Thursday, 26 November 2015

Life Lately

Another chatty update for you all! I've been pretty awful at blogging during November. I'm thinking of challenging myself to do a 'Blogmas' style challenge, and post every day in December. I have no idea how it'll turn out- it could be great, it could be awful but I think I'm going to give it a go! If any of you fancy trying it too, let me know :)

My Christmas celebrations have started early this year. Probably too early. But I'm happy and feeling nice and festive. I've done most of my Christmas shopping but I'm stuck for ideas for what to get for the last couple of presents! I also received my first present of the year and I desperately want to open it but I'm resisting the temptation and it's waiting to go under the tree when we put it up.

Last weekend, we had our Christmas party for the gymnastics club that I work at. I helped set up the room with a lovely Christmassy feel; it was a fabulous evening and was great to see everyone dressed up and enjoying themselves! I can't say I particularly enjoyed Sunday morning though, let's blame that on the wine! I wore a new dress that I picked up from Wallis in the sale- it was a black sparkly fit and flare dress that was super comfortable, and I matched it with silver glittery heels which I bought from BHS last year. Unfortunately, most of the photos are from chest up so I don't have a picture of the full outfit.
I was brave and tried the red lipstick look for the first time. Not sure if I like it!

Wednesday, 18 November 2015

Scrapbooking | Berry Cute

I finally have a working printer in my house after many, many years! I made the most of this by printing off some smaller pictures and making my first multi-picture scrapbook layout. I've wanted to scrapbook these pictures of my niece having her first taste of strawberries and the messy aftermath since I was sent the pictures back in July- they're just so cute and she looks so proud for making such a mess over herself.

This might just be my favourite scrapbook page yet :)  White background with strawberry paper background, each picture backed with red paper and green flower embellishments with various centrepieces. I tried out a new hearts and flowers stamp at the bottom of the page, but couldn't work out the best way to do the titles so I just ended up handwriting it with a sharpie.

Monday, 16 November 2015

Weekend Highlights

This weekend was a fairly homey weekend, which was probably a good idea considering I only have one weekend without plans between now and Christmas. Anyways, here are my weekend highlights.

- Friday 13th was a pretty good one at work compared to previous ones- no injuries or freak accidents so all was good! I came home from work feeling quite happy then I turned the TV on and saw what had happened in Paris then my mood quickly changed.

- Me and my dad had planned to go to Wales to watch a football match but my dad had manflu and the weather was terrible so we had a change of plans. Instead, we went out for a family meal at one of our favourite local pubs with my grandparents to belatedly celebrate their 50th Wedding Anniversary. It was a lovely relaxed afternoon with great company and the food was delicious and filling (I was quite sad that I couldn't finish my Cajun Chicken wrap).

- On Sunday, we went to look at some local Garden Centres to see the Christmassy stuff in there. I found this bauble and knew straight away I had to get it. Growing up, I never found anything with my name on spelt correctly so I was super excited to find this :)

-My mum made some of her homemade leek and potato soup this weekend which made me very happy.

And a quick bonus picture. The local shopping centre is all decked out with Christmas decorations, the majority of which seem to be holly related. I've lived with a Christmas name with a near-Christmas birthday all my life so I may as well embrace it!

Saturday, 14 November 2015

My Weekend in Glasgow

As I've mentioned before, I was in Glasgow with my sister a couple of weeks ago for the 2015 Gymnastics World Championships. Here are my general thoughts from the weekend:

Travel- I drove the entire way myself! It took about 6 hours in total each way. On the way there, we left at 5.15am on the Friday morning, and checked into the hotel by 11.15. I stopped at services three times on the way there, but only once on the way back. The drive was pretty easy as pretty much all of it for us was on the motorway, and once we got to the Lake District, there was very little traffic at all. I didn't enjoy the driving in the dark with all the HGV's around me, but I imagine it would have been a lot worse going past big cities during rush hour if we had left it any later to leave home. Fuel wise, it cost us around £70 for the round trip, which is cheaper than any train tickets or flights I found.

Hotel- We stayed in the Travelodge Paisley Road. I booked it back in March for £120 for two nights, which was a pretty good deal considering when I checked a month later it was close to £200 for the same weekend there! The room was comfortable and had everything we needed for the small amount of time we actually stayed there. It was a bit noisy as it is so close to the motorway, but it didn't affect my sleeping as I was so tired. Staff were great and really friendly. The location is pretty good- opposite the Springfield Quay for lots of chain restaurants, and there is a Tesco Express within walking distance. It is on the south side of the river, and is within walking distance to the SSE Hydro, but we decided to drive to the arena as it was raining and the event finished late at night.

SSE Hydro- The arena was great! I think it was built new a couple of years ago. I was a bit apprehensive about it before we got there because the seating looks quite high up compared to the competition floor so I wasn't sure if we'd be able to see well. On the Friday, we had level 2 seating which was fine, but on the Saturday we had seats in row E of level 1 seating which was even better! I loved being sat right behind the judges with a side view of the bars and beam- but I guess that's just the gymnastics nerd in me :P

Food- Food at the motorway services wasn't great, but thankfully I had bought snacks with me :) We went to Frankie and Benny's for lunch, where we had really quick service- I think we were in and out in less than 45 minutes for a 2 course meal! I took snacks to the arena with me for tea on the Friday. I did an emergency trip to Tesco Express on the Saturday morning for breakfast food and food to take into the arena for the day. Food prices in the arena were expensive, but not quite as expensive as you'd expect from big arenas- I think a pizza was £8 and fries were £3, which we shared between us. We really loved how we were allowed to take food into the arena- they weren't checking bags and I quite openly walked in with a carrier bag full of food and they were fine with it.

View from our Saturday seats- block 202, row E.

The event- It was quite honestly the best put together gymnastics competition I've been to. I've been to a couple of other events within the UK (sadly not the Olympics though), and everyone seemed to share the same opinion that the production value of the competition was amazing. There was a presenter to entertain the crowd in between each rotation, and the kids seemed to love getting up and dancing to all the loud music to try and get on the big screen. I imagine it was a bit annoying and off putting for the gymnasts to have to warm up whilst the presenter was trying to get the crowd to scream every few seconds. The in arena commentator during the competition was a bit annoying too- I imagine the event would have been fine without that aspect. I did notice that I see gymnastics in a completely different way now that I've been coaching it full time for a year, and I could really appreciate the time and the effort that all coaches and gymnasts had put in to reach that standard.

Congratulations if you made it to the end of this post! I thought this would be a better format rather than a journal style post, but I'm starting to think a journal would have been quicker to write. If any of you want to learn any more about gymnastics, drop me a message and I can enlighten you :)

Friday, 13 November 2015

Sweater Weather Tag

I loved this tag over on Natalie's blog so thought I'd give it a go!

Favourite candle scent? 
At the moment I'm loving Fireside Treats from Yankee Candle.

Coffee, tea, or hot chocolate? 
Tea! I only drink coffee if I desperately need a caffeine boost, and hot chocolate is just one of those things that I tend to drink around Christmas.

What's the best fall memory you have? 
My university campus always looked beautiful during Autumn, so I have lots of happy little memories walking around campus and travelling to and from uni taking in all the pretty colours and being glad I lived in such a nice place.

Which makeup trend do you prefer: dark lips or winged eyeliner? 
Neither really! I don't wear much makeup every day, but if I had to choose, I'd say dark lips.

Best fragrance for fall? 
I've never really thought about an Autumn fragrance, but at the moment I'm wearing Calvin Klein One Red a lot.

Favorite Thanksgiving food? 
Thanksgiving isn't really a thing here in the UK, but at this time of year it's all about festive chocolates. I always joke that if the food says 'Festive' or 'Christmas' on it, the calories don't count :P

What is autumn weather like where you live?
Slightly warmer than usual at the moment! I'm still going to work in just two layers. But I hear that it's going to be getting colder soon.

Most worn sweater? 
I have three that I always seem to alternate between- plain cream, pink and white and navy and cream. They are all perfect for under a gilet at this time of year.
Must-have nail polish this fall? 
I mentioned this in my October Favourites post, but I'm loving the gold and electric purple colours from the Limited Collection in M&S.
Football games or jumping in leaf piles? 
Hmm, I love stepping on the crunchy looking leaves, but I do love going to watch football matches- I just never get to go to the football as much as I'd like to. I guess thats what happens when you support a team 100 miles away from home!

Skinny jeans or leggings? 
Leggings or jeggings! I always avoid jeans as much as possible.

Chelsea boots or Uggs? 

Is pumpkin spice worth the hype? 
I've never felt the need to try it, so I guess the hype hasn't worked for me.

Favorite fall TV show? 
Does I'm a Celebrity count as an Autumn or a Winter tv show? 

Favorite fall-related quote? 
I have no idea.

What song really gets you into the fall spirit?
There's a few songs that I remember from when I started uni which make me think of Autumn- The A Team, Jar of Hearts, Marry You etc. Not really Autumnal songs, or songs that I overly like, but they take me back to a happy Autumnal time :)

Tuesday, 10 November 2015

A Chatty Update

I've been abandoning my blog lately- whoops! I think I'm all caught up with replying to comments etc now. Since I came back from Glasgow two weeks ago I've barely been on my laptop at all and I just haven't felt very inspired to blog. Anyways, I'm back blogging again so I thought I'd start with a chatty update :)

Glasgow was an amazing weekend! I'll write up a full post about it soon. I loved the experience of being at a world class gymnastics event, surrounded by people with the same interests as me. In fact, I loved it so much that when I came back on the Sunday I actually priced up how much it would be to get tickets, transport and a hotel for the finals competition the weekend after (I was there for the womens qualifying days). I'm also planning to save up to go to the 2017 World Championships in Montreal.

Unfortunately, my good camera has broken so I'm limited to phone and iPad photos for the moment :( Hopefully it'll be sorted sooner rather than later.

Wednesday, 4 November 2015

Photography #25 A Winding Road

As I was sorting out my old SD cards, I found this picture from a couple of years ago. My cousin from Canada had come over to visit and we took her on a tour of North Wales to places such as Betws-Y-Coed, Snowdonia, Caernarfon, and the longest place name in the UK, Llanfair PG (I'm not even going to attempt the whole word so I'll just use the nickname that locals use).

This picture was actually taken with my little point and shoot camera, a Panasonic TZ10, and was taken whilst we were driving on the Llanberis pass in Snowdonia National Park. I took the picture in black and white, and I love the mood it gives the picture. I think it perfectly represents the scenery in North Wales- hills, winding roads and little houses here and there.