OOTD - Gryffindor Spots

Thursday, 31 July 2014

 Dress  Charity Shop//Necklace Dorothy Perkins//
Belt New Look// Shoes Tesco//
Sunglasses Primark

A couple of weekends ago, Scott took me to the Harry Potter Studios in Leavesden for a belated birthday treat. It was belated treat, purely because we couldn't get an appointment any time nearer my birthday. The good bit about the whole appointment thing is that it didn't feel stupidly busy even though it was a weekend. It was a really hot day and I wasn't sure how warm it would be inside, plus I knew we would be going for a meal afterwards, so choosing my outfit was slightly difficult. I plumped for this dress I picked up in a charity shop for about £4, with a cardigan thrown in my bag.

I didn't really think about the colours of it, until Scott asked whether I was hoping to be picked for Gryffindor house, which is when I realised I was wearing a red dress with gold spots! Funnily enough one of the staff members commented on my dress being pretty, when the batteries died in my audio guide. It's really light and floaty, and I've had the occasional 'Marilyn Moment' in it, but luckily it has a slightly tighter lining which prevents too much embarrassment, as well as the ability to hold it down just by shoving my hands in the pockets. Genuinely cannot beat a dress with pockets. I don't recognise the label inside as I would love this in a few more colours - maybe another navy one to add the  the ever growing collection of navy-ness in my wardrobe.

These little shoes have been a firm favourite since their purchase, and £15 of a pair of cute leather shoes is bargainous in my opinion, plus anything in my much-purchased blush colour is winner for me - now I wonder if I can find a pair with a heel?

Quiet Contemplation

Saturday, 26 July 2014

There's something special about being the first one up in the morning on a weekend. During the week Scott is up and out the door within ten minutes of 5am, leaving the fur babies snoring soundly and me dozing fitfully awaiting the sound of the alarm.

Come the weekend, Scott likes to sleep in. As he's so up early, 8am is a lie in to him, but as we have a rather rambunctious Labrador who doesn't fully understand the concept of a weekends I'm still usually up around 6.30am- 7am. Most times I will go back to bed for a perhaps another hours doze, but invariably the lull of my shiny mobile and Facebook pulls me in, destroying any chance of an early morning nap.

Last Saturday (and by chance this Saturday too) then sun streaming through the bedroom curtains (despite their thickness) and the general stifling heat of the bedroom, prevented all thoughts of napping so I took myself off into the living room, allowing the rest of the house to sleep.

Star, like me, is a bit of a light sleeper (and she has a good ear for anyone being in the kitchen) so I can usually be assured of the quiet click of her claws behind me on the laminate as I try to quietly make my morning brew. It's strange how in the early morning stillness, the simplest of day to day things can seem so loud, when you're trying not to disturb others. Toby, once breakfasted, can pretty much be relied on to return to bed, and his low, lazy snore can be heard gently resonating through the house. (Just for reference I live in a bungalow, which is why every sound is so pronounced) Star's purr as she tucks herself in next to me, cuddling my new favourite mug, competes with the whirring of the laptop. 

We live on a main road, which during the day can be reasonably busy, so early mornings and evenings are the quietest traffic times. The birds can be heard tweeting in the hedge, and the sound of the world getting up is strangely beautiful. Although on a week day, 7am is probably not so early, on a weekend, its like the whole village is taking the opportunity to catch up on some well deserved rest.

Any early morning rise is particularly special at the moment. You can almost sense the heat of the day, the bright, early morning sunshine, promising the long, hot, sort of laziness associated with childhood holidays. The hotter the day, the almost quieter it is. As the heatwaves continues, the initial wave of loud BBQ parties has somewhat worn off, and its almost as if no one has the motivation to be loud and energetic (particularly black Labradors!) As it became acceptably warm enough, I spent a pleasant half an hour, finishing my cooling tea, accompanied with my latest read, occasionally breaking off to watch Toby chase butterflies (or pigeons when he was feeling particularly brave) who had heard the sound of the back door and assumed this meant play time!

Soon my peace is disturbed by the rest of the world getting up to mow their lawns, wash their cars and walk their dogs before the day is too hot to do anything productive. Scott usually follows not long after, in search of company and breakfast, which has been very much enjoyed alfresco every weekend of late.

There is something very special about being the first one awake. And being up so early makes the day feel long, and all the more productive.

Asda George at Home Tea Party

Monday, 21 July 2014

One of the amazing perks of having blogging as a hobby is the lovely opportunities and brands that I occasionally get to work with.

When I was contacted to see if I would be interested in working with Asda* to take a look at their new George homeware range, I didn't have to think twice about what I wanted to try out first! Despite my obsession with tea and teacups, I don't own a usable teapot and teacups (I'm far too precious with my antique tea service) so I wanted something much more durable. This gorgeous floral Katie Alice design was perfect - and conveniently matches my kitchen perfectly, so has already taken pride of place in there. The milk jug and sugar bowl come boxed together as a lovely set, which would make a fab gift for a tea lover. They are dishwasher and microwave safe which means they can be used regularly without the need to handwash each time. The teapot is a six cup pot, and you can probably just about get two of the big mugs out of it.

These big floral polka dot mugs have quickly become my tea vessel of choice. Sometimes you just need a big mug of tea without any messing around. These will make amazing hot chocolate mugs come winter. (I can't believe I just mentioned the word winter in amongst the fabulous weather we have been having!)

With any alfresco tea party, there's always a need for cake - and although you may not see any here (wedding dress diet and all that) I knew I desperately needed some proper cake forks - I'm a bit of a stickler for eating cakes with a fork rather than a spoon. There is a matching set of tea spoons too, which I will be most definitely slipping into my basket on  my next shopping trip to Asda!

I've seen these heart-shaped bowls on so many other bloggers pages that it was a given these were going to be added to my basket. Sadly the largest one was in about twenty pieces when it arrived, and despite a fresh set being re-ordered they never arrived due to them being repeatedly out of stock. I'm a little disappointed by that, but at least two of them made the trip! They must have gone through some serious throwing around as everything was really well packaged. The mirror that I ordered for my dressing table (it takes up so much less room than my old one) was really well packaged in what as basically its own inflatable pillow! (Sorry for the poor photos of this - its so hard to take pictures of a mirror)

Finally, I knew that after freshening up my living room for summer by removing the thick heavy curtains, and my fluffy throws, I needed some fresh new cushions just to bring a bit of newness to the room (and a bit of cosiness for those days when the British weather is more, well British). The striped red cushion goes fantastically with my grey and red colour scheme and I'm pretty sure this will be making the transition through to winter! I'm planning on adding some grey shades to my bedroom so this 'You had me at Hello' cushion may migrate there, but for now it looks fab on my sofa, but equally, it looks super cute on my little table and chair set (which was a little gift from Scott, after spending a whole day tidying our patio - I finally have somewhere to sit!!) Needless to say, I knew exactly where I was going to take these photographs, and we enjoyed a little impromptu alfresco tea party! What a perfect way to spend a sunny British afternoon! 


*This is a collaborative post

Life in June

Thursday, 10 July 2014

Wow I wasn't expecting to be absent for so long! Its amazing how much life has just got in the way of late. I've been so busy with my new job and wedding stuff and generally enjoying all the nice weather we've been having I just haven't had time to blog! I haven't even been reading anything, my bloglovin feed had over 2000 unread posts the other day!

I don't usually do instagram posts but June and the start of July have so far been so busy it was the easiest way of explaining what I've been up to and why I've been so absent.

So in June I turned 29. It wasn't a big extravagant birthday, birthdays are usually small quiet intimate affairs in our family, but it made me realise I'm one year off 30, which does kinda scare me a bit. I'm not sure where I thought I would be when I turned 30, but I'm pretty sure I thought I would feel grown up and mature - truth is I feel none of those things. My tastes have changed slightly but some of the those teen-like insecurities and urges to go nuts still remain. Despite being a quiet one I was reasonably well spoilt by friends and family.

This years birthday was especially quiet as it was so close to my hen weekend. Even though we don't get married until September, hen and stag parties have been held in plenty of time, as the organisation of them has been a bit of a big deal and I figured I could do without that stress so close to the wedding. Me and my best girls went to Butlins for one of the music weekends and we had a fab time. I organised little gift bags, with perhaps the cutest straws ever - so cute no one wanted to use them! I was appropriately attired as the bride to be, with a sash and veil and the first night was a special effort to be dressed up. The second night we did 'I'm a Celebrity' fancy dress. This is probably one of the comfiest fancy dress outfits I've ever worn (if not exactly the most glamorous!) Again, various 'bushtucker trials' were presented, along with the obligatory Mr & Mrs quiz. All in all though I was pleasantly surprised and nothing was too shameful! (Aside from perhaps my hangover!)

Wedding craft remains in full swing - I anticipate the glue gun will make an appearance well up until the night before! If I could give anyone any advice that wants to DIY their wedding it would be to start sooner rather than later as everything will take longer than you expect! I saw Hannah put up a post the other day to advise she would probably be absent from her blog now due to wedding stuff. I haven't intentionally been absent and I don't want to be, but I can't guarantee as regular posting as I had got into the habit of doing - already I've missed my usual monthly scheduled posts. I spent one evening after work making these hangers for my bridesmaids dresses the morning of the wedding. It small touches like this that add a real personal feel, and I know they will make the 'getting ready' pictures look extra special.

Despite all this craziness I decide to add extra pressure to myself by deciding that the house must be immaculately deep clean and the garden must be far more attractive. Me and the other half are not gardeners and its generally something I find a bit of a chore. That being said, I've always commented on how nice it would be to be able to sit outside etc. We made a conscious effort at the weekend to have a good tidy up, and the whole of Sunday was spent completely de-weeding the patio - by hand! It has made such a difference though. We had a general tidy up of the patio and clipped the hedge in that area a little more and finally added some flowers. Toby was clearly impressed with our work! Scott then went that little bit further and bought a little table and chair set. I was made up! As is typical, just after we had finised all this work and got the table out, it went very dull. Luckily it brightened up whilst we were making dinner, so we enjoyed our first meal 'al fresco'. I made the most of the good weather the other day by spending a few hours sat outside working, which was much more pleasant that sitting indoors. We intend to keep doing a bit more work, and I'm hoping to get a few more flowers in, and I can't want to start taking some blog pictures outside whilst the lighting is so bright and I have somewhere to take them.

I've still managed to find a little time to squeeze in going to work! Some of you may remember that I started a new job. It's been very busy and at times very stressful and I haven't always gotten home until much later than I used to. In amongst that I'm trying to apply for a permanent position, which should seem easy, considering I'm already doing the job but actually, It's almost more stressful when you are applying for what essentially feels like your job.

I always try not to apologise for being absent from my blog, as hey, life gets in the way and sometimes hobbies take a back seat, so I'm not going to apologise for not posting, but I will apologise for not reading all your lovely blogs! Are there any interesting posts you think I must read? What have you been up to recently? Let me know! Hope you haven't missed me too much or thought I'd abandoned this little place.
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