Monday, 30 September 2013

How to cope with busy weeks

So last week was a rather busy week, Monday night saw me stepping back in time to see freaking S CLUB 7! Tuesday a fitness class, Wednesday and Thursday blogger events and maybe drinks plus revising for a job interview I had Friday (I didn't get it but hey ho), plus working Friday night, Saturday day, making time to see friends Saturday night then a family friends party Sunday. And breath! It's a little understatement to say I'm feeling exhausted. 

I always try and keep my weeks busy and always love having something to look forward to. People at work laugh when their Outlook calendars have the occasional team meeting booked and yet mine is colour coded with all kinds of of events and dates arranged with friends. Yet sometimes it's nice to do nothing. Although when I say doing nothing I'm probably working on my blog, having time to pamper myself hid away in my bedroom or still trying to keep busy. 

You all know by now I love been sociable yet it does take it toll. So here's my top tips for keeping on top of a busy week:

  1. Be prepared: If your going from one event for another take time to plan your outfits, adding statement necklaces or a change of shoes can prevent full outfit changes.
  2. Plan your meals, avoid energy drinks you will only crash later, instead try make time to eat a proper meal even if breakfast is a yoghurt or some fruit at your desk it is much healthier then a red bull. 
  3. Remember leaving events or usually the pub early you first may feel like your missing out, but remember your leaving so your social life can continue the next day. Your not missing out at all. 
  4. Keep your phone charger on you, phones now are lifesavers and they do keep our lives in order, there's usually always chance in the day to charge your phone, on the train or sneakily at work. 
  5. If you find it difficult to sleep, keep a notebook at the side of your bed to write thoughts and plans down. It helps you sleep easier if your like me and lie awake panicking.

P.S about S Club 7 - There was only 3 of them, felt a little insulted, Bradley and Paul was swigging pints with massive beer belly's and I don't ever remember Jo telling me to "get the f**k up" back in the day. Yet after fulfilling one child hood dream all that's left to do now is bite the bullet and buy some Disney on ice tickets! 

How was your week?

Monday, 23 September 2013

Midnight queen

Top - Topshop
Jacket - (old)
Necklace - eBay
Shoes - Topshop
Shorts - Asos
Bow headband - Miss Selfridge (old) Similar

I always say my wardrobe feels more to me like a little dressing up box, as I don't have a certain style. Although recently I've been a little more confident with outfit posts so hopefully you will see a bit of me in a each post. You will see I don't stick to one sense of style at all but what I do like is making all my outfits feel a little fun. For a lot of people wearing a rather large bow in their hair may make them feel a little silly but for me things like these are more like a little comfort blanket as they show my personality. 

I never really took the the velvet trend when it first appeared on the high street but I am in love with these shorts now. Teamed up with some black tights they will be perfect and cosy for the winter season. The leather jacket is something everyone must own and after I threw it on I did then realise the arms were covered in mud from Leeds Festival. Bit awkward since I was heading of to the 2nd event of Leeds Fashion Week so I then spent a good 10 minuets trying to face wipe my jacket down. Luckily no one noticed and if I'm honest I don't mind the mud makes the jacket seem more worn and grungy. 

Verdict on the outfit?


Sunday, 22 September 2013

All that's missing is the sea

Top - boohoo
Shorts - Topshop
Shoes - Topshop
Necklace - eBay

So this weekend I was a lucky little thing when I won a free cocktail making class for me and 2 friends. I'm sure it's a shock to no one that this was right up my street. Having previously worked in bars and done a fair amount of cocktail making I dived straight in and shook up some rather tasty concoctions. I even got offered a job! I have no idea what I put in my cocktails as me been let loose behind a bar to make my own drinks I was more excited then a child on Christmas (or all of the male population when GTAV came out). I think my first cocktail was Malibu, amaretto, strawberry and orange liqueur and pineapple juice, it was delicious and my own biased opinion tells me it was better than most cocktails I've tried. After this my memory is a little hazy but It's pretty likely I made something with gin or tequila (can anyone ever say tequila without going tequuuilllaa).

My outfit choice for the night was my new fav pair of tailored shorts from topshop. I was a little unsure when I ordered these but I think this is new fav outfit. I feel it kind of has a retro look to it along side the high necked cropped top. I have also got a new S necklace what's like an adorable little Scrabble letter. 

P.S I would recommend trying a cocktail making class, so much fun!

Hope you all had a weekend.


Saturday, 21 September 2013

Bar 166 & Bistro Horsforth Sunday Lunch

Bar 166 Horsforth

Bar 166 Horsforth

Bar 166 Horsforth

Bar 166 Horsforth

With my dad been a vegetarian and my mum been a bad cook Sunday dinners are usually a little bit bland in my household. Luckily I was invited down to Bar 166 & Bistro in Horsforth to sample theirs. 

I was pretty intrigued to go to bar 166 as one of it's sister bars The Shed Bar in Leeds has been a personal favourite bar of mine for a long time. Upon arrival the bar was classy elegant and its location between the houses made it feel like I was stepping into a hidden away hideout. With the big windows in the main dining area of the bistro fulling the room with natural light I felt a little like a kid hiding away in a den at the bottom of the garden. I know that's a weird description but hey ho. 

My friend and I had a tabled booked for 4 o'clock and as we arrived a little early we sat and had a drink in the bar area first. The bar had a good selection of spirits, wines and classic cocktails on offer as I was expecting. I also noticed there was a separate bar menu so I might have to go back and check that out. I have also since been informed the bar has live music every Sunday from 2 till 4. When our table was ready the waiter kindly came to tell us, although I think this was because it was then 4:15 and we was too engrossed in playing 4pics1song and drinking our wine. Is anyone else playing that? Addictive. Anyhow onto the main event.

When I mentioned to a chef friend I was going out for a Sunday dinner his words were "typical Sunday dinner, dry stringy beef and over cooked vegetables" when he couldn't of been more wrong. I will admit that is usually my first thought on a bar style Sunday lunch so I was very please to be dis-proven. 

The beef was cooked perfectly and still pink in the middle, just look at the pictures, I'm getting hungry just writing this. I'm not a big meat eater as I hate finding fat on meat, but there was no fat here just delicious beef. The meal was accompanied with all the traditional Sunday roast trimmings. Very crispy roasties, mash potato (yep it came with both), honey glazed parsnips and carrots, broccoli and of course one huge Yorkshire pudding. Everything was delicious and it's honestly the best Sunday lunch I've eaten in a long time. It was nice to see effort been put into the trimmings other than just standard plain boiled veggies.

The fatty in me of course left room for a pudding. I'm not normally a desert person to tell the truth but a lot of the puddings on the menu caught my eye. After some pondering I choose Eton Mess and my friend had the White Chocolate Cheesecake (cheesecake of the day). Both puddings were great and the cheesecake especially had a great home-made taste to it. 

Sunday Roast - £9.90 
All deserts - £5.00


Bar & Bistro 166
166 Town Street
LS18 4QA

Friday, 20 September 2013

Daily Basic Makeup

First thing to clear up here: please ignore the bad hair, tangled necklace and 2006 style Myspace style selfie. 

Now that's cleared up. I thought I'd share with you my typical everyday make-up routine. well actually, every other day make-up routine as I almost never wear make-up to work so this is usually more typical evening out and about make-up. As much as I love beauty products as much as the next girl I'm from and expert. I'm one of these that loves watching Youtube tutorials on "the perfect smoky eyes tutorial"  yet my version of smoky eyes looks more like I've been punched in the face. So I just tend to stick to my tried and tested fav easy to use products. 

Urban Decay Brow Box £17.00 
I've had this product for years (probably best not admit that) It's a rather good job this has not yet run out as I use it all the time. Although I've now lost the little application brush it originally came with I still love the shade of colour and find the product lasts all night. Lets be honest no one wants to spend ages perfecting the perfect brows to find one of them has worn of during the night #awkward #scousebrow 

Oriflame Very Me Extended Lash Mascara £5.45*
A rather new addition to my make up bag. I often avoid mascara as I'm one of these who then spends the day picking it of (along with pulling out half my eyelashes). Yet when I started using this product I forgot how much a simple few flicks of mascara can really enhance the eyes. This product also gives me long fluttering lashes and the brush picks up even the teeny tiny lashes in the corners. It's also none clumpy. Yay. 

Soap and Glory Smoulder Khol Eyeliner £5.00
I did accidentally pick this up in brown not black. I think I got a little shopper happy when Soap and Glory was on 342 at Boots. However I find a brown eye-liner gives a more sublet look than black and I'm starting to prefer it. The best thing about this eye-liner is it as little sharper hidden in the lid.

Lush Charisma Skin Tint £12.00*
I picked this up at a Lush event some months back and It's got to be the favourite thing in my make up bag. I use this as a simple bronzer. It blends easy and give a more natural glow than powder bronzer's. Of course been from lush all the products are made from natural ingredients so its a little kinder on the skin too. The jar looks small for the price but I can assure you a little goes a very long way and this will last a long time. If you make one addition to your make-up bag then please try this.

Benefit Pore-fessional £24.50*
I think in a previous post I describes this stuff as facial pollyfilla. It sounds a little random but there's no better way to describe it. It smooths out all the little bumps and lumps especially those caused by black-heads and its my go to primer. 

Soap and Glory - Show Good Face Foundation £11.00
I've been using soap and glory for a long time. The foundation provides a good coverage without looking cakey and the shade (fairest of them all) matches my skin tone. It's also a good price for a daily foundation as I find it hard to justify the £30+ foundations when it's typically the most used make up product. 

Blistex Lip Brilliance £2.61*
This product is great for leaving in hand-bags for on the go make up application. If your like me and want to add a simple pop of colour this is a great product. I find lip glosses sticky and lip sticks require too careful application so this is great, its more like a lip-balm then a lip-stick but the colour looks fantastic and lips feel moisturised. 

What's you're daily make up routine?


Wednesday, 18 September 2013

Lights Camera Action

Necklace - Topshop
Top - Topshop
Jeans - Topshop
Bag - H&M
Mac Jacket - H&M (old)
Shoes - Office

Another quick outfit of the day post. This is what I wore Wednesday night to the catwalk event at the Victoria Quarter in Leeds. The show was one of the first shows part of Leeds Fashion Week. More to come on that later. Again I'm wearing my favourite necklace I think I've pretty much lived in that necklace for a while now. The cami top and jeans I picked up recently from Topshop, There's something about blue jeans that I'm loving at the moment. Now onto the shoes when I bought these I did question when will I ever wear a pair of gold shoes, but then if I can't wear them to a fashion show, when can I? The little mac jacket is pretty old now but it's still one of my favs, this reminds me I really do need to invest in a good mac jacket, there's something about them that will always remain classic. 

Although this outfit won't exactly be winning any style awards, it was comfy and typically me,in fact a little part of me was tempted to go in my new pair of trainers! 


Leeds Blogger Meet

So a few weeks ago the lovely Hayley from Tea Party Beauty organised what was a rather spectacular meet up held at Patisserie Valerie. Of course been on a Saturday morning, I arrived in the way I only know how, Late and hungover. Luckily everyone already knows what I'm like by now. Plus my hangover was nothing a good slice of cake couldn't solve. As I bagged the last spot at the meet up I missed out on my slice of cake however I shared Heathers carrot cake with her. The cakes are pretty big and filling so I still got my tasty share of the good stuff. Unfortunately I missed the PR talks on the latest beauty products however my disappointment soon went away when we was all treated to a massive bag of goodies. After the meet we all did what bloggers do best and went shopping! I think everyone pretty much headed over to the new Victoria Secret store. I will say I was pretty disappointed by the store. All in all it was a very good day and I can't thank Hayley enough for organising this for everybody.


Monday, 16 September 2013

Sew Lomax camera case

Been a blogger it means I carry my camera around nearly everywhere with me. Often been in the bottom of my bag I often find it can get dusty and bits of fluff and god knows what else that lurks in the corner of my handbag can damage the camera and ruin the image quality. I'm not saying I own an expensive camera by all means but it's still nice to take care good care of it. Surprisingly for ages a camera case was not something I owned, I could never really find one I liked. A few weeks ago I was gifted with this gorgeous camera case from Sew Lomax.

All the stitching on all Sew lomax products are embroidered by hand and the canvas that is used to make the products is all ethically sourced. Considering the work that goes into one piece the prices are extremely reasonable and I can assure you the finished product is amazing quality. All the pieces look fantastic and they would make the perfect little gifts for birthdays or Christmas. I love finding new independent brands and I love the quirky little designs. I've all ready been eyeing up the make-up bags and think I might just treat myself. 


In my shadow, no more compliments

Jacket - River Island (old)
Vest Top - Topshop
Star Sparkle Converse (old)
Necklace - Topshop

Although it's nice to get all dolled up and take outfit posts, I'm often found in jeans and converse. Comfortable and stylish. Everything a gal needs for a casual weekend with her friends. Although I'm forever buying clothes and more importantly high heels, the typical me is much more casual and this outfit couldn't say typical me any better. Comfortable stretchy skinny jeans and a rather loud bomber jacket to add a spot of colour. I'm also wearing my Topshop S necklace, what I will admit when I first bought this I did ponder for a few minuets seconds, if £16.50 was a little much for a necklace, but I love it, even if the S's do get tangled a little. For some reason quite a few people have commented that they wish they had a more interesting initial my mate Laura commented an L would look boring and my a few others have said similar things. I never really saw their point until I saw the letter V on sale. Obviously it looked like a spiky necklace. 


Sunday, 15 September 2013

Monthly shoe wishlist

I've been itching to write this post for so long now, after I missed an August monthly shoe wishlist. After Leeds festival the pennies were limited and there was no point teasing myself. With autumn/winter on the way this shoe list is aimed at been practical and comfortable. 

Top left:
Nike blazer mid trainers - £70.00 Schuh
I've developed a massive trainer crush the past few months and it's seemed impossible to find pairs I like in my size. Although Nike Blazers are rather common now, I can't deny I love them. They looks stylish yet conformable and since I've not worn in trainers in years, these are going to the top of my wishlist. 

Top Right
White low top converse - £45.00 JDSports
Amongst my somewhat large shoe collection, my oldest and most worn pair of shoes will always be my Converse. Although my white converse are now black and looking very tattered I still don't have the heart to ever throw them away, or stop wearing them. I've been wearing Converse since my high school days and they will always remain somewhat timeless and classic. The price of converse seems to of gone up a lot since I remember buying my first pair but at least I can safely say these will be worn and will not remain unloved in the box. 

Bottom left:
Dr Martens - £100 Topshop
I was somewhat grudged when I stumbled upon Dr Martens online at Topshop. Dr Martens for me will always have an icon feel associated with the grunge/rock scene and for me they do not belong in Topshop. Either way it doesn't stop me wanting a pair. Although I will disclaim I've wanted a pair for a long time before Topshop jumped on the bandwagon. In fact one of my first pair of shoes was Dr Martens (according to my mum they was the only shoes I didn't wear out within a few days). Now autumn/winter is coming it feels a more appropriate time to invest in a pair again. 

Bottom Right:
Jeffrey Campbell 99 tie suede boots. 
I need to add a little luxury to the wishlist and you all know I like my Jeffrey Campbell's.These boots seem very practical in comparison to my other JC's and I can imagine wearing these to work daily. Although there proving very hard to track down a pair at the moment with them been from a previous JC collection. 


Friday, 13 September 2013

Vinny & Vito, Village Hotel Review

So this Thursday I was kindly invited down to try out the new Vinny & Vito restaurant that recently opened as a in house restaurant in the idyllic settings of the Village Hotel in Headingley. 

Upon arrival I was greeted by the lovely Orla Watt who is the general manager of the of the Village Hotel North and was given an over view of the newly launched in house restaurant Vinny & Vito. The first thing that struck me about the restaurant was the warm feeling the restaurant had and the clever design gives it  both a formal and informal to feel. So its perfect for hotel guests, business trips, dates or a simple girls lunch. 

Me and my guest were then seated by our waiter for the night Liam and the fun of trying the mouth watering menu began. 

Starter: Large Selezione Di Salumi £14.50
A selection of three Italian cured meats with pickled chillis, sweet onions, olives and ciabatta crostini.

Me and my friend got chatting about ordering sharing starters, when I mentioned the mezzi type platters always look delicious. However I always feel bad then asking for one as I feel I'm then putting the other person out by somewhat making them ditch their own starter choice to favour mine.  Luckily we had both been eyeing this up on the menu.

The starter looked vibrant and smelt fragrant and fresh, it looks deceptively small on the photos although I can assure you there were layers of salami and other meats at the bottom of all the roasted peppers, sweet pickled chillies and caramelised onion and oozing gooey cheese.  

Main course: Bucatini Con Polpette £9.95
Our famous mouth watering house meatballs, smothered in spicy homemade tomato sauce.

Whilst I mused over the menu been my usual indecisive self my friend instantly decided he was having the meatballs. When It arrived I eye'd his meal up (more stared my friend out) before he offered me a taste. For my own liking the meatballs were a little tough but likewise they were full of flavour and the subtle chilli and garlic came through nicely without been overpowering. The pasta was also cooked to perfection. 

Main course: Ravioli al Manzo Ribollito con Salsa al Chianti £10.50
Slow cooked beef brisket flaked down into ravioli, served with rich celeriac puree & Chianti sauce
I will admit I was a little unsure of the idea of celeriac puree with a pasta dish but tucking into my meal I loved it. The brisket filling was rich in flavour and the chinati sauce complemented this dish. 

Side dish: Cauliflower Frite £2.95
Cauliflower florets coated in Italian seasoned flour and deep fried.
I never really order side dishes in restaurants, yet I was rather curious of the idea of deep fried cauliflower.  These were surprising tasty and the batter was light and crisp so I felt less guilty tucking into them. They came with a little dish of aioli (garlic mayo to me and you) which also made them great for a alternative snack as well. 

Side dish: Chunky Chips £2.95
These again were delicious and you could tell they were defiantly home made. Need I say anything else. 

Desert: Chocolate nemesis cake £5.50
Moist rich chocolate cake served with sweet crème fraîche
By desert time we was both already pretty full however with eyes bigger than our bellies we both soldiered on and ordered a desert. My friend had the chocolate cake with creme fraiche (or as he kept saying "creme fraiche" in the voice of Randy from South Park). The chcolate cake was more like a brownie and was very rich and filling and would be enough for 2 people to share. 

Desert: Pannacotta £4.95
With fruit compote
Recommended by our waiter I opted for the pannacotta and boy was it good! It had a fresh vanilla taste and reminded me of the kind of really nice traditional vanilla ice cream that you can usually only find during the interval at the theatre. The panncotta was set perfectly and been me the first thing I did when my desert arrived was to start shaking the bowl to test out the "wobble factor". It passed. Again this desert was very rich and would be perfect to share.

Cocktail: Lady Marmalade £5.50
Limoncello, Triple Sec, Sugar syrup, Lemon juice, shaken and strained
Some people enjoy a simple coffee after a meal, for me, I like cocktails!
 Finishing the meal we both sat feeling slightly gluttonous when the waiter came to offer us a coffee. I think by this point the "pogged" expression on my face must of given me away and I declined polity. We chatted to the waiter a little who mentioned he was also the cocktail bartender when my ears pricked up a little. I asked what cocktails they did and I asked if I had correctly seen a cocktail earlier on the menu called lady marmalade, what I was intrigued about. Asking what was in it, the waiter informed me it was a stunning cocktail and he would simply surprise me instead of revealing what was in it. 

The cocktail was rather powerful and very lemony but I did enjoy it. 

Cocktail: Café Ecossais £5.95
Fresh Espresso, Johnny walker red, Vanilla Syrup, Coffee Liqueur and baileys, shaken over ice, strained and served
My friend was also treated to a surprise cocktail and was bought the Cafe Ecossais. This is by far the cutest cocktail I have seen in some time with adorable presentation. 

We agreed both cocktails would of made the perfect alternative to a desert and it was the perfect way to end the evening. 

We both left extremely full after we over indulged a little (well a lot!). Often we over look hotel restaurants as a number 1 pick for a meal but I was thoroughly pleased with the service, atmosphere and quality of food served. The Village Hotel North is also set in beautiful surroundings, yet within walking distance of the pubs and bars making Vinny & Vito perfect for starting a girls night out. Likewise perfect for a date and if things go well you can always check in (just adding that in to cover all topics). 

Once again I would like to say a big thank you to the general manager Orla Watt and the lovely Rachel McAlley for the invite.


Sunday, 8 September 2013

When you're having a bad day

So you may have noticed I have been a little quiet this week. It's been a week full of some personal ups and downs and blogging was put on hold. This also meant turning down some rather lovely event invites so I could spend some quiet time with friends. 

After a rather quiet week of daydreaming It dawned on me, summer is now coming to an end. Where has the year gone? One of the good things about writing a blog is I have some idea where all the time has gone, yet its still a shock to realise we're in September already. 

One of the first things I did when I started Little Blonde Life was to write a list of things I wanted to do this year and some things I wanted to change about myself. Needless to say looking through the list now, I've not done too great with regards to eat healthier drink less, join a gym, however I do sometimes go on small runs what's something for me. I saw a rather interesting quote today on Pintrest that said something like "Judging a fish on its ability to climb a tree is futile" what kind of made sense. At the start of the year I aimed to train to run half marathons etc, I'm not saying this is unachievable, but it was unachievable to me. So I realised I'm pretty happy with a few small jogs a week. 

In addition been able to look back over the year I can see exactly where it has gone: festivals, camping, day trips, meals out the most amazing birthday weekend. However from a personal view I can also see myself growing as a person. 

I realised this week that although we may all have our bad days, the bad days are simply a drop in ocean in comparison. I can not remember one single bad day this year, I'm 100% sure I've had bad days but the fact I can't remember them really shows just how insignificant they are. 

From now on instead of moaning where has time gone, I'm looking forward to what's in-store next. In the upcoming months I'm hoping to plan a mini break away, I have the joy of my favourite holiday Halloween coming up and I know a lot of you will curse me for saying this but I'm actually looking forward to Christmas (well actually the whole of December). There's also gigs and events I have tickets for, to look forward to. Most importantly I'm also sure that in-between all the upcoming plans the most memorable things will be life's little surprises what shape who we are. 

How was your week?


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