Friday, 30 October 2015

Bar review | Yo! Sushi, Bluewater

Yo! Sushi, Japanese, Rice, Bluewater, Blue Monday
On Monday, I booked the day off work and mum decided we should go to Bluewater for shopping and lunch. There was only one option of where to eat – Yo! Sushi. On Mondays they have a concept called Blue Monday, where a selection of dishes are on the blue (£2.70) plates. I think there’s about 40 dishes to choose from, although you can still order from the main menu. I love Yo! Sushi and I can’t believe I’ve never experienced Blue Monday before – it must be popular, as there was a 20 minute wait for a seat at both the bar and booth. Eventually we sat at the bar, which I prefer as you get full access to the conveyor belt.
Yo! Sushi, Japanese, Rice, Bluewater, Blue Monday
Yo! Sushi, Japanese, Rice, Bluewater, Blue Monday
As we perused the menu while we were queuing, as soon as we sat down, we poured ourselves some sparkling water and ordered our hot dishes. One of my all-time favourite dishes is the Chilli Pepper Squid and it didn’t disappoint – although I swear it contains more and more chilli every time. Mum also ordered it, largely because I don’t share my squid with anyone. I also chose the Salmon Firecracker Rice, a dish I had never had before. It was so filling: a large bowl of rice with edamame beans, carrots, spring onions and peppers, topped with flaked salmon and sesame seeds. It certainly packed a punch too, not as spicy as the seafood ramen, but a lot hotter than the squid dish. Mum opted for the Prawn Katsu, as a lover of tempura prawns!
Yo! Sushi, Japanese, Rice, Bluewater, Blue Monday
While we waited for the hot food to arrive, we shared a portion of the Salmon Dragon Rolls, which were basically California Rolls (crabstick and avocado) topped with salmon and shichimi spice mix. They were good, but nothing to shout home about. Plus they were impossible to eat, especially with people sat around you. I had to eat the salmon first and then attempted to cut the sushi with chopsticks.
Yo! Sushi, Japanese, Rice, Bluewater, Blue Monday
We also shared the Nigiri Selection (tuna, salmon and prawn), which are always a good option for sharing. I had the tuna and salmon ones, as I’m not a fan of the prawn – I just don’t like the way it’s butterfly and cold, it has a weird taste. By this point, we were pretty much full, but we decided to order a hand roll each.
Yo! Sushi, Japanese, Rice, Bluewater, Blue Monday
I chose the Salmon & Avocado roll, which contained a seasoned mayo and sesame. It was so fresh and light, and it was the first time I’d had the crispy seaweed sheets, which tasted incredible. I’m definitely going to have to buy them to snack on at work; they’re totally more satisfying (and healthy) than crisps! I could have had three hand rolls and the squid – and no more. Mum chose the other option: California, which like everything else, was crabstick and avocado, again with seasoned mayo. She thoroughly enjoyed it and was almost tempted again when they started appearing on the conveyor. We also shared the Crunchy Prawn Roll, which wasn’t as good as I remembered. I’d have much rather swapped that for one of the desserts – the cheesecake mochi is amazing!
Yo! Sushi, Japanese, Rice, Bluewater, Blue Monday
I love Yo! Sushi because it’s so casual, you can eat as much or as little as you like and everything is cooked (or chopped, or even rolled) in front of you. We saw our hot dishes being prepared, our hand rolls created and despite the initial wait, everything was speedy, but still good quality. I’ll definitely be back for Blue Monday – but hopefully before then, too.

Love, Lucy xx

Wednesday, 28 October 2015

Lucy Loves | The Gifting Lounge

Gifting Lounge, Boutique, Gifts, Homeware, Jewellery, Stationery
Source: @giftinglounge
I love it when I’m introduced to a new website, especially when it’s one that not many people know about. The Gifting Lounge is an online boutique, run by one of my favourite bloggers, Lauren. She’s a very successful (and busy!) lady and you may know her as one of the @LDNmeetup organisers. This site is a blogger’s paradise, catering to all your homeware, stationery and accessory needs! I’m not lying when I say, I could have easily bought everything – but because the stock is constantly being updated, you’ll find something new every time you check it out. Not only is it stocked to reflect current trends, but it’s all so affordable. The products would make great stocking fillers or secret santa presents, if you can prise yourself away from buying treats for yourself!

I was one of four lucky winners on Twitter who won The Gifting Lounge’s competition – we all received a £7.50 discount when we spent over £15... easily done! Once I had signed up, I was excited to see a loyalty scheme and to find I simply received points for signing up. For creating an account you get 10 points and then it’s a point for every pound you spend. By accumulating your points, you could receive a discount of up to £25. But enough waffling!

The Blogger Gift Pack immediately caught my eye, and let’s be honest, it’s a necessity for any blogger. In the pack was the most gorgeous canvas bag with Bloggers do it better emblazoned across it. I took it with me to the #SuffolkBloggerMeet and got some lovely compliments. As well as this, blogger staples: sticky notes and a pen were included. The sticky notes I’ve decided to take to work, as I’m more likely to use them there. I also got a lovely rose gold tea light holder, which will look amazing once I’ve redecorated my room. Everyone knows my love for candles by now too.

I have a thing for costume jewellery and the Oval Drop Necklace was soon snapped up. I just love the cream and gold, with the contrasting pastel green – and it’s certainly a statement piece. I wore it earlier in the week for the first time, but need to buy some clothes to wear with it. You may have seen it on my Instagram.
Gifting Lounge, Boutique, Gifts, Homeware, Jewellery, Stationery
If anyone knows me, they’ll know I often have a notepad on me, to jot down blog ideas, plan posts and make lists (I love a list!). As a lover of sweets, too, the All the Sweets A5 notepad was totally up my street, even if it does make me crave pick n mix. Because it’s a paperback and it’s fairly compact, I can easily keep it in my handbag in case I need it. To accompany it, I bought the Princess pen (in pink of course). It’s so girly and sparkly and I love the little crown on the top. It definitely makes me feel princessy and it’s the cutest thing ever!

I have to say a massive thank you to Lauren for beautifully wrapped everything was – and delivery (despite being second class) was super quick! As I opened the parcel, amongst the tissue paper and lovely packaging, were a handful of fruit salads – my favourite ever retro sweet! It was a really thoughtful touch and a nice surprise. After all, who doesn’t love a freebie, especially when it’s sweets?

For all your gift needs, visit or follow on Twitter @giftinglounge

Love, Lucy xx

Monday, 26 October 2015

Degustabox | September Box

Degustabox, Subscription, Food, Drink
If you’ve not heard of Degustabox, then where have you been? It’s a food & drink monthly subscription box – bringing you 9-14 surprise products, many which are new to the market. When you sign up, you get to fill in your very own profile, meaning a couple of the products may differ. It’s actually the highlight of my week when this little beauty arrives on my doorstep and last month’s offering was actually one of the best so far! So, what was in September’s box?

·         Two packets of Reese’s giant peanut butter cups
·         A packet of Mallow & Marsh raspberry marshmallows
·         A packet of Maynard Wine Gums Red & Black
·         A packet of Bassett’s Jelly Babies Berry Mix
·         Two bottles of The Good Cider
·         Two cartons of Up & Go
·         A packet of Compete Energy Bites
·         A bottle of Sweet Sally Tea
·         A packet of Miracle Noodles
·         Two packets of Portlebay Popcorn
Degustabox, Subscription, Food, Drink
Up & Go is an Australian breakfast drinks brand and their range of products claim to have the same fibre, protein and calcium as a bowl of cereal with milk. The cartons are great for having on the go and I loved both chocolate and vanilla flavours. They do have that wheat/oaty taste, but are also so creamy – they taste a bit like custard! I would definitely buy these again. My mum often buys cider and while I usually go for random fruit flavours, rather than apple or pear, I actually enjoyed The Good Cider. The flavours weren’t too sweet or bitter. The apple & pear one was my favourite of the two. On the other end of the scale, I didn’t like the Sweet Sally Tea – largely because I wasn’t sure whether it was meant to be drunk hot or cold. It was citrusy and spicy, but didn’t taste of tea itself. It smelt a lot nicer than it tasted, but it wasn’t my cup of *ahem* tea.
Degustabox, Subscription, Food, Drink
I’m yet to try the Compete Energy bites but as someone who doesn’t drink energy drinks, loads of coffee, or other energy products, I don’t think I’ll enjoy them. Each packet contains six chocolates, which are infused with caffeine to provide an instant boost and you’re not supposed to have more than two in a sitting. I may try one but I am a little sceptical.
Degustabox, Subscription, Food, Drink
I absolutely love snacking on popcorn, so I was excited to try the Portlebay corn – especially as I hadn’t seen it in shops, but heard so many good things. Sweet & salty is my all-time favourite flavour and this tasted a lot better than other brands I’ve tried. The cappuccino was amazing too, although I could have done with a stronger flavour. If you don’t like coffee, you’d probably enjoy it because it’s quite sweet.
Degustabox, Subscription, Food, Drink
How many treats did Degustabox want to send us this month?! For someone like me, with a massive sweet tooth, it was an absolute winner! Who doesn’t love Reese’s? We were lucky enough to have two packets of the giant peanut butter cups. I gave one to my brother, because the temptation to eat all six was too great. The Bassett’s Jelly Babies Berry Mix featured in the March Box but I love them – after all, they contain the pink and red ones. The Wine Gums Red & Black were also lovely, but while the red ones are my favourite, I don’t like blackcurrant sweets, so my family were lucky enough to have half the bag! I think they need to create Red & Green version, which would be so much better. And finally, the Mallow & Marsh raspberry marshmallow cubes were incredible. Low fat and 100% natural, these were very similar to the Bonny Mallow products I’ve recently sampled. I shared the cubes with my mum, who also liked them.
Degustabox, Subscription, Food, Drink
The Miracle Noodles are another product I’ve heard loads about, but haven’t actually seen in the shops yet. I make the most amazing prawn noodle broth, which is low calorie, so will be using these in the week. The product card also has a Vietnamese pho recipe, which may be worth a try. Hopefully I’ll report back with a recipe post!

What were your thoughts on the September box?

Love, Lucy xx

Friday, 23 October 2015

Latest in Beauty | Build your box

Hi lovelies – a quick beauty post today! I think everyone knows about my love for Latest in Beauty boxes and recently, they changed their ‘Build Your Box’ concept. Rather than choosing as many items as you like and paying per item, you now have three options:

Small – 3 products (£8.99)
Medium – 6 products (£12.99)
Large – 9 products (£16.99)

I decided on six products and picked up a couple of new ones as well as a favourite of mine. The section of the website is so much easier to navigate now – the products are in categories including hair care, skin care and fragrance. It’s constantly being updated, with lots of new products added every time I go online. So what did I choose?

John Frieda Luxurious Volume Blow dry Lotion – I very rarely have the patience to properly blow dry my hair straight, but I chose this product as I know it’d come in handy in creating volume when I curl my hair, or sleep in rollers. I’m looking forward to trying it out. Plus I really want to get a fringe cut in, so it should help with blow drying that and adding bounce.

Teeez Mysterious Crystal Eyeliner – this is my ultimate favourite eyeliner pencil EVER! It’s a proper jet black and come with the rubber on the end, perfect for creating a smoky eye look. I find that it’s easy to work with and blend – and it lasts all day. This retails for £14, so I got a really great deal for a full-size product!

Maddi Alexander Mistletoe Kisses Spray – I love Maddi Alexander products and the Rose scented LIB box was one of my all-time favourites; the scent was just so relaxing and luxurious. I expected big things from the room spray and it didn’t deliver. The festive notes of orange and frankincense didn’t come through and smelt more floral. The overall scent was quite overbearing.

John Masters Organics Shampoo & Conditioner – I never stick to one shampoo and conditioner, so thought I’d try this out. The conditioner I love, because it’s so light, it can be used as a leave-in product as well as a rinse out. It feels so light and soft and is a great de-tangler. I didn’t like the shampoo as it doesn’t lather well, even when you use lots. I felt as though my hair wasn’t washed properly and it created knots. I did think it was good that these products contain a combination of 17 certified-organic ingredients – although that wouldn’t persuade me to purchase them.

Collection Eyes Uncovered Palette in Nude – another full-size product was this palette. Although I use my Urban Decay palette every day and haven’t used any other eye shadow since, I’ve read a lot of people say this is a decent enough dupe – and only £3.99. I’ve used this a couple of times and it’s a fairly decent alternative; I have been using my UD primer though to set the colours all day so I’m sure you wouldn’t be able to tell the difference!

Halo  Eye Make-up Remover Pads – I have a never-ending supply of eye makeup removers, because I often wear thick eye shadow and several layers of mascara. I love the texture and ease of these pads, they’re great for having on the go in hand luggage or overnight bag. And they remove the most stubborn of black eye makeup. I need to find these in the shops!

So, there you have it. I’m looking forward to seeing which new collections are being released as they’re all still summery. I think I’ll have to build another box soon – and I’m definitely praying for a female in the work Secret Santa so I can design a box for them.

Love, Lucy xx