Friday, 27 December 2013

Inspiring Inspirations

Whether you are a spectator whom delights in the indulgent ritual of catching up with your favourite blogs, reading the newest posts from all manner of sites or whether your out pouring of wonderings fills the screen in front of you sharing thoughts and findings- surfing the net proves fruitful for so many and brings people together in the most creative of ways.

To celebrate the world of blogging, what we achieve from reaching out to strangers, the gathering of inspiration and escape into literature and the day to day world of others; a pat on the back has been created, by means of The Liebster Award.

This recognition is handed to bloggers by bloggers, aiming at fellow sapplings with 200 followers or less, and by becoming nominated you then get to nominate others, sharing with the world your favourite blogs- a fantastic idea!

The gorgeous doll Jade, who's blog The Cosmetic Effect THE place to go for honest beauty reviews and to meet to most wonderfully friendly and awesome lady herself, nominated my wee blog. Now, I don't know if she'd had a cup of mulled wine too many, but I'm super thankful anyway to say the least! ;)

Jade has given me the challenge of answering a collection of 11 questions, lovingly devised by her clever and creative mind, and an even bigger challenge- to think up 11 interesting/ random facts about myself… My dear Jade, I appreciate hugely this challenge, but my oh my am I the biggest grandma dork going, I may well struggle in summoning something 'interesting'! Haha!! What was not a challenge, however, was listing 11 blogs, (with 200 readers or less), that I adore! But first the facts:

1. I am about to take the plunge and move to Holland to live with my Dutch boyfriend. We have been living with the darn sea between us for quite a while now, making the most of trips to each other, but we think its time to try it for reals. The thought of not being near my family on a daily basis is quite hard, and is the only thing holding me back from skipping down the street with excitement, but we're trying to be brave and all go through it together, and all enjoy the excitement too. To those of you that live a distance from their families, any tips you may have, I would be super grateful to hear them!

2. At college I studied textiles and art and then went on to study costume design and construction at university, in Bournemouth. I have learnt so much about analysing characters, breaking down a script, researching the history of fashion, the design processes and the construction of clothing. This then led to working in theatres, films and dance. With the move to Holland, I am at a bit of a crossroads, work wise. I'm taking some time to figure out whats next- whilst sewing and drawing for fun on the side!

3. I am a very wee 5 ft 1 ish (and my ridiculously tall boyfriend is 6 ft 3. Bit of a difference!) My 9 year old cousin has bigger feet than me...

4. For a very long time I was blonde!!

5. I love to read!! I could literally sit the entire day with a book. Heaven!

6. I hate night clubs. Now, don't get me wrong, get me on a dance floor and I am unstoppable, but dingy, smelly, sticky- floored, crowded, sweaty night clubs are my idea of hell. I can't get into the music they play in those places, and I tend to get lost amongst the long legged scantily clad crowd. Gross!

7. I am a bit of a sci-fi nerd and loves me some comics, I also like anything with dragons and castles and knights in armour (did I mention I was a 27 year old woman?..)

8. I throw a mean cartwheel, and may have been caught on camera cartwheeling down the corridors of the Japanese Hilton.

9. My last job was working within the wardrobe department for the Birmingham Royal Ballet, with whom I toured England and internationally, and tried on as many hats and head dresses as possible between dressing dancers and washing tutus.

10. I am a film and tv addict, sad but true. I like all kinds of films, literally everything, and have a seriously annoying habit of quoting them daily (to a somewhat oblivious audience since Rich never knows what I'm going on about!)

11. I would really love to open an etsy shop of hand crafted goodies, but I'm still trying to figure out what to make. I made a hair piece for my friends wedding and since then have thought of making some to sell. I think in the new year a little trial and error may be in order. I mostly sew and knit for myself, maybe its time to be brave and branch out.

Q & A with Jade of The Cosmetic Effect:

J- Peanut butter or jelly?
G- 100% definitely peanut butter, the crunchy kind of course!

J- Favorite hair product?
G- Hmmm I love the smell of the shine mist Head Rush from the Tigi Bed Head range and always use a heat protector before blow drying, usually one from Tresemme.

J- Shaved head or shaved eyebrows?
G- Haha! I'm going for shaved head, I'm a lover of eye brows!

J- What’s your favorite perfume?
G- That's an easy one, I reeeeally like Lily by Stella McCartney, powerful memories evoked from smelling this one, and it makes me feel scrumptious.

J- Favorite nail polish?
G- I'm a bit rubbish with the up keep of nail varnish, you'll often find me with a scrappy paint job, but I do love either a nudey shade or a pop of sparkle! (She says whilst wearing pink…)

J- If you won $5,000 what would you buy?
G- Man, I'm so boring with money, I'd either be a loser and save it for a rainy day, discretely donate or put it towards flights back and forth between England and Holland.

J- Where’s your favorite place to visit and why?
G- Well, I recently fell in love with south Holland and enjoy spending time there, also on top of my list are Lyme Regis in Devon, Bakewell in Derbyshire and Holywell Bay in Newquay- all favourite family holiday destinations when I was a kid. (Oh, and I love NY and Brooklyn too).

J- Favorite place to shop for beauty items?
G- Probably Lush, I can't enter this shop and leave without buying something!

J- Sneakers, boots, or flats?
G- Sneakers all the way baby!! Being a pipsqueak 5 ft 1 you'd think I would wear heels but my bumpers and I have a loyal relationship ;)

J- Favorite food?
G- I used to be annoyingly fussy, these days I try everything! (My poor hips still haven't forgiven me for my new taste for food!) That said, does ice cream count? From the tub please, it just doesn't taste the same in a bowl.

J- Favorite TV show?
G- Okay confession time, I am a tv addict. With this I wouldn't know where to start. Here's a few I can think of: Mad Men, New Girl, American Horror Story, Supernatural, Grey's Anatomy, Dexter, The IT Crowd.

In no order of preference, here are some of the brightest and most inspiring blogs on the net, chosen for the beautiful photography, the delicately written posts, the honest and intriguing reviews, the lifestyle updates, artful features, creative fashion, diy tutorials, and for being individually awesome- my nominations:

My 11 questions to you beautiful bloggers:

1. On top of your christmas tree- star or fairy?

2. Which super power would you like to possess? (Please remember to use them responsibly)

3. If you were stuck in a lift for 4 hours, which three people would you prefer to accompany you?

4. Barefoot stroll along the beach with wind blowing in your hair or quiet walk through a sunlight field while the birds sing?

5. Favourite thing to bake or cook?

6. Best book you read in 2013?

7. Wrestle an angry crocodile or take on a rabid octopus, and the essential WHY?

8. Which famous actor (alive or passed) would you like to play you in a movie of your life?

9. Which Disney princess do you think has the best style and why?

10. Please think of three goals you would like to achieve in 2014.

11. When did you start your blog and why?

I realise I may have nominated people whom have received this award already- my apologies for being a bimbo AND that one or two may have recently tipped the scales over 200 followers, but I love these blogs and they deserve super huge amounts of recognition and big thanks from me for inspiring me and my own little blog. 

Now, guys, its over to you, if you accept the nomination you may write up a post listing 11 facts about yourself, answer my questions and create a bunch of your own, for your nominations :) Enjoy!! Oh, and don't forget to let them know you've nominated them!

Thank you again to Jade, you gorgeous lady and fellow nerd ; )

Wishing you all a festive December and the most exciting and wondrous new year!!

Tuesday, 24 December 2013

Christmas Eve

Twas the night before Christmas, when all through the house
Not a creature was stirring, not even a mouse.
The stockings were hung by the chimney with care,
In hopes that St Nicholas would soon be there.

                                                                                                                 // image: personalised gifts boutique //

The children were nestled all snug in their beds,
While visions of sugar-plums danced in their heads.
And mamma in her 'kerchief, and I in my cap,
Had just settled our brains for a long winter's nap.

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The moon on the breast of the new-fallen snow,
Gave lustre of mid-day to objects below.
When, what to my wondering eyes should appear,
But a miniature sleigh, and eight tinny reindeer.

                                                                                                                  // image: armchairoxfordscolar.tumblr //

He sprang to his sleigh, to his team gave a whistle,
And away they all flew like the down of a thistle.
But I heard him exclaim, 'ere he drove out of sight...

                                                                                                                                                                              // image: pattie perales //

"Happy Christmas to all, and to all a good night!"

Thursday, 19 December 2013

Ahoy There!

To some people, old things that have seen better days, are easily forgotten. With each new day there are technological updates across our screens, latest trends flooding the catwalks and newer models hitting the shelves. Of course, these amazing new discoveries and bright future creations are what pushes our generation forward, but sometimes isn't it just heaven to get lost in the past? 

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Some beauties should be remembered forever, like this long standing marvel, on which I'm about to invite you to come aboard!

A few weeks ago I was whisked away on a surprise trip to stay for two nights aboard this wonderful treasure, the SS Rotterdam.

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This beautiful ship was created in Rotterdam in the 1950s, and set sail on its first voyage to the shores of New York on September 3rd 1959. Forging the pathway for modern and luxurious travel, the Holland America Line held twelve thousand passengers, including special guest Princess Beatrix, and with its expansive size and sleek features the SS Rotterdam was quite a sight to behold. The SS Rotterdam enjoyed the 60's, sailing as a transatlantic crossing and hosting elegant cruises, but during the early 70's cheap air flights were the newest way to travel, and the meant the end of liner services to New York, the SS Rotterdam made her final crossing.

After many dormant years, left alone and unused, in 2005 a grand project began, to restore the ship to its original beauty, and is today anchored in Rotterdam, serving as a high quality hotel. And trust me when I say, if you're into retro 60's glamour, this baby is a must see.

// Note Rich checking out the mini bar... //

We watched the gorgeous sun set whilst sitting out on the top deck, strolled along the boards taking in the atmosphere, had drinks in one of the many hotel bars and even watched a movie in the on board cinema. In the day we decided to continue with the nautical theme and took a boat ride around the world famous Rotterdam Port, taking in the vast and plentiful happenings along the coast line.

If you find yourself in Rotterdam, or are planning a trip to Holland, I highly recommend a night or two in this beautifully preserved piece of history. Mad Men esque wardrobe optional but appreciated!

Wednesday, 11 December 2013

Who's That Girl // Costume meets Fashion #1

I'm an absolute sucker for a geeky heroine, so when I discovered the hilarious American hit show New Girl, needless to say I was hooked!

A knitting enthusiast, endlessly awkward and full of kooky character, our main girl Jess is brilliant to watch, and with her gorgeously cute style with a retro twist, I can't help but love her dearly.

Being the ultimate nerd that I of course am, and after several marathons of my favourite flatmates, I found the urge to compile a few mood boards of Jess inspired beauties.

 // image: // Silky pj shirt // Silky pj bottoms // Pink pinkies //

I simply can not be the only person that finds Jess ridiculously relatable, unfortunately not in the fashion sense (I wish), but more in the hopelessly optimistic, day dreaming and clumsily stumbling through life.  The relationship between the characters is genius, each one a comedic gem- I can literally cry with laugher with some of the witty (and stupid) lines.

For the already deeply addicted, to the lucky duckies about to dive head first into laughs a minute and style a plenty, these cheeky quotalicious gifs are my gift to you!

                                                                                                                                                                       // //


                                                                                                                                                                                                    // tumblr //

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And yes, it may very well be mid-week… But lets get some kook into this here Wednesday!! I'm off to catch up on some episodes, and I insist you do the same!!!

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Sunday, 1 December 2013


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Fine tune your best singing voices, get your shoes polished and by the fire place and cross your fingers you're on the good list!!

It's that time of year again! Sint and his Zwarte Pieten arrived a few weeks ago and are getting ready to visit the chimney's of all the good children of the Netherlands (and Belguim, Luxembourg and many other places like Suriname and Indonesia).

Sinterklaas is the Dutch equivalent of Santa, who travels to Holland from Spain, via boat, mid November and rides his white horse around the streets of the Netherlands, greeting the citizens with all kinds of tasty treats! He then rests in a nearby castle, while children across the Low Lands sing their festive songs, with their clogs and shoes by the fire place. Come the 5th of December, if you've been a nice person of course, you will awake to find small treasures inside your shoes!

Some people even leave straw and carrots for Sinterklaas's horse!! (Much like we do for Father Christmas's reindeer).

The wonderful Etsy have showcased some gorgeous festive lovelies, ideal for celebrating this delightful Dutch tradition in style!

                  // Sinterklaas en Zwarte Piet stamps // Cookie cutter letters // Festive ornament //

Perhaps a few little lovelies I may find in my slippers in a few days time? (Hint hint)…

So crack out the kruid noten, the marzipan, the sugar mice and frogs and of course the chocolate letters, and let the festive celebrations begin!! 

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Thursday, 21 November 2013

Lost in Translation

                                                                                                                                                               // image: //

I find myself sitting in a in a busy room, full to the brim of fast talking friendly faces. Everyone speaks at once in varying tones and volumes, about various topics, overlapping each other in a disarray of sound and facial expressions. Some people use their hands for emphasis. There is laughter, lots of laughter. The dynamic of the group a tangled feast of words, jumping from one conversation to the next at unwarned intervals, when interest peaks. I follow the smiles, a wink of encouragement, a squeeze of my hand for comfort. Of course, it is a little tricky to follow, the speed, the volume, the mass of voices. Try this in a foreign language.

They say learning a new language over the age of 25 is considerably tricky, I'd like to use the more specific description of ridonkulously challenging! Of course, I should be grateful really, it isn't Polish or Finish, one of the near impossible languages to learn, but it's certainly hard enough. I am determined though, and I have a great reason to want to get this right. Opportunity. Most people in England don't get such a chance to study foreign ways of life, after school. We settle in the comfortable fact that so many places speak English, and learn just enough of the please and thank yous to get by on our holidays. And although at times I complain that its too much, I become overwhelmed with the sheer enormity of the situation and get annoyed with myself that I'm not fluent yet; it's all about perspective. 

I look at my life now, it is so far from what I would have imagined for myself, a total curve ball, so many opportunities I didn't even suspect would appear. But then thinking about it, I'm not entirely sure what I had in mind. I have a tendency to float along with the breeze, and panic as soon as the climate changes, I forget to pack my brolly and get drenched along the way, but can darn well appreciate a rainbow or a sunset. This is where my partner in crime comes in handy. He anchors me to something stable. Sure, I have a vivid imagination and can get lost up in my head at times but he gives me something to hold onto, something real and honest and strong. I'm sure I bend his mind sometimes too, who is this emotional freak? Haha! But life isn't black and white, and I sure as heck am giving him a crash course in reading between the lines.

I am a bit of a head in the clouds, nose buried in a book kind of gal. I have always enjoyed learning, a curiosity for knowledge, giving me the childhood nickname 'input'. This actually comes in handy right now! And although I love reading of exciting tales and explorations across the sea, I truly never saw myself as adventurous! And now look. My little world collides with that of a Dutch medical student. Boy, we have many differences. I like to think I am the sweet to his mean (hihi). Him, the straight talking, no bull shit, scientific minded and stubborn as hell with opinions at the ready, clever clogs doctor. Me? I studied textiles and art and costume design! I worked in theatre and ballet and play with fabric and buttons for a living. I read horoscopes, wear sparkly nail varnish, collect fairy tales and like to draw. Yeah we are pretty different! But I feel we balance each other out at times. Perhaps a spoonful of what we need.

One thing's for certain, I didn't see it coming. Before you know it, you've thrown the dice and life as you know it is gone, and there is no turning back. I wonder, every now and then, how it would have been, if we had looked at the distance, at the differences, and decided it was an effort too much... At times, we butt heads, push each other towards thinking about the 'what if', that never was, but we are like magnets drawn together. So, down the rabbit hole I tumble, phrasebook under one arm, and a tight grip on Richard's hand. I'm gonna kick this languages butt!

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