Lifestyle Blog: If I Were a Rich Girl

I'm sure I'm not the only one who day dreams about what I'd spend my winnings on if I ever won a big wod of cash.

For years I've been really frivolous with money, and always treated myself to the little things. 

But now I'm going through the house buying process, I'm actually having to count the pennies as well as the pounds.

With this constantly on my mind, I'm deflecting the attention I'd usually spend bagging bargains in Primark and focusing on the bigger things I'd splurge on, if I ever had the money.

My top 3 things I'd buy with unlimited cash is probably a little modest compared to what some people dream of. But I'm a girl of simple needs and it really doesn't take much to make me happy. 

A House

Whilst I am in the process of buying a house, it won't actually be mine for a good few years. In fact, over a few decades I'll have to pay the mortgage! If I was rich or won the lottery, I would get that mortgage GONE. I mean, £500 a month could come in pretty handy as pocket money once the deeds are yours...

Donate a Shed Load to Charity

It always makes me feel bad that I don't have money spare to give regularly to a charity. Of course, I would choose one which is related to cats or animals, as I've seen how cat charities and re-homing facilities struggle so much. I would love to be able to help freely, so no animals had to be neglected in-between finding their forever home. 

A Trip to Japan

Hey, my wishlist might just contain things which are simple to some, but we're talking things I wouldn't be able to afford for YEARS here. Japan has always been on the top of my list for places I want to visit, but with that pesky mortgage and bills getting in my way, it is literally a pipe dream right now. I doubt I'll ever be able to go! So when I do eventually land myself in a pile of cash, akin to Scrooge McDuck, those flights are getting booked I tell you!!

I did say it was a rather simple list, didn't I?!

With my hit list of 'luxuries' all I now need to do is work out how to get my paws on the actual money, eh?

As they say 'you've got to be in it, to win it' and after trying Bingo quite a few times and winning a grand total of nothing, I need to find another way to acquire the funds.

Short of setting my sights on one of these 'sugar daddy' websites you keep seeing on the news, I think the only chance I have is by playing the lottery. I mean, a few quid here and there versus the £25+ a time for Bingo is definitely a wiser investment don't you think?

Lottoland gives you the luxury right from your laptop. After reading in to it, Lotto betting is a little bit different than buying a traditional lotto or euromillions ticket.

On Lottoland you can play a number of draws in one place and they pay you the winnings directly. It's actually quite an interesting model when you read about it!

So if you do play the regular lottery draws, you can do it online via their website, but also thrive in the luxury of their special offers and free bets. Alongside special offer jackpots. You can also play a number of lotto draws from around the world.

Better get picking my numbers hadn't I!

Choosing the Right Style Glasses For My Face Shape

Being blessed with my chubby little cheeks and -6 optical prescription, I often turn to contact lenses for my daily dose of sight.

There are two main reasons for this:

1: Once your prescription is over anything from -3/+3 it starts to distort your face shape where your glasses sit. Providing your very own, real life snapchat filter.

2: With my face shape it is incredibly hard to compliment the 'snapchat filter' effect with the right style of glasses.

And those two points go without mentioning that the price of stylish and quality glasses on the UK high street is absolutely shocking in some opticians!

Nonetheless, after 15yrs of needing glasses full time, I think I've finally nailed it.

glasses from glasses usa

With these beautiful Wayfarer style frames from Glasses USA, they not only suit my face shape, but even the -6 lenses don't look quite as extreme as they usually would. 

It seems that the bigger the lens area, the less impact it has on the 'zoomed in' effect. Although don't get me wrong, there's still quite the zoom when looking at my face/glasses straight on!

If we also take into account the price, which is currently $99 on the Glasses USA website, you can also quite often obtain 50% off voucher codes as a first time customer.

Meaning you can get some perfectly reasonable prices for such well made frames.

The only thing you need to ensure is that you have your up to date prescription and PD number (which is your pupillary distance). Even though the website is based overseas, I managed to receive my glasses within 2 weeks from ordering, which isn't too bad when you consider how much money you will potentially save.

Glasses USA also have an interactive feature, where you can try the glasses on by uploading your own picture. Which is pretty snazzy if you ask me!

Take a look by clicking here

Food Blog: Eating Locally at RAWR Hanley, Stoke on Trent

It's not very often that I feature local places to eat.

I mean, Stoke on Trent can be quite lackluster when it comes to exciting, independent and well, more modern places to dine.

Don't get me wrong, the recent additions to the Cultural Quarter such as KLAY, tsp. and RAWR have certainly been welcome and Berts in Newcastle is the best pancakes and bacon in the world. But before that we kind of just had Frankie and Benny's or Wetherspoons as brunching options.

RAWR, Hanley

RAWR has been thriving in its original home in Newcastle Under Lyme since 2015 and due to the success there, it has now branched in to Hanley and is in the process of opening up in Trentham Gardens. Specialising in healthy plant based foods, you can also enjoy a sneaky cocktail or two in the evening as well.

The breakfast/brunch menu consists of a range of beautifully prepared and presented items. From simple sourdough toast all the way through to the delicious smoothie bowls.

I almost felt proud of being from Stoke when I shared the menu with a few pals to encourage them to come to the city....

I think that certainly shows, for me, how much the Stoke on Trent food scene has actually moved on when I invite friends from other cities to come all the way here for some food.

Thankfully, Tereza took up the opportunity, and after luring her in with the promise of a clutter-free Primark, we ventured to RAWR as a little post-Leeds Festival healthy treat for myself. 

Of course, a smoothie bowl was just what the doctor ordered. Alongside a Tumeric based 'Flu Slayer' tea to wash it down.

But my new found RAWR obsession hasn't ended at the Smoothie Bowl.

I went back again a few days later, using the fact my friend has recently decided they're a vegetarian as an excuse.

This time I went for my new favourite drink - the Espresso Tonic. Which is exactly what it sounds like, a glass of tonic water with espresso poured over. Honestly, it's so bitter and delicious I love it. In fact, I even created a gin and espresso tonic cocktail at home because I love it so much.

RAWR Hanley

To go with my espresso tonic, I went for some thick sourdough toast, slathered in marmite, topped with halloumi. A combination I wouldn't have thought to try before, but now I have I've been craving it ever since.

My newly-veggie friend went for the Ariba Ariba Toast which had smashed, spicy avocado smeared on sourdough and upgraded from the menu with a poached egg.

RAWR Hanley

Now prices at RAWR aren't what us Stokies are used to and some might deem it a little expensive. Especially for brunch. Whereas I find it reasonable (with the above dishes costing around £7 each), I know that it's still a treat. It's totally worth it though.

You walk away feeling healthy and not over stuffed like you would with a £5 full English breakfast. 

Not to mention that extensive drinks menu, which you would never find within a 35 mile radius of Stoke on Trent.

You can check out the full menu online here.

With Stoke on Trent putting in the bid for UK City of Culture, I hope this is just the beginning of the amazing independent eateries and establishments to come....

Music Blog: Leeds Festival 2017

korn at leeds festival 2017
Leeds Festival 2017 has been and gone, but it seems like everyone who attended is still on a high about it.

And it's easy to understand why.

For one - the sun was actually shining for the entire weekend for the first time in YEARS.

There wasn't a pair of wellies in sight.

I don't know if it was the sun, the lack of wellies, or the excellent line up, but the atmosphere was just the best. Even now I keep noticing people on Twitter getting some serious Leeds Festival saudade.

This year we ended up camping over for just two nights, which makes a change to our usual 3-4 night stint. Kindly gifted a tent from Blacks, it was also the most comfortable Leeds Festival ever as usually we end up with a £20 tent from Tesco! This year though? I felt like a mini-queen of the campsite and complete with my snuggly sleeping bag we had the best nights of outdoor sleep.

Highlights of Leeds Festival 2017 on Hello Terri Lowe UK music and culture blog.

Well I say that, but one of the nights we actually didn't get back to the campsite until 7.30am after partying at Piccadilly Party all night. Whoops.

Highlights of Leeds Festival 2017 on Hello Terri Lowe UK music and culture blog.

Back in the day I used to hate camping and would rarely do it. Now I feel like a fully fledged 'Festival Camper' and have definitely turned in to that annoying person who rocks back up at the tent at a stupid hour and wakes everyone up by being a loud idiot. But that's all the fun of festivals, right? Sorry, not sorry.

Leeds Festival 2017 Highlights

This year was this first time that there was a band I needed to see. 

That band was KoRn. 

Back in the days of nu-metal, they were my all time favourite band. And the one that I never actually managed to see in my youth. I remember discovering them on Teletext forums, alongside Limp Bizkit and even the name alone drew intrigue. 

That's right, in 2001 you had to find bands on Teletext. None of this YouTube business. 

Don't get me wrong, I managed to see a bit of KoRn last year at Download 2016, but because the rain was so bad I only got to see 4 songs before I had to retreat.

This year I got to see the full set in glorious sunshine. And it was well worth the 17 year wait.

Another band from my youth that I never got to see was Billy Talent.

Not only did I get to the front row for the set, but I also got to meet the chaps in the guest area later on too. Unfortunately they couldn't come and party for too long as they had a 2am flight back to Canada, but we still got a few jagerbombs regardless.

The guest area was bigger and better than it had been in previous years. They've actually moved it for 2017 and it's where the staff camp used to be. With DJs from Piccadilly Party and beyond doing 1-2hour sets throughout the weekend, you could either just chill out in the day, or party hard at night.

Highlights of Leeds Festival 2017 on Hello Terri Lowe UK music and culture blog.

And continuing the trend of just watching bands I loved 20 years ago...

At The Drive In were another that made my life a little bit more complete. I have seen them a few times but I find them to be just so pretentious and arrogant. Usually that really annoys me, but I don't know if it was the sunshine or just hearing a load of bangers from Relationship of Command that made it so perfect this year.

I feel like festivals are in a really great place with regards to line-ups these days, as I'm actually getting to see a shed load of bands I really love but couldn't afford to see when I was about 18!

Of course, Piccadilly Party was its usual insane-self...

This year the gang even made the official line up poster.... And not only that, but they were also flying the flag for the whole 'females at festivals' vibe by having Karistocat, Mel Clarke and Anna Dumpe DJing the prime spots throughout the evening. 

I think the two nights we stayed was actually just the right amount of time. Usually by day 3 I am in a right little tired mood. But we managed to leave after Eminem on the Sunday and my spirits were still on a high... Hell, I've been on a high ever since. This year was amazing.

Same again next year?

Lifestyle Blog: De-cluttering Collections & Self Expression with eBay

Being in the process of buying a house, the constant dread of getting that moving-in date and having to deal with ALL my belongings is certainly on my mind.

I am a complete hoarder.
I used to collect so much stuff. 

From Sanrio and Hello Kitty memorabilia back in the day, to Limited Edition Vinyl Toys and even fancy make up packaging. I just can't bring myself to throw some things away. 

I just can't bring myself to throw some things away and apparently I am not the only one in Stoke-on-Trent! A recent survey by eBay reckons that 25% of Stoke-on-Trent residents collect sports merchandise as a form of self-expression. Despite not being a massive sports fan, I definitely seem to express myself through my home – which has led to a number of home collections over the years… 

I've definitely got a lot better over the last few years though, don't get me wrong.

Especially since I knew I was going to be moving. Every night since I knew the move was going to happen I've made it an aim to clear at least one thing out. Whether it's a random box that I've tidied various belongings hastily in to, or a few drawers of clothing. I've even started to get rid of furniture and picture frames now too! 

With my new home I want to make some good investment pieces. I've already been in the mindset that rented properties don't lend themselves to those pieces for life. I think that's just me though?

I never feel like renting is permanent. Despite being in my current house for 2 and a half years! During this time I'd like to think that my collections of crap had got a little lighter. But the truth is I'm just collecting other things in different ways.

Let's take my kitchen cupboard as a prime example.

I had multiple cups and mugs and no more than two match. 

Why? I've no idea. Let's blame it on the Stoke thing, where were have numerous factory shops with beautiful one-off mugs openly available for a discount price. We are in 'The Potteries' after all.

I've actually had a jolly good clear out now though and ridded myself of cups that don't match and any ceramics which are just... you know, too random.

My aim for my new house is have at least 4 cups that actually go together!

Plates and bowls are no better. From my Cath Kidston dinosaur set, to generic white plates. It's all so random. Some may say a little bit un-organised... I like to call it eclectic.

As the decluttering continues, the plan is the reignite my eBay account to make a little bit of money on the side for my big move. After trying all the other online marketplaces, I still find myself drawn back to eBay as the best and easiest one to use. Not to mention the buyer protection is also amazing compared to other sites and apps!

So whilst I am not like 25% of Stokies with the whole Sports Collection thing... I am probably more like the 75% of Stokies that like to express themselves with a little bit of our heritage in pottery form.

*Collaborative Post

Beauty Blog: A Cheap Dupe for Dior Poison Girl?

dior poison girl dupe

If you've not smelt Dior Poison Girl yet, please don't.

It's the most amazing, delicious, beautiful scent that has ever graced my nostrils.

But at nearly £100 a bottle it's simply not an affordable luxury.

I got my bottle from an event at the Airport with World Duty Free. At the time I picked it up for £69, which was pretty pricey, but I always assumed I'd be able to pick it up on the high street at some point for a more affordable price.

My search has been on-going and completely fruitless.

It's never on sale and there's nothing that smells remotely like it.

What makes the scent for me is the Tonka Bean

A rounded, creamy base of Tonka Bean makes Dior Poison Girl smell like nothing I've smelt before.

After searching online for an affordable dupe, a lot of people said that YSL Black Opium was similar. And granted, it is (it's also another one of my favourite perfumes), but that still reaches about £70 a bottle. And doesn't have that god damn Tonka Bean.

After  bit more research though and browsing a few European Forums, I came across another more affordable dupe from internet users.

la rive fleur de femma dior poison girl dupe

La Rive Fleur De Femme

La Rive Fleur Femme is a soft, fruity yet mature fragrance. I picked it up for a mere £12.99 on Amazon and it came all the way from Germany. That price included postage and packaging, so I did think it would be too good to be true.

Turns out I was...

Whilst on paper it sounded pretty much identical, with base notes of Tonka Bean, alongside bitter orange and floral notes, it simply doesn't have the depth of scent Dior Poison Girl has.

I'm not sure if my bottle is just a dudd or what though, as there's just no vanillary/creamy scent to it whatsoever. The scent also lasts nowhere near as long.

It's a bit of a shame, but at the end of the day it is still a pleasant fragrance which will have to do for days where I can't justify a few spritzs of my beloved. 

I'm just keeping my fingers crossed that Zara develop a dupe in their perfume section soon. Or at least bring back Black Peony which made me smell like Viktor & Rolf Flowerbomb. *sigh*

About Hello Terri Lowe

A UK Lifestyle, Food, Beauty and Music Blog, based in Staffordshire, you can also expect to see reviews of places around the country. Often spotted Manchester or Birmingham at the weekends, you can expect to see a little bit of everything from festivals to food and everything in-between. When not blogging, you can find me having a nice sit down with my cats, Stevie and Kitty, or enjoying a fine cup of coffee. Don't forget to take a look at my 'about' page if you're interested in collaborating on any exciting opportunities!

Follow Hello Terri Lowe on Bloglovin


Latest on YouTube

Hello Terri Lowe Blog. Powered by Blogger.