Life As Mrs R

A North East Lifestyle, Food & Wellbeing Blog

Friday, 26 August 2016

GBBO, meditation & minor Instagram success - this week's #LittleLoves


It's been a busy week this week. I'm really struggling with my work load at the moment - it's really hard trying to fit in fun with the kids plus full-time hours working at home when they are here. I have ended up working until 3am quite a few mornings. I'm not going to moan too much though as I do love summer and it's worth it. The benefit of self-employment is that I can work when I need to I guess. The new school term (aka peace and quiet) is in sight. We've had a fun trip to our local park with water features this week as well as meeting superman and going out for afternoon tea this afternoon.



Here are my Little Loves this week:-

Read


No books again! Slap my wrists! I've enjoyed reading this post from Travel Loving Family which includes some tips from yours truly plus Katie Jane Online's review of Seaham Hall - definitely an idea for my 10th anniversary in a few month's time I think! 


Watched


Hooray for Wednesday nights! Three of my favourite tv shows are gracing our screens. First up is GBBO! Love it! I already have my favourite. GBBO always puts me in the baking mood so watch this space for recipes......

After GBBO I watch my absolute guilty pleasure Teen Mom OG. I have watched this show for years and honestly feel as if I know Farrah, Amber, Maci and Caitlyn personally! Then it is onto First Dates - I love the little update at the end of the show and always smile when the couples end up dating! Ahhhh! 

Wore



I just adore this wrap dress from Pink Clove and have worn it twice this week - it's the perfect outfit to dress up or down and washes really well without the need to iron! Yeah! 


Heard


I have been getting back into meditation before bed this week. It really does help me to relax. I like Yellow Brick Cinema and The Honest Guys - I would recommend both (and they're free! Yeah)

and Lastly


I popped into Laneway and Co. for a coffee this week and it is a gorgeous little independent coffee shop in the centre of Newcastle (not far from Motel One). I love it! Oh and I also love the fact that one of my photos on Instagram has achieved over 100 likes for the first time. YEAH! 



I'm linking up with Coffee Work Sleep Repeat #LittleLoves


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Monday, 22 August 2016

Zombie Congas, Matching Outfits & Reynard the Fox - #LittleLoves


I'm joining in with Coffee Work Sleep Repeat's #LittleLoves linky this week and sharing a few of my favourite things this week:

Read


I haven't read any books this week (need to make this a priority!) but I've been enjoying lots of blogs. I've been enjoying the resurrection of Missuswolf (Fizz, Fiction & Family Life), have discovered a brand new blog www.ageordiesjourney.com (you must read their first post about sofa surfing and making new friends) plus another new blog Northern Niche who feature a guide to Afternoon tea as their first post. I always love discovering new blogs so it's fab to find three this week.

Watched



We travelled to the Just So Festival this weekend and I loved watching the tale of Reynard the Fox in the woods. Fab fun for adults and kids. Check out The Fabularium on Facebook. They're a really talented bunch.

Made



Hmmmm........I'm desperately trying to think of something I made this week? Oh I know, I made my daughter fly through the air as we joined an Acrobatics class at Just So. Lots of fun but scary for me!

Wore



I have LOVED working with Asda this week and found matching outfits for Heidi and I. I adore our denim dresses. We'll definitely be twinning more often.

Heard


We listened to the Baghdaddies at Just So who are a fantastically quirky Geordie band. They had us all doing a zombie conga in a field which was unique and not how I usually spend my Saturdays! Check them out on Facebook.

We also spent 10 hours in the car this weekend and listened to songs old and new - loved singing along in the car to Adele. Not sure the kids appreciated it though! Haha!

I'd love to hear what you loved last week too. 


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Friday, 19 August 2016

5 Ideas for a Date in the North East this Weekend | 19th, 20th & 21st August

I've been writing weekend event posts for families over on North East Family Fun for a few months now and they are always really popular so I thought I would try the same for grown ups over here on Life As Mrs R.

Most of these events are child-friendly too (so if you have kids in tow, don't be put off attending)  but if don't have children or are lucky enough to escape their clutches for a few hours this weekend, here are 5 ideas for where to visit with your other half or best friend in the North East this weekend:-



Summer Evenings - Free Live Music at Sage

Sage, Gateshead
Friday 19th August - 6pm - 9pm


Pop into the Sage where Paul Taylor will be playing 2 x 30 minute sets alongside some of the best views in Newcastle. No booking required, it's free and you just need to turn up. Find out more.


A Midsummer Night's Dream 

Belsay Hall, Ponteland
Friday 19th August. Doors open 6:15pm, performance starts at 7pm


Bring your blankets, deckchairs and picnic and take a seat in Belsay's beautiful outdoor walled garden to enjoy a performance of this Shakespeare classic. See website for ticket details and how to book. 


Proper Food and Drink Festival 
Northumberland Square, North Shields
Saturday 20th and Sunday 21st August | 10am - 5pm 

The proper food and drinks festival ends it's mini summer tour of the North East in North Shields. Expect entertainment, artisan food stalls, local food and drink. Free Entry. See website for further information. 


Kulturshock Car Show
Newcastle Racecourse, Gosforth Park
Sunday 21st August - 10am - 4pm

Browse a selection of show cars from right across Europe. There'll be live entertainment, food, drink and merchandise stands too. See here for tickets.



The Saturday Show at The Stand Comedy Club
The Stand Comedy Club, Newcastle
Saturday 20th August - doors open 7pm

Tonight's comedy feast includes Sean Collins, Nick Cranston, Nicola Mantalios Lovett and Tony Jameson. See here for tickets.


Read Next:-

Let me know what you're up to this weekend and please pray for sunshine as we're camping for the weekend. 



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Sunday, 14 August 2016

Cocktail Masterclass at Jalou, Newcastle

Katie Jane Online, New Girl in Toon and I have all had a tough couple of weeks due to various stresses in our lives. Our group messages had somehow turned into a support group with us all sharing lots of woe and it was clear that we needed a really good night out and some proper girl time. KJO organised for us all to attend a cocktail masterclass at Jalou and we joined forces with the lovely Laura to really make a night of it.

Cocktail Masterclass at Jalou - Kir Royale

Cocktail Masterclass at Jalou - VIP Lounge

We had our own private room and bar which was lovely and our first Prosecco cocktail went down a treat.......so of course we ordered another. Tom happily obliged and we felt like real VIPs having our own dedicated barman.

Cocktail Masterclass at Jalou, Newcaslte

There are 12 cocktails to choose from during the cocktail making class and you can decide which ones to go for. Cocktail masterclasses cost either £20.95 per person which includes a private area, welcome drink, 2 cocktails, a couple of shots and bar snack platter OR £25.95 to include an additional cocktail. I honestly think this is a real steal - there is no loud music, it's lots of fun and you get food, drink, lots of space to move, no bar queues and your own private barman. Considering cocktails usually cost £7-£9 in central Newcastle, I think these masterclasses are the perfect way to enjoy a girls night out with none of the hassle that can sometimes be associated with drinking as a group in Newcastle.

Cocktail Masterclass at Jalou, Newcastle - Marshmallow Martini

Chloe and I created the Marshmallow Martini and lets just say I was a little enthusiastic with the blow torch! Ooops!

Cocktail Masterclass at Jalou, Newcastle

Cocktail Masterclass at Jalou, Newcastle

Everyone really wanted to create a Cookie Monster so Tom set up a 'Cookie Monster Off'. We raced against each other to see who could create one in the quickest possible time. I decided to scrap the measuring of shots and went for a bit of free pouring action. Everyone knows I'm ultra-competitive so of course I won and created my drink in the quickest time (although it may not be the most aesthetically pleasing).

Cocktail Masterclass at Jalou, Newcastle - Cookie Monster

Cocktail Masterclass at Jalou, Newcastle

More cocktails before a little break for food..........

Cocktail Masterclass at Jalou, Newcastle - Bar Platter Food

I've tried a fair few cocktail making classes in my time and sometimes they can be regimented and you're made to stick to the rules. That certainly isn't the case at Jalou - it's fun, fast and pretty much anything goes :D Tom made sure we all had a really good time and coped with an increasingly drunken KJO, Laura and Chloe (not myself of course) very well. I love how flexible these classes are and we all just went with the flow......

Cocktail Masterclass at Jalou, Newcastle

KJO and Laura made a special Zombie cocktail but KJO was too scared to try her shot! I think she was too busy mentioning how good the music was at Jalou......I think she mentioned it approximately 200 times. It is good though - think 90's & 00's R 'n' B. Perfect for those in their late twenties to thirties I think.

Cocktail Masterclass at Jalou, Newcastle - Zombie

What they don't tell you is that at the end of the night there is a test! Ahhhh! Get your question right and you'll be treated to a nice shot - however get it wrong and you'll have to drink a shot of DOOM! HAHA! This might sound horrendous to some but we were all in need of a good drink so took everything we could. If shots aren't your thing or you really can't face a shot of doom, there really is no pressure and I'm sure Tom will slip you a nice shot or skip you instead :-) 

Cocktail Masterclass at Jalou, Newcastle - shots

I'd never been to Jalou before but I can't wait to head back. It is going to be my go-to bar now when I catch the train to/from town. Thanks KJO for being a gem and inviting us all along to join your cocktail making class. We all agreed, it was the most fun we'd had in AGES and very much came along at the perfect time.

Need to Know


  • Cocktail Masterclasses at Jalou start at £20.95 per person which includes a private area, welcome drink, 2 cocktails, a couple of shots, games and bar snack platter.
  • To book or enquire, email PR@Jalou.co.uk

Disclosure: Katie Jane Online invited us along to enjoy a complimentary cocktail masterclass. I was not required to blog about our evening but it was lots of fun and wanted to share the love. 
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Friday, 12 August 2016

EXCLUSIVE | Claim your FREE Oxygen Facial with Elizabeth Arden at Boots, intu Eldon Square

Sometimes I read magazines or hear people talking about booking in for their monthly facial and I think to myself - who are these people? How do they find the time? Because I certainly don't. For me, facials are reserved for a rare spa day or when my mum buys me a voucher for my local salon on my birthday. As much as I'd like them to be, they really aren't a regular thing.


Not investing in my skin, does have it's downsides and I often think my skin could just be a whole lot nicer if I was a little bit stricter with myself, listened to the experts and invested some time into making the best of what I've got.

So when the lovely ladies from the Elizabeth Arden counter at Boots Eldon Square got in touch and asked if I'd like to receive a complimentary Oxygen Facial it was a resounding YES! I even managed to extend my pampering and added a little trip to Mason + Rye onto my visit.


Victoria Beckham, Kim Kardashian, Jessica Biel, Sienna Miller and Madonna all swear by Oxygen Facial's and if it's good enough for them, it's good enough for me! The treatment is available at the Elizabeth Arden counter in Boots Eldon Square and takes just 15 minutes so it is perfect if your 'me time' is at a bare minimum or you can only pop in before work (they open at 8am on a weekday) or during your lunch hour.

The facial delivers a perfect shot of oxygen deep into the cellular layers of the skin to reveal a radiant and plumped appearance that lasts up to 5 days. The treatment can even be carried out over make up if need be.

I tried an Oxygen Facial and first of all, I would like to say that the girls at the Elizabeth Arden counter are all absolutely lovely and not at all intimidating. The oxygen is tested on your arm first and it just feels like cool air blowing against your skin. I was really sceptical about the results but I think they speak for themselves:-


So this was me straight after the treatment, I'm not wearing any make up apart from a touch of mascara - you have to agree my skin looks pretty good! 


Then two nights later I headed into town for New Girl in Toon's hen party and my skin still looked radiant when I applied make up - look at any other photographs of me going out and it really doesn't look this good! I have honestly been well impressed.

The facial isn't all you'll be treated to though, my readers will be given a complete skincare consultation and will be provided with a bespoke prescription for their skin (Prevage City Smart is my new favourite). Please don't think this will be a sales pitch as it's far from it. I didn't buy anything as I have ZERO spare funds in the summer holidays. I didn't feel pressurised to at all but I will be back in September to purchase a couple of my favourites from the range. The girls are full of helpful tips such as how you can double up on certain products to save time and I was even given instructions on how to create a DIY deluxe hair treatment which I can't wait to try.


My readers will also be treated to a deluxe (that means it comes in a fancy glass pot - swoon!) sample of Elizabeth Arden foundation which will have been colour-matched exactly to your skin using a fancy machine that reads your skin tones (whilst stocks last).

How to claim your FREE Elizabeth Arden Oxygen Facial at Boots, Eldon Square


My readers can claim a FREE Elizabeth Arden Oxygen Facial, a tailored skincare prescription with advice & a deluxe sample of foundation which has been perfectly matched to your skin tone. All you need to do is:-

Call: 0191 232 9844 ext 559
Email: bootsnewcastle@gmail.com
or Pop in: during opening hours to book an appointment

Mention 'Life As Mrs R Oxygen Facial Offer' when booking your complimentary appointment. Appointments are available from Monday 15th August - 30th September 2016. Normal opening hours are: 8am - 8pm Monday-Friday, 8am-7pm Saturday and 11am-5pm Sunday.

As a bonus offer, any reader who books this offer and makes a purchase from Elizabeth Arden in Boots on the day of their facial will be entered into a prize draw to win a luxury Elizabeth Arden gift £50+

Let me know if you book and how you find your exclusive pampering session. 

Book yourself some 'me time' - as it's complimentary, you have no excuse!


Terms and conditions: One complimentary Elizabeth Arden Facial per person. Subject to availability. Offer must be pre-booked and you must mention 'Life As Mrs R Oxygen Facial Offer' when booking. No purchase necessary. Offer available from Monday 15th August 2016 - 30th September 2016. Offer is valid at the Elizabeth Arden counter in Boots Eldon Square (Newcastle) only and not available with any other offer. Deluxe foundation sample available whilst stocks last. 

Prize Draw: You will be entered into a prize draw to win a luxury Elizabeth Arden gift if you make a purchase from Elizabeth Arden, Boots Eldon Square on the day of your facial. One winner will be randomly selected from all valid entries on 1st October 2016. Winner must be able to collect their prize in person from Boots Eldon Square. 
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Sunday, 7 August 2016

You only have one life - Make sure you live it


With all the tragedies that are happening in the world at the moment, it makes you realise just how precious life is. I am in the school of thought that I will not let the fear of Terrorism stop me from doing anything. We live in the UK and have been on the highest terror alert for years now. I am just as likely (some would say more likely) to be hit by an act of terrorism somewhere like the MetroCentre than I would be travelling by plane to another country. I refuse to let the threat of terrorism take over life and stop me from living mine how I want to. If anything, the neverending news reports of the awful atrocities that seem to happen daily now actually push me more than ever to make the most of every single day.

You only have one life - make sure you live it - Angel of the North
Visiting the Angel of the North

So I have a huge bucket list in my head of places we want to go or visit. Some are pretty local (like visiting the Angel of the North which we managed earlier this year) and others are more far flung (like visiting Havana which we have planned for next year).

As a grown up, time flies quicker than you would imagine. I mean it doesn't seem like two minutes ago I was waiting for my GCSE results - how can that be more than half my life ago?? It is SO easy to just watch the years go by and to not visit the places you'd like to. Time & money are restrictive and the biggest reason I haven't ticked more things from my list but with a bit of savvy planning, I am slowly getting there.

Our Plan  To Conquer Our Bucket List

At the beginning of the year, as a family we sit down and think about what we'd REALLY like to tick from our bucket list that year. So last year, Harry was learning about the Stoneage and that prompted us to plan a visit to Stonehenge. This year, he has been learning about the Loch Ness Monster which meant that Loch Ness seemed like an obvious choice. Other places haven't been so planned but if we are near somewhere on our list we'll always make an effort to visit (for example when we visited Whitby Abbey last year during a trip to Scarborough or when we paid the Houses of Parliament a visit when in London). 

You only have one life - make sure you live it - Stonehenge
Visiting Stonehenge

There are many places around the world I would love to visit - Iceland, Thailand and Italy being top of the list. We have managed a trip to Cuba next year to celebrate our 10th wedding anniversary, but on the most part, our far-flung destinations will have to wait until we are in a better position to pay for trips like this. 

You only have one life - make sure you live it - Whitby Abbey
Visiting Whitby Abbey

I would say however, don't let money, time or distance put you off making plans today. Seize the day and start making a list of places you'd like to visit in the UK TONIGHT. Then make a real conscious effort to visit a couple every year, otherwise, another 10 years may have passed by without you realising it. The summer holidays are the perfect time for bucket list adventures - we are visiting a few places that have been on our list for a while - Loch Ness being the main one but we also hope to take a family boat trip to the Farnes which is something that has been on our list FOREVER. 

You only have one life - make sure you live it - Houses of Parliament
Visiting the Houses of Parliament

Next year, we have Havana on our list and I would like to add somewhere from the UK from our list too but we'll decide later in the year where that's going to be :D


Let me know where's next on your bucket list and when you plan to visit. 


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Wednesday, 3 August 2016

Weigh in No 4

So my last weigh in post was 24th May! YIKES! That was a while ago. We couldn't put it off any longer and headed to get weighed again yesterday and yeah........


I'm now down to 15st 9lb from my original 16st 13 lb in April which means I have now up to 18lb loss (another 3 lb). I know it's not huge but as I say, a loss is still a loss. Ever since our holiday we have kind of lost our way a bit. I am so pleased that we haven't gone back to our old habits though and the fact that I haven't put any weight on whilst enjoying various holidays and trips away I think is proof that this kind of living is going to be sustainable.

On holiday we feasted like Kings and consumed A LOT of Cava bit we also walked for miles, swam, played tennis and ordered a fair bit of seafood over stodgier pasta.


During our staycations and holidays in the UK this month, again we have walked a lot (even climbed a huge hill) but have indulged in cakes and treats too. It's definitely all about balance. Before I would have just had the chocolate cake, where as now I know I need to do a bit of exercise in order to earn it.

At home, we have mostly been cooking from scratch using recipes from our weekly Gousto box. Evening meals are generally around the 700 kcal mark now.

Another big change that's here to stay is that we no longer buy fizzy pop for home. Don't get me wrong, I am partial to a Pepsi when we're in a restaurant still but at home it's water all the way. We always have a huge jug of chilled water in our fridge that keeps us going.

I'm not going to really put any pressure on myself to lose any weight this month, I just want to keep doing what I'm doing and enjoy summer. We'll still be going for long family walks, we'll still be drinking lots of water and cooking from scratch but I'll also be enjoying a few treats and BBQs along the way too.

Then in September once the kids are back to school, Steve and I are both going to really knuckle down and increase our exercise regime. We'll be joining our local gym and spending our days off there and hopefully our weight loss will pick up speed before we hit Christmas (where I absolutely will not be denying myself any loveliness).





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