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THE Best Make Up Blog EVER………………… well I think so anyway!

Hello everyone,
Hope everyone is well and looking forward to 6 Fridays left before Christmas ……………. NOT.index
Now I love Christmas xmastree but is it really necessary to fill the shops with sparkly reindeer and chocolate Santas in October?! I think not.
Never fear readers I wont be mentioning the “C” word anymore until approximately 1 week before.
However, I thought I would bring a little bit of early “C” cheer by telling you all about a fabulous beauty blog with fabulous products and even more fabulous step by step tips, just in time for those infamous office parties that I am sure some will want to wow their fellow co workers with their “out of work” looks. So ladies and gentlemen I have great pleasure in introducing the wonderful http://www.beautyandtheboutique.com/ .
Katie, the founder really is a genius. She’s an amazing make up artist herself, but has done us a huge favour but not only bringing us professional products (that actually work) but she posts step by step videos on how to recreate her looks..
I have watched loads of make up tutorials on Youtube, but they are never as simple to achieve as Katie’s. I stumbled upon her site when a friend of mine liked her page on Facebook.
So, Beauty and the Boutique is definitely one to watch out for.
I use the Veil concealer religiously but at £24 a pop its not cheap, but it does achieve amazing results, and turns me from the 30 something black circle eye bag lady into a fresh fresh faced nubile 20 something, awwww okay, its not that good but it definitely covers dark circles better than the 500’000 other concealers I have tried over the years. No, that’s not an exaggeration!
The customer service is fab too, I always receive my products within a few days and receive cute emails to let me know they are on their way.
Anyway, check her out http://www.beautyandtheboutique.com/ I am sure you will love her and her blog!
Happy shopping !

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Book Review – Ordinary Joe

Well folks, here it is…………….finally after Amazon deigned to send me my copy…………………..2 weeks later angry 

my review of the long awaited, eagerly anticipated Ordinary Joe, by Jon Teckman.  Apart from not being able to get the picture of the author out of my head when picturing Joe West, I enjoyed this book immensely and look forward to the film! .  Its funny, well written and rather entertaining with a few dark twists.  Not what I was expecting at all.

The back cover promises “A brilliant, fast-paced comedy about what happens when all of your dreams become true.

What would you do if…

…you were happily married

…with two gorgeous children

…and the most gorgeous film star in the world walked up to you

…And it wasn’t a joke.

…Could you resist?

I have mixed feelings about this book, I started to like Joe West, the balding, podgy, ordinary accountant, slightly irritating,  however, he then starts to annoy me and I find myself increasingly angry with him with the need to slap him frequently.   Lots of great stereotypical characters in the book that are also dealt with cleverly.  A good storyline and an important moral to the story……………if you have an ounce of conscience, never have an affair or wear silly socks!  A good enjoyable read and a great debut novel, would definitely recommend and will definitely read more of his novels.

ORDJGood work Mr T! BUY it now

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Ordinary Joe, By Jon Teckman

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Apologies readers, for my lengthy absence from all things bloggery, I was consorting with the local glitterati of Aylesbury amongst other things, which leads to my title of this post.

The long awaited book by former MD of the British Film Institute,  none other than the very distinguished Jon Teckman!

Feeling slightly out of place amongst the astute, highly educated clique, Mr Bluebell and I were delighted to be invited to a private cocktail party to celebrate the publication of this book.  Both of us also very much enjoyed the fast flowing prosecco and intelligent banter that followed, along with the Hors d’eouvres, quiche and sausages on sticks! A rather lovely way to spend a sunny afternoon.

Ordinary Joe was on sale for the first time last weekend, a signing in Aylesbury Waterstones saw the  30 (!)  ordered copies sell out, why did they not order more??!  I made the point of going to Waterstones on Sunday to bag a copy for myself and was sorely disappointed.  Trying hard not to throw myself on the floor in a major grumpalot toddler style tantrum, I resigned myself to ordering one from  Amazon and am at the letterbox like a rabid dog on heat eagerly waiting for it to arrive…………….its Thursday 21st July and …………………….still…………………nothing………………. yet…………………. hopefully it will arrive in time for the weekend.

If the reviews are anything to go by,  the fab article in the Bucks Herald click here and the success of Mr T’s book signing I am going to love this book.

I predict a Must Read!

Be sure to come back and read my review!

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Top Picks – What’s On This Sunny Weekend In The Aylesbury Vale

Sunny?  Hmmm maybe not with the thunderstorms forecast for Friday and the cloud on Saturday but don’t let that cast a shadow on your weekend, whilst the nation flirts furtively with the summer weather, bring forth your inner sunshine and enjoy the many things to see and do in our beautiful Vale, here are a few of our top picks!

Great British Tennis Weekend  tennis

Try Tennis for Free!

Aylesbury Tennis, Squash and Racketball Club is offering tennis for free between 1pm and 3pm, to find out more Adults, kids & families, lovely way to spend a few hours this weekend and tennis is such a great sport to get into.  With The Boodles at Stoke Park,  23rd-27th June attracting some of the biggest names in tennis and The Queens Club famous for it Stella Artois Tournament, now Aegon Champsionship, 15th-21st June of course the infamous Wimbledon Tournament, 29th June-12th July, get into the spirit, nows the time to dust off your raquets and play ball.

Waterside Theatre

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www.atgtickets.com/aylesbury

Oh wow, this weekend at our beautiful theatre –  Thank You For The Music on Friday, the Fabulous Abba and Bee Gees concert is on Friday 12th June – in all its spectacular spangly sequined splendour, then The Chuckles of Oz on Saturday, hilarious take on the Wizard of Oz, lots of audience participation and suitable for all ages.  beatles

The Bootleg Beatles Sunday 14th June, like watching the real thing.

Beer & Music Festival – Oakley Combined School – Saturday 13th June

oakSpecial guest rock legend Neil Murray (of Whitesnack and Black Sabbath fame) will be attending the festival on Saturday, open from 1pm till late, fully stocked bars with real ale, local ciders, and lager. There will be a BBQ and hogrost and a afternoon tea tent! lots of entertainment for the kiddies, bouncy castles, ice creams and a selfie station!  Loads of parking tickets available from the school or the Eight Bells in Long Crendon, £5 adults, £3 children.

Have a lovely weekend!

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Mentmore Town and Country Club

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What a monumental shame that this beautiful venue has been closed.

No more golf, no more gym, no more functions

sadSunday night (June 7th) the news broke stating that their business model is no longer viable (?!)   90 very unfortunate people have lost their jobs and many more customers disappointed now their functions have been cancelled, one being Henry Floyd’s Grammar School Prom, although the lovely Horwood House saved the day and is now hosting the event. free of charge!

The Halabi Family Trust’s wish was to keep the club open and has been financially supporting the club for some years but this can no longer continue sadly.  Having had personal experience with management there some years ago, it comes as no surprise.  Although the club was a perfect location, the staff and facilities great, the management left something to be desired.

What will become of the place?  Will it be another failed property venture of the once ranked 14th richest man in Britain?   Simon Halabi’s  Mentmore Towers project once propitiously promising the one and only 6 star hotel & spa ran into problems and Mr H was declared bankrupt in 2010.  Will it become a film set again, as in Batman Begins when the wonderful Christian Bale graced its palatial homestead with Wayne Manor?  Or will the once Rothschild owned elephantine property become  disused and derelict?

I hope one day that with more refined management we will see the the much loved Golf and Country Club back on its feet and indeed the 6 star luxury hotel venture,  whatever happens we and the residents of Cheddington, Mentmore Village and the surroundng areas will sorely miss  the club.

Farewell MG&CC, farewell………………………..

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I have to share this with you all……………….Dead Gone by Luca Veste

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Further to my earlier post  this morning (Friday 27th) I found myself in the house on my own and all was quiet……….kids out, Mr Bluebell out, dogs quiet, cats akimbo on the beds upstairs. A peaceful, quiescent atmosphere…………..a rarity in the Bluebell Household, so I took my half-finished bottle of prosecco, walked (mostly in a straight line) to the reading chair and started the new addition to my bookcase……………….Dead Gone by Luca Veste. I write this post in the dead of the night, I had to, I can’t sleep, I started the book at approximately 5pm and finished the book completely in one sitting.

Dead Gone by Luca Veste is his debut novel, definitely an author to watch and having a love of crime thrillers myself it will definitely take pride of place with space for more of his books.

Set in Liverpool, drawing on his Liverpudlian and Italian roots the setting and staging of this story is intriguing and unnerving,  it draws you in immediately and makes you feel you are standing right there with him as he tells the story.  I literally couldn’t put it down and after a bottle of the bubbly stuff one needs to powder ones nose frequently, however I was rooted to the spot.

DI Murphy and DC Rossi are the lead characters in this book, both having their own issues to deal with but fabulous characters.   They interact with each other fabulously, their relationship is wonderful and note that they were quite fond of each other. Jemma Barnes is a victim, disappears without a trace on a rare night out and the story that unfolds thereafter is compelling, frightening, so real, and psychologically dark.  I often wonder about the minds of the authors that can write such stories. A body is found, soon after the disappearance of Jemma, a seemingly controlling husband is in the frame, although her family thinks she’s just upped and left,  apparently it’s happened before but Jemma’s partner can just not believe it.    The body that was found  turns out to be one of many experiments and is not Jemma.  The book is written from three perspectives, 1. being from the husband, whose wife (Jemma) has gone missing 11 months prior,  2. the police led by the commanding but human DI Murphy in real-time and 3. from the captors lair.  Each chapter jumps from story to story but is clearly headed so you know where you are.

Love it. I thought halfway through I’d nailed the killer and was feeling very proud of myself, then a few chapters later kept changing my mind but never would have guessed who it was!! Brilliant read, definitely recommended and i am going to order his other book The Dying Place. Now I am finally to retire to my welcoming bed, sleepy but still leaving the light on!! 😉
For more reviews and prices click DEAD GONE

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Goodbye Week……….Hellllllllo Weekend :-)

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After a busy, busy week being up at the crack of dawn, sorting the little sproglets out, scraping into work for 8am for the last 5 days,  I am sooooo ready for this weekend.

Fridays are the absolute best, for me its starts off with the supermarket dash, now this isn’t good by any stretch of the imagination, however, it is an uninterrupted rug-rat free hour, however, by  the time I get home I can pop open a  bottle of prosecco and imagine the shopping putting itself away.  Then as if by magic my two little helpers come in and put in it away for me, they are so well trained :-).  Then the rest of my Friday is spent doing laundry, hoovering and cleaning, not your idea of fun I hear you scream, but try doing it with a bottle of prossecco in your hand!!

Once all the weekly chores are out of the window, I sink into my luscious sofa and have some R&R, with the satisfied feeling of having completed everyone’s, washing ironing, cleaning etc, now I can really enjoy the weekend with no chores hanging over me and cuddle up and watch a DVD with the kiddies.

Mr Bluebell sent me his daily 6am text announcing that he was taking me out for some dinner and bubbles tomorrow evening, so to pick a place and lets eat…………awwwwwww the romance is very much alive and kicking.

So that led me onto thinking of a suitable venue, did I want posh ‘n’ poseur, comfortable ‘n’ cosy or somewhere in between?  I plumped for our all time favourite, The Bell in Aston Clinton.  I love this place, the food is great, the barman is hilarious and recognises us, which is a nice touch, although we do practically pay his wages and the surroundings are fabulous.  We always sit in the Snug, with its comfy sofas and open fire, its delightful.

The Bell is a fabulous location to have a romantic meal, meet up with friends, office parties, take the kids out, or a cheeky night away, they have 11 rooms many of which are family rooms.   Outside is a walled garden, which would look amazing with a marquee canopy over it in  the colder months. Back inside there is a bar area  within a bar area within a bar area, where you can also eat – you’ll have to visit to see what I mean!  There are two separate dining rooms and then the aforementioned snug.  With its creaky oak flooring and beautiful ceiling beams its a wonderful combination of historical building and modern day living, in their words blending rural charm with modern flair. Love it!

The menu is extensive, with suggestions of good wines, and cask conditioned ales or even if you fancy a cocktail you can. The Bell has a carefully selected lunch & dinner menu with a separate Sunday menu and children’s menus. You can opt for something quite fussy or your standard fish and chips.  However because Mr B and I seem to talk incessantly to each other when we go there, (think its the uninterrupted, sproglet free time), we try to fit in a whole week of conversations,  so we always go for the nibbles, they are seriously to die for.  They do snack size shepherds pie croquettes, onion bhajis, lamb kebabs, deep fried cheese, all mouthwateringly good and sat in front of an open fire with a bottle Malbec is the perfect Saturday night for us.  I have only one criticism, the waitress service is a little slow, even when its not that busy, however, the food is always well worth waiting for, so I put this down to being in the countryside, relax, crack open another bottle of Malbec and welcome the food when it arrives, no one needs to hurtle around at a weekend.  Just don’t go there if you’re in a rush!

We frequent this establishment with some regularity and the time we have sat down in the dining room for dinner was also great, the kiddies came with us, Mr B had the Surf & Turf (28 day aged rib eye steak, chunky chips and lobster tail), I went for the ale battered cod, chunky chips and the homemade mint pea puree and the kids had the children’s menu, which mimic’s the adult dinner menu and we all thoroughly enjoyed it, proper food, lovely atmosphere.

A glorious spot for a variety of occasions and we will continue to visit for many years to come.

Think we’ll try the Sunday lunch soon!

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The Bell,  London Road, Aston Clinton, Buckinghamshire HP22 5HP

01296 632777

8am – 11pm Monday to Saturday
8am – 10.30pm Sunday

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