Grandad's Sausages

Last week marked National Sausage week for sausage lovers across the UK. With the clocks going back on Sunday 29th October and the dark nights drawing in, it’s the perfect excuse to pile up on British favourites to warm you up.

To celebrate the occasion Grandad’s sausages were on hand to send some lovely samples of their exotic pork and chilli sausages and their trusty cumberlands.

The family run business originating in Bury have been in the sausage trade for over fifty years with their Grandad Bernard starting the brand all those years ago.

The brand pride themselves in providing high quality sausages with a choice of lots of mouthwatering flavours, including the classics we can’t live without.

What do I love about sausages? You can make practically anything with them. Sausage sandwiches, sausage and mash, sausage casserole; the list is endless.

Due to the colder nights me and my boyfriend decided to make a casserole. It’s a perfect Thursday night tea, especially when you’ve got a lot of spare vegetables hanging around in your cupboards.

We didn’t follow a set recipe we just literally shoved everything in a pan including: tinned cherry tomatoes, peppers, onions, garlic, cinnamon and not forgetting the main ingredient, pork and chilli sausages.

Sausage Casserole

Unfortunately my boyfriend cooked most of it so I only have this one picture but we served it on a bed of creamy mash and it was lovely!

Last year I went all experimental and attempted to make a Great British Breakfast burger. View my previous blog post here. 

Are you a sausage lover as much as me? Grandad’s sausages are making their way to the Manchester Christmas Markets from Friday 24th November , situated at the back of Mr Thomas’s Chop House. Enjoy gourmet sausages paired with booze courtesy of Toms Chophouse.

It doesn’t get much better than that! Visit their website or meet them at the markets on the 24th.

Have you tried granddad’s sausages?

 

 

Sports Luxe Bloggers event | The Hut

Hale Country Spa

The whole new year, new me trend has started to slip away into the midst of 2017, but with my Ibiza holiday fast approaching, (160 days to be exact) I’m running out of time to get in shape.

Last week I met up with the lovely Hut team at Hale Country spa club for their Sports Luxe bloggers event. After getting a little bit lost, I made it albeit 5-10 minutes late.

After having a much needed catch up with The Hut ladies, I admired and awed at the amazing Sports Luxe wear clothing in front of me.

I always believe that if you look good and feel confident then you’re going to have a much better work out. If you decide to slope off from the gym early to get a cheeky Nando’s or McDonald’s then least you’re walking around in style and look like you actually work out like a pro.

I’m such a magpie for anything that shimmers, glitters or sparkles so when I saw the collection I fell in love with it straight away.

The whole health kick morning started off with a super healthy smoothie and it took some getting used to. I’ve done the whole juicing diet before but after 1 avocado and kale smoothie, I ditched the diet and opted for solids.

Next was my favourite part of the morning.. PROSECCO! Of course I drank the whole glass and mingled more before the canapés arrived. Unfortunately I didn’t eat any of the canapés as I’m not a sushi or fish eating person but they looked so uniformed and tasty.

The next part of the event, entailed us being able to ask any health or fitness related questions to a fully qualified personal trainer. To my disappoint chocolate and pizza aren’t on the cards if you want a healthy lifestyle.

He suggested eating red meat and eggs for breakfast every morning along with exercise is the perfect combo for healthy weight loss. We gasped in disbelief as I’d never dream of eating red meat for breakfast and especially not on a daily basis.

Of course carbs are also off the cards unless your body can handle them. He suggested cutting them out for a week or two and then re-trying carbs. If you’re stomach bloats and feels sore after carbs, it means your body can’t handle them! Yikes!!

Taking my new knowledge away with me, I’ve started to cut out carbs during the week and sugary cakes and sweets too. In the next few weeks I’m looking to cut them out completely until Ibiza to see if I feel any health benefits from doing so and to hopefully get toned and in shape for my bikinis.

Have you managed to stick with your New Years diet?

 

 

 

 

 

National Sausage Week | Grandad’s sausages

 

Grandad's sausages

Last week was sausage mad! Being a proud British female, I can vouch for and say we love a good banger and what better way to mark National Sausage Week (31st October-6 November) than some delicious sausages from Grandad’s Sausage  company, based in Bury, Lancashire.

They sent me a variety of different bangers to get my teeth into and I was more than a willing candidate.

The company is actually only a few miles away down the road from me so it was the perfect opportunity to try some local produce right on my door step and with Bury Black Pudding a speciality; I had something in mind to make with the sausages and pudding.

Whilst our polenta chips were cooking, me and my boyfriend (Rob) made some delicious sausage rolls out of the Lincolnshire meat. I didn’t make my own pastry because who has time for that these days?

Homemade sausage rolls

Considering the name is aptly named ‘Ye Olde’, we couldn’t help but play on this and made a big giant breakfast burger. Using Grandad’s sausages as the base we topped it with bacon, fried egg, hash brown, tomatoes, Bury Black Pudding and some crumbly Lancashire cheese. It was needless to say I couldn’t finish the thing as we scoffed most of the sausage rolls whilst cooking the burger but nevertheless the sausages were packed full of meaty goodness. They were everything you could want in a great British banger.

The Ultimate Sausage Burger

The pork and fiery chilli were the most interesting of the bunch and with these we made a hotdog meatfest in a bun. Topped with pulled pork and chunks of chorizo with mustard, these were very delicious too.

I’m sad to see National Sausage Week disappear for another year but whenever I’m looking for a tasty banger I’ve found my new favourite local shop.

Did you celebrate National Sausage Week?

 

 

 

 

 

 

All Sole Live Bloggers Event | Red Door

All Sole Bloggers event

Open only a few months Red Door based on Deansgate in Manchester is one of the newest places on the scene to join the hidden bar phenomenon.

Last week I was invited to a live music and AW16 shoe collection bloggers event at the basement venue.

After meeting The Hut ladies for the first time at Hey Little Cupcakes event last month, I was excited to meet some familiar faces, enjoy some prosecco and live music and lust over brand new shoe collections.

Right next door to The Botanist on Deansgate I had been warned I may get a little lost in finding ‘The Red Door’. Luckily as soon as I arrived outside, a lovely lady was there to greet me inside.

Lily from The Hut was already at the bar waiting with some drinks vouchers  and I couldn’t resist an after work sip of prosecco.

Whilst waiting for the band to go live, I stood and admired the amazing AW16 shoes collections. From classic Vans to Converse and Dr Martens (which I actually used to wear back in my teen years)

Dr Martens, Hunters and Clarks

Of course I ended up crushing over the Kendall & Kylie leather ankle boots which are just stunning (definitely purchasing these soon)

Red Door, Deansgate

Manchester based band Plastic House took the centre stage for the evening and we were in for a treat. From the moment they started to play I was literally glued to the stage. The lead singer had such a monotone and relaxing voice, I could of literally stood there for hours. Funnily enough the band are playing at Dive NQ next month, the bar who I market for, so it such a relief knowing we’d booked a really awesome band.

Not knowing how long had passed, I started to feel the prosecco warm up my cheeks, which meant it was time to try out a few canapés. The selection of mini bites was very appealing and I scoffed a few of these before heading back to the bar for my second glass of prosecco.

Canapés at Red Door

Canapes and prosecco

The bar had such a good casual vibe, I could of easily spent all night in there but unfortunately it was a school night albeit a Thursday so after a lot more mingling I headed home before the second set.

On my way out I was handed a very cool looking goody bag which was even more amazing when I found out what was inside.

All Sole bag

All Sole Live Goody bag

I received a Dr Martens keyring, jelly beans, hair vitamins, 20% off All Sole shoes which means those Kendall & Kylie boots will be sitting in my shoe collection, as well as lots of badges and vans stickers and not forgetting a Hunter waterproof poncho.

Hunter Poncho

I’ll be reviewing these in a separate post but I can already see my self using my Hunter poncho on many occasions.

**All Sole are one of the leading shoe retailers for selling high quality designer footwear and with amazing longstanding brands onboard such as Vans, Kendall and Kylie, Converse, it’s the go to online boutique to get a pair of quality shoes**

Have you been to Red Door before?

 

Mottram Hall | One night spa stay for two

Mottram Hall

Set in 270 acres of glorious Cheshire countryside, Mottram Hall, on the outskirts of Macclesfield is the perfect venue for a spa break, wedding or a spot of afternoon tea.

Around a month ago, I started to research country halls in and around Macclesfield as me and my boyfriend are looking to settle down and buy our first property in the area. This was a great excuse to check out what the surroundings had to offer.

After relentlessly looking for hours, I stumbled across Mottram Hall. Originally I booked a night here via booking.com but cancelled it when I found their amazing spa package. In need of a days relaxation away from the city of Manchester, this sounded perfect.

The package included an hour spa treatment each, light lunch, an evening meal up to £28 each, a glass of bubbly in their champagne bar, buffet breakfast, use of the spa facilities all day and a room for the night in the 4 star hotel. In total it cost £258.00 between us.

Unfortunately on arrival at 10am for our spa treatments there seemed to be a mix up and instead of treatments commencing from 10 till 12 (we had to go in separate rooms) the lady on reception told us our treatments would be 11-1pm.

She profoundly apologised and told us we could use the facilities straight away which worked out for the better in the end. We both had the chance to relax for an hour together lying on one of their comfy loungers by the pool.

We both chose the relaxing face and back ritual with spa. It was a combination of gentle exfoliations and relaxing aromatherapy back massage as well as a face and scalp massage to melt away tension and leave skin radiant.

I arrived to the spa reception and was told to relax in their relaxation room until the lady called me for my treatment. After having a nice lie down the lady called my name and I followed her upstairs for my treatment.

I’ve had a back massage in the past but this was by far the best. She started off by massaging my back and after 30 minutes in, I turned over and was given an amazing facial followed by a scalp massage. The products felt amazing on my skin and I couldn’t believe how quick time flew by in there. My skin looked really radiant, even without make up on.

After Rob had his treatment we headed into the restaurant for our light lunch. The waitress told us our lunch would consist of a picnic basket style with cheese, crackers, hummus and tomato soup with a crusty roll.

Picnic lunchbox

To be honest I didn’t have much of an appetite by this stage so I was more than happy to eat what was on offer. Disappointedly our package didn’t include any drinks, not even a glass of orange juice each, which meant I ended up forking out £5.40 on a glass of orange juice and a hot chocolate. It wasn’t the end of the world but it would of been nice to have a drink included for lunch.

After this we spent a further few hours trying out the different jacuzzi’s and steam rooms and then we headed to check in around 3.30pm . I’d already pre-booked our meal for 8pm so we headed straight to our room.

Mottram Hall bedroom

Slightly on the small size, the room was well furnished and nicely decorated. If we were staying any longer than a night, I would of opted for a bigger room but nevertheless the bed was extremely comfy. It was so comfy in-fact we both fell asleep until around 6pm!

Frantically getting ready after our nap we made it to the restaurant 5 minutes late. Although there were plenty of seats near the front we got shoved right near the back which wasn’t great as we had to ask for some water for the table twice.

Carrington’s Grill in Mottram had a 2 or 3 course option starting from around £22 but unfortunately literally nothing took our fancy… Duck confit or lamb shank with sultanas wasn’t up either of our streets so we ended up picking the steak.

Served with peppercorn sauce, chips and a portobello mushroom it came in at a whopping £29. We were both expecting some serious flavour in the meat for this price.

Mottram bread board

For starters we had the Mottram bread board with a selection of white and brown bread with olive oil and balsamic dip. The bread was nice and fresh but the dip was very sticky.

Whilst waiting for our steaks we ordered a bottle of red which came in at a disgustingly price of £28.00. Usually we would more than happily spend up to £20.00 for a bottle but this was just ridiculous. To add salt to the womb, I googled the wine and you can buy it from your local shop for £6.95!

The steak finally arrived and it was nothing but disappointment… The peppercorn sauce didn’t quite cover the meat, the chips were slightly undercooked and the medium rare cooked steak was rather chewy and a bit rarer than I’d like.

Steak with peppercorn sauce

Knowing we wouldn’t eat till breakfast time, we did order a dessert each and this was pretty damn good. I opted for the lemon posset with raspberry sorbet… It was creamy lemon goodness in a bowl.

Lemon posset with raspberry coulis

After the meal we enjoyed our complimentary champagne in the bar which was a very nice touch to end the evening before shooting off to bed.

Buffet breakfast in the morning was very standard, yet again no frills, but it was nice and hot. Rob ordered a pot of tea which came after breakfast and as we were about to head off.

Full English Breakfast

In all I would definitely recommend the spa day. The treatments were a very good standard and the facilities were some of the best I’d seen. I don’t know if I’d come back to the hotel again as I felt it was a rich person’s paradise. It was filled with people who don’t know how to spend their money. I like spending my hard earned cash on good home-cooked food without the price tag.

Have you been to Mottram Hall before?

 

 

Miss Dior Absolutely Blooming | Perfume Review

Miss Dior Absolutely Blooming

Miss Dior

Perfume is definitely a girls best friend; especially when it’s Dior. I’m always on the hunt for a new scent to make me feel like a million dollars, so when it came to buying my new fragrance a few weeks back I couldn’t wait to try something new. I do on occasion replenish a fragrance if it’s a firm favourite but this time I was ready to embrace a new smell.

I took a trip to The Trafford Centre one Saturday afternoon to find my million dollar bottle of wow and after being inside Boots for a brief few minutes, a sales lady approached me as I was browsing. Anyone that knows me knows I’m a sales ladies best friend; meaning I always walk out with more than what I bargained for. Whether that be perfume or make up, I rarely check the price hefty price tag attached it.

In her hand she was clutching Miss Dior’s latest scent ‘Absolutely Blooming’ and of course I was more than willing to give the perfume a whiff. She explained the perfume is a sweet smelling scent without smelling like an oversweet cupcake.

I opted for the 50ml bottle as Boots had a promotion on with 10% off fragrances and in this case, the more the better. In total it came to £63.00 which is a really good price for a new high end fragrance on the market.

The bottle is decorated with Dior’s signature bow and it’s transparent so you can admire the lovely light pink colour. With hints of musky notes and red berries, it’s the perfect fragrance to transition you from Summer to Autumn.

In house perfume designer Francois Demachy announced it as ‘the edition that opens with bright fruity notes, intended for cheerful women who love life.’

Miss Dior

Another promotion at the time of my purchase meant I also received a mini Dior lipstick, and this very adorable tiny bottle of ‘Absolutely Blooming’. If I’m looking for a top up on a night out this smaller than hand size bottle will fit snuggly in my handbag.

I couldn’t thank the woman enough at Boots as she also gave me a free Dior lash primer. I’m yet to try my freebies, so I’ll review these in a separate post.

What’s your new Autumn scent?

Hey Little Cupcake | Bloggers cupcake masterclass

Hey Little Cupcake

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Last week I was invited to Hey Little Cupcakes bloggers cupcake decorating class at Spinningfields, Manchester. Being an avid fan of baking, admiring and eating cupcakes, I was so excited to be contacted by The Hut ladies to attend Hey Little Cupcakes decorating class.

As it’s bake off season, it was literally perfect timing for a cupcake class. Starting at 6pm, I headed over to the very familar cupcake shop where I met fellow blogger Lisa. (I’ve made a few regular trips to the shop already on my lunch break)

The smell as I walked in was just amazing, I could constantly whiff chocolate cake everytime I breathed in. The Hut ladies were there to greet me with a glass of pink lemonade (it had to be pink of course to fit with the theme) as well as Sean who’d be teaching us how to decorate the yummy cupcakes. After lots of natter and a quick change into a very cute baking apron, I was ready to get stuck in.

The first thing we made were the roses from sugar paste. Starting off with yellow sugar paste, Sean showed us how it’s really done and then it was our turn to make a few cute little delicate roses.

I like baking but I’d never done anything like this in my life, it was literally out of this world. The room fell silent as us bloggers released our competitive streaks & tried to copy Sean’s pretty roses.

Sean at Hey Little Cupcake

After lots of rolling and warming of the sugar paste, I managed to make my first rose- not too bad for my first attempt… well it went a bit downhill from there. We then made another out of pink sugar paste and it looked nothing like a rose at all; to my disappointment. I literally battered it to death, trying to make it emulate any flower but on the plus side I found the class very therapeutic- probably because I could bash a few rolling pins around.

Sugar paste roses

We then moved on to filling our cakes with custard and salted caramel.. using a little device bought from Home Bargains for 69p (I will be purchasing a few of these for my kitchen). This was the best bit as we got to eat the middle of the cupcake we’d taken out.

Finally we iced our cakes with a green icing to match with the garden/floral theme. Following Sean’s technique I put a lot of pressure on the piping bag and pressed the icing out on to my cake. I probably went a bit over the top.. whoops!

Of course, it wouldn’t be right taking a trip to Hey Little Cupcake without taking some cake away, so I opted for the Twix Brownie as a Thursday night treat. I had such a great time at the class and I want to thank the ladies at The Hut for my present with the lovely personalised message.

Salted Caramel Cupcakes

Hey Little Cupcake’s decorating classes are also available for Hen parties and kid’s parties!

Baking Sundays | Red Velvet Cupcakes

Since a very young age, I’ve always had an obsession with baking so when I got a few spare hours last Sunday, I thought it was the perfect opportunity to do something I love.

After flicking through my cupcake book for quite a while, I finally fixated on baking these red velvet cupcakes topped with strawberries (cherries are out of season so I couldn’t buy any from my local Tesco.

Cupcakes
Red velvet cupcakes

Make 12 cupcakes
Prep time- 20 mins plus cooling
Cooking time 20-25 mins

Ingredients for cakes:
150g self raising flour
2 tablespoons cocoa powder
1/2 teaspoon of bicarbonate soda
100ml buttermilk
1 teaspoon vinegar
50g lighted salted butter (softened)
100g caster sugar
1 egg
50g raw beetroot

Frosting:
200g full fat cream cheese
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
300g icing sugar
12 fresh cherries (I used strawberries)

Paper cases
Paper cases

Method:

Line a 12 section muffin tray with paper muffin cases. Combine the flour, cocoa powder and bicarbonate of soda in a bowl. Mix together the buttermilk and vinegar in a jug.

Beat together the butter and caster sugar in a separate bowl until pale and creamy, then beat in the egg and beetroot.

Sift half the flour mixture into the bowl and stir in gently with a large metal spoon. Stir in half the buttermilk mixture. Sift and stir in the remaining flour mixture, then the remaining liquid. Divide the muffin mixture between the paper cases.

Bake in a pre-heated oven, gas mark 4 180°C for 20-25 minute or until risen and just firm to the touch. Transfer to a wire rack to cool.

Beat the cream cheese with a wooden spoon in a bowl until softened. Beat in the vanilla extract and icing sugar until smooth. Swirl over the tops of the cakes and decorate.

Cupcake bases
Red velvet cupcakes
Cupcake tray
Red velvet cupcakes in muffin tray
Red velvet cupcakes
Red velvet cupcakes

My verdict:

I would give the recipe 3 out of 5. The cupcakes were fairly easy to make but some of the ingredients weren’t easy to find in the supermarket such as the buttermilk and raw beetroot. I followed the recipe to a tee but the cupcakes turned out more chocolatey instead of red velvet, which was a bit disappointing. I would give these another go to see if they turned out any different. The cupcakes were gone within a day of baking them!

Recipe taken from 200 cupcakes- all colour cookbook by Joanna Farrow.

OOTW- Autumn styling with Topshop

Hola lovelies,

I’m back with a brand new website up & running with my own domain meaning, I’ll be blogging on a regular basis.

I hit a bit of a brick wall last year with my blog & I knew I needed a change. A blogspot website just wasn’t for me anymore.. I knew I was pretty serious about fashion, beauty & lifestyle blogging in particular so I wanted to make my website my own.

I enlisted the help of another blogger in the community to help me change my website over to word-press and make it more personal to me. The past few weeks I’ve been getting to grips with my new website on the back end of things so this is why my post is slightly delayed.

My first official post today is a fashion post.. this is something I wanted to do more of last year & I never got round to it. Hope you all enjoy my outfit of the week…

Autumn styling
Autumn styling with Topshop

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Bodysuit, skirt & heels all from Topshop. Sunglasses from Coach NY.

Nails with Serenity beauty- Bury

I thought I’d share this hidden gem, with you ladies, as we all know a bad manicure can be disastrous…..

Up until a year ago, I visited my local nail salon for a quick nail fix, every few weeks. The Chinese salon specialised in acrylics more than a normal manicure & having seen ladies leaving with beautiful nails, I thought I’d give it a try. I prefer my natural nails but acrylics last longer & are much more forgiving for girls like myself who are always on the go & don’t have much time to focus on pampering themselves.

I visited the salon earlier this year, after work, for some TLC on my nails but it was only a few weeks later until I had them removed that I realised the damage to my own.

I’m not quite sure if they used a stronger solution of acrylic than usual but I was left with massive dents in my own nails which felt quite painful to touch. I tried to paint over my damaged nails but I was left disappointed when the dents still showed through. From that day on I knew I had to find a new salon who would look after my nails and give them the extra care they needed.

After searching online, I found Serenity nails which was voted the best of Bury. Admittedly I have to get 2 buses to the salon but after looking at their social pages, I knew they would be the best people to fix my nails.

The beauty salon is tucked away on the streets of Bury and to be honest, if you didn’t find it online you’d probably miss it. They offer a range of beauty treatments for those who love to treat themselves. From spray tans to facials and hot stone massages, they’ve got something for everyone.

From my very first visit, I was made to feel welcome from the ladies at the salon. I usually opt for shellac nails as they last longer than a polish & after visiting Serenity every few weeks my nails are now looking the best they ever have.

As you can see from the image, I get this pretty rose design on my nails but they’ve literally got hundreds to choose from. If your polish accidently chips whilst drying, they will go over your nails until they’re looking anything less than perfect. I couldn’t recommend this salon enough…. If you fellas are looking for a gift card for your misses this Christmas, I’d choose Serenity!

mvv1

Have you been a victim to a bad manicure?