Here in the UK we all know how important it is to have a good quality jacket for winter. We have long winters year after year and I believe it’s good to have a jacket that will stand the test of time. I have a few that have been knocking about for years and years and I still wear them today (the boy has stolen my favourite Barbour though). To get something of worth you’re going to have to spend a little more and you’re going to have to avoid the usual high-street shops (you know the ones I mean). Some of my favourite shops do fantastic fashion coats but they’re best kept for when you need to look smart or when it’s not so cold. They aren’t the practical kind and in this post that’s what we’re focusing on.
If you want to save a few pennies then hold of ’till the January sales. Winter warmers don’t always make it into the sales but if you’re lucky and look hard enough you might find some discounts.
When buying a practical winter coat you need to ask yourself 3 things:
1 – Can you wear layers underneath it?
2 – Does it cover your lil’ bum?
3 – Will it keep you dry?
If the coat in question ticks all the boxes then go ahead and try it on.
I’m sure some of you will be wondering why I’ve not included a hood in the list. Well, I’m never desperate to have one because I’m a big fan of hats and find they do a better job. It’s an added bonus if a coat or jacket has a good hood.
I’ve put together some of my favourite practical jackets for men and women. I’ve had good experience with the 3 brands included but I have to say that Barbour wax jackets are my favourite because they really do last a lifetime.
1 - Barbour – Classic Northumbria Waxed Jacket 2 - The North Face – Evolution TriClimate® 3 in 1 Jacket
1 - Barbour Heritage – Repaired Bedale Waxed Jacket 2 - Timberland – Earthkeepers® Waterproof Lightweight Jacket
I’m in the process of putting together a post about smart winter coats. I think it’s good to have a few options of practical and smart coats because you’re not likely to rock up for an evening meal with friends in your wellies and waxed coat (though they seem to do that here in Norfolk). I’m quite a fan of the pea coat so expect to see lots of those.
I love nothing more than a Friday night at home. A chilled glass of wine, cosy PJs and working away on projects is the perfect evening for me. That is exactly what I have planned for tonight but I’m also hoping for a Christmas film on TV. I have some exciting things in the pipeline over the next few months, some of which are related to this little blog and others which are a whole new adventure that I hope to be able to take you on.
This week I went to a course the V&A about photography lighting. It was well worth doing and I’m keen to try some more courses next year. I learnt a lot about studio lighting, met some lovely people and got the chance to hang out in the V&A on my lunch breaks and waddle down to Harrods for a spot of Christmas shopping at the end of each day.
The last two days have been spent working on a new project. It’s not something I can give any details about yet but it’s going to be something useful, maybe even for some of you! I’m going to finish off a little work now and then make some Matcmakers cookies. I might even do a recipe post, if you’re interest.
Anyway, I wanted to take the end of the working week to share a few interesting links for those of you staying in tonight.
- Origami artist will attempt to fold a life-sized elephant from a single piece of paper
- A brilliant website, clever branding and a fun concept to build your own computer
- Ice skating outside Natural History museum looks fun
- London is having a festive fair this weekend - let me know if you go
- Fancy winning a subscription to Netflix for the year? Then help out Moz! He’s lost 8 pizza boxes and needs some help finding them.
Moving from Blogger to WordPress meant I had a little mix up on Bloglovin. It’s all sorted now and you can follow me here.
What do you have planned for the evening/weekend?
Hello! I hope you’re all keeping safe in this bad weather. I’m quite worried about little old Southwold at the moment. How’s the weather where you are?
Today I decided to do a House & Home post because I think it fits nicely in the run up to Christmas. I can’t be the only one who hasn’t finished my Christmas shopping. For those of you with friends and family who love to cook and spend time in the kitchen then a treat from Joseph Joseph is bound to go down well. I promise!
This is the Chop2Pot chopping board. It’s brilliant, as are most of the products I’ve tried from Joseph Joseph. I’ve had mine for a year or so now and and can’t imagine using anything other than an upgraded version of this. It looks a little different to usual chopping boards but don’t be scared, it’s very easy to use. You simply chop up your ingredients and then squeeze the handle and let your food slide down and into the pan or bowl.
This one was a particularly good purchase because it came from TKMaxx. You should always have a quick browse in there to see if you can pick up any Joseph Joseph products. However, I’m always happy to pay full price for Joseph Joseph because it’s good quality, long lasting and offers something a little more special than other products on the market.
If you want something a little fancier then check out the Rinse and Chop Plus, it sounds fab. It allows you to clip the board into a chute to rinse vegetables and then slide them down the opposite end into a pan.
It’s been a while since I did a Looking Back post. I thought that as the year is coming to an end I’d start doing them again. In this post you will find one photos from each November starting back in 2007 and finishing here in 2013. There is no theme. I simply spent some time looking over photos from months gone by and thought about the wonderful adventures each November held. I then grabbed a photo from each year and well, here they are:
November 2007 – Huddersfield
November 2008 – Manchester
November 2009 – Huddersfield
November 2010 – Italy
November 2011 – Southwold
November 2012 – Southwold
November 2013 – Norwich
Hello! I hope you’re well and feeling ready and fresh for the week ahead. I’ve spent my week working on various projects, had a trip to London and managed to do a fair bit of exercise. I’ve also spent a lot of time trying to figure out what I want to do next with my life . I really can’t believe how quickly November has passed by but I’m glad December is here, it’s one of my favourite months of the year.
Over the last week or so I’ve been enjoying minty hot chocolate, wooly tights and I hate to admit it, but I think I’m turning into one of those candle loving people. I think it’s a mix of the cold weather, the run up to Christmas and working from home. I really like having one lit in the evening whilst I’m typing away on my laptop. It makes the room feel much more cosy.
I could keep typing away about the things I’ve been enjoying in November but I think I’ll save that for my ‘favourites’ post. Here are a few links from around the internet which I’ve enjoyed this week:
Mind-blowing photographs of snowflakes
A bunch of fun Instagram apps to enhance your photos
A new take on street photography
If you’re looking for a useful gift then check out the colourful Key Fobs at Northern Goods Co
These Nutella Swirl Cheesecake Bars sound simple and delicious
The ‘best friends’ toilet in Liverpool via @shellzenner
Some pretty bad unpaid internships
I’ve been adding lots of positive inspiration to my Pinterest board
Gift idea – A 5 year diary, a 3 year journal for 2 people or for those who can’t sleep - there’s something for everyone.
Do you have any nice plans for December? I’m looking forward to a trip to London with Miss Lola B, going on a course this week and I’ve got a bunch of other things lined up which I’m sure will be popping up on this little old blog.
If you’ve been reading my blog or following me on Twitter for a while then I’m sure you will know that I’m a huge Richard Branson fan girl. It should come as no surprise that a few months back I signed up for a Virgin Money Savings Account. Not only was I looking to open a new savings account, but I also wanted to be first in line when they launch their current accounts (next year). Yes, I’m that much of a brand fan.
First off, I like having a separate saving account away from the bank I use on a daily basis. I find it helps me to focus on long term goals and makes it harder to transfer a little extra money into your current account for a cheeky Topshop splurge.
The main reason for this post is to highlight the fantastic use of the Virgin Money Lounge. If there is one in your town then you should really get involved. Once you’re all signed up with a Virgin Money Account you gain access to a world of free tea, coffee, cold drinks, snacks and a place to relax in the middle of the day. The Norwich lounge is filled with comfy chairs, a piano, iPads, books and a Playstation corner to keep the kids happy.
It’s nice to be able to have a spot in town to take a friend, grab some (free) coffee and just relax in a clam and comfy area, away from the busy crowds. I often find myself popping in a few times a week for a cup of coffee and to charge my iPhone.
Sadly this post isn’t sponsored. I just bloody love this place and thought it was about time I stopped keeping it to myself and shared it with you. I should probably add that I’m very happy with my savings account!
I’m planning a post about my top tips for saving money.
Boxfresh boots – £87.99 *
Morning, all! I hope you’ve all had a good week. I’m off to London today and will be giving my new Boxfresh booties their first long day of walking. Normally I’d be wearing my cowboy boots but I’ve chucked those poor old things to one side. I was sick of getting wet feet every time I walked to work. I now have a new pair of winter boots which I’m hoping will last for a good few months, keep me dry and be comfortable on long walks. I’m not asking much, am I? I tend to have very little faith when it comes to winter boots. Unless you go for something ugly it seems you’re buying fashion shoes which don’t last long at all. That’s one of the reasons I’m avoiding Topshop shoes this winter. I’ll be back there in the summer but for now I need something that’s going to last.
I’ve been wearing these Boxfresh booties for about a month now. So far everything is going ok. They’ve prevented me from slipping on my way to work, kept my feet dry and look good with my winter dresses. I’ll keep you updated on how I get on with these shoes. I’ll be keeping a close eye on the heel, from my experience they tend to wear down real quick. I hope these boots will be different though.
Have you found any good winter boots?
“All truly great thoughts are conceived by walking” – Friedrich Nietzche
I know I’m cutting it a bit fine with this post. I didn’t realise we were nearing the end of November, how has that happened? Have any of you got yourself one of the luxury advent calendars that are on offer this year? I see them as something that would make a nice gift, an early Christmas present of sorts. I’ve had a good look at the ones which have been available this year and it seems that people were stocking up early. The ones from Benefit and Boots looked fantastic but they’re already sold out. It will be worth keeping an eye out for them next year!
Here are 3 fancy advent calendars which I think would make a good gift, are still on offer and are good value for money:
The Yankee Candle advent calendar gives you a festive tealight candle behind each day in December. Having a new scent to burn each evening seems like a nice idea. Especially for people who always keep a candle lit during the cold winter evenings. There are 6 scents in total, all of which are from the festive collection. The 24th day treats you to something a little more special. This advent calendar is £21.99.
The Ciate mini nail varnish advent calendar is ideal for those who like keeping their nails looking pretty. This magical box of doors is filled with paint pots, glitter and caviar. You really get to try out a good selection of Ciate over the 24 days.
The last beauty in the line-up is this beautiful advent calendar for whisky lovers. Just look at those pretty bottles. At £149.95 you need to really be in the mood to treat yourself or someone very special. Each day you get a different 3cl sample of whisky. It’s up to you if you open it first thing in the morning or last thing at night. If you prefer gin then you should check out the Ginvent Calendar. It’s a little cheaper at £99.95 and there is a different sample behind each door.
If you have kids in the family then check out what Lego and Playmobil have to offer.
Finally, I’d like to point out that you can still pick up beautiful traditional advent calendars all over the place. I particularly like this Rupert Bear one which is filled with stickers.
After writing my Coast to Coast breakfast review I thought it was about time I shared my thoughts on the burger I had there. It was a good few weeks ago that we were at Coast to Coast and we started the evening with a few delicious gin based cocktails. They guy behind the bar was new at the time but he still managed to do a good job.
After a 15 minute wait we were guided to our table by one of the Converse wearing waiters. The staff were friendly and ready to help, just like the brilliant service you get when you’re in America.
It was cleverly suggested that we try the olives and garlic bread, we agreed and settled down with whisky and coke to wait for our orders. Although it was a cheeky upsale we were delighted with the starters. The olives were of the green variety, tangy and covered in herbs. The garlic bread was lovely and thin and covered with fresh garlic butter.
After quite a bit of consideration (the menu is huge) we ordered a Hickory Red and a Hot Slaw burger, one with regular fries and one with sweet potatoes.
My burger was stuffed with crispy bacon, friend onions and big splodge of BBQ sauce.
The Hot Slaw burger came with fresh rocket, Louisiana hot sauce,mayo and dill pickle. We shared the fries and I can confirm that both are perfectly crunchy on the outside and soft and warm on the inside.
As we don’t usually go for a starter we were way too stuffed for desert. They did have a very good selection on offer though, the peanut butter cheesecake sounded too good to be true.
One final thought. You need to take things for what they are. This is a chain restaurant (and a bloody good one at that) but it’s not a Byron. Enjoy it for what it is. No, it wont be the best burger you’ve ever had but I can’t imagine you would be expecting that. It was however, cooked very well, the atmosphere was great and the staff were friendly. The overall experience was just what I needed after a long day at work.