Rocotillos

The Proclaimers once famously sang they would walk one thousand miles to fall down at your door. But who wants to walk 1000 miles just for the oft chance of impressing a lady when you could walk 117 (or you know drive, like any sane person would) for the elixir of eternal youth a milkshake?

Call us crazy if you will but that’s just what Mr. Becca and myself did one day when we were still living in London.  We like adventures; we’d had our first hit from ‘Tillos (we stumbled across this milk mecca the last time we were in Brizzle staying with relatives) and we were hungry for more so we rode the MegaBus for two and a half hours. For a milkshake. But that’s how good they are!

Rocotillos is an American diner at the top of Park Street in Bristol. Its cool blue mirrored interior is very diner-esque, you can sit on the stools watching the food being cooked and (pretend you’re meeting Bobby for a soda) or squeeze into one of the booths that they’ve managed to fill the rest of the rather small space with. This place is so cool that it’s even featured in an episode of Skins.

The menu is typical burgers, fries, hot dogs etc and of course the shakes. No one really goes just for the food, the burgers are huge and nicely cooked but…just ok, the fries are a little bit too thinly cut for my taste so you mostly get a mouthful of oil which is disappointing. I can’t comment on the rest of the menu but the Quesadillas did look really good when I saw another couple munching down on them. But the shakes… thick and bursting with flavour, you get the usual strawberry and chocolate etc but also the more exotic Chocolate/Hazelnut, the Honeycomb flavoured one and my all time favourite the Ben & Jerry’s Phish Food (they also do Cookie Dough). They’re served straight from the blender in glasses with the rest of it waiting to be drunk from the huge metal jugs  and they might be expensive compared to a regular milkshake but you get alot of shake for your money. Pace yourselves though, after a burger, fries and two milkshakes you’ll be glad Park Street is on a hill as the only way to get home will be to roll.

Seriously, nothing compares to a Tilllo’s shake, a fact shared by our Bristol living friend Hayley who, without persuasion, met us there with James and Zoe when we came to her Housewarming (she lives right around the corner from the Being Human house – I was very excited by this) last month.

No one is going to know your name, but it sure is a nice place to get away to. Next time you’re near, pop in.

Rocotillos, 1 Queens Row, Clifton, Bristol (0117 929 7207)

Open Hours: 8am-5pm Mon-Thu, 8am-8:30pm Fri-Sat, 10am-5pm Sun

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Lush

They walk among us. They could be your sister, your brother or your mum. They could even your best friend. You can spot them a mile off; they’re crossing the street or running very fast clasping scarves to their faces like they’re trying to avoid the plague. Who are these people? Charity tin dodgers? Zombie apocalypse survivors? No, they’re something much worse… That’s right, people who don’t like LUSH!

Ok, so it’s a bit dramatic but we all know someone who moans about how strong the smell is and they can’t go in because it gives them a headache and yadda yadda yadda. These people are wrong heads and are missing out, in my opinion, on one of the best shops on the High Street.

Lush is a handmade cosmetics company with more 600 stores in 43 countries. Lush makes and sells handmade beauty products including face masks, soaps, bath bombs, hand and body lotions, and hair treatments. Lush has been around since 1994 when husband and wife team Mark and Mo Constantine (all the best people have this surname) opened the first Lush store in Poole (where the company has their headquarters). Lush are super against animal testing and only use human volunteers. Their ingredients are animal friendly and some of their products are suitable for vegans.

Lush are firmly committed to a policy which not only precludes testing its products and ingredients on animals, or engaging with third-party suppliers to do so on their behalf, but we will also not buy any ingredient from any supplier that tests any of its materials on any animals for any purpose. This policy is unique in its field and is pioneering a new way to stop animal tests for cosmetics. Lush runs its own Supplier Specific Boycott Policy. There are clear benefits to this policy, which is different and distinct from the Fixed Cut-off Date policy employed by the Humane Cosmetics Standard.

Each store is such a delight they come across more as an individual than a chain store. The outside of the stores are a bright zesty yellow, there are fun puns advertising the products and It’s like entering an Aladdin’s Cave,  tables are stacked with jewel like hunks of soap and solid shampoo. There are tubs of edible looking face masks and piles of bath bombs studded with dried rose buds or flower petals and glitter.

It’s great to find somewhere that are not only animal friendly, but the products are divine.

The piles of bright glittery soap bars are always what I make a beeline for whenever I go in. (Do use these with caution though as they get glitter everywhere! I had glittery hair for days after touching one of these and was struggling to find a plausible reason to explain why to people other that I’m actually a small child and not a fully grown adult). Like a small child I’m attracted to sparkly things and when I say these are glittery I mean it. Not just a bit of shimmer, pick them up and your hand becomes caked, great for a night out or if you want to feel like a princess (and who doesn’t). Or maybe you’re like me and think its incredible fun to look like you have the skin of a killer until you realize you can’t the damned stuff off.

The gift boxes are lovely as well with lovely names like ‘Happy’ or ‘Stardust’. Beautifully wrapped in funky wrapping paper and ribbon, the smell of the products inside permeates so that it’s impossible for your recipient (if you don’t keep it for yourself!) not to guess that they have a lovely Lush gift!

I was lucky enough to get the Happy gift box from my lovely friends for my birthday last year and I’m still working my way through it! Sadly I currently live in a house without a bath (I know, it’s bizarre…) but my lovely mates picked this box especially as it’s rammed with zesty, designed-to-wake-you-up shower products. The divine Happy Hippy shower gel which has a scrummy grapefruit smell which makes you smell lovely and which you can use on your hair as well! An Emotibomb, lovely shower jellies and soaps. Everything is packed in a recycled cardboard box and the products are nestled in popcorn (though they’ve recently moved to using a potato starch based packaging which is just as friendly) which is a brilliantly green way to save on packaging waste (just don’t eat it…)

I think Lush is great value for money, the bath bombs make great stocking fillers and they’re cheap enough that you could buy a few and display them in a nice basket as a gift or something.

The Gift boxes range in price from around £10 to £99.50 (for the massive box with practically the whole store in. I wouldn’t mind this as a gift one day!) so there’s something affordable for everyone.

Staying in to have a bath just became the new going out..

You can buy Lush products online on their website or use the store finder to find your local Lush.

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Please excuse our appearance. The colored felt tips will be coming out in force as I furiously start designing this website!

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www.teeandtoast.com

Mr. Becca is amazing sometimes. Granted he can be the Incredible Sulk sometimes but he puts up with me and my obsessions and my talking about random subjects and dogs 24/7 and he loves ratties and when I met him I was dead impressed by his cool range of t-shirts. I’m a sucker for a slogan shirt.

First of course I was introduced to Diesel Sweeties, then Threadless and the novelty that is 1 of 50 Limited Edition Robocop t-shirts because there was nowhere Mr. Becca would not go in search of an amazing t-shirt. They’re his thing.
The only thing he lacked was a t-shirt with a Unicorn on it (or a My Little Pony.). Mr. Becca likes Unicorns, nay loves them. He also likes the colour pink and things with cupcakes on.
And this is why I love Tee and Toast. Because they’re the only place on the interwebs that do amazing t-shirts for Men, (and women too obviously) with great big unicorns on that say ‘I’m Magic’.
Tee and Toast is a website devoted to all things grump free! Or in their own words…

teeandtoast is a funky t-shirt brand based on a quirky sense of humour and the ability to make people smile. 
we also try as best we can as a small business to be ethically responsible and environmentally friendly in 
sourcing our materials and packaging. we don’t want to sell you a million t-shirts, just a few that you will want, 
love and wear forever & ever & ever & ever … something you’ll wear during the fun adventures of your life or to 
brighten you up on those dull, grey, boring days!

So aforementiond shirt was dutifully bought for Neil at Christmas 08 and he was very excited.

Unfortunately I had seemed to order the wrong size.
Mr. Becca was desperate to wear his new pride and joy at a Pub Standards that was coming up so I dutifully e-mailed Tee and Toast and explained the situation and asked could I possibly replace it. I had the most lovely, friendly e-mail back that just made me fall in love with this company. Lovely owner Claire apologized, explained that it hadn’t been me ordering wrong they had sent out the wrong size during the mad Christmas rush, told me to send it back and they would cover the postage. I did, and within days a shiny new shirt has dropped on our doormat along with a cute little button badge to say sorry! It’s so special to receive great service and this alone makes me want to run to the rooftops and shout out how great this company are.
Going by product as well just gives them the BECCA SEAL OF APPROVAL. The shirts are lovely quality, each hand printed and the imagery is just lovely. Really cute childlike pictures that are great fun but not too cutesy (I’m looking at you Hello Kitty). I especially love the theme of Tea that runs thorough a lot of the products (only wrong heads don’t like Tea!) and I was super chuffed when I got the Mr. T hoodie for my birthday last year! The colour is gorgeous and the print has survived a good few washes without cracking or peeling.

The icing on the cake was the hand commissioned mug Mr. Becca got for me this Christmas. This is a new service T&T have recently started doing, you can basically e-mail them with your requests and Claire will hand paint a mug for you. Knowing my love of Greyhounds and dogs in general, Mr.Becca got me the below and I now have the most gorgeous special mug that no one else in the world has. I think this would make the perfect present for someone special in your life.
Please, please consider buying something from here if you’re after a fun, super individual gift. These guys are fantastic, super friendly and will accommodate most designs, even the fact that next time you order you would a like pink t-shirt with a Unicorn on.

I like to think that teeandtoast are as much fun as you can possibly have with you clothes on.

teeandtoast can be found online here at or pop by for a natter every Saturday 9am – 2.30pm St. Georges Market, Belfast. Shipping is Free within the UK & Ireland

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BigGeekDayOut – Bletchley Park

As you may be aware, I ARE GEEK! No, not Weasel, Geek. And as such my people is imbued with certain social responsibilities, love of learning and mass knowledge of irreverent knowledge being the most recognized.  Which is true, I adore learning new things and my geeky knowledge of film and dogs and animals that mate for life and 80’s kids TV programs is unrivaled. But I have been known to fall asleep in lectures or meetings due to boredom and brain overload which is why I love Bletchley Park and all it holds and Big Geek Days Out and all they stand for.
Bletchley Park, also known as Station X, is an estate located in the town of Bletchley, in Buckinghamshire. During  World War II Bletchley Park was the site of the United Kingdom’s main decryption establishment, the Government Code and Cypher School.
It’s one of those places you think, “ooh I’d like to visit one day” and then don’t because “it’s right next door, I’ll go another time”, “Eurgh, history, dirty dirty history and learning and school trips and things”, or “Can’t, Velociraptors will get me” and so it was one sunny Saturday a little band of geeks and one Geeks’ mum turned up at Bletchley to LEARN AND ADMIRE!. This is where the amazing, amazing staff of Bletchley get the mention they deserve. Mr. Becca had tweeted about our day out and the venue, times etc on the BigGeekDayOut twitter account. When we arrived we were met with a tent with a big sign exclaiming ‘Geek Day Here’. “A coincidence” said us? “Nay” said Bletchley staff.  They had seen our Tweets, seen we were coming and were prepared for the Geek invasion. I even felt properly at home when Mr. Becca, Mr. Becca’s mum and I were greeted by the security guard with “You’re with the geeks are you?” there was even disdain on the word ‘Geek’.  I was proud :D
Anyway, there was a tent set up for us to collect tickets, we were looked after by the most amazing lady *find out name* who checked we were enjoying ourselves throughout the day, set up a private tour for us as the other tours were full and generally made us feel welcome. The tour was amazing; we were led around by ‘Mr. Wikipedia’ as he was christened by one of our group as his level of knowledge about the park was stunning. He kept me absolutely captivated even through the tour lasted over an hour and a half. (That’s a long time for a brain to be engaged when you’re a Becca of little brain).  There is so much to see and do, one trip can’t possibly see it all which is why the fantastic admission price which lets you return as many times as you want within a year is a godsend.
The little shop at the entrance was grand, we bought two books about Bletchley Park to supplement what we had learnt already (or in my case try and understand how things worked.) and a little Enigma machine fridge magnet. Sadly, the promise of toys did not include mini Enigma machines or Alan Turing plushies.


Bletchley park is open daily except Christmas Eve, Christmas Day, Boxing Day and New Year’s Day. Opening Times are 10.30am to 4.00pm (1st November to 31st March) 9.30am to 5.00pm (1st April to 31st October) WEEKDAYS and 10.30 am to 4.00pm WEEKENDS and Bank Holidays.

Admission is £10 thought this gives you repeated admission throughout the year – Children under 12 go free.

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This is a story all about me…

This is a site about a Becca who loves lots of things. Perhaps you love them too?

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