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Like most bloggers (or social media addicts I know), I think I might be a little obsessed with taking photos. It's not that I'm try to purposefully document my every move. It's just I've fallen into the habit of not being able to resist snapping something I think looks good. Whether it's food, fashion, or just a nice view! My iPhone is pretty much attached to my hand all the time, and while it takes nice photos, it's not the highest resolution camera ever for a blogger on the move. So a few weeks back when I was sent the new Nokia Lumia 930 to play around with, I was excited to see how its 20mp camera would perform. Since I'm a bit too much of an iPhone addict to give mine up, I decided the best way of trying out the feature I was most interested in was by using it as a camera.. And the best way to test out a camera? Food photos, obviously. So on my latest trip down to Leeds, I decided to give it a whirl in Byron.
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Ok so first things first: burgers. As one of my main clients, I'm pretty committed to Fat Hippo burgers. But in the interest of client research, I decided it high time I tried Byron out. One thing I really like about the brand (beside it's simplistic ethos and excellent copy thanks to We All Need Words), is the distinct buildings it chooses for its premises. They're always pretty iconic and resonate well with the city they're in. So naturally, I was pretty excited to sink my teeth into one of their 'proper hamburgers'. After a lot of mulling over the menu, I settled on the Chilli burger complete with Green chilli, American cheese, shredded iceberg and chipotle mayonnaise. While Kate opted for the Smoky burger served with smoked Cheddar, streaky bacon, crispy fried onions, shredded iceberg, pickles and smoked chilli BBQ sauce. Since we were both pretty famished we greedily ordered the skin on chips and a side of macaroni.
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Once it had all arrived, I set away snapping with my Nokia Lumia 930. One thing I noticed straight away was the crisp focus of the lens. It felt almost like I was taking pictures with a digital camera.. not just a phone! The colours looked great and the Nokia's 5inch Full HD OLED display made it really easy to check through my snaps after I'd took them so I could see what shots were coming out nicely. While it was a little awkward getting used to the system (having been an iPhone user for so long), once I had the knack for it, the Nokia handled like a dream. So back to burgers...
After they arrived and I'd managed to take a few quick photos, we dug in! Served pink in the middle, I had pretty high expectations for Byron's proper hamburgers. Sadly, I felt they fell a little short of the mark. Since I'd opted for the chilli, I expected the juicy flavours of the meat to be accompanied with a bit of a kick. Instead, the meat felt a bit dry and even the chipotle mayo failed to completely perk it up. Kate agreed that despite the size and impressive appearance, her Smoky kinda fell a little short of expectations. The macaroni cheese on the other hand was brilliant. Although, not really what I expected to rate from the experience. Still at least the burgers photographed pretty well.
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Verdict? While it's a little hard to get the hang of at first, the Nokia Lumia 930 is definitely one of the best camera phones on the market for bloggers! And the burgers? Dryer than expected and sadly somewhat lacking in flavour. Since it was my first experience of Byron, it left me a little disappointed and I hope it was just a bad experience. That being said, I'm not sure I'd bother next time. And I think if Byron do make their way up North with their empire, Fat Hippo certainly don't need to be quaking in their boots just yet.
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I'm not going to lie, after a busy week all I want to do this weekend is drink coffee, eat eggs and make my way through the October issues. Sounds pretty tempting, doesn't it? I've spent the last few days sorting my room after redecorating.. (once it's in some sort of order, I'll share photos!). So now all I want to do is lie about. But after neglecting my blog for a little while now, I've been feeling a bit guilty. And I want to do a little content planning, to try and get myself back on track.. you never know, by the new year I might have a regular posting pattern! In the mean time though, I've got a few bits to post. And since I've still got a few bits and pieces to find homes for in my new room, I think I need to stick on something lively on like Basement Jaxx's new album and crack on! I've been listening to it on Spotify this morning as I pottered about doing jobs and I really like their new stuff. They're playing at The O2 in December which sounds like it'd pretty canny party and while I'm always looking for an excuse to visit London, it might be a bit too much of a trek for Basement Jaxx tickets I think!
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Somehow September has managed to creep up on me. I'm not sure how I didn't notice the change of the light, the nights beginning to get darker, the leaves slowly turning brown, the air beginning to feel crisp early on a morning. Yet, I'm still clinging to the last of the summer sunshine and getting the most out of my summer wardrobe before the thick knits and big coats resurface. It's not that I'm not looking forward to the change of the season. I'm just not quite ready to give up bare legs and Birkenstocks. So while we're still enjoying warm(ish) days, I'll probably be living in stripes and suede shorts.

Outfit details:
top: Laura Ashley, shorts: Topshop, necklace: vintage, sandals: Birkenstock
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Having been a big fan of Moroccan Oil, I'm already a firm believer in the miracle qualities of Argan oil. So when the lovely people at The Body Shop invited me along for a Moroccan pamper evening and to try out their new range, I was more than a little excited. Since I'm not predominantly a beauty blogger (and I tend to stick to what I know), I've not read too much about the range so was happy to learn more from their staff. At the event we got grips with the new line including a sugar scrub, shower gel, body butter, balm and of course, oil. I've been a fan of The Body Shop for years now.. particularly their creamy body butters. Since getting back from holiday, I've felt like my skin's been tight and dryer than normal so I've been relying on my trusty Olive Body butter. But I was excited to see how the body butter from the Argan range was.
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Smelling slightly more perfumed than my Moroccan Oil, The Body Shop's Wild Argan range is deliciously indulgent. And after being treated to a mini makeover showcasing their new products, I was given an exfoliating hand massage using the Wild Argan range. So I can confirm it feels just as good on your skin, as it smells! My skin was left glowing and ridiculously soft. I'm not usually a big exfoliator since I suffer from dry skin and I find it a little abrasive. However the sugar scrub has nice thin particles so doesn't feel like it's tearing your skin apart.
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Primped, pampered and full of prosecco, with a pretty generous goodie bag containing the scrub, shower gel, balm and body butter, (which I'll be reviewing properly in a separate post), and dying for a full on pamper session. If you're in Newcastle and interested in the range, they're actually holding a VIP pamper night tomorrow (Tuesday 19th between 1pm-7pm) so you can get yourself and find out more. The spaces are filling up quick but you can call 0191 2221893 to book a slot! And if you quote Raspberry Kitsch, you'll get a special goodie bag.. so you've got the perfect excuse to pop by!

Since I headed straight from work, I decided to take along the Nokia Lumia 930 I've been trying out and get some snaps on there. It's camera is amazing, but I definitely feel like I'm still getting to grips with it!! I'll be sure to post a full review soon though.
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A few weeks back, I was invited along to try out the new Revs menu. Situated on Collingwood Street, it's one of those places that I used to frequent when I was younger, but now rarely find myself venturing to. And every time I go, I forget how amazing its building is! An old Grade II listed building. Formerly a Barclays bank, it's got the most amazing high vaulted ceilings and ornate features. Since it's a pretty well known chain, it's the sort of place that gets full of stag and hen do's at the weekend. But during the week, can be quite a nice spot for a cocktail or bite to eat.

Since I've not visited in a while (for food or drinks), it was a nice excuse to get myself along when the Revs people got in touch to ask how I'd like to sample the new menu. And since AC had some good news to celebrate, I asked her to tag along and help me out. After spending too much time gossiping instead of looking over the menu, we finally settled on a range of dishes and cocktails to try out. Including the not so politically correct, but delicious, Hobo Mojito, served in a tin can. Obviously.

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I'm never a fan of having just one big meal, so I figured if we just ordered a range of food to come all together, it was a better way to get a feel for the new menu. Starting with an order of Wild Berry Mojitos, the garlic flatbread with tomato, onion and basil, and the sweet potato wedges, we soon realised when the dishes arrived that we'd ordered far too much. For my main course, I chose the fennel sausage mac and cheese. Mac and cheese is one of those dishes I rarely have so when I see a decent looking one, it's difficult to resist. And our waitress for the evening was certainly convincingly enthusiastic about it! I was clearly feeling greedy though so asked for a side of fire pit beans to go with it. A opted for a traditional stone baked, pizza margherita. And after a little bullying from the waitress and me, added beetroot and a spicy sauce to accompany.

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After being overwhelmed by the sheer amount of food on our table, we started digging in. What I really like about the new menu is that Rev's have made a conscious effort to bring in something new. With a range of main courses, including traditional pub grub like burgers and their stone baked pizzas, they're trying to spice things up by introducing sharing platters, dishes like Katsu curry, burritos and pulled pork. It's quite an eclectic mixture which will no doubt help them appeal to everyone's tastes. And I found myself a little confused by the choice.
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One of my main concerns with such a varied menu is that the kitchen suffers from offering up too many options. I'm a big fan of visiting places that stick to doing one thing well. That being said, I was pleasantly surprised to find our food not only well cooked but really tasty. Our only problem with the food was that since we'd opted for so much, we struggled to get through it all!
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I've had a lot of stuff on my mind lately, and sometimes when there's a lot on my mind, all I want to do is distract myself. And what better way than to throw yourself into a project? And since had a couple of days off last week and a little extra time on my hands, I thought I'd do something productive. So the other day I decided pattern cutting was exactly the kind of distraction I needed, and pulled out my fabric bag. I bought this floral print months back from John Lewis and never really figured out what to do with it.

Pattern cutting is something that I never seem to find any time for nowadays. After having made a (slightly embarrassing) appearance on the cover of my old college's magazine, after featuring in an article about their textiles and fashion course, I've been thinking a lot about things I used to do. I was featured in the magazine for adult courses, because during my job hunting phase as a recent graduate, I decided to throw myself into pattern cutting as a way of distracting myself from mounting rejections from job applications. It's always something I was interested in and it was a nice distraction to keep me focused on something positive and creative. And when I found myself working for a design and branding agency, extra skills can always come in handy when you least expect it! Plus when is it not going to come in handy if you can make something nice for yourself?

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There's a really old episode of Sex and the City in which Carrie finds herself writing from the haven of a Starbucks, and she remarks on how she also wonders about the people who sit at their laptops. To be honest, I always find myself wondering about the people who bring their laptops to a cafe and sit clacking away. I like people watching too much to not find myself distracted by passersby. But having ended our current broadband contract, I've found myself without internet in the flat for the past month. So in a bid to not let my blogging slip by the wayside and use broadband as an excuse, I decided to drag myself out, macbook and all. So right now I'm one of those semi-annoying clack-clackers, sat in the corner with my americano trying to concentrate on what I'm doing. Having arranged to meet Amy this morning, I thought it made sense to choose a spot like Ernest, where I can tap away on my laptop without feeling too conspicuous. So anyway, back to the post I was supposed to be writing...

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Since getting back from Croatia, I've been sort of avoiding the sales.. It's not that I don't want to shop, it's just I really need to save. But I couldn't completely ignore them and of the few things I decided to treat myself to, I picked out this striped top. I love it's uneven stripes and it's made from a kind of stretchy, denim material. There was a matching skirt, but the cut was all wrong, so sadly I didn't end up with the coord. It's a nice weight and not too thick for the sporadic warm weather we've been having. I don't know if it's just me but I feel almost as though I can feel summer start to slip away.

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I've been trying to get myself sorted and put more outfit posts together, but since moving through Newcastle (and not being able to just bully my little brother into taking them), I've not really had anyone to help me. After spending last weekend back at my rents, I shot a few different sets of photos in an attempt to bring my blogging back up to speed by getting ahead with content. With no internet and no photographer, it's been a challenge.

Outfit details
top: Topshop, shorts: Topshop, sandals: Birkenstock, sunglasses: Rayban

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