They think it's all over....

Sunday, 27 November 2016

...but not just yet.

Its been a busy few days of retail therapy. I spent most of last week monitoring the websites of popular high street stores and scanning the Money Saving Expert website, to keep in the know about Black Friday updates. The good news is that I managed to tick off two items from my shopping wishlist a'la my Operation Black Friday post last week. The Zara coat which had me up at 1am on Friday morning (I kid you not) and the L.K Bennett flats which induced palpitations in me as I snapped up the last pair in a size 5.5 at John Lewis with the speed of a cheetah on the Serengeti. The other few items on my list were not on sale, which, ironically, I am pleased about, as it means I can pace myself for the next shopathon on Boxing Day.

As for the items which were not on my list, but somehow managed to find their way into my abode (oops) are a pair of Red Herring black ankle boots which I purchased at Debenhams (sold out now, I'm afraid) and a True Grace diffuser in Portobello Oud. I actually bought the refill bottle, because it was less expensive and so that I can pour some into my empty diffuser bottle at work (two birds n all that).

I also picked up a couple of books, which I have had my literary eye on these last few months. The first being The Silk Roads by Peter Frankophan, which seems to be permanently on every bestseller list this year. And The One Thing by Gary Keller, which a friend recommened, saying it helps you to focus on one thing at a time and dispels the positivities of multi-tasking.

Of course, as Black Friday weekend is drawing to a close, Cyber Monday is about to take hold and I can imagine many of us at work tomorrow will not being fully focussed on that spreadsheet or sending that important memo, whilst we try to see if those Louboutin's have been reduced. Just make sure not to email a link to that Gucci bag to the boss by mistake :/

Operation Black Friday

Sunday, 20 November 2016

Ok, so I told myself, friends and colleagues that I wouldnt fall pray to the hype about Black Friday....and then I woke up. Its that time of year again and I am prepping my sales wishlist and its chock-full of goodies :) I'm hoping to stick rigidly to my list and not buy things just to satiate my "bargain-hunter" instinct (lets see if it works and I dont end up with a neon pink, faux fur coat, just because its 70% off).

The best advice I ever read about sales shopping is prep, prep and prep some more. That is, do your research and go into stores from now, try on the items of clothing or shoes you want, to check what size is best. If you're after a new bag (as am I), find one you like from now and in which colour, style, etc. It will save time and injury on the day, as the mass scrum for bargains will arouse the inner beast in many a timid creature and scenes of shoppers being pushed and shoved for the sake of a discount pair of socks is not uncommon. Black Friday is not the time for a leisurely browse.

Shopping online is also a good option: Often retailers start discounting their stock early and of course online shopping is 24/7, so come Thurs night, yours truly will be sat in her cosey pjs, with a mug of mint tea (obvs), debit card in hand, at my laptop to see if I can tick a few items off my list a bit early. No doubt I will go into work the next day more blurry eyed than usual, but hey, at least I can rejoice that I managed to nab that cashmere sweater at 40% off. Aah, Bisto.

Right, enough of my ramblings, time to share what's made my Black Friday list ("if its not on the list, its not coming in" my closet, that is).

1. Zara Coat 
I saw this coat on my lunch break last week, as I have a small branch of Zara near to where I work. Of course *Geraldine, a work colleague, had asked me to pick up a sandwich for her lunch that day, so I didnt have the time to try the coat on (Hell hath no fury like Geraldine not having lunch on time). So yesterday I decided to pop along to Zara to try it on and I was really pleased with the fit. Its not made of wool, so its not the warmest of coats, but the shape is slightly cocooning, which is what I'm after.

2. COS Scarf
Another one? I hear you say. Yes indeedy, but in shades of dark navy and green. I am a self-confessed scarf sue me :)

3. L.K. Bennett Shoes
I have been looking for a pair of black ballet flats for a while now and these are perfect. Both the black and blush pair are on my list.

4. Topshop Lace Top
This is one of the those items that makes you gush over its simplicity and cuteness. With black trousers for work its just the right mix of feminine/masculine and very reasonably priced, even before the sale.

5. Burberry Check Scarf
Enough said.

6. Zara Floral Dress
Simple cut, but a beautiful, opulent print. Hope to pick this up at the same time as the coat mentioned above.

Perhaps there may be a few additions in the coming days, but all in all I am pleased with what I have chosen. Let the Black Friday Feeling commence!

*Disclaimer: Geraldine is a fictional name for my sidekick at know who you are :P

Non-Fiction November

Tuesday, 15 November 2016

Apologies for the delayed post. I got so engrossed in study (a HR course I'm currently doing) over the weekend that I did not get a chance to compile this week's blog post. Better late then never eh?

A few days ago I was watching some of my favourite Book-Tubers (Youtubers who review books, that is) and I became aware that this month is "National Non-Fiction November". Of course, with non-fiction being my favourite genre of books, I was naturally pleased about this. The books I am keen to read by the end of the month (here's hoping) are:

Weatherland by Alexandra Harris - A book about how the weather has been interpreted and described by some well-known British literary greats, such as Chaucer. It's even more of a reason to discuss that rainy day at the bus stop on your commute to work and pepper it with quotes from the book :)

I will need to make sure I have a fully tummy before delving into On the Menu, the World's Favourite Piece of Paper by Nicholas Lander, as it will undoubtedly be an encyclopaedia of deliciousness. I suppose it's yet again one of those things that you don't really think about: you go to a restaurant, peruse the menu and place your order, without much thought given to the paper you're holding . This book is about the history of the menu and how a chef or restauranter devises the menu and its layout. If you're on a diet, steer clear of this one.

On a more celestial note, I am very much looking forward to reading An Astronomer's Tale  by Gary Fildes. It is the true story of Gary Fildes, who went from bricklayer to the "Patrick Moore of the North", pursuing his lifelong fascination with astronomy.

Lastly, is a  book which is quite similar to the first, Landmarks by Robert Macfarlane is about how lamgage is used to shape our understanding of the landscape and the weather (more references to the weather, how quintessentially British).

Spread the word: Its Non-Fiction November!

About a Blog...

Sunday, 6 November 2016 blog, that is. If you have visited this area of the "blogosphere" before then you would have noticed that it is a completely photo-free zone. That is, I have not uploaded any photos of the products I have written about, nor dazzled my readers with lush backgrounds decorated with fairy lights and the usual Instagram-friendly fayre. My reasons are partly that I have not yet purchased a camera (something which I hope to change soon) and partly that I love writing...or typing in this case, and by not using pictures it means I have to utilise my descriptive prowess more, which I enjoy. Of course, all the products I mention are linked to and so, if you do wish to see pictures they are easily accessible.

As I compile this post I am wondering if there are other "picture-free" blogs out there that I have not yet come across. If you know of any, please leave a comment below, as I would really like to know :)

On a completely different note, I am thoroughly enjoying the book A Street Cat Named Bob. I am a cat person and have been ever since I was little (*Note to self - which reminds me that I still need to watch Disney's The Aristocats). Back to the book and without giving away too much of the story, it is about a London based busker (and recovering drug-addict) who befriends a stray ginger cat - awww. I thought I'd read the book before going to see the movie this weekend (can you tell I'm looking forward to it?).

I think we all need a good, innocent, feel-good book/film now and again, and I am pretty sure this one will be just purrrrrfect.