Amy Antoinette - A Motherhood & Lifestyle Blog: May 2012

31 May 2012

Summer Essentials

When summer rolls around, there are a few items which I'm always sure to turn to when the sun starts shining...

1. It's nice to have a special summer bag on holidays, which is big enough to carry around my little essentials and take to the beach. This patent and straw bag from Ted Baker is so pretty and would look fabulous with a cute summer outfit!

2. I love pastel and nude shades for my nails during the summer. Paired with a tan, it looks effortlessly chic and pretty. I'm keen to get my hands on Essie Fiji for the perfect neutral nails, and now the brand is being stocked in Boots, I'm sure I'll be tempted by some other shades too!

3. My sunglasses collection is steadily growing. As well as my much loved Oscar de la Renta sunglasses (which were a bargain from TK Maxx), and a whole host of cheap sunnies from Primark and Dorothy Perkins, I'm now the proud owner of some chic RayBans which were a lovely Christmas present.

4. Shorts can be dressed up or down, so you can never have too many pairs! This pair from Topshop caught my eye with its cute print in ice cream colours.

5. A soft, summery scent is a handbag essential. I love Marc Jacobs perfume from House of Fraser, with Lola and Daisy Eau so Fresh being two of my favourites.

6. I'm a big fan of flat sandals (so much so I wrote a summer sandals post last year!) Not only are they comfortable and trendy, they can be worn anywhere: shopping, to the beach or out on the town. I love these nude studded gladiator sandals from Topshop, I think a purchase may be in order!

30 May 2012

Glossybox - The Birthday Box

In celebration of their first birthday, Glossybox has released their birthday box, including all the usual goodies plus a little compact mirror and balloon! I love the tissue paper in this addition, I've saved it and shall try and think of a nice way to use it again as its too lovely to throw away!

Included in the box:

Noble Isle Summer Rising Bath & Shower Gel
From Noble Isle, a new British bath and body brand, this shower gel is suitably decadent and luxurious to use. The smell makes me think of tanned skin, sun and holidays!

Weleda Face Cream/Body Milk
Weleda products only contain natural ingredients, which is always a good thing. However, I'm unsure as to whether it's the face cream or body milk I received as the print on the box appears to be German, and despite my grade A at GCSE, I can't translate it! Nevertheless, it has a fresh rose scent and promises to restore health and maintain wellbeing so I'll be giving it a try.

Lolita Lempicka L'Eau en Blanc & Si Lolita
Perfume samples can be a bit hit or miss in beauty boxes, but I love both of these. Described as a feminine world where Parisian chic meets fantasy fairy tale, these scents are soft and powdery, and I'm tempted to take a look at the full size bottles.

Uniqone All-in-One Hair Treatment
This leave-in spray mask claims to do a multitude of wonderful things for hair - including act as a heat protectant, control frizz, detangle knots, prevent split ends and add body. I'm keen to put this to the test; if it works, this will be something of a do-it-all wonder product!  

Let's Go Lashes
False lashes in a beauty box always get a warm reception from me. This particular pair are fluttery and dramatic - perfect for a night out!

Glossybox costs £10 per month plus £2.95 P&P

*PR Sample

29 May 2012

Fifi Lapin iPhone Case

One of the many perks of owning an iPhone is how easy it is to change the look, simply by alternating the case. Yet I've found finding a design I like is harder than I thought. The internet is full of blingtastic cases and cutesy teddy bear designs, and although eye catching, they're not to my personal taste. So when I was contacted by Iconemesis, who collaborate with artists to create beautiful iPhone cases, I was delighted to find they offer a range of attractive and subtle designs - no bling to be found! I picked out the gorgeous iPhone case above which features the fashionable Fifi Lapin. I love the duck egg background with the soft pastel polka dots, and what's not to I've about a rabbit dressed as a teacup?! Priced at £24, it is on the steep side, but the quality testifies to the cost, as the case is constructed from a sturdy, resilient plastic, unlike the malleable silicone of my other iPhone cases. The effect is sleek and sophisticated and I absolutely love it!

The Fifi Lapin iPhone Case is priced at £24 and is available to buy from Iconemesis

28 May 2012

Life in Instagram - Summer Loving

The glorious weather we've all been enjoying lately has meant I've finally cast my coat and scarf aside in favour of all the summery clothes which have been hiding in my wardrobe. I bought this peachy nude maxi skirt from New Look a while ago, back when we were still in the depths of winter but spring stock had already been launched. Five months later, I finally got to wear it! I chose it from the tall section and the length is floor-skimmingly perfect for my long legs. Although sheer, it's not transparent so luckily no worries there! This sunny weather has also meant I've been able to wear my white jeans again. I bought this pair around five years ago from Topshop and they're still good as new. I paired them with a beautiful lilac-blue vest top from Topshop and felt super summery!

Now the weather has perked up, Matt and I have been going out in the evenings more often. Dinner in a lovely restaurant followed by cocktails can't be beaten! I wore this black wrap dress from ASOS which I bought recently. I love the rose gold sequinned cuffs! I paired it with a patent black belt from Primark and studded suede platforms from New Look. As my legs hadn't seen the light of day for the best part of a year, I reached for Sally Hanson Airbursh Legs, a product I can't praise enough. Whenever the weather is unexpectedly lovely and I need a quick and easy solution for my pasty pins, I always reach for this, and it delivers sunkissed skin in an instant. I've heard amazing things about the Laura Mercier blushes so I can't wait to try it!

Matt spent last week in America on a business trip so I asked him to do a spot of shopping and he brought back some goodies I was coveting - some Bath & Body Works candles and hand sanitizers, a Hollister hoody and a Laura Mercier blush in Peach Whisper. The Frosted Cupcake candle smells good enough to eat!

Earlier this week I enjoyed a cinnamon pretzel from Auntie Anne's - it may be the best thing I have ever tasted. Then, whilst browsing the various stalls which had been set up in Nottingham this weekend, we came across this huge paella grill, doesn't it look delicious?! Matt and I then spent Sunday having a picnic in the park, putting our new picnic basket from Home Sense to good use! Followed by a Fab, it was the perfect way to spend a sunny afternoon.

After enjoying lots of fabulous food this weekend, we are going to make a concerted effort to eat more healthily. We've planned to eat only salads this week in a bid to shed some weight in preparation for our holiday this year (which we still have not booked!) I'm also saying goodbye to my ombre hair this week and returning to brunette. I've enjoyed the blonde but I do miss my old hair colour. I've also got plans to get a fringe cut in - Cheryl Cole  style!

22 May 2012

Nails Inc Peach Sorbet

Peach Sorbet is one of three gorgeous pastel shades being offered in this months InStyle magazine. Worth a whopping £11, but on sale with the magazine for just £3.80, I'm tempted to buy two more copies of InStyle magazine just to secure the other limited edition shades. This is such a pretty shade for summer, and although I own quite a few peachy ice cream shades already, this is by far my favourite. Perfect for pairing with pretty dresses and tanned toes!

Have you bought a copy of InStyle for a free Nails Inc polish? Which shade did you go for?

21 May 2012

White Rabbit Teahouse

Matt and I recently spent the afternoon in the White Rabbit Teahouse -  a little haven located down a quiet side street, tucked away from the hustle and bustle of central Nottingham. If I owned a teashop, this is what it would look like - a pretty little place filled with bunting, vintage china and shabby chic decor. I love the little bench that sits at the front of the window The teahouse is small which creates a friendly, intimate ambiance, and it's the perfect retreat for resting tired feet and recuperating after a day filled with shopping.

There are all sorts of quaint delights on offer - a range of cakes and scones adorn the cake stands inside, whilst there's a selection of sandwiches and paninis to choose from if you fancy something savoury. I opted for a pot of chamomile, honey and vanilla tea to accompany my scone with clotted cream and jam, and it was just as delicious as it looks! The White Rabbit is such a charming teahouse, we'll certainly be returning here for more afternoon tea.

For my outfit, I thought I'd embrace the pastel trend, pairing my pink Primark blazer with a super soft mint green t-shirt from ASOS and accessorising with my Michael Kors watch and Cinderela B Luxe Neon Bracelet. My iPhone tells me there's sun on it's way this week (at last!) so I'll be making the most of it and wearing all the pretty, summery clothes I've acquired and not yet had chance to wear!

17 May 2012

Vintage Love Eau De Toilette

As you may know if you've read about my perfume collection or browsed my fragrance posts, I'm partial to ultra feminine scents, which are beautifully packaged and a delight to behold. I was recently browsing the online beauty section at Marks & Spencer when I came across Vintage Love Eau de Toilette. As soon as I saw it, I knew I would buy it for the bottle alone, as it reminded me a little of me of the beautiful limited edition Viktor & Rolf Tutu. After spotting the price (just £12 for 100ml) and reading the glowing reviews, I didn't need anymore convincing, and popped it in my virtual shopping basket without even having smelled it myself. I wasn't disappointed when it arrived. The bottle is the epitome of retro glamour and romance with the delicate pink ribbed glass bottle and chiffon flower. The scent is a heady blend of osmanthus and orange blossom, settling into a lovely wood and musk fragrance which lingers on the skin. I think you can guess where the latest edition to my perfume collection will be homed. That's right - on my dressing table!

Vintage Love EDT is priced at £12 for 100ml and is available to buy from Marks & Spencer

16 May 2012

Weekday Wish List

1. Glamorous have all sorts of gorgeous, girly items but this lovely rose gold sequin dress would be the perfect party dress!

2. This nude and gold envelope clutch from ASOS is just what I've been looking for. Stylish and pretty, but big enough to fit all my essentials in it!

3. I can't get enough of chunky chain jewellery at the moment. I may have to invest in this necklace from Topshop to compliment my Cinderela B Luxe Neon bracelet.

4. I love the retro inspired peplum trend. This black peplum top from Lavish Alice would look amazing paired with American Apparel disco pants and super high heels.

5. Although I already own a pretty makeup bag, I spotted this nude and cream bag online at Zara and I'm tempted to use it as my summer makeup bag!

6. Besides my engagement and wedding ring, I'm not much of a ring wearer, but I love this double link ring from Topshop.

7. These cute pastel pumps from Topshop are perfect for pairing with pretty dresses this summer!

14 May 2012

Cinderela B Luxe Neon Bracelet

I recently received a lovely email from the girls at Cinderela B, a luxury jewellery label where each piece is lovingly handmade in their Spitalfields showroom. I was offered the chance to select an item, and after I'd had a browse of their beautiful collection, I picked out the Mother of Pearl Luxe Neon Bracelet. I've been looking for chain detail jewellery for some time now, so I was over the moon to find this bracelet. Half gold chain, half mother of pearl beads, this bracelet is the perfect balance between delicate and chunky. I've been wearing it daily since it arrived, paired with my Michael Kors watch. If only it was available as a necklace too! There are so many other gorgeous items on the website, I currently have my eye on the Glitterati Snake Chain Necklace - I just can't seem to get enough of chain jewellery at the moment!

The Mother of Pearl Luxe Neon Bracelet is priced at £22 and is available to buy from Cinderela B

13 May 2012

American Style Fluffy Pancakes

After experiencing American Style Pancakes for the first time when Matt and I ate at The Diner, we were keen to try making them ourselves. They are so incredibly easy to make, and they're so scrumptious, I can't see myself going back to traditional pancakes anytime soon! The recipe below serves 2, making about four pancakes. Although it doesn't sound like much, these pancakes are very filling and as much as I'd like to, I don't think I could eat more than two in one sitting! Alternatively, double the quantities and store the excess batter in the fridge so we you enjoy them again later in the week without all the mess!

135g plain flour
1 tsp baking powder
½ tsp salt
2 tbsp caster sugar
130ml milk
1 large egg, lightly beaten
2 tbsp melted butter (slightly cooled)

1. Sift the flour, baking powder, salt and caster sugar into a large bowl. In a separate bowl, lightly whisk the milk and egg together, then add the melted butter.

2. Pour the milk mixture into the flour mixture and beat with a fork until you have a smooth batter, then let it stand for a few minutes.

3. Heat a non-stick frying pan over a medium heat and add a little bit of butter. Once melted, add a ladle of batter and wait until the top of the pancake begins to bubble, then turn it over and cook until both sides are golden brown. The pancake should rise to about 1cm in thickness.

4. Keep going until all the batter is used up, and pop the pancakes in a low oven to keep them warm.

5. Serve with lashings of maple syrup and extra butter if you like. American style pancakes are also tasty topped with blueberries, icing sugar, and ice cream - whatever tickles your fancy!

8 May 2012

Glossybox - The Natural Box

This month Glossy Box have released 'The Natural' Box' in celebration of Earth month. To support the brands who help the environment, the box contains a range of goodies with natural packaging and ingredients - even the box is 100% biodegradable! I love the rustic look of this month's box, and the products inside certainly didn't disappoint.

Included in the box:

Caudalie Thirst-Quenching Serum
I was intrigued to try something from the much raved about Caudalie brand. This serum instantly hydrates skin, leaving it soft and smooth. A great base for makeup too.

Inika Cosmetics Organic Eyeliner
My box included the shade Sapphire, a beautiful midnight blue. This is one of the best eyeliners I've ever tried - soft, creamy and it glides on to eyes effortlessly. I love it!

Monu Enriched Body Cream
This is rich, indulgent cream, This beautifully fragranced Body Cream is luxuriously rich and indulgent. It has a refreshingly zesty lemon scent and leaves my skin ultra smooth.

Figs & Rouge Lip Balm
I love Figs & Rouge balms, not only is the retro tin lovely, the balms are the perfect size for popping in your makeup bag and applying on the go. 

Philip B Drop Dead Straightening Balm
I'm currently trying to give my hair a rest from heat, but I've noticed that left to dry naturally, it's quite wavy, so this Straightening Balm has arrived at the perfect time!

What do you think of this special edition box?

Glossybox costs £10 per month plus £2.95 P&P

*PR Sample

7 May 2012

La Maison de Senteurs Gardenia Rose Scented Candle

As much as I love the likes of more expensive scented candles such as Lily Flame, Neom and Yankee Candle, collecting candles can become an expensive hobby so I was on the hunt for cheaper alternatives. I came across the prettily packaged Marks & Spencer's La Maison de Senteurs Scented Candles, with a variety of scents on offer and priced at just £5.00. I chose Gardenia Rose, and I'm happy to report that despite the affordable price, our bedroom was filled with the soft scent of roses - prefect for unwinding with a good book at the end of the day! They're currently on offer - buy one get one half price, so I'll be using this as an excuse to buy some more!

La Maison de Senteurs Scented Candles are priced at £5.00 and are available to buy from Marks & Spencer