Tuesday, 26 March 2013

Restaurant Review - The Diner Soho

Whilst out with Sophia from the Tattooed Tea Lady the other week, we decided to go for dinner and the place that we chose to go was The Diner.
You may have heard of The Diner before, or at least seen a picture of the menu on Instagram as it is very popular with anyone who likes trendy places or American food.
If you hadn’t guessed by the title of the restaurant, The Diner is a American themed restaurant, with the menu inspired by a 50’s diner (complete with a Lumberjacks breakfast, eggs, bacon and pancakes that are served all day!) with the interior feeling a little bit more modern, but definitely with a nod to the diner style with its leatherette booths and bar that holds center stage.
After being seated in a lovely roomy corner booth, we studied the menu.
Being a American themed restaurant it had all the usuals, chips, burgers, hot dogs and all day breakfasts. It didn’t have a huge seletion to choose from, but I think most people would be able to find at least one thing on the menu that they are happy with.
I went for the steak and chips, one of my favourite meals and something I order quite often.

The steak and fries comes with two fried eggs on top,  I wasn’t too certain on that combo so asked for no eggs and for my steak to be cooked medium.
When the food came out I was very impressed, you get a nice amount of steak for the price you pay and it was cooked perfectly. My only complaint with the steak is that it was a little on the chewy side. The fries where lovely, thin and long, golden brown, crispy on the outside and fluffy on the inside. I doused these with salt and vinegar and very much enjoyed them.
I think the meal was very tasty and pretty good value for money, I had steak, fries and a diet coke all for under £15. They also served some delicious looking cocktails, but I am off the booze for the moment.
I also have to take a moment to compliment the great service we received. Our waitor was a lovely friendly guy who was very attentive and made sure we had everything we need, including my vinegar! The service is also very fast and they have a kids menu making it great for the family.
Sunday, 17 March 2013

My Kiehl's Skincare Consultation

If you follow me on Twitter then you probably know I like to complain. A LOT.
I am bit of a stickler for customer service considering I worked in it for so many years, and while I do think it's important to complain about bad service, I also think it's important to applaud good customer service too.

The other day whilst out with the lovely Sophia from Tattooed Tea Lady I received such exceptional service I had to share my experience.

We was in Liberty and I mentioned how much I wanted the Kiehl's Midnight Recovery Concentrate, so Sophia encouraged me to have one of the Kiehl's free skincare consultations that comes with samples.

The Kiehl's consultant asked me what I was currently using and if I had any areas of concern or anything in my routine that I would like to change.
After the initial discussion she then placed some pads on my face that showed the oil levels of my skin. That part was very interesting because although I suspected my skin was dry it's always nice to have someone else confirm your beliefs.

After the talk through my skin care routine the consultant then went on to tell me about products that she thought would enhance my skin care routine, and this was more about adding certain products to my routine that would benefit me, rather than completely changing all my current skin care items for Kiehl's products. 
This is something that I found very encouraging, there is nothing worse then a pushy sales assistant who will try to get you to completely over haul your skincare products using only their brand.
The consultant clearly knew the Kiehl's products very well, and she also knew quite a lot about other brands including some of the ones that I use which is great as she clearly knows the skincare market well. She never bashed any other brand either or said that Kiehl's would be better, which I have seen some other assistants do and it's really off putting. 

The products she recommended for me was the Midnight Recovery Concentrate (great because I wanted to try this anyway) and the Midnight Recovery Eye because I currently use the same skincare products in the morning as I do in the evening and these products will be good additions to help with my dry skin.

She also recommended the Creamy Eye Treatment with Avocado because I told her I wasn't satisfied with my current eye cream. 

I also received a couple of samples of the new Ultra Facial Overnight Hydrating Masque, which I am excited to try as I have been thinking of picking up the Origins masque.  The other samples I received where of the Cucumber Herbal Alchol Free Toner and the Ultra Facial Cleanser.

I left feeling confident in the knowledge of the products recommended to me and excited to try them out, I also left feeling incredibly confident in the consultants skin care knowledge.
The whole consultation experience was lovely because it gave me a one to one chance to find out about Kiehl's as a brand and the products, and believe me, I asked a lot of questions, most of them probably really stupid. Not once did I feel pressured to buy anything. 

If you are near a Kiehl's stand or store definitely go for one of these consultations, they are so informative and interesting, and most importantly free! 
I know I will definitely be picking up the two eye creams and Midnight Recovery Concentrate with my next pay check. And probably the masque too...

I will also be emailing Kiehl's about the amazing customer service I received as I have the name of the women who served me, customer service this good deserves to be rewarded, so if you receive great customer service in the future, be sure to tell the company!

Have you used Kiehl's before? I'm new to the brand and so excited to try it!
Saturday, 16 March 2013

Blog Sale


So as you may or may not know I am going to Florida in 5 weeks time and I need some spending money so I have been brutal with my make up collection and have decided to sell what I'm not using on a daily basis.

I have tried to take decent pictures but it is a grey rainy day outside so I recommend looking at swatches online.

Here are the rules:
First come first serve
Paypal payment only
Leave a comment saying what you want and your paypal email address and I will invoice you.
After receiving the invoice you have 2 days to pay.
I will send the items within 3 days of receiving payment.
All sales are final, no refunds.
UK sale only!

P&P is £3 for the first item then 15p for each additional item. All parcels will be sent recorded delivery.

All polishes have at least 90% left.

Top row, left to right:

Color Club, Jewel of a Girl £2
Nails Inc,  New Burlington Place £4
Nails Inc, Colville Mews £4
Nails Inc, Old Park Lane, £4
Nails Inc, Paddington £4

Bottom row, left to right:

Nails Inc, Carlton Gardens £4
Models Own, Gun Grey £2 (sold)
Essie, Island Hopping £4
Illamasqua, Kink (rubberised finished) £5
Illamasqua, Eclipse £5

MAC Lady Danger Lipstick, used approx twice £7 (sold)
YSL Rouge Volupte no.13 Peach Passion, used approx 4 times £9
Pure Smile Sheet Mask, Mont Blanc Essence, new £1
Pure Smile Sheet Mask, Gateau Chocolat Essence, new £1
MAC Blush Ombre, Ripe Peach about 75% left £13
Illamasqua Translucent Powder, about 75% left £8

MAC Grease Paint Stick, Heirloom, used approx 3 times £6
MAC Grease Paint Stick, Street Cool, used approx 2 times £6
Bobbi Brown Eyeshadow (old style packaging), Rose Gold £6
Sugarpill Poison Plum eyeshadow, used approx 5 times £4 (sold)

All eyelashes are unopened and new, only the Illamsqua ones include glue.

Modlash £1.50
Salon Perfect £1.50
Illamasqua (these have purple running through them) £5

Sleek Original Palette, used approx 10 times £1
Naked 2 palette, barely used, snakebite and suspect have shows of usage, all shades have at least 95% of the colour left, includes brush £25
POP Pretty Punk palette, unused £5
Too Faced Smokey Eye palette, used approx 5 times £10
Sugarpill Sweet Heart palette, used a couple of times £10 (sold)

Molecule 01 perfume, 30ml travel resize size, no box, sprayed maybe 5 times, you can see how much product is left £17 (sold)

Thanks for checking out the sale.
Thursday, 14 March 2013

Good Bye Google Reader

So as you have heard Google Reader is being retired in the summer. I know, bummer right?
I should probably look at joining other readers, but for now the main one I will be using is bloglovin as I find its interface the simplest and most user friendly.

And now I am going to spend the next half an hour before work trying to transfer all the blogs I'm currently following on to google reader, fun times.

Let's end this post with a picture of Boris. 

Sunday, 10 March 2013

My first ever sock club shipment!

I think it's pretty clear by now that I have a unhealthy addiction to sock yarn, so the next logical step for me was to join a sock club.

I searched quite a few different ones, but found that they where either too expensive, or I didn't like the themes of the club, but thanks to good old Ravelry I managed to find one I like the look of in a enabling thread, and it even had 15% off for valentines day!

The club I decided to join is Knit and Fiber Creation Harry Potter 5 month sock club, which was a very reasonable price even before the discount.

I recently received my first package and it was so fantastic I had to share!

So not only did I get my club yarn, I also got a really cool Harry Potter theme project bag, a lovely bag of American sweets (which as a English person who can't get them over here is really appreciated) and a print out explaining this months theme, which if you can't tell is Draco Malfoy!

The colour way itself is very Draco, although unfortunately it is not my favourite colours, one of the risks you face when joining a club.
My boyfriend has told me he loves the colours though, so he will be getting a pair of socks!

The base is her Deuces Wild base, which is 80% Merino and 20% Nylon, and it is a absolutely gorgeous base. Very soft and squishy, one of my favourite bases I have come across, although I think I say that about all the new bases I try!

I know she is also doing a Lord of the Rings Club, Doctor Who, The Walking Dead and Game of Thrones club, all themes I can get on board with!

Check out her Etsy Shop or her Ravelry Group to see what other people got!
Saturday, 9 March 2013

Second Month on Weight Watchers!

Seeing as I shared my first month on Weight Watchers on my blog, I thought it would be good to turn it into a monthly thing so I can share my weight loss journey with you and some tips and tricks I have picked up.

So February was a bit harder for me to stick to, there was a lot of restaurant visits for birthdays and social outings, and although you get a weekly amount of pro points on Weight Watchers, using them still results in a loss, but obviously not as big of a loss as you would normally get.

I am still finding it quite easy to follow Weight Watchers, and I think there has only been a couple of days when I've thought, stick the diet I want to stuff my face, although I stayed strong!

This month I have lost:

Weight Loss - 4 pounds
Loss on Bust - None (yay, I love curves and was worried about loosing mine)
Loss on Waist - 1.5 inches
Loss on Hips - 1 inch
Loss on Legs - None (boo!)
Loss on Arms - 0.25 inches

Overall I have lost 10.5 pounds and I couldn't be happier. 
It is definitely a slow process, but it's working and I think it will be easier to keep the weight off.

Now here is my Weight Watchers tip for the month.

Alcohol is bad.

Now I'm not saying cut alcohol out completely, I certainly haven't, but I have definitely cut back, in fact I have only had drinks at 3 occasions since New Years.

The reason I have avoided it is not only because it is high in points, and I hate wasting my points on drinks (apart from my weekend treat skinny latte's!), but it also makes you do stupid things.

I went to a bar with friends, had a great night and saved lots of points for a few cocktails, but as the drink started to hit and I got a bit drunk I completely forgot about my limits, ended up drinking way past what I had told myself I would, spent loads of money buying rounds, ended up drunk in McDonalds and with a killer hangover that could only be cured by a bacon sandwich, so not only was my diet a disaster that day, I was also pretty poor that week.

I also went to a dinner party, and although I didn't drink as much, I still had enough to get me tipsy enough to eat more then I should've. 
I have been to a restaurant though and successfully stuck to my two glasses of wine that I set myself and had the meal I had planned. Restaurants are a good place to drink in my opinion because the alcohol is expensive so you don't want to buy too much, and where you are eating you pace yourself with the drinking.

The moral of these stories is, once I get tipsy the diet goes out the window. Two glasses is my limit, but I find it hard to stick to that so I have cut down on the drinking. 
The less you drink, the more you can eat, the less you spend on cocktails and the less likely you are to do stupid things, win all round! 

Thursday, 7 March 2013

Shipping Wars!

I love the History channel.
To be honest, I don’t even know why it’s called the History channel because it doesn’t show too many history programmes, but what it does show, Pawn Stars, American Restoration, American pickers etc are brilliant programmes, with Storage Wars being my favourite.
Storage Wars and Pawn Stars have been very successful, which has led to quite a few copies of the show, Storage Hunter, Storage Wars Texas and Cajun Pawn Stars just to name a few, but none of them come close to being as good as the original, which is why, when I saw the advert for Shipping Wars, I was very sceptical that it was just another average programme cashing in on the success of previous shows.
Despite my initial worries, I decide to check out the show, and I’m so glad I did!

Shipping Wars is brilliant. It follows a similar format to Storage Wars, as in there is the auction then you follow the people on the show to see how much they make or loose, but the subject of the show is different enough to make it a unique show.
They use a bidding site, a bit like eBay, to bid on different objects that need to be delivered, the objects can be anything from a camel to a massive prop from Little Shop of Horrors.
Another factor they have to consider is where is the object going, it may just need delivering to a neighbouring state, or it might have to go halfway across America. All of this they have to bear in mind as they try and put in the lowest bid to win the job, but still make themselves some profit from doing the job.
After the auction is over, the winner has to go and collect whatever has to be delivered, and this is where things can start to go wrong.
In the episode I watched, a guy was trying to load a very heavy cast iron phone box into his truck. He arrived to no help or equipment so he had to build a trolley to be able to get it on the truck, only to be shut down because he didn’t have the correct insurance paper.
Once they have actually managed to get the load on the truck, they then have to do the actual transporting part, which once again to lead to problems.

 One of the problems that came up in the episode is that the guy had run out of fuel, because the load he was carrying was heavier than they were told, which obviously uses up the fuel quicker.
After spotting another truck driver, he agreed to let him take some fuel from the truck to use, but after some equipment malfunctions the guy ended up trying to siphon the fuel by sucking on a pipe, he ended up with so much of it in his mouth it made me feel really sick.
Once they get to the other end, surprise surprise there can be more issues, normally with getting the person to cough up the cash, or sorting out a final price if they have arrived late, or in the case of the fuel man, figuring out how much extra he was owed because of the extra weight of the freight.
It just makes for quite a entertaining and very interesting show. It sounds weird calling a show about deliveries interesting, but you find out so much stuff that you didn’t know, and of course all the drama of things going wrong adds to the appeal, not to mention the competition between the drivers to get the lowest bid whilst still being able to make money off it.
I’m looking forward to the next episode, which will be on the History Channel, Monday at 9pm.
Saturday, 2 March 2013

My first pole dancing class!

On Thursday I had my very first pole dancing lesson at Polaris Pole Dancing School.
Now before any of you get images of seedy clubs and taking clothes off, I'll let you know it's not like that at all, although there is a lot of heavy breathing and sweating involved. It's a killer workout!

The class takes place in Krunch Gym, which seems to be quite a serious gym, not one of the ones where the girls spend 10 minutes on the tread mill then the rest of the time in the steam room and Jacuzzi which gives a small indication of what you are getting yourself into.  

The class is nice and small, only 8 girls and we each had our own pole.
At first I felt quite nervous, being on the heavier side, but I was put to ease when I saw the class, it was a mix of all different shapes and ages, and everyone was lovely and just as nervous as I was, which put me at ease. 

The instructor Rebecca Plume also helped put everyone feel welcomed and relaxed.
Instructors definitely make or break a class, and Rebecca definitely makes this one. 
She is a small fire cracker, and definitely knows what she is talking about having competed in competitions and actually judging them too.
She is also very encouraging and the small class size means that everyone gets individual attention and help when they need it. She definitely gave me a lot more confidence throughout the class.

We practised a few different spins, dancing moves and static poses, including climbing the pole which I never thought I would be able to do (think of it like climbing the rope in PE, I never managed that!).
I was so impressed by what we managed to achieve and learn in a one hour class, I seriously can't wait for the next one!

I am signed up to do a 6 week course, and before we started our class we watched the end of the previous class. They where seriously impressive, hanging upside down by one leg with no hands, it was amazing! They seemed to have really bonded too and all be very friendly with each other, once again creating a encouraging and happy atmosphere.
 At the end of the class Rebecca announced that that was the last class in the previous beginners course, I can't believe that I might actually be able to do what looks like some seriously advanced moves in just 6 weeks time.

Did I mention my 44 year old mum has signed up for this course with me? She was dreading the first class but absolutely loved it after she did it and is really looking forward to next weeks class as well. This is the first type of workout she has done in years, and although we where both struggling towards the end, we kept going.

It really is a great workout, its more toning than cardio but it will definitely get your heart rate going.
The day after I could really feel it in my stomach, arms, shoulders and chest, and I have some lovely bruises to show for it!

I've definitely found a workout I really enjoy, and Rebecca teaches from beginner through to advanced, so my aim is to really throw myself into this until I get good enough to compete, then I will go to all the competitions! I might be getting ahead of myself here, but I have never been any good at sports so it would be pretty amazing to get to competing level.

I could not recommend pole dancing more, although I would say do your research as I have come across courses that are more expensive than Rebeccas, but have a bigger class size and you have to share the pole so you won't learn as quickly or get as much attention. 
Most good teachers will do a taster lesson so you can see if its for you before investing in the course.

If you still think pole dancing is a bit seedy, then I urge you to watch the video below and see how it is essentially gymnastics turned on its side. You have to admire the athleticism of these girls! 

Now to pick out my stage name!