Wednesday, 17 October 2018

Falling - Flash Fiction

This week's 100 word story based on the following picture prompt


PHOTO PROMPT © Jilly Funell


Falling

Laura froze, she had been here before. This building was the image of the one she saw every time she closed her eyes. She turned to leave but Ben was standing behind her.

'Great idea for a first date huh?’ Pleased, he flashed her tickets for afternoon tea at the Sky Restaurant. ‘The highest vantage point in Europe.’

Panic set in, she clutched her throat, her breath quickening, face draining of colour. Chatting to Ben online she had fallen in love, but the nightly premonitions of her falling to her death could not be ignored.

‘No, I can’t.’ she gasped.



I hope you enjoyed my latest story 

Bettina x


* With thanks to Rochelle for the picture prompt. If you wish to read more stories based on the prompt click here

Thursday, 27 September 2018

Training - Flash Fiction

This week's 100 word story based on the following picture prompt

PHOTO PROMPT © Yvette Prior



Training Room

The delegates filled the room, name badges in place, chatter ringing through the air. With one eye on the person they were talking to, the other on the centre table, they were eager to down a coffee and devour a mini pastry or two. Despite it being free, no one dared be the first however, but as soon as someone made their move, they would all follow, swooping in like birds of prey.

Betty had no such qualms, she boldly approached the table and filled her plate. Perhaps today’s training on Confidence was superfluous to her needs.

Bettina x

* With thanks to Rochelle for the picture prompt. If you wish to read more stories based on the prompt click here 


Wednesday, 12 September 2018

The Gift - Flash Fiction

This week's 100 word story based on the following picture prompt

PHOTO PROMPT © J Hardy Carroll

The Gift 



It took all of my strength to smile and thank her graciously as two men carried it inside.
Gwen’s moving in gift. Apparently, Tom had always wanted this clock... so here we were. This gothic monstrosity had no place in my modern, minimalist living space. I offered her a drink as she made herself at home.
‘Now you have no excuse dear.’
A dig at my timekeeping. The knife kept turning.
‘Never late for Matt though, are you?’ Her eyes scanned my face, searching for guilt.
‘Time to go Gwen.’
Asphyxiation by clock. Terrible way to die. Slow and painful.


*Thank you to Rochelle for this week's picture prompt. If you wish to read more stories based on this prompt - click here

Friday, 7 September 2018

On A Night Like This - Flash Fiction

A new 100 word story based on the following picture prompt

PHOTO PROMPT © Gah Learner 

On A Night Like This 

I push back the curtain and smile, the sky is cloudless and the bright light keeping me awake, a glistening full moon. I glance at my watch, in just a few hours Andrew will be home, back from his stint in the army. I wrap the duvet around me, it won’t be long before I feel his arms around me keeping me warm and safe.

Hours later Andrew isn’t by my side, he never made it back. Car accident, they said. I struggle to understand. How can you lose control of your car when the driving conditions are just perfect?


*Thank you to Rochelle for this week's picture prompt. If you wish to read more stories based on this prompt - click here 

Monday, 3 September 2018

Who's That Girl? - Flash Fiction

A 100 word story based on the following picture prompt

Copyright Dawn M. Miller


Who's That Girl ?


The door creaks open, long overdue an oiling. Snarling, he pushes me towards the mirror. ‘There you go, take a look at yourself.’

It was the same routine every day, my captor permitting me five precious minutes to stand and gaze at my reflection. As the blindfold comes off I wince as the light smacks against my lids. My face gently comes into focus. My face. My glorious hair now matted and excessively long, drawing my face downwards. My sparkly blue eyes, hollow, almost dead. Old skin, creased and bruised.

A mask conceals his face, the lips smile back. ‘Beautiful!’


* Written as part of the Friday Fictioneers challenge hosted by Rochelle Wisoff-Fields (more details HERE).
To read stories of 100 words based on this week’s prompt, visit HERE.



Thursday, 30 August 2018

L'Occitane Aqua Réotier Ultra Thirst-quenching Cream



At the beginning of Spring I was lucky enough to be sent two pots of this gorgeous hydrating facial moisturiser from L'Occitane and I have only just opened the second pot!

If a scent sums up Spring/Summer it is this one. Aqua Réotier Ultra Thirst-quenching Cream smells fabulously fresh, the cream is light and almost water like in texture, sinking into the skin without leaving a trace of sticky residue. Wonderfully hydrating it, I think it is the perfect choice for post holiday parched skin.

The claims -

Enriched with hydrating hyaluronic acid and calcium rich Réotier water known for its properties to help skin maintain its hydration barrier and retain moisture, this melting fresh cream hydrates the skin while comforting it.
Its velvety, light texture combines the refreshing thirst-quenching benefits of a gel with the softening and smoothing properties of a cream. Its formula act like a magnet to hold-in moisture and drench the skin all day long. Skin’s natural hydration is improved; it is immediately recharged with water. Replenished and radiant, skin is visibly plumped. 


My thoughts - 

Does exactly what it promises. My skin feels and looks great, a perfect base for foundation. Thumbs up from me. 

Have you tried it? 

L'Occitane Aqua Réotier Ultra Thirst-quenching Cream 50ml £28 

*PR Sample

Friday, 29 June 2018

Elizabeth Arden White Tea EDT Spray Review

White Tea by Elizabeth Arden is my new everyday scent and I could, and would, quite happily wear it forever. A signature scent? quite possibly!

Seeing it advertised I knew I had to try it, as soon as I did, I loved it and bought it. 



What Elizabeth Arden say 

Elizabeth Arden White Tea is inspired by the simple pleasure that accompanies the first sip of tea. Exquisitely uncomplicated, this new fragrance invites you to revel in the moment.

A musky-woody floral, it preludes with sparkling Italian Mandarin and sensual Sea Breeze Accord. Its Zen-like heart of White Tea Extract and Mate Absolute Paraguay steeps in graceful femininity while Madras Wood, Ambrette Seed Absolute and a Trio of Tranquility Musks lead to a harmonious finale. For the woman who wants to immerse herself in the moment.

White Tea is a crisp, blissful new addition to the Elizabeth Arden fragrance portfolio. The perfect escape for your senses, it is an invitation to indulge in warm memories and delight in the white tea vapors, blue skies and cotton-like clouds.

Top notes  - Mandarin Orange, Clary Sage, Fern, Sea Notes

Heart notes - White Tea, Mate, White Iris

Base notes - Tonka Bean, Amber, Exotic Woods, Ambrette (Musk Mallow)

My thoughts 

This is a beautiful, mood lifting, light fragrance. It is clean, crisp and green on initial spray. As it dries down,it softens and blurs to reveal a creamier and powdery layer of loveliness whilst still maintaining the clean, fresh and uncomplicated scent it promised. I adore it and revel in its simplicity. 

Have you tried it? 

Elizabeth Arden White Tea EDT Spray is available in 50 and 100ml.  

Thursday, 28 June 2018

Music To My Ears

This week's 100 word story based on the following picture prompt


Music To My Ears 


‘What does your son do? Apart from play loud music.’ The neighbour asked, with a healthy tinge of rudeness I thought, as we sat opposite each other on the train.
Billy was a musician, and if he wasn’t playing gigs he was practising in his room.
The same neighbour knocked on the door a few weeks later ‘I see Billy has taken to using headphones after our little chat.’ I watched as she walked smugly away. Tears formed in the corner of my eyes.
Billy wasn’t using headphones, he had died in a motorbike accident. I will miss the noise.


Bettina x

With thanks to Rochelle as ever for the great picture prompt. If you wish to read more stories, click here



Monday, 25 June 2018

Time Of Your Life (TOYL) Beauty Subscription Box Launches

Time Of Your Life (TOYL) is a new beauty, lifestyle and content subscription box aimed at the over 40's woman. As soon as the press release hit my inbox I knew I had to find out more...


I was sent the June box and what a box it is!

What I love about this box is that it isn't just your bog standard beauty box that throws in random garish eye shadows in shades you will never use, or a glitter polish that is ok for the odd night out but will probably then remain in a box until it gets chucked out in the annual clear out. Real thought has been put into the contents, I was delighted with what was included in the first box. Not only that... subscribing to the box means that you have access to podcasts in all manner of subjects.

As an example ,the June podcasts are

Beauty Guru Liz Earle on the Menopause

Dr Marilyn Glenville on Nutrition after 40 

Make Up Over 40 with A-List make up artist Lee Pycroft. 

The links get emailed directly to you to listen to at your convenience.

Inside the box, the contents total an incredible £90 -

Meno Multi Support Nutritional Supplement for Women - 60 tablets, One Month Supply rrp 
£25.78 

Dr Glenville has recreated a special multivitamin and mineral supplement tailored to help you through the menopause and support strong, healthy bones.

Nurture Replenish Collagen Boosting Serum 30ml rrp £17.99 (full size)

This is a creamy serum, it smells absolutely gorgeous and I cannot wait to try it out. As I have hit 40 I have noticed that my skin is crying out for more intense care and this promises to help replenish levels of oestrogen and collagen essential for a healthy and youthful appearance.

Dr Hauschka Lemon Lemongrass Vitalising Essence 100ml rrp £17 (full size)

A wonderfully zesty bath essence that promises to moisturise and tone. A refreshing pamper experience.

The Organic Pharmacy Marigold & Comfrey Handcream 30ml £13.17 (travel size)

They call it travel size, I call it handbag size. I don't think you can have enough handcreams, I am always using mine! This one from The Organic Pharmacy is light and absorbs instantly leaving hands silky to the touch. It has a nice zesty scent too.

Bellapiere Waterproof Gel Eyeliner in Charcoal rrp £16.99 (full size)

I absolutely love this eyeliner, coming in charcoal it is less harsh than black and is incredibly flattering against my green eyes. It glides on the skin for precise application and remains all day. Best of all it is formulated with pure minerals and natural waxes. Hypoallergenic.

Surprise!

That's not all,  as if you haven't been spoilt enough, each month a little something extra is popped into the box to make you go oooh!

To my delight, this month the box contained a small bar of chocolate from Willie's Cacao. The Venezuelan 72 dark chocolate blend was too good to keep for too long. I had good intentions  (honest!) of just eating a single square a day... but who was I kidding, it was so so tasty, I devoured it all in one go! What a treat, a delicious bar of intensely dark but not too bitter chocolate, who could resist?

If you want to find out more... head to www.toyl.co.uk and if you are tempted to sign up, and quite frankly, who wouldn't be, I have a special offer code for you to use.

Use JUNE18 and receive 50% off your first month's box when you take out a year's subscription



*PR Sample 



Thursday, 14 June 2018

MB Pour Homme Michael Bublé - Father's Day Gift Inspiration!



My husband has been lucky enough to have had a sneaky peek of the new signature male fragrance by Michael Bublé and we think that it is the perfect Father's Day gift. But you have to hurry because last orders to guarantee delivery in time for Father's Day is today...!! 

MB Pour Homme is described as a rich signature scent for the sophisticated modern gentleman. Starting with fresh and clean top notes of grapefruit and bergamot that mingle with spicy notes of pink pepper and ginger. With heart notes of soft and sensual facets of neroli and cashmeran. All wrapped together with a depth and intense warm base of sandalwood, patchouli and musk. Creating an elegant woody aromatic fougere fragrance, leaving him feeling fresh and energised.

Top Notes - 

Grapefruit 
Bergamot
Pink Pepper 
Ginger 

Heart Notes - 

Neroli 
Cashmeran

Base Notes - 

Sandalwood
Patchouli
Musk 

Thoughts

I have to mention the eye catching bottle that has instant shelf appeal. It's a gorgeous deep and timeless blue shade with strong, clean lines, the result is a chunky masculine bottle that is sure to take pride of place on the bathroom shelf. The inspiration for the sharp, and well defined lines etched into the bottle design is taken from a microphone and the choice of blue to represent the blue suit that every man possesses in his wardrobe and a signature of Michael Bublé himself.

The aftershave is absolutely gorgeous, seamlessly transitioning from day to evening. Fresh and bursting with citrus notes, this is modern and timeless. Blended with a hint of alluring spice it is a fragrance that is sure to appeal to men of all ages. 

Available exclusively from michaelbubleperfume.com 120ml EDP costs £55 









Flash Fiction - Captive

This week's 100 word story based on the following picture prompt

PHOTO PROMPT © Jean L. Hays

Captive



Watching intensely, they followed the silhouette as it paced backwards and forwards, strutting upright and proud.
‘What is it?’ Sophie spoke in hushed tones.
‘Hard to tell. Wearing a metal helmet, probably got a gun. Some kind of soldier I should think.’
Sophie gasped ‘A gun.’ And then sobbed. ‘We will never get out of here alive.’
Accepting their fate, they disappeared back under the sheets.
The door burst open. Francis pressed his finger against Sophie's lips, ‘Shhh, the captors are here.’
‘Sophie, Francis. Dinner!’
The children giggled, pretend play was so much fun. The chicken, carried on as usual.

I hope you enjoyed this piece.
Bettina x 


*Thank you as ever to Rochelle for providing the inspiration for these week's story, if you would like to read more stories based on this prompt, click here

Wednesday, 30 May 2018

Flash Fiction - Barren Land

This week's 100 word story based on the following picture prompt.


© Connie Gayer



Barren Land


Karla wailed into her tissue, the pain too much to keep inside, she had long stopped holding back her true feelings. She had done everything to the letter, everything the so-called experts had advised her to do. She didn’t drink, had never taken drugs, never smoked. Changed her diet, made sure she took her multivitamins, reduced her stress with Pilates and even tried acupuncture. The prescribed drugs had failed, except send her over the edge and place her marriage on the brink. Too late now, her womb barren land, her body beaten, yearning for what was not meant to be. 

Bettina x

* Thank you to Rochelle for this week's picture prompt, if you would like to read more stories based on this picture, click here 

Wednesday, 23 May 2018

Flash Fiction - About Last Night

This week's 100 word story based on the following picture prompt.



About Last Night 


I gently push open the door and tentatively enter. I need to see this for myself. The house, my sanctuary, has been turned upside down. Absolutely nothing has been left untouched. I feel sick as I make my way to the kitchen. The mouth-wateringly expensive, stunning crystal bowl, a precious wedding gift that takes pride of place on the dining table, is cracked. A strange sticky residue lines the edges. My favourite plant, mutilated, leaves carelessly tossed aside. Devastated at the damage, I take a deep, angry, breath before calling upstairs.

‘Chloe, what the hell happened in here last night?’


Bettina x 


*Many thanks to Rochelle for this week's prompt. If you would like to read more stories based on this picture - click here
Enjoyed this story? Why not check out my new novel 'Without A Hitch' which is available to buy now -


UK - http://amzn.eu/fUEJ9Sk
US - http://a.co/digzFXy

Wednesday, 16 May 2018

Flash Fiction - Goodbye

This week's 100 word story based on the following picture prompt -

PHOTO PROMPT submitted by Courtney Wright. © Photographer prefers to remain anonymous.

Goodbye 


Jess glanced over at the old boots, and felt the tears slipping down her cheeks. She remembered how she had nagged him over and over again to buy new ones. Whatever the occasion, whatever they were doing, he would wear them, much to her intense embarrassment.

‘I like them Jess, they are comfortable.’ He would insist, before tying the laces with gusto.

‘But they are tatty and horrid. How much longer can you keep taping them up?’ Jess retorted, spitting out the words venomously.

Nate did replace the boots, once the holes became too big to bear. He also replaced Jess.

Bettina x


*Many thanks to Rochelle for this week's prompt. If you want to read more stories based on this picture - click here

Enjoyed this story? Why not check out my new novel 'Without A Hitch' which is available to buy now -


UK - http://amzn.eu/fUEJ9Sk
US - http://a.co/digzFXy

Friday, 11 May 2018

Dior Diorskin Forever Undercover Foundation Review



Oh I do love it when a new foundation is released and so was delighted when I was able to obtain a small sample to test it out... I picked up a sample of the new Dior Diorskin Forever Undercover Foundation in shade 020 (I was matched at the Dior Counter)

Dior say

EXTREME CAMOUFLAGE. FRESH SECOND-SKIN FINISH.

Full coverage
24-hour* wear
Second-skin matte finish

This fluid, 24-hour* full coverage foundation combines maximum complexion control with a natural matte finish for a result that is "Kiss-Proof. Touch-Proof. Life-Proof. All Night. All Day."

Peter Philips, Creative and Image Director for Dior Makeup, describes his view of this neo-camouflage: “Incorporated in a very fluid texture, the high concentration of pigments ensures perfect blemish correction. What’s new for such a high-coverage product is how you don’t feel or see it. The finish is fresh, and matte enough that you
don’t need powder.”

* Instrumental test. N = 20 women.

Application tip by Peter Philips - 

"This incredibly glide-on texture doesn’t set immediately and can be blended with the fingertips. Start by patting onto the areas that need correction, then smooth to blend in. If you’re looking for totally even coverage for the whole face, you can use a foundation brush. 24-hour wear means you never need to touch up."
My thoughts 
I am wearing shade 020 Light Beige which is my perfect shade.  The foundation has a delicate and pleasant perfume scent. I applied the foundation with my fingers. The foundation consists of a light fluid texture but the finish is velvety and matte. However, as you can see from my photos below, matte does not equal dull. I didn't use and I don't use a primer under the foundation and you can see that it covers the pores, smoothing the appearance of the skin completely. It also covers blemishes and red bits/ I have slight rosacea but you wouldn't be able to see once I have applied this foundation. I think my skin looks pretty damn amazing and flawless. I cannot fault this foundation and it is right up there with my favourites. 
After one hour of application and pretty much fresh on ...



After 7 hours of wear



I am extremely impressed with how well this foundation bears up to daily wear. After seven hours I think it still looks exceptionally good and keeps the rest of the makeup in place too. The only thing I would say is that the pores on my nose are slightly more visible but still pretty well concealed.

Obviously I cannot comment on the fact that it is supposed to last 24 hours but .... I would definitely purchase this foundation.

DiorSkin Forever Undercover has complete and flawless coverage, feels light on the skin and lasts.

10/10

Dior DiorSkin Forever Undercover Foundation costs £34 


Thursday, 10 May 2018

Flash Fiction - Bright Lights Big City

A 100 word story based on the following picture prompt.

PHOTO PROMPT ©Jill Wisoff



Bright Lights, Big City 

Emily Mae’s eyes danced wildly with excitement, the sky was alight with every colour under the sun. Gasping in awe at the sheer size of the skyscrapers, she slowly breathed in the tainted air of NYC with a sadistic pleasure, this city was hers for the taking. She had dreamt of her name in lights ever since she could remember. She could dance, she could sing and she had guts. Papa may have failed in his bid, but now she had finally arrived, she was not going to let this place defeat her. Broadway, a star was born.

Bettina x

*Many thanks to Rochelle for this week's prompt. If you want to read more stories based on this picture - click here

Wednesday, 9 May 2018

Family Day Event With Yellow Zebra Safaris

A couple of weeks ago the whole family were invited to a fun event being held by Yellow Zebra Safaris, the luxury travel company. I couldn't let the opportunity pass as my eldest son (about to turn 10) absolutely LOVES animals and I knew he would enjoy the day.

As soon as we entered the brightly decorated hall we knew it was going to be an action packed day and it didn't disappoint.





The children got up close to the animals that Safari Pete had brought along - Gumbo the toad, Juliet the owl, Drake the snake. Two meerkats, a crocodile, a lizard, a tarantula and a scorpion!!

Pete is passionate about his animals and dazzled everyone with amazing facts and information about them too. There was even time to watch some of them being fed! Safari Pete was fun and wonderfully animated - judging by the excitement levels, a good time was had by all.








The highlight was holding a Meerkat - my son still talks about that experience :)



We then enjoyed a delicious lunch platter while the children enjoyed an equally tasty buffet.



After lunch the children got to choose a Safari animal to paint courtesy of the Ceramic Circle.

For my just turned 2 year old this was the first time he had ever painted - which was super exciting. For my 10 year old, well he absolutely loves art and really enjoyed coming away with a gorgeous painted Elephant that has taken pride of place in his bedroom.








Yellow Zebra Safaris is an award-winning luxury and adventure safari company specialising in 'Safari Africa.' All their safari consultants are professional safari guides, camp managers, and/or people who were born and raised in Africa.

After our little taster of getting close to the 'tame-ish!' animals I know my boy was keen to investigate safaris further... and so we took a look at the website to learn a little more. I must admit I didn't really realise that safaris can be for all ages... but Yellow Zebras Safaris cater for families with an opportunity to get close to nature in their natural habitat. For young children - the under fives -  they recommend South Africa - a malaria free zone.

For families with children between the ages of 5 and 10, they would recommend a safari holiday to either South Africa or Kenya. South Africa's parks (both non-malarial, and also malarial areas such as the Kruger) are well set up for children, with a number of lodges offering excellent children's programmes that occupy the middle of the day during safaris. Kenya is also an extremely good destination for family safari holidays. The Masai Mara offers superb big-game viewing, while the Laikipia and Lewa area offers a large range of activities, and also interaction with local cultures.

Once the children are older, more destinations are open to them and there is lots of advice and recommendations for even more adventurous family holidays on the website to places such as Tanzania and Zanzibar.



To find out more about Yellow Zebra Safaris click here -  family safari holidays

Tuesday, 8 May 2018

By Invitation Rose Gold Michael Bublé EDP Review


If an invitation from Michael Bublé hits your mailbox, of course you say yes!

I do enjoy discovering new scents, and as luck would have it, I had just finished the perfume I was using when I was asked if I would like to try the new EDP from Michael Bublé - By Invitation Rose Gold. 

The bottle is identical to the original except for the fact it is in a stunning and bang on trend rose gold shade. If it works, and it does, there is no need to deviate. It's a lovely bottle that has the all important shelf appeal so that ticks the at first glance box.

So how about the fragrance, because let's be honest, we are not going to be wearing the bottle... ?

The fragrance is described as a floral oriental gourmand.

Michael Bublé says 

Starting with sophisticated top notes of radiant magnolia, red fruits and Granit pear, By Invitation Rose Gold has the tenderness of a rose and peony heart, with a hint of black plum. With a lingering praline and vanilla base – and just a touch of precious spice – the fragrance is charming and elegant.

At a glance -

Top notes - Red fruits, Magnolia and Granit Pear 
Heart notes - Rose, Peony & Plum 
Base notes - Vanilla, Praline & a touch of Spice 

My thoughts 

I can see this appealing to all ages. As soon as you spray, the perfume is bursting with sparkly fruit notes which are blended beautifully with floral tones. The gourmand aspect and added sweetness, is provided by the delicious vanilla which I detected instantly. As it dries down, it fades into a most delightful, lingering and addictive fragrance, with the praline and spice preventing the sweetness taking over and becoming cloying.

The result is a warm, sweet scent that is sophisticated, utterly feminine and ultimately, seductive. A perfect date night perfume.




By Invitation Rose Gold Michael Bublé EDP  - £29 for 30ml and £55 for 100ml. Available from www.michaelbubleperfume.com and The Perfume Shop. 

*PR Sample 


Friday, 4 May 2018

Hawksmoor Guildhall - Steak & Seafood Restaurant Review

When I got the opportunity to have a date night with my lovely husband (the tall blonde one) I seized the chance! I had been yearning to go to Hawksmoor, billed as London's best steak for a long time but various life events have meant that it had been put on the back burner, but, in February we finally got round to booking a table. I have to say my expectations were high and Hawksmoor had a lot to live up to.

Date Night Outfit

I emerged from Bank tube station on a dark, wet, evening and a big smile was there waiting to greet me.. yes the tall blonde one had come straight from the office, in his gorgeous blue suit and looked suitable sauve and dare I say it... sexy! The evening was ours and we were going to make the most of enjoying a peaceful meal without young fingers trying to grab at our meals, we were child free ...woo! 

We made the short walk to Hawksmoor Guildhall, excellent location if I do say so! and were soon whisked to our seats. The waitress was very friendly and service was most definitely with a smile. As we had booked an early sitting the vast room was virtually empty but by the time the food arrived at our table the restaurant was filling up nicely. The air was filled with a pleasant, buzzy atmosphere. As it is located in the heart of the City, there were a lot of business people dining out, but equally there was a nice mix of young and old, friends and couples on dates, all enjoying their meals. Trust me, I am a people watcher and made notes, lol. 

I had asked a few people for some recommendations prior to going and having already perused the menu I knew exactly what I wanted. 



I skipped the starters and ordered the following 

300g Rump Steak cooked medium to well done
Creamed Spinach side 
Triple Cooked Chips side 
Onion Rings 
A Marmalade Cocktail 

The Marmalade cocktail was a perfect choice. (A recommendation from friends) it was fruity and tangy but on the right side of bitter and wonderfully refreshing, slipping down my throat a litte too easily...I would order this again. 

The tall blonde one chose the following ( the onion rings we shared) 

400g Sirloin Steak done medium 
Buttered English Greens (without the butter!)
And another portion of the famous Triple Cooked Chips 
Washed down with a beer  - Kernel London Porter

A jug of water was also brought to the table for the meal. 



What can I say? 

My steak was cooked to perfection, it literally melted in my mouth. The chips were crisp on the outside and fluffy inside. In hindsight we over ordered and just one portion of chips between the two of us would have been sufficient. The onion rings were delicious, but my top recommendation is actually the creamed spinach. I was a bit nervous at ordering it as I do not like spinach. Well it turns out, it is all about the way it is cooked. The spinach was creamy, smooth and ever so slightly sweet. I devoured the whole serving, it was just too moreish to leave. Incredible. 

Once we had finished we were offered the dessert menu and whilst there were many options of temptation I knew it could quite possibly send me over the edge of feeling full to feeling more than full. As we had a tube journey to make, I chose to go with a friend's recommendation,  the lighter option - The Salted Caramel Rolos 



Crisp dark chocolate encasing a rich, sweet and delicious caramel with a salty bite to it. These were so good and a perfect way to end the meal. Even better, I held back on finishing my cocktail and sipped after a bite of chocolate made it taste like chocolate orange which I love! 

We had an absolute blast, conversation and laughter flowed and the food satisfied us immensely. We will be back. 

CHEERS! 







Thursday, 3 May 2018

Flash Fiction - Steps To Success

A 100 word story based on the following picture prompt

PHOTO PROMPT © Karen Rawson

Steps To Success

‘Cut’
Someone handed Evie a blanket and a hot drink which she accepted, hungrily. Smeared in mud and red liquid, she detested every minute of this dreadful ‘B’ movie. ‘Necessary evil’ her agent had explained when he had sent her for the role. Her outstanding beauty meant she got the part without so much as opening her mouth. The plum parts had somehow eluded her thus far. This would be her big break, she could feel it.
                As the pterodactyl swooped down, she gave it her all, screaming as if her life depended on it. Her bank balance certainly did.  
               


Bettina x

*Many thanks to Rochelle for this week's prompt. If you want to read more stories based on this picture - click here


Tuesday, 1 May 2018

The Body Shop Skin Defence Multi-Protection Essence SPF50



Having finished the moisturiser I was using, I popped into The Body Shop to purchase a new one which included an SPF as we entered the warmer months... Never mind the fact that it was snowing, I like to be prepared!

Explaining what I was after the sales assistant quickly led me to the Skin Defence Multi-Protection Essence SPF50 which I promptly purchased after testing a bit on my hand, liking the scent and being seduced by the very high SPF.

When I got home I had a little wobble as I wasn't entirely sure that what I had purchased was indeed a moisturiser... having used it a few times, I didn't feel the need to use a separate moisturiser but I am still not entirely sure what it is... ha ha.

The Body Shop says 

From the effects of the sun to the environment we live in - we’re constantly facing daily aggressors that can damage our skin. Introducing NEW Skin Defence Multi-Protection Essence SPF 50 PA++++, our strongest multi-protection to help protect your skin day after day. A feather light, milk-to-water essence with broad spectrum UV filters, brightening red algae and Vitamin C, to help protect skin against multiple skin aggressors, while providing utmost comfort.
UVA Protection: PA++++: Helps protect skin from UVA rays, including long UVA rays, which reach deep within the skin and accelerate the process of skin ageing.
UVB protection: SPF 50 helps protect skin from UVB rays that trigger redness and damage the skin’s surface.
Anti-dullness: With red algae extract and vitamin C to brighten skin for a more luminous complexion.

My thoughts 

Well I have to say that this is up there as a staple in my every day beauty routine. This essence, featuring a light and runny lotion consistency which instantly absorbs leaving skin feeling soft with no trace of tackiness. It offers very high sun protection and as mentioned above, has a pleasant delicate floral scent. As promised it does what it says on the packaging ... it really does brighten the skin and gives a lovely healthy looking glow effect. It also works beautifully as a primer under foundation, when applying Estee Lauder Double Wear it literally glides on across the skin, my skin look fabulous.

10/10 I will definitely be repurchasing.

The Body Shop Skin Defence Multi-Protection Essence SPF50 costs from £17 for a very generously sized 40ml tube. 

Thursday, 26 April 2018

3 Gorgeous Summer Scents



I can be quite fussy when it come to scents and particularly when it comes to wearing perfume in the Summer. Having hay fever my sensitivity is heightened and I look for wearable and gorgeous scents that do not 'get up my nose' and antagonize excessive sneezing or irritation.

Recently I discovered three perfect scents that fit the bill and I think you will like them too.

First up is BOSS The Scent For Her EDP 

This is a sweet and fruity floral but exceptionally wearable for both day and evening due to its addition of the gourmand Cocoa.

The sweet fruitiness begins with the burst of honeyed Peach, settling with a floral heart of Freesia and Osmanthus flower. Depth is added by the dry down of delicious and intense roasted Cocoa. Addictive and seductive.

The second sweet and fruity floral scent is Miss Dior Absolutely Blooming EDP

This is a sexier and more youthful, playful perfume. Bursting with red berries, it features a heart of Rose petals from Grasse and fresh Peony and settles with White Musk. The result is a sweet and lasting scent which is a pleasure to wear.

Finally, I have really enjoyed wearing Mugler Cologne Thierry Mugler EDT 

This is a unisex fragrance which really appealed to me the instant I sprayed it onto my skin.  A fresh and clean scent, Mugler Cologne is ideal for Summer. A delicious citrus fresh which comes from the Bergamot, Neroli and Petit Grain. It has a heart of African Orange Flower and again finishes with
White Musk.
Green, Clean and Citrus fresh, I love it.

What perfumes are you loving this Summer?


Monday, 9 April 2018

Nivea Shower Silk Mousse Review

Who doesn't love a good old pamper in the bath? ... well as a busy mum of two, the bathroom is my sanctuary and I am always on the look out for gorgeous treats to make that chill out time a relaxing and indulgent experience.



Indulgence and feeling luxurious doesn't have to cost the earth as these lovely silk shower mousses from Nivea prove.

In delectable but light scents, Lemon Meringue is slightly sweet but wonderfully zesty, zingy and fresh. Rhubarb Raspberry is a fabulous concoction of sweet berry fruit but with the added tartness of rhubarb that stops it being overpowering and too sweet. I have to say both scents are just gorgeous. Shaking the can ensures the foam comes out rich, thick and firm. Lathering it over the body it covers and envelopes the skin completely with its luxuriousness. Skin is left feeling super silky and soft to touch until your next shower.

At just £2.99 for Nivea Shower Silk Mousse it's a huge thumbs up from me

*PR Samples

Wednesday, 21 March 2018

Signs

A 100 word story based on the following picture prompt


PHOTO PROMPT © Björn Rudberg

Signs 


Beth was crying hysterically when the rescuers found her. Lying beside Robert’s lifeless body, her legs were fixed to the ground bloodied, pitted with debris.

‘Didn’t you kids see the signs?’

Beth nodded, her crying slowing before she managed a whimpered, almost silent, 'yes.’

‘So, what, you ignore them do you?’

Flashbacks of the step that sent Robert  tumbling off the cliff edge sent Beth wailing once more. A kindly rescuer glared at the man who had dared to interrogate the distraught teenager.

Beth shook her head profusely, she wasn’t a rule breaker. ‘No sir, we didn’t know what it meant.’

Bettina x


*Many thanks to Rochelle for this week's prompt. If you want to read more stories based on this picture - click here 

Tuesday, 20 March 2018

Lancome Monsieur Big Mascara Review



Are you looking for a new mascara or not happy with your current one?

I have been so impressed with the new Lancome Monsieur Big Mascara that I reach for it every day.

Lancome say 

Meet Monsieur Big. Forget all the others.

UP TO 12X MORE VOLUME:
Its volumizing brush provides big impact at first stroke, for bigger than life lashes, like never before.

BIG SOFT BRUSH :
Its bristles made of exceptionally soft fibres hug lashes with incredible softness and ensure a smooth application, while separating and lifting lashes effortlessly.

NO CLUMPS, NO SMUDGES, NO TOUCH UPS: The innovative formula easily glides on lashes and leaves them perfectly put for up to 24 hours. Its ultra-dark pigments create the blackest intensity possible.

It's a match!

My lashes with Monsieur Big Mascara applied 






My thoughts 

For me this ticks all the boxes.

The mascara lifts the lashes and thickens them with a nice rich black colour. The brush style wand picks up each lash, defines them and then lengthens them beautifully.

There is no flaking or smudging whilst wearing and it lasts all day.

For long, fluttery lashes I love this mascara.

10/10 from me.

Lancome Monsieur Big Mascara costs £ 21

Wednesday, 14 March 2018

Flash Fiction - The Camera Never Lies

A 100 word story based on the following photo prompt

PHOTO PROMPT © TED STRUTZ



The Camera Never Lies 

I am beautiful, he is going to make me into a model. I swell with pride. If only my friends could see me now. A few unkind girls had called me ugly but now I knew they were lying.

He smiles while asking me to remove my bra. I feel uncomfortable at this suggestion. He notes my reluctance but reassures me it’s what models do.

‘There that wasn’t so bad,’ he says as he touches me. He shouldn’t do that.

He thinks I am fourteen. There are definite benefits to looking younger than my years. Mate, you are so busted.

Bettina x


*Many thanks to Rochelle for this week's prompt. If you want to read more stories based on this picture - click here 

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