Making a list, checking it twice

This year I'd 
'til I

'til I
and to drink these...
 'til I'm
 If you could throw in a bit of
and a good ol'
too, I'll make sure I leave out some
for you.

If I'm honest, a little
might be nice, I may not be an

but at least I've tried.

But honestly? All I really want for Christmas this year, is a super warm
'cos it's
over here!

images from weheartit

Glühwein? Must be Christmas time!

Aaaaah Christmas, the time of year where no amount of tangled fairy lights, wailing children's choirs, or tinsel clad shop fronts can get me down. I love it. Revel in it even.... the more kitsch the better. Santa's grottos? Yes please. Candy canes? Don't mind if I do. Speciality coffees? One of each thanks. Om. And where better to feed my festive wants than at the Frankfurt Christmas Market in Birmingham?!

A smoking bearded toy....just what I've always wanted. Uh huh.

I've been twice so far, am planning another trip in a couple of weeks and, frankly, I'm not sure even that will fill my Christmas quota. If you get the chance to give it a visit, please make sure you go...and take plenty of money with you! You may not go home with everyone ticked off your Christmas shopping list, but you will, 100% undoubtedly [no need to phone a friend]  leave with an unbelievably full stomach. If my stomach had a face [weird I know...stay with me] it would be practically beaming from the copious amounts of German food [yep, both times] I managed to consume.
Scary Santa, Yummy Crepes

The big favourites are the mulled wine [and personally, amaretto hot chocolate!], German beer and, of course, the bratwurst. There are soooo many food stands....and if my wallet would've allowed it I would buy something from every one - I had to do a project on the stall workers for Uni and they couldn't have been friendlier.. and so happy! I've got to recommend the chocolate covered fruit - there's a couple of these stalls but the one by the carousel has such friendly staff... and look out for a rather cheeky looking Santa!

Give yourself plenty of time to wander round, it's such a nice way to relax in the midst of any festive stress, and rather than making you want to don some spurs and break out the boxing gloves, the crowds are actually just one cheery mass; slightly merry from a tad too much Glühwein and in no rush to relinquish any clutches of warm food and drink.

So yes, I'm panicking about having done zero Christmas shopping, and I'm beginning to wonder whether my numb fingers and red nose will make it through December, but that Christmas market has managed to cheer me up no-end - the perfect antidote to any winter blues!

P.S. If you do end up going, head into the Bullring - right over to Selfridges where there's a Ferrero stand...and some yummy free chocolates!

The purple one...

I love the colour purple and have quite a few purple hues in my wardrobe which are worn on a fairly regular basis. I have been trying to be braver with my wardrobe recently and after sorting through all of my clothes the other day (a mammoth task, I assure you!) I have been challenging myself to try stuff other than my usual uniform of a patterned dress and cosy cardi. Yesterday evening I was trying to work out what I would be wearing for my fun-filled day of work and revision (!) and pulled out my purple velvet maxi skirt. When I bought it I obviously envisioned my glamourous alter-ego swanning around London not Warwick on a dreary winters day...

Apologies for the close up of my make-up free face, I just wanted to show y'all my new shorter hair!

I paired it with my trusty shoe-boots and owl top which is still available at Zara! . I will confess (yet again) I have a serious owl problem; the number of owl prints I have is simply INSANE. I thought the skirt needed a fairly neutral print to tone it down for daytime and the beige/brown of this was perfect! It also meant I could add my brown handbag which doesn't get nearly enough love

I was really pleased with the way it turned out. Wearing the skirt is like being encased in a warm blanket- something I can definitely approve of! It was comfy, cosy and hopefully still chic :) Plus, the addition of some height with the shoeboots, meant that I wasn't worried about my skirt dragging in the damp leaves/rain, yay! The purple colour might not be to everyone's taste but it's definitely one of my favourite colours. Miss Selfridge has a gorgeous black velvet one which I also really like...  I guess I'll be adding that to my Christmas list for now! 

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Showcasing my new found love for layers! Recently I have been *gasp* cold. Anyone who knows me will realise why I am concerned, I am fondly known as the human radiator and whilst I am still fairly warm, my thermostat seems to be more like normal people's... we will have to see how long this lasts! 

Tonight I have Zizzi, X Factor and this lovely lot to look forward to. Many thanks to the lovely Susie who sent me this gorgeous parcel the other week. It has kept me going through what has been a fairly stressful week so thank you Susie! 

Have you broken out of your comfort zone recently? What do you like to wear in the cold winter months? 

P.S. Thank you all for your fab suggestions on my last post, I will be trying them out and letting you know how I get on :) 

80s workwear...

As you may know, when Danni and I went to a jumble sale a while ago, I picked up a Liz Clairborne blouse, mainly because of it's gorgeous billowing sleeves. 
Seen here with Noo-Noo and my teapot! ;) 

HOWEVER, when it came to styling it, whatever I put with it made me look like I was wearing a waitressing uniform or work-wear straight out of the 80s. I eventually paired it with a skirt I would usually wear to go out but I hope the spots save it from looking too work-like, what do you think? 
Have I done a good job? 

Another problem is the fact it has this checked print on the front of the blouse making it difficult to match with other prints.. I refuse to be defeated by this but would appreciate some advice as to how to incorporate it into my wardrobe without wanting to cry with frustration every time I attempt it. I am handing this dilemma over to you dear readers!

How would you style it? Have you ever been 'defeated' by an item of clothing?

Prepare to be cupcaked.

I wish I had a sickly sweet recipe to share with you, but sadly this title's a bit misleading. Naughty, I know. As deceptive as it is though, all will become clear! I got the best visit from my family this weekend, along with this cute present from my lil sister...

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Amazing or what?! She clearly knows how much I love cake, as this is gonna give me the perfect chance to carry it with me wherever I go. Sad? Maybe. Obesity? Here I come. Om. And the little guy in there? A yummy raspberry and white choc cake as baked by the birthday girl that is mama Slater. Yeah. She likes to do things in reverse like that.

This brings me back to the lovely visit I had after work on Sunday from my sister and 'rents . It was perfect, and reminded me how much I miss them while I'm at Uni. We had a quick cuppa here before heading to Cafe Rouge for some tasty birthday tea to celebrate Mum's [ahem] 21st. Again.

As much as I love [and I mean want-to-live-there-forever-and-always kind of love] Cafe Rouge's atmosphere and quirky murals, I always feel like the menu's a bit restricted. Lovely, yes but a bit boring if you go fairly often. This time, I went for a chicken/white-wine/mushroom/mash dish [I paint such a lovely picture don't I?!] and was expecting something a bit...meh.

Meh it most certainly was not. It looked simple, but tasted astounding.... just as deceptive as the title for this post! I can't remember what it was called, but I'd definitely recommend it. YUM. Anyway, it was positively nom and so, so filling - a definitive change from the usual meals at Uni. The logical thing to do after a filling meal is of course avoid the dessert menu; lip smacking descriptions of achingly sweet desserts have a tendency to make me forget all about said fullness. Funny that. One menu glance and a ''pot au chocolat please!' later and this is what I got... 

It's impossible not to like anything in tea cup form, I mean...come on.

The pictures a bit shoddy, but the pudding was far from it. Yet another triumph for Cafe Rouge - France: 1, Danni: 0. Oh, and if you go to their website [clickety click] you can download a voucher for two of their courses for £10.50 - how generous! France: 2, Danni: 0 (or perhaps a half for sharing it with you guys?!).

Wow. Seeing all that food again is making me hungry, and at 11.30pm that's probably not the best thing. Wonder if they'd consider doing take-out for a hungry student?


Thought not.

Flash the tash

It's Movember!!! And I know I'm late to promote the tashtastic challenge but perhaps a mid-month reminder is no bad thing. I'm sure you all know that the idea is for men to grow their moustaches during November, to raise money for The Prostate Cancer Charity (TPCC) - a worthy cause without a doubt.

Now, though not for want of trying, I just can't manage to grow a real tash this month so decided to show my support by wearing one on my finger for the rest of November. 

And if biro-tashes aren't your thing, why not check out Carla's wonderful post for some alternative ways to support Movember? 

So remember, please show your support this month for The Prostate Cancer Charity and no matter how you do it, be proud to flash the tash :)

[clickety click here to find out more about Movember]

Dancing leaves...

Autumn is definitely my favourite season, the air is crisp and starting to get colder, there's my birthday and Bonfire Night to look forward to and best of all, the leaves, in all their flaming colours, are on the ground to crunch through... When Danni and I were in London, I picked up a few bits and pieces, including this gorgeous hand-knitted cardigan from Vintage at Topshop.  I really love chunky knitwear at the moment and the red of this fitted perfectly into my wardrobe.  

I paired it with my beloved Tesco dress (which I have worn so much it is literally falling apart) with my over the knee socks from Celia Birtwell for Boots, Next shoeboots and my Primark belt which cost me 50p! This was the perfect outfit for a walk through the park with Mark and the shoeboots allowed me to crunch through the leaves- one of my favourite things to do in Autumn!

The colours of Autumn are just so pretty and the light just makes everything seem much prettier!

Of course, walking and taking photos is tiring work so we walked to the pub to relax and refuel... We normally choose something from the lunchtime menu but as it was Sunday, we opted for something slightly different...

Mark had roast beef wrapped in Yorkshire pudding with all the trimmings whilst I opted for a steak ciabatta and half of a bowl of onion rings...YUM. I don't know what it is but crunchy onion rings are one of my favourite things ever, I absolutely LOVE them! It was lovely to just spend some time wandering around in the park, although we did get some funny looks from people as I was posing for photos ;) I think the light, the colours and my outfit combined to create some pictures to show just some of the reasons why I love Autumn... 

I will leave you with a rather lovely (cough) gif of me trying to pull my socks up... how attractive! 

gif animation creator

What's your favourite season and how do you keep your socks up?!