Monday, 23 September 2013

NEW: Special K Porridge

I have to admit, I haven't always been into porridge. I'm not really a fan of anything with the consistency of rice pudding. But as long as porridge is thick, flavoured, and not gloopy, I'm ok. Recently I came across Special K's own version of porridge and with Special K red berries being one of my favourite cereals, I just had to give it a try.


It really couldn't be any easier. All you do in rip the sachet open 
along the dotted line, and pour into a microwave safe bowl:


Don't throw away that sachet just yet! If you look closely, you'll see a fill line. Pour milk into the empty sachet - it will hold don't worry! - up until the fill line:


Pour into the bowl and mix well:


Microwave for two and a half minutes, stir again, and 
then leave to stand for an extra couple of minutes:


Conclusion

It really couldn't be any easier. Perfect for the morning rush when time is never on your side. When it comes out the microwave, it smells AMAZING - a mix of berries with vanilla notes. For me personally, it was a good consistency - not too runny and not too thick. Taste wise, it was good - you definitely got hints of fruit. But overall I think I still prefer their red berry cereal because it has bigger pieces of fruit. The fruit in the porridge is very finely chopped so you don't always manage to taste it. I imagine it would be improved with larger pieces of fruit. But all in all, perfect for the approaching cold months and I'll be definitely be stocking up on these!

Do you like any Special K products?

* Please note that this is NOT a sponsored post. I merely like writing reviews!

Thursday, 19 September 2013

BLOGGERS' SUMMER SWAP

Autumn has well and truly hit us. To help keep that summer feeling alive, the lovely Rhiannon teamed up with Ella and organised a summer themed blogger's swap. I took part in a blogger swap last Christmas (where I first met Rhiannon FYI) and loved it so much, I just knew I had to get involved! I was very excited to receive a parcel from Jen (English Rose From Manchester) - I'd been ill lately so receiving something in the post really helped cheer me up :)

Photo borrowed from Jen - hope you don't mind Jen! - because my camera wasn't behaving itself :(

Jen obviously understands my love of cake and sent a Hummingbird Bakery card - complete with recipe for lavender cupcakes on the reverse:


Will definitely be giving these a go one weekend soon! I have been very inspired by lavender ever since reading Sally's recent post.

I was the lucky recipient of:

  • Cornetto (not ice cream!) : I'd seen these in a newsagent once, didn't buy at the time (big regret there....), and then never found again...... So to receive one from Jen was amazing!
  • Post-its: The amount of post-its I get through at work is crazy so this pack will come in very useful!
  • Headband: A great choice - recently I've embraced having my hair up more
  • Malibu Lip balm: My Nivea one is running out so these came just in time!

My partner was Kloe and I knew she liked festivals / gigs so my aim was to try and reflect that aspect of summer:

  • Melon scented candle: Because melon is the ultimate summer fruit!
  • Ice cube tray: These fruit shaped ice cubes will give summery drinks a bit of a make-over!
  • Summery sweets: Sweets are always good! :P
  • Fairy lights: Great for hanging outside in nicer weather
  • Glowsticks: Perfect for gigs and festivals!
Thanks so much to Jen for my parcel and to Rhiannon and Ella  for organising! If you wish to see which other bloggers participated, you should be able to find links to all blog posts on Twitter with the #bloggerssummerswap hashtag. I'm keeping my fingers crossed for another blogger swap around Christmas time. I love assembling parcels for the swaps and also it's a great way of discovering new blogs :)

Tuesday, 17 September 2013

Missguided Lace Sleeve Swing Dress

Wise people of the blogophere, I need your help

I spotted this delight on the Missguided website and have decided that I need it in my life. Only dilemma is that it comes in an assortment of colours and I can't decide which to go for! Currently they stock burgundy, green, peach, white, mint or navy:


Which colour is your favourite?

I'm tempted to go for the burgundy or the white. Maybe both - because at £29.99 they're hardly going to break the bank! Hmmmmm..... what say you? x x

Friday, 13 September 2013

NAILS: Revlon & Marchesa team up

Some of you eager fashionistas may have already spotted images of Revlon's wonderful new collaboration with red carpet favourite Marchesa:


Image credit for all above: Marcio Madeira - found via Brazilian Vogue here
Image credit: Slaven Vlasic/Getty Images; Revlon - image found here 

All nail designs are based on gowns from Marchesa's AW13 collection

They look like they cost the earth but in actual fact they will retail at....... £8.99. With nail polishes increasing in price these days - what's going on there?! - £8.99 isn't all that bad, comparatively. And this is Marchesa we're talking about. With gowns retailing in the thousands, I think I can deal with £8.99.

Each nail design is truly beautiful - a work of art. With an increasing demand for nail art - we've seen diversity from the likes of Ciaté's latest feather nail manicure, shatter effects, nail cavier, Illamasqua's speckle nails, nail wraps... - any form of new nail product that wants to stand a chance in the current market needs to be innovative and stand out. These ones from Revlon + Marchesa sure do and I predict that we'll be seeing a lot of them on blogs, instagram and the alike once on sale.

I'm very excited to see if Revlon and Marchesa continue to work together in the future. There is potentially a cosmetic line in the works - with a focus on eyes and lips - but everything is still very hush hush. If it's anything like the sneak peak of their nail art range [above], then it's all very promising indeed.

Monday, 9 September 2013

#7 Life as we know it

Making the most of the last few summery evenings with cava and strawberries:


Pizza Hut's new chorizo pizza makes me happy


More cider - or should I say cidre - filled evenings


... and days too, come to mention it...


Wasps that interfere with quality cider drinking time get taught a lesson:


Trying new tea (peach and blackcurrant)


Making olive and sun dried tomato bread from scratch

BEFORE:


AFTER:


Work charity cake sale where I fell in love with Oreo speckled cupcakes


Cooked breakfasts... what dreams are made of


I've come down with the flu so my life right about now consists of hot drinks - Lemsip, green tea and hot chocolate - and my bed. It's always important to keep your fluid levels up so I've been eyeing up these lovely sounding hot chocolates from Whittards. Ever tried any of these? I love the idea of having white hot chocolate!

What have you been up to lately?

Thursday, 5 September 2013

Alice in Wonderland inspired dress

Long time readers of this blog will know about my obsession love of all things Alice in Wonderland. A casual browse of the ASOS website the other day and I came across this beauty which I can only describe as the perfect "Alice" dress:


Perfection in dress form. This is the sort of dress you can wear ANYWHERE. Work. On holiday. Drinks after work. A date. You name it. Also perfect for DIY Alice in Wonderland fancy dress if paired with an apron, stockings and heels.

Curiouser and curiouser.....

Monday, 2 September 2013

Giraffe / Southbank Centre London

Weekends are made for catching up with friends, good food, and a drink or two to mark the end of another week. This weekend I caught up with friends from uni. As Waterloo station is equidistant us all, our meets usually take place around the Southbank. We have our frequent haunts that we go back to time and time again - if it's not broke, don't fix it! - but this time we fancied a change. Enter Giraffe. We'd walked past the London Southbank branch many times before, but with queues usually snaking out the door, we've always been too hungry to wait.

As luck would have it, we were able to secure a table this time. It was quite noisy what with the music and other diners, but this is something that you would encounter with other restaurants along the Southbank too. As the restaurant emptied out over the course of the evening, it became a lot easier to hear each other.


The food

To start, we shared a delicious bruschetta board which had a variety of different breads - some topped with home-made pesto, the others topped with cheese and finely chopped olives and red peppers. If you are a fan of pizza bread or garlic pizza bread, then this is something that you would love.


For the main course, our table was laden with burgers, chicken wings, salmon and pork schnitzel katsu. I tried a bite (or three!) of Martin's burger and it was pretty juicy with some great flavours there. I had the grilled salmon with a mango, pineapple and roasted red pepper salsa. I'd never tried fish with fruits like mango or pineapple before, but it was beautifully paired.


Most of us were defeated at this point so only three of us opted for dessert. I tried a couple of spoonfuls of the chocolate mousse which is topped with crushed cookies (seriously delicious and this will be my choice next time). I went for the white chocolate and passion fruit cheesecake. I'm not usually a fan of cheesecake, but I love white chocolate, and I love passion fruit, so it was a no brainer! As you can see, it was presented beautifully on the plate. Taste wise, it reminded me a little of soleros - particularly when you paired the white chocolate with the passion fruit flesh.


Service

Not so good. Two of my friends didn't receive their drinks. When we flagged this with our waiter, they brought out one... but not the other. So we had to ask again. And then everyone's main course came out... except mine.

Summary

Service was pretty bad considering we didn't go on a peak day. If I were to return, it would be because of the quality of food - not the staff. Maybe I will try another branch one day. They also have a sister restaurant called Burgers & Cocktails which looks right up my street! The fish finger burger has already caught my eye!

To check out Giraffe's menu and to see where they are located, click here

Have you ever been to Giraffe?