I’m a celebrity 2015

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Now I only really write about my luxe TV loves like Ladies of London but I felt compelled to write about ‘I’m a Celeb’ it is quite nice having something light hearted in the evening to watch.

Tonight I witnessed Edwina Curry have a little outburst at Kendra (an ex playboy bunny and reality star.) Unfortunately the way Kendra reacted meant that Edwina got the moral high ground. I don’t blame Kendra she was trying to open up to the camp and say ‘don’t be afraid to make decisions that are right for you.’ There is nothing wrong with that statement and there was nothing wrong with what Edwina was saying but it was the way she expressed herself. It just wasn’t kind and it was really aggressive so Kendra then felt compelled to defend herself. The language wasn’t great but I did see where the defensive behaviour was coming from.

Having watched the reality programme that Kendra stars in over in the US she is a kind, sweet and fun loving person that means no harm at all and I feel like Edwina’s attack was really unjust and mean.

Anyway in summary I am watching the follow up show now and the public are on the side of Kendra which doesn’t surprise me… I guess they are the opposite in terms of personality and that’s why the producers have put them in. It’s definitely making compulsive viewing…

Coats I’m going crazy for!

December is looming and although I don’t technically need a new coat and have at least 10 there are some really stunning numbers tempting me at the moment…

Here’s my round up of the ones that I want…

Loretta CoatHobbs Waterfall Coat how perfect is this palest blush coloured beauty? £599.00 and available now. The pictures of it belted are very VB.

This little number would be really lovely over a LBD.. not my usual style but I do think it’s stunning £65.00…

River island

 

Totally love this little peplum jacket another perfect night out number…River Island £55.00.

Velvey jacket

I had a velvet jacket in the 80′s and loved it. It was black and instantly made an outfit look smart. I really love this version. £65.00 and limited edition from River Island.

The only problem with compiling this list is that it is making me realised how many coats and jackets from this season I actually want!

 

Now this picture doesn’t do this Next coat justice. It is a really vibrant lush orangey coral colour but this picture makes it look red. It’s £75.00 and really beautiful.

CoralThis next coat I adore in both colours and it looks far more expensive than it is. Available in camel as well as this beautiful burgundy at £59.99 from New Look it’s a complete bargain buy.

An absolute bargain this coat has been reduced to £37.00 it’s another New Look number and I would love the pale blue, the coral and the yellow! (I told you there are lots of coats I love this season!) http://www.newlook.com/shop/womens/jackets-and-coats/yellow-pocket-front-collarless-coat-_314184786

What coats are you considering this winter? xXx

 

 

 

 

Christmas is coming it’s market time

Christmas markets

Friday was a super rush after a meeting I rushed to Manchester to see my college friends. It was rather an eventful journey. The issue with my car continues and it decided to stop in the middle of a busy road and whilst a very kind chap was pushing it backwards it started. Then on the way into Manchester when I was reversing to avoid being stuck in the middle of a junction I rolled back into another car! Thankfully my guardian angel must of been looking down on me as I styled it out with a smile and an apology and they didn’t want anything else (there wasn’t any damage thankfully too!)

It was pouring with rain but I eventually got there and it was well worth it! I love Manchester it really is my favourite city in the world. First up food! I had a really delicious hot dog with onions mmmmmm.  Then drink time and we opted for a prosecco, perfection!

With the rain quite heavy I decided to buy my little Christmas tree and we opted for the warmth of a bar. This was my favourite part of our night we saw someone singing through a window and it turned out to be a pop up bar! How VERY cool! The young chaps serving had set it up and they said it will get more advanced as the weeks go on as they expand their offering but it was just perfect as it was. I think by this they meant toilets as they haven’t got those as yet but as it is a bolt hole from the hustle and bustle of the markets it doesn’t necessarily need them.

How wonderful that these young guys have had the ingenuity to set this up! the singing was wonderful and at one point the whole room joined in with Breakfast at Tiffany’s. It felt like being in someone’s front room. The singers were all performing for free so we had a decent tip to put in the pot however whilst not paying attention and in blissful awe of the music I tipped the tip into the candle (mega fail!) the girls hurt their sides laughing. Oh well there is always a good tail where I am involved!

I couldn’t find a website to point you to but if you were stood outside of the town hall the bar is to the right of the area. If you check it out let me know what you think, be festive and enjoy!

 

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Pretty presents from Modern Vintage

How great is the name of this Boutique. I think the idea of something being vintage but also modern is fab and I guess it sums up a lot of the trends that I really like. For example I am really into 1920′s style at the moment but I wear a shorter hemline than they would of worn and the beading of the moment is more ornate perhaps than the dresses then. This jewellery does exactly what it says and perfectly.

This online gem has a plethora of jewellery that I just adore. This is my shopping site of the moment…http://www.modernvintagestyle.co.uk

Blue Quart Gemstone Pendant Necklace

I bought this beautiful blue quartz necklace. It is just beautiful it shimmers in the light and brightens up a dark work outfit. I actually wore it for the first time when I went out for dinner last Saturday night in Frodsham so there will be an OOTD post soon. What I love about this site is that there are new styles all the time and that each piece seems individual so there are only a limited number as each of the pieces is either handmade or vintage.

The piece I want next is this pastel perfect pink number…

Pink necklace

My necklace came in a lovely gift box and was gift wrapped in tissue with a delicate bow in pink. I can’t wait to wear it with my Boden sparkly shoes! I think this could be the main part of my Christmas day outfit yipeee.

If you’re looking for a gift for that special someone then you have found the right place as they won’t be disappointed with this unique jewellery and how much nicer to buy from a small independent business than a huge corporation.  Happy shopping! xXx

Super Sundays

starbucksss

Just looking at this drink makes me warmer! Sunday was a lovely chilled day catching up with two old friends over Starbuck’s hot chocolate and juicy fruit bread. We met at the drive through Starbucks near the Trafford Centre. I had been planning to go in but I was so relaxed after my hot chocolate I couldn’t be fussed with ploughing through the crowds. As much as possible I want this Christmas to be organised and calm and that doesn’t include shopping with the masses!

So my hot choc… this is a ‘newby’ Christmas hot choc with almond and honey. I am not a massive honey fan but this was just a hint with the syrup being honey flavoured. I do adore almond and it worked perfectly. Let me know your Christmas drink of choice!

 

 

Buying myself Christmas presents of heaven sent scent!

I love perfume soooo very much! My favourite for a long time has been my Creed ‘Love in White’ expensive but lasts forever and smells divine. You rarely smell anyone else wearing it and it’s beautifully unique. Last year in a meeting there was a smell of holidays. Zesty, fresh and exotic. I since found out what it was it’s actually an aftershave! That lady didn’t care and neither do I and so I have finally taken the plunge and bought it today. I feel a million miles away from sunshine and holidays at the moment as it is dark and cold so I think this fragrance is just what I need!

This is a cohesive and incredibly classic looking range that I have really fallen for- http://uk.acquadiparma.com/en/christmas-selection/a/1/o/LabPPCGoogle/?gclid=Cj0KEQiA-aujBRDqj772vpGfgooBEiQAzWAZUomfIzue21NMoEq20cGJvmOS2m4xYOJdMn7oEk3c20YaAvy58P8HAQ

Fico

 

 

Boden shoes oh how I heart thee…

This week arrives my most anticipated of shoes in a long, long time… I have far far too many shoes. It stems I think from working in a shoe shop at university and spending many a long hour planning what to spend my wages on with my staff discount. That and a love of fashion that I have had since I was a very young child and I begged my mum for a pair of lilac jeans and a white shirt for a look that I was fixated on achieving (I was 11!)

These have been dubbed the most ‘instagrammed’ shoe of the season! It was agonising picking one colour out of the three but I eventually went for gold. Now have you fashionistas out there guessed the shoe yet?

Well it is a flat and a beautiful perfect princess pair at that! There are lots of other stunning shoes for the party season ready and waiting from Boden one of my favourite brands but as I kept going back to these they were the ones for me.

The other bonus is they will dress up a simple outfit and (deep inhale that I am even saying this when writing about the party season!) They are flats!!!

Still available now from Boden I give you the twinkly jewellled pump..

http://www.boden.co.uk/en-GB/Womens-Shoes-Boots/Flats/AR642/Womens-Jewelled-Pump.html?NavGroupID=11

Boden

Please vote for thisluxlife

I have been nominated for a few different categories in this years blog awards (big smile!!) but I think I am most suited to the lifestyle category so if you could spare ten seconds to vote (it’s literally name and then email!) I will love you forever! Just follow the link below… if you could ask anyone you know I would mega, mega appreciate it! Thanks lots, Amanda xXx

http://www.blogawardsuk.co.uk/candidates/thisluxlife-2/

Run up to the party season time to detox

Christmas is on its way and so I have decided to try and be good for a few weeks… she says putting down the Cadbury’s sharer bag and closing it firmly shut! I am going to at least try and cut down- for now! So I had a mooch around for some alternatives to my normal wine as it is my most calorific of habits. I think my every other day glass adds an extra 800 calories to my weekly in take which when I think of it like that is CRA – ZY!

This beauty tastes like wine but has only a third of the calories! AMAZE! I also had an epiphany that what a great drink to have in for my pregnant friends and also their teens that want to join in toasts but are too young!

Why have I never thought to try this before! I did a little reading and it is made in exactly the same way as your favourite wine, but with one small difference.  At the end of the process the alcohol is gently removed using one of the world’s most advanced processes, leaving all of the flavours of the wine, but none of the alcohol.

The full range is available in Morrisons and selected varieties in Asda, Tesco, Waitrose, RRP £3.50 I am going to be running a competition this week to win the range so keep an eye out for that one! In the mean time if you want to know more check out- http://www.eisberg.co.uk/

Wine

Monty the penguin…

Now I bet as soon as you saw the word Monty you would of known who my blog was about, that little adorable penguin! John Lewis have done it again! Every year their ad pulls on the heart strings and screams Christmas.

Now I love penguins so I was always destined to adore this ad. In summer I went behind the scenes at Sea World to meet the adorable Sherlock! It was one of the best days- EVER! I will share some pictures this week but it was so sweet how he waddled over and stood next to my husband. The penguins were so cheeky and one tried to bite my bottom when I bent down to have a picture with the other penguin called King! So as soon as I knew there was a penguin in the John Lewis ad I knew it would be special, and it is. How real does the penguin look?! John Lewis have won an award from Peta for not using a living animal..

Take a look here at how they did it..

It’s the most wonderful time of the year!

I have only seen a couple of the Christmas ads so far but I have been blown away. The Sainsbury’s ad has caused lots of controversy. I however love it! I think the negative view point I have mostly heard expressed is that they are cashing on war but I don’t think that this is the case. Nobody can change history and I think they have been very careful to respect history. The ad is completely moving.

You can see more about the making of the campaign here…

Cheating on fashion with furniture

I love fashion and I love interiors… as Carrie says in SATC she is ‘cheating on fashion with furniture’ and that’s me now! Since we started considering moving I have been looking at more and more furniture fashions. My friend also renovates houses and after visiting her beautiful barn at the weekend I felt even more inspired.

So for now just before Christmas I have to hold off on the silver table I’ve fallen for so I decided just to spruce up my sofa. I recently purchased a super fluffy snuggly Merino wool throw which I adore but it keeps covering all of my clothes in fluff. To match this I invested in two lovely warm faux fur cushions from Next - http://www.next.co.uk/g40712s4#695071g40

I think you always have to be careful with faux fur that it doesn’t look twee but these are beautiful quality and ideal for winter.

Next

Garden kitchen marvel

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20141112-210018.jpgI thought I would let the pictures speak for themselves and tell their own story! What a precious way to spend a Saturday afternoon…

I haven’t spent nearly enough time in Lancashire and last Saturday made me realise it. We drove to the magical Holden Clough Nursery to the Garden Kitchen through the most beautiful of countryside.

Now my visiting wish list just grew and grew there were so many quaint villages and divine looking gastro pubs including one we popped into on the way home where you could buy fine wines, Molten Brown bathing goods and cricket socks in the gift shop, how spectacular!

I chanced upon this wonderful afternoon tea on a friends facebook. It is AMAZING. The only afternoon tea I have ever known where you have to pay a deposit and now I know why! People were queueing out of the door! Your hot drink of tea or coffee comes with your afternoon tea but I couldn’t resist a hot chocolate and wait for it the champagne.. well it has just been my birthday so lets throw the diet out of the window.

Each element was super tasty and we were even given little boxes to take our leftovers home. I am hoping to take mum and nana back here as they will LOVE it.

The food included a scrummy chicken open sandwich, an egg mayo sandwich my favourite savoury element was the pastie which was a cheese and onion tasty treat. The sweetest savoury was a mini fish, chips and peas. The dessert element included a flowerpot cup cake, a mini triffle, bakewell tart and a boot full of real lemonade. J’Adore!

http://www.holdencloughnursery.com/

OOTD for my birthday night out!

 

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Recently was my birthday and I had a fabulous glam night out in Manchester!I was going to have a low key affair and it was for me I guess as normally my birthday is a time to string it out for the whole month and do lots and lots of fun things!

We started at a wine bar opposite the town hall near to the corner of John Dalton Street. Next up we gave the ‘Splendid Sausage Company’ a try. Again a different kind of venue to my norm but really fun! The cocktails were stunning! I had a bakewell tart flavoured one and it was literally like eating cake. The sausages were also immense.

From here we frequented Manchester House to the cocktail bar. I have reviewed this wonderful place on my blog before and I go there lots. Another favourite is Panacea and I always have a great time there.

My outfit is a super glam dress from Miss Selfridge I love it because it is so Great Gatsby’esque’ they have a new range of Christmas dresses that are super beaded and really glam.

http://www.missselfridge.com

Shoes are a chunky healed super high Kurt Geiger number with a lovely feminine bow on the front they are super comfy and a great purchase. http://www.kurtgeiger.com/

My necklace is my stunning little beaut from http://www.lilycharmed.com/jewellery/bee-happy-necklace

Wonderful way to spend an evening Pixie Lott webinar

This evening I was lucky enough to watch a fascinating webinar with Pixie Lott and ‘Magnitone’ and I must say it looks like a must have piece of beauty kit! It seemed completely non abrasive and like it would really deep clean the difficult to remove make-up that we often have layered on to take us through the day. Pixie Lott looked absolutely glowing and following the webinar did a question and answer which was really interesting. She talked about her love of lip balm and her appreciation for her Benefit highlighter product as her must have!

I will see if I can get the link to the recording and share it with you, I will keep you posted!

PIXIE LOTT

My beautiful pictures of Sydney!

I went to Sydney at the end of July into August for two weeks (2014) which was during their winter but to me it was mild and I didn’t once wear my thick winter coat that I have to wear from October in England.

I could trot around in my thin jacket and I only got cold once whilst I was there! It was 16 degrees and this is the winter! I checked online and it was the same temperature on one of the days as England and we were in the height of summer!

On my first day I had to sleep. I left the UK on the Friday morning at 8 am and due to delays and therefore a missed connection for me a number of other passengers I didn’t get to Australia until 8 am on the Sunday. Tired didn’t really come close!

So I slept most of the day on Sunday but around 4 pm I decided I was in Australia and needed to be up and about. I went for a wander to the local shops near to the hotel to familiarise myself (as I was here for two weeks).

From there I walked around Cockle Bay Wharf and Darling Harbour. I also had a look inside where the Casino is which is a really cool building where later in the day I went to the theatre.

I took some really beautiful pictures that night as the sun was setting. I definitely fell in love with Sydney.

Here is a selection of my first evening pictures…

 

First day in Sydney arriving at my instagram hotel?!

On my trip to Sydney at the end of July into August I stayed at a new hotel in a fab location. Dubbed the instagram hotel what a wonderful place to place a marketer! The hotel is named after the year that Kodak invented the first box and roll camera (1888). Every angle has been covered to make an instagram worthy image! I have never heard of anything like it but what I do know is that I think it is a wonderful idea!

The rooms are uber cool and very warehouse chic. If UK brand Allsaints did hotels it would look like this.

Here is a selection of my pics and official pictures too!

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I could give up shopping but i’m no quitter!

I love shopping… now you’re probably instantly thinking shoes, bags, shoes, bags, maybe dresses, shoes, bags… yes I do love love love clothes and fashion but unlike some fashionista’s I also LOVE food shopping. I have this crazy love of wandering around foreign supermarkets on vacation and looking at the scrummy things you can buy in foreign lands.

Little indy supermarkets are the best and this one looks magnifique.. I recently attended a marketing forum and Mary Portas did the keynote. She spoke about a wonderful Spar and independent concept in one.. I am guessing but I think it may of been this one (and it does look and sound amazing!) https://www.facebook.com/sparhackney

Now this whole post came about when I was thinking about how much I adore my new local Waitrose. the service is just wonderful. The staff always have something intelligent and interesting to say. The shop is never too crowded, the aisles are spacious and the range is expertly picked. I yo yo between Waitrose or Marks and Spencer being my present fave.

As I was about to start writing the Marks and Spencer ad started, I didn’t even need to look up from the laptop as the catchy music kicked in to know who it was. What a great campaign when you resonate so much with the music you don’t need to see the screen to remember the food!

So keep up the good work independents, Marks and Spencer and Waitrose and long may our love affair continue…

 

Fashion Diva of the week what an honour!

Last week I was super lucky and one of my amazing fellow bloggers picked me to be her fashion diva of the week!

So here is the post…

http://fashionandstylepolice.com/2014/10/20/fashion-diva-of-the-week-amanda/#comments

Stella is an AMAZING blogger with the best style! Check out the latest post on a coat I totally heart by French Connection- http://fashionandstylepolice.com/2014/10/23/love-french-connection-or-lust-theory/

Enjoy this amazing blog! xXx

Fellow Blogger

 

 

Ladies of London

I love London and I love glam so this programme was as though it was made for me! I always wondered what Caroline Stanbury was like having seen her in the magazines and ripped out a picture of her hair when I was due to get my hair chopped! (I had my hair chopped off by the wonderful Nick Malenko whom I met on a night out in Cheshire and who totally needs to open a salon in Cheshire and he had done her hair before which I didn’t know beforehand.)

Let me tell you her life is even more spectacular than you could imagine from the magazines! Her house is like THE dream home! Absolutely palatial and with pillars (which in my mind my dream home has!)

She is an acute business women and it is clear to see she loves her independence and having her own career!

Caroline has a wonderful business called Gift Library which I loved even before this series. Basically everything they have on the site I adore. Think the best gifts, the ones you receive that make you genuinely gasp with delight on a par with the little green box of Tiffany.

SO here are a few of my favourite things… all hail Caroline Stanbury what wonderful taste!

The Bombshell bracelet, lush!

Caroline Stanbury

Life is a journey schmazing Amanda Wakeley card holder!

Life is a journeyAmaze lips bag by lulu Guinness! J’ adore!!!

Lulu

 

 

Starbucks just gets better and better and just before Christmas!

Wow following on from yesterdays hot choc post I have just got wind of some super exciting news…

November 12th Starbucks will launch it’s first new holiday drink in 5 years… drum roll please…. joining the gingerbread latte and the peppermint mocha is the… chestnut praline latte… O-M-G I cannot wait for the 12th!

Mr CD adores Starbucks and non of the other coffee chains cut the mustard for him so I am very excited to have a new edition to my options! I will keep you posted after I have given this a try!

Starbucks

Luxuriously lovely hot chocolate

My long term readers will remember my obsession with my Costa coffee machine! I just love hot drinks! When it is cold outside there is nothing better than snuggling inside with a hot chocolate. I also love desserts so imagine my delight when I spot in my local supermarket a new hot choc by Gü, so now they don’t just make scrummy desserts they make hot choc as well!

I didn’t fancy the salted caramel one but the other two are divine. The mocha one just has a hint of coffee and the hot choc standard one is just really rich and velvety. I think they would be amazing with whipped cream and marshmallows at the peak of winter. Let me know when you have tried them, they definitely don’t disappoint!GU

Loving Lily Charmed jewellery

New favourite brand alert!! Recently I was browsing in a local gift shop at all of the stunning jewellery and I found a brand I hadn’t heard of before. ‘Lily Charmed’ products are completely compelling. I am rather in love with this brand. Anything girly is always a hit with me and the box is wrapped in delicate ribbon. The necklace itself sits framed in a card setting with the words ‘be happy’. It was difficult to pick this particular piece as there are so many others I would also love. However I was drawn to this one as my granddad (whom I was incredibly close to and miss everyday) always taught me to ‘be happy’ to take the good in everyday and the positive in any situation. So I liked the idea that this little bee would remind me of the life lessons of my journey so far. I am sure my super new necklace will be in an OOTD at the weekend as I cannot wait to wear it! But for now here is a sneak peak of some of my pics as I do a wonderful out of box experience and open the silk ribbon! Take a look at other unique pieces over at http://www.lilycharmed.com

I think you might just fall as in love with this brand as I am, let me know what you think!

photo (15) photo (17) Lily Charmed bee happy

Perfect Penhaligons

When I was at university I spent most of my student loan travelling from Yorkshire to London to the theatre and to wander round the beautiful stores of London looking at things I couldn’t afford. One such store was Penhaligons. It had been firmly etched on my brain ever since. However for some reason I had never as an adult gone inside. I walked past it at least once a month on the Kings Road and breathed in the aroma of the stunning fragrances inside but had done nothing about it. At present since discovering a love of Creed I am a little obsessed with fragrance! I need not to be as I am meant to be moving house but that’s another story! So when one Saturday late afternoon I walk past an outlet in the designer outlet in York it would be a crime not to have at least a look. If you like oldy worldy quirky stores you will love this brand. It reminds me of a trendy old apothecary. The lady that served me was uber helpful but without trying to ‘sell’ and that is always the best type of customer service. I thoroughly enjoyed being in their store. Now as I am meant to be cutting back on the Saturday spending on things that I don’t really need I decided to wait for my fragrance of choice (it is going to be Juniper Sling!) and focus on buying some bathing products of the other fragrances I like to go away and see if any of the others are as hypnotic to me as the juniper one.

Juniper Sling I was very impressed to discover is actually themed by the cocktail and we all know I love those! I loved it so much I had a little read when I got home to check out what it is made up of.

Having been a marketer at one point in a beauty business all the geeky stuff about top notes and base notes really interests me. So here it is. Top notes- Cinnamon, Orange Brandy, Angelica, Juniper Berry. At the heart of the fragrance: Cardamom, Leather, Black Pepper, Orris Wood. Then at the base: brown Sugar, Black Cherry, Vetiver, Ambrox

This is so super unusual in terms of the fragrance mix and also in terms of what I normally go for. The reason I loved it so much was after spraying it on and carrying on round the mall I kept thinking what’s that wonderful smell and it was the Juniper Sling!

I also bought- Artemisia which when reading is much more my usual type of thing (I love anything with jasmine.) Blenheim Bouquet and Quercus and Mallabah the latter I think I probably like due to the tea element and the citrus notes. So there you go 15 years after first discovering this brand I was right all those years ago it is definitely a store I adore…

Have you ever been? Let me know if you love it to…

Penhaligons

Penhaligons

Harrods does luxury like no other

Those that are regular readers will know I love luxury (as the blog title suggests!) No retailer does luxury like Harrod’s. I just adore the place! Harrod’s is about to open a Salon de Perfums on the sixth floor. The beautiful space dedicated to scent will have a feature chandelier and a stunning lounge. There will be 11 individual boutiques: Chanel, Creed, Dior, Guerlain, Roja Dove and Tom Ford. I absolutely treasure my Creed perfume that I bought on a recent stopover at Dubai airport. It is sooo unique and luxurious and truly lasts, it really was worth the money. So enjoy the new perfume shopping destination and let me know what you think!

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Cannot wait to try this new fragrance

Wood sage and sea salt

Wood sage and sea salt

I adore Jo Malone fragrances and can’t wait to go and get a fragrance from the Jo Loves shop when I am next in London. I always think it is a little sad that people still associate the brand with Jo and yet Estee Lauder now own the business but the other part of me thinks how wonderful that she has that legacy and still has the freedom (and also the money!) to start again with her new store ‘Jo loves.’

My wedding fragrance was Jo Malone and I absolutely adore the majority of the fragrances. My favourites are peony and blush suede, white jasmine and mint and pomegranate noir. I recently went on a trying mission at their counter to see which others I liked and added to my list grapefruit, nectarine blossom and honey, eary grey and cucumber, blue agava and cacao.. some of the woody ones were also nice for winter. I would love to go and get all of the ones I really like and have them all on my dressing table and hopefully when I move house at some point I will build up a bigger collection!

I am very much looking forward to smelling the new fragrance ‘sea salt and Have you tried this new fragrance wood sage and sea salt!

Have you tried it already? If so let me know what you thought!

Victoria Beckham and her Dover Street Store

I just noticed from this lovely fellow blogger- http://couturewarrior.com/

that the new VB store is now open!!! And last night even though I should of been in bed I started this blog as I just needed to write about it! I love the cut of her clothing and would love to own a piece (dreamy sigh!)

Whilst reading up on the new store I chanced upon some wonderful facts that made me realise I totally need to go and visit next time I am in London!

Victoria Beckham at her new store in Dover Street, London.

1) The store was designed by Farshid Moussavi she is one of the most successful female architects currently designing. she’s also meant to be very glamorous and wears five-inch heels to site meetings!! Love it!!

2) It has a signature scent which is said to be Diptyque’s Feu de Bois candles.

3) There is a Damian Hurst painting in the personal shopping area!

4) Anna Wintour has been to the store already!

5) VB’s fave bit is said to be the green glass of the changing room door.

 

Amazing day at Decorex

What a wonderful day today was! I had the pleasure of having a meeting at Decorex, a superb interiors show in London. I would say it is one of the most premium of interior events in the UK and I fell in love 1000 times over with different pieces!

There was some stunning glass light features that hung from the ceiling to floor like installations. Beautiful marble showers and perfect crushed velvet bespoke sofas in jewel colours. It was like walking through a treasure trove (all be it a very expensive one!)

My favourite piece was a mirror twice the size of me. It was shaped like a hand mirror with a bow on it, like a looking glass from a fairytale. This was a one off piece and I didn’t dare ask the price. I have thought about that mirror all of the way home.

No I don’t need it, no it isn’t practical but yep it was fit for a princess and totally stunning!

I will share some pictures from the event in the coming days but for now here is a pic of our puddings when we stopped for a quick bite to eat. The quality of the food for an exhibition was astounding and amazing value and we had a lovely little antipasti and pudding.

Pud

Perfect North West Afternoon Tea

I thought I would tell you about my favourite places for afternoon tea!

Firstly Davenports tearooms http://www.davenportsfarmshop.co.uk/tea-rooms this little wonder has donkeys and all sorts of other adorable animals residing in the fields outside. There is also a shop and a florist on site. You will love this tea room if you adore vintage haunts. You’ll drink tea from proper china and eat from floral plates and a cake stand crammed with treats.

You can try really unusual scones as part of your afternoon tea such as lavender or rose. The cakes are huge and completely precious and there’s a vast selection.

One of the things I love best about this place is that they support local suppliers for every part of the afternoon tea.

Some of my pics below..

Davenports

Davenports

Second favourite is Slattery’s in Whitefield. They don’t open on a Sunday (because they don’t need to!) which is a shame as I often fancy popping there on a Sunday. I had a croque en bouche for my 30th birthday and it was absolutely spectacular.

There is a cake dome at Slattery and you can go and pick your own cream cake and they specialise in all things chocolate so the choice is immense. One of my favourite things to have is a dipping selection where they give you sauces and items to dip. http://www.slattery.co.uk/

Slattery's

Final choice was my most recent afternoon tea experience… Panoramic has stunning sweeping views of Liverpool. We had the champers afternoon tea and I was that blown away I bought vouchers as a wedding gift to my friend and her new husband. http://www.panoramic34.com/index.php

Panoramic

New York Hotel Elegant Luxury

As those that have read the other New York posts will know I was there over Easter and had a truly magical time. Another place I now adore and want to return to (eek nobody tells you this about your bucket list that when you tick them off you actually want to put them back on!!!)

We stayed at a wonderful hotel called The Surrey. It had a real old school charm. After I wrote this statement I decided to check back over the website and the history of the Surrey and it is there that I discovered it was built in 1926 as a residence hotel and that it was home to many of New York’s most eccentric celebs over the years- JFK, Bette Davies and many more! It was also interesting to read that the hotel collaborated with the acclaimed interior designer Lauren Rottet (I am always fascinated by interiors working for a luxury interiors brand). The Surrey was clearly along this journey bought by the current owners as they talk about maintaining the integrity of the history of the building whilst modernising at the same time. Rottets inspiration was a New York City townhouse passed down through the generations, the keeper of a lifetime of memories. Whilst staying there you certainly feel like it is a home from home. We encountered a couple of times and adorable tiny dog that we got the impression called The Surrey home.

The hotel based on The Upper East Side is perfectly located for exploring Central Park and walking to lots of the key attractions or just a short cab ride away.

Our room was a little on the small side but and my only other regret within this beautiful hotel was that we didn’t have a room with a view however I mustn’t grumble as we weren’t even in the room hardly at all and when we were as soon as our heads hit the pillow we were asleep.

After checking in I decided I needed to sample my first New York Cosmopolitan- divine!

Another area of the hotel I just adored was the lobby, there was always lots happening here and you could hear the tinkling of the piano in the bar. There was also a huge painting of Kate Moss which was a really interesting addition to the lobby.

the doormen at this hotel were absolutely adorably friendly. The concierge were also outstanding and managed to get us 5th row seats at Denzel Washington on Broadway ‘Raisin In The Sun’ that had been sold out for months.

A beautiful, classic hotel I would love to return at Christmas time…fingers crossed!

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Final night in New York

Before I tell you about my latest travels I realised I hadn’t yet written about the final evening in New York and the amazing bar I discovered! After a dinner at a ‘locals’ restaurant called ‘The Union Square Café.’ It pulled at my heart strings because we were seated next to a lady who was celebrating her 80th birthday and was out with her friend and she was blind. The staff recognised her and said they hadn’t seen her for a while (I overheard them talking to her.) Old age makes me sad. I know how quickly years go and you never feel older than in your twenties but unfortunately you just are!

The food was delicious, the staff super friendly and there is beautiful art on the walls. From here we had heard of two secret bars. Here is the link to the restaurant if you want to check it out! http://unionsquarecafe.com/

Now we had heard about speakeasy type bars being ‘the’ thing to do at the moment in NY. It was our last night and last chance to get out and about and try these. So first we went to Raines Law Room. Unfortunately it had a 45 minute wait. I think this is A) down to the locations being small and B) to keep the mystique. So the doorman offers to take your number and text you when you can comeback. We had to decline due to worrying about our early flight and so we went on to PDT (Please Don’t Tell).

Same thing a 45 minute wait but this time with no other options nearby I was determined to experience a secret bar before we travelled home.

So we went next door, a wonderful jazz bar called 10 degrees http://www.10degreesbar.com/) by interrupting some locals and asking them the best place to go for a drink (one turned out to be the owner.) So inside we sat next to the jazz band and enjoyed a wine (well I did Mr CD went for beer.) 45 minutes went quickly and we went back in to the hot dog joint. Oh yes this is the bit I haven’t told you yet. The bar is inside a hotdog place but not just a hotdog place a hotdog place with a secret bar. You go into a phone booth inside the hotdog place and dial an old fashioned dialler phone in the booth and speak to someone who adds you to the list. When it is your time you go back into the booth and dial through and the door lady opens a secret door and lets you through. The bar is bigger than you would expect and really cosy you feel like you are part of a secret scene and that’s a super cool feeling. http://pdtnyc.com/

Please-Dont-Tell

 

 

 

 

 

Humpback whales in Sydney

If you regularly read the blog you will have read my post about finally seeing whales near Bondi beach whilst they were migrating. Now on our trip I only saw one breech out of the sea very far from the boat but the company who took us out also had pictures of the whales they had seen on previous trips and the pictures were really special so I thought I would share some with you. Although it would of been even more amazing if one had breeched near the boat I didn’t mind that it didn’t because it’s just precious to be seeing whales in their natural habitat something I had always dreamed of doing.

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Jewellery for sale

I have intended to set up a jewellery site for a while but for now I am putting some of the items on my blog. Below is a small variety of the pieces I have available. Each piece has been hand picked by me and I adore every item. For any questions please email amandacouzensdavies@aol.com items will be sent first class and I accept payment by paypal or bacs.

Enjoy! And let me know what you think! xXx

Lily Bracelet  Also available in Black and   Electric Blue.  Shown here in Silver Grey.

Lily Bracelet
Also available in Black and Electric Blue.
Shown here in Silver Grey.

Lily Bracelet In Electric Blue.  Also available in Black and Pale Silver.

Lily Bracelet
In Electric Blue.
Also available in Black and Silver Grey.

These bracelets are also available with gold beads and charm.

Lacey Necklace Also available in Black leather or Tan leather.

Lacey Necklace
Also available in Black leather or Tan leather.

Beautiful Love Necklace with the caption on the side 'Love is all around'.

Beautiful Love Necklace with the caption on the side ‘Love is all around.’

Love Necklace side view with the 'love is all around' engraving.

Love Necklace side view with the ‘love is all around’ engraving.

Wondrous whales in Sydney

On my bucket list for a while has been whale watching. I wanted to do it when I noticed you could whale watch in Cabo but it wasn’t the season. So when I was off to Sydney for work and I noticed I could whale watch it had to be done! I had one weekend in between the two weeks I was there and so I booked to do a whale watching trip. It seemed at the time a good idea to go on a small boat, the rationale- I would have more chance of seeing them on a smaller vessel from the Cabo pictures – I was wrong!

Now the waves were incredibly choppy (understatement) and everyone was incredibly nervous. You can hear on the video nervous laughter. It started so calmly but as soon as we got out to sea it got rather scary. The waves were crashing against the boat and water was flooding in. Below is a short video of this trip!

A couple of hours of painstakingly keeping our eyes peeled we still hadn’t seen a whale (sob!) but by this point with one contact lense having been blown out I was just glad to be nearly back on dry land in one piece! The boat was stopping at the area where I needed to be next but I had to get back and get a new lense as I couldn’t see!

The funniest thing about the whole whale watching adventure is that I had been doing a walk one morning and asked someone to take a picture for me and they asked if I saw the whale. Of course I had missed it and been completely oblivious whilst changing the settings on my camera!

On the Sunday I hadn’t given up hope and I was allowed to return for free as we hadn’t seen any whales yet! This company offers a guarantee which is really good. This time I chose a larger boat as it was the bigger boat the day before that had seen a whale. It was near Bondi Beach that we first set eyes on two whales swimming along, breathtaking! These whales were humpback whales. Whilst we were with the whales they didn’t breach fully out of the sea but as the boat left the area I was watching from the back of the boat in the direction we were moving away from and saw one breach out of the sea. We were the last boat to leave and it was as though the whale was saying I wont perform for you when you’re there but now you have gone I will pop out of the sea.

It was so beautiful even to see what we did of the whales. I will never forget it! Pictures below.. I also bought a memory stick containing images from the other trips the company has run where they have had whales breach and in a separate post I will share some of those pictures as well. Bucket list…tick! Let me know what you think!

Whale Watching

Whale Watching

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Whale Watching

 

 

Magnificent Maleficent

Maleficent is a fictional character from Walt Disney’s 1959 film Sleeping Beauty and the name of the latest Disney movie that I have wanted to watch for a while.

I wanted to go to Disney my whole life and it’s every little girls dream and now at 32 it finally came true! I had a magical day at Disney Florida on Saturday and it was as amazing as I thought it would be (but more of that another day.)

Everyone knows a Disney movie will be outstanding and this completely delivered. Angelina Jolie plays Maleficent a vengeful fairy that is driven to curse an infant princess, only to discover that the child may be the one person who can restore peace to her troubled land.

At one point the film features Jolie’s own daughter as no other child actor could play the role as they were too frightened by Jolie as the Maleficent character. The soundtrack was as fabulous as the effects and the acting. A truly magical movie A+++.

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MaleficentJolie’s daughter in the film.

MaleficentOne of the stills from the film.

 

 

The Fault In Our Stars

I’ve just flown back from the US and my summer vacation and watched two superb movies. The first- A fault in our stars. I wanted to see this when it was in the cinema. I have the book ready to read but I couldn’t resist watching the movie first. I’m kind of glad I watched it on a plane in the corner by the window as it was SUCH an emotional film. I challenge you to watch this and not shed a tear as I just don’t think it’s possible. We saw a little girl at Disney who was in a wheelchair and you could tell was very sick and it kept making me think of that. Everyone now has lost someone to cancer and this film pulls on the heart strings.

It follows the story of Hazel on her journey with cancer and her relationship with Augustus Waters. It is beautifully written and has so many special and poignant moments. A never forget it film.

The Fault In Our Stars

Cute Koala’s in Sydney

I have soooo many amazing Aus tales to tell but first I’ve got to pack as I go on holiday V early Thursday and I’m totally unprepared this time! So for now just one of my favourite snaps from my last trip! This little chap was super cute! You can’t hold a koala now in Sydney and I was kind of glad because apparently they have a longer life span! He was super sleepy and slept the whole time completely oblivious! I can’t wait to share my other pics. I was lucky enough to go whale watching which I will also never ever forget and to see an amazing musical. I definitely made the most of having a weekend in Sydney.

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So I am off on holiday soon and so if you spot this during the weekend and would like to guest post on my blog just drop me a comment on here with your email and I will drop you a mail with my details.

I am happy to take articles about restaurants, hotels, travel destinations, fashion, beauty or anything else you think my readers would enjoy!

 

 

 

Just a little in love with Liberty

I still have soooo much to write about including Sydney and I have so many pictures to share but for now as I need to pack for Miami just a quick post about this week! I have had a super busy working week. I was lucky enough to squeeze in a quick lunch in between meetings at the wonderful Bluebird Café. I spotted Louise from Made in Chelsea and one of the male members of the cast I think it was Alex but he had sunglasses on. All of the young girls wanted to get a picture with her and she graciously posed in between her lunch.

My other highlight of the week was a stroll around Liberty and the scarf hall. I had forgotten how amazing it is in there. The scarves are beautiful and displayed so carefully. They were steaming the display whilst I was there. They also show you exactly how to tie a scarf and they have videos on how to tie your scarf in multiple ways. I got to see the digital Burberry store and was wowed by the size of the huge screen in the main hall it would be wonderful for events. Best window display went to Selfridge’s where there was an amazing sparkly Magnum display that shone in the sunlight and drew the eye.

More from me very soon!

 

bluebirdchelsea

 

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Never be a superhero…

Oh no who wants a flat car battery when they have work tomorrow… then knocking a candle off and getting wax all over the laminate flooring…not the best when all I want to do is relax!

Oh well at least I have found that I have downloaded a song that I ‘heart’ from a fellow blogger before I went away that I had forgotten about.. check it out on itunes it’s called ‘Super Hero’ you’re going to love it! It is the soundtrack to his girlfriends blog tour travel video and reminds me of adventures..let me know what you think!

Playlist

 

I’m home!!!

As some of you will remember I have been to Oz for two weeks for work! What an AMAZING adventure! I am rather suffering from jet lag today and can’t see me venturing much further than the sofa and the coffee machine! (Oh how I have missed my magical coffee machine!) Why don’t hotels have coffee machines in each of the rooms! It only costs around £35.00 to get one if you buy on an offer and the pods come out at 50p at time and with the buying power of hotels i’m sure they could get an even better deal… the 5* hotels have them the 4*’s need to raise their game!

So hence why I haven’t written for two whole weeks! In between working during the day and cramming in the sites of Sydney during the evening and weekend there hasn’t been a spare moment! It also kind of felt like the odd hastily put together post on the move wouldn’t really do the adventure justice. So look out for some lovely Sydney news in the coming weeks..

Lots of lovely social things coming up to a 40th birthday glam fest to look forward to and then my holiday to Miami and Orlando woo hoo! It’s going to be a busy few weeks! I will also draw the competition and hopefully start a new one in between all of the craziness and mayhem!

I can’t wait to catch up on everyone’s blogs and news!

Map of Australia

Map of Australia

 

Final day in NYC

I know it was yonks ago I went to NY (Easter) but I didn’t want to end the chapter! The final day was spent hoofing it round a number of areas we hadn’t yet had chance to see…

So much walking was done that my espadrille pumps were completely worn out by the end of the day! I saw Carries apartment and hung round outside you almost half expect her to come out even though it is very clearly just a set and is actually someone’s home! Other girls hang around outside taking pics and marvelling at the iconic steps! The Friends apartment which has a restaurant (red building) below, it and looks like any other apartment building but I was sooo thrilled to get the chance to see it! I also bought a pen in the Kardashian’s Dash store.

Some of my favourite things within the day were seeing puppies (but not nice seeing them in cages) people with a skipping rope in the park offering anyone the chance to jump rope. The lady who jumped rope for 5 mins then announced she was on her lunch break and had to get back to work what a cool way to spend lunch! The group of people with blow up sofas and refreshments bd a cardboard sign offering ‘free chat!’

Let’s face it New York is just so damn cool! A selection of pics below and I’m going to save one last post for the final night in New York!

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Knutsford gem!

A few weeks back I wrote about a great lunch in Knutsford at Gusto but I didn’t share all of the pics at the time so here they are in all their glory! I totally love the fried courgette probably the most unhealthy way to eat courgettes but it is immensely tasty!

How delicious do the cocktails and pud look too! They were as good as they look!

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A bit of a random one but do I have any readers in Sydney?

Now a bit of a random post! I am going to Oz for my day job in marketing in 2 weeks (to Sydney). I have one friend in Sydney but typically I am going as she is back in the UK…we will catch up in my second week but I will have a whole weekend on my own.
The weekend of the 2nd and 2rd of August..

So I thought I would do a quick post in case I have any readers in Aus who fancy dinner/a drink on the Saturday night.
I know this is a little random but I thought why not! When I go to UK blogger events or marketing networking events I have to go on my own so it seemed worth a mention!
Thanks for reading xXx

Top Trainers

There are some immense trainers around at the moment and they have had a real make over! So here is my guide to my favourites around at the moment or coming soon!

First Adidas Farm collaboration, these are just so pretty! They are inspired by Brazil and fuse vibrant colours with inspirational prints…

My fave is called the ‘Gazelle OG’ and at present they are in the sale there are three colours and I love all three!

Adidas

I love the indigo shorts and sweatshirt too! http://www.adidas.co.uk/on/demandware.store/Sites-adidas-GB-Site/en_GB/Search-Show?q=farm

Next up are trainers that are not launched yet but I totally LOVE the concept! Adidas are really coming into their own this year with their trainer ideas and collaborations. I also adore their range with Stella McCartney. So these new trainers are only ones that you can personalise! Personalisation has been around for a while as a trend but with these trainers you are only going to be able to put an instagram print on them! I am already day dreaming about what picture I would use, the problem is going to be picking one!

Adidas instagram

http://www.harpersbazaar.co.uk/fashion/fashion-news/adidas-to-launch-photo-print-app

Finally my Nike brights, these have become real wardrobe staples and just make me smile! Amazingly comfortable and brightening the most boring of gym outfits. They are gym wear elite! You can also personalise your Nike trainers by picking colours and coloured laces! Super cool!

Nike

What is your trainer of choice?

 

Please vote for thisluxlife

thisluxlife:

There’s still time to help me out in the blog awards :-) xxx

Originally posted on Thisluxlife:

I have been nominated for a few different categories in this years blog awards (big smile!!) but I think I am most suited to the lifestyle category so if you could spare ten seconds to vote (it’s literally name and then email!) I will love you forever! Just follow the link below… if you could ask anyone you know I would mega, mega appreciate it! Thanks lots, Amanda xXx

http://www.blogawardsuk.co.uk/candidates/thisluxlife-2/

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Now you know that I Love luxury!

Duvets

Nothing says luxury to me like silk, it has long since been publicised that silk pillowcases can smooth your wrinkles, how fabulous is that. The company states some other fab benefits below-

‘Mulberry silk-filled duvets “breathe”, allowing excess moisture and heat to escape if you become too warm in bed, but regulates temperature to keep you snug if conditions get colder.  Unlike other bedding they are totally clean – dust mites and other microscopic life cannot live in silk, they are hypoallergenic, delay skin ageing and nourish your hair.  They also offer a luxurious soothing comfort not provided by other bedding’.  

I love the lightness of this product. Mr CD is ALWAYS too hot and using this means we can still have my side of the heating blanket on yipeeee!

It is really light and airy in appearance but still incredibly warm and a joy to sleep under! Check them out for yourself http://www.silkbeddingdirect.com/