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.

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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.

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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!

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Check out Sarah’s twitter here. 

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Afternoon Tea – The Edgbaston Boutique Hotel & Cocktail Lounge

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

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

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

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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!

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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. 

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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!

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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!).

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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!

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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.

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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!

VIP Event: Boux Avenue

 

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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!

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

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

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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!

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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!

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

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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!

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

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

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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!

Midweek Review: Mint Nail Salon

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Working at a computer all day, typing 100 miles (or words!) an hour, can really take its toll on your hands and nails.  I’m just getting over winter and my nails turning blue (yes, it really WAS that cold in my office!).

There’s nothing better, or more girly than going to get my nails done! It’s one of my favourite things to do.

With so many nail salons about now, it’s hard to know where to go.  Who’s the best value for money, who offers the best service, who can fit you in on short notice and who has the best atmosphere?

To be honest, I’m an ‘in and out’ kinda girl.  After a long day at work, I quite like to sit there, relax & unwind whilst getting a pretty colour painted on my nails.

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That’s why I love the Mint Nail & Beauty Bar. With six salons across the country, they offer a wide range of beauty treatments, all at competitive prices.

It’s everything you need under one roof. Need your nails done? Facial? Spray tan? Eyebrows done? Then mint is your place! They will also wax the living day lights out of you if you like!

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I have been coming to Mint for around 3 – 4 years where I always get my gel nails done. They use all OPI products which are my all time favourite. Is it awful that I always want to pick a colour just because of its name?!

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I really like the short, natural look (think Kimmy K!) and I always tend to go for the same three colours – Red, Black or French.

You can’t go wrong with these 3 classics. Sometimes I want to take a walk on the crazy side & pick a ridiculous florescent pink, but then chicken out at the last minute (probably for the best!).

The gel polish is a long lasting layer of nail varnish which will last between 2 to 4 weeks.  It has been known that I have lasted a whole 5 weeks.  Any longer though and my nails would have walked themselves to the Salon!

The girls working there are always smiling and the good thing about Mint is they do go out of their way to accommodate walk in appointments.  It’s ALWAYS busy and I ALWAYS try to book.

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When working in Birmingham I used to pop to the Birmingham branch on my lunch and get my nails done.  Now, and thankfully, with me working closer to home, I go to the branch based at the Merry Hill Centre.

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This particular time I was going to get my holiday nails done. This is always something I look forward to the most. Getting a new, bright colour for my holidays and knowing that holiday is just around the corner just makes me giddy with glee!!

I decided to break my mould and go for “Sweet Morning Dew”. Yes, OK I caved into the cute name and fell in love. It’s a soft coral which is not too in your face, but is a bit more daring than a ‘normal, every day life’ colour!

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The gel process takes around 35 minutes and is 100% dry when you leave the Salon.

If you’re based around the Birmingham/West Midlands area, then take a look at their website here to see the treatments that they offer, their prices & their online booking form.

Happy pampering! x x x

Gift Guide: Mothers Day

With Mothering Sunday looming, I always find myself panicking. I want to get my mom something nice & special, just like her.

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It’s a day where your mother gets to put her feet up, relax & have some ‘me time!’

I’ve put together a little Gift Guide for that special Mother in your life!

Yankee Candle

An absolute firm favourite with my Mom & Mother-in-Law! We are all obsessed with a good Yankee Candle.

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A busy day at work is made better with a glass of wine & your Yankee lit in the background!

For up to 50% off some scents, check out www.yankee.co.uk for some great deals just in time for Mother’s Day!

Chocolate

All Mother’s love chocolate, right? RIGHT!

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You can’t go wrong with a nice box of chocolates & Hotel Chocolat are doing some wonderful sets for Mother’s Day!

From everything from Hampers, tea, candles, prosecco, body cream & chocolate, Hotel Chocolat will have something for every Mom!

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Prices range from £5.00 to £70.00 & you can shop online here!

Flowers

You can’t have Mother’s Day without flowers!

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A firm favourite is obviously Interflora with reliable delivery & good value.

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On my travels, I was surprised to see some supermarkets such as Tesco, Asda, & even Aldi all offering up fabulous flower arrangements/bouquets. High Street faves such as Marks & Spencer & Next also have a Mother’s Day range.

Afternoon Tea

A firm favourite with me & my Mom, Afternoon Tea is a lovely afternoon out. With such busy lives, it’s a lovely chance to sit down with your Mom with some cake & champagne & talk the afternoon away!

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I have taken my Mom to Hotel Du Vin & a few independent Manor homes for Afternoon Tea in the past & I would highly recommend it.

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There is a fantastic range of Afternoon Tea’s available now, with many Hotel chains offering an Afternoon Tea service. To see local Afternoon Tea’s by you, you can check out this fantastic website, which also allows you to book online at some venues. www.afternoontea.co.uk

Spa Day

What better way to relax & spend quality time with your mom, than a Spa Day!

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You could book a few treatments, use the facilities & even grab some lunch.

It’s a lovely way to spend a day & a lovely few hours for your Mom to relax & unwind!

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Find your perfect Spa Day on www.spabreaks.com

So there you have it! Something for every Mother out there!

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You could also pick up her favourite bottle of wine, or treat her to a lovely blouse & pair it with a statement necklace from Marks & Spencer. Purchase a new bestseller, buy her favourite perfume or even just cook your Mom a homemade meal!

I hope your Mother has a wonderful day on Sunday!

Food Review: Edmunds Fine Dining

So, I’ve had a few days celebrating & letting my hair down as it was Daniel’s birthday on Thursday.

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We went out on his Birthday evening for cocktails & food. Safe to say, we didn’t want the evening to end!

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With the next day booked off work, we sure made the most of it.

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We settled on booking Edmunds, which is a fine dining French restaurant based in Brindley Place, Birmingham.

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What can I say? From start to finish we were blown away.

The service was impeccable. Nothing was too much for our waiter. Bringing out each course (we had 5 in total!), he explained what each ingredient was & how it blended in with each dish.

We decided on the A La Carte menu, which was £44.50 for 2 courses, or £49.50 for 3 courses.

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Freshly baked bread & a pre-starter was brought to us which was stunningly tasty.

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I was not disappointed with my choice of Caramelised Isle of Skye king scallops, celeriac remoulade and purée, apple tatin dressing for starter.

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After much deliberation, I settled on the Loin of Scottish venison, enriched duck liver, butternut squash purée, hazelnut crumble & venison jus for my main course.

Whilst finishing our main & drinking the best red wine, the chef came over to our table to see if everything was ok with our food. Dan was so impressed, I thought he was going to ask the chef to marry him. I wouldn’t have minded if it meant we get that food each night!

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As we hade been eating for around 2 hours, we were too full for a dessert. However, we did have some wine left to drink so we settled on a cheese board to share which was just perfect! Before our cheeseboard was brought to us, we had a special little pre-dessert to cleanse the palette.

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Overall, the whole dining experience was the best one we have had in a restaurant so far. The wine was superb, which made Daniel’s Birthday evening really extra special. The chef coming over really was a nice touch & it really goes a long way!

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With it now being our favourite restaurant & not being the cheapest of restaurants, we’re thinking about robbing a bank each week to fund our new obsession (I kid, of course!). You really do get what you pay for & for a Thursday evening, it was really busy, which is what you want to see for such a lovely restaurant.

For one 3 course menu, one 2 course menu & a bottle of wine, the dining experience came to just under £200.00.  Completely worth it for such wonderful food, wine & service.

If you’re in the Birmingham area, go book your table now! You will not be disappointed!

http://www.edmundsrestaurant.co.uk