2022 Beauty Affiliate Wishlist

An Introduction to DH Design

Hi, My name is Daniel (Lau's brother), a multi-disciplinary designer based in West Yorkshire, UK. I’ve been working in the industry for 2 years now after achieving a degree in Graphic Arts and Design from Leeds Beckett University. I'm glad I can guest post here today.

My practice is varied, working across multiple disciplines from branding, graphic design, illustration and more. I love finding new, exciting ways to work from ai generated art to new ways to explore typography. My online portfolio can be found at this link and you can find a variety of projects I’ve worked on, from industry to personal work and there are exciting projects getting added soon.

My current project focuses on experimental typography, creating a book of my typographic exploration throughout my career so far- from typographic sketches to 3d typography and more, this project is constantly being updated which can be found here.


Nova Scotia Liverpool Restaurant Review

I was recently invited to review Nova Scotia on the Liverpool Waterfront and I was delighted to accept. Nova Scotia is an independent bar & eatery that serves breakfasts, small plates, lunches, main meals and desserts. Dishes include burgers, Dockside hotdogs, full English breakfasts, sandwiches, salads and traditional UK meals like Scouse and fish and chips. For drinks, Nova Scotia offers Signature Serves including Sea Brow Iced Tea, Jamaica Street, NS Old Fashioned and French Martini cocktails. They do serve mocktails too, which was very pleasing as I don't really drink alcohol. There is a selection of beers and wines too, so there is something for everyone. The menu includes veggie and vegan options, as well as clearly indicating allergens including eggs, dairy, gluten, mustard, nuts, fish, soya and more. This is great as it makes it nice and easy to see what is suitable. They are open 9am to 9pm 7 days a week so they should be open at a time suitable for everyone.

I knew I wanted a mocktail as soon as I was told they could make one and it had raspberry purée, lemon and pineapple in it, topped with a strawberry and a piece of orange. Andy chose an ice-cold San Miguel which was lovely to have on a warm but rainy summer's day. He said it was a nice refreshing beer to accompany the meal. There is a good selection of drinks at the bar so there should be one for everyone.

To start, we had the Halloumi Popcorn (£7, Vegetarian), which were beer battered halloumi nuggets which came with a roasted red pepper mayo. There was a fair amount of these given they were only a small plate item and were so light and delicious. The batter was crispy and the halloumi was soft and cooked perfectly, with the mayo pairing well to give a nice additional flavour. We also had the Salt N Pepper Fries (£5, Vegan) which was a plate full of homemade fries with salt n pepper seasoning, fried onions and red peppers throughout and topped with red chillies and salad onions. I was so impressed with these fries, so much so I would say they are one of the best we've ever had. If they ever got in a plant-based 'chicken' burger they would be so perfect together. Salt and pepper seasoning is most definitely one of my favourite flavours and these fries are perfect. 

For our main meals, they asked if we would like them brought over not long after we had started our small plates, which we said yes to which was kind of them. I had the Mauretania (£12, Vegan if you choose the plant-based hotdog), which had salt n pepper seasoning, onions and peppers. I'm not normally one to choose hot dogs, but the salt n pepper flavour swayed me and I really enjoyed it. Andy had the Marco Polo (£14, Vegetarian), which is a Moving Mountains burger topped with cheese, house burger sauce and beer battered onion rings. This was a really tasty burger, and the onion rings worked well and gave a little added crunch and flavour. Both meals came with a generous portion of the Nova Scotia seasoned fries which were homemade skin-on fries and were the right mixture of crispy and soft.

Nova Scotia is located in the Mann Island building, right next to the World Museum and the Three Graces right on the waterfront. At the end of the 19th Century, the Mann Island area was actually a shanty-town called Nova Scotia and the dock served Canada and the lumber trade. It twinned with Nova Scotia in Canada, and there is also a Liverpool in Canada along with a Mersey River and a Mann Island over there too. Check out the video at the bottom of the post that showcases the creation of a composite 19th Century map of Liverpool’s waterfront and city centre, focused on the Nova Scotia dockland area.

The restaurant had a great atmosphere, with lots of plants and beautiful green and white tiles. It has a nice casual feel but in the best way possible. It's perfect to have a catch-up with friends and family, or a few drinks outside when it's sunny. It was open and airy and had a good view out to the Liverpool Museum and docks area. They have a selection of seating, including raised stools, booths and standard chairs. There is a small curb outside of the restaurant but after this, the restaurant is step-free (apart from a couple of small steps to the regular toilets) although there is an accessible disabled toilet down a small ramp as well. There is space within the restaurant to use a wheelchair where you could wheel up to a table.

The only criticism I have for the menu, is that it would be great if Nova Scotia could add the option to upgrade your Seasoned Fries to Salt N Pepper Fries with your meal, potentially for an extra few pounds. If an upgrade to the fries was available, I highly recommend getting the Salt N Pepper Fries with a main, but if you really want to try them you could get a few small plates to share as the Salt N Pepper Fries easily serves two people. The staff were really friendly and helpful and contributed to a really enjoyable and relaxing visit. I'm definitely going to be returning at some point soon and would recommend making a visit if you enjoy great food and drinks.

Post contains a press meal

Passing My Blue Badge Assessment

I recently was approved for a Blue Badge for disabled parking and I thought I'd write a little post about what the assessment was like. In the UK you may be able to get a Blue Badge for parking if you have mobility issues to park close to your destination, and depending on the place this may give you free parking too. This can be given to the disabled person for them to use for parking or someone else who is driving them, and in my case, it's for me to use when someone else takes me places as I cannot drive due to medical conditions.

In January 2022 I finally applied for a Blue Badge and paid the £10 fee. There have been delays with the entire process but the website said 4-6 weeks before I'd be told what was happening next. After 12 weeks I was told on the phone that one month earlier it was written on my file that I needed an assessment and that they would chase it up so a letter would come out. I didn't get a letter until June, for a July assessment. So it took 6 months in the end. I am not eligible for automatic approval of a Blue Badge as I have invisible illnesses that can vary person-to-person, day-to-day. If you do get Personal Independence Payments for mobility you should be approved for a Blue Badge.

I was assessed by a Physiotherapist under Liverpool City Council and I felt at ease as soon as I got there. We parked in the allocated parking area for Blue Badge assessments and I used my wheelchair to get into the temporary building they have attached. We had a quick chat as he already knew what Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome, Postural Tachycardia Syndrome and Fibromyalgia were and how they varied. I had already seen online what was useful to bring ahead so the Physio took the plastic wallet that I had brought. This contained an up-to-date prescription, my letter for the assessment and a letter from my GP. My GP had already written a letter that I submitted along with my application but after a later telephone appointment she felt like it would be beneficial to have a more recent one, outlining my different mobility needs and that I am completely dependent on others to get out and about. I don't think I have been out on my own since 2015 for reference.

The Physio told me that we would do a quick walking assessment out in the car park and I was to walk from one side of the small car park to the other and he would walk with me and chat. He asked my partner to walk behind us while pushing the wheelchair in case I needed to stop or rest. He had a stopwatch open on his phone and I slowly got up and used my walking stick to balance myself. I went down the ramp slowly, and he advised me to use the railing and my stick so I had the most balance. He asked me questions (nicely) as I was going down the short ramp very slowly. Once I had reached the bottom I swapped my walking stick into my other hand and immediately lost balance, and my right hand now free began to shake, like a tremor movement. I was more unstable walking and didn't really get that far before he stopped the clock and said I could get back into my wheelchair and we would go back into the room to chat.

Given that I didn't make it to the first wall I am assuming he stopped due to taking a long time and my walking being unstable. At the start, he said that there was a second stage and that we would do it after the walking assessment but he didn't mention it once we got back into the room. He had already scanned in my GP letter and I was advised that I look into various avenues to help me walk a bit better. He didn't undermine me once or imply that I could be fixed. He recommended private Physiotherapy or Hydrotherapy but this isn't an option for me, unfortunately. He said a rollator may be a good option to build me up to walking a bit more where I can take a break and I agreed. Overall he was lovely and said that he would write up his side of things and that it could be a week or two until I heard back.

We went back to the car and I was feeling positive but sometimes you have appointments where you have a good feeling afterwards but then you get a letter that ends up feeling completely negative. Anyway, before we even returned home which is about 15-20 minutes away, I had an email. It was from Blue Badge Digital Service with the title "Blue Badge Ordered". I was stunned. 10 minutes after we left I had been approved already? After speaking with some of my partner's close family we came to the consensus that the Physio said 1-2 weeks as that's what he says to everyone and had to fill in his side before I would definitely get approved. I clicked on the email and it said that the Blue Badge was ordered that day and it would take up to 10 working days for it to be delivered. I am writing this 5 working days out from the email so it could be next week before I receive it, but that is okay. The badge will expire in 2025, and I am so happy. I'm sure it was only 2019 before people with hidden disabilities could actually apply for a Blue Badge and with the pandemic, there have been a lot of delays. 

The main thing I will end up using the Blue Badge for is hospital appointments, to be honest, and it will help a lot with being able to find a quick space that's close to the entrances. It was always about the closer parking rather than the potential for free parking for me as when I am able to walk a bit, it will help me stay up for longer. It will help when travelling to meet up with my partner's family too when we meet up halfway. I'm just really thankful right now. Thankful to the lovely Physio who I think I struck gold with. Thankful that hidden disabilities are just beginning to get recognition from those in power. Thankful that my life will now be easier, as will my partner's as he has to assemble my chair every time I leave the car. I hope this helps anyone who has an assessment coming up.