Christmas is coming (and here’s the proof)!

It’s no secret that I’m a fan of all things festive and Christmas-y. It’s my all-time favourite time of the year and I love making the most of it, after all we’re only allowed to celebrate this joyous festive occasion for a short period of time. So it seems crazy to me that we don’t start the celebrations until October at the earliest – madness I tell you! Anyway less ranting from me and let’s get back to this post! As a fan of this amazing event you can imagine that I would be massively excited about any sign that it’s time to get celebrating Christmas and so far I’ve spotted the following signs that Christmas is on its way. Hip hip hooray!

Costa have launched their Christmas cups (they’ve never done that before, have they?) and they are absolutely awesome – look at them! So far I’ve only tried the Snowman and gingerbread man cup but I’m pretty sure the other options of an elf and Santa himself will be just as awesome when I finally do. And of course the Starbucks red cups are back too, they basically epitomise Christmas don’t they? Also have you seen Starbucks’ new biscuits, red and white candy canes that taste scrumptious. I can’t recommend them enough!

The Christmas adverts have started to launch. Now I don’t know when it became a sign of Christmas, but over the last few years, particularly thanks to John Lewis there has most definitely been a week where Christmas ads are heralded like new signings for Manchester United. The build up and buzz they create is almost epic, and I admit I quite like it. We all know John Lewis have done some awesome ones over the years, (my favourite was this little boys excitement at giving a gift), but their Bear and Hare one for this year isn’t my favourite. Don’t get me wrong it’s cute and it’s definitely an improvement on last years awful snowman one, but it’s not quite festive enough for me I’m afraid. I think my favourite of all on the round-up here, is the Boots one (below). Isn’t it a lovely one? Not only is there snow and presents, there’s a lovely sentiment there and I like how it turns stereotypes on there head, unlike some of the big supermarkets last year with their stressed out Mum focussed ads last year.

Although it also feels remiss for me not to mention Sainsbury’s Christmas advert, which is actually a 50 minute film. How awesome is that! They’ve essentially asked people to film their Christmas and then spliced bits together. I’ve only seen the first trailer for it so far, but it’s absolutely brilliant. It captures the spirit of Christmas brilliantly and the end brought a tear to my eye.

So yet another sign that Christmas is coming? The fact that the Christmas sandwiches are here, hooray to that! I’ve not yet treated myself to one, but I know it’s only going to be a matter of time. After all Christmas sandwiches are epic as it’s like having a Christmas dinner in one bit – genius!

Finally the Spirit of Christmas happened last week and it was full of festive cheer. Not only did I have hours (literally) of fun looking for gift ideas, but there was also a load of yummy treats to try and finally lots of super-duper decorations to buy – I may have got a little carried away on one particular stall, oops!

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Have you spotted any other signs that tell you Christmas is imminent? What have I missed?

Also one other thing, this will be the very last post on this here blog. Sad I know but I’ve been contemplating changing the design of this bloglet for a while and that’s just not possible using WordPress without an awful lot of faffing. So after much consideration I’ve decided to take the leap over to Blogger and from now on you can find me at The Adventures of Fi. So when you need your fix of nattering about coffee, brownies, Christmas (of course), clothes and my inability to run, I will look forward to seeing you over there! See you soon, you lovely peeps – it’s been ace nattering with you over here. xxx

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Current favourite things!

Today on the blog I thought, you know what, lets share some favourite things. I love reading about the things that have caught other people’s eye, so why not share some of my own? So here we go – ten of the things that I’m loving right now!

  1. The sound of this ice cream. I mean Chocolate Chip Cookies and Cream Pumpkin Marshmallow Ice Cream AMAZING, right? I can’t even explain all the thoughts swirling around my brain at the thought of this concoction!
  2. The brownies I made recently, yes I mentioned them here but they were so good they needed mentioning again! They were just that good. As for the recipe, it was just good old Betty Crockers Chocolate Fudge Brownies mix, which is amazing in itself. But then I decided to add raspberries and digestive biscuits – um hell yeah I did. Talk about dream combination!
  3. My new Paperchase coloured fine line pens – so much colour, so much choice, so much fun is now involved in writing my to do list!
  4. The new Costa coffee cups, have you seen them? They have Christmas drawings all over them – bloody lovely. You can’t beat anything that’s christmass-y at this time of year.
  5. The collaboration between Rob Ryan and Tatty Devine, I basically want all the things from this collaboaration, but most of all I want the necklace below, so beautiful.
  6. Fairy lights. I’m sure I’ve mentioned this about a gazillion times in my life but they just make any room or area so much better, they’re just so pretty. I currently have four sets of lights in our living room and they make me smile every time I see them.
  7. Thor: The Dark World – I saw this film recently and I just can’t stop thinking about it. I enjoyed it so much and loved the ending. I also seem to have developed a bit of a thing for Loki and Tom Hiddleston, and this video hasn’t helped this obsession much!
  8. The 2D christmas tree below. I am most definitely going to be instigating one of these on my kitchen blackboard in a week or two (yes I do mean that soon – why not?!). Also I love all these cards (again below), I would be sending these if I wasn’t making my own cards this year.
  9. Have you started following @CuteEmergency on Twitter yet? If not you really should. As it contains the MOST adorable pictures of animals, just the thing to cheer you up after a stressful day. Definitely worth a gander when you have a chance.
  10. Finally I am super-duper excited about the return of Spooks. Not only because it’s Spooks and it’ll feature Harry, but also because Kit Harrington (John Snow in Game of Thrones) will be in it. OH. EM. GEE. Day made right there.

Image of Christmas Card Collection

Willpower schmillpower

I’ve been thinking a lot about willpower recently as at the moment  I seem unable to say no to Starbucks every morning, yes to running more than 3km every weekend or no to bright coloured nail varnish. So whilst there are many many stories that I could tell you that would prove to you just how rubbish my willpower is at the moment I thought I’d focus on just the one story. After all a post about all incidences of my rubbish willpower would take about ten hours for you to read, let alone me to write! So here’s an example of my inability to say no to new books!

Recently I reorganised all the books on my shelves and got rid of those I no longer wanted, etc, whilst I was doing this I realised that I have a lot of books on my shelf that I still haven’t got round to reading. When I say a lot what I actually mean is 64 books (plus a good 20 on my kindle), um yeah I seem to have gotten carried away there. These are books I’ve accumulated over the last few years so it’s not like I bought them all in the last month and also a lot of these are charity shop purchases and not brand new ones. But still that’s a fair amount of books to be getting on with. You’d think, that seeing as I have this many books still to read, that I wouldn’t need to buy anymore at least for a few months, until say the pile is only about 40 tall. Right?

Um well no, you see this is where my lack of willpower comes in. As since I last counted I’ve gained the following books:

  • On Kindle: Dark Places and Sharp Objects by Gillian Flynn
  • Gifted: Allegiant by Veronica Roth
  • For my bookshelf: Wonder by R. J. Palacio, Maggot Moon by Sally Gardner, Heroes of Olympus: The House of Hades, Rick Riordan and The Husband’s Secret by Liane Moriarty

Yes so another seven books, plus the eleven I was sent by my new boss to read up on before I start my new job. And that’s in the last three weeks alone – what is actually wrong with me. I mean that’s obscene isn’t it? If I don’t stop this book buying obsessive route I appear to be on right this second then I’m going to have well over a hundred books to read really soon. And that’s going to take a hell of a long time to get through – I meant I probably average one book a week so that’s over two years. So yes as you can see my willpower is officially kaput, any suggestions on how I can kick my willpower back in to place? All and any suggestions welcome, I really need to get my willpower to start working again as my bookcases really can’t take it!

I want all the Oasis bags in the world

Have you seen the awesome bags that are in Oasis at the moment? They are all ridiculously gorgeous don’t you think? I was on the site just the other day having a nosey round and I was amazed at all the lovely bags I found. It’s days like that when I really wish I had could win the lottery as I would buy and happily wear to death all of these bags – I mean just look at them. Totally bag envy is definitely something I’m feeling at the moment. Also they aren’t ridiculously expensive, which is great considering they’ll be of a very good quality like all Oasis products are.

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So the big question is, can I justify buying myself a new bag at this very moment in time, or is that absolutely ridiculous? Come on guys convince me, please!

The English Countryside – Travel Tuesday

Greeting chums, how are you all? I’ve suddenly realised that today is my last day off before my new job – eek how has that happened – so needless to say I’m slightly panicking! But anywho enough about me, what have you all been up to? Thanks for stopping by for another installment of Travel Tuesday, I can’t wait to see what travels everyone else has shared this week! In this weeks installment we’re off only a short distance, to the wonderful English countryside and bonus it fits into today’s theme of relationships!

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Over the weekend I went back to my parents house for 36 hours for a good old catch up, we’ve all been busy bees recently so it was lovely to chatter about everything. It’s always really lovely being back in Surrey as it’s 100% relaxed and you’re guaranteed gorgeous food, but this weekend I also wanted to make the most of being in the countryside. With the gorgeous autumnal weather we’ve been having recently it was the perfect excuse to get outside and see all the beautiful autumnal sights. Sights that you don’t often get to see in the heart of London town! So that’s what we did! We pulled on our wellies, our scarves and our coats and drove ten minutes to Ranmore Common and went for a tramp in the woods. We wandered around for about 45 minutes and it was so lovely to be out in the fresh air with four of my favourite people (tick on the theme)! We were all very excited when we came across a load of chestnuts and couldn’t resit picking up a fair amount of those for roasting later on (we did leave some for the squirrels – don’t worry!). There’s something amazing about the crisp autumn air that just makes me warm and snuggley inside and isn’t it wondrous when all you can hear is the rustling of the leaves or the snap of twigs as you go a little off piste. Oh it was such a lovely afternoon and I realised I really must pop back down to the countryside more often, even if just for a quick walk int he leaves. It really is so blissful.

I won’t bore you with more waffling, instead have a gander at the images below to see the glorious autumnal colours, what we got up to, how stunningly beautiful everything was and how much mud I found!

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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.

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

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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

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