Sunday 24 July 2022

Food | Nova Scotia Liverpool

Aperol Spritz | Berry Spritz

When new restaurant Nova Scotia invited me to come and try their menu I couldn't say no! Situated in Mann Island near the Albert Dock, Nova Scotia serves great breakfasts, lunches, small plates, hearty mains and delicious deserts with a wide range of drinks and signature cocktails. 

Cod Bites

The venue looks out to the Museum of Liverpool and the city's world famous waterfront, perfect for drinks in the sun! It's not well known that the Mann Island area was previously a shanty-town called Nova Scotia. Thenwe bar and kitchen concept celebrates Liverpool's maritime past with a fresh food concept and a fantastic outside drinking and dining space in the heart of the city's riverside action.

Salt n Pepper Fries

We ordered the cod bites and salt n pepper fries to start. Beer battered pieces of cod with home-made tartare sauce which were incredible and you can't go wrong with salt n pepper fries in my opinion. For our mains we ordered The Mount Temple burger and the Royal, both which were served with chips after we'd had fries to start but these were up there as one of the nicest burgers I've tasted. 

Mount Temple

Unfortunately we never had room for dessert but the sticky toffee pudding looks incredible. We did however finish off with a cocktail and I recommend the Berry Spritz or the Tempest Hey! 

Tempest Hey | Jamaica Street

Nova Scotia is open 9am - 9 pm every day, 25a Mann Island, Liverpool, L3 1BP

Rachael xo

Sunday 17 July 2022

Gigs | My Chemical Romance & Funeral for a Friend, Sophia Stadium, Cardiff

When My Chemical Romance announced their return every emo in the world cried happy tears but with covid grounding the world, the gigs were postponed for two years and the happy tears soon turned to sad ones. 

I'd be lying if I said I was a massive MCR fan, I'm not. I used to listen to one of their albums in high school and have never really liked any of their work since Three Cheers for Sweet Revenge (I know what you're thinking, fake fan), but when Funeral for a Friend got announced as support, I knew this was something I couldn't miss. Emo Christmas. I booked my ticket and my hotel and I was happy as larry despite going on my own. A lot of people don't tend to understand why I do things on my own but honestly if the last two years are anything to go by you can't live your life waiting for other people to do the things you want to do. 

Due to there being two massive stadium gigs on in Cardiff that night, I stayed at Travelodge Newport which is a 10 minute train way from Cardiff Central and the train station is right opposite the hotel which was really convenient. I also found residential parking which was a 5 minute walk away from the hotel as parking in a town centre can be really difficult/ pricey. 

Upon arriving at the stadium the queue for entry was huge and my anxiety kicked in thinking I'd travelled all this way and was going to miss Funeral for a Friend. However the queue went down pretty quickly and I was in the venue within about 30 minutes, I even had time for a wee and a trip to the bar. 

Once I was settle, I plonked myself on the grass with a pint and waited for my favourite band to come on stage. Opening with Into Oblivion the crowd started bouncing and the atmosphere was incredible. FFAF never fail to put on a good show and this was no exception playing in front of their home city. Closing with the classic History, chills went through my spine as everyone raised their fingers for one last salute. 

New Jersey rockers, My Chemical Romance then entered the stage and my little emo heart was so excited having never seen them before. They opened with new song Foundations of Decay and despite being a newbie the whole crowd was singing along. Way is such a good frontman and although I didn't know all the songs, belting out and dancing to the classics whilst he was giving it his all on stage was so nostalgic. 

They played many crowd pleasers such as Thank you for the Venom (a fave) and of course Welcome to the Black Parade finishing with an encore of I'm Not Okay where the crowd was singing so loudly you could barely hear Way's vocals. 

Given that I only know a handful of songs I had the best time and the entire night gave me festival vibes, with sun, cider and good old fashioned emo music. 10/10.

Rachael xo

Sunday 10 July 2022

A Trip to the West End - Bonnie & Clyde the concert Review

When Jeremy Jordan announced he was coming to the UK for Bonnie & Clyde the musical concert I was beside myself. I was so excited so you can imagine my dismay when I forgot the tickets went on sale and had sold out. But fate was on my side and they announced a second date so when I got the last second row ticket, I hit book faster than you could say bang bang! 

I wouldn't allow myself to get excited for the show because of covid and was worried about restrictions especially when there was talk of another lockdown and of course travelling from the states. But the day finally came and I took myself down to London for the night. 

When I told people I was going on my own, everyone was shocked. Why would you travel to London and go the theater by yourself? The answer is, I wanted the second row experience and I enjoy my own company. Being able to grab an iced coffee and read on the train for a few hours in peace is literally a big vibe. Although I would be lying if I said I wasn't absolutely shitting myself at the idea of navigating London on my own because even though I've been before it's always been with other people who have helped me with the tubes. It was actually easier than I thought though, I downloaded an app called Citymapper which is great for helping you get round different cities! I also had best friend on hand to help me when I got stuck as I was staying with her. Doing things by yourself is so liberating and I highly recommend that if there's something you want to do then you should definitely do it.

I arrived at Theatre Royal Drury Lane and could have wet myself I was that excited, I was finally about to be two rows away from Jeremy Jordan and to see Bonnie & Clyde. Despite being labelled a concert the production was actually semi staged. The role of Bonnie was supposed to be originally played by Laura Osnes but unfortunately she was unable to perform and the role was cast to the wonderful Frances Mayli McCann. McCann was unreal as Bonnie and even thought I'd originally been disappointed that she was replacing Osnes, she more than made up for it because her vocals and talent are incredible. When Jordan came on stage the crowd squealed and his role as Clyde Barrow seemed meaner than he's ever played before. Jordan has incredible stage presence and his Clyde is unmatched for me (but I might be a bit biased). A special shout out also has to go to Natalie McQueen whose Blanche was phenomenal and had me both laughing and crying.  If you ever get a chance to see this show then you should do it because it doesn't get the recognition it deserves.

With Frank Wildhorn, Ivan Menchel and Don Black in the audience it was an extra special night and the atmosphere was absolutely incredible and I am so lucky I got to be a part of it. 

Rachael xo

Sunday 3 July 2022

Family | A Break to Blackpool

At the beginning of May I surprised the boys with a trip to Blackpool for the weekend. I picked them up after school, cases in the car and off we headed up the M6. Blackpool is a popular location with there being over 500 hotels to choose from but I would recommend doing your research before you book! 

We stayed at The Hopton Hotel which is situated approximately 2 miles away from Blackpool Pleasure Beach (or a 20 minute walk). It is also close to other attractions such as Blackpool Tower (15 minute wall), Madame Tussauds (10 minute walk) and Central Pier is less than a mile away. Upon arrival at the hotel, we were greeted by Silvia who sorted out parking for me (I hadn't booked prior to arrival), helped me bring my cases in from the car and showed us to our room after taking our breakfast order. We stayed in family room which had bunk beds for the boys and a double bed for me, all which were SO comfortable and clean. Breakfast was included, I had a full english and it was one of the nicest I'd tasted. The boys asked for pancakes when we went in and staff were happy to accommodate even though they hadn't pre booked on arrival. The hotel and staff were just fantastic our entire stay and we'd definitely go back and stay here! It costs us £168 for two nights for the three of us so was a bargain. 

On the Saturday we started off our 20 minute walk to Blackpool Pleasure Beach and on arrival we headed straight towards Nickelodeon Land so the boys could go on the rides there. Although the theme park opens at 10am not all of the attractions open until a little later on so keep in this in mind if you're thinking of visiting. Nickelodeon land has plenty of attractions for little ones of all ages and the boys loved it so we spent most of our day here. George is 7 and was tall enough to ride The Avalanche which is over in the main part of the park and as he's a big thrill seeker he absolutely loved it. Our favourite rides were The Avalanche, The Nick Streak and The Blue Flyer. 

After a very tiring day we headed back to the hotel, having a look in all the shops along the front as we walked (which definitely helped little legs). We went out of season so not everywhere was open but there were plenty of things to see along the front and the boys loved looking in all the shops full of holiday, seaside tat. We got chips on the way home, some snacks from the shop and curled up in bed watching Pitch Perfect. Bliss.

Sunday meant it was time for the waterpark! I've always wanted to visit The Sandcastle Waterpark since I was a kid but it never happened. The Sandcastle is the UK's largest indoor waterpark with over 18 slides/ attractions and a tropical climate. The boys were really excited because they LOVE waterparks. We had a locker and a prepaid wristband so we could purchase food/drinks when we were in there and not have to worry about going back to the locker for cash. In all his daredevil ways, George had me on the sidewinder with him which is a HUGE half pipe type slide that you use a rubber ring on and I was terrified. It wasn't as bad as it looked and I actually went on a second time with him (G went on 7 times). There's plenty for younger kids to do though as well, with there being rapids and smaller slides and a wave pool. We had a 3 hour slot and we also ate in there and once you've ordered food you can get a wristband that gives you an extra 30 minutes in the park so you don't miss out. 

We had the best weekend and even though I wasn't sure what to expect taking them away on my own, they were so good and I can't wait to make more memories and do it it again! 

Rachael xo

Tuesday 22 March 2022

Saying Goodbye to Dating Apps

Dating is a minefield isn't it? With the introduction of dating apps the stigma around online dating is no more and with a quick right swipe you could set up a date within 24 hours if you wanted to. Having been single for three years now I have tried them all, Tinder, Hinge, Bumble (but they all do what they say on the tin. Swipe right if you like someone and left if you don't, which in hindsight is all very shallow. You would think with these apps literally being at the tips of our fingers dating would be easier but the reality is that it's quite the opposite. In fact I think dating apps are actually making things harder for people genuinely looking for a connection so this why I've deleted dating apps. 


You're deciding to match with someone based on their looks essentially and I will be the first to admit, I love the validation dating apps gives me because who doesn't love an ego boost but I know for a fact I am using Tinder for all the wrong reasons.


The problem with dating apps though is that men and women alike are easily accessible and available so even if you do match with someone and get on like a house on fire, there is always going to be a chance of somebody else being one swipe away. There are too many options and more and more people are wanting to keep their options open rather than finding a connection with just that one person. This makes putting an effort into dating is far less likely.

Hook Up Culture

Another issue I've found is that men often see the use of dating apps as being entitled to sex, so before you've even received a hello you'll have been asked for a sexual favour or been objectified. With hook up culture becoming the norm, people no longer want to date and just want that one thing but some of us are looking for more. The protection of a screen allows for comments to be made that would never be said aloud out in the real world.

The pandemic obviously has seen a spike in people downloading dating apps and seeking to find a connection online rather than in person as we've all been grounded for the best part of two years but are dating apps really the best way to meet people? 

I've deleted dating apps because personally I believe they're causing more harm than good. If I don't get a match it makes me feel unwanted and when I've had yet another failed talking stage it affects my mental health because I'm left wondering what I've done wrong. 

"But how are you going to meet someone?" my friends ask. I'm going to make plans with my friends and do things that make me happy and if someone comes along then great and if they don't, then that's okay too. I'm going to use my time to focus on myself and the things I enjoy most rather than getting swept up in something that's making me miserable. So turn off your notifications, delete those dating apps, make mates dates and go enjoy yourself! 

Happy dating!

Rachael xo

Wednesday 16 March 2022

Family | Pros and Cons of Co-Parenting


No two people are ever going to agree on exactly how to raise a child and let’s face it, we’re all just winging it at the end of the day. When a relationship fails and there are kids involved things can become progressively more difficult, especially when you start throwing words around like “co-parenting.” But what exactly is co-parenting? Well the definition of co-parenting according to is the term given to the situation where two (or more) people take on the role of parenting a child, but those people are not in a marriage or similar relationship. This situation may arise when, after a divorce, parents agree to have equal responsibility for the child's upbringing..’

I have been co-parenting my two boys for the past three years now and somewhat successfully if I do say so myself. Don’t get me wrong, there have been times when it has been hard as well and it’s not all sunshine and rainbows, so what are the pros and cons of co-parenting? 

Pro: You get some time to yourself. When the little ones go to their respective parent, you get some you time. I like to tidy the house then relax with a glass of wine or go out with my friends. 

Con: You miss them. Terribly. Mine go to their dad’s for three days at a time and while the break is quite nice I really miss them when they’re not here. 

Pro: They still get to spend equal time with both parents which is good for their mental wellbeing. 

Con: The rules for both houses might not always be the same which can cause some confusion when it comes to behaviour and conflict between you and your ex. 

Pro: You get to enjoy one and one time with your children more and there’s nobody to butt in and interrupt you. We have a movie night tradition every Friday in our house and I love that we can just cuddle and chill ready for the weekend. 

Con: When you’re on you’re on all the time. There’s nobody to take the pressure off when you’re struggling with parenting because it is hard work! I can’t just pop out for 5 minutes when the kids are causing murder. 

Co-parenting does have it’s perks and it can be great when you get it right .That’s not to say it will always be easy but you’re doing your best and that’s all you can do for your kids! 

Friday 6 August 2021

Days Out | Top Tips for The Ice Cream Farm



If you're looking for a cheap day out with the kids over the summer holidays, the Ice Cream Farm in Tattenhall is the place for you. We absolutely love it here. Entrance is usually free but you now have to book a slot due to covid restrictions, but this will still only cost you £1 for adults and £2 for children so it's still a bargain. Although the entrance fee is small and there is an outdoor play area there are additional activities which you have to pay for so a free/cheap day out can actually add up so here are my top tips on saving when you visit! 


The Ice Cream Farm don't allow picnics on site so eat before you go! You could always pack a picnic and find somewhere nearby to eat it if you want to make the most of your day out. There are loads of nice parks nearby and Sandy Lane is a great one - there's even a splash zone for when the sun is shining. Just make sure you pack spare clothes ;) 


As well as the gorgeous outdoor play area there are loads of other activities for your little ones to do, including softplay, mini golf, and a giant bouncy castle inside the floor as well as much more. Each of these will cost you extra on top of your visit but if you buy a playpass it works out cheaper. Playpasses come in bundles and the more you play the more you save. ! 


Did you know The Ice Cream Farm do gift cards? Why not ask for them for birthdays/ Christmas off people if you're struggling for ideas on presents or your kids (like mine) don't need any more toys! This way you have something to look forward to as well. 


It can be hard to dissuade your kids from wanting to have a go on everything there is to offer at The Ice Cream Farm but make the most of the free stuff! Especially if the weather is nice, walk round the farm and see the animals and try make a game of it. Print off an activity at home to take with you and distract them for even longer. Kids will be happy as long as they're busy. 

They're my tips for some damage control when you're taking your kids to The Ice Cream Farm. If you're a single/ co-parenting mum and need some more tips for cheap days out, come follow us on Instagram

Rachael xo