Blinded by the light!

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When we first moved into our house, I thought that I would have Roman Blinds on all the windows.

However, the show house had them and it quickly became apparent that they were going to prove very popular on The glade and so,  I held fire.

I covered the living room and bedroom windows with curtains in the interim.

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We are restricted as to what we can do with the walls of the house for another year, while they dry out properly.

Therefore, I used the curtains to inject a bit of pattern into the rooms.

That is, with the exception of the youngest’s windows because she needed blackout curtains.

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This little window is at the top of the stairs and right next to the youngest’s room, it has the only roman blind in the house on it because I thought it would look neater.

This summer, the brightness pouring through the window has proved to be a bit of an issue for Miss Glade. 

Personally, I think that we shouldn’t complain about bright days but apparently, it has meant 4am wake ups which, it appears is unacceptable – kids eh!

A solution needs to be found.

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 These white venetian blinds in my kitchen are my favourite window treatments in the house.

I love american style Plantation Shutters but lots of local companies have stopped doing them.

I didn’t trust my measuring skills enough to order them online.Therefore, I compromised and these white blinds have been in my kitchen ever since.

I love the uncluttered, sleek look.

All of our windows are little boxy ones with (allegedly), straight corners.

So, feeling a bit more confident about my measurements, I have been having a look online.

The VELUX Blind direct website is full of ideas. I am thinking that the little  blind that I have on the top of the landing could be replaced by a black out Roman Blind.

However, they also do venetian blinds like the kitchen ones, with full light control – I am torn!

What do you think?

One thing is certain, the youngest won’t tolerate another summer of my dithering.

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Have a lovely day!

Disclaimer – Excitingly,  VELUX have asked me to mention them in this post,    however I probably would have done anyway because I love the options they have available and, more importantly, their website is easy to navigate ha!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Street Food in Liverpool – Mowgli style!

I recently enjoyed a wonderful evening at Mowgli in Liverpool.

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As soon as we entered the restaurant, we felt the hipster vibe!

The decor was so cool!

We were greeted as soon as we walked through the door and promised a table within a few minutes.

Mowgli has a no booking policy, so you do have to take a chance and be prepared to wait!

We struck lucky and was shown to a table within 10 minutes of our arrival.

The waitress explained the menu to us and took our drinks order.

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We each ordered a Tiffin Box for one.

I chose the Indian School Tiffin which promised four tiers of meat free and carb offerings, which claimed to be chosen by Mother- because she is always right ha!

My friend chose the Office Worker’s Tiffin which was the meat version which would be chosen by the chef.

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 The food came in these uber trendy pots.

There were three sorts of curries and one sort of rice.

My vegetarian selection included Tea Seeped Chickpeas, Temple Dahl and Picnic Potato Curry.

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The food was absolutely beautiful. The flavours of each dish were so distinctive.

The tea in which the Chickpeas had been seeped was detectable but not overpowering.

The Temple Dahl was light and had a really subtle lemon and coriander flavour, that was just right.

The spice that you would expect ,was found in the Picnic Potato Curry. It was warming and spicy with a strong taste but, it was not enough to make your eyes water.

The curries were complimented by fluffy basmati rice that was cooked to perfection.

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As if that wasn’t enough – it was , neither of us finished despite having arrived ravenous, we also ordered two Puri soft flat breads.

They were like little pillows of perfection that melted in your mouth.

I cannot recommend a visit to Mowgli enough. The food was absolutely delicious, it is the best place that I have been to for a while.

My friend and I both agreed that the food was really great value, especially given the quality of the dishes, my main course was £10 and the meat version was £12 -fabulous!

Give it a try if you are ever in Liverpool, or make a special trip, it’s that good!

I bet you will be delighted too!

Have a lovely day!

Just fake it!!

I am Summer ready! I have shaved, moisturised, and fake tanned every inch of my body that I may be forced to reveal.

Naturally, I am a pasty white colour, almost translucent, a nod I think, to my Celtic roots.

Therefore, fake tan has become essential, or at least very important to me.

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There was much excitement in our office a few weeks ago when we learned, that St Tropez had brought out a gradual tan that you could apply in the shower.

I decided to give it a go and to compare it to my usual and reliable, Dove ‘Summer Glow”. I also promised a review, so here it is.

St Tropez Gradual Tan

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For two weeks I washed, applied this St Tropez gradual tan, waited for three minutes, rinsed it off and patted myself dry.

The formula also includes almond oil which left my skin feeling soft and cared for.

Furthermore, I did not get that awful smell, you know the one, that always seems to accompany fake tans.

However, although I might have looked slightly less pasty than usual, it didn’t really feel as though it had made that much of a difference.

The test for me is, if I would leave the house with bare legs and after these two weeks the answer was a definite no!

Dove Summer Glow

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I have been using the fair to medium version of Dove’s Summer Glow for a number of years now. I either put it on after my bath/shower in the evening or, in the morning.

It doesn’t stain the sheets like the first generation of fake tans did.

It always leaves my skin feeling soft and moisturised but, it does definitely have that particular odour.

However, it works on my resistant skin from the first application and, as always, my legs were ready to be bared after two to three applications.

Therefore,  although I love to try new products, this time my old faithful definitely proved to be the best.

Have a lovely day!

*I have not been sponsored to do this review – gosh I wish I had, I spend a fortune on these and many other products ha!

Casa Italia – Liverpool!

Recently, the little Miss caught the bus from school and met me for dinner in Liverpool. Given that Italian food is her favourite, we decided to introduce her to Casa Italia.

imageMy first ‘proper’ job was in Liverpool City Centre and Casa Italia was always a favourite haunt of myself and my friends. However, we hadn’t been there for years and so were  interested to see whether it had changed because the ‘Casa’ was always an experience……

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The restaurant is nestled in Stanley Street just off Matthew Street where The Cavern Club was once situated. It was always very busy!

We had not booked and so were lucky to be shown to an empty table. It was still very busy! Ah! how reassuring it was to recognise the familiar decor and table cloths. Equally, the atmosphere was the same, we could hear the same excited buzz of conversation intermingled with peals of laughter and felt, the happy vibes of an early Friday evening,  always a hallmark of the ‘Casa’.

Nevertheless, this is not the experience that I mentioned earlier, no the experience for years at the ‘Casa’ was the style of service literally dished out.

The waiters offered a surly, dump your plate on the table, style of service in a very functional way. They made no secret of their objective to seat you, serve you, get rid of you. It hasn’t changed. I think I even recognised some of the waiters.

If you know this and can appreciate it, it can be very amusing watching them in action.

imageClearly then it is not the service that brings the customers through the doors in their droves, so it must be the food!  The food was always good, freshly cooked, no-nonsense Italian fayre and, I am delighted to report that it hasn’t changed in the slightest.

We started with Garlic Bread and cheese , now of course called Foccacia. However, that is the only difference, it was as gorgeous and cheesy as always and, dumped on the table in front of us ha!

 

It doesn’t matter what you order, it is always served pipping hot, fresh from the oven and tasting delicious!

imageI enjoyed Penne Genovese, himself the Tortellini Italiana and the little Miss, Penne Arribata. It was all lovely and the portions plentiful, myself and the littlest didn’t finish. Therefore, I am unable to report on the Tiramisu, but it did look good. Of course we were quickly bundled out as soon as we had finished ha!

To conclude, I am delighted to report that the service at the ‘Casa Italia’ remains as robust as ever. Customer care is still not a priority for the management but good, nutritious food is.

Therefore, if you can take the service with a pinch of salt, the food at the ‘Casa’ is still fabulous and definitely worth a visit!

 

Have a lovely day!

 

 

 

 

My love affair with all things Liz Earle!

imageI started a new job last week and all anyone wants to talk to me about is my skin care.  It seems that I don’t look old enough to be a mum to Ms Glade, who knew?!?

So I thought, if I am sharing my skin care routine with all and sundry in Liverpool’s business district, that I really ought to be revealing all to you. This is not a sponsored post ha!

In the early nineties, there was a beauty expert who regularly appeared on breakfast TV, she was called Liz Earle. I remember that I used to watch her in the morning and then,  pop out and buy most of her recommendations in my lunch hour, this was obviously before I was a parent!

When I was on maternity leave in 1995,  she launched her own range of skin care. I remember lusting after it for about a  year or so before I was able to buy my first Cleanse and Polish, money was tighter in those days. And so my love affair with the range began.

Like all love affairs, there have been times over the last 20 odd years that I have got bored and dabbled with something new, but I always end up returning to Liz Earle pretty quickly. The reason, I have sensitive skin that airs on the dry side, essentially, I have learned, it doesn’t like too many harsh chemicals, it much prefers the softer plant oils and extracts that can be found in all of the products though out her entire range.

There is no animal testing or animal extracts in any of the products,  an important consideration to us vegetarians! They also smell gorgeous.

Now I don’t want to be seen to be over egging the pudding here, I am prone , just like everyone else,  to break outs from time to time. Damn you hormones! But my skin care routine and drinking plenty of water tends to sort them out pretty quickly.

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I start every morning with cleanse and polish. The container acts as a pump and dispenses one measure with each push, clever eh?!?

I remove it with a muslin cloth, I usually get one free when I buy my monthly supply, and wet it under a warm tap and then, gently wipe my face and neck until it’s all been removed. I wear a ton of make up and it removes every trace, I actually feel that the make up melts away. My skin feels so clean at this point.

I use a spray bottle to spritz my face and neck with the Instant Boost Skin Tonic that acts as a toner, it really perks my skin up. Then finish with a small blob of moisturiser for Dry/sensitive skin while the skin is still damp from the spritzing. I think that is what gives it the look everyone asks about, it’s often described as a glow.

imageSometimes I use Superskin moisturiser as a night cream, or in the winter – I am of a certain age, I need the help.

The picture opposite shows the used version of the face mask, sometimes I sleep with it on for a treat and then remove it in the morning, it leaves my skin feeling really soft and supple.

The Superskin concentrate I use over night in the depths of Winter when a lot of help is needed to combat dry/sore patches. I wake up the next morning feeling soothed with my skin looking better hydrated.

The last product is the Eye Bright, I suffer from awful hay fever and the spring is particularly punishing on my eyes. I soak two cotton wool pads with this product and place it over my eyelids, it instantly soothes the irritation and calms the puffiness that all sufferers will identify with.

So there it is, my skin care routine, I honestly can’t recommend these products enough. I love how gentle and kind they feel and yet still work. Also, despite my wait 20 years ago, they are actually very reasonably priced, especially given the high end quality of all the products.

Sorry if you were looking for the selfie ha!

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Have a lovely day!

 

 

Hanover Street Social

I wrote on Saturday about having restaurant reservations with friends at somewhere I had been wanting to try for a while, it was here at Hanover Street Social.

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It is based in the centre of Liverpool City Centre. From the outside it looks very unassuming. Those three sets of windows constitute the outside view.

imageWhen we arrived late on Saturday afternoon the restaurant was full and had a great atmosphere. We had to wait at the bar for our table and it took a while to get a picture without catching too many people in it.

There were Gins and Bellini’s of every flavour on offer. The bartenders looked to be experts and they were all beautifully prepared. My friend order a Gin and Tonic which was served with cloves floating on the top, she really enjoyed it.

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We were there in time to order from the LunchTime Menu. It offers two courses for £10.95. This is the Chicken dish with a seed mustard sauce that himself ordered. He enjoyed it but it seems to have been served with sweet potatoes as opposed to the daphanoise potatoes that it was advertised with.

imageOur friend A chose the steak which was served with a dressed rocket salad. We didn’t see the French fries as advertised and, they were not mentioned by the waitress.

He said he enjoyed it too,  both him and himself didn’t indulge in too much conversation until they had finished ha!

imageDisappointingly, there was only one vegetarian choice on offer so, the remaining three of us ordered the Gnocchi with  roasted pepper and tomato sauce, with herbed creme fraiche. When it arrived, it was only warm but I think that might have been the creme fraiche cooling it down.

It was delicious and the sauce was very tangy but not sour, as can sometimes be the case with tomatoes. It tasted like fresh ingredients had been used and I could certainly taste the peppers.

However,  the portions were small and we were very hungry. I forgot to get pictures of the cheesecake that I ordered for desert or the ice cream chosen by the youngest. Nevertheless, my cheesecake was delicious and had a very strong lemon flavour but not zingy which is how I like lemon deserts. Again, it was a very small serving.

I enjoyed the meal, but was left feeling a bit disappointed. The atmosphere was great. The service was pleasant but my  friend was deprived of her second gin because the menu was never brought to her as she had requested. This too was disappointing.

imageThe people watching from our table, we were in a window seat, was very entertaining, these chaps caused particular amusement.

However, as soon as we got home, himself popped out and brought us a takeaway back. We were starving! There are so many fabulous places to eat in Liverpool City Centre, we probably won’t rush to return.

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 Have a lovely day!

 

The Spice Garden

Happy Easter Monday!

On April Fool’s day, himself had been in his job for 30 years! It’s quite unbelievable! He has been in the same job since he left school.

 

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I suggested that it was a landmark that deserved to be marked and asked him what he would like to do. He opted for a curry which was great  because it just so happens that we have an award winning curry restaurant a hop, skip and jump away, The Spice Garden.

 

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We arrived almost as they opened and were shown to a table in the conservatory. On Thursday evenings and Sundays they have an all you care to eat buffet, heaven as far as Himself is concerned.

 

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Actually, the buffet option even had plenty of choice for vegetarians. There was the usual popadom and chutneys for starters with onion bhajis etc. The breads are all homemade and delicious.

There were plenty of helpful staff who seemed proud to explain what was in each of the dishes. When we explained that we were vegetarians, they really went out of their way to ensure that all three of us found something we liked.

 

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The Chicken Rogan Josh went down very well with himself although he had already sampled such delights as Chicken Korma and Spicy Lamb. We enjoyed a Lentil and Chick Pea combo, all served with lovely fluffy rice!

At the end we were offered coffee or a Baileys on the house, but we were too full to even squeeze in a  dessert.

We will definitely be heading back soon, it was all so delicious.

 

Have a lovely day!