The Best Christmas Money Saving Tips

Happy December! ‘Tis the season to be jolly as I will be sharing some fabulous money saving tips that you can all abide by this Christmas! As joyous as Christmas is, it is so easy to do everything in excess, especially where money is concerned. I felt that this was the right time to share my tips with you as I believe that you don’t need to break the bank to have an amazing Christmas!

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Make the most of the sales – The biggest misconception with shopping for Christmas gifts is that they have to be expensive. I actually believe that this is the reason why many people are quite selective with the gifts that they give. Of course, there’s nothing wrong with being particular regarding who you give gifts too but always remember that you can shop around. If you happen to find something similar to your planned gift that happens to be on sale, take advantage of that! You’ll save money in the process as well as being first in line to avoid the much dreaded January blues. Just remember to follow these golden rules before you buy your gift: Try things on, read reviews and always keep a receipt!

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Put some thought into your gift – There’s nothing worse than receiving a gift and then later realising you have no use for it! Of course, any gift should be received with gratitude but don’t forget to make sure your gifts for your loved ones have a purpose. For example, if your significant other is into photography, a ring light or a photography course would be perfect for them! Another example is if your son or daughter wants to be a part of the golf crowd , you may decided that these kids golf gifts are perfect for them! Think about what your loved ones are passionate about and channel that energy into giving them a gift they will remember for many years to come. I was a huge Roald Dahl fan as a child and my godmother bought me The Roald Dahl Treasury, which was a collection of every single book he had written. I was overjoyed and reading the treasury definitely ignited my love affair with books and ultimately, writing as a whole. If you find that choosing a gift is difficult, you have the option of buying a gift card instead.

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Make a list – I swear by lists every single day, especially when I’m at work, so I will never stop ranting about them. As someone who has worked in Marketing, let me tell you this, a lot of brands partake in psychological pricing . Psychological pricing is a strategy which is based on a theory that certain prices have a psychological impact. For example, £5.99 would because it’s less than £6 and so on. The whole idea of psychological pricing is to get you to part with your money, fast. It’s one of the best strategies out there in addition to 3 for 2 offers. Before you head out on your Christmas shop, make a list. Go over it and stick to it! Don’t be swayed by all the promotions because you will end up buying things that you don’t need. This goes for food shopping too!

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Prepare in advance – If you are planning to travel, book your tickets in advance. Whether you’re spending Christmas with your family or you want to leave your city for a day, planning ahead will save you so much money and hassle. Trainline is one of the best websites for decently priced train tickets but do look around so you can make comparisons (journey times, cost etc).

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Shop online – I have saved the best tip for last. Shop online. Shopping online will make your life so much easier. Who wants to be walking down Oxford Street a week before Christmas? Searching for gifts online is always a good idea. As mentioned in one of my previous posts, brands will reward you with £ off when you subscribe to their mailing lists. Of course, you can always unsubscribe if you don’t want to be inundated with emails. The only thing you really need to be cautious of when shopping online is delivery dates.

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What are your Christmas money saving tips? I love to hear from you all so please do leave a comment and don’t forget to like and subscribe too!

Kel xo

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#EveryHueIsBeautiful – Diversi-Tea Part 2

Who remembers when I joined forces with the lovely Charlotte from Memoirs and Musings to discuss diversity in the beauty industry? A lot has happened since this post first went live so Charlotte and I have joined forces yet again to discuss the current state of the beauty industry. Are the voices of WoC really being heard? Is blackfishing degrading? What should brands be doing in order to be diverse? No table has been left unturned in this post and we also want to hear from you too! Use the hashtag #EveryHUEIsBeautiful to get involved.

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Kelle – Its Kelle’s Space

How can upcoming/new brands champion diversity?

For brands to champion diversity, I believe they must admit that there is a lack of product and service offerings for people of colour. A problem can’t be addressed without admitting there is an issue. WoC have such a high spending power so why aren’t we being catered to? I recall seeing a thread on Twitter where one WoC was at the airport and needed foundation and she couldn’t find her shade. When she enquired about more shades, she was simply told that ‘that was all they had’. Experiences like this are very frustrating mostly because most brands that we adore are susceptible to such behaviours. Where will the line be drawn?

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Credit: Elle

Market research is also an issue. I don’t think brands should be solving a problem like a lack of diversity internally. I think that they need to adopt a proactive approach to finding out what they should be doing to be more inclusive. NYX are a good example of this. They recently partnered up with YouTuber Alissa Ashley on the Can’t Stop Won’t Stop Foundation range. Even though it has received its fair share of criticism, NYX are going out of their way to make sure WoC are represented. As a former Marketing professional, I also feel that brands should make use of focus groups. Find some WoC, ask them what they would like to see in shops and gain an understanding of who they are. Marketing should be a constant force, especially in an industry that is as competitive as the cosmetics field. Storytelling is also something that brands are starting to introduce, and this helps customers feel like they do matter!

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What are your thoughts on the ‘blackfishing ’scandal?

One of the things that shocks me the most about blackfishing is that these influencers have been able to get away with this for so long! The likes of Emma Hallberg reek of deception. The fact that all of these ‘blackfishers’ have modified their appearance to look black is terrible. Hallberg claims she tans very quickly but she lives in Sweden and European countries don’t experience prolonged periods of warmth. You can clearly see from her before and after photos that there is a difference in colour between her face and her body. Black women have struggled to find beauty in their complexion and their hair. We are finally being represented thanks to ground-breaking influencers such as Jackie Aina and Patricia Bright but our culture and our features are being monetised by nonblack women, who perceive our culture as some sort of trend.

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Credit: Vice

Cancel Culture: To be or not to be?

Cancel culture is simply intensified hype. The cancel culture can be toxic and unhelpful. I feel like the cancel culture is started by one person and before you know it, everyone else has adopted the same way of thinking. The rise of social media has made it harder for people to think for themselves. It seems like everyone wants to follow the crowd. Do you remember when Dove, Shea Moisture and Nivea were cancelled, the latter in particular? Nivea were under fire for the launch of a skin lightening cream back in 2017. There were so many calls for people to boycott the brand because of this. Did you know that the word Nivea is taken from the Latin word ‘Niveus’ which means ‘snow-white’? so it was only a matter of time before the brand decided to cash in on the skin bleaching craze. Unfortunately, a lot of brands will cash in on the insecurities of WoC which is why I wasn’t surprised at the news that Blac Chyna has joined forces with singer Dencia’s brand Whitenicious to endorse a new skin lightening cream. WoC are a force to be reckoned with so it is important that we don’t give in to such ideals. We shouldn’t give energy to anything that encourages us to divulge into self-hate and pity. I don’t stan for cancel culture, but I do believe an open mind and willingness to educate yourself as a WoC is key. It is your right and it is your responsibility.

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Can controversial brands redeem themselves?

No, I don’t believe that we can. In our society, news travels like wildfire, so when I go to my Twitter feed and I’m seeing swatches of Tarte’s newest foundation with just two or three shades that would be deemed suitable for WoC, I feel so uncomfortable. We buy your eyeshadow palettes, we buy your lipsticks, we even buy your overpriced highlighters, but you can’t get it right when it comes to our foundations? It is 2018 and Black, Asian and Latina women shouldn’t be asking why they aren’t represented. If a brand doesn’t cater to us, we must be aware of this. I would encourage any woman to use a product that doesn’t accentuate her beauty and make her feel good too because that’s what makeup and skincare is all about really. What was it a wise man once said about going where you are celebrated and not where you are tolerated? Just some food for thought…

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If I had a brand of my own, what three things would be at its core?

Inclusivity – If I had a beauty brand, I would ensure that inclusivity would reign supreme. I would want every woman to feel like she was represented. Also, I’d like any campaigns I launched to reflect this.

Storytelling – As mentioned earlier, I think storytelling will become even more of a craze in 2019. Brands are starting to realise that pictures and pricing strategies just won’t cut it. Moving the customer’s mind has now become just as important as moving their purse strings.

Quality and Affordability – These two go hand in hand. There’s nothing worse than buying an affordable product that you were really excited about, only for it to fail to live up to your expectations. Any product affiliated with my brand would do exactly what it says on the packaging. I’d also take different skincare needs and requirements into consideration too.

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When the swatches for Tarte’s newest foundation were revealed earlier this year, it ignited a huge discussion about representation for WoC in the beauty industry.

To conclude, I believe that there is still a long way to go in the fight for diversity. What about Fenty Beauty you may say? Well, cosmetics brands for WoC existed way before Fenty did (Iman, Black Opal etc) and part of the brand’s ability to revolutionise the beauty industry was due to the fact that it was endorsed by one of the world’s biggest pop stars. Attitudes need to be changed, differences need to be welcomed, voices need to be heard and the needs of WoC should be catered to as part of it being the norm and not because of pity.

 

Char – Memoirs Musings

Has diversity in the beauty industry improved since our last post?

YES

In ways, yes. I’m seeing more brands, influencers and people champion diversity and inclusivity. However it still feels like a daily battle. But I’m glad brands are listening to their customers and willing to evolve. One example that stands out is Make Up Revolution expanding their shade range in their concealers and foundations, and they are not only affordable, they’re available online and in-store.

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Swatches from Make Up Revolution’s foundation range Credit: Playful Pennies

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However, there is still a long way to go. I will look at a brand’s page knowing fully well they have a diverse shade range but the models and influencers they repost are of one spectrum. As someone of colour, I’m not sure how this makes me feel entirely. It makes me wonder who is making the decisions internally. Why aren’t we being included?

The same goes for finding products in store. I was at Heathrow Airport recently picking up a couple of bits before my flight and not wanting to spend a lot, I headed to Boots. Whilst I was not after any complexion products, I couldn’t help but notice how BAD the shade range was. The only Maybelline shades stocked were Caramel and Cocao. People of colour do not come in two shades and not all of us want to head to higher end brands like Mac or Nars whilst travelling because we might already be on a budget.

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Credit: Duty Free Hunter

Which influencers are using their position to make moves in the industry? EG Jackie Aina with Two Faced or Alissa Ashley with NYX.

Jackie Aina and Alissa Ashley are definitely the two that come to mind. I’m sure there are other examples but I probably don’t follow them… Alissa Ashley’s collaboration with NYX saw a foundation range with 50 shades (Can’t Stop Won’t Stop). No fifty shades of beige here. What I loved most about the range was that there were a range of undertones in pale, medium, dark and deeper shades. Having personally tried the foundation, I’m really impressed and I was happy when picking my shade of having at least 4 or 5 to pick from. Best of all, it was only £15.

However, I do need to get something off my chest that’s been bugging me about the whole influencer world, cancel culture and a little hypocrisy. I see brands take bloggers on once-in-a-lifetime trips and experiences week after week and some of these influencers are very quick to ‘cancel’ other brands because of their lack of shade range, yet they accept a trip with another brand that is notorious for not being very inclusive? Something doesn’t add up here.

Whilst a press trip may not particularly be for a complexion product,  Can you separate your thoughts on a brand’s inclusivity if they’re offering you a once-in-a-lifetime experience?

Your beliefs need to align with your morals, but again I do see both sides of the spectrum.

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#TrippinWithTarte – Some of YT’s most popular influencers have gone on trips that have been paid for by beauty brands. Notably, MakeUpShayla is the only influencer of colour in this group.

When it comes to foundations, what’s one thing you think brands are failing to do?

I can’t just stick to foundations, so I’m going to make it a little wider.

  • Constantly invite the same influencers on press trips (it’s getting a little stale now).
  • Only respond to expanding their shade ranges when they’re called out.
  • Not have POC on their social media teams who understand the colloquialisms to use online.
  • Not feature POC on their social media or if they do, it is infrequent.
  • Keep releasing seemingly *new* products which are really just the same old palette with a couple of new shades. Instead, there should be a focus on fan faves, or older products.
  • Sending huge PR boxes to influencers at the same time. Why not stagger it? Or why not send it to loyal customers? Not only that, does it really make sense to send an influencer the WHOLE collection? Why not a couple of shades or key pieces? OR ask them what they would like to receive?

What’s your dream beauty collaboration and why?

This is a very very hard one BUT I’d love to collaborate with NARS. Its the one brand that I generally love all round. My only gripe is that it’s expensive and every time I need a new concealer, I wince at its £24 price tag. I’d love to curate an affordable line for them. *speaks into existence*

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Credit: Look Fantastic

Are there are beauty collaborations you are looking forward to this year?

I’m not gonna lie, I’m trying to save my coins in 2019 and as I’ve mentioned it feels like brands are releasing the SAME products. So I’ll be shopping my stash in 2019 and reliving my old faves!

Thank you for reading guys! Clearly, we had a lot to say about this issue so if you would like to get involved, use the hashtag #EveryHueIsBeautiful on social media.

Do let me know what you think about this most and whether you’d like to see more of this on the blog.

Also, don’t forget to like, comment and subscribe!

Kel xo

Why The Meridian Grand Is The Perfect Wedding Venue

Weddings are such a joyous occasion but there’s no denying the fact that planning a wedding can be very stressful. From finding the perfect dress to making sure the venue you’ve chosen is suitable, getting everything right in the run up to your big day can feel impossible. Some of us have already made our minds up in regards to the type of wedding we would like to have. Some of us have already started planning every little detail (whether we are actually getting married or not).

In this post, I’m going to be talking about wedding venues. The Meridian Grand is luxury conference, wedding, banquets and events venue in London. As one of London’s best wedding venues situated in the North of the city, no stone is left unturned when it comes to assuring that your special day is one that you will remember for years to come. Here are some reasons why I think that The Meredian Grand is the perfect venue for a wedding:

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A choice of ballrooms – There are two ballrooms in the venue. There is The Grand Ballroom and The Meridian Ballroom and both ballrooms can actually be combined into one space, so if you want a big wedding it would be perfect for you. One of the most important aspects of wedding planning is the guest list. Once you and your fiance have agreed on who you would both like to invite, you can then sort out the rest of the finer details.

Event management – Planning an event is not easy so you may decide to hire someone to help you. Although event planners don’t come cheap, lots of brides are choosing to leave their special day in someone’s else’s hands and who can blame them? 100% involvement with less stress? It’s a great idea. The Meridian Grand have a designated event coordinator available on your big day. They specialise in turning your dreams into a reality. Be weary with relying heavily on a event planner, make sure that you are happy with everything that is being suggested. After all, it is you and your partner’s big day.

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Decor – One thing I like about this venue is the decor. All ballrooms are dedicated to a high standard. You are able to have the theme of your choice and customised lights are also available. The ballrooms have such a luxurious look and a virtual tour is available. When it comes to decor, coordination is key. Also, don’t be afraid to keep things simple. Sometimes going all out can take attention away from other things. Don’t forget to do some research to get a clear idea of what it is you want.

Cuisine – This is one of the most talked about aspects of any wedding. A part of celebrating the happy couple’s joy is by congratulating them, getting a glimpse of the bride’s beautiful dress and eating the food at the reception. At the Meredian Grand, you have the option of hiring your own caterer. A state of the art kitchen is also available so you won’t need to worry about the food getting cold. The reason why I think hiring a caterer is the best option is because there’ll be a lot more variety on offer. Food from event venues won’t really give you the freedom to have a certain preference. You get what you’re given and this isn’t necessarily for everyone.

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Another place I think would make a perfect wedding venue is Botleys Mansion.

What’s your ideal wedding venue? What would you like your wedding day to be like? What tips would you give to brides-to-be?

I hope you’ve enjoyed this post! I love to hear from you so do leave a comment below and don’t forget to like and subscribe!

Kel xo

My Dining Experience At Ma Petite Jamaica

I asked, you responded and I listened! I’m back with another restaurant review.

I had the pleasure of going to Ma Petite Jamaica, a Caribbean restaurant in the heart of Camden. Camden is famed for being one of London’s most vibrant districts but not much emphasis is placed on the fact that the area boasts an offering of many different cuisines (South African, Asian etc). I wasn’t aware of any Caribbean restaurants in the area so I was taken aback when I discovered Ma Petite Jamaica.

Since 1985, the restaurant has been serving authentic Jamaican food and proudly calls itself ‘London’s first Caribbean diner’. As I walk into the restaurant, there is something about the atmosphere. Beautiful pictures of Jamaica and the country’s flag are complimented by brightly painted chairs and decor reminiscent of that in the islands made me feel at home instantly. It was a Friday night and the restaurant was buzzing and I couldn’t help but notice the fantastic cocktails that were on offer. In the meantime, I received a warm welcome from the manager and was shown to my table. As I waited for my cousin to arrive, I couldn’t resist trying a Pina Colada. Fruity, strong and sweet: it was everything a Pina Colada should be.

The customer service was very impressive. As soon as my cousin arrived, we were asked what we wanted for our starter. We chose saltfish fritters and jerk wings. From observing the menu, I knew that Ma Petite was a jerk specialist so I had very high expectations for my chicken wings. They were beautifully presented on a rectangular plate and they had a delightful taste. You could taste the mouthwatering spices and the sweetness of the jerk sauce – the combination was absolutely divine.

The saltfish fritters didn’t disappoint either and what I liked about them is they weren’t greasy and flat as they can be in some Caribbean restaurants (hey, I’m just being honest) but they were very soft, round and the fish was just quality. Personally, I loved that the fritters were not crispy and the mango chutney was a nice addition to the dish. My only recommendation would be to perhaps serve the mango chutney on the side as a dip instead of using it for decorative purposes. Either way, both starters were sublime.

All of the mains are served with rice and peas, coleslaw and plantain. I had the Quarter Jerk Chicken and my cousin had the Jerk Red Snapper (fish).

The jerk chicken was absolutely delicious. I liked that it was fairly hot and you could taste the lovely array of spices. It was very succulent. The rice was also full of flavour and paired with the sauce, it tasted even better. The plantains were soft and the coleslaw was fresh and crunchy. The whole meal was extremely appetising. I felt very full before I had even finished half of my plate.

The jerk red snapper was crispy and fresh. I didn’t get a picture of it but like the chicken, it was also paired with a tasty sauce. It was excellently cooked. By the end of our meal, it was very clear to see why Ma Petite was a jerk pit. You can feel the passion and expertise they have for creating jerk dishes from their mouthwatering food.

The cocktails served were all amazing. As mentioned earlier, my pina colada was refreshingly sweet. My mojito was also refreshing and I just couldn’t get over how fresh the mint was. I also liked that it had the right amount of sugar. None of these cocktails disappointed me so it was clear to see why the bar was full of people enjoying drinks after a week of working.

For desert, we opted to share a carrot cake. It was warm, sweet and the perfect way to finish our meal. One thing I couldn’t help but notice was how soft it was, it literally melted in our mouths. The icing wasn’t overbearing and it was beautifully presented on the plate.

Overall, it is clear to see why Ma Petite Jamaica is one of the finest Caribbean restaurants in London. Every dish was cooked to perfection, the atmosphere is relaxed and natural, the pictures and architecture set the mood and it is clear to see the friendly and attentive team enjoy what they do. It was an experience that I won’t be forgetting anytime soon and I highly recommend visiting this restaurant.

Rating: 9/10

For more information about Ma Petite Jamaica, click here .

I hope you have enjoyed this review. Do leave a comment to let me know what you think and also don’t forget to like and subscribe to Its Kelle’s Space.

Celebrating Black British Heroes

As Black History Month draws to an end, I’ve written an article for The Biographies celebrating Black British heroes. These heroes are redefining what it means to be black as they are using their platforms to discuss a variety of issues that affect people of colour. Once upon a time, issues such as gentrification or colourism weren’t even discussed so it’s about time our struggles are discussed and our triumphs are celebrated.

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You can read the article I have written for The Biographies by clicking here.

I also wrote an article about Notting Hill Carnival back in August, click here to read it.

Who are your black heroes? Did you do anything to commemorate Black History Month?

I love to hear from you so feel free to leave a comment.

Kel xo

Time To Sleep – Gel Eye Mask Review

Sleep plays such an important role in our health and wellbeing yet so many of us are deprived of it. Sleep disorders are on the rise, with insomnia being the most prevalent in the struggle for some shut-eye. 16 million adults in the U.K are suffering from sleeping problems with 23% revealing that they sleep for five hours or less each night!

So when the team at Time 2 Sleep asked me to review their Gel Eye Mask, I couldn’t say no. Sleep issues are having a serious effect on the quality of our lives and I think we have all found ourselves in a position where we have struggled to get a decent night’s sleep due to various factors. In this post, I’ll be sharing my thoughts on the Gel Eye Mask and revealing whether it did anything to help my sleeping experience.

Claims

Helps with headaches and migraines

Reduces sinuses pressure

Treats puffy eyes and dry eyes

One of the things that I really like about this mask is that its comfortable. It’s decently sized and fitted with an elastic band, so you don’t need to worry about adjusting it in any way, which is perfect. The material on the back is also so soft and it just made me feel a lot more relaxed. It is excellent quality as I’ve had it for a few weeks and it doesn’t even have a single tear on it. On the website, all users are informed that there are two ways you can decide to use this mask:

For cold use: Place in the fridge for two hours or overnight

For warm use: Heat in the microwave with the material facing down for 30 seconds. If the mask isn’t warm enough, you have the option of heating it for another 15 seconds.

I opted for warm use because I felt that I would have quicker results and I did. The mask did retain heat for 30 minutes as promised on the packaging and I felt so much better and relieved when I woke up in the morning. When I struggle with sleep, I like to meditate. Just being still and tuning in with my body and surroundings really helps. I would recommend ensuring you are entirely relaxed before you use this mask. Another benefit I experienced is that my puffy eyes have been relived which I love. I didn’t experience complete migraine relief. The mask is very easy to clean and its eco-friendly so you don’t need to worry about causing any harm to the environment. The mask also comes with a free travel case so if you are going away, storing it is very simple.

My overall verdict on the Gel Eye Mask  is that it’s a very nice product. There aren’t a lot of eye masks out there that offer health AND beauty benefits so you are getting very good value for money. The mask can also be used during the day too, not just at nighttime. Its the perfect pick me up for anyone who wants to improve or maintain their attitude towards sleep.

The Time 2 Sleep Gel Eye Mask  is available now and is priced at £10.96 (was £14.99)

Also, do visit the Time 2 Sleep website where there are lots of articles about things you can do to get a good night’s sleep.

Have you tried an eye mask before?  If you haven’t, would you consider using one?

I love to hear from you all, so please feel free to leave a comment letting me know what you think of this review.

Kel xo

MPW Steakhouse Bar and Grill Review

Last weekend, I had the opportunity to sample the menu at Marco Pierre White’s Steakhouse Bar and Grill in Folkestone, Kent. For those of you who don’t know, Folkestone is a beautiful port town on the English Channel.

Marco Pierre White is one of the U.K’s most popular chefs. In 1994, he became the youngest chef to be awarded three Michelin stars. By the end of the 1990’s, he had retired from the kitchen and is now a very successful restaurateur. The menu’s at the Steakhouse Bar and Grill are very traditional – what I liked most about what was on offer is that there is something for everyone. I had the pleasure of visiting the Steakhouse Bar And Grill inside The Clifton Hotel. The hotel has a very modern yet sophisticated look. My cousin and I were greeted on arrival and felt welcomed immediately.

The restaurant is beautiful. The decor is classic, with a mainly black and white colour scheme. With sweet instrumentals playing in the background, the atmosphere was very relaxed. It is the perfect spot for lunch or dinner. As we sipped on our drinks and enjoyed some bread and butter, we couldn’t help but admire our surroundings.

Starters

I had to have Wheeler’s Crispy Calamari. If you follow me on social media, you will know my love for calamari is real! I was actually wondering what it would look and taste like before it even arrived! When it comes to calamari, not all restaurants get it right and that’s a fact. I’m pleased to say that it was absolutely delicious. It was soft, easy to chew and not doused in breadcrumbs which I also liked. The accompanying sauce tartare went perfectly with it. It was creamy and appetising.

My cousin had the Finest Quality Smoked Salmon. The salmon was well presented. It was garnished with vegetables and slices of brown bread were placed on the side of the plate. We both agreed that brown bread wasn’t really the best side for the dish. Ciabatta bread or something similar would have been better. However, the salmon had a divine taste regardless of this.

Mains

I had The French, which was a burger with melted cheese, onion rings and dijon mayonnaise, served with fries. My cousin had the Wheeler’s Coq and Shrimp Curry with a portion of rice and fries.

My burger was flavoursome and filing which was great until I realised that there was no dijon mayonnaise in my burger! This was a shame as I hadn’t been informed prior to placing my order but I requested some extra ketchup which was given to me within seconds. The fries had a fresh taste, which I like. At home, whenever I make chips or sweet potato fries, I like to cut them up myself as opposed to buying them frozen. Fries taste better when they are freshly made.

The Coq and Shrimp Curry had a pleasant taste but it wasn’t spicy at all. Depending on your food preferences, the addition of the mango in the curry was a bit of a surprise. It would have been nice if mango chutney was served as a side instead of having mango slices inside of the curry. If fruit in curries or soups is your thing, then you’ll definitely take a liking to this particular dish!

Dessert

I chose Mr White’s Billionaire Shortbread, Rich Caramel and Gold Leaf. The shortbread was served with some ice cream that had this silky, melt in your mouth taste. It was so good, especially when I ate it with the crumbs that were served on the side. The shortbread itself was creamy and scrumptious. It was everything that a traditional shortbread should be.

My cousin opted for The Box Tree Mess. It was garnished with fruit and it had a really rich and creamy taste. It was presented in a round, medium sized glass and was very enjoyable. Fruits, cream and sugar? What’s not to love?

Drinks

I had a mojito and a glass of prosecco (as always!) and I enjoyed them both. The mojito was very fresh. You know you’re drinking an amazing mojito when the mint hits you with it’s invigorating taste. It had the right amount of sugar and it wasn’t watered down even though I took some time to drink it, which is always a plus. The prosecco was sweet, glorious and fizzy. My cousin also enjoyed her glass of wine, she said it was refreshingly sweet.

Overall, we did enjoy our food, the lovely atmosphere and in spite of the mishap with the dijon mayonnaise, the customer service was excellent.

Rating – 8/10

For more information about Marco Pierre White’s Steakhouse Bar and Grill, click here

I hope you have enjoyed this post – as this is my first food review, do let me know what you think. I would like to do some more food reviews in the near future.

Kel xo

How To Make Your Cash Last Until Payday

You’ve probably looked at the title of this post and thought about all those times you have struggled to make your cash last until the next time you get paid. It’s amazing how payday can bring out the best and worst in some of us: the waiting, the complaining, the impulsive spending and let’s not forget the moment when you realise that you have barely nothing to survive on the week before (yes, it has happened to us all!).

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In this post, I’m going to be sharing tips on how you can make your monthly pay last. As with all blog posts of this nature, you are not obliged to follow each and every tip I give.

Always remember to do what is best for you.

Apps 

Using apps to keep track of spending has become one of the most popular ways of budgeting. Monzo is one of the most popular mobile only banks out there right now. You do get a debit card as with other banks and you are set a budget based on what you earn. When you are close to spending that budget, you are notified by the app. Another reason why I like Monzo is because customers are also provided with a breakdown of what they are spending their money on. Seeing what you spend your money on month after month is also a great cause for reflection. Think about those daily coffees you grab every morning on the way to the office. Are they really needed?

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Savings Accounts

My favourite way of making my cash last is using savings accounts. Whenever I get paid, I always save as much money as I can. Saving accounts aren’t for the faint hearted though, you do need a lot of discipline. If worst comes to worst, you can dip into them but think about whether you really need what you’re trying to purchase or whether you can access any money off deals. An alternative approach to having a savings account is opening one with another bank. Do some research to find out which banks have the best interest rates. Be aware that some accounts will require you to deposit a certain amount of money each month. If you know you can’t make such a commitment, just get an account where you can pay in as much money as you like. And another thing…when you open a savings account, DON’T request a debit card. You don’t need that kind of temptation in your life.

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Family

If you struggle with making your pay last, something you could do is give what you want to save to a family member. You could even set up a direct debit, have them keep the money for you and then access the funds if and when you need to. Of course, make sure you trust the family member who you would be giving such responsibility to. Also, in different cultures, there are cash saving schemes that you can join. As with some accounts, there is a requirement that you pay the same amount every single month. In my country, this is called Njangi and is defined as a money saving system. In the Caribbean, the same system is called a Pardner. Consistency is the most important thing with such schemes so do ensure you are financially stable.

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Use Cash More Often

With the rise of contactless payments, the art of tapping has never been more appealing. Within a split second, you’ve made a purchase. Card payments are a big issue when it comes to controlling finances because there is no control. Try to make cash payments as much as you can so its easier for you to know what you are spending. One thing with banks as well is they don’t take your money away on the day of the purchase, so before you know it you have money going in and out that you can’t keep track off. If you like to shop online, you may want to consider having a separate account.

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Open More Accounts 

As mentioned in the previous point, you may benefit from having different accounts. For example, if you are saving to travel you may need an account or if you are saving money for a car, you may need an account. Never underestimate the process of putting a little bit of money away every month. Once a year or so goes by, you will have quite a bit stashed away. When it comes to saving, something is better than nothing so don’t beat yourself up if you can’t save as much as everyone else. With time, you WILL get better.

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Limit Shop Visits 

I’ve talked about this in my post about mastering the art of saving and I believe it really does help make your cash last longer. Limit your shop visits! Try not to go to the shops two or three times a week. For food shopping, make a list and then get what you need at once. If you’re a snacker, include snacks in your weekly shop. When it comes to other necessities, you may want to save up over a period of a month or so. With personal expenditures, I would also recommend making a list because it is so easy to get carried away especially if you are near a large shopping centre.

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I hope these tips have been helpful and remember that if you do find yourself strapped for cash, then bad credit loans are an option. Nobody should feel financially challenged so there’s absolutely nothing wrong in asking for help.

As always, I love to hear from you all so feel free to share your own monthly saving tips by leaving a comment below.

Also, do let me know what you think of these types of posts. Would you like me to do some more in the near future?

Kel xo

7 Ways To Save Money (The Art of Reserving Your £££)

Before I begin, I just want to thank the readers for their dedication to Its Kelle’s Space. Without your comments, likes and RT’s I wouldn’t be able to share my passion for creating content with you all. I’m forever grateful, so thank you.

As we are approaching a new month, I wanted to talk about something we are all familiar with:

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I’m going to talk to you about how to save your moolah! I was reading an article some time ago and someone had commented saying that they were addicted to saving money. Can you believe that? A lot of us need that same energy! (myself included). When you think about it really, saving money isn’t hard to do and it is a skill that we can all master. Here are some tips that have worked for me and appear to be working for others:

Budgeting

This is a word that we don’t all like to hear but in order to save and save well, one MUST budget. It is important to know where your money is going and how much of it you are spending between paydays. Something I have heard about is a digital bank called Monzo. Monzo are a digital, mobile only bank based in the U.K. They operate through a mobile app and a prepaid debit card. The bank also allows users to set a monthly budget. You can keep track of what you spend and they will also inform you when you are getting closer to your spending limit.

Another way you can budget is by using a spreadsheet. It’s your opportunity to make Excel your best friend! Spreadsheets are a great way of keeping in track of your finances as well as enhancing your skill set. There are templates you can use so don’t worry about having to make a budgeting spreadsheet from scratch!

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Food prep

Popping to your nearest Pret to buy one of their delicious wraps on your lunch break may seen convenient but it is also very costly. Food prepping will save you a lot of money and time. I’m not saying you should have 5 different meals for 5 days in your fridge, but try to do your food shopping at the end of the week if you can. Stock up on groceries, snacks etc. Give yourself a budget and stick to it. Also, when food shopping, try to stick to supermarkets and not smaller branches (e.g: Sainsbury’s Local or Tesco Express) as they tend to be a lot more expensive. Try your best to remember to take a shopper or a few carrier bags with you in order to save your pennies. Something I have found that works for me is cooking every other day. It will save you time. Your fridge is there for a reason, use it 😊!

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Paying for necessities in advance

We all have weekly and even monthly necessities that we have to pay for. I often find that sorting them out first makes it so much easier to budget. If your journey to work involves travel, you may want to think about getting a weekly or monthly travel card.  For bill and rent payers, you may decide to get a direct debit so the money comes out automatically. This makes it much easier to work out what you have left for the month. Don’t forget to examine your expenses from time to time. You may find cheaper broadband deals or maybe a different and much cheaper way to get to work. It’s the little things that do a lot.

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Staying away from the shops

Do you find yourself going to the shops for one thing and then finding that you’ve bought five more things that you don’t even need? I’m sure some of you will be able to identify. A good way to combat this habit is to avoid shops altogether. Do your weekly shop for food but if you find you need other things (household items, cosmetics etc) then put some money aside once a month or every two months and buy what you need at once. Personally, I have found that when you frequently visit the high street, you will end up spending money you should be saving. I’ve worked in Marketing and I can tell you that companies develop strategies to keep you spending money through offers, incentives etc. Do your best not to fall into the arms of consumerism.

When it comes to online shopping, you may find it handy to unsubscribe from emails or send emails from certain brands you are tempted by to your spam box. That way, you aren’t inundated with temptation every hour of the day.

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Stop going to clubs/parties

This is an unpopular opinion but I think going to clubs and parties on a regular basis is such a waste of money. Think about it. You go to the West End for a night out with friends. Entry is probably about £10 each, drinks are probably the same and by the time you’ve gone from club to club, you’ve spent about £100 already. Another reason why I’m not crazy about club/party life is that all attendees are doing is making the promoters or organisers rich. Why invest in someone else’s hustle when you can invest in your own?

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Open a reward account

Reward accounts are a great way to save and make money too! For example, cashback current accounts reward customers who make everyday transactions. So whether you are paying household bills or making a transaction, you will get something in return. Before you commit, do use a website such as Money Supermarket to compare the best cashback current accounts as the features and benefits will change over time.

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Plan your experiences

If you love to socialise, this tip is for you! Planning your experiences will save you so much time and money. Whether its a 3 course meal at a nice restaurant or a game of bowling, use websites such as Wowcher or Living Social and check out their deals. If you sign up to receive email alerts, you can get ££ off any purchase. What I like about Living Social is that if you haven’t visited the site in a while, they send you £5 vouchers which you can redeem against any purchase.

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I hope you’ve all enjoyed this post and if you have any tips on saving money, then please feel free to share them in the comments section.

Kel xo