I'd not eaten Spanish food since I went to Barcelona last April and honestly I was desperate to get my fill of some tasty Paella. I've not found many places in Birmingham that specialise in Spanish food but I did know of at least one; Tapas Revolution.


Me and Sean had walked past Tapas Revolution a hundred times coming and going in Grand Central but we'd never really had the time to stop and eat there. We had tried the takeaway Chocolate Churros before and were pleasantly surprised so one Sunday we decided to grab a table and sit down for a proper meal.

Now I will admit at this point that I had read the menu wrong and I thought I could order a full plate of Paella from the set menu. Turns out you can only order a small Tapas sized bowl, who would have thought? Disappointed but determined to eat something other than a burger for once we ordered the cheaper set menu for two people. For £20 we got one Pan con alioli, one Croquetas de jamón, one Tortilla de patatas, one Chorizo a la sidra, and one Paella Valenciana. The 5 plates were easily enough for two people. As well as this we were given a small dish of pork belly to try, it was nice but it was a bit too rich for me. 


The food was pretty nice. I was happy to finally have Paella, even if it was just a small bowl and Sean was happy to eat a plate of Chorizo Sausage as it was a bit too strong for me. I would say the tastiest dish was the Croquestas de Jamon which seemed to be fried battered potato balls athough I wouldn't bet my life on it.

As well as our Tapas dishes we each had spanish drinks. I opted for a few glasses of grape juice which were honestly delicious and Sean chose a pint of Estrella. I thought the drinks were pretty pricey, a pint of draught beer coming in at £5.25, but I guess this isn't a place you'd eat at all that often.


Overall I really enjoyed my meal. Although I'm probably not used to some of the strong tastes in Spanish food, I'd definitely like to try Tapas again as I love the idea of picking at a few bowls of food while you drink and chat away. I thought the service as Tapas Revolution was also pretty good, our server was lovely and if he hadn't have gone off shift I doubt we would have waited over 20 minutes to pay the bill. That was the only downside to the evening really, but apart from that I enjoyed my night.

Have you ate at Tapas Revolution before?

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TAPAS REVOLUTION BIRMINGHAM


Because I'm a basic bitch and I give no shits, here is a wishlist made up of the most garish multicoluored tat I could find online! I'm all about pretty pink glittery things and I'm pretty sure you guys are too, so enjoy and try not to buy too much!


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Unicorn Stuff 
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 Mermaid Stuff 
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Did you manage to get through this list without denting your bank balance? Nope? Me neither. Although I didn't actually purchase anything from this list, I did just invest in some cheap versions of the unicorn makeup brushes at the top which you can find here. I'm sure they will be rubbish but they are mainly just to look cute on my dressing table so for under a tenner I don't mind too much.


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UNICORN / MERMAID WISHLIST

A couple of weeks back I popped down to Topshop in the Bullring for their personal shopping event. I've never used an in-store personal shopper before so I was keen to see exactly what the appointments entail.


The personal shoppers in the Bullring store are Charlotte and Amelia. Both girls were beautifully dressed that evening which is always a good sign but no surprise as they both live and breathe fashion. The girls took it in turns to talk us through some of their current favourite picks and how they would choose to style them while we were served delicious cocktails and canapés. 

They also spoke in detail about the brand new completely free personal shopper experience. The appointments can range anywhere from 30 minutes up to 2 hours depending on what you are looking to buy. You can pop in for a single item or a whole new wardrobe if you like and the experience is completely tailored to you. They even bring you drinks and cakes if you are celebrating a special occasion! 


Before the appointment you will speak to your personal shopper about the kind of styles you like, the dress size you wear and the kind of budget you have in mind. There is also absolutely no obligation to buy anything if nothing takes your fancy, however I imagine the girls will pick out pieces you just can't go home without. 

After the talk I was able to wander around the new personal shopping area which is located on the top floor right at the back as you exit the escalator. The area hosts a cosy waiting room and several large changing rooms with clothes hung on the walls for inspiration. The changing rooms really are something else and the lighting inside them is just perfect.


I was so impressed by the sound of the whole experience that I've booked myself in for an appointment with the lovely Charlotte just before my birthday for a few new bits. I'm thinking of getting maybe one dressy outfit and a couple of more casual ones incase we manage to book a short break for my special day.

I'll be blogging about my personal shopper experience when it comes around but if you can't wait to see what I think you can click here to see if your local store offers the service!

Have you guys ever used an in-store personal shopper before? I would love to hear about your experiences!

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TOPSHOP PERSONAL SHOPPING EVENT

I'm a big fan of dry shampoo; I don't have time to wash my hair everyday and even if I did I still wouldn't because I wan't my hair to stay reasonably healthy. So with not washing my hair all the time, it does occasionally get a little bit greasy at the roots and I can't be leaving the house like that. To avoid looking gross I fill my hair with dry shampoo every couple of days but it's this particular Superdrug dry shampoo that I want to tell you all about today.


I picked this up last month on a bit of a whim as it was buy one get one free and it was only £1.99 to start with. Bargain. It's currently on special offer at 98p per can which works out the same. So I picked this one and a tropical scented one which does the job pretty well. Now as much as this is great for keeping those greasy roots at bay it's also marketed as a volumising dry shampoo and I love puffy hair so I just had to test it out.

It's not very often I fall head over heels for such a budget product, but for real you all need to run out and get this! With just spritzing in a minimal amount of product on my roots, my hair appeared to literally multiply. Now regardless of whether or not I have greasy hair, I pretty much always use this before leaving the house as I just love how thick it makes my hair look.


Shop Dry Shampoo
         
A little word of warning, I would try to us this quite sparingly as if I use too much my hair feels incredibly thick with product and it can end up quite hard to style. I would also only use this on my roots as it can look quite drying on the ends of my hair.

So would I buy this product again? Hell yes and I think you should all buy it too. For less than £1 I can virtually double the thickness of my hair and I'm pretty happy with that!

What do you use to volumise your hair? 

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KILLER VOLUME

I've seen a lot of people blogging their goals recently so I thought I might as well jump on the bandwagon. It's been a while since I set myself some aims; every year I think I'll loose weight or do something else I've been meaning to do for a while, but in reality I just kind of drift along. I thought it would be a nice idea to set myself several goals which I can achieve within 6 months.


1. Graduate with a merit - So you might know I'm currently studying photography at University. I'm not completing my third year so I'll be leaving with a HND. I guess I should be aiming for a distinction but in reality I'll be very happy with a merit.

2. Move out - I bet you lot are fed up with me going on about flat hunting and moving out, but honestly its hard work. Me and Sean have been debating moving out together for a couple of years but now it's really time to do it. There are 5 adults living in my house at the moment and it's just not comfortable anymore. Although I'm sure all we will be able to afford is a shitty little one bedroom flat in a horrible neighbourhood it will be our shitty little one bedroom flat in a horrible neighbourhood and I'm okay with that.

3. Get some bloody driving lessons - I'm 23 this year and it's definitely time to get on the road. A lot of my friends have been driving since they were 17 so this is getting a bit shameful now. I hate public transport and I don't like relying on other people to drive me around either so its time to learn to drive!

4. Visit a new country - You know me, I love travelling, I love exploring, and I love seeing new places. I jet off every chance I get but I haven't visited a new country in ages. I'm always going to different places but this year I really want to go to a country I haven't been to before. Italy, Croatia, Portugal, they've all been on my list for some time but as of yet I've not been.

5. Get a full time job - Easier said than done I know, but if me and Sean are going to have our own place I need to be bringing in a good wage too. I've always worked part time in retail and I've honestly hated it, but it was money and that's what I needed. Thanks to my student loan I managed to leave work this year and focus on my degree but I can't live the lazy life forever so I better get job hunting!

So those are my reasonably achievable goals. I'm forever setting myself short term goals at uni but I never really set personal ones. It's about time I gave myself a kick up the bum and start doing the things I want to do!

Do you have any personal aims at the moment? 


Thanks for reading

x

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6 MONTH GOALS

So I wrote this a few weeks ago when I got back from my doctors appointment. I was feeling very emotional and I needed to get a lot off my chest. I didn't think I would actually end up posting this as it is just so personal, but it really helped me to get it all out and it might help someone else going through something similar. 


I'm not sure if I will actually press publish on this but I'm going to write it all down anyway because I think it will make me feel better in the long run. So today I went to the doctors. I went because for a long time now I've been anxious and nervous with no real cause. I mean I worry about general things, we all do, but in reality I have a pretty cushy life.

So I've been anxious. Not all of the time, and not always in the same way but it's kind of always there in the back of my head. Sometimes I'll be able to hop on a flight and have a fantastic weekend in a new country and sometimes I'll get there and I just can't hack it. In Dublin last year I was so excited to explore and see the city but a mixture of the crowds around us and being in a new place for the first time just got on top of me. I couldn't cope and I let it ruin a few nights of our holiday. Fast forward to our trip to Disneyland Paris this year and a similar thing happened again. After being in a ride queue for over an hour I just started to freak out. I was surrounded by people leaning on me and getting in my space and I just couldn't deal with it.

Now last night I was supposed to meet Sean in town; we were going to see an artist talk about their exhibition in the city centre and we were both very excited. Sean was coming from work so I had to get the train in and meet him there, it wasn't ideal but it shouldn't have been a problem. I got on my train - later than I would have liked - and ordered a taxi from the other station when I arrived. On exiting the station to get my taxi I tripped over a bike and it sounds silly but in front of so many people it really flustered me. After that my taxi decided to ring me to say he wasn't coming to where I was stood as there was too much traffic, I had to find him. I was running late by this point and really starting to get wound up. I ran around the station which was full of commuters but I couldn't find him. It was pouring down as well and I was starting to get in a mess. I couldn't deal with it all and I just stood crying and breathing rapidly outside the station. It just came over me and there was nothing I could do to stop it. Sean had to collect me and we never made it to the event.

This silly little thing which mostly stayed at the back of my mind was starting to effect my normal life. I should be able to go out on my own without panicking but I just can't. That being said, I'm not prepared for that to happen to me again. I need to be able to lead a normal life and so I went to see the doctor. All morning I've been anxious about telling them I'm anxious, which is crazy, but I'm so glad I went.

They asked me normal things like what I do for work, if I exercise, if I'm depressed at all. It was a bit of a blur to be honest, I spent most of the time replying through a stream of tears which I couldn't stop. I saw two doctors, both of which were incredibly friendly and emphasised how important it was that I've took the first step by seeing them. One thing I was worried about before making the appointment was sounding silly. I mean I'm a grown woman and I've struggled with simple things like standing in a queue, but the doctors made me feel like I had a genuine issue that they could help with.

I left the appointment with a prescription for some pills so ease the effects of anxiety and the promise of a call back from a councillor who would book me in for cognitive behavior therapy. I'd never heard of it before but after being explained that it will help me to understand my mind and teach me how to control my anxiety I'm very excited for it to start. I will start my pills tomorrow morning after breakfast and they can take a while to kick in so I probably won't feel the benefit for a few weeks. I have scheduled another appointment for a months time to review how well everything is working and honestly I'm really hopeful. 

Maybe I'll write more about this in a few weeks and maybe I won't, but it has been nice to get it all off my chest even if it never makes it onto my blog. 


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GETTING TREATMENT FOR ANXIETY

Last week I was invited down to Pirlo's Dessert Lounge to celebrate their first birthday with a load of other lovely bloggers. I don't often get chance to go to events here in Brum, so it was really nice to meet some local bloggers and sample some delicious food not too far from my own home. 


I arrived half an hour early because I have no sense of time, but I was kept amused by the deputy manager until everyone else arrived. Once most of us were there we were brought over three desserts to try; a Pirlo's Monster Sundae, a Neapolitan Sundae, and a Tropical Fruit Twist Sundae. I got a taste of all three and to my surprise it wasn't the chocolate monster which I enjoyed most but the strawberry filled Neapolitan, however all of them were super tasty. 


After a few more of us arrived we were given yet more delicious desserts to try. This time we were presented with a Red Velvet Cake, a Choc O Holic Crepe, The Wild One Crepe, Pirlo's Big Waffle, and a Milk Chocolate Fondue. The table was literally overflowing with goodies and if I could have tried them all you better believe I would have. All of the desserts were just huge and to be honest, I'll probably split one of them with a friend next time I go back. I did get chance to munch on one of the crepes and it was fab. I can't remember which one I tried (bad blogger I know), but the strawberries were just so sweet and covered in melted chocolate which I couldn't wolf down quick enough.


Once we'd all taken photos of the pile of treats and ate our way through most of them we were given even more to try. We were each tempted with a plate of mini samples, this time consisting of a waffle, a crepe, and a delicious cheesecake. Now I'm not normally a fan of cheesecake, however this one was just so rich and creamy I ate the lot. 

As well as desserts Pirlo's also sells a range of drinks which I am pretty sure are alcohol free. I opted for the Strawberry Mojito which was recommended by the deputy manager. It was honestly delicious however next time I'd be tempted to try the Blueberry Mojito as I'd never even heard of one before.

I genuinely had the loveliest night meeting some new bloggers and munching my way through the Pirlo's menu. I'd not been to Pirlo's before but I can definitely see myself returning with Sean for some tasty treats in the future!

Have you been to Pirlo's Dessert Lounge in Birmingham?

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* I was invited to sample Pirlo's menu in exchange for a fair and honest review. All opinions are my own.

PIRLO'S 1ST BIRTHDAY EVENT

A couple of Sundays ago, unsure of what to do, I took to the visit England website to see what fun things they recommend. We didn't want to travel too far so I reduced my search to just the Midlands and was intrigued when a page for the Heights of Abraham popped up. I'd never heard of it before but after a little bit of digging I found it was just over an hours drive away, so off we went.


Tucked away in the heart of Derbyshire, the Heights of Abraham promised a cable car, 2 caves and other fun activities. We arrived just after midday and headed straight for the cable car. Parking was a little bit difficult, so if you can I'd probably recommend getting the train there.

After handing over our £16 entrance fee (each) we were soon on our way up the cliff, but not before I managed to drop my foundation and break it all over the floor. Fab, I know. The view from the cable cars was just amazing though, you could literally see for miles! The ride to the top took maybe around 3 or 4 minutes and it really was lovely.


Once at the top we headed towards the picnic area to have part of our lunch which we were absolutely gagging for; sausage rolls as always. After our quick snack we had a wander around the fossil museum which was a little bit smaller than I expected but had a real dinosaur skeleton which I was definitely surprised to see.

By now I was so ready to explore the caves and as we were already at the top it made sense to do the Masson Cave first. In hindsight I would have preferred to do this one last as it was definitely the more impressive of the two. Following our tour guide we walked through small passageways and wandered around the huge cave. It was a little bit slippery but luckily I didn't fall over which makes a bloody change to be honest. There was a fair bit of climbing up steps involved inside the cave and I had wobbly legs by the end of the tour but it was so worth it.


At the end of the cave we emerged at the top of a hill overlooking the little town of Matlock Bath which seemed to be miles down below us in the valley. We ate the rest of our lunch here and I forced Sean to have a mini photoshoot with me as the view was just so gorgeous I needed to have pics in front of it. After taking around 4 million photos we headed down the hill slightly to the Prospect Tower which involved walking up another load of steps to get to the top. If I've learned anything from this experience its that I should probably walk a lot more.


We didn't stay at the top of the tower too long as I was keen to see the Rutland cave which was positioned about halfway down the hill. This meant I would have to walk back up again as the cable cars didn't stop here but I was determined to do it. As I said before, the second cave wasn't as impressive as the first, it was a lot smaller and only had one way in and out unlike the Masson cave which had a route all the way through. That being said it was still fascinating to wander around and learn a few things I hadn't before.

It was then time to walk back up the hill which we did very slowly and reluctantly but we had no choice if we wanted to get the cable car back down the hill. Once at the top I rewarded myself with a well deserved cookies and cream ice cream which made everything better. After I'd munched that away it was pretty much closing time so we headed back towards to cable car for our final trip down the hillside.

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THE HEIGHTS OF ABRAHAM

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