Thursday, December 27, 2012

Festive Festivities

I hope you all had a fabulous Christmas, it really feels like this years went by in a blur - especially as I was back to work today! 

I didn't post much over Christmas instead preferring to enjoy all the season brings including the decorating of my Christmas tree with my niece and nephew

Christmas and Boxing Day were filled with much fun and laughter, particularly Boxing Day when my aunt ended up like this

Gifts for me this year were very grown up and among others were things I needed for my home

I'm in love with my new coffee machine - even if I did need a lesson from my mum on how to use it!

So do tell, what did Santa bring you?

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

The Magic of Disney - Part 3

As strange as it sounds one of the great bonuses of visiting the US is getting to see movies that are not due for release in the UK for some time - on this trip it was the Disney cartoon, Wreck it Ralph 

and even better was that Brody and Violet had the opportunity to meet its "stars" even if they had to wait patiently for them

There were big hugs for Ralph 

and twizzler hairband wearing Venelope

Doesn't she have the coolest car ever!

The film is fantastic and great fun so do get yourself to the cinema in February when it's released in the UK

Monday, December 17, 2012

The Magic of Disney - Part 2

Time to continue with my more tales from my magical journey to Florida and put your minds at rest that thankfully Brody didn’t suffer too badly from his chicken pox so we just kept him at home for a couple of days with DVDs and toys

Brody’s time at home meant babysitting duties were divided and allowed my SIL and I day out together to Epcot where we both met our favourite characters; Mulan who my SIL hysterically bowed in thanks too

and Alice

Another one of the “child free” days it was a brothers and sisters day out to Universal and Island of Adventures taking the opportunity to have fun on all the roller coasters and visiting Harry Potter Land.

Having already visiting Potter World in the UK I have to admit that the Florida version was disappointing!
The area is very small and thin and whilst there is the usual attention to detail that one would expect there wasn't very much to see beyond a street of shop fronts and a few rides. I hear they're planning to expand the area so fingers crossed it improves but the good news is that us Brits have got it right this time and if your budget doesn't stretch to a trip to Florida get yourself to the local version

The good news was that after his few days at home Brody was back to his oldself and that meant normal service could resume for the rest of the holiday!

I will have another post or two about Florida this week and then I'll be bringing you up to date with all my Christmas festivities!

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

The Magic of Disney - Part 1

Before my holiday is a distant memory I think it’s time I shared some of the fabulous memories on my blog for posterity.

I’ll avoid a day by day account as well to be frank I bored myself emailing my mum a daily update and gave up after a week but I will spread the posts out of the next couple of days!

So here goes... our holiday began a day early so we could travel to Gatwick 24 hours ahead of our flights departure. This allowed us to check in our bags, secure extra leg room and avoid a crack of dawn start. Once our luggage was on its way we checked in at our hotel for the night. My nephew in particular loves a hotel stay and much fun was had jumping on beds and when we were driving around Florida every time he saw a Holiday Inn sign he’s shout out to us “hotel”!

If you have the funds to allow for this luxury when going on holiday I’d highly recommend it as it certainly takes some of the stress out of travelling. In the morning you have no luggage, we enjoyed a leisurely breakfast in the hotel, shuttle bus to the terminal and then straight through the security checks.

Despite my reservations about a long haul flight with my niece and nephew they were fantastically behaved – even if I spent an hour with my nephew on my lap watching Phineas & Ferb on my tv! My poor SIL had a more difficult time, spending much of the flight across the floor in front of their seats whilst Violet laid out and slept!

Enough about the travelling…. Onto the main event!

Our first couple of days were spent settling in, visiting some of the shops, a trip to SeaWorld and then it was time to visit the Magic Kingdom!

You will not be surprised that this was where the real Disney Magic Moment happened as Brody & Violet met Tinkerbell and her sister Perriewinkle

This was our first character greeting and it (almost!) brought a tear to my eye. We were taken into the Pixie Hollow room and Brody & Violet squealed with excitement at meeting Tink and her sister. The smiles on their faces, the looks of awe at meeting the fairies was priceless. My SIL and I practically skipped out of the room. We were so grateful for the time they spent with B & V to create such a magical experience, playing with Violets dolls etc

Then disaster struck…. This poor little man got chicken pox!

To be continued….

Sunday, November 11, 2012

I'm Baaaack!

Well wasn't my landing at a very chilly Gatwick Thursday morning a shock to my system! 

That being said I do love to come home despite what was a truly amazing holiday in Florida

Spending such fun times with my niece and nephew was fantastic and seeing their little faces when meeting up with the likes of this fellow was priceless

I will share more from my holiday in the week wanting to catch you up on the ups and downs since my return

In sad news Friday evening we lost my great uncle Bill. It can be such a rarity to know your "great" uncle like  my cousins and I did and he will be sadly missed

But on to happier things.... we are currently waiting for the arrival of my cousin's daughter - so far we're 1 day overdue and the little ones arrival will certainly bring a smile to my families faces at such a sad time

And then Saturday I was "toast mistress" at my friend Jo's wedding, here I am with 2 of her bridesmaids

Somewhat daunting making the announcements and I hope I did a great job for the beautiful bride

Today I have spent a lazy day on the sofa snoozing and catching up with my sky planner and then tomorrow it's back to work - thankfully the early mornings in Florida mean it won't be too much of a shock to the system!

Sunday, October 21, 2012

Home away from Home

Typical Florida vacations (I'm practicing my American lingo!) are spent in villas
such as this one which will be my home for the next 2 weeks

You can take a video tour here and listen to a wonderful cheesy voice over which I can't deny just watching now has added to my excitement!

My SIL's brother and I will be fighting over the standard queen bedroom and the Harry Potter themed room!

Although Brody wasn't too happy when he heard he'd be sharing with Violet in the Princess room so we'll be adding some Potter magic to that too!

It'll be lovely to return to the villa after a busy day at the parks to play in the pool and we've a BBQ on order   to assist with meal times

And the best thing - free wifi so hopefully I should be able to continue blogging and keep you all updated with my trip

For now it's just one more day at work to get through and then holiday fun can really begin!

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Bidding & Buying!

Having finished decorating my living room next on the list are my two bedrooms and I finally picked their colours over the weekend so I'm also ready to call the handyman in to complete the task - lesson learnt, where possible throw money at the problem!!

One job I was up for was bidding and winning this gorgeous dressing room my spare room

I'm so pleased, excited and cannot wait for it's arrival! I spent more than I budgeted but it's being delivered and the price was comparable to others listed. It'll be a main feature of my spare room which of course I'll be sharing with you

Another treat this week was this cute pineapple from Rockett St George. I spotted a silver pineapple in a vintage shop during my trip to Brighton but couldn't justify the cost at the time so this is a cheaper alternative for now

And finally just because she's so cute here is a picture of my niece with one of my Cabbage Patch Kid dolls... spot the difference!

I hope you're all having a good week - only a couple more days before it's the weekend!

Sunday, September 23, 2012

Weekend Wonderful

I had Friday off work so after a trip to the nail salon I was able to join my friend Lisa for a lunch of spicy sausage and goats cheese pizza

After lunch I return home for a potter whilst watching Breakfast for Tiffany's

and then popped up the local pub for a drink with family

Saturday morning I tried out my new egg poacher and cooked a lovely breakfast

The rest of the day was spent sorting through my spare room as I have big plans for it's re-decoration!!

Sunday I ventured to Homebase for paint testers and made this shocking discovery in my local Tesco

Surely this is too soon?!

My friend Maria and her son Louis popped round and we enjoyed the afternoon by candlelight

and indulged in some sweet treats with a cup of tea

I'm now enjoying sitting on the sofa watching X Factor and then of course Downton Abbey before a bath and bed in preparation for a full week at work!

(all photos taken for instagram where you can find me here or username @florenceandmary)

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Come Dine With Me

When I decided to change the layout of my living room from this I gave myself a dining room area where previously I had a large space, sofas at one end of the room, tv at the other and would be distracted by a dining table off to the side - esp off putting when it was piled with "stuff"!

Top Tip: check out similar properties as your own online for sale or rent to see how they have laid out their rooms. This is how I came up with my current layout and would never have considered it myself

My dining chairs took MONTHS to arrive from Next but once they did I loved how they look against the white table. I was very impressed with the price for these chairs as similar styles were out of my price range!

There was still something missing on the table, it was still very much a large white space and I didn't want to cover with a tablecloth and detract from the chairs so it was off to the local faux flower florist for a new flower arrangement

All that was left was to host my first dinner party and hope that I'd put the chairs together securely!

I have been thinking about new dinner set for a while now wondering if my vintage china was suitable but my mind was certainly changed when I laid my table

I purchased this pink roses Alfred Meakin set years ago from eBay,  4 each of dinner and side plates (although as you can see one has gone missing!!) and a tureen and platter. I think the pink against the black is so striking and I loved the contrast of modern and harsh black against the vintage floral of the china! Complimented by my pink napkins purchased from one of Rachel Ashwell's Shabby Chic stores

I feel that I'm finally finding "my style" and learning how to mix the modern style suitable to my lifestyle with the vintage touches to add some character, all that's left now is to keep an eye on eBay for more items to add to my dinner set!

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Sunday, September 16, 2012

Friends and Family Fun

I've been enjoying time spent with friends and family the past couple of weeks

There was fun in the sun on a trip to Brighton for a friends hen last weekend

and yesterday there was a visit from my brother to celebrate his birthday - although it was Violet photographed!

Later that evening Ben & I hosted our first dinner party - it was a sophisticated affair!

and then today we went rambling in the forest for Ben's nephew's birthday 

Despite wearing inappropriate footwear I got involved with den building!

and found that I'm quite at one with nature!

It's well known that being outdoors makes you hungry so Ben and I headed home for leftovers!

I hope you've been having as much fun as me over the weekend, now it's time for a quick bath before settling down for the return of Downton Abbey this evening

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