Friday, 4 November 2016

A Dutch day out - day trip to Sluis

Hello there,

When we were over in Belgium last month, we were based in the north in Poeke, nr Aalter. Which isn't too far from the Netherlands - so it seemed rude not to pop across to Sluis. It was about a 45 min drive (or an hour if you take the scenic route like we did!), so perfect for a relaxing day trip.

We've heard Sluis described as a typical Dutch town, Now I haven't visited enough Dutch towns to know if that's true, but every time we've been we've found it welcoming and friendly and very laid back. We do tend to visit out of season though and I have a feeling it's a pretty busy place in high season!

Windmill “de Brak” - This old Dutch flourmill, built in 1739, was the first in the area to be made of stone.





The only Belfry in the Netherlands apparently! Built in 1375.





A hot chocolate and a beer while sat next to the canal - perfect!



A few pictures of our day in Sluis. It's a beautiful place, very welcoming and I hope we'll be back again soon. Our Dutch is pretty poor, but hopefully we'll improve with practice!

Thanks for reading

Cathy
xx

Sunday, 30 October 2016

A ferry to France and coping with travel sickness

Hello there,

It feels like an awful long time since I last blogged, and looking back, it really is! A combination of a lot of work, a lovely long holiday and of course the obligatory winter cold put paid to any blogging activity. But I'm back now with lots to catch-up on.

I'm going to split our holiday posts up. We seemed to pack an awful lot into two weeks and while some was spent with friends (which I won't embarrass on here) the rest of the time I'd love to share with you all in (hopefully) manageable chunks and maybe with some hints and tips, and the odd outfit post too.

First up, a ferry to France. Now anyone who knows me, knows that I am not a good traveller. I love going away, am quite happy spending endless hours in terminals, but can really suffer with travel sickness. So when we realised the best option for getting to France was via ferry, my heart sank a little (ok, a lot).

We booked with Britanny Ferries to go from Portsmouth to Le Havre outbound and Caen - Portsmouth on the trip home. Going out we booked a night crossing working on the theory I could sleep through it all....


I was trying very hard not to be apprehensive at this stage and we spent a lot of time distracting ourselves while waiting to board watching this boat being unloaded.


Funnily enough, we were the only people silly enough to be on deck on a cold wet night!


The cabin we booked was an outside one (working on the theory that if I could see a horizon of sorts on an 8 hr trip, I'd be ok). And you know, it really wasn't too bad - I have stayed in worse hotels!


So how was the night? Well, lets just say it was pretty rocky. I didn't feel sick so that was a huge result (thanks probably to the seasick tablets I'd taken). but the movement was very odd. It's a weird sensation feeling yourself sliding down the bed, up the bed, across....etc etc. But it was such a comfort knowing that we had our own bathroom etc - just in case of any upset tummies... If you're a nervous traveller on a boat and a cabin option is available, I would highly recommend it. I'm sure that just knowing I was in my own private space with a toilet and sink helped with my travel anxiety.


(Not sponsored by Kwells - other tablets are available!)

Next morning, despite the rocky night, our first thought was breakfast! Probably because we were out of season, the ferry was pretty empty, so breakfast was a relaxed affair. Just what was needed before tackling the end of the rush hour traffic in Le Havre.


We had a pretty relaxed drive straight up the coast to our destination of Poeke in Belgium. More updates on our Belgium and Dutch travels to follow.

Would we travel by ferry again? I can't deny that taking the car on the Eurotunnel is quick and easy but the slog around London to the Euro terminal is a complete pain. Considering that the Portsmouth ferry terminal is 20 mins from home, it seems silly not to. Guess I'll be stocking up on the seasick tablets then!! 

Thanks for reading

Cathy
xx



Thursday, 6 October 2016

Jumping on the tutu train

Hello there,

I did it - I bought a tutu skirt!

I've been looking at them for months and months. Even though I loved them, I wasn't sure they were me. I don't seem to be a floral, pastel loving person lately so didn't think a tutu would work for me. Plus I'm super fussy, I didn't want them too short, too pooffy, too many layers of tulle...you get the idea!

That is until I saw this blog post from the Lovely Leah. Here was a black tutu from La Redoubt. Not a sugar sweet one, but a lovely dark colour perfect for all year. There was even a grey available, but they were pricey so I decided to be good and save my pennies (it's no fun being good!). Then when Leah gave us the heads up that they were in the sale - that was it. The grey one was mine.




I'm trying to show all the layers here- honest! There's a beautiful spotted top layer, an inner mesh layer and a finally the lining.


I know this shot is whited out (the sun made a rare appearance) but I love how my hair looks and how happy I am prancing up and down the garden.


I think there's going to be so many ways to style this. Today I teamed it with a Primark top, but I think this would be so easy to dress up for the evening.

Thanks for reading - and have you jumped on the tutu train yet?

Cathy
xx

Friday, 30 September 2016

New shoes from Dorothy Perkins (they have glitter!)

Hello there,

I'm sure a lot of you will know what I mean when I say - have you ever been shopping and seen something you loved, but didn't need?

I certainly don't need any more shoes (especially not trainers). The bottom of my wardrobe looks like the stock room of a shoe shop at the best of times....but these shoes from Dorothy Perkins? Well, let's just say, my heart overtook my head.



Oh look, they've got glitter toes, heels and suede. Perfect practical shoes for the British Autumn/Winter. But you know what? I don't care. I love them. I think that if you walk past something in a shop and it makes you stop and go 'oooh' - then it's a winner.





I love (and as I've got older, need) practical shoes. But if they come with added sparkle, than I'm sold.



Happy feet = happy me



Thanks for reading

Cathy
xx

Saturday, 10 September 2016

The Curve Fashion Festival Box Swap

Hello there,

Saturday 10th September was The Curve Fashion Festival in Liverpool. It's the UK's largest plus size event and after going to last years in Manchester, I knew it would be a great day out. I had such great plans to go, but realistically with work commitments, the cost of travel and a hotel not to mention car mot, service and big holiday less than a month away - I soon realised it just wasn't going to happen this year (sad times...being sensible is not much fun sometimes!).

But - can't be sad for long. The lovely Emma from It's Em organised a box swap for all those who couldn't go. The budget was up to £20 and we could say if we wanted a surprise or some of our favourite things. I opted for the surprise - after all, the best thing about swap boxes is getting to try something new which you might not have considered yourself.

I know who my secret buyer was and I'm so pleased - she's a beautiful person and if you're reading this - Thank you!!! My box arrived wrapped in gold - and anything that arrives in gold has got to be good.


Inside was was another beautifully wrapped box (cue the anxiety as my recipient didn't get such a well wrapped box!). And look at what I got.



I swear my sender is a mind reader, only the other day my other half and I were talking about how we had never had a macaron. Spooky....

I hope the person who gets the box I sent out loves it as much as I love mine. And a big thank you to Emma for such a great idea. It certainly helped to cheer up the weekend.

Thanks for reading

Cathy
xx



Friday, 9 September 2016

Day trip to - Solent Sky Museum

Hello there,

At the beginning of the year, I did a '16 in 16' post. One of my goals for the year was to visit more local museums. It's sometimes easier to plan a whole day out and go somewhere a bit further afield, but we forget the gems on our own doorstep.

One such gem was the Solent Sky Museum in Southampton. I last visited this when it was known as the Southampton Hall of Aviation (which the gentleman on the front desk kindly told me was over 30 years ago! Oops). So a visit was well overdue - esp as it was only 15 mins from home. Groupon had a two for one offer so the timing was spot on (Not sponsored by Groupon, I just love hunting on there for good deals!). We picked a rainy day at the end of the school holidays - a great indoor activity for days like this.



Now I know this isn't everyone's idea of the perfect day out, so I won't go into technical details about the exhibits - but if you're in the area with children and anyone young at heart who loves aviation - this is definitely worth a visit - you can even climb into some of the cockpits!













I really love museums like this, enthusiastic staff who are ready to answer questions and plenty of things to look at and even climb on (with supervision!). Guess I'm just a big kid at heart.

Hope you enjoyed reading this and if you're in the Southampton area, give these guys a visit.

Thanks for reading

Cathy
xx



Thursday, 1 September 2016

What I wore in August

Hello there,

I might have mentioned this before, but I am really forgetful when it comes to taking OOTD piccies. I wear something that makes me feel fab, then get to the end of the day and think 'photo!'. By which time I'm looking pretty knackered and my in-house photographer (ie the other half) has gone on strike.

So I'm trying something a bit different this time - a round up of outfits from the last month all in one post. To be honest, as I work from home, a lot of what I wear is pretty much the same (gotta love jeans and a t-shirt) so this is hopefully the best way to get some outfit pics on the blog! I'll add details such as sizes because for me personally, I love seeing that on other blogs. It really helps me get an idea of what's available and what could work for me.

Sleeveless cardigan - George at Asda (18)
Striped top - Primark (20)
Denim skirt - M&S,old (22)
Shoes - Primark, old
Bag & sunglasses - charity shop


Mickey t-shirt - Primark, old (20)
Sleeveless cardigan - George at Asda (18)
Jeans - M&S (22)
Shoes - Primark, old



Vest top - M&S (20)
Jeans - M&S (22)
Kimono - charity shop
Shoes - M&S, old
Necklace - Evans


Top - Evans (22)
Jeans - M&S (22)
Shoes - M&S
Unicorn phone case - Ebay


Top - M&S outlet (20)
Denim skirt - M&S, old (22)
Shoes - Primark, old
Necklace - birthday gift (possibly M&S?)

T-shirt - Primark (20)
Kimono - Dorothy Perkins (XL)
Jeans - M&S (22)
Shoes - Primark, old
Bag - charity shop
Sunglasses - Claire's Accessories
Bucket - Brightlingsea's best!


T-shirt - Primark (20)
Skirt - TU @ Sainsburys, old (22)
Shoes - Primark, old
Sunglasses - a magazine freebie

So there you have it, some of the outfits I wore in August. The plan is to try to keep this going as a monthly round-up - it seems to be less stressful than that 'arghh' moment at the end of the day when you remember you've not taken a single photo....

Thanks for reading

Cathy
xx