Pirlo’s Dessert Lounge, Birmingham

Pirlo’s Dessert Lounge in Digbeth has just turned one year old. To celebrate, a gang of bloggers went along to their first birthday party, to eat a lot of sugar.

Pirlo's Dessert Lounge, Birmingham

Pirlo's

Pirlo’s is super American in appearance, in a great way, with exposed brick, funky lights, and cosy booths. When we went along, it was one of the hottest days of the year so far, so we were all raring to get at some ice cream. We started with some drinks.

Pirlo's drinks menu

Mojito

Pirlo’s doesn’t serve alcohol, but they offer a great selection of teas, coffees, soft drinks, smoothies, juices and mocktails. I highly recommend their Mojitos. There may not be any booze in there, but they are very refreshing, with piles of fresh mint. They also offer lots of fruity spins on the traditional lime version, with options including strawberry or blueberry.

Ice cream Sundaes Birmingham

Desserts Birmingham

Considering the heat, we were all pretty pleased to be presented with some of Pirlo’s ice cream sundaes to try. Pirlo’s Monster Sundae, is frankly, enormous. Don’t try and eat this on your own; you’ll probably die in a sugar coma. Order it to share though, because it is delicious. With scoops of Ferrero Rocher, nutella and strawberry gelato, with Oreo sprinkles, Ferrero Rocher chocolates, chocolate brownie pieces, vanilla ice cream and warm nutella, this is a chocolate lovers dream. If you’re looking for something fresher, the Tropical Fruit Twist, combines mango sorbet, mango and pineapple slices, vanilla ice cream and mango syrup. This sundae has some great sharpness to offset all that sugar. We also tasted the Neapolitan, which has chocolate and strawberry gelato, fresh strawberries, chocolate buttons, vanilla ice cream and warm chocolate sauce.

Pirlo's Menu

Next, a procession of incredible looking desserts began to arrive. We got a look at (and the chance to get a spoon into) a selection of desserts including Pirlo’s Big Waffle (another sharer, with strawberries, banana, Ferrero Rocher chocolates, Oreos, and nuts served with warm Nutella sauce and a scoop of gelato), the Chocoholic Crepe (M&Ms, crushed Oreos, milk and white chocolate, scoop of gelato), the Wild One Crepe (raspberries, blueberries, strawberries, chocolate sauce, strawberry gelato), Red Velvet Cake and a Chocolate Fondue.

Red Velvet Cake

Fondue

Dessert Heaven

Waffles

As if all that wasn’t enough, we were then given some mini portions of the waffle, the Chocoholic crepe and a piece of Oreo Cheesecake to try as well. Everything we tried was so tasty, and comes in huge portions. Don’t eat dinner first!

MY favourites were the Oreo Cheesecake, which was so light and fluffy, and the The Wild One crepe. The fresh fruit helped to counteract all the chocolate, and meant I could keep eating it a lot longer than all the others before feeling like I was full to the eyes with chocolate sauce.

Needless to say, I went extremely full and off my head on sugar. It was great. Pirlo’s staff were all very friendly and attentive, offering suggestions on what to try and checking in if we needed anything else. They might be off the beaten track a little, but you should absolutely pay them a visit.

I was a guest of Pirlo’s and Delicious PR for the first birthday of Pirlo’s. All opinions are honest and my own. 

 

 

Little Ways to Cheer Yourself Up

Ways to cheer up

For a lot of us, life can get pretty crazy. We’re busy at work, we’re stressed, we’ve got terrible FOMO so we’re out too much, we’re tired, or maybe we just feel a bit rubbish for no reason. It happens.

You could wallow in it, or you could try out my tried and tested tips for overcoming a fit of the blahs.

Go to bed early

Look, I know your Netflix queue is overflowing with episodes of RuPaul’s Drag Race and Riverdale that you haven’t had time to watch yet, but sitting up til you’re basically asleep on the sofa won’t help shift your rubbish mood. Get into your pyjamas, and get into bed. Fresh sheets are recommended. Even if you don’t go to sleep immediately, snuggling up with a book or a magazine, the screen break will do you the world of good, and you’ll probably find you get sleepy pretty soon anyway. You’ll wake up refreshed and feeling much better.

put on something that makes you happy

This will be different for all of us. I feel most like me, and at my best, in red lipstick and heels. Some people it might be putting on clean pyjamas, or a great pair of jeans. I know someone who had a flatmate whose go to ‘I feel sad’ outfit was her pyjamas and a tiara. Whatever does the trick. Put it on, and strut about feeling great.

Move your body

Go out for a walk. Put on your favourite song and dance like an idiot around your kitchen. Head to the gym. Just move. Endorphins make you happy and will help to shift your funk.

Laugh

Watch something funny, check out YouTube videos of stuff that makes you laugh, call a funny friend. Get your giggle on and it’s impossible to feel bad.

Get outdoors

Fresh air and some sun can really help. Go for a little stroll, take your lunch outside, or even just sit on your front step with your morning coffee. A little outdoors can help us all.

What helps you shift a bad mood? Leave your tips in the comments!

5 Free Resources for bloggers

Free resources for bloggers

When you start a blog nobody tells you that you’re going to end up having to do a lot of different jobs. For a lot of us, we want to run our blogs in a professional manner, even if we aren’t doing it full time. This means you’re the CEO of the company, the copy writer, editor, photographer, the finance manager, and the marketing team, all rolled into one. It can be exhausting having all this going on, but there are some great tools out there in the internet to help you get the most from your blog, and all for free.

Here’s my top five free resources for bloggers.

Google analytics academy

Tracking your analytics is the easiest and best way to keep an eye on your blog traffic. With Google Analytics, you can find out all kinds of information about your site, from what people typed into Google to find you, to the average age of your reader. Google Analytics is a vast tool though, and I’m sure I’m not the only one barely scratching the surface of what it can offer. Google’s own Analytics Academy is an amazing resource. It is completely free, but teaches you, through a mixture of live demos and video tutorials, how to use their Analytics tools and understand the data. It’s a great tool to help you boost traffic, and the lessons are relatively short so you can squeeze them in your coffee break. There is no time limit either, so you can return to keep learning at any time. Once you’re done, if you pass the assessment, you get a certificate to say you’re Google Certified, which is nice.

Buffer

I swear by Buffer and use it daily! Buffer is essentially a Social Media Assistant. You can add your social media accounts and use Buffer to schedule posts. You can do this by going to Buffers site and typing in posts, you can use Google Chrome’s plug-in, and just click to add a page to your schedule. I use Buffer to share my own blog posts periodically, and to share content I like form other bloggers or media outlets. Buffer will run tests to find when you get the most engagement, and advise a schedule on that. You can set posts to go out as many times a day, at whatever time, you like. So much easier than trying to remember if you’ve already shared that great post you found.

ifttt

IFTTT stands for If This, Then That. This site lets you build a chain of events that trigger a command. For example, you can tell it to email you every time someone posts using a keyword you’re interested in. You can tell it to auto post your Instagram posts to Twitter (with a picture instead of the link!). I find it really useful for cross-posting content across multiple social channels. I highly recommend it!

Picjumbo

Obviously we’d all rather take our own photographs, but sometimes time and daylight aren’t on our side. If you have a post that doesn’t need your own pictures and would be fine with some stock style photography, you don’t have to pay the big bucks to get access to a good image library. Picjumbo has a huge, searchable, free library of images. I use this myself sometimes, and find the images are nice quality, and it’s easy to find something that suits your theme.

picmonkey

If like me, you don’t want to spend on Photoshop, and find Gimp really confusing, Picmonkey is a free, and crazy simple, web-based photo editing tool. The free version has great options to edit your images, and there’s a handy little collage tool too. The premium version has more options, but they’re mostly of the ‘makeover’ or filter variety, so I’ve never felt the need to pay up for that.

Share your top picks! What do you find makes your blog life easier, without parting with any cash?