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All Posts By Adebola - MyBreakingViews

Review: Cotton Bag Co. ‘Jute Selfie Bag’

Please note: This product was sent to me for review. 

A Jute Selfie BAG!! Music to my name! You guys remember when I received my Foodie Bag from Cotton Bag Co. Well, I just got even luckier with their new Jute Selfie Bag! With Lockdown 3 coming to an end I think I am ready to get out there and start getting my selfie pictures on the way. 

What’s in the bag?

Cotton Bag Co. ‘Jute Selfie Bag'

Every year Cotton Bag Co. is looking for ways to improve their bag and I have to say that this year selfie bag has been certainly created for the ultimate selfie King or Queen! Here is a list of things included in the bag: 

  • Bluetooth tripod selfie stick: get the perfect angle with a Bluetooth selfie stick to connect to your phone. The selfie stick is great for holidays and anyone looking to get some different angles for their shots
  • Zip top: the whole bag has a zip across the top for added security and so that you can be rest assured that nothing will come tumbling out.
  • Pop up reflector: to get the perfect lighting for your selfies we’ve included a pop-up reflector that comes tucked up in its own mini bag.
  • LED ring light: if the reflector doesn’t quite cut it, then give the LED ring light a go. This ring light handily attaches to the top of your phone, plus it comes with a lead to charge and has 3 settings so you’re sure to get just the perfect lighting.
  • Handy guide: free inside each Selfie Bag, this brochure has all the tips needed to take the perfect picture.

I mean with all this.. what else do you need for the perfect selfie? Nothing else because it’s all in this one bag! 

Who is Cotton Bag Co?

If you’ve been following MyBreakingViews journey you should already know who Cotton Bag Co is, but just in case… It’s a company based in Wiltshire that creates bags for lots of wonderful business, including M&S, Schuh and for people like you and me. 

What I will be using the Jute Selfie Bag for?

I am never someone that would say no to a goodie bag! I’ve already used the ring light on a cheeky date night and will certainly be purchasing a few more of these bags for my friends who I know love a cheeky selfie. You will also see me using this when I am able to travel again and can go on a nice long solo trip!

How can I purchase the Jute Selfie Bag?

You can also order the bag directly for £27.95 inc P&P & VAT – Same Day Despatch, exclusively from Cotton Bag Co.

If you purchase this bag, then let me know! Heck, send me a picture to be featured in this post!

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COVID Travel Diaries: 3 days in Italy, Rome

Italy Rome for 3 days.

Italy is and has always been a beautiful country to visit. There are so many places to view, such as Florence, Rome, Milan, Bologna and many more places to experience and fall in love with. Despite the scares of travelling during COVID19. I was lucky to have a quick escape and travel to Italy, Rome last year (2020). This of course was all for a quick weekend birthday get away with Tiaontour hosted trip – girlswrldtour. And it was fabulous!!!

I agreed to go to Italy because it was one of the countries on the travel corridors list, which at the time simply meant you wouldn’t have to quarantine when you were there and when you returned to the UK……

Rome is the capital city and a special commune of Italy, it has so much character and beauty including sites such as the Spanish Steps, the Pantheon, Piazza Navona, Trevi Fountain, and how can I forget the FOOD! Pizza, Pasta and more Pizza! It was a very much needed holiday after several countries that had been planned where cancelled last year (Jamaica and Jordan) due to the COVID situation.

Can you stay in Rome, Italy for 3 days?

The simple answer is yes. (par the lockdown/pandemic situation) You can easily stay and see Rome, Italy in 3 days. Your time will of course be tight, but there is a lot to see, and if you carry on reading, you will find out what I got up too. Of course, you may not be able to do everything I did, but you can certainly pick and choose what you would like to do – when COVID permits!

Day one of 3 in Rome Italy… Arrival

I arrived in Rome in the late evening, there was some delays with the trains. Due to COVID, trains were not running like they usually do. I arrived at the Giolli Nazionale Hotel. The hotel is very central to the main tourists sites!

The idea was to freshen up and head out to Zuma Restaurant. Instead, I was surprised by Tia and the girls with balloons and a Birthday sing-song! Awwwww! It was great! I wasn’t expecting a birthday surprise and just didn’t know how to react!

3 in Rome Italy

After this we freshened up and as requested dressed in our earth tone** outfits and headed out to the lovely Japanese restaurant.

The dinner was lovely. I had the maiale iberico con yuzu e salsa al tartufo which was absolutely spectacular. We spent time getting to know each other with some dining games led by Channmariee and then headed back to the hotel for a night of rest.

Please note: Some countries are strict on the type of facemasks you use when travelling to their country. For Italy, it was required to wear a medical facemask.

Day two of 3 in Rome Italy… Saturnia Hot Springs

3 days in Italy Rome

It was an early start! As we were heading to the famous Saturnia Hot Springs. The Saturnia Hot Springs is a great way to get away from Rome for a day and explore Tuscany and the Maremma. We left Rome just after 6 am and arrived there just after 10 am.

You would have thought that the place would have been empty! But no! It was completely packed! I still managed to get a few nice pictures – I think so anyway! We spent a few hours at the hot springs, grabbed some lunch in Maremma and headed back to Rome for a cooking class!!

Please note: The Saturina Hot Springs is free entry and is totally worth going for the experience.

This was my very first ever cooking class and it was great! It took us a while to get there! We found the class on Airbnb experiences. The class started with some wine tasting (both red and white). We then proceeded to make some pasta from the stretch. I was quite impressed with how quick and easy it was to make – it just needed a lot of kneeling! I added a tomato-based sauce to my pasta and finished that with some cheese and white wine… Buon appetito!

The night was supposed to end with a party (girls night in) to celebrate my birthday! But we were of course shattered from the very early rise and was summoned to my bed!

Day three of 3 in Rome, Italy… Birthday!

Today was the birthday girls birthday! yeah me! so I was mega excited! It required another early start (7.30 AM)!! to explore the famous sites of Rome, Italy! We had a quick bite to eat for breakfast and then first headed to the Trevi Fountain. We were lucky to have stayed in a hotel that was located so central because the fountain was within walking distance!

Trevi Fountain

Then we headed out to the famous Colosseum to explore some more. Along the way, we continued to take the best shots. Check out some more shots below. We then headed back to the hotel to order an Uber for the Vatican City, which was an experience indeed. We arrived just before the mass service, which to my delight was delivered by the Pope himself. I must say this was lovely for me on my birthday!

Our final stop was grabbing some lunch at a local restaurant close to the Vatican City before heading back to the hotel and catching my flight!

Must things to do in Italy, Rome for 3 days:

  • Saturnia Hot Springs
  • Italian Cooking Class
  • Trevi Fountain
  • Colosseum
  • Vatican City
  • Spanish Steps
  • Pincio Hill

I always say that you must celebrate your birthday abroad! Lucky for me I was able to do so as I know many people are not able to do so! Hope you are able to save this post to at some point visit Rome, Italy!

In the meantime, have you been to Rome, Italy? How long were you there for and what did you get up too?

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How to Travel During a Pandemic

Travel during a pandemic….

It has certainly been a very weird travel year for all of us. Like many others, 2020 was a year that many people had plans. Plans that many were unable to meet. As a travel blogger, I had many plans to explore the world. I had plans to travel to Bulgaria (to ski, which I did!), Jamacia (first time to go to the Caribbean), Italy (birthday plans – which I did happen and I’m yet to write about), Nigeria (still waiting for the Nigerian embassy to open), and Jordan. I know I would have done many other days trips around Europe but sadly like you, and many others around the world I wasn’t able to travel and see the world as I would’ve hoped.

This year, I have to admit that I’m quite hesitant to travel the world during a pandemic. Not only is the UK in their third lockdown, but there also seems to be a general scare or ‘travel bashing’ if anyone is seen travelling. I mean have you seen the reality stars that have travelled to Dubai for work?!

Anyone travelling during a pandemic is getting it. Particularly those travelling from the UK! I get it. The UK is experiencing this quite badly, especially compared to other countries in the world. However, I do want us to be prepared to travel once we do leave the lockdown so I have written a few steps on what can help…

A new way of travelling….

Travel during a pandemic

I think it’s obvious to say that travelling during a pandemic will be extremely different from what we once knew travelling to be. If you managed to travel last year in 2020, you will already know some of the points I’m about to make. Heck! You may even have some points to share. If you do, please be kind enough to share with us all!

Check your government travel advisory

Before you even begin to start travelling and planning your trip, check the status of your government travel advisory, and follow its advice. I know many are still doing their own thing when it comes to travel, but be careful! Things are changing every second of the day and I literally mean it when I say every second! Even if the status of a country is deemed to be “safe to travel” doesn’t mean it can’t change in a second!

Depending on where you’re returning from, your government may require you to quarantine on arrival. Again it may not be the case now, but as things are changing so rapidly I wouldn’t say don’t think it can change! So, if you cannot run the risk of extra costs. I would suggest staying at home for now.

You will certainly need to consider taking a COVID test….

I think this is a given. While many of us are waiting to receive a vaccination. We must understand that taking a test is essential to travel not only for your safety but for others around the world. Travelling while testing positive can only cause more and more lockdowns and worsen the pandemic.

Getting yourself tested for some countries is essential before you travel. I have heard some people have been denied at the border due to not obeying laws. Take a test and provide the evidence so you know you can travel with peace of mind. In the UK it is fairly easy to find a testing centre.

Consider Insurance when you are ready travel during a pandemic

This is more important than ever. Get insurance. I know some people in the past have played around with this but this is no longer a joke. Travelling is no longer just an escape it’s a danger zone that you enter at your own risk. Get a travel insurance quote from a Worldwide Insurance company. Not an unknown company. Be willing to spend for your own safety.

Go to countries that have the lowest numbers

Unlike the UK, many countries have been relatively unscathed by the COVID19 pandemic, at least for now. If a destination has few cases or a low death rate, the risk of catching the virus while there is hopefully quite low.

Whatever you do when travelling be mindful to avoid crowds. Consider activities like hiking and maybe camping (not really my thing but hey). Avoid eating out in busy restaurants, clubbing, bars, concerts and night clubs.

Cover up and hold a hygiene bag….

Please consider covering up and protecting yourself. When I did Italy for my birthday last year I carried a little hygiene bag. It had:

Travel during a pandemic

You may even want to carry your COVID19 test with you here. Taking the right precautions when travelling or deciding to travel during a pandemic can really help you have a much smoother travel experience.

Taking the right steps and measures to cover yourself are essential for your travels. It will help you make sure that you enjoy your trip. I hope the tips I’ve shared above are helpful and please please do share if you have any in the comments below.

See you soon.

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Restaurant Review: The Tiffany Blue Box Cafe at Harrods

Tiffany Blue Box Cafe at Harrods was absolutely divine. Who doesn’t love a cheeky brunch date with a close one, the girls or the babe?

I’ve been meaning to start writing restaurant reviews for a while now. Many have even asked, and I thought why not write one for my most recent brunch date with my Relationship and Lifestyle Blogger AliceTheeBlogger?

We had originally planned to go to Tiffany Blue Box Cafe to celebrate our birthdays. You know to celebrate the end of Virgo season *the best season in like the world – haha. Anyways, with life getting in the way, we didn’t end up going on the last day of Virgo Season, so just decided to go for our birthdays and call it a day. I reserved a slot with Open Table to ensure that I can start collecting my points.

First Impressions

If you know me you will know that I love the ambience of a restaurant. I love to be greeted accordingly, and I absolutely adore how a restaurant can make you almost feel like you’re away from reality. Going out to eat whether it be breakfast, lunch or dinner should always be an experience from the minute you walk through the door. 

My first impressions of the Tiffany Blue Box Cafe was how cute and small it was. It was just the place for a boogie little brunch.

I was greeted kindly by a waiter and ushered to my table after scanning the track and trace barcode. 

Looking around you could see that they didn’t come to play with the theme. The cafe was covered in blue with blue and white plates and pure silver cutlery! It screamed Tiffany! The chairs were also comfortable and the atmosphere was aesthetically pleasing.

It was noted that we only had the table for 1.5 hours. Social distancing was observed accordingly with tables set 3 metres apart with all staff wearing masks.

The Menu at The Tiffany Blue Box

Time to peruse the menu! The menu wasn’t entirely clear for me to understand to begin with. It only had three options and didn’t really have the option to just have something small as a side order. 

I was grateful when the waitress came out to explain the menu to us, which cleared things up a little. From memory, it looked like there were only three options with the cheapest being around £69 pounds. It included the following: 

Sandwiches

  • The New York Salt Beef – with pickles and mustard, white pain de mie
  • English Cucumber & Pink Peppercorn – with Dill mascarpone, white pain de mie
  • Smoked Salmon – with lemon and chive cream cheese, wholemeal bread
  • Egg & Black Truffle – with Black truffle butter, white pain de mie
  • Warm Parmesan Madeleine – with sour cream, caviar and chives

Sweets

  • Times Square Dark Chocolate Cake
  • Summer Berry Tart
  • A crisp tart shell filled with red fruit compote and crème patisserie, Tiffany Blue Egg
  • Lemon curd and Mascarpone cheese mouse in the original Tiffany’s blue colour inspired by the Robin’s Egg

Service

I would say the service was a 4 out of 5. We were first asked what drinks we would like to drink. I asked for a hot chocolate as I don’t like tea or coffee! My friend ordered a latte. The staff were somewhat friendly, with smiles. They paid particular attention to my friend’s daughter which I loved. The starter was quickly severed with our afternoon tea set shortly after.

The Food at Tiffany Blue Box

I was a little hesitant about the food, to be honest. I am always hesitant about decor and food going hand in hand, but I have to say the food was delicious. Afternoon tea is always a good choice.

The starter was a prawn cocktail which satisfied my taste buds. It was crisp and creamy. 

Then there were sandwiches. I wasn’t entirely pleased with the meat beef one but that might be because of my fussy taste buds.

The sweet desserts were an absolute delight with a selection of cakes and treats. The Tiffany egg-shaped egg was my absolute fave. 

Finally, the scones – with real strawberry jam and clotted cream, finished me off nicely. I wasn’t able to finish everything so was really pleased when they packed it in a Harrods box for me to take home.

Photography

Below you will find some pictures of the dishes, table setting, decor and of me – of course! The Tiffany Blue Box Cafe is the place for Instagram lovers, food photographers and anyone that just loves a cute little brunch date. 

Just outside the restaurant, there was a space to take pictures in the blue styled Tiffany box, which I think is soo cute. Lucky for us it wasn’t busy at all – I presume due to COVID19.

Final thoughts…

Overall, I very much enjoyed my experience at the Tiffany Blue Box Cafe. The service was good and the food was even better. I mentioned earlier that my friend brought her 6-month-old daughter, which was absolutely fine. The staff were extremely accommodating to everyone.

It certainly is the place to go for a birthday trip, but for the price, I don’t think I would be going every other day. You know £79 is one week’s shopping! However, a one-off treat to Tiffany is always good for the soul. What about you would you go?  

To get to the restaurant please see the details below:

Location: The Tiffany Blue Box Cafe at Harrods 87-135 Brompton Rd, Knightsbridge, London SW1X 7XL

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Review: Cotton Bag Co. The Foodie Bag

Please note: This product was sent to me for review. 

The Foodie Bag was kindly sent to me from Cotton Bag Co and it just happened to be perfect timing for me. With Cooking Travels Talks already in Season 2, I thought the bag would be great to up my food photography game!

I have never been one that takes amazing photos when going out to eat or dining at home, but I am trying, and I think this bag might be a good start for me to find my style.

Who are Cotton Bag Co?

Cotton Bag Co is based in Wiltshire and creates bags for lots of wonderful business, including Wagamama, M&S, Schuh and many other well-known high-street and household brands.

What’s in the bag?

This bag has been created for those that enjoy taking pictures of their food including breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Are you a fellow foodie? Then #TheFoodieBag is just the thing for you. The bag was developed for foodie enthusiasts in mind. It includes some fantastic features including stylish backdrops, some handy photography tips to help you take pictures that will really make your food photos stand out compared to all the other food bloggers!

  • The stylish 12oz black canvas bag with internal pockets comes with a:
  • Mesh divider and zip closure,
  • A 5 in 1 pop up reflector,
  • An 8 postcard set with handy tips on how to take photos and finally,
  • 4 photographic backdrop
Foodie Bag

Everything you need to take and share the most beautiful Foodie pictures.

What the Foodie Bag can be used for?

I’ve used the Foodie Bag for numerous food photos, mainly for my Instagram, Pinterest and Twitter. The Foodie Bag costs only £39.95 and can be purchased via Paypal – easy.

What will I be using the bag for?

There are so many places I will be using the Foodie Bag for. I’ve already been using it for my food collaboration posts at home, and will certainly be considering using the bag for my travels. It will certainly provide a useful tool when out on my dinner dates with my camera.

#TheFoodieBag for any posts you put out on socials.
Please note: This product was sent to me for review.

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5 Ways to Celebrate Black History Month 2020

This year with the horrific murders of George Floyd and Breonna Taylor, COVID19, and now with #ENDSARS protest in Nigeria, the world has been forced to recognise the reality of racism and mistreatment towards Black people. Many would have ignored it before. However, this year many have decided to commit themselves educating themselves via social media, books, and more.

When is Black History Month 2020?

Black History Month begins from Thursday the 1st of October, to Saturday the 31st of October, 2020.

What is Black History Month?

Black History Month is celebrated in various countries around the world. It began as a way of remembering the importance of Black people and history. 

In the United Kingdom, Black History Month was first celebrated in October 1987. It started through the leadership of Ghanaian analyst Akyaaba Addai-Sebo, who had served as a coordinator of special projects for the Greater London Council (GLC).

This post would normally, have covered a list of events to attend for Black History Month. I thought and thought about ways to celebrate Black History Month this year, and I think the best way was to do this is virtually. 

Read on to find out a few different ways to get involved with Black History Month this year.

1. Write down what it means to be Black

As a Black woman, I sometimes keep myself busy. So busy that I don’t realise what is happening around me. It sometimes helps me block at the reality of things that are happening to people that look like me. It’s easy to forget how hard you are working as a Black person sometimes. Not to mention the horrific events that have gone on throughout this year – it can all be a bit much!

This year has hit our community the hardest – we are tired, hurt, angry, raging, and did I say tired? Sometimes I feel we are constantly fighting for freedom, equal rights; and to just live in a world that is everyday working against us.

Try and use this month to write something kind to yourself. Talk about why your skin shines, how your hair beautifully stands out in a crowd. Why your melanin is popping? Remind yourself how far you’ve come as a Black individual. 

If you are not Black, maybe write the work and struggle a Black person has to go through. It’s not for you to feel upset or guilty about, but maybe time for you to reflect on the fight we are forever fighting.

2. Do Black Pound Month

Black Pound Day simply encourages us to help Black business for a day. However, it doesn’t have to be just one day! Celebrate it the whole month heck make it a lifestyle!

3. Think of ways Black History Month can be brought into the workplace

Diversity in the Workplace

Let’s be honest the more diverse a workplace is the better the decisions. By taking value in diversity a workforce is required to be innovative and have a much wider perspective on policy, projects and more. It allows the status quo to be challenged. 

Work with your team/department to think of how Black History Month can be recognised this month – maybe organise for a speaker to come in, or organise a virtual event?

4. Read and Educate Yourself on Black History

I’m one that needs to get back on this. Start reading books. I’ve been reading Why I No Longer Talk To White People About Race for the longest time. Honestly, there are things in this book that have made me take a step back.

I am learning every single day, read, learn the history and don’t be afraid to ask questions and be corrected.

5. Don’t Pressure Yourself

There seems to be a lot of pressure sometimes to be seen doing something. Own it and celebrate it in your way and time. Being Black is not a fashion its a lifestyle. I wake up Black and go to sleep Black. 

Not to mention we are also living in a global pandemic so, please don’t put too much pressure on yourself. 

There are so many things you can do to celebrate, so many that I haven’t mentioned. Black Travel Creators are collaborating with Grenada Tourism Board to give content creators a taste of the Island – Grenada. Interested? Sign up here. We are also looking for Black Travel Content Creators that have a UK based audience. 

What will you be doing to celebrate Black History Month? Leave in the comments below. 

Day 1- Luce over at perselem and

Day 2- Beth over at thoughtsofarealredhead then

Day 3- Jessie over at wandererandtraveller

Day 4- Rhiannon over at mrssleejones and

Day 5- Haley over at introvertedcreativity then

Day 6- Karalee over at talesofbelle and

Day 7- Kim over at chimmyville then

Day 8- Kirsty over at kirstymarie and finally me

Day 9- Adebola over at mybreakingviews

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