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With April showers arriving early and in full force it's easy to forget Summer is just around the corner.  Here are my top 5 picks for this payday to bring the sunshine to your wardrobe and to ensure that you start the summer mingling some of the best DJ's in the world.

1. Tinned Bananas SS14 Electric Peanut Butter Blend Range.

A bikini is the ultimate summer buy. They've landed on the high street and every shop is stocked with pastels and prints which are enough to make you forget you're on your lunch break. At the end of this month the highly anticipated Electric Peanut Butter Blend Range from Tinned Bananas are finally available to buy! With four AMAZING prints showcased on their twitter recently (@TinnedBananas) these won't be available for long. The unusual prints are fruity, feathery and even a bit scaly but all definitely ones to lust after. With high-waist bottoms and bandeau tops they're the most complimentary set for most shapes and sizes - as long as you're not worried about tan lines! I know I'll be armed with my debit card to try and bag the Spotted Sardine high-waist bikini but which one is your favourite? http://www.tinnedbananas.com

       Spotted Sardine High-Waist Bikini image c/o @TinnedBananas

          Soul Food High-Waist Bikini image c/o @TinnedBananas


   Kaleidoscope Cat High-Waist Bikini image c/o @TinnedBananas

               Gypsy Eyes High-Waist Bikini image c/o @TinnedBananas

2. Beautiful hand crafted and personalised clothing by Mila Mala UK. 

If you're fed up of buying that top you've had your eyes on for weeks and then the first time you showcase it you see 5 other girls in the same top - Mila Mala UK is the one for you. Mila Mala offers a friendly, exciting and unique experience where each item is personalised and hand-crafted for YOU. I was lucky enough to get my paws on the Lockett Two Piece which is an incredible paisley print where the demand for the fabric was so high it sold out almost instantly! With fresh new colours and prints in every week and a huge collection of styles to choose from you can customise your own piece. All items made are unique and crafted with passion and individuality. With a new collection of unique jewellery hitting the website this week you can truly have an individual and unique outfit which has been made especially for you. To take a look at these one of a kind pieces and get some ideas for your order please visit the Instagram (@milamalauk) or the website to create your custom piece. http://milamala.co.uk

    The amazing Lockett two piece (right) which is all mine!
                      Image c/o @milamalauk.


3. WeAreFSTVL

Forget the floods at Creamfields and the same old headliners at Parklife there's a new festival which is a must-go for anyone into dance music - We are Festival in Essex. We are Festival is playing host to some of the biggest names, past and present in EDM, House and Techno. From Fatboy Slim to Richie Hawtin and Disclosure to Amine Edge & DANCE the line-up is incredible. Originating as a one day festival last year the festival has expanded due to its enormous success and popularity into 2 full days at the Airfield of Dreams on 24th and 25th May 2014. As it's on one of the May bank holiday weekends it's a no brainier to kick off your summer at the newest and most exciting festival in the UK. I can't guarantee you the good weather but I can guarantee this is weekend is going to be unforgettable. The early bird tickets are completely sold out and the standard weekend tickets are now limited availability only! If you really want to start your summer with a bang you can get a VIP ticket which allows you a whole host of additional perks including mingling with the mainstage acts on both the Saturday and the Sunday. As it's my birthday weekend, I'm seriously tempted to upgrade but either way I recommend you get a ticket before they are completely gone! http://www.wearefstvl.com/tickets



4. Topshop x Adidas Originals 

Are you still kidding yourself that you're having that New Year health kick to lose a few pounds for Summer? If you are, and failing miserabley like I am, look no further for some inspiration. The brand new 20 piece sportswear line which adapts the strong, original Adidas silhouette with the prints and reworking of the shapes creates a celebration of fashion and sportswear. Leaning more towards the cool sportswear feel but less active wear, these sporty chic pieces can be worn on a daily basis, although, I'm definitely going to use the gym as my excuse to splurge. The collection is available online and in stores now! So if this capsule collection still can't convince you to jump on the treadmill at least you can wander round the gym or market street showcasing the collection. Good enough I'd say? Buy Here



5. Statement Earrings from adorningava.com 

Just because the weather is dreary at the moment doesn't mean your styling has to be bleak as well. Adorning Ava are an online jewellery boutique which have a perfect balance between on trend, kitsch and vintage styles. The pieces are a much better alternative to the mass-produced costume jewellery on the high street and the pieces speak for themselves. Not only are the quirky earrings right on trend but they are a bargain price which won't break the bank! If earrings aren't your thing they have statement necklaces, spring pastels and bright pops of colour across the different styles. I've picked some of my favourites from the website below and it seems the press feel the same!
http://www.adorningava.com

           Image c/o Adoring Ava 

           Image c/o Adoring Ava 

            Image c/o Adoring Ava 

If there's anything you can think of that will banish these rainy blues, let me know! You'll find me swanning up and down Market Street with all my prints on, oversized necklace and Adidas hoody - I'll be easy to spot.

Thanks 

Em x



The Alchemist on New York Street is one in a trio of Alchemist Restaurants. Like all of the Living Ventures restaurants, The Alchemist is known for it's innovative cocktails, amazing food and impeccable service, but today I got to experience a new dimension to the usual impressive aspects - Brunch!

New York Street is my favourite of the three by far! It's really spacious, the staff are wonderful every visit and not to mention it's a stones throw away from the office. The interior sets the mood with the lighting, mismatching chairs, cosy booths and the exposed pipes. The perfect setting on a lovely Sunday Morning, I felt like I was brunching with Serena, Blair and Chuck! #GossipGirl 

Seating Area

Bar

The menu offered a whole host of healthier and delicious options including Eggs Benedict Florentine or Royale (£6.75) and Mish Mosh - Broken eggs with chorizo sausage, cheese, bacon, spinach and mushroom, served with toast (£6.75). So naturally, we chose the most outrageous options on the menu!

The American

Words cannot describe how unbelievable this breakfast was! 2 Belgian Waffles, Scrambled Eggs, Bacon and Sausage - plus loads of maple syrup. Otherwise known as The American (£8.75). The bacon was thin and crispy as you would expect from the title and the sausages must have had sage or some seasoning in as they were delicious. I don't know what went into those eggs either but I feel like getting a  temporary job there just to steal the recipe! Not a great option if you are counting calories but a definite indulgence which you won't regret. 

Steak and Hash Brown

Alex got the 5oz Bloody Sirloin with 2 eggs and mini hash browns. Definitely, not one for me as I couldn't even manage half of this monster breakfast, but from the bits I nabbed it was just as delicious as The American. If none of the above tickle your tastebuds then they also offer  The English (£8.95) and Egg and Bacon Muffin (£4.50) - both self explanatory. 

If you're not feeling too tender from the night before or fancy hair of the dog to shift that hangover then you should try one of the brunch cocktails on offer: Classic Bloody Mary, Strawberry Bellini and Breakfast at Tiffany's. I settled for some fresh orange juice but I'll definitely be heading back next weekend and trying the Breakfast at Tiffany's!

This is something I would DEFINITELY recommend one morning, if you get a chance. The brunch menu is served between 10am and 1pm on a weekend at both Manchester venues AND you can get breakfast between 10am and 12pm Monday to Friday at New York Street. 

The Alchemist is always busy so I would recommend making a reservation here.

The only thing I'm not happy about is that my 'brunch break' at work isn't until 1pm. Maybe one day we will have a universal Brunch break ... but until then we have The Alchemist to make us feel like we live on the Upper East Side.

I know you'll love it #XOXO

Em x 


Brunching!


NEW YORK STREET
  • 1 New York Street
  • Manchester
  • M1 4HD
  • Tel: 0161 228 3856

SPINNINGFIELDS
  • 3 Hardman Street
  • Manchester
  • M3 3HF
  • Tel: 0161 817 2950





Our Father, Who art in heaven
Hungry be Thy Name;
Thy meat will come,
Rare or well-done, 
smoked, never cooked in oven. 
Give us this day our daily Reds,
and forgive us our leftovers,
as we forgive those meat-coma's against us;
and lead us into the temptation,
... but learn to deliver to our offices. 

Amen. 

Since opening last month, Reds True BBQ has been the taste on everybody's lips. In a city full of quirky restaurants, promoting Man Vs Food worthy feasts, Reds True BBQ still manages to stand out from the cattle.

View of the bar from the waiting area


Not only does the website allow you to worship layers and layers of beef, ribs, sausages, pork and bacon in a variety if concoctions such as the Donut Burger and Pit Burger - but there are an amazing range of in-house sauces made with secret recipes that you don't even have to pay extra for! If the menu itself doesn't explain why reds is so popular then you should see what's going on behind the smokers.

Rib-eye Steak, Chips and Onion Rings

                                                  Beef Brisket, Chips and Onion Rings

All the meat you sink your teeth into is locally sourced from approved farmers who have an ongoing partnership with Reds which ensures the animals are well looked after. The chicken also live a free-range life and Reds have high standards of food safety and animal welfare. Before the meat reaches your plate, it is coated and rubbed in special herbs and spices for no less than 24 hours! All of this pre-treatment is what contributes to the incredible selection of tender plates that Reds has to offer.

Chicken Wings and Cracklings


I had the Texas Beef Brisket with the chips and onion rings - and the portions were sinful! I barely managed half my meal, predominantly because I gulped down a 5 dollar shake, served in a Ready Brek bottle, before I tucked in. I wasn't too keen on the Cracklings but that was because I had no idea what to expect *Do not order if you are daft and expecting little sausages!* but these would have been perfect with a beer.

The meat is the main attraction but it would be blasphemous not to mention the cocktails and the decor! I would definitely recommend the Banana Colada which made an estimated 40 minute wait  (no reservations - first come first served) - a 5 minute one! As well as cocktails they have a huge range of spirits and beers to compliment your meal and a laid-back bar area where you can wait for a table with your drinks. The restaurant has a really American feel to it which could have been an influence from all the research into the menu over in the States.

Confessional Toilets


My favourite part of the whole place was the toilets though! Designed to look like confessionals with lattices between each cubicle. The theme of Reds was delivered in an unconventional but powerful way, therefore turning something very traditional into something conventional.

If you've not been already then you need to get yourself down to Reds one evening this week - since it's almost as popular as the new Morrison's Salad bar - you can expect to be waiting in the bar area for about 30-45 minutes around tea time but it's definitely worth the wait and, who needs an excuse to have a few extra cocktails?! On quieter evenings you can order from Red's but it will take no less than an hour due to high demand - if we all band together and pray, who knows?

Maybe one day .. Thou shall deliver.



Manchester
22 Lloyd Street
Albert Square
M2 5WA.

Website: http://truebarbecue.com







Already dreading your Monday morning alarm? It's that notorious time of the week again where the weekend seems so far away. Don't despair! Below are my top picks for Friday night so your weekend can begin as soon as the clock strikes 5 - See you there!

Friday 21st March




Picture from Drop the Mustard's Facebook

1. Drop the Mustard presents Breach and Route94
Gorilla (11pm-4am)
5 years on and Drop The Mustard have evolved from The Attic on New Wakefield Street to playing all of the hottest venues in town. On Friday they are bringing Breach and Route94 to Gorilla. With Route94 spending 2 weeks at #1 this event is completely sold out. If you've not got tickets, no need to worry - he is playing the Drop the Mustard arena at Parklife. I'm lucky enough to have tickets so expect to see it on the blog next weekend!
                                                             Picture from Google
2. 2ManyDJs 
Sankeys (10:30pm-5am)
If you've listened to so much deep house you're almost drowning, get yourself over to Sankeys for an eclectic mix across all genres which will get you dancing all night long. Tickets almost sold out so get them before they are gone here.

                                                Picture from Beat Street MCR Website 

3. Friday Food Fight S1 E3. @beatstreetmanchester
Upper Campfield Market - Deansgate - Manchester - M3 4FH. (5pm-11pm)
12 Fridays of Eats, Beats and Great Drinks, Free Admission and No Tickets Required. Perfect for a few after work drinks and a chance to unwind. The food this week is supplied by some of the tastiest vendors. Including Manchester's Solita, Liverpool's Lucha Libre and Diamond Dogs original street food. This weeks soundtrack is provided by Krysko (The Warehouse Project Resident DJ) so we are definitely in for a treat - in more ways than one. #FridayFoodFight

Picture Steve Madden UK Facebook


4. Steve Madden Launch S/S14 @stevemadden_uk
The Trafford Centre (6pm-10pm)
A free evening full of shopping, goody bags and giveaways. Shoppers will get an exclusive 10% discount and will receive a free goody bag worth £75 with every purchase. One lucky shopper will also win £100 worth of shoes whilst sipping away on complimentary Prosecco and refreshments. A no-brainer for any shoe fanatic. #MadAboutSS14

If you play your cards right you could fit in at least 3 of these! I know I'm going to try to. If you're not in Manchester what's going on in your town?

Let me know!

Em

x










Recently, I've seen so many talented people turning their talents and ambitions into businesses whether it be blogging, crafting clothes and jewellery or baking - it's inspiring and definitely something that keeps me writing. This one is particularly close to home as I've seen it grow from a hobby to a #CityStoreBakeOff to a small business which is growing by the day.

Introducing... Baked with Love by Claire Garvey.



If you've got a sweet tooth, love home baked goods or have an eye for some adorable packaging -you're definitely in the right place. My good friend and old manager Claire, moonlights as an incredibly talented baker. From her own kitchen she crafts small parcels with sweet treats enclosed which are fresh and made to order.

Her trademark Macarons are an unbelievable hit, with luscious flavours from White Chocolate and Raspberry,  Double Strawberry, Lemon and Poppy Seed, Chocolate Orange (!) amongst many more are indescribable. Not only are there a huge selection of flavours to choose from but Claire offers a unique flavour request service where if there's isn't something which tickles your taste buds, she will whip up a variation for you or your loved ones.


                                                 White Chocolate & Raspberry Macaron

As well as Macarons, Claire crafts; cupcakes, special cakes, cookies, tray bakes and classic cakes! I've been fortunate enough to try a wide variety of the cakes and cookies but with so much to choose from it's going to take a lot more cups of tea and cake slices to try the full menu.

                                 Chocolate Fudge Cake c/o Carl Dawson Photography



                                              Afternoon Tea c/o Carl Dawson Photography

These sweet treats are usually hand crafted the night before you can pick them up but on Sunday 30th March you will be able to head down to Prestwich Farmers Market and carefully select your hand crafted macarons yourself! It's no coincidence this amazing opportunity falls on Mothers Day - forget the last minute flowers and pre-boxed chocolates and show your Mum how much you really love her with fresh macarons.. Baked with Love by Claire Garvey.

Not to worry if you can't make it, you can make orders via the official Facebook Account and follow her on Instagram for some seriously tempting snaps of her latest creations!

Farmers Market
Longfield Centre
Prestwich
M25 1AY

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/bakedwithlovebyclairegarvey
Instagram: http://instagram.com/baked_with_lovemcr




Hello everyone,

Have you seen my review for Vermilion and Cinnabar via Style Etc?

http://style-etc.co.uk/vermilion-cinnebar-a-valentines-must/

Since this visit we have been back again and rented one of the cocoons for my uncle's 50th, definitely worth it for a special occasion, check out the family photos below.

Em x

                                                        Family Shot in the Cocoon
                                                          Enjoying the incredible food
                                                                     At Cinnabar!
                                                         Happy Birthday Uncle John x