October’s budgeting bloggers round up

Greetings blogging friends, how are you on this lovely morning? I’m crossing my fingers that you’re snuggled up with a good coffee on a squidgy sofa rather than working hard (that’s my current position anyway!). A girl can dream right? So today’s post is all about my  October clothes shopping and how well I’ve done with the purse strings this month. As per usual I’m joining up with Franish and all the other lovely budgeting bloggers, so don’t forget to pop over to see how they’ve done too! As for me I’ve had an okay month in October – no thanks to the big spree in just one shop in the middle of the month. But despite this I I somehow  managed to keep to my budget and only spend £115.98, which leaves me a little bit to add to the Christmas fund – hooray! So what did I get for this money, well not a huge amount compared to last month to be honest, but I’m not to worried about that as it’s all lovely stuff!
Budgeting Bloggers: October

 

The last months shopping exploits have been in just two shops: H&M (for no less than three pairs of shoes) and Matalan for everything else. All the shoes I bought have been won loads already and are perfect for what I needed, so that’s a bonus! I have been searching for boots like these for ages as they look so practical, are comfy and can be worn with loads in the autumn months. And these ones don’t disappoint. As for the pumps I’ve been needing some for ages that were interesting colours, so I’ve ticked that off this month at least!

As for the clothes, I couldn’t say no to the tweed biker jacket as it was a mere £15 and it’s just lovely. [I think I’m a little bit in love with it if I’m honest!] As for the other jacket/blazer thing I loved the pattern (not the exact one on here, it’s a flowery pattern) so I had to buy it, I mean a black and white blazer is an essential yes? Not in the above picture is a navy and red striped long sleeve top that is perfect for lazy Sundays and walks on the common – very similar to the waffley one above, which was perfect until I spilt coffee down it – oops! As I don’t own skinny black jeans I could hardly say no to these black ones for a mere £12 could I? Especially when they fit absolutely perfectly (and look awesome with the new boots)! The one other purchase I made this month was a simple grey tshirt with fake leather capped sleeves. This top is such a simple item and was relatively cheap (only £8) but I’m totally in love with it. It is such an easy top to throw on with a pair of jeans and automatically looks like you’ve made an effort, which let’s be honest everyone loves right?

So there we have it, quite a lot of awesome things for my money this month, what about you how has your budget gone this month? Has it been successful or not?

Hello and Goodbye

Hello & Goodbye

source

Today I leave Penguin Towers after five and a half years working here doing my dream job. As you can imagine I’ve got a million different thoughts around this, not least excitement and trepidation. I don’t really know how to sum up all these thoughts and I’m honestly not sure that today is the day for working that all out in my head. As I want to enjoy my last day here and say goodbye to all the wonderful friends I’ve made, before heading off on a new adventure at my new job next week. So I think this picture and quote says it all, after all it’s right and these two words will be used by me a lot over the next week or so. Wish me luck!

A Trip To Meet The Otters – Travel Tuesday

Happy Tuesday lovely peeps and welcome to another edition of Travel Tuesday with Bonnie and Co. How have you all been since the last edition, anything exciting to share? Today is the second to last day at the job I’ve been at for five and a half years, so ti’s all very exciting in these parts. I can’t believe this day has actually arrived and whilst I’m sad I can’t wait for the super exciting new things to come! Anyway back to travelling, today I thought I’d share my recent trip to an otter sanctuary, which was ten days ago during my trip to The Peak District.IMG_0595

Whilst we were having a thoroughly relaxing weekend in the countryside we decided to venture half an hour from where we were staying and visit the Chestnut Centre Otter, Owl and Wildlife Park which is nestled on the side of a hill in Chapel-en-le-frith. If you’re ever up that way I most definitely recommend it as it’s such a great afternoon out! We were there for a good three hours and as well as having a lovely long walk around the hills we encountered some beautiful creatures.

IMG_0515

IMG_0531

IMG_0533

A particular favourite of mine was the deer that were grazing on the side of the hill not two metres from where we were wandering, they were absolutely beautiful and seemed so peaceful. They didn’t seem bothered at all that we were so close, they just seemed to enjoy roaming around the land. It was great to see thm in their natural habitat and to be so close.

IMG_0512

IMG_0529

IMG_0518

IMG_0584

As well as the deers (with their baby foals) we also saw loads of silky otters splashing around in the water. There were giant ones as well as small ones in five or six areas across the park – three of these seemed to be doing an exercise routine where they swam and chased each other round their enclosure multiple times (so sweet). Plus we saw pole cats, which are very cute (if not a little shy) too.

IMG_0598

IMG_0570

As well as the deer, otters and pole cats there were a lot of owls to stare at as well, everything from cute barn owls and snowy white ones to ones I’ve never seen before. I think these were my favourites as they were the most unexpected – with their puffy and fluffy feathers and big haunting eyes they really were gorgeous. Although I’m not sure I’d like to meet them in the woods on a dark night!

IMG_0564

IMG_0580

It was such a lovely day out and perfect for getting a long walk in without even realising it! I really did fall in love with The Peak District and I can’t believe that I’ve barely even visited such a stunningly beautiful part of the world – I really have been missing out. Have a great rest of the week everyone. xx

My most recent Smiley Happy Things

Smiley_Happy_Things

Hello lovely people and how are you this monday morning, did you have a pleasant weekend and are you ready and raring to go with this week? I’ve only got three days of work this week as I leave my current job (after five and a half years!) on Wednesday – eek! I’m equal parts exccited and nervous! Anyway back to today, the ten things making me smile this week, here we go…

1) Lovely long natterings with friends
2) Brilliant books – In the last week I’ve read Catching Fire and I’ve started Mockingjay and I’m really enjoying rereading these YA gems. I’d forgotten so much of what happens and they are really brilliant reads

20131026-211301.jpg
3) Lazy mornings doing nothing but reading and coffee drinking, oh if only that was my life
4) Exploring new areas whilst we search for a potential new home – exciting times indeed!
5) Excellent Twitter responses, I’m looking at you @jamesblunt. What a great response to negative comments: showing you have a sense of humour and not taking yourself too seriously

source

6) Watching live music – Tyler Hilton was superb live on Wednesday night and I’ve been listening to his music ever since. I love Loaded Gun the most I think (at least right at this minute)

20131026-211313.jpg
7) Five Guys –  I finally made it there this week and it was even better than I expected. There’s something in those fries that make them moreish, I’m telling you I could have eaten five or six helpings. As for the free monkey nuts, scrumptious

20131026-211325.jpg
8) Pretending I am able to buy whatever clothes I want with no budget constraints as part of the M&S Style Board competition for bonfire night. My entry is here, why not check it out?

9) Quality times with my sisterlings – whether it’s eating, chatting or just sitting doing nothing together I love them so much
10) Watching American Football at Wembley – wow!

Image 1 of ASOS Jumper With Star Elbow Patch

11) Treating myself to this simply gorgeous jumper. I’m sorry but I can’t say no to a snuggly jumper with star elbow pads. I mean wow love it!

What about you? What were your favourite things this week? Have you been loving all the autumnal weather and have you been making the most of snuggling up inside with hot chocolate and a good book. Surely that can’t just be me?

42 down and 10 to go!

Greetings you lovely lot, how are things? As the month of October is almost over (how in the hell did that happen by the way?!?!) it’s time for a bit of a reading recap and I’m delighted to say that I’ve now read 42 books towards my reading challenge for 2013, so that means just another ten to go – whoopee to me. I’m actually ridiculously impressed with myself, especially after a few months of rubbish reading habits, so just ten more to read in the 10 weeks before the end of the year – not much pressure then! This month I managed to read four brilliant books and I refound my reading rhythm, hooray to that. About bloody time I say! My reads this month have been a mix of ones I’ve been meaning to read for ages and ages, old favourite and an impulse buy. I think this variety, and the variety of different genres that the books fall into, really helped me find my reading rhythm and meant that I enjoyed each and every book as often when things get a bit samey it can seem a bit stale and not work. At least for me anyway!
October reads
The Little Coffee Shop in Kabul – this was an impulse buy and I really enjoyed it. It was great to visit a country and to read about a situation I’d never pondered: How do the people living in these war-torn places survive and go about everyday life? It was interesting learning a lot about the customs and traditions of Afghanistan too. It really was fascinating, although the book could have done with not ending so perfectly and all perfectly tied up as it seemed a bit too forced.

Treasure Island – I’m ashamed I’ve not read this book before, I mean it’s a classic after all. Whilst I did enjoy it I don’t think it’s a recommended read or a repeat book for me. It’s just not my sort of thing! But at least I’ve now read it and don’t feel like I’m as badly read anymore!

When God Was a Rabbit – My friend lent me this book ages ago and somehow I’ve never gotten round to reading it. I had such high expectations after all I’ve heard about it and I’m so pleased that it definitely lived up to these expectations, it really was absolutely brilliant and I thoroughly enjoyed it. The fact I finished in in two days is proof enough of that! It was absolutely beautifully written and such a wonderful insight into one persons life. I loved the way it showed one woman’s important relationships and it felt so realistic and not forced or too fictional. Simply wonderful

Catching Fire – I haven’t read this book for a couple of years so with the film out soon I needed to reread it and I’m so glad I did as I’d forgotten pretty much the entire plot! I remembered the key points: the old victors have to head back into the Hunger Games, but basically everything else had spilled out of my head. What a total numpty I am. Now that I’ve remembered what happened I’m flabbergasted I didn’t remember sooner as it’s such so brilliant isn’t it!? I’m now super excited for the film to arrive,. why is it not out this weekend?

What about you, what lovely books have you been reading recently and recommendations for me to add to the ever-growing pile?

They know me so well!

Happy Thursday you lovely bunch and how the devil are you all? I’m fairly exhausted to be honest, who knew finishing everything up at work before I leave would be so exhausting, I honestly have no idea if I’m coming or going at the moment! Thankfully I had the morning off of work today so I have been able to slowly pull myself together this morning rather than the usual craziness. I had planned to do a ridiculous numbers of jobs with my morning (gym, post office, cobblers, supermarket, sort out the flat) but instead I seem to have found myself at Starbucks with a coffee and catching up on 115 blogs. Yes I’ve been neglecting my fellow bloggers recently too, oopsy.

Anyway back to today’s post, sorry if the title of this one has you humming or singing one particular song (or is that just me?). I had to name this post in this way as when my sisters spoilt me recently it made me realise how well they know me. I could not have bought myself anything better than the gifts they surprised me with!
When they gave me a bag of delights to celebrate my new job I was absolutely flabbergasted, bless them. They really are little people of amazingness. Like I even needed any such thing (although I’m totes not taking any of it back)! So what did they get me I hear you cry? Well the below shows you all the wonders I received!

20131024-110511.jpg
Aren’t my gifts just lovely? I’d definitely be hard pressed to share a favourite as they’re all just so me. I adore the notebook, even though I do feel a panic to fill it with brilliance, everyone needs a badger mug (cuteness doesn’t even come close in descriptive terms) I love the pens pink and purple pens and I’m most impressed that they got me an edible card from Biscuiteers it is one of my favourite companies after all! All in all these guys did an awesome job in choosing presents that made me smile and that I would have chosen for myself. I heart them to the moon and back for being as awesome as they have been for giving me this lovely haul. Now I’m all set for my first day, less than two weeks to go. Eek!

20131024-110604.jpg
What about you what’s the best present you’ve ever been given? Have a tremendous Thursday everyone. xxx

Adventures in the Peak District – Travel Tuesday

20131021-085101.jpgOn Sunday I got back from three nights in the Peak District and it was an absolutely brilliant weekend – I loved every second! I’ve only ever been to the Peak District once before when I went for a walk around the Ladybower Reservoir up near Sheffield. You can read more about that over here! Since then I’ve been wanting to go back as it looks just so beautiful, and finally this weekend that happened! The reason? The younger sister’s birthday celebrations and seeing as she’s studying at Sheffield University, a family trip to the peaks seemed logical. After much searching we found a beautiful little cottage overlooking the river in Bakewell and we were set! We arrived on Thursday afternoon and didn’t leave this patch of paradise until Sunday lunchtime and I can honestly say I was so super relaxed whilst there. It certainly lived up to my super high expectations and the scenery was just superb, despite the less than glorious weather. But hey, what are you going to do about that?

20131021-085048.jpg

Whilst there we did some day trips – to see a friend in Leeds, to the Chestnut Centre Conservation and Wildlife Park and to Bolsover Castle but the shining star in the weekend was in my humble opinion, the lovely town of Bakewell. I can imagine in the summer it is fairly hectic and busy as it’s so picturesque, is close to the famous Chatsworth House and is renowned for its Bakewell Tarts, but during our weekend it was an okay amount of busy. We went for a few walks around and into the village and it seemed every corner you turned took you to quaint shops or beautiful views, not to mention a pretty river and a lovely sounding weir. Some of my favourite photos of the village are sprinkled in this post, although I’m not sure you can appreciate it’s beauty in these. As for places we visited that I can thoroughly recommend? The super cheap and brilliantly stocked charity shops, the atmospheric and brilliantly decorated Pointing Dog and Duck pub, which served food that was out of this world (there really aren’t the right superlatives I’d need to describe their chicken, leek, ham and mushroom pie), lovely looking coffee shops and Rajas – home to delicious tasting curries!

20131021-085012.jpg

20131021-084930.jpg

We did of course treat ourselves to Bakewell Tarts whilst there and they really are something else when you taste a tart that is how it’s meant to be – none of the Kiplingified nonsense you are taught is the correct why. If you’ve never had one I highly recommend you rectify that asap!

20131021-084958.jpg

20131021-084943.jpg

So yes that’s what I got up to over the weekend, exploring the beautiful peak district with family, if you’ve never been I highly recommend it and I will most definitely be going back. Any suggestions for where I should visit next? I’m all ears. Happy Travel Tuesday and don’t forget to visit all the other lovely people who are linking up posts with Bonnie and the rest of the lovely Travel Tuesday brigade. Happy travelling from your desk/sofa/bed everyone.

20131021-084918.jpg

20131021-084905.jpg

20131021-084846.jpg

A Compass Rose

Merry times away and happy things

Smiley_Happy_Things

Yesterday I got back from four days in the Peak District where I had a whale of a time with my family to celebrate my younger sister’s birthday. Most of my smiley happy things from the past week relate to this trip as it was so much fun – oh how I wish I was still there and not at my desk in Central London! Even though the weather was mainly cloudy and a bit drizzly it didn’t seem to matter as we were staying in a lovely little cottage and having a ball – more on the weekend tomorrow in my Travel Tuesday post. So let’s get down to these smiley happy things!

Super cute animals – whilst in the peaks we stayed in Bakewell where we just happened to be overlooking the river and a lot of really cute ducks and even a few swans, so sweet! We also spent Saturday at a nature reserve full of owls and otters, which were absolutely adorable, I could have spent hours there watching the otters splash around in the water. Cuteness!

20131020-201249.jpg
Family – I spent the entire weekend with my family and it was so good to be all together again, even if for such a short time. I think the last time all six of us were together for longer than ten hours was in Wales in August, so it was high time for another get together! We got up to all sorts; from walks and meals out, to lazy times on the sofa and late night game playing. Not to mention hours in the car ranting at the radio or singing along to the radio – I loved ever second and I need to start planning the next trip.

20131020-201154.jpg

Good food – Whilst in Bakewell we did of course treat ourselves to the obvious – a proper Bakewell Tart, but we also consumed a LOT of other things including: GBK burgers (and fries with satay sauce), cooked breakfasts, cocktails, curry, pub lunches featuring the most delicious chicken liver pate ever, chicken, leek, ham and mushroom pie, birthday cake and lasagna. Yummy, yum, yum! A good reason why I need to go for a run. Good food also extends into the rest of the week with sausage casserole, hot chocolates, breakfast at Le Pain, triple chocolate cookies and an obscene amount of marshmallow brownies.

20131020-201223.jpg

20131020-201035.jpg

Non Peak District related good things from this week include a trip to Costco. I don’t know why but something about that place makes me so happy. I think it’s the combined fact of being able to buy yummy things in bulk (hello 48 packets of peanut m&m’s or 3 litres of sweet chilli sauce) and wandering between aisles of books, then TVs and then crisps. Such fun!

Autumn love – I’m so pleased we’re completely in the throes of Autumn as it’s my favourite season. I found the perfect leaf when briefly in my parents garden and I just love shuffling through the leaves each morning and the click clack of winter boots in the paving slabs.

20131020-201117.jpg

Sisters – Sort of related to point two above (as they are my family after all) but over the last week my sisters have proved they’re pretty awesome through a number of ways. Firstly through comedy Snapchats and tweets, then with lovely surprise presents to say ‘well done on your new job’ and finally when Bex gave me one of her rings, well a set of three matching ones, that no longer fit her – how awesome are they! I’m super lucky to have them in my life!

Pretty printed paper – I love wrapping the gifts I give in beautiful paper and with lovely ribbon and this week I found some gorgeous brown paper in Paperchase that had lovely patterns on. As soon as I saw the three designs, I had to buy them all – I mean look, swirly text, cute colourful birds and interesting animals. How could I not buy these?

20131020-201058.jpg

What about you, what things have made you smile this week, I’d love to know! x

Boring walls: a problem and a solution!

Happy Sunday one and all, how are you all? I’m away this weekend in the stunningly beautiful Peak District with the family so hopefully I’m having a whale of a time. I will obviously update you all as soon as possible upon my return to London – you lucky lucky things! Anyway back to today’s post, let’s talk about art. For a while now I’ve been wanting to do something more interesting with my bedroom walls as they feel a little bit unloved. Don’t get me wrong they’re not bare, I do have stuff on them, lovely stuff in fact – but it’s all a bit higgledy-piggledy and things have been put up without thought. So this needs work.

I just wasn’t sure what to do until I saw a recent post by Will at Bright Bazaar’s recent, which got me all excited. As a gallery wall is most definitely the answer to my boring bedroom wall problem. The only problem is that I only have a couple of pictures in my room  – this one and a landscape picture of the wonderful Moreaki Boulders in New Zealand. So what I need are a few more frames to work with, so of course that means I’m on the lookout for some gorgeous works of art! Current faves are below and weirdly I seem to have headed towards brilliant quotes (let’s be honest we knew there’d be a Potter one in there somewhere didn’t we) and skylines/maps. Not sure what that’s all about but I must find both things fairly inspiring, which to be fair isn’t the worst idea for my bedroom wall. Surely waking up to lovely inspirational quotes is a good plan – won’t it just mean I’m taking the inspiring words to heart and doing more? Who knows! But maybe I should buy all of the below and see!

Wall inspiration

Dr Seuss quote / Albus Dumbledore quote / Bookshelf picture / Edinburgh Skyline / Always Remember / Life is too short / Hope quote / World Map / London Skyline

What’s your favourite quote and would you ever pop it on your wall? Any suggestions about what I should be adding to my wall, all ideas/suggestions/thoughts welcome. I’m clearly in dire need of help!

A treat for myself, making a list

Happy Friday you lovely people, how are things? I’m (hopefully) nice and settle in the Peak District for a weekend of family fun. To be honest I can’t wait for board games, my favourite people, scrumptious food and lovely walks in the countryside – bliss I tell you. What about you, what are you up to over the next few days?

In a few weeks I will be starting a brand new job, which means leaving the place I’ve worked at for the last five and a half years. Gulp. Yeah big news alert. I’m massively excited about this move (more explanation about that and why I’m moving soon I promise) but it goes without saying that I’m going to miss my current job. I’ve made so many fantastic friends there and I really don’t know how I’ll cope without them sitting next to me or indulging me in multiple coffee and cake trips. Very sad times indeed.

To cheer myself up I’ve decided that when I leave my current job I’m going to treat myself to something lovely. Not just to make me smile (yes I’m that shallow) but also because 1) I’ll have a new better wage, 2) finally leaving is a big deal for me and it has taken me a while to pluck up the courage to do it, so a reward is needed and 3) something tells me that the first few weeks in my new job might be quite hectic, so I think something nice might get me through those crazy few weeks. It’ll act as a reminder of why I’ve made the change I’m making. Well anyway that’s my excuse for this little gathering of lovely things and I’m sticking to it!

Treating myself
Treating myself a little bit more

So the above thirteen things are all gorgeous and clearly no explanation is needed for any of them, yet…you know me and you know there’s nothing I like more than waffling on about stuff. So first up bags – I’m in dire need of a new one, as my current one is being used to death, so a bright coloured bag would be perfect to see me through the winter. I obviously won’t be buying the massively expensive Kate Spade bag but I had to add it because it’s so wonderfully gorgeous and I will be buying it once I win the lottery. There are a fair few rings on the above list and this is because I’ve not been able to wear mine for a while – thanks to them needing to b e re-sized – so it would be good for my fingers to not be so bare. I love the Monica Viander ones, they are so beautiful and I like the idea of mixing them up and wearing one or three, depending on how I feel. Which I suppose I could do with all these bracelets too so simple and I always like the idea of multiple ones on one arm, so far I only really have two that I can wear at once, so these three would be good additions!

Iv’e just noticed that there’s a bit of a Kate Spade thing going on on this list – what can I say I want everything on that site. As for the two cushions, they had to be included as I love cushions on the sofa and my bed – so snuggly. Finally I love that purple purse from Fossil, such a beautiful colour and pockets for everything I could possibly need to put in it (including the money I won’t have once I buy this!).

So there we have it my list of potential candidates for when I get round to treating myself, don’t worry I’ll check back soon to let you know which of the above lovely things I went with!

%d bloggers like this: