Sale Away

Friday, 30 December 2016

Firstly, I must apologise for a lack of content recently. I definately needed a break after quite a trying time at work, so I decided to use the holiday period to rest and recuperate...and eat tons of chocolate (oops). I was fortunate to have been gifted with quite a large selection of sweets in the run-up to xmas and so, I felt it rude to waste them (*wink).

Anyway, back to the issue at hand and whilst I'm putting together this post, the Boxing Day Sales are in full swing here in the UK. In fact, quite a few started a week/few days prior to xmas ( and Harrods to name just two).

This year, I took a more reserved approach, stemming mainly from decluttering my wardrobe. I was inspired by this video by Anna to wake up bright an early on my first day off in months (I know) and completely empty my wardrobe and start to figure out what I need and what I should donate to my local charity shop. Without too much of an explanation of the details (I suggest watching Anna's video for more info on this subject) I ended up with an entire bin-bag full of clothes and I must admit I felt guilty: the waste of money, the poor fashion choices and the fact it made me realise how I give in to clothing temptation far too easily. So, with that in mind, I feel like it was good I did this before I started to shop, as I kept reminding myself of all the things I have (much more then I first thought) and that in reality I don't really need anything. That being said, this is me we're talking about and so I did make a couple of purchases, but all well thought out.

It has been bitterly cold here in the UK of late and so I thought it time to invest in a nice cashmere scarf. I have seen a number of them in stores, but they all seem rather flimsy....until I started browsing the N.Peal website. I realised that going to the actual brand website is better then searching via a department store, as they often have a bigger selection of colours. Of course, cashmere is wildly expensive, even during a sale, so I didn't really expect to find anything under £100, which was the budget I set myself. However, when scrolling through the many cashmere scarves that were on sale I came across this ribbed number in Mulberry Red. It arrived today and I am really pleased with it, its light, but good quality and not to short in length.

I definately did most of my sale purchases online this year, even if it just meant the initial research (serious My next buy was the same Zara fur collared coat I bought on Black Friday, but this time in navy with the leopard print fur (shock horror!). Of course, once it arrives I will be taking it to a tailor to have the fur across the collar removed, as it is the cut of the coat that appeals to me (had you worried there).

Paperchase is another eagerly anticipated sale, but I decided to bypass it in favour of the Liberty sale. I didnt't pick up many things apart from a greetings card with the a short description of the joys of caravanning on the front (yes, really) and a floral, Liberty print pencil.

Next stop, John Lewis and all I was after were some scented sachets to put into my wardrobe to help keep my knitwear and other things, nicely scented (bit of granny-chic there :) so I was pleased to see these Cath Kidston scented drawer liners were in the sale. I only bought one box and now they've sold out online. These are similar if you're interested.

Lasty, but not leastly (is that a word?), was Harrods. I visited the store on the Friday before xmas to find that their sale was in full swing. It wasn't too busy, so I took a good look around. I browsed the perfume section, which is always busy in the sale, and saw the Bvlgari Jamin Noir purse spray had been reduced. This is without doubt my favourite perfume, its dark and mysterious and does not have that artificial smell of some other mainstream perfumes.

I am well and truly done with shopping (for a little while at least). My wardrobe decluttering session has helped me think about how I spend my hard earned salary and be grateful for all the things I have.

'tis the season for giving :)

Happy New Year !

Winter Warmers

Sunday, 11 December 2016

Although it has been a tad mild here in the UK these past few days, it does not discourage me from indulging in some hearty fayre this time of year. When else would a rustic apple and blackberry pie with lashings of cream or custurd feel almost obligatory to consume?. With that in mind, I thought I would share some of my fav winter warmers (time to put those weighing scales and skinny jeans away into hibernation...needs must).

Starting off with breakfast and as per usual, I have a mug of hot water on an empty stomach to rehydrate myself. After about half an hour or so, I warm some semi-skimmed milk in a pan (or any milk of your choice), which I find just takes away the cold edge and when poured over a bowl of Bran Flakes, dried fruit, crushed walnuts and a dollop of almond butter, proves to make an unctuous concoction to start my day off right. Fast forward to lunch and I have been lamenting the lack of winter appropriate lunch options available in supermarkets. All the healthier choices are limp and dull lettuce leaves mixed with tomatos and shredded carrots...not the "warm-me-up", filling lunch I want. That's where soups are my No1 friend: heated gently, you cant beat some potato and leek soup with a crusty baguette.

Next stop is the mid afternoon pick-me-up: By 2pm I am seriously flagging at my desk and the thought of doing some mundane task such as stapling those 300 leaflets together in time for the parents coffee morning the following day, seems a delightful prospect. So its time for a treat and what better than a lovely, creamy hot chocolate. I am fortunate to have numerous coffee shops and cafes near to where I work, but my favourite is definately Costa. I am steadily working my way through their Xmas drinks menu and so far the Black Forest chocolate is my fav (hmmm, I think it was my fav last year too). The cups are so cute and fun and this year seem to have a "winter jumper" vibe to them

Hometime!..and its time to think about supper (I love that word :). Usually, it would be a jacket potato or salmon fish cakes with rice and salad, but its that time of year where I think only a roast will do. Of course, its not always practical to russle up a roast with all the trimmings on a Monday night (its an achievment if I muster the energey to peel the celephone off my ready meal on an avergae week night). So, come the weekend its time to up-my-game and try the Jamie Oliver roast Lamb recipe. The leftovers will do nicely for sandwiches or dinner the next night.

For those of you who are trying to shift those extra, stubborn, pounds (as I am), being surrounded by chocolate is difficult to deal with, especially at this time of year, when everywhere you turn, you are confronted by a bar of dairy milk the size of your house, so I am allowing myself only the smallest amounts and try substituting chocolate for dried fruit whenever possible (same intense sweet hit, but without the refined sugar). 

Wishing you a wonderful, winter!