Onesies, walks and pumpkins - a week in photos







[1] After a lot of cruising round eBaying, Googling and thinking I was going to have to resort to ordering from America I finally found my perfect onesie.  I know there are a lot of people against the onesie, and I know they're not exactly the height of fashion but dammit are they comfortable! This one was a bit more than I wanted to spend but I sold about £90 worth of stuff on eBay last week so I felt justified in splashing out!

[2] Today we took Bodhi on his first walk.  We had to wait until he'd had all his jabs for him to be allowed out.  This is me teaching him to sit before we cross the road.

[3] I splashed out on some bits in Lush this week, including this little Melting Snowman, as recommended to me by Lily.  I also bought some Glogg and Snow Fairy shower gel and some other bits for Christmas prezzies.  I had the melting snowman in my bath last night and he didn't disappoint - my skin felt so soft afterwards and smelt very yummy!

[4] On Tuesday we went to a friend's house for mulled wine, fajitas and pumpkin carving.  The two on the left belong to my friend and her boyfriend, and the two on the right are mine and Tom's.  Tom went for a classic skull design (and of course it was brilliant) and I took on something way beyond my skill level and tried to carve Oogie Boogie from Nightmare Before Christmas.  It was a bit of a fail!

[5] On Monday myself and two friends went to Revolution for dinner as they do 2 for 1 on food.  Because of this we decided to order quite a large amount of food, although it still only cost about £7 each - bonus! My favourite is the Denver Fries - fries with peppercorn steak and cheese on top - yum.

[6] A few months ago I bought a voucher from Groupon for the value of £85 to spend on Photoart Warehouse.  I decided to get this photo taken in Polperro earlier this year printed on acrylic - I hope it looks good!

Hope you are all having lovely weekends.


Ding dong ditch a televangelist

A few months ago I bought a voucher from Groupon for £50 to spend on the Lomography website, and after much deliberation I bought the Holga 135 Twin Lens Reflex, a sweet little camera with a waist level view finder so you can literally 'shoot from the hip'.  I only got around to getting the film processed yesterday and after ending up seriously regretting taking my film to Jessops (a trip which culminated in the guy that worked there telling me my film was too cheap to scan to CD, which is, frankly, absolute guff - I should know, I used to work there).  Today I got my film back however, and although I only got 11 frames from my 36 film I was still pretty pleased with the results.  I really like the grainy film and the way the photos instantly transported me back to a summer of blue skies, ice cream vans and barbecues in the garden.

I also have some photos to share with you (probably tomorrow) of our evening of pumpkin carving and mulled wine last night but I am now off for a long bubble bath to the sounds of the latest Oh Comely magazine playlist (which you can listen to here if you have Spotify) and probably the sights of some form of trashy gossip magazine.  Night all!

Which beauty box should I subscribe to?

Being someone who gets quite excited about anything that's a little bit 'gimmick-y', coupled with the fact that I love receiving anything through the post, beauty boxes were something that was sure to hook me in.  Having a box of 'unknown items' arrive on my desk at work and having colleagues gather round me to see which goodies I received this month is all pretty exciting to me, and certainly brightens up an otherwise dull morning. Because of this, it wasn't long before I found myself signed up to not one, but three beauty boxes - Glossybox, Boudoir Prive and Feel Unique.  Because not only am I a post enthusiast but a terrible scrimper this does not sit well with me, and when my trusty calculator informed me that this meant I was currently spending almost £33 a month (almost £400 a year - eek!) on beauty samples, I knew at least one had to get the chop.  But which? I decided, then, to make my mind up based on the each company's October box.  And here they are...

Feel Unique
Boudoir Prive

I have to admit, before these boxes arrived I was edging towards cancelling my Boudoir Prive subscription. They didn't seem to include as many full size products as Glossybox (I know that's a ridiculous criticism to make of a beauty sample box, but it is such a treat to receive a full size product!) and because they offer more 'luxury' brands I end up finding a product I love and then realising I would never spend that much money on the full size product (the Creme De Lite moisturiser for example, is £45 for 50ml).  But when I unwrapped this month's box I was very pleasantly surprised - I have bought the rose petal salve before and loved it, the body butter smells very yummy and I am a big fan of this style of liquid eyeliner.

Likewise I was really impressed with the Feel Unique box.  At £9.95 they're the cheapest boxes, and I love that, as an established beauty website you can easily buy any of the products if you like them.  In particular the Tigi Catwalk Blow Out Balm is a new favourite of mine - it smells amazing and leaves my hair feeling so soft.  I have only had one of these boxes so far but I would definitely be hesitant about cancelling - although they're the less well-known of the beauty boxes, for me, they're a strong contender.

Finally, Glossybox.  I must admit to being slightly disappointed by this month's box.  None of the products fill me with excitement - I have several nail varnishes in a similar shade and I'm always slightly unsure of skincare samples as I'm not convinced it's good for my skin for me to be using different products on it every few weeks! I know that Dermalogica are a fairly high end brand but personally I don't get that excited about facial skincare, I never really see any difference in my skin whichever product I use (hence I use Aldi's Lacura moisturiser, which costs £1.89!)


Before this month I was convinced Boudoir Prive would have to get the chop but I'm now edging towards Glossybox.  At £12.95 they're the most expensive of the boxes and when I look in my tub in the bathroom of samples I probably won't try, there are more Glossybox samples in there than anything else (with the neon yellow rebel nails toenail stickers right at the top!) The only thing I'm certain of is that I'm going to carry on with Feel Unique.  So, in conclusion, I'm still not sure! Help! What do you think? Are you subscribed to any? Have you been subscribed and cancelled? I need your advice!

UPDATE: I've now unsubscribed from Glossybox - thanks for helping me make a decision!

Laziness and snacks

Although I love days stomping around the forest, weekends away camping and having those days when you realise it's only midday and you've already done loads, I also, in equal amounts, love days where you snuggle under a duvet, watch old movies, spend hours curled up with a good book and don't get changed out of your pajamas all day.  I rarely have these days however, as they generally fill me with guilt - living in a three bedroom house there is always something that needs cleaning and tidying; not to mention the two assignments I'm supposed to be working on for my management qualification and the fact that the Autumnal sunshine and blue sky makes me feel like I should really be outside making the most of it.

However, this weekend is an on call weekend for me, which means I have to carry my work phone and pager with me and take out of hours press calls for the office I work in.  We have to be immediately ready to respond to calls and write press releases so I tend not to leave the house as sod's law dictates that the moment you do you will inevitably hear that heart sinking 'beeeeep beeeeep beeeeeep' of the pager.  For this reason I quite like duty weekends, as it gives me a great excuse to have some 'me time' - long bubble bath soaks (although very frustrating when the pager then does go off and I launch out of the tub like a bubbly kraken from the deep), takeaway food (I have good reason, I can't go to the supermarket, can I?), lots of trashy TV watching and box sets and a good dose of catching up on blogs.

I was well prepared this weekend and picked up a few snacks from the supermarket to get me through the weekend.  Well - that was my intention.  When I got to Sainsbury's they had a whole section of stocking filler chocolate for a £1 so I ended up stocking up on quite a significant amount of sweets and chocolate.  I really hope at least some of it ends up in those woolly booties that hang from the fireplace and not all in my belly!

A weekend of lounging on the sofa reading blogs on my little netbook lends itself nicely to a quick digest of what I've been reading this week.

  • I haven't just found a new blog to follow in The Pampered Sparrow, I feel like I've made a friend too - love yapping with her on Twitter about puppies and pies and her blog is great too, a great mix of baking, doggies, shopping and lovely photos!
  • Another awesome blog I've discovered recently is Katy's blog Caught Up In Cake.  I love Katy's outfits and her posts always make me smile.  She's also the gorgeous Michelle's blog of the week!
  • I found Lucky Jackson's Make Something Everday project on The Clothes Horse blog.  Lucky is making hand embroidered pieces every day for a year and blogging her amazing creations, and they are just beautiful.
  • I adore Bianca's blog (Goodnight Little Spoon) and seeing her blog some of her amazing mail art again really made me smile.
  • It's no secret that I adore the beautiful lady that is Bee at Vivatramp but I especially love her travel journal post - her cute scribbles and even cuter drawings put a massive smile on my face! 

Hope you're all having lovely weekends - I have run out of episodes of NY Ink to watch on BT Vision so I'm going to do a bit more eBaying and keep my fingers crossed my pager stays nice and quiet!


The city's sweet as cider

The weeks just seem to be flying by at the moment - I meant to blog these photos of our day out on Sunday and then all of a sudden it's Thursday! How did that happen?

On Sunday we invited some friends over to come and meet Bodhi puppy and have a good old Dorset day out! We went to my favourite little town (Burley) and went for a pub lunch (I had chicken, ham and leek pie and it was very yum!) and a visit to the fudge shop.  We then came across a tractor that was giving free rides to a cider festival so we hopped on board and went along to a farm where they were doing cider pressing demonstrations, selling hot and spicy cider and there were vintage tractors and vans on show.  All this in glorious Autumn sunshine!

Me doing a strange pose in front of lots of apples

Tractor rides
Cider pressing demonstration
By the time we got home we were peckish again so I whipped up some Mars cupcakes.  I saw this recipe for Mars Bar Melts on The Londoner blog and thought they might be yummy as cupcakes - and they were! You can't tell from the photos but the chunk of Mars bar inside the cake goes all gooey in the oven - they're pretty special if you eat them when they're still warm! We then watched Shutter Island with a few cans of strawberry Brothers cider - talk about perfect day eh?

No piping bag this time - I just wanted to eat them!

This week has been very busy again -it's pretty intensive looking after Bodhi as we have to watch him all the time.  We've been taking him for walks around the neighbourhood but just carrying him as he has to have his final set of jabs before he can be walked.  He's a pretty big hit with the locals already and everyone wants a stroke when they meet him!

Lots of friends have been wanting to come and meet Bodhi too, which is lovely - I had a friend over last night and cooked the classic 'chicken stuffed with philadelphia wrapped in parma ham', and sweet potato chips! Delish.  This weekend I'm on call so can't really leave the house - I predict lots of takeaway, pajamas, X Factor, Winter Warmer Copella juice (my new obsession) and duvets on the sofa!

By the way, what do you think of my new layout? I fancied a change and wanted the blog to reflect my excitement that it's Autumn!


Between the sheets of lightning

Another busy week this week - the photos above make it seem like it mostly involved eating, drinking, and the pup.  And that would probably be true.  Bodhi the puppy (he is a schnoodle, for those who asked) is now 10 weeks old and doing well with his training.  The second photo is him at the top of the stairs - he loves to run up the stairs but he's too scared to climb down them!

This week Tom's shifts and my 9-5ing have meant that we haven't spent much time together so Tom suggested I plan a fun day out for us today.  I picked Nando's and three games of bowling at Tower Park in Poole.  We then swung by Tesco's on the way home to pick up snacks and drinks to accompany X Factor tonight - we have giant buttons, Haribo, Doritos and cupcakes and I am very excited! (We also have some champagne!) Who is everyone rooting for tonight? I hope Kitty goes this weekend, I can't run the risk any longer that I might be forced to punch the TV when she comes on otherwise!

A little nugget of exciting news is that I am going to be running the Southampton pages for the fashion website 'My Street Chic'.  We met the lovely ladies who run it at the South West Blogger Meet, and they were looking for people to run the 'Your City' pages - meaning that you cover news, events and style in your city.  One of the things they do is 'Street Style Heroes', showcasing great outfits and styles that have been spotted in your city, so I have been hitting the high street with my camera for the last week or so trying to cajole fashionable types into letting me take their picture.  If you live in Southampton and you fancy getting involved, send me an e-mail - I'd love to add some great blogger outfits to the street style section, and I'd also love to represent local style by featuring some bloggers.  If you're not from Southampton, do check out their other city pages and become a member.

With all the naughty food I've been gobbling this week (and in previous weeks!) I have definitely been piling on the pounds, and I'm determined to do something about it.  I've downloaded the 'Couch to 5k' app on my iPhone and been reading all about it online and it really sounds like something I could actually do.  We've got a walk planned tomorrow so I'm going to start on Monday I think (well, I don't want to overdo it do I?).

Cheer up Tuesdays - Claire

This week's 'Cheer Up Tuesday' is brought to you by Claire, from 'I Think I Just Blogged Myself'.  Claire's blog is one of those you come across when hopping from blog to blog, and then find yourself furiously nodding at every word on their latest post and getting finger ache from furiously clicking 'older posts' to read back through everything they've written.  Claire's blog is just so up my street - full of gorgeous photos and book reviews, and best of all, Claire is a brilliant writer and her posts are always such a joy to read.  Over to Claire....

1. For those readers that don’t already know you, tell us a little bit about yourself...

My name is Claire, I am 19 years old, I live just outside London, and I am boring myself already. I read a hell of a lot of books, write because it makes me happy, drink masses of tea and coffee because it helps me function like a normal human being, and generally p*** about. Thank you Rosie, for allowing me a little space on your lovely blog. I really am honoured!
2. Tell me five things that make you happy...

A good book, coffee, reading a good book in a coffee shop (hang on...), my BLONDE boyfriend and pizza.
3. If ever you do feel down, what song or songs do you put on to cheer yourself up?

Anything by Ellie Goulding, but especially Under the Sheets and Human. I plan to get Ellie Goulding lyrics tattooed on me. I'm that person. She does mean a lot to me though; I've suffered from severe anxiety and OCD for a few years now and have always found an EG tune would calm me down when nothing else would. For that reason, they'll always be a bit special to me.
4. What’s your happiest memory; a memory you think of that always makes you smile?

A memory that will always make me smile would have to be one involving my younger (and ginger) brother. Myself and my older brother have many an amusing anecdote about him, but he would probably punch me were I to air them on the interweb. Let's just say they involve excessive amounts of grapes, a scorchingly hot lantern, christmas plays, the amount of sweets Granny may or may not have had in her hotel room, and laughing with (at) him. (Not necessarily all in the same story).
5. Describe your perfect day.

(It would be during the Christmas period). I'd spend the entire morning in bed with coffee, pastries, my book and my boyfriend (topless) (him not me). Lunch would be something bread and salad based, preferably in one of Brighton's beautiful little cafes in the lanes. Followed by cake and shared with a couple of my bestest friends. In the afternoon we'd go and watch a movie, a good movie, and then go out for burgers and/or pizza. The evening would be spent at home, watching Dexter, with hobnobs and cups of tea and blankets and a fire going. And the boyfriend wouldn't mind me lying on him (he normally does, a lot). Then we'd sleep.
6. How do you maintain a positive outlook on life?

I don't. KIDDING! I've always been a naturally positive person, but boy was that put to the test when the dreaded OCD took over. I spent a lot of time watching One Tree Hill, that helped, but I did end up believing my name was actually Brooke Davis. I tried to distract myself - whether that be through books or television or just listening to a nice song - it meant that I wasn't wallowing. Essentially though, I think the key to being positive is surrounding yourself by people who love you. They will lift you!

Thanks Claire! Make sure you visit her awesome blog here.

New knitwear, Feel Unique and puppy love

all h&m
Feel Unique's October beauty box
Bohdi in the garden

I'm so disappointed that almost a week has gone by and I haven't had an opportunity to blog.  I've had a really packed week though; running around with Bohdi the puppy, drinking wine and doing lots of laughing with Michelle, Kim and Laura in Revolution on Tuesday (and not taking any photos! - sorry), getting lost in London and attending a really great Internal Comms conference on Wednesday, taking some snaps of some great outfits for My Street Chic in Southampton on Friday, and this weekend has so far been X Factor and dinner at Prezzo last night.

The first photo is my outfit to go to Prezzo.  I had mini splurge in h&m on Friday after work and bought a couple of baggy knitted jumpers [1] [2] to wear now it (finally) seems to be getting colder.  This was slightly naughty however as I'd already made an online h&m order with the Chelsea boots I'm wearing in the photo, as well as another jumper - so now I am on a self-enforced spending ban until the end of the month.  Well, kind of - did anyone catch the ASOS You Choose sale yesterday? (it was only open until 5:30) I couldn't refuse a blazer and shoes for a tenner each.  I have a giant box of clothes I need to sell to now bring my bank balance around to something a bit more normal - what's everyone's verdicts on eBay vs. blog shop? I can't decide which one to go with.

The second photo is my Feel Unique beauty box, which arrived on Friday.  I am currently subscribed to three beauty boxes (Boudoir Prive, Glossybox and Feel Unique) but really ought to cut it down to one so I decided I'd make a decision based on this month's boxes.  My gut feeling is that I'm going to go with Glossybox, though I really do like Feel Unique too.  Lily also blogged about her Feel Unique box here and I agree with her that although it isn't as well known as the other boxes it really is a strong contender - it is the cheapest box, at £9.95.

The final photo is of Bohdi the puppy playing in the garden.  He is so much fun and Tom and I have already fallen head over heels in love with him.  He is already getting pretty good at his house training and it's so nice coming home to someone so excited to see you! I will leave you with a really short video of Bohdi thinking he's found a friend in the house.  Nope... just his reflection in the mirror!


I must go down to the seas again

This weekend was somewhat bittersweet - we celebrated Tom's nephew's 1st birthday on Friday, we picked up our new puppy and we also scattered my Grannie's ashes into the sea at Daymer Bay in Cornwall.

My Grannie wrote (and had published) a poem some time ago which talked about being laid down in the Camel river, and we knew we wanted to scatter her ashes in the Camel Estuary in a really beautiful place near Polzeath in Cornwall.  So, on Saturday we drove down to Cornwall and scattered her ashes into the sea, with some hydrangeas from her garden, and read her poem.  Though it was tinged with sadness, it was a really beautiful moment and so fitting for her.  I took this photo a little while afterwards, it makes me smile because there is so much going on! (The dog casually trotting by does not belong to us!) My Grannie's husband and my Mum are on the left, then my boyfriend Tom, then my Dad, then my brother and his girlfriend on the far right.

We then walked to St Enedoc's Church, a short walk from Daymer Bay.  It is a beautiful church - for 300 years it was almost completely buried under sand dunes and once a year the vicar and parishioners used to hold a service and had to gain access to the church through a hole in the roof! It was unearthed in 1864 but it still has banks all around it.  The poet laureate John Betjeman is buried here - here is a line from my favourite poem of his, along with some photos of the church.  I can't get over what the weather was like on Saturday, it was so hot!

We then walked from Daymer Bay round to Polzeath, a walk that we'd done with my Grannie only about a year before (and it is quite a long walk!) Two photos above is me trying to navigate some craggy rocks after we went rockpooling on the way...

After a drink, and some dinner sat out on a balcony overlooking the bay in the sunshine (bliss!) Tom and I began the long journey to go and collect our new puppy from Cartmarthern in South Wales.  Such a joy to see these sort of distances on the sat nav! In the end we only managed to drive until about 9 o' clock, and after a hot chocolate we bedded down in a service station car park for a night's sleep.  We were up again to start the drive at 8 am, finally meeting the breeder's around lunchtime.  We chose our puppy, had a long chat with the breeder's about looking after him and which jabs he needed and so on and then we were on our way.  Another five hours later, we were home!

We originally liked the name 'Ralphie' for our little woofer but now we have taken to calling him 'Bodhi' (pronounced like Bodey).  Bodhi is our favourite character in one of our favourite films, Point Break (played by Patrick Swayze) and is also a Buddhist word meaning enlightenment or awakening.  Our puppy seems to be answering to Bodhi so I think we will stick with it.  Here's Bodhi having a cuddle with Tom when he got home.

Last night he slept all through the night and only woke up this morning when Tom let him outside for a wee (he already knows he wees outside!) Today he has been happy playing with his chew toys in the study whilst I work from home - so he is being a very good boy so far!

In other news, on Wednesday after work I am going for a drink and a catch-up with Kim, Laura and Michelle, and I am so excited already! Will be so lovely to see Kim and Laura again after I met them at the SW Blogger's Meet, and meet Michelle for the first time!

Hope you all had lovely weekends and enjoyed the sunshine!