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Monday, 30 November 2015

#bloggersecretsanta update

Hello Secret Santa swappers. How are we all doing? I'm currently under the weather yet again (getting well and truly fed up of that!) so just thought I'd take the opportunity to pop up a little reminder. Don't forget to tweet or email me to let me know when your parcel is sent, as well as when you receive one!

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Sunday, 29 November 2015

I don't wanna feel blue anymore..

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Coat: Marks and Spencer // Scarf: Primark
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Necklace: ASOS
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Jumper; H+M // Bag: Primark
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Little Tipple shoes: Irregular Choice

All of the blues today in this outfit post. I have worn this dress a couple of times, lately. I still love the random camping print on this fabric. 

This jumper was a Christmas gift from a friend last year and I always seem to end up wearing it with this necklace. Considering it's also totally not the kind of thing I'd usually go for, I've worn it so often!

I seem to go through handbag phases, and for the past week or so I've been favouring this cute little teddy, which I swapped with one of my friends earlier in the year. His face makes me smile! 

Saturday, 28 November 2015

He rocks in the tree tops all day long..

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Robin Jumper: George*
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Skirt: George* // Bag: Accessorize

 So, a little bird (see what I did there?!) may have told me that it's Christmas Jumper Day pretty soon (18th December to be precise). So, there are only a couple of weeks to find the perfect one. I found that George have a huge selection as usual and it didn't take me long to settle on this robin one for this year's festivities. 


As I'll be working on the day, I sort of need to make it a little more office-friendly. To do this, I teamed the jumper with this blazer. If in doubt, throw on a blazer seems to be my workwear motto.

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Blazer: George* // Spatz ankle boots: Irregular Choice

The colder weather seems to automatically encourage me to reach for the ankle boots, and I went for these gold ones to match the gold detail in the blazer and the bag. 

How would you style up your Christmas jumper? 



Friday, 27 November 2015

Friday Favourites 171..

Bath Products
001 // 002 // 003 // 004 // 005 // 006 // 007 // 008 // 009
Today sees the first of the festive relative visits and therefore the exchange of gifts, which has got me thinking about re-gifting. I know it's not cool, but what do you do with those presents from not-so-close friends and relatives who really don't know you at all? I mean, my bathroom is just about bursting at the seams with shower and bath gift sets which I just won't use. 

Therefore, I've put together this week's wishlist as a little helpful hint to those who might be wondering about which bathroom things fall into my wanted category.

001: Body Shop body butters have been by far my favourite moisturiser for goodness knows how long. I'd love to try out one of their festive scents.

002: I've been using my way through a Ted Baker gift set I received last Christmas, and have really come to like their shower cream and body lotion offerings. Swimming daily has it's disadvantages as it really dries out my skin, so I find I can never have enough moisturiser.

003: I've never really bought into the Lush hype that I seem to see everywhere, but I'd rather like to try out one of their massage bars, and this peach scent intrigues me.

004: I'm a total bore when it comes to perfume: I wear them same one every day. But I feel you can't far wrong with JPG.

005: A pocket mirror = total handbag essential.

006: The Wella Enrich have been by far the best hair products I've found to combat my chlorine-ruined locks. I've talked about it here in the past and look out for offers on it whenever I can.

007: Cutest possible cosmetic bag? Yes please! 

008: I'd love to prettify my bathroom up a little bit and think a new tooth mug, brush holder and soap dispenser would be the perfect way to spruce it up without having to properly redecorate.

009: Last but not least, I'm a bit hopeless when it comes to make up. I never wear it. The closest I ever get is painting my nails and I'd love to give some glittery polish a go for all of the parties...

What bathroom goodies are you actually wishing for this year? What do you do if you receive something which isn't your cup of tea? Have you perfected that "gracious thanks" smile?

Thursday, 26 November 2015

But Grandma, what big eyes you have..

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Dress: ASOS // Cardigan: H+M // Glasses: London Retro*
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Tights: Tabbisocks* // Shoes: Bocage* // Bag: Ollie + Nic
 

 Finally an outfit post. It feels as though it's been rather a while since I last felt able to take some photos. I'm struggling quite a bit lately with "being comfortable in myself", which is a phrase I hear all the time guised as helpful advice. (It's not.) But there are all these things I want to share, so I had to take a deep breath and get on.

 Come on, what else could I wear these tights with other than the colour red? I layered this ASOS dress over my old faithful Hell Bunny petticoat, and then got my fairytales a little mixed up and went with the apple handbag.

The tights themselves feature teeny little Red Riding Hood motifs. Plus, they're wool and therefore a lot more likely to last more than just one wear. (I have proven myself in the past to be something of a tights-destroyer). At present, Tabbisocks are offering free worldwide shipping with the code SANTASOCKS15 (until 30 Nov). 

As for the shoes, I've not yet been able to decide whether these cute little critters are wolves, foxes or squirrels? But I figured that either way, they'd fit my sort of woodland theme here. Now all I need is a pile of leaves to kick my way through, no? Or a  Grandma to visit in the woods.

Wednesday, 25 November 2015

Winter Warmers..

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I know, I know. A wishlist post and it's not even Friday. But, with the change in temperature this week to the even-colder-than-it-was, we've finally given in and invoked the office central heating and I've spent large parts of my days wishing for just about all of these things to help me warm up.

001: I'm currently working my way through my second Sincerely Louise pattern (which is top secret as it's a Christmas present, if I get it done in time), The first was my pterodactyl bag, which I've finished but failed to take any photos of as yet. But next up, I'd like to make myself this amazing diplodocus scarf. In fact, the list of SL patterns I'd like to make is as long as my arm, but y'know. 

002: I love the chic design of this Helene Berman vest with it's faux fur collar. The idea of layering it over a snug jumper really appeals. I've only recently heard of this brand but was pleased to discover that they'll be stocking this vest in the John Lewis in Birmingham, so will be trying this on when I go Christmas shopping at the weekend.

003: The mix of colours in this coat, combined with the furry lining around the neck just makes me think of a cosy blanket, I think. I'd say this is definitely a good thing, though. And if there's one thing I've learned in life, it's that one can never have enough coats! Kling have SUCH a good coat selection at the moment.

004: When I was in Uni, almost every item of clothing I owned was adorned with stars, and I find I'm still drawn to them now. I love the little "I believe in magic" motto on this Poppy Lux jumper, too.

005: Have you seen this little guy? I have to admit, I've still not caught this year's John Lewis ad, but spotted this mug on Instagram the other day and have decided he's the perfect thing to drink my Christmas coffee from. 

Has the colder weather got you wishing for anything warm and cosy?

Tuesday, 24 November 2015

Tuesday Titles 070..

Look at Me
Look at Me - Sarah Duguid
The only bad thing about reading books a little while before they are due to hit the high street shelves is that when they're really great, I want people to be able to read them right away. Look at Me falls right into that category..

Lizzie's mother died a couple of years ago. She's an aspiring actress, and she and her brother Ig live with their hippy father, Julian. All seems normal and calm in their family life until Lizzie discovers a letter, written to her father by a girl who is her half-sister. Lizzie decides to write to her. Eunice agrees to come and stay with the family. Julian shrugs off this discovery by claiming that their mother new all about his previous indiscretions, therefore it was totally not an issue.

Her visit throws the proverbial spanner into their otherwise "normal" family life. I was compelled to keep reading as Eunice's arrival turned the family upside down. There were so many plot twists in this book that I kept thinking I'd figured things out, but was surprised again, which I totally loved.

I really don't think there's much more I can say without giving away important plot points, so I'll just finish by urging everyone to give this a read, when it comes out in February 2016.

Monday, 23 November 2015

#fitmas progress - week one..

Well, I guess the short answer is, there's been none. I spent the whole of last week feeling utterly rotten, with frequent dizzy spells meaning that I was really struggling to do much, let alone a session at the gym. So, I'm ashamed to say I'm a week behind in starting the challenge. I'm going to start from the beginning this evening. Today is my Day One.

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 Hope everyone else is doing better than I am.

I did manage to get back to my swimming this morning, though. I have less than 200 lengths to go and I'll have finished my Aspire Channel Swim challenge.

Sunday, 22 November 2015

The tale of a real life Fawlty Towers..

Apologies in advance for the length of this post, but there was too much to tweet.

This post has been a long time in the making and there have been times when I've been unsure whether to even post it. However, I've been asked so many times for an update on the incident where we were burgled in Brighton, so here are the facts for those who have asked. The first part of my account is the review I wrote for the Tripadvisor website, after my requests for the company's complaints procedure went completely ignored.

***Posted to Tripadvisor on 8th Sept*** We arrived at the Mercure Brighton Seafront Hotel, having booked a two night (Fri to Sun) stay as one of those "secret hotel" deals on a last minute website. Upon arrival, we found that the room was a little tired (small to medium issues like loose tiles on the bathroom floor meaning that after the first shower of the weekend, water seeped under the tiles and the floor stayed wet for the rest of the stay, no coffee in the room, etc). 

We didn't have a lot of contact with the staff, as we chose to breakfast elsewhere on Saturday morning, and after checking in and dropping our bags in the room on Friday night, we decided to go out and explore the city due to a noisy party being in full swing in the bar and function room downstairs (looked like a wedding, perhaps, which wasn't a problem, but there wasn't really a table free to sit down for a drink).

On Saturday night, having left the room around 8pm, we arrived close to midnight to find that our room had been burgled. The sash window had been forced open from the fire escape outside. 
We headed downstairs and made the front desk staff aware of the issue as soon as we had established what items had been taken. The staff member on the front desk did not seem at all sympathetic, or really at all surprised. He eventually agreed to call the police and then handed the telephone over to me in order that I could provide the operator with more details. I was asked by the operator about CCTV to the hotel, and was told by the front desk that there is no CCTV to the back of the hotel. 

Once the crime was recorded, we were told by the operator that the police would attend within the next hour, so after being told that we would not be able to move rooms, had little option but to return to the room to wait for the police. When they arrived, they took details and gave us crime reference information and pointed out that the security level of the sash window was inadequate. We aren't aware of whether any other guests had problems in other rooms, or whether this is a common occurrence for this hotel. At no point did any member of the hotel staff ask if we needed anything or show any interest in the issue. 

Unhappy, but having been unable to move rooms, we spent our second night in the hotel unable to sleep, checking out at 7.30 the next morning. The girl on the front desk when we checked out asked if we'd enjoyed our stay, to which I explained "not really, due to our room being burgled the night before". 
She, unlike the staff member the night before, did at least have the decency to look sympathetic, telling me that although the manager was not available at the time, she would ensure she made the manager aware of the situation. 

I was told that a manager would be on duty on Monday morning, so called then to discuss the issues. In fact, the Hotel Manager was not (and still has not been) available to speak to, but the Acting Manager told me that the hotel had been in contact with the police about the incident and that they did in fact have CCTV to the hotel, so would be providing the police with that information. I was told that I would be kept updated with any progress and given details about their insurance policy procedures if I made a request for the information by email, but as yet have had no updates, nor replies to my email asking on progress. 

Having also been in contact with Accor, who are the parent company, I have found it nigh on impossible to find a copy of the complaint procedure as I am very unhappy about the way in which we were treated by a hotel which calls itself four star. 

Of course, I will be happy to update this review should the hotel get in contact, but it's a sad reflection of the facts so far.
***
What happened next?

7 Sept:
I was sent the details of the hotel's insurance policy in order that I could begin a claim for the items stolen from our room. I submitted this and waited several weeks to hear anything from the insurance company, who advised me that the hotel would be protected by the Hotel Proprietor's Act 1956, which limits the total amount of any one person's claim for property lost or damaged to £100. Whilst there is an exception to this law where items have been left in a safe deposit box, this wouldn't apply to us as the hotel room was not equipped with a safe and we were advised on check-in that there was no safe facility at reception. So, that's the first annoying thing.

11 Sept:
When the General Manager of the hotel returned from his holiday, he did reply to my email outlining my disappointment about our stay. His email was full of gems such as this: "I would also expect them to show sympathy, put you at ease and perhaps offer a complimentary refreshment whilst you were waiting for the police. This training will certainly be discussed with the nights team highlighting your comments as an example." in response to my disappointment about the way we were treated by the reception staff. General Manager was unable to assist me with finding a complaints policy for Mercure.


Overall, I found all of his emails frustratingly weak and disinterested in resolving anything. I asked about a refund of my stay and was told that the hotel wouldn't be able to offer me a refund for our stay until the police had closed the case although I failed to see how those two things could be related. I asked for a refund on the basis that the service provided was sub-par, not to do with the fact we had been burgled. (As far as I'm aware, the police case being closed hasn't yet happened. I haven't heard anything from the police since the night of the burglary.) 

23 Sept: 
So, in mid-September, about a week after my TA review was posted, and the hotel had posted their standard reply along the lines of "we're sorry you didn't have an enjoyable stay", I tried to contact the Mercure UK twitter account in the hope that they would have a complaints policy I could work through. They sent me many DMs and tweets telling me that my concerns would be passed to a relevant department, but no actual reply about a complaints procedure. V. frutstrating, but their twitter feed seems to be full of the same, copy/paste replies. 

Sept 25: 
Finally an email from someone in a position of authority? Well, from the Jupiter Hotels head office anyway, who are the chain owning the hotel I stayed at. The email told me that my email to the hotel had been passed on for her attention. and mentioned how seriously the chain take the safety and well-being of their guests (which certainly doesn't seem to be the case from my experience), and finished up with: " Your comments with regards to the way this has been handled by the staff at the time have been very much noted and would like to assure you will be addressed accordingly."

So, that's useful. They'll address my comments and try not to let their guests be burgled in future? Or, if they are burgled, they'll try harder to look as though they care? Um. Naturally, I replied to say that was all very well but what use was that to me and that I would hope that the hotel would be prepared to refund my stay.

Sept 29: 
A reply to my email offering a 50% refund of my stay "because you didn't have any issues on the first night of your two night stay". 
Frankly, I found that even more insulting than the prospect of not offering anything at all. Suuuuper professional, or at least fully inkeeping with what I'd now come to expect from the company.

Oct 1:
My favourite email of the lot, as the company try to blackmail me.
"Further to our correspondence last week, thank you for taking the time to speak with me again yesterday and I am disappointed that I misunderstood your request with regards to refunding your stay.

Having reconsidered your request, I can confirm that we are able to meet this as a further gesture of goodwill on the proviso that the negative reporting is removed from 3rdparty and social media sites.....which will be posted under separate cover to your home address once I have your confirmation that this action has been carried out, and you should receive 7 working days thereafter." 
Honestly, I had no idea how to reply to that one. Since my review on Tripadvisor had been nothing but an accurate account of the facts of our stay, I didn't know whether this was something they could "force" me to remove. However, since I'd been told that the insurance claim would be limited to £100 payout, and the items which were stolen (including DSLR camera, iPhone and various other items) totalled a value of more than £700, we talked about this and decided that a refund of the stay, to put towards replacing the items we had lost, would be better than nothing. I'm ashamed to say that I was blackmailed by Jupiter Hotels into removing my account of my stay from the TA review site. 

Oct 2: 
TA review removed from the site, at the request of the hotel. 

Oct 7: 
Confirmation received from Jupiter Hotels that a refund would be sent out that day by cheque.

Oct 10: 
Cheque received. Frankly, I was amazed by this, as I'd been skeptical.

Oct 27: 
Email received from hotel's insurers to confirm that they had closed the claim on 14th Oct and had requested the hotel issue the settlement cheque.

Nov 4: 
Cheque and letter received from Mercure Brighton Seafront hotel in settlement of the insurance claim for items stolen during our stay.

Two months from the date we stayed at the hotel, they finally drew the matter to a close and I'll be happy never to have anything to do with them again. I'd certainly never stay at any Accor group hotel again in the future, which is a shame because all experiences with this chain have been great in the past.

I've put the combined money from the refund and the insurance claim towards replacing my camera, which covered a large part of that cost, although not all of it. But you live and learn, and I'll certainly remember to keep it with me at all times in future when I'm away.


Saturday, 21 November 2015

What's the time, Mr Wolf?

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Some more photos from our recent trip to Erddig. Having finally (kind of) resolved that debacle with the hotel after having our room burgled when we went to Brighton, I have replaced my camera. I took it with me on this day trip in order that I could have a bit of a play with it. 

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I went for the Canon 1200d again, as it had always been a great model and there's no function I'd say it were missing. At present, Canon are offering cashback promotions on some of their products. Plus, this particular model was on a bundle offer where it came with a second lens, which is a zoom one. I'll point out that I still know next to nothing about taking photos, but I@m enjoying learning.

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Friday, 20 November 2015

Friday Favourites 170..

FF 20.11 Collage
001 // 002 // 003 // 004 // 005 // 006

So many  pretty things catching my eye this week. Everywhere I look, it's Christmas this and Christmas that. But, since I've done all of my shopping for other people already, I've been steadily adding things to my own wishlist. 

I've had my heart set on just about any / all of the Rachel Riley dresses - so many pretty prints, but I think this cat print one (001) is my current favourite. 

Speaking of lovely dresses, People Tree seem to have come up trumps with pretty dresses lately; I love just about everything in their Winter Florals range. The Ramona (003) and the Abby (004) would be welcome additions to my wardrobe, for sure.

My current favourite Irregular Choice heels have got to be these (006). Gem styled the red version of Truly Scrumptious recently and I love them, but I think I like the multi-coloured bows on the gold version even more.

Last but not least, Little Moose, who are possibly my favourite jewellery company of recent times. They have recently launched their Alice in Wonderland range, and frankly I'd like one of everything, please.

What are you wishing for this week?

Thursday, 19 November 2015

Postage stamp progress..

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Amazingly, there has been some. The novelty has not yet worn off, and having decided that the gym wasn't really an option last night after suffering a ridiculous coughing fit from just getting out of the car and walking up the stairs home, I decided I may as well crack on with the quilt.

So, having finished sewing my four-strip blocks together, I pressed all of the seams down. Next, they get cut into strips across. leaving me with 324 strips, all 2in wide.

The next task is to create the 16-square blocks, by putting four strips together and trying not to get too much repetition. I'm quite content with the idea of it being a random placement, but didn't really want to end up with any two squares the same next to each other. I got a little confused with the seam allowance directions to begin with, but think I've got my head around it all now.

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Wednesday, 18 November 2015

A new challenge..



Just in case I didn't already have enough on my to do list, I've taken on a new project: my first attempt at a quilt.

To be fair, it all began because I'm trying to downsize things, as things are changing and it looks quite likely I'll be moving in the not too distant future. And, in case you hadn't noticed, I have a *lot* of stuff.
So, the other day, I decided to tackle three bags full of scraps I've had sitting around. It's not really a secret that I'm a bit of a hoarder and hopeless at throwing things away. 

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So, I decided that I'd use the scraps to cut out pieces for a postage stamp quilt. I have never made a quilt in the past; it's never appealed to me to pick out and purchase teeny bits of fabric purely to turn into a quilt, but I like the idea of using the leftover fabrics which remind me of previous projects. 
Not knowing where to start, I did some research and have been using this tutorial. I cut out 432 strips of fabric from my bags of leftovers and threw out the rest, which cleared me some space. 

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Next up, I grouped the strips (measuring 7in by 2in) into blocks of four and have begun stitching them together with a 1/4in seam allowance between each strip. This will leave me with 108 blocks, which then need to be cut into three strips each across the rows, before putting together 16-square blocks. 

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I've been feeling very much under the weather this week, so a fairly simple and mindless stitching of blocks together has been just what I've needed; I've found it quite relaxing. And ever so satisfying to see the pile of strips going down and the basket of blocks filling up. 
Have you ever made a quilt? Any tips..??


Tuesday, 17 November 2015

Tuesday Titles 069..

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Hazard of Shadows - Mike Phillips
I was brought up reading novels from the fantasy genre; living with my mum you kind of had no choice on that. As a result, I've always had a fondness for the category as a whole and when I discovered Mike Phillips first book, The World Below, I knew I'd stumbled upon something great.

Not your traditional fantasy book - there be no dragons here. Hazard of Shadows tells of a goblin underworld, existing in parallel to that of our own. By the end of the first book, Mitch Hardy has unwillingly taken on the role of king of the world below and I couldn't wait to see how he would deal with this. 

Mike's writing style is probably the thing I find most enjoyable about his books. There's huge attention to detail and yet the narrative flows so nicely - one of those books I started reading and finished within one afternoon. I'd definitely recommend to anyone who enjoys books about unlikely heroes and alternate universes.

Mike has prepared a guest post on his goblin characters as well, which I wanted to share: 

Hello everyone, and thank you for reading my guest post. My name is Mike Phillips and my new book is Hazard of Shadows. I have been asked to talk about some of the more interesting characters in the book, the goblins.

In folklore and literature, goblins have always been evil creatures. To this day, goblins are hiding in our closets and under our beds. They are wicked monsters that are no happier than when they are burning fields or robbing cradles. Living on the fringes of society as they must to avoid camera phones and governmental laboratories, goblins lead harsh lives. Once they have been won over, goblins are the best sort of friends. They may have terrible manners, they may say awful things, they may smell bad, but we can all be that way sometimes. In the end, my use of goblins helps us see the best in humanity.

Writing about goblins was a riot! Goblins live on the fringes of human society. They make their homes in junk yards, abandoned buildings, sewer systems, and anywhere else people try to avoid. Once they find a likely spot, the get to work. Goblins are clever with tools and machinery. They will use and repurpose anything they can get their hands on, so many of their dwellings look like they were designed by frat-boys. Not always the best of neighbors, goblins have to take security seriously. They construct elaborate pitfalls to keep themselves safe from enemies like collapsing tunnels, pongee pits, and mechanical traps.

Goblins, like their human counterparts, each have a unique personality. They live in what they call crews, a sort of family, a lot like college dorm-mates. Each goblin has a special skill. One might be a bully (a most desirable skill in the goblin world). Another might be crafty at making traps. Some use sorcery or poison. Others are good at machinery. Some just eat a lot (another desirable skill). Goblins, in general, have a loose sense of morality. If it doesn’t hurt another member of the crew, with the obvious exception of fighting, then it’s usually okay. Fighting is always acceptable behavior, though if an enemy is around, a goblin is expected to stop fighting the other crew member and start fighting the enemy. Common sense rules like that are the cornerstone of goblin society.

That brings us to the topic of goblin social structure. Goblin society is feudal. They organize in crews, bound by familial ties or friendship. These associations are loosely formed, and if a goblin wants to go it alone, no one holds a grudge. A crew may have two or three leaders at a time. It is not unusual for goblins to disagree, so sometimes they have no real leader at all. Though they fight with each other like crazy, but they are deeply loyal in times of trouble and would do anything for the other members of their crew. No female goblins appear in Hazard of Shadows, but that is a topic for another time.         

People have been asking how to make friends with goblins, so I thought I’d wrap things up by talking about that. Goblins are monsters, after all. To begin with, don’t look like a victim. They are predators. If you run they will chase you down. The secret to making friends with goblins is not to treat them like animals. They won’t be trained and can’t be suckered. Think of them as that particularly feisty aunt that always speaks her mind. So if you want to make a goblin your friend, it’s best to start with an act of kindness. Goblins have hard lives and even a small act of kindness means a lot to them. In the book, Mitch does a favor for a goblin without even knowing it. In turn, the goblin rescues Mitch from a pan dimensional, man-eating dumpster. Friends like that are hard to find!


Thank you so much for joining me. I hope you enjoy Hazard of Shadows and The World Below. Please visit me at mikephillipsfantasy.com.

Monday, 16 November 2015

#fitmas

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Although I'm currently feeling very unwell with a cold which just won't shift, I've signed up to Corrine's #fitmas to give myself a new challenge. I've recently managed to meet the goal I'd set myself in terms of the gym and have almost swum all of the lengths I need to for my Aspire Channel Swim challenge (less than 500 to go!), so it's time for something new. I'm a great believer in changing your routine every now and again to keep motivated.

The only rule is that our target cannot be weight-loss related, I am trying hard to think of something else. I'm thinking maybe I'm going to try for a 10 minute mile. I realise that might sound slow to the people who actually run. but I really don't, so I'm kind of starting from scratch there.

 Let the challenge commence.

Sunday, 15 November 2015

Sunday Shoes 088..

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Another hop back into the depths of the shoe cupboard for this week's pair of favourite shoes.
I don't know the official name for these, but I have always loved the little tortoise charm detail on the fronts of them and the gathered bow effect.

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I'm a bit hopeless at any information about when this pair was released, but can tell you that they have that lovely teal leather inner, which gets all over your tights when you wear them. They have kitten heels, which aren't in the best state as I've worn them a lot and seem to be really good at kicking my heels or something, as there is a nick in the leather on each one. But it's barely noticeable and I still love them.

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Saturday, 14 November 2015

Even if we're just dancing in the dark..

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Coat: Handmade
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Skirt and tights: New Look
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Ami the Dancer heels: Irregular Choice
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Jumper: George
 
 These tights turned out to be a lot brighter than I first thought they were when I left the house the other day. I like the way they match with the purple trim of these shoes, though.

I've been wearing my handmade coat quite a bit recently, since the weather turned a little more wintry. And sort of went for a floral, embellished mish-mash. As you do. 

Friday, 13 November 2015

Friday Favourites 169..

FF 13.11 Collage

This week's been a bit of a mixed bag, really. I'm trying hard to get everything ticked off the to-do list, but it just seems to grow and grow.

But, there's always time for window-shopping and this week I've mostly taken my inspiration from Instagram. 

001: One of the lovely people I follow on IG for outfit inspiration (@lime_jelly_shelley) posted this super key print dress, from Lady V London. A lovely retro shape, and a super print I'd love to add to my wardrobe.

002: The AW collection at F+F never fails to fill me with inspiration. At the moment, I'm particularly loving this hat - teal's such an autumnal colour, I think. 

003: Another Instagram find. The @fairytalecollars feed is always full of colourful loveliness. Emma sells felt collars in a huge number of designs, both there and on her Etsy store. The only problem for me is deciding on a favourite. 

What are you wishing for this week?

Thursday, 12 November 2015

Rose coloured glasses..

Finally, after taking an eye test back in July and discovering my prescription had changed quite a bit since the previous one, I have some new glasses. With the correct prescription in them. Hoorah!

Specspost offered me the chance to try out a selection of their frames in the comfort of my own home, which I always prefer to trying them on in the opticians with a salesperson desperately trying to get you to buy from them.

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Super easy ordering process
So, I tried on some frames and wasn't sure. I asked on Instagram for opinions and still wasn't sure about any of the ones I tried. I really like the idea of brightly coloured frames but wasn't sure that the first pairs weren't too big for my face. 

Luckily, the colour collection frames are also available in petite size, which I kind of expected to be too small for my head, because I have a giant head (proven by the buying of hats in the past). But, when they arrived it turned out they were perfect on me. All I had to do next was settle on a colour choice!
In the end, I decided to go for the brightest pink colour I could. Pink is probably one of my favourite colours and I'm not really someone who worries about whether the colour of my glasses will go with the colour of whatever I'm wearing. 

The frames themselves, once I'd made my choice, were back with me and with the correct prescription lenses in, within a week and I have to say they fit perfectly and I really like them. Thank you, Specspost!

Wednesday, 11 November 2015

Blue..

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Dress: Joules // Cardigan: F+F
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Tiny Ted heels: Irregular Choice // Bag: Pylones
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Tights: Primark

Feeling pretty down at the moment, but here's yesterday's outfit. 

Tuesday, 10 November 2015

Tuesday Titles 068..

The Slap
The Slap - Christos Tsiolkas

This book is one I'd heard a lot about, and picked up about a year ago from a charity shop. I've only just made it through the pile and onto reading it.

The Slap focuses on a group of people affected by an incident at a barbecue. One guest reprimands a child who has been misbehaving and the action divides not only opinion, but family and friendships, too.

Post-slap, the book is broken up into eight sections, from the viewpoints of different characters who were there to witness the action and who have to live with the consequences. I really like the way this book was written, but if I'm honest, there wasn't one of the plethora of characters which I actually liked. At all. I'll admit, this fact did make it a little more difficult to finish the book than I'd have liked.

The consequences of the actual incident are resolved about halfway through the book itself, but the story continues, presumably to highlight that things have changed and the resulting issues continue.

I really wanted to like this book and expected to do so more than I did. Do you ever find a book which just doesn't quite live up to your expectations?


Monday, 9 November 2015

And the rain falls down on my door..

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Camera Bag: Grafea
It was rather nice to have a day out yesterday and just ignore the rain showers. Conscious that I really ought to make more effort to make the most of my National Trust membership, Alex and I met at Erddig, which I had vague memories of last visiting with my grandparents when I was quite young.


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Coat: Joules*


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Glasses: London Retro*

We explored the servants' quarters and the grounds, making friends with the resident cat before enjoying a lunch of sausage and mash in the restaurant. A lovely Sunday and a chance to wear my new raincoat for the first time..! 


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Shoes: F+F // Dress: Handmade
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Jumper: H+M



Sunday, 8 November 2015

Sunday Shoes 087..


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Not a new pair of shoes, but one I've not worn much and definitely haven't featured. These are Easy P Sea, part of the Irregular Choice Mutiny collection. 

They have a slightly lower heel than I'd usually go for, but I think it suits the proportions of the shoes, which are at first look so simple, but have a lot of detail when you look a little closer.

The bows on the backs of the heels are a winner with me, plus of course the embroidered flower detail and the dainty scalloped edges. Altogether, they're a lovely pair of shoes and I have no idea why they've gone unworn for so long in the back of my cupboard: prepare to see more of them. 

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