My new beauty must haves

This weekend has been a weekend of pampering. Alongside the usual crazy running round ticking things off a big ‘to do’ list of course! Now usually by this time we have taken our first flight of the year and gone somewhere wonderful but we are in the midst of buying a house so exotic adventures have been replaced with lots of weekends catching up with friends and being generally chilled! So this weekend I thought I would get and try some of the products I have been meaning to use for ages! First up I had a play with Cocoa Brown fake tan already a massive hit in Ireland. I haven’t used a tanning mouse for ages but this one is really super. It has a light fruity smell and doesn’t have that biscuit smell that so many have. It went on really easily and was completely patch free apart from one little area that silly me forgot to rub in properly. I sorted that out with this nifty little mit from tan eraser. It has one side for gentle buffing and the other side is for if you need to be more vigorous. It really got rid of the stubborn little mark so I will definitely be taking this on my hols later in the year. There is nothing worse when you have a fake tan for your holiday and it starts to wear off in an non even way.
The last product I’ve tried this weekend for the first time is a hair care brand called Osmo. I’ve got their mask to try as well and I’m saving that one for next weekend. My hairdresser has been telling me for ages to try oils on my hair as it has been very dry in the past from dying it. Also hair extensions have made some of the back knotty so I gave this light oil spray a try. Wowza! It’s totally light, non greasy and smells amazing. My hair also looked refreshed like when I use dry shampoo so really the opposite of what I had imagined from an oil- result!
Have you tried any new wonder products? I’d love to hear your tips! Have a great Sunday and make it count!

Hair Oil

Tan eraser

Cocoa Brown

Midsummer nights dream flowers

I don’t know what it is but my beautiful Wild Flower Company flowers remind me of an enchanted wild garden. I think it’s the combination of delicate blooms with wonderful foliage and the unusual combinations. These are literally one of the most stunning bouquets I’ve ever received. This super pretty bunch lasted for 3 weeks! How amazing is that! You never ever get more than a week out of shop bought flowers. I thought I would share a little pic as they are just too pretty not to share! I was gutted when I put them in the bin this morning. Enjoy your weekend!

Flowers

Insanity workout craze

Insanity has been another 2015 discovery. I love it but I hate it at the same time! I’ve tried two difference classes now the class at my gym and a class run by a local fitness company. The first class is for an hour which was just way too long for this type of crazy workout and in my opinion is better for men. Also I think the general premise of insanity is that it is short interval bursts but the hour long class felt like it was just tough all the way through. The half hour class although making me sweat just as much (I know it’s gross but it’s a fact of life if your getting fit!) but has small rounds of lower cardio toning moves so you can just about get through it! Also half an hour means you don’t feel like you are giving up your whole evening. You also feel AMAZING after you have done it but hate it whilst you are doing it!

There are some weeks I love more than others as there are lots of different rounds and movement combinations. I would say if you are looking to really feel like you have worked and want an all over body workout then Insanity is for you!

Let me know if you give it a go and what you think of it!

The most relaxing part of my weekend!

Regulars will know my weekends are always crazy! This one was no exception… I managed a personal trainer appointment, zumba, getting ready to move and much more. As usual I felt the weekend whizzed by and I was busy every second. To me though that’s a good thing as life moves far to fast and goes far too quickly. Now I had thought I had written before about our favourite place in Cheshire for coffee but when I look back I can’t see a post. Maybe I presumed because I’ve instagrammed so many pictures from there that I had written about it. The venue in question is a lovely restaurant just outside of Cuddington. It’s a fabulous place with a great name ‘The Lounge’ it’s a gorgeous little home from home. You will find wonderful staff, divine food and a warm environment where you will be happy to sit and relax with the papers.  We nipped in for a quick drink in the afternoon and it was super tempting to have lunch but we just about resisted! Let me know if you give it a go or love it too! Here’s a little picture of my skimmed milk hot choc treat I thought I deserved one as it’s the weekend! Mmmmmm…

Cheshire Life

Partying sorry I mean exercising at Zumba

Since new year I have been on a complete health kick and everything is starting to get firmer, woo hoo! I’ve become a little bit addicted to zumba! I love the fact I can jump around, dance, sweat and actually enjoy it! An hour goes soooo much faster than it does at the gym. I can tell I am definitely getting fitter as well. My skin is better and I have far more energy. Zumba is super fun and if you haven’t done it before you will love it. My one bit of advise is if you find it quite difficult to get the moves at first then stick with it because as the weeks go on it gets easier to coordinate everything.

Zumba was created in the 1990’s and mixes dance with aerobic elements. The choreography fuses several different dance types. Zumba fitness the company that owns the licence for the zumba program don’t charge gyms or businesses a licence fee to teach. I think this is a wonderful mentality because generosity and this approach can grow global brands. It has obviously worked as 15 million people world wide take zumba classes!

Let me know if you have a go and join the party!

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Waist training

Now unless you have been hiding under a rock you will have seen celebs doing waist training. This involves wearing a corset for up to 10 hours a day. Thinking back to the Victorian’s all of their dresses had a tucked in corset waist and they all had super slim midriffs so there must be something scientific in it! Now those of you that have very little free time to fit in a full on fitness regime will probably be quite excited by the concept (me included!) So I started with this just over a week ago. As I want it tighter I think I will have to get it fastened for me as I can only get it to a certain level of tightness myself but to be honest at the moment if it was any tighter I wouldn’t be able to breathe! When you take it off you definitely feel more toned and like it has had a positive effect on your shape and it is really helping my posture. So far I am giving this a big thumbs up! I will keep you posted! My waist trainer in pretty pink (my favourite colour) is from @Hiddenbeautysecrets it’s an absolute bargain and worth every penny!

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#Currysintrojuicing

 

Currys juicing event

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fruit

As I’m sure you know sometimes I like to let the pictures tell the story… I think these scrummy fruit pics express what my Sunday was about. I live tweeted and instagrammed most of my Sunday afternoon so you can catch a little more on social media in terms of the pictures. I had a fantastic day networking with other bloggers. Most were lifestyle, health or nutrition bloggers and it was really great to catch up with familiar faces and make lots of new friends.

My group started with a ‘Rocket’ yoga session that was really fluid and enjoyable. I liked the pace of rocket yoga and even though it was only a short session due to just being a taster session I really felt like I had worked out at the end. If I lived nearer I would definitely attend the classes that Hayley the leader runs.

The venue was a really cool clothes shop with a bar and events space upstairs near to the river in a trendy part of Leeds. Many years ago I lived in Leeds for a while and I still adore the city. It’s still a little odd going back to somewhere you once lived and seeing it change each time you visit. Most of the places I went to are still there but lots have changed name. After yoga we got to play with the juicers. So super easy to use and able to juice ANYTHING and I mean anything. We even added ginger and it could get through it! The great part of the afternoon was that whilst we were doing an activity there was time to chat and network and I got a vast list of new bloggers to check out. My favourite part of the day apart from yoga was a nutritionist taking us through the different types of juice you could make and seeds and super foods you could add for energy (chia seeds.)

Lunch was a delicious soup and gluten free bread and our day ended with crazy smoothie making where we picked the ingredients and a bar man demonstrated and served.

I left absolutely bouncing with energy and surely that highlights the benefits of juicing. Soon I will be showing you all of my favourite juice recipes! Please let me know if you have any suggestions you have made before?

You can see more of the event on the Curry’s website – http://techtalk.currys.co.uk/cooking-home-appliances/currysintrojuicing-20-the-leeds-detox/

Thank you Curry’s / Joe Blog’s network for a wonderful day!

Beautiful Blooms!

WILD FLOWERS

When the weather is bleak, your stuck inside and it’s dreary and cold there is nothing more beautiful than a bunch of flowers. I love wild flowers they’re so effortless. My regular readers know I love brands that have great values and stand for similar things to myself. The Wild Flower company has fabulous ethics. They believe in high quality and sustainable flowers. One of my favourite things about these flowers is there is no air miles used. They are grown in Britain and cut the day before they are sent. You can’t get fresher flowers than those! I’ve recently been eating organic and as clean as possible and I’m trying to incorporate more ethical purchasing into my world. Receiving these flowers has made me realise I need to address my convenience buying of flowers for friends from the local supermarkets. Lets all support wonderful businesses like this!

I remember reading one of the celebs husbands used to send her weekly flowers (how beautiful is that!) Now not everyone can afford to do that but the flower company allows you to send either a one off arrangement or a regular bunch of flowers to your favourite person with a variety of different subscriptions!

The arrangements are led by seasonal and market availability. By buying and preparing flowers upon orders, shelf time is reduced and the flowers last longer than if purchased from other companies. I loved how they arrived housed in really safe secure packaging and such a wonderful out of box experience.

Surprise flowers are something we all need in January!!!

Check out the Wild Flowers company and let me know what you think, I think you will probably love them as much as I do! (Pics of my bunch to follow tomorrow)

Sweat like a pig feel like a fox!

He he :-) I saw this on a poster yesterday on my way into Manchester and thought it reminded me of myself in the gym! I thought it may of been a sports brand but I looked at who the ad was from and it was actually by ‘Sport England’. Apparently 2 million more men than women workout. It says the biggest reason we don’t (as women) is fear of judgement. Now I am a size 8-10 so by no means big if you look at the average size women in the UK but when I got back into training at the gym and not just going to classes I felt nervous going in. So if you were bigger it would take some nerve to take that step back into a gym. I like to think if I met anyone at a class or in the gym who was looking nervous I’d strike up a conversation and make them feel at ease as someone did with me on Thursday at Kettercise (which by the way is hardcore and my legs are still stiff!) Anyway I thought I would share this on the blog because it caught my eye and is a super clever campaign!

Advertisement

Hair saviours from Phil Smith

Since I had my extensions out two weeks ago I’ve needed to give my poor hair some TLC. I’m currently using the Phil Smith range. It’s working wonders on my knotty locks. I’ve got a couple of the shampoos and a fab shampoo. My favourite combo for super soft hair is the Argan oil shampoo and SOS conditioner. It smells lush and washes out really well! I’ve got some f the styling products to try so more about those soon when my current products run out! What’s everyone using at the moment? Let me know if you’ve got a favourite I should try?

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Fakeaway! The dieters takeaway!

Well since I started this big health kick I have been doing really well. My body shape is definitely starting to firm up yipeeee! The pounds aren’t falling off but I think it will take time. I’ve lost a couple of pounds over the last 2 weeks so that’s a start and I think it will just take time. The best thing is I am really enjoying working out and finding it really good fun. My energy level is also much higher.

The other day I was reading on one of the dieting sites about the idea of a fakeaway so this was what I made for our dinner Sunday night. I recently bought a device off ebay that creates chips from your potatoes. I LOVE it! It shoots the potato through cut into strands. Well all apart from my sweet potatoes that I stupidly had in the fridge and are rock hard! A light coating of oil. We use healthy olive oils. Then chicken and a jar sauce. I also bought shop bought poppadoms that were so much healthier than the takeaway alternative.

So try your own fakeaway this weekend and let me know how you get on. I didn’t take any pics but will do next time!

Sweet tooth and on a diet? Try this!

Recipe

 

How much do these look like scones? Well they are in fact made from completely healthy ingredients with NO SUGAR! They were really tasty and Mr CD really liked them too.

All you need is 3 ripe bananas that you mash.

1/3 of a cup of apple sauce.

2 cups of oats.

1/4 cup of almond milk.

1/3 cup of optional raisins (I also used currents and cherries.)

1 tea spoon of vanilla essence.

1 tea spoon of cinnamon.

Depending on your oven and how hot it gets bake at 180 degrees for 15-20 minutes.

These are such a healthy treat if you have a sweet tooth but are trying to avoid sugar.

 

 

Wonderful water for detoxing after Christmas

FruitRegular readers will have already heard about my health kick. Being a scorpion we are a little all or nothing and I have a packed agenda of classes and gym sessions to bust the fat ready for summer! The best thing about social media and our crazy internet based world is there is tons of inspiration for getting healthy! I think I must be maturing but it is no longer about being super skinny but about being really firm and fit. Since I started my new regime I have been making healthier choices and have lost interest in as many fizzy diet drinks that although not full of sugar are full of chemicals.

So this is my current tipple of choice and my skin is already looking clearer! Just place cucumber, mint, lime and lemon in mineral water and leave in the fridge overnight. It’s actually really tasty and reminds me of pimms in the summer (but without the pimms obviously!) I think it is the mint and cucumber which I always add to my pitchers for summer BBQ’s.

It got me thinking that I am going to flavour some water with some different fruits rather than adding something non natural. Keep an eye out as I am going to try strawberries, raspberries, blueberries and pineapple over the next few weeks! Any more fruity ideas then let me know! Have a fab Wednesday! Amanda xXx

A recent fabulous fashion discovery!

As you know I love online shopping (in fact scrap that I love all shopping!) I’m always browsing online looking for beautiful fashion. I end up with lots of wishlists and then the things that I really can’t stop thinking about I eventually buy. Whilst on one of these internet missions I came across the most beautiful website. There are some sites that you instantly feel like if you wore there clothes nobody else would have the same and this is one of those. Check it out for yourself here: http://www.avenue32.com/

There are a couple of other high end fashion sites that sell some of the same brands but this site stood out to me because there is a more exclusive, luxurious feel to the site. Avenue 32 also seem to support more up and coming and unique designers and this is the best thing about this type of fashion. You can discover them before the masses and use a site like this to really keep your finger on the pulse.

Whilst browsing I found two designers that I absolutely adore and they shot right up the wishlist! BLK DNM and J.W. Anderson. The first has amazing rock chick pieces that have a real edgy high end all saints and Kate Moss feel.

The jeans, t-shirt and jacket below are all by this brand. also the perfume which I imagine to smell divine. I would describe the pieces as rock chick staples with an edge!

The other amazing brand has work wear with a real twist! This brand J.W. Anderson had lots of great knot details and twisted fabric and were reminiscent of Vivienne Westwood for me. The white shirt and stunning bag were my favourites of their pieces and can be found below. I have put together a couple of outfits from the brand that I would wear below and I think they look super cool together. Have a look and let me know what your favourite pieces are!

Avenue 32

Divine Dinner at chime Hartford

So now I’ve finally found the little pink camera that has been hiding with the memory card I needed in it here are the pics of my dinner at Chime! It was perfect! The staff are warm and welcoming, observant yet not over the top like they can be in some restaurants. Chime is a restaurant bar combo and I’ve since been back again with my girlfriends for drinks and nibbles. It’s perfect for a glam night out or a midweek meal and only 5 minutes to Northwich and 15 minutes to Tarporley, Knutsford and lots of other cool Cheshire villages to carry on the fun! However it’s the kind of place where once you see the cocktail list you can easily while away the hours without needing to move in to somewhere else.

Next up on my must try list is breakfast at Chime and then milkshakes in summer as they’re my guilty pleasure!

So our food… Garlic flatbread to start, divine, melts in your mouth and not too heavy if you want a light bite or non stodgy starter. Mum had the soup of the day which was delicious and came with some fluffy fresh bread, fabulous! For our mains I had my usual naughty main a burger and mum was healthier and went for a chicken salad. The salad was only a starter size but was still huge and plenty of chicken. Don’t you usually find as a women when you order a starter as a main it’s usually a little stingray on the meat well we definitely didn’t find this problem at Chime… Alas no room for dessert but next time definitely as I am sure I will be back time and time again!

Thank you to the wonderful, warm staff and the excellent chefs, five out of five!

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My favourite new place chime Hartford

I recently told you about attending the opening of a stunning new venue in Hartford, Cheshire called Chime! It’s a beautiful restaurant and cocktail bar nestled in a quaint village called Hartford. Here are some pictures from the opening and later today I will share with you my review of the delicious food! I can’t look at food pics right now as I’m starving and it’s lunch time! Panacea used to be my little home from home but I think Chime will be where I am found from now on! Check out the really unusual beautiful rose bellini’s below with real petals and the warm inviting décor…the cupcakes on opening night were made of melt in the mouth gorgeousness! Mum had black forest and I had lemon!.. Enjoy…

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Zumba, Insanity and my healthy eating still going well!

Monday I returned to zumba! I forgot how much I love this type of exercise! It is just soooooo much fun! I am going to try and go a couple of times a week because it is definitely more fun (for me anyway) than the gym! Tonight (Thursday) I did Insanity O-M-G it is hardcore! It is only for half an hourbut so tough. One of the ladies gave me a tip at the start which was don’t go too hard in the first seven minutes. This was very good advice as it gets A LOT harder! Also for the first seven minutes you can’t drink and have to stick with it. This is how I imagine boot camp to be and it is a definitely a ‘go hard or go home’ workout. Now I have done it I feel great but I didn’t at the time.

Working out and being back on track with my training is definitely making me eat better! For the first time in ages I am nearly getting and sometimes hitting my five a day which is great. Here is a little pic of the meal I made Sunday. This is a Jamie Oliver recipe. Thyme, Paprika, Garlic, Peppers, Chicken thighs, Olive oil and if you follow the official recipe much more! I did my own version so I only used the above ingredients. Here is a picture of my version and below it the official recipe.

Jamie Oliver Recipe

Ingredients

 

  • 4 large ripe tomatoes

  • 2 red onions

  • 1 red pepper

  • 1 yellow pepper

  • 6 skinless, boneless free-range chicken thighs

  • 4 cloves of garlic

  • 1/2 bunch of fresh thyme

  • 1 teaspoon smoked paprika

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil

  • 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar

This is the official recipe as I altered it a little to suit my ingredients.
Preheat the oven to 180ºC/350ºF/gas 4. Quarter the tomatoes and place them in a large baking dish or roasting tray (roughly 25cm x 30cm). Peel the onions and cut into large wedges, then de seed and roughly chop the peppers. Add all these to the tray along with the chicken thighs.

Squash the unpeeled garlic cloves with the back of your knife and add to the tray, then pick over the thyme leaves and sprinkle over the paprika. Add the oil, balsamic and a good pinch of salt and pepper. Toss everything together really well to coat, then spread across the tray, making sure the chicken isn’t covered by the vegetables. Roast for around 1 hour, or until the chicken is golden and cooked through, turning and basting it a couple of times during cooking with the juices from the tray.

Serve the tray bake with a lovely green salad on the side. You could also buddy it up with a little rice, polenta or a loaf of crusty bread to mop up the juices.

 

Nom, nom, nom, sweet potato fries, the healthy regime is going strong!

Sweet Potato Fries

Fourth day at the gym today! So I am eating healthy so all of that training pays off! Tonight for dinner I did salmon with sweet chilli and sweet potato fries. I discovered these at Christmas when my friends mum made them. They are AMAZING! Tonight whilst out shopping I had a quick look online and one of the first posts on how to cook sweet potato fries was a blog (which is always good news as I love my fellow bloggers!)

The original recipe I used was on a site called ‘instructables’.

You just need sweet potatoes and good quality oil!
You peal them and coat them in great olive oil. Add sea salt and ground, chunky black pepper and roast them in the oven for around 20-25 minutes at around 200 degrees (depending on your oven.)
I thought I would share this healthy little journey with you as it’s really exciting for me to be back at the gym and training and it totally makes you want to eat better!

Happy New Year!

Happy New Year

Happy New Year everyone! I took an accidental break for the past 10 days and now have soooo much to write about! I am back at the gym and feeling great. I have been three times this week already and definitely feeling more energetic for it. I am definitely keeping it up in the new year. I hope everyone had a lovely Christmas? This week I will be getting Raffle-copter to pick the competition winner for December and I will be writing about my crazy busy Christmas! This is just a quick post to say hello but more from me soon! xXx

My dream Christmas!

Isn’t Christmas just fab?! However what makes it so flaming marvellous is that it is once a year. It’s a highlight. We have just watched a programme about two wacky people. One who loves gingerbread so much her whole house has been painted to look like a gingerbread home and she has a massive vat of ginger that she gets from a wholesaler to add to everything she cooks! The other a man who celebrates Christmas EVERY SINGLE DAY! Cooking a full roast dinner and even gifting himself! (I wouldn’t of minded the Mercedes he awarded himself!) It got me thinking about my dream Christmas!

I love the glamour of Christmas but it is also a time to relax and unwind after all of the pace of the weeks running up to it. I’d wake up on Christmas morning in a large sleigh shaped bed (my favourite bed shape and not because of Christmas!) And have bucks fizz in bed!

I’d sit in my snuggly pyjamas to open my beautifully wrapped gifts! I’d dress up in something sparkly for dinner and then after everybody had left I would put my silky pj’s back on and curl up in front of the fire to watch TV with a glass of champers and some chocs! Bliss!

Whilst dreaming about my perfect Christmas day I caught up on some of the Christmas ads I hadn’t yet watched.

I already love Boux Avennue for nightwear and they’ve done a fab Christmas ad that really showcases a glamorous Christmas more than any of the other Christmas adverts. This ad also captures elements of my dream Christmas. You can see the ad below:

#Dreamingofboux

NYE outfit edit

Christmas is my favourite time of year! The best part for me is the opportunity to really get glamorous and having lots of social events where I can dust off the sequins!

This year New Look has really gone to town with an amazing party wear range. Now I love a designer item (or two!) But it is always nice to mix in those designer buys with high street items. The best thing about the high street is because it’s so affordable I can get a handful of outfits for the same price as a designer buy and lets face it sometimes the clothing may well be made in the same place!

New Look is super fashion forward and there are some stunning pieces. There are about 100 items that I would really like but I have started with a first outfit that I have my eye on.

Playsuits have really come into their own in the past few seasons and in my mind they sit firmly alongside dresses as a key outfit choice for night outs. The playsuit I have styled my outfit around has gone into the sale so even more of a bargain and is £20.50! The fake fur coat is super fluffy and warm as I have also seen this in store. It is also a classic shape and a good quality fake fur. It is now £48.50 a real steal as it used to be £64.99.

The diamanté box bag is just the kind of glitzy glam that I love! £24.99 although a really neat shape it looks pretty spacious for my camera and lipstick. The silver block heal shoes are really beautiful and very similar to a designer pair that I saw elsewhere but at 10 times the price. This pair are reduced to £17.00.

So let me know what you think of my potential NY outfit!

http://www.newlook.com/shop/womens/party_2270105

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Geoffrey Plumptre (2)

Posh People Inside Tatler

I love this programme! If only it could be a long term series! What a wonderful way to engage new readers and become even more aspirational. Behind the scenes programmes have always been a firm favourite of mine. It’s wonderful to take a glimpse into someone else’s world and if you love doing that this then I have the programme for you.

I already loved Tatler even before this programme and now I love it just that little bit more. Each employee is given an old fashioned etiquette book, how wonderful! I think that should be a rule everywhere. We are lacking some good old fashioned etiquette in some areas of modern life.

I imagine when the cameras aren’t rolling the team know who is the boss but there is a politeness to the edge of the editor and she is not quite (although almost) as scary as Miss Wintour herself.

The office have a resident dog (Geoffrey Plumptre now less) and I remember reading about the previously deceased dog with sadness. Now if I went to work everyday with a dachshund in the office I wouldn’t get any work done (I adore dogs.) I would be there feeding it my lunch under the table! He trots around their office like an old friend and it’s incredibly cute.

There are some other real characters in this programme. Noticeably for me a young red haired chap who is ultra keen and pitched the idea of ‘breaking in’ to the Queens garden party, bless him. He somehow got drawn into believing that one of the concepts discussed in the office was a ‘real ‘ idea. He had to amend his plan and try and ‘break in’ to another party undercover. (They couldn’t possibly end up offending the queen) which we all knew as viewers. I’m not quite sure why he didn’t think of that he must of got swept along in his wave of excitement!

This is a creative, glitzy, glamorous affair and I think you’re going to love it!

Posh People: Inside Tatler

 

London in lights

A couple of weeks ago I went to London for the day. Now I adore everything about retail from a shopper perspective and as a marketer. I took some snaps as I was walking around of some of the amazing windows. The Debenham’s light effect in the entrance was really cool and the Selfridges window was my fave!

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New lash lengthener

Whilst having a little break from my false lashes I have been trying out a new product. This amazing lash lengthener has been a god send for my lashes. My friend who applies the false lashes even noticed the difference in my lash quality!

It is super easy to use you apply the gel and then the fibres and then ideally blast your hair dryer upwards which curls the lashes points the fibres upwards in the correct direction and gets rid of any excess fibres.

It made my lashes look thicker and longer and I was super impressed with the results.

The 3D Moodstruck Fibre Lash Mascara is £23 you can find out more here – www.redefineyourbeauty.com

Direct Link to the Mascara:  https://www.youniqueproducts.com/redefineyourbeauty/products/view/US-1017-00#.VDiVLvldXnM it is also available to purchase in the United State, Canada, Australia and New Zealand.

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My #Nextmas Christmas wish list

I love next.. the furniture is beautiful, I can always get stunning tailoring, beautiful Christmas outfits and presents for all of the family. So here is my Next Christmas wish list…

First up this beautiful tuxedo style waistcoat dress. These have been massive this season and I adore this one as I could dress it up for a nightout with some Christmas glitzy accessories and shoes or dressed down for a more casual occasion.  Available online and in store for £45.00 http://www.next.co.uk/g4022s2#949599g40

NEXT DRESS

Christmas for me is all about glitz and glamour and this skirt encapsulates those things. Beautifully sparkly and elegant this is a stunning number. Available here for £42.00 http://www.next.co.uk/g6718s6#697617g67

next gold skirt

I love cashmere and I recently bought a leather look skirt and trousers from Next and I think this jumper would look amazing with them. It just looks so super soft and perfect for this cold weather. £95.00 http://www.next.co.uk/g403052s2

Cashmere

This little lovely is just adorable! I spotted it a couple of weeks ago when I was already at the till so it stayed where it was. I also didn’t really need it but isn’t it just the sweetest bag you ever saw?! I want it in black and pale pink. It’s £25.00 http://www.next.co.uk/g402212s11

pink bag

This perfect camel coat is an absolute steel at £65.00! http://www.next.co.uk/x5490s5 i’ve wanted a camel coloured coat forever and I love the shape of this one.

camel coat

My mum has these shoes and every time I see them I go to tell her how much I love them and realise I already have. They are simply stunning! They’re £30 and look far more expensive http://www.next.co.uk/x542306s4#699131×54.

699-131-X54s

Last minute votes needed!!

Hi Everyone,

If you can spare 1 minute tonight please vote for my blog in the lifestyle category and the other categories if you have time (as it is nominated for about 4)

The link to the category I have focused on is here- http://www.blogawardsuk.co.uk/candidates/thisluxlife-2/

Tonight is the final night and it would mean the world to me to get some last minute votes!

Thanks lots,

Amanda

 

 

 

Shoes I choose

mcqueenHow amazingly amazing are these shoes??? McQueen does it again! If I had unlimited money I would buy 90% of the McQueen collection each season. I trawl through Net a Porter and drool… currently I am lusting after a stunning wool cape with a front bow that would look like pure perfection with these bad boys. Aren’t they just the prettiest Cinderella shoe but with a rock star edge…. a little McQueen snook onto my Christmas list so let’s cross fingers and toes…

 

A wonderful new restaurant and bar in Hartford

On Friday night I attended the launch of a fantastic new venue in the village of Hartford. It can’t have opened at a better time. In the short term it’s the run up to Christmas and in the long term lots of houses are being built in the area. I’ve been a little lost for a local since Panacea burnt down! It wasn’t even so local but it was a great meeting place for me and my friends with terrific food and great drinks. I think Chime will easily fill those shoes. The canapés were divine and we had my favourite mini cupcakes which were to pretty to eat! I treated mum and I to a rose Bellini – very unusual but terribly pretty. I loved it because I’ve had every other type of Bellini but never rose how wonderful and unforgettable. There was a live singer which was wonderful and I had a brief chat with one of the owners who was absolutely lovely. These are my first pictures and just the ones from my iphone but there will be lots of beautiful pictures soon and these give you an early flavour of the stunning interior.I wish Chime every success and I can’t wait to tell you all about my first meal there soon!

http://www.chimehartford.co.uk/

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Philomena

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Thank goodness I have nearly finished Christmas shopping! What a very stressful Sunday! Whilst I was out and about today I saw the movie Philomena for sale and I remembered I never wrote about it on the blog. This was one of my plane watches and it was one of those movies that I kept thinking about.

It stars Judi Dench and Steve Coogan and they both give note perfect performances. The film tells the story of a world-weary political journalist whom picks up the story of a woman’s search for her son, who was taken away from her decades ago after she became pregnant and was forced to live in a convent.

The film was based on a book and the book was about a true story. The mail has written an article about the background to this sad tale..

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2495391/How-I-helped-Philomena-track-son-sold-cruel-nuns-Its-film-toddler-torn-mother-reducing-grown-men-tears–REAL-story-haunt-forever.html

Favourite Christmas Drinks

Costa

Whilst shopping today it got me thinking which Christmas drink I love best.

From Costa for me it has to be either the ‘black forest hot chocolate’ or the ‘white chocolate hot chocolate’ both are divine!

This weeks discovery has been the love bar latte from Pret a Manger, a chocolate, caramel biscuit-y coffee with a subtle nutty aroma to finish, I promise you it is amazing.

Starbucks it is again white hot choc or honey and almond hot choc and last up Caffè Nero praline late or white chocolate mocha..

So many choices and so few weekends until Christmas!

Which is your favourite? xXx

 

Apple watch early 2015

I have to say I am rather excited to hear more about the long awaited Apple watch! Personally I can’t really imagine myself using it for talking but it would actually be quite handy in the car rather than the hands free kit…

Texting I imagine would be difficult but we shall see. How quickly is technology moving on! When I was a teenager if you liked somebody there was a lot of letter writing and you had to ask to privately use the house phone and nervously call them! How times have changed!

APPLE WATCH

The circle of life my wonderful family

I’ve been very lucky in my life to have had Nana Doreen my adorably sweet Nana that was my granddad’s mum. Granddad Bill who really believed in me and came to see all of my amateur dramatics plays. Great Nana Sarah who would sneak us sweets when mum said we weren’t allowed. Great Nana Jessie who was one of my best friends when I was a teenager. Grandad Allan who taught me so many lessons I couldn’t even start to write about them and my best friend until the age of 31 when sadly it was time for him to go and I still have my very wonderful little Nana ‘Hovis’ a name I gave her a child when I couldn’t say her name. I’m very blessed to have had all of this wonderful family in my life but also very unfortunate to have loved and lost them. Yesterday mum and I were talking about the relatives we could never of met due to the sad circle of life. I didn’t dwell on it at the time as it is a sad thought but what a shame we don’t get to have our wonderful great grandparents and grandparents in our lives for the duration. Tonight I came across an article utterly fitting to this whole train of thought…

danielleandjanis.com has a section about a lady who took pictures of her mother as a child and herself and fused them together. The results are amazing! What a fabulous idea.. I would love to do that with the three generations and see the results!

Anyway this is a little deep for a Saturday night so I am off to pour myself a vino blanc and enjoy some trash TV with I’m a celeb, thanks as ever for reading lots of love xXx

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Hartford welcomes Chime

I am very excited to tell you more about this over the weekend and to share some images from the evening but tonight I am off to the VIP opening of CHIME in Hartford. The owners and managers have done a wonderful job in the run up to the opening and I think people will flock from all over Cheshire to visit this unique concept!

More from me soon for now the clock has ‘chimed’ and it is time to go and put on my best sparkly outfit! (See what I did there!) Happy Friday! xxx

http://www.chimehartford.co.uk/

Disney’s Cinderella coming to our screens in March 2015

Who doesn’t love Disney! I LOVE Disney always have and always will! Recently I got to tick off a childhood dream which was to go to Disneyland. I adored every moment. I proudly wore my sequinned Minnie ears all day and didn’t feel daft, how cool is that?! (Well it is in my world!) On the plane on the way back I watched Maleficent which was brilliant and I have bought Frozen today (I did tell you I love Disney!) so as soon as I heard about this I knew I would totally adore this film. Have a watch and let me know what you think. I think it looks AMAZING! Roll on March as Cinderella is the top of my must see list!

 

 

 

 

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

 

 

 

 

The Duchess of Alba

I was really sad to read about the Duchess of Albas death. She featured in Hello magazine not so long ago with a sneak peak into one of her breathtaking homes. She seemed so young at heart and full of fun. I think she came across as the type of person who lived life to its fullest. She owned a selection of palaces and castles across Europe that have all been left to her children and her husband 25 years her junior has been left nothing having signed a prenuptual agreement prior to the marriage. Below is just one of her homes isn’t it just absoloutly stunning!

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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

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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

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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

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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/

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Breakfast in Cheshire

What a wonderful weekend! Saturday morning I met some old work colleagues and one has had a baby so little Austin missed his nap to come and meet the group. I had a little bit of a cheat day on the diet and allowed myself a hot chocolate but apart from that when everyone else ordered breakfast wraps and sausage sarnies I ordered muesli and got lots of ooooohhhhh ahhhhhhh and raised eyebrows LOL see other people are noticing my dietary changes as well! I’m very impressed with myself as I adore sausages. The waitress was calling me ‘the healthy friend’ (if only she saw me at Christmas quaffing champagne he he.) We were at a lovely local place called ‘The Hollies’ that I really enjoy my trips to as it has a wonderful farm shop attached to the cafe.

My afternoon was all about the gym and stocking up on healthy food for the week ahead… so here is a pic of my divine muesli, I am sure you will agree it looks super pretty!

Muesli- the hollies

Wonderful water for detoxing after Christmas

Originally posted on Thisluxlife:

FruitRegular readers will have already heard about my health kick. Being a scorpion we are a little all or nothing and I have a packed agenda of classes and gym sessions to bust the fat ready for summer! The best thing about social media and our crazy internet based world is there is tons of inspiration for getting healthy! I think I must be maturing but it is no longer about being super skinny but about being really firm and fit. Since I started my new regime I have been making healthier choices and have lost interest in as many fizzy diet drinks that although not full of sugar are full of chemicals.

So this is my current tipple of choice and my skin is already looking clearer! Just place cucumber, mint, lime and lemon in mineral water and leave in the fridge overnight. It’s actually really tasty and reminds…

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My Christmas run up lovely festive Laura Ashley event

I haven’t even had chance to write about Christmas! My favourite Sunday over Christmas was in December in the run up I went to spend the day with some lovely fellow bloggers at a wonderful venue called Rosylee. As my regular readers know I LOVE to experience new things and I was fortunate enough on this day. I never knee that the Northern Quarter in Manchester stretched as far as it does so I discovered something new about my fave city.

Rosylee was lovely and I would really like to go back to dine. The downstairs is really light and airy and upstairs dark wood, cosy and vintage. The day was a wonderful press event hosted by Laura Ashley and ran by a superb Manchester based craft skills company. Here’s another post about the wonderful day!  http://blog.lauraashley.com/make-and-do/festive-craft/

On the day along with some scrummy nibbles, the chance to catch up with lots of the fab northern bloggers we also got to do some amazing Christmas crafts!

My favourite were the stunning boxes and bows made out of…wait for it…wall paper!!! They were amazing and I used mine to house a Christmas gift!

My second favourite because it was doing something new was sewing on a sewing machine. I haven’t used a sewing machine since I had one as a teenager so circa 20 years (OMG that makes me sound sooo old!) We made bags with a pretty bunting down the front. I was sooo proud of mine, even if the instructor did need to finish it for me like they did at school if you were lagging behind. I was super grateful as to be honest it never would of got finished if it wasn’t for the sneaky help!

It is safe to say I was USELESS!

Should you like to have a go at the box and bow here are the instructions once you have the nack it is really easy and looks so good! http://blog.lauraashley.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/12/Super-sized-bow-instructions.pdf

http://blog.lauraashley.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/12/Quick-and-easy-origami-box-tutorial.pdf

Here are a selection of pictures from the event!

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