David Bann Restaurant

Sunday, 29 November 2015

Thanks to being a vegetarian I’m always rather limited on what restaurants I can eat at. Most restaurants begrudgingly cater to the vegetarians of this world but the options are usually rather bland. Fortunately I have a rather thoughtful other half who suggested we take a long, overdue trip to David Bann; an all vegetarian restaurant in Edinburgh.

It’s been a while since I went to the cosy albeit slightly fancy David Bann restaurant but at least I knew what I was in for. My other half was a little worried when he saw the menu and I think he started wishing we’d gone to a steak house. He did eventually settle on the stir fried vegetables with udon noodles and smoked tofu despite me insisting he try the chili and chocolate pancake. I on the other hand, chose the aubergine, chick pea and cashew kofta without really knowing what I was going to get.

David Bann Restaurant

As the restaurant was fairly empty at this point (it was 3.30pm after all) our food came out rather quickly. Both options looked lovely on the plate and were even better on the taste buds. My other half happily tucked into his noodles and vegetables while I tried to refrain from raving about how fabulous my entire meal was.

I was paranoid that the coconut, courgette and tomato sauce that covered my sweet potatoes was going to be too coconuty for my liking but it was absolutely perfect. The only downside to my meal was the papaya salad but my other half appreciated it for me. We also both discovered we don’t like tofu but it seemed to be devoured regardless.

David Bann Restaurant

We had been to the Winter Market prior to going to the restaurant and stupidly had a waffle each so dessert was out of the question. We did have a look at the dessert menu and the hot apple and calvados tart did sound rather appealing but in the end, we opted for hot drinks. My other half went for apple and cinnamon tea which was both refreshing and Christmassy while I went for my second hot chocolate of the day. I seem to have been cramming the hot chocolate in recently, it must be that time of year!

David Bann Restaurant

While 3.30pm was an odd time to eat, the entire meal was fabulous. I genuinely cannot find fault in any aspect of the restaurant other than the view of the rather rundown looking Travelodge across the road. The meal was also fairly cheap at just under £30.00 and I think it may be a place my other half would like to return to. If you’re a vegetarian or vegan who’s bored of the usual bland offerings at restaurants be sure to check out David Bann (St Mary’s Street, Edinburgh) and for goodness sake, try the chili and chocolate pancake!

Biting Back

Tuesday, 24 November 2015

If there’s one thing I’ve learned in the past 11 (soon to be 12, eek) months it’s how fragile confidence can be. I’ve never been the most confident of people - I’m too shy, awkward and goofy for such a luxury – but I’m slowly learning what situations I rule at and which ones I shouldn’t put myself in if I can help it.

I’ve recently had to walk into a situation that would usually scare the living daylights out of me and although a great deal of nerves were present, I soon got over that and quickly became a confident little human. It just so happens I’m somewhat in my element but that’s not the biggest contribution to how I’m feeling. For once in my life, I’m surrounded by positive, motivated and genuinely lovely people and I’m feeding off of those good vibes.

I can’t even begin to explain how much of a relief it’s been to have a great deal of negativity leave my life. I won’t bother going into what caused all the unnecessary bad feelings as that’ll just bring me and this post down but it’s so nice to flip my hair in that disgusting direction. Who needs narcissists and rudeness when you can have puppies and lollipops!

The amazing thing is ever since I’ve gotten rid of that awfulness a lot of things have just fallen into place. I feel like I’ve grown up a lot just in the last few months and I’m ready to “adult” properly. It took a lot of shaky moments with a fair bit of crying at parts (I rarely cry so things must be bad for me to cry regularly) to get to this stage in my life but I’m rather blessed to be here. I’m still awkward, shy and goofy but I’m learning to own it and for once, I’m refusing to let the douchebags drag me down. The ones who thought they had me cornered must be really mad; I know they’re reading this post xx

Bvlgari Omnia Coral Perfume

Saturday, 21 November 2015

You know when you’ve been meaning to write a review on a product since July but completely forget to do it? Well, I appear to have had one of these moments as I’ve just realised I never got round to reviewing the latest addition to my perfume collection. Do I have to sit in the bad blogger corner and think about what I’ve done now?

Bvlgari Omnia Coral Perfume

Bvlgari (or is it Bulgari?) Omnia Coral was given to me by parents upon their return home from Spain. I’ve never sniffed any Bvlgari perfumes aside from the one my mum once owned which my dad described as “fousty” so I was rather intrigued by this one. Of course the pink packaging (or is it coral?) helped in my perfume excitement.

I really have no preference when it comes to perfumes so I am rather delighted with the sweet, fruity scent Omnia Coral offers. Usually fruity scents tend to border on the artificial side of things once they’ve mixed with my skin but Omnia Coral remains musky and delicious. I’m absolutely awful at describing perfume notes – which makes me the perfect person to review perfume of course - but I’m sure there’s a hint of floral notes in Omnia Coral somewhere.

Bvlgari Omnia Coral Perfume

Omnia Coral earns me so many compliments whenever I wear it as it’s such a nose friendly (excellent description there) scent. I was worried about it becoming undetectable throughout the day but this perfume remains present until my next shower. It’s one of those perfumes where you walk past someone and they instantly think to themselves “that person smells good, would it be totally weird to ask them what they’re wearing?”.

It’s possibly not the most grown up of scents and it’s definitely more suitable for summer if you’re one of those people who keep things for certain times of year. Omnia Coral is really just a light, friendly perfume that should suit most people. It’s hardly the most original of scents but let’s be honest, the bottle and the utter confusion it causes me makes the generic scent worth it.

Moda In Pelle Boots

Wednesday, 18 November 2015

I tried but in the end, I just couldn’t resist them. They were hiding away in the corner of the store and I could hear them calling out to me. It’s not my fault, I’m weak okay!

The Moda In Pelle boots in question are everything I’ve ever wanted in a pair of boots. They’re made from soft, black leather, have the perfect heel size and they fit so well I’m adamant they were designed for me. They’re also sexy as hell and give one major confidence boost (until you stumble in front of a group of people while wearing them).

I was obviously attracted to the overall look of the boots when I first spotted them but it was the fit that sold me. I have quite skinny legs so most boots in this style are usually too wide but the Moda in Pelle boots fit perfectly. The boots don’t really stretch with your leg size so, should I ever gain weight or a considerable amount of muscle on my legs, they’re going to become useless.

Admittedly the boots can be a little irritating to put on and remove so if I’m in a rush, these will definitely agitate me. It’s a small price to pay for such a good fit but it’s probably better to have someone to assist you during the removal process.

The heel height was intimidating me a little when I spotted the boots. It had been a while since I had worn heels at this point and I was worried I wouldn’t be able to walk properly. Fortunately the heel height is around 3.5 inches so these boots are quite easy to walk in. They’re also incredibly comfortable so although you’re wearing heels, your feet should stay pain free for as long as the boots are on you. I’ve wandered around the cobbles and hills of Edinburgh in these boots and I actually forgot I was wearing them as they’re that comfy.

Annoyingly I’ve worn the boots that often the little stubbies on the bottom of the heel have had to be replaced – one actually shifted out of place after getting the heel slightly stuck in a hole in the pavement. Something tells me this is going to be a regular occurrence and I’ve read that hammering the nail into the heel could potentially snap the heel. Whether that’s true or not is a different story but I know I don’t want to find out.

Maybe my weakness for nice boots paid off here as the quality of these boots means they are going to last for a very long time. They’re also my new go to shoes so I’m really getting my money’s worth. I had never actually heard of Moda in Pelle prior to finding these boots and now that I have, I can’t stay away from their website. These boots have started something bad!

Norton House Hotel and Spa

Sunday, 15 November 2015

It’s unlike my other half to be spontaneous so when he suggested we stayed at the Norton House Hotel and Spa this weekend you can imagine my surprise. We booked a classic room a mere 5 days ago and impatiently waited for the weekend to roll around.

Norton House Hotel and Spa

Our check in was the standard 3pm so we pottered about for most of Saturday before braving the miserable weather. Upon our arrival to the hotel we were greeted by a red carpet which we assume was out for someone’s wedding. It was a rather nice touch though and I wouldn’t complain if it was a permanent fixture.

When we last stayed at the Norton House Hotel and Spa we stayed in the Edinburgh suite but this time, we went for the cheaper option (not that cheap mind you) and opted for the standard, classic room. The room was spacious and cosy and had everyhing you would need in a hotel. The bed was incredibly comfortable, the balcony was freezing and the TV in the bathroom was much appreciated. I also got a little too excited about the size of the showerhead (it’s huge!) but I did that last time we stayed too, simple things.

Norton House Hotel and Spa

We had booked dinner in the Brasserie restaurant for 7pm – last time we were in the Ushers restaurant which was possibly a bit too fancy for our taste. When we showed up for our reservation we were the only guests there but it soon filled up. Who knew 7pm was early for dinner?

The Brasserie menu caters to us vegetarians with a good old 2 options – seriously I’m quite pleased with two options since some restaurants barely do one. I went for the tomato arancini and oh my goodness was it incredible. Admittedly when it arrived I did look at my plate and think “is this a starter” since it was such a small portion but I also had chips as a side order so I was happy. My other half went for the classic cheeseburger which came complete with bacon and chips. Apparently it was very meaty and I’m still unsure as to whether this is good or bad.

Norton House Hotel and Spa

For once in my life I still had room for dessert so I went for something I’ve never had before. Yes ladies and gentlemen, I had a cheeseboard. How wonderfully dull of me! My other half did have the cheesecake though so at least one of us was having a proper dessert. While the cheesecake went down a treat (despite the consumer having a very full stomach) the cheeseboard was a bit of a hit and miss.

Norton House Hotel and Spa

After dinner we returned to our room to find bagpipes were in full swing. The wedding the aforementioned red carpet was for was being held in the building opposite our room so the bagpipes were as loud as can be for us. They did stop but it was a rather strange thing to walk into a room to. I thought I was getting a patriotic welcome back!

The rest of our night was spent in a Lush Bunch of Carrots scented bath watching The Inbetweeners 2 before returning to our warm bed. I rarely get a good nights sleep in hotels but I slept like a baby at the Norton.

Norton House Hotel and Spa

Being the lazy sods that we are, we chose to have breakfast sent to our room. We got a little too food happy and ordered pancakes, boiled eggs, toast, a fry up (for my other half), pastries, porridge, hot chocolate and orange juice. Annoyingly we didn’t notice the toast until after I’d finished the eggs so there was no egg and soldiers for me. Is it wrong to admit I’m quite sad about this?

The rest of breakfast however, was fantastic. The hot chocolate was the perfect temperature and chocolatey enough without being sickly and the eggs were exactly how I like them. I was hoping I would get the same pastries as our last visit but sadly, it wasn’t mean to be. The 4 jars of jam were appreciated though.

Norton House Hotel and Spa

Checkout was at 11am but we weren’t leaving at this point. We had booked in for a massage so off we trotted to the spa. We visited the spa during our last stay but I found the pressure of that massage to be a little too much so this time, I went for the light pressure. I cannot even begin to explain how amazing the massage was. My other half and I had a full body massage each and I think we were both incredibly relaxed and smelling awesome afterwards.

After our hour session we nipped into the steam room, sauna and hydrotherapy pool for a few hours. I haven’t been in a sauna since I had a Turkish bath at the ripe old age of 8 and I had forgotten how ridiculously hot they are. I know that sounds weird but I much prefer the temperature of steam rooms to saunas; it doesn’t hurt to breathe so much in a steam room as it does in a sauna.

By about 2 o’clock we were resembling human prunes so we dried and dressed ourselves before leaving the spa and a great weekend behind. Going to the Norton House Hotel and Spa was such a random decision but it was a lovely treat. I imagine it won’t be long before we return, I think my other half and I may love the place a little too much. We can go back next weekend right?

P.S. Apologies for the poor food photos; I haven't quite got the hang of photographing food in bad lighting yet.

Real Techniques Haul

Thursday, 12 November 2015

As Boots decided to be nice to us humans who can’t resist a deal, I’ve acquired some Real Techniques items. The 3 for 2 offer is a horrible thing for your bank account but excellent for your face. I wouldn’t usually buy anything from the Real Techniques Bold Metal collection due to the prices being similar to high end brands (major brand confusion) but the 3 for 2 helped me along a little.

The 301 Flat Contour brush is what caught my eye. I initially wasn’t going to get it due to it being £22 but eventually I decided I deserve sculpted cheekbones and this brush would help me achieve such dreams. I’ve only used the brush a few times and it has been in the dark (thank you November) but so far, I’m pleased with the outcome. I’m not the best at contouring so hopefully this brush will help me along the way.

In the spirit of the ever popular “oh my god it’s 3 for 2 and I’ve only got one item” statement I searched frantically for a second product. The brushes weren’t really catching my eye and I ended up picking up the 201 Pointed Crease brush out of frustration. I’m not entirely sure how I feel about it yet. I’m not one for doing intricate eye make up looks but hey, maybe this brush will inspire me to draw on my eyelids.

Last but not least was the item I searched high and low for and almost gave up on ever finding. The *Real Techniques Miracle Complexion Sponge is something I’ve wanted to try for a while but never really got round to buying. Now that I have it, I’m a little worried about using it particularly since I’m so bad at cleaning my make up tools. I’m excited to use it but knowing me, I’ll ruin the sponge.

I’m now beginning to understand the Real Techniques hype now people! I’m shaking my faux “hipster” image here. The only annoying thing about the Bold Metal collection is the fact the brushes are white, why on earth would I want white bristles? As soon as I use the brushes they look dirty and it annoys me. I’m never happy!

Disclaimer: Anything marked with an asterisk (*) is an affiliate link.

Lush Reindeer Rock Soap

Tuesday, 10 November 2015

I admit it, I can’t stand Christmas. I like it on the actual day but I cannot be bothered with the lead up that seems to begin in August. The other day I walked into a shop and almost attacked a Christmas tree for daring to be in my presence in November. That being said, I do appreciate the Lush Christmas items that hit the shelves obnoxiously early and a favourite has returned.

Reindeer Rock was hiding away in the Lush box I received last Christmas (seriously it was hiding under a lot of packing peanuts) and it was the first thing I used. It pains me to know that this is a limited edition product as it’s so lovely I want to shove it on my face; yes, my face.

If you’re a fan of The Comforter - whether it be in bubble bar or shower cream form – you will love Reindeer Rock. It has the same berry scent as The Comforter but I find it reminds me a little of Parma Violet. It’s also usually a much nicer shade of purple than the one in the picture; I’m a little annoyed this one is so dark, I know, I’m so fickle.

This soap has a lot of yummy ingredients that your skin will love which makes this the perfect shower companion for Winter. We all know how good berries are for consumption but think about what they can do for your skin! If you think the cold weather has ruined your skin and it’s in need of some TLC you can’t go wrong with some Reindeer Rock. I think I might shove it in my face now.

A Late Display

Saturday, 7 November 2015

It’s been a long time since I went to a firework display. The only fireworks I’ve really watched in the last 10 years or so have been at the end of T in the Park while Flower of Scotland was played on the bagpipes. My family and I used to spend November 5th in Dunfermline or in some brave sod’s back garden but standing in the freezing cold lost its appeal in my teenage years. Now that I spend the majority of my time in Dunfermline the idea of standing in a park in November has suddenly become a good idea again.

Bonfire night didn’t happen until November 7th in Dunfermline which I assume was done so more people could attend. It must’ve worked as there were apparently 25,000 people squeezed into Pittencrieff Park (how they know that is beyond me though). As it was so packed we ended up standing behind a tree although that seems to be a usual occurrence for me at any event.

If we had left slightly earlier the tree wouldn’t have been an issue but we were trying to avoid the One Direction tribute band. There are a few things I hate in life and I can honestly say out of tune One Direction songs are one of them. They got the children dancing and screaming so I guess they served their purpose but what on earth compels people to start a One Direction tribute band? I’m confused by the mere concept.

Anyway, aside from the weirdness of the tribute band the rest of the hour in the cold was well spent. There’s hardly a lot I can say about fireworks that you probably haven’t heard before (i.e. colourful, loud, “did someone get shot or was that a firework” etc.) so I’ll refrain from a minute by minute review. My other half has attended many firework displays in Dunfermline and has reliably informed me that this year was better than the displays before.

Pharrell was a nice break in between all of the awful gunk they insisted on playing!

Hats off to the people in charge of organising such an event as the fireworks were rather fabulous. It’s quite nice to see people actually paying attention to something as opposed to filming it on their phone (says the girl who clearly took a video and some photos but I was watching 95% of the display, blogger woes yo). I think I might return for next year’s display and hopefully I won’t have a killer cold! Now it’s time to chill out with a vegetable pot pie and some college football. Pass the Lemsip!

P.S There would be a lot more photos if I hadn't picked up the wrong cable for my camera. That's probably a good thing though.

Faith In Nature: Grapefruit And Orange Shampoo and Conditioner Review

Wednesday, 4 November 2015

A few months ago Faith in Nature were kind enough to send me their coconut shampoo and conditioner to try out and I ended up loving the products so much I bought another set. My original plan was to go for the chocolate version but instead I went for a fruity option. I decided that orange and grapefruit shampoo and conditioner belonged on my hair and thus, this review was born. I bet you didn’t see that coming…

The first few times I used this orange and grapefruit shampoo the majority of it went down the drain as opposed to on my hair. The shampoo is the runniest shampoo I’ve ever used so I have to be rather careful when trying to wash my hair; I had to stop quickly slapping the shampoo on my hair and getting stuck in. Fortunately the conditioner is the perfect consistency although I do have a tendency to squeeze too much of it out of the bottle, first world problems!

When the shampoo does make it to my hair I find it doesn’t lather up as much as I would like. I am one of those people who associate a good lather with clean hair so I do have mild worries that my hair will not be squeaky clean when using this shampoo. I can confirm though that every ounce of oil, paint and lord knows what else is in my hair is completely gone by the time I’ve rinsed the shampoo out.

Once I’m over my mild hair cleaning worries I slather the conditioner to 2/3 of my hair. I’m afraid the conditioner really isn’t anything to rave about. It doesn’t do anything extraordinary but it does perform well as a bog standard conditioner which is absolutely fine if that’s what you're looking for. I occasionally use the Aussie 3 Minute Miracle in place of this Faith in Nature conditioner as I find it doesn’t always get my dry ends out of their funk.

I didn’t really think too much about the smell of an orange and grapefruit shampoo and conditioner set before purchasing. I did hope they would smell zesty and delicious but they actually kind of smell like Fairy Liquid. The smell isn’t terrible and I can’t detect it on my hair (that’s either a good thing or a bad thing depending on your stance on Fairy Liquid) but it makes me miss the coconut scent my hair once had. If I was able to smell this shampoo and conditioner prior to purchasing them I would have opted into something else.

Despite the Orange and Grapefruit shampoo and conditioner not performing as well as the coconut version I’m still quite pleased with them. I’m in no rush to buy this scent again but I do like Faith in Nature’s products (especially since they’re made from natural ingredients, win) so I’m tempted into a few more scents. I wonder if Pineapple and Lime will give me the scent I crave!
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