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Wear Something Red, Knock 'em Dead

Wear Something Red, Knock 'em Dead

AD | When making a statement, few colours will rival the power and magic of red. This hue demands attention, exudes confidence and effortlessly elevates any look. Bold and timeless, red often steals the limelight, "knocks 'em dead". Have a special occasion coming up, a night out on the town, or just want to turn heads wherever you go? Leave them seeing red! 'I always liked red. It's a picker-upper.' - Nancy Reagan The Power of a Red Dress The red dress is widely recognized as a timeless masterpiece in fashion. Exuding glamour and sophistication in its various classic and contemporary silhouettes. Your red dress is your secret weapon, leaving lasting impressions and speaking volumes without saying a word. But where and when for the red dress? 1. The Classic Elegance Style Inspiration: Audrey Hepburn, Grace Kelly A red dress in a classic silhouette is the epitome of timeless elegance. Think Audrey Hepburn's iconic red Givenchy gown in "Funny Face" or Grace Kelly's effortlessly chic red number. This style is very suited to formal occasions like black-tie events, galas, or romantic dinners. The bold colour takes centre stage here, making a sophisticated and memorable statement. 2. Contemporary Chic Style Inspiration: Emma Stone, Rihanna For those who love a modern twist, contemporary red dresses offer a fresh take on glamour. Choose an asymmetrical hem or an avant-garde cut; these are the designs for the fashion-forward. Excellent for cocktail parties, fashion events or a night. A contemporary red dress will ensure you stand out in a crowd. Be bold, be unapologetic. Go knock 'em dead! 3. The Power Suit Dress Style Inspiration: Diane von Fürstenberg, Victoria Beckham The colour red should not be limited to evening wear. No. A red power suit combines sophistication with a touch of authority. Suitable for professional settings, business meetings, or conferences, this style commands attention, exudes confidence and competence.  4. Playful and Flirtatious Style Inspiration: Marilyn Monroe, Taylor Swift For a more playful and flirtatious vibe, consider a red dress with a touch of whimsy. A flared skirt, perhaps, a ruffled neckline or a daring backless design? It'll tick the boxes for daytime events, garden parties or brunch with friends. Go out channelling your inner Marilyn Monroe or Taylor Swift's playful charms.  5. The Little Red Dress (LRD) Style Inspiration: Coco Chanel, Kate Moss Give your LBD (Little Black Dress) a break; the Little Red Dress is here to make a statement. 'Knock 'em Dead!' Versatile and eternally stylish, the LRD is a wardrobe essential for various occasions. Date nights, gallery openings, adaptability and undeniable attraction make it the go-to choice for those wanting to make a bold yet effortless statement. 'When in doubt, where red' - Bill Blass Dapper In Red   Gentlemen, you, too, can add some charisma to your wardrobe with this striking colour. A red suit, should you wish to be daring or pops of colour with a red tie, pocket square or dress shirt. A red suit (in a bright, eye-catching shade or a deeper, more subdued tone) is daring and will see you stand out from a sea of traditional black and navy suits.  For a more casual look, incorporate red into your accessories. Add a pop of personality to your outfit without feeling overpowering. A red baseball cap or trainers is just the trick.  'Bright reds - scarlet, pillar-box red, crimson or cherry - are very cheerful and youthful. There is certainly a red for everyone.' - Christian Dior Statement Accessories in Red Still, trying to dive headfirst into an all-red ensemble? No problem. Add touches of red through accessories. Bold red heels instantly elevate an outfit, while a statement red handbag demands attention. Wearing something red in these small but impactful touches transforms your outfit from ordinary to extraordinary. 'Put on your red shoes, and dance the blues.' - David Bowie Makeup Magic Did you know that the colour red does wonders not just for your wardrobe but also for your makeup game? A bold red lip completely transforms your look and instantly boosts confidence. That confidence booster, something of magic! 'Just a touch of eyeliner and red lips is glamorous.' - Monica Bellucci Wear Something Red Wearing red is not just a mere hue but a bold statement and a powerful tool in the style arsenal of fashion enthusiasts. Nothing exudes confidence, commands attention, and sets you apart from the crowd like the colour red. 'Nothing attracts attention like a red dress.' - Laura Bush It is the perfect weapon to knock 'em dead and make a statement wherever you go. Whether it's a red dress, red lipstick, or red shoes, this colour will make you stand out and leave a lasting impression. So, why blend in when you were born to stand out?  Go on, wear something red in a mini, midi or summer maxi. Your wardrobe will approve.

Pop, Fizz, Clink: Sip-worthy and Fun Champagne Quotes

Pop, Fizz, Clink: Sip-worthy and Fun Champagne Quotes

In this post, every phrase is a toast to life's celebrations, success, joy and most exquisite moments.  Let's pop, fizz, clink and sip! Sunday Fun day Champagne Quotes Sipping Champagne, perhaps on a lazy Sunday afternoon:  Easy like Sunday morning, bubbly like Sunday afternoon. Cheers to lazy Sundays and sparkling company. Sunday Funday checklist: Champagne ✔️, Good Vibes ✔️, Unwind ✔️ Pop, fizz, Sunday bliss. Because every day is a celebration Champagne makes you feel like it's Sunday and better days are just around the corner. - Marlene Dietrich Those Joyous Moments Celebrate every tiny victory. Sip Champagne for no reason at all. May your joy be as deep as the ocean and your sorrows as light as its foam. Cheers! (Irish Blessing) In the midst of celebration, let the bubbles remind us that life is sparkling and full of possibilities. Toasting to the journey, not just the destination. Here's to life's beautiful detours. Cheers to the nights I'll always remember with friends I'll never forget! Humorous and Witty Champagne Quotes for a Light-hearted Touch Champagne: because no great story ever started with someone eating a salad. Champagne – because adulting is hard. I'm not addicted to Champagne; we're just in a very committed relationship. I'm not saying I'm Wonder Woman; I'm just saying no one has ever seen me and Wonder Woman in the same room together. Everyone should believe in something. I believe I should be on a yacht drinking champagne. Romance and Love-Themed Champagne Quotes Sipping Champagne with you is like a kiss that lasts forever. In the bubbles of Champagne, I find echoes of your laughter and the sparkle of your eyes. Love is like Champagne , effervescent and delightful, making every moment special. Our love is as timeless as the bubbles in Champagne—forever sparkling and full of joy. Love me like Saturday night, like three glasses of champagne, like the room is spinning, like you’re drunk on my love. ― C.J. Carlyon 6. Cheers to a love that's as bubbly and effervescent as the finest Champagne. For those moments of achievement and those moments of success A toast to the dreamers, the doers, and the ones who turn their visions into victories. - Unknown Champagne is the drink of the accomplished; sip, savour, and celebrate your triumphs. - Unknown Cheers to the milestones conquered and the goals yet to be achieved. - Unknown Your success story deserves a bubbly narrative. Pour, clink, repeat. - Unknown Every achievement is a cork-popping moment waiting to happen. - Unknown Champagne: the taste of success,  the scent of accomplishment. - Unknown What was Dom Perignon's famous quote? Come quickly, I am tasting the stars! - Dom Pérignon I only drink Champagne on two occasions, when I am in love and when I am not. - Coco Chanel Champagne is the only wine that leaves a woman beautiful after drinking it. - Madame de Pompadour I'll drink to that. - Various (often attributed to Bette Davis) I only drink Champagne when I'm happy, and when I'm sad. Sometimes I drink it when I'm alone. When I have company, I consider it obligatory. I trifle with it if I am not hungry and drink it when I am. Otherwise I never touch it—unless I'm thirsty. – Lily Bollinger Sip-worthy Champagne Quotes from Writers Pleasure without Champagne is purely artificial. - Oscar Wilde One holds a bottle of red wine by the neck, a woman by the waist, and a bottle of Champagne by the derriere. - Mark Twain Great love affairs start with Champagne and end with tisane. - Honoré de Balzac I've highlighted my favourite champagne quotes, now feel free to share  your favourite and fun quotes about Champagne  in the comments below. Let's create a collection of sparkling sayings! Better yet, why not plan a champagne-themed event? Think much laughter, clinking glasses, candlelit moments and enjoy these effervescent delights with friends. Remember, the more, the merrier!

Whispers Among The Starred Sky

Whispers Among The Starred Sky

Joshua still hadn't said anything when he, too, turned the corner to walk towards their suite. And as they turned the corner, he stopped, stared back at her. She, too, stopped, eyes questioning. But she caught the answer when his eyes never blinked off the blazer she still had on her shoulders.  Ohh. She dashed back after Harry. He'd since made it into his suite, causing her to knock.  Lemaruh, Lemaruh, Lemaruh. Swinging the door open as if expecting her. You know, you can always use that key I gave you.  Mr Langdon...  She paused, refrained from finishing her sentence. Instead, she removed his jacket.  'Thank you.' She said and handed his jacket to him. Thank you, she said again, and for earlier, she took her hand back and left him standing in his doorway. She'd reached the end of his corridor and returned to where she'd left Josh but was yet to hear Harry's door click close. Josh, however, had walked on and stood inside their suite, holding their door open. She paused, feeling a little awkward about wearing another man's jacket. All be it an honest mistake. Both Joshua and Harry had worn navy blue jackets, (Josh to match her dress). But at the dinner party, someone had put Harry's jacket on the back of her chair with her handbag. Back at their suite's door, no one or anything moved except for the cold air from the aircon rushing past them. Hands hugged her front again and possibly for far too long, leaving Josh to leave the door open and walk away to the bedroom. Now inside the suite, she closed the door, too overwhelmed by the evening to follow him. Instead, she sat huddled over herself in the living room, reconfiguring what she'd planned to say. Josh crossing paths with her in Harry's presence like that, as innocent as that was, was an attrition she hadn't accounted for.  His feet appeared under her nose. Looked up. He stood there, bathrobe in hand. A startled Lemara stood up to where he put the robe over her. She said,  Thank you , adjusting her arms into the robe to wrap in some warmth, her low-scooped back and spaghetti strap dress did not afford her. Again, he walked away, but this time, it was to the temperature gauge on the wall, and he turned it up.  Josh, can we talk? He was on his way back to the bedroom when she'd said that. But he turned and sat, arms outstretched across the top of the sofa perpendicular to where she stood, staring up at her. That countenance of his gave nothing away of what he felt or thought. He'd still not spoken when she finally sat down, refusing to break the impasse.  Josh... He didn't budge. He didn't blink. Simply sat there with his bottom lip folded in. If Lemara was awaiting his help finishing her sentence as he sometimes did, he was not forthcoming. But what was he to finish when she herself was unsure of what she was saying. She didn't know how to continue her sentence. The words were there. Like the French, she learned part of the way through secondary and then dropped. Well, some of them. But what was there, she knew not how to string them together. Instead, she sat crouched over her knees, hands steepling her forehead. Josh, I am going to admit to being silly, foolhardy even. What else are you admitting to?  Oh gawd does he know? She'd   winced at his question, quickly made eye contact and looked away again. There was nothing on that face she could read. Neither did she have the nerve to look back at him but felt his stare on. He still hadn't said much else, leaving her to send herself into whatever jail she had opened the door to with that statement. Lemara, is that the end of that statement?  When for some time, she had not spoken. No, not entirely. So what are you saying? Josh, I am saying that possibly you and I'. She paused. You and I, what? He pressed.  The words at the tip of her tongue but her lips refrained from spitting them out.  I can't go through with this engagement. Sorry, what? Deadpanned. Her being bore the full thwocks of those two words, he batted back at her as he sat forward. And now that those words had finally left her lips, she became a blubbering mess. Lemara, I'm gonna need you to stop with the tears and talk to me because I am not fully understanding what you're saying. Where is this coming from?   I don't know. You don't know. Unlike Joshua, very much unlike Josh, his voice was raised now. Em, what kind of answer is that? I'm going to need you to make this make sense. Is it something I've done? Something I didn't do?   Josh, it's not you. Shook her head while she said that but could not look at him.  So if it's not me, what does that mean? Baby, you and I don't struggle with communication. OK, the last few days were the first notch on the board, but apart from that, we don't. We don't struggle for money. And we definitely, most definitely do not struggle with intimacy and that's even after you moved out, so help me understand where this is coming from? Hands covered her face. A little while ago, her plan sounded okay in her head. But now that she'd started to execute it, it was all round wrong. Too guilt-ridden to look at him. The truth was what she wanted to tell but that truth didn't seem to make sense anymore. That silence sat between them for a little.  Em. He started again, massaging the space between his eyes. What is going on, please?  Still, she said nothing.  Lemara, this is where I need you to unbottle those thoughts of yours and speak.  Apart from Josh's audible exhale of lost patience, no one said a word then.    Em, is it to do with your sister? Do you need to speak to someone, anyone at all, about what happened with Lia?' His tone had gone soft. He'd asked her that before and she declined. It was a pointless exercise in her view because she was not ready to discuss it. Discussing it would make it real.  No. She finally said. No, what? What is no? It's none of those things. It's. None. Of. Those. Things. He sounded out those words, sounding as exhausted as she was. OK, Em, between the time you and I got engaged and just now, what has happened? Nothing.  Nothing. He sounded that out, too. Ok, so when I asked you to marry me in front of all those people, and you got down next to me on your knees in tears and said yes. Did you not mean it?  He was distraught now. No. I mean, Yes. She'd looked at him to deliver that answer because that much was true. He looked at her, his face a question. Tell you what... (looking at his watch) it's gone 2 in the morning. Let's sleep on this. Let's discuss it after we've had some sleep. Better still when we get back to London. I've slept on it. You've, you've slept on it? One hand crossed his front as he sat back in the chair. The fingers of the other readopted playing Mendelssohn's Violin Concerto across his forehead. The room went quiet. A silence only broken by life leaving his body in a notable exhale. When you left this morning, where did you go?' Frustration was on the march now. To my room. Lemara, this is your room. He shot back.  To the other room. She quickly corrected. And the rest of the day? That's where I've been all day until not so long ago when you saw me. I came here first and was going to find you when we bumped into each other. His entire tone had changed at the top of that next set of questions, causing her to look up to finally face him.  Em, I recommend we speak to someone because you've been bottling this and it can't be very good for you. Even you must admit that this is not making sense? You've done your best to avoid talking about it at all costs. You've said absolutely nothing to me. And I know you haven't spoken with Julia. As if it didn't happen. As if in denial, you ploughed on arranging the funeral like a funeral planner. It's OK to be mad. It's OK to be upset. No one will think any less of you. Certainly not me.  She was certainly angry and upset about it all. Worst, she carried the guilt of it. 'Josh, I can't...' She started to say and then stopped. He looked at her eye on. Can I tell you something? Do you remember you were making that cheesecake your sister likes to make last week, and I went out and got you soft cheese? Do you know you actually had soft cheese? I watched you put the entire lump of soft cheese in the bin and put the empty tub back in the fridge. Retraced your steps to the fridge for the tub and then declared you forgot to buy the cheese. You did buy the cheese. You'd just thrown it in the bin. And once I realised what was happening, I covered it over in the bin so you wouldn't see it. Now, does that strike you as you? Come on, it's 2 in the morning. It's been a long day; let's get some sleep. Besides, you and I are yet to sleep in that bed. Tiredness was truly setting in. She acknowledged and dipped her head in her hand to massage it. You go; I'll sit here for a bit.  He left. The TV in the bedroom went on shortly after. Lemara got up, but it was to the verandah she went, where she sat with arms wrapped around her knees that buried her face, stifling tears. The chilly air wrapped her but none of that bothered her. She'd come out on this cruise in memory of her sister. Signed off her relationship without telling the other party in the relationship. Struck a match with Harry and started a fire. A fire that would now see her in the dumpster should it ever be found out. Not even her sister would be on board with this dumpster fire. He had near four years to propose. Four freaking years of a clean driving licence. Instead, he chose then when she'd gone and fucked off. She looked at the ring on her finger. A classic cushion-cut engagement ring with tapered baguette side stones. He didn't even need her help to get that right. Only said he noticed she'd always make a beeline for the cushion cut stones. She pursed her lips at that.    Her transgression was driving her mad. How does she continue in this engagement knowing what she did? But then, how can she tell him? Joshua did not deserve any of those situations.  Stuck between a rock and a hard, hard place, she tipped her head back. That starved her tears and frustration while she searched the stars because somebody up there was having a laugh at her expense. Was this how it was supposed to go? Lia, I know your up there in those stars somewhere, whisper something my way. A star shot across the sky but the balcony door opened, stealing her attention. Em, it's cold out; why don't you come in? I will. I just want to stay here a little bit. He paused, then came out, closed the glass door. Do you want some company?  Taking a seat on the chair next to her and looked in the direction of where she looked. What are we doing? Searching the stars? Searching. The. Stars. He'd said that in a sing-song. Searching the stars, for? Lia. She had paused, composed herself for that response. Joshua swung his right hand over and she placed hers in his. He gently squeezed it.  She's up there among the stars for sure.' He said. Moments slipped past into minutes, into the witching hours.  Em, it's a little cold out here. Let's go in. I'll stay out a little longer.  Looking from him to the starred sky. He'd stood up but paused. 'I tell you what.'  And he disappeared back inside the suite. There was what sounded like a one-sided conversation but she took no interest. But shortly after, the doorbell rang. And when she heard no movement from Josh, got up to get the door, but Joshua was making his way to it. She looked at him to say what's going on. He replied it was OK. He'll get it. So she let him. Instead of returning to the verandah, she continued to the bathroom. Offloaded some of the caffeine and champagne she had taken on earlier. And, too, the figure-skimming, slinky dress she wore all evening.  But now, silhouettes moving around the verandah caught interest. Robed again but layered over a sleep shirt, came out to see Joshua and their butler Gerard overflowing with duvets and pillows over the empty whirlpool tub. What's happening? The sight of the two of them busying themselves puzzled that question. Gerard's only response was to tell her good morning. Joshua's response however was to tell her he's bringing the bed outside. Hands went over a gobsmacked mouth as she reached the tub where he and Gerard had nearly finished layering the empty tub with duvets and pillows. I'm happy to stay out here with you. What I am not happy to do, is freeze my balls off. She let out a little chuckle. So if we are going to stay out, let's at least be warm and comfortable. How about that? Looking from the tub he and Gerard just finished to her, pleased with himself. And she had to agree. He'd walked Gerard back out of the suite and double-click the door shut. OK, you. Let's test out this bed and search out these stars. Music?  She nodded. Maxwell? Nodded again as he hit the play button for the dock he'd brought out, having since returned to the verandah and got in the tub. Patted his left shoulder for where he wanted her to rest her head. She remained glued to the spot she stood in but managed to produce a small smile on the overtones of Maxwell's  The Urban Theme . An album they both liked and listened to.  She didn't deserve... Oh, but those were Eleanor's exact words to her years ago when her son wasn't in earshot. And now Eleanor might be on the winning side of her words. Lying there next to him, head on his shoulder, felt right. When did it ever not? She might have moved out in a fit of disappointment but when did she fall out of love with him? She hadn't. Nothing about their relationship warranted what she did. Her stomach knotted and she sucked sharp on some air. Found something? Interrupting the susurration of the waves below. Not yet. You? Her reply.  No, but be sure to tell me when you do. Silence slipped between them again, the waves' susurration continued alongside Maxwell's ' Lonely is the Only Company ' playing. In truth, she stopped searching those blasted stars because her mind had trailed to growing up in the Caribbean. Those nights when she'd stayed out later than she was allowed, Lia would wait up to let her in. Lia always did. She never told on her but would give her her version of their mother's lecture. She'd do anything for one of those lectures now. And the tears rolled. Rolled unto Josh's shoulders. Em? And when she didn't answer, he tried turning to see her face. I wasn't there. You weren't wh... Baby, I know. I wasn't there, Josh. Becoming a blubbering mess. I wasn't there when she died.  I know you would have preferred that you were there. She was always there for me but when she needed me the most, I wasn't there. She was all alone when she died. What kind of sister does that make me? Baby, I know Lia and I know she'd never hold that against you. Josh, the only reason she was on that road in the first place was to come see me. If I'd not moved to the apartment, she'd never had to be driving on that road.  Em, you don't know that. But I do. It was because of me.' Blubbering away. 'And when she died, I wasn't even there.' Pile drove a finger and then her fist into his chest with every word. Her face followed, buried into the space of his chest she had pile driven. And when he held her, she tried pulling away, but he only held her closer. Squeezed her. Everything she had held back, the guilt, the frustration, the pain, the bottled tears for Lia, it all came out then. She sobbed, tears streaming down her face and into Josh's chest. It's soo hard not to be able to call her Josh. It's so hard not to be able to speak to her and it's killing me. And I don't want to do this anymore. It doesn't feel right. I know but I'm going to hold you; I'm never letting you go and we'll work through this together. She only cried more.  Baby, it's never easy losing someone you love. And I know you love your sister and miss her a lot, but just know she is here. And know that she looks down on you, smiling and happy for you. He kissed her forehead and left his lips there while she sobbed. Plus, it isn't what Lia would want for you.

The Grand Stage of the Most Anticipated Sporting Spectacles 2024

The Grand Stage of the Most Anticipated Sporting Spectacles 2024

AD | As we set sail into 2024, sports enthusiasts worldwide are gearing up for a spectacular lineup of events that promise adrenaline-pumping action and unforgettable moments.  Among the plethora of the most anticipated global Sporting Spectacles set to unfold - The Masters, Augusta, Fury v Usyk in Riyadh and Euros, Germany. Full disclosure: Features are properties I chose. Booking through the links may earn me an affiliate commission but it is at no extra cost to you. United States of America   Super Bowl - Las Vegas, Nevada February 11, 2024 American football takes centre stage with Super Bowl LVIII, the culmination of the NFL season at the Allegiant Stadium. The spectacle extends beyond the game, featuring star-studded halftime performances and iconic commercials that captivate audiences worldwide. At the end of it all, escape to a grand vacation home with your friends or family. A seven bedroom, five bathroom pad with a swimming pool just a stone's throw away from the bustling Strip. Indulge in the finest hospitality and retreat to the lap of some luxe amenities when you're done exploring the city. It's the perfect way to unwind and make unforgettable memories. NBA Finals (Location TBD) June, 2024 Basketball fever will grip the sports world as the NBA Finals showcase the pinnacle of professional basketball. The Larry O'Brien Championship Trophy battle will bring together the league's top talent in a high-stakes showdown. Who's your money on? Boston Celtics or Phoenix Suns? Europe Summer Olympics - Paris, France  July 26 to August 11, 2024 The Summer Olympics return and Paris is poised to showcase the pinnacle of human achievement across a myriad of disciplines, drawing athletes and fans from every corner of the globe. From track and field to swimming, gymnastics to basketball, nations will unite to compete for gold. The anticipation is palpable as Paris prepares to host this iconic event, blending sportsmanship, culture, and the pursuit of excellence. Experience a Parisian apartment through Plum Guide's carefully curated collection. Envision starting your day with stunning panoramic views of the city and then immersing yourself in the Olympic excitement.  America's Cup: A Nautical Symphony - Barcelona, Spain Official Opening - August 12, 2024 37th America's Cup Match - October 12 to October 20, 2024 Among the gems of the sporting calendar is the prestigious America's Cup, a regatta that captures the imagination of sailors and fans alike. The America's Cup, often hailed as the oldest trophy in international sport, takes center stage as the world's finest sailors and cutting-edge sailing technology converge for a maritime spectacle. With defending champions, Emirates Team New Zealand, looking to secure their legacy and challengers vying for glory.  Book your stay on Port Vell. A two bed, two bath home awaits across from La Barceloneta Beach. Or choose from Plum Guide's diverse range of vacation rentals located across Barcelona The Championships, Wimbledon - London, UK July 1 to July 14, 2024 The hallowed lawns of the All England Club are set to host another edition of the oldest tennis tournament in the world. Wimbledon 2024 promises to deliver breathtaking serves, volleys, and nail-biting matches as the tennis elite compete for the coveted Grand Slam titles. Immerse yourself in the charm of London with Plum Guide's handpicked vacation rentals. From chic apartments to classic townhouses, your Wimbledon experience extends beyond the courts. Tour de France - Italy, Monaco and France June 29 - July 21, 2024 The world's premier cycling event, Tour de France, takes riders through picturesque landscapes and challenging terrains. Be part of the cycling spectacle as riders compete for the revered yellow jersey. Experience the start of the Tour with a stay in Florence, Italy. Or stay at a charismatic Italian and French countryside property along the route with Plum Guide's countryside retreats. Quaint cottage or a luxurious estate, your stay will complement the scenic beauty of the Tour de France route. The Rest of The World Fury vs. Usyk - Riyadh, Saudi Arabia February 17, 2024 Among the plethora of events set to unfold, one stands out with the promise of seismic impact – Fury vs. Usyk. The clash between Tyson Fury and Oleksandr Usyk for the heavyweight crown has captured the imagination of boxing enthusiasts worldwide. With Fury's raw power against Usyk's finesse and skill, this battle promises to be a spectacle that transcends the sport. The ring will be the battleground for supremacy, and fans are already on the edge of their seats, awaiting the thunderous showdown. Extend your stay in the Persian Gulf with a few days in Dubai. Formula 1 Thrills - Across the Globe Formula 1's roaring engines and screeching tires will echo across the world's most iconic racetracks. Will we see Lewis Hamilton finally hold his 8th World Title? Or will Fernando Alonso hold his 3rd World Title? Witness the high-speed drama as drivers compete for supremacy in the quest for the championship. The 2024 ICC Men's T20 World Cup - Caribbean Cricket aficionados rejoice as the T20 World Cup descends on the Caribbean and the US for the first time in cricket history. The cricketing powerhouse is set to host a festival of big hits, dazzling spin bowling, and smart fielding, culminating in the crowning of the T20 world champions. In your downtime check out some of Barbados' beaches . Experience Bajan hospitality at its finest with Plum Guide's selection of upscale vacation homes on the island of Barbados. After a day at Kensington Oval in Bridgetown, unwind in luxury and style. Ready to witness history unfold on the grand stage of the most Anticipated Global Sporting Spectacles 2024? Already planning your stays to witness this thrilling lineup of sporting events and history in the making. What better way to elevate your experience than securing a tip-top accommodation with Plum Guide Vacation Rentals? Seamless Luxury with Plum Guide Vacation Rentals Not just a booking platform but a curation of exceptional homes already handpicked for their unparalleled qualities. Further rigorously inspected to ensure they'll make for a truly unforgettable stay. With a diverse range of accommodations in prime locations and all thoroughly vetted, guests can confidently book via Plum Guide's user-friendly platform with safety and peace of mind. Benefit too from recommendations and insights of hidden gems, local eateries and cultural highlights provided by the platform's network of home critics.  Don't just witness history—be a part of it with a Plum Guide vacation rental. Book your idyllic accommodation and make 2024 a year of unforgettable moments. Game on!

A Christmas Playlist of Caribbean Rhythms

A Christmas Playlist of Caribbean Rhythms

As the holiday lights twinkle and the scent of cinnamon and pine fills the air, let me take you on a musical journey that brings the vibrant spirit of the West Indies to your Christmas celebration. Wrapping presents, baking cookies, or simply cosying up by the fire make this Christmas playlist your go-to. Sway Into The Season Reggae rhythms? Yes. Soca beats? Yes. Some catchy calypsoes and tropical steel drums , this Caribbean Christmas playlist promises to infuse your festive moments with rhythm, and a touch of Caribbean flair. Maybe even a sway of your hips or two. 1 - We Wish You A Merry Christmas by Jacob Miller and Ray I (Jamaica) Jacob Miller and Ray I's rendition of "We Wish You a Merry Christmas " carries joyful and upbeat vibes. A lively performance infusing a sense of celebration and festivity into this classic Christmas song. The reggae influence in Jacob Miller's style adds an energetic twist to the traditional holiday tune, creating an atmosphere of merriment and cheer. Have your bottle of Red Stripe ready. 2 - Feliz Navidad by Joseph Fonseca (Puerto Rico) Kick off your West Indian Christmas celebration with the Latin-infused beats of Joseph Fonseca's "Feliz Navidad." Let the lively rhythms set the stage for a festive and joyous atmosphere.
3 - Christmas Soca Medley by Byron Lee and The Dragonaires (Jamaica) Byron Lee and The Dragonaires' does a soca mash up of some well known Christmas songs and carols. Would you like to hear classics such as 'Hark the Herald Angels Sing or Deck the Halls or Come All Ye Faithful' infused with a lively soca flavour? Have a listen to this Soca Medley and let the upbeat rhythms and percussions transport you to a tropical Christmas paradise.
4 - Reggae Christmas by Bryan Adams featuring Jimmy Cliff (Canada and Jamaica) Get ready to groove to the beats of "Reggae Christmas" as two legendary musicians, Bryan Adams and Jimmy Cliff, come together to create a sensational fusion of reggae and rock music. This feel-good anthem will surely get you singing along and feeling the holiday spirit like never before. That's a Reggae Christmas for you. 'A Merry Christmas and a reggae new year, A Merry Christmas and a reggae new year to you.' 5 - Mary's Boy Child / Oh My Lord by Boney M. (Jamaica, Montserrat and Aruba) You may know this one already but if you don't, feel free to add some serious groove to your holiday celebrations with Boney M.'s electrifying rendition of " Mary's Boy Child / Oh My Lord " ! But my favourite part of this tune comes two minutes and thirty seconds in. This classic Christmas carol gets a contagious disco reggae beat. At three minutes, nineteen seconds in you're bound to push the dials up and give your lungs a blow out. This will have you swaying, glass of Ponche Kuba in hand and singing along in no time. 6 - Drink Ah Rum by Lord Kitchener (Trinidad) This one is a personal favourite. I should say, growing up on my little Caribbean island, bars and pubs stayed open until midnight on Christmas eve. It helps that the weather is warm, so everyone is out partying. Most don't get home until after midnight. But whatever time you got home rest assured you'd be back up for Christmas morning church service at 5 am. But no matter what else happens on Christmas morning, be it during the mass cooking or whatever else - you'd hear this tune at least once. Someone holding onto a brandy or a glass of Ponche Kuba (our version of Ponche Crema) and having a jig. 'Drink a rum and a punch a crema, drink a rum Is Christmas morning! Drink a rum and a punch a crema , drink a rum Mama, drink if you drinking! Drink a rum and a punch a crema, drink a rum.' 7 - Jamaican Drummer Boy by Shaggy (Jamaica) Spice up your holiday season with a Jamaican twist! Add Caribbean vibes to your Christmas playlist with this electrifying " Jamaican Drummer Boy " by the legendary Shaggy. His reggae rendition of this classic tune is transportation to Jamaica's island paradise and an infusion to your festivities with a modern and upbeat flavour. 8 - Calypso Noel Alston (Becket) Cyrus (St Vincent) Feel the lively, rhythmic and tropical vibes of calypso music! This tune is the ultimate Caribbean classic and is synonymous with the region's Christmas. I've listened to it since I was little and still hold the same energy today. You won't resist tapping your feet and moving to this beat! Here's Calypso Noel ! 9 - Santa Looking For A Wife By Brindley Benjamin (Trinidad & Tobago) It's the tempo on this one. And with the simplicity of the lyrics, you'll be stirring a pot or wrapping some gifts and humming the tune long after the song ends. You might even forget about whatever you were doing and start dancing along! Okay, here is where I turn up the volume and start the party! ' Santa's looking for a wife, santa's looking for a wife.. ' Now I am just happy Santa still hasn't found a wife. This way, we can all keep playing Santa Looking for a Wife and singing along. I sure will not be applying. Haha 10 - Pong Ain't Getting Naffin by Pong (Barbados) There's nothing like a Christmas where you're not on anyone's 'nice list'. It is emotionally challenging, evokes a sense of loneliness, rejection, disconnect. So this song is the clubhouse where all those feeling rejected and lonely meet up and be okay with the fact that they ' ain't getting anything for Christmas '. Even those on ' the very nice list ' will want to join this clubhouse. Okay, here is where I get the Ponche Kuba out again. By the way, in the club, the jam, the fete, the drive home this can get wild! 11 - Auld Lang Syne by Banks Soundtech Steel Orchestra (Barbados) Now this is not the Christmas tune but I can almost bet that once you've played it, you'll be playing it until New Year's Eve. The steel drums bring a unique and lively energy to this traditional New Year's Eve song. A sound often characterized by a joyful and tropical vibe, creating a sense of unity and celebration. The steel drums infuse the familiar tune of Auld Lang Syne with a lively and rhythmic quality, making it felicitous for festive occasions and gatherings. The overall feel, one of joy and camaraderie. A very tropical twist. Has these Vibrant Tunes of the Caribbean Ignited Your Festive Spirit?
This playlist is a celebration of the vibrant and diverse culture of the Caribbean during Christmas time. And also, my Christmas treat to you as you've been very nice this year. Whether you're spending time with your loved ones, decorating the tree, or enjoying a festive meal, these tunes will add some serious Caribbean flair to your celebrations. Let the pulsing reggae beats add some spice to your holiday season, transport you to a tropical paradise and get you in the holiday spirit like never before! So, have you heard any of these tunes before? If yes, then you know what I'm talking about! And if not, then stay and discover some amazing new music that will make your December unforgettable. Wishing you a Merry Christmas filled with joy, love, and unforgettable moments! And, of course, a "Reggae New Year!

This Year's Groove: My Spotify 2023 Unwrapped

This Year's Groove: My Spotify 2023 Unwrapped

At this time of year, music lovers eagerly anticipate the arrival of Spotify Wrapped. An annual tradition bringing together our personalized soundtracks, playlists, and favourite tunes, creating a symphony of memories. Looking back, I regret not memorialising my first and second Wrapped. I've missed out on comparing my progress and achievements in my Spotify music journey over the years. Did I reach new listening heights? How much time have I spent in the company of Spotify and their world of music? So, here's my Spotify 2023 Wrapped . The soundtracks, playlists, favourite tunes and stats quantifying a year's worth of sonic exploration - as revealed by Spotify Wrapped. The Sonorous Recap From the anthems that fuelled commutes to the tunes that accompanied introspective moments, each track has its own narrative. Top Artists The Love Unlimited Orchestra - Now, I am genuinely surprised by this. Especially as I know it came off only one of their songs*. Kassav - From an island near me and their music simply gives life. Music to fix a good mood. Winston Surfshirt - This artist has been a constant in all my Spotify Wraps. I do have the teenager to thank for inadvertently introducing me to him and his music. Kanye West - Divisive, maybe, but his presence at the top of my list is fuelled by that track in the original J'adore ad with Ms Charlize Theron striding out of that pool - Flashing Lights. Mark Ronson - Well, he is a surprise. Top Songs I have been listening to Satin Soul* by The Love Unlimited Orchestra on repeat for a while now. According to my Spotify Wrapped, I've listened to it for 3850 minutes over the year. Most of it back in January. But why, in January, what was I doing? Then I recalled I did a significant amount of writing, and this was my go-to tune. But why had this tune become my go-to? So, I had another listen as I wrote this post. As I do. And here's why. It's a beautifully crafted arrangement, romantic, timeless in sound, and the influence of Barry White's musical genius. In certain places, it seems to slow the heartbeat to a grinding halt, and in others, finger stab your heart chambers. I honestly have goosebumps now, as I listen and type this. Satin Soul has got funk and it definitely has soul. Flashing Lights - This music accompanies the original J'adore ad and comes out every Christmas. Of course, this Christmas, that has all changed but the track remains good for putting some pep into my step. Too Much (featuring Lucky Daye) - I discovered this collaboration with Mark Ronson in March. I was sitting in a restaurant when this song came on, got the teenager to Shazam it. Music can time-stamp your life too. Vanille Fraise - This one is a gem. George Michaels' FastLove, Pt 1 - Okay, wow, this 'tuned out' an entire chapter. Chapter 2 of Call Me Blair. Yep, I play the music to catch a vibe. Spotify Wrapped Musical Milestones From 395 artists , I took musical pleasure in 577 songs . Spent 45,810 minutes in the company of Spotify. I must say, I am fascinated by this. Discovers I'm in the top 6% of Spotify listeners worldwide . Is this a triumph, a tribulation or a tolerance? But also is there a reward for being in the top 1%? How many more minutes would I need to spend in the company of Spotify to achieve that? The good thing is, you can listen to music and do other things, so I am hoping no relations were harmed in those times. I'm very surprised by what Spotify has identified as a favourite Genre? I didn't see this one coming. Though the teenager says it about right! A subgenre of reggae,  roots reggae  emerged in Jamaica in the late 1960s and became prominent in the 1970s. Often characterised by its slower tempo and a major emphasis on the offbeat. The rhythm section typically features a steady bassline, a one-drop drum pattern, and skanking guitar chords. I can only guess that many songs listened to had it as a subgenre. Roots Reggae , most of this listened to on the weekends. On Saturday afternoons with something more upbeat and then into Sunday evenings when the beat mellows into some lovers' rock. It pains me to say but I'm becoming my parents. With my go artists, Freddie McGregor - I See It In You and Morgan Heritage - Down by The River. And I have been a forever fan of Mr Beres Hammond and his lovers' rock music. And as I've kept up this practice, will this be the teenager in a few years? She doubts it but so did I. Unexpected Gems Some seventeen genres are in this year's groove. And here I thought I only listened to soca and calypso and reggae and dancehall and R&B. As one of my Top Artists , Mark Ronson has indeed surprised me. And thanks to social media a song titled - Lil Boo Thang by Paul Russell, with its breezy pop hip-hop, made it onto my soundscape. And while I stuck to some old favourites, Spotify, too, has thrown some new music gems my way. Vintage Chill Vibes by Yaahn Hunter Jr is one such. Another is Chrysalis by Empire of the Sun. I think Spotify was feeling my mood that very day. The Future by Motez (feat. Anthony & Cleopatra) Purple Disco Machine Remix. Now, this is a banging tune. Music On Repeat Some artists and their music have not left my side since discovering them. ' Make A Move' and 'Smile' off the Apple Crumble album by Winston Surfshirt are two such songs. This one peaked to my listening pleasure in April and has been on all my Spotify wraps. Kassav's ' Mwen di Awa ' became one of my most-played songs in May but this band goes all the way back to my Caribbean days. I suppose with summer on its way, I kicked up the beat with this percussion-driven rhythm. I returned, too, to other favourites. An eclectic mix of artists such as Tame Impala - Borderline , Cosmos Midnight, Smokey Robinson - Cruisin ', Cloak Dagger, Crosby-Stills-and-Nash, Rod Stewart and Bob Marley. Spotify 2023 Unwrapped This is my Spotify 2023 Unwrapped, a beautifully narrated symphony of life. Here's to all the music I loved this year. All the songs that kept me company this year. What about you? Do we share similar artists, songs, and or genres? What's fascinated you most on your Spotify 2023 wrapped data? Let me know in the comments below.

Get Ready to Check off Your Very Nice List

Get Ready to Check off Your Very Nice List

Gifting time, well it is here! Do you know what else is here? The search. The search for the ideal gifts for the very important people in your life, is in full swing. But know that if you're feeling stuck or in dire need of inspiration, that I am here! I've curated a selection of extraordinary gifts from The Seaglass Gallery, Farm Rio, MSC Cruises, Harber London, Hedoine, Plum Guide and German Kabirski. Gifts to cement your deep love and affection. Gifts that say, ' I see us, long into the future '. Gifts that'll have very long and lasting memories. These are the types of gifts I refer to. The ones you'll want to gift to the persons on your very nice list . Unwrap Joy, Spread Cheer! Is what you'll do, checking anything off this list. From the outfit for the occasion, to the weekend bag to pack it in, to the set-jetting weekend away, plus some everyday luxuries. Go sleigh your gift game with a gift guide that saves you time and disappointed faces. Full disclosure: Features from Farm Rio, MSC Cruises, Harber London, Hedoine, Plum Guide and German Kabirski includes products I chose. Buying through the links may earn me an affiliate commission but at no extra cost to you.
Seaglass Gallery: A One-of-a-kind gift! Come and discover 'the captivating!' A world of unique creations, carefully crafted by local artisans and displayed at the charming Seaglass Gallery . A warm and welcoming atmosphere that inspires and uplifts. And too, provides an opportunity to learn about the fascinating process behind each piece. And by supporting local talent, you'll be contributing to the thriving arts scene of Lympstone, a village with a picturesque riverside setting and rich historical charm. Should you find yourself in Lympstone, you too will find the tranquil atmosphere and timeless appeal of the village an ideal destination for art and nature lovers and anyone seeking a peaceful seaside escape. Gift Idea: Not in Lympstone, browse their Seaglass Gallery website for something unique. Show your most thoughtful side to those you care about with a one-of-a-kind creation. Farm Rio: Fashion that Speaks Volumes Farm Rio, renowned for its vibrant and sustainable fashion, brings a kaleidoscope of joy to any wardrobe. Surf their collection of stunning dresses, accessories, and more, each piece telling a story of Brazilian craftsmanship and eco-conscious style. What's some of their favourite colours to wear, take on holiday? Shop Farm Rio's lush summer yellows, shop pink floaty florals. And by shopping Farm Rio, you'll contribute to slower and greener fashion. Spending with an ethical business, a responsible fashion house. One that thoroughly assessed its impact on its clients, employees, community and environs - a B Corporation . Gift Idea: With shorts, high-waist trousers, metallics, crafts and whites set to be key spring/summer 2024 trends . Show your dearest you share a mutual interest in their fashion and trends. Gift a Farm Rio's white maxi dress – a stunning blend of comfort and style, perfect for any occasion. Shop your all-white and off-white , too. Unsure what to choose, there's always a gift card . MSC Cruises: Unforgettable Sunsets and Bucket List Islands Ever received a gift 'so you' it left you feeling overwhelmed? With happiness? Yep, that was me receiving a Cruise for a birthday. I was moved to tears. I say this to say, if you are searching for a moving gift for the wanderluster in your life, consider the gift of a cruise with MSC Cruises. MSC Cruises offers a range of unforgettable journeys, from their Caribbean Islands escape to the mysteries of the Nordics and Greenland . And as well as departing from well known ports such as Miami, Genoa and Dubai, they depart from not-so-well-known ports as New York and Martinique . One of MSC Cruises' most exciting developments is that of its LNG-powered ships. Leading the way in sustainable practices such as LED lighting, energy-efficient systems, and advanced wastewater treatment to minimize their environmental impact. Offering luxury and exploration, gifting a cruise allows both you and your special someone or maybe too, the entire family to embark on an adventure that none of you will ever forget. If you want to check those Greek Islands off your list, go island-hopping cruise-style with MSC Cruises . But if the thought of an entire seven-night cruise seems daunting, test your sea legs with a two or three-night cruise out of Southampton or Miami . An MSC cruise is a harmonious blend of luxury, cultural exploration and family-friendly offerings, making this gift one the entire family can enjoy. Gift Idea : As Audrey Hepburn once said, 'To plant a garden is to believe in tomorrow.' Show those on your very nice list, you've been thinking way into your futures with a gift that says investment and long-term planning . Gift a Caribbean cruise on MSC's brand new LNG powered ship, MSC World America setting sail in 2025. Harber London: Timeless and Personalised Leather Goods Harber London brings exemplary fusion of elegance and functionality to the everyday accessories. From impeccably crafted leather goods to personalized tech accessories, discover timeless gifts that add a touch of sophistication to daily life. Offering products that are elegant and functional, their product line-up includes Leather Tech Accessories (premium leather laptop sleeves and cases), Organizational Accessories (thoughtfully designed organizers and wallets), Travel Accessories (passport holders, luggage tags, and cable organizers), Bags and Backpacks (ideal for both casual and professional settings) and Phone Cases. Is there a classier travel bag than Harber London's Leather Shopper Bag ? If there is, I'd like to know. Made with Harber London's Signature Premium Full Grain Leather, its beautiful craftsmanship shines through. Wrap up some Christmas joy they can cherish time and time again. Gift Idea : Show them that they matter with a Personalised leather laptop sleeve – a stylish and practical gift for the modern professional. Or gift their gift cards and let them choose. Hēdoïnes: Empowerment Through Hosiery Hēdoïnes is a brand that has revolutionized the world of hosiery with its exclusive and innovative designs. If you want to surprise your loved one with a surprising gift, consider gifting them a pair of stockings or tights from Hēdoïne's exquisite collection. The brand's hosiery not only looks luxurious but also offers unparalleled comfort. With Hēdoïne's refined style, you can add a touch of sophistication to your loved one's daily essentials. The brand's attention to detail and commitment to quality craftsmanship make their hosiery an exceptional choice that will surely impress. These tights ( PR Gift - Spicy Praline, Ladder Resistant and Shaping ), because they are sag free, and gusset free, feels like a second skin! And something else, they're incredibly durable. I've had mine for eleven months. Washing in a delicates laundry bag and storing in the Hedoine satin pouch (sold separate) has helped in keeping them looking brand new. Do tap this link , add my code AWTGIRL for your discount and the Hēdoïne in you, and gift some legwear this Christmas. Gift Idea : Show them you share in their everyday challenges . Gift Hedoine gift cards for them to choose or The Infinity Sheer Tights – a wardrobe staple that is durable and adds a touch of glam to any legs. Plum Guide: A Very Nice List Imagine your loved one's face when you give them this extraordinary gift. A stay in a holiday home from the unparalleled luxury holiday rental company - Plum Guide . Their curated selection of ' exceptional homes ' promises an unforgettable experience. Expertly-vetted homes ensure travellers find unique and memorable stays tailored to their preferences. From stylish city apartments, to a breath-taking beachfront villa, or a cosy countryside retreat, there's a rental on Plum Guide to help you tick off that very nice list. 'With peace of mind guaranteed with every booking', your gift of a Plum Guide vacation rental will never fall flat. Gift Idea: Gift Smiles , as you Set-Jet (the filming locations of their favourite movies and TV series) them with a Plum Guide vacation rentals. Your 'Tons' that's Bridgerton fans can opt for a two-bedroom Georgian house, ' Through The Ages ', and make the most of their central location on the Royal Crescent, Bath. The three-bedroom ' Bright & Beachy ' two minutes away from #VeniceBeach California will hold appeal for the Barbie movie fans. And as 'Paris is always a good idea' how about an apartment in the 5th Arrondissement? Location, location, location for Emily in Paris. But if the White Lotus was more their show, the two-bed, two-bathroom ' Mediterranean Sundae ' overlooking Isola Bella Bay in Taormina is better suited. German Kabirski: Artistry in Sparkles Looking for a sparkly and meaningful way to express individuality? Take a look at German Kabirski's stunning avant-garde jewellery pieces. Works of art showcasing Kabirski's innovative design and unparalleled craftsmanship. Looking to remind that someone special, just how much they mean to you? Or simply treat yourself (you can put yourself on the 'very nice list' too)? Stand out from the crowd and say it with a one-of-a-kind piece from the collection. As well as statement rings, avant-garde necklaces and artisanal earrings, German Kabirski offers custom-designed jewellery. Refrain from settling for the ordinary because you can gift the extraordinary. Give a gift that keeps its sparkle. Enjoy 15% off German Kabirski's full-priced items with discount code girlwelltravelled15 at checkout. Now proceed as you wish but you may well find yourself returning to this site, time and time again. Gift Idea: Express your sentiments of love with bold and distinctive statement jewellery. Want them to choose, there's always a German Kabirski gift card . The Wild Card... As your independent travel agent, I am your compass in this vast landscape of travel possibilities. Allow me to craft personalized itineraries to suit your tastes and preferences. From stunning escapes in far-flung corners of the globe to intimate retreats. I will make each itinerary a canvas and every destination a palette of possibilities waiting for you to explore. Contact Outbound, and I will help make those travel dreams a reality. Your Very Nice List to a Heart warming Time of Giving The joy of giving extends beyond the mere exchange of physical tokens. In every carefully wrapped package, there's a story—a story of shared laughter, shared dreams, and shared moments. The thoughtfulness, the sentiment, and the heartfelt intention behind each carefully chosen item. May your gifts resonate, inspire, and above all, bring smiles and long lasting memories to the faces and hearts of those who matter most. I hope this guide has helped you in some way in checking off your very nice list. Happy gifting, and may the magic linger in every carefully chosen present. PS - If you have any specific requests or need further information or recommendations, feel free to contact me.

Brewed Wisdom and the Savoured Aroma of Inspiring Coffee Quotes

Brewed Wisdom and the Savoured Aroma of Inspiring Coffee Quotes

Not just a drink that wakes you up in the morning; coffee is so much more than that. A cultural phenomenon that has inspired countless of us to express our thoughts, share our musings. Even imparting that wisdom through quotes. And so, fellow coffee lovers! I'm here to share some of this brewed wisdom and inspired coffee quotes with you. The absolute best in coffee quotes that I've come across. Be inspired and energized by these caffeine-fuelled words of wisdom. According to Jackie Chan , coffee is like a language . Communicating comfort, warmth and shared experiences. One that brings people together, sparks conversations. Cassandra Clare believes that as long as there's coffee in the world, things can't be all that bad . Coffee brings a sense of reassurance and comfort during uncertain times. Think of your gloomiest day; doesn't a cup of coffee make things that much more cheerful. Justina Chen humorously contrasts life's adventures with the reliability of a good cup of coffee . Signifying the comforting constant coffee is during difficult times. Coffee and cake, even better. For some people, like the unknown author of "Coffee first. Adulting second." , coffee is a priority. I mean, is it even possible to adult without a cup of coffee? Certainly not. This is one of my favourite coffee quotes and is, for certain, my motto. Lewis Black, he acknowledges the caffeine-induced perception of wakefulness that many of us coffee lovers experience. That illusion that you might be awake . It's a playful nod to the transformative power of coffee in shaking off the grogginess of early mornings. And I agree, coffee is my morning's superpower. With just one cup, my day can start, and I can go out and conquer my world. These coffee quotes are such delightful reminders of this humble beverage's profound impact on our lives. From fostering connections and conversations to providing a sense of consistency and comfort, coffee transcends its role as more than just a beverage. A source of reflection and inspiration. I should know, it has fuelled chapters upon chapters of my pending contemporary romance novel . So, the next time you're sipping on a cup of coffee, take a moment to appreciate the wisdom encapsulated in the delightful world of these coffee quotes. What are some other coffee quotes you know and love? Feel free to share in the comments below!

Lunch at Izumi, Four Seasons Hotel des Bergues: A Japanese-Peruvian Culinary Delight

Lunch at Izumi, Four Seasons Hotel des Bergues: A Japanese-Peruvian Culinary Delight

Just back from the sunny Spanish capital of Madrid and a likeable rooftop restaurant, I'm off again to Switzerland. This time Geneva. It's been exactly ten years to the day since I first visited Geneva. How to celebrate that milestone? I find my next rooftop venue. This one swanked with picture postcard views across the city, Lake Geneva and some Swiss mountains beyond from its eighth floor. The Gram, the postie who'd deliver those cards. But like London, very much like London, the rooftop here is Swiss-weather-dependent too, so indoors it was. At least this wasn't cancelled. The Four Seasons Hotel chain is legendary for many things, including consistently delivering exceptional service to its guests. And just as legendary, the floral displays and scents in their lobbies, but this Four Seasons Hotel des Bergues has an edge. 1834, its signature scent. I am charmed by the first whiff of amber wood and just as quickly intoxicated by the patchouli and quickly disperse of any displeasure caused by the closed rooftop terrace. With my new-found friend from the front desk, I ride to the seventh floor in lifts that may have a few stories to tell. I say new-found, but I'm made to feel more like I'd just visited last week. I sense, too, that had I been alone or in that lift longer, the lifts would have shared. After all, this building is centuries old. But we arrive at Izumi , where I am readily handed over to the restaurant staff. Who, dressed in dark chinos and white polo shirts with trainers echoing the same colour, carry themselves more like a smart yachtie crew. Choosing a table (here, your handbag gets a side stool, too), I settle on a table next to one of this restaurant's standout features - its floor-to-ceiling glass wall. Views don't fully clear the hotel's rooftop, so I ignore the Swiss-London weather outdoors and focus on the menus within. I've had a refreshing two sips from an ice-cold lychee-laced summer drink (Grenadine syrup, yuzu and ginger beer), when the kitchen sends out the first dish. The paper-thin and ' Sashimied' Seabass spiced in fruity spicy Aji Amarillo , topped with salsa and panko. The sashimi is soft and meltingly good in the mouth. The tangy dressing adds to its super-freshness and the panko a lot of bite. So much so I fear the neighbours at the next table can hear me. Covertly, I licked my lips as I finished that plate. I learn from the table beside mine that the chef is Japanese and is less than a year old in the role. But he is hot off the mark and sends out my IZUMI STYLE BEEF, YUZU MISO ANTICUCHO , with a side of white rice. Incredibly tender melt-in-your-mouth beef, no effort is required to chew. The spicy, zesty and salty flavours tussle for the punch but the sauce remains incredibly flavoursome. I tried finding the hero in this dish feeding myself mouths full, while too trying to remind myself to take small bites but the food is deliciously good, and I stuff my mouth with as much rice and meat as is acceptably, Four Seasons. Bite after bite delivers insanely good food. I finished that plate of beef and half the rice bowl and licked my lips in plain view this time. A more relaxed blue-collared crowd fills the tables, and the restaurant is now fully booked. The servers have added more pep to their swag, leaving no one unattended. There's a hum of conversations. Some in English but more in French. But all more Capri than contracts and, too, how fabulously good this restaurant's food is. And after two courses, I wholeheartedly agree. No one seemed overly bothered the terrace was closed and with my back turned to the outdoors, neither was I. This should have been a low-key, quick two-course lunch; I'd made sure of it by ordering from the Business Menu. I am, too, full from that two-course feast. But instead of requesting the bill, I request dessert. Now, I want to linger; discover what sensational treats this kitchen has for desserts and continue in the cross table conversations. So, I make space for cheesecake . I cut into the velvety smoothness and let that sweet-sweet savour in my mouth. Eaten with the yuzu sorbet , added a citrusy burst of flavour. I was already full, but this was worth it. Worth making the space for, worth the extended cross-table conversations. Izumi Restaurant indoors is on the 7th floor of Hotel des Bergues, with its terrace on the eighth. Although not quite a full year in play, the plates here are a creation of Executive Chef Toshikazu Kato and a team that feels very practised. The food, a wonderful come-together of traditional Japanese and Peruvian cuisine. Ordered from the Business Menu but an A La Carte, Tasting and Discovery rounds out the menu choices at Izumi . Unlike the hotel's baroque facade, the decor is very chic, contemporary. Elegant tones of creams interplay with bolder darker textures on the walls. Leather and silver legged chairs with matching rimmed tables brings the space together. The back wall, complete in floor-to-ceiling glass takes on all the natural light for the restaurant. It is an incredibly beautiful space employing over twenty covers of mostly tables of two and four. The largest table is in the centre of the room. The restaurant has a terrific business lunch menu and is also an excellent business lunch venue. Exactly ten years after that first trip to Geneva, Izumi's rooftop restaurant prompted an anniversary celebration. Though the weather closed the rooftop, this was an excellent way to celebrate that milestone. Now, I want another reason to return to lunch at Izumi, Four Seasons Hotel des Bergues. Capturing those rooftop views, that evaded me today would be the bonus.

Unless You're Wearing Stylish Sleepwear by Fable & Eve

Unless You're Wearing Stylish Sleepwear by Fable & Eve

When I was nine years old, my great-grandmother passed, and apart from her sunlit smile, one thing that stuck were these words of hers. Never you leave the house unless you look ' prensable '. That's ' presentable ' for you and me. And not just that, I'd be put through a military inspection. My mother took over the inspection after that. Hair always combed, seams had to line up with seams, shoes clean. I can bet we surpassed any military inspection but I digress. So imagine the look my great grand-mother would have given me, were she told, I've just seen your great granddaughter on social media in her nightie. Phwoar! Well she'd probably have said, not my great granddaughter . But picture the perfect pyjamas... Hmm. I couldn't, but then I saw these black and cream tone, pebble print PJs. Easy on the eye, I made a hot date with it which also caught your attention in my stories last week. And now you know it is a Fable & Eve London cami and shorts set from their Carnaby Collection . The cut is flattering, but it was the pockets that got me the most excited. Lightweight, roomy, the cami fits true to size, though the shorts remind me that middle age is granting me the derriere it never blessed my youth with. Sizing up may be required next time. Yes, I have eyes on another cami set. This time, the Hampstead , in pure white. Its contrasting blue piping adding a touch of sophistication. This cami and shorts set say beach villa holidays, weekend breaks and Caribbean cruise too. And with the seasons shortly to change, maybe also the matching Carnaby pebble print long dressing gown or the Brixton floral pyjama set. Cotton and Modal Comfort Threads from nature make this fabric crafted from soft, breathable cotton and innovative modal, easy on the skin. Elasticated back, flat front with ribbon draw strings, it slips on easily and leaves no skin crease. It fully embraces what your sleep time requires; you lying down to rest and sleep. And because you're wearing Fable & Eve , you can stay comfortable, confident and chic taking out the bins or answering the door to the mail carrier when the bell rings. Nightshirts and Pyjama sets that are quite frankly, shmexy, won't see you hang your head in shame should you switch on the work teams' camera accidentally. All because you're wearing Fable & Eve. Relaxed and stylish, they move from sleepwear to loungewear to play wear with a coffee and book and a rock to Beres Hammond on a Saturday morning and back again. Long lazy weekends? Fable & Eve's grown-up nightshirts are what you'd be wearing. Choose prints drawing inspiration from the London neighbourhoods each collection is named for. Shop from the Collection here . Plus anyone who has ordered from Fable & Eve London will attest to their speedy delivery and great customer service . Available to shop in store too, at Fenwicks, Naughty Nickers, Bentalls and other fine stockists. Add some flair to your nightwear unless you're already wearing Fable & Eve, in which case add some more. Or, too, gift the gift of wearing Fable and Eve; they do a beautiful gift box, too. Psst. There's a sale on you'll want to take advantage of. And I think even granny would have approved of me wearing these stylish sleepwear from Fable and Eve on social media. Don't you? Because when wearing PJ's looks and feels this good why not?

Lympstone Manor, I've Got A Crush On You

Lympstone Manor, I've Got A Crush On You

There's a treasure trove of places I want to lose myself in to escape the noise, escape the humdrum. And if an escape to the breezy coast, a vineyard's vintages to sip on, and an exquisite culinary journey to dine out on are what your tired soul seeks, then I know a place that has this written all over it. I've got myself on the guest list and will, too, join in the 'write-home' about it. I say guest list, as it feels like a private members club with coveted membership. Whose location is a twenty-eight-acre exclusive helping of the gentle slopes above the Exe estuary . You certainly don't want for peace or privacy here. Like a lady, Lympstone Manor country house hotel, sits aside its stately mount with an eye-widening view of the Exe Estuary. This lady, once a stately home, now an exciting country manor, has had less than the stately beginning. One that should it have been mentioned in certain circles would have been the ultimate scandal. But Lympstone Manor's centuries-old cradle, a paltry farmhouse (scandalous), has long been buried under plush carpets, dimmed out by sparkly chandeliers, flushed with warm hospitality and accepted by Relais & Chateaux . Now graciously restored, its simplicity is its ultimate sophistication. In the courtyard, feet crunch the gravel underfoot, but inside, RLLs give way to quiet taps on the parquet floors indoors. There's nothing loud or brash. Instead, illuminating off low lights, soft shades of grey (not as much as fifty) echo off plush carpets, plump cushions and the ceiling height upholstery lining the windows. The air is a little perfumed, and some lounge music, beautifully pitched, adds to the otherwise hushed atmosphere. Decidedly unpretentious - puts a smile on. I am so excited; I am buzzing. You probably would too if you booked to dine or stay here. The type you experience when you meet your crush for the first time. Because Lympstone Manor has been hanging out in my little book of secret crushes. And since being hit by this stroke of luck, I'd scarce been able to contain myself. A top-of-the-wishlist place I'd go for that big 'O'. Where you'd mark that special anniversary or extend the honeymoon with a pre-honeymoon . Today, however, there's no such marker, simply living out a dream. And so far, this one is all sweet. Bed and Bath Any of Lympstone Manor's twenty-one rooms and suites is a prize. But I'd stolen serious glances at the suite with its twin double-ended copper baths, entertained doing away with the shrinking siren for a ground floor room. Outdoor hot tub and fire pit as standard, a glass of something bubbly and some Freddie McGregor to fix a mood . Though the base coming out of my Bose and the unknown level of my wild abandon may be better suited to the Romany way in one of their six sensational shepherd huts in the woods. Dancing hurricane lamps come to mind. Nearing the suite, I got quick heartbeats, and when we stopped in front of the door, opened it... gasped. Times two. Both from yours truly. Mr Check-in-come-personal-concierge looks back at me. He's satisfied I'm in no way dissatisfied. That he has no need to call the paramedics and ushers me in. I'm drawn in, down the hallway, then out again to a private balcony at the other end. Ohh. Myy. Gawww. Pinch. Pinch. Pinch. Out there, this is the view. An unfurling widescreen to the vineyard below, the Exe Estuary and village beyond. There's a dark cloud threatening, but mentally, I've reserved my seat on this balcony with a Nespresso from the in-suite machine in my brand-new mug picked up from the Seaglass Gallery on my way here. I go back indoors to where I left Mr standing. There's something vanilla-esque on the nose, whisking my being off to Seychelles' exotic powder blue shores. Mr points to the diffuser in the living area. I give it the attention it requires and note its roots are in the nearby Dartmoor Soap Company . A little more Devon than I'd imagined. The patio doors bestow free natural light on the living area, where a coffee table sits, basking in it. Three church-sized candles fill a fireplace at one end, and a sofa covered in a light throw looks out the doors to a portraited view of the bay. If the British weather stays British, this is where I'll put my feet up. At fifty square meters, this suite is the size of a one-bed apartment, where a balcony trumps a scullery. And with the living area separate from the sleeping area and separate from the bathroom , its the business. It's the space where the argument on the drive down about who went left instead right, or who read the satnav incorrectly can dissipate. The Gin and Tonic tray is on the house. He points out. As you do. I respond. Or even if you don't. Tapping the side of my nose. And he laughs. A nook in the wall separating the living and sleeping areas in turn bestows some of that daylight into the bedroom. There's a party of pillows and cushions across the twin beds, enough for two five-a-side teams. And two of those are near mattress-sized. Ran my hands over the bed and linen, they said come to bed. Okay, but first... At the opposite end, a wardrobe with Relais & Chateau slippers and a Lympstone Manor beach bag hangs for added convenience. In the bathroom, an 'Amazon-Esque' rain shower head stands seductively tall next to a hand held one, inside a borderless walk-in shower. And I am seduced. Long, long, Amazon hot shower, here I come . But it ( Reminds me of the one in this chapter, where Lemara was in ultimate despair ). But this one, blissfully removed from any of that. A stand-alone bathtub sits proud and twin white sinks lie felicitous within black marble. Aged brass taps everywhere , add a touch more glam to an almost all black and white marble bathroom. The sinks, bathtub and shower each treated to their luxury toiletries are extra touches of convenience. I spot fluffy bathrobes and agree we want for nothing, leaving Mr to see to his next guests. Just inside the door, two coat hooks, another nice touch. It's not the suite with double copper baths, or outdoor hot tub but the crush is still on. To Dine For Food is celebrated here in both restaurants with differing offerings. Where the main restaurant, named for the hotel, plays the leading role, and the Signature and Taste of the Estuary menus are the crowd pleasers. Both eight-course journeys. The gourmands are here for this. And had we been dining here, would have gone for the exciting seafood culinary experience of The Taste of The Estuary. So happy were Relais & Chateau of their visit; they gave their approval stamp, and Michelin , too, left a starry token. On our way to dinner, we glimpse the Chef supremo himself, Mr Michael Caines doing cheffy things in that kitchen. I waved, hoping to catch his attention and make pretend I was my sister from a few weeks back. But I can report he gave his one hundred per cent cheffy attention to the plates in front of him. But if Chef Caines is at the main restaurant, who is overseeing the Pool House Restaurant? No thunder stolen there. Dress hem flirty and heels an inch too high for that meander, we cross to the Pool House. Glass doors open, letting in the evening air and me smelling like a Jo Malone boutique—the one at Heathrow Terminal three. Billie had come to greet us, not at our table, but outside, as we walked along the pool with one of the hotel's iconic umbrellas . I'll tell you now; she's not losing that job anytime soon - so personable she is. Seats us at a table inside/outside the restaurant with a menu. And a view similar to our suite. And as I'd been eyeing all of Lympstone Manor for a little, I'd known exactly what I'd order. Except eyes strayed when I read that line-up of produce from the surrounding Devon farms and waters, once more. The duck confit caught eyes this time, and that was that. Mushroom tagliatelle and truffle fries completed the order for the teenager. Uncomplicated. That's the two page Pool House Restaurant's menu and the wine selection is one half of that. Bottles are in buckets or on tables nearly everywhere because wine is taken very seriously in the Pool House Restaurant too. Paired back, spartan, the interior of the pool house redirects conversations outdoors, where the British weather is being salty. And we watched as the rain charged across the bay like a band of white horses. Inside/outside is now inside for certain. But I can imagine this space opening up all bright and breezy to the rafters in the warmer, balmier evenings . The atmosphere is chilled, as I suspect, all day, every day, from 11:30 on. From brunch to lunch, dinner and drinks beyond. You step from a dip in the pool to a sip at a table, between smashed avocado on toasted campagne bread and octopus carpaccio off the menu. Billie is back, plates in hand to accompany our fruity drinks. I'm straight in with a fork-full. Didn't speak. Actually, no one spoke, just in case the act of speaking tarnished the meal. And I'd been halfway through that plate of crispy duck and cassoulet before breaking the silence. A wholesome dish, packing bags of flavour and chunks of meat  into a tummy-filling cassoulet. And when I did speak, it was to share, but only so I could try the tagliatelle and truffle fries, I didn't order. All three gluten-free but such eye-openers on the taste buds—the uncompromised truffled fries, the seriously good tagliatelle. And having finish my dish and help to finish the remaining two, the temptation was there to try the fish which was my original choice. You know, the only real concern with the food here is overeating. Overeating because I want to try it all. I return my gaze across the bay, where the white horses have sufficiently disbanded to see a train making its way along the coast to Cornwall. If after dinner, the plan is to retire but not to bed, Barings Bar with its curved copper Bar and caramel hues is where you up the ante. On The Door Step Rain-filled skies followed us to the Devonshire coast. The sun did its best to cut a window but failed, so we made no plans 'to-do'. Not for a splash in the outdoor heated pool, a ride around the village on the hotel's bikes, a fresh face from a paddleboard or a thwock of a ball or two on the tennis court . Though a walk around the manor will satisfy an art fix. Dramatic coastal paintings hang from the walls throughout the property. So too are paintings of the birds in the estuary. All by local artists. The rooms themselves are named and decorated for the birds. Ever been interested in Ornithology? This is a most pleasing entry into it. Thinking of it, the colours of the pillows on our beds were representations of both the male and female Bullfinch. Along the hallway to the rooms, the chandeliers remind me of sea corals. Throughout the property, you'll note the hotel's championing of its Devonshire area, from the menu, to the bath products, gin and bottled water. And for a sheer unadulterated wine indulgence, there's a wine room for private wine tasting sessions. Here the wine list runs into the hundreds. But with all this peace, space, tranquillity, you're free to do as little or as much as. The sun showing no sign of winning the weather battle, I put the Nespresso machine to work and return to my position on the sofa. Indulging in another of my new reads while nursing my intense, dark, smooth South American. Plus, you'll never guess the protagonist's name in this read. Yes, he, too, is called Joshua, and much unlike our very lovable 747 captain , it is he who is in violation of his relationship. Chapters in, some summer sun cuts a little opening, and I part ways with that indulgence. Like the landed gentry we weren't; we donned hoodies instead of tweed, picked up the hotel's brollies, borrowed their wellies and conquered another path along the vineyard and down to the estuary with speed. Down by the river , we take a pace more slowly. Now, I feel a Morgan Heritage coming on. Has The Fancy Passed? When check-out loomed, it was difficult to accept. I toyed with writing this beautiful country manor into a contemporary romance . But having sat long enough with the view out to the bay and the fresh coastal air, a personal account best suited. In this peaceful pocket of Devon on the South West coast of England, Chef Caines and his slick in-house team have a good thing going on. Lympstone Manor feels like a sanctuary, a place to escape and readily lose yourself or find it. Where, if you choose your spot carefully, digitally detox too. I felt wholly spoilt as if it was a birthday or some special celebration. Everything at the Manor swirls with R+R, enticing you to stay longer, steal a few more moments. Actually, I'd encourage it. Not simply a hotel stay but a space for reprieve, indulgence in seriously good food, and an experience. Celebrating a milestone or, maybe too, need perspective on that relationship heading for the rocks? Lympstone Manor is where you go. A place where even the tainted British weather is a charm. This stay has not simply materialised from the crush on my little list but has launched itself straight to a covetous position in my bucket of best bucket list experiences. Lympstone Manor, the crush hasn't passed. I'll come again, and do it just the same. Actually, I'd try staying longer. Would I change anything here? Not readily, though I recommend Lympstone Manor mugs branded with their symbolic heron . But that's solely so I could indulge in my unintentional souvenir collection . What about you? Is Lympstone Manor now on your wishlist, bucket list and list of crushes?

Essential Leather Goods and New Favourite Gift Items

Essential Leather Goods and New Favourite Gift Items

Based on the opinion of a few women in my circle, it seems that finding the perfect gift for men is more challenging compared to finding gifts for women. But I find men to be creatures of habit and very often prefer the same things. They usually appreciate useful items such as a new pair of socks, stylish cufflinks, electronic gadgets, and home and garden tools. If you want to give them a hint, the latter items will very often do the trick. AD: All highlights individually selected by myself. Buying through the links may earn me an affiliate commission but at no extra cost to you. It does not, however, take away from these women's experiences. That being the case, Valentine's Day, Father's Day, Christmas or birthdays, you would be hard-pressed to look much further than this leather goods collection I've curated from Harber London —a gift guide just for the men in your life. Harber London came to be ten years ago in the city from which it inherited its name. The challenge—to find good quality and contemporary laptop sleeves. Inspired by this challenge, those conversations turned to actions and the creation of premium leather goods brand, Harber London. Today, Harber London continues its mission to get you excited about the everyday essentials and those that will become forever favourites. Still rooted in the brand's ten-year milestone is its reimagining and evolution of beautifully crafted leather products. Their timeless style and unsurpassed quality products are crafted in Spain with utmost love and attention by expert artisans with the know-how. And with age, the certified full-grain leather used will acquire a beautiful patina. But be it a birthday or Father's Day, I have curated this gift guide centred around Harber London's leather products for you—items to be gifted irrespective of the occasion or time. Everyday staples the everyday men in your life—the full of adventure, the stylish, the bold, the introvert, the laid back—will make firm favourites. Not all men sit behind a desk, but for those who do, the Harber London Leather Desk Mat , cut from Signature Premium Full Grain Leather, is a beautiful and functional finishing touch. The cut-through hole for cords and cables keeps the cables tidy and the desk neat. Discover a combination of padded base finishes to protect your desk surface and mat sizes to accommodate the keyboard and mouse. It makes a fabulous desk accessory. He'll look professional at work and stylish everywhere with his Harber London Everyday Leather Briefcase . Two briefcase sizes (medium or large) and space for a laptop up to 16' makes it practical. He'll have slots for the cords, loops for his pens and room to fit much more. Slim and compact, this briefcase will keep the essentials organised and him looking sleek. Though mobile payments are fast becoming the payment option for everyday purchases, the gent's wallet remains an essential mainstay. A key accessory. Gift him this keepsake—the Harber London Card Wallet with RFID protection . The styling is minimalist, with the brand's logo subtlely embossed on the front—an everyday accessory he can take anywhere. It fits at least six cards plus folded cash. Choose from a burst of colours or the familiar staples of black or tan. Personalise it too, and make it a gift more memorable. And because I like to experience a product or service before asking you to part with your silver, I, too, have personalised and gifted this wallet ahead of Father's Day. The leather has a premium feel—the gift received with much appreciation. Finding a decent laptop sleeve was the inspiration for Harber London. And with the Classic Leather MacBook Sleeve remaining one of its bestsellers, Harber London continues to inspire. One of their key brand pieces, it remains sleek and super stylish in colours suited for everyday use. And as with so many of Harber London's other products, you can personalise this too. Is there a travel bag more classy than Harber London's Leather Shopper Bag ? If there is, I'd like to know. Elevate his weekend-getaway-look with one of these. Made with Harber London's Signature Premium Full Grain Leather; beautiful craftsmanship shines through. Gifting this may shock the bank account. But their reaction to receiving it will be worth the pain the shock caused. Ample space and inner pockets, it packs with ease. Dimensions of 11 x 9.8 x 17.7" says it fits most cabin size requirements. He'd be himself planning those weekend getaways to get this one out. Timeless and classy, this travel bag will look the part sitting at a private country manor or boarding a private jet. It is that gift that will keep on giving. You may have previously made one or two regrettable gift choices, but these leather gifts come with my stamp of approval. Make Harber London your first word in premium leather goods and save yourself that heartache. I know you know one or two persons for whom any of these would be the ultimate gift. Delivered beautifully gift wrapped, start your gift shopping now. And, if you are a guy reading this, feel free to shop these gift ideas for yourself. What's taken your fancy?

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