EDŌ Restaurant, Belfast

I am not a food blogger and nor do I know an awful lot about the ins and outs of writing about food.  Unless we are watching Masterchef or The Great British Bake Off then I am an expert. That being said I recently ate in a restaurant that actually made me utter the words ‘Oh my God’ very audibly for the next table to hear.  Meg Ryan style.

EDŌ Restaurant, (pronounced Aye-Doh, Latin For ‘I Eat’) in Belfast is one of the nicest restaurants I have ever set foot in.  Walk through the doors and you are immediately greeted with not only pleasant smiles and a friendly welcome but a smell of food overtakes the sense, transporting you to a drooling state.  My eyes darted all around the restaurant from the bar as you enter with bottles piled high, the fantastic seating arrangements and brilliant décor.

Jonny Elliot, Head Chef and Owner brings you the best ingredients and extensive knowledge having worked with some of the best chef in the world like Gordon Ramsey and Gary Rhodes.  Jonny knows his flavours and has a Bertha Oven in the kitchen which allows the chefs to cook with apple and pear wood giving their food a smokey flavour.  The best thing about this restaurant is that the menu really does appeal to everyone, whether you are a starter and a main dish kind of person or a tapas style sharing theme is more your thing, Edo has got you.

We decided to try a few dishes while there as everything on the menu sounded unbelievable and we couldn’t decide.

Pimientos de Padron, £5

I looked at this on the menu and thought ‘nahh’ but I was guaranteed that they were lovely and so, I had to try them.  Oh my days, I honestly don’t know what was done to them but the peppers melted in my mouth and were unbelievably tasty.  With a little salt and I am assuming some olive oil these were the perfect dish to have while deciding what other dishes to have.

Jamon Iberico (Bellota), £10

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A type of cured ham produced in Spain and Portugal that is just quite simply delicious. You get so many slices, we were full at the end of this dish… obviously that didn’t stop us! Also, we went straight in on this before I could get a photo, it looked too good to wait.

Ham Croquettes, £4

Yes, you read that right.  I haven’t stopped thinking about these for the last 3 weeks.  I actually got croquettes in another restaurant and they were nothing in comparison.  Thinking about them now I am starting to drool.  In fact, heading back to this restaurant in a few weeks and I may have to order about 4 of these.

Goats Cheese Fritter, £5

If anyone knows me at all, or at least listens to me when I talk about food, if there is Goat’s Cheese on the menu, it gets eaten.  It is always delicious and this time there was absolutely no exception.  Normally when I order Goat’s Cheese it come dressed up on a fancy plate with lots of dressings that I don’t even know what they are.  I loved that this dish came down just as it is.  Edo’s food is so good that it doesn’t need to hide behind the garnish.  It stands up with confidence, front and centre saying ‘eat me.’

Ham Hock, Celeriac, Pickles & Brown Butter Breadcrumbs, £16.50

Moving away from the smaller dishes and onto main dishes, what you see before you is the most delicious ham that I have ever had.  It actually wasn’t even what I ordered however, I stared at Joel’s plate dribbling, I had to have it.

Normally when I eat large cuts of meat they can be quite tough, dry and sometimes hard to swallow but I swear that ham actually fell off and melted into my mouth.  Not only that, but it was a taste sensation.  When it arrived to the table my first thought was, ‘how is that only £16.50?’  Such a glorious dish for such an affordable price.

Kebabs, Flat Bread, Tzatziki, £12

I am surprised I chose this as when being ‘bad’ and ordering take away I would never really get a kebab.  I did however, spy someone else in the restaurant who had ordered it and I could smell it wafting over, so it was either order it or ask that gentleman for a bite.

Unbelievably tasty and I wouldn’t dare touch a take out kebab after tasting this kebab.

Churros

Believe me, I was busted at this point and I really needed a nap.  That didn’t stop me ordering dessert because – why not?  You honestly can’t go wrong with churros in my eyes, they were deliciously warm and sugary and an accompanying chocolate dip.

So whether you are having date night, night with the girls or a big celebration EDŌ is the place to be.

View their website here and make a reservation!

What Turning 27 Does To My Brain

So today is my birthday.  I always loved my birthday and couldn’t wait for it for all the wrong reasons – couldn’t wait to see if anything fell out of my birthday cards to spend it on shite clothes I don’t need.  Couldn’t wait to rip through presents to see what was inside.  All of a sudden, this year I don’t care.  I’m sorry but what the fuck?  Why am I not an immature, selfish girl anymore?  Is this adulting?

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Before I write anymore there is a 83% chance I am about to have a mini breakdown writing this, so just bare with me. The very fact I have to now say mid to late twenties instead of early twenties knocks me over completely.  I definitely have to tick a new age box when filling out forms now…

What happens when you turn 27?  When I was younger the age 27 was the age I associated with girls who had purses full of credit cards, engagement rings, perfect jobs and big beautiful houses.  Now that I am at that ‘scary’ age, what the hell was I thinking?  There is something about the age 27 that makes me feel like I am being forced into being a grown up.  Like, don’t get me wrong, I have my shit together enough – I live with my wonderful boyfriend (puke, sorry), I love my job and I love all my little hobbies and I am by all means happy, but what is it about being 27 that makes me feel inferior?  Like, I still don’t feel like an adult but I guess I technically am.

Being 18 was amazing what with the whole I can drink legally thing.  Being 21 was amazing as I was living away from home in Scotland, living my best life and again, can drink legally everywhere.  If anything I felt more like an adult at 21 than I do now at 27.  Maybe because I was single at 21 I felt a little more independent as opposed to now where I need to split that rent or else I would be eating ramen noodles all month.

There are certain things that I feel I just can’t get away with now that I am 27.  I really can’t forget to make a payment on a card, I can’t go into my overdraft because that’s completely ‘irresponsible.’  Also, it’s not okay for me to not watch the news anymore.  I don’t like watching it because it is just full of terrible news, but at a certain point it just isn’t funny that I don’t know what’s going on in the world.

I was in Tesco buying drink for my birthday, you know… my 27th.  I wasn’t ID’d.  I don’t look old, I don’t look young but I was still very offended when I didn’t get carded.  Then I thought, I would have been over the moon when I wasn’t carded when I was younger, how can it irritate me now?

I think I am just pissed off that I can’t blame being young if something goes wrong.  At a certain point, I need to take responsibility and unfortunately I think that’s now.  I have been known to have a slightly self destructive pattern in the past however, instead of ruining lives I am now adulting hard and the only thing I really ruin are my plants.  Seriously, I can’t keep those things alive and if anyone has any tips – other than simply watering them – please let me know.

I mean, I have learned a lot in the last 27 years most of which I documented in another post 26 things. 26 years.  and I am so thankful for that as it has made me who I am today bla bla bla but unfortunately, I think that that has made me an adult.

Also, what’s with having more money when you’re still in school than now?

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A Blog For Bloggers

This one is written as a blog for bloggers, whether you are starting out or are fully fledged within your field hopefully there is something you can take away from this post today.

As a fairly new blogger – I have tried and failed to keep my blog going for the last 10 years but anxiety used to overcome me and I would delete the posts I wrote in case someone I knew seen them and made fun of me.  I recently developed an ‘I don’t give a shit’ attitude which has led me to keep writing posts for this long.  Anyway, as a newish blogger with an amazing local blogging community around me I have learned a few things along the way and yes, you guessed it I am going to share them.

Opportunities

When you start out as a blogger the fear can get to you as it got to me, that no one would care about what you are writing about.  The odd time a brand will approach you because they love your work and it is still so flattering when this happens.

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I said yes to every opportunity that came along but looking back I now realise that that may not have been a good thing.  While you should be open to writing and talking about everything, have an end goal in mind and remember that you are your brand.

What I mean is if you are a beauty lover and you predominantly talk about makeup or skincare, don’t out of  the blue start pushing a toaster because a brand approached you about it.  It took me awhile to get on my feet and get a theme but now that I have a theme, I find myself politely declining certain opportunities because I have no interest in them.  I value my blog and brand far too much to start polluting the page with items that I am not passionate about.  You won’t care about what you are writing and your readers won’t care either.

There are pros and cons to this point and I completely believe that if I hadn’t have said yes to everything that my blog and social channels may not be where they are today.  That being said, I definitely would recommend to just research your opportunities thoroughly before agreeing as they can knock off your brand and blog image.

Know Your Worth

Now that you have your blog up and running, or maybe it has been up and running for awhile and you are still unsure but it is important to know your worth.  Blogging and writing posts, especially when in collaboration with brands can feel a little like a hustle.  I have been very lucky with brands I have worked with and everyone seems normal but I have heard horror stories where brands have taken fellow bloggers for a complete ride.

What I am saying is, know how much to charge brands that are contacting you and don’t be afraid to charge for your work.  The social media game has changed so much in the last few years and it is a great way of making money, especially when you are putting so much effort in.  I’m trying not to make this point sound money hungry, I for one very rarely charge for posts to my blog or to Instagram.  I am however trying to explain that you should not get shortchanged for work that you do with brands.

I for one am over the moon when I am sent PR Mail, and I more often that not will use what I have been gifted to talk about across my channels and blog for free.  It’s when brands expect a little more than that or they explicitly ask you for more that you should know your worth and don’t settle for anything less.  As my future best friend Kanye West says “Know your worth. People always act like they’re doing more for you than you’re doing for them.”

Individuality

Individuality is so important.  You need to be a little different in order to stand out in crowd, not only in your blogging community but across your social channels too.  There are so many beauty blogs, lifestyle channels and fashion advice accounts that yours needs an edge, something to set you apart from the rest of the crowd.  Write about what you love and what inspires you and I promise you, your engagement will boom.

Not only is your uniqueness important, but so is what you are actually writing about.  Don’t write about something or post something just because someone else is doing it.  Just because someone wrote a great post and it received great feedback, doesn’t mean yours will.  It can be hard in a world where there are so many people with similar interests but if you are putting your own spin on your work then it’s guaranteed to stand out.

It’s Only A Number

When I started my Instagram I’ll admit I used to be so focused on how many followers I had.  I would be looking at people with 10 more to 10 million more than me and was always looking for more followers.  I am ashamed to admit it took me awhile to realise that the number doesn’t matter at ALL.  When you start a channel or blog your numbers are always going to be a little lower and they will grow with the more posts and content you create.

Do not be disheartened when you see someone with 20k on Instagram who is posting similar content to you.  Do not be disheartened because someone else got thousands of likes and you only got 100.  Instead, change your attitude and focus your attention on the people that are on your account, instead of looking for ones that aren’t.  Engage with them, comment and follow them back and get to know your followers.  The best advice I can give to anyone interested in blogging is that you shouldn’t give a crap about the figure at the top of your Instagram page as honestly, the way the algorithm works now it is all about your engagement.

Don’t get me wrong, I will be buzzing to reach the 10k threshold on Instagram so I can take advantage of the swipe up feature…

You may be reading this blog as someone who isn’t a blogger or as someone who isn’t remotely interested in becoming one but, these points translate equally into everyday life.  Life your life like the perfect individual you are and you will receive more appreciation for it.  Know your worth in your work life, no matter what you do these points still apply.

I hope you take something away from this post whether you a fellow blogger or not and please comment or let me know some of the things you have learned along the way.

how to grow out your bangs in style.

I don’t know about you, but I am one of those I love my fringe, I hate my fringe, I love my fringe, I hate my fringe kind of people.  So I am forever getting a fringe, then deciding that I am bored and need a change.

If you have ever graced your head with the presence of a fringe then you know how difficult and moreover, annoying it is to grow out when you don’t like it anymore.  I am here to give you some top tips on growing out a fringe in style as growing it out can be a huge pain in the ass.

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Depending on how you want the end result to look will depend on how you grow them out so I really only know what I do to keep my hair looking cute.  If I want my bangs to eventually taper off the to the side then you are going to want to keep trimming your fringe in the middle only à la Alexa Chung.  This will not only keep your hair out of your eyes but when it is long enough, it will be easier to sweep to the sides.

Currently I am trying to create a side fringe so I have my hair clipped back with a bobby pin until it is long enough to take down.  When it gets a little longer then I will have the option of having cute little hairstyles instead of a boring clip.  Whether it’s keeping it up with a half knot on top of my head or the many different styles of plaits starting at the base of the fringe my hair will get more interesting with every millimetre of hair growth.

 

It’s a dark few weeks when you decide to grow out your fringe but with commitment I know you can pull through!  If in doubt, hair spray my friend.  Hairspray.  I always use L’Oreal Elnett Precious Oil Hairspray (contains Argan Oil to help with smoothing and shininess) or the Supreme Hold Hairspray.

Happy fringing!

 

long nail problems.

One of my favourite things to do to relax is sit and get my nails done.  There is something extremely soothing about sitting in a little chair, picking the perfect colours to wear for a few weeks.  I could almost fall asleep in the chair.

If you are local to me or around the Belfast area then you should take advantage of my gal Cara at @clawed_by_cara on Instagram.  She works out of Topshop, Victoria Square and all images in this blog post are hers, just so you can get a little snippet of how amazing she is!  I will leave more of her details down below!

My favourite style to get on my nails is anything long.  The longer the better however, having long nails can really get in the way of normal day to day activities.  Let’s start with the one that is affecting me right now…

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Typing

I have to type like my grandmother would type, almost on the tips of my nails because they are so long and so it takes me about twice as long to write a post than if I had short nails.  Not only that but it makes a horrendous noise when a nail tip collides with the keys, to the point of extreme annoyance.  Don’t even get me started on typing a message on my phone… Worth it.

Moisturising

Moisturising the body is important but is so hard to do with nails like mine.  It always gets stuck under the nails and is rank.  Then you have to go through the process of picking it all out.  Worth it.

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Clothing

I have had to modify my wardrobe so that it doesn’t include anything with a clasp otherwise I would have to set my alarm in the morning for half an hour earlier.  I am not a jewelry person because I favor nails over bling.  Worth it.

Clothing 2.0

Jeans.  More specifically, new jeans.  I can’t even deal with the thought of trying on new jeans in a fitting room never mind the fear of getting my nails caught or stuck in the zip.  Worth it.

Washing Hair

Now obviously as the nails grow if you don’t get them done, they can

25038188_2024978707512312_4520655432129183744_nstart to chip away, etc.  In the days leading up to nail day when you wash your hair there is no feeling more horrid that having a great time feeling like a Herbal Essence advert when AGH there it is… your hair gets tangled underneath your nail extension, then you have to drag it out with a harsh slam back into reality standing there in your own damn shower.  Worth it.  Long nails forever.

 

 

Itching

We all have to have a little stratch every now and then, itchy head, itchy finger, itchy boob, whatever.  This is totally fine and normal.  What isn’t normal is having a scratch and then looking at yourself and realising you are now covered in a tonne of red marks.  I swear, you look like you have been mauled by 11 kittens.  Not a good look but again, worth it.

Earrings

Small studs? Forget about it.  I’ve been subjected to wearing J-Lo worthy size earrings because my nails can’t get wrapped around the backs of studs.  Worth it.

Dropping money

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Okay, I live in a city centre.  My money is not expendable, neither is my threshold for embarrassment when I drop money, or anything for that matter and I can’t pick it up.  Picture it – I am bent over ass in the air struggling to pick something up.  I’ll be honest, sometimes I’ll just leave it because my nails can’t take that kind of pressure.

 

All jokes aside, all the goodness that comes with long nails more than make up for the lil problems we gotta deal with on a daily basis.  I love having long nails, let’s face it they are kind of like having a Swiss Army Knife at the end of your fingers.

CLAWED BY CARA

Instagram @clawed_by_cara https://www.instagram.com/clawed_by_cara/

Facebook Clawed Nail Bar https://www.facebook.com/clawedbycara/

 

 

 

 

 

 

big boob blog.

Yes, you read that one right.  I am talking big over the shoulder boulder holders, knockers, boobies, melons, globes and eh… tits – I have heard them all.  As a curvier gal, I have had to adapt my life to the bigger chest area and it hasn’t been as amazing as you might think.

For as long as I can remember I always was the girl in class with the bigger breasts, or at least one of the girls.  I am pretty certain I went from an age 8 girls vest to a size 30D.  I was wearing a bra in Primary School long before anyone else knew what a bra was, other than something that hung on your mother’s washing line.  Fast forward 15 years and I’m crawling around in a 34GG wishing I was 11 with the 30D (yes… 11)

Those with smaller boobs always say ‘God you are so lucky’ and I am like ‘REALLY?’  While yes, of course they have their upside they most certainly have their downside too.  You have to think about the back pain and the teeny tiny tops that your breasts will never fit into.  Living in jealousy that your upper body will never look as thin because of the pillows attached to the chest.  Dealing with your back breakers have to be considered into every day life so if you have big boobs or indeed little boobs then read along for why it’s important to find the right bra.

Get FITTED!

Approximately 80% of women wear the wrong bra!  Who knows, you might be one of the 80% – have you been fitted?  Those women that offer you help when you are buying bras are there to help, not catch a glimpse!

They’ll fit your bra to suit you and give you advice.  It’s important to get fitted everytime you go underwear shopping, especially if you are shopping in different stores.  From personal experience I have found that in one brand I am one size and a totally different size in another.

A bra is designed to give your breast support and to keep them comfortable throughout the day.  Not only is wearing a bra important but you have to make sure that the bra fits you properly.  A good bra stops sagging (I hate that word) because they are so heavy which helps them to keep their shape and keeps them higher for longer!  Stops them from bouncing around all over the place, knocking people out.  Think of your bra like a hammock, something nice and comfortable for them to lie in.  They are more comforting and supportive than any man will ever be.  No man has ever cared for me like my bras have.  Having a good fitting bra also makes your clothes look better and more flattering, no matter the size you are.

That being said as comfy as they are supposed to be, it’s seriously liberating whipping that bra off after a hard days work and throwing it across the room.

My favourite places to shop for bras are http://www.bouxavenue.com and http://www.debenhams.com  They have a huge range available for the majority of sizes and a great selection of styles.  Once you start buying nice underwear however, it is highly addictive – be warned.

PS, A push up bra with bigger boobs? Forget about it.

The Boob Chronicles

My boob once knocked my hot chocolate out of my hand when I was running for the bus and it spilled down me.

I took my bra off on the bus once because I couldn’t wait til I got home.

A shirt button actually pinged off and darted across the floor while I was in a job interview.

If I roll over in bed too quickly one boobs slaps off the other.  It sounds like a walrus slapping off the ground.

I don’t have enough hands to count the amount of times my boobs have popped out of a bikini.

I have to wear two sports bras when I work out.  Twice a year.

I was elbowed in the boob yesterday and I still feel the pain today.

I haven’t seen my toes in 13 years.

After every cinema outing, I come home and take my top and bra off and the equivalent of a small salted popcorn falls out.

 

go and love yourself.

Straight from the mouth of Justin Bieber himself, ‘you should go and love yourself.’

SELF LOVE IS IMPORTANT

Let’s start with what it would mean for YOU, as you are the most important person to yourself, or at least you should be.  Always look after number one and unfortunately it took me a very long time to realise that.  To me, there is nothing more upsetting than someone who doesn’t like themselves or has issues regarding something to do with them as I know how it feels and I know how it weighs you down.  I’m not saying that it’s always a depression state of mind, but feeling like this can affect how you act and whether you do certain things.

It’s okay to tell yourself that you’re beautiful, that you believe in yourself and that you love yourself.  That you love your stretch marks, they make you you.  That you love your crooked teeth, they make you you.  That you don’t tan naturally and you are the kind of girl that sits smothered in SPF 50 under an umbrella on holidays, that makes you you.  That you have a birth mark, that makes you you – the list goes on.

Every single thing about you you should learn to accept them and I swear to you as soon as you do, your life will take form and you will see everything in a new light.  For myself, I learned to love the positive and the negative things about me because as I said that is what makes me me.  I had to learn how to take the good with the bad and accept it all for who I am and learn to be okay with it.  Once I believed that I loved myself and accepted myself for who I am, I couldn’t help but feel a sense of confidence wash over me that made me feel like I could do anything – I’m telling you, super empowering stuff.

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I am not saying that it’s The Law of Attraction or anything, but I can’t help but feel that when I changed my opinion on myself that my life took a little turn around for the best.  I mean really changed my opinion, not just waking up one day and saying ‘Yep, I am fabulous! Show me what you got world?’  So if you are feeling a little down on yourself I urge you to take a second look.  Then take a third look and truly see how beautiful you are and I promise you, you will notice change in yourself and your life.

I am curious to what others think about this as I am aware it may come across a little on the hippy side which is not what I intended.  Do you like yourself, love yourself?  Do you walk around with confidence in yourself?  Don’t get me wrong, I am not painfully optimistic and positive or anything and don’t mean to shove it at you.  I just think that confidence is key and the key to confidence is LOVE YOURSELF.

Let me know your thoughts in the comments or send me a message on any of my social media channels!

Instagram http://www.instagram.com/cosmetics.junkiee

Facebook http://www.facebook.com/amysavagemakeup

Twitter http://www.twitter.com/cosmeticsjunki

PS. when I say love yourself, I don’t mean become a big headed, vain narcissist!