LITTLE LUXURIES THAT MAKE A DIFFERENCE IN MY LIFE

via LITTLE LUXURIES THAT MAKE A DIFFERENCE IN MY LIFE

Advertisements

LITTLE LUXURIES THAT MAKE A DIFFERENCE IN MY LIFE

LITTLE LUXURIES THAT MAKE A DIFFERENCE IN MY LIFE

IMG_8955

FRESH PYJAMAS & FRESH BEDDING

Nothing feels better after a lovely bubble bath than putting on fresh pyjamas & getting IMG_8941into a freshly made bed. When we moved into our house I treat myself to a couple of luxury bedding collections which look fabulous and helps make our bedroom a relaxing haven. In the winter months I love cosy pyjamas usually a short sleeved top & long bottoms that I can put on straight after my bath & instantly feel relaxed and comfortable.

 

GOOD UNDERWEAR

‘Always wear fabulous underwear, even if you’re the only one who’s going to see it’

IMG_8943When my underwear matches I just feel more put together somehow. Matching underwear is beautiful although not always practical depending on what I’m wearing but beautiful knickers & well fitting bras are imperative to making the line of my clothes look good.

A GOOD SKINCARE ROUTINE 

My Nanny always took good care of her skin & had a beautiful complexion right up to the day she passed away aged 80. She didn’t have the expensive products we do today but IMG_8945swore by Oil of Olay! I’ve always cleansed & moisturised my face, neck & décolleté area but since turning 40 I’ve been much more careful with my skin. I always wear SPF 50 in the sun & use foundation with an SPF in it. I now use a Micellar water to remove my eye make up then I swear by Elemis cleansing balm & Elemis Pro-Collagen Marine Cream which also has SPF 30. My skin always feels thoroughly clean and fresh after the cleansing balm & the moisturiser makes my skin feel hydrated. A Clinique eye cream finishes my routine.

CANDLES

IMG_8946One of my biggest obsessions is good candles lit all around my home. It gives the house a cosy feel & nothing can beat the smell of a luxury candle. Yankee candles for every day life are perfect and have quite a long burn time. My favourite is Pink Sands with Summer Peach being a close second. For a more luxurious smell I love Neom candles. These make the house smell fabulous although they do burn out quite quickly. The white company’s Seychelles is another beautiful candle and any of the amazing Jo Malone Candles are pure luxury.

GOOD LIGHTING

A lovely ambience in my surroundings makes a huge difference to my well being so IMG_8949having good lighting in our house it’s very important. I love lamps to put on in an evening giving the house a cosy feel, especially in Autumn & Winter. For my kitchen & bathrooms I love spotlights giving off lots of light and a modern feel to these rooms. I love the summer & find my mood is not quite as upbeat in the darker months so good lighting in the home is very important to me.

 

A GOOD ROSE WINE 

IMG_8950There’s nothing I like better than a cold crisp glass of rose wine when I’ve got a rare night in. I work most evenings so when I have a night off a delicious glass of wine relaxes me and I enjoy the taste. My current favourite is Echo Falls Summer Berries. It’s quite sweet and is a bit too easy to drink but the fruity crisp taste is divine.

NEOM BATH PRODUCTS

My new favourite products for my bath are Neom Sleep bath foam & Neom de stress IMG_8952bath oil. The scent of all Neom products is luxurious with a spa like smell to them making me instantly relaxed the minute I get in my bath. My skin feels silky soft after a Neom bath & when complimented by burning a Neom candle it’s pure heaven!

TAKING A DAY AT HOME FOR MY FAMILY & ME 

As a working mum I constantly live with the guilt of not being a stay-at-home mum and then when I occasionally do have a bit of ‘me time’ I feel guilty as I’ve usually got a pile of work that needs doing. Unfortunately my job requires me to work every Saturday and quite a few Sundays too, so as often as I possibly can I try & keep Sunday’s free and this is our day as a family. I love to have the morning in to potter about & enjoy my morning cup of fresh coffee and read the Sunday newspapers. I like to let the kids have time completely to themselves to relax as they lead very busy lives. Now we have our puppy Dora I’m looking forward to her final injections so we can all take her on a lovely Sunday walk then come home, light my candles and make a Sunday roast for my family.

IMG_8957

On a rare night in I enjoy a bit of ‘me time’ buy having a lovely bath with my luxury products and a pamper night. I put my candles on and watch what I want on TV as I pamper in the bedroom. Bliss!

However you choose to spend it, time for yourself is a gift & so important to your health and well being. All work and no rest results in ‘burn out’ so its vital to find something that you enjoy to take you to your ‘Happy Place’! I really need to listen to my own advice when it comes to relaxing and ‘switching off’ from work!!!

IMG_8953

THE ‘ME’ IN ‘ME AND MY BELLE’

THE ‘ME’ IN ‘ME AND MY BELLE’

cropped-image1.jpeg

My name is Zoë, mum to my 14 year old daughter Isabelle & 11 year old son Max. I’ve been blogging a couple of years now and so I thought I’d just put together a few facts about myself for my lovely followers. 

  1. My favourite flower is a daffodil IMG_7001
  2. I love cocktails, Pink G&T & champagne
  3. My favourite films are Ben Hurr & Dirty Dancing
  4. My guilty pleasure is watching Corrie, Emmerdale & The Real housewives of      Cheshire
  5. I hate Curries
  6. I love Steak
  7. I have been a dancer since the age of 2
  8. I’ve travelled the world extensively as a professional dancer
  9. My children are my world
  10. I met my husband Tony on a catamaran in Barbados
  11. We nearly lost both Max & myself when he was born during an emergency csection
  12. I love glamour, glitter and dressing up
  13. I drink coffee every day
  14. I love all my pupils, my job often entails me being a councillor as well as teacher!
  15. I have a huge phobia of Frogs
  16. I’m a very loyal friend to my true friends
  17. I love to look at the Ocean, it reminds me of my happy days on Cruise ShipsIMG_8179
  18. My brother James is 8 1/2 years younger than me
  19. I’ve danced on The Royal Variety Performance 1992
  20. I’ve met Prince Charles & Princess Diana
  21. I’ve been in Emmerdale, A Touch of Frost & Hollyoaks
  22. I have a candle obsession
  23. I love spending time with my fab parents
  24. My favourite places are New York & Bermuda
  25. My favourite colour is Coral
  26. I love dancing & Theatre
  27. An ideal day would be a day at the spa followed by cocktails IMG_8261
  28. I’ve watched every episode of Friends & Sex & the City many many times
  29. Cuddles with my babies are what makes me the happiest
  30. I love Spring & Easter time – new beginnings
  31. My favourite musicals are Top Hat, Les Miserables & West Side Story
  32. I don’t smoke, never have, never will
  33. My first crush was Patrick Swayze
  34. I love to cook, I just wish I had more time to do it more
  35. I have seen a total eclipse
  36. One of my most special memories is taking the children to Lapland & we saw The Northern Lights
  37. I love Phillip Schofield
  38. I had a very happy idyllic childhood
  39. I love spa daysIMG_4049
  40. My first job was in a dance wear shop
  41. I started dancing when I was 2
  42. I passed my driving test when I was 28 as I’d been travelling abroad dancing from being 17-28
  43. I have slight OCD & I’m a bit of a control freak
  44. I love eating out at gorgeous restaurants
  45. I’m a huge Disney fan
  46. I’m very impatient except when I’m teaching where I have lots of patience
  47. I was at the top of one of the twin towers exactly a year to the day before 9/11
  48. I got engaged in New York
  49.  I love Abba
  50. I love Champagne but Prosecco will also do!
  51. We got our first dog a year ago & I can’t imagine our family without her now! She’s called Dora after my Great Grandma & she’s Adorable Doraimg_6202
  52. I love trying new beauty products & makeup, my favourites being Elemis, Neom & Estée Lauder
  53. I’ve discovered a passion for writing over the past couple of years
  54. I’m a very good listener
  55. I love to work but I really love being a wife, mum & home maker
  56. Travelling has always been a huge passion of mine
  57. My perfumes of choice are Allure by Chanel, Amarige by Givency, Glam Jasmine by Michael Kors plus I always have a bottle of Samsara by Guerlein as its a perfume I’ve worn forever. I’m a bit of a perfume junkie though & love trying new ones too.
  58. I’m a HUGE fan of ‘Friends’ & ‘Only fools and horses’
  59. My friend & I missed the ship in New York once and the coast guard had to take us to it and we climbed up the back to get on. We got in lots of trouble!!!
  60. I’ve performed onstage with Craig Revel Horwood, Michael Ball, Barry Manilow, David Essex, Michael Crawford to name a few
  61. I danced on a TV show in Belgium in my late teens
  62. I’ve lived in London & in Germany
  63. Podcasts are my new favourite discovery whilst I’m driving
  64. I left home at 16 to train at Laine Theatre Arts in Epsom Surrey for 3 years
  65. I swear by writing lists
  66. Our family’s ‘happy place’ is Center Parcs and we’ve been going every year since Isabelle was born
  67. At 16 I was The Yorkshire Senior Tap Champion & The Yorkshire Senior Ballet Champion
  68. I played the title role of ‘Annie’ when I was 11
  69. My favourite song is ‘Bring him home’ from Les Miserables. I cry every time I hear it & it’s a song my dad also sings
  70. Tony & I went to Thailand & Singapore on our honeymoon
  71. I didn’t get my ears pierced until I was 43
  72. My travel ‘wish list’ places are The Maldives, Hawaii, The Grand Canyon, Go On Safari in Africa & Japan plus many more
  73. My star sign is Scorpio. Fiery but loyal & passionate!
  74. Bad manners, rudeness and arrogance are my biggest bug bears
  75. I’m very close to my fabulous parents IMG_9405
  76.  I love Wimbledon & I’ve been lucky enough to go twice including last year on Court One
  77. I hope to write the idea I have for my book this year
  78. My other perfect day would be a day at home with no real plans, just pottering about with Tony, Isabelle, Max & Dora
  79. I’ve been hurt by friends so I’ve become quite wary who I can trust over the years but I’m a very loyal friend to my ‘real’ friends
  80. I try my utmost to never let people down & always be on time for everything. I often arrive everywhere extremely early so I’m not stressing
  81. I enjoy going to the Cinema a lot
  82. Tony & I got upgraded to 1st class on our flight to Thailand as it was our honeymoon. What an amazing experience!
  83. I adore long hot bubble baths with a lush bath bomb, Neom bath products, my candles lit, a glass of wine & watching something on my iPad
  84. I enjoy Pilates classes
  85. I wear contact lenses
  86. I love our Royal Family
  87. I love to entertain at our home & have dinner parties
  88. I’ve flown in a helicopter over Central Park & around the Statue of Liberty in New York
  89. I’ve visited the White House (not inside though!!!! 😂)
  90. I set up The Angel Tree 8 years ago with Isabelle & Max which assists The Salvation Army providing for underprivileged children & I’m very proud of itFeatured Image -- 399
  91. I love to visit London a few times a year. I enjoy the buzz of the big city but I couldn’t live there again
  92. I’ve drunk champagne & cocktails at The Plaza Hotel in New York
  93. I’ve ridden a camel at the pyramids in Egypt
  94. I’ve been swimming in The Dead Sea
  95. Sailing through the Norwegan Fjords & visiting Iceland were two really special experiences
  96. I adore organising events such as birthday parties & Christmas soirées and would have liked to have been an Event Organiser
  97. I enjoy a glass or two of rose wine at home
  98. I saw in The Millennium on a beach in Aruba
  99. I try to keep a positive mental attitude as much as I can. The happiness of my family is the most important thing in the world to me
  100. Starting my blog has been amazing. I’m loving writing and getting to know people in the blogging community

IMG_0241

HELLO JULY 2019

HELLO JULY 2019

IMG_8773

Wow! I cannot believe it’s July already. People say life goes quicker as you get older & they’re not kidding! You really do have to make the most of every day and seize every opportunity that comes your way. 

FABULOUS THINGS THAT HAPPENED LAST MONTH

  1. An amazing trip to Madrid with my best friend Laura (see my separate blog post on this fabulous city)IMG_8774
  2. A lovely Fathers Day spent at our house with all the family 
  3. A lovely half term week of cinema trips, meals out, trampoline parks and lovely time spent with the kids 
  4. A lovely day in Manchester with my mum to watch Matthew Bourne’s Romeo & Juliet and a meal out
  5. Finding out my brother, sister in law and 2 nephews are coming back to live near us (although I’ll really miss visiting them in Manchester)

 

LIFESTYLE, LEISURE, PLACES & HOME

 The Commissioners Quay Inn – Blyth, Northumberland 

IMG_8775Last month my family and I had a lovely few days away in the stunning county of Northumberland. We wanted to take Dora with us so had to find a dog friendly hotel and so we came across the Commissioners Quay Inn in Blyth. 

With its wonderful sea front location we couldn’t have chosen a better place to stay. Blyth isn’t the most picturesque of places in Northumberland but this hotel was perfect for a few relaxing days away. The staff were out of this world from start to finish and couldn’t do enough for us. The hotel caters for dogs brilliantly with special designated areas in the bar and restaurant for guests who have brought their canine friends along for the trip. Our room was fabulous with a sea view and all the commodities you could need. Spotlessly clean and a fabulous size, the room was light and airy and the beds extremely comfortable. 

The bar and restaurant were busy as its a hot spot to just come and have a drink and meal but that didn’t affect the service at all. The food was delicious and drinks a plenty. 

The Commissioners Quay is one of a small chain in the North East of England and we will definitely be visiting The Banburgh Castle Inn in Seahouses next time we go. 

For our first trip away with Dora this hotel couldn’t have been more perfect for us and I can’t recommend it highly enough. 

With lovely beaches and parks within walking distance this is the perfect place for families to stay. 

www.commissionersquayinn.com

BEAUTY, HEALTH & STYLE

Summer Style

At last the sun has appeared and it’s time to get out the summer wardrobe. Knowing the UK it won’t be here to stay so you have to grab every moment you can. I’ve got a lovely wardrobe full of summer clothes and I like to add to my collection each year. 

Like many working mums I do quite a bit of my shopping on line these days and my new favourite place for summer wear is Kaleidoscope. IMG_8776

They still mail out a catalogue which I do like as you get a better idea of what each item looks like on and I still enjoy the old fashioned folding over of the corners for items I like!!!!  I then find what I like on the website and order on line. 

Kaleidoscope is fantastic for its lovely, vibrant, summery prints and summer dresses. I’m very much a dress person, especially in the summer and you can get everything from light sun dresses, maxi dresses, lighter work dresses and evening dresses. The cut is always good and the sizing is very consistent. It’s mid range when it comes to pricing and quality but I do find that everything I’ve bought has washed well so far. There is some higher priced occasion wear but over all everything is not cheap but very affordable. 

The swimwear range from Kaleidoscope is excellent with lots of different styles to fit all shapes and sizes, again, in the vibrant prints they are known for. 

I usually pick up 2 or 3 pieces each season from Kaleidoscope and I’ve not been disappointed yet. 

COCKTAIL OF THE MONTH

Rhubarb Gin Fizz

IMG_8778

Classic flavours go into this cocktail and they all work perfectly together. The ginger adds a zing to the drink whilst the lemon balances the sweetness. 

Ingredients:

IMG_8777

  • 50ml Rhubarb Gin
  • 10ml Lemon juice
  • 1 Teaspoon grated ginger
  • 10ml Sugar syrup
  • Prosecco

Garnish:

Sage leaves.

Glassware:

Martini.

Method:

Shake all ingredients (excluding the Prosecco) together and pour then top up with prosecco.

FILM OF THE MONTH

Rocketman 

Wow! I loved loved this film from start to finish and really want to see it again whilst it’s IMG_8779still in cinemas. 

I love Elton John so I’d been looking forward to seeing this film as soon as I heard about it. Taron Egerton’s performance as the young, addicted, conflicted, gay and gifted Elton John is absolutely outstanding and he perfectly immersed himself in the role. Unlike Bohemian Rhapsody’s Rami Malek’s lip syncing (although still outstanding in the role) Taron Edgerton sings all the songs himself and all absolutely brilliantly! 

Ingeniously directed by the creative Dexter Fletcher it really is a fabulous film that I will be going back to see again & I will certainly be looking out for the phenomenal Edgerton in future films. 

THIS MONTH I’M LOVING

That the Summer Holidays are in sight 

THIS MONTH I’M NOT LOVING

Rain rain and more rain! Where’s our Summer? 

THIS MONTHS FAVOURITES

  1. Rhubarb gin
  2. L’Oreal Voluminous Million Lashes Mascara 
  3. Prima Magazine
  4. ‘Is it just me’ podcast with Jo Elvin and James Williams 
  5. Authentic Sangria and Spanish Cuisine 

 

THOUGHT FOR THE MONTH

IMG_8787