What I've Been Watching | August 2016

I thought it was about time I did another "What I've Been Watching" post as there's a few things I've been super excited about! 

TV Programmes -

Stranger Things -
Honestly I'm sure you'll have heard of this, everyone and their grandma is talking about it, and for good reason! This Netflix original is one of the best shows I've seen in a long time! I'm sure you'll have heard all about it, so just watch it! If you're a fan of sci-fi and the 80's, it's for you!

Prison Break -
I heard there was a new series of Prison Break coming out so I thought it was about time I started watching the others. I've heard for years about how good it is and it's already sucking me in! 

Brief Encounters -
This was a show that's just recently finished on ITV but I'm pretty sure it's on catch up, set around Ann Summers parties and the ladies who run them in the 80's, it'll make you laugh and cry and it's definitely worth a watch!

Master of Photography -
This show is like an ANTM type reality show, a competition between photographers where they get set different tasks each week across Europe before they get eliminated hosted by Isabella Rossellini, if you're interested in photography you'll definitely like this!

Scream -
I heard a lot of hype about this series and since the second one has just come about I've started the first and I already really like it. It reminds me of PLL, typical high school show with murder squeezed in there too!

The Get Down -
Another Netflix original, it's set in 1970's New York in the Bronx, around teenagers trying to make it big in the music world, the soundtrack it worth watching it alone! The whole vibe of this is super cool, it's produced by Baz Luhrmann so if you like the style of The Great Gatsby, Romeo & Juliet etc you'll like this!

Films - 

Suicide Squad -
This one definitely divided opinions, I still really enjoyed it, yeah there are problems with it, I found the cut and editing very abrupt and strange, but it's a load of fun and still worth a watch in my opinion. 

Stark Trek Into Darkness -
I love the other recent Star Trek films and this one is the third in the series, it's just like the others, action packed and a decent watch. 

Lights Out -
I saw this horror the other day, it's a great one if you love scares! From the same people who made Insidious etc, it's super creepy and worth a watch! 

The Good Dinosaur -
This Pixar film recently came onto Sky and I couldn't resist watching it, it's a great heart warming film, although I wasn't prepared for the emotional moments! The animation is great and I'd definitely recommend giving it a watch!

Ghostbusters -
Finally another I saw at the cinema recently, again split opinions, I thought it was lots of fun, I didn't have high expectations and it was better than I thought it was going to be, I love Kristen Wiig and I thought it was really funny, the effects are really good too. 

What have you been watching recently? I'd love some recommendations! 

Recipe | Oatmeal Caramel Crumble Bars

Today I'm back with another yummy recipe, these oatmeal caramel crumble bars are perfect for an on the go snack or even for breakfast! They're so tasty, the mix between the soft caramel and the crunchy oat topping is so good! 

Ingredients - 

For the base - 

150g rolled oats
225g plain flour
1/2 tsp bicarbonate of soda
1/4 tsp salt
175g light brown sugar
175g unsalted butter, melted

For the filling - 

340g tinned caramel
4 tbsp plain flour

For the topping - 

115g pecans or mixed nuts
175g chocolate chips

Method - 

1. Preheat the oven to 180 degrees C/Gas Mark 4. Grease and line a 30x23cm baking tin. 

2. Combine all the base ingredients in a bowl until evenly distributed. Set aside half the mixture, then press the rest into the bottom on the prepared tin. Bake for 10-12 minutes until lightly brown, leave to cool for 10 minutes and leave the oven on. 

3. Mix together the caramel and flour for the filling and set aside. 

4. On top of the cooled base sprinkle the pecans or mixed nuts and chocolate chips. Dollop the caramel over and spread over the nuts and chips. Don't take the caramel all the way to the sides or it will stick to the pan. Sprinkle over the reserved crumb dough over the caramel. 

5. Bake for an additional 18-20 minutes, until golden brown. Let the bars cool completely in the pan before cutting. 

North East Visits | A Stay at the Rosebery Hotel Jesmond

As exciting emails go, receiving one asking if I'd like to stay a night and review the Rosebery Hotel in Jesmond was right up there! Of course I jumped at the chance and last week me and Steven packed our bags and we were off. I've always loved the vibe in Jesmond and this boutique hotel fits in perfectly, I'd heard of the hotel in the past but didn't realise just how special and unique it was! It's in the perfect position to explore the lovely corners of Jesmond and a quick taxi ride into the city centre. I'd had a sneaky look at the hotel website before hand so I knew what to expect and it's just as gorgeous in real life!

On arrival we met with the owner Janet who checked us in and gave us a tour of the empty rooms in the hotel, each was just as lovely and quirky as the last. Every scrap of space in the hotel is filled with an antique or up-cycled treasure, there's so much to take in! She explained to us that when she decorates she starts with the wallpaper or curtains as inspiration and works from there. You can see just how much time and thought she puts into her decor, just from speaking to us I could easily see just how passionate she was about up-cycling and restoring pieces. 

Something I absolutely loved about the hotel and something that was really important to Janet was supporting local trade. Everything that she spoke about was sourced locally or restored in the area. I thought this was really special and I fell in love with the reupholstered seats from the Theatre Royal during it's restoration. The hotel features a range of rooms from singles, to doubles to family rooms, so there's something for everyone. 

We were shown to our room which was one of the family rooms on the top floor, I obviously fell in love with it straight away! The beautiful patterned wall paper and restored antique beds were to die for! We had a gorgeous free standing bath which had been restored and was over 100 years old! I had an amazing soak in it that night! The rooms all come with a complimentary continental breakfast, more on that later (drools). The rooms have wifi, complimentary toiletries, tv, kettle, teas coffees and everything you'll need for breakfast. 

I often struggle to get a good night's sleep in a hotel but I slept really well here, the bed was super comfy and the duvet was so cosy! Although I did rise surprisingly early as I was so excited for breakfast, I'm sure after scrolling past the photos you can see it's the breakfast of dreams! All without having to leave the room (breakfast in pjs is the best)! Pastries, cereals, porridge, fruit, yoghurt, muffins, tea coffee and fresh orange, I was in my element! I also loved the vintage crockery (I hate boring old hotel china!). Me and Steven had such a lovely time here, if you're looking to stay in a boutique hotel, somewhere close to Newcastle that isn't a boring chain hotel but is still totally purse friendly I'd highly recommend the Rosebery! 

*Our stay was very kindly complimentary for the purpose of this review, of course as always, all opinions are my own. 

Summer Holiday Reads 2016

Everyone one loves a good Summer holiday read, books that are enjoyable that you can just devour while lying in the sun! I'm off to Mexico in a couple of weeks so I thought I would share my tops picks with you and a little synopsis in case you're looking for some book inspiration! 

Every day is the same for Rhiannon. She has convinced herself that she deserves her distant, moody boyfriend, Justin. She knows the rules: Don’t be needy. Avoid upsetting him. Never get your hopes up. Then, out of the blue, they share a perfect day together – perfect, that is, until Justin doesn’t remember anything about it. Confused, and yearning for another day as great as that one, Rhiannon starts to question everything. And that’s when a stranger tells her that the Justin she spent that time with...wasn’t Justin at all.

Before Ardor, we let ourselves be defined by labels - the athlete, the outcast, the slacker, the overachiever. But then we all looked up and everything changed. They said the asteroid would be here in two months. That gave us two months to leave our labels behind. Two months to become something bigger than what we'd been, something that would last even after the end. Two months to really live.

Lara Jean keeps her love letters in a hatbox her mother gave her. One for every boy she's ever loved. When she writes, she can pour out her heart and soul and say all the things she would never say in real life, because her letters are for her eyes only.Until the day her secret letters are mailed, and suddenly Lara Jean's love life goes from imaginary to out of control.

Two boys. Two secrets. David Piper has always been an outsider. His parents think he's gay. The school bully thinks he's a freak. Only his two best friends know the real truth - David wants to be a girl. On the first day at his new school Leo Denton has one goal - to be invisible. Attracting the attention of the most beautiful girl in year 11 is definitely not part of that plan. When Leo stands up for David in a fight, an unlikely friendship forms. But things are about to get messy. Because at Eden Park School secrets have a funny habit of not staying secret for long...

Review | Yesstyle Korean Beauty Box

If there's something I love, it's a subscription box, you've probably all seen my long standing love affair with My Little Box! I've also always been really intrigued by Korean cosmetics, you see people rave about them but I've never had a chance to try any of them out (apart from the Tony Moly masks) despite there actually being a shop in Newcastle completely dedicated to Asian cosmetics (I thought it was a tad expensive although adorable!). So when I got the chance to try out this Yesstyle beauty box I was super excited!

First up is the Laneige Lip Sleeping Mask, I absolutely love lip balm and anything I can apply at night, so this one was a winner! I love the cute little applicator too! It's got a gorgeous berry scent, it dissolves dead skin cells while you sleep, my lips really did feel soft in the morning!  

Next up is the Tosowoong Blackhead Nose Pack, I don't get blackheads but my boyfriend does on his nose so he test drove this one for me! It wasn't as painful to remove as some can be and there wasn't a dramatic change! 

Onto the Berrisom Oops Tint Cheek Cushion, I thought this one was really sweet, the cushion actually does a great job of applying the product and it blends quite well. The colour is also lovely and gives off a nice natural flush shade. 

Then is the Etude House Colour My Brows, I thought this would be great, I'm all for a brow tint, I have the shade light brown and I don't know which world this is light brown in! It was full on sparkly gold, so so weird! 

Next up is something I've actually tried in the past, check out my Tony Moly I'm Real Sheet Mask Haul and First Impressions! The Tony Moly I'm Real Masks are a bit of a cult product, and I really love these masks, I got the Rice for Clear Skin one in my box and I'm excited to give it a go, I'm sure it'll live up to the others. 

Onto the Berrisom My Lip Tint Pack, this is super cute, I got the Vivid Scarlet shade which does what it says on the tin! The applicator is surprisingly effective and the product comes out smooth without being patchy. 

Then is the Macqueen Lip & Cheek Tint, I'm always a bit dubious about products that you can use on your lips and cheeks, but this is actually really good! It comes with a a doe foot applicator and blends onto the lips and cheeks really well! The light pink shade is lovely and works well on both the face and lips!

Next is the Etude House Precious Moment Cover & Bright Fix BB Cream, luckily the shade for me is pretty good, the coverage is very little although is does brighten, great for when you're just looking for that little something. 

Onto the Beauty People 10 Seconds Auto Pencil Eyeliner, this glides on so well without tugging, they have a range of shades, I got a nice brown shade that looks lovely when you don't want something as harsh as black. It dries quickly so doesn't transfer to the eyelids which is great. 

Finally is the Etude House Collagen Eye Patch, I haven't had a chance to try these out yet but they look super cute, be it a little creepy! 

Have you tried any Korean Cosmetics?

*PR Sample

Recipe | Glazed Orange Bundt Cake

I think one of the reasons I love bundt's so much is because there's an endless amount of things you can do with them! I think the bundt is underrated here, but seriously you can but pretty much anything into one! Sticking to a Summer theme, today I've gone for a glazed orange bundt. It's fluffier than you would think a bundt could be and the sharp orange glaze offsets the sweetness perfectly! 

Ingredients - 

For the sponge - 

300g self raising flour
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp bicarbonate of soda
230g unsalted butter, softened to room temperature
333g caster sugar
3 eggs
1 tsp vanilla extract
zest of 1 large orange
juice of 1 large orange
180ml buttermilk

For the orange glaze - 

150g icing sugar
2-3 Tablespoons fresh orange juice
Method - 

1. Preheat the oven to 350°F (177°C). Spray the inside of a 10 inch bundt pan with nonstick spray or grease thoroughly with butter. Set aside.

2. In a large bowl, mix the flour, salt, baking powder, and bicarbonate of soda together. Set aside.

3. In a separate bowl, beat the butter until smooth and creamy. Add the sugar and beat until creamed together. Add the eggs and the vanilla. Beat until combined, add in the orange zest and juice. 

4. Add the dry ingredients in three additions alternating with the buttermilk and mixing each addition just until incorporated. Do not overmix. The batter will be slightly thick.

5. Pour the batter evenly into the bundt pan. Bake for 45-55 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the cake comes out clean.

6. Once done, remove from the oven and allow to cool for 10 minutes inside the pan. Invert the slightly cooled bundt cake onto a wire rack set over a large plate or serving dish. Allow cake to cool before glazing and serving.

7. To make the glaze, mix the icing sugar and 2 Tablespoons of orange juice. It will be very thick. Mix in 1 or more Tablespoons of juice, depending how thick you'd like the glaze. Drizzle over cake. Slice and serve.

North East Visits | NE1 Restaurant Week | Fat Buddha Newcastle

Me and Steven love to venture out for restaurant week, I'm a self confessed bargain hunter so a load of restaurants offering deals is right up my street! We already tried Lane 7 earlier in the week so don't forget to check out that post if you haven't already! For our second trip we decided on Fat Buddha. We've been here before and it wasn't great, we were sat downstairs in pretty much the bar area surrounded by big groups of people and it was pretty rowdy, but we thought we'd give it another go. I couldn't resist a Ginger Ninja cocktail, although it did remind me of those ones you get on holiday with a little umbrella...

We were off to a good start when we were shown upstairs (I could hear the hallelujah chorus!), it's actually really nice up here. The deal was 2 courses for £15 after 7pm or £10 before, it's not the best deal I've seen but their food is generally quite expensive. For starters I went for the only vegetarian option (more on that later) of Vegetable Spring Rolls with Sweet Chilli Sauce, they were yummy as expected. Steven went for the Satay Chicken Skewers which he really enjoyed. 

So onto mains, this is where I was realised that there were no vegetarian options...obviously I don't eat meat, only prawns very rarely if there isn't anything else for me, so my only option was the Malaysian Prawn Curry, not sure how they can get away with not offering anything without meat! The dishes are served with a choice of steamed rice, egg fried rice or diced potatoes. I went for the egg fried rice. My curry was advertised as medium hot, it wasn't at all spicy and I mean at all! Steven doesn't like spicy food and even he said it wasn't at all spicy, so that was a strange one! My meal was tasty, although I don't know what made it Malaysian, it was literally just like curry you get from your local Chinese. There wasn't anything wrong with it, the portion sizes were good, it just didn't blow my mind. 

Steven went for the Honey Chilli Chicken, again with egg fried rice. He enjoyed his and thought it was nice enough although he thought there was a lack of sauce, which you really need if you're serving things with rice. Overall there wasn't anything wrong with our visit (apart from the veggie option!), our food all tasted nice it just wasn't very exciting and felt like we were eating a takeaway, they didn't scrimp on portion sizes which some places do during restaurant week so that was good. I think the deal was good although I wouldn't return again and pay full price. The service was good and everything came really quickly I was just a little underwhelmed which was disappointing as the setting is lovely.  

Have you been to the Fat Buddha?

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