May by Zoe

 

IMG_4043.JPGThis Month

I was 13 when the iconic film ‘Dirty Dancing’ was released and I instantly fell in love with it. I bought the soundtrack on LP record!, I was desperate for a pair of white jeans like Baby’s and Patrick Swayze was my first big celebrity crush!!
When it was then made into a musical I’d been keen to see it for a long time & so when the tour came to Bradford Alhambra I bought tickets for my mum, Isabelle, myself and a friend and was really looking forward to seeing it. Having loved Mamma Mia both on stage and screen I was expecting something similar with Dirty Dancing but unfortunately I was a little disappointed. In my opinion this is a musical play not a musical and has not been adapted well from screen to stage. It’s almost word for word which translates into lots of very bitty scenes jumping far too quickly from one to another. The dialogue and diction of the cast was quite poor and I think I only actually heard the dialogue as I knew it so we’ll from the film, not because I actually heard the cast with their sometimes dubious American Accents. Saying all this, the music is taken from the film & played onstage brilliantly by a live band so it was an enjoyable evening just listening to the music alone. An audience predominantly filled with 40 something females who’d all loved the film in their teenage years and what seemed like every hen do for 2017, everyone got into the spirit of things getting all too excited when the iconic lines ‘I carried a water melon’ & ‘nobody puts baby in the corner’ were spoken. Not a musical I’ll be rushing to see again any time soon but we had a lovely evening starting off with a meal at Zizi’s Bradford first. Great meal & fantastic staff and having not been to Bradford for a long time I was impressed with the changes in the city & how much it’s been cleaned up & modernised. http://www.zizi.co.uk

Places

This month we’ve had another visit to The Alchemist in the Trinity Centre Leeds.
It’s become a IMG_4455very popular haunt over the last couple of years with delicious food, amazing cocktails and a fab city vibe atmosphere. Leeds has fantastic shops, so many great bars & restaurants and for us it’s only a half an hour train journey away, so regular visits are a must. http://www.thealchemist.uk.com

RECOMMENDATIONS

As Isabelle is with the Stagebox Elite team her head shots need updating regularly and so we tied in a photo shoot with the amazing Lisa Visser on our London trip. Lisa is exclusively a Children’s photographer for both portfolio shoots and fine art photography and her work is second to none. She is such a delightful lady and so calming whilst she works, getting the best out of the children. http://www.lisavisserfineart.co.uk

Beauty & Style

With just three months to go until summer it really is time to get my body and wardrobe summer & beach ready. Easter is a big weakness for me, not the chocolate as much as hot cross buns!!!! I can never resist them and have eaten a few too many over the Easter break. Now the children are back at school my morning gym visits have resumed along with a healthier eating plan. I tend to do my own workout at the gym rather than classes but I’m really keen to try out some Yoga classes soon so I’m going to get myself booked in to a class. I always look forward relaxing in the hydrotherapy pool after my workout which is my incentive. I do struggle to motivate myself back to the gym after a break but once I get going I look forward to it. I’ve felt quite sluggish and under the weather lately so hopefully my energy levels will improve soon.
It’s nice to see summery clothes in the shops now and I’m looking forward to sorting out the kids and my own summer wardrobes.
Next have lovely summer things in for women along with Warehouse and Asos online.
Dare is a local boutique in Kirkburton Huddersfield which have some fabulous one off pieces http://www.dareboutique.co.ukIMG_4045.GIF
Isabelle is loving style and fashion these days and her favourite shops are River Island,  Zara & New Look along with Lipsy. As she’s such a tiny build even the smallest petit range can be too big for her which is why New Looks 9-13 range is great. She’s loving her new pale blue cold shoulder frill trim skater dress £19.99 from New Looks 9-13 range.

Lifestyle & Home

My Perfect Day Off
Leading a very busy life running my own business and being a mum of 2 I rarely get a day off so having a few days off over Easter was wonderful. I thought I’d share with you my perfect Sunday off.
I rarely get a lie in so an extra hour in bed with a leisurely breakfast of yoghurt, fruit  & granola starts my day off well and I can never start any day without a  coffee from my Nespresso coffee machine. The vanilla flavoured coffee is my one to go to at the moment.
Just spending a morning at home pottering around and reading the morning paper is pure luxury and letting the children enjoy a bit of time out from their hectic lives is good for all of us. Tony will potter about doing bits around the house and everyone’s relaxed and happy.
We might go for a light lunch at one of our many favourite places in the area we live.  We’re very lucky to live in such a beautiful part of Yorkshire and we have many fabulous farm shops and trendy cafés all serving delicious local produce. Blacker Hall Farm Shop and cafe is a real treat and their food is a real touch of luxury on a lunch time. http://www.blackerhallfarmshop.co.uk
A short walk and some fresh air afterwards always does us good and we have some lovely walks around us.
I love cooking for my family and it’s something I wish I had a bit more time to spend on for trying out new dishes. However I do a good Sunday roast if I do say so myself and I make sure we always sit down to eat together as a family as much as we possibly can and commitments allow during the week, but every Sunday it’s a must. It’s a great time for conversations and just enjoying each other’s company.
After the kids showers, baths, school bags packed, my to do list for the week organised and anything else that needs organising for the week ahead I then love to light my candles and put the evening lighting on for us all to sit down as a family and watch either a film or whichever reality show is on at the moment. Surroundings and lighting are so important to me to create a lovely ambiance in our home.
Once the children are in bed I love to have a bath with my favourite products,
Neom sleep bubble bath and a lush bath bomb, my current favourite is Golden Egg, it’s so softening and feels amazing on your skin.
I will always take my makeup off before the bath then after my bath I will fully cleanse, tone and moisturise my face and fully moisturise my body.
Before bed I might snuggle up on the sofa and watch my favourite programmes, either catching up on Emmerdale & Corrie or my guilty pleasure The Real Housewives of Cheshire!
Just a simple day at home with my family is what I consider a perfect day when I lead such a busy life. XX

Cocktail of the Month

My favourite cocktail at the Alchemist has to be the Mojhito. It’s refreshing and a perfect drink as the weather is brightening up.

Mojito is a traditional Cuban highball. Traditionally, a mojito is a cocktail that consists of five ingredients: white rum, sugar, lime juice, soda water, and mint
IngreIMG_4047.JPGdients: 1 1/2 oz White rum, 6 leaves of Mint, Soda Water, 1 oz Fresh lime juice, 2 teaspoons Sugar
Preparation: Mint sprigs muddled with sugar and lime juice. Rum added and topped with soda water. Garnished with sprig of mint leaves. Served with a straw.
Served: On the rocks; poured over ice
Standard garnish: Sprig of mint.

Book of the Month

Reading gives you a wealth of knowledge and I’m a big believer in children reading as many books as possible from an early age. My son Max is 9 is an avid reader and always has a book on the go so I thought I’d look into the recommended top 50 books that every child should read by 16. My list is as follows but I know other children and parents will have many others they could add to this list.
1. Charlie and The Chocolate Factory – Roald DahlIMG_4048.JPG
2. Alice in Wonderland – Lewis Carroll
3. The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe – CS Lewis
4. Winnie The Pooh – AA Milne
5. Black Beauty – Anna Sewell
6. James and The Giant Peach – Roald Dahl
7. The BFG – Roald Dahl
8. A Bear Called Paddington – Michael Bond
9. Treasure Island – Robert Louis Stevenson
10. Adventures of Huckleberry Finn – Mark Twain
11. Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone – J.K. Rowling
12. Matilda – Roald Dahl
13. The Railway Children – E Nesbit
14. Oliver Twist – Charles Dickens
15. Five on a Treasure Island – Enid Blyton
16. The Wind in the Willows – Kenneth Grahame
17. The Very Hungry Caterpillar – Eric Carle
18. The Jungle Book – Rudyard Kipling
19. Charlotte’s Web – EB White
20. The Tale of Peter Rabbit – Beatrix Potter
21. Watership Down – Richard Adams
22. The Hobbit – JRR Tolken
23. Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows – JK Rowling
24. Lord of the Flies – William Golding
25. The Secret Diary of Adrian Mole, aged 13 ¾ – Sue Townsend
26. Great Expectations – Charles Dickens
27. The Cat in the Hat – Dr Seuss
28. The Secret Garden – Frances Hodgson–Burnett
29. The Diary of a Young Girl – Anne Frank
30. The Twits – Roald Dahl
31. The Wonderful Wizard of Oz – L Frank Baum
32. The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas – John Boyne
33. Anne of Green Gables – LM Montgomery
34. The Tiger Who Came to Tea – Judith Kerr
35. Green Eggs and Ham – Dr Seuss
36. The Day of the Triffids – John Wyndham
37. Bambi – Felix Selten
38. Tom’s Midnight Garden – Phillipa Pearce
39. Little House on the Prairie – Laura Ingalls Wilder
40. Funny Bones – Janet and Allan Ahlberg
41. Where The Wild Things Are – Maurice Sendak
42. Carrie’s War – Nina Bawden
43. The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time – Mark Haddon
44. The Magician’s Nephew – CS Lewis
45. Northern Lights – Philip Pullman
46. The Story of Doctor Dolittle – Hugh Lofting
47. The Story of Tracy Beaker – Jacqueline Wilson
48. The Hunger Games – Suzanne Collins
49. Curious George – HA Ray
50. Each Peach Pear Plum – Janet and Allan Ahlberg
I’ve just got into trouble with Max for not adding his ultimate favourite series of books
Diary of a Wimpy kid & Horrid Henry!!!

Thought for the Month

‘Life is what’s happening whilst you’re busy planning for the future’

This Month I’m Loving

Lighter nights and better weather on its way, fingers crossed!

This Month I’m not Loving

Terrorist attacks, the future for our children scares me.

This Months Favourites

1. Maze Gordon Ramsey in Mayfair. Wonderful food, wonderful service.
2. The Real Housewives of Cheshire, my guilty pleasure!IMG_4051.JPG
3. Molton Brown naran ji hand wash. Adds a touch of luxury to your guest bathroom.
4. Whitney Houston. Having been to about 4 different places all playing different Whitney songs today made me remember just how fabulous she was at the height of her fame and it made me dig out my old Greatest Hits album. Being at Theatre School in the early 90’s we did many a dance routine to various Whitney songs and I’m loving re discovering her songs. IMG_4050.JPG
5. My new L’Oreal False Lash Superstar double ended mascara. It does exactly what it says and gives amazing length and volume to your lashes.

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