Lisa Valentine | thatbritishbetty

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Throwback Fragrances

Throwback Fragrances There’s something a little bit magical about scents. The way they can evoke powerful emotions and memories in an instant, transporting you to a certain country, place or event is so very powerful.

We all have them. Whenever I smell the particular aftershave/perfume that Adam and I (respectively) wore on our wedding day, it takes me back to a chilly October afternoon in New York City, trying to hail a cab in Times Square with my veil flying around in the breeze as onlookers barely battled an eyelid.

Just a momentary whiff of lemon reminds me of balmy evenings in Sorrento with the girls, sipping on ice cold limoncello and eating fresh fish by the coast. Cinnamon reminds me of hibernating in the kitchen and whipping up sugary Christmas culinary delights while White Musk and Anaïs Anaïs remind me of my mum circa 1992.

I personally missed out on the swinging 60’s/70’s (I’m a child of the 80’s) however, I did grow up with a fascination for all things vintage – and it’s something that never really went away.

That said, it’s the first time that I’ve ever come across Aqua Citra and Aqua Manda fragrances; despite their massive popularity, they’ve somehow managed to fly beneath my retro radar until now.

The packaging of both Aqua Citra and Aqua Manda is simple yet striking with bright, flower power designs and appealed to my vintage side immediately.

They were iconic in the seventies (even though Aqua Citra was originally launched in 1947) so I’m sure they’d be gratefully received by someone who remembers that period first-hand; a nostalgic treat that has stood the test of time. Or even as a gift for a member of the younger generation who’s looking for a classic and bold scent.

Aqua Citra is a sharp, zingy perfume with top notes of a bergamot, lemon, verbena and star anise with a fresh middle layer of peach, geranium, damask rose and green leaves. There’s also a hint of soft musk led by fir and cedar, making it a nice daytime fragrance.

RRP £39.99 for 100ml / aquamandaperfume.com

Aqua Citra Perfume Review That British Betty Blog

Aqua Manda on the other hand is rich and spicy. With ingredients such as mandarin orange, ginger, lavender, pachouli, cinnamon, eucalyptus, tarragon and juniper berries, it’s a complex, musky mix that is hard to forget.

Both perfumes have also been approved by the original creator of the Aqua Manda fragrance, Christopher Collins, who has acted as an advisor on its relaunch, making the fragrance as close as possible to the original.

RRP £39.99 for 100ml / aquamandaperfume.com

Aqua Manda Retro Vintage Perfume Review That British Betty Blog

*These items were gifted to me, however, all options are my own as always

 

Life Lately | December 2018

Life Lately | December 2018 Of course, my December instalment of ‘Life Lately’ is going to be all about Christmas. To be honest, everything I did in December pretty much revolved around the 25th so brace yourself for a rambling fuelled by all things festive today.

Celebrated Christmas

When it comes to Christmas Day itself, there are lots of things to consider – and I don’t just mean the food, gifts and how much sherry Auntie Joan is allowed to consume before she ends up face down on the sofa at 3pm.

Being part of a couple means that we have two sets of families to think about and this in itself can become a logistical nightmare. My family don’t really ‘do’ big Christmas get-togethers so for the past few years, we’ve spent Christmas Day with Adam’s family in Wales.

This time though, Megan had plans on both Christmas Eve and Boxing Day, meaning we’d have to drive from our house to Wales and back on Christmas Day. Also, we’d all been feeling a bit exhausted prior to December and had hoped to use the Christmas break to recharge the old batteries a bit.

We opted to spend Christmas Day at home for a change and, dear reader, it was wonderful; we ate, drank and generally got rather merry. No drama, no cats ruining the Christmas tree or burnt pigs-in-blankets. My dad and uncle popped by for a few hours of chocolate and board games which was fabulously nostalgic.

We spent Boxing Day in Wales with Adam’s folks and extended family (minus Megan, who was busy clubbing at The Warehouse Project in Manchester obviously).

Adam and I were both fortunate enough to have time off work so we filled the other days catching with various sets of friends and family, baking – I discovered the pure joy of homemade boozy eggnog – and lazing about at home in a Netflix coma.

I’m a loyal fan of Black Mirror and Bandersnatch blew my tiny mind. So much so that I spent FOUR HOURS ‘trying’ all of the possible outcomes.

New Year’s Eve was a low-key affair at home with a bottle of fizz while we opened our memory jar and got sucked into another Netflix black hole – a lovely way to say goodbye to 2018.

How was your Christmas and New Year?

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Bouncing Around At Air Unlimited, Burnley

Bouncing Around At Air Unlimited, Burnley It doesn’t matter how old you are, when it comes to a giant ball pool, it’s kind of hard to resist jumping in feet first. On my recent visit to Air Unlimited in Burnley, that’s exactly what I did – via a vertical inflatable slide of course.

I’m sure we’ve all been to a trampoline park or two but have you ever visited an inflatable park before? I certainly hadn’t. It’s basically a massive bouncy castle with lots of different sections and obstacles to tackle.

My girls are pretty much all grown up now so I tend to miss out on this kind of stuff, however at Air Unlimited, that’s not even a problem as they host adult only evenings from 7pm -8pm on Saturdays. More on that later…

My friend Hannah and I got the opportunity to test out the park prior to it opening it’s doors to the public today (Friday 14 December), along with the Tester Tribe that had been specially selected by the owner Calum’s daughter Amelia – it’s a hard job but somebody had to do it!

Initially, I was a bit reserved until Calum chucked me some Air Unlimited socks and encouraged me to have a go. It’s been about 20 years since I’ve been on a bouncy castle.

From climbing areas to a gladiator podium and giant football zone, there’s plenty to explore. Hannah and I resorted to behaving like 8-year-olds, jumping on to the air pads and giggling as we gracefully (!) slid down the various slides.

Bouncing Around At Air Unlimited Inflatable Park Burnley That British Betty Blog

If you do want to take the kids along, they have a fabulous cafe area for carers/parents to relax in with a brew and a snack (kids under 5 do need to be accompanied by an adult on the course – any excuse to get on the inflatables though, right?). Air Unlimited also host weekly events, such as autism-friendly sessions, toddler sessions at a reduced price and even corporate events.

As I mentioned earlier, it’s adults only between 7pm – 8pm on Saturdays, making it the perfect way to break the ice on a first date, liven things up for a 159th date night or host a get-together that doesn’t involve waking up with a headache the next day. And let’s face it, spending an hour or two running around at Air Unlimited is way more fun than slogging it at the gym.

Find out more information or book via the Air Unlimited website – ideal for wearing the kids (and grown-ups) out during the Christmas holidays.

*I was invited to review Air Unlimited FOC, however, all opinions are my own 

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