Friday, 27 December 2013

A Scottish Secret Santa...

Before Christmas I took part in the Scottish Bloggers Network Secret Santa in order to find more bloggers closer to home.  I sent my gift to Catherine at Cat Hearts and got a lovely parcel from Alana at Alana Gets Healthy, who clearly had a good look at my blog and sent me a very suitable pile of goodies - wool and chocolates!  I've been knitting hats again lately after my friends started requesting them (I really must stop bragging about how I can knit in the round now, it's just making my project list grow!) so these pretty colours will come in handy for that.
Did anyone else take part in the swap?  Leave me you links below!

:)

Thursday, 26 December 2013

An update of sorts...

So yeah...it's been a while!  The past two months seem to have been a constant whirl of movement and plans and obligations, so I'm hoping now that the year is almost at an end things will calm down a bit.  I normally spend a lot of January and February hibernating in my pjs so I'm gearing up for that now.  And maybe I'll finally get the chance to share pictures from California and New York, and all the wee day trips and random moments since.  Trying to get back into a routine after the holiday was hard, and I've still not quite managed it.  Generally I treat the new year as a bit of a 'start over' (any excuse to put off eating better for a few more days ;)), and I think it'll help my frame of mind to be back to normal soon.  

I hope everyone had a great Christmas and some lovely time off, always the best medicine at this time of year!

:)

Monday, 4 November 2013

A trip into the woods...

We took a drive to Straiton on Saturday to go a walk about in the country.  I'd been walking there ages ago when I went out driving one day and got a bit lost, and I just love it there.  It's a pretty, very quiet wee village surrounded by woods, which makes for good walking about.  I wasn't having the best day - the weather was as rotten as it can be without raining and my cold was making a return, plus I stupidly forgot to put my wellies in the car so I ended up covered in mud.  But...the views were nice.
 I pressed the Boost function on PicMonkey and things went all vibrant and Autumn-y, loving it!
:)

Sunday, 3 November 2013

Holiday reading...

This time next week I'll be in California!  My excitement has been steadily building the past few weeks as it gets closer to holiday time, god knows what I'll be like on Saturday.  (I have a feeling the eleven hour flight - not to mention the four hour stopover in London - will bring me crashing back to earth tho...)  Once again, if anyone has any San Francisco/LA/New York tips then please share them in the comments.  We have a ton of stuff to do in LA but the other two have some unplanned time still.

I seem to have slightly overestimated the amount of books I need for the trip.  I intended to buy maybe four and borrow Game of Thrones from my co-worker but the charity shops had some good deals on and I just couldn't choose so... I have eight now.  This little pile only cost £2.30 though so no guilt!  Mother's only bringing two books and she's a bigger reader than me so we can share them.

Has anyone read any of them?  I've wanted to read Jurassic Park and Pride and Prejudice for ages, and we talked about seeing Wicked in New York so I may as well know the story first.  Dragon Rider was a happy find since I loved Inkheart (the two sequels not so much - the ending annoyed me so much!), and Lucy recommended some American themed Bill Bryson books for me, which I knew I wouldn't have any trouble finding - his books all seem to be very popular in my favourite charity shops, not sure if that's a good or bad thing?  I've read all Maggie O'Farrell's past books and had mixed opinions on them, but I've been looking forward to Instructions For A Heatwave so that was a lucky find.  And Brooklyn cause I've heard good things and...I'm going to NYC...lots of themed reading here!  I'm not sure which way Game of Thrones will go but I have a plan to start it soon in case I'm not fussed on it and get stuck with nothing to read on the flight.  I absolutely hate having nothing to keep me busy, meaning my bag usually has an array of reading and knitting stuff on a trip of any length (or for work, or the doctors, or car ride...).   Hence the overpreparedness...

:)

Saturday, 2 November 2013

A week in outfits...

cardigan - M&S via charity shop
dress - Monsoon
shoes - M&S via car boot sale
This dress was one of those finds where you just know that the thing you've picked up is completely perfect for you.  I love the fit, the fabric, the colour, the length, it's all good!  The cardigan I bagged in the charity shop near Mother's place a few weeks ago.  I spotted it, told her 'it's just like that jumper in the M&S ad!' then realised it was 1980s M&S.  Nice.
tunic - Mango via charity shop
themal top - M&S
leggings - Topshop Tall
Converse - gift
 This top I also found in a charity shop with Mother.  Oversize clothing tends to be a bit hit and miss on me - when I just buy a bigger size it looks ok but when it's actually meant to be oversized I look a bit drowned.  But I love it and it's so cosy and it has pockets, so it's staying for now!
blouse - Berketex via charity shop
skirt - BHS via charity shop
brogues - Brantano
I got a new (old) work blouse on my amazing charity shop trip in Edinburgh, hence the picture of a slightly-more-exciting-than-usual work outfit.  Once again, it's too big but I love it.  This motto is reflected in about half my wardrobe contents I think...  Mother got me the brogues a few weeks ago - I had to go up a whole size but they're a nice narrow fit for a change.
:)

Friday, 1 November 2013

Friday Films - Best and Worst

Well I'm sure you can guess which is the best and which is the worst of the week...  I actually only saw one hidiously bad film this week, the rest were all very average, so I guess that's good as far as my  usual track record goes. 

So the best - Thor: The Dark World.  It was FANTASTIC.  A good follow on to Avengers Assemble (with mercifully few references to it), a lively adventure story and my favourite 'Is Loki good or bad?' theme.  AND Chris O'Dowd popped up.  And Lady Sif of Asgard seemed to be channelling Lady Mary of Downton, which I just loved. 
And the worst...Ender's Game.  I just watched this on Friday cause I had most of my work done and we had no other new releases, otherwise I'm not sure I would have bothered.  It was just...bad.  Bad acting, bad writing, bad storyline. I'm almost glad I didn't bother to read the book first, although I've heard there were a few changes made to the original story.  And the end - I saw what was coming a mile off and my co worker was thoroughly confused by the whole thing.  Avoid.

What's everyone been watching this week?

:)

Thursday, 31 October 2013

A trip to New Lanark

One of our recent day trips was to New Lanark, a place I gleefully discovered was on our Scottish £20 notes a few days later when I was cashing up at work.  It's even prettier in real life, I can assure you.  We parked at the top of the hill and walked down to the mill buildings, then through the woods to the falls.  After neglecting to pick up a map we ended up walking further than planned to try and find an end point, but it turned out we just had to walk back the same way, so we were a bit knackered by the end!  Luckily the rain held off until the last mile so we didn't get too soaked. 
'So...do we go left or right?' / I was very much disappointed to find out these were not water flumes :/
Parsnip defied the boundaries to get a closer look at the falls. (Obviously Tam had a tight grip on the lead!)
This bridge reminded me of the time Leanne and I found an old bridge and climbed around some railings to get onto it.  Ahem.  We decided not to risk our lives this time though.

:)

Wednesday, 30 October 2013

This Week I...

...wore my favourite new(ish) navy clothes and went out for lunch with Mother and Tam.  Then got home and ate more junk.  Sounds about right.  I got those Rowntrees Pic n Mix sweets, which seemed to have a disproportionate amount of fruit gums :/
Tam got cheesy puffs.  They were not good.
...brought my favourite hat back into circulation in preparation for winter.  Giant pompom alert!
...got a knitting needle size gauge.  I've been borrowing Mother's but it was only £1.35 in the local wool shop so I decided to get my own.  They're very useful for checking needle sizes in charity shops.  

...saw this amazing picture on the Innocent Facebook page - a shed full of tiny hats!  I'll need to resurrect my hat knitting for next year.

...tried Tam's hat on The Hulk.  He looked awesome of course.
...went for a pub lunch on Saturday (and Sunday actually...) and we totally stuffed ourselves.  The desserts turned out to be BOGOF so we got a sharing bowl with extra cake.  So good but so filling.  The pub had the best Halloween decor - giant skulls and ball and chains everywhere!

How's everyone's week been?

:)

Tuesday, 29 October 2013

Further up the east coast...

Yup, I'm still on That Day We Went To East Coast Fife.  What can I say, my camera and I bonded big time that day.  It was warm and the sky had just the right amount of cloud smattering and there were chips and boats and castles and swings and caravans.  Lush.  These pictures were from our last stop on the mini tour, Anstruther (pronounced Ain-stra, according to Edith Bowman, who we caught talking about it on TV that night.  I love funny wee coincidences like that.).  We were told there was an amazing chippy here, and we weren't disappointed - Tam had a fish supper and I had a chicken burger supper.  They may have been the best chips ever, all crispy and fresh, mmm!  I would actually eat chips every day if I could, I can think of no better food.
We also found a swing set with the best views ever...
...and climbed a bunch of big rocks on the waters edge.
I had a weird 'this grosses me out but I can't look away' moment over this beached jellyfish...
I miss the warmth and happiness of that day so much!  I think I'm over winter now, time for the rain and wind to go away please.

:)

Monday, 28 October 2013

Finished Knitting - Jacques Cousteau Hat

I finally remembered to corner Tam and take some pictures of the hat I made him a few weeks ago.  It was my first go knitting on the round and I loved it!  So simple and quick to do.  I haven't progressed much with my hat (I can't find the right size of dpns anywhere locally, gonna trawl the charity shops with my needle size gauge today!) so I've been knitting a bunch more hexies to keep my fingers busy.  
For this hat I used the Jacques Cousteau Hat pattern from here and, at Tam's request, added a pompom belatedly this weekend.  Because the UK doesn't make 3.5mm needles (must stock up in America next month!) I made the decision to go up a size instead of down, so I used 3.75mm needles for the whole thing.  This turned out to be a dumb move and I should have went down a size since the hat is now a tiny bit big, but lesson learned for next time.    
 Here's a view of the crown - I just love the slightly unusual flow of this pattern so this is my favourite angle.  The pompom makes it more fun, as pompoms are apt to do...
Speaking of pompoms, I bought yet another set of Clover pompom makers - I now have six of those excellent contraptions and plan on using them to make some cheap fun Christmas pressies... I'm hoping everyone will be charmed by their cuteness and not notice that I have no money for actual gifts ;)

:)

Friday, 25 October 2013

St Monans Castle

Ok, I posted about St Monans the other day but I just couldn't narrow down the pictures of the castle so here's a whole bunch for you to enjoy.  We walked along the coastal path and came across the ruins, which we had to spent ages exploring of course.  I climbed up to the second level of the castle only to find there was a much easier way around the back, and stuck my camera into shut off bits to try and see what was inside - the below picture was a sealed off round tower but with the gap under the door and my camera flash on I got to see what was in there! (Um, big fat nothing, but the curiousity would have killed me, so...worth it.)
We're not really sure what this arch thing is but it made for some lovely framing effects in our pictures...
Has anyone been?  Well done if you got to the end of this! (There's a great post about the area here for anyone who's planning a visit...)

:)
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