Sunday Lunch at The Hartshead

Thursday, March 24, 2016

Sometimes you just need some quality time with friends. As much as I love my nights out with friends. There is often nothing better than than sitting in a pub beer garden, the sun shining and enjoying some good food. 

Last Sunday the sun was shining and 4 of us headed to a pub for Sunday lunch and the weather was nice enough to sit outside. 

 I decided to go for the beef burger over a Sunday roast as I really wanted chips. The burger came with a slice of bacon which was more like a bacon chop than a slice of bacon! It was really tasty and the double cooked chips were delicious.

 This might be a little bit random but I love the window in the ladies loo's and snapped a picture of it. I thought I may as well include it.

After we'd had the main the the sun had started to go down so we asked if we could move inside despite there being a lot of tables free in the restaurant and not many people in the bar area we got told we could but it would have to be the unset table next to the back door and she'd send someone over with menu's. It was colder next to the door than it was outside and we waited about 10 mins for them to come over with menu's then after another 20 mins we got told the table officially counted as outside and we need to order at the bar. That was fine but it would have been nice to have been told that when we asked about the table. Once we'd finished we walked back through the pub and most of the same tables were still free. The most annoying thing was we were sat under a sign saying rate us on trip advisor. 

I decided to have the cookies and icecream which was really good. I don't usually like chocolate icecream but it was delicious. What I didn't realise was the toffee coloured ice cream, wasn't toffee but was irish cream and was awful. If I'd spotted it on the menu I'd have asked not to have that as it really ruined the flavour of the cookies. 

The cookie itself was warm and gooey and I would have it again but I'd probably just ask for vanilla ice cream.

I had a lovely afternoon with friends. We chatted and caught up as we really don't get to spend as much time with each other as we'd like. 

Book Review

Book Review - Afternoon Tea at the Sunflower Cafe by Milly Johnson

Monday, March 21, 2016

Last year I read about 30 books, it might have been a couple more. For 2016 I set the aim of reading 52 books. 1 book a week or 4.3 a month. That shouldn't be too difficult or so I thought. 

Here we are on 19th March and I have finished book number .... wait for it.... going off one a week it should be about number 11. 

Drumroll please as I have just finished reading book number....


Err yeah, so I don't know what has happened but I just haven't been enjoying reading. I have started three different books and I'm not getting very far. One of the books I've been reading since the middle of last year and while it should have been a fairly quick chick lit book, I'm sure I could have read War & Peace quicker! 

Book 2 took me about 3 days to read, which is about average for my reading speed and you know what I really enjoyed it. 

I knew I would as it's by one of my favourite authors, Milly Johnson. There is only one of her books that I couldn't get into and I'm not sure why. I will be looking out for it and giving it another try. 

I'm not going to do this review in my normal style as I need to just type and let my thoughts flow out. 

The book in question is Afternoon Tea at the Sunflower Cafe by Milly Johnson

I will start with what I normally leave the the end and that is the score I give the book on my Goodreads account. 5 stars, I wish I could give more. 

One if the things I love about all of Milly Johnson's books is the continuity of characters and places. All of the books of her's that I've read are set in Barnsley or on a cruise ship but the people are from Barnsley and there are some cross overs of people, however you don't need to read the books in order as they are all standalone stories (some are sequels or best read before / after but I didn't do this and now I've read them some things have click into place and I almost feel like I've been let into a private joke.)

This book is centred around a cleaning firm in Barnsley, when the owners wife finds out he's planning to leave her for the 19 year old office assistant she put's plans into place to get the upper hand. 

The story follow's Connie the wife, her partner in crime Della and a host of cleaners who each have their own stories to tell. It's filled with funny well timed expletives. The strange and odd things cleaners have to see. A spattering of the rough side of town and the bad guys getting their comeuppance. 

I laughed, I had a little cry and I've told at least 4 people they need to read this book and to you reading this YOU NEED TO READ THIS BOOK! 

When I was trying to explain this book to a colleague he looked at me strange when I said it was about cleaners and I think he thought it was a Marie Kondo type book but it really is a laugh out loud funny book and I have to give it credit for getting me back in to reading. 

While I know I'm not going to meet my aim of reading 52 books in 2016. I'm ok with that. If I only read 3 more books this year I'll be happy and now I've finished this I've also almost finished the books I've been reading for almost 6 months.

Thank you Milly Johnson for getting me back to enjoying reading and when is your next book due out? 


The Body Shop - British Roses Collection

Sunday, March 20, 2016

I've been out of sorts with the blog of late and needed a bit of inspiration to come back to the keyboard. When I spotted an invite to The Body Shop store in Manchester to see their new British Roses collection I contacted them to see if there were any spaces left.

As always I was early (I don't know how I do it!) I got a chance to look round the store and I'm amazed at how many great products there are.

The range I think I'm impressed with is the fragrance ranges, in particular the English Dawn Gardenia. The scent of this reminds me of something and as soon as I sprayed it I was transported back somewhere. I'm not sure where. It almost shock me for a second and I'm glad I was stood on my own as I felt a little odd if truth be told. However saying that it was a good feeling when I came back I'm thinking on payday I'm going to go  and buy it. I did spot this range last year but I couldn't decide which scent I liked best. (I think I'd decided on the Italian Fig)

I really enjoyed my browsing time as it made me realise just how many products and ranges are available. I do use a few of the Body Shops products but when I pop into a store I always head towards those products and never really spend much time looking at everything else.

I didn't take up the chance to have a skin consultation as I had a mini make over as my first treatment but there is a great range of products and I have to say everything was so beautifully displayed.

The team in the Manchester Royal Exchange store were all really lovely and knew there stuff. There was a choice of three mini pamper sessions. A mini make over, skin care assessment in their new assessment area and a hand and arm massage using the British Roses products.

I was lucky enough to have a make over and I really liked how my makeup turned out, I struggle with a foundation match and she got it straight away. Sahara Light if you're interested! I've got a couple of foundations to work on but I think this might be my next foundation, she also used the Blurr primer on me which is one I've been looking at. To test how it works she put some the first joint (bit above the knuckle) on my first finger and then compared it against the other hand and the difference was amazing. I wish I'd taken a picture.

As well as the traditional beauty products the Body Shop has also introduced some Makeup items into this collection. There is a makeup pallet which has a mixture of eye and face powders. There are also lip and cheek stains. These are something I've always been a bit wary of as when I've used similar in the past I've ended up looking like Aunt Sally! We were given a tip to apply them to the cheeks after applying primer but before foundation. Which sounds so simple but I'd never thought of it before. 

I've never been a huge fan of Rose scents until recently when I've been using a balm cleaners which contains Rosehip, this is a totally different type of smell to roses but since i've been using that I'm finding myself liking the smell of rose scented products. I guess you're nose for things change just as much as tastebud can.

The British Rose products have a very light scent and it isn't over powering or a sickly sweet smell. I had a hand and arm massage using the exfoliator, shower gel, body lotion (much lighter than body butter) and a spritz of EDT. The scent lasted till the next morning but was light and very wearable.


#StyleStationMCR Event

Saturday, March 19, 2016

Last week I was invited to a blogger event hosted at the Style Station in the Arndale Centre Manchester. The style station is from the love people at Red Angel Hair has 4 stations where they can create quick and easy hair styles. 

They have a menu of styles to choose from with prices starting from £5 for a fishtail braid and I think the most expensive price was £18 (don't quote me on that). I think the prices are really good value and the majority of the styles were around £9.

We all know I own far too many bobbles and hair ties but if you are in need of more they have a range of bobbles including the ones that are no mark ones and other hair accessories.

It was a great evening, it was good to catch up with other local bloggers that I haven't seen for a while and the wine and canap├ęs  by Rosso and Artisan where a lovely touch. 

I was very impressed with all the styles I saw created and how quick they worked. I'm almost regretting having my hair cut now as I've always wanted a fishtail braid and have never successfully managed one in my own hair. I'd happily pay £5 for someone to put one in my hair.

I was expecting it to be in a shop unit and not in the middle of the shopping centre itself and initially it felt a bit odd to be stood in the middle of the Arndale watching people have their hair done but once I was sat in the chair it felt quite private and I really enjoyed the experience. I wasn't sure what to go for as my hair isn't all that co-operative. I'd love to have hair that I could make wavy and curly but I just can't do it. Chloe suggested we went for the wavy style and I did warn her my hair wouldn't co-operate but she said it would but it would be more set and would soften over time to be more wavy. 

When I've tried to curl my hair in the past the first piece is usually straight before I've curled all my hair but my hair was still curly by the time I go home and it was still wavy the next day. 

For someone with very uncooperative hair I'm really happy with how long my style lasted and I will be back for another visit before I go on a night out.