Friday, 19 December 2014

Obsessed: Gingerbread

I'm obsessed with gingerbread.
I can't resist it. My first gingerbread 'taste memory' is a giant Christmas iced gingerbread biscuit my Great Aunty Barbara brought back from Poland (I think?) when I was a child. She hung it around my neck and took a photo of me looking like a dweeb (which was totally the biscuit, nothing to do with the hair, thank you!), and then I was allowed to eat every last bite, all to myself.
I remember it to this day. It was amazing.
Since then, I've discovered something amazing. 

My boss makes the best gingerbread in the world.

It's a fact. It's not up for debate.

I've eaten gingerbread at Christmas markets all over Europe and her stuff is still the best. I get strict gingerbread rations in the office when she brings boxes in so that other people get a look in on the treats. I even had her famous gingerbread at my wedding, as favours. They were little gingerbread boys and girls that were holding hands, all in love and stuff... until I bit off their little heads (I do that first so they don't feel the pain, I'm not a complete monster) and then merrily munched on their limbs until there were none left. Mwah ha ha. I think that's why I've stayed so long. And I think she knows it. 

Photo by Jasmine Jade

During non-festive months, when you know, my boss has an actual job to do, rather than baking boxes of gingerbread, I get through bags and bags of those mini gingerbread men from supermarkets. They're ok, but they're not the same! 

Christmas time is the perfect time to indulge my obsession with non edible gingerbread as well. I have Christmas gingerbread onesies, gingerbread decorations and this year I put gingerbread stickers on all my festive cards and invites.

Imagine how excited I was when I saw this little beaut at Tatty Devine.

I need it!

Please Santa, I've been an awful good girl!

Wednesday, 17 December 2014

It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas...

It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas, Chez Griffith.

With one week to go the decorations are up, the presents are wrapped, the last of the cards have been posted, I'm halfway through a bottle of dry sherry (my new fave festive tipple), the house is covered in glitter and sequins that have fallen off my various festive outfits, the invites for our Griffmas drinks have been sent and the menus are planned.

tacky decorations from my Deep South road trip

Eat drink and be merry at Griffmas Drinks

Christmas Eve invites - soups at the ready!

Dressed up for Fake Christmas

So, now... that leaves only one thing left to do.  I need to think of a soup for the Annual Potage Cup.

This year's scoring system is as follows:
  • Taste – 10 points
  • Christmas Spirit – 10 points
  • Presentation – 5 points
  • Texture – 5 points
  • Originality – 5 points
  • "Comebackability" – 5 points
And in honour of the big news from this year, the wild card category will be:
  • Scottishness - 10 points
So, considering my past efforts have focussed heavily on the Christmas Spirit, by being based almost entirely around, ahem, spirits (the alcoholic, not the spooky, variety), I'm wondering if other competitors are going to use the final category as a way to encroach upon my turf.

Ideas on a postcard please.
Or a text message... there's no time for snail mail in times like these!

Merry Griffmas!!

Thursday, 11 December 2014

Festive outfit planning: Christmas Jumpers

A special post for the Queen of Christmas Jumpers, Liz

So, we've done LBDs, sparkles, work wear and even sofa surfing. But the most important item of festive clothing? The CHRISTMAS JUMPER! 

I had three novelty jumpers that I wore on a rotating basis last year, interspersed with my ever expanding collection of glittery,sequinned and fluffy jumpers. I added a couple more this year and so now I'm actually running out of occasions to wear them. Mr G and I even had a conversation that went like this:

"Are reindeer only for Christmas?"

"We're not getting one"

"Obviously! Duh! I'm just wondering, do I buy this jumper with snowflakes on, or the one with reindeer. It snows in January so I could still wear snowflakes in January, but will people think I'm crazy if I'm still wearing reindeer jumpers in January"

"I think you're crazy now. Shhhh"


This was from New Look last year, I wore this over a slinky dress forour cheesy Christmas party, with red sequin skirt on Christmas day and withblack skinny jeans for city drinks. It's silly, but cute.


Also from New Look last year. I've worn this with jeans,boots, denim shorts and (life changing!) thermal fleece-lined tights. It's perfectfor snuggly, festive weekend wear without being over the top.


Primark special. I wore this last Christmas Evewith sequinned skinny jeans, fluffy slipper boots and a huge "IT'S FINALLY CHRIIIIISTMAAAAAAAS" grin!

This year I purchased some new jumpers from H&M (no no, I'm not on an H&M commission package, it's just my fave place to shop!).

I decided to go less novelty and more traditional this time around, well for one at least. I'm a sucker for those wholesome "just hanging here in a log cabin in the woods by the roaring fire, with all my rosy-cheeked friends after we just spent an hour having a snowball fight and riding our ponies and bikes home from the pub where we had a hearty lunch while our skin glows with health and our hair shines with vitality and our perfect teeth glisten in the fairy lights" Tommy Hilfiger and Ralph Lauren style adverts. 

You remember, a bit like that Spice Girls and/or Take That Marks and Spencer advert from a while back? Yeah... that look. It's one that I love, and covet, and wish I could carry off, but I can't. I'm just not fresh-faced, wholesome or outdoorsy. As we all know.

So at Christmas, when I can do it in a jokey way, I'm embracing it! Let's do this, wholesome and fairisle and plaid:

At the other end of the spectrum, and more true to character, this one is grey, fluffy, cynical and sarcastic. It say it all and has to be my favourite so far:

Sadly some of the balls fell off, so I had to return it, but I'm going in search of a new one asap!

Don't forget it's Christmas Jumper Day in aid of Save the Children tomorrow.

Are you planning to wear yours?

Tuesday, 9 December 2014

Festive outfit planning: Desk to bar

So I have sofa-surfing outfits, spangly party outfits and trusty LBD outfits. So now?  Desk-to-bar outfits!

You know, those outfits you wear to work, and then zsuzh them up a bit for the evening when it's an event, but not an "event", if you know what I mean?

I have a couple of those planned too. My grand plan is to whip off my tights to flash a bare(ish) leg*, add some statement bling and bouff up my hair. Maybe not all at the same time though.

First off, this bodycon grey marl dress from H&M (again!). Boring and work-appropriate from the front when worn with black tights, courts and a blazer. Party-central from the back when the blazer comes off and the neon, full length zip comes out to play!

Next, this (p)leather midi skirt from Next. Nice and understated with a powder blue shirt (from DP) and opaque tights. Whip off the tights, throw on a pair of spangly shoes and a statement necklace and I'm good to go!

Finally, this simple black and pale pink blouse also from Dotty P, tucked in to a pencil skirt is standard workwear. Switch the skirt for skinny black jeans, throw on the "Outfit Booster" shoes and jacket, backcomb my hair in to a beehive and hang something big, bold and shiny from my earlobes - ready to after-work PARTY!

Is it Dry January yet?

*I prefer flesh-toned fishnets for when it's in the minus figures and my legs need to be "bare". I hate the feel of normal tights on my toes!

Friday, 5 December 2014

Festive outfit planning: The sparkle

Now, LBDs aside, the other festive necessity is SPARKLE!

Glitter, metallics, sequins and beads. I'm perennial sparkle wearer, but at Christmas I take the opportunity to step it up a notch and go a bit overboard with the bling.

Once again, H&M came in to their own with this skirt and top combo. It looks like fairy lights and baubles. Magical! 

I'm not "fashion" (or bonkers) enough to wear them both at the same time, so I thought I'd mix it up a bit. I'll wear the skirt with this backless, halter top (you guessed it, from H&M) my go-with-everything shoes and bright red lips for a night out, and with a black cami or jumper, tights and suede knee high boots for less dressy affairs. The top will work nicely with either my black skinny jeans or my leather-look pencil skirt.

This sparkly, metallic ASOS dress is a potential New Year's Eve dinner dress. I have it in the black/blue beaded, the white/silver sequin version and the black body con version, so why not the sparkly gold leopard print version too? It's super comfy, super flattering, nice and blingy for a special night out, but leaves enough room for a big meal and a bit of a boogie.

Jovonna dress from ASOS

And whilst we're on the subject of sparkly metallics, this dress by Fearne Cotton for Very is a firm contender for Christmas Day. Black tights and snuggly slipper boots for staying home with the family, or killer heels and a blazer for a night out with the girls.
Gold star dress by Fearne Cotton for Very

So I know I said I was thinking about an LBD for my girlie night out tonight, but now I'm wondering if it's time to just pull out the sequins...

Thursday, 4 December 2014

Festive outfit planning: LBDs

It's not Christmas without a Little Black Dress, or two, or three is it?

Tomorrow the WAGs are getting together at a local bar and restaurant for dinner, drinks and dancing and so, being Essex, this calls for all kinds of sequins, glitter, glitz and bling, and potentially this little strapless number from H&M! I can glitz it up with my "Outfit Boosters" - the sequin jacket and the "go with everything" shoes - a belt for interest when the jacket comes off and a nice chunky statement necklace. I'll take my white Whistles clutch to stash my hot pink lippie and glitter eyeliner for touch ups!
Next week, I have two Christmas parties, one at The Langham, and one at Kettner's.
For The Langham, a slightly dressier affair, I was thinking about this lace bodycon dress, also from H&M, again with a couple of the "Outfit Boosters" (seeing as it's with a different group who won't have seen them yet), my rose gold Mulberry clutch, a bright red lip and a pair of big blingy earrings in emerald green for that Christmassy touch.

For Kettner's, I'm leaning toward this little embellished number from ASOS. It's a bit more fun than fancy and has a nod to the twenties with all the beading, which works nicely with the venue's history. With all the beading going on, perhaps just my new Miss Selfridge shoes, some dinky, but sparkly, studs and my pink Lulu Guinness lips clutch for a pop of colour. Smokey eyes and pale pinky-gold lips for the win!
The Extras
Miss Selfridge "Outfit Boosters"
Whistles Rivington Clutch, Mulberry rose gold clutch and Lulu Guinness lips clutch

My go-to party lipsticks: NARS Schiap, Chanel Rouge Allure in Passion, and MAC Pretty Please 

Wednesday, 3 December 2014

Festive outfit planning: Outfit Boosters

So with all the loungewear sorted, I thought I better get on with the glitz. 

I mentioned having a zillion parties or events to attend and a few weeks ago I had a spare evening so I spent the time wisely – trying on,planning and accessorizing outfits. One of my favourite pastimes!

outfit planning

Before I get in to the actual outfits themselves, let me tell you about a number of items I bought a while ago with the festive season in mind, which will work with all my outfits.
Miss Selfirdge Double sequin jacket

First off, this silver "two way" sequin jacketfrom Miss Selfridge.Remember those sofas from the 80s where you could run your finger along the pile and write your name (or rude words) on the surface and then rub them out again by smoothing the pile back out? Well this jacket does just that. Rough the sequins up one way and it's a sparkly, light-catching disco jacket. Smooth them back in the other direction and it's matte, muted and a bit more understated. I saw a similar jacket in Ted Baker at a MUCH higher price and fell in love with it, so when Miss S had a flash sale on Halloween I snapped this version up.

Miss Selfridge Chelsea block heeled sandal

At the same time I got my hands on a pair of metallic pewter, block-heeled sandals,which really are super comfy (not as comfy as my elf slippers, of course!) and go with everything. Now, I say that line to Mr G all the time, but this time it's true. I've tried them on with every outfit and I haven't yet found one they don't work with. Outfit win!

Miss Selfridge faux fur stole

I also grabbed a powder blue faux fur stole  in the same Halloween flash sale from  Miss Selfridge. Fun, furry and fabulous. And again, it goes with everything!

So those are my "Outfit Boosters" sorted.

Now on to the actual outfits...

Tuesday, 2 December 2014

Festive outfit planning - staying cosy at home

So, yesterday I listed a run of parties and events I have planned over the course of December. As you can imagine, they all require outfits.

And what's my favourite thing to do?

Plan outfits of course!

Before I get started on my blinged up, going out ("out out"?) outfits, what about the staying home, sofa surfing and movie-watching outfits?

New gingerbread onesie
These mainly consist of last year's reindeer PJs, a reindeer onesie and reindeer slipper socks (do you see a theme?) and this year's knitted gingerbread onesie, complemented by a choice of two pairs of comedy elf slippers.

Elf slippers!
Stylish? No.

Fun, cosy and festive? Yes!

Monday, 1 December 2014

Getting festive

It's the 1st December. It's time to get festive!

If I hadn't just spent the weekend in Amsterdam with the family, we'd have spent Sunday morning at the garden centre picking our tree. I'd have then spent the rest of the day putting up our decorations with cheesy Christmas tunes playing, Mr G would have cooked up something hearty in the kitchen for us to eat in front of a festive movie (though we've already ticked off Love Actually, Elf, Home Alone and Home Alone 2 - oops!) while our fairy lights twinkled in the background.

Instead, the decorations are going up here on Saturday and at my Parents' on Sunday. It's going to be a long week, walking past the boxes of baubles piled up in the hallway every day #PoutyFace

In the meantime, I've been sorting out all my events and outfits. My house may not be Christmas-ready, but my diary and my wardrobe is:

It's going to be a busy one... get ready for outfit posts!
P.S. I'm on Florence Finds today with gift ideas for your best girls, check it out!

Wednesday, 19 November 2014

Five photos

When the lovely Gemma tagged me in her "Five photos that make me smile" post, I ran my battery down to zero trying to work out how to select five photos from what must be the thousands I've uploaded over the last eight years. Eight years? How is that possible?

What was easy though, was what I wanted to represent. I know exactly what makes me smile...

Nuclear, extended, blood, those I've acquired through marriage, those I've lost over the years and my god family - they all count. They all matter.
My wonderful, amazing family make me smile.
Even the crazies.
Especially the crazies!

Mr G
I found a goodun. I snared him. I'm keeping him. I'm not smiling because I'm married to him. I'm married to him because he always knows when and how to make me smile.

My friends
I wrote a long smushy post about this a while ago. Wow, how things have changed. Some of the faces have gone, new ones have arrived (hello WAGs, Dirty Thirties, Pineapple Club, work roomies old and new), but the sentiment still stands... that I am lucky beyond my wildest dreams to have the love, support and companionship of so many lovely people that are here, beside me because they want to be, not because they have to be (through marriage, blood or shared office space!)
My friends make me smile.
I hope I make them smile in return...

The world is my oyster.
I can go where I want. I can be who and what I want. I can believe what I want. I'm so lucky that I have choice, means, direction and support.
This photo represents two things - travel and work (yup, these days, my work makes me smile - check it here).  Traveling broadens horizons, I get to see, feel, experience new things. My job affords me the means to do that, but often presents opportunities (in this photo I was en route to Paris to start my secondment . One of the best things, ever. Ever!). Having a job that challenges me and surrounds me with inspiring people means I also have a reason to get up in the morning and take on the day. Having opportunities make me smile.

A place to call home
Opportunity, travel, the world is my oyster. But I have a place to call "home". I know I will always have somewhere to go. I know where home is. I know where I belong. I know where I'm safe. Somewhere to be still, calm, secure. I know that no matter what. No. Matter. What. I can go "home" and be welcomed, loved, nurtured and healed. It's not a place per se (though my family home and the home I bought and made great with Mr G make me very happy indeed), it's a feeling. A feeling not everyone is lucky enough to have and so I cherish it.
It makes me smile on the inside.

I suppose in the literal sense the effort I've put in to making our actual house full of fun, love, pretty, and parties also makes me smile.

Who was it that said "They say a person needs just three things to be truly happy in this world: someone to love, something to do, and something to hope for"?

Don't say "Instagram"...! Whomever it was, I'm minded to agree.

So there we go - five pictures (yes I know I bent interpreted the rules slightly) that make me smile.

Thanks Gemma. YOU make me smile!

As an aside, this post has been a bit like therapy for me. I haven't blogged for a while as I lost a bit of my spark. I lost some people that I thought my spark depended on and I found it hard to articulate those feelings of hurt, loss and bewilderment without reference to that loss.

However, I've always tried to be grateful for what I do have rather than dwelling on what I don't (cough, Chanel handbag, cough), and I've just realised that this situation is no different.

So in writing this status-update-that-grew-in-to-a-blog-post post I managed to get it off my chest and get back in the game.

I've also been bonkers-mad-busy. Double busy.

So, now I'm back in the game* look out for a "catch up" post!

There'll be pictures. Lots. And they'll all make me smile.


*too many Micky Flanagan references? :-)