Monday, 19 May 2014

Film Review | Bad Neighbours at City Screen Picturehouse, York

This is a very exciting time of year for me, its almost summer blockbuster time!  Can you feel it in the air?  No?  Just me then.  Anyway, for myself and the other half, it's that time when we seem to spend an inordinate amount of time holed up in darkened rooms watching films with strangers.  It's not weird, honest! 

Our most recent venture out to the movies was to see Bad Neighbours at City Screen Picturehouse in York.  If you've followed me for any length of time on Twitter (if you don't follow me yet, you can find me here) you'll know that my cinema of choice is almost always City Screen and for good reason too...

City Screen Picturehouse York

City Screen is situated on the riverside just off busy Coney Street in York's city centre; it occupies the building that used to house the Yorkshire Herald, and still has the most interesting industrial vibe.  The cinema not only has three screens, where it shows both 2D and 3D films, but also has a fantastic cafe-bar (a real must visit, the food is awesome!), acts as a venue for all sorts of live entertainment and even screens productions from the RSC and the Met Opera, amongst others.  My absolute favourite thing about City Screen though, is that despite being owned in more recent years by a big cinema chain it still retains that independent feel it's had since it opened 10+ years ago.  As a bonus, it has incredibly comfy seats in the screens too!

Now as I mentioned above, Gaz and I were there most recently to see Bad Neighbours, starring Seth Rogen, Rose Byrne, Zac Efron.  I'll be honest, this isn't the type of film I'd go and see normally, but after seeing some great trailers on YouTube I thought I'd give it a go.

City Screen Picturehouse York

To give you a quick run down, Seth Rogen and Rose Byrne play new parents to a little girl; they've started to settle into their lovely new home in a nice American suburbia but are horrified when a rowdy fraternity moves into the house next door.  They try to politely ask the nice frat boys (led by Zac Efron) to keep the noise down but when that fails quickly they resort to any means necessary to restore their nice quiet life.

What follows is an all out war between the two sets of neighbours, as you'd suspect from a comedy starring Seth Rogen things quickly get a bit ridiculous and surreal and more than a little crude, but what I didn't expect was that it was just be out and out hilarious.  Honestly almost every scene had something in it that had Gaz or I guffawing into our snacks or sniggering like naughty children, very attractive I can assure you; and Zac Efron was extremely watchable in this, which I genuinely did not expect.  If you fancy a laugh, and you're not easily offended, I can wholeheartedly recommend this film, and of course I'd always recommend City Screen.

Bad Neighbours is still out at City Screen in York, but only for a few more days!  Find the listings here. or on Twitter here.

You can find out more about what's on at City Screen here. I'd particularly recommend the annual membership.  Gaz and I have been paying members for at least five years now; you really get your money's worth if you're a regular cinema goer.  We'll be there again very soon to catch Godzilla!

Have you been to City Screen York or any other Picturehouse cinema before?  What films are you looking forward to seeing this year?

Sharon x

*Tickets provided free of charge

Sunday, 11 May 2014

Haul | Primark, Lush and The Body Shop

I was a little bit bored this last Sunday and didn't want to spend a day of the bank holiday weekend just sitting in the house so Gaz suggested we went off to Harrogate to do a bit of shopping.  I've never actually been to Harrogate for a shopping trip before so jumped at the chance, I drooled over lots and lots of things in Space NK but my budget this time only really ran to Primark, Lush and The Body Shop, I did get some fab things though...

Primark Cropped Workout Trousers

Cropped Workout Trousers (Primark, £7) - I've decided to give running a go and whilst I'm pretty much kitted out in terms of a good sports bra, trainers and tee shirts, I really needed something to wear on my bottom half.  Primark to the rescue!  I love the grey colour with the neon trim, goes perfectly with my Nike Dual Fusion trainers.

Primark Marvel Print Pyjama Bottoms

Marvel Print Pyjama Bottoms (Primark, £7) - A few of us were on a bloggers weekend away a few weeks ago, and when we all changed into our pyjamas on the first night (as you do) I instantly clocked Sammie from Little Blonde Life wearing these bad boys.  As my love for all things Marvel knows no bounds I knew it was only matter of time before I had to have these pyjama bottoms in my life too, Katie from Sugarfixx Beauty obviously felt the same as she got the same pair a couple of weeks ago.  I must say Primark has the best pyjamas!  I almost bought some Batman print ones too but felt like that would be cheating on my beloved Marvel.

Primark Shorts

Blue Athletic Style Shorts (Primark, £3) - The first of several purchases for my holiday in July, I figure you can't go wrong with some basic shorts in your suitcase, especially when they're a bargain like these were.  Now I just need to get my legs into some sort of state where it will be acceptable to wear them!

Primark Shorts

Tropical Print Shorts (Primark, £3) - Another bargain, these shorts will be perfect to wear on my holidays and they'll certainly brighten things up.  I really like the white piping detail and white drawstring.

Primark Open Mesh Brazil Vest

Open Mesh Vest (Primark, £6) - The fabric of this vest is very reminiscent of the River Island tunic I got from ASOS recently, this one was less than half the price though, and honestly I prefer the cut; it's a little lower in the front which is perfect for bigger busted ladies like me.  I can't wait to wear this!

Lush The Sacret Truth Fresh Face Mask and Lush Ocean Salt Self Preserving Face and Body Scrub

Lush The Sacred Truth Fresh Face Mask (here) - I don't know many people who don't love a Lush face mask, especially fresh and cool from the fridge.  Being both cheap and effective, they're great if you want quick results but don't want to spend a small fortune.  It's been a long time since I've used The Sacred Truth mask but I do remember it's packed full of ingredients that soften and brighten the skin.
Lush Ocean Salt Self Preserving Face and Body Scrub (here) - Limes, vodka, grapefruit and salt, sounds like the ingredients of a nice summer drink, but don't you know they combine to make a brilliant exfoliator too.  What's nice about this new version of the classic Ocean Salt is that it doesn't have any 'traditional' preservatives (hence the addition to the name).

The Body Shop Camomile Silky Cleansing Oil, The Body Shop Nutriganics Smoothing Serum and The Body Shop Smoothing Eye Cream

The Body Shop Camomile Silky Cleansing Oil (here) - I've been hearing a few Youtubers talking about this cleansing oil recently so wanted to give it a go.  I have high hopes for it, the pump dispenser is a nice addition and even better I got this free as part of a 3 for 2 offer.
The Body Shop Nutriganics Smoothing Serum (here) - Another product that's completely new to me - I've been feeling recently like I needed a serum in my skincare routine just to boost moisture slightly - I don't have the budget to stretch to the Elemental Herbology or Caudalie serums just yet so thought I'd try this first.
The Body Shop Nutriganics Smoothing Eye Cream (here) - You guessed it, this is a new product to me too - I enjoy testing out eye creams though, so hoping this one will live up to its anti-ageing claims.

The Body Shop Perfume oil in Indian Night Jasmine

The Body Shop Perfume Oil in Indian Night Jasmine (here) - this was a free gift on the day I was in The Body Shop in Harrogate, honestly none of the perfume oils available were exactly me, but this was the closest with it's Oriental vibe.

Well that was a lengthier haul than I thought it was going to be, oh well I don't do it too often!

What have you been buying recently?  Have you discovered any must have products?

Sharon x

Thursday, 8 May 2014

Review | Byron on High Ousegate, York

Byron High Ousegate York

There's been a lot of excitement in York recently about the prospect of Byron opening it's first restaurant in our fair city.  My fiance and I were particularly happy about this new addition to York's foodie offering and have already been twice.  The first time was a very quick pre cinema snack but the food was so good we decided to head back a second time so I could review it.

If you haven't heard of Byron before let me give you a little background.  The brainchild of Tom Byng, Byron came about after Tom, who had spent four years in America in his twenties, couldn't find any hamburgers in London like those he had eaten in his favourite diner in Rhode Island; burgers that were simple, well flavoured and satisying.  He created the first Byron restaurant to bring this classic American style burger to London and there are now nearly 30 Byron restaurants across the UK all serving 'proper', well cooked, hamburgers in a comfortable setting (nothing like the burgers and experience at your average fast food restaurant).
Byron Hamburgers Menu

York's Byron restaurant is situated on High Ousegate, literally just around the corner from our main shopping streets (Coney Street and Parliament Street) and very close to my favourite cinema, City Screen.  Obviously this makes it perfect as a place to eat before heading to the pictures or after a hard day of splashing the cash.

Inside, the restaurant has an interesting feel, half modern and almost industrial with the shiny new kitchen and tables, then half raw wood, with the milk crate decoration/storage on the walls, reclaimed (at least it looks that way) leather seating and painted brick.  All in all it's a little, dare I say it, hipster in feel but really rather enjoyable.

Milkshake at Byron Hamburgers

On this last visit to Byron we were shown to a nice quiet booth at the back of the building, quickly furnished with menus and then left to peruse them at our leisure.  The menu itself is refreshingly short, with just a handful of starters, burgers and sides to choose from, even so it took us a while to decide on what we wanted, everything just looked so delicious! 

In the end we decided to go all out in our meal (for the purposes of our review of course); for the drinks Gaz had the most amazing chocolate milkshake and I went for a sparkling elderflower drink (lovely and refreshing); for our starter we ordered the tortilla chips with guacamole and salsa.  The chips were just deliciously crunchy and the guac and salsa both tasted very fresh, all in all a great start to the meal.

Tortilla chips, guacamole and salsa at Byron High Ousegate York

For our main course we went for the cheese burger (me) and chilli burger (Gaz) with fries and macaroni cheese.  The burgers are cooked medium as standard, but I requested mine was done medium-well as I like my meat a little less pink.  My burger was really very tasty, I'd opted for the American cheese, and it was really lovely topped off with red onion and mayo.  Gaz's burger was piled high with green chillis, cheese and chipotle mayo and was super hot, but really yummy too.  The side dishes were just divine, I honestly could have stuck my face in the macaroni cheese (I didn't you'll be glad to hear!) and the garlic mayo that we got with our fries was luscious!

Hamburgers and side dishes at Byron High Ousegate York

After we'd gotten through our feast, our rather charming young waiter (I remember he was Spanish but can't remember his name) came to ask us how everything was and see if we fancied a dessert.  We of course said no as we were both stuffed to the brim, there were some tempting options though! 

We chatted a bit more with the waiter when he came back with the bill and were pleasantly surprised by how he knowledgeable he was and how interested in the food (he was telling us all about all of the things that were hand made on site).  All in all it was a really pleasant meal; Byron isn't exactly cheap but I wouldn't hesitate to go back next time I'm in need of a treat.

Burger at Byron High Ousegate York

You can find out more about Byron, and where their other locations are here.

Have you been to a Byron before?  What are your favourite restaurants to eat at for a nice treat meal?

Sharon x

Tuesday, 6 May 2014

Haul | ASOS and River Island Clothing

You may or may not have heard me talking about it on Twitter or here on my blog, but I'm heading off to Spain and then Gibraltar to get married this July.  It's been a couple of years since I went on holiday though, so my wardrobe is sadly lacking in appropriate clothing.  I was a bit at a loss on where to start, but when I got an email from ASOS advertising a sale on t-shirts for a day last week it seemed a good a place as any.  Fancy a look at what I got?  Then keep on reading...

River Island New York Falcon Tunic

River Island New York Falcon Tunic (here) - Despite it reminding me of a 90s American football shirt, I really like the open mesh fabric of this vest; that combined with the drop arm holes and loose fit will make it a perfect cover up for the beach or pool.  The colour is a bit more feminine than I normally go for but hey, you've got to switch it up a bit!

ASOS T-Shirt with Breaking Bad Heisenberg Print

ASOS T-Shirt with Breaking Bad Heisenberg Print (here) - Did I mention how much I love Breaking Bad?  No?  Well I'm obsessed and I couldn't pass up this t-shirt if I tried.  Not traditionally summery, but it's a great boyfriend fit and a light fabric so will be really cool.

ASOS Vest with Sons of Anarchy Print

ASOS Vest with Sons of Anarchy Print (here) - Inspired by yet another TV show I'm a fan of, Sons of Anarchy of course, this is another piece that I couldn't resist.  I won't even try to pretend this is for my holiday, I just loved it and had to have it.  I don't even care that it's from the menswear department.

ASOS Boyfriend Tee in Fluro Tie Dye Print and ASOS Boyfriend Tee with Roll Sleeve

ASOS Boyfriend Tee in Fluro Tie Dye Print (here) - I seem to be a bit obsessed with coral tones at the moment, and I figure they'll go great with a tan, I might need to wear sunglasses with the fluorescent shades on this t-shirt though.
ASOS Boyfriend Tee with Roll Sleeve (here) - Yep another boyfriend tee and another coral tone.  All I can say is I love this style, it's just so comfy and relaxed and perfect for a holiday.

I've still got a lot more I'll need to buy in preparation for my holiday, so expect more hauls coming soon!

Have you been buying much to prepare for the summer months?  What are you looking forward to wearing?

Sharon x

Sunday, 4 May 2014

April 2014 Beauty Favourites

Since I missed my March favourites (slap on the wrist for me) I wanted to make sure I got something posted about what I've enjoyed in April.  Luckily my favourites haven't changed all that much in the last couple of months, two products are even the same from my February favourites.  Anyway, without further ado lets get on with it...

Trilogy Certified Organic Rosehip Oil, Antipodes Aura Manuka Honey Mask and Nuxe Reve de Miel Lip Balm

Trilogy Certified Organic Rosehip Oil (here) - This is a long term favourite of mine and a definite holy grail product.  Since I bought my first bottle in July 2012 I haven't been without one in my skincare stash; it's really a bit of a miracle product, moisturising and plumping out the skin, reducing the appearance of fine lines and even fading scar tissue on my face.  I also love putting a couple of drops in my body moisturiser occasionally to really supercharge it!
Antipodes Aura Manuka Honey Mask (here) - I won't go on about this too much as I talked about this in my February favourites too, I just love it though, so softening and perfect when my skin is going a little bit crazy.
Nuxe Reve de Miel Ultra Nourishing Lip Balm (here) - Another repeat product from February, but honestly so totally worth it that I'm not even ashamed!  I apply this lip balm every night before bed and every morning before I start my makeup, and it keeps my lips fabulously soft and smells lovely.

NARS Pure Radiant Tinted Moisturiser and NARS Radiant Creamy Concealer

NARS Pure Radiant Tinted Moisturiser (here) - I was so excited when the new John Lewis opened in York complete with a NARS counter, I just had to buy a few things from my wish list and the tinted moisturiser came in right at the top.  As someone who loves NARS Sheer Glow Foundation regularly I've found this tinted moisturiser to be the perfect lighter alternative.  On my better skin days it gives me just enough coverage and subtle glow to feel confident in my skin, the SPF30 is a nice bonus too.
NARS Radiant Creamy Concealer (here) - I seriously don't know what I did for concealer before I got this, and particularly in the shade Vanilla.  I had the shade Custard before and kind of liked it, but Vanilla has just blown me away, it's perfect at covering blemishes or brightening up the darkness under my eyes.  Dare I say this is another holy grail product for me?

MAC Ampliied Lipstick in Vegas Volt and Bourjois Rouge Edition Velvet Lipstick in Frambourjois

MAC Amplified Lipstick in Vegas Volt (here) - I only got this lipstick a couple of weeks ago through MAC's recycling programme (Back to MAC) but it's been a bit of a game changer for me as far as lipsticks are concerned.  I never thought I could wear a coral but this is just the perfect shade, with a rich intense colour that really brightens up the face.  I can't wait to wear this on my holiday in July.
Bourjois Rouge Edition Velvet Lipstick in Frambourjois (here) - I did a review of these very recently (which you can check out here) so I won't go into too much detail about this beautiful lip colour except to say I've just been bowled over by how good these are, so long lasting!  I must get more shades soon.

Skinny Tan 7 Day Tanner and Vaseline Spray and Go Body Moisturiser

Skinny Tan 7 Day Tanner* (here) - This is the first self tanner I've tried in many years and I've been genuinely surprised at how much I like the stuff.  It's ridiculously easy to apply, I literally just slapped it on with a mitt and 5 hours later washed off the guide colour to reveal a very subtle tan.  It wasn't orange either, perfect for my light olive toned skin.  I'll have a full review coming up of this in the next couple of day - just as soon as I can get some decent pictures of the results!
Vaseline Spray and Go Body Moisturiser (here) - This fabulous little moisturising spray is the perfect body care product for a lazy so and so like me.  I hate having to spend a lot of time putting on a moisturiser then waiting for it to try before I get dressed, and with this I don't have to.  A few sprays here and there, a quick rub into the skin and I'm good to go, couldn't be easier!  I just wish there was a bigger bottle of it available.

So, lovely people, we have come to the end of another favourites post - have you tried anything that I've talked about or have you been loving different products entirely?  Would love to hear from you either way!

Sharon x

*PR Sample
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