Breakfast at Manchester Airport with Giraffe…

Hi guys,

I have been to Manchester Airport a few times now for hols and it is such a good airport in comparison to Newcastle and has excellent shopping as well as some good food places.

Our usual haunt is Giraffe as they serve you super quick, have gorgeous food and it is such a reasonable price for the airport. They even managed to fit us all in super quick considering there were eight of us!

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I decided to go for pancakes with bacon and maple syrup and you have to have alcohol don’t you? So I went for the berry bellini which was actually very strong. The food was so delicious, nice portion for the price too. The 8 of us had breakfast plus drinks (the majority alcoholic) for around £100 bill which I don’t think is too bad for an airport restaurant.

Having tried quite a few places in Manchester airport, I have to say that Giraffe is a fave!

Rachael xox

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Great Greek Restaurant, Middlesbrough

Hi guys,

So my review of this restaurant doesn’t come out well. I had been looking forward to eating out at the “Great” restaurant which serves greek food and is situated on Linthorpe Road in Middlesbrough. We decided to visit for my birthday meal and honestly, I was so disappointed in it.

The restaurant itself pays homage to it’s owner Dimi with Middlesbrough football shirts hanging on the wall and is quite a modern look restaurant with little Greek references throughout.

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The waiter was on his own with kitchen staff and someone behind the bar but there were very few people in the restaurant. It took forever for us to be able to place the order and I ordered a Mojito. The Mojito didn’t have enough ice or alcohol in and instead was filled to the brim with soda water which I almost couldn’t drink.

For my dinner I ordered chicken gyros which was awful. The chicken was more like pork as it was so chewy and salty. The side dishes were okay but we had literally waited so long for our food we would have eaten anything. We were in there about half an hour before the couple beside us (who ordered before we came in) even got their starters. That probably should have taken about two hours max (main and dessert) took us about three and a half hours.

I think the food really needs assessing, as does their staff training as clearly there is no proper manager in place or a manager with little restaurant experience. I would be willing to go back to try again but it would have to be with other people who wanted to go rather than off my own back. There are too many good food places in Teesside to make this place an attractive place to eat for me.

Have you tried the food here?

Rachael xox

Birthday at TGI’s ..

Hi guys,

A few months ago we had a dinner out for my friend Charlotte’s birthday at TGI’s. We love TGI Fridays because although it is a LITTLE pricier than what we would usually pay, the food is absolutely amazing and both the cocktails and mocktails are lovely. We always visit the one at Teesside Park as it’s the closest to us.

We do go to Frankie & Benny’s sometimes, but I much prefer TGI for dinnertime eating. I also think their décor is fab and the atmosphere is always great as it is usually nice and busy.

 

So, if you go to TGI’s and it is someone’s birthday in your party then you get a lovely balloon hat, they sing happy birthday to you and even bring you your own slice of cake.

I love the chicken fingers or the chicken sandwiches as the chicken is always so moist (hate that word) and tasty. The buns (baps, rolls whatever you call them) are quite good too as usually that is what I struggle with in chain restaurants. But the piece de resistance happens to be the skin on fries. Oh my goodness! They are so good. Even the dips are good.

Often TGI’s have a deal on where you get a two course or three course on a special dinnertime deal during the week which is often what we would go and get but most of the time we can’t get to dessert as we are so full. I think it is around the £15.00 mark for the three course(?). Often the cocktails are a little bit pricier around £4-£6 but I think the quality of them more than makes up for it.

Even as I write this, I am craving their potato skins!

So, if you have a birthday to celebrate, I would suggest going to TGIs for the fuss, the food and the fun.

Have you been?

Rachael xox

Lush Pumpkin Bubble Bar

Hi guys,

I am a LITTLE obsessed with Lush products and although I am trying to get through my stash before I buy anymore, I thought I would share with you exactly what I thought of it. This pink pumpkin bubble bar smells amazing first off and is also infused with glitter.

The bubbles that come from this pumpkin bubble bar are so long lasting, smell amazing and there are tonnes of them! It is infused with jasmine and bergamot which is an unreal scent and you can smell it for days! The fact that your bath is pink too? An extra bonus!!

Have you tried this? Have you tried anything from Lush’s Halloween range?

Rachael xox

Breakfast at Glady’s, Seaton Carew …

Hi guys,

So I have mentioned previously on a post about Frankie & Benny’s breakfast that Chris and I like to treat ourselves now and then to Saturday morning breakfast out. This time we chose Glady’s in Seaton Carew which is a vintage style tearoom that serves full meals too.

Simple old fashioned food that is served in a café that has an interior with 1940s war time memorabilia lining the walls. Although only a small area, it’s main room is lovely and inviting. Our order was taken quickly and food was served not long after.

The food was delicious and very filling. The hash browns – omg – one of the stand out pieces of the breakfast. We loved the look of the cakes and things too so maybe afternoon tea is on the cards very soon.

We loved the breakfast here and will definitely be back again – maybe for one of their live music nights.

Have you been here?

Rachael xox

Minimalism & your phone …

Hi guys,

So technology makes our life so much easier but it is just as easy to have a phone full of clutter than it is to have a coffee table drawer or under the stairs cupboard. Clearing out your phone can be so simple to do – while you’re watching TV, on a train on the way to work, in your lunch break. Clutter wears you down, it can burden you and make you feel heavy in weight. Doing a simple cleanse will ease some of this and make your phone much more manageable.

  1. Phone Contacts

Contacts in your phone should be cleared out every six months to get rid of those you don’t speak to or those one offs you have added. I like to do both my work and personal phone at the same time. Often I will have numbers for tradesmen, random acquaintances or people I have only spoke to once or twice.

2. Images

Anyone else out there screenshot photos like it’s going out of fashion?! I take so many screenshots of things I want to read, films I want to see, places I want to go. I keep an excel document of those things so transfer over to this (sad I know but hey!) and then when I am looking for something to read or a film recommendation I go to here and have a go. I also use travel recommendations and save them for when I book a holiday. Any pics from family hols or personal pics I upload to Instagram and facebook as well as transfer them to a separate hard drive and then erase them from my phone. Pinterest is such a good tool to create your boards and add all of the recommendations too. I have one for travel, one for event ideas, one for renovation ideas for my home. Once uploaded, I delete the originals and not only does it make for a decluttered phone, it also frees up your memory.

3. Memo pad/note pads – make sure to clean these thigs out as often as you can. If you are creating task lists then make sure you are ticking these things off. Try and condense things down and delete those things that you no longer need.

4. Texts – oh my goodness the bleeding texts I have deleted before. I make sure to delete these very often as it is unbelievable how many you accumulate. I often get them from my bank, credit card provider with updates as well as businesses and then the one offs from window cleaners etc. I make sure I log any info like appointments or addresses and then delete the text messages. I also make sure to save the numbers if it is someone I will be communicating with often.

5. Files – Have a look at your “my files” section of your phone. If like me you get a lot of info emailed over to you, you will be mega surprised exactly how much of this accumulates. I make sure to have a major clear out of this every now and then as it uses so much of your phone memory. Save the ones you want to keep on your phone if you need them there, transfer anything else that you don’t need on your phone to an external hard drive to keep them safe!

There we have it, some quick and easy clear outs to do on your phone to make it nice and clutter free. Minimalism comes in more forms than just clearing out your bedside drawers and cupboards. Practicing it in all forms of your life will make you such an organised person and allow you to think more clearly!

Any decluttering tips?

Rachael xox

The 90p nail polish you might want to try …

Hi guys,

Primark or PS beauty have been killing it recently and I have a lot of the items that I swear by – their beauty wipes, their adhesive nails and the lip liners are great affordable products.

However, I have also discovered these 90p nail polishes that I think are a good addition to your beauty stash!

Now, nail polish is not something I have a lot of, in my previous job I couldn’t have acryclic nails or painted nails due to working with food but now I have free rein when it comes to painting them so I wanted a few colours to build up my stash with.

 

So, what do I think of these nail polishes?

Okay, so you do need two coats. The first coat goes on a little watery (as per middle pic) but the second coat makes all the difference. The colour range is great and some of them are super shiny. One of my faves is the deep red – perfect for A/W.

My only small issue with it is that it does start to chip after a couple of days, which I can completely get on board with for a 90p polish!

Have you tried these?

Rachael xox

Breakfast at Frankie & Benny’s …

Hi guys,

Now that I no longer work on a Saturday, Chris and I love to go out for a Saturday morning breakfast (or brunch). We love the “treat” of it. While Frankie & Benny’s isn’t top of my list for eating out for dinner, their breakfast menu is delicious.

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Recently, our F&B in town did a special offer where you could get UNLIMITED breakfast – you literally just order a plate at a time and they bring it for you at their usual prices. Not sure if still running this offer but it is so worth a try all the same. Do google voucher codes before you go in case of extra discounts.

I love the American style breakfast with pancakes, bacon and eggs where Chris usually does the same but on waffles and adds fried chicken. Super comfort food but nice and filling for a Saturday morning.

If you haven’t tried Frankie & Benny’s for breakfast, then I would give it a go.

 

Rachael xox

Minimalism & your purse …

Hi guys,

So as part of our minimalism series, it is now time to tackle your purse!! We keep so much in our purses that this can quite often get in the way of money management and often, things can get a little out of hand!

So … what should we have in our purses?

THE ESSENTIALS ONLY!!

I am talking ..

  • Debit Card
  • ID (driving licence etc)
  • Credit card (just one!)
  • Loyalty cards you ACTUALLY USE
  • Vouchers for something that you are actually going to buy

So your debit card is a must, saving accounts cards are not necessary unless you’re actually going to the bank that day! Online banking now means if you want to transfer money then you can do so remotely.

ID is a must! Most people have a driving licence but it is a necessity for your purse (or to keep in a mobile phone cover).

A credit card is okay, they come in handy for emergencies and holiday but try to limit it to one in the purse at all times so you aren’t tempted to go crazy and spend too much. Store cards should be limited too, it’s okay to have these cards but you minimising the amount in your purse means you are minimising the damage and habits of spending too much with them.

Loyalty cards seem to accumulate out of nowhere! I sign upto loyalty cards but then I never ever use them! I have cards for Boux Avenue, Holland and Barrett and The Works and I go in these places only once or twice a year. The Body Shop I do use but only for specific shopping. So these cards I store in a small tub at home and only take them out when I need to for a big shopping trip. Also, if I don’t have them and make an impulse purchase (less likely with a simple purse), then I can just get a points receipt and add it later! My main loyalty cards are Costa (obv), Nectar for fuel as well as Boots, Matalan, Tesco, Morrisons, Sparks (M&S) and Superdrug. I also have the coffee cards for McDonalds and a sandwich loyalty card for Cooplands.

Receipts are a major issue for me! I do have to keep them for work purposes so I use my phone wallet for these, pop them in my car and then just remove them at the end of each day and store them in wallets in my home office. For personal receipts I have a file for important ones – I use a plastic studded wallet for xmas and birthday gifts and then another for items under warranty. Other receipts I just bin if I no longer need them – for grocery shopping etc.

Coins are a bug bear for me. I usually pay via company credit card for parking but usually need a bit of change so do keep a change purse in my bag or car and use this but any copper I take out and pop in a money box and then just transfer it into bigger amounts when my money box is full – it does add up actually!

Foreign notes are something I seem to collect. When you like to holiday you do end up with a collection and they are nice to keep but not in your everyday purse. A cluttered purse is a nightmare. Therefore, use them in a scrapbook or a photo album if you want to keep them as a souvenir OR if you will be using them again if you are a frequent traveller, I use my home safe or my travel file.

Coupons and vouchers are a great way to save money on your every day items and fashion purchases. However, you can’t have loads of these cluttering up your purse, especially if it is unlikely you are going to be using them. E.g. if I was going to be buying some new season fashion from Matalan and had a 20% off voucher, then I would be using it to buy that exact thing. However, if I had a coupon for £3 off a bottle of flash from Tesco and all I shopped at was Aldi – is it likely that I am going to be using this?! Think twice before keeping hold of them.

That is it! – any extras can be added when you are going on a big shopping trip or off out to buy something specific. Get rid of those loyalty cards you only used once and won’t use again, old bus or train tickets, old receipts!

Why do this? A simple easy declutter will make it much easier for money management. Clutter makes it more difficult to be able to see through and can mess up your head too. Minimalising your purse and in turn your finances are easier to manage, you feel lighter and using your purse is much easier.

Rachael xox

Minimalism & your tech …

Hi guys,

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So today’s post is all about keeping your tech minimalistic and decluttering when possible. Practicing minimalism is difficult and takes lots of practice as well as a lot of time. It isn’t just about getting rid of “stuff” it’s about changing habits of hoarding and collecting stuff in order to live a less stressful and more organised life.

So how do we declutter our tech?

Social Media

Wow social media gets really cluttered. I often have clear outs on all forms of social media that I use as I feel it’s so important to be able to pinpoint exactly what you want to look at and have a “tidy feed”.

Pinterest – a nice and easy one as you keep everything you like on your own boards anyway. You just need to follow those pinners, the ones you are actually going to get something from. Keep your boards relevant to you – I currently have A LOT relating to the reno that we are planning on the house but I won’t ALWAYS want these things so I will delete once I am done.

Facebook – delete those people who you don’t speak to or don’t bring you value in your life, delete old messages on messenger, delete photos – those you have been tagged in or stuff you have shared that you don’t want to keep any longer. Tidying up your account makes it easier to manage.

Twitter – as above, unfollow those who hold little interest to you so your feed is full of people you actually want to talk to. Check your DMs and delete those you no longer need or junk items.

Instagram – I follow so many people on Instagram that it’s quite difficult sometimes to keep up with your favourite accounts.

Phone

Clearing out your phone is probably one of the most important bits and pieces on your tech clear out list as you use it in your every day life and especially if you are running a business or a blog, the less clutter on there, the easier it is to have your phone streamlined. If you want to see a bigger guide to decluttering on our phone, click here. The other part of a phone to declutter is your Apps. Apps have a funny way of piling up and if you have a couple that are used for the same thing, make sure you clear them out quite often. You are freeing up a lot of valuable memory by doing so.

Ipod

If you have an ipod or any mp3 player, then I bet it is full of songs that you absolutely love, right? If not, then have a cull. Get through the songs and have a total clear out. Music tastes change and space is always limited on these things. I work on the principle that if I pop some new songs on, I get rid of some of the old ones.

Laptop

My laptop is a clutter free zone! I delete old files, delete old documents that I have randomly saved as well as declutter the images too. Any files you want to keep but don’t need daily or weekly access to could be stored on an external hard drive. You also need to check out your “download” section as this is the area that often causes the most of your memory. Files that were quickly used but then forgotten about! Look at your programmes too – are you actually using all of the programmes on there or can you create some space and get rid of some?

Kindle

If, like me, you are a book hoarder, you definitely need to take action on your kindle! I buy so many series that I just never EVER get through them. What I have been actively trying to do is to get through the full series I have before tackling any of the individual books from other series. I always make sure to send my “read” books to the archive and also permanently delete those that I will never read again.

For more info on decluttering then you can check out my ultimate guide to minimalism.

See you soon, Rachael xox