Weekly Wishlist: Boden (25-30% off!)

Saying "Weekly Wishlist" isn't strictly true, particularly since I already posted an ASOS casino style wishlist this week, but I came across a code for 25% off at Boden on Facebook, plus they've got a load of stuff at 30% off anyway at the moment, so I decided to do another to curb my desires for, well, basically everything on their site. I've always loved Boden pieces but haven't actually bought anything directly from them (yet...). Their clothes have always had a sort of "grown up" feel to them - it feels like the type of place teachers, GPs and professionals would shop for something that's still pretty and stylish but slightly more modest and practical for a work setting. Unfortunately, I still have a tendency to buy cheaper clothes rather than going for better quality - I'm working on this at the moment, and saving towards buying more expensive but higher quality clothes that are more classic and will last me longer. But in the meantime, I'm trying to keep my money as close to me as possible with Christmas coming up plus our current house hunting journey. So instead of putting everything into my basket and purchasing, I decided to make a wishlist instead in the hopes that will appease me (unlikely - it is entirely possible that you will find me opening a Boden parcel at the end of the week...).

003: Hattie Top (30% off)

004: Lois Skirt (30% off)

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My Top 12: Disney World Attractions (Part 2)

Welcome To Disney
I recently posted about my Top 12 Disney World attractions, but as you may remember, that was only part 1! I just couldn't keep myself brief on what I was writing, and I'd already upped the list from the usual "Top 10" to a "Top 12", then I accidentally added honorable mentions, so of course, it had to be in two parts!
I kept part 1 to current attractions, ie. ones that are still running and are newer. Part 2 is what I'm calling "nostalgic" attractions - some of these are running still, and will likely be for a long time as they're "classics", but some have sadly closed down now *cry*. I wanted to include them in my list though as they're part of my Disney experience over the years and are still what I'd describe as my favourite rides. Generally what makes all these rides "nostalgic" for me though is that I remember them clearly from when I was little and visited Disney, so that means these attractions (if they still exist, which is mentioned in their descriptions!) are all perfect for kids and families.

Spaceship Earth (Epcot)

Spaceship Earth 3
Spaceship Earth 2
spaceship earth
Spaceship Earth is Epcot's iconic attraction - you quite likely recognise the giant sparkling ball even if you're not a Disney fan! What some people don't realise though is that it contains a ride inside that big ball, and it's one of my old favourites. This is most certainly not one for thrills and is more educational than anything! The style of it reminds me of Tomorrowland in Magic Kingdom. You climb into a "time machine" ride vehicle and ascend through a tunnel of twinkling stars where your picture is taken (to be used later...!). Dame Judi Dench then narrates your journey through time based on human influence and communication - how these have shaped the world we live in. You see everything from Neanderthals to ancient Greeks and Romans, Michelangelo, the introduction of radio and television, right up to the present day. The culmination of the ride takes you out into space to view our "Spaceship Earth" from above, surrounded by stars. As you head back to earth, the screen in front of you asks questions about what you like, where you'd like to live etc. in future, then your "tomorrow" pops up in the ride car for you to see, complete with the picture you took at the beginning slotted into place on the depiction of you in your "future" outfit - a pretty awesome feature (see above)! You'll also be placed on a map in Project Tomorrow when you exit the ride, so make sure to pull a nice face (unlike my rather witty father!!).

Ellen's Energy Adventure AKA Universe of Energy, or to me, Ellen's Dinosaur Ride (Epcot)

Universe of Energy, Epcot
universe of energy
There really isn't that much exciting about this, and Ben admitted to me that he didn't think it was very good, but I love it! You first enter the pre-ride theatre room where you are surrounded by screens on which Ellen Degeneres pops up, telling you about a recent dream she had in which she was a contestant on Jeopardy (flashbacks and interruptions all included!) up against her old college room mate (played by Jamie Lee Curtis) and Einstein, with "energy" themed questions. Bill Nye the Science Guy intervenes though, telling how important energy is, then we follow him into the next room...Guests are seated in blocks of seating, watch another short film in which Bill Nye sends Ellen (and us with him) back in time to find where energy came from, and suddenly, the seats begin to move forward! When I was little, I remember the shock of this, finding out that you're actually in a huge ride vehicle! You're taken through a prehistoric scene filled with dinosaurs, with Ellen and Bill Nye animatronics up to no good exploring the landscape. Eventually you head back to the original room, watch the scene where Bill explains everything about energy to Ellen, and finally Ellen beats her nemesis at Jeopardy. Obviously a very outright educational attraction, but there's just something nostalgic about it for me!

Honorable Mention: Walt Disney's Carousel of Progress in Magic Kingdom has to get a mention somewhere in here. It's not the most exciting ride ever, but it's one I remember right back from when I was 6 (along with the People Mover, which is to most people probably just as unexciting!). The Carousel of Progress was designed by Walt himself for the 1964-65 World Fair and moved to the Magic Kingdom in 1975. It's pretty advanced for its age - guests sit in a revolutionary (literally!) theatre which revolves around a stationary stage, taking you through the decades in a family household, narrated by the father figure animatronic who ends each segment with the theme song: "There's a Great Big Beautiful Tomorrow" which will stay in your head all day (but don't worry, because it's awesome!).

Maelstrom (Norway, Epcot) plus the film afterwards

Maelstrom Troll
Troll in the Maelstrom/Norway shop
Maelstrom 2
This is a bittersweet entry because it has literally just closed this month! As you might know, Epcot is home to the World Showcase, a series of countries set around the "sea" (the lake), including Britain, Morocco, Mexico, Japan and Canada among several others. Don't ask me to choose my favourite of those, I tried that the other day and was unsuccessful, but Norway is definitely up there! The Maelstrom queue was definitely not the most inspiring, but there is (/was?!) a pretty awesome Hidden Mickey in there (hint: check out the Viking boat on the wall). Guests embark on a small boat which heads off into the dark Fjords, rivers and woods of Norway. Basically, you travel through an awe inspiring landscape, and almost topple off the edge of a waterfall which you can see from outside the attraction where boats appear every 30 seconds or so. The attraction ends with something most people tend to jump off and ignore - you disembark into a scene set up as a small Norwegian fishing town, which really has extraordinary attention to detail. You then head through a small theatre (which many bypass) that shows a short film about the country of Norway that I actually love - not sure why because it's nothing special, but really just has that old fashioned Disney feel to it.
Maelstrom is currently being replaced by a Frozen themed ride, and as much as I loved it, I'm excited to see the new version. I'm hoping it will be pretty much the same ride, just with a few new modifications, and please don't let my favourite film at the end change!

Honorable Mention: An honorable mention must go here to the Gran Fiesta Tour Starring The Three Caballeros which is very similar in parts to It's A Small World, but is the only other World Showcase ride and is also in a boat. The Mexico Pavilion in which it's located is also stunning, designed as an outdoor market street in a Mexican town in an eternal twilight/night.

Honey, I Shrunk The Audience (Epcot, in days gone by)

Still sobbing over here because this is another closed attraction, and has been gone for longer than I'd care to think about now (it was replaced by Captain EO in 2010, which is definitely far from being in my favourites list!). It was part of the once very popular Honey, I Shrunk the Kids film series, and was basically just a 4D film where we as the audience are shrunk by inventor, Wayne Szalinski . It included some pretty awesome effects such as feeling mice running beneath you (I was too small to feel this the first time and didn't know what everyone was laughing about!), a dog sneezing on you (and yes, you got wet!), a toddler lifting the entire building up (you felt it shake) and a seemingly giant (to the tiny audience) snake about to eat you! Much more interesting than Captain EO (can you see I have a thing about that?!).

Muppet Vision 3D (Disney's Hollywood Studios/MGM)

Muppet Vision 3D 2
Muppet Vision 3D
Ah, Muppet Vision! Now this is almost a nostalgic attraction, but it's still going and, really, just as current today as it ever was. You cram into the pre-show room and grab a pair of 3D glasses (but don't put them on yet!) filled with props for the Muppets' show (look around and read the jokes on them again - there are always a few "hidden" things in Disney queues which will keep you occupied), then the preshow begins on the monitors around the room, introducing you to the show you're about to see. You then file into the very luxurious theatre where Kermit on screen begins to give you a tour of the Muppet Studios, jam packed with awesome 3D effects - as I've said already, no one does 3D like Disney, you honestly sometimes feel like you can reach out and touch the things flying out of the screen! The effects also translate to real life, with bubbles floating down from the ceiling at points, and a cannon blowing the place apart. It's a typical laugh out loud Muppets show, and you're guaranteed to love it.

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Fur Collar & Cuffs

Fur collar coat
Fur cuffed coat
This is a pretty typical outfit for me at the moment, at least the part of it you can see! My daily coat at the moment is this one from Miss Selfridge. Yes, in reality it is way over the top for every day wear and looks more like something you'd only wear for nice outings, but I don't do things like that - I prefer to look overdressed every day! I grabbed it (literally, I'm not just using one of those fashion blogger terms for funsies - I grabbed it because I was worried it would disappear suddenly) when I was shopping in Scarborough with my sister. There was a coat from Miss Selfridge a few years ago which was similar, but I was at uni at the time and it was far too expensive for my poor student budget, but it's been on my mind ever since. I'd been hoping this would finally be the year I'd find one similar, with a fur collar and cuffs and a nice skirted style on the bottom, so this was like the coat from my dreams, hence why I never take it off. Add on top of that that it has its own little belt too (which I occasionally accidentally throw across the office as I take it on and off...), it's definitely worth the price, even though it was a bit painful to part with that money on a whim! Miss Selfridge is definitely my favourite for coats at the moment - there was this one in cream too, but it seems to have disappeared off the website, a very similar one with a Peter Pan collar which is also available in black and a camel coloured one which is a similar shape but without the fur.
The boots are my latest part of my "winter uniform" - I had some vouchers from Clarks to put towards some boots, and discovered that they also had 20% off in store last weekend, so we made the trip down to York to make a decision. I'd spent a while before browsing the boots section on the website but hadn't made any decisions because they were all gorgeous, but I knew I wanted some tan or brown ones that were knee or thigh high, possibly with a little bit of a heel. I narrowed it down to the Lindley Charm and the Maymie Stellar, and finally decided on the Maymie ones (strange name!) because they were tighter on the calves and slightly more flattering. I've worn them for a couple of full days at work and they've been really comfortable, even when I wore them to walk the mile or so in and out of town. They've also got a bit of grip on the bottom which is very useful for me in autumn and winter! They are more expensive than I would usually go for, but I'd decided this year I wanted a really good pair of boots anyway, and they're definitely worth the price too.
Clarks boots
Fur collar & cuffs coat
So, how's life at the moment? Busy! As you know, I redid my blog design and layout recently which has really spurred me on to get creating some good posts rather than being so lazy! In addition to buying boots at the weekend, I also had a little cinema trip with my Brownies which was a lot of fun! I persuaded my sister to come along too since I was the only adult for my troop going. It was at a local cinema and we'd booked the whole place out for all the local Rainbow, Brownie and Guiding units, meaning it was packed full of little girls. And of course, we were watching Frozen, so there was plenty of singing going on! Only 4 girls went from my troop in the end, and they were all lovely ones that aren't any hassle too, so we grabbed an ice cream, got our seats and actually got to enjoy the film!
I've also been working hard on my sewing recently - I made another shift dress with the same pattern as the tartan one but in an Eiffel Tower print fabric with bias binding around the neck and sleeves (which I'm really pleased with!), a full skirted red gingham dress with the same bodice but different skirt, and I'm also planning a few other sewing projects at the moment - excited to get started! I've been practising a bit for my solo for choir too which is only a week away now, eek! I had to write a soloist bio to go in the programme and it was probably one of the most difficult things I've done - I hate writing about myself in things like that!
Yesterday we went to look at another house which actually turned out to be really lovely. I don't want to get too carried away because you never know how these things might go, but it's definitely going into the careful consideration file in my head. It's slightly more expensive than we'd like, but fortunately we're in a fairly good position financially right now as Ben has recently inherited a small amount (lucky we've never had any issues with will disputes like these!) and it sounds like the vendors might be willing to accept a lower offer too, but we'll see.
And final note, I haven't talked about this yet, but I've recently been having more troubles with illness with a lot of stomach pain and problems. I'll try not to go on, but you know how I get! I've never really suffered with stomach problems (gallbladder aside, but that's not really stomach), so I just kind of ignored it for a while. When it started to get more frequent, as in several times weekly, nothing awful but an annoying amount of stomach cramps, I decided I should probably get it checked out. And according to the doctors, I have a very classic case of IBS - it's something I've always been wary of as my mum suffers badly from it, and it runs in a lot of my family, but I hoped I'd steered clear of. Fortunately, I've got some tablets which seem to be helping, and even more fortunately, it's not that bad at all for me for the time being, so I'm hoping it stays this way! I just remember that it can't possibly be as bad as my gallbladder ever was!
Fur coat with boots
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Casino Christmas Wishlist

what to wear to a casino night
I've spoken recently a little bit about how I was having a bit of a blog identity crisis since I would only post if I had suitable pictures or something to say that was, to coin a popular blog phrase, "blogworthy." Since realising that I don't have to have the best things to say or show to you all the time, I'm feeling a lot happier with my blog, hence the huge stack of posts waiting! A lot of my free time at the moment has been taken up writing all sorts of different posts, and I'm excited to share them.
So here's the first of a new thing I've wanted to do for a while: a wishlist! I know, not groundbreaking, but I've always read them on other people's blogs and really enjoyed picking up tips about what people with similar style to me are loving right now, but thought that they wouldn't go down well on my blog. Since changing my ideas about blogging, I've decided that it doesn't matter whether it "goes down well" or not - it's my blog and I like these dresses.
Our work Christmas party is Casino themed again this year (last year's here), at the Old Swan hotel in Harrogate again, so even though I chose and bought my dress about two months ago (yep, organised for once!), it hasn't stopped me from scanning the shops for casino/Christmas-themed attire anyway. I've only ever once been to a casino before, which was actually a hotel we stayed at for one night, the River Rock Casino (which is pretty amazing) in Vancouver; my dad gave us like $10 each to spend and that was that (although my sister wanted more!), and he was the only one to win anything (so of course, he bought us tea that night!). I just know I'd end up spending all my savings, so for now, the pretend money at the casino-themed night will do for me.
I'm still kind of confused by all the rules surrounding the different games in casinos so I’ve been reading up in the glossary at Full Tilt. We got our menu for the Christmas Party the other day too, so it feels like it’s not that far away now! There wasn’t a lot of “casino” fashion going on at the River Rock. Sadly, most people were just stopping in on their way to dinner or seemed like they’d been there for days! So I didn’t really get a chance to dress up for that, although I did do my best. Here are my picks of what's out there at the moment for a fancy night out at the casino or a glitzy Christmas party:

Okay, little confession - I may have already bought this dress, and I may be wearing it today. But it is totally dressed down with a slouchy red cardigan and flats, but with heels and a glitzy necklace, it's sleek and elegant for a Casino night.
I do love a bit of embellishment on a dress, although I've never owned one quite as embellished as this - I feel like it would be a bit heavy?! But nevertheless, imagine rocking up in that to a Casino - you'd look and feel awesome.
I'll let you in on a little secret - the Christmas party dress I've chosen has some similarities to this one - red and sequins, but I'll say no more! I think red is really the colour of both Casinos and Christmas, and you can't go wrong with sparkles.
And finally, a super swishy gorgeous dress. Green is another of my favourite Christmas colours, it's got sparkles and embellishment on the neckline, and it's full length and elegant.

Have you got a Christmas party function you're going to this year and is there a theme? What are you planning to wear?

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How To Wear Midi Dresses In Winter

How to wear midi dresses in winter
In the past I used to wear super short skirts all the time. Okay, they weren't necessarily super short and it wasn't all the time, but a few years ago, barely a week would pass without seeing me in my old denim mini skirt or flared black skirt that skimmed my thighs (nice face there, Sian :/). A skirt that hit at or below the knees was definitely not a thing of style to me, aside from the occasional maxi dress for holidays. However, in recent years, especially since leaving uni, I've noticed my skirts getting longer and longer, and it's now rare to see me in a dress or skirt that sits too far above the knees. I've got rid of pretty much all of my old pieces that skim the thighs and feel far more comfortable in something a bit longer. It's not necessarily that I've become more "modest", I've just discovered that nowadays, longer lengths flatter my figure a bit more and balance me out, and who doesn't love a figure flattering look?!
There's only been one issue for me though, how are you supposed to wear midi lengths in winter?! I've seen plenty of uber cool bloggers and models rocking all sorts of looks with midi skirts, but not all of these are necessarily for me - some of them are wearing ankle boots (tends to make my legs look a little bit odd if the skirt is below the knee); some wearing over the knee boots (on me, where have my legs gone?!). The whole coat scenario is a different matter altogether - if your coat is just slightly longer than the dress or skirt, it looks a bit weird; if it's too short you get cold. If you wear black tights, your legs look funny again, but nude tights are usually not as thick. Ah, the trials and tribulations of dressing oneself!
I decided to take a look back through my archives at ways that I have managed to pull off the midi skirt in winter, but obviously these aren't absolute and are what have worked for me personally, so here are a few tips. I know that my dresses and skirts don't all technically qualify as a true "midi" length, which is mid-calf, but this is what I think of as midi:
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Ox Pasture Hall, Scarborough: Review

Ox Pasture Hall entrance
Ox Pasture Hall bedroom
Ox Pasture Hall Room
About a month ago, I was invited to stay at the Ox Pasture Hall hotel just outside Scarborough for an evening of good food, a bit of relaxation and just getting away for a night. We decided to book ourselves in to stay the night on Thursday 23rd October after a day at work, then we would both take Friday off (and Ben took Saturday off too, a proper weekend!) to wander around Whitby and Scarborough a bit. Despite both of us only living about 25 miles from Scarborough for pretty much our whole lives, we hadn't heard of Ox Pasture Hall, although my mum had as she'd been to a memorial service there once. The hotel is branded as a Country House Hotel offering relaxation and luxury, and that it did! It is actually constructed in an old farmhouse and its buildings, which give it fantastic character, especially with the courtyards and grounds.
We arrived after the sun had set, so unfortunately couldn't see a great deal of the hotel or its surroundings when we arrived, aside from the trees on either side of a steep valley that we meandered up to reach it. The hotel is situated in the North York Moors National Park, although the surroundings to me don't scream North York Moors as I know them - more woodland and fields, but still beautiful, especially in autumn when we visited. We were welcomed in at the reception warmly then led to our room, the Filey Suite - it seems that all the suites were named after local areas which is a lovely touch - through a couple of courtyards, with the restaurant and cosy lounge pointed out on our way through.
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Simplicity 4070 Dress
Simplicity 4070 Floral Dress
Blue Floral Dress with Heels
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My Top 12: Disney World Attractions (Part 1)

Cinderella Castle
Disney castle
(See how Cinderella Castle has changed over the years? First picture is 2008, then there's the 25 year anniversary in 1996 and (I think!) 1999)
Asking me to choose my favourite Disney Park or ride is probably one of the most difficult answers I will ever have to give. I'll pick something, then think of another thing I love just as much, then another, and another, and so the list goes on. According to the list I've put together, it looks as though overall Epcot is my favourite of the parks considering the amount of rides and attractions I picked from there, and to be honest, that's the one that pops into my head first when I'm asked the question. For some reason, Epcot just seems to hold most of the nostalgia I have about Disney, despite having visited Magic Kingdom just as many, if not more, times.
I started writing this as a single list, but with the amount I ended up wanted to write for each attraction, you would have been here for days! I also titled it my "Top 10", but as you can see, that failed, and it's now a Top 12 list! I also cheated a little bit by adding "similar" honorable mentions underneath some! I'm splitting it into two sections, half I'm keeping more "nostalgic" (with some now defunct rides, sob!), the other half as current as possible. They're not in any order either, since that would make my life far too hard. I also thought it would be fun to illustrate the post with pictures from the various different trips I've made to Disney over the years, so hope you enjoy the pictures too - they're from 1996 right up to 2014, and from about 5 or 6 different trips, many are old film photos too, so definitely interesting quality-wise!
The beauty of Disney is really in the details, so as much as I try to convey the attractions here, it's nothing compared to the real thing - some of these attractions probably sound positively boring in my descriptions, but believe me, they're awesome in real life!
So, here are my top current rides at Disney:

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Vintage Christening dress
Christening outfit
Vintage dress with cropped cardigan
Cropped Cardigan: ASOS
Floral Dress: Bowler Vintage (York)
Clutch Bag: F&F
I'm slowly getting more up to date on my posts, and I'm now up to only about a week ago with some exciting news. I'm really lucky to have a group of close friends from school (all pictured here!) that I've known for a very long time, one of whom, Helen, I've pretty much known since we were born and went to school with from 3 to 16, which is unusual considering we went to a boarding school (but we weren't boarders!). Anyway, just more than a year ago, she announced to us that she was expecting a baby - this was super exciting because she's the first of my friends to be engaged and have a baby. And while I was in Florida earlier this year, her little girl Evelyn was born. Of course, as soon as I was home, I rushed round to meet her, and she is so dainty and beautiful. I was even more excited when, at the end of summer, Helen handed me the prettiest little card asking me to be one of Evelyn's godmothers along with our other two friends, Rosie and Katy. And finally last weekend, the Christening date came around! And here's all of us with the lovely little lady herself looking so cute in a gorgeous little dress completely with a sparkly skirt:
So of course I had to blog the outfit I wore to the Christening! I actually got the dress back in summer - I went shopping with Charley and we went to our favourite vintage shop in York, Bowler Vintage. I wasn't really intending to buy anything as I'd already been planning what I was going to wear for the Christening and was thinking of the Lindy Bop Audrey (I'm still thinking about buying one of those anyway!), but we decided to try on all the clothes we liked in the shop anyway for funsies, and this one just happened to be amazing! Charley convinced me that I should wear this for the Christening, and even though it was possibly a bit over the top, I couldn't leave it behind! And I'm always over the top in what I'm wearing anyway, so it didn't make much of a difference! I decided to go for my old favourite ASOS heels for the day too as I knew I'd have to walk up in the church in front of lots of people and didn't want to give myself more of an opportunity to fall over! For the first weekend in November, it was actually really warm too, so I didn't even need a coat, just the cardigan.
Anyway, the day was lovely - the service in the church went really well, and Evelyn wasn't even bothered when she got the water poured over her head, she was too preoccupied with trying to grab the priest's glasses! After the service, we all headed over to Sandburn Hall which was lovely - I'd been there before for Ben's work's Christmas party 6 years ago (crazy it was that long ago!), but hadn't seen it properly in daylight. The room we were in had huge windows overlooking the golf course that let in lots of light, and they put on a buffet with lots of yummy food for us. My parents and sister were also invited to the Christening as they've known Helen and her family forever (not even joking, my mum knows her family right back to childhood!), so it was lovely that we were all there to celebrate!
Full skirted vintage dress
Floral 50s dress
Full 50s dress
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