Thursday, 26 November 2015

Hostess with the mostess

With all the entertaining we do around Christmas time I thought I'd do a round up of some great items to keep things looking extra special this festive season.

1. Noel table runner from Marks & Spencer £19.50 this runner would look lovely down the centre of the table either over a plain white table cloth or on its own if you have a lovely wooden table. Perfect to keep things simple on a buffet table if you have having an open house or a festive get together.

2. Silver rope napkin rings from Marks & Spencer £15.00 another beauty from M&S, these beautiful silver napkin rings would look stunning with the contrast of red napkins, or you could go with a frosty theme and team them with white or silver napkins and frosted foliage.

3. Metal Trivet from H&M home £7.99 this gorgeous snowflake shaped trivet would look lovely sitting in the middle of your table awaiting a hot casserole dish, surround it with plenty of tealights to really set the mood for your dinner party.

4. Glass glitter swirl placemats, Star by Julien Macdonald from Debenhams £19.20 if monochrome is your thing then these beautiful place mats are definitely for you. They would look stunning against a white tablecloth, teamed with crisp white plates and black and silver accessories. This would most certainly make your dinner party pop.

5. Snowman stacking mugs from Dunelm £9.99 these mugs are super cute for the holiday season, keep them out by a hot chocolate station throughout Christmas so people can help themself to a warming drink.

Tuesday, 24 November 2015

Christmas Street at Intu Lakeside

Christmas is most definitely creeping up on us, the shops have all donned their Christmas apparel and Intu Lakeside is no exception. This year they are debuting their new Christmas street which is located outside the ground floor Marks and Spencer food hall, by car park 9. The normally bare expanse of space has been given a Christmas makeover and will be lighting up the faces of children throughout the festive period (and maybe the face of the odd adult too!)

Christmas Intu Lakeside
Intu Lakeside Christmas street

The area is full of kiddie rides and German market style food stalls, which makes it the perfect place to stop off for a festive snack before your Christmas shopping commences. You can soak up the Christmas atmosphere whilst enjoying a cup of mulled wine, or hot chocolate for the little ones which they can personalise by adding a variety of flavoured syrups and toppings to. Then they can run off and play in the snow with Elsa and Olaf in the Frozen snow globe!

Giant Frozen Snow Globe
Lakeside shopping centre Christmas, Michelle Louise Love

To save yourself the hassle of long queues to visit Santa in his grotto, you can now book your time slot online. This is a godsend for those with small children who don't appreciate waiting in line for ages before getting to meet the big guy to tell him what they want under their tree this Christmas. There are even some great little additions in the grotto halls to play before meeting Santa. A special little device that scans you to see if you've been naughty or nice and sends the results electronically off to Santa will keep kids and adults alike occupied until it's their turn to go in, along with a little machine to send your Christmas wishes off to the north pole.

Intu Lakeside Christmas Grotto

The grotto is really interactive, so different from the garden sheds of my childhood! Upon entering the grotto you will be greeted by lovely elves who really immerse you into the Christmas story and are clearly all about making sure the kids leave with a smile on their face and belief in their heart. I think that our job as adults is to make Christmas magic for kiddies for the few short years of childhood and that is truly at the heart of the staff here at the Christmas Street.

Michelle Louise Love, Christmas
Intu Lakeside Christmas Grotto
Intu Lakeside Christmas Street
Intu Lakeside Christmas Street
Intu Lakeside Christmas Street

Sweet treats are a plenty, you can choose from chocolate covered mallow to gingerbread men as big as your head and all sorts in-between. Perfect stocking fillers or teacher gifts or maybe even something nice for when you get home and put your feet up with a cuppa after all the shopping you've done.

Christmas, Michelle Louise Love

Intu Lakeside Christmas Street

The Christmas street is open daily until Christmas Eve, as is the Grotto and tickets are £6 per child. More info can be found on the Intu website here.

I may be an adult but I enjoyed my trip to the fab festive area and think it's worth a look when you next head to Lakeside.

Saturday, 10 October 2015

5 Reasons to love Autumn | Blogtober

We all know Autumn is my favourite month, but here's 5 reasons you should love it too:

1. Cosy jumpers, socks, scarves, hats. Basically cosy anything! It's the nicest feeling to put on a piece of clothing that is toasty and warm from the drier.

River Island

2. Boots, the shops are filled with them and it is now acceptable to don a pair of boots every day.

River Island

3. Nights snuggled by a fire or candle light with a big old glass of pinot noir (because red wine is for winter)

4. Walks in the woods to admire the beautiful red and orange leaves and to collect pine cones.

5. Hot chocolate, hot toddy, hot apple cider, basically this time of year is a great excuse for drinking (and eating) warming comforting goodies. Check out some of the great recipes below for inspiration

Caramel coffee toddy
Hot buttered jamie
Chai hot toddy
Salted caramel hot chocolate

Friday, 9 October 2015

Spiced Hot Chocolate | Blogtober

Autumn is the start of hot chocolate season, it's cool outside so it's perfectly acceptable to want to have a comforting hot drink every hour or so right?

When I come home from work in the afternoon on a chilly, rainy day there is nothing better than making a lovely big cup of cocoa and settling down on the sofa to watch a film until dinner time.

Spiced Hot Chocolate

This is one I whipped up the other day, adding spices to make it more Autumnal:

Hot chocolate and milk per instructions, 2 star anise, 3 caradamom pods split open, 1/4 teaspoon of cinnamon, pop it all in a jug and microwave until hot then strain before drinking.

Spiced Hot Chocolate

The spices make it so warming and extra tasty!

Thursday, 8 October 2015

My Favourite Everyday Wear MAC lipsticks | Blogtober

MAC brave, creme cup, hot gossip, snob

I have quite a few MAC lipsticks, I love them so much and always have loads on my ever grwoing wish list. But here are the 4 that I reach for on an every day basis, at least one of these will be stashed in my handbag for on the go application and the rest are normally sitting on the dresser so I grab them and apply quickly before shooting out the door.

They are quite neutral shades, very easy to wear and look great with all types of make-up.

MAC brave, creme cup, hot gossip, snob
Creme cup | Brave | Hot Gossip | Snob

Creme Cup

This is such a beautiful shade and I will hands down purchase another when this one runs out, it's a great nude shade, kind of like a milky latte and is so easy to wear and makes your lips look plump and lucious. This shade is a cremesheen so leaves a lovely glossy finish so no need for gloss.


It's a slightly darker nude with a browner undertone but still has a wearable mauvy pink vibe to it, its a satin finish which is quite nice for days when you don't want as much shine. This is more of a newcomer to my collection but I have been wearing it a lot.

Hot Gossip

I've had this one for quite some time and wear it a lot, it's still not too imposing as a colour but gives much more of a "done up" look than the others because it has more plumy undertones. Again it's really easy to wear and gives a very finished look to your make-up if you don't have much colour on your eyes. This is another cremesheen so leaves a nice subtle shine.


A really pretty pale pink colour, I love this one if I have lots of eye make-up on because it really balances the look. It makes your lips appear fuller and looks very girly. This is a satin finish.

Wednesday, 7 October 2015

Movie Night | Blogtober

Sometimes you need to turn something a little ordinary into something extraordinary just by adding a few special little touches. This was true of a plain old movie night I had planned for the boyfriend and I.

Instead of lounging on the sofa as we always did, I turned the living room floor into the most comfy cosy space I possibly could by adding lots of blankets and cushions, I lit candles everywhere so for the whole night lamps and ceiling lights were banned, we enjoyed the evening by flickering candlelight.

Movie Night

I took average cinema style foods and made them a little more special, like turning hot dogs a little more gourmet with some super tasty sausages wrapped in tortillas instead of rolls and tied up in brown paper and twine. Popcorn wasn't simply popcorn, it was sumptuous and extremely naughty with lots of added chocolate and nuts served in sweet little retro boxes.

luxury popcorn
Candle lit movie night

And our soft drinks had to be served out of jars with gorgeous stripey straws, mine with a little added ice cream to make it a coke float!

Tortilla hotdog
movie night, coke float
candlelit movie, Michelle Louise Love
movie night, Michelle Louise Love

Enjoy turning some normal into something special and create a lovely memory, have a good evening everyone.

Tuesday, 6 October 2015

Apple Cider | Blogtober

Spiced Apple Cider

Autumn screams apple cider, especially mulled apple cider!

There are many recipes out there for mulled cider and you just need to tailor it to what you like.

I used:

6 cloves
4 star anise
3 cinnamon sticks
3 cups of apple juice
juice of an orange
1 cup of cider

Spiced Apple Cider, Blogtober

You pop all the ingredients into a saucepan and simmer it gently for 30 mins. Couldn't be easier! The hard part is making is look super cute.

Give it a try and go and snuggle up with a blanket and a movie and enjoy autumn!

Spiced Apple Cider
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