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Showing posts from 2015

Christmas Eve is here again… whether you like it or not.

I just wanted to take this moment to wish a happy holidays to all my family, friends, and readers.
If I'm honest I haven't been feeling all that Festive in the past few weeks, I had put it down to using up all my excitement in November. It turns out I was just really unwell and ended up in hospital at the start of Christmas week. I tell you what, three or four days of thinking you're going to spend Christmas Day separated from your friends and family really makes you appreciate your time with them. I've cried a lot and have thought a lot about those who, for whatever reason, won't have a happy day tomorrow. I wish I could find the words to help but all I can say is that I hope there are better days ahead. 
So. All that's left for me to say is Merry Christmas. Happy Hannukah. Lots of love from Tinsel and Yamaka. 

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Restaurant Review: Five Guys Belfast,Acton and Sons, and Birdcage Belfast.

I don't think it would be a surprise to anyone if I confessed that I love going out for dinner. I really do. My mantra for when I know I'm being overindulgent is "if you can't be good to yourself, why should anyone else?"

When it comes to where to go though I'm an absolute fraidy cat. We are creatures of habit and always end up going somewhere we've been before for fear of anyone being disappointed. I'll go to the same places, choose the same things and bore myself to tears because when you're a creature of habit, habits are hard break. 
Thankfully I've had a bit of a push recently by being invited to a few new openings (it sounds fancier than it is trust me) and it's spurred me on in my quest to broaden my horizons. With that in mind I wanted to share with you the newest in my list of 'favourite places to go'.

Acton & Sons



Formerly Olio, Acton & Sons is situated in Brunswick Street facing the large open square. The area in …

Secret Santa:Northern Ireland Local Retailer Edition

Now that we're officially knee deep in December we can unashamedly bring in the christmas cheer and it's time to talk real talk about preparation. Of course, with Christmas comes the delight (pressure?) of gift giving for those loved and tolerated ones you spend your days with. No not your family, your colleagues! With this in mind and budgets being set I decided to take a look at a few locally made items I know that I'd love to receive from/give to my Secret Santa. Keeping in mind the standard £5 - £20 budgets I've tried to fit in a few options within this.

And here they are! 

Darling Dottie Christmas Box - By Sam Mercer - £20

For a long time now I have been coveting the wares of Sam Mercer. Based on St Georges market on Saturdays and available from her online store at www.By SamMercer.co.uk I am determined to get some of these cute little bows for my shoes! Of course this bumper box is a steal at £20 but if you're working with a lower budget you can always purchas…

Youngblood Liquid Mineral Foundation

It was a strange series of events that brought this amazing Liquid Mineral Foundation from Youngblood* into my life. It started when a friend began working at Destination Skin, a beauty clinic based in House of Fraser in Belfast. She told me about a Botox event they were having and invited me down. I have ZERO interest in Botox (see why in my unedited photographs below) it's completely unnecessary for me but I was considering another treatment and this seemed like the perfect time to book in for a consultation. So off I went and consulted I was (no spoilers). Whilst I was there I was shown this foundation. 
Usually you are advised to avoid makeup for at least a day after any cosmetic procedure, you can imagine that with their clinic smack bang in the middle of House Of Fraser's Beauty Hall customers were not exactly thrilled about the idea of leaving bare faced and red after their various chemical peels, IPLs and other whatnots. That's where Youngblood comes in. 
I was ma…

Adventing with Marks & Spencer's Ultimate Beauty Advent Calendar

For the past few years I've been experimenting with alternative Advent Calendars. I've had Ciaté nail polish advents and challenged myself to use each one each day (that was tough!), I had the Yankee Candle house calendar last year and was left underwhelmed (it's definitely a case of the bigger the better quality where Yankee is concerned). And bar that one year where I was seduced by a Thorntons "The Snowman" calendar I've successfully managed to avoid chocolate! Well done me. 

So whyMarks & Spencer's?  Well at £25 it was one of the cheapest on the market and I am all about the bargains. Yes you had to spend £25 to get it down from the original £200 sticker price but I already had a payday date with some of the newly stocked Pixi products so it was a no brainer to stick this in my basket at the same time. My friend Katrina from Sugafix.com shared the deal and I was instantly sold. It's also one of the few affordable sets available where I would b…

My night out at Belfast Cookery School

Anyone who knows me knows that I am a massive foodie. If you turned on my tv right now it would automatically open on The Food Network. My Pinterest is heavily decorated with recipes, Food Gawker in my go to for inspiration in finding new blogs and new recipes to fit a theme, and if I ever go to America I will be googling the nearest Triple D restaurant I can find.

So you can imagine I was delighted when my friend Sarah from The Sarah Storywon two spaces on a night at Belfast Cookery School and invited me! I was doubly excited as it was my birthday week and it gave us a chance to celebrate!

I've walked down Castle Street a thousand times and never noticed this little door before. We met at the Castle Street entrance out the back of Mourne Seafood and headed up the three flights of stairs (I am not a stairs person) to find ourselves in our kitchen for the evening. Each bench, built for two, was fully kitted out with everything we needed and thanks to the hard working Commis chefs …