We are Nine!

On Sunday 25th October 2015, me & Daniel celebrated our 9th Anniversary!

We honestly do not know where the last 9 years have gone!

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We headed out for dinner on the Saturday evening to celebrate!

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We went to our favourite Chinese restaurant in our local town of Harborne; Henry Wong’s.

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We love the food & the atmosphere here & as we’re planning on doing something utterly amazing for our big 10 year Anniversary next year, we thought we would settle on a nice little dinner this year! IMG_0762

It was a lovely evening full of wonderful food & beautiful  champagne!

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I really am a lucky girl!

We woke early on the Sunday morning & headed back into Harborne for an Anniversary breakfast!

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We went to The Plough which has been voted the best breakfast in Birmingham by a few reviews & you can add mine to that list!

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The restaurant was super busy, but we managed to get a table around 9:30am.

After struggling to pick just one thing off the menu (it all looked so yummy!), I settled on the pancakes.

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Oh wow! Hands down the best stack of pancakes I have ever had!  I couldn’t finish it because it was SO HUGE!

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I also ordered an orange juice & a mug of tea, which came with a biscuit; is that not the cutest thing ever!

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After a relaxing morning, we continued our relaxing day & finished the evening at home with more champagne!

 

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Networking: Chocolate & Wine Tasting!

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On 20 October 2015, I was invited to an Event organised by The Gatekeepers Guild which is a Networking Group brought to you by SimkissGuy Recruitment created for PAs, EAs & Office Managers in Birmingham.

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When the email came round with the words ‘Chocolate’ and ‘Wine’ tasting, I didn’t even need to read the rest to know I was in!

So with three other colleagues from my firm, we headed into Birmingham for the event.

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The event kicked off at 5:30pm and it took place at Bank House in Birmingham.

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We took the elevator and was greeted with this wonderful view overlooking Birmingham!

We were given a glass of champagne (or two) & after a little mingling, the Chocolate & Wine tasting begun.

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Providing this amazing experience was Chouchoute Chocolaterie who have a wonderful shop in the Great Western Arcade in Birmingham.

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The shop is co-owned by Pierre Soualah who was trained at Fauchon in Paris & Selfridges in London – not bad eh!

Pierre went through the whole chocolate process.  From the cocoa bean all the way through to the tasting, Pierre went through in detail everything you would ever want and need to know.

His passion really came through in the way he spoke about the chocolate and he had me completely sold even before trying the chocolate.

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But next, we got to taste the chocolate – yay!  Each chocolate was different from the region the bean was grown, to the percentage of cocoa in each chocolate.  When going through each chocolate it was a lovely way to interact with people we work with, and getting to know the people we didn’t work with.  Trying to guess and understand the flavours of the chocolate was a real fun experience and with Pierre there to talk us through everything, I think I could well be a chocolate expert!

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After a glass of wine and a bit more of a natter, it was time to catch the train back home.  It was such a well organised, brilliant evening with some really lovely, hardworking ladies! Networking with people in similar jobs is a really positive experience and something companies should definitely encourage!

I really can’t wait to visit Chouchoute and pick up some bits!

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They cater for any occasion; birthdays, anniversary’s christmas, Weddings & they offer a wonderful corporate gift selection.  They also deliver to almost any address; business or personal & you can also add a personal message to your gift if you like.

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You will not find chocolates like these anywhere.  They are all handmade in a timeless fashion & the taste is second to none!

If you would like to check out the shop & you’re in the Birmingham area, their address is:

Chouchoute Chocolaterie Ltd
40 Great Western Arcade
Birmingham
B2 5HU

You can also find them on social media & I highly recommend checking out their website!

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Website 

The Mailbox launch weekend!

Hello & happy Monday!

I have today off work & so my mood is VERY different to a normal working Monday morning!

I hope you all had a lovely weekend & no doubt we’re already on countdown for the next one!

My weekend was possibly the best weekend I’ve had in a long time!

Me & Daniel celebrated our 9th Anniversary on Sunday which was a lovely day! (more on that soon!).

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But on Saturday we attended the Mailbox Sessions.

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This was a celebratory weekend for the Mailbox in Birmingham.  It’s finally opened it’s doors & as you may know, the new (& amazing) Harvey Nichols is also complete!

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Me & Daniel parked in the Mailbox (so handy!) & headed up to grab some breakfast.

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We popped into Cafe Rouge & had our favourite breakfast; eggs Benedict!  We are complete suckers for it!

We had secured tickets to the Gieves and Hawkes Tailored to You show at 10:30am.  The show was being held in the new Urban Room which is located on the floor with all the restaurants and opposite the champagne bar/restaurant entrance to Harvey Nichols.

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The show was fantastic.  It was led by Randall, an employee of the new Mailbox store, along with model, Luke, who modelled the suits that day.

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Randall went through what makes a perfect suit & what Gieves and Hawkes can offer to you.  A suit to a man is like that little black dress for a woman.  It’s SO important! Daniel loved the show & after the 30 minute talk we sauntered over to the Gieves and Hawkes store.

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Daniel picked out a tie & we got talking to the wonderful staff.  They asked what brought us to the store today & we mentioned it was our Anniversary weekend.  Next thing we knew the staff had given Daniel a little Anniversary gift; another tie!  It was such a lovely gesture & we cannot wait to go back & purchase more things!

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At around midday, Daniel went & met his brother to pick & try on wedding suits! (Daniel’s brother is getting married next year; SO exciting!).

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I had got a ticket for the Art of Style show which was led by Grazia Magazine’s fashion editor, Blogger Bip Ling & Harvey Nichols’ Darren Skey.  This was also held in the new Urban Room & a free copy of Grazia magazine was on each chair.  Nice touch!

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This show was a conversational talk all about how art influences style, style icons & a general chit chat about fashion.

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It was fun & informative & made me want to quit my job & work for Grazia!

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After the 45 minute show, I went back downstairs to the shop level where the new & beautiful seating area is.

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They had public dance performances & also a live orchestra playing delightful background music.

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I sat for a while whilst admiring the new layout & the stunning decor of the new building.

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Birmingham has really stepped up its game in the last few years & I am SO proud to live here!

If shopping is your thing then I highly suggest coming over for a whole weekend of retail therapy!  We now have EVERYTHING in the city that London can offer; only less busy & more relaxed!

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As department stores go, we have Harvey Nichols, John Lewis, Selfridges, House of Fraser & Debenhams.  With some fantastic hotels & with the Christmas Market arriving in the next few weeks, it’s perfect for a Christmas shopping weekend away!

So what are you waiting for?  Come & see us here in Birmingham!

Girls Night – Part Two

So, Part One of Girls Night saw me get my makeup done by the lovely Sasha at Clarins in Debenhams.

The girls absolutely loved my final look & I was glad to see they had already ordered a bottle of Pinot for my arrival!

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We decided to meet at The Crown at Iverley.  It’s a restaurant/bar located in a nearby village of Stourbridge, West Midlands.

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We always love to catchup over drinks & food & knowing both here are lovely, it was a winner.

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On a Thursday & Friday evening, The Crown do a special cocktail deal: 5 cocktails for £20.00.  Anybody who drinks cocktails on a night out will know what an amazing deal that is!  The list of cocktails they offer is ENDLESS!  I had to stop looking at the menu & just pick one at random!

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We arrived at 7pm & our table was at 9pm.  The bar area was absolutely heaving.  A fantastic atmosphere with really friendly bar staff.  No cocktail was too much trouble.

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We got to our table around 8:45pm and embarked on the tough choice of picking what to eat!

We noticed the specials board & instantly chose the Steak.  The Crown also have a Steak Night on a Tuesday evening & I honestly could not recommend it enough!  You really do get a great deal on such a lovely meal.

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It came with big, fat homemade chips, an oversized mushroom & peppercorn sauce.  I never normally order/eat chips but oh wow, I made an exception for these!

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No matter how full we are, we always have to see the dessert menu!  We instantly saw a ‘Popcorn Cheesecake’ & ordered three of them!  I was not disappointed!  Washed down with another bottle of Pinot, the night was concluded.

If you’re in or around the West Midlands/Stourbridge area, be sure to check it out!  There are some lovely countryside walks around so maybe pop in for a drink to warm your hands on the roaring log fire!

You can access their website here. 

Enjoy!

Girls Night – Part One

So it’s Friday night, you’ve been to work all week, and you’re going out with your girls in the evening.

If you’re anything like me, you can do your makeup to a certain standard, & that’s about it.

My two friends are absolutely stunning & their makeup ALWAYS looks flawless.

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I decided to up my game & book myself in to Clarins for a makeover.  All of my skincare is by Clarins.  I will not use anything else!  I also use their foundation & have done since the young age of 15.

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I decided to book in at 5:30pm on a Friday evening.  I finish work at 5pm & work close to a Debenhams and a Clarins counter.   I was due to meet the girls at 7pm & so I thought this would give me enough time to get home & whack on a dress!

I arrived at 5:30pm and was greeted by the lovely Sasha who instantly made me feel at home.

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She began by taking off my makeup from the day & cleansing, all with Clarins products.

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She then went & applied my makeup starting with face cream, foundation and concealer.  I use their True Radiance foundation (£27.50).

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She then started to contour which is the most exciting thing ever.  I had never, nor had I ever even attempted to contour.  I am no Kylie Jenner let me tell you.  Sasha knew exactly what would suit me, what colours to use, the fact that I like to use bronzer (I believe in Summer all year round!).  She used little tricks like applying eyeshadows as blusher etc.  She’s a makeup genius.

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The fact that I have long eyelashes, she utilised those with their Wonder Perfect mascara, which is the best thing since sliced bread!  No more drugstore mascaras for me!  Good bye hard earned salary!

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She also used a liquid eyeliner on me because I said I never used it.  She created the perfect little flick.

Sasha chatted to me about what colours I preferred, what I normally wore & what I would like to try.  We also had some general chitchat, which is lovely when you’re sat thinking ‘did I forget to pluck my eyebrows?!’  She really made me feel at ease and it was a truly relaxing experience.

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She then went and applied eyeshadow – I went for a light eye and a louder lip.  I ALWAYS go for the dark eye, pale lip, but in the hands of an expert, I wanted something different.

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The whole look was finished off with some of their Fixing Spray.  I ended up buying some of this on the evening (along with the Wonder Perfect Mascara).  I am SO glad that I did!

My makeup literally lasted 7 hours straight.  Even my lipstick did not budge.  This, may I add, was after a 3 course meal, cocktails AND wine with my girlfriends!  I was so impressed!

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I have honestly never felt so ladylike & walked out of Debenhams feeling a million dollars!  As it’s my anniversary next weekend, I am looking to go back & let her work her magic on me again!  I need her to move in with me ASAP!

So, I was all set for my evening with my girls.  Be sure to check back in the next few days to see what we got up!

 

Lunch Date

So, you know the situation.  It’s nearly Christmas, you’ve used the majority of your holiday at work & you’re left with the odd day to take off.

What do you do?

Well you go shopping of course!

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Birmingham is absolutely killing it at the moment.  Grand Central has just opened and we’re less than a week away until the new look Mailbox opens fully!  It’s all very exciting stuff! Be sure to check back next weekend to see how the Mailbox looks!

I’d heard about a new Pan-Asian restaurant/bar that had opened just under a month ago.  It’s based in Debenhams in the Bullring and it grabbed my attention straight away.  After being taken with the launch photos, I suggested going for lunch.

After about 4 hours in the John Lewis home department (I’m not even kidding), we took the short walk through to the Bullring (use the connecting walkway – this will be mega handy in Winter!) and we found ourselves in Debenhams.

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Chi Kitchen it located on the 3rd floor of Debenhams and is open for breakfast (served until 11am), light bites, lunch and serves mains until 8pm.  The bar area is also a lovely place to come, sit, relax and order a glass of champagne.

Grand Central is lovely.  Just FAR too busy for me to enjoy a nice lunch & a drink.  Yes, I want somewhere with atmosphere, but no, I don’t want to be crammed in next to a million shoppers & their Primark bags.

Chi Kitchen to the rescue! We got there for midday and by the time we left it was really filling up.  Perfect for shoppers and workers, I was sold.

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To start, we went for a selection of mixed Sashimi.  This is a great option for a couple to try all of the sashimi together.  You get a platter of 2 tuna, 2 salmon, 2 yellow tail & 2 sweet prawn.

We then ordered the two things on the menu that excited us the most (this took time, believe me, I wanted EVERYTHING!).

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We finally decided on the Szechuan Beef and the Salmon Teriyaki.

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The Salmon Teriyaki was so good that Dan only gave me a small bite!  But that was OK with me as the Beef was just as good!

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We opted for a glass of rosé champagne, because well, it’s Monday, so why not?!

The presentation  of the food was second to none.  You can see the chef preparing the sushi, sashimi etc & when you walk into the restaurant, the fresh fish is all on display.

We got to sit at the back of the restaurant which is really nice as you’re completely away from the shoppers and you have a view overlooking China Town.

The next time I visit cannot come quick enough!  I’m planning on ordering some sushi rolls with maybe some popcorn shrimp & of course, a glass of fizz!

I cannot recommend this place enough.  Friendly staff and fantastic food.  This place offers something completely different to Birmingham & it has fast become one of my favourites!

You can check out the menu on the Chi Kitchen website here http://www.chikitchen.co.uk 

And be sure to check out what else is happening in and around Birmingham!  You will not be disappointed!

Breakfast of Champions

Good morning!

Happy Wednesday! We’ve successfully reached the mid-week point… we CAN do this people!

Breakfast is, hands down, my favourite meal of the day.

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There’s nothing better than starting off your day right!

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I love getting up ridiculously early (I’m one of those annoying, chirpy morning people and NOT sorry!), & I love laying the table, putting out every breakfast item in my cupboard & then infamously shouting up the stairs to wake Daniel!

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Fresh coffee, a choice of tea, toast, bagels, pancakes, croissants, jams, honey, fresh fruit, eggs, orange juice.

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It all makes its way onto the table with my iPad which will have the latest news on it ready to be read.

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Breakfast is a perfect time to wake up, discuss the news, catch up on emails before work & just relax.  It really does go a long way.

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There’s nothing worse than being rushed in the morning.  It puts me in an awful mood for the rest of the day & believe me, that’s good for nobody!

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So, what are you waiting for? Rise and shine & go scramble some eggs!