Monday, 29 April 2019

HOME | ROSE GOLD GEOMETRIC WALL

I've not done a house update in far too long because decorating your first house turned out to be a much more expensive job than I first thought. Accessories don't just magic out of thin air and as much as you'd love every room to be perfect as soon as you move in, it just doesn't work out that way. You may have heard that it's not a good idea to paint or wallpaper new build homes for at least 6 months due to settlement cracks appearing - and some beauties have appeared in my house! I'm now a year and a bit down the line though and everything seems to have settled so I decided to add some colour to my living room.

Because this is my first house and I've bought it alone I thought what better time to have some pink decor without anyone being able to disagree with me?! I searched Pinterest for some home inspiration and decided that I wanted to stick with some sort of geometric wall (if you follow me on Instagram, you'll know that geometric decor is a huge love of mine). My options were to use Frog Tape and paint which did look quite simple but I realised that I'd only be able to have white lines separating each shape - and I am also partial to some copper/rose gold so after scouring the B&Q website, I finally came across the most perfect rose gold metallic geometric wallpaper.


My friend Hannah pointed out on Instagram that this definitely has similarities to the 'Purple Wall' at Epcot (search #purplewall on Instagram if you don't know what I mean) which makes me extremely happy because I'm a huge Disney lover and I'm always up for incorporating some Disney into my house! I personally think it looks perfect with the bargain curtains I got from Home Bargains (only £34.99 for 90x90!) and the TV unit from Ikea.

I'm so pleased with how my house is coming on, it's slow but it's mine and I'll always be so proud of what I've achieved!

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Friday, 26 April 2019

BEAUTY | SKINNY TAN WONDER SERUM REVIEW WITH BEFORE AND AFTER PHOTOS

If you've known me for a while now, you'll know that I'm hardly a beauty queen - my skincare routine is questionable, I don't tend to my eyebrows anywhere near as often as I should and it has to be a special occasion for me to wear lipstick. But one thing I do know is that life is definitely better with a tan.

I usually go to the professionals for a spray tan to fulfil my tanning needs but when Skinny Tan asked if I wanted to try their new Wonder Serum I decided to go for it because I'd heard such good things about it. Admittedly I was a little bit nervous applying it because I know that I'm not exactly experienced in self-tanning and I worried that I was going to end up patchy and streaky. Luckily, along with the serum, I was also sent an exfoliating mitt and a tanning mitt which did make the process a heck of a lot easier.


The exfoliating mitt is double sided; the orange side for prepping the skin before application and the brown side is to remove or correct your tan which is especially helpful if you're a little bit out of practice. The dual tanning mitt is honestly the best quality tanning mitt I've ever used; it's silky smooth, thick and durable  whereas other mitts I've used have split within a couple of uses. The Skinny Tan mitt makes application much, much easier. 

The serum itself is a formula I've never come across before; other tans I've used have been in lotions, mousses and sprays so I was really intrigued as to how this one worked. The serum formula, coupled with the tanning mitt, made it so easy to spread the product evenly across my skin and it was so easy to buff in with no worries about it streaking or developing patchy. And it actually has an iridescent finish to it and leaves your skin feeling soft and silky after you've applied. I did read that this is supposed to smell better than other fake tans but honestly once it started developing I didn't get any scent other than the tell-tale biscuit scent that you get with most self-tanners. I don't find it particularly bad but I wouldn't say it smells any better than other self-tanning products.

Now for the before and after pictures; I am naturally quite pale and I don't tan very well in the sun so as you can imagine my legs, without tan, are blindingly pasty:

BEFORE SKINNY TAN WONDER SERUM

AFTER SKINNY TAN WONDER SERUM

I'm really impressed with the results. Skinny Tan Wonder Serum gave me a really flawless, soft finish and has meant that I'll be much more confident wearing a summer dress when some of the better weather is here to stay. I generally do feel so much better with a bit of a tan; it makes me much more body confident. I posted a photo to my stories of me applying some new moisturiser to my legs and I was pleased to see that people noticed my tan and asked what I'd used! I do need to perfect my tanning skills because I've not quite got the knack of tanning my feet without it looking weird but I'll be having a look at some YouTube tutorials to help but if you have any tips please send them my way!

You can buy Skinny Tan products from their website as well as Boots and Superdrug.

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LIFESTYLE | DUMBO AT VUE CINEMA DONCASTER

GIFTED EXPERIENCE: I was kindly asked to write up my experience at Vue Doncaster in exchange for two complimentary tickets to see Dumbo 

After living somewhere where there isn't a cinema within a 20 mile radius, I feel really lucky to have things like this right on my doorstep now. Kev and I used to use the cinema a LOT more when we first started seeing each other; as you do - the cinema is a typical date type destination isn't it? But we'd not been for a while so it was nice to get out on a week night to do something a little bit different.

You'd be forgiven for thinking that the cinema is still an expensive night out but Vue Doncaster have actually now restructured their pricing so that for a regular seat any time, any day of the week it's only £5.49 and it's even cheaper at £4.99 if you book your cinema tickets in advance. This is obviously to drag you away from at-home streaming services which were becoming the more favoured way to watch films. However, for me, the beauty of a cinema visit is that it feels like a treat but rather than it breaking the bank it's now much more affordable (and even more so if you are also signed up to things like Meerkat Movies where you get tickets buy one, get one free). 


I'm sure if you live in Doncaster you'll know that Vue Cinema is near Lakeside and the big Asda off Bawtry Road and you may also be aware that there's loads of new eating places opening just opposite the cinema so now not only do we have Pizza Express, Nando's, Frankie and Benny's and Brewer's Fayre, we're also getting a Taco Bell, Dunkin' Donuts, TGI Friday's, Urban Fresh Burgers and Fries and Estabulo so there'll be plenty to choose from if you like to eat before/after your film.


There are of course snacks available to buy in the cinema which are pretty unmissable as you walk in as you're hit by a huge Ben & Jerry's sign, pick n' mix and the smell of popcorn and nachos which makes it really difficult to resist. I always find that Doncaster Vue is fully staffed so there's never an issue in getting served; even as it was very busy with the release of the new Avengers film there were no huge queues which makes the whole experience so much more relaxing. The one thing I can't resist when I go to the cinema is a mixed Tango Ice Blast and I can never say no to going large (for the marginal difference in price I figure I might as well!).



Once we'd picked up our tickets, we sat down to enjoy the film; we had regular seats but there is an option to upgrade to the VIP seats which are bigger and comfier.

I have to say that Dumbo disappointed me a little bit, I realise I probably had high hopes after the last live action Disney I saw was Beauty and the Beast (where I was an emotional mess throughout) but it was just very underwhelming. Dumbo was cute and there were some excellent visual effects but I just wouldn't rate it unfortunately. I am, however, very much looking forward to seeing the Lion King in July and I fully expect to be an emotional wreck during that!

What's your favourite part of going to the cinema?

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Tuesday, 16 April 2019

FOOD | BYRON BURGER, YORK

I'm no stranger to a good burger and I like to think that I can make a pretty reasoned judgement as to whether a burger is decent; to be honest the moment that any burger serving establishment says something like 'is medium ok for your burger, slightly pink?' you know it's probably going to be good (this is because if it's a frozen, or less meaty burger they'd not be able to serve anything pink - it'd just be grey or nothing.)

We visited Byron Burger in York the other day; I've been before but Kev hasn't and I wanted him to experience it as I really enjoyed the one I had in London (and I had my fingers crossed that they wouldn't disappoint). I'll be honest and say that on first impressions of the interior it's potentially not great; where we were sat near the back the booth seating looked like it had seen better days but I do also think that it's possibly part of the Byron branding - to be more hipster, cool and industrial rather than refined and sophisticated... it is a burger joint after all.

byron-burger-york

byron-burger-york

byron-burger-menu

byron-burger-york

We went in at around 12pm and it quickly started to fill up with customers which is obviously a tell-tale sign of their popularity. As you can probably see from the menu, Byron concentrate on burgers but they do offer beef, chicken or vegan options plus a selection of upgrades to your fries which is something I do like to see on a menu just to be able to switch normal fries for something a bit more exciting.

Both me and Kev went for a B-Rex burger which is a beef patty, an onion ring, bacon, American cheese, jalapeños, pickles, onions, BBQ sauce and mayonnaise. We decided against the jalapeños because neither of us are particularly fond of hot food and although I don't mind jalapeños on nachos, that's about the limit of when I'll eat them. I also changed my normal fries for courgette fries which, if you haven't tried them, are an absolute must I think! I was very tempted to add cheese sauce onto normal fries but courgette fries win every time for me (they're actually one of the main reasons why I like Byron Burger).

b-rex-burger

b-rex-burger

courgette-fries

byron-burger-fries

Both burgers are obviously photographed before we started eating them and I can confirm that they got a whole lot messier than that, which is another sign of a good burger in my book! They were incredibly juicy and the extra toppings were the perfect combination to make a really, really tasty burger. I particularly enjoy courgette fries; they did leave a little bit of grease in the bottom of the pot but I can deal with that seeing as they didn't taste greasy at all!

I can highly recommend Byron if you're partial to a good burger; the only slightly downside to anyone living up north is that they only have 4 branches north of Birmingham; the one in York, Leeds, Manchester and Liverpool but it's well worth a visit if you're in any one of those cities.

Other amazing burger places up north include Urban Fresh Burgers (Doncaster), Meat Liquor (Leeds) and the Prince of Wales (Sheffield)

Where's your favourite place for a burger?

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