Sunday, 26 November 2017

BLOGMAS DAY 1: We're on the move - Part 2: ... Hello Somerset!

Well it's been a while.. a hell of a lot longer than anticipated.

And I’m going to attempt Blogmas.. even though this is now currently 2 days late - oops! 

I officially moved to Clevedon, Somerset over 2 months ago now and it's absolutely flown by. It's not been easy to start with and we've had a lot more challenges than expected at work and setting up the house but I finally feel, after slowing down this week, that we're finally "settled" and I finally feel like I do actually live in Clevedon and I'm not just on holiday.

I moved into the house September 15th and Nick came down after we went to Turkey early October so I spent a couple of weeks here alone setting up the house and getting to know the area. Clevedon is such a lovely little town. Luckily we're in such a great location within proximity of Cribbs Causeway shopping centre, or Bristol City centre or even the beauty that is Bath as it really is small with not a huge amount to do but there's some really cute little nooks and crannies of Clevedon with some lovely independent shops and cafes.. and of course a couple of nice bars and places to go for a bite to eat...



A lovely little Café, Tiffin, quickly became my favourite place for a nice lunch - particularly when it's nice and sunny as it's right on the sea front! They do a lunch called "the Picnic plate" where you can choose a sandwich which comes with crisps, salad, couscous or houmous, along with fruit and a (beautiful!) chocolate tiffin - all for £8.50. I've had it a few times and it's certainly a new favourite. I'm also loving the Teatro lounge which is the same brand as my favourite Telford restaurant, Novello! I was beyond excited when I realised and the next Tuesday I was there, ready and waiting for Tapas Tuesday! Our final favourite is Murray's which does theeeee best pizza - it's also a lovely little deli shop which sells a great selection of fresh meats, cheeses and typical deli products.. Oooh.. what I'd give to have a pizza right now!

One of my favourite areas of Clevedon though is the Pier.. it's a lovely Pier that is clearly very well looked after with a lovely team to chat to who are so knowledgable. With a little café and a seafood restaurant, you really can make an afternoon of it. The views from the end of the old fashioned pier will make you want to sit and watch the world go by while looking over the bay with a coffee or home made ice cream. It's nice to have a walk down either with friends or family, or even like me if you like to have some thinking time with beautiful views.




Being by the sea in general is a huge thing for me as I've always loved being near a beach, no matter what beach or where in the world I always find it calming and relaxing and there's just something about it that warms me. To look out of the window at work, or just wrap up walm to have a walk along the sea front less than 20 minute walk from our house.. it makes each day worth of solid work worth it!

It's safe to say that Clevedon has stolen our hearts and I'm not sure where the first 2 months have gone to but now work is quietening down, we can really spend the time exploring the town and finding even more hidden gems.

So I will attempt to catch up on Blogmas but hey, I’ve made a start! Let the festivities begin xox 

Saturday, 16 September 2017

Primark and HM Clothes Haul: Work Wear

So as I'm moving pubs, I thought I'd treat myself to a few new treats to wear at work and buy some new Autumn/Winter clothing pieces ready for the next few months. I purely aimed to go just to Primark but I have to go through H&M in Shrewsbury to get to Primark and saw that all of their sale items were on 3 for 2... well, that was all I needed. I've never really shopped properly at H&M before - I've been in but never really paid attention so I was SO surprised at how many goodies I managed to find at such a good price as well as being on 3 for 2. 

So from H&M I got some "basics" including a black and red simple dress for just over tights under a nice blazer as well as possibly my favourite item of them all - a really cute, grey, pinstripe pinafore for over a black jumper. I really loved this as I thought it could be mixed with so many outfits. Speaking of black jumpers... I brought a black jumper, simple with ruffles on the top but nothing fancy which is great for work - along with a black and white blouse. All 5 times came to less than £30 so I really can't complain. It's all quite simple but I don't want anything fancy and I prefer the simplictic looks with just a blazer on top! Plus all these items could be quite easily jazzed up for a night out with a pair of heels and lots of bling. 

H&M



So I also found a few goodies in Primark that were a little more casual but can still be worked into outfits for work. I picked up a gorgeous khaki Green Dress that again, will go perfect with a black jumper and tights (which I've already been using!) as well as on it's on when we go on holiday in a couple of weeks time. I'm loving the black and white floral striped blouse that I got as well half price - £6, bargain! It's great as it's long enough that you can wear it just over tights or on it's own on a night out or with leggings or jeans for work. 

I also picked up some "essentials" including 2 pair of basic jeans which are smarter for work as well as a plain black top which will go under the pinafore or the green dress or even tucked into the jeans which are high waisted. 

The Valentino Stud style shoes were also a bargain at just £3 in the sale. They had them in Black which would've been better but they only had my size in the cream. Either way, for holiday and work they're lovely! 

PRIMARK




Altogeher I spent about £80 in both shops for what will end up being about 3874289 different outfit options so I'm really chuffed with my little work shopping spree! I have a right mix of outfits between smart items and more casual plus I tried to get items that I would be able to wear either at work or not or even be able to take them to Turkey! YAY! 

If anyone else has to shop specifically for work items, let me know where you go and what bargains you've picked up... not that I need an excuse to carry on ;) 

xox 

Monday, 11 September 2017

We're on the Move - Part 1: Goodbye Shrewsbury...

Yep... that's right... Goodbye Shrewsbury. After 3 years being in this wonderful, beautiful town, it's time to move on. We've had 3 years managing a pub here but we're soon off to live in Clevedon in Somerset to manage another pub there.

It's been such a rollercoaster of a 3 years but I can honestly say, hand on heart, I've already shed tears at the thought of leaving. Even though I don't, in all honesty, have a lot to say goodbye to here, the odd things, or people that I do have to say goodbye to, have been a huge part of my life here and I will miss them entirely.

I didn't really know what to post about so I think I'm just going to go through my highlights of my last 3 years.. my favourite places to go, my favourite things to see, my favourite people.

Peach Tree/Havana
There's been a lot of cocktails, bars and meals out over the last 3 years but nowhere quite beats "the perfect night out" like cocktails at Havana followed by a beautiful meal at The Peach Tree. We've spent many nights here whether it's birthdays, Valentine's Day, Christmas Eve, Mum-visits... it's just the perfect place for a special occasion.. such as a Saturday night! It also helps that the big man, Grant, is an absolute LEGEND and has been so lovely to meet over the last few years.

Find out more about why it's the perfect night here:

http://everythingyoudontneedtoknowaboutsarah.blogspot.co.uk/2015/01/shrewsburysunday-perfect-saturday-night.html

Church Stretton/Carding Mill Valley/Long Mynd
I my favourite walking spot in the whole of Shropshire just a couple of weeks after moving. It's a gorgeous National Trust site which is open to non-members. I've enjoyed so many walks and "hikes" around the Shropshire Hills and it's great if you have a full day as the areas around Long Mynd are stunning - I love Church Stretton with it's cute little shops and we've even been camping in Pods for a week which was brilliant fun.


On Form Fit
Where to start with this beauty... 2 years ago before my first black tie ball, I went into panic mode when I wasn't losing weight as quickly as I wanted and hired out Sasha to whip me into shape! It's safe to say that within just weeks, she changed my life forever and even now (sitting here with no gym membership for the first time in 10 years!), I have learned so much and it's tips and tricks that will stay with me always. I'd never had a Personal Trainer before and I've not had one since but I don't think anyone would compare to Sasha over at OnFormFit. She's a total expert in everything from weight loss, toning up, nutrition - even when I'm having a meltdown over life in general.. she's been a massive support in the last 2 years and it's been lovely getting to know her, not only in the gym but over a cocktail too.

http://everythingyoudontneedtoknowaboutsarah.blogspot.co.uk/2015/09/fitness-update-personal-training.html


Cocktail Bar Crawls
So I know you're going to get cocktail bars wherever you go in the country but I don't think any town will beat Shrewsbury for a cocktail bar crawl.. even my friends and family who have visited have joined my love of cocktails - whether it's a Bramble in Porterhouse, Milkshakes in Pour House, Long Island Ice Tea in Libertines or a Gin in Boathouse! There's so many lovely bars around Shrewsbury that you never have to search far for a Happy Hour. I won't lie... I have a tendency of stealing cocktail menus, particularly nice pretty ones so I'll be taking a piece of Shrewsbury with me when I move.


Hoo Farm Meerkat Experience
Definitely one of my highlights of being in Shropshire was the Meerkat Experience at Hoo Farm in Telford. 1 hour in the Meerkat enclosure.... SO MUCH FUN. Read more here:

http://everythingyoudontneedtoknowaboutsarah.blogspot.co.uk/2015/03/meerkat-experience-hoo-farm-telford.html

Festivals
What I love most about Shrewsbury is the environment and the community that surrounds the town. Festivals most weekends throughout the summer, music festivals, food festivals, charity festivals (read more later on about my favourite!) - there's always a great atmosphere where everyone knows everyone and everyone stops to talk. We moved just before the Food Festival 3 years ago and it was a great welcome to the town - it's safe to say we've never missed the food festival since! It's so great to have been part of a town that comes together so many weekends every year to get together to celebrate music, food, kids or flowers!

Bloggers
My blogging girliessssss! I started my blog just after we moved and I quickly made Twitter-Friendships with some lovely girlies but when Kirsty over at Kirsty-Leanne organised the Shopshire Blogger meet up, it was so lovely to meet them and it's safe to say I kept in touch the them, I moved to Boots last year onto the No7 counter, I held a couple of events and managed to meet some more wonderful bloggers face to face.

Shropshire Blogger Meet Up: http://everythingyoudontneedtoknowaboutsarah.blogspot.co.uk/2015/05/shropshire-blogger-meet-up.html

SmashBox Blogger Meet Up (Shrewsbury): http://everythingyoudontneedtoknowaboutsarah.blogspot.co.uk/2015/04/smashbox-bloggers-event.html


Shropshire Drivers!
I couldn't write a Blog post about my time in Shrewsbury without mention the "subject" that I know people will remember about me for a looong time. So let's get it over with. 3 months. 3 cars. 2 smashed up. None of which were my fault. Let's just hope that Wrekin RP finally get CCTV one day and that Preston Island in Shrewsbury gets an extra traffic light going from Battlefield, left onto the A5/M54. Let's also hope that drivers in Somerset are better ;)


Tattoo
Of course it wouldn't be normal of me to have such a big part of my life not remembered in a Tattoo of some form.. the song "Superheroes" by the Script has almost become a bit of a theme tune over the last couple of years and despite her mahoosive waiting list, I managed to get an appointment with the gorgeous Meg Evans (look her up on Facebook!), I got some of the lyrics tattooed on my arm. It's easily my favourite tattoo out of the ones I have and couldn't recommend Meg enough. Such a lovely human being and so bloody talented.



Happy Boho, Big Busk... Annie Hambley 
Oh where to start with this one... So in April 2014 I tweeted saying that I was moving to Shrewsbury and what did I need to do/see/visit when I arrived and the same day a little tweet popped up from "TheHappyBoho" and since that day, I've never felt so welcome in a town as I did then. I got to know Annie a little more over time and learned that we had 1 big "thing" in common - we'd both lost a sibling. I learned that Annie and her family had launched "The Big Busk" in memory of Ben and hold a weekend each year where the streets are Shrewsbury are lined with Buskers raising funds for Shrewsbury Ark. To meet someone so inspiring after all I'd been through losing Caroline, it was so lovely to see someone proving that life does go on.

What I also quickly learned about Annie is that she's the cocktail queen and within just weeks in Shrewsbury, I was drinking cocktails in what would turn out to be my favourite cocktail cosy hide out.

It's been lovely getting to know Annie over the last 3 years along with her wonderful hubby, Mr Boho, Mark - and seeing them bring Baby Bodhi into the world. I'm incredibly grateful to know them and am so proud of everything they have achieved. Annie, thank you for being my real-life Superhero...

 

***

The last 3 years have been INSANE and I've been through so much personally, emotionally, physically... I've become a qualified MUA, a Macmillan trained Beauty Advisor thanks to the incredible family I worked with at Boots in Telford stores, and a qualified pub manager! I couldn't have done it without the people I've met and it's been so lovely getting to know Shrewsbury and the people in it. Massive shout outs to my Twitter family... Jim, (my newly adopted Shropshire Mum and Sister) Julie & Lia, Alistair who have been on Twitter to help me with anything Shrewsbury-based I needed.

Despite me sitting here surrounded by boxes, up to my eyeballs with piles of stuff and getting confirmation we can collect the keys to our new house in 48 hours... I still don't believe I'm leaving and it still hasn't hit me yet - all I can think about is that I have 48 hours to get in as many cocktails as I can!

So for now... goodbye Shrewsbury! Thank you for being 3 of the best years of my life.

Thursday, 7 September 2017

Lenor Unstoppables: LIFE HACK

So this is a bit of a random one but my new found life hack couldn't be posted on my blog! I just had to share my amazement in the Lenor Unstoppables... but probably not for the reason you expect.

I went shopping with my friend a few weeks ago and saw that they were on offer in Wilkos and got quite amused over the fact that you can squeeze the bottle and air will come out the top with the smell of the "beads". I picked up a couple of different scents while they were discounted to about £3 instead of around £6-8 depending where you shop.

But the main reason I brought them is a because of a little advice Laura gave me... sprinkle them over your carpet, hoover them up and abracadabra... just like magic, your carpet is cleaner than ever and the whole room smells delightful... delightful.. lovely word that (that's the inner Miranda in me coming out). All you need to do is just sprinkle a few here and there and hoover them up. I concentrate on the area around the guinea pigs cages which gets covered in sawdust and hay!

I tried it for the first time and holy crap on a cracker.... I've never seen my carpet so clean after hovering and as for the smell.. you can smell the wonderful scents coming up the stairs in the pub. I have of course used them for their own purpose and yes, my clothes smell lovely blah blah blah, but I can't get over the difference it makes on my carpet when I have horrific red carpet running through every single room (not by choice) and having 5 guinea pigs - all of which have white or ginger fur which gets everywhere. We seem to have a carpet that just traps everything that gets on it but there's something about the beads that helps the hoover itself pick it all up quicker and easier.

It will definitely be a re-purchase, even if it's not for the reason Lenor intended.

So yep... bit of a random post I know but I couldn't not share this little bit of wisdom for you all!

If you try it out yourself you MUST let me know how you get on! xox



Saturday, 19 August 2017

Newcastle Highlights

Back in July me and Nick went to Newcastle as part of his surprise birthday "holiday".. I call it a holiday but it really wasn't, it wasn't even a break as we barely stopped the whole time we were away. But I arranged a 5 day "holiday" for Nick that he literally had no clue about, starting off in Newcastle where we'd then get a mini-cruise to Amsterdam! 

I've never been to Newcastle but I absolutely loved it and already can't wait to go back - there was such a variety of things to see and places to go with a brilliant town centre. Plus - THEY HAD UBERS. Which for most people means nothing but Uber's just made the whole 3 days in Newcastle so much easier when it came into going into town and coming home. 

On the way to Newcastle we had to make a stop at the Angel of The North and of course take a photo - it was so random, I didn't know what to expect but it was on the side of a main road not in the middle of nowhere which I kinda thought it would be. And yes, it's huge and took me SO LONG walking around trying to get the perfect selfie. It was great to read about though and even a little emotional looking through the memorial area. 



We stayed at The Cornerhouse hotel which is actually above a Flaming Grill as it meant we got Greene King staff discount (boom) and it was lovely, cheap and cheerful but nicer than a standard plain Travelodge! It was just out of the centre but I preferred that. We got Uber's back and forth and ended up finding some of my new favourite places...

As soon as we found out there was a Brewdog in Newcastle of course Nick just had to go and check it out. Now, I'm not really a beer or Ale fan but the Newcastle Brewdog was hands down one of my favourite places in the whole of Newcastle.. they had their own Gin as well as a Gin beer (legit not a clue about their official names!). We even had a Pizza which was beyond amazing and proper home made.. we were in our element. I even got excited when I went into the Loo and there was some gorgeous artwork on the wall... definitely Pinterest worthy! We went a couple of times while we were in the area and it's definitely made me want to visit even more Brewdog Bars. 



A few of my favourite bars (I have clearly forgotten the names of) but a particular favourite was the Rum Bar opposite.. the decor was crazy cool with Animal Busts on the wall and stunning bottle and glass displays behind the bar. It seemed like it was quite fancy but we felt so relaxed.. And Nick had found his happy place with BrewDog while I found my favorite.. The Botanist! As stunning as ever with the most beautiful cocktails.. and even a good view over Newcastle.



The second night we ate in Longhorns BBQ steak house after trying to get s table in a couple of Steakhouses and not wanted to wait an hour but it was definitely for the best.. the food was INSANE! We both had a platter and shared them both and my effing god, it was amazing. Epic beyond words. It's not fancy and it's not posh and you eat on bar stalls off a metal tray but hands down better than any steak house around there! 



I loved my 3 days in Newcastle as there was so much to do and we definitely need to go again to bar crawl the areas we didn't go to but for now... it's nice looking back at how much we enjoyed it!

Ps - I'd better include this photo of Nick as this was his personal favourite moment of the whole of his life, let alone week! 




Thursday, 3 August 2017

Zoella Jelly & Gelato Range

I can't ever remember doing any blog posts for any of the Zoella range before despite picking up pretty much everything she's brought out but there's something about this range.. and the fact I've been desperate to blog again, that made me think to pull up the laptop and have a scribble.

I first smelt the range the day it came out and in all honesty I wasn't too sure so when I went into Superdrug again this week I decided to give it another go. I still wasn't 100% taken by the smell of the perfume but I did end up buying a few bits while they were on 3 for 2 and I had my student discount card.

I wore the perfume the day after I got it and it did eventually grow on me (and Nick - who wasn't a fan either to start with) but after it settled we both agreed we liked it and it was a perfect Summer scent. What I love is that it lasts - the scent lasts so long, longer than some of the most expensive perfumes I've brought. The scent in the Shower Shake and the Body Pudding is lasting as well which is really impressive for it's price band. The Body Pudding is certainly a new favourite body product as the feel it leaves on your skin is just heavenly - it sinks in to the skin with ease and doesn't leave that horrible oily feel on your body.



If you know me you know I am the biggest SUCKER for bath bombs, bath oils, bath salts, bath anything really so when I saw the Bath Wafers (SO CUTE) I had to try them. When I first got them out the packet I didn't think they'd do a lot as they didn't seem overly fancy but after I got out the bath I realised how freaking soft my skin was! The Wafers melted away easily and didn't leave any random lumps floating around the bath. The smell again makes your bathroom smell wonderful.

So general first impressions weren't striking me but after giving the products a real go, and even though the original scent is still my favourite scent of the range, I'm definitely a fan! This is by far my favourite packaging of anything Zoe's brought out as I love the font and it's definitely a bit more modern and grown up. It's perfect for Summer and even though it's relatively cheap, it feels like a right good luxurious treat! I'd definitely give them ago while they're on 3 for 2 in Superdrug.






Tuesday, 1 August 2017

July Purchases and Favourites

July was a bit of a manic month and I didn't really stop from the very first day... we've been to Newcastle, Amsterdam, Nottingham a number of times... but each time has made new memories and made new opportunities to find a new shopping centre ;)

July was almost a month I'd been waiting for due to a couple of new launches that I've known about for a while, firstly the new Zoella range launched (whole new post about that coming soon!) but most importantly.. a range that will, as drastic as it sounds, change my life - CATH KIDSTON HAVE LAUNCHED A GUINEA PIG RANGE. YES. A GUINEA PIG RANGE. It's so exciting. I can't tell you how long I've been waiting for this. And when I was in Nottingham last week I finally managed to have a look at a few bits and choose a couple of items while I was there. I picked up a mug and note book set while I was there but it took less than 24 hours for me to order another 4 items online! As much as I LOVE the cardigan with Piggies on, I can't yet justify £85 on a cardigan... I live in hope!



I'm known for my "drunk online shopping" amongst my group (remember when I added ONE item in my basket for £2.99 and accidentally ordered my whole basket which was over £200... yeah, you'd think I'd learn).. but I received a 10% discount code for Debenhams recently and after doing a make over on a client who used her own lipstick, I have been OBSESSED with it.. it's the Kat Von D in Countess. A gorgeous orangey red colour which is perfect for Summer. I ordered a couple of other KVD bits but this was by far my favourite!


Yankee Candles... something I normally only buy in Winter! But when I recently visited Cheshire Oaks, they had a sale on where you brought £20 worth of items and got a free large Yankee Candle... CHALLENGE ACCEPTED! Tbh I spent it twice so got two but in that I got 2 Christmas presents and quite a few wax melts in the sale. They have a great sale on at the moment in their outlets and even their garden centre stores so it's definitely worth checking out if you're a YC fan! The Jelly Bean Candle itself isn't my favourite  ever Yankee Candle but it's definitely one of the strongest I've had. It's quite sweet but has a fruitiness to it aswell. Definitely good for Summer.


Wouldn't be a favourite without foods... and alcohol! So this month I've left my old gym as I never went and have turned into a bit of a salad lover and attempted to eat a bit better now the weather's nicer... plus we've booked a holiday for October so I need to get bikini ready. When we went to the Food Show last year we got a free Fibre One Chocolate Fudge Brownie and I've never been able to find them since. I then saw them in Tesco a few weeks ago and they've definitely become a firm favourite in my cupboard. I have no idea how they taste so good and the texture is the perfect Brownie Texture so even though they're a little pricier than I'd like, they're worth it for when you fancy something sweet!

As for the alcohol.. I've never in my life been a gin drinker, I don't like the taste and I don't like the smell at all! But a few weeks ago I went to a party where there was a gin section and one of the girls brought me a cocktail and asked me to guess what it was - I had no clue! When she told me there was gin in it I was gobsmacked. I guess I've only ever tried cheap gin or just plain old Gordons. But since drinking the cocktail, I've turned into a bit of a Gin Geek. I've tried a few different ones with different flavours, fruits or mixers and it's definitely my new favourite drink (as long as I have some fruit to flavour it with and it's not very strong!). My favourites are by far the gorgeous Bloom Gin - garnished with strawberries! As well as the new Ophir Gin with lime wedges. The bottles of them themselves are just beautiful (and very expensive!) but I've treated myself to just the one for now. I'm trying to only drink it on special occasions so it lasts longer but it's just too good! I'm loving them 2 (random!) mixers - elderflower cordial which I've found it cheapest in Ikea, and this Cranberry fizzy water! Hmmmhmmmmm!



Wouldn't be a favourites without a couple of bits from Boots or Superdrug that I've shoved on the Bathroom shelf and almost probably forgotten about them already! But 2 of my favourite buys of July for the Bathroom are the boring but effective foot scrubber file thingy and Superdrug's Salted Caramel Shower and Bath Soak... I shit you not, I just want to eat myself as I smell so good after. It's not very often you use a bath wash that leaves a really great smell not only on you, but in the room as well. The smell is incredible and despite it only being a couple of quid, it really does last and makes your skin really soft... and makes a bubble explosion in the bath!


So only a few but here's a few of my July favs.. .just an excise to write a blog post tbh but I now have a bit more time on my hands to write a little more often so here's hoping to have a few more up soon.

What else do I need to buy next time I'm out shopping? I've not really brought any proper new Summer make up this year so if you have any recommendations please send them my way!



Tuesday, 11 July 2017

Vlogging FAIL: Confession

So yes.. I have a confession.

If you follow me on Twitter and Instagram you'll see I started vlogging last week.. yes.. VLOGGING! I can barely keep up this blog yet alone a VLOG! I did really well for 2 days and blogged little bits and pieces getting ready for our weekend away (definitely a number of blog posts to come on this!) and pottering around the flat...

BUT... Even though I kept it up for a couple of days, I felt like an absolute idiot despite being on my own (purposely only Vlogged when no one else was around as I feel like a dick).. I even felt I had to put on make up and have a glass of wine to make myself more relaxed. I didn't feel comfortable Vlogging even when alone so when it came to Nick finishing work and being out in public, what chance did I have? I constantly walked around with my camera in the hope the courage would come from somewhere but it just didn't. I felt like an idiot and I felt like a failure. I was SO excited and so determined that this was the perfect opportunity and perfect weekend to Vlog but when it came to actually doing it, it was a different story entirely.

Why?

I don't know. I can't put my finger on it. I didn't even watch any of it back.

Maybe it was fear that I'd look fat on camera? Or sound like an idiot as I hate the sound of my own voice. Maybe it was even the fear that no one would watch and it would be pointless.

I'm so annoyed with myself after buying such an expensive camera then not using it for the original purpose. I've decided I want to start with the odd sit down video and ease in from there.. Nick is always pushing me to film stuff and do videos as he knows how much I love them.. I've watched some of my favourites for years and they're the reasons I even blog, let alone want to vlog... Fleur De Force, The Anna Edit, Saccone Jolys, JesssFam... I know they all had to start somewhere but I don't know what that start is for me but I'm hoping in time it'll come to me.

If you Vlog or do videos, please please please Tweet or comment below on the first videos you did, where you started and any advice.

Always appreciated.

Love,
Sarah xox



Sunday, 2 July 2017

Revolution Birmingham: Cocktail Masterclass

I am so beyond late for this blog post but I just love the photos as I used my Olympus Pen and I always feel they're a little bit more top notch than the normal ones so I didn't want to waste them.

I also wanted to say a very belated thank you to Revolutions in Birmingham for inviting me to their Blogger Cocktail Masterclass evening to celebrate the launch of their new cocktail menu - and even letting Nick come too! I was so happy to be invited as my blog has kinda gone down the pan so it was a good excuse to get back out there with my camera. Nick doesn't have too much to do with my blog (he probably couldn't even tell you what it was called!) but it was lovely for him to be able to come too and we made a bit of a night out of it as we very rarely get a chance to have some time together away from work.

It was a simple yet lovely evening meeting other bloggers and getting to try some amazing cocktails. We all got to take it in turns to head behind the bar and make a variety of cocktails - we had the opportunity to try them too, a sure highlight of the evening! It was a great laugh too as we had competitions and played games in cocktail battles and had a great Cocktail expert too from the Revs team (I want to say his name was Phillip? It's been a few weeks!)

It was a lovely evening and I'm really grateful to the team at Revolution for inviting us - hope to see you all again soon for even more cocktails!


 
(Nick's Mojito)
 
(Attempting to make a Cosmo)
 
(Competition time)
 
(A selection of our free cocktails.. a bubblegum cocktail, mojito, cosmos.. mmhmm!)

I've been spending a lot more time in Birmingham lately after learning how easy it is to get there from Shrewsbury and what a variety of places there are so let me know where else I need to try!

Wednesday, 21 June 2017

Holiday and Summer Make Up

It's sooooooo hot -and if you're like me, that means make up melting off your face because you wear so much! I always struggle this time of year as it's so warm but I had a bit of a practice run back in March when I went to Malaga (and actually take these photos - I'm just suuuuper behind on the blogs!) and practiced a couple of new products ready for the Summer months.

For my week in Malaga, these were my absolute favourite products and those which I've already been using over the last couple of weeks of hot weather..

FACE:
Base: SmashBox Photo Finish Primer
Foundation: Illamasqua Base
Concealer: Collection Lasting Finish - what a classic!
Shiiiiit loads of the lightest powder in the KVD pallet - particularly around the eyes and the T Zone.
KVD Contour pallet for contour.
Highlight: A bit of Seventeen's Liquid Highlighter dabbed on followed by the Collection Gorgeous Glow's light pink shade on the cheeks. The Make Up Revolution's Glow Highlighter then on the tops of the cheekbones.

EYES:
Base: Seventeen Liquid Highlighter.
Shadows: Estee Lauder's Nude Pallet - loooots of sparkle!
Eyeliner: Illamasqua Gel Liner
Mascara: Estee Lauder Waterproof
Brows: HD Brows Kit in Foxy

Everything Else:
Lipstick: Make Up Revolution - not one shade imparticular but I love a lot of the peachy shades right now!
Fixing Spray: Make Up Revolution
Sun Protection: Hawaiian Tropic Dry Oi
Shades: Primark

 


 
BTS on our little Malaga Apartment Balcony..

I do love the Summer despite soggy make up - let me know in the comments on Tweet me your top Summer Picks so I know what else I need to give a go during the hot and sweaty months!

Sunday, 28 May 2017

I Went Into Hiding!

I realised the other day that I've now not blogged for over 2 months. I was half tempted to give up and just jack it in as I was fed up of going "I'm fed up of saying that I'm going to get back into blogging then don't" but I realised how much I actually had to blog about lately and now I've finished the bulk of my NVQ (see further down for my geekiness), I feel a little bored as I don't have any work to do. So here I am, for the 3240978973904th time I'm restarting my blog.

The last couple of months have, in all honesty, been a little horrific and that's why I've not even thought about my blog or even Tweeted/Instagrammed as much as I normally would and everything just got a little on top of me with SO freaking much going on and having to juggle so much at one go...

Managing 2 Pubs at the same time.
One pub kills me off enough and earlier in the year it got quite tough working with Nick and trying not to kill him so an "empty threat" of moving pubs quickly became a genuine threat and within just hours after nearly killing eachother off, I'd found a job in a new pub down the road! 4 Months down the line, I've somehow -without having planned it or even expected it, ended up as Assistant Manager in BOTH pubs at the same time, doing half a week in each. It's taken a while to get used to and sometimes I do wonder what on earth I'm doing but with a great team behind me, helping me through and pushing me, I'm REALLY enjoying it and I think I've found what I want to do for a career - not bad considering I'm 25!

I've been travelling up and down the country over the last few months on various management training courses, sometimes having to stay away for nights and even little workshops and it's given me a fantastic opportunity to meet other people in the businesses as well as see so many other pubs (and steal ideas!).
 

NVQ
So yeah, as well as juggling 2 pubs and all these courses across the country, I've been juggling my Business Management (or something along those lines) NVQ Level 2. I'm not sure how I've managed it and everyone's always shocked when I explain how much I do but I actually really enjoy doing it - so much so, you get given 12-18 months to complete the course but 4 months in, I'm actually nearly finished. All the theory and paperwork has been completed, handed in and signed off! All the hundreds of pages of it - the feeling of it all being signed off after working until sometimes 1, 2, 3am between shifts was so exciting. I feel like I currently have a lot of eyes on me in the business so this is just something else I can add to my CV that I've managed to take a lot from.

Rattling like a pill bottle.
After feeling SO pants lately - and I mean SO pants, angry and just wanting to cry all the time for no reason, I've been back and forth to the doctor's over the last few months trying to suss out why I can't cope with life in general. It turns out that my Pill has been deactivating my anti-depressant so I've ended up coming off of all my tablets and starting over trying out new ones. It's also been a struggle to try and cut down on gluten and sugar after blood tests showed an abnormality in both levels but a few weeks on, I feel really good and am eating much healthier and much better - I'm sure I'll do a post of what food I've been loving lately too.

New Piggies
A year is the longest we've gone without getting a new Guinea Pig and after I went into Pets at Home for work purposes (genuinely was for work purposes!) I fell in love with a gorgeous little ginger fuzzbum. After losing Paddy at the start of the year (still kills me now) I'd said the only time I'd get a new piggy is if it was a Teddy Rex guinea pig which is a rare breed with a beautiful temperament. I went into Pets at Home and they had a gorgeous ginger Teddy Rex pig and I just knew I had to take him home - but taking him would leave 1 little piggy on his own in the shop... clearly I couldn't have that! So meet Simba and Marble: They're absolutely hilarious and totally full of character and despite being different breeds, they love snuggling up together.

 

AREN'T THEY CUTE!

The last few months have been a bit (lot) crazy and trying to juggle everything has definitely got to me at times but I know it's all for a good reason and in the long run it'll be the best thing I've ever done. I'm so grateful I have so many amazing people in my life to help me through and give me that push when I need it.

I've got some blog posts already drafted and almost ready to go so I think this Summer will give me a great chance to get back on it - again!

What have you been doing lately? I feel like I've lost contact with so many of my gorgeous blogging girlies so send me links of what you've been doing and catch me up with what you're up to.

Sarah xox

Monday, 3 April 2017

Wowcher Holidays: Worth the Risk?

Oh England.. how I'd like to not be back with you! If I could've stayed in Spain I would have but unfortunately life beckons. But yes, we've just got back from Malaga in Spain after a week away for a rest which was perfect and very much needed, but people have been really shocked when I've said or Tweeted that I brought the week stay in the apartment for just £25! 

I've never been on a holiday that I've brought on Wowcher or Groupon online but I loved it, there was nothing different than booking a normal holiday so I thought I'd put any minds at rest for if you're thinking of doing the same. It's not conventional to book a holiday this way and I can see why people would be nervous.. I definitely was and was a bit worried we'd turn up and it would be like the hotel in the Inbetweeners with the dead dog outside (but not a dead dog in sight). Before I purchased it I Googled the resort and went on TripAdvisor and they had fantastic reviews.. over and over again it was 5* after 5*, a lot of people mentioned they'd brought the week stay on Wowcher and there was so many that I couldn't not buy it. It was £25, worse come to worse I cancel or change my mind and I lose £25. Not a massive deal. The only time I got nervous was when I got an email saying they're fully booked the week I wanted but they had full apartments with a kitted out kitchen but it would be an extra £125. In my head I was just like “scam” and upon arriving, it's clear that it was a bit of a scam as there's no one here. I bet only 10% of the resort is taken (standard this time of year) but once I saw the apartment, I'm actually glad we upgraded. The apartment itself if amazing with a. Fully fitted kitchen with oven and even a washing machine which was ideal as we don't get any of the meals included.

We quickly learnt the exact reason why they had put the sale on Wowcher after we got invited to a meeting and lunch with an “agency” who were basically trying to sell us a time share and they said they used Wowcher as a Marketing tool to get the people here in the first place. A bit sneaky, but very clever marketing.. plus even though we said no, we got a free lunch. I'm sure a lot of companies would work like this and I'm sure that a lot of the time it works. 

The details on Wowcher were pretty accurate.. 15 minute drive from the hotel, 5 minute walk from the beach and from the strip of bars and restaurants so there's no reason I wouldn't book on Wowcher or Groupon again.. looking now I can see that there's weekends away to Rome, Prague, Iceland or longer holidays like Vegas, Spain or even weeks in the U.K. In Cornwall or Scotland. It was ideal for us as it meant that even with 15 months between purchasing and going, we had enough time to decide if we definitely wanted to go plus t gave us time to keep an eye on flight prices as we had to get these separately.

 

There wasn't really any bad sides of booking a holiday this way apart from the clear “we only have apartments” scam so I'd absolutely recommend checking our Wowcher for cheap getaway deals and I hope this has given everyone a new scope for choosing your travels. 

Sunday, 5 March 2017

The National Wedding Show

On Friday me and my best friend and Maid of Honour, Laura, spent the day at the NEC attending The National Wedding Show. Admittedly after a night out in Birmingham, we were slightly hungover but it was a fantastic day to have a mooch around hundreds of stalls looking for ideas and inspiration.. 

I've never been to the Wedding Show before so didn't know what to expect.. a lot of the stalls were very similar with the majority of them being for companies selling dresses and suits or the stalls advertising venues (mainly abroad) but it was great to look at what was on offer and was a great opportunity to compare prices for similar dresses or things like Wedding insurance etc. Think my favourite stall obviously had to be my favourite Prosecco brand, Premier Estate Wines where we tried a number of different fizzes. 

 

The highlight of the day was watching the Catwalk Show with so many different dress options to help know which stalls to look on, there were definitely a few that took my eye so it's been a great help in deciding what I want to go for. There was also a smaller stage doing hair and make up demos along with tips and tricks for tanning, picking dresses and even for the family of the bride and grooms!

 

 

On the day when visiting, everyone gets a great little goody bag filled with treats such as snacks (healthy of course.. all these women have dresses to get into!), body products and leaflets with discount vouchers specifically for those attending the show. A lovely little extra for those attending. 

It was definitely worth the £8 ticket price (prices varied as there was regularly offers) and I'll definitely be heading back this time next year as it's such a great opportunity to get a great discount on dresses for myself, bridesmaids and even flower girls! Some of the prices were such a bargain, it would be silly not to.


Twitter/Instagram: MsSarahJack xox

Sunday, 26 February 2017

Home Made Chilli

After watching my step-sister make the best smelling chilli EVER, I followed her method to make my own. Lately I've been trying to make big dishes that will last a couple of days to help us when we're so busy so this is just perfect! I've made chilli loads of times before and used different methods but this is by far my favourite way - it's fresh, healthy and super tasty. 


800g of low fat, lean beef mince
1 green pepper
1 red onion
Cherry tomatoes - halved
2 tins of chopped tomatoes
2 packets of microwave brown rice (heated up before added to mix)
Chilli flakes
Chilli flavour sachet 
Mixed herbs 
2 crushed garlic cloves
Large glass of red wine

Plus garlic bread and cheese for on top!

This is a great dish to make as it's super easy and after you've cooked the mince in a pan, it's an "all in one" pot in the sauce pan before transferring it to a casserole dish. I then mix in the wine and leave it in the oven for about half an hour.

Simple, tasty and filling.. can't go wrong!

What other hearty dishes can I make that are quick and easy during this pants weather? Tweet me links!

Xox


 

Friday, 3 February 2017

Wedding Venue Food Taster Day

I've not done a wedding blogpost or update for a while and we've managed to do so much in the last week in organising bits and pieces for the wedding, I have this and 2 other wedding blog posts in the making.. it's been a very exciting week to say the least.

Last weekend we got to visit our beautiful wedding venue; Makeney Hall in Belper, Derbyshire, and take part in a wedding taster day where we got to sample a selection of the food (and wine!) that we can choose from on our wedding day. The suite where we will have our "evening do" was all set up beautifully where we spent the afternoon and helped us with a few ideas - we have decided to upgrade our DJ package and add these L-O-V-E LED lights which I LOVE! They're huge and look fantastic.



We were joined by a few other couples that are having their wedding at the same venue and each couple had an individual table that had been set up amazingly to make it so personal to us with a selection of information cards about each course we were trying along with others that were available to choose from on the day.

Chloe, our amaaaazing wedding planner (who was in all honestly a big part of why we chose the venue) and her team had clearly gone into SO much effort with the food cards and the set up and it didn't go unnoticed.. it made me feel so welcome and even more excited for our big day! It was great to chat to the team inbetween and after courses to give our feedback or ask questions to help us prepare for our big challenge.. food picking!




To start with I had a soup selection while Nick had herbed toast with mozzarella and vine tomatoes.. clearly he liked it that much he'd eaten most of it before I'd even had the chance to get my camera out my bag! Which I can say I understand as when I tried the teeny piece he left me (so much for going halves on them all!) I was surprised at how much I like it considering I'm not a cheese fan. The only reason we decided against having it as a starter on our wedding is that it was quite big for a starter. After that and some of the 3 soups (I was kind and shared!) and his starter, Nick was full so thought it wouldn't be the best idea. The soups were lovely and were all so different.. I was partial to the Parsnip with the Apple Croutons.. purely as the apple croutons were insane! I'm just trying to decide how brave I can be in a white dress with tomato soup!

After the starter, we became classy and sophisticated with a 'palette cleanser'.. who'd have thought! It was a gorgeous champagne flavour with a cherry compote in the bottom! I won't lie, we found it quite random having almost a pudding style course inbetween starters and mains and probably won't be adding this to our meal on the day but it was nice to try something different.



Mains.. HOLY MOLY! This is where we are now totally confused and don't know which main's to select for our wedding breakfast. Nick had pork and I went for the lamb and both were beyond amazing and absolutely perfect. Don't get Nick started about the green beans being wrapped in bacon and as for the roast potatoes... mmhmmm! What I'd give to eat either of these right now. We shared eachothers again and we really don't know which to choose for our guests but we are going to head back to the next Makeney Taster day and hopefully try the Chicken and beef before we make the final choices.. although I'm sure this will just confuse us even more. I'm not a massive roast dinner fan but I couldn't even class this is a roast dinner, it was just on a totally different level! After going to weddings and having dry chicken or boring meals at black tie events, I was quite nervous but I was definitely happy with both meals and would be happy to have either on our day.



PUDDING! I don't think I've ever seen Nick so excited about anything.. EVER. Everyone had a pudding platter (there is a fancy word rather than platter but we'll stick with platter for now as I can't remember it!) in the idea of choosing between the 3 options for their wedding day but we simply couldn't decide between the chocolate torte (which I believe Nick would leave me for if he could marry a pudding instead), the lemon posset or a delicate little shortbread biscuit with cream and strawberries... so we're having all 3 set up like the below! This will be our official pudding on our wedding day. HOW EXCITING!

Obviously we couldn't eat all this food without having something to wash it down with so we got to try a couple of different proseccos, 6 wines (yes.. 6.. and it's safe to say the team were generous with their measurements!) and even a gorgeous raspberry mojito! We have selected our favourite wines and we think we've decided to go for the raspberry mojito in the 3 large cocktail containers on our day so :)



I'm so glad we have ticked a few things off the list and the food was a massive one! Even though we've not tried all the options, I'm glad we have a couple more Taster Days to go to this year to make the final decisions but we had a fantastic day.. if you're getting married and have arranged your venue, I'd suggest asking if they set up days like this to attend as it was so helpful and gave us more of an idea on what to expect. It was great to see Chloe too and have a natter and a catch up and start the official wedding planning! Only 581 days to go.