Friday, 30 December 2011

Birthday Celebrations

It's my birthday tomorrow!  I love having my birthday on New Year's Eve - whatever day of the week it falls on there is always loads to do and I always get the next day off work to nurse my hangover.  Most people are up for a bit of a party.  Christmas decorations and fairy lights still adorn the streets and everywhere looks twinkly.  Champagne corks pop and sequins are acceptable; expected even.  Need I go on?

A huge plus point is that I get to spend my birthday money in the sales.  A particular highlight a few years ago was a Rick Owens leather biker jacket that I bought at Harvey Nichols.  It was reduced from an eye-watering £1,100 to £300; still spenny at £300, I know, but I've worn it to death and love it as much today as I did when I bought it.  (In fact, I'll be wearing it tomorrow.)  A bargain in my book.  This year I've bought a blinging Swarovski cocktail ring and a dress - both were reduced by 25%.  Hurrah!

We're off to see the Wizard tomorrow.  The Wonderful Wizard of Oz.  I can't wait!  I adore going to the theatre and love musicals.  It has become a little birthday tradition for me.  It's a matinee performance so we are catching an early(ish) train and stopping by Liberty to empty my bank account before having a long lunch somewhere pre-show.   There will be fizz, there will be sherry and there may even be a smattering of sequins.

My age will, henceforth, be kept secret.

Unfortunately, gingerbread men are not known for being discreet. 

Thank you for sharing my blogworld with me in 2011.  Thank you for sharing your own bloglife with me, too.  It's been fun and I'm so looking forward to next year.

Wishing you all lots of love, luck and laughter in 2012.

Chin chin! 



PS  Did these photos take an AGE loading when you clicked onto my blog?  Was it irritating?  I'm so sorry.   I've been given a complicated new camera for my birthday and I haven't yet sussed how to adjust the resolution(?) of the photos.  Can anyone help please?

Sunday, 25 December 2011

Christmas Kisses

Checking out until the new year; I anticipate drinking a great deal of sherry, eating a lot of sausage rolls and wupping my sister's ass at Just Dance on the XBox.  

Sending lots of Christmas kisses your way.  Have a great one.



Friday, 16 December 2011

Christmas Decorating, Lush Hot Choc and a Sequinned Dress

The trees are up!  My favourite room is the living room.  This year I've used a garland strung with fairy lights across the beam over the fireplace and I love it.   
The first thing I always do when we've put the tree up is run outside and look at the house from the street.  Our house is on a main road and if we leave the curtains open you can see the tree and the fireplace as you drive past.  With the outdoor tree lit up and a little tree in the upstairs window our house looks a bit like a Christmas grotto!  That makes me very happy; it looks so welcoming! 

The tree in the living room is decorated in white and silver.  I was tempted not to use the baubles because I love the simple beauty of a real tree strung with white lights and nothing else but it seemed a shame not to let this little lady out of her cardboard box:
My favourites are the bird decorations.  I like to see the fat little birds nestled on the branches and I love this sparkly wooden miniature bird house.
I've gone for all out tackiness in the dining room.  A small pale pink tree with pale pink vintage baubles and a pink feather boa to cover its plastic legs.  Nestled amongst the feathers is a brightly coloured bauble of Santa in a space jet.  LOVE.
Isn't it difficult getting photographs of Christmas trees.  It's especially hard with an iPhone.  I have asked for a digital SLR camera for my birthday (which is soon!) and I *may* have spied the box for a Canon EOS under the spare bed.... I'm excited to get one but I'm also worried that I just don't have the skills or eye to be a good photographer and it will be a waste of money.  Got any tips for me?

Now, I wanted to tell you about the BEST hot chocolate.  It's nothing fancy, just a bag of little chocolate bits from one of my favourite shops:  Hush.  It is delicious; quite the most delicious home-made hot chocolate I've had.   Coffee is my hot drink of choice but I do like a chocolate occasionally.  
The little sprinkler contains a mix of cocoa powder, ground cinnamon and vanilla sugar.
Delicious and especially nice for frothy coffee, too.
Got to dash in a mo because I have the day off work (yipee!) and am meeting my mum for a bit of shopping.  Well, we've done most of our shopping - it's just an excuse to have a girly lunch together.  I'm so looking forward to it.  

I just wanted to show you a quick outfit... I went to a Christmas party last night.  It was the party of one of Andrew's customers and I had to do the corporate wife thing.  I was so nervous about it - I always worry I'll make Andrew look stupid by saying something daft - so I bought myself a new dress to boost my confidence.  

It is, quite honestly, the most fab Christmas party dress I've ever owned - a sequinned dress from Coast.  (Link).  It's out of stock online but if you happen to see it in the store I can definitely recommend it.  I really wanted a dress with long sleeves because I don't like my upper arms.  This is a wrap-over style with three-quarter sleeves; soft inside too when a lot of sequinned clothes are a bit scratchy.  I wore it with a navy blazer, some high platform shoes and kept my jewellery minimal - just a small pair of pearl studs and a big sparkly cocktail ring.
Dancing (well, swaying really!) with my man to the band singing Frank Sinatra's 'Merry Christmas', next to a big dazzling Christmas tree I felt properly happy.  And Christmassy!  Bring on the celebrations!



Thursday, 8 December 2011

Blog Swaps

Our internet is down indefinitely.  It is the most frustrating thing.  On Sunday the copper wiring from the Exchange was stolen and the village has been without telephone lines ever since.  It is annoying for me because I mostly work from home and rely on the internet to access my emails, including databases and programmes that I use on a daily basis.  I have had to go into various offices this week, all a considerable distance from home, and have popped over to my MILs this evening to use the internet for personal stuff whilst Andrew watches the football.  I've got Christmas shopping to do that just can't wait any longer!

I thought I'd take five minutes to do a quick update.  I have loads to chat about, as always, but just wanted to say a huge thank you to Angie for the blog swap parcels I received last week.  I took part in the Handmade Christmas Decoration swap organised by the lovely Laa Laa.  I am so glad I did - what a treat to receive surprises in the post!

The parcels from Angie were all prettily wrapped and it was fun opening them all.  Angie had made loads!  A gorgeous white fabric wreath (my favourite gift and it looks beautiful strung with fairy lights), home-made chutney, a lovely home-made card, cosy socks, pretty stars for the tree and lots of other little bits and bobs.  Angie even knitted four small stockings and filled them with chocolates (the actual stockings are exactly the right size and shape for my dog's paws and I've had to restrain myself from dressing her in them.  I know that would be cruel.  She'd slip, right?)
It is the first time I have taken part in a swap.  I admit to feeling a bit overwhelmed to begin with; I got too caught up in trying to second-guess what Angie would like and what would fit in with her Christmas decorating scheme at home.  Also, I have limited sewing and crochet ability - I am very much a beginner and many projects are beyond me.  In the end, I chose to make a few (safe) felt decorations.  Of course, it would have been rude not to include a gingerbread man... 
 The templates for the gingerbread man and the reindeer/moose came from this month's issue of Mollie Makes.  The stocking and mitten templates were downloaded from the internet somewhere.
I, hopefully, made up for my lack of ability by including a few chocolates and shop-bought goodies in the parcel for Angie and wrapped them as enticingly as I could.
I so enjoyed doing these decorations and, after the first one, they were quite quick to make.  I have plans for a heart garland to hang over the fireplace for Christmas.  I also have plans, however, to make a gingerbread house, two Christmas cakes and gingerbread biscuits (watch out for my next post when I'll share my super easy, delicious, recipe!).  Better get cracking.

We are off tomorrow after work to pick our Christmas trees.  I'm excited.  I intend to buy three; one for outside, one for the living room and one for the conservatory.  I also plan to buy a few more lanterns in various sizes to put outside the front door - they look so welcoming with huge white candles.  I will, of course, share pictures when I have finished faffing.

I love reading the blogposts with pictures of Christmas trees and twinkling lights and driving past houses seeing Christmas trees twinkling in bay windows is one of my favourite things about the season... Ahh! Christmas is coming!!