Tuesday, December 11, 2018

What I Wore October 27th

At the end of October we had friends over for lunch, we had brunch which was delicious, and then Tom and Lee played Mario Kart and Gillian and I played with their baby, Lily, who is such a sunny and gorgeous little girl. She was very excited to get into absolutely everything in mine and Lee's living room. It was lovely to see them.

When they'd gone I was feeling a little bit stir crazy; I'd been in the house all week and needed to get out, so Lee and I went to Pot House Hamlet near us for hot chocolate and cake. It was pretty late on, but they don't close until 5pm, so it was fine.

I had pulled out this really old Asos dress to wear, I had forgotten how much I like it and it's really cosy and soft to wear, but looks pretty good too. I put a basic white t-shirt underneath, and wore it with leggings.

I'd also painted my nails for the first time in weeks. This is Nomad by Illamasqua; it's a gorgeous matte ish green colour and it applied like a dream - I only needed two coats for really good coverage! I have a couple of others in this range and I really like them

I love this colour!

I was representing Slytherin (I am not apparently a Slytherin)

Victoria sponge

We both had hot chocolate - there was mini marshmallows underneath

I love this dress and this whole look even though it's a bit of a different look for me. I also hadn't realised just how long my hair had got until this photo!

Sunday, December 9, 2018

Weekend in Chester - Day 2

This is a shorter post for the Sunday of our trip to Chester, as we didn't do very much. The thing is, my friends and I can have fun driving in the car with a playlist on, so it's fine. You better believe I'd made a playlist especially - this is a playlist of bands from Cheshire (plus a couple from Stockport - which used to be in Cheshire - because Cheshire bands are a bit thin on the ground).

We left the hotel just before eleven and drove through Chester a bit. We had considered going into the city on the Saturday, but I'm not sure I'd be able to cope with it currently, so I'm glad we stayed the other side of the county and that we went to the Spaceport too.

Sam and I had planned to go back to Huddersfield the scenic route, and meet up with Steph on the way. Steph is one of the best people that I've met through blogging and it's always lovely to see her. We'd asked Steph for pub recommendations near where she lives, so we decided to meet up at the Farrars Arms in Saddleworth. It was absolutely gorgeous, a really traditional old pub with amazing good. Sam, Jac, and Steph all had a roast beef dinner which looked amazing. I had a cheese and onion pie with chips. Then we all had sticky toffee pudding for dessert. The portions were really generous and the staff were friendly. I'd definitely go back!

I was wearing this purple dotty dress that I always wear - it's easy to put on and always feels great. It's effortlessly chic, I really like it. My cardigan is from George at Asda, it's really comfortable.

I had such a lovely weekend with my bestest friends!

Jac and Sam in the pub - Jac's jumper is from Next, I really like it

Me and Steph

Cheese and onion pie

Sticky toffee pudding

The outside. We drove back over the tops which were really foggy and rainy and slightly terrifying!

Dotty dress

That day's pin badge!

Thursday, December 6, 2018

Weekend in Chester

In the middle of October I went away for the weekend with my BFFs Sam and Jac. It was for Jac's birthday and she didn't know where we were going, which has become a bit of a tradition (we went to Leicester for my birthday in February, and to Lytham for Sam's birthday last year). We think we'll do it again next year because it's fun to plan a surprise for someone!

I had looked all over but eventually went for the Mercure Hotel near Chester - it's actually nearer Ellesmore Port really. I hadn't even thought to look at reviews, but Sam did a couple of days before we set off, and they weren't great. It looks like Mercure has just taken over the hotel and is refurbishing it in bits. Our room wasn't bad, but it needed some work. But, it was fine, the three of us were together ready for an adventure :)

We set off from Huddersfield about 1.30pm and checked in around 3pm. The hotel has a pool so we headed there for a while. The pool needed some work but it was warm and big enough for a nice swim, so we stayed about 90 minutes. Then we had showers and chilled out for a bit before heading to the hotel restaurant for food.

The food was alright, but the restaurant needed work too. It was fine, we had wine so didn't complain. We had starters and mains and then had cupcakes back in the room while watching TV and playing a stupid game.

I couldn't sleep that night so ended up reading most of the night. The beds each had a little light though so that was useful, I didn't keep everyone else awake.

In the morning, we googled to find somewhere for brunch and landed upon the Mouse at Brimstage. It was absolutely gorgeous! The whole place is really cute, it's got a few shops and the restaurant. We had brunch; I had a sausage, hash brown, and cheese wrap which was delicious.

Then we drove around the Wirral peninsula, to look at the sea. We stopped in West Kirby for an ice cream. The weather was gorgeous - warm and fresh - so we sat by the sea and the manmade lake for a bit making the best of it. I'm really glad we did this - we didn't have anywhere to be for a certain time so could just meander.

After a bit we set off to Spaceport in Birkenhead. It's a museum, there's stuff all about the solar system and space on the bottom floor, and upstairs there are different exhibitions. While we were there it happened to be Star Wars stuff which was great because we all like Star Wars. I'd recommend the museum, especially if you have children. It's not too expensive and it is fun. I was expecting it would be really busy, but there was only really us, a couple of families, and a pack of Brownies! Haha.

After the museum we went back to the hotel. Sam went swimming but Jacqui and I both napped. Then we all got ready and went out to Saffron, an Indian restaurant quite near by. The food was delicious and we shared a bottle of champagne, but the restaurant was really empty which was a shame. I'd recommend it!

I'll share what we did on Sunday in my next post, because this is already really photo heavy!

Snacks and alcohol and cupcakes

We had a Malteser's mishap, oops

Saturday in the Mouse, lovely Jac

Sam and me

Me and Jac!

There were strings of fairy lights everywhere which made the place feel really cute

My hot chocolate

My yummy wrap

Brimstage has a really interesting history - it seems no one knows for whom the hall was built. I thought it was a really nice place

Jac and Sam on the prom at West Kirby

The sun was shining brightly and you can see Welsh hills in the background!


And so on to the museum...

I was glowing under the blacklight!

Lots of Star Wars costumes

This is Kylo Ren, it's hard to tell

I love Boba Fett

I turned my back on the Stormtrooper to take this photo which took a lot for me to do because I'm quite scared of masked things and I'd have died of fright if he'd moved... 

Gorgeous rose champagne

Pickle tray! I love Indian food

And finally, here's what I wore - a Scarlett & Jo two in one dress. It's black and has a sweetheart neckline, I don't feel like I've worn it in ages even though I really like it. Also it has pockets!

Tuesday, December 4, 2018

Miss Saigon in Bradford

In October me and Sam and Jacqui went to see Miss Saigon in Bradford. It's one of my favourite musicals; I last saw it four years ago in London. When I saw it was touring I asked Sam and Jac to come with me. Neither of them had ever seen it or knew the full story, so it was nice to see with them.

We met in Bradford for tea first. We went to My Lahore which is just up the road from the theatre and which serves really yummy spicy fast food including curry, kebabs, all kinds of things. It's cheap too. We shared a starter platter and some onion bhajis. Then I had keema mince on chips with cheese, which is spicy and warming and junk food and delicious! I really can't complain.

We went down to the theatre and had a drink before the show. As soon as it started I was in tears, I love the story and music so much as it's a show I've loved since I was very little. It was so nice to see again.

I didn't take many photos and none of my outfit (I can't even remember what I was wearing), but I had bought Jacqui these Minnie Mouse ears from Etsy for her birthday which she really liked. Doesn't she look cute?

I love her so much :) 

The backdrop for the show!

Saturday, December 1, 2018

What I Wore October 7th

Lee and I went to Sheffield on October 7th to hang around with Bettie and Jen as we'd not seen them in a while. We went to their house to begin with and ate sausage sandwiches. Then we went out to Rassan's, the dessert restaurant, which is what we did with them last time but it's really nice there and I like it.

I pulled out this mint green flocked dress from Lovedrobe, I don't wear it often because it feels quite short on me, but I decided that with thick leggings it would be fine. The weather had dropped cool so I put my long leggings on, and then my ankle boots. I love these boots, I got them last winter and didn't wear them much so I'm looking forward to wearing them lots this winter. I even put socks on even though I don't wear socks, because they make the boots more comfortable. I've also decided I need to wear some of my pin badges more often, now they're all nicely in their little board ready, so I chose the mint green one to put on my cardigan.

At Rassan's I had ice Vimto, which was unusual but delicious, and hot cookie dough, which I really like and often choose!

Mint green and flocked dress, black leggings, boots, and cardigan. I don't think the dress looks too short, but it does feel it

Close up of the boots. They've got an elastic gusset on the outsides and zips on the inside. 

My pin badge!

Icy Vimto. Jen had it too

Cookie dough, delish!

Thursday, November 29, 2018

What I Wore October 6th

I managed to get a dental abscess just after we got back off holiday so had to lay low for a couple of weeks feeling very sorry for myself. I got two courses of antibiotics, but it took a long time to heal completely. I hate the dentist and anything to do with teeth, so I'll have to get over that to get the tooth sorted.

Anyway, Lee looked after me while I was really ill, bless him. He's a good nursemaid. He even worked from home one afternoon so I didn't have to be by myself.

Once I finally felt a bit better, we decided to go out for lunch. We went to the Cask and Spindle in Shepley, which is a very traditional pub serving yummy homemade food. We hadn't been in ages. Lee really likes it there but I have to be in the mood. It was nice food as usual.

Afterwards we went into Huddersfield to look at new dining tables, such a rock and roll life. We bought one, and a new sofa too! We're just waiting on delivery dates although I'm assured it'll be before Christmas.

Anyway this is what I wore. You've seen this t-shirt a million times recently, but it's so comfortable! And I wore this skirt my mum made for me, isn't it lovely? You can't see the top but it's just a thick elastic waistband left bare which is nice if I want to tuck the t-shirt in. I love wearing handmade clothes because you know no one else will be wearing the same thing!

Monday, November 26, 2018

Top Ten Tips for Cruising

Our sink, minibar, TV, and water provided

So maybe you've read all my posts and thought you'd like to go on a cruise too, or maybe you've always fancied it but never thought you could do it? Well, I wasn't sure either, but having been on one cruise I'd definitely go on another. And I have some tips to make the best of your trip. I read quite a few blogs before hand which definitely helped, so here's my top ten (ish):

  1. Tips for staff. We paid for staff tips as part of our package, it went to restaurant staff, bar staff, and housekeeping, so we didn't have to worry about that every time we ate or drank. But we did leave a tip for our housekeeper Jaevan on the last night - I left a little note so he knew it was for him and he left one back! Bless him. He'd been really friendly every time we'd seen him, so we wanted to leave him a tip specifically. I'd say that's my main point: tip as you feel fit
  2. Be polite. Seriously, be polite. You're not better than anyone working on that ship. Staff are all working incredibly hard and incredibly long hours, and they're smiling and saying hello to basically everyone they meet... And then there's some rude entitled person snapping at them, or holiday makers just not saying thank you when a staff member does something for them. We're pretty polite people anyway, I'd say, but we were extremely careful to say thank you a lot. Everyone's human. 
  3. Beverage package. We paid for a generous beverage package. It allowed us all kinds of juice and hot drinks, and soft drinks like Pepsi and lemonade. It allowed any wine up to a certain value and cocktails up to the value of $15 (it was technically an American ship so everything was in American dollars). This was really generous - all the cocktails on the sun deck were under that amount and each restaurant had a "signature" cocktail that was, too. There was a choice of wine and prosecco was included which was lush! I'd say definitely do pay for a beverage package. It meant we didn't stop ourselves indulging and we had an alcoholic drink most afternoons by the pool. It's worth it. 
  4. Seasickness. As I said elsewhere, Lee gets incredibly motion sick and I wasn't sure if he would withstand a cruise. I fully thought we'd be in the medical centre by 9am on the first morning begging for them to help him get through the next six nights. Everyone kept telling us "It's different on a big ship!" and I was like yeah, but he gets REALLY seasick. He felt ill on the chain ferry across Lake Windermere, for goodness sake. But, well, it really IS different. It's so big that you don't really notice the movement, and Lee found that the higher up the ship he was the better he felt. And when you're in port all day it's very stable then anyway. We did find that when we stepped off the ship we still felt like we were on it, but nothing too bad. And we did see lots of people with dramamine patches behind their ears, so if you do feel ill get some of those immediately, but honestly, it isn't like a cross channel ferry or anything like that
  5. Food. The food package included a whole bunch of restaurants for free and the buffet on the sun deck, and the snack bar on the sun deck too. You could eat somewhere different nearly every night and not pay for it. There are places you have to pay, of course, but it's not necessary. We found that two of the restaurants had very similar menus so we went to the one which had a better ambience and a more relaxed dress code. The food was mostly really yummy and the buffet had a different theme every night which was fun. We didn't think the desserts were great, so we ate starters and main courses instead. Lee liked the ice cream machines so had those while the rest of us were drinking alcohol (he doesn't drink). It's like any other all-inclusive place, I think. There was someone cooking fresh omelettes every morning and I really enjoyed that!
  6. Balcony. We didn't have balconies in our rooms. That does lower the price a lot, and I'm not sure that we missed having one. Certainly Lee felt that having a balcony would have made him feel more sea sick. My mum said she wished she'd had one for about 5pm when she'd have a shower and a drink, but she wasn't that bothered. We didn't spend much time in our cabins anyway, because there's so much else to do and see. The rooms are small, so I'd recommend unpacking everything into its proper place to keep it tidy. We also found the low lighting a bit disconcerting, so a balcony would have added to the light, but we also found that we slept better because the cabin was so dark. I'd just say be sure that you really want a balcony before you insist on one.
  7. Trips. We only went on one of the organised trips, to Florence, and we weren't overly impressed with it. It wasn't really the fault of the cruise line, but if I went again I would do a different kind of trip. I'd still use their coach to get into the city, but then I'd do what I liked and use the local taxis instead of the city bus. The upside is that if there's any delay and you're on a cruise coach, the boat will wait for you. If you're not, and you're late back, they're within their rights to leave you. I suppose my advice is to do the trips you're especially interested in, but maybe to go your own way, and also to spend time on the ship too! 
  8. Getting off. Relatedly, getting off the boat was much easier than I thought it might be. Every port had shuttle buses if it was too far away from the town, and it was really well organised. In Naples we stepped off the boat to walk down the port side, which I thought might be a problem, but no one seemed to mind us. Definitely get off and have your own little wander around. That's what we did in Civitavecchia and it was lovely, we didn't see much but it was a lovely little Italian glimpse. We used the shuttle bus in Palma, which we'd had to pre book, so do check first.
  9. Asking questions. If you're at all confused about anything, definitely ask a member of staff. We had a whole customer service desk on deck 5 and went down a few times to ask something. We also got a daily newsletter each evening which gave lots of information about the next day, and I'd recommend reading those because they had a lot of useful information on them. But honestly just ask, I don't think there's such a thing as a stupid question on a cruise ship. 
  10. Exploring. I'm really glad we made time to explore the boat in full, especially when it was less full on the Tuesday in Naples. We made a note of places we wanted to go back to, which was helpful. The casino and shops aren't open in port, so we went to those in the evenings on the way to eat. We took our time doing it but it was definitely worth it. 
  11. Photos. There's tons of times that your photo gets taken - when you get on, every time you get off, in foyers and in restaurants and by the pool. You can then look at the photos and decide whether to buy them. I thought it was a swizz to begin with, but actually then chose a couple of photos of Lee and I because they're really nice souvenirs. They're quite expensive, but having just a couple was, for me, worth it. I'd say definitely look at your photos and decide then whether to buy one, don't just dismiss the idea out of hand.
  12. See a show. One of the blogs I read advised to see one of the shows while on board. They're free, and the blog I read said that they were usually of excellent quality. So I checked on my booking and it turned out that the show while we were on board was Priscilla, Queen of the Desert, which was an excellent choice for me because I love the film. I booked for Lee and I to see it and even though Lee doesn't like musicals he really enjoyed himself and thought it was funny. It was excellent. Definitely see a show, it's worth it. 
Well, that's a lot of words, but do ask me any questions if you have them!

The wardrobe in our room, with the curtain behind which separated the bathroom from the rest of the cabin. The wardrobe was really well organised inside, and very spacious, with room for our empty cases once we'd unpacked.