Tuesday, 18 March 2014

Lincoln Tea & Cake Adventures Part 1

The plan is that at some point we will be leaving Lincoln to start afresh in another city. Being here has begun to feel a little bit stale. We both went to University here, which is subsequently how we met, but it was over 18 months ago that I graduated and it just feels right to move forward with our lives.

With that in mind, we have decided that we need to visit as many places as we can before we get up and go. A friend of mine said she would meet me for tea and cake, and so it was born: The Lincoln Tea & Cake Quest, in which we will endeavour to visit as many cafes and establishments that we can that I have not had the former luxury of paying a visit. I figured it would make for decent blogging material ;)

First stop: Cafe Portico

I didn't even know this place existed. It's just off from the museums The Collection & Usher Gallery which can be accessed by cutting down the alleyway (which isn't really much of an alleyway) next to Pizza Express on the high street. It has a modern interior with quality food and good service. Apparently they often have various special acts on in the evenings too.

We decided to get lunch as we were both feeling rather peckish. As you can see from the below photograph, it was that good that I forgot to whip out my camera. Oh well you can see that it was enjoyed anyway. There is an extensive menu which I struggled to choose from as everything sounded so good(!), including sandwiches, soups and fuller dishes. We opted for sandwiches which came with a side of  seasoned salad and white cabbage - delish! I left a tiny bit of it but only to keep some room for a nice slice of cake!

We had just as hard a time of choosing which cake we'd like to sample as we did with the sandwiches. There was a lot of choice on offer. In the end I opted for a slice of toffee cake, whilst C opted for coffee cake. They barely touched the sides in all honesty. Mmm.

It isn't the cheapest place to dine, but nor is it overly expensive. Then again I do like to try to keep costs to a minimum as I am the biggest cheapskate going. I believe my drink and meal came to around £7-8 and the cake was £3.50, so it did come to over a tenner which is probably about average really but there we go.

Friday, 7 March 2014

Things That Make Me Smile

Sometimes it's nice to reflect on the things that make us smile without thought.

Here are some of mine:
  • Cats
  • Being silly with friends
  • Reading
  • Victorian culture
  • Pay day
  • Shopping
  • Tea & cake outings
  • Feeling safe & secure
  • Going to new places
  • Dressing nicely
  • Feeling motivated
  • Making someone's day
  • Being kind & having that reciprocated
  • Birds
  • Silhouettes, especially in the twilight
  • Trees
  • Homewares
  • Freshly baked cakes
  • Putting thought into gifts for others
  • Writing and receiving letters
  • Making things
  • Baroque & Rococo
  • Getting the sewing machine out
  • Going out for a good meal with friends
  • Deers
  • Buttons and pretty fabrics
  • Filigree
  • Curly hair
  • Autumn
  • Ticking off 'to do' lists
  • Pizza and garlic sauce
  • Getting tipsy on cocktails with friends
  • Fresh bed sheets
  • Morning sunshine
  • Greys & reds
  • Floral prints
  • Nostalgic music
  • Wearing corsets
  • Beautifully applied make up
  • Festival atmospheres
  • Mastering new skills
  • Lazing around with the other half
  • Giggling like an idiot over simple things
  • Intricacy 

Tuesday, 28 January 2014

January Sale Clothing Haul

OK, so I can only but apologise for the shoddy photographs and non-existent uniformity that is about to ensue but I'm a little out of practise these days! All of these things have been purchased over the last month from Primark, H&M and New Look, and mostly sourced from my visit to Liverpool. Isn't Liverpool just fantastic for shopping?? I had been to Liverpool prior to my latest visit however I decided I actually really loved the place this time round and could even imagine myself living there. I don't think it gets the praise and recognition that it deserves as a city but I am a fan.

Without further ado here are my bargains...


I was a bit unsure about these shorts when I saw them as we are all aware of how hit and miss H&M's sizing can be... but they fit me and I had a voucher to spend so these were in fact not a £7 bargain but free! Can't get much better than that. Plus they're black and flocked velvet baroque print. Perfect!
New Look
I very nearly didn't even see this dress seeing as it was in an entirely different store! I didn't realise there was more than 1 New Look in Liverpool but it ended up being a happy accident when I stumbled into the store. I thought this dress was going to be too good to be true - a gorgeous deep wine red (my favourite) with lace and ruched goodness and even pearl beading detail! Oh  be still my beating heart. This dress is basically my ideal of perfection and is virtually me down to a T. So as I prepared myself for the worst of it not fitting it ended up doing just the opposite and fitting beautifully. I am so happy with it. £15 well spent in my opinion.
I'd had my beady eye firmly set on this Cameo Rose dress since their online sale began but didn't want to commit to buying it online, especially since they had a no store collections policy around then so I just waited it out. Luckily I found it in my size and it fits well and has a gorgeous sweetheart neckline. My only gripe is the boob area is so padded that it's better not to wear a bra but I don't think it gives a great deal of support. But you've already seen from the shorts that I couldn't leave this be, what with being flocked velvet. Yum! It was £10 and I hope I'm able to get some good wear out of it.
I nearly said no to this top but being deep red and lacey (there's definitely a theme here isn't there?) I couldn't put it back down. It was £4 so not too bad at all and it will go with tonnes of stuff.
Words cannot even describe how happy I am with this blazer. It was randomly dumped in front of a load of other things and I thought someone must have plonked it down from elsewhere but no it was reduced from £23 to £7! However it was a bloody size 8. I tried it on anyway, even though I am a definite 10, and it was a bit of a squeeze but it actually looks gorgeous on. I might not have full motion of my arms but it isn't like I'm going to be doing full body workouts wearing it. It's stunning. So hard to photograph though! It's basically a purple tweedy, structured kind of fabric.
Pencil skirts don't really suit my figure but I'm determined to hang up my greens and get a proper job this year and this skirt with it's beautiful floral print was just looking at me. I'm a sucker for florals too. Especially when they're grey and black. £3 down from £8!
The infamous £5 cotton skater dresses! They fit well and this one had gone down to £2. Sorted. I also got a green one with black polka dots but seem to have forgotten to take a photograph of that one.
I actually have a skirt similar to this one that someone gifted me for Christmas last year from River Island but I couldn't resist this one. I'd had my eye on it for absolutely ages when it was £8 but they'd sold out of my size and I didn't really want to size up. However when I saw it in the slightly bigger size down to £3 I was hardly going to sniff at that was I? It fits fine as well so it looks like it was fate.
What do you think of my bargains? Did you manage to get any good sales bargains? Please link me to them I'm very nosy ;)

Monday, 13 January 2014

Hello 2014

Well it's been some months since I last touched this blog because I haven't been going through the best of times with my health but blogging is an outlet that makes me happy so instead of leaving it to wilt and decay, I figured I'd give it another bash.

I thought I would include some of my goals that I'd like to achieve over the course of the year:

  • See friends and family more often.
  • Get out of my comfort zone and do new things to meet new people.
  • Move out of Lincoln.
  • Go abroad.
  • Create more things and actually invest time and effort in doing so. It's one of the things that I feel most passionate about and I've left it to dwindle and thus I am not as practiced as I once was. I need to get back up to speed!
  • As above, stop procrastinating and actually finish half-done projects for my Etsy shop.
  • Learn how to properly use Photoshop type programs to excel my skills.
  • Read more.
  • Bake more.
  • Go to more places and take long walks.
  • Get a new job or life vision. Since being so ill over these past few years my capabilities have changed and I doubt I will be able to go so strongly into my desired career choice now. I have been doing a lot of thinking though and there are only so many things that I can do but to get there I really need to buckle down and strengthen my skill set. 
  • Volunteering at a gallery or museum will be one of these things as well as the above; throwing myself deeply into my passion of crafting.

"Intelligence without ambition is a bird without wings." - Salvador Dali