Foodies Festival Cannon Hill Park

Coming out of hiding & COMPETITION!

Oh my gosh, this is a bit daunting. It has been a while. A lot longer than I ever planned. I have no excuses, I don’t know whether I lost my blogging ‘mojo’ or whether I am just truly awful at organising my time. A lot has happened since I last properly wrote about my life, new job, new flat and I am now 2 stone lighter and counting!

IMG_3182

I’m all set.

I will do a bit of an update post this week for those who care (if anyone still reads this!) and hopefully now my backside is back in gear, my blogs will be a lot more frequent!

Lets be honest, the main reason you clicked on this post is due to the word giveaway (it definitely isn’t thanks to the frequency of blogs!) and I have decided to come back with this to thank anyone who reads for still being slightly interested in what I have to say!

So without further ado, here we go.

Last year I was lucky enough to be invited to the first Foodies Festival at Cannon Park in Birmingham, I blogged about it here if you fancy reading about my antics. In short, it was great. There were demonstrations, live music, street food stalls, independent and artisan exhibitors and just a whole host of fun and food.

Foodies Festival Cannon Hill Park

Gin and Prosecco Jazz Lounge

We ate ourselves silly, had a few sneaky glasses of Prosecco at the most gorgeous pop up Gin & Prosecco jazz bar and generally had a great time! (I also saw Noel from Hear’Say so you know, that was also a highlight.)

Guess What?! It’s back again!

From the 3rd to the 5th of June, Foodies Festival is returning to Cannon Hill Park in Birmingham and I can’t wait! Thankfully I have been asked back this year and I also have 2 tickets to give away to one of you lucky people!

Foodies Festival Cannon Hill Park

Chicken and Chorizo Paella

This year there will be appearances from lots of food royalty, including Nadiya Hussain (Great British Bake Off winner 2015), Aktar Islam (Lasan Group & Great British Menu) and Nathan Eades (Simpsons – Michelin Starred) to name but a few!

Foodies Festival Cannon Hill Park

Champagne arrival

Attractions will include:

  • Feel Good and Superfoods
  • Indulge – Cake, Bake and Tasting Theatre
  • Feast – Street Food Avenue
  • Spice it up – Chilli Eating Challenge
  • Artisan Producers Market

           …and many more!

So what do you think? Fancy it? Well I only have 2 tickets to giveaway, so get your entry in quick!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

(because I use WordPress and do not own my own domain yet, you will have to click on the link above to enter 😦 sorry!)

If you don’t win however, I do have a great 2for1 code for you!

2-for-1 Offer

Thank you again for bearing with me, I really appreciate it.

Charlie x

Rules and Regulations

  • This competition is open to the UK only due to the event being in Birmingham
  • The winner will be drawn via Rafflecopter at 12am GMT on 25th of May 2016 and will be notified within 24 hours.
  • If the winner doesn’t respond within 2 days, unfortunately another winner will have to be chosen.
  • Please don’t share this giveaway with competition sites.
  • There is no alternative prize.
  • These tickets have been kindly provided by Lanyard Media

 

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Last Night A DJ Saved My Life Review

I bet he was Hoff his head!

Are you a fan of all things 80’s and 90’s? Are you partial to a cheeky leg warmer or a neon glowstick? Do you have hazy memories of nights spent partying in Ibiza? OR are you a David Hasselhoff fan?

If any of the above applies to you, I guarantee you will enjoy the musical that I am going to tell you all about. Even if the above points don’t describe you but you just like a good old party, then keep reading!

Earlier this week I was invited to attend the press night for Last Night a DJ Saved My Life* at Wolverhampton Grand Theatre (The Grand is such an asset to Wolverhampton!). According to the press release, the show is a ‘hilarious hit fest with a touching father and daughter drama set against a background of sun, sea, sex and drugs with hits that take us back to the 80’s and 90’s.’

Last Night A DJ Saved My Life Review

‘The Hoff’ themed cakes! (Somebody had taken one already so this photo irks me!)

So, what did I think? I loved it. I unashamedly sang along from start to finish (which is encouraged!) and became truly sweet up in both the party ‘hype’ and the adoration for ‘The Hoff’ which radiated around the room.

Okay. It’s not necessarily the greatest storyline and it definitely won’t be everybody’s cup of tea but they know that, at one point a character said to the audience ‘I know, you’re not watching Miss Saigon now are you!’

Last Night A DJ Saved My Life Review

Photo – Last Night a DJ Saved My Life

The songs fit the narrative in the style of a jukebox musical and ensure that everybody is up on their feet singing and dancing. The musical was written for ‘The Hoff’ and you can tell. He is very much the star attraction (that much was obvious by the Baywatch scene that is shoe horned in to the second act!) and his character isn’t exactly going to break boundaries, but he is fun, loveable and born to work a crowd. ‘Hoff’ jokes are also very much a feature!

Last Night A DJ Saved My Life Review

(8)I’ll be readyyyyyy(8)

For me though there were 3 cast members who just took the performance up a notch and cemented my love for the show.

Shane Richie Junior plays loveable 18-30’s rep, Rik and his comic timing leaves you unsure as to whether he is ad-libbing or not. Great voice too!

Tam Ryan as the hapless yet hilarious José has the audience in the palm of his hand and in stitches throughout.

Finally, Barry Bloxham as the resident villain in the story, Ebenezer, was a revelation. His character ties the whole show together and for me was probably the stand out performance.

#LNADJ (as you are encouraged to hashtag it when sharing photos or tweets) is on in Wolverhampton until Saturday 21st November before it continues it’s run around much of the country. If you fancy reliving those memories and singing along to Spice Girls, Vengaboys, Madonna and even an added bit of Rick Astley, I would 100% recommend getting yourself some tickets.

I want to go again!

Charlie x

P.S. Apologies for the photo quality. Phone camera in a theatre – not a good idea!

* I was lucky enough to be invited to see the show and provided complimentary tickets, however I could not fake this kind of enthusiasm so this review is 100% all my own thoughts!

Roger&Gallet - Bienfaits and Fleur de Figuier hand balms

Roger&Gallet Hand Balms – Matte effect!

I am not predominantly a beauty blogger, (or anything remotely close!) i’m quite haphazard with make up, skincare and all ‘beauty essentials’ really. However, I do love trying new things and once I find something I like I am definitely a loyal customer so when Roger&Gallet* offered to send me a couple of their new hand balms back in May I willingly accepted.

Roger&Gallet - Bienfaits and Fleur de Figuier hand balms

Roger&Gallet – Bienfaits and Fleur de Figuier hand balms

From the first few lines of the press release info I was sold. Using a mattifying texture these hand balms aren’t greasy and mean that you can get straight back to using your phone or writing notes without having horrible slippy hands!

When they arrived the whole package smelt amazing! Everybody in my office was asking what they were! The first one was their Bienfaits scent containing aloe vera and extracts of 5 antioxidant fruits and the second one was the Fleur de Figuier scent that used shea butter and fig extract. I cannot explain to you how good they smelt, I had never smelt a hand cream like it.

I’m not going to lie, I was a big fan before I had even used them and initially I scurried off to my computer to start writing a post, however I then decided to hold off. In the past I have raved about so many things to my friends that I have only just started using then later down the line they lose their appeal or they stop working for me. With these hand balms I wanted to give a more rounded review, a review that was honest for you all to read.

Roger&Gallet - Bienfaits and Fleur de Figuier hand balms

Roger&Gallet – Bienfaits and Fleur de Figuier hand balms

So the verdict 3 and a half months down the line? I still love them. They’ve been in my handbag ever since that first day and I use them daily. I alternate which one I use but I do have a definite favourite, the Fleur de Figuier one just smells so perfect.

Roger&Gallet - Fleur de Figuier hand balm - all gone!

Roger&Gallet – Fleur de Figuier hand balm – all gone!

The reason I have been prompted to write a review is actually because the Fleur de Figuier one has run out and I am not sure how I will cope so I guess I will be putting in an order as soon as I can. For now I have the remnants of the Bienfaits one (which I do still love) to tide me over!

Has anyone else tried these hand creams? I think I am addicted.

Charlie x

* I was lucky enough to be sent these products for free in order to review. All views and opinions are 100% my own.

Rub Smokehouse Birmingham - Big Boy USA in Little Italy

Rub Smokehouse Birmingham | Review

I followed Rub Smokehouse on twitter pretty much as soon as they announced a Birmingham restaurant. A friend of mine is a frequent visitor to the one in Nottingham and always raves about how good it is. As soon as I saw that they were opening one in Birmingham I just knew I had to go.

Annoyingly as they officially opened my life turned into chaos and I just couldn’t get down to visit. So when the boy asked me where I would like to go for food for our anniversary, the answer was pretty easy.

Rub Smokehouse Birmingham - I love this

Rub Smokehouse Birmingham – I love this

The way Rub has been designed is fairly trendy, it has an American feel without being cliche and tacky. It is bold and loud, both of which work so well for this type of restaurant.

Rub Smokehouse Birmingham

Rub Smokehouse Birmingham

We were seated in a booth (made out of wooden pallets) and were quickly served drinks, (the iced tea is bottomless and also my favourite, perfect.) and then we got to peruse the menu. Although we later found that we had to wait 20 minutes each time we asked for a refill so maybe Iced Tea wasn’t the best choice! It did taste good though.

Rub Smokehouse Birmingham - Iced Tea

Rub Smokehouse Birmingham – Iced Tea

I have to start by saying that all of the food sounded great and it was hard to pick what to eat. After much discussion we decided on the Pulled Pork Garlic Pizza Bread to start and then decided to share the Big Boy USA in Little Italy (A double cheeseburger INSIDE a Calzone) that I had seen plastered all over their social media.

Rub Smokehouse Birmingham - Big Boy USA in Little Italy

Rub Smokehouse Birmingham – Big Boy USA in Little Italy

When it arrived, I have to say it looked phenomenal. The Calzone part tasted great unfortunately the burger was extremely dry and I did struggle to eat parts of it so I was a little disappointed. We couldn’t catch anyones attention so in the end I just ate what I could.

Rub Smokehouse Birmingham - Big Boy USA in Little Italy

Rub Smokehouse Birmingham – Big Boy USA in Little Italy

When we finally did mention it just before paying the bill, two members of staff were quite rude about it, which isn’t the response I really expected. I didn’t want to pay any less, I didn’t expect free food, I just wanted them to understand my disappointment. So this left me a little sour.

HOWEVER, just before leaving, another member of staff popped over to see if we had enjoyed the experience. I explained what had happened to him in brief and he was absolutely lovely. He said that he worked at the Nottingham branch and had for a while so maybe this is why. Truth be told this member of staff saved our experience. I had told so many people about Rub before we went and so I would have been a bit annoyed to have left with a bad impression, however thanks to this guy we will definitely consider revisiting.

#rubyourselfie

#rubyourselfie

Once Rub has been open a bit longer maybe the creases will be ironed out, I do hope so as both the menu and decor are amazing yet adventurous and everything that Birmingham has been needing!

Have you been to Rub Smokehouse? What did you think?

Charlie x

* This review isn’t sponsored, we paid for our own food and drink and as always all views are completely honest and 100% my own.

Life Update | It’s been a while.

So I have taken an unplanned break but now I am back and raring to go!

Rather than babble on about all the things I have been up to I thought I would ease myself back in with a photo round up! I’ve gone through my camera reel and have tried to sum up the last couple of months in twelve photos!

Liquid Fudge Cookies, Leaving presents from work, parents round for dinner, dinner party, new job and new office!

  1. Oh my. These melt in the middle fudge cookies are the one. Recipe is from Lady from a Tramp.
  2. I left my job. Time had come for a change but I really did love the friends I made in that office so it really was a sad day and I definitely need to catch up with them all! That includes you, Tales of Peck and Shiptoria!
  3. I finally did a grown up thing and cooked a proper meal for my parents. (Except I was ill and so they had to leave early. So almost!)
  4. New job. New desk. It is much messier now!Arcade winnings, rubber ducks, afternoon tea, rub smokehouse Birmingham, The Botanist Cocktail
  5. Aside from renting a boat, whilst we were in Norfolk we spent a great deal of time entertaining ourselves on the 2p slots. What do we have to show for it? 32 little rubber ducks!
  6. The boy got a new job too (told you it has been busy!) so I was a cute girlfriend and made a little afternoon tea accompanied by wine. Okay, maybe the wine was more important!
  7. We finally visited Rub Smokehouse in Birmingham. A burger in a calzone, yeahhhhh. Review to follow soon!
  8. The Botanist had also been on my to do list for far too long so I was pleased to tick it off! Their signature ‘The Botanist’ cocktail was blinkin’ lovely.Popcorn maker, hair cut, homemade pizza, Ed Sheeran
  9. My favourite treat in the world is Popcorn. A lot of people don’t understand it but I have always loved it. Sweet not Salty though, eurgh! For our anniversary the boy surprised me with this popcorn maker and it is amazing!
  10. Shameless Selfie. Treated my hair to a much needed overhaul. New style and new colour. Hadn’t realised how dead it had gotten!
  11. I have become the homemade pizza queen. That is all.
  12. Ed Sheeran. I have no other words. This was an incredible evening!

What have I missed? Anyone been up to anything nice?

Charlie x

Boat Rental - Norfolk Broads

I’m King of the world! | Boat for Hire

I think I have mentioned in a couple of previous posts that Andy’s parents live not far from Great Yarmouth, which is roughly 4 and 1/2 hours from where we live in the land locked Midlands. 3 – 4 times a year we endeavour to tackle the jaunt and go to stay with them for a few days.

Great Yarmouth Review

Sticky Toffee and Fudge Ice Cream at the beach. Can’t beat it!

Winterton Beach - Norfolk

Gorgeous view at Winterton Beach

As a child from the aforementioned land locked Midlands, I LOVE the sea. The novelty may have worn off slightly for Andy and his parents but I like to spend every minute eating Fish & Chips, Ice Cream and Candy Floss, spending copious amounts of money in 2p machines at the arcades and also taking selfies in front of the beach. I’m not ashamed, I blinking love a good seaside day!

Boat Rental - Norfolk Broads

Stunning.

This time however we were visiting for slightly longer, giving us 2 full seaside days but then a day to do something different. Time to discover the Norfolk Broads (I suppose you have to do something cultural every once in a while!) We decided that not only were we going to spend the day at the Broads, we were going to spend the day ON them. In our own little rented boat! I’m not going to lie, I was beside myself with excitement. I packed a lovely little picnic and grabbed some warmer clothing for us both (just in case) and then we were off.

Boat Rental - Norfolk Broads

The Captain.

We ventured up to Stalham, roughly 15 minutes from Andy’s parents’ house and found Moonfleet Marine. Here we had a little safety induction, were fitted with the correct lifejackets and then shown the ropes on the boat. We paid £54 for 4 hours which wasn’t too bad, these boats can seat 6 also so if you were splitting that it really would be a bargain.

Boat Rental - Norfolk Broads

Perfect.

I’m the car driver in our relationship so naturally I thought I would be the best boat driver, right? Wrong. I was AWFUL. I crashed twice, descended into a fit of giggles and then crashed some more. Safe to say, Andy took the reigns in this task whilst I lorded it up sunbathing in the back bit of the boat, eating strawberries, drinking shandy and getting a tan. Win.

Boat Rental - Norfolk Broads

Awful Photo but this was the ultimate chill!

I would definitely recommend renting a boat along the Norfolk Broads, they were absolutely breathtaking and really are the perfect place for a day out. Every town and village along the Broads has a Staithe (the landing stage or docking area) and plenty of places to rent a boat from.

Boat Rental - Norfolk Broads

We had a great day renting from Moonfleet Marine and would definitely recommend them, however this isn’t a sponsored post or a review, we very much paid for it ourselves and had a bloody lovely time!

Boat Rental - Norfolk Broads

An absolutely stunning day overall.

Have you ever visited the Norfolk Broads or Norfolk in general? What other places and things to do would you recommend?

Charlie x

Eat Your Photo Review

Face on a Cake! – Eat Your Photo Review

I love cake. It’s no secret, my blog name probably gave the game away a long time ago. I love cake in many way, I love baking it, decorating it, eating it and watching cake programmes (even though they make me hungry!)

A few weeks ago a company called Eat Your Photo* contacted me and asked if I would like to sample 12 cupcakes WITH MY FACE ON! I couldn’t really say no, could I?

Eat Your Photo Review

12 Cakes WITH MY FACE ON (and Andy’s I guess…)

After a few slight communication errors my cupcakes arrived and I can’t lie, I was very excited. Too excited probably but y’know, cake!

I had chosen chocolate sponge and icing as its my favourite and after exercising a ridiculous amount of restraint so that I could take some photos, I dived in.

Eat Your Photo Review

CAKE!

Eat Your Photo Review

Close up of cake.

Having been delivered by post I was a bit apprehensive as to how fresh these cupcakes would be but I needn’t have worried, they were perfect. Fresh sponge with a crumbly yet dense texture with a thick disc of icing on the top (with my face on, did I mention that?)

Eat Your Photo Review

Here is the inside!

They lasted surprisingly long in our house, although between two of us we still got through them fairly quickly. The cakes stayed fresh for a good 5 days which was impressive!

Eat Your Photo Review

😦 all gone

At £24.99 they are a little bit pricey however to have cake delivered worry free and with an image of your choice, they are ideal for a celebratory occasion or a treat! I would definitely recommend them!

Eat Your Photo Review

I want more now.

What do you think? Would you eat your own face (made from cake, obviously!)

Charlie x

* I was lucky enough to be sent 12 cupcakes for free in order to review. All views and opinions are 100% my own.