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March 2014

Get the LOOK Spring fashion trends CHICAGO CHIC




Jewellers of Distinction 2 Church Arcade Bedford Tel:01234 354026


Luxury at The Langham

Return of the Dragon We catch up with Piers Linney


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Wedding Showcase

SUNDAY 23rd MARCH 2014

THE HARPUR SUITE, Corn Exchange, St Paul's Square Bedford, MK40 1LE

Spectacular Fashion Show by Belle of the Ball, Finedon

Doors Open:

11am - 4pm FREE entry, bubbles, canapĂŠs and goodie bag Plus a free copy of Affinity Weddings Magazine for all Brides! Everything you need for the perfect wedding all under one roof

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March2014.qxp_Jan 2014 Aff 19/02/2014 18:38 Page 2


Wedding Showcase

SUNDAY 23rd MARCH 2014

THE HARPUR SUITE, Corn Exchange, St Paul's Square Bedford, MK40 1LE

Spectacular Fashion Show by Belle of the Ball, Finedon

Doors Open:

11am - 4pm FREE entry, bubbles, canapĂŠs and goodie bag Plus a free copy of Affinity Weddings Magazine for all Brides! Everything you need for the perfect wedding all under one roof


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Forget the SALES hype just give us a try, you will be pleasantly surprised


we will not be beaten on price for a true ‘like for like’ package

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Welcome... Hi everyone March is upon us and with that comes the changing of the seasons and the wonders of Spring With that in mind we have some fabulous spring fashion trends, exclusive health and beauty advice, ways to spruce up your boudoir, as well as a feature on how to “De -clutter your life”

Bedford. It is FREE entry and on arrival you will receive a glass of bubbles and canapés. If you’re a bride-to-be it is a must for you as we will be showcasing everything a bride needs for her special day, so make sure you join us 11am – 4pm. Turn to page 79 for more details. Happy Mother’s Day and Loads of Love to my mum!

We also put Piers Linney, the newest member of the Dragon’s Den panel, in the Affinity hot seat so turn to page 62 to see what he reveals. Let’s not forget that later this month on Sunday 30th March it’s Mother’s Day. Here at Affinity we love to help you, so turn to page 36 for our pick of gifts for that special woman in your life ..... your MUM! Just a reminder on Sunday 23rd March we are holding our first Affinity Wedding Showcase at The Harpur Suite in

Jane x

Cover Image

Editor: Jane Fry 01234 215523 07507 602401 Advertising Manager: Julia Crofts 07966 696784 Graphic Design and Photography: David Zita


All adverts are printed in good faith. Affinity cannot take responsibility for the content of adverts. Advertisements are accepted on the understanding that descriptions of goods and services are accurate. Reproduction in whole or in part is strictly prohibited.Printed in the UK by Regal Litho 01908 270400

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CONTENTS 10 Hayfever help 12 Beauty box magic 16 Oscar winning skin

50 24 WIN! Hotel Chocolat Repose 58 28 Treatment of the month 64 30 On trend Spring fashion 70 74

34 Declutter your life 40 Where fashion meets paper 44 Missoula magic

Delicious dessert Accessorise your bed Polo player Parent power Chicago chic

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Hayfever Help A

fter a very cold, damp – or soaking wet for somewinter, spring is rapidly approaching, and some of us will be dreading the onset of these warmer months for fear of the misery of hay fever.

fresh ginger tea is a perfect complement. warm drinks.

Only have

Regularly drinking green tea is thought to block the histamine response, so reduces the severity of the attack in the long term.

This is a remarkably common problem. In 2011 over 7% of the adult US population reported suffering from hay fever. And, it’s estimated that 20% of the population in the UK suffer from allergic rhinitis; for some reason the UK has the highest rates of hay fever in the developed world.

Peppermint tea can be helpful, particularly if you have the hot, itchy, feverish-like symptoms. Chamomile tea can help to both soothe and calm the symptoms and the Chinese like making an infusion of dried chrysanthemum flowers.

So, why do some of us suffer so badly? For many the defensive cells within the Immune system are on high alert and over-sensitive against a perceived attack: the attack being pollen, which leads them to produce high levels of the bio-chemical, histamine. It’s the histamine response that produces the symptoms we associate with hay fever, in an effort to protect the body.

Avoid all cold, iced drinks, citrus fruits, mushrooms, fermented foods, all foods with yeast and excess sugar, all produce mucous. Rinse the eyes with rose water to cool and soothe them.

The immune system has an incredibly hard task of protecting us against bacteria, fungus, virus, etc 24 hours a day 365 days a year; it needs to constantly scan the foods we eat, the air we breathe, the water we drink for potential threats to our health.

At the end of the day have a facial steam with eucalyptus, juniper and cypress essential oils to help clear blocked and irritated sinuses Before going out coat each nostril with a little sesame oil, this offers some protection against the offending pathogens getting into the bronchial tract and may help to reduce the symptoms.

You may experience fatigue, lethargy, a sense of heaviness, runny streaming nose, sneezing, sore red or itchy eyes, headaches, itchy skin and rashes, along with wheezing and coughing. And it is made worse – or can even be triggered – by stress, you may feel restless, anxious and notice your sleep patterns are adversely affected. However, the good news is we can naturally support and strengthen our immune system, so it does not react so acutely.

Outside of the hay fever season – which may differ from person to person, depending on whether you’re sensitive to grass, tree pollen, rapeseed etc – there are many herbs that can help to strengthen or rather, modulate the immune system. These will need to be tailor-made and vary according to your symptoms, general health and constitution.

Here are a few remedies to help: Start taking locally produced honey early in the season. This is part of the ‘training’ for your immune system to become familiar with the pollen you are most sensitive to. But, only local honey will do the trick and will help dry and resolve mucous. As a mild anti-inflammatory, strong

If you would like helping to cope with hay fever and allergies, please contact me: Carolyn Wood – Herbalist and Naturopath 07944 886502 10

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‘30 spin bike studio’

‘10 classes a week’

Mad Dogg Certified Instructor

Endurance Aerobic

Cardio Strength

See website for great opening offer! Pay as you go £5 No joining fee No annual membership No contracts

“Get into the be st shape of yo

ur life”

Sculpt Fitness Studio Bespoke Lifestyle & Fitness 07889 966106

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Beauty Box Magic Achieve a flawless complexion and transform your look from day to night with these latest make-up kits from Bellapierre.

From work place to dinner dates and every day to holiday, the new collection contains make-up bag must-haves for all occasions. Flawless Complexion Containing the ultimate products for complexion perfection, this kit provides everything you need to achieve a flawless look and complete coverage throughout the day; 1 Mineral Foundation 1 Mineral Blush: MB001 1 All Over Mineral Make Up Kabuki Brush 1 Make Up Base (available in four shades: Fair, Medium, Dark and Deep)

Beauty Box From moisturising lipstick to volumising mascara, this kit provides you with the all important finishing touches to complete any look; 1 Black Liquid Eye Liner 1 Mineral Lipstick (Ruby, Luminous, Catwalk Or Envy) 1 Black Mascara 1 Eye Shadow Brush 1 Shimmer Powders: Earth

Glitter 6ix Superbox The Glitter 6ix Superbox contains a sparkling selection of products to transform your everyday look into a glamorous evening look; 6 Glitters Clear nail polish Clear eye liner Colour Stay Travel Essentials Whether you’re glamping it up on the festival scene or planning an exotic getaway, Travel Essentials contains four products to take with you on your travels, for mineral makeup on the go; 1 Black Eye Liner Pencil (Ebony) 1 Mineral Lipstick (Ruby, Luminous, Catwalk Or Envy) 1 Black Mascara 13 colour eye shadow palette (Brown Eyed Girl, Bowtie Smokey, Golden Olive, Purple Bliss, 24K Taupe Or Clear Sky) Bellapierre Kits cost £50 each

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March2014.qxp_Jan 2014 Aff 19/02/2014 18:38 Page 12

Be part of Affinity the PREMIUM FREE Luxury Lifestyle Magazine Affinity has become the regions most loved and widely read magazine

Our distribution and readership is extensive

Advertise with us in print and online and gain new customers by putting your business in front of our readers

Affinity Magazine AffinityMag @affinitymagz

March2014.qxp_Jan 2014 Aff 19/02/2014 18:38 Page 13

Qualified nurse since 2003


1st treatment or course

Mothers day package for Mother and Daughter - 2x Full body massage - 2x Jessica manicures - 2x Jessica pedicures

Just ÂŁ140 Get booked in as limited spaces and days available

01234 217 533

18 Castle Lane Bedford Bedfordshire MK40 3US

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Oscar Winning Skin

While red carpet glitz and glamour is achieved by fabulous stylists and make-up artists, fresh, glowing skin is definitely the best accessory - and you don’t need a celebrity budget to look good.

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Follow Facial Therapist and Skincare Expert Amanda Elias’ inexpensive solutions to Oscar-Winning Skin: EXFOLIATING

WHY? Exfoliating removes the dead skin layer which sits on the surface of our healthy, new skin. When there is an accumulation of dead skin, it leaves the complexion looking lifeless and grey because light isn’t reflected evenly. By removing this dead skin the light will reflect evenly and directly off your healthy skin.

HOW? You can achieve beautiful skin with scrubs but my personal recommendation would always be chemical exfoliation. Using a product daily that contains AHA’s (like Glycolic Acid or Lactic Acid) or a BHA (like Salicylic Acid) will gently exfoliate by loosening the bond that holds the dead skin to the surface, rather than scrubbing it which can cause irritation and inflammation in sensitive or problem skin. Don’t let the word acid scare you; daily use products typically contain a concentration of 10% AHA and lower, so although powerful, they won’t burn the skin. SUFFERING WITH ACNE OR BLACKHEADS? Exfoliation is the key treatment. These conditions occur when dead skin and oil gets trapped within the pores and bacteria breeds. By removing the dead skin you’re helping to prevent these blockages which in turn will reduce the breakouts. Using chemical exfoliants rather than a manual scrub will also help to fade any discolouration left over from spots.

FIGHTING THE SIGNS OF AGEING? Glycolic and lactic acid helps by increasing cell turnover, this in turn stimulates the production of collagen which is the support matrix of the skin. Collagen starts to break down as we get older which is why we want to stimulate the body to produce more; lots of collagen means plumper skin and less wrinkles.

UNEVEN SKIN ON THE BODY? If you have rough skin with red dots on your arms, thighs or bottom this could be a condition called Keratosis Pilaris. This is caused by too much keratin, found in the top layer of the skin, which blocks the pores. There is no cure but exfoliating, especially with AHA’s and BHA’s, can make a dramatic difference to the appearance and texture of the skin. So you’re well exfoliated, now there’s cleansing and moisturising. CLEANSING

Essential to keep the skin healthy and you looking your best. The majority don’t cleanse enough; twice in the evening (note evening not night) and once in the morning. If you find cleansing often strips your skin, change your cleanser. Use a cleanser designed for your skin type and steer clear of soap. With its high PH, soap can cause dryness, as well as help bacteria to breed in problem skin. MOISTURISING

It is vital, particularly with products that contains an SPF. In the winter UVA is still present in the atmosphere; while

UVA doesn’t burn us (it’s the UVB rays from the sun that cause burning) it can still cause premature ageing and is the number one cause of ageing to our skin. No matter what anti-ageing products you use, if you don’t use an SPF daily - even when it’s grey and miserable - you’re not fighting ageing. When choosing a moisturiser make sure you choose one for your skin type to keep your skin moisturised and therefore youthful. If you have oily skin but you use an anti-wrinkle cream designed for mature skin, it’s likely to cause breakouts and can leave the skin looking puffy. If you don’t like moisturising because it leaves a sheen on the skin, look for a moisturiser that has a matte finish. GLOW

Leonardo Dicaprio dazzled on the red carpet showing off an enviable tan recently. To get a healthy, natural looking glow I would recommend a spray tan for both men and women. If you’d rather give it a go yourself, try a tan like Cocoa Brown which gives a gentle tan in only an hour. If you have facial hair, be careful to gently rub as close to the hair as possible or you’ll have a tan line around the hair. Highly experienced within the industry, Amanda Elias is the brains behind effective, yet affordable skincare brand, Bravura London ( – a business founded following Amanda’s own skin problems and subsequent discovery of using AHA, BHA and Hydraulic Acid for troubled skins.

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01234 763 930

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Is your Metabolism Making you


Ever felt that those extra few inches won’t shift?


eel like your healthy eating & exercise plan is all well and good, although the pounds are not coming off as easy as they once did?

In addition to this information, a 20 page document is produced providing you with all your metabolic data in detail plus providing tips and advice on diet and nutrition, as well as including recipes and a healthy eating plan that can support you in improving your metabolism.

It could be something to do with your metabolism. Did you know that by understanding how your metabolism works, could hold the key to transforming your shape for the long term.

HYPOXI user Michelle Ogilvy, mother of two from St Alban's found that her baby weight was harder to shift after her second child. She took the HYPOXI metabolism assessment. ‘Finding out how many calories I burn a day, how much I am able to eat and how much I need to eat to lose weight has been pretty revolutionary. I realised I was eating too little and this was weakening my metabolism and causing me to store fat. Using my recommended eating plan, I am eating more and the weight is dropping off'.

Hypoxi have created a metabolic analyser that examines your metabolism and provides you with the answers you may need to give your body a boost. By taking a test, you can find out how you can achieve maximum health and vitality for the long term. The results explain how high your consumption of calories are, how well your body uses it’s fat reserves, how many calories a day you really need (not what the diet you follow tells you, it could be much more or less), what type of foods are recommend for you based on your metabolism and what foods to avoid.

The cost of a metabolism assessment is £99 To find your nearest Hypoxi Metabolism centre visit


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Midlife Madness Midlife Madness in Marvellous March


am going to make the month of March Marvellous. Following on from dry January and frugal February I need it to be marvellous. So that is how it is going to be. Why? Well, quite simply because I deserve it. Let’s be honest, the weather has been rubbish, (wet rubbish at that), we are told the economy is improving but I can tell you my own economy certainly isn’t, and I am sick of doing without. You name it : wine, cake, chocolate, crisps, and new clothes; either my bank balance, the media or others seem to have spent the last few months encouraging me to NOT do the things that I want to do and do lots of things that don’t excite me too much. So, each day this month I am going to do something marvellous. Before you pat me on the back, you need to know I am not being altruistic, I am not really talking about good deeds here, there is not a marathon, sponsored trek, cake sale or charity auction in sight. I’m afraid March is all about me! I simply reckon, having got to these mid-life years and survived the sleepless nights of parenthood, the school runs, the homework help, the teenage aggro, the boyfriends and girlfriends of said cherished offspring, not to mention supporting parents as they age, working like a mad woman to make sure bills are paid - quite simply, I deserve it. I can also add to that the biological kick up the proverbial that this phase of life brings in the form of hot flushes, night sweats, wobbly brain, roller-coaster emotions and just the occasional psychopathic tendency!! So as you can see there is no doubt in my mind that I deserve a marvellous March. Each day I plan to do something that makes me feel marvellous. It doesn’t have to cost a lot, though of course it might – I certainly wouldn’t rule that out – but it might be something as simple as curling up with my book for half an hour and deciding in that time that I won’t answer the phone or 22

even shouts of “Have you seen my ……” . It might be a hot chocolate on a cold day (with marshmallows and a flake of course), or watching one of my favourite movies like ‘The Bodyguard’ or ‘The Notebook’ and having a good cry. I know that crying may not sound marvellous initially but let’s be honest, we all enjoy a good cry to a favourite old romantic movie. One day I might get out the holiday photos from the last few years and remind myself of what the sunshine is like, or even get out some of the photographs of when the kids were really little, the halcyon days when they couldn’t answer back, out-argue me or roll their eyes in the way that grown-up kids can. The days when they wore what I chose, stayed where I put them, mostly, and went to bed when I said, more or less. Not that I don’t love them now they are grown-up, but a bit of nostalgia is okay too, isn’t it? While the photograph albums are out I may even decide to remind myself that I was gorgeous when I was young! Before the rigours of family life, pregnancies, too much wine and too little exercise took their toll. But it’s not all going to be retrospective, I may also decide to enrol for a course, contact a friend I haven’t seen for ages, take up a new hobby, start writing my biography or even try a spot of decoupage on an old box that is definitely the worse for wear but that I have somehow become attached to. My own personal Marvellous March club is not exclusive and anyone can join in. It is a bit indulgent but I think I have earned it. One month where I will be completely focussed on me. But I am going to be a bit serious about it and actually record each day what I have done that makes me feel marvellous (this has taken a bit of planning) so that I’m not stuck for words at bedtime thinking what can I do! Now there’s a thought!

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The SHOWHOME WAREHOUSE A Unique Shopping Experience for the Whole Family

Amazing, imaginative and

full of extraordinary furniture

An interior designers dream Open to both Trade and Public


SHOWHOME Join us on 11-17 Francis Court Wellingborough Road, Rushden, Northamptonshire NN10 6AY

01933 411695


Opening Hours: Mon 11am to 3pm Tues-Sun 10am to 5pm

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Repose Luxury H

otel Chocolat adds to its award-winning Cocoa Juvenate beauty range this month with the launch of Repose. Developed and perfected at the spa of the same name at the company’s Boucan Hotel & Restaurant in Saint Lucia, Cocoa Juvenate Repose makes full use of cocoa’s natural properties and is rich in antioxidants, vitamins and minerals, with nourishing, softening and hydrating properties. With a scent based in roasted cocoa, heady florals, sandalwood and leather, Repose represents that unique time for stillness; when the air is thick with the aroma of harvested beans drying in the last of the evening sunshine and the estate is slowly settling into a comfortable position for resting, reflecting and regenerating. Repose represents the mellow, sensual moment of quiet at the end of the day and includes in it’s range: Repose Treatment Candle - £30 Repose Eau de Parfum- £45 Repose Shower Crème- £15 Repose Body Crème- £20 Repose Bath Oil- £25

We have 2 sets to give away (each set contains 2 Repose Candles and 1 Repose Eau de Parfum), just tell us “What country the Boucan Hotel is situated in?” and send your answer to Closing date 26th March 2014 – GOOD LUCK!

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Maintain that

Colour I

f you are planning to treat your hair to a burst of colour for spring it’s important to keep it looking bright! Follow these top tips from Tom Connell, Creative Stylist at Trevor Sorbie Covent Garden for maintaining your colour!

Healthy hair will absorb and hold colour better than dry, damaged hair. So the healthier you can keep your hair before and after colouring, the better you’ll be able to maintain your new shade! Give hair a burst of hydration from time to time, by using Trevor Sorbie Colour Enhance Mask (£5.99) once a week to give your hair some much deserved TLC. It contains Sunflower Seed Extract, which has high levels of vitamin A, D and E, protein and zinc. The vitamins replenish the hair, while protein strengthens, and zinc acts as an anti-oxidant. These ingredients work together to help protect against colour fade and damage, whilst replenishing and restoring moisture to leave your hair super soft, healthy and shiny.

Coloured hair can fade quickly, and lose vibrancy easily from the effects of general maintenance and the elements. Washing hair too frequently can diminish the intensity of the colour, so it’s important to use a shampoo and conditioner that is formulated specifically for coloured hair, such as the Trevor Sorbie Colour Shampoo and Conditioner (£5.29 each). The gentle, moisturising formulas in this duo contain Sunflower Seed Extract, which helps to prevent colour fade, to keep colour looking radiant with a beautiful shine. To help limit the number of times you wash your hair per week, try using a dry shampoo in-between washes. Frequent blow-drying after washing can damage hair, causing it to become porous leaving your hair looking dull. Where possible leave your hair to dry naturally, but if you do choose to style with heat ensure you always use products containing heat protection such as Styling Blow Dry Mist (£5.59 200ml). The lightweight formula contains a conditioning complex and heat protection to prevent damage, and retain moisture when blow drying.


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Treatment of the Month

Hot Stone Massage R

hands and the hot stones, the effect was a complete calming experience that melted away any tension I was feeling. Before starting on my back she placed a warm stone in each of my hands which felt extremely relaxing – the back massage again made me float off into my own little world restoring my stress levels to zero so I felt rejuvenated and ready to face the hustle and bustle of every day life again.

ecently refurbished and under new management I decided to visit Creating Beauty in Kempston, Bedford for a little pampering. The salon offers a full menu of treatments from facials to massage to waxing, manicures, pedicures and lots more, but I was paying them a visit to try their much raved about Hot Stone Massage. Hot stone massage uses soothing oils, and warm basalt stones to relax your muscles, thus allowing for a deeper and more intense all-over massage. Advocates say the benefits are many, including improved circulation, improved blood flow around the body and elimination of toxins.

This is a treatment that I would recommend to anyone who wants a little pampering allowing time for themselves to completely unwind and leaving them feeling completely rejuvenated before stepping back into life.

In hot stone therapy, your therapist applies smooth, water-heated basalt stones to key points on your body. This direct heat relaxes your muscles, which means that the massage itself is more effective and intense than it would be otherwise. The size of the stones varies, according to which part of the body your therapist is treating.

For the rest of February and the whole month of March Creating Beauty are offering this fabulous Hot Stone Therapy which lasts an hour for a special offer price of £20, so now there’s no excuse not to go and be pampered, it will be the best £20 you’ve ever spent I promise you! Creating Beauty 88a Bedford Road Kempston, MK42 8BG 01234 853901

My therapist Tanya took me into her room that was a haven of calm and tranquillity. The massage began with her laying warm stones carefully on my spine, she then began massaging my legs using a combination of her 28

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Floor-Standing 5 Arm Candelabra £119.95,

Gorgeous Bra & Briefs £31, Debenhams

Lymington Jacket £58, Fat Face

REINVENT Leave in Keratin Conditioner £25.55,

Clutch Wallet £38,

Hotel Chocolat Indulgence Collection £68,

Saint-Véran wine from Blason de Bourgogne £10.99, Sainsburys

Beech’s Fine Rose or Violet Creams £2.99, Marks & Spencer

Personalised stacking Rings £115, Two Red Trees

AFFINITY HOT PICKS This month’s must have gifts and accessories

Icy Flower Gold Necklace £110,

Muesli £5.95 each, Primrose Kitchen

Heaven Skincare Diffuser £37,

Nanokeratin Befri Hair Brush £19.99,

Siren Blue Jaspir Silver Set £346,

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Denim Dreams

Ashlyn Dress £99 Phase Eight

Daisy Dress £55 Yumi

Classic Fit Shirt £38 Fat Face

bettybarclay Bag £29 Accessorize

Necklace £15 Marks & Spencer

Mac £75 ASOS

Noisy May Dungarees £65 House of Fraser

Jacket £159 Peter

Crochet Pocket Shorts £10 Primarkuk High Tops £26 Next

Todd Lynn Dress £240 Debenhams

Short Dungarees £18.99 Internacionale

Pencil Skirt £9 Primark

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Pure Pastels Pink Dress £16 Matalan

Skirt Izabel, London

Earrings £18 Oliver Bonas


Cropped Blazer £45 ASOS

Crop Feather Jumper £10 Primark

Shoes £29.50 Marks & Spencer

Necklace £25 Accessorize

Jumper Next

Danaya £79.95 Moda in Pelle

Dress £150 House of Fraser

Red Herring Bag £35 Debenhams

Bermuda Shorts £12 Matalan

March2014.qxp_Jan 2014 Aff 19/02/2014 18:39 Page 31

Floral Fantasy Necklace £25 River Island

Top £14 Next

Dress £20 George at Asda Tiffany Dress £69 Monsoon


Jacket £59 M&Co

Trousers £45 Marks & Spencer

Dress £145 Phase Eight

Red Herring Skirt £35 Debenhams Playsuit £24 Debenhams Skirt £35 Marks & Spencer

Bag £30 River Island

Shirt £30 Littlewoods

March2014.qxp_Jan 2014 Aff 19/02/2014 18:39 Page 32

D Time to ec lu t your Life te r 34

March2014.qxp_Jan 2014 Aff 19/02/2014 18:39 Page 33

“Spring is just around the corner so what better way to start the new season with a De Cluttering of your LIFE!”

Get ruthless with your routine Having a diary full of dinners, drinks and endless socialising is all well and good, but if your diary is brimming with more post-work activities than a primary school child, it's probably time to take a breather. Leave yourself at least one free night a week to go home, slip into your favourite PJ’s, watch silly TV and just chill.

Get a grip on your Facebook friends Spend a little time each week inconspicuously deleting the 'friends' you have absolutely no affection for because you 'bonded' once at a party in 2006. In reality, it's not as harsh as it sounds, and you’ll be amazed how good you feel after.

Organise your Beauty Potions Firstly, I have to admit that I am a self -confessed beauty addict and totally feel your pain here, my cupboards are FULL! But let's be honest, you don't need countless night creams, silly amounts of anti-cellulite scrubs and an endless supply of fake tan clogging up your bathroom cabinet. If you can shrink your products down to two-apiece, you might actually finish using them before buying new ones. Buy something new, get rid of something old! It sounds a strange concept, I know but unless you are one of those incredibly fashion-efficient people who buys classic pieces that last (and fit!) forever, your wardrobe space probably disappeared along with lycra boob tubes back in the 80’s. I know it will be painful but try implementing a system of one in, one out, just like a nightclub!

Back it Up Technology is not your friend. At some point it will make a strange, moaning gargle and die right before your very eyes. So to avoid becoming hysterical and having a panic attack because you've lost every photo you've ever taken, all your work from the past year, the contact details of all those gorgeous guys you’ve met on, in fact your entire online life - buy yourself a hard-drive and use it.

Sort out your Underwear Obviously not whilst you’re wearing it - off-white knickers are not flattering whatever you think, get rid of them. Make space for sumptiously sexy matching sets, essential every day t-shirt bras and buttperfecting pants.

Spring Clean This doesn’t mean you have to scour, scrub and polish your house from top to bottom but it can't hurt to tackle your abode room by room, until every surface is spotless and you've miraculously turned into a Domestic Goddess overnight. It happened to me once, honest – or maybe that was a dream! Delete unwanted apps At one point in your life it was absolutely essential to have an app that told you where the nearest day spa was and when they had offers on mani-pedis, or an app that told you how many minutes it would take to cook your favourite meal, or what dress you should wear on that first date but not now you're becoming a fabulously organised new version of yourself. Get rid of them!

March2014.qxp_Jan 2014 Aff 19/02/2014 18:39 Page 34

Personalised Gold Plated Heart Charm Bracelet £30 Swanky Maison

New Lovelinks Beads at MILLMAN Jewellers Bedford

Mums the word

Floozie by Frost French £40 Debenhams

Silk Dressing Gown £189 Sweetpea & Willow

White Slate Hanging Heart - £5.99 Frosts Garden Centre

Mug £10.99 Tea Towel £8.99 Frosts

Sleekster Mum Collection £24 Hotel Chocolat

March2014.qxp_Jan 2014 Aff 19/02/2014 18:39 Page 35

Wash Bags £20 - £32 Orla Kiely

No. 5 Limited Edition Print £42 Wall Studio Art

Boutique Bath Products £4.49 - £4.99 Frosts

Finch Slippers £30 Radley

Repose Candle £30 Hotel Chocolat

Indulgence Collection £68 Hotel Chocolat

Bag £159 Radley

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The Perfect Murder comes to The Stage Have you ever wondered how to commit the perfect murder? International best selling crime thriller novelist Peter James – who has sold over 15 million books of his Roy Grace series has had his work adapted for the stage. Direct from his West End lead role in Spamalot, Les Dennis (Chicago, Hairspray, Art, BBC 2’s Life’s Too Short), stars along side Claire Goose, (Waking the Dead, Casualty), Gray O’Brien (Coronation Street, Peak Practice), Steven Miller (Casualty) and Simona Armstrong, (finalist in the BBC’s search for a ‘Maria’). Victor Smiley and his wife Joan have been married for a long time. But their marriage has reached crisis point and Victor has decided there is only one way to get Joan out of his life forever….but he's about to get a nasty surprise……….. As a young Detective Roy Grace starts to investigate his very first homicide case, dark forces intervene and Grace begins to fear that nothing is quite as it seems in this entertaining dark comedy thriller. Milton Keynes Theatre Mon 31st March – Sat 5th April 0844 871 7652


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Compagnie Kafig's Boxe Boxe France’s Compagnie Käfig return to the UK with Boxe Boxe, a breath-taking show which fuses the noble art of Boxing with dance. With choreography by Artistic Director Mourad Merzouki, the brutality and elegance of both these contrasting worlds collide in a spine-tingling show which packs a knock-out punch. Eight exceptional dancers blend martial arts, street and contemporary dance to create a spirited and stunning fusion of hip-hop and fisticuffs which has dazzled audiences the world over. Boxe Boxe draws on the rich pageantry and theatricality of boxing where bright red gloves effortlessly morph into puppets and punch balls explode like featherweight balloons. The dancers move in perfect unison to live music from an onstage string quartet, with beautifully rendered classical music including Schubert, Ravel, Philip Glass and Glen Miller. The choice and meticulous timing of the music injects a further dash of romanticism and melancholy into scenes. A stunning, joyful and inventive show, Boxe Boxe is powerful and original dance which will leave you clambering for ringside seats. Milton Keynes Theatre Tues 25th – Weds 26th March 0844 871 7652


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Missoula montana bar and grill 44

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tep into The Hub in Milton Keynes and you will find Missoula, a restaurant that brings you the flavours of the bountiful state of Montana, USA. The décor reflects the passion and the pride of the city, from the floors, through to the quirky tripod lamps, while the menus are a journey into something quite new to the high streets of Britain: delicious dishes, inspired from the 'Big Sky Country' - bison, trout and amazing beef steaks and ribs, coupled with sides such as American-style salads, skin-on fries and twice-baked potatoes, pure authenticity of quality American dishes. We arrived to carry out our review on a Wednesday evening and the whole place was buzzing, we were shown to our table upstairs where the theme echoed that of the downstairs perfectly. Drinks were ordered and menus studied, the choice was fabulous. Starters arrived and consisted of Battered Shrimp (shrimp, deep fried in a tom yum tempura batter and served with a cocktail sauce) the shrimp were soft and succulent, and delicious. Baby Oriental-Style Chicken Salad (chopped Romaine leaves, watercress, rocket, celery, mandarin, cherry tomatoes, green onion, bean sprouts and crispy noodles, with a sesame dressing), this was a meal in itself, the citrus flavours were fresh and mouthwatering and complimented the chicken and other flavours perfectly. The main courses arrive. A large Chicken & Pepper hanging skewer with a warm garlic butter drizzled over was my choice, this was beyond delicious, full of flavour and the chicken was moist and tender. 8oz rump Steak (35-day-aged steak, served with watercress and roasted vine tomatoes), plus twice baked Sour Cream & Cheese potato and an extra order of Sticky BBQ Wings; the steak was cooked exactly as requested and was tender and juicy. Plates were cleared away by our lovely waiter, who then brought us the dessert menu, I was going to decline but then saw the Banoffee Waffle (bananas in a warm caramel sauce, with whipped cream )what more could a girl want? Nothing! It melted in my mouth and was just the most perfect dessert. The Warm Cherry Pie (my husband’s choice) went down a real treat. Missoula is a perfect venue whether it be for a date, a night out with family or friends, a celebration, a business lunch in the afternoon, or breakfast meeting in the morning - it has something for everyone. The atmosphere is truly authentic and the service is excellent. Don’t take my word for it, go and experience it for yourself! Open from 8am seven days a week, Missoula transforms what it offers throughout the day and energises each evening with a backdrop of live music, creating an upbeat atmosphere of fun, conviviality and celebration. Manhattan House 401 Witan Gate, Milton Keynes MK9 2BQ 01908 827 299

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Pepper & Lemon Crusted Salmon with Asparagus 48

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Not only is this recipe an ideal way to get omega-3 in your diet it is also simple to make and tastes delicious


4 salmon fillets, about 140g/5oz each, skinned 400g pack asparagus 1 tbsp olive oil 2 lemons 50g butter, melted 6 tbsp coarse breadcrumbs 1 tbsp coarsely ground or crushed peppercorn Small bunch chives, chopped to serve

Method Heat oven to 200C/fan 180C/gas 6. Cook the asparagus in a pan of boiling salted water for 1 minute, drain and run under a cold tap for a few seconds. Drain again, toss in olive oil and spread out in a large ovenproof dish in a single layer. Place the salmon on top of the asparagus. To make the crust, finely grate the zest of 1 lemon, and add this to the breadcrumbs, butter, and pepper. Sprinkle liberally over the salmon. Cut the lemons into wedges. Place two-thirds of the wedges around the fish, then squeeze the juice from the remainder directly on the salmon. Roast for 12-15 minutes or until it is just cooked through, it should be opaque and firm. Sprinkle with chives, serve immediately.

Errazuriz ‘Aconcagua Costa Single Vineyard’ Sauvignon Blanc 2013, £12.49, Waitrose, Tivoli Wines,

Errazuriz Max Reserva Cabernet Sauvignon 2011 £13.99, Waitrose, NISA, Cambridge Wine Merchants

Beautiful bright ruby red in colour. Pomengranate, ripe nectarine and blueberry with light notes of ginger. Dry and juicy with good acidity and fine tannins that integrate well with the lush fibrous body.

Bright ruby red colour. Intense aromas full of spices, complemented by flavours of ripe red fruit and firm, r o u n d tannins. Light balsamic t o u c h e s enhance the complexity even more. White Chilean Wine. A vibrant a n d refreshing dry style with a z i n g y c i t r u s fruits character Tropical fruit, green apple, and herby tomato leaf on the nose and palate accentuate the crisp acidity on this fresh, dry white wine. Errazuriz ‘Aconcagua Costa Single Vineyard’ Sauvignon Blanc 2013, £12.49, Waitrose, Tivoli Wines,

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Chocolate Brownie

280g Dark chocolate, broken into small pieces 280g Diced unsalted butter 4 Medium sized eggs, lightly beaten 280g Caster sugar 1 Vanilla pod - split open and seeds scraped out ½ tsp Vanilla extract 130g Plain flour 60g Cocoa powder 95g Milk chocolate, broken into small pieces 95g White chocolate, broken into small pieces Extra butter for greasing the baking tin 1 Square baking tin, preferably non-stick Makes approximately 8 portions


Preheat the oven to 180°C. Put the dark chocolate and butter into a large heatproof bowl, and place over a pan of simmering water and allow to melt. Stir until smooth and set aside to cool a little. Whisk the eggs and sugar together with the vanilla seeds and the extract until it forms a nice creamy froth. Lightly fold in the melted chocolate, then sift in the flour and cocoa powder and mix through gently. Stir in the chunks of milk and white chocolate. Grease the baking tin with butter and then line with baking parchment or greaseproof paper. Carefully pour the mixture into the lined baking tin. Bake in the oven for 25-30 minutes. The top should be firm and crisp but the inside should still be lovely and moist. Allow to cool on a wire rack before cutting. Serving suggestion! Serve slightly warm with ice cream and strawberries for a delicious treat!

This sweet is brought to you by the Chef at The Millhouse Hotel Riverside Restaurant, Sharnbrook, Beds


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Channel the


Solkul Tea Towel ÂŁ4 IKEA

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Lisel Longditude Cushion £6 IKEA

Coastal Mirror £79.99 The Nautical Company

Glass Rope Lantern £6 M&Co


Cushion £16 M&Co Nautical Rope Frame £11.75

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Mini Wooden Box £4.75

Lisel Rope Cushion £9 IKEA

Lisel Buoy Cushion £6 IKEA

Life's A Beach Cushion £10 Tesco


Lisel Fish Cushions £10 IKEA

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Accessorising your Bed A bedroom should be all about the bed! After all, the purpose of a bedroom is to sleep! However, sometimes in an attempt to create a great feature bed, you can end up using too many colours and accessories which can actually distract you from feeling sleepy.

The team at Soak and Sleep (formerly Duvet & Pillow Warehouse) have come up with some tips to add a touch of style to your bed whilst ensuring it remains a sleep-friendly space.

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The Practical Bed If you like the ‘less is more’ look and you don’t want to spend too much time making your bed every day; you can still create a dramatic and chic look with a few carefully selected pillows and a throw.

look great even if they are just thrown on! You could even get a couple in different colours and layer them up to create a cosy winter look.

The Fancy Bed If you prefer your bed with lots of pillows, make sure you choose a neutral palette and play around with shades, textures and sizes within that palette. The amount of pillows you’re using is key to creating a dramatic look, so you don’t need to use many colours to make the bed a feature.

Square pillows at the back of your bed will stand up above your normal pillows adding height, select pillow cases in a colour that contrasts with the rest of your bed linen and your supporting wall to create an instant feature piece. Match these pillows to some scatter cushions carefully placed at the front of your bed along with a throw or two at the end of the bed and you have an easy-to-maintain look with the ‘wow’ factor.

Now how many pillows is too many you ask? As long as they don’t go further than half way down the bed then you don’t have too many pillows, always go from biggest to smallest front to back.

Make sure you choose your contrasting colour carefully so that it ties the whole room together. Pick out a colour that features in your curtains, lampshade or even just a picture frame.

A carefully folded bedspread along the bottom of your bed is essential if you have lots of pillows at the top as this will make sure your bed has balance. Fold your bedspread back on itself to form an S shape then add a throw on top. Voilà, you have a fancy hotel bed in your own bedroom in no time!

Play around with positioning and angles of your chosen accessories until you find the look you love! If you’re using bold colours, then keep the textures simple. Throws are better than a bedspread for this style of bed because they 59

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Ecos Unveil New 'Artisan' Range of 100% Non-toxic Paint

ECOS Paints have launched a brand new colourcard of 60 shades bringing their total number of unique colours to 180.

Ranging from muted reds and blues to stunning whites and pinks the Artisan range is inspired by classic and contemporary English styling. And like all Ecos products, the Artisan range is completely non-toxic and VOC free. David Gill, colour consultant for Ecos Paints, explained: “These shades form what we consider to be a timeless collection, which will appeal to both traditional and contemporary homeowners. “We have drawn on our extensive experience and customer feedback to cherry pick a selection of the most desirable colours of today into one colour palette.”From £49.55, Customers can order a colourcard of the new range from

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All About...

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Piers Linney

We caught up with the latest Dragon Piers Linney the newest recruit to BBC2's Dragons’ Den

Age: 43

Occupation: Co-CEO, Outsourcery plc

Describe yourself in three words? Optimist. Grafter. Fun.

You can’t leave the house without? My Windows Phone

What makes you stand out in a crowd? I am a Dragon

If I take a look in your fridge what would I find? Not a lot, although Levi Roots cooked at my house last weekend for my birthday and left some Caribbean food.

Your top three movies? I love movies and there are too many across too many genres.

If you could meet anyone in the world dead or alive who would it be and what would you say to them? Barack Obama and I’d just say, “thank you”.

What do you do to relax? I get out and ride one of my five bikes whatever the weather.

If you were a biscuit what would you be? A combination of a Jammie Dodger and a Bourbon

Your most extravagant purchase and why? 44ft power boat moored in Mallorca

Who is your inspiration/role model? Nobody really. My parents were growing up and I learned from great colleagues and business partners along the way. I did spend some time with the legend that is Sir Richard Branson in Africa last year.

If you could be anyone or anything what would it be? Being me works just fine for me Describe your ideal woman? My wife

What is the one gadget you couldn't live without? My programmable home systems controller.

If you were stranded on a desert island, what three items would you take with you? My all-weather fire starting kit, a knife and my boat.

Where do you see yourself in ten years? I am just getting started really, but I would take more time out

What would you do if you had a time machine? Experience the historical development of London and see how long the human race lasts into the future 63

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Hammond & Co Debenhams Blue Harbour £27.50 Marks & Spencer

Polo Player Ralph Lauren

Penguin Polo £24.99 Get the Label

Knitted Polo Shirt £10 Primarkuk

Polo Shirt £39.99 Superdry

Red Herring £20 Debenhams

Stripe Pole £12 Sainsburys

Collezione Polo Shirt Marks & Spencer

River Island

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Fry’s Footie Corner Posh trip to Wembley I am absolutely delighted for Darragh, Darren, his team, his playing squad, the staff and all the supporters that Peterborough United have a trip to Wembley! It is good for the city and will give the community something to look forward to. Everyone connected with football knows that in any competition, going to Wembley is a very special occasion. In their history Posh have been successful twice before, back in 1992 when Chris Turner inspired a 2-1 victory over Stockport County and once back in 2000 when I was the manager. We were massive underdogs and I took the team to Wembley against odds on favourites Darlington and despite being battered, we won 1-0 thanks to an Andy Clarke strike. It was a great night for the club and City as a whole. I have also been to Wembley as a player for England schoolboys where I was fortunate enough to score a goal from David Pleat's corner. There was a huge crowd that day as we were up against Scotland. When I was manager at Birmingham City we went to Wembley in this competition and in front of nearly 90.000 we beat Carlisle United 1-0 thanks to a golden goal winner from Paul Tait. That was a bigger crowd than the FA Cup Final that year. The whole city will come alive when we face Chesterfield and I really hope we have a massive crowd to cheer us on. I urge all of our fans to treat their mothers to a great day on the 30th March by bringing them to the home of football on Mother's Day!

Barry Fry 65

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April Flowers

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ust like the legendary original 911 Targa model, the new model features a characteristic wide bar in place of the B-pillars aft of the doors, a movable roof section above the driver and passenger, and a wrap-around rear window -- with no C-pillar. But, unlike the classic models, the roof segment of the new Targa can be opened and closed at the push of a button. When the button is pressed, the fully automatic system stows the roof top behind the rear seats, providing a real spectacle.

the centre console – and can be operated only while the vehicle is stationary. A wind deflector integrated in the cowl panel frame can be erected manually when the top is down. This deflector reduces drafts and buffeting in the interior by a considerable margin, should this be the driver’s preference.

The rear-biased Porsche Traction Management (PTM) allwheel drive fitted as standard is a further typical dynamic Porsche feature, and guarantees that the latest 911 Targa also offers optimum driving dynamics on all road surfaces and in all weather conditions.

Inside the cabin, the front roof element is lined with black fabric, which, together with the black Alcantara interior trim of the Targa roof bar, gives the interior a harmonious appearance. The convertible-top compartment is situated behind the rear seats. This compartment, together with the transverse strut, serves to harmoniously integrate the stowed convertible top into the cabin. Even with the roof closed, the large, curved rear window allows plenty of light into the interior, providing a notable feeling of space.

New and spectacular – the fully automatic Targa roof. The Targa roof system has always been a distinctive hallmark of this 911 model. The new 911 Targa continues this tradition with a particularly innovative roof concept. The roof is made up of two movable parts: a soft top and a glass rear window. The rear window, which is attached to the convertible top compartment lid, is opened and tilted at the push of a button. At the same time, two flaps open in the Targa bar, releasing the soft top’s kinematics. The convertible top is released, folded into a Z-shape as the roof opens, and stowed away behind the rear seats. A stowage area running across the car behind the rear seats accommodates the convertible top. Once the top has been stowed, the flaps in the bar close and the rear window moves back in to position once again. The roof takes around 19 seconds to open or close using the buttons in

The new Targa comes in two versions available exclusively with all-wheel drive. A seven-speed manual transmission is fitted as standard. The 911 Targa 4 is powered by a 3.4-litre, 350 hp (257 kW) flat-six engine. Equipped with the optional Porsche Doppelkupplung (PDK) double-clutch transmission and Sport Chrono Package, this model can accelerate from 0 to 62 mph in just 4.8 seconds and on to a top speed of 175 mph. Fuel consumption on the NEDC is between 29.7 mpg and 32.5 68

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mpg Combined, depending on transmission, which corresponds to CO2 emissions between 223 and 204 g/km. The top model is the 911 Targa 4S, which delivers 400 hp (294 kW) from a displacement of 3.8 litres. This model reaches a top speed of 184 mph and, with the PDK and Sport Chrono package options specified, is able to accelerate from 0 to 62 mph in 4.4 seconds. Fuel consumption on the NEDC is between 28.2 mpg and 30.7 mpg, depending on transmission, which corresponds to CO2 between 237 and 214 g/km. These figures place the model on a par with the high standard set by the 911 Carrera 4 Cabriolet models in terms of engine and road performance, as well as efficiency. Furthermore, both sports cars are certified for compliance with the Euro 6 emissions standard. The new 911 Targa models are available to order from Porsche Centres in the UK and Ireland, with first cars arriving in showrooms in May. The 911 Targa 4 is priced from ÂŁ86,281, the 911 Targa 4S priced from ÂŁ96,316. 69

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o w e r

In the month of Mother’s day it is good to remember the awesome privilege and responsibility that goes with parenthood. Yes, it is hard work and demands a range of resources but that is not surprising as the job involves raising the next generation.


ost parents would be very open about the fact that they want the best for their children. What exactly ‘the best’ is may vary a little but most want their children to be healthy and happy and experience success. Some think of success in terms of jobs, careers and wealth, others may think of success in academic terms, going to university, gaining qualifications and others may think about experiences, like travelling or working for charities. But when parents think about the future for their children they certainly have a positive future in mind.

literally keep going, but usually time and effort goes into making the best decisions that resources allow in terms of the child’s health well-being and education. As parents our most important role is to create the right environment for our children so that they can grow and develop and reach their potential, not only academically but socially and emotionally as well. So how do we create the right environment? We all know there are different aspects to environment and each of those is important in ensuring a child is able to reach their full potential.

There may be times when as a parent all you can do is 70

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Physical Environment We all know that babies and children need to have their physical needs met if they are to develop well. They need a varied, balanced diet with plenty of nutrients and limited amounts of processed food, which often contain high amounts of sugars and fats. They need to have enough sleep, to be warm, to have clothes that support development, for example infants need clothes they crawl in and toddlers need clothes they can move easily in to practice climbing etc. Children clearly need to be safe but they also need a framework for taking a few risks, they need to run but yes they will fall over occasionally. The job of the parent is to make sure that these risks are managed, so they learn themselves to take on challenges but also be aware of dangers. Some children are much more adventurous than others, some will need a lot of encouragement to try out new physical skills but it is important that they are all given the opportunity by visiting places they can run, jump, climb and skip. As parents it is normal to be worried but if we are over anxious we can build a lack of confidence in children. It is also important to encourage the development of skills such as swimming and riding a bike by providing opportunities for them. Minor accidents may be part of growing up but the job of the adult is to tread the fine line between keeping their child safe with room to grow and develop but not wrapping them in cotton wool.

groups or nurseries and these can be important in giving children the chance to mix with others of a similar age where they can learn how to manage in a group. Some children have siblings and this can also encourage social development but even if they have relationships with siblings they still need the chance to socialise with other children. It is also good to make sure they get some opportunities to do this in informal settings, not just formal arenas like nurseries, but at the local park or playing at a friend’s house. When problems do occur and there are arguments, or small children hit each other, that provides an opportunity for the adults to help them learn how to manage different social situations, how to deal with disagreements in an effective way and how to behave appropriately in a variety of social encounters. Emotional Environment If children are to learn and develop they also need to be nurtured emotionally. After all we want our children to grow up and be adults who can handle their own emotions effectively, not bottling them all up or frequently having angry outbursts or being down, withdrawn or tearful. They need to be able to show empathy and enjoy relationships with others, dealing with the emotions that are present in close relationships. They also need to handle the emotions that accompany different experiences, conflict, hurt or loss to name but a few. If they are growing up in a family that functions effectively they will see and learn how to do this. They will watch how siblings may argue then after a few tears make up, they may see a parent be angry or stressed but then manage this by going for a walk or talking to a friend. It is also a huge help to their development to have some dialogues about emotions so they don’t have to put everything together themselves. As adults we can talk about our feelings and what we do to manage those feelings. It is vitally important that as adults we give children the vocabulary, or words, to be able to talk about emotions and show them that it is ok to do so. In a society where stress and mental ill health is on the rise it is vital that we equip them emotionally to cope with the rigours of life. Opportunities In wanting to encourage our children to reach their full potential we need to provide opportunities. When they are living in an environment that is meeting their physical, social and emotional needs we are giving them the best start. Expose them to different positive experiences, give them the chance to try an instrument, or a sport for example. Visit places of interest, talk about the world and make use of the wonderful sense of curiosity children show. As a parent you have the power to provide your children with the very best start in life – what a privileged role it is!

Social Environment In addition to physical skills children also need an environment that lets them develop socially. They need contact with adults and children in order to learn how to relate well to others. Many children will attend toddler


For more information on how to give your children the best start in life contact attunededucation on 07921193479, email or visit

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Welcome to the musings of Yummy Mummy. Living in Bedford she is married to ‘The Husband’ and together they have 4 children - Rafferty, 9, Violet, 7, Roman, 5 and Clementine, 1.

All my views are my own and are not intended to offend anyone but alas I may frustrate you as I certainly do myself and no doubt those around me at times. I would love to hear from you, your views, questions or indeed just to share your experiences of trying to be a Yummy Mummy. Email me at

You, Me and Us

Nothing sets off my cringe-ometer more than seeing a Facebook account in joint names! As I am reading status updates, looking at pictures (well Facebook stalking in general, but who doesn’t do that!!) and then I see a comment from ‘Sarahand Simon Smith’ – eugh! Note the absence of a space as Facebook doesn’t like the ‘and’ as I reckon it thinks you are a business page in the wrong place – or maybe the ‘powers that be’ at Facebook share my views!

to the M&S Foodhall we went and bought cheese, crackers and wine and took them back to the hotel to enjoy whilst watching TV! It was still a great relaxing, child free evening though! Our ‘you and me’ time has been curtailed of late due to not only having more than one child, but also the tightening of belts means less disposable income to spend on weekends away. In these heady days, ‘The Husband’ would book a three night golf weekend and I would book my one night away with the girls! The ‘Women are from Mars and Men are from Venus’ book springs to mind here as whilst I was very happy to book a night away from the children, I would always miss them if I was away any longer! I once did two nights, however the second night was a rather subdued affair due to a combination of missing home and also not being able to have two consecutive ‘big’ nights out. Plus these days the ‘morning after’ tends to last all day!

Now don’t get me wrong I love ‘The Husband’ and I can be quite loving, in between our shared love of mutual sarcasm, and we do really enjoy having child free time together. However we firmly believe that there should be three parts to a relationship and those being ‘you, me and us’. Of course we have a fourth part to the relationship, ‘the children’, and they tend to take up 99% of our time. I don’t suppose it is really fair that I count the time ‘The Husband’ is at work as his ‘me time’ – but he does get to have a cuppa and eat his lunch in peace! So the rare times we aren’t with the children have to be planned to ensure we get the most out of it.

We make sure that we try and plan enough solo days and nights out. I am currently planning a trip to a London theatre with the girls with the highlight being the glass of fizz on the train journey there and also a spa afternoon at the Y Spa in Wyboston. Both these can be done on a budget when you are savvy enough and check out all the offers.

We do have to count the weekend evenings at home when the children are in bed towards our ‘us time’. We try to get the never ending chores done in the week or at least hide what needs doing in a cupboard so we can relax. I make ‘The Husband’ cook our tea, well if we are feeling flush a takeaway may be ordered, and we relax with a bottle of wine in front of the television. Occasionally we will manage to get all of the children farmed out for a sleepover so we can book a day and night away somewhere. However be warned of trying to fit too much stuff in a short amount of time as we did the last time we went away. We spent a busy but fantastic day exploring various parts of London, but as evening started to approach well, quite frankly, we were knackered! So off

As for ‘The Husband’ – I think he has a local night out planned but I am not too proactive with my encouragement as I figure he is in alot of credit with his previous three night weekends the regular 5 hour rounds of golf over the last 12 years! Someone suggested I take up golf so we could play together, however that is just one step away from the joint Facebook account!


Yummy Mummy

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Dress £14 Marks & Spencer

Bib Next

Baby Blue Dress £26 Marks & Spencer


Girls Jeans Next

Elephant Shirt £15 Monsoon

Pram Shoes £10 Marks & Spencer

Shoes £14 Marks & Spencer Skirt £24 Monsoon

Skirt £14 Marks & Spencer

Rabbit Skirt Next

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Chicago Chic Richmond transforms iconic tower into luxury Langham Hotel in Chicago

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mbodying the timeless qualities that define the Langham legacy since 1865 – heritage, history and legendary hospitality – The Langham, Chicago gracefully blends urban sophistication with refined luxury. Since its grand opening in September 2013, The Langham, Chicago has quickly become a destination of choice as evident with its recent #1 status for best luxury hotel in Chicago on TripAdvisor. As well as 268 standard rooms there are an additional 48 suites. Two signature suites, The Infinity Suite and The Regent Suite, each span 2,600 sq. ft. The two-bedroom, 12th-floor Infinity Suite with its blond woods and Modernist furniture was inspired by the 1940s and 1950s during the era of the Mid-Century modern trend, yet influenced by the stylish lines of the era. It features a 1940s-inspired cantilever desk, mustard yellow baby grand, honey onyx fireplace, and furnishings offering a classical modern elegance. The 11th-floor Regent Suite mirrors the layout of the Infinity Suite, and has a classical design with more traditional furnishings accented by a stunning Indian lilac marble in the master bathroom. Conveniently located downtown in a 52-story landmark tower designed by renowned architect Mies van der Rohe, The Langham, Chicago is just minutes away from the boutique-lined boulevards of Chicago's retail hub and within walking distance to many of the city's premier tourist sites. The distinctive dining options at The Langham, Chicago are suited to both business and leisure travelers. Located on the hotel's second floor, Travelle's modern David Rockwell design is a splendid stage for Chef Tim Graham's contemporary take on Mediterranean cuisine served throughout the day. While the Pavilion features Tiffin at The Langham, the brand's signature afternoon tea that originated at The Langham, London. The hotel is also home to Chuan Spa, where guests can indulge in signature wellness and holistic treatments as well as a swimming pool, fitness studio and innovative relaxation facilities.

As a protected structure, the exterior and lower two levels of the building could not be significantly altered. However, working with architects Goettsch Partners, Richmond was able to cut new spaces into the Miesian plan to create double height ceilings throughout the main public spaces to allow the light and the cityscapes to become part of the interior architecture. With an average size of 43sq m, hotel guestrooms are among the most generous in the city and offer magnificent views towards Lake Michigan, the Chicago River and downtown Chicago. Overall, Richmond’s design challenge was to create a series of interiors in character with Langham’s traditional design sensibility yet set in an iconic Mid-Century modern building. Richmond Principal, Fiona Thompson said: “We wanted to create an environment that was tied to the Mid-Century modern world, but not a Mies museum. We had to reinterpret the interior standards, presenting the traditional Langham brand in a more contemporary way. The IBM Building is about clean and simple lines and very rich materials, so we took these elements and wove them into the hotel’s interior design scheme.” Inspired by the original design, Richmond used a simple materials palette of granite, travertine, glass and bronze in combination with a light, fresh colour scheme and an emphasis on luxurious layering and texture in the furnishings. The light-colored travertine found in the hotel’s lobby is carried through to the guestroom bathrooms, with bronze detailing interspersed throughout the bedrooms. “Soft modernity runs throughout the hotel,” said Thompson. “We felt it was important to create a calm, residential and warm feeling; a living, breathing environment that was not intimidating, but presented a level of luxury that everyone could enjoy. Prices start from £210 ($350) per night

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What’s on March 2014

Fri 7th March Viva Las Vegas! 7.30pm – 12.30am Whittlebury Hall Hotel & Spa kj Join us for a Vegas party fit for the King himself with Vegas Showgirls, casino and entertainers - Party the night away on our very own Vegas strip. You'll be greeted by fabulous Showgirls, whilst you sip on cocktails in true Las Vegas style. Plus if you fancy a bit of a fun money flutter, you'll love our very own Las Vegas style casino with blackjack and a roulette wheel. A fortune won and lost on every deal, all you need is a strong heart and a nerve of steel - Viva, Viva Las Vegas! £49 per person including a three-course dinner, half bottle of house wine, two complimentary drinks vouchers and entertainment 0845 400 1406

Sat 15th March AEG Home Appliance Cookery Demonstration Peter Crisp Design Studio,Church Street, Rushden There are two sessions at 10.30am and 1pm, when you can sit and relax and watch the AEG home economist in action demonstrating the benefits of the induction hob, the multi function oven and the combi steam oven. You will have an opportunity to sample the food cooked. Pre-booking is essential 01933 356424 / Sat 15th March ZSL Whipsnade Zoo Fire Walk Those brave enough to take on this challenge of a lifetime will be able to face fire in the heart of the Zoo by taking part in the second annual Fire Walk, while raising money for conservation. Led by the Fire Master, those tackling the flames will attend a “Nothing is Impossible” seminar before stepping out into the fire to face their fears one step at a time. Fire walkers can invite friends and family along to give some moral support and to enjoy a complimentary barbecue at the event. And, brand new for 2014, spectators can opt to go on a unique night-time walk to visit Whipsnade’s wolf pack for a fascinating after-dark experience. Tickets for fire walking or spectating are available at

Fri 7th – Sat 8th March Peppa Pigs Big Splash The Royal & Derngate, Northampton Come and join Peppa and her friends for another all-singing, alldancing adventure full of songs, games and muddy puddles! The nursery roof is leaking and Peppa and her friends need to fix it - quick! As they set up a fete to raise the money for the repairs, they'll need your help to make sure everything goes smoothly. Join Peppa, George, Mummy and Daddy Pig, as well as Danny Dog, Pedro Pony, Suzy Sheep as they have fun putting up bunting, running stalls and organising a great day out. There's also a Champion Puddle Jumping competition judged by Mr Potato where everyone gets wet and Peppa's need to find her Golden Boots! 01604 624811

Tues 18th – Weds 19th March Jason Manford: First World Problems The Bedford Corn Exchange Everybody’s favourite northern comedian is back. The show promises to feature a wealth of comedy anecdotes, misunderstandings and audience banter, delivered with Jason’s likeable charm and teasingly intelligent wit. 01234 718044

Sat 8th March Table Top Sale St James Lower School, Biddenham, 2pm - 4pm Seller Tables are £10 and must be booked in advance as space is limited Buyers admission free Refreshments available Rachel - 07970 869402 /

Thurs 20th March Bedford RSPB Local Group meeting 7.30pm A.R.A. Social Club, Manton Lane, Bedford. Ann and Phil Farrer present Equador - birds, bugs and butterflies' 01234 822035

Mon 10th – Sun 16th March We are 5! The Embankment, Bedford We cant believe we are 5 already, can you? Enjoy lots of lovely treats all week long. Check out Facebook and Twitter for details or sign up to our newsletter on our website.


Fri 21st March Ladies Night - 7.30pm – 12.30am Whittlebury Hall Hotel & Spa Join us on our ladies night with drinks on arrival, three-course dinner and a full evening of entertainment. Plus why not make more of your night and enjoy an overnight stay with full English breakfast. Join us for THE ideal night out for women who enjoy being treated like a VIP! 0845 400 1406

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Sun 23rd March Affinity Wedding Showcase 11am – 4pm Harpur Suite, Bedford Corn Exchange, Bedford The Affinity Wedding Showcase is at The Corn Exchange Harpur Suite, Bedford on Sunday 23rd March 2014 and will showcase everything a bride and groom need for their perfect wedding. FREE entry to guests and bubbles and canapes are available on arrival. A fashion show by Belle of the Ball will commence at 1pm Goodie Bags for all brides to be. Pre-register your details at, and one lucky winner will win a Hotel Chocolat Hamper worth £100

01604 624811

Sun 30th March Mother’s Day Lunch The Embankment, Bedford Treat your Mother to a day she will remember. We will be serving a special Mother’s Day breakfast for just £18.50 pp including a glass of bubbly. Or why not treat her to a delicious Sunday roast? Our Mother’s Day menu is just £26 for 3 courses and we treat every Mum to lovely bunch of flowers. Booking essential.

Mon 24th – Sat 29th March Blood Brothers Royal & Derngate, Northampton Written by Willy Russell, the legendary Blood Brothers tells the captivating and moving tale of twins who, separated at birth, grow up on opposite sides of the tracks, only to meet again with fateful consequences. The superb score includes Bright New Day, Marilyn Monroe and the emotionally charged hit, Tell Me It's Not True.

Sun 30th March Biggleswade Cats Protection Easter Fayre 2pm Marston Moretaine Village Hall Many Stalls, Raffle, Games, Face Painting, Visiting Stalls, Refreshments. Adults 50p, Children Under 14 free


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A quiet night in... The Girl with all the Gifts by M. R. Carey Emotionally charged and gripping from beginning to end, “The Girl with all the Gifts� is the most powerful and affecting thriller you will read this year. NOT EVERY GIFT IS A BLESSING!! Every morning, Melanie waits in her cell to be collected for class. When they come for her, Sergeant Parks keeps his gun pointing at her while two of his people strap her into the wheelchair. She thinks they don't like her. She jokes that she won't bite. But they don't laugh. Melanie is a very special girl.



anuary, 2011: As the Tunisian government crumbles, protestors fill the streets of Cairo. Meanwhile, in Canada, successful Syrian emigrant Adib Abdel Kareem receives word that his daughter Muna has vanished while traveling through Damascus. Left with no choice but to return to Syria and follow every lead he has, Kareem enlists the aid of Fatima, his long lost love, and a Canadian embassy official in locating Muna at all costs. But by the time Kareen realizes that the official may be acting on his own agenda, it may already be too late for both the desperate father, and the daughter who disappeared without a trace. Release Date: 3rd March 300: Rise of an Empire


he Greeks and Persians take their spectacular conflict to sea in the epic follow-up to '300'. More than 30 years before the events of '300', the Greeks and Persians clash at the pivotal Battle of Marathon. Still a young man, the future Persian god, King Xerxes, mourns the death of his father as he falls under the influence of feisty, ambitious naval commander Artemisia. She witnessed her entire family being slaughtered and now burns for vengeance. Meanwhile, general Themistokles sets out to bring together the disunited Greek nation states and avenge the death of King Leonidas. The stage is set for a breathtaking sea battle! Adapted from Frank Miller's latest graphic novel, the blood-soaked 'Rise of an Empire' is told in the same vivid, kinetic style as its predecessor. It also unfolds on a larger canvas, taking in battles before, after and parallel to those of '300'. Release Date: 7th March


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Wedding Showcase

SUNDAY 23rd MARCH 2014

THE HARPUR SUITE, Corn Exchange, St Paul's Square Bedford, MK40 1LE

Spectacular Fashion Show by Belle of the Ball, Finedon

Doors Open:

11am - 4pm FREE entry, bubbles, canapĂŠs and goodie bag Plus a free copy of Affinity Weddings Magazine for all Brides! Everything you need for the perfect wedding all under one roof

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March 2014





Jewellers of Distinction 2 Church Arcade Bedford Tel:01234 354026


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