Up in smoke, burnt down to size

There's a famous military adage that goes 'No plan ever survives first contact with the enemy'.  I'm pretty sure when they were thinking of that phrase they weren't thinking of a Monday night plan involving pajamas, bubble bath and reading being shot out of the water by a very busy press incident, but that's certainly the way I felt last night when my pager suddenly became very noisy (I'm part of the out of hours Press Office function at work) and didn't stop being noisy until 1am - and then started again at 4am.  A day in the office on three hours sleep is not a fun one!

Anyway, after all that excitement, and the ceremonial handing in of the giant (10,000 words, 40 pages, eek!) assignment I've been banging on about for the last couple of months, tonight is (press incidents permitting) an early night and glass of wine kind of night - which also involved a little Rosie catwalk show of all the things I bought from Boohoo.com on Friday....

Firstly, can I say that I am actually unashamedly and completely head over heels (geddit?) in love with the shoe boots.  Because of the platform they are actually only a 3 1/2 inch heel so they are so comfortable to walk in, I am definitely investing in another pair - though I can't decide which colour - taupe or tan? Or do I need the leather look ones?

longline blazer - £12, dog - not for sale

I'm also chuffed to bits with this wool coat, which didn't photograph that well but I can assure is so lovely on... More importantly it was a bargainous £15!

Finally, my outfit for tonight (what a treat for you all!) which is my trusty F&F joggers and my new Small Victory t-shirt (£10) featuring Lord Victor Foxtrot.  Not forgetting today's very exciting postal arrival - my Deathly Hallows necklace from Sawyer and Scout (£8).  Isn't it awesome?


Favourites from Boohoo.com

You may have seen in my last post my adding the Boohoo platform shoe boots to my internet shopping wishlist, which quickly turned into a buying list on Friday night when left with some time to myself and some Christmas money suddenly burning a hole in my proverbial pocket.  I don't know about you, but whenever I see a £4 delivery charge it makes me want to find something bargainous to add to the order to make it more worth my while.  Hence, whilst nosing around the Boohoo site and picking out some 'new in' favourites (which are below), I also had to add to my order this longline blazer (£12), wool look military coat in black (£15), a double breasted cape in camel (£12) and this leather look shift dress (£18) from their sale.  I am convincing myself that I always end up sending a couple of Boohoo bits back so that's not too much of a splurge.  Can't wait for those shoe boots to arrive though, I'm hoping that platform will mean they're not totally impossible to walk in right? Right?

I was really impressed with some of Boohoo's new bits, in particular I love all their pleated dresses and skirts and girly pastels, hurry up Spring so I can flounce around in floaty dresses please! Here is my current Boohoo shopping list.  You can click the images below the collage to view the items on the website.
Boohoo picks

Have you ever shopped at Boohoo? Are you like me and counting down the days until Spring to wear your new season favourites?


Ten things found on the internet

This evening I was supposed to be in Weymouth but a combination of stomach cramps, tiredness and anxiety about the 3000 words left to write on my assignment before Monday means that instead I am sat in front of the computer in my pajamas considering an early night.

I rarely sit around doing nothing, so the nights when I do are usually because another plan has been cancelled, leaving me at a loose end.  Tonight's last minute decision to stay home has meant I've been able to catch up on blog reading, pinning, and a little light internet shopping and I thought I'd share with you ten things I've bookmarked.

Like the rest of the world I have been coveting Jeffrey Campbell Litas for quite some time so I must admit to doing an excited little 'oOoh' when I saw these on Boohoo.com.  At £35 I'm finding it difficult to say no!

Whilst browsing through Pinterest this evening I came across Skinnytaste.com's 'Top 20 Skinny Recipes 2011' and quickly bookmarked it for when I've finished on Jenny Craig.  The baked chicken nuggets and chicken baked with spinach and ricotta sound amazing!

I can't remember where I found the link to Sybille's website 'Funkytime' recently - a Graphic Designer from Germany, she blogs the most amazing DIYs, tutorials, freebies and printables.  I want to make everything on her website!

I saw this linked on Twitter a few weeks ago but read it again tonight (it did the rounds on Tumblr so apologies if you've already seen it).  It's a post where a nurse that worked in palliative care reveals the top five regrets people voiced before dying.  A worthwhile read.

Again, I saw this shop linked somewhere and I can't remember where, but The Orphans Arms is an awesome little shop that sells hand printed t-shirts, jumpers and vests with a sort of medieval, magical olde world twist; I  absolutely adore them! I must have this tshirt...

'Let's be 'avin you'  - £12
Goodnight Little Spoon is one of my most favourite blogs, and I love Bianca's idea to use Keri Smith's 100 ideas list and do one a week.  You can read about her progress here, and read Keri's 100 ideas here.

And a final big internet hug to The Pampered Sparrow who awarded me a Versatile Blogger award this week.  I urge you to check out her lovely blog, it's one of my favourite reads!


Jenny Craig Review - Day Zero

I mentioned in a previous post that Jenny Craig had got in contact with me to see if I'd like to try a 14 day trial of their diet programme and blog about how I got on with it.  Like most people, I rather over-indulged over Christmas and my knee injury has meant I haven't been as active over the last few weeks so I jumped at the chance to try their diet and share my progress with my readers.  They've started me off with two week's worth of their plan so I can get a feel for how it works, and I'm so excited to get started on it tomorrow!

The programme started with a long chat with a consultant on Saturday where he asked me lots of questions about how much weight I'd like to lose, how active I was and then tailored the plan for me, also talking me through how the plan works and arranging my delivery.  He even allowed me to go through and pick which meals I did and didn't want, and there are different plans for vegetarians or people with different dietary needs.  My delivery arrived today, and I was shocked at how much food there was! Here are some photos of my 'hamper'.

Box of main meals, soups, sides and porridges
Pasta Bolognese, potato and peas, tuna pasta salad, carrot and coriander soup

Cereals, cereal and snack bars, my ringbinder, more meals and crisps

I certainly won't be going hungry on this diet! The ringbinder contains all sorts of information about the plan and a planned menu for each week.  When I've started the diet I'll talk more about the sorts of meals there are and what you can eat in a day but like other diets it balances set menus with foods that you can choose from a list such a low fat yoghurts and fruit and vegetables.  You also get weekly calls from a consultant who will go through an exercise plan with you and talk about other things you've eaten or challenges you have (like a meal out for example) and how to overcome them.  I know that some people perceive diets like these to not be sustainable (and sometimes be expensive) but the great thing about Jenny Craig is that after a period of time you can introduce normal foods back in and still maintain the consultant calls to help you make food and exercise choices.  I think that after a period on the plan where you learn to eat healthily (and for me, eat less!) it would be easy to cease the Jenny Craig programme and just carry on making sensible food choices and maintain the weight loss.  The full programme costs £11 a day, which some might perceive as expensive, but when you think that you only do it until you have achieved your goal and can sustain it on your own, and also that you're not buying any of your own food I think that's pretty reasonable.

Finally, I want to add that all Jenny Craig have done is send me the two weeks worth of the programme - they have not provided me with a sales pitch to pass on (I am just genuinely impressed with the plan!) and my review will be honest and completely objective.  I'm off to weigh myself and take my measurements now, my goal is to lose 2-3 lbs over the next two weeks so I want to know at the end whether I've managed to achieve it!

By the way, I've set up comment replies now so if you have any questions or anything you want me to cover in a later review just ask!


This is quite a naughty post as I really, really should be working on my assignment, but I was having a break and reading blogs when I spotted the lovely Gem's reply to a comment on her latest post that she uses Picasa to create collages of her photos and bam... instantly I lost an hour of my life to playing collage maker! I did not know you could do this! I had been meaning to share some Instagram photos with you for about a week as, when I can, I've been partaking in the #janphotoaday meme on Instagram where there is a different photo to take and tag for each day in January.  I've got a bit behind but hopefully you can spot some of the categories I've been snapping in my collage below.

Along with the photos I've been taking as part of the challenge I have been snapping some of the beautiful sunrises and sunsets we've had over the last week.  My commute takes me through the New Forest every morning so watching the sun rise (and set on my journey home) over all the trees, and watching mist rise from the fields has been a pretty spectacular sight.  Here are some of my favourites from the last week.

Laura at Only Half Dressed has also been snapping away at some sunrises not too far from me and you can see hers on her blog here.

If you want to follow me on Instagram my username is @rosietap.  Make sure you leave me your username below if you use it too! If you don't, you can see some more of my photos at Instagrid.


I float just like a bubble, heading for a spike

As usual I've had a super busy few days and have another busy few ahead of me.  On Thursday night Tom and I went out to the Boathouse in Christchurch for dinner, which is a lovely little restaurant on the Quay. They do buy one get one free pizzas and cocktails on Thursday nights so I had a yummy goats cheese and asparagus pizza washed down with a couple of Cosmopolitans! We haven't been out in ages so I had a mild panic when I got in from work and realised I had to get changed fairly quickly as I could not think of what to wear.  Only took a quick (and very poor due to bad light!) photo of my outfit, mainly to show off my amazing new leopard shoe boots from eBay, a bargain at £15, though virtually impossible to walk in!

Last night I went to Wagamamas in Bournemouth with some friends, stuffed myself with Yaki Udon and then we went to a couple of pubs (there were shots but luckily I don't feel too bad today!) Today I have more on my management assignment to do so I rode my bike into town this morning to blast away the cobwebs and pick up a birthday card for my good friend Nicole whose birthday it is today.  We are celebrating with Dominos and a DVD!

This is what I wore for my little bike ride; I wouldn't normally take a photo of such a boring outfit but I wanted to show off my new Me and Zena pencil necklace - Tom bought me the bangle for Christmas but it was too big and fell off my wrist so we swapped it for the necklace.  It is so cute and quirky, I love it!

I do also have some exciting news; I was contacted last week to see if I would be interested in trying the Jenny Craig diet plan for a couple of weeks and blogging about how I get on with it.  My answer was a definite yes - like most people I've put on a few pounds over the festive period and I'm desperate to lose some weight and start eating healthier and getting fitter.  I've been following Charlene's progress with Jenny Craig over on Where Are My Knees and can't wait to try it myself; one of their consultants phoned me this morning and ran through with me all of their meals (which actually sound really yummy) and how it all works.  I'm also going to start my running program as soon as my knee feels a bit better so I'm hoping that the combination of eating their healthy meals and getting more active will really kickstart my weight loss.  Do any of you have diet/fitness related New Year's Resolutions? How are you getting on?


I'll let you see my wilder side

On Thursday we travelled to Seaham in Durham to visit my Grandma and go to my Grandad's funeral. They had moved since we last travelled up there (which, in any case, was a long time ago) and so I'd never visited Seaham before and wasn't expecting the beautiful coastal views we woke up to on Friday morning.  In between helping my Grandma with preparations for the funeral and meeting relatives we'd never met before we had a short walk along the beach and took some photographs from one of the coastal viewpoints.  In my efforts to get a better picture up on the clifftops however I climbed over a fence and on the way back over got my foot caught in the railing and twisted my knee so I have been hobbling around for the last couple of days! 

We travelled back yesterday (over six hours in the car in total once I'd driven back from my parents' - thank god for iPods) and I was so exhausted I opted for a bath with a Lush bath bomb (to soothe my ouchie knee), dinner and an early night.  

Today I have been on a long walk with the dog and am just starting to try and get to grips with my major assignment for the management qualification I'm studying for.  I'm only a quarter of the way through and the deadline is the end of the month so I'm hoping I can cram a lot more in over the next couple of weeks.  I am one of those people that can't concentrate if there's mess however, so today I also decided to tackle the sort out of the craft room/study that has been long overdue, doesn't it look nice and neat now? For any new followers of mine, the 'craft room' is a room at the front of our house that my other half tends to refer to as 'Rosie's room' and it's where all my books and pretty things live! Bodhi has taken to going and looking in there first whenever he wants to find me as it's where I spend a lot of my time! The last photo is of him pinching my desk chair...

I have felt a bit out of the loop with blogging over the last week or so, I get so frustrated when my schedule doesn't allow me to post or read blogs as it's really important that, since it's really my main hobby, I make time for myself to do it.  Over the next few days I want to add my 2012 to do list to my 'pages' and start recording the books I'm reading and films I'm watching as part of my little targets.  Back to the assignment now though for me - hope you're all having more exciting weekends than I am!

Nightmares by the sea

This is only going to be a short post as my mind is elsewhere today.  I found out last night that my Grandad passed away yesterday so I'm still absorbing that information and having a day of being on my own to mull things over.  It was very sudden so there was no suffering but it also means it has come as a bit of a shock.

It seems a bit superficial to write this post given this news but I wanted to share with you some things I've bought with my Christmas money this year (and something else that arrived in the post!).  In particular I am over the moon with two necklaces I bought from Sugar and Vice, who I found through a tweet from the lovely Sophie.  As soon as I saw their awesome website I splashed out on a name necklace in my favourite colour combo (gotta love black and gold!) and the compass necklace at the bottom.  They came two days after I ordered them which is pretty awesome for a personalised necklace and were both amazing value (the one I bought would normally be £10.95 but I paid £2 more for the mirrored acrylic). My next purchase is going to be their 'Like A Boss' necklace I think - love it!

The above two photos are from the Five Year Memory Book (£7.49) I bought - you write a line a day every day and then when the year ends you do the same for the following year. I thought it could be quite fun to look back over the years in a few years time.

My sister from another mister, Ayden  posted me a lovely card that I am convinced has a photo of Bodhi on the front (forgot to take a snap as I already popped it on the mantelpiece, will share in a later post) and a CD in the post to me that arrived this morning.  Her mix CDs are a saving grace for me with the 50 mile a day commutes so I'm super excited to have some new tunes for Monday morning!

I am a bit addicted to Victoria at VIPXO's eBay/Designer Inspired posts and I picked this handbag up she featured back in November in one, it got caught up with the Christmas post and arrived today, it was about £8 or £9 - bargain! 

Hope you're all having lovely Saturdays.  Did you splash out on anything with any Christmas cash?


Review of 2011 and goals for 2012

I can't believe it's 2012 already.  This time last year I was viewing houses with Tom, having accepted an offer on my flat in Southampton, still, then, a few months away from our year anniversary.  Now we own a house and a little fluffy white dog, have been on countless trips away and have done sufficient work with paintbrushes and wallpaper steamers that our house is on the way to being the cosy home we dreamt of.

In 2011 I visited Cornwall four times, went to four weddings (and a funeral), spent a week in Fuerteventura, went to two blogger meet-ups [1,2], spent a week in a cottage in Wales, started studying for a management qualification, was picked to take part in a Lomography photography competition, started helping My Street Chic with their Southampton section and did a whole lot of baking, eating out and sending letters and packages.

I didn't cross off everything on my 2010 to do list, but that's okay - one of the things I've decided this year is that I'm not going to give myself such a hard time if I don't get things done.  It's okay if things drop off the bottom sometimes.  I've started a new list on the front page of my new diary - it's not finished yet and again this year I'll add it as a page to the blog so I can cross things off and link when I've done things.  Please leave me links if you're doing this too!

+ Read 25 books
+ Watch 25 films I haven't seen before.
+ Go to a karate lesson.
+ Go to a boxing class.
+ Start a creative project.
+ Dedicate more time to the My Street Chic Southampton section.
+ Save £500.
+ Spend New Year's Eve in a cottage with friends.
+ Get three films processed.
+ Go to Scotland to see Ayden - hopefully bring Chloe and Sophie along for the ride!
+ Try a new sport.
+ Make £200 on eBay.
+ Run more films through my LC-A.
+ Pass my Certificate in Management course.
+ Finish decorating the spare room.
+ Start my 'happy notebook' again
+ Redo the vegetable patch and put raised beds in
+ Blog more

What do you think so far? I also want to make an effort to relax more and do more of the things that make me happy.

Here are some highlights of 2011.

I also want to thank all of you, from the bottom of my heart, for all the love and support you've shown me.  I have made some amazing friends on here and hope to meet more of you in person in 2012! Thank you for reading and for visiting my little corner of the interweb, you are all amazing!