THE IMPORTANCE OF A SMILE

Me And My Belle

THE IMPORTANCE OF A SMILE

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Several years ago I was in a restaurant with my mum. While I paid the bill, we both noticed an elderly woman waiting to be seated. As we left the restaurant, Mum asked, “Did you notice that woman with the wonderful smile?” I most certainly did. Her smile lit up the room. It was a smile to die for_one that would certainly win instant friends. It was a smile that you don’t often see in a stranger. And maybe Mum and I smiled back, I don’t remember. Mum later commented, “I wish I’d told her what a terrific smile she had.” But neither of us had. We’d both received a gift without saying thank-you.

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Later, on my long drive home, I stopped at a fast-food restaurant for a quick bite. A 70ish woman waited by the condiment bar while her husband ordered. She glanced my…

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HELLO APRIL 2019

HELLO APRIL 2019

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My favourite month and season has arrived! April, Spring and Easter! A time of new beginnings and the hope of some better weather arriving. It’s also Tony’s birthday in April plus lots of lovely family time over the Easter holidays. We’re always so busy and even more so at the moment that the thought of a few days off with family and friends at the end of the month is filling me with joy!

FABULOUS THINGS THAT HAPPENED LAST MONTH

  1. I booked Friends Fest tickets for Isabelle and myself. So excited to go! IMG_7406
  2. Isabelle’s epic 14th Birthday
  3. Isabelle had an amazing weekend in London at the dance convention ‘Move it’
  4. Another fabulous meal at the wonderful 315 restaurant in Huddersfield
  5. Max getting a place on the school Ski trip to Italy. I love seeing him so happy!

 

LIFESTYLE, LEISURE, PLACES & HOME

Easter Entertaining 

I love Easter and Easter Sunday is always my day to entertain for the family. I love to start with Easter Brunch as I always do bacon sandwiches and sausage sandwiches, hot cross buns, chocolate dipped strawberries, fresh coffee and Buck’s Fizz.

After a relaxing morning at our house we will usually go out for a nice walk or to a National Trust house for a few hours to enjoy the fresh air if the weather is nice and take IMG_7407Dora for a nice walk.

After that it’s time to head back home for me to start dinner for everyone.

At Easter I always do a Lamb roast dinner with all the trimmings after a light started such as a prawn and smoked salmon cocktail. For desert this year I’m making a mini egg cheesecake & I love to make my own from scratch.

Laying the table is my favourite part which will be dressed with Easter table decorations, spring flowers, Spring scented candles and each person will have their own small gift basket and a Lindt golden chocolate bunny.

BEAUTY, HEALTH & STYLE

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I’ve been feeling a bit sluggish lately and have been reading up on various vitamins and supplements benefits and with vitamin B complex also recommended for healthy skin, hair, bones and teeth along with the immune system and helping with fatigue I thought it was the right one for me to try. A few weeks in and I am starting to feel the benefits.

COCKTAIL OF THE MONTH

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Rhubarb & Ginger Gin Fizz

Sweet, sour and with a hint of spice, this Gin & Ginger Liqueur comes alive in a chilled glass of bubbles. 

Ingredients

25ml Rhubarb and Ginger Gin

100ml Prosecco

Method 

Add the Rhubarb & Ginger Gin or a chilled champagne flute

Top with Prosecco

Relax and enjoy

BOOK OF THE MONTH

Michelle Obama – Becoming 

Let me start by saying this is a book that is difficult to resist, it pulled me in, the writing is sublime. Michelle Obama has a way with words, this is one of the most fascinating and informative books I have read.
There is a great deal to admire about Michelle Obama. A young woman brought up on the other side of the tracks in Chicago, went to Princeton and then Harvard for her law degree, and became the First Lady Of The United States. Some of her success was due to luck, but most is due to her intelligence and her hard work. As a woman and a black woman, she had to work three times as hard as a man, and she proved her worth.
Michelle Obama tells us she is writing this book to inspire the next generation. She knows how important role models are, especially for young women of color in a culture that isn’t changing fast enough. She says in her book , ‘Here I am, I have got a lot to say.’ Her book is divided into three sections-:’Becoming Me,” “Becoming Us”, and “Becoming More”. What we find in these pages is a woman opening herself and her world to us. This is a book so well written, with such honesty and integrity, I felt like I was trusted with her secrets.IMG_7410
She starts by talking about her upbringing, her life in Chicago, a family who showed such love and at the same time showed her that using her intellect to move herself forward was the right path. Off to Princeton where she was a minority for the first time, learning to navigate in a white world. Then to Harvard to study law, and her first job, where she met her future husband, Barack Obama.
Then the life of a married woman, working full time, wanting a family and finally succeeding via InVitroFertilization. Her husband was into politics and was often not home, so Michelle was the parent. Some resentment, and couples therapy helped them through their rough spots. Political life is difficult and the statements by some were hurtful, and she names names. The scrutiny and constraints were a lesson she quickly learned, and went onto become one of the most beloved First Ladies.
Now, Michelle Obama, has her real life back, and she is discovering who she wants to be. Her two girls are settling into their lives with plans of their own. Michelle Obama has no love for politics, and she will never seek a political office. She and her family are catching their breath, and looking toward to the future.
“Since stepping reluctantly into public life, I’ve been held up as the most powerful woman in the world and taken down as an ‘angry black woman,’ ” she writes in the preface. Those three words — angry black woman — make her want to ask her detractors “which part of that phrase matters to them the most — is it ‘angry’ or ‘black’ or ‘woman’?”
Michelle Obama is telling the truth of her life, she grew up surrounded by love and music in a city, Chicago, she loves, onward to an education that took her far. She has everything she wanted, family, a husband she loves, and now she is onto the next path. An autobiography I urge everyone to read. This is a book of the year.

FILM OF THE MONTH

Dumbo 

As a non apologetic lover of Disney, 2019 is such an exciting year with all the amazing remakes and sequels coming up. The first one is the adorable ‘Dumbo’ and after seeing the trailer last year I could not wait. The film tells the story of an adorable elephant who’s ears kept growing and according to circus owner Max Medici placed by the fabulous Danny Devito,  ‘he has a face only a mother could love’. In reality the wonderful effects show him as the adorable and loving elephant that he is and Isabelle, Max and IMG_7411myself fell completely in love with him (I really want a baby elephant!)

With Tim Burton as director I was expecting a much darker version of this well loved tale but he’s stayed true to the original and it’s a beautiful piece of cinema. Colin Farrell hands in a heartfelt performance and the two children are definitely stars in the making (the girl Nico Parker is Thandi Newtons daughter and is wonderful in the role). A lovely family film which we will definitely watch again.

THIS MONTH I’M LOVING

Spring, Spring, Spring – my favourite season of all

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THIS MONTH I’M NOT LOVING

Corrie & Emmerdale getting cancelled for the football 😡😡

THIS MONTHS FAVOURITES

  1. ‘The Mummy Diaries’ new series. Trashy reality TV but it’s easy watching after a busy day at work. IMG_7413
  2. Slingsby Rhubarb Gin mixed with slimline tonic
  3. Nescafé Azera Coffee, instant coffee with a barista style taste
  4. Pretty Little Thing online for my teenage daughters clothes
  5. Home-sense shop for a few gorgeous new additions to our house

 

THOUGHT FOR THE MONTH 

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HOW TO BE THE BEST VERSION OF YOURSELF TO LIVE YOUR BEST LIFE

Me And My Belle

HOW TO BE THE BEST VERSION OF YOURSELF TO LIVE YOUR BEST LIFE

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IGNORE THE NEGATIVE VOICES

Who is that annoying person in your head that causes self doubt and insecurities?  My promise to myself this year was ‘new year new me’ and to find my confidence again and I’ve really stuck to it. A couple of low points in my job over the last couple of years had knocked my confidence a little but at the end of last year I took a step back and reminded myself of all the many things I’ve achieved and gave myself the hard word. I’ve started believing in myself again and I’ve had to get tough with myself but now the voice in my head is saying ‘yes you can’ instead of ‘no you can’t’! The positive thinking has a knock on effect and so far 2019 is shaping up very well.

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HELLO MARCH  2019

Me And My Belle

HELLO MARCH  2019

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Wow! I can’t believe the beautiful weather we’ve been having at the end of February. Isabelle’s birthday is the 1st of March and this time last year she had a snow day for her birthday so this lovely weather has been glorious. As always, as soon as the daffodils are out I constantly have them around the house as they’re my favourite flower and make me happy.

FABULOUS THINGS THAT HAPPENED LAST MONTH

  1. The amazing Kimberley Wyatt from the Pussycat Dolls came to my dance studios to do some amazing workshops with my students plus Isabelle got some lovely photos with her. IMG_6992
  2. One of my students qualified for the Miss Dance of Great Britain Finals 2019
  3. A lovely half term week with Isabelle and Max
  4. Some gorgeous family outdoor time and dog walks in this fabulous weather. I’m so lucky to live in a truly beautiful part…

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