That's an offal lot of food - cooking with Jenius Social

That's an offal lot of food - cooking with Jenius Social

Excuse the TERRIBLE pun... it's was too good an opportunity to miss :-p Yup, I suck...

ANYWAY, thanks to my wonderful friend Charlie, I was invited to attend another blogger cooking class with Jenius Social. They have so many classes and events available, I'm pretty sure it won't be my last visit.

I got really excited by all the random food I had never heard of
I think this apron might be too big for me...
As I mentioned in a previous post, I'm quite picky with food, especially meat on the bone, so cooking with offal is never something I would have considered but if I had turned down this opportunity, I'm sure I would have regretted it. Plus, it's not very often you can say 'yeah, I did that thing'.

I had no idea what all this stuff was...
ALL the spices!

When we arrived, we found out that there was more than one class happening that evening, being asked if you were here for the cheese tasting made me really jealous because I obviously wanted to do that and eat all the cheese. However, I did know that our class was going to be more fun so was quickly presented with one of those never ending glasses of wine and an apron that made me look even smaller than I already am!

Our lovely chef and teacher
When we were in the kitchen, everything had been all set out for us and we had some time to take a gander and try to work out what everything was! Only the pigs ears were the most obvious to me!

After initially being grossed out by all the things, it was time for a demonstration on how it should all be cooked. Obviously, ours were not going to turn out the same way!

Making tortillas! 
Now this looks yummy
I'll give you three guesses what these are - not chicken breasts!
Cooking the above

There was always no way our would look this good

The difference between the class with Jenius Social compared to the other one was that there was a much smaller group of us, and even though there was only one chef rather than 3, it felt a lot more intimate and he made sure to come around and help everyone out, even if you were asking the simplest of things.

We also got to actually cook! Last time, we were mainly doing the prep and even though it was really helpful to learn how to skin and bone fish, I much prefer the actual cooking part, seeing the end result and knowing you did that.

It was finally time to get stuck into it, and I once again had to deal with that thing where I can't handle meat on the bone... shredding Trotters was my first job...

Can't believe I'm actually smiling here!

Some of the other girls had a lot more fun with their pigs ears and tongues!

However, Charlie and I had so much fun slicing and preparing TESTICLES! That's right, testicles. It was like something from I'm a celebrity and there was always a moment where fellow bloggers were squeezing between us to take photos, some of which were sent to boyfriends out of sheer hilarity...

Judging by the pictures above, I don't think we did a bad job!

Standing on a chair is the perfect vantage point!

The testicles look like chicken nuggets!

When it was finally time to eat I made sure I gave everything a go and ended up eating oxtail, tongue, trotters and ears! Something I never thought I would do. Some of it was surprisingly delicious but I don't think I'll be cooking any of it at home...

There are so many different classes available, I already have my eye on the bread making class as it's something I have always wanted to master, if you want to take a look for yourself, all their classes and events are listed here.

Disclaimer: I was invited to attend this class free of charge, prices for all other classes vary.

All the essentials - What every girl needs to get through life

All the essentials - What every girl needs to get through life

This isn't going to be one of those posts where I sit here and tell you what you MUST buy,  I just happen to think there are a couple of things that are essentials in every beauty routine. I may be completely wrong.

Everyone has a signature look but there are a couple of things out there that will automatically make a girl explode with joy. Even if you don't use them every day, you know they're there and you can have a look for any occasion without worry.

For me, the ultimate essentials are:

The perfect red lipstick

This is actually surprisingly hard to find! Obviously everyone has different skin tones and with me some shades can end up making me look like Morticia Addams. It may be perfect for Hallowe'en but certainly not for a job interview.

Got to love a little pout

After trying what felt like all the lipsticks in the world I have finally found THE lipstick that I can't live without. It's not a fancy brand and it's really not expensive. 

Topshop have released this beautiful shade for their Red Lippy Project where you can raise awareness for cervical cancer in style. It's a fantastic concept and 30% of their proceeds go towards the project. Better yet, it's only £8 and is long lasting so fewer stains on my coffee cups throughout the day. If you want to give it a go and pout for a good cause, you can get it here.

Moisturise girls!

I'm going to be honest, I'm still pretty rubbish at this as I always forget at night but it's reach that point in life where soon there will be no escaping the ageing process. But I can damn well try.

Moisturising for me isn't just about keeping my skin silky soft or fighting back the inevitable lines that I have convinced my elf are starting to appear. Moisturising just makes you feel amazing as well, even when I have been horrendously hung over and hating the world, I just slap on my moisturiser and I automatically feel fresh faced and ready to deal with humanity.

Everyone will have different tastes, a girl I know uses cocoa butter because it gives her the ideal base for her makeup no matter what the weather, but if you're like me and have horridly dry skin/Eczema/Psoriasis I use the Eucerin Even Brighter Day and Night creams. I'm a lucky sod and got mine as a gift a few months ago and normally £22.50 would be a little steep for me but now I know how good it is, I'll never use anything else.

A signature scent

Everyone loves smelling good and have you noticed how certain smells can make you remember the strangest things? It might sound a little strange but I like the idea of if people smell my perfume, they automatically remember me. I do it all the time, like one of my closest friends uses a Ginger perfume and whenever I smell it in Lush I remember about that thing I need to get back to her about or organise drinks soon. You know, that kind of thing.

After trying many and have loads littering my beauty cabinet, my all time favourite is Marc Jacobs 'Lola', not only does it smell absolutely amazing but even looking a this exciting bottle makes me happy. I'm reaching the end though so soon I'll have to make an emergency trip to boots!

A bloody good mascara

Sometimes the cheap ones just don't cut it unless you get lucky. I've found that they're either icky and clumpy or end up streaming down your face the moment you get a sweat on and neither are pleasant. With mascara, there's no point in spending so much time on your face if you ignore the lashes, your look won't have quite the same impact. Even if you just haven't had time to do your whole makeup routine, just applying a bit of mascara can make a world of difference and make you look like you've put all the effort in.

Excuse the glitter!!!

After some discussions with friends and in the office, we have all reached a mutual agreement that Benefit's 'They're Real' is the best mascara in the whole world. Worth the splurge, doesn't run and gives your lashes a long fan-like appearance. Love it.

Always have a back up hairspray

This is one of the many things my mum taught me that I will never forget. Even if you don't use it a lot, you'll never know when you're going to need it. I normally keep one in my desk at work for one of those unplanned trips to the pub when you need a bit more oomph. 

A pocket mirror

This one is completely common sense really but we've all had those moments where we've woken up late, done our makeup in a rush and feel a right mess when we realise we have a big foundation streak along our jaw line. Buy cheap old 99p thing from Superdrug or even a cornershop, throw it in the depths of your handbag and know you'll always have one for emergencies.

What do you think are the ultimate essentials in a beauty routine?

For the love of books - exciting trip to Foyles

For the love of books - exciting trip to Foyles

In case you haven't realised, I'm an absolute book fiend, I have probably spent more money on books over the years than I have on shoes and that's really saying something!

Last month my good friend Charlie and I parted ways after two years of living together. It turns out it was time to grow up and live with boys! Considering we're no longer going to see each other every day (which still feels strange), we're going to spend more time meeting up and doing random things.

Our first 'Friend Date' involved coffee and book browsing in the new Foyles flagship store and it was fantastic. It's absolutely bloody massive. Complete heaven. It has every book you could possibly imagine, we even found the Harry Potter books in Latin! I was completely kicking myself when my phone died and I couldn't take a photo.

Foyles from the first floor
Obviously, spending a couple of hours in a book shop is just a disaster waiting to happen because I have absolutely no self control. As can be seen by the state of our basket when we were only half way around the shop.

Probably picked up too many books...
One of the first sections was the (what seemed like a) never ending food section. We both absolutely adore cooking and the idea of having more recipes to hand fills with me with joy, I always like to try something new. My boyfriend has already been introduced to some of my new favourites after my book trip.

One of my favourite sections in any book shop is the sci-fi and fantasy section, it's full of some of my favourite authors and any book you'll get from there will just whisk you away to a whole new world and adventures you'll never want to leave. Well, they do for me anyway!

Absolutely loving this sign. 
While walking around my favourite section, I had to convince myself out of buying new copies of books I have already read, and authors I already new I enjoyed and ended buying a random book off a random shelf just because I liked the cover (bad book lover).

Realising we had gone a little bit over board, the time had come to sit in a corner and work out what we were going to get as the basket was far too heavy. Charlie and I both love people reading to us and the best way to choose between all the books we had picked up along the way was to have one of us read blurbs aloud with the other deciding which sounded the most interesting. We ended up cutting down our haul by half and I spent a lot less than I expected.

Charlie having to choose... difficult.
All in all, the Foyles flagship store may be my new favourite place in the world and I will be going back on my birthday! *counts down the days*

What was the last book you bought?