STRIKE! Lane 7 comes to Boro!

You know how super excited we get about all the newey-newness coming to Middlesbrough, so I’m sure you can only imagine our delight when we were invited along to try out Lane 7! I mean it’s bowling, of course we were there, ready to don our super funky velcro shoes to go with our festive Christmas socks – tis the season you know!

Described as boutique bowling for adults with a side of retro chic, right from the moment you walk in the door and down the stairs you know it’s going to be a pretty special trip out, and definitely not your average bowling experience. First up, let’s talk interiors. Oh my! Industrial meets exposed brick meets all the pretty lights, and you know how much we LOVE the pretty lights! Sleek polished floors and dreamy wood everywhere, it’s bowling heaven!

Lane 7 Middlesbrough

Seems like a good time to talk bowling. Bowling balls to be precise. A whole neat stack of them, waiting patiently by the side of each lane ready to be picked up and thrown down at those skittles. I’d like to say with style and grace and absolute precision but sadly that would be a small white lie. As Love Mbro Lass Emma pointed out afterwards, turns out she cannot bowl, and I didn’t really do much better. But it’s not the winning that counts, it’s the taking part…maybe! I did win though – mini gloat – ha! The best thing is they have this whizzy speed counter thingy that tells you how fast you bowled that ball! I’m not even going to pretend that I wasn’t super impressed with myself when it said the ball had flown down at 12 miles per hour! Is that even fast? Who knows! Sounds fast though! Let us know how fast you send those balls down there, we can start a contest. Nope, we’re not competitive at all…

Bowling Balls Lane 7

Once the bowling was over and we’d taken another million a few more photos of all the pretty lights, we headed to the retro arcade area to see what was up. Can we just say Space Invaders and Donkey Kong to name just a few?! Whaaaaaaat?! LOVE. IT. We didn’t get chance this time to give the arcade games a try but just you wait until next time. I think I’ll start off there first – love me a bit of Donkey Kong!

We’re here to bring you that full experience so of course we took a turn in the retro photo booth (£3 for 4 funky black and white photos, and it takes cards!) and we would have taken the obligatory ‘shoe selfie’ but we’d already changed out of our comfy bowling shoes and back into normal mode so that’s one to do next time we’re there! Which there 100% will be a next time! Love Mbro Lass Emma absolutely loved it and can’t wait to go back for the drinks/bowls/games and I need to return as soon as possible, so that I can work on throwing that ball faster than 12mph. #bowlgoals anyone?

Lane 7 Wall

The final thing that we both absolutely loved before we give you all the important info you need? The toilets. Yep. Toilets for all! Yassss! Go Lane 7!

Planning to try it out for yourself (which of course we HIGHLY recommend)? Here’s what you need to know.

Opening hours:
Monday – Thursday: 11am until late
Friday – Saturday: 11am – 2am
Please note they will be closed on Christmas Day.

Prices!
Peak times (Thurs/Fri/Sat, 6pm onwards): £7.50 per person
Off peak: £6.50 per person
Children: £5 per child
Arcade game tokens: £1 (2 tokens), £5 (12 tokens), £10 (30 tokens)

Booking info:
Call to book in advance on 01642 232600. If you just turn up you’re not guaranteed that you’ll get to bowl straightaway, but we can reassure you that you’ll definitely find something to keep you entertained while you wait – retro arcade, enjoy a beer or two, watch the games in action from the sidelines, lots of choice!

Follow along on the socials:
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Magical Middlesbrough Christmas roundup!

Wow! Blink and suddenly three weeks have flown past, and not only have the Christmas Lights been switched on, but the Magical Middlesbrough Parade has happened too! We’re still trying to figure out where those three weeks got to, but while we ponder, we thought we’d keep you entertained with a massive round up of all things Magical Middlesbrough Christmas to get you in the festive spirit – 26 days and counting til the big day… *eek*

First up: pretty liiiiiiiiights! How good was the Christmas Lights Switch On?! Police Interceptors!
Gorgeous Boro players!
Tom Campbell from Heart FM!
The Police Interceptors’ dogs!
Serinette and their flipping fantastic, festive frolics (try saying that really quickly three times!)
Flame! Oz!
Lights!
Fireworks!
Oh my! By the end of the evening we were hoarse from all the singing, ooh-ing and ahh-ing and general, eyes wide in total awe magic. Brilliant night! 

 
 

It’s really hard for me to pick my absolute fave because I loved it all, but if you’re going to make me, I would have to say Flame Oz. Truly spectacular! As if anyone could climb up onto someone’s shoulders with two flaming hula hoops and then hula them all the way down to the floor. Whaaaaat?! So. Much. Love. Then! The AWESOME finale that just had so much going on I didn’t even know where to look – all accompanied to heart thumping music that just made it even more exciting. Wow. Just wow. I absolutely LOVED it! 

Fast forward a few days to the Magical Middlesbrough Parade and once again there were so many cool things to see. The change to the route meant that the structures could be bigger and better than ever before and we weren’t let down. Did you see that absolutely adorable sleeping mouse in the big tartan slipper? So much cuteness! Singing, dancing, drums, kiddos in costumes and community spirit galore, it was another magical event and it was so cool to see everyone cheering and waving all along the route. 

We’ve already established that being a Love Middlesbrough Lass is one of the best things ever, but I’m about to top it once again. Yep, I totally got to go and meet the reindeers. Wahhhhhhhhh! There were two baby ones (6 months old) who were completely adorbs and it was so special watching them all munch away on their pre-parade snacks while I chatted to their handler about all things reindeers. It was even better when we got to see them at the end of the parade and they were having a little nap resting on each other – cannot even deal! 

So what’s next? Well, I’ve not had chance yet to sample much from the Christmas Markets but I’m definitely looking forward to a trip to the Bavarian Bar for some seasonal mulled wine – yummo! And then there’s the Big Sing to look forward too as well on the 17th December! Yayyyyy, Christmas is officially ON! 

Boro Books 2: The Lost Sons of the West by A.L. Buxton

You’ve probably guessed by now that we’re not shy in telling you how much we love all things Boro, and this year particularly, how much we’re loving Boro Books. We’ve been so lucky to be in contact with some real-life local authors who have shared their books with us and we’ll let you in on a little secret – Love Middlesbrough Lass Emma is currently reading Boro Book number 3 (review coming soon)! 

I’ve always thought that being an author must be a pretty cool beans kind of job, and it’s even more fascinating when there’s a story behind how someone became an author too. Step up ‘The Secret Author’ also known as A.L. Buxton – don’t worry, we didn’t let the cat out of the bag – the Gazette revealed all way before we did  😂 but it’s such a brilliant story, we couldn’t resist sharing! Writing 90% of the book on his loo breaks at work before heading home to write it up properly – Anthony Luke Buxton, Secret Author, we salute you! #respect

The Lost Sons of the West tells the tale of young swordsman Gideon Destain and his brothers as they face loss, heartbreak, pain and treachery in war torn lands. The book has been described as epic and I would totally agree with that. There’s battles and blood and flying swords and ripped armour galore, all topped off with descriptions of long-haired, strapping heroes heading off into, well, even more battles! From where I stand, that’s pretty flippin’ epic indeed! 

I should probably have started out at the beginning by saying this genre/type of book is definitely not one that I’ve read before. It took me a while to get into the flow of all the epic fighting and heroic rescues, but once I did, I was definitely intrigued to keep reading to find out what was going to happen next to the brothers and if they survive everything that was being thrown at them (trust me when I say, that is a WHOLE lot of stuff)!

By the time I reached the last page and a half (especially the last paragraph) I actually shouted out Nooooooo cos it ends on such a massive cliffhanger and clearly I’m going to have to read the next one to find out what happens! As I said earlier, this is not my usual genre of book so forgive my amateur comparisons but I would describe it as part The Three Musketeers, part Hunger Games (the selection battle definitely!), part Lord of the Rings (the long journeys and wanderings of the brothers) and the rest medieval battles (and gore!) galore! Oof! If that brilliant description is not enough to make you rush out and buy it right now, then my job here is over! *chuckles*

Secret Author AL Buxton

Obviously you all want to follow the Secret Author on his socials, which you can do via Facebook or Twitter, cos you’re going to need to know when the second book is published! And of course the most important information: you can buy the book via fab, local publishers Sixth Element, or Amazon. Happy reading! 

A big thank you to Anthony and local publishers, Sixth Element, for kindly providing us with our copy of the book. The surprising discovery of the year has been that  books about epic battles are actually kinda cool! 😂 Any suggestions for what I should read next…? 

 

 

Halloween horrors – warning, contains (fake) blood!

What you may have realised is that I, Love Middlesbrough Lass Emma, am rather fond of musicals and theatre . As a result, I have self-taught special effects makeup; due to it being Halloween, I thought I’d impart my knowledge with a little help from Kindamagik. I would also like to apologise for my feet in this – I wasn’t prepared to put my face online without any makeup… sorry.

Here’s a step-by-step guide to creating this look ️

What you will need:

Fake Blood ️
Liquid Latex
Face Putty (This can be used anywhere on your body)
Some form of “spatula” (I uses the smooth end of a metal nail file)
Makeup remover
make-up sponge and brushes
foundation
setting powder
red, brown and black powder
tissue

Step 1 – prep your skin and work surface, I would recommend shaving if you’re applying this anywhere with hair – latex is not fun to pull off hair. Also put down a non-absorbent sheet if you are using fake blood, fake blood stains everything and anything.
Step 2 – warm up your putty so it’s malleable, you can use a hair dryer to help you along but be very careful and quite quick with a hair dryer.

Step 3 – split your putty in two. Take the first half and spread it across your skin.

 

 

Step 4 – Use your spatula covered in makeup remover and smooth the edges down – this should sit flush to your skin now. You may have to keep applying make-up remover to your spatula

 

 

Step 5 – Create a sausage with the remaining putty and cut through it with your spatula.

Step 6 – Add the remaining putty to your cut. Use your fingers to help it stick to the already applied putty, then use the spatula again to smooth it out.

 

Step 7 – cover the wound in liquid latex. If you have time before hand, do a patch test. If you are allergic to liquid latex you can replace this with child safe, PVA glue from a supermarket.

Step 8 – Whilst the latex is still wet, cover the wound with 1ply of tissue or toilet paper to help with texture as well as to help it all stay in place. Wait for the latex to dry (perfect time for cake)

Step 9 – cover your wound in foundation (preferably one that matches your skin tone) and add some setting powder on top.

 

 

Step 10 – Work into the wound with some brown powder – the darker and more matte the better here.

Step 11 – Work into the bottom of the wound with black powder

 

 

 

Step 12 – Work into the wound again with red powder. The brighter the better if you want the wound to look fresh. If you want it to look a little older try using some brown, purple and orange powder around the outside of the wound for a bruising effect.

Step 13 – be very careful adding your blood into the wound. I used a brush to add the blood into the actual wound then carefully poured the blood from the base of the wound to add the trickles down my leg.

Kindamagik does also sell a thicker type of blood for long term wear without covering your entire house in the stuff – see my towel after I’d cleaned myself up.

And then you have your finished wound. Have fun creating this look and enjoy Halloween this year guys.

We love Autumn!

Oh Autumn, you absolute beaut 😍 As if the sight of all those stunning Autumn leaves is not enough 🍁 🍂 🍁 there’s also glorious blue skies that just pop against the oranges and reds from the leaves, golden hours of dreams and sunsets that can actually make you gasp out loud at the sheer magic of Mother Nature. There’s definitely just something about Autumn – it gives me all the warm fuzzies inside ❤️

You know how much we love a Top 5 post here on the blog, so here’s my Top 5 favourite things to do in Autumn. 

1. Jump into carpets of crunchy Autumn leaves
No matter how old I get, I am always and forever going to jump into carpets and piles of crunchy leaves! The trick to a successful run through crispy leaves is to kick your feet at the same time as running. Sounds tricky but it’s actually kind of easy, as you run your feet make the crunch crunch crunch sound through the leaves, and then when you’re ready to stop pick your feet up and do a massive jump! Photos of feet in leaves absolutely required or it didn’t really happen 😂  

feet crunching in leaves

Handy hint: don’t do this with the really really big piles of leaves cos you never know what might be inside them (eek!) 

2. Carve a pumpkin! 
Obviously anything Autumn related was going to include Halloween! As a happy tree hugger, I always make sure to scrape out all the inside of the pumpkin first and use it to cook up something tasty, usually soup, but also sometimes cakes….sounds weird but it’s totally delicious, trust me! Where was I? Pumpkins! Grab your pumpkin (you can get them all over the place from supermarkets to greengrocers), pick a design – you’ll find loads of inspiration online – and start carving. A sharp knife works best here, and of course we recommend that you make sure you’re extra careful with the knife! Once you’re done, pop a tealight inside, turn off all the lights and then sit back and admire your handiwork 🎃 

carved pumpkin

Handy hint: anyone with little ones who isn’t too sure about using knives, there’s loads of pumpkin carving sessions available this October half term! Check out our round up of Half Term Activities on the website.  

3. Hot chocolate season begins!
There was a time when I was never really that bothered by hot chocolate (I know! I know! What?!) but since joining the Love Middlesbrough Lasses, finding the perfect hot chocolate has become my life goal, and the season officially begins NOW! There’s nothing better than a creamy hot choc, oozing fresh cream and piled high with marshmallows and chocolate sprinkles, a big comfy chair and your favourite book. After a hard day at work it’s the perfect way to wind down the day!

Hot chocolate in off the ground middlesbrough

If you have any tips on the BEST place to get hot chocolate in Middlesbrough, hit us up in the comments. We’ll willingly come and give it a try! Until then, we’ll valiantly continue in our search, just for you…

4. Spend time outside
This could either be your idea of heaven or the worst thing ever, but I love nothing more than being outside as Autumn arrives. The mornings have that first hint of crisp chill in the air, a lunchtime stroll looking up at all the colourful leaves can be so soothing for the soul, and even an evening stroll, as golden hour begins and the sun starts to set, is quite simply magical 😍 This one is definitely easy to achieve if you have a dog (shout out to Bob, Love Middlesbrough Lass Claire’s hairy hound 🐶) as they always need walks, but even a ten minute stroll round one of our fab Middlesbrough parks is just as awesome. Trust me, outside is grand 🌳

Bob the dog

5. Bring on the comfort food!
From piping hot soup to heartwarming casseroles, Autumn is officially the season to switch up food from light summer fayre (just me then?) to Autumn cosies. It’s kind of the food equivalent of wearing your favourite scarf for the first time 💛 If you’re an eating in kind of person, grab your recipe books and start cooking and baking up a storm. If you prefer eating out, you’re definitely in luck as there are TONNES of amazing foodie places in Middlesbrough! In fact there’s so much to choose from we can’t keep up with them all! 

cheese toastie

What’s your favourite thing to do in Autumn? Do tell, I’m always willing to try out new things! 🍁