Sunday, 27 April 2014

Monthly Beauty Favourites

Dior Addict Perfume
This has been my favourite perfume for a long time. I've not worn this in about a year and half simply because it's a little expensive. A colleague recently went away on a holiday and due to duty free prices and some additional discount this 100ml bottle ended up costing me only £53.00! I love this scent it lasts all day and really is luxurious. A little squirt of this makes me feel good all day long as the scent lingers about in the air. To describe the perfume is a little difficult, it's basically smells classy, sophisticated and usually generates a few compliments. It's a intense perfume with a slight musky vanilla smell without been overpowering. 

No7 Lash Impact Mascara - £10.00
I picked this up on a whim in Boots. Well not a whim as I was shopping for mascara but when the No7 lady came over to tell me the new mascara was on offer for £10 and came with a free eye liner and lip gloss I was sold. Now at first I was disappointed by this it has no dramatic impact what so ever. I then also realised the colour I had bought was black/brown. Is black/brown even a colour? However I've grown to love this a little. As it has no dramatic impact whatsoever it actually ends up looking just simply very natural. For a great natural subtle look its amazing. For dramatic impact a big thumbs down. 

TRESemme Salon Smooth Serum - 30ml £4.50
I've been recommending this to friends for about a month. I'm always on the look out for new hair products and usually when it comes to my hair I enjoy the high end products. Since the TV adverts are constantly reminding me TRESemme started in professional hair salons I thought I'd try out a few of the newer products from the brand (I also tried the hair mask). As you may be aware I have been in love with the show beauty hair oil since the day I bought it, however at £50 a pop I needed a replacement. Although this serum doesn't have any scent to it, it really does leave my hair silky smooth and feels salon finished. I have already bought 2 replacements as I'm going through this little bottle rather quickly. 

Bourjois Rouge Edition Velvet Lipstick - £8.99
06 Pink Pong
03 Hot Pepper
I had seen these online on boots when they were first released and something about them really caught my eye. On my bloggers holiday I finally managed to pick these up. Testing these out in Superdrug along with 5 beauty bloggers I knew I had spotted a great product, as we all tested them out on the backs of our hands. After I got to test them out properly that evening I can now say for sure these things do not budge of your lips. They apply in the same way as a lip stain but give a stronger matt finish and can be layered up until a bolder colour is achieved. They take a few seconds to dry on the lips but after this the colour lasts all night. I'm sure there will be a lot of fuller reviews of these flying around on the blogsphere within the up coming months. 

What have been your favourite products this month?


Thursday, 24 April 2014

Pizza Express | Leeds Albion Street | Lunch menu

Pizza Express lunch menu

Pizza Express lunch menu

Pizza Express lunch menu

Pizza Express lunch menu

Pizza Express lunch menu

Pizza Express lunch menu

Pizza Express desert

Pizza Express desert

So if you haven't if happened to notice over the bank holiday weekend I have been quite the little piggy and have been dining out quite a lot. I fully ceased my opportunity over the bank holiday weekend to be more than indulgent. Thursday evening saw a trip to my usual go to choice of Reds True BBQ, Friday I had a heavenly meal at Pizza Express, Sunday I took a trip to Rosie's Diner and Monday finished the Holidays with a visit to the Twisted Burger Company

I often overlook chain restaurants when choosing somewhere to go to, simply for the fact I like to try new places. That said I hadn't really eaten at Pizza Express before (unless you count the time me and my friends all went decided we wasn't actually hungry, ordered quite a lot of wine and one pizza to share) in fact I might as well say I hadn't ever actually eaten at Pizza express.

When I read about their new lunch menu It seemed like the perfect light bank holiday afternoon lunch. With 3 Pizza expressed in Leeds City centre (clearly popular for a reason) I decided to head of too their Albion Place venue. 

Upon arrival the place was very busy proving to be quite a popular choice. Myself and my friend Laura, were promptly greeted and shown to our table. Our waitress was extremely friendly and It was the best service I've received in a restaurant in a long time. Considering how busy the place was I was genuinely taken a back by the outstanding customer service. Our drinks orders were promptly taken and I ordered some olives to nibble on, I was also offered the choice of roasted tomatoes which sounded very tempting. After a good old humming and ahhring changing my mind several times we finally ordered.

La Reine Pizza

Prosciutto cotto ham, olives, mushrooms, mozzarella and tomato
This was amazing. A light crispy base, gooey cheese, ham, mushrooms and those love them or hate them olives. I love them. I think I spent most the meal constantly telling my friend we need to come here more often. 

Padana Pizza

Goat’s cheese, mozzarella, tomato, caramelised onions, spinach, red onion and garlic oil
My friend ordered a goats cheese and caramelised onion pizza. We decided to split the pizzas half and half each. I think if we hadn't I would of still be sat there choosing what I wanted. This pizza was amazing too, the toppings worked really well and the caramelised onion added just the right amount of sweetness. 

Dough Balls “PizzaExpress” - Side Dish

I may only of been to Pizza Express once before but I know the un-written rule that no trip is complete without ordering some of those well known, well loved dough balls. 

Overall I really enjoyed my meal at Pizza Express. The service was incredible and I would even say the best service I've received from a  restaurant. The food was really enjoyable and excellent value. With Pizza's in the express lunch menu ranging from £4.95 - £5.95 it really is brilliant value. The restaurant has a good relaxing atmosphere and I really cant wait to return.

Have you tried the new express lunch menu?


*Post in collaboration with Pizza Express, meal provided free of charge, all views remain my own*

Tuesday, 22 April 2014

Twisted Burger Company | Aire Bar Leeds

Twisted Burger Company

Twisted Burger Company

Twisted Burger Company

Twisted Burger Company

If you read my post on Rosie's Diner you will of already seen me talk about the rise of burger joints and american style food restaurants in Leeds pop up in the last year or so. (You will also notice I've exceeded myself in pigging out this bank holiday) In fact I've got a little list of burger joints to try. I previously mentioned I'm not a massive burger fan but I am slowly becoming converted and the Twisted Burger Company really caught my eye when I noticed a review on twitter recently. Plus as the original TBC joint starting in Sheffield i felt a little more drawn to the place seeing as it has original northern roots. Plus Bring Me The Horizons front man Mr Oli Sykes has also designed his own vegetarian burger for the menu. 

Located at Aire Bar at the bottom of Call Lane seems a good choice for the new burger joint. The bar/restaurant was fairly busy and the new menu seemed to be going down well. I've always been a fan of Aire Bar, it's a good choice for quiet drinks although it always seems to have a nice atmosphere (does that make sense?). 

Shall we move on to the food? I think so. Firstly what drew me in was the quirky menu with rather cool burger names. Sitting down the menu took a bit of reading to decide exactly what I wanted and I also found it slightly confusing. I was impressed that out of the 9 burger choices 2 were veggie options. I'm not a vegetarian but it was refreshing to see there was more than 1 options, or in fact a vegetarian option at all. What I found slightly weird was the fact all the burgers were double burgers. There didn't seem any need for it. It would of been nicer to have the option to add this as an extra. The burgers also came with no side dish. Although the burgers weren't expensive it would of been nice for a choice of side. 

I finally decided on the return of the mac burger. Double bacon patty, mac n cheese, home made pesto and harley house relish. Although the menu clearly states bacon patty I was still expecting a traditional beef burger with bacon as a topping, it was in fact a bacon patty. It was a bit taken a back by this but it was in fact delicious. The mac n cheese topping (my main reason for ordering this) was a little sparse. I did hear the waiter telling the next table they was then sold out of the return of the mac burger so I'm guessing I received the last portion. The pesto and mac n cheese did make this taste slightly more pizzaesk than a burger but it was still enjoyable. 

Now lets discuss the side dishes. Why not eh? I'm a sucker for jalapeños and when I saw the big poppa bites (deep fried jalapeños with smoked cheese dip) I was sold. I was expecting breaded deep fried jalapeños so it was nice to the crispy slices. The cheese dip wasn't anything special but It was a really nice side dish and not something I've seen on other menus. My friend ordered a side of fries which we both thought was weird how they came with the burger not on a separate plate. This was a little weird as we may have wanted to share them, it also left little room for "burger deconstruction". 

Overall I enjoyed the food. The menu was cool and I think this is what will draw in the customers over the actual food. The burger was nice and good value and I would happily return again and again for a cheap eat. I feel the menu needs to be a little more thought out. Most the side options appear as full dishes and as much as I would of loved to order the Jalapeño business fries (Fries topped with cheese, guacamole, sour cream, harley house relish, diced jalapeños on top of seasoned fries with a whole chilli topping) this seems more like a main course or lunch time bite than a side dish. Also my friend could help but point out repeatedly "where are the onion rings"

Have you checked out the Twisted Burger Company?


Monday, 21 April 2014

Rosies Diner | Leeds Kirkstall Road | Review

Rosie's Diner Leeds

Rosie's Diner Leeds

Rosie's Diner Leeds

Rosie's Diner Leeds

Rosie's Diner Leeds

Rosie's Diner Leeds

So recently Leeds seems to have seen a somewhat unpredicted trend in American style restaurants and burger joints. Now I love american food but if I'm honest when it comes to burgers I'm never normally a massive fan. 

However when I heard about Rosie's Diner I was pleased someone's finally ran with the full American concept. When I heard it was open 24/7 I was even more delighted as my first though then was...hummm at least there actually doing the whole diner concept authentically. Even though the waiters and waitresses weren't wearing roller-skates and there was no one walking around offering refills of coffee, it was still a pretty cool place and felt pretty fun. Call me a kill joy but one think I actually didn't like was the balloons tied to the side of booths. I understand these are to hand out to the kiddies but c'mon balloons are for Pizza Hut and Frankie & Bennys, this place has more potential. It seemed to be a popular choice for young couples and groups of friends and set right by a bowling alley and a cinema would seem a popular date choice also. (Because I clearly go on loads of those #wishfulthinking). 

The menu was easy to understand and there was the typical choice of burgers, hot dogs, ribs and steak. There was the also not so traditional diner choice of fish and chips but it was a nice touch to add something different to the menu. 

I ordered the Chicago Blues Burger £9.95 (beef burger, lettuce, blue cheese, bacon and pepper sauce), which came with slaw and waffle fries or sweet potato fries. I opted for the waffle fries along with everyone else at the table. I think we was all excepting some unique fried sweet waffle pieces but was a little disappointed to see these were simple criss cut chips. 

The burger was thick and juicy and very filling. I love blue cheese and it was nice to see this dripping down the sides of the burger. One thing everyone seemed to point out was the side dishes basically consisted of slaw and fries. It seemed a little pointless when all the burger options came with this. It would been a better idea to have the option to upgrade to chilli cheese fries, add more toppings to your burger or change the side to corn on the cob or onion rings. As lovely as the food was I couldn't help feel cheated the food didn't come in a traditional basket and it kind of was a major kill to the whole concept.

To finish I decided I was far too full for a desert although there was a nice range of options. I felt I couldn't leave before testing out a milkshake as I had been told these were fabulous. I choose the butterscotch milkshake and it was divine. Again I would of rather seen a more american looking version in a sundae style glass with whipped cream and a cherry on top but the milk bottle glass was still rather cute looking. 

Overall I think there is a lot of room for improvement at Rosie's Diner. The wait time's and service need a lot of work but the place is pretty cool and the food is delicious. The prices are also reasonable. 

Have you been to Rosie's Diner?


Rosie's Diner
Cardigan Fields

Sunday, 20 April 2014

Monthly Shoe Wishlist

Clarks Originals - Woolrich Black & Red Woolrich Desert Boots
£89.99 now £29.99 - Branch 309
I've had these bookmarked on the laptop patiently waiting for pay day for a good few weeks. I say patiently waiting I think sweat has actually hit the keyboard each time I check there still in stock. There gorgeous. I know the picture doesn't really say stylish but have a good nosey at them they look amazing. Unlike the pair below there practical and look easy to throw on. I can imagine these been good autumn, winter shoes with a pair of jeans or some effortlessly stylish fashionista outfit with turned up denim shorts or dungarees come the sunshine. Unfortunately for me the bargain price they are means I can now only find them in stock in size 4's everywhere and tears are now hitting the keyboard. If anyone spots these in a size 5 please tweet me @LilBlondeSammie. 

New Look - Look Amaze All Over Glitter Ankle Boots
£29.99 now £14.50 - ASOS
I promised I was going to be a good girl this month. Then something happened. These glitter ball delights hit the sale. I genuinely can't think any practical use for these, however I had some funds laying about in my Pay-pal account, I saw they hit the sale and you know the rest all too well. I'm thinking a simple black blouse, some disco pants and jackpot..Friday night is sorted. At half price I deserve to feel every bit the rock goddess in these, right?

Funky Jelly Sandals
£10.00 - ASOS
Hands up who had a pair of Jelly Shoes as a kid? Yooohooo *Jumps and waves*. Obviously as a kid these things made you super cool. I had a pair of silver glitter ones with a small heel on them. I freaking loved them. Although I'm pretty sure they only lasted around 1 summer they were awesome. When the 90's fashion started coming back I kind of though, what the hell are they going to bring back from the 90's? I remember pogs in my packets of Monster Munch, been able to get a toy in my box of Wheetos without people fearing I would choke on it and constantly wishing I was a contestant on Fun House. But Fashion. I couldn't remember anything. Then some genius recreated these. Move over Christian Louboutin, this summer I'll be back wearing jelly shoes. 

What's on your wishlist this month?


Blogger Holiday part 2 | Kendal 1657 Chocolate House

So Saturday we all decided to do what bloggers do best and went shopping. We headed of into the nearby village of Kendal for a spot of retail therapy. During the little trip to Kendal there was the realisation we was back to some normality when we notice there was a boots! It was a similar feeling to when you notice you can buy English food on a Spanish holiday.

I had been on the lookout for the Bourjois velvet lipsticks for a while so my main aim for the day was to hunt these down. Unfortunately boots had sold out but they did have some testers to swatch. Having shown the other girls them the main aim of the day then became to hunt down a Superdrug. 

Upon the lipstick witch hunt we also found an amazing little chocolate shop and tea room. We decided to make the most of the day and treated ourself to a cheeky afternoon tea at The Famous 1657 Chocolate House.  I had the tower garden hot chocolate which was a rose flavoured hot chocolate with a side of Turkish delight. This wasn't particularly to everyone's taste but I thought it was rather unique and quite nice. Since we was already in the tea room it would of been rude not to test out there scones with some jam and cream, right? Now I'm no expert but I'm going to say jam first then cream.

With a little podge on, I then proceeded to waddle around Kendal and the shopping re-commenced. It was here I realised Katie has a rather unique skill of spotting make-up counters about a mile away. Seriously Britain's Got Talent watch out!

Finally all shopped out we headed back to the cottage in time for the football (clearly not my choice). Really! The football. A girls weekend away and the football kicked of my Saturday night. I left some of the girls to watch the footy whilst I chilled in the bath and started to get ready. I did come to the realisation that I seemed to take the longest to get ready, although when you have packed so many lovely shoes it take a while to decide what to wear. 

Venturing out for a pub craw around Arnside was a lot of fun. I have a sneaky feeling the Locals may have felt more terrorised, however with 8 girls a little tipsy then what more can you expect. We even stole to local bar tender to come round and make us all cocktails. This was of course after a midnight jog on the beach as you do. I was a little less unimpressed by the beauty of Arnside after I fell into the sea. 

I'm now of to go nurse my bank holiday hangover at Rosie's Diner.

Happy Easter


Wednesday, 16 April 2014

Refresh rather than relocate

When Look again recently got in touch about their new challenge "refresh rather than relocate" I knew this was something I wanted to take part in. For a while now I've debated the idea of moving out and put of any redecorating or refreshing my bedroom. It's getting a little embarrassing with my pink teenage like bedroom and little old single bed. The main reason for putting of doing anything about this has been simply I keep telling myself I will soon be moving out. I've since had a little brain wave and realised If I start collecting more grown up pieces now it will also mean I already have some furniture to take with me when the day I fly the nest comes. I also really don't think my big double wardrobes would survive a moving. However I do have the sneaky feeling if I refresh up my bedroom I won't ever want to move out. (Sorry mum looks like your stuck with me).

I've been looking for simple pieces that will last me a good few years that will remain looking stylish and elegant for sometime. Here's what I've come up with. 

It seems such an obvious choice to get rid of the pink walls to make my room a little more grown up. This amazing monochrome wall paper is elegant, grown up and yet It still looks a little on the funky retro side. At £18.00 it seems a bargain idea to redecorate to change the feel and look of my room at very little cost. My bedroom faces the sun and is very light therefore the monochrome design won't feel too dark.  

I'm 22 and still sleeping in a single bed. Not that I'm a 7ft basketball player and need loads of room (I'm only a tiny 5ft 2) but I feel an upgrade is needed. It would be nice to be able to spread out and plus think of all the extra fancy pillows and throws I could style it up with. Not that I've even given a thought to all the extra pairs of shoes I could hide away underneath. 

So as I mentioned my big double wardrobe will be a bit of nightmare to ever move and to be honest it doesn't look that stylish. Therefore I think its maybe time to downsize and even though a clothes clear out may be very much needed this Brooklyn 2 door 1 draw wardrobe looks super stylish. Plus with the extra space a smaller wardrobe would save means I would finally be able to have an actual dressing table in my bedroom. Although I think this piece would look way more stylish as a dressing table alternative. 

I've clearly saved the best till last here! Let's take a moment to look at just how stunning this bedside table is. The bright pink can add a pop of colour back into the otherwise monochrome room. This has got to be the ultimate piece what takes the room from something sleek and grown up a little back down to earth for a 22 year old's bedroom. I love the idea of having a little cupboard as opposed to the standard 3 draw bedside table as it would be ideal for storing more "essential" items such as my hair-dryer (usually permanently found laying in the middle of my bedroom).

Total - £750.00

Have you been thinking of re decorating or refreshing any rooms in your house?


*Post is a competition entry for Look Again*

Monday, 14 April 2014

Bloggers holiday | Sykes holiday cottage Arnside (Day 1)

So you may have happened to see a variation of tweets this weekend about my trip to Arnside for a bloggers holiday. It's fair to say I've been looking forward to this for a while and the weekend certainly didn't disappoint.  Friday along with my favourite blogging buddies (Hayley, Jess, Simone, Kel, Sharon and Katie) we all headed of to the stunning cottage Mountain View in Arnside thanks to Sykes Cottages. For what has been frankly a hilarious weekend. 

Walking into the cottage I was extremely impressed. The cottage was a lovely size with a large well light living room with a large bay window and window seat (what came in handy for some people watching), kitchen and breakfast dining area, dining room, 2 bathrooms, 3 bedrooms and one en-suit. 

It was large and spacious and there was so many thoughtful details around the cottage. The kitchen was well equipped and even the fridge was stocked with a bottle of wine, milk, butter and orange juice on our arrival what really was a very welcoming touch. All the bedrooms were also equipped with a hair-dryer, bath towels and dressing gowns. 

After unpacking and everyone had arrived I put my cooking skills to the test and cooked a Mexican night...maybe with a lot of help, but still it was delicious. We was joined with the additional guest of Derek the piñata and sipped a few too many beer-garitas. Everyone was then fairly tired (although everyone still managed a fair amount of cocktails) so it was then time to relax, watch Frozen and retreat to bed. Although after the night out what followed Saturday a relaxing early (I say early I mean 1am) evening was a very good idea.

(Blogger holiday part 2 to follow)


Sunday, 6 April 2014

The Light Leeds dining event

3 Courses 3 restaurants: The Light Dining Event

Firstly I'm back! It seems like ages I haven't blogged (although I think it's been a bout a week). I do apologise but I haven't been too well recently and I've had quite a few late evenings at week, meaning blogging had to take a little back-seat. So where have I been? Well a few weeks ago I was invited down to a rather special little dining event. A 3 course meal at The Light Leeds with each course held at a different restaurant. Pretty amazing right? Ohhh I did I also mention an extra course of cocktails. 

For starters we headed over to Frankie & Benny's for their mouthwatering beef and pork Meatballs Neapolitan served with toasted garlic ciabatta. I've been to Frankie & Bennys multiple times in the past and although it's a new addition to The Light I seem to always overlook it when looking for places to eat. Yet going back I forgot how delightful the place it. It has the standard Frankie & Benny's layout with there take on traditional Italian and it's actually quite charming. I did however forget about the Italian language lessons that play over the speakers in the toilets and spend a good few minuets been a little freaked out and confused trying to work out who was talking at me in the loo. That aside it's a charming little cheap eat with tasty Italian food and will make the perfect pre cinema meal the next time you visit The Light. 

Next up was the main course at Nandos. I've had a love hate relationship with Nandos for a long time now. I'm not sure when the hate part kicked in to be honest, I think it's been from the few dates guys have actually offered to take me on, has been Nandos. A surprising amount of lads seem to think girls will be impressed if they take us to Nandos. We'll take it from me guys no girl will ever be impressed by a first date to Nandos. Although it's good food I really don't want to have to get my own drinks during a date and point blank you look unimaginative and cheap.  

Despite blaming Nandos for my loss of dates due to my lack of enthusiasm, what I do love it for is the food. Let's face it everyone loves a Nandos...when the times right. You know exactly what to expect, good chicken, maybe a side and let's face it it's a cheap eat. Ok so I may have to get my own knife and fork and pour my own drink but the food makes up for it. Plus I can't ever blame the waiters for not been attentive enough. I'm also a sauce hoarder, yep I'm one of those...I get every sauce going and take it my table..the best part in Nandos no one can stop me (commence evil laugh). 

The event really gave me a chance to experience Nandos at it's best. As we arrive all the food was laid out with one giant Nandos feast, cooked chicken, chicken wings, every side going, delicious fresh salads. It was perfect and finally gave me a chance to try macho pea's. I'm usually more a side of mash potatoes girl. All the food was brilliant and I honestly can say despite my "hates" the food was perfect as always. To be honest when you fancy chicken Nando's is pretty darn perfect. 

So with rather fully tummy's we all finally moved on to Browns. The best really was saved until last here with their brownie indulgence trio selection. This is designed as a sharing desert although I did give this my best try I was defeated. The selection included a dark chocolate brownie with a pistachio ice cream, a ginger and milk chocolate brownie with chocolate ice cream and my personal favourite a white chocolate and raspberry blondie with vanilla ice cream. It was simply amazing and the presentation was stunning. 

This was my first trip to browns and the restaurant is very classy and chic. The restaurant is large and would be the great place for group celebrations. It has a elegant feel about it and unlike Nandos would make the perfect date location. 

Finally I saved my personal favourite till last. Cocktails in the Kanaloa bar at Tiger Tiger. Tiger tiger is always a favourite of mine for a night out. It always seems to have a good mix of people and a good mix of music. It's also located a stones throw from my work so I'm no stranger to a few after work drinks here neither. Recently (actually quite a while back now) the Kanaloa Hawaiian themed tiki-bar was added serving up some refreshing cocktails.

Have you been to The Light?


Don't forget you can enjoy amazing discounts at The Light when signing up for a social light card. Including 20% off at Frankie & Benny's, Nandos and Browns. Plus 241 cocktails at Tiger Tiger and loads more.

Post in collaboration with Carousel PR, all food and drinks provided free of charge, all views are my own*

Some images sourced, if these are you images please contact me if you wish for these to be removed.

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