A Productive Weekend

So as we’d hoped, this has been a busy yet successful weekend.

Tree purchased? Check! 

Decs up? Check!

What do you think?

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We got our (real) tree from a Wyevale Garden Centre which was great – free Hot Chocolate while we were picking it out and a complimentary bottle of mulled wine with the purchase!

It smells amazing (the tree not the wine, although maybe the wine – will let you know)

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Every year Tom requests an Eagle for the top of the tree (to make it look more manly?!) but we’re yet to find one so have just settled on two Robins for now.

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Not quite worthy of a mention in “A Beautiful Mess” (another of my fave blogs – I MUST remember to get round to adding this onto the Home section of my favourite blogs list that I posted here). Sadly I’m no interior design expert *sigh* but hey, it’s quirky Christmas fun!

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Advent candles have become a bit of a tradition. We were a few days late in getting them this year but that just meant they cost us half the price!

Soaking up the new festive feel in the living room whilst cosying up to watch The Polar Express? Check! Did you know that this film is now ELEVEN years old!! We couldn’t believe we’d gone all that time without seeing it.

Congratulatory glass or 2 of Prosecco to celebrate all our hard work? Check!!

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Ok, so it may have ended up being a bottle. Shhh.

Hope you had a great weekend!

Amy xx

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Bad Blog Etiquette

As the title suggests, I’m sure that what I’m about to announce is very much frowned upon in the blogging world and is poor etiquette BUT

I have my first follower!!! Woohoo!!!!

I don’t want to say too much as I don’t want to embarrass them or scare them away but when I first started this a few days ago I told myself that one of my blogging goals would be to always be true to myself and, as far as practically possible, to always write about how I feel. Having got myself a first follower makes me very happy and so I just had to shout about it!

To my very first (you know who you are, ha ha!), it means the world.

Here’s a picture of me dressed as a sheep to say thank you.

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Amy xx

 

My Christmas Wish List

So… as promised in an earlier post, here’s all the things I’ve included in my Christmas list for 2015. A girl can dream!

1)Fleece dressing gown – Marks and Spencer

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2)Checked Borg Pyjamas – Marks and Spencer
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3)Floral Short Pyjama Short Bottoms – Marks and Spencer (are you sensing  a theme here?! I LOVE M & S and I LOVE comfy PJ’s!!)
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5)Bath Bombs – Lush
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6)A Pilates mat. I have a yoga mat but need something slightly thicker, perhaps something like these from the DotingGrannyShop on Etsy
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7)Any of these perfumes (I’d like to be surprised!); Chloe, Acqua di Parma Magnolia Nobile,  Dior Dolce Vita, Flora by Gucci: The Garden Collection Gracious Tuberose, Ralph Lauren ‘Ralph for Woman’ or a Miller Harris gift voucher for ANY of their WUNDERBAR fragrances!

8)Blue Floral Stripe Purse – New Look (sorry, could’t find a bigger pic!)
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What’s on your Christmas list?

Amy xx

Blog Love

In the word’s of Elton John, “Saturday, Saturday, SATURDAY!!!”

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Image credit: telegraph.co.uk

But it’s not just any Saturday, it’s the Saturday of our first festive weekends! As much as I couldn’t wait to get out and get some Christmassy things underway, a part of me was also really looking forward to getting back this evening and now, finally, here I am.

As sad as this is, to me there’s nothing quite like a dark and wintery night in with Strictly, X Factor and a glass of red wine while catching up with my most favourit-ist of blogs.

So before I went on my merry way (or merry jog – I kickstarted the day with a Saturday morning Park Run), I started drafting a list of all the blogs that I follow right now and that I love the most;

I hope I haven’t offended any of the bloggers mentioned below by incorrectly listing them under the “wrong” category. Please note that what I’ve placed them under is based on my own personal perspective and not necessarily where they should correctly sit!

 

Lifestyle

Andie Mitchell – literally just changed to her own name from “Can you stay for Dinner.” Fabulous blog, primarily around food and great recipes but also includes a load of inspirational “life lessons” that I can totally relate to!

A Rose Outlook – I love reading all about the things she does in and around the outskirts of glorious Bournemouth!

Diary of a Vintage Girl – I read in the hope that some of the creative genius will rub off on me. It’s yet to happen.

Estee Lalonde – inspires me to get out and live!

Find Joy in the Journey – a beautiful writer with a beautiful family

Goldfish Kiss – less a blog and more a work of art. I get warm and fuzzy just thinking about it.

milk bubble tea – one of the first blogs I truly fell in love with. I would LOVE to know how she keeps her gorgeous interiors so immaculately white with such an adorable Dachsund running around.

Oh she glows – my most recent yet exciting discovery! Love, love LOVE! Angela inspired me to take the plunge and start my very own blog

The Londoner – I’m crap at London. Rosie makes it look effortless

 

Beauty and Fashion

Bohemian Brighton – a breath of fresh Brighton sea air

buy now, blog later – down to earth, laugh out loud funny

What Natalie Did Next – Natalie wears the most gorgeous of things. And she’s kind enough to share them with us.

Zoe London – Bone. Achingly. Cool.

Zoella – who DOESN’T follow her?!

 

Design, Home and Interiors

Natty By Design – this was my ABSOLUTE favourite interiors blog in the whole world but sadly she doesn’t write anymore so here is the link to her Pinterest page. She inspired me to dabble in furniture up-cycling resulting in some successes (and a lot of failed attempts!)

decor8 – makes design look so deceptively easy

Design*Sponge – the best “best of” lists in the whole of the webosphere

French By Design – oh, so THIS is style

Treasures & Travels – a perfect duo. Check out their “month of” pages. I guess technically a lifestyle blog but I just LOVE their DIY pages.

 

What are your favourite go-to blogs?

Amy xx

Christmas To Do List

I can’t believe how quickly the big day is approaching.

In planning terms, I’m so far behind compared to where I was this time last year. It could be in part due to the fact that I’m in the gradual process of moving in with Tom. He’s having his bathroom redecorated soon so there’s no point me moving in right now as we’d keep having to dart back to mine to shower so I’m currently in a bit of a state of limbo always packing a bag to stay between my flat and his (not to mention that I’m also packing from time to time anyway with the travelling that I’m doing for work).

This has led to some question marks over whose flat we should decorate for Christmas but I think it makes more sense to us both to do his as we’ll most likely be spending more time there.

Anyway, by this time last year I’d already foraged in the forest for the perfect stick to make Tom a 24-present “advent stick.”

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Let’s just skip the fact that he nearly bought the wall down when we went to hang it.

I really need to start getting organised so here’s my run down on the essentials (and some non essentials, but fun!) things that I need to get done before the big day;

1)Purchase and write Christmas cards. Has anyone seen any particularly nice ones this year? I’m thinking of picking mine up from a charity shop.

2)Select and purchase wrapping paper and bows. Despite getting some serious inspiration from my trip to the Ideal Home Show at Christmas Exhibition last week, I’ve still not chosen my colour scheme. I love this though! Stag heads seem to be all the rage this year. Last year we got all our wrapping paper from Ikea. I thought it looked quite nice actually.

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Here’s a picture of the amazing wonderland that was the Ideal Home Show. I would’ve put a picture up of my friends and I enjoying ourselves but I haven’t even told them that I’ve started a blog yet, let alone asked them for permission to use their photos!

3)Write gifts to buy list and actually get cracking on the shopping! I’ve actually already sent out my Christmas wish list for the year to my family (they ask me for it every year and we all send one out – I’m not just being spoilt!!) You can check out what’s on my wish list in a later post that I plan to put up soon.

4)Annual trip to one of the local garden centres to soak up their gorgeous displays and array of decorations.

5)Purchase the Christmas Radio Times TV Guide and circle or highlight everything worth watching in the holidays. It usually follows that we never actually get round to watching ANY of it but the planning is still a fun thing to do!

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Looks like it’s out in the shops tomorrow and Shaun the Sheep is this year’s cover star 🙂

6)New tradition for this year; we want to have a go at making our own booze after finding this delicious recipe for Bramble Rum in the Waitrose Magazine. I have NO idea when we’re going to find the time to make this but if and when we do I’ll keep you posted as to how we got on!

7)Download a festive playlist ready for my 10k Christmas Eve run. This has become a bit of a tradition that I first started the year I was training for the Marathon. I love getting down to the beach at twilight and nodding my hello’s to the other joggers and passers by. Everyone is in high spirits and it gives me a chance to have some quiet reflection before the frenzied hectic-ness of the next few days really kicks off. This year Tom is talking about us both going for an early morning jog on Christmas Day!! Not sure how I feel about the prospect of him out running me on the big day itself. Oh and note to self: don’t forget to move the festive tunes OUT of my running playlist at the end of December to avoid Mariah Carey’s Christmas song cropping up on shuffle during a jog in mid June.

8)Finish (and start!) my homemade mystery Christmas gift. Last year we (actually, I) decided that our family should take up the challenge of producing one homemade gift for another member of the family. We all picked a name out of a hat and whoever we chose was the person we would make for, up to a £5 limit for materials. Unfortunately I TOTALLY forgot that I’d initiated this idea until late November so now I’ll have to knock something up in the next few weeks. I wasn’t the only one who forgot, some people had already completed theirs but some others had forgotten too and requested to drop out. To make it fair, I’ve suggested that “make-a-gift” becomes an optional competition whereby those of us who do take part can win a prize if theirs is voted the most creative! If and when I get round to completing mine, I’ll post it on here (along with who my lucky recipient was!)

9)Sort out a competition prize for Number 8 – any ideas? It needs to be family friendly as the winner could either be an adult or a child. I was thinking of a restaurant voucher or something?

10)Decorate the flat! We’re planning on getting our tree tomorrow. Exciting!!

11)Get hair, make up and fancy outfits sorted for the party season! Money’s a little tight this year so it may be a case of making do and glamming up what I already have. I’m sure I can stretch to the odd glittery nail varnish or lipgloss though (or 2… or 3?)! I’m also super excited to have a hair appointment booked in at the brand spanking new Lush Hair Lab on Monday evening for a cut and treatment so watch this space on my report of the experience!

12)Start having an early think about some 2016 New Year’s Resolutions. Doesn’t hurt to have good intentions huh?! Although it would help to get a plan together for what to do on New Year’s Eve first!

I’m off to watch Jingle All the Way now. I’m told that it’s some of Arnie Schwarzenegger’s best work – how have I gone this long without seeing it?!

What’s on your holiday to do list?

Amy xx

 

 

 

Out with the old

I had a pleasant surprise this morning.

I went in the bathroom only to find that Tom has FINALLY thrown out his completely seen-better-days toothbrush. It’s not that he’s unhygienic, when it comes to personal hygiene he’s the cleanest and freshest smelling person I know but for some reason he just hadn’t got round to changing his toothbrush for a LONG time.

I mean, have you EVER seen anything like it?!

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He really had no excuse either given that I bought him a pack on Manchester United toothbrushes for Christmas last year.

I can’t be too hard on him.

He didn’t have quite such a nice surprise. He had to have a cold shower this morning where I had been in there so long and used up all the hot water!!

Have a great day!

Amy xx

What I Learnt Today, # 1

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They say you learn something new every day. I intend to diarise a series I can look back on to remind myself of things I’ve realised and take it forward into 2016.

I had an external morning meeting today for work which I was feeling pretty nervous about.

I’d prepared for it well, I knew what I wanted to say and knew exactly what I wanted to put across but I’d met the person before and, if I’m being entirely honest, felt intimidated by them.

That’s not to say they weren’t lovely upon first meeting. They were polite and charming and listened sincerely whilst I went ahead and introduced myself and then proceeded to ramble about who I am and what I do, all in an attempt to put forward an infectious enthusiasm for what I do which sadly just came across as inarticulate and frankly, a little weird. They however smiled kindly in all the right places.

I’m a pretty laid back person but when it comes to social or networking events I always suffer from a degree of anxiety. At this particular event where I first met this particular individual, they were the guest speaker and spoke so confidently and convincingly that I felt about an inch small just being around them. Added to this I couldn’t shake the feeling that, when talking one on one, although they acted in all the lovely ways that I’ve mentioned above, there was also an abruptness about them, a sort of form of assertiveness that I assumed was a reaction to me not being good enough to communicate on their level. Nonetheless after our initial conversation, a second meeting was set up and we both turned up today for a chat and a coffee.

And I was blown away.

This person who I’d initially found so intimidating was, well, exactly the same as I’d remembered them being from the first time – equally as intimidating.

BUT the difference was that as we came to converse in a natural and unforced way, I realised that their assertive, abrupt manner was not a reaction to me but was, in fact just a part of their demeanour. And I really came to warm to it. It’s so refreshing to speak to someone so straight forward, who cuts through the crap, gets to the point but still remains so caring, genuine and considerate to talk to. And they really seemed to warm to me. I hadn’t been annoying them all along! It made me remember, something I knew all along, that people in all their various forms are fascinating and that, just because people have an edge that I’m not used to, doesn’t mean that it’s a wall that they’re putting up to buffer them from me – it’s not all about me!! That’s actually a pretty self-absorbed insecurity to have.

Anyway, I recognise that this is a pretty trivial first lesson but I wanted to note it down to remind myself of it the next time I come into contact with someone who is successful and confident and who may intimidate me.

On another note, I also learnt that if you go for your afternoon jog along the beach in a mini wind storm, you’re going to end up with a sack load of sand in your mouth.

Amy xx