Thursday, 17 October 2013

Accessories, glitter and bitches.

Okay so in one of my other blogs I was ratting on about my whole shirt and skinnies look, right? Well now I want to tell you about my favourite accessories for this season.

So lets start off with my like new arm. I was never really a handbag girl until recently but I am totally glued to this one. 

Behold...


I saw it in House of Fraser and literally started salivating - it was kinda gross. Like I have been glued to it. I usually have an allergy like aversion to the Italian fashion house and its labels, idk I just found the old LOVE MOSCHINO that was usually strewn across everything they had in their collections irritating, especially the belts... ugh they annoy me so bad, but this emblem is so pretty and the overall look of the bag is just so elegant in an understated way and what girl doesn't like something that looks pretty, elegant and understated! Big handbags are just so handy and when you have OCD and you need to carry a hundred and one things it is just the thing! You don't have to spend £150 + to get a nice big elegant handbag: Newlook, River Island, H&M and such have lots of bags that will float your boat.

Okay next are something that I love and have my fingers crossed will take off like they should: Collar clips and brooches, yes I did write brooches. They aren't for the elderly and hipsters. So I fell for these when I was wonder around Swarovski and saw this...
http://www.swarovski.com/Web_US/en/5030456/product/Swarovski_By_Shourouk_Golden_Brooch.html and idk I just fell in love with it instantly, then I saw a set of wing collar clips and I was like omg they would look so nice on my black shirt but I didn't like the colour. So yeah I'm still looking for some! But yeah, looking online there are some really cute ones that would just set off any outfit. Topshop have some really nice brooches, River Island have a few collar clips, Claires has a few pretty adoarble ones, I liked a couple in House of Fraser (btw who is Fraser?) but I have found that if you have like a statement necklace you can easily wear in under your collar and have the main bit hang quite neatly inbetween the gap, it looks just as cute :)

I have a collection of quite chunky very intricate bangles that I have accumulated over my little life and I'm finding they really go well with a simple outfit and also appear to be in atm. Everywhere does them and everything goes with them - Accessorize has a wonderful collection that I may have to go and raid at some point when I am better (oh wait I forgot to tell you! I burnt myself on my hip and thigh with boiling hot water! It was so bad! I had two massive blister and now it's just raw skin that is killing - I keep spraying them with that spray on plaster shit, but the one that I have has like antiseptic in it so it like kills like an utter bitch when I put in on! You can hear me screaming and making funny faces like fifteen minutes later... was anyone else taught to always write numbers out unless they were like a number over idk 100?), I also have a massive collection of custom bracelets from a little shop in Leeds called Yum Yum beads - it is a phenomenal place, I literally spend shed loads in there and they have so many beautiful beads, like Swarovski Crystals and really intricate charms so I tent to layer my wrists with them too. Cuffs are really in atm as well, also super versatile.

I am loving the whole Baroque earrings - they are so vintage (without wanting to sound like a douche). They just look so cute with a simple outfit and totally exude elegance. Also earcuffs are so cute I hoping they would take off. Both available pretty much anywhere and so easy to match up with clothes.

I'm bestotted with the whole chunky chain thing too. They featured heavily in the Chanel Fall/Winter '13 collection - Lagerfeld had them in hair, as necklaces, belts and even bag straps. I think its like a twist on the whole statement necklce thing.

Grunge seems to be peaking into a hell of a lot of collection but keeping it elegant, leather jacker, big boots but also really intricate, dark jewelry - love it!

So checking out the sites and I see a few really stupid trends like Dragonfly/Beetle look fabrics and prints urgh. Why would I want to look like I have insects on my nails, Miss Sporty do a nailvarnish like that. Matching is really in atm apparently T_T why? Like we spend so much time wanting to look idk nice and sort of put together but like the whole head to toe in one colour as far as I am concerned is just as bad as double denim. Wtf is up with fluffy things recently as well? Like I want to look like a grown up not one of Gwen Stenfani's Harijuku girls. And OMG has anyone else noticed the Tartan everywhere? At the begining of the season I saw it in Topshop (I think) and said it would be big for a while atleast and it is. It's so stupid, the only women on the planet who can pull off tartan without looking like a scottish transvestite is Vivienne Westwood - that women makes it look Dayum! Animal print is everywhere at the moment and I really cannot see it, like leopard print and such was always relegated to mutton-dressed-as-lamb but now it is on everything. It's total vom-central. Someone please stop it. Crystal hats like the beanies and baseball caps what the actual mother fuck is up with that shit? Who the hell came up with that it is so stupid plus its like Autumn - it's not even wooly hate season yet. Stacking rings? Anyone get these? I just thing they look really tacky. 


Blues really seem to be right now as well. I'm personally loving powder pastels, beiges, black, dark mossy greens, cream and loving as always white!

Nail colours are a fun this season - nudes are really in but so are 3D accents, black is totally back (matte and glossy) as are funky black accents! They are super cute and twists on monochrome prints are so it, I'm loving metallic nails too - Barry M do some super ones, Oxblood is a new one to me but it is meant to be like a brownish red colour and is all over cat walks recently! Now on to lipstick/eye makeup - the whole cat eyeliner thing has been all over the models for the likes of Fendi, Kenzo, Jason Wu and Micheal Kors - I personally don't like it because I cannot pull it off, but if you can go ahead! Orange eyeshadow - omg don't even ask me I don't like it. RED LIPS!! YAY!! Lol you can never go wrong with red lips. Oscar De La Renta, Emporio Armani and Marc Jacobs have been loving this look! But not just bright red, but that deep wine colour too. Glitter is in! Sparkles around the eyes seems to be showing up! I love anything to do with glitter and as such am loving this trend but I definitely will not be trying this look out, but if you are brave Barry M do an amazing range! 

Hair seem to have changed much this season - cute, soft, messy ponytails, clear cut partings, Ombre hair is here to stay- which is kinda cute cuz it worked so well in the summer!, the grungey wet look is popping up here there and everywhere- everyone from Jason Wu and Prada to VB and Dior are doing it, classy/retro updoes, cute fringes, the whole messy, wavy cute look is in but also the slick, straight do has come into its own, intricate accessories, sweet braids and big voluminous hair work really well too.


So have fun with your look and play about!

Love,

Monica
         xxx

Wednesday, 9 October 2013

Mumtaz - An Appreciation Blog


Mumtaz is the restaurant my husband and myself consider as ours. Like you know you have your song and your spot - they mean something to you for a special reason and are always in your heart. You'll always choose them over pretty much anything.

Before I moved to Leeds my husband told me about Mumtaz. He told me every little detail from the canal-side location and how breath-taking it is at night to the stunning chandeliers and mats they keep in the bathrooms that they change accordingly with the days of the week. He even told me about the gentleman who plays piano for the entire restaurant.

It was safe to say I was in love with Mumtaz before I even stepped foot in it.

As you know from previous blogs I am from a Restauranteur background, my Dhada was one, my parents, relatives and most of their friends are too. I've grown up in the food industry. From bus boys and head chefs to the Maitre'd and the untrained waiter I have seen them all. At the age of 13 I was able to predict if a new member of staff would be able to cut it or not. My Maa spent hours with me planning menus, typing up drafts for the printers and taught me what good food was. My earliest memories are of restaurants. The buzz when it's busy - waiters flying around, the sizzling sounds, the flashes of fire in the kitchen, the clinking from the bar and the incessant, indistinguishable chatter of customers... It's all a comfort to me, like home. I miss it sometimes but hey, I'm a home girl. With Asian establishments I tend to be very critical and terribly obtuse but with Mumtaz I literally cannot do anything but be happy. Mumtaz makes me feel like I did when I was three-years-old in my Dhadas place, it makes me feel small (in a good way), awed, safe and at home. I love it and I genuinely mean that. I love Mumtaz. 

Now to explain why I love Mumtaz as a place... If this was your first encounter with it, you would too... 

The first time I stepped inside Mumtaz was the day after my wedding day. Me and the hubby had driven for hours from Faringdon near Exeter to Leeds and I needed to get changed into my wedding dress (I didn't want to walk into my new home in my normal clothes), so we grabbed my stuff and walked into Mumtaz and asked if I could quickly use the bathroom, they obliged and I walked into the bathroom, got changed and freshened up. I took a long hard look at myself. Nineteen, bright orange wedding mehndi patterned my arms and palms, in a wedding dress- I looked like a happy bride. It made me smile. I remembered the day before my makeup artist saying how I was such a calm bride, I felt calm. That glow they say you get, I know I had it. (Quick shout out to Rheanne and Freya! You two were such stars!)

It hadn't occurred to me I would have to walk out of the bathroom where no one could see me until I was actually doing it, nearly every single set of eyes was on me... I hate attention, my husband says I'm socially retarded and tbh I kinda am but... I'll admit it... I felt like a princess. It must have been how Cinderella felt when she walked into the Ball. But unlike Cinderella my husband was waiting for me, he had already done all that crap that Prince Charming had to. 

He was staring at me too. The exact same look he had when he got to see me after I was all done up on our wedding day the day before, the exact same look.

We said our thank you, walked out and went home. 

Like a fairytale right? Lol. Tell me you wouldn't love it? If you can say it and mean it I will give you a shout out on here. 

Me and my husband go to Mumtaz so often that the Maitre'd knows us and when we haven't been for a while he gets worried. Me and my husband plan how our kids are going to know all the staff and run around like all the other kids do. The staff at Mumtaz are so lovely. Like literally I have never met staff that are so nice, (apart from at my Maa's but they are family and have to love me) they are a credit to the whole Mumtaz name. They are attentive, caring and dutiful. They are well mannered and beautifully presented. They are full of suggestions and chatty in a friendly manner. Me and my husband spend at least three hours at one single restaurant (we feel we do it properly, you aren't just going to eat - it is and always should be an experience. If by the end of a meal out you don't feel ready for bed you aren't doing it right) but never have we felt rushed, not even when they are ultra busy and have no tables. We have stayed well past closing time and been the only table there but they have never made us feel like we need to get going. 


Not once in over a year that we have been going to Mumtaz on a regular basis have we ever made a reservation but we always get a table next to the window overlooking the canal. Idk there is something about Clarence Dock at night that could (and has) bring me to tears. One of my favourite things to do in Leeds is grab a coffee and sit on the massive steps in Clarence Dock listening to the church bells (I love church bells so freaking much, idk why don't ask me). I remember last New Years we spent it at Clarence Dock- the water reflecting the fireworks, parties from every other flat, kids and adults milling around and just this awesome vibe. It was a good New Years.

As soon as you walk in you are hit by the grandeur of it all. Huge black chandeliers, marble floors, sweeping curtains, tassels the size of my upper body, the giant abstract musical instruments and these shapely, ornate furniture. The decor, I'm told, cost over two million pounds to achieve which really isn't surprising. The bathrooms are always clean and match the rest of the restaurant decor wise. It's eponymous sister in Bradford (I haven't been yet but my husband has) is apparently stunning as well but is more focused on food.

OMG the food. They have such an imaginative menu and are happy to alter anything on the menu for you, my husband is allergic to egg and we have never had any problems with the food or it's ingredients. Between us (and all the times we have gone) I'm pretty sure we have tried just about everything on the menu and depending on the chef that is preparing the food it ranges from amazing to perfect (this is a blog about how amazing Mumtaz is and how I think everyone should know how amazing it is so it probably is a liiiiiitle biased but meh), I am terribly picky about my sea food, particularly king prawns but they get it so right. My husband hasn't ever had a complaint (or if he had I have beeped it out!), their meat is always done just right, their chicken is never dry. Their flavours are complex but always well matched and blended. There isn't a bland thing on the menu. And if you are a chilli psycho or chilli-aphobic they cater to that too, asking you when you order how spicy or mild you would like your food and they really stick to it. My husband is a bit of a heat fanatic and always asks for everything to be hot but he always says it's not just heat there are still really palatable flavours that accentuate the meat and over all dish. I am a little more flavour orientated and not too found of heat so I tend to alternate between mild and medium and again I have no complaints. It's all very homely somehow- such elaborate dishes still manage to fill you up and taste like they should. 

I am a total pain when it comes to eating but I am so good when I'm there, I will eat a full meal and not complain once.

They are an alcohol free zone as far as I know, but they have an extensive soft drinks list including fizzy drinks, sparkling grape juices and fruit juices, they also have a number of very delicious mocktails - I rarely order any other drinks when I eat out, they last a whole meal and if picked correctly complement the meal too. You'll always find something to go with your meal. They even have their own drinks line which does include some lassi. I myself don't really like lassi but that's me. 

They have a wonderful desserts menu that covers all angles. Numerous light Kulfis, decadent ice creams, cakes and Asian sweets are all on display and make you turn into a little kid- I recommend the banana and chocolate/vanilla ice cream, the rasmalai and... All of the cakes.  I've tried nearly all of them and OMG they are all so good. I always have room in my little belly for dessert even if it means just chilling and talking for half an hour until I have room! They are exceptionally presented, with little wafer twists, fans and such. They also have a list of coffees - if I can persuade the hubby I love a double shot of espresso after a meal. 

The two Mumtaz are run by two brothers as far as I know, I see the brother in the Leeds branch every time I go, as you may know from previous blogs I lost my Dhada last year nearly year ago now and everyday I miss him, I don't think he knew how much he really meant to me but when I'm in Mumtaz and I see the owner milling around in the kitchen and at the front of house I miss my Dhada a little less. My heart breathes for a second. 

I don't know what the brothers set as their goals when they started up the business' - I'm sure it was similar to others like provide for their family, see their dream come to life, you know the usual but I'm pretty sure they didn't ever think they would help a young girl with the grief of losing her grandfather - the only man before her husband that never let her down or make her feel at home in a place she has never even set foot it like a new bride coming home or help a young couple fall in love even more with every time they visit. 

I'm sure they have sisters, daughters and nieces and a little bit of me is jealous of all of them as they are very lucky because if that's how the restaurant makes me feel I can't even begin to imagine what their home must feel like. 

I'd like to say thank you to the whole Mumtaz family- for making me feel like a little kid, for helping me a little with my confidence, for helping me adjust to the loss of my Dhada, for making me feel safe, for helping my husband get me to eat without complaint, for helping me relax my husband and too many other things to list.

Thank you for being such a massive part of my adjusting to Leeds, being married and growing as a person.


As always, lots of love 

Monica
             xxx

Monday, 7 October 2013

Awesome mooooovies to watch!!!!


You know when you have one of those duvet days where literally you can't move your lazy arse off of the sofa. I usually read until I fall asleep but I do love movie days so I thought I'd post a blog about movie days and my favorite movie to watch. 

Grab your bowl of popcorn/golden nuggets cereal, make it cosy and let's run down my top 10

1) Mean Girls
It's our generations film. It is the most quotable movie of teen history, it's before Lindsey Lohan went coo-coo-ca-choo and it just... MEAN GIRLS!!! If I need to sell this movie to you or you haven't watched it then I'm disappointed in you. Quick shout out to Sham?! "On October 3rd he asked me what day it was", "it's October 3rd" *dreamy look* LOL!

2) Pitch Perfect
You want to laugh then Pitch Perfect is totally your film. Fat Amy will keep you giggling through out! The tracks will make you sing along and at the end you'll be fist pumping! Anna Kendrick is so good in this and Rebel Wilson is ultra funny too. 

3) What to expect when you're expecting 
OMG! Such a good movie. It'll have you laughing, crying and dreading pregnancy lol. Don't expect it to be all loving and warm. The film tackles parent anxiety and some heavy things but in a really delicate way. It's amazing how they managed to intertwine all the couples too. 

4) The Watch
Piss yourself funny. I'm not even joking. This film is so awesome, you will be quoting random bits of it for ages. Richard Ayoade is hilarious in it and you will not see the twist coming. Seriously funny as fuck, crude and kinda explicit. I wouldn't watch this with your mum... I would watch it with my mum though. 

5) Ted
OMG I remember when this came out Magic Mike was out at the same time and I remember hearing someone say "it was the first time men wanted to watch a film about a teddy bear and the first time women wanted to watch a movie about strippers. Seriously though everyone's girl crush Mila Kunis and Seth McFarlen playing a teddy bear what more could you ask for. If you are singing the thunder song next time you hear thunder you just aren't right!

Idk I have a soft spot for anything with Jonah Hill in. He is like the at little brother everyone wants. Seeing both Tatum and Hill as teens will make you pee. Ice Cube also make a few awesome appearances. Give it a watch!

7) Horrible Bosses
So so so funny. Jennifer Aniston like you have never seen her before (Apart from in We're the Millers) and the other two bosses are just like the ones at work that you hate. The whole thing is ridiculous and outrageous but just far too funny. 

8) Identity Thief
You can tell right from the beginning filming this was so much fun! Bateman and McCathy are so good together on screen! You really start to feel for both characters and get sucked into the film. Great laughs and good lessons. It's a blast. 

9) The Hangover
This is the pinnacle of random. Just utter fun. You will feel the shock, disgust and crazy. So many moments you'll just be like WTF. We have all watched it but its so much fun to watch again!

10) Avengers Assemble
Even if you just watch it for Robert Downey Jr. It's a great film! We love the Hulk!! It's such a great fun family film. Fights scenes are epic! 

That's my awesome film list. What's yours?


Love,
Monica 
            xxx

How not to kill your bf/husband

Okay I am in about the worst mood ever to be writing about how to live with your male counterpart but I am hoping by writing this it will help me to understand the damn Martians. 

Just like a few tips. 

1) If you can add the sentence "it's not that hard" to the end of your point - it's a stupid point to be making. If it's not difficult it means it's not really that important. Things like leaving the toilet seat up or leaving clothes lying around aren't really something to start an argument about. If it's so annoying  have a chat. Or leave a post-it note. A simple bright yellow post-it with red writing saying "please flush me" or "put me in the washing basket" does wonders. 

2) Make decisions together. If you have that kinda relationship, if you two sort of do your own thing then fair okay but if you are a couple that value each others opinions then talk about things together. Little things like what you want for lunch or what chores you share to big things whether you want a baby or whether you should get a smear test. Talking and making decisions together brings people closer. Plus it's helps you not be the sole burden carrier with a choice. If it was a bad one then you both made it. If it was a good one - you both made it. You're in a relationship, it's a two way thing. Give and take. Listen and talk. You have to see the other persons view (gosh this is making me feel really guilty. I guess I was wrong) and help them understand yours. 

3) Space. You both had lives before each other, and do therefore have things you like to do without the other. You don't have to be joint at the hip. You don't have to do everything together. The things you enjoy sharing are the things you should share. For example every now and again I like to go off and just wander by myself. Maybe grab a coffee and go sit by the river at Clarence Dock (OMG I must call people dick more that I think. My phone just changed Dock to Dick like 10 times. Hahahhahahahaaa). Your friends don't want to see you and your other half all the time. Sometimes it's just nice to have a girly chat and like wise, dudes are perfectly within their right to go out with the lads for a drink and a chat up. I try to push the hubby to see his mates but he is always too sleepy. Don't be "that" girl. Don't let his mates all him whipped. But there is a line. Like saying "don't get too hammered, be back by 12 and no strip clubs" is totally acceptable if you aren't comfortable with that kind of thing. 

4) Girliness. Okay we are girls and we have our own mess just like guys can't pee without painting the walls yellow we do have our own form of yuck. Keep your hair out of the plug hole/hairbrush. You might not mind it looking Chubaca died there but they do. Tampons and pads, bin them discreetly. Don't leave your makeup everywhere. Oh and use dry shampoo sparingly, as a one off or as a styling agent - fine. But as a replacement for the real thing on a regular basis... Just equals a smelly lady. Don't do it.

5) Make an effort. Date night, cooking something nice, even just spritzing a little perfume on. All make a difference. Your other half loves you regardless (I was so tempted to put irregardless lol. I Miss Ugly Betty!) but it doesn't hurt to change out of the pyjamas and wipe the ice cream of your cute little face every now and again. Dates nights are a must! Once a month at least. You don't have to go out to a restaurant and watch a movie or to clubs and bars. You could just get all the pillows, blankets, duvets and hot water bottles on the sofa or bed and watch a movie! Ice cream, home made popcorn or nachos are all great. Or cook a meal together! Even if its just beans on toast, the fact you did it together and for one another is super sweet. A lot of the time you will find it so much more cosy and yummy to stay in.

6) Make an effort in that department. Ladies, men aren't mind readers; bless them they can barely listen to their own minds - if you want to try something new, speak up! Lying there and waiting for it to finish so you can go to sleep is a straight road to Spiltsville. Too many women say the can't be bothered because they don't have the energy, I get you're busy and in this day and age women are independent and working but sex isn't a waste of time. It's good for you. It makes you happier, keeps you young, keeps you connected, boosts your immune system, relieves stress and I'm pretty sure if he's getting from you and you from him, there is a slightly less chance he will cheat. Never accept it if he does but don't be so naive as to not to expect it. 

7) Argue - For a valid point. Arguing is the best form of therapy. You're feeling something, you get it out there. Bottling it up only causes pain on your part and confusion on his. Arguing is healthy, if everything was roses and daisies all the time shit would get boring. You know a person better for the times they lie and say things they don't mean. Plus people usually tell the truth when they are upset, it may be embellished but there probably is a smidgen of truth in there somewhere. Scream, shout, but never get physical. Laying a hand on another human being us rarely ever justifiable. Remember you're angry but you do love this person.  

8) You. Relationships can bring great changes in a person. For example - confidence and trust but don't become a whole different person just to suit your other half, then they aren't in love with you, they are in love with the person you have created for them and that's not fair plus your family and friends will get left behind and they were there for you before you got into a relationship.

9) Never bitch about them to someone else. Ever. Just don't do it. It only ever leads to trouble. Everything has context but if you are reading something or hearing something you just don't know the context. You may hear a malicious rumour that your partner has said you're a really slutty girlfriend but all he was saying was he likes your confidence in bed and how you aren't hung up on your body. It's all context. You're pissed off as want to rant or scream - call a neutral trusted person and have a chat, write it down in your notes on your phone swearing to your hearts content or even just wait until you've calmed down and then have a chat with your other half. There could be a perfectly reasonable explanation to what has be going on. But don't be thick, if you find out he's been cheating or something sounds fishy - say "that sounds fishy". 

10) We aren't always right. Women of the world I know it's hard to confess that we are wrong but of you are just do it. He'll respect you for holding your hands up and saying "I'm sorry, I was wrong". But don't be a pussy if you're right, just really make sure you are. Men aren't thick, slow and maybe a few years behind us but not thick and if you've found one to love you and that you love treat him right. With all the respect he deserves. We aren't always right. We do take forever to get ready, we are melodramatic and we are bitchy. We are most definitely the root of all evil, but we make it look good. We are most definitely a headache, but we're small and cute. And we are most definitely a grade pain in the ass. Face it. Own it. Don't like it? Change it. 

Ugh. I feel a bit better now... Still a bit antsy and annoyed but better. Blogging always makes me less stressed... That and chocolate. Idk my relationship isn't perfect but it's a damn sight better then some. When it's good it's phenomenal, when it's bad it's still pretty good. I want a toffee apple •_•" sometimes I could just squish his head with kisses and like I want to love him so much I might like actually love him to death, like remember Darla from Nemo, kinda like that and other times I could just squish his head... Ugh. But I do love him no matter what... Even when I want to squish his head. 


What are your favourite things about being in a relationship?


Love,

Monica
            xxx