I’ve been pretty lazy with my blog recently and in some ways that’s because I’ve been busy but for the most part I’ve just had other things on my mind that have taken precedence. However I now find myself on a train with nothing much to do – resorting to a blog post in order to fill time.
After a busy week of posting blog posts last week, I find myself completely lacking this week! It’s not for want of trying though… I’ve just been completely pre-occupied with another amazing opportunity (which I will post about soon!).
Anyway, over a week ago I did start this post – but unfortunately I never actually got around to finishing it. As such, here I am trying to get it done now!
As you will know from my last few posts, we recently had a Hamlet Murder Mystery party, only our third murder mystery party of this year (compared to eight last year, from June onwards). However it seems to have given everyone the bug and by the end of the evening we were already planning our October Halloween Murder Mystery!
Since then, we’ve managed to secure a definite ten players. This left me the task of finding a great Murder Mystery for us to do. The one we did last year, called Halloween Horror, was a great hit and was also the first free-form mingling type one we’ve done. We then did another for November and Decemeber, I think wearing out the novelty. This year I decided that instead of just dressing up for Halloween themed murder mystery, it might actually be fun to take on Halloween/Horror type characters. As such, it lead me to this:-
After double checking this was okay with everyone, I ordered the game box and it arrived within two days! I was so excited when it actually arrived that I took a picture and tagged everyone on FB who was coming!
The box is actually amazing! Its been a long time since we did a proper box set and I’d almost forgotten what it was like to have printed invitations and booklets, instead of having to download them and print them myself.
Of course I rushed to get it all open and look through it. I’d already picked who would be who according to the blurb on the website but it was nice to get a bit more to read on each character, including a character costume suggestion. I wrote the invitations there and then and have already handed most of them out! (2 to post on Monday, which I keep forgetting to do!).
I’ve spent the last week or so looking for the perfect costume and have even decided to dye my hair black (I’m Morticia Von Addams!). I still have a bit more planning to do but I’m already super excited!
Not only that though, but in planning our October murder mystery, I also decided to book everyone in for a November AND December murder mystery too. Our November theme is yet to be decided (though we’re thinking Masquerade if we can find one) and of course December’s will have a Christmas theme! As we’re usually out numbered with more guys than girls, a guy has to take on a female role. First was my brother, then our friend Tom and last was my partner Chris. This time its our friend Adam who will be the Bride of Dracula which I can’t wait to see. Next time should be Jon… and we’re crossing our fingers for our final male (another Chris) to take on the role of Mrs Claus! I suggested that the first one of the next year we should do a complete role reversal one where all the guys are girls and all the girls are guys. I think it will be fun!
Anyway, until next time…!
Everyone in the house is getting really sick and sadly I’ve not escaped it! I’m full of cold and starting to cough somewhat too but I’d promised myself I’d get on top of a whole bunch of blog posts this week and so here I am!
The glasses arrived a few weeks ago and on first impressions I was immediately sold by them. They are genuinely such beautiful and curvy glasses, that I actually just fell in love with them. The packaging they arrived in was incredibly good. Both the box inside the outer box, then the glasses inside the inner box. Nothing was damaged which was a bit of a surprise considering the way the post gets treated sometimes!
I took a whole load of pictures because I like to document these things properly. I’m actually very glad I did though as the box contains a lot of the information you need to know and also far better pictures than I could ever acquire with my iPhone camera.
Each glass is individual in style, each one a little different. However as they are all handmade, they are also unique in the sense that no two glasses will ever been 100% the same. The glasses hold 8 ounces, which is just less than a large glass of wine!
One of the many great things about these glasses is that they will hold both hot and cold liquids in them. As they have double-walls, the heat doesn’t burn your fingers and the cold doesn’t cause condensation (and in turn wet hands). They are dishwasher, microwave and freezer safe, which I think is pretty awesome! Though I haven’t tested the freezer part, they certainly work fine in the dishwasher and microwave.
Despite looking quite fragile, feeling light and delicate, the glasses are incredibly strong and hard wearing. As I said before, they were absolutely fine in the dishwasher, not even a chip.
So a few Sundays ago, we had a roast dinner, complete with very chilled wine! As you can see, no condensation and very pretty glasses ;) If I could have afford to do so, I would have bought another set, to have at our Murder Mystery the other night. However when funds are a little easier, I’m definitely going to buy some more. I think they’d be really lovely to have out at a dinner party. Don’t you?
*This product was gifted to me free of charge, though all views and opinions are my own
A few weeks ago I posted about making a dress, for a Hamlet Murder Mystery party. You can read both my dress post and my murder mystery post, at those links! However until the actual Murder Mystery took place (last Saturday), I couldn’t post about my completed dress. This was for two reasons. One – I didn’t want to spoil anything in advance of the Murder Mystery. I like to post about everyone altogether. Two – The dress wasn’t finished until two hours before the event itself!
On 9th September I bought my pattern from Ebay. It cost me £8.75. It arrived within a couple of days and so on the Friday night, my best friend Nat (who was also making her dress) came around so we could try and decipher the instructions. The pattern I picked looked like this:
That night we drank wine, chatted, measured and tried to figure out what dress size we should make. At first we were flabbergasted by the thought of making size 20 dresses (we’re both about size 16) but we realised that its a dress pattern size you make, not exactly a dress size. Eventually we decided we had it figured out and planned the shopping trip for the very next day.
Though I had originally planned to get different coloured material from that in the pattern picture, in the end I did actually buy red and gold. Both were crushed velvet, though I imagine for the price I paid it was probably only velveteen.
We started work on the dresses about a week later. However it took us so long to cut out Nat’s dress (and we knew we would only have one or two days together each week to work on it) so I ended up cutting out my own by myself the following night. We met again a few days later to actually start sewing, but it was a long process and we were glad to have two sewing machines to work with.
In the end we decided it might be best to work on them alone, to make sure we had more time. Nat took my mum’s sewing machine home with her and obviously I kept my own. I spent one evening working on the dress by myself and was pretty pleased to have most of the components completed separately, even if they weren’t actually all attached together.
I posted the above picture to Instagram on September 25th. My dress pieces were all attached and my sleeves were all attached too, though I still had to attach the sleeves to the dress itself. Nat came around again that night and we worked together to motivate each other. By this point there was only three days left until the Murder Mystery and it was beginning to feel a bit of a rush.
That night I learned how to do eyelets – or at least how to cheat whilst doing eyelets. I didn’t feel like I got on very far with my dress and as I was working the following day and again that evening, I was beginning to think I might actually run out of time altogether. However by the 27th my dress was actually complete enough to wear, pretty much finished except for the trim. I sent this picture to my best friend, Amy:
My biggest struggle was definitely pinning the dress in at the sides, adding the sleeves and hemming the dress. This is largely because I only had hopeless guys in the house and unfortunately Nat and I didn’t have to meet up again to help each other do this. Lucky for Nat she had someone else nearby to help… but I just sort of made it up and hoped for the best!
Saturday arrived and I had a lot to do. Food to prepare, decorations to put up, a house to clean and tidy – yet still I had my dress to complete. I started with the trim for the waist, deciding it was the most important. Next I did the sleeves, so that I would have time to actually get both finished. By 5pm, just as Amy was arriving on her train, I was just completing the second arm. Finally I moved onto the neckline and although I was a little disappointed with how it came out, the dress was at least finished.
After some mad dashing around to get the place ready, I eventually headed upstairs to get changed around 8pm. This was actually my first proper fitting of the dress, in its complete state. Luckily it all fit and didn’t look too bad – though I unfortunately felt quite fat in it!
So here is the completed dress…
It’s not a great picture against the red background, but its really the only decent one I have. As you can see it didn’t turn out too bad in the end but I can honestly say I won’t be putting myself through that stress again any time soon – not with everything else I already end up doing for these parties.
And one more pic to show you the sleeves and the back! That is pretty much everything I can show you. It was definitely a sort of fun experience and perhaps if I had less of a time limit and also a less complicated pattern, I would consider making something again. However for the next murder mystery we do the most I’m going to be making is food…
For all the Murder Mystery pictures, feel free to browse here. There are literally hundreds though so you have been warned!
I’ve been so excited to write this post, but at the same time I’m still incredibly tired from all the preparations that went into it, this last week or so! As you’ll know, from my post here (To Sew or Not to Sew) I was offered the opportunity to pick a Murder Mystery game from Daggerville Games, completely free of charge, in order to review it on my blog! I was super excited even when I got the message, let alone when I started to plan it all!
I rallied around the usual group of guests, getting 8 definite attendees (me included). As the site currently only offers 4 games (with more on the way), our choice was limited to only one option – Hamlet, a game for 8 players. That said, Martin who I have dealt with a few times from Daggerville Games, also said Hamlet was one of their most recommended. I was a little dubious about the Shakespeareaness of it, but deciding to throw caution to the wind, I opted for that game.
Now as regular readers of my blog will know, I like to throw myself into these Murder Mysteries – planning everything from costumes, to decorations, to food. This was no different. As soon as I’d ordered this game, I was into immediate host mode. However this was also where my first issues began.
Daggerville Games offer a very unique way of ordering your game. Instead of purchasing a whole box load of stuff, or even downloading a heap of files – as host you instead have to enter email addresses of all your guests, into the selected parts they will play. Their parts are then emailed out to them – and only them. You also pick an email address for the person who will receive the Solution – in this case I just used my own email address and stored the information without reading it.
First issue was that I didn’t know everyone’s email addresses. I had to text several people to ask them, before actually placing my order. Second issue was that I accidentally misspelled someone’s email address when ordering, meaning they didn’t get their copy at all. Luckily Martin was on hand to be helpful, sending another copy to the correct address. Third issue was that one of the other guests didn’t get their email at all (and their address was definitely correct) though it could have gone to spam or trash – again Martin was great and sent me the copy so I could forward it on.
Looking through what I’d been sent (I had the part of Queen Gertrude, Hamlet’s mother), I was both impressed and concerned. Impressed because the whole part seemed to be scripted and in a clever way whereby you only got to see your own part, with lead-in’s from other characters so you would know when to speak. It was something my brother and I had tried to do when we wrote our own Murder Mystery, back in May for my birthday. However concerned because there was no character information, costume suggestion etc. I have never studied Hamlet at school and so its a play I only knew vaguely. As a guest I had to google costume ideas and as a host I had no information on how to theme the party, what food I might cook or even a little bit of storyline around the game itself.
That said, we embraced the murder mystery as a challenge and I’m pleased to say everyone rose to it. Since the last murder mystery we had done had involved castle scenery, I decided to avoid that. Instead it was actually my eight year old daughter who suggested theming the night on a play idea. I soon ran with the idea and decided our lounge would act as a theatre, with our bay windows (already equipped with red curtains) acting as the stage, the sofas pushed to the sides as ‘box’ seats and extra dinning room chairs brought through as audience seats. I bought a few additional bits to dress up the room but otherwise it was nice and simple decor.
With regards to the food, I wanted to go rustic and sort of old fashioned. Basic foods like meat pie, bread, potatoes etc. I settled on beef pie (which I actually forgot to cook in the end!), potato skins, bacon bread and cheese bread, breaded cheese, corn on the cob etc. I also made homemade chocolate chip scones and white chocolate chunk brownies. Sadly I forgot to photograph majority of the food though, as always!
|Bacon bread, Popcorn and Hamlet quote napkins, Brownies & Scones|
Finally that brings me onto costumes and as you know I was making mine. Since I want to save all that for another post, I’m not going to add all the costume pictures here. However needless to say everyone did a great job.
The Murder Mystery itself – despite my concerns about the Shakespearean, lack of character info and lack of host info – was a success! Everyone had such a great time and by the end of the night we were all in agreement that this was one of the best we have ever done. The script was funny (largely because we are smutty and mixed with the Shakespearean language, it was even better), it was clever and well thought out, easy to follow and very simple to know when you were supposed to say your lines. Though only one person guessed the murderer correctly (that was me by the way – not the murderer but the person with the correct guess), when the solution was read out we all agreed that it was put together well and you could almost have figured it out fully yourself.
As you know, we have done a lot of Murder Mysteries over the last year or so. They started off with an impromptu birthday celebration and continued every month or at least every other month until the end of the year – and that was June 2012. However during 2013 we have definitely found ourselves less motivated to do them, with only one in March for my partner’s birthday and my own in May. This Hamlet murder mystery has definitely re-sparked the flame though and before the evening was even over, we were planning our next murder mystery for October.
Daggerville Games, thank you so much for letting us have one of your games for free (though they are £20 for anyone who is interested!). We thoroughly enjoyed it and would all recommend you to others. Our only advise would be more information for the host and character info/costume suggestions for each guest. Otherwise you’re doing a great job. Shame you don’t have a Halloween murder mystery though or else I would be buying and planning it right now!
Watch this space for our Halloween Murder Mystery though, being held Saturday 26th!
*This product was gifted to me free of charge, though all views and opinions are my own
As I’m starting work on my dress tonight, I figured I should probably jog on and get a blog post written. In my last post, I mentioned about my Lush Addiction and hinted at a next post. Well this is my first beauty product review – Lush Rose Jam Shower Gel.
On the first day of this month (pay day!) I finally treated myself to my first Lush purchase in probably a year. Its been tough only using what people buy for me, but at the same time I knew I needed to be sensible. However having moved out of my rented house last month and in with my partner, I knew I had a little spare for a cheeky “treat yourself” gift.
I think deep down I had been considering treating myself to some Lush anyway, but then at the end of last month I also received an email about a new Limited Edition Shower Gel (online exclusive) called Rose Jam. This was definitely the push to make me place an order and order I did!
As I said, its been a while since I purchased from Lush and I have to admit I was a little surprised to find everything wrapped up inside my package. I’m so used to that “knock you out” smell as you open the box, but it was definitely lessened this time. I’m not complaining however as I have to admit, wrapped like this they actually store a lot easier and don’t get damp etc.
I ordered; 100g Rose Jam Shower Gel (to try), Blue Skies and Fluffy White Clouds, Creamy Candy Bar, Ma Bar, Marzibain, Karma and Happy (all bubble bars!). The lovely people at Lush also sent me a little freebie (as you can see in the little black tub in the right-hand corner) though I haven’t tried this yet.
However, back to my original point of the post, a review.
“Our Rose Jam shower gel with its sweet, addictive scent is back by popular demand. With a vanilla pod infusion, goji berry juice and vitamin rich, nourishing argan oil, this shower gel is truly indulgent. People who love Rose Jam Bubbleroon and Ro’s Argan Body Conditioner will love this too as we use the same floral, fruity-smelling combination of Turkish rose absolute and geranium oil.” – Source, Lush website.
On first sniff, I wasn’t quite sure what to make of this shower gel. It did smell sweet but there was also definitely an edge of rose – flowery scents not really being my type of thing. However I had vowed to give it a try and so I placed it in my bathroom, ready for the next bath or shower.
I’ve always been a fan of Lush Shower Gel, as I mentioned in my last post – my favourite being Snow Fairy. When using their shower gels, the liquid lathers well, smells great and even better is that when you get out of the bath or shower, you catch whiffs of the scent, still lingering on your skin and hair. Rose Jam Shower Gel did not disappoint, being exactly the same as any other shower gels I have used from Lush.
In the bottle, Rose Jame looks quite dark, though it pours a little lighter. The small is definitely a mix between sweet and roses – a scent that I really couldn’t place for the majority of my first use. I used the shower gel to wash with, but also washed my hair with it too. I wanted to make sure I gave it a good trial. By the end of my bath I had placed the smell. Rose Jam basically smells like Turkish Delight. Not the chocolate coated stuff, but genuine Turkish Delight. Its an incredibly pleasant smell and over the three uses I have given the Rose Jam shower gel, I have definitely decided I like it.
Of course, I made everyone sniff me when I got out of the bath. That sounds kinds gross but really its not. Megan and Lily both sniffed my hair in the morning and said how nice it smelt. Chris even placed the smell as roses. All in all though, I was won over by the shower gel itself.
I don’t know how long it will stay for sale, but if you haven’t tried it yet I would strongly recommend you do. If, like me, you’re a fan of the sweet smells that come from Lush – give Rose Jam a go.
I was very late to the whole Lush party. As a company they had been around for many years, before I even knew they existed, or at least took any notice of their existence. It certainly wasn’t love at first sight either (or first sniff as it was) but now I know its a love affair that will last forever.
Number 3 in my Addiction topic, is LUSH.
I remember the exact time that I discovered Lush and made my first purchase. It was 2008 and just into the new year. I was a member of a Livejournal Community, that acted as a Thriftstore. It was known to most as TSUK. Loads of people sold off their unwanted Lush after Christmas, but it was a particular post about Lush Mystery boxes being sold on the actual Lush website, that caught my eye. On 3rd February (I still have the email confirmation) I purchased my first box of Lush. I selected a small box, costing £10 but that was advertised as having £20 worth of products in it. I was excited!
Sadly, when it arrived, I wasn’t so excited. When the box was delivered (only a few days later) the scent of the Lush was so overpowering, even before I opened it. I was 8 months pregnant too and I’ve always found my senses were heightened during pregnancy, especially smell. Anyway the smell actually made me feel quite sick and after a quick look through it all, I hid it all in the yet to be used Nursery. Every now and again though the smell would catch my nostrils as I went up the stairs, until eventually I decided I needed to know which I might like and which I might not and get rid of anything I didn’t.
Anyone who knows a bit about Lush, will know that some of their Christmas scents are very strong and spicy. At the time they weren’t at all my kind of thing and I ended up selling them through TSUK. However a few things did smell good, sweet and candy like. A bottle of Snow Fairy made its way into my bathroom, as did a bar of Candy Cane Bubble Bar.
I’ll admit that from this moment, my addiction to Lush began. Though Christmas was over, I did at least venture near to the Lush store, located in Lincoln. From outside the smell was incredibly overpowering still and I remember having to take my time before going in and then try not to breath too much while inside the shop. It seems ridiculous in hindsight, but at the time it was really something I struggled with.
Over that year I would try anything that smelt sweet, making some favourites with Ma Bar, Honey Bee and Bathos. Eventually I was brave enough to try other things and would always try Limited Editions, published at Halloween, Christmas, Valentine’s, Easter etc. Lush fast became the easiest present to buy for me, especially Mother’s Day and Birthday.
When I first became a single mum, approximately three years ago, my Lush Addiction had to take a backseat. Money became tighter and the kids had to come first, buying Lush for myself was no longer an option. Don’t get me wrong, I actually have no objection to the price of Lush (give everything the company stands for, the fact its handmade and not tested on animals, and of course the fact it smells amazing) but I’m not going to deny that it is an expensive luxury, rather than a necessity.
Both my girls are a lot like me and over the years they began to pick up a love for Lush. They would ask to get in the bath with me, or ask if I could save the water from my bath so they could bath after me. They loved the sweet smelling products, just like I did and so it became a tradition to give them some Lush on Christmas Eve – as a Christmas Eve bath is a tradition in itself in our house. I would also treat myself to one Bubble bar too.
Now I rarely buy myself Lush at all. I stopped popping into the shop so I wasn’t tempted and I hardly ever look at the website. I rely on friends and family to buy me Lush on special occasions, but otherwise its not really something I have any more. That said, what little I do get, I make last. I try to always have at least one of something hidden away in the drawer, for that bad day when I just need an amazing bath.
Luckily on my last birthday (May), both my best friends bought me a bundle of Lush. It wasn’t something I asked for, or even mentioned that I don’t really buy it myself any more, but they still got it nonetheless. Its now September and I actually still have a few bits left!
My favourite Lush products are without a doubt, the Bubble Bars. If you’ve never tried them then you really should. They create SO many bubbles and make the water feel somehow smooth and silky. I genuinely don’t think there is a Bubble Bar I have tried and not liked, though of course I have the ones I prefer. After that come Bath Bombs. In an ideal world I would have a full bomb and a full bubble bar in every bath, but I would need to be a millionaire AND spend two hours in the bath each time, just to warrant it. Finally after that I would have to pick Shower Gels. I’m not really one for showering, always prefering a bath, but even in a bath you need to wash. Wherever possible I try to buy a few bottles of Snow Fairy at Christmas and make it last all the way through the year. It’s even good for washing your hair with!
Though I don’t dislike any products, I would definitely say I wasn’t fussed about the soaps or massage bars. I’m not one for soaps anyway and I’d be lucky to get given a massage (and certainly can’t be bothered to give myself them). I’m not really one for a skincare routine, or spending time on grooming. As such none of the other products really interest me. I know other people rave about them though and I wouldn’t hesitate to recommend any Lush product. I’ve tried lip scrubs, face masks, shampoo bars and body lotions. Though I might not buy them again (that’s purely based on my lack of effort to groom), I would have good things to say about any of their products.
I could bang on and one about Lush, telling you all my favourite products both past and present, but I’m sure you get the idea. If you’ve tried Lush then I’m sure you must have a few favourites yourself – and if you haven’t then I strongly recommend you do.
On my last pay day, I finally treated myself to more Lush than I have in years. There is two reasons for this, one of which you’ll have to wait till my next post for, the other being that I’m finally a bit more settled financially and felt like it was something I could treat myself to. I’m glad I bought it when I did though, as now later into the month I might have been having second thoughts about the spend! (though I have booked a holiday with my wages this month so I supposed I shouldn’t complain).
Want to know what I bought? You’re going to have to wait till next time to find out…
Today I’ve had a particularly bad day and once upon a time I would cheer myself up with shopping. However money is particularly tight at the moment and with Christmas on its way (sorry, I said it), I’m wanting to be careful with what little I have. However I arrived home to a Joe Browns catalogue and now I’m lusting over their beautiful clothes.
I have said many times that if I could afford to, I would dress 100% in Joe Browns clothes. I love their style, though admittedly I’d like to be a little thinner before I splash out on a whole wardrobe from them. Anyway their Autumn Catalogue is out and here are just a few of the pieces I would love to own.
3. Wonderful Waterfall Cardigan £29.95 / 4. Wistful Waistcoat Dress £44.95
As I’ve mentioned before, I have a ton of posts I want to get written, yet somehow the most interesting are always the ones you haven’t planned and just come to you – like something you have to share.
Anyone who reads my blog regularly will know that I am an avid doer of Murder Mystery parties. They are something I have been participating in (and hosting) since I was about 16. As of last year, a fairly set group of us, started doing Murder Mysteries regularly. The first was a Gangster one, the next set in Space, one after that was Pirate and so on and so on. We have bought proper (and the original) board game style boxed sets, we have downloaded some for free and we have paid between £3-£20 for downloaded ones too. Some have been a lot of ad-libbing, others have been mostly scripted – there have been good and there have been bad.
Recently I was given the wonderful opportunity to choose a Murder Mystery from a site, free of charge, in order to blog about it. After checking with the usual suspects as to who was interested, we settled on a group of 8. This gave us only one option from this particular site (its fairly new, up and coming) – a Hamlet Murder Mystery.
The Murder Mystery is so far unlike any we have done before. However once we’ve done it, I’ll blog all about it. This post however is actually about the costumes we’ll wear, or more specifically – the one I will be wearing.
My part is Queen Gertrude, Hamlet’s mother and Queen of Denmark. I’ve done some research and while Hamlet is pretty much a time period free play, many costumes have medieval undertones. We’ve settled on a Medieval/Renaissance feel of clothing and of course that means I have spent literally hours trawling through Ebay to see what type of thing I might buy/wear.
The problem with any costume you buy, is the consideration as to how much wear you’ll get from it again. Realistically you hardly ever get wear from a costume again (let’s face it, we all like a new outfit every time there is an event to go to) but even still, you have to take this into consideration when deciding how much to spend. On top of that of course is quality, size, location etc.
Since the Murder Mystery is a little under 3 weeks away, I have limited myself to UK Ebay only and location of UK items only. This is limiting in itself. After that I have to consider my dress size – somewhere between a 14 and 16 – which according to many fancy dress companies is XL or even XXL(!!) The most stunning and beautiful dresses – the ones you fall in love with at first sight – are definitely in the region of £40 and upwards. The bottom end (and definitely lower quality) are more like £20. Therefore do you pick quality over price, or be sensible and go for the cheaper but less likeable options.
All these dresses can be found on Ebay. I searched “medieval dress” along with size XL (as majority of other dresses only seem to come in smaller sizes). These pictured above, range from £16-£20 and as you can see, aren’t the greatest selection. The only one I actually liked (which is the second from left) only came in 20-22, nothing smaller (at that price at least).
Next up are the mid-range options. These are from around £20 to £30 and actually aren’t much better. In fact, depending on which seller you’re buying from, even the lower range dresses can be found in this mid-range, just charged a bit higher.
Though the shapes of these dresses are a little nicer, the actual materials aren’t much better than the cheap ones. For the extra money, they’re definitely not worth any more than the other lower range ones.
If money was no object, your choices of course are limitless. The top line of these dresses range from £30 to £40 and are actually quite nice. However the bottom line dresses are all around £70 and you can tell the difference between the two qualities and prices.
Finally, this dress above is one of the highest prices for listed medieval dresses. Though clearly beautiful and well made, this dress with set you back well over £500.
Anyway, the my point is really – you can spend an awful lot of money on a costume and still be left with something not all that great anyway. Where do you draw the line between what is affordable, how you’d like to look (and lets face it, feel) on the night and also what you can justify spending for a few hours of dressing up.
Having weighed up my options and spent several days doing so, I have decided that I am actually going to make my own dress. At first you might think that this is a cheaper option, but ultimately I don’t think it will be. At patterns ranging from £5-£10, you’re already half way to one of the cheaper dress options. However my decision is based on the fact I think I can make a nicer looking dress, for less in comparison. It might still come out around £20-£30 and for sure it will take me a hell of a lot more time (and probably stress) than ordering on Ebay, but at least I’ll know (fingers crossed) that it will a) fit, b) look nice and c) be exactly the colours and material I want it to be.
The dress I have picked is the one above (its the same dress pattern in both pictures) and I aim to stick to similar colours – the red and gold. I only ordered it yesterday but hopefully it should be here in a few days time. My friend and I are then going to go shopping for material (she has chosen to make her dress too and we’re going to shop for them and sew them together) and make them within the next couple of weeks.
Hopefully I’ll be able to document the progress and show you how my completed costume looks. I’m actually pretty excited for this project, as its been a long time since I sewed anything.
So 100 posts on and I’ve finally sorted myself out a swanky new layout! I’ve had a pretty rough weekend and so it was nice to focus on something creative, taking my mind off other things (which I won’t get into!). However now that’s done, I’m really hoping to get on with some posts – I have a list as long as my arm of ones I’ve been wanting to do for weeks.
Today’s post is a life update I suppose. Things have been fairly hectic the last week or so and so I’m forcing myself to find time to sit down and document some of it.
A week last Thursday, was my first day back at work. It was hard going back to working having had 7 weeks off, but it was especially hard because I went back a week before the kids did. For five days I had to pass them from pillar to post, finding someone different to babysit them every day. As I’ve only been working since June, its a tough transition from being there all the time for them, to having to accept other people’s help. I miss them terribly when we’re apart but its somehow easier to bear on the days their at school anyway.
The day before I went back to work, we had our Baking Day. However because payday wasn’t until the Friday, we still had all the kids school shopping to do. Megan, who is my oldest, had pretty much grown out of all bottoms and dresses. She also seemed to have lost all her cardigans. We were looking at pretty much a whole new school wardrobe for her (especially once you added PE kit). Lily on the other hand, had most things – however she was in need of some trousers and was wanting a new lunchbox. On top of that we had to buy a pair of school shoes each.
Now I’m not really a labels snob, or even one for labels at all really, but the one thing I do insist on at the beginning of the school year is a pair of shoes from Clarks. All their other clothes can be from Tesco and Asda, I have no problem with that. Tops get paint on them and trousers get frayed bottoms, so the cheaper they are the better. However in my experience (thats one child at school for 4 years and another for 1) one good pair of shoes lasts for the whole school year, whereas cheap shoes only tend to last a few months.
So on the Saturday before school started, we headed into Lincoln to get all our shopping done. Our first stop was to Clarks. Although Brantano is easier to get to (not in the centre of town), I’d once been told that although they stocked Clarks shoes, they weren’t really the best place to get shoes from (something to do with the way they measure feet). As such I’ve always gone directly to Clarks. The shop was absolutely rammed, but I had expected that – being the last weekend before school started. We were told there was a queue of about 7 people before us, but that 8 people were serving and so it wouldn’t be too long. We waited probably only 5 minutes before we were seen to.
Lily went first and then Megan after. They are both very easy to please and just happy with a couple of choices in the right size. We never tend to look what’s on the shelves first as I don’t like the idea of them being disappointed when the shoe they like isn’t available. Instead I usually ask the person serving us to just bring a few choices and we take it from there. The sizing is done so easily these days, with the kids just standing on a machine that tells you the correct size and width fitting. The lady who served us was called Ellie and she was lovely. Though Lily’s fitting took a little more time and effort, both the girls were fitted and sorted fairly quickly. All in all the shoes came out at £30 for Lily’s and £36 for Megan (again I never even look at the prices as we’re choosing, as they’re all around that sort of price). Its quite a sting to the wallet in one go, but at the same time I know those shoes will last them right around till July before I have to think about it again.
We finished off the shoe shopping with a much needed coffee break at Cafe Nero. The girls shared a mint milkshake while I had a latte (and Chris, who had taken a break from work to meet us, had a mocha). After the rest we headed to Asda Living, then Tesco, then the other Asda and finally we had pretty much everything we needed. All in all I think I probably set myself back around £200. Shopping for school is so expensive. However the nice thing about having two girls is that majority of the clothing will get passed down and so usually I’m only shopping for one of them each year.
Is there one particular must have when you’re shopping?
Are you a labels snob or cheap and cheerful all the way?