Thursday, 31 October 2013

OOTD: Tartan layering

Bowler hat - Helene Berman Ebay £7.50
Zip back top - Zara via Ebay around £6
Burgundy pencil skirt - Topshop via charity shop £2.99
Super cosy black opaque tights - Primark £3
Check shawl - Matalan £8 with discount code
Leather Chelsea boots - TK Maxx £34.99

Happy Halloween lovelies! I know my outfit posts are few and far between, but I'm often a lazy dresser! I'm also unhappy with my hair at the moment, I thought having a cut would help but I still dislike it! I just don't know what to do with it and end up wearing it tied up all the time. I'm thinking of having it dyed or having a fringe or something, I'm just indecisive!

I don't wear many colours generally, so this burgundy pencil skirt is unusual for me. I couldn't resist it at this price in the charity shop though! I like how it looks with the oversized Zara top over it, and the zip detailing down the back of the top makes it less plain. This is one of my favourite tops, I have a polkadot one too. The sleeves are fitted but the body is oversized - my favourite! With the pencil skirt being obviously fitted, I knew I'd need to wear something oversized on my top half as I'm quite body conscious and prefer to layer up and more importantly cover up!

Speaking of cover ups, how gorgeous is this check shawl from Matalan? I saw this over on Charissa's blog, and when I realised it was just £10 knew I had to have it. Luckily for me, there was 20% off when I ordered, and free delivery to store - bargain! It really is like a big tartan blanket, that's shaped to fit around the back of your neck and to go over your arms. It's so comfortable and warm, and I can't wait to get more wear out of it this season.

It was lust at first sight between me and my Chelsea boots. On our trip back to the Lakes, we popped into Lancaster town for a spot of shopping. I'd been searching for the perfect pair of leather Chelsea boots that fit well for a long time. I first saw these in brown and said to Mark 'these would be perfect in black'... and on the next shelf there they were! One pair of black leather Chelsea boots in my exact size - 6 and a half. It was meant to be!

Have you got any Halloween plans? Mark & I are going to watch The Nightmare Before Christmas (which Mark has never seen!!!) and carve our own pumpkins together for the first time.

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Monday, 28 October 2013

Handmade Mondays #1: Objets de Désir

Hello lovelies, and welcome to my new Monday feature :) each week I'm going to write a blog post about wonderful
handmade items, whether it be art, jewellery, ceramics or anything creative! Last month, I wrote a Wishlist Wednesday
post for Objets de Désir, an online boutique featuring emerging artists & designers. My first post is going to be based
on that post, so I can share with you some of the beautiful items I found on the site.

01. Woods in the Bear by Sarah Breese Illustration
What else could be first in my list of loves, but a bear? Mark & I are big bear fanatics (just click on 'the bears' tag on my blog
and see our little furry collection!), so when I browsed the prints and spotted this I had no doubts. We've recently started
to think about getting all grown up, and getting our very own house, and we already have one wonderful bear print and a
wonderful bear cushion, so this would be the perfect addition to what is sure to be very bear/woodland themed decor.

02. Scandinavian Retro Bear Cushion by Gunna Ydri
Sticking with the theme, next I hopped over to the cushion section. I think the subtle use of colour in this bear cushion means
that it would easily compliment any existing colour scheme in your house. I promise to try and pick something non-bear-
related next, really I do.

03. Garden Birds Bone China Mug by Alice Shields
Birds are another thing that Mark and I share a love of. We could spend hours gazing out of the window or across the garden watching these fascinating little things hop and fly. I especially love the very handwritten style of writing used on this mug.

04. I Like Crumbs Pigeon Brooch by Alice Shields
I think I've found a new illustrator love, I'm now lusting over Alice Shields' lovely little creations. I had a hard time
picking between this sweet little pigeon brooch and the 'I Like You More Than Cheese On Toast' brooch! This brooch reminds
me of a time when I spent the day in London with my dad, and we were sitting on the edge of one of the fountains eating our
lunch. There were signs everywhere and people reinforcing 'do not feed the pigeons'. So what did my dad do? He fed the
pigeons of course!

05. Leather Boat Earring by Benu
Last but not least, I pick these pretty little sail boat earrings because of my love for adventure. I can imagine Suzy Bishop
would love to wear these should she ever want to take out her lovingly made beetle bug earrings. They are something a little
unusual, what with being made from leather, and that really appeals to the arts and crafts lover in me.

What do you think of my new series? Did you enjoy this post? :)

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Wednesday, 23 October 2013

Happy 20th Birthday Zenobia

I would like to wish my sister Zenobia a very happy 20th birthday today!
This is probably my favourite photo of us, Zenobia is on the left and I'm on the right.
It was taken almost 4 years ago now, at my best friend's 21st birthday party!

I hope you have a fabulous day Zenobia, and I'm sorry we can't be there for it! I hope you
love your present, I kind of wanted to keep it for myself haha :)

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Sunday, 20 October 2013

Music: Bastille, Leicester

When? Thursday 17th Oct
Where? O2 Academy, Leicester
Support? TKAK, Bipolar Sunshine
Wearing? frizzy hair courtesy of the fog, Topshop leopard shift dress, TK Maxx chelsea boots

Mark, myself, and my sisters Zenobia & Willow arrived at the venue after some speed walking from our car parked outside student halls - free parking, very handy! We left a little late, and arrived at the venue at about 8pm. This was after a walk around the block almost ending up at the car again, before I pointed out that Zenobia hadn't pressed go on her map directions! Doors were at 7.30, so we were surprised when we arrived to find quite a long queue. We missed TKAK entirely (sorry guys!), but arrived just in time for Bipolar Sunshine. I don't know how to describe Bipolar Sunshine really, a bit indie pop with a feel of reggae thrown in. We really enjoyed the set, and would love to see them again. The catchy lyrics had us singing along even though it was the first time we'd heard them, and the beats made you want to move around. Check out Bipolar Sunshine on Youtube.

14 minutes (the medic told us) before Bastille were due on stage, Zenobia had a funny turn and she couldn't see. Luckily we were stood by the barrier anyway, and a lovely security guy helped her into the medic room. She was fine after a little lie down, water & some fresh air, but we stayed at the edge after that just in case. This meant we were to the right of the stage and kind of by the amps, but had a fab view of the stage and could see perfectly well. This gig was one of those 'oh we like the songs on the radio let's go see Bastille' kind of gigs. They're a relatively new band (at least to us) and we took a chance. I think the most excited of us all was Willow (sporting her new Bastille t-shirt below!). We had an awesome time, and Bastille were pretty damn good. The way vocalist Dan kept his voice steady whilst banging around on the drums or playing keyboard was amazing, his singing completely effortless. We enjoyed both songs we knew and those we didn't, and the band put on a great performance. It was energetic & a really good night.

My personal highlight of the night was the two cover songs Bastille performed, the one I filmed above, and their cover of City High's What Would You Do. This song was huge when I was younger, and most of the crowd loved singing along (which is why I didn't film it! Too busy singing haha). The sound quality goes a bit dodgy when all the background music kicks in, but I think it's a combination of being close to the speakers and sound overload for my tiny Nikon.

All in all, it was lovely to go out with two of my sisters and Mark, and we all enjoyed seeing Bastille & Bipolar Sunshine! Have you heard these bands? Are you a fan?

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Saturday, 12 October 2013

Meeting Rufus

Hello lovelies, I thought it was about time I introduced you to Mark & I's new addition. Meet Rufus, our baby hamster. We brought him home on the 16th September, we've had him for nearly a whole month and I don't know what I ever did without him! He keeps me company when Mark is working late, and I miss his furry little face when I don't get to see him.

He entertains and amuses me endlessly, the pictures below will show you some of the ways how!

1. I always give Rufus a little yogurt treat when I first wake him up, sometimes if he's feeling especially lazy, he'll only poke his head out of his bed to take the treat and go back to bed! 2. Rufus likes to climb up between his cage and his tunnel to say hello 3. He loves his tunnel, he spends half his time running back and forth in there, rolling onto his back and squishing himself through so he's facing the opposite way (if he gets bigger and carries on, he might get stuck!) 4. One of our first photos of Rufus, when he was still quite tentative with us but getting more curious 5. When we got Rufus I told Mark I'd like to get him a blanket, Mark told me hamsters don't like blankets... Rufus has adopted my blanket as his own, and he loves it! 6. Rufus stands at the edge of his cage to watch TV, or the bubble screensaver on my laptop!

7. Rufus snuggling up in my blanket on the sofa 8. Rufus sitting on top of his tunnel 9. Look at those tiny little ears! When it's really cold, I leave extra bedding for Rufus downstairs in his cage, he gathers it in his cheeks and takes it to his bed (he fits SO much in his mouth!) 10. Rufus the adventurer! Can you see his little nose peeking through the top of his tent? 11. Rufus sitting on his roof - his namesake! 12. Playing in his tunnel again, he likes me to pick bits of his food out his bowl and give them to him, he takes them in his tunnel and eats the 'good ones' and leaves the 'bad ones' untouched!

13. Whenever Mark is in another room, or coming down the stairs, Rufus' little ears prick up and he stays like this until Mark comes in 14 & 15. Playing in the blanket 16. Pushing the boundaries haha, I make the blanket so that he can't escape, but sometimes he likes to see if he can 17. Having snuggles, sometimes he's so calm he just snuggles in between my arm and side 18. Blanket snuggles

19. I make Rufus caves out of the blanket and he loves exploring 20. Rufus on his roof contemplating the great escape, he still hasn't braved it! 21 & 22. Tent playtime! 23. Eating apple in his tube, occasionally we give him a tiny chunk of fresh apple or half a grape, he does have dried fruit too 24. More sofa snuggles!

Did you enjoy meeting our fluffy little baby? It's time to wake him up and give him fresh food now :) if you'd like to see more photos of Rufus, I post them on my Instagram as linked below.

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Sunday, 6 October 2013

Adventures: Back to the Lakes part 2

One of my absolute favourite things about our time in the Lakes was the jam lady. I'm assuming the jam lady is in fact a lady, but for all I know she could indeed be a he; who am I to say men don't make jam?! As you can see in the photos, there's a little trolley outside the house with little pots of yummy homemade jams and marmalade for sale. There's also locally made honey for sale, and this visit there was even honey fudge and homegrown runner beans too. We always used to take jams home for our families, this time was no exception and I took my mum some marmalade (her favourite). I once painted a picture for the jam lady, of a bear holding a jar of jam. I left it on the trolley, I wanted to show my appreciation for such a lovely thing.

The views in Arnside are breathtaking. On a clear day you can see for miles. The particular route we take down to the village from the hostel is down a very steep hill with trees all down one side, running down was very fun but less so in the Winter when the leaves are slippy after the rain! There are benches all along the path running alongside the beach. We sat for a while and did some reminiscing. It was very blustery though, and very cold!

As I mentioned in my last post, one of our favourite things was sitting on the end of the pier at night. It's just as wonderful in the daytime too, and in true Suzy Bishop style we enjoyed putting twenty pence each in the telescope and looking out to sea.

This trip wouldn't have been complete if I hadn't brought Matisse (my lovely bear) along to the place where my painted bears were born. We had the most wonderful day, and I'm so happy we finally made it back to visit this lovely little village. I can't recommend it enough, and it's not too far from Lancaster town center either so it's perfect for a day out.

I'm in Leicester for a couple of nights now so I'll catch up with everyone in a few days. My Literature exam is on Monday, and I cannot wait for it to be over!!

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Thursday, 3 October 2013

Adventures: Back to the Lakes part 1

Last month, Mark & I ticked off another of my 25 by 25s and went back to the Lakes. This is Arnside, the quaint little village where Mark & I spent a lot of time together when he was working at the Youth Hostel in the last photos above. We'd spend our days wandering around the little village, eating cakes from the bakery, buying ice creams from the shop on the front and sending postcards to my family. When Mark was working I would sit painting, feeling inspired by how beautiful it is in Arnside (Arnside is where I first painted bears).

It was so wonderful to visit again, we loved spending time digging through the treasure in Past & Present, though sadly now it seems to have upped it's prices and become more of an actual antiques shop. It's still worth a visit, there are many curiosities to be seen. The binoculars had me at first sight, when I imagined myself as Suzy Bishop with them hanging round my neck. I resisted, just about!

The village itself is very picturesque, with the gorgeous houses and window fronted shops right on the front by the sea and the beach. We spent many hot (and very cold) days walking down on the beach, walking along the water's edge when the tide is out. One of our favourite things to do in Arnside was to go for midnight walks and sit on the end of the pier (windy as it was!), there's just something about being out at night in such a peaceful place (unless it's kicking out time at one of the two pubs!).

There's a lot of nature, and a lot of walking to be done if you're into that kind of thing. As our time was limited, we didn't venture out of the village but instead headed up to the Youth Hostel to relive the days we spent watching Coach Trip on a computer screen sitting on the single bed. Sadly, the Youth Hostel is up for sale and it may not be a Youth Hostel for too much longer. It's a beautiful building, with all the ivy growing over it and the old brickwork. It's certainly old fashioned inside too!

More photos & stories to come in part 2 :)

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