 2017

REFRESH YOUR AUTUMN MAKEUP WITH THE NEW BOURJOIS VELVET COLLECTION

I've recently fallen out of the habit with wearing lipstick. Not intentionally, never intentionally. My love for lipstick is a never ending affair and if I am not still wearing bold reds by the time I'm 80 I will be severely disappointed.

However in the duration of Summer I became a little lazy. Okay a lot. I decided that in the humidity of the weather I could not be bothered with the upkeep of wearing make-up everyday as dealing with constant melty face is far too much hassle.

Luckily though I have something to bring me out of that funk, the release of #VelvetTheLipstick by Bourjois Paris. A beautiful range of 12 buttery yet powerful lipsticks (for just £8.99!!) to cater for every look you could possibly want. Hello 'Brunette' I am looking at you to get me through most of Autumn. How could I possibly feel lazy about Lipstick now that I have so many gorgeous shades to play around with! 



PACKAGING
So first things first, lets talk packaging. The packaging of a product is the very first thing you see obviously and if the product has likeable aesthetics then I for one am certainly more easily persuadable to it (calling mr vain). One of the key features of the rouge velvets is that the colour of each lipsticks case is the actual shade of the lipstick making them so easy to identify. Gone are the days of me rooting through my make-up drawers checking the labels on the bottom of lipsticks trying to find a certain colour!

Removal of the lid reveals the tear-drop shape of the lipstick which is another favourite feature of mine. I love this shape as it makes it nice and easy to apply. The narrow point of the tear-drop means it's great for precision application especially around the cupids bow area. Perfect for on the go reapplications!


FORMULA 
The first thing you notice when you go to apply the lipstick is quite a strong scent. I can't quite put my finger on what it smells like, it's not unpleasant but it's not like a nice fragrance either. However this is not a problem as I said the smell is not unpleasant and quickly fades too meaning it is unnoticeable after application. The formula is very buttery and allows the lipstick to comfortably glide across your lips. I've found with some lipsticks they feel a lot dryer when applying and cause a dragging effect however this is definitely not the case with the rouge velvets. As I write this I am wearing 'Hey Nude' at work and have had it on for about 4 hours now. 

The stay power is very good, not perfect but definitely good. After about five cups of tea, there has been understandably some wear however the colour is very much still there. A reapplication will be needed probably at lunchtime to freshen up, but this is common with so many lipsticks. The one thing I have definitely noticed is how soft and moisturised my lips still feel even though I've had it on for a few hours now. The lipstick has no drying out effects and remains soft with a nice matte appearance throughout.


RESULTS
Sometimes when it comes to lipsticks with soft buttery formulas the colour pay-offs can have a little less impact then desired. The beauty of the Velvet's is that this is pretty much the opposite. I found all shades to be highly pigmented giving beautiful bold colours right down to the nude shades. A huge array of colours is offered in this range of twelve lipsticks from plum hued browns to juicy corals which means you are covered for all occasions! 

When applying the lipstick you might be surprised by how it looks a little satin at first glance however as the lipstick dries it gradually turns into a lovely comfortable matte (not a mega liquid lipstick kind of matte though definitely think more satin matte). Although I found the formula nice and moisturising on my lips I found that, as we all should know by now, it worked best on lips which had been previously moisturised (with my favourite Burts bees balm) before application.


COLOUR RANGE
So as I just previously touched upon there is a big range of colours when it comes to the Velvet range. I love lipstick collections which can offer me shades which are perfect for different occasions. Whether it be wearing a nice nude for a day at the office or an autumnal wine red for a night of cocktails with friends, this collection definitely covers all areas for me. I've swatched these colours over a period of time so unfortunately haven't colour categorised these so apologies!


Abrico'dabra 
So Peach is certainly in right now (Urban Outfitters do a lovely peach bedspread which people are going crazy for) which means this shade is pretty trendy. It's quite a vibrant shade but the orange is a lovely soft colour and I really like wearing this for little day trips out. It makes me feel quite summery so I will probably use it a lot when I go to Thailand!

Fuchsia Botte 
This is a very powerful pink which has some serious blue tones to it. This pink is the power suit of all lipsticks. I think with it's bold colour it would be great for statement looks and nights out.


Hey Nude 
Now this is a colour I call an every-day-go-to shade as it is just a perfect neutral tone which you can dress anything with. I wear this shade a lot at the office as it's not too over the top but still makes me feel well presented. It's quite a beige toned nude and really wearable!

Brique-a-braq
is a much warmer light pink which is a really nice dusty rose colour. Another great colour for everyday wear I like to think of this lipstick as a go to fuss free day time lipstick . This is a nice transitional evening colour as well as it's not too neutral but also not too bold.

Brunette
This shade is going to be absolute Autumn life saver for me. When we think of this season we think of crunchy leaves on the floor, conkers literally everywhere and of course your classic Pumpkin spiced lattes. This colour perfectly reflects those brown tones which just scream Autumn Autumn Autumn. 

Joli Carmin'ois
Is exactly what it says on the tin. A fun and vibrant orange toned red which definitely is going to be worn this Halloween whilst carving Pumpkins. Gotta colour co-ordinate you know!


Hip Hip Pink

A nice little medium shade pink which is great for everyday wear much like the other pinks in this range. 

Berry Formidable 
Hello my new December colour. Much like the name this shade has me thinking of mulled wine and winter berries which is making me feel very Christmassy. Did someone say only 91 sleeps until Christmas day?! This is a lovely deep darker shade of red and perfect for making a statement during the day or wearing as a lovely little evening red for a date night or something similar.

Rubi's Cute
Has made it into my firm favourites list and not just because I also love the name. This red a true wow factor classic red. Think statement. Think Pillar box. Think bold and powerful. I think I will be pairing this shade with my new topshop trousers quite a lot.

Magni-fig
Okay so Bourjois are really killing it with the names right now, I can't cope. Everyone loves a well thought out lipstick name. This is another berry shade which is a deeper more wine purple compared to the Berry formidable. Definitely another Autumn contender which will look lovely this season.

Hyppink Chic
A real rosy pink which I have totally fallen in love with. This shade is really nice for glowly looks I think as it's not too harsh and gives your skin a lovely luminous look.

Flaming Rose
To finish up my swatches is this natural pink which is just a tad darker and pinker than the Hey Nude shade. On me this shade did look a lot pinker but in the photo it looks quite nude. I would say it's a medium between the Hey Nude and the Hip hip Pink. Another perfect shade however for day-to-day wear!



 So there we have it huns, the latest edition to the Bourjois range is a definite hit! The great range of shades means that I can easily transition from Summer to Autumn and I also have plenty of colours to look forward to using this Winter too. Has anyone else tried this range yet, what are your thoughts?

*This was kindly gifted to me via Influenster for reviewing purposes*





MONDAY MUSINGS: EMBARKING UPON MY FIRST EVER HALF MARATHON

Monday, 18 September 2017

MONDAY MUSINGS: EMBARKING UPON MY FIRST EVER HALF MARATHON

There are plenty of things I have done in my life which have, as I like to say: put the fear into me. Taking my driving test, my first day of University, starting a new job and so the list goes on. However this week I am experiencing a new feeling of fear; it’s a feeling of nervous anticipation laced with a new form of self doubt. It’s a feeling brought on by awaiting a certain day, the day I will run my first ever half Marathon. 

I mean I'm the kind of girl who tweets on the regular about eating 5 share size bags of Sensation poppadoms. How was I suddenly meant to go from nearly passing out after running a 5K to pacing through a 13.1 mile race. The answer I guess is there was just a very small part of me that believed in myself.

Believing in myself is something that has slightly faltered through the years. I am not quite the boisterous little young thang I used to be who obnoxiously thought she could achieve anything. Yet the truth is, we really can achieve almost anything if we set our minds to it. A few knocks in life can set you back sometimes and alter your self confidence but for me running has been a surprising way of learning to believe in yourself again. Building self confidence is definitely something I would like to touch more upon in a separate blog post. 

Also for me, trying to run this race is not only just about achieving a new goal and learning to have more faith in myself. It's also about raising money for an important cause. Over the past few years I have lost both an Aunt and an Uncle from Cancer. People across the world are losing loved ones to cancer every day. The latest stats on the Cancer Research website show that in 2014 there had been over 300,000 new cases of Cancer reported in the UK alone. This is kind of a scary number right. However across the world the number of people living beyond cancer diagnosis is climbing. In 2014 it had nearly reached 14.5 million and is expected to reach 19 million by 2024.

Each year Cancer Research is taking huge steps forward to help people beat the battle of cancer and every time someone donates even just £2 to their research they are one step closer to making more discoveries. As quoted on their website: One day everyone will beat cancer, the more research we do, the sooner that day will come. 

So here I am, 6 days away from putting my body through a challenging 13.1 mile run which I hope (emphasis on the hope) to achieve in about 2 and a half hours. Do I feel ready? No. Am I sure I can actually do this? Probably not. However there are people across the world asking themselves these same questions but going through much harder things than running a half marathon. So will I run this race and raise money to help the bigger problems in life. Yes I will. 

On a final note. There is no big or small way of raising money for any type of charity. There is no expectancy for everyone to run a race. The idea of raising money can start from anywhere, from buying a muffin at a bake sale (and not forgetting to tick the gift aid box) to doing a midnight walk. The possibilities are endless and as we all know, every little helps

Hat - Topshop Baker Boy Hat | Jumper - Topshop Red Knit (Shop Similar)



Stay tuned soon if you would like to hear how I did. The Great East Run will be this Sunday on the 24th September 


THE ANDI WALKER POP UP RESTAURANT EXPERIENCE

Wednesday, 13 September 2017

THE ANDI WALKER POP UP RESTAURANT EXPERIENCE
The nights are slowly drawing in and suddenly I no longer find myself leaving the house without taking a jacket with me. Also there's suddenly an influx of gripping British TV dramas - so it's safe to say. Autumn is here.


Along with the crisp chill in the air and sudden restocking of scarves and cardigans in my wardrobe comes the new scarcity of things to do. During the Summer there seems to be an abundance of activities, from trips to the beach to festivals and holidays it's often filled with plentiful fun. However during the colder months it's harder to drag yourself outside especially when the weather is often sulking with rain. Netflix and the sofa are often a far better option.

This A/W however I am setting myself a new challenge. To explore the very depths of Suffolk (where I live) for the quaintest, cutest quirkiest little food and drink joints. From cosy pubs to plant filled coffee shops, I want to find them all.

So to start off my foodie adventures I headed down to the neighbouring county of Essex to the press event of Andi Walkers Pop Up Restaurant last week. Not quite Suffolk but a good start to my new quest for local food and drink gems. 

First off a little bit about the Andi Walker pop up Restaurant. Andi is a local chef from Harlow who competed all the way to the Semi finals in the 2016 Master Chef The Professionals. Inspired to start cooking by his Nan he began training at the ripe age of 16 and infused his love and experiences from travelling into the way he produced his food. After competing in Master Chef he took his passion and set up shop in Chelmsford's delightful little Riverside Inn where he has created a pop up restaurant. Here Andi serves up local and seasonal produce from around the Essex area and adds his own special twists to create a unique tasting menu. Constantly changing it up when he can, Andi likes to create tasting menus which comprise of various experimental flavours made through a mix of traditional and contemporary cooking. 

First to be served up the night was a little pre-dinner snack which consisted of Leek Bhaji, Artichoke drizzled with Mushroom ketchup and Pork Crackling seasoned with Thyme salt. Whenever I think of pork crackling I think of crunchy and tough to chew textures which although flavoursome are never in my mind a culinary delight. However this crackling melted in my mouth, I've never tasted anything like it!  


Next up was a little bread dish which I was very excited for as I am a big fan of all bread things. Pizza, pitta, naans you named it I love it. Andi served up beautifully home made sour dough bread with his own special Marmite butter which was lovely and creamy with just a subtle Marmite taste. These were just the snacks before we started the three main courses and I was already starting to feel full! I found myself thinking how I had never quite tasted food like this before and there was still so much yet to come. 

The first course was brought out by Andi himself who went on to explain the ingredients he had chosen to create the dish. The starter course was a huge array of flavours lying in a salt-baked Celeriac served alongside mustard, pickled onions and fresh apples. Not quite what you would imagine going well together but I can definitely vouch that it tasted scrummy. 



The main course was then swiftly brought out to us which comprised of tender chicken breast which had been marinated in salt water over night before being blow torched and then roasted. It was served alongside a mini Kiev of braised leg meat wrapped in a garlic butter case and breadcrumbs. Plus it was served with a side of mushroom puree and braised gem lettuce leaves

Last but not least was of course the final dish of the night, the Dessert. This is where I had to be my awkward self and request a different dish to everyone else, because I annoyingly suffer from peanut allergies! So whilst everyone had a Chocolate delice served with caramelised peanuts and a peanut ice cream - I had something a tad different. Alongside my chocolate delice I had a delicious Raspberry sorbet which if I'm honest was an absolute result as Raspberries are my ultimate weakness, I can eat tub upon tub of them. 


It was an absolute pleasure getting to attend Andi's pop up restaurant and I thoroughly enjoyed the food, company and the whole night. Some of the ingredients Andi had put together are things that would never have crossed my mind to taste good together but he certainly showed me that there are no boundaries when it comes to creating great tastes! If you would like to visit the pop up restaurant in Chelmsford then you can check out the website here for more details!



HOW BUILDING AN ONLINE SUPPORT NETWORK HAS HELPED ME

Monday, 4 September 2017

HOW BUILDING AN ONLINE SUPPORT NETWORK HAS HELPED ME

If there is one thing I can safely say since my time beginning my blog, it's that I have met some truly lovely people - some of which I am now lucky enough to call my friends. Yes, actual friends. Never in a million years did I think that by opening up my little online space would it lead to online friendships which would in turn build into real grounded friendships. 

To be honest when it came to blogging I imagined I would meet plenty of fellow content creators but I had no idea that these people would then become people I would message everyday or go for coffees with, confide in over problems, share my ups and my downs or plan amazing trips together. I feel more than lucky to be able to say I have this.



- SHOP - 





The truth is when I first started my blog there was one thing I noticed more than other things which I truly wasn't expecting.  Your 'real' friends are not the people who will build you up in the blogosphere. No, it is your online friends who will do this. Your online friends will be the ones to praise you when you work hard on your blog, they will support you through thick & thin and sometimes even promote you with a cheeky #FF on a Friday. 

I found there was distance between my blog and my friends from home. Don't get me wrong it's not that they don't support me because they do. Often in ways through liking photos and offering supportive comments. However rarely do I get asked 'how is your blog doing' and in turn when I've been offered an amazing new collaborative opportunity my friends aren't the first people I tell. It's my online friends who I turn to first because I know they will understand. 

And to be honest I am not surprised anymore by this. I understand that the blogging industry is a whole new world which many people don't understand yet. People still probably believe that having a blog is about getting free stuff and taking pictures. Sounds like a hard life but we all know that actually it is. The hours you need to spend taking photos and editing, writing posts and then promoting them through social media whilst all the while trying to still maintain your social life. It really is hard work. Which is I imagine why the people who will support you the most are the people who also are working hard to build their blogs. The people who will clap for you are the people who also need clapping for back. So lets create our own support networks and build each other up even more. 

I want to choose to surround myself by people who are positive and kind and it's quite easy to spot these people in the blogging industry. Blogging can be a drama filled little world sometimes and we can often see people tearing each other down and when it gets like this it can be quite bewildering. It doesn't take me to say this though, we all know it should be a place where we can share our content and be supported by like minded people. 

I think basically what I am trying to say is that our friends will support us where they can, but our biggest support network lies in the blogosphere. Surrounding ourselves with people who spread positive vibes can make this industry so much more enjoyable to work in and finding people who can become true friends is a huge advantage. The girls I have met so far have become the people I rely on for support, inspiration and much more and I am forever grateful. I believe the industry is filled with people like this and if you feel you need the support, there are fellow bloggers out there ready and waiting to give you that pat on that back or that push in the right direction.  


A special shout out is also due to two wonderful girls who lift me up everyday with my blog and that's Stacey and Laura. I would love you to go check their blogs out if you don't already follow them as they are huge inspirations to me and honestly two of the kindest & funniest girls I've ever met. In fact these photos were taken during a day spent out in London with them. If I can recommend one thing it's go and meet up with any people you've connected with through blogging, it's a great thing to be able to make good friends in this industry. 💗


*Some products in this post have been kindly gifted via Love the sales*


SHOP MY LOOK
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Topshop Joni Jeans (shop similar)
H&M Tassle Earrings (shop similar)
Primark Sunglasses (shop similar)
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