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28 November 2017

The Restaurant at Broadway Casino, Birmingham


 Earlier this year I was lucky enough to visit Verona, Italy, and experience the stunning surroundings, friendly locals and delicious food. Returning back to the UK and attempting to find places that created my favourite Italian dish proved quite difficult, often lacking the fresh ingredients and true Italian passion. 



 An establishment that is “fantastico” and gets Italian food right is The Restaurant at Broadway Casino. Situated in the Broadway Plaza Birmingham, this authentic Italian restaurant serves up a menu packed with rustic, fresh dishes and having recently visited Verona, the food we were served was on par if not better than dishes served in Italy.

 


 Broadway Casino is a popular venue that boasts a large private bar, relaxed surroundings that are complimented with ambient lighting, a large bar and relaxing sofa areas. I’m due to visit Las Vegas next month and this casino definitely lit my excitement for the casino scene. I do think outside the casino, The Restaurant needs to be shouted about more and clearly signposted. If I hadn’t have known the eatery was within the casino, I wouldn’t have had any indication it was there. A big neon sign is definitely needed so more people are able to discover this restaurant.

 

 Upon arrival, we approached the casino reception and were asked if we were members. After explaining we weren’t but had a table booked, we were met by the manager of the restaurant Roberto. He was a breath of fresh air and his passion for the food shone through. After glancing over the menu, Roberto was swift to come over to our table and suggest several dishes. I explained I was vegetarian and he confirmed the head chef had a perfect signature dish he would recommend. More about that dish in a moment!




 To accompany our fresh, warm bread and the most beautiful olives I’ve ever eaten (I’m quite the olive connoisseur!) we sipped crisp prosecco and basked in the relaxing ambience in the restaurant. The restaurant itself looks fresh and modern, with splashes of marble and copper. After a chat about our trip to Verona, Roberto recommended a beautiful bottle of Pinot Grigio to complement our meals.




 Spinach and Ricotta Cannelloni was the dish suggested to me by head chef Stefano, who popped out of the busy kitchen to introduce himself. He explained how the dish he had prepared for me was his wife’s favourite dish. The enthusiasm and passion poured from him as he explained the fresh ingredients used in his dishes. Katie enjoyed a Lamb Shank accompanied by potatoes and veg. As a vegetarian, my lamb knowledge isn’t great but she was thrilled as it was cooked to perfection. My Cannelloni oozed flavour, topped with herbs and parmesan. Whilst the portion was more than generous, I devoured every mouthful of the sumptuous dish.



 Shortly after the mains were cleared, we were presented with a platter of Italian desserts. Bite size and delicious, this platter is perfect for two. To cleanse the palette to finish, we were given two small glasses of limoncello, in order to cleanse our palettes.  



 Roberto, Stefano and the rest of the attentive staff made our visit to The Restaurant so unforgettable. Their attention to detail was second to none and everyone was so very welcoming, it created a lovely atmosphere . As the menu is filled with a vast array of dishes, it’s safe to say we will be returning soon to try more from the menu.


 For Christmas bookings, a romantic meal or even party bookings give the website a visit here and take a look at the menu 

  https://www.broadwaycasino.co.uk/dining

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26 November 2017

The Gift of Memories with Saal Digital Photobook Review

Photo books are a wonderful idea to showcase memories and images that are meaningful to you or to a loved one. Saal Digital offer a fantastic alternative to a photo album, a fully customisable photobook. The design ideas that you’re able to create are extensive and they are so versatile, depending on what theme you’re going for. Let’s take a look at the book!



The cover is hardback and fairly thick, which I enjoy because it feels more solid and I know it isn’t flimsy or going to damage the inside pages when placed on a bookshelf. One of the most enjoyable aspects of creating the book myself was designing the cover. The lyrics resonate in me and I thought the night sky fits with the words I chose for the cover.


 Inside, you’ll find a great quality paper and the pages aren’t too glossy which I like, they’re almost semi matte. The layout itself is impressive and using the  Pro-Zone within the Saal website enables you to  easily design a template and customise the pages as you wish. The ease of creating the photobook was far easier than I’d initially anticipated.



One of the key aspects of the Saal photobook that sets it apart from an ordinary photo album is the flatlay spread feature allows you to spread the image across two pages, eliminating that little annoying centre fold cutting away half of the image. 

 
The delivery was very efficient and I was updated via email throughout the entire delivery process. Considering the package had to come from Germany it reached me in around 5 days from when I placed my order. 

You can discover photo books and other customisable products over at http://www.saal-digital.co.uk/





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21 November 2017

Bourjois Kissmass Holiday Look

Hi Everyone! 

Today I wanted to share with you a brand discovery post, with the spotlight on Bourjois. Most definitely a highly recognised brand, Bourjois is a French makeup brand sold in more than 50 countries worldwide. I recall being quite a young child and my mom using the blush pots from Bourjois, reminiscing over how pretty they all looked in her makeup bag.



 This week I was lucky enough to receive a parcel from them filled with products to create a Kissmas Holiday look! 


Inside the box was their Healthy mix anti fatigue foundation and concealer, Push up Volume glamour mascara, Little round pot of blush, Eye quad and the new Rouge Velvet lipsticks. Everything I need to create an entire look, from the base to colour was provided and I couldn’t have been more excited.




I currently use the serum healthy mix foundation sonto receive the foundation and concealer for the collection was perfect. The coverage I would say is medium but can definitely be built up to a fuller coverage. Genuinely didn’t leave my dry skin at all caked nor did it settle into any pores. The concealer followed suit with absolutely zero creasing under the eye. 



Quad Smoky Stories eyeshadow


Honestly, I’m quite the snob when it comes to eyeshadow. I know what I like and what ticks my boxes so there is always an air of dubiance when trying new eyeshadow. This shadow is self explanatory with what goes where, pigmented and it stays put. Not to mention how the colour quad makes my eyes pop. Simply beautiful and will flatter all eye tones.  




The Lipstick - Rouge Velevet 

This super pigmented, matte finish lipstick has an almost scoop shaped bullet for the easiest application ever. Not only does it apply with a couple of swipes but it wears like an absolute dream. I wore this all day (at work - AND snacked from a buffet during my lunch hour) and I touched up only once. There was no hideous bleeding into teeth incidents or ugly dry lips. This lipstick has serious staying power and I think the formula is honestly one that rivals my higher end lipsticks. 



I’m wearing Magni-Fig in the above and below images 


And this ladies and gents is the finished look using all Bourjois products. It’s perfect for holiday season and this will be my go to look for Christmas parties this year! 

You can find Bourjois in store and online here http://www.boots.com/bourjois
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19 November 2017

Selfridges 24 Day Beauty Advent Calender

If you don’t fancy a chocolate advent calender this year, there is a whole heap of alternatives to choose from. You could opt for a gin advent, a jewellery advent or even a mince pie advent! But if you’re like me and you love the idea of luxury makeup treats  during the month of  December, look no further. 


 Selfridges 24 Day Beauty Advent Calender (£120 here ) contains luxe offerings from L’Oreal brands Kiehls, Yves Saint Laurent, Lancôme, Urban Decay and Victor and Rolf.   
With Cult beauty picks such as Urban Decay All Night Setting Spray and YSL The Shock Mascara, opening up my advent doors will be ultra exciting! I received this completely unexpectedly from my girlfriend and I am over the moon with it! 




 Depicting beautiful artwork of London and Paris, this is every beauty connoisseurs dream. The blue and white packaging presented on the front of the calender is continued when you open the doors on the inside of the calender. 


The whole thing is held together with a pretty bow. My calender was packaged complete with a Lancôme ribbon and wrapping from the lovely ladies in Selfridges Birmingham. 



 I opened door number one so you could all have a sneak peak into the calender and how beautifully the perfumes are packaged - they are replica miniatures of the full size bottles! In day one is YSL Black Opium, a Cult favourite scent that is perfect for travel or to pop into your handbag. 


Here is a list of everything included in the calender: YSL Blur Primer 10ml, YSL Instant Moisture Glow 5ml, Lancôme Energie de Vie Sleeping Mask 15ml, YSL Black Opium EDP 7.5ml, YSL The Shock Mascara 2ml, Victor and Rolf Bonbon EDP 7ml, Victor and Rolf Flower Bomb EDP 7ml, Kiehls Ultra Facial Cleanser 30ml, Kiehls Creme de Corps 30ml, Kiehls Midnight Recovery Concentrate 4ml, Lancôme Genifique Serum 7ml, Lancôme Absolue Precious Cells Day Cream 15ml, Lancôme Bi-Facil Eye Makeup Remover 30ml, Lancôme Tonique Douceur 50ml, Lancôme Galatee Confort 50ml, Lancôme Visionnaire Eye Cream 5ml, Lancôme Matte Shaker 378 3ml, Lancôme Mr Big Mascara 01 2ml, Lancôme Hypnose Mascara 2ml, Lancôme Tresor La Nuit EDP 7ml, Lancome La Vie Est Belle EDP 4ml, Lancôme Mini Crayon Khol 0.7g, Urban Decay All Nighter Setting Spray 15ml, Urban Decay Eye Shadow Primer Potion 2ml

Which advent calender have you opted for this year? 


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14 November 2017

Preston Gets A Package from Petshop.co.uk


I’m sure many of you have seen pictures of Preston on my social media pages, the handsome French Bulldog I often swoon over on Instagram and Twitter. He is completely spoilt by me and my girlfriend Katie - and we wouldn’t have it any other way! At one year four months, he is a bundle of energy and very well behaved (accept for last week when he pulled the pompoms off my new cushion).



One of our favourite weekend pastimes is to go on an adventure to Sutton Park, have brunch at the bistro (the vegetarian breakfast is fabulous!) and meet lots of other dog owners walking their pooches. We love to walk through crunchy leaves, spot all the local wildlife and visit the beautiful lake to take some pretty snaps. When we arrive home, he likes to snuggle under a blanket with us and watch films. Although, we often can’t hear the film above his snoring..


Last week Preston received a package from the lovely Rachel over at Petshop.co.uk containing some very tasty treats! Petshop are an online pet store, supplying treats, toys and anything you need for a happy pet! Alongside all of this, they also offer a Bottomless Bowl which enables you to receive your pets favourite food each month direct to your door. This is such a convenient service and orders over £19.99 are upgraded to free express delivery on your first order or you can get a discount on selected products.


Preston often has  a mixture of wet and dry food to add some variety in his diet. Huntland Grain Free Food do some amazing flavours including Deboned British Turkey with Sweet Potato and Cranberry – which is Preston’s favourite! We sprinkle it on top of his wet food to create a tasty but healthy meal.



Alongside this, Preston received Dentalife sticks! These are a great way to keep your pet occupied but also ensure teeth and gums are kept clean and healthy. He can sometimes be fussy with his treats and if he doesn’t like it, he will just leave it on the floor, turn his nose up and walk away. Straight away with these sticks he ate it all in one go, which again is rare because he tends to leave it and then go back to it later.



The final goodies our lucky Frenchie received are Catch Natural Treatswith the founders having a passion for healthy eating and a childhood fishing at the Cornish coast. Salmon & Lemon Sole cookies are great training treats when we are teaching him new tricks and he loves them. The Natural Whitefish Rectangle Chews are another hit, entirely natural and he seemed to enjoy playing with them/bouncing on them before he munched them up. I didn’t even mind him giving me a kiss afterwards with his fishy breath – that’s how much I love him.

We will definitely be stocking up with more treats for Preston soon! 




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9 November 2017

Ready, Set, Glam! Look Fantastic October Box




Look Fantastic Beauty Box is a subscription box delivered to your door each month, containing beauty, skincare and haircare products. The box is always themed and packaged in the most beautiful box, alongside the latest copy of Elle magazine. All for £15 a month! 


Ready, Set, Glam is this month’s theme and let me tell you it’s an absolute cracker of a box. 

Here’s what I received.




Bellapierre Cosmetics Kiss Proof Lip Crème in Incognito | RRP £20 | Available Here


This is by far the product discovery that gave me the most excitement this month.

There is no drying, cracked lip feeling with this product, which I tend to feel from some higher end liquid lip products. The shade is a perfect warm nude yet feels creamy even hours after applying. After eating lunch, I didn’t even feel the need to reapply as there was no gunky residue behind just a lovely stain of colour and my lips still felt soft. Now I am ultra-tempted to order another couple of shades from this line. 10/10!



Pixi by Petra Glow Booster in  | RRP £22 as part of a set | Available Here


My skin is naturally quite dry, so a matte complexion doesn’t look great on me. I much prefer a medium coverage with a dewy glow and this is achieved by using a glowy base product. This applies with a silky soft finish and leaves a lovely “lit from within” glow even beneath foundation. Beautiful product that is ideal for faking glowing skin in the winter months.




Filorga Time-Filler Absolute Wrinkles Correction Cream | RRP £55 for 50ml | Available Here


A cream that contains non-surgical anti-ageing expertise within a cream? Go on then! As I reach my late twenties, I have definitely seen a change in my skin so anti-ageing products are now definitely sneaking onto my dressing table. This cream feels luxurious and a lot definitely goes a long way. Definitely an investment product!



This Works Deep Sleep Pillow Spray | RRP £18 for 75ml | Available Here


Particularly during the colder months, I feel like I need to give myself a little extra TLC. This includes making sure I’m getting the best night’s sleep that I can!  Deep Sleep Pillow Spray contains a blend of Lavender, Vetivert and Camomile which provides a soothing night’s sleep, helping both your mind and body to be calm. A spritz across my pillow always does the trick! 



Murad Essential-C Day Moisture Broad Spectrum SPF 30 | RRP £55 for 50ml | Available Here


In December I will be travelling to America and this handy little serum will be perfect for travelling. Using an SPF is something that’s so important and as I’ve aged I really appreciate my skin and how sensntive it is to damage. This will be great to pop in my miniatures flight bag!

 



Teeez Cosmetics Spectrum Of Stars Eyshadow in Bleached Jeans | RRP $23| Available Here


Have you actually ever seen an eyeshadow in such beautiful packaging? A dressing table staple and would make a beautiful stocking filler for someone actually. 

I’m not overly obsessed with the blue shade as it tends to not look amazing with my skin tone but I want to try to make it work because the colour pay off is awesome. The little flecks of iridescent purple really add to its ethereal effect. 


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2 November 2017

Gousto Recipe Box Review

In the past few years, subscription box services have seen a major rise in popularity and I have been subscribed to a handful of different beauty boxes. But recently there has been a new wave of subscription box options, ranging from pet supplies, books and even food. 

 

Initially, a food box is something I didn’t think would benefit me, until one day I was struggling to decide what to eat for dinner that I could just throw together and that was also healthy. I started looking into food subscription boxes and came across Gousto Food Boxes. It’s such a clever concept to have the exact amount of ingredients delivered to your door to enable you to create wholesome, tasty meals! 




For some reason it always ends up being a mammoth task of finding a recipe to cook or being stood in the supermarket trying to decide what you need to cook a meal. Gousto takes out the stress for you! You can opt for a box catered for two people or four people and can choose from two recipes, three or even four.  The box I opted for contained two recipes with enough ingredients for two people and I managed to find a discount code for money off my first box! You can opt for a box each week, each fortnight or even  monthly and normal pricing as of the date of this post can be found below.

 

2 Person Box

Recipes (£6.25 per serving) Box price £24.99

Recipes (£5.00 per serving) Box price £29.99

Recipes £4.37 per serving) Box price £34.99

Family Box (Two adults & 2-3 children)

Recipes £3.97 per serving) Box price £31.75

Recipes (£3.56 per serving) Box price £42.75

Recipes (£2.98 per serving) Box price £47.75

 

One of my favourite aspects of Gousto is that they cater for so many varied diets including vegetarian (I opt for veggie recipes!) gluten free, dairy free and family friendly. If you are feeling like you need to cut back a little, you can even opt for the lighter option recipes.





My favourite aspects of the box!

 

· You are not tied into any subscriptions – you can pause and reactivate your delivery at any point 

·The ingredients are fantastic quality

·Learning new recipes and discovering new foods as we go

·An option to suit everyone

·Packaged to perfection complete with an ice pack to keep everything fresh

 

So, how did I actually get on with my box?

 

One of the recipe cards I received is for Mozerella and Portobello Mushroom Burgers – and they were DELICIOUS!  I used roasted Portobello mushroom topped with garlic-infused mozerella, all sandwiched in to a warm ciabatta accompanied by an olive and caper salsa. Gordon Ramsey eat your heart out. 




The simplicity of the recipe card was great and I had already sectioned my ingredients in the fridge for each recipe. All the ingredients were so fresh and it was simple to follow the recipe card. 


I can’t recommend Gousto enough and I will be continuing with my subscription moving forward, anticipating the next recipes I will be discovering! 


You can also receive a discount using promo code  SOPHI341766

 https://www.gousto.co.uk/

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