#StyleJarrod The Fashion Undateables with House of Fraser

Ahh Jarrod, a guy after my own heart! The socialising, the footie and a penchant for wacky eyewear.

Whilst the parrot and palm tree sun protectors might ruffle a few feathers, I fear it’s probably for all the wrong reasons! 

You’re displaying your fun side which definitely shouldn’t be squawked at but us ladies also need to see the sophisticated, grown-up gentleman you can be - especially on a first date where first impressions count!

Imagine the scene: You arrange to meet your date at a fancy restaurant but show up blurry eyed 20 minutes late (citing last nights socialising sesh as the reason). 

You're sporting an eye-wateringly jazzy shirt - the lads always give you mega banter about that one! 

And after the initial pleasantries the conversation quickly shifts to you explaining the offside rule with more passion than Jose Mourinho at a press conference after a Chelsea thrashing. 

...I'm assuming as you're from Highbury that you're a Gooner like me! 

But lets be frank. 

Your date's gonna have her bestie on speed dial with an emergency exit excuse quicker than you can explain that "two defenders have to be in front of the ball when it’s in play!"  

It's a truth universally acknowledged that as with novelty glasses, there is a time & a place for the offside rule - and a first date is not it. 

With the help of House of Fraser’s menswear I reckon I’ve honed the perfect outfit suitable for your casual afternoon pub date.

Whilst still suitable for a night out with the lads it doubles up perfectly for your lunchtime rendezvous. 

A versatile wardrobe staple which you’ll get plenty of wear out of. This one's difficult to fault!

Another menswear staple in a regular fit that scrubs up for a smarter style over the generic classic bootcut design. 

…which will also look rather dashing turned up and teamed with these classic Converse All Stars trainers. 

You arrived for your date in the midday sun, things are going well but it’s turned chilly in the pub garden. 

You’re getting on great so you’re definitely not ready to head home just yet - that’s where the Tommy Hilfiger Cliffdale Shawl Cardigan comes in handy. 

(Tip: Also works well around your date’s shoulders for extra gentlemanly points!
I see from your snap that headwear’s your thing. Why not compliment your look with this cool Criminal Pork Pie hat?
Hopefully you’ve hidden those sunglasses away (…well, until the 3rd date at least!) but that Wayfarer style really suits you! 

So why not accessories with these far-more-stylish Ray-Ban’s in a similar shape?

Feel the look is a little subdued for your personality? 

Well why not add the Ted Baker Organic Block Colour Socks? They’ll make for great conversation piece during the date, I know banter's your thing and it’s no coincidence that they happened to compliment your pork pie hat perfectly!

You could also add the Calvin Klein All Over Print Patterned Trunk in orange for another nod towards your cheeky charm. She may not see them for a while yet but if they're good enough for Becks, then they’re good enough for Jarrod, right?!

So Jarrod, I think we've established that if you keep House of Fraser's menswear in your dream team, that undateables tag will soon be kicked well into the relegation zone 

...& you'll soon be in a league of your own!

What do you think about how I've styled Jarrod for his casual pub date? 

This blog post is my entry to the House of Fraser’s "The Fashion Undateables" competition which you can read about over on the House of Fraser’s blog here 

You can enter too if you like but be quick! It closes on 7th Aug at midday. 

Benefit Puff Off! A Honest Review...


Hayfever. Arghhh! It’s particularly bad for me at this time of year with tree pollen out in full force. 

It’s not uncommon to find me waltzing around the streets of East London like a poor man’s airport hopping Kim Kardashian, scurrying about pretentiously in sunglasses to protect my eyes - even when it’s overcast. 

Admittedly usually I’m travelling to somewhere far less glamorous, like Tesco to buy Coco Pops and bananas.

Due to these pollen induced attacks and the inevitable allergy riddled evenings clawing at my eyes, the area around them is often a red, blotchy, swollen mess.

A year or so ago I’d started to add Soap & Glory’s Puffy Eye Attack to my skincare regime (when I could be arsed) after it being gifted in a press day goody bag. 

I was quite surprised with the results, I liked the gel-like consistency but hated the unhygienic grubby-finger-in-pot application.

I recently received Benefit’s latest launch: Puff Off!* An instant eye gel which claims to assist in smoothing out and alleviating puffiness around the eyes. 

My initial thoughts was that it was all a bit gimmicky. A funny little iron shaped applicator nozzle so you can literally ‘iron' out the creases.

The product does fit well with Benefit’s catalogue, 1950’s Americana glamour puss branding and from the Puff Off! PR I had seen which featured a distressed 50's pin up struggling with the woes of puffy eyes, further affirmed my first impressions.

  • I actually loved the applicator which I initially thought was a silly marketing gizmo.  No fingers in gunky pots and the shape of the iron means you get right into the nooks ’n' crannies. Not much dissimilar to a brick-layers trowel, which I’m reliably informed by wall building buddies (…yup, that’s right, friends in high places me) that it’s used for precise application in a similar way. Not that I’m likening our faces to concrete slabs but you catch my drift...

  • The consistency of the cream is nice, absorbs quickly and leaves a nice cooling sensation which is a welcome relief to my pollen sensitive eyes. 
  • The size of the tube. 10ml for £22.50 is daylight robbery if you ask me. The cardboard packaging luring you in from Benefit display stands is somewhat misleading to the product insides' actual size. If I’d had paid for this and the slightly-larger-than-sample-size tube plopped out onto my lap, it would have ironically caused puffy eyes from all the crying at me being swindled out of twenty quid.

  • I don’t think it actually did anything? Admittedly I’m fortunate not to have any bags or whatnot (yet) but after a few weeks of use the skin surrounding them felt no different to using my bog-standard moisturiser, although the initial cooling sensation was pleasant, albeit, temporary. 

If you have disposable income & you don’t mind your money Puffin' Off then it maybe worthy of a purchase just to see how it works for you. 

I love Benefit’s products generally and count myself a fan but unfortunately for me, the results and novelty of this costly minuscule sized iron quickly run out of steam.

Slimming World - Easy Chicken & Prosciutto Saltimaboca Recipe

Dun, dun, DUNNNNN! 

It’s usually around this time of year that the fear hits. 

The realisation that before long the season will dictate that I need to squeeze the winter weight I've gained into summer frocks whilst avoiding causing offence to anyone who glances my way. 

I’d usually start a faddy impossible-to-upkeep juice diet by now, before a drunken night out ending at a McDonalds puts paid to my new “healthy” juice regime 

...and yet another summer of self-consciousness ensues. 

18 months or so ago I joined Slimming World & successfully lost 2.5 stone. 

Slimming World is not a diet per say more of a lifestyle change. Food optimisation that sub-consciously becomes second nature in maintaining & yup, you can still eat chocolate too! 

Upon checking my blog's stats I noted one of the most viewed posts was a Slimming World recipe I published yonks ago. 

I've decided to make Slimming World related content a regular thing as it’s also something I enjoy reading about on others' blogs too (Like VIPXO’s recent Slimming World post) whilst hoping, quite selfishly, that it will encourage me to stick at it...

Don’t worry you don’t need to be following Slimming World to enjoy the meals, nor need any fancy pants equipment. 

I’m a novice in the kitchen and don’t have much time to spend prepping, so the recipes I post will be affordable and require minuscule skill and effort. So lets get started on recipe numero one then shall we!?

Chicken & Prosciutto Saltimaboca  
Syn Free (If using cheese as your Healthy Extra ‘a’ choice) 6 if not

You’ll need:
  • 3 Garlic (I’m lazy and use Tesco’s pre-chopped frozen garlic)
  • 150g Ricotta Cheese
  • 3 Tbsp Mixed Herbs
  • Chicken Breast Fillets
  • Proscitto (Parma Ham)

For Slimming World Chips:
  • Maris Piper or other floury potatoes
  • Salt or any seasoning you wish (Paprika…etc)
  • Fry Light

First up weigh 150g of your Ricotta cheese.

Chuck it in a bowl and add the garlic and mixed herbs.

Give it a good ol' twirl.

Next take out your chicken breast from the fridge and make slits to the side creating a little envelope style pocket. 

Remember to wash your hands when dealing with raw chicken, I know the goal is to loose weight but doing so via a bought of salmonella poisoning would. not. be. cool.

Next evenly (or messily like me) spoon the herby cheese mix into the pockets.

Then wrap the chicken in the ham, season, spritz with Fry Light & set aside. 

Preheat your oven to 200oc

Next up slice your tatty’s length ways around 1cm thick to create your chips. You could make wedges instead if you fancy.

Most SW recipes say to chuck them straight in the oven but I prefer to slightly par-boil mine for around 8 minutes so they’re guaranteed to be light & fluffy on the inside.

Drain, empty into a roasting dish and season with a little salt. 

Spray with Fry Light

Add both your chips and fancy pants chicken to the oven for 25 minutes. Ensure the chicken is cooked through before removing.

Take out, plate up & serve with seasoned veg or salad of your choice, et voila!

Deliciously healthy chicken & prosciutto saltimaboca.

….or cheesy chicken wrapped in posh ham if you’re common like me!

Do you follow Slimming World? Do you like recipe blog posts? 

New Nintendo 3DS XL - Worth The Upgrade? + Monster Hunter 4 Review

If you know what I mean when I say “Hyrule", A "blue shell" or the phrase “The shadow remains cast” then you're my kind of person!

I'm a huge Nintendo fan. The first time I managed to stay up all night was at my cousin's house playing Mario Kart on the N64. 

I still love it as much now aged 29 as I did back then, although apparently I’m more competitive in my old age? 

...I don’t know about that!

It’s no coincidence that I share the same birth year - 1985 - as my favourite gaming icon Mr Super Mario, who is now as recognisable worldwide as a certain famous mouse. 

Even my all-white Chihuahua is named Boo after the Ghost from the series. 

Jamie is also a lifelong gamer so between us we have quite the Nintendo collection!

We decided to upgrade our 3DS' to the recently released snazzy new version which hit the shelves a few weeks back.

I went for the 3DS XL which boasts all the original aspects of it's predecessor with souped up features adding to an even better game play experience. 

This includes stable face tracking 3D capabilities (admittedly I rarely played my old 3DS with the 3D switched on) 

Amiibo and AR card support is also a new addition, a feature which brings characters to life unlocking added content and bonus features. 

And not forgetting the circle pan and C-stick for comfort and further ease of use. 

The coloured buttons which hark back to the SNES days is also a cool nod to earlier Nintendo adopters amongst us & Jamie's favourite feature! 

Alongside my favourite Mario’s and Legend of Zelda's we were excited to try the latest Monster Hunter 4 Ultimate* title, the newest instalment in the popular Monsters Hunter series. 

Monster Hunter 4 is an action role-playing game which see's the player take on the role of a hunter.

This entails exploring lands and towns whilst undertaking multiple quests in battling creatures which unlock valuable equipment and weaponry along the way. 

This is the first time Monster Hunter 4 has featured on a handheld system where players can join friends for games via wifi, as well as the ability to play locally as in the past.

As with most Nintendo games the aspect which sets it apart from it’s competitors is the fact that it appeals to both sexes and all generations, whenever you're 7, 16 or 62 the title brings an equal amount of joy and entertainment for all. 

The same can be said for the accessibility of the console too. 

After umming and ahhing whenever it was worth upgrading, I’m so pleased I did. 

It's not just a superficial update for updates sake. You really have to see the 3D in action to appreciate the vast improvements of the tech. 

If portable gaming is your thing or you're looking for the perfect gift then I highly recommend considering the latest Nintendo 3DS consoles which come in both standard size and XL. 

It's the better stabilised 3D which is it's selling point for me, I found it to be much more comfortable on my short-sighted, tired eyes. 

So do you play video games? Have you ever owned a DS? Who's your favourite video game character? 

...I’ll be back in a bit, I’m just off to Sunken Hallow to hunt me some monsters!