Thursday, 28 March 2013

☆ Flights Of Fancy ☆

Things which have captured my imagination this week...

These amazing prints by Chad Sell. I've never seen RuPaul's Drag Race but I love the comic style and colours! I've narrowed my shopping list down to these five so far!

These polishes are not only great colours, but they're scented! Fruity!

I really love this quilt, although I'm not sure if I have the patience to make it!

 This sweater is so simple but so nice

The original advert for Blythe dolls!

I love this rabbit handbags goofy face!

Wednesday, 27 March 2013

Blooming Marvel-lous!

I haven't been clothes shopping in what feels like forever, so with my friend's hen weekend in mind I decided to hit the town and buy a new dress...or two...oh and maybe some other stuff too!

The hen weekend dress I chose is from Dorothy Perkins and it was in the sale! I'm pear shaped, and I seem to suit dresses with a looser skirt so this style is perfect. It may be hard to see but it's a dark teal colour which goes great with the tapestry style flowers and berry coloured piping.

I also spotted this navy petal dress in Dorothy Perkins too, and it was in the sale too! This one's a pretty floaty day dress with a 50's feel. I don't wear dresses much and this one is so nice that I've vowed to wear it dun, dun, dun...DURING THE DAY! Crazy, I know!

I have coveted this Iron Man t-shirt from Topshop for a long time, so I treated myself to that too! I love my t-shirts on the baggy side with turned-up sleeves, which this one is, and some added Marvel magic makes it all the better!

Finally, I spotted these pretty diamante bow earrings in River Island. They'll just add a bit of glam to everything, day or night!

The hen weekend in this weekend in Glasgow, so I'll be posting details of my mini-adventure next week and I'll hopefully get a good pic of me in the dress then so I can show you!

Monday, 25 March 2013

♥ This Week's Loves ♥

1. I completed the Castle challenge I set myself and watched 82 episodes in 3 weeks. I'm beginning to wonder what I did with my life before I started...

2. I made a website for a friend's hair salon which opens this week. I beat myself up a lot about my web work because I know I'm not the world's best, but I'm happy with the aesthetics of this one!

3. My lunch this week has consisted of cheese and crisp sandwiches. White bread + butter/marg + a slice of cheese + cheese & onion crisps = delicious!

4. I done a doodle! I love doodling, I don't think I do it enough, but this week I drew a robot. He has ball joints for elbows and knees and a mohawk for coolness.

5. I got this amazing bargain off eBay. It's a doll carry case and I was worried it would fit my Blythe dolls but it was only £1.50 all in, so I figured I'd just get it and it's perfect! I get three of them in there! I'll need to make a backing board and ties to keep them in place during their travels though!

6. Watching the video of Jon Huertes and Seamus Dever singing Lately in my last post, I bought myself the Stevie Wonder The Definitive Collection and I've been singing along in my car ever since!

7. Surprise cupcakes! My friend Leanne presented me with this Pacman cupcake after one of her houseguests brought some with him. It's a little squashed now but it's still fab!

8. I love shopping, anyone who knows me knows this. But recently with trying to save for my flat I've been avoiding shops online and off and it makes me sad. So I went on a little shopping spree this weekend and got some lovely things which I'll share with you in a separate post this week.

9. This week's film was Identity Thief. It wasn't as hilarious as I'd expected but I really liked it. It's full of twists and things just go from bad to worse, I wasn't sure how it was all going to end! Jason Bateman is always Michael Bluth to me (which is no bad thing!) and Melissa McCarthy is so likeable that they can't go far wrong!

Thursday, 21 March 2013

☆ Flights Of Fancy ☆

Things which have captured my imagination this week...

This little cutie!

This video of Jon Huertes & Seamus Dever makes me laugh!

Ermagerd! I want this little Moomin-looking cat!

I don't wear enough skirts, so I should have this one!

I think my new place would benefit from these coasters

Who doesn't love Grumpy Cat?! Make one of your own with this pattern!

Tuesday, 19 March 2013

A Home Of My Own - The Story So Far

Although I was born and bred in the beautiful rural expanses of Aberdeenshire, I bought my first home at the tender age of 21 after moving to and falling for the city of Dundee. I spent a wonderful 8 years there, at first working in a building society, then deciding to change path and go to university.

Before my course was finished, I was offered a job back home and, knowing how hard it would be to find a Web Development role close by, I packed up my car and headed back to my family home, convinced that I'd do the job for 6 months and return to the life I'd built 80 miles away.

That was almost 5 years ago and life moves on. I've moved on. And it's time to find a new home of my own.

I first started looking last year and saw a few places which were nice but none of them were quite right. I'd decided to move to the outskirts of Aberdeen because I would be close enough to work that I wouldn't have to battle rush hour traffic, but also close enough to the city and all that it offers.

Most of the places I viewed were small, property is expensive in Aberdeen and sacrifices had to be made. Then I viewed a certain run down, very dated place and fell in love.

I have a bit of an odd curiosity with abandoned or derelict buildings and this flat was badly in need of modernisation. The elderly gentleman who owned it had moved into a care home and it had been left to gather dust and dead insects ever since, but the 50s kitchen, small conservatory and twin garages were selling points for me. I could see myself entertaining guests at a big table in the sunroom and making a studio out of the second garage. It had everything I needed!

I was gutted when my solicitor called to say it had sold. I had been saving hard and trying every loophole to get the deposit I needed, but someone had beaten me to it. Last time I drove past the flat was being ripped apart and modernised and all the lovely vintage features that I would have kept are now gone forever. I viewed other flats, but knowing I wouldn't find another property I wanted that badly, I gave up.

One of my wishes for 2013 is to get back into it and find a lovely place to call home, and a flat came on the market recently in the exact area I wanted! The area it's in has nice bright flats with huge wardrobes, resident parking, and it's right next to the bus stop and some shops. Perfect!

I viewed it and liked it, and despite it being smaller than I'd hoped, I figured out how I'd use the space. I went back for a second viewing and was still keen so arranged another mortgage appointment. I was so excited last Friday when my bank said I could go ahead and make an offer!

I was surprised when my solicitor called me and, before I had the chance to say anything, she advised me that the property had been sold.

I was disappointed again, although not as much as the first time, because this flat was in a modern development so the others in the block will be pretty similar.

But, on the bright side, now that my bank has given me the go-ahead, I'm ready to find my new home and get my offer in stat! Hopefully I won't be disappointed again!

Monday, 18 March 2013

♥ This Week's Loves ♥

1. Forgetting the snow, I'm pretty sure eating strawberry tarts means it's getting near to summer, doesn't it?!

2. My Castle addiction continues and as much as I like Rick Castle, I've decided that Javier Esposito is the man for me!

3. I had a list of things to do on Friday night...and then this happened! Comic Relief came on and it was hard to move! So far they've raised over £75 million, which is pretty amazing!

4. I went ten pin bowling with my workmates and my team came first! It was very close and I need to put more practice in for next year, it brings out my competitive side!

5. Falafel burger with sweet potato fries from Giraffe. Enough said.

6. I had a big catchup at the cinema this weekend, starting with Welcome To The Punch. I'm a James McAvoy fan and Mark Strong is brilliant as usual in this crime movie with a twist.

7. The Croods was a really good fun film, with lots of bright colours and laughs from the audience! Can I haz a Belt and a multicoloured sabre-tooth tiger too please?

8. I thought Side Effects was a bit slow to start, but when it starts to unfurl it's gripping.

9. We finished off with Safe Haven, which makes me want to move to a small coastal town and find my own Josh Duhamel *swoon*

Friday, 15 March 2013

F**k It, Let's Go To New York!

As mentioned in my ♥ This Week's Loves ♥ post last week, I'm on my way to the USA!

Excuse the language, but that's basically what I thought! I'm buying a new flat this year so I was in two minds whether to go, despite having bought my BlytheCon ticket before Christmas.

I knew I should be saving the money for my new flat and people kept saying "there's always next year...".  But that's when I got to thinking, will there be a next year? When I buy a flat will I have money to go to the States? And next year it may not be New York, it could be somewhere more costly to get to and I've always wanted to go to NYC.  I made four wishes for the year and this was one of them so that's when I thought "F**k it, let's go to New York"!

My sister came over for Mother's Day and we started planning! With New York ComicCon tickets going up for sale shortly we knew we had to be quick, but our searches for suitable accommodation within our budget weren't exciting us. We had settled on a place to stay but felt a bit deflated. Until, that is, we were away to book our flights and noticed that our airline did flight and hotel combos. Worth a look, we thought. And boy was it!

Our previous option had been separate flights and a somewhat depressing 3* hotel. Then we saw a deal that we couldn't quite believe. We looked at each other. We double checked it. Then we triple checked it. And after a spell of OMGs and squees, we booked it. And now we're staying in the 5* Waldorf Astoria!

It totally pays to shop around (plus we only had to pay a deposit cos it's a package holiday)!

So now we need ideas! We're there for a week and there's so much to see and do, so we need your help! Where do we need to go? Where are the best places to eat?  What are the best sights to see?

Thursday, 14 March 2013

☆ Flights Of Fancy ☆

Things which have captured my imagination this week...

This is a great idea for a dresser

This beautiful dress. If only I had £4,000 :(

This bouquet of paper flowers

This China Doll figure from Oz The Great & Powerful

Basically, this is me

These shoes are so beautiful! Link broken :(

Google Reader To Be Axed

This morning I awake to the news that Google will be shutting down Reader on July 1st 2013.  You can read their full blogpost here.

My instant reaction was shock, I use Google Reader and love it. It's the easiest way that I've found to view all those hundreds of posts quickly, selecting favourites or archiving some to read later.

Then I became concerned.  Google has retired Google Friend Connect for non-Blogger sites and although I have it on my blog it doesn't function as it should as they aren't maintaining it.  So what's next? What if they decide they no longer want to maintain Blogger?

But let's not panic. There's no word of anything like that yet, so let's focus on today's problem.  Unless something new and exciting becomes available, what other options do we have?

Mashable and cnet have already provided a list of potential replacements and I know that a lot of other bloggers similar to me favour Bloglovin'.

In the meantime, you can still subscribe to my blog via Reader, Bloglovin', Google+ or by email, and I'm always on Facebook and Twitter, all the links are on the right.

But there's still a few months to decide and see if anything else exciting pops up.  I'll have to find an alternative too and if I find a good one, I'll let you know!

Monday, 11 March 2013

♥ This Week's Loves ♥

1. I love Wu & Wu products and it only took about an hour or so to complete this Cheeky Monkey sewing kit. It's all precut with holes punched where you need to sew so it's really cute, really easy and comes in a cool tin!

2. I didn't want to get too excited about Oz The Great & Powerful because I didn't want to be let down, but it was really good! The story was great and I sat wide-eyed throughout!

3. My Road Kill arrived! I was really impressed when it arrived in a body bag with a tag and death certificate!

4. I completed my first tax return! I shouldn't be excited about that but I am, mostly because it's going to help me progress with getting a flat.

5. I received a lovely handmade wedding invitation. My friend is getting married in Portugal this May and it sounds like it's going to be a wonderful day!

6. I've been very good with my pennies and tried not to spend very much lately, but when there's a New Look sale, it's always worth a visit! I got this cosy checked shirt, a t-shirt and a pair of earrings for £17.50!

7. It was Mother's Day on Sunday so the whole family got together to celebrate. Mum was working all day so we cooked her a nice meal as a surprise and got her these lovely flowers.

8. After I cut the flowers and put them in a vase I decided it needed something more so I wrapped the vase in tissue paper and made a ribbon to finish it off. The handmade ribbon was actually excess fabric taken from the bottom of a dress. I sewed the right sides together, turned it inside out and tied it, trimming the ends to suit! Voila!

9. I am so excited because my sister and I have finally booked our trip to New York! Luckily we only had to pay a deposit just now but with New York ComicCon tickets going on sale shortly hotels will book up fast. I already have my ticket for BlytheCon, which is on the same weekend only a few blocks away, so it'll be a busy weekend in NYC!

Thursday, 7 March 2013

☆ Flights Of Fancy ☆

Things which have captured my imagination this week...
This wonderful print, artist Alice X. Zhan. Check out her Sherlock ones too

This retro side table

I just love this Dolly Parton print

These funky vases

Basically all the dresses in this dress shop

I love this wreath. I love tulips. I love pretty colours

Wednesday, 6 March 2013

Your Opinion On...Internet Dating

Recently I asked all my blog readers, Twitter and Facebook friends and family to give me their opinion on internet dating.

For my birthday, a certain online dating site sent me a free trial. I have, in the past, dabbled with such things to a mixed success but wondered what your experiences and opinions are.

Your Opinions
"I haven't but my sister did & now lives in California with her hubby of 6 yrs that she met online & 4yr old son :)" @hollymcpat
"IMO, dating sites work for some people. Some of my mates have found true love through them. Not me. Just girls with lazy eyes & dodgy pasts. 16mths on, they wouldn't even give me the 6mth freebie their adds promise. Fuck them all I say!" @todd_philips

My Opinion

I wouldn't mind some of what Holly's sister got! What a great result!

I've had a few dates and a couple of relationships in the past through various sites, but it took a bit of work to get there.

You have to write a profile. Most people struggle with that. I hate writing profiles probably because I find myself judging people based on the littlest things they've written in theirs.

You have to try and find a picture that makes you look attractive and fun. Most people hate photos of themselves. When searching, I scour these little pictures probably dismissing people for no good reason, but just because I don't like their pose or their curtains.

You finally find someone that fits your requirements and you fit theirs. You build up the confidence to contact them and wait for a reply. But that reply may never come and you're back to square one.

Really, I find the process quite unnatural. I also know people that it's worked for and that's great, but I know a lot more people that it hasn't worked for. Maybe it's just not for me.

Getting back to the origins of my query, I read that 1 in 5 new relationships begin on an online dating site. That sounds quite hopeful but it also means that 4 in 5 new relationships begin offline, which I find much more reassuring!

Next week: Nothing!

I've enjoyed reading your opinions on all the topics I've featured but this series has come to a natural end :( These posts have been some of my most viewed but they haven't been as interactive as I'd hoped!

Thanks to everyone who took part and gave their insight, you've been superstars! If I have any future dilemmas, I'll let you know!

Monday, 4 March 2013

♥ This Week's Loves ♥

After a week of illness I'm back! As you'd imagine, I didn't do very much but what I did do I loved!

1. My Blythe dolls were being neglected so I got them some new dolly clothes. For anyone with dolls, Blythe Kingdom is great in general, but I get lots of good "second hand" clothes for them from there.

2. From my sick bed, I finished watching Firefly and followed up by watching Serenity on DVD.  I always leave it a while between viewings and forget how great it is!

3. I also watched Jeff, Who Lives At Home. I had meant to see this at the cinema but didn't and when I started watching it on tv I wasn't sure about it, but I'm so glad I stayed with it. It's sneakily builds up this really lovely story.

4. At the recommendation of a friend I got in on some more Nathan Fillion action and started watching Castle.  Is there a woman on the planet that doesn't fancy Nathan? I'm not sure it's possible.

5. I've missed going to the cinema this last couple of weeks, but I was back there this weekend and saw Hansel & Gretel. It's as cheesy as I expected it would be but it's good fun and I like Gemma Arterton and Jeremy Renner.

6. I went to view a flat this weekend, and I think it might be the one! I have to arrange a second viewing to make sure and have a word with my bank, but I'm really excited!

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Maira Gall