Thursday, 27 November 2014

A trip to Dundee

On Saturday I got to see one of my favourite people, Sarah.  She was more prepared than me and already blogged about our day out, so for bonus pics, head over there...  

Wait though, I have pictures too!  Many, many pictures.  Whenever I hang out with Sarah, I seem to see so much more because she notices EVERYTHING.  After we decided to go to Dundee, she sensibly researched fun stuff to do (well, found out about the statues anyway.).  I typically decided to wing it.  We did a bit of both, which turned out to be an excellent plan.  First we checked out the penguins and Desperate Dan, then found a square with fountains filled with...something bubbly.  I had to smell it to see if it was actual bubble bath but it was disappointingly unscented.  Next, we took a wander down the main street and stopped for tea and a chat with the man running the tea tram, who told us the best places for lovely architecture (after we assured him we weren't interested in shopping anyway...).  There were so many awesome buildings around - I think about half my photos were of the cinema-esque features on just about every building on one street.

Next up was a random church Christmas fayre, where we tried (and failed) to win at the tombola table and purchased some tiny toys to make into tree decorations.  Then it was off to McManus Galleries for looking at more pretty things, drawing on luggage labels and realising we have the exact same taste in cakes.  After lunch, more wandering revealed more statues (Lemmings!) and a tiny bandstand, a derelict house, an iconic old cinema tower and a giant ship.  We ended the day with more drinks and a well earned seat before Sarah got the train home and I got to work out how to drive to Tam's place (hint, don't trust Google Maps to work without resetting it three times before it takes you an entirely different direction that you thought you were meant to be going...)

Despite my dodgy mapping skills, I think I'd call my first trip to Dundee a success!  Where to next?


Monday, 24 November 2014

#dearsally - Holiday Season with Long Tall Sally

Long Tall Sally have created a fun Christmas campaign this year called 'Dear Sally', a Tall themed spin on the traditional letter to Santa.  I was asked to create a few outfits from their recent collections for the holiday season and, perhaps most importantly, a wish list to send up the Long Tall Sally chimney.  Read on for some inspiration on how to dress those long limbs this winter...

Christmas Shopping
biker style jacket - rose sweater - tile print cords - buckle ankle boots 
A good pair of boots is high on the list of things that need replaced in my wardrobe.  These buckled beauties are perfect for teaming with just about everything and look like they'll stand up to the rainy weather that will inevitably appear when I go to the shops.  The practical aspect of this outfit appeals to me, but I like the dash of reds with the darks to make things more festive.

Christmas Day
chenille cardigan - floral jersey dress - 80 denier tights - loafers
Comfort is top priority at our house on Christmas day!  I'm a devotee of a good jersey dress with some thick black tights and a big loose cardigan.  Loafers are as close to slippers as shoes can be, something that makes my feet more willing to part with their squishy cushions to go visit family before dinner.

Christmas Party
leather style jacket - embellished top - tapered trousers - leopard ballerinas
I'm not really one for getting dressed up, so this outfit is pretty much just a fancy version of my regular wear.  I'm loving these leopard print shoes - I've nothing against wearing heels, despite my height, but I think these party shoes are great for keeping things chic AND comfortable.  

Christmas Presents
fox pjs - check dressing gown - check trousers - moccasin slippers - gift card
snood scarf - fox sweater - chunky knit hat and scarf - robin sweater - chelsea boots
Pyjamas are the perfect Christmas gift, and Long Tall Sally has a great range.  My dressing gown could do with being replaced and this check set fits my style perfectly.  Some fluffy slippers to add to the pile wouldn't hurt either...  A festive jumper goes with any outfit - maybe an early pressie for someone special?  There's a variety of cosy accessories on offer too, which would be a great gift for anyone, and easy to add to the basket when you're buying that sparkly Christmas party outfit...  And if all else fails, I'm a big believer in the gift card.  It may seem impersonal, but add some chocolates and I'll be the happiest person around receiving one!

What's everyone hoping to find under the tree? 


Thursday, 20 November 2014

At the weekend

At the weekend I wore my favourite clothes and used a boyfriend photographer instead of a tripod one.  As you can see, it had mixed results...  Being told to pose better isn't something the timer usually cares about.

At the weekend Tam surprised me with a trip to the Auchentoshan distillery, where we toured, inhaled an interesting array of smells and had a wee dram.  It may not beat Aberlour or Islay Smokehead (which will forever remind me of our Scottish holiday) but it was pretty darn good anyway.

At the weekend I thought I could paint my nails in the car and not have it be a major, messy operation.  I was wrong.

At the weekend we ate the best burgers in Glasgow for the millionth time and they were better than ever.  Although this time we went to The Record Factory instead of Nice N Sleazys.  There was also steamy hot soup and a mountain of bread for Sunday lunch.

At the weekend we watched Titanic and The Chase USA and shouted at the TV when the X Factor results happened.

At the weekend The Imitation Game was sold out so we went home and I crocheted and Tam drew and it was pretty darn awesome.

jumper - H&M
vest - M&S
skirt - M&S via charity shop
boots - DSW

jumper - M&S mens via charity shop
jeans - Long Tall Sally
boots - H&M


Wednesday, 19 November 2014

A trip to Dollar Glen

In case anyone's in any doubt about the faffing I went to trying to capture the cool misty effects of the river photo, Tam very kindly took some shots of me on the sly.  The bridge made a willing helper but I think it's time to start carrying my tripod and remote around everywhere in the case the occasion arises...

Another trip to Dollar!  The scenery was just as beautiful as it was in spring time, although the rain cut short our second trip into the castle.  We had a leisurely walk up the hill and delighted when we got to the point that the path went down hill again.  After getting nice and wet on the way back to the car, lunch at my favourite place was in order (Cafe Des Fleurs, for any future visitors to Dollar!).  It was our second time there and like the first visit, the sandwiches and cakes were to die for.  I'm definitely trying the scones next time though.  Or the other cakes...


Monday, 17 November 2014

Christmas Crafting

I've been so busy on the crafting front lately that I haven't even stopped to take pictures until now, most unlike me!  I thought I'd share what I'd been up to at crochet class and at home - I'm loving being able to finally understand crochet, and it's even turning out to be simpler than knitting in terms of figuring out patterns.  Admittedly I've only made simple things so far but crocheting that crazy cute snowman was much easier than knitting the snowman motif onto that tiny jumper.  

So, from the top!  I'm taking my mum to the Country Living Christmas Fair on Friday for her birthday (which was a month ago...but I suck at actual presents so a day out seemed like a much better plan) and Tam's mum and aunt will be joining us.  I spotted these cute yarn basket tree ornaments on Ravely recently and had to make them as Fair gifts for everyone to get the festive spirit going!  The instructions were a bit unclear at points though so I just improvised - I extended the length of the handle and made it part of the bag sides since I just couldn't work out how it was meant to be sewn together.  The tiny balls and matchsticks (cut and sanded smooth) were superglued in and seem to be sticking so far...

The crochet ornaments I made in class and so have no copy of the pattern on here.  Our instructor makes up some patterns and gives us some existing ones to work out usually.  I'm dying over how cute the snowman is so he's staying with me for a change.  Plus my friend said he was a bit evil looking which I guess means no-one else would accept him anyway.  Ahem.

The Christmas lights were also found on Ravely - the crochet terms are American but it's easy enough to work out.  I made these for part of a Christmas window display at work.  We've each picked an office window to decorate and mine is going to be chock full of woolly awesomeness.

Also for the window...tiny jumpers!  The pattern came from the fab Save the Children Christmas Jumper Day campaign (which we'd be doing at work if our Christmas night out didn't start at lunch time that day...maybe I can use my powers of persuasion to convince folks to join in in the morning).  I've got a few more to do but couldn't resist sharing my progress so far.  I can't decide on a favourite yet but Tam's mum and aunt are also making them so there's been many squeals of delight every time we finish one.

Phew!  Is anyone else making Christmas goodies this year?  Pictures please!


Sunday, 16 November 2014

A trip to Summerlee

A couple of weekends ago Tam and I went to Summerlee Industrial Museum for a wander around.  My work has a lot of old cinema equipment that Summerlee stores for us and I was hoping to see some of it on display, but they only had one projector and a tiny cinema section on the floor.  Mind you, that beautiful organ kind of made up for it - it even had buttons for sound effects!  Annoyingly, another display was positioned directly opposite it so I couldn't stand back enough to get the gorgeous back screen in too.  It's well worth checking out though.  The museum itself is a great building but not as solely focused on the 'industrial' part of its name as I expected - my favourite parts (after the cinema paraphernalia of course) were the everyday items on display.  Clothing, china and grocery items were all accounted for, and the knitted football items were a particular highlight.

There was a canal boat and a tram ride outside the building that we didn't get around to investigating so we could have spent a bit longer there, but my stomach was crying out for food and...well, food always wins.


Friday, 14 November 2014

A year of Parsnip

Anyone who's read this blog for any length of time will have seen Tam's dog, Parsnip, featured fairly heavily in the photos.  He's the perfect subject - who can resist that cute wee face?!  Not me anyway.  Or Tam.  Or his mum.  So the only sensible thing to do was to order up a Parsnip themed Christmas present for each of them.  Snapfish came up with the goods in the form of these excellent calendars for next year - so we can look at that pretty face every day!  (Actually I'm the one who doesn't see him every day so if I was being sensible I'd have ordered myself one.  Oops.)

I went for a wall calendar for Tam's mum, a desk calendar for Tam to take to work, and an extra bonus gift of a keyring for Tam.

The site is really easy to use and the calendars are totally customisable - I made a collage of pictures on some of the pages, added birthdays in the dates and added text to go with some of the photos.  The backgrounds were also interchangeable so I spend ages getting each page just right.

After designing my calendars, I ventured into the gift section and picked a couple of things for my Secret Santa recipient at work.  Luckily I got the person I know best there which has made gift buying nice and easy!  (She was literally holding the envelope and saying 'try to get me!' as I picked out her name.  I nearly gave the game away in surprise!)  She needs a work mug, which led to me picking the 'best' work picture of us - our trip to Home Bargains a few weeks ago.  I think she'll see the funny side...  And since she likes tiny things (Lego addict) I added this tiny photobook to the basket

I'm really impressed with the quality of the calendars and the gifts - the only point to note is that the mug photo only appears on one side since there was meant to be text added to the other side, which I chose not to do.  I'd certainly use them again for everything else, and I'm tempted to try out some bigger photo books next...

*I was gifted a voucher from Snapfish to pick some items to review but as always, all opinions are my own*

Sunday, 2 November 2014

Recent Awesomeness

I signed up for Netflix when I was ill last month, and at first I was a bit disappointed by the lack of movies on there, but the TV selections helped a bit.  I did already have Call the Midwife on my laptop and finally got round to watching the first two seasons.  I LOVE IT.  Most absolutely NOT the birth scenes (I'm horribly squeamish about basically anything medically related) but everything else is wonderful.  And it beats Downton hands down at the moment.

I missed Drifters on TV and tuned into it with not especially high hopes.  I think it's rather hard to find a good comedy show when you're looking for one, but this was also fantastic.  Super funny, and I've already watched the two new episodes on 4OD.  Plus all three girls were in the first Inbetweeners movie, and I'm all about seeing someone I recognise when I'm looking for something to watch.

I discovered The Undateables last year when I was flicking channels and watched it every week after that.  It's just a lovely, heartwarming program.  I watched the first two series in a couple of days.  Steve and Daniel were my favourites, I'm hoping it comes back on and they keep doing updates!

In the movie listings was one of my favourite films from my teenage years, Drop Dead Gorgeous, a black comedy about a beauty pageant.  That can't not be good, right?  Also The Queen of Versailles, a documentary about a disgustingly rich family who were in the middle of building the biggest home in America until the recession hit.  I love that the crew were there to capture all their ups and downs, and watched most of it with my mouth open in disbelief.

The Man In The Moon has a young Reese Witherspoon in the lead role, and I confess, I thought it was a movie I'd watched when I was younger, then afterwards I realised I'd confused it with A Far Off Place.  Oh well.  It was a cute coming of age movie...or so I thought.  I won't spoil it for anyone but let's just'll need tissues.

On the book front, I read nothing amazing this month.  I read all of A Hundred Pieces of Me by Lucy Dillon on holiday and was loving it until the last chapter, when I got completely mad with how the author ended things and went in a bit of a huff.  The Island by Victoria Hislop was ok too, but I didn't really get into it until near the end so I can't say I'd seek out her books again.

Blogland did a better job of producing good reading material - here's some favourite posts I've found recently.

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