Summer At Tiffanys

When I saw that Karen Swan was releasing another book in time for summer, I almost pee’d my few months ago! It has been a long countdown to July 2nd and the release of Summer At Tiffany’s, the sequel to Christmas At Tiffany’s (the first book by Karen that I read!).

I was so excited when I picked up my copy on Friday that I wanted to start reading right away, but as it was my night with Matt, I put it to one side and decided I would take it with me to my hair appointment the following morning.  So as I relaxed into the chair whilst my amazing hairdresser did her work, I sunk straight back into Cassie and Henry’s world like I had never left.

I am not sure if you all are the same, but I often struggle in the first couple of chapters to get into a book, but this time round there was none of that, being flung straight into a medical emergency, secrets and then Henry leaving and LUKE coming back, all in the 2.5hrs at the hairdressers, I was hooked. In fact, having to stop reading for the rest of the day actually almost nearly killed me! So as soon as the chance came on Sunday to get my nose back in the book, I was straight on it. I read solidly for probably 2 hours and i felt all the highs and all the lows that Cassie was going through, Karen’s writing is fantastic and creates a way to make sure you relate to the characters and feel like you have a connection with them. So when Germ came onto the scene I was torn between giving her a chance like Cassie or hating her because I love Suzy so much, don’t even get me started on Amber!

I loved the way that Henry sent Cassie a list for Cornwall and that jump, oh boy how sympbolic was that! I wont spoil with you how the story went or how it ended or even the fact that if anything reading it 72hours is making me want an further sequel and I am gagging for christmas to come in the hope that Karen is releasing another book and I make actually properly pee my pants if it is a sequel to any of her previous books!

I am so pleased I stumbled across her books a few years ago, I have well and truly found my favourite author! So I suggest ALL of you head out to your local book store and get your hands on a copy of Summer At Tiffany’s, it really will make your summer!

summer at tiffanys

Love

Emma

p.s. You can follow Karen on twitterPinterest and Facebook

Advertisements

Yummy French Toast!

As usual I did quite a bit of research on both Vegas & San Francisco before we went on holiday and there was 1 place in San Francisco that kept cropping up in blog after blog and it was Boudin. One blogger that I have been following for some time seemed to really enjoy it & she is a lovely lady so I knew she wouldn’t steer me in the wrong direction!

When we were in San Francisco, it got to Wednesday and I genuinely didn’t think we would get to have dinner there. I decided that I was ok with that and would mean that I would just have to come back. However I was really happy when Matt suggested having a big breakfast there on Thursday before cycling over the bridge! So we got up early on the Thursday got the Muni Bus down to fisherman’s wharf & headed over to Boudin.

I Love The Sign

I Love The Sign

As soon as I looked at what was on offer I knew I wanted to try the French Toast with seasonal fruit, Matt ordered a egg & bacon sandwich and we were told to wait at the end and our name would be called when our food was ready. So as there was also a bit of a shop to look around we had a browse! There were so many cute little bits, Matt saw a lot of chutneys and jams but because we weren’t sure if we could take them home we had to leave them there. Here are a few cute bits that I liked the look of:

My name was called and we took a seat outside, both choices looked great, personally I think mine was more appealing, what do you think?

I took the first bite and I think my exact words were “Oh My God, this is so good!’ I ate the lot! I wasn’t sure what to expect with sourdough bread, but it was so yummy! Matt really enjoyed his sandwich too and polished off the lot! It definitely filled me up! We looked round at what others had ordered  (I often like to see what I could have had!) And there was a couple eating a chowder of some description out of a sourdough bread bowl. It look steaming hot and really yummy, I do wish we could have had lunch or dinner there, but it wasn’t meant to be! Maybe if we have a return visit we can try some more that they have to offer!

If you are planning a visit to San Francisco, as well as Pacific Catch make sure Boudins is on your list of places to eat, you won’t regret it!

Love

Emma

New Favourite?!

Anyone who knows me is going to read this and think “has she lost her mind?!” BUT I am going to put it out there anyway, I think San Francisco has taken the Number 1 spot as my favourite US City! I know, NYC has always been top choice, but there was something about San Francisco that just made me really relax and enjoy it. It may have been the Pacific Sea air, the relaxed atmosphere or just the kindness of everyone that we met, but it definitely made its way into my heart. So I thought, just like with Vegas, that I would share with you a few things that we got up to!

We stayed at the Chelsea Motor Inn, which is on the corner of Lombard & Fillmore Street. I chose this location mainly because of the price and the fact that when I was looking to book it said there was free parking and we were potentially going to rent a car! Well I am glad I made the choice, the rooms were spacious and we had a great view of the bridge from our room. There have been a lot of reviews on Trip Advisor about the noise from the street, we stayed mid week, but didn’t hear a thing!

Both Matt & I are not always ones for eating at ‘regular’ resturants and like to try out where the locals eat, so on our first day whilst waiting for the Muni (best way to get around town by the way $2.25 for a ticket that lasts 90mins!), a restaurant caught my eye called Pacific Catch and one a bit further down called Noah’s New York Bagel’s, I kept a mental note and the following morning, whilst Matt was still snoozing, I did a bit of research on yelp & trip advisor to see if they were any good and we weren’t disappointed! We had a breakfast bagel in Noah’s one morning and it was a little bit of New York in San Francisco – warmed my heart a little! Now Pacific Catch, that’s a different kettle of fish entirely. We were sat, unsure where to eat, we didn’t want to go back to Union Square or Fisherman’s Wharf we wanted to stay local so I reminded Matt about the restaurant I saw earlier that week and decided we would head down there. We arrived at 6.30pm on a Wednesday and it was already booming, the few tables outside were full, the tables inside were almost full, the phone was ringing off the hook! We took a seat at the counter opposite the very open kitchen and had a browse through the menu. Watching the chef’s hard at work just fueled my hunger & trying to work out what they were cooking against the menu was great fun and looking at the food being produced we were expecting to pay A LOT more than we did! We had the Cabo Calamari for starters then for mains I had the Thai Coconut Shrimp and Matt had the 3 Taco Platter, the food was incredible the service was faultless. Just sat at the counter watching the chef’s and all the locals coming in to pick up their take-away’s and having a chatter with all the staff just showed how popular it really is! If nothing else in San Francisco, eat at Pacific Catch at least once! I do have another recommendation…..but I am going to save that for later!

If you fancy a nice walk and to get to see the scenery then head down to The Ferry Building Marketplace ideally on a Tuesday or Thursday, have a mooch round the farmers market first then head inside. Once you have had some free testers and maybe even some ice-cream, go back out side and turn right & start walking towards Pier 39! The views of Coit Tower and looking out at the bay is lovely, we just took our time and enjoyed a nice walk. When you reach Pier 39, its great to have a look round and look in some unique shops maybe have a corn dog or a churro. Don’t forget those cute Sea Lions, they are noisy and a bit smelly, but when you see them all curled up with each other they look so cute!

BUT I think I had the most fun on the day we cycled over the Golden Gate Bridge, the day was lovely and warm and it made the bike ride even easier! We rented our bikes from Blazing Saddles and headed off along the bay, we stopped took plenty of pictures then headed up a hill to make a start on the trek over the Bridge! We stopped a couple of times whilst cycling across to take photo’s, when we hit Vista Point we headed down the hill into the bay then back another GIANT hill. You start to cycle through a really cute seafront neighbourhood into Sausalito, we took a break and when you looked back at the houses set into the hills it reminded me a bit of Devon especially with the sun beaming down on my back. Sausalito is such a cute, quaint little town and reminded me very much of Nashville in Indiana. We had the best ice-cream there at Lapperts – make sure you take a visit and have the Cookie Monster flavour.

There is plenty more that I could share with you, but I think that is enough for now. Feel free to drop me a message if you want any more info or have any questions, I would be more than happy to share with you all!

Love

Emma

xxxx

 

Hair, Hair, Hair

I have just come back from a hair appointment at Kate Preston Hair & Beauty, who are my regular hairdressers, but I just felt compelled to share with you how great they are!

Kate has been cutting & colouring my hair now for quite sometime so I was extremely pleased for them all when Kate told me earlier this year that they had been nominated for The English Hair & Beauty Awards, it has been a long time coming and they definitely deserved the recognition! It was great to hear that they were named one of  the Top Five Hair Salon’s in the South East.

Today, I was booked in for the KP Colour Me Package which I found on their website http://www.katepreston.co.uk for £79 you get all of the following:

  • Full consultation & skin test.
  • Cut & Design or Re-design service
  • Any Colour Service
  • Colour lock treatment with relaxing head massage.
  • Colour safe shampoo & conditioner
  • Glossing refresh and treatment

This is a complete bargain, as I would usually pay £80 for a cut an colour so to have all of the above for £1 less, you cant say no, the products that I came away with is worth £27 alone! This isnt the only package they do either, they have ones especially for students & teens and also The Queen Bee Package, it looks fantastic and definately something that I want to look at doing.

As well as hair they also offer beauty services anything from a file and polish to spray tans to bridal makeup! Its all really reasonably priced and although I have never used their beauty services, I have never heard any complaints in the salon!

I know this is a quick post, but I just wanted to get something out there and to all out Hampshire Ladies, give them a call and book yourself in for a treat I can promise you that you wont be disappointed and if you recommend a friend you get £10 off your next appointment as well as your friend!

Keep up the great work ladies – cant wait for my next appointment!

20150414_210147

Made Up To The Nines

One of the things on my bucket list is to have my make up done at a make up counter and learn what is the right make up for me. Just before Christmas I was doing a bit of research and asking friends and girls at work what make up counter they have found is best, it was a toss up between Benefit and MAC.

I decided to go with MAC, they are expensive, but I felt it was well worth the money. I booked myself in for a 90 minute make-up lesson. I was really overwhelmed when I booked myself in, all the girls that work on the counter were very “made up” and I felt really out of place, so to say I had nerves when I went set off in the car last weekend is an under statement.

When I arrived at the local shopping centre, I decided to take a before shot…..no make up!

look at my bare face!

look at my bare face!

I headed into the department store where the MAC counter is and spoke to one of the lovely assistants who advised Libby would be with me shortly and to browse around, now as someone who has no real clue about make up, I was looking aimlessly. Thankfully Libby came and introduced herself shortly afterwards and completely put me at ease, we spoke about what I would like to learn and what I already know and I explained that this is all part of my blog and things I want to do before I turn 30!

I am not sure if they do this all the time, but Libby explained that she would do half of my face and I would do the other. As soon as she said that my face must have dropped as inside I was thinking ‘nooooo’, but straight away Libby said she would help me and that it isn’t as hard as I think!

So we spoke through foundation and worked out the best one for me, initially I said I didn’t want anything that was too obvious, but the mineral foundation they didn’t have in my shade, so we tried studio sculpt to see if the shading matched and actually it matched my skin really well!

My Shade Is NW15

My Shade Is NW15

I was then shown how to use concealer and eye primer and a prep and prime powder to put on top of my face, which I have learnt will stop my make up moving! Favourite thing about this is the glittery lid it comes with!

20150310_201559

Then we moved onto eyes, probably the one part of my face that always has make up on, either mascara or some eye liner. The 2 things I wanted to take away from my session was what colour suits me the most and also how to apply liquid eyeliner! Libby recommended purple to bring out my green eyes and she asked if I would prefer a palette or seperate eye shadows. I definitely love a palette and already have one from Barry M, so I was recommended one from their new range by Isabel and Ruben Toledo. The palette is called Violetwink and has 6 colours in there, they also have 2 others Moodyblu & Bellgreens. The colours are lovely & the 1 thing I have taken away is that MAC products are so highly pigmented you don’t need to use as much of it, so it lasts longer. Which is great especially considering the products aren’t cheap.

I Love The Design

I Love The Design

Perfect For Day Time Or A Night Out

Perfect For Day Time Or A Night Out

Finally it was eyeliner and then mascara and I am a sucker for small brushes to make my lashes more defined, so we picked out Studio Sculpt! Learning my eye liner wasn’t as hard as I imagined it would be and I think  know that I would be comfortable in applying it myself now.

I am not sure if you have seen, but MAC do face charts and I have since become quite obsessed with them especially as I now have my own!

 

Left Is Day Eye & Right Is Night Eye!

Left Is Day Eye & Right Is Night Eye!

Here is the finished product! For anyone that is going to do this, please remember that you will look different when you leave the department store & if your like me and don’t wear a lot of make up it will be a shock to the system but worth it!

Before I Left The MAC Counter

Before I Left The MAC Counter

Before & After

Before & After

To Vlog Or Not To Vlog?!

One of my best friends is a vlogger and a bloomin’ good one too! I envy how easy she finds talking to the camera and how great she is with it too. She has over 6,500 subscribers and most of her videos have had over 5,00 views some even hitting over 30,000! When she set up her channel, I remember it mainly being about cruelty free animal products, it has now grown into beauty & homeware hauls, reviews, lifestyle topics and even some tutorials. Here are some links to some of my favourite video’s that she has uploaded!

 http://youtu.be/4sACkccv7sM

http://youtu.be/EoqMBRT3oT8

http://youtu.be/0ngYe–UviY

Now, about a year ago I thought about maybe starting up a channel to go alongside my blog and be a way to actually share my experiences with you, as although reading and looking at photo’s is just as fun sometimes actually seeing something makes it ten times better. I scrapped this idea when I remembered that I don’t always wear make-up sometimes I have my PCOS beard going on or I haven’t done my hair. Then just before Christmas I changed my mind and I was determined to start a channel and sod the fact I haven’t made myself up, but something is always holding me back. I really want to share my experiences with you, but it is my own insecurities that are holding me back, but I can promise you that one day I will surprise you and I will announce that we have a channel!

In the meantime, please subscribe to Loved By Steph on YouTube and she will keep you entertained with new video’s every week!

Love

Emma xxx