Wednesday, 30 January 2013

I'm Trying Out Some Sponsoring...

Most bloggers know that it's constant work to keep your blog fresh and interesting whilst trying to increase your audience. So lately I've been adding extra posts (and I have lots more to come!) and I've updated the design of my blog and included social media icons so you can get in touch in lots of different ways! And you should do it, I'd like to hear from you!

This month I'm also hoping to make some new friends by sponsoring two of my favourite blogs!

I chose to sponsor Kaelah at Little Chief Honeybee and Emily at The Freckled Fox because they have great style, interesting posts and they're so nice! I've followed both blogs for a long time and these ladies are what I aspire to be, successful and inspiring bloggers!

Don't just take my word for it, you can see for yourself from the links below!


Tuesday, 29 January 2013

The ABCs Of Me

Recently one of my favourite bloggers, Emily of The Freckled Fox, did her The ABCs Of Me and encouraged her readers to do the same. I think I've attempted one once but never actually finished it, so this time I'm going to do it!

Same thing applies here, if you do one in your blog, leave a comment below with a link in it so I can read it!

Addictions: Creme eggs, slippers, stationery, fluffiness.
Bed size: Currently a single *sad face* but when I move into my new flat, MASSIVE!
Chore you hate: All chores, by definition, are rubbish, but I especially hate ironing.
Dogs or cats: Dogs, any day. I need to feel the love, not the claws!
Essential start of your day: 2 x snooze button, a shower to half wake me up, then baby tea (LOADS of milk and one sugar) to wake the other half up!

Favourite colour: I wear black too much (and it's debateable whether it's really a colour) so I'd say something, berry colour...nope, I love ALL THE COLOURS!
Gold or silver: Silver, it's always been silver.
Height: 5'4"
Instruments you play (or have played): Recorder, guitar, the spoons.
Job titles you've had: Shop assistant, assistant to financial advisers, dry cleaner, papergirl, customer adviser, customer service manager, catering assistant, sales rep of many things, jack of all trades, master of none!

Kids: None.
Live: The Shire, North East Scotland
Mum's name: Agnes
Nickname: The McKess, Kazza K, Kaz, KK, depending on who you speak to!
Overnight hospital stays: Only when taking someone else to A&E and when I was born!

Pet peeve: I could probably sum it all up under the heading "other people's stupidity and/or lack of manners or morals"
Quote from a movie: Waaaay too many to mention, but I'm a sucker for a passionate romantic line
Right or left handed: Right handed
Siblings: An older sister and a younger brother
Time you wake up: This is going to sound a bit bad, but I wake up at 8am, snooze til 8:15am, then get up at 8:25am. In my defence this is enough time to get ready and get to work for 9am cos I only live 5 mins away, and I'm not a morning person!

Underwear: Yes. Always.
Vegetables you dislike: Raw celery
What makes you run late: My own laziness or disinterest in getting where I'm going
X-rays you've had done: Only dental ones
Yummy food you make: Red lentil curry with paprika pittas and muffin pizzas!
Zoo animal: Any kind of tiny little monkey that could live in my pocket.

So that's my list, what's yours?

Monday, 28 January 2013

♥ This Week's Loves ♥

1. I randomly got a 15½p stamp on a parcel this week. The ½p was taken out of circulation in the UK at the end of 1984, so where this stamp been hiding for 30 years?!

2. The 25th January is Burns Night and I'd love to tell you that I was at a Burns Supper and Ceilidh, but I wasn't :( I did have my haggis, neeps and tatties though! Being a veggie my haggis is made out of lentils and nuts and things but it's still as delicious!

3. This is Mr B, and my sister gave me him as a surprise gift! You may recognise him from the Barclaycard adverts which also contain Blythe dolls amongst all the other ace toys!

4. I finally found a big pink baby box! I've filled it with lovely presents for my new niece, who should be with us in around 3 weeks! Exciting!

5. I had a pampering day on Saturday, cos I'm worth it! My hair salon gave me a conditioning rinse and head massage before my cut and blow dry, then I toddled off to Inglot for some beauty tuition. I asked the lady to teach me about highlighting and smoky eyes and she gave me hints and tips and a full face of make-up. I'm quite impressed by the eyes, I was worried it would be too much but it was a good evening look!

6. I also had my Shellac nails done at Inglot too! Sparkle, sparkle!

7. All done up, you'd think I would have a night out to show it all off. Instead I went into the darkness of the cinema! I saw Lincoln which I thought was a bit long and slow but really interesting. Of course, Daniel Day Lewis was great, he always is, but I really liked Tommy Lee Jones character too.

8. With Christmas out of the way we can now concentrate on Easter and the eating of lots of chocolate. The best of which is Creme Eggs! Yum! Current tally = 8!

9. I didn't know too much about Zero Dark Thirty before I saw it and wasn't sure it'd be my thing, but it was really good. I didn't quite appreciate how much work went into the operation so it was great to see how it all worked out.

What do you love just now? Share it with me below!

Thursday, 24 January 2013

Step Back To The 50's

Last week I was invited to Step Back To The 50's, a one-off themed night out in Aberdeen, so how could I say no to some vintage dressing-up, drinking and dancing?!

The venue was a really good choice, The Blue Lamp in Aberdeen has a great atmosphere as soon as you go through the wooden revolving door and suited the theme of the evening.

Most people made a great effort to get dressed up and lots of us got photos taken by Toni from Artemis Imagery, here are a couple of mine:

I was wearing a dress from eBay, some black heeled Mary-Janes and a "pearl" set that I bought in Majorca. I copied my hair from this YouTube tutorial by Cherry Dollface, although you can't see the full effect, I was pretty impressed by my handiwork!

I felt sorry for the boogie woogie dancers, The Marisha Addison Sextet, because their music didn't work on the systems so it fell a bit flat, but it might've helped if they'd had 50's dress rather than vests and denim shorts! The burlesque dancer Gypsy Charms was really good though and everyone gathered round to watch. Oh and the live band were great too!

There were some vintage stalls including Dee-Vine Vintage and Candy Belle Vintiques, and you could make your own vintage bracelet with Bead Pop.

I couldn't resist this pocket watch necklace and bracelet from Copper Leaf Jewellery:

I had a great night and if you're interested in this type of event there is an Annual Burlesque Masquerade Ball in Aberdeen in February!

Monday, 21 January 2013

♥ This Week's Loves ♥

1. Snow on trees, it's just really pretty isn't it?!

2. I went to Step Into The 50's, an event in Aberdeen with dancing, singing and stands.  I got some professional photos done, so when I get them I'll do a proper post on it all.

3. I wore this, Lasting Finish Lipstick in Alarm by Rimmel. It lasted all evening, just like it said it would!
4. The following day I went out in search of hot chocolate and found this massive custard cream from Costa. They do bourbons too!
5. Sending P away to get customised. This is the first time I've had a doll customised and I've sent her to my friend Cat because I've seen her work and I know she'll do a great job! She getting a whole new look and I'm very excited!

6. These Hello Kitty slippers were a must, only £4 in Primark!

7.  We saw Django Unchained, which I really liked.  It's a great story, gory but not in a bad way and generally kick-ass and funny!

8. I missed Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close at the cinema but I'm glad I saw it on the telly this weekend. You have to be patient, it takes a while for him to find the secret of the key, but it reminds you that everyone has a story and it's nice to listen.

9. I've been adding new items to my vintage shop! I get so excited about buying new items and have held off in adding some for a few weeks, but I'm back into the swing of things and there are some brilliant new books and jigsaws in there for you to see!

Thursday, 17 January 2013

Help Me To Name My Newest Blythe

This is the latest addition to my collection of Blythe dolls and I've had her for a couple of months and usually a name just springs to mind, but not in her case!

So I'm enlisting your help! I've thought of/had suggested a few names and I've added them to a poll below.

This new girl is going to be a bit slouchy, a wearer of jeans, dungarees, sweaters, Converse, t-shirts, hoodies, that sort of thing. She's pretty chilled out and leaves the dressing up to her sisters.

So what do you think I should name her?

Monday, 14 January 2013

♥ This Week's Loves ♥

1. I've been full of the cold for most of this week so I am very grateful to the good people at Kleenex for their balsam hankies and the small mercy of a non-red nose while the rest of me looks a mess!

2. I watched 30 Rock a lot in my pathetic diseased state. I dream of working in showbusiness with them, but not really work, obvs. Also, I have a crush on Jack Donaghy.

3. I had a spot of bother with some stuff I bought off Blythe Kingdom where the seller didn't send it out. There was a bit of a hoo-hah as I wasn't the only one and after some pushing I got my money back but the Blythe community were amazing! They really took care of me as a newbie and helped each other out until we all got either our money back or the items we wanted. Thanks!

4. This is my lovely new desk calendar. It's a Hello Kitty one I bought in Sanrio Puroland in Tokyo has nice big boxes for me to write my holidays and stuff in. Yay! Holidays!

5. When I was back to full health I got back to exercise. Because I'm trying to save my pennies, I've invested in Zumba Fitness 2 for the Wii which is cheaper than going to classes. I'm working just as hard and it's ace fun! Just hope the neighbours can't see me!

6. Ripper Street is a BBC series which started a few weeks ago. It's set in 1889 in Whitechapel, East London and is about a special police division set up to investigate local murders in the wake of Jack the Ripper. It's on BBC America soon too so keep an eye out for it if you're not watching it already!

7. This Thinkbox advert is ace. I have no idea about the company or product, but I like the doggy and his rabbit friend and the song which was written by Adam Buxton. Oolalapoopoolala.

8. Loved Les Miserables at the cinema, although not quite as much as I'd expected to.  I think I just built it up too much in my mind, but that's my own fault! I didn't really know the full story, although I had heard a lot of the songs, but I really enjoyed it.

9. I also went to see Gangster Squad and really liked it too. It's a really slick film with an almost comic book style to it. It's a wee bit gory (which I don't mind!) but left me wondering if it's ever possible for Ryan Gosling to look bad. Bet he still looks lovely when he's full of the cold...

Tuesday, 8 January 2013

My Year Of Cinema 2012

You might know (especially if you read my ♥ This Week's Loves ♥ posts) that I go to the cinema A LOT.

I love movies. I'm a daydreamer and I love to escape into a good story. I like them as a form of entertainment and although I have an opinion on storylines and performances, I think that if you spend too much time analysing something, you can often miss out on the fun.

This has been a busy year at the cinema for me. I saw 64 films in 2012, which seems a lot less than I thought it'd be! But it averages 5.3 a month, so that's pretty good! I have a Cineworld Unlimited card which allows me to see as many films as I like for only £14.99 a month, and if I'd seen these films individually it would have cost me over £550, so it was well worth it!

As well as seeing all those movies, I also saw the NTL recordings of The Curious Incident Of The Dog In The Night-Time and both version of Frankenstein starring Benedict Cumberbatch and Johnny Lee Miller.  These BLEW ME AWAY. I love the theatre and it's brilliant to have access to performances of this standard in the cinema. National Theatre Live brings big theatre productions to an audience which otherwise may not have the time, money or opportunity to see them and that is a really good thing in my eyes.

Here are the films I saw in 2012 (my top picks are in bold, but it's just my opinion!):

Girl With The Dragon Tattoo
The Descendants
The Vow
The Muppets
Woman In Black
21 Jump Street
Man On A Ledge
Safe House
This Means War
The Hunger Games
Mirror Mirror
Avengers Assemble
Salmon Fishing In The Yemen
We Bought A Zoo
The Lucky One
American Pie Reunion
Dark Shadows
What To Expect When You're Expecting
Men In Black 3
Snow White And The Huntsman
Top Cat
Casa De Mi Padre
Five Year Engagement
The Amazing Spider-Man
The Amazing Spider-Man 3D
Magic Mike
Batman Begins
The Dark Knight
The Dark Knight Rises
Step Up 4
Bourne Legacy
Anna Karenina
The Sweeney
Dredd 3D
Hope Springs
Now Is Good
The Campaign
Taken 2
Taken 2 (again!)
Premium Rush
Killing Me Softly
Ruby Sparks
The Perks Of Being A Wallflower
Twilight Breaking Dawn Part 2
Silver Linings Playbook
End Of Watch
Great Expectations
Seven Psychopaths
Nativity 2: Danger In The Manger
The Hobbit IMAX 3D
Jack Reacher
Pitch Perfect
Jack Reacher (again!)

What was your cinema highlight in 2012?

Monday, 7 January 2013

♥ This Week's Loves ♥

1. Did I tell you I'd booked my ticket for BlytheCon 2013 in New York? Haven't booked flights or anything yet, but I have my ticket!  Unfortunately with it being ComicCon weekend the hotels will be extortionate, but I'm sure it'll be worth it!

2. For Hogmanay my sister and I went to The Great New Orleans Jamboree at The Tippling House which is a local boutique bar and restaurant. We drank the most delicious cocktails and listened to live jazz as the new year rolled in.

3. Gene Kelly. Need I say much more?! I watched a triple bill of Singin' In The Rain, An American In Paris and On The Town during my holidays. He was so handsome and charming and could sing and dance...swoon!

4. This is my new Hello Kitty USB stick based on Demon from Kiss. I really need to get my files in order cos they're all over the place, and buying a cool new memory stick will obviously help!

5. I bought a Mini Lalaloopsy. I wouldn't usually have but it was on sale and she's so cute with her doggy and marshmallows on a stick and little flocked dress.

6. On my last day of culinary freedom before I return to my normal healthier eating I went to an all-you-can-eat chain restaurant called Cosmo. There weren't a huge amount of veggie options but there was enough that I managed to eat a good three course meal for £14.99. The highlight was obviously the chocolate fountain, where I dunked some grapes (healthy!) and the sweeties! Yum!

7. This weekend the CITV channel had an Old Skool Weekend where they played lots of shows from my childhood. I had to record some, but I loved the episode of Sooty they showed! Knightmare was amazing and I really wanted to be on Finders Keepers. I'm looking forward to watching T-Bag.

 8. I had my eye on this stag head tartan bag from Accessorize for a while but kept putting myself off spending the money. Then it went into the sale but there were still loads, so I left it again.  This weekend it was the last one in the shop so I took that as a sign and bought it!

9. We went to see The Impossible at the cinema and it was really good. I spent most of the time with my hands to my face, grimacing or welling up or just in shock.  I can't imagine how horrific this must've been for people, it really puts things into perspective.

Friday, 4 January 2013

My First Attempt At Knitting A Proper Thing

Over the festive holidays I thought I'd try my hand at knitting again. I'm not a great knitter, I feel more comfortable crocheting, so I thought I'd try this Knit Your Own Perfect Boyfriend Kit I saw for half price in Accessorize.

As you can see it looks just like the picture! Not really, but I'm pretty chuffed with it! I may have definitely did over-stuff his legs, but I'm passing that off as baggy-ish jeans and Chris Hoy thighs!  I barely made any mistakes and I even added a cool tie which I made from the ribbon off my box of Thorntons chocolates.

The instruction leaflet wasn't that easy to follow so I turned to YouTube for some how-to videos and found it a lot easier.  I've received a few knitting books as gifts now, so I'll definitely be trying to make more proper things!

Thursday, 3 January 2013

Christmas Craft Sale!

Over the holidays I've been having a bit of a think about my business and where it's going, which areas are successful and what I want it to become.

As a result I'm having a lovely big sale on all my handcrafted items! Just add the code "GOODBYE2012" at the checkout to get 50% off your order.

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Maira Gall