A Long Weekend In…

Image taken from weheartit.com

If the picture doesn’t make it obvious enough, it’ll be Bristol where I’ll be having my long weekend away!

This is a very exciting post for me to write today as it’s something I’ve been looking forward to since my boyfriend and I booked it a couple of weeks ago.

For our first anniversary together my boyfriend and I are going to Bristol for a long weekend away. Neither of us have been there before and due to that we’re super excited! We’ve heard nothing but good things about Bristol from our friends so it was an idea we both came up with a while ago.

I haven’t had a proper holiday since the age of 15 and not even a proper weekend away since I was 19/20 (although I will be having a weekend away at the Lake District next weekend!) and that was a trip to Hereford with my creative writing course at university. So I am in much need of a break away!

We finally booked our hotel at the end of April and straight away we began to plan what we could do whilst we’re there and where we could go too. As well as that I want to try and pick up some nice little bits and pieces to take with me, which includes both beauty and fashion.

My boyfriend and I have agreed to do presents but instead of buying something beforehand, we’re just going to buy each other something(s) during our weekend away.

I’m hoping I’ll have enough room for my clothes in my suitcase to be honest! I only have a small case, which has done the job many times before for a long weekend but due to what I need to take with me to Bristol, I’m worried I may need to take a weekend bag too… Oh dear!

But enough of all that, I want to share with you the places we’ve hand suggested to us, as well as places we’ve found online that we’re planning (well hoping) to go to. Plus as we’re staying in the centre of Bristol town we have a lot of places practically on the doorstep of our hotel to visit and go to.

Image taken from weheartit.com

For food we have a list of places we want to go to, including Halo, Illusions, St. Nicholas Market, Glassboat, Harveys Cellar, The Grain Barge and Cox and Baloney Tea Rooms. My boyfriend and I love food, so I’m sure we will find and visit lots of different places, especially when it comes to lunch and breakfast. On our last day in Bristol I really want to go to YO! Sushi before we make our way home, nothing like eating something usual even in a different place!

Image taken from weheartit.com

As well as eating, we also both enjoy discovering new things and places, so we’ve been looking for places to visit whilst in Bristol. We’re going to be typical tourists and have already found and been told about loads of places to visit whilst we’re there. Some of these include Bansky walking tour (above image is a piece of Bansky’s art), See No Evil, Stonehenge (we think it might be close enough to get to), Grillstock BBQ & Music Festival, At Bristol Science Centre, Bristol Aquarium, Bristol Zoo, Jungle Rumble Adventure Golf and anything Aardman Animations related!

I’m sure we’ll be visiting loads of other places too whilst we’re there but there are just some of the places we’ve found so far that we both want to go to and do.

Image taken from weheartit.com

Finally we’re planning on doing some shopping whilst we’re there as Bristol sounds like an amazing place to go to do just that. My boyfriend and I love going to Milton Keynes if we want a good day of shopping, but already we feel that Bristol may take over Milton Keynes somewhat, but we shall see.

Bristol offers various different shops, including vintage shops, which is something I’m always interested in looking at. There are various shopping centers such as Bristol Shopping Quarter, The Mall at Cribbs Causeway, Cabot Circus and many more. As well as that Gloucester Road and Park Street offer many shops too, mostly vintage shops.

I’m super excited for Bristol, I’ve wanted to go since  my friend Poppy (over at Let’s Drive Far Away) told me how great it is there, plus the fact my friend Mali (over at Maliberry Makeup) is from and lives there, who I’m hoping to see whilst I’m there.

I know I’ll be doing lots of fun posts throughout June about my long weekend away, I’M JUST SO EXCITED!

I have just under a month now to wait until Bristol and I know in that time it’s going to be all plan, plan, PLAN… And maybe a small shopping trip beforehand too…

Watch this space!

Have you ever been to Bristol, or do you live there? If you have/do please recommend my boyfriend and I some places to go to for food, tourism and shopping.

Until next time, take care all and I hope you’re all having a great week so far.

Fox Footer

Disaster Designs Paper Plane Satchel & Bonus What’s In My Bag

Recently I bought myself a new bag and after a few weeks of using it, I’m finally getting around to showing it off on my blog!

It’s my gorgeous new Disaster Designs bag! It’s the Paper Plane design and it’s been about for ages, since my second or third year of university and that was back in 2009-2011! One of my favourite shops in Birmingham used to sell the whole Paper Plane’s range but as a skint student I just lusted over the expensive bags, never buying one for myself. At the time it was out in the shop in question it cost either £40 or £50, a lot of money for a bag and I couldn’t justify paying that much. To make matters worse a girl in one of my classes at university had this bag and I envied her every class we had together!

As regular readers will have seen, I mentioned this bag in my February Wish List earlier this month and how much I was in need of a new one and when I remembered back to this satchel that I had wanted all those years ago, I went straight to eBay to try and find a good bargain.

There were a couple of these on there but they were either new but too expensive or used and in terrible condition for nearly just as much as the new ones on there. Eventually I stumbled across this bag, brand new and bloody hell did I have to do some bidding to get it! Eventually I won the bid and snapped this beauty up for £30.00, with £4.00 for P&P.

Since test driving this bag over the past 2 weeks, I knew I had to do a post about it, and as well as writing about my new bag, I thought I’d show you what I keep in there too. Think of it as a bonus!

But first of all, about the bag!

DSC_0005

DSC_0012

DSC_0010

This is definitely a different satchel than ones you would normally buy, and that’s what I like about it! I love the Paper Plane theme and it looks so pretty and cute. You can buy all sorts of bags from the Paper Plane collection but this one just grabs my eye that little more than the others, probably because of its letter and plane theme. It just seems frightfully romantic and really does bring out the writer in me.

DSC_0006

DSC_0007

DSC_0008

DSC_0009

DSC_0011

Not only does the bag look gorgeous with the style of it and design, but the cute little features on it too really do stand out and make it rather unique to anything else you would find out there. The front of the bag has little features such as a bird, which looks to be a swallow, as well as a red and white bow on one of the buckles, a hanging postage stamp shaped piece that says, “travel in style” with a swallow in the middle, and in between the two buckles on the flap of the bag it reads, “Return to sender” which I love the most about this bag.

Even on the back of the bag there is some detail, but only one! In the middle of the back of the bag there is a little white square with a red envelope inside, underneath it says “S.W.A.L.K” and quite frankly I don’t have a clue what it stands for! So, I went to Google and I found out exactly what it means (I found out the meaning on Wikipedia):

S.W.A.L.K. is an acronym usually seen on a love letter of a courting couple. It stands for “sealed with a loving kiss” and is one of several acronyms that seemingly originated during the Second World War. A variant is S.W.A.K., sealed with a kiss.

If I didn’t love my bag before knowing this, then I must be IN love with it now! It’s such a gorgeous think to put on the bag and makes the bag seem even more beautiful than I already thought it was.

I love this bag so much and whilst some websites do still sell it, your best bet might just be to pop onto eBay like I did. I typed in “Disaster Designs paper plane satchel” and you should at least find one bag if not a couple.

So, what’s IN my bag?

DSC_0013

Yes it’s time for the bonus part of this post where I show what I’m keeping in my new bag. I took these pictures after a close shift at work, so this is what was in there when I got home. I didn’t add or remove anything either, so I’m not cheating. 🙂

DSC_0014

I always make sure to throw a book in my bag if I’m going to work or if I’m meeting a friend as I like something to read before I head into work or if I turn up somewhere early or a friends running late. I’ve recently started reading Simon Pegg’s autobiography called Nerd Do Well. I’m only on chapter 2 and I love it already! It’s such an amazing book and so far with the way he’s planned it out it’s great. I can see me writing a huge post about it once I’ve finished reading it.

Of course I must have my iPhone 5 in here. I actually slipped it into the case I use at home, which is my rubber Game Boy case, but when I’m out and about I use my hand red case as if I were to drop it with my Game Boy case on, it could smash… Which isn’t good!

DSC_0015

DSC_0016

Another necessity for anyone, whether you have a bag or not are house keys and some money. I love my house keys, they’re multicoloured tartan but it’s my key rings that I like the most. Three of them are Lego related, one being R2D2 from Star Wars (this is my second one of him, as my first was 10 years old and the print faded), whilst my other two are of Frodo Baggins and Bilbo Baggins from Lord of The Rings and The Hobbit. Finally I have a glass seahorse that was a recent purchase when my friend Poppy and I visited The Sea Life Center in Birmingham. She bought the same one, so now we have matching key rings, which is somewhat cute.

I love my wallet so much, as I love foxes, but also because it reminds me of my Gran. For my 22nd birthday in 2012 she gave me some birthday money, which I used to buy this wallet and as regular or old readers will know, she passed away nearly a year ago. Not only is it a gorgeous wallet, but it holds so much stuff in there too! It’s by Loungefly and whilst it wasn’t cheap, for the two years I’ve had it, it’s doing me well! I thought about buying the matching purse and bag for this but sadly I can’t find them anywhere to pick up!

DSC_0017

As I drive I keep my car key and my car stereo in my bag whenever I’m at home as I drive pretty much everywhere now! I really don’t know how I could travel via the bus, it’s all cars and trains for me now. I love my car and what better way to show it than a couple of cute key rings! I was going to have small key rings on my car key but I knew it would be impossible to find them in my bag and I didn’t want to keep my car key with my house keys… So I opted for a massive plushie key ring for my car key! As well as that when I saw this cute 101 Dalmatian key ring in the Disney Store years ago, I couldn’t leave it behind and bought it to keep on my car key too.

My stereo is pretty standard, I listen to must a lot whilst driving, but I HATE having to make a new CD to listen to every few weeks.

DSC_0018

Just some standard things a woman will keep in her handbag… A mirror for when I top up my lipsticks, hand sanitizer, paracetamol, tissues and some hand cream. Nothing special!

DSC_0019

Finally we have what I keep in the little zip pocket inside my bag… I know I have a lot of lip balms, but I shall explain why! I bought the Carmex one on a whim that I was loving the original and wanted one to keep in my handbag. As you can see this one is in Strawberry and it’s vile! I can’t wait to use it up, but at the same time it does do a good job when applied over lipstick, but it tastes fowl! I think my favourite lip balm every has to be my Apple Chapstick and I think I’m running low on this too. It’s not the best lip balm in the world though, it just tastes and smells delicious! The best one out of the three is my Palmer’s Cocoa Butter. It’s really creamy and out of them all is the only one that I can actually feel working when I apply it, but at times I think my lips are allergic as they tingle and hurt. Either way I keep three in my bag incase I lose one… Good enough reason, right?

As well as those I keep a little hand cream in here which is the same as the large one in the previous photo as well as a lip product. The one I’ve been using a lot this week is this lip gloss by Collection 2000 called Lock N Hold. I might review this soon but I know one thing I will say, it doesn’t last 6 hours at all! I wear this at work and have to top it up every hour, which doesn’t bother me, but when I’m on a shift for less than 6 hours, it’s concerning. Let me know if you want me to review this!

So with an empty bag, I’ve thrown everything back in and got into bed!

I love my new bag so much and it’s going to be featured a lot on future What I’m Wearing posts, which I want to try and get back up on my blog again.

So, what do you think of my new bag? Love it, hate it, or not arsed? 😛 Let me know in the comments!

If you have any questions about the bag, or anything else mentioned in this post, please feel free to ask in the comments too.

I hope you’ve all had a great week so far and here’s to the weekend!

Until next time, take care all.

Fox Footer

Japanese Series: Asian Food

Image taken from weheartit.com

Hello and welcome to the second post in my Japanese series!

As you can see from the title, my second post is about Asian food. I would have titled it Japanese food, but I think Asian food covers it pretty well as there are 3 places I’m going to mention that cover both Chinese and Japanese dishes, as well as drinks.

My mouth is watering just thinking about this post, not good! Best get on with it. 😛

There is plenty of choice in the UK when it comes to Asian food and drink and with more and more restaurants opening every year, the possibilities are endless. Whilst two of the places I’ll be naming are chains that are all over the UK (as well as in some other countries), one is only based in Birmingham so I apologise for this in advance, I have tried to add an equivalent of this in areas like London.

YO! Sushi

This is one of the popular chains that runs throughout the UK and also the first restaurant I will be talking about. Personally I haven’t been to YO! Sushi… Yet, but I want to go! As the name of this restaurant suggests, you can get sushi there but there are hundreds of Japanese inspired dishes to choose from, not just sushi and with over 80 dishes to choose from, you’ll have plenty to set your heart on.

Image taken from yosushi.com

How YO! Sushi works is that you go into the restaurant, sit down and pick up whatever dish you like the sound of from off of the conveyor belt. Each dish has a colour coded plate and depending on which colour you pick up, depends how much that dish will cost. As well as that you can order hot or cold dishes from the servers or chefs. At the end of your meal all your empty planets are counted for and added to the bill at the end. Simple!

There are so many dishes to choose from including hot (soups & broths, hot classics, rice & noodles, and katsu & tempura), sushi, salads, desserts, and of course specials.

I’m going to share with you some of the (okay maybe ALL) dishes I really want to try when I go to YO! Sushi, which I’m hoping will be soon (Valentine’s Day, maybe?)!

Hot (FYI most of them are chicken based!):

Chicken Yakitori, Chicken Teriyaki, Chicken Gyoza, Duck Gyoza, Chicken Katsu, and Chicken Katsu Curry.

Sushi:

Salmon Maki, Tuna Maki, and Spicy Chicken ISO.

Desserts:

Chocolate Dorayaki, Custard Dorayaki, and Chocolate Mochi.

Specials:

Duck Katsu & Moromi Miso.

I can’t wait to try out the food in YO Sushi, but I’m making sure not to spend too much at the same time! I’ve been told by my friend Poppy that it can all add up rather quickly! Also you don’t HAVE to sit in to eat at YO! Sushi, you can take food away as well, which I think is great.

Moo-Cha, Birmingham

This is a Bubble Tea and Frozen Yogurt stall that is in The Bullring in Birmingham and it’s an amazing place! Every time I go into town I make sure to pop to the stall to get my Bubble Tea fix! Bubble Tea is an Asian drink and is loved by both Japanese and Chinese people, as well as pretty much everyone else now thanks to all the Bubble Tea shops that are popping up everywhere.

Bubble Tea is a drink that originated from Taiwan and is also known as boba tea, pearl milk tea and tapioca pearl tea. Bubble Tea can be enjoyed cold or warm, as well as fruity or milky.

When I first tried Bubble Tea I was alarmed by the odd sensation I got whilst drinking it, due to what the squishy balls (tapioca pearls or popping bubbles) feel and taste like when they come up the straw in the drink. With tapioca pearls they’re squishy and taste like a coffee/chocolate flavour, whilst the popping bubbles can come in all sorts of flavours, usually fruity. My favourite are strawberry. When these enter your mouth they usually pop and when they burst they release the flavour that you chose.

As well as these, you can also get jellies which in my opinion are vile! I can’t really say much on these other than them not being like proper jelly at all but more of a solid version of jelly and very chewy. They aren’t to my liking, but they might be to you.

Bubble Tea is something everyone needs to try at least once and everyone I have introduced it to has loved it!

Image taken from moo-cha.com

At Moo-Cha you can get all sorts of flavours to create all sorts of yummy combinations, just take a look at the menu above!

When you arrive at the stall you will be asked what flavour you want, which tea you would like with that (green, black or no tea), how you would like your drink to be (hot, cold, with ice or slush), and what toppings you would like (tapioca pearls, popping bubbles or jellies).

If you were to order a Bubble Coffee however, you would of course skip the part of the order where you pick tea. As of yet I haven’t tried coffee, but I think I will be next time I visit.

I’m going to give you a couple of my favourite drinks to order from the menu, just to give you an example of how you would order a drink from Moo-Cha.

Bubble Tea £3.00:

Milky Green Tea Latte with Green Tea, Hot, and with Tapioca Pearls.

Fruity Green Apple with Black Tea, Cold, and with Popping Bubbles in Strawberry.

Bubble Coffee £3.00:

Coconut, Cold, and with Tapioca Pearls.

The possibilities are endless with Moo-Cha Bubble Tea and they also have a Loyalty Card scheme so after you’ve bought (from memory) 10 Bubble Tea drinks or Frozen Yogurt’s you can claim one for free!

I know if you Google search for Bubble Tea shops in your area of the UK you will find loads! I know London have Bubbleology, which I really want to go to in the future.

Wagamama

Last weekend I FINALLY lost my Wagamama virginity when my boyfriend and I ventured to Milton Keynes for a day of shopping. It was amazing and better than we expected and we both want to go back again already.

Wagamama is inspired by traditional Japanese ramen bars and Asian flavours. The name of Wagamama has always intrigued me and I always wondered what it stood for or meant and upon checking out their website I discovered that it means ‘naughty child” in Japanese, which is pretty cool!

Like most Japanese inspired menus they feature a wide variety of noodle and rice dishes and you can choose from classic ramen, which is a big bowl of noodles in soap, teppan which is noodles cooked on a hot, flat griddle, and kare which is noodles in a coconut based soup, but there are many more dishes served with rice.

The great thing about Wagamama is that you don’t have to sit in to enjoy your food, you can take you food away as take-away too, which I think is great!

When my boyfriend and I went to Wagamama we noticed how the seating was rather odd, yet delightful at the same time. We were sat at a bench that sat two people on side and two or four on the other side, so you would essentially have to share your table with someone. As well as that you have someone come over to take your order for you, both drinks, food and dessert and bring your food over for you quickly. You can also watch your food being  prepared and cooked for your fresh in their kitchen, which I really liked.

As we hadn’t been to Wagamama before we went for something we always order if it’s on the menu, pulled pork! We opted for Pulled Pork Gyoza, which came with a spicy sauce. It arrived in no time and bloody hell it was delicious! We both said we could have eaten them all day if we were given the option.

For our main we opted for Chicken Katsu Curry, we’ve had this before at restaurant in Coventry but this was a hundred times better than the one we’d previously had! The chicken was succulent and beautiful, the rice gorgeous and sticky, but the curry was delicious and I ate as much of it as I could get from the plate, onto the spoon.

We didn’t get a desert in the end as we were rather full, but the choice of desserts is rather nice, although I do wish they would do Bubble Tea!

I loved going to Wagamama as the staff were friendly, quick to take our order and get our food out to us but most of the food was amazing and just writing this post is making my mouth water for it again.

I can’t wait to go again as I have loads of dishes I want to try including:

Duck Gyoza, Chicken Kare Lomen, Mahi Mahi Curry, Chicken Ramen, and Grilled Duck Ramen.

Overall we loved Wagamama and we can’t wait to go again, whenever that will be!

I was going to try and mention more places on this post but 1. This post is getting awfully long and 2. It’s making me bloody hungry!

Do you like Asian food? If so do you prefer Japanese or Chinese? Let me know in the comments down below!

As well as that, have you been to any of the places mentioned in this post? If so do you like them, or not? If you haven’t been to any of these places, do you intend to in the future? Let me know all your answers in the comments down below too.

Well I hope you enjoyed this post, I know I enjoyed writing it! Stay tuned for post number 3 in this series, where I’ll be talking about places I want to visit in Japan, which will feature a special guest! So make sure to keep your eyes peeled for that next Wednesday.

Until next time, take care all!

Fox Footer