Friday, 31 March 2017

A Fabulous Fifties-Inspired Red Dress

In my previous post I shared some photographs along with my outfit from my daughter's 16th birthday meal on Friday.  Well here's another one! This is from Saturday, a glorious spring day and one spent at my parents' home for a family celebration. My dress is from Alie Street, a brand which designs and manufactures its clothing in Britain and one which focuses on dresses. It has quite a celebrity following and counts television presenters Susanna Reid and Kate Garraway as fans. These are dresses for all occasions and are classic styles that can be worn over and over- just the sort I like. This dress has a touch of the fifties about it with the fit and flare style and the shaping in the bodice. It's a heavy ponte jersey so falls beautifully too. 

Alie Street fifties style chilli red Olivia dress with gold bee jewellery

Alie Street fifties style chilli red Olivia dress with gold bee jewellery

Alie Street fifties style chilli red Olivia dress with gold bee jewellery

Alie Street fifties style chilli red Olivia dress with gold bee jewellery

Alie Street fifties style chilli red Olivia dress with gold bee jewellery

Alie Street fifties style chilli red Olivia dress with gold bee jewellery

Alie Street fifties style chilli red Olivia dress with gold bee jewellery

The pineapple and honey bee bracelets are by Danon at Lizzy O and are both available in silver with matching items too. The other bracelet with my initial was a gift from my daughter brought back from when she went on a French exchange trip and I treasure it. 

Danon gold pineapple bracelet, honey bee bracelet

I'm also wearing the honey bee mini necklace which is absolutely gorgeous and perfect for spring and summer. Do sign up to my monthly blog newsletter here for exclusive subscriber discounts at Lizzy O. 

Danon gold honey bee necklace

Ilex London Fiona Cross Body Bag

And because I adore spring flowers, I'll leave you with one more burst of sunshine from my parents' garden.

Daffodils

Love Lizzy x

I'm wearing:
*Olivia Dress in chili pepper, £129, Alie Street
Honey bee mini necklace, £52, by Danon at Lizzy O
*Watch, Camden Watch Company £108

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I'm linking up with:
I Will Wear What I LikeBrilliant Blog Posts/The Saturday Share

Disclosure:
*These items were gifted. My opinions are always 100% honest and the content is always my own. Thank you for supporting those brands that support What Lizzy Loves.

For more of What Lizzy Loves, please follow on Instagram and Facebook

Photographs: Poppy Johnston

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Monday, 27 March 2017

A Stunning Iris Fluted Sleeve Dress and My Daughter's Sweet Sixteenth.

Finery London iris v neck jersey dress over 40

If you follow me on Instagram, you might have seen that my daughter celebrated her 16th birthday last week. We've had a wonderful few days with friends and family and of course yesterday was Mother's Day. The children and I went out for brunch and afterwards, because it was a gloriously sunny day, I spent the afternoon outside tidying the garden and cleaning the patio furniture. I must be honest and say that after such a lovely weekend, I'm finding it difficult to come back down to earth and focus on work today. It feels like it's the first day back after a holiday! I have a very busy and exciting few weeks coming up on a personal level, (my children both have foreign exchange students coming at the end of this week for a week) and with my magazine work and my blog. The lovely thing is though that much of the upcoming magazine work is the ultimate combination of business and pleasure and lends itself to being shared here on my blog too. I'm having a working lunch later today in fact at Stirk House, a renowned hotel with an award-winning restaurant just 20 minutes from where I live. I'm meeting a lady who is 100 years old and who worked there eight decades ago. We are going to compare and contrast those times with the modern day so I'm looking forward to that. It's for a feature in Aspire Magazine but the venue is so stunning that I'll share a review of lunch here on my blog in due course because even if you're not local, you might visit the Lancashire/Ribble Valley/ North Yorkshire area sometime in the future. 

This talk of lunch leads me nicely into what I wore on Friday night for my daughter Poppy's birthday meal. We ate out with some close family friends and I wanted to wear something dressy but also something comfortable, so I decided upon another dress by Finery London. The Aintree Flute Sleeve Dress is just £45 and is made from a medium-weight jersey. It's the perfect piece to throw on because it needs little more than a pair of shoes and some simple jewellery to complete the outfit. It's very easy to wear because it doesn't have a structured waist or fastenings, yet, because of the cut, it looks elegant and stylish and the vibrant iris colour is absolutely stunning.  

Finery London iris v neck jersey dress over 40

Finery London iris v neck jersey dress over 40

Finery London iris v neck jersey dress over 40

You can still get 15% discount with the code LIZZY15 at Finery until 13th April, so do head over a take a look if you like this dress as much as I do. They are getting new pieces in every day and every single item that I have from there is very high quality and something a little different and the price points are excellent.

Finery London iris v neck jersey dress over 40

Finery London iris v neck jersey dress over 40

The geometric pendant (£15) is from my accessories website, Lizzy O. Grey is one of my favourite neutrals and this works with so many different styles and colours. Remember to sign up to my monthly newsletter here for exclusive subscriber discounts at Lizzy O.

Finery London iris v neck jersey dress over 40

Finery London iris v neck jersey dress over 40

The star ring is by Danon and is also from Lizzy O. This is one of my all time favourite rings and it also comes in matte gold. Do head over and take a look because there are some gorgeous pieces, (even if I do say so myself!).

Finery London iris v neck jersey dress over 40

Finery London iris v neck jersey dress over 40

Finery London iris v neck jersey dress over 40

I'll leave you with a collage of photographs from the birthday weekend. Poppy is currently studying hard for her GCSEs. She's smart and intelligent and has infinite patience with her 13 year-old brother and with me when taking my blog photos. Like all teenagers, she *occasionally* forgets to wear her halo and parks her angel wings, but she's a good girl. I always feel emotional at the milestone birthdays of my nearest and dearest and this was no exception. It's a privilege to be her mum.

Finery London iris v neck jersey dress over 40, 16th birthday party

Love Lizzy x

I'm wearing:
*Aintree flute sleeve v neck dress, £45, Finery London (also available at John Lewis)
Grey pendant, £15, Lizzy O
Sign up to my monthly newsletter here for exclusive subscriber discounts at Lizzy O.
Pewter metallic shoe boots, many, many years old
Pewter metallic clutch bag, Boden, past season.

I'm linking up with:
I Will Wear What I LikeBrilliant Blog Posts/The Saturday Share

Disclosure:
*These items were gifted. My opinions are always 100% honest and the content is always my own. Thank you for supporting those brands that support What Lizzy Loves.

For more of What Lizzy Loves, please follow on Instagram and Facebook

Photographs: Poppy Johnston

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Thursday, 23 March 2017

A Review of Esthederm Skincare and Bioderma Hand Cream.

I'm becoming increasingly interested in different skincare brands and I'm fortunate, via my blog, to have the opportunity to try new ones from time to time. I'm also becoming ever more interested in the background of a product, specifically, the inspiration and technology behind it; I want to know why and how it works. I'm not a beauty blogger nor can I claim to be any kind of expert but what I can, and always will do, is write honestly about whether or not a product worked for me, if I enjoyed using it and if I'd buy it for myself. 

Esthederm creme and serum review, over 40 blog

So I'd like to tell you about The Intensive Hyaluronic Serum and The Intensive Hyaluronic Face Cream by Institut Esthederm, a brand founded by French pharmacist and biologist Jean-Noel Thorel, a specialist in cellular technologies. Hyaluronic acid is a molecule found naturally in the skin and the connective tissue of the body. It's a major component of the extra-cellular matrix, (the framework in which our skin cells sit), and it helps to retain moisture because each molecule can hold up to 1000 times its own weight in water. This makes it a a very valuable ingredient in creams and serums because in essence, it acts like a sponge holding water in the skin, so plumping it and reducing the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles. Simply, it acts as an effective moisturiser because of its ability to attract water into the skin to keep it hydrated and supple.

Esthederm creme and serum review, over 40 blog

The Intensive Hyaluronic Serum (£49.50), can be used by itself but I've been using it on my face, neck and decollete under the cream. It is recommended that it is used as a two-month intensive treatment for best results and although I haven't been using it quite that long, I can see that my skin is responding well to it. The serum has a lovely delicate, almost velvety texture and only a small amount is needed which is easy to control due to the pump action bottle.

The Intensive Hyaluronic Cream (£49.50) combines three different forms of hyaluronic acid and is ideal for use both day and night. It feels luxurious and rich and is thick without feeling heavy or looking greasy. It glides across the face and melts into the skin easily, leaving my skin looking radiant and feeling soft. I recommend both of these products and will definitely invest in them myself.

Esthederm creme and serum review, over 40 blog

It is widely accepted that the hands are the biggest giveaway of one's age and I cannot agree more. When looking through my blog photographs, I do sometimes cringe at just how disloyal mine are in revealing my age. In fact, they look a lot older than my years. It's not something I lose sleep over but it is something that I'm self-conscious about, particularly when trying to show off rings and bracelets, so I am always, always on the look out for an effective hand cream. It must feel rich yet sink in quickly without leaving a residue. The Ultra Repair by Bioderma (available from Boots for just £4.90), ticks all of those boxes. Like Esthederm, Bioderma was founded by biologist Jean-Noel Thurel. Formulated for dry, sensitive and atopic skin , it's a functional product rather than an indulgent one, but that being said, it does have a luxurious feel to it; it is thick and nourishing. I've noticed a significant improvement in the skin tone on the back of my hands- it's smoother and appears to be plumper and my nails (which I paint at least once a week) are benefiting continuously from the moisturising properties of the cream and as a result are smoother and have been less prone to breaking.

Bioderma hand cream review, over 40 blog

I will continue using the Bioderma handcream partly because it has a very accessible price point but mostly because it feels very comfortable to use; and because it works!

Love Lizzy x

Double star ring in silver) £25 by Danon at Lizzy O
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Brilliant Blog Posts/The Saturday Share

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Photograph of me: Poppy Johnston

Disclosure: *These items were gifted. My opinions are always 100% honest and the content is always my own. Thank you for supporting those brands that support What Lizzy Loves. 

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Saturday, 18 March 2017

Rhubarb Restaurant at Herriots, Skipton: A Review

Rhubarb at Herriots in Skipton is one of my favourite restaurants and I dine there often. I always enjoy the excellent food, friendly staff and smart, yet relaxed atmosphere so it was an absolute pleasure for me to visit last week with my boyfriend Ian, in a "work" capacity on behalf of Aspire Magazine. We received the warmest of welcomes from Naomi, the wonderful restaurant manager who remembered us from a previous visit.  She's a true asset and is knowledgeable and attentive yet never intrusive and it's always lovely to be served by her.  

For his starter, Ian ordered ham hock terrine which came with a perfectly poached duck egg, Hollandaise sauce and walnut bread.  I tried a little bit of everything, of course, so can confirm his comments that it was fresh and beautifully cooked and was an exciting mixture of textures.

Rhubarb at Herriots, Skipton, restaurant review

Rhubarb at Herriots, Skipton, restaurant review

I love all seafood so as I often do, I ordered from the Fresh Fish Menu and chose pan fried scallops with olive tapenade, croutes, tomato salsa and Parmesan. The scallops are always faultless at Rhubarb and the saltiness of the tapenade and the slight sharpness of the tomato salsa was the perfect foil for their mellow flavour. A particularly lovely thing the restaurant has is a board, which names the trawler off which the seafood was caught, so ensuring its provenance.

Rhubarb at Herriots, Skipton, restaurant review

For his main course, Ian chose sirloin steak cooked medium-rare with a coarse-grain mustard and cream sauce served on the side. All steaks and grills are accompanied with fresh plum tomatoes, onion rings, a roasted field mushroom and beef dripping chips. Head chef Paul Deakins,  takes great pride in the quality, taste and tenderness of the steak and the beef is locally sourced and grass-fed; something apparent from the melt in the mouth texture.

Rhubarb at Herriots, Skipton, restaurant review

Again, I chose from the sea and had seabass served with green beans, black olives, pancetta, celeriac puree and basil oil (£17.95). The sea bass was delicate in flavor and texture and contrasted perfectly with the stronger flavour and texture of the pancetta; a match made in heaven. 
We had a Spanish white wine, Ochoa Calendas, which complimented both surf and turf perfectly.

Rhubarb at Herriots, Skipton, restaurant review

Rhubarb at Herriots, Skipton, restaurant review

After we'd finished the main courses, Naomi asked if we wanted to move from the dining room to the lounge area for dessert, which we did. It was lovely to relax further and to sit side by side on a squishy sofa. 

Rhubarb at Herriots, Skipton, restaurant review

Desserts are of course mandatory so Ian ordered syrup sponge pudding with winter fruit compote and crème anglaise and I decided upon honeycomb and chocolate cheesecake with chocolate sauce and Chantilly cream. The syrup sponge was feather light as was the cheesecake and both were artfully presented.

Rhubarb at Herriots, Skipton, restaurant review

Rhubarb at Herriots, Skipton, restaurant review

Rhubarb at Herriots, Skipton, restaurant review

I cannot recommend Rhubarb at Herriots enough. The food is faultless and the service is outstanding and the location directly opposite Skipton's railway station, (which also has taxis), make it an ideal location for those wishing to enjoy the excellent wine and cocktail menu and for those visiting our town.

Rhubarb at Herriots
Broughton Road
Skipton
BD23 1RT
01756 792781

Love Lizzy x

Disclosure: *Ian and I were guests of Rhubarb at Herriots and reviewed the restaurant and meal as part of my role at Aspire Magazine.

I'm linking up with:
Brilliant Blog Posts/The Saturday Share

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Thursday, 16 March 2017

A Review of The Arbonne Anti-Ageing Genius Device.

I'm not, nor have I ever been, a gadget girl. I don't buy into gimmicks and I'm sceptical about so-called wonder products and devices. However, I always listen to friends and their opinions and my friend Alison is an Arbonne consultant and has previously given me some skincare samples which I was very impressed with. At one of our lunch meetings, she was very excited about a new product, called the Genius Ultra, a device for massaging skincare products into the face to improve their performance. She offered to lend one to me at our next meeting so I could see for myself.  By complete co-incidence, a few days later, the Arbonne team contacted me to see if I'd like one to try which of course I did and I have been using it for more than two months.

A Review of The Arbonne anti-ageing Genius device.

Here's the science bit: The Genius Ultra is actually an award winning product that uses ultrasound technology to ensure skincare products are applied more evenly. It uses gentle circular movement to smooth products onto the skin for one minute per area (it switches off automatically after one minute). It has a three-setting temperature control and vibration level and can be used daily for intensive, visible results. It works because our skin has microscopic ridges causing the surface to be uneven. When applying creams and serums with the fingertips, they are unevenly spread so can't penetrate each layer effectively. The ultrasound waves of the Genius device gently push the skincare product into the outer layers of the skin, so maximising performance.

Ultrasound is widely used for diagnostic purposes and routinely during pregnancy but it's also used therapeutically. About ten years ago, I had a series of treatments on an elbow injury, the rationale being that the ultrasound waves would penetrate thorough to the damaged tissue to accelerate repair. It worked within about six sessions and after trying every other kind of treatment for more than two years, I was both incredibly relived and impressed. Because of that proven outcome, I understand and appreciate the science and technology behind the Genius Ultra and accept that if it is safe to use on an unborn child, then it is must be safe to use on my face. 


A Review of The Arbonne anti-ageing Genius device.

The device charges via a lead into a USB port, so I plug it into my laptop. I have used it for at least three minutes per session, approximately sixty times and have only just had to recharge it. I have been using it as part of my daily evening routine to help smooth Arbonne Intensive Renewal Serum into my skin around the eye area, my neck and around my lips and nasolabial area. If I have time, I use it for a further minute on my forehead and on my cheeks too. It has a very smooth contact surface which glides over the skin and because it gets warm, it is both comforting and relaxing. Although I've had a good skincare regimen for as long as I can remember, it's one born out of necessity. It's thorough, but functional and time-efficient. This device makes me stop for that little bit longer and as such, it's as soothing for my mind as it is for my face. It feels like I'm indulging in a little "me-time" and that's something many us need more of. The physical sensation is one of warmth and comfort and without question, the serum sinks into the skin quicker than it does when using my fingertips. Not only that, it relaxes the facial muscles which can only be a good thing. 

A Review of The Arbonne anti-ageing Genius device.

A Review of The Arbonne anti-ageing Genius device.


So, has it made a difference?
Yes it has. My skin looks more even in tone and texture and definitely feels smoother. Using the Genius has become part of my daily routine and I now actually look forward to the whole palaver of removing make-up, cleansing, toning and moisturising before bedtime. At almost £300 it is a significant investment but it's like having a mini-facial everyday- calming, relaxing, soothing.
I love it.


Love Lizzy x


Disclosure: The Arbonne Genius Ultra was gifted to me for purposes of review. It is available from www.arbonne.com and retails at £296.
I was not obliged to blog about this product nor did I receive payment for doing so. My opinions are always 100% honest and the content is my own. Thank you very much for supporting those brands that support What Lizzy Loves.

I'm linking up with:
 Brilliant Blog Posts/The Saturday Share

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Photographs: Poppy Johnston


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Monday, 13 March 2017

Clothes Designed to Re-Inspire: The Finery London Striped Godet Dress

Finery Cygnet black and white striped godet detail dress, over 40 Collective

"Clothes designed to inspire" This is the mission statement for Finery London. 
A young brand born in 2014, the company's goal is to put the excitement back into shopping and to make modern, inspiring and sophisticated styling accessible without compromising on quality. I'd say they've hit the nail on the head. 

Along with the rest of The Over 40 Collective, I was excited to be given the opportunity to select some pieces from the latest collections. As always, I went straight to the dresses and was completely spoiled for choice. I ended up selecting three in total along with a top and some fabulous leather mis-matched earrings which you may have seen a week or so ago on my Instagram feed.  I'll share the rest of my choices on my blog in due course but it was this, the Cygnet black and white striped godet detail dress that I wanted to show first. You know by now I love stripes so this caught my eye immediately, but it was the midi length and the godet detail though that set it apart from the numerous other ubiquitous striped tunic-style dresses available from so many other places.  

It's a very flattering shape, designed to skim the body in a mid-weight jersey. It is beautifully finished and is excellent quality. I can't believe the price point either, £69. I think it's a very wearable, comfortable and striking statement dress. 

Finery Cygnet black and white striped godet detail dress, over 40 Collective

Finery Cygnet black and white striped godet detail dress, over 40 Collective

Finery Cygnet black and white striped godet detail dress, over 40 Collective

Finery Cygnet black and white striped godet detail dress, over 40 Collective

Finery Cygnet black and white striped godet detail dress, over 40 Collective

I love the chunky zip detail at the back. A simple touch that makes a big difference.

Finery Cygnet black and white striped godet detail dress, over 40 Collective

Finery Cygnet black and white striped godet detail dress, over 40 Collective

The godets, a key detail this season (and set to be the same for Autumn Winter too), add interest, contrast and movement to the dress. I teamed it with slingback sandals but I plan to wear it with high-heeled ankle boots and also with flip-flops later in the season too. 

Finery Cygnet black and white striped godet detail dress, over 40 Collective

I have worn a few things with fluted sleeves of late, another key design detail this season. These are super-long which I like and they make the overall silhouette rather more slinky. I love this brand and really do feel re-inspired.

Finery Cygnet black and white striped godet detail dress, over 40 Collective

Finery Cygnet black and white striped godet detail dress, over 40 Collective

You can get a 15% discount with the code LIZZY15 at Finery until 13th April, so you have a month to go and be re-inspired like I was! It can only be used once per customer and there is no minimum spend. The service is excellent and there really are some stunning pieces. I have a few more things from Finery that I'll try to put on my blog as soon as possible so you can see them.

This is the first collaboration for The Over 40 Collective since launching our website last month. here is what the other ladies chose, so do go and visit their blogs for more details and photographs. I will add all of their links and images them as and when their blogs are published.

Finery dress, over 40 collective collaboration
Nikki Garnett, Midlife Chic
Over 40 collective collaboration with Finery
Michelle Tyler, RetroChicMama
Finery London and The Over 40 Collective
Michelle Lyndon-Dykes, The Barefaced Chic

Finery London and The Over 40 Collective
Lisa Lenkh, The Sequinist
Finery jumpsuit, Over 40 Collective
Annette, Lady of Style
Finery London and The Over 40 Collective
Catherine, Not Dressed as Lamb

Love Lizzy x

I'm wearing:
*Cygnet black and white striped godet detail dress, £69, Finery London
*Ferncroft Slingback Shoes, Finery London, past season

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I'm linking up with:
I Will Wear What I LikeBrilliant Blog Posts/The Saturday Share

Please follow me on Instagram and Facebook for more of What Lizzy Loves

Photographs: Poppy Johnston

Disclosure: *These items were gifted. My opinions are always 100% honest and the content is always my own. Thank you for supporting those brands that support What Lizzy Loves. 


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