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Tuesday, 28 February 2017

Tuesday Titles 121..

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If Not for You : Debbie Macomber
A heart-warming fluff of a book to share with you today. If ever you needed a self-affirming reminder that sometimes the best things can come from the most unexpected of circumstances, this is probably it.

When Sam, a mechanic with some dark secrets in his past, is set up on a blind date by some mutual friends with Beth, he sees no future for them. Why would Nichole and Rocco even think they'd have anything in common?

Beth, who has only recently managed to get away from her parents controlling her every move in life, is trying to find her feet in a new city.

On their way home from this awkward first meeting, something awful and life-changing happens to Beth and Sam can't bring himself to walk away from her. Could this be the start of something wonderful after all...?

I really liked all of the characters in Debbie Macomber's latest offering, which is quite a rare feat. Usually I find at least someone I'm not keen on. I guess Beth's parents could be a pain, but her aunt's character rather makes up for that.

I loved the gentle, slow-burning way in which Sam and Beth's relationship moved along, finding it much more relatable and realistic than so many happily ever after fairytales. I'd definitely recommend this - out on 7th March!

Sunday, 26 February 2017

Sunday Shoes 131..

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A new-to-me old style of Irregular Choice to share with you today. These, as far as I can tell, are a style called One Today. In their traditional pink and green box (I have far more of these boxes than of any other style -  I think that Gemma did a really great round up of all of the different styles of IC boxes over the years, although I can't find it at the moment - will update when I do). 

I cleared out a lot of my shoeboxes when I put the shelves into the wardrobe room last year, as it's easier to store them directly onto shelves, but there's space on the top for two rows of stacked boxes on the top of the shelves and for four boxes high on top of the wardrobes, so I've made sure to keep a selection of the designs and use them to store other shoes, or handbags in. 

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These have a small kitten heel, which sort of reminds me of a little peg. Although I definitely wouldn't say that kitten heels were my favourite, I have amassed rather a lot of them over time, as IC seemed to favour them at one point. They also have a super cute ankle strap, which is quite wide. The main detail on the front of the shoe is the kind of gathered bow effect of the blue uppers with the pink peeking through underneath. 

There's a pink charm on each shoe, attached onto the laces with the words 1 Today - the kind of thing you'd expect to see on a cupcake or a birthday card, I guess and the effect is finished off with two long sets of laces in blue and pink. Cute pastel colours; kind of simple at first glance, but actually there are quite a number of subtle details in there. 

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Saturday, 25 February 2017

And just like the movies, we play out our last scene..

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I mentioned that my best friend always buys me a theatre membership for Christmas each year. Luckily, my local theatre pass also works for our lovely little indie cinema - The Old Market Hall - and lately there have been a lot of films I've been keen to see.

Here's what I've been to watch in the past few weeks, with a few thoughts.

Manchester By The Sea - At first I wasn't sure about this one; the first time I saw the advert it didn't grab me and it took me a few weeks to get around to booking it. But I'm glad that I did. By about five minutes into the film I'd fallen hopelessly in love with Lee Chandler and I so desperately wanted him to find a way to be happy after what had happened to him. Definitely, definitely recommend: I could have happily spied on their world for hours more.

The Light Between Oceans - Honestly, for me this one was a little hard to watch in some places. I struggled with the emotional turmoil Isabel went through everytime she lost one of her unborn babies. But, a lovely island and Tom's dapper outfits were something to be seen. I don't know what I'd have done in their position - the things we do for love, hey?

A Monster Calls - Another one I wasn't drawn to to begin with as I've not read the book, and would generally prefer to have read a book before I see the film adaptation. Conor is 12 and watching his mother's demise. He's struggling to deal with it; am unapproachable grandmother and a father who lives in America make it hard for him to find anyone to confide in and he's hiding a secret. In the middle of the night, a monster appears. Although I was clearly in the minority when I left the screen without tears running down my face, what really won me over were the amazing storybook paintings depicting the stories told by Conor's monster - so beautiful.

Sully - A film about the event which was dubbed "the miracle on the Hudson", I mostly saw this because Tom Hanks was in the title role. Having not actually heard about the event itself (seriously, I sometimes wonder if I do live under a rock), I liked watching things unfold on the fateful journey and then awaited the outcome of the aftermath with bated breath. Great acting from my favourite - but I would say that.

La La Land - Sorry to be right on the top of that bandwagon, but I'm a fan. Having had next to no idea what I was letting myself in for when I booked my ticket to this back in November, I was mesmerised by every beautiful little part of it. The songs, which had an eerie familiar feel despite being original and that feeling of longing for things to work out for Mia and Sebastian. A beautiful yet heartbreaking visual feast of first love and how that can shape a person. This one, I'll admit I drove home from in tears and I've been listening to the soundtrack on repeat ever since.

Jackie - Telling the tale of First Lady, Jackie Kennedy and how she dealt with the aftermath of the assassination of JFK. I was intrigued by this one when I first heard about it, although I'll admit I don't know a lot about the Kennedys. I don't know whether it was that, or the film itself, but I found it all a little...flat. Natalie Portman had a lovely wardrobe, though.

Have you seen any of these, or anything else lately?

Friday, 24 February 2017

Friday Favourites 233..

Crikey, today has really run away with me - I think this might be the latest wishlist post I've ever done! I've been catching up on all of the things I didn't manage to get done yesterday as the power was out for most of the day.

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 I seem to have run with a bit of a theme this week - pretty pastels and candy-coloured sweet treats for all...

001: You'd never believe where this is from - Becks shared this Aldi duvet set with us the other day and despite the fact I really don't need any more bedding, I'm super tempted to stop by my local store..

002: Jelly Button Jewellery is the perfect place for cutesy jewellery and these donut necklaces are complete with sprinkles and perfect to add a sweet finishing touch to any outfit.

003 and 004: Yoshi have so many fabulous biscuit designs at the moment. I think that the jammy dodger might be my favourite, although I've always had a bit of a fondness for Bourbon biscuits, too.

005: Not a sweet, perhaps, but this bubblegum shade of blue is just so cute and I love the bow. Bravo, Joanie. 

006: ASOS have this cute little biscuit ring, complete with sparkly sprinkles - snap it up quick as it's apparently limited edition!

007: Eep - I was excited to see that Irregular Choice had brought back their ice cream heels this season. A chunky, ice cream shaped heel and glittery straps. These would be perfect for summer holidays, no?

What's on your wishlist this week?

Thursday, 23 February 2017

Cinderella said to Snow White, how did love get so off course...?

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Ria Dress: Joanie Clothing 
Last night I had an absolutely lovely evening. I pootled off to Birmingham in my new car, which I still truly adore, headed to the Hippodrome where I was able to grab a table and cosy up with a book and a cup of coffee and fritter away an hour or so until it was time to find my seat for the ballet. BRB's current run is Cinderella and it's just fabulous. My favourite part had to be the lizards, mice and frog, as the costumes reminded me of a book I remember having as a child (my love of ballet is certainly something which was instilled in me at a young age by my Mama). But it was all amazing; the ugly sisters were played hilariously, the costumes were beautiful and the sets were amazing.

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Coat: Miss Selfridge 
I was pleased to have an excuse to wear a pretty new dress, which had been on my wishlist for a while. The Ria dress - yes, another dress from Joanie Clothing. Yes, I'm still fangirling over them. The Ria dress is the same beautiful fabric they used for the Harlow dress; midi length and sleeveless (tick and tick!) with a bow at the waist. I'm sold.

Also, my Miss Selfridge coat is the only one I purchased this winter. I'm definitely not seeing as many coats I like as I used to, or possibly I already have all of the coats, so I don't need to add to my collection. I have parted way with three so far this week, though, so I don't feel all that bad about them. 

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Into The Wild bag: Yoshi*
I still adore my Yoshi woods bag, too. The perfect size for all of the essentials, yet small enough to get away with being an evening bag. Perfect! So, having had a thoroughly pleasant evening in my own company I came to the conclusion that it's not as scary as I thought to be alone sometimes. And in fact, sometimes it can be better than clinging onto something which is causing you misery.

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Carpe Dien heels: Irregular Choice
Today's been a mixed bag so far. Powercuts and crazy weather this morning, with a hospital appointment this afternoon. Woop. On the plus side, I now have a weekend in Paris to look forward to. 


Wednesday, 22 February 2017

Light up your face with gladness..

One thing I've learnt over the past year or so is that I'm not too great at cutting ties when maybe I should. Once I've recognised that I probably need to, I just let things bumble along regardless. Reading this article this morning, I was thinking more about a couple of things I need to set straight, as they've been taking up far too much of my brainspace lately. 

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Instead, I'm choosing to focus on the lovely things which have been making me smile this week. At the weekend I walked up the Wrekin for the first time (ridiculous that I've lived so close and yet never been there!). We reached the top in time to see the sunrise, which was a little cloudy but still a lovely sight. 

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I sent some little Valentine's parcels out to some of my favourite people - these girls are the best - to show my appreciation of them. I've been trying to make sure I find time to let the people I appreciate know about it. <3 

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I've seen so many amazing live performances lately. As usual, my best friend bought me a year's membership to my local theatre for Christmas, so I've been booking up all of the things of late. I've also been a little further afield, to see this year's Matthew Bourne ballet at the Hippodrome, The Red Shoes, which was wonderful,with fabulous staging, as ever. 

I'm heading over there again this evening to see Birmingham Royal Ballet's version of Cinderella, which I'm super excited about, too. I bloody love the ballet. 

I've also been to watch a local double bill of performances - Afterplay and The Dumb Waiter, which is running for another couple of days and it definitely worth going to if you are local. 


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I spent most of my Sunday in the great outdoors, heading to the local National Trust property after the early morning walk. We were running and event for local guiding groups to celebrate Thinking Day, which is actually today. I spent most of my time setting up for things, making coffees and taking photographs, which seems to be about right. It ended in a campfire once the grounds were closed to the public and that was really nice. 

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New fabric purchases, from my recent stay with Sarah. A weekend at theirs involved (as usual) SO much food, including one of the best roast dinners in the history of the world. Sarah and I managed to fit in some shopping (of course!) and I came away from Guthri and Ghani with these lovely fabrics, which seem to have kick-started my enthusiasm for dressmaking once again. I'm pleased about this because it's been a while since I made anything for myself. 
We also managed to fit in the whole Gilmore Girls: A Year in the Life series over the course of the weekend, and I now seem to be in the throes of an obsession.

So really, a lot of things to feel positive about. What's making you smile this week?

Tuesday, 21 February 2017

Tuesday Titles 120.

LIE WITH ME PAPERBACK JACKET
Lie With Me : Sabine Durrant

Today I'm excited to be part of the blog tour for Lie With Me. I've heard so much about this book over the past few months that I couldn't wait to get my hands on a copy. We all tell lies, right....?

Paul Morris, our protagonist, is about as unlikeable a character as I can remember reading about in recent times. Down on his luck, Paul is now in his 40s and his success has all but dried up. His first book, published when he was at university had been a best-selling success, but when his latest book proposal is rejected, he begins looking for something else to focus on. I mean, someone else to sponge off. 

Controlling, lecherous and fairly grim, Paul sets his sights on a widowed lawyer he meets at a dinner party, who he feels might be his next meal ticket. Sure enough, he receives an invitation to join her at her holiday home in Greece, but Alice has other things on her mind. 

Tempers and temperatures begin to rise in Pyros and frankly, I couldn't put this book down once I'd begun. See what the rest of the tour have to say, below. 


BLOG TOUR ASSET