House décor: Time for some blinds

As some of you might know, I moved out of London back in December into a new-build house in the countryside on the outskirts of Colchester. Let’s be honest, moving out of our 2-bed apartment in London to a village in Essex was very exciting but at the same time it took a bit of time to adjust to our new routine involving a long daily commute. Thanks to Netflix and a good coffee from a station cafeteria, I got used to my commute and now I am happily re-established in Essex.

Having said this, our lovely 3 bed house still needs a lot in terms of furnishing, décor etc. In 6 months, we have managed to finish our bedroom and kitchen and slowly we are completing other bits around the house.

This month, we decided to buy some blinds and let me tell you – it wasn’t as easy as I thought it might be. Initially, we thought about using a well known company offering in-home appointment to offer perfect made to measure blinds. Unfortunately, as we have a limited budget we weren’t willing to spend a small fortune for blinds offered thus we looked online for some other providers that could help us.

After a lot of research and browsing quite a few websites selling blinds, we came across ‘Make My Blinds’. The company was founded in 2015 and strives to become the authority in the blind industry.

On their website I discovered a few values which I was impressed by:

  • Made by hand – all blinds are made to your own specification;
  • Attention to detail – all blinds are made by hand and machine to the highest quality;
  • Customer focused – company prides itself in a friendly UK customer service team that is happy to answer any question.

What I found really useful was a hub of knowledge on company’s social media platforms –  YouTube, Instagram, Facebook and Twitter providing the most commonly asked questions and answers.

The company offers a range of blinds: wooden, vertical, roller, venetian, skylight, roman and conservatory blinds. We decided to order:

  • Gibson Pewter Vertical blinds for my husband’s study – as he loves gaming and wanted something with a blackout option we selected a darker grey shade that also matches our carpets perfectly. We decided to have the vertical vanes split and bunch evenly on either side using the ‘split’ option which is great as you can control the lighting coming into your room.
  • Real Wood Gloss Daisy venetian blinds for our front kitchen and living room windows. I love this glossy, light bouncing blinds. They are also easy to clean as the dust just slides off.  They are great at controlling the light coming into our home and I really like that they have a long 4-year guarantee.

Order process:

The order process through Make my Blinds website is super user friendly and it enabled us to visualise what we were getting after we inputted sizing information, selected on which side we would like the controls to be in addition to stack side for our vertical blinds. We used a measuring guide which helped us to understand how we should measure the blinds properly to get them sized correctly. The blinds were also much cheaper than what we were quotes by a high street retailer and website states that prices are up to 70% cheaper. What is an additional plus is that you can order free samples and there is a free delivery on orders over £149.

Installation:

I will be honest and admit that we didn’t install the blinds ourselves – firstly because we simply do not have time as we get home late and secondly, we are not really good in DYI. However, if you wish to install the blinds yourselves then Make My Blinds has a great knowledge hub helping you to do that for all different kinds of blinds.

Verdict:

I loved how easy the whole order process was and the website and it’s guides were great help for us as we did not have an idea from where to start. I would recommend ‘Make my Blinds’ to anyone who wishes to purchase high quality, beautifully finished blinds build to their specifications at a very competitive prices.

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Pauline

Beauty on the spot – the worst beauty treatment I’ve ever had in London

As you all know I love pampering myself and recently I booked a package for six G5 massage treatments at the Beauty on the Spot in Monument in London. I love beauty treatments and I’ve had G5 treatments on my legs before so I was quite glad when I found a place that was offering a package of 6 treatments, just around a corner from the office I work. I haven’t imagine that I would be as disappointed as I am now and it was the worst treatment I’ve ever had.

A bit of the background. G5 treatment is done using 5 different massaging heads in around 45 minutes. My treatment with your therapist took barely 8 minutes and she only used 2 out of 5 G5 heads. It’s a spam and you should avoid going to this place under all circumstances. The company offers their own short version of the treatment which perhaps they could call G2 but in my opinion it’s definitely not something they should sell as a G5 treatment if it takes you 8 minutes to complete and you only use 2 massaging heads… The treatment is called G5 as there are 5 interchangeable heads which they clearly do not use. For more information on this treatment you can watch some YouTube videos – definitely not what Beauty on the spot offers!

Although, I’ve made a formal written complaint and requested to cancel the additional five G5 massages that I paid for the management of the company still haven’t provided me with any response. The way they treat their Clients is disgusting and I hope that they will get closed down as this kind of places should not exist. Honestly, I would not recommend it to anyone to even consider going there. Look elsewhere or you will end up as disappointed as I am now! On top of that, I read on their website that they ‘do not offer refunds’ so I will most likely waste over £200 as I do not want to return there.

Do not go there my lovelies!

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Pauline

Tried and Tested: OGX Beauty Niacin3 & caffeine range

As some of you might remember, a couple of weeks ago I tried OGX  Beauty Biotin and Collagen range and really liked it. As a result, I decided to try OGX Beauty Niacin3 & caffeine range. It contains a fallout-busting formula blend of niacin and caffeine to help exfoliate and stimulate your scalp while combating hair loss.

For best results, all products in this collection should be used together so I decided to try:

1. OGX Beauty Niacin3 & caffeine Shampoo. Its powerful formula blend with niacin and caffeine, alpha hydroxy acid and natural DHT blockers can help make your scalp happy and help prevent hair fallout. Size: 385 ml.

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2. GX Beauty Niacin3 & caffeine Conditioner.  This lightweight conditioner not only smells great but it also detangles fine and fragile hair. Its special formula blend includes niacin and caffeine, alpha hydroxy acid and natural DHT blockers to help prevent hair loss caused by breakage.  Size: 385 ml.

3. GX Beauty Niacin3 & caffeine Root Stimulator Spray. This invigorating spray helps stimulate the hair follicles and scalp with niacin and caffeine, alpha hydroxy acid and natural DHT blockers. It should be used at least once a day in order to create an optimal scalp environment for thicker, stronger, fuller hair. Size: 118 ml.

I’ve been using the whole range for 2 weeks and my hair definitely feels fuller and stronger. If you need to give your hair some extra boost than you should definitely try this OGX Beauty Niacin3 & caffeine range as a seasonal treat for your locks.

I hope you enjoyed reading this review!

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Pauline

Our Lunch at Hemigie’s Restaurant, Brussels, Belgium

During the last day of our trip to Brussels we had our lunch at Hemigie’s Restaurant. I was intrigued by the philosophy listed on their website: ‘Hemgie’s is about craft, pleasure and taste. We believe in taking our time, delivering you the best flavours and ingredients, which we have hunted for months. Quality is key in our kitchen, as well as putting you instantly at ease. Luxury, calm and service belong to our daily language’.

Atmosphere:

We booked our table for 1 p.m. When we entered the restaurant, we were welcomed by a friendly waiter who took us to our table. The decor of Hemigie’s restaurant is cosy, modern and simple. We felt welcomed and relaxed as soon as we sat down.

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Food:

As we had our breakfast at the hotel, we weren’t too hungry and decided to skip the starters and only to have our mains.

For my main I decided to have some Océan Indien Salad. It had some green bans, tomatoes, avocado, prawns and smoked salmon. Its curry madras dressing made the whole combination quite unusual but very tasty. The portion size was generous and presented nicely.

My husband decided to have ‘Smack That’- one of the signature Hemigie’s burgers. He really enjoyed it and finished it in no time! I had a little bite and it was amazing!

I really liked our lunch at Hemigie’s restaurant. The food was served quickly, was tasty and the service was good so I would definitely recommend it.

Address:

Rue du Bailli 90,
1050 ixelles, Brussels

For more information and to book visit:

http://www.hemgies.be/bailli/index.html

I hope you enjoyed reading this review!

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Pauline

Holiday destinations: Brussels during the winter

A few weeks ago, I took my husband to Brussels. It is one of these places where I’ve been to on multiple occasions and I always like returning to this city made famous by its French fries, waffles, seafood and beer.

Brussels is the largest city and a capital of Belgium. It has a population of 1.2 million and it has been increasingly becoming multilingual with increasing numbers of migrants, expatriates and minority groups speaking their own languages.

Historically it was a Dutch-speaking city, it has seen a language shift to French from the late 19th century onwards. Today the majority language is French however all road signs, street names and many services are shown in both languages. If you fancy a short break then Brussels is a great destination as it is only 2 hours away on the Eurostar.

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There’s lots to see in the city from the famous chocolate shops to enjoying its cafe culture in the Grand-Place area.

Here is a short list of my suggestions:

  1. Grote Markt (Dutch) / Grand-Place (French).
  2. City Museum – Maison du Roi (French) – Broodhuis (Flemish).
  3. Hôtel de Ville – Town Hall.
  4. Heysel Park and the Atomium.
  5. Basilica of the Sacred Heart (Koekelberg Basilica).

I hope you enjoyed reading this review.

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Pauline

Jam Hotel in Brussels, Belgium

As you probably know, a few weeks ago, I traveled with my husband to celebrate his birthday in Belgium. During our 4-days stay we visited Brussels and Bruge and when we return from our day-trip to Bruge we stayed in a modern, design hotel-Jam close to Louise Metro which is part of Limited Edition Hotel chain.

Location:
Jam Hotel is located in the center of Brussels and a short 10 minutes’ walk from the metro station and around 10 minutes metro ride from Brussels Midi-Zuid station. It is situated in a former art-school that was converted into a trendy hotel to meet the demands of even the most demanding travelers.

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Atmosphere:

The hotel has a very informal atmosphere. Due to its great location and just meters away from the shopping it within a walking distance from all major tourists attractions it will meet demands of most travelers. Everything in the hotel is presented to you with a twist-even a simple door hangers display ‘don’t even think about knocking’ rather than the usual ‘do not disturb’ sign. I really enjoyed that originality 🙂

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Facilities:

Jam Hotel has a 24-hours reception, baggage storage room, bar and restaurant and a rooftop terrace and bar.

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When we arrived after a day-break to Bruge, it was lovely to unwind in an extremely accommodating rooftop bar. There was a fireplace in the central-point of it and its cosy décor was very welcoming. In addition, there was a heated swimming pool on the 6th floor and if we didn’t go there in the middle of winter I would love to enjoy it as it offers a great view of Brussels.

All Limted Edition hotels serve a continental breakfast where you can have a  nice selection of cold breakfast items including meat and cheese. I loved the vast selection of the freshly squeezed juices and homemade marmalades. My favorite one was a strawberry one and a freshly baked croissant accommodated it perfectly.

The hotel offers a range of services ‘on demand’ including: comfy bathrobes and matching slippers, a monopoly game with a Belgian twist etc.

 

What’s more, you can also pay a bit extra and get lots of other useful traveler’s items like a shaving kit, toothbrush or a toothpaste.

Room:

Our room was large and had a simple, modern décor.

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We had a bunk bed and a small sofa in addition to a king-size bed in it.

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There were only 2 of us staying in it but there would be enough space in it for a whole family of 2 with 3 children!  In addition, our room had a nice size work-table, flat-screen TV and a safe. The bathroom was modern and simple but had everything you need-a shower, bath, washbasin, hairdryer etc. I loved a little quote on the shower tiles: ‘Save water and shower together’. Very inspiring 😉

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Overall:

If you like staying at the design hotels than you should definitely consider this hotel. Hotel Jam will be perfect for all modern-hotels lovers who enjoy accommodation with a twist and are looking to experience hotels that are original and a bit different. I really liked its location-it is just a short walk away from Brussel’s main attractions in addition to its great facilities (rooftop terrace, restaurant, swimming pool) We only stayed in this hotel for a night but I would definitely recommend you to visit if you wish to stay in the comfortable, spacious room and you don’t want to break your bank as the rooms are reasonably priced. I am sure that you will enjoy its ‘unusual’ quotes and twists as much as I did!

Address:

Chaussée de Charleroi 132, 1060 Bruxelles, Belgium

All my readers can get 10% discount on their reservations with Jam Hotel. The code to use for further reservations is « FIRSTCLASSLOUNGE » and you need to book through the official website listed below:

http://www.jamhotel.be/

I hope you enjoyed reading this review!

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Pauline

Our dinner at The Fish Market, London

As some of you might know, I love all kinds of seafood. As a result, I was really happy to have my weekly dinner date at The Fish Market restaurant in London and I was looking forward to trying their specialties.

Location:

The Fish Market restaurant is situated just a couple of minutes away from the Liverpool Street Station so it is perfect for anyone who works in the City.

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Atmosphere:

We booked our table for 6:30 p.m. When we entered the restaurant, we were welcomed by a friendly hostess who took us to our table and introduced us to our waiter. I decided to have some champagne to start with.

Starters:

For our starter, we had a Seafood sharing platter from the A La Carte Menu.

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It was presented beautifully and I loved a selection of seafood presented to us. It included: grilled scallops, salt and pepper squid, goujons of day boat fish, garlic king prawns.

Mains:

For our mains we wanted to try some fish from the Fish Market menu. All fish at The Fish Market restaurant comes either on the bone or is filleted so you can have it cooked to your liking. In addition, you can choose to have your fish steamed or cooked a la plancha. What’s more, all fishes from the Market selection menu come with a choice of one complimentary side and sauce. I had a whole sea bream and my husband had a whole sea bass. For our sides, we ordered some creamed spinach and spiced, sweet potato fries.

Both mains were absolutely gorgeous and cooked to perfection. Sides were a nice-add on and I really liked my sweet potato fries.

Dessert:

As soon as I looked at the menu, I knew what I wanted to have for my dessert and as I love sticky toffee pudding, my choice was easy. It was nice but personally, I would want to have some more vanilla ice-cream with it. It is probably me just being greedy though 😉

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My husband, as always, ordered some vanilla ice-creams.

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I really liked the food at the Fish Market restaurant. The service was good and food was delectable so I will definitely visit again soon!

Address:

16 New St, London EC2M 4TR

For more information and to book visit:

http://www.fishmarket-restaurant.co.uk/

I hope you enjoyed reading this review!

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Pauline