Saturday, 28 December 2013

Festive Fizz

If like me you love your champagne but being one of the Middle Squeezed cannot afford to indulge in the finer sparkling wines, then you will love this French wine by Cremant de Limoux. Produced in the South of France the same way Champagne is, its perfect mixed with Creme de Cassis for Kir Royale cocktails or with peach puree to make delish Bellinis. Drunk on its own its very dry with no acidic after taste. I will be seeing in 2014 with a few glasses ! Available from Waitrose and Ocado (or Avocado man as the twins call him) £10.99

twosp xxxx

Friday, 27 December 2013

Beauty bounty

The Friday before Christmas we had no functioning central heating, plumber didn't turn up on Saturday and we spent two nights freezing in a poorly insulated house with only a portable heater to warm us up (god bless my Dyson Hot). Eventually British Gas came and it all got fixed by Sunday.

Then on Christmas Eve around 1am the great storm lashed down and rain water seeped into the house from AROUND the window frame!!! Who knew that could happen, the house was no longer water tight! With lots of cursing, towels, bowls etc we were able to mop up the worse damage but at least we still had our electricity unlike some people who are still in the dark.

Later that day took Twin 2 to see the GP as his cough and high temp took a turn for the worse - still cursing original plumber, if we had had heating, child wouldn't have got so sick! So thankful for NHS being open on Christmas Eve.

So it was with much relief Christmas Day was slightly less stressful. We stayed at home, no long car journeys shuttling between relatives, stayed in PJ's for most of the day. Kids/husband loved it.

I've been a good girl all year and Santa left me some lovely goodies in my stocking this year. I particularly love the Dior Holiday Couture Collection for lips and nails in Rouge 999.

Jo Malone Christmas Cracker filled with delicious scented goodies including the signature Lime Basil Mandarin Body & Hand wash, Grapefruit Body Cream and Blackberry & Bay cologne.

Elemis another fave British beauty brand I love, to help maintain my youthful complexion lolz.... Papaya Enzyme Peel is a super gentle cream that I use three times a week to exfoliate my skin.

Hope you had fun during the holidays xxx

Thursday, 19 December 2013

Cheers to amber nectar

A little sweet wine to go with mince pies and some nibbles? Don't mind if I do - perfect for Christmas a chilled bottle of Royal Tolaji 5 Puttonyos produced in Hungary. Available in Sainsburys

Tuesday, 17 December 2013

Gift Ideas for time pressed parents

You may be frantically tearing out your hair on realising this time next week is Christmas Eve!!! Arghhhhh.... I usually try and buy a gift for the class teacher and teaching assistant as well as donate some money for a group gift from all the parents - this year with all the kids in school, job sharing teachers, multiple TA's etc. there are more gifts to get! But luckily Lush has come to my rescue and with their gorgeous smelling hand made products ready wrapped, these were the perfect solution.

The Covent Garden branch helpfully put them in several bags so all I have to do is hand one to each child before they head into the classroom.

Unit 11 The Piazza Covent Garden WC2E 8RA

Saturday, 14 December 2013

How to Party

Festive season is upon us and I had two Crimbo parties to go too last night. The press dubbed it Black Friday for the emergency teams to deal with assisting those who have had a touch too much sherry....

Being time pressed I made a desperate call to Blow Ltd to see if they could fit me in for hair and make up first thing before I got to the office. The very kind Jennifer was very accommodating to my tweets, emails and call!

First off was hair, being a pretty wet and wild weather kinda day I needed a hair style to last through to the evening so I opted for a Blow Up, a chic, slight beehive do (I have masses of hair). Every inch was back combed to death, a lot of root spray, hair spray was applied plus bobby pins to keep it all together. I was very impressed with the results.

Then make up ; to cover up another hormonal outbreak on my chin but only a tinted moisturiser was needed on the rest of my face all applied with a brush to give a flawless finish. I even had a good slick of eyeliner to give a more sixties feel but with some touches of bronzer the look remained modern.

When I arrived at the office, everyone was trying to work out what was different about me (taller?) and a few envious looks that I had already got a head start getting ready for the office party - some women take it very seriously!

After work I had hectic school run, dentist check up, feed kids, put kids to bed (6.15pm cheated that one, four year old twins cant tell the time). With only 15 minuted to actually pull my outfit together. I only realised afterwards that most of what I was wearing was bought from the web! Pink and burgundy Herve Leger Bandage dress( ebay purchase), Top Shop mongolian fur gilet and Ash ankle boots.

It was another horrid wet and windy journey back into town this time heading for Aqua on Regent Street. Coincidently my dentist was there recently! Due to who I work for there were some themed fun and games: Khadashian nail bar, Downton Abby photo booth, Worlds End pub quiz and of course a free bar!

Later into the night I made my way to my next party back into the burbs, I was probably a little over dressed but hey its the time of year to go over the top. My hair amazingly stayed intact from dancing and the rainy weather conditions!!!

That night, ok next morning when I finally got into bed I was way too tired to try and take down my up do so I just slept with it, propped up on several pillows.... I know tres lazy but look it stayed perfect, just a few loose strands and since I had an early start to ferry Curly Haired Beauty to her dance recital, I kept the do :-)

Later today when I finally found the time I took the do down, it really needed a good brushing with the tangle teaser, retrieved 20 bobby pins, my hair felt like cotton wool! 3 shampoo later using Naked detox shampoo and a deep conditioner, Moroccan Hair oil and left to dry naturally my hair is back to its swishy silky glory. So no hair damage from the intensive styling -result!

Thursday, 12 December 2013

Magdalen London Bridge

There is a lovely restaurant South of the river in London Bridge, an unexpected foodie heaven venue just along from where the London Dungeons used to be, near the Unicorn theatre. Magdalen - serves unfussy simple dishes you actually want to eat using the best seasonal ingredients. The staff are friendly and the professional service helped made my recent lunch there really enjoyable. I didn't experience my pet peeve of being interrupted every 10 minuted whilst I had food in my mouth to be asked if everything was all right.

If you have been following my tweets during #masterchef ; I have not been impressed with the smears, plops, drops and foam used in all the dishes!

D and I shared the pumpkin and goats curd on toast, with a glass of pear fizz (like bucks fizz but with pear puree), my starter was gooey Vacherin cheese melted over potatoes, ham and roast onions. In winter time I just love my carbs, it helps keeps me warm!

D had fois grais on brioche and for his main Sea Bass with cauliflower puree - declaring it was the best bit of fish he has eaten for ages (better than The Square). I had the braised Venison with celeriac mash. I couldn't resist a side order of fried potatoes (told you I loved my carbs) It was so very tender, well flavoured, perfect winter fare.

We of course had to make room for pudding and chose Trifle with apple and calvados and Bergamot cream with shortbread. I could have eaten the cream a hundred times over, it was so light and perfumed and super sweet but not slickly.

I hope to go back again soon, it could be our new local to replace Chez Bruce (our old haunt back in the day before kids).

twosp xxx

Friday, 29 November 2013

Blow Ltd , my new hangout

Whats not to love about this joint? Blow Ltd only opened a few weeks ago in Covent Garden but seems to be doing a roaring trade already. Quick hair blow dry's in 30 mins (includes hair wash), Manicures in 15 mins and professional face Make up in 15 mins. You choose from a range of set styles from the look book (in this case a mini ipad) I've tried out all 3 services and can testify its that quick and really good. Its the perfect solution for us time pressed ladies and I will certainly budget to have a service once a week. I mean £15 for having your nails done!! That's what some people would spend on lattes for the week ....*justified expense*

I chose the Day make up and the skill in covering up my hormonal break out using my fave Laura Mercier products was genius. Everyone should have their own make up artist :-) I looked just like 'Me' but a more glossy pulled together version.

Nail colours are by Essie and there is a huge colour range to choose from. I had wanted to go for a Party look (hot metallic colour with pretty glitter edge) but realised I had to make it last to next week. So opted for Natural instead - maybe next time eh?

My hair I had done yesterday and the soft curls put in have lasted through to today. So overall a happy looking bunny.

Nice touches: magazines are digital and read from mini ipads.

My feedback: could do with a bag hook at the tables or add a shelf under tables so us ladies can store our handbags rather than leave on the floor.

twosp xxx

Saturday, 23 November 2013

H&M Isabel Marant - belated post shopping frenzy

My order from Hennes arrived yesterday evening, the Isabel Marant Designer collaboration which caused the usual shopping frenzy last week. I tried to queue outside the Regent Store but the ridiculous bracelet distribution for timed entry was off-putting so I high tailed it back to the office and was on-line refreshing the website until I struck lucky!

What I chose were the following item that I needed to plug a few gaps in my wardrobe. The slouchy Tux style mannish jacket, the black & white printed silk blouse, a red version for Curly Haired Beauty, silk fringed scarf and the gold silk trousers for fellow Blogger Kate (who was also trying to shop on-line but had no luck). It's was quite funny following the Twitter feeds of everyones website woes, store queue frustrations and ubiquitous haul photos.... Yes I did have to wait a while for the home delivery, so not the instant gratification hit but I am very pleased with my items. I did say last time when Marni collaborated with Hennes I wouldn't go to all the trouble but hey I couldn't resist !!!!

I can't believe the re-sell value of the clothes doing the rounds on eBay. I know that if you keep checking the website returned items will be back on sale and in-store, as going on past experience nothing is ever sold out.

The beauty of this collection was how inter-changeable the collection was between women's, menswear and children wear (a first for the Designer). I had wanted to get some boy tops for the twins so we could all be matchy matchy for out cheesy Christmas card photo, but the kids sizing didn't go down small enough.

Excuse the terrible photos had to take shots in a hurry :-)

Saturday, 2 November 2013

If you had £619 spare and need a Working wardrobe

You can't go far wrong with anything purchased from Banana Republic - their past designer collaborations with Milly and Issa; injected much needed splashy prints into my wardrobe.

Currently they are having a Mid-season sale so you can still pick these up which will be perfect for anyone with exotic holidays planned (please bring back the sunshine).

For those of you staying put and need a helping hand to put together a capsule wardrobe for work, their current Edit is a great starting point. 8 pieces to mix and match.

The leather skirt wouldn't have been the first thing I would have chosen but it does make a refreshing change from a pencil skirt. Cheaper faux leather alternatives can be found in ASOS.

Friday, 1 November 2013

From the inside out

For a youthful 42 year old who has kept her figure trim after having 3 kids, can still wear size 8 UK clothes (I still feel 32); I eat a healthy balanced diet but I feel I can do more to help support my immune system, joints, bones, improve my skin, delay ageing (hahahahahaha) etc. I've noticed the cold air seems to make my body creak and ache a little in the mornings - we still haven't turned on our central heating - the last gas bill was shocking. 

So from today until Christmas I am taking the following to see if they really do help. 

Holland and Barrett  did really well from me today but taking advantage of their Penny sale I bought the following items.  

Hyaluronic Acid - click HERE to find out why (fountain of youth apparently)

Vegan Multivitamins - I'm not a veggie but the other multi vits were horse pill size and they make me gag. I normally buy Boots own brand which are smaller and coated so makes it easier to swallow. 

Cold Flax seed oil - More info HERE

Royal Jelly - back in the 80's when Barbara Cartland  was still step-granny to Princes Diana, she used to pop up on the TV extolling the virtues of Royal Jelly (how I sniggered at her make-up/dress sense) and now I can't believe I am taking these supplements. Oh well if it's good enough for the Queen Bee it's going to be good enough for me....

NB: Supplements should be taken with a meal and plenty of fluids...does having a Hazelnut Latte count as a meal? 

twosp xxx 

 Image from The Guardian

Thursday, 31 October 2013

£1 Bargain

Sooo the daily commute hasn't been going so great, those who follow me on Twitter will see the rants at #southeasternfail but one bright spot was the voucher in today's Metro (free newspaper) where you can purchase Red magazine for £1 which also includes a 50ml tube of This Works Really Rich firming lotion. My thighs thank you! twosp xxxx

Tuesday, 29 October 2013

Pretty Nails

The West End streets have been busy with cranes, vans etc. The start of putting up the Christmas street lighting. I have to say the ones along Oxford Street are a little disappointing but some of the stores window displays are making up for the lack of pizzaz. Go check out John Lewis which has cleverly used appliances and the other one is Selfridges....(I know it's still October!)

But if you were one of those very organised people and I am sure this will sell out soon,  go check out CIATE Mini Mani Advent calendar. Behind each little door is a mini bottle of nail polish in delightful colours.

Monday, 28 October 2013

Birthday Blow Dry

One of my birthday gifts from D was this Remington Pro Ionic Ultra Hairdryer. I know not a super flashy gift but after last years fiasco (I wanted a Kindle HD and got a Mini iPad instead - which I moaned about as I knew D really wanted it for himself and guess whose ended up using it the most!).

The hairdryer feels really light weight in my hand, super speedy at drying down my long hair with 3 heat settings, cool shot and a long enough electric cord to reach my plug socket. The bonus bit is the removable grill at the back so you can de-fluff it and keep it clean (I am always practical). 

Sunday, 27 October 2013

The face filler post

I did my annual trolley dash for max-strength-fix-my-face beauty products a few weeks before my birthday. Upon several recommendations I bought the Sarah Chapman Skinesis Discovery Collection. It contains a cleanser, serum and day moisturiser all contained in a lovely little white box.

The air pump needs a good pounding/shaking to get the products out but once slathered onto the face I think it really did do something. My skin felt much softer and looked more glowy after only 2 weeks use. They have lovely customer service and a few tweets to check, The Discovery Collection should last 2-4 weeks with daily use. The products smell delicious, backed with serious science ingredients and natural essential oils. I think the next step for me is to book in for a facial treatment at Skinesis Clinic to help maintain the routine.

Saturday, 26 October 2013

Blogging Birthday

I had thought with the twins starting school last month I would have more to time to blog but I was wrong; 3 bouts of Tonsillitis (the downside of having 3 kids),  major goings on in the day job (making the change from part-time to full-time), and general ageing woes!

Another birthday was celebrated yesterday - I'm in good company according to Twitter! Yes I did briefly wear these specs at The Ivy over lunch - I was channeling Elton John...

Friday, 6 September 2013

Bath time horrors

Bath times used to be such long leisurely sessions of pure indulgence. Beautifying oneself in the pursuit of loveliness. Lotions and potions and of course scented candles.....

*sigh* I can still remember those days. But now its all rush, rush trying to dip all three into the tub, brisk wash and out before the water turns cold. Welcome to my world. When can I go back to the old life?

Can you spot the 3 princesses and 4 Barbies?

Thursday, 5 September 2013

Summery September

Oldest child started back at school today Y2 and the twins start Reception next week....I cannot wait, this has been a long time coming ever since I found out I was pregnant second time round back in October 2008. I couldn't celebrate my 37th birthday properly and by Christmas I was weeping/wailing when I heard there was two in there and dealing with a toddler hitting the terrible twos.

Not that I am an OCD mummy but with first born I had already our LIFE mapped out: Have a baby by 35, get her to sleep through the night, wean her, get back to work, teach her walk/talk, put her name down for pre-school, get her into pre-school, put her name down for primary school, get her into school JOB WELL DONE

Of course having twins boys has been filled with a lot of hardship (emotional and financial) but the end is in sight. I can nearly relax.

Although I do feel like the oldest mum on the school run and will avoid all Sports Day activities if I can help it. My knees cant do running! So a bit of unhelpful advice which my mum gave me when I told her I was pregnant with twins: Don't have a toddler and twins in such a short space of time - thanks mum!

BTW loving this extended Summer weather, a recent work trip to Henley was really pleasant despite the 2 1/2 hour journey. Such blue skies, pretty river scenery and a delish lunch...but check out the tiny salmon portion! That is not a huge lemon but a tiny bit poached fish!

Monday, 12 August 2013

Herve Adventures

The weekly scoot round TK Maxx Gold Collection to see if the fabled Hérve Leger bandage dress will ever turn up on the sale rails

I’m not sure why in my time of life I am style stalking this dress, checking in on The OutnetShopBop  and other online retailers. Even eBay where the swimwear version (worn once) is available but I should heed the warning, why worn once?

At my time in life I should be covering up not bearing it all…but this dress falls under the needs/ must haves - even though I have no occasion to wear it. Well I can always make an occasion but whether t’husband  eyes would fall out is another problem. It’s not something you could wear out for dinner as I wouldn’t be able to eat a bean wearing this garment. 

I feel likes it my reward for having had 3 kids, kept my figure, finally getting them into school - for doing a job well done! Believe me it has not been easy keeping trim but boy I look good for my age (sorry no selfies on this post - just take my word for it please).

Oh well I will continue to coo over it…
photos from The Outnet, who will have more stock arriving 13th August

Monday, 22 July 2013

It's A Boy

The wait is over and the new Royal Baby has arrived.....lets hope the media gives Mother and baby lots of privacy. Xxx twosp

Monday, 24 June 2013

Girl's Night Out

Last Friday was the Summer Solstice and what better way to celebrate the longest day than to go out and meet some blogger/twitter mates old and new who were down in London for the Brit Mum's blogging event.

I Don't normally post Selfies but here I am in my hotel room and my outfit coordinates beautifully with Jane's; my Blogging twin (she has twins and solo child just like me).

Friday, 31 May 2013

Spring time at The Savoy

This month has been super busy what with the Bank Holiday weekends, family parties, half term break etc that it was fortunate D and I managed to play hooky and meet up for lunch (just the two of us - such bliss) at Kaspars the new seafood place at The Savoy Hotel. London managed to throw up a beautiful sunny day, with real warmth that has been so sadly lacking these few months.

On arrival a cheeky cocktail was ordered, naturally a Cosmopolitan for moi...before we gorged ourselves on delicious Fruit de Mer, Dover Sole with creamy mash and spinach. Followed by Apple Tart Tartin and Gooseberry Trifle. What was a really lovely touch were the chocolates brought with coffees and teas. A giant choc lolly personalised with a message.