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2012

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If you couldn’t already tell… I love food. I love eating out. I love trying out new places and exploring what this city has to offer. So, when Peroni contacted me to try out their new free Vivi In Stile iPhone (& Android) app and explore Glasgow based on their suggestions, how could I say no?

The app showcases Food, Drinks, Design, Fashion & Events pin-pointing your location and providing you with a list of venues to “discover your city’s stylish side”. Glasgow, Liverpool, Leeds, Manchester, Birmingham, London and Bristol are featured within the Vivi In Stile Esplorare Tab enabling you to explore these cities… great if you are visiting one of these cities for the first time and have no idea what to do and where to go. As well as showcasing the above, you can read articles on Fashion, Design & Food focusing on Italian Culture and way of life. A great read!

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After an afternoon’s Christmas Shopping, I opened the app and explored what was under “Food” to help the indecisive me pick somewhere for dinner. I was in the City Centre so wanted somewhere close by. The app tells you how far away the venues are as well as giving you a Map to hunt it down! Along with the name of the venue, a description tells you more about the place to help you decide.

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After a few minutes of exploring the app, Rogano popped up. I was close by and decided it was about time I finally tried this infamous restaurant. The app described Rogano as “the very definition of luxury since 1935. Rogano is a Glasgow institution. With seafood at the forefront of their menu, it’s famed for classic food. Art Deco interiors and a never-ending passion over the past 77 years”.

When we got the menu, I had no idea what to order. I could have honestly ordered near enough everything on the entire menu. I settled on getting a main course of Chargrilled Venison Medallions with Fondant Potato, Haggis Pave & Sweet Garlic Jus. My mom who I brought along with me had the Grilled 28 Day Mature Fillet Of Beef with Pont Neuf Potatoes, Mushrooms, Tomatoes & Béarnaise sauce. Delicious! For dessert, I got a selection of Small Chocolate Desserts (Rich Chocolate Tart, White Chocolate Mousse & Chocolate Ice Cream… I think!) and my mom got Clootie Dumpling With Drambuie Custard.

Everything was so good and gave me a great introduction to Rogano. My parents have been to Rogano numerous times. My dad goes to the Restaurant & Oyster Bar a lot when he is over from Paris, both with my mom or with Oil/Shipping Clients. I can already hear the Venison calling my name back again! I’ll review the Restaurant in greater details soon, especially since I’m going to be at Rogano on Christmas Day as well!

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After Dinner, we popped into another find within the app, a place I have been to a good few times, Sloans for a quick Digestif before popping into the car & heading back home. A great night!

I’m going to start using the Vivi In Stile app a lot more… there are a bunch of Restaurants and Bars I haven’t actually heard of so I think it’s about time I explore this city! You can download Peroni Vivi In Stile Free for iPhone and Android so you can start exploring yourselves!

I wonder where it will take me next…

Last weekend, I popped my ballet virginity & I liked it. Lots.

Now don’t go thinking I was dressed up in a tutu à la Hyacinth Hippo, I was at Theatre Royal Glasgow to see Scottish Ballet’s latest production, The Nutcracker.

An enchanted dolls’ house, an evil governess, and a nutcracker who may just be a handsome prince in disguise – this winter, prepare to enter a magical new world…

Following on from the hugely successful productions Cinderella and The Sleeping Beauty comes a revival of The Nutcracker, a sweet yet deliciously sharp take on ETA Hoffmann’s original story Nutcracker and the King of Mice.

This fresh and vivid retelling of the famous Christmas story features stunning sets and costumes, breathtaking choreography and Tchaikovsky’s sumptuous score performed live by the Scottish Ballet Orchestra.

Since it was my first time, I honestly had no idea what the ballet would be like. Sure, we’ve all seen ballet dancers on TV & in Movies… but up close and personal is another thing entirely. Set to the beautiful music of Tchaikovsky, the performance was completely mind-blowing. Watching the dancers, you couldn’t help but get carried away watching with amazement at what you were seeing before your eyes. Magical is one word which I could use a thousand times to describe it.

At first, it was a little strange getting used to the fact that you were watching a performance where scenes were acted in utter silence. Choosing body language, expressions and of course dance to tell a story. A few scenes in, I completely forgot my “apprehensions” and was mesmerised throughout the 2 hour performance.

The Modern Adaptation of The Nutcracker featured visually exciting set designs throughout which were filled with an abundance of imagination. The sets combined with the incredible choreography of the whole company led the Opening Night’s performance to be an enchanting first time experience for me.

It’s hard to pick a favourite scene as I couldn’t fault a thing. However, the pieces that stood out the most to me were Nathalie Dupouy’s Arabian Scene and the utterly breathtaking grand pas-de-deux (oh I learnt a new word!) between principal dancers Sophie Martin and Adam Blyde on the night.

If you are looking for a new experience and have never been to the Ballet before or are a seasoned Ballet Goer, this is one production which you cannot miss. It will not let you down.

The Nutcracker is touring to Glasgow, Edinburgh, Aberdeen, Inverness, Belfast and Newcastle from December 2012 – January 2013. Below are the locations and dates… try make a performance if you are in the area!

Theatre Royal, Glasgow
8 – 29 December 2012

Festival Theatre, Edinburgh
8 – 12 January 2013

His Majesty’s Theatre, Aberdeen
16 – 19 January 2013

Eden Court, Inverness
23 – 26 January 2013

Grand Opera House, Belfast
30 January – 02 February 2013

Theatre Royal, Newcastle
06 – 09 February 2013

Note: A huge thank you to Ann at Scottish Ballet for the invitation to the Opening Night and to Andrew Ross for the Photography.

Those of you who know me will know I love gadgets and technology, I was a little tom boy growing up & now work with all men in the IT Industry. I’d rather go gadget shopping than clothes shopping so when the chance to review a Quadrocopter came up from Paramount Zone, I had to get my hands on it. Once I received the Quadrocopter, it became clear that I wasn’t going to be the best person to review this amazing flying machine so who better else than a Geeky Aircraft Engineer in the Royal Air Force? My friend took on this challenge & his review is below…

Since this amazing piece of flying machinery rocked up on my doorstep it has barely been put down. As an actual aircraft engineer and all round geek, unboxing this product alone was enough to tick all my geeky boxes. The aircraft arrived immaculately packaged with the picture on the front to tease what was inside and hint at the high quality of the product hidden inside. I was, in all honesty expecting just the Quadrocopter, a remote and a set of overly complex instructions, much to my surprise however the box was FULL of technology lovers goodies!

Firstly I had a good look over the Quadrocopter, it’s simplicity in its best form, 4 motors, 4 micro gears and 4 blades (plus spares…I’ll invariably need these later!). The micro sized battery fits snugly under the canopy of the copter and in a perfect place so it doesn’t interfere with the flying.

Next, the remote….ohhh the remote! What a cool bit of hardware this is.

I’m sure if your about to hit buy on this, you’ve probably had one of those tiny barely controllable R/C copters with a frankly useless handset. This one, on the other hand is all kinds of cool. Well built, ergonomically constructed it has EVERYTHING you need and expect to find on a handset costing £100’s. It has a lovely backlit LCD display, which, in conjunction with the digital buttons on your handset does everything, from controlling your trim in each axis, percentage of throttle and shows battery life and radio reception. Very VERY cool! It even displays a little picture of the chopper on the display for you, how good is that! The handset allows for varying degrees of response for the amount of stick you give it, anywhere from 20% (for the beginners, like me!) all the way to 100% for some full throttle stunt flying, all with the click of a button. It even flashes red and gives you a reassuring satisfying beep when you get delusions of being Maverick out of Top Gun and hit the 100% setting.

Last week I was in a room with 9 other people while blindfolded. Now, don’t confuse this with Dating In The Dark… we were at Living Room Glasgow for the ultimate challenge, the battle of the Food Bloggers. Who could guess the most amount of flavours & ingredients in a bid to win a Trophy and be crowned THE best.

We all sat down in the dining area where we were met with a 4 page booklet full of questions about each dish & cocktail we were about to sample from their new menu. As soon as I read the questions, I instantly muttered “Oh Crap!”. It’s hard to figure out the flavours of a dish while you can see it, let alone while blindfolded!.

We had to figure out the answers to questions such as “What spices were used in the Moroccan Lamb?”, “What is in the Burger?”, “What type of fish are you eating?” & “What type of alcohol is in this Cocktail?”. No easy task that’s for sure!

I’ve been in Living Room Glasgow a few times for drinks & it’s one of my favourite city centre locations for Cocktails but I have to admit, I’ve never tried the food before so this event was a perfect introduction.

The food did not disappoint at all! I tried various dishes that generally, I would never normally order such as Black Forest Smoked Ham & Fig, Butternut Squash, Dolcelatté, Walnut and Honey Tart, Grilled Sea Bass in a Thai Broth and Duck Breast with Szechuan Pepper and Plum Chutney. But, from the spoonful portions of the dishes we tasted, I was very impressed! I didn’t dislike a thing… even the Sea Bass & that’s coming from someone who stays clear of fish the majority of the time.

My favourite dishes of the evening were hands down the Moroccan Spiced Lamb with Apricots, Dates and Almonds, served with Giant Cous Cous, Pork & Chorizo Burger with a Smoked Paprika Aioli on a Brioche Bun with Chips, Homemade Glamorgan Sausages with Sage & Onion Soubise with Braised Lentils & Mash and last but certainly not least; the Coconut & Passionfruit Crème Brûlée.

Growing up in Asia sure had it’s perks… amazing weather (90% of the time!), mixing with different cultures and of course, the amazing culinary delights. Rewind back to the very early 90’s and I found myself sunbathing on Phi Phi Island in Thailand during a School Trip (before it was popular and over ridden with tourists), taking rides on long-boats, getting my hair braided and eating lots of great food!

Let’s just forget the fact that after one meal at a little restaurant on the island, I left my $800 retainer behind and only remembered when we were back on the boat for the main land. A quick speed boat trip back to the restaurant, discovered that $800 worth of metal for my teeth was in the ground after the staff dug holes to bury the rubbish. I was in tears. Try explaining that to your parents upon your return home to Singapore.

Moving on…

Fast forward to a couple of months ago, I was invited to try out the recently opened Thai Restaurant Chaophraya situated on the corner of Buchanan Street & Nelson Mandela Place. Chaophraya Glasgow is Europe’s largest Thai restaurant which opened its doors in July 2012 after a £2 Million Refurbishment.

Set over four floors, Chaophraya offers the ultimate Thai experience for those visiting on business or pleasure. Owner, Kim Atcharaporn Kaewkraikhot believes in providing high quality, authentic cuisine created by award-winning Development Chef, Ron Tammakeysar. Diners can enjoy an array of gastronomic delights.

Entering Chaophraya, we were greeted by our Thai host who guided us up the stairs to the Grand Ballroom and to our table. En route, you could tell that the Old Townhouse was renovated to a extremely high standard. The use of colours, lighting and statues made the Foyer Entrance breathtaking.

We sat at our table and were shown the menu, the waitress discussed Specials and then left us to ponder. In all honesty, the menu was huge, I didn’t know where to start.

After a good 10 minutes, we settled for the Asian Platter to start with (£9.95 Per Person) which is “the ultimate starter selection of chicken satay, prawn tempura, chicken spring rolls, marinated pork with honey and Thai herbs. Served with a crispy duck salad”.

The Chicken Satay with it’s accompanying Peanut Sauce literally took me back to the Hawker Stalls in Singapore where I used to buy Satay Sticks to snack on. The Peanut Sauce was nicely flavoured and not overpowering. The Chicken was seasoned and cooked well. I loved it so much I started munching on the sticks the Chicken was on. The Prawn Tempura was light, fluffy & not at all oily for something which is fried. I love Prawn Tempura and sometimes, the Prawns can be overcooked while trying to achieve the right golden colour on the outside, these were cooked perfectly. I dipped the Prawns in the Peanut Sauce to see how it tasted… it works! Thumbs up!

The Chicken Spring Rolls were flavoursome, complete with a good combination of ingredients and filled well. The Filo Pastry was crispy, not overcooked and when mixed with some Sweet Chilli Sauce on the side, it was great. I wish we had more of these. Another favourite of mine was the Marinated Pork with honey and Thai herbs, something I would never generally order on the menu. The Pork was a mix of sweet & salty, rich in flavour and had a nice crisp to it. Once again, I tried the Sweet Chilli Sauce and also the Sweet Soy Sauce with the Pork. Both sauces working perfectly.

Unfortunately, I was let down with the Crispy Duck Salad. I like Duck, however this was too crispy, too salty and too spicy for my liking. I love spicy food, but for some reason every time I ate some, it caught the back of my throat. Overall, Duck Salad permitting, I loved the Asian Platter and would definitely have it again sans Duck Salad.

Growing up, my childhood and teenage years were filled with my parents throwing dinner parties at our homes in Singapore and Kuwait. My mom would plan each event a week or so in advance, come up with a 3 or 4 course menu (running it past my Dad) and then with the help of our maids (& me!) set the table and make sure everything was perfect for their imminent arrival.

I was taught from a very young age how to correctly set a table using special dining sets, how serving plates should be positioned and of course, the correct table manners (soup is a nightmare!) and of course the all important seating arrangement. You wouldn’t want to be sat next to someone you thought was utterly boring for the entire night, would you? No.

Guests would arrive which then made my mom run around the kitchen like a looney while shouting at me to come help her & would not calm down until dessert was served. My mom always wanted to throw the best parties and she did. I’m not just saying that cause she’s my mother.

I’m also surprised looking back that we had enough space with the dining table and chairs. Every time a new Dinner Party was arranged, the amount of people would grow and grow, it started with a couple before growing to 6! Don’t get my started on the Pool BBQs…. that’s a whole different story altogether!

Now I’m a fully fledged adult; I’m morphing into my mother. I love nothing better than cooking during the weekend, experimenting with new food and thinking up in my head how my own Dinner Parties would look. Hey, don’t look at me like I’m a weirdo. It’s the “in” thing… right? I’m addicted to searching for inspiration on how to design my own place (no rush!) and love these designs and layouts below. Very light, airy with lots of room for the mass amount of food!

I haven’t quite reached the “I’m throwing a Dinner Party” stage yet, living in the Suburban Wilderness doesn’t make it easy. Dinner Parties are so much easier living in the City!

Do you throw Dinner Parties? Let me know!

I’m not a big salad fan. I’m pretty sure you can tell that when you look at me. I’m all about the carbs, for my sins! However, there are two salads in the world that I cannot get enough of… Chicken Caesar Salad and Rocket, Parmesan & Balsamic Glaze Salad. Both very simple & very very addictive. The common element? Parmesan Cheese (or Parmigiano-Reggiano if you want to be technical!). Damn that cheese!

I woke up on Saturday craving 3 things; Bruschetta, Rocket, Parmesan & Balsamic Glaze Salad and a good home made burger. So… I made the lot (more recipe blogs to come!). Since then, I’ve ate this salad every single day. Sometimes twice a day. I’m currently at the Obsessive Craving stage that hasn’t arisen since the two week long Chicken Caesar Salad Obsession a few years back.

Yes, I’m weird like that!

& now… I am going to covert you all to the amazingness of this simple simple salad

Ingredients
A heap of Rocket Leaves (more the merrier!)
As much Parmesan Shavings (as you like, lots I say!)
1 cup Balsamic Vinegar (no need to buy a crazy expensive brand!)
2 tablespoons Brown Sugar
1 tablespoon Soy Sauce
1 tablespoon Olive Oil
Sea Salt

Method
Combine Balsamic Vinegar, Brown Sugar, and Soy Sauce in a small saucepan and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low and simmer until thick and syrupy, about 20 minutes. Remove from heat and let cool.

While glaze is cooling, grab your rocket and arrange on a plate, sprinkle over your parmesan and once cooled, drizzle over the Balsamic Glaze.

& eat…nom!

Note: If you are at the height of laziness… you can buy Balsamic Glaze out the bottle from any good supermarket but it’s always better to make it yourself!

Ever heard certain songs which you instantly love and can’t stop playing on loop? Well…. I do! Here are my five favourite songs of the moment which I play in my car, at work, at home and when brushing my teeth in the morning! Turn them up LOUD!

1. Rihanna- Diamonds

2. Rita Ora feat. J Cole- Love & War

3. Kanye West feat. Big Sean & Jay-Z – Clique

4. Swedish House Mafia feat. John Martin- Don’t You Worry Child

5. Maroon 5- One More Night

What are your current favourite songs? Let me know!

It’s no secret that I love coffee. In fact, I don’t think I could live one day without coffee. I guess it’s all part of my job & the fact most people who work in IT drink oodles of coffee to survive! So, when I was contacted by Doug from World Coffee Club asking me to review 3 blends of Freshly Roasted & Ground Coffee, I snapped it up… how could I not?

The World Coffee Club is a new monthly subscription of premium coffee hand selected by coffee experts. Three new coffees are selected from around the world every month, packaged and sent quickly so you receive the freshest possible coffee.

Why our product
Every month we taste test coffees from roasters located all over the country. We have a network of tasters that cover many different ages and backgrounds, and in using a variety of brewing methods we can assure you that the coffee in our subscription packs is the best there is.

The beans you’ll experience will not be your average supermarket beans. These beans have been cared for by experts from picking through to roasting and have been carefully crafted to offer the best possible flavours. We only work with roasters who are as passionate as ourselves about your coffee.

What do you get?
Each month we send you 100g of three different coffees (300g total) – enough for around 25-30 cups a month.
The coffees we pick are usually single origin or single estate coffees. Occasionally we get sent a roaster’s own blend that stands head and shoulders above any others, in which case we may not be able to resist sharing it. Upon sending your coffee to you, we’ll also send you an email containing tasting notes to help you know what to look out for in each coffee, as well as suggestions on brewing methods.

In the middle of July, I was sent Ethiopian Sidamo Q1, El Salvador Shekinah & Guatemala El Fogon to try. I was emailed asking what I was going to use to brew the coffee e.g. Whole Bean, Cafetière, Filter or Espresso which determined how the coffee was ground (if needed). I use a Cafetière, the greatest gadget to a Coffee Addict! With each blend sent, you are giving information about it such as location, type of coffee, flavours and the date it was roasted.

Ethiopia Sidamo Q1
Grown in the Sidamo Province of Ethiopia at an altitude of 1550 – 2200m, this is a fully-washed Sidamo certified with a Q1 grading which represents the best available lots and is determined by cupping and defect count.

The Sidamo Q1 beans are grown by small-holder farmers who often have only 10 – 20 coffee trees. Being the birthplace of coffee, these trees are a very old mixture of varietals generally referred to as ‘Heirloom Varietals’. Only the ripest and best quality coffee fruit tends to be sold to washing stations.

With a bright and clean tasting acidity, medium body, and a distinctive character similar to a spicy Aussie Shiraz, Hands-On Coffee roasted your beans to just after first-crack to preserve the character and delicate complexity of this coffee. This very unique coffee has clear notes of citrus and a floral aroma.

El Salvador Shekinah
From Shkinah Estate in El Salvador, Central America comes this medium bodied coffee with fairly high sweetness and acidity.

A few sips are required before all its different flavours start to come together. Wonderfully evolving flavours of nuts, citrus, vanilla and even a dash of chocolate make this an impressively comprehensive coffee. Whilst certainly drinkable at any time in the day, we did find we enjoyed it the most in the afternoon and early evening.

Guatemala El Fogon
The very distinct and desirable El Fogon beans are grown in high mountains shrouded in mist on the volcanic slopes of southern Guatemala in Central America.

With a surprisingly deep flavour, this premium grade arabica coffee has a rich body with notes of spice and chocolate and a clean finish. Its low acidity and fairly dark roast makes this quite different from the other two coffees – you may find it most satisfying after dinner.

The first coffee I tried was while on a Mini Holiday was Guatemala El Fogon. As the information suggested, I tried it after dinner (Steak.. mmmmm). The ground coffee smelt very strong and when brewed, was a nice dark colour. I normally take coffee with a little milk but this time, I decided to try all types without it so I could truly taste it undisturbed. The coffee was rather strong and too rich for me personally, I like more mild to medium coffees. My dad on the other hand, liked the taste of this. He lives in Paris so is used to drinking strong rich espresso coffee 24/7 and this reminded me of it.

Next up was El Salvador Shekinah. The label stated it was medium bodied with nutty flavours as well as citrus and vanilla. The ground coffee smelt amazing. To me, this was my favourite already, just by smell. When brewed, it was a dark chocolate colour and tasted rather mild and sweet. You could taste subtle hints of vanilla and nuts which was perfect with my brunch. By far, my favourite of them all! In fact, I’ve drank this blend more than the others.

Last up was Ethiopia Sidamo Q1 which was compared to a Spicy Aussie Shiraz wine, which is a rather dark & intense flavour, something I’m not all that keen on. A darker colour than the El Salvador Shekinah when brewed, it did taste good and it was rather citrusy but I kept going back to the last one I tried, El Salvador Shekinah. My dad loved this one as it’s the type of flavours he enjoys (I blame French living!).

I’m going to be taking Guatemala El Fogon & Ethiopia Sidamo Q1 into work to see what my co-workers think of it & get me some brownie points! I’m keeping El Salvador Shekinah just for me, I’m not letting anyone get it! Yes, I loved the blend that much!

I love the fact Coffee Clubs like the World Coffee Club are popping up. They are great for coffee addicts who like to try other coffees which are different than the norm you find in the supermarkets or local coffee shops. I’d highly recommend them if you’re looking for something different to try or if you’re looking for a gift for a coffee addict like myself!

Subscriptions start at £11 a month which includes 3 new coffees every month & free next day delivery. As stated before, you can choose your preferred grind depending on how you use it.

For more information on World Coffee Club and how to subscribe, click here. You can also find them on Facebook and Twitter.

Ever heard a song on the radio that you instantly fall in love with? The XX made me fall in love. I adore this song and cannot wait until their new album ‘Coexist’ is released on September 10th (11th in the US). If you’ve never heard them before, I suggest you do! You will not be disappointed!

Light reflects from your shadow, it is more than I thought could exist, you move through the room like breathing was easy, if someone believed me

They would be as in love with you as I am
They would be as in love with you as I am
They would be as in love with you as I am
They would be in love, love, love

And everyday I’m learning about you, the things that no one else sees and the end comes too soon, like dreaming of angels

And leaving without them
And leaving without them

Being as in love with you as I am
Being as in love with you as I am
Being as in love with you as I am
Being as in love, love, love
Love, love, love
Love, love, love

And with words unspoken, a silent devotion, I know you know what I mean and the end is unknown but I think I’m ready as long as you’re with me

Being as in love with you as I am
Being as in love with you as I am
Being as in love with you as I am
Being as in love, love, love

On Sunday September 2nd, my dad took part in the Great Scottish Run Half Marathon. Starting at 11am, it took him 2 hours 32 minutes and 35 seconds to run just over 21 kilometres or 13 miles. Every 5k, he would phone me updating me on his progress so I knew when to head over to the Finish line. While he was running, I was hanging out at Tinderbox drinking a huge coffee and munching on cake (my way of being the supportive daughter LOL!)

My brother, sister in law & little nephew joined us at the Finish Line waiting for my dad to finish the race. The crowds were INSANE but I managed to push my way to the front of a barrier with my camera ready to snap away. I couldn’t get a photo of my dad when he ran past the Start Line due to the crowds in my way, so I didn’t want to miss him at the Finish Line.

While waiting for my dad, I took photos of some of the other participants including a topless butler (swoon!) and a nice little old man who was amazing! I’m in awe of the little guy… no clue who he is or how old he actually was but I’m impressed! My dad and that old guy out ran a lot of younger people, they both didn’t even look in pain compared to the others and didn’t even sound out of breath! I know for a fact that there is no way I could run 1K let alone 21! I’d need to be carried or pushed around in a wheelchair! I’m just a lazy ass really..

I finally managed to spot him (by his hair and hat) and started taking photos. He then came over to the barrier where my family were standing and we passed my little nephew over to him for another photo op… he’s such a cutie! (my nephew that is!). Oliver even got to wear the medal my dad received while making little funny faces showing off his two little baby teeth!

My dad, being my dad couldn’t resist in doing the Mo-Bot and the Bolt after the race which I luckily caught on camera to abuse my dad with for the rest of his life mwahahaha (Disclaimer: he does know I’m blogging these photos, so he won’t disown me… yet!)

In total, so far… we have managed to raise £650 for Yorkhill Children’s Hospital and would love to raise even more with your help! If you’d like to donate money to this great cause then please go to the JustGiving page that has been set up where 100% of all money donated goes straight to the Yorkhill Children’s Foundation.

Note: After the race had finished, we heard from other participants that a runner had collapsed and was being resuscitated by the Paramedics. Sadly, news reports later confirmed that the runner 28 year old Aubrey Smith sadly died. My thoughts are with his family & friends. RIP Aubrey.

A month or so ago, I was sent BassBuds to review and if I’m honest… I tried them for around 10 minutes when I first got them, then work and illness got in the way and I still didn’t properly try them out.

My first thought when I tried them for those short few minutes were “wow my ears don’t hurt” and “ooh they look hot!”. Two good factors which are also rather important ones. Who would buy ugly headphones? No one, right? And who would buy a pair of headphones that kill your ears? I’d hope no one would.

Instant initial thumbs up!

My mom on the other hand, decided to test them while watching some TV Shows on her laptop. Her old pair of headphones broke and she needed to borrow a pair. My mom has always hated the in-ear headphones because 9 times out of 10, they hurt her ears and she ends up tossing them into a drawer never to be seen again. She has tried my iPhone headphones and hates them, I do agree with her on that one though… after wearing Apple headphones for a while, your inner ear starts to hurt. This coming from an all-things Apple lover. Think I could get done for Apple treason? Shhhh don’t tell them!

So, she wore them. After 5 minutes, she shouted, yes and I mean shouted “THESE ARE COMFY!”. The shouted part of this sentence is rather important. Why? Well… the headphones are noise cancelling. That means you are pretty much oblivious to your surroundings unless someone screams at you and/or someone pulls your headphones out of your ears.

After hearing her shout her thoughts about the headphones to me, I motioned for her to take them off to get some proper feedback (she wasn’t happy about pausing Bones!). The main thing she liked about the headphones were the fact she could wear from for 1+ hour at a time and her ears did not hurt, she didn’t feel the need to take them out to give her ears a break, the sound was good and they didn’t drop out of her ears like a lot of in-ear headphones do.

This coming from a woman who swore she’d never use in-ear headphones? They must be good.

It wasn’t until a 5 hour Road Trip from Glasgow to the Highlands on Saturday that I had a proper chance to try them out. Listening to the Radio and my Parents chat away for that length of time isn’t my idea of fun LOL. So to accompany me on the trip were Frank Ocean, Alex Clare, Usher, Adele, Emeli Sande and a mix of Old School Hip-Hop.

My initial thoughts were proven once again when I was able to wear the headphones without my ears hurting, in fact, it didn’t even feel like I was wearing headphones and I didn’t have to worry about them dropping out of my ears and having to fight to put them back in. The sound was crystal clear turned up high with an amazing bass and treble (a must for Hip Hop!). With some headphones, as stated on www.lightningcans.com/headphones-reviewed/, the bass is rather OTT and drowns out the music but this wasn’t the case with BassBuds. I couldn’t hear anything around me courtesy of the noise cancelling feature (pretty much like ear plugs to help you sleep!), maybe not a good thing on a Road Trip as I didn’t hear the offer of food first time around (& I like food!).

So BassBuds are a must! If you can convert my mother, you’re onto a winner! Currently priced at £34.95 with over 20 different styles and colours along with Swarovski Crystals to make them pretty (ok it’s for Crystal-tonics High Performance Sound Technology as well!), they are worth every penny (& no I’m not just saying that because I was sent them to review, I do actually mean it!). If you’re looking for a good quality affordable pair of in-ear headphones on par with Beats by Dre, I’d highly recommend BassBuds.

Features:
6 pairs of silicone (small, med., large) earbuds in both black and white colours
3 pairs of black memory foam comfort earbuds
Compatible with all Smartphones
MP3 Controller w/ play/pause and next/prev track
Answer/end calls as well as voice control
Anti-tangle, durable, double wrapped cable
High-quality, light weight aluminum housing
Crystaltonics high performance sound technology
Gold Plated 3.5mm jack
BassBag; protective phone/MP3 & bassbuds carrying case
Made with Swarovski elements

If you’re feeling really lucky, you can also be in with the chance to win discounts or pairs of in-ear headphones (including the limited edition White ones that I was given) by playing with BassBud Mini-Game. Playing the game, you must swiftly move, dodge and above all survive against the “bad earphones” moving your mouse long enough to guarantee your special discount code and make it to the top of the leaderboard! I only managed 16 seconds, because quite frankly, I was shit at it LOL

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