Saturday, 31 December 2011

2011 sign off

Happy last-day-of 2011 to all my lovely followers! Today I have been reminiscing a lot on the year, and I cannot believe how quickly it has gone! This time last year I was frenetically planning my Wedding ready for April 7th, now I am rapidly approaching my first anniversary! Nuts!

Thinking back over the year, and the many experiences and achievements of 2011, I decided to put together a photo story of some of my favourite moments, days out and adventures : )

March 2011: My hen weekend in Brighton. I had such an amazing time with some great friends, we shopped, rolled down massive hills in zorbing balls and danced the night away in Brighton's amazing clubs!

April 7th: My Wedding day aka the best day of my life so far! I spent the majority of 2010 planning my dream day,  with no stone left unturned. We married in a gorgeous old church near our home and held our reception at the 17th century Jacobean manor, Boy's Hall. We had exclusive use for three days and could not have been any happier. The sun shone, every little detail was taken care of and everything was just perfect : )
A shot of us in our Wedding finery and our gorgeous cupcake tower. My father sourced all of the Vintage china tea cups, plates, saucers and cake stands for my big day : )
April 2011: For our honeymoon, we took the trip of a lifetime to Thailand for 2 weeks. We stayed in a luxury 5 star resort and spent our time sight seeing, swimming, sun-bathing, trying out as many restaurants as possible and as the shot shows, meeting new friends! We were so excited about our elephant ride, and we were not disappointed.
Beautiful clear sea in Thailand
'Our' pool, right next to our room. One of the many we were able to use.
May 2011: Overnight trip to London to see Legally Blonde. An amazing show!
July 2011: Trip to Hever Castle. We took advantage of the good weather we had this Summer and went on lots of trips to National Trust and English Heritage properties.
Another sunny day enjoyed in July, picture taken at Littlestone beach.
Hubby's birthday weekend in August was spent in Herefordshire at the Big Chill festival. We had a fantastic day and enjoyed so many amazing acts.
Picture of Kanye West performing at the Big Chill festival, our ultimate favourite : )
September 2011: Night out in London with the girls, to say goodbye to Anna (left) and good luck for her work placement in Moscow. Girls nights have remained so important to me this year, for all their support, fun and laughter, I could not be without them XX
October 2011: Purchase of my first Mulberry bag, the East West Bayswater. Gorgeous, classic Mulberry.  A love affair has begun!
November 2011: Christmas begins! I went to the Country Living Christmas fair in London with my best friend and our mums. Perfect for festive spirit and pre-Christmas purchases!
December 2011: 4 day mini-break to Berlin with hubby. A perfect way to celebrate my birthday and finish off the year nicely. We saw so many sights, shopped and had an amazing time.

Just a selection of some of my highlights, 2011 has proved to be a very good year for me for so many reasons! Work has gone from strength to strength for me and hubby, I am officially 'outstanding', we have spent another year in our amazing house, and our baby rabbit Woody is healthy and happy! We have travelled, seen a great deal, married, made some big purchases and stayed blissfully happy and in love! I am so excited about 2012 and all that it may bring, so all I can say is, watch this space!

Here is to a happy and healthy New Year for all my lovely followers, may all your dreams come true in 2012! XOXO

Thursday, 29 December 2011

End of year purchases : )

Hello dolls, how is everyone today? Hope everyone is still on holiday, and if you have gone back to work, it's nice and relaxed for a bit!

I met up with the girls last night, one friend back from working in Moscow and one friend down from Manchester, it was lovely to catch up with all the goss. I stayed over my at my best friends house last night and today we headed off to Lakeside for a day of shopping. We got there around half 11 and it was surprisingly easy to get to and park, no traffic to speak of. The shopping centre itself wasn't too busy, and only got busy later in the day just before we left.

I'm pleased to say I came away with a few bargains! As I hate sales shopping so much and rummaging through dis-organised displays, we stuck to the few shops that we know do sales well, and keep on top of the mess. This was only a few shops, and then we stuck to the full price merchandise in the less organised shops. Below is a little selection of some of my fave purchases : )

Jimmi Jams pjs from Boots - it infuriates and delights me simultaneously that  Boots put their entire Christmas stock in the sale just after Christmas! I always have a good look and stock up on anything I might need for the year such as shower gels, bath bubbles, face cream etc, as well as all my Christmas cards, wrapping and tags for next year! I picked up these pjs because I loved the cute slogan and bunny print, and thought they were good value at £14.
Close up of the pjs, and my own cheeky bunny making an appearance in the picture!
Aaah love : ) I have wanted a comfy pair of black wedge boots (although they look grey in the pic!) for ages  and saw these today in Debenhams. I was shocked they had a size 5 as being a common size, they often sell out quickly. These boots are by Faith and originally cost £60. They were reduced to £30 : )
Another style of boot I have been keeping an eye out for recently is the Chelsea boot. These  boots fit the bill perfectly and look a bit vintage I think. They are by Red Herring and were reduced by 70% - £60 to £18! Both boots are leather which is an added bonus : )
Rubbish picture, these jeans from Zara are really nice- skinny, navy blue colour with gold zip detail to the ankle.  They were only reduced by six pound but were still a good bargain at £19.99.

Pretty pleased with my purchases, especially the boots, they should see me through a few winters to come and will work with so many outfits. In terms of good sale shops, I found Zara the best, with the majority of stock being in the sale. Unfortunately a couple of items I wanted were not in my size so I shall have to be eagle-eyed and visit a few more Zara branches to see if I can get hold of them.

Has anyone else had any successful sale purchases recently? XOXO

Tuesday, 27 December 2011

December haul

Hello Christmas elves how are you all? I hope everyone had an amazing Christmas and received everything they asked Santa for! I was (as usual) thoroughly spoilt by hubby, I had sooo many pressies, too many to list, but they included Pandora charms, Philosophy products (one of my favourite brands), perfume, CDs and DVDs, Stila products and plenty of Lush of course! I was treated before Christmas as well to my Pandora bracelet and charms, which hubby purchased at Berlin Schoenefeld airport.

 In addition, hubby and I decided to treat ourselves to a couple of new bits after Christmas, and today made purchase one... an iPad 2! We were never  sucked into the marketing hype surrounding this product for a long time, but decided recently that it would be a good idea to have an extra computer in our lounge so we can chill together and still use a computer if needed. I have to say it is very cool, we went for the white coloured one as this is Apple's signature colour. Couple purchase number two will be a new LED TV which is long overdue! I was all for buying one today but hubby wants to research so we get the best possible quality. I am not fussed, as long as it looks good and is uber thin, I am happy!

Today's post is about a couple of purchases I made before Christmas that I wanted to share. I went to Bluewater on the 22nd December to buy hubby his last few pressies but couldn't resist buying some new bits for myself too. At this point, Mango had already put the entire shop in the sale so I treated myself to a few new pieces that will work very hard, suitable for both work and play.

New Mango dress, this was originally £44.90 and was reduced to £29.90. I love the classic style and colour and the way the dots get smaller and closer together down the dress. It also has a really cute rope belt tie waist with tassel detail. I wore this dress with my brown brogue style heels from Office and my Mulberry.
Mango skirt, £24.90 reduced to £14.90. I like the floral print and think this will work will in Spring and Winter alike. I plan to wear this with tights, flat boots and a jumper tucked in.
I have been searching for a soft casual grey jumper for a while and found the perfect one in  Topshop. This jumper was £36 and not in the sale, but so gorgeous : ) I actually lost this jumper, I think because I was carrying a million bags and didn't feel the bag drop. I checked with customer services today though and someone had handed it in! So pleased! : )
Black shift style dress £44.90 reduced to £29.90. I really like the on-trend leather details on the arms, pockets and neckline, and as the dress is so classic, it will last a good few years.
I am glad that I managed to make a few sales purchases because I am not anticipating finding many more. As I have previously blogged, I am not a fan of sales, and never seem to find anything worthy of a second glance. Today for instance, when hubby was in the Apple shop looking at the iPad, I had a quick look in Urban Outfitters and was massively unimpressed with what I found. So much of the clothing looked old and tired, and I know I would never pay full price for it so its not worth buying it just because its cheap. I think I have concluded that I am just not a sales person, bar perhaps towels, boxers for hubby, plates, boring essentials etc, sales are just not worth it for me. I know some people have to wait for sales, especially in the current economic climate, but luckily, I don't need to, so I think I will avoid them altogether! (Having said this, I still need to shop so will not be able to avoid the stupidly busy shopping centres while all these sales are going on! : (

Has anyone else had any luck with the sales? Or found any amazing bargains? XOXO

Saturday, 24 December 2011

Brilliant Berlin

Hello twinkly Christmas-tree lights!! Wow it seems I have been gone so long from the world of blogging!  The last couple of weeks have been manic, a whirlwind of social events, meals out, trips to London (we saw the Nutcracker - completely wow!) and the last few days which we spent sightseeing and generally having an amazing time in Berlin! Tied in with all this was my last week at work which was busy busy with me staying late to get all my marking done so I am free to enjoy my Christmas holiday! I still can't quite believe I made it to the end of term, I am so grateful and in need of a lovely long rest now before the madness starts again!

Anyway, back to Berlin, well, what can I say, such an amazing city! I have previously visited Paris and Milan, and enjoyed them immensely, but I have to say, I think Berlin may edge past them in my affections just a bit (I adore Paris, so it feels slight blasphemous to say this!) There was so much to see and do, the city felt so cosmopolitan and buzzing, but not in the same manic and stressful way that London can sometimes feel. Even though it was Christmas, and people had travelled from all over for the Christmas markets, I never felt pushed along, or hemmed in, and we always got a seat on the tube, whatever time of day we were travelling! Our hotel was amazing, we enjoyed our free mini-bar, flat screen TV and amazingly massive bathroom.

We spent 3 full days in Berlin and used our time wisely. Being as acutely organised as I am, I had already planned where we were going, our routes and directions were all printed and ordered according to district. I tried to prioritise the main attractions, fully anticipating that we will one day return and continue to see other sights and attractions. We did a little shopping, however for once I was too enthralled and caught up in everything Berlin had to offer, shopping fell a little by the wayside! We did make a few purchases at the Christmas markets though, some lovely wooden tree decorations, and a wooden nutcracker to stand on my bookshelf at Christmas time. I also took full advantage of the duty free at the airport, and indulged myself in some Benefit products, some perfume and some gorgeous grey suede gloves. At Berlin Schoenefeld airport coming home, I spotted a Pandora shop, and am happy to say that hubby took the opportunity to re-purchase me a bracelet and 3 charms (I sadly lost my first bracelet a few months back). So I am well on my way to re-building my beloved Pandora bracelet again!

Just a few pics from our trip...

At the top of the Fernsehturm, a panoramic view over Berlin
One of the many Christmas markets. I tried to pack and dress for the weather but I was so not prepared for how cold it was going to be (hubby explained that Germany does not benefit from the Gulf stream in the same way we do, I thought he was talking about an airline...) On day one I wore my Forever 21 navy blue skirt with a vest top and cream Zara jumper tucked in. I tried to be 'winter ready' by wearing my warmest Armani Exchange coat, my new suede gloves, my Red or Dead boots and a Marks and Spencer scarf... needless to say I failed and I was bloody freezing!
Ferris wheel that we went in, I love the cute little carriages : )
Outside the Berliner Dom. We went on an audio tour around the Cathedral (by the end of the trip we were rather addicted to audio tours!)
We walked up 276 steps to reach the top of the Berliner Dom, so worth it for the amazing view.
On our first night we went to a lovely Italian restaurant in our neighbourhood. I wore my Urban Outfitters polka dot dress with a brown River Island belt and my warm boots.
Hubby outside the Schloss Charlottenburg. It snowed lightly on this day which was so Christmassy!
Outside the Reichstag buildings. I was blown away by the architecture and design of this building.
The Brandenburger Tor
By day two I had succumbed to the cold weather and purchased a hat in Jack and Jones. I am so not a hat person and resisted for as long as possible, but hubby kept insisting so in the end I caved. Glad I did, it did make me feel a lot warmer. (And will now be relegated to the back of a drawer!) This picture shows the Ritter chocolate factory where we made our own chocolate bars, I kept it simple and picked Smarties to go into mine. : )
Day three, I wore my Zara jeans with tights underneath, thick socks and my warm boots. I had a warm H & M jumper underneath my coat, and a lovely dark green scarf that I purchased in Vero Moda on Friedrich Strasse. This picture was taken inside the Sony Centre at Potsdamer Platz.
Just a little selection dolls, I took loads of pictures in total! I fully recommend Berlin for a city break, and even though it was soooo cold, it was so Christmassy too, which really put me in the festive spirit (as if I needed any help!) It was a great chance for hubby and I to just relax too, we chatted and laughed, made plans and just chilled in a way that its sometimes hard to when you lead such busy lives. Couple trips are so important for re-connecting, it was the perfect end to a perfect year : ) XOXO

Sunday, 4 December 2011

Busy December days : )

Hey glitter belles, how is everyone on this chilly Sunday?? I have had the most chilled day ever which I was in dire need of! I have had the busiest week (hence the lack of posts!) so I really needed a relaxing day today!

My week was as busy as ever at work, and my weekend has been nuts too. Thursday night I went to a lovely little salon in Hamstreet for a spray tan and Jessica mani and pedi which was great. Friday night was hubby's work Christmas party which takes place at a Marriott Hotel every year. We had a great night although I did end up a tad tipsy due to the free bar that his company insist on providing for us... still we had great fun and danced the night away, which is the most important thing at a Christmas party! Saturday was my annual school trip to Ypres in Belgium, we spent the day visiting cemetries, war memorials and the afternoon at the Christmas market and chocolate shops of Ypres. A fantastic day all round, the pupils were exceptionally well behaved and made me very proud : ) So that leaves today, I was completely shattered after my busy week so I slept late, then chilled on the sofa with snacks and films! Just fabulous : )

Beautiful Cathedral, twinkly lights and back of the Christmas Market in Ypres, Belgium : )

As promised a couple of blog posts ago, I have recently bought some new goodies that I want to share with you all!
Gorgeous Christmassy Shopping bags!
Silk Ecote dress from Urban Outfitters £25 (was £58). After my successful sale rummage in UO the other day, I decided to have another look when I was at Bluewater the other day. I found this gorgeous silk dress in my size and snapped it up quick! I really like the colours and print, plus the classic style will work for many seasons to come.  Unfortunately, although the dress was available online, it sold out very quickly... you can however buy the same style in a rather nice black and wildflower print and a not-so-nice (in my opinion!) orangey shade with a kinda triangley print... (both these styles still have all sizes available)
Kimchi and Blue Startlet skirt Urban Outfitters £20 (was £40). I liked the cute print on this skirt, and thought it would work well for both work and weekend, with thick tights, boots and a classic piece of knitwear.
Blackberry bath bomb £2.75 Lush. Just because it smelt gorgeous and I do love a bit of Lush pampering!
Cashmilon ruffle scarf from Marks and Spencer £15. This scarf is so warm and cosy and looks great on.
Naughty little treat from Waitrose...
I couldn't resist buying some toffee and banana cupcakes, as well as some festive  Raymond Briggs 'The Snowman' cupcakes! I love the Patisserie at Waitrose, whenever I am shopping I struggle to walk past without giving in... 

Well that's about it lovely followers, I hope everyone is feeling Christmassy now and getting in the Christmas mood! I have pretty much finished my Christmas shopping now, I wrapped all my presents last weekend and I plan to put the tree up next Sunday! Sooo excited for the rest of December, I have so much fun stuff coming up, feeling very lucky and happy right now : ) XOXO

Sunday, 27 November 2011

Lush haul

Hello Cinnamon swirls, and happy Sunday to all! I have had a lovely day with hubby, we went shopping for some family Christmas presents and managed to get pretty much everything! I am going to get everything wrapped up now so I can feel super smug and organised! We ate at Cafe Rouge after our successful shopping trip, which was yum as always : )

Today's blog post is about a two of my favourite things: nice relaxing baths and Lush! I don't know about anyone else, but I always prefer to have a bath than a shower, I just love lighting candles, using gorgeous smelling products, and having a lovely long soak! I find baths so relaxing, which is very much needed in my life when I am sooo busy!! Bath time is most relaxing and complete for me when I have some Lush products to use, I really find Lush products hard to beat. I recently added the Lush gingerbread house bubble bar to my Christmas list, but couldn't resist buying it when I was in Lush the other day! I also purchased the Magic Wand bubble bar and a couple of bath bombs, which I haven't tried yet.

Magic Wand Bubble Bar £4.95. I love the lollipop style, the gorgeous neon pink ribbon and jingle bell!
Simply swish the wand under the tap for roughly a minute... mounds of frothy bubbles will pile up instantly!
As you can see, the bath water has turned a gorgeous girly pink colour and there are lots of lovely bubbles!
After one use, the bubble bar looks pretty much the same, I reckon this will  provide me with a fair few more baths making it excellent value for money. I stored the stick upright after use to dry off, ready for its next use.
Gorgeous little gingerbread house bubble bar. I love the cute roof with sprinkles : )
I broke off about a third of the gingerbread house and crumbled it under the tap. The water turned a festive pumpkin orange shade and smelt divine! Again plenty of gorgeous bubbles!
I have been so impressed with both of these products. The snow fairy magic wand is the epitome of femininity, it smells just like candy canes and candyfloss. The gingerbread house smells like sweet gingerbread and cninamon, and is a perfect Christmassy scent. Both produce long lasting bubbles, and the scent lingers on the skin long after the bath is over! I found that they both made my skin really soft as well, which is an added bonus.

Has anyone else tried these products?? I can't wait to try the rest of my Lush haul, and I will definitely be stocking up on more gingerbread houses and magic wands to last me long into the new year!

More soon lovely readers XOXO