Sunday, 20 December 2015

Deck the Halls...

Happy Christmas everyone! Thank you for sticking with my new second blog in it's first few months. I'm going to be taking a break now until the New Year (although you can still find me on Made By Mrs M where I'll be blogging on all of my usual days - Monday, Wednesday and Friday - except for Christmas Day itself!).

I thought I'd share some nice festive pictures of my Christmas decorations with you today...

We always have a real tree when we'll be home at Christmas (and we always are nowadays as it's so much easier with the little man). The decorations on our tree are a real mix collected over the past 17 years or so...

If ever we've been away on the run up to Christmas, I like to try and pick up some decorations locally - our tree contains glass baubles from Paris, New York, Berlin, Amsterdam (we also have a nativity set we bought on our honeymoon in Barbados) and more, alongside decorations made by the little man and by me as well as other designer makers. A handful of mass produced ones too to bulk it out (I do like A LOT of baubles!), mostly from Paperchase and IKEA. 

This year I've gone for some real greenery on the mantlepiece - I expect this will be changed a couple of times as bits die off and need to be replaced, but I think it looks pretty.

Hope you have a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year. See you in 2016! 

Sunday, 13 December 2015

The Christmas Jumper

I'm not a fan of Christmas jumpers (unless children are wearing them, in which case that's cute) and I've never owned one myself. I have however just bought myself a Christmas dress! (All images (c) Lindy Bop).

This is the 'Gilda' Green Alpine Print Swing Dress from one of my absolute faves Lindy Bop. Just look at it!!! I conveniently have a belt which matches perfectly and this is what I'll be wearing on Christmas Day.

I've been a fan of Lindy Bop for quite a while (and no, this isn't a sponsored post - I'm just mildly addicted...) - the 50's style of their dresses always appeal to me and they really suit my figure so I just keep going back. I went for the dress above but was also tempted by this one which come as a cute twin set...

On having a browse of their site, I did dissever that they have some really nice Christmas jumpers too (so I may still go back and buy one yet!). Such as this gorgeous red one.

Or a cardi?

And for those of you who have Christmas parties to go to (mine will be me, Ben & Jerry's, wine and White Christmas on the telly), they have proper party frocks.

Be still my beating heart. Perhaps I could wear this while curled up on the sofa with that ice cream? 

Sunday, 6 December 2015

A Weekend in Sheffield

Readers of my other blog and those who are familiar with my work will know that I'm a bit of a fan of Sheffield. My now husband went to University there (20 years ago - eek!) and when we started going out I used to visit every few weeks. Its a place we've popped back to pretty regularly ever since and last weekend we went for our 11th wedding anniversary (which is apparently steel so very apt!).

I thought I'd take the opportunity to share some of my favourite bits should you ever find yourself at a loose end in the Rome of the North (it's built on 7 hills...). Sheffield is in South Yorkshire, right on the edge of the stunning Peak District and it takes 3-4 hours to drive there from London (but there are lots of regular/fast-ish trains nowadays - more than there used to be). It's right in the middle of the country so pretty easy to get to from most places. As with many northern cities it used to be known for it's manufacturing industry and in particular steel production. The city has a compact centre which you can easily walk around (but beware those hills, they're pretty epic), a wonderful friendly atmosphere and lousy weather (do not go to Sheffield for the weather - bring a raincoat and prepare to mourn the loss of your umbrella after the first day!).

On this occasion we arrived shortly before lunch on Saturday and checked into our hotel The Leopold - we've stayed here before, and in my old job I used to send people to stay in this hotel all the time. It's a nice, small hotel which has been open for quite a few years now - still lovely but perhaps in need of a lick of paint. Very comfy bed though so we slept really well.

After checking in we went for a walk to stretch our legs after the long drive - first stop Division Street - lots of small independent shops and bars - the shops themselves may have changed in the last 20 years but otherwise it's pretty much the same as it always was.

I popped in to MoonKo to take a look around - I've been following them online for ages and the shop really is beautiful - lots and lots of Rifle Paper Co. stuff and a whole corner of Donna Wilson alongside lots of smaller local and national designer/makers (I may have gone back after lunch and shopped a little!).

We headed down to the end of the street and had lunch in The Forum - this is one of the first places Mr M took me to on one of my early visits - the food was pretty good then and it still is now. We shared some lovely large tapas style plates and had a glass of wine.

Which fortified us for our post lunch, horizontal rain, march up to Park Hill. Again, if you're familiar with my work you'll know that Park Hill features regularly. This was actually the first time I'd ever walked right up to it. 20 years ago it was a bit of a no go area - it's now a mixture of the redeveloped flats and the derelict old ones - masses of photo opportunities! One day I'll buy a flat here...

After Park Hill we wandered around the shops a little more popping into Birds Yard and the shop at the Millennium Gallery (where they have a great separate room with a pop up fearturing work from upcoming designer/makers too) and hid from the rain in the Winter Garden.

Then back to the hotel for a rest before our night out! We had an early dinner at Marco's New York Italian (a fairly casual restaurant run by Marco Pierre White) then headed back to Division Street for a quick drink in Bungalow and Bears - I like it in here as the crowd is usually a little older (showing my age again!) - and then The Leadmill. The Leadmill is my favourite place in Sheffield - they have the best indie club night I've ever been to and it's been on every Saturday night for as long as I've known about the place. This time it was made even better because we went to see The Enemy first - never seen them before and they were fantastic. We stayed afterwards to have a dance (or as much of a dance as is possible on the world's stickiest dance floor!) and made it back to the hotel at about 1am - which was pretty civilised!

Sunday morning and I had a lie in while Mr M went off to walk up some of those hills! After breakfast we went to see the substation on Charter Row...

Then took a stroll up to the University and the famous Arts Tower - it's the tallest university building in the UK with the largest surviving paternoster lift in the UK. I wasn't brave enough to go in and ask if I could have a ride on the paternoster!

For lunch we went to Piccolinos in Millenium Square where we've been before - a nice Italian restaurant where I filled up on pizza before the long drive home. Really not there for long enough but we still had a lovely weekend!

Are you local or a regular visitor to Sheffield? Anywhere you'd recommend visiting?