Wednesday, 22 June 2016

Evening Meal Deal at Jamie's Italian

Last week, myself and Andy were invited down to Jamie's Italian, Liverpool, to review their new Evening Meal Deal. You may not know, but we have been going to various Jamie's Italian restaurants over the past three years a hell of a lot. It's our go to place to go, for birthdays, celebrations or a light lunch. We both have the loyalty card called the Gold Card and we know that every time we go it will be completely worth the money. We've been to the Liverpool, York and Newcastle branches and all have exceptional service and beautifully seasoned food, so when we were asked to come to review we headed straight to the website to look up what the menu had to offer.

Our host that seated us ensured we had a comfortable booth to sit in and was absolutely lovely. Our waitress then came over and explained everything in detail making sure we were looked after and it started the evening off on such a good note. I started with the Passionfruit Royale which was just as I imagined; fruity, easy to drink and topped with Jamie's Prosecco. It was that good that I had another straight after I'd finished it. Andy went for the Moretti beer that he has every time that he comes whilst we looked over the Evening Menu. It's available from 6pm Monday-Thursday and is £18.95 for three courses which in my opinion is a steal.

As we had a Gold Card, every month you get a free taster and this month's was the Italian Nachos which is fried ravioli filled with mozzarella, ricotta and bello lodi served with a spicy tomato sauce. We get this as a full starter every single time we visit as it's extraordinary. We usually split this with the Polenta Chips too as they're like comfort food to me.

For the starter Andy ordered the Cured Meat Plank which was a selection of meats including fennel salami, pistachio mortadella, prosciutto & schiacciata piccante with mini buffalo mozzarella, pecorino and chilli jam and a selection of olives and pickles. For the portion size I'd say this was fairly large for a starter so to be included in the Evening Meal Deal was pleasing.  I went for the Tomato and Ricotta Bruschetta which consisted of slow-roasted cherry tomatoes, whipped buffalo ricotta with basil and extra virgin olive oil. It tasted almost like a really healthy pizza which I'd be keen to try out at home too. I have one of Jamie's recipe books already and this starter has encouraged me to try more of his recipes out. It was clear that fresh ingredients were made and that's what made it really special.

Andy noticed that the steak was on the meal deal, which is £15.95 normally so if you chose this you're definitely getting your money's worth. He's had the steak before and really enjoyed so was happy to try it again. It's flash-grilled prime beef steak with a herby heirloom tomato salsa, rocket, aged parmesan and spiced fries. They recommended it served pink so this is what he went for, not that I can really put an opinion forward as I don't eat steak. I went for the Spicy Sausage Casarece Pasta which was a free-range pork and fennel sausage ragu with British Cobble Lane 'nduja served with breadcrumbs and shaved parmesan to your taste. It was an incredibly generous portion and whilst I ate what I could, I only managed about half. I wouldn't say it was particularly spicy for my standards but I enjoy spicy food so for someone not used to it, it might bring a little kick.

For dessert we opted to order two and split them as we normally both get the Chocolate Brownie from the usual menu. First we tried the Baked White Chocolate Cheesecake which was the tastiest cheesecake I've ever tried aside from those in The Cheesecake Factory in America. The ratio of biscuit to filling was perfect and the coulis that it was paired with was impeccable. The second dessert we tried was the Molten Chocolate Praline Pudding which was a warm chocolate lava cake filled with a praline centre served with vanilla ice cream and crushed praline on top. Again this was a course that tasted like it was made fresh and the praline centre was something else. It was intense and rich and I don't think I could have eaten a full one even if I tried. 

Jamie's Italian never let me down and in this case they exceeded my expectations. The Evening Meal Deal is amazing value for money with decent portion sizes and packed full of flavour. 

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Tuesday, 21 June 2016

Spring To Summer OOTD with Kurt Geiger

Over the past month we've had super sunny weather to some bad floods here in the UK. We're in the period between Spring and Summer and I thought I'd create an OOTD for this type of weather. For during the day you can wear a cute summery dress - this one from Primark was an absolute steal at £5, paired with the most stunning platform shoes that steal the show. These are the Kurt Geiger Klaire Platforms in Nude (£120)* that really take this outfit to the next level. The shoes also come in Navy and both pairs can lift an outfit and add a touch of glamour. The sole is 90mm covered in supple suede and they are the main focus of any outfit. They can be worn with skinny jeans and a blouse for cocktails in town, or with a simple dress to give you that height and show off your legs.

Instead of adding sandals to your outfit, the Klaire Platforms add a few inches onto your height and gives you a huge boost in confidence. The height helps elongate the legs whilst the base of the shoe has been to ensure you're walking comfortably. The straps around the ankle help you keep your balance too and I felt at ease walking around in them. You can easily wear the platforms with your Spring or Summer wardrobes and you can buy them now, wear them now as well as in the summer months. The barely there style means that the opportunities to style them with are endless.

The touch of silver through the upper strapwork and buckle goes perfectly with the suede platform and isn't too 'in your face' and the leather lining is perfect when you're out in the sunshine. When ordering from the New In section over on the Kurt Geiger website, you're lucky enough to receive next day delivery when ordering before 8pm, knowing that your shoes will be delivered safely in their KG boxes. I couldn't have asked for a better pair of platforms and have already been scoping out some sandals on their website to buy during Summer as their items go perfectly with whatever you're wearing. I'm next going to pair the Klaire Platforms with culottes and a kimono style wrap top to glam up my outfit.

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Friday, 17 June 2016

Illamasqua Metamorph Range

Illamasqua is a brand that's new to me, so when the Metamorph range recently came out I was intrigued to try it out. The idea behind Metamorph is the celebration of the evolution of nature and its seasonal rejuvenation. Glowing, fresh skin and defined brows, embracing natural beauty through makeup. The collection aims to unite colour with technology within makeup essentials and I'll be reviewing three products from the collection. All the products from the Metamorph collection are available at Illamasqua Stores including the one in Liverpool's Metquarter and from

The Brow Build (£18.50)* is essentially a brow gel that boosts brows and adds definition and depth. They come in four shades: Rise (Soft Blonde), Flow (Warm Brown), Thrive (Medium Brown) and Amplify (Deep Slate Grey). I opted for Rise just in case the other shades were too dark for me. Luckily it's darker than my Mac brow gel and blends in really well underneath my Anastasia Beverly Hills Brow Wiz. The wand is thicker than I was expecting but the product looks like its adding tiny fibers onto your brows helping them look fuller.

Masquara Gain (£20.00)* was created to bring volume and length to the lashes whilst defining the individual lashes at the same time. Another intriguing factor was that the Masquara aims to tint the lashes progressively due to the Walnut extract that acts as a natural dye for the lashes. The colour is jet black and you're supposed to see 'improved colour intensity' after 2 weeks, even when the lashes are bare. My lashes are naturally blonde and I did notice them gradually getting a bit darker but only to an ash brown shade. The brush is really thick which I love because you can get to the root and curl the lashes upwards for a more feminine look. The product didn't clump on my lashes nor did it break off after a long time wearing it. I've actually moved into my permanent mascara draw as it's just the mascara I've been looking for.

Finally, the Vital Palette (£34.00)* is a quad set of eyeshadows that all matte which instantly made me want to swatch it before I took photos. Illamasqua says they are highly pigmented that provide a high performance colour pay-off and I have to agree. Although my swatches aren't the best, as the shade Bubbles (Warm Peach) doesn't look particularly bright on my hand, with a primer beneath it you can see the pigmentation a lot better. I'm in love with the shades Envision (Warm Brown) and Trace (Cool Grey Brown) as they work so well with multiple eye looks. They blend seamlessly into the crease and look beautiful beneath the lower lashes too. For the outer-v, Drop (Deep Mid Brown) is a gorgeous chocolatey brown that works well with both cool and warm toned shades. 

As a quad the colours work really well together and you could really finish off the look by adding another product in the Metamorph collection: the Beyond Powders (£32.00) in either OMG (Champagne) or Epic (Warm Bronze). There are two nail varnishes in the collection called Nail Veil (£14.50) in Breathe (Pale Pink) and Bamboo (Pale Peach) which really suit the collection well, bringing out your natural beauty.

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Thursday, 16 June 2016

Summer Holiday Essentials*

With summer upon us, I thought it would be a good time to put together a summer holiday essentials list to make packing that little bit easier. I've picked out some of my favourite items that would be great to take away with you to make your holiday perfect.

You can't go out in summer without a pair of sunglasses, and I found these Quay 'All My Love' glasses for £40. I first discovered Quay when I took an interest in Pretty Little Liars and noticed Shay Mitchell wearing them since I started following her on Snapchat and have wanted some ever since. They are quite different style to other brands which I like, and you may have noticed I'm easily swayed towards rose gold items. 

Even if I wasn't a blogger, I'd still want to take a camera away with me as you can capture some great views and moments of your holiday. There is so much choice when it comes to cameras nowadays and it can sometimes be hard to know where to start. I think for a holiday, I would prefer to have an all in one compact camera that you can throw in your bag when you go out for the day or head down to the beach. This one by Panasonic is the best travel camera I've seen and has some great features for its size. It packs a 1 inch sensor with 10x optical zoom, and can record up to 4k video, which makes it perfect for bloggers and vloggers to capture summer memories. It has a good range of shooting modes and comes with handy features such as WiFi which I know would be very handy. 

Holidays are always a good excuse to pick up some new clothing items and I've chosen a couple of my preferred choices. The Topshop Stripe Ruffle Body is a nice summery off the shoulder top that only costs £20 which isn't bad. I'm quite into the denim shorts this summer and love these Topshop Acid Wash Dip Dyed Mom Shorts (£30) which would go well with the body. I like the two tone colour which does give them a nice bright feel. Last on the clothing list are the Miss KG Dream 3D Floral Flip Flops. I don't really own a pair of pretty sandals and I'm quite keen to add some flat ones to my shoe collection. The design is rather girly with the flower decoration, which is exactly what I want to take away with me on a summer holiday. I know you can get cheaper sandals than this, but for knowing you are getting the high quality that comes with the Kurt Geiger brand, I don't think £40 is too bad. 

The last few items are some that you can't forget to throw in the suitcase. Presuming you will be going somewhere with a beach or pool, a towel is an essential item to take. I do have quite an obsession with cute themed things, and this beach towel from John Lewis is right up my street. I love the watermelon pattern with a bright and summery colour to the towel which is perfect, and is only £15. I know this might not be an essential, however on the topic of cute items, I couldn't resist including this cup from New Look, and it's a steal at only £6.99. Just think about heading down to the beach or the sunbed by the pool and wanting a proper cup to keep your drink cool rather than one of the disposable cups you get from the bar. 

Something else to include to make sure you cant take all the important things out with you is a bag and thought this was a great fit for the summer look. It's £85 from River Island and I love the fringing and patterns on it, and there is still enough space to fit plenty of things in. Last item on essentials list is the cute little luggage tag from Skinny Dip and its only £6. It would be a little something to add to your bag so it makes it easier to find when collecting it. 

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*This is a sponsored post with Panasonic