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.


Afternoon tea in London town

Last week I spent a lot of time seeing the sights of London and I made me so grateful that I get to call this city my home. It’s full of amazing sights and beautiful buildings, and as I found out this week, is home to gorgeous afternoon teas. I obviously did the usual weekly activities of work, seeing friends, drinking coffees and not much in the way of exercise but instead of sharing that dull stuff I thought I’d discuss the best afternoon tea ever. That’s more exciting right. When cake is involved I think anything’s exciting! So anyway a really good friend of mine is currently over from Australia so it was the perfect excuse for a day in London town. We started with a wander around Trafalgar Square, to Regent Street and then up to the Langham Hotel for afternoon tea. After an amazing afternoon tea we had a little peruse around Regents Street (I may have bought a few things, oopsy!) before drinks in Covent Garden. Just a lovely day all round. But back to that delicious afternoon tea…


Big Ben in the early morning light


Nelson’s Column and the Trafalgar lions


The Stunning National Portrait Gallery


Nelson’s Column in the glorious sunshine



The Palm Court at The Langham Hotel

Amazingly enough I’ve never done a proper afternoon tea in London before, so I was super excited about this one. The Palm Court at the Langham is known for its afternoon tea and all the wonderful things I’d heard were not exaggerated even a little bit. We started with champagne – you sort of have to don’t you? – then had tea (not a fan) and some form of berry jelly which was scrumptious. We then tucked into a small mountain of sandwiches. There were five different options and I must have had about eight in total (mainly egg which were scrumptious). I mean yes I probably should have stopped after one of each, but when someone comes round with a silver platter of sandwiches multiple times it’d be wrong to say no, right?!

After the sandwiches came the lightest scones I’ve ever had and then the wonderful array of cakes you see below. There were strawberry meringue lollipops, mini victoria sponge cakes, dark chocolate mousse/shortbread concoctions and my favourite miniature banana cakes.  I just loved it all and especially loved how wonderfully everything was presented. It really was a very special treat and I highly recommend it when you have a special occasion to celebrate. I for one am trying to work out what occasion I can celebrate next, maybe the fact that it’s almost Christmas, does that justify another afternoon tea?

What about you, what’s the best thing about the city you life in and how do you treat yourself on special occasions?







Shenanigans in Leeds and being back at work!

This week I’ve…

  • Somehow managed to survive five days of work and man was it HARD. Eurgh there’s a reason people bring sweets back from holidays, you need something to keep you going when you’re stuck in the office for hours and not sat on a beach! Thankfully I made it through the work week, due to lovely people and lovely coffee.
  • Not run at all, oops. I kept finding excuses to go for a long walk instead of a decent run. Oops, but the thought was there – hopefully that means next week I’ll be better…
  • Finally finished watching The West Wing with my friends. It’s taken us eighteen months but we’ve finally done it, we’ve got through seven series’ of epic episodes. Thankfully I still love it as much as I ever did and I can’t wait to start watching it again.
  • Had some really productive and useful work meetings – I’m rather excited about the next few months if the things we’re planning come to fruition!
  • Eaten lots of Pringles and had a lot of biscuits – sometimes you have to embrace it, or at least that’s been my plan this week!
  • wished so many times that I was still on a beach or in the middle of nowhere, seriously Wales seems so long ago.
  • Finished the first book in Charlie Higson’s The Enemy series, and it was brilliant. I’ll write a review of it soon – promise.
  • Enjoyed a lovely weekend in Leeds with awesome friends
  • Had two train journeys: one was ridiculously unpleasant (overcrowded, smelly and loud) and the second was nice (first class, good food, lots of space and quiet time)
  • Bought the most amazing new pj bottoms (circus patterned) new bag and new shoes!
  • spend a bit too much on baby clothes in Gap, it’s good preparation for Christmas and all the new babies that seem to be appearing in my friends’ and families lives
  • Had a lovely walk around Roundhay Lake in Leeds before a scrumptious lunch in the park. It was only slightly chilly.
  • Ate scrumptious Thai food in Chapel Allerton – such a cute village and such delicious food
  • Made turkey burgers for the first time ever and they were actually super-easy and delicious. I will definitely be making them again, although next time I think I’ll try this recipe to make them a little more interesting, as let’s be honest BBQ is a welcome addition to any form of meat!
  • Watched some epic cheesy films – Music and Lyrics and The Prince and Me. Is there anything better than watching some of your favourite films with good friends and chocolate?!
  • Discovered a new magazine (Mollie Makes) it’s really interesting and has some really great crafty tutorials and ideas. I could feel my creative juices flowing as I read it on the train
  • Made myself happy by trying a new belt tying thing – it’s something simple but it’s really cheered me up! Small things.

Pinterest Corner #28 – Simple Things

I’m sure I’ve mentioned before that I’m a big fan of the lovely magazine The Simple Things. I just love it so much, it’s like an aura of calm descends around me as soon as I sit down to give it a good read. There’s so much lovely stuff in this beautifully designed magazine and I’m constantly amazed at the things I’m being told and shown. I like that they focus on the simple, easy, nice things that make such a difference in our lives. It’s not about the faff and the fuss, it’s about all those little things that are important. They continue this on their Pinterest page where they get others to pin their simple thing. The other day when browsing on there I got a bit carried away and kept exclaiming, oh I love that, or that’s cute. So it made me think about my current simple things and I thought I’d share them with you.

20130716-080916.jpgLilac and mint. This is my new favourite colour combination discovered by happy accident thanks to my nails inc lilac nail varnish and my brand new Forever 21 accessory purchasing. So far I’ve work this colour combination three times in ten days – good work right?!

The sun. It’s out. Hooray! Quick take pretty pictures, drink ice-cold drinks, treat yourself to an ice cream, laze in the garden and dig out the BBQ, say ‘hello again’ to the freckles and slather on the suncream. Before it goes we must make the most of it – it’s our duty as Brits!

Gooseberry Jam. My parents make the best gooseberry jam and I’m very lucky that they’ve just delivered a new batch of it to our flat. So far I’m halfway through jar number one and it’s at it’s best when accompanied with Jacob’s Crackers and a very sticky brie. Yumalicious!

Rich Tea biscuits. We rediscovered these recently and I’ve realised how underrated these lovely simple biscuits are. They are the perfect accompaniment to all hot drinks and when you’re in need of something sweet they really hit the spot. Plus I’m able to eat ten in one go and I feel no guilt – brilliant!


Evening strolls around Clapham Common. Unbeatable on a Summer’s evening if you ask me. It’s the perfect way to do some exercise so you don’t feel guilty about the upcoming Rich Tea consumption but it doesn’t exhaust you and you can have a good old natter and a nosey at the cricketers/picnickers/runners frequenting the common at the same time. Blissful

What are your simple things?

Pinterest Corner #26 – Friends Forever Awesome

Last night I was stumbling around my Pinterest boards looking for inspiration to strike for this week’s Pinterest Corner when I happened upon the below image from Friends and preceded to laugh for the next five minutes. No exaggeration. It just cracks me up every time.



Once I’d stopped laughing and wiped the tears from my eyes I knew I’d hit upon my post for today. The wonders of Friends. I was a bit of a latecomer to this show and only become addicted to it when they were on the series where a few episodes are London-based. I’m not sure how it passed me by for quite so long but as soon as I discovered it I was all over it. I must have watched every episode about twenty times as sometimes most of the time there’s nothing better – it really is just the perfect remedy. I love all the characters and could never be forced to choose a favourite – they each have their own brilliant quirks and often suit the mood that I’m in. The other day I was watching the episode where Rachel has an eye infection and I wouldn’t let anyone change the channel until the very end as I knew the best bit (where they attack Rachel with the eye drops) was right at the end of the show – absolutely genius!! I love it!

So anyway I’m glad I came across this image as it reminded me about my absolute love for this show. And below are a few other classic moments from genius that was Friends. Number five is possibly one of my all time favourite moments – Ross is hilarious! As for image three this episode is one of my all-time favourites. I just love the fact that Phoebe ends up with a massive Christmas ornament as a brooch, the bit when Joey is doing lunges without underwear on whilst wearing ALL of Chandler’s clothes and Monica with the answer phone message is just epic!  I had to choose two Chandler images as the kissing scene is amazing and I just love his amazing sarcastic moments. In fact I just love him! The only image I couldn’t find that I love was an image of Ross as the Holiday Armadillo – it makes me smile every time!

1 / 2 / 3 / 4 / 5

Smiley Happy Things

With the challenge of blogging every day in May I’ve been a little rubbish at keeping up with some of my other posts – not that I have a schedule for my blog normally (well apart from Pinterest Corner, but we’d best not mention that area…) but I do like to talk about certain things on a regular basis. Like the things that are making me smile at any given moment. So today I’m going to rectify that today and natter away about some lovely fun things.

First up we have a brand new show that I’m keeping my fingers crossed will make it’s way over to the UK in the Autumn. It’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., which is a spin off from the Avengers movie and it looks amazing. I won’t spoil it by telling you too much, but basically the tag line is: Not all heroes are super….

I’m also very excited about finally seeing the trailer for About Time, which looks very much like my sort of film. Plus anything with Bill Night in is sure to be a winner, especially if it’s a comedy. I’m a little annoyed that it’s not our right this minute though? September is an awful long way away after all!

Just this week I discovered the A Beautiful Mess iPhone app and I love it. It makes such a different on blog posts to be able to make more fun and interesting pictures when I haven’t mastered (or don’t own) photoshop. I’m a little concerned I’m getting a bit addicted to the app though – uh oh – check out some of my recent masterpieces below and get downloading it, it’s so easy to use and it makes pictures so quirky and lovely!


The final thing that has been keeping me going and making me smiley this week is catching up with good friends. I’ve had a couple of fun days/nights this week with lovely freinds, some of who I haven’t seen for ages and it’s just been so nice to sit, natter and have fun together. Sometimes it’s those simple things that you miss when you’ve had a really stressful or busy few weeks.

Fun and games in Newcastle and London

The last week was all about scrumptious food and family fun with a bit of travelling thrown in. All in all it was a good week although I could most definitely do with another day off to get over the bank holiday weekend – I’m ridiculously tired as it was so full on. But I would definitely do it all again if I could! So what did the first few days of May entail, well there was:

  • A cancelled spin class for a night on the sofa with yet more Game of Thrones and giant chocolate buttons #bliss
  • Walks after work
  • Propositions from various stag party members up in Newcastle
  • Seeing the siterling in lovely Sheffield for hugs and laughs
  • Late night mochas in a mug that says it all (see below)
  • A lovely meal at Piccolino’s with the sisters and a lovely friend – COCKTAILS!
  • Homemade sausage casserole
  • The ritual opening up of the exercise jar to find 25 lovely pounds – which were then spent during my weekend away!
  • Nights away, each hotel was an improvement on the last: Premier Inn, Jury’s Inn and finally the absolutely gorgeous Matfen Hall
  • A pedicure with a VERY talkative women, who didn’t take my monosyllabic replies and open book hints
  • Reserved seating mix ups – eurgh
  • Lots of touristy wandering
  • The first airing of the mighty flip flops, about bloody time I say!
  • First class train travel – free wifi and biscuits, could I BE any happier? (said in a Chandler Bing voice)
  • Early morning Starbucks coffees, both at my desk and at train stations
  • Dancing and laughing all day and way into the night in the grand surroundings of Matfen Hall
  • A manic rush for the train to Sheffield
  • Sunshine in London town
  • A brilliant birthday celebration for a family friend – laughter, singing, danceing, giggles, fancy dress outfits and Moscow Mixers
  • Baking – lemon and blueberry squares – 100% delicious
  • An early start to catch the train to Newcastle, armed with M&S Mini Bites, Starbucks coffee and Cadbury’s Marvellous Sensations
  • Catching up with old family friends
  • Making some new purchases in H&M, I’m very pleased with my new platform shoes and mint green jumper – both were perfect for the weekend away and what’s more I didn’t get blisters from the new shoes. Something that’s definitely unheard of!
  • Delicious food – cheese soufle, apple crumble, hotel breakfasts, pizza, chocolate and a golf themed birthday cake
  • Embarrasing parent and old family friend dancing
  • Gossiping, gossiping and more gossiping
  • Glorious sunshine in Newcastle
  • Lovely sunny walks to work even when my muscles were still screaming after a spin class
  • Visits to the brilliant BALTIC centre to see a art exhibits including a cube of lipsticks, a rain cloud and a man made of food as well as glorious views of Newcastle, the SAGE, the Millenium Bridge and the beautiful River Tyne
  • A six hour car journey from north of Newcastle to home…on the hottest and most sunny day of 2013 – typical!
  • Lots of photographs
  • Finally finishing a book and starting a new one – After the Fall
  • The discovery of a new Cadbury’s product – the Golden Crunch bar, absolutely delicious I have to say
  • Afternoon naps
  • Runs in the gorgeous countryside near Hadrian’s Wall – in the rain

Important people – my crazy sisters

Today I want to talk about two of my all time favourite people – my sisterlings.


Lozzle (Lau), Me and Noodle (Bex) at the London Olympics

These are the two people who I wouldn’t know what to do without. They are always there to make me giggle uncontrollably, help me finish an entire bar of dairy milk, feed my board game obsession, push me further on a run, make me spit out liquid (and yogurt) in laughter, keep me company through numerous episodes of Friends and Extreme Makeover: Home Edition and they are the only ones who can meet my love for Christmas.

They are the ones who know what I’m thinking with just a look. They are bloody brilliant and I love them to pieces.

Day five of the Blog every day in May challenge – publicly profess your love and devotion to one of your blogger friends. What makes them great? Why do you love them? If you don’t have blogger friends, talk about a real-life friend or even a family member

Oxford, trips to Bill’s and goodbyes

This past week has been brilliant, I’ve loved every second! It’s been loads of fun and very busy, hence why I’ve had to resort (again) to a list!


Early Christmas Presents … to myself!

Now I know that it’s still two weeks until Christmas but I’ve already opened a few presents. I know, I know that’s not the done thing, I’m ruining Christmas, yadda yadda yadda but I JUST DON’T CARE! When I saw my lovely friends up in Nottingham ten days ago we exchanged gifts and as part of that we opened them together so we could say thank you – there’s nothing wrong with that right?!

So not only were the presents wrapped beautifully, they were also brilliantly perfect – well at least mine were! So what did I get I here you ask? Well check out the picture on the left – didn’t my friends do well? I got the brilliantly useful and inspiring The Great British Book of Baking which I can’t wait to use. I’ve only had a brief flick through it since I got it but I’ve already seen a recipe for a treacle tart that I cannot wait to make, maybe over the Christmas period I’ll have a chance to give it a whirl. Next up was Cecelia Ahern’s latest book One Hundred Names which has an absolutely beautiful cover and sounds fantastic. I’ve read a few of her books in the past but I admit I haven’t read the last couple as I thought they’d gotten a bit to fantastical, but One Hundred Names sounds really good and like she’s returned to the greatness of her first few books. Next up was Taylor Swift’s latest album Red, now I know it’s not the coolest of albums to own but I have to admit that her songs are just perfect to sing along to, so I couldn’t help but want it! The third and final book in my parcels of loveliness was The Story of The Man who Climbed out of the Window and Disappeared, which was on the recommendation of a friend who says it’s simply brilliant. It doesn’t hurt that the book jacket is brilliant too – yes I do judge a book by it’s cover, so sue me! My final lovely present (apart from the Thornton’s chocolate snowman and Milka Santa that you can see) was a lovely hare pendant which I’ve not stopped wearing. It’s so great as it goes with everything I own and means I don’t have to even think about what jewellery goes with my outfit every morning and I can have more time in bed, hooray!

Whilst in Nottingham not only did I receive a brilliant haul of presents from friends but I also bought myself a fair amount of early Christmas presents instead of shopping for others – oopsy! But honestly I’m sure you’ll agree with me that I couldn’t not buy any of the items below, it would have been insanely stupid right?

So as for what I bought for myself, well…..

oasis1 oasis2

Oasis Stripey Zip Jumper – I love the Breton stripes on this, which is what caught my eye in the first instance but the zip detail at the back is what convinced me I NEEDED to have this jumper in my life.

oasis 3 oasis 4

Oasis Metallic Top – I love the back of this top and with the extra sparkle it’s perfect teamed with jeans or a denim skirt this Christmas. Basically a lazy way of looking like you’ve made an effort – always a win for me!


Dorothy Perkins Aubergine Ottoman Flare Dress – I love the sleeves on this dress, they make it perfect for a day in the office at work. As where I work it’s too cold for no sleeves but too hot for a cardigan, so this dress is the best of both worlds! Plus aubergine is one of my favourite colours, so I could hardly say no to this dress especially when it was in the sale!

Gold sparkly nail varnish – This polish is a nightmare to get off your nails but it’s absolutely perfect for the festive season, so I don’t mind that too much. It’s basically instant glamour with minimum effort – do you see the running theme here?!


H & M Oatmeal Tube Scarf – This is perfect underneath my navy winter coat as it’s not bulky underneath the fastenings but is super snuggly and warm, (even if I do look like a wally whenever I put it on and get stuck in there like some sort of worm fighting it’s way out of the ground).

So yes a very successful weekend for Christmas presents really, even if they weren’t for anyone other than me! Oh well at least there’s loads of time before Christmas for me to get everyone else some presents, in fact worse case scenario it’ll be a panic buy on Christmas Eve!

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