Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Secret Santa #1

I joined in quite a few swaps and things at Christmas, and I think that this one was from the swap put together by Char. (If I'm wrong, please do let me know!). I left all my Secret Santa gifts until Christmas Day to open and this was the first one.

I got a gorgeous scarf with flowers on it, an Orla Keily notebook that is the perfect size for my handbag, a chocolate, a Barry M sparkly red nail polish, a little purse, chocolates, and handmade mint chocolate fudge :)

Thank you Santa, I love it all!

Tuesday, December 30, 2014

What I Wore December 21st

I bought this dress in an Asos sale in either late October or early November, but I was saving it until closer to Christmas and I'm glad I did as I think it's quite festive!

It's got really soft stretchy printed checks, and a soft skirt which falls to below my knees. For my preference it would be about three inches shorter and I may take it up, but I love the checks and the sleeve length. When Asos does things like this, they're bang on.

Monday, December 29, 2014

Silly selfie

I just thought I'd share this photo that I snapped of myself in the car the other day. I recently redid my hair black and really like how it looks.

For years and years I dyed my hair red - my hair naturally is light brown with a definite red flash (my dad's family has red hair) - and I loved it. Then I had it blue and then pink this time last year, and when that grew out I dyed it purple. That didn't altogether cover the bleached parts, so over the summer I dyed it black.

I had black hair when I was a teenager, but not for years since then. I really like it, though, and think it suits me. It makes my eyes look really pale and amazing. I will keep doing it until I get bored again, I'm sure! 

Friday, December 26, 2014

Nail bling

Recently I bought a lucky dip of nail polishes from Nails Inc. They're really good value so I recommend setting up an account with them so you get sent notification of their sales etc. I love Nails Inc for their range of colours and the quality of the polish. 

This is Great Tichfield Street and it's a gorgeous gold with a pink flash. I will definitely use it again. 

Tuesday, December 23, 2014

What My Mum Wore

Another edition of What My Mum Wore! To remind you, she's mid 50s and a size 18/20. On a shopping trip to Leeds recently she made her first foray into leggings and dresses. She bought herself leggings and a dress, and I bought her a dress that will be a Christmas gift. I'm very proud of her that she picked up things that she wanted, even though she was worried she was too old for this look (she isn't - no one is. Wear what you like!) 

She sent me this picture that she had worn and had a lot of comments about. This tunic was from Evans a few years ago and the leggings are in Yours. 

Sunday, December 21, 2014

What I Wore Festive Edition

I'm so behind with blogging! I'm hoping to get a little bit back in the swing of blogging over Christmas when I have some time to get things written. The past few weeks have been very busy and quite stressful, but although I've got another full day at work to do, I'm already feeling festive as we've been to visit Lee's family in Durham.

Anyway, I've been wearing this t-shirt and jumper quite a lot recently, for work, where I've been out for two delicious lunches. The t-shirt was from New Look a few weeks ago, and the jumper was from Simply Be in the sales in January.

The jumper is so snuggly and cosy, but doesn't have stupidly long sleeves.

How cute is this penguin?!

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

My new tattoos

I don't think I've posted about my tattoos before. I have 7 now; I've got them all over the past 7 years. If I had unlimited funds I would have a million tattoos, I love them.

I had two new ones done on Friday. The yarn ball and crochet hook was something I started thinking about when I took up crochet last year. The lotus flower was something my artist had drawn and had offered to tattoo. I just thought it was really pretty. I don't think tattoos have to have any huge meaning behind them (although it's cool if they do) - they can just be pretty art for your skin.

My tattooist is Nini at The Ink Station in Heckmondwike. My first two weren't done by her but now I wouldn't let anyone else tattoo me. She designed the yarn ball after I said what I wanted. I wasn't sure what colour I wanted, so the two of us stood in front of all the bottles of ink trying to decide! I love the blue/teal colours though.

This is on my inner forearm. I have two more tattoos below it. 

This is on my ankle just above the bone. It's my first tattoo not on my arms!

Monday, December 8, 2014

Here's What I Would Have Spent

So this is a post about what I would spend with certain retailers if they stocked my size, and it was the brainchild of Debz over at Wannabe Princess. After all, we have money to spend but how are we to do that if retailers don't cater to us?

Now Missguided has only recently come on to my radar. They have a plus size line but it stops at a size 24 which is unlikely to fit me and frankly I don't feel like taking the chance. Sending stuff back is such a hassle! I had a look at the website though, as these things jumped out at me.

Plus Size Crushed Velvet Skater Dress BlackPlus Size Reindeer Print Christmas Jumper

I absolutely love these velvet dresses (they're available in black, burgundy and green) and would probably own them all if they were a 26 or 28. They appease my inner 15 year old goth

I love this cute Rudolph jumper for Christmas, isn't it lovely? I would love this.

Plus Size Tartan Mesh Panel Skater SkirtPlus Size Chunky Knit Jumper Mustard

This checked midi skirt is just gorgeous. I would wear it with a black t-shirt.

The mustard jumper looks so cosy for the winter, I'd love it.

The prices of all the above are £20-£25 which I think is great. It's just a real shame that the range doesn't fit me!

Other bloggers taking part in the challenge are:

Saturday, December 6, 2014

Christmas tradition tag

I stole this from my lovely friend Beth

1. When does Christmas start for you?
I start buying presents in September or October as it spreads the cost a bit. I usually have them all wrapped by the beginning of December but I'm so behind due to doing Nanowrimo. I need to get a move on! 
2. What is one Christmas movie you must watch? 
Lee and I usually watch Die Hard as we put the Christmas tree up. I'm not much of one for a Christmas film.
3. Do you bake a Christmas cake or buy one?
My mum always bakes one and Lee doesn't like fruit cake so I've never bothered, but this year I actually have. We baked it a couple of weeks ago but I still need to ice it. I've bought the decorations and everything, I just haven't done it yet. 
4. When do you put up your Christmas tree?
The first weekend of December usually but as the 1st was a Monday this year we actually put it up on 30th November!
5. Do you have a real or fake Christmas tree?
We have a fake one that we bought when we moved in together, but a couple of years ago I wanted a real one like we had when I was little. We've decided we're going to alternate, so we bought one from The Range this year; it's only about 5' tall but it's lovely. 
6. When do you start playing Christmas music?
I will listen to Christmas music in October if I want to!
7. Do you use the same Christmas decorations each year or buy new ones?
We have a lot of old ones from my childhood and from our life together, but we usually add a new one. This year's is a dove carved out of cinnamon wood, it smells delicious!
8. How do you spend Christmas Eve?
I often see my friends and sometimes Lee works half day, but then we get everything together and head to my Mum's. 
9. Advent calendar or no advent calendar?
I often have a chocolate one, and for the past few years I've done an advent swap of 24 little presents. I'll post about this later!
10. Do you leave a snack out for Santa and his reindeers?
No but I used to when I was litt.e 
11. How does Santa get into your house?
We never had a chimney when I was little so Santa came in through the window I think.
12. Mince pies, yay or nay?
Love them!
13. Snowballs, eggnog, or mulled wine?
Snowballs or mulled wine, both delicious!
14. What scents remind you of Christmas?
Like a cinnamon-y orange, or a pine tree
15. How do you spend Christmas Day?
I always wake up really early but I wait until about 9 to get up. I always wear a special outfit and we usually have Buck's Fizz for breakfast. We spread out our lunch and our presents throughout the day and often eat pudding around 8pm. We'll quite often play a game, and there's lots of alcohol for me. It's a really relaxed day. 

Monday, December 1, 2014

NaNoWriMo 2014

So although posts have been scheduled here, I haven't actually been around or writing much in the way of future posts - meaning that December might be quiet. This is because I was doing NaNoWriMo. This stands for National Novel Writing Month (even though it is international). You write 50,000 words of a novel in 30 days, averaging out at 1667 words per day. This isn't the length of a complete novel but for me it's around two-thirds of a Young Adult novel.

I attempt Nano a lot of years but have actually only managed the goal twice previously - way back in 2005 and 2006. But this year I had a lot of a novel that was swimming round in my head so I took the plunge - and seemed to take it much more seriously than before. My friend Stephanie had a chat room where we would sprint for small stretches and battle for the most words. That really helped me along, but mostly it was a hard slog.

I had a couple of days off when I was too busy to be at my computer, but I managed to have only 3,000 words remaining on Thursday night, so I decided to finish on Saturday the 29th so that I could have Sunday free for Christmas things. I managed it! I validated my word count at around 8pm on Saturday.

The last week was brutal, and all through the month I haven't slept very well. I'm recovering slowly - I slept til noon yesterday and til 11 today. I pushed myself and my physical and mental health will suffer for a bit.

But! The novel is there! It isn't perfect. It will need editing and babying to perfection. But I can do that. I am planning to not even open it until after Christmas, and then spend January editing and working on it.

I am so proud of myself - it's quite an achievement :)