Monday, 31 December 2012

Farewell 2012


Goodbye 2012! Here's to 2013, the year I become a Mrs. So exciting! 2013 will be a very busy year I feel. I have my first half marathon in March and general wedding preparations. I still need to find myself the dress!  I hope you all had a lovely Christmas and wish you all the best for 2013. 

Saturday, 15 December 2012

5 good things & Christmas jumper day

A bit of a belated 5 good things today! I've been playing catch up since my sick day on Thursday. 

Christmas jumper
Shoes - Clarks, Skirt - River Island, Jumper - Asos.

1. Christmas jumper day. Yesterday was Christmas jumper day and the wonderful Olivia at What Olivia Did has done a Christmas Jumper Day blogger round-up over on her blog. Check it out if you are a fan of cute kitsch jumpers! I actually didn't wear mine for work yesterday in the end but I did wear it earlier in the week and will also wear it tomorrow I think for afternoon tea. I'm not really a cat person to be honest but who can resist a pussycat with a santa hat on? Anyone else take part in Christmas jumper day? Don't forget to donate to Save The Children

2. Slightly productive sick day. I took Thursday off as I still had stomach pains (luckily no vomiting so I don't think it was the dreaded norovirus) so I spent the day curled up on the sofa crocheting. I learnt a new pattern, a granny Christmas tree. I'm going to turn them in to some gifts for my Mum. All will be revealed soon! 

3. Festive afternoon tea. Tomorrow I'm heading to The London Carriageworks for a festive afternoon tea with Alex and some other twitter pals. I can't wait! I love eating out at Christmas. Earlier in the week I went for a Christmas lunch with my CILIP committee in Manchester. Food definitely makes Christmas!

4. Glitterball nails

SO. GLITTERY! And they are done with that fancy pants gel stuff so should hopefully last me the whole Christmas season. Last time I had my nails done, they lasted 3 weeks. Fingers crossed these last as long too. 

5. Feeling healthy again. I am the worst ill person. I am very thankful of my health and that I am not ill often. Also, I am too busy at the moment to be able to afford to be ill! 

I hope you are all having a nice weekend so far. 10 days until Christmas! 

Wednesday, 12 December 2012

Christmas shopping

Shoes - Clarks, Skirt - Topshop, Jumper - Marks & Spencers, Blouse - Charity shop.

Just a quick midweek post today as I'm feeling a bit under the weather (and praying I'm not coming down with the norovirus, my tummy has felt dodgy all day). This is what I wore on my day off last Friday to go Christmas shopping with Scott. I actually ended up stuck in the house shortly after taking these photos as my door warped and got stuck so I couldn't open it and I couldn't go out the back way as we don't have an alley key! I was most distressed. After a small tantrum and rest, I finally managed to open the door (I am so weak!) and got to go shopping. We met at Cuthberts Bakehouse and had a bite to eat before ticking off more presents on our list. 

Untitled Untitled

And now there are only 7 more working days left until the Christmas! Excited. 

Monday, 10 December 2012

Christmas tree day

Christmas tree picking

Christmas tree picking

Christmas tree picking

Christmas tree picking

Yesterday was Christmas tree day! We had had it in our diaries since the start of November (probably) and we had the decorations down and we were ready and raring to get our tree for this festive season. When I woke up in the morning, the rain was SO heavy, I was so tempted just to cancel Christmas tree day and buy a cheapo one just so we didn't have to face the rain. We visit a forest to get our tree every year and while it is fun, it can also be very, very miserable if it's wet like it was last year. Luckily, it stopped raining and then brightened up into one of those fabulous sunny, clear but cold winter days. I do like them, I can top up on my vitamin D but still wrap up warm. We met up with Scott's family and began the usual ritual of choosing the tree. Too tall, too wide, too naked at the top? Too uneven? Eventually we chose a reasonable 6ft tree and decorated it when we got home later while watching Elf.

Oh Christmas Tree

Our tree is quite traditional, lots of red and gold. I also have lots of cute little animals in the tree.

Oh Christmas Tree Oh Christmas Tree Oh Christmas Tree 

Oh Christmas Tree Oh Christmas Tree Oh Christmas Tree Oh Christmas Tree

The last two are some new additions that were gifts off my Mum. The living room now spells of that lovely Christmas tree smell. I think the tree we have this year smells lots more than the one from last year, even though last years was much bigger and wider, which is good. We also have our wreath on the front door. It's definitely beginning to look a lot like Christmas! 

Friday, 7 December 2012

5 good things

1. Days off. I've had two days off work this week, Tuesday and today. It has been a refreshing change. On Tuesday I spent the morning helping my Grandad with his new computer (he is 88 and is trying to learn about the internet so he can email family in Spain! He has been using a computer to manage his finances/write letters for years but never had the internet.) and then I spent the afternoon baking Christmas cookies to decorate the tree with and then crocheting some christmas decorations. Operation Christmas is go! Today I plan on finishing off my Christmas shopping and then going to Costco with my parents.

2. Preparing for Christmas. As I mentioned above, I spent some time on Tuesday making biscuits for the tree. Then on Thursday evening we got our Christmas stuff down from the loft to check what wrapping paper and cards we had left over from last year (answer: a lot!) and also check that all the decorations are okay. Oh how I've missed you Mr Gingerbread man and Mr Reindeer! We are going to get our Christmas tree on Sunday from Delamere Forest, then hopefully decorate it while watching Elf.

Save the Children's Christmas Jumper Day on 14th December 2012
3. Christmas jumpers. I have ordered a Christmas jumper and hopefully it will be here before next Friday, as Save The Children are having a 'Christmas Jumper Day' to raise money. I heard about this by chance, on twitter I think. I think it's a great idea to raise some money. I will be sharing my jumper next week with you all! You can find out more about Christmas Jumper Day here if you want to take part. convince my colleagues to join in.

4. Eating more fruit & veg. I have been neglecting fruit & veg in winter, it's so much easier to grab some chocolate or crisps. I've missed salads and fruit though! I've been having stewed plums in my porridge in the morning, fruit and raw veg for snacks and extra veg with every meal. I certainly feel better for it. Anyone else find it hard to eat enough fruit & veg in the winter? I don't understand it, as it's probably the time of year when you need to eat more!

5. Lovely neighbours. The other day when I was in a rush to get to work and had to de-ice my car, my lovely neighbour came along and started spraying my car with de-icer while I got the car started and found my scraper. All of my neighbours are really nice, we have been so lucky to find such a nice little street.

Thursday, 6 December 2012

Titles are hard

Especially for outfit posts. I never know what to say. It's easy for recipes and posts about...other things. But outfits always seem so hard to title. Anyone else find this?

shoes - clarks, skirt - topshop, t-shirt - h&m, cardigan - topshop

shoes - clarks, skirt - river island, t-shirt - h&m, cardigan - h&m

I haven't done an outfit post in a while actually! Probably because I hate dressing for winter. I like just to wear what I wear in the summer but with more tights and layers underneath, but some things it just isn't practical to do that with. I know some people are the complete opposite and love layering up, but I love summer dresses and sandals and being able to go outside just in a cardigan. I do, however, love scarves and hats, but practical footwear in the winter always flummoxes me. Roll on spring I say. 

Wednesday, 5 December 2012

Checkerboard cake

Checkerboard cake

Checkerboard cake

Checkerboard cake

Checkerboard cake

At the weekend, it was my Dad's birthday and I'd had my eye on this cake recipe since I saw it in the Great British Bake Off recipe book. I was quite please with the way that this turned out. I've never tried one of these cakes with a design hidden inside before, but with this one you just piped the cake batter in rings rather than cutting things out and fiddling that was. It was definitely easier, but the result wasn't 100%. You can see some bits where the checkerboard squares aren't quite square! I am a perfectionist though and I will always pick at my own work.. The overall effect is pretty good though! The sponge was a little bit dry, maybe I slightly overcooked it. The ganache was amazing though, I love icing cakes with ganache. I had a leftover slice the day after warmed up so the icing went runny, with cream poured over the top. Delicious.

If you fancy having a go yourself, have a look at the checkerboard cake recipe.

Monday, 3 December 2012

Santa dash

On Sunday, Scott & I ran the Liverpool Santa Dash. It was so much fun! We got off to a bit of a disasterous start because we hadn't checked the bus times and they don't run frequently on a Sunday morning before 10am (doh!) but we made the start eventually. I have never seen so many santas all in one place! It was pretty surreal in some points seeing a sea of red (and some blue Evertonian) Santas before you. Apparently over 8000 people ran on Sunday. We didn't quite break the world record they were aiming for but it was great none the less. However, I do not recommend running in a full santa suit with full length running leggings and a long sleeve running top on underneath! I was way too hot. Scott was determined to run all the way around in his full santa suit, beard too. I wasn't quite as brave and took my beard off. 

1. Most unflattering photo of me ever? Just finished the dash and feeling very hot from the santa suit!
2. The sea of santas running up James Street. 
3. Santas at the start by the Liver building
4. Looking slightly less red faced at the start.

And when we reached the end, there was fake snow and lots of Christmas music! So much fun. We also got these awesome Christmassy medals. They are a great addition to my little medal collection.


So, I guess the Santa dash has marked the start of the festive season for us now. Also my last race of the year and probably final race until the half marathon in March. Eek. Better get training! 


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