Wednesday, 27 March 2013

Normal Service Will Be Resumed Shortly

Well hello, anyone remember me?!?! I have had a massive break but am gearing up to get back into the blogging this week. I have quite a bit to update on and a lovely pair of glasses from Firmoo to review. I have been quite ill but unable to take time off work which has led to being so wiped out that blogging had to be put on the back burner for a while. I am now feeling a bit better and ready to get back into it.

One thing I have been doing whilst I have been resting and trying to get well is my knitting.  I finally managed to finish my hooded cardigan.  It is not the best, I used the wrong sized needles and my tension is a bit off (I didn't do a tension gauge square) so it is cropped haha, but I am quite proud of it.  To say I taught myself to knit about 6 weeks ago, I don't think I have done too bad, what do you think...

Right, I have to go defrost the fridge freezer (we are finally getting a new one delivered tomorrow, hurrah!) and then a bit more rest to really shake off this illness. Only two more days of antibiotics to go and then hopefully I will be all shiny and new again.  I hope everyone is doing ok, I am looking forward to catching up on some blogs over the next week :)

Friday, 8 March 2013

New Dress and I Knitted Something!

Dress from Dorothy Perkins Petite, Shoes from Peacocks

Not sure what has happened to the side of my face here (I think it was the light) looks like someone bit a chunk out of my cheek haha
I just realised that this is the first outfit post I have done in what feels like ages! I got this dress new today from Dorothy Perkins Petite section (from the website, they also had 20% off selected Petite dresses so it was a real bargain). I actually bought it with summer in mind (it will look so pretty with some tan wedges and a denim jacket) but seeing as it is absolutely freezing at the moment and we have snow forecast (again!!) I have had to wear it with my trusty Primark 100 denier tights (I really don't know how I would survive through winter without them!!) Wow how many brackets did I just use in that paragraph (quite a lot!) Lol.

There's not too much to update you on, I have worked my arse off all week (Work is depressingly stressy) but I suppose the main news/feature of my week is that the boiler broke again! We had a man out to fix it but within a few hours of him leaving it leaked again, booo blooody hooo. We have had so many problems with it and have just had to accept we need a new one so I have to take the day off work on Monday for the man to come round and install us a new one. It is going to cost us a small fortune, I can think of so many better ways to spend that money too. Mr Bertie has managed to do something to it which means we can keep the heating on until the new one comes (handy in this weather!) but we have no running hot water until Monday. Luckily we have an electric shower so we can still get hot water through that for a shower and for everything else we have a kettle I guess. I usually have a bubble bath every single night (indulgent I know, but hey what can I say, I like to live like a princess haha) and I was craving one so badly tonight (the water has been off since Wednesday) that Mr Bertie kindly switched the hot water back on so I could run one. This has resulted in a load more water leaking out, we did put a bucket under it and towels on the floor but we still have some clearing up to do. It was definitely worth it though, I feel so much better and all relaxed now ready for my weekend.

Speaking of the weekend, I am glad it is here but I don't really have all that much planned.  We are having a DVD and chocolate (for me) and beer (for Mr Bertie) night tonight. Tomorrow I am doing my usual weekend cleaning session and some knitting (I am really getting into it at the moment much to the dismay of Mr Bertie) and then tomorrow night Mr Bertie is going out so I will probably find a girly film to watch or catch up on reading some blogs. On Sunday we are taking my Mum out for afternoon tea for Mother's Day at a lovely vintage tea shop in my town. I can't wait, I haven't seen my Mum in a month as she has been in New Zealand on holiday and also I have been wanting to try this place out for ages. I will take some photos and let you know what it is like :)

So how has everyone elses week been? What are you up to this weekend, do you have plans for mothers day if you are in the UK? Also check out this cardigan/jacket thing I knitted, I didn't use a pattern so the dimensions are a little off (and also the reason I didn't do a proper neckline) but it is the first thing I have knitted so I am really chuffed with myself. It is too small for a baby but it fits on my Steiff teddy bear, it makes him look like he is wearing a dressing gown hahah. What do you think to my first attempt? I am now working on a full sized adults cardigan working from a proper pattern this time, wish me luck!

PS, I just realised this is my 100th post on this blog, woo go me, I never imagined I would last this long with it!

Tuesday, 5 March 2013

Our Trip To Edinburgh - Part Two

Following on from the first part of our Edinburgh trip story yesterday, this is about the second (and last) day we spent in Edinburgh

Breakfast in Bed
After the let down of the day before, Sunday started with a lovely breakfast tray brought up to us in bed and freshly brewed coffee.  We took our time over breakfast and then I packed and we got ready to check out of the hotel. I was really sad to go, it was a really lovely hotel and I wish we could have stayed longer. If you are looking for a hotel to stay in whilst you are in Edinburgh then I really recommend this place, very centrally based and the rooms are very luxurious. Plus all the staff were really helpful too, couldn't ask for more.

The Royal Mile
After we dropped the suitcase in the car we walked up the Royal Mile going in and out of the souvenir shops and exploring the little alleyways that run off the main street. I wanted to go to the National Museum but Mr Bertie wasn't up for it so I agreed to go for a pint instead in a traditional pub

During our time in the pub we had a really interesting conversation about fashion/clothing and how it can project an image of who you are/what you are like to people you meet. We were sat at the window watching people walking past and playing the game of guessing what their job was and where they were going to/what they were doing. It got quite amusing and apparently we saw a high class prostitute and a drug dealer (lol), it was funny to hear Mr Bertie's thoughts on certain trends and items of clothing. Apparently the 'blogger look' is old fashioned and granny like.  This is what he came out with when I pointed out a girl in coloured opaque tights, brogues, a short skirt, duffel coat and cloche hat and said 'ooh I reckon she is a blogger, I love that outfit'.  Apparently Mr Bertie does not like that look, lol.

After our wandering around the Royal Mile and our fashion 'discussions' in the pub we decided to head for some lunch and found a lovely pub on the Royal Mile where we had lamb shanks and mashed potato. Seriously warming comfort food (the weather wasn't as nice on Sunday and was actually really cold)

Camera Obscura
The rest of the afternoon was spent in the Camera Obscura museum which was great fun and had some really amusing exhibits.  It's quite hard to describe this museum but here are some photos of the fun we had in there...

It was soon 6pm and time to head off home so we walked back to the car and set off on the long journey back down.  Although this time it was much less stressful and a much shorter journey than on the way up (thank goodness for that!)  Goodbye Scotland....

We finally got home about 10.30pm and suddenly remembered about the broken boiler when we came into a freezing house with no hot water.  We had to put on the oil radiator and electric heater to warm up the bedroom and filled the bed with hot water bottles. It was a VERY cold welcome home for us!! Thankfully the plumber has been today and sorted it out but I have had a very cold 18 hours waiting for it to be sorted.

Despite all the bad things that happened before we set off (and the cold welcome home) we had a fabulous weekend and are already looking forward to our next mini break (Newcastle in May) I can't wait!!!

I hope everyone had a lovely weekend and a good start to the week! Roll on Wednesday :)

Monday, 4 March 2013

Our Trip To Edinburgh - Part One

So this weekend was fabulous but didn't exactly get off to the best start.  

Part One - The Boiler Drama
It all started at 1pm on Friday afternoon when I was cleaning the house before we headed off (does anyone else do that, make the house all nice and clean for any prospective burglars who may want to pop in whilst you are away? Lol) and as hoovering the utility room I noticed a massive puddle of water all over the floor. On further investigation (and after much swearing and tutting) I noticed it was coming from the central heating boiler. At this point I freaked out massively and decided to call Mr Bertie who was busy at work and asked if I could sort it out myself. This resulted in me shouting and then putting the phone down on him. I was in the middle of packing for our trip, ironing his clothes and doing his washing to make sure his shirts and trousers were ready for work when we got back late on Sunday night and now he wanted me to be a plumber too during all this?!?!?!? Unimpressed is an understatement!! I told him he needed to come home right now and for once he actually listened and was back within 45 minutes.  When he got back he did some things I don't understand (which involved the heating needing to be turned off and the warm water being turned off also) and then called a plumber to come on Monday afternoon when we got back.  Disaster semi averted, I finally managed to get packed and off we set to the airport to catch our flight to Edinburgh feeling a lot less stressed and excited for our little break.

Part Two - Motorway Chaos
We began to realise this day was just going to get worse as we got into the car and turned the sat nav on which has a function to tell you the expected time of arrival at your destination.  It was now 4pm and our flight was at 6.05pm. Our airport is a 45 minute drive away so by these timings we would have an hour from arriving to parking up the car, checking in and going through security to getting on the plane. A good amount of time and we had also left an extra half hour to factor in heavy traffic.  However, the sat nav was predicting the journey to take 1 hour 35 minutes from the point we got into the car.  Very worrying, as this meant we would only just make it before check in closed for the flight, and that would be pushing it. But, as it was a Friday afternoon and traffic can be bad on a Friday afternoon we set off telling ourselves this arrival time would change as the traffic cleared away.  I was being very optimistic and upbeat but Mr Bertie was quite stressed and certain we were going to miss the flight. I have never missed a flight before and have flown loads, so I figured this kind of thing doesn't happen to me, I am not one of those people it will be fine. Well I was wrong, very wrong.  

As we got closer to the motorway there were tailbacks leading to the junction going on to the motorway and as we got closer to the slip road there was a policeman signalling for us to drive past and cars coming up the slip road off the motorway. This was a one way road onto the motorway and the cars were coming the wrong way, very confusing. We then drove over the bridge that crosses the motorway and saw something horrible, traffic jammed bumper to bumper and not moving at all for as far as the eye could see (about 10 miles) we turned on the radio and found out from the news that there had been a massive crash about an hour earlier wiping out the whole of the central reservation.  This had resulted in the motorway being closed and cars being stuck whilst they cleared the crash (thankfully nobody was hurt). I tried to stay positive and we began to follow the alternative route to the airport that the sat nav was directing us along.  This was a narrow country road that was now full of rush hour traffic that had to follow this route instead of taking the motorway, the sat nav was predicting us arriving at the airport at 7pm! It was at this point that even I had to admit defeat so I called the airline to see if there was a later flight they could transfer us on to (explaining the situation so hopefully they took pity on us and did it for free) The lady I spoke to agreed she could do it for free (hurrah) but that the next flight wasn't until 7am the next morning (boooooo).  We couldn't have taken this option as the hotel had a 24 hour cancellation policy meaning if we didn't arrive that night as expected they would still charge us for that night's stay, plus getting there at 8am on Saturday morning would leave us with even less time than we already had planned. We both agreed it would be best to just drive and head off as soon as possible (which was in the opposite direction!!) It took us over an hour to get back to where we started, where we headed off on the 4.5 hour car drive up to Edinburgh. Despite losing £240 on the flights and airport car parking (which were both non refundable) and the petrol costs adding another £100 onto our journey costs, we were both in good spirits and I think Mr Bertie secretly enjoyed having a road trip in his new car.  From then on I am pleased to say things got a lot better!

The Drive Up and Checking In
We had a surprisingly nice drive up with no traffic and had a giggle talking about random things as we went.  We made a few stop offs and eventually arrived at the hotel at 10.30pm.  Any stress about the journey was completely forgotten as soon as we checked into our room, it was gorgeous and full of lots of little gadgets that we both appreciated. At the end of our bed was a HD3D TV with movies and sky TV. 

The bathroom had a massive roll top bath made for two (ooh errr) and a TV you could watch whilst taking a soak. It was geek heaven so we were completely at home!  

By the time we had got checked in a settled it was 11.30pm so all the restaurants were closed, we had no option but to go to a takeaway instead (highly glamorous!)  The first place we went into had all sorts of weird battered objects that we had to ask the lady what they were (battered haggis and battered black pudding apparently, ewwwww) so I asked her if they had anything not battered or any healthy options to which she laughed and said "you're in Scotland now, this is your lot" I found this amusing but wasn't ready to give in an eat some battered haggis so said we would try some more takeaways and come back if we couldn't find anything. She wished us good luck and I could hear her laughing at us as we left the shop.

It turns out she was right! Everything in the takeaways was either battered, covered in cheese or battered AND covered in cheese. I could feel my arteries clogging just looking at it all. In the end we found a place that made us a thin and crispy pizza with chicken (not battered) jalapenos and some 'spicy meat' which tasted ok but that 'meat' turned out to be donner meat, yummy (not!) but we were so hungry we ate it anyway. After that we headed back to the hotel and watched the Terminator in bed whilst drinking beers, it felt so lazy and luxurious. I think we fell asleep about 3am.

The First Day and A Night Out
For our first day we had a sleep in until 10am and then headed downstairs for breakfast, which turned out to be a piece of fruit and a coffee each. I was not impressed as when I booked the hotel I was told we would get a 'gourmet continental breakfast brought to your room at a time of your choosing' but, being English, I didn't complain and we headed out to find a pub to buy a proper breakfast (I must add I did query this when we got back to the hotel later on and they apologised profusely, there had been a mix up, they took £20 off our bill to cover the breakfast we had to buy extra on the first day and brought us a menu to choose our breakfast in bed for the second day and we could choose the time, so all was well in the end. It obviously pays to politely query/complain)  After our breakfast we headed to the Edinburgh Dungeons where I spent the next 90 minutes poohing myself at all the dark rooms we were taken through and all the gory stories. On one of the rides (the attraction is a walk through thing but has two rides inside too) I sat hanging onto Mr Bertie with my eyes closed the whole way through saying "what can you see? what is it? Is anything happening?" the couple sat next to me were in hysterics at me. There was an 8 year old kid on our tour who was braver than me, the shame!!  I had said if I managed to do this tour without being too scared I would do the underground ghost tour thing but after the way I reacted to this tour and reading Amber's account of her experience of the underground tour, I felt I might be risking a heart attack and decided against it.

We went for a pint of traditional real ale after this to calm my nerves and plan where we were heading to next. I think Mr Bertie found the whole thing rather amusing, he is obviously much braver than me!  The weather was beautiful so we decided to have a walk around the centre of Edinburgh looking at the architecture and popping into the shops before heading back to the hotel to get ready for our night out. 

Our night our started with a curry at a restaurant near the hotel which was nice but nothing spectacular and then we headed over to The Beehive Comedy club for a night of boozing and comedy. We had a great time, if you are ever in Edinburgh I highly recommend this place. £7 each and you get 6 comedy acts and all get a seat (which is a selling point for me, I can't enjoy these places where you end up standing the whole way through). There was a stag party there who kept heckling the acts but the comedians were great with dealing with them (well most of them were anyway) and stopping them from taking over the whole evening. Also one of the acts who was only about 19 was absolutely hilarious, I need to find out his name and go see him if he is every on anywhere near us.  I predict big things for him, I wont be surprised if I see him on TV in the very near future.  I haven't laughed so much in ages!

We went for a couple more drinks after the comedy and headed back to the hotel about 1am slightly tipsy and ready for a good sleep.

Here is what I wore on Saturday night;

Here is what I wore on Saturday during the day;

I will end there (I think I have gone on long enough!) and be back tomorrow with some more photos and tales from the last day of our trip.

Has anyone been to Edinburgh before, do you recognise any of the places in my photographs?

Sunday, 3 March 2013

Quick update

Just a quick update as I'm on my phone and don't really know how to do a post properly on here. We're having a fabulous time and the hotel is gorgeous. Check out our bathroom complete with huge roll top bath and tv, love it!

We had a bit of an incident on the way up here (not an accident don't worry) but it was quite stressful. I'll update properly about it tomorrow. So the weekend got off to a very dramatic start.

Yesterday we went to Edinburgh dungeons and did a mini pub crawl which was fun. I'm currently sat waiting for our breakfast in bed to be brought up to us (ooh get me ha ha) and then today we're heading out to the camera obscura museum (I think that's what its called) then for lunch and on to Scottish museum. If we get time we're going to pop to Leith for dinner before setting off home. Although I don't want to think about home yet!

Have a lovely Sunday everyone.

Friday, 1 March 2013

Come Fly With Me!

Dress from BooHoo, Cardigan from Primark, Boots from ASOS

This is my travelling outfit, it doesn't need to be that comfortable as the flight is only an hour long! But I still like to be comfortable and fairly relaxed when travelling anywhere (No Victoria Beckham style travelling outfits for me!), especially when flying as my feet always swell up (so glamorous) and those airplane seats are anything but comfortable even for just a one hour trip!

I have spent the whole day sorting out the house doing my cleaning and washing that usually gets done over the weekend but obviously wont get done as we are away.  I have been running around like a headless chicken and have struggled to get everything done.  Every time we go away I promise myself I will be more organised but it never happens. How can I be so organised in my work life (and I mean super organised, I used to be a PA doing high level diary management and arranging travel arrangements etc and now my job involves a need for super organisation as we are so deadline focused and the workload is excessive) and so not organised in my home life? Maybe it is a rebellion against what I have to be like at work? Perhaps if someone paid me to be organised at home, like they do at work, I would be better at it?

I also promised myself I would be minimal in my packing (as I always do) but I failed (as I always do).  I am only there for 2 nights and 2 days but so far in my suitcase I have 6 dresses, a pair of jeans, 2 pairs of heeled dressy shoes, a pair of boots, a pair of slippers (wtf?!), 2 pairs of pyjamas, 2 jumpers, a spare coat, a blazer, loads of pairs of tights, more underwear than I could possible wear in a weekend, 2 sets of curling tongs (what?!?!), a massive bag of ALL my makeup, enough toiletries for a small family, the iPad (and I may pack the laptop too lol), magazines, sweets, spare handbag and various other odd bits and bobs. This is ridiculous clearly, but as I was packing I swear I had a valid reason for packing each thing;

"Oh but what if I decide I want smaller curls and have only brought my big barrel tongs, better pack both just in case"

"What if the hotel is cold and they don't have slippers in the rooms, I need to pack these I CAN'T have cold feet"

"I am not sure how dressy Edinburgh is for a night out so I will just pack a selection of dresses and then when we go out for a meal tonight I will look around and see which one to pick for our big night out on Saturday, genius"

"Well I can't just pack one pair of evening shoes as I don't know what dress I will be wearing Saturday night! Better take two then..."

Mr Bertie despairs at me. His packing list includes 3 tshirts, a spare pair of jeans (that I forced him to take as he usually spills curry or something on the pair he is wearing) the right amount of socks and pants for the number of days we are staying, a warm top for under his jacket, some pyjamas (which I also made him pack as he would just sleep in his pants) his toothbrush, aftershave and a small pot of hair product.  Now that is a man who can do minimalism.

Anyway, I am not sure why I am bothered, we have a 20kg luggage allowance and to me a luggage allowance is a challenge - how much can I fit in and still just be under the allowance? A very fun game, until you get to the airport and realise you have not weighed it properly and you find yourself opening your suitcase and exposing your underwear to a queue of annoyed holidaymakers behind you whilst you stuff your clothes into nasty plastic airline bags!

Well, I better be off, still got lots to do.  Have a great weekend everyone, I will try do mini updates whilst we are there, but if not I will be back with a mega update on Monday with lots of pictures.

Au Revoir!

Thursday, 28 February 2013

Transatlantic Fashion #2

It's time for our second Transatlantic Fashion of 2013 (wow, how fast did that come around?!?) So, I present to you Silver from the blog A Silver Snapshot, make sure you stop by her blog and check out more photos of her outfit and her great photography skills (she shares some beautiful photos on the blog).

I just love this outfit, the colour of the jeans is so vibrant and Spring-like and the scarf and boots go so well together. Plus, I rarely see people do double denim as good as this, a very cute and youthful outfit.

For my outfit today I wore a black skater skirt (from a small independent shop in town), a patterned top from Phase Eight, my trusty Dorothy Perkins boots and a biker jacket I got from H&M (still not sure about the jacket, not sure it is 'me'? but I am going to give it a chance)

We go to Edinburgh tomorrow and I am sooooooooo excited. I am just doing a short update today as I need to get packed (and do some washing and cleaning and also make the dinner! Busy, busy, busy bee)  Work was ok, however I didn't manage to get everything done that needed finishing before I left for my little break (there is not enough time in the day for that!), but short of staying there all night there is nothing I can do about it. So I am going to pretend it doesn't exist until I go back on Tuesday, good plan Stan.

I am really sleeeppppy and feel like I need a nap, must get some coffee down me as now is not a time for naps, it is a time for lists and organisation and planning! Get to it Janine, quick quick!!!

Is everyone looking forward to the weekend? Also what do you think of my new jacket - biker chick chic or complete wardrobe disaster?