Monday, 31 October 2016

Frederiks


Frederiks, 32 Hope Street, Liverpool, L1 9BX

Today I had a morning in uni, so me and my friend Kath decided to make the most of it and go out for lunch for a catch-up afterwards. We went to Frederiks, which is situated on Hope Street near the Catholic Cathedral, which is very handy from the university. We had heard good things about Frederiks and that the whole table would be filled with food... and they weren't wrong!


The vibe in Frederiks is lovely, with lots of fairy lights and a cosy fire. It actually made me feel really Christmassy! The restaurant is much bigger than it looks from the outside and goes back a long way, although we didn't need to worry about getting a table at lunch time on a Monday.

We were served really quickly and the staff were very friendly and efficient, which is always good.


We were told to 'treat the menu like a tapas menu' - aka we were supposed to pick a few dishes each. The menu has so many choices, which are unlike other places in Liverpool - this made Frederiks stand out for me. The categories of tapas were seafood, meat, veg and cheese (the best category), but there were also options for salads and pizzas too. And the best thing is, the small dishes are all 3 for 2 during the day, so how could we not take advantage that offer and eat all the food?!


I chose: garlic and chilli king prawns; Colman's mac and cheese; baked mini Camembert; and hand cut chunky chips. The portions are huge (which was amazing), and I struggled to finish it all (but don't worry, I just about managed). My favourite was probably the mac and cheese, although I really enjoyed the chunky chips too. To be honest, I enjoyed everything - I added some of the Camembert to the pasta to make it even cheesier...


Kath went for: steamed clams and chorizo with sweetcorn; pulled pork with a waffle stack and maple syrup; mac and cheese; and sweet potato fries. She said that all of hers were delicious too.


I ended up paying around £18 for all of that food plus a drink, which I think is a really decent price for such good quality, and obviously homemade, food. I would love to go back and sample some more of the menu, as there is so much to choose from. Their salmon fishcakes and truffle cauliflower cheese sound incredible.

If you are a cheese lover, then Frederiks is the place for you. You could honestly have a whole meal of cheese if you wanted to (I was tempted). Camembert, goat's cheese, mozzarella.. You name it, it's probably on the menu.

I would 100% wholeheartedly recommend that you check out Frederiks as soon as possible. Trust me, they have something for everyone.
Always do what you are afraid to do.
                      - Ralph Waldo Emerson
#projectsmile



Sunday, 30 October 2016

Howl'oween puppy parade


If you've been following my blog for a while now, you may remember that last year I went to a Howl'oween puppy parade in Liverpool.

Well, I went again this year!


Every year around Halloween, BrewDog bar on Colquitt Street holds a puppy parade, where owners can bring their dogs along (preferably dressed up!) to meet other dogs and owners, and go for a 20 minute walk to show off their pooches.


There were hundreds of people and dogs there this year - probably around 3 times as many as last year, which was so nice to see. There were loads of pugs there, but also lots of different breeds of dogs too - like this cute spaniel who was loving the attention from everyone!


I went with my friend Kelly and we were in our element, going round to as many dogs as possible for a cuddle and a stroke. It was really nice to get to know their owners too - it's funny how dogs can really make people come together.


This was possibly the scariest outfit of them all...


The best thing about the day is that it also raises money for charity. Money was raised for Merseyside Dogs Home and Pug Muffin Rescue, and people were also encouraged to donate items such as blankets, towels and bedding to them.

This little 11 week old puppy is called Pablo - he's a Labradoodle and is currently being trained to be a guide dog for children with ADHD and autism through Merseyside Dogs Home. He will stop them from running into roads, pick things up for them, and complete other daily tasks for them that they may struggle with. He was the cutest dog there - I bet he raised a lot of money for Merseyside Dogs Home as nobody could help but approach him!


I was so impressed by the array of outfits on display, and it was so lovely to see the dogs so excited to have all of the fuss and meet some new friends.


Minion pug.


Hot dog.


TY toy Daschund. This outfit was very subtle but clever at the same time.


There was also a pug dressed up as an elephant (ele-pug) who was adorable.

I had such a lovely afternoon - I miss my dogs so much so this was the perfect therapy for me. Dogs are so special and really do make people so happy. I will definitely be going again if I am in Liverpool next year!*

*That's a scary thought that I may not be in Liverpool this time next year...!
If I had a pound for every time my dog made me smile, I would be a millionaire.
#projectsmile



Thursday, 27 October 2016

Project Parent


As you all will know if you've read my blog a couple of times, my parents are a huge factor in how I got through my depression. They have been there every step of the way: every tear, every negative thought, every swallowed tablet. They were there for me on the day of my overdose, and have been through every high and low with me without question. My mum even wrote a little post for me for my blog (that was very appreciated and got a lot of views!). They have never doubted my recovery or wanted anything back for being by my side throughout.


So that's why when I heard about Project Parent I knew that I had to get involved. Project Parent is an initiative through Student Minds, the UK's student mental health charity, that aims to support parents when their child is suffering from a mental health condition. Parents are often overlooked and don't actually receive much support themselves - and some of them find it very difficult to know how to help their child. This support can be even more difficult to give when their child is living away from home at university.

I know that my parents have struggled with my depression at times, which is completely understandable - it must be so awful to see your child going through something so horrendous that makes them hate themselves and not want to exist anymore. I wish that they had been able to get more support at times when they needed it, even if it was just someone to say that they were doing an amazing job.

Student Minds have developed a set of resources for Project Parent, which will include:
- Creation of an information pack for parents
- How to start a conversation about mental health difficulties
- A motivational approach to support; switching advice with listening skills designed to empower
- Accessing support at University; understanding the landscape of university support services and how a student can access these
- Empowering and nurturing relationships; growing comfortable with boundaries and avoiding co-dependency
- Moving back and forth; managing the transitions between home and university 
- Adapting to a new relationship structure; coping with change in roles and responsibilities


However Student Minds need funding to be able to roll out this initiative across the UK. Aviva Community Fund is currently running a competition for local community projects to win funding, and YOU can help. All you need to do is log onto this page, and you will automatically be given 10 points to vote with. You can then allocate these points to Student Minds - it is completely free.

You can find out more information about Project Parent through this YouTube video.

Click here and log in to vote for Student Minds now!

I think that Project Parent is really important because it gives something back to the people that love unconditionally; that support unconditionally; and that are on the end of the phone when you can't stop crying at 2.30am, unconditionally. Parents often seem indestructible but mental health affects them too - please vote for Project Parent and make a difference to thousands of mums and dads' lives.
One small positive thought in the morning can change your whole day.
#projectsmile



Tuesday, 25 October 2016

Autumn skincare with Beauty Kitchen

Beauty Kitchen Abyssinian Oil


I have always struggled with my skin, and haven't really found anything that has helped it until recently, so I'm always on the lookout for new skincare products that I can try out. When Beauty Kitchen contacted me about their Abyssinian Oil range I had a read up about their products and they really interested me, so I asked if I could try a couple out.


Beauty Kitchen's products are all 100% natural and made from pure essential oils and naturally derived ingredients. Abyssinian oil comes from the Crambe Abyssnian plant and has been clinically proven to be more effective than Argan oil in terms of hydration. It is very similar to human sebum, so is suitable for all skin types. I was very skeptical about this as I have oily skin, and putting more oil on seemed a bit counter-productive! But I decided to give it a try anyway.


The first product I received was the Aroma Facial Concentrate*. I have been using this morning and night after cleansing - I use 2-3 drops and massage it all over my face until it has absorbed into my skin. The first thing that I noticed was the subtle smell, which is really lovely. The oil absorbs into my skin really quickly and leaves it feeling really soft and smooth - and no more oily than it was before! I haven't developed any spots whilst using this either, which I was a bit worried about. Sometimes if I use oil-based products I wake up with really greasy skin in the morning, but I have not had this at all since using this oil; I'm actually really impressed with it.

I think I have been converted to using this instead of my usual cream moisturiser. It really does feel lovely on my skin and is so easy to use - plus my skin feels so good afterwards, and really hydrated. I love that it's 100% natural and good for the environment as well as my skin.


 The second product I received was the Abyssinian Oil Facial Cleansing Balm*. This balm is designed to remove make-up at the end of the day. I have been rubbing a little bit between my fingers to warm it up slightly, and then have smoothed it into my skin to take away all my make-up. I then wash it off using a muslim cloth. It really does remove all of my facial make-up, although you're not supposed to use it on your eyes so I have to use some make-up remover to take off my mascara (I'm quite lazy so this is a bit of a downside for me - I like a multi-tasking cleanser).

However you can feel it removing your make-up when it's massaged into your skin, and my face always feels really clean afterwards. It's quite thick so I expected it to leave a residue on my skin, but when I use the muslim cloth to remove it it comes off completely. I then put the facial concentrate on my skin afterwards.


I am very impressed by Beauty Kitchen and would love to try out more of their products - especially their sleep range (if you read my blog regularly you'll know that I struggle to sleep at night). I would definitely recommend both of these products, but I think that the facial oil concentrate is my favourite - it just leaves my skin feeling so nice and surprisingly works really well with my skin type. I will be re-purchasing it as soon as it runs out, although it will last ages as I hardly have to use any each time!

You can now buy Beauty Kitchen at Holland & Barrett, or online at beautykitchen.co.uk.
You know, sometimes all you need is twenty seconds of insane courage, literally twenty seconds of embarrassing bravery and I promise you, something great will come of it.
                           - We Bought A Zoo
#projectsmile



Monday, 24 October 2016

Caernarfon Castle


Embroidered Skirt - New Look
T-Shirt - Primark
Pink Cord Jacket - Asos
Bow Choker Necklace - Primark
Shoes - New Look (Old)

This was the outfit that I wore yesterday for another family day out in Wales. I am loving all of the embroidered clothes that are on the high street at the moment, and snapped this skirt up when it came back in stock in my size. I'm also wearing my pink cord jacket again - like I said, it goes with so many different outfits!


Yesterday morning we visited Caernarfon Castle to have a wander around. We had heard that the poppies representing the World Wars were at the castle, in the form of the Weeping Window sculpture, so that was one reason that we really wanted to visit.


The poppies were absolutely beautiful and quite a moving sight, as it literally looked as though the castle was crying or bleeding from a distance. Caernarfon is a huge castle and the poppies could be seen from every single tower.


I actually got a bit bored of walking up and down stairs after a while, as there are so many at Caernarfon Castle. I decided halfway through that I like the idea of living at the top of a tower, but I definitely couldn't as I'm too lazy (unless they installed a lift).


Caernarfon also had an area where you could put a cross into the ground in memory of someone, which was lovely. I would definitely recommend a visit while the poppies are still there if you get the chance (the poppies are on display until 20th November).


Afterwards we had a wander around the town itself, which has lots of little shops and alleyways to explore, before going for Sunday dinner at a pub in Bangor. Stuffed and happy, I headed back to Liverpool to start another normal week.
Nothing is worth it if you aren't happy.
#projectsmile



Sunday, 23 October 2016

Conwy Food Festival


Skeleton T-Shirt - Asos
Black Pleated Culottes - New Look
Pink Cord Jacket - Asos
Trainers - H&M (Similar)

Over the weekend I have been staying in a cottage near Bangor in North Wales with my family. So I have had no WiFi and hardly any mobile signal - and it's been lovely.

This was the outfit that I wore yesterday and it was THE comfiest thing EVER. I literally felt like I was wearing pyjamas all day, which is basically what I wear 90% of the time anyway. The culottes are really silky and move with you, and the t-shirt is nice and over-sized. I fell in love with this t-shirt when I saw it on Asos and it made me laugh with the 'skeletons do everyday things' slogan - it kind of fits with this time of year, and also with my degree.


The pink jacket is also surprisingly versatile - I have been wearing it with everything for the last couple of weeks. It is also just thick enough to keep the cold of this autumnal weather out that we've been having recently (which I have been loving).


Yesterday we decided to visit Conwy as they had their annual food festival on: the 'Conwy Feast'. Conwy is a market town set within castle walls and has a lovely atmosphere, with lots of little quirky shops and cafes to visit, plus brightly coloured buildings and a quay.


We wondered up and down the little streets, stopping every few strides to sample the food on offer. One of my favourites was the cheese stall, where I tried lots of different flavours of Cheddar cheese. Fact: Cheddar was my favourite food up until about the age of 12. I remember writing about it in my diary. It would still be up high on my list, after lasagne and pizza.


There were hundreds of food stalls to visit, plus some marquee tents that you had to pay to go inside.


I had to have a photo in front of flower pots. Because I wouldn't be a blogger if I didn't, right? *cringe*


The stall that I bought the most food on was the Persian food stall. I had a falafel kebab and it was one of the most delicious things I've ever tasted. Fried falafel, covered in sesame seeds + cucumber, onion and tomatoes + harissa mayo = heaven...


...Especially when paired with their special chips, that had chilli, harissa mayo, feta cheese, and spices on top. I am a bit obsessed with feta at the moment so these chips were incredible.


Here's a lovely photo of me about to devour my kebab in 30 seconds flat.


Afterwards we took the dogs for a walk in a nearby town, and went back to the cottage to play board games and eat fajitas. Yes, more food - if you know us you'll know that our family life revolves around food.


I'm now back in Liverpool but have had such an amazing weekend with my family; I love spending time as a 5, as it's more of a rare occurrence now that me and my sister are at university. Tomorrow I'll be blogging about today's adventures, but for now I'm off to bed as I'm up early in the morning for placement.

Have a good Monday!
You did not wake up today to be mediocre.
#projectsmile