Wednesday, 9 December 2015

Beauty | Lola's Make Up Favourites

Picture taken from my instagram - @lolapastimebliss

I'm no beauty expert. I don't purport to be. My knowledge of make up was limited to MAC and sleek. They have great products for dark skin tones and I was always of the opinion that if it is not broken, don't fix it. However, a few months ago, I decided that I really wanted to step up my make game and make it look sleeker with better products.What followed was a crash course into make up by speaking to my friends and watching a whole ton of YouTube videos. I swear everytime Fikki came into my room for a two week period, I was watching make up tutorials with such concentration. After my crash course, I learnt what I liked and what suited by skin tone. I still do not like to use a lot of make up and try as much as possible to keep it as light as possible. Also my eye liner is still wonky but one step at a time. So below, I share with you some of my favourite products.


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Friday, 4 December 2015

Event | Ideal Home Show at Christmas*

A few weeks ago, I was invited to the Ideal Home Show at Christmas at Event City Manchester. After the success if last years event, it was not surprising that the traffic this time around, to the venue adjacent to Trafford Centre, was horrendous.

Due to work commitments, I was unable to attend the celebrity opening day that i invited to so instead went down to the venue on a busy shopping saturday with my housemate, Therese. When we arrived we had two choice, to sit in traffic for God know's how long or brave the rain and park a little further out. We chose the latter.

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Friday, 13 November 2015

Event | Manchester | Ideal Home Show at Christmas

I can't believe Christmas is less than 6 weeks away. So it is perfect timing that this weekend is the start of all things Christmasy in Manchester. The Christmas Markets in Manchester, one of the best in the country, opens this weekend and the Ideal Home Show at Christmas is back in the city for the second time after its hugely successful launch last year. 

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Thursday, 12 November 2015

Travel | Photo Diary | A Day in Washington D.C.


As you already know from, our previous New york post, I recently went on a trip to the United States with my family. Due to work commitments I was only able to join them for the last day of their time in Washington D.C. Sadly, although they had 3/4 days to spend in the capital, this was cut short to only 2 due to flight restrictions from New York city on September 11. They had to spend a night camping in an airport in New York :-( before they finally got to Washington.


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Tuesday, 10 November 2015

Event | Manchester | Back To The Ball Pit

I am a bit of a science geek so I was really gutted that I wasn't able to go to many of the Manchester Science Festival events this year due to work and general life commitments. I did however manage to go to one of the festival's highlights on the last day of its almost 2 week run - Jump In!

Remember the euphoria you experienced as a child playing in a ball pit? Well this art installation, inspired by playful snowy scenes, allowed visitors to re-experience this feeling which many may have long forgotten.

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Saturday, 7 November 2015

What We Wore | Striped In Burgundy

Dress/Primark; Bag/Michael Kors; Bracelet/Coach

Another day off and a chance to wear something that's not blue and unflattering.
Day off = Clothes on

The boy just passed his surgical exams and is yet another step closer to becoming an ENT surgeon so since I was off on the day he found out, I dropped all my plans and decided to spend the day with him running errands which included buying a wrench and other very unexciting task. It was good to finally have a bit of time together in the middle of me ending my night shifts and him starting his. The joys of being in a doctor couple(!)
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Monday, 2 November 2015

Food | Salad-In-A-Jar

I'm currently rotating through the emergency department as a junior doctor which means I do a set of night shifts every three weeks. Whilst pasta, rice or bread may be great for lunch options during daytime shifts, I generally like to avoid anything too carb-heavy at night. There is nothing worse than fighting a "carb-coma"whilst trying to figure out if that man's shortness of breath and chest pain is a heart attack, a clot on his lungs or something else. 

 Utilising the hipster's holy grail - the mason jar - prepping salads this way allows you to make lunch for several days in advance. All the ingredients including the salad leaves stay fresh and crisp, for up to 5 days, because they are stored in an airtight glass jar.

salad in a jar
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Friday, 23 October 2015

Event | Puffa AW14 Launch


Puffa is a brand that I was not familiar with so when Fikki and I were invited to the showcase of their AW14 men and women collection last month, I was eager to see what the brand was all about. Unfortunately, Fikki was away in New York at the time so I popped down on my own and met up with other lovely Manchester bloggers. The launch was held in the Hip Hop Chip Shop in Spinningfields, the Left bank area, which I am very suprised to see built up and running from what was formerly a derelict area.

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Tuesday, 20 October 2015

Travel | New York, New York



Quite coincidentally, this year we both took trips to America with our families. Lola jetted off to New York for a week and had an overnight stay in Philadelphia for her cousin's graduation in May. Whilst, Fikki took a trip to New York, Philadelphia and Washington for her dad's birthday in September. As we had quite different experiences on our trip, we thought it would be best to combine them for our travel review. First up the Big Apple - Although Lola had been to New York as a child, her memories of it are quite absent so we have written this post as first time travellers. This is not a definite list of things to do in New York but if you are there for more than a week, these are a few things we recommend doing as a tourist.

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Wednesday, 14 October 2015

National Trust - Quarry Bank Mill, Cheshire


In a week, I leave Manchester to move to Lagos, Nigeria for a while! It's been a real scramble to buy al the things I need whilst making sure I see all my friends before I leave. A catch up with my friend, Laura was way overdue.

Instead of meeting over coffee or lunch, we decided to visit one of the many National Trust sites as Laura has National Trust membership. Plenty of jokes about how Laura is a 20 something year old member. We settled on Quarry Bank Mill as it was within great driving distance. Quarry Bank has been on my radar ever since watching the tv series, The Mill on Channel 4 which was a frank drama about the lives of the people, mostly children who worked in the mills during the industrial revolution. The Channel 4 drama draws on the experiences in a serious and gritty manner and although very somber, is a great watch.

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Saturday, 10 October 2015

Travel | Amsterdam, Netherlands

Way back in March, Fikki and I along with some other friends went to Amsterdam for a long weekend. The trip was planned as a very lovely 25th birthday surprise for me. I have always wanted to visit Amsterdam for as long as I can remember and at one point was planning a birthday trip there which flopped. I guess my friends all got tired of me talking about Amsterdam all the time.


Getting to the city and travelling to our hotel was quite eventful. As soon as we go there, there was a power cut in the north of the Netherlands including Amsterdam! We got to the airport thinking it was pretty dark and dingy only to realise we had entered chaos. This meant all the trams and trains were down and the only mode of transport was bus. After realising that queueing is definitely a British thing, we made to our hotel and found a small restaurant that would do us some quick food without the use of too much power. So what would Fikki and I recommend about Amsterdam for a long weekend trip?

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Wednesday, 7 October 2015

Fashion | Autumn Is Upon Us


It's that time of year again. The leaves are turning brown, curling up and beginning to fall. Sadly, this time around I will be spending most of my favourite season in scrubs. I am currently rotating through the Emergency Department as a junior doctor and I already officially half way through the 4 month block. Whilst the hours have been long and the shifts intense, so far, it has been an amazing experience. For the first time since qualifying I feel like an real doctor and I have to say I am loving it.
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Wednesday, 27 May 2015

G&Tea - Gin Afternoon Tea at Worsley Park, Marriot Hotel and Country Club

Lola and I were invited to a press event at Worsley Park, Marriot Hotel and Country Club in Manchester. Sadly Lola was away in New York so I took my friend Kate along. After a long day jumping up and down on a dummy's chest as part of our advanced life support course, we drove down to the hotel on a gorgeous, sunny spring afternoon.
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Monday, 25 May 2015

Lifestyle | Let's get clean - review of Hassle.com


I had the pleasure of meeting Jules Coleman at a press event in Manchester, a few weeks ago. She is one of the cofounders of Hassle.com, an online platform that allows you to find a cleaner for a flat rate of £10 per hour, with a money-back guarantee.

Before meeting Jules, I had actually used Hassle.com a couple of times in the past. The first experience was fault free and the cleaner did a great job. The second time, I had an issue with the cleaner not arriving at my house, but the customer's service team did an excellent job in rectifying this and getting me a new cleaner at my convenience. Sadly after the second experience I wasn't keen to retry the service.

However as my parent were visiting for the bank holiday weekend, I thought it would be a good idea to give my house a good clean prior to arrival. So I thought I would give the service another try and make use of the 3-hour clean I was gifted at the event.*


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Wednesday, 29 April 2015

Travel | Flint Barns, Rathfinny Wine Estate


About two weeks ago, I attended my friend, Laura's wedding in East Sussex and had the pleasure at staying at the Flint Barns. Laura had already found it as an option for guests when planning her wedding and shown me how beautiful the place was. I immediately felt like I had to stay there or nowhere else! Luckily, the other guests thought the same and a few of us ended up staying there.

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Wednesday, 15 April 2015

What We Wore | Leather + Fluff


The fluffy jumper is back on the blog again! It's just so cosy. Worn with my £3 leather skirt and some new shoes. Those Zara shoes were a recent purchase in the most recent Zara sale. This nod to the brogues in one of Marni's collection is probably the most painful shoes I have ever had to break in, in my wardrobe, and they are flat! I seem to have always had this problem with Zara shoes. They are always so pretty but very painful and then I end up not wearing them. I have only worn this maybe two or three times now but they are slowly getting there. Breaking shoes in are the worst!
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Friday, 3 April 2015

Fikki | McArthurGlen Accessories Challenge

So to recap, the challenge was:
£250 
 2 Accessories
Styled 5 different ways

The Mulberry store cwas obviously top of my list of shops to visit and it didn't disappoint. I am so glad that I bought these tan knee high boots - described as "boots for life" by the lovely shop assistant. The leather is so smooth and soft. I can't wait to wear them this spring. I wanted the Ralph Lauren bag a few months ago but decided against it last minute. So this time round, I wasn't leaving it behind.

 photo IMG_5397_zpshegauqy6.jpg

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Wednesday, 1 April 2015

Lola | McArthurGlen Accessories Challenge

Following on from our previous post, as you know, Fikki and I were with asked by McarthurGlen to shop for two accessories under £250. The challenge was to style these items into 5 different looks for the SS15. to highlight how versatile items can be and how they can transform a look. 

Patent Loafers/Mulberry* - £90 (RRP £675)
Shopper Tote/Michael Kors* - £160 (RRP £200 +)

I know I can be quite a fussy shopper. It takes me quite a while to find what I want, especially when it comes to shoes. I love Kurt Geiger and I really did have my heart set on getting a nice pair of heels from there. I walked up and down the entire outlet with Fikki in tow and could not find anything that fit my style. However, at the last minute, I ended up getting these beautiful Mulberry heels for £90, it's RRP being about £675. Such a huge bargain and the exact cost of some high street heels. They are definitely my exact type of heel - block, mega platform, give it to me. A perfect addition to my wardrobe this season.

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Monday, 23 March 2015

Trip to McArthurGlen Cheshire Oaks Designer Outlet

To celebrate the arrival of Spring/Summer 2015, McArthurGlen have invited bloggers to take part in a fun accessory style challenge and we were lucky enough to receive an invite. The challenge was set at two accessories for £250. So over the weekend, Lola and I headed down to Cheshire Oaks, one of McArthurGlen's six UK designer outlet. 

With more than 145 boutiques, restaurants and caf├ęs, Cheshire Oaks is the UK’s largest designer outlet. There brands on offer range from high-street favourites, like Warehouse and French Connection to high-end designers, including Burberry, Michael Kors and Mulberry. 

Even though the outlet is just an hour away from Manchester, Lola and I had never been to Cheshire Oaks. However I am not a stranger to McArthurGlen's Ashford outlet. I tend to pay it a visit once in a while when I am down in Kent. 


 photo IMG_4940_zpsnv6dbkjx.jpg

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Saturday, 21 March 2015

Restaurant | Dinner at Mr Cooper's House and Garden, Manchester

The boy officially got his first surgical training job!
So to celebrate, I decided to take him out for dinner at Mr Cooper's House and Garden, Manchester.

This exciting restaurant sits across the lobby of the Midland Hotel from the French, the other, more expensive, Manchester restaurant by culinary god Simon Rogan. Whilst I haven't had the pleasure of dining at any of his other restaurants (a trip to L'Enclume in Cartmel would be dreamy), the food at Mr Cooper's House and Garden simply highlights how deserving Simon Rogan is of all the critical acclaim.

 photo IMG_1524_zpslwykfiri.jpg
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Sunday, 15 March 2015

What We Wore | Primark Quilted Coat

Coat/Primark; Jeans/Topshop (Joni); Boots/Office

I picked up this coat for the grand sum of £5 from Primark last week. I had seen the pastel version on Jen Electro's blog and was definitely going to pick it up regardless of the price. Luckily Manchester Primark had decided to make a huge reduction on the coat. If you live in or around Manchester, I only picked this up on Friday 13th so there definitely should be plenty of this left at the store. This will definitely make a great addition to my wardrobe for as an everyday coat for spring.

In two weeks, Fikki and I along with a few other friends will be jetting for to Amsterdam for a long weekend. It all came about last year when all my friends decided to take me to Amsterdam as a 25th birthday present as I had been chewing their ears off about wanting to go there for a long time. We are really excited to see the city and stay in the pretty Citizen M hotel.  If you have been to Amsterdam, some handy hints and tips on what to do whilst there would be great!



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Thursday, 12 March 2015

Travel | Lisbon, Portugal





The next addition to our travel post series is Lisbon.

After a few months into my life as a junior doctor, I was in desperate need of some time away! So what better way to spend this time off than with one of my oldest friends from medical school. A proper catch-up was long over due and I was looking forward to doing just this with a few glasses of wine in a foreign destination. Doctors struggle to get time off so it took a lot of planning to decide on a destination but eventually Lisbon seemed to tick all the boxes: cheap flights, flights from manchester and London, warm mediterranean climate, easy on the budget and the perfect cityscape. I also had a bit of an insiders guide to a few good places to eat and drink as the boy has a lot of Portuguese friends. 

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Friday, 6 March 2015

Travel | Ibis Style, Liverpool #CaptureIbisStyle


We were both recently invited to Liverpool to take part in the Capture Ibis Styles game and stay at the Ibis Style hotel on Dale Street. This was to showcase the hotel's unique style, decor and design.

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Sunday, 8 February 2015

What We Wore | It's In The Detail

Jeans/Topshop; Shoes/Topshop; Shirt/Charity Shop; Coat/ASOS

I absolutely love the detail on this shirt which was a bargain for £2 in a local charity shop. The pattern is crushed velvet over the sheer underlay. It's just one of those items were you really need to showcase the intricacy of it. Paired with my trusty Joni jeans and my boucle coat, I was ready for a long overdue catch up with Laura in a lovely little cafe called Takk in the Northern Quarter.




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Sunday, 25 January 2015

What We Wore | Joy Feather Dress

Dress/Joy*; Boots/Office; Necklace/Primark 

 You know when you see an item of clothing and your eyes literally light up with joy? Yes, that's what I got with this dress from erm, Joy. I picked it up at Joy's Manchester christmas party and since then worn it like crazy. I love the iridescent effect the scales give it and the feathers at the bottom are a nice touch that is not too overpowering. And the best part, its in the sale now for £45! Dressed it down with my everyday boots from Office and a choker style necklace I picked up from Primark yesterday.




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Tuesday, 13 January 2015

Food | A Taste of Malaysia



The food was probably one of the major highlights of my 2 week stint in Kuala Lumpur during my electives as a student last year. So when we received an invite to the Malaysian Kitchen Supper Club at the end of last year, I couldn't wait to relive some of the amazing tastes and smells that made my time in Malaysia so unforgettable.


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© Pastime Bliss - Manchester Blogger | Fashion, Travel and Lifestyle Blog | Manchester | UK

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