Pancakes at The Pear Tree

Sunday, 26 February 2017

Pancake Day or Shrove Tuesday is one of my favourite days of the year, it's a day where it's acceptable to eat as many pancakes as you like - what's not to love about that? As Emil and I both work during the week, we're not sure how much time we'll have to make pancakes on Tuesday, so we decided to go out for brunch and have an early pancake day instead. 

I recently blogged about my trip to The Pear Tree at Greenland Place and they very kindly invited me back to try their updated Banana Buttermilk Pancakes. Therefore, we thought this would be the perfect opportunity to get our pancake fix ahead of Shrove Tuesday, I tried out the new Banana Pancakes and Emil had his favourite - the Blueberry and Bacon Buttermilk Pancakes. 

As always, the food was delicious. The updated Banana Pancakes are topped with walnuts and a whole caramelised banana (as opposed to just the half like before), as well as maple syrup and vanilla cream. The pancakes are so light and fluffy which means they're really not heavy on your stomach, I'm so pleased they updated the pancakes as I'm now even more in love with them. Emil loved how crispy the bacon was on his pancakes and loved how well it went with the sweetness of the blueberries and maple syrup. 

The Pear Tree actually have a special pancake menu on Shrove Tuesday (28th February) and they have so many different types of pancakes (as listed in the photo above), so there's something for everyone. If you're in the area on Tuesday, I really can't recommend it enough - I could quite easily work my way through the whole menu! 

Even if you can't make it on Tuesday, but are ever in the Surrey Quays / Canada Water area, I really recommend you pay this restaurant a visit. The food is amazing, there's a large variety of drinks (my favourite is the banana, peanut butter, raw coca and almond milk smoothie), the staff are all really friendly and it's so reasonably priced! You HAVE to check it out (I've left all their links below).

And if that's not enough to wet your appetite...

What are your plans for Pancake Day this year?

MAC In Extreme Dimension 3D Black Lash | Review

Wednesday, 22 February 2017

Mascara is one of those products where I don't have a hero product that I reach for time and time again, instead I'm more willing to try different products. I was recently in MAC and was after a really volumising mascara so I was recommended the MAC In Extreme Dimension in 3D Black Lash. I've tried a variety of  MAC mascaras over the years, but I've never tried this one so I was excited to see what it would be like.

What did I think of it?

1./Volume and Length 
I must admit, this is as volumising as I'd hoped. It combs through the lashes which helps to add volume and length without being clumpy. I do still curl my lashes before applying the Extreme Dimension in 3D Black Lash just to help lift them a little, but after a couple of coats of this, I do end up with pretty volumous lashes. 

I am really pleased with how long this lasts. As I mentioned, I've tried a few different MAC mascaras in my time and I have always been really pleased with them. There's very little fallout throughout the day which means you don't end up with black smudged under your eyes. 

When I first saw the applicator I was a little unsure about it as I really don't like huge applicators and this one is pretty big, however, I thought I'd give it a try. I'm so glad I did as I've been really pleased with it, the tip of the brush is narrower which allows for precision in the outer corners of my eyes which is really helpful. It's also a plastic applicator which I know not everyone is a fan of, but it really helps comb through each lash, adding to the volume.

I've been really pleased with the formulation, it applies really well to the lashes and isn't too chalky which means it doesn't crumble off your lashes throughout the day.

As with all MAC packaging, it's very simplistic and minimalist which I love! It's quite bulky which is a little annoying as it takes up a lot of room in my make up bag if I'm out and about, but I think that's  me just being petty. 

Would I recommend it?
If you like really volumised lashes, yes. If you prefer a more nautral look for your lashes, this may be a bit too volumising for you. However, I will definitely be purchasing another one once this runs out.

Beauty Pie | Review

Sunday, 19 February 2017

There is an ever growing love for subscription boxes across all categories and the beauty category is no different, but I hadn't got round to trying any beauty subscriptions until now. Beauty Pie is a subscription service whereby you pay £10 a month to be a member and this then entitles you to premium make up at a discounted price, all of which are Beauty Pie own brand products. You have a monthly allowance of £100 (this is based on items at their full price, but you pay a lot less as a member) allowing you to try a large selection of products so there's always something you'll need. My friend has a membership with them, but wasn't going to use her monthly allowance for February, so offered me the chance to try some of the products from Beauty Pie and I obviously couldn't resist!

So what did I buy?

1./ The Ten Best Natural Eyeshadow Shades Palette
This was the first thing I saw on the Beauty Pie website and it was released just at the time I was looking to make my purchases. I'm a sucker for natural eyeshadow palettes and you can never have too many right? So I knew I had to get it. They also have a smokey eye shadow palette, but I didn't think I would use it as much as this one. Whilst I love the colours in the palette, they're not the most pigmented so they're ideal for an everyday work eye look, but I will probably still reach for my Urban Decay Naked palettes for weekends / days out.

2./Uber Curl Drama Mascara
I was in need of a new mascara for work, so I was keen to give one from Beauty Pie a try. I loved the sound of the 'Uber Curl Drama' and whilst there are a few mascaras to choose from, I decided this one would probably suit my needs the most. I must admit, I really do like the mascara, it curls my lashes well and provides a good amount of volume without being too thick or clumpy. I've been wearing this for work and have been loving it.

3./One Powder Wonder
I've been wanting to try a setting powder for a while and had been looking at one from MAC, however, when I saw this one on Beauty Pie I was eager to give it a try. I think this is my favourite product I ordered from Beauty Pie, the consistency of the powder is really soft and it applies really easily to the skin. I have noticed a considerable improvement in my make up staying in place when I've used it. I'm definitely enjoying adding this into my everyday make up routine.

4./FutureLipstick - Matte in Cowboy Nude
I always find buying lipsticks online really difficult because it's not always easy to judge what the shade is like. However, my friend had told me how good the lipsticks from Beauty Pie were so I was keen to give one a try. When this arrived, I was a little concerned that the shade would be too brown and too dark for me. However, once I tried it, I immediately fell in love. It's not as pigmented as I first thought, which actually works in my favour as it's more of a nude colour once applied, which is definitely more the colour I was after and would really recommend giving this a try.

Would I buy from Beauty Pie again?
Yes, definitely. I have been really impressed with the products and particularly the value for money. You get really premium make up, for a fraction of the price of other premium brands. Also, the order comes beautifully wrapped, so it feels as though Beauty Pie have really taken the effort to ensure your products arrive safely and with a more personal touch. Many subscription services don't give you the option to select which products you receive or if they do, the choice is often very limited. However, this isn't the case with Beauty Pie, you can select what ever products you like and there's a huge range to choose from. If you're looking to try a subscription service that you have control over, I'd really recommend Beauty Pie.

Have you tried any Beauty Pie products or other beauty subscription boxes?

New Year, New Blog

Friday, 17 February 2017

Okay, I know it's not technically New Year anymore, but this is something that I've been working on since January. I've wanted to refresh my blog for a while, but what with work and life commitments, blogging often takes a back seat. However, at the start of this year I was determined to finally get round to a brand new look for Ramblings of a Blonde.

With the help of my very talented boyfriend Emil, I have an amazing new blog layout, brand and logo which I'm super excited to finally be able to share with you! I'm totally in love with it, it feels so much more fresh and modern!

So what else is new?
Along with a brand new look I also have a new Facebook page, which I'd love you to take a look at and 'Like', I'm going to stop using my personal Facebook to promote posts and start using this page instead so make sure you've 'Liked' it so you don't miss out on any posts.

I've also got a new email address - so for any PR enquires or collabs or any other general bits and bobs, feel free to email me on this address. I definitely want to work with more brands this year, so please get in touch if you'd like to work together.

Some of you may or may not already know this, but I currently upload every Sunday and Wednesday evening (for the most part when work isn't crazy busy!) and I'm going to continue doing this with added bonus posts whenever I can.

Also, I want to start doing some Giveaways. I am so lucky to be surrounded by such supportive bloggers and I want to be able to give something back. Keep an eye on my Twitter in the immediate future as I'll be launching a Giveaway once I hit 1.5K followers, but I'll also be running Giveaways on my blog in the not so distant future, so keep an eye out for those.

Finally, now that I'm in a good place with my blog, I will be starting up a YouTube channel alongside it, so I'll share all my details on that once it's live - eeeek (please subscribe! I'm scared I'll have 0 subscribers!)

So that's everything, I'm so excited for what this year has to hold for Ramblings of a Blonde. Do let me know what you think of my new 'look' and thank you to everyone for your continued support - I love you all!

Sleek Colour Corrector Palette | Review

Wednesday, 15 February 2017

Colour correcting concealers are a real trend right now and like most beauty trends, I'm always intrigued to see what all the fuss is about. I had originally wanted to try the Colour Correcting Fluids from Urban Decay, but at £19 they're quite expensive for a product to trial that I barely know anything about. Therefore, when I spotted this Sleek Colour Corrector Palette in Boots for only £7.99 I couldn't resist! 

It's such a weird concept applying these bright colours to your skin and I really wouldn't have much clue on what colour to use on which part of my face. Fortunately, Sleek have you covered, on the back of the box, it lists all the colours, what colour they correct on your skin and what they're best at concealing. Whilst this is super handy and a real life saver, I wish they'd put it on the back of the actual palette as I know the box will get really tatty and marked after a while meaning it'll be hard to read or I'll end up losing it. 

What do all the colours do?
- Green: Neutralises redness - ideal for concealing scars and blemishes
- Lilac: Neutralises yellow - ideal for lightening sallow, dull complexions
- Blue - Neutralises orange - ideal for concealing freckles
- Rose: Adds radiance and brightens dark spots - adds radiance and evens dark spots
- Yellow: Neutralises purple - ideal for concealing under eye circles on light skin tones
- Orange: Neutralises blue - ideal for concealing dark circles on dark skin tones

So what do I think about the actual product? 
Well there's a few colours that are a bit redundant for me such as Orange, mainly because I have really fair skin, so that's the pro of buying individual colour correctors like the ones from Urban Decay I guess. Having said that I am really pleased with how they work. Once you get over the fact your rubbing a green substance into your face, they do actually correct the colour on your skin. I don't find them to be the most pigmented, so I do end up having to use quite a bit and I do wish the consistency was a little creamier to make them easier to blend, but at only £7.99 I can't complain. Admittedly, I haven't had a chance to try all of the colours yet because I haven't had a need for them, but so far I've mostly used Green and Yellow and have also tried Lilac and Blue and I am pleased with the results.

Finally, as with all Sleek products, the packaging is very simple and minimalist which I love. It's in a really convenient compact size which means it's easy to throw in your make up bag if you're going away or want to top up throughout the day. There's also a pretty decent mirror in the lid of the palette which is always handy to have.

Would I recommend this product? 
If you're beauty lover, yes. It's exciting, something different and at a reasonable price point. If you're not that fussed by beauty, then probably not because it's an added step to your make up routine and one that I don't think is entirely necessary. 

Have you tried any colour correctors? I'd love to know your thoughts. 

5 iPhone Apps I Couldn't Live Without

Sunday, 12 February 2017

I always love hearing about the different apps people use that perhaps I haven't heard of before or I haven't considered trying out so I thought I'd share my favourites with you. I haven't included any social media apps as I assume most people have these as standard and obviously I spend most of my time on those apps. 

1./Sleep Cycle 
This is by far my favourite app and one that I've had since getting my first iPhone. I think I originally paid 62p for it, but it's worth every penny! It's a sleep app, that measures your sleep quality and time in bed. You set an alarm over a time period of half an hour or 15 minutes etc and then it wakes you up in your lightest sleep period during that time frame. As a light sleeper, this is much better for me because louder alarms when I'm in a deep sleep always startle me which isn't the best way to wake up!! I love seeing the quality of my sleep and it's definitely a much nicer alarm to wake up to. 

This is such a handy app to use when planning a journey in London. You enter your start and end point and it works out the best route for you to travel as well as how much it's going to cost. It's definitely been a life saver when traveling to parts of London I don't visit often. I'm pretty sure it's London specific, but as it's free it's definitely worth downloading if you're visiting London.

This is more of a recent discovery, but one that I've come to love. It's a scheduling app which allows me to schedule tweets throughout the day to help drive traffic to my blog. It's definitely helped increase engagement with my blog. You can use a variety of social media to schedule posts, but for now, I'm just sticking to Twitter.

4./Banking apps 
I've left this quite generic as I know there's lots of different banks with their own apps, but I think they are all really good. It's now much easier than ever to check your balance and transfer money, I'm constantly using them. 

5./Met Office 
This is more of a lame one, but I love the Met Office app. I know Apple have their own weather app, but I never find it as reliable and it doesn't give such a detailed breakdown of the weather. I'm a real weather freak and like to know what the weather is going to be like in order to understand what to wear and what plans to make, it's definitely the best weather app! 

What apps do you love? I'm always on the look out for new ones to try! 

5 Things I've Learnt Since Blogging

Monday, 6 February 2017

I've been blogging for 4 years this year and it's a hobby that I've learnt so much from. Not only is it a break from my 9-5 job, it's great at developing my skills that I don't get to explore in my work life.  

1./It's released my creativity 
Blogging has definitely been a way for me to develop my creativity. I'm not naturally the most creative person, but I do have a creative side that I enjoy unleashing through blogging. Although there is a bit of creativity in my job, blogging definitely gives me more of an opportunity to be creative which I really enjoy. 

2./It's taught me the art of photography 
I've always enjoyed photography and was always the one with a camera on nights out, I was also really lucky to receive a DSLR for my graduation which further developed my interest in photography. However, it's definitely blogging that's made me think more critically about photography and how to best execute a shot. It's something that I really enjoy doing and thinking about how I can capture the best photo. 

3./How to run a business 
Okay, this is a bit of an extreme one considering my blog is tiny, but it does give you an insight into running your own business. You have to ensure all your posts and imagery are 'on brand' you need to understand what content is best received by your readers and you have to manage contacts and network to give your blog exposure. It's definitely something I need to develop further, but I have learnt some skills already despite the size of my blog. 

4./There's a whole blogging community 
Although I've been blogging for 4 years, I've only really discovered the blogging community more recently. I've made some great friends and chatted to some really lovely bloggers who are so supportive and who have helped me to develop my blog. I can't believe I missed out on this for so many years! 

5./There's opportunities I hadn't considered before 
This is one that I'm still discovering and hoping to explore more this year. Blogging has given me so many opportunities that I hadn't even thought were possible beforehand. I've been very lucky to be approached by a couple of brands to work with and I'm hoping this year to be able to do more of this, attend some blogging events and meet some of my lovely blogger friends. 

What have you learnt since blogging?  

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