Rugby League: A truly Magic Weekend. 'Try'ed it, liked it, converted.

We're only just recovering from one magical weekend.

With over 62,000 Rugby League fans descending on the hallowed ground of St James' Park, Newcastle we knew it was going to be an epic weekend.

The Dacia Magic Weekend made the promise for hair-raising, crowd roaring entertainment. Providing revellers; 12 teams playing 6 games over two days, they certainly delivered.


St James' has been home to some of the biggest sporting events the country has seen over the past few years including the Rugby World Cup and the 2012 Olympics, so we knew that the magic of the stadium teamed with the pumped up fans was going to create one electric atmosphere! 

With a cousin who plays for the Ladies North of England Rugby team and an uncle coaching kids Rugby (all be it Union), we come from a family of sports fans. Not a sports fan? You can't deny the atmosphere on and off the pitch regardless of the sporting event, makes for a great day out.


Arriving on Saturday, we headed out of the metro station below the ground and through the fan zone. With sponsors Dacia showcasing their fleet of cars (which are all priced at extremely reasonable prices) handing out Gladiator foam hands, sunglasses and caps the youngest of my two cousins emerged from a Dacia with all of the blue branded goodies he could get his hands on. 


With lots of activities going on in the fan zone and sponsors such as Steve Harper's oddballs, Bachelors Mushy Peas and Betfred's stage with famous ex-rugby players taking a grilling, there were an array of different activities in events on for everybody heading to the ground to absorb before they headed into the impressive (promise I'm not biased) ground.


We headed up to the Milburn Reception and into the lift, greeted by Sky Sports Commentators and promotional staff handing out Magic Weekend badges, my little cousin was thrilled at star spotting already. Heading into the Heroes Club we took a seat and enjoyed the pre-game food and drinks. 


As Newcastle great, Peter Beardsley entered he was greeted by children and grown men having their photos taken and signing match programmes. Already well known around these parts for not only his commendable football but his dedication to the club, he is one of the most genuinely lovely gentlemen. Nothing was too much trouble, much like another Newcastle great, Steve Harper who was there with adorable son, sporting an Oddballs jacket, supporting his dad's charity business.

We filled up our stomachs and glasses and after being welcomed by Claire Morrow who was incredibly proud of the Rugby festival and rightly so,  we headed out to the Directors Box, across the magnificent crest of my home team, to take our seats, with the most spectacular view, ready for the first game to begin.


A thrilling match saw Wakefield Trinity trounce Widnes Vikings 34-12 in an exhilarating opening to the weekend. After the first exciting match was over, we headed back into the Heroes Club for a Q&A session with Kevin Sinfield (legend), who was grilled in a little Ant & Dec style session, by two young fans, who weren't afraid to ask all of the awkward questions, and challenged Kevin to a cartwheel-off. He was a great sport and talked for about 15 minutes about his experiences in both league and union which was great to hear, although we're yet to see the cartwheel...A different selection of food was served and of course, more wine was had. 


Next game, the game of the day in the eyes of my Scouse cousins. Hull FC took on the mighty St Helens. We were all shouting for Saints of course. With a 45-0 hammering of The Arlie Birds, St Helens fans were in fine form.

Back in to the hospitality suite where a buffet was served and this time a Q&A from Eorl Crabtree, nephew of the legendary Shirley 'Big Daddy' Crabtree (the wrestler and professional rugby player) who had ridden up on his bike alongside the Huddersfield Giants (his former team) and FLAB Sportswear for the 120 miles from Huddersfield to raise money in memory of late Giants teammate Ronan Costello. Well done lads what a great achievement, he'll be looking down so touched by this incredible achievement. 


Once we had all laughed at the 'censored' stories told by the ex-Rugby players we headed back to our seats for the final time to watch Wigan Warriors take on Warrington Wolves which was a tense game and the final score ended up 24 a piece.  Surprisingly, as Eorl couldn't couldn't decide upon the winner of this game, name the teams 'Wigton' he couldn't have got the contraction of the teams more spot on in this game.


No sooner had we got home, we were heading back to the stadium for day two of the magic. We dodged our way through the thick crowds in the fan zone, with the little one having a go at throwing Rugby balls through holes to win prizes. Swinging mallets to see if he could ring the bell with his hulk-like strength before accepting the challenge to show us his best try at the #Bedzrus stand. 


Heading once again to the Milburn Reception for our VIP hospitality and into the lift (no celebrities spotted this time). We were greeted at reception by the ground staff, who had thoroughly enjoyed the previous day. They all commented about the more relaxed and family friendly atmosphere that Rugby League engenders.

It was interesting to hear multiple stewards telling us how chilled they felt as they weren't having to watch everybody like a hawk, they knew there was going to be no trouble, everybody was there to soak up the atmosphere, so they could soak up the atmosphere too. As an NUFC football fan, a season ticket for multiple years, the family-friendly atmosphere was totally family friendly and devoid of any atmosphere.

Still hair-raising, rugby fans are in a different league, they go for the great day out and enjoy the lighthearted banter without animosity. OMG, I think I might have been converted from football to rugby!


We enjoyed three spectacular games including Catalan Dragons vs Eorl's Huddersfield Giants. The Dragons, travelling from Perpignan, France. As all the teams had travelled from the North West, and the Dragons had travelled considerably North to be here, having to pack their passports and winter coats! We decided to pledge our allegiance to them this match. Unfortunately, our Dragons had been slain by the Giants and were defeated 18-10. With a dragon in the crowd and fans waving their yellow and red flags it was a thoroughly enjoyable game. Surrounded by Rugby Leagues legends, golf hero Lee Westwood, NUFC heroes and lovers of the game, everyone was in fine voice and spirit. 


This game was followed by Centurions against The Red Devils which was hard fought and finished 36-22 to the Red Devils (who played in yellow - how confusing?!). With a red card for Adam Higson, this game was fierce and tense.

The final game billed as the biggest game of the Super League fixtures against newly promoted Cass and old favourites Rhinos, this was sure to be a jungle clash, with the Tigers meeting the Rhinos for a beast of a game. 

With the Cass supporters in fine form, sat in the Leazes End they sang and chanted the whole game. Probably the game with the best atmosphere it finished 29-18 to the Tigers and the whole of the stadium erupted into 'We are top of the league' chants. A chant which only the week before echoed around St James' for our boys in Black & White. For one year, St James' really turned up the top of the league both for football and for the arrival of Castleford Tigers.  

With delicious food and plenty of flowing wine to drink between the games whilst we enjoyed the etymology from ex-rugby players including Mike Bennett as compère and master of ceremonies, this time for the Q&A, did a fantastic job.


A great weekend was had by all and everybody involved truly made it so special. A massive thank you to the RFL for making the weekend truly magical for all the family. Thank you to Dacia for two days of a small child chasing me with a sponge hand (sponge makes my skin crawl). Most importantly thank you so much to the ground staff at St James' Park for the hospitality and for being in great spirit, having a great laugh and being so welcoming.


With an estimated £8m being injected into the city over the two-day event, it questions why do we not create more opportunities for sport in the economy. With a high achieving basketball, football and rugby culture, the carnival atmosphere is probably most suited for THE party capital of the UK.

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We truly hope that next year The Magic Weekend returns to the best city in the world! 

Until next year rugby fans Dacia lot....

Disclaimer: These tickets were provided complimentary, all views are our own. Read more about disclosure here.

The Botanist, Newcastle: Summer Menu Launch

You may remember last Summer we wrote about one of the most talked about restaurant bars in Newcastle at the time, The Botanist. Located in the old Monument Mall, where cafes serving up grey tea and desolate shops once stood. Transformed by The New World Trading Co, this beautifully designed restaurant spans across two floors with a rooftop terrace for those warmer days in Newcastle, who are we kidding? It’s never warm but in true Geordie style, the terrace is always full of typical Northerners without coats. You know what though? A year on from our last review and The Botanist is still very much the talk of the Toon.

An amazing achievement considering The Grey’s Quarter recently made a home for over 20 big brand restaurant including Omar Allihbhoy’s Tapas Revolution, Thai Luxury at Chaophryra and of course the Botanist’s newest rival for themed cocktails, The Alchemist (which you can read all about here).

With Summer on its way, this is one of our favourite times of the year, why? It’s new menu launch time. So when we were invited to test the newly launched Summer menu we couldn’t wait to see what delights the Agatha Christie style potting shed had in store.

Arriving through the front door downstairs with the soft green facia we clambered into the lift and up to the first floor, entering the restaurant at the bar area, the big central tree with twinkling lights which is surrounded by a wooden bar serving up a worldly concoction of botany style cocktails.

We were shown to our table, a different table from each time we’ve been, which is refreshing as you get to experience the fabulous restaurant from different views and atmospheres. Taking in all of the intricate decor details. This time we were seated in the conservatory area with the most breathtaking views of Grey Street and the Monument. This light and airy part of the restaurant juxtaposes itself from the inner bar area which is lit by hanging element lamps and twinkling lights. Our table though was the ideal place for people watching down below and for looking out at the gorgeous architecture of the Georgian buildings, which was voted the best street in the UK in 2010 by BBC Radio 4, which run from the city centre to the Tyne Bridge.


Perusing the drinks menu, it is evident that The Botanist are truly passionate about mixing a unique concoction of new world flavours to create cocktails like no other.


Partial to a Tom Collins, the first order of the day was a Lemon and Jasmine Collins with a garnish of lavender this number was refreshing and the lemon and jasmine paired really well. Potentially it’s even a contender for being up there with our personal favourite, an Elderflower Collins. Alongside the Collins we ordered a Plum & Thai Basil Mojito, reading it on the cocktail list we didn’t know how this would work, but it did and oh my life it was seriously moreish. Muddled together the Thai Basil was refreshing whilst the Plum was devilishly sweet and tasty.

As our drinks were served we looked over the new Summer menu, with a selection of meat and vegetarian starters we opted for a baked camembert and a favourite choice of starter, calamari. With a chicken liver & rum pate, sesame coated falafel, smoked haddock fondue and gambas pil-pil some of the other contenders for selection in the starter stakes. With a choice of ten different dishes, there’s something for everybody.


Taking in the atmosphere, which was a little more relaxed and calmer than the centre of the restaurant our starters were brought out. We always find when dining at the Botanist that the kitchen staff are seriously efficient. With all food being served pretty sharp this is a great selling point for those shopping and looking to grab a bite and go. 

Served on a wooden board the individual camembert with a bacon crust was paired with stacked bread, apple and celery. A radish garnish really added to the potting shed botany feel of the whole place. Concerned when ordering how the baked camembert would be achieved, knowing that it was a starter for one we were instantly pleased. This small but perfectly formed round had just the perfect amount of cheese for a starter. With a real cheesy taste, this was a one for cheese lovers. Our only recommendation would be a little butter to accompany the toasted bread.


Next up the calamari, served with garlic sauce in a round tin dish. The attention to detail with the crockery is second to none as we saw boards being brought past with chips served in mini wheelbarrows and desserts on shovels. Back to the calamari, the breadcrumbs on these rings of squid were light with that all important crunch. The squid was tender and extremely fresh tasting.


Once we had finished our starters and our plates were cleared by the lovely hostess, it wasn’t too long to wait until our main course were served. Struggling to select from the menu of hanging kebabs, steaks, pies and burgers to name just a selection we opted for the chicken & leek pie with chips and the Malaysian Curry with coriander rice.

First up the pie, having had the pie before with a different filling, we knew what to expect. This deliciously creamy filling was jam packed with chicken, ham and leek and seasoned to perfection. The pastry of the pie was crumbly and flaky like a good homemade pie should be.


With a focus on comfort foods, The Botanist perfectly execute pie artistry. Served with skin on chips, mushy peas and gravy. Admittedly, the peas looked like they were straight out of a tin, down to personal preference we like to save mushy for weaning babies and prefer a crushed pea. All in all, this was a proper homely dish and thoroughly enjoyable.


With a Thai basil mojito in hand and a Malaysian curry in front of us it was clear to see that this traditional English menu had a middle eastern twist to heat it up. Served on a wooden board with blue and white patterned dishes the coriander rice was dwarfed by the humongous bowl of curry set before us. The sauce was evidently a coconut base and was more like a soup consistency, packed full of an array of vegetables including curried potato, which is one of our favourites and broccoli, the curry was served with a mountain of chunky chicken.


The portion of rice was more than sufficient and the flavouring worked well with the curry. With the right amount of kick, it was neither too strong nor was it too spicy for the average diner. This dish was selected upon recommendation from the host and to say she knew her dishes would be an understatement. Instead of playing it safe with a traditional burger it was the right choice to go for the curry and from us, it comes highly recommended.


The food was extremely tasty (minus the mushy peas) and the service was friendly and swift. Views, well you can see how phenomenal they were for yourself and as always The Botanist, you delivered on your cocktails. Having seen new restaurants creep up around this very popular watering hole it’s safe to say that The Botanist continues to grow and flourish. Their Summer menu will certainly be a big hit amongst hungry city centre goers so make sure you check it out.

Disclaimer: This meal was complimentary, all views are our own. Read more about disclosure here.

Falling in love with fragrance with Diptyque

A warm and friendly welcome along with a tremendously knowledgable team were in store for me when I headed along to the Diptyque counter in Fenwick's Beauty Hall in Newcastle. It is clear that the passion for the product is genuine and not borne purely from a sales perspective.


If you haven't heard of Diptyque where have you been? A fabulously French brand whose first office was located at 34 Boulevard Saint Germain, Paris, and hence the signature fragrance,  just called '34' which was created as a 'cocktail' of all of their fragrances blended together. You wonder how that works, but surprisingly it does and 34 is magnificent and loved by many. My favourite however, when it comes to the personal perfumes, is Tam Dao; sandalwood and rosewood combined to give a truly deep and sensual oriental Asian fragrance. What I absolutely love about Diptyque is that a sample is provided with your fragrance so that you can try it before opening your purchase. Perfume is a really personal experience and Diptyque really understand this.


While I could talk for ages about the perfumes, the attraction with Diptyque for me is the homeware collection.


The candles are absolutely divine and anyone who knows me also knows that I can wax lyrical (pun definitely intended) for hours on candles. But you all agree with me that there is nothing quite as relaxing as coming home and lighting candles while sipping on your favourite glass of wine. Even when snuffed out the fragrance of a really good quality candle lingers and creates a fabulous aroma in your home. Trust me Diptyque candles are really worth spending your money on and if you are going to go for it, the huge outdoor candle for me is the epitome of luxurious decadence.

Moving on and more importantly for me I am completely drawn to the magnificent hour glass styled diffusers. The diffuser had me, as they say 'at hello', with a very Moroccan design styling it oozes sophisticated luxury. Who couldn't love a diffuser like this in their home? The bulbous glass ends are joined through a central gold fretwork tubing which is reminiscent of the souks and casbahs of North Africa.


Using the same fragrances throughout the collections I was immediately drawn to the Mediterranean smell of Figuier. The diffusers are wonderful with the fragrance held in the bulbous end with the reeds running through the centre, once or twice a day depending on your preference you can turn the diffuser, hour glass style. Although the price is £120, depending how frequently it is turned the fragrance can last between six to twelve months but it is more than just a fabulous fragrance in your home it is a lovely objet d'art and well worth the price tag. This diffuser is definitely on my must have list I absolutely love it, I hope I don't decide to buy it as a gift for someone else as I know already I won't want to part with it.


Hot Sex Sells. Spend and evening with Frederic Malle

Frederic Malle brings together some truly sophisticated fine fragrances and they are now available in the Fenwick Beauty Hall in Newcastle.

Unique, intriguing and exciting, Frederic has called upon 12 of the finest perfumery blenders to bring together a collection of twenty-six magnificent scents like only the French Perfumeries can do. Frederic Malle was inspired to let free the creativity of some of the people whom he admired, behind some of the great perfume houses to develop their own individual and thought provoking fragrances. They are brought together in this stunning collection each with their own individual story.

Stripped back packaging these minimalist capsule bottles let the fragrances speak volumes.


One of the finest perfumes in the collection is ‘Le Parfum De Therese’. This magnificent fragrance was orchestrated by the highly regarded ‘perfume composer’ Edmond Roudnitska, solely for his wife Therese. It was only after her death that Frederic approached Edmond’s son, Michel, that this most personal of perfumes was released as part of the collection. Michel Roudnitska also contributes to the collection with his scent ‘Noir Epices’. This is a spicy, oriental, sensuous and exotic scent.

Lipstick Rose, as the name suggests takes you to a place of Hollywood glamour. The man behind the fragrance, Ralf Schweiger recreates a particular memory for him as a boy and the smell of his mother’s lipstick when she kissed him. He captures this perfectly and you can’t but help smile as you understand this recollection of rose and violets.


Portrait of A Lady, created by Dominique Ropion depicts beauty and attraction it has depth and femininity. Dominique has blended several of the fragrances in the collection and is known for his daringness as one of the greatest perfume technicians.

Musc Ravageur, by Maurice Roucel, is a powerful sensual perfume. It smells of seduction and is a hot, steamy and explosive fragrance with a heavy composition of musk and amber.

There are so many to discover and experience, each taking you on their story and on into your own journey. I am currently working my way through a selection of samples to discover who I am within the collection. Today I am wearing ‘Dries Van Noten’ created for the collection byBruno Jovanovic. The fragrance base is sandalwood and smells to me very stylish and exotic.

While the price point is at the higher end I have personally found that the concentration is greater that I use less and the fragrance lasts far longer that there is no requirement for me to ‘top up’ throughout the day and evening. Since my discovery of the collection, there have been several occasions recently where complete strangers have complimented me on how fabulous I smell and this has given me a great buzz. More importantly though, what I particularly love, is the way that a fine fragrance makes me feel and you really can’t put a price on that……


Dangerous, provocative and sultry fun with Kilian Hennessy

Think sensuous, think provocative, think indulgent, think dangerous fun and you will capture the rich essence of the Kilian perfumery house.

Attending the Fenwick beauty week in Newcastle I was absolutely enthralled by the collection of deep and mysterious fragrances of this luxurious brand. When you initially see the collection with distinctive branding it is evident that there is something far deeper than the perfume itself.


From the sense of the styling, I imagine Kilian Hennessey as mysterious, flamboyant, intuitive, sultry and slightly wicked in the best possible sense of the word. This is where Kilian has struck gold, in a few short moments the smells, sights and touch of the display has conjured within me a vision of the creator, whether it is the right or wrong vision is immaterial, Kilian has specifically set out (and for me certainly succeeded) to evoke more to the wearer than simply a fabulous smell. 


The attention to detail is incredibly creative, artistic, dark yet playful and somewhat addictive. A complete concept thought through in entirety to evoke emotion, memory, colour, feeling and passion to reach out to all of your senses. The names of the perfumes are provocative and playful they bring out a little naughty streak I feel; Black Phantom, Good Girl Gone Bad, Intoxicated, Straight To Heaven. The bottles are tactile, the packaging; a beautiful sarcastic skull jewellery box, a sophisticated gold serpent evening clutch bag, an opulent decanter, so much more than a bottle of scent. These are fragrances to display and not solely to wear, dramatic and theatrical, whimsically macabre.


Although contemporary there is something slightly vintage about the unisex nature of the fragrances, while some are distinctive in gender there is a gentle cross over which enhances the appeal. 


The Fenwick Beauty Hall is a prime location for the brand, set within the ensemble of fine fragrances this exceptional product stands out amongst the crowd. The price point is at the higher end of the fragrance market, although the bottles are refillable. Lauren & Lily’s knowledge of the fragrances, the Kilian story and their own passion for you to experience another dimension are captivating.

A fine fragrance is a reflection of your personality, your feelings, your mood, your memories, your aura and like selecting a fine wine choosing your scent can be a personal voyage of discovery. I was fortunate enough to be given a fragrance ‘tasting’ and this was a perfect way in which to experience the perfumery and it seemed to me that this is something that should be done far more often.


Selections of perfumes were displayed amongst the fruits, nuts, spirits and spices that were brought together creating the wonderful combinations for each particular fragrance. I was invited to taste, smell and touch the display while sampling each fragrance. Sitting chatting, it was apparent it is more about the recall of a memory, a person, a place or a time that fragrances bring to the forefront.

One of the newest additions to the collection (and my personal favourite) ‘Black Phantom’, the bottle nestled amongst rum, almonds, coffee beans and brown sugar was the perfect visual, taste, smell and touch to express this deep and sensual fragrance. Conversely, experiencing ‘Moonlight In Heaven’ which was presented with citrus fruits, mango, coconut milk and rice felt fresh and reminiscent of clean white linen on a tropical cabaña.

I found this way of experimenting with the fragrances was a great idea and thoroughly enjoyed the opportunity to participate. Kilian has only been available in Fenwick since October and with over 20 of the fragrances available in store this is certainly a brand that will appeal to the discerning North East market.

Glossybox May: Beauty in the Box

Well, it’s official I’m a Glossie. If you’re not familiar with this term it’s what Glossybox refer to their army of fans and I’m now officially a convert.


Having received my second beauty box from the fabulous team I can’t even describe how excited I am for next months already. For now, though let’s take a look inside May’s box.

Arriving last week I immediately pulled back the seal, threw open the pink box, ripped open the tissue paper to discover what was inside. On top was a £50 gift voucher for Mockberg. They stock the most gorgeous (and Instagram-worthy) watches, yes they do have rose-gold!! So it’s worth checking them out.

Second up and my personal hero product of the box, Dr Pawpaw. You may have seen this product before, if you’ve used it, you’ll know how much I absolutely love it. If you have never used it before then prepare to be amazed.

This product is an allrounder, use it to tame them brows, use it on chapped lips. Got babies? It’s great for nappy rash and also fantastic as a skin protector. You can also use it for taming your mane! 


Blush is one of those products I couldn’t live without and after last month’s contour stick, and the addition of this month’s Ruby blush, I feel that my face is going to become a walking, talking Glossybox advert! This Summer hue is absolutely gorgeous. The soft powder is light and applies perfectly with a glow to the skin. Applying a small amount to the apple of my cheeks is perfect for that healthy Summer glow.


If you know me, you’ll know I’ve got a brush obsession. Cheek, eye, lip, foundation, blusher, powder, eye, eye, more eye, I can’t get enough of a good makeup brush! To discover an eyeshadow blending brush (priced at £7.95) in this month’s edition I was super excited. Naturally, I had to have a play about creating a smoky eye with this new brush and my favourite all time Urban Decay palette Vice Reloaded. These brushes are a soft muted grey with pink branding, the lightweight but substantial handle is easy to use and the bristles are made from luxe fibres which are super soft.


The next item I pulled from this month’s Glossybox was Scrub Love, an activated charcoal, avocado and aloe vera body scrub. I’ve used a body scrub only once before and unfortunately, it wasn’t for me. These scrubs seem to be in vogue at the minute and I do have to say from previous experience the coffee and coconut one I've used leaves your skin polished and buffed and super soft. In actual fact, I think despite not liking the feel I may just have to go and shower to remove the remainder of my spray tan with this scrub.


Finally a moisturising sorbet from Caudalie. I don’t know about you but I absolutely love moisturiser but I’ve got to put it on in secret. Why? Well when my dog catches the scent of it on your hands, face or arms all he wants to do is lick it. This Caudalie sorbet is divine. It smells gorgeous and is an amazing luxurious cream.


For your first month Glossybox is offering you 50% off, so for £5 (plus p&p), you can receive all five items with the code GB50 redeemable by clicking here. It’s absolutely, totally, 100% worth buying even for the Dr Pawpaw product alone, I mean to buy that in stores would cost you £6.99 anyways so to get 4 other great products on top is an absolute no brainer. Go get Glossy with your Glossybox now!

Disclaimer: This item was provided complimentary, all views are my own. Read more about disclosure here.

Living with Regret. A story of tattoo removal

Ever done something you regret? Worn something and years later have seen photos and thought who even let me out in that? Perhaps you've got embarrassingly drunk and then when your friends tell you about what happened the night before you start to get embarrassed and full of regret? Perhaps, just perhaps you've had a great idea for a tattoo been and got inked and then changed your mind? 

With tattoos being seen as a fashion statement more so now than ever it's clear that they're big news. On the other hand, sometimes your new bit of ink isn't all you expect and you begin to regret it, luckily technological advances have improved so much that you’re now able to completely rid your skin of unwanted ink in as little as 3 sessions.

We checked out Pulse Light Clinic, who have two London locations; Fenchurch Street and Tottenham Court Road, boasting the fastest tattoo removal technology. With single treatments starting at £75, and a special offer too, if you purchase 3 sessions your fourth is free. The clinic offers payment plans with 0% interest so ridding yourself of your regret ink is available to all.

As one of only two UK clinics who use this revolutionary method of using PicoSure & PicoWay lasers, this treatment is effective on all coloured tattoos including blues, greens, reds and yellows. It’s even caught the attention of TV programmes on both BBC and Channel 5 for their excellent service in ensuring fewer treatments than traditional methods with much greater results.

So how does it work? It’s pretty clever really. The non-invasive laser is fired into the tattoo, which breaks the ink down into tiny pieces. Once the ink starts to break down the body removes it naturally. Why Pulse Light Clinic? Well, the lasers they use something called photo-mechanical principles alongside photo-thermal principles. Whereas other clinics use photo-thermal alone. This allows for a much more effective treatment.

Of course, dependant upon the size of tattoo this will determine the different lengths of time it’ll take in the procedure and how many treatments you’ll require. Pulse Light Clinic recommend leaving 4-8 weeks between treatments so the tattoo removal process can take up to 9 months, however, this is so much better than a lifetime of regret!

Do you have an awful tattoo you regret? Head down to one of Pulse Light Clinics to discuss your options, with their free consultation session. They also welcome walk-ins so you don’t necessarily have to book an appointment.

Pulse Light Clinic also offer treatments for Laser Hair Removal, IPL, Skin Treatments, Body Contouring and Cellulite Reduction. You can find out more about their treatments here.

On your bike

Are you a cycling enthusiast? Are you keen to test your mettle at the same time as seeing the incredible scenery the UK has to offer? If so, why not take on the Land’s End to John O’Groats challenge? Spanning almost 1,000 miles, this gruelling ride will take you through deep valleys, along rocky roads, and over domineering peaks, treating you to beautiful views around every corner. The route takes in 12 counties, and you’ll finish the journey in the staggeringly beautiful Scottish Highlands. To do this challenge, you’ll need to be fit and determined. Don’t forget your camera so you can keep a photo diary.


Urban adventures

Do you love a city break? If so, don’t rush out and start looking at flights to Rome, Paris or Barcelona just yet. There are some stunning cities in the UK if you fancy an urban adventure. The scale of the rail network means that you can reach most cities fairly easily regardless of where you are in the country, and there are also coaches available, which usually offer the chance to travel around cheaply. Highlights include Edinburgh, Swansea, Cardiff, York, Chester, Leeds, Liverpool and of course, London. If you are travelling by train, book in advance to save money. You’ll find travel guide and recommendations from other visitors online, so plan a rough itinerary before you go. 


If you’re thinking about where to go this summer, why not consider a staycation? Whether you’re after an active adventure, a chic city break or a trip to the seaside, you’ll find everything on your doorstep. 

Music Makes You Lose Control. Retro Twisting with My VQ DAB Radios

Music really does make you lose control. With parents with an eclectic taste in music from an early age, I was fed on David Bowie, Kiss, Poison and even some of my Dad's own lyrics. True story he once received a letter from the man Ozzy Osbourne himself.

It's no surprise then that I've an eclectic taste in music myself. From Drake to Avicii, Ed Sheeran to the sounds of Razorlight and even Limp Bizkit (remember them?) so if it is dance/house or heavy rock my day isn't complete without a background soundtrack.


Music is a huge part of my life so choosing the right equipment is a huge part of enjoying those toe-tapping beats. DAB is the modern alternative to that crackle of the radio if you're not standing perfectly on one leg, balancing on a windowsill with the aerial angled at exactly 37.25 degrees pointing 26 degrees north. DAB takes the hassle out of listening to traditional radio.

The thing is sometimes DAB radios are more sci-fi than homely and look like something that belongs on a spaceship rather than sat on the bookshelf.


Of course, that's until you see the MyVQ collection of retro inspired sound systems. These cute 40s and 50s style radios and sound systems are not what they appear. Equipped with DAB facilities, Bluetooth connectivity and some with USB ports to connect your smartphone. 

Available in a magnitude of different colours and patterns they even come with signature designer prints too from the florals of Emma Bridgewater to the iconic Lulu Guinness lips there's a choice for everybody.

Being a creature of habit and sticking to the neutral palette that I've become accustomed to I opted for the cream Hepburn II and MyVQ kindly sent one over for my ears (and eyes).


With neutrals and greys, the decor choice in the dining room the Hepburn II sits perfectly on the bookshelf positioned next to no other than a collection of Bowie books. 

The radio is simple to use and comes with a battery pack so charge it up and pop it in the car for those summer picnics in the countryside. Don't forget your kitsch little picnic blanket and the prosecco, while you enjoy the sounds of your favourite artists while you relax in your own piece of paradise.


Disclaimer: This item was provided complimentary, all views are my own. Read more about disclosure here.

Be a fashion flamingo in a flock of pigeons: Summer drop with intu Metrocentre

It's rallying towards Summer and that means only one thing: the high Summer fashion drop has landed in stores. You may remember a couple of weeks ago we headed to intu Eldon Square's Summer Fashion show event which was 4 days of workshops and style seminars. Just before I headed to Ibiza , I headed to the very pink, tropical and fabulously out-there Summer Fashion Show at intu Metro Centre for an exclusive VIP event.

With hotel Tropicana, the theme of the evening in true intu style the catwalk event was in the Platinum which if you're not familiar is the centre of the cross-shaped shopping mall.

Entering through a picket fence we were greeted with black vodka cocktails and the most Pinterest-worthy shooters from the guys at TGI Fridays, located in the Qube (Yellow Mall), where all the biggest name restaurants and bars are.


With Barburrito serving up a tasty storm too with Mexican cantina style chilli and wraps. The smell was just divine.

The event space was dressed with palm trees, a ball pool and of course the ultimate Summer must have. An inflatable pink flamingo. The theme of the 4-day catwalk show being a tropical flamingo and with Paperchase providing the little finishing touches including some amazing 'Party like a flock star' serviettes they really put a smile on your face.

The ladies from NYX were on hand to touch up makeup where necessary and help answer those burning questions you may have.

With Anna from BBC Newcastle hosting the night's fashion show we saw capsule collections from many favourite high street brands.

Kicking off the show was favourite Topshop, think cut off shorts, floral embellishments. For those who really rock styling their signature styles of Daisy Dukes and playful crops.


Next up was Burton Menswear. A mix for casual and formal this men's store is located in the Green Mall. With suits for this season's biggest weddings and essential slogan tees of you're left to do your male counterpart's shopping this one stop shop is for you. Head to the Green Mall.


Can we please just take a minute though to appreciate this model and how he's very much channelling a look of Gossip Girl favourite Chuck Bass....swoon.


Karen Millen, one of my favourite summer go-to brands certainly didn't disappoint. With colour popping brights juxtaposed with softer more intricate florals there was an item in their capsule collection for everybody. With fashion guru and event BFF Pixie from Fashion Voyeur confirming what I already knew the yellow dress would be the one, I'd wear proudly to a summer event or wedding.


With Macara and Pixie, both ogling over the navy split jumpsuit, both with their rock chick edge we knew where we were heading for after the show.

All great outfits need Accessorize. Shop the finishing touches for your Summer Vaycay with floppy hats, bracelets and chunky necklaces, oversized beach bags and more. Accessorize is located in the Lower Green Mall.


New Look Men showcased their new signature pieces down the catwalk with a twist of prints and slogan tees this is a perfect stop for getting those Summer purchases to throw in the holiday suitcase.


I'm not going to hide the fact that my stance on Cath Kidston is in one word 'Mumsy'. This vintage inspired floral brand has never been high on my list of brands, especially considering my wardrobe is colour fantastic, that was until the styling team behind the scenes styled this brand to the point that I absolutely loved the denim pieces and their subtle nude handbags.


If you've been naive like I have, make sure you take a trip to Cath Kidston located in the Red Mall to see what pieces you can pick up.

Primark is one of those stores where everybody I know seems to find great pieces whereas I struggle. The stylist for the evening clearly sees things I don't as this mix of fresh vibrant colours, quirky tees and designer style dupes really made for a more luxury looking runway. Styled, these outfits look less money saving and more money splurging. Well done Primark! You'll find the expansive store located in the Lower Yellow Mall.


I'm going to admit it. When the first model, who was modelling designer brand store Tessuti stepped out I could recognise her sweater from 50 paces off. Of course, Ralph. This iconic jumper comes in a multitude of different colours and I'd estimate owning 90% of them! My signature outfit was showcased right before my eyes. Teamed with jeans and a pinstripe shirt I realised my self styling wasn't that bad after all?


One of those brands which cater for everybody is Miss Selfridge. The playful mix of florals (which are huge again this season is teamed with bold bright colours. This 25-40 age brand is fun, flirty and seriously great this Summer season!


House of Fraser is one of the most well-known department stores situated within intu Metro centre, you could probably call it the epicentre of the mall. With its own expansive hub of beauty houses, designer fashion brands, homeware and more. It's certain you're going to be catered for from head to toe when heading to HOF.


Coast are one of those brand's which I adore going to when dressing for a wedding. With floaty hemlines and blush being the colour of choice. These soft pastel shades and laser cut lace will ensure that you'll make an impact wherever you go. Styling whites for fresh Summer days and sparkle for those magpies amongst us are are hot trends right now. 


Newcastle welcomes the quirky German Twist on Afternoon Tea 'Trinken' 

You know me I love a bit of retail therapy so when I am out and about I like to meet up with my Grandma in Newcastle and we usually pop into Fenwick's Food Hall to Mason + Rye for afternoon tea. When an invitation appeared in my mailbox for the launch of Noveltea hosted by Mason & Rye I was delighted to head along and find out what it was all about. 

Noveltea is a new concept of an alcoholic beverage with a tea base, designed to replace the glass of bubbly with your afternoon tea and available first in the Food Hall at Fenwick.

Made in the heart of the City in Pilgrim Street by two young (and handsome) German men; Vincent and Lukas, who like so many students before them arrived from Cologne and couldn't resist the draw of the Geordie welcome (and the beer of course) so decided to stay. They were enchanted by the British afternoon tea concept and couldn't understand why there wasn't an alcoholic tea to compliment the delicious sandwiches, cakes and scones. 


A few chemistry experiments later and support from Newcastle University's Rise Up Foundation, they have developed not one but two new tea based alcoholic beverages which are the perfect accompaniment to any afternoon tea or can simply be drank on their own over ice. Both are 11% so reasonably equivalent to a glass of fizz. 

The first Noveltea; Tale of Tangier, is inspired by travels to Morocco and is a Green Mint Tea and Spiced Rum based drink (my personal favourite). Using citrus hints and aromatic spices the guys have really brought an essence of flavours reminiscent of the tastes of this fabulously exotic North African country.


Closer to home and we all know the Geordies love a brew; Tale of Earl Grey, paying homage to our own local hero. With Gin at the forefront of this magnificent black tea infused with botanicals, it delivers a wonderfully rich and distinctive flavour.

The drinks were served and copious amounts of sampling began perfectly accompanied by Mason + Rye's, as always, superb sandwich and cake selections. 


Talking to Lukas there has evidently been a lot of testing of their beverages to get the flavours exactly right! The two entrepreneurs have clearly enjoyed their voyage of discovery and entered into a wonderful new world of mixology. This is reflected in the design of their bottle which is a contemporary twist on an olde world which fits their market perfectly. They have brought a modern and quirky vibe to a British tradition and have certainly put lots of thought and effort into their branding and marketing and even more importantly delivered on the taste of their product. Their enthusiasm is effervescent and you can't help but be drawn into their passion for their blossoming venture. 

I wish them every success for the future and will certainly be looking to add one or two of their tipples to my future afternoon teas with my Grandma. 


Agreed. The BEST Burgers in Newcastle are found here.....

I've said it before and I will SHOUT it again and even the Chronicle recognised that even the Secret Diner agrees with me, the best burger in Newcastle is served at The Grind located in No28 on Nelson Street right in the heart of the city. They are absolutely the tastiest burgers ever.

Having raved several times about the food here, I took my mum along. Unbelievably she said 'if the secret diner is recommending it then it must be good.' Huh I suppose that's mums for you listening to strangers rather than their own children!!!


Going along the short alley and up the stairs to No 28 reveals a quirky and very eclectic bar with furniture 'thrown' together from what looks like a selection of refurbished pub's skips. That's what adds to the charm of this bar it's not pretentious and doesn't expect you to be either, a warm and welcoming place that attracts a really mixed crowd. It's shabbily comfortable and relaxed. The staff are wonderfully friendly and you get a real vibe that they are enjoying themselves too. It's not swanky or contemporary, the decor is a bit ropey but what it is though; is a great bar serving tremendous food.

The menu is short and simple and that is definitely their trick. They don't serve much but what they do is exceptionally good. There's a selection of half a dozen burgers, wings and fries and a couple of puddings for anyone with a sweet tooth. They do a Monday to Thursday special of burger, wings and fries for a tenner which is great value but the food is well priced anyway.

Mum opted for the triple burger on this occasion with Truffle and Parmesan fries, I selected the cheeseburger with filthy fries. We ended up sharing the mountain of fries and we were both delighted at our choice of burgers, they were divine.


A couple at a neighbouring table thoroughly enjoying their food commented to us that someone had obviously experimented in-depth to come up with the best possible flavour combinations for these burgers. We all agreed they were excellent. 


I was surprised and delighted that my mum had loved the superb food and the quirkiness of the bar and she agreed that I was right (YES! that must be a first) about it being the best burger in Newcastle and we can't wait to go back. 

Download the flok app and get rewards at No 28.

The Ultimate Ibiza Weekender Hen Party Special: What to wear in Ibiza

After the success of the 'What to wear in Marbella 2017' post, it's only right that today we bring you a capsule collection of what to wear in Ibiza 2017. Over the last couple of days, you've seen we headed to Ocean Beach and on a Sunset Boats Ibiza’s private charter. We also dressed up as Beyoncés, with some of the ladies over on their 22kg case allowance for a 3-night break - yes I know outrageous can you believe it?! 

Today we bring the Ultimate Ibiza Weekender Hen Party Special fashion guide. So you guessed it, it's not as pretentious as Marbs, however, Ibiza is the home of beautiful people and high fashion. Think TOWIE, glitz and glamour. For the 3 night, hen party getaway cases were full to the brim of unnecessary clothing for some, whilst I stepped into the airport with a Tommy Hilfiger small suitcase which fit perfectly in the overhead lockers. 

Having already been to Ibiza previously, I was at an advantage as it's always hard to know what to wear when you've never been somewhere before.

For Ocean Beach I instructed the rest of the party that it was ultra glam, it was all about floppy hats, extravagant swimwear and the most beautiful kaftans teamed with chunky wedges.


I fell in love with this swimsuit from Simply Be which surprisingly (and unbeknown to me) start their ranges from a Size 12. This criss-cross number (£35) not only made my chest look amazing, it pulled me in in all the right places giving me the ultimate confidence to strut my stuff. As I’ve got older I realised it’s all about quality material and clever cuts. With the launch of their #wearecurves campaign the designers who have created the swimwear collection for this Summer really have taken into account women with a shape to them. Sometimes it’s a curse having boobs and bum when swimwear like this is concerned…it’s a blessing!


Teamed with a Kaftan from none other than Sainsbury's half price sale would you believe it or not (it looks so extravagant) a big chunky cream choker and taupe wedges from Kurt Geiger and a Whistles clutch my outfit was absolutely on fire for the hottest beach club around.

Click on the images below to shop the look.

No Ibizan outfit is complete without a chunky pair of sunglasses. These gorgeous Cazal 671S in a tortoise shell and gold were from Smart Buy Glasses if you’ve not heard of this eyewear company you really need to check them out. With a price tag of £628.40 this pair had been reduced to £439.95, they have amazing designer sunglass sales and huge savings from some of my favourite eyewear brands including Tom Ford, Celine, Ray-Ban to name just a few. There’s a choice of over 31,000 different pairs to choose from and the site ingeniously offers a virtual try-on service to show you how you’ll look with the glasses on. They have a referral scheme where you earn £5 for every customer you send their way and student discount. Everyone’s a winner. 


Massive thanks to the Smart Buy Glasses team for my Cazals they had so many compliments and really compliment my face. They were perfect for Ocean Beach and for keeping the glare of the sun out of my eyes but more importantly, they made me look great (and were amazing for people watching!)


Having arrived on the Friday afternoon we threw ourselves in the swimming pool at the villa to wake ourselves up, wearing the MAGISCULPT Convertible Swimsuit (£52) which again pulled in all the right places again from Simply Be and created this luxury look with the long ties which are designed to be adjusted to suit your individual style. One of the other girls, Ali rocked this swimsuit to Ocean Beach.


“I absolutely loved this outfit. The MAGISCULPT costume was amazing, flattering and extremely comfortable to wear. Never felt so confident in swimwear. Thanks so much guys” - Ali, Beautally

You’ll have to agree Ali worked those moves. Teaming it with an over the top black kaftan (£24) this outfit had our beauty queen feeling like a million dollars. Clever styling and wearing something that makes you feel super comfortable is half the battle with what to wear. When you feel great you look even better. 

Talking to Wardrobe Provocateur and fashion consultant Nicola English about these outfit choices and styling she agreed that the cut was extremely flattering on my black criss-cross swimsuit and that the heavily beaded choker pulled the attention from my chest to draw the outfit in. Commenting on Ali’s day club attire she also agreed that the cut was extremely complimentary on the kaftan and slimming. These swimwear choices got Nicola’s seal of approval

Both outfits were black on black, both very different but so gorgeous and oh so Ocean Beach worthy. Shame we didn’t notice Calum Best and Jamie O’Hara lapping up the champagne and the sunshine, sorry lads we were having too much of a good time to ourselves to notice you!!

Sunday day was about chilling out around the pool and heading for a spot of brunch at the beach cafe, trying to shake a hangover ready for the day ahead. Donning the MAGISCULPT black Convertible Swimsuit again while I caught some rays, before throwing on that trusty Sainsbury’s TU kaftan I purchased in their sale, a steal at only £10 and a pair of white jeans with some fuchsia Michael Kors jelly sandals.


For heading out on the boat I chose to opt for a more sophisticated and less glam look. This mustard floating floral midi dress was picked up from TK Maxx and was a steal at only £16.99. Lightweight it took hardly any space in my case and came out virtually crease free, thank goodness as there was a fight over the iron and even when I got a chance to use the iron it was useless. 

Photo Credit: Infin8 Life

Photo Credit: Infin8 Life

I teamed this look with some calf hair Topshop sandals (they’re about 3 Summers ago, sorry!) and a pair of Michael Kors Aviator sunglasses which I picked up for $60 instead of $350 at the Black Friday Sale in Vegas a couple of years ago. This outfit was cute and girly, sophisticated and totally perfect for sitting back sipping champagne as we watched the sunset on a gorgeous weekend.

Photo Credit: Infin8 Life

Photo Credit: Infin8 Life

Heading back home I opted for my signature look; a teal Ralph Lauren shirt, picked up from the Grenta Outlet, white Sainsbury’s jeans (trust me when I say they are up there with the best jeans I’ve ever bought - I’m a massive TU fan, their clothes are amazing quality for the price you pay and they have that designer looking twist) and some Ralph Lauren white sneakers, again picked up Black Friday sales for about $20, this time in Boston.

Ibiza is what you want it to be, for heading to ultra glam places dressing up is essential, for hitting the West End anything goes but make sure banging swimwear and chunky sunglasses are order of the day as they are your Ibiza staples.

An easy way of how to apply false lashes and what style best suits you

Eye, eye there. Whenever I meet new people they always comment on how big and sparkly my eyes are and I’m a massive believer in the way you wear your makeup really frames your eyes. Take day-to-day life for example when I’m in the house just doing work, in a hoody and running pants with my hair scrunched on the top of my head I have a naked face. My eyes look just like everybody else’s, then when I head out to meetings or nonimportant day events I go from wearing no makeup to I’d say my day look. I look different again. A little bit of eyeliner and mascara and we’re good to go, of course not forgetting my brows, those bad lads always need drawn on and filled in. I blame my tweezer obsession for lack of real brows. The real transformation comes when I go from day to event/night makeup.

With a smoky ombre eyeshadow being par for the course in usually pink, gold or grey hues to offset the blue of my eyes, I over exaggerate my brows giving them a darker more filled in look as oppose to my lighter more subtle day look. I wing my eyeliner just life my life…winging everything. I then finish my look with a pair of gorgeous false lashes.

When I was getting ready for Ocean Beach the other week, I simply popped on a pair of super glamorous volume lashes in seconds to the amazement of some of the girls I was sharing a room with. Standing there in shock at how easy I made it look they told me of their horror stories and grim tales of struggling to apply them from glued fingers to the dreaded rogue lash.

First things first, slanted tweezers are an essential for application. Secondly and more importantly a great pair of lashes are a wise investment. Nobody has time for 5,000 pairs for 99p from Hong Kong. Quality over quantity any day! Whilst we're on sayings practice really does make perfect. I’ve found a special technique that works for me. It may not work for everybody, that’s fine but practice with a pair of lashes until you master what works for you. Don’t just expect them to look perfect first time, when you do nail it though, get ready for those compliments like I lapped up in Ibiza.

A post shared by Eylure (@eylureofficial) on

Once you’ve realised that you can apply lashes easily with practice and patience then you need to be able to choose a pair of false lashes. It’s imperative you choose the best style for your eye shape and to suit you. If you’re not used to falsies I highly recommend you opt for a more natural looking lash style to give you a look of lustre without being over the top. I on the other hand like to go for really thick, long lashes like this Eylure pair. 


What’s great about Eylure's site is that you can really narrow down choices based on styles such as short lashes or Wedding lashes, they even have a petite range so you know whatever look you’re going for there’ll be a pair to suit you. 

I personally recommend always starting with eyes when going for an evening or glam look, if you’re using eyeshadows this is because it’s easier to wipe the fallout off your face prior to applying foundation rather than afterwards.

Start with a fresh face and a single coat of mascara on your top (real) lashes. Remove your (false) lashes from the packaging and take the opposite lash to the hand you write with. I’m left handed so always apply the right lash first. There’s method in my madness, trust me. It’s a psychological one, this eye will always look better so is a good starting point for your lash application mentality.

Wrap the lash around your index finger and take it off after about 5 seconds to give it life. Hold in the middle with tweezers and then apply a small amount of glue all along the lash especially the ends. In true Ross from Friends style count 30 Mississippis, this will then mean the glue becomes tacky and then place the lash with the tweezers in the middle of your eye. This is where it becomes fiddly.

From the centre to the outer edge slowly stick the lash down and then repeat from the centre to the inner lid. Once this has been firmly attached open your eye and with a clean thumb and forefinger squeeze your false lash and real lashes together to remove any gaps. Repeat for the other eyelash.

Leave for around 5 minutes to completely dry and then add your eyeshadow primer (it’s actually an essential for amazing eyes), create your eye look with your shadow, add liner and finish off with a coat of mascara on the bottom lashes only. Don’t forget to make those brows go from nothingness to wow-brow and you’re ready to apply the rest of your makeup.

How do you apply your lashes? I'd love to know drop your directions in the comment box below.

Disclaimer: This is a sponsored post, all views are my own. Read more about disclosure here.

Tips for Keeping Your Fine Canine Healthy

From the moment you bring your dog home, you develop an emotional connection that lasts with you forever. You want to enjoy as many happy years as possible together, and making sure that your dog remains healthy will be right at the top of your list of priorities. A simple adjustment to their lifestyle can end up making all the difference. If you are worried about specific health concerns regarding your dog, it is worth speaking to vet as soon as you can. But if you are looking for some solid general advice, you have come to the right place! 

Maintain a Healthy Diet

So many health issues come back to what your dog consumes, so it is so important that you get this right. If you are looking for some assistance with deciding what to feed your dog, then click here. Be careful with feeding them human food no matter how much they may beg for it! Dogs often can’t metabolise foods in the same way as us, so avoid giving them toxic items like chocolate, nuts, grapes and raisins. Make sure to weigh your dog on a regular basis to make sure that they are not putting on excess pounds. Give them access to a regularly replenished supply of water to help them digest their food. 


Groom Your Dog Regularly

You should brush and groom your dog on a regular basis to make sure that they have a shiny and healthy coat. This helps to encourage good circulation, and it is also the ideal opportunity to watch out for skin conditions such as fleas and ticks. Try to get into a habit of clipping their nails - ask a vet to show you the proper technique if you are not completely comfortable. Brush your dog’s teeth on a regular basis to remove any plaque and bacterial build-up using a toothpaste brand that has been specifically designed for canines.

Provide a Good Lifestyle

The vast majority of people will choose to have their dog in the house with them, but if you do decide that keeping them outside is the best option for you, provide an insulated dog house with warm bedding, and a plentiful supply of food and water. The amount of exercise that your dog needs vary from breed to breed, but you should make sure that you are able to get them outside on a regular basis to stretch their legs and burn off some energy. Dogs are very social animals, so a trip out to a place with other humans and dogs is very important to them.

Get into a Good Healthcare Routine

The first step is to find a vet who you trust and who is in easy walking or driving distance of your home. Take them there on a yearly basis to get any important tests and vaccinations completed. If you notice any changes in your dog’s physicality or strange behaviour, it is important that you seek the advice of your vet as soon as you can.  


How you can get teeth like Ross from Friends ft White Glo

I've said it before I'm totally teeth whitening obsessed. From bleaching to strips, professional to in home I've tried everything and have talked about it fully multiple times including my Hollywood Smile and why oil pulling is important.

One thing which I haven't ever talked about is an all round toothpaste. One which cleans your teeth whitens your teeth and most importantly keeps your breath and mouth feeling fresh.

That is until I was sent White Glo to try. I realise I'm getting old now as toothpaste really excites me.

This striking orange and black set contain a matching toothbrush with activated charcoal bristles. I know the power of activated charcoal from drinking it as a detox and from using it in powder form to whiten my teeth, so I knew already that this toothpaste had the potential to be a winner.

Desperate to try it out I squeezed the black toothpaste onto my new toothbrush (dry of course, to give the paste as much purchase as possible) and began brushing.

My first thoughts were about the taste. This fresh, minty flavour was strong and powerful and if anything was only a positive as often I find whitening toothpastes leave a bitter taste in your mouth.

Secondly, my mouth became full of foam from the charcoal working its magic. This was great in terms of seeing how well the toothpaste was working as it was foaming in my mouth and almost fizzing as it cleaned.


Remember I said it was a black toothpaste? Unlike the charcoal powder which when used not only goes everywhere but also is black and messy this toothpaste once activated by brushing turns white so leaves no mess.

After just a couple of uses, I could really see the difference in colour. Safe for daily use I've been using the toothpaste for over a week now and the results are phenomenal. Over the Easter when visiting my Grandma & Granda in the Lake District my whole family, struck by the packaging kept coming downstairs in the morning talking about 'that orange and black toothpaste in the bathroom' and how they really liked it. As soon as I told them it whitened their teeth too they were all fighting over their new favourite toothpaste so much so that I'm going to need a refill soon.

As it comes with a toothbrush which has activated charcoal bristles this is extremely beneficial for promoting great oral hygiene too, with every new tube you're replacing your toothbrush. A great routine for those who aren't utterly obsessed by teeth like I am.

Get it here


For all of my childhood, I’ve grown up with Hasbro being a brand we love and trust to provide family entertainment. Whether it be games or toys they are a leader in the entertainment industry and now they want you! 

Mums of our community, have you got children aged 12 or younger? Hasbro has created a private online community to serve as advisors to their brand. 

Hasbro knows the products they create not only inspire your children and encourage imagination, play and creativity but also help them to develop their learning too. With this in mind, they are relying on this special group of Mum advisors (I’m going to call them Mumvisors because you know blending words is so twee right know, Brexit, vlog, brunch, you know?!). They’re looking for Mumvisors to help them gain a greater understanding of the lifestyle and needs of their consumers as it relates back to their children’s entertainment, and is opening up this invitation to you.


As a member, you’ll be part of an exclusive group that provides Hasbro with feedback and perspective on games, toys and entertainment as well as what inspires your child’s creative spirit when it comes to the products you purchase. You’ll also get to interact with other Mums of children 0-12 years old to share stories, similarities and advise along the way. You’ll be able to have your say in the next generation of Hasbro entertainment.

Benefits for Hasbro Family HotSpot Members include:
Rewards: Monthly $10 Amazon gift codes for your participation
Impact: Help inspire what comes next for a leading brand in the industry
Connect: Make connection with other Mums living the same life experiences as you

If you are a mum and interested in joining then don’t miss out on your chance to advise a brand which you care about, whilst being rewarded. This is an exclusive UK-based group they are looking for. 

See if you qualify today as spots are filling up quickly. APPLY HERE

Disclaimer: This is a sponsored post, all views are my own. Read more about disclosure here.

The Ultimate Ibiza Weekender Hen Party: Sunset Boats Ibiza

Watching the sunset in Ibiza is one of those things that everybody who's been always talks about. Whether you're enjoying a meal at Cafe del Mar, listening to resident DJ and local lad Danny O drop some amazing beats or of course Lovely Laura (not me, an even lovelier Laura) sending spine-tingling notes from her sax as the sun sets on another day in paradise.

Alternatively grab some €1 boxes of sangria from the nearby shop, some plastic cups and a bag of ice, find a deep well in the rocks and create yourself a little ice bucket, grab the rest of your team and get snap happy as that burning sun turns a whole host of different colours.


If you REALLY want to make the sunset one of the pinnacles of your existence though, then there's only one answer. That answer is.

Sunset Boats Ibiza.

A part of the Mambo Group, Sunset Boats launched this year and here at Elle Blonde, we had the absolute privilege and honour of being one of their first charters out on the open seas.

Carla, who is the organiser for the charters and all round Ibizan beauty helped organise a memory that the 9 of us on the boat will never ever forget.

You may have read about the types of cruises they offer last week before we headed away but we certainly weren't expecting to be as blown away as we were. We even had the honour of working with Garry from Infin8 Life to create the promotional video that Sunset Boats Ibiza will be using in their marketing this Summer. 

We met up with Carla and Garry around 5:45 at Bondi Cafe (don't get the energy-water it is yuk - I mean who was I kidding anyways ordering a soft drink?!) we then crossed the road past the fountain, which the last time I was in Ibiza saw somebody get tasered for going in and another person arrested for running through the fountain. Guys don't even bother spoiling your holiday, I'm pretty sure your hotel or villa has a pool!

Anyways, back to the boat, we all excitedly walked down the swaying jetty before getting on the MasterCraft 225V (for you boat fans out there) where Carla popped the cava and then waved us on our way.

We headed out of the marina, left the shores of Ibiza behind us to create memories that would last a lifetime. With Es Paradise fading into the background (which is looking very tired since the last time I was in Ibiza) we headed for our voyage. As the wind was in our face and our hair danced all over as the skipper picked up speed we laughed and joked.

Having left Newcastle Airport on Friday, visiting Ocean Beach on Saturday and having waited all day (and all weekend, maybe all my life) for this trip we never laughed just as much as we did on our own private charter.

As the boat sped around the island's coastline we were shown Es Vedra, Cala Bassa and La Torre to name just a few. Teamed with the skipper's knowledge and Garry's love for the island they filled us full of interesting facts, showed us some places others visiting Ibiza will never get to see.

One recommendation we have, however; make sure you use the toilet before you head out on the seas, the boat is equipped with a toilet, a toilet that will provide you with the most giggles ever. If you're taller than 5ft 2" and scared of the dark and small spaces this toilet will be a no go. It was, however, one of the funniest experiences of our entire lives.

Spreading ourselves around the boat we all relaxed as we witnessed the blue depths of the sea, headed into caves and even saw the most peculiar houses built into rocks which are still inhabited before we made our way around to dock in front of Cafe Mambo.

As we all headed towards the front of the boat the sky turned a beautiful orange, the music was a perfect mix of chilled out house and as the sun dropped from the sky gorgeous pinks and purples took over from where the sky was once a burning deep orange colour. It couldn't have been more magical. Then there was a commotion on the rocks a cheer and a splash, some crazy fool had stripped off to his boxers and swam out to touch our boat before heading back to shore which all added to the spectacle of evening

Tears were even rolling down the cheeks of some of the hens, with the knowledge they may see sunsets daily, all around the world, but nothing will ever compete to a private charter in front of Cafe Mambo celebrating my best friends one and only hen party (that's because if she ever has to have another I am OUT, I'm not organising another hen party. Absolutely no way!)

As we danced and partied on the boat, drinking it dry of cava the sunset turned to darkness and it was time to head back to the marina. An acapella chorus of Country Roads took place as we sped around the bend and docked at the marina. Clambering off the Sunset Boats Ibiza boat we were sad to say goodbye but had the most genuinely amazing late afternoon which turned into sunset.

Thank you, Carla and the Sunset Boats Ibiza team, thank you, Garry, for being an amazing videographer and providing the laughs. Thank you, Ibiza for your undoubtedly most amazing sunsets. I've travelled the world and nothing compares to the beauty of the setting.

I, alongside the rest of the girls, would highly recommend if you're heading to Ibiza this season with a group of friends, for a hen or stag party or if you're about to propose to your beau then there's no way better to watch the Sunset than on this private charter.

You seriously must check out and book Sunset Boats Ibiza. If you use the code ELLEBLONDE too you'll receive a 5% discount. Enjoy.

Disclaimer: This trip was complimentary, all views are my own. Read more about disclosure here.

The Ultimate Ibiza Weekender Hen Party Special: Ocean Beach Ibiza

When planning the ultimate Ibiza Weekender for your best friends hen do (bachelorette party for all of our American readers) for you and 14 other sassy ladies you know you've got to make it a weekend that will be remembered for all the right reasons. 

Over the next four days you're invited to come on a journey as we relive the wildest but cutest bank holiday weekend we've all had in a long time.

We're going to start this epic guide to the ultimate hen party weekend in Ibiza off with the soft launch of Ocean Beach Club on Saturday afternoon.


If you've never been to Ibiza or you've never heard of Ocean Beach then you totally need to head over to their site or socials to check them out.

Think glam, think sparkle, think over the top, think beautiful people, think people watching and think a whole lot of daytime fun.


Situated on the front strip connecting the West End to the Egg (Huevo in Spanish) you'll pass Linekars, Ibiza Rocks and a whole host of other globally known hotspots before arriving at the most well know day club on the island.

With a walkway up to the entrance of dreams, subtle florals hang overhead, and the sounds coming from the DJ booth will have you walking double time to the concierge desk. Check in with the gorgeous hosts before checking out the Ocean Beach Boutique. Filled with merchandise, the most glam swimwear and coverups as well as home decor items to remind you of the best day at the world's greatest collection of beach clubs.


As you enter Ocean Beach with a long and well-stocked bar to your left you're blinded by the pristine white juxtaposed with the colour popping orange of the Ocean Beach branding. With Gary Linker's (in my opinion) more handsome older brother, Wayne having a share in the beach club (and most of the island for that matter) it's all about the luxe lifestyle here at the beach. 


Shown to our circular white beds dressed with Havana Club leather pillows and Ocean Beach towels, a well stocked wooden side unit with the iconic orange Veuve Clicquot champagne flutes and Ocean Beach tumblers. Let me let you into a little secret, there's a bag storage area in this side unit too. Nobody wants to have all that mess around them when they're trying to look beautiful right? Making ourselves at home we headed for the bar. Usually, with beds you get drink service to your day bed, in this case, the Ocean Beach team did think that we'd be better heading to the bar ourselves with there being 15 of us. We have to agree! 


Nothing short of glam the order of the day was Absolut Elyx Copper Pineapples filled with their light, fruity and refreshing signature cocktail served in the most gorgeous and Instagram worthy pineapples. Available in a larger pineapple and copper flamingo I really loved the showmanship of this gorgeous drink and Absolut has always been one of my most favourite brands of vodka


Heading back to our day beds we began to soak up the first of the seasons Ibizan sunshine whilst doing some people watching. The people here are absolutely fabulous and Raoult, a professional dancer from Brazil who had come to the club alone was absolutely sensational. You really must check out his moves here.

If you're a people watcher and that has wet your appetite, admittedly there's no better place to do it than right here. With plenty of beautiful people, all dancing to the sounds of the DJ booth nearby the bar your afternoon turns into evening instantaneously.


If you're brave enough why not take a swim (or a toe dip) into the 600m2 sprawling pool area, where all around the edge becomes the unwritten communal dance floor. Watch out for the spray jets which periodically shoot out from the side of the pool and into the water. I certainly wasn't chancing an Ocean Spray with them!


Not solely just a bar, pool and DJ booth, Ocean Beach also boasts their own restaurant where they serve up a feast of traditional and favourite dishes, hailed as fashion fusion food. Serving up a tasty food menu from tapas style hummus and nachos to full meals such as burger and chips. Of course, they're high quality, fresh ingredients and served at your day bed with simply the best presentation or over at their dining area nearby the bar. Just watch out for the jalapeños, those suckers are hot!


With different levels of occupancy from sun loungers to VIP cabanas, there's something for every party size. It's a great hen party day adventure and the 14 other hens thoroughly enjoyed their day in the orange Sun. 


Ocean Beach also offers a sunset roof garden which the name speaks for itself. This beautiful haven is a perfect place to capture the last views of the day before witnessing the most beautiful sunset in the world. That's a fact.

After a few hours of looking absolutely fabulous, sipping champagne and enjoying the sights and sounds Ocean has to offer why not book in for a massage with one of Ocean Beach Club's trained therapists? They're on hand to relax and rejuvenate you after all your partying and will have you ready for round two in no time.

If you're looking for all the luxury of Ocean Beach Ibiza without being in amongst the party atmosphere then Pearl, their little-hidden gin bar is perfect for looking down onto all of the action of the club, absorbing the atmosphere whilst capturing the sea views. 

Regardless of anything if you've been to Ocean Beach Club in Ibiza and you're heading there this session it is somewhere you certainly should have ticked off your bucket list. 


If you're flying out to Ibiza for a bachelorette party then make sure you book your beds now! The whites of the Beach are waiting. You'll certainly have the most sensational day.

If you're looking to book a bed or just see what's on this season check out the Ocean Beach Club site now

The King was IN the Building: Elvis Tribute Act at Whitley Bay Playhouse

Whitley Bay Playhouse is a great contemporary venue for an array of entertainment and last weekend saw a truly memorable tribute to Elvis by Rob Kingsley, superbly accompanied by the Sweet Sensations and the Cadillac Band. 

A real crowd pleasing performance which had the entire audience singing and cheering from beginning to end. Rob Kingsley looks and sounds like the King and has the same charismatic aura that captures the adoring fans. I was completely mesmerised by the draw that this show had on the enthralled audience.


Although personally not a huge Elvis fan, the appeal of the show was evident as row upon row of men, women and even a few children sang and clapped, danced and waved their arms throughout the entire evening. You couldn't help but join in and have a great time. Even surprising myself at how many of the songs I knew the words to, to sing along. A terrific night was being had by all.


When I first received the invite to the Friday evening show at the playhouse I thought I would be writing solely about Elvis and this tremendous new show, a phenomenal tribute to the king of rock and roll but bizarrely I found myself digressing slightly to be a bit nostalgic.

'Googling' the performers as you sometimes do, I discovered that Rob is a "boy from the Pans" home of my own family roots.  I am therefore even more excited to be writing about another great son of this small Scottish village; Prestonpans on the outskirts of Edinburgh. Famous for the battle and home to the legendary Bay City Rollers. My great grandparents owned the bakery in Port Seton the adjacent village simply known as the 'bakehouse'', everyone and I mean absolutely everyone, came from far and wide to this tiny shop that sold the best rolls and scotch pies for miles. I am certain that Rob no doubt walked through those bakery doors the same way the Rollers did as boys to sample the delights. All now treading the boards at Whitley Bay for me to review! Sentimentality over. 


Back to the show, 'A Vision of Elvis' was a superb evening of entertainment. Kicking off with Shake, Rattle & Roll this was a resounding start to a fabulous evening, where audience participation was willingly compulsory. A huge repertoire of hits followed, each one encouraging more and more applause, singing-a-long and rapturous enjoyment. 


The show takes you on the journey of Elvis’ movie career through to the spectacular finale of the Comeback TV Special of December 1968. Jammed packed with all of the songs everyone knows and loves this was a memorable version of any Elvis tribute you are ever likely to experience. If you saw this show in Vegas you would talk about it for years to come and no doubt pay four or five times the price for your ticket and still come away delighted at your evening out.


Rob Kingsley demonstrated a kind and warm side to his personality when one young disabled woman accompanied by her mother wanted to get closer to the performance. Dedicating her favourite song and coming down from the stage to sing to her then finally presenting her with a teddy certainly melted the hearts of the crowds and will no doubt stay with this fan for years to come. Well done Rob! the cheers for your compassion were all heartfelt. 


The show was tremendous and thoroughly recommended. If you can catch the tour I guarantee you will have a great night out.

Whitley Bay Playhouse is a great venue so look out for more fantastic shows and performances coming to the Coast with reasonably priced tickets and make sure you give your support to this wonderful local resource.