Saturday, 29 June 2013

Saltaire Vintage Fair

The other week (okay, maybe more like two!) I went to Saltaire's vintage fair. Saltaire is one of my favourite places and it's only roughly 10 mins from where I live which is even more of a bonus. Several times a year they have festivals and vintage fairs which suits me just finnnnnneeeeeee. 

So I hopped along, with my ma and pa, to have a look what treats were to be had in Victoria Hall. You do have to pay in, but I think it was something like £2 for concessions, so we all did well.

There were two rooms of vintage goodness, one more or less consisted of home wares, and the other mostly clothing and accessories with a tea room to the back. Mmmm cake. The displays of furniture were simply amazing and I pretty much wanted to buy everything I could find in sight. My dad, as fabulous as he is, did me the duty of finding me a gorgeous teal satchel. I did also buy two tea cups and saucers as they were pretty lonely at £1.50 each, and outside the event there was a small charity shop/cafe which had a massive World Architecture book for £10 which I snapped up for the husband. 

And to top of the main event, Interlude Tea Rooms from Shipley attended with all their cake glory. I had a gluten free chocolate torte whilst ma indulged herself with the mocha cake, pa had a piece of lemon meringue but I forgot to photograph it before he ate it. Bad blogger. We did end up leaving with a lot more cake for later, being pregnant and all and eating for two...

My favourite part of the day was certainly testing all the cake! 

Tuesday, 25 June 2013

Barry M Gelly: Key Lime

Now I know somewhere along the lines I did review Barry M Gelly nail varnishes and say they were the worst thing ever and didn't live up to their expectations, which I do still agree with, but now I'm over that... I went and bought another!

I can face facts that it chips the same as any other polish (for me anyway) and doesn't last as long as it raves about, but I really like the gelly effect and the colours are sublime. 

Enter, key lime. I had to buy this shade. This lime is my favourite colour and well, it had to be bought. As usual, it lasted a few days but I'm not too fussed about that, because lets face it, I generally let my nail varnish chip off anyway as I'm far too lazy to bother with nail varnish remover... 

I picked this up from Superdrug, I think in a 3 for 2. But normally costs £3.99.

Saturday, 15 June 2013

MumKind: Ginger Me Baby Lozenges

As I've been suffering from extremely bad morning sickness, which has warranted me being off work for a few weeks, the fab people over at MumKind have sent me a few packs of 'Ginger Me Baby Lozenges' to help. 

(Image sourced from MumKind)

The lozenges contain both ginger and chamomile which help settle your stomach and have soothing properties to calm you down. The come in a small plastic tub which can be recycled and used for baby food, or other other trinkets, and the lozenges themselves come in clear packets making them look like boiled sweets - which is great if you start with morning sickness early on in your pregnancy and haven't told anyone yet. 

I find I most need them during my morning and evening commutes, and these really help. The ginger is very strong, but I'm a fan of ginger and they taste amazing! I couldn't really taste the chamomile but I think it's a subtle flavour, and perhaps just there for the calming properties. 

I wish I had found these earlier on in my pregnancy when I first started with morning sickness as they would have done the world of good for me. 

These retail at £3.99 from the MumKind website, and you get a 48g tub. 

Sunday, 9 June 2013

China: The Food Edition (photo heavy)

Chinese food is one of my big passions in life, well actually any food in general. I do love Chinese food though, and not the standard takeaway stuff we have over here in England. We dined in many places when we were there, not jut home cooking, but 5* hotels, to what I would call a right dingy dive. The only weird and wonderful item I tried, well, licked was a cricket stick thing the husband ate in Beijing.

We all know the Chinese are famous for eating weird and wonderful things, although I think this is mainly in the south, and thank goodness we were in the north. I don't honestly think I would have been able to face seeing someone eat a dog. 

Whilst in Jinan, the MIL thought I might be feeling a little homesick for western food so they booked us a table at some kind of western steak house place. And it was weird. 

Our first course. Well everything seemed to be in reverse so we got out dessert first. Ok well we might as well embrace it. Some kind of jelly and cocktail with ice cream. Second of all, and might possibly be the most disgusting was the fruit salad, with actual salad cream. Oh and to top it off, I ordered orange juice, and it came warm. Bleugh

So the second part of the meal arrived. Popcorn. Yep, with bread. And some weird cucumber soup. Oh and pumpkin cakes (bit of dim sum for us there). I forgot to show the pizza. 

And the final course, the part we had been most waiting for in anticipation was, the steak. Which arrived, no doubt the smallest piece ever with some weird cold mashed potato item covered in toffee sauce. This meal was on the whole, very weird. And judging by Chinese prices actually was quite expensive. 

(I couldn't find the photo of me making them, so have the husband instead!)

I did have the honour of being taught an age old traditional trick of making dumplings, which, I suppose went alright really. I can't remember how to make them since being back in the UK but I'm sure if push came to shove I would do an alright job. 

Cake, well we all know I love cake. And I must admit, in China, they do it better. Covered in some kind of fresh cream concoction and layered with cherries, this was the most delicious cake I had ever tasted, and best of all, it was free. The local bakery, aptly named Holiland, must regularly do offers when you can pick up around £4's worth of cake for free. I was happy to get couponing for this bad boy!

We did obviously head off to Beijing for the remainder of our honeymoon, and that's where the tourists hit the weird snacks. Obviously the husband had to eat them, as he likes all weird and wonderful creatures. The closest I got was licking a grasshopper. But I did love the candied fruits on sticks! So many strawberries were eaten over those three days!

Yes, the scorpions were still alive... 

The best place I think to go for food overall, are in the shopping malls. They are sort of gourmet streets and you pay for a sort of debit card which you top up and pay for your food with. These are popular in Thailand as well so luckily I knew what I was doing, unlike the husband!
The best meal I had was in a gourmet street food court in Beijing. The whole meal cost around £2, and trust me, you got a lot. The bowl was bigger than mine and my husband's head! Full of gorgeous lamb soup with noodles and vegetables. I couldn't have wished for anything better, and I'm quite often trying to replicate it over here as I would love to have that meal again. 

To top off our trip to Beijing, on the last day before we flew home we were lucky enough to find the best duck restaurant ever. We saw this featured on a BBC TV show with Ken Hom and Ching He-Huang. We were also really lucky to meet the head chef, who was more than happy to chat to us and let us take photos! This particular duck restaurant is situated in a small hutong village which even the locals didn't really know how to find, it's quite a western place now as it became so popular on TV. I know I had many more photos of the actual cooked duck itself but unfortunately as everything got mixed up I can't seem to find them now!

The whole situation may look extremely odd, and in some lights really dingy and not very hygenic, but I found myself feeling better after eating in most of the worst looking places!

Tuesday, 4 June 2013

China: The Doll Experience

So I knew I would be stared at when I went to China. But I was stared at, for all the reasons I never expected. I thought people would be judgemental of me and the husband being in a mixed race relationship, more so as he is a Chinese guy and I'm a Caucasian girl, and this is quite different to usual. 

But I wasn't. I was being stared at for being a doll. 

Everywhere I went people were commenting on my eyes, how bright and icy blue they are. Along with the length of my eyelashes and my eyelids and only how much young girls wanted to look like me. Coming from the UK where people stare and call me fat and say I have a weird sense in fashion this was a breath of fresh air!

However, when walking around the husband's home town I started to get sick of the looks. Until the husband told me they couldn't tell what race I was because of my black hair and full fringe! It never once crossed my mind that I didn't look that much out of the ordinary, just a larger framed, taller woman with a different facial shape. Oh and different coloured skin. 

That's where the wig came into play. Yep, I bought a pale brown long wig. Which actually helped! I wouldn't have believed no one really looked at me after that because they would tell I was Caucasian. Strange how little things actually make such a difference.  It made a difference to everyone else. They saw me gain my Caucasian identity however, I felt I had lost who I was. I felt plain and basic, it was an odd feeling and I would never like to feel that way again. 

Being told I'm cute on a bus, that is one thing I will never be able to get over. 
Being told that looking into my eyes makes someone feel like a small drop in the ocean, that's something else I will never EVER be able to get over!

The National Media Museum

Last night I was invited to the opening of the newly revamped Media Cafe in the National Media Museum with a few other local bloggers; and to have a guided your around the 100 Years of Indian Cinema and Tom Wood exhibitions. 

We were given 'nibbles' to try out the new menu available, and I must admit, these were the most delicious deli nibbles I've ever tasted! I wasn't expecting to be tasting as much food so we quickly popped to Wetherspoons for a bite beforehand. I wish I hadn't bothered now! 

Everything was presented really well, you can see the tummy pizza and salad we were offered - full plates may I add! - along with wine or juices. To top it off, we had the most luxurious brownies topped with cream and a raspberry, but I dropped mine into my drink! Silly me. 

The Media Cafe has completely changed from the cold school cafeteria look it used to have, and now reminds me of a suave delicatessen. They have a sofa area where you can sit and chill with a coffee and cake now which is really nice; along with the fact it's open until 10pm so you can have a nice bite to eat before your movie!

After the meet and greet and initial introduction/chat session with other bloggers we met Irna Qureshi, the curator of the 100 Years of Indian Cinema exhibition. Irna showed us around the exhibition and explained in detail to us the Bollywood industry along with movie family royalty, relationships, and marriages. I never knew there was so much involved in a Bollywood movie, and I must admit I'm a little embarrassed I haven't seen more Bollywood movies as they are so readily available to us in Bradford. All the posters were brightly coloured and told their own stories.

After the exhibition, we headed of with Emily, the event organiser, to see the Tom Wood photography exhibition. I must admit I'm not familiar with his work, but I don't follow photographers that often anyway. It was a really nice experience being able to see the subject of his image, along with the scene in the background. It was usually what was happening in the background that made the photo! All I can say is, you really need to see this exhibition! It's like seeing your parents' photos of a night out in the 80's!

The night was truly amazing, and I had a fantastic time. It was really nice to be lead around the exhibition and have them explained rather than coming to my own conclusions. Emily gave us one of the museum's tote bags with a few goodies inside! Which I can say I'm sporting around Bradford with me today!

Thank you so much to the press team for inviting us along, I know everyone who attended had a fantastic time!

Sunday, 2 June 2013

The Past Six Months

As the past six months have been very hectic, I thought I would do a little post as a round up! 

Back at the end of December, after a long winded out situation of trying to get married, we were finally given the go ahead! The date had been set for March, to coincide with our China trip! I couldn't believe it was only three months away, and it didn't really settle in at all. 

I began blogging in the middle of January, which I couldn't be happier with, and it's almost my six month anniversary! I can't believe I've met some amazing people and my blog has come along in leaps and bounds. I'm very proud of it :) 

Nothing really happened between then and March, until the week before getting married when I decided I wanted a proper wedding and rushed to but everything within the week! I never do things by halves. The wedding was gorgeous and we soon set off for the honeymoon of a lifetime! 

Coming back from China, couldn't believe our luck that we got pregnant and are having a honeymoon baby! We always knew this part would be hard as the husband is still staying in Germany to finish his studies, and I'm still staying in England. We never planned on having a conventional relationship, but never planned on having children so early on either! All I can say, the baby is a godsend :) 

So here we are, in June, I'm 10 weeks pregnant and all I can look to is the future. I've lost all interest in a lot of things lately, maybe it's because I'm pregnant and concentrating on that at the moment rather than blogging, or maybe it's because I've had the most horrid bout of morning sickness! 

I'm hoping the next few weeks let up. Looking to the future, and my next six month update will be when the baby is due! New Years baby - 01/01/14!

My Mocktail

When I was contacted about trying out a new pre-mixed cocktail, my heart sank slightly (being pregnant and not being able to drink blah blah), until I saw they had mocktails! Cocktails are my favourite alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverage, and I could drink them for hours. I really enjoyed fruit juices and sweet drinks so these were bound to go down a treat!

I received them on Friday morning, and couldn't wait to get set in on them! Now, as they are pretty much fruit juices, I do drink them by the glassful, which is all good when they have no alcohol in them! The good thing about them being pre-mixed, is that on the packaging it tells you which tipple to add should you want a proper cocktail, so even though I can't drink at the moment, I still have the option to add a bit of alcohol for others who wish to partake. 

So, I asked for the Woo Woo and Pina Colada flavour. And these did not disappoint. They taste just like the real thing! (Whilst one minor tipple isn't included!). As I said above, normally I would just tip them into a pint glass and drink them like that, but for the purposes of a photo (and I know it's a bit retro etc) I thought I would jazz up a glass... Sugar and 70's style...

The Woo Woo is made from peach and cranberry juice, and the Pina Colada is pineapple with coconut milk. I found the Woo Woo to be a lot more refreshing over ice, nice for the summer days we are starting to have! 

These can be picked up from ASDA at £1.97, which for a litre pack isn't much different in price than buying normal bottled juices, but you can notice the difference. Whether you just fancy treating yourself on a weekend or, just like me, like drinking them for the fun of it, you might as well give them a try! You can also find their full range, including pre-mixed cocktails on their site here

What do you think? Would you be trying a mocktail any time soon?