Independent Newcastle: Nudo

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Hey everyone,

As part of the campaign for Barclaycard's Freedom Rewards Card (a card that lets you earn points no matter where you spend!), I was very kindly offered £50 to spend at the independent boutique or eatery of my choice in Newcastle, as this card can be used in any independent retailer from a favourite shop to the local pub!

Now I was very tempted to ask for a voucher for a retail outlet, as I really needed some new clothes - however this was the week my sister, Nadia was going back to uni, and our favourite thing to do together is go out for Japanese food.
So since she hadn't been before, I took her to my favourite resteraunt in Newcastle - Nudo!

Nudo now has three outlets in Newcastle - Nudo Sushi Box which as the name suggests specialises in bento boxes. One is at the top of Northumberland Street, near Haymarket and another on Acorrn Road in Jesmond.

But my favourite is Nudo Noodles on Low Friar Street which offer hot options but still has a plethora of sushi on the menu, so as I work right next to Central Station we decided to go there.

My nickname for my sister is 'Nooboo' - so Nooboo at Nudo!
(Hello, edamame!)

A few cheeky beers to start!

 
Sakura Futomaki Rolls (Salmon and Roe)
Tuna Maki Rolls

 
Salmon Hand Roll (mine) and California Hand Roll (crab and avocado - Nadia's!)
Chicken dumplings

And to finish - my favourite Taro ice cream.
It's so funny as last time I was here with Claire and Bryden, we commented on how it tastes like malted milk biscuits - and now it comes with a malted milk biscuit!

So for two rounds of beers, all the above and some spicy edamame (which we polished off before I remembered to get a pictures) as well as the tip came to around £50 which isn't bad at all!

Everything was absolutely delicious - as always -  and we had a very friendly waiter (I didn't catch his name but he was a youngish guy with thick-framed glasses) who could not do enough for us.

I'm not going to lie though, it was hard choosing just one independent retailer!
This would have been trickier a few years ago, but lately there seems to be a bit of a boom in town for independent companies to get their foot in the door! 

So just a shout-out to some of my other favourites:


EATERIES: 

Quilliam Brothers: Purveyors of the Finest Teas (Open til 1am Monday-Saturday!) 
Barras Bridge, Newcastle Upon Tyne, NE1 7RG 

Unit 165, The Grainger Market, Newcastle Upon Tyne, NE1 5QW

Fat Buddah 
55 Degrees North, 55 Pilgrim St, Newcastle upon Tyne, NE1 6BG

Scrumpy Willow & The Singing Kettle 
89 Clayton St, Newcastle upon Tyne, NE5 5HS

Ninety-Nine
99 Grey Street, Newcastle Upon Tyne, NE1 6EG

Heaton Perk (Yes really, Friends fans!)
103-105 Heaton Park Rd, Newcastle upon Tyne, Tyne and Wear NE6 5NR

St Sushi 
114 Westgate Rd, Newcastle upon Tyne NE1 4AQ

Blackfriars 
Friars St, Newcastle upon Tyne, NE1 4XN

Zapatista Burrito Bar 
28 Ridley Pl, Newcastle upon Tyne NE1 8JW


FASHION:

Boutique Clearance Outlet (See blog post here)
Unit 8 Tundry Way, Newcastle upon Tyne, NE21 SSJ

Attica Vintage 
2 Old George Yard, Newcastle Upon Tyne, NE1 1EZ

Kathman2 (Goth/Cyber/Alt)
7 Eldon Ln, Newcastle upon Tyne, NE1 7JG


Thank you again to Barclaycard for treating us to a lovely night out - it was just what we needed!

Muchos love,
MessyCarla


Little Black Party Dress

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Hey everyone,

As my favourite LBD is looking a bit worse for wear these days after being thrown in a backpack and worn on pretty much every night out in Sydney for five months, I was on the lookout for a new staple piece for the party season.

VoucherCodes were kind enough to send me some vouchers and I picked out this cute dress from the Pippa Dee concession in Dorothy Perkins (also available in Debenhams) with a pink and gold glitter clutch I've had my eye on for a while.
I love that there is a an extra zip in the front to keep my phone!

I was so tempted to get these peep-toe heels as well, as they're such a perfect match for the bag - however I decided to wear them with my Poetic Licence heels, which really don't get worn as much as they should!

I used a 20% off code from VoucherCodes to get a further discount, which is no longer in use - however you can currently get 15% off using the code XMAS15 and free delivery with FREEDEL!


DRESS: Pippa Dee
BELT: ASOS
CLUTCH: Dorothy Perkins
NECKLACE: O Necklace
EARRINGS: River Island
SHOES: Poetic Licence 


I love my new 'Carrie-style' name necklace from ONecklace!


SHOP THE POST:


I think you could definitely dress this look up or down. It would look great with a blazer for some after work drinks, or grunged down a little with Dr Martens and a (p)leather jacket!

I was planning on showing you guys some different looks - however I was feeling a little awkward as I haven't done an outfit post in so long. 

Also the weather was around 1*C and windy so I was absolutely freezing!
(I'm a rubbish Geordie, I wear coats…)


I hope you all had a wonderful holiday season! 

I've pretty much been playing my new pink Nintendo 3DS XL non-stop since I got it on Christmas Day, and drinking the festive brew from Quilliam Brothers my parents got me in my new Bodum cup-and-infuser:


Also for any 3DS users, you are very welcome to add me as a friend. 
Please find my code below - tweet me with yours and I'll be sure to add you back!



Anddddd I thinks that's me signing off until the new year.
I'm not going to lie, 2013 has been a testy one. However onwards and upwards!

I'll leave you with my favourite song from this year by Scottish synth pop band, CHVRCHES - I'm hopefully going to see them in March, eee! 



Muchos love,
MessyCarla



Favourite Holiday Films and TV!

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Hey everyone,

Sorry I've been away for the past month or so. I've been very busy with my new job - which I absolutely love - and spending time with family and friends this time of year.

I even managed to squeeze in another trip to London where I hung out with Lauren, Daniel and Sam which was sooooo much fun.

But I've missed you all.

And since it's "Christmas Eve Eve" (in the words of the great Phoebe Buffay) I thought it'd be nice to put a post together about my favourite holiday specials and films I enjoy watching over the festive season.

There's some you'd expect, and some you may not.
Have a search around catchup services and services like Blinkbox and I'm sure you'll be able to find most of them!


10. Punk'd: Beyonce Ruins Christmas (2003)


Beyonce is scheduled to put 'the star of hope' on a Christmas tree for underprivileged children, with presents, Santa and a Nativity. I don't usually like prank shows, but this will never not be funny.


9. South Park Christmas Specials (1997-)


South Park always does Christmas well. There's always usually a twist on the usual jolly Christmas tale - and best of all, some musical numbers.

An earlier holiday episode Mr Hankey's Christmas Classics almost got the top spot - but I've only recently seen Woodland Critter Christmas, and honestly I think it might be one of my favourite episodes of South Park ever.

I won't give too much away about the plot, as it's such a dark and hilarious send up of all the cheesy specials that we all know.


8. Bottom: Holy (1992)


It isn't Christmas telly without something a bit sick, and it doesn't come sicker than the Bottom Christmas special.

Spending Christmas in their crummy flat in Hammersmith, all Edward wants to do is get drunk and watch the telly. However Richie plans a more traditional Christmas party with their friends, a turkey and Christmas pudding (no brandy butter, so they made vodka margarine - "spiced up with a few cans of hairspray".)

The party with their mates is soon interrupted when there is a knock on the door, but I won't spoil it.
It's usually on BBC2 around this time of year, so keep an eye out for it.


7. The Flint Street Nativity (1999)


A group of Primary school children - all played by adults - prepare and perform the nativity for their Christmas play.
Originally a play, you can sometimes see amateur productions popping up around the holidays.


6. The Vicar of Dibley: The Christmas Lunch Incident (1996)


The Vicar of Dibley is one of my favourite sitcoms: set in the fictional village of Dibley, which is assigned it's first female vicar - the vicacious Gereldine Grainger who desribes herself as "a babe with a bob cut and a magnificent bosom".
The story begins just two years after the change in The Church of England laws which permitted women to become ordained. It's really charming, harmless and entertaining - but my favourite episode happens to be a Christmas themed episode, running about 15 minutes longer than usual.

Gereldine is invited to Christmas lunch by all of her parishiners who do not want her to be lonely. However because she is too kind to refuse anyone, she decides to go to all of them.


5. The Muppet Christmas Carol (1992)


There are so many versions of A Christmas Carol, but the ones most often shown on British television around this time of year are Mickey's Chistmas Carol (1989), A Christmas Carol (1999) with Patrick Stewart and my favourite: The Muppet Christmas Carol.

(This is also Daniel's favourite Christmas film and I'm probably due for an angry text demanding as to why this isn't number one.)

Now I wasn't a bit Muppets fan growing on - truth be told I was a bit scared of them.
But over the years it's really grown on me, and is now one of my firm favourites.

The songs are great, and it's surprisingly touching. I'm howling by the time Tiny Tim sings Bless Us All.

And if you don't link the Muppets, then it's worth a watch just for Michael Caine singing.


4. Russell Brand's Christmas Ponderland (2008)


Before Russell Brand went and became a Hollywood star he had a show here in the UK called Ponderland, which was essentially a series of monologues and taking the mickey out of old television and video footage.
Each episode of themed, such as 'Childhood,' 'Crime,' 'Education' and 'Family' - but the one most people remember when prompted is the Christmas special, which was also sadly the last episode.

In this one he makes fun of a un-rowsing pack of Christmas revellers, carolling yobs, and a department store Father Christmas ("Naughty Norbert Cleaverhook") who sounds more like a Dickensian villian.


3. The Snowman (1982) / Father Christmas (1991)


The Snowman is a British institution. It's usually shown on Christmas Eve, and I do try to watch it every year.
It's our 'Frosty The Snowman' but being the UK the ending is marginally less jolly.

Some versions have a live-action introduction starring David Bowie as the adult James - between this and his version of Little Drummer Boy with Bing Crosby, he really does love Christmas doesn't he? (It's my favourite strange celebrity cameo after Jack Dee in Sooty & Co.)

I'm also including here the very under-rated Father Christmas.
This must have been on one Christmas and my dad taped it for me because I can't recall seeing it on TV since.

In a twist to the usual story of Father Christmas inhabited in the North Pole with a magical factory of hardworking elves, this animation revolves around Santa in a small house in England, and going on a much needed post-Christmas holiday. However he keeps getting spotted and having to move on.

He's not so much the jolly Santa we all know.
He's a bit grumpy, prone to swearing (well, "blooming") and is shown drinking heavily, hungover, gambling, dancing with chorus girls, over-indulging in fancy food and ending up with diarrhoea.

Now as a kid, there was a nothing funnier than Santa with the runs, but I wonder if some found Santa's antics a bit much and that's why it is not shown as often as The Snowman.

But try and get a copy if you can - it's way more charming than how I'm describing it.
(And get the UK version if possible, as the American version apparently has all the hilarious stuff cut out.)


2. Friends: The One With The Holiday Armadillo (2000)


Ross wants to introduce his son Ben to Hanukah but is upset at the prospect of no Santa during the holidays. Ross goes to hire a Santa suit to appease him – however being so close to Christmas, he takes the only one left, and becomes ‘the Holiday Armadillo: your part-Jewish friend” to teach him all about the traditions and festivities.

The Friends holiday episodes are all great (especially The One Where Rachel Quits and The One With The Routine) but this one is extra special as it’s a mainstream holiday show that doesn’t focus on Christmas.


1. Jingle All The Way (1996)


There are very few Christmas films that work all year around - this is one of them.

Arnie plays a workaholic father who leaves it to the last minute to buy the most popular toy of the year - a Turbo Man - for his son. So therefore finds himself running on Christmas Eve around trying to find the last one in the city - competing with another panicked father, played by Simbad.

It's absolutely hilarious, full of one liners, comments on the commercialisation of Christmas and of course has a nice sentimental ending.


What do you guys think?
Are any of your favourites in this list - did I leave out something crucial?
(Yes, I know. Home Alone just missed the top ten...)

Right, that's me singing off again for the holidays.
I hope you all have a wonderful time, and I'll be back later this week with a post on party-wear for New Year's!


Muchos love,
MessyCarla


Christmas Wishlist

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Hey everyone,

I come to you with another wish list.

God, it's cold now isn't it?
I've had a year off from blisteringly cold British winters - long gone are the days of my Geordie youth of going out without a coat on (yes, that's a thing we do here).
I'm now well wrapped up.

Now that Halloween and Bonfire Night have been and gone, talk immediately turns to the holidays!

Being part-neurotic and part-unable-to-handle-busy-shops-without-having-a-hissy-fit I actually have a lot of my shopping done already - with just my dad, sister and Daniel to go!

However I haven't given a lot of thought as to what I'm asking Santa for, so I thought I'd make a list up now in case any elves are trolling the internet on their lunch breaks.



















If you follow me on Twitter you'll know that I've recently started a new job - hooray!

I'm working in travel and tourism in a friendly office in the city centre - two weeks in and I'm throughly enjoying it!

There's however lots to learn and I've been really busy lately, and sadly my October Favourites post ended up being only half finished.

But I thought it'd be nice to still post the October Instagram throwback section here to look back on the best bits of the last month - as it really was quite a good'un!

Georgina (far right) got engaged so we celebrated by having a few too many drinks.
Everyone else was very civilised and (naturally) we brought the tone down slightly by doing a round of shots just as her family arrived!

What I basically lived in: bat leggings, bunny jumper and gold chain all from Primark.

Forever browsing Halloween aisles.
Tartan and Dr Martens = winning combination for Autumn!

Mint hot chocolate - Options is my brand of choice.
I baked spicy ginger cookies - they didn't last long!


Italian Catholic Mother bought me this tree from the Halloween section - it's going to double as my creepy Christmas tree. It's going to look so cute with baubles and tinsel, non?

My sister defying the 'no pets' rule in her building.

I went to visit my sister in Glasgow, and we also had a day in Stirling which was so much fun!

I went to my friend Lauren's for drinks, pizza, cake and we watched Les Miserables.
L'Occitane goodies!

 
Preview of the Autumn Style Clinic with Cosmopolitan at the MetroCentre. There was an awesome presentation on holiday sparkle by the style team and I fell in love with this clutch from Accessorize.

Christmas showcase at Fat Buddah. The honey-chilli chicken was especially delicious. 

"Ariel listen to me, the human world - it's a mess!"
Gettin' my mermaid on for Halloween.


I'm sorry again I didn't get enough time to round up some of my favourite products and do a full post - however I couldn't resist posting my new favourite nail polishes from Model's Own; inspired by the melon liqueur Midori: 

LOVE!


Muchos love,
MessyCarla



Gift Idea: Vivienne Westwood

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Hey everyone,

It's that time of year again: the council are starting to put the lights up, pubs and restaurants are advertising their party menus and the phrase "oh, _______ would like that!" pops into your head more than ever while shopping.

This is also the time of year when it's more acceptable than ever to treat yourself to a nice bag.
I have a terrible habit of buying bags (especially party bags) around the £10-£20 mark, having them fall apart after a few weeks - but still wearing them right up until the strap snaps.

One of the items on my bucket list will forever be a Vivienne Westwood bag. I was very kindly given a patent leather purse for my 21st birthday - which is quite large so easily doubles as a clutch.
(It's surprisingly roomy and I can fit my phone in there!)

However, 'tis the season and here's a selection of my favourite bags from Dame Queen Viv this A/W:












My favourite is definitely #7 and I think it'll look so cute with one of my favourite dresses this season from Pink Clove




1: Pink Clove Tartan Skater Dress: £22.00 (Similar here, here, here, here and here)







Do you have an ultimate piece you've been coveting for years? Let me know!


In other news this will most likely be my last post this week as I'm off to Plus London 3 this weekend. I'm looking forward to catch up with everyone - especially as I've been out of the loop for so long.

Are any of you guys going? I can't wait wait wait. 


It's also Halloween tomorrow, my favourite time of year but sadly I don't think I'm doing anything special. 
I'll most likely have a giant bowl of popcorn and my Vincent Price box set. 

Though Daniel and I had pre-celebrations last night with pizza, Corpse Bride and our special witches' brew punch (aka: all we had in)
It was surprisingly good and tasted like jelly babies! 



Muchos love,
MessyCarla



DISCLAIMER: Post in partnership with Harvey Nichols. All words and opinions are - as always - my own.