Sunday, 31 May 2015

CAU Reading Review

CAU is a steakhouse that is inspired by all things Argentinian, with Beunos Aires at the heart of each of the flavourful and tender dishes. I'd heard about CAU mainly in the context of it being the little sister of Gauchos; an up-market, luxurious steakhouse with a strong hub of restaurants in the City of London. I got news that CAU planned to open a small restaurant in Reading, Berkshire, next to The Oracle and my big old carnivorous heart skipped a beat.

I'd been waiting for the opening weekend with enthusiasm, I am a huge meat lover and a rare steak is the best type of comfort food I can imagine after a stressful week at work. I saw the opening announcement and quickly booked a table for the opening Sunday with one thing on my mind; The CAU Sunday Roast.

The restaurant itself sort of creeps up on you. It's located literally just outside The Oracle on the Minster Street exit (the exit nearest Purple Turtle for Reading folk) in a space that used to be an outside area for Oracle staff a few years back.


We walked in to be greeted by a lovely waitress with red hair (I didn't catch her name but her customer service skills were on point) and we were quickly seated at the bar downstairs whilst our table was arranged. The barstaff were dressed very professionally and service was quick and friendly. We were then shown to a booth near the back of the downstairs section of the restaurant.
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Saturday, 30 May 2015

GHD Curve Creative Curl Wand Review

I have never been able to curl my hair, ever. It either curls beautifully then frizzes up and falls out after an hour or it just refuses to curl and skips straight to frizzy which is even worse. I had been apprehensive of spending a huge amount of money on a curling wand despite the rave reviews because it's a lot of money to spend on something that could essentially live on my dressing table waiting for a friend to borrow it. I finally bit the bullet after the ladies at Headmasters let me have a go with their GHD Curve and I have to say it is absolutely fantastic, especially for somebody who is notoriously lazy when it comes to hairstyling.

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Thursday, 28 May 2015

Road Rage; Why Grampas Should Be Off-Roaded

This morning (exactly an hour ago as I begin writing this) I was a victim of road rage on my way to work. I'm still shaking as I write this post.

I was travelling up a busy road on my way to the office. This road has two lanes because it splits in two; the left lane is for traffic towards the business park and the right lane is for traffic towards a residential area. The problem is that the traffic in the right hand lane moves much more quickly because there are about three times as many people who want to head towards the business park for work. This means that some people cruise freely up the right hand lane and then try to bully their way into the left lane when it reaches the point where it splits. This causes me unimaginable anger because it makes my drive about 15 minutes longer each morning just so that some douchebag with 'somewhere to be' can get ahead.

I was a victim of the aforementioned douchebaggery this morning when a man aggressively cut in front of me into the left lane. He didn't have enough room to enter the lane safely, he didn't indicate and he certainly didn't care about the fact I had to slam my breaks on to avoid a collision. I beeped my horn before he had even got into my lane to alert him to the fact that there was a big black 4x4 in the exact location he was sliding his second hand, £3 grand man-mobile into. He didn't care.
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Tuesday, 26 May 2015

How To Use Your Nespresso Machine to Make Iced Coffee

This weekend was hot and disturbingly muggy so I decided to experiment with my Nespresso machine to see if I could make an iced coffee at home. I'm told that there are various methods you can use but the one I tried went a little like this...

THE INGREDIENTS


You need 2 Nespresso coffee pods (I tried using one but one shot is definitely not enough, you end up with milky water). You'll also need some milk, ice and something to blend the coffee and ice into a smooth milky drink consistency. I used my Nutribullet but any household blender would work just as well.
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Monday, 18 May 2015

Pitch Perfect 2 Review

The problem with writing a film review is that I have absolutely nothing to say that hasn't already been said by people who can say it in a much more intelligent way than I can. All I can tell you is that I absolutely loved Pitch Perfect 2.

Most of the original cast came back for the sequel but I think there was a bit more of a deeper dive into each individual character this time around. Anna Kendrick, my number one girl crush, actually featured a lot less prominently than she did in Pitch Perfect (The Original) with the likes of Rebel Wilson and Ben Platt getting a bigger share of the screen. That being said Kendrick was still the perfect modern leading lady and her voice is incredible.

Much to my delight a few well-known YouTubers made great cameos, the most prominent of those being the hilarious Flula Borg of AUTOtunes fame (https://www.youtube.com/user/djflula). Flula plays the aggressive male lead of the Barden Bellas' rival a capella competition, Das Sound Machine. I think that Elizabeth Banks could have made much greater use of him but anybody unfamiliar with his YouTube channel probably wouldn't agree. Pentatonix, a group famous for creating instrument-free music on YouTube, also made a brief cameo as one of the competing a capella groups in the finale competition (https://www.youtube.com/user/PTXofficial).

The all important closing number was Flashlight (written by Sia, Christian Guzman, Jason Moore and Sam Smith, and performed by Jessie J) and it was everything that you would expect from the tween glitterfest that is the Pitch Perfect franchise.

I think Elizabeth Banks did a great job as Director and had a few brilliant lines; I feel that Banks is more suited to the 'Rated 15+' film club and I did find myself expecting a few outrageous jokes which never seemed to materialise, but the film needed a PG13 rating to find it's audience and I think the production team managed to keep the humour there regardless of the need to maintain an air of 'Family Friendly'.

Banks is rumoured to be featuring in Magic Mike XXL this year which I'm sure will be a much raunchier affair, I hope there's a Pitch Perfect 3 in the pipe!
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Sunday, 17 May 2015

Feathers and Fur Falconry Centre Review

A few months ago I received vouchers for a falconry experience day for my birthday. I had been hinting (or nagging) my fiancĂ© for a few months but we had struggled to find a free weekend to go and do it on, hence the 3 month delay. Luckily today we had a day of amazing sunshine and I have to say that we had a fantastic few hours with Feathers and Fur.

The Feathers and Fur Falconry Centre is just outside of Reading town on Bath Road (towards Maidenhead). It's located at Ladds Garden Village; it's really easy to find and has ample free parking on site.


We were greeted by the lovely owner, Sadie, and her adorable dogs (a Cocker Spaniel and a Black Lab) who were roaming around the centre in the sunshine living the dream doggy life. The group was made up of about 16 people (including a few spectators) of all ages but we were all adults which was great as I imagine the experience is different when there are a lot of children present.
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Thursday, 14 May 2015

Why LinkedIn Should Replace the CV

Creating the perfect CV is a very controversial topic amongst job hunters. It’s hard to stand out when you are one CV of potentially hundreds on the desk of an employer. I know from personal experience that it is very easy to overlook what is possibly a perfect candidate because they didn’t lay their employment history out properly or didn’t bother to write a 5058029 word cover letter.
A CV is a strangely archaic talent-sourcing tool that needs to die a swift death. Why does that “Personal Skills” section even exist? Isn’t everybody a team player, a quick thinker and a thought leader who works well under pressure, as part of a team or alone?  A CV is utterly meaningless when it comes to data integrity; every other candidate will spew off these overused, meaningless terms along with the fact that they have no driving convictions. How the hell do you get your CV to stand out?

I believe that employers are most interested in your answers for the two following topics:
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Sunday, 10 May 2015

Growing Your Own Ingredients- A Virgin Review

There's something massively satisfying about using home grown ingredients when cooking. I don't do much cooking if I can help it so I'm definitely no expert when it comes to the perfect herbs and spices but food definitely tastes better when you use fresh ingredients, especially when you've cared for and grown them yourself.

Another advantage of keeping plants at home is that they look beautiful on your windowsill and add a lot of character to a kitchen. I popped down to Waitrose today and spent just over £20 on herbs, chilli seeds and growing pots and decided that I would lose my gardening virginity (I'm calling it gardening. This is my blog and I say that it's proper official gardening) and plant them myself.

 
I bought a set of a 3 small herb tins that come with a watering tray....
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Monday, 4 May 2015

Katzecure Review


I have a rather large Bengal cat named Teddy. Ted is a housecat and it's all he's ever known but recently I've been toying with the idea of letting him outside into my garden. That being said, I didn't want him to be able to get out of the garden because I live right next to a main road, a forest, and in a bit of a dodgy area (there are always stories of cats being abused in my area and I would never forgive myself).

Look how sassy he is... #smize
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Friday, 1 May 2015

Why I Moved my Blog from WordPress to Blogger

I've spent hours this week fretting and punching my screen because I decided to move my blog away from WordPress to Blogger.

I didn't take the decision lightly; I've lost a lot of hard work (past views, stats, analytics) and I've also lost my blog appearance/template which I had spent a lot of time getting right. However, when WordPress decided that they wanted to charge me to upgrade my plan for the second time (an extra £30 on top of what I had already paid for the domain, the hosting, the template etc) just so that I could LiveChat with a 'Happiness Engineer' to sort out some DNS issues I just lost the plot.

WordPress allow very little customisation for free. They don't support AdSense (https://en.support.wordpress.com/advertising/) despite all the Plug Ins that are available. They don't allow custom widgets and it's very hard to edit the HTML code of your site without the whole thing falling over. To have a fully functioning, attractive and profitable site with WordPress you have to spend a ridiculous amount of money.
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No Carb Wednesday

I do not enjoy cooking. I don't love to come home from work and spend an hour in the kitchen making dinner. I spent the last week at home on my own because my fiancé went to Las Vegas on his stag do (I'm not bitter at all) and I decided that I wasn't going to resort to takeaways and ready meals; I was going to be number 1 healthy chef of the house.

I wanted to do something that was super healthy and that contributed towards my '5-A-Day' because most days I don't even get close to that, but I also wanted to do something that was zero carb and really fast. I decided on chicken and tenderstem broccoli with Nandos sauce (which I could happily eat with every meal!). I quickly fried the chicken (with a 1 calorie dry-spray) and steamed the broccoli in my steamer.


For dessert I made a smoothie in my NutriBullet...
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