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July 2011

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June 2010, It was a beautiful hot day in Hyde Park London where Mr. & Miss Policy were holding hands and walking around the lake when Miss. Policy got a brilliant idea. She thought to herself that tshirts never go out of the fashion. After much more thought she whispered her idea to Mr.Policy.Mr. Policy wasn’t convinced but said a yes to Miss Policy. She sat under the tree and drew ideas & more ideas until she finally made a few designs which they both loved. At last Mr. Policy couldn’t reject Miss Policy & they started their brand T-Shirt Policy & Lived T-Shirtly Ever After.

T-Shirt Policy London was founded in 2010, where they state that “nothing is more glamorous than a t-shirt”. The inspirations behind the collection comes from the World of Fashion & Art with a crisp white t-shirt & unique black print which is eye catching & one of a kind. As well as the standard collection, they also have limited edition t-shirts which are exclusively finished by hand. Each t-shirt is uniquely screen printed by hand.

T-Shirt Policy will be exclusively available on ASOS Worldwide from today by going to the Boutique page. You can also check them out on Facebook & on Twitter while their official website is Under Construction.

All the t-shirts in the collection come in the sizes Small, Medium & Large or from Sizes 6-14 ranging from £20.

I’m in love with the Coco Where Is Chanel tee & so proud of my friend who is the brains behind T-Shirt Policy <3 [gallery exclude="4657" columns="5"]

I have a love/hate relationship with my hair. As a little kid, I was born with really fine & thin hair, the type of hair you could hardly do anything with. I’ve lived in different continents where the weather has had huge effects on my hair, be it frizzy from humidity to dry & course living in the Middle East. My hair has also gone from poker straight as a kid to thick and wavy as it is in my adult years.

My natural hair colour is a mix of 3 different colours; brown, blonde & red, however, it’s rather dull therefore, every now & then I dye it to get some life into it. The problem is, my hair is so thick as well that no matter what I actually do, I always end up sticking it up in a ponytail because it get’s to the stage that you can’t really do much else with it!

I’ve been back in Glasgow since 2006 & I’ve still not found a hairdresser that I’m 100% happy with. I think with anything, when you do find a place that you really like, you will always go back time & time again. Sadly, I’ve never really had that experience with a hair salon. Until now.

My hair was getting way too long & unmanageable, so I decided that it was about time that I did something about it. I looked around at different salons in the area such as Sasson’s & Alan Edwards which are two of the popular salons in Glasgow but decided to try Bowers & Peacock instead after striking up conversations with them on Twitter (plus the fact they were cheaper!).

Upon talking with them, it turned out that Bowers & Peacock was actually a re-brand & they were in the process of renovating the existing salon. The salon used to be called ‘Jar Hair’ run by 3 different partners. From that, John & Rocco (the J & R of Jar, just incase you didn’t get that!) decided to take over the salon by themselves. Bowers & Peacock was then born, re-opening on June 14th 2011 after a massive revamp & re-branding.

I made an appointment with Bowers & Peacock for last Friday. In my head, I had already decided that I wanted to change my hair up a bit. I was pretty much bored with my current hair style & colouring but had no clue what to do with it. One thing I did know was that I didn’t want to cut it really short again as on lazy days, I like tying it in a messy ponytail, especially in the office.

After getting lost trying to figure out where Bowers & Peacock’s was situated, I eventually made it on time for my 1pm appointment. I was greeted by a friendly receptionist & shown the waiting area while Rocco (who was going to be doing my hair) was finishing up with someone else. I was then asked if I wanted a drink & talked into trying one of the homemade brownie’s that they have in the salon (later I found out that it was Rocco’s partner Craig who made them, to die for!).

I had a little chat about my hair with Rocco before we started, I told him that my scalp has become really dry the past few months after taking antibiotics for a chest infection I had which flared up my skin & since then, I haven’t been able to get rid of it. Rocco recommended a product to me which they ran out of, but gave me the name of it to buy it myself somewhere else which was great (I’ve since managed to get a hold of the product & can’t wait to try it out!). We then discussed possible hair colours I could go for. I personally like dark colours, I wanted something darker but with a lot of shine. Rocco then recommended warm rich colours based on my skin colouring & told me the difference between the different brown colourings around in relation to skin colours. The colour “Iced Tea” by L’Oreal really stood out to me & it was the exact one Rocco was thinking about as well as it was a high gloss shine & warm.

While he was putting the colour on my hair, we spoke about the re-vamp of the salon & told me that all the furniture was custom-made by his friends. I really loved the purple seat in the waiting area, that was my overall favourite. The old school barbershop chairs were re-covered with customisations, the mirror’s with the built in storage for appliances were really nice as well. There were even illustrations of a peacock & a bower bird throughout the salon which gave it a big personal touch based on the surnames of both owners. Unique artwork was also featured on the walls which another friend of the owners created. Everything revolved around a colour scheme of black, grey and purple & had a real boutique salon feel to it. I loved the fact that the entire salon had personal touches to it, it wasn’t the run of the mill salon, but one which a lot of love & effort was put into it to create. Just like the homemade batch of brownie’s which are given out to all customers 😀

After all the colouring was put on my hair, I had to have this random ultraviolet machine just above my head for a while (I honestly can’t remember what it was called!) until the hair dye set. After it was all washed off, the hair cutting began! I asked for around 2/3 inches to be taken off, my hair thinned a little bit & my long fringe at the front layered a bit more. One thing that has never happened to me before is the fact that Rocco actually asked how I style my hair & if I normally blow dry etc. Usually salon’s just blow-dry it straight for you & use hair straighteners as well if you don’t have visible curly hair. However, Rocco asked me questions that made me go “oh!”. When styling my hair, I usually have the top half straight & the bottom half wavy with big curls for volume without using any extra hair products. So when blowdrying, Rocco put big waves into my hair using the rounded hairbrush, something I’ve never seen before (usually it’s all done by hair straighteners!).

Finished product? I loved it! In total, it cost £109 to colour, cut & style my hair which is pretty reasonable based on the quality of the finished product. The colour looked great against my skin tone, the cut was really good, my head felt instantly lighter, my hair had an amazing shine to it & the way it was styled was perfect for me! My hair once again had life! I knew half was through the hair cut & blow dry that I had finally found a salon that was perfect for me. One that took the time to get to know it’s clients, give recommendations & suggestions for the client based on questions asked. That is key & now I’ve found a keeper!

Bowers & Peacock is located on:
57-61 King Street
Glasgow
G1 5RA

Tel: 0141-552 6789

Note: Thanks to Rocco for taking photos of my hair & letting me take photos of the salon for my blog afterwards 😀

COMPETITION IS NOW CLOSED

In Collaboration with JML Direct to celebrate their 25th Birthday this month, I’m running a little competition on my blog & giving away 2 of my favourite products from JML for those who love to bake 😀

The company was founded by John Mills in 1986 from the basement of his house in Camden Town, London. The company has seen rapid growth in recent years and now has over 300 staff in the UK alone. Global expansion has also been critical to JML’s success and the company has established offices in USA, Germany, Holland, Slovakia and Singapore.

The Prizes up for grabs are:

Big Top Donut Maker & the Big Top Cookie Maker worth £39.98

All you need to do to take part is answer these questions:

1. What does JML stand for?
2. What JML product has been voted the UK Grooming product of the year? (answer on the JML Facebook page!)

Rules:
1. You must live in the UK & Ireland
2. Only 1 entry per person

How will I determine the winner?
Entries will be accepted by commenting this post. Once you comment your answers to the questions, your comment number will automatically be your entry number, for example if you are first to comment, you’ll be Number 1 and so on.

Once all entries have been gathered, I will be using Random.ORG to determine the winner by inputting the total amount of entries and randomly generating the winning number. The winning number will be captured and posted to show that I’m not favouring one entrant over another.

The winner will then be posted on the entry after the closing date (so check for updates!) as well as on twitter, and will be emailed for contact details, so make sure you enter your correct email address when you comment!

Closing Date:

The competition ends Friday 29th July at Midnight.

Good Luck to everyone & while you’re at it, go “like” JML on Facebook & follow them on Twitter

Update:

The winner is Lynne (Comment Number 9!) Congratulations! I will be in touch to get contact details 😀

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Technology, Restaurants, Clothing, Movies, Gadgets, Books, Beauty Products & Hotels. A few things that are reviewed online, but do they actually influence you & make you want to purchase something?

For me, when I want to buy something expensive like a new digital camera, laptop or phone, I will generally read everything & anything I can find out about it. After reading the reviews from other consumers & their personal opinions, I will then decide whether or not to purchase that item. I’m VERY picky when I want to buy a gadget as I know that I will be spending a lot of money & I want to make sure I’m spending it very wisely.

I myself have started product reviewing as you have probably already seen if you frequent my blog, but do you actually read, take notice and/or influenced by my opinions? I know that several people I know via Twitter & Facebook have been to restaurants/cafes that I’ve recommended based on my reviews of them such as @iLovePinto & Restaurant Bar & Grill in Glasgow. That makes me happy in a way, because people actually listen to me (ha!) and also because it is somewhere that I love & want to see succeed, especially if they are a new establishment.

According to a study by Social Commerce Today, within the UK:
1. 61% of people read online reviews for products and service
2. 75% of people compare prices online
3. 49% of people post online reviews
4. 64% trust review from other consumers
5. 58% trust reviews from professional reviewers
6. 67% of people will have changed their minds about buying a product after reading 3 negative reviews

Do you agree with those figures & results? How far do product reviews influence you & would you change your mind about buying a product due to bad reviews or would you rather test it yourself & make up your own mind?

Gelato (Italian pronunciation: [dʒeˈlaːto]; plural: gelati) is an Italian frozen dessert, similar to ice cream. Its ingredients include milk and sugar, often combined with flavorings and fruit, chocolate, liquor, spices, or nuts. Unlike true ice cream, gelato often does not contain cream, and traditionally has a much lower fat content. The term gelato also refers to similar frozen desserts that are prepared in this method. Gelato is often compared to ice milk rather than ice cream.

I was recently asked to sample Joe Delucci’s Gelato & couldn’t wait. I love Gelato (& Ice Cream for that matter!). I’m pretty sure that Gelato is one of my biggest weaknesses. Favourite flavour? Pistachio. That is hands down THE BEST. Never tried it? Well it’s about time you do! (unless you’re allergic to nuts, that is!)

Joe Delucci’s have several Gelato Parlours all over the UK & opening more as the year goes on. I visited the Braehead Shopping Mall one as it was the closest to my house (they also have one in Silverburn in Glasgow). Previously, I have passed the stall while shopping & always seen it busy, people young & old always waiting to get a cone or tub. Let’s face it, who doesn’t like Gelato! Joe Delucci’s Gelato is made using fresh fruit and natural ingredients blended with Piemonte milk (or sometimes even water) as opposed to the heavy cream used in traditional British ice creams. This makes for a far more intense flavour experience and also makes it lower in fat. That means, it doesn’t hurt if you more & more of it 😉

As stated previously, Pistachio is my favourite & last year I remember walking passed the stall hoping they had my favourite because it’s so hard to find in Glasgow. To my excitement they did. I ordered 2 large scoops & enjoyed every last bit of it. Since then, I’ve always passed Joe Delucci’s hoping to see it again, unfortunately, it was only a limited edition Gelato at the time & have never had it back again, much to my disapointment.

Due to my past experiences with trying Joe Delucci’s, I knew that no matter what Gelato I was going to get, it would be good. I ordered a scoop of Oreo Gelato & Nocciolata, which is a Hazelnut and Chocolate Gelati blended into a praline & tastes exactly like nutella! Both tasted amazing. My favourite of the two had to be Nocciolata though! It was rich & creamy, left a nice after taste in your mouth. My mom ordered a scoop of Vanilla & Fragola (Strawberry). The Strawberry Gelato was very refreshing, tasted like a creamy sorbet & would highly recommend it. The plain Vanilla was really tasty as well, you could tell that it used quality Vanilla pods in the making of the Gelato.

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Joe Delucci’s have over 20 flavours of Gelato & Sorbets. A 2 scoop cone or tub is £3 & can also be made into a milkshake. If you want to see if there is a Gelato Parlour near you, check out the Store Finder.

Skincare. One of the most important things in a “beauty regime” (other than the wonderful benefits of a good deodorant!). There are so many products on the market that you can’t help but be at a loss when you try and attempt to pick good creams, scrubs and exfoliaters for your face (and body!). I honestly cannot keep up with the amount of “wonder creams” that are on the market, ranging from the “cheap and cheerful” to the “is this made out of diamonds? It’s that expensive!”. I’ve never yet found a cream I’ve been ultimately satisfied with and in all honesty I’ve never ever had a skincare routine in my life.

Throughout my entire teenage years, I was extremely lucky to never have spots. On rare occasions I’d have one or two every few months, but that was very rare. Things changed dramatically when I started getting ill in my mid-20’s. My face started breaking out in red patches, my skin became dry, at times I look like my entire face is in a rash & I end up using BareEssentials powder to try hide the redness. This is all a side effect of my PCOS & meds I’ve been taking. Whenever I take Antibiotics my skin also breaks out unbelievebly bad like I’ve had an allergic reaction. I hate it and until now nothing has worked & I’ve had to live with it (or spend hundreds/thousands on a Dermatologist who may or may not be able to help).

I was introduced to Trisha at To Me Love Me who runs a skincare website & clinic based in Glasgow. Her main passions are skincare & the health of skin with her main aim to make “the principles of good skin care and skin health, and the means for achieving them, accessible to a wider audience”. Selling and recommending products she has tried & tested on herself, she also operates a Non Invasive Skincare Clinic called Thorntonhall Therapies.

Within To Me Love Me, customers can fill out a free profesional skin assessment form with questions based on your skin ranging from “Do you have any key skin concerns?” to “What type of skin do you think you have?”. She then contacts you via email or phone with a complete skincare routine with recommended products.

I was sent samples of my recommended products which were:

I was given a detailed report on a day & night routine for my face broken down into which product to use & how to use it properly. I used them for nearly 3 months religiously (hence the delay in this review!) and they worked! Seriously. I fell in love with Vitage Clear Complexion Serum (rrp £19) and used it 3 times a day to help clear the redness and spots. Within 24hrs you start noticing significant changes to your skin which for me, was the best thing that could happen. After my sample ran out, I bought a full sized tube & is now part of my daily routine! After using all the products, the redness on my skin has completely gone, any spots have disappeared & stayed away (except when I was on a week’s course of antibiotics due to a chest infection!), my skin has slowly started to become clear & I couldn’t be happier!

For me, To Me Love Me was a great help. I was at a complete loss to find way to help clear my skin up & from filling out the form & talking to Trisha, I was able to find a perfect routine designed especially for me which is what I have always wanted & now have!

If you want a free skin analysis for yourself, go on over to To Me Love Me & fill out the questionnaire. You can then purchase the products recommended to you from the online shop, which are delivered all over the UK with free shipping. If you are in the Glasgow area, you can also get an appointment at her clinic Thorntonhall Therapies for a variety of treatments. Trisha also runs a blog where she updates on new products she tries & sells within her website, such as the on-going Priori Lash Recovery Serum weekly updates which I’m now dying to try out!

Beyonce’s latest album “4” is great, I’m not a fan of the debut single off the album “Run The World” but the follow up single “Best Thing I Never Had” is my favourite off the entire album. The music video was released yesterday showing Beyonce getting ready for her upcoming fictional wedding to the man of her dreams & thanking herself she never married someone in her past instead (I know the feeling haha!)

The video is so natural, both in the way it was shot & Beyonce herself. It’s like we’re seeing the real Beyonce in a way. Much better than her Sasha Fierce persona! I really think that finally, after 4 albums from Beyonce, we’re starting to see the true her, all it took was firing her dad as her manager!

Thanks to Elizabeth @ Bridal Musings

After 3 days of collating my favourite R&B/Hip-Hop songs from the 90’s, I’ve finally finished it! I’ve created an 100 song Mixtape (yeah sure it’s not a REAL mixtape like back in the day, but it’s the 2011 version!).

New Edition, Aaliyah, MC Lyte, 2Pac, Silk, LL Cool J, Warren G, 112, Dr Dre, Blackstreet, Bone Thugs N Harmony and Keith Sweat are just some of the artists within my collection of the ULTIMATE R&B/Hip-Hop songs.

Now you can all go back, way back, back into time (props if you got the Ginuwine/Blackstreet connection there!) and download my mixtape & go back to the 90’s with me when music was at it’s best! Let’s face it, other than a few artists, music of this era is pretty crap!

Please comment on this blog post & give your thoughts to the collection of music. What are your favourites? What would you have liked to have seen from this era?

Enjoy 😀

If you are in Glasgow & on Twitter, you probably would have heard that Pinto (Mexican Kitchen) opened yesterday. I for one have been pretty excited about this ever since hearing about it because it’s just what Glasgow needs.

Located on Queen Street, Pinto is a burrito bar modeled on fast casual Mexican Street Food, which is extremely popular in the USA and ran by The DiMaggio Group & Businessman Paul Sloan.

“Having lived in the United States for almost 20 years and living in Mexico for 2 of those years my love for their food and culture grew immensely. We started Pinto for that main reason, our love of Mexican food, pure and simple.

First we looked at how much people like to eat healthy and then looked at how expensive eating out or take away really was today. Mexican street food was something we were all missing, its amazingly delicious, easy to cook and affordable. So we decided to bring it to life in Scotland.

Establishing an exciting, trendy and cool environment, where you can sit in or take away, a place you can enjoy the main culinary joys of Mexican cooking, Burritos, Tacos and more washed down with an ice cold beer a glass of wine or just a refreshment.

All our food at Pinto is made fresh every day, NO freezers and NO microwaves allowed. We believe in sourcing naturally raised chicken and using only red tractor assured beef and pork, our salsa’s and guacamole is made every day to keep everything we make soooo tasty.”

After following all the progress tweets from @iLovePinto, I couldn’t wait to try it out when it opened & decided to go yesterday, on Opening Day, to grab a snack after work & hope it lived up to the hype I built up in my head.

I went to Pinto around 5pm and met by two employees who were standing at the door handing out little flyers to the passing public hoping to lure them in, but when I entered, it was pretty quiet other than around 4 other people sitting in. I wasn’t worried about it being so quiet because it was only opened for a few hours & it was opening day so word isn’t out in the street yet (for those not on Twitter or Facebook that is!).

I decided to get a Chargrilled Steak Burrito with Cilantro Lime Rice, Pinto Beans, a mix of Fire Roasted Tomato Chipotle & Hell of a hot Habanero sauce, complete with a helping of Sour Cream, which cost £5.95. I also got a box of Chargrilled Chicken Nacho’s Smothered in Cheese Sauce, Jalapenos, Guacamole and Sour Cream, which cost £4.95. My friend got the Chargrilled Chicken Burrito with Brown Rice, Pinto Beans, Fire Roasted Tomato Chipotle sauce & sour cream, which cost £4.95.

While we were ordering at the counter & telling the staff what we wanted, there were a few little hiccups that I noticed. The girl putting the meat & sauces on the burritos spoke so quietly that I had to get her to repeat herself a few times as I had no clue what on earth she was saying. I thought I was going deaf until my friend said that he had to ask the same. Another hiccup was the fact that we weren’t told until we moved down the queue to the meat/sauce section that there was no Slow Cooked Pork left which my friend was looking forward to. He stated that if he was originally told this before ordering a Burrito, he would have ordered the Taco’s instead. But it wasn’t such a big deal in the end.


We took our seats & started to dig in, I was starving and couldn’t wait. I took a few bites and then got my camera out (like I do and started taking some snaps before it all vanished!). The steak was tender with a nice marinade flavouring to it and all the ingredients complemented this (my friend also agreed with his Chargrilled Chicken). My mix of hot sauces really worked out & gave my burrito a nice kick to it. However, half way through eating my Burrito, all I seemed to bite into was rice. The meat was not evenly distributed which meant it was at the top & bottom but the middle was just full of rice. I’m not sure if this was due to the way it was placed before rolling, or the rice & sour cream pushing the meat out of place. I had to get a fork to remove some of the rice within the Burrito so I could get into more meat. I also felt that the ingredients such as the tortilla & meat could have done with being a little warmer but again, it wasn’t a big issue just a personal preference of mine. Another preference of mine was the fact I could have done with a little less Sour Cream but that was really down to me stating that before the application, which I never did. I really enjoyed the flavours within the burrito but think with a few tweaks, the flavours could be spread out more thoroughly which all comes down to practice.

The Nacho’s I ordered were a little messy but that is to be expected, I don’t think you can ever eat Nacho’s without making a mess (my t-shirt is a good example, complete with dribbles & blotches!). The tortilla chips used were really nice with a salt flavouring to them. I loved the cheese sauce used along with the Jalapenos & Guacamole. It wasn’t until I started eating them that I noticed that no salsa was added but after eating a full burrito, it wasn’t needed & to be fair, I only ate half of the Nacho’s before being so stuffed I couldn’t eat anymore.

Overall, I really enjoyed my first Pinto experience. Sure there are a few little things that could be improved but it was Opening Day & everyone is learning as well as being extremely nervous. I would be too! I’d love to see how far Pinto has come a month from now once everyone has settled into their jobs.

Would I go back again? Yes. Why? Because I enjoyed the quality of the food, the pricing is pretty reasonable for the size & I enjoy the flexibility of customizing what you want to eat. I just have to get my sour cream balance right the next time 😉

Pinto is located on 138 Queen Street, Glasgow, G1 3BX & if you ‘LIKE’ them on Facebook, you get a Burrito Buddy voucher which allows you to Buy 1 Get 1 Free after 7pm every night until further notice.

Win Win Situation! You’ll be wanting more 😀

Pinto Mexican on Urbanspoon