Sunday, 30 September 2012

Girlie Shopping + lots of coffee & cake

Coffee and cake counts as a meal right?! I had two of those kinds of meals yesterday!! Winking smile

First though, coffee in bed…this mug is so true!

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Followed by a 9am spin class…I’d set my alarm for 8am, not expecting to really need it, but the children let us sleep in for once! So it was a bit of a rush to drink my coffee and get ready, but I made it! I’ve only just started going to Saturday morning classes so this instructor was newish to me – such a tough class! One of her regulars is off to Australia for 3 months and apparently someone else had joked that you couldn’t spin to classical music (this other regular’s favourite type I guess?)…well the instructor proved them wrong – lots of fast and high resistance, ouch!!

After spinning, my sisters took Izzy swimming while I showered etc, and then I went into town with my Mum and sisters for coffee & cake “breakfast”…

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Caramel iced coffee

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and carrot cake

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This carrot cake was so good! When it arrived, Mum liked the look of it so much that she ordered herself a slice too! All of the cakes in this cafe were gluten free, but you couldn’t tell at all – delicious! Smile

By the time I got home, Liam and the children had eaten lunch so we headed into Exeter. Liam needed to go to B&Q so he took Toby, and dropped me and Izzy off in town. It was so nice to spend some time with just Izzy – I spend lots of time with Toby alone when Izzy’s at school, but I hardly ever get alone time with her. First stop…Starbucks!

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I had a pumpkin spice latte (!!) and an apple fritter doughnut for my "lunch"…

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To be honest, I wasn’t overly thrilled with either of these Sad smile the doughnut had no apple in it, and the pumpkin spice latte was only ok – it was perfectly nice, but didn’t live up to my (admittedly high) expectations – not much flavour except a bit of cinnamon. I’m going into Exeter again this week so I might try it iced and see if it improves things, I’ve seen people on Instagram having it as a frappe.
Izzy couldn’t decide between all the cakes, so instead of making a decision, opted for two chocolate coins instead (!!)

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After Starbucks, I decided to take Izzy clothes shopping as she wanted some new clothes that made her look “pretty and cool”, haha, we headed to H&M – so busy, it was a little chaotic!!

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Izzy insisted that she was too old to just try the clothes on in a corner (really??!) so after a long queue for the changing rooms, it was time to try lots of clothes on…

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She had such fun twirling in front of the mirror, so I guess it was worth the wait!

I liked this first (wool?) dress, but Izzy wasn’t keen…

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She loved the Hello Kitty top though!

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And when we got to the grey party dress she started “posing”, haha, worrying!! Winking smile

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And there was also a pink spotty combo (the top was actually a two-pack with a plain green one too, but she’s wearing it with the skirt again today!)…

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There were also several dresses that were deemed “no” by one or the other of us, and we finally narrowed it down to 6 items (because she’s 6??!) and went to queue for the second time in the same shop, yawn!

Clothes shopping done, we headed to Boots, where I resisted buying nail polish (the Essie stand was half empty!!) and then Topshop where it got the better of me…I did have a gift card though so only paid £2 for these!


I also loved this cake stand from Next, but didn’t buy it…Christmas present please Liam or Mum?? Winking smile Open-mouthed smile

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When we got home, I took photos of the clothes Izzy had bought, and realised that the only thing I hadn’t got photos of her trying on was a jumper we picked up on the way to the till. So I asked her to quickly try it on for me, and then this happened…The first three photos are my daughter looking “normal”, if slightly hyper (!), but I have no idea where all the other poses have come from, aaargh, my 6 year old is growing up too fast!!!


So, food. You’d think that after coffee & cake for both breakfast and lunch, I might have something healthy for dinner? Nope, not really! Embarrassed smile I ended up eating 4 slices of pizza when the children had tea (roast veg…does that count as kind of nutritious?!) and then, as Liam was out for the evening, I had lots of treats lined up for last night…

Chips and dips (my favourite!):


Followed by chocolates and ice cream...this is my favourite chocolate mint ice cream - lots of different textures - I love the crystals of mint sugar in it!


And a magazine to fuel my Autumn obsession…good times!! Smile


Have you tried, or are you planning to try, the Starbucks pumpkin spice latte? What did you think? After seeing it raved about so much by American bloggers, I had high expectations for it so am a bit disappointed. Although, thinking about it, I can’t really pinpoint what exactly pumpkin tastes like – it is usually accompanied by other strong spices/flavours. I’m tempted to either buy or make my own pumpkin syrup though to see what I like – Maria found a syrup to buy (which I've just noticed is out of stock - it wasn't a couple of days ago, lots of other people obviously have the same idea! The site normally gets stock back in quite quickly though, fingers crossed!), or there is a recipe that I remember being popular last year…so I’m not giving up on pumpkin lattes just yet!! Winking smile

Thursday, 27 September 2012

Addicted to eBay - Autumn Decorations

My local post man commented to me yesterday that he never used to get parcels to deliver on my road…as he handed over 5 parcels to me!! Hmm, I may have developed a bit of an eBay addiction. Although, actually, three of yesterday’s parcels were not bought by me, so they don't count right?!

There were some delicious baked treats and other gifts from Maria, as a thank you for sponsoring her for the Great North Run…


Love the PB Crispy Squares – so delicious. After gobbling down two almost immediately yesterday, I put the rest in the freezer (as I do with most of my baked good) – out of sight, partly out of mind (?!) – although as I discovered this morning, they are just as tasty frozen too!


Thanks again Maria!

I was also sent some tasty bread to review, I used to love fruit loaf when I was younger, hadn’t had any for years.


And also some Truvia, I’m interested to see how this compares to the Stevia I usually buy from iHerb – it would be much cheaper and more convenient if I could use this instead.


Then there were my purchases... Let me pre-empt this by saying that I have serious “fall decor” envy from all the US blogs…why don’t we celebrate Autumn over here in the same way?! Even the UK eBay doesn’t have a comparable selection, but I did manage to find some cute things.

Yankee candle holders with cinnamon candles and frosted pumpkin candles…


(These were from two different sellers so counted as parcels #4 and #5) I have the frosted pumpkin candles in at the moment, smell so good!

I also couldn’t resist buying a few things in Waitrose on Tuesday – I seemingly have a thing about orange candles at the moment...


I need to find something to put the little pumpkin candles in…any suggestions? I used to have a glass bowl that would have probably worked (as they seem to float, short term at least, from my quick test yesterday!) but Toby smashed that a few months ago Sad smile

This morning, another couple of eBay purchases arrived. I made the dangerous discovery that Essie nail polishes are a lot cheaper on eBay, even still brand new…


So pretty! These mini ones are perfect as I don't think I've ever run out of a nail polish - they always dry out before I finish the bottle, so this is definitely a more economical option. I’ve also started buying blue mugs – to match our kitchen! We do have all our mugs on display, as we run out of cupboard space so they live on shelves – for every blue mug I buy, I can give a non-blue one away…haha, I’ll take a photo once the shelves are full of blue mugs only!!

My final parcel is my absolute favourite – I recommend that all UK bloggers buy some too! Winking smile Gorgeous fabric pumpkins:


I absolutely love these! Great service too – it said that they might take up to a week to make, but she sent them out two days after I ordered them. My mantelpiece isn’t quite “Autumn ready” yet, but here’s what it looks like so far to give you an idea of the size of the pumpkins (for some reason I can't read measurements had it in my head that they'd be bigger, but they fit in better being this size so I'm happy!)…


So adorable, I can’t wait to show them to Izzy when she gets home from school – I think Liam thinks I’ve gone slightly mad (!!), but Izzy appreciates pretty things! Winking smile

Right, and after looking at all that, I really must stop spending money…!!

Do you buy things from eBay? Or decorate your house depending on the season? I’ve always liked Christmas decorations – we started the tradition a few years back of each of us buying a new tree decoration each year. But obviously you can only really have the Christmas decorations up for a limited amount of time. I love the warm colours of the pumpkins and leaf decorations too, perfect for cold nights cuddled up in front of our (fake) fire Smile I've also already got my eye on a few "spring decorations" on eBay too, aaah, definitely addictive!!
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