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Diarising

Being a massive stationery geek, this time of year is just perfect. Choosing Christmas cards, using the right pen, writing gift tags and notes and importantly, a choosing new diary.
Yes, I know i work in digital and everything should be on my phone, but I love a new diary. I love that moment when you start a new and watch it get more and more used and handbag battered throughout the year. My current 2012 diary started out a deep purple but now it’s a faded lilac-y number, bursting with bits of paper and notes and my movements from the year. 
What I can't decide is which one to buy.

Which one would you go for?
We also have a year planner to try and keep track of our coupley movements {mostly so we don’t double book ourselves} so if you have any ideas on those i’m looking for one of those too. 
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I have a new daily game. It’s called ‘what to wear that won’t annoy HR’.

I have been on a steep learning curve since starting my new job. It’s not the work. The work is fine. It’s nothing I can’t handle. But the dress code. Now that’s a tough one to get my head around.

Agency life is one of smart-ish jeans and a top for most days, a dress or something nice for meetings. As was my last job. But my new job is a whole different story - there is a dress code. Yup. An actual, in print, talked through by HR, dress code. And as I have found out, it’s strictly enforced. I knew that I would have to start dressing like a worker rather than dressing like me, but I had hoped some of the clothes I had would still be suitable, unfortunately though it seems a whole new wardrobe will be in order.

So, let’s take a look at some of it and I’ll let you know where my problems lie;


Dresses and skirts should be kne e length or longer, and dresses must have a cap sleeve or a collar. I am fine with the cap sleeve/collar thing but the knee length. If you’ve met me before I don’t do knee length.
Shoes should match your outfit. How subjective is this? What if I think they match but someone else doesn’t. And say you’re wearing a dress, do you match them to your tights or your dress?
Tops need to have an appropriate neckline and be made from a suitable fabric that is not revealing. I am not about to wear tops with plunging necklines but again, what is appropriate to me might not be appropriate to you.

Knee length tailored shorts can be worn. Erm. Wtf? Who has knee length tailored shorts? I did try and get away with mid thigh shorts and someone dobbed me into HR so I’ll not be trying that again.

Hair should be a natural colour. I am not planning a hair colour change, but I got told even a bright red is out of the question.
Nail varnish needs to be a natural colour and not chipped. Nails must also be unbitten. A natural coloured nail varnish. What is the point? And I am the worst person at having none chipped nails. I can even chip a shellac, in my sleep.

No visible tattoos or piercings. The tongue stud is out. For good (it healed up) and my nose stud comes out daily. I am not looking forwards to covering my foot tat in the summer.

No leggings (or footless tights) or jersey material. Not even tshirts!
No blue denim. Any other colour is ok apparently though. 

There are also rules about strappy tops, party dresses (they are a no no), hoods and flip flops. 

Does your company have a dress code? And can anyone help me figure out how to dress for work, not get in trouble and not be a massive frump!
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December ShareAdvent

I stumbled across this fun little festive crafting mission by Skin & Blister on The Mrs Makes and thought it might be fun to try and give it a go. I know I won't be able to do every day because work will get in the way, and we're having an Elf showing on the 1st so I know I'll be watching it way before the 17th, but it does look like fun. 

The plan is to tweet, Instagram or blog the prompts you join in with and use the #ShareAdvent. 

If you fancy joing me head on over to Skin & Blister and sign up to the linky so you can see the other people who have signed up too. 


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Vintage Ski

I have a new website and # obsession.
Yes. Its a bit of an odd one, but if you have spent as much time on the snow, spotting misguided Europeans and their beloved une-pieces, as I have, you might love it too. Plus, I am pretty sure some of the outfits featured are the exact ones my parents wore on the mountain in the 70's.

Seriously - just look at that outfit below and then visit Vintage Ski or search #retroskifriday


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Dressing up.

My brother gets married just before christmas and I've been told I need to look wonderful, but dressy dress shopping just doesn't come natural to me, I'm much more comfortable in my jeans. And crazily, for once I have a bit of cash to splash on something, but I just can't figure out what I want. 

I'm terrified of looking frumpy, or huge, and I'd love something a bit cool, but its just so hard to do with my body shape {big boobs, expanding waistline, ok legs!}

If anyone can help me, point me in the right direction of websites to visit, or find me a personal shopper who'll just do it for me, please shout. 

And just so you know how serious I am I've made a pinboard {of course I have. Have you met me before?}

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Insta-addict


Have you seen the new Instagram feed pages? I know they've had a lot of stick for being too 'facebooky' but I have to say I love it. I like the way the images rotate and I love that there is a presence without using a third party. It does tell me that I may have instagrammed far too many photo's whilst I wasn't working though.

You can now follow me over on mine if you want at ohgoshem
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Counting down

When I was little* we always had an advent calendar, usually one of those cheap chocolate ones, but an advent none the less.
And when I moved out I bought a fabulous M&S number - little stockings that fit perfectly over the fireplace like this one and can be filled with treats. But I thought it might be time to investigate some other cool advent options;

The Whisky Advent - it's a little pricey but tres cool. If I had the cash, one for my dad, defo! 
The obligatory Star Wars Lego one. I say Meh, but I am sure the boy would love it. 
This Selfridges Beauty Advent - A little pricey, but how wonderful would it be. 

This Hotel Chocolat one has 2 chocolates in it - in case I fancy sharing, or eating 2 treats a day.
And now for my all time fav - seriously, I am having to talk myself OUT of buying this. {But I am pretty sure it would be the best money I spent all Christmas - at least I'd be pretty merry} 
And finally, the perfect one for me, Following from last years 1mtr x 1 mtr Gin Blog advent, they've come up with the more  manageable sized Ginvent
UPDATE: After a little twitter chat with friends and readers I have a couple more advents to show you;

The Lakeland cracker nativity as suggested by @fayBerg

The Tea Advent. Not being a tea drinker, Ginvent is defo more up my street, but @bish_a_lish is pretty excited for this one! 

Do you have an advent calendar still? And which one would you choose? Would you want chocolate still, or a toy, or would you join me on the booze?

*until I was about 25!
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Home-made Puppy Treats


We're attending a one of Flash's puppy club friends, Stan's, 2nd birthday party on Saturday and I promised to bring some puppy treats. They're like best buddies so it's the least I can do.*

I did a bit of pinteresting and came up with a loose idea of a recipe to make - Peanut Butter with Bacon and Cheese Puppy Treats. 


160g rolled oats
300g wholemeal flour
1 1/4 cups boiling water & 1 meat stock cube
1 egg
185g peanut butter
50g butter
100g grated cheese
4 slices bacon - cooked crisply. 

I added all the ingredients apart from the cheese and bacon to a bowl. I found softening the butter first helped, as did heating up the spoon to get the peanut butter from the jar cleanly. 

I tried cutting up the bacon really small and eventually got bored and blitzed it in the mini chopper {the boy raves about it so I thought I'd give it a go} and this worked really well, but you could just add bigger chunks for food process it. 


Once the bacon was in small pieces, I added about 3/4 of both the bacon and cheese to the mixture and  mixed it all together until if formed a pretty sticky mass. I tried to do this with a spoon but in the end I had to get my fingers in there and mix it by hand. I'm not a fan of peanut butter so it wasn't the greatest thing to be smelling on my hands!


Once it was all mixed together, I formed it into a ball, and then mine sat in the fridge for a couple of hours whilst went out for a drink with friends.


When you're ready to bake, dust the surface and rolling pin with some flour and roll it out. I had to cut the ball in half before I started rolling as it was far too big for the rolling pin. 

I rolled it to about 5mm thick, which might have been a bit thin really, but the dogs attending the party aren't huge and the cookie cutter was looking quite large at that point, so I went a bit thinner than I would have if it was a smaller cutter.


I used this 6cm bone shaped cutter, and got about 80 bones from it. I'll be honest - I got a bit bored towards the end of re-rolling the scraps and after I'd hit 80 treats, I just threw them on to the baking sheet. These scrappy ones are just for Flash, but lets face it, to him, food is food - he'll never know it's not properly shaped. 

I sprinkled the left over bacon bits and cheese on the biscuits before baking and popped them in the oven for 15minutes until they were going a little golden brown and hard. 


I've not tried them {dog treats just aren't my sort of thing} but Flash loves them. He was going mental at just the smell this morning whilst I tried to photograph them, and he managed to scramble his way onto the table and eat my props when my back was turned!


And just for the party I've created some little doggy bags with 8 treats in each. I just hope they all like them as much as Flash does or we'll have a fat puppy on our hands.  


And here they are - Flash and Stan. 


*I totally get this opening sentence makes me a crazy puppy lady. But meh! I'm not that bothered. 
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