Sunday, 31 January 2016

The Infinite Toybox!

I know that I don't normally blog about books. magazines and comics, but I just needed to share with you all about this wonderful read!  It is called 'The Infinite Toybox' and it was created by my fiance's brother and his two best friends.  I don't want to give too much away about the story, but it features a Father and son, who own a comic book store.  They discover a luminous box, that is in fact a time travel/game box that allows them to travel through time and in this case to the future.  They undergo adventure and find themselves trapped in a land where dinosaurs, aliens and robots roam free. Humans unfortunately do not exist and so therefore the stakes of survival are at high risk!  It is such a good comic and I recommend that you all should give it a read.

The moment my copy of the comic arrived, I couldn't wait to open it and see what it looked like.  It was so sweet that the creators all signed the front of it.  It made the comic instantly more special and one of a kind... its not every day that you get a comic signed by the authors themselves!  The three creative minds behind this comic are... Mark Bartlett, who came up with the concept/story and his two best friends Chris Miller, who was the illustrator of all the artwork and designer of the cover and overall design and Baris Unlu, who was in charge of writing the story and script.  All three of these guys must feel so proud of their achievements, as it is obvious that a lot of hard graft has gone into it!

They all came to the conclusion of creating a kickstarter project to help gain the relevant funding for printing and publishing the comic.  When I found out about this, I instantly wanted to help in any way that I could and so I contributed.  The kickstarter project was so brilliant, because they would contact you with notifications on how the company was doing, as well as notifying you when the comic would be printed and posted to you.  You felt as if you were right there with 'Deadly Foe' comics.

Due to the fact that I, along with many others contributed to the kickstarter project, we were therefore given the title of being a 'Pledger'.  This meant that we all gave money to the company, to allow them to reach their target, and successfully print their amazing comic.  As a thank you, we were all given a personalised poster with all of the names of the various pledgers written at the bottom... I thought that this was a wonderful gift, because it allowed us to all appreciate the hard work that had gone into it and is something that we can treasure forever, knowing that we had played a small part in creating something special!

I was given two hand drawn stickers of the company logo 'Deadly Foe', as well as a drawing of one of the hybrid super soldiers.  They are a really good size and I already have stuck them onto one of my notebooks.

I was also given three adorable mini badges with 'The Infinite Toybox' title and the company name 'Deadly Foe' written on them.  They are the perfect size for pinning onto jackets, rucksacks and pencil cases.

I am so impressed and incredibly proud of these guys, for creating such a high quality comic, with an addictive storyline and outstanding drawings.  I simply cannot wait to find out what happens for the characters in the next issue...

M x

Friday, 29 January 2016

LVL lovely Lashes!

I was told by my local beauty salon ('Beauty Box' in Oxted) that they were offering a new lash treatment, where they tint and shape the lashes, so that it gives you flawless eyes wherever you go.  I was so interested about this and I wanted to trial it out in preparation for my wedding, so I booked myself in!

Here is the full procedure that goes into the LVL lash lift treatment:-
1.  Lashes are cleansed
2.  Protective pads are placed under the eyes
3.  Silicone shields are placed over the eye lids
4.  Lashes are set into position
5.  Lashes are relaxed
6.  Then re-set into a new lifted position
7.  A glossy tint is applied
8.  Finally the lashes are hydrated with a serum
9. The pads are removed...
10. And voila new gorgeous lashes!

The whole procedure was incredibly relaxing, as I was tucked under a blanket, whilst tranquil music was played...  It was heavenly and once the treatment was finished, I didn't want to sit up... I was just too relaxed!  When the moment of truth came where I would look into the mirror and see the results, I was so impressed!  My lashes were a gorgeous black colour from the tinting and not only were they curled upwards to make my eyes pop, but each individual lash was separated to absolute perfection!  I couldn't quite believe that my lashes looked so good and that they were 100% my own... It was as if I had false lashes on!

I was recommended by my beautician to purchase the 'Lash Conditioner', which was made by the LVL company.  What this does, is it prolongs the lashes by conditioning them and maintaining the shape and length.  They recommend to use this for the first week as mascara is not needed and this is a better alternative.  Then after the week has passed, apply this onto your lashes before applying a small layer of mascara.  They say that the LVL lash treatment lasts between six and eight weeks, so I know that it is a good investment to make!

When you first get your lashes done, you must not get them wet or wear any eye makeup for 24 hours.  Also, you must not sleep face down onto them either.  The reason for this is simply, because the formula takes 24 hours to fully set therefore it must not be interfered with.

Overall, I am so pleased that I plucked up the courage to try this new treatment.  It has simply changed my complexion for the better as I now have lashes that do not need much mascara at all, if any and it has given me such confidence!  I will definitely be having LVL again and may even make it my new ritual!

M x

Wednesday, 27 January 2016

Winter Lush Haul!

I have been meaning to write this post for a while now, as I seemed to have accumulated several LUSH goodies over the Christmas period and I wanted to show you all and let you know my opinions on them.

The first thing I received was the 'Bar Humbug' bubble bar.  It is a beautiful deep purple shade with the most intricate swirl pattern running through it as well as glitter dusted on the outside.  The best way to use this product is to crumble it under running water and it usually creates two baths.  I must add that this is just for the Christmas holidays, so it hopefully will pop up again next year!  The main ingredient in this bubble bar is Bergamot oil and illipe butter, which both smooth and soften your skin and the light liquorice scent creates a super relaxing bath for anyone's who's had a bad day!

The 'Father Christmas' bath bomb was the most apt when it came to festive bath products.  It is made from sodium bicarbonate and it smells like delicious candy floss!  It literally is shaped into a Father Christmas and I was so intrigued as to what colours it was going to create in the bath.  To my complete surprise it transformed my bath from a pink into a vibrant emerald green.  It looked so festive and my bath really glistened!

I was given the 'Holly Golightly' bubble bar and I was so impressed by the look of this product.  I love how simple it is and yet so iconic at the same time.  It consists of a glittered green bar with a holly leaf and berries on top.  It's made from clove leaf oil, patchouli and cinnamon, which create the most perfect festive scent and instantly warm you up.  Simply crumble under a running tap and watch as spicy bubbles unfold into your bath!

Perry bought me the 'Shoot For The Stars' bath bomb and I was so happy to receive it.  It's my all time favourite bath bomb and I was so glad that I could finally have it back in my collection.  It's made from Brazilian orange and bergamot oil and together they create such tranquillity.  I love how this bath bomb creates an array of shimmering dark blue colours that almost reflect that of a midnight sky!

Together all four of these LUSH products have been so useful over the last couple of weeks, especially with all of the cold weather that we have been having, as well as when I'm in desperate need of a de-stress from work!

M x

Monday, 25 January 2016

Catching up with a curry!

Last night me and my sister, Harriet  met up for a spot of dinner as we were both free on a Saturday night (which I swear never happens... So I wanted to take full advantage of this!)

When she asked me where we should go for dinner, I straight away suggested the infamous 'Wagamama', because not only is the food delicious, but the atmosphere is so nice and casual... The perfect setting for a sisterly catch up!  Harriet was so excited, because she had never been to 'Wagamama' before (I know right?  She has seriously been missing out... So I wanted to quickly change that!)

For our starters we chose two dishes to share.  The first one, was my ultimate favourite - the 'Chilli Squid'.  It consists of crispy fried squid which is then dusted with Shichimi.  It is then served with a chilli and coriander dipping sauce.  It is truly so satisfying to eat!    

We also had the 'Pork Belly and Panko Apple, Hhirati Steamed Bun'.  Which in words is a steamed Asian bun, stuffed with pork belly and Panko Apple.  It is served with a Japanese mayonnaise and coriander.  This dish was new to the menu so we were instantly drawn to it.  It was so delicious and one that I will definitely have next time!

Harriet chose the 'Chicken Katsu Curry' for her main course, which just so happens to be one of the most popular currys on the menu.  It is made up of chicken coated in Panko breadcrumbs which is then coated in an aromatic curry sauce.  It is served with fluffy rice and salad.  I thought that it was a great option to go for, especially as she was new to the restaurant and so what better way to choose than to go for the number one best seller on the menu!

I on the other hand, opted for my classic main dish that I swear by, 'Chicken Raisukaree', which I have every time I come here.  It is basically a chicken and coconut curry with mange tout and peppers, which is then served with rice, chilli, coriander and sesame seeds.  This dish to me is so exquisite, because not only do the flavours complement each other perfectly, but I always find that this dish is perfect for cold winter nights, as the chilli really warms me up and prevents me from getting a cold... In other words it's a real winter warmer!

Finally for dessert, we wanted to share one and after browsing the menu for several minutes, we finally came to the conclusion of the 'Banana Katsu'.  This dish was also new on the menu and we just couldn't resist!  It was banana coated in Panko breadcrumbs and served with a scoop of salted caramel ice cream.  If I'm honest, it was incredibly difficult to share this pudding with my sister, as I could have very easily eaten the entire thing!  However, I resisted the urge and successfully shared it with her.  It is such a great dessert for cleaning your palette and it really left us wanting more!

Overall, it was such an amazing night and we both had such a laugh.  With both of our bellies extremely full, we exited the restaurant and I was just so happy to have been able to show my sister the wonderful food at 'Wagamama'.  I can't wait for our next catchup!

M x

Friday, 22 January 2016

Mini 8 wonder!

I have always wanted a Polaroid camera.  When I was 8, I remember my sister getting one for her birthday, (of course in those days they were more like bricks than cameras!).  But still, I remember how much fun she had snapping life's moments with just a click of a button!  I was very jealous of her (of course) and so from that moment on, I had always dreamt of owning one!

I was lucky enough at Christmas to be gifted one from my sister and it was the newest version as well (Fujifilm Instax mini 8).  She bought me the white version, which just looked so crisp and Pinterest worthy!

Once I knew how to use my camera to its full potential, I searched online to see if there were any carry cases/bags for it.  It turns out that there are many in all the colours of the rainbow with patterns and pictures a plenty!  I opted for the standard all white bag, because I wanted to buy one to match my camera.  It was a fantastic buy, because it now let's me travel with it wherever I go!  (I'm planning on taking it to London with me for my birthday!).

Having successfully splurged on an instax camera bag, I then got a little carried away and purchased a close up lense for my camera.  The close up lense fits on top of the original lense and portrays a small rectangular mirror on the outside.  This mirror gives you an indication of where you fit in the picture and enables you to create perfect selfies every time!  How could I not buy it?

Of course I had to buy more film for my camera!  So I bought two packs of film, which had 10 pictures in each.  I ended up buying them from Amazon, because they were selling them cheaper than any other retailer!  I want to continue to capture more memories and the only way that's going to happen is by stocking up on film!

Since receiving this amazing camera as a gift, I have had so much fun already taking pictures.  Me, Mum, and my sister Harriet all wore face marks the other day to unwind and de-stress and I managed to take some hilarious snaps using this camera.  I also managed to successfully catch my little baby (12 year old west highland terrier) looking adorable on my bedroom floor!

I simply cannot get over how useful this camera is and will be!  I just love how exciting it is to take a picture and watch in amazement as the photo comes to life!  I can't wait to take more pictures with it and now that I have bought all of the recommended accessories, I can now take it anywhere with me!

With this handy little camera, I plan on using it to take some unique snaps for my wedding, because even though I'll be having a professional photographer there... I think it will be lovely to take some mini snaps of the big day with my loved ones!   Also, I plan on creating a collage of mini Polaroids for one of the walls of our new flat (when Perry and I have bought it) of all my friends and family when they come to visit us, so that it's a little reminder of when we moved out and bought our first property... So stay tuned for that!

M x

Wednesday, 20 January 2016

Becca Champagne Pop!

I have always been such a huge fan when it comes to Jaclyn Hill and her array of beautiful makeup products.  And one in particular that never seems to leave my thoughts is the infamous Becca Champagne pop highlighter.  This limited edition item has only ever been available in America through makeup superstore 'Sephora'.  Lily Pebbles (one of my favourite bloggers) recently held a Twitter competition in collaboration with Space NK and offered to giveaway three of these highlighters.  I was somehow lucky enough to win and therefore become the new owner of this iconic highlighter.... (So thank you so much Lily, you're the best!)  

Firstly, I must mention how sweet the packaging of the box is. It's a copper coloured box that almost glistens like a mirror.  It gives a real indication of how the product is going to be!

Once I opened the box, I discovered a circular compact which is the most ideal size for any makeup bag.  It is black and silver with the word 'Becca' emblazoned on the front.  It is such a simplistic design but one that has definitely attracted attention!

I couldn't wait to open the compact and get a glimpse of what the highlighter would look like in person.  I must say though, it didn't disappoint!  The gorgeous bronze powder is so beautiful it almost looks too good to use... Almost!  The texture of the powder is so soft and creamy, it just glides onto the skin!

The best way to apply this product onto your skin is to trace the letter 'C' around your eye in one continuous sweep.  Start at the middle of your forehead and sweep all the way around the temple and on top of the cheekbone.

This super creamy luminizing powder once applied to the skin, creates a soft shimmering glow.  It consists of light reflecting pearls that beautifully catch the light and show off your best features.  I am definitely going to be applying this to my cheekbones, the bridge of my nose and my brow area.

I absolutely love this highlighter and I'm so impressed by its texture and overall finish.  The quality of this product is incredible and now I can see why it sold so well!  Space NK have just started selling it at £32, which I know may sound pricey, but trust me... It is definitely worth every penny!  This item will last for a long time and will be the perfect investment for your makeup collection!

M x

Saturday, 16 January 2016

Trinkets of treasure!

It's always so sweet when you get surprised with a little something from a loved one.  That's exactly what happened to me recently, when my mum popped into my room and gave me a bag with a little something hidden inside.  It was completely out of the blue and when I asked her the reason behind buying me something she replied with "I saw these and thought of you!"

Once I opened the bag, I quickly discovered two treasures that were perfect!  She bought me two adorable glass trinket boxes from Sass and Belle for storing small items.  Both of the trinkets are outlined with copper (my ultimate power colour) and have a mirrored base... Which keeps them looking modern and fresh!

I have decided to store my every day jewellery in these boxes because they are the perfect size.  I have always wanted a proper way to store my watch, bracelet and ring (which are my three go-to jewellery items) and now I can!  Also, they look so beautiful arranged on my dressing table, so that is where they are going to stay from now on!

M x

Thursday, 14 January 2016

Flesh and Buns Review!

The other night, Perry treated me to a fantastic dinner and I wanted to share my experience with all of you (just incase you are a big foodie like me!)  We ate at 'Flesh and Buns', which is located on Earlham Street, right off Covent Garden.

First of all, the restaurant is under ground, which I always find so fascinating with restaurants, because it makes it seem as though it is a hidden treasure and it becomes a little secret haven to unwind!

Once you enter the restaurant, you instantly take in all of the surroundings... the low ceilings and low lighting give off such a sophisticated atmosphere.

I really liked how the bar was at the far end and at the other end was the kitchen, with all the chefs hard at work preparing our delicious food right before our eyes!

The decor of the restaurant was really simple and chic... Black walls, red columns, dark wood, traditional pots and dishes.  It really complemented the authentic Japanese food so perfectly!

The first dish we tried was the sushi... (After all how can you not?) it was salmon, avocado and asparagus flavoured and tasted incredible!  The presentation was so beautiful... It was almost too nice to eat!

The next dish we shared was the Korean fried chicken wings in spicy sour sauce with sesame seeds.  They were glazed with honey and again the presentation was top class!  The wings were a really great size and the portion was very generous... perfect for sharing!

The last dish we shared was the crispy pork belly with mustard miso and pickled apple.  The pork was so tender on the inside and super crispy on the outside.  The mustard and apple added so much flavour to the already well seasoned pork.  I couldn't wait to try it with the buns...

We opted for having two steamed buns each, because that's what they highly recommended to us.  I had never eaten steamed buns before so I was incredibly excited to find out what they looked and tasted like!  The best way to eat them is to split them in half and place filling (the pork) in the centre.  Then simply drizzle the mustard and apple sauce on top.  Once the bun is filled fold over one of the sides to make a bun and enjoy!

Having the pork and steamed bun together, with the pickled apple... It truly was like having a Japanese roast sandwich!  At first the textures are strange, but then you get used to it and the flavours complement each other brilliantly!

Overall, 'Flesh and Buns' was amazing!  The food was simply fantastic and really filling so I recommend this to any of you who like Japanese cuisine.  I advise you all to book before entering the restaurant, because it is so popular and also they only take reservations.  I definitely shall come back with Perry this year, because it was truly a lovely place to eat at.

M x
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