Saturday, 17 December 2011

Best Kept (Purple) Secret

You know the saying, Comfortable in your own skin, well I've never literally been that comfortable in mine. It's dry and itchy, particularly at this time of year.

The products I have been able to use have always been limited, the cheapest being Johnsons and the most expensive being Dr Hauscha. However, I tended to plump for Dermalogica. I'd have the luxury of being able to wash off the Ultra Calming Cleanser in summer but in winter the water just dries my skin too much.

Being the organised kind of person I am, I never run out of things (Ha!!) The day I ran out of cleanser was the day I had a networking meeting and it was a big one. I was running the meeting and it was a full house. One of the guests I had invited was my friend Jillian who just so happens to supply proto-col products. So who better to ask for a sample to tide me over until my Dermalogica arrives?

Jillian came up trumps with not only a sachet but a travel sized pump dispenser Cleanser, a spray toner and a Gel Moisturiser! So, being the girl I am, I went home after the meeting and removed all my make up with the products just to try them out!

The cleanser is very much like Ultra Calming Cleanser and the Moisturising Facial Gel is the nearest to Barrier Repair I've seen. It's not quite as silicon-ey and slippery but it has the same skin smoothing quality and leaves the face feeling fresh and supple.

The best point surely has to be the price at just £12.95 for a 100ml pump dispenser as proto-col does cost less than Dermalogica but no!! It's the collagen! All the products contain collagen alongside other wonder ingredients including coral seaweed.

I converted after a week and bought full sized products. I love my proto-col

The full range can be viewed on Jillian's website

I have not been approached by proto-col or Purple Secret to write this review.  I have been supplied with complimentary, trial sized products of proto-col skin cleanser, proto-col skin toner and proto-col Moisturising Facial Gel courtesy of Purple Secret.

Poker Night

Last week I was extremely excited to be again embarking on an adult leaning course. Having improved my knowledge of beer I felt it time to learn another skill - Poker.

Driving back from work, listening to the Radio Wave charity auction day, a lot came on for a poker lesson at The Genting Circus Casino. And is was only £40 for 10 people to learn to play poker!!

So I bid £60. And I won!

The confirmation letter came through and to my delight I was informed there was also a Buffet laid on! So I gathered my friends and we met up at the casino.

For anyone who has not been to a casino, they're not the James Bond style Monte Carlo kind of place you would imagine. They're relaxed with a few tables, fruit machines and croupiers in shirts and waistcoats.

So Gordon and Tony taught us the basics with Nicci catering to our every whim. We really couldn't have been made to feel more welcome! Franco in the restaurant ensured we had enough food to last until new year and we were treated to a dealer for an extra game after we ate.

So the game was on. Visors down, poker faces on. We were playing for money. Thirty quid of it.

I think I went out on about round three after going All In but it wasn't lack of card skills, it was because I was convinced my friend would lie and bluff his way to a win. As it turned out he did have a good hand when mine was rubbish!

We all thoroughly enjoyed the night. It was different, we were out, laughing and having a good time something that too few people do nowadays.

If you fancy learning poker, the Genting Circus Casino do lessons every Tuesday and Wednesday. I can't recommend it enough! If you are nervous or clueless, this is a great setting to learn.

I have not been approached by the Genting Circus Casino to write this review. I received a two hour poker lesson for 10, twenty free drinks and a buffet as the winning bidder in the Radio Wave charity auction.

Sunday, 4 December 2011

The 18 Years and Over Rated Fish Tank

When we started fishkeeping, I thought the Gourami's were hard work. They fought all the time and one in particular stressed the others so much a couple died.

So I got livebearers. My friend had some platy and they looked calm. I got two mollies and two guppies.

A few weeks later, my gorgeous suede effect Black Mollies both had babies. We didn't notice until it was pointed out by my fish keeping brother-in-law. We witnessed a few being eaten by the bully Gourami but managed to land several into the safe haven of a floating baby tank.

We thought that was it. There were no males in the tank. Except the babies. They started inbreeding!! The majority died or were eaten.

So, we got three female guppies. Then we had roughly 20 baby guppies arrive. And again, we did our best but only the strong survive. Many died and many were eaten.

So whodunnit? Who's eating the neighbours? I think it's the Clown Loaches - but that's another story

I certainly know with all this breeding and cannibalism, if it was a film, it'd be an 18! Fish keeping is certainly over rated.

My Dinner Party Horror

Despite being at the age where we should do dinner parties, I've always avoided them wherever possible. Not just hosting, but attending as well.

It's not that I'm anti social, it's just something we've not really ventured into ourselves or actually been invited to that often!

The second dinner party of my life reinforced my gut feeling of avoid, decline and make an excuse.

It was sold to me as a wine and tapas night. I love tapas and this time my gut said feed me, get drunk and find some jeans that fit.

In the run up it was changed to wine and meze with the promise if moussaka. I was still in and even getting enthusiastic. I asked if beans on toast at 5pm would be necessary, as there was a large number going, but I was assured, there'd be plenty to meet my gargantuan appetite.

As it turned out, my appetite was proven to be gargantuan. A bit of feta, spinach and ricotta fillo's were nibbled on and I was soon discretely asking when the moussaka was coming up. Thirty minutes and I could fill my boots.

Literally. I was in the other room when my moussaka hit the floor.

Much laughter came from the kitchen along with an invite to view my moussaka. Which I thought was a bit odd. I didn't care what it looked like, I was starving and drunk!

I was met with a plate repeatedly thrust at me with the mantra "it's ok, I mopped the floor today!! Just eat it!"

Erm no. I can't. It's not a haribo subject to the three second rule. It's a plate of food off the floor.

I looked at "chef's" wife for assistance but she pretty much couldn't breathe for laughing, not only at Chef's attempt to feed me but at my horrified face. (think Miss Harbourne off Ladette to Lady)

I was really uneasy about offending Chef, who afterall, had driven to the restaurant to collect the dishes he'd promised to make some three weeks ago! After quick consideration, I risked losing a friend so as not to eat off the floor.

Turns out I wasn't expected to eat it, it was purely for comedy value. Or at least that's what Chef's claiming!

You wouldn't. Would you?

I certainly wouldn't. I'd book a holiday to avoid another dinner party but I don't expect I'll be invited again!!

Actually, A Really Remarkable Coat

Coats are vital.  Vital because I love them.  I have a lot of them.  I have actually misplaced two of my coats which to me is a real reason to replace them with this....

The Remarkable Coat from
I love this coat.  I found it in a supplement that fell out of Good Housekeeping (which I never buy and only bought because of the Easy Christmas promises it was shouting at me at the checkout).  Therefore, I take this as a sign to welcome this coat into my collection, wear it when it looks like snow and hang it up for all visitors to see on my Display Coat Hanger (wall light fitting in the hall).

Also, it's really affordable at £79.95.  I do think I will invest in a pair of victorian style, hob nail, boot shoes to complement it's gorgeousness though, so I'll start the search now.

Joe Browns have not requested my raving and gushings about their product, in fact they probably don't know I want it - But if you do come across this post, I'm a size 10!

Extra Curricular Learning - Real Ale Tasting

If you're going to take on an adult learning course, it's always best to do one you enjoy. One where you have an interest and love of the subject. So I chose the Lancashire Wine School.
(It's a school!! And they do courses!! Therefore, adult learning!!)

Now, I've been a regular at the school since  it opened and when Colin announced his Lancashire Day Beer Tastings, I was straight on it. For educational purposes, of course, not for the hotpot and 6 bottles of beer.

I've never been a beer fan due to the gas factor. It tastes fine but I would be mortified if I belched mid conversation and I know I'm not alone.

Colin Burbidge - My Own Personal Booze Expert
We tasted, in generous half pint portions, 7 beers (Yes! One more than expected!) from Lancashire breweries. The selections started off pale and ended up dark with Thwaites Nutty Black.

Most of the girls on the course preferred the lighter beers and were getting squinty and squiffy the darker we went as the tastes soured slightly. The general consensus was India Pale Ales were extremely drinkable.

Additional note to prove I have learnt something on my adult education course:
India Pale Ale is so called because it was originally made to ship to our boys in India in the days of the Raj. It was made at a higher strength so it travelled well in the boats.

The surprise for most was the ability to eat a large plate of hotpot, with potatoes and vegetables, after already having two pints of beer, and then still being able to easily drink the remaining pint and a half!

The Hopstar Lush was my favourite. It had a bonfire toffee taste. If you like Caramel Latte's or Creme Brûlée, this is the real ale for you.

As is usual on these events, all the tasters are sat around one big table and at the start only really talk amongst their own group. About half way through, it's like a pub full of regulars with stories being shared and plenty of laughs.

A great night, and it looks like Port and Cheese will be my next outing to Wine School!

This is a completely independent view of a course I paid full price for. I have not been approached or paid by The Lancashire Wine School for this review, nor have I been encouraged to mention the beers listed.

Saturday, 3 December 2011

Horses Don’t Get Parking Tickets

Did you know that? Last week the Traffic Wardens were out in force guarding the three roads around school with zig zag markings.

I welcome the enforcers. People park stupidly, drive inconsiderately and generally incite road rage on a daily basis, so I do appreciate any attempt to restore order.

So the horse. Firstly, I've no problem with the horse at all. It's owner us the target of my rant. It's been a few times, left a few piles if top quality manure on the pavement and been a source of "ahhh's" from the kids.

On this occassion, It's stood there with it's owner and it's carriage outside school at 3pm. On The Zig Zags. The traffic warden is also there. On The Pavement.

It was immune from a ticket!! It didn't get moved on even!

An obstruction is an obstruction in my opinion. The zig zags prevent obstructions which stop pedestrians and drivers seeing each other. Yet still no ticket was issued.

So, I urge all those parents who like to park or drop off on the zig zags to get a horse and cart - you're immune from enforcement action!

And if you could all come on the same day, we'll really get a feel of a good old fashioned gridlock. I'll be the one selling manure.

My Very Own Blog!

Thanks for visiting my blog, seriously I'm really grateful!

I'm not new to blogging, I've got The Networking Blog about business growth and the blogs for my businesses.   I'm an avid blog reader, as you can see from my blogroll and I think it's about time I blogged without having to watch my p's and q's too much.  It will be great to not have to think about the offence factor!

The name, My Cava Lifestyle is pretty much the level I've achieved in life! I've not yet reached the heights of The Champagne Lifestyle - but then I always seem to be on the edge of it and almost there.  I worked in Altrincham, not Hale or Alderley Edge.  I live on the border of St Annes and Blackpool, on the Blackpool side, so can't claim to be posh.  St Annes wouldn't have me anyway - I don't own a Range Rover Shopping Chariot (yet!)

So for those that don't know me, I'm Claire, I'm in the 30-39 age bracket, live with the love of my life and my two boys, a golden retriever and an ever increasing number of fish.  I get asked why I'm a cartoon quite a lot - it's because I'm between hairstyles.  All profile pics are either The Bob or The Elf phase, so I'm not updating to a real pic until I'm happy with my hair!!(yes - I am that vain)

The posts you can expect will be maily Discount Shopping based I expect!  Although you will get my motherly rants from time to time.  Please feel free to leave comments - I love a chat!


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