It’s the most wonderful time of the yeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeear!
This year I feel super Christmassy for some reason, and so in order to celebrate and indulge in a bit of festive fun here is the Christmas Tag! Thank you to Lola from Lolas Little Wonders for the list of questions!
What is your favourite Christmas Movie?
Santa Claus The Movie. No question about it! It was actually the first movie that my parents saw after I was born (first trip out sans bambino). I have to watch it every year. It is the law. Otherwise the world my implode.
I am also a massive fan of The Polar Express. Oh that film gives me all the warm and fuzzies.
Do you open presents on Christmas Eve or Christmas Morning?
Christmas Morning durr… how can you open presents before Father Christmas has been? Silly question…
Do you have a favourite Christmas memory?
Oh there are hundreds and hundreds, but generally sitting around the table with my family oh Christmas day eating dinner. Throwing Christmas cracker rubbish on the floor.
What is your favourite festive food?
My mum’s Christmas pudding! It is the best! And of course pigs in blankets.. om nom nom…
What has been your favourite Christmas gift?
This is too hard! I always got amazing gifts. I cannot think of one alone! A few years ago my mum got to get 2 kittens, that was my favourite present she ever got 😉
What is your favourite Christmas scent?
Christmas trees. The smell of pine is lush! Mulled wine is also pretty good 😉
Do you have any Christmas Eve traditions?
Bit of a weird one, but we have take-away curry! Nom!
What tops your Christmas Tree?
Nothing at the moment – I have bought 2 and both are too heavy for the tree! WAH!
As a kid what was one crazy gift you always asked for but never received?
Mr Frosty. (is such fun, he makes drinks for everyone). As an adult I now realise that my mother did not want me filled with sugar ice water… probably for the best.
What is the best part about Christmas for you?
Family. Giving presents to people, I love buying presents for people and finding that perfect gift. I often go way over my budget but it is so worth it!
FIND THE HAPPY – Monday 9th November 2015 – Sunday 15th November 2015
Happy #1: On Wednesday we went to our lovely friends Jack and Daisy’s house for dinner. We have not seen them in quite a while so it was really good to have a catch up over a glass of wine or two. Jack cooked a really delicious stew/casserole type thing. Perfect for the wet, windy horrible day it was.
Happy #2: Jezz doesn’t really eat a lot of chocolate so he never gets an advent calendar. For the past couple of years we have seen the development of the “non-edible” advent calendars. So this year, I decided to treat us both to one! For Jezz I went for the Lego City one. I got myself the Yankee Candle one. I am super excited for 1st December!
Happy #3: It’s the time of year where all the Christmas adverts start to appear on the TV and this year Sainsburys have outdone themselves. Do you remember the Mog books as a kid? You will love this. It made me so happy when I saw it!
Happy #4: On Thursday my work chums and I congregated with our colleagues from our sister school in Eastbourne at The Kings Head Pub in Lewes. We had a really delicious meal and a few drinks. I had the most delicious lamb and potato dauphinoise. Delicious!
Happy #5: On Saturday Jezz and I went up to London to see our friend Rob again. He is off to Canada travelling for a while at the end of the month so we joined his London friends for a goodbye shindig. We saw some friends that we hadn’t seen in a very long time, drank too much Prosecco and generally had a rather lovely silly hilarious time of it all. Thank you Rob for your hospitality and see you next weekend for round 2 *ding ding*
What have been your happies for the week? Don’t forget to link up with the tag #findthehappy
It has been quite a while since we have had one of these! I have let things slide! In case you need reminding, #findthehappy is where I look back on the week that has been and find 5 things that have made me happy that week. The idea being that I will have something to look back on through the #findthehappy tag that I can see to remind me of happy times.
So here we go.. back in business…
FIND THE HAPPY – Monday 2nd November 2015 – Sunday 8th November 2015
Happy #1: Technically this would have been the previous week, however the 1st November saw one whole year since I quit smoking! I cannot say it has always been easy, but it was certainly easier to quit than I thought it would be. I feel very proud of myself, stupid for having ever started, and pleased that it is all over and done with. I do not have any desire to start again, I do not miss it at all.
Happy #2: On Tuesday I went to go and see Priscilla Queen of the Desert at the Theatre Royal Brighton with Jo. It is one of our favourite films and we have been desperate to see the show since we saw it was on a couple of years ago. Lucky for us another tour was doing the rounds so on Tuesday we met after work. We had Wagamamas for dinner (YUM) and then went to go and watch the show. It was so good, 3 glasses of wine and all that glitter… goodness… I cannot begin to explain the joy.
Happy #3: On Friday we enjoyed a really delicious dinner with our friends Angie and Dan at their flat. We were joined by their flatmate Christa and also Jo and Ed. It was nice to have a very civilised dinner over a glass of wine. Thank you for inviting us!
Happy #4: I saw these in the window of a shop when we popped past Poole on our way back from Portland in October. I just had to have them! They are the comfiest things I have ever put on my feet as they have memory foam insoles. It is like walking on clouds. And I mean… look at them…
Happy #5: On Sunday my closest family all gathered to celebrate the 50th Birthday of my aunts. We enjoyed a very delicious 3-course meal at the Ashdown Park Hotel. We had canapes and Pimms to start, the meal, and then cake and coffee. It was wonderful and we had a really lovely time! Happy Birthday Lisa and Joanne!
What has made you happy this past week? Don’t forget to use the tag #findthehappy.
I have gone AWOL again and I am so so sorry. The last time we spoke (blogged? read? wrote? all of the above?) I had come back from Cambridge, got contacts and had just moved house. Life has been pretty much non-stop since then and I am not entirely sure where all the time has gone?
However we are now here, in November somehow…
So where have I been? So many things have happened! I moved in with Jezz, still currently a bit of a topsy turvy process. His brother was also living there for the first month, he recently moved out and work has commenced on getting the flat ship shape. Jezz’s mum and her partner are very kindly doing some work on the flat over the next two weeks so once that has done hopefully I can properly unpack. It took me nearly half an hour on Monday to find a Pyrex dish! (I was making toad in the hole, had to have the correct equipment!).
I turned 30 in October! I am not entirely sure that has sunk in…. I am not entirely sure that the fact I turned 21 ever sank in…
We celebrated by going to Portland, Dorset with some of my absolute faves for a holiday. I will write a proper post for that soon!
Also something incredibly exciting happened…. Jezz asked me to marry him!
I of course, said yes!
I am so excited to be marrying my best friend. I am so excited that he wants to marry me! I cannot wait to start planning our special day, and our future together. It freaks me out a bit, but in a really good way. I am very much on cloud-9 cuckoo-land right now!
Anyway, that is where we are at right now. As you can imagine I have been a little distracted.
My Mum has a massive phobia of eyes, and through what I can only assume is osmosis I thought I had the same. (Mum – this post might freak you out!). If you don’t want to hear about contact lenses click away now…
I first started wearing glasses when I was about 15 or 16, I noticed that I was having trouble reading the board at school and the clock in exams. I got myself down to the opticians to become a proud member of the spectacle wearing club. I only ever needed them for far away things, so at school, at the cinema, at home watching TV, but generally I didn’t wear them very much.
It wasn’t really until I was around 18/19 that I noticed that I was really struggling when I wasn’t wearing them. Friends would often tell me off for giving them “the evil eye” when seeing them from a distance, the truth was I was actually trying to focus them in!
Long before glasses were required.
I look to wearing my glasses all the time when I was travelling (I hitch-hiked – wanted to see drivers from a distance) but soon found that without them, I couldn’t actually see diddly-squat. So I have been wearing my glasses all the time since I was about 23.
“Why don’t you get contacts?” I was asked all the time, and the truth was that I would have loved too, but I was too scared. The thought alone of having to get a little bit of plastic in and out of my eye would give me heart palpitations. I admitted to myself that I was just destined to be one of those speccy four-eyes forever, and it was fine. My friends and family are now more used to seeing me with glasses than without.
Now there are some definite draw-backs to being a glasses wearer (these are obviously massively outweighed by the fact that you can see….). Rain is a nightmare, you genuinely need windscreen wipers, especially if it is that god-awful misty rain where you can actually see more without your glasses than with. Also, misting. Shopping in winter is a pain in the backside, outside fine, in a shop – nope – no more sight for you – just fog. Walk into a bar after being outside… fog… can’t see with glasses, can’t see without glasses…. so many people… so many obstacles… OH THE HORROR!!!
So the final straw for me was learning to ski. Now, if you have been following my posts (original here, latest here) about skiing you will know that I am a somewhat reluctant skier to start with. So the fact that during my second lesson I realised that I would get half-way down the hill and not be able to see a single thing was utterly terrifying. I am sliding down a hill, on 2 sticks, blind, no control. How I did not injure myself or someone else is an absolute miracle. After doing a bit of online research when back on less snowy ground there was one conclusion, one way to solve this issue, and that was getting contact lenses.
The Friday after we came back from Cambridge/Skiing I decided to grab the bull by the horns and book myself an appointment. I saw that Specsavers (who are my usual optician anyway) do a free trial for contacts, so this seemed perfect. Luckily for me they had an appointment available the following Monday.
So on Monday, off I trotted into Brighton town centre, took a deep breath and headed down to the contact lens centre. There I was met by a very friendly optician who did all of the checks (very similar to an eye test, shining lights etc.) to make sure my eyes were healthy and to check my suitability. She said everything looked fine, then needed to check the “shape and size” with a magical machine. Lord knows how it worked but I basically looked into something and it measure the curvature (I assume) so they would know what size I needed. It was all very quick and simple. Perhaps a little uncomfortable with the light shining, but nothing painful or scary. She discussed my needs and what I was looking to get from wearing contacts, I elaborated the ski story….
The next bit was the scary bit; “Are you happy for me to put them in?” she asked. Another deep breath and “yes it’s fine”. I have come this far, can’t back out now! She showed me these tiny delicate circles of gel like plastic and popped one onto the surface of my eye… look up, look down, look left, look right, blink blink blink and TUH DUH! Same with the other eye… blink blink blink. I can see. It is the strangest feeling every being able to see after so long without the world having a black frame.
After they were in I went to see another optician for the “teach”, here she explained the do’s and don’ts of contact (DO wash your hands, DON’T run your lenses under the tap) and explained how to take them out and put them in. Then came practical part of the lesson, so very carefully as instructed (chin to chest, very important) and took the first one out on the first attempt. She seemed pretty impressed at the ease with which I had done it, and asked me to do the other eye. Same again. Nodding, impressed she then explained about putting them in (daily disposables mean a fresh pair each time for me). Top Tip: to make sure they are not inside out they should look like a cereal bowl with no lip, if they look like a pasta dish with a lip then they are the wrong way around.
In they popped. She declared I was a natural after I managed to take them out again without any problems. Off I went with my free 5-day trial feeling really rather pleased with myself.
The whole experience as a pleasure. The staff were friendly, helpful and informative and really made me feel at ease. The trial worked you up to the full 12-hour wear, so first day 4 hours, second day 6 hours etc. On the following Monday I had a follow up appointment to check how I was getting on. I had another quick eye check with the optician while wearing the contacts and they said everything was fine. Next stop sales! I decided to get 20 a month on direct debit, they have quite a lot of benefits on direct debit like cheaper sunglasses and free glasses, eye check etc. so I thought it was a good place to start. Day on, day off, see how I go. So far so good! The novelty of going into a shop and taking off my sunglasses and being able to see is an absolute life-changer. The whole experience was so much quicker, easier and not at all remotely traumatic like I thought it would be. I feel very positive about it all, which is great for something that a few years ago stuck fear at the mere mention of it.
I am using the Acuvue Moist Daily Lenses
So winter here I come! You with your steamy eye glasses and your misty rain! I am ready for you!
Apparently the next stop of laser surgery… I think we are a way off that yet *shudder*
On Wednesday we decided to go to the Centre of Computing History. After breakfast at Frankie and Benny’s we walked over the railway bridge to the centre which was located really close to the apartment we were staying at. However, we decided to take the scenic route through a park which ended up sending up completely the wrong direction and we ended up back where we had started!
After eventually finding the centre we paid our fee and went in. This was a funny little museum run by volunteers but it was fascinating.
Jezz obviously enjoyed it but I really enjoyed it too! It was interesting looking at all the different types of computer from years gone by. It is an interactive museum too so you could use the machines and play some games. I even tried my hand at a bit of computer programming!
We spent quite a long time here playing with everything and it was mid-afternoon by the time we left.
We headed back via Currys PC World (Jezz takes me to the best places) where we spent FAAAR too long looking at 4K TV’s. We then headed back to the apartment for a cup of tea and a rest.
For our last evening meal we walked back into the historic part of Cambridge and went to a really cool Thai street-food restaurant called Thaikhun. The food here was AMAZING, we were starving when we arrived and ordered far too much. To start we had the “Sukumvit 38 Platter” which had salt & pepper squid, fish cakes, chicken spring rolls and honey pork. The pork was amazing, my personal favourite. Jezz’s was the tiny fish cakes. For our mains we shared the “Pinto Siam” which comprised of Chicken Massaman curry, stir fried pork belly in red curry sauce, beef in oyster sauce and egg fried rice. Oh and prawn crackers. Oh AND pork scratchings. Two extremely full bellies later we waddled back to the apartment and packed up our things for our departure in the morning. I felt a bit sad to leave this lovely little apartment. I had enjoyed playing house somewhere new.
On Thursday we rose early to check out of the apartment by 10.30 am, handed back the keys and made our way over to Milton Keynes. Our destination was the Xscape Centre to SnoZone for another ski lesson. I can’t lie, I was terrified. I had built it up quite a lot in my head by this point and had a bit of a panic. I was very quiet in the morning and through lunch. I didn’t really want to do it. However, once I got going it wasn’t half as bad as I remembered. I think the teacher (I believe his name was Harry), this time was much better than the previous, and the class was also a little smaller with only 6 students. Harry spent quite a lot of time making sure we were confident and even when you didn’t think he was looking he would pick up on things that would help and make suggestions. I finally started to feel a bit like I was getting the hang of some of it and this was a definite confidence booster. I don’t think I am ski ready by any means, but I am a step closer. This isn’t going to be a quick process I think, it is something I am really going to have to push myself with and stick with if I am ever going to conquer it.
I was also presented with a problem during my ski lesson. Whenever I involve myself in any kind of physical exertion I get a very hot head and red face. A somewhat embarrassing trait and even more problematic when skiing apparently! Hot face + cold air = glasses steaming up. We moved higher up the hill, and the faster I went, the less I could see, the more I would panic… you get the picture. I was just getting the hang of changing direction, and the instructor put out some cones. I failed at going around every one apart from the first! Now I don’t know if this was because of the lack of ability or the fact I couldn’t see a bloody thing. I will blame not seeing for now 😉 anyway… this has resulted in me getting contact lenses. But that is a story for another day.
After skiing and feeling a bit better about myself we headed back to Brighton via Cobham Service Station (Jezz’s favourite service station… it’s a thing) where we had curry for dinner. We got home about 8.30 pm. Jezz had to return to work on Friday but I had booked another day off work so I spent the day doing really exciting things like washing my clothes and cleaning the bathroom.
All in all a really very lovely week off. I am definitely feeling more like me again now. What a relief.
Having managed to stick at the blogging (albeit intermittently during the summer), I have rewarded myself by spending some of my hard earned pennies on my own website.
And here we are… TUH DAH!
So welcome! Thank you for following me over here. I hope that we can continue to grow and blossom together (oh how corny).
A massive thank you to TSO Host for their superb service and, of course, to Jezz for making the technical things do what I wanted them to do in an absolute jiffy after I fought with it for over an hour! (Lesson learned… ask him first next time).
There is lots to fill you in on, but not only have I moved blog, but I have also moved house! I am finally living with Jezz. Not far from where I was previously living but closer to the centre of Brighton. It is all very exciting! Lots of house things to discuss, lots of work to be done, lots of things to do. 2016 is going to be a busy year I think!
Back to business then, and part 2 of our Cambridge trip (which I am pretty sure was a lifetime ago) is coming soon… sorry for the delay!
After a busy busy summer and lots of stress, Jezz and I decided to take a few days off and go on a mini adventure somewhere. After throwing around a couple of options, we finally settled on Cambridge after it had come up in conversation that neither of us had actually ever been there. Well, I had once been about 4 years ago for a conference with work, but the most I saw was the sights whizzing past as a taxi took me places. On so many occasions at work I am asked about Cambridge and what it is like, so finally I would be able to find out for myself!
On Monday we woke around 9 am and headed to the car rental place to pick up our trusty steed for the next few days. A rather comfy silver BMW (free upgrade thank you sir) and off we went. It took us around 3 hours to reach Cambridge after a bit of dithering at a service station and some slow traffic a la M25 slowed us down but we reached Cambridge just after 2 pm.
We stayed at CB1 apartments, which we booked through booking.com. Rather than it being a hotel it was a self-catering apartment which was perfect for us.
It was a one-bedroom flat, on a quite modern and fancy square which was around 30 minutes walk from the historical part of Cambridge.
It was also literally about 5-minutes to a shopping area which had a huge Asda, HomeSense, Hobbycraft, TK Maxx, Toys’R’Us and lots of other shops. The apartment also had secure underground parking included which as a definite plus. As we were within walking distance of everything the car was parked up when we arrived and stayed there until we left.
On the first day we got ourselves settled into the apartment and then went and had a wonder around the shops close by. Spent some money in HomeSense on silly things for the house (another large wooden cat to join Gerald the existing wooden cat Jezz bought me a few years ago) and Jezz bought a bag for work. (Terribly exciting eh?) We then headed out for dinner to the recommended CB2 restaurant close by.
We were really happy that we chose to eat here, it is a somewhat unsuspecting place from outside and if honest we probably would have walked straight past it if we didn’t have it recommended. It was a little bit cafe like in appearance and we were not sure if we should sit/wait/stand etc. However, after some awkward British dithering we sat and were served.
The food was certainly pretty good. We had mini fish cakes and asparagus wrapped in smoked salmon to start. The fish cakes were really delicious I enjoyed those, the asparagus and salmon was interesting. I love both of these flavours but I am just not sure they go together. Jezz enjoyed it though.
For our mains I chose the Tuna Steak with bruschetta tomato, rocket, orange dressing and spicy chips and it was divine! Jezz had Milanese Chicken breast, salad and spicy chips which was also very good (but not as exciting – essentially a giant good quality chicken nugget!) A bottle of Prosecco washed it all down. A lovely meal all in all and quite reasonably priced. The service was also very good.
After our meal we decided that we would catch a late viewing of the new Mission Impossible movie, with a couple of hours to kill we went to a nice little bar/cafe called The Snug where we had a coffee and an Aperol Spritz.
The movie was okay, a typical Mission Impossible film – very bangy crashy and fun.
We headed back to the apartment afterwards and crashed out. I slept really well in a very comfy bed.
On Tuesday we headed into the historical part of Cambridge and walked around the beautiful streets. The sun shone for the morning and we sat outside a nice Italian restaurant at lunchtime.
After lunch we went for a punting tour, when then heavens opened. We got soaked! It pretty much rained solidly from that point until we left on Thursday.
The tour was great fun, and the guide seemed pretty knowledgeable. He shared a great little bit of information that when Prince Charles attended Cambridge University his bodyguard also did the same degree and come results day the bodyguard actually got a better grade than Prince Charles. While Prince Charles got a 2:2 his bodyguard came away with a 2:1!
After the punting tour we went to The Anchor Pub (the first pub that Pink Floyd played their first gig we were informed) for an Irish Coffee to warm up and we went for a little wonder around the shops.
Quite soggy at this point and starting to get hungry we headed back towards the apartment via another recommended place, this time a pub that did food cooked on hot rocks called The Geldart. It was delicious! We shared pork loin, and fillet steak, salad, vegetables, chips and wedges and washed it down with another bottle of Prosecco.
We headed back to the apartment and watched some Netflix and relaxed.
I love crunchy leaves, cold crisp days, being able to light candles and get snuggled up under a blanket. Autumn is cosy.
What do you like the least about autumn?
Temperamental weather. Windy and rain. They take the crisp out of what I like about Autumn!
Which is your favourite piece of clothes in this season?
Boots. Always boots. I am excited to crack out my Uggs again. My toes are always thankful when the temperature drops! Super snuggly fleecy toe time, yippee!!
What is it, that you always buy in autumn?
Socks, pyjamas, anything furry or fuzzy that I can wear to get cosy. I own far too many dressing gowns, fluffy jumpers and blankets.
Which is that event or occasion, what you wait the best in this autumn?
My birthday. Big one this year! Oh!
Which fragrances do you like in autumn?
Roasting pumpkin seeds in the oven at Halloween. Best part of making jack-o-laterns.
Which is your favourite hot drink?
Hot chocolate. Ideally from Cafe Nero. So good.
Which is your favourite autumn food?
Casseroles or stews. Something with some root vegetables and beef in gravy. No dumplings though.
Do you wear scarf inside?
Sometimes, usually because I am either trying to be cool, or I forgot to take it off.
The inspiration for this post came from Regina from the blog Pretty Happiness and thought I would continue the tag! Please go over and check out her lovely blog! Thank you so much to Regina for kindly sharing <3
Well August came and went in a flash didn’t it? After the madness of June and July, I thought August would be a little more settled however it has been just as crazy busy just in a different way! I will explain more soon…
Here are some of the things I have been loving in August!
These kept catching my eye in Sainsburys in the checkout queue of “must have some self-control” (I don’t…) I finally caved and bought one. I was very glad I did! Nutty, chocolatey, coco-nutty, and scrumptious.
Rad Elephant Jumper
Damn those little ads on the side of Facebook… They know I am weak.
But also not damn them because they bought this jumper into my life and I love it.
A photo posted by Amy Teresa Elliott (@amynoos) on
I sported this sparkly wee number during Brighton Pride and it is so beautiful I wish I could wear it everyday! Janine Basil, the created of this gem has a line of really beautiful items so please go check out her website! I will be ordering more at some point… just need to find an excuse 😛