Malaysian Supperclub with Norman Musa

Last month, myself and Tiz were very kindly invited to a Malaysian Supperclub dinner hosted by the amazing chef Norman Musa. It was held at his cookery school and restaurant, Ning Malaysian Restaurant, in Manchester’s Northern Quarter and I can safely say that I’m a total convert to Malaysian dining!

Malaysian Supperclub Norman Musa

As many of you know, I’m a vegetarian so I’ll be talking about the night from my own veggie perspective. We were joined by lots of members of the press as well as the absolutely fabulous El from AThriftyMrs and her lovely husband too. We got stuck in to the starters – the one you can see above is the Do-It-Yourself Mango Salad – I can still taste the incredible flavours as I type this. All of the accompaniments were simply perfect, and I ended up building the most amazing starter whilst playing around with the flavours.

One thing I have to give a special mention to is how well they looked after me as a vegetarian – at every stage of the dinner the team offered me alternatives and special veggie plates to enjoy, which was a wonderful touch. I was so grateful, and left feeling totally full – it’s quite rare for this to happen when eating out as a vegetarian!

Malaysian Supperclub Norman Musa

OK, we need to have a word about the top dish in this photo (I didn’t try the bottom one as it contained prawns, but was assured it – along with the other meat dishes – were incredible!). It was seriously the tastiest, most more-ish thing I have ever eaten in my life. It is the Masak Lemac Labu & Keledek – pumpkin and sweet potato in an amazing coconut sauce. My mouth is watering as I think about it. It was hands down one of the best vegetarian meals I’ve ever eaten, and I’ve been veggie since I was 9! The rice was also delicious, and so fragrant.

Malaysian Supperclub Norman Musa

On to desserts! Everything was, once again, awesome – the traditional Malaysian goodies at the bottom were unusual but lovely, and the ice creams/sorbets were to die for. However, you know me – I’m obsessed with fruit, so the amazing fruit platter (INSIDE a watermelon, no less!) was my ultimate favourite. The lychees were spot on, the pineapple was beautifully sweet and the watermelon itself was perfect. It rounded off the evening perfectly, and even though we were all stuffed from the gorgeous starters and main courses we polished off the desserts – everything was just too good to pass up!

The entire team of chefs and organisers (and of course Norman!) were so passionate about Malaysian cuisine and that really came across. I cannot wait to revisit Ning in the new year! A huge thank you to them for a wonderful evening.

Stay Creative,

Chyaz xox

Review: Mark Betts Shampoo & Conditioner

It’s no secret that as far as haircare goes, my only two true essentials are shampoo and conditioner (and heat protection spray of course, but that’s a whole different arena!). I’m not a fan of fancy oils, heavy styling products or complicated techniques – I love good old colour-protecting/enhancing shampoos and matching conditioners. I recently received a pair by Mark Betts to try out – the Colour Shampoo and Colour Conditioner.

Mark Betts Colour Shampoo Conditioner

I was immediately impressed with the sleek packaging – I’m so used to shampoos in similarly-shaped plastic bottles that these metal pump cans were a refreshing change. As much as I adore over-the-top patterns most of the time, when it comes to beauty products I’m also a fan of the minimalist touch. These products certainly hit the mark!

Let’s get down to the nitty gritty. On first use, both the shampoo and conditioner took a few pumps to get going (I wish I’d started the process out of the shower as I’m clumsy enough at the best of times!) but once the product was flowing all was well. The shampoo was much thicker than I anticipated, which initially made me nervous – I like shampoos to feel light, as it makes me think my hair will last longer before getting greasy post-blow dry. The conditioner was a happy medium thickness, perfect for my hair – it still felt thick enough to do a good job of adding moisture to my locks, but didn’t weight my hair down at all.

Once I started blow drying, the magic really happened. The colour of my hair looked instantly brighter and fresher (despite the fact my roots need doing so badly!). My hair seemed to dry in record time, and looked so light and clean afterwards. It felt gorgeously smooth and soft, and two days down the line it’s still looking awesome. I feel like I’ve discovered a bit of a dream team here – if you have highlighted hair, I would thoroughly recommend these Mark Betts gems. I’m incredibly impressed!

I’d used the products before filming my new video – see for yourself how my hair looked!

What do you think? Let me know!

Stay Creative,

Chyaz xox

Giveaway: Topshop Beauty Gift Set

I though it was about time to do a little giveaway here on my blog! With Christmas coming up, it felt like the perfect time to give away a little gift set. I was kindly sent this adorable Topshop Beauty gem to give to one lucky reader – it features one of Topshop’s awesome lipsticks in Wicked, and a stunning blush in Head Over Heels.

Tiptop Beauty Gift Set giveaway

I haven’t opened the package, but from the back of the packaging I can tell both the cream blush and lipstick shades are gorgeous! The lipstick, Wicked, looks like a stunning berry shade (a must-have for the festive season!) and Head Over Heels is a classic coral. If they sound like your kind of products, or if you know someone who would totally adore them, why not enter my giveaway?

So, how do you enter? Find out below!

Tiptop Beauty Gift Set giveaway

TO ENTER:

  • Leave me a comment below telling me which beauty product is your total Xmas essential!

RULES:

  • You must be subscribed to my blog to enter – just pop your email address into the box to the right of the page, or follow me on Bloglovin’
  • You must be over 16 or have your parents’ permission
  • Giveaway is open worldwide
  • Closing date: Tuesday 16th December at 23:59 UK time

The winner will be announced on Twitter, so feel free to follow me on there to stay up to date. Just as a note – I won’t be replying to any comments on this video as the winning comment will be chosen at random, so I don’t want to skew the results!

I am planning to do lots more giveaways in 2015, so please bear with me on that. I know this is only a mini prize, but it’s a really lovely one – I hope it will make someone’s Xmas that touch more special!

Good luck – I can’t wait to read all of your comments!

Stay Creative,

Chyaz xox

How To Stay Healthy Around Christmas Time

As I wrote the title of this post, I felt like a huge hypocrite – here I am, preparing to dish out tips on being healthy when in reality my diet has been atrocious over the past few weeks. However, I sometimes feel that writing things down helps me to focus my attention on my goals, so in a way this post is as much for myself as for you guys. It’s all about how to stay healthy around Christmas time, where delicious food and scrumptious beverages are literally all around us.

I am desperately trying to get back on the health wagon, and here’s what I’ve been doing. As always, please do leave your own tips in the comments – I could certainly do with them!

fruit bowl melon lychees

  • Don’t forget about fruit and veg! Around this time of year, all I want to do is eat super filling heavy carbs like bread and pasta, and just copious amounts of cheese. That’s not even taking the sweet stuff into account! But I’ve talked a lot about my love of fruit and veg int the past, and I’m trying to focus on them as much as possible now. There are loads of gorgeous winter options to choose from, and although it seems harder to pick them over more warming options in the winter, your body will thank you for it.
  • Not every day has to be full of treats. I don’t know about you guys, but I always think of Xmas as ‘treat time’! Plus, with my birthday being in December the whole month just seems like one big excuse for eating what I like, and drinking lots of bubbly. That’s fun for a few days, but after that you can start to feel run down, bloated and just generally a bit rubbish. I’m definitely at that point, and am starting to realise that too much of a good thing just isn’t so great. A couple of treats each day? Sure. Meal after meal and snack after snack consisting of literally whatever I fancy? For me, its a recipe for disaster.

healthy dessert sorbet

  • Seek out the healthier options. They are there, I promise! For example, when I went to the amazing Bob Bob Ricard with the lovely Ree, I was tempted by the rich, decadent-looking chocolate desserts but instead went for a single scoop of sorbet. It was delicious! OK, so it’s not as guilt-free as a fruit platter, but as desserts go it’s not a bad choice. There are ways to avoid going overboard whilst still feeling like you’re having a festive treat.
  • Don’t neglect exercise. This sound obvious, but it is unbelievably tempting to skip your workouts at this time of year. Everyone is busy, it’s freezing cold and the thought of going out to the gym or putting on workout clothes instead of a snuggly onesie definitely doesn’t seem appealing. But I’ve managed to stick with my fitness regime thus far this Christmas season and I’d be so lost without it. It’s an instant boost and the more intense my workout, the more inclined I am to eat healthily for the rest of the day.
  • There’s no point waiting until January 1st. I feel this is a huge lie we tell ourselves and all it does is encourage us to gorge ourselves right the way through to the New Year. If you really want to make a change, start this minute – it doesn’t mean you have to go full steam ahead into total healthiness, but the small changes I’ve mentioned can make a big difference. Of course, I’m going to try to be healthier in 2015, but I’ve started already – it’s a great way to kick-start a resolution!

So, over to you guys! How do you like to stay healthy around Xmas, and beyond?

Stay Creative,

Chyaz xox

Review: Nails at Zensational Manchester with Wahanda!

A few weeks ago, the lovely Wahanda sent me a fabulous surprise in the post. It was a voucher to use on their website to book in for a beauty treatment, and of course I wanted to choose somewhere in Manchester! I had been to the Zensational beauty salon just before our trip to Hong Kong and they’d done an awesome job of my CND Shellac nails, so chose them again when redeeming my voucher. Before I talk about the treatment, I feel I have to say this: I’d heard a lot about the Wahanda booking system, but had no idea just how brilliant it was! It is so easy to use and makes the whole process so straightforward. I would definitely use it again in the future! So, let’s find out how I got on at Zensational…

Zensational Manchester Wahanda review

Everything about Zensational is lovely. I always feel really chilled out when I arrive, and the team are absolutely brilliant – so friendly and chatty, and I find everything they do is always precise and carefully executed. I never mind too much about how my nails are shaped, and always put my trust in the nail technician – I’m never disappointed at Zensational. Colour-wise I’m really predicable. On my first visit to the salon I picked this amazing pink called Tutti Fruity, and couldn’t resist having another round of it on this occasion too. I asked for a little bit of sparkle over the top, which was no problem – it is nearly Christmas, after all!

The whole process of having the Shellac polish took around 30-40 minutes (we were so busy chatting I lost track of time!). I noticed that everything was done with so much care, from preparing my nails for the polish to applying each coat. I always worry that I’m going to smudge the polish when putting my hand into the funky UV ‘dryer’, but everything went smoothly and I was left with totally gorgeous, super sparkly nails!

Here’s the finished look:

Zensational Wahanda salon review

Ta da! And the best news? It’s been almost three weeks since I had my nails done, and though they have grown out at the base there isn’t a single chip in sight. Talk about longevity! The colour is still as bold and bright and the overall finish is still perfect. Stunning!

I would wholeheartedly recommend taking a trip to Zensational if you’re Manchester-based. You won’t be disappointed! A huge thank you to the team for being so great, and to Wahanda for the very kind voucher too!

Stay Creative,

Chyaz xox