Food for Thought

Two Days, two Gal-Pal dinner dates.

Last night I went out with a friend for a long overdue catch up, we went for dinner and to talk gossip. Our night started with sharing some dishes (tapas style) at 5 Sawyers in Newcastle’s Darby St – a brilliant hotspot for dining. I hadn’t been to 5 Sawyers before, it was cosy and eclectic with a story/history on display on one wall – complete with pictures, and the tagline of ‘A bar with food…’

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For twenty dollars each we enjoyed chips cooked in some kind of chilli rub with aioli, some tomato bruschetta bread and soft tacos with guacamole, garlic paste, salad and beautiful slow cooked lamb.
The staff were friendly, attentive and the food amazing! Will definitely go back for those tacos again soon…

To end the night we went across the street to Coco Monde for dessert, after pondering the tantalising menu we both settled on an American style chocolate fudge brownie. Rich, decadent and tasty! Came to the table with a twill stick that was completely chocolate,  ice cream and drizzled melted chocolate all over the plate.

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Can definitely recommend the brownie… I am interested in trying out the main meals also, and maybe another dessert!

Then tonight for dinner date number two, I went out into Maitland with three gorgeous work friends for a relaxed catch up. We spent the night at Fratelli Roma – a gorgeous Italian restaurant.
After sharing an antipasto plate (which I enjoyed with a glass of shiraz) we made our way through the mains.  At Fratelli, the pasta is hand-made, in house. They have incredible seafood. Tonight I enjoyed two aranchini balls and an entree size of calamari – which is lightly crumbed and deliciously salty.

Our mains were followed by sharing multiple desserts which included creme brulee, pannacotta, passionfruit tart and tiramisu.

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This restaurant has soft lining, upholstered walls with wooden details and is an affordable yet fancy place to eat – great for a treat with friends or for a romantic date.

Have you tried any of these places? Do you have any suggestions of places to try. Hope you’ve enjoyed the food musings from a self-confessed ‘foodie’.

Kooklah xo

KOOKLAH BLOG

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SensatioNAIL Product Review

One of my favourite things to do is go to a beauty salon and get my nails done. This little bit of pampering gives me a mood boost and I love the look of manicured nails.

For the last year and a half I was periodically getting Shellac manicures, a gel enamel that lasts for around two weeks. I’ve recently cut my spending habits to save for a few things.
Ironically it was after I decided to stop getting my nails done that I received an email from the PR team behind SensatioNAIL – a company providing kits to achieve salon standard gelnamel nails at home.

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SensatioNAIL sent a starter kit which includes everything you need to achieve nail look {pro LED lamp, gel cleanser/primer/polish/base and topcoat, lint-free wipes, nail buffer, manicure stick} as well as a detailed but simple to understand instruction card.

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This card has instructions to prime, paint, set and then remove the gel, with handy pictures in case you need an example.

I was also sent a removal kit, {so I can remove and continue to maintain manicures at home} and two extra colours.

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I set aside Thursday afternoon to play around with the kit. I settled on a silver glitter enamel as it complemented the dress I planned to wear to a concert that night. I found everything easy to use and the instructions easily understandable. The finished quality feels exactly like salon finish. I followed the provided instructions exactly, as a result my nails were completely dry. I went on to curl and style my hair, plus put makeup on and my nails stayed perfect!

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One aspect that wasn’t explained was how long the lamp stayed on for {has an on/off switch for power and then a button on top that turns the lamp on}, this information is needed because at different stages nails are cured for 30 or 60 seconds.

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It isn’t a huge dilemma, just good information to have. I timed it myself at 30 seconds.

I am excited to try the other colours provided, and will update this post with how long the enamel stayed on for. Product states up to two weeks. When using the glitter polish, if a heavier cover is required, I would recommend a third coat or to put it over another gel polish for extra depth.
Although I am currently enjoying the splash of sparkle two coats gave!

Have you tried this product? Is attending to treatments at home something you’d consider? I highly encourage you to try it!
The information I received states each bottle is enough for ten manicures. There are a range of different kits from starter, essentials and removal {view kits here} with a variety of colours {I received Silver Glitter, Kitten Heel and Scarlet Red}.

I found that from setting up, attending the manicure and packing away took just over 20 minutes, which is ideal to fit into an at-home-routine.

I hope this review was helpful, I am thrilled to have beautiful, good quality nails that I can do myself {I’m also going to treat my Mum to a Mani this weekend!}

Kooklah xo
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Wedding Sparkle – Encrusted Glitter Manicure

I created the encrusted glitter manicure late last year, it stemmed from my love of glitter, sparkles, pretty nails and feminine looks. I always like things to have a twist, to take the traditional and change an aspect of it somehow – to make it my own.

I had originally set out to recreate a nail look that I had found on Pinterest originally from instagram user Frijolita and shown to my best friend Adina as a possibility for her wedding. Adina likes the unique as well, so I set out to find a polish that wasn’t just gold. The one I found had a bronze quality to it with some light purple glitter in it.

Here is the shot I used for inspiration:

 
 
Here is the look I created:
 



I used three polishes to complete this look, these are:
* Revlon Colourstay clear topcoat to provide a smooth base and as a top coat to seal the manicure
* Revlon Colourstay Longwear Nail Enamel in Pale Cashmere for the base colour (use 2-3 coats for a good block of colour. I used 2 coats for the look above so that the glitter tips stood out)
* Sally Hansen Gem Crush nail polish called Big Money to create the amazing sparkled tips!

Create the Glitter Encrusted Manicure with these quick and easy steps:
1. Make sure any old nail polish is wiped off using a remover, then moisturise, buff and file nails. I love a square tipped nail with rounded sides
2. Apply a base coat – I used the revlon topcoat because it provides a good, even surface to paint over
3. Apply two coats of your chosen base colour and allow to dry. If the colour is too opaque add another coat, allowing to dry and set.
4. Apply topcoat to create a shine for your base colour
5. Apply the Gem Crush polish to your tips, you can use tape but I did these tips (plus another bridesmaid’s and the bride’s) freehand, I followed the natural curve of my nails and made the tips a good thick size. This made the glitter stand out.
6. I applied a couple of coats to create an embellished and full look, if you want subtle you can apply one or two coats. It is really nail dependant as to how many coats – this is because the glitter will apply differently for each nail.
7. Once you have achieved the tips you are looking for, apply two coats of top coat, paying extra attention to the tips.

Optional but reccommended tips:
* Apply some basecoat over and under the tip of your nail to ensure longer life out of the manicure – helps to prevent chipping.
* This look can last for 1-2 weeks depending on how you spend your time. Lengthen this by applying more topcoat after about four days, this style also makes it easy to just add more glitter to your tips!

These nails worked perfectly with our beautiful dresses and the style of Adina’s wedding day

 

This look is fantastic for a wedding, you can tailor the colour and polishes chosen to suit your own style or colour palette. Nails like this add a touch of glamour drawing attention to your hands which is perfect for showing off accessories including a lovely wedding band and bouquets of flowers…

Would love to read your thoughts on this look, also let me know if you try it and upload a picture!
I have previously written a post, much-loved by readers of For the Style Seeking Girl, about Revlon Colourstay Longwear Nail Enamel, called Revlon Nail Enamel Trial which has some more information and a review on this product…