Monday, 29 December 2014

Looking forward......and back!

So somehow I've ended up with two 'life update' style posts following one another. Its been a couple of weeks since I last posted but it literally feels like forever!

I have the utmost respect for bloggers who manage to keep blogging through December and even over the festive period (or schedule posts) as for me, December has just been so ridiculously busy, blogging has been far from my mind. This last week has been so busy with getting together with people that the first day/night I had free, I just wanted to get my house back to some sort of liveable state and then relax. December at work is also quarter end so I've had loads of work to get finished earlier than normal due to the festive break. Also I've had a couple of other health related things going on which are thought to be brought on by stress, and even though blogging is a hobby, sometimes I can find it quite stressful when I feel pressured to blog, so I just waited until the time was right really.

This was our first Christmas as husband and wife, although aside from the different cards on the mantelpiece, it was very much like any other. The OH bought me the cutest vintage style digital radio - it looks amazing in my kitchen, and sounds amazing too! I've had great fun finding loads of new stations as I've never had a digital radio before (my current favourite is Absolute 90's). I'm a big lover of music and the radio is always on in our house (when the TV isn't!) - I even leave it on for the dog! I love nothing more than cooking with a glass of wine and the radio on. I also think that when its cold and wet at this time of year to come home and the heating has kicked in, the lamp is shining and there's music playing, it seems much more homely and welcoming.

I'm back at work tomorrow and then half day New Years Eve - I get the unfortunate job of working on 2nd Jan, which is just an odd day after all the New Year festivities. Some people always look forward to the start of the new year when everything is back to normal - I quite like the quiet days in the last couple of weeks of December. I got so much done at the start of last week! I'm not one for New Year's resolutions generally, but I have got some aims in mind for myself for next year.

So a bit of a rambly post just to get back into things. I hope you've all had fantastic Christmas and are looking forward to welcoming in the New Year. I've picked up my New Year's Eve dress in the sale this year!

Friday, 5 December 2014

An Outfit Post and a Life Update


Boots Primark// Jumper New Look (old)//
Jeans Dorothy Perkins//
 Scarves Primark
You could be forgiven for assuming that I have bought all of my winter wardrobe from Primark this year. It wouldn't be an entirely inaccurate assumption as I have bought a fair amount of woollies from there of late.

These two scarves are probably the things I get the most questions about and no one ever believes me when I say I picked them up in Primark for a fiver. They are convinced they must be from Zara or somewhere.

I am favouring the burgundy and navy over the grey and pink at present mainly because the grey and pink one has a bit of a tendency to shed, so by the time I get to work, my black blazer is covered in fluff. I may have to start carrying a sticky roller around with me!

If I could wear these boots more often I would. I have some suede ones I bought from Clarks a few years ago and they have  lasted fantastically, but they aren't the best choice in amongst all this rain we've had lately. These aren't leather but they don't get water damaged and keep my feet  (and legs!) dry and toasty. They look at their best with very dark denim skinny jeans, and as I don't wear jeans on a daily basis so much anymore, they do tend to be my weekend boots. But every now and again I will done a pair of black skinny's to work of a Friday and wear these darlings. I'm not sure how long they will last but at £20 its not the end of the world if they don't make more than one season. I've had plenty of wear out of them, as the rubber block heel, gives a bit of height without feeling like I'm teetering along or going to slip on a patch of ice (when it eventually arrives!) is quite hard wearing.

I'd started to get quite on board with blogging, both posting and commenting on other blogs and keeping my bloglovin feed down, of late. I'd finally started to write out my thank you cars after the wedding, and I'd set myself the task of just doing a few per day, as it is quite laborious. My aim had been to get them out before December, and a week was put aside to get the bulk of them done. 

I'd generally been having a hard time at work. As pleased as I am to have a promotion, its much more pressured than I think I anticipated and at times I have found that quite a strain. Managing the work is ok, is more about managing people that's difficult at times, and its easy to take things quite personally and take full responsibility for everything that happens, without truly recognising your individual role within it, alongside the role others play.

I'd had a pretty hard week and had spoken to my own senior on one particularly day and was overall starting to feel a little better and see the light at the end of the tunnel. The same day the husband dropped the bombshell that he was having difficulties at work. A fraught week of not knowing what the outcome was going to be, how things were going to get paid if the worst came to the worst, alongside very little eating and sleeping, ended up with things turning out much better than anticipated. I'm very much the sort of person who always prepares for the worst possible outcome. I'm not necessarily a pessimist, but my view is if you prepare for the worst, and it happens its not so much of a shock and you have plans in place. And if the worst doesn't happen, well than that's just a bonus isn't it? 

Needless to say I had very little heart and interest for blogging, alongside the majority of other things in life during that time (including the impending festive season) as all my energy was focused into that. But now things have settled, I'm making a bit of a return, particularly as Christmas approaches - the blog world always seems so busy! I'm feeling particularly festive as my tree is up, and I have a Christmassy scented candle burning. I'm not the type to do gift lists - I might do a little wishlist for myself, as I normally like to get books but I'm struggling this year - but I love to get ideas from everyone else.

So  yeah, a little outfit type post and an update of where I've been to boot!

Merry December everyone!

Wednesday, 19 November 2014

Where is Winter?







 


 




All images via We Heart It

Let's be honest, I'm probably going to be very much on my own when I say this but where is winter!?! I mean surely mid November calls for something more in the way of a chill right now?

At the start of September everyone was all about autumn. Now don't get me wrong I love autumn as much as the next blogger, and I know technically November is still autumn, but I'm all about the extremes. I'm the girl with my nose pressed to the glass in awe in the midst of a hail storm; I like to go the the highest point to watch a storm rolling in, and at the first sign of a snowflake I'm out there in my wellies, face up to the sky, gloved hands wide open in welcome. Everyone always thinks it's strange that I like the colder months. I love the hot weather just as much, but for me it's got to be one or the other. Basically I either want to be wearing a bikini, or I want to be donning a coat, hat, scarf and gloves. Currently our weather is just, well, bleurgh!

I'm a bit of a weather freak. I always check the weather every morning, and at the start of every week I check the long range weather for the month. In the run up to a big event I can be checking it two or three times a day! Strangely, in the run up to the wedding I curbed my habit as basically I knew I had no control over it so there was no use stressing about it, but normally I like to know what's coming.

Right now everything seems so grey and miserable and a bit soggy really. I don't mind fog. Fog adds another dimension to grey and damp.

Some of you probably think I'm crackers for wanting Jack Frost to hurry his little self up, but honestly, winter is so beautiful! You've only got to look at these pictures. I'm not even talking a white Christmas just a hint of a frost and that chill where you can see your breath in front of your face. Does anyone else remember bonfire nights like this? Holding your sparkler with your gloves, warming your red nose by standing near the fire? In comparison our bonfire night this year was positively balmy!

I currently have a wardrobe full of big snuggly jumpers, scarfs, boots, gloves and hats all eagerly awaiting the day that they will get pulled from the wardrobe. Don't get me wrong, some have fell lucky, but my poor gloves and bobble hat are feeling rather sorry for themselves.

So come on Mother Nature, I'm quite frankly fed up of rain and I'm longing for clear blue skies and crisp winter mornings!

Am I the only one wishing that the cold weather was here?

Wednesday, 12 November 2014

Collection Extreme 24 Hour Felt Tip Liner





I am never going to be one of those girls who can pull off the perfect cat-eyed eye-liner with just a quick flick of the liner brush. Liquid liner for me has always been the bane of my life. I've tried numerous liquid liners over the years, but I've still never really managed to get it right. I am the typical girl whose line keeps getting thicker and thicker until literally my entire eyelid ends up being black! Not exactly the look I'm going for. The idea of wearing eyeliner on a daily basis - highly unlikely!

I don't now exactly what it was that made me try Collection's Extreme 24 Hour Felt Tip Liner as I hadn't read any reviews at that time. I think I was just having a bit of a Superdrug binge in all honesty, and in my quest to perfect eyeliner I though I would give it a go.

Firstly, it is exactly like a fine nibbed felt tipped pen. If you use the tip you will get a tiny line and if you use it along the flat you will get a much thicker line. The consistency of the liquid is again like a felt tip. It isn't wet like most liquid liners. You might argue that it's not really a liquid liner on that basis, but it isn't a kohl pencil or a gel so it's difficult to say where this sits in the liner society. It does mean it dries quite quickly, but this also means you can build it up, so if it is looking a bit faint in places, you can go over it again and make it blacker and thicker.

In terms of it's claim to last 24 hours, well I think this is certainly exaggerated. It doesn't fully last a full day at work for me when slicked on quickly whilst half asleep in a morning (yes I am one of those people that wears eyeliner daily now!) but weirdly on a night out with all make up and primer in place it stays pretty solidly actually, so the message if you put the prep in you will get the results - but I still doubt it will last 24 hours. At £2.99 though, it's difficult to complain about that too much, and that it is the only liquid liner I've ever repurchased (in more than one colour!)



My giveaway is still open - check it out here

Sunday, 2 November 2014

BBB Book Review & Giveaway The Blood Of Olympus


Now things are more or less back to normal, I'm trying to get back into some of my regular posting habits. I still have some wedding-y DIY posts to show, but I also want to do some of the things that BBB was always about, before things got all married off around here.
I used to do a book review regularly every month and I'm not only back with a review, but also a giveaway too!

I've talked about Percy Jackson novels before, when I downloaded the entire first series to my Kindle to take on holiday and I also picked it as my choice for Alex's A Blogging Good Read. I was sad when the original series came to an end but accepted that's what happens.

I then discovered Rick Riordan had created a whole new series featuring the infamous Jackson and the Greek Gods, but this time incorporating their Roman counterparts. More mythology! Excellent! I've always loved Greek Mythology, however I was never really aware of Roman mythology and how they were so similar to the Greeks, so the comparatives throughout the series have been really fun.

The Blood of Olympus* is the final book in the Heroes of Olympus series. The Earth Mother Gaia is about to rise and destroy all the Gods and demigods - both Greek and Roman. The Greek and Roman demigod camps are on the brink of war, and the only thing that can stop all this occurring is a group of seven demigods, thrown together by the Goddess Hera, who also though it would be a good idea to wipe Percy's memory and make him Roman. By now Percy is fully re-immersed in his Greek self but suffering the aftermath of a wander through Tartarus (the most horrifying and deepest echelons of the Underworld.)

The final book in any series is bound to be fast-paced, leading up to the climatic ending, however I found the ending just a bit too fast. It felt like it happened over the space of two chapters, and it was hard to see exactly how things took place at times. There was a definite feeling within this book that the characters had matured throughout the course of the series, aside from Leo, who actually towards the end of the book started to irritate me slightly, although, on reflection he was perhaps the most accurate portrayal of a 15 year old boy!

Clearly if you've read the rest of the series its a bit of a no brainer for you to read this one, as not finishing a series is akin to not finishing an individual book for me - I have to know the end! I obviously wouldn't recommend you pick this up as your first delve into the world weaved by Rick Riordan, as there is reference to past books which will confuse the hell out of you.

What isn't necessary is a prior knowledge of the first series. It is useful, but only a handful of characters feature, and there is enough re-capping to catch you up, that you won't feel you're picking something up midway through. 

Which leads my nicely on to my giveaway! I have a copy of the first book in the Heroes of Olympus Series, The Lost Hero to give away to one lucky winner! In order to enter, please comment below with how you follow my blog (come on it's only fair!) and what you're currently reading, so I can add some new reads to my to be read list! Also it would be useful if you could leave a twitter handle or an email address so I can contact you if you are the lucky winner. I will close the giveaway on 16th November at 12pm GMT and draw names out of a hat!

The Blood of Olympus is available to buy now from Amazon.

Good luck and happy reading!


*The Blood of Olympus was sent to me to review.

Saturday, 25 October 2014

Duvet Day Essentials!

Following my post about my blanket cardigan, it sparked a conversation on Twitter with Nadja about 'duvet days'. Often we only indulge in the opportunity to do almost absolutely nothing for a whole day when struck down by the dreaded flu, brought on by dodgy office air conditioning, breeding bugs, but I see no reason why having a duvet day can't be a planned time to relax and recuperate. Considering we get the luxury of an extra hour in bed tomorrow, it seems the perfect time to put together a list of ways to enjoy a perfectly indulgent duvet day.

Good Preparation
For me, any good duvet day starts with the preparation. Once you've got yourself cosied up in your little nest, the last thing you want to be doing is having to extract yourself, in order to get some vital missing element of your relaxation party.

Even though your having a duvet day, this is not an excuse to be a slovenly madam, so actually having a shower and putting on some clean jammies, and fluffy socks will make the whole thing seem indulgent, but clean at the same time. Lounge wear is completely your call, but you'll mostly find me in some tartan pj bottoms, long sleeve tee and thick fluffy slippers. If I want to get extra cosy, the obligatory onesie is also available. The great thing about layering up is you can add or remove said layers dependant on time of day, warmth and cosiness factor.

Duvet Vs Blankets
I'm a bit of a fussy one in that I hate getting into an unmade bed at the end of the day, so I will tend to have my duvet day in my lounge rather than in my bedroom (being actually in bed all day is definitely a sick day thing) so I like to have loads of fluffy blankets, cushions and pillows to form my sofa bed for the day

Flicks
Any decent duvet day is defined by how much trashy TV you can subject your eyes to. OK it doesn't have to be trashy TV, it can be quite frankly excellent TV and a decent selection of films. With the massive choice through so many on demand TV services now such as Netflix there's plenty of scope for series marathons whatever your into. Currently we have been catching up on some fantastic series from over the last couple of years which are about to renew, so in preparation we have been watching Broadchurch, Sleepy Hollow, The Blacklist and Downton Abbey. We are also building up Gotham and The Flash for future marathons. How about an Marvel Movie Marathon or a Harry Potter-athon?

Eats
This is where your good preparation comes in handy, because hopefully you should have pre-bought plenty of good snacks! Duvet Days are not for cooking! Crisps, Sweets, Popcorn, and Cheese and Crackers all make good duvet day eats. Once the evening rolls around then pizza is always great for eating on the sofa, either frozen and straight into the oven, or the ultimate in indulgence, a takeaway version. (Duvet Days are also not for dieting dontcha know!) By using one of the many online takeaway services like Just Eat you can even pay by card and have it delivered right to your door, without the worry of not having quite enough cash when the food turns up. Double result!
If you fancy something a little more homemade but without the effort why not try a cake in a mug recipe like this one Gillian shared previously. Add a good dollop of ice cream and its like you've spent the day baking without all the clean up!



Drinks
Everyone has their view on perfect duvet day drinks. Because my hubby doesn't do hot drinks he'll always opt for fizzy pop of some variety, for me I always like a good cup of tea! One thing we can both agree on though, is the need for hot chocolate with all the trimmings!

Books
If your an avid reader, the idea of a day spent wrapped up in cosy blankets, with a hot chocolate in hand, doesn't stir up images of how much TV you can binge watch, it gets you excited about how many books you can read! Everyone's view of a duvet day is different, and if I'm spending it alone I'm more likely to spend some quite time with my nose in a book being transported to a different time or place. Marathon TV watching is often best shared.

You may also use this as a good opportunity to catch up on what is probably a rather neglected Bloglovin feed. Grab hold of your tablet - you don't want to be encumbered by your laptop today!

Fur Babies
Bit of an optional extra this one, but if you do have furry friends of your own, particularly if you allow them on the furniture (yes we do its naughty!) a snuggle with the pup and the puss add a little extra snuggle factor!

So there you have it, my perfect duvet day tips! No prizes for gessing what I will be doing tomorrow, and getting an extra hour of it too!

What are you duvet day essentials? How will you be spending your extra hour tomorrow?

Wednesday, 22 October 2014

Primark Blanket Cardigan





I've always been a big lover of autumn/winter fashions. I feel so much more comfortable in a big cosy  knit, with a scarf wrapped round my neck then a pair of shorts and a crop top. Come summer I always feel slightly exposed as a result of my missing neck wear - I often wear my scarf indoors, even at work - and my collection of winter coats is legendary!

This season the introduction of the blanket cardigan is quite frankly genius - if there was ever a valid excuse to have a legitimate 'duvet day' and to go to work wrapped in a blanket this is it - all in the name of fashion!

I spotted this grey and white Aztec patterned number in Primark back in August, and its been languishing in my wardrobe waiting for the weather to drop enough to warrant the wearing of such a snuggly gem. Grey has fast become one of my preferred 'neutrals' in my wardrobe, as I find it is much softer than a stark black can be. Dressed up with skinny jeans, in that staple autumn shade of burgundy, with matching fedora, this is certainly a go to outfit on a weekend-ly basis. 

Blanket cardigans can often be slightly shapeless as they are, for all intents and purposes, a blanket with arm holes in, so I like to belt mine to make it look slightly less sack-like. Although, your just as likely to find me in a pair of leggings and fluffy socks wearing this in its full blanket form - there really is no better way to fashionably snuggle right now!

This one has been out of stock for a while, but I have seen some on eBay, and there are so many versions in the shops rights now, hopefully I've inspired you a little on wearing blanket cardigans.
 

Monday, 6 October 2014

A very BBB Wedding

When I canvassed on twitter whether people were interested in just seeing my wedding DIY's or seeing a general overview of the day it was a resounding yes to the whole shebang. However choosing a sample out of over 1200 photos was pretty hard work.

Knowing bloggers love the details  I figured I would focus on some of the details of our wedding (obviously interspersed with lovely pictures of me and my husband). I genuinely loved wearing my wedding dress and didn't want to take it off - it pains me that I'm never going to have a reason to wear it again! 

Most of the details of our wedding I DIY'd and will be showing some of these in the future, as at time I did find it really difficult to find tutorials for some of the ideas I had.

Anyway, in celebration of our one month anniversary here's a selection of photographs from our wedding.






















Photography: Chequered Leopard Photography//Dress: New York Bride// Custom Cake Topper: Etsy//
Highland Wear: Greenwoods Menswear//
Bridesmaid Dresses - Bridal Belles //Venue Styling - Keith Woods Entertainment

 photo homeeee_zps214aed0e.jpg
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