Monday, 31 December 2012

My ̶R̶e̶s̶o̶l̶u̶t̶i̶o̶n̶s̶ Wishes For 2013

New Year's resolutions seem to be synonymous with good intentions which turn into failure, so I don't make them.  I'm pretty stubborn and won't do anything that I don't want to do and I'm pretty sure that's part and parcel of being an adult. So there.

So this year I'm making a list of wishes. I reckon 2013 will be a great year for me and I'm pretty hopeful of this, for no real reason apart from there being parts of my life I want to change and my stubborn streak will make sure this happens, come hell or high water, unless something more amazing comes up!

So here they are, my wishes for 2013!

A new home

I currently live with my family, who I love to pieces obviously, but sometimes close relatives can do your head in much more effectively than anyone else.

I know exactly where I want to live and exactly the kind of flat I want, so at least I'm aware of what it's going to cost. I have about half of the deposit saved, and a budget set up to save the other half, so I'll hopefully be able to move in the summer.

A new car

This wish has kinda been forced upon me.  I LOVE my car. I know that the radio doesn't work properly and the boot lid won't stay open so I sometimes get a surprise knock on the head when I put my shopping in there, but it's also really cool to look at and goes fast.

So when the nice man in the garage told me that I should seriously consider getting a new one next year, I was disappointed.  Yeah I'd like a nice new car with low emissions and fuel costs, not only with a radio that pickes up a signal everywhere but maybe with bluetooth or iPhone connectivity, and a heated windscreen to save me scraping the ice off by hand, but the sexy Celica is my baby.

I know I'll have to exchange my car for a shiny new one, so my real wish is that the new one is as ace as the old one.

BlytheCon 2013

After my first BlytheConUK last year, I'm so very tempted to head to New York for BlytheConUS. I'll be going to the UK one in Glasgow (obviously!) but I need to start booking this trip in the New Year.  I only know one person from the UK who might be going, but I might have to go on this adventure alone (except for my dollies)!

A lovely boyfriend

I think it's time to get back in the game. My previous boyfriend and I split up in early 2012 and I haven't really given my love life a second thought until recently. Don't get me wrong, I'm in no hurry, and I won't be kissing all the frogs to find the prince, but it'd be nice.

That's not much to hope for eh?! Any other suggestions?  What are your wishes for 2013? Tell me, in the comments, just down there

Wednesday, 26 December 2012

My Christmas Day

I hope everyone had an amazing Christmas! I blinking LOVE Christmas, it's my absolute favourite time of year and I'm all about the Christmas shopping, the wrapping pressies in front of Elf, filling the house with decorations and seasonal smells, eating and drinking and generally being merry!

The way my family does Christmas has always been the same as far back as I can remember. Each year my Mum and my Auntie take it in turn to have everyone round. I think they'd rather that we (the children) would take over, but unlike them none of us have settled down yet. Next year will be a bit different with the arrival of my niece and over the next few years I imagine we'll split into our two separate families, but I like us all being together and, for now, this is how our day goes:

On Christmas morning, only slightly less excited than when we were children, those of us at home congregate in the living room to see what Santa has brought. I have an older sister and a younger brother, but I'm the only one at my parents house this year so I climb into my Santa sack and see what's inside!

This year Santa brought me a cashmere sweater, Hello Kitty calendar, a butterfly clip, chocolate Christmas puds and a snowman pen! Score! We usually ask for one main present, but there's always some sneaky surprise gifts in there too!

After tea and toast we got ready and headed to my Auntie and Uncle's house for 10am. So now there's me, Mum and Dad, Auntie and Uncle, Cousin, Granny, Great Auntie and Uncle, my Brother and his Girlfriend and my Sister. We catch-up over Bucks Fizz (or just the bubbly or orange juice) followed by tea and mince pies.

Then it's pressie time! We take it in turn to hand out the presents we've brought and the room becomes a flurry of wrapping paper and shouts of "oh look!" and "yay!" and "thank you"!

In my family we write Christmas lists. We make a note of things we'd like and these are sneakily passed around and organised so that presents are bought without duplication. Once you write your list, you never look back at it, and the things you get are a nice surprise! It makes shopping much easier too!

I asked for the Pointless book (I love that show!) and I always add Jelly Babies to my list, but I got some ace surprises too, including a HUGE Hersheys Kiss and "'Twas The Knits Before Christmas" which is a storybook including patterns so you can knit the characters!

Christmas socks and gloves are always welcome surprises too! These are my new comfy baffies (slippers!) along with a great craft book (which includes a sloe gin recipe I need to try!) and "Men Without Women" which was on my Amazon wishlist.

More quality reading with "Boulle's Jewels", Avengers Assemble on DVD and CDs by Ben Howard, Mumford & Sons and Plan B, which goes very nicely with my ticket to see Plan B in February! I also got this ace make-you-own-zombie kit and hologram mirror from my friend. The girl on the case blinks when you tilt it and it's just like something from Japan, so I love it!

We have a look at everyone's presents and Mum has got one of the best:

It's a massive duck slipper you put both feet into! How ace is that?!

Now it's time for lunch (about 1pm).  Being a vegetarian means you don't get the traditional lunch of turkey at Christmas.

This year's menu was pea soup with parmesan crisps, then spinach and stilton pasta with roast tatties (potatoes), neeps (swede/turnip) and (my favourite!) brussel sprouts, followed by Christmas pudding, trifle and key lime cheesecake. Of course, being Christmas, you have to try a little of each dessert!

Full of food, we make ourselves comfortable for the Queen's Speech at 3pm, which my Granny likes.  Some of us fall asleep, some read our new books and some watch something good on the telly.  This year we played Pointless, the board game. The rules were a bit complicated so we just played it like the TV show and I played Xander and Richard, complete with scoreboard noises!

Before we knew it, it was time for even more food! At about 6:30pm we have a small buffet, followed by a cup of tea and Christmas cake.

At about 8pm it's hometime, which really just involves getting home, finding a comfy seat and, even when you thought you could eat no more, tucking into your new sweets whilst watching Eastenders!

Does that sound anything like your Christmas Day?  What traditions do you stick to?

Friday, 21 December 2012

Merry Christmas Everyone!

Today is my last day at work for the festive season, so I'm looking forward to spending time with family and friends, having a nice long lie in bed and making a few changes to my blog/shops etc!

I hope you all have a fantastic Christmas and New Year and I hope all your wishes come true in 2013!

Thursday, 20 December 2012

Road Trip To Edinburgh

♪ We're all going on a road trip, road trip ♪ was as far as my sleepy head would go when trying to make up a song at 7am on a Saturday morning. I do not like early starts.

But it was all good because I was going to Edinburgh with my friends Leanne, Kate and Rory! Yay!

We filled the car with snacks and headed on our way, making the obligatory stop at The Horn at Errol, which does amazing fried rolls!

We dumped our bags in our rooms at Holiday Inn on Corstorphine Road. The rooms are a bit small but really nice and tidy with super comfy beds and powerful showers, and it was great for the price.

We headed into the city centre and our first stop was the Christmas Market, which I've never seen before.

It was really busy but full of lovely gifts and decorations, as well as plenty of German ale and mulled wine stalls, crepe stands and a funfair and ice rink. Check out my massive pretzel (yum!):

Edinburgh was making me feel very festive with the decorations and the shopping...

 ...and the reindeer!

We had two missions in Edinburgh and the first was going to see The Hobbit. It was the first time I'd been to an IMAX screening and I thought it was ace (the film and the IMAX)! We also got a 9 minute preview of Star Trek: Into Darkness and I definitely want to see that in IMAX 3D too!

On Sunday we completed mission number two: visit Edinburgh Zoo!

I hadn't been for ages and I have vivid childhood memories, not of the animals, but of some wasps buzzing around my orange Calippo forcing me to sulk and throw it in the bin!

One of my favourites was this jaguar. When the sun hit his fur it changed from black to a beautiful chocolate brown/bronze with leopard markings. At one point he came right up to the window and stared right into my eyes for what seemed like ages. I would've taken a photo but I didn't want to move, seeing him so close-up was amazing.

I love the kissing penguins...

...the sunbathing leopard...

...and the monkeeeeeeys! I'll have one of each please.

And of course we had to see Tian Tian (Sweetie) and Yang Guang (Sunshine) the pandas:

You have to book a time to see them and we were very lucky that they were both awake during our visit. The guide tells you all about them and you can ask questions.  I hope we see a baby panda soon!

Aside from the animals there were lots of other things to spot all around:

I was very disappointed that I wouldn't buy a real monkey at the gift shop, but I did buy Squirrel, my new little monkey friend and some ace strawberry filled panda biscuits which remind me of Japan!

Have you been to the zoo lately?  Who's your favourite?

Let's Play A Game...

...Karen likes gameses!

I love my two new vintage friends which I received in the post this week, but who are they?

Answers below in the comments, or on Twitter or Facebook please.

The prize is...erm...that you can gloat about your knowledge of such things! First person to guess right will be named and shamed congratulated publicly!

Good luck!

A little clue:

And the answer is (imagine a drumroll here):

Tony The Tiger and ET!

If you guessed right, well done!

Leanne from Blonde Geek with Social Skills is the winner!

Monday, 17 December 2012

♥ This Week's Loves ♥

1. This week I was feeling very festive and crafty so I made Christmas outfits for my three Blythe dolls. And I decorated a little tree for them. And gave them Santa sacks. I couldn't help it, I LOVE Christmas!

2. I tried one of the many nail polishes from my Ciate Mini Mani Month calendar called Dangerous Affair.  It's a really nice berry red but it's a little bit thin so I had to do about 3-4 coats. I'll let you see them all in one post soon.

3. I went on a road trip with some friends to Edinburgh this weekend. More on that soon too but I'll give you some spoilers now! There was a Christmas market in Princes Street Gardens and I had a massive pretzel! Yum! (spot the nails!)

4. Every time I go to Edinburgh I like to visit my friend Harvey Nichols. Well, less of a friend than a slightly judgemental old acquaintance who makes me wish I dressed better! I bought this BCBG Max Azria enamel turn-lock ring which is pretty funky and only £27, but I'll wait until the Boxing Day sales for the rest!

5. I also made my first purchase at a MAC counter. I gave the woman a random string of words (moisturising, lipstick, daywear, sheer, berry) and she gave me a Hot Tahiti lipstick which was spot on! Brilliant! Then I asked for a blush to match and she got that first time too! Bingo!

6. One of the main reasons for our journey was to see The Hobbit in IMAX 3D. It was my first IMAX film and it was ace, both the IMAX and the film!

7. Just before The Hobbit, we got a 9 minute Star Trek: Into Darkness preview. No spoilers here, but it looks ACE! That'll definitely be worth going back to IMAX to see.

8. Of course, a trip to Edinburgh wouldn't be complete without going to see the pandas (and all the other ace animals) at Edinburgh Zoo. This is Yang Guang (Sunshine) looking a bit bored!

9. We don't do a Secret Santa at my work, so when I saw that Magasin was doing a lucky dip, I figured that could be my Secret Santa! I got these lovely cross-stitched Navajo-inspired hairslides along with badge with my initial on!

Because next Monday is Christmas Eve and the following Monday is Hogmanay I fully expect to have lots of ace things to do and I'm going to take a break from ♥ This Week's Loves ♥ until 7th January, when I'll probably do a massive one! I'll still be doing other posts over the festive period, so keep an eye on your inbox/blog reader/Facebook/Twitter etc or subscribe below to make sure you don't miss Tiny Bird Heart ♥!

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Friday, 14 December 2012

Christmas Is For Blythes Too!

It started with a little Christmas tree. Then I thought it might need some lights, and maybe some decorations.

But maybe Blythe's need presents too, and of course they'll need sacks to put them in.

Why stop there?!

I haven't made anything for ages but over the last couple of nights I've been inspired to make Christmas outfits for my Blythe dolls after seeing lots of lovely festive photos that other collector's have taken. And here they are:

I'm quite impressed by my handiwork!

It was only going to be hats originally and I found a great pattern on Puppy52Dolls blog which is really easy to follow.

I made mine out of fake fur and sheets of felt from Hobbycraft which I had leftover from a previous project and they cost less than £1 each. But then I found that each sheet had enough fabric to make a dress as well as a hat!

So I made a really basic pattern by drawing freehand around another dress I had and making a front panel and two back panels which overlap. Remember that because it's felt you don't need to hem it or anything (hurrah!).

I sewed all three sections together at the shoulders and sides, leaving spaces for their arms to go through. I was a bit lazy and didn't bother to attach a fastening to the back, but you could use velcro or poppers or whatever you like to close it all up.  I surprised myself by finding some matching gingham ribbon whilst looking for thread so I wrapped that round the middle instead.

What are your Blythe's wearing this Christmas? Let me see! :)

Wednesday, 12 December 2012

Extra-Terrestrial Indeed...

I'm currently on the look out for a very specific ET plush/soft toy and just thought I'd share these wonderful pictures of wonky ETs that I've found!

All pictures courtesy of this search on eBay, why not rehome one of these wonk-ETs?! (oh yes I did!)

Monday, 10 December 2012

♥ This Week's Loves ♥

1. I spotted Lebkuchen in the supermarket and they basically taste of Christmas! If you haven't had them, they're basically soft gingerbread cakey-biscuit things with a thin layer of icing. And they're lovely and sweet and moreish!

2. After gushing about Plan B last week, I found out that he's playing near me so my sister is taking me to see them in February for my Christmas present! CANNOT WAIT!

3. I have wanted a Labbit for sooo long, but ordering them from KidRobot costs a lot in postage. I saw this little fella on so I snapped him up. He's a Kringle Labbit with a lovely moustache, smoking a candy cane.

4. I spent the whole weekend in Aberdeen, staying in a hotel and spending my time doing as I wished! So my first port of call was the cinema to see Great Expectations. I haven't read it, and didn't really know much about it, but I knew I'd like it and I did! I love that it's the usual Dickens dark and gritty story with not particularly loveable characters and that it wasn't quite what I expected, especially the "love" story.

5. I decided to head to Lush and buy some pampering bits and bobs, making my own mini-spa in my hotel room! There wasn't a bath, but I did use the Sandy Santa Sugar Scrub which is really nice and rough (until it fell into the shower and disintegrated!), the Charity Pot body lotion (a great product but I wasn't a fan of the smell) and a Montagne Jeunesse face mask (from elsewhere). Lush were kindly giving customers a free bath bomb and little pot of Snow Fairy shower gel to try too.

6. I went on a second trip to the cinema to see Seven Psychopaths and found it really funny! It was great to see Colin Farrell speaking with his own accent for a change and everyone in it was brilliant and funny, especially Sam Rockwell, who is a total dude always.

7. During my Christmas shopping I hunted down the John Lewis snowman. You can see his heartwarming story here.

8. The weekend ended with some Christmas cheer and a third trip to the cinema to see Nativity 2: Danger In The Manger.  It's totally cheesy and definitely silly but the kids in it were fantastic! Pixie is the cutest little lamb and the wee breakdancing boy was hilarious!

9. When I got home I sat in front of the X Factor final with a cup of tea and some cake and did some Christmas wrapping, including some Etsy orders. I'm having great fun fulfilling some special Christmas requests and although I'm not great at wrapping, it always makes me feel very Christmassy indeed!

Wednesday, 5 December 2012

♫ Songs To Sing Loudly To ♫

I really can't sing very well, a misspent night on the karaoke in Faliraki proved that.  I'm basically all about the volume and very little about being in tune.  But, get me in the car on a road trip and I will sing my tiny heart out!

As promised, here's the eclectic collection of songs I was howling along to on my way to Dundee last weekend along with YouTube video links:

Call Me Maybe (Carly Rae Jepsen) - Ben Howard
This is an awesome cover with some giggles and sexy lip twitches thrown in for good measure

Locked Out Of Heaven - Bruno Mars
This makes me want to dance like the pyjama party in the film 13 Going On 30

Hold On - Alabama Shakes
Brittany Howard has such an amazing voice

Sinnerman - Nina Simone
One of my all-time favourites, a great classic

Call My Name (Cheryl Cole) - Plan B
Another fantastic Live Lounge cover

Angels - The xx
Beautiful and understated

You Shook Me All Night Long - AC/DC
Some proper old-school rock!

Heart On My Sleeve - Olly Murs
I'm not a huge Olly fan generally, but I love this song

Hold You (Hold Yuh) - Gyptian
Mixing it up with some smooth reggae

Ho Hey - The Lumineers
A great song to sing in the pub with friends!

Give Me Love - Ed Sheeran
The way he sings "All I want is the taste that you lips allow" makes me melt! Ah, the romance!

Bust Your Windows - Glee cast
A kick-ass revenge song!

Feel the Love (feat. John Newman) - Rudimental
A totally uplifting dance tune

212 (feat. Lazy Jay) - Azealia Banks *Warning - This contains pretty serious sweary words*
I just like the sound of this song (with or without the swearing) and the video's good too

One More Night - Maroon 5
Not the video I would have expected for this song, I had a totally different one in my head!

Can You Hear Me (Ayayaya) [feat. Skepta, JME & Ms D] - Wiley
Another good dance track

The Sire of Sorrow (Job's Sad Song) - Joni Mitchell
I don't even know how to describe this, it's all about her voice and the words.

I've tried to use official videos where possible, but hopefully they'll give you a feel for the songs anyway! What do you think of my playlist? Any favourites from the list?

Monday, 3 December 2012

♥ This Week's Loves ♥

1. Bought a totally un-festive colour of nail polish but I like it! It's Tangerine Queen by Rimmel and once I'd painted my nails I found that I have three others about the same colour. Oops!

2. I LOVE mince pies! They're so delicious and Christmassy and if you stick one in the microwave for about 30 seconds and pour double cream all over it, it's even more delicious and Christmassy!

3. Pretty Woman was on tv this week and it's a must watch.  It fills me with memories of being on a school trip and having an ace time full of the ridiculous things young teenagers get up to! It was also the first film I ever went to the see more than once at the cinema.

4. Although I do like chocolate, I decided to have a bit of a change this year and opted for this Quentin Blake advent calendar from John Lewis. I love his illustrations so it's nice to have a new one every day! I like that there's a countdown behind each door too!

5. Not content with only one, I also had to have this Ciate advent calendar. Behind every door is a mini nail polish or nail caviar, which I can't wait to try, but I have to, cos that's really how these calendars work. There's no way I can change my nails every day, but I'll definitely be posting more info on the polishes soon.

6. I had an urge to create a "mix tape" for my journey down to Dundee this weekend, so I put on  some songs I love and sang my tiny heart out all the way down and back! I think it's my most random one to date but I'll let you know exactly what was on there later this week!

7. We've got snow! It's not that bad yet but I do love to plod through the flumpy snow although I don't love driving in it quite so much though!

8. This song is on repeat with me just now, it's Plan B singing Cheryl Cole's "Call My Name" in the Radio 1 Live Lounge. He did it back in September or October but I heard it for the first time this week and it makes me melt. I heart him anyway, his voice, his talent, his drive, I could go on.

9. The tv is full of cheesy Christmas films just now and I'd happily sit and watch them all day.  Curled up on the sofa, with plenty of tea and munchies, wrapped up all cosy and, ideally, Plan B...

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