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Friday, 28 December 2012

As explained in this post, every December my sister takes me into London for a birthday surprise and each time she always thinks of something quirky or different to do. I always end up having an amazing day as somehow my sister seems to know me better than I even know myself and these little trips are somewhat the reason I adore London so much. So on the 15th me and my sister headed into London for the first part of my birthday surprise - getting some yummy food.

We're both pretty obsessed with hot dogs so she arranged for us to grab a bite to eat at top London restaurant Bubbledogs. It's this really cute quirky place - it's all American themed and is centered around a hot dogs and champagne menu! I love the idea behind of it and couldn't wait to get there as already I'd heard many people raving about it.

She warned me in advance that there would be a small chance we wouldn't get in, being that Bubbledogs is very much an 'IT' restaurant at the moment and they don't take bookings for people in small groups. Nonetheless we got there a bit early and saw that no one was yet lining up before it was open, so headed around the corner to get a quick drink until it opened its doors. Clearly we were mistaken though because when we walked back at 5:30pm, there was a long line to get in! So we knew the food must good! We were very lucky because we got the last two seats in the house thankfully.

We were ushered in and took our seats and were presented with our menu's. The restaurant had a really American feel to it - it had just brick walls with various drawings on the walls, each in random different sized photo frames. It very much made me think of an arty Brooklyn apartment! It was small but very cosy with a lovely friendly atmosphere. The menu had a wide range of gourmet hot dogs, including a special Christmas one, each with Americanized names. I ordered the classic Sloppy Joe hot dog and despite the fact that I don't even like chilli, it was delicious! Between us, myself and my sister also ordered all three sides - coleslaw, tots (hash browns) and sweet potato fries. Let me tell you, the hash browns are absolutely to die for! I don't even like hash browns either but hand on heart they were one of the most delicious things I've ever tasted in my life and my tummy rumbles just thinking about them. The hot dog was delicious too obviously and I found that even though you're only really eating a hot dog - perhaps with sides if you order them - it's just the right amount. Surprisingly enough for what looks like not much it was really, really filling. 

The food arrived in little classic red plastic baskets and I really loved how the food was very much finger food. Apart from a fork with our coleslaw, we were given no cutlery. Being that it was such a stark contrast drinking it with classy champagne, I really loved this. It was just so quirky and different - the idea of messy hot dogs that you can buy on a street corner, eaten with celebratory champagne - it was really cool. It was also perfect for London which is a city that constantly has contemporary and edgy restaurants popping up everywhere.

I looked on foursquare not long after leaving and found loads of other people raving about the Sloppy Joe's hot dog (clearly I chose well!) and the 'Tots'. I also read that apparently a lot of the staff are trained mixologists so paired with the fact that I thought the staff were very friendly, I could definitely see this being the type of place where you set up shop at the bar after eating and just spend an evening in a friendly/relaxing atmosphere drinking. It actually wasn't too expensive either, obviously it cost more than your average pub grub meal but I think considering the fact that you're paying for champagne and having such a different experience, the price is more than worth it. The restaurant also provides take out if it's too busy to sit in.

It's a very popular restaurant at the moment and although I think all the fuss will die down eventually once the idea is not so 'new', I believe the delicious food and quirky theme to it will definitely keep it a success. It was without a doubt a great experience and I'll definitely be dropping in again next time I'm in London!

Hot Dog Joint
70 Charlotte Street
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Tuesday, 25 December 2012

Merry Christmas everyone! This is just a quick post to wish all my followers a merry Christmas. I hope you all have a lovely day and get everything you asked for :) I've had a super busy week working constantly, then celebrated my birthday this weekend just gone with a night out Saturday, after finally buying the last of my presents and I chilled with some friends and family on the actual day. Today (well, yesterday by the time you've read this) I was working twice at both my jobs so I was exhausted  by the time I got in! I then finally wrapped all my presents and I guess I am at  last ready for Christmas. There's a whopping eleven of us for Christmas dinner tomorrow so it's going to be a bit hectic! I'm back at work Boxing day (boo) but once all the festivities are gone and everything is calmed down I'll blog about everything, as well as how I spent my birthday in London. I've got some great reviews coming up of what I did.

Anyway, I hope you all have a lovely day and enjoy spending time with your loved ones!  

P.S The photo above is our beyond weird Christmas tree decorations myself & my sister bought in Bruges! Mine is the star one (as it has blue eyes like me!) and Mamaw isn't best pleased that it's now sitting on the tree...

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Friday, 21 December 2012

There is nothing more beautiful than Christmas in London. The cold weather paired with the festive lights and decorations is just the nicest way to spend a winter evening this Christmas and I must say, I'm forever thankful at living so close to the city, especially at this time of year. Ever since I was little, my sister has always taken me out in London to celebrate my birthday with some form of surprise, and I think that's probably what has caused me to love the city so much during winter.

London is also great during winter because there is so many things to do - most of which are seasonal. There's ice skating at Somerset House or you could visit a real Winter Wonderland at Hyde Park. There are even bus tours that take you around the city at night specifically to see all the various lights and decorations all around the city. There's always something to do for the whole family and there's always something for everyone - be it traditional, quirky or contemporary.

One of the first times my sister took me for a special birthday surprise in London, she took me to the London Dungeons, which has since become a firm favourite attraction of mine, so much so that I must have been for a total of at least six times over the years since. Although I actually celebrated my birthday surprise in London with my sister this weekend just gone - which I will blog about - I was also offered the opportunity to pop down to London and visit the Dungeons to blog about them recently, which I accepted without hesitation. Despite having gone so many times before, the Dungeons NEVER get old or boring for me and it's always a little bit different at London so this blog post is why I'd suggest paying them a visit this Christmas.

Please note, any photos on this post are not mine but were found via Google or the official Dungeons website. Photography within the Dungeons is prohibited and although I would have loved to take some photos whilst lining up inside, where you are allowed to take photos, my camera had already died and unfortunately my iPhone doesn't take good quality photos on the dark. Apologies! 

I LOVE visiting the Dungeons and would thoroughly recommend them to anyone - especially at Christmas. They offer that perfect mix of learning about London's gory past but with lots of jumps, scares and fun in the process. It really is something quite different with various actors taking on historical characters and scary sets that have astounding attention to detail. It's like a live show that you are part of but it's so much fun. As well as learning about things such as The Great Fire, Jack The Ripper and Sweeny Todd, there are also 'rides' within the Dungeons walls such as a boat ride and a drop ride. All in all, it's a real laugh exploring around the Dungeons and despite having been so many times myself, I never get bored as there is always something new to learn. They're continually taking on new parts of London's history or adding on to the whole interactive experience that it never gets boring.

What I really love though is how it's so interactive with the audience - the characters joke around with you all, pulling people up for a mock trail to reflect how things were settled in courtrooms during the 18th century. There is up to 14 shows on the 90 minute tour, including 'Fog Freeze' which is new for this winter. At Christmas they also have a slightly odd 'Santa' who gives you gory gifts! What's also great is how the actors will take note of their audience too - if there are little children on the particular tour, they'll take note and lessen the jumps, instead making the show a bit more humorous. Likewise if you're all adults, they try to scare you more! But I'd still say the Dungeons has something for everyone - it's not scared out of your wits scary, instead it's very humorous and is definitely the type of thing to go to in a group. It really is so much fun and better yet - it's cheap!

You can save up to 20% when booking in advance online, and the Dungeons are literally right next to London Bridge Station, so it's all easily accessible. Despite always being busy, you never have to wait long either.

I've also heard that the Dungeons are genuinely haunted too which is interesting! Over all I really love the Dungeons, the attention to detail is just spectacular and the way everything comes together to create a spooky and on edge atmosphere is amazing. I'd definitely recommend the Dungeons this Christmas if you're ever in London.

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Monday, 17 December 2012

I was recently contacted by the team behind luxury online boutique and was offered the opportunity to review one of their many gorgeous themed candles. I was really pleased because I'm forever buying new candles for my room - my room is pretty much my sanctuary filled with everything I love so it's always nice to have a delicious smelling candle or two burning to help relax me. I particularly love having one burning in the evenings when I blog as it helps get me into a more relaxed mood.

First of all I checked out the website and immediately fell in love with the boutique. Amara is like a quirky and more luxury version of IKEA come Not On The Highstreet in my eyes - everything is very upper class and glamourous, but it's all affordable and I also found loads of different quirky hidden gems whilst shopping around the website. It definitely the type of website I could end up spending loads of hours on, buying loads of Christmas presents for my friends and family. I like it because it suggests everything is just that little bit more glamourous - as in if you purchased a gift from here for someone than that someone must be really special to deserve something just that bit more luxurious. It's mostly home accessories and gifts but I love how you can shop by room and I especially love the Christmas gift guide section - it's all so lovely and seasonal. Among the website you'll find labels such as Ralph Lauren and Ted Baker so it's got a lovely mix of higher end stuff as well as cheaper stuff too.

I was offered the chance to review one of their many candles (what a collection!) and immediately the collection of Wanderlust Candle's caught my eye. Firstly because I just love the word Wanderlust and the definition behind it and secondly because I've definitely caught the travel bug lately. There were four to choose from - London, New York, Paris and Rome. I chose New York because it's somewhere I've always wanted to go to and plan to visit next summer and I couldn't wait until it arrived. When it did, it was beautifully packaged and as soon as I lit it the smell just washed over me - it had a really nice scent! I didn't know if it actually smelt of New York or not as I've never been, but I did love the idea that the scent was supposed to represent the city, so it's nice to know that if I left it burning and closed my eyes I could probably imagine myself there! At £21.00 it's well worth the price as I received it about a week ago and have had it burning pretty much every night since and it's still got loads of um burn left in it (if that's the right way to describe what I mean!). It has a gorgeous Vanilla and fruity scent and additionally it's really pretty too!

I've definitely been thinking about purchasing a few of these candles as gifts for friends and family and there are also quite a few things I've spotted on the website that I think would be great for certain people! 

The last date to order in time for Christmas delivery from Amara is before 3pm on the 21st December.

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Sunday, 16 December 2012

Last Sunday I had my work's Christmas party which was really just going out for a meal at a place in town. It was a nice night - I work in Admin so I'm always in the office or stockroom so I don't actually see much of the staff at work! We had a giggle anyway and the food was nice. I bought a new dress from H&M to wear to it because most of my dresses are a bit too casual/too short for a work party and considering all my co-workers and managers were there, I thought it would be a good idea to wear something more smart. I love the dress, it's a nice colour for Christmas and I think I might wear it for Christmas day too. It also looked great paired with my leather jacket!

I added my trusty belt to the dress and wore my favourite heels - I didn't want to go over the top as it was just a meal and a couple of cheeky drinks. Besides, by the end of the night I typically ended up spilling gravy down myself!

Unfortunately I didn't manage to get a photo of my makeup because the meal wasn't until 8 and I headed down a bit early for pre-drinks - so with it being dark out and using my iPhone, the lighting wasn't good enough to get a clear photo. It's a shame because it was nice! I did try to but all the photos came out blurry - I really need my own photographer! Plus I was in a bit of a rush too as the new boiler was only being installed that day so I had to get a shower down at my Nan's again then get back here to get ready. Nonetheless my hair looks nice!

P.S Check out the Look Of The Week tag for a mooch at some of my other 'Look Of The Week' posts (be warned some of them are a tad embarrassing) or please feel free to check out/give me a few votes on my LookBook - just click the image above!

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Tuesday, 11 December 2012

Everywhere I look at the moment I seem to be faced with oversized extra fluffy corny Christmas jumpers. I love it! If I had the budget, I'd be living in such jumpers 24/7. Not only would they keep me extra warm but despite how corny they are, they're all so adorable. I'm really, really hoping I can pick up a few in the January sales to wear next Christmas (by then knowing my luck they'll be out of fashion again!). Here are some of my favourites that I think capture the right Christmas spirit without being too over the top.

From L-R
Top Row - Pink Kiss Me Jumper (Perfect for under the mistletoe!), White Snowman Face HoodieSoul Cal Deluxe Robin Jumper
Bottom Row - Blonde & Blonde Rudolph JumperJacquard-knit jumper (ideal for a stroll in the snow!), Noelle Fairisle Snowman Jumper

I want them all! I think perhaps my favourites are the 'Kiss Me' jumper from River Island or the Soul Cal Deluxe Robin Jumper from Republic. I can just imagine wearing them snuggled warm! Fingers crossed I can still nab a few in the January sales...

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Saturday, 8 December 2012

Yet again, I'd like to apologize for the lack of posts this week! As if we haven't had enough bad luck recently - my Dad hit a deer and so we had to get the car fixed, our hoover has just broke & we currently don't have any hot water or heating since our boiler broke - my laptop charger decided to break! But I've got a new one now and we're managing alright without heating/hot water for the meantime, plus its Christmas so who can be miserable at Christmas? Things could be a lot worse! But yes, that's why I got my blogging mojo back recently but then was unable to post this week haha!

Me and my friends have become avid bingo goers, though I think it's more down to the fact that it's held in a pub which serves delicious food and cheap drinks! Anyway, here's just a quick post about what I wore when we went on Sunday (it's definitely become a somewhat weekly tradition for us!). 

I was given an early birthday present in the form of this oh so sexy leather jacket! Do you like it?! I told Mamaw I'd spotted one I wanted in Miss Selfridge and she purchased this one, showing it to me to ask me if she'd got the right one for my birthday present. It's not the one I originally had my eye on but I tried it on and had a think and absolutely love it - I've decided I prefer it to the one I originally saw. So Mamaw let me have it early :) It's so sexy isn't it?!

I didn't take many photos as I hadn't actually planned to turn this into a Look Of The Week post. But I just loved the overall look too much - especially with my skinny fit jeans that are an old favourite pair that I haven't been able to fit into years - I swear I used to wear them constantly a good few years back so I'm very pleased with it! Overall I loved the very 'rock chick' look - leather jacket, skinny jeans, black pumps, my favourite deep red lipstick (although it doesn't look that dark in the photo above because of the light!).

So overall a very basic look but just right for a quiet Sunday night down the local :) 

Top : River Island
Jacket : Miss Selfridge 
Jeans : Unknown
Shoes : Unknown

Make Up 
Foundation : L'oreal Paris infallible brush in 015 Porcelain shade
Cover up : Dream Matte Mouse in 030 Sand shade
Bronzer : Benefit Hello Flawless in Beige shade
Eyeliner : Collection 2000
Mascara : 17 Peep Show Mascara
Blusher : Maybelline Dream Mouse Blush
Lipstick : Kate Moss Rimmel Lasting Finish Lipstick in shade 107

Bracelet : Republic
Spiked Bracelet : Stella & Dot

Nail Varnish : Ruby & Millie Red 430P

P.S Check out the Look Of The Week tag for a mooch at some of my other 'Look Of The Week' posts (be warned some of them are a tad embarrassing) or please feel free to check out/give me a few votes on my LookBook - just click the image above!

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