Thursday, 5 October 2017

Rumi by Bukhara | Bloggers review

 Last week, Rumi by Bukhara hosted a Bloggers evening at their restaurant at Mount Pleasant, Liverpool city centre. I've never visited this street and consider it tucked away slightly from the areas that I usually frequent in the town centre. That being said, it is still quite central and I'm so glad that I know of Rumi by Bukhara now.

This will be my go-to Indian restaurant in future, as I had such a fantastic experience with them. We were able to taste many of their starter options and it was all laid out (beautiful might I add) for us to share, together. All of the food was served warm and fresh with a smile.

Aalo Tikki

 We got to hear the history of the restaurant from the staff and how they love to give their customers the best experience, that they possibly can. It was also pretty interesting to hear, how our very own Liverpool football star, Stevie G had eaten with them before.

Lets talk about the food!

There were so many dishes that I was unfamiliar with, as I don't tend to eat Indian cuisine a lot. I appreciated the insight that they gave us, into the tradition of eating pani puri - a common street snack in India. This snack is often made into a fun competition at the dining table, to see how many you can fill and eat in one go. We were shown how to stuff the crispy balls with the flavoursome chickpea filling and each had a try!

We were given enough time for our starters to settle before our mains arrived, the break was much needed. Everything was so enjoyable and generous, that we were all ready to pop.

 For my main, I opted for a Lamb Dopiaza. It was rich and warming, I had chosen the medium version which had just the right amount of a kick for me. Not too spicy that you begin to sweat, but just enough to tickle your taste buds and leave you hungry for more. Rumi by Bukhara gave us fantastic service during our networking banquet and were professional hosts throughout the evening. For our drinks we enjoyed strawberry and mojito mocktails, they were a completely refreshing, compliment to the meal.

Finally, on our way out we were treated to one of their mouthwatering gelatos. Just look at those flavours! It is safe to say that we all had such a hard time choosing. In the end I went for the Jaffa Cake gelato, which was perfection and a great way to cool down the taste buds after all that spice.

Sunday, 1 October 2017

Contained Liverpool | Chamber of Terror review

Autumn is one of those times when everyone is in awe, that it has come around again. One look through your Twitter news feed and someone will be mentioning, that they can not wait for Halloween and I'm exactly the same. It never gets boring! New experiences definitely help with that and this year, I'm excited super early, thanks to attending Contained Liverpool's press night.

contained liverpool

Contained Liverpool presents: Chamber of Terror! 

A labyrinth of spooks, live devilish actors and spine-tingling special effects.
I wasn't sure what to expect as it was my first experience with a walk-through horror show but from the moment that I stepped foot into the chamber, I was transported into an other world. The actors were fantastically, realistic. I felt nervous, awkward and vulnerable, in an adrenaline pumping way!
I think that is probably,the only time that, that sentence can be said - in a good way. 

While I was making my way through the labyrinth, all that I could think was thank god I had someone there to hide behind, when that sudden thump on the wall made me jump out of my skin or when the clowns decided to horrify me honking their horns and running towards me.

I could describe every moment of what made me enjoy this experience but what would be the fun in that? You have to feel the terror for yourself. 

"  Alder Hey Children’s Charity Fund-raiser: ‘Scare Because We Care’ 
As a way of celebrating the launch of Liverpool’s most immersive scare attraction, Contained Liverpool have announced a charity fund-raiser titled ‘Scare Because We Care’ . This Charity fund-raiser will see 50% of the ticket sales (£7.50 from every ticket sold) for their opening weekend (6th-8th October) is donated directly to Alder Hey Children’s Charity. "

(Just off Long Lane.)
 Unit 7A Barcalys Centre
Brookfield Centre,
Broofield Drive, 

L9 7AN

Friday, 22 September 2017

Positivity Inc | Yoga and Mindfulness

The clocks haven't gone back yet and the darker nights are already creeping in, I have been digging out all of my favourite jumpers from hiding and starting to wrap up. Today is the Equinox and the first day of Autumn, the spiritualists of the world can find balance in themselves and all around them at this time of year. An equinox occurs when the sun passes directly over the Earth's equator, resulting in a day and night that are equal in length.

Eve from Positivity Inc treated us to a seasonal hatha flow last night. Using a mantra of letting go, just as the trees are with their leaves, in order to celebrate the occasion and also wrap up the last of their 'Summer of Yoga' sessions. During the whole of the Summer holidays, Positivity Inc provided welcoming, nourishing yoga sessions for families and locals to enjoy. Me and my daughter joined in, both inside and outside of the Isla Gladstone on many occasions, which was an amazing location to promote positivity and wellness.

Luckily, some of these wonderful sessions will continue and boy have they been popular. It is really great to see so many people, from all different walks of life, treating themselves to such a life enriching activity.

Treating myself to these sessions goes a long way in reducing stresses in my everyday life and I am a big fan of the current movement, which is helping children to get involved and also teaching them important coping mechanisms for life. Positivity Inc are very inclusive for children and they show them that yoga can fun and enjoyed by people of all ages. My daughter has now developed a deeper interest in yoga through attending these sessions.

I decided to ask Eve if she would mind me asking her a few questions, in order to share with you in this post and she happily agreed. Read the mini interview below.

Starting at the beginning, how long have you practiced yoga?
I began yoga 15 years ago in order to cope with situations in my personal life. I had emotions and upset from my mothers passing, which I couldn't let go of. Yoga classes and restorative massage helped me through this difficult time.

How long have you been teaching yoga for?
I have been active with community/youth work for about 25 years. However I only became a yoga teacher and fully qualified 2 years ago. I also done night classes back when the youth centre I was working with received funding for yoga sessions, during the time Liverpool was Capital of Culture 2008.

Do you ever find that by providing so many classes, you miss out on being on the other side of the mat?
No, I still participate in lots and LOTS of yoga sessions myself. Teaching is not my practice.

Do you have any tips for people who find it hard to connect with their breath during the yoga session?
I would say that it will come with practice, keep trying, focusing on your breath. We are used to breathing from our chest, so it takes time to develop the skill of abdominal breathing. Try not to judge yourself during your practice and keep trying to slow your breathing down.

Finally, aside from yoga what else would Positivity Inc recommend to promote positivity in our everyday life?
Mindfulness is the key to developing a positive mindset, this includes practicing yoga and meditation. Being in the present moment and actively eating well will help too.

Thank you to Positivity Inc for spreading joy and providing the community with a warm feeling this Summer and into Autumn, services like this won't go unappreciated!

If you'd like to join in this Autumn, head over to Stanley Park Tuesdays 9:30am and keep an eye on their Facebook page for other upcoming events. (I've heard there are some pretty exciting ones planned!!)

Thursday, 21 September 2017

Social Paranoia by Dane Cobain - Book Review

Social Paranoia: How consumers and brands can stay safe in a connected world.

With the consistent use of social media in many of our everyday lives, it is easy to become overwhelmed and even paranoid due to the many reasons which Dane Cobain covers throughout this book. From trolling, going viral, doxing and everything in between. It is a great read for brands and also bloggers, who often put themselves out there a little more than normal. When your reputation is at stake, a little knowledge goes a long way...

Even for those of us who don't experience paranoia from their online usage, you can still benefit from reading this. As it can only a good thing, to be reminded of what could go wrong, in order to create prevention strategies. Strategies which could help to keep you out of trouble in future or give you the knowledge of how to alleviate the situation.

What I enjoyed most about Social Paranoia was finding out about social media cases, which I had never known about before and gaining an insight on how the user - brand or consumer, could have or did, deal with the issue. A few of the cases, I had already heard about but I still gained more insight regarding them. Although the book is very survey/statistic driven, it still has the personal touch from the Author Dane Cobain, who also shares a few of his own stories and opinions along the way too.

Click below if you'd like to buy a copy for yourself.

Sunday, 17 September 2017

Autumn chicken and barley soup recipe

As soon as the temperature drops and the leaves begin to fall, I pull my slow cooker out of hiding and then begin to home cook my favourite Autumn warmers. The chicken and barley soup which I turn to is a recipe handed down from my grandparent and it is the perfect comfort food.

In the slow cooker, it is simple to make and only really requires a bit of chopping and prepping then the rest makes itself. I leave mine on from the early morning until late afternoon and can get stuff done in between.

Please don't let the ingredient specifications put you off, as often things can be exchanged or weights altered and still turn out just fine. I use varying quantities each time because I'm a kind of a throw in as you cook, type of chef but the ingredients below do work out perfect!

(Around 6-8 servings)

750g chicken drumsticks
300g pearl barley
2 large onions (or 1 onion, 1 leek)
300g celery 
Half a tin of tomatoes (juice drained)
 500g carrots
1 chicken stock pot 
1 tbsp mixed herbs
1 tsp thyme
4 bay leaves 
A sprinkle of pepper and gravy salt
Boiled water to cover veg and chicken (Around 2.5 - 3 litres in my slow cooker)

Add chicken drumsticks raw to the slow cooker, then cover with the boiled water. I set mine to high, which means it would take around 4-5 hours. You can cook yours longer on low if needed. Next peel and chop the carrots, wash your celery sticks and chop them too. Then chop the onions and add all of the veg to the slow cooker, including the drained tinned tomatoes.
Finally add the stock pot, herbs, extra thyme, bay leaves, pepper and gravy salt and mix them all up.

After around 3 hours on high, or 6 on low take out the chicken drumsticks. Now you will need to remove the skin and discard that. Next take all of the meat off and put it back into the slow cooker, being careful to check for any bones left in. Sometimes the ends of the chicken drumsticks can fall off, so double check! Discard all of the bones, then give the soup with the meat added back in another good stir and leave to finish off cooking.

If you feel that the soup has thickened too much at any point just add more water. I also like to hunt down and remove my 4 bay leaves at the end, just like my mama told me to. However this is not essential.

Serve with fresh bread or even better a crusty roll or baguette.

Thanks for visiting and I hope that you will enjoy this recipe as much as me.


Friday, 15 September 2017

VR-Here Review | Liverpool


If you follow my social media channels already, then I've probably already spammed you with the fact that I visited VR-Here yesterday. I was really excited to get the real VR experience after trying the google cardboard version at home. VR stands for virtual reality and in my opinion, it is one of the most impressive advancements in the gaming and tech industry. However, the price tag and space requirements necessary for a decent set up, don't make it practical to have at home.

That is where VR-Here come into the equation, providing their VR venue to customers in varying time slots. Whether you are a new gamer or well seasoned one, you will feel welcomed at VR-Here and they will provide you with any support that you may need with a smile.

I met Bryan who works there at the arcade and also through out their social media channels and you can sense his enthusiasm and knowledge within this field easily. He kindly made me the video above and these can also be made while you enjoy your experience there too.

After being given an introduction to the software and how to use the control pads, I began by trying 'The Blu' which is a life like, interactive aquarium. I was wowed by the way the fish instantly began to swim away as my arm brushed nearby and it felt really natural too. The dimensions were evident and brought the experience to life completely. I could have stayed in there for a while however I wanted to move on and make sure that I tried out the other games before leaving.

Next I played raw data on co-op mode and this included us teaming up and annihilating waves of killer robots, who were hellbent on destroying us. It felt pretty epic to be immersed into this scenario and got my adrenaline pumping for sure!! 

Finally, I jumped into the green screen booth in order to do a recording of me playing Space pirate training. I love how the video turned out even though I am an amateur to the VR world. 
It didn't take me long at all to become familiar with the pads and I enjoyed the time spent there thoroughly. It was an intense, immersive and realistic experience.

Why not visit their website and find out more about them?

Thank you to VR-Here for inviting me and also featuring me on their vlog above.

Tuesday, 12 September 2017

Starting Reception

It's official the kids are back in school and this year my daughter has started in reception. She began nursery aged 2 and then she moved to the school nursery aged 3, during which time I began college courses in order to build up my CV. So she has spent just over a year in the school already and is used to being in the swing of things so to speak.

Before July she attended nursery three days a week, this will now go up to five mandatory days. I have to admit that during nursery I enjoyed being lax now and then by letting my daughter stay off at times when I thought she was too tired to go in. Sometimes she wasn't necessarily unwell. I will definitely miss the slightly more, laid-back feeling of nursery and I'm sure Mia will too.

However, we are both still excited for the new journey. Two days in and it is going smoothly so far. I am expecting Mia to be unable to keep her eyes open come 6pm on Friday though, after her first full, five day week.

Although costly, shopping for her first full school uniform was really excited. I loved getting those first photos of her dressed smartly from head to toe.

After a little peruse around town, I opted for these short sleeved shirts from Matalan. These are minimal crease material and feature a velcro top button, that children can easily open or close themselves for comfort.

We are practicing each day to get her used to the uniform and the buttons are still a little too fiddly for her, i think this will become easier once the fabrics loosen on her shirt and cardigan.

Click here to shop these shirts

 I also took her to Clark's for a shoe fitting, as I felt that making sure that she had the best shoes to begin her new school year, would start her off well and comfortable.

I have had zero complaints about her uniform so far, win!

 We chose a pair from the lights collection, Trixi Beau black patent shoes.

These have a button on the side, which makes the shoes light up with each step. Not very noticeable now but they will more than likely show up better, as the darker nights and mornings begin to draw in. I will probably write a full review on these, once Mia has had a good wear out of them. No scuffs yet! Mia also decided last minute that she wanted packed lunches, so I quickly bought a My Little Pony packed lunch box.

Lastly, I was advised to visit a Facebook page for bobbles, to match her uniform and I was genuinely impressed with what they had to offer. Bows Bobbles N Clips sell super cute ribbon bobbles and clips with your chosen schools colours and badge on. I have already received one order from them and I am very likely to reorder in future too.

Happy Autumn all. 

Thanks for reading and leave me a comment if you managed to get this far! :)