Sunday, 22 May 2016

Year to happiness experiment

Most of my adult life I have been conservative with money, I've avoided doing so many amazing things because I've let myself think too much about the price and decided I best not. I've envied other people for taking life by the horns and really living it. When I really think about it, where has being this careful with my money got me? I'm not really any better off after all this time for having been so conservative, after saying no for so many years I just have a lot of regrets of all the trips, festivals and holidays I never did, all the experiences I missed out on. Life is short and I'm beginning to feel like I've spent most of mine living inside a cocoon waiting for the miracle day when I could spread my wings. Over the last few years I have become more and more depressed and have probably reached an all time low.

Well I've waited long enough, and I've decided to launch an experiment. I want to see if one year of saying yes, chasing my dreams harder than before and following some scientific based research into what makes people happy, will make me happier. A year where I say yes more and will actively seek out new experiences, and my blog will be at the centre of it all.
I want all of my wonderful readers old and new to comment and suggest things for me to do and follow me on my journey.

I've been watching a lot of documentaries about happiness and life longevity and have researched how a person's happiness really can make them live longer. It's also been proven money doesn't make you happy so it begs the question why have I made myself unhappy saving money and saying no to all the things I've wanted to do because they cost too much? My experiment is going to really encompass all of those questions and statements and I'll see where I end up in a years time, will I be happier or just broke and still unhappy?

I want you guys to get involved, if you know of something cool in your area or something that you think would be amazing for me to do then I want to hear about it! If you're another blogger that would love me to come and visit you and do some sort of collaboration then I want you to get in touch.

Help me to make this the best year ever and follow along with my journey.

Wednesday, 16 March 2016

A Spring Sunday

New Look, Levi, Michelle Louise Love
New Look, Levi jeans, Michelle Louise Love

After months of cold weather and an especially cold snap in January and February it was nice to see some clear blue skies and sunshine and the feeling of wanting to break free of all those layers is inevitable. We were off out for Sunday breakfast so I got a chance to wear my newest purchase from New Look, this beautiful top is so soft and has a cute little turtle neck and is slit up to the waistband. It comes in black as well which is on sale at the moment for £6, such a bargain! I teamed it with a dark blue pair of jeans and my Carvella boots and went off to enjoy the sunshine.

Sunday, 14 February 2016

Luxemme Swing Dress

Isn't this Luxemme dress so pretty? If asked I would never think to say I like khaki green, yet I seem to have quite a lot of items in this colour, so I must like it after all. This dress caught my eye because it's got such a relaxed and pretty style, it does just what it says and swings about effortlessly. It's a perfect holiday dress because it's so light and thin and keeps your shoulders completely free from straps and sleeves.
Luxemme Elayna Swing Dress, Michelle Louise Love

I teamed it with black and gold to create a grungy look, but I can't wait to wear it in the summer with a pair of brown wedges or some pretty gold sandals. This will most definitely make it into my suitcase this year.

Luxemme Elayna Swing Dress, Michelle Louise Love

Thursday, 4 February 2016

Bake 'n' Grape Restaurant Chelmsford

Bake 'n' Grape opened under a year ago in the spot Strada used to stand on Baddow Road. The entrance off of the street is through an archway between the buildings that leads into a wonderful courtyard with fairy lights strung over head and an outside bar that's covered up waiting for summer to come around so it can assume it's starring role. I can dream of the warm balmy summer evenings spent in the courtyard with the soft glow coming from above as the darkness descends, and wonderful music being played from the outdoor speakers.

Bake n Grape, Essex, Chelmsford

Upon entering the restaurant you are greeted by the cosy ambience, the lighting was low and the colour palette is rich and warm creating a relaxed atmosphere. The ground floor has a variety of seating arrangements making it as easy to hang out on the sofa and have a coffee as well as have an evening meal at one of the dining tables.

Bake n Grape, Chelmsford

The reason I was so delighted to eat at this restaurant is because of the amount of vegetarian and vegan choices on their menu. In most establishments you will be lucky if there is one vegetarian option and it's usually an onion and goat's cheese tart!
I was so impressed with the menu on offer at Bake n Grape I asked Chris Windram, one of the proprietors of the restaurant why they have such a wide selection of veggie and vegan food.

ML: What was the driving force behind the well rounded menu you feature, why was it important to not only include vegetarian dishes but also vegan options?

CW: Whilst neither I nor my co-founder Martin are vegans or vegetarians, we do know a lot of people who are.  We appreciate how difficult it can be to find vegan/vegetarian food, and that there is only so much packet-originated nut-roast one human being can eat!  The same extended to coeliacs or those with other gluten intolerances.

Having been open for a few months now, and having found our footing, we have been able to evolve our menu to start to encompass the breadth of offerings that we always planned.  This is largely achievable by us cooking all of our dishes fresh (and thus we can tweak/add/substitute/remove ingredients), and to the skills of our hard-working chefs.

ML: Where did the inspiration come from for the beautiful décor for the restaurant and bar area?

CW: We wanted to create somewhere that we would want to go if we were customers.  We wanted somewhere warm and inviting.  Many restaurants tend to be quite masculine, and we were looking for our décor to strike-a-balance.  We were lucky to find this lovely building, and have a great landlord.  He allowed us to follow our vision and to change the building to what it is now.  Once we start getting some summer sun, the courtyard should also come into its own.  We will start using our outside bar, and it should be a lovely area for people to enjoy a drink and/or some food.

ML: Do you have any new and exciting menu changes coming up in 2016?

CW: We have just taken on a new head chef, who will continue the high standards set by the previous and evolve them further. I am certain that we will be offering a number of new dishes that will be a little different from the norm, and continuing to cover the bases of many diets.

Bake n Grape, chelmsford, Essex, food

ML: What hopes do you have for the business for the coming year?

CW: Relatively speaking we are still a new business.  Most of our customers are very complimentary of our offering, and we have a good number of regulars.  As a business owner it is, of course, my hope that more people come to learn of us, and discover that we make a great destination for weekday dining and not just for weekends.

Chunky chips, bake n grape, chelmsford

The food my partner and I ordered was all stunning, the triple cooked chips were huge and crispy and despite being full up I just couldn't leave a single one behind. My main of roasted eggplant (aubergine for us Brits) was so delicious. It tasted more like it had been cooked on charcoal rather than baked which added so much flavour, it was topped with lots of shredded veggies that were lovely and crisp. My other half enjoyed his coconut vegetable curry, having eaten that before myself I also know it it very tasty, again all of the veg tasted char-grilled which adds another dimension to the dish and really amps up the flavour, as veggie/vegans we didn't feel like we were having to 'make do' with what was on the menu. We actually had choice of lovely flavourful healthy food which is such a treat considering that I usually only have one option on a menu suitable for me and quite often I have to ask for them to alter it as well.

I really commend Bake 'n' Grape for their wonderful menu, I hope they are leading the way for other Chelmsford restaurants to start broadening their menu to include more vegan options to keep up with the demand for this cruelty free way of eating.

Bake 'n' Grape
12 Baddow Road
01245 807070

Tuesday, 2 February 2016

MAC Kinda Sexy | the perfect nude

My ever growing collection of MAC lipsticks has many colours but is definitely dominated by neutrals and pinks. I have found a deep love of matte lipsticks that I never thought possible, I like the way they look and their staying power is immense even after eating and drinking.

Nudes are easy to wear and look classy and classic, and I just had to share this one with you. Kinda Sexy is a beautiful shade, not too dark, more of a camel colour if you will.

Michelle Louise Love, MAC kinda sexy

I've had the lipstick for a little while but last weekend was the first time I'd worn it, and now it's a fixture in my handbag. 

Michelle Louise Love, MAC kinda sexy lipstick

What's your favourite shade of lipstick? I always think I've found my favourite and then try out a new one and fall in love all over again. Forever searching for my soul mate I guess, but at least it's fun trying.

MAC kinda sexy, Michelle Louise Love

Tuesday, 26 January 2016

Lush Valentines Event 2016

Lush Valentines Collection 2016

It's that time of year where everything turns all hearts and flowers because Valentines day is creeping around the corner. I was invited along to Lush to see their new Valentines range, and test some of the bits out.

This years theme for the Spring lines coming out is Alice in Wonderland, you can truly see that with these adorable rose shaped soaps which true to the form of the Queen's roses being painted red, the colour wears off the more you use it and they eventually turn white. Such a cute and thoughtful touch, which I really loved.

Roses All The Way
Roses All The Way
Roses All The Way, Lush, Valentines Day

The lover lamp bath bomb is so pretty, it erupts into a really fierce fizz in the water and turns it a soft milky white. As the bath bomb dissolves away it fills the tub with lots of little pink hearts which is perfect for creating a romantic valentines bath. This bomb is fragranced with orange oil and cocoa butter to make you smell like you're bathing in chocolate.

Lover Lamp bath bomb
Lush bloggers event
Lover Lamp Bath Bomb, Valentines Day 2016

Prince Charming shower cream was my absolute favourite product from the collection. Not only is it coloured a girlie hot pink, but it smells divine. It contains pomegranate juice and marshmallow root, I think it smells just like Turkish Delight and what could be better than that?

Prince Charming Shower Cream, Lush
Prince Charming Shower Cream, Lush, Valentines

The unicorn Horn bubble bar is back for another year, but if you want this one you will have to move quickly because it's selling like hot cakes.

The Kiss lip scrub is full of sweet and salty pleasure as this formula contain salt as well as sugar and smells beautiful, oh and it's also pink!
The Kiss lip gloss has the same delicious fragrance and contains lots of beautiful nourishing ingredients. Over the coming months you will see all of the Lush balms and glosses head away from the non recycle-able metal tin packaging into plastic tubes that are better for the environment.

The Kiss Lip Scrub

This year the are five beautifully packaged gift boxes in the range, something to suit all budgets so make sure you start leaving hints for the one you have your eye on ;)

Lush Valentines collection 2016
Lush Valentines collection 2016
Lush Valentines collection 2016
Lush Valentines collection 2016

To round up the evening we all got to make our own bubble bar, which is enjoyable, if a little frustrating because I can never make them look as good as the real deal.

Making Lush bubble bars
Making Lush bubble bars
Making Lush bubble bars

I can't wait to use my own handmade bubble bar, even if I did manage to squash it slightly on the way home so it's a little less heart shaped and a little more wonky.

Making Lush bubble bars

I would like to thank Wendy and her wonderful team at Lush Chelmsford for their hospitality and putting on another wonderful event for us.

Tuesday, 12 January 2016

Essie Eternal Optimist | The perfect classic nude

If you are a follower of my blog you will already know I love Essie nail polish, for its £8 price tag it is wonderful quality that provides a beautiful smooth high shine finish. They also have fantastic staying power, which is perfect for those of us who don't intend on having to re-paint their nails every couple of days, once a week or more is just right for me.

Essie Eternal Optimist

I often scour the shelves of Boots looking for new shades that take my fancy and recently I stumbled across Eternal Optimist. It's a gorgeous shade, a cross between a taupe nude with a dusky rose hue depending on how you look at it. I would class it as a very classic classy colour, the sort of shade that doesn't go out of fashion and you imagine adorns the nails of ladies who lunch.

Essie Eternal Optimist

I have been wearing it for over a week now and I've had lots of compliments on it, not only on the shade itself but also on how shiny it it. People keep asking if it's shellac because of the high shine finish.

Essie Eternal Optimist

I am so in love with this colour that I sporadically catch sight of my nails and think to myself 'they look pretty'.

Essie Eternal Optimist

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