07 September 2017

Gin Masterclass at The Botanist - Sheffield!


 I have a confession to make:-
 I don't like Gin. 

There i said it, shoot me if you must. I've never been a Gin drinker and i've tried countless times to change that but i can just never get to grips with the taste of gin. 

Cue Billie and her love of gin....

Billie invited me to a Gin Masterclass at The Botanist, Sheffield. This was my chance. My chance to try a load of Gin and mixers and see if they could change my mind.

When we arrived we sat down at a table filled with bottles of Gin and the most garnish i've ever seen in one place. After taking all of the photos (#bloggerlife), we were given the low down on all the Gins one by one and given a single measure to smell and taste. I never knew that Gin was made primarily with the Juniper berry and that Britain is the 4th country that drinks the most Gin, behind Spain, Romania and the Netherlands!


After having a good swig and a smell, we were let loose with the garnishes and could make our own gin cocktail. We were also given different tonics to pair with the Gin. 

The Gins we tried were Tanqueray, Langleys, Thomas Dakin, Ginmare, Brockmans and Hendricks. 

Not being a big fan of Gin, my favourite was Brockmans. It has quite a smooth taste to it and isn't as sharp as the rest but it goes lovely with some additional blueberries.


Honestly, being a Gin novice i didn't know where to start so i just picked a couple of ingredients for each Gin and went garnish crazy. I had orange and mint and some cracked black pepper. There was also blueberries, grapefruit and basil among other things.  I mixed them randomly into my Gin and was pretty pleased with most of the results. A bit of orange goes down well with Hendricks and if you add a little black pepper to Thomas Dakin Gin it gives it such a kick if you want a bit more spice.


At the end of the evening we were given a Gin of our choice and i opted for Brockmans with it being my favourite and most drinkable out of all the ones i tried. I added some mint this time for a bit of a flavour change and it was lovely and refreshing. I can imagine it being a lifesaver in the sunshine. 

In all honesty though, i still don't like Gin and i probably never will but this evening taster really gave me an insight into the drinks that i wouldn't buy for myself. 

If you think you can change my mind about Gin then i accept any challenge. 

...x

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19 August 2017

Nourish - Healthy Fast Food in Sheffield



I was lucky enough to be invited down to the new Nourish restaurant on Ecclesall Road in Sheffield a few months ago to try out their menu again. My first visit to Nourish at the city centre store was an eye opener to amazingly healthy fast food and i've been dying to try their meals again. 

On arrival we were greeted by the manager David, who's a big healthy eating advocate and seriously takes pride in the Nourish Brand which i love. It's always good to be passionate about something and food is a good place to start. David talked to us about why Nourish uses the products they do to make their dishes and i learnt that the ingredients they use are more sustainable and keep fresher for longer. They also work to ensure that the places they buy from are paid fairly for their produce which, deserves a round of applause.


We were given a taster of the Mango Spinach Green Smoothie and honestly, it's one of the best smoothies i've ever tried, i've been looking up recipes to make it since! I'm heading down Ecclesall Road myself this weekend so i might have to have a cheeky visit and pick one up!

We also sampled a few dishes while we were there including hot food and salads. My ultimate favourite meal they do is the Moroccan Meatballs served on sweet potato. MAAAAN, this meal is so good. Amazingly healthy hot food that i can also try and replicate at home which i always love.



Among the other dishes we tried were the Jerk Salmon, the Nourish Bowl (a very yummy bowl of salad), a Coconut Lentil Curry and Supergreens & Kimchi (lots of lovely green foods to make you feel great). I did not have a bad word to say about any of the dishes - apart from that there wasn't enough and i wanted more food. 

And then they brought out the big guns....

Chocolate Avocado Mousse & Sweet Potato Brownies. 

I was at bursting point with all the food i'd consumed but i was determined to eat the dessert. And i did. All gone. Who knew putting sweet potato in brownies and avocado in chocolate mousse would taste so good, you couldn't even tell it was in there. 

I also fell in love with the little pieces of decoration they had around the shop and i couldn't resist taking a couple of cheeky photos.



If you're ever around Ecclesall Road or in Sheffield City Centre, drop into Nourish - even if it's only for a quick drink or a nibble, you'll be pleasantly surprised. 


They also do breakfast, you're welcome. 

...x
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24 June 2017

Laser Tattoo Removal: The First Session

I've had this tattoo since i was 18. Young, stupid and with £25 in my pocket i wandered into a tattoo shop and picked the cheapest one. I was so excited, except two weeks after; i hated it. I hated it with a passion. It's true what they say kids, think about the tattoo's you are getting and don't do a Bev and act on impulse. 

It's taken me 8 years to work up the courage to look at getting it removed. It's on the side of my right hand, so i often forgot it was there, until i met people and they stared at it or asked questions. I decided now was the time to take the plunge and book my first appointment. 

I contacted Good Vibrations tattoo studio in Sheffield and had a consultation that same week. As it's on the side of my hand, they recommended having one session every 2 months to give time for the skin to heal. They explained that the laser breaks up the ink under the skin and then it's up to your immune system to get rid of it. This is why they can't tell you exactly how many sessions you need as they can never tell how your body will react to it. I had a patch test that day and off i went. It's £25 for each session i have, which is a lot less than i thought i would be paying.

How does it feel?....

It feels like a very very strong and sharp electric shock on your skin. The patch test wasn't so bad as i only had about 5 shots however, my first whole session the pain is so much more intense when they continue. Once it was finished, it felt like i had burnt my hand on the oven. A kind of sore burn feel. The side of my hand swelled up and you could see all the little water dots under my skin from where the laser hit. 

Fast forward a couple of hours and my hand was so swollen the tattoo looks blurred. I applied a cold compress as advised to reduce the swelling and applied aloe vera gel to help with the healing process of the skin. 

A couple of days later, my skin started to blister on parts of the tattoo which eventually burst. They confirmed this was completely normal and the blisters meant the skin was healing itself. 

Currently, the skin is itchy and still broken where it's blistered. I'm still applying aloe vera gel and wearing a plaster where new blisters form so it doesn't get infected but i can really tell it's faded already. The patch test area has already faded a lot and i can't wait to watch it's progress between now and my next appointment. 

Straight After


Two Hours After 


Two Days Later


One Week Later


Next update coming August 2017 after my next appointment!

B...x




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