Sunday, 8 December 2013

This week in pictures

This week has been a really easy going. I'm fully into the Christmas spirit at the moment so I've been making more decorations for my tree and I've also had a go at making my own scented soy wax candles.  I also managed to fit in a visit to Ernest for a big breckie!

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Ernest Breakfast
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Making Christmas Decorations
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Easy Dinners
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Snacky teas
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Candle Making

Bryden x

Wednesday, 27 November 2013

Monday, 25 November 2013

Ernest, Newcastle

You will probably know by now that I love Ernest in the Ouseburn. It's not a bar, a restaurant or a cafe - It actually seems to be all three. The staff are lovely and whole place has a lovely laid back atmosphere.

They have a great menu which boasts some amazing all day breakfast options along with some great sandwich options and flatbreads. The drinks selection is also great and they're keeping the coffee local by serving coffee roasted by the Ouseburn Coffee Company.

I've been a handful of times now and it's always been a great experience. 

Last weekend my boyfriend and I went for Sunday Brunch. The last couple of times I've gotten the same thing, the Chorizo Hash Bowl, which is absolutely amazing but I swore to myself this time I would try something different and out of my comfort zone. I decided on a soup and sandwich combo. There were two soups to offer that day which were Thai Pumpkin and Smoked Bacon and Lentil. I chose the lentil soup and it was absolutely outstanding. Really creamy, thick and comforting. For my sandwich I opted for the buffalo mozzarella sandwich on gluten free bread. That's right... They also cater for gluten intolerance... Could it get any better? Although I haven't had a gluten intolerance diagnosed by a doctor, I know myself that I feel better when I avoid it. It's really great to see a small local eatery offering gluten free bread. 

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My boyfriend Steven went for the steak sandwich which is something he has tried, tested and loved before. The steak was cooked to his taste (medium rare) and was very tender.

To go with both of our meals we also decided on a side of their sweet potato fries which now come with a spicy mayo dip. The last time we ordered these they came with a tzatziki dip which we both agreed we preferred to the spicy mayo. If we order the fries again we're planning to ask if we can swap the mayo for tzatziki.

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Ernest Website
Ernest Menu
Ernest Christmas Menu
Ernest Facebook

Crossed posted FROM Bryden's personal blog

Friday, 22 November 2013

The Fat Budda, Newcastle at Christmas.

Claire and I attended an event at the Fat Buddha restaurant in Newcastle city centre to check their festive offerings. 

We were kindly greeted by our wonderful host Sandra and were taken on a guided tour of the restaurant before being seated to test out some of their dishes from their set christmas menu. We tried out a couple of their dishes including some lettuce cups and their honey chilli chicken (amazing). The whole restaurant was decked out for christmas and looked brilliant. It's definitely worth checking out their christmas menu if you're looking for somewhere to go around the festive period. Unfortunately, I can't see a link for this menu on their website so I can't provide a link to their set menu. 

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Bryden x

Cross posted from as Claire and I attended this event together.

Sunday, 17 November 2013

Out and About: Seven Stories and The Cluny, Ouseburn, Newcastle

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Books Books Books @ Seven Stories 
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Spot the odd one out...
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The Attic @ Seven Stories
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Painted Doc Martins
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Grufallo Costume
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Reading hide-out
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Dress up
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Laura having a read
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View from the Seven Stories
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Amazing book!
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Penguin in Peril
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Dress Up Time!
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The Tiger That Came For Tea
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Let's Buy Happiness framed photograph - Cluny
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The Cluny Burger w/ Mushrooms and Cheese
Bryden x

Thursday, 14 November 2013

Everyone loves MCM!

A couple of posts ago in my winter wish list I mentioned my recent love for MCM. I've seen one or two people out and about with the mini backpacks and they're absolutely perfect. After looking into their recent collection a little more I was surprised to see the plain black tote bag! Looks like the perfect every day bag to me.

Here's my wish list:

We Love MCM

MCM ipad backpack / MCM leather rucksack / MCM shopping bag / MCM red handbag / MCM brown leather purse / MCM snap wallet

I want them all! I best start putting those lottery numbers on...

Bryden x

Monday, 11 November 2013

The Fat Hippo, Jesmond.

After hearing a lot of rave reviews for the Fat Hippo in Jesmond I decided on a taking last minute trip one night after work. This was my second attempt in going as the first time we were unable to get a booking. Thankfully we were able to get a booking this time. 

The Fat Hippo is a very small restaurant so book ahead or prepare for a long wait if you haven't already booked. On my first attempt at going it was 6pm and we were told we wouldn't have been able to get a table until 9pm! The place is extremely popular for it's big chunky burgers and triple cooked chips and for good reason - it's probably one of the best burgers I've had in a while.

The restaurant itself is a stones throw away from West Jesmond metro station just near Tesco. They offer a brilliant Happy Hour deal Monday - Friday 5 - 7pm which is 3 courses for £10, 2 courses for £9 or 1 course for £7. We had already decided on getting at least two courses but for an extra pound it would've been rude not to attempt a dessert!  

We opted to get two starters to share. These were deep fried gherkins (my fave) and jalapeno poppers. I wasn't the greatest fan of the poppers. Expecting them to be little morsels of gooey-cheesey-spicy goodness I was somewhat disappointed when they emerged to be rather dry. It was almost like they were bulked out with mash potato or something similar. I would compare them to the texture of falafel. They were tasty - just not what I was expecting. The gherkins were lovely. Encased in an extremely crispy batter they had not lost their substance and still had a slight 'snap'. I would have liked to see these served alongside a blue cheese mayonnaise like how they are served in many of London's burger joints. Both starters came with a garlic mayonnaise.

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Deep fried gherkins with garlic mayonnaise
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Jalapeno poppers
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Cross section of the jalapeƱo poppers 
After demolishing our starters it wasn't too long before our mains arrived. My boyfriend and I both opted for their American burger. The American consisted of a beef burger patty topped with diced gherkins, mustard, cheese and ketchup. All of the beef burgers are served in a brioche bun. In my opinion burgers always taste better in a brioche bun so I was happy to see this on the menu. The Fat Hippo also serve their burgers medium rare unless told otherwise - another win for me.

The Burgers themselves were very thick and juicy. They definitely had a homemade quality to them. The beef burgers came with a side of triple fried chips so I decided to get a couple of their dips to compliment them. I opted for buffalo mayonnaise and garlic mayonnaise. The Buffalo mayonnaise was very interesting and had the flavour of a hot sauce and a mayonnaise. Slightly spicy yet not too hot. I feel it would have also went very well with the fried gherkins. 

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Our burgers
Both being greedy guts we also opted for a side of onion rings which we possibly could have done without due to the sheer size of the main itself. The onion rings were gorgeous though. If these were offered as a starter I would order them. I think they must have been cooked in the same batter as the gherkins as it seemed very similar. I was happy to see that the rings were 'proper' onion rings and not like those cheap onion rings that some other places serve where the insides are like mushed up potato and onion. 

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Onion Rings
After the food extravaganza we still decided to share a dessert although we were fit for bursting by then (Again... Greedy guts...). There are a few desserts on the menu yet only two are included in the happy hour choices, these being ice cream or chocolate fudge cake. We obviously decided to get a chocolate fudge cake.

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Chocolate Fudge Cake with Vanilla Ice Cream
I can imagine that the chocolate fudge cake MIGHT have been bought in as it was very similar to one you can buy at a very popular bulk buy warehouse. That being said this doesn't mean it was rubbish, they do a very nice chocolate cake! Next time I will skip dessert though as ice cream or chocolate fudge cake isn't usually something I would go crackers for in a restaurant anyway.

Although the Fat Hippo is popular I don't think it's popular enough. It is an amazing little gem of a restaurant! I can't wait to go again and I think next time I will try one of their chicken burgers. I spied one from across the room and they looked brilliant.

Bryden x

This post has been cross posted from Bryden's personal food blog a northern life to Trebles and a Mixer as it fits in with our theme. I would like to share my experience with our readers.

Winter Wish List

Now the colder weather has set in I've been looking around for some new toasty clothes to wear. There's some gorgeous knitwear kicking about at the moment especially in H&M, TK Maxx and Primark and I'm always on the look out for a new pair of boots too (whatever the weather to be honest... everyone loves a good black ankle boot!).  I found this pair in Office which I really love, although I can't commit to them at the moment as pre-buyers remorse is setting in - I can't possibly buy ANOTHER pair of black boots (I probably will). 

Here's my winter wish list for 2013:

Winter Wish List

Barbour jacket / Cath Kidston socks / Office boots / MCM backpack / MCM brown leather purse / Madewell scarf, £49 / H&M white mitten / Topshop lipstick, £9.96

The Barbour jacket is such a classic and timeless piece. I think my mam had one similar when she was younger in wax material! This lipstick orange/red would look great teamed with this jacket and would be a great contrast against the muted tones.

MCM products are a current lust of mine of the moment and I love this backpack and purse. Everything about MCM screams luxury to me. The hardware looks like such great quality and leather seems very thick and study - something that would stand the test of time. I prefer my accessories/clothing to have more of a structure than to be slouchy.  MCM have a few different backpacks but this one is my favourite. It's black so it will go with everything and only has four studs around the logo. It is a more thoughtful investment than opting for a full-on trend piece. If you're neon obsessed at the moment then take a look here to see more more colour ways in bright pink/blue and lime. Checking back today I can't see that they have the black colour way in stock - hopefully it's not gone for good.

Barbour collection at Harrods
MCM collection at Harrods
Cath Kidston
Topshop Make up

What's on your wish list?

Bryden x

Disclaimer: This post is in partnership with Harrods and contains product placement. All words and opinions are my own. The products used are things I loved before I was approached.

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Friday, 8 November 2013

October Favourites

Hello everyone, 

This month was a good month for trying new products and here is my picks for the month:

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Middle - Lush R & B Hair Moisturiser
Clockwise from the top - Yves Rocher Hydra Vegetal,  Lacura Anti-Aging Hyaluronic Gel,
L'oreal Nude Magique Eau De Teint,  Lola Marc Jacobs.
Lush R & B Hair Moisturiser
Claire and I got given a sample of this when we attended a Lush Event a good few months back. I fell in love with the scent immediately as soon as I opened it. Once I finished my sample I bought a full size straight away. This stuff is great at taming fly aways and a little goes a very long way. You only need a dab of this other wise it is really easy to end up with greasy looking hair. You can also use this on wet hair too for blow drying to 'lock in the oils'.

Yves Rocher Hydra Vegetal
I got this in a beauty box a while back and this stuff is great! Really lightweight and moisturising and doesn't leave my skin feeling oily. This lotion also contains Hyaluronic Acid - which I am obsessed with at the moment! Not sure if I would buy this again though just because it's not the easiest to get hold of. 

Lacura Anti-Aging Hyaluronic Gel
This has been a favourite of mine for a couple of months now. This is really cheap from Aldi and only comes in every now and again. If you see it don't buy just one of them, buy two. Otherwise you'll regret it once you fall in love. It's more purse friendly than the Indeed Labs Hyaluron and it only around £5. Hyaluronic Acid is the latest IT product at the moment in terms of moisturisation and anti-ageing and for good reason - It really is a wonder ingredient! I'm rationing mine out at the moment because I don't want to run out as I haven't seen it in my local Aldi for a while. The serum itself sinks in really nicely and very quickly. My mam has also been using this too and her skin is looking visibly younger and smoother.

L'oreal Nude Magique Eau De Teint
When I first tried this I thought it was a bit weird. At first test it seemed to be like a oily water type liquid which wasn't getting me very excited at all. I haven't tried or seen a product anything like this - like the advert says it really is lighter than water! After giving it a good shake I applied a drop to my finger following the directions on the back of the bottle and applied it to my face using only my fingers. I was really surprised to see that it dried semi matte and blended really nicely. It's a very very light coverage but creates a lovely sheer wash of colour which does well in evening out the skin.

Lola Marc Jacobs
This is my first fragrance from Marc Jacobs and I absolutely love it! I'm rubbish at describing fragrances so I'm not going to bother. Have a sniff in boots next time you're in!

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Mid-week dinner - Avocado, Grass Fed Feta Cheese, Spinach Salad with a homemade mayonnaise dressing.
Paleo Scotch Egg and homemade caramelised red onions.
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Paleo weekend breakfast - Fried Egg, Kohlrabi 'hash' and liver and bacon.
I've been adopting a Paleo/Primal way of eating at the moment. Paleo is dubbed the caveman diet as it bases itself around to only eating what was available during Paleolithic times. I'm taking an 80/20 approach to the diet at the moment - allowing myself some 'cheats'. For example in the first dish I used grass fed feta cheese which isn't strictly Paleo and I've been opting for gluten free options whenever I can. If you want to learn more about this diet a quick google search will bring up loads of great resources for you. I really enjoy reading the blog nomnompaleo.

Next month I'm looking forward to...

  • Getting closer to putting the Xmas tree up!
  • Finishing off my Xmas shopping so I can relax for the rest of the month.
Bryden x

Tuesday, 5 November 2013

Free Benefit Goodies with Elle Magazine - Out now.

Just a quick shout out to let you all know that Elle Magazine are offering a free Benefit lipgloss in Decembers issue which is out now!

You can choose from Dandelion, Hoola or Coralista. 

I went for Coralista. I really had to hold back on buying three copies so I could have them all. I'm such a greedy guts.

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Bryden x

This is not a sponsored post. 

Friday, 18 October 2013

Brew Dog - Afternoon Tea For Punks

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Claire and I were very excited to see an invite to Brew Dog's Afternoon Tea for Punks to drop into our mail box and jumped at the chance to attend. Personally, Before this event I had no knowledge of what makes a good beer as I usually grab a vodka and diet coke when I'm out in town. Because of this it's always a bit daunting visiting the bar in Brew Dog as I have no idea what the pick. Thankfully the staff are a friendly bunch are always on hand to give tasters and advice. 

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Amazing wall art
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Another piece of amazing wall art
We started off the evening with a tipple of Fake Lager while we waited for the night to start. I found this easy to drink and wasn't too hoppy. After our drink we were presented with a meat and cheese platter which was paired with 5am Saint and Jackhammer IPA. I'd been eyeing up these platters on previous visits so it was nice to finally try one. Our host Sarah was on hand to give us some information on the beers and which food it paired well with. My favourite of all of these beers was the 5am Saint.

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Meat and Cheese Platter
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Now it was time for dessert! The girls from Pet Lamb Patisserie had baked up a storm and supplied some gorgeous beer baked treats for the event which were to be paired with the beers they were inspired by. All of the desserts contained the beer they had been paired with too. 

First up we had Punk IPA and Passion Fruit Cupcakes which also were paired with Punk IPA. Our host advised us that this was one of their most popular beers. Described as a fresh, full flavoured natural beer this is Brew Dog's tribute to the classic IPA's of yesterday. 
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Punk IPA and Passion Fruit Cupcakes
Secondly, we were given a thick slice of their Dead Pony Club Citrus Loaf which, you guessed it, was paired with Dead Pony Club. Described as a huge hoppy Californian pale ale Sarah told us that this beer was particularly popular with the ladies. Funnily enough this was always the beer I was recommendation when visiting the bar on previous visits too. This cake was Claire's pick of the bunch. 
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Foreground - Dead Pony Club Citrus Loaf
Last but definitely not least was the Cocoa Psycho Brownies. These were incredibly rich and fudgy. We were given this door stop sized brownie with the Cocoa Psycho Stout. The pairing was absolutely perfect. I particularly enjoyed taking a small bite of the brownie and having a sip of the Stout at the same time. It really brought out the rich chocolate taste. Cocoa Psycho is described as a 10% decadent and indulgent imperial Russian Stout and definitely isn't for the faint hearted! Sarah explained this stout is made with real chocolate and coffee and you can definitely pick up these notes. It's incredibly rich. Something I could only drink as a dessert.

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Cocoa Psycho and Cocoa Psycho Brownies (half eaten.. I couldn't contain myself...)
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The event was brilliant and helped me work out what type of beer I liked. As previously mentioned before I had only ever been recommended Dead Pony Club in the past at the bar and took that every time. I now know that I prefer a more malty beer. My favourite of the night was 5am Saint.

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Thanks Brew Dog for an absolutely brilliant night. Big thank you to Sarah for our invitation too. 

It reminded us of when we were 'punk'. Here's a picture of us and our friend Julia in t-shirts featuring bands from our youth:
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How young do we look?!

Bryden x