Saturday, 28 April 2012

Weekend OOTD

It's so miserable outside today that I'm going for comfy and cosy today. I had to rush to the post office earlier though and moved a bit too quickly so I split the slit in the back of my skirt! I could do with some sewing practise though so swings and roundabouts!

I look a bit awkward, sorry.

The necklace was a surprise package that came in the post this morning. Bow and Crossbones have been running a little competition all week on their Facebook page. All you had to do was email them your address and they've been picking a winner every day and I was today's winner! I won this cute Scrabble type necklace :D 

Mrs D x


Wednesday, 25 April 2012

A Geeky Necklace!

Unless you live in a cave you'll have no doubt heard about The Hunger Games series. My mum passed the books onto me last year just after my cousin gave them to her when she was visiting for my wedding. I read all three books in about 10 days, I just could not put them down! It's been a long, long time since I've read a single book, let alone three that gripped me so much. They're aimed at young adults but there's a very important underlying theme that adults can definitely relate to. I found myself relating to a lot of the characters as well though and that's why I loved them so much. The female protagonist is fierce, intelligent and strong because she has to be, nothing like that bloody Bella moron from the Twilight books. *vomit*

Oops, got a bit carried away there! A while ago I discovered Pretty Little Charms who makes the most beautiful jewellery hand crafted from recycled books. I was immediately drawn to this particular necklace and finally got my hands on one.

I love the mockingjay aspect of the book. It represents hope and rebellion; something that was never meant to exist. It might just be a make-believe bird and idea from a book but I love it! Not only is it an incredibly beautiful design and novel idea, everytime I look at it I'm reminded of what it means and it makes me stand a little taller. 

I've been wearing it non-stop since I got it and I don't see that changing!
Do you have any jewellery that stirs something up inside of you? Or am I really just that frivolous and silly?!

Mrs D x


Monday, 23 April 2012

World Book Night!


If you didn't already know, tonight is World Book Night! It's a "celebration of reading and books which sees tens of thousands passionate volunteers gift books in their communities to share their love of reading." It's about encouraging people to pick up a book and to make those who say they don't like reading realise that they just haven't found a book they enjoy yet!

I love reading and always have. When I was a child the thing that got me into trouble most often was that every morning without fail my mum would come upstairs expecting me to be dressed and ready for school but instead find me in my towel or my dressing gown, reading a book! I adored reading and would read anything I could get my hands on.

For me, reading is and always has been my ultimate way of relaxing. It's the one opportunity I have where I can completely lose myself. I can shut off from the real world and enter a whole host of different lives and worlds through words.

The 25 books this year are -
Pride and Prejudice - Jane Austen
The Player of Games - Iain M. Banks
Sleepyhead - Mark Billingham
Notes from a Small Island - Bill Bryson
The Alchemist - Paoulo Coelho
The Take - Martina Cole
Harlequin - Bernard Cornwell
Someone Like You - Roald Dahl
A Tale of Two Cities - Charles Dickens
Room - Emma Donoghue
Rebecca - Daphne du Maurier
The Remains of the Day - Kazuo Ishiguro
Misery - Stephen King
The Secret Dreamworld of a Shopaholic - Sophie Kinsella
Small Island - Andrea Levy
Let the Right One In - John Ajvide Lindqvist
The Road - Cormac McCarthy 
The Time Traveller's Wife - Audrey Niffenegger
The Vanishing Act of Esme Lennox - Maggie O'Farrell
The Damned Utd - David Peace
Good Omens - Terry Pratchett and Neil Gaiman
How I Live Now - Meg Rosoff
Touching the Void - Joe Simpson
I Capture the Castle - Dodie Smith
The Book Thief - Markus Zusak

The ones in bold are the ones I've read. For a self confessed book lover that's not a lot! the ones I would like to read are in italics and am making it my mission to read them by the end of this year. (I have zero interest in the Shopaholic series and oddly all the other books I've left blank are ones my husband has read!) Actually, I might make a big list of books I'd like to read this year and virtually tick them off as I've read them. Would that be something you'd be interested in reading? Or is that actually a bit dull and something I should just keep to myself?!

Here are a few books I've read lately that I highly recommend - 


I hope you all have the time to read at least one page of a book today. I'll definitely be turning our tv off tonight and getting stuck into a book instead. 

Mrs D x


Sunday, 22 April 2012

OOTD - The Penarth edition

Penarth Pier is my most favourite place in the entire world. The very first time I went there it was 5am, freezing cold and all I did was sit on a bench and watch my husband fish. I watched the sun come up and people moving around on the promenade and it was completely magical. My husband and I somehow ended up going back every year always around the time of our anniversary of becoming a couple. Three years to the day that we had our very first smooch we were sitting on our favourite bench drinking tea out of polystyrene cups and having a blissful moment when my husband proposed to me. Penarth is so special to me and I love it with all my heart.

Because I am ever so clever, I forgot my contact lens solution and case over the weekend so on Saturday morning we had to locate a chemist in Swindon. After we had done so and were in the car my husband suggested we made a little detour to Penarth seeing as it was 'only' an hour and a half away.

It's not a terribly inspiring outfit due to my thinking that we were just popping out to get my contact lens bits then going straight back to the hotel to go for a swim! Fortunately I found the cream flower brooch in the glove compartment (I knew my laziness would come in handy one day...), the leopard bow headband was in my handbag and the one and only piece of make up I had with me was my Rockalily Hot Rod Red lipstick! It doubled up as a lip stain and a blusher :)

No Penarth visit is complete without a massive hot chocolate. (Not entirely sure what's happening with my fringe here...)

One of the things I love most about Penarth Pier is that it has these plaques all down one side. There must be over one hundred of them and most of them in memory of loved ones or events. This is my most favourite one though.

I love it's mystery, although I have a few dreamy and romantic theories as to what it means. Maybe a young woman met a young man and they had an evening of flirtation and magic but for some tragic reason they could never be together!

Mr D and I picked up our form for our very own plaque and sent it off this evening. We're not going to tell anyone what it says though, we kept it mysterious!

Mrs D x

Beauty By Eva - A rave review!

My husband and I spent this weekend in a hotel in Swindon, not the most glamorous or beautiful part of the country but we just needed to get away from the many, many things that need doing around the house and relax.

The hotel had spa facilities which we were really looking forward to using, sadly though we picked a weekend when it was overrun with an Under 14's football team and the pool was so full of irritating children that we weren't allowed in! We went down three times in the hopes they'd had their fun and buggered off but our efforts were futile and eventually we went to the desk and made a complaint. We'd chosen that specific hotel on the basis that the offer included use of their facilities and we weren't getting them. However we were told that they were paying guests just like we were, there was a limit of 20 people allowed in the pool at one time and there was nothing they could/would do. I held my own though (whilst feeling like I was going to throw up the whole time!) and suggested that on occasions like this when the children had been in there for THREE AND A HALF HOURS, they put a time limit on it! The manager's only solution was that they were going for dinner at 7 so we could go in then for the hour before they closed. Oh, and a bottle of wine which due to my medication, I can't drink! Boo you, Hilton. Never fear though, I'm my mother's daughter and I will be sending a letter to their head office! It didn't ruin our weekend by any means though, it was just a bit irritating. We still had a wonderfully relaxing time and have come home feeling quite refreshed.

There was one part of our stay though that shone through. I booked myself in with the hotel's independent beauty therapist, Beauty by Eva for an Indian Head Massage thinking it might be rather relaxing and give me a good night's sleep. Upon meeting Eva straight away she made me feel very at ease and comfortable. She explained to me what an Indian Head Massage was and how everyone's technique differs slightly but that it's a very gentle massage. As soon as she started working on my right shoulder I felt it drop dramatically, it was incredible. As she moved to my left shoulder she asked me if I was often tense and whether I normally held my tension across the shoulders. She explained that she could feel I was really quite tense and that she felt I would benefit more from a back, shoulder and neck massage because there is only a certain amount of pressure she's able to apply whilst I'm sitting up. At first I thought she might just be making an offhand comment and just meant for future reference but as we were talking about it she came across as being so genuinely helpful that I asked if it was too late to switch to a proper massage. She said it wasn't a problem at all and soon whipped the room ready for a back massage.

The massage itself was absolutely wonderful. I could feel my muscles loosen within seconds. I know I am quite a tense person, probably due to my anxiety and I spend an awful lot of time with my shoulders tensed. It's almost a protective behaviour so I'm always ready for danger! Eva explained that over time lactic acid builds up in your muscles if you're constantly tensed and eventually knots form. She also said that hunching over the kitchen surface concentrating intensely on cake decorating won't help! So from now on I shall endeavour to take my cupcakes to the dining room!

I came away feeling so incredibly relaxed and refreshed and my shoulders were visibly about three inches lower! I was so impressed with Eva, for her technique, talent and ability and also by her genuine care and concern for her craft. I was so touched that she would take the time to actually advise me on what would suit me and my needs rather than just do whatever she'd been told to. It's rare for someone who have a genuine desire to help a person and want to do what is best for them instead of doing whatever is going to get them the most money. As it was my back massage was actually cheaper than my original treatment so Eva made a loss! She did however gain a client and if I am ever back in that area and in need of a massage she will be my first port of call.

I truly cannot praise her enough. I have a neck again! If you are in the Wiltshire area, this is Eva's website. Go, get your muscles loosened and be pampered by a kind and extremely conscientious therapist. She's an absolute gem!

Eva, if you're reading this, thank you so much!

Mrs D x

Saturday, 21 April 2012

Benefit They're Real! Mascara Review

For years I've used the same mascara (Clinique High Impact Curling Mascara) and whilst I love it, I was getting a bit bored of it and felt my eyelashes needed shaking up a bit! I spent a couple of days scoping out which mascaras I might want to try and eventually decided on Benefit They're Real.

I'm a huge Benefit fan and have never had a Benefit product I haven't absolutely adored. They're Real is no exception! I'd never ordered online before and was pleasantly surprised at how quick delivery was (I ordered on Tuesday evening and it arrived Thursday morning). The packaging it arrived in was gorgeous, although I couldn't help thinking the amount of tissue paper was a little excessive ;) I really like that with every order you get to two samples from a choice of four. I chose these two...

I used the Stay Put Primer yesterday underneath my eyeshadow and it seemed to work quite nicely!

Onto the mascara...

Normally I'm put off by the plastic bristle style brushes, I find they're really sharp and never seem to have the same effect as normal brushes. However, this is totally not the case with They're Real! The bristles were soft against my eyelid and they separated each lash effectively. 

This is my before and after! 

Without any mascara my eyelashes, although fairly long, are very straight. They're Real gave them a really lovely thick, full lash look and excellent volume. They didn't droop during the day and didn't smudge at all.   Because my lashes are quite long every time I blink they touch underneath my eye which means 99% of the mascaras I've bought in the past have ended up there rather than on my lashes! It's not a good look. 

In conclusion, They're Real is bloody marvellous! If you're looking for a flake-free, smudge-free, long lasting, full lash look then I'd definitely recommend it. At £18.50 it is on the expensive side but it's worth every penny. Plus you always get two samples with every order. In addition to that at the minute they have an offer for a free sample of their new Hello Flawless Oxygen Wow foundation with your order and if you sign up to their mailing list they're very generous with their offers and free gifts.

Mrs D x


Thursday, 19 April 2012

OOTD & Competitions

I've had a really good day today. To start with my husband decided not to cycle into work this morning, I drove him instead so we had a bit of a lay in together. Then I had an appointment with a new beauty therapist for a wax which was full of positives but I'll do a separate blog about that later on. I don't know why but I really like having a wax, it's as pampering to me as having a facial or getting my nails done.
In the afternoon I went to the county council offices to pick up a phone I had won by generally being a bit of a busy-body and filling out a survey on the county council website about their homepage. They apparently quite liked my comments and I won a Nokia Lumia 800 which is really rather fancy! I was planning on giving it to my mum because I really like my iPhone and she really can't use the phone she has haha! However, I am a bit besotted with it so I might end up keeping the new one and giving her my iPhone instead. 
My afternoon rounded off nicely by having a cup of tea and slice of homemade carrot cake with my gorgeous friend, Fran. I also just discovered I've won a giveaway I entered to win a goodie-bag from the lovely Megan Jane Jewellery...I appear to be on a winning roll lately which is bizarre because until recently I had never won anything in my life!

Anyway, enough waffle. Here's what I wore today :)

Dress from SimplyBe
Shoes from Next
Bag from Next
Tattoo necklace from Clutterfly Jewellery
Lipstick is Hot Rod Red by Rockalily

Mrs D x


Wednesday, 18 April 2012

Half-a-face-but-mostly-cat Of The Day!

I've been struck down in my prime by the lurgy and have spent the last four days whining about it and generally being quite grumpy. I forced myself to have a shower and get dressed today though which made me feel a teeny bit better. Not better enough for you to see my entire face though so instead, here is today's half-a-face-but-mostly-cat!

Bloggers, meet Bella-cat! She's our eldest cat and is quite lovely. Well, she's lovely to me and my husband (my husband and I?) but is generally a bit terrified and therefore a bit hissy and defensive with other people. She tolerates my mum but only for a little while before she whacks her round the head haha.

I had my hair coloured the other day and my hairdresser attempted to trim my fringe. He's quite honest in that he says my fringe is completely unknown territory for him and after 15 years of him telling me off whenever I've tried to cut my own hair, he encourages my fringe maintenance! He wasn't too impressed when I told him I was doing it with the kitchen scissors though...! So, I invested in some proper hair scissors and am going to re-shape it tomorrow. Hopefully I'll have stopped sneezing by then...

EDIT - I forgot something brilliant happened today...whilst I was out having a coffee with my mother in law in our village coffee shop and a little old lady came over and said to me 'I just wanted to tell you my dear that with your fringe and your face you look just like Elizabeth Taylor'!! She was clearly about 140 and probably quite blind but it made my bloody day :D

Toodle-pip lovelies!
Mrs D x

Wednesday, 11 April 2012

OOTD Birdcage edition!

Just a quick one today. I bought this dress ages ago but it was a little too tight around the arm bits. It's magically a little bit looser and now I can wear it. It's really cute, it's a pale pink and covered with little bird cages! The birds are bright blue, turquoise, red and pink. I've never owned anything with such a bold pattern before but I quite like it.

Dress from Very by a brand called South
Cardigan from Next
Shoes from Next
Lipstick is Rockalily's ZOMG
And good old Tesco's woolly tights!

Mrs D x

Sunday, 8 April 2012

Happy Easter!

Happy Easter, readers! 

Mrs D x


Saturday, 7 April 2012

L'Occitane Love

Whenever I'm at my mum's in Bury St Edmunds I try to pop into their local L'Occitane shop. We don't have on in Northamptonshire and although I can easily buy online I really prefer going to see and smell products before I buy them. Today was definitely a good day to be there because upon entering the shop we were offered a glass of sparkling wine and a chocolate which is a sure fire way to my heart!

For once I was going in with the intention of actually buying a specific product rather than just having a nose. I was after some Shea Butter Hand Cream for my husband. 

He works in a special school and has to wash his hands a lot during the day, plus he's an avid fisherman so spends a lot of time outdoors. This means his hands get very, very dry and easily crack. He doesn't like overly sweet smelling hand cream or cream that makes his hands feel greasy. L'Occitane's Shea Butter Hand Cream has the usual mild smell of shea butter but isn't too powerful and absorbs really quickly so doesn't leave his hands all slimy. I originally bought this for myself about a year ago but he soon adopted it and has been using it ever since. The travel sized tube lasted about a year although he does only really use it during the winter months. At £8.00 for 30ml is it quite expensive but a little goes a long way and if you use it regularly it keeps your hands soft enough that you end up using less anyway! 

I've always really liked L'Occitane's Cherry Blossom range. I'm always more drawn to floral-y type smells but this isn't too...granny-floral, it has a hint of sweetness too. Plus the packaging is really pretty! I didn't want to invest in the Eau de Toilette because I already have a couple of perfumes that I love and use every day but I did think I'd give their Cherry Blossom solid perfume a whirl. 
I can keep it in my handbag and rub a bit onto my wrists or neck when I'm out and about. I put a bit on at around 2pm today and I still got a whiff of it while I was cooking dinner at 6pm. That doesn't seem like a long time but considering it's just a rub on type thing I was quite impressed. I think ideally it should be used along side their Eau de Toilette as a touch up during the day but until I run out of my other perfume and can't justify buying a new one, I'm happy to keep it in my bag for smelly emergencies! 

If you have a L'Occitane near you I strongly recommend popping in and having a look...and not just for the free wine and chocolate!

Mrs D x


Kitty & The Leopard Lounge

Internet, meet Chicco. We adopted him when I was 15, going through a difficult time and needed something to focus on other than what was going on with me. He lives with my mum now but still knows who his real mama is.

He only has half a tail as a result of trying to play chicken with a car a couple of years ago. He used to be really frazzled and hyperactive but since his accident he's mellowed out a lot and wants a lot more cuddles, usually in this fashion.

On a slightly unrelated but still in a similar ballpark note, this caught my eye from my step-dad's stereo today...

It's on the back cover of one of his Jazz magazines (hehehe...he doesn't get it!). Normally just looking at the front cover of those magazines sends me to sleep but that certainly caught my eye! I didn't know old jazz fans could be so frivolous ;)

And finally on a completely unrelated's OOTD. 

Dress from ol' trusty Tesco.
Cardigan from Marks & Sparks because I am actually 45. 
Shoes from Next
Lipstick is Hot Rod Red from Rockalily
And my beautiful Zatchel!

Well, that was a rubbish blog, wasn't it?
Mrs D x


Friday, 6 April 2012


Happy Easter, readers! I'm blogging away from home today, in the depths of the Suffolk countryside where we've come to spend Easter with my mum and step-dad. We've spent a good portion of today walking round the Greene King brewery at the desperate request of my husband. Whilst I can't stand the taste of beer I did enjoy the historical aspect of it and witnessing the sheer joy on both my husband's and my step-dad's faces when they realised just how much free beer they could have at the tasting part of the day. 

The more time I spend in Bury St Edmunds, the more I love it. It's such a pretty town with beautiful architecture, quaint shops and pleasant people. A really lovely place.

This is my official brewery outfit (minus the slippers). I wasn't feeling adventurous with my hair today so I brightened it up with my GG's Pin Up Couture flower! 

I hope you're all having a lovely Easter weekend! 
Mrs D x


Tuesday, 3 April 2012

A Very Happy Birthday!

So, I did a birthday yesterday and it was bloody marvellous! I had been dreading it a bit because the last few months have been really difficult but it really was wonderful. I had a tasty lunch out with my friends then spent the afternoon watching 300 and lusting after various sweaty Spartans in their newly (and very well :D) decorated living room. 
My very lovely husband organised a beautiful meal out at The Church Restaurant in Northampton with some friends, his parents and brother, and my mum and step-dad who came down for the evening. It was such a lovely surprise and he wouldn't tell me where we were going until we'd parked the car! As we were driving towards that part of town it crossed my mind that we might go there but I thought 'nooo, don't be silly, it's too nice'! It used to be a fully functionally church and is the oldest secular building in Northampton. They've kept a lot of the beautiful features of the church like the stained glass windows, high beams and arches. It has a lovely, calm atmosphere and the food was absolutely delicious! I had a leek and dolcelatte tart to start, seafood linguine in a cream sauce and to finish strawberry shortcake. Yum!
I really did enjoy myself and was so touched that my husband had organised something so lovely. That combined with my incredible present he got me means he'll be getting all the cheese sandwiches he eat devour for a while. In fact, I'm even going to let him eat the prosciutto he's been gazing longingly at for a week while it's sat in the fridge with the promise of my making saltimbocca 'at some point'!

Right, enough twittering, time for some pictures. :) 

Quite conveniently, my brand new leopard print cat eye sunglasses arrived in the morning and it was sunny so that made for a very happy birthday girl!

My incredible gift from my husband :D A polkadot Zatchel! I've wanted one for ages but could never justify buying myself one when I always manage to find such beautiful bags from places like Next. My husband buys such wonderful presents but I think this might be the best so far!

My gorgeous best friend Robyn and myself before dinner.

My birthday cake! 

Everyone who came to dinner :)

My beautiful new hair flower from GG's Pin Up Couture. I fear this may be the beginning of what could be a huge collection! 

So there we go, I've entered a new age bracket and whilst everyone else seems to be flapping about getting nearer to the 30 mark, I'm quite enjoying it! 

Mrs D x


Sunday, 1 April 2012



Weekend OOTDs & FOTDs

The worst thing about not having a full length mirror in the house is that I put something on, feel really quite fabulous in it and it's only when I see a photo of myself that I realise it doesn't look good, at all. This was one of those times. 

I do love my capri trousers (and my granny slippers :D) but the cardigan is far too short which is made ten times worse because of my stupid boobs making it higher at the front than at the back and just, yuck. It's a shame because I really was feeling pretty good on Saturday morning! I felt good enough since starting my new, drowsy/zombie inducing medication to drive so whilst my husband cycled to Halfords to get his bike serviced I drove to meet him. It was warm enough to have the car window open which meant everyone in my village and the next was subjected to my loud singing along to The Beach Boys and it was bloody marvellous! Until I saw that photo haha. 
I did like my make up though, especially since I was wearing my newest Rockalily lipstick, Hot Rod Red which is my perfect shade of red. 

I was also wearing one of my favourite brooches. I really love marcasite jewellery so when I found this in an incredible little vintage shop in Bridport last year for a mere £4 I was over the moon. 

The sun was shining today so I put my new sundress on. I'm not quite brave enough to go without anything on my legs yet and I couldn't find any flesh coloured tights so I was stuck with horrible leggings. Hahaha, I've only just realised you can see the waistband through my dress! How horrible!

Normally if my hair is too dirty I'll whack a bandana on but after watching Rachel Khoo yesterday I thought I'd give a plait a try. My hair hasn't been long enough to put a plait since I was about 12 so I'm really pleased. It doesn't look too bad for a 2 minute effort either. I was also being a bit lazy about make up's not been a great day (despite looking quite giggly). 

So, that's it. Bit of a funny weekend, my brain is feeling a bit woolly so I apologise if this is all over the shop! I hope you've all had a lovely weekend in the sunshine and enjoy your Easter week. 
Mrs D x

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