Saturday, 22 October 2016

Dreaming of Thailand with Chaophraya's new menu

Thailand is high on my list of places to visit before I kick the bucket. I dream of care-free days spent exploring islands as I soak in it's rich culture. Until the day I tick Thailand off my wanderlist, I'll settle for eating truly scrumptious Thai food. Last Thursday I visited Chaophraya in Liverpool and I've been dreaming of a trip to Thailand ever since.

Nipping back to my friend's house after work, we quickly swapped our work attire for something a little more dressy (and roomy so we could fill our tums with tasty thai food obviously!) and jumped in the car to drive to Liverpool. En route we naturally blasted out the Disney top hits and arrived at Chaophraya in perfect time.

As we arrived we were shown to our table. Much to our delight, we were seated at a huge round table away from the hustle and bustle of the main restaurant floor. Feeling giddy, we flicked through the drinks menu. A few minutes passed and some other girls were seated at our table. Completely unprepared, I felt a little panicky about sharing a table with other people. Thankfully, the nerves slowly eased and after a little while, I actually kind of liked sharing a table. After all, it meant I got to be nosey and see what food/drinks they opted for. Let me tell you, the bird cage cocktail looked divine!

Chaophraya's marketing manager kindly popped over to see us and told us all about the story behind Chaophraya. The restaurant has recently updated their menu, giving it a complete new look (and taste!) for the first time in over three years. That's a seriously long time seeing as most restaurants update their menus seasonally but I promise you it's been worth the wait. The chefs were whisked off to their home country (yes, they are all proudly from Thailand!) where they spent time learning and perfecting the new menu. It's clear that a lot of thought and care goes into creating an authentic, high quality experience at Chaophraya. The restaurant, menu and ethos is rich in culture which I think is both important and sweet.

I'm usually a girl who swears by the rule of never sharing food, ever. But with so much amazing choice on the menu, I had to break the rules. Being the rebellious rule-breakers that we are we decided to share starters. We agreed upon a classic Chicken Satay with the less conventional Thai Chicken Tacos.

The starters were incredible!! So much thought had gone into the presentation of the food, which was really adorable. I always think if they care enough to present the food nicely then it leaves you with high hopes for the taste and quality of the food! Although red thai curry tacos may sound a little odd. I mean, mixing Thai food with Mexican?! But it was a winning recipe. We both agreed that whilst we love chicken satay as a classic dish, the tacos were our favourite out of the two. Plus, having them both together was even tastier as I found the satay balanced out the spicy kick of the tacos.

In natural fashion, when it came to choosing my main course I was as indecisive as ever. I was completely torn between having the Chamber Aged Sirloin Steak, which is served with a Himalayan rock salt block for you to sear your own steak, and Chicken Pad Thai. Simply because cooking your own steak is pretty damn novel and exciting in my eyes and it's been a while since I've enjoyed a good piece of steak. On the flipside, I was at a Thai restaurant so shouldn't I go for a classic thai dish and personally, I'm a huge lover of an authentic pad thai. Alas, I couldn't choose so I asked the waitress to pick for me, her eyes lit up as she excitedly gave a definitive answer. And with that, I wound up having the steak.

The main course did not disappoint. The steak was delicious as it just melted away in my mouth. The Himalayan rock salt added another layer of flavour to the dish and the stir-fried veg was incredible. I could have eaten those adorable little mushrooms all day long.

With our main courses demolished, it was clearly time for dessert. Noticing they had Chocolate Bomb on the menu, all other desserts were completely out of the question. I wanted the magic of watching my dessert melt away to reveal even more yummy dessert inside! The dessert was delicious and a little bit boozy. When I was younger and working night shifts, I used crawl into bed at 8am to watch a movie and drink a glass (or two) of neat whiskey before nodding off to sleep. Thankfully those days are behind me. Nowadays, if I'm going to consume whiskey, I'd much rather it be in ice cream form.

I had an amazing time at Chaophraya. The food was amazing and the company was even sweeter. We spent our evening swapping stories and giggling all night long. The only thing to note was that service was a little bit slow at times. But then again, I'm always hungry so I'm a hard girl to please when it comes to service time. I maaaay have scoffed an Oreo biscuit from out of my handbag whilst waiting for food to be served. Hey, what can I say, I'm a girl who always carries emergency snacks to stop hanger from striking. But the incredibly delicious food and the wonderful service certainly made up for that. I just couldn't fault them. I was blown away by how much thought has noticeably gone into this menu and the experience provided at Chaophraya.

Since my visit to Chaophraya, I've been dreaming of Thailand and all the wonderful Thai food daily. I can't wait to revisit the restaurant and to one day visit Thailand too.

*Please note that a complimentary 3-course meal was kindly provided by Chaophraya. However, all words, thoughts and photographs in this post remain that of my own. If you have any questions, feel free to drop me a message :)

Tuesday, 18 October 2016

5 things about small boobs

5 things about small boobs lace teddy fairy lights

According to Donald Trump, I can't ever be a 10 because I'm very flat-chested. Well I've got news for you Trump, that's okay with me because I can be an 11 if I want to be. Donald Trump has said some disturbing and extremely worrying things in his time and throughout this election I keep expecting (or hoping) Ashton Kutcher to pop up telling America they've been Punk'd. A girl can only hope that'll happen, for America's sake. Anyway, enough about politics we're here to talk about my boobs. My teeny tiny boobs.

Being a member of the itty bitty titty committee can be both a blessing and a curse. Some days I wake up with nothing but love for my little boobs and other days I wake up wishing I had a great bust. So here's 5 things about having tiny boobs.

Whenever a celeb is spotted going braless and showing a bit of nipple there's always total uproar in the media. But here's the thing, who cares? It really shouldn't be a big deal. I go braless approximately 5/7 days a week and it's fab. It's so much nicer than wearing an underwired bra that digs into your ribs. Underwire bras are uncomfortable and leave you longing to get home from your full day out just so you can rip your bra off the second you get through the front door. Speaking of which, I probably couldn't tell you the last time I wore a bra with underwire. Can we rejoice over the fact that not wearing a bra is amazing and girls should be applauded, not shamed, for choosing to go braless?

When I'm not going bra-free, I'm likely wearing pretty lace lingerie. I absolutely adore triangle bras and their simplistic beauty. I'm eternally grateful for my flat chest simply because it means I can wear cute triangle bras. I'm a sucker for pretty lingerie. Whilst I may not be able to pick up a super sultry lingerie set designed for girls with a bit of cleavage, I can get a delicate lace bra. And in all honestly, lace bras make me feel pretty damn fierce.

Admittedly, some mornings I wake up wishing I had bigger boobs. I'd be lying if I said I didn't. I've thought about getting breast augmentation countless times. If money was no object, I probably would have done so already. So this is just a simple reminder than my boobs are small, but they're also cute and perky so like, that's a good thing right? There are some benefits to having tiny boobs such as their perkiness or the fact I can happily lay on my stomach in bed, go running without a sports bra and not having to worry about backache. So let me remind you, it ain't all bad having bee stings.

There are sooo many outfits that are out of bounds for me because, well, they require boobs. I can't count the number of dresses I own but have never worn for this reason alone. But on the flipside, I don't have to worry about my shirt button popping open or my top bunching or any of the other clothing troubles big-boobed girls go through. There's a silver lining to every cloud! Yes, some outfits may be out of bounds for me and my tiny breasts. But other outfits look killer on me. It's just a matter of trial and error, learning what suits your body type and feeling confident in whatever you throw on in the morning.

The main thing about having tiny boobs is being okay with that. Media is constantly telling us how we should be striving towards achievable body ideals. Sure, some days I may wake up wishing I looked like Jessica Rabbit or Angelina Jolie but that's not going to happen anytime soon in this reality. It's time to start appreciating the reflection you see in the mirror. Ex-boyfriends may poke fun at your tiny chest leaving you feeling conscious and friends with C-cup boobs will complain about being flat-chested leaving you and your little 32As eyerolling to the max. But that's life. It can be hard to love something about yourself when you're constantly being taught that it's not attractive. So here I am to say that I love my small boobs and all the highs and lows that come with them. Similarly, you should be proud of your girls too- no matter what size or shape they are.

Wednesday, 12 October 2016

A VIP night with Rush hair salon

Walking out of the hair salon with a bounce in my step and even bouncier curls in my hair, I headed home feeling truly content. Y'know that feeling where you're so blissfully happy that everything in the universe is just as it should be? That's exactly how I felt after spending an evening at the new Rush hair salon in Manchester last week.

If you're looking for a hair salon that has it all, then look no further. Rush is the salon for you. From a hair cut to a brazilian blowdry, Rush are bound to be able to fulfill your hair needs.

Earlier this month, I was invited along to the new Deansgate salon to meet the team, eat nibbles and talk hair. For a girl who sucks at hair care, it was exactly what I needed. I actually learnt a lot about my hair and if I'm ever in the city, I'd feel more than confident to pop into Rush knowing that the team would be able to work wonders on my unruly locks.

The hair stylists were the loveliest bunch of people. I was really nervous before I turned up at the salon but my worries quickly melted away. I tend to avoid hair salons, partly due to my indecisiveness and also down to my sheer hatred for awkward small talk. But there was no awkward small talk here. I felt completely at ease as I chatted and giggled away with the Rush hair stylists!

My hair was in major need of a refresh so I made sure the first thing I did that evening (after helping myself to some food and having a tour of the place of course...) was sit down with Celine for a cut consultation. I confessed to Celine about my hair-styling struggles. Celine instantly knew the perfect solution, suggesting that I add some soft layers to my hair in order to lift my hair and add shape without losing my blunt cut. I was so impressed with Celine's recommendations that I booked myself in at the hairdressers the following weekend. I'm now sporting a shorter cut with some delicate layers! It's safe to say that the Rush team certainly know their stuff when it comes to hair.

Cut consultation complete, it was time to brave getting my hair done at the Style Bar. I initially wanted to try a fancy up-do or braids. But after telling Nick all about my hair's stubborn unwillingness to curl, he took it upon himself to prove to me that my hair can and will hold a curl. I commended his enthusiasm but was convinced he'd fail on his mission. Turns out I was wrong. Nick succeeded where most hairdressers failed and managed to keep a curl in my hair. He created tighter curls on the bottom layer to add volume and shape before creating the larger curls that sat on top. Once done, he lightly sprayed my hair with hairspray and gently tousled my hair, roughing it up and down to loosen the curls.

Nick shared his hair curling secrets with me which I'll definitely be putting to the test. I'd love nothing more than to have cute curls for autumn so fingers crossed I can recreate the look or else I'll be making weekly trips to Rush! The rates are amazingly reasonable so I wouldn't even feel that guilty about treating my hair to some TLC more frequently.

After a wonderful evening filled with laughter, pampering and tasty treats, I left feeling confident in the new hair care tips I learnt and happy to have had such a sweet evening mingling with the most lovely hairdressing team and bloggers!

Watch this space, Rush, because I'll definitely be back soon for a curly blowdry!

Monday, 3 October 2016

Life update and October plans

Hello October! Can you believe that we're now into the last 3 months of 2016? Like, where on earth has this year gone? I probably haven't achieved almost half as much as I wanted to this year, oops. So, it's time to make the last 3 months really count. Let's take a sneak peek at what the month of October holds so far...

Okay, you may (or may not) be aware that one of my biggest goals for 2016 has been learning to drive. Nothing frustrates me more than not being able to drive. My migraines are finally under some kind of control which means I've been able to get behind the wheel. I'm kind of slow with my lessons buuuut I'm keeping my fingers crossed that I'll be driving before the year is up. This month brings my theory test and hopefully that means bringing me one step closer to getting that pink license.

I am also going on my first ever ~real~ solo-trip this month. I've been on a few solo-trips around the UK. But this is my first international solo-trip. I'm ridiculously excited for it and also pretty damn nervous. I can't wait to spend 4 days exploring a foreign city on my own. Sometimes life just gets all too overwhelming for me. I feel trapped and panicky and stupidly, as though I don't belong or have anyone to turn to. Lately those feelings have been pretty strong. It's hard to put into words so let's just say I'm excited to escape this small town and explore some place new for four days. I'll be heading to Brussels and I've got the sweetest little apartment for whilst I'm there. If you have any recommendations, please tell all. Also, let me know whether I should visit Bruges or Ghent for a day too!

It's been a while since I last got a tattoo. 3 years, to be precise. All of my existing tattoos are pretty small, simple black ink designs. This one, however, is something bolder. I'm going colourful for the first time ever and it'll be in a place that's rarely ever hidden. Oh and not to forget, it'll be adorable. I'm not going to say all my tattoos hold a meaning. They don't. But they all hold memories of certain times in life and that's pretty cool. This month, I'll be adding a pretty watercolour tattoo to my collection, much to my mother's dismay.

Okay, this is a bit of a boring one, I know. But I'm at that stage in life where I kind of want nothing more than to have my own house and just have my own space and freedom. So, this month (along with the next few months) will be months of being savvy with my pennies and saving as much as humanly possible. I have a minimum amount that I want to save before I start house-hunting and this month I passed the half-way mark. I 100% did a little excited dance when I looked at my savings balance. Now I really need to knuckle down and keep saving. Whilst also still enjoying myself and treating myself to little goodies every now and again.

Isn't October just one of the best months, ever? Crisp air, crunchy fallen leaves, cozy nights in. I absolutely adore it. Throw in the fact that October also equals Halloween and I'm the happiest girl ever. My Halloween plans aren't set in stone yet but I'm still excited. Though if I decide to go to the party, I best get planning an outfit! In the meantime, I'm all about keeping snug and watching as many horror films as possible this month.

There's so much more that I hope the month of October brings. I want to have a month full of adventures.

Sunday, 25 September 2016

An evening making lipsticks with MDMFLOW

mdmflow lipstick event flat lay

 Have you ever met someone and immediately thought to yourself 'I wish this girl was my best friend'. Well that's exactly how I felt when I met Florence Adepoju, the brains behind the beauty brand MDMFlow.

I arrived at Harvey Nichols Beauty Bazaar after a little wander around Liverpool where I also happened to stumble across Niomi Smart promoting her new book in Waterstones. I have never been in the Beauty Bazaar before. But oh my gosh, this place is enchanting and a little bit overwhelming. I'm not the best girly-girl and I suck at applying make-up but even I found this store heavenly.

mdmflow lipstick range event

The evening kicked off with prosecco and balloons, in true blogger style.

After spending a little too long snapping photographs, we all eventually put the cameras down and paid attention whilst Flo and Liberty took us on a whirlwind adventure of science.

When I was at school, I was never really keen on science. Sure, it was interesting but I was convinced the only career paths it led to were to be a Scientist, work in Medicine or be a Teacher. Since I didn't want to be any of the above, I left it behind when I moved on to further studies. Now let me tell you, I couldn't have been more wrong. I wish someone had told me that carrying on with science would mean that I could do cool shit like become a CSI or even cooler than that: be a bad-ass girl with my own lipstick range.

That's exactly what Flo is. A bad-ass girl with her own lipstick range.

Florence Adepoju MDMFlow lipstick brand event

While studying Cosmetic Science, Flo also spent a lot of time working on beauty counters. It was during this time that she noticed a gap in the cosmetics market. There was a total lack of bright, bold colours on offer. Flo realised that she could fill that niche and bring a spot of colour to the world of every day beauty. Thus, MDMFlow was humbly born in her shed.

Flo set out to create her own range of highly-pigmented, bright lipsticks suited for black women. With that said, her lipsticks are just as amazing on light skin tones. She has perfected her lipstick formulas so that anybody can pick up a shade and totally pull it off as it adapts to their own skin tone. Flo wanted to create a brand that was full of expression, reflected her own bold personality and broke the classic stereotypes of beauty.

Mas Marina MDMFlow lipstick event

The beauty industry is so heavily focused on the classy Marilyn Monroe look, which is undeniably beautiful, but it just isn't for everyone. MDMflow breaks down those traditional barriers and allows women to express themselves with bold lipsticks. Her lipsticks still hint towards the classic beauty with a rose oil scent,the truest scent of nostalgia. But they are brave colours such as the amazing blue Mas Marina. The MDMFlow lipsticks are super nourishing and so much care has been put into the creation of these lipsticks to ensure they are highly pigmented and give off the best results. Oh and major bonus points for being cruelty free too!

MDMFlow is inspired by 90's hip-hop power women like Lil Kim, Kelis and Gwen Stefani. The signature gold bullet packaging creates a strong brand image. Whilst many of the shades are also named after hip-hop tunes. There's no denying that Flo is making her mark in the beauty industry whilst sticking to her roots. The brand is one of power and one that so many women can identify with...even if they aren't a fan of hip-hop themselves!

Flo and Liberty walked us through the magical, scientific process of lipstick making. The whole process was all kinds of science-y involving beakers, precise measurements and lab coats. We got to choose our own unique shades to make. Deciding on which colours to go for was almost as difficult as naming them! After much deliberation, I'd like to introduce you to the minimal nude Snog a Blogger and the sassy, sparkly Unicorn Barbie. Let's ignore my scruffy nail varnish and just focus on the gorgeous MDMFlow stamp on these gorgeous lipsticks, okay.

MDMFlow blog event unique lipsticks event
MDMFlow lipstick event unique

I had an amazing evening making lipsticks with Florence, Liberty and all the blogging girls. Plus, now I have two new amazing lipsticks to add to my tiny collection. I can't wait to brave pink lips this autumn. MDMFlow also have an amazing line of matte liquid lipsticks, which I'm dying to get my hands on. Roll on pay day so I can put in a little order!

MDMFlow Lipstick event balloon fwis