When it comes to season's eatings... Or to be more precise, drinkings, people do tend to love everything mulled and warm don't they? Yes, the weather outside is frightful, but that doesn't meant that a milkshake can't still be delightful.

Just before my birthday I was sent an absolutely amazing surprise parcel from the guys over at yoomoo; who packed it full of the sweetest pink swag. Personalised silky PJ's, cute sundae glasses and a shed load of sweets. I mean, what was there not to love about it all? 

Then a few days later they sent me more yoomoo frozen yoghurt than I could shake an ice cream spoon at. 

With so much frozen yoghurt and so little time, I had to come up with a way to get it in to my belly without being vanillary overload. 

So what better thing to do than add alcohol to it?

Yep. Alcohol. In the form of the absolutely delectable Chocolate Orange Cream Liquor from Marks and Spencers.

Simply add 2 or 3 measures to some chilled milk and mix together. Add ice if you're feeling extra fancy. Hell, even whack it in a blender! When it's combined add a generous few blobs of Vanilla yoomoo to the top, as you would cream, and pop your straw in. Finish with a few sprinkles and you have the perfect boozy milkshake.

Want to make it slightly more boozy? Why not add a splash of Vodka too.

But maybe save it until the evening or a weekend if you're trying that one...

It's kind of like a festive twist on a White Russian cocktail.

If you want to thicken it up even more, then blend the yoomoo into the drink, but I like it sitting on top so you can make it look all pretty with some sprinkles. But that's just me. They do say you eat with your eyes after all.

Or alternatively, you can just eat the yoomoo on it's own, as it's pretty damn delicious and nowhere near as many calories or fat as regular ice cream. 

Thanks yoomoo for sending me such a beautiful parcel!

Cheers to boozy milkshakes!

Christmas time is all about spending time with your family and spending hours arguing about ridiculous things. Our token 'discussion' around the Christmas table is usually the undercooked carrots and this year it seems my dad is set on making sure *his* choice of wine is the one we all drink with Christmas dinner. Apparently he's been having a bottle a night for 'research' purposes...

Luckily, our family is fairly small, so when it comes to Christmas day there's not too much overcrowding in the house. Which is where I suppose, the DFS campaign to talk about how overcrowded Christmas can be, falls flat with me personally.

However, the task isn't just to write about an overcrowded Christmas. They're also encouraging people to share their most uncomfortable Christmas too... Which I certainly had one year when I first started Uni.

I hadn't been gone long before my parents decided that my old room would become a dressing room. And with this came the disposal of my actual bed. Being quiet naive, I didn't realise how much beds actually cost, so kicked off something rotten to find out they'd bought me an air bed. 

As all students will know, heading home to your bed after a few weeks in halls is luxury at it's finest. But when it's an airbed, you're clutching at straws. After one night they start to deflate and I won't even begin to describe how the rhythmatic noise of the bed pump to re-inflate triggers my Misophonia

I now despise air beds so much I wont even go near one, even at a festival... 

Needless to say, things are much more comfortable nowadays and I actually spend all of Christmas in my own luxurious bed and go to my parents house in the morning... And the only uncomfortable thing I experience is the sound of people eating when I'm there.

Staying at my own house doesn't garauntee a full nights sleep though, especially with Stevie now in the picture. Every morning at 5am it's like clockwork, when he comes and literally sits on my head until I wake up. 

How will you be spending your Christmas? 

*This post is in conjunction with DFS but all thoughts are my own Visit their website to find out more about their great range of DFS Sofas

For my birthday I wanted to do something a little low key, but fun. Liverpool is one of my favourite places to visit, especially around Christmas time, as their decorations are always next level compared to other cities!

For our hotel, I managed to book 30 James Street for only £70. On a Saturday night, you could be looking upwards of £200 for these AMAZING rooms, but as we went on a Sunday we got a lavish twin room with two double beds in for the bargain price of 70quid. My top tip for a UK city break is so try and go on a Sunday night, as this tends to be the cheapest. You also avoid the business of the restaurants and bars, like we did! 

With padded crushed velvet walls, luxurious silver furniture and even a jacuzzi bath in the bathroom, it's safe to say that this budget price my no means negotiated the quality of the room. It was stunning. Really, really stunning. 

Each floor also has a theme in-keeping the RMS Titanic vibes, with the floor we stayed on being the 'London' one. There's a range of room types to choose from too, from a massive Presidential Suite, through to Cabin Rooms, which look just like something from the Titanic film.

Needless to say, the hotel set us up for the 24hours ahead of us...

 To begin my official birthday celebrations, we'd booked in to The Baltic Social. This is a little bar tucked about 15minutes walk away from the hotel. I was SO excited for the Punk Afternoon Tea, however, they changed the one I'd previously spotted for a Christmas version, which also cost £5 more than the one I'd seen on the website a few weeks before I booked.

I found this menu to be not as appealing as the aforementioned one, but I suppose they are limited with what an Afternoon Tea can include for a Christmas theme. 

There was a Cheese Board on the bottom tier, which to be honest I found disappointing. For £25 per person, there were 4 crackers to share all of different varieties. Now, I don't know if I'm being massively tight here, but when you have a Jacobs Cream Cracker and a Chedder, I'm sure they could have stretched to two each. Not only because of the toss up between who had what cracker, but also due to the fact there was loads of cheese left over and the special chutney. The chutney did taste lovely, mind.

The middle tier was the best one, which a selection that included a warm variety of buffet style favourites. A lovely scotch egg, mini burger, pigs in blankets; all spot on! 

But then we get to the top tier and disappointment struck again. The mince pie was clearer a shop bought one. But the brownie on the other hand was lovely again. It really was very hit and miss. Overall I'm not sure it was worth £50 for two people, when a lot of it was rather on the.... cheap side. It was also served with a glass of prosecco and a massive bowl of rosemary and garlic fries. I was expecting something a little more exciting than a load of cheap fries.  I mean, it really hurt my feelings to pay £50 in the end... Very much a stark contrast to our lavish hotel room! 

Anyway, the adventure continues...

We strolled around the edge of the city and found ourselves back at Liverpool 1. The multicoloured Christmas tree was so beautiful at night and as we approached it we realised there's actually a bar at the base of it! 

We strolled in and found a seat straight away, sitting down to some warm apple and rum punch. The prices were really reasonable, when you expect Christmas market prices for such things. It was around £4 for each drink.  We warmed up in here before exploring a little more of the city via the Christmas bar close to the Albert Docks, where we once again had a delicious Christmas-y drink. Followed by a casual stroll to the Revolution by the Docks themselves for a last tipple before we headed back to the hotel.

For brunch the next day we went to one of my all time favourite Liverpool eateries; Luche Libre. Their brunch menu is a new thing, only being introduced in October time. We only discovered it after manically googling the night before for the best brunch in Liverpool, as I'd always just assumed they only do evening food.

I opted for the Full Mexican Breakfast, which was so large I could only eat half of it! For £7.95 you get a plate full of spicy eggs, avocado, maple glazed bacon, sausage patty and a chorizo and potato hash. Oh, as well as some mexican beans and toast that they had to put on a separate plate.

Each mouthful was packed full of flavour and I've been craving it every since. If you have the chance when you're in Liverpool to head here, DO IT. Not just for brunch, but their evening menu is also absolutely delicious too.

All in all, the hotel and brunch definitely made up for the rather disappointing Afternoon Tea. Don't get me wrong, it wasn't awful, but really wasn't worth the price. Especially when compared the the completely handmade and generous Wedgewood Afternoon Tea I'd had a few days before. 

I'm already looking forward to booking 30 James Street Hotel again. It was truly magical.

Whilst I'm on the subject of 24 hours in Liverpool, AccorHotels are actually having a competition to win a 9 night trip for two in a cute selection of cities! So count this in as my entry! You can find out more about the competition here!

*Disclaimer: this post is not in collaboration with any of the above companies. The entire trip was paid for by myself and the Accorhotels competition is me trying my luck!!

A Wonderful Wedgwood Christmas Tale

Stoke on Trent has many hidden treasures, but none quite as magical as what I experienced at the World of Wedgwood in Barlaston recently. Tucked away, near the Trentham Estate, you can simply skip up a street or two and uncover the magic of the Wedgwood Museum; alongside a plethora of other amazing treats to see and do in the same place.

For those not familiar with Wedgwood, it is one of (if not, the) most treasured parts of the The Potteries rich history. Founded by Josiah Wedgwood in 1759, this independent potter from the small town of Burslem, developed three of the most famous ceramic bodies in the world. Renowned over the globe Queen's Ware, Black Basalt and Jasper were all created by Josiah Wedgwood and all maintain their desirability to this day. The most iconic of the collections is Jasper ware, which is where the iconic Wedgwood Blue colour shade hails from. You'll often find the base of the blue ceramic holding an intricate design in a contrasting white.

But I digress, let's get back to that Wonderful Wedgwood Christmas Tale...

Having recently taken on a team of industry renowned specialists, including Ulrik Garde Due, who has a background with both Burberry and Celine(!), Wedgwood has been re-launched to truly tell the story of the brand. Bringing in the extensive history and intertwining it in to the modern day, the experience, which has been specially developed for Christmas, takes you through the story of Mr Chisholm and some pesky cats.

We all know I love cats, but that's not what made it exciting. It was the amazing way that the story had been though through from start to finish. Every detail has been thought about, from the story itself providing reading material on the way around; through to the festive dining table which even has a name card for Walter the Cat.

As you walk around the factory, gift shop, tea rooms and museum, you can spot the Christmas tale in action. Spot the cats as you walk around through the seasonal displays, to find yourself ending up the in the absolutely astonishing tea rooms.

Honestly, I still cannot get over how beautiful the tea room actually is. It's like something you'd find in an infamous London restaurant for Afternoon Tea. All complete with the Wedgwood crockery to eat the delicious selection of sandwiches,scones and cakes off. The seasonal selection also included possibly the greatest mind pie I have ever tasted. With a pastry case, tea soaked mince filling and delicious cream on the top, we also enjoyed pairing it with the speciality Wedgwood teas.

The Afternoon Tea also remains true to the original style, where you can enjoy refills of both drinks and food whenever you run out of the goodness.

After enjoying our food, this acted as a great refuel for the next element of our trip - throwing our own pot!  A skill I never managed to master when I was at uni doing a degree in 3D Design (which involved a lot of ceramics, whoops). This usually costs between £5 and £10 and you are aided throughout the process to create a pot in whatever shape you like.

During the Christmas period, there's also the opportunity to make your own decorations in the mini workshop. Perfect for customising as a gift!

All in all, the entire Wedgwood Visitor Centre is an experience which was completely unexpected for me. I've lived in this city my entire life and never been, just expecting it to be like all the other factory shops and pottery workshops we have strewn throughout the city. It turns out I was completely wrong though.

The Wedgwood Christmas Tale is on until the 23rd of December and I would thoroughly recommend going, especially with kids. You can go around, reading the story and spotting all of Mr Chisholms cats! There's also a factory shop to finish off your Christmas shopping on the sly.

Afternoon Tea costs £25 per head, which is an average price for such a treat. You can actually grab a gift voucher on the Wedgwood website where you can enjoy Afternoon Tea for Two alongside free annual entry to the museum, a factory tour and a tea tasting session for £49. You can find more information about that here.

Do I Really Need... Facial Oils

Facial oils have become an every staple in my own skincare routine. After years of suffering from dry skin and blemishes, which happens to be a pretty rare combination, I've finally discovered that oils are the best for my skin type. 

We've already taken a look at Electronic Facial Cleansers and the Jurlique Water Essence, but are facial oils for everyone? Probably not, as everyone's skin is pretty different. I'm going to tell you why and how they work for me though, and why you may need to introduce them to your own skincare regime.

What Are the Benefits of Facial Oils?

Well, apart from the obvious moisturising and hydrating benefits, there are a range of other results you can enjoy from using a facial oil. Each type of oil has its own usage and can be introduced to help a variety of skin issues. From Rose Oil, which is anti-inflammatory and has regenerating properties, to Lavender Oil which can help to increase blood circulation; there is a host of oils suitable for skincare on the shelves and it's just a case of finding the right one for you.

I personally found that the use of oils has not only kept my skin really soft and supple, but I've also experienced a dramatic difference in the amount of blemishes I get from using them instead of a creamy moisturiser. There is the misconception that if you're spotty you must have oily skin and therefore steer away from using oil based products. I have discovered though, that due to my skin being dry, it overcompensates by producing more oil and sebum and this is why I was getting spots.

Not only that, but generally moisturisers can be heavy and block my pores, alongside not hydrating quite as well as oils seem to.

Are Oils Suitable for All Skin Types?

It depends on the oil type you use and the skin type you have. As mentioned, everyone has different skin types, textures and concerns, so there will never be a 'one size fits all' solution. However, if you do your research and invest in the best oils then you will more then likely find one which is perfect for you.

If you do suffer from spots and breakouts then try and avoid comedogenic oils such as coconut oil and palm oil. Instead opt for non-comedogenic oils such as Argan, Jojoba and Rosehip oils. Non-comedogenic basically means that the oil won't block your pores and cause any further breakouts or blemishes.

So, Do I Really Need Some Facial Oil?

If you find that you have similar skin to mine, or suffer from spots and can't quite work out why, then I would suggest giving a facial oil a try for a few weeks to see how you get on. I've tried many over the years and the only one which has caused my skin any issues is coconut oil, which was heavy and broke me out. I would definitely recommend Keihls Midnight Recovery Concentrate if you're looking to splash out. Or you can opt for a more purse friendly choice of the Vitamin E Radiance Oil from Superdrug to see how you get on.

It was back in August when I experienced Chi Kitchen for the first time. Ever since experiencing that Duck and Watermelon salad, I have been craving it ever since. 

Specialising in Pan Asian Cuisine, Chi Kitchen is based in prime position in Birmingham, attracting a foot flow of diners from the new Grand Central station. You will find it nestled within Debenhams, just as you pass Caffe Nero. A rather unusual location some may say, but when you consider how hungry you end up after battling the crowds from the train platform, it was probably a very wise move from the owners.

I was invited back to Chi Kitchen to experience their new Limited Edition Christmas menu. When you hear that an Asian fusion restaurant is producing a Christmas themed menu, intrigue does get the better of you! 

I mean, how exactly do they include the turkey?!

Will there even be any Turkey?!

I can confirm - there definitely was Turkey. Meaning that the Christmas Menu was definitely on-trend for the season. 

The concept of the menu is fairly simple. Coming as a set menu, which was separate to the regular main menu, you simply choose which dish from each course you'd like to enjoy. All washed down with a Mixed Berry Bellini for £21.95. A bargain for any 3 course meal in the city!

As we were reviewing the menu, we were treated to samples of all the dishes available. Out of the starters, which included Turkey Spring Rolls and Sweet Potato with a berry mayonnaise for dipping, my favourite was the chilli prawns. 

Deep fried with a crispy, salty and spicy coating, the prawns were succulent and juicy within the crisp battered coated. They were absolutely delicious. Compared to the other options, these were definitely the stand out of the trio, as they were generally just more flavoursome then the other dishes. I was really excited for the berry mayonnaise, however, the flavours weren't quite strong enough for my tastes and I felt it needed a little more OOMPH. 

Craving more of the prawns, I was soon distracted when the main dishes arrived at the table...

The turkey spring rolls helped to give a hint of festive goodness on the starter menu, but the Turkey Insal on the main dishes certainly polished off the inclusion of the seasonally enjoyed bird. This was so darn delicious I even asked that I could take the leftovers of it home in a take away box! Which of course, Chi Kitchen were happy to oblige with, as you can order any dish as a take away if you don't have time to enjoy as a sit down meal.

Marinated in a rich and delicious Kalamansi sauce, the turkey was so succulent and moreish. Seasoned to perfection, each mouthful was packed with more and more flavour.

Alongside the turkey dish, we also enjoyed a Vegetable Nyonya Curry and Teriyaki Salmon. Salmon is one of my favourite fish and you can never go wrong with a nice, juicy fillet of it. I found the curry to be particularly spicy, with a real zesty kick to it. 

Each main was teamed with a choice of either salt and pepper chips, or egg fried rice. Salt and pepper chips is one of my favourite things from a Chinese take away, and the Chi Kitchen style ones were just like that but a lot more fresh, made with fries instead of chunky chips that you usually have.

To finish the meal, there is a choice of two desserts; a walnut chocolate brownie or apple gyoza. Gyoza are always one of my favourite things from a starters menu and I've never had a sweet version before. They were okay, but I feel like they could have had a bit more seasoning in the apple filling - perhaps a bit of cinnamon or spice? 

The walnut chocolate brownie was the stand out of the two. Served with vanilla ice cream and custard, this combination of textures and tastes was the perfect way to end a hearty meal. 

The Christmas menu at Chi Kitchen is only available until the 26th of December. It's a must for anyone who has never visited before, as it's not only affordable but gives a great indication of the freshness and style of the overall dishes from the regular menu (with the Christmas twists, of course!).