Sunday, 30 December 2012

Yet More Festive Fun!

I'm just back from Planet Thanet (ie; Margate/Ramsgate) having spent a manic 3 days visiting friends and family.
I am pretty sure I have put back on every single pound I battled to lose in the last couple of months and my poor liver is weeping in defeat, but, what the hell January is a new year etc.

Christmas day we went to my brother's where he did us proud with a huge dinner. It was the first time I have ever eaten goose and I liked it, so hopefully it won't be the last!
 My Mum brought along a homemade black forest trifle which was all chocolate, cherries, kirsch and cream *swoon* I wish I had had more room to do it better justice. All in all a wonderful day.

We had one day comatose at home and then we were off again. Before we left I had to scoot to the bank and pay my credit card bill *sob* but it was made a bit less painful by noticing 3 large bowls of Christmas baubles in Oxfam's window. Having spotted some vintage glass ones and the label 'one for 20p or 6 for 99p' I shot through the door and started to carefully rummage.

 This is my £2.98 haul and very happy it makes me. The lady behind the till said they had come in as a huge boxful and the manager was all for throwing them out as 'no one would want them'!?! It was actually down to the lady behind the till that they went on the shop floor at all and she said they had flown from the shelf so the manager had had to eat her words. Damn how I wish I could have been there when they first got put out!!

Anyway I brought these shiny lovelies home grabbed my suitcase and off we shot.Thankfully the journey down was quick and painless unlike the assault on my liver that followed (bad, bad evil woman that I am). First night we had Chinese takeout and lots of wine.
Next day I finally got my arse out of bed by lunchtime and caught the bus to my Sister's flat. I managed to confuse the poor driver by asking to be taken to Margate when I already was in Margate = doh, but thankfully I was feeling more human by the time I had walked up from the harbour in the fiercely bracing wind straight off the sea to my sister's flat.

We had a restorative bucket of tea whilst waiting for her friend Bridget to arrive so we could try out a new tea room in town called Marmalade (11 Harbour Street - Ramsgate).

 This was our high tea and it was bloody lovely! The scones and cakes were stunning. My only complaint was the sandwiches were more than a little on the doorstep side and just way too much bread to battle through, though the fillings were very generous. All in all highly recommended and fab value for money.

My sister and I then headed back to her flat for a bottle of bubbly and a good catch up, this is one of her 2 lovely Christmas trees.

I also finally got to meet her new fella too, who very kindly gave me a lift to Broadstairs where I was meeting Himself and other friends. We ended up on a mini pub crawl so it all got very very messy, what a brilliant night.

                                                        Another pretty tree.

 Next day, and with surprisingly no hangover I went to meet my friend Kay. We had a lovely afternoon drinking lots of tea and catching up on 6 months worth of news.

                                                          Kay's Christmas tree.

In the evening we had Christmas dinner again with Himself's parents which meant yet more champagne and wine and then it was time to come home.

On the plus side I didn't go near the shops but I am ashamed to say I spent 3 days at the seaside and did not go near the sea or beach once!

Saturday, 22 December 2012

Festive Fun!

I am finally sitting down with what is probably my hundredth cup of tea of the day and 'The Very Best of INXS' on the stereo.
They are one of those bands I was never a dedicated fan of but they did have quite a few songs I loved. Indeed when the track 'Suicide Blonde' came out it quickly became my nickname and a friend of a friend who worked in Our Price used to put it on whenever I walked into the store which was somewhat embarrassing!
Anyway I digress, but when I spotted this cd for £3 whilst I was doing the weekly shop I decided to treat myself and I am extremely pleased I did.

It has been a manic week. We have consultants in at work trying to streamline our department which means us spending at least 4 hours a day doing 'exercises and role play' at what is probably our busiest possible time of year. The timing really could not be worse and things have been pretty strained as we slip further and further behind with our real work!
 This is my 3rd experience of going through a consulting process and this looks to be no different to the other two times, ie pretty much a complete waste of time and effort, with no worthwhile changes at the end of it.

On the plus side, socially I have been out with different friends every day, eating and drinking (waistline be damned!) all culminating in the beautiful wedding of my friend Katy yesterday. Thankfully the world didn't end and the rain stopped!

I was all set to wear a lovely deep red velvet dress I have, when on a whim, I decided to try on a black and gold Pearl Lowe dress I bought in the sales at the beginning of the year but have not worn yet. Sometimes I buy a new dress and have to wear it instantly, but often I wait for the perfect occasion to present itself before I feel the time is right to give a frock an outing.
I'm glad to see from Jessica's wonderful post  here  that I am not alone is this habit, I know some think it strange!
It really doesn't look much on a hanger but it is so lovely on, there is so much fabric in the skirt and it hangs beautifully. I will share a picture of me in it when I get one, I know various were taken just not by me or Himself, so not on my camera.

I have pretty much finished all I need to do after a hellish food shop this morning. We decided not to get all of the Christmas decorations out of the loft this year as we are actually only in the house for about 5 days during the festive period. It seemed mad to get it all out just for that,so instead I brought in the little live tree I have in a pot on the patio and covered it with the decorations I usually put on it outside and a few that I had bought in the sales last year.

 My giant standing snowman stays out all year as I refuse to put him in the loft in case he goes mouldy! I also got some new honeycomb decs from Wilkinsons and put them up with good old blu-tac so classy!
 My final bit of Christmas cheer comes thanks to a voucher from Tesco for a free poinsettia, I'm always up for a freebie!
Here's hoping you all have a very happy Christmas wherever you are and whatever you are doing and that it might actually stop raining for a few days.

Sunday, 16 December 2012

Back from Bonnie Scotland.

It's good to be home and warm. We had a wonderful time in Edinburgh but dear lord was it cold!
I took the massive 1980's fake fur I bought back in the summer (first made slightly less massive by the removal of the huge shoulder pads!) and was very grateful for it too.

We had to get up at 2.30 am to catch the 4am train *weep*

 It did mean that we got to Edinburgh at 11.30am which gave us pretty much a full extra day even after a well needed nap on arrival.
Our hotel was an old Georgian house, in the West End this time. Our room had shutters at the window, I was very excited about them though realized pretty quickly what they are there for when I felt the draft coming from the old sash windows!
We headed out to familiarize ourselves with the city centre again, but being winter it started to get dark pretty much straight away so we went to find some food instead.

We woke with a start the next day and realized we had almost missed breakfast by oversleeping. Sadly it turned out our inclusive breakfast was not a full Scottish as expected but a 'continental' (I seriously don't want to look at another croissant for a LONG time.) which was a bit of a surprise, also they charged you £10 to use the wireless connection!?! Something I have NEVER come across before! Other than that the hotel was lovely.

We headed out to look at the Christmas market but quickly found that it was even colder than it had been the day before, so we decided to do something indoors instead!
We had a great couple of hours browsing round the 'Museum of Childhood' if only there hadn't been so many parties of school children in there it would have been even better. *cough*
                                                    How gorgeous is this teaset????

                                                and how glamorous is this doll?

After that we headed to The Elephant House for lunch I know most people go there is the J.K.Rowling connection but for me it is all about the elephants and the rather delicious tea.

Looking for another indoor activity we decided to check out the National Museum of Scotland which is just down the road and loved it! What an amazing museum, we blissfully browsed until they booted us out and then went back again on our last day to finish it off. It has a bit of everything really, Natural History, Scottish History, Space, Social History, Industrial, Technology, you name it it's there. Loads of interactive activities too.
This coat is made from solid silver, in the form of mesh and thread, just amazing.

Isn't this gorgeous? Because this girl's dancing shoes were so precious having saved and saved for them she wore old ones to the dance and carried the precious pair there in this stunning evening bag then changed once she got inside.

I could fill this blog with pictures but I won't bore on.  We were booted out at 5.30 so we went for a restorative pint whilst we figured out what to do that night.

                                                              Christmas Ale.

In the end we decided as it was so so cold and it was also Orange Wednesday we would go to the cinema in the evening. We went to see 'Great Expectations' which I still can't quite decide about if I'm honest. I loved the version on T.V last Christmas so I felt this was a bit unnecessary and soon. It was well acted and beautifully shot but I just didn't love it as I was meant too.

Oh boy was cold walking back to the hotel, in all my life I have never seen frost so thick which is a weird thing to notice I know but there you go.

We woke up the next day to snow., not much and it only lasted for about a day so no fabulous picturesque shots I'm afraid. We decided to make the day about shopping. Himself needed shoes and a shirt for an upcoming wedding. So we did Princes Street and then meandered round to the Grassmarket and finally walked out to Stockbridge to browse there. Overall I found the charity shops very very disappointing. The stock was poor and the prices were very high. I know this is a big city and a tourist destination but a half price sale in Oxfam and prices were still around the £15 - £20 mark for a dress!!??!
I bought a rather strange necklace and 2 bracelets.

Admittedly I wasn't meant to be spending money on myself and I did resist a gorgeous silver Mappin and Webb elephant brooch in one of the antique shops because it was more than I could justify spending on myself.
The only souvenir I did buy was this rather mad lion.
Now those of you who follow me on the twitters or facepage know I was worrying about what clothes to take, wanting to be warm but glam too, and more importantly what shoes to wear as my only pair of winter boots leak. In the end I threw glamour out of the window and took lots of layers, and was very very grateful for them!
I took jeans and my pinstriped swing pants (as I can finally fit in them again - huzzah)
In the end left my wellies at home and plumped for my walking boots which was a wise move as we did a lot of walking and the going at times was very slippery.

 It's been a while since I have worn jeans and it felt kind of weird, my legs clearly thought so too as they came out in a strange rash! (to be fair that was probably to do with the last detergent they were washed in, I do react to many brands.)

                         All good swing pants should be accessorized with walking boots!

Friday night we met up with some of Himself's friends, it was much warmer so I wore the one dress I had packed just in case, not a late night but lots of fun. I only wish I could say the same of the train journey home, it was pure hell and seemingly endless. When we eventually got back in the house I actually could have cried I was just so glad to finally be home.

Thursday, 6 December 2012

I Don't Know Much but I know my Onions.

I have finally managed a weekend in, at home, with not much to do - Bliss.
 I caught up with various housework type jobs that have been gathering dust, (quite literally!) I also spent some time on Ebay listing some items which of course also meant buying some items *ahem* I do tend to re-spend any money I make on Ebay (unless it's a a lot, which isn't often.)

I had had a trying week getting to a fro work due to flooding so I was definitely in the right frame of mind for treats and oh boy oh boy did I find myself a cracking frock!!!
 Not only was it only 99 pence (plus postage) It is quite possibly one of the most bizarre dress prints you can imagine so behold my onion dress!

Yes you are seeing that right, it has onions printed on it and I bloody love it. I see it getting plenty of wear in the spring. The other Brucey Bonus is it is a size smaller than the one I have been wearing of late, I took a chance on it because it was so quirky and I knew I had lost some weight so hoped it would fit and it did! HUZZAH!
It seems the diet is finally paying off and I have to confess I do feel a damn sight better for it and so does my dodgy knee so I am determined to keep up the good work.

Now this next picture I just had to share with you because it is another of my 'got caught out by the camera timer shots' good job I'm not too precious about looking my best really! I honestly have absolutely no idea what on earth I was thinking at this particular moment in time, but it would seem I was far too busy scratching my back and wiping my nose to pose if this picture is anything to go by!

Anyway I was wanting to share my new Pearl Lowe dress. I absolutely*ADORE* Pearl Lowe's clothing. I have meant to do a post on her for a while, but I do actually have a quite a large collection of her dresses so it would probably take more than one post if nothing else and as ever I never seem to find the time to do all the posts I have mentally planned out.

If you don't know of her collections, her dresses are all either direct copies of, or designs based upon, vintage pieces from her own collection. The are well made, wonderfully cut and just fit like a dream.
Gratuitous boob shot to show you the lovely bodice, it even makes me look like I have a bosom which is always a bonus!

Another Ebay purchase was this lovely blue dress, except on me it is so ridiculously short it doesn't even cover my arse!?!

Seriously what is it with dresses being so damn short these days?
If science is to be believed we are getting taller as time goes by so why oh why are all the dresses out there so relentlessly short? I hear this from people of all heights so clearly it is something that bothers more than just those taller people like myself.
This dress is so pretty, but has to be worn over leggings or jeans or I might get arrested for indecent exposure or die of exposure from the cold!

Again it is a boob shot but that is because I wore it to work all day and it is horribly, horribly crumpled, bah I hate materials that crease easy.

Finally my last Ebay 99 pence bargain. Himself is not at all keen, but I think styled right it will look fab if a tad LOUD and I do like my nautical themes.

I am also going to share another thing I bought myself, though not via the bay of E.

It is all my friend Melissa's fault!!

She sent me the link to the tea t-shirt and whilst browsing the website I found the elephant one and everyone who has ever read this blog knows what I feel about tea and elephants.......

Finally a little charity shop gem. It's a modern take on a 1920's flapper beaded evening bag. Isn't it gorgeous and well worth the fiver I paid for it in my opinion. It is really heavy due to all the beading.

This weekend I am frantically doing some Christmas stuff, seeing my parents and packing for our trip to Edinburgh next week. Very excited about that but not about catching the 4am train..........