Wednesday 31 October 2012

What I Wore Wednesday: Honey Boo Boo Halloween

One of my favourite things about being home this time of year is that I'm home for the Halloween party my Dad throws! I decided to stick with my reality theme from last year after I saw this dress on sale in Glasgow and knew who I had to be!

The scary thing to me is that this is a real dress; like from a store where you'd buy clothes to wear in your every day life not a costume place! It screams Toddler and Tiaras to me so I paired it with a crown, sash and of course "go go juice" to be Honey Boo Boo Chile. I've never actually seen her tv show (it's not on in the UK) but I thought it was a fun costume! NotBlondeHusband was the Dude from The Big Lebowski because he wanted someone with a beard and long hair and didn't feel like going all out. 

My friend Dana was a spider with balloons on her back for legs which was really cool! We've been friends for almost twenty years which is just crazy to me! She's got two super cute boys and hopefully we can find time to have a play date for them and Blondie Boy.

Allyson from Day in the Life was a pregnant nun which was funny because people couldn't figure out if she was really pregnant or not because they didn't know her. Plus when isn't it funny watching a pregnant nun eat alcoholic whipped cream? Note at this point in the night I thought it was "cute" to try and make Honey Boo Boo faces. I was wrong--it was not cute.

My friend Steve and I have been friends since we were 6. One Halloween many years ago he sacrificed me on the school playground to bring a mummy back to life. Don't worry it didn't work ;) Steve was Johnny from the Karate Kid. I've never seen the Karate Kid so I mostly enjoyed the costume because I had to staple him into it when the zipper broke towards the end of the night.

Did you go to a Halloween party this past weekend? What did you dress up as?

Wednesday 24 October 2012

Transatlantic Travel Trouble

So on Monday we left the house at 7:30am and headed to Glasgow airport to get our first of three flights to get to Ohio. We checked our bags, saw Celtic as we went through security (Tony Watt is hot in person) and made it to the gate with plenty of time. Then we heard about the fog. Apparently there was some crazy, thick fog at Heathrow which meant our flight would be delayed as they'd restricted the air space. Great.

We were then told they were boarding our flight anyway just in case we could get an earlier time for traffic control. So we sat on the plane for two hours and then took off. We had the tiniest, dullest glimmer that we still might make our flight to Chicago. We ran with Blondie Boy to catch the shuttle from T5 to T3 and literally as the bus pulled into T3 we saw our plane pushing back from the airbridge. FLUCK.

We got through to a massive queue at the American Airlines desk and NBH stood in line as BB and I sat off to the side. At this point it was really hot and his eczema had flared up and he was not a happy camper. We stood in line for about an hour and about 45 minutes in BB fell asleep. The agent told us we could fly stand-by on the next Chicago flight BUT there would not be any connecting flights to Cincinnati. The same was true for any flights into the east coast. So we chose to get on the first flight out the next day and stay over night at Heathrow since the last time we got stuck at O'Hare overnight they refused to put up in a hotel.

So we booked a hotel that was 5 minutes on the shuttle and off we went. We got up to the room and I realized I'd left Blondie Boy's Cars2 backpack (with toys for the flight) on the hook of the luggage trolley at the shuttle stop. FLUCK. I tweeted Heathrow Airport for help and went straight back to the airport.

First stop was lost property (which is crazy far away in the depths of the basement by the Tube station randomly) who told me they couldn't help me until the item had been missing at least 24 hours. They suggested I try Excess Baggage. Stop 2, Excess Baggage were very friendly but told me no one had turned in a Cars2 backpack but why not try asking someone in a purple jacket at the information point. Stop 3, I met a lovely woman at Information who said why don't we try the trolley collectors. She and I walked around until we saw a trolley tractor and I dashed off to chase them down. Stop 4, Trolley Collector Marchin who phoned over to the other side who said they hadn't collected anything. I said thank you for his help and went to look by the shuttles again.

I turned around and Marhcin was still behind me and he said he wanted to try and help me. So he went to try and find the cleaners who might know while I checked around the corner. Stop 5 came when Marchin told me he found a cleaning lady but he couldn't understand her because she only spoke Spanish. ¡AY DIOS MIOS! (OMG!) I speak really shitty Spanish but my comprehension is actually mediocre. I managed to tell her "niños" "azul" "bolcheta pequeño" and she said something I didn't understand and then "juguetones" which is toys so I knew she'd seen the bag since I hand't mentioned toys. She said that George had it so another lovely BAA employee Gideon took me to see George.

Stop 6 we met George who didn't have Blondie Boy's backpack but did have all of his Cars toys that were in the bag in a plastic bag. SUCCESS! It took two hours and a lot of persistence and optimism but I hugged him I was so happy. Blondie Boy LOVES his Cars so it was amazing to see them all there.

When I went back to get the shuttle back to the hotel I saw the cleaning lady again and went over to tell her "muchas gracias" and she then told me in Spanish that she'd seen a woman with his backpack who DUMPED THE ENTIRE CONTENTS INTO THE TRASH and then walked away with the bag! WHO STEALS A CHILD'S BACKPACK!?!?!?!?!?!? I'm so grateful to have his toys back but WHAT THE FLUCK.

So we have the toys back (and washed eww they were in the trash) and we leave the hotel at 5:30am the next morning. I feel like shite. As we are waiting to check in I have to sit down because I swear I'm going to puke. We get to the gate and I still feel rough. NBH is convinced I'm just really tired and I'll feel better once I sleep some. He and BB fall asleep and literally 15 minutes after take off I get up to go to the bathroom because I feel rotten. 

Of course both bathrooms are occupied and whoever is inside isn't shifting. I have to sit down and when I do I fill an entire barf bag. I go to the back of the plane to dispose of said bag and the sides start to split but luckily a flight attendant gets me a plastic bag and tells the other people waiting in line to let me cut in front of them.  I won't go into more details but lets just say food poisoning at 40,000 feet SUCKS.

Again I'm grateful to amazing staff, in this case the super thoughtful American Airlines flight attendant Heidi who kept checking on me and brought my cold towels and ginger ale and crackers from first class. I dozed on and off and was so wiped and weak she ordered me a wheelchair at O'Hare. Normally I would have said no but I was so exhausted and I knew there is a lot of walking between terminals.

It actually worked out for the best because since I had the extra assistance we went through separate, quicker customs and security lines. Although the guy at customs was super rude about Blondie Boy having two passports and told me he can only hold one blah blah. I let him know the embassy informed otherwise and he'd been flying on two since he was 5 months old but I'd look into it. Anyway we made it to our gate 5 minutes before the flight boarded so I was very grateful.

We arrived in Cincinnati and low and behold NBH's bag does not. Again the last time his bag didn't show up on an American flight O'Hare to Cincinnati it NEVER was seen again so it was a bit worrying. Luckily this time it arrived at my Dad's house 7 hours after we landed.

So while it was not the easiest crossing we've all made in in one piece and the weather is amazingly beautiful in Cincinnati but I don't have a What I Wore Wednesday post. I'm pretty sure none of y'all wanted to see me in two-day old clothes, post pukeage. So you get this long and rambling story instead. I promise to have actual clothes next week!

Sunday 21 October 2012

Easy Halloween Crafts for Toddlers

I LOVE Halloween. It is slowly getting more and more popular (or maybe just commercialized?) every year here in the UK which makes me happy. We are going to be in the USA for Halloween (yay!) but I still wanted to do some fun Halloween crafts with Blondie Boy before we left. It didn't make sense to carve a pumpkin since we'd be leaving and also since he's a toddler I don't exactly trust him with sharp knives. So we painted a Jack O Lantern.

The hardest part was my portion which was taping on the Jack O Lantern's face. I just took some masking tape, overlapped strips and made giant squares to then cut out the shapes I wanted. The eyes and nose were easy but the mouth was a little bit more fiddly.

Then I just let Blondie Boy go to town with some poster paints and he painted all over the pumpkin. Once it was dry I peeled off the tape to reveal the "carved" Jack O Lantern face. 

Blondie Boy is a boy after his Mom's heart and had me add some glitter to the eyes, nose and mouth. It actually kind of mimics the flicker of a candle so I think it turned out pretty cool.

He is so proud of it and always talks about "his pumpkin" when we pull in the driveway.

Since the pumpkin went so well we decided to make some hand Spiders that I saw on Kismet's Fate's Instagram. Again super easy but possibly messy--what craft involving paint isn't messy with a toddler? 

Paint one of your toddler's hands and have them make handprints on a bit of card stock or poster board. Then paint their other hand and make another handprint next to it making sure the thumbs over lap.
Let the hand prints dry and then cut around the hand spiders. It is quite curvy so depending on how good your child is with scissors they could do this themselves or you can do it. 

Then glue on googly eyes. I found it was a lot easier for Blondie Boy to glue on the larger eyes so we used them so he could do it himself.

We stuck them all over Blondie Boy's bedroom door to make it extra spooky and he took one to his Grandma's house for her bulletin board. Have you being doing any Halloween crafts?

Wednesday 17 October 2012

What I Wore Wednesday: GFBW Fashion Show

Last Thursday I attend the Glasgow for Business Week Fashion Show at Prince's Square and it was amazing. There is so much fashion talent in Scotland and it was really showcased on the catwalk. Some of the designers I knew but a lot of them were new to me. If you follow me on Instagram you'll know I did my best to tweet photos but damn is it hard to take a photo of a moving model! So here are my best shots:

William was "Accessory Designer of the Year" at the Scottish Fashion Awards and makes the most amazing hats and headpieces.

Rebecca makes gorgeous colour blocked body con dresses. You might recognize her dresses as one of the "Basketball Wives" wore it on their reunion show.

Stunning Vintage inspired Hand-finished Lingerie 

I knew them for their amazing custom acrylic knuckle dusters but now I'm coveting their edgy but feminine women's wear.
Iona's prints were earth and ethereal and oh so Scottish.

There were also gorgeous dresses by Marc Ross (I wish I'd gotten better photos of the ultimate LBD), amazing coats with just the tiniest hint of sparkle by Lyndsey McNeil, impressive knits by Di Gilpin and many more. One of my favourite was Euan McWhirter's couture jewellery collection. Euan was kind enough to send me these photos from his collection: 

I love his chunky and colourful pieces and how freaking amazing is that punk Victorian cuff? I'm a sucker for anything that sparkles and has studs---stunning! Euan also does bespoke fine jewellery that is drop dead gorgeous  I have two words for you- OCTOPUS RING. Click the link because honestly words don't do it justice.

I showed up to the show knowing no one and the lovely Mairi McDonald, who's a women's wear designer herself and a trendspotter for The Herald, was so nice and let me sit with her during the show. It was a bit unnerving showing up and knowing no one but everyone was so lovely. I had great time and wound up heading for drinks afterwards with Euan and William who were both so inviting and fun. Also some how we ended up drinking with a guy who was in Braveheart and Wanted so that is me one degree closer to Mel Gibson and Angelina Jolie apparently!

So what did I wear. I ended up wearing the first outfit that popped into my head when I heard I got offered tickets to attend. You see in life sometimes you have to go big or go home and I thought if I couldn't go over the top at a fashion show when could I? So after almost a year I finally wore my amazing Versace for HM fur vest:

Black Dress-HM
Black Fur Vest with Gold Buckles-Versace for HM
Black Studded Bag-Versace for HM
Gold Studded Black Leggings-New Look
Black Folded Chain Trimmed Ankle Boots-New Look

Black Platinum with Model's Own Ibiza Top Coats

It is not something I'd wear every day obviously but OMG did I love wearing it. I tend to lean towards the edgy side so the studs and fur all just gave me some crazy confidence. Also I'm not obsessed with Model's Own Glitter Top Coat especially over black. I took it off this weekend but am contemplating putting it back on already.

I went for a smoky eye (when do I not?) and rocked a red lip. I'm normally not a red lip kinda girl but is really growing on me. Of course it doesn't hurt that Mairi said I was channelling Gwen Stefani who's style I've coveted since her dip-dyed Galliano wedding gown. Anyway I digress; it was really hard to get a good photo of the outfit so I've put together the outfit on Polyvore too.

GFBW Fashion Show Outfit

I was so inspired by these amazing Scottish designers and hopefully I'll be able to attend many more Scottish fashion events. It was a great night and thanks so much to Glasgow for Business Week for having me attend! If you are in love with Scottish design as much as I am please do click through the links and support these designers--most of them ship to the USA as well as Europe!

Wednesday 10 October 2012

What I Wore Wednesday: Trendy Toddler

So for the past three weeks I haven't worn pants/trousers. Don't worry I haven't been running around outside pantless flashing people but I've only been wearing tights or leggings on my bottom half while I'm trying to lose weight. Part of this is due to the fact that I bust a massive hole in the the jeans that fit before I started losing weight and partly that I don't want to try on the next size down and be discouraged.

If you follow me on Instagram or Twitter you'll know I've been doing Weight Watchers (I am that annoying person that takes a photo of what they are eating) and so far I have lost 9lbs. I'm pretty happy about it especially since I didn't stress over what I was eating in London and just went and had Dim Sum because I wanted it. The iPhone app makes it all pretty easy  since I can type in any nutritional info and get the points but most of all NotBlondeHusband cooks dinner at night which is amazing. There are so many great Weight Watchers blogs so we've found lots of recipes all of us can enjoy without busting my diet. If you are looking for recipes there are a ton on my "Stop the Muffin Overflowing" Pinterest board.

Anyway I digress! Because I've been focused on what I'm eating I've not been focused on what I'm wearing, but luckily my stylish little dude is happy to step in for me. There was a massive HM sale online and I ordered ourselves a 50% duvet cover and decided to let Blondie Boy pick out a hat, too. He LOVES hats and he was more than happy to have a photoshoot for me. I think he may have inherited his mommy's love of being in front of the camera!

Tie Dye T-Shirt-Circo
Jacket-Ted Baker
Converse All Stars

If you are keeping track of what cars are his co-stars that is Miguel Camino. I'm attending a VIP Fashion Show as part of Glasgow Business Week on Thursday so I will definitely be back next week, just probably in leggings of some shape or form! 

Now what do you wear to a fashion show?!?!?

Monday 8 October 2012

Win Cooking Lessons & A 5 Star Meal with a Michelin starred Chef!

Have you heard of this food and recipes website called the Ideas Kitchen? If you have an interest in cooking you may want to take a look at it to find tips and recipes that can be cooked with your microwave! I use my microwave for making hollandaise sauce myself; I tried making it on the stove once and it was a huge disaster! Microwave all the way!

Even if you aren't the keenest microwave enthusiast The Ideas Kitchen are currently offering a chance to win a cooking lesson with the celebrity and Michelin starred gourmet chef Daniel Galmiche. The 4 winners will also get the opportunity to have a personal cooking lesson with him in his restaurant, The Vineyard, Berkshire. They will be greeted with champagne and canapés and enjoy a sumptuous 5 course tasting lunch at the Vineyard!  Winners travel expenses will also be covered up to £100 so it doesn't matter if you don't live near by!

How can you enter? Answer a simple question: What recipe does Daniel cook in Brixham?
You can find the answer is in one of the following videos:

The competition closed on the 17th of October 2012 and to enter you just need to answer the question and a winner will be chosen among the right answers! Just visit The Ideas Kitchen to enter the competition. Terms and conditions apply; you can read the terms and conditions on the Ideas Kitchen competition post. Good luck!

This is a sponsored post.

Wednesday 3 October 2012

What I Wore Wednesday: The Mad Blog Awards

This past Thursday I went down south for a half day in the office and to attend The MAD Blog Awards. I wore my polka dot dress, skull scarf and leopard heels to the office like I said I would--who ever thought I'd do pattern mixing--and met up with the lovely Lizzie and Jacqui again for an AMAZING dinner and lots of chatting. I'm really enjoying our meet-ups when I'm in town for work and I'm holding Lizzie to her promise of having us to hers for dinner next time!

The next day I had breakfast in bed (the hotel only charges a £5 upgrade so I always splurge) while doing some work and took the train from Marlow to London. Boots was having a 3 for 2 sale so while getting shampoo/conditioner I threw in a "bun thingy" so I could attempt a high messy bun in more chic and less hungover hipster style.

I think it worked pretty well and since it is blonde coloured it means it doesn't show through my fine hair. The girl across from me on the tube was giving me weird looks but that might have just been because I was taking pictures of myself and on the tube and not because she didn't like my hair. 

The evening of the awards we had the opportunity to have our hair and make up done and I jumped at the chance. I'm going to be honest and say the hair did not work for me; I wasn't the only one as poor Dorky Mum wound up looking like Justin Bieber before she took her hair in her own hands. Luckily the lovely Alice from More Than Toast let me borrow her curling wand and I was able to remedy my hair situation.

My make up however, I loved. I told the lovely Sue from Arbonne that I liked a strong eye and to "think of a Rock of Love reject and then take it down one notch." She didn't know what Rock of Love was but she made it work. I added a bit more eyeliner and mascara, I'm addicted what can I say, but I especially loved how she did my overall complexion.

Notice my hair is not anywhere near "loose, beachy waves" at this point but my face is fabulous! Also yes I did roll up in a hotel robe and leggings; I forgot a wide neck shirt and I wasn't about to risk messing up my face. At least no one confused me for a hooker; at my sister's wedding I also wore a robe and a guy in the elevator basically inferred I was a prostitute. I don't know what prostitutes roam hotel hallways in robes but that isn't how they act on Police Women of Cincinnati that is for sure. Anyway I digress....

I was on double duty both up for an award (thanks to you lovely readers!) and presenting an award for work. I wanted to look fabulous but not too over the top so after trying on more than my fair share of dresses and then a dozen or so pairs of shoes this is what I wore:

I loved the shape and colours of this dress from TK Maxx and the patent bow belt that emphasised my waist just sold me on it. You can't tell but the skirt is the slightest bit see-through. The best part--the dress was £29.99! I'm serious. Don't you just love TK Maxx?
I paired it with accessories from New Look:

I fell in love with these Black Fold Over Chain Trim Ankle boots and they were so comfortable. I can see myself getting a lot of wear out of these so I'm glad I got them!

My sister made me promise I wouldn't wear "those damn feather earrings" again so I got these Gold and Silver Spike Cluster Drop Earrings because I thought they brought a bit of edge to the sweet dress and helped tie in this amazing Silver Wrap Around Cuff (which is much cooler in person than the picture) and the boots. I like a bit of edge and I think my accessories helped bring that.

Probably my favourite thing had to be hanging out with my good friend Susan who's bump looked amazing in her green dress. She wasn't sure about her hair but I thought it looked vintage inspired and really suited her! The next day the two of us bummed around Covent Garden and went to China Town for Dim Sum and it was just a really lovely afternoon. We both live in Glasgow but with children and work we usually are only able to catch a movie now and then so it was great to have a fun day out. Also we met the Green M who coincidentally poses exactly the same as I do.

Maybe it is time to rethink my signature pose? I want to give a big thanks to Helen and Evelyn at TK Maxx for providing my outfit and really just for being lovely. It was great to see Evelyn again on the night (who looked amazing in a one shoulder blue TK Maxx dress) and even though I didn't win (the very deserving Baby Wears Prada won) I'm still ridiculously honoured to have been a finalist. I love fashion, but I'm not a fashionista and I have no delusions of this being a fashion blog. What I Wore Wednesday is coming up on it's 1st birthday and it still amazes me that you all link up every week. So most of all thank you to all of you who voted for me and sent me to the awards.

Also thank you to Lexi from Mammy Woo who when I said after dinner "I think we should mount a reindeer" didn't bat a pretty eyelash but hopped straight on. My kind of gal.

Now enough of my waffling on and we'll get down to business! I really do love all your comments and unless I'm travelling I comment on every post linked so please do take the time to check out other posts linked up and find some new inspiration!