Thursday, 27 February 2014

Nail Art Weekly Project - Week 5

This is the last Nail Art Weekly Project! It's been so much fun creating themed manicures and seeing what everyone else has created. I can't believe it has gone by so quickly! I'm so pleased with the amount of people that have really committed to the project as they've all made it such a success and hopefully they've been inspired!

The last theme is Glitz and Glam! The sparklier the better! As I'd just bought Hey Baby from OPI's Gwen Stefani collection I wanted to incorporate this.

Nail Art Pink Silver Sparkly Nails

Nail Art Pink Silver Sparkly Nails

Nail Art Pink Silver Sparkly Nails

Nail Art Pink Silver Sparkly Nails

Nail Art Pink Silver Sparkly Nails

I underestimate how long manicures like this will take me but in the end I'm really pleased with the results. I may as well use the time while I'm young and free to do my nails! I used OPI - It's Frosty Outside for my pointing finger, Orly - Miss Conduct for my middle finger, and then OPI - Hey Baby for the others.

What do you think? Are these glitz and glam enough?
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Wednesday, 26 February 2014

Strawberry & Kiwi Kisses!

Lip balms seriously have taken over my life. I have the more lip balms than fingers on my hands, and probably the toes of my feet! I love to have a lip balm in every bag so I am not caught out with dry lips. There are so many types and flavours of lip balm I just want to buy them all. So when Grace Cole asked if I wanted to try one of their lip balms I was extremely excited.

If you haven't heard of Grace Cole they are a UK based manufacturer of bath and body products, cosmetics and beauty gifts. The production of their products takes place right here in Britain meaning the best quality products can get to the market quicker. Grace Cole pride themselves on their luxury formulations, inspiring fragrances and their ability to make everyone feel special when using their products.

Grace Cole Fruit Works Lip Balm - Strawberry and Kiwi

Grace Cole Fruit Works Lip Balm - Strawberry and Kiwi

Grace Cole Fruit Works Lip Balm - Strawberry and Kiwi - 12g - £2.00*

I was lucky enough to receive the strawberry and kiwi lip balm which smells lovely. It doesn't really smell too strongly of strawberry and kiwi, more like a subtle strawberry scent. It almost smells a bit like strawberry jelly sweets which makes me want to eat it!

It comes in a little metal tin which is easy enough to open as there is enough space on the lid and the base to get a proper hold. Not like some tins that require you to dig your nails in to to get inside! Also it is smaller enough to slip into your bag, but has bright enough packaging that you shouldn't lose it amongst all the other things in there. The formulation of this lip balm is very creamy and moisturising. As you can see it is very red in the tin which translates onto your lips as a subtle red tint.

Overall I think this is a really nice lip balm, although I have to be careful I don't rub my lips too much and get red all around my lips. Awkward. I'd really love to try the other flavours as there looks to be some gorgeous ones.
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Monday, 24 February 2014

Manicure Monday - Chrome Nails

After a week off from Manicure Monday I am back with a gorgeous new polish I picked up last week! I love new OPI collections. The current collection is by Gwen Stefani. The colours are pretty standard but there is one special polish which is a chrome effect. It is called Push and Shove and it comes with a special base coat called Lay Down The Base.

Gwen Stefani OPI Collection - Chrome Nail Polish Swatch

Gwen Stefani OPI Collection - Chrome Nail Polish Swatch

Gwen Stefani OPI Collection - Chrome Nail Polish Swatch

Gwen Stefani OPI Collection - Chrome Nail Polish Swatch

Gwen Stefani OPI Collection - Chrome Nail Polish Swatch

Gwen Stefani OPI Collection - Chrome Nail Polish Swatch

I was really dubious about putting this polish on as I didn't know how it would look and it states it is only for one night, as a few of the holographic polishes do, and I do not have the time to do my nails again the next day! Having said that I thought I'd try it out! I applied one coat of the special base coat and then two coats of the silver chrome polish. When you apply the chrome polish you have to get it as smooth as you can as this is how it will look when it dries.

The polish clings to your nails which means you have to clear your nails of anything that could show through. My nails are quite ridged so when I applied this, as you can see on the photos, it clung to this and showed them up. Even though this happened I still really do like the polish, its different and would look great on a night out or if you were going somewhere special. I've yet to see how long this polish lasts but I have used Seche Vite on the top (even though it says not to use a top coat) so it should keep for a few days.

Have you tried this? What do you think?
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Sunday, 23 February 2014

Sherlock and Speedy's

Now I don’t know if you know but recently I have become a HUGE Sherlock fan. If you haven’t watched it, you must! Even if you think "oh heard of it but don’t fancy it", trust me you will. For those of you who do watch it and appreciate the brilliance you will recognise this place that I dragged my mum to whilst we were down in London. After browsing the Sherlockology site I found the location of the Sherlock’s famous door and subsequently the little cafe that sits next to it. So that meant we had to visit.

After getting off the tube at Euston it was only a 5 minute walk (less if you get off at Euston Square) to the door and Speedy’s cafe. There were a couple of people around taking photos of the site, so I wasn't the only weirdo there. After a couple of snaps we realised we hadn't had breakfast so I convinced mum that we should go to Speedy’s for food. Inside they have adorned their walls with photos of the staff with Benedict and Martin as well as photos they have taken of filming.


Sherlock Door 221B Baker Street and Speedy's Cafe London

Sherlock Door 221B Baker Street and Speedy's Cafe London

Sherlock Door 221B Baker Street and Speedy's Cafe London

Sherlock Door 221B Baker Street and Speedy's Cafe London

Sherlock Door 221B Baker Street and Speedy's Cafe London

We both ordered a tea and then I had toast with tomatoes and mushrooms whilst mum had toast and scrambled egg. It wasn't the most impressive breakfast I've ever had but hey I was in Speedy’s cafe!
If you love Sherlock then you have to visit to get your photo taken with Speedy’s cafe and Sherlock’s door, although I must warn you the number has been changed back to the number it should be on the road, not 221B like we all want it to be.
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Friday, 21 February 2014

Ice Bar by Ice Hotel, London

When we planned our trip to London we planned to be there for Mum’s birthday so we had to think of a few things to occupy her special day. She came across the ice bar and thought it would be a good place to visit.

The Ice Bar by Ice Hotel is, as you can imagine, a bar made completely of ice with a temperature of -5C, even the personal glasses we were given were made out of ice. Before we went in to the bar we were each given a huge thermal cape with gloves attached to keep us warm. There is a 40 minute time limit to ensure no one gets too cold and this time whizzed by as we were busy sipping our drinks and snapping photos of each other.

Ice Bar by Ice Hotel, London Review

Ice Bar by Ice Hotel, London Review

Ice Bar by Ice Hotel, London Review

Ice Bar by Ice Hotel, London Review

Ice Bar by Ice Hotel, London Review

We opted to get the champagne cocktail which cost a bit extra but it was lovely. I chose the Mission Revival which was Pommery Champagne, Absolut Blue and strawberry puree served in my ice glass. Drinking from a glass made of ice was pretty weird as it was melting where your lips had touched it but at least it kept your drink chilled.

The experience overall was very strange but very fun. We all had a laugh at how silly we looked in our capes and equally how cold we all were sitting on furniture made of ice. On the wall a timer is projected so you know how much time you have left. We stayed until the timer ran out and happened to be the last ones there, everyone else left earlier which I think is strange as you may as well enjoy all the time you have. I’d definitely recommend visiting the ice bar even if you only go once in your life to say you’ve been, you will enjoy it.
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Thursday, 20 February 2014

Nail Art Weekly Project - Week 4

Week 4 of the Nail Art Weekly Project already! Where have the weeks gone? This week's theme is the month you were born. As I was born in August I was going to try and do a summer theme manicure with lots of cute nail art but again I was super busy and had no patience. So I have followed suit of what a lot of the other girlies are doing and based my manicure on my birthstone, peridot.

Nail Art Green Birthstone Peridot

Nail Art Green Birthstone Peridot

Nail Art Green Birthstone Peridot

Nail Art Green Birthstone Peridot

In essence all I've done is found all the green polishes I have and stuck them in one manicure! I know that peridot is more of a yellowy green colour but I don't have anything like that so have gone with a light and dark green with some glitters.

It is the last week of the project next week so I hope you've enjoyed everyone's manicures!

What do you think?
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Wednesday, 19 February 2014

The Diner and a birthday cupcake

In the early days of Gingerbread Smiles I blogged about the Diner but it’s been a while and I've had a lot of new followers since then so I thought I’d tell you about my most recent venture there. We've actually been their three times now always tending to venture there when we are down in London. Mum has become obsessed with their ribs so we had to go back for her birthday.

We went to the Diner with my friend Jess, who came down with us, her friend Gemma, from Liverpool but down with Jess for Taylor Swift, and my friend Sophie, who lives down South but I met her through our love of the Jonas Brothers and we've since kept in touch. So as you can imagine a gaggle of girls all chatting about Taylor Swift, who we've met and who we want to meet.


The Diner Soho London Restaurant Review

The Diner Soho London Restaurant Review
When we were all finally there we decided to order going straight for our main meals. Now I never go for chicken on the bone, I'm always a boneless kinda gal, but for some reason I really wanted chicken and the chicken wings appealed to me. I was very confused at myself for getting them, it was almost like an out of body experience eating them, but I actually quite enjoyed them. They were fried in a crispy batter and then sat in some sort of spicy sauce which was a bit hot but I kept eating them. They came with a blue cheese sauce which I didn't enjoy; it was very tangy and didn't seem to go. I also devoured a huge bowl of wet fries, a.k.a gravy and chips, but I left some chicken wings. I'm not an animal!


The Diner Soho London Restaurant Review

The Diner Soho London Restaurant Review
Earlier in the day at Primrose Bakery I failed at getting a candle for mum to blow out on her birthday so my next chance was at the Diner. I had Sophie bring a cupcake and a candle, which I was very grateful for, and she handed this to the restaurant staff as she walked in. The problem came when we were paying and the cake hadn't appeared. I had to fain a need for the toilet and ask the staff WHERE IS THE CAKE? They swiftly brought out the cake and we all sang happy birthday. She was pleasantly surprised.
If you need somewhere easy and yummy to eat I would suggest the Diner. They have a seven locations of which we visited the Soho one just off Carnaby Street so very accessible.

Have you been?
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Tuesday, 18 February 2014

Neal and Wolf Rituals Shampoo and Conditioner

A stash of samples have been collecting in my bottom draw since August last year so for my trip to London at the beginning of February I thought it best to take some with me. The only shampoo and conditioner sample I had was Neal and Wolf Rituals which I got in a goody bag from a meet up. Neal and Wolf are one of those brands that I hear beauty bloggers ravings about all the time, so I was excited to see if they would live up to their hype. I tried the Daily Cleansing Shampoo and the Daily Conditioner.

I'm not very savvy when it comes to shampoo and conditioner as I tend to pick up anyone that is in the shower or I'd buy the best smelling one from the shops. My favourites are probably head and shoulders and herbal essences.

When I shampoo I love to get my hair very soapy to ensure its clean. I know I probably waste a lot of shampoo like that but otherwise it doesn't feel like I'm washing my hair fully. It was hard to get a great lather with the sample I had but I just managed to coat all my hair. If my hair was longer I'm not sure how I would have coped. There was enough conditioner as I only put this on the ends of my hair.

They both small very elegant and sweet, a lot like a perfume I used to own called Insolence. After I dried my hair it felt soft and had a lovely shine however I did find that my ends weren't as moisturised as I would have liked and they still felt quite dry. The conditioner also claims to de-tangle but I found compared to others I've used this left quite a few cotters still in my hair. The smell from the shampoo/conditioner soon faded when I blow dried my hair which was quite disappointing as I love the smell of freshly washed hair.

Overall I think that these seem like a lovely combo but unfortunately I don't see anything special about these products. On Neal and Wolf's website the shampoo is £11.50 for 250ml and the conditioner is £12.50 for a 200ml. I love to get a bargain so I don't think I'd personally splash this much on shampoo and conditioner. Although they seem like great products I think I'll stick to the ones I can buy from the supermarket.
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Sunday, 16 February 2014

The Primrose Bakery, Covent Garden - London

The Primrose Bakery is quite famed for their special swirl iced cupcakes and their many cupcake cookbooks that are sold in all shops. They have two actual shops, one in Primrose Hill and the other in Covent Garden. We visited the Covent Garden shop which is a sweet little shop a few streets from the main square with a some tables to sit in.

We've visited the bakery a few times before to take cakes away, and mum even attended a cupcake decorating class, but we hadn't had chance to get a cake and sit down. As it was mum’s birthday we decided to get a pot of tea and sit in. As I was paying for our two chocolate cakes, my treat, I sneakily asked the girls if they could put a candle in mum’s cake. After quite a while waiting for our cakes mum got impatient and asked if we could have them, turns out they didn't have a lighter and told mum this much to her confusion. Why did she need a lighter? They had put the candle in the cake anyway so she soon cottoned on.


The Primrose Bakery, Covent Garden - London Review - Cake

The Primrose Bakery, Covent Garden - London Review - Cake

The Primrose Bakery, Covent Garden - London Review - Cake

The Primrose Bakery, Covent Garden - London Review - Cake

The Primrose Bakery, Covent Garden - London Review - Cake
After the candle debacle we sat and ate our cakes blissfully sipping our tea. My cake was lovely, there was just the right amount of chocolate buttercream and the sponge wasn't too dry. The decoration was Primrose Bakery’s famed swirl with a little icing flower on top.
If you are looking for a pit stop on your tours of London definitely try the Primrose Bakery for a cupcake!
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Saturday, 15 February 2014

Angus Steakhouse, Leicester Square - London

After trawling around London all day it's sometimes hard to get to the place you planned on eating, you just want food right now. That is how we stumbled into the Angus Steak House, we’d gone into M&M world at Leicester Square to keep warm and then wanted food so went across and into here.

Now this steak house is pretty swish and will definitely break the bank if you aren't careful. The cheapest steak is £17.50 without any extras! Although it was expensive we were too tired to go elsewhere so settled down for a lovely steak. We both chose the 8oz fillet steak and then got a portion of chips, one portion of onion rings and some bĂ©arnaise sauce to share.

Angus Steakhouse, Leicester Square - London

Angus Steakhouse, Leicester Square - London

Angus Steakhouse, Leicester Square - London

Angus Steakhouse, Leicester Square - London

When the steaks came they looked gorgeous and were cooked to perfection. I like my steak to be medium to well done so that there isn't any blood and it was just that. The salad that accompanied it was very nice with a lovely vinaigrette. I made sure to eat all my steak rather than filling up on chips and onion rings and I was glad I did as it was amazing. We got the bĂ©arnaise sauce to try and it was pretty tasty although quite rich so I couldn't eat a lot.
If you are into your steaks and have some money to burn I would definitely suggest visiting Angus Steak House on your trip to London.
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Friday, 14 February 2014

Nail Art Weekly Project - Week 3

This week's theme is Valentines Day! I had planned an extravagant manicure with quite a bit of nail art but I've been super busy and only just got internet back in the house. So I've decided that this Valentines Day I will do something simple.

Pink polka dot OPI nail art - Valentines Day

Pink polka dot OPI nail art - Valentines Day

Pink polka dot OPI nail art - Valentines Day

Pink polka dot OPI nail art - Valentines Day

I used OPI - Got a date to-knight and Alpine snow to create this polka dot manicure. I know it's a bit simple but I think it is cute!

What do you think?
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Wednesday, 12 February 2014

The Breakfast Club - Soho

Before we set off for London I did a bit of searching around to see where was good to eat as I love discovering new cool places. The Breakfast Club was one of the suggestions I got from twitter but I was warned it is really popular and there is usually a queue. They certainly weren't wrong! We waited an hour in the line to get inside, I've never waited that long to get in a restaurant ever but hoped it would live up to its popularity.

The Breakfast Club Soho Restaurant Review London

The Breakfast Club Soho Restaurant Review London

The Breakfast Club Soho Restaurant Review London

The Breakfast Club Soho Restaurant Review London

The Breakfast Club Soho Restaurant Review London

The Breakfast Club Soho Restaurant Review London

When we finally got in after our chilly wait there was still a huge queue behind us, which we felt quite smug about. Inside it was small, quaint and alternative with different nick knacks pinned to the wall and fairy lights hanging from the ceiling. They seated us in the back and we were soon given our menus.

After waiting outside so long in the cold I needed a hot chocolate to warm me up and although I don’t usually have them I opted for marshmallows. They came in ‘the breakfast club’ mugs, which I really want, and it was the yummiest hot chocolate I have ever had! I would go back just for their hot chocolate!

I had a lot of time to review the menu whilst in the line and wasn't quite sure what to pick as there were so many good things on the menu. I was torn between the posh sausage sandwich and the all American, in the end it had to be the all American because I wanted pancakes. When it came I was not disappointed all of it was so tasty and full of flavour. There was so much on my plate I had to keep chipping away at each bit otherwise I would have filled up on one bit and not tried the others.

Having to endure the hour long wait in the queue was worth it as we thoroughly enjoyed our food and drink which was complemented by the friendly staff. I would definitely visit again but next time I might try one of their other locations in the hope it will be less busy than the flagship restaurant.
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