Monday, 31 October 2011

What Halloween Means To Me

I have always loved Halloween. I love the dressing up, the sweets, the parties, but more recently Halloween has taken on a whole new meaning to me, it's a very special time because it marks a very special date between me and a very special person. 

Halloween is mine and my Sweetheart's Anniversary.

I will always remember our first Halloween together. We had met only once before, after a show that I was performing in with one of my Sweetheart's friends. My Sweetheart was in the audience on press night and he stuck around for the after show party. We were casually introduced at the bar by our mutual friend and there was an instant connection, so strong it took me quite by surprise. We both knew that something pretty amazing had happened. A week later it was Halloween and after talking for hours on the phone each day after our first meeting (we couldn't meet properly for that time as my Sweetheart was working away), we were going to set eyes on each other for the second time, and go on our first date. And what a day we had. I felt as though I was walking through the pages of every romantic novel I have ever read, that I must be in a movie because life alone couldn't be this perfect. That day, after only having met twice and knowing next to nothing about each other, although feeling as if we had known each other for lifetime and that we knew everything , we became a couple officially, he became MY Sweetheart and we have never looked back since.

This time last year we were celebrating in Paris, but unfortunately this year my touring schedule means that we are apart, I am now in Edinburgh whilst my Sweetheart remains in London. We did manage to celebrate our Anniversary last week in Oxford and we had the most beautiful time, but that doesn't make it any easier when I think of the many miles between us on this day when all I want to do is be close to him and feel his hand in mine.

But even through the sadness of being away I know that I am the luckiest girl in the world to still be head over heels crazy in love with my best friend and to know that he feels the same way about me. You can only be sad for so long when you know that :)

So my lovely readers, have a superb Halloween, dress up, eat, drink and be merry, party the night away, because I think this night is very special and deserves to be celebrated!

Happy Halloween! (And Happy Anniversary my Sweetheart xxx)

Wednesday, 26 October 2011

Wednesday Wonderfuls #41

Greetings my lovely readers from lovely Oxford! And look what I discovered whilst having a quick bevvie in a pub here...

How cool is this??!

Firstly let me apologise for the lack of posting that's been going on here, this tour has been crazy hectic recently, plus I have been seeing as much of the sights here as I can whilst spending all my free time with my Sweetheart and both our sets of parents, I've really been having a lovely old time here! But alas this means not so much time for blogging, although I'm sure this will change as time goes by.

Another bit of exciting news is that myself and some of the other cast of Sister Act will be appearing on "This Morning" tomorrow, that's October 27th, so if you're in the UK do check us out, I believe our performance will be live at about 12:15. So it really is all going on here!

But let me keep to my schedule by posting my Wonderfuls, actually on a Wednesday for a change! Here they are, brilliant as always:

That's it from me for now, busy, busy, busy, but I'll write again soon, watch this space!

Bye for now!

Sunday, 23 October 2011

Crafty Christmas Update #1

I've been a very busy bee so I can't wait to see what you guys think of my work so far :)


Friday, 21 October 2011

Wednesday Wonderfuls #40 (I know, it's so not Wednesday right now!) + a new Haircut!

Hi lovely readers, greetings from Oxfordia!

I know, I've been a very naughty blogger, once again my Wednesday Wonderfuls post is not on a Wednesday, you must all think that I have a real problem with being able to tell which day of the week it is! Basically it's all been going on what with our first big move of venue with the show and settling into a new way of living in Oxford - although obviously I'm so thrilled to be here, it's so awesome! - but to make up for once again not posting my Wonderfuls on time I'm also going to share with you some shots of my new haircut. Ooooooo!

What with having to constantly put my hair up in pin curls under a wig cap for the show I realised that longer hair was just not going to be an option for me right now, I was leaving the theatre looking as if I hedgehog had been nesting in my do, so I booked an appointment at The Painted Lady salon on my day off and once again those wonderful ladies worked their magic. Here's my new look:

With beret...

Without beret!

I hope you're loving this look as much as I am! It's so nice to have manageable hair again, plus it looks so cute with hats, which is just perfect for the cold weather :) go to The Painted Lady, they work hair miracles!

Anyway, let's get down to the main event, the Wednesday (ok, not quite!) Wonderfuls! Here they are in all their glory:
I hope you've enjoyed this week's Wonderfuls as much as I have, join me again for more posts soon, right now me and my new hair have got a date with Oxford!

Bye for now!

Monday, 17 October 2011

Merry (October) Christmas!

You may have noticed a new little badge on my side bar, I'm very excited about it. Basically I have joined the Crafty Christmas Club and I'm going to be having a handmade Christmas this year!

Now, this is very important:

Parents, Friends, Loved Ones - this means YOU mummy and my Sweetheart!! - PLEASE DO NOT VISIT THAT BLOG. 

I am going to use the Crafty Christmas Club Blog as a safe place to post about my Christmas plans, what I'm making and how it's all going, so unless you want to find out what I've been slaving over for your Christmas gift then please, please, please don't peak at that site, otherwise I will be very sad, and that's no fun for anyone!

But to all the rest of my lovely readers please do hop over to the blog and check out what's happening, it's a brilliant place to get inspiration for gifts, their are so very talented crafters taking part :) You can even get involved yourself if you want to, all the details about how to can be found on the blog. My first post can be found here and I will keep you posted on any updates I add to the Crafty Christmas Club, I'm so excited to get started!

I know some of you may think I'm crazy to be thinking about Christmas in October, but you may think differently when you realize that it's only 10 weeks until Christmas. Eek! 

Must dash, some serious crafting needs to be done :)

Sunday, 16 October 2011

Manchester - my time in pictures

Hello there lovely readers! Yesterday was my last day at Manchester (I am currently back at home before heading to Oxford in a few days, exciting!) and in honor of the lovely time I spent there I thought I would share some of the snaps I've been taking on my iPhone, plus they all look so pretty all together :)

By the way, after seeing these pictures you may think I have a bit of unhealthy obsession with cakes and milkshakes. And you couldn't be more right! Enjoy!

Happy Weekend!

Saturday, 15 October 2011

Manchester Adventures - Pin Up Bowling

I have to admit that some of my favourite moments during my time in Manchester have been at the Pin Up pop up bowling alley and bar. This place is amazing!

The inside of this cute little pop up venue contains a diner, a bar and a bowling alley all decorated in the style of 1950s rock and roll. Plus as you sit and munch on burgers or sip milkshakes you are treated to a divine mix of 50s music, there is even a dance floor if you feel in the mood to do the twist :) This venue is just great, plus it's going to be hosting all kinds of events before it heads off to it's next location in November, including a vintage fashion show (with free goodie bags!) and a whole host of live performances. Get your butts down there if you are in the Manchester area, believe me it's worth it!

During my time in Manchester I have paid a couple of visits to Pin Up, both at night to bowl and party and during the day to check out the food on offer, and every time I have had a blast.

Firstly the food is incredible, I was expecting simple diner food, but this place takes burgers and milkshakes to the next level! Everything that is served is sourced as locally as possible and as much of the preparation and cooking is done by hand as possible, basically you're not going to find any frozen food here. Each burger is made from prime steak mince and is beautifully prepared, and the chips are all hand sliced. You can tell from the flavour how much love and attention has gone into this food, I had a Chilli Cheese dog and it changed my life :) And the milkshakes, don't get me started on the milkshakes! You can choose from a selection of flavours (vanilla, strawberry, chocolate, raspberry, banana or mint chocolate) and they are so yummy one just might not be enough. Plus they combined chocolate and banana in a single shake for me so I will love them forever :)

At night the venue becomes a party zone filled with cocktails, music and bowling fun, and yes myself and the other members of my cast may have taken over all four of the bowling lanes after a show one night... We all had a brilliant time, the staff were all very friendly and accommodating, the drinks were wonderful and plus we all got to try out our bowling skills, some more successfully than others! I am proud to say that I did manage to knock down a few pins, and for me that's a real achievement :) More people should bowl together, it's fun!

The Pin Up bar

Let's do some bowling!

I highly recommend the Pin Up experience, if you can do try and visit before it heads off to it's next location, I have heard it will be in Dublin when I'm performing there too, I cannot wait to visit again!

I spent the entire time I was there pretending I was in this movie...


Thursday, 13 October 2011

Manchester Adventures - The Northern Quarter

Hello there lovely readers! Today I'm going to share with you some of the adventures I've been having around Manchester, starting off with the wonderful Northern Quarter :)

Now firstly I need to thank Miss Marie and Hannah, both of whom suggested that I visit places in the Northern Quarter. Thanks for the advice ladies, I had a fab time exploring!

Now anyone who has been to Manchester will know about the vast amount of mainstream shops there are, if you like that kind of thing there is row after rows of chains, brands, anything you can think of, but I wonder how many of you have taken the time to explore the streets of the Northern Quarter? I must admit that this is definitely where my heart lies, among the little boutiques, cafes, vintage and charity shops, I felt right at home, almost as if I was back in London wandering the streets of Soho :)

Afflecks Palace, and it is a palace indeed!

First off I wove my way floor to floor in the epic construction that is the Affleck's Palace, I tell you, this place is enormous! It is stuffed with new designers, vintage clothes, body art and piercing stalls, it really was quite a sight to see. I must admit that it was a little goth heavy for my tastes, and there wasn't really a wide enough selection of vintage clothes to get me spending my hard earned pennies, but just looking at the selection of goods on sale was a really fun experience. Definitely worth a visit if you're interested in mixing a modern and vintage look, you wouldn't be short of new fashion ideas after browsing around this place!

Oxfam Originals on Oldham Street

The main street where all the lovely vintage-y stores seem to lurk is Oldham Street, it's the home of Paul's Vintage (a warehouse bursting with a huge selection of goodies, although mostly from the 70s/80s/90s), Oxfam Originals (a sexy version of your regular Oxfam!) and the Manchester branch of Forbidden Planet (a big hit with my Sweetheart when he came to visit!). But I have to say that my favourite place on Oldham Street was Pop Boutique. Now I have visited Pop Boutique on the Seven Dials in London many times, and I must admit I have never been that impressed with what's on offer, but let me tell you, Manchester's Pop Boutique is what the London version wants to be when it grows up...

Pop Boutique, Oldham Street

This fabulous store boasts two whole massive floors of vintage goodness, including a large selection of home furnishings, but in terms of clothes you'll find everything you could possibly want from dresses to bags to shoes to jackets. Just look at this beautiful decor...

Now, one thing I don't and have never liked about Pop Boutique is that they do have a habit of selling some vintage items as old-to-new, i.e. they take dresses and skirts and cut them off rather severely at the knee and then re-hem them, something that I have a real problem with (not so much when you're dealing with newer pieces, but when you find beautiful 50s/60s era dresses that have been treated this way you too would feel my pain!) however, in this instance I was able to forgive because of the incredible find that came my way on my visit...

Oooo... pretty!

Tucked away between some rather terrifying polyester creatures at the front of the Manchester Pop Boutique store was one of the loveliest dresses that I have ever seen. It was a beautiful grey silk satin with a delicate pattern of flowers in black, red and orange and when I saw it my heart skipped a beat. On closer inspection I found that it was not only in perfect condition but the construction details gave it away to be either late 50s or early 60s. I just knew that I had to have this dress, if only I could afford it. And you know what the best part is? I bought this dress at about half the price I would have had to pay in London! Result!! 

I'll be sharing this dress in outfit post soon, I cannot wait for you all to see it :)

I loved wandering about the Northern Quarter - particularly as the weather seemed to be on my side whenever I visited! - and I would definitely recommend a browse if you are ever in that area. For some good places to visit check out this article.

Anyway, that's it from me today, but check back soon for more of my Manchester adventures!

Bye for now!

Wednesday Wonderfuls #39

(By the way, I know that this is going up on Thursday not Wednesday, that's what happens when you do late night blogging, oops!)

Hello there lovely readers, and a very happy Wednesday to you all! 

I have been loving my time in Manchester as I have had lots of my days free and worked just the nights, so I've been catching up on some lovely crafting. The first project in my Autumn Palette Challenge is really taking shape...

A little teaser of my latest sewing project...

Manchester has been so much fun - more on my adventures soon, including vintage shopping and retro bowling! - and I'm actually quite sad to be leaving in a few days, but the next stop is Oxford so I know I won't be feeling down for too long!

Anyway, let's beat those blues away with some awesome Wednesday Wonderfuls, they always make me happy no matter what my mood. I hope they do the same for you!

I hope you all have wonderful weeks ahead of you, I'm really looking forward to the rest of mine :) Have some marvelous adventures please!

Bye for now!

Monday, 10 October 2011

A Practically Perfect Sunday

Yesterday was a blissful Sunday, my day off from theatre-land, so I decided to spend the day doing only things that I love. So I cooked, baked, sewed, knitted and found myself watching and re-watching episodes of Downton Abbey (seriously, who knew TV could be this good? I'm hopelessly addicted...). More on the sewing and knitting soon, but for now I want to focus on the baking.

You may remember from this post that I was lusting after a copy of The Vintage Tea Party Book, and, lucky old me, I was given a copy from my beautiful Sweetheart for my Birthday and I just couldn't wait to try some of the recipes out! Now as I am currently staying away from home and without all my fancy baking aids I decided to keep things simple and try a fairly basic recipe, and luckily this is also one of my very favourites: Scones.

I adore scones, seriously I cannot get enough of them, they are a solid favourite of both myself and my Sweetheart so I thought it would be in everyone best interests for me to know how to whip some up, so a-whipping-up I went. And of course I couldn't choose whether or not to try savoury or sweet scones, so I decided to make both :) it was definitely scone o'clock in my digs yesterday!

I used two of Angel's marvellous recipes, her basic scone recipe for the sweet scones, and then I adapted her brie and walnut recipe for the savoury - I used cheddar cheese and bacon instead. And my goodness my lovely readers, these scones are an absolute dream! The recipes were very clear and simple to follow and the scones that were produced were nothing short of divine, even if I do say so myself. I was very popular indeed with my housemates, let me tell you :) I have made scones before, but they were no where near as light and fluffy and tasty as the ones I made today, this is definitely going to become my go-to scone recipe. I must admit that the rather rustic finish of these scones may not be to all tastes (I could just hear Mary Berry from The Great British Bake-Off telling me off for lack of consistency in their size and shape - has anyone else been watching that? Another brilliant programme, and very addictive too!) but I enjoyed the fact that I could simply shape these scones myself, plus they're so yummy I didn't mind that they looked a little rough around the edges. I mean, just look at them...

The Savoury Scones (Cheddar Cheese and Bacon)

Scones are my friends!

A close-up on the yumminess

These are so tasty that they need nothing more than a bit of butter and you're good to go. Delicious both hot and cold, and I know because I ate them both ways yesterday :)

The Sweet Scones (plain and classic)

Hot out of the oven, just waiting for their good friend jam :)

A close up of the golden goodness

These scones were melt in the mouth pieces of scone heaven, quite probably some of the best scones I have ever eaten, and believe me I have eaten my fair few! This recipe is amazing, everyone should use it right now, go forth and make scones!!

Considering that this is my first try of some recipes from The Vintage Tea Party Book I am completely blown away with how easy, clear and delicious the recipes were, I cannot wait to get back into the kitchen and try out some more of them! This book is fast becoming a firm favourite with me and I really couldn't recommend it highly enough.

Scones anyone? 

Now if you'll forgive me I have to dash because I do believe I can hear some little scone-sounding voices calling from the kitchen. They seem to be saying "Eat me! Eat me!" and I suppose it would be rude to ignore them...

Nom nom nom...

Bye for now!
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