Wake Up And Smell The Coffee – It Can Taste As Good

Wake Up And Smell The Coffee – It Can Taste As Good

 

I recently heard on the radio a so called coffee expert and Barista exclaiming that the aroma of coffee is always so good that the taste never fails to disappoint.

As my friends will tell you I always rise to a challenge, and have been investigating this notion ever since, and think I have proved her wrong!

A long time buddy of mine bought me a Tassimo coffee maker for my birthday at the end of last year, which has totally revolutionised my life in that not only does it cut out the painful cleaning of my old coffee machine, but it makes incredible coffee too. Now you may think that this is an advertisement for the Tassimo, but I assure you it is not, I am just sharing my knowledge and excitement at this recent discovery! Tassimo have a new range of machines in fantastic colours.

 

The coffee and creamer comes in separate capsules and you simply slot them into the top of the machine and away you go. The milk or creamer is delivered piping hot and steaming and frothy, just the way good coffee should be. Plus the taste really does not disappoint as with so many other makes of coffee, even in established coffee shops.

I am also going to invest in one for the office, as it will cut down on the crazy prices that have evolved since the birth of trendy coffee cafes such as Starbucks and Costa. Don’t get me wrong, I will still enjoy the occasional cup of coffee at the weekend when meeting up with girl friends in our local chic café, but for the everyday, will continue to enjoy the various types of coffee available for a Tassimo coffee machine.

So far I have tried COSTA cappuccino, COSTA macchiato, breakfast coffee and COSTA latte, and all of them are really good in their own way. Of course nothing beats going into a COSTA coffee shop with friends but now I can enjoy the great taste at home as well.

mug

There are also lots more on the market, and I won’t spoil it for you, go and explore the coffee counter in your local supermarket once you have invested in a Tassimo, and let us know which one you enjoy the best. I am betting you will find it really hard to decide.
You can see the full range of drinks available at https://www.tassimo.co.uk/drinks-range/c-117/

Thanks to our sponsors you to can enjoy the Tassimo experience with the chance to win a Tassimo hot drink machine
To be in with a chance of winning just enter your details into the form below

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Nail Polish for Men is “Normal” — Just Like It Used to Be 5,000 Years Ago

Nail Polish for Men is “Normal” — Just Like It Used to Be 5,000 Years Ago

 

As the lockdown persists, we see more and more men emerging with painted nails, either through choice or the reluctant endurance of their creative offspring.

When Jaden Smith posed for Vogue Korea, the internet went berserk. According to Entertainment Tonight, he looked “stunning shirtless in a skirt with a flower in his hair.”

What made headlines was the skirt — not the blue nail polish on his fingers.

Smith is hardly alone. Plenty of other men have been seen wearing nail polish, including Johnny Depp, Seal, Brad Pitt, Zac Efron, Harry Styles and more.

1234 depp

But History is actually repeating itself. Men have been wearing nail polish since 3,200 B.C. After an excavation of royal tombs at Ur of the Chaldees in southern Babylonia, it was discovered that most men during that time wore nail polish, with different colours signifying different classes. Made primarily with kohl, the darker the colour, the higher the class of the man, from warriors to leaders. Lighter colours were reserved for the lower class men. Prior to battle, the warriors would take hours to paint their nails,so really, it’s not a new thing at all. In fact, nail polish for guys used to be the norm.

Come forward to artists such as Iggy Pop, Kurt Cobain, Lou Reed and David Bowie, all of whom painted their nails.

lou reed bowie

All the men above were rock stars, rebelling against the gender norms their elders obeyed. In Bowie’s case, critics just didn’t know what to do with his androgynous look, since rockers of the past had been forced into being extremely hyper-masculine figures.

But something has shifted in the past few years, not only by stars like Jaden Smith, but also the emergence of nail polish brands catering toward men.

There are several companies specifically producing these nail polishes just for men, an internet search will bring up a few makes, in reality they are no different to normal nail polish, they just stick to earthy and darker shades.

male polish

Though there is no reason not to go for a more bolder shade like Harry Styles of One Direction seen here with red polish on some nails.

harry styles

Our very own resident chef Adam put it to the test for us, His daughters painted his nails, in black, and they went to town shopping. “At first I was very apprehensive” said Adam, “but after being in a few shops and paying for goods, knowing full well that my painted nails were in full view I suddenly became more and more confident, no one batted an eye lid, it certainly seems it is now acceptable for guys to wear nail polish”

Creator of Thunderbirds, Sylvia Anderson was always pushing the boundaries on fashion in all the shows she created & produced, even some of male characters on Thunderbirds wore eye shadow.

thunderbirds ete

But that was Sylvia, given her fashion background, always trying to push just a little bit more and it certainly contributed to what made all the shows a success.

thunderbirds eye

We will leave the last words to Adam. “I may try this again, and will report back. However I will stick to darker colours as don’t think a bright pink will go down well at the pub on a Friday night with the lads, but if pink is good enough for Prince Harry then you never know!”


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#MalePolish

BACK TO THE BATH TUB – SHOCKING REVELATIONS

BACK TO THE BATH TUB – SHOCKING REVELATIONS

 

About 20 years ago I was utterly ‘shocked’ when a rather mumsie middle aged woman who was trying to revive her sex life with her husband told me that with or without a partner, a gloriously hot bath full of bubbles, surrounded with a multitude of candles and dimmed lights was the answer to any maiden’s prayer.

I think I was more surprised that this lady of around 50 was having any sex at all, but now that I am approaching that age myself am far more sympathetic to her revelation.

A beautiful bathing experience is not only good for your sex life, it is also wonderful for your wellbeing, can help you to think and sleep – especially if you have a long luxurious soak just before going to bed.

I have also been reading about how more and more people are getting back into bathing as their relaxation regime, together with meditation and love this quote from health guru  Gwyneth Paltrow:

“I take a bath every single night – unless I’m somewhere where there is no bathtub,  I started getting really into taking baths when I was probably 22-years-old and did my first movie in London. It’s such a kind of damp cold there, a bath is the only thing that gets the cold out your bones. So, I started taking baths every night – and then I came home and I just never stopped.”

I decided to put this to the test recently as I had been waking up earlier every morning and having difficulty in getting back to sleep.  My restlessness had increased with the colder weather, as Gwyneth had said, the damp air in the UK does something to the bones when you reach a certain age, and I was amazed at the difference a late night bath made to my sleeping and indeed my increased energy the following day.

It also felt incredibly pampering, far more than a shower which is refreshing but far less nurturing.   It gives you thinking time, and somehow it is a stress free zone where you can really unwind.  It also gives some well-earned ‘you’ time.

Going back to the disclosures of my lovely ‘Mumsie’ middle aged friend, Gwyneth is not the only movie star who sang the praises of the Bath Tub, and not just to keep warm, Hollywood Icon Marilyn Monroe who was the epitomy of ‘Sexy’ made bathing sensuous and beautiful in the famous bathtub scene in Seven Year Itch back in the fifties.

Luxury Bath salts for calm and great sleeps:

Herbivore calm bath salts – £16

Cowshed – sleepy bath salts – £18

Bath soak heaven is – £22

Neom Real – Luxury Mineral bath salts – £38

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THE BIG BAKE ON FOR CHRISTMAS – DO TRY THIS AT HOME

THE BIG BAKE ON FOR CHRISTMAS – DO TRY THIS AT HOME

You may have never tried this before but we do recommend you ‘do try this at home’ as if you bake it now, it will not only be a memorable table centre for your family meal  but also a huge accolade of achievement for you.
The first time I tried this recipe I was amazed how easy it actually was, and the fruit makes it moist and delightfully tasteful.

You never know, it may also inspire you to be more adventurous in the kitchen all round this party season.

DELICIOUS HOME BAKED CHRISTMAS CAKE

Ingredients

150 g dried figs
225 g soft prunes
100 g pure almonds
225 g soft butter
185 g brown sugar
250 g self-raising flour
0.5 tsp ground cinnamon
0.5 tsp ground ginger
1 good pinch of ground clove
4 large eggs, lightly beaten
225 g raisins
1 juice and zest of 1 large lemon
3 tbsp black treacle
4 tbsp dark rum

Method

Preheat the oven to 150°C, fan 130°C, gas 3. Line a 7cm-deep 20cm square tin with buttered baking paper.

Slice the figs and prunes into small pieces. Roughly chop the almonds. Put the butter and sugar in a bowl and beat until fluffy.

Sift the flour into a bowl with the cinnamon, ginger and cloves. Add this and the beaten eggs alternately to the butter and sugar in the mixer, beating on a low setting all the time.

Stir in the fruit, almonds, lemon juice and zest, treacle and 3 tablespoons of the rum by hand. Tip into the tin and even out with a spatula.

Bake for 1 hour 30 minutes or until golden and a skewer comes out clean. Leave to cool in the tin.

Once cool – make small insertions in the surface and add a little extra rum. To ice your cake, brush the cake with a little warmed apricot glaze, then cover it completely with 500g rolled-out marzipan, trimming off the excess. Brush the marzipan with cooled boiled water. Cover with 750g rolled-out white icing and trim off the excess.

If you prefer you can also bake this cake in a round 20cm tin; cook for 2-2½ hours.

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LOOKING ‘COOL’ WHILST KEEPING WARM – THE ULTIMATE IMAGE MAKER

LOOKING ‘COOL’ WHILST KEEPING WARM – THE ULTIMATE IMAGE MAKER

 

I have been watching so many period dramas and movies recently, and I have been obsessing about the power of the hat.

My grandmother, whose hay day was in the fifties, would go to great lengths to ensure each outfit was perfectly co-ordinated, and her crowning glory would be the most important accessory to complete an outfit.  In fact, she wouldn’t go out without a hat and matching handbag and shoes – especially when visiting the Capital.

I remember trying on a multitude of hats when playing dress-up in her bedroom, and loved every minute.  Milliners were then in abundance and every department store boasted a vibrant hat department.

To endorse my debate, the word Milliner actually came from Milan, which still is the height of fashion, and this is why I am thrilled that hats are making a massive come back.  You can’t beat them as a major styling accessory, and can even create an identity.  But nowadays a Milliner is actually someone who designs and makes a hat, and there are some fabulous styles to choose from.

We have seen it with Meghan Markle who loves wearing a French style beret, and Jenifer Aniston recently was seen donning a Fedora.

If you want a more urban image, there has been a surge in the more masculine tweed ‘peaky blinders’ style beret but worn by women, and for Winter some gorgeous beanies to enhance your ‘cool’ whilst keeping warm.

Stunnning organic cable cashmere hat in natural white – Pure – £55

https://www.purecollection.com/women-c31/accessories-c542/organic-cashmere-cable-hat-alpine-white-p8935

The ultimately cool BBCo Elan Beanie – £28 by wildbounds

https://wildbounds.com/products/elan-beanie-cream

Classic Fedora by Joules – in felt oxblood – £34.95

www.joules.com/Women/Hats-Scarves-And-Gloves/Oxblood/Fedora/Felt

The 30s style Floral wool pleated cloche by Kelkoo – John Lewis – £28

https://www.johnlewis.com/john-lewis-partners-floral-wool-pleated-cloche/plum/

Chic grey wool blend plain beret by Swoop at Topshop – £10

https://www.topshop.com/en/tsuk/product/grey-wool-blend-plain-beret

 

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