Sunday, 21 May 2017

Five good things #3

the pancake house pateley bridge

1. Three Girls on BBC One
A three part series focusing on the Rochdale sexual abuse scandal focuses on three girls who were treated horrendously by a large group of middle aged men, the sexual health worker who fought for years to get their stories heard (Maxine Peake is outstanding as Sara) and the police's lack of action when it came to charging the men when the abuse first came to light (They fucked up royally). It's heart breaking but it's a must watch so that we can educate ourselves on how to look for warning signs that young people may be in danger and how to do something about it.

2. Getting a mention in Beverley's newsletter
Imagine my surprise (and excitement) when I opened up last Monday's edition of The Letter B and saw one of my posts in the link love section! I *think* this is the first time one of my blog posts has been shared by another blogger/writer on their platform so not gunna lie, I ws pretty made up (Sign up to The Letter B here or have a nosy at Beverley's blog).

3. Aldi cajun chicken & sweet potato fries
I've been trying to eat healthier lunches whilst at work (by healthier I mean not smothered in cheese) and my current go to is Aldi's cajun chicken with a handful of their sweet potato fries (and a splodge of garlic mayo ofc). It's the perfect non-boring lunch that keeps me going until tea time.

4. Oreo milkshakes at the Pancake House in Pateley Bridge
On Sunday morning Jody and I headed to the Pancake House in Pateley Bridge to sample some - you guessed it - pancakes! I wasn't huge on them to be honest as I don't really do breakfast at the best of times but they were okay I guess. The star of the show however was the Oreo milkshake that I ordered, complete with chocolate sauce to make it look a bit more instagrammable....Delicious.

(PS how tanned are Jody's arms in the photo? I look like a milky bar next to him).

5. The holiday countdown is officially on!
A week tomorrow I will be on route to Las Vegas and I am so excited to walk out of work on Friday knowing that I have SEVENTEEN glorious days off. I can't tell you just how ready I am for a holiday and some pool days are definitely in order.

Happy Monday!

Friday, 19 May 2017

Sunday Dinner at The Forresters Arms, Kilburn

north yorkshire countryside
The boyfriend and I have been on the hunt for a new pub to frequent for Sunday dinner for a while now as our previous haunt was handed over to new owners and the food just wasn't the same after that. After a few failures we have finally found a new pub in Kilburn (near Thirsk and the white horse) called The Forresters Arms and OMG.

I chose the beef sunday dinner and for £9.95 you can't really go wrong. Fluffy mash, a massive Yorkshire pudding and tender beef, fresh vegetables, flavoursome gravy and peppered* roast potatoes. Jesus H Christ I'm not kidding when I say I was in carb heaven - I could have easily eaten another portion.

However instead of ordering for a second Sunday dinner (that would have been ridiculous), I instead opted to peruse the dessert menu before settling on the chocolate fudge cake with ice cream and shortbread crumble - which was another winner despite my tummy groaning at me by the time I scraped the last few morsels into my gob.
As the sun was shining we ate our meal outside and it was just one of those really nice days. Good food, good company, good conversation...Oh and we also witnessed a middle aged fella going home in a JCB digger. Only in Yorkshire eh?
One of the best things about living in North Yorkshire - apart from the beautiful greenery and the crisp air - is definitely the abundance of country pubs and I'm so lucky that I get to live in such an awesome place.
Can any of my fellow Northerners (ideally based in North Yorkshire) recommend any other Sunday dinner spots? I'm always on the lookout for a new place to grab some grub!
*(Fyi, peppered roasties? Total game changer).
Sunday Dinner at The Forresters Arms, Kilburn
Dessert at The Forresters Arms, Kilburn

Wednesday, 17 May 2017

Three new Barry M buys

Barry M new releases

First of all let me say this - Barry M are on of my favourite brands of all time and I've been buying religiously from them since I was 13 so believe me when I say it PAINS me to write an even slightly negative review of their products - Which is exactly what I had to do in this post *cries*.

So yeah, sorry Barry M (I really do love you though).

Illuminating strobe cream in 'Galactic' - £4.49
I've had the iced bronze strobe cream in my collection for quite some time now and I adore it (so subtle and easy to apply!) so when I saw Galactic I decided to give it a try. I was actually quite underwhelmed by it in the bullet but when applied to the skin it's really fucking blue. Definitely best that you use a light hand when applying it or you end up looking a bit like an alien (but if that's the look you're going for then you should buy this).

If you want a quick on the go highlighter then Barry M strobe creams are the one but maybe just go steady when using Galactic.

'Feature Length' mascara - £4.99
Barry M's 'That's How I Roll' is my all time favourite budget mascara so I had high hopes for the newest addition to the range, 'Feature Length'. I liked the brush as it's quite small and dainty but unfortunately the formula isn't the best, leaving me with clumpy lashes that don't look that much longer than they did before. 

It's a thumbs down from me sadly.

Molten Metals nail polish in 'Holographic Lights' - £3.99
I have a rose gold molten metal polish already and to be honest, it's not my fave. However when I saw Barry M were releasing a very on trend chrome style polish I bought it without hesitation 'cos I'm a beast who can't be stopped.

Not gunna lie, it's quite hard work to apply as it needs quite a few layers in order to look bold and eye catching but if you take your time and add a top coat it looks a-ma-azing. Much cheaper than a proper chrome manicure, although not as long lasting unfortunately.

Have you tried any of the latest Barry M releases? What did you think to them? Let me know if you got on better with them that I did!

Monday, 15 May 2017

Five good things #2

alright bond five good things

1. Celebrating my niece's first birthday.
Little Ivy Bo turned one on Thursday (I know I can't believe it either) and to celebrate the fam headed to Billy Bob's parlour and Hesketh Farm Park. Despite the clouds we still had a pretty awesome day and I'm not sure who enjoyed it more, Ivy or us adults.

2. Superdrug vitamin E hot cloth cleanser.
I've been struggling with my skin for a few months now and nothing I buy seems to work. After reading numerous reviews raving about how good Superdrug's hot cloth cleanser is I decided to buy it despite the main ingredient being cocoa butter (which ain't great for spot prone skin I've heard). Anyway I've been using it for a week now and my skin feels as soft as a babe's bum - Plus *touches wood* there haven't been any more angry outbreaks so here's hoping I've found my holy grail product.

3. Ben & Jerry's ice cream.
So it's shark week this week and as per usual I want to eat anything chocolatey within a ten mile radius. Luckily for me Ben & Jerry's is on offer for £2.50 at Tesco's (until the 22nd of May by the way, you're welcome) so I made sure that I had some chocolate fudge brownie ready and waiting in the freezer. I bloody love Ben & Jerry's ice cream but can only bring myself to buy it when it's on offer - The wait makes it taste that much better though.

4. Buying tickets to see Katherine Ryan in New York
Katherine Ryan is one of Jody and I's favourite comedians so when I saw on Twitter that she would be doing a show in NYC whilst we were there I was straight on the tinterweb snapping up tickets. She's going to be performing at the apparently legendary Carolines stand up comedy club and it's just made me even more excited for our upcoming trip.

5. The Bourne Identity
People have been telling me to watch The Bourne Identity (starring Matt Damon) for years and I finally watched it on Saturday night - OMG. I really don't know what took me so long because it's definitely my kind of movie and y'know, Matt Damon <3

Happy Monday!

Wednesday, 10 May 2017

The importance of curating a life offline.

ALRIGHT BLONDIE The importance of curating a life offline.

One of the best things about being born in the nineties is that whilst I remember a time that centred heavily around Nickelodeon, Pokemon and playing out, I also remember the rise of the internet, social media and smartphones.

Technology really shaped my teens and early twenties and like most of you it dominates my life. I'm constantly refreshing Twitter, checking in on how many likes my latest Instagram photo got, thinking up new blog content ideas. I work with a computer all day at work and then I come home and sit on my Macbook or phone - It's actually a little bit sad but it appears that this is what life is like for most people now.

We are always on the hunt for approval from our peers, we want to be seen as living the perfect life and in a world where numbers are a big deal, we are always hoping that other people like what we share enough that they click that little follow button.

And it's bloody exhausting isn't it?

When my boyfriend went away last week, rather than getting sucked into a social media black hole I made the effort to see my friends and family. I drank cocktails, ate all the carbs and nearly cried watching Pete's Dragon. When he came home I left my Macbook lying unused and unloved on the coffee table whilst we spent time together, cooking delicious meals and watching tv shows without interruptions from other screens.

It was great.

In fact it was such a great week that it led to an unintentional mini blogging break and it made me realise how so much of my stress and worry comes from being online. I'm always comparing my life to others, lusting over the latest high end up make up drop or wishing that I was on a white sandy beach working on my golden glow (just kidding, milk bottle for life).

Spending quality time with my nearest and dearest had such a positive effect on me mentally that it actually shocked me a little bit - Maybe the experts are right and social interaction is good for us humans, who knew?

It made me realise that the majority of us are so heavily involved in our lives online that we forget that we have a life to curate offline too.

So with that in mind, remember to do things because they will be fun, not because it will make fabulous content for your blog. Share that meaningful quote on Twitter because it speaks to you, not because you think it will get you a load of retweets and a handful of new followers. Eat that sprinkle covered ice cream because it tastes great, not because it will look good on your Instagram feed.

Instead of worrying about the life you have behind a screen, take a moment to live in the moment and appreciate the real things that you have in your life.

You never know what you might be missing out on.

Monday, 8 May 2017

Five good things #1

the body shop, pizza express, fantastic beasts and where to find them

(I was supposed to post this on Friday but totally forgot so all of these are things that happened/I enjoyed over the bank holiday weekend, not the one just gone. My bad. I'll try harder next week promise).

1. The Body Shop Himalayan Charcoal face mask
Whilst I'm not totally enamoured with this much hyped about face mask (I don't think it minimized my pores in the slightest) I do like it. It smells really fresh and leaves my skin feeling really clean and soft. At £16 it ain't exactly cheap but as I can't afford a Glamglow mask it's definitely the next best thing.

2. Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them
I absolutely loved this movie when it came out in cinema's (So much so that that I went to watch it twice) so when I got paid I decided it was time to finally add it to my DVD collection. I can confirm that it is just as magical on the small screen as it was on the big and I am still desperate to get my hands on a Niffler. I cannot wait for the sequel.

3. Pornstar Martini's and dodgy dancing
Last Saturday I headed to Blackpool with three friends as our boyfriend's had ditched us in favour of a four day stag do in Spain. We had a great time though, singing our hearts out, busting out some questionable moves and drinking our weight in cocktails. I'm now officially a Pornstar Martini fangirl and that's all I will be drinking from now on.

4. Lunch dates with old friends
The following Monday I headed to my local Prezzo to catch up with an old friend/work colleague. It was really nice to do something civil that didn't include booze AND my pollo carbonara was bloody delicious (although I had to take half of it home in a box cos the portion was massive - Seriously the contents of the doggy bag could have fed two people!).

5. The boyfriend.
As mentioned the boyfriend was on a four day stag do last weekend and whilst I had a great time with my friends, I did really miss him and was over the moon when he came through the door. Even though it was only four days it felt like a lot longer but this week has been great as we've been even nicer-er to each other than usual.

What's one really good thing that's happened to you this week?

Wednesday, 26 April 2017


why you should vote in the 2017 general election

Today we are going to talk about politics. Yep that's right the dreaded P word. If you aren't interested or don't care then please feel free to press the little x in the right hand corner of your screen - I won't take offence I promise.

(But you should care because it's essentially a vote for your future).

Before I start babbling on let me make it clear - I am not here to ram my beliefs down your throat. I am purely making a case as to why you should vote and why it's important. Obviously it would be nice if you voted the same as me but that's not how the world works.

I decided to use my little corner of the internet to talk about the importance of voting because despite not really talking about it on here before, politics are something that genuinely interest me (just ask my non interested in politics boyfriend - he's sick of listening to me harping on and turning off his programmes to watch the news)

Anyhow, it literally takes two minutes to register to vote - Make sure you have your national insurance number to hand, click on this link, fill in your name, address and NI number and BOOM. You're all set. Registration closes on the 22nd of May so get to it.

Some Stats

Okay so in the 2010 elections only 29.7 million out of the 45.6 million people eligible voted.

In the 2015 elections only 66% of the UK voted meaning 34% did not.

And finally - Brexit - 72% of the population voted, 28% did not. 16,141,241 (48.1%) voted to remain and 17,410,742 (51.9%) voted to leave.

An article I read told me that that's roughly 13 million people who didn't vote.

(I found all these stats online on various government/newspaper sites - If they are incorrect please do let me know so I can fix them! It was a lot harder to get my mitts on statistics that I thought it would be).

So why should you vote?

'It's only one vote, why does it matter if I do it or not'
When you take into consideration that the difference between us leaving or remining in the EU was 1,269,501 votes, then 13 million extra voters could have meant we remained in the EU (or we could have still decided to leave, you never know do you?). So for all those people who don't think your vote counts - It really really does, especially when you look at the above figures. If those 13 million people had decided to vote they could have really changed the outcome of Brexit.

'It won't affect me in the long run so what's the point?'
What if something were to happen to the NHS? What if you broke your leg, had to call an ambulance, get your leg cast in the hospital then receive physio afterwards and there was no NHS? It would cost you a fuck tonne of money that's what. If a party decided to cut money from the national health service it would definitely affect you in the long run and trust me, after paying for treatment in Australia I will forever be grateful for the services the NHS provides.

'But who do I vote for? My Mum's voting for XXX but I'm not really sure if I agree with their policies'
At the end of the day you are voting for YOUR future - Don't vote for someone just because your mum or your boyfriend or your boss is voting for them. Like I said your vote really does count. Instead do your research, read manifestos - Hell, you can try reaching out to your local MP's and ask them what they plan on doing for your constituency if they were to get a seat in parliament. It's all about educating yourself and making an informed decision about what you believe in and what you would like to happen in the next five years.

Even though I don't think you should vote for a party just because so and so is voting for them, I do think you should take into consideration what would happen to the country on a whole if a certain party was to get in power. Look at the  the con's of the parties as well as the pros and look into the MP for your area or who they would have as PM. Look at how them getting in to power would affect the rich, the poor, the disabled, the young, the old, the upper class, the middle class, the working class, the environment, the health service, the fire and police departments, schools...I could go on and on.

Basically you should just make sure it's an informed decision okay?

Still confused about who to vote for?

Jeremy Corbyn's ten pledges to transform Britain
The Conservative's manifesto
The Liberal Democrat's vision
What the Green Party stand for
The Ukip manifesto*

As I'm based in England I haven't added direct links to some of the parties - sorry! - You can however read about the others such as the SNP and Plaid Cymru via this link. I did originally have

And there you have it - Hopefully some of you find this post helpful, that it hasn't come across as preachy and that you haven't immediately clicked the unfollow button because OMG another 20 something millenial talking about politics, snooze.

I'm actually in the USA when the election takes place so I've registered to vote by proxy meaning my Mum's going to go in my place and vote for me. Again, you can register to vote here and you need to register by the 22nd of May (this deadline is for votes done in person, by post and by proxy) - If you don't you will be unable to vote on the 8th of June!

Happy voting!

*DISCLAIMER: I really really didn't want to share UKIP's manifesto (and almost didn't) as I agree with very little of their beliefs (and think Nigel Farage is a bit of a nob) but as I said I don't want to ram my opinion down your throat and in the interests of being fair I believe it's only right to share it so you can make an informed decision when it comes to voting. Even if it does make me want to do a little vomit including them on here.

Tuesday, 25 April 2017

REVIEW: Girlboss


I spent the large majority of my Sunday on the sofa watching Girlboss - A) because I was curious, B) because I wanted to review it whilst it was still relevant and C) well, I actually really liked it.

For those who aren't in the know, Girlboss is actually loosely based on the memoir by Nasty Gal creator, Sophia Amoruso. It chronicles the rise of her company and how she went from misfit who regularly stole and dumpster dived to CEO of a multi million dollar clothing company.

Now, I haven't read her memoir so I didn't really know much about her when I decided to watch the series. I mean I knew of Sophia (and all the controversy surrounding Nasty Gal) but I didn't know the ins and outs of how Nasty Gal came to be.

SO how did Nasty Gal come to be and what is the series about?

The nub and gist of it is this: Girl buys vintage jacket for next to nothing, sells on Ebay for a lot of something, starts Ebay business selling vintage clothes and BOOM, the rest is history. The series chronicles Sophia's journey to the top, showing us the highs and lows of setting up a business and becoming your own boss.

girlboss netflix review

Before I start gushing on about why I liked it, I thought I'd discuss the one reason why I really, really did not like it at first - And why a lot of other people didn't like it either.

So what's the biggest problem with Girlboss? Sophia herself.

I dunno if Sophia was that selfish, rude and ungrateful in real life but if she was then wow, what a bitch. She comes across as extremely narcissistic and often treats the people who love her like garbage, giving zero fucks about how her attitude and behaviour affects them.

Quite frankly, she's annoying.

Luckily by the end of the series she comes to realise that having her family and friends by her side can help her rather than hinder her (kind of) but it's hard to forget how much of a pain in the ass she was in the beginning. 

I saw a review that said 'Girlboss is much more fun once it stops trying to prove it's heroine is such an asshole' and that sums it up perfectly in my opinion.

girlboss netflix review

Now it's time to talk about on the good.

How do you keep your audience interested when your heroine is a bit self absorbed bellend? You add some serious style that most women will envy, throw in some pop culture references - Any OC fans here? Keep an eye out for a nod to Marissa's death -  to add a bit of nostalgia and have a stellar supporting cast of characters who completely carry the show, that's what.

Sophia may be a bit of a div (especially in the beginning) but the people surrounding her are simply fabulous. 

From Lionel (Ru Paul) who lives in the apartment opposite, BFF Annie (Ellie Reed) to art school drop out Nathan (Cole Escola), the supporting characters are the saving grace of the programme (Seriously, I'm rooting for an Annie spin off, she's such a good character) and the reason that I watched it long enough to find out that Sophia actually redeems herself by the end of episode 13.

girlboss netflix review

So....Do I think you should watch it? Well yes and no.

If you can't get past Sophia's bad attitude and switch off? Well you'll live. It's an alright programme sure but I don't think everyone will buy into her story or her so I don't blame people for switching off. It's not exactly a must watch like Breaking Bad or Making a Murderer. 

However if you can get past the ego of Sophia, then chances are you will probably enjoy Girlboss as it's quite inspiring to see just how much she believed in herself and how much work went into building her company. 

One thing watching Girlboss has taught me is that if you don't believe in yourself then you're never going to do the thing you want to do so maybe (key word - maybe) it's time I got off my arse, put on my big girl pants and tried to do something about those pesky dreams and goals of mine.

Again, maybe.

What did you think to Girlboss? Were you sold on it or did you turn it off after a few episodes?

Sunday, 23 April 2017

Three new events in my 2017 diary

2017 diary

At the beginning of February I shared a post detailing what I was going to be getting up to in 2017 and as we all know sometimes our plans change. Aswell as cancelling a few things - like my tattoo and an overnight stay in Liverpool - I've also added a couple of fun things that I'm really excited about!

1. A night out in Blackpool with the girls.
On Friday our boyfriend's are flying to Spain for a stag do so obviously we girls decided (whilst drunk) that a big girly night out was a must whilst they were away. We settled on Blackpool as it's cheap, tacky and a lot of fun! I'm not looking forward to doing the two hour journey home hungover but hey, should be a good night.

2. An overnight stay in London in August.
The boyfriend hates London but as all I've done is talk about Wicked since I saw it in November he's slowly come around to the idea of an overnight stay so he can be introduced to Elphaba and Galinda. We've decided to go in August as I've never been in Summer and we are hoping to squeeze in a go on the London Eye (it was closed when we last went), a walk through Hyde Park and a visit to the James Bond in Motion exhibition.

3. Watching Nick Helm in Leeds in October.
I've been a fan of Nick Helm's since I saw him on Russell Howard's good news and have followed his career ever since. When I saw he was touring in October I decided to snap up some tickets to the Leeds show as they were only £15 a pop - Well worth it!

Have you added anything fun to you calendar recently?

Friday, 21 April 2017

How did I spend my Easter weekend?

Five years ago a four day bank holiday would have meant four nights in the pub and a severely depleted bank balance but now the idea of spending a long weekend that way just feels like a waste.

Instead I had an extremely average, terribly grown up weekend that involved zero alcohol (which was good because it meant zero hangovers), lots of food and ticking off some extremely mundane tasks off my to do list.

Now that I have my own place the prospect of staying in on a weekend isn't that bad and I actually really enjoyed having a chilled out weekend where my biggest worry was what I was going to have for tea.

It might not have been to everyone's taste but I had a great weekend - I didn't realise how in need of a few days off I was - so here's what I got up too:

- I tried out the L'oreal Infalliable Matte Foundation that's currently receiving a lot of blogger love. It's ok I guess but you have to be fast applying it as it dries extremely fast. I maybe need a slightly darker shade as I look like I'm wearing a death mask if I don't pop some bronzer over the top.

- The boyfriend and I spent a silly amount of hours going through photos from our travels, reminiscing about the good times and selecting ones we want to print off and frame for our gallery wall (that I mentioned here).

- Speaking of gallery wall, on Saturday morning we headed to IKEA, making sure we were there early so we wouldn't have to spend an hour looking for a car parking space. We bought 17 photo frames as we want to create a gallery wall, some cute tea light lanterns and a couple of succulents that will hopefully still be alive this time next month.

- Spent time with the littlies in the family and finally got to see my 4 week old nephew awake (seriously that kid has been asleep every time I've seen him). Obviously my 11 month old niece was on top form as per usual and I can't wait for when they're old enough to play together.

- Cleaned the bathroom, took some meter readings, got a Tesco shop delivered, set up a joint bank account and paid for our NYC hotel - That's some serious adulting isn't it?
How did you spend your Easter weekend?*
*Yes I know I'm almost a week late haha!

Tuesday, 18 April 2017

5 tips on how to make a rental property feel like home

making a rental property feel like home

I've been living in my new house for exactly one month now and it well and truly feels like home now. We got quite lucky with our little house as it's decorated very much to my taste and as it's quite small it was really easy to put our own stamp on it. 

When it came to buying furniture and decorating the house we didn't have a very big budget but I feel  we've done okay with the money we had, making the house feel cosy, comfortable and extremely welcoming.

It might not be to everybody's taste but I personally love it (although looking at that photo ^^ I do need to rearrange my mantlepiece as it's looking a bit cluttered!) and coming home to my house after a hard day at work fills me with so much joy.

So how did I make a rented house feel like home?

Ikea photo frames

Fiskbo 10x15 -65pFiskbo 50x70 - £5

Create a gallery wall somewhere in the house.
The best way to make a house feel like a home? Plaster the place in photos of your face. Jody and I ordered a load of Photos from Photobox (5p a pop) then bought 15 Fiskbo frames (65p) from IKEA in various colours. We then stuck the frames up with some Unibond no more nails tape so we didn't lose our bond by destroying the walls with nails and ta-da we now have a gallery wall (or the start of one anyways, we ran out of tape and the photos haven't arrived yet).

If you aren't a fan of photos then you can also do the other thing we did - We bought yet another Fiskbo frame (Can't remember what size it was but it cost a fiver) and filled it with gig, attraction and travel tickets as a nice little reminder of all our past adventures.

primark bedding

Get yourself to Primark and buy some jazzy bedding.
Most homes are decorated in neutral colours and a lot of landlords aren't game for your re-decorating so what can you do to make your bedroom feel like your own? Well go to Primark and pick up some of their cute, colourful and cheap bedding. This king size duvet cost us £14 and the undersheet was £7 - Absolute bargain and look how much it brightens up the room!

ikea furniture

Brimnes bookcase -£55

Co-ordinate your furniture (if possible) and have colour themes. 
In our living room the furniture is all black (bought from Argos), our kitchen appliances are purple (A mix of Argos and Wilko) and our bedroom furniture is white (Ikea). Having a colour scheme running through your rooms doesn't have to be expensive and it can really pull a room together, making it feel more like home.

dfs sofa

Matalan Mongolian faux fur cushion - £8, Primark leopard throw, DFS sofa.

Make your living room a cosy den that you can't wait to get home too. 
In most houses the living room is the central hub, where you sit and talk about how your day was, cuddle up to watch tv or chill our after a busy day at work. it's important to make it a safe haven, a place where you can shrug off your worries and stress and just relax.

My living room is full of candles and lanterns (you can see them below) so aswell as smelling devine it has a really lovely ambience, especially when the curtains are closed and I'm all snuggled in my jammies.

Wether you decide to treat yourself to a brand new sofa or stick to your budget and go second hand you can never go wrong chucking a few blankets and throws on their to turn it into the perfect den - I've gone for a lie down on my sofa five times and five times I've fallen asleep: It's just so god dam cuddly!

primark planers

Primark animal planters £6, Socker plant pot £1.50Succulents £2

ikea lantern

Rotera lantern £2, Primark sea salt and lavender candle £2

hanging hot air balloon

Remember that furnishing your house and making it look good doesn't have to be an expensive do.
At the end of the day the most important thing to remember is that you don't have to spend loads and loads of money to make your house feel like your own. Pretty much everything I've featured in this post comes from Ikea, Argos, Wilko, Primark and Matalan and I think my house looks pretty nice despite the low price tags of its contents.

So there you have it - How I've made my rented house feel like a home. If you rent how did you put your own stamp on your pad? 

This post was written in collaboration with Satsuma Loans but all thoughts, opinions and love for cheap homeware is my own.

Wednesday, 12 April 2017

A Blank Slate (sort of)

Yesterday I sat in front of my computer and did something very unlike me - I deleted all of the blog posts that were sat in my drafts folder and then completely cleared my blog calendar of content. 

It felt really, really good.

Alright Blondie has started to bring me some really cool opportunities and whilst that's amazing (and a little bit mind blowing), it also means that the pressure to produce regular content and keep growing my following is getting bigger and bigger.

It's started to stress me out a little bit and more often that not I'll open my MacBook up and just stare at a blank screen before giving up to scroll aimlessly through Twitter.

One night when I was doing this my boyfriend told me that it's better to send out no content at all than to send out content that I don't really believe in so I'm going to take his advice and spend the bank holiday having fun instead of worrying about taking photographs, scheduling tweets or writing about my latest day out.

Alright Blondie is not my full time job, it's not my main source of income and I need to stop treating it as such.

Hope you all have a lovely bank holiday weekend!

Monday, 10 April 2017

10 things that happen when you move in with your boyfriend

10 things that happen when you move in with your boyfriend

Another blog post, another photo of my ridiculously comfortable bed. 

Jody and I have been living in our little house for just under a month but it feels like we've been here forever. We got so lucky finding this house when we did as it's pretty much perfect and has everything we need.

Even though we have lived together before I decided to whip up this lil post drawing on my however many years experience of living with a boy - Ten things that happen when you move in with your boyfriend.

1. All of a sudden you turn into Mary Berry - You want to cook/bake all the things and become a bonafide domestic Godess (but turkey dinosaurs will be back on the menu once the novelty has worn off).

2. It feels like you're always picking boxers up off the floor - Seriously how many does one man wear in one day?

3. You have half an hour long phone conversations revolving around what you're going to have for tea and usually neither of you know what you want so it's actually a pretty boring/pointless conversation.

4. Breakfast in bed sounds really cute but all it results in is crumbs in the bed and an argument over who has to take the plates down and wash up.

5. He does't appreciate the cute matching mugs you bought, nor the abundance of fluffy cushions or scented candles. He just sees them as clutter.

6. The true extent of your make up/ASOS/book addiction is revealed because now he can see exactly how many 'sorry we missed you' cards you get through the door.

7. If your expensive shampoo or Lush shower gel seem a bit lighter you can bet your bottom dollar that it's something to do with him, despite warnings that it's your special stuff and he can't use it even if he thinks it smells delicious.

8. Staying in is a lot more appealing now that you have your own space than it was when you lived at home.

9. Every now and again you will probably find his stray toenail clippings scattered around the house. And by find I mean they will get stuck in your bare feet. Gross.

10. Important conversations usually take place in the bathroom. Don't ask me why, they just do.

Can you relate to any of these?

Thursday, 6 April 2017

25 reasons why growing up in the 90's was awesome

25 of the best thing about being born in the 90's.

1. TV was just the best. SM:TV, CITV, Live & Kicking...Nickeloden constantly playing Sabrina, Saved by the Bell and Rugrats...Recess, Art Attck, Lizzie Maguire and That's So Raven on the Disney Channel. Those were the days eh?

2. Playing out til dark on your bike, only going home to get a drink and a biscuit before dashing back out again.

3. Remembering a time when there were no/little mobile phones. Don't get me wrong I LOVE my phone but how productive would my life would be if I didn't have Instagram and Twitter to scroll through?

4. Whooping your siblings arse on Mariokart and trying not to let your Mum hear you swear when a banana caught you out.

5. Your family members all of have super cringy VHS tapes of you and your bowl haircut and whilst they make you want to crawl into a hole and die, there's nothing like gathering around to watch them as a unit.

6. Decking out your bedroom in Groovy Chick items from the Argos catalogue thinking you were dead cool and original.

7. Lava lamps were cool.

8. Devoting your summer holidays to falling in love, building a house, raising a family and climbing the career ladder....On 'The Sims'.

9. Holidays to Butlins or Welsh caravan parks where you would spend most of your times in the arcades, spending your pocket money on tat or jumping waves. No week long holidays to Spain for you unless your parents were proper minted.

10. Saving your pocket money to buy Pokemon cards and praying that there was a shiny hid in there only to get a load of energy cards and another Weedle.

11. Spending hours in Clinton Cards pondering over the TY's and trying to decide wether Rufus the Terrier or Stretch the Ostrich would make you a gazillionaire in the future.

12. Collecting the Sabrina's secrets mags and hoping that the purple eyeshadow made you look sassy and sophisticated, not like you had been punched in the face.

13. You were around for the golden age of Disney (in my opinion anyways) - The Lion King, Beauty and the Beast, Aladdin. Toy Story, Mulan, Hercules, Tarzan...Classics.

14. Going round your Nan's and being offered an Onken Frufoo yoghurt - the ones with the toys in the middle, remember them?

15. And while we are on the subject of food - Billy Bear ham, Fruit Winders, Barney Crisps, Joosters and 5p Freddo's. (Seriously though, how do we still have teeth??)

16. Smushing rubber aliens together then putting them in the fridge and praying that they had a baby so you could show it off to all your mates.

17. The eternal Steps VS S Club 7 debate (obviously S Club 7 were better).

18. Britney and the Backstreet Boys and Five and Atomic Kitten. Music just isn't the same anymore.

19. Arguing with your siblings over who got the toy in the cereal box.

20. School discos where your Mum would buy you a brand new outfit to wear and you'd smother yourself in body glitter, hair mascara and Charlie Red.

21. Being amazed by your Baby Born's poop. The 90's were a simpler time.

22. Spending hours and hours in your room playing with and arranging your Puppy in My Pocket hotel or your Teeny Weeny Families village or your Barbie dream house and car.

23. Queuing up at midnight in your local branch of Tesco, hoping you're one of the first people to snag yourself the latest Harry Potter (and then staying up reading until 4am trying to devour as much of it as possible).

24. Going to the premier of Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone and dressing up in your Hogwarts robes to show what a big fan you are (No? Just me?....)

25. Experiencing a childhood without mobile phones, the internet and social media but still getting to experience and enjoy the rise of technology in our teenhoods.

What were your favourite things about being born in/raised in the 90's?

Tuesday, 4 April 2017

REVIEW: Manahatta Greek Street, Leeds

manhattan leeds

Every now and again an e-mail plops into my inbox inviting me to review somewhere or something and every single time I get butterflies in my tummy cos I can't believe that someone out there has found my blog and finds me worthy enough to review their product or service. It's an upside to blogging that I never imagined I would ever be on the receiving end of and I will forever be grateful for the opportunities Alright Blondie has given me.

manahatta leeds

Anywho enough of the slushy vom fest - The reason I'm telling you this is because on Saturday Jody and I hopped on the train to go try out the food at the brand spanking new Manahatta Greek Street* in Leeds.

The Greek Street restaurant is the second Manahatta location in Leeds (the first one is on Merrion Street) and they offer a Asian American inspired menu that is very reasonably priced (you can find it here if you're interested).

Upon approach the first thing Jody and I noticed was how swanky and upmarket the exterior of the restaurant looks - It stinks of 1920's NYC glamour. We walked in and were greeted warmly by all staff members who were by the door and yep, the inside definitely matched the outside. Loads of cosy booths, warm lighting (really cool light fixtures by the way) and NYC inspired art work adorning the walls.

It was definitely my kind of restaurant.

manahatta leeds

Our lovely waitress came over and talked us through the menu before leaving us with our thoughts.  She gave us plenty of time to think about what we wanted (but not enough time that we thought she had forgotten about us!) and she made conversation without it seeming forced. 

After much deliberation we came to a decision and here's what we both opted for in the end...

manahatta leeds calamari

SALT AND PEPPER CALAMARI £6.95 With a garlic aioli.

Not gunna lie, this was without a doubt my stand out dish of the day, it was A-MA-ZING. The squid wasn't tough, it was cut up into perfect bite size pieces and the salt and pepper batter was beautiful but not to over powering. The garlic aioli went the with the calamari perfectly and I think I could have had this for all three courses and still have room for more. It's a generous portion for the price and it's definitely big enough to share between two (although I wasn't interested in sharing with Jody cos I'm greedy).

If you try one thing at Manahatta, it should be this.
manahatta leeds beef skewers

YAKITORI BEEF FILLET SKEWERS £7.95 Spring onion and soy glaze (n)

Jody opted to try the beef fillet skewers for his starter and in his words 'it was very soft and tender, the perfect temperature but the chilli nearly blew his gob off'. He liked it but as he's not a spicy guy the chilli was a bit much (I did warn him to eat around it because I knew he wouldn't like it - He didn't listen obviously).

I had a bite of the beef and I can confirm that the beef was beautifully cooked - It literally melted in your mouth - and I found the seasonings to be just right. Would order again.
manahatta chicken

MANAHATTA CHICKEN £11.95 Crispy friend chicken, spicy house slaw, chipotle BBQ sauce and skin on fries (sweet potato fries +£1.25)

It took me ages to pick my main as Manahatta has such a great entree menu (aswell as a pretty extensive brunch menu) but eventually I settled on the Manahatta chicken with sweet potato fries.

The chicken was lightly spiced. - like a fancier version of KFC - and you got 4 fillets which actually surprised me as I didn't expect such a large portion (I only managed three, sorry Manahatta!). When dipped in the delightful bbq sauce (something that I don't normally like) you got the perfect mouthful of food and thinking back, I'm gutted I couldn't finish the whole thing!

As for the sides, I'm currently loving sweet potato fries so I was over the moon to see I could have them instead of skin on fries. They were nice and crunchy and made me feel a little bit better about all the calories I was consuming. The spicy slaw wasn't something that really interested me as I'm not a big fan but for review purposes I had a taste and it was actually pretty nice - I imagine if you like slaw this will be right up your street!

Overall the dish was really good, although the portion was a leeetle bit too big for me. Still dreaming of that left over chicken fillet though, wah!
manahatta leeds all American

ALL AMERICAN £9.50 2 eggs any style, Manahatta fried chicken, crispy bacon, sausage patty, hash brown on a buttermilk pancake with maple syrup and cream on the side.

My chunky money boyfriend took even longer than me to decide what he wanted and after a discussion with our waitress he decided on the All American from the brunch menu. Our waitress told him that he would struggle to finish it due to it's size bit Jody saw that as a challenge and was determined to finish the whole thing.

Spoiler alert, he finished the whole thing, so it must have been good right?

 I just asked him to tell me what he thought about his meal and he said 'All of it'. I asked him to elaborate and he said the pancake, then did a little sigh when he remembered how soft and fluffy it was. Thumbs up from the boyfriend it is.
manahatta leeds banana foster
BANANA FOSTER £6.25 White choclate, shortbread biscuit crumb, banana ice cream, crispy banana, hot run caramel sauce. (v)(n)

This is another one of our waitress' recommendations but I probably should have gone for the lime cheesecake as I found the rum in the caramel sauce to be quite overpowering (I think I completely missed the word rum when I read the menu description oops!) If you're into your booze this won't be an issue for you but for me it kind of ruined the dish as it was just too much.

Apart from the rum sauce (which just wasn't too my taste I'm afraid) the dessert itself was pretty good. The white chocolate was really creamy (but not too sickly) and the crunch of the banana and the shortbread went perfectly with the soft nana ice cream (which was also marvellous). 

With just a plain caramel sauce this would have been my perfect dessert - I'm just a bit of a wuss when it comes to strong alcoholic flavours!

manahatta leeds chocolate fondant

WARM CHOCOLATE FONDANT £6.50 Vanilla ice cream. (v)(n)

Jody refuses to go to a restuarant if there isn't some kind of chocolatey gooey goodness on the dessert menu and this chocolate fondant ticked all of his boxes. The sponge was moist, the sauce was rich and he loveloveloved the crunchy caramel twist on top. The only thing he didn't like was the ice cream as the flavour wasn't too his taste.

Apart from that though? Perfect.

manahatta leeds

To summarise: Service at Manahatta was great, the food came out in good time and was beautifully presented and to be honest, it was just nice. I know that nice sounds lame and twee but it really was. We had an awesome time at Manahatta and next time we are in Leeds we will no doubt be back to trial some more of the brunch menu.

*I was invited by Manahatta to sample their menu and get a feel for the new restauant in return for an unbiased and honest review. All thoughts, opinions and calamari love are my own.

Find Manhatta Greek Street:


Manahatta social media:

Friday, 3 March 2017