A fantabulous send off!

Smiley_Happy_ThingsThere was only one thing I could write about this week in my smiley happy things post and that’s the wonderful people who I used to work with as this week they gave me the best send off ever. I really am eternally grateful to them for being such amazing stars and for spoiling me so much. Even though I no longer work with them I know that I’ve made a good set of friends in these people and I’ll be forever grateful to them all for making the last five and a half years bloody brilliant! On my last few days at my old job I was thoroughly spoilt by my lovely colleagues friends with homemade biscuits, beautiful flowers, rocky road, lunches out, multiple coffee trips, a sensational personalised card, a plethora of perfect presents, a lovely evening of nachos, drinks and nattering and some wonderfully kind words. I really was massively spoiled and it really did make the end of an era something special. It was great to ignore the scary parts and all my nerves and focus on the lovely things. I really will miss my old job and I’m very thankful that I’ve made some pretty awesome friends there that I know I’ll see numerous times in the future.

Getting crafty. A sparkly word cushion

Greetings friends and how are you on this happy day? I’ve popped on to the blog today to share a recent crafty project that I’ve finally got round to doing. I’ve been crazy lazy over the last few months and it took me three, yes three months to finally get going on this project – oops! So here it is, the lovely pillow I made (don’t look too closely, it’s most definitely not perfect!).

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So anyway down to the project! A while back I made the somewhat ¬†impulsive decision to make the little sisterling something for her birthday. I had no clue what this thing would be but I knew that was what I wanted to do – no idea why as I’m truthfully not the most crafty of people. I mean I can knit but that’s about it for crafting skills and really my knitting speed is so far from quick that the time frame I had once I started (two weeks) would mean she’d end up with a scarf four inches long. Less than ideal. Thankfully I then remembered about the post I saw an age ago on Sugar and Cloth and have since hidden in the recess of my mind as something to make one day when I had the need and (perhaps more importantly) owned a sewing machine. Now I still don’t own a sewing machine but a while back I borrowed my Mum’s and I still haven’t used it, so it seemed the perfect opportunity! So as the planets seemed to be perfectly aligned it was time to get down to making a gorgeous sparkly word pillow.

I knew the little love bug that is Beccabear would love such a pillow as she’s now in her first rented house and has enjoyed accumulating bits and bobs to personalise it with. Plus as a student I know she will be spending a lot of her time over the next few years sitting on her bed reading and typing away – so comfy pillows are essential, well they were for me anyway!¬†After a lot of deliberation over the word for the pillow I settled on ‘dream’ as I like how its equal parts fluffy and motivational. Does that make sense, or is that just a peek into my really weird mind?!

I really enjoyed making this cushion and it’s made me determined to give some other projects ago. I just need to decide on a new project to start, hm decisions, decisions.

Winter Warmers

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Now that the clocks have gone back I’m properly embracing the autumnal and wintery feel in the air. I suppose yes you could argue I did that a while back, after all I’ve been rocking the tights and boots combo and drinking copious amounts of the autumn flavoured drinks for quite a while now. But it’s only this past week that I’ve been looking at warming winter woollies and I’ve decided that my current striped mittens just won’t do. The number of holes in them make them more useful for draining pasta than warming hands so the hunt has commenced for the perfect pair of mittens. Above are the current contenders. What do you think, do you have a preference? I’m heading towards the cream and neon pink ones at the moment (5) as they’re so unusual although maybe a more neutral pair like number six is most sensible?¬†But the ones with the string do hark back to one particular outfit I owned as a five-year old. For a long time it ¬†was all about the mittens, shiny buckled shoes and my special ‘smart’ coat that was a dark blue with a black fur collar. Gosh how I loved that coat!

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

H&M high heel boots (£25) / H&M gray flats & dark green flats (£7,99 each) / Tweed Biker Jacket РMatalan (£15) / Zebra Print Blazer РMatalan (£18) / Soon Skinny Jeans РMatalan (£12) / Falmer Waffle Stripe Top РMatalan (£12)
 

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

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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!

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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

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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

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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 Рexciting 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

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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)

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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

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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!

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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!

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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?

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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!

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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!

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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.

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A Compass Rose
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