Wednesday, 28 August 2013

Summer reads.. 2013 part 1

I've devoured lots of books this summer, they have allowed me to escape to lovely places and have amazing adventures whilst sitting on a hot sweaty tube underground London, under a tree in one of London's green spaces or just sat on my doorstep enjoying the sunshine.
Here's 5 of my 10 favs from this Summer;
Adele Parks ~ Whatever it Takes  Eloise has what appears to everyone the perfect life in London, gorgeous husband & family and fabulous friends, including best friend Sara. Eloise's husband Mark hankers for a simpler life back in his hometown now Dartmouth in Devon, nearer to his parents and family business.. A huge life changing move occurs .. What unravels is a story that touches, friendship, family love and trust & betrayal. This book deals with so many issues, I have never read a book before where I have vehemently disliked one of the characters so much as I disliked Sara...  But couldn't put it down...
Rebecca Chance ~ Killer Queens  a romp of a read from start to finish..... Reading between the lines I would say that Rebecca's inspiration was Kate & William, the marriage of Prince Albert of Monaco and conspiracy theories of Princess Diana.. 3 queens, future, past & present and how their lives interweave.. All fictional of course!!!.. 
Lucy Diamond ~ Me & Mr Jones   3 women all in love 3 brothers names Jones .. The Jones family have run a B&B on the south coast for many years but life is taking its toll and one of the brothers needs to step in...  As the future of the B&B becomes uncertain, Izzy, Alicia and Emma are thrown together unexpectedly. It seems that keeping up with the Joneses is harder than anyone thought . . this is a heartwarming tale of heartbreak, hope, friendship and love... Thoroughly enjoyed this book.
Milly Johnson ~ Its Raining Men  Best friends from work May, Lara and Clare are desperate for some time away. They have each had a rough time of it lately and need some serious R & R. So they 
set off to a luxurious spa for ten glorious days, but when they arrive at their destination, it seems it is not the place they thought it was. In fact, they appear to have come to entirely the wrong village… Here in Ren Dullem nothing is quite what it seems; there were parts of this book I loved and parts of it I wast so sure of... At times it felt like I was on a Scooby Doo adventure, great story but not quite believable!.. That aside I loved the relationship between the 3 women, growing from a work friendship to something so much more by the end.. A fun read, but one even my imagination couldn't quite stretch to.
Sasha Wagstaff ~ Recipe of Love  Cassie has 3 months to plan her wedding, but instead is assigned to southern Italy to share the home of Rocco Disnati reclusive,private and vert talented chef. Here she is to write a food article for a Uk magazine.. Urged by his grandmother to support this... Is it a recipe for disaster or something so much more. I loved this book, it made me want to book a holiday back to Italy and cook lots of Italian dishes.. Not sure why I left this languishing in my 'to read' pile for so long.. It's delicious!
I hope these have wetted your appetite for a little reading... Thanks authors for such an adventure, featuring food, friendship, Alzheimer's, mariners tales, family love, royal conspiracies, Italy, betrayal and trust.. Happy reading x

Tuesday, 20 August 2013

Tea at the House

During the summer when everyone is on their holidays a number of venues in London open their doors for us to visit. The last couple of years my venue of choice has been Buckingham palace. This year I chose to go to the Houses of Parliament, Palace of Westminster, especially after I saw they were doing a trip which included afternoon tea in one of the rooms overlooking the Thames.
I haven't even been inside as was a little fascinated to see what it would be like. All visits are timed which allows a guide to take a manageable number of people around in an orderly way, as even though the MP's are on holiday the rest of the workforce are still going about their daily routine.
The building is beautiful with all its ornate carvings and is a work of art. Designed by Charles Barry the building is now Grade 1 listed. ( for those interested in reading some more here is some history on this iconic building) After going through a number of security checks I was granted access into the grounds leading into the Great Westminster Hall. This is one of the few places that you can take photo's, the stain glass windows were beautiful and very big!..
The tour takes you through St Stephens Hall, into the Central Lobby, Robing room, Royal Gallery and House of Lords before crossing back through the Central Lobby to the Commons Corridor, Members lobby and House of Commons Chamber. The tour was fascinating, wall to wall history throughout, stunning artwork and architecture.
3 things fascinated me, how small the House of Commons and the House of Lords are. That when watching PM questions, the MPs aren't always leaning back in their seats asleep, speakers are built in the backs of the seats so that they can hear everything!! And the different and various commemorations in the great hall are honoured as brass plaques on the floor, including Guy Fawkes, Nelson Mandela receiving and replying to the state, the Queens 3 jubilee commemorations, Queen Mum and Winston Churchill lying in State.
After the tour I was taken to the Pugin room, through the library for some afternoon tea. The room overlooked the Thames and was named after the interior designer who decorated a number of rooms through the Palace.
The tea was lovely, a mixture of sandwiches, mini deserts and scones complete with cream &
jam. The sandwiches were small in size (each one was slightly bigger than a canape) but they were sufficient. The sandwiches were: Ham with chilli jam; smoked salmon 
and cream cheese; and chicken, with peppers and avocade guacamole.  The sweets consisted of sultana scones with jam and clotted cream; valrhona chocolate delice and a lemon meringue shot. Although it did not look like a lot of food, it was beautifully  presented and actually very filling. The Pugin Room itself is stunning as were the views from the window. Tea was topped up frequently and the service was superb.
I thoroughly recommend the tour & the tea... Quintessentially British. 

Sunday, 18 August 2013

This week...

Has been filled with coffee, cupcakes, birthdays & kittens!!!...
First of all thankyou or the lovely comments & tweets ref my recent post.. It seems that its not just the kittens that are fond of me!
Early this week my mum turned 70, so a batch of birthday cupcakes were baked, iced and delivered at 6.30am for the birthday lady, along with present and flowers. It was lovely to see her on her day if only briefly before I dashed off to work.
Also celebrating birthdays are my nephew and sis-in-law, their big days are next week, where they will celebrate them on holiday.
After a busy week dashing around I have had a chilled weekend. Saturday was filled with chores, & food shopping in the morning. This was broken up by an impromptu coffee with my mum who was also about at the same time. I was a little apprehensive as as much as I love her we don't have the best relationship. We stuck to neutral topics and had a really enjoyable hour catching up.. We came away we a promise to meet up again soon and as I walked away I thought if we can achieve this without killing each other then there is much hope for finding peace in Egypt!!
Saturday night was Indian supper with the golden girls who I haven't seen since July... It was lovely to see them and the added bonus was birthday treats for me... Book tokens & body shop treats.. Perfect for a little a pampering.
Those that follow me in Pinterest will see that I have started to pin some fashion styling pics, these are a collaboration of what I've been wearing that week. I've discovered a new little app which I am enjoying playing with on the sofa. I'm not the only one loving the sofa this weekend.
Fitz & Darcy have discovered the sofa, amongst lots of other things this week. I cannot sit down before they are clamouring all over me purring their heads off, before sleeping where ever they drop.
This week they have discovered the ironing board, and when propped up the wall makes a fabulous slide, scratching post and launching pad to jump on each other from ( i do know have to purchase a new ironing board cover!!) Also with all the birthday wrapping done this week, one will have to rethink her Christmas wrapping day as kittens, ribbon & wrap don't mix!... They have also discovered that the blind in the bathroom goes up and down via a cord and the toilet toll makes a fabulous toy & scratching post!!.. They have kept me amused and entertained this weekend.

Friday, 16 August 2013

Birthday, Burgers & Beer

With Bestie... Is how I spent my birthday. After breakfast with twin I headed into work for a couple of hours before escaping and catching up my best friend J. This was the first time that we had seen each other in the flesh since meeting up in New York last year, so I was overjoyed that we managed to coordinate diaries and get together coincidentally on my birthday. J's is 6 days after mine so we always try to get together sometime in between the two dates.
With no real plan we ambled through the back roads of soho towards Covent Garden, tacking each others ears off!... It felt like we had seen each other yesterday instead of 7 months ago. We browsed a few shops and then stopped at Shake Shack for a couple of concretes, J opted for the Union Shake and I for the Drury Lane Jam... Both very yummy. The Shake shack ethos pretty much summed up our day! "Friends that eat Shack together stay together"
After a little bit more meandering we headed to Byrons on Drury lane for a burger, beer and more chatting & lots of laughter ... Loved the Well Done on J's burger... Commented that she should savour as she never got one at school!.. Too busy day dreaming and staring out if the window!!
A perfect day, sun shining, beer, burger & bestie... Best birthday present I could have wished for x

Wednesday, 14 August 2013

Adele & the Ivy...

A couple of weeks ago I spent the evening at The Ivy for an event hosted by Maggie Semple with Adele Parks. The Ivy is one of those buildings tucked down a side street which you can easily walk past without noticing its there. The beauty of the building comes from inside as this is where the stain  glass diamonds in the windows twinkle in the light.
The event was hosted in the bar lounge on the top floor... Accessed by a glass elevator that would not have been out of place in a Willy Wonka novel... The bars and lounge areas are real old school glamour. With organic Chardonnay free flowing and canapés courtesy of the Ivy including prawn burger sliders, it was a real indulgent treat.
Adele and Maggie sat on a raised platform in a cut show style and opened the evening. As well as the audience questions, Maggie also asks that the guest brings an item of fashion that has a story special to them. Adele unfolded a small roll tucked under her arm and revealed her wedding dress, to lots of oohing and ahing of the audience. With back shot photos she talked us through hour her Jenny Packham dress was worn to elope to Vegas. After having a big full works wedding the first time, her & Jim eloped with her son and married in style in the Little wedding chapel. The was lots of laugh terms and fun when quizzing her on her elope...
The other part of the evening was discussing her fabulous new book The State We're In its took social media by a storm even having its own hash tag #keepthesecret
I had a fabulous evening, look forward to another Maggie event and urge everyone to read Adele's new book.

Monday, 12 August 2013

Life is a journey.....

and the road travelled is full of crossroads!... This post is unlike my usual, but just felt the need to share the journey that I am on, which at the moment is full of crossroads and twists & turns.
Right now there is much Change in my life, professionally and personally.
Home life has been full of birthdays, anniversaries and challenges (some of which were birthdays & anniversaries).... Over the past month my nephew ended up in a burns clinic in the New Forest with 3rd degree burns to his foot from a camping accident!.. My niece had a burst appendix and an emergency dash to hospital and my SIL has just gone through a redundancy restructure which has resulted in her loosing her job after 26 years with the same business.  This has caused some distress within our small family, as she has always been a high performer and we never expected that she would meet the redundancy criteria. One persons personal opinion can change someones life in a moment. ...she isn't going without a fight. They have now departed on holiday for a little rest & relaxation for a couple of weeks and space to evaluate what they are going to do next.
Recently a new 'head of' was appointed within my department and although I believe that this will have a positive influence on the department, I can say that the honeymoon period is over. Roles and structures are being evaluated and much change is ahead. Having been through this process a couple of times before it always makes me a little unsettled.  As previously posted I am very confident in my work space but completely lack that in my personal life and having just witnessed my SIL go through something similar it does make me nervous. Contrary to all the employment laws, it is still harder to
be a high performing female in the workplace, age still influences decision making of employment and people still judge you on what you look like... This is quite a contentious statement but the reality is still out there... Business are just very good at working round this without appearing discriminative.  As I embark on this journey I need to take my team along with it and engage them on this journey... Thankfully I have a great team, who as well as doing a fab job have the ability to make me laugh out loud every day. This is what they sent me today!!!.....
Outside of work my two little kittens have bought much fun to my home... It's lovely having 2 little faces peering through the door as I put my key in the lock, haven't felt this wanted or loved since Gramps.
 I am having to evaluate how I do things at home... This weeks challenges are that the ironing board & clothes airer make fabulous climbing frames!... a new cover for the ironing board is on the shopping list as the current one has been shredded... They bring so much fun and mischief to my day that I can turn a blind eye to their little misdemeanours.... More kitty tales to come.

Saturday, 10 August 2013

The Couture of Facials..

What do you do when you find out Chanel are launching a pop-up spa sanctuary in your workplace for a week... I rushed up from my desk and headed down to the Chanel to book my appointment. I'm a huge fan  of Chanel, it is my cosmetic brand of choice, my make-up bag is not complete with the Boy lip shine, multiple nail polishes, and eyebrow pallette.
However I have never used their skin care products.
After an extremely demanding month, this was a perfect 90minute escape from the hussle & bustle of daily life.
Katerina was my therapist, she was fabulous, and immediately put me at ease. I'm not great in these environments always a little too self conscious, I think it helped that she was a little older and not a young tanned glamour puss!
The room was beautifully styled in Chanel... I was treated to a full deep cleanse facial, head & hand massage. K was not one of these people that felt the need to talk throughout or fill the empty silences with incessant chatter.. This aided my relaxation completely and could of easily have gone to sleep when she finished.

My skin at the end looked amazing, it felt so clean, with a radiance I haven't seen in a long time.
What I loved was the lack of pressure on me to purchase everything that had been used, especially as the whole cost of the facial was redeemable against Chanel products at the end.. Perfect! I am going to invest in the oil cleanser when my current cleanser is finished. I would never have used an oil cleanser as I have combination skin, however it seems that the two principals work together , which makes sense when you think that oil & water don't mix, so an oil cleanser is better for my skin!
I loved my Chanel pamper experience and would book again in a heartbeat if they were to do it again.

I was not paid by either Chanel or Selfridges to review this treatment  all views are my own, based on my personal experience. 

Friday, 9 August 2013

Burger wars in London!

Over the past few months the social networks and media have stoked up much noise of Burger wars coming to London. This started with the news at the back end of last year of the NewYork favourites Shake Shack and Five Guys crossing the pond to London and setting up home in Covent Garden. It definitely seems that London 2013 is the home of the burger. I have a few favourites Patty & Bun, Byron, Bugr & co, and of course Shake Shack.
I love a good burger and think its an easy after work treat to meet up within friends and catch-up... This I have done a couple of times in July.
This was my 2nd trip here (my restraint is needed as it is 3 minutes from the office!) I met up with a friend and indulged in the 'Ari Gold' which is a delicious medium rare burger complete with signature burger sauce, cheese, onions .. A feast for the taste buds. Not for the neat eater as it is gloriously sloppy, can only be eaten with a bib!
My other burger treat for the month was of course a trip to Shake Shack... I waited a few days after opening, but with London bathed in summer sunshine the Q was in a league of Madison Square park's Q in New York. However if you go don't let the Q put you off, it is incredibly well organised and moves very quickly, these guys are the kings of Burger Q's.
I went the full monty at the Shack, ordering the Shack burger, cheesy fries, old school lemonade and the Union Shack concrete. It was as good as in NY and bought back lots of great memories...
Here's  a couple.
The Union Shack concrete is amazing.. Chocolate custard ice cream, salted chocolate bits from Paul Young and Brownie bites from St Johns Bakery... Deliciously yummy.
Here are a few  of my favourite Burger joints in London, worth a visit.
  • Shake Shack  a perfect bite of New York in London
  • Patty & Bun  a cool, hip burger joint.. Delicious .. Worth the waiting time
  • Byron  not just in London .. The British burger bar that gives the Americans a run for their money.. Cool spaces, complimentary to the local environment.. Great burgers & Brooklyn beer .. Perfect combination.
  • Brgr & co  - fun & funky burger afternoon tea.. 

Saturday, 3 August 2013

July Jubilations...

July passed by in a haze ... Bought on by long summer days, busy days at work and a whirlwind of activity its hard to believe that the month is over, half of 2013 has gone and i celebrated being another year older.
Over the next couple of weeks I will share with you my busy July and what has been keeping me entertained for the month!.
Sometimes I get the opportunity to stay up in London due to my working hours and long days... On the hottest day of the year this coincided with one of these occasions! How happy was I to have a 5 minute commute to my bed, complete with 17' air con... I may only have been in my room 6 hours but it was the best nights sleep i had, had in a very long time!  Accompanied by chocolates on bed and a loaded kindle it was heaven!
London has looked glorious in the sunshine and what ever chance I have had to escape my desk I have taken the opportunity to escape to a park or amble along the river... It's been gorgeous. My feet have been ensconced in Birkenstocks throughout July... Current favourites are my orange pair, often styled with white trousers as shown!
I have read lots and will share my July reads soon, as I have traveled on the Orient Express, opened an ice cream parlour, lived in Italy, mixed with royalty, stalked a famous pop singer , and uncovered secrets and lies that will test the faith of family and best friends alike!... Come back soon for more details!
I have spent a little time being pampered and celebrated a birthday, both of which were lovely.
And finally.....I have watched the David Beckham sky sports advert many times!.. My twitter feed went into overdrive on its first airing with lots of people tweeting me the link... Not sure why! Here was my response on seeing said advert!


New Arrivals in July...

July saw a number of new arrivals in my life and the country worthy of a little celebration ... the first being the arrival of a new Prince and future King of England, George, son to Kate & William.
The second was a prince to my friend Kelly and husband James and little brother for Sophie, Congratulations on the birth of baby Lewis....
And finally 2 princes of my own!....
Fitzwilliam (Fitz for short) and Darcy ... Two little kittens now residing at Teresa's terrace. ... Fitz is the white tabby and Darcy is the black one. It has taken some time for me to name them as I wanted something significant to me and their personalities... Fitzwilliam is the most outgoing and adventurous of the 2 and Darcy is dark and brooding!... Pride & prejudice is my favourite book and with it celebrating 200 years this year thought it was fitting to name my two kitties after one of the most iconic & loved men in print!
London celebrated the birth of Prince George in style.. with multiple landmarks turning blue, including the big yellow store. One of the windows in the store was filled with corgis and balloons... along with celebratory cupcakes and cocktails in store.  

As you can see the kittens are settling in...The towel bales and the toy basket are very popular mediums of entertainment along with my iPad which they pad all over the minute I turn it on! Whilst typing this post I have two little helpers, one sitting on my shoulder and the other walking across my lap, tapping the screen!
The kittens have left their sibling with its mum so she isn't too lonely without them and reside around the corner at my friends house, so not too far if they miss their mum too much!.. Although judging on how well they have settled on the sofa I don't think they will go back!...

One week in they have given me endless hours of fun, .. They scamper around like lunatics and then fall asleep on their feet.. Very naughty, funny and sweet.. Perfect little housemates for me.


Wednesday, 28 August 2013

Summer reads.. 2013 part 1

I've devoured lots of books this summer, they have allowed me to escape to lovely places and have amazing adventures whilst sitting on a hot sweaty tube underground London, under a tree in one of London's green spaces or just sat on my doorstep enjoying the sunshine.
Here's 5 of my 10 favs from this Summer;
Adele Parks ~ Whatever it Takes  Eloise has what appears to everyone the perfect life in London, gorgeous husband & family and fabulous friends, including best friend Sara. Eloise's husband Mark hankers for a simpler life back in his hometown now Dartmouth in Devon, nearer to his parents and family business.. A huge life changing move occurs .. What unravels is a story that touches, friendship, family love and trust & betrayal. This book deals with so many issues, I have never read a book before where I have vehemently disliked one of the characters so much as I disliked Sara...  But couldn't put it down...
Rebecca Chance ~ Killer Queens  a romp of a read from start to finish..... Reading between the lines I would say that Rebecca's inspiration was Kate & William, the marriage of Prince Albert of Monaco and conspiracy theories of Princess Diana.. 3 queens, future, past & present and how their lives interweave.. All fictional of course!!!.. 
Lucy Diamond ~ Me & Mr Jones   3 women all in love 3 brothers names Jones .. The Jones family have run a B&B on the south coast for many years but life is taking its toll and one of the brothers needs to step in...  As the future of the B&B becomes uncertain, Izzy, Alicia and Emma are thrown together unexpectedly. It seems that keeping up with the Joneses is harder than anyone thought . . this is a heartwarming tale of heartbreak, hope, friendship and love... Thoroughly enjoyed this book.
Milly Johnson ~ Its Raining Men  Best friends from work May, Lara and Clare are desperate for some time away. They have each had a rough time of it lately and need some serious R & R. So they 
set off to a luxurious spa for ten glorious days, but when they arrive at their destination, it seems it is not the place they thought it was. In fact, they appear to have come to entirely the wrong village… Here in Ren Dullem nothing is quite what it seems; there were parts of this book I loved and parts of it I wast so sure of... At times it felt like I was on a Scooby Doo adventure, great story but not quite believable!.. That aside I loved the relationship between the 3 women, growing from a work friendship to something so much more by the end.. A fun read, but one even my imagination couldn't quite stretch to.
Sasha Wagstaff ~ Recipe of Love  Cassie has 3 months to plan her wedding, but instead is assigned to southern Italy to share the home of Rocco Disnati reclusive,private and vert talented chef. Here she is to write a food article for a Uk magazine.. Urged by his grandmother to support this... Is it a recipe for disaster or something so much more. I loved this book, it made me want to book a holiday back to Italy and cook lots of Italian dishes.. Not sure why I left this languishing in my 'to read' pile for so long.. It's delicious!
I hope these have wetted your appetite for a little reading... Thanks authors for such an adventure, featuring food, friendship, Alzheimer's, mariners tales, family love, royal conspiracies, Italy, betrayal and trust.. Happy reading x

Tuesday, 20 August 2013

Tea at the House

During the summer when everyone is on their holidays a number of venues in London open their doors for us to visit. The last couple of years my venue of choice has been Buckingham palace. This year I chose to go to the Houses of Parliament, Palace of Westminster, especially after I saw they were doing a trip which included afternoon tea in one of the rooms overlooking the Thames.
I haven't even been inside as was a little fascinated to see what it would be like. All visits are timed which allows a guide to take a manageable number of people around in an orderly way, as even though the MP's are on holiday the rest of the workforce are still going about their daily routine.
The building is beautiful with all its ornate carvings and is a work of art. Designed by Charles Barry the building is now Grade 1 listed. ( for those interested in reading some more here is some history on this iconic building) After going through a number of security checks I was granted access into the grounds leading into the Great Westminster Hall. This is one of the few places that you can take photo's, the stain glass windows were beautiful and very big!..
The tour takes you through St Stephens Hall, into the Central Lobby, Robing room, Royal Gallery and House of Lords before crossing back through the Central Lobby to the Commons Corridor, Members lobby and House of Commons Chamber. The tour was fascinating, wall to wall history throughout, stunning artwork and architecture.
3 things fascinated me, how small the House of Commons and the House of Lords are. That when watching PM questions, the MPs aren't always leaning back in their seats asleep, speakers are built in the backs of the seats so that they can hear everything!! And the different and various commemorations in the great hall are honoured as brass plaques on the floor, including Guy Fawkes, Nelson Mandela receiving and replying to the state, the Queens 3 jubilee commemorations, Queen Mum and Winston Churchill lying in State.
After the tour I was taken to the Pugin room, through the library for some afternoon tea. The room overlooked the Thames and was named after the interior designer who decorated a number of rooms through the Palace.
The tea was lovely, a mixture of sandwiches, mini deserts and scones complete with cream &
jam. The sandwiches were small in size (each one was slightly bigger than a canape) but they were sufficient. The sandwiches were: Ham with chilli jam; smoked salmon 
and cream cheese; and chicken, with peppers and avocade guacamole.  The sweets consisted of sultana scones with jam and clotted cream; valrhona chocolate delice and a lemon meringue shot. Although it did not look like a lot of food, it was beautifully  presented and actually very filling. The Pugin Room itself is stunning as were the views from the window. Tea was topped up frequently and the service was superb.
I thoroughly recommend the tour & the tea... Quintessentially British. 

Sunday, 18 August 2013

This week...

Has been filled with coffee, cupcakes, birthdays & kittens!!!...
First of all thankyou or the lovely comments & tweets ref my recent post.. It seems that its not just the kittens that are fond of me!
Early this week my mum turned 70, so a batch of birthday cupcakes were baked, iced and delivered at 6.30am for the birthday lady, along with present and flowers. It was lovely to see her on her day if only briefly before I dashed off to work.
Also celebrating birthdays are my nephew and sis-in-law, their big days are next week, where they will celebrate them on holiday.
After a busy week dashing around I have had a chilled weekend. Saturday was filled with chores, & food shopping in the morning. This was broken up by an impromptu coffee with my mum who was also about at the same time. I was a little apprehensive as as much as I love her we don't have the best relationship. We stuck to neutral topics and had a really enjoyable hour catching up.. We came away we a promise to meet up again soon and as I walked away I thought if we can achieve this without killing each other then there is much hope for finding peace in Egypt!!
Saturday night was Indian supper with the golden girls who I haven't seen since July... It was lovely to see them and the added bonus was birthday treats for me... Book tokens & body shop treats.. Perfect for a little a pampering.
Those that follow me in Pinterest will see that I have started to pin some fashion styling pics, these are a collaboration of what I've been wearing that week. I've discovered a new little app which I am enjoying playing with on the sofa. I'm not the only one loving the sofa this weekend.
Fitz & Darcy have discovered the sofa, amongst lots of other things this week. I cannot sit down before they are clamouring all over me purring their heads off, before sleeping where ever they drop.
This week they have discovered the ironing board, and when propped up the wall makes a fabulous slide, scratching post and launching pad to jump on each other from ( i do know have to purchase a new ironing board cover!!) Also with all the birthday wrapping done this week, one will have to rethink her Christmas wrapping day as kittens, ribbon & wrap don't mix!... They have also discovered that the blind in the bathroom goes up and down via a cord and the toilet toll makes a fabulous toy & scratching post!!.. They have kept me amused and entertained this weekend.

Friday, 16 August 2013

Birthday, Burgers & Beer

With Bestie... Is how I spent my birthday. After breakfast with twin I headed into work for a couple of hours before escaping and catching up my best friend J. This was the first time that we had seen each other in the flesh since meeting up in New York last year, so I was overjoyed that we managed to coordinate diaries and get together coincidentally on my birthday. J's is 6 days after mine so we always try to get together sometime in between the two dates.
With no real plan we ambled through the back roads of soho towards Covent Garden, tacking each others ears off!... It felt like we had seen each other yesterday instead of 7 months ago. We browsed a few shops and then stopped at Shake Shack for a couple of concretes, J opted for the Union Shake and I for the Drury Lane Jam... Both very yummy. The Shake shack ethos pretty much summed up our day! "Friends that eat Shack together stay together"
After a little bit more meandering we headed to Byrons on Drury lane for a burger, beer and more chatting & lots of laughter ... Loved the Well Done on J's burger... Commented that she should savour as she never got one at school!.. Too busy day dreaming and staring out if the window!!
A perfect day, sun shining, beer, burger & bestie... Best birthday present I could have wished for x

Wednesday, 14 August 2013

Adele & the Ivy...

A couple of weeks ago I spent the evening at The Ivy for an event hosted by Maggie Semple with Adele Parks. The Ivy is one of those buildings tucked down a side street which you can easily walk past without noticing its there. The beauty of the building comes from inside as this is where the stain  glass diamonds in the windows twinkle in the light.
The event was hosted in the bar lounge on the top floor... Accessed by a glass elevator that would not have been out of place in a Willy Wonka novel... The bars and lounge areas are real old school glamour. With organic Chardonnay free flowing and canapés courtesy of the Ivy including prawn burger sliders, it was a real indulgent treat.
Adele and Maggie sat on a raised platform in a cut show style and opened the evening. As well as the audience questions, Maggie also asks that the guest brings an item of fashion that has a story special to them. Adele unfolded a small roll tucked under her arm and revealed her wedding dress, to lots of oohing and ahing of the audience. With back shot photos she talked us through hour her Jenny Packham dress was worn to elope to Vegas. After having a big full works wedding the first time, her & Jim eloped with her son and married in style in the Little wedding chapel. The was lots of laugh terms and fun when quizzing her on her elope...
The other part of the evening was discussing her fabulous new book The State We're In its took social media by a storm even having its own hash tag #keepthesecret
I had a fabulous evening, look forward to another Maggie event and urge everyone to read Adele's new book.

Monday, 12 August 2013

Life is a journey.....

and the road travelled is full of crossroads!... This post is unlike my usual, but just felt the need to share the journey that I am on, which at the moment is full of crossroads and twists & turns.
Right now there is much Change in my life, professionally and personally.
Home life has been full of birthdays, anniversaries and challenges (some of which were birthdays & anniversaries).... Over the past month my nephew ended up in a burns clinic in the New Forest with 3rd degree burns to his foot from a camping accident!.. My niece had a burst appendix and an emergency dash to hospital and my SIL has just gone through a redundancy restructure which has resulted in her loosing her job after 26 years with the same business.  This has caused some distress within our small family, as she has always been a high performer and we never expected that she would meet the redundancy criteria. One persons personal opinion can change someones life in a moment. ...she isn't going without a fight. They have now departed on holiday for a little rest & relaxation for a couple of weeks and space to evaluate what they are going to do next.
Recently a new 'head of' was appointed within my department and although I believe that this will have a positive influence on the department, I can say that the honeymoon period is over. Roles and structures are being evaluated and much change is ahead. Having been through this process a couple of times before it always makes me a little unsettled.  As previously posted I am very confident in my work space but completely lack that in my personal life and having just witnessed my SIL go through something similar it does make me nervous. Contrary to all the employment laws, it is still harder to
be a high performing female in the workplace, age still influences decision making of employment and people still judge you on what you look like... This is quite a contentious statement but the reality is still out there... Business are just very good at working round this without appearing discriminative.  As I embark on this journey I need to take my team along with it and engage them on this journey... Thankfully I have a great team, who as well as doing a fab job have the ability to make me laugh out loud every day. This is what they sent me today!!!.....
Outside of work my two little kittens have bought much fun to my home... It's lovely having 2 little faces peering through the door as I put my key in the lock, haven't felt this wanted or loved since Gramps.
 I am having to evaluate how I do things at home... This weeks challenges are that the ironing board & clothes airer make fabulous climbing frames!... a new cover for the ironing board is on the shopping list as the current one has been shredded... They bring so much fun and mischief to my day that I can turn a blind eye to their little misdemeanours.... More kitty tales to come.

Saturday, 10 August 2013

The Couture of Facials..

What do you do when you find out Chanel are launching a pop-up spa sanctuary in your workplace for a week... I rushed up from my desk and headed down to the Chanel to book my appointment. I'm a huge fan  of Chanel, it is my cosmetic brand of choice, my make-up bag is not complete with the Boy lip shine, multiple nail polishes, and eyebrow pallette.
However I have never used their skin care products.
After an extremely demanding month, this was a perfect 90minute escape from the hussle & bustle of daily life.
Katerina was my therapist, she was fabulous, and immediately put me at ease. I'm not great in these environments always a little too self conscious, I think it helped that she was a little older and not a young tanned glamour puss!
The room was beautifully styled in Chanel... I was treated to a full deep cleanse facial, head & hand massage. K was not one of these people that felt the need to talk throughout or fill the empty silences with incessant chatter.. This aided my relaxation completely and could of easily have gone to sleep when she finished.

My skin at the end looked amazing, it felt so clean, with a radiance I haven't seen in a long time.
What I loved was the lack of pressure on me to purchase everything that had been used, especially as the whole cost of the facial was redeemable against Chanel products at the end.. Perfect! I am going to invest in the oil cleanser when my current cleanser is finished. I would never have used an oil cleanser as I have combination skin, however it seems that the two principals work together , which makes sense when you think that oil & water don't mix, so an oil cleanser is better for my skin!
I loved my Chanel pamper experience and would book again in a heartbeat if they were to do it again.

I was not paid by either Chanel or Selfridges to review this treatment  all views are my own, based on my personal experience. 

Friday, 9 August 2013

Burger wars in London!

Over the past few months the social networks and media have stoked up much noise of Burger wars coming to London. This started with the news at the back end of last year of the NewYork favourites Shake Shack and Five Guys crossing the pond to London and setting up home in Covent Garden. It definitely seems that London 2013 is the home of the burger. I have a few favourites Patty & Bun, Byron, Bugr & co, and of course Shake Shack.
I love a good burger and think its an easy after work treat to meet up within friends and catch-up... This I have done a couple of times in July.
This was my 2nd trip here (my restraint is needed as it is 3 minutes from the office!) I met up with a friend and indulged in the 'Ari Gold' which is a delicious medium rare burger complete with signature burger sauce, cheese, onions .. A feast for the taste buds. Not for the neat eater as it is gloriously sloppy, can only be eaten with a bib!
My other burger treat for the month was of course a trip to Shake Shack... I waited a few days after opening, but with London bathed in summer sunshine the Q was in a league of Madison Square park's Q in New York. However if you go don't let the Q put you off, it is incredibly well organised and moves very quickly, these guys are the kings of Burger Q's.
I went the full monty at the Shack, ordering the Shack burger, cheesy fries, old school lemonade and the Union Shack concrete. It was as good as in NY and bought back lots of great memories...
Here's  a couple.
The Union Shack concrete is amazing.. Chocolate custard ice cream, salted chocolate bits from Paul Young and Brownie bites from St Johns Bakery... Deliciously yummy.
Here are a few  of my favourite Burger joints in London, worth a visit.
  • Shake Shack  a perfect bite of New York in London
  • Patty & Bun  a cool, hip burger joint.. Delicious .. Worth the waiting time
  • Byron  not just in London .. The British burger bar that gives the Americans a run for their money.. Cool spaces, complimentary to the local environment.. Great burgers & Brooklyn beer .. Perfect combination.
  • Brgr & co  - fun & funky burger afternoon tea.. 

Saturday, 3 August 2013

July Jubilations...

July passed by in a haze ... Bought on by long summer days, busy days at work and a whirlwind of activity its hard to believe that the month is over, half of 2013 has gone and i celebrated being another year older.
Over the next couple of weeks I will share with you my busy July and what has been keeping me entertained for the month!.
Sometimes I get the opportunity to stay up in London due to my working hours and long days... On the hottest day of the year this coincided with one of these occasions! How happy was I to have a 5 minute commute to my bed, complete with 17' air con... I may only have been in my room 6 hours but it was the best nights sleep i had, had in a very long time!  Accompanied by chocolates on bed and a loaded kindle it was heaven!
London has looked glorious in the sunshine and what ever chance I have had to escape my desk I have taken the opportunity to escape to a park or amble along the river... It's been gorgeous. My feet have been ensconced in Birkenstocks throughout July... Current favourites are my orange pair, often styled with white trousers as shown!
I have read lots and will share my July reads soon, as I have traveled on the Orient Express, opened an ice cream parlour, lived in Italy, mixed with royalty, stalked a famous pop singer , and uncovered secrets and lies that will test the faith of family and best friends alike!... Come back soon for more details!
I have spent a little time being pampered and celebrated a birthday, both of which were lovely.
And finally.....I have watched the David Beckham sky sports advert many times!.. My twitter feed went into overdrive on its first airing with lots of people tweeting me the link... Not sure why! Here was my response on seeing said advert!


New Arrivals in July...

July saw a number of new arrivals in my life and the country worthy of a little celebration ... the first being the arrival of a new Prince and future King of England, George, son to Kate & William.
The second was a prince to my friend Kelly and husband James and little brother for Sophie, Congratulations on the birth of baby Lewis....
And finally 2 princes of my own!....
Fitzwilliam (Fitz for short) and Darcy ... Two little kittens now residing at Teresa's terrace. ... Fitz is the white tabby and Darcy is the black one. It has taken some time for me to name them as I wanted something significant to me and their personalities... Fitzwilliam is the most outgoing and adventurous of the 2 and Darcy is dark and brooding!... Pride & prejudice is my favourite book and with it celebrating 200 years this year thought it was fitting to name my two kitties after one of the most iconic & loved men in print!
London celebrated the birth of Prince George in style.. with multiple landmarks turning blue, including the big yellow store. One of the windows in the store was filled with corgis and balloons... along with celebratory cupcakes and cocktails in store.  

As you can see the kittens are settling in...The towel bales and the toy basket are very popular mediums of entertainment along with my iPad which they pad all over the minute I turn it on! Whilst typing this post I have two little helpers, one sitting on my shoulder and the other walking across my lap, tapping the screen!
The kittens have left their sibling with its mum so she isn't too lonely without them and reside around the corner at my friends house, so not too far if they miss their mum too much!.. Although judging on how well they have settled on the sofa I don't think they will go back!...

One week in they have given me endless hours of fun, .. They scamper around like lunatics and then fall asleep on their feet.. Very naughty, funny and sweet.. Perfect little housemates for me.