Monday, 18 December 2017

Christmas at Chatsworth

Hello! I know it has been quite a long time since I updated this blog (nearly a year!) but I finally have the means to blog again (two broken laptops later) so I'm hoping to get back on track with a post about two of my favourite things - Chatsworth and Christmas.

Some of you may remember my post about Chatsworth House last year. Chatsworth is one of my favourite places to visit; I have memories of visiting as a child and it will always hold a certain level of nostalgia and joy for me. Despite this, I've never been able to visit at Christmas. It's always incredibly busy at Christmas (especially at the weekend) but this year my Dad, my sister and I were all able to book the same day off work so we thought it would be nice to take a family trip to see the house in its Christmas splendour and take Bree on a walk around the grounds and gardens. Chatsworth has a Christmas theme each year, and this year was Dickens, which I was very excited about!

I will warn you that this post is just full of Christmas trees!

Thursday, 16 February 2017

La Belle Esprit Necklace by Alchemy Gothic

So I've been a terrible blogger once again. I've been busy with work and I've really started to neglect this blog. I'm hoping that now the busy period at the start of the year is over I'll have more time to dedicate to my blog.

I've actually been intending to post this review for months, but for some reason it has just been stuck in my pile of draft posts. However it's such a beautiful necklace that I thought that not posting about it would be a shame. I bought this necklace ages ago (last year!) from The Gothic Shop.

I had been admiring the La Belle Esprit necklace for months before I finally bought it. It's on the expensive side so I was a little hesitant when I bought it. I'd like to apologise for the photos in this post, I'm currently taking all of my photos outside as we're decorating and my house is incredibly dark.

The La Belle Esprit necklace features a beautiful large green Swarovski crystal wrapped in an ornate pewter frame. A pewter fairy guards the crystal with foliage forming delicate and detailed wings. A clear white crystal cube is suspended from the bottom of the necklace. I really like that the crystal is set back from the frame; it adds a level of depth and intrigue to the necklace.

This necklace is everything I expected to be. It is ornate, opulent and almost excessively decadent. Alchemy Gothic pieces always tend to be on the large side, but this necklace is easily the largest necklace I own. I'm very petite, but I can just about get away with this without it being too overbearing. If you prefer smaller necklaces this one certainly isn't for you! It's very extravagant, and wonderful for formal occasions or to add a bit of elegance to your everyday outfits. I'm rather disappointed that I bought this after my graduation as it would have been perfect.

The necklace hangs on a double grey satin ribbon. This is my only complaint and the only problem I have with this necklace. I always prefer a chain. I like that you can adjust it to your own length, but it never stays in place. I can never tie the knot tight enough to hold the necklace (it's quite heavy) and the knots always get stuck in my hair and they're almost impossible to untie. I just find a chain easier and a little more elegant. I might actually add a chain to it at some point. It is still a stunning piece regardless.

The only other issue with this necklace is the price. It's one of Alchemy's more expensive pieces, but I think it's worth it. It's a beautiful necklace and incredibly well made.

This necklace costs £51.50 and can be purchased from The Gothic Shop.

Have you bought anything interesting recently?

Disclosure: I bought this necklace myself.

Saturday, 31 December 2016

New Year's Resolutions 2017

2016 has gone by incredibly quickly. This year has been a varied one for me. I've had some good moments but generally it hasn't been the best year, which I think has been the case for a lot of people. I'm looking forward to drawing a line under 2016 and moving on to 2017 with a clean slate.

I'm continuing with my New Year's Eve tradition and posting my resolutions. As always, I try to keep mine somewhat achievable. Some are repeats from last year that didn't quite make it! In no particular order:

1. Travel.

I've always wanted to travel, but I was stuck in temporary work for nearly a year after I left university and I just couldn't afford it. I was made permanent in October and I can finally afford to go on holiday. I haven't been on holiday in years and it would be wonderful to go away. I've had a travel list since I was tiny and it would be lovely to start checking off a few places. For example, I've always wanted to go Iceland and it would be wonderful to start planning it. I would definitely be going alone though, so if anybody has any advice for travelling solo I'd appreciate it!

2. Stop obsessing over my mistakes.

I'm a perfectionist, and I find it difficult to admit when I have made a mistake. I will sit and obsess over every little mistake I make. I really need to start understanding that I do not need to be perfect all the time, and that making mistakes is ok.

3. Read more.

This is a bit of an odd one for me as I spent every spare moment I have reading. However, I'd like to start reading things outside my interests and actually start working through my book list instead of re-reading old favourites.

4. Find a better work/life balance.

Now that I have a permanent position I need to make sure that I use my weekends wisely so I enjoy the break. I need to find a balance between relaxing and getting out of the house to do something interesting. 

5. Blog more and find time to write.

I had this resolution last year. I've been busy adjusting to my new job and I've really neglected my blog. I'd like to dedicate at least one day a week to working through my draft posts. I have so many reviews to post!

6. Pass my driving test.

I passed my theory test last year and I still haven't passed my practical test. I became very ill just after passing my theory test last year and I didn't recover until January. This meant that I wasn't able to continue with my lessons. I've been desperately trying to find a new instructor (my last one did not make me feel comfortable at all) however I have been unable to find an automatic instructor in Nottingham with good reviews. I'd like to pass my test before my theory test runs out!

7. Go to more concerts.

I used to go to concerts a lot in my teenage years and I really miss it. I went to the Download Festival again last year and it made me remember how much I enjoy it!

8. Exercise more.

My fitness has really dropped recently. I used to go the gym once a week but I stopped a few months ago. I'd at least like to begin swimming again once a week as I find it really relaxing.

9. Plan ahead.

I would like to spend some time looking ahead to the future. I still live with my parents, but I'm currently putting money away so that I can afford to move out. I'd also like to get my PhD but it depends on my finances.

I hope you had a wonderful Christmas, and I hope you all have a lovely and safe New Year's Eve. As always, I'm spending my evening watching a film with Bree and Figgy. I don't drink, and the pets hate fireworks so the best option for me is to stay at home with them so they are comfortable. Cat/dog cuddles and a pizza is a perfect evening anyway!

What are your resolutions for 2017?
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