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.

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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

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/

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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!

1888 hotel DSC04104 1888 hotel 1888 sydn

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!

HarrodsP_500_750_90

 

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

Travel in style! New luxury flights for athletes

Teague have designed an ‘Athlete’s Plane’ which will provide pre and post-performance necessities! The travel and technology company have been working with Nike to discover what an athletes’ body requires during a flight.
Teague’s creative director believes the custom aircraft will ‘level the playing field’ for travelling teams.
The plane would include features such as lie-flat seating, compression sleeves and noise separating cabins.
The design company claim an athlete’s recovery, circulation, sleep and thinking will all benefit while flying.
Top European clubs will be keen to use such innovations as managers look to protect travelling players.
Brazil players have clocked up over 8,000 air miles during their two week international break!

Plane

 

Forever isn’t long enough…

Last week a member of my extended family passed away whom I hadn’t seen for a long time. It got me thinking…

Everyone always asks when someone passes away ‘how old were they?’ Whenever you reply a decent age of 80+ they say ‘well that was a good innings’.

I find this concept fundamentally wrong. This is where ‘forever isn’t long enough’ comes in. I can’t stand the saying ‘a good innings or well that was a good age’. If you live to the age of 80 that’s only 80 Christmas days! We all know how quick a year whizzes by…

I just wanted to share my thoughts on this. However long someone has been around you have spent even more time with them therefore it’s even harder to make sense of them not being around!

So the moral of the story… without wanting to sound preachy… enjoy life and live in the moment.

A wonderful new restaurant and bar in Hartford

Originally posted on Thisluxlife:

On Friday night I attended the launch of a fantastic new venue in the village of Hartford. It can’t of 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 too pretty to eat! I treated mum and I too 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…

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