Thursday, 6 October 2016

Autumn Beach Trips

I grew up in Essex, and some times it pains me that the rest of the country and even some parts of the world have such a skewed impression of this beautiful county. There is a lot of class and beauty here and people don't always see that, it's not all fake tans and skimpy dresses. If you take the time to look you'll discover idyllic scenes of perfection like these stunning pastel beach huts that line the shore in Mersea Island.

Michelle Louise Love, black jumper dress, Miss Selfridge
Michelle Louise Love, black jumper dress, Miss Selfridge

Sunday was the most perfect clear Autumn day, and getting down to the beach nice and early meant we pretty much had it all to ourselves and could enjoy the utter tranquillity and perfection of the morning as the sun started breaking through, glittering on the incoming tide. It was honestly so amazing I felt like I didn't want to leave, I could have relished the moment for an eternity.

West mersea beach huts, essex

Discussions quickly turned to why don't we buy a beach hut!? I want a lilac one, ooooh or the pretty blue one, but that green one is so cute......

Michelle Louise Love, black jumper dress, Miss Selfridge

There was a lovely crispness to the air, but it was still warm enough to be walking around in just this cute jumper dress from Miss Selfridge, I love the detail on the neckline and it's made from such soft material and hangs so well. I find it so flattering for my figure, and feel confident in it.

Michelle Louise Love, black jumper dress, Miss Selfridge
Michelle Louise Love, black jumper dress, Miss Selfridge
Michelle Louise Love, black jumper dress, pastel beach hut
Michelle Louise Love, black jumper dress, mersea island
Michelle Louise Love, black jumper dress, Miss Selfridge

I still love my black biker boots as much as the day I bought them in August, they have just enough heel without me being uncomfortable, so I can run around in these all day. The tiny black crystals on the straps add a little bit of interest without being over the top. I have always loved combining girly dresses with more grungy boots, it suits my style, feminine but wild at heart.

Michelle Louise Love, black jumper dress, Miss Selfridge
Michelle Louise Love, black jumper dress, Miss Selfridge
Michelle Louise Love
Michelle Louise Love

All the crisp sea air made us feel quite hungry, I'd spotted a lovely little cafe called 'two sugars' on the hillside with a lovely little wooden veranda that overlooked the beach and thought it was the perfect spot for some breakfast.

two sugars cafe west mersea

Nothing fancy, good honest beans on toast but boy, look at that view!

two sugars cafe west mersea, essex
two sugars cafe west mersea, essex

After breakfast we strolled along the beach a little more because I was really not ready to head home, maybe it's because I grew up by the sea that I feel very at peace close to the water.

west mersea, essex, beach
mersea island beach, essex

We found a little bench tucked away on the corner of the sand and took a seat for a minute, we were even joined by a little cricket, not to mention the annoying wasp that tried to stick its nose in and break the peace!

I enjoy exploring Essex and heading to new places as well rediscovering places I went as a child like Mersea where I spent so many summers playing on the beach and playing golf at the since shut pitch and putt.
There is so much more to Essex than Brentwood and Towie, I really hope this inspires you to explore this beautiful county.

West Mersea beach
West Mersea beach

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Tuesday, 4 October 2016

The New Lush Products You Need In Your Life

Lush Christmas 2016

We all know that Halloween and Christmas seem to creep up on you, one minute it's summer and then bam! The weather has turned, you're reaching for your jumpers and thinking about buying pumpkins. So after hours on Saturday night I was invited along to be shown all the new goodies Lush have brought out for Halloween and Christmas, there was the return of some old favourites but also some brand new treats to enjoy.

We were welcomed in by the friendly Lush staff and offered a glass of sparkling elder flower, which just happens to be my favourite drink. Then before they could even say hello we were all busy snapping pictures of the new products we had spotted.

shoot for the stars, lush, bath bomb

We got to smell our way through lots of bath bombs, bubble bars and soaps and see some of them in action as well.

lush christmas 2016

From the halloween collection I really loved the fireside soap, it's got a beautiful warm burning scent that is so comforting and reminiscent of childhood bonfire nights.

Autumn leaf, lush
Lush christmas 2016
Lush bath bombs

Lush have got some great new products this year to keep everyone happy, there's perfect little bits that will please the kids (and some adults) like Santasaurus a cute little dino on a stick to more grown up fragrances like Ruby red slippers which is just the epitome of Christmas full of warm spicy scents.

Ruby red slippers
Lush halloween
Lush Christmas 2016

How cute are these little gifts? Perfect for children with their fun packaging.

Lush Christmas 2016
Lush Christmas 2016

Have you been to check out the new Lush products yet? I think they are well worth it.

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If you're interested in other cruelty free cosmetics then check out my round up post here.

Thursday, 29 September 2016

Big Changes for Chelmsford as Bond Street John Lewis Opens

John Lewis opens in Chelmsford

For more than 18 months we have been awaiting the opening of the Bond Street development. I remember excitedly checking the plans for the development and being over the moon for the arrival of a local Las Iguanas restaurant. There's actually a plethora of new eateries opening, along with some big names in retail all anchored by the swanky new John Lewis store which will be their very first in Essex. 

It's an exciting time for the town and speaks volumes that a prestigious brand such as John Lewis picked Chelmsford to open its first store in the county. Chelmsford is an affluent town and is full of families as well as London commuters so people around here want a certain standard of living which I think has been lacking slightly until recently. The high street was completely lack lustre with very limited shopping options which was driving locals to travel to Lakeside or even Westfield for their wide range of shops. With this change people should actually be drawn into the area rather than travelling over to Bluewater or into London to a John Lewis.

John Lewis, chelmsford, essex

I was lucky enough to have a tour of the fabulous John Lewis on the 26th before it officially opened on September 29th. It was exciting to be one of the first people to step foot inside the long awaited store.
Having creative control over the design of the building means they have paid particular attention to the architectural details, including a circular atrium which enables people on the 1st floor to look straight down into the stores entrance from which they have a particularly interesting piece if visual merchandising hanging, which will no doubt be updated with the seasons. Overlooking river chelmer is an imposing suspended staircase which is quite impressive and gives you a great view not only of the river but of the rest of the development, there is so much glass which means the store is flooded with natural light but I would imagine will look equality as stunning at night being able to see out over a moonlit town.

John Lewis chelmford, visual merchandising, essex
Chelmsford Bond Street

Beauty lovers will be pleased to hear that there are 14 make-up counters including MAC, Charlotte Tilbury, Tom Ford, OPI and Bobbi Brown. The overall look of the beauty area is really top notch, it's certainly good for seducing those pennies out of your purse!

John Lewis chelmsford, make-up counter, essex
Charlotte Tilbury, john lewis, chelmsford, essex

Along with beauty you will also find giftware, mens fashion and large electrical items on the ground floor; but the first floor is where the really exciting things await you, women's fashion and bags of which they have a dedicated section for both Mulberry and Michael Kors! This is also the home of the Benugo coffee bar for when all of the shopping gets a bit much and you need some refreshments in the form of good coffee or a glass of cool crisp prosecco which is served via tap.

Michael Kors, john lewis, chelmsford

To help you out with all that shopping they have a personal shopper lounge with 3 levels of package, Style Express and Style Experience are complimentary in which the stylist will spend up to two hours with you to hep you find that perfect outfit, then there is Style Profile which costs £125 and the stylist will go more in depth and give you advise on your body shape and the best brands for you. You will be able to try on clothes in the comfort and privacy of the lounge but even if you are in one of the other changing areas they are all fitted with call buttons if you need assistance, which means no more to-ing and fro-ing to get different sizes or colours of that must have piece.

Kuoni, John Lewis, chelmsford, essex, bond street development

Kuoni have their own self styled area that you can go to if you are in the market for a holiday, they specialise in luxury travel and this shines through in their concession. It looks comfy and glamorous and I even spied a nespresso machine in there which means you can sip on your latte whilst deciding between the Maldives and Bora Bora!

Up on level 3 you'll find soft furnishings and furniture with home design advisers on hand to help you with your interior makeover. The top floor is laid out with different living room settings so you can really get a feel for the theme you'd like, and I have to say their furniture was really lovely and I may have spotted a few bits of homeware that made my heart flutter.

All in all the store is everything I wanted for the town and think that you will agree, shopping for your Christmas party outfits this year is going to be a breeze, not to mention all your gift shopping!

The store opens its doors at 9.30am this morning, so what are you waiting for? Hot step it down to Bond Street to see it all for yourself.

Sunday, 25 September 2016

Juice Kitchen Chelmsford | They are Juice Geeks!

Juice Kitchen Chelmsford, Essex

I went along to meet Richard, the mastermind behind Chelmsford's swanky new Juice Kitchen, I really wanted the chance to get to know the guy who wanted to fill the gap in the market in the town by giving us not only something much needed but also different. Chelmsford is full of chains, we have all the usual suspects, Starbucks, Costa, Nero, Pret..... the list goes on. What we really lack in the town is independent and unique vendors providing something a little different. Luckily Richard spotted that Chelmsford would welcome an idea such as his eagerly.

Juice Kitchen, chelmsford, essex
Juice Kitchen, Chelmsford

In 2015 Richard dreamt of opening a juice bar and set about looking for the perfect location, after some time he came across the disused bank at the top of the high street and envisioned what he could do with the vast space. In the summer of 2016 his vision started to come together as his team gutted out the old bank and turned it into the open, clean and modern space it is today. He has paid particular attention to the staff at Juice kitchen, he has selected all the individuals based on their personable attitude and talents in their field to make the eatery something really special.

Juice Kitchen, Chelmsford

I sat with Richard for almost 2 hours talking about his decision to step away from his previous career and take a leap into something new. Wanting to provide the local community with good healthy food and drink choices was something close to Richard's heart after suffering from ill health himself and turning his eating habits around to get himself back on the right path.

Juice Kitchen, Chelmsford
Chocolate brownie at Juice kitchen, chelmsford, essex, gluten free

As more and more people are making conscious decisions to look after their health by eating better, we seem to be moving away from the junk food trends and instead opting for good honest healthy food, Juice Kitchen is definitely at the forefront of that for the town. Currently you can pop in for a freshly pressed juice or smoothie made from local ingredients, or get your caffeine fix from their wide menu of Lavazza coffee, you can even have it made with almond milk! They offer lots of options for lunch as well from wraps to salads all prepared with fresh ingredients on site in their kitchen. Soon you'll also be able to grab your breakfast from Juice Kitchen as they are working on their fantastic menu which will include breakfast pots which will be a god send for those of you running to catch their early morning train because they are early birds and are open from 7am.

Fruit compot and yogurt, juice kitchen, chelmsford
Juice Kitchen, chelmsford, essex

Richard is passionate about creating food for everyone so they have put thought into providing options for people with dietary needs as well as offering vegan friendly food as well. Their is such a wide selection to choose from whether you are looking for a meal or just a snack they have it covered.

healthy snacks at juice kitchen, chelmsford
juice kitchen chelmsford

Juice cleanse chelmsford

Behind the scenes a lot more is also going on; with big plans to make their healthy food so much more accessible, they have been setting up lunch time delivery with some of the local businesses, because we know so many of you eat your lunch al desko! But don't worry if you don't work locally because they also have meal prep options available as well for those of you who are too busy to be able to make yourself healthy meals. You don't have to live off the dreaded microwave food when you can have delicious and healthy food prepped for you by Juice Kitchen. All you do is pick your protein from a list including honey and coriander salmon, vegan mixed bean falafel, or lemon & basil chicken, add in your carb such as wild rice, herby cous cous or sweet potato wedges and a side like broccoli, or grilled mixed veg and you've got yourself a healthy meal all ready to go. Meal prep prices start from £3.50 per serving for bulk orders, so now you have no excuse not to eat well!

Juice kitchen ethos

They are also offering Juice Cleanse packages if you want to benefit from a detox and kick your body back into action. You don't have to go the whole hog if you don't want to, the options are flexible and you can do a one day juice cleanse right up to a 5 day cleanse.

cold pressed carrot juice, juice kitchen, chelmsford

Juice cleanse, juice kitchen chelmsford

Richard wants to take a charitable approach with the Chelmsford business by giving back to the local community and supporting something that is also close to my heart by working with Essex based homeless charity Chess. Juice Kitchen will be providing the coffee and bacon butties for the annual sleep out in the Cathedral grounds to raise money for the charity taking place on November 25th.

Richard has a very giving nature and will also working with the charity this year to provide a hot meal and warm place to sit and eat for up to 50 homeless people on Christmas Day. This is an incredibly admirable thing to do, especially for such a young business. Whilst most people will be tucked up in their warm homes opening their gifts, Richard's team will be working to feed some of Chelmsford's many homeless. I think you'll agree that Juice Kitchen is setting a great example and is just the sort of business we need more of in our town!

If you're interested in their juice cleanse or meal prep service ping them an email for more details on

Juice Kitchen
Chelmsford High Street

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