Thursday, 31 May 2012

Glossybox: First Birthday Box May 2012

I eagerly awaited my May glossybox as I knew it was the birthday edition and I was looking forward to seeing what was in store. I had spoilt it a little by noseying online to see what other people were getting and I as crossing my fingers for all sorts. 

Untitled Untitled 

I wasn't disappointed when I opened up the box! 


The Eau de Parfum is liquorice based, so not something I particularly like if I'm honest, completely suited to someone else I'm sure but not for me. 

L'eau en blanc is musky but not in the way that Nana's smell, it's actually quite light, and something that I liked, not loved but I'm happy to use the tester even if I wont be purchasing. 


I loved this bath and shower gel, it builds up quite a lather and smells gorgeous, you can definitely smell the gooseberry and orange blossom in it and the smell of freshly mown grass without having my eyes weep and my nose go into some kind of massive sneezing fit is lovely (yup, hayfever sufferer). It may be a little out of my price range though so I'm not sure about buying it for myself, but it would make a lovely gift for a friend. 


This moisturisers smells beautiful and I had high hopes but alas it did not agree with me. It markets itself as easy absorbed but I found that I had to stand around like a freaky naked statue covered in white goo while I waited for it to absorb. When it did it made my skin feel a little clammy to tough. This is the first Neal's Yard product I have used and after hearing good things about them I was disappointed.


There has been a bit of bit of a hoo-har over this gel liner, people on the glossybox group complaining about it not being a luxury product, people turning their nose up because it's collection 2000. Drama. 

This was actually my favourite product out of all. It's a brilliant gel liner that's cheaper than a lot out there and is much better quality than some of the other cheaper brands that I've tried out in the past year or so (do not get ELF, it's it's really crap!). 

This glided on, dried in no time and the colour wasn't something I would have automatically picked up but it'e gorgeous and really suits my complexion. I am so happy that I get sent this as I probably wouldn't have picked it up off the shelf but I certainly will be in future, it's a snip at just under a fiver and I will definitely be purchasing in black and gold too. Tip top budget product of high quality, I cannot recommend it enough!


I can't give much of an opinion on these as I haven't tested them out yet, I'm looking for a suitable enough occasion to wear these gold glittery star adorned fab lashes, when I do I'll update this section, going off looks wise though; they're ace! I love a good trashy lash me. 


A great box with an added bonus of a glassybox compact compact. Thanks Glossybox team! 


Saturday, 26 May 2012

The Tale of Percival Switch

The Tale of Percival Switch

One of the things I plan to do, and hopefully this blog will give me swift kick up the arse, is finish the rest of this story.

I am ambitious enough to think I have a book in me somewhere, whether or not it’s a good one is another matter!

So I set about writing a children's book. I have some of the whole thing planned but have been sitting on it for well over a year now because I, as usual, am scared of not being able to complete it or it not being as fantastic as I want it to be. 

Little excerpt below and I have uploaded the first chapter and you can read it here.

Percival Switch was an odd little boy and not for the reasons you’d think. He looked quite ordinary, average height, weight and size. He had chestnut brown hair and pinched cheeks that glowed rosy red in the frosty air. He had a full mouth and grey blue eyes, eyes so clear it was as if you were looking at crystal. He carried himself with an air of dignity, quite telling in one so young, passers-by would often think. 

Percival lived at 12 Elmwood Road in the little village of Crossington in England. The village was very small indeed, it was home to a butcher, a sweet shop, a bakery with tea rooms and a church as well as the small terraced houses and the pretty cottages down by the canal. Every Saturday Percival’s step mother would send him off to the butchers for half a pound of sausages and some fresh bread from the bakers. Percival left the house from the side door dropping the vegetable scraps from the kitchen into the pail for the goat at the end of the garden on his way.

Any comments or feedback would be gratefully received, so please send me an email or reply below and let me know what you think.

And apologies for any spelling/punctuation mistakes you may spot. I have read it over about ten times but I can’t see any, although it might be my dyslexic brain kicking in!

I hope you enjoy :D 

Friday, 25 May 2012


I love films.

I can think of nothing better to do on a lazy day then make a huge bowl of salty sweet popcorn and have a film marathon.

I think it may be because of my Grandfolk being avid film fans (this is definitely where my taste for musicals comes from) that I have such a filmlust, that and the escapism of films.

I often think about being glued to the screen whenever Star Wars was on TV as a kid, or the smell of popcorn in the cinema, the only time I liked being in the pitch black, the anticipation of seeing something that would melt my heart/scare me silly or that would make me laugh until my sides split/weep with sadness or joy.

I like all sorts of films, from Brief Encounter to Back to the Future and everywhere in between. There’s no genre I won’t have a go at and I’ve never walked out of a film for no good reason (even Party Monster, I stuck with that to the bitter end).

I no longer frequent the cinema unless it’s something pretty special. I haven’t been since the last Harry Potter film because it was completely spoilt for me by some idiot sat behind me, who talked all the way through. That and the guy who wanders about intermittently to check people aren’t filming, and the fact people now don’t seem to be bale to not look at their phones every ten minutes distracting me like crazy and the high price of cinema tickets, it’s just not worth it.

So I pop everything on my list at Lovefilm as soon as it’s available (in most cases just after it’s been released at the cinema and before it comes out on disc) and wait eagerly for it come through the post.

One problem with this is that Tim and I share an account, which means we take it in turns to rent stuff. Tim rents 20 titles, I rent 20 titles.

At the moment we’re on Tim’s and I have such joys to look forward to as Splinter and The Burrowers. Tim’s a big horror buff. I’m learning all sorts of new stuff about horror films.

I subscribe to Empire, which is an utterly fabulous compendium of all things on the big screen and not so big one, they do a brilliant podcast too.

I'll be reviewing the films I watch through love film on here and maybe, just maybe, if I got to the cinema....(Prometheus....not sure I can miss that on the big screen...)

So my favourite films:



I adore 42nd street, the costumes are amazing and it has a lovely turn from a gorgeous Ginger Rogers in a supporting role, being a great funny gal. 




Need I explain? Apart from the obvious awesomeness, see below. Hot stuff. 



A unconsummated affair, the romance of a steam train, the beautiful black and white making the most of lighting and shadows. 




Gone With the Wind is a marvellous film with an immense cast and a great script. If you haven;lt seen it, go and watch it. Something I definitely have my grand folk to thank for. 




I'm a bit of a sucker for stoner films. And Kevin Smith. And Jay and Silent Bob. 
Fucking clown shoes. 


 Favourite Film of all Time:

I have a theory that the film you've seen the most times is by default your favourite. I always watch this if it;s on on TV. I watched them so much when I was a kid, but the first to me will always be the best, maybe this kick-started my love for the fifties (along with Grease). 

I'm going to get a back to the future tattoo. I have a plan. I just need the cash. 

Earth Angel, Earth  Angel.....


Thursday, 24 May 2012

Kawaii Online Shopping in the UK

I was lucky enough to visit Tokyo in 2007 (on my honeymoon) and I fell in love with Japan and Japanese culture.

I love all things kawaii, and if you do to here’s a list of UK online store where you can go to buy your kawaii goodness.

Ji Ji Kiki offers a good selection of kawaii goodies for the lovers of cuteness.They have a whole section dedicated to kawaii jewellery as well as plushies prints and t-shirts.

I love this chubby fox necklace, how adorable?!


Chiki offers bags, stationary, jewellery, hair accessories, blythe dolls, plush toys and other cute stuffs and orders over £25 are free delivery to UK addresses.

Domo Plush purse? Yes please!


Tofu Cute have allsorts to tickle your kawaii fancy in their online shop. Best of all they have a snacks shop, including pocky and hello panda (yum!). They offer a lot of stationary goods to, from pretty deco tape to adorable rubbers and greeting cards. In their lifestyle section you can find phone charms, bento good and re-ment miniatures. Orders over £20 in the UK come with free postage.

Pocky please :D


Artbox is probably the biggest kawaii shop I found online, with a massive array of goods for all occasions, not only are the usual things covered there are also homewares, cosmetics, a large card collection, a travel section and they offer a gift wrapping service. Some orders are delivered free but only if over a certain amount is spent and with less that a certain weight. See the website for more details.

Love this Rilakkuma Mug

Something Kawaii is a lovely little shop offering, jewellery, deco (including brilliant nail deco!), clothing, purses and stationary. They have sections listing gifts under £10, £20 and above £20, which is very helpful of you're shopping for someone else or need to keep an eye on your pennies.

Bargainous fruit nail slice wheel


Wednesday, 23 May 2012

Recipe: Low Fat Veggie Chilli

Another low fat recipe for you. This time a delicious veggie chilli.


Serves 6


500g frozen Quorn Chilli
1 red pepper (chopped)
1 yellow pepper (chopped)
2 red onions (chopped)
2 x 400g cans chopped tomatoes
1 x 400g can mixed bean salad in water (drained)
500ml veg stock
2 cloves garlic (finely grated)
3 red chillies (chopped)
1 tbsp hot chilli powder
1 tsp mixed herbs
3 tsp ground cumin
1 tbsp tomato purée


Add the veg to a large pan along with the stock, herbs, garlic and chilli and simmer for 10 minutes.

Add the tomatoes, tomato purée, and quorn. Bring to the boil then reduce heat to low and simmer for 15 minutes.

Add the mixed bean salad, simmer for 10 mins.

Serve with boiled rice.


I like spicy food, you might want to leave some of the chillies out of you're not a spice monster like me!

Tuesday, 22 May 2012

Slurp: The Knott Bar

Following on from our meal at El Rincon we made our way down Deansgate to The Knott Bar. One of our favourite Manchester watering holes, we’ve been visiting this place on and off for the past 8 years. I love that it’s situated underneath the railway arches.


A while back it was a regular occurrence but since things have got a little tighter cash wise and we’re not our early 20s drinking anything-that-comes-closely-related-to-being-alcoholic-phase and more in the fuck-me-I-feel-like-shite-if-I-even-look-at-a-pint-phase, it’s become a less frequent pleasure.


Knott has a lot of good things going for it, a relaxed atmosphere, a juke box, draught real ales, good food and (as if they needed something to back it up) they’re previous winners of the CAMRA Regional Pub of the Year 2009 and 2010.


The only thing I thought when I went in there was “oh, the ladies loos”. Previous visits have been marred by the grotty run down toilets, so this time as a gingerly made my way to the back of the room I was almightily surprised by the lovely refurbished ladies room, which seemed to have grown by half a metre.

I also notice a board which I hadn’t previously, detailing themed nights they appear to be running, all of which looked great but all of which had sold out. Something to keep an eye out for in the future.


The staff at Knott are always lovely and really helpful if you’re after an ale but like me (previously – still not boozing currently) you’re not really sure where to start.

We had a lovely evening and it was great to round the Tim's birthday night off with drinks in good company and great surroundings.


If you like relaxed pubs with a wide variety of ales and not on offer, get yourself down to Knott for a wonderful evening.  

The Knott Bar, 374 Deansgate, Manchester, M3 4LY. 0161 839 9229

Monday, 21 May 2012

Munch: El Rincon de Rafa

As you may have read it was my husband, Tim’s birthday on Friday.

To celebrate we went for tapas at El Rincon de Rafa in town. It’s been about three years since I was there last and I had such a good time I was looking forward to it very much.


If you haven’t been to this lovely little Spanish tapas restaurant, it’s located behind Deansgate (just after Sainsbury’s if you’re heading out of town) and it’s one of Manchester’s gems.


Trotting down the stairs and trough the doors to the right, we were met with the friendly staff who took us to a table within a couple of minutes. Drinks swiftly served, a pint for Tim and a diet coke for me, we set about the menu to see what was in store.


I was right on the whitebait. I love it!

Tim only east fish (no meat) so we wrote a list of what we’d like and tried to ensure we got a good spread of everything.


We ordered:

Hot bread topped with garlic and parsley                              
£2.95 (number 1 on the menu)

Spicy hot potatoes                                                                
£3.95 (number 5 on the menu)

Whitebait, vinegar, olive oil, garlic and parsley                       
£3.95 (number 4 on the menu)

Silver hake deep fried in garlic and parsley butter                   
£5.15 (number 10 on the menu)

Mediterranean king prawns                                                   
£6.95 (number 13 on the menu)

Small octopus, garlic, onion and white wine                           
£4.95 (number 16 on the menu)

Paprika chorizo sautéed in red wine                                      
£4.95 (number 26 on the menu)

Best mushrooms baked with blue cheese and cream            
£5.25 (number 32 on the menu)

Piqullo peppers filled with tuna and potatoes                       
£5.25 (number 36 on the menu)

We also go an extra order for prawns in filo pastry, but I’m not sure how much this was or what number!


In total it came to just over £50.

The whitebait, chorizo and mushroom were my favourite dishes out of those listed above.


Tim starts

Tim finishes!

The staff were attentive and friendly, clearing plates as they were finished with and asking if all was okay, which it was better than. The food was delivered to the table as and when it was cooked, ensuring that everything that was meant to be was piping hot and very delicious.

In short: lovely food, lovely staff, no other tapas place in Manchester compares to it.

They get very busy so it might be worth booking a table if you plan to eat after 7 on a weekend evening (details below).

Go, eat and enjoy :D

El Rincon de Rafa off St John’s Street. 224 Deansgate, Manchester, M3 4BQ. 0161 839 8819.