Sunday, 20 April 2014

Happy Easter!

Well, it arrives once again, the day we, as parents, dread.

The day our children are filled to the brim with chocolate and assorted 'E' numbers.

It's funny isn't it, how as adults we have the pull towards tradition: cook the lamb, seasonal vegetables, cake, have the family over, stress with all of your might, and sigh a big relief when visitors have gone and the children have succumbed to sleep.

It's getting as bad as Christmas Day in this family!

Having three little ones, Easter Sunday us all about them. So, I have given up the Easter dinner and now do an Easter party tea. They love it! Riddled with sweet treats and family excitement, party teas is the way to go!

Last year, I wrote a post for Britmums, Happy Post Easter, back then, my blog was called C'est La Vie, but that's all that's changed. So, enjoy the read, and you'll know exactly the way my Easter is heading!

Happy Easter folks!

Follow me on twitter @katesvie

Wednesday, 16 April 2014

Where Can I Buy An Ego?

I want one!

So many people have them these days, and I'd like to know where I can buy one! 

It's everywhere you go: work, restaurants, supermarkets, bars, social media. There are so many people sporting ego's, some bigger than others, but all fairly ugly.

I love psychology, in all forms, but the one thing that I'm interested in the most is human behaviour. We are so interesting to watch! People change their personalities to suit those around them, how appalling is that! 

Egos' are my observation of choice at the moment. They are very amusing. It's often noticed that senior members of staff in all establishments have an ego. I was shopping recently and heard a supervisor giving an assistant a verbal dressing down, which was wholly inappropriate, not only in her manner, but in location. Frequently, during the one way conversation, the supervisor repeated the fact that she was the senior. I did speak to the assistant and told her exactly how I felt about the whole scenario, which she replied had made her feel much better. I had explained to her that the only person who was made to look a fool was the supervisor herself. 

I don't want an ego that has you disrespect people.

Now, to me, it really has no relevance as to the position a person holds in a work place, every person should be treat and spoken to in a respectable manner, bar none.

In a restaurant, I witnessed a group of people who left because they had not been served as quickly as they felt they should have been- nowhere was it shown that the food would be produced in under ten minutes of being seated. The food had been ordered, and the customers left. Who did they think they were? These customers showed themselves to be arrogant and rude, nothing other. 

I don't want an ego that behaves badly like this.

Bars are a great place to watch the egos'! They attend in mass!. Really people should be charged double to enter a club, one entrance fee for themselves and another for their ego. They feel good about themselves, obviously, their dress is fabulous, the shoes; stunning, the hair and make up top notch, but the attitude stinks, and what a concern, these egos don't allow you to smile at all in bars! The speaking is done with eyes only, no expression of enjoyment or fun to be visible at all. 

I don't want an unfriendly ego.

Social media. This is a biggie. What do you see on your feed? Self promotion. It's a matter of who has the best life, best holidays, best clothes, best photos, best family, most talented children. Egos'. Everywhere. Then there's the friend requests. Putting the power into other peoples hands when you ask to friend them. How awful. Egos'.

I don't want an ego that holds power like that.

So, having thought, looked, assessed, I don't think I want to buy an ego anymore, you can keep them!

Saturday, 12 April 2014

The Joining Of Two Roses In Matrimony

The scene was set. 

The long- time- no- see family eagerly hugging, kissing and catching up on lives missed over the months. Immaculately turned out. The dresses, the jackets, the suits, the fascinators, the hats.

Sun shining in the sky, and the promise of a day of light, bright happiness.

We were ushered into the hall, draped with beautiful white voile; rows of chairs swathed in white cotton, with a pastel green bow tied elegantly at the back. 

A white runner, paving the way to the destination. To the registrar, who stood on ceremony waiting to join together in matrimony a couple who will pledge their undying love to one another.

The only difference? The groom wasn't standing at the front to accept his bride.

The door opened.

Music played soothingly.

The bride, Catherine, radiant and elegantly dressed in a beautiful ivory wedding dress, arm in arm with her father, stepped down the aisle. Her bridesmaid dressed in a stunning green gown, gingerly stepping behind the train of the wedding dress.

Arriving infront of the registrar, the bride stopped. She waited.

The door opened again.

The bride, Amy; radiant and elegantly dressed in a beautiful ivory wedding dress, arm in arm with her father, stepped down the aisle. Her bridesmaid dressed in a stunning green gown, gingerly stepping behind the train of the wedding dress.

The two brides met and locked eyes. The registrar began the ceremony.

Vows said, the reading read. The registrar announced that the two brides were joined together in matrimony.

The cacophony of applause was deafening, the eagerness of family desperate for that hug and kiss from the brides was evident.

Hugs flowed, as did the sparkling wine and nibbles, children running excitedly, the chatter getting louder. The family waited for the hall to change into the reception venue, wondering what hilarity the speeches would hold.

When the room was ready, table plans were studied. Settling down, the speeches began. Father of Amy took centre stage first, followed by father of Catherine, then sister of Catherine and sister of Amy, and finally Catherine herself.

Toasts were had during the speeches and then more nibbles were served.

The wonderful day merged into the wonderful night as darkness fell and the evening buffet was served. The music struck up, the lights dimmed and a brother of the bride sang. 

The disco then kicked in and an abundance of people filled the dance floor, mostly dominated by the children who were having a thoroughly good time.

As the disco and the evening went on, family and friends began to take their leave; hugging and kissing, thanking and promising not to leave it so long before meeting again.

Cars packing up, engines starting, disappearing into the night; hotels and motorways beckoning.

What a wonderful day.

Blue With A Touch Of Pink would like to thank Mrs Catherine Spence and Mrs Amy Spence (our sister/ sisters' in law) for such a wonderful day. We were honoured to be part of your special day and will treasure the memories forever. We wish you the very best for your future together. X


Follow me on twitter @katesvie
Give me a like at https://www.facebook.com/pages/Blue-With-A-Touch-Of-Pink/147558312086702?ref=ts&fref=ts

Thursday, 10 April 2014

What's That Smell?

So, it's that moment, you know, when you're just at the beginning of a long journey, three children shoe-horned into the back seat , the boot packed to the rafters. Bags of snacks at the feet of the passenger, and you're set. Pulling onto the motorway with no services in sight, you settle back to enjoy the ride.

It's at that point when the waft of a filled nappy creeps up your nose. 

Rolling your eyes, you hope to be able to bear it until you come to a layby. 

The smell gets stronger and you put down the window to inhale some fresh air.

The strangest thing is, all children in the back are really quite happy, which is unusual for filled nappies. Hey ho.

The truth emerges when one little one asks for a sweetie. You reach for the bag open it and BOOM the smell hits you like a brick.

It then dawns on you. Remember asking hubby to put the orange carrier bag on the left in the front of the car and the orange carrier bag on the right in the bin? Well, he was facing you, so he did right really...

Yep, the sweeties, crisps and juice are lying in the bottom of the bin, while the bag of dirty nappies are on a five hour journey with you.


Monday, 31 March 2014

The Value Of A Meal?

£54

That's all I need say to you.

That's how much the 'average' household spends per week on shopping.

I am most obviously not living in the 'average' household by any means! Also, recently I have had conversations with friends about weekly shopping bills, and between us, we are 'averaging' £100 a week (if we're lucky!)

We eat relatively healthily and regularly buy fresh fruit and veg, fresh meat and make meals from scratch.

I can't get my head around £54 a week! What is in these shopping trollies? 

If you are one of the households spending this, I would love to hear what you buy and how you manage to save...come on, let's budget!

Tweet me on @katesvie

Give me a like and join the chat on facebook https://www.facebook.com/pages/Blue-With-A-Touch-Of-Pink/147558312086702

Wednesday, 26 March 2014

Holiday Inn? Indeed!

The big debate of a place to stay in London took place between myself and my husband earlier this month. It is a huge decision, except, it was taken out of our hands.

We booked tickets to go to a big event at Wembley Stadium- the travel agent booked our hotel too. We were told we were staying at The Holiday Inn Oxford Circus. 

Having never stayed at the Holiday Inn chain of hotels, we had no idea what was in store for us, but never the less, we booked another night, directly through the hotel reservations and took the gamble.

When the big day arrived, we fought our way through the busy Kings Cross station to the extremely well organised taxi rank. Clambering into our designated taxi, we gave our hotel name to the friendly driver, and off we went.

After a ten-fifteen minute journey, we arrived in a street just off Oxford Steet- Wellbeck Road, with our hotel nicely embedded in the middle of it.

Through the swinging door, we entered a small but clean and tidy hotel reception area. A little queue was formed, so it gave us a chance to check out the bar, which was, again, small but delightful with a smattering of people enjoying tea and coffee, and looking at a generous menu of light bites.

When it was time to check in, there was a little difficulty with our reservation which was dealt with swiftly, pleasantly and successfully.

We had a little wait while the difficulty was addressed and then we were given our room card. We immediately headed there to get rid of our cases and freshen up. 

Situated on the fifth floor, the room was large, bright, airy and very clean. A quick freshen up showed us the shower gels, shampoo and conditioner, and the handy dispensers that are attached to the wall and filled regularly. The bathroom was large and extremely clean and well maintained.

There was absolutely nothing to criticise at all.

We left to explore the sights of London.

When we returned, a much welcomed package of juice, water and biscuits were waiting for us in the room. After refreshments and a swift change we were back out again to sample the nightlife in the big city.

Each time we left and re entered the hotel, the small bar was busy. A cacophony of noise erupted from groups of people thoroughly enjoying themselves!

The following morning saw us finding the restaurant located in the basement of the building. Small but quaint with a huge array of glorious food, ranging from a full English to hams and fruit, pancakes and cereal; everyone was catered for, and of course not forgetting the good selection of fruit juices and ice, tea and coffee. You want for nothing!

Our second day was our event day, so we left the hotel for a long period of time. As it was based nearer bond street tube and Baker Street tube, it was an ideal location for Madame Tussaud's and Oxford street shopping, but as we are healthy, and (relatively!) fit, we tended to walk rather than ride the tube.

We arrived back later that evening, and headed to our room, but, looking at the room service menu, decided that it would be early enough to share a bottle of wine. Sending hubby down to the bar at reception, he returned with a wonderful bottle of red and two glasses. 

Sleeping soundly, we looked forward to the delightful breakfast before checking out.

Again, the restaurant did not disappoint. It came up trumps with a breakfast as wonderful as the previous day, cakes, fruit...the whole shebang!

Our check out was very smooth and the staff incredibly pleasant.

What really tops the hotel off was; on returning home, I realised that I had left an item of my belongings: my IPad charger. Disaster! I contacted the hotel immediately, and they had found it!
It was fantastic to hear! They were happy to post the charger back to me, and I received it soon after.

What wonderful service! Both myself and my husband were overjoyed with the hotel as a whole. It was a smooth, welcoming and comfortable stay, and yes, we were disappointed to leave. We will be staying there without a doubt on our next visit to London!

Follow me on twitter @katesvie
'Like' on facebook at Blue With A Touch Of Pink.

*Disclaimer: this review is based on my experience and opinion only. I received no monetary remuneration or payment in any other manner for this review*

Need Some Stress Relief In North East England?

So,  have you ever felt the need to have a jolly good work out?

You know, hit the cardio machines full throttle and even have a potter with the weights?

Well, neither did I until I ventured through the door of the state of the art gym in Seaham Hall Serenity Spa in County Durham, England.

This five star spa hotel offers the high end of luxury in all things 'spa' from the decor to the ambience.

Having visited The Serenity Spa on numerous occasions in the past, it was time to frequent the idyllic environment in a bid for fitness and sanity combined.

Beginning in the spa (easing myself in of course), the warmth of the robe and towelled slippers (available in each locker) set the tone for the most relaxing experience. 

The poolside; decked out with chairs and loungers aplenty, all with wonderfully padded cushions with attached neck supports offers comfort in abundance, tables bestowed with Bazaar, Tatler and the likes and water with a hint of cucumber or lime if preferred makes you sigh your cares away. The soft floor and ceiling spotlights add to the calming environment, and the touch of blue lighting gives it a modern slant. The pool itself has water so warm that your muscle pain melts away in the luxury of the accompanied water jets.
If you feel the urge to take a wander around the spa area, you will find the treasures of a sauna, steam room, hydrotherapy jacuzzi, foot baths, hammam (steam room with jacuzzi inside!) a crystal therapy steam room with snail showers and a couple of plunge pools with the ice machine quietly producing the goods.

But wait! If you look closely, what's that you see outside? Oh yes... Two rather fabulous hot tubs which make for a rather spectacular experience on a clear, starry night.

The soft music is very soothing, almost hypnotic as you lie, allowing each muscle and aching bone in your body to gradually uncurl.

As you lie on those longers, and look upwards, you see a window. What is that? I noticed a few curious glances. You know the type. The wrinkled noses as people squint to work out what they're looking at. 

It's the gym.

Now, it's been a long, long time since I entered a gym and admittedly, I thought I would prefer to see the gym from the poolside, however, I did decide to venture through those wooden doors!

I'm so pleased I did. 

Enter Andrew. 

Andrew is the trainer in the gym and is the most helpful, approachable and knowledgable trainer I have ever come across. Not only did I feel completely at ease with the gym equipment immediately, but he also showed me into the weights area.
Now, I'm no cardio/weight fanatic (I always preferred swimming) but, I quickly became addicted to the whole set up, and admittedly was tempted to stay a little longer!

Having become familiar once again with the cross trainer, step machine, exercise bike and my own personal favourite; the rowing machine, I felt a need to improve my fitness and stamina! The screens on each machine read your heart rate, counted the calories you were burning and showed your progress on a variety of scenarios. Added to that, you can plug in your IPod and jog on to your own motivating tunes (even though the music in the gym area does the trick!)

Hand towels and water are at hand at all times and a bowl of fruit is readily available in case you need to refuel.

Guiding me in the general direction of the weights, I held my breath as I watched in nervous anticipation as Andrew prepared a machine. Demonstrating the method of using each machine, he got the correct weight for me and allowed me to give it a go.

Carefully, over three sessions, I experienced a full body work out. It was a brilliant introduction to the gym. Not at all intimidating, and I have been in there alone....yes, without assistance, and I have used the weight machines and the cardio machines.

It's a wonderful place in general. A good work out in the gym followed by a luxurious swim, and some spa pampering ( even a treatment or two!) and finishing in the serene Zen Lounge is just the tonic for a recuperation from stress in any form.

Go on,give it a go....you know you want to!

Follow me on twitter @katesvie
And on facebook at Blue With A Touch Of Pink

Have a peep at http://www.seaham-hall.co.uk
And go follow on twitter @SeahamHallHotel

*DISCLAIMER: I have written this review based on my own opinions entirely, I have received no monetary remuneration or payment in any other manner for writing this post.*