Friday, 31 May 2013

Foodie Friday - What I Ate In May

May's been a funny month for me food wise, for the first 3 weeks of the month I ate what I wanted, when I wanted it. It was my birthday on the 15th so I overindulged just a little bit with several meals out and cake related yuminess!For the last week and a bit though since I've started listening to the Slim Pod my diet has changed dramatically and I'm eating a much more balanced and healthy diet all be it with the odd treat :) We'll start off with some of the food I scoffed whilst I was eating out - first up was an early birthday meal with Mummy Lou at Tex Mex chain Chiquitos. I went for the Roasted Vegetable and Goats Cheese Salad, which was amazing - I will definitely be having this again x

Next up I visited Gourmet Burger Kitchen GBK with some fellow North East based bloggers, the company was fab but I have to say that I wasn't that impressed the with food- I'd been before and dismantled a falafel burger which was lovely but this time I went for the GBK Salad, I love avocado and pine nuts but this just seemed to be a bit mehhh, it was £6.95 but it wasn't huge and you could barely taste the dressing so I chucked a bit of Tabasco on it.

The skinny fries on the other hand were yum, I just got a small portion and they were gorgeous super skinny and super crispy - I would also recommend the milkshakes 100% but again at £4.00 they aren't cheap.

To a dining experience that left me feeling a bit unfulfilled to one that hit the spot in more ways than one. One of my besties is one of the most understanding people that I've ever met, she always seems to scour restaurant and pub menus to find things that I can eat.

This time she suggested a meal at a local hotel, pub and equestrian centre near where I live, The South Causey Inn, I hadn't been there for years - I have vague memories of drinking hooch in the bar with another friend many moons ago. I have to say I was really impressed, the grounds are beautiful and are filled unsurprisingly with horses, but also sheep, newborn lambs, goats, geese, and as you can see here alpacas!!!

You can eat in the bar area but we had a table booked in the restaurant, which for a Tuesday night was surprisingly busy. My friend has been before and seeing the size of the meals we decide to skip starters and just go for a main course, the menu is really extensive and filled with lots of local ingredients, they also have a full vegetarian menu, a childrens menu and a coeliac menu. My friend went for the poached cod with prawn sauce on top of cheesy mash with veg, and I went for another salad this time but as you can see it couldn't have been more different.

Both our meals were massive!!!! I've seen salads in hotels and restaurants this size that are to feed 4 people. I went for the Feta Cheese, Sun Dried Tomato and Olive salad and it was crammed full of big chunks of feta, green and black olives and gorgeous sun dried tomatoes, as well as chunks of  cucumber, onion, tomatoes, peppers and loads of different salad leaves, and you got a little pot of coleslaw and a little pot of potato salad.

It should have came with a bread roll but they were out of gluten free bread, probably just as well as I couldn't have eaten it! We both stuffed and couldn't eat anything else even though the desserts looked amazing. My salad was £9.95 but it was really worth the money. If your in my neck of the woods I would really recommend this as a place to go x you can find their website here x

Two of these meals were all about the birthday and unsurprisingly I had a few treats on the day itself, including my traditional birthday carrot cake (you can see the recipe here) and my birthday treat - Mars Bar cake - (check out my recipe here)

and check out this gorgeous gluten free, fresh cream lemon curd sponge that my mum made mmmm

The rest of the month has been about comfort food -including my mushroom stroganoff (recipe here)

and the cheeky bottle of wine that went with it x

and my version of Wonky Monkey's fabulous broccoli and walnut pasta - obviously I used gluten free pasta but I also threw in a bit of Stilton which I love x This is a real comfort recipe for me which me and Mummy Lou both love x

By rights the weather should be getting warmer now but it doesn't seem to be so I've been slurrping soup again - I've actually made this tomato and red pepper soup (recipe here) twice this month but I've made it a bit spicy and add a small chilli to the mix each time to make it really warming for rainy days.

The final things that I've eaten are things that you would probably describe as snacks, first up this which
has certainly had some twitter and instagram  coverage ( follow me on instagram if you aren't already - LouLou699). One of Cadbury's latest offerings Marvellous Creations Jelly Popping Candy Shells - I'm a huge popping candy junkie so I knew I needed to try this and I'm glad I did NOM.

Finally some more healthier snacks well ish, including this supermarket version and of Pop Chips

These are gorgeous and so much healthier than conventional fried crisps, just a word of warning the black pepper ones that I got were ridiculously hot, more so than some stuffed jalapenos I'd had the day before. Another recent addiction is popcorn

These are salt n vinegar ones from Sainsbury's but any savoury popcorn is doing it for me at the minute. I'm trying to find ways or doing it in a more healthy and cheaper way though, I already have an air popper but I'd love it if you have any healthier flavouring suggestions. Finally these...

As you know I received a little friend and a pack of the roast beef version to try (see my post here) but salt n vinegar is my true love, and the fact that their low in calories is pretty good too. I picked up a 6 pack for just £1 in Tesco's and if you pick up the latest Tesco magazine there is a 50p off coupon.

So that was my monthly food round up - I can guarantee that June's will be a little bit healthier ;) Have you eaten, discovered or made anything interesting in May? let me know in the comments x

Thursday, 30 May 2013

May Gifts And Purchases And Some News - Lush, Avon, Ebay, Primark And Magazine Freebies

It's the end of another month so that means it's haul time :) I've only picked up a few things for myself this month - I really am trying to be good for once.

My major purchases of the month came from Lush, we were given a discount for all purchases made at the North East Lush Event so I bought myself a couple of things that one of the lovely members of staff tried out on me . First up one of the Emotional Brilliance make up colours in the shade Glamorous, a hot pink cream lip or cheek colour :)

I also got another make up item which I fell in love with on the night, the amazing Skin Tint in Feeling Younger - this is a really, really versatile product that I'm really loving at the moment.

I must admit I wanted to buy the whole store but I only bought one more thing, a 100g spray bottle of one of my favourite toners, Lush Tea Tree Toner Water.

I'm going to be doing a full post and review on all of these items in the next few days, so keep checking back to see it xx

Next up ebay I made a couple of ebay purchases this month, but to date only one has arrived and I love it :)

These have been everywhere in the blogosphere and I can see - Tony Moly Petite Bunny Glosses seem to be a gloss, balm hybrid, they come in several shades and flavours and the one I went for was 01 Juicy Strawberry.

It smells and tastes exactly as the name would suggest, yummy and gives a love glossy light pink finish to the lips.

Love it :) I paid £3.76 for this one - yeah to a good exchange rate from this seller x

The next thing that I bought was a magazine - just the one, Mummy Lou bought me the rest :) because it's magazine freebie season. There are a few freebies in this month and next months glossies but the one I bought myself this month was Marie Claire. There was a choice of 3 Avon products - a brow marker, an eye pencil and a lipstick. I went for the lipstick which was from the Perfect Kiss range.

The free shade was one way out of my comfort zone but strangely enough I really like it - the shade was Smitten Red

It's quite a raspberry toned red, and it feels really moisturising on the lips, but because it's so creamy and glossy it does have a tendency to travel. It does make me look super pale here - I think I'm challenging some sort of vampire queen here lol

My final purchases of the month came from Avon, as I said before it's really dangerous living next door to an Avon lady :) First up I picked another one of the Color Trend lipsticks, this time from the sale catalogue I went for the shade Gleam - a sort of pink / red /orange shade.

I also decided to try a shade from the Extra Lasting Lipstick range - I went for the shade Pretty In Pink, a gorgeously pigmented pink.

and it wouldn't be an Avon order without a nail polish and the one I got was Blue Water Lillies, a gorgeous iridescent pale blue with lots of shimmer.

Oh and I also got a Footworks Papaya Sorbet Cooling Foot Spray. Because of my illness and medication I can get freezing feet one minute and burning hot itchy ones within the space of 5 minutes. I normally use cold water to relieve the burning, or a cooling foot gel, but I'm nearly out of the one of being using so I thought I'd try a spray instead

As you've probably gathered I did go a little bit over my limit this month but I did have some birthday money so I don't feel to bad about it and I'm still going to keep trying and I'm even more determined to do better next month x

Lush Haul - £27.40
Avon Haul - £11.20
Tony Moly Petite Bunny Gloss - ebay - £3.76
Marie Claire - £2.50
Total - £44.86
£4.86 Over

May was my birthday month and as per usual I was well and truly spoilt by my family and friends. It didn't stop there though Mummy Lou has bought me loads of bits this month, I'm so lucky to have her

The first bits she bought me were from Avon, as I say it's dangerous living next to a Avon lady ;) She got me another 2 of the colour trend in Sparkle

and in Bubblegum Pout

I love these lipsticks they are quite sheer but they add just a hit of colour and shimmer, and they all seem to create a bit of that your lips but better type look. The other Avon item she bought me was the Clearskin Professional Liquid Extraction Strip, It's like the pore strips that you can buy combined with a face mask. I'm going to review this on the blog when I've had a chance to try out properly x

I mentioned magazine freebies and she was also kind enough to buy my a couple of magazines, Elle which came with a free mini Benefit They're Real Mascara

and Instyle which came with a free Nails Inc exclusive polish, the shade I got was You're A Peach, a pastel peach colour. I've already tried this already and I have to be honest I'm a not a fan - I'll stick a post up at the weekend for you xx

On Tuesday Mummy Lou fancied a shopping expedition and I need to buy a birthday pressie, so we headed to the Metro Centre for a few hours retail therapy. She is the sweetest person on this planet and treated me to a few bits, whilst she bought herself a large Sicilian Lemon Yankee Candle, summer in a candle. First stop was Poundland  - I can remember being a real cheap shop snob - how much of an idiot was I? I love bargain shopping. I had a little look at the make up section and I was pleased to see that they had some more Milani items, they had some lipglosses, and various mascaras, but I picked up two of these Glimmer Stripes.

These look exactly like the Bobbi Brown Shimmer Bricks that everyone and their mother seems to have copied, no matter I love the concept and the fact that use can use them for so many different purposes. I picked up two shades 05 Honey Glimmer and 07 Cocoa Glimmer. I'm going to review these soon on the blog and I have one to giveaway so keep checking back xx We also picked up these..

The Allura Travel Bottle Set, I wonder why?.....Next up Primark, she got me this top which was £4.

It's very similar to the ones, Kaye got for me (see them here) only these ones are short sleeved and the lace is of a slightly different design :)

She also paid for this cute make up bag, I love bows and this was only £3 which is really good considering it has two separate compartments - I really didn't need another make up bag but to be fair I do have a few to put on ebay and I've given some to charity recently ;)

The rest of the Primark purchases were all beauty related - first up these cute false nails

I already have a pack of these in the plain French manicure design to try but I fell in love with you've guessed it the bow design and the polka dots. I will review these beauties for you at some point x

I also added a tube of Hask Macadamia Oil Hot Oil Treatment to our basket - I'm loving the look of all of their hair products and again I can't wait to try this x

The final Primark item that Mummy Lou paid for was a pack of Botanical Choice Exfoliating Foot Masks which were either £3 or £4.

The gist of it is, that you wear them for between 60 and 90 minutes and over the next 2 weeks the dry skin skin on your feet will gradually peel away and stay smooth for up to 6 months.They sound gross but strangely intriguing, and a must for me, my feet are horrendous at the moment, so dry. Incidently there was a similar product on QVC yesterday and they were over £15 for the same type of one treatment pack. I'll try and review these for you when I use them x

The final things that St Mummy Lou bought me were from a fabulous little stall in the Metro Centre. Like a lot of shopping centres the Metro Centre has little stalls and barrows dotted around the malls, and there was a stall which sold all sorts of things from Maneki Neko cats to scarves and jewellery, the good thing was that over 3/4 of things on the stall were just £1, there was jewellery, temporary tattoos, scarves and nail art. Mummy Lou bought herself a scarf and got me 4 pieces of jewellery including 2 enamel bangles.

I love these, my godmother gave me some vintage ones from her jewellery collection and that she's picked up a church sales, and occasionally I find some more that I fall in love with either from charity shops or in quirky jewellery stores especially in holiday destinations. These are really nice and were just a pound each, if you look on ebay, you can find similar things for a lot more. She also got me both of these...

I'm a huge fan of wooden jewellery, and the necklace was just a £1 as were the bracelet and earrings which were a £1 for both

There are some really nice things if you like beads and fashion jewellery, so if your in the Metro Centre near the M&S end it's worth a look.

O and I almost forgot she got me one of the new MUA nail polishes I got the shade Koala Bear which is a lovely grey shade.

So that was my haul and lots of nice things courtesy of Mummy Lou, she really has been elevated to sainthood this week despite her pink hair (check out my intagram to see a pic). A frozen shoulder and a sudden drop in temperatures lead to her declaration that she needed a holiday! What can I say? How could I argue? so she booked and paid for a holiday for both of us to Cyprus at the end of September :) I am eternally grateful to her for being so amazing she really is one in a million. So I now have an even bigger reason to save money and to lose weight eek. As per usual if you have any questions or comments on anything that I've mentioned please leave me a comment xx