Saturday, 29 September 2018

FIFTY-SHADES OF BLONDE WITH RUSH DORKING


So, after much deliberation, Fifty Shades of Blonde is back!

I have to admit, I did regret changing the page late last year (to Basic Blogger) and didn't really stick to any new form of content strategy, so overall there had been no real purpose to changing the name at all. I was still being asked by many different people about what beauty and hair products I would recommend - and it was as I sat having my hair done at Rush Dorking that I thought, this would have made so much more sense reviewing this experience as 'Fifty-Shades of Blonde'. In the past I have had some brilliant opportunities to work with various beauty brands, so I've decided that will be one of the main focuses of my blog. I've never really had a set structure of when I post to my blog however and a lot of focus is now spent on posting content everyday over on my Instagram - be sure to follow me there @amyclaireblaker, if you're not already! 

Anyway, recently I've visited the Rush salon in Dorking a couple of times and wanted to share my experiences. Located on Dorking high street, the first time I visited I had a complimentary blow dry by the lovely Nicola. She used a couple of products to help give my hair volume and a glossy look. One being the 'Redken Rootful' root lifting spray, which did exactly that and made my hair appear thicker. The second product used was the Kerastase Aura Botanica 'Lait de Soie' which gives hair a silky lasting finish. 

For me the blow dry actually lasted a few days with my hair appearing thicker and feeling silky. Whilst in the salon I discussed with Nicola how I wanted to change the colour of my hair, as you can see from the photos I had dark roots. 

I decided I wanted to go lighter than I had before to get rid of the yellow tones, which meant bleaching my hair and also using a toner to achieve the desired colour. Beforehand with regards to colour I have had the same hairdresser for years and after a bad experience a couple of years ago where my hair ended up stripey brown - I didn't think I would go with a different hairdresser. 

My before & after below shows the colour change, also done by Nicola at Rush Dorking  - I am so pleased with the results, she did an amazing job! 



The salon also has a beautiful upstairs area, with perfect Selfie lighting for showing off your new look!



Overall, I am so so happy with the colour of my hair, however as expected since using bleach this has slightly changed the condition and feel of my hair. On a plus side, my hair definitely can hold curls better as before my hair was often too silky they would drop out but I am also just experimenting with new products that are keeping my hair in the best condition whilst holding the bright blonde colour. 








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Monday, 28 May 2018

GUILDFORD GIN FESTIVAL


I think they say laughter is the best medicine but failing that, if you're anything like me - have a few gins and you'll soon be giggling away. I bloody love a good Gin so when I was invited to the Guildford Gin Festival, I knew this was a must attend event! 

We attended the Sunday afternoon session, unfortunately the weather didn't quite deliver on that day as it was absolutely freezing! Weather aside, we were there to try the fabulous variety of gins which they had available and the way in which it worked was that you payed with tokens. We were kindly gifted a couple of free drinks as part of attending the event which was amazing. 


My first & probably my favourite drink of choice was the Tinker Gin Pink - this wasn't a gin I had tried previously but definitely one I would have again. I love love love pink gin - this has a delicious strawberry flavour! When trying this initially I had this with a normal tonic.





Other drinks we tried included...

Sharish Blue Magic Gin: It's magic as this turns from blue / purple to pink when you add tonic... very 'instagrammable' and tastes amazing too! 

Rhubarb Rumble: My favourite cocktail by far from the festival and maybe I had a few too many of these on the day. This drink tastes so good that honestly it must be really unhealthy for you - made up of Edinburgh Rhubarb & Ginger Liqueur, Advocat, Apple Juice, Lemon juice, Rhubarb Bitters and finished off with a rhubarb and custard sweet! Reading the description of this drink, I was curious to give it a try but did not think it would be a favourite of mine but i'm obsessed.

Anyone know where I can get this drink again? If not, I'm going to have to learn how to make it. 

Tinker Pink Fizz: Made up of Tinker Pink Gin, Prosecco, Elderflower Cordial, Creme de Fraise, Cranberry Juice, Mint & Lemon Juice. Another delicious drink! 

Also, another bonus from the event was we were able to take our Gin Festival glasses away with us, so I can now enjoy my drinks at home using proper glasses too! 

Overall, we had a fab day at the Gin Festival and would definitely love to go back again. Let me know if you've ever been before or if there are any similar events happening soon... 








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Thursday, 10 May 2018

TURTLE BAY: RUM TASTING EXPERIENCE

OK, so I am officially the world's worst blogger and have been meaning to write this post for a long long time now. Honestly, I know its not an excuse but time really does just fly, especially with working in London - the commute takes an extra few hours out of my day. 

Anyway... enough about that, today I wanted to share the fabulous experience I had at Turtle Bay, Guildford for their Rum Tasting event. This happened to be on James birthday, who is a massive fan of Rum, so I decided this would also be a great evening for him too. When we arrived we were greeted with a Rum Punch (the drink), a new favourite of mine since visiting Antigua. We were then seated in front of a selection of 7 different neat rums for us to try- I knew I was definitely going to be leaving a little bit merry...

The place mat beneath the glasses indicated the brand and name of the rum along with the strengths - personally the way I look at it was the rums were becoming more and more alcoholic as the evening went on - not that I'm complaining!  

There were three different types of Appletons Estate with each being aged for different lengths of time. We had the original, an 8 year old and then a 12 year old. Each had a unique flavour, this is definitely something you pick up more on when drinking rum neat. We finished with one of strongest rums - Wray & Nephew 63% white rum, a little to strong for me personally, this literally burnt my mouth drinking it straight!!  



 The Koko Kanu white rum was definitely my favourite out of all as it was much sweeter with a coconut flavour. I also learnt this is the rum that they use in my favourite cocktail from Turtle Bay, the Koko Colada (picture below). 


We had also reserved a table in Turtle Bay for dinner to celebrate James' birthday. We ordered Jerk Halloumi to start - this is sooo good and isn't actually too spicy! 


For mains I had the Pulled Chicken Wrap and James had the Street Shack Burger, both of which came with fries! Both meals we're delicious! 



Lastly for dessert we shared the Banana and Toffee Cheesecake, something I'd had before at Turtle Bay and had to have again. 


We've also downloaded the new Turtle Bay app which means you can earn points and also receive offers per visit to Turtle Bay - we'll definitely be going back again soon!








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Saturday, 24 March 2018

FEATHER & DOWN: Product Review


I feel like I've been in need of a decent nights sleep for months now, so when I was given the opportunity to review some products to help improve sleep, I jumped at the opportunity. March is also known for it being National Bed Month / Sleep Month so what better time to try some new products and help to get a decent nights sleep. For me I have very little problems actually getting to sleep but instead often find myself waking numerous times throughout the night.
  



The Feather & Down Pillow Spray has an amazing scent, it has an infusion of Lavender & Chamomile which help to reduce an anxious mind. This product has been nicknamed 'sleep in a bottle' and retails at just £7.00. I've been using a couple of sprays on my pillow just before I go to sleep and this definitely helps me to relax and drift off. 


The Melting Shower Cream is my favourite product out of the three I've tried. I always find that having a hot bath before bed helps me to relax and this product has got that same lovely scent which really helps you to unwind. 



The last product I was sent was the All Purpose Sleep Balm. Again this gorgeously scented product is designed to be used on your pulse points again just before you go to sleep. 


I have been using all three of the products together throughout this week and have definitely noticed an improvement in my sleep. Surpisingly I've actually had two nights where I've slept the whole night through which is great. One slight disadvantage to this is struggling to wake up in the morning, this could be a sign that I am overtired or alternatively I am really relaxed through using these products. I will definitely be continuing to use these products though as I'm feeling a lot better for sleeping the whole night through. I would highly recommend the Feather & Down products to anyone who is struggling with their sleep.

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Saturday, 24 February 2018

FEGO: Lunch Review

 Today I had a lunch so tasty that I had to share it on my blog. Obviously its been a while since I last posted.. so anyway, today I got my car tyre fixed in the morning and then myself and James took a drive over to Sevenoaks in Kent. We stumbled upon FEGO, which is a restaurant we had visited before, except in Banstead. The Sevenoaks restaurant is just a beautiful with quirky interiors and super instagrammable bathrooms - although these do lack a good selfie mirror..

As for the food, it was lunch time when we arrived but at FEGO they give you options of all day brunch and encourage customers to eat what they like, whenever they like. I love this concept & I also love brunch at anytime of the day but I did decide to have a normal & pretty healthy lunch. 

I opted for the Vegetarian Curry from the 'Clean Eating' section on the menu. This was full of so much flavour with a little kick of spice, it was also surprisingly filling. James had the Diavola Pizza with fries as a side, I did try a slice of this and was again so so yummy! 

I can also recommend the Chocolate Deluxe shake, I had two sips of James' but it was absolutely amazing!

Until next time, scroll down for more food inspo...




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