Thursday, July 30, 2015

What I Wore 30th June

It was so hot on holiday that I was glad I'd taken a few loose dresses, and that I'd persevered in finding my perfect holiday sandals. My wishlist for sandals was: toe post, with a back strap, that I can easily pull on and off without undoing the buckle. These yellow ones from Evans were £18 and fit the bill perfectly, and were very comfortable for walking and driving in. 

Asos Curve dress, leggings from eBay

Evans toepost sandals

Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Holiday Post #4

So on the Sunday of our holiday, Lee and I left my godmother's house, went to a supermarket before it closed at midday, and took a slow meander down to Vayrac, on the Dordogne river, where we would be spending a week with our parents (not including my dad, who's dead).We arrived around 3.30pm, got settled in and had a swim, then waited for my mum, stepdad, Lee's dad and stepmum to arrive.

On the Monday my godmother came to stay for the night, so these are some photos from the Monday. We didn't do much except relax in the pool and have a barbecue!

My stepdad took this, we had champagne to toast our anniversary! L-R: Derek, Alison my godmother, Lee, me, my mum, Lee's dad Michael, his wife Mary.

I bought Lee a bunch of inflatables for our anniversary - the volleyball net, the basketball hoop, an airbed, and the pink donut

Lee and I

Everyone relaxing

How my mum spent a lot of the week

I mean how ridiculous is this thing! It's fab

Monday evening barbecue

Me being a fantastic fat babe in the donut on Tuesday

Sunday, July 26, 2015

Holiday Post #3

On the Saturday of our holiday we left the Loire and headed south to a place near Angouleme where my godmother and her partner now live. My mum and Alison grew up together in Yorkshire and are still really close friends. Alison and Derek used to live in Portsmouth but moved to France several years ago. Their house is huge, and gorgeous! The weather was beautiful so we sat outside in the garden and had a barbecue.

I didn't take any photos except of what we were eating and drinking! Typical! Oh well.

Derek introduced me to Desperado - lager with tequila flavour. I only drink lager when it's really hot!

My dessert was Opera Cake, coffee flavoured deliciousness

While Lee had Trois Chocolats and reported it was very good too. 

Friday, July 24, 2015

Holiday Post #2

There won't be hundreds of these posts, I promise! Most of our holiday we did very little, but at the beginning we were quite busy. In the evening of our anniversary we drove to Saumur for something to eat. I have been to the town a few times, but Lee never had. As I said before the Loire river is my favourite place in France. The river is just majestic!

We ate at a restaurant called La Bourse which wasn't far from the main river bridge.

I don't know why this street had umbrellas strung up above it, but I liked them!

Wearing the Yours mesh top dress that I've shown here before.

Lee wearing a Bad Religion lyric t-shirt

My cafe Liegois for dessert - basically my favourite thing in France!

Lee's chocolate Liegois

The Loire upriver looking East

The Loire downriver towards the sunset. 

Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Holiday Post #1

As I said before, Lee and I were away at the end of June/beginning of July to celebrate our 10th wedding anniversary. We went with family from Sunday to Sunday, but first we had a couple of days by ourselves. I booked a cottage near Saumur, because it's my favourite area of France and I wanted to show Lee the Loire river. It is such a beautiful place, I will need to go back soon!

We stayed here, in Parcay-les-Pins, and I would have no hesitation in recommending it. The hosts Susan and Donald live on site and have three cottages varying in size as well as the swimming pool. They were really welcoming and chatted to us. I had mentioned we were there for our anniversary and they had left a bottle of Saumur sparkling wine in the fridge, which was lovely!

We arrived on Thursday afternoon, went to the supermarket, had a quick swim and ate in the gite. On Friday we just spent the day by the pool; it's a heated pool but the weather was lovely and warm too. We were the only people there so had the pool to ourselves!

I had bought some mix and match bikini stuff in the Asos sale, so I was wearing a polka dot bikini top and watermelon pants. I got this chiffon cover up from New Look a few weeks ago, and it was perfect for around the pool.

Posting this picture is terrifying!

I usually wear a bandana on holiday to avoid burning my scalp

The gorgeous pool


These bikini bottoms are ace!

View from the other end of the pool. 

Lee can often be found like this on holiday as he doesn't overly like the sun and he was playing on a handheld game console! 

Monday, July 20, 2015

Films of the Month - June 2015

Here's what I watched in June

1) Shelter (2007) - this is a very sweet story about a teenager who falls in love with his friend's brother. I love it and regularly watch it for comfort
2) Ocean's Eleven - I've never seen this so Lee and I watched it - I enjoyed it and would like to see the next one

3) Hot Girls Wanted - I think this is a Netflix exclusive, it's about young women in the porn industry. It's really interesting and sensitively done, so I would definitely recommend it.

4) Mysterious Skin - This is a really good film about two boys who are abused in childhood and how it effects their lives. I liked it; Joseph Gordon Levitt is really good in it
5) Minority Report - Lee's brother Andrew came to stay so we watched this with him - it's one of my favourite films even though I don't really like Tom Cruise
6) The Birds - again Andrew had never seen this so we watched it. I love Tippi Hedren (I share my birthday with her!)

7) Bridegroom - this is a really interesting film about a gay couple, one of whom dies falling off a roof, and how the other is affected by it and not protected legally - including not being allowed to plan his partner's funeral. Definite recommend
8) Annie (2014) - I loved the original film when I was younger, so thought I'd watch the remake. I thought Quvenzhane Wallis and Jamie Foxx were both really good. I wish there'd been more songs!
9) Brassed Off - on the first night of our holiday Lee and I stayed in a place with a TV with built in video player! Remember those?! So we watched this, which is one of my favourite films EVER, Ewan's terrible accent notwithstanding.

What have you been watching recently?

Saturday, July 18, 2015

Books of the Month - June 2015

This post will also include what I read on holiday, because I was away at the end of June and beginning of July.

1) Anne of Green Gables by L M Montgomery. I've never read this before, and I got the whole series either cheap or free on Kindle, so I thought I'd give it a go. I really enjoyed it; I thought its timespan was a bit strange though, but I did like it.

2) The Raven Boys by Maggie Stiefvater. Oh god, I loved this. It is the next big thing in YA literature and it definitely deserves it. Blue - the daughter of a psychic - meets four boys who are pupils at a private school in her town, and gets entangled in their search for an ancient ley line. It's a really amazing mix of realism and fantasy, and I fell HARD for Blue and each of the boys. I have the sequel ready to read soon.

3) Hurting Distance by Sophie Hannah. This was my book club book, so although I've heard of the author I probably wouldn't have chosen to read anything by her before now. But I raced through it. One of Lee's brothers was visiting and I sat reading this while watching films with them. It is a bit unrealistic in parts, full of ridiculous coincidences and stuff, but I did like the pace and the story.

4) Where the Streets Had a Name by Randa Abdel-Fattah. I picked this up in a local library when I went to pick up my book club book, and thought it looked pretty decent. It's a middle grade YA book (by which I mean it's for younger teenagers/older tweens) about the Palestine/Israel conflict. I thought it told the politics in a sensitive and age-appropriate manner, while not shying away from the horrors of the war - for example, main character Hayaat has facial scars from being involved in a bombing which also killed her best friend. I cried at the end, and I'm NOT a crier.

5) Stephen King - The Body. I have read a few Stephen King novels but not many, but I wanted to read this as research for a project I have in mind, and it definitely helped. I liked it a lot, the narrative is good. I need to watch the film now! (I have seen it before, but not for years)

6) Finding Emma by Steena Holmes. I got this for free on Kindle and read it on holiday. Had I been at home I'd have probably given up on it. It was patchy, there were plot holes, the elder children's ages changed, editing was terrible, metaphors were strained, and the timeline made no sense at all (the whole thing could have taken place over three days or several months). It was awful. Sorry, author, but it was.

7) Boys Don't Cry by Malorie Blackman. As she's a YA author people always tell me to read her stuff, so I picked this up in the library too. I didn't hate it - I thought Dante was a likeable character and his brother Adam was really good - but I didn't love it, either. I think that to say Dante was 17 the maturity of the writing was for a teenager much younger. It was good enough, but I probably won't read anything else by her.

Wow, it was a YA kind of month!

Thursday, July 16, 2015

Scarlett & Jo event at Meadowhall

As I said in my last post, I went along to a Scarlett & Jo event in Meadowhall last month. Georgina was one of the models in the new collection, and she's from Sheffield so the event was born. The designer of the collection, Gifi Fields, was also there, and it was interesting to listen to him talk about his visions of the collection, the fabric choices, and so on. I chose quite a few things to try on and took photos:

I mean look at the gorgeous colours and fabrics here!

Lolly looks amazing in this mock wrap dress, and she was impressed by the boob coverage 

I kind of liked this skirt - it had a lining and felt quite special - but I wasn't sure about the muted tones of the flowers. It felt a bit drab. 

I tucked the black cami into both these skirts which I think looks fab. I loved them both - they're just one layer, but the material is really silky. I decided on the green one, it had to come home!

This was the last one in the store, and although I could argue it was slightly too big for me, it was so reduced (especially with the generous 20% on top that Evans gave us) that it had to come home too. It's a real treat of a dress - it has the waistband similar to this S&J dress, and then a really gorgeous chiffon skirt. I like how fitted the top is as it makes my boobs look ace! However, it's quite a warm dress so I'll be waiting for cooler weather before I debut it properly!

Tuesday, July 14, 2015

Photo An Hour 20th June

I joined in with Photo An Hour again on Instagram on 20th June, which was an excellent day for me! Here's some photos:

10ish and this is me post shower. Curls! 

11ish and I was post shower. Lee was still asleep.

12ish and I was at the Scarlett and Jo event in Meadowhall! Most pictures and details in the next post!

1ish and I was watching the gorgeous Lolly try on several of the S&J dresses

2ish and I got this photo with the stunning Georgina. I refuse to believe she ever looks bad!

3ish and Lolly and Katie were my lunch companions, we were in Las Iguanas.

4ish drinking strawberry daiquiris! Delicious!

5ish and I took doughnuts home for Lee, he requested the chocolate custard one especially

6ish and I was heading out again to the evening do of my friend Jenna's wedding. 

7ish and the sun was setting over Kelham Island in Sheffield, which is an absolutely stunning location for a wedding. It was lovely!

8ish and I was drinking prosecco - one of my favourite drinks

9ish and Jenna and James had their first dance. 

10ish - Lee and I in selfie mood

11ish and we left, past this --- something --- that I've no doubt was a very useful piece of equipment, but now it looks like a steampunk time machine!

Midnight and I was taking all my jewellery off, including this charm bracelet that I really need to wear more often!