November Week 4

Here we are, another week over, the end of November is almost upon us which means its almost time for Blogmas! I already have the first post drafted to share with you, just need to check it over and add images and it will be good to go.

This week has been a busy one for me, I had a funeral to attend on Tuesday and then on Wednesday I went down to Crowborough in East Sussex to work from our head office for the day. I usually go there once a month and I really enjoy my days there as I always manage to get loads of month end stuff done. Its about an hour and a quarter each way on the train from London although this time it seemed to take forever to get home as the train was so slow.

In other news I have finally managed to find a dress for the work Christmas party which pleased me no end as I was starting to think that I wasn't going to get anything new. I have been looking for about a month now and just couldn't find anything anywhere that I liked, that fitted properly or was suitable (talking cutaways, bare tums, too short, too low cut etc, etc.....). There is a sneek peek below of the dress fabric but you will have to pop back in Dec for the full reveal. Luckily I have shoes and a bag so now I just need to match some accessories and I will be good to go.
After work on Friday I headed to Debenhams in Oxford Street for a brow appointment with Kim on the Benefit counter, Tom was coming to meet me and we had planned to spend a couple of hours wandering about and maybe stopping for a drink and a bite to eat. As you may have seen on the news there was an 'incident' at Oxford Circus station on Friday which caused a huge wave of panic in the area. This all happened just as Kim was finishing up on my brows when suddenly the store was filled with people running in from the street, screaming and fearing for their lives as they had heard that there had been shots fired and that there were gunmen on the scene. The resulting chaos and police actions meant that I, along with hundreds of others were locked inside Debenhams for the next hour or so while the police investigated. I can honestly say I don't think that I have ever seen or felt such fear which for me was heightened even more as I knew Tom was somewhere outside waiting for me. The staff in the store were fantastic and given that they were probably just as scared as everyone else they did their best to make sure everyone stayed calm, they were handing out water and chocolates and bringing pillows and blankets for people that needed them. Eventually we were all allowed to exit the store as the police had confirmed that it was safe to leave and that it has just been an altercation between two men at the tube station that caused the panic. I am so glad that it was nothing more and that it was not another terrorist attack, yes people probably over reacted but given what we have been through this year I am not surprised. I think it just goes to show how much on alert we all are right now, especially in the lead up to Christmas when the crowds are out in force. Anyway Tom and I finally managed to find each other and as we were both a little shook up we headed straight home as we didn't fancy staying in the West End. We ended up at our local Indian restaurant having something to eat and a very much needed drink.

Saturday was a lazy day at home although most of it for me was spent in the kitchen baking a cake for our niece's 13th birthday. Scarlett had requested a chocolate & mint oreo cake and although the one I made looks nothing like the picture she sent me she was more than pleased with how it turned out. It tasted pretty good too although I dread to think how many Weight Watchers points were in each slice.
We celebrated Scarlett's birthday at my Mums on Sunday with a lovely family birthday tea. Its the first time in ages we have been together so it was really nice to see everyone and have some family fun.

I hope you have all had a good week and weekend, as always thanks for stopping by to read. I really do appreciate each and everyone one of you that reads and comments.

Love and hugs, Jane xx

November Week 3 - Mostly Shopping & Crafting

Lots to do at work this week as I decided it was time to give the office a good tidy up and have a bit of a clear up of all the clutter that is just laying about. I work with an all male team and as lovely as they are its sometimes like working with load of teenage boys - they make so much mess! I have sent out an email asking them to go through all the stuff that they have laying about so that it can either be binned or put/filed away. As I plan to give the office a really good clean before Christmas they had better get their acts together and sort their things out - if they don't it will all go into boxes and be stuck in the archive cupboard until they realize its missing. Its time for me to stop being so nice to them, they all need to learn its their responsibility to help keep the office clean and tidy too.

I got some new makeup this week from my favourite American beauty brand Tarte. Now you cant actually buy their products in any stores over here but you can get some of them online from QVC UK. I have been wanting to try the Rainforest of the Sea foundation for ages so when it popped up as a set with a dual ended blending brush and as an easy pay buy there was no way I was not making the purchase. Its now arrived and I am really looking forward to trying it out, as with all Tarte products the packaging is gorgeous and the brush is super soft. The foundation is a lightweight water based formula so its really hydrating on the skin but it manages to give you gorgeous full coverage without that heavy cakey look. Tarte products are suitable for everyone too as they are all dermatologically tested as well as being cruelty free and vegan friendly. If you are in the market for some new make up I really do recommend Tarte.
Saturday saw Tom back at work on overtime so I headed to Stratford Westfield to do a little more Christmas shopping. As my main destination was Primark I made sure I got there early enough to beat the crowds, sure enough the store was nice and quiet when I arrived so I was able to whizz around and get all the things I wanted. On the way home I couldn't resist going into the Disney store, its now less than one year till we go to Florida so I need to keep getting my fixes of all things Mickey and Minnie (I was very good and didn't buy anything!!). Talking of all things Disney have you see the fab new collection from Cath Kidston? There are some seriously lovey things available this time round and I am hoping that I might a few of them will find under the Christmas tree this year. The rest of the day was just spent pottering about at home, I made a lasagne for our dinner and then when Tom got home we just spent the evening chatting and watching tv.

Tom worked again on Sunday so I just spent the day at home. I had a little time in my craft room and I managed one layout which is pictured below, the image of Tom was taken in the Disney California Adventure Park. I have used a mix of papers but they are mostly from one of my Lottie Loves Paper kits. This page was a little of a push for me as its not a combination of colours I would normally use but I think it looks ok. Just need to add some journaling and a title (maybe) and then it will be ready to go in the album.
I also played with a couple of MDF stars that I got at Ally Pally and turned them into Christmas hanging decorations. I used some old papers from my stash which I coated with glitter mod podge before adding the tree and reindeer that I highlighted with some ice effects paste. I am quite happy with how they have tuned out, just need to find somewhere for them to go.
So here we are, its now Sunday evening and I am waiting for Tom to come home from work so we can have some dinner and sit and watch the Strictly Results show and Blue Planet 2. I hope that you have all had a great weekend too.

Thanks for stopping by,

Jane xx

November Week 2 - Christmas Shopping

So just another regular week at work for me, no problems or anything unusual to report, just the same old 9-5 or in my case the 8-4! The only downside to the week was the weather, it was cold, damp and miserable. I really hate the Winter, I miss Summer and all her long, sun kissed days........

I finally managed to get myself back on track with Weight Watchers, I menu planned, tracked and pointed all week and it paid off. I went for weigh in and am happy to report I had a small loss of .5lb. Now I know that's not a great amount but its a step back in the right direction and it was enough to spur me on and keep me motivated. I am determined to keep it up and get myself #fitforflorida, just over one year to go!!

Tom didn't have any overtime this weekend so we headed down to Bluewater to do some more Christmas shopping. We got to the centre nice and early and as I had declared the it a non WW day we went to Starbucks for coffee and cake - the perfect pre-shopping fuel. I had a cranberry & white chocolate muffin and Tom had a cheese and marmite panini.
We actually managed to get a fair few bits for family and friends plus I checked a few more things for Tom off my list - slowly but surely we are getting there. When we first arrived it wasn't too busy but by early afternoon it was starting to get really crowded which wasn't fun at all so we called it a day and headed home. I think that will be our last trip to Bluewater before Christmas arrives, the rest of the shopping can be done either online or elsewhere. Below are a couple of pics of the centres decorations this year - they are so simple but really pretty and effective.
There are also loads of photo opportunity points dotted around, I couldn't resist having my pic done with this gorgeous polar bear.
Toms sister and brother in law came round Saturday night although they didn't stay for too long as Bill was a little worse for wear as he had been out for the afternoon with some of his pals. Still it was nice to see them and catch up with them after our hols in Sept. I mad dinner for us all which was a lovely treat of M&S pizzas and nibbles, the perfect end to a lovely day.

Yesterday was just a lazy Sunday at home. We sat and watched the service of remembrance, which is something that we do every year. I think its so important to watch and listen to the stories that you hear from all those brave men and women who served and continue to serve our country in one way or another. After that I made some soup for lunch and we sat down to watch our holiday videos from this year. As you probably know the 2018 holiday has been confirmed so we have started talking about where we might like to go in 2019! Of course at the moment its all just talk but I think we may head back across the pond to California and Vegas (ha, ha knew we couldn't stay away for too long!!).

I hope that you all had a good weekend and as always thanks for stopping by and taking the time to ready my blog.

Love and warm hugs, Jane x

Florida Planning Part 1 - We Booked a Holiday!

So there you have it, the worst kept secret in our world is out! As I mentioned in a couple of my previous posts we have now decided on where to go for our holiday for next year so I thought I would share some of the details about it with you. This is going to be a big one for us and its something that we are both super excited for as we are off to Orlando, Florida for the very first time.

We pretty much started planning next years holiday on the flight home from Vegas (doesn't everyone do that??). We had such a wonderful time in the LA area and at the Disneyland parks so we decided that we would return in 2018 to spend a bit more time exploring and doing/seeing all the things that we missed this time around. Once we were home I started to cure my post holiday blues by doing some research for next year and I already had a plan in my mind of when we would go and where we would stay etc - it was exciting and I was happy as I love nothing more than planning a holiday.

Now in the past we had talked about going to Florida and doing the theme parks but we had always dismissed it as somewhere that wasn't for us so with that in mind I am sure that you can imagine my surprise when out of the blue Tom suggested it as our holiday destination instead of California. Yes, and I know this will shock some of you, but this holiday was the sole suggestion of my closet Disney loving husband. After my initial shock wore off we had a proper serious conversation about how different a holiday in Florida would be compared to the SoCal trip we had begun planning. With this in mind we both agreed that we would like to go a little later in the year so we would have longer to save and we could avoid any UK school holidays. Eventually we settled on mid November so that we can be there for Thanksgiving and for Black Friday but more importantly we will be there for when the parks are decorated and themed for Christmas. What's not to love about a holiday that combines our love of Disney with my most favourite holiday of year and please, lets not forget the shopping opportunities.

So with a date agreed the next thing to do was to decide on a hotel or a villa. I knew that if we stayed in a hotel that I would only want us to stay on site in a Disney hotel. I had a little look online and it soon became apparent that to stay in one of the nicer resorts would cost an absolute fortune so with this in mind I decided to look at how much a villa would cost. My lovely friends Joan and Sarah both advised me to check out a forum called The Dibb as there is a section on their where owners can advertise their villas.I was blown away by the choice available but based on our needs I narrowed the choice of down to two and eventually we settled on this townhouse which is within the Windsor Hills complex and is just a 10 min drive from WDW. We contacted the owners who are based in this country and within 24 hours we had paid our deposit and reserved our weeks - woohoo Florida here we come!! All we need to do now is to book our flights however this is something we cant do until early Jan 2018 when the dates are released. Tom is currently stalking the Virgin Atlantic website checking prices and just waiting for the day when we can call and book.
So the countdown is now well and truly on and we are both in planning and researching mode, although I have to say its me that's doing the most of it. I have a notebook where I am constantly jotting stuff down and we have a box full of guide books and brochures. The Dibb forum is also proving to be an absolute gem in finding out all sorts of info and advice. Add to that there is also a wealth of information available on social media - blogs, Instagram, Twitter and FB are my new holiday planning friends, there are so many friendly and helpful people and groups out there who are happy to share their experiences with you.

Another thing that we have recently become big fans of doing is watching You Tube vlogs, especially as we can connect the iPad to the TV and can watch them on the big screen. I have several playlists set up and some of our favourite channels are TheTimTracker, Sophie and Tom, That Florida Guy and Krispy Smores. We cant wait to watch some vlogs that will be filmed in Nov this year, especially of Mickeys Very Merry Christmas Party as that is top of the list of things to do and is probably the thing that we are most excited for.

I am sure there will be several more blog posts about this trip in the coming year so please make sure you check back to catch up on all our plans for it. If you have been to Florida, or are also planning a holiday there please feel free to share any hints and tips you may have.

As always thanks for stopping by, love and hugs - Jane xx


Its November

Another month over and another month closer to the end of 2017, this year has honestly gone by so fast. I cant quite believe that all the things we had planned are now done and we are now starting to put things in the diary for 2018.

This has been a fairly quiet week for me, nothing more than work and them home to do some chores, cook dinner and relax. I am not complaining though as that's pretty much how I like it at this time of year, by the time I get home from work its too cold and dark to be outside doing anything anyway.

I recently re-discovered my love of Twitter and have found a few new people to follow, mostly either related to Disney or beauty. One of the people I now follow is Dave Lackie who is the editor in chief of a luxury beauty digital magazine (link to Daves website is here if you want to take a look). Dave is a really nice guy, he always replies to questions or comments and each day he has some gorgeous high end product to give away to one of his followers. Last week I re-tweeted one such give away which was a Estee Lauder lipstick and highlighter and to my absolute delight I won! I was chuffed to bits when I got the message to say congratulations as I never, ever expected to win. My gorgeous goodies arrived all the way from Canada in just a couple of days which is pretty amazing and they look fab, I cant wait to try them out.
The weekend was a pretty quiet affair for us. Tom worked on Saturday so I as I had nothing to do and nowhere to go I just had a lovely lazy day at home which was idea given that it was such a miserable, damp grey day. I pottered about doing some bits and pieces around the flat before heading to my craft room where I managed to complete three more layouts for the Disney section of my holiday scrapbook. Only a couple more photos left to scrap and then I can move onto the Vegas pics or one of the hundreds of other photos that are currently vying to be added to a scrapbook.
Sunday was another chilled out relaxed day and for the first time in ages Tom wasn't working - yay!! I was somewhat of a domestic goddess and I did my menu planning for the next week or so and based on that we went and did a quick Tesco shop. We now we have a fridge full of lovely healthy food that will see us through for the coming couple of weeks, will just need to top up on fresh stuff every couple of days or so. I made us some veggie soup for lunch and then we curled up to watch some more Florida/Disney vlogs. I think this is pretty much going to be our normal weekend routine during the Winter months, unless we have somewhere else that we need to be. I better get that YouTube playlist filled up.

I hope that you all had a good weekend, did you do anything exciting?

Thanks for stopping by, please leave me a comment to let me know you have been here and if you have a blog of your own feel free to leave me a link so I can pop by.

Love and hugs, Jane x

October Week 4 - Scentsy & Scrapping

Well here we are, the last full week of October and a slightly busier one for me.

I had an appointment with the Nurse at my doctors surgery to discuss the results of some recent blood tests. There was nothing to worry about though, she just wanted to talk to me about my cholesterol level which is/was slightly higher than it should be. However when she checked and saw what it was a year or so ago she was more than happy (especially when I told her that it was probably just up a bit due to our recent holiday). I have to go back and have it checked again in 3 months time, I am hoping that by then it will be at an acceptable level.

My huge Scentsy order arrived this week and I spent several hours sorting it all out and packing it up. Its all been handed out now and so far I have had nothing but positive feedback from my customers, I have had so many messages from them telling me how amazing their homes smell. I have to say I absolutely love my warmers and waxes, as soon as I get home from work I get them switched on so my home smells beautifully fragrant. My favourite warmer is Black Crush, its one of my newest ones and it looks stunning both when its switched off and on. The new season scents are now available so I am busy trying them out - my faves so far are Crisp Orchard Air and Eskimo Kiss. If you are looking for an alternative and safer than candles way to scent your home then please check out Scentsy. I have a FB page called Glowing Star where you can see a selection of the products and learn more about the range.
I took a days leave on Friday so that Tom and I could go out and start the Christmas shopping. We went to Bromley and although we didn't get a huge amount we did manage to get a few bits. I have a notebook full of lists and we know what most people want so hopefully it wont take us too long to get it finished. By the time we got home we were both shattered so we had a naughty but nice dinner of fish and chips. The perfect end to the day.

On Saturday Tom was back to working overtime so I went to meet a friend for coffee, cake and shopping. It was the first time that Nathalie and I had met up, up until now we had just chatted online via DM on Twitter and Instagram. We spent a lovely few hours wandering around the stationary shops and beauty halls in Kingston and despite our best plans on not to spend any money we both ended up making a few purchases. I got a new Liz Earle Superbalm, I used to love the LE range but I haven't used it for a while, however after a long browse of their John Lewis counter I think a few products may be making their way onto my Christmas list. I also got a few bits from a fab new stationary shop called Typo. There is one in Stratford Westfield and one due to open soon in Bluewater so I can see this becoming somewhere I visit often, especially as they have Disney themed products.

Sunday was a lazy day at home. I just pottered about and did a few chores as well as finally spending some time being creative at my new desk. I managed a few more layouts for our holiday album - I am now almost done with the Disney portion of the holiday so its onto Vegas next!!

Thanks for stopping by to read, please do leave me a comment so I know you have been here. If you have a blog of your own please leave me a link and I will pop by to check it out - I love finding new blogs to read.

Love and hugs, Jane x

October Week 3

A pretty straightforward week for me Mon-Thur, just the usual work days and then home to cook dinner, deal with any chores and relax. I had a visit to the dentist for a check up and I am happy to report that all went well. I am never going to be someone who doesn't panic and work herself up into a complete state over a dental visit but now I have a dentist who is kind, caring and sympathetic its a lot easier to face than it was when I was with my previous surgery (aka the butchers!!).

I finally managed to finish the big C2C crochet blanket that I have been working on and I am really pleased with how it turned out. Its all washed now and packed in a pretty voile bag ready to be posted off to its new owner. I have sent her some pictures which she loved, just hope she likes it as much when she receives it. Sorry its not the best image, I just realized that I only used my phone and not the camera to photograph it.

On Friday my niece Scarlett came to stay for a girly weekend/sleepover. Part of the reason for this visit was because she wanted to come with me to my hairdressers to get her haircut. So after I collected her from the station we made our way over to Hairbase in Islington where the lovely John took great care of Scarlett and her hair. As Tom was working Friday night it was just me and S at home so we got ourselves a pizza and some treats and curled up to watch Zootropolis which neither of us had seen before.

On Saturday we paid a visit to Harrods so that Scarlett could get her nnual Christmas bear (who this year is called Bertie). After that we made our way over to Leicester Sq for the highlight of the weekend - a trip to the theatre to see Aladdin. I had heard so many good things about the show beforehand and I can honestly say it didn't disappoint in any way at all. It was amazing - the set, the costumes and the songs were all first class. The cast were all great too but Trevor Dion Nicolas who plays the Genie absolutely steals the show. If you are considering seeing a show anytime soon I highly recommend this one - it was so good that I would quite happily go and see it again. As we had lunch at Ed's Diner before the show we weren't too hungry so we just got some snacks on our way home to pick at while we watched Strictly and the film Fantastic Beasts. Scarlett made her way home Sunday morning as she had other plans for the day and for the first time she got the train home alone after I dropped her off at London Bridge station. We had a lovely few days, I really love my Scarlett sleepovers but she is growing up fast so I know that in the coming years these will start to become fewer and fewer as she begins to spend her time doing other things and enjoying the company of her friends.

I spent the rest of the day just pottering about at home and doing house stuff. I sorted out the cupboard in the spare room that was just about bursting at the seams with 'stuff' and I also did a couple of kitchen cupboards. Before long it was time to wave Tom off to work on another overtime nightshift - at least it meant a peace Sunday evening for me.

Thanks for stopping by to read, I really do appreciate each and every comment I get.

Love and hugs - Jane x