The end is here!

The end of NaBloPoMo, the end of Movember (go donate!), and (to me) the end of fall. To me, fall ends when November ends… which ends up making winter reeeeally long!

Last weekend, we went to Stoke and Chester for Gavin’s best friend’s wedding. It was such a fun wedding. Gavin was the best man and was absolutely sh*tting himself thinking about the speech he would have to give later.. He had been writing it for weeks and practising it over and over for days ahead of time. It went so well and everyone laughed at the right parts, aww-ed at the right parts.

I love the picture of the “Mo-Bro’s” around the piano – they look like they should be in Casablanca! Or whatever the ginger version would be.. Casaroja? Haha.

I also love the picture of Gavin looking like a kid. This was right after the ceremony and he knew that he was going to have to give his speech in a sec.

The picture of me making the stupid face is me with my mustache! When Gavin gave his speech, our table (which was super fun and brought stick-on handlebars) stood up in the back with our ‘stache’s on. Good times.

Chester day trip

Last weekend, when Gavin and I went to Stoke, we took Friday off of work so we could spend the day in Chester which is Gavin’s favorite town in the UK. It’s a really pretty town that was founded by the Romans and was meant to be the capital of Britannia until the Norman conquest (thanks Wikipedia!). It’s really pretty with Victorian-restored shopping galleries and (almost) fully complete medieval city walls. All along the high street there are 2 levels of shopping – the upper level is like a gallery that you get to by climbing some super steep stairs and the lower levels you descend into. They are really cool and are very crypt-like.

Basically, it’s a very romantic little town. Well, I guess “little” isn’t the word, but it is very pretty.

Some pictures you ask? But of course!

Apparently, that clock is the second most photographed clock in Britain, after Big Ben. I’m just doing my part to help it overtake Big Ben ;)

He was so happy to be in Chester and not at work!

After absolutely chucking it down the whole drive from Gavin’s parent’s house, we got out of the car to this.. it was a sign that we would have a lovely day.

And we did.

Weekend away

Gavin and I (and probably everyone else in the Christmas-celebrating world) are in the whirlwind frenzy that is the lead-up to Christmas and New Year’s. Between Christmas shopping for my family, Gavin’s parents, all of the various kids of his siblings and friends we also have travels and dinners to fit in! This past weekend we went up to Stoke for his best friend’s wedding (I really want to sing this song when I say that!) and next weekend we are going on a surprise trip for my birthday! All I know is that it is somewhere in the UK because we have a car booked!

Gav has planned everything: hotel, car, sights… I can’t wait to see where we are going. York? Bath? Devon? I have absolutely no idea!

This is us at the Cheshire Oaks outlet village. We went to Chester (which is gorgeous and I would recommend it to anyone!) on Friday and then went bargain shopping. Basically we just looked at kitchen stuff and homewares and decided that we really need some baby Le Creuset pots in our lives. At the outlet they sell them in color-coded sets of 4 for £30.. I think I liked “spring” the best – lime green, dark green, aqua and amethyst. Lovely.

Oh and you see Gav’s ‘stache? It’s for charity. If you want to support testicular and prostate cancer research, you can head to our Movember Team site and donate! Every penny makes a difference!

New Year’s outfit plan

I love sparkles. I love New Year’s Eve. I love the two together even more. Every year since 2005, I have made it my goal to wear sparkles of some sort – and have so far succeeded. When I made my 12 x 2012 list, I had “find a NYE outfit” on it. Here is what I’m thinking.

Disclaimer: I already have shoes and these are not them. I can’t find a picture of mine. These are from the same brand though.

tank, shoes, necklace, shorts, blazer

I’m going to be in Florida for NYE so warmth won’t be an issue – yay bare legs! I think I’ll just have to get a spray tan to disguise the glowing whiteness acquired by a British life winter. Maybe I’ll even have time to soak up some rays and get a real tan while I’m there… A girl can dream right?!

Happy Thanksgiving!

Or just happy Thursday if you are anywhere other than the States!

These are Gavin’s and my moccasins. We wore them on our Thanksgiving as tribute to the Native American’s, as these babies are hand-made in Parry Sound area, Ontario.

Legit, basically.

But in all seriousness, they are super comfortable and we just wanted an excuse to wear them at a dinner party… And how cute are we? Matching slippers? What’s next? Monogrammed bathrobes?

Oh and for all of you not in the know, you must listen to Arlo Guthrie’s Alice’s Restaurant. Funny, touching, 18 minutes long… what’s not to love? Listen to it on Spotify or here (in 2 parts):

You’re welcome :)

WIP Wednesday 2 – Advent Calendar

It’s amazing how being busy preparing Thanksgiving dinner followed by being sick can keep you out of the blogosphere. From between last Friday and today I have over 300 posts to view… luckily work offers the perfect opportunity to read them all! I kid, I kid.. kinda..

The good thing about being sick (not the kind of sick I was on Sunday but how I was Monday and Tuesday) is that I got some time to work on the advent calendar I’m making for Alfie and Kitty. Here’s where I am now:

As you can see, I only have one pocket done. Out of 24. I do have more of the numbers done than it shows here. I have 1-13 done, as well as 21-24.

So now, I need to finish the numbers, stich up all the pockets, trim the flaps to make them fit, cut and sew the fabric (not shown) to make it a garland, and sew the pockets onto the fabric… whew! And that’s all before filling it with chocolate! Did I mention I am planning on giving this to them Friday? And I can’t work on it Thursday as we’re driving so I can’t have the light on.. Busy night for me tonight! But really, if worse comes to worse, I can work on it at Gavin’s parent’s house up in Stoke and let the kiddos see me making it for them. It just means I have to lug all the sewing crap with me to work, then on the train to the rental car place… no thanks! Tonight it is!

To recap from my last WIP Wednesday, I am almost done with my headband/earwarmer. I ran out wool with about 2 inches left and the shop was out of the red! So I used white for the end and the flower that I’m knitting – oh yeah, I’m so into knitting now, that I’m knitting a flower. Get me. It has taken the backseat to the calendar. As has the jacket. That’s also taken a backseat because I want to measure Kitty to make sure the jacket will fit like a glove! Or least be able to be let out/down! The quilt top is still not quilted nor does it have a back. I might be going to Ikea to check out some cheap/fun fabrics. Woohoo!

Linked up to Freshly Pieced.

I hear those sleigh bells jingling…

I had my Thanksgiving on Saturday so you know what that means! Christmas decorations can go up! Woohoo!

I spent my sick afternoon at home lying on the couch and then all of a sudden BAM! I felt the urge. The urge to pull out all (yeah, all 5 pieces) of our Christmas decorations. Now our living room (and front door) is cozily decorated. Even Gavin, a.k.a. The Grinch, likes it. I think he does because a.) there are no Santa’s; b.) there is no red and green, only red, white, gold, and silver; and c.) it’s not OTT. I’ll put up pictures one of these days :)

Being sick is no fun

Yesterday I said that I was massively hungover. It’s now seeming like I am sick, not hungover. Yesterday, I couldn’t hold anything down. A sip of water? Up a few minutes later. I felt massively nauseous all day and in between heavy naps, I was up hugging the porcelain. I was pretty useless to say the less. Fortunately, Gavin was useful. He cleaned the entire flat after our Thanksgiving dinner (there was a big mess) while I was passed out. I went to bed feeling horrible, but I thought I would wake up and feel fine (as it was a presumed hangover) but this morning, I got in the shower, felt very weak, got out and was sick again. I knew I wasn’t going to work. So today I have slept in, drank some beef broth and watched a lot of Fringe. I started feeling a bit better around 5 and ate some pasta. My throat is really starting to hurt and I am really hoping that it doesn’t develop into anything else! Here’s to hoping!

What I’m working on

This is the beginning of my advent calendar for Alfie and Kitty.. So far I have the numbers on six of the envelopes and this much stitching of the pockets. I have a lot of work ahead of me! It doesn’t help that the disappearing pen seems to just be absorbed into the felt rather than staying until it gets wet… annoying.

Tomorrow I am cooking our Thanksgiving dinner. Since the British clearly don’t celebrate it, we don’t have a holiday next week. We would do it next weekend but, alas, we are at a wedding were Gavin is the best man. Should be fun as we are having people total! I have already brined the turkey and I’m totally cheating and roasting the turkey and making the gravy tonight! That way tomorrow I just have to worry about reheating it – 20 minutes! Woohoo! So I won’t have the Norman Rockwell moment of setting the whole turkey on the table, but as no one really knows how to carve the turkey properly anyways, I figured no one would care. I’ll just make sure everyone has enough to drink!

And breathe…

It’s starting to be the time of year where we all start to stress out. Whether it’s making sure that everyone has the right Christmas (or any other celebration) presents, making sure that you hit everyone’s holiday parties, or making sure that 11 Thanksgiving non-celebraters understand that it’s not just a second Christmas dinner – oh wait, that’s probably just me..

While stressing is understandable, it’s easy to lose focus of the big picture. Enjoying the season with friends and family – decorating for the holidays (my fave!), making mulled wine, eating stews and roast chicken and veg; curling up on the couch and watching a Christmas Story and Love, Actually. And A Muppet’s Christmas Carol.. what? Only me again!?

This post is simply to remind myself to breathe. The need to take a break and relax is just as important as making mental checklists, as hard as it is to accept sometimes!