New to the shop: Floral circle skirt dress

Some of you will have already seen this dress in my birthday post. Here are some more pictures taken in the beautiful Berkshire countryside.


and then it started to rain....
available here (also in black)


Lucky finds

I thought I'd share a few of my recent lucky finds while out charity shop shopping....
A book of catalogue prints from the 1920, a (I'm guessing) 1970s pattern for yet another pussy bow blouse (as if I haven't got enough) and skirt and the biggest score was the knitting book "A stitch in time" which is not the Susan Crawford version but an older book full of knitting patterns from the 1920s-1940s. Such a bargain at £2.50. I was thrilled to have found both books.
More books: Marilyn by George Barris and a great book on New York in the first half of the 20th century.
huge heavy statement necklace
And some kitchen items. A pasta maker (not photographed but successfully used already)  I like to have my fruit on he kitchen counter to have it ready to grab and go. Plus it's a pretty splash of colour, too.
I found most items when I was visiting my in-laws in Leicestershire the other week and on my day out in Windsor. The charity shops in Reading aren't great. At least I'm usually not too lucky there. Do you enjoy charity shop scouting? Where do you go out for a successful 2nd hand shopping spree?


Beer cruise around the world...

I hope you are not bored yet of my little weekend fun. It was just such a nice break after the previous weeks of training, lots of work for both of us and lots of studying on my husbands side. Not too much fun and relaxation. It was time to let our hair down a little.
One of the reasons we run, bike and swim is the food and drink rewards afterwards. We certainly like to eat LOTS!!!! and have the odd pint of beer and cider. When in Henley on Thames on Saturday, we certainly indulged in both. Yummy food and interesting beer choices. The BeerTree has an amazing choice of international beers and ciders as well as the apparently biggest sausage selection (including almost any meat you can think of as well as vegetarian and vegan options galore). Perfect combo, beer and sausage especially for an English man and a German woman. This is where our cultures agree very strongly ;-)
We ate and drank our way through the UK, Germany, Belgium, Scotland, China, South Africa, Italy and Sweden in an afternoon/ early afternoon. We shared these bottle by the way. Most of them being 0.33 bottles. Otherwise we might have not made it home....
And now it's all back to every day life, a little detox and clean eating after all that indulgence.
I'm so greatful to my awesome husband for a relaxing fun filled couple of days.
Tipsy faces...
I love this guy!!!!!


Birthday dress......

More birthday weekend fun coming up. The hubby and I went to Henley on Thames on Saturday to have a relaxed day out, enjoying a pretty little town, more food, more charity shops and some beer from around the world. And I finally got to wear a dress again.....
We took the train, so I could dress for occasion, not comfort or activity. Yey!!!!
We had lunch in a cute French patisserie that we had not been to before.
The dress is a new-ish style that I might add to my shop in the future.
I look like a giant here...hahahaha. The bodice pattern is the same as the garden party dress but with an added cap sleeve. The skirt is a circle skirt. Simple cute Spring dress.


Happy birthday to me....

Friday was my 31st birthday. Wow, seeing it in writing like that is quite scary actually, but it is what it is. I am now in my thirties (not just thirty...) I don't exactly know how I feel about getting older. On one side I don't like the numbers going up and on the other side I prefer the person I am today so much more than who I was at 21 or 25. I am a lot healthier, happier, stronger and more confident than I was 5 or 10 years ago. And if that is ageing, then I am happy to add on the numbers. Plus I just ran my second marathon a little over a week ago. My 21 year old self could not even run down to the end of the road. Too much smoking and weekend drinking going on back then....The "joys" of being a student, ey?
So how did I celebrate? My husband and I don't do presents. We stopped that a couple of years ago and just get what we want, when we want/need it and not just because it's Christmas/birthday..... Same with friends and family. What we do though, is spending some quality time together or go away for a short break etc.
This year I decided I wanted to cycle to Windsor, visit the castle and have a great day out. The weather was on our side and my legs were good to go again.
Betty Schwinn came out to play. We left too late to make it to Windsor with enough time to look around the castle (the husband likes to read EVERY piece of information) so we will have to come back for that again. Instead we ended up eating loads, scouting the Windsor charity shops with great success and eating some more on our way home.


Running the Brighton Marathon

I've done it! I'm a double marathoner, woohooo!!! As I mentioned in my last post, I ran the Brighton Marathon on Sunday and I can proudly report that I made it through the finish line. It was one of the best races I have ever taken part in, I must say and I highly recommend running this race. If you want an epic crowd to cheer you on, a beautiful course to run along and lots of help in form of marshalls, "food" and drink to get you through the finish line, I recommend you sign up here asap. You can now enter for the 2014 race and get a guaranteed place. They also do an earlybird special at this point. I entered that way last year and it was easy as pie. A lot of big races like this one book up quickly (think London and Edinburgh). The Brighton Marathon is not far behind London and Edinburgh in size and awesomeness but enough advertisement for now and onto some pictures. I only have photos from my mobile to share as you can't really carry anything with you so please excuse the quality.
Walking to the start line. I really could not get lost on my way from the seafront (where we stayed the night before) to the startline in Preston Park.
Preston Park was a sea of runners. The atmosphere was so inspiring and exiting, it was quite overwhelming for me. I have quite a few races under my belt now but nothing ever this big.
The race takes you past the beautiful Brighton Pavillion twice and then mostly along the seafront. I took this picture before the race on my way to the start.
The elite runners passing. We got to see them twice. Once at the start (they start before everyone else from a slightly different start line) and once as they were coming back along the seafront while we were still running out towards the marina. It's amazing watching them run a pace I could not even sprint.
And me, through the finish line, trying to look victorious but really only managing borderline pathetic hahahaha. I had a tough race at mile 19-22, picking up again afterwards.
I finished a lot slower than my first marathon (4:46hrs) but at least it was under 5hrs. I'm very happy with it. Hey I run a bloody marathon!! It sure wasn't my last one but I think I will concentrate on half marathons again for a while to rebuild some speed. I'm also still trying to finish one in under 2 hours.s
This week will be spend recovering, progressing from waddle to walk and enjoying my new piece of running bling. Better than any piece of jewelry can ever be.
Of course I have to mentioned the very sad news the next day from Boston. My heart goes out to all runners and spectators that were there. Most of all to those who lost their lives, got injured and their families. Such a tragedy on a day that should be filled with pride, cheering and joy.
Have you ever run a marathon, or any other distance? Where and when? I hope you had a great time and achieved all your goals, you set.


Hello from Brighton

Just a quick hello from beautiful Brighton. I'll be running the Brighton marathon tomorrow (Sunday 14th) and hope the weather will be better. Please keep fingers and toes crossed for me. It's been miserable all day, so no pretty seaside shots. But we are trying to be positive, stuffing our faces and getting an early night. Hopefully I wont be as crippled by the end of tomorrow as I was after my first marathon.
 Carbloading!! The best bit before a race!!
Are any of you into running (or other endurance sports) If yes, what's your sport and what's your favourite distance? I like half marathons best, I think. They are challenging but don't knock you out like a full one does. 10k are great fun too.  Any races coming up? I'm lost now. Nothing else booked so far. Any suggestions?
And lastly what's your favourite pre and/or post race treat? I think mine is proper pizza as it's something I never get unless after a race. And a pint of cider....and maybe some ice cream.... you get the idea. LOTS!!!


Retro shabby chic ottoman upcycle

I am really into little home decor projects at the moment. I think this has to do with us (the husband and me) anticipating to find out where our next posting is going to be. Yep, we will be moving again in July but we haven't found out where we are moving to yet. The posting here in Berkshire was only for the duration of an 18months course my husband is on. I must say I am not sad to leave. I will miss the Berkshire and Hampshire country side but I am however not going to miss the concrete hell that is Reading and our neighbourhood here in Arborfield.
Since we have moved here in January last year I haven't really done much to make this house a home. I didn't feel like it was worth it, we were doing up a buy to let house in Nottingham at the time we moved here and spend most of our freetime up in Nottingham. And after that we spend most of our free time outside running, hiking and cycling and again not much time at home. But now I really want to find out where our next home is going to be. We are hoping Germany before we wont have the chance anymore.....
Anyways I am itching to finally have a more permanent home again, one I can decorate and make my (our) own. With this in mind I have started on a few upcycling projects that I can take with us and will fit into any new space.
I bought this ottoman a couple of years ago and hid it underneath some blankets and throw pillows. It looked very worn and tatty and was is very much need of some tlc.
 I spray painted the main body white

got some red candy stripe, red gingham and red with white pin dot fabric as well as some spotty ruffled trim and some wadding to upholster the top of the ottoman.

I laid the wadding on top of the ottoman lid, then wrapped the spotty fabric around and secured the edges with a staple gun.

Next, I stitched the trim by hand around the sides.

I also made a bunch of cushions from the other fabrics to decorate. I used this tutorial for some of them. They are all stuffed with scraps and left over wadding.

And the finished project. Even matching my husbands guitar (wasn't planned but doesn't hurt either hahaha) A little shabby chic ottoman upcycle. I hope you enjoyed this project. I have another smaller ottoman in the same room that I might work over to look similar and then one in my bathroom that could do with a make over.


Some rainy day entertainment for you: Vintage Karl Lagerfeld, Diane von Fuerstenberg, Betsey Johnson and John Weitz

I stumbled over this video a couple of days ago when researching Karl Lagerfeld a little. I'm a huge fan of almost anything he does and find him very inspiring as a person. I hope I will still be as interested in everything around me and creative when I'm his age. I thought you might enjoy this video of a young Karl and of course young Diane von Fuerstenberg and Betsey Johnson, who by the way nailed one of the big trends of the 1980s here. Ithink the Video is from 1980?? It's so outdated and some of the comments and conversation (especially with the audience) made me cringe but it shoes how far we've come since then. I love watching the models strut their stuff, sooooooo different from today's stork like catwalking. I hope you enjoy this little video.

PS, I would totally wear Diane's dresses today. Shows how classic and timeless her style is.


Saturday sunshine.....

Today was beautiful, so we had to take advantage of it and go out on a bike ride. It was sunny but still very cold.  
Hope you are all enyoing a lovely weekend! XX