Saturday, 23 February 2013

Elemis Haul!

If you read about my recent day at Eden Hall you may remember that I treated myself to some gorgeous Elemis goodies. I've been really enjoying using them so I thought I'd share them with you

The first thing I purchased was the gorgeous Elemis Princess of Spa gift set, which includes

Skin Nourishing Milk Bath (which you've heard me bang on about before)
Mind Relaxing Bath Elixir
Pro-Radiance Hand and Nail Cream

I'd been planning to repurchase the Milk Bath after finishing my previous bottle recently but it's pretty expensive so I was umming and aahing over it. But as it was on offer, this gift set cost less than the Milk Bath alone so it was a no brainer. The total value of the set is around £80 and at Eden Hall it was just £36 PLUS my 20% discount!

I also fancied the Elemis Quiet Mind Room Mist, which can be sprayed around the bedroom and on your sheets before bedtime to help you relax and drift off. After one sniff I knew I had to have it - it contains patchouli, eucalyptus and ho wood oils and smells just divine

I was going to stop there but the Spa Shop was running an offer - buy two single Elemis products and get a free gift. I'm a sucker for a free gift so I decided to add a Papaya Enzyme Peel to my haul. This is a product I've fancied trying for a while so I didn't need much of a excuse to buy it. The assistant let me smother my face in it before heading to the treatment lounge for my wrap, so I could see if I liked it. The smell was incredible, gorgeous pineapple and papaya and it wasn't a gel as I expected but a cream mask. I've only used it once so far so I'll post a review when I've used it a few more times

So with my final purchase I did manage to get the free gift, which was a cute little wash bag containing travel sized

Tri-Enzyme Resurfacing Facial Wash
Pro-Collagen Quartz Lift Mask
Pro-Collagen Marine Cream
Pro-Collagen Hand and Nail Cream

Which I thought was a great gift!

It was a bit of a splurge but I got 20% off as well, even including the other offers so I was really pleased. Plus, you know, it was my birthday, so ....

I'm loving these products so far, the room mist in particular will become a regular purchase for me. It smells absolutely amazing and even tops This Works Deep Sleep Pillow Mist, a previous favourite. I have been known to spray it on a scarf so that I can take repeated sniffs whilst relaxing in my PJs! It's not just your typical lavender fragrance, it includes an unusual blend of oils which are at once heady and relaxing - it's just gorgeous

Have you tried any Elemis products? Are you tempted by any of these?

Friday, 22 February 2013

Friday Round Up

'must dash, i've got the kids in the car' - a foggy start to the day - and a nap stop on the way home
gorgeous lincolnshire scenery - perfect eggs - buff cuddle
you've never seen chickens eating pot noodle? - spooky trees - my new toy arrived

For the last few weeks I've mentally skipped a day in the middle of the week. I grasp Monday, then move on to Tuesday but think the next day is Thursday. This has made each week seem unfairly long and the weekends seem very far apart indeed! Hopefully I'll get to grips with the old 'seven days = a week' rule next Tuesday

The most exciting thing to happen this week was the arrival of my new MacBook Pro yesterday, I've wanted one of these bad boys since I started blogging. I'd been planning to   treat myself with my bonus but my old Dell took matters into it's own hands last weekend when it decided it was no longer willing to accept a memory card, so I couldn't upload any photos from my camera. So I was forced to splash out a bit earlier than planned! I'm still finding my way around it, it's years since I used a Mac and nothing is where I expect it to be but it's fun and I'm excited to learn how to use it properly

It was Matt's birthday this week so we spent a night snuggled under a blanket, watching Skyfall (amazing!) and eating junk food. Not the most exciting way to spend a birthday but that was all he wanted to do and I think that's cute! I got him a swanky digital radio which he'd been dropping hints about for the last month and a card from his favourite hen (who was also his Valentine last week, she loves him!) We owe ourselves a meal a our favourite restaurant, The Crab & Lobster at Thirsk because February is a special month for us - both our birthdays and the anniversary of our first date. So I need to get that booked soon, I can't wait. The food is amazing and the restaurant is so quirky, it's very 'us'

I've had some great walks with the dogs this week, our Discovery was sold so I'm now using Matt's old loan car, a little Ford Ka to ferry them around, which is brilliant! It's so dinky and cute and the dogs fit perfectly on the back seat. The weather has been crazy - early in the week I thought Spring was here but on Wednesday the fog came down and it's been absolutely freezing ever since. It feels like it's been winter forever. I don't mind walking the dogs when it's cold, a bit of mist and a crisp, cold morning makes everything look a bit more beautiful. But I won't be complaining when it warms up a bit and that can't be far away, the nights are getting lighter, have you noticed?

This weekend I'll be continuing on painting duty at the new house, surprise surprise. I drove past the house this morning and saw the roofers there starting to tile the extension, I can't wait for that to be done. That will mean we're nearly there. There's just the utility room to build and that's all the building work done and we can just focus on the inside

Have a great weekend everyone!

Friday, 15 February 2013

Friday Round Up

i love opening a new cleanse & polish - interiors homework - new m&s discovery
friday night treat - cleaning up dropped eggs is no problem around here - secret BOY!
my weekend snacks - matt's weekend snacks - princess jessie tries on my necklace
There are a lot of food photos this week aren't there??

Having finally got rid of my cold (YAY!!) I'm feeling like a new person! I celebrated with a relaxing bath and pamper session with my new Elemis goodies which I mentioned in my Round Up post a couple of weeks ago. I'd neglected myself a bit whilst I was ill, I was just too tired and achey to bother doing anything that wasn't absolutely necessary, I knew I looked a wreck but I didn't really care!

Big news this week is that one of our three Buff Orpington chickens has decided that it's a boy. It's a bit late bearing in mind that they are nine months old now and it's weird that it's never crowed once and doesn't have much of a comb. But it's definitely a boy. I've caught it getting fruity with the bantam hens, the little devil. So I've floated the idea of getting rid of all three Buffs or just eating the cockerel (!) but Matt's not 100% on board with either idea so we'll see what happens ...

Speaking of chickens, Wilson has been in the bad books this week. I called him in the other day and he didn't appear, I called him a few more times and tried to stay calm - I knew he wouldn't have wandered off (the dogs don't leave the garden even when all the gates are open) and I knew he hadn't been stolen (no one can get near the house without the dogs going crazy at them) so ... where on earth was he? I went out to explore and found him in the shed, eating freshly laid eggs!! The little sod!! He had the telling-off of his life and hasn't set paw near the shed since. Let's hope it stays that way!

I had my hair cut and coloured this week and feel so much better for it. I'd been putting it off because I wasn't sure what colour to go for but my grey roots had got so bad that I had to commit to something! So I went for a dark brown again and I'm really happy with it. The worst of the damaged bits are gone now and the rest of it looks shinier and healthier than it's been in ages :)

This weekend I'll be attacking the painting at the new house again, I'm feeling really positive about it at the moment. I'll be studying my heaps of interiors magazines and books to get ideas for bathroom decor, it's harder than you might imagine. I might have a peek at the websites of our favourite hotels for inspiration too, I need all the help I can get 

We'll be chowing down on pizza with my sister, brother in law and nephew tomorrow night, I'm looking forward to seeing them all. We haven't all been together since Christmas so it will be good to catch up

What do you have planned for the weekend?

Monday, 11 February 2013

A Walk Down Memory Lane

Yesterday I fancied a change. Walking the dogs has become a bit of a chore lately, just another job to add to the seemingly unending list of jobs that seem to be on my daily 'to do' list. As I was off games due to my cold I didn't plan on working at the new house and I had to pop Jessie to the vets for a check up, so I decided to stop off on the way home and give the dogs a good run

I drove to an area where I used to keep my horses when I was younger and the memories came flooding back. Memories of simpler times when all I cared about was my horse and I lived for riding, exploring the beautiful Lincolnshire countryside for three, four, five hours at a time before settling my horse for the night and hopping into my little car to drive home to my mum's home cooking, a hot bath and my own bed. I remember early morning rides on warm summer weekends when there was no one else to be seen, just us and the birds. I remember the feeling of 'one-ness' with him, the thud of his hoofs on the turf and the sheer joy of cantering along the brow of a hill with the Wolds stretched out below us. I remember laughing and crying for joy at times like this and just feeling lucky to be so happy, to be alive and able to experience such a moment

I do love a good reminisce!

The dogs had a great time, playing with sticks, chasing each other and hunting in the long grass

Jessie was sad when Wilson had a stick and she didn't ...

 So she tried to steal his stick ...

He's been avoiding losing sticks to her his whole life so he's pretty nifty on his feet ...

He managed to get away ...

So she gave up and went and found her own stick ...

 And then everyone was happy

It was a beautiful bright day but cold - only 2 degrees above freezing. I love their little clouds of breath!

For the first time in ages, I wasn't in a hurry. I wasn't squeezing in a quick dog walk between doing other jobs. I took my time and enjoyed watching the dogs playing, the beautiful weather, the gorgeous surroundings ... and a little walk down memory lane :)

Friday, 8 February 2013

Friday Round Up

This is what the week has looked like for me. After contracting Matt's man flu I've been attacking it with everything Boots has to offer, including up to the minute drugs and old favourites like Karvol, which my mum used to drop on my pillow to combat childhood snuffles. I've driven over 800 miles this week for work so there has been much one handed nose blowing and being spotted by other motorists whilst rubbing Happinose up my nostrils. The worst thing is the stuffy head - I've been so busy at work this week and I really needed my brain to be present and correct but sadly it had abandoned me by Friday morning, so I took to the sofa with my above supplies to watch back to back Escape To The Country and feel sorry for myself

Having banished Matt to the spare room (we divide and conquer when one of us is ill) I've been spending every night propped up on a pile of pillows, watching One Born Every Minute on my iPad. I have a morbid fascination with it - it terrifies and excites me in equal measure. I can't help but cry when the babies are born and I love to see how the dads handle such a life-changing moment. Even more fascinating than that is seeing how relationships play out under pressure. I've always had an interest in psychology but it's also true that I like to study people's relationships because I like to see how Matt and I compare. Not because I'm trying to see if our relationship is 'better' or 'worse' than anyone else's - it's more that I'm wondering if we're normal!

I live by the old adage 'feed a cold, starve a fever' so I've not been holding back this week. I always seem to be hungry when I have a cold so it's no hardship! I must admit though, I've been feeling decidedly nervous about eating meat lately due to the horsemeat scandal. I know it's not going to poison us but still, the thought that items marked as beef were actually 100% HORSEMEAT has really worried me. I don't buy frozen lasagne thank goodness, but who's to say that the minced beef I buy to make my own lasagne is actually beef?? I think I might start looking for some meat free recipes ...

This weekend I plan on keeping warm and doing little, with the ultimate aim of shifting this cold. On Monday night I'm going to the cinema to see I Give It A Year and at some point I'm going to get my hair done. It's Valentine's Day next week isn't it? I can't stand Valentine's Day, it's too commercialised and forced for my taste so we don't do anything to mark it, we never even go out for a meal or anything. In fact, I can't remember if we even get each other cards. I'm thinking probably not! Although I do remember the year that my Dad stopped getting cards for me and my sister and there was an uproar. It just wasn't right, despite the fact (as he pointed out) that we were both living with our partners and it was their responsibility to buy us cards. A shoddy excuse, I'm sure you'll agree

Anyway, have a great weekend (and a great Valentine's!)

Tuesday, 5 February 2013

A Day In York

York is one of my most favourite places to spend a day. I love the range of shops and the beautiful buildings. I have a bit of a thing for old buildings and walking through the streets of York is like feeding my soul. I love the quirkiness of each building, the lack of straight lines, the way that none of the buildings match each other and yet they sit alongside each other in comfortable companionship

Ten years ago I had some cosmetic work done at a dentist in the very centre of York. I expected the city centre to be, well, a typical city centre. But I couldn't have been more wrong. The surgery was tucked away down a tiny little alleyway off the street below, right near York Minster (which you can just see in the photo)

That day I committed to several months worth of repeat visits to my new dentist's surgery and I fell in love with York. I wandered the streets, gazing at the buildings, the nooks and crannies, the little secret alleyways that seemed to appear out of nowhere

Every time I scheduled my next appointment with my dentist I looked forward to my day in York. I explored the shops and each little street, establishing favourite places and little traditions to revisit next time (I'm a creature of habit)

 My favourite place to stop for food and drink is Betty's Tea Room, if I have time that is, as there's usually a queue around the block. It's absolutely worth it though, their cream teas are delicious and if you're there at breakfast time I highly recommend the Eggs Benedict, they are the best I've had and I consider myself a connoisseur!

There are plenty of my favourite shops in York such as Crabtree & Evelyn, The White Company, Neals Yard and Joules as well as plenty of little independent shops, the best of which are the patisseries, chocolatiers and art galleries

One of my favourite trips to York really sticks in my memory. It was during the summer about five years ago, before I met Matt and I was living on my own, having recently bought my house. I had the most wonderful day (after the necessary dentist visit) I bought some new books and stopped for tea to start reading one. I visited a little art gallery on The Shambles (above) and spent half an hour debating whether or not to buy a painting that I'd fallen in love with but couldn't afford (I didn't buy it. I wish I had. I wish it was possible to know, when debating a purchase whether it is one you'll always wish you'd bought or whether you'll forget about it within 24 hours) I bought myself some chocolates and sat on a bench, watching a street band playing Beatles songs. I didn't stay long as I'd arrived early and when I got home I settled myself on my sofa in my little house with a cup of tea, my chocolates and my new book. I read the whole book that afternoon and evening, ensconced in a little warm bubble of happiness and contentment with the world

I remember that happy day every time I go to York. And every time, I wish I'd bought that blinking painting

Friday, 1 February 2013

Friday Round Up

rabbit prints in the snow - more hair goodies - bored dogs at the new house
chilling out at eden hall
late afternoon snacks - cosy conservatory - saying goodbye :(

This is my first blog post since last Friday - I've had a frantic week at work, preparing to take yesterday and today off to celebrate my birthday

Yesterday I made my traditional birthday trip to Eden Hall, my favourite place in the world. It's like a second home, I feel so comfortable and relaxed as soon as I walk through the doors. The treatments are always wonderful, the food (and wine) is amazing and plentiful and the whole experience is such a treat. I literally count down the days between visits

We began by hitting the Herbal Caldarium, which is a little like a mosaic covered sauna infused with the scent of lavender from a large heated burner. Then we spent some time in the Rose Infused Steam Room, and cooled down with a swim in the saltwater vitality pool

This time I had an Elemis Coconut and Milk Ritual Wrap - a full body scrub with warm oil and warm milk bath poured over you before you are wrapped up in a warm cocoon. On my heated bad, having my face, neck and head massaged I floated away on a little warm cloud of relaxation!

After your treatment you are shown to the post-treatment lounge - a large conservatory filled with recliners and blankets so you can curl up and come back down to earth gradually. We made our way to the restaurant where I devoured roasted onion soup with gruyere crouton, corn fed chicken stuffed with walnut and stilton and served with buttered mash, cider jus and roasted vegetables, followed by a chocolate pave with malted chocolate ice cream. And a glass of cabernet sauvignon to trigger my afternoon snooze in the Slumber Lounge, a Moroccan inspired room with soothing low lighting, filled with huge bean bag beds, pillows and blankets so you can cosy down and sleep off your lunch

We spent some time in the Garden Lounge reading magazines in front of the fire and we may have gone to the Palm Conservatory for tea and scones before heading home. And I may have treated myself to some Elemis goodies from the spa shop. It's my birthday after all!

Have a great weekend everyone!

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