Saturday, 29 September 2012

Lovarzi Paisley Scarf...

First of all I want to say excuse the lack of posts recently (and videos if you watch my YouTube channels), I have been feeling a bit under the weather recently and had a few things to sort so blogging and vlogging haven't really been at the top of my 'things to do' list if you get what I mean. I have so many videos that I would like to film and the same for posts, so there is plenty more to look forward to :). Also apologies about this post being straight after my first intro to Lovarzi, it's just happened to work out that way due to the above, but I'm not planning on my Lovarzi posts being like this in the future.

So, in my last post I introduced you to the UK's leading scarves shop: Lovarzi. If you haven't yet had the chance to check that out, you can do here.

I chose and received another scarf recently. It's great being able to choose, receive, review and show you the different kinds of scarves that Lovarzi sell and the ones that I like the most :). I love wearing scarves, like I have said before, so it's great to add to my collection and have a diff choice for most of the outfits that I wear. I chose a lovely paisley scarf this time which has paisley borders on both ends, is striped on one side and plain on the other. It is available in four different colours and is £19.99.

It is a long scarf, which I prefer, I like that you can loop them round a couple of times, they can be matched with so many outfits, look fashionable and you can still snuggle into them. I always opt for the big scarves!


Again, I love how it's reversible, although I tried to get it with just the stripy side showing at the front and I couldn't get it right ha, so I think I might need to play around with it a bit more :). I wore it out for the first time yesterday and got a few compliments on it and people asking me where I got it from. I had the same with my polka dot scarf from Lovarzi, so I'm doing something right with my choices ha ha.

What kind of scarves do you lovelies like? Long, short, plain, patterned? I'd love to know! Have a look at the sale going on over at the Lovarzi website at the moment, you can save up to 60%!

Gem XxOo

Saturday, 15 September 2012

Lovarzi (UK's Leading Scarves Shop)...

Lovarzi is the UK's leading scarves shop and in 2010 they were the top Christmas seller on Amazon UK. They offer the latest trends, aswell as the best quality in scarves. They have a 90 day money back guarantee, they ship worldwide and UK shipping is free! They also sell gloves, shawls, wraps and snoods.

A few weeks back on Twitter I mentioned that Lovarzi was the newest sponsor on my blog. Lovarzi approached me and in simple terms said that they loved my blog and would love to feature on it. It's always nice to be approached, but to be approached by a company who sell items that you love and buy anyway is always a bonus. I love scarves and have quite a variety. I do have a few warmer woolly ones, but the majority of scarves that I have are the chiffon, viscose fashion kind of scarves.

Upon first looking at the Lovarzi website, seeing it was the UK's leading scarves shop and reading their feedback on Amazon. I felt confident that this was a company I would like to work with. I requested my first scarf from them recently, so I could check out the style, quality etc for myself as I didn't really want to associate my blog with a company that said something that wasn't true. I am pleased to say this wasn't the case, hence my positive intro to the company :-).

I received my first scarf a few days ago and have been wearing it around the house, never-mind outside ha! I chose the Polka Dot Scarf in blue as this is a design that I don't have and also I don't have any long blue scarves, so I knew I was likely to get a lot of use out of it as I actually really like wearing blue. The first thing I noticed and thought about it was that the picture on the website really didn't do it justice. The scarf came sealed in a see-through bag, all folded up and upon feeling it for the first time I noticed that it was so soft and smooth. I tried the scarf on straight away and it is not heavy at all. The scarf is a long, shawl type pashmina, but honestly it is so light-weight and sits nicely. Like I said, I've been wearing it around the house it is that comfortable.

I love the design and I love the contrast of blue and white. One side is blue with white spots and the other side is white with blue spots. You can adjust the scarf to just show the blue or white side, but I quite like the mix, like in the picture above.


My scarf arrived within three days of when I was told it was being dispatched, but I do live in the UK. Bare in mind if you live elsewhere within the world it might take slightly longer, but it will be worth the wait :-).

This scarf is £14.99, available in five different colours and you can purchase it directly through the Lovarzi website. Go take a look, you might find a design that you like or even an ideal gift for someone.

You can expect to see a lot more posts from me featuring Lovarzi scarves. Just remember that all scarves are chosen by myself and genuinely worn by me :-). I hope that through my posts you might get to know the company yourself and maybe like some of the designs that I feature and love myself.

This isn't a scarf that I would choose myself, but at the minute you can pre-order the official fourth Doctor Who scarf from Lovarzi. I thought I would let you know as I know there are a lot of Doctor Who fans out there that might want to pre-order this one or some of you might know people who like Doctor Who and want to purchase this as a gift for them :-).

Keep your eye out as I may even do giveaways featuring Lovarzi scarves in the future!

Gem XxOo

Tuesday, 11 September 2012

My Fashion Icon/Inspiration...

There have been many times in surveys, questionnaires or general chat where I have been asked who my style icon is. I never seem to have an answer to this question because in all honesty I don't base what I wear on someone else's style and I don't think there are many people that do. However, there is someone whose style I absolutely love and feel that we are fairly similar when it comes to what we wear, how we wear certain items and the kind of items we like to buy. Therefore, I wanted to do a post to show my fashion icon/inspiration in terms of how similar our fashion style actually is. This person is Mollie King from The Saturdays...

There are so many outfits that she wears that I absolutely love and there are few and far between outfits that she wears that I wouldn't wear myself. I feel like we would have the same kind of likes and dislikes when it comes to going clothes shopping, although I'm sure she receives most of her clothes for free, lucky one lol.

Anyway, I thought I would show you a few outfits that I have seen pictures of her wearing that I love and would definitely wear myself.


I actually have the union jack shorts in the third picture across from the first row. Si bought them me from Topshop a few years back and when I was looking for pictures for this post, I spotted those! So there's my point proven in a way ha, ha. Also the shirt she is wearing in the second picture across from the first row, I saw the exact same picture in a magazine a year or so ago, which mentioned the website where the shirt was sold, I had a look and it was sold out and was always sold out every-time I went to try and purchase it. I have since forgotten the website as I'm not really buying clothes at the min, but yeah.

Who's your style icon/inspiration?

Gem XxOo

All pictures courtesy of

Friday, 7 September 2012

Anna Sui: Fairy Dance - Secret Wish...

I want to start doing perfume posts on my blog, introducing perfumes I own that I love, bought with my own money or received as gifts. Aswell as new perfumes on the market that I am lucky enough to get to sample and try out :-).

I am going to start today with a new fragrance from Anna Sui called Fairy Dance. This fragrance has been available and exclusive to Debenhams since August 2012.

Fairy dance has top notes of tangerine, mango and pink pepper. It has middle notes of rose (which is Anna Sui's favourite flower), balanced by peony and bamboo. The base notes are sandalwood, vetiver and vanilla.  I'd say the scent is more of a day-time fragrance. It is fruity and sweet which will attract the younger generation, but it's not overpoweringly sweet. It also has a subtle warmth and seductiveness to it that I feel will suit those in their 20's-30's. Overall I feel it is a fruity, warm, seductive, playful, fun fragrance, which has a peachy tone to it.

The bottle is unique to any other perfume bottle I have seen or owned before. It reminds me of a prism shape and captures the three sided dimples that the original Secret Wish bottle has, plus the fairy on top! The perfume box has a lovely shimmer to it which resembles fairy dust and a story-telling design which brings the perfume to life.

I really like this perfume and considering I only had it last month, I have already used a quarter of the bottle :-/. I definitely think it's one of those scents that is easy to like because of it's freshness and fruitiness. The perfume is available in three different sizes: 30ml is £26, 50ml is £36 and 75ml is £45.

Do any of you have this fragrance? What do you think?

Gem XxOo

Thursday, 6 September 2012

Smartbox: Table For Two...

A while back now I was given the opportunity to review a 'Smartbox: Table for Two' voucher. Me and Si have been trying to find the perfect time to redeem it, what with the distance of the locations, work and everything else. The voucher could be used in 100 restaurants across the UK and was valid until the 31st December 2013. We live in the West Midlands, where there are five restaurants we could have chosen from (Coventry, Stratford-Upon-Avon, Brierley Hill, Shrewsbury and Hereford), so we chose the nearest one to us in Brierley Hill, as it was quite easy to get to and wouldn't cost us a fortune (we don't drive). We decided to have a night away, which was lovely to be honest and we were really looking forward to having a nice meal. The restaurant in Brierley Hill was Faradays Restaurant, which was part of the Copthorne Hotel (lovely chain of hotels). So we decided to stay at the hotel for the night, where the restaurant already was...perfect!

With any Smartbox voucher, you receive a box with the voucher in and a glossy booklet, which states all the experiences you can choose to redeem, based upon whether you have a culinary, well being, activity or escape Smartbox. These vouchers are available to buy for many countries around the world, so it's not just the UK, which is fab! So, in terms of the glossy booklet I received with the table for two Smartbox, it gives a brief description about each restaurant available, gives you practical info, for example whether the restaurant has wi-fi, car parking facilities etc. It also tells you what is on-site at each restaurant, for example a bar/lounge. It tells you the opening times of each restaurant and gives you brief instructions as to how to get there. It also tells you what the voucher entitles you to at each restaurant. This is different for each restaurant, the one we chose allowed us to have a three course meal each, some also offer a glass of wine, a cup of tea/coffee etc. Lastly, it gives you booking details, so you have contact info that will allow you to book your reservation and redeem your voucher. You have to fill in a few details on the voucher enclosed within the box, for example name, address, the restaurant you have chosen etc. Some restaurants will require the codes on the voucher to be relayed over the phone, others will just ask you to bring the voucher along with you...that's what we had to do. It does say within the box that it is best to book in advance, but we decided to go at the last minute (as Si had a few days off work), so we decided last Sunday (2nd Sept 2012) to ring up and try and book for the Monday (3rd Sept 2012). Our reservation was accepted and so we went on our merry way on Monday. I think it is probably to do with the day you want to go in terms of booking in advance.

There isn't a price on the voucher, all it said for the restaurant we chose was that we were entitled to a three course meal each. Simon obviously said we had this voucher on the phone when we rang and booked, so when we arrived the lady who greeted us mentioned our voucher and we chose our seat. She provided us with the general a la carte menu and then the set menu, along with the bar menu in-case we wanted bar food like burgers etc. We gathered we were aloud to mix and match with our three course meal, so we spent a few minutes deciding what we fancied. The food consists of British and international cuisine and the ambiance is warm and inviting. We sat on the bottom part of the restaurant where you can overlook the canal and see the bars that sit on the opposite side of the canal, it really was a nice, relaxing setting.

After a while we had decided what we wanted but thought we would just double check because although we knew we had to pay for our own drinks we didn't want to over order what we were allowed to eat (we weren't that sure whether we could mix or match from the menu's and the prices were different) and end up paying quite a lot more than what the voucher actually allowed us to have. We probably wouldn't have been thinking this if I hadn't overheard another couple who were taken to their table by the same waitress as us. The waitress told them that their voucher entitled them to three courses, where they could choose from the set menu or if they wanted food from the a la carte menu, they were allowed up to the value of £20 each. So then this got me thinking of what we were entitled to with our voucher. Hence me asking her just before we ordered (as she didn't say anything like that to us when we sat down). She said she thought the voucher was up to the value of £60 between us, but she wanted to check to make sure. When she returned, she said it was up to the value of £59.95 between us. We thought this was a strange amount and why not just round it up but upon looking at the Smartbox website, we saw that to purchase the voucher it is £59.95, so that's where the limit of what you are allowed to order comes from. So it's not as simple as just ordering any three course meal that you like, if you don't want to pay extra, keep your eye on the price of what you are ordering :-).

We managed to have three courses each. We don't usually have desserts when we have a restaurant meal, but we had money still to spend and you could only spend it on food, so we thought why not and ordered desserts aswell. They were pretty nice to be honest!

I had a tomato and basil home-made soup with warm bread for my starter and Simon had a cold meat platter. I always love having soup for a starter and you could tell it was home-made and very hot, it took me a while to eat it. It was really thick and wholesome and the bread it came with was lovely and warm. Si's cold meat platter consisted of a leafy salad, some brown bread triangles, turkey, parma ham, salami, chorizo and beef. He enjoyed the range of different meats, but enjoyed the turkey the best. We waited about ten mins from when we ordered for our starters.

Our main meals consisted of grilled chicken with a creamed leek, cheese, onion and chive sauce with steamed broccoli for me and haddock with Indian spices, hand-cut chips, masala dip and a side chopped salad for Si. I thoroughly enjoyed mine, the sauce was so cheesy and creamy which is right up my street and the chicken was juicy, mmm, it's making my mouth water thinking about it now ha, ha. I am also not usually a fan of broccoli, but the steamed broccoli I had was really nice, tasted fresh, and had a nice bite to it. I had a couple of stems of broccoli, but I probably could have eaten more it was that nice. Si also enjoyed his main, he said the fish melted in the mouth and the chips were really moreish. The spices on the fish weren't spicy hot, which he usually likes, but they were flavoursome spices, so I thought that was worth mentioning, for those that want to try the fish but are worried about it being too spicy. I also had some beer battered chips as a side dish to my meal. I love beer battered chips, chicken, onion rings etc, so was looking forward to these. However, they were a little too oily for me. They were ok to start with, but after a couple I could feel that I was started to feel a bit 'bleurgh' so to say, cause I could taste the oiliness. You could taste the beer, but the oiliness overpowered this. I was umming and ahhing over these, the butter mash or the garlic and rosemary new potatoes for a side dish, so I wish I would have gone for another option now, but oh well, at least I tried them, they just weren't to my taste. There was only probably about 6 or 7 chips within the bowl, but they were big, home-made, home-battered ones, so they were 'enough'. The amount of food you get is that what a more upmarket, posher restaurant might serve to you. So it's not like a pub meal where the chips and piled up and you can't see the edges of your plate, it is more like fine cuisine. We felt that it was enough food though, it filled us up :-). I'd say we waited about 20-25 mins for our mains after our starters, which wasn't too bad considering the food is hand-cooked/made and not just shoved in a microwave.

                           My Chicken.                                                        Si's Fish.

My Beer Battered Chips.

Lastly for dessert (excuse the no pictures, we were in deep conversation playing a game when they arrived, so it completely slipped my mind to take a pic at the time :-/ oopsy!) I had a Bailey's cheesecake with cinnamon cream and Si had baked Alaska with toffee sauce. I said to Si that there didn't seem to be anything 'light' on the menu's for dessert. I'm not a dessert person usually, so if I ever do have dessert it's usually something like sorbet. They didn't have any sorbet though, they had ice-cream but I didn't fancy that. So the Bailey's cheesecake was the only other thing I thought I'd like and not feel sick after eating. It was actually quite 'light', the cheesecake was lovely and creamy although I wouldn't be like 'oh yeah, this really tastes like Bailey's'. The cinnamon cream was lush and there was a mango and strawberry coulis sauce swiped on the side of the plate, which was nice aswell. There were also some little bits of fruit (strawberries, slices of kiwi and slices of orange) on the side which I enjoyed. Simon also enjoyed his dessert, he said it wasn't like a baked Alaska he had had before, but that doesn't mean the other baked Alaska was right...were his words! He said the top bit was more like meringue than cake, but the ice cream inside was lovely and the toffee sauce was even better. I'm a fan of toffee sauce to be honest, I like the toffee sundae's from McDonald's...just to change the subject ha! We ordered our desserts after our plates had been cleared from our mains, whereas we ordered our starters and mains at the start. We waited about 10 mins for our desserts after ordering.

The presentation of all of the food was lovely. Excuse some of the pictures, because these were taken after a couple of bites, so the presentation doesn't look as nice as it did when it first came to us. You won't be disappointed though and we didn't have any dirty mark or hair mishaps, so all was good!

We didn't add up what we had to the penny, as we didn't mind it going a little bit over and we knew the average amount of what we had. Our starters and mains came to about £24-£25 each, so that left us with about £9 between us for the desserts which was plenty. I have looked on the restaurants website to see if I could link the menu's we got to look at but they aren't the same. When we asked for the bill we only had to pay for our drinks, so we knew we hadn't gone over the voucher amount with the food. The staff were really nice and friendly, always on hand asking if you wanted more drinks, were ready to order, to ask for the bill etc. We didn't have to wait very long for anything so overall it was a lovely experience and the customer service and friendliness of the staff added to this.

If we hadn't of had the voucher, two three course meals, one half pint of coke, one pint of coke, one glass of cranberry and lime and a pint would have cost about £70. You get what you pay for though with the food, like I said above it's not microwave food it's home-made, wholesome, moreish food. The hotel is a 4 star and I think the restaurant and food served reflects this. If we stayed in this hotel again we would definitely choose to eat in this restaurant, but it would probably be for a special occasion as two mains would still be about £35-£40, without starters (which we usually like), desserts or drinks. So it's not really somewhere you would go for in-expensive, casual dining, although the bar menu is a little cheaper. The sandwiches are still approx £7-£8 though, with the mains ranging from approx £12-£20.

Check out the Smartbox website for more gift ideas that you may wish to buy your loved ones :-). They have a range of experiences to choose from, at different prices, for a range of locations. With Christmas coming up, this could be a possible gift idea :-).

Have any of you ever bought or received a Smartbox? 

If you've received one, what did you do and how was your experience?

Thanks so much for reading my review, if you choose to buy a Smartbox or choose to go to Faradays Restaurant, I hope my review has helped with your choice!

Gem XxOo
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