Thursday, 18 December 2014

Christmas on the Island.

I do love this time of year, it's such a great excuse to get together. It seems that heading to the Isle of Wight for Christmas has become somewhat of a tradition for Moon and I and I don't think I'd have it any other way.

It's pretty great to have friends that live in nice places to visit. Pip and Stacy are great hosts and we really made the most of our short trip, it was such a nice weekend.

Isn't their cat, Puss, lovely? She's so friendly but she used to be as aloof as Doll, still hoping.

We went to Arreton Barns to kill a bit of time before the rest of the guests arrived, it has not one but two(!) glass blowing workshops, a few cute gift shops, a farm shop and a pretty good penny arcade, as well as one hella sad snowman that we caught dragging his feet to an unknown location on the grounds...

After a beautiful walk up along the headland near Brighstone we headed into Brighstone village to catch their annual Christmas Tree festival, a kitsch celebration held across various locations featuring, you guessed it, a lot of Christmas trees. Each tree was sponsored by different businesses from across the Isle of Wight and they'd each decorated them in their own way. It was hard to pick a favourite but I think I liked Grange Farm's offering best, there were eggs and lots of lights! My picture doesn't really do it justice.

The tree on the left is from the Isle of Wight Donkey Sanctuary, which visited last time.

We exchanged our Secret Santa gifts before heading to a great restaurant called, The Coast Bar where I had my first Turducken and the best crab mousse.

For the rest of the evening we played games, sung along to Christmas songs and watched as much as we could of this video (you're welcome).

A slightly hungover early afternoon was spent in Sandown bowling on the pier and eating chips before it was time to head home.

I'm pretty excited that it's now less than two weeks until I see some of this lot again as usually we go for a few months. For New Year's Eve it will be our turn to entertain and the bar has been set pretty high(!)

You can have a peek at the last two Wight Christmases here and here.

Wednesday, 17 December 2014

Jingle Doll.

We were pretty lucky last year to have a ready-made Christmas card thanks to the snow the previous year. The tradition of sending cards, even if we're not quite at the stage where we're getting lots in return is something that I still pride myself in, and I was really proud of last year's cards and the 'milestone' they represented.

This year required a little more thinking but resulted in quite a few gratuitous Dolly photographs, always a good thing, naturally.

Dolly's real 'baffled by life' face.

Every Christmas it seems bokeh 'tips' pop up all over the place and making one of those cut-out shapes has been on my list for a while but I reckon doing with just the macro effect has worked out pretty swell. I had thought about heading down to Hobbycraft and picking glitter and pipecleaners, but Photography is kind of my thing so I guess that might have to wait another year.

As we're kind of on the subject of Doll, or at least looking at her, I'm a bit sad that I had to throw her snazzy sparkley red collar away in favour of a proper prescription flea collar. The fleas just weren't going with the Frontline spot-on treatment and she was so fidgety and unhappy - so a trip the vet was in order and that was the end of that.

PRO-CAT-OWNER TIP: Flea collars you get in any shop without a prescription from your vet don't work, which is why they only cost between £2-5 and this one cost me £40 (IKR, what?!). Apparently the flea poison used on them is also poisonous to cats, which means they use the most minimum amount, making for a pretty collar but an ineffective flea treatment. With the last one I had I even found a family of dancing fleas underneath it when checking her so it clearly did nothing.
It's unlikely that the flat will be completely flea-free for around 3 months but as the collar lasts 8 months PLUS the spot-on treatment of Advocat I got from the vet, Dolly should be well covered and be the flea-killing machine she should have been right from the start in October.

Monday, 15 December 2014

Film Club | November

When I came to write this post, having not actually watched a movie in what feels like quite a while, I thought it would be another one of those months that I'd let it slide a bit. Looking back though, November, despite the small quantity and forgetting about V/H/S Viral was actually a pretty solid month for films.

I think I can pick something I like from each of these films (apart from V/H/S Viral) and that's not too bad, even if the main reason I picked and enjoyed This is Where I Leave You was Adam Driver, sometimes that's okay. Hey, when Adam Driver is involved, it's always okay.

  1. Horns
  2. The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel
  3. This is Where I Leave You
  1. The Inbetweeners 2
  2. V/H/S Viral
  3. St Vincent
Most Favourite: The Inbetweeners 2 — It might not been a cinematic masterpiece and some people might think it's annoying and awkward but The Inbetweeners still remains one of my most quoted, most favourite shows. Despite being hella skeptical about the second film, I think I might have laughed even harder than I did at the first one. Sometimes you've just got to laugh and if something can make you do that, for a good reason, then it's got to be good. Must admit, this film also made me dry-heave involuntarily, so there was that too, if you've seen it, you'd be right in guessing it was the waterslide scene.

Least Favourite: V/H/S Viral — You probably guessed that already. I've no idea why I watch these because they're just terrible. This one was the worst yet and came complete with social commentary wrapped in a nice message about being more present - what it actually was, was a confusing 70-minute gore fest complete with zombie skeletons and devil worshipping doppelgängers... Yep.

Look Back –
Film Club | January
Film Club | February
Film Club | March
Film Club | April
Film Club | May
Film Club | June
Film Club | July
Film Club | August
Film Club | September
Film Club | October

You can also follow along on Pinterest.

Saturday, 13 December 2014

Bye Bye, beard.

Moon took part in his first No-Shave November since university days and he actually managed to grow some mighty-fine facial fuzz this time around. I think if he'd carried on with it, it would have been magnificent.

I'm pretty pleased he didn't end up going for taking part in Movember, as worthwhile a charity as it is, he does not suit a moustache, and combined with some of his recent jumper choices, it would not have been a good look.

I do kind of wish that he'd kept the beard after 30th November but I'm glad to not hear him complain anymore, maybe now he's done it if he decided to grow a more permanent beard, it won't be as itchy.

Here are some pictures he got me to take of him shaving it off in various stages, unfortunately our bathroom lighting isn't the best but you get the idea. I'm saddest that he didn't go for the soul-patch.

Friday, 12 December 2014

Merry #Nextmas!

Next is up there in this house. My sofa, which I love, is from Next, I'll only buy my jeans from Next and I really admire them for being one of the few high-street stores to not stoop to the (in my opinion) ridiculously irrelevant Black Friday discounts.

So naturally, with Christmas coming ever closer, there are quite a few items from Next on my list to Santa this year. Luckily for me, Next have #NextmasWishlist, a fun, festive competition offering the chance to win some goodies.

  1. Christmas Pudding Ballerinas – How cute are these? I've never really thought about festive footwear before but it'd be hard to stop wearing these once the season is over.
  2. Moose Table Lamp – Moose seem to be 'in' at the moment and I'm totally not complaining. Since I accidently smashed our bedroom light with some overzealous dusting I think this guy would make the perfect replacement.
  3. Cat Igloo Bed – As I've constantly been reminded, it's Christmas for pets too and I've been on the look-out for a new bed for little Doll for a while. While she's pretty content with the box that some Christmas gifts arrived in recently, I can definitely see her in this.
  4. Moose Door Knocker – As I said, moose are in. I definitely think this guy is worth hoarding until we get our own 'proper' place.
  5. Joyeaux Noel Luxury Fragranced Diffuser – I'm a sucker for most kinds of home fragrance, and in the absence of a real Christmas tree (not actually something I mind by the way), filling the flat with all sorts of Christmassy smells is just about the next best thing. Having had a whiff of this in the shop, this might be the item on this list that I'm most hankering for.
  6. Flashing Reindeer Christmas Sweater – It wouldn't be a Christmas wishlist in 2014 without a fancy Christmas jumper. This ones an absolute triple-threat too, not only is it a lovely green with an adorable reindeer print, it features flashing LED light details(!!!)
  7. Light-Up Card Holder – I think this is pretty cute for all year round as a full-on noticeboard but the fact it lights up makes it festive as well as adorable.
  8. Tonal Faux Fur Throw – These faux fur throws are everywhere and I love how luxurious they look. Great for curling up on the sofa or adding additional warmth in bed. They're softer than the cat too, which is the measurement for all softness.
  9. Oh Wake Up Cuffed Floral Pyjama Set – Florals are good for all year round and winter and the Christmas season are made for pyjamas. Perfect.
  10. Pink + Gold Sports WatchVery similar to a Kate Spade watch I've had my eye on, this one comes in at a slightly more purse-friendly price for a fashion watch, which is usually a deal-maker.

It wasn't hard for me to skim through the Next website and pick out a mixture of the lovely homewares and clothing that they're so good at.

From a merchandising perspective by the way, the website is brilliant and actually pretty fun to browse, throwing in a great mix of more traditional online shop layout and an interactive catalogue, good job, guys!

You can go to the Next website now too to take part in #NextmasWishlist, with the chance to win up to 10 Next products of your choice, it's worth a shot, right?

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