Friday, 17 May 2019

Pulling The Pig Off The Lead & Into My Sandwich | Northern Soul Manchester

Hey everyone!

How are you doing today? (Let me know down below!) I've had a slight break due to University, but halleloo, I'm back!

Welcome to a brand new blog post! I thought that today, I'd talk to you all about some amazing food that I had in Manchester a while ago!

A large squared triangle light brown shop with northern soul in bright yellow font with light brown chairs and circular tables on a bright background

Northern Soul is the first ever Grilled Cheese restaurant within the UK. Based in Manchester, Northern Soul create a mixture of gorgeous grilled cheeses, pasta dishes and everything in between.

I was in Manchester with a friend, and, I thought that I would try out Northern Soul, after hearing so many rave reviews and general good words about them.

We walked in, perused the menu and decided on a selection of products on the menu to try. I was uhming and aching about getting the Deep Fried Pickles, I should've got them and I didn't. I regret that to this day.)

The first dish that we had decided to get was 'Pig On A Lead'. This is a Mac & Cheese Grilled Sandwich with Pulled Pork and BBQ Sauce. I loved this sandwich. Not only were there a mixture of textures from the smooth BBQ sauce, to the squidgy Macaroni, to the crispiness of the sandwiches exterior, but a mix of flavours too. The smoky BBQ sauce cut through the creaminess of the Mac and Cheese that made up most of this sandwich. This was great, but then after a couple of bites, bam! The BBQ and meat come through and just make it such a gorgeous sandwich to eat.

A triangular golden brown sandwich filled with white cheese, crest shaped white pasta  and dark brown pieces of pork with a dark brown bbq sauce on a bright background

The second sandwich that I tried, was the, Chorizo and Chilli Jam. First of all, I love Chorizo. I love Chorizo on anything. I could happily munch on it, on it's own all day long! I loved the warmth and spice from both the Chorizo and the Chilli Jam against the richness of the Cheese that was within the sandwich. I also loved the small bits of Chilli and Garlic within the sandwich against the bigger chunks of Chorizo. It was amazing and I think that this one would be great to have on a cold day within England.

A golden brown triangular sandwich filled with white cheese, red chilli jam and circular pieces of brown chorizo on a bright background

I also tried some of their famous Mac and Cheese on it's own. You can't have a Mac and Cheese Grilled Sandwich and not try the Mac and Cheese on it's own! The Macaroni was perfectly al dente, soft, but not too soft. It kept the whole dish from just having one texture throughout. The sauce wasn't  too cheesy, but, you could still tell that there were a good amount of Cheese within the dish. I think that the pot on the own would be fab on its own late at night or maybe after a long night out, the day after.

Northern Soul has to be one of the best casual dining experiences that I have had in a while. Even if me and lactose don't get on all the time, then, I know that when it does I can travel to Northern Soul and have the best Grilled Cheese that there is!

Have you tried Northern Soul? Let me know your opinions down below! 

Thanks for reading! 
Jamie x

Sunday, 21 April 2019

Up For A Banh-ing Good Time? | Banh And Mee Leeds

Hey everyone! 

How are you doing? Good? Bad? Let me know down below! 

Welcome to a brand new post! I went and tried Banh Mi's for the first time the other week, so I thought that today, I would talk to you all about my experience of trying it for the first time!

Mylinh and Sengy run the street café together and serve traditional family recipes with a modern Yorkshire twist. They offer simple, fresh and authentic food, bringing vibrant culture of Vietnamese street food, from the streets of Hanoi to the streets of Leeds.

I wandered down to the wonderful Kirkgate Market. Kirkgate Market has some great and quirky stalls, which when mixed with great architectural features, makes it a great place to go and have a wander in. I slowly made my way through the building, weaving in and out of stalls until I found the one that I was looking for.

Banh and Mee have a selection of Vietnamese food, ranging from bowls of pho, to banh mis and everything in between. Me and my friend, decided to go for a BBQ Pork and Chicken and Lemongrass Banh Mi's. We nearly decided to go for a Mama Tran's Homemade Tofu Banh Mi, just for the name alone, but maybe next time, eh?

The BBQ Pork was to die for. The texture of the smooth, near silky, piece of Pork against the thick BBQ reduced sauce and the crunchy bread that the Banh Mi came in was to die for. The depth of the BBQ sauce was delicious. The sweetness was cut through with acidity and a slight bit of heat. This on it's own was enough to fill you up for Lunch but I definitely wouldn't walk and eat with it.

A long oval golden brown baguette filled with rectangular pieces od dark pork with a selection of brightly coloured vegetables on a black rectangular tray on a light brown rectangular table on a bright background

The Chicken and Lemongrass was also to die for. I love anything with Lemongrass in, from bath bombs and perfumes, to, food and cocktails. The Chicken was perfectly cooked. Seared and cooked, but still umptuous and succulent in the middle. The Lemongrass added a hint of deep Citrus that went well with Chicken. The sort of salad that was with it added tang, and the bread added a crunch against the softness of the filling. Just lovely.

A long oval golden brown baguette filled with square pieces of white chicken with a selection of brightly coloured vegetables on a black rectangular tray on a light brown rectangular table on a bright background

Have you been to Banh & Mee? Do I need to try anything else from their menu? Do I need to try any of the other vendors at Kirkgate Market? Let me know down below! 

Thanks for reading! 
Jamie x 

Saturday, 20 April 2019

Poking The Palette & Trying Something New | Oke Poke Manchester

Hey everyone! 

How are you? Are you enjoying the weather at the moment? Let me know down below! 

Welcome to a brand new blog post! I went to Manchester a while ago, and, tried Poké, so I thought that I would talk about my experience with it today.

Poké (poh-kay) is a traditional Hawaiian street food that is a healthy alternative to western fast food. It’s normally a combination of diced raw fish, vegetables and various other mix-ins. Poké in Hawaiian translates as ‘chunk’. It has been compared to a deconstructed sushi bowl, with hints of Asian flavours which creates a unique, healthy and soulful alternative to an everyday salad.

I was in Manchester a while ago, with Alex & Jake. We had ventured into Manchester for a good catch up, and, to defeat and conquer the Doctor Who Escape Room at Escape Hunt. (More details shall be explained in a post very soon.) After conquering the game, we decided to head to Oké Poké.

This business has a cosy yet casual aesthetic with vibes of Hawaii. The aesthetic on it's own makes you feel like a part of something bigger with being able to see everything being made before your eyes. It's something that you can rarely do when eating out at an established restaurant.

I didn't get a photo sadly of my dish, so I am using the photo of Alex's throughout this post. 

A large blue and white circular bowl filled with white rice, pieces of light brown chicken and a selection of colourful vegetables in a light clear sauce on a large light brown rectangular table on a white background

You can either get a Poké bowl or a Pokérito. (It's exactly what you think it is, imagine an amazing Hawaiian influenced Burrito.) I decided to just go for a normal bowl. The great thing about this establishment, is that, you can either choose a already created bowl, or, you can create your own. I decided to have all the fun in the world and create my own!

When choosing your own, you have the decision of, choosing your rice, protein, three toppings, garnishes and a sauce. I decided to go for, Black Rice, Free Range Chicken, Pineapple, Spring Onion, and, Avocado, Coriander, Pickled Ginger, and, Teriyaki Sauce.

I loved the colour of the black rice against the wonderful pop of colours from the Pineapple, Spring Onions and Avocado. The Chicken was seared on the outside and succulent on the inside. I loved this, as sometimes, restaurants have a tendency on overcooking Chicken. I loved the contrast of the crunchy Spring Onions against the clay smoothness of the Avocado. (I rarely eat Avocados, so I thought that this would be a perfect opportunity to be a stereotypical 'millennial'.) I love Coriander, I can eat it by the bundle, but the pepperiness of this against the sweetness of the Pineapple was to die for. The Teriyaki sauce added flavour to the Avocado. but also mellowed out the burn of the Onion. All in all a great dish, and definitely one to have with friends as you can all come back to the table and talk to each other about what you chose.

Have you been to Oké Poké before? Let me know down below? Where should I go and eat next? Let me know down below! 

Click here to check out Jake 
Click here to check out Alex 
Click here to check out Oké Poké. 

I hope that you have enjoyed this blog post and I hope that you come back next time for another post!

Thanks for reading! 
Jamie x

Sunday, 14 April 2019

Getting Down & Dirty With The Bartenders | Jake's Bar & Still Room

Hey everyone!

How are you? Are you enjoying the longer evenings? Let me know down below!

I kindly got invited to try out the new and marvellous menu at the wonder Jake's Bar & Still Room, so I thought that I would talk to you all about that today.

Jake’s Bar has long been renowned for the quality and selection of their cocktails and mixed drinks.
Jakes also have a renowned Still room which  create our own unique range of spirits and liqueurs: The Distilled Spirit of Leeds. A constantly changing selection of potent potables distilled and blended by Jakes talented in house team. The range is regularly changed to reflect the changing flora and flavours of the seasons.

Two large cylindrical glasses containing red and yellow drinks, one topped with a semicircular green wedge of lime and one with a yellow semicircular piece of lemon between a triangular black paper menu on a large circular light brown wooden table on a dark background

I brought my friend, Ben, along to the launch. (If you want to find out more about Ben and his work with VOLATILITY then click here.) We walked down the grand staircase, and, entered the beautifully decorated bar. We chatted to a few of the staff and PR team who had invited us, and then was asked about our favourite liquors. Once we had mentioned our favourite spirits to drink, the bartender in question suggested a drink or two that they had created themselves, for myself and Ben to try.

The basis for Jake's new menu, is, to showcase the wonderful bartenders that work at Jake's Bar and Still Room, and their wonderful drink creating skills. Each Bartender has a section of the menu with a selection of their own drinks. Each section also comes with a little snippet about the bartender, so you can get to know them that little bit more.

Now sadly, I'm not fully sure of the spirits that are involved within the drink, so I'm going to go off on what I think is in there. If I can somehow get hold of what's in each drink, then, I will update the post.

I first tried the Rum Punch. This tasted amazing. Dark spicy Rum mixed with bright and refreshing Citrus fruits. I think rhat this will be an amazing drink for when the weather gets warmer. I always love anything with Rum so this went down a treat. Ben enjoyed a delicious Strawberry Daiquiri. He loved the sweetness of the Strawberries against the sourness of the Lime.

ƒA tall clear cylindrical glass filled with a yellow cocktail with a thin black cylindrical straw with a clear tall cylindrical glass filled with red cocktail with a thin black cylindrical straw on a round light brown wooden table on a dark background

After this, I tried a version of a Bloody Mary that was a little bit sweeter. It also came with a Pickle. I love Pickles. Honestly, I could have Pickles with anything. I honestly loved this. I sometimes find that the problem with Bloody Mary's are that they end up being so sour that you can't taste anything by the second gulp. This one was very different, it ensured that the Tomato came out with still a hint of sourness with the Vodka in there. Ben enjoyed a Rhubarb and Custard. He loved this drink. He liked that it all melded together, and, that the creaminess of the drink cut against the sourness. He was also intrigued on how the bartender had gotten the sweets to stick onto the glass.

We chatted for a while about all things weather and politics. After this, Ben sadly had to get home, so we said our thanks and headed off. I am definitely going back to try the rest of the menu when I can, and, hopefully get to chat to the other bartenders!

Have you been to Jakes Bar and Still Room before? Let me know down below! 

I hope that you have enjoyed this blog post! I hope that you come back next time for another blog post!
g
Thanks for reading! 
Jamƒie x 

I received drinks in return for writing this post. All views, ramblings and opinions are completely my own. 

Sunday, 7 April 2019

Peeking Into Harajuku | Lush Harajuku Exclusives First Impression


Hey everyone!

How are you? Is everything going good? Let me know down below!

Welcome to a brand new blog post! I went to Manchester last week and popped into the wonderful Lush Arndale. When I arrived, I noticed that they had a fair new products out to commemorate the 30th Birthday of the Bath Bomb, so I thought that I would tell you what Bath Bombs they had in today's post. (If you wanna read about my last Lush post, then, click here.)

A tall rectangular portraitt black board with We Run The World in bright white casual font next to a large light brown table containing seven different coloured spherical bath bombs on a bright background

Kitsune

Kitsune refers to a Fox in Japanese culture. They are also known to be intelligent beings with paranormal skills that mature with age. This bath bomb looks amazing and smells divine. The scent consists of Sicillian Lemon and Patchouli. The Lemon will help to refresh your mind and help you feel awake, whereas the Patchouli will help recharge you. The Lemon is definitely the more prominent smell, as it takes a couple of sniffs to realise that there is Patchouli in there.

A line of bright yellow semi spherical bath bombs with ridges all over it on a large rectangular light brown table with a portrait standing black rectangular board with Kitsune in white casual font on a bright background

Groovy Kind Of Love

It's groovy baby! This Bath Bomb contains, Rosewood, Bergamot and Ylang Ylang. I expected it to be very floral, just from this description, but that's not the case. This bomb has a sort of flowery essence to it with a sort of deep pepper note going on. Floral and Pepper sounds weird, I know, but stay with me. When you sniff it, you get the powdery floral-ness of the Ylang Ylang and the Rosewood. That's expected. However, on the second sniff, you get the deep Pepper note from the Bergamot.

A selection of pink and purple spherical bath bombs with ridges all over them on a wide light brown rectangular shelf with a black board saying Groovy Kind of Love in white casual font on a bright background

Harajuku

All of the new bath bombs have come from the bath bomb only store in Harajuku, Japan, so it makes sense to talk about the self-titled Bath Bomb. Harajuku contains Brazilian Orange Oil, Benzoin Resinoid and Vanilla Absolute. The best way that I can explain this scent, is, Bubblegum. By Bubblegum, I don't mean Snow Fairy. I mean pure unfiltered Bubblegum. The stripes of colour, instantly make me think that this will be an amazing one for the water! I like this one but I think it's an one in a while bomb for me.

A selection of pink and yellow spherical bath bombs on a wide light brown rectangular shelf with a black rectangular board saying harajuku in white font on a bright background

Turmeric Latte

Oh my god. This bath bomb. Go and smell it if you can. Turmeric Latte contains, Tonka Absolute, Benzoin Resinoid, Vanilla Absolute, Turmeric Powder, and, Coconut Milk Powder. The Bath Bomb smells spicy but sweet. It reminds me of the Viktor and Rolf fragrance 'Spicebomb.' I just love it. It's sweet enough to be used in the Summer but spicy enough to use in the Winter. I actually bought one of these to use in the bath at the hotel I was staying in, but  sadly I didn't have time to use it.


A selection of a mix of orange and yellow spherical bath bombs with patterns all over on a large wide rectangular light brown shelf with a black rectangular board saying Turmeric Latte on a bright background


Chocomint

Mint Aero Bubbles in a Bath Bomb form? Who would've thought it?! This bomb contains Almond Oil, Cocoa Powder, and, Spearmint Oil, When I sniffed this, I mainly got the Spearmint with a hint of Cocoa. I think that the Almond is mainly more there to make the bomb a little bit sweet. I think that this would be a great one to use for sore muscles, or for a morning bath. (Morning baths are amazing, especially at the weekend!)

A group of bright pastel green spherical bath bombs on a large wide rectangular light brown shelf with a black board saying Chocomint in white font on a bright background

Magma

Who doesn't love a volcano? Magma is here to make all of our hearts rupture with joy! This bomb contains Ginger Powder, Mustard Powder, Cinnamon Leaf Oil, Peppermint Oil and Popping Candy. If you've ever smelt Wiccy Magic Muscles, then it's on the same lines as that. I love this one as it's spicy and just great for when you need a hot bath. I love anything with Cinnamon in so I knew that I would love this instantly from the first sniff. The popping candy is mainly more there for sound aesthetics, as it helps the bath bomb to sound like a rupturing Volcano.

A selection of bright red spherical bath bombs with yellow crack patterns all over on a wide light brown rectangular shelf with a black board saying magma on white font on a bright background

Moon Spell

Moon Spell is a very different sort of bomb. It comes in two parts, and when you push them together in the water, it makes the bath glow with delight. This product contains just Brazillian Orange Oil. It's deep but citrus and I love it.

A selection of bright pink and purple spherical bath bombs on a large light brown rectangular shelf with a black rectangular board saying Moon Spell in white font on a bright background

Have you tried any of the bath bombs mentioned in this post? Have you checked out your local Lush to check what new and exclusive products are there? Let me know down below!

Thanks for reading! 
Jamie x

Saturday, 23 March 2019

Trying Something New & Coulee For My Hair | The Body Shop Shea Butter Richly Replenishing Hair Mask

Hey everyone!

How's everything going today? Good? Bad? Let me know down below! 

Welcome to a brand new blog post! The Body Shop have recently brought out a Shea Hair Mask, as a part of, their Spring Collection. As I love to try any and every beauty product, I thought that I would talk to you about my experiences with it.

One of the lovely members of staff at my local store gave me a sample pot of this to try. With all beauty products except for bath products I tried this over a two week period to ensure I could review it properly. 

a large dark green cylindrical tub with a light yellow rectanuglar labe l saying Shea Butter Richly Replenishing Hair Mask in small bold font on a large square light brown wooden block with new on the side in large white font on a bright abckground

Texture:

The formula of this product is a new one for me. It's quite creamy within the pot, and it still keeps that creaminess to an extent, but when it's in the hair, it turns into more of an oil. I did feel like I needed a tad bit more once I had applied it. I'm not sure if that was a cream to oil thing, or, just my hair being drier than the Sahara.

Smell:

The hair mask is mainly made up of Shea Butter, so the product does have quite a clean but woody scent that's reminiscent of Shea Butter. Even though this is true, the product does then get a little bit floral when it's lathered up within the hair. I didn't mind the scent but I wish that it was a little bit sweeter for my liking.

How To Apply:

Massage a good scoopful of the product into damp, clean hair. Leave for 10 minutes (at least, you can also use it overnight if your hair needs it). Rinse thoroughly.

Results:

It lathered and creamed well. The product made my hair feel soft and nourished. Sadly though, as my hair is slightly irritated and quite dry, I noticed that after a while my haie just felt a bit coarser than normal? I did try this product a fair few times and 3/4 of the time, this happened. The other quarter showed that it was a very creamy product. I just think sadly, that my hair didn't agree with this mask.

List Of Ingredients:

Aqua/Water/Eau, Butyrospermum Parkii Butter/Butyrospermum Parkii (Shea) Butter, Cetearyl Alcohol, Cetyl Alcohol, Glycerin, Behentrimonium Chloride, Cocos Nucifera Oil/Coconut Oil, Olea Europaea Fruit Oil/Olive Fruit Oil, Theobroma Cacao Seed Butter/Cocoa Seed Butter, Panthenol, Benzyl Alcohol, Parfum/Fragrance, Phenoxyethanol, Cetearyl Olivate, Cetrimonium Chloride, Sorbitan Olivate, Isopropyl Alcohol, Citric Acid, Ethylhexylglycerin, Guar Hydroxypropyltrimonium Chloride, Tocopheryl Acetate, Trisodium Ethylenediamine Disuccinate, Linalool, Sodium Hydroxide, Coumarin, CI 19140/Yellow 5, CI 15985/Yellow 6.

Price:

£12.

Would I Buy It Again?:

If it came in a mini tub for me to travel with, then maybe. The pot is massive for the price, but I think you need to make sure that it works for your hair first. I'd love for it to be in a mini format so I could take it with me on the road, but, otherwise probably not, just from my hair not getting on that well with it.

Have you tried this product? Have you tried any of the Shea Range from The Body Shop? Let me know down below!

I hope that you come back soon for another blog post.

Thanks for reading!
Jamie x

This is not a sponsored post. A staff memeber at The Body Shop Briggate gave me this to try. I have created this review out of my own free will. All views, opinions and ramblings are my own. 

It's Getting Stormy Up In Here | VOLATILITY Storm Chasing

Hey everyone!

How's everything going? Let me know down below! 

Welcome to a brand new blog post! I thought that I would talk to you all about VOLATILITY Storm Chasing. What is VOLATILITY Storm Chasing? Carry on reading to find out!



Storm chasing, is well, chasing storms that can consist of any weather condition, from hail to extreme tornadoes, and, everything in between. Many storm chasers tend to create montages and compilations of videos to show off their love of storm chasing. This is mainly due to storm chasing being a dangerous hobby to enjoy and participate within. VOLATILITY Storm Chasing are here to completely shake storm chasing and the viewing of this sport up. They are here to change it for the better, via, a beautifully filmed and edited series of fun, adventures, and challenges on all terrain trip. There will be, thunderstorms, an abundance of hail, and much more. Will they get to capture the all mighty storm that they are chasing? You'll have to watch the series to find out.

In an interview with Ben Pickering (one of the amazing people that participated in creating VOLATILITY Storm Chasing) he estimates that he has spent an average of 20 hours, at least, each week editing since late August 2018, working out at a frankly unbelievable 560 hours on just the first episode! An incredible achievement considering he has to juggle with his day-job of studying for a PhD, editing whenever he can in the evenings and weekends.

We ran two Garmin Virb 360˚ cameras during the chases, which are renowned for their quality in the early 360˚ market. They also record a host of metadata such as barometric pressure, compass, gyroscope, heart rate, GPS and more which have enabled some of the unique shots and graphics seen in the series. Additional footage comes from DSLR time lapses and post-chasing interviews. Studio recording started last summer (and is still ongoing for the later episodes), and is captured using a Panasonic GH4 in a DIY studio location. Perhaps the best feature of shooting in 360˚ is the ability to edit the angle later (particularly for in-car conversations) with an infinite number of possibilities. Ben states that “this is one of the features which gives VOLATILITY Storm Chasing such a unique and engaging style”.

Even if you have never viewed Storm Chasing footage before, but love adventure based videos, even if its just stuff like vlogs/seeing what people get up to, then I'd suggest watching VOLATILITY. You can catch it on YouTube. If you want a little preview of the series, then, watch the trailer at the top of this post.

I hope that you've enjoyed this blog post. Come back soon for a in-depth review of their first episode!

Thanks for reading!

Jamie x

This is not a sponsored post. I am just promoting a YouTube series for a friend. All views and opinions at all time are my own. Please do check out the series. 

Tuesday, 26 February 2019

Trying Itsu For The First Time

Hey everyone! 

How are you? Hows the week going?

Welcome to a brand new post! Today, I thought that I would talk about one of my favourite topics, food!

A white square containing a rainbow coloured butterfly with itsu in big bold black font with eat beautiful in small black font on a bright cbackground

Itsu is a Asian based restaurant chain that sells, a mixture of, sushi, wraps and hot food and drinks. Created by Pret A Manger founder Julian Metcalfe, the original Chelsea store of Itsu was unique and contemporary for it's time. Five years later, we opened our first takeaway shop in vogue house, headquarters of Conde Nast’s publishing empire. This little itsu boutique still thrives today.

I walked into the restaurant for the first time and saw all of the bright lights and vibrant coloured packaging of the fresh products in the fridges, and, realised that I would need a few moments to choose on what I wanted to eat. (Most of my close friends know that it takes a few minutes, or twenty, to choose on wht I want because I normally want everything!)

Itsu do a mixture of hot and cold items within their stores, from, soups, to sushi, to curries, to rice dishes and everything in between. I decided to grab something cold. As it was the night after a friends Birthday party, I decdied to grab something and take it back to my flat so I could watch Netflx.

I finally decided on the Veggie Sushi Collection. I think that it's best to try and include Veggie items into your diet especially when it comes to food that has already been made. This dish came with a mixture of smaller Carrot and Cucumber Sushi, bigger Sushi which I think contained Lemongrass, Veggie Dumplings, and, Edamame Beans.

Small Sushi:

The Sushi that I first tried, was small but powerful. It contained a mix of Onions, Cucumbers and Coriander. I love Coriander and I love Sushi, so I already knew that I was going to love these. They were the right size to grab onto a Chopstick, and, dunk into an assortment of superb sauces, such as, Soy, Teriyaki or Hoi Sin

Big Sushi:

These Sushi were amazing too. The only problem, that, I had with these is that, they fell apart really easily. I don't know if it was because the Rolls weren't rolled u[ tight enough. The main flavour, that, I got with these was Lemongrass. I love Lemongrass!  They were bright and just went perfectly with the Soy that was included in the pack.

Dumplings

I love dumplings! Big, small, veggie, meat, spicy, cool, savoury, sweet. I love them! My main problem with the dumplings within the Itsu box, is that, the amount that came in the box needed to be multiplied by ten! They were fresh but slightly spicy at the same time. I loved to slightly dip them in the Soy-Wasabi mix that I made, as it meant that some of the food was crunchy and other parts were saturated with spicy goodness!

Edamame Benas

I normally don't enjoy Edamame Beans that much, mainly, because within Bento/Sushi boxes, they are normally within their pods. This means that you normally have to unpod and them deshell them a tiny bit, which isn't the reason why I buy or enjoy Sushi Boxes. I normally enjoy them so I don't have to cook or do much when it comes to eating. These came in a sort of Spicy mix. I loved the spicy aspect but I wasn't sure on how you would be able to enjoy them with a chopstick. I did also fiud them a tad dry, so I decided to, pour the rest of my sauce mix on top of them. I think that these would be good on their own via a sort of Pan Asian inspired Salad of some sort.

Have you tried anything from Itsu before? Have you tried any of their Sushi before? Is there any other great Asian food establishments that I should try out? Let me know down below!

Check out Itsu.

Thanks for reading! 
Jamie x 

Monday, 25 February 2019

Lush Goddess Perfume Range | First Impressions

Hey everyone!

How are you? Are you happy that March is nearly upon us?

Welcome to a brand new blog post! Lush decided to drop a new range of products under the Goddess scent family, and, I thought that today. If you like Lush and Ariana Grande, then keep on reading. If you don't, then, thank you next.


Goddess is one of Lush's up and coming Bath Bombs that has hopped it's way throughout the Beauty world within the last year. Goddess, as it's name suggests, was created in honour of Ariana Grande, and her song, 'god is a woman'. As, Ariana decided to drop her new album, 'thank u, next', Lush decided to drop many more items with the same deep floral scent that Goddess is synonymous of.

This is a first impressions, via trying the below products out, within my local Lush store. The below opinions are only from trying them out there and then. 

Solid

I love the Solid fragrances, mainly, because you can put them into your bag on the night out and it wont take up too much room. This means that you can top up your scent when you feel like it's fading a bit to ensure that you're smelling amazing all night long. The Solid has more of a grassy sort of element to it which lingers on the skin for quite a long amount of time. I think this is due to the Osmanthus that is in the fragrance. When comparing it to the Soap

A circular glass tub containing a circular purple perfume on a bright background

Liquid

I love the Goddess scent, but, sadly as a student, I just can't rationalise the amount that the Liquid costs, even though, I know that I would use it so often! A mix of the deepness from the Jasmine comes across a little bit more in this version, compared with the Solid. I also think that the Lemon comes out a tiny bit more in this one. I do love this scent and I think that it reminds me of those sort of nights where the nights are getting longer but its still a bit nippy sometimes?

A tall rectangular glass bottle filled with clear liquid with a white rectangular label saying Goddess in black bold font on a bright background

Soap:

One of the new products that Lush released, is a, Goddess Soap. I'm not fully sure on what the shape of the product is meant to be. The shape mainly reminds me of a tear drop, which might be a wink to the song, No Tears Left To Cry', who knows? Lush have decided to slightly change the scent between all of the new products to make them a little bit different. The Soap has a sort of a more, Lemon/Lemongrass scent to it. If you like the scent of the Avobath Bath Bomb, then you will definitely love the scent of the Goddess Soap.

A large dark brown and purple slightly tear dropped/ear shaped soap with sparkly gold on the top on a bright background

Stone:

This is a weird one to include, but, I couldn't find the Fragrance Oil, or, the Washcard so I thought that it would be a bit interesting to include the stone that Lush include in their stands for people to sniff in case they don't want to spray it. The stone has more of the Jasmine coming through. I also got more of a powdery note from the stone. The Lemon wasn't that present in the stone either. If you want to find the stones and smell trhem all, then, pop into your local Lush. They should all be on a little table in front of the fragrances.

A large rugged oval purple stone with a silver circle in the middle with goddess in bold black font on a bright background

Have you tried any of the Goddess products from Lush? Have you listened to Ariana's new album? Let me know down below!

Thanks for reading! 
Jamie x 

Sunday, 10 February 2019

Lush Soya Bran Exfoliator Body Scrub

Hey everyone!

How are you? Happy that January is finally over? Sad that the rest of the year is going to fly by?

Welcome to a brand new blog post! I thought that today, I would talk to you all about, a new naked product from Lush, that I got to try by going to the new Naked store in Manchester.

A bright gold square compact scrub full of little whiite pieces of sugar and oatmeal on top of a rectangular black bag on a white rectangular table on a bright background

I heard about Lush Manchester Market Street being turned into a new Naked shop, and well, the Lushie in my head, told me that I had to go ASAP. The weekend after the launch of the newly refurbished Lush store, I decided to go into Manchester to meet up with a couple of friends, so, I thought that I would check out the new shop as I might as well as kill two birds with one stone.

If you haven't heard of a Lush Naked Shop, then imagine your favourite/local Lush store, now imagine all of the products having no packaging where possible. Obviously the items at a Lush store that need pakaging aren't sold at the Naked store, but to make up for that, the store contains exclusive products that you can't find anywhere else!

I had a look around the spacious shop (if you would like me to do a post on the shop itself, then let me know via the comments or social media), and decided that I wanted to get a new product to try out. After uhmming and ahhing with a friend between the, shower oils, body masks, and, body scrubs, I finally decided on a product. Soya Bran Exfoliator

List Of Ingredients & Scent: 

Granulated Sugar Fine Ground Oatmeal Soya Bran Fair Trade Organic Cocoa Butter Glycerine Lauryl Betaine Sodium Laureth Sulfate Lemon Peel Powder Bergamot Oil Neroli Oil Brazilian Orange Oil Sicilian Red Mandarin Oil Tangerine Oil Dried Blue Larkspur Gardenia Extract *Limonene *Linalool Perfume

The Sugar ensures that the product has a coarse scrub to ensure that all the dead skin on your body disappears, but, the Oatmeal within this product ensures that it's not too coarse. Oatmeal is very well known for soothing sensitive/irritated skin. The Cocoa Butter ensures that the skin stays soft and smooth which is needed in the British cold weather. The Red Mandarin and Lemon Peel Powder, give this Scrub a very citrus scent, but, the Gardenia gives it a bit of a floral (which reminded me a bit of the old Dorothy Bubble Bar mixed with Lemon Cheesecake.)

How To Use:

So, with naked products, there are many ways to use the product due to its solid form. I wet it lightly via the sink or shower, then, i massage it into the skin in circular motions to ensure the sugary scrub works it's magic. I then leave it on for an extra 30 seconds, and then rinse.

Results:

I loved it. For someone with sensitive skin, its a sensational scrub. The Sugar, Oatmeal and Soya Bran, are soft exfoliants therefore they don't irritate the skin that much. The Scrub as a whole, gets rid of dead skin and makes you feel super smooth.

Overall Thoughts:

I loved it. it had a fresh scent to it. I love how Lush are creating new and creative ideas to help the environment and cut down on waste upon plastic. However, my main problem with the Scrub, was that the Oatmeal and Soya Bran made the product dusty, so if it wasn't in a form of tub or anything, it would make it a bit hard to handle. It only becomes a problem for myself when travelling, but, I loved the product and can't wait to try some of the other naked products that are now available at the Lush Manchester Market Street store.

Have you been to the new Lush Naked Store? Have you tried the new products from the Naked Store in Manchester? Let me know down below on or Social M edia.

Thanks for reading!
Jamie x

Friday, 1 February 2019

Why I Stopped Blogging For A Month

Hey everyone?

How are you? Good? Bad? Forever tired?

Welcome to a brand new blog post! Today, I'm talking all about why I haven't blogged since the 30th of December 2018.

A large rectangular silver laptop with a black strip around the top of the rectangular screen with silver square keys with a white screen on a large rectangular light brown table on a bright background

Work

I got myself a 'proper' job for the Christmas period at somewhere that I absolutely adore. Having a job meant that I was spending most of my time, well, working. If I wasn't spending my time working, I was probably travelling back to my flat from work, or, sleeping. If I got any spare time, then, I ended up relazing/trying to do other things. This all meant that I would write down blog post ideas and then, end up never actually getting around to finishing them off. I'm actually considering creating a blog post about my time working for said job, so if you would like me to create that post, then comment down below.

Uni

Carrying on from the above paragraph, I also was juggling uni at the same time as working. Now, doing University can't really be used an a excuse to not blogging as I've been doing Uni and blogging for over a year. Even though this is true, trying to juggle working, being a human and rushing to get deadlines done, means that well, you get sick of looking at a laptop screen really quickly, thus not wanting to do the latter to create blog posts.

Mental Health

This is a major reason as to why I kind of stopped blogging for a while. My mental health ended up in such a bad state, that, i just didn't want to do anything. I just didn't see the point in doing anything, including writing a post for the blog. I just felt like, at the time, everything that I was doing was utter crap, but at the same time, the longer that I left stuff, the more anxious I felt about, if I did write a new post then nobody would notice due to being away for such a long while. Everything just got on top of me. I wrote and deleted posts, I didn't sleep for days, I was an irritable and depressive shit to everyone. When I should've pushed myself into my blog, I just crumbled and sighed every time I loaded the blog up.

Blogging Community/Comparing

This one kind of relates back to my mental health. I love the blogging community with all of my heart. I can't thank enough for when I was first creating 'Jamie Sowden', but the community can be competitive and problematic at times. I know that a fair few blogger friends may read this, so by problematic, I mean that, as bloggers, a lot of us including myself from time to time try to trump each other instead of being an actual community. I just ended up finding myself comparing myself to a lot of other bloggers that I know quite a lot. By doing this, it just reinforced the idea that my blog was, well, garbage. I know that it's not, and trust me, this post isn't a pity party, but when it comes to views and seeing blogger friends get achievements and opportunities that you could only dream of, it makes you wonder, why can't I get that? It also felt worse when you'd see bloggers that create posts with a few lines of content do so well, whereas I was putting my heart and soul into posts with content, accessible pictures, the works. I don't know. I've stopped comparing myself to others, and, I'm slowly getting back to the point where I want to create posts for my own happiness and not for views etc.

The last reason, as to why I stopped blogging for a while, is a simple reason.... I stopped blogging for a while, because, frankly I am a lazy bitch.

So, without further ado, halleloo, I'm back! I won't be sticking to a schedule, as I'm still working out on when I can blog with Uni kicking back in and such.

I hope that you have enjoyed this post. I hope that you come back next time for another blog post.

If you missed my last post then don't forget to read it.

Thanks for reading! 
Jamie x 

Sunday, 30 December 2018

Let’s Talk About Being Polyamorous

Hey everyone!

How are you?

Welcome to a brand new post! I've been wanting to write this post for such a long while! So, I thought that I would finally get on and do it!

To start off, sorry that this post is serious, It's something that I've wanted to talk about for a while, without knowing the best way to talk about. I always believe in that the way to break down stigmas, is to talk about it, which is what I'm doing today.

Hi, i'm Jamie, and, I identify as polyamorous. It's something little to say and even type, but boy am I proud that i am typing that I identify as poly. 

A bunch of tall women and men with different hair styles wearing white shirts and black pants on a bright background

What is polyamory? It is defined as: the practice of engaging in multiple sexual relationships with the consent of all the people involved.

Poly means many, and, amory, well means, love, therefore, it basiccally means to love many.

Polyamory can be closed and open. Closed is more towards, sort of triad/throuple. A throuple is, three people in a relationship, or more, like two people in a relationship having another partner that they both know about. Open is more of a well branches of relationships, which is what I am. \

is polyamory just a way to be a slut? No. I mean, first of all, let's reclaim the word slut. Slut isn't a bad word. It's fab and we should use it more and more in an empowering way! Polyamory isn't just a way to be sexually promiscuous. It's understanding how you feel about love and relationships. It's about understanding that monogamy isn't for you. It's understanding that there's more to love than what's represented in the media. It's being who you wanting to be and being accepted for it.

Why do people identify as polyamorous? Again, a lot of the above comes into this particular answer. Furthermore, kinks and interests come into play. Some people when going into relationships, know that their partners may be into other things, that they are not and letting them go off and find others that are into the things that you're not, means, that they will come back being happy and fulfilled. The interests could be sexual or non sexual.

Is it stressful/complicated? Of course it is, any sort of relationship, whether this be with friends, family can be stressful though, so it's not that different to that. I've been in a few poly based relationships before. They included both, open and closed relationships, and they broke down for the same reasons that a monogamous relationship would. It was gritty, messy and complex, but I think the main difference and I don't know why but it was easier to be pure friends with at least a couple of them after the relationship, because of the polyamorous aspect of it being more open, and, free flowing. I realise that makes zero sense, but, I think a lot of people see being poly as an alien concept that a lot of the mainstream public don't understand thus don't want to be educated on it, due to ignorance and not wanting to know what other possibilities are in the world.

Why are you identifying as poly? Anxiety was a main factor of it, and I realise that sounds weird, but what I mean by that is, that I have forever thought that being in a monogamous relationship, from saying hi for the first time onwards, creates tension for me in my brain. I always worry about everything, from stupid things to major things, and i knew that some point they'd get sick of me. Being in a poly relationship would calm that down, because I'd know that they'd have someone else to talk to and half my worries would be banished, because I'd be able to talk to more than one person that i feel truly and deeply connected with about it. Going off from that, I mean that worries about wondering if the other person is okay or if they're safe or having a good week or whatever, is halved, because I already know that they're spending time with people that they are interested in too.  That sounds worse than what i was intending it to sound. I also just love a lot. Anyone that has met me, knows that I'm loving and passionate in everything that I do, and, honestly i just want all the love to flow around the world, and as selfish as it sounds, all the love to be shown to me. This will probably sound worseI intend for it to sound, but, it means that the sexual tension of trying to get to know new people is broken a bit, because, you already know that they have the same ideas and values and you don't feel as tense thus you can talk about anything safely with people that you probably would have never met in a monogamous setting. There is also things like jealousy, but, unlike in monogamous relationships where the other person bottles stuff, you can have more open conversations and explore why you're jealous. A lot of monogamous relationships break down due to the lack of communication.

I realise that this is a kit if information to understand, in one go, so I'm going to link a video to help you understand it further.

If I've said anything that you think is incorrect, or, that you want to add to then please do comment!

I hope that you've enjoyed this post and I hope to see you next time!

Thanks for reading! 
Jamie x 

Monday, 17 December 2018

Getting Nutty With Flavour | icestone Gelato

Hey everyone!

How are you?

Welcome to a brand new blog post! I went to try a sweet dish, at the well known brand Icestone Gelato, and I thought that today, I would tell you all about, what I had and my opinion on the dish.

A large circular bowl containing dark brown cookie dough with specks of heart shaped red strawberries with a light brown circular wafer with Icestone engraved into it on a large circular brown table on a bright background.

Icestone aims to be the ultimate dessert experience, with an range of gelatos and desserts. Icestone's Waffles, Crepes and Cookie Dough are made via their own secret recipe and as their other desserts, they have sought out the cream of bakers all over the North-West and commissioned the best cakes, cheesecakes and puddings from them.

I decided to go into Icestone Gelato, with, Jim when they came up to Leeds. (He also came along to Trinity Kitchen to try out some food. Click here if you want to read all about that.) We walked in, found a cute booth to sit and chat in, and snapped some pictures of the interior of the building.

I perused the menu for several minutes, because I'm indecisive and always want everything when it comes to food. After uhming and ahhing, I decided to choose a Nutella & Strawberry Cookie Dough, with Vanilla Gelato. (If you want to check out what Jim got when he came to Leeds for a catch up, then, check our their Instagram.)

The dish came to the table, and I already could tell that I was going to love it. You could tell that it was made with love and passion, just from the look of it.

The rich Chocolate spread against the cool refreshing taste of Strawberries was amazing. The contrast between the crunchy hard exterior, and, the gooey interior was amazing. I'm a nerd for texture contrasts. It just makes an eating experience that little bit better. I love Nutella, so, the fact that the Cookie Dough was full of it, made me very very happy.

The Vanilla Gelato, was rich, creamy, and, heavenly. The coldness against the hotness was orgasmic. I also loved it, as, I have slightly sensitive fangs (honeatly my teeth are as sharp as knves), so the sort of soft to near melted ice cream was a little bit melted for me. Some may think that, the dessert as a whole would be a bit sickly, but the Vanilla and Strawberry flavours, helped to cut through all of the sweetness.

I reassured myself that it was fine to eat all of it, due to the Nuts and Strawberries. I mean, Nuts are always good for you, and, so are Strawberries, therefore it's healthy!

Icestone also do a plethora of sweet treats, including, sundaes, puddings, and, freakshakes, so I'm sure that I'll be back very soon.

Have you been to Icestone Gelato before? Let me know down below!

I hope that you have enjoyed this food based blog post! I hope that you come back for a new post! 

Thanks for reading! 
Jamie x