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Lifehouse Spa – Does it get any better?…

Posted by admin - August 24th, 2011

Back in March I was lucky enough to win a competition with In Magazine for a Signature 2 night break for two at the Lifehouse Spa in Thorpe-le-Soken, Essex.

I was sooooo excited as I have never really won anything before and decided to take my aunt Kathleen with me as she is always spoiling me bless her and I felt it would be nice to treat her to some serious pampering!!

The Signature package included…

  • A two-hour Oriental Bathing Experience (AMAZING!!!)
  • A House face 35 minute treatment (Heavenly!)
  • Welcome drink on arrival
  • Full board – dinner, breakfast and lunch
  • Use of a robe during your stay and complimentary slippers
  • Gratuities included
  • Meet and greet service from Thorpe-le-Soken station or a valet car parking service
  • Porterage of luggage
  • Unlimited use of the thermal spa area
  • Unlimited use of gym, all gardens and grounds facilities
  • Full access to Lifehouse resort activities programme

We booked our trip for the 6th – 8th August and counted down the weeks until the day was finally here!!

On arrival at the Lifehouse Spa we were greeted by a lovely lady who checked us in and spent some time going through what our package included and where everything was. They had devised a timetable for us and even made reservations for our lunch and dinner. From the second you arrive they just want to make things as easy and relaxing as possible for you.

We got there at 4pm and we were actually booked in for our Facials at 4.30pm (Kathleen) and 5.15pm (myself) which left us just enough time to check out our room and get changed into our robes and slippers.

The rooms were brilliant. Very modern, fresh and clean. They were a great size and the shower was fab! The beds (we had a twin room) were so comfortable and I can honestly say I had the best 2 nights sleep I have had in a LONG time there.

After donning our dressing gowns and funky flip flop slippers we made our way to The Hub which is where you check in for your treatments. We still had 5 minutes to spare so grabbed ourselves a seat on the balcony in the Juice Bar.

Kathleen was called for her treatment first and she returned 40 minutes later to find me sound asleep in the chair, glass of water still in hand. She was shocked as, like I mentioned earlier, this is actually very rare for me. I suffer with Insomnia and do find it very hard to relax but the Lifehouse Spa worked it’s magic VERY quickly! Kath was so pleased with her facial and I was really happy when she told me I was booked in with the same lady. I love being pampered but I sometimes find it a bit difficult when you go to a beauticians and the therapist talks to you throughout the treatment. Don’t get me wrong, I love a good chat and I promise I am not by anymeans unsociable but when I am having a facial I like to just try and drift off  and realax. Kaz was amazing! The first thing she said to us both was that she didn’t want us to talk and that when she spoke, it was just to let us know what she was doing and what she was using. She was such a lovely lady and very friendly and polite – I really can’t recommend her enough.

After our treatments, we headed to the relaxation room at the other end of the hall and spent about 30 mins on the massage chairs. They literally reclined until you were upside down! We had great fun on these and really did feel great. We then headed back to our room to change for dinner. We were told when we booked in that we were more than welcome to go down in our dressing gowns but as we walked passed the restaurant we seen that most were dressed so we quickly got changed and headed back downstairs for some food.

There was a bar attached to the restaurant and we had left ourselves time for a quick drink before we ate. The bar staff were lovely and very polite – have to give a special mention to the Scottish bar man who was very friendly and has now got me hooked on curiosity cola! The drink prices were very reasonable, no more expensive than any other hotel bar.

The restaurant was lovely and the food was AMAZING!! You have to make sure you try their Smoked Haddock and Leek Risotto and the Cauliflour Puree which accompanied the Scallops was gorgeous too. I am going to have to try convince my hubby to make this! Considering the food is included with your stay the quality is not compromised in any way. I actually had the best peice of steak I have ever tasted on the Sunday night.

We decided to have an early night as we had an early start the next day so went to reception to see if they had any DVD players left. I had read in previous reviews that they hired these so we grabbed a couple of DVD’s from home before we left but we needn’t have bothered as they have a list of around 100 DVD’s you can hire all free of charge!

The next morning we headed to breakfast around 8.30am. You’re spoilt for choice here and can have anything from yougurt & berries through to a full english. On the Sunday we had something lite as we were booked in for our treatment at 9.00am so didn’t want anything too heavy but we did treat ourselves to the full english before leaving on the Monday and it was very good!

We had heard so many good things about the Oriental Bathing Experience (OBE) so we were both dead excited. This is a treatment for 2-3 people so we were able to enjoy this together. I don’t want to say too much about this as I would hate to spoil it for anyone who decides to go but it was honestly out of this world! It consists of a Thai Foot Ritual, A Malaysian and Thai bathing experience, a head and scalp massage, full body exfoliation and then finishes with a warm oil & hot stone massage. The ‘Experience’  lasts around 90 minnutes then once this is finished you are taken to a ‘Sleep Pod’ where you can relax for a little while. We were very lucky as they were quite quiet on the day we went and we ended up sleeping for around 3 hours! It was just unreal. I have never felt so relaxed in my life and this is something I will definately be treating my Mum to very soon. Here’s a video from the Lifehouse Spa site for a little taster..

We had the rest of the day to ourselves and although we had great intentions of just going back to the room for a little nap after lunch and then hiring a couple of bikes and going for a ride around the beautiful grounds, we actually fell asleep for over 4 hours and just about made dinner!

Our weekend flew by and I can hand on heart say there was not a single thing we were disappointed in. Everything is so clean, bright and fresh and all the staff were extremely welcoming and friendly. We fell in love with the handcream in the toilets and were dead pleased to find they sold these in their shop – the little things that get us eh lol! Neither of us managed to keep hold of them very long though as my Mum and Nan fell in love with them too (they make your hands silky soft and smell gorgeous!) so we gave them away as presents – ah well, it’s a good excuse for us to visit again.

I cannot recommend the Lifehouse Spa enough – for pure relaxation in luxurious settings and a chance to completely detach from the outside world for a little while!  It’s a little peice of heaven tucked away in a small village in Essex.

Make sure you come back on Monday for details of some amazing offers for you to take advantage of. Don’t miss out!

Emma @ Military Wedding Discounts xXx

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Alternative Military Discount Providers – The Military and Veterans Discount Center

Posted by admin - August 12th, 2011

As I mentioned previously, we are going to be introducing some new features to Military Wedding Discounts and today I am very pleased to introduce ‘Alernative Military Discount Providers’. There are many other companies like ourselves all wishing to help members of the Armed Forces save money and today I would like to introduce you to The Military and Veterans Discount Center…

The Military and Veterans Discount Center believes that it is the largest collection of U.S. based businesses that provide discounts for military personnel, retirees, veterans and their spouses.  Founded in April of 2011, the sites aim is to remove confusion about military discounts and allow businesses a way to connect and showcase their discounts to the military community.  Currently, the site has over 226,000 discounts listed and members can search by plugging in their zip code and selecting one of 20 categories.  The founders believe that better and deeper, everyday discounts can be obtained as more individuals subscribe to the service.  To subscribe, simply provide your email address.

MVDC has stepped to take the role of providing accurate military discount information through its content.  The latest content piece is a collection of 26 businesses that provide military discounts.  Learn more about military discounts nationwide at MVDC.

If you are a charity helping our troops in the UK and/or USA or a site like MVDC who helps promote discounts for members of the Armed Forces then please get in touch – we would love to hear from you!

Much Love

Emma @ Military Wedding Discounts xx

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Monday’s Wedding Tips, Facts and Fun – Choosing your Stationery

Posted by admin - August 8th, 2011

This week we take a look at wedding stationery!

When you have picked your date you will want to let people know when it is so that they don’t go and book a holiday or can take the time off work and Save The Dates are great for this!  A good idea for save the dates are magnets (Emma had these for her save the dates and they are very handy) they can be placed on a fridge or notice board somewhere people will remember it is.

Image Source - Funky Fairies

Your invites are sent out anything from 4/5 months before the wedding to 6 weeks before. If it is a popular time of year (July/August) then it might be a good idea to send them out a bit earlier.

When looking to order your invites many websites will send you samples free so you can get a feel for their designs. Try and order as many samples as you can so you can have a varity to choose from. There are so many different designs out there you will be spolit for choice!  You may even decide that you want to make your own invites! You can have a lot of fun with this and make them very personal to your own taste. If you need a lot of invites why not get your family and friends involved. Lots of people also include an RSVP slip and addressed envelope to make it easier for people to respond. You could also add the travel details/maps of where your ceremony and reception are located along with public transport info, taxi numbers and local accomodation too. This will be a great help to your guests and much appreciated I’m sure!

Image Source – Angel Fins

Now the stationery fun does not end there (and we love our stationery here at Military Wedding Discounts). Many have Order of Service’s which include the running of the service and any hymns/songs, prayers and readings you are having. Many guests like to take these as a keepsake of the day. These are usually placed on the seats or given out by your Ushers as people enter the ceremony .

Image Source – Tatty Lashes

The seating plan is one thing a lot of brides dread!! Most Seating Plans are at the entrance of the reception with the table name/number and a list of who is sitting on each table, then on the table will be a place card with the guests name. I will show you ways in which you can make the place cards different and have a double use next week.

Image Source – Pic 1 Humperdinks & Doodles & Pic 2 Sugarmouse Creations

A guest book is a great chance for your guests to write a personal message to you wishing you well in your new life together. This can be on a designated table (maybe next to the cake?) or you can give the job to an Usher or Bridesmaid to take it around to each table between courses at the reception. Make sure you keep it handy for later though incase any of your evening guests would also like to write a few words!

Image Source – Perfect Day Wedding

Last, but by no means least, is Thank You cards! It is a nice gesture to thank people who have attended your day for any presents/money or just to show your appreciation of their attendance. It is always nice to get a thank you card as it makes you feel happy that your gift has been appreciated.

When opening your present and cards have a notebook or paper and a pen to hand so you can make a note of what people have given you so you can make the thank you cards that extra special and addressing them to the person and thanking them for their actual gift.

Image Source – Valcarr Stationery

 

Terri @ Military Wedding Discounts xx

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Monday’s Wedding Tips, Facts and Fun – Making Your Guest List

Posted by admin - August 1st, 2011

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Today we are going to look at making your guest list.

This can be a minefield for some brides with parents wanting to invite everyone they know, deciding if you ask people for the whole day or just the night, do you put plus one??

Here are some tips that will hopefully make it easier for you when making your list….

First of all make sure you have decided on your budget. This will help you to work out how many people you can afford to sit for dinner. Also, make sure you check what the capacity is for your venue. You may pick your venue before you make the final guest list and you do not want to go with somewhere that will not even fit your family in!!

Make time to sit down as couple and work out who you want to invite. Think about whether you will be having children at the wedding, do you want to have family members there that you rarely see, will you invite work colleges to the whole day or just the evening, will you let parents invite people?

Don’t feel pressured into inviting people who you’re not really ‘friendly’ with or don’t know to the wedding if it means you have to give up inviting someone that you really want there. It can be hard when parents are helping to pay for the wedding. Sit down with both sets of parents and go through who you want to invite and the key word here is to compromise!

To keep on top of the guest list, as this can become a headache later on, keep a record of who you are inviting and if they are all day guests or just evening. A good way of keeping on top of the guest list is to start a spreadsheet. You can then record who you have invited, day/evening, contact address, telephone number, e mail address, if you have had the rsvp, any diet requiments and any other information that you may need.

The next step is the fun bit – picking your invites! We will look at stationery next week ( I am excited about this!).

When you do send out your invites make sure you put a date that your guests have to rsvp by so once this date has passed you can start to chase people up. It is a good idea to have a reserve list as there may be people who you have invited to the evening that you you would like to go to the whole day but you didn’t have room for them.

Last of all try not to get too stressed with the guest list, planning your wedding should be fun and you dont want to look back and wish you had stressed less about the guest list!

Terri @ Military Wedding Discounts xx

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Personal Rambling – Get Me Organised!

Posted by admin - July 27th, 2011

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Well I’m not too sure if this comes under fashion as such but although it’s not a beauty product it’s certainly beautiful to look at and it was definitely a bargain!!

Having spent the last 5 days in bed with an awful cold and swollen glands and limited access to the laptop (my head was throbbing after 10 mins!) I had to resort to the traditional way of pen and paper which has made me fall in love with myA5 Black Domino Filofax all over again!

I’ve used Filofax’s for a few years now.  I have tried using the diary apps on my iPhone and BlackBerry but I didn’t really get on with either and after the 3rd/4th time of not being able to access the information because my battery had died I decided it was time to revert to the old fashioned method which didn’t prove too much of an issue because….

I am a stationery addict – there I’ve said it!! I get so excited at the thought of going to Paperchase & Staples and can never leave the shops empty-handed. This has now left me with a desk full of spiral bound notepads, funky shaped Post-it notes and the cutest polka dot/stripped ball pens ever! Now don’t get me wrong, my desk looks lovely but my husband has now threatened to donate the lot to our local school if I come home with as much as another paper clip.

Image Source 1, 2 & 3

The problem with having all these notepads is the fact that I now have work notes spreading all over 30+ notebooks and I have no idea where anything is anymore. I thought I was being clever writing all these things down but I am quickly learning I’ve been quite the opposite!

So, I decided that I was going to use the opportunity to really get everything in order and store it all in one place and where better than my Filofax! It has my diary, my contacts, to-do lists and will now have all my notes that I make during the day! I will never have to worry about looking through the piles of notepads and post it notes to see where something is. I’m by no means saying that it will be in perfect order BUT at least I will only have one place to look from now on.

To celebrate this revelation, I have decided that a new A5 Finsbury is going to be a necessity – well if I am resorting to using one item it’s gotta be pink – or maybe Aqua?! Now the relevant part to a ‘Wednesday’ post is that I am going to pick it up from my local staples as they are selling it for £53.00 so you save a whopping £22.00 (RRP £75.00) – BARGAIN!

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I am going to go for a business day per page diary which is a great help as it separates the day for you between 09.00am – 19.00pm for your appointments/meetings and includes a to-do list & phone/correspondence notes which will be VERY helpful for planning the day.

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There’s not really much more I can tell you before I get this but I will post a review next week to let you know the set up and will show you how Filofax’s can be a fab alternative from your usual wedding planner too!

Have also found that Gala Darling uses this trusty organisational method too and has even posted on her blog about her Love Affair with her Filofax – Now I’m sure if Gala Darling finds them worthy that has to make them fashionable which in turn makes my post totally relevant!

Will update you next week!

Emma @ Military Wedding Discounts x♥x

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