Wednesday, 27 February 2013

Once Upon a Weekend

Another fun weekend. On Friday we tried out Lark Lane's Caribbean restaurant, Raggas. I had jerk chicken and M had jerk prawns, both served with coleslaw, rice and beans. The food was fresh, colourful, inexpensive and tasted delicious. Better still, it was BYOB so we took a bottle of vino and drank it out of tumblers.
Afterwards, we popped over to Bier, a busy, candle lit bar serving beers from around the world. Love a good unplanned dinner date and it was good to feel our age on a Friday night, even if we did mutter about how loud the music was!
Saturday I was in work for an open day but in the afternoon, my beautiful friend and her new husband came over to look at the photographs I took at their wedding last weekend. 
Saturday night we met up with friends for Mexican food and a showing of Grease at the cinema. Cue lots of singing and hand jive!

Sunday was February's official 'Date Day'. I cannot remember if I've mentioned this before, but basically for our wedding anniversary I made up a box of date day vouchers (paper), one for each month with a particular activity that we love to do together. This month was spa pampering. I am lucky that I have a man who jumps at the idea of a spa day, who has enjoyed countless massages and loves getting wrinkled in a hot tub.
We went to Rookery Hall and Spa in Cheshire, about an hour drive from us. After one of the most friendly, helpful spa inductions I've had, we changed and headed straight for the glass roofed pool side and worked our way through the sauna, crystal steam room, hydrotherapy spa pool and swimming pool. This area is open to all health club members but even for a Sunday it didn't get too busy. Wrapped in fluffy robes, we took advantage of the spa relaxation areas, available to spa customers only and complete with complimentary water, juice, herbal teas, and fruit. Our treatments were quite late in the afternoon so we had something in the spa cafe before enjoying a very relaxing aromatherapy massage. I think I floated out of that treatment room! 

Friday, 22 February 2013

Once Upon a Chinese New Year Weekend

I can't believe it's Friday again. Where has this week gone? Here are some photographs to remember highlights of last couple of weeks. The photograph of the gorgeous lady in the beautiful white dress is a reminder of my favourite day of February 2013.

  • Made (another) teacup candle as a birthday gift
  • Car radio finally fixed (three years later)
  • Long drive with radio
  • Catch ups with two of my favourite people over cheese toasties and cups of tea in Birmingham
  • Chinese New Year, Chinese buffet, dragons eating lettuce, and dodgy dancing
  • Bridesmaid chats in pjs and making plans a Bath Thermea Spa trip
  • Traffic jam on M6 and singing along loudly to Radio 2
  • Service station creme egg
  • Home for a chicken roast
  • Evening alone catching up with Mr Selfridge, packaging #Heartswap, making an origami heart for a homemade Valentine's card, and watching BAFTAs
  • Impromptu midweek cinema trip with M to see 'I Give It A Year'
  • Too many Nutella pancakes on Shrove Tuesday
  • For the first time ever, received a delivery of flowers at work
  • A lamb, wine, champagne and candles dinner
  • My AOW #bookswap arrived
  • Hair pampering
  • Baked a cinnamon Nutella cake and made carrot cake for the first time (and it looked decent)
  • Leftover lamb rogan josh for dinner, from scratch
  • My best friend got married and I played 'wedding photographer' for the morning
  • Tears and laughter, cake related compliments, ridiculous dancing to Proclaimers' 500 Miles
  • Recovery duvet morning and About A Boy
  • A Sunday walk along the Mersey
  • Pub lunch watching M get frustrated as Leeds United concede four goals
  • Scrabble
  • Rewatching BBC1's Spy in the Huddle and laughing at rockhopper penguins' walk

Just a few more hours of work between now and another fun filled weekend! Whoop.

Friday, 15 February 2013

A Wedding Weekend

And it's going to be a good one! I'm about to finish my work for the week and take myself off to the hairdressers for a bit of a pamper and get my hair all pinned ready for tomorrow's main event. A wedding. My best friend's wedding. I'm so excited! The beautiful bride-to-be got engaged to her man in November and tomorrow is the day she becomes his Mrs. She's organised a cake reception after the church service and I'll be spending tonight baking two cakes: a cinnamon Nutella cake and a carrot cake. I hope they turn out okay and also that my hair isn't covered in flour by the time I go to bed... it probably will be. That will teach me for leaving it until the last minute! I've also been asked to take photographs of bridal preparations*. I'm feeling quite nervous about this but also mega privileged that I get to be there with one of my best friends as she gets ready for her wedding day. I hope I'm able to capture the special moments of her morning for her. Fingers crossed (well, kind of; I still have to be able to press the shutter button).

Enjoy the weekend!
*Fancy a peep at the photos? Click here

Thursday, 14 February 2013

Tuesday, 12 February 2013

Three Cheers For Pancakes!

Image Source
Shrove Tuesday tradition means I get to scoff multiple pancakes for dinner. I've put my trust in my brother and he's making this year's batter mix. Nutella and whipping cream bought, lemon and sugar at the ready; so looking forward to some flipping good fun tonight!

Friday, 8 February 2013

It's Friday. I'm in Love.

Friday is definitely a day for distractions. This week, I am loving:

Not a new love, but we've just managed to get tickets to see The Postal Service in May. Yahoo! In our student days, Me and M spent endless hours listening to The Postal Service and I love the lyrics of this song. Iron & Wine's beautiful version of Such Great Heights is also a favourite. 
The Freckled Fox's 'Rockabilly Rosie' Tutorial
I'm loving this, and pretty much all the hair tutorials from The Freckled Fox.

This strawbery cake mason jar looks like a perfect little Valentine's dessert.

Pinned Image
Image Source
I don't think I need to say anything more on this one.

Enjoy the weekend!

Wednesday, 6 February 2013

A Review: The Ampersand Hotel

In December we stayed at The Ampersand Hotel; a new, luxury hotel in London's South Kensington. Enter a grand Victorian building, just a few steps away from the tube and you're met with the vibrant, contemporary design and friendly atmosphere of this boutique hotel. Our beautiful ornithology inspired room was spacious and full of little personal touches, including a rubber duck in the shower, Miller Harris toiletries, a bedside bird dictionary, complimentary soft drinks, and countless vanity items. The hotel is in a perfect central location. It's on the doorstep of the National History Museum, the V&A, and the Royal Albert Hall, and only a short walk down leafy streets and you're in Knightsbridge. Despite its location, our room was quiet with little noise from the street.

I wanted to share some of the photographs that I managed to snap during our stay.

We loved our stay at The Ampersand Hotel and enjoyed a great meal at Apero Restaurant and Bar. The chef even joined us at the table to give his (excellent) menu recommendations! After our night at the Albert Hall, we went back to Apero to sample their cocktails. The Rose Caryatid (prosecco, Martini Rosato, pomegranate and rose water) was gorgeous. 

I hadn't planned to write anything up and so there are some beautiful details in the hotel that I haven't been able to show here. The Ampersand's website showcases the hotel, including the stylish Drawing Room. Check it out! Since we stayed at The Ampersand Hotel, their reputation seems to be increasing (no causation implied!). It now features on lots of 'best places to stay' lists and was recently listed a Mr & Mrs Smith hotel. I would definitely recommend a visit to The Ampersand Hotel, or even just a trip to their Drawing Room for afternoon tea. We were too busy being London tourists to try it, but it looked pretty yummy. We're looking forward to planning our next visit, whenever that might be.

What to Pack? The Dress

There's almost seven months between now and when I step onto the plane to Bangkok for a little Southeast Asia adventure, but that's not going to stop me doing a bit of outfit planning! 

The planning issue of the day: the dress. For a three week-ish trip and a backpack I can't take all of my favourites with me, unless I force M to take just a pair of swim shorts. I started thinking about multiway dresses. A basic dress that can be styled in lots of different ways. I turned to Google.

Le Sac dress by American Apparel

The most popular multiway dress seems to be American Apparel's Le Sac dress. It is fairly inexpensive and you can accessorise with their range of extra straps/ belts in a rainbow of colours. American Apparel's website has lots of styling tips and step by steps of how to wear the dress. 'The Grecian' way is a favourite of mine.
In One Clothing's multiway dress
Of course, there's also the more upmarket 'bridesmaid' style dress like this one from In One Clothing, or these gorgeous maxi length multiways from Two Birds. I'm certain these would be great as a versatile occasion dress, but I'm after a more casual looking dress, with a lower price point.

I also found a DIY project Le Sac style dress on My Waking Memories here which would be great because I could find my own pretty fabric.

I'm hoping that planning what to pack will make the seven month build up to our trip go just a little bit faster! Any space saving, backpack-wardrobe friendly recommendations from  you space savvy packers?

Tuesday, 5 February 2013

Tuesday Lust: Ankle Boots

Today I am lusting over these boots from Office. Do I click the friendly looking 'add to basket' button? Yay or nay...

Monday, 4 February 2013

Once Upon a Celebration Filled Weekend

  • Celebrated my brother's PGCE acceptance with pizza, champagne, fizzy strawberries and Silver Linings Playbook
  • Run (walked with a handful of running efforts) around Sefton Park for the first time this year
  • Housework (boo)
  • Across to M's parents for his grandpa's 86th birthday feast
  • Happy Birthday sing song in Latvian and sponge cake 
  • Competitive game of Scrabble with my lovely in-laws
  • A cooked breakfast and meet up with M's friend
  • Traffic jam
  • Cadbury Creme Eggs
  • Suit shopping with M at the Trafford Center
  • Thai dinner at ChaoBaby

  • Cat cuddles
  • A bubble bath
  • Sofa, candles and Youth In Revolt
  • Fresh bed linen

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