The Weekender!

February payday is just around the corner & you have booked a cheeky little weekend away with your loved one, the girls, a family break or you’re away with work (boooo!).

You don’t want to carry a suitcase because it’s too big for just your undies & a few outfit changes, but you ALWAYS end up with 6 small bags & another full of your toiletries! (come on girls, I know this isn’t just me!).

I’ve put together a collection of weekend bags to cater for all weekends & all budgets!  Weekend away playing bingo with Granny Joan? Romantic Birthday city break with Mr Perfect?  Wild Hen Do with the girls?  You’ve come to the right place!

Family Weekend

cath

The lovely Cath Kidston is a very cute way to travel away with the family.  Great for throwing everything in & putting in the car, it’s waterproof & will hold all of your essentials for that one night away.

 

cath1

This is their foldaway overnight bag & at just £40.00, you’ll have Aunt Susanne ordering one as soon as you arrive.  With matching travel items available here, it’s a nice little item to have stashed away!

Festival / Camping Getaway 

Your going camping or to that festival you’ve been planning all summer, but you want to look the part?  ASOS have this little beauty to answer your prayers!

asos

The printed canvas design on this Mi Pac Weekend Travel Bag will have you fitting in immediately & with a removable shoulder strap, it’s easy to lug around to the campsite showers.  It’s also wipe down which is perfect for those festival spillages!

Was £34.99, now £25.00.  You can get it here!

asos1

Romantic City/Countryside Break

Your man has just told you to pack a bag for the weekend.  He’s whisking you away to a log cabin/weekend in London.  For no reason.  This could be it.  It could be your big proposal.  Do you really want to be taking that tatty old holdall that you’ve had since your last school trip to Devon?!

lv

No!  This is your big day.  This is your future husband we’re talking about here! You NEED something to scream ‘LOOK AT ME!  I AM IN LOVE!’

Louis

Even if your weekend turns into a big flop (his big ‘surprise’ was his promotion at work. Yuk!), then this little beauty will make up for EVERYTHING!!!

Louis1

The Louis Vuitton Keepall collection is everything.  It’s something I look at and I go weak at the knees.  The David Beckham of weekend bags if you like.   Starting from around £805.00, this little baby will last you a lifetime!

Activity Weekend

It was January, you needed to get fit, you & the girls had too much wine.  Next thing you know, you ended up booking yourself on a ‘health retreat’ activities weekend.  Running, biking, swimming.  You name it, you’ve signed up to it.

Well now it’s March & you’ve realised that A) You’re never drinking again and B) You actually own no sports gear whatsoever.  In the hope of at least looking like you know what you’re doing, here is your perfect companion to help get you through the weekend!

nike

This Nike Brasilia Large Holdall can be picked up from Argos & at the moment there is £8.00 off!  Get it online  here!

nike1

I promise, if you turn up with this, Sporty Steve the swimming instructor will be thinking you’re fit as a fiddle from the get go!  Also a nice option to have stashed away for when you do choose to join that gym you have been promising to join!

Working Weekend

So, you said yes MONTHS AGO to that email that went around the office about that conference in Manchester.

I know, I know, WHY?!  But you did (silly!) and the only weekend bag you have is that big fluffy, faux fur number with the pompoms that is fine for those girly sleepovers, but hello! you’re an independent professional woman (or that’s what you want your boss to think!), well up steps River Island.

riverisland1

A firm high street fave, this is the perfect option to board the early Train & check into the hotel ready to greet Rob from the desk opposite, who you have never spoken to, but find yourself sharing the whole weekend with.

riverisland

This is black, quilted & is big enough for everything you would need for the weekend.  Did I mention it’s only £65.00?

riverisland2

With matching wheelie case & makeup bag available here, you can’t go wrong!

Shopping Weekend

You & the girls have booked a hotel in the city of London & are going to shop until you physically drop (preferably into a large mojito!).

radley

This Radley large weekender is perfect to take for the whole weekend but also handy to stash away your shopping bags during the day.

radley2

With the pretty pink colours & the signature dog design, this will soon become a firm favourite in your collection!  Prices start from around £90.00 & you can see a familiar  version here.

Hen Do / Party Weekend

You’re planning a weekend clubbing or you’re flying out to Ibiza.

river

Another perfect option by River Island.  It has an adjustable shoulder strap & with its black snake print design, it’s fun & a bit more ‘out there’ compared to your work or romantic weekend getaway bags!

river1

Large enough for a few outfit changes & even enough room for a bottle of champagne, at £65.00 this will be a firm favourite for your girlie weekends!  View this bag here!

The All-Rounder!

There are some things in life that are just perfect for any situation.

Like, a Chanel perfume or a Clarins mascara.

Longchamp

You can add Longchamp shoppers & travel bags to that list.  These are absolutely perfect for anything.

Longchamp Large

Versatile & stylish, these will last you forever.

Longchamp1

Starting from around £53.00, Selfridges have an amazing collection in all shapes & colours.

Longchamp2Check them out here!

 

 

SO!  There you have it!  What are you waiting for?!  GET PACKING! x

Advertisements

Book Review: The Life-Changing Magic of Not Giving a F**k

It’s February.  We made it through the blues we suffered in January (yay us!), but now we find ourselves in a pickle.

During January, we were so utterly depressed, we ended up saying yes to everything and everyone, RSVP’ing to those events that we just do not give a f**k about & now we’re faced with the prospect of actually going and/or seeing these people that we have no inclination of spending time, energy OR MONEY on.

You with me?

WELL!  Fear no more!  I’m going to let you into a little secret! My life has changed because of it & because I’m so nice, I’m going to share it with you.

The-Life-Changing-Magic-Of-Not-Giving-a-Fck-01

If you are a ‘yes’ person, whether at work, at home, at your daughter’s ballet lesson, at the supermarket, WHEREVER! then you need to read this book.

bOOK

I’m talking about Sarah Knight’s ‘The Life-Changing Magic of Not Giving a F**k’.

I had had one of those days at work where I was saying yes to everything & then something hit me like a steam train.  WHY!?

I went for a coffee after work to relax/stop me from killing someone & I stumbled upon this book in the local bookstore.  I read the blurb & I brought it there and then.

It’s honest, it’s inspiring & it’s downright HILARIOUS!

Sarah has hit every nail on the head & she’s hit it DAMN HARD!

In the space of a few days, you will be saying no to Aunt Meg & her soul destroying weekly Eastenders marathon & you won’t feel bad for it!

All you people pleasers, I urge you to buy this book!

Get yourself on Amazon NOW!  It will honestly change your life!

sarah

Check out Sarah’s twitter here. 

Afternoon Tea – The Edgbaston Boutique Hotel & Cocktail Lounge

It’s Monday. What better way to spend the day than an Afternoon Tea, right?

theedgbaston-home-1

Monday blues are no more with The Edgbaston Boutique Hotel & Cocktail Lounge.

IMG_1420

Situated on Highfield Road, Edgbaston, this 6 bedroomed boutique hotel is a beautiful destination for Afternoon Tea!

gat

It’s definitely got a 1920’s feel about it & if you’re a fan of The Great Gatsby, (who isn’t!), then this will be the venue for you!

They are an award winning cocktail lounge, who boast an endless list of both classic drinks & cocktails with added style from the Edgbaston’s bartenders.

We entered the lounge around 12:30pm (Afternoon Tea starts at noon) & we were shown to our table right away.  We were the first people there for Afternoon Tea & so I took the opportunity to have a few ‘ooohhhhs & aaahhhhs’ on the decor of the place!

IMG_1408

The stylish yet classic layout is exactly to mine & Daniel’s taste & if we could morph our living/dining room into this cocktail lounge, we would be in absolute heaven!

There are a few Afternoon Tea options for you to chose from which are listed on their website here.  Prices start from £22.00 so most definitely compete with all other venues that offer Afternoon Tea.

We opted for the Laurent Perrier rosé Afternoon Tea with the traditional Breakfast Tea on the side. 

IMG_1410

The experience started with a bit of ‘magic’…a minus 78 degree surprise! It looked totally spectacular & really excited us for the remainder of the tea!

IMG_1411

Out came our sandwiches & little mini cakes which were all yummy (my favourite was the earl grey macaroon – I’m a sucker for a macaroon!).

IMG_1413

Lastly, we were presented with a fruit scone & a plain scone each.  The cream & the strawberry jam came in cute little containers.

After washing it all down with our lovely tea (the tea was organic loose leaf Jing Tea by the way!), we felt well & truly relaxed!

IMG_1416

The Edgbaston is a perfect place to come just outside of the city centre which is a beautiful hideaway where you can drink fabulous cocktails in a stunning location.

IMG_1421

I cannot wait to visit here for pre-dinner cocktails & me & Daniel were gutted we had to drive home! I had to stop looking at the extensive cocktail list before I got carried away!

Mother-Daughter Lunch

IMG_1360

Every now & then it’s lovely to get together with my mom and go for lunch, a bottle of wine to have a catch up!

IMG_1367

Life passes us by so quickly, & with the weeks & months speeding past us, you find yourself needing a huge catchup!

PrezzoLogo-Hi-Res

Me & my mom like to try out different restaurants in & around Birmingham, & so Prezzo in Harborne is a perfect venue for a Saturday afternoon girlie lunch!  (It was also a perfect place to take my new Valentino scarf, which I am in love with!)

IMG_1363

The restaurant is located 3 miles from Birmingham City Centre, so ideal if you are based in Birmingham or just passing through!

birmingham_2846463b

What is also cool is that the restaurant is located within ‘The School Yard’.

harborne-building-3

This is a Grade II Listed Clock Tower building  which was designed originally as a school, situated on what is now Harborne High Street.  The parking in Harborne is super super cheap (amazing!), & 2 seconds away from Prezzo, so not only is it perfectly convenient, you’re also not paying the extortionate parking prices of dining in The Mailbox, Bullring etc!

prezzo

The decor is contemporary, yet cosy & the open kitchen adds to the atmosphere.

IMG_1353

At the moment, Prezzo are offering a special 2 course menu for £14.50, which includes a glass of prosecco! See their main menu here!

It’s always busy with a mix of couples of all ages, groups of friends, family gatherings or just business men passing through for lunch!

IMG_1357

Me & my mom opted for the bruschetta & the mozzarella to start.

IMG_1364

My mom then went for the salmon penne pasta.

IMG_1358

Whilst I opted for the chicken & asparagus risotto.

IMG_1361

Both dishes were very yummy & even better washed down with a bottle of Sauvignon blanc!

I hope you’ve all had a lovely week!  What are your plans for the weekend?

VIP Event: Boux Avenue

 

boux_avenue_logo

A few weeks ago I received an email from Boux Avenue about a VIP Ladies Night Event taking place in my nearest store.  Owned by entrepreneur Theo Paphitis (Dragon’s Den), I really do enjoy a trip to Boux Avenue!

IMG_0882

With 20% discounts, prosecco, complimentary bra fittings, manicures & a goody bag, what was there to lose?!

IMG_0886

The event was running from 4pm to 9pm so I headed straight there after work.

IMG_0885

As a woman, there is nothing quite like shopping for new underwear & Boux Avenue wrap it so pretty that it’s worth the purchase just for that!

IMG_0884

Their sleepwear & nightwear range is super cute & I love their Chemises & Cami Sets.  Perfect for a special occasion or just a Friday night around the house!

IMG_0880

I love the layout of the store & the draw storage reminds me of how Victoria Secrets layout their underwear.

IMG_0883

They also have some accessories such as candles, reed diffusers, slippers & compact mirrors to name just a few which would make perfect little gifts for Christmas!

IMG_0879

After a lovely leisurely look around & after a glass of bubbles, I settled on a few things to take home with me!

IMG_0881

After a stressful day at work, it was a lovely girlie evening!

IMG_0889

Date Night: Loki Wine Merchant & Tasting House

If you follow me on instagram (https://instagram.com/xjennaloulou)  then you will have seen that a few weeks ago I went wine tasting (again!).

loki

Dan has been working so hard lately and I just wanted a cute little date night that we could do on a weekday to relax & unwind during another stressful week.

Up stepped the most awarded Wine Merchant in Birmingham. Located in the Great Western Arcade, Loki Wine was the perfect venue for a lovely, relaxed evening of wine tasting.

IMG_0855

If you head over to their website here, you will see the current events that they have coming up.

IMG_0846

We attended the Rioja masterclass which was on Wednesday 28 October 2015 & started at 6pm.

We headed over to Birmingham & grabbed a coffee & then wandered over to Loki around 6pm.

IMG_0876

We were taken upstairs to the tasting room where we were greeted by Rioja goody bags.

IMG_0842

On the table was water and spittoons but we were encouraged to taste the wine & swallow if we so wished, which of course we did!

IMG_0843

We also had a slice of chorizo & some delightful manchego  cheese to pair with the wines.  Loki also sell meat & cheese platters & all food is sourced from the local, traditional delicatessen which is fantastic for local, independent businesses.

A pen was provided to us if we wished to make notes of the wines that we tasted etc.

IMG_0848

The experience was led by Paul who was so educated in wine that me & Dan felt like we could have listed to him all day!

IMG_0844

There was around 18 people on the tasting, which was a lovely number; just intimate enough but also a nice number to interact with.

We tasted 6 wines in total (including one white Rioja and one rosé Rioja).  We then tasted a range of Rioja’s varying in price.

IMG_0849

Every wine we tried was available to buy in the store on the lower ground.

IMG_0852

You can also come in, order some food, buy a tasting card starting at £10.00 & work your way around the wines.

IMG_0854

This is a fantastic idea if you’ve been wondering about a certain wine, but you don’t necessarily want to purchase a whole bottle just in case it’s not for you!

IMG_0851

Our wine tasting evening finished on Paul opening a bottle of 1970 Rioja which was a real experience!

IMG_0871

To drink something that’s nearly twice my age was wonderful & would make a great talking point at a dinner party!

IMG_0853

After the tasting had finished I took a look around Loki & was impressed with how relaxed it was.  There was a lovely room where you could bring your wine & have a natter after work or have a glass of wine after a morning of retail therapy.

We were also encouraged to browse the store before it closed around 8pm, which we took full advantage of!