Monday, 26 September 2016

Cosy Places to Eat this Autumn

autumn, leicester, east midlands, restaurants, cosy

I'm finally coming around to the idea that its time to say goodbye to Summer, and welcome Autumn. Now, I love layering up, buying pretty boots and going all plums and berries with my makeup. But I'm not a fan of the cold, I just don't function well in cold weather. Brrrr

So when I go out for some food on an Autumn evening, it's important that the place I'm visiting is cosy and warm! How bars and restaurants change the ambience in colder weather is SO important.

Personally, after I've just ran from the car in the pouring rain [most likely in heels] I want to be able to relax in a lovely, cosy and warm atmosphere while I wait for my food.

One of my most favourite places to eat locally is Bills in Highcross, Leicester, if only for it's cosy and warm atmosphere and decor.

autumn, leicester, east midlands, restaurants, cosy

Bodega Cantina based in St Martins, Leicester also has a cosy ambience, is always lovely and warm and has lots of comfy seating to relax in.

autumn, leicester, east midlands, restaurants, cosy

I'm also a fan of The Cookie on Leicester's High Street, it always feels warm and welcoming, especially upstairs in their intimate cocktail bar with it's cosy curtains, low lighting and candles.

autumn, leicester, east midlands, restaurants, cosy

What makes a restaurant cosy?

So bar and restaurant owners, take note. Here are my top 3 musts for a super cosy place to eat in Autumn.

1. Firstly, and probably most importantly, it MUST be warm! There's nothing worse than being sat shivering waiting for my food. I want to be greeted by a wave of warmth when I walk in! So whack that heating up this Autumn! Don't forget to check you're getting a good deal on your business gas bill!

2. Comfy seating. Nobody wants to sit on a cold, uncomfortable chair. I'll have a blanket too if there's one spare... just kidding! ;)

3. Good lighting. It's amazing how lighting can play a part in how cosy a place feels. Low lighting and candle light helps create a romantic, cosy atmosphere. But don't turn the lighting down too low, I'm a blogger and need to photograph my food, my dates food and a bit of your decor too! ;)

What about you, what do you think makes a place cosy?

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Thursday, 22 September 2016

Primark open brand new store in Fosse Park, Leicester

Primark, Fosse Park, Leicester

The end of August saw a brand new store opening in Fosse Park Shopping Park, Leicester as part of their multi-million pound investment programme. Previously a BHS, and before that a Toys R Us, the new owners are budget fashion retailers, Primark.

Primark currently operates in 11 countries, employing over 32,000 people here in their 169 UK stores, offering great wearable and affordable fashion.

I was invited along to their press launch for a sneaky peak before the store opened to the public.

Primark, Fosse Park, Leicester
Primark, Fosse Park, Leicester
Primark, Fosse Park, Leicester

Personally, I think Primark has come on leaps and bounds in the past few years, the quality of the clothing is so much better than it was previously. They're great for 'seasonal purchases'; if you're looking for something to last you for a 'season' rather than a wardrobe staple to last you for years.

Listening to the opening speech from the new store manager, I was humbled to hear how they work extremely hard to ensure responsible sourcing, better working conditions and they're sitting comfortably in their top 5% place in the list of Ethical Trading Initiative member brands.

We were invited upstairs into the staff quarters for refreshments when we first arrived which was a really lovely space, brightly decorated rooms filled with natural light and modern features, with bowls of Primark sweets at every turn! ;) Employees all looked happy, comfortable and really excited for the launch.

Primark, Fosse Park, Leicester
Primark, Fosse Park, Leicester
Primark, Fosse Park, Leicester

The new Fosse Park store showcases 2 floors of the latest trends in women's, men's and children's fashion, footwear, accessories, lingerie and homeware. I loved the fact that all the women's fashion was on the ground floor, with men's, children's and homeware upstairs. This makes things so much easier to find. 

The store was set up beautifully, it was bright, clean and spacious unlike other Primark's I have visited in the past. I loved the look of the changing rooms, all shiny and new with floor to ceiling mirrors! You know how I love me a full length mirror ;).

Primark, Fosse Park, LeicesterPrimark, Fosse Park, Leicester

Primark, Fosse Park, Leicester

I adore the blog props homeware section at Primark, they have the cutest bits and everything is super affordable. I'm often popping in to pick up some quirky bits for the house, or more often than not, for blog props. I think I started a little trend with the gold pineapple candles, I got a little excited when I saw them and made sure all the ladies I was with saw how cute they were and I'm pretty sure they all threw one, or even two into their basket! I also loved the look of this gold 'LOVE' LED light for my dressing room!

Primark, Fosse Park , LeicesterPrimark, Fosse Park, Leicester
Primark, Fosse Park, Leicester

I had a great morning at the launch, the area manager proudly showed us around every area of the store and after the official opening, customers were met by applause as they excitedly entered the new store. 

I'm confident that customers will love the new look contemporary store. I was certainly pleasantly surprised!

Primark, Fosse Park, Leicester
Primark, Fosse Park, Leicester

Are you a fan of Primark?

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Tuesday, 13 September 2016

To my Best Friend on your Wedding Day

To Jemma,

So, you're getting married on Thursday.  Raahhhhh. I'm so so excited for you!
I've been crazy excited for you since you began planning your special day and I've loved sharing the journey with you, from dress shopping when you first asked me to be your bridesmaid and we found your perfect dress, to your Hen Weekend in Liverpool, which I hope you loved!! :) 

I couldn’t be happier for you as you start the next chapter of your life with Scot. You're just perfect together, you compliment each other and I can see he makes you so very happy, which makes me happy! You’re both very lucky!!

Our friendship only started 2-3 years ago when we met in a pregnancy group and we've pretty much spoke every single day since! I'm super lucky to have you in my life and call you my best friend. We put up with each other's moods [and let's face it, we both have one now & then haha], you know pretty much everything about me and I always turn to you when I need to talk, vent or just need some honest advice. I know you'll always tell me exactly how it is and that makes you my very bestest friend! :)

I am thrilled to be standing by your side on one of the most important days of your life. 
I want you to remember to:

Stop stressing. It’ll all come together and it’ll all be amazing. I promise.

Take the day in slowly, as all the craziness of emotions, dresses, photos, flowers, kids and everything else going on around you... breathe and take everything in, enjoy every moment. Make memories that you'll remember forever. 

Remember this day is about you & Scot. Everyone you love will be there to celebrate with you as you start your next chapter. But remember to take some time out just the 2 of you!

I’m proud of you, and a little jealous! But don’t take the piss if I cry! [out of proudness, not jealousy of course, haha!!]
The sun will be shining and it'll be a beautiful, most perfect day; all of the hard work you have done will certainly pay off and I can’t wait to be by your side. 

Have the most amazing day. 
I love you muchly xxx
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Friday, 9 September 2016

Summer Update

Hi guys,

It's been a while since I did a bit of a life update on what I've been up to so I thought I'd aim to do some seasonal updates, you'll have to let me know what you think and whether you like this kind of post from me.

Summer is my most favourite season of the year, and although it wasn't amazing, I don't think we had a bad one. We had some lovely hot, sunny days and warm Summer evenings to enjoy! Taylor is so much happier when he's outside exploring so we loved the sunny days spent in the garden. 


Our June days were spent enjoying toddler classes, swimming and visiting new places during the day while Daddy was at work and Bradley at school, and my evenings were spent working. The weather was mainly rainy which wasn't great but we did get a few sunny days to enjoy the garden and a few trips to the park. 

I met up with my friends in Birmingham for some bridesmaid shopping which was fun, we didn't end up deciding on a dress but we got a chance to see what styles suited us and what fabrics and colours were best. 

I got tonsillitis and it totally ruined me. I've suffered with it many times before and it completely wipes me out for a few days!!

It was also our annual Mummy's Weekend Away with a few of the ladies from my pregnancy group. We headed down to Bristol and had a fab time. Road trips with my best friend, Jemma are my fave. We have such a giggle and catch up en route! It was great to see the girls, we ate pizza, got ready and headed out for cocktails and dancing. In Popworld obviously! ;)

It wasn't a great month for Bradley at school, he started to be a bit silly and get himself in trouble. His end of year report wasn't great, neither his parents evening so I was very disappointed. Academically he's fine, he just needs to grow up and stop being a class clown! 

I managed to get back down to my pre-pregnancy weight this month which felt good. I still have half a stone to lose before I hit my goal and I need to tone up a lot but I'm getting there. 

My most popular post this month was Losing Weight with Gravitate


We started to get a bit more sunshine in July, just in time for Bradley to finish school for Summer. We had lots of trips to local parks to enjoy the good weather.

We also headed to Devon for our family holiday. It was lovely to spend time together as the 4 of us as it's pretty rare nowadays. We couldn't have asked for better weather and it was the first time Taylor understood going to the 'seaside'. We had a fab few days and made lots of new memories. 

The following weekend was Jemma's Hen Weekend. I'd been super busy with bridesmaid duties and we'd managed to keep the whereabouts and all the details a secret. We got a minibus to Liverpool and had 2 apartments, the first night was full of drinking, eating and your typical hen do fun and games. The second day we went out for breakfast and a walk round the Albert Docks, had a jewellery making class during the day which was something different and we all loved the jewellery we made. In the evening we went out for a nice meal and headed OUT OUT. I love Liverpool, we had such a giggle playing hen dares and typically we ended up in Popworld! ;) It was a great weekend, I hope she loved it!

I attended quite a few local events and launches this month and got to catch up with the lovely ladies I've met through blogging! And I caught up with my other good friends for a movie night with face masks and a cute little picnic in the park.

My most popular post this month was South American Restaurant Bodega Cantina opens in Leicester.


We spent a lot of time out in the sunshine this month, long days spent out in the garden with the boys having fun.

A friend of mine works on Big Brother so Jemma and I headed down to Borehamwood for a live eviction. It was a really fun night. Was very strange being in the VIP bar and stood in the family and friends section chatting to Bear's family. And we were a bit vulnerable knowing we were constantly in camera shot! ha But it was good fun.

I had to rush back from London the morning after as I was helping out at the East Mids Meet Up [which I'll be posting about very soon!].

As Taylor, and a few of his friends all turned 2 this month we had a little play date party in the garden which was super cute and the kids had lots of fun. On his birthday we spent the day at Thomas Land at Drayton Manor. Again we were really lucky with the weather, it was a gorgeous day and everyone had fun, some family came round in the evening and he had a fab day! I still can't believe he's now two!

My most popular post this month was Taylor: My Letter to You on your 2nd Birthday

I'm a bit gutted Summer is now over. I'm not quite ready to say goodbye to the sunshine. But I guess it's time to hang up my playsuits and put away the sun lotion and think about layers, leaves and hot chocolate...

How was your Summer?

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