Wisdom Teeth…Why?

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Just why? Why do wisdom teeth actually exist?

I’ve been happily chomping away with this many teeth for 20 years. Honestly mouth, I don’t need any more!

Mine have been inching their way through for as long as I can remember and the dreaded things have finally began to surface; like tiny thorns of pure evil. Did I mention that with these new pointy intruders comes an array of unexpected discomforts and spontaneous facial morphing?

It’s like:

Oh, you think you look cute today Maddie? Not any more.’ *start drooling uncontrollably*

So you’re enjoying that food huh? How about now? *gum swells to the size of a small planet*.

But the swelling doesn’t stop there, oh no. The little nubs from hell time it perfectly so that the whole side of your face balloons on the worse day possible. Yes, like the day of that party you’ve been waiting for all week. Or worse, the morning of a job interview. You have everything planned to a T but no one can see past your hideous, lop sided face situation long enough to notice your Oscar worthy ‘Basically…I’m Superwoman‘ interview spiel.

Then just to make it all worth it, after you suffer for years waiting for them to blossom into the full grown food grinders they’re meant to be, you’re dentist decides they’re cramping your already perfectly adequate teeth and rips them from your head for funzies. Topping off the all round torturous ordeal, by handing you a bill for a few hundred quid.

Thanks wisdom teeth for being a useless pain in the face.

PurelyMad Is On YouTube!

Remember how I said I was going to start a YouTube channel? Well…..I kinda did.

Here’s my first video, I’d love it if you popped over to check it out. You’ve all given me great support and feedback with my blog and I’m so grateful so I’d hugely appreciate any video love too!

I’ve uploaded a couple of other videos since if you fancy a peruse.

I’ll still be posting here as regularly as I have been but if you fancy something to watch rather than read feel free to subscribe to my channel too 🙂

Thanks team!

x

Dumpling Soup and Chilli Beef – New Culture Revolution

Don’t you love when you find a new little gem of a restaurant? Today I popped into a hugely understated one that, I kid you not, I have walked past at least 50 times. It’s called New Culture Revolution.

The outside is very plain and inside minimalist which makes it easy to pass by without a second thought. But today, after a few hours of strolling round the Angel with my Mum, I popped in purely on impulse.To say I was pleasantly surprised would be an understatement.

The table placement is a humble plain white sheet of paper, a napkin and some chopstick and the only condiments are salt, pepper and soya sauce. Which, in my opinion, shows the confidence they have in the flavour of their food. IMG_0251

We ordered off of the lunch menu meaning we got a main dish for £5.30 and a side from their selection for £2.50 – once I saw the size of the bowls the food I realised this was extremely good value for money! They have a vast choice and a good range of meat, poultry, seafood and vegetarian dishes – which I think is always nice.

I ordered pork dumplings and noodles in chicken broth with spring veg with a side of fried pork dumplings for us to share.

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My soup tasted beautifully fresh and clean, there was no greasy residue and my vegetables were cooked just enough to leave them crisp. The noodles used were Udon which meant they absorbed the flavour of the stock and the dumplings (in both the soup and the side) had been freshly made and the pork filling seasoned so well they needed no added salt or pepper. They pride themselves on striking the perfect balance of flavours, so with the dumplings came a sour, almost vinegar dip which I have my sneaking suspicions it contained fish sauce – all the same the balance was certainly struck.

My Mum ordered chilli beef and spring veg on Udon noodles and a side of salt and pepper chicken to share.

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The beef was tender and succulent and the veg, again, left crisp and flavoursome. The noodles were tender and silky which can be difficult with Udon, they have a habit of becoming claggy and a chore to eat. There was just enough heat for the chilli to be noticeable but still pleasant and the dish harboured that previously mentioned flavour balance with a subtle sweetness in the sauce. The chicken wings were surprisingly moist. Almost every time I order salt and pepper chicken I love the flavour but it’s been fried for so long that it’s as tough as old boots. This was light, non greasy and juicy and the side of sweet and sour chilli dip was just what it needed.

With our meal totalling at £15.60, our bowls being big enough to swim in and not needing to eat again until the next day, (baring in mind we ate this at 2.30pm) I’ll be heading back there very soon!

If you’re ever in the Angel, Islington area then pop in – don’t be put off by it’s simplicity, trust me the flavours are far from simple. If you’re elsewhere in London, I found out they have a few other locations that you can check out on their website.

Let me know where your favourite Chinese restaurant is!

Black Tied – Jewellery With A Difference

I’m extremely happy to say I finally bought some pieces from Black Tied; a company that gives a really personal touch to their handmade jewellery.

I heard about them a few years ago from BeautyCrush and if you’re familiar with her style then you’ll see the items from Black Tied are right up Sammie’s street. I draw a lot of inspiration from her style so I thought I’d check them out.

I spent a good hour perusing the website; they had so many things I was interested in, but I limited myself to 3 (hello self control!).

One example of that personal touch I was talking about is the packaging the jewellery is delivered in. Complete with fancy wrapping paper and thank you notes to their customers, it definitely made me smile when I opened the envelope.

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First I opted for this simple Light Crystal Circle Donut Necklace. I love pairing it with a plain black or white Tee and dark jeans, it takes my ‘I didn’t have time this morning‘ outfit and turns it into ‘I’m so casual chic‘.  The length of the chain in great – reaching just above my belly button to give a rough guide. It does get tangled pretty easily because of this though (Quick Tip: don’t wear it at the same time as your headphones unless you enjoy untying knots!) But the odd tangle is well worth it in my opinion, the chain is robust enough to not get damaged by them and it’s the perfect accent to my dressed down outfits.

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Next I decided to treat myself to a midi-ring. I see these on loads of girls and I think they’re adorable but I struggle to find ones that (without sounding snobby) look a decent quality. Black Tied had a HUGE range of midi-rings; most companies have one or two available, you know, as a novelty. I think it’s time companies realise midi-rings and here to stay and these guys are definitely one step ahead. I LOVE the one I bought – it’s a Stirling Silver Midi-Ring With Feather Charm. I was pleased with the fit and the quality for the price I paid. So you can imagine how inconsolable I was when I lost it after my second time wearing it. I got so many compliments on how unique and elegant it was and I miss it dearly despite our short time together *cries a single tear*

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Lastly I decided I needed a pop of colour and invested in this vibrant, Round Bead Bracelet with Gold Hamsa Charm. It’s made of (what I believe is) wood and the charm offsets the blue nicely. If you’ve been following me since the start, you know I have an unhealthy addiction to black so this bracelet is an easy way for me to inject some colour into my wardrobe. I was surprised when it arrived as I was expecting it to be plastic, however after wearing it I’m glad it isn’t. I wore it on a hot day and had no uncomfortable sticking or interesting imprints in my arm – so whatever material it is, I like it!

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Overall I would 100% recommend Black Tied if you’re looking for some accessories that go one step beyond the high street. Real thought and care has gone into their designs and they value each of their customers. I exchanged a few emails with Laura, the founder of Black Tied, and she was warm and accommodating, ensuring I had all and any information I needed. I’ll be buying from them again and I honestly don’t have a single complaint!

Check out the Black Tied website  here

Follow them on Twitter here

Like them of Facebook here

Let me know about your secret finds and where you buy your cool bits and bobs!

*All Photo’s Property Of Black Tied*

New Kittens, Old Friends and Free Time

It finally happened. The day of my last exam came and went and I’m finally free!

So I’ll be back to posting again regularly *everyone cheers wildly*

I was hoping to end my exams on a high but it didn’t work out quite as planned, the paper was REALLY tough for me. It was quite mathsy and me and numbers don’t have the best of relationship (which is why I picked philosophy – why they snuck this module in is beyond me). So to rectify all of my negative feelings, I naturally went to an all you can eat buffet at the O2 with my friends and ate 4 plates of food. Yaay!

Jimmy’s buffet is a chain restaurant that cooks fresh buffet food in open kitchens so you can see it all being made. The chefs are friendly and informative and are happy to point you in the right direction through the maze of deliciousness.

I have to say I was pleasantly surprised by the quality of the food. It’s not like other buffets I’ve been to where the food’s been left out so long it’s cremated. It was well made, freshly topped up and very tasty for the most part. I’d recommend going there if you and your friends can’t agree on what you’d like to eat! (They have self serve chocolate fountain – are you sold yet?).

I followed this feast up with a BBQ at my friend James’ house who happens to live with my other good friend Bryan. That’s right guys, more food. I spent a lovely 5 hours perched on the kitchen counter catching up with my nearest and dearests Melisa and James (1. because we’re lazy and the self proclaimed ‘anti-socials’ at parties, and 2. because James sprained his knee so we had a good cover up for our laziness).

So what started off as a pretty awful day turned into a food and friend filled good time! I love it when things come together.

So in the time between my last post and now, not only have I finished exams, eaten up to my eyeballs and discovered I have time to do copious amounts of nothing – I’ve also acquired a new companion.

Meet Shadow (and excuse my laundry)

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She’s 8 weeks old and her hobbies include:

Chasing the mouse on my laptop screen

Sleeping

Waking me up at 3am, 5am and 7am respectively

Falling over

Sleeping

Scaling the length of my standing body

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But despite all of that she is super cute and I’m enjoying having her around. Even if she is sleeping on my arm as I type this (making things very difficult)

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So that’s me all up to date! Let me know what you’ve all been up to since I’ve been gone and do check back in a few days -I’ve got some cool little posts lined up.

I hope you’re all well x

Missing In Action and Luna Distractions

Right guys I’m going to be MIA for the next week – I’m on the home straight and my first year of uni will officially be over next Friday (May 23rd).

So until then, here’s a picture I took of the moon last night. Just because.

Hooray for Luna distractions!

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Weekly Photo Challenge: On The Move

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I took this photo while I was on the move thousands of feet above the ground. I was on the way to Barcelona and, despite moving at hundreds of miles an hour, time stands still when you look out of the window and see a view like this.

Bravas Tapas – When Spanish Food Meets London’s Docks

I recently had the chance to visit a restaurant called Bravas Tapas on a spontaneous day out with my family. It’s a Spanish Tapas restaurant in St Katherine Docks, which is a scenic gem of an area just a stones throw away from the ever trendy Shoreditch High Street in East London.

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The restaurant is brand new, I believe it’s been open just over a month but you’d never know from its seamless, friendly service and laid back atmosphere. We were greeted at the door and seated at a spacious table by their floor to ceiling windows (on some very well cushioned seats might I add). The decor is bright and modern with a rustic edge and it’s al fresco seating over looks the docks.

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It’s hard to find places to dine in London that let you relax and take your time but here it’s actually encouraged. We weren’t sure what we wanted to try so our waitress took the time to go through the menu and recommended we pick 2 dishes each, we were then told we were welcome to order more later if we wanted to. I thought this was a wonderful service; it made us feel welcome and showed us that our comfort was their main priority, not turnover.

The food was truly a manifestation of contemporary London living meeting traditional Spanish cuisine. Our chef for the evening was the lovely Victor Garvey who was kind enough to have a chat with me while I took some pictures of his creations. He takes well know Spanish tapas dishes and gives them a genius modern twist; with everything from patatas bravas with whipped aliolo to quail wrapped in pork belly. We enjoyed absolutely every dish we tried, so much so that we actually ordered two rounds!

Here are a few pictures of the dishes we devoured:

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(My first ever attempt at oysters..they’re surprisingly delicious)

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Our personal favourite dishes were the crispy foie gras stuffed quail wrapped in pork belly and the moorish spiced lamb chops with rosemary alioli. The lamb was left pink and was succulent and tender.

If you don’t feel like sitting down for a full meal they’re happy for customers to come in for a few drinks, they have a cosy bar set up with an amazing mixologist to whip up all of your favourites.

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 They do an array of wines and beers and well as cocktails and of course the famous Sangria! I was pleased to hear they also do virgin cocktails which I happily guzzled at the end of my meal.

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Bravas Tapas is the epitome of an all encompassing dining experience. The atmosphere of a restaurant is such an important aspect of you’re experience and it’s often overlooked, but not here. They’ve created a culinary haven that feeds you great food, gives you wonderful service and provides good company in it’s staff. Bravas Tapas would be perfect for anything from birthdays and celebrations to casual catch ups with your friend, they’ll make sure you’re treated well whatever the occasion. We stayed for almost 3 hours and we weren’t made to feel rushed at any point.

The one and only thing that I’d say needs improving is the price, it’s quite expensive considering the small amounts you get (seeming as it’s tapas). But in all honesty it’s on par with most restaurants in London in terms of pricing so I guess that’s more of a general gripe I have with the city being so expensive.

I give Bravas:

Food: 5/5

Comfort: 5/5

Service: 4/5

Price: 3.5/5 (4/5 if you’re splitting the bill between a few of you)

I’d highly recommend this restaurant and I’ll be visiting again soon!

Check them out of Facebook, Twitter or on their website.

And don’t forget to like my Facebook page while you’re there!

7 Steps To A Great Summer!

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Summer freedom is so close I can almost taste it.

My exams start on Tuesday and after 7 days of being burrowed away with my books (literally..I haven’t left my house in 7 days) I decided to put together my to do list for the Summer. Reminding myself what I have to look forward to should give me that extra little push to keep chugging for these last three weeks.

I thought if I shared it with you all it could give you some ideas for the Summer and you can let me know what you’re up to so I can add some of them to my list too.

The List:

1. Celebrate the end of exams by stuffing my face with my Uni buddies, did someone say all you can eat buffet?

2. Go to the Taste of London Food Festival. Look at that, a theme is developing here already.

3. Go on holiday to Amsterdam! This has been booked for ages, but I’m trying to seem spontaneous so lets pretend it wasn’t.

4. Lay around in my pyjamas at least twice and do absolutely nothing without feeling guilty. I can’t wait to do nothing *sighs dreamily*

5. Decide what I’m going to do for my 21st birthday. That’s a biggy, I should probably do something right?

6. Have inexcusable amounts of BBQ’s. I will not be stopped by rain.

7. Start a YouTube channel. Seeming as I posted it as part of my bucket list for the world to see, I better crack on with it!

Let me know what adventures you’re going on this Summer and if you’re doing anything similar to me! Also if you’ve ever been to Amsterdam I’d love some suggestions for cool things to do (there’s that last shred of spontaneity down the drain – damn my obsessive need to be organised!).

Knomo Spring/Summer Lookbook

A month or so ago the lovely people at Knomo held a sample sale at my university.

 They’re a global company who specialise in bags designed specifically for your technology. Traditional technology bags are frumpy eyesores, but Knomo’s designs are STUNNING. You can’t even tell the majority of them are for laptops!

 Of course I tried with all my might to refrain from buying anything but…I couldn’t help myself.  I ended up walking away with four.

I’ve put together a review and lookbook in this post so I can give you the full skinny – lets start with the lookbook!

I’ve put together a variety of Spring/Summer looks (even though it pouring with rain right now) to show you just how versatile the bag is:

The Edgy Look

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 Vest: Gap, Jeans: River Island, Shirt: Thrifted, Boots: New Look

The Smart/Casual Look

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Vest: Gap, Skirt: Topshop, Belt: H&M, Scarf: Miss Selfridge, Sandals: Miss Selfridge

The Lazy Day Look

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Crop Jumper: Thrifted, Jeggings: Pull&Bear, Trainers: JD Sports/Nike

The Office Look

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Shirt: BooHoo, Skirt: H&M, Shoes: New Look, Belt: Accessorize

The review:

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In short – I love it. It’s really high quality material and the finish is immaculate. I’ve given 3 away as gifts and have heard nothing but good things from the receivers. This is the one I kept for myself.

It’s a black 16 inch laptop bag – it has an over the shoulder adjustable strap as well as 2, shorter handles. There is a zip pocket on the front as well as the inside and a compartment at the back of the bag which I presume is meant for your charger. Look, even the inside is pretty!

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I’ve worn it with a laptop and also as a normal bag and it’s extremely comfortable. The thickness of the shoulder strap means there’s no digging or painful chafing and the material is soft against the skin. It’s easy to wipe down, it’s very durable and doesn’t scuff easily.

The downside is I can’t fit my charger inside the main bag or in the compartment at the back. This can be a bit of a pain if I’m looking to be out for more than a couple of hours. However they do have a huge range of sizes for their bags, I just can’t imagine anyone being able to fit their charger as well as their laptop in my one which is a shame.

The bag itself, however, is beautiful and Knomo really care about their customers. They include a little message inside  in case it gets lost so people know where to return it to – how lovely!

I’d really recommend Knomo – they really are the bags of the future. It’s pretty pricey, but honestly the quality is 100% worth it. If you can find them at any sample sales or anything of the like then grab some because I promise it’ll be a bargain!

Check out their website here, or follow them on Twitter @Knomo – say hello, they’re super friendly!

Let me know what your favourite look was in the commets!