Little Gems in Liverpool

If you live in or are visiting Liverpool there is no shortage of new places to eat and drink, There are some fantastic choices but i would like to share one of my favourites…

THE BALTIC BAKEHOUSE
BALTIC
This bakery situated on Bridgewater street, prides itself on the beautiful homemade sourdough that is available to buy as a loaf to take out or from the coffee shop menu in a variety of yummy fayre!
For breakfast, ‘toast your own’ sourdough or white tin is featured, complete with gargantuan jars of Skippy PB or locally made jams and spreads to top your toast! The Almond croissants are the best i have had and the retro enamel cup of builders tea for £1 is the perfect thing to wash it down. If you are after a more substantial choice, the Bacon or sausage butty is the way to go!
For lunch a homemade soup normally features on the menu along with Open sandwiches, sometimes Topped with Buffalo mozzarella, beautiful tomatoes and pesto, and the UGC (Ultimate Grilled Cheese) seems a favourite from peeking at others people’s orders!
The cakes, tarts and Pastries are amazing! My husbands complete favourite are the Baltic Rox – Think a good sausage roll but bread instead of pastry with a sweet sticky sauce inside (Brown Sauce according to the lady that served us). We tend to buy 3 or 4 if they are available whenever we go, everyone raves about them and if you pop in, you will see why!
The surroundings are rustic but warm, inviting and unpretentious. The staff are always friendly and will give you a few tips if you are stuck on what to order, I have never been disappointed!
There is also a high chair available if you have tot in tow!
You can tell the ingredients in everything are very good quality and this, i think sets the Baltic apart from the rest.
Check them out on facebook, twitter or on their own website!

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D.I.Y French Manicure

Sorry I have neglected my blog for weeks! I have been so busy! The only plus side to that is, I have lots of new things to write about, a few people have asked me how I do my nails like this so I thought I would post it on here.
I have always loved nail varnish for as long as i can remember and when I was a little girl I remember watching my mum paint her fingers and toes in bold reds and yearning for something other than my wishy washy pale pink I from the kids range in Avon. Whenever I get a manicure or pedicure now I still go for bold colours im not a pastel girl, not where nails are concerned. I like them as pretty and glossy as they come!
Since being shown this method at a manicure appointment I had few years ago, I tried doing it myself at home and got good results. Its not rocket science, not everyone likes a french manicure I know but when you want your nails to look clean and fresh I think it still looks nice and it will always go with any outfit so I though I would share it with you! You will need…

Camera Pictures Jan 2014 200

Some white nail varnish, Some pink, peach or clear top coat. Some Nail varnish remover, some cotton buds and a few cotton pads.
I use a sanding block to prepare my nails and gently push my cuticles back with oil if I have the time.
The set I used here is from Mavala and is available from Amazon for under £9. If you dont have that much to spend a great alternative is this set from Superdrug at a mere £3! Its might not last as long as the mavala but its great if you keep on applying the top coat daily to protect your french manicure!
So now you have all your equipment, make sure your nails are clean and dry and if you choose to that your cuticles are gently pushed back.
Step 1 – Paint the end of each nail with a thin coat of white (dont worry about neatness) wait a minute and repeat.
Step 2 – After 2-3 minutes drying time, take your cotton bud and dip into your nail varnish remover dabbing any excess off onto a tissue. Now its time to shape those tips!
Step 3 – Carefully remove the messy end of your white varnish by gently wiping the bud back and forth over your nail until you achieve the thickness and curve you want. Repeat for each finger.
Step 4 – Now you are ready for your pink/peach/clear polish. Paint a thin layer on each nail and wait 3-4 minutes before applying your top coat.
Step 5 – I always use a quick dry spray, as i am too curious to be poking my nails every few minutes only to find i’ve smudged it etc. These are my two Faves…Avon’s Liquid Freeze for £6 (I wait until half price sale) and Elegant Touch Rapid Dry from Boots which is £3. Both are Excellent and leave you ready to go with dry nails in a flash!
NailsDIY
I hope you have success if you fancy trying this technique xxx

Ladies Day at Aintree

Racegoers%20on%20Ladies%20Day%20during%20day%20two%20of%20the%202012%20John%20Smith's%20Grand%20National%20meeting%20at%20Aintree%20Racecourse-794042With the grand national meeting fast approaching, you can feel Liverpool hyping up already! Well to be honest it has been for months! The national is one of the biggest things on the social calander here and every year thousands of perfectly preened ladies and gents pile into Aintree over three days for a fantastic day out. Ladies day is reknowned for being splashed all over the tabloids with, in their opinion who is dressed the worst, and who they can catch toppling over in their 6 inch heels to plaster everywhere.
People from around the world then find it upon them selves to comment on such pictures and i cant help but feel sorry for the ladies in question, not like they care, they are the ones that have worked all the hours to get a perfect dress made, sought out the perfect matching handbag, shoes and fascinator, they made their salon appointment months ago, the nails are polished, the hair wont move an inch and the fake lashes and tan are dried and ready!! 9 hours later they will have swopped their louboutins for a pair of flip flops for the taxi journey into town only to be swiftly swapped again when they arrive at their champagne filled after party destination! (In the name of looking good, pain doesnt matter to scouse girls)
The aim of the game is to feel fantastic in your new outfit, have a laugh and hopefully win a bit of cash to have some fun with! They have a best dressed competition every year and the winner usually gets a fantastic prize as well as being the envy of all the other ladies and gents.
Call it what you will, judge if you like, but I’m telling you now the experience of Aintree is fantastic, I live 5 minutes away and you can literally feel the buzz of it on race day. If you havn’t walked a mile along walton vale in your 6 inchers you cant judge!
I say good on the girls and lads for getting dressed up to the nines, enjoy it, people that dont understand dont matter!
So , even though it wont stop the comments from happening i hope those reading this wont join in with the ridicule.
04_April

Dr Bronner’s – Smell like a Bakewell Budget Beauty Buy!

SOAP It has been descibed as the best soap on earth, and celebrities are obsessed with it so when I read a while back that Drew Barrymore (girl crush), Sandra bullock and Lady Gaga swear by using Dr Bronners in their beauty routine, I thought I would give it a try! This soap claims to have 18 different uses ranging from toothpaste to household cleaner, so i bought some from Jarrolds in Norwich for a tiny £2.50 but many places stock this and there is a good range on eBay.
I chose the almond variety in a vain attempt to smell like a Bakewell tart without eating one. This soap comes in 9 different scents and contains no detergents whatsoever.
At first i was a little curious of what to use it for as I wondered how can a soap be good for a hot cloth facial but also great for washing your clothes or cleaning your windows but it has been hugely popular around the world since its first production in 1948 so i shifted my doubts aside.
What i found quickly is that you literally need a few drops if that for most of its uses. It needs diluting even just in your hand. I have 2 thirds of a small bottle left and i have had it a year. see, budget beauty! I like to use mine as a face wash, i find it cleanses my skin properly without making it dry. I just put a few drops on my wet hand in the shower and use as normal.
What attracted me even more to this product is that it’s completely organic, fair trade and rigidly against animal testing which for beauty products these days, is extremely rare but every little helps, right?!
I have read a few forums on this soap and how best to use it and I have yet to try it for hair washing but i have heard it great but you need a ton of conditioner afterwards.
I would be interested to know if anyone else uses this product and has any tips or hints.
I have found a great dilation chart here

♥ ♥ Valentines Day ♥ ♥

I know some people hate it….and some people love it. Me and my husband usually celebrate Valentines day by doing something nice (usually involving food and alcohol) and getting each other a nice card. We aren’t into it in a major way and a really nice dinner or selection of our favourite deli food and a bottle of wine is what normally occurs. It is nice to turn the TV and iPad off, dig out some of our old music and have some time together.

Here are a few of my favourite valentines themed ideas….

Love this card from Liverpudlian Illustrator Becka Griffin for £3.25 from NOTHS original_cheesy-valentine-s-card

Also from NOTHS…how cute are these?! The Perfect Match……

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Ruby wren also have a nice design idea for your card…
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How gorgeous do these look from Betty’s tea rooms? I wouldnt mind receiving these in the post! (that isnt a hint husband – Remember Slimming world!!)Available to order online….
Bettys

If you want your manicure to scream love!!! Make sure you are polished with my favourite reds….
Nails Inc St james is a lovely Bright red and is available in a 4ml mini for £5 too! NAILSINC

Or if you are on a budget Rimmel’s Double Decker Red is a winner at £1.99 REDVARNISH

It would be morally wrong for chocolate not to be involved in such an event…here are my favourite for gifts….
Hotel Chocolat Salted Caramel Chocolate puddles….No more explanation needed. Yum.
CHOCS

If you are all about the sugary sweet then this £4 box of lovelyness should be yours from charbonnel et walker CHOCS2

If you are after a personalised gift for your significant other how about this idea from Hannah Lloyd from NOTHS… original_personalised-our-story-library-card-print

Hyaluronic Acid – Anti Aging Alert Ladies!!!!

BOOTS

We are surrounded today by so many anti aging and beauty products, most of us dont know where to start! For me, personally, a simple skincare routine works best. I very rarely get 8 hours sleep a night and drinking 8 glasses of water a day is near impossible without me wearing one of those beer can holder helmets replaced with the evian kind. I am not worried about looking 30, I AM 30. I have a child, i am tired quite a lot.
It doesnt mean to say im not a little bit vain, as we all are, but putting things in my face, at present are not top priority. I know plenty of people that have regular botox, and good on them, if you can afford it and you want it then why not!
I dont know about anyone else but i would be too paranoid i would end up on ‘botched up bodies’ and be forced wear a balaclava for the rest of my days. I know that sounds dramatic with it being so much safer nowadays and being available at most hair and beauty salons here in Liverpool but its just not for me.
It seems whenever Boots bring out a new ‘anti aging miracle’ women everywhere make it a sell out in a bid to look and feel better about themselves and why not! So When i read about Boots new Liquid Supplement, I was curious to see what all the fuss was about.
Hyaluronic Acid is found in all our bodies, it keeps our skin supple, hydrated and helps to retain moisture and elasticity in your skin. As we get older our stores of this acid decline and if it is not replaced our skin finds it harder to retain moisture and make new cells. Hyaluronic Acid is supposed to be able to hold 1000 times its weight in water, thus making it a lot easier for your skin to retain its youthful look!
Hyaluronic Acid is also known to ease joint pain, keep eyes healthy and hydrated and reduce bleeding gums.
Beauty reviews are calling it a drinkable mosituriser and skin specialists are claiming this is more important than collagen, when it comes to skincare. Boots 240ml bottle costs £27.99 and people are going mad over it! You take 10ml a day mixed into a drink and hopefully wait for it to work from the inside out! Beauty editors are reviewing this left right and centre so if you fancy a bottle, grab one while you still can!

Mister Rob Ryan

I first discovered Rob Ryan last year when i was searching for a papercut for a present. For those of you who dont already know, Mr Ryan is an artist, designer and papercutter extraordinare! His work is beautiful, full of lovely words and is refreshingly unique! You can check out his facebook page…here
I have been inspired a lot by looking at his work wondering how they manage to cut out all those minute details involved in his papercuts. You can buy an actual papercut, a lasercut deisgn or an art print all depending on your budget and preference. I like this one….Can we, Shall We?
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My budget is too tight at present to own a rob ryan but i did get this lovely mug for christmas thanks to my sister in law. Its perfect for a bucket of coffee (usually lukewarm with a 3 year old) in the mornings!
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You can discover all of his work and range of art and products right here

Here comes the Sun……

Last Spring, me and my husband were thrilled to be asked to become godparents to our little niece. Me being of creative sort, i wanted to make her something lovely. She had already fell victim to wearing one of auntie Hollies sewing machine creations and i had already made her bunting for her bedroom.
I racked my brains for a few days, did some digging on NOTHS and Etsy to try and find something unique for her. I stumbled upon some ‘papercuts’ that were hand or lasercut designs in anything you wanted really… song lyrics, birth annoucements. I though back to before she was born and remembered that her mum and dad used to sing the Beatles song…here comes the sun…to her while all snug in her belly while they eagerly awaited her arrival!
I contacted a few designers and professional papercutters before deciding that a small pony maybe cheaper for her. Not one to be put off i dragged my husband straight to a craft shop to buy some supplies. A cutting mat, a craft knife and a LOT of different shades of paper.

I had a little practise with a few simple designs and then braved the real thing, i was so nervous i dont think i took a breath inbetween cutting bits of tiny thin paper, just in case i tore it.

I also bought her a little music box that played the same tune. Every time i played it before the christening i would just well up as she was so longed for and well….its just her song. When we gave our gifts to her mum and dad i think it had the same effect. I think the song is special to all three of them as they all are to us.

Here comes the Sun – The Beatles

So…here it is, all framed…Jackies Papercut (Auntie Hollies First) xxxx

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Ella Eyre

ELLA She is the ‘one to watch’ the ‘critics choice’ of 2014 and If you havn’t already heard of this very talented singer and songwriter, i suggest you have a little look. She may seem small in stature but boy does this girls voice pack a punch. When Rudimental realeased ‘Waiting all night’ featuring Ella last year, i loved her voice instantly.
Now i am not professing to be an expert but i think she is going to be big. In my house anyway!! I bought tickets a few weeks ago to see her in Manchester in March this year and i just got an e.mail saying that the venue is changing, presumably to a much larger one after greater demand. Ella appeared of Jools Hollands pre recorded new years eve hootenany and the day after tickets were sold out!
Her voice reminds me of some other singers but her soulful tones are all her own. And…she 19!!!

Deeper – Ella Eyre

Could you be…the most beautiful curl in the world? My 6p hair trial.

photo 1

I am not one of those people that wakes up with amazing volumous hair and a fresh natural face! I usually resemble an 80’s soft rock singer when it comes to my locks! Inspired by some posts on Pinterest, i am now on a mission to find a way to wake up with nice hair. Mission accepted, i tried some bendy rollers i found lurking in my drawer, that hadnt seen daylight since the 90’s. I had freshly washed and blow dried hair, i followed the tutorial with my bendy rollers and had a sound nights sleep. I awoke to find two had fallen out of my hair but the remaining ones had created an ok curl.
Inspired by my semi triumph i decided to have a look for some new sleep in curlers. As usual ebay satified my curiousity and i found these…. Curlers

I purchased a pack for 6p with free postage and packing. I was a little wary whether for the price i paid if they would be any good or even turn up at all! But for 6p, it was worth a shot.

The instructions are really simple on the packaging so after freshly washing and drying my hair i rolled it up….. photo 3

I woke up from a good nights sleep and after my compulsory coffee unwound my curlers…..
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They had certainly done their job! I separated some curls with my fingers and ran my fingers through to soften the curls and make it drop a little. At first i looked like i belonged in the W.I circa 1940 but decided to wait a while before panicking and re washing my hair.

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As you can see they did drop out a little but the curl remained quite tight, call me picky, but I was dreaming more of a tousled large wave but given the length of my hair and the width of the curlers i think they did a good job! The curl was very southern belle and bouncy!

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I am going to keep these curlers as they did create a good curl it just wasn’t the right one for me!

Hollie x