Mother’s Day Afternoon Tea

March 11, 2012

On Friday, my Mum and I both had the afternoon off, so went for an early Mother’s Day treat of Afternoon Tea for 2 at the stunning Parkside Hotel in Milton Keynes.

afternoon tea mother's day

Afternoon tea is civilised, charmingly British and a great opportunity to spend quality time together. Having indulged in 2 exceptional afternoon teas together previously, we went in with fairly high expectations and neither of us were disappointed, the surroundings, decor, staff and food were all truly outstanding.

afternoon tea in MK afternoon tea offers

With a selection of yummy crustless finger sized sandwiches, scones with strawberry jam and clotted cream, pretty macaroons and several incredibly scrumptious cakes we over-indulged to the max. This was all enjoyed from the comfort of the beautiful location of Parkside Hotel (sitting in the window we also had a view of the gorgeous countryside of Woughton-on-the-Green too) we both had a great time and would highly recommend as a wonderful Mother’s Day present.

afternoon tea at parkside hotel

With over 50 locations across the UK AND with a bonus 15% discount at the moment at Red Letter Days, this is the perfect, affordable treat for 2 (currently only £29 for 2 – click here to see further info). My only advice would be to try and book it in around lunchtime as we went at 3pm which messed up the meal routine as didn’t want lunch before and then was completely stuffed afterwards, but it was well worth the stomach expansion, which brings me on to the only other piece of advice… an elasticated waistband is a must for all those scrummy irresistible cakes!!

mothers day afternoon tea

If you’d like to treat your mum to a day out or an experience gift but don’t think Afternoon Tea is the thing for you, there are plenty of other great gift ideas available here too.

mothers day experience gifts

Cake Pop Maker

February 15, 2012

It was my birthday a couple of weeks ago and I was spoilt rotten with gifts.. more to follow on that on a later post! One of my favourite gifts was this amazing cake pop maker gadget.

cake pop machine

I love baking so as soon as I found out about these fab little gadgets I knew I had to give it a try and it’s BRILLIANT! Making 6 cake pops in just 4 minutes, it is my new favourite toy and I can’t stop making cake pops!

Here are my first batch which I finally got round to making last weekend

cakepops

And here are a batch I made for Valentine’s Day

valentine cake pops

I can’t stop making (and eating, oops!) cake pops, they’re so pretty, delicious and get a great reaction. I’m going to making cake pops for every event, occasion and dinner party and can’t see the novelty ever wearing off.

If you want a cake pop maker of your own, they’re available to buy here for just £35… believe me, it’s worth every penny!

Birthday Wishlist

January 29, 2012

It’s my birthday on Friday, I’m going to be the grand old age of 29 – eeeek, a truly terrifying thought, however the best parts about birthdays (cake, celebrations and pressies) will still be enjoyed regardless of the large number!

Every year, friends and family ask me if there’s anything I want and I’ve realised over time that, as much as I love a nice surprise, it’s better for all involved if I just give them a list of things that I do actually really want. So here are the items featuring on my birthday wishlist this year:

1) Jo Malone English Pear & Fresia Body Creme
jo malone body cream

Jo Malone Body Creme – £48

I absolutely LOVE this body cream. I’ve never felt this passion for a beauty product before but the scent is delicious and it leaves your skin feeling so soft and smooth that this is number 1 on my birthday list. At £48 it is pricey but used sparingly it lasts for several months and although I wouldn’t indulge on this for myself, it will always feature on my gift wishlist until I can justify splashing out on it for myself!

2) They’re Real Mascara
Their real mascara

They’re Real Mascara – £18.50

This is another must-have beauty item for me, it’s only been available in the UK since August, I was amongst the first to buy it, and have never worn another mascara since. I don’t wear a lot of make-up but mascara is the one can’t live without beauty item for me. I love big lashes and am a big fan of both eyelash extensions and false lashes, although the effect of this isn’t quite so dramatic, it is a brilliant mascara and the best I’ve found for both length and volume.

3) Striped Sailor Dress
ax paris sailor dress

Striped Sailor Dress – £18

Blue and white are 2 very popular colours in my wardrobe and I love wearing them together especially in the form of these nautical stripes. I already have a dress, cardigan and several tops in this navy & white striped style but nautical is a big trend this year and I think nothing says summer quite like a breton stripe so this AX Paris dress was on the wishlist as soon as it was spotted amongst the new SS12 collection.

4) Cake Pop Maker
pop cake maker

Cake Pop Maker – £35

Baking is one of my favourite hobbies and when I saw this awesome cake pop making machine I knew it would be the perfect addition to my kitchen. This fabulous gadget makes cake pops (tiny lollypop shaped cakes) in just 4 minutes and it’s a good job it’s so quick because I know I’m going to be inundated with requests from friends, family and colleagues for these little badboys!! I can’t wait to start experimenting with different recipes and decorations and then, the best part, distributing them amongst my fellow cake fans.

5) High Ropes Experience Day
high ropes experience day

High Ropes Experience Day – £49

I really enjoy a fun adrenaline-fuelled outdoor adventure day (who doesn’t?) and it doesn’t get much better than an extreme high ropes experience. I live fairly close to Go Ape in Woburn and have been once a couple of years ago and had an amazing day so have asked for a voucher to put towards another fun day out this Spring.

Wow I’ve been pretty greedy with my birthday wish list this year and am not expecting to receive all of these wonderful things, in fact any 1 of them would be marvellous. Although turning 29 seems like a rather daunting prospect I am really excited about the celebratory nights out with family and friends next weekend and of course excited to see which of these, my most coveted items, I’ll get to unwrap!

What’s at the top of your wishlist this season?

Most Wanted This Week

January 27, 2012

It’s my birthday next week and I’ve been busy scouring the web for my most coveted items for my birthday list (something I’m asked for each year by family and friends… another post to follow on that shortly!) but I’ve also been looking for something special to treat myself to…. Well, if you can’t treat yourself on your birthday, when can you?!

It didn’t take long to stumble across these little beauties on Sarenza and it really was love at first sight.

heart vivienne westwood shoesVivienne Westwood for Melissa Lady Dragon Heart Sandals – £143.70

As you can see from my blog, pink and girly fits my style to perfection so the baby pink glossy colour, the gorgeous big metallic heart and the cute peep toe… well I can honestly say that I have NEVER seen a pair of heels that I want need more.

melissa vivienne westwood pink heart shoesHeels can be uncomfortable if worn for hours on end and blisters are often the downfall of a night of dancing, but these gorgeous shoes are made from rubber and look mega comfy as well as super stylish.

These adorable shoes are simply perfect for Valentine’s Day celebrations but I know when they arrive they won’t be limited to just one night’s wear, they’ll rarely be off my feet. They will dress up any outfit from a pair of jeans to a summer playsuit and perfect for adding a splash of colour and cutting edge fashion to the all-important LBD too.

I can’t wait for my birthday to wear my heart on my feet and party the night away in these chic, trendy and fashion forward stunners.

January Sale Top Picks

January 13, 2012

The January sales are in full swing and as a self-confessed shopaholic that alone makes this month a great time of the year! Those little words Further Reductions and 70% off are the things I long to hear all year round but sadly only happen at the end of the season, so now is the perfect time to shop for bargains and I’ve scoured the net every day since the sales began pre-Christmas in order to put together my super sale wish list.

1) Most Coveted Coat
I just love the bright colour of this coat and the smart yet trendy style which will update any outfit in an instant.
blue coat warehouse sale

Blue Side Tab Coat was £90 now £50

2) The Perfect Pyjamas
I’m a massive fan of Hush and after a long day at work love nothing more than getting home, throwing on some gorgeous comfy PJs and settling down for a cosy evening in and these really are the perfect PJs.

hush uk sale
Star Pyjamas was £49.50 now £20

3) Beautiful Block Heel Brogues
These are the perfect shoe boots of the season and at this incredible price they are a must-have item. Brogues and block heels are two big fashion stories of AW11 and will continue into the new season too so these are a great sale find.

50% off stylistpick
Block Heel Fringe Shoes was £39.95 now £19.95

4) Just Gotta Have It Jumpsuit
I love French Connection for their chic, stylish and fashion-forward collection and this is one piece that I’ve been keeping an eye on throughout the season. Although £86 is still fairly pricey, it’s a timeless piece that can be dressed up or down depending on the occasion and would most certainly get a lot of wear.

french connection uk sale
Featherweight Flannel Jumpsuit was £221 now £86

5) The Desirable Dress
I’ve been eyeing up this Firetrap dress since the very beginning of AW11 and now that it’s in the sale I just have to have it! Firetrap pieces are always great quality and this can be worn all year round with the adddition of a pair of tights or leggings during the winter months.

firetrap uk sale
Twisted Print Dress was £72.50 now £43.50

6) Little Bit Of Luxe
OK so £84 for a jumper may seem pretty steep but just look at it, it’s an absolute beaut and this is another item that I’ve been coveting all season so now it’s been so heavily reduced… well, it wouldn’t take much to twist my arm that’s for sure and it’s selling out fast so can’t delay the decision on this one for long.
marc jacobs sequin sweater

Marc by Marc Jacobs Sequin Sweater was £280 now £84

7) Last but not least…
I’ve been on the verge of ordering this dress for months but with far too many party dresses and not enough parties to attend I really couldn’t justify the cost (although I was on the verge whenever a 20% discount found it’s way into my inbox). However, now that it’s only £15 I really couldn’t resist and can’t wait to receive it.
oasis 2 in 1 embellished dress

2 in 1 Embellished Dress was £65 now £15

What bargains have you picked up in the January sales?

New Year’s Resolutions

January 3, 2012

girls wishlist blogSo another year begins and, although I don’t really believe in making resolutions (who can give anything up for an entire year?!), according to the Mayan calendar this year will be our last so may as well jot a few down with the hope of leading a more fulfilling year which will supposedly end them all.

So, here are my 2012 resolutions:

1) Blog more often
This one should be the easiest as I have been slack to say the least at keeping Girls Wishlist updated of late. I LOVE both online shopping and online marketing, of which blogging is one of my favourite aspects, but in the last few months life seems to have got in the way and GW has been seriously neglected so fingers crossed this one will be my favourite and easiest to achieve.

2) Run more
I really do enjoy running, if you’re not a fellow jogger you’re probably wondering what on earth could be fun about pounding the pavements for miles on end, but for me it is time to clear your head, listen to some good tunes and decide what delicious treats to indulge in afterwards in order to make up for lost calories… I guess it’s the elusive ‘me time’ that everyone craves but no-one gets enough of, so more running will be on the agenda… but only in the warmer months, I’m not entirely crazy! And what better time to think about exercise than when the Sweaty Betty sale has begun… well you have to look the part, right?!

Who knows, I might run so much more this year that I even sign up for the London Marathon 2013 before the year is out, and anyway, if the Mayan calendar is to be believed I won’t actually have to run it anyway!

3) Eat less sweets
My sweet tooth seems to be getting worse as the years go on and it’s getting beyond a joke. At first I thought I was just doing my bit for charity providing the office charity box £1 each time I indulged in a packet of delicious sugary snacks, but now I’m thinking that it would probably be better to contribute to a worthy charity without feeling the need to scoff a bag of sweets every time, I mean with 8-10 bags of sweets each week my teeth might not last until I’m 30 (and 29 is FAST approaching!)

Even while typing about cutting back on my biggest vice I’m dreaming of sweeeets, mmmm, how good does this retro sweet box look?!

retro sweet gifts

Sorry, I digress…

4) Less shopping
Hahaha, who am I trying to kid?! I think 3 is quite enough for one year.

Have you made any New Year’s Resolutions? If you have, let me know in the ‘leave a comment’ link at the top right of the page and we can try to help each other through the next 12 months together!

Best Gift EVER

August 25, 2011

girls wishlist blogSo today started out a pretty ordinary day… got up as normal, went to work as normal, sat in the normal amount of traffic on the way home, got greeted by a very excited chihuahua as normal, fed the dog and cat their din-dins as normal, somebody knocked on the door as normal… oh hang on a minute, that’s not normal, that was the beginning of the moment my life changed forever!

I went to the door to be greeted by my Mum, Dad and sister… erm, hello… did I forget that you’re coming over tonight?? This is not normal behaviour, and my house is a mess, as they walk through to the living room I first wonder what they must think of the state of the mid-week mess in my house but then I started to really worry that they had come over in a group to deliver bad news… then I saw what looked like a beautifully wrapped present in my mum’s arms…. Have we started celebrating half birthday’s?… no, can’t be as that would have been 21 days ago…

“Erm, what’s going on here then?” I asked, intrigued.
“We just wanted to thank you for everything you’ve done for us” My mum answered handing me the present and card.

First I opened the card, still not really understanding what was happening on this random Wednesday night which had seemed no different to any other up until a minute ago…

thank you greetings card thank you present

Reading this choked me up, such kind words from my loving family on just a normal day (which had actually been a pretty bad day up until this point) cheered me up no end and brought a lump to my throat at the kindness and sweet nature of my amazing family.

“I don’t get it, what’s all this about?” I asked
“Open your present” my sister said

So I did… and a picture speaks a thousand words so here it is…

oak mulberry alexa

They’d only gone and got me the stunningly beautiful Mulberry Alexa OF. MY. ACTUAL. DREAMS!!!

I could not believe it! After about 30 seconds of open mouth gawking at this stunning beauty in my arms, staring in disbelief at the dream bag I’ve been coveting for so many years but never thought I’d actually own in reality I did what every girl in my position would do and I cried… tears of joy, love and happiness streamed down my face as I hugged my wonderful Alexa and each of my amazing family. “That wasn’t the reaction we were hoping for” Mum said, “We thought you’d shriek with excitement like when we got you the Glee Tour tickets for your birthday” Believe me, that moment right there was the happiest of my life, surrounded by the people that I love the most and now in possession of my absolute dream handbag.. the one thing I’ve wanted more than anything in the world for god knows how long!

Here are a few extra shots of this awesome piece of Mulberry magic for any Alexa fanatics who may be reading this.

mulberry handbag

mulberry logo on front of bag

mulberry handbags

logo on the inside of the bag

mulberry alexa handbags

The handbag of my dreams!

I love my family to bits, they are the most generous, kindest, loving and beautiful people in the whole world and I am so grateful to have been born into such a fantastic family unit. Thank you Mum, Dad, Carly, Paul and my adorable little nephew-to-be, I just hope that one day I can re-pay the favour to each of you by providing you with the happiness and love that you have given me today.  xxxxx

P.S. Who knew that such a normal day could turn out to be the best day of your life?! Now that my life dream of owning a Mulberry Alexa has been achieved, I’m not quite sure what life goal to aim for next!

Ri2K Ladbrooke Handbag

July 22, 2011

girls wishlist blog
My name’s Hayley and I’m a handbagaholic… wow, it feels good to finally admit that and get it off my chest!

I’m not entirely sure when this addiction began but I knew it had reached new heights when I saw a lady sharing my carriage on a tube with my most coveted item – a Mulberry Alexa in Oak, having set eyes on this stunning piece of treasure I found myself edging closer to her with my eyes fixated on her beautiful bag. To anyone else in the carriage I probably looked like I had thieving in mind but all I wanted to do was get close enough to see every last detail to check for authenticity, and if I could get close enough to touch it that would be amazing… to be honest just seeing a Mulberry Alexa in the flesh made my day!

Unfortunately, buying a £785 handbag is a mere pipe dream of mine but my addiction is not limited purely to this amazing bag, I fall in love with bags of all shapes, sizes and prices – which over the years has resulted in a massive storage box above my wardrobe being filled to the brim with wonderful handbags. But, I’m a firm believer that a girl can never have enough handbags and having saved my pennies (and spotting a bargain in a sale!) I decided to treat myself to a new beauty in the form of this fabulous Ri2k Ladbrooke tote bag.

ri2k sale Ri2k Ladbrooke Tote was £135 now £59.99

I love everything about this bag; the size, the colour, the quality – it’s perfect! It’s 100% leather so will last years (an investment piece, so the price is justified!) and has an inner compartment plus pocketed sections on each side and an elasticated pouch for your mobile so you can keep important things separated – which is a must-have factor of any day bag for me.

ri2k bags

I brought this gorgeous new handbag from MyBag.com which is my favourite place to buy bags because they offer free worldwide delivery on everything on their site which is a massive plus point for me! Their sale is on right now and having received my new beloved addition to my handbag collection the day after ordering it I can’t recommend them highly enough.

Pippa Middleton has recently been spotted with two Ri2K handbags, and if they’re good enough for the Middleton’s well they’re certainly good enough for me – a new shopping mantra of mine!

Ri2K handbags

Do you have a handbag addiction? I’d love to know which bags you’re coveting and if you have any new additions to your handbag collection let me know in the comments below.

Wedding Outfit Panic

June 25, 2011

girls wishlist blog This time last week I was running around Milton Keynes shopping centre, 2 hours before I was being picked up to be taken to one of my oldest and best friends wedding, trying to find something to wear for the big event… I can laugh about it now but I most certainly was not in the mood for raising a smile then!

I think you’ll know from this site that shopping is one of my greatest passions, so why did I leave it to the last minute? I just couldn’t settle on the right dress. There is so much choice out there, I’ve even written a wedding guest dresses article, but with so many beautiful dresses I just couldn’t make a decision.

I’d had deliveries arriving pretty much every day for a month and my boyfriend was getting pretty annoyed so (him being an accountant) I told him that I like to think of ordering clothes as a savings account… I place an order, it arrives, I try it on, I return it and 5-10 working days later the money’s back in my account. And how much have you wasted on deliveries and returns for all of these then? he asked… I dread to think!

Here are just a tiny selection of the dresses that have arrived for possible wedding guest dresses in the last several weeks.

warehouse one shoulder dress blue one shoulder slouch dress oasis halter prom dress
One Shoulder Dress – £70 Slouchy One Shoulder Dress – £70 Halter Belle Prom Dress – £65

Although I really liked most of the dresses I tried on, I’m in between sizes and found that they were all either too big or too small and as each one was sent back my heart sank more and I started to worry that I wouldn’t get a new dress. The evening before the wedding I arrived home to 4 more dresses from Warehouse. I fell in love with one of them but it was too tight across the chest. It was late and shops were shut so my only hope was heading to MK the morning before the wedding and praying they’d got the dress in my size.

On Saturday morning the shopping centre opened at 9, but Warehouse was shut – aggghhhh, panic had truly set in by now. I paced up and down the centre for 30 minutes and thankfully the doors were open at 9:30. I ran to the front, pulled the dress from my bag and begged Please tell me you have this in a 10?, the girl in the shop sped to the 3 dresses These have been really popular, we’ve only got a few… 16.. 14… 12. Stay there a moment I’m going to check upstairs My heart sank to the pit of my stomach as I silently prayed to a god I don’t believe in… please, please, please have a 10… I didn’t want to return home empty handed after I’d left the house to my boyfriends ever so sympathetic words You’ve had 9 months to plan your outfit for this wedding (Men!) What seemed like hours, but was no more than 2 minutes later the girl came back, dress in hand, THANK YOU! I quickly tried on and bought this dress which I absolutely adore and Vikki who served me was a complete angel.

white warehouse dress bright flower
Silk Orchid Print Cross Back Dress – £80

It’s made of pure silk and the flower set on a cream halter neck dress has so many bright beautiful colours which makes it so easy to style it differently depending on which colours you choose to accessorise it with. I love the back the best and the cute little buttons on the halter neck… it’s all in the detail for me and I was so happy I finally found my dream dress!

warehouse bright floral dress

I ran in to Accessorize, feeling a smug grin creep across my face because I now owned this beautiful dress, and was helped by a great shop assistant who must have sensed my panic (time to get home, showered and ready was running out) and she acted as my personal shopper finding me these fab accessories for my new dress:

accessorise leaf earrings accessorise floral hair clips accessorize coral clutch bag
Gold Leaf Earrings – £7 Gold Floral Hair Clips – £6 Patent Vintage Clutch Bag – £25

And I knew I was going to wear with these Dorothy Perkins shoes which I brought last month and adore

coral sandals

Coral Pleat Strap Sandals – £35

After a morning of sheer panic my outfit was complete and I know that I will wear it time and time again so, manic rush to get ready aside, I’m glad to have waited to find the perfect dress.

I have no idea why the bride is stressed on her wedding day, she’s brought the dress months before, has someone to do her hair and make-up for her and is probably sipping champagne while getting her nails painted… it’s far more stressful for the guests!

The wedding was absolutely amazing, I won’t put a photo up before getting permission from Natalia, my BFFSD (bestest friend from school days) who is currently on honeymoon but she looked stunning and the wedding was the best I’ve ever attended. Forget the Royal wedding, this was the wedding of the year!

Congratulations Nat and Pat, wishing you both a lifetime of happiness together xx

P.S. Please don’t tell me that you’ll be renewing your vows next year as I don’t think I can handle the stress of finding another outfit!

Flowboarding Groupon

June 24, 2011

girls wishlist blog Please note that the Groupon voucher has now expired but you can still buy this fantastic Flowboarding experience (which is still a bargain for the amazing day you’ll have for either £39 for 1 person or £75 for 2 people at Red Letter Days.

This morning when I woke up I reached under my pillow to find my phone and check my emails. It was only 6:30 and the 2nd batch of the Olympic tickets went on sale at 6, so my first thought was to re-try for tickets, but then I saw an email in my inbox which channelled my thoughts elsewhere – 62% Off Flowboarding Introduction – Yes, please!!

This is the second time that I’ve seen this on Groupon, the first time was in November and I snapped up 4 tickets for my Dad, my boyfriend, a friend and myself. We went along at the end of February and it was BRILLIANT! I’ve tried wakeboarding, bodyboarding and snowboarding, and being pretty useless at all 3 I thought this would be the same, but I love nothing more than throwing myself into a new sport so I was really excited to give it a try and the good news is that it’s easy to pick up the basics (unlike wakeboarding where I spent 3 hours face-planting the water after 2/3 seconds of leaving the platform!), it’s indoors so you don’t get cold, and when you do fall off it doesn’t hurt at all because the Flowrider is completely padded and you can see from the photo below how shallow it is too.

bodyflight groupon

The 1 hour experience is really action packed. You start off laying on the flowboard which is like bodyboarding and they get you doing lots of fun things like swapping your board with someone else, kneeling on the board, doing a forward roll etc. and then after you’ve mastered this, you move on to standing on your board which is similar to surfing (but completely backwards as the water is flowing in the opposite direction.

bedford flowhouse groupon

I can’t recommend it highly enough, it’s a great experience and everyone in the group we joined (probably 15 people in total) were dying to try it again, and now this Groupon has appeared I will certainly be booking up straight away as it’s the bargain price of £15 – which is usually £39.99 (in fact I’ve already booked another 4 before I started typing!) If you want to give it a go click here to book, but hurry as the offer ends at midnight.

Unfortunately the Groupon voucher has now expired but you can still buy this fantastic Flowboarding experience (which is still a bargain for the amazing day you’ll have for either £39 for 1 person or £75 for 2 people at Red Letter Days.

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