Friday, 31 October 2014

October Monthly Round Up

A collection of things that happened in the month of September

Yet another month has flown by and I can’t believe we’re now all starting to think about Christmas. I’m sure we’ve only just had the summer holidays! This month has been another busy one, but thankfully I’m on half term at the moment, so am finally getting a bit of rest. At the beginning of the month I celebrated my 26th Birthday. I really hate getting older and can’t believe I’m in my mid-twenties – I still feel like a teenager! But I had a lovely birthday, celebrating with family and friends, so it wasn’t all bad!

As part of my birthday celebrations, my Dad and I went for a little day out to RHS Wisley, which was absolutely lovely. I’d never been before, but love garden centres and looking at pretty flowers, so this was a perfect trip out. It’s a massive place and we didn’t get a chance to see everything, but we had a lovely few hours mooching around the various gardens and greenhouses looking at an amazing range of flowers.

Our little man Freddie had an operation this month and he coped really well. It was a planned operation and nothing to worry about, but the poor thing got an infection afterwards so had to wear his ‘cone of shame’ a lot longer and was put on antibiotics. He was so cute when he came home from his op – still drugged up and wobbly. He needed lots of extra cuddles and pampering but after nearly a month he’s now back to his normal self, rushing round the house and garden!

A while ago I decided that I wanted to collect all the Disney DVDs, from 1-100 (or however many there are!) But for quite a while I only had one DVD, Tangled. Then this month I had an email from Amazon saying they were selling two Disney DVDs for £13, and I knew I couldn’t pass up on such a good offer. So, I decided to get my collection off the ground with four of my favourite DVDs. Believe me when I say it wasn’t an easy choice – I love them all! But eventually I managed to decide on these four and I am so in love with the gorgeous sleeves they came in. I’ve since ordered two more from Zavvi, but sadly they haven’t arrived in the same sleeves, which I’m a bit annoyed about because they were advertised in the sleeves. Now I’m just trying to stop myself from buying the whole collection all at once!

I had a couple of nice meet-ups this month. The first was a get together with some friends I’ve made through being ill. We had a lovely vintage tea party to celebrate my birthday and I was so overwhelmed by the number of people who turned up. It’s the biggest meet-up I’ve ever held, and we all had such a lovely time together. I was shattered afterwards but it was so worth it! Then, last week, I went to my first blogger meet-up in Southampton, which I really enjoyed. I think my favourite part was seeing Lush there, as they gave me the best hand and arm massage I’ve ever had! I couldn’t say no to treating myself to a few Lush Halloween bits!

Things I’ve learnt this month…

+   Birthdays make me feel quite overwhelmed and reflective
+   Sometimes you need to be really blunt to get the support you need
+   When I’m sad I buy lipstick – I have a lot of lipstick
+   I am so completely exhausted
+   Without a few very special people I don’t think I’d be here
+   Sometimes you just need a bit of pampering
+   Some people are so hypocritical
+   It can be quite overwhelming being surrounded by people who care about you
+   I’m so glad I found blogging as a hobby
+   Sometimes you just need to give in to your body and accept that you’re not well
+   It’s so important to give yourself time to rest when you need to

What to look out for in November

There don’t seem to be a huge amount of DVDs coming out this November (that I like the look of anyway!) But I did find a couple that I’m looking forward to picking up this month. The first one, which I’m so excited for, is The Fault in Our Stars, which is released on 3rd November. I read the book ages ago, and although I didn’t quite get the hype, I did think it was a good book. I wasn’t able to get to the cinema to see it, so I’m hoping to order it from Amazon and possibly watch it with my friend Lilli. Also this month is a more silly film, that looks quite fun to watch. If you’ve ever watched Britain’s Got Talent, you may remember Pudsey the dog. Well, this year he made a movie. I’m not expecting particularly great things with this movie, but I’m sure it will be a light-hearted movie to pass the time with.


November TV is looking pretty good from where I’m standing. We’ve already got Downton Abbey, The X Factor and Strictly, but there’s a few more new shows starting off as well. To start with, this Sunday (2nd November) is The Simpsons Day on Channel 4. It starts at 12.30pm and I for one can’t wait! I’m a massive fan of The Simpsons and can’t wait for a whole afternoon dedicated to them! A more serious show that I’m excited to watch is The Missing on BBC One. It’s all about the emotional fallout of a child’s abduction and looks absolutely brilliant. Episode One has already aired so I’ll be catching up on that before the next one airs. We’ve also got I’m a Celebrity starting this November. Am I just being really dense, or does it normally start after Christmas? I don’t remember it being on at the same time as X-Factor last year, but oh well – just more to watch! I always enjoy seeing Ant and Dec’s funny relationship over a couple of weeks, and feeling very jealous when they show all the gorgeous photos of Australia.

There’s a really big film coming out next month – The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 1. I absolutely loved the book and am a fan of both films so far, so I’m really excited to see the next instalment. It seems to be a bit of a trend these days to split the final book of a series into two films, so I’m hoping they will be able to keep the action going for both films.

Do you have any favourites or things you’ve learnt in October? What are you looking forward to in November?

Thursday, 30 October 2014

Festival Place Fashion Weekend Outfits

My local shopping centre, Festival Place in Basingstoke, is holding a Fashion Weekend on 1st and 2nd November 2014. I’m so sad that I’m not able to make it down there, but they did ask me to put together a couple of outfits from my favourite shops in Festival Place. I, of course, jumped at the idea to do some imaginary shopping, and came up with two outfit choices.

My first outfit is more of a smart option; so perfect for watching the catwalk shows at the shopping centre. I chose this gorgeous grey swing dress, which is only £19.99 in New Look. I’ve paired it with some warm black tights, also from New Look, and a beautiful tartan blanket cape, again from New Look at a very reasonable £19.99. I thought it looked so warm, yet still incredibly stylish. The New Look deep red boots, £39.99, would give this outfit a pop of subtle colour along with the burgundy bag, £29.99 from New Look. I love this colour in the autumn/winter months as I think it really reflects the beautiful colours of the leaves on the trees outside. I finished the outfit off with some cute Christmas earrings and a gold and pink necklace, both from New Look. As you can see, I’m a big fan of New Look at the moment – they have some brilliant outfit ideas for the colder month, which will mean you can look stylish but still keep warm and cosy.

For my second outfit I decided to go a bit more casual. Before we begin with the outfit itself, I thought it was important to start with some cute underwear, and I absolutely love these red reindeer knickers, £3.99 from New Look. I decided to go with a pair of statement jeans, from Topshop’s Moto collection, and then paired them with a snuggly Fairisle jumper, also from Topshop for £55. Over the top, I was absolutely smitten with this stunning Topshop biker jacket with a fur collar, which is perfect for the Autumn/Winter transition. I finished off this outfit with a pair of River Island black boots, £38, and a Cream River Island bobble hat, £12.

What would you choose from your local shopping centre? Are you local to Festival Place and fancy going along to their Fashion Weekend?

My Little DVF Box

If you saw my last post about ‘My Little Box’ you’ll know how much people are raving about this latest subscription box service. They started off just sending boxes out to people in France and Japan, but now they’ve come over to the UK and I mist say I’m incredibly glad! I was so excited waiting for my next box to arrive and when the postman did finally deliver it, I wasn’t disappointed.

As with the previous box, on the inside lid of the brown box was a cute little illustration saying ‘Love is Life.’ I think this is such a nice finishing touch and it’s something you can keep to perhaps put in a scrapbook when you need cheering up. The October box has been put together with the help of Diane von Fustenberg and although I don’t know an awful lot about her, I was really impressed with what they’d put together with her. The box is really sturdy – I actually used my last box to make someone a birthday present, which they absolutely loved! And it has this gorgeous illustration on the front.

When you open the box you are presented with the most beautifully wrapped goodies I have ever seen. I seriously didn’t want to undo the ribbon (and actually left it for quite a while) because it just looked so darn pretty!

The first thing I found when I undid the ribbon was another A5 print, this time of a glamorous woman lying across an office table, with the quote ‘Be the woman you want to be.’ I really love the idea of these prints and I’m hoping it will be something they continue to include each month. They would look great put in a frame and hung in an office, or it might just be nice to keep hold of them to look through when you’re in need of some inspiration. In this months box I also received the ‘My Little World’ A5 magazine, which I’m really looking forward to flicking through. From what I’ve seen so far, it seems to have a whole range of articles to read.

Underneath the print and magazine was this pin badge in the shape of a pair of red lips. Although it’s quite a fun thing to include, I’m not sure I’ll get much use out of it, as I don’t tend to wear pin badges, but I will definitely have a think about what I can do with it, and it does fit in well with the rest of the box.

I think perhaps my favourite item from this month’s box is this beautiful scarf. I absolutely adore the print and it’s definitely something I would wear, especially at this time of year. I also like the fact that the envelope it came in contains different illustrations of how you could wear your scarf, in case you’re stuck for a bit of inspiration.

The final thing I found in My Little Box this month were the cosmetics, which I’m assuming they will include in every box. They came, like last month, in a cute little cotton bag with a DVF logo on the front. I was really pleased with the cosmetics included this time round. The first thing I picked up was the Kerastase hair spray, which I will probably give to my sister, as I’m not a big user of hair spray. Next up were two tubes of L’Occitane hand cream, which I’m really excited about as I love hand cream and have always wanted to try this particular brand. Then came the ‘My Little Beauty’ offering, which, this month, was a Micellar water, which I’m really looking forward to using as it’s the type of product I already use as part of my skin care routine.

So, that’s everything that came in My Little DVF Box this month and I’ve got to say I’m really impressed by it. I’m already so excited about next month’s box and I’ve been watching lots of French videos on YouTube to see what has made it into other boxes!

Are you a fan of My Little Box? Or is there another subscription box that you would recommend?

Tuesday, 28 October 2014

Vintage Tea Party

As I mentioned in one of my Sunday Spotlight posts, I recently celebrated my 26th Birthday by holding a vintage tea party with a group of friends I have met through being ill. We chat to each other all the time on Facebook and by text, but because of our combined poor health and the distance between some of us, we don’t often get to meet up. I thought I would share with you a few photos from the party – I had the best time, caught up with some old friends and got to meet some new friends for the very first time, which was plain awesome!

I bought this cute chalkboard teapot to hang on my front door

The table was laden with all sorts of goodies including a whole end devoted to gluten and dairy free treats

I used little flags to label all the cakes and sandwiches

I borrowed some tea stands from friends and also received a beautiful one from a friend

Some of the gluten free goodies we had out
I finally had a chance to use my coloured Kilner jars and pretty stripy straws

We decided to add some lanterns to the table to make it look really pretty

My friend Jenny brought her Polaroid camera and I have now decided I definitely want one!

Leanne and I have known each other since we were about 16, but this was the first time we actually got to meet in person

I also got to meet my name twin, Jenny, for the very first time

I promised Katherine I would include her in my blog post (she's the one pulling a funny face at the back!)

We celebrated my birthday with a cute hedgehog cake from Waitrose and sparkler candles

I was so overwhelmed by the number of people who came to help me celebrate. It was a really special afternoon with some very special friends

Have you ever hosted or been to a tea party? What is your favourite thing to eat at one?

Sunday, 26 October 2014

Sunday Spotlight - 26th October 2014

In my life this week…

Under the weather

I have felt so run down this past week and all I’ve wanted to do is sleep. There’s not been a specific problem, just general exhaustion and not feeling too good. I’m not very good at listening to my body – I tend to push myself way too far and then crash, rest as much as I have to and then the cycle starts again. I know I need to learn how to pace myself better, but sometimes I just want to feel normal. To do things that normal people don’t give a second thought to. I want to go out for the day and not have to think about how ill it’s going to make me feel. I’m fed up of having to cancel plans because my body won’t behave itself. I’m so glad next week is half term. I’m going to spend it resting as much as I can, catching up on work I’m behind on and I’m really hoping I’ll find some energy to be able to see a couple of friends.

Image from Weheartit

ATOS Medical

This week I was meant to have a medical assessment with ATOS. I spent ages getting all my paperwork prepared for it, and worked myself up getting worried about being judged by someone I don’t know. Then, an hour before my appointment, just as we were planning to leave home, I got a phone call telling me they had cancelled my appointment. To say I was annoyed is an understatement! I’d taken the afternoon off college, missing an important revision lesson in Biology, and now that time has been wasted. They’re sending me a new appointment in a couple of weeks, which is likely to mean I will need to miss more college, which I just can’t afford to do. You’d think they would understand that, dealing with unwell people, they’d know that we don’t have unlimited amounts of energy to get ready for these sorts of things. So yes, I’m not too happy this week!

Image from Weheartit

Blogger Meet-up

After spending the whole week really trying to save my energy, yesterday I managed to head down to Southampton with my friend Sophie for my first ever blogger meet-up. Sadly the lady who organised it wasn’t able to get there, but she had done a fabulous job of setting everything up for us and I’m so glad I managed to go. Sophie and I got to have a lovely catch up, chatted to companies including Lush and ESPA and took part in a raffle (where I won first prize!) I’m planning to do a separate post all about the meet-up, so keep your eyes peeled for that.

What has grabbed your attention this week? I love hearing about people’s new discoveries and you may end up sharing something that makes it onto my list next week!

Saturday, 25 October 2014

Quote of the Day

As you may remember from previous posts, I have started working with a great little company called Itty Bitty Book Company. They produce the cutest little books, filled with inspirational quotes for any situation. In my work with them, I’ve decided that every other week I will share a quote with you that I feel applies to my life at that particular time. I love quotes and often turn to them when I need some motivation and inspiration, so I hope that by doing this I can help to inspire some of you too.

“Nothing is worth it if you aren’t happy”

I was drawn to this quote this week because if I’m honest I’ve been incredibly unhappy recently. My problem is that there isn’t something specific making me unhappy; it’s just the way my depression works, but this quote really got me thinking. We only have one life to live. That’s it. No second chances. So why should we go through life feeling unhappy about things? If something is making you sad or stressed out then instead of just accepting that you have to feel like that, why not challenge yourself and make yourself ask what you can do to stop these negative feelings. I feel like I’m spouting a lot of clich├ęs but life really is too short to put up with being unhappy about something. We will never get to live this life again, so I think it is so important to make it the best life we can possibly live. So, if something is making you unhappy at the moment, I challenge you to stand up and fight against it, because you deserve happiness just as much as everyone else does.

What quotes inspire you when things are difficult?

Thursday, 23 October 2014

Day at RHS Wisley

A couple of weeks ago I celebrated my 26th birthday with my Dad by going to RHS Wisley for a few hours. I’d never been before, but had seen photos from friends who had and thought it looked like a good day out, especially for someone who enjoys taking photos. Thankfully we picked the only sunny day among a whole load of rainy days to visit! It was mainly wheelchair friendly – I had hoped to hire a mobility scooter but they were all booked up when I rang unfortunately. We had a lovely day looking round at all the gardens and beautiful flowers and enjoyed a (rather expensive) lunch in one of the cafes. I thought it might be nice to share some of the photos I took with you, so I hope you enjoy looking through them.

Have you been to RHS Wisley before? Or can you recommend some other nice places to go for days out?