Belgrade Theatre: Frankenstein [Gifted]?

Coventry Bloggers were invited to the opening night of Frankenstein at Belgrade Theatre and I decided to go for it as I haven’t been to the theatre in ages and I love a good horror (it’s especially perfect for October with the run up the Halloween).

I arrived a little early so I had a bit of a wander of the theatre, it was so cosy with the bad weather and darker nights drawing in and I ended up with a glass of wine, sitting at one of the tables just observing what was going on before heading over to pick up tickets.

The show is in the B2 auditorium which I’ve not been in before, it’s much smaller than the main stage but I really liked it, it made the show more intimate and really suited what we were there to see. The stage was set up to encompass a variety of landscapes (office, house, boat, forest) with books and a wingback chair ready for the performance.

From the moment the show started it managed to capture an eerie atmosphere which maintained throughout but also had humour to it. The story was being told from the perspective of the writer which wasn’t what we were expecting but worked well. A fact I know but always forget is that Frankenstein is the creator not the monster! It had its jumpy moments but I’d say not to be put off if horror isn’t normally your thing, it was creepy without being terrifying and we had a great night out.

I don’t want to give away any details of the show because it’s one that is much better to watch than be described and I wouldn’t want to ruin it for anybody going to see. It is one I would recommend seeing whether you are somebody going to the theatre regularly or someone like me that wanted something a little different to do with my evening.

Dawn

Life of a Midlander

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Rebel Manifesto Aerial – A different way to keep fit this Autumn.

Now that Autumn is well and truly here, it’s time to cosy up on the sofa under a blanket and drink lots of hot chocolate! This is my favourite thing to do once the colder weather and dark nights come around, but I also like to try and keep active as much as possible too. Dark, cold nights don’t really give you the motivation to get yourself to the gym after work, so I have something that might help …

Let me introduce you to Rebel Manifesto Aerial.

The past few weeks I’ve enrolled at Rebel Manifesto Aerial for their beginner aerial classes and it’s made working out so much fun. I still go to the gym throughout the week, but my aerial classes are the workouts I look forward to the most now.

Kayleigh - RMA 2

Rebel Manifesto Aerial is ran by Luka Owen, the loveliest person I’ve met! She’s an amazing aerialist and such a great teacher. She makes everyone feel welcome and is really supportive (both mentally and physically!). I was a little worried that I wouldn’t be able to do much in my first class, but Luka had me doing beginner moves straight away and then I was hooked. Each week since I’ve been slowly progressing and I’m even putting together my own hoop routine at the moment! There are nets, silks, trapeze and a hoop there and you get to learn them all.

Don’t be put off because it looks hard and/or scary. The beginner’s classes are great for easing people in gently. They won’t expect you to be able to jump straight on a hoop and then do a backflip dismount (if that’s even a thing, which it probably isn’t haha!), they’ll do some easy moves with you first to ease you in. Everyone then learns at their own pace and Luka will give you all individual things to practice during classes, as well as a few group exercises.

Kayleigh - RMA 4

You have that much fun at these classes that you forget that you’re even working out. I’ve been going to the gym regularly for the last 4 years or so and even I’m working muscles that I didn’t even know I had! It’s great for improving your strength, flexibility and core as well as getting your heart pumping and all while you’re learning a new skill and having fun.

I have a little bit of a dance background, so I know the structure of learning moves and putting together routines already. However you don’t have to have any kind of dance/aerial/gymnastics practice at all. People of any age and ability can join in and are welcomed into the group with open arms. The girls in my class are all super lovely and I’ve never met a group that are so supportive of each other. Cheering each other on and congratulating each other on accomplishing that special move is compulsory! 😊

Kayleigh - RMA

The sense of accomplishment you get at the end of a class is addictive. It’s so amazing to be able to go home and show my fiancé the new moves I’ve learnt and also moan about the new bruises I’ve acquired too! I don’t think I’ve ever been so proud of myself as often as I have been over the last month and I love it.

If you’re looking for something to get you motivated to get moving this winter then this is your thing! It’s such a fulfilling class and will ensure that you’re excited to get exercising. Luka has the best energy and is such an amazing teacher that I’m sure you’ll be hooked just like me. You can get in touch with Luka through their Facebook page here or through Instagram here to book classes.

Kayleigh – Hazelnut Musings

The Ballroom Climbing Wall

Earlier this year myself and Pete discovered the Ballroom Climbing Centre in Coventry City Centre and it’s developed into a regular place to be for us. My husband climbed when he was younger and really wanted to pick it back up again. I enjoy climbing but thought I’d just be a now and again climber but I end up coming with him most weeks!

The centre is brilliant, it’s bouldering which is what we enjoy most and it’s a great space with plenty of diverse routes to suit all levels (I am definitely beginner!). They change the routes too so it gives you plenty to come back for.

The atmosphere is so friendly as well, the people who work there are lovely and all the climbers are so friendly. We’ve joined a bit of a group but even when we come on our own there are plenty of people happy to talk and help of you want help with a route. It’s quite nice spurring each other on too, there is plenty of encouragement and I’ve know there to be cheering when somebody completes a route they’ve been struggling with.

Some days are busier than others but there are benefits to each. When it’s busier you sometimes have to wait a turn to go on a wall (although this is never too long as there is plenty of room) but there is more of a social element. When it’s quieter you pretty much have your pick of any wall so if you want to repeat a route to figure it out then that can also be fun.

They do classes which I’ve not been to so can’t say what they are like but there are beginner, intermediate and coaching to choose from as well as a ladies night on Wednesdays.

The routes are graded from V0 which is easiest and as the numbers go up, the harder it gets. I’m on V0 & V1 which are plenty enough to keep me entertained. I’m writing this post at the centre whilst Pete does a bit of extra climbing and there is a route that has been my nemesis. It’s on an overhang and I don’t quite have the strength, technique or mentality for it! Tried it a few times and can only get to a certain point (pictured below). It’s great to persevere with it though and I know I’ll get there at some point! There are a few routes I’ve thought I’d not be able to do then loved it when it be gotten there.

What I really enjoy about climbing is not just that it’s keeping me physically active but mentally active too. There is quite a bit of thinking involved to figure out routes and sometimes I need a bit of help but feel quite proud of myself when I manage to figure it out.

I’d really recommend for anybody to give it a try if you want to try something a bit different. They are on Instagram if you want to check out more photos and some videos. Comment below if you do give it a go, would love to hear about how you get on!

Dawn

Life of a Midlander

AD – Living Room Restyle With Kasera!

Hello lovelies, I have a super exciting post to share with you all today! Grab your cuppas, biscuits and get ready! Now I’m someone who’s always on the hunt for new homeware bits and any excuse to restyle a room.

So with that being said I want to talk to you about a website called Kasera which the website we have all been looking for. Kasera makes shopping for furniture super easy. It’s the perfect tool for furniture shopping because you can compare different pieces from various retailers such as John Lewis, Furniture Village and so many more! How cool is that? Not only that but they are a Coventry & Warwickshire based business that launched in June 2019 and they already have partnerships with over 30 major retailers.

Continue reading

Coombe Weekender: Saturday by Regan Thacker

I was very fortunate to have a press pass to Coombe Weekender. I could see the Libertines sign on their backstage cabin, but before their set, there was no other trace of them. I had never seen The Libertines live. I mean a decade or so ago, I was a fan. I bought ‘Up the bracket‘ in 2002, and I also loved Dirty Pretty Things, who were band Carl Barat formed following the demise of the Libertines. The Libertines are known for their other infamous lead singer, Peter Doherty. Pete’s from nearby Bedworth.

Whilst I was in the press pit, numerous people in the crowd were asking if I had seen them or telling me how they used to know him, how he’s very down to earth, generous and friendly. I don’t know how true some of their stories were, but it was apparent that the crowd were really looking forward to seeing them live.

When The Libertines came onto the stage, I found myself a tad more awestruck than I anticipated. I was stood, in the press pitt in front of the Libertines, eek!

They were wearing green aviation jumpsuits, and the yellow strobe lighting was quite difficult to work with as a photographer.

Their set wasn’t as energetic as their younger days, but they were good! It was great to see Pete and Carl sharing a microphone, the familiarity of the songs and nostalgia gave me goosebumps.

Regan Thacker; Photographer and Coventry and Warwickshire Igers Admin.

Find her blog here.

Gifted; Sunday at the Coombe Weekender

I was really excited to be invited along to Coombe Weekender on Sunday 4th August.

Craig Charles

I had been eying up tickets ever since they announced that Craig Charles would be DJ-ing in the main stage. Followed by TopLoader who are a band who I always enjoyed hearing such hits as Achilles Heal and of course Dancing In the Moonlight which came out the year I was 16! As a Blogger I do pay for things, but decided that if I couldn’t get in for free, then I’d just miss out. Tickets were about £45 each for the Sunday, and I felt the two acts I wanted to see were not worth that amount of money. Continue reading

Wagamama’s New Vegan Menu (written by a non vegan!) [Gifted Experience]

Wagamama’s recently invited a group of Coventry Bloggers to try some of their new menu (including the vegan egg!) and I was more than happy to join. If you’ve been reading my posts you’ll know how much I love meeting up with the group and I’ve been to Wagamama loads of times and always had a great time with great food.

Photo Credit: Emily from The Emily Chapters, taken by the lovely staff at Wagamama

Located at Cathedral Lanes, it is in the heart of Coventry City Centre’s foodie area and is so easy to access. It was chucking it down the night we went (you’ll see the umbrellas in the photos later!) but it was easy enough to drive in to get there but there are also plenty of public transport links.

We had sooo much food that night, it was amazing and unbelievably for me, all vegan. I’m not even close to vegan so the fact I choose to eat all vegan and loved it shows what a diverse and creative menu the vegan menus is. We had a selection of starters, a main to share between us, our own choice meal and a selection of deserts.

To start we had Bang Bang Cauliflower, Edamame Beans and Mixed Mushroom + Panko Aubergine Hirata Steamed Buns. The buns were so light and delicious, the beans were really good too and so moorish but it was the cauliflower that stole to show for me. I could have eaten so much of before it! It had some heat to it but fairly mild so don’t be out off by the name if you aren’t heavily into spice. It was so well prepared and the flavours and textures were brilliant. In fact I wish I had some nw writing this!

The shared main was Avant Gard’n which is one of the dishes with the vegan egg and is what I was going to have as my selected meal but as we had a sample I figured I could try something else as well. It was designed in collaboration with Gaz Oakley and is made up of many tasty thing (which I’ll put a picture of the menu for rather than listing here). We tried the egg first as it was such a novelty, we liked that it looked like an egg but wasn’t trying to be an imitation in taste as it was more of a coconut flavour than egg. We mixed everything else up and tucked in, eating way more than I should have with another main meal on the way but it tasted so good!

We also got to try one of the drinks on offer which I wasn’t sure if I would like (especially when I smelt it!) but it was actually really nice and would have again. I’ve put a picture below but it’s difficult to describe it so I’d say if your there give it a try.

The main I ordered was off the vegan menu even though I could choose anything because I was in the mood to try something new and loved the take on the Katsu Curry (Yasai Katsu Curry) which substituted the meat with sweet potato, aubergine and butternut squash, all coated in breadcrumbs. I absolute loved it, in fact Amy from Writing Into the Ether ordered the meat version and we sampled both and I preferred the vegan option so when I want a curry again that’s what I’ll go for!

I was so full at this point (in fact I took some home in a takeaway container for lunch the next day) but we still had pudding to go. I didn’t shy away though, I was especially intrigued by the vegan ice cream which there were two of (chocolate and orange blossom and strawberry and yuzu) along with a mango and matched layer cake which was also very good. I managed to eat quite a lot of desert considering how full I was!

I’m sure you’ve all had enough of my ramblings now so just want to wrap this up by saying what a great night we had, thank you to Wagamama to only for having us but being such brilliant hosts too and for our goodie bags! A very memorable night and looking forward to my next Wagamama meal!

Dawn

Life of a Midlander

THE URGE IS HERE!

I’m SO excited to be writing this blog post for you all. The other week I attended a really exciting and special event to celebrate the launch of the URGE brand. This brand was founded by one of our very own, Ellena, from Ellena’s paradise.

Firstly, I want to tell you all a little bit about the story behind The URGE. This brand was born shortly after Ellena pulled herself out of a really dark place. About a year ago Ellena was struggling with feeling like she wasn’t enough. She had always felt pressure to do something and be someone but wasn’t sure what that thing was. The last year she found herself amongst toxic people and in a toxic environment and she had to learn the hard way but it was so worth it in the end because she found her purpose.

She achieved her dream last year which was to travel to America. She was able to travel and work while learning so much! However, she still didn’t feel enough. She found herself discovering the world, learning new things, meeting new people. Then eventually she figured it out! The most important thing she found out was who she is and what she means to herself. Ellena realised she loves Art and so she started to paint. She started talking to people about how she was feeling and her emotions, she finally felt like she belonged somewhere! Ellena’s life changed in such a short space of time. She had the URGE to change something and to do something important. She wanted to be confident, beautiful and be heard! She wanted to help people in need, help people love who they are and appreciate what they have. This was when the URGE brand was born. You can read Ellena’s full story here.

The URGE brand has launched with their first product which is the Pearl Medusa which you can shop here. It’s vegan, ethical and to top it off – no plastic is involved in the production or packaging. These earrings are the perfect mix of glamour and sustainability. They have been made to make anyone feel beautiful and confident, they truly are a statement piece.

I was so excited when I received the invited to attend the launch. So after I finished work me and Chloe headed off to the Ivy House in Coventry. When we arrived we were greeted by Ellena who was looking totally GLAM! We headed up to the room and it was a pink dream! Cute white petals, glitter, feathers, fairy lights! Pretty much my kinda event!

Ellena had set up the cutest little heart canvas that was painted pink and had The URGE written on it in cute little pearls. She had set out some paint brushes and some paint and had asked everyone to sign their name on the canvas. I thought this was the sweetest idea ever and the loveliest keepsake. It’s safe to say I’m not the best with a paint brush but I tried my best!

We had the opportunity to have a chit chat and a catch up with some fellow bloggers. Me and Chloe were also eyeing up the delicious cupcakes and doughnuts that were set out… we did have one or two. After taking lots of photos Ellena then spoke to us a little bit about the brand and what it’s about and briefly about her story. Ellena had collaborated with some amazing brands and created a beautiful hamper for the raffle which looked insane! When we arrived she gave everyone a raffle ticket so we were all in with a chance of winning.

Before we left Ellena gave us the cutest little goodie bag which had some lovely samples and vouchers inside and the cutest jar of bath salts. I absolutely loved how she had decorated the bag using paints and pearls! Overall, the launch was amazing and I’m so excited to see what else she has to come! Thank you so much Ellena for the invite and letting me share this special moment with you!

Dinner and Cocktails at Cosy Club! {Gifted}

A restaurant I (Dawn from Life of a Midlander) haven’t been to for food despite it being in Coventry for a while is Cosy Club. I feel like Cosy Club was one of the originals to the food quarter that’s developing in Coventry and has already built up a great reputation for itself so I was thrilled they invited Coventry Bloggers to try the new menu (I actually ended up eating out 4 times that week with events and birthdays but I’m not complaining!). Continue reading

Ivy House Gifted Lunch

Photo Credit: Emily from The Emily Chapters

Ivy House very kindly invited a group of Cov Bloggers, including myself Dawn from Life of a Midlander, to lunch recently to try out their new menu. It was a gorgeous sunny day and I was really looking forward to spending time with the group and trying the food on offer.

I’ve been to Ivy House for an event but not eaten there before so this was a new experience for me. We were sat downstairs by the doors so we could take in the beautiful day and I was immediately impressed with the set up and location looking out onto the art gallery and historic buildings. Continue reading