Saturday, December 31, 2011

Sparkleses

It's the time of year where I suddenly realise I need a diary for the New Year. Cue annoying search for a page to a day, A6 or smaller, hardback or plastic covered, preferably pretty diary. This year, I had a bit of a brainwave.

I did manage to find an A6, page to a day, hardback, not ludicrously expensive 2012 diary. But it wasn't really that pretty.

Glue Gun + Diary + Sequins = Sparkling my way into 2012- starting as I mean to go on.



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Happy Birthday Tim

Hi Tim,

Happy Birthday. I'm guessing you probably weren't expecting to see this here, but as you've been such a good friend to me through 2011, I wanted to make sure I wished you a Happy Birthday and a Happy New Year properly.

As this year draws to a close, I hope that the next one will bring you health, happiness and success and that you're looking forward to it. And thank you for making 2011 so much the better for your input.

C


We made it.
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Friday, December 30, 2011

Nailing It

Christmas nails. Well I did them just before and they lasted through the period.


Base: Temptress, Boots No 7
Glitter: E.L.F.

My attempt at gradient glitter over my favourite deep red, but does anyone else find the No 7 polishes are an absolute bitch to apply evenly?

Leather Trousers, Topshop
Top, ASOS (currently in the sale)

I finally managed to wear this outfit whilst sober and in daylight. Hurrah. I wore this in London for a night out earlier on in December and it was also my outfit for Christmas Day- we do try and at least make an effort to be presentable for lunch etc.

Loving this floaty top against the leather, since buying these trousers, I have learned, the key is texture.

Oh... and all finished off with....


Slippers, Gift from TG (via Topshop, I know because I desperately wanted them)
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Thursday, December 29, 2011

Goodies

A lot of you will know I headed up to Glasgow last week, and as well as having a lovely time and meeting some lovely people, I came back with some goodies. Behold....


Goodies from the Rox



 Goodies from the meet, couldn't wait to start using them, hence the pictures in my shower



A little Scottish purchase. Isn't it beautiful?


The lady who makes these fab rings makes all sorts of beautiful jewellery, including charm style bracelets with miniature tea sets on them. I was really struck with this teacup ring though, I've had to remember to try not to wear it too much since, as I don't want to bash the tiny little cup on anything and break the handle or something.


Aside making beautiful things, Rachel was also super friendly and I'm hoping to have some details for you, so if any of you Scots fancy a look at what she does, you'll be able to.

Now, to plan my next trip across the border...





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Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Gifted

Come Christmas, into it or not, it's a time when I remember that I'm fortunate in many ways. I'm blessed to have a supportive family and some fantastic friends, all year round they encourage me, listen to me, and are there to share in good things and bad. And this Christmas, like many others, I was given some wonderful and thoughtful gifts which are a further reminder that I have generous family and friends.




I posted and he listened. Presents from TG. He also contributed to my little stash of edible goodies and bought me the most amazing Chai Tea.




Antique Ring from my Grandmother.

Not strictly a Christmas present, this was one of the rings my late Grandfather gave her  and she wanted me to have it when I saw her earlier in December. At present I can only get it on my little finger, but am looking into getting some extra put into the band.


This was my Christmas present from my Grandmother. It's a beautiful charm bracelet that I can't wait to start collecting charms for.
I love this more tradition style as the bead/Pandora style bracelets aren't really my thing, and I love some of the beautiful charms you see for these traditional styles. But to me, the real beauty of a charm bracelet lieas with the attachment you form to the pieces on it, where they have meaning or are relevant to achievements or times in your life. I can't wait for mine to gather memories and achievements.

A selection of the edible goodies... not inconsiderably contributed to by TG.



My Secret Santa gift, from Faith, Hope and Charity Shopping. Thank you so much, I love it, and it's so completely 'me'.




A most exciting present from my Parents. This is a scarily clever pen- it knows what you write, records and translates and attaches recordings to notes...You get the idea.... a seriously clever piece of kit.


From Cat.

Cat sent me this beautiful necklace just before Christmas with the proclamation that she saw it, thought of me and wanted me to have it. I'm so glad she did because although neither of us are quite sure why, it grabbed me completely as soon as I opened it. Cat has been a massive support this year, she's one of a kind and I'm proud to call her my friend as much as I'm proud of all her achievments this year and beyond. Much love querida.


Now Christmas is done with, my preference is to look on forward to 2012. I'm looking forward to a new year, some new challenges, a lot of change and even more progress than 2011. That said, I still have plenty to show you for the end of 2011. Stay tuned folks.
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Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Chloe Likes To Eat

Last week I ventured up to Glasgow for the #scottishbloggermeet. If you follow me on twitter, you'll know I was pretty damn excited about the meet and the chance to meet the amazing Ayden, and lucky for me, Ayden knows exactly how to get me excited: Food!

Living in a rural abyss, Wagamama is not something I've ever had a chance to try, but this has since changed!




Chicken Katsu Curry, Wagamama
Are you a regular at Wagamama or are you like me and in new territory? I'd definitely go back, there are several (tens of) things on their menu I'd love to try and I'd happily do it opposite Ayden and Louise!
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Friday, December 23, 2011

Border Crossing

In the last 14 days, I have traveled approximately 1400 miles in trips up and down the country. That's without usual travel to and from uni and other appointments etc. about 320 of those miles took me to Glasgow and back on Monday, to the #scottishbloggermeet.

First of all, thanks must go to Rani and to Charlene who made it all happen, then to Rox for having us and providing goodies, and from me to Ayden, for putting me up and being generally even more amazing in person than she is in virtual reality.

I didn't actually take a whole load of pictures, and sinful though this may sound, it's because I chose not to take a camera, and instead used the semi decent one of my phone. I know that bloggers seem to be forever snapping everything they do, but sometimes, there are things that are best live in the then and there, and frankly, I was far too busy enjoying myself on Monday to take many pictures. But here's what I did get...


Clockwise from Top Left:

1. CAKE
2. A cat. Wearing an owl-superhero-cape-costume. That's microwaveable. And keeps you warm. A purchase by Louise.
3. Prettyness
4. Tastyness
5. CAKE
6. A bit white on my way North
7. Teacups and crackers
8. The only things that make my journey's bearable- Kindle and a Railcard.

Glasgow was a truly awesome city to visit and I have one little purchase that I shall be sharing in good time, but most of all, the city felt safe, it was pretty and I met some awesome people. A highlight was finally getting to meet Ayden in person, as she's been very much a friend to me, and she was just as much the amazing person she is on her blog/Twitter/etc. She also reminded me of someone I used to know, which pulled my heartstrings a little and sparked some happy memories too.

I was also introduced to a friend of Ayden, Louise. Louise was not only wearing the most amazing Hunter Wellies- Black with gold glitter, but turned out to be one of the most lively story tellers I've ever met and was so incredibly warm and funny, as well as being an absolute inspiration in all that she has achieved.

Having done trips to London, Cambridge and Glasgow in the last 2 weeks, I'm pretty shattered. Christmas is quite literally just around the corner, and I'll be honest, I'm looking forward to staying in bed for an extra couple of hours and not having to be anywhere.

I have plenty to get in before 2011 is out, and after a bit of absenteeism over the last couple of weeks, I'm looking forward to sharing a few recent bits with you all. But until then, take care folks, Christmas can be great if you love, awful if you don't and hellish if you haven't worked out that you really can't pick your family.
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Thursday, December 15, 2011

A Friend Indeed

I mentioned in my last post, that I had been thoroughly spoiled by lots of lovely people in Blogland over the last couple of weeks, and I thought I'd better show you some of the lovely things I've been sent, and some of the lovely people who've been looking after me so well.

This all ties in rather nicely with this post I read earlier in the week (on a massive blog catch up sesh....) by Bangs and a Bun about social media and how it is often said that social media can be more isolating, but sometimes it can be quite the opposite.

This really struck a chord for me, as just at the moment, some of the friends I've made since Chloe Likes To Talk and Twitter have turned out to be really important and amazing friends, And whilst I'm slowly making friends with people from my GDL course, I don't have many others. Next week I get to meet Ayden, and I can't wait. Also on my hitlist- Char, Alex, Cat and Maria who have all been lightspeed quick to share good things and lend an electronic ear and hug for the less good bits.

So. What arrived first? Well that would be a giveaway prize from the lovely Sarah. Who I only discovered just as she started running the giveaway, but who is now a regular stop off for a quick read. Not only did she send me some lovely prizes, she's also a lovely girl with a a lovely blog.


Earrings from Almost Pretty prize



Minty Green Polish- Topshop Gone Fishing from Almost Pretty Prize
Darker Green Polish- Topshop Utilitarian from Ayden

Next came this from Char. I have long admired Char's necklace that is much similar. And she sent me this and a card that reminded me just how easily you can make friends with people. Not only was this a majorly thoughtful thing to send, but at a time it when it's been especially helpful to know, there are some amazing people out there.


Necklace from Char
Thirdly, from Alex. The best way to describe this, is vastly disproportionate payment. I did Alex a small favour last month, and if all 300 word translations were paid like this, my final year of undergrad would have been amazing. Accompanied by another card, that shows just how well she knows me, this scarf has barely left me since it landed and yes, she MADE that, how cool is that?! Oh, and did I mention that I've been desperate for a new scarf?!




Scarf from Alex

In other news, it snowed this week. I hate snow, don't get me wrong, it's quite pretty sometimes, but it's cold, it's wet, and it's so freaking disruptive. And to add insult to injury, it snowed on my phone too.

Snow. On my phone.

And last but not least, something I'll be sharing with you next week. Crafty I am not, but this little project was an inspired brainwave, if I do say so myself!


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Tuesday, December 13, 2011

I Must Be Wrong In The Head

So this weekend was the first one of my Big Fat Gypsy December jaunts. London, for the record. I had some pretty awesome plans, so here's what I got up to.






On Friday, my first day, I walked 5 miles across London from St Johns Wood High Street to Elephant and Castle, via Regents Park, Oxford Circus, South Molton Street, Green Park, Westminster and Waterloo. Who said I didn't earn the *ahem* whole strudel that serves 6.... or one Chloe and one TG.

Friday night was one of the big events. I've had tickets for Example since July, to say excited would have been an understatement...






I did take a few videos of the set, but unfortunately the sound wasn't so good on them where the crowd were really giving it some. A great night though, and despite being 30 minutes late on stage, we still got a full set from the man himself, and it was everything I was looking forward to, and then some.

Saturday was a lazy day, after jumping up and down like and screaming like a mad woman on Friday night. But only so I was fit to do it all again on Saturday night. Headed off, as is custom, to Ministry of Sound for the night. Great set, amazing people, free drinks and bass. What more could a girl ask for?

A sneaky peek
True to form, a bit too much wine was consumed to take any decent outfit pictures before going out, but here's a sneaky peek as I'll almost certainly be wearing (and photographing) this some time soon.

 A short snap from Kinki Malinki on Saturday night.



Last but not least, a few thank yous. I've been a bit spoiled by blogland of late.

First up Sarah of Almost Delightful. I won her giveaway the other week, which couldn't have come on a better day. This girl is an absolute sweetie, go check her out.

Next is Char, who sent me a necklace that I finally took off on Sunday night, having been attached to it since it arrived on Thursday.

And then there's Alex. Who is a sweetheart. And I want to steal her all for myself as my personal scarf knitter and all round awesome person.

Ayden is being her usual amazing self with helpful sensible texts to get me through a tough time. I cannot freaking wait to meet this girl next week!

And Cat. Who is the girl mate that I've never had before and who doesn't seem to realise just how epicly amazing she is.
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Thursday, December 8, 2011

Nailing It

I know Shatter Polish has been done to death, but when I saw it for a mere £2 in Asda a few weeks ago, I couldn't resist trying it, and I actually really liked the end result, so I thought I'd share.

Base: OPI T-easy Does It
ASDA Shatter Top Coat in Gold
Asda reckon it's supposed to be gold, but I'm more of the opinion that it's kind of silver.

I'm glad I tried this, for £2, it's not bad, but I think I would begrudge paying "proper" prices for a novelty like this. Oh, and it wears off, almost as though it's barely there.

What d'you reckon folks? Yay or nay or borednowmoveonplease?!
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Saturday, December 3, 2011

My Big Fat Gypsy December

As I lay here, in my nice snuggly bed on this cold December 2nd, I was just contemplating the month ahead, planning a few things I need to try and purchase whilst out tomorrow, trying to think if I've booked all the train tickets I need and generally musing the "To Do" mountain. And it struck me, I'm going to be a bit of a gypsy this month, and there are only 2 weekends (including this one) that I'll be at home for.

I'm pretty excited for the month ahead, even though it's going to be crazy busy and I'm not all that fussed about Christmas (as you might have noticed... ) because most of my trips are really quite exciting.

So here we go... My Big Fat Gypsy December

Thursday 8th- Sunday 11th December... LONDON

Off to see TG in London, well actually, we're off to see Example, which is why the trip is planned as is. We bought the tickets when they went on sale in the summer, and I've been pretty excited since. We also have a cheeky night at Ministry on the cards, just some, y'know, light entertainment...

Expect: Dodgy drunk photos from my phone and smug tweets
Don't Expect: to hear from me in a hangover-free state until Tuesday.....

Faithless, December 2010 almost exactly a year ago to when we go to Example, and the last gig TG and I went to.


Friday 16th- Sunday 18th December... CAMBRIDGE

Slightly less exciting, pre-Christmas family visiting and present delivery. But it does have the benefit of not needing a rail ticket, and given the ridiculous amount of time and money I spend on trains per week, for this I am grateful.

Expect: Pictures of sunset over the fens
Don't Expect: Excitement.

Last winter over the fens



Monday 19th & Tuesday 20th December... GLASGOW

I think this might just be THE most exciting trip of the month, and possibly the year. I'm off to Glasgow for the Scottish Bloggers Event on Monday 19th AND I get to meet my homegirl Ayden. Ayden and I have been exchanging overexcited messages about this trip since Wednesday when I confirmed that I'd be able to go. As well as Ayden, I'm really looking forward to meeting any other bloggers who can make it, this will be my first blogger event, so be gentle with me please!

Expect: Overexcited tweets, pictures of me grinning, lots of retweeting.
Don't Expect: me to hold back on the excitement

Tuesday 27th December- Tuesday 2nd January... LONDON

And so completes my December tour of the United Kingdom. TG is with me for Christmas and the preceeding week, and I'm going back with him for New Year and the week preceeding. I will no doubt have work to do, TG will be working, but when I was offered the few working days off between Christmas and New Year, it was too good an opportunity to pass up on. Added highlights include New Years Day at Ministry, a chance to catch up with my London family and *hopefully* seeing The Boys.

Expect: contented blogposts and pictures of London
Don't Expect: me to be wishing it was still Christmas.

The Boys and I, bang on 6 months ago today.




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Thursday, December 1, 2011

Chloe Likes... The Anti-Christmas Edition

Some people love Christmas, you know, the ones who get the decorations out, "just so they're ready" in September, and who take glee in festive hats and Christmas Advertising *ahem* Coca-Cola *ahem*.

And there's always someone who hates it, you know, the one who stalks around scowling and making a big show of not sending any Christmas cards or going to the office party.

I'm actually not a huge fan of Christmas. It just doesn't *do it* for me. And I used to be one of those people who hated Christmas, now I've worked out, that even if you don't subscribe to the 'If you can't beat them....' there are ways to deal with the festive period even if it's not your favourite time of year, that make it easier for you, and easier for people around you who might be a bit more in the spirit of all things red and fluffy. Because let's face it, Christmas and all it's foibles, they're not going anywhere soon. Allow me to present- How Not To Do Christmas.



Numero Uno. Dead simple. Remember that it's here to stay. Christmas- as a religous festival and a commercial tradition is NOT going anywhere, anytime soon. So like it or loathe it, don't be the one in the corner, having the equivalent of a 3 year old's temper-tantrum. It's not endearing, it's attention seeking, and it's unnecessary. Once you've worked this bit out, it's much easier, to just let it wash over you.



Now that you've established the overall thing isn't for you, find something that you DO like. For me, it's giving gifts with some heart and some soul. I do pretty much all of my shopping online, because I can't bear the crowds, but that doesn't mean I don't get a little kick out of organising the contents of all my packages and starting to put together parcels that I know the recipients will love. If you like making cards, then DIY your Christmas cards- a handmade card is a handmade card whether they're for birthdays, anniversaries or Christmas, do something you love to find some good in the time of year.


Turkey. Usually dry, bland in comparison to it's smaller more commonly eaten neighbour the chicken. Eaten mostly at this time of year. Don't like it? Do something different. Over the years we have: eaten Roast Duck, been out for dinner, there was adefinitely pigeon one year that we were in trade, done buffets on January 3rd to celebrate Christmas (again, when we were in trade). And this year, as it's the four of us- Mum, Dad, TG and I, we're having a roast chicken and there will probably be some kind of starter and as a concession to my mother, because it's her one thing she likes about christmas, Christmas Pudding. Christmas is often about tradition, but that's not to say you can't make your own traditions.


Christmas Walk 2009


Ok, I'll admit this- I find the "Big Day" can be excrutiatingly boring. There, I said it. You get up, open things, eat lunch, then what?! Solution? Do something. Change the day around. It's exactly what we've done. We get up- late by the way, none of this 0600 malarkey! We do brunch, preferably with some Bucks Fizz- hey if we're going to have a day off, we might as well do it properly. We walk the dog, provided the weather isn't horrific. We get the prep for dinner done. We exchange our gifts, maybe have a much of some Christmas chocolate and most likely a glass of vino. We have our 'Christmas Dinner' for dinner, at our usual time of around 2000. It spreads out the day, and stops that horrid bored feeling.

And lastly, most importantly. Be gracious. Just because Christmas isn't for you, and you're not getting into it, remember that there will be at least one person- being it children or adults, around you who loves it and *get* that whole Christmas Magic thing. Be gracious, smile, say thank you, get viciously competitive over the Scrabble board and make an effort. There's no need to act like a spoiled toddler for your sake or anyone elses, and above all, you might just have some fun yourself.

Credit


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