all i want is cake and love
geekery, manchester, fashion, food + fun

blog

about me

contact

So a little while a go, I received and invite, it read:

“Calling all Manchester #CityExperts , foodies and science fans… you’re invited to join us for an experimental evening of food, drink and fun to celebrate the Manchester Science Festival.

You’ll have the chance to sample edible treats served in petri dishes, learn about molecular mixology whilst sipping on interactive cocktails and tuck into liquid nitrogen ice cream and edible mist.

What’s more, we’ll have world-renowned psychologist, Professor Charles Spence on hand to teach us about the multisensory science behind eating out. Come along to meet him and take part in his interactive foodie experiments.”

Boom.

I took along the other half to the Museum of Science and Industry (MOSI) and we had lots of fun. There was a edible mist which you had to suck through a straw (from what looked like a small, illuminated space ship – top photo!), little Google coloured dots (you had to bite into them to reveal the taste within), various pipette/beaker/petri dish delicacies AND a steampunk ice cream maker, complete with edible white chocolate cups!!

They had a scrumptious cookie and salted caramel ice cream and a rather more adventurous port and stilton….that was an experience.

The talk by Professor Charles Spence was really interesting – apparently in the future virtual sushi may be a thing!

I also really enjoyed the talk and interactive cocktails by two mixologists who spoke about the science behind creating tasty drinks. At this stage they brought out a very bitter and sour grape fruit mix in a beaker with a smaller cup of salt water. Fascinatingly, the concoction was much sweeter and palatable once they were mix together – apparently as the salt water brought out the sweeter flavours.

All in all it was another cracker from the Google City Experts event team.

You can see other photos and more information about the event and how to become a Google #CityExpert here.

 

IMG_2414

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

IMG_2355 IMG_2330 IMG_2336 IMG_2331 IMG_2346 IMG_2354 IMG_2358 IMG_2390 IMG_2396 IMG_2402 IMG_2403 IMG_2416

IMG_2382

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Share

Entertaining Interwebz

October 20th, 2014

I’ve decided, as and when something amuses me enough, I’ll share something funny I found online. This week it’s Elijah Wood and Daniel Radcliffe’s constant struggle against confused fans.

Daniel Radcliffe & Elijah Wood

Then as a bonus, this little beauty where someone asked Daniel during his Reddit AMA, “What’s it like being compared to Daniel BoringCliffe?”

xqWBsQr

Genius. And to be fair Daniel’s response and the fact he’s previously seen it made him go up in my estimations.

 

Share

For a while now I’ve been looking for a good laptop bag. I know this is a quest of many tech ladies who wish to get their geek on in style. You’d think this should be relatively easy, but it’s not. Sure, you can find heavily padded, industrial, ‘IT department issued’ looking bags, but finding a bag big enough to take a laptop, charger/s, notepad and papers whilst still looking stylish is a challenge, unless you have a significant wad of cash to spend on a high-end label.

Last time I was ruminating on the subject of fashionable but functional laptop bags, I was considering the Rabeanco Tbc Laptop Bag and Zookie’s range. In the end I went for the Zookie Castle Rock Laptopbag Grey 15?, but over the last year, I’ve found it to be a bit too small for my needs (ranging from day-to-day at the office to hopping on trains and airplanes on agency business). Therefore, I’ve gone and plumped for the Zookie Far Away Laptop Bag 17 “ and bought it from Shopsuey (a cute little German fashion site). The benefit of this being that, not only did I save a few quid as it was reduced from € 249.00 to € 129.00, but it was beautifully wrapped and I got a cheeky copy of Glamour in Deutsch which was novel!

It’s a lovely bag and perfect for a day trip or overnight stay when accompanied with a handbag or travel bag, plus it’s so versatile you can dress it up with a suit or down for a casual look as demonstrated below. If you’re looking for form and function for your laptop bag, you’d struggle to find a better place to start than Zookie. They originally started with just two bag styles, but have now developed their range in an assortment of colours and sizes, so you can pick one to suit your mood and your outfit!

 

IMG_1729IMG_1721IMG_1720IMG_1725Zookie laptop bagIMG_1728

Share

Last Thursday I was lucky enough to be invited to Google’s Secret Supper, a reward for being a Google City Expert. We were invited to Chetham’s School of Music where we were greeted by some beautiful canapés and Aviatrix cocktails by The Fitzgerald (complete with little paper aeroplane!). After being shown through to the dinner hall in one of the beautiful rooms within school, all accompanied by live music from Rachel Hillary,  we were seated to a delightful menu from the Disappearing Dining Club, as you can see below.

 

IMG_1024
 

In between courses we were shown around the exquisite library within the school. This is the oldest library in the English-speaking world with an amazing collection of books and maps as a result. In fact, we were honoured to see the earliest map of Manchester, a fascinating artefact of which the photo below does not do justice. In its past, the library has been famously visited by Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels.

 

IMG_1035

IMG_1041 IMG_1044IMG_1023 IMG_1014 IMG_1004
IMG_1055 IMG_1069 IMG_1074 IMG_1089


























































































After the tour we created our own Eton Mess and listened to music from Thugs On Wolves – who were quite frankly brilliant and really well suited to the event. We got talking to some of our fellow City Experts which gave me the opportunity to try on Google Glass for the first time, which was fun.

Then it was beer, photobooths and giggles time. All in all it was a great night – a big thank you to Katie, Zoë and the rest of the Google Local Mcr team!


IMG_1101

Share

My favourite blog

May 5th, 2014

I was recently contacted by the lovely people at Curry’s to take part in their blogger competition. All they were asking me to do was write a blog about my favourite blog and why. Relatively simple, no?

Apparently not! My first decision was that I was going to write this about the things I love and enjoy reading for amusement and relaxation. That’s not to say that reading about the world of social, technology and digital isn’t a passion or pleasure of mine, but there are so many differing topics, sectors, specifications and entertainment levels that it made it difficult to pick just one. I found myself swaying from Mashable to The Next Web to State of Digital. As they’re (and many more not listed!) all news sources for me, I found it difficult to pick an outright winner as they’ve all served me well at one time or another.

So, that’s when I went for fun. And again I struggled, I have a dear love for Refinery 29 for fashion, health & beauty, life tips and I also enjoy perusing indie bloggers such as my friend over at Sweaters and Sequins, but picking a *favourite* was like trying to pick a favourite song.

That’s when it struck me, Hello Giggles.

Screen Shot 2014-05-05 at 19.41.45

Ok, ok, it’s a bit of a cheat. It’s sizeable and it’s more of an online magazine covering a vast range of topics, but that’s sort of why I love it.  Not to mention the fact it was started by three talent women, including the gorgeous and very much girl-crushable Zooey Deschanel. It feels like it’s been written by a team of bloggers who have extracted thoughts from my head and combines serious issues with joviality.

For example, upon my brief daily jaunt across its pages today, I’ve learnt five very important things:

 

1. Hugh Jackman, Michael Fassbender & James McAvoy danced to Blurred Lines on The Graham Norton Show



2. An EINTKILF article about Topanga Lawrence-Matthews of Boy Meets Girl

That means Everything I Need To Know I Learnt From (yes, I had to Google it first time too). Aside from the fact it’s given me real nostalgia from a show I used to love growing up, it also has little gems in it such as:


tumblr_m6jpd0t1Ar1rnglk1

3.  Nailspiration: Accent Nails

Because…reasons.


Photo-Oct-06-8-53-57-PM-480x480

4. The creation of a Plus-Size documentary 

As well as entertainment it tackles difficult societal issues and because there are a number of bloggers you’re able to get different points of view and analysis of topics. The site covers a range of topics including body issues, feminism, politics and many others.

10154009_740172392682402_670287979619652074_n

 

It provides me with food for thought as well as cute animals,which brings me too….

 

5. 15 Animals We All Want To Squeeze

 

 red_panda-640x480

 
This is crucial journalism.

 

DISCLOSURE: This blog was written for the Curry’s #WonderBlog competition for a chance to win a HP Envy Recline 23-m120ea Beats Edition (worth £999.99) or an HP Envy Rove 20-k014us (worth £799.99). Follow the hashtag to see other bloggers favourite blogs.

 

Share

Lucha Libre

March 1st, 2014

Back on the 15th November we were lucky enough to be invited to the launch of Lucha Libre in the Great Northern complex.

IMG_8414 IMG_9348 IMG_8428

Mushroom quesadillas, chicken and chorizo quesadillas, numerous meat or haloumi deliciousness and all in bite-sized, nibberlable portions.

Screen Shot 2014-04-28 at 22.21.32

Not content with one visit in a month, we were back again not long after (a couple of weeks, not the next day!) to sample a full dinner spread which was equally delicious. We went again last week the sweetcorn and burritos were awesome and the Sangria was a lovely way to wash it down – I think more places in Manchester should serve it!

Screen Shot 2014-04-28 at 22.11.57

Super tasty with a fun and relaxing atmosphere. I’d recommend you give it a whirl if you’re going to be near the Great Northern.

Share

The Perfect Bag Hunt…

February 26th, 2014

Just before Christmas I fell in love with a bag. Ok, not in love with, but I’d convinced myself it was the perfect solution for all my everyday “lugging-my-entire-life-along-with-me” problems. Many women (I hope!) can empathise with the desire and motivation to find ‘The Bag’. Over time the requirements of ‘The Bag’ change, hence needed to buy more bags, but for me at this point the main points were that it:

a) Had to have a long strap so I could sling it across my body to run for public transport/important meetings/lunch

b) Need to have enough *sizeable* compartments to separate the inevitable trove that I tend to tow around with me

c) Be big enough to cart everything around, but no so big as to be cumbersome

d) Look smart and stylish enough to take to client meetings and other eventualities

In the Kate Spade Hamilton Heights Sloan I thought I’d found just this. But it wasn’t cheap – racking in at over $350 without shipping and customs.

Screen Shot 2014-04-28 at 22.29.34kate-spade-black-satchel-hamilton-heights-sloan-product-2-13874450-132802507

So imagine my delight when I spied this little beauty in the John Lewis sale. The COLLECTION by John Lewis Sparky Shoulder Bag was made from leather, had three sizeable compartments and a slightly longer strap than the Kate Spade beauty. Then I saw the price. £60 reduced from £120!

It was a no brainer and has proved to be a great decision. It’s all the criteria I was looking for rolled into one – plus I’ve received several compliments for it from people who thought it was designer! True to John Lewis standard, it”s a fabulous combination of function and form with leather than belies it’s actual price.

Sadly (for anyone but me), I managed to get the last one, but they do a laptop bag in the same range if you’re interested.

The perfect bag hunt is complete…for now!

b19c988644ceb030292003ec3ab415ed

Share

So I’m trying not to online shop and was innocently perusing Facebook when Domestic Sluttery posted up a post about Lisa Angel Scarves. Me being a sucker for an animal print, well, anything, couldn’t resist. And it was only ?12 or less – what a bargain!

Fox scarf for the win! Plus it comes in this gorgeous packaging with free pnp – happy days! :)

20131021-220050.jpg

20131021-220057.jpg

20131021-220106.jpg

20131021-220208.jpg

 

Share

For a long time now I’ve been a fan of the KBShimmer Oh Splat!? nail polish, but with it only being in available in The States it just wasn’t a viable option.

So, when I saw this Barry M Sequin Nail Effects polish I was super excited. They do it in other colours too and there’s a buy one get one half price offer on at the moment in Boots.

It bubbled a bit, but it does say to put a base coat on – which, me being me, I didn’t bother doing. I think the white would have stood out more too then, but I’ve had quite few compliments despite that.

Shiny, shiny.

Barry M Sequin Nail polish Barry M Nail Polish Barry M Sequin Effects

Share

So mega excited at the moment because I’ve just purchased this little baby…well, I say little, I’m actually hoping it’s quite sizeable. I had to send back the last bag I ordered online, because despite online pictures, I seem to have entirely made up the fact it was the perfect size in my head.

Anyhoo, here’s the puppy…or Madewell Kensington Satchel as it may actually be:

Screen Shot 2013-06-27 at 22.05.34

The thing that really excited me about it was the fact you can have it monogrammed (not ‘mammogrammed’, as I embarrassingly told a colleague this morning). I’ve plumped for the gold as I think it’ll stand out better against the brown. Even more excitingly, you can get $40 off with this Madewell Discount at Refinery29! Extra bargainous.

Screen Shot 2013-06-27 at 22.04.58
 

The only issue is that Madewell don’t actually ship to the UK, so I’ve had to order it via BundleBox, a mailbox or mail forwarding service, that will provide you a US address and then forward it onto the UK. I looked at various others such as, MYUS, Reship and ShipItTo, but the reviews didn’t look great. It was only after a recommendation from Paul Burley on twitter that I took the plunge.

Expect a post in two to three weeks time…if it actually arrives!!

madewell bag

Share
Proudly powered by Tom my boyfriend.
Copyright © Joanna Halton | manchester, fashion, food + fun blog. All rights reserved.