Sunday, February 27, 2022

Christmas Eve 2021

As I said previously, Lee had finished work on the 22nd, so he was free on Christmas Eve to do whatever. And while I was still concerned about catching Covid, I thought that if the two of us just went out it would be fine. So I suggested going to The Fox House Inn which isn't too far from us. We've been before but it's at least eight years ago I reckon. My mum used to do their wages too. 

We got there about 12.30 and they had a free table which was good. It felt quite safe. They have various vegetarian options which was good. I had deep fried Brie to start with and Lee had Yorkshire puddings with onion gravy. Then he had chicken something and I had a cauliflower and potato bake. The food is all freshly made and absolutely gorgeous - I would recommend the pub for sure! I'm really glad we went - it was nice to spend some time just the two of us before the insanity that is Christmas. 

We didn't have dessert as we were too full, so just headed home. Some presents had arrived from our friends Leanne and Adi, including a new toy for the cats. They liked it! My mum and stepdad came over for tea - we just made sandwiches and a few nibbles and had a few drinks. They didn't stay all night but it was still nice. It's been a tradition for a few years now, and I do like it when people come to ours over Christmas. 

Look at these Yorkshire puddings, don't they look amazing? 

Deep fried Brie and salad

Delicious cauliflower and potato bake... you know actually I think Lee had fish and chips

Taking a selfie in the car

And at least one cat playing with the new toy...

Friday, February 25, 2022

The Week Before Christmas with a Few Photos

As we hadn't stayed in Durham all weekend, we had a quiet Sunday the day after. The kittens terrorised the Christmas tree, I did some cross stitching, and we had vegan hotdogs and waffle fries for tea. It was a nice, relaxing day! 

On Mondays I usually go to craft club but we had had the last one the week before, with a fuddle to celebrate. So I just had a quiet day in I think. On Tuesdays I go to work, and when I got there I got two gifts from them for Christmas - an Asda gift card and a bottle of rose wine. Everyone got the same, it was really nice!

On Wednesday I definitely went somewhere, as I was wearing the outfit below which is a pleated burgundy skirt from New Look and a Simply Be t-shirt that says "Express your elf" on it which I think is very cute. I can't remember where I went now, though. I don't think I met up with anyone because there's no photos... hmm. Ah, I remember! I went to meet Laura for brunch at Yummy Yorkshire and to swap presents, and then I drove to Sheffield to swap presents with Sarah! I also made some mince pies a bit later on, and Jasmine deigned to sit on me for a while. Neither cat is really a lap cat, but Jasmine has sat on me a few times recently which is obviously lovely! I also had some of the Salted Caramel Baileys in the evening - have you tried it? It's delicious! I saw someone on Instagram with it and immediately ordered some! 

On Thursday my mother and I went to see the new West Side Story at the cinema in Wakefield. It started at 12.30 ish so we both took sandwiches and bought some nachos to share. I love the original film and thought the remake was brilliant too. It was gritty and real, but with the same brilliant music. My mum liked it too. 

Lee finished work on the Wednesday; his company gave everyone an extra day off which was nice! So on the Thursday I left him to do what he liked, I think he was mostly playing a Switch game! It was a nice relaxing week which I always appreciate before Christmas as it's always so busy!

Gifts from work - I'll probably buy fancy gin with the gift card or something

New Look pleated skirt and Simply Be Christmas top 

Vegan meatballs and tagliatte in a peppercorn sauce - a simple meal but one we really like

Cute little mince pies I made. I just bought pre rolled pastry, and the mincemeat was made by my friend Bee and had a LOT of rum in it!

Cutie little Jasmine sitting on my knee. I love black cats so much!

Salted Caramel Baileys - I bought a second bottle too

And finally this was an advert in the cinema just before West Side Story started! 

Tuesday, February 22, 2022

Weekend in Durham and What I Wore 18th of December

As you might know or remember, Lee's family is from Durham and so we always go up the weekend before Christmas to see both his parents and his many siblings. We couldn't go in 2020, obviously, and we really missed it. We weren't sure whether going in 2021 was okay because of Omicron, but we decided to take the risk. We tried to mitigate it, obviously, but you can never be sure. We set off when Lee finished work on the Friday, as that was when Lee's dad was free. We went out with him and Lee's stepmam Mary for something to eat at a nice Italian in Wolsingham. When we got back we just watched TV and chatted for a while before bed. 

In the morning Lee and I both had showers and I put on this velvet skater dress. It's a teal blue colour, I don't think it's come across very well in the picture. I have had it quite a while, but haven't yet worn it - it still had the labels on. I also put on my grey Snag Tights to go with it. 

Mary's granddaughter and her dad turned up, she is a funny little girl and was trying to say something about Lee's blue hair but we couldn't quite decipher what. I was playing with her for a bit. 

Then we went to Lee's mam's house. She had made a lovely spread, including homemade soup which was lovely. There were a few of us but it felt okay. I had some nice alcohol but wasn't TOO drunk I promise. 

We set off home pretty late and got home about midnight. It had been a nice time getting to see people who we haven't seen in two years! 

Blue skater dress from Simply Be and slate Snag tights

Little Olivia


I was wearing my Christmas tree earrings, I try to wear festive earrings in the run up to Christmas

One of Lee's brothers bought us a chocolate hamper which was so good, we've been working out way through it

Hah the last photo I took was some pasta dishes Lee's mam bought us - we don't have any and I was sick of eating pasta out of tiny dishes! We've used these a few times since Christmas

Saturday, February 19, 2022

Lunch Out with Laura and Chloe and What I Wore 16th December

On the 16th of December I went to Sheffield to meet up with Laura and Chloe for a festive lunch. Well, in fact, Chloe came to pick me up and we went to the tram stop in Middlewood and got the tram into town to meet Laura. It was ace! 

While I was getting dressed I picked out my new Joe Brown's dress to wear; I think it has a real festive feel to the pattern, and it's nice and warm. Then I also picked out some grey Snag Tights.

Now, listen, right, I have worn the thinner Snags a few times, and found them comfortable and fine, if a little thin. I got some with a wave pattern on them and I found that they didn't quite fit properly and fell down as I was walking in them. These are thicker than the thin ones, so althought I owned four pairs of the thicker ones, I hadn't actually got round to wearing them. That's right - FOUR pairs. I have grey, navy, black, and bubblegum pink. All still in their packets, unworn! You know me, I love a pair of leggings. But I had time to try some tights on and, if needed, change them for leggings.

BUT I was so shocked and surprised. I chose the slate grey tights and was certain they wouldn't fit properly over my bum, hips, and thighs. But, like the thinner ones, they come up nice and high on my belly and back, so are fine on my hips. And the legs themselves are really good and stretchy too. They fit my thighs really well. Through wearing, the tights do bunch a little bit around my ankles. Not so as you would notice, to be honest, but enough that when I sit down I pull them up a bit. It's not enough to bother me. I loved th grey colour too with my Dr Marten shoes. Since this day I've worn the black and navy tights as well and found them all brilliant quality and good to wear. They're actually quite long in the leg so I wonder if the size down would fit me - I may have to give them a chance. I also mentioned to Lee that I would like some in different colours for my birthday so watch this space!

Anyway we got the tram and arrived to meet Laura at 12.30. I had the exact same thing that I had listen time I went to Pho - summer rolls with peanut sauce and then a tofu curry. We also had dessert so I had Vietnamese affogato, which is coffee over ice cream and it was delicious!

We didn't get back until quite late and then Lee and I had to go collect something in the south of Barnsley, and then we went to Lidl to pick up some stuff for Christmas. It was a lovely day though with friends!

Slate tights and Dr Marten shoes in the winter light

Summer rolls - oh god that peanut sauce is to die for!

Every time I've been to Pho this curry has been slightly different, which I'm sure proves that it is fresh made and that each chef makes it slightly differently! It is flavourful and delicious, I would recommend it

Affogato - I don't drink a lot of caffeine but this was just enough!

And my lovely Joe Brown's dress, it's such a nice winter dress!

Wednesday, February 16, 2022

Book Club Christmas Dinner

I've been a member of a book club in Penistone for the best part of a decade. I like it - I'm the youngest member, but I have some friends there, and it makes me read books that I wouldn't otherwise pick up. (Remember, all my book reviews can be found here, on my book blog). Pre-pandemic we met at Cubley Hall, a nice restaurant and pub, and every year at Christmas we would have a meal there. During lockdowns and until August 2021, we met online. This meant that our ex member Amanda who now lives in Germany could join in too, which was nice. 

In August the group started meeting again at St Aidan's in Oxspring, because it's a bigger and more ventilated room. That's been nice too, I've been a couple of times. We started discussing what we would do for Christmas, and decided to order afternoon tea and have that together in the smaller room in the church. We ordered from The Copper Kettle and it was only £8.50 each, which was nothing. The owners bring everything, set the table with all vintage china, set everything out, and go, then come back later to take everything away. It's no fuss and makes it a bit special. 

There was vegetarian stuff for me, and lots of gorgeous cakes and lovely scones with fresh cream and jam. We all ate enough, and then took leftovers home - everyone had brought a tupperware to do that with. There was enough for Lee and I to have some bits the next day - the cakes were just so nice. 

We did talk a little bit about the book, but it was nice to have a bit of normality in the middle of Covid madness. Maybe this year we'll be back at the pub... let's see I suppose!

When I got home Lee had put the wreath up on the floor. I had bought one for me and one for my mum from a lady on a local Facebook group. They were really lovely; I love the blues and silvers of mine and was happy to see it all over the festive period!  

My lovely vintage china 

Veggie sandwiches and savouries for me on the bottom, tea loaf and parkin in the middle, and cupcakes on the top

Didn't it look lovely all set up for us?

Sunday, February 13, 2022

Festive Weekend with Sam and Jacqui

Having a festive weekend with Sam and Jac is one of my favourite traditions, and something that I really missed in 2020. So I was looking forward to our weekend in the middle of December. The Friday night was when I was at my work meal out, so we arranged to meet on the Saturday. We met at Market Kitchen in Barnsley, which Sam and I had been to previously but which Jac hadn't seen yet. We had some cocktails and some food. 

I had two delicious Snowball cocktails which tasted a little like Baileys. Sam and I both got Thai food - I had Massaman curry and vegetable tempura, and "prawnless" crackers. Jac had a Greek kebab type dish, I think. We had some more cocktails and left around 2pm. Lee picked us up and we all went to Morrisons to get party food for the evening and some drinks. Both cats were very pleased to see Jac and Sam - Jac is really allergic but of course they loved her! Jasmine also wanted to play Trivial Pursuit with us so we kept moving her off the board, so eventually she laid down near it, juuuuuuuust touching the pieces. Very cunning! We had a nice night just chilling.

On Sunday I had booked for us to have lunch somewhere in Chapeltown. Nearly everywhere had a festive menu on which is fine but there's only ever one vegetarian choice. However, this place looked really nice. It was like three courses for £25 each or something. They don't have a licence so Sam had bought some champagne the day before for us to have, which was lovely and a real treat. 

I had a nice starter, then a yummy vegetarian Sunday dinner - it was a Wellington with all the trimmings. It was absolutely gorgeous. We didn't have pudding, but set off to Wentworth Garden Centre after lunch.

I love garden centres, especially at Christmas, and Wentworth is absolutely huge and really worth the visit. We went to the petting zoo first and met a bunch of animals. You can buy feed to feed them, so Lee did that while I watched on. Then we went into the aquarium bit where you can look at all the fish. Then we went into the shop, but it was really busy so Lee and I stepped outside pretty quickly. We decided to go into the cafe. It has two bits - one for substantial food and one for cake and coffee, and we managed to get tables in the cafe part. It was busy, but didn't feel too busy. It's weird isn't it how you're constantly on alert now, isn't it? We had coffee and cake, which were really nice. 

After that we took Jac and Sam to Barnsley to get their trains to go home. It was a lovely and relaxing weekend with them!

On Saturday I was wearing one of my old Asos dresses that I love. On Sunday I wore my star print top and pleather skirt. That felt like a nice festive outfit for the day! 

Snowball cocktails, they were so yummy, I'd have them again

I know I always get Massaman curry but I like it so much - spicy but coconutty and creamy too

I think mine here was a Sex on the Beach. Jac's was an elderflower spritz, and I'm not sure what Sam's was but she liked it

Jac and me in a fun bit in the market hall

Poppy doing... whatever this is

Jasmine just LOOKING at the game board

Lovely champagne in the restaurant on th Sunday

Gorgeous Sunday dinner, we'll have to go back there



Fox asleep on a shelf!

Pretty bird

The most teeny pony ever

And his friend

And my outfit of the day!

Thursday, February 10, 2022

What I Wore December 10th

On December the 10th I went out for my work Christmas party. Now at this point I was starting to get really worried about Omicron, so I wasn't even sure I wanted to go, bur I did. We had some money to spend so my boss had organised for a meal and drinks at a hotel in Wakefield. I managed to not catch Covid so it was fine... but worrying all the same. 

I turned up at the same time as my boss was outside, which was good as I was quite anxious. I don't know everyone at work as even thought we're small we have different teams, and I'm only there once a week. I went in with her and then the curate Kathy turned up a little bit later (I work for a church!). She is a friend of my mum's and a lovely lady, so when we sat down we sat together which was really nice. The food was pretty decent for what it was, and my boss had paid for plenty of wine so I had a nice drink. I didn't stay really late especially because the music was rubbish, but I had good fun.

I wore my black and mint Yours dress which I really love, and I put some make up on. I love this picture of me and Kathy, it's lovely!

Me and Kathy looking nice and festive

In mint green when I got home!

Monday, February 7, 2022

What I Wore December 6th

On December the 6th I got up and opened my advent calendars (which I'll show you more about later on) and had a shower and then headed off to the penultimate craft club meeting of the year. My craft club meets in Penistone and is mostly older ladies and then me. I've been going since April 2018 when I desperately needed to be getting out of the house a bit more. We had to shut through Covid and couldn't open again until the end of August 2021 and then I couldn't go as I picked up some extra work through September on a Monday. But I was so glad when I COULD go back! I'd really missed it and several of the attendees. 

So December 6th was the last ordinary meeting of the year. We had a meeting the week after with a 'fuddle' - I don't know if you'll know what that means but it's where everyone takes some food to eat and everyone shares. It's really nice! We also had a meal out at a pub. But anyway, I went to craft club, and I went wearing this jumper.

I've had it ages. My friend Steph gave me it a few years ago and I've worn it a few times just just round the house before Christmas when I've wanted to feel festive. There's absolutely nothing wrong with it though. It's thicker than a t-shirt but not as thick as a jumper. I had seen it while finding clean pyjamas in the comfy clothes drawer and I knew the ladies at craft club would appreciate the joke printed on it. There's often a lot of jokes about boobs. So I put it on with a green skirt and pulled my new star jumper over the top. 

I got to craft club quite early when just a few people were there. I usually sit opposite Jane and Pat, so I put my stuff down and said, "I've put this top on just for you, you'll like it." I took off the star jumper and got a lot of laughs, like I knew I would. It's daft, but it's Christmas too, who doesn't want daft?

Saturday, February 5, 2022

Festive Lunch Out with Lee

At the beginning of December Lee and I had the last quiet weekend before Christmas. I knew this would happen, so I was ready for it, but I also wanted it to be a nice weekend for us before all the craziness kicked in. On the Saturday morning we had to go out to pick something up from the sorting office (never fun but especially not so close to Christmas), go to the post office, and go to the supermarket. But Lee had suggested we go out for lunch, and I agreed.

We went out quite early and did all the errands, and then headed to The Sovereign in Shepley for around 12.30. We hadn't booked but they managed to squeeze us in. The pub is very olde-worlde anyway, and it looked lovely all decorated for Christmas. It's part of a chain but that way I know they will have decent vegetarian choices, and they do change the menu fairly often. I looked at the festive menu but decided against it. 

The squashage and mushroom roll on the starter menu sounded nice, so I had that with some chips and some onion rings. It was so nice - really savoury-tasting and full of mushroom. I'm glad I had it! Lee had a chicken, lee, and mushroom pie with mash and vegetables. He mostly eats vegetarian with me, but he does eat a lot of tuna and usually when we go out he eats chicken. I'm proud of all the vegetarian stuff he's tried in the last three years, but I honestly don't care whether he eats meat or not. 

For pudding I had double chocolate brownie with Baileys ice cream, which was lovely. Lee also had brownie, but in the mini pudding with a hot chocolate. He liked it! 

When we got home we put the Christmas tree up while watching Home Alone. The kittens were very excited to get to go into the cellar, where they aren't usually allowed. They were also very excited by all the baubles. They played with the tree a bit last year, but I don't think they remember it too much. We'll see how it goes with them! It was throwing it down outside but lovely and cosy in the house while watching a film. 

I only drink cider in pubs but I do like the different flavour ones

Squashage roll and chips

Brownie - it was so sticky and delicious

And here's Poppy swearing that she was just LOOKING at the tree

Thursday, February 3, 2022

Films of the Month - November

I watched eleven films in November, which was an okay number. And while I didn't watch any Christmas films, I did watch some cosy family favourites, which I like. Here's what I saw:

I had had Sixty Six recommended to me and finally got round to it. It's about a boy whose Bar Mitzvah is due to be held on the same day as the 1966 World Cup final. It's really funny and I thoroughly enjoyed Helena Bonham Carter as the mum

Lee and I watched The Matrix together, and I did like it, but I hadn't forgotten so much about it from the past. I also think it's a bit too long; we watched it over two nights

I've seen Alan Bennett's The Lady in the Van before but not for ages. It's the true story of how a lady moved into his driveway in a van, supposedly for a few months, but she ended up staying fifteen years, until she died. All of The History Boys, which Alan also wrote, are in it, so it's fun to spot them

I love Singin' in the Rain so settled down to watch it one afternoon. Still love it!

I saw Let It Snow when it came out two years ago, and I've also read the book. I decided to rewatch it, and I do think it's very cute. I would recommend it!

Netflix recommended The Sun Is Also A Star to me after I watched Let It Snow, so I decided to watch it. I've read the book, I'm sure, but I had forgotten a lot of it. I thought the film was okay

I had watched The Great Train Robbery drama on Netflix (the one starring Luke Evans as Bruce Reynolds) and in reading something about it I learnt that Buster, starring Phil Collins, was about one of the robbers too. So I watched it. He's okay, and Julie Walters is great, but it does make Buster out to be a loveable rogue. Interesting to see though

A discussion on Reddit reminded me that I haven't seen Philomena - about a woman who has to give up her child in Ireland and who was imprisoned in one of the laundries - in forever, so I watched that one day. It's good, I would recommend it

Lee and I watched shaun of the Dead one Friday night, we both love it 

I was feeling festive but also felt it was too early for Christmas films, so Mary Poppins filled the void. I do love it so much

And finally Netflix recommended Little Women, which I haven't seen, so I decided to watch it. I really liked it - I loved the book as a kid so I liked seeing the adaptation