Wednesday, 26 November 2014

Festive Home

I'm not ashamed to admit that I have already put up a few Christmas decorations around the house. We had got them in from the garage to check on the amount of lights we had for the outside of the house, and everything was just laying there.... I couldn't resist putting a few things up. We are planning on getting our tree and lights up on Sunday, with the grand 'light switch on' on Monday 1st December.

Being a crafter, I love to make my own decorations at Christmas so they can be personal and I think, make it look so homely. This year I have reused some paper bunting and some pegs for hanging Christmas cards/decorations, and have bought and made some other little bits for this year.

I picked up these wooden hanging decorations in Aldi about 3 weeks ago for £4.99 for a set of 4. I really liked the style of them, and I do love to have stuff hanging down from the ceilings at Christmas. The pack contained two tree and two star decorations

A fewweeks ago, I was given a load of craft bits from one of Mike's work friends, and in with it all was a snowflake punch. On a separate note, I had been wanting one for a while, but couldn't find one I liked, so I was so pleased to have this one. Then I went a little snowflake crazy! I punched out a load of snowflakes and decided I wanted to make a string of them. So taking just some sewing thread and a glue stick, I got to work! All I did was glue one side of a snowflake, lay the string through the middle of it, them glue another snowflake to the top, creating a sandwich to hold the snowflakes onto the string. And once I started, I couldn't stop.

I've made long strings of plain white snowflakes and also strings I plan to hang which have a combination of white and baby blue snowflakes. I still have some all cut out, so having a think about what else I can make from them!

I do love walking into my lounge and seeing all the decorations and it feeling all Christmassy. I think I am sorted on the decoration part, but I do feel we need some finishing home touches to really emphasise the festive spirit. So I took a little look on the George @ Asda website to see what little gems I could find. 

You can't beat a good old Christmas candle! The lovely little set of three glass votive are really cute. I love the countdown blocks. Not only a good way to know what the date is, but I think my kids would love being able to change it each day. As the cold nights draw in, a hot water bottle can be a great addition, especially in our freezing house! This one has a lovely Aztec style Nordic print which would go lovely with our decorations. Last year, I bought myself a Christmas mug, but it's tall and the handle is a bit on the small side. So when I saw these two mugs I fell in love. Would be great for our evening hot chocolate with marshmallows and cream :) Lastly, they had a great selection of cushions, and I had a tough job picking favourites. But I had to go for the red snowflake one. It's so bright and Christmassy and I love it! The other two, which seem to be the same size and style, are really lovely. I love the fact they are Christmas themed without being too Christmassy.
Check out the full range of Christmas Home Decor available at George here.

Tuesday, 14 October 2014

Christmas Party Dresses - Simply Be

Christmas is a busy time of year for us. My husband and I both have large families, so we have a jam packed few days around Christmas trying to see them all, not to mention work nights out, and celebrating with friends too. So we had starting thinking about parties and family meet ups, so I thought, maybe it's time to look at some new dresses for the festive season! So, my first stop was Simply Be.
Mesh Prom Dress - £35
I really like the look of this dress with the floral stretchy top section, then it flows down to the gathered mesh over the skirt which gives it a lovely prom dress look. This would be a great dress for going dancing in to show off the lovely skirt in all it's glory.
Beaded Waist Dress - £65
I do try and go a bit more colourful at Christmas, just to be festive, but I really liked this dress. The matching detail of jewels, beads and sequins around the neck and waistband give it a nice glitzy look. The dress is nice and long too, so would hopefully be long enough for me to wear it with tights. The sleeves give it a really elegant look also.
Kelly Brook Midi Dress - £75
Sticking to black dresses, I then noticed this lovely dress from the Kelly Brook Collection. I love the neckline on this dress, and it has metallic threads mixed in it so will shimmer under those Christmas lights. Again, this one is a nice longer length, so would be a better length for my long legs!
Lovedrobe Lace Belted Skater Dress - £10 off, Now £45
I do love a skater dress! I do think that they suit my body shape more than any other dress I have tried so far, so I was attracted to this dress straight away. I think it's a great colour for the festive season, and I love the 'peek-a-boo' neckline and cute capped sleeves.


Saturday, 11 October 2014

Mystery in the village.....

About two months ago, our village church was closed off as some major renovation work was beginning. It's such a beautiful church, but they have plans to make it more useable for the whole community. The plans include meeting rooms, audio-visual equipment, new chairs and a full redecoration once all the work has been completed.

So one of their first steps was to remove some of the flooring in the main church building. As they were taking it up, they discovered a vault in the centre of the floor containing a coffin. It turned out to be a small mausoleum with the coffin of a man named Alexander Pitcairn. No one knew that this existed, and the Farningham and Eynsford Local Historical Society got straight onto finding out as much as they could about this gentleman. As soon as I read about it, I was straight on Google trying to find out too! He does have a Wikipedia page which gave us information such as when he was born and what he did in life, and the fact that he did die in Eynsford. He was an English Cricketer who played for Hampshire and MCC. From other information found by the Historical Society connected him to the Pitcairn Islands in the South Pacific and his brother who found them in 1767, which was also the island that the mutineers from The Bounty went to.

So there is a lot of history about who he was and who is family was, but nothing that ties him to Eynsford in particular. There are no signs of any Pitcairns in the parish records, but I guess that he resided here after he retired from cricketing, but this still doesn't explain why he is buried in a vault under the floor of the church. This is usually for rich or important people from the village, so are we missing something from his life? And also, this mausoleum had been covered up completely, with no markings for people to know he was there. There are so many questions at the moment, and I hope that the people working on it can find out more soon.

A couple of weeks after finding the vault, they decided to open up the doors to the church on a Saturday morning so that members of the public could go in and see the mausoleum. Mike and I had been really interested in the story of this tomb, so we decided to get sown there early. I actually had to take Jack to a party, so didn't have a lot of time, but we got there early and were the first in line. A few of us gathered in the entrance of the church and Reverend Gary Owens said a prayer over the mausoleum. Then we had to put on hard hats, and in groups of about 6, get to go up to, and into the vault if we wished. I wasn't really keen on going down the steps into the vault, but jack went down with the help of a lady and had a good look. Here are a few pictures from our trip into the church.
It was really interesting to see it up close and to be part of this story in our village. I'll keep you posted if we learn anything new!

Tuesday, 7 October 2014

Partying the Night Away

Last weekend, Mike and I went to a 40th birthday party for one of my mum friends at the school. It was at a golf club just up the road from us, and we were lucky enough to get a lift from one of my friends, so we could let go and have some drinks and make the most of a child free night!
I had picked up a skirt in the Evans Sale a few days before that I had tried on just after my birthday. It had been reduced from £48 to £25 and I just had to get it!
I didn't manage to get a proper OOTD shot before we got picked up, so here I am, after a few drink and hot from dancing! When I picked up the skirt, I realised I didn't really have a top to wear it with, and after a quick look through the Scarlett and Jo Sale rail, I found a lovely black top reduced to £12. I popped in the changing rooms and tried them on together. Couldn't have been happier. For the party, I just teamed them with some black leggings and my flats as I knew we would be doing a lot of dancing!
The skirt is a midi skirt, but I decided to wear it with the top to make it look more like a skater dress, as I prefer how that looks on me. I loved the netting underneath that gave it a poofy prom dress look. And the elasticated waist came in really handy for how I wanted to wear it.
We had a great night with friends, some props on sticks and lots of dancing! The cake was so pretty and made by my friend Aimi - in the mint green dress.

Wednesday, 1 October 2014

In the changing room...... Yours

Last week, I popped to Bluewater to pick up something I had ordered from Evans, then accidentally stumbled into Yours - so handy that is one store away from Evans! I had seen a few things on their website over the past few weeks, and I thought I'd go and try some bits on.

First up was this dress. I liked the print on it and the lovely flowing sleeves, but when I put it on, it just didn't look right. I wasn't sure about the neckline and the band that gives it it's shape was a bit lower than I like.

Then I picked up this dress hoping to get in early and find myself a Christmas dress. I have two of their skater dresses and thought I'd give this one a go. It was black lase with a beaded a collar. It was pretty, but again, I just didn't like it as much once I had got it on.

 Next up, I picked out an elasticated panel midi skirt. I have applied for a few jobs recently, and on the off chance I get any interviews, I thought I would look at some office style clothes, and loved the look of this midi skirt. I tried it on with a couple of different shirts.

First was this was bright orange top. I went for a larger size in this, and I really liked how it looked. Then I tried on this sleeveless patterned shirt. I really liked the colours and print on this one.

Although I didn't buy any of them, I would definitely get the skirt and orange top if I was to get an interview.

Monday, 29 September 2014

Wedding OOTD

Two weeks ago, I went to my cousin's wedding. Stacey and Darren have been together for 7 years and are such an amazing couple and they have a beautiful daughter, Florence, who is nearly 2. I love spending time with Stacey, she is a big crafter and I love learning new crafting techniques, and I was also excited to see they lovely things she had made for the wedding day.
I had bought my dress for the wedding in July, and I was so excited to finally wear it! I got it from Yours at Bluewater when it first opened, and loved how bright and colourful it was. I teamed it with an orange bolero top, nude wedges and an ivory box clutch bag.

Dress - Yours
Bolero - TU @ Sainsburys
Wedges - Yours
Clutch - Simply Be
Stacey looked soooo beautiful! We were sitting parallel to the entrance to the church, and I saw her in the car as it pulled up outside. I saw her face and my eyes just filled with tears. She looked to stunning, and I know how much she was looking forward to the day and how much effort she had put into it all. And she should have been so proud! It all looked fabulous and so pretty. From the decorated glass jars on the tables, to the suitcases decorated to put wedding cards into. It just all looked lovely! Here are a few snaps from the day.

A few highlights..... bottom left, my nan having a great time ringing one of the church bells! Next to her was the quartet who were amazing and gave the place a great atmosphere. Also on the bottom is my lovely parents.

Stacey's made her own bouquet from brooches and it looked amazing, but it was so heavy! She did well carrying it down the aisle and not dropping it. The marquee was so beautiful and had been decorated so nicely with jars on the tables, bunting and a cute vintage suitcase that we could put gifts and cards in. We had such an amazing day, and hope that the happy couple did too.

Sunday, 14 September 2014

Pink Clove Picks

I noticed an email from Pink Clove today with an offer for 25% off all new arrivals (use code SHOP25). It feels like I haven't had a look at their range in a while, so I popped over to see what they had to offer. I found some lovely pieces at some great prices!

Azul Rose Mesh Insert Skater Dress - Normally £30, with offer £22.50
I really loved the colour of this dress. I don't own many blue items, and mixed with the floral print, I think this is so pretty. The mesh top of this dress also looks so good, perfect for the autumn weather now.
Laura Check Print A-Line Bow Dress - Normally £22, with offer £16.50
This dress caught my eye as I seem to be drawn to check prints at the moment, and I especially think that this would be great for Christmas. The neckline stands out really nicely with the bow detail.
Bardot Skater Dress - Normally £20, with offer £15
I love me a skater dress, and this would be very much welcome in my wardrobe. Not only would it be a great staple as it is black, but the off the shoulder sleeves give it a little something extra.

Friday, 12 September 2014

Wedding Reception OOTN

On Friday evening, Mike, the kids and I attended a wedding reception in Essex for one of his friends and his new wife. I had chosen an outfit to wear a few weeks ago, but on the Friday when I was at home, I decided that I wasn't completely happy with my decision. So I trawled through my wardrobe to see what else I could find.
I love a good delve through my clothes as I nearly always find something I had forgotten about. And this time was no different!

I found a dress that I had got nearly a year ago. At Plus North 2013, I entered a competition with Bon Prix to style a plain black dress with accessories, and won £50 to spend with them. I ordered this dress, but had never got round to wear it. So, I teamed it with a thin black belt and my black pumps and was ready to go!

Friday, 5 September 2014

DIY Gel Nails

I used to get gel manicures a few years ago before my wedding so that my nails would grow for the day itself, and I used to love how they would last for at least two weeks without chipping or getting smudged like normal polish. I stopped getting them done a few months after my wedding as, although it wasn't crazy expensive, I just couldn't justify the cost every 3-4 weeks.
So, for my birthday, my friend Caroline arranged for me to get my nails done with her and the mobile technician she uses. I was really pleased with how my nails looked. I went for a bright pink as they would match my dress for my night out (see post here).

After a couple of weeks, I realised that my nails had grown so well with the gel manicure on, and I wanted to keep it up. But again, I couldn't justify the cost every few weeks. I had been lucky to get some money for my birthday from my family, so I decided to look into how much it would cost to get my own gel kit. My cousin Stacey had got one a while ago and was happy with it, so I did a bit of research and ended up on Ebay at what deals I could find. I ended up coming across this shop which seemed to have some good deals.

I had looked at getting a set that was the UV light box, remover solution and prepare and wipe solution. This was around £30. I then looked at polishes. The listed the BlueSky brand at £5 each, but if you bought 10 of the polishes, you would get the UV light box for free! So I went through and chose the colours I wanted - which was really hard as there were soooo many that I wanted! Then I found a listing for the two solutions I needed, and a bottle of each base and top coats for £21. So I went for it!

I couldn't wait to give it a go! I followed the instructions and had so much fun :) I have used it three times so far, twice on my hands and once on my feet. I am loving the colour I have on at the moment, Rubble.

I chose a variety of colours, from black and dark red, to bright pink and a lovely glittery green. The gel remover solution worked really well, I just soaked my nails in it for about 10 minutes and the gel polish came off well with a nail file. Then I buffed and oiled my cuticles and gave them a rest for 24 hours before applying the next colour. I have always loved painting my nails, and found it so frustrating that after around 24 hours, I would have a chip somewhere! This way, I can have the perfect nail look at home for longer. Now I need to resist looking at the other colours they do. Oh and they do colour changing gel polishes!!!

Friday, 29 August 2014

Birthday Dress - Yours Clothing

What seems like an age ago, I bought a dress from the Yours Clothing which I had tried on in the new Bluewater store on my first visit there. I had been looking for a dress for my cousin's wedding in September, and I was drawn to two dresses. I ended up buying a light and bright floral dress for my cousins wedding, but I was so in love with the other dark skater dress I tried on, I ordered it the next day from their website.

I decided that it would be a perfect dress for a birthday night out, so I put it away in my wardrobe and resisted every urge to wear it before that night! I did, and boy was I glad....


I was so pleased with the dress. A usual, being 6"1, the dress was a little short for tights, so I teamed it with some black leggings. I do find this more comfortable anyway as I am still to find a pair of tights that fit my waist size AND leg length. But anyway, I felt amazing in the dress.

I opted for no jewellery or jacket, just my birthday present from Hubby, a rose gold Michael Kors watch :) (separate post to follow). And then we were ready to go out! We had cocktails and dinner with a friend, then headed to The Chequers pub in Sevenoaks High Street for their weekly pub quiz. There we were joined by a couple of other friends. More wine and laughs later, we came 4th out of 9 teams...... we were pretty satisfied as there was only 4 of us! I even got treated by a sweet 'merry' guy who heard it was my birthday and bought me a lovely little bottle or Prosecco :) We have done the quiz at The Chequers a few times now, and it is always great fun. If you are ever in the area on a Wednesday evening, I would highly recommend it!

Check out The Chequers here.

Monday, 14 July 2014

Summer brights

A couple of weeks ago I ventured to Asda Living in Dartford for a little look around. I happened to come across the George make-up section and some lovely Brazilian themed nail polishes caught my eye.

They are from the George Gel Pro collection. I have bought a couple of the other colours from this range before and have been really impressed with them. So I treated myself to Festival - a bright yellow - and Samba Parade - a deep lilac.
I had actually picked up a bright yellow dress as I was walking around, so thought that the yellow polish would go great with that. And purple is one of my favourite colours, so I couldn't resist getting that one too. They were only £2 each and I knew I just had to have them. Even though I have a couple of other colours in the Gel Pro range, I was a little uncertain of what the coverage of these would be like. I was prepared for them to be a little opaque on application as I have had that with the pastel colours from other brands before. But I was pleasantly surprised.
They both covered with intense colour on pretty much the first coat. I was really pleased with the yellow as it didn't lose any of the brightness when I applied it, and was really popped after applying the second coat. The lilac was the same, and was really vibrant after I applied the second coat. They both dried pretty quickly, within 4-5 minutes of application and lasted really well.

Monday, 7 July 2014

Fun in France - Part 1

In May, I was lucky to be invited to France for a week with my good friend Caroline and some of her friends. She has hit the big 3-0 and is a mother of 3, so wanted a nice week away in the sun as a treat. As soon as she asked me, I knew I had to go!

Caroline's dad, David, lives in France and offered us his caravan to stay in in the South of France for the week. 4 of us got a plane from Gatwick to Geneva, where we met up with Karisse as she was travelling from Manchester. Once we were all together, David was our chaufer to the campsite.....which took just over 4 hours, but we did stop for a lovely lunch half way.

After arriving at the campsite and having a little rest, we got dressed up and headed out for dinner. David took us to a restaurant in the town centre and then came the task of trying to translate the menu..... with David's help, and the waiter, we all managed to choose something. And I have to say the food was amazing! I ordered a pizza rocket, dried beef and parmesan cheese. It was so yummy! We had some wine and just had a good chat over the lovely food.
The next day, we went into the local town as there is a weekly market that we wanted to have a look around. It was so big, and busy, with such a wide range of stalls. There were amazing fruit and veg stalls, olives, dried meats, jewellery, clothes and everything you could imagine! We got to have some samples of some lovely food, and the locals were very friendly, especially with our limited French! The town was also a lovely place to look around, lots of old buildings and architecture.
We then met up with David for Lunch at a restaurant in the town. We had a lovely table outside and got to soak up the sun, along with some beer and wine of course. Then came the food....
Caroline showing off her new hat and scarf! Down the right is my lunch. I had an aubergine tart and salad for was massive! Then I had lamb shank for main, and a chocolate fondant for dessert. It was so yummy. Not to mention a nice beer, and some wine, and a nice coffee to finish.

Wednesday, 28 May 2014

Wedding Guest Dresses - Lovedrobe

I have a couple of weddings to go to in September and I have just started to look at possible outfits for them. One is for my cousin who I love to pieces, and I really want to look my best on the day. So I have been having a look through some sites for some dress-piration!
This week, I have been looking through the Lovedrobe website at some of their lovely occasion dresses and found these dresses that would be great for a wedding.

Koko Blue Salmon Pink Contrast Cap Sleeve Chiffon Dress - £42

This dress caught my eye as I really like the lace detail around the neckline, and I would like to have a 'girly' dress for my cousins wedding. And the fact it is a skater style dress, with the elasticated waistband is a plus for me.

Koko Blue/Multi Frill Sleeve Floral Print Chiffon Dress - £40
I really like the shape of this dress with the frill sleeves, and I am a big fan of floral prints. I like the fact I have a couple of options of colours to use to match a handbag and shoes with. And again, this has an elasticated waist band, so will hopefully be nice a comfy.
Koko Tie Die Print Bead Embellished Neckline Maxi Dress - £48
I'm hoping the weather in September will still be nice, so I thought that a maxi dress could be something to give a go. I like the print on this dress, and the beading around the neckline means I don't need to worry about a necklace. And it also has the tie detail around the waist the help get a bit of shape into it. My only issue would be if it would long enough for me.

Monday, 26 May 2014

Fancy a cuppa?

I was having a little browse around Asda Living in Dartford last week when I came across a lovely selection of mugs. I had been thinking about getting some new ones as we have had ours for like 3 years and I wanted some new pretty ones :)
They had some really nice patterned mugs for £1.50, but my eye was drawn to these beauties....
These were only 65p each! I was so pleased as they would match some other bits I had for the kitchen. I had bought some storage jars in Argos few months ago as I wanted to start brightening up the kitchen. It's pretty plain and a bit boring, and we aren't able to decorate a the moment, so I thought I would start by adding colourful accessories. 
The blue, yellow and pink match really well. Next step, updating the tiles and wallpaper.

Friday, 9 May 2014

Yours Bluewater store opening

On Thursday, my friend and I decided to take a trip to Bluewater for the opening of the new Yours store.! Bluewater is about 15 minutes from where I live which is so great. I had been planning a trip to the Lakeside store in Thurrock with my friend, which is about 45 minutes away, but would mean paying £4 for the Dartford Crossing! So when I got the email from Yours advertising the store opening, I was so excited. So we both dropped our kids at school and headed over to Bluewater....
We got to the store about 15 minutes before opening, and there was already a queue of about a dozen people waiting for it to open. Then after the ladies opened the door and cut the ribbon, we got to go in. There were so many great pieces that caught my eye when we entered, including this lovely top.
The store was a good size and had a great range of items, including shoes and handbags. The staff were really friendly and the store was set out well. It was a little bit of a squeeze going around some of the clothes rails, but we managed.
Whilst we were having a look around, a couple of other pieces caught my eye. First was this jumper with crochet shoulders which I loved! It was a big slouchy style jumper and had little pearls on the shoulder sections too. I really liked the grey colour, but they also did it in black and a cream/pink colour too.
Also, I was on the look out for some outfits for a couple of weddings we are going to in September. They had a great range of dresses, from more casual day dresses, to lovely evening dresses. This long black dress caught my eye, I really like the coloured feathered detail on the bottom.
It was quite busy in the store, so I didn't get time to try anything on properly, but I will definitely have another proper shopping trip there in the next few months to try on some of their lovely bits. We were also given a goody bag on the way out which included a pen, some love hearts, a mini spring catalogue and a £5 gift voucher.