I’m STARVIN’

As always on my pursuit of bringing you all new blogs and introducing local businesses I had to go out once again this weekend and try out a new local café.  I know, it’s a hard job, tasting gorgeous food and meeting some lovely people so I can review and share them all with you guys, but hey someone’s gotta do it! 🙂  Through the grapevine I had heard of a local café opening in the area and seen friends ‘liking’ their page on Facebook. I of course followed suit and ‘liked’ and boy did I like what I seen, let me show you all . . .

Starvins Café is a new family run café in the Asbury area of Bangor and not even a week old!  They opened Monday 22nd July and I was happy to hear they have already had a good turn out! No wonder with the extremely friendly and welcoming staff and YUMMY food!

WHERE CAN YOU FIND THEM?

Address . . .

27 Ashbury Avenue

Bangor

BT19 6TH

Telephone – 07748 456229

*AT THE MOMENT CASH ONLY*

OUR VISIT . . .

When we went in mum of course spotted some very comfy and cosy looking seats, I took the sofa and mum . . .

well she took the nice big leather arm chair.

From my seat this was the view, I quirky, unique and homely style café which deceivingly goes back quite far and lots of seating.

Once we ordered from the very varied and well priced menu I started taking snaps of my surroundings, mum too was loving it as she was spotting things she had as a child or in her first house, talk about a blast from the past!

I LOVE the fact they use an old trunk as a coffee table!!!

Our order came in such good time! I went for a mango and strawberry smoothie, a raspberry and white chocolate scone (this was recommended by the waitress) and just a diluted juice as I was so thirsty!

Mum had already had something to eat before we headed out so she was good and stuck to a cappuccino.

My strawberry and mango smoothie was gorgeous! So refreshing and tasty as it had been handmade with fresh fruit.

The recommended white chocolate and raspberry scone did not disappoint! It was so moist and tasty, full of white chocolate and raspberries!

The atmosphere in the café was so relaxed and friendly and actually as it was quiet when the waitress came over to clear the table she was able to sit down and have a wee chat with us.  She was telling us how all the scones, bread, cakes, cupcakes, traybakes etc are all freshly made each morning.  She was also telling us about an upcoming event this Wednesday the 31st July with Vanilla Bake (I will post more information at the end of the blog).

These were some other goodies I spotted when I went up to pay . . .

Freshly made cupcakes

An array of freshly baked scones

Victoria sponge and caramel squares

Muffins and tray bakes

Some more sweet goodies!

Once again for another new local business I would most definitely recommend this new café.  The food is to die for, the staff are friendly, welcoming and approachable, the prices are great the atmosphere, very clean, tidy and quirky.

I cannot wait to bring Ryan along on his next day off down at mine, I spotted a few things on the menu I know he would love and the coffee for sure would be a WINNER with him!

HERE ARE SOME MORE PICTURES FROM THEIR FACEBOOK PAGE . . .

So I mention to you about an upcoming event in Starvins Café alongside Vanilla Bake Club

The Vanilla bake club is being held in starvins cafe on Wednesday 31st July at 6.30pm 🙂
Our first Bangor Club will take place on 31st July 2013 at the uber cool and quirky Starvins Cafe from 6.30pm – 8.30pm.
For more information on The Vanilla Bake Clubhttp://www.vanillabakeclub.com/
To find out more information on Starvins Café, to stay up to date with offers, pictures and information click this Facebook link and click ‘like’

Zane xxxx

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Inside The Secret Garden

For a few weeks I had been tempted and teased on the way to work with posters and signs advertising somewhere called The Secret Garden.  This got me thinking, I’m sure there would be a Facebook page, sure there is one for everything these days isn’t there?  To my delight I was right, I had a wee nosey on it and found it that it was a restaurant in a local Garden Centre near where I work.  The pictures were so tempting that I ended up showing mum.  Each day pictures would be uploaded and would pop up on our Newsfeed tempting us, from buns to meals to pastries, we had to try it!  So yesterday afternoon we did!

 I’m going to be bad and tease you first with this picture, I’ll show you the rest once I tell you more about The Secret Garden Restaurant itself.

HOW DO YOU FIND THIS LITTLE HIDDEN TREASURE?

Address . . .

78 Old Dundonald Road

Dundonald

BT16 1XS

Telephone – 028 9048 4000

Emailsecretgarden@dundonaldnurseries.co.uk

STRAIGHT FROM THE HORSES MOUTH (or just their Facebook page)

The Secret Garden restaurant and gift shop – ‘A room with a view’ A 120 seater restaurant and gift shop on the grounds of a nursery filled with beautiful plants and shrubs!
In our restaurant you will be able to admire beautiful views of Stormont while enjoying a wide range of fine homemade foods. Every day our chef will prepare delicious hot dishes to suit all tastes, as well as soups, scones, sandwiches and treats for the kids. Not forgetting a wide range of delicious cakes and scrumptious tray bakes!
After your thirst has been quenched and hunger diminished why not peruse our gift shop where we will have a selection of specially chosen items for you and your loved ones!

We plan to open a late night during the week to take away those mid week blues. Why cook when we can do it for you! For larger gatherings why not hold your events here? From engagement parties to birthdays we will have a package to suit you for any special occasion.
We will provide full table service in a relaxed, family friendly environment, making it a fun day out for all!
AN AFTERNOON TREAT FOR MUM AND I . . .
Mum and I decided to go for the afternoon tea, luckily when we arrived it was still on and we didn’t have to book.  It was £19.99 for the two of us I thought wasn’t too bad, we were able to choose are tea, plain or fruit scones and what flavours of sandwiches we would like from a section, which would then be prepared for us.  This I really liked as I hate when you get sandwich fillings you don’t like in an afternoon tea and then it is a waste as you never eat them.
Friday morning in at home had started of quite nicely weather wise but as the day had gone on we had thunder, lightening and loads of rain.  However as we headed up to Newtownards and then Dundonald at about 3pm the weather was lovely and sunny, not a pick of rain or a grey cloud in the sky.  Mother however was convinced it may again rain so as I talked her in to sitting outside in the sun and a lovely breeze, her compromise was that we would sit in a covered, yet open area in the corner of the outside seating area.  This we later learned was a smoking area, however not by the smell or any cigarette butts, but by a member of staff. The area we chose was lovely and clean with a nice view of the flowers.
This was one of the views from our cosy little spots . . .
The first thing bought out was the cutlery, plates and these cute little personalised napkins . . .
It wasn’t very long before our afternoon tea arrived . . .
The top layer – tray bakes and what seemed a bit like a panacotta in a shot glass
The second layer – scones, raspberry jam and cream
Layer three – sandwiches, we chose roast chicken and egg mayonnaise
The tea pot and tea cups, these were a good size and we got at least two cups of tea each
First off we scoffed the sandwiches, they were lovely and the bread so fresh.  Next we moved on to the scones, the only disappointing thing about the scones, jam and cream was that the cream must have been from a can so by the time you got to it, it had started to turn to liquid.
The top layer consisted of tray bakes, which were ok, I don’t like almonds so mum ate the almond tray bake and we shared the other two, I’m not that big of a tray bake fan, but these were ok.  The shot glass, which was filled with what seemed to be a panacotta I didn’t really like, more for the texture, I don’t like things like that,  but mum liked it and ate both hers and mine.
I would definitely recommend a trip up to The Secret Garden Restaurant!
Good food, reasonable prices, lovely views and atmosphere, clean and tidy and some really friendly, welcoming and attentive staff.
I will definitely be back to try out some of the other meals and nibbles they provide!
To keep up to date or for more information and pictures from The Secret Garden, click this link for their Facebook page and click ‘like’
Zane xxxx

Miss GLOSSYBOX

As an avid subscriber to GLOSSYBOX I of course receive my monthly box of goodies but also emails on updates and products. A few months ago one such email caught my eye . . . One introducing a new product, a different GLOSSYBOX, one for younger girls, teenagers perhaps.

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These were the goodies in the first month’s box, now can’t you understand why it caught my eye? Not too shabby hey?

As an added bonus this little box is only £7 (+p&p) however the subscription is bi-monthly, but to me that just makes it even more of a treat. So back then I decided, no I already get the main GLOSSYBOX I don’t need it, but then when I came across this month’s box I couldn’t resist, great products and a low price! Straight away I signed myself up (the great thing is that you can cancel your subscription at any time, so you aren’t tied down) within 2 days of me ordering my box it arrived! 🙂

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The box arrived lovely and purple, with a sweet smelling scent coming from it

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Miss GLOSSYBOX arrives in a lovely little draw string bag, compared to the usual box, this will definitely be recycled as a new wash bag

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My goodies, even though this is aimed towards a younger market the products were not at all shabby! I was so impressed with what I received . . .

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VO5 Pump it up Backcombing Spray (full sized bottle)

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A sample size of Beyonce heat (perfume)

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Nail wraps (you all know my opinions on these) but fab for young girls I suppose

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Fake eyelashes . . . Something every girl needs

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Inside this little bag was where the lovely smell was coming from . . .

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Not just smelling lovely, but looking gorgeous was a bath bomb

So what do you guys think, a good investment? Now I’ve yet to try them out just yet as I’m back to work so I will try to try them out and review them ASAP for you guys. But I really would recommend Miss GLOSSYBOX, you can be young at heart if not at age to subscribe to this. A little prezzie to yourself for only £9.95 in total every 2 months. Or as a gift for that friend or family member at that awkward teenage or pre-teen age when you don’t know what to buy them and don’t want to spend a fortune!

Let me know do you reckon this would be a good gift, have you bought it as a gift, would you subscribe yourself?

Zane xxxx

my july glossybox review

Monday brought the arrival of my July Glossybox!

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Over the last couple of days I’ve been trying out my goodies, and here is my review of them . . .

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First off I tried out the Anatomicals facial spritz.  The smell is gorgeous, so light, refreshing and summery, thankfully not a really strong smell that would leave me sneezing or smelling like an old lady! Apart from the fact that I jump a little each time the spray hits my face (to save myself this, I could always spray and walk through) I really enjoyed using this product.  I didn’t see that much of a difference in hydrating my skin, but that was probably due to the fact I only really use it once before bed.  However I will definitely start using it more, perhaps keep it in the fridge to make it more refreshing, especially in this hot sticky weather.

This was a full sized sample, 100ml – retailing at £6.00

Out of 5 I would give it **** (4 stars) and recommend it for the summer!

www.anatomicals.net

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On Wednesday I finally got the chance to use Alterna Haircare, Boho waves, I was super excited about trying this out! It smelt lovely and summery, kind of fresh.  I didn’t have the time to wash my hair and put this in my hair when it was damp, but it did say you could apply it to dry hair, which I did.  This was the result . . .

Pants! Not one bit wavy, tousled or beach looking! I was so disappointed, I ended up clipping the sides back and trying to disguise the fact that my hair looked more unwashed than beachy. Perhaps it was because I put it in dry hair or because my hair is short, really I should try it again, to give it a proper try with damp hair but this first attempt has kind of put me off.  I will have to wait for a day I am staying in the house, that way I can hide away if, again it turns out pants!

This was a 25ml sized sample, the full size is 125ml – retailing at £23.00

Out of 5 I would give it * (1 star) for that price no way would I recommend trying it, especially if you have short hair like mine!

www.lookfantastic.com/alterna

I also tried out Coola Organic Suncare Collection’s Coola Mineral Face SPF on Wednesday.

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I have to say I was slightly put off when I first opened it because it had a strange kind of smell, hard to describe, perhaps a little medical? However once I applied it to my skin (I focused on the nose area) it blended in really well, looked very natural and worked really well to protect my skin on that scorcher of a day.

This was a 7ml sample size, full size is 50ml – retailing at £29.99

Out of 5 I would give it *** (3 stars) and would recommend it for the summer if you can afford to pay the price and are wanting to wear makeup in this sunny weather and protect your skin!

www.amazon.co.uk

Tonight I tried out Sleek Makeup’s Pout Paint.

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Here is how I got on . . .

My lips before

Sample of Peachy Keen 156 on my hand

Peachy Keen on my lips

Peachy keen on my hand and lips

Peachy Keen at the top and Minx 161 on my hand

Minx on my lips

Minx on my hand and lips

Peachy Keen on my top lip and Minx on my bottom

I then decided to mix the two together, this is it on my hand

This is it on my lips

Again on my lips

Overall I really liked these Pout paints! You only need the smallest amount so this size would last you ages!

The only downside would be that it only has a nozzle rather than a shaped top that makes it easier to apply to your lips.

They advise you to apply with your finger or a brush, but who wants to go to the effort of bringing a brush out with you and I’m not sure how well that would work as it started to dry in quite quickly as I was applying it with my finger. However as I went along I got more tidy at applying it and went for a dabbing technique.

This was a full sized sample, 8ml – retailing at £4.99

Out of 5 I would give it **** (4 stars) and most definitely recommend it for the summer!

I really want to try out the other colours!!!

www.sleekmakeup.com

I hope you all like my reviews and are maybe tempted to try out some new beauty products for this summer

Zane xxxx

Not your typical Monday . . .

So yesterday I headed out for a long overdue shopping trip to Belfast (even though I was dreading it a little because I am skint) and a catch up with my bestie and other half Saz. Yeah money was tight but we decided beforehand that any buys must meet 3 pieces of criteria . . .

1. Is it worth the money?
2. Would I wear it?
3. Do I love it?

Three yes’ and it was a buy! However all three pieces of criteria were NEVER met! Shopping was pants, sales were pants even Primark was pants!!!!! So from my venture up to the big smoke, this is all I bought, not even a bagful!

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First buy was THEEEE cutest wee dungarees style jump suit for my niece’s 1st birthday (if I can’t get away with these things I will let her rock them!)

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Next, nice new pencils, which I say are for work, but I’ll prob never use . . .

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We got a tad excited in the stationary shop and I ended up investing in 3 not 1 more as I planned of one of my favorite pens (you can actually rub it out with the little rubber on the end). I was in for a purple as I lost my last one but then I spotted a gorg pink one and it was 3 for 2. Ok Zane you are being a geek shut up with the stationary talk!!!

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Then onto Accessorize who’s sale was TINY btw! Saz and I bought a pair of these each, we’ll she bought me mine lol . . . They were only £1 so total excuse lol

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I had to invest in this bad boy . . . Geek glasses and a moustache, it just screams my name!!!

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And finally a little bargain I found to add to the niece’s birthday prezzie and such a good wee book!

Yeah that was it, after 5 hours shopping in Belfast and that was all I bought . . . PANTS! Even the food place I was dying to go to (Bubacue) was closed, I’d been craving it all day! On the plus side I popped the wifey’s cherry and had a beaut wee lunch in Nando’s!

Then to top it off I came home to this month’s GLOSSYBOX! Yayyys, and as a total bonus this one was FREE, minus the postage as I gathered up enough points 🙂

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Check out the cute Summer/Beach/Under the Sea theme!

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I LOVE these colours and got mega excited for this month’s theme!

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Inside the box, my goodies . . .

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A facial spritz . . . Just what you need after a hot summers day

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BOHO beach waves, I can’t wait to try this out, I’ve always wanted to but never been sure what one to buy or if it would work in my short hair, but we shall see . . .

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Pout paint . . . I wish I had got some of the other colours I spotted others had received, but hey maybe these two will sway me

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A tinted sun cream, again great for this weather and my already slightly burnt nose . . .

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Finally ESSIE nail stickers . . . I’m not impressed by these, yes I hold up my hands and admit it, I’m a nail snob and detest nail foils/wraps/stickers! I think they are a nightmare to use and I can usually paint the pattern which looks better. And also how are these BLACK and diamanté nail stickers at all with the beach theme?!

I will use these all (apart from the stickers) over this week before I head back to work and review them for you, I PROMISE!

Happy sunny days!
Zane xxxx

PIZZZZZAAAA PLEEEEZZZZEEE

So surprisingly the weather is nice and warm or in some cases hot and sticky.  I’ve been loving it and out enjoying at as much as possible whilst I’m off work, hence why the blogging has come to a bit of a stand still.  Another thing I know I put off doing in this weather is cooking! However whilst on the 5:2 diet page on Facebook I came across something called a Wizza, it’s a Warbuton’s square wrap with whatever you like on top just like a pizza. These looked so nice and something different to try (which was low cal) on my fast day.  Only problem they don’t sell them in Northern Ireland or at least anywhere near me! So a lovely lady on the group told me how you could substitute the Wartbuton’s wrap for a Tesco light choice tortilla wrap. And so the start of the low fat, quick, easy and extremely tasty pizza making begins . . . .

TA-DA, it’s my pizza – LESS THAN 300 CALORIES!!!

So how do you make it and what do you need?

RECIPE

– 1 Tesco light choices tortilla wrap – 135 kcal

– 2 mushrooms – 8 kcal

– 1tbsp tomato puree – 14 kcal

I used less puree and added some garlic puree to make it up, try to crush your own garlic for less calories

– 1/4 of a pepper – 18 kcal

– 3 slices of chorizo – 48 kcal

– 5 black olives – 36 kcal

– 20g low low cheese (grated) – 30 kcal

TOTAL – 289 kcal

What you need to do . . .

Squeeze out your puree and garlic on to the tortilla

Spread thin and evenly

Sprinkle over your cheese

Chop up your toppings (you can really pick what you want here, whatever you like best, just count the calories)

Cover the pizza with your toppings and put in the oven at 180 oC for about 8-10 mins

10 mins later  . . .

Cut and serve, yum, yum!

So there you go a quick, easy and low fat recipe for all the family. Something quick and healthy to make the kids, why not let them make their own! These are really light and yummy, yet really satisfying with a nice summer salad on a warm day.

I hope you all enjoy!

Zane xxxx

P.S. if you are on Slimming World or Weight Watchers this too is low to eat, so no excuses really! 🙂

oh you Fluffernutter Roll you!

Happy 4th of July/Independence Day Everyone!!!

Every year I always see the 4th of July celebrations and today was no different all over instagram I was doubling clicking on Independence day themed pics of food, outfits and nail art to name a few.  So this year I decided to jump on the bandwagon, with some American inspired nails, some baking of American treats and an American inspired picnic with one of my besties and her two little ones.

MY NAILS

I went for my nails inc red, white and blue polishes, my random sequences and stars and my primark nail art pens to create my American/4th of July inspired red, white and blue, stars and stripes nails with a sequenced ring finger.

THE PICNIC . . .

As for our picnic well it didn’t last long enough to take pics of! However we did get a few good after pics.  We had some of the American treats I made, Coke (for the grown ups), blueberries and PB and Jelly sandwiches (I didn’t really like these though, just a bit too sweet/weird for me).

SHOES I SPOTTED!

I loved these we converse style American flag themed shoes I spotted in Internationale and a bargain at only £12 . . . unfortunately I had no money left in my budget 😦

FLUFFERNUTTER ROLL! 

Now onto my American inspired treats! Yesterday at Christine’s she offered me a Fluffernutter bite her hubby Gerard had made and OMW they were amazing, a marshmallow covered in a peanut butter covering.

I had to have the recipe and thought about making it into something resembling a fifteen and adding some chocolate to it, these were my finished treats . . .

The Recipe

1 cup of peanut butter (I used the crunchy kind)

1 cup of golden syrup

2 cups of dry semi skimmed milk

100g block of milk chocolate (chopped up)

about half a bag of marshmallows (cut up) – You can use more if you wish, or the mini ones, just wing it 🙂

a little water, if needed to bind the mix together

peanuts (crushed) – for around the roll

What to do . . .

1. Pour the dry semi skimmed milk into a bowl

2. Add the peanut butter and golden syrup

3. Mix together and combine the mix so it starts to look a little like cookie dough

4. Add the chopped marshmallows and chocolate and mix. (at this point you may need to add some water to get it to stick/combine together)

5. Put out some cling film or tin foil on the table (just whatever you have, I started off with one and ended with the other) and sprinkle over the chopped nuts

6. Blob the mix out in a sausage shape on the chopped nuts (I hope you like my technical terms here hehe)

7. Roll the mix up into a tight sausage shape and put in the fridge for about half an hour to an hour

8. Once set cut into pieces (not too thick as this is very rich) and serve 🙂

Don’t forget to enjoy!!

HAPPY 4TH OF JULY EVERYONE

Zane xxxx