Monday, 15 December 2014

Favourite Bloggers - Updated Version

Back in January I did a post on my Top 5 Bloggers. This post today is a bit of an updated version. Whilst the 5 here still stand as I still avidly read their blogs , I have 5 more to share with you.

Their in no particular order because I can never wait to catch up with any of them in my blog hopping sessions.

But we must start someone so...

Does My Bum Look 40 In This - Kat's way of writing her posts can make for a side-splitting laugh minute. A beauty blogger who always looks amazingly turned out but is also so down to earth too. Do check her out if you haven't done so already.

Dorothy Camper - Lynne's blog is a relatively new one & I love it. Her blog is a mix of fashion , cooking & pics of her gorgeous pup. I constantly want to steal her style & her weekly round up posts on Sunday show off the amazing food ever.

Brummy Mummy Of 2 - Another hilarious blogger. Absolutely relatable posts about  parenting as well as many posts on other subjects. Em is a recent find for me & what a gem she is.

My Midlife Fashion - A daily outfits blog. Jane is a great source of inspiration for me. You'll see  lof of animal print - tastefully done & expect to want to buy EVERYTHING she shows.

Write Like No Ones Watching - Another blog I only discovered a couple of weeks ago. Another one with a mix of topics including parenting, beauty , cookery & so much more. Charlotte is such a lovely gal & a pleasure alway to read her blog posts.

So, there we have them. I hope you will decide to check them out. 

Thanks for reading
Amanda x

Monday, 8 December 2014

Wishlist In Pictures

Today I thought I would share with you my wishlist in picture form. Its a small list of a variation of things including holiday destinations , clothing & other things. 
Back in March I did a bucket list & I know a couple of these things are on there as well. 

Before I start ,  is a just a fun post & not an I want, I want, I want post. Just thought I would put that out there.

I'm starting with ultimate wish ....

...New York....
This has been top of my list of destinations for as long as I can remember. There is so much I want to do there - visit the Statue of Liberty, the Empire State Building as well as maybe take in a show on Broadway & I would possibly do some shopping too...*ahem.*
Originally my destination of choice for our anniversary in 2010, it was put on hold mainly because Finley arrived & the lack of babysitters for such a small baby. Finances not great either. In October 2015 we celebrate 10 years so I am praying that finally the time will come when I can visit the "City That Never Sleeps."
I don't understand anyone who would not want to go to Disney! I would prefer Florida but would accept happily a trip to Disneyland Paris instead. I can't believe I have got to the age of 25 *ahem* & never been!! A caravan in the middle of nowhere in Wales was my parents choice of holiday accommodation. Then we Brad came along he showed no interest in going ... when he was about 6 asked him if he wanted to go to Florida for 2 weeks , his reply was "I'd rather go to Weymouth again...!" Can't fault him for being happy with simple things but I was gutted that I still wouldn't get to see Mickey & Co. Fin is a different story so maybe one day soon this will be a dream that will finally be realised.

Hubby & I did get to Florence in 2009 for an anniversary break but I need to go back to Italy to see so much more. Rome, Pompeii , Pisa & even some of the lesser known locations. They're all on my ever growing list.
I love a good Christmas Market me but I have yet to experience one anywhere else in the world. I like the idea of Austria - I could visit the Sound of Music locations too - a Hills Are live rendition anyone? I was hoping to plan such a trip this year but it has not materialised sadly. 

My last wishlist destination is- well for THIS wishlist because my holiday destination list is flipping endless - to see the Northern Lights. Surely no explanation is needed really but what an amazing thing that must be to experience.

Lets move on from holidays now...

This one represents the fact that both of us would like to move house. Maybe one day it will be something that will happen. We would stay put within the town we already live - both boys are settled here so no reason to move away. We just need a slightly bigger space & not much scope to add to where we already live. I'm not asking for an 8 bedroom mansions , all en-suite , swimming pool etc - just an extra bedroom & extra loo would be a fantastic start!! 
If moving away was an option I would go to Cornwall. I LOVE it there & would go like a shot.

I would LOVE to own a Chanel handbag! When we went to Florence every day I would wander down to their store, stare in the window for ages before heading off to drown my sorrows with a coffee! In my head it has to be a black bag, preferably cross body. This one would be ideal if it wasn't for the price tag....£3,725!!!!

This appeared in my Biker Jacket post in November over on What Maddie Wore. This one by Mint Velvet is just super gorgeous. I would love to wake up top this one on Xmas day ... I won't though!!!
Last one for this list - I did say it was quite short.
I want to go to the Zoo & feed the Meerkats. Simples really. They do it at Drusillas but hubby does not seem to ever take the hint...!

Thank you for taking the time to read my post. As I say just a fun one for me today.
What would be on your ultimate wishlist?

See you soon
Amanda x

Sunday, 7 December 2014

Alexander House Christmas Shopping Event

I was very lucky the other day due to a very kind friend's husband who sent us for afternoon tea at Alexander House Hotel & Spa. It is set within 120 acres of the most amazing Sussex countryside. It is a fabulous Manor House & boasts many restaurants, Utopia Spa & luxury bedrooms. Great location got Gatwick & London.
My friend & I have been here many times before & this time did not disappoint at all.
A festive menu was served. We could chosen the Champagne of Mulled Wine option but were very good & just had tea & coffee.

Our Menu ...
The delicious food offerings including Turkey & Cranberry sandwiches & warm apple & sultana scones
Clotted cream, Clementine Marmalade & Mulled Wine Jam - this last was beautiful! 
I did not take any photos of our surroundings apart from this one. You get an idea on how sumptuous the hotel is.

Our other reason for visiting on this particular day was for the Christmas Shopping Event.

There was a glass of complimentary of mulled wine ( for my friend ) & orange juice ( for myself) before we entered the main room for the talks. There was a guest speaker from Temple Spa.
I thought the talk was very informative, with information on many of the products that are used within the spa as well as the products that would be on sale afterwards with 20% of everything. It was a great talk by someone who knew their stuff, loved what they were talking about but you did not have any hard sell.
You can find out more about Temple Spa here.

One of the stands within the talk room.

Just a selection of the products for sale on the evening...

Amazing packaging... I know I am not alone in loving the packaging as much as the product at times!!
1 of the products I bought on the night. Its called Ta Dah! Whats not to love about that for starters? I tested it & it not only gives a lovely subtle sparkle to your skin, it smells blooming fabulous too...with essential oils of Bois De Rose , Tagette , Sandalwood, Rose Oil & Jasmine.
The other item I bought. I love a neck cream & do love my Clarins one very much but it costs a fortune so whilst the Temple Spa Exalt Firming Neck Cream is still  pricey if you don't have the pennies to spend - I don't usually either really but the 20% on this instance was a huge help - i am really keen & interested to give this a try.

Overall , we had a fab few hours. The staff within the hotel & the event were beyond welcoming & lovely. We could not have asked for more.

Apparently it is an annual thing - see you next year then Alex House!!

Thanks for reading. See you soon
Amanda XX

PS :- I was not sponsored by anyone to write this post - all thoughts , however small are my own.

Friday, 5 December 2014

Weighing Things Up

Now that Xmas is almost upon - its December now so I am allowed to say that - it has also got me thinking about those pesky New Years Resolutions. Yes, they are always more miss than hit, with many of us making those resolutions that are broken with January barely starting. I actually rarely bother - the last one I made was a couple of years ago & that was to keep on top of the ironing more. A boring one but actually I did well that whole year!! So I have not bothered since

However, one thing has got me thinking seriously about making one for 2015 - my weight!

I have never ever been thin - that is never stick thin. Until a few years ago I was pretty much a size 10 to 12 in clothing. Whilst my tummy has always stuck out a bit I was always pretty happy with body image - a few inches taller would have been nice , still - & my weight was always at a figure I was happy with. 

This past year though it has crept up to around a stone & a half over my recommended weight - which should be roughly 8 & a half stone I believe.

Because of the Stoma bag I already had to size up a little to accommodate it with some clothing which was still OK. Now though depending on the shop I can be anything up to an 18!! Which is just not on at all!!

I know what half the trouble is. Whilst I think I can easily blame my medication ( because actually my problem areas beside my stomach & hips is actually my double chin - in fact I feel like doubling that figure too- its awful, ) it cannot all be put down to that.

Before Fin was a twinkle in Daddys eye - tmi? sorry - I would go on long walks with Barney as well as go to an exercise class or 2.
Oh & I ate a bit healthier too.

This meant that whilst I never lost weight, I was keeping steady at around 8 stone. I felt better for it too.

Along came Finley & doing much exercise - although we walked to most group  did a half hearted buggy fit with friends , when we always ended up at the coffee shoo with a nice fattening cake undoing all that work. As I was thinking about going back to an exercise class - dog walking was still hubbys domain at that point - I was struck down badly with a Crohns attack landing me in hospital.
I did try the Wii Fit now & then but working it around Finley was so hard. I did also think about going to an exercise class once Fin started pre-school - thinking has been as far as I have got to be honest.

The pup would be the best form of exercise for me right now but I don't seem to have the energy to take her more than round the block. 

So, simply I need to get that dog walking started properly , find a class to go to AND look at my diet. The diet is the hardest bit though as I am not a salad or veg person at all & have to watch a lot of what I eat too die to the stoma bag. By cutting out the crappy snacks though I would do a huge amount on its own.

Until I get moving I have no idea how much of it can really be blamed on my meds - however I firmly believe when I was doing the classes I felt so good about myself anyway that any weight loss would be a bonus. 

For 2015 then I NEED to make myself sort this out. I am so determined that this will happen .

Can I do it? Time will tell.

From January 1st I will keep you updated from time to time how I am getting on.

So, are you making any resolutions yourself? If so, what is it? 

Thanks for reading
Amanda x

Monday, 1 December 2014

Christmas Decorations 2014

 That time has come again for me to decorate the house for Xmas - yes its only just December but I DO NOT CARE!!! I love the decorations me & think maybe some people might be more flipping cheerful if they kept them up year round!! A good dose of Xmas spirit - not of the Gin kind ,although that is good too - would do some the world of good.

Anyway I am nattering , getting on my soap box etc blah & really I am just here to show some pics of our decorated house. Now whilst I love the decorations , I would win no prizes for actual; presentation. However, I am more than happy with what we have & apart from a few tweaks left to do - the wreath is not up at the door yet & I am bound to decide that I have missed some places with the baubles.

I have over the years had several themes I have followed. I went through a white lights only phase with jewel coloured accessories.I have long since gone back to a traditional look of reds, greens & golds though as with my green lounge it actually works very well indeed!!

So first we have the.... boxes everywhere - no this really was not all of them. Excuse the wonky picture in the background - January sales I am hoping it find something to change it with as after nearly 5 years I am bored of it anyway.
And now for a few after shots...

We usually have a 6 ft fake tree but I love a real tree & every now & then Hubby lets me have a real one. With pup this year we needed to put it up a little higher & so went for this 4 ft tree from a local garden centre. I'm pretty happy with it , although I am sure in the coming days it will be fiddled with ( oo-er missus) here & there.

We don't have many counter tops to decorate but I try & make what we do have look nice. Most of these ornaments will have been seen before , just maybe in different places. The white tree & the angel are actual candle holders that I bought a couple of Christmases ago from Partylite...!
The Santa ornament was a gift several years ago from Hubby's parents. Every time it comes out of storage it reminds me of my late M-I-L. The mini trees are from Waitrose. They were £4 each.

You may notice I have a thing for the Nutcracker! Some have been bought by us & others have been stolen given to me by my Mum when she was having a sort out last year. I think I do have room for many more though!

Lastly , here are a few individual ones. The Star & the Santa in the window look so much nicer in real life - both came from Notcutts garden Centre in Ditchling.. The Merry Xmas plaque came from Wilkos. The stockings are another Wilkos buy from many moons ago. The baubles are a new buy also Wilkos & I got a set of 32 ( I think) for just £5. Usually £10 but I am assuming it was for the Black Friday weekend only.

Are you already decorating for Xmas or do you always leave it til much later? What colours do you follow?
Share your photos with me too!

See you again soon