Friday 26 January 2018

Afternoon Tea Review: Relish, Cleethorpes

For those that know me well will know I'm rather partial to an afternoon tea. Both my friend and I recently visited Relish in Cleethorpes to sample out theirs.

We were initially provided with a pot of tea each, alongside an ice cold jar of water which is always appreciated.
The afternoon tea arrived, which was presented on a small picnic bench. The tea was categorised into 3 sections; savoury, sandwiches and sweets. These were chosen by us a few days before (booking and a small deposit is required when having afternoon tea here). Although this may be a hassle to some, it guarantees that you aren't being presented with sandwich fillings that you don't like and end up leaving (salmon, I'm looking at you!), or desserts that you aren't keen on (Tiramisu I'm also looking at you!).

Because the savouries consisted of warm foods that had been freshly cooked, I dug into those first. I opted for Mozzarella sticks, which I imagined to be something different to what they came out like, but nevertheless, these were gorgeous. The pastry was so flaky and the cheese oozed out. The sausage roll was pretty much the same, no shop-bought ones here, and they were really decent-sized portions.
Next up was a small bucket of homemade chips, and although nice, I found them to be a little dry, which was a shame.

Once the warm foods were out of the way we moved onto the sandwiches. We opted for 3 fillings; Roast Pepper and Goats Cheese with Balsamic Butter. This was nice however the goats cheese was a little too much for me, but this is personal preference. Next up was Parma ham and tomato with baby gem. I've never experienced parma ham in a sandwich before, and because of the sometimes 'stringy' texture of parma ham, I found this to be a little annoying when trying to eat, but again, personal preference. The last filling was chicken & bacon with red onion. This was by far my favourite and I would have been happy if all 3 of my sandwiches were this.

After the sandwiches the fullness began to set in, but I wanted to give the desserts a shot, so we went straight in for the shortbread biscuit. This was small, but it was just a 'filler' dessert amongst the main 3 that we had previously selected. I'm not sure if this was home-baked or not but it was absolutely gorgeous. The texture was lovely and it really did melt in the mouth. We then moved onto the white chocolate chip brownie which although nice, was a little too rich for me. I forget that most brownies are 'too much' for me, but proceed to order them anyway! The lemon posset was presented in a cute copper jar, and it was lovely, although it definitely woke those taste buds up even more through its tangy-ness! The last 'main' pudding was the cheesecake, which happened to be cherry for that day. I'll be honest - I wasn't overly keen on this. The texture for me didn't match up to what a cheesecake should taste like. It was very tough, like it had been stored in a fridge for numerous days. This definitely didn't win me over. The other 'fillers' on the bench were a small slab of honeycomb, fresh strawberries, and a small spoonful of chocolate mousse, which was lovely.

The amount of food that is provided for £15pp is definitely worth it. Would I go again? Yes, I would. Although there were some cons, the pros definitely outweigh them. I'm all about giving places a second chance so next time I'd switch up my sandwich filling, and maybe try a different flavour cheesecake!

Friday 19 January 2018

Scrapbooking: Getting creative with Cheerz!

I've always wanted to do scrap booking but its just never happened... until recently.

I was contacted by the guys at Cheerz to review their big scrapbook which of course I didn't have to think twice about. I love getting creative with doodling fonts so I was in my element with this.

The hardback scrapbook is 32cm x 32cm so it's a really good size to get creative. Unfortunately you aren't able to select from various colours/designs, and are instead given a blue book with a gold fleck design. I think this design is quite effective though and adds impact to the cover. As well as your photos, the scrapbook also includes a white gel pen and several sheets of small stickers which enables you to stick your photos in without any mess.

The quality of the book is impressive - solid and hard wearing, with the black card inside being extra thick to help with durability. The book contains 20 pages which was more than enough for me to create a 'story' through my photos.

At the very back of the book is a hidden envelope which is convenient for photo storage.

With your purchase you can select between 30 and 80 photos in order to fill your book. I had the opportunity to select 30, which I found to be too little. Because of this, I padded it out with other smaller photos I had hanging around the house, but which still fitted into my story.
Of course you can go wild with what you want your scrapbook to document - I have a passion for travelling and my partner and I have just celebrated 10 years of being together, so it made sense for me to celebrate 10 years of Travel by documenting it through this book. On the front cover lies a small box which enables you to title it as necessary. I decided to dedicate each full page spread to 1 year of our lives, and showcase where we had been in that year. If you enjoy doodling and getting creative with pens then maybe purchase a second gel pen as a back up. I learnt the hard way - my pen ran with one last page to go! The white gel pen against the black card looks fantastic and really gives impact to your doodles. 

Here's just a sneak peek of how I've designed my scrapbook and the photos I used. Getting creative with fonts helps to add variety to your book and keeps each page interesting. 

I'm really happy with my finished scrapbook and think it'd make a great coffee table book for visitors to browse!

If you want to document your travels, or anything else for that matter, go check Cheerz out. They do a large range of unique ways to showcase your memories. Why not surprise a loved one this Valentines day with a photo of you both? Use the code J8AYNU at checkout for a £5 discount (on all orders over £20).

Happy Snapping!

Sunday 7 January 2018

2017 Overview (inc Photos)

As we roll into a new year we tend to get reflective over how 'good' or 'bad' the previous year had been to us, it helps us to recognise where we may need to improve or even change things up a little!

Here is an overview of my 2017!


I started the new year by hosting my first ever roast dinner for more people than just me & Mike. Admittedly it was only for 2 more (4 in total) so I didn't go wild, but I got really good feedback which encouraged me to do a similar thing in the future.
I gave my dressing room a much needed make-over from its old shabby chic interior. This had been a work in progress for a few months, but January was when it all finally came together and I was happy with the outcome. Shame it doesn't stay as tidy as this!
As January came to a close, we booked yet another holiday to America, both to NYC and Florida, somewhere where we'd only just left weeks prior! And of course, the planning started all over again!


February was a fairly quiet month. Mike did his first attempt at being romantic on Valentines day by showering the house in love heart sequins (that got everywhere!) - these led to a candle-lit bath upstairs followed by a candle-lit meal cooked by him. We also celebrated a friends 30th birthday at Damons in Lincoln and I had the best ribs I'd ever had. I also treat my niece to a teddy bears afternoon tea - cute!


March saw a lot of things change at work, and consisted of a leaving do over gorgeous afternoon tea. I also went on lots of really pretty scenic walks with my mum and discovered that I really enjoyed being outdoors and around nature.


April was a good month. I cracked it open with my mums 60th party and enjoyed yet more walks out in the countryside. I began the huge declutter of my beauty products which was so liberating, and also had my head stuck in some good books! We visited a country park that is on our doorstep but one I had never been to before. I treat my mum to a weekend away in York where we saw Motown, had posh afternoon tea and had nice casual strolls round the shops.


May was another good month, I caught up with friends over Italian food, spent my birthday in Manchester, and flew to Skiathos the very next day and got to experience the prettiest Greek island I've yet to see - I definitely recommend! It was lovely just having a 'chill holiday', full of casual strolls, eating, drinking and the odd bit of swimming (when I dared to brave the still cold waters!) - so different to our usual action-packed holidays, but it felt good.


In June we took a day trip to Harrogate, then to Knaresborough (which was so pretty!). We also treat my dad to a meal at another new restaurant which fast became my new favourite for my local area (this is always worth a mention!). We got on board with healthy eating and begun our weekly food subscription to a fruit and veg box.


July saw us do lots of smaller day trips out, firstly to the seaside town of Mablethorpe, we went strawberry picking, and also took a trip to the York Retail Outlets in hope of finding some designer bargains. My mum ate a hot chilli (by accident) in Wagamama's, and tried to play it cool by not letting on, till I noticed her face was red and eyes were streaming. That was a funny moment! I'm sure that will be her first and last visit to Wagamamas!


August saw further days out, firstly to Skegness with my friend and her 2 boys where we spent the day on rides, a week later we treat my niece to a day out to York Maze for her birthday which she loved. We had a low-key celebration for Mike's birthday, and my dad built us a fabulous seating/decking area in the garden which is nice and private. We also took my niece and nephew out of town for a picnic and paddle!


September was a biggy in terms of travel, a week in and we were flying to NYC for 4 nights. We did the tourist-y bits that we never managed to do on the prior trip. 5 days later and we flew to Orlando and enjoyed some Disney magic, and got to experience our first Halloween Horror Nights in Universal Studios.


I spent October catching up with friends over afternoon tea, visiting Hull and taking a trip to a world buffet. I finished my 2nd audio book, and we attended a friends babies' christening.


As winter drew near I found myself indulging in lots of naughty drinks full of whipped cream and chocolate, and as the air turned cold I found myself indulging in lots of bubble baths.


December started nicely - we stayed overnight in Leeds and saw Ricky Gervais live, and I discovered that I actually quite like him as a comedian. We visited a German Christmas market and enjoyed afternoon tea at The Malmaison in Leeds as well. I treat myself to get my nails done (only the second time ever would you believe!). A week into December and everything changed - Mike's mum passed away from cancer so the rest of the month became a blur. We didn't really 'do' Christmas as such this year - we didn't put a tree up, it just didn't feel right. I did pop a few fairy lights around and a few Christmas ornaments, just to try and keep a little bit of normality. I had 12 days off work and it was nice just to have time with Mike, to offer him comfort and support.

2017 has been a very 'standard' year in most areas of my life - I don't feel like I have progressed in any area as such. Travel wise it has been quite successful, and we managed to make a very small dent in terms of home decoration and getting the house ready to put on the market, but to complete that journey right now feels like a lifetime away.
It's just so sad that the year had to end like it did, so close to Christmas as well. I had a lot of time for Mikes mum, my future mother-in-law. She will definitely be missed.

With such a sad end to 2017, 2018 has begun so perfectly, and if you follow me on social media you'll know why, but I'll share that news soon.

Happy New Year everyone.
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