Newcastle Gin Festival

I was invited to the Gin Festival in exchange for a review however, all views remain my own.

The other week I was lucky enough to spend World Gin Day at the Newcastle Gin Festival.
Gin Festival’s events are the biggest in the UK, so what a dream it was to be invited.
A quick refresh after work and we were eager to get down to the event at Newcastle Racecourse. As soon as you entered it was time to check in and receive your exclusive Gin Festival glass and brochure, I was very lucky to receive a couple extra treats too and we were gifted a £20 voucher towards tokens. The bars themselves were cash free so they had a token system on the first floor, each G&T was £5 and the cocktails were £10. You were also able to use cash or card which was very handy so you didn't have to worry about getting cash out before the event.

From the main stairwell you could here live music coming from the main room which made it all very exciting, so after we assessed our brochures we headed in to see where all the gins were at. In the brochure you could find a list of every single gin they had available or you could skip a few pages to the bar guides which gave you a more in-depth list and description of the gins each individual bar had. The bars were split up into British, International and Flavoured. Usually I like to try out the more local drinks but we found that we definitely gravitated towards the flavoured gins this time, delicious! With each gin description you also found out which Schweppes tonic was best paired with it, which garnish, where it was from and the ABV. All your answers in one place, very handy indeed. Overall, Kate and I went for three Gin and Tonics each, my choices were;


Elephant Sloe Gin
“A tasty addition to the Elephant Gin herd! Macerated sloe berries are added to the original Elephant for a gorgeous warming gin. Fresh and sweet, opening with a burst of sloe berries plus a hint of nuts and spice, followed by blackberry and, of course, sloe berries on the finish.”
Garnish: Orange
Pairs best with: 1783 Crisp Tonic Water
Germany | 35%

- I have only tried one sloe gin before and although it may not currently be your typical Sloe Gin season, I really wanted to give another a try and it was absolutely delicious. I love the blackberry and sloe berries together.

Sanction Gin Pomegranate and Jasmine
“A gorgeously light and fresh gin, bursting with fruity flavour and beautifully balanced by delicate floral notes. Opening with lightly sweet red fruits and a touch of jasmine, which continues on the palate, along with juniper, sweet and tart citrus and a hint of spice. A truly smooth gin that is very easy to drink!”
Garnish: Raspberry and Lemon
Pairs best with: 1783 Crisp Tonic Water
London, England | 38%

∙ This one was very intriguing to me as I wanted to see how the Jasmine came across with the pomegranate and it was definitely smooth and easy to drink, lovely!

Feckin’ Irish Gin
“This cheeky gin is bursting with citrus and herby notes, from the nose, to the finish. Made with just 5 (reckon’!) botanicals this Irish tipple has delicate candied lemon, juniper undertones and lemon sherbet alongside a hot of coriander and gorgeously light finish.”
Garnish: Lemon
Pairs best with: 1783 Crisp Tonic Water
Ireland | 40%

- I am a big fan of citrusy gins so this one was definitely my first choice, plus the name immediately had me hooked. *reads name and immediately hears Father Jack shouting DRINK!*

There was such an amazing range available with so many brands to discover. I’d definitely advise getting their earlier if you want more choice as they are only subject to availability so a couple bottles had ran out on the bars. Not a problem at all though when you’ve got so many more to choose from. With such a huge selection of gins the brochure is perfect as it makes the decision process a little easier rather than just looking at the bars and getting overwhelmed (if you’re any where near as indecisive as I am, hah).

I barely remember my last visit to Newcastle Racecourse but it was such a great venue for this event, in the main rooms there were a few high tables to use but I was pleasantly surprised to noticed that they still had the outdoor seating area available too. As it was such a busy evening we found ourselves outside to enjoy our drinks as the sun was still out, you could still hear the live music and you even got a lush view over the racecourse and Newcastle City Centre. It’s amazing when you’re able to sit there in Gosforth and still be able to point out all the spots you notice in town like Civic Centre and St James Park. Definitely a more grown up version of Eye Spy with a gin in hand.

As well as the main gin bars, the Gin Festival also had masterclasses, gin samples from some of the brand ambassadors, there was also food available, a photo booth area and gin cocktail bars. I'd definitely recommend the Gin Festival for an evening of delicious drinks, entertainment and a bit of gin education. Although I was invited on this occasion, it is definitely an event I would attend again on my own accord. Big thanks to Gin Festival for having me along!

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We Moved!


So the thing is, we have moved!

All the way back up North to our home city of Newcastle Upon Tyne. The thing is though, we moved in March and for some reason I have been putting off this post. There's no dramatic reason either, however, for a little while it didn't actually feel like we'd officially left Nottingham and were living back home permanently. It's a funny feeling, we lived there for 4 years so coming back home almost felt like we were just on a long holiday visiting family, etc.
Even though I left my job and we handed our house keys back over. Funny one, ey.

So the past couple of months have just been catching up with family and friends as well as starting a new job and sorting out our new place. But yeah, it's so lush being home and although anyone following me on Instagram and Twitter would have known about this ages ago, I figured it was about time I updated my blog. It ended up being such a last minute decision that it felt like we were just spending our time working, packing and then moved after only a few weeks which is why I didn't necessarily make a bit deal out of it on here. Then I got stuck in the trap that I couldn't post what I was planning until I had addressed that change. So here we are... Nottingham you were lush but we're back home in Newcastle.

Now back to your regularly scheduled programming.

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Bands I've Been Listening to Lately

I genuinely forgot what I used to listen to before After Laughter.

I feel like it's been forever since I actually discovered some new music and it's a funny one because it's actually The Distillers who I have only just got into. I can't even believe it myself really. I'd definitely heard of them and some friends are often posting their stuff online but for some reason I had never actually hit play. It's about bloody time, ey! Now I've got some catching up to do and I can't wait.

Dave made me laugh the other day too because he said something like "you proper love rock ladies don't ya?" ahahaha, aye a do pet. Then I realised that all these songs were actually female fronted and I didn't even do that intentionally. I definitely go through phases of seeking out more female artists especially when some of my fail safe pop punk/rock bands are typically all male members and lets be real, too many of them are letting us down.

Two of the new discoveries were Great Grandpa and Waxahatchee who actually came from Sam's recommendation on her podcast Rebel Hearts. As well as talking through different topics she often plays a couple songs too and it's an excellent way to find new stuff. Now I've caught up with all of the episodes, I've even been going back to go through her notes and replay some of the music she's featured.

Another fav who aren't currently on Spotify to make the cut, are Sit Down. A two piece from Brighton and I flippin' love them. I'd actually been following Katie on Instagram for a little while and she's cool as hell, really enjoying their stuff atm.

What have you been listening to and enjoying recently? I want all of the recommendations, haha.

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BLEACH London Makeup | First Impressions

After quite some time spying on my local Superdrug and pestering the guys running their Twitter for dates, I eventually managed to get my hands on some BLEACH London beauty products. I had been super excited ever since the release but I couldn't decide what to try, so as soon as I heard they were launching the line throughout select Superdrug stores I figured I would just wait and have a browse in person. I'm a big fan of their hair products so it was only fair that I would give their beauty line a try, plus the whole collection looks absolutely amazing anyway.

BLEACH London is a vegan and cruelty free brand which is definitely one of the main reasons they have won me over and as well as that, they're such an affordable brand too. They have a range of products available from; contours, highlights, lip kits and shadows. From what they had left on the stand I decided to go for a Build Your Own palette as I was after some brighter shades and a bit more glitter in my life. Unfortunately, some of the Louder Powder shadows that I was after were out of stock but I still wanted to try some out nonetheless.

The single Louder Powder shadows retail at £3 each which I think is a canny good bargain and they currently have 33 shades to choose from. There's a great range of 'wearable' shades and tonnes of bolder colours that you may have missing in your current palettes. I was definitely on the hunt for some more vibrant shades. This is why I love that they have single shadows, you're able to pick out your favourites and create your own edit rather than having to buy a full palette for only one or two amazing shades.

Now the only gripe I have with the BYO palette is that it is £10 for the large magnetic palette and I feel as though the quality could be better. I don't mind the cardboard packaging and I love the fact that the plastic is clear so you can see what you've got in there, however, I find the plastic to be a little too thin and flimsy. It feels like it could get damaged whilst travelling, yet if it was just a little thicker and sturdier it would be 10/10. It just kinda feels like the plastic you'd get on the box of your Barbie when you were little... I feel bad writing that, but I want you to have my honest opinion and for £10 there's definitely room for improvement on the palette quality so fingers crossed.

Now saying that, they have absolutely nailed the rest of the packaging and everything looks cool as hell with their BLEACH London logos on. With gorgeous colours and textured designs, the shadows are packed in the neatest little cardboard sleeves which are perfect as they look super sleek. Not only are they made from recycled cardboard they are indeed recyclable themselves, which is always excellent.

I found the shadows themselves to be very true to colour and on first application you definitely get great pigmentation with a softer look. They are super buildable shadows so you're definitely able to get the colours to pop even more for a bolder look. The Louder Powders are super blendable and I have found them to be very long lasting, especially when I have worn them on days I have been at work. Super high impact when applied with your finger too.

If you're after even more fun with your make up looks, I'd definitely recommend the Metallic Louder Powders as well as the Glitterati. Both are super pigmented and very sparkly. The Metallic Louder Powder definitely leaves more of a metallic foil finish with lots of colour where as the Glitterati is just pure coloured glitter. I love that the Glitterati's are multi tonal too rather than having just one shade, they really amp it up with different coloured reflects. I haven't tried any glitter primers yet and tbh you don't really need them with Glitterati but I imagine you would definitely get amazing results. I've only recently saw that they have a Glitterati palette with 9 shades in and I really need it in my life.

As you can probably tell I am very impressed with these eyeshadows and they have definitely left me wanting to experiment with even more colours outside of my usual go-to. The yellow gold and orange have been my favourites recently, I also really want to try out some of the green and blue shades. For £3-£5 each you definitely can't go wrong! Now I really want to try out some of their lip products, brushes and basically the rest of the line...

Have you tried any BLEACH London make up products yet? What were your thoughts?

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Turning off Push Notifications

One of the best things I did in early 2017 was turn off the majority of my push notifications. Sometimes just hearing my phone or feeling it vibrate every two minutes leaves me feeling stressed and anxious. Especially when the majority of the time it would be something unimportant like a message from an app I barely use or a random newsletter I never even signed up for. 

We're currently at a time online where almost everyone wants to be noticed and everyone wants you to go be in the loop on  e v e r y  little thing, #don'tforgettopushthenotificationbell. It is wonderful to see everyone supporting each other, however, it can get a little overwhelming. Now don't get me wrong, this post isn't to say that you should stop following your favourites or stop downloading any apps. If anything I am currently doing the opposite as I am trying to become more involved online and actually start communicating more... Lets just consider this your friendly reminder that you don't have to have your lock screen crowded with notifications of what other people are doing or what your phone wants you to look at next.

I have genuinely found turning off my push notifications to make such a positive change towards my relationship with my phone. Relationship? That sounds funny, right? But we do use them every single day and they do play a big part in our lives these days, there's no point trying to deny that.

So now with everything from Instagram, Twitter, Facebook and even my emails have been muted. It’s wonderful. You're less likely to get stuck scrolling through apps for no reason, or get caught up in all the ‘likes’ that keep popping up on your lock screen. I think I currently only have my blog Gmail and Messenger on. Even all those random apps you need every now and then… turn off the notifications! You can also specify how you would prefer the notifications to be displayed, or even if you still want them coming up but without the sound alerts. That way, whenever you actually want to use or check an app, you're able to catch up on what you've missed when you actually want or need to. Lets be real though, it's hardly gonna be that long.

The conversation about self care has came up quite a lot recently and this is something I would definitely recommend if you're wanting to make small changes towards bettering your mental health.

With that being said, here's to a happy and less stressful 2018! (and please don't take it personally if I don't reply straight away, ahah)

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Annoyingly, I did have this post drafted up way before my previously published 'Getting Shit Done' but I wanted to sit with it for a bit longer and to get some decent photos together. So I apologise that some recent posts have been spent talking about blogging more yet not actually publishing more. I am currently working on a lot of posts so I can get into a routine, however, it seemed silly to post anything before actually publishing this one. So now that my rambling is over I would love it if you continued reading to find out what I will be focusing on this year and what to expect from The REDO.

I love fashion yet I’ve never really felt I was confident enough to write about it or even post photos on my blog. That definitely changed by the end of last year though and with the help of Dave taking photographs for me I would absolutely love to get more fashion content up on here. I am super into fashion more so at the moment so I am very excited about this one. Mind you, I do have the tendency to dress like a teenage boy...

I've come to realise that I have never actually announced that I switched all of my beauty products to Cruelty Free ones. This happened a couple years ago now and I have even had a ‘Going Cruelty Free’ post in my drafts since mid 2015. I definitely still plan on publishing something about that, I just suddenly realised that until then if you went through my older blog posts you probably wouldn’t have known that due to some of the products I have previously mentioned. So yeah, expect more Cruelty Free beauty recommendations and feel free to recommend some to me too.

Music is a big part of my life and it definitely influences my fashion choices. I’m currently unsure of the format I want to go with for my music related pieces but you can definitely expect more music related content this year. Although I love it, it’s not something I feel massively confident writing about but you gotta start somewhere, right?!

We have no travels plans yet for this year, but whenever we have some, expect tonnes photographs.  T O N N E S .  I take to many and to be honest I could definitely share some from previous trips if that would be of interest to anyone.

I’ve definitely done some 'generic' blogger posts since I have started, so we’re stepping away from that and going with whatever I want to do and not what I feel like I should be doing. We definitely change a lot with age but atm I feel like I'm in such a good place in terms of feeling comfortable with myself. We're all still figuring shit out but I know what I do and don't like so we're rolling with that this year. I'd love to do more 'think-piece' style posts too but I think that phrase sounds a bit funny so we'll see.

I'm sure there'll be a lot more to come on The REDO but I really wanna nail down my genuine interests and find a way to share those things through this blog. I'm hella excited to be working on this little internet space again. Also, anyone else a fan of Freaks and Geeks? It's easily one of my favourite programmes.

Lastly, expect a new post every Tuesday!

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I would love more than anything to have all the time in the world to create content for The REDO but it's just not possible. The rent needs to be paid and the dog needs to be fed. Yet there is one thing I can do better this year and that is my planning. I have a journal for all my blogging thoughts and plans, however, it never makes its way over to my dairy that I actually use daily for work hours and sorting other shit out.

This year I need would like to do more of that, instead of just creating to-do lists I need to add on deadlines. I am a massive putter-offer and I really ought to just get shit done. The frustrating thing is that I am actually massively motivated to get creating more content on here and to truly focus on The REDO this year. Over the years I have come to realise I am a massive self sabotager (queue Paramore - Caught In The Middle lyrics) and I am also the Queen of excuses.

2018 is definitely a year for looking after myself but also not letting myself get in the way of my own potential. I love having creative hobbies to focus on outside of my working life and I never want to lose that. So this year I am focusing on The REDO being my creative outlet and I honestly am so excited to get going. A very personal post this morning and I'm definitely rambling on, but it's one of those things you need to address to move forward.

Now it's time to crack on with my drafted posts, start planning my content and set reasonable deadlines that fit my schedule.

Hope you're all having a lush day and cheers for listening!

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