Manchester's Wine Jukebox at Bakerie

Many moons ago, I was graciously invited to try out Manchester's first ever Wine Jukebox situated at the sophisticated Bakerie Bar in the Northern Quarter. 

Although I'm normally more of a cocktail girl, I've become partial to a glass of wine when out for food and thought this event would be the perfect opportunity to broaden my wine knowledge and try out some new varieties. 

Upon arrival, I was greeted by the lovely Keeley & Eric and a large glass of Prosecco - what more could a girl ask for! They briefly explained the concept of the wine jukebox which sounded perfect for me. 
It allows you to buy a wide variety of wine by the glass (16 bottles to choose from) so you can sample different grapes throughout the night and don't have to commit to a whole bottle, which can be rather expensive otherwise. 
The jukebox itself is kept pumped full of nitrogen to help the wine stay fresh as well as being climate controlled and couldn't be simpler to use. You merely pay at the bar for a card which you can keep and top up as and when you need to. 
The best thing about the jukebox is that you can double your credit on Wednesday's - pay £10 onto your card and you get £20 to spend whenever you want! 

As well as getting to try out this fantastic invention, we also got to sample a few of the infamous Bakerie Boards. These come in four different options - Vegan, Cheese, Meat & Seafood. Each board has six dishes of which you get to choose three to munch on. My personal faves were the Mushrooms from the Vegan board and the Chorizo which was cooked to absolute perfection. 

The owners, Dale & Eric, were super knowledgeable and didn't mind answering our questions continually through the night. I love that they cater to all needs and it's a wonderful place I'll definitely revisit now I'm back to full health. 


Cocktails at The Milton Club

One of the few alcoholic drinks I actually enjoy is a cocktail (mainly because the ones I pick just taste of fruit juice), so when I was kindly invited to a Cocktail Masterclass at The Milton Club I was over the moon. Of course, I said yes and quickly began planning what to wear!

Not knowing much about The Milton Club other than it being a members club on Deansgate where local celebrities tend to frequent, I was a little apprehensive as to whether I'd fit in. Walking up to their grand entrance was a little daunting but once inside, I was greeted warmly and luckily my nerves subsided. I was then taken to meet the other women attending the masterclass and the bar tender, Ibrahim, who was teaching us that evening. 

Once we'd settled in and had a glass of Prosecco in our hands, we each got to choose which cocktail we'd like to learn to make. I chose a Raspberry Mojito as it's my all time favourite drink and Ibrahim quickly got to work showing us how to make all our different drinks. Ibrahim was absolutely wonderful the whole night and made sure we were never short of drinks or nibbles and kept us entertained throughout. 
After he'd talked us through how to make each drink, we all took it in turns to go behind the bar and recreate our concoctions. We all still needed a little (a lot of) help though as it's a lot harder than it looks. I now have a newfound respect for mixologists, that's for sure! 

To round off the class we all did some shots, normally I can't stand them but Ibrahim made a special one just for me and it tasted incredible, like a berry smoothie. One of the great things about The Milton Club is that all the staff have a great knowledge of drinks and will tailor each one to your personal tastes. 
We chatted for a good hour or so but eventually the other girls all had to take off and I was left with my plus one. The actual venue itself was very sophisticated and I was surprised that all the cocktails were priced at only £10-£12. In the city centre on a Friday night, that's a pretty standard price for a cocktail but here they use good quality ingredients so you actually get your money's worth. 

If you're looking for something a little different to do for an occasion then I'd definitely recommend the Cocktail Masterclass. Even though I hadn't met the girls beforehand, we all left as friends and had such a good time. I imagine if you were there for someone's birthday or hen party, it would be such a good laugh and really get you in the mood for the night out ahead. 

A massive thank you to The Milton Club & Siobhan for inviting me along to this event. This was a complimentary experience but as always, all opinions are my own. 


Valentine's Day Gift Ideas

At the grand age of 22, I've still never been in a proper relationship on Valentine's Day. The majority of the time I love being single but February 14th is always a little sucky. To cheer myself up and to give some of you guys who are in relationships inspiration, I thought I'd put together a little gift guide. 

Even if I was in a relationship, I've never really seen the point in spending ridiculous amounts of money as I'd rather save it for an anniversary or a random surprise but it's always nice to show you're appreciation with a little something. These Spooning Pillowcases are quite expensive for what they are at £25 but I think they'd look so adorable and they're actually quite a useful present too. Who doesn't need pillowcases?! 
Another couple of items that would definitely get used are both drink related. This 'Cup of Tea' Mug is very Instagramable (pretending that's a word) and is a cheaper alternative for if you're not wanting to splash the cash. 
This hilarious 'I Tolerate You' Hip Flask would be a great present for your Galentine as it's a little sassy and a lot fabulous. 

Another way to show you care without spending a fortune is to buy a Valentine's card and write a heartfelt message inside. I've very sentimental and still have cards from my first Birthday whereas generic gift sets are long gone and forgotten about. Something else that is slightly more thoughtful is buying tickets to an experience. Whether that's a gig, a spa day or just a meal at their favourite restaurant - you could even take a picture from the day and have it framed so you remember it forever.

Underwear is kind of a two in one gift as you get to treat yourself and your loved one at the same time. Asos, H&M and Topshop have some amazing sets but this Red Lace Body is the star of the show for me. It's sexy but still classy which is sometimes hard to find. 

Of course, a gift guide from me wouldn't be complete without something Pug related. Nothing says I love you like buying someone a Pug but if you can't quite manage that, why not by Pug print socks instead? Always a winner. 

Whether you're hanging out with friends, sharing a meal with a special someone or drinking vodka alone, I hope you have a wonderful Valentine's Day! 


Fashion | Sports Luxe Wish List

My style has took a more casual turn recently and I've decided to fully embrace it because what could be better than feeling stylish and comfy all at the same time? I've always tended to stay on the more polished side of things, even in the day time but recently what with working from home and going to the gym a lot, I've definitely started to favour the more casual, sports luxe vibes.

First up are these New Look Ankle Grazer Dungaree's which seem like a total bargain at £25 (with student discount). I've wanted a pair of full length dungaree's for what seems like forever now but can never find a pair that fit right. Choosing black rather than denim as I think they'll be more wearable, these seem like the perfect addition to my everyday wardrobe. Pair a plain tee underneath and you've already got your outfit sorted.

Next up I have a couple of sweatshirts, no surprises that they're both black because we all know I avoid colour like the plague. After wearing the death out of my Beyonce Surfboard sweater, I think it's about time I added something new into the mix. The Cheap Monday Sweat is the pricier of the two but after falling in love with this brand, I imagine this 100% cotton option would be amazingly cosy. The more affordable of the two is the Nicce Box Blue Sweat which would add a nice little pop of colour to my otherwise all black outfits.

Two repurchases I've been wanting to make for a while are the Topshop Joni Jeans in Black and the Calvin Klein Bralette in Grey. My Joni jeans are so well worn that they are now grey and it's definitely time to buy a new pair, I get so much wear out of them as they literally go with everything.
My CK bralette is another wardrobe staple that I wear so much, I could do with picking up another but at £30 this may have to wait until I've got money to spare!

For my Christmas present, my mother kindly bought me a new pair of gym shoes which I love but being white, they're not the most practical. After seeing the Liberty London x Nike Collaboration, I've fallen in love with the Nike Roshe Run in Black. As I already own this style, I can't quite justify shelling out £90 on another pair just yet but knowing that I get on well with the Roshe Run's makes it very tempting. If I bought these I don't think I'd wear any of my other shoes again, they're just so comfy.

Bringing up the rear is this Topshop Sateen Bomber Jacket which is giving off strong 'tacky yet fabulous' vibes. I was originally looking for a plain black bomber jacket but stumbled across this and fell in love. It definitely fits into the sports luxe style I've been favouring lately but it also has a Pink Ladies/Drive vibe about it which I love.

Do you prefer a casual or more polished everyday look?


Filming With Holland & Barrett

Back in December, Prunella and myself had the wonderful pleasure of attending a pet event hosted by Holland & Barrett. Although I was very ill at the time I decided to brave going out as it's not everyday I get to attend an event with my puppy. Upon our arrival, we were greeted by several other dogs & their owners as well as the hosts of the event. Prunella had so much fun playing with all the other dogs and running around like crazy in the studio.

Once we'd settled in and introduced ourselves, we started to film with all the other dogs. This was rather hectic but lots of fun and definitely wore the dogs out a bit before our individual interviews later on. We were filming a promotional video to showcase some of the products from Holland & Barrett's pet range. Prune definitely wasn't complaining about all the free treats she received throughout the day!

When it came to sitting down for our individual interviews, I was very nervous as I've never done anything like it before. After watching my video back, I can definitely say I prefer being behind the camera but it has helped me get over my fear a little bit. Who knows, maybe someday I'll be brave enough to start a Youtube channel!

At the end of the day, we were gifted a very generous goody bag including some of the items from Holland & Barrett's new pet range including the dog biscuits from the shoot. The Yarrah Vegan Dog Biscuits are a firm favourite of Prunella's although they are rather on the large side so I tend to give her them sparingly. She also loved the knotted bones and the monkey toy but my personal favourite was the Scruffy Chops Zest In Show Shampoo and Muddy Marvellous Conditioner. I never used conditioner on my dogs before but it makes a huge difference to their coats and the Scruffy Chops range in completely organic which is always a bonus for me.

This was such a fun day out for me and Prunella and we met some lovely people as well. I just wish I could take her to all my blog events.

This post was in collaboration with Holland & Barrett. Click here to see their full range of pet products on offer. As always, all views are my own.


Autumn Beauty Favourites

autumn beauty favourites

autumn beauty favourites

With the crisp winter mornings and cosy nights by the fire in full swing, this of course means my Autumn beauty favourites are due and I have quite a few new discoveries from the past few months. This is mainly due to a massive splurge on makeup whilst on holiday in November where I bought enough new products to last me a whole year but that by no means stopped me from getting some new makeup bits for Christmas as well. Whoops!

First on my list of things to pick up in Florida was the much raved about BeautyBlender as after trying the cheaper alternative by Real Techniques, I wanted to see how the original compared. At first I wondered what all the fuss was about as it is essentially just a sponge for applying makeup but it's honestly made such a difference to the finish of my foundation. It blends in my makeup seamlessly and really does give a flawless finish. If you are looking for a cheaper option then the Real Techniques sponge is a worthy competitor but for me, personally, I think this has the edge as it cleans better and doesn't fall apart as easily. One major tip though - rather than wetting under a tap or using dry, dampen it slightly using a spray before application.

Another Florida find was my favourite new highlighter, the Becca x Jaclyn Hill Skin Perfector in Champagne Pop. This pressed powder has a peachy, gold hue that brings life and a beautiful glow to my face. It's highly pigmented so a little goes a long way although I tend to just pile it on anyway and walk around looking like a shimmering disco ball. I love a good highlighter, okay?

That being said, my next favourite is another highlighter. Yep, that's right. Sometimes one just isn't enough glow for me so I like to layer Champagne Pop with the Topshop Glow Highlighter in Polished underneath. This cream highlighter leaves a lovely dewy sheen on the cheekbones that is perfect for an everyday, more subtle glow. It's a cool toned, white champagne shade that works well with pale skin and at only £9 for a tub that'll last you a lifetime, it's a bit of a steal as well.

Another bargain product I recently discovered is the L'Oreal Infallible Primer. As someone with an oily complexion, this primer has worked wonders in keeping my makeup in place for longer. It's gel consistency smooths out my imperfections and leaves my skin feeling super smooth, making my foundation glide on like a dream. It reminds me of the Smashbox Primer except it's a third of the price so if you like that, you should definitely pick this one up to try out.

Something else that has been great for my oily skin is the NYX HD Finishing Powder in Banana. The product is very finely milled and silky meaning it doesn't cake up as easily as most other powders I've tried and the yellow hue helps to combat any redness in my face. I also own the Translucent shade though and this works just as well for those who prefer their powders colourless.

Originally when I picked up the Urban Decay Naked Skin Concealer in Fair Neutral, I was kicking myself as the shade was too light to use for covering blemishes but as it's on the pricier side of concealers I decided to give it a whirl under my eyes instead. The formula of this is amazing, full coverage but still lightweight on the skin. It works so well at brightening and hiding my dark circles and I've honestly been itching to buy this in a shade darker so I can use it all over my face. When I get my next pay check, I may well have to treat myself.

What products have you guys been loving recently? Any winter skin saviours?


2015 In Review

It's that time of the year again when people start talking about fresh starts, goals and resolutions but before I join in, I thought it might be interesting to go over the post I wrote last year on my goals for 2015 and see how many I achieved. 

I feel like I say this every year but this year has been one of the hardest of my life and if I had to describe it in one word - painful. However with that being said, I did still manage to tick off the majority of the things on my list. Excluding the goals relevant to my now ex-boyfriend (for obvious reasons), the only other things I didn't achieve were volunteering and a nose job. Out of 15 goals, I don't think I did too badly in all honesty. 

Rather than going through everything individually, I thought it would be more fun to list 10 things I loved in 2015.

  1. Getting a puppy - Of course this had to be the highlight of my year and probably of my life as well.
  2. Attending blog events - I said I wanted to say yes more and I did! I've had some amazing opportunities through my little space on the internet.
  3. Meeting other bloggers - This leads on from my last point as I've met some amazing people through my blog. It's great having such a supportive network and being around people who understand a blogger's life.
  4. Visiting Florida - I had the most magical time on my holiday and I'm gutted I won't be returning in the future but I'm looking forward to exploring new territories. 
  5. Joining the gym - After a month of being ill, I'm not in the best physical shape right now but I have managed to keep up my workout routine for the majority of the year and can't wait to get back to the gym next week. 
  6. Making new friends - I've really gone out of my comfort zone this year but it's resulted in me meeting a lot of new people and making a bunch of new friends. 
  7. Removing negativity - Something I've found just as important as making new friends is ending harmful relationships and removing negativity from my life. Positive people only, please!
  8. Seeing my friends more - As well as making new friends, I've tried really hard to keep in touch with all my old friends and I think I've done pretty well. I moved in with two of my best friends in Manchester and saw some friends from school this Christmas that I hadn't seen in several years! 
  9. Being single - It has it's downfalls but the majority of the time I bloody love being single. So much so that I dedicated an entire blog post to the topic - The Single Life.
  10. Quitting my job - At the start of the year I decided to quit my job and it's probably one of the best decisions I've ever made. Working from home definitely has its perks - mainly that I get to spend so much time with my little doggy! 
After writing this list, I guess this year hasn't been all bad. I'll be glad to see the back of it though and can't wait to see what 2016 has in store for me. Hopefully lots of nice things...
Wishing you all a Happy New Year as well!