Today starts the National Stationery Week. To celebrate, I was invited to Viking Arty Party, organized by Viking. I was so excited to try new things, as there were planned three very interesting activities on the day. It was a really fab event, I had the chance to chat to lovely bloggers I haven’t seen for a while and everything we tried was fun.
The day was lovely, beautiful and sunny, so it was fab that we could relax, to have a chat and a drink on the terrace of King Street Townhouse in Manchester. Look at the views, it is just stunning.
We were divided into three groups and #VikingArtyParty has started.
I made my own perfume! Last weekend I’ve been to London to a blogger event organized by LightsbyTENA. I went to London by train, as it’s so much faster than driving and it was a great idea, as there were Chinese New Year celebrations in Trafalgar Square and roads were closed. I will share a couple of imagines from London in another post.
I arrived at Haymarket Hotel with only a couple of seconds to spare. The event started with a glass of Champagne, talking with bloggers I already know and follow and I also got to meet new bloggers too, like Hannah, Natalie, Jessica, Toni and Laura. We had some nibbles and more chat.
We had a presentation of the products and talked about a subject that is not talked about a lot, despite the fact that 1 in 3 women in the UK will experience this, at some point in their lives. LightsbyTENA are trying to raise awareness for women between 30 and 45, pregnant women and new mums, where 1 in 10 will experience light bladder weakness. They received 2 awards last year and the products have had big changes in 2016. One of the changes is that was introduced the feel fresh technology.
LightsbyTENA have decided that the best way to make women who are experiencing this to try the products is to offer money back guarantee, so this is how the Feel Fresh or it’s Free campaign has started. If anyone who tries the product is not happy, they can claim their money back online. It’s quite easy and the offer is available until 30th June this year. So, if you think you might need one of their products, do try, it’s risk free. The prices start at £1.99 per pack.
We were told about my PFF app, that is free. Having pelvic floor exercises will help with light bladder weakness. I think a reminder is great and I, for one, always forget to do them.
I think we should be able to talk openly about this, if it’s something we want to do. There is a stigma around some health problems and it shouldn’t be like this. Light bladder weakness is more common than hayfever, but most people have no issues discussing the latter while avoiding the former.
Black coffee and a strawberry coated in dark chocolate, a real delight.
After that, we had a short break while the perfume masterclass was set up. I got the chance to look again at that beautiful swimming pool and chat a little more.
The perfume masterclass was held by Emmanuelle from Experimental Perfume Club. She was lovely and she told us a lot about perfumes, how they are made and why. We got to sniff 15 raw materials without knowing what they are. It was really interesting.
One of the things I found most intriguing was that I don’t like the leather smell at all. I’ve been vegetarian for 9 years and, in time, I started rejecting the smell of meat. It was fascinating to see that the smell of leather was something I’ve rejected too without even knowing what it is.
After we sniffed all these raw materials, we had to chose the ones we want to incorporate in our perfume. I picked 8, the minimum amount of materials. If there aren’t enough, the perfume will smell like a raw material and not a complex perfume. I picked one top note, 5 heart notes and 2 for base. As I wanted a more intense perfume, my percentages were a little different from the ones used in general. I calculated how much I should use from each raw material. After consulting with Emmanuelle, I’ve adjusted the grams and I’ve started making the perfume.
When I finished, I tried the perfume and I loved it. After waiting for 5 minutes, I thought that it might be heavy. So, I’ve adjusted the perfume as Emmanuelle said. Well, it turned out that I loved the first version. So I had to do 2 more adjustments to get back to that smell, hence the: 1st version, final, FINAL and very final smelling strips.
We also had to chose a name for our perfume and I come up with “Just ME”, because I loved it. The great part is that I can order my perfume from them when I finish the bottle I have.
In the last year Chinese New Year was celebrated when I was away with work and this meant I wasn’t able to attend the celebrations. This year I found that the majority of the celebrations in Liverpool will be today, when I’m in London. Well, that is actually funny and my reason to go to London is exciting, I couldn’t be happier.
If you want to attend the celebrations in Liverpool, have a look on Culture Liverpool’s website.
We went on Friday on Bold Street to see the Chinese New Year Lanterns and the Jingwei & the Ocean Projections at Black-E and the Arch in Chinatown.
The story projected is of the emperor’s daughter who died at sea, was transformed into a bird and filled the ocean with twigs and stones so that no-one else would die like she did. The story was of the first Chinese settlers that made Liverpool their home and developed a beautiful community.
There is music too and the projections are nicely made.
Yesterday my husband and I were invited to the opening of Shoryu Ramen, a new and exciting Japanesse restaurant in Manchester. Shoryu Ramen. This is their first restaurant outside London and they have plans to open even more.
Shoryu Ramen was launched in November 2012 in London and was recommended in the Michelin Guide for the last 3 years. They specialize in Hakata tonkotsu ramen, from the southern Japan. Hakata tonkotsu ramen is a style of ramen made with a rich soup and thin noodles. The Executive Chef Kanji Furukawa is from Japan and he creates authentic tonkotsu, that is rarely seen outside Japan.
I had a look on the menu and I want to try the matcha cheesecake. Beside food, they have sake. The restaurant in Soho has on offer the largest selection of sake, shochu and umeshu in the UK, including royal warrant Gekkeikan.
These are the wooden cups we were served sake in.
At the opening party we had the chance to see the sake ceremony. After a lovely speech, we were told what to say when the barrel is opened after the countdown.
I was so delighted that I knew the numbers in Japanese, that I didn’t pay attention to the last word. I said a wow-ish sort of word, it was really funny.
Yesterday my husband and I went to Festive Gift Fair* at the NEC. The fair is still on today and this weekend, so you can go and have a look if you fancy. I assume it will be very crowded, as yesterday was packed. There are so many choices and beautiful things on offer. I got a few things yesterday and it made me get into the Christmas spirit.
The first Christmas tree I see this year. It looks stunning.
There were two stands with orange and fruits wreaths. The smell was amazing and they look very nice too. I considered buying one, but I already have pine and orange scents for this Christmas.
Yesterday was Bonfire night and we wanted to go to Sefton. It was a surprise to see that it moved from Sefton to the docks for the River of Lights event. We were disappointed with the change, but went anyway. We had to park very far from Albert Dock, but that proved to be a great idea. We head up to Princess Parade and even there it was very busy. As we had plenty of time, we’ve decided to go in search for something to eat. As we were busy with work, we didn’t have the time to eat something before leaving home. There were only a couple of hot dog trucks and an ice cream van. On Albert Dock and the other docks in the centre was extremely busy. I don’t know how many people were there, but I imagine many thousands or more, considering it must have been packed on the other side of the river too, in Wirral. I also imagine it’s easier to assure the safety of people when most of them are spread out on the docks instead of a huge crowd gathered in pretty much one place.
The fireworks were set up from barges on the river. We were lucky to find a spot exactly near one of the three barges. I think on Albert dock the view wasn’t as good, as it was very crowded. The lack of music made the fireworks look a little sad comparing to the ones from last year. Even so, it was a lovely event and the fireworks display was amazing.
Next year I hope they will go back to Sefton park. If not, I hope they will learn from this year and they will add music during the fireworks display. Before the display there was a concert and street celebrations, but it was too crowded and not a lot of people were able to go there, us included.
This time I took a suitcase as I knew how heavy the goodie bags will be. I was actually early as there was no traffic and instead of 1 hour it took only 40 minutes to get to MSI. I wanted a Christmas T-shirt, but I didn’t find any on Saturday. That is only appropriate as I moaned about the Christmas-themed products in shops. Well, I had the jumper and it wasn’t that warm in one of the rooms, so it was great in the end.
One of the best things about BlogOn are the seminars. This time I’ve attended 4. The first one was about monetizing the blog and there were some very interesting points. I enjoyed it. Next seminar was about creative content and I got a few important tips. The bear you’ll see was made at this seminar. The 3rd one was about blogging goals and one of the ideas was to have a blogging buddy. So, Anna and I decided to pair up and now we are blogging buddies. I hope this will help me organize a little better and keep track of what I plan (my food blog, no changes here). The last seminar I’ve attended was about Instagram. It was interesting, I have a few ideas for Instagram too.