Eating In with Super Valu NI | #LetsCookNI

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If you follow me over on my Instagram, you’ll notice that I done something a little different on Instagram stories on Thursday evening. I was kindly asked to take part in a new campaign from Super Valu NI, so along with Sarah Patterson (Their vegetarian ambassador who is pictured above), myself and a number of other bloggers cooked up a vegetable stir fry that night.

We all used the hashtag #LetsCookNI on our social media channels (For me, it was Twitter and Instagram) and the main premise behind the campaign is to get people involved in the kitchen via social media. We all know that social media is such a huge part of our lives so why not incorporate food and social media together?

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(I posted up on my Instagram of some of the ingredients: a few are missing from here!)

If you’re a reader of the blog, you’ll know that I have a number of intolerances and I also eat a plant based diet so as much as I would love to go to food blog events, I feel like I’m at a disadvantage. I’ll be the first to admit that catering to my eating patterns can be difficult so I can’t complain that events surrounding food are few and far between. This campaign is different though and I’m genuinely so happy to be included despite my eating patterns. First of all, it was a vegetarian stir fry and the recipe doesn’t use any animal products so it is suitable for vegans too! I was able to leave out the carrot, I swapped out the soy sauce for some balsamic vinegar and I swapped out the Straight to Wok noodles for some rice noodles. The recipe is totally adaptable and I am a huge fan of recipes that I don’t have to stick to the script for.

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I took part via Twitter and Instagram, and I’ll admit, Twitter didn’t last very long because I got so distracted by making Instagram stories, and well, by cooking first and foremost. We all watched live on Facebook while Sarah cooked and it was definitely a nice change to cook along with someone but after a while, once my wok was fired up I could barely hear the laptop but even visually, it was quite a nice atmosphere (albeit online!). Super Valu NI created a Twitter moment with some of the pictures from the night and you can find them here!

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(One of my many Instagram stories from that night!)

How was the end result? The end result was really lovely! I haven’t made too many stir frys before this but I would consider making more in the future because it was quite quick after you prepped the ingredients. Roasting the cashew nuts and the sesame seeds had such a huge impact on the meal, which genuinely surprised me. It added an extra nutty crunch which I’m all for, so I’d consider doing this for other meals in the future. I didn’t make the sauce they suggested (so the sugar in the photograph wasn’t used) but I simply mixed some vinegar and salt together to give it an extra kick.

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(This photo was taken about a minute after I had tucked in, so it doesn’t have the greatest presentation in the world!)

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(I think that’s slightly better, right?)

You’ll find the ingredients list below and right here, I’ve linked the recipe up! I would love to hear your thoughts on it! What did you add in, what did you chop and change? What do you think of cooking along with social media?

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Thank you so much for reading today’s blog post, I hope you’ve enjoyed!

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Please note: The ingredients were sent to me by Super Valu NI in order to promote the #LetsCookNI event on Thursday night. Thoughts and content posted on my blog and my social media however, are my own views. I want to send you an extended thank you to Super Valu NI and their PR company for offering me this opportunity. 

A Visit To: Synergy Studios

A few weeks ago I was kindly invited to visit the sunny seaside of Newcastle to visit “Synergy”, a shop based on the Central Promenade selling the best of local artists work. The lovely Lewis Robert Cameron from Beyond Man Magazine contacted me and asked me if I would be interested in the opportunity and I, of course, said yes.

I had never heard of Synergy Studios before but to be fair, the last time I went to Newcastle was just for a little walk, so you can’t blame me. It’s such a lovey shop and one of their main focuses is that every product in store is made locally in Northern Ireland, which is fantastic because we seem to be seeing more of these type of shops pop up in Northern Ireland.

For me, I’m really focused on moving out in the New Year so I used this experience to look in particular for quirky house accessories that I feel I would like when I move out. Going into a new shop always has you leaving with quite a few new inspirational ideas!

 I only purchased one product on the night; it was a glass plate that will be perfect for my rings or bracelets. It’s the perfect size and I loved the green and white together! With it being locally made, it’s quite nice to have unique products that you know other people won’t have because each piece is hand made so there will never be the exact same product made.

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For the night, there was also a fashion element and Lewis was styling the two stunning models for the night. I don’t know the first thing about fashion but I loved the edginess that Lewis brought to the night.

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It was such a lovely night; the staff couldn’t have been more helpful, there was a great turn out and it has a really lovely atmosphere, so next time you’re in Newcastle, take a pop into Synergy Studios and you might even pick up a gift or two!

Synergy Studios is located on Central Promenade, Newcastle BT33 0HH, Northern Ireland and you can find them on Facebook right here!

Super Cuts UK: #SquadGoals (Part Two)

If you haven’t read the first part of this post, it’s right here! It talks about my experience at my first blogger event with SuperCuts and all about their campaign launching a very special competition. So make sure you read that first! (And remember you have until 20th September to enter!)

At the VIP blogger event we got a great goody bag but apparently we were missing products because they hadn’t arrived in time, so we got a free extra products thrown in and then the other ones that didn’t arrive in time, got posted out to us. I’ll not need to buy hair products for a long time now!

I’ll talk about the ones that arrived in the post first. Both from the Bed Head range from TIGI; the Fully Loaded Massive Volume Shampoo and the Fully Loaded Volumizing Conditioning Jelly. I have never used any TIGI products before but I’m really excited about it because you know if a salon uses them, they’re great. I can’t describe the smell but it is incredible! It reminds me of sweets that I used to have when I was younger, but I can’t put my finger on it. If it’s one of those shampoo and conditioners that has the “long lasting smell throughout the day” I will be in love!

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We got two mini gift sets on the day itself. The first one is from Wella Professionals; the only Wella Professionals product I have ever used was the Thermal Image Heat Protection Spray and I can say without a doubt, it was the best heat protection spray ever. It even worked through the tangles in my hair instantly; three sprays and I was good to go! Seriously.

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In the Wella Oil Reflections set, we got three little mini products; shampoo, conditioner and a hair mask. I have used the shampoo and conditioner already but I don’t feel I can give a true review of it yet. What I did notice when I was drying my hair was that my hair was incredibly softer, more than it had been in a very long time, so I think I’ll test that until it runs out. And we got a cute little brush too!

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And finally in the TIGI gft set, there was another three products; a mini Masterpiece Massive Shine Hairspray, Small Talk Thickifier and a Manipulator Texture Paste. When it comes to products like the thickening cream or the paste, I’m not so good at adding texture and volume to my hair. I just end up making a huge mess and then the wind making it ten times worse. But I can’t have them go to waste, so I think I’ll be heading to YouTube to figure out how to use those!

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As a little extra bonus, we also got a lipstick too! It’s from Max Factor Marilyn Monroe range and I got the Ruby Red colour. I don’t wear too many red lipsticks, but hey, everyone needs to try new things now and again!

I’m so pleased with the goody bag! They went to so much effort and I couldn’t be more thankful, thank you to Rhys and all the team at Supercuts Belfast!

 

SuperCuts UK: #SquadGoals (Part One)

That moment when you get invited to your first blogger event, you get really excited for about five seconds then fear sets in. That’s what happened to me when Super Cuts UK kindly invited me to their #SquadGoals VIP Blogger Event in Belfast’s Castlecourt store a few weeks ago.

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The campaign is based around a new competition that has launched for an amazing winner! They have teamed up with TIGI to offer the chance for you and up to six friends to win an overnight stay in London worth £6,000 along with a VIP photoshoot and to become the next face of Supercuts! So whether you use Facebook, Twitter or Instagram; just take a photograph of you and your friends (up to six of you altogether) and upload it using the hashtag #SquadGoals and tagging @SuperCutsUK to be in with a chance of winning. For all the terms and conditions of the competition, you’ll find all the info. right here. You have until 20th September to enter!

I had a blow dry complete with a lovely Kerastase hair mask (I can’t remember which one but it was brittle hair, I need some strengthening at the minute!) as well as some volumising products after my hair was dried. (Take note Victoria, take a picture of all the products that were used in your hair! *shakes head*)

The event overall was fantastic! I was at so much more ease than I thought but because I’m still pretty shy, I don’t really have any photographs from it. So if I get the chance to go to another event like this, I would definitely take more! However, when  I got home I took a picture of my hair (as you can see below!) because I wanted to be able to see that I can actually have it a little messy with volume and have it turn out really nice.

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All the other bloggers I met were so lovely and it was really nice to find out more about them and why they started blogging, and how it has progressed for them. It definitely made me more passionate about evolving with my blog.

I want to say a special thank you to Supercuts and the team at the Belfast branch for inviting me and making it a really enjoyable experience!