Friday, 17 April 2015

60 years of Miffy

Three years ago whilst on holiday in Holland, Tom & I took a day trip to Utrecht, and top of my list was a visit to the the Dick Bruna Museum. It was a wonderful place filled with original drawings of Bruna's famous bunny, Miffy. I'd certainly recommend a trip if you're ever in the Netherlands as it's such a fun, colourful museum (with an excellent shop!)

On 21st June Miffy turns 60! I was contacted recently asking if I'd like to review some Miffy books to celebrate her birthday and I couldn't say no.

Miffy's Garden (she learns to grow her very own carrots!), Miffy's Birthday and Miffy and Melanie ( a more recent tale in which she gets a visit from a penpal) are all sweet books that would make lovely gifts for younger children. (Or young at heart adults.. ahem). For even higher levels of cuteness visit the Miffy blog here.

Thursday, 9 April 2015

Bits of my house

We've been in our new home for just over a month now, and despite one room being full of boxes we are starting to get the house into shape! This week I've had a few days off work and it's been lovely to spend time in the garden, planting seeds in the sunshine and hanging out washing - things that are quite everyday but are things we didn't have chance to do in the flat. 

Tom's been busy drilling shelves, while I've been scouring charity shops for mid-century furniture. I had my heart set on finding a dressing table and was happy to find a nice one in the British Heart Foundation shop in Nottingham. And of course we have made several trips to Ikea. We managed to find this orange armchair in the sale section as it had been discontinued, hurrah!

It's also been great to get the log burner going on the cold nights when we first moved in.

It's been fun exploring a new area now we are a few miles outside of the city. There are some nice little cafes here, two ace pubs, an abundance of charity shops and an amazing greengrocer called Fred Hallam's.

Moving house is certainly a challenge, but it's worth it now we have more space and a place that's all ours. There's still quite a bit to do, including sanding and painting a dining chair and table, painting the bathroom and making some cushions to match the armchair. I'll share more pictures as we progress!

And here's one last shot (because it's nice to see more realistic images on blogs these days...) of our box spare room. Argh! Right, back to unpacking..

Friday, 27 March 2015

Film Friday: Films to look forward to

As I've been so busy with the house move I've not seen as many films as I'd like to recently, but there are some good ones coming out soon that I'm looking forward to.

1. While We're Young
Noah Baumbach's latest film starts Ben Stiller & Naomi Watts as a married couple who befriend a couple of hipster twenty-somethings (Adam Driver & Amanda Siegfried). I'm not usually a huge fan of Stiller but enjoyed Baumbach's other films, Frances Ha and The Squid and the Whale so this looks promising.

2. Heaven Adores You
Elliott Smith is one of my (and Tom's) favourite musicians, so I'm looking forward to watching this new documentary about the life of the late singer-singwriter. It's premiering at Derby Film Festival next month which is exciting!

3. Kurt Cobain: Montage of Heck
Along the same lines, there is a new documentary coming out soon about Kurt Cobain, authorised by his family. It clocks in at 132 mins, so it should be pretty comprehensive!

4. Appropriate Behaviour
Desiree Akhavan directs and stars in this hipster New York comedy about Brooklynite Shirin, who struggles to tell her Persian family that she's bisexual.

5. White God
In this Hungarian film, thirteen year old Lili is forced to give up her pet dog. She is devastated and sets out to find him again. The trailer for his film features hundreds of dogs running through the streets of Budapest and the film has got brilliant reviews so I'm keen to see it!

What films are you looking forward to this year?

Wednesday, 4 March 2015

Goodbye to the Convent

Four years ago, Tom and I moved into an old converted convent in the centre of Nottingham.

We've loved living in such a unique and beautiful building, and although I'm excited about FINALLY moving to our own house, there are some things I'll really miss about living here.

Here are a few memories of the Convent from the past few years....

Watching the seasons change through our window.

Parties in the Chapel.
We've made the most of the adjoining chapel, which can be hired out for events. We held two fun Halloween parties there, birthday parties, Christmas movie nights and a gaming get together. 

Taking spooky photos in the corridor...

"Ladies Bike.. and the saddle's right"
For my 30th birthday Tom bought me a bicycle.. but not only that, he made me this amazing music video to accompany it, with some friends who showed off their amazing dance skills in the corridor. Best present ever!

Ladies Bike (and the saddle's right) from TG on Vimeo.

And last but not least, this amazing book case.

Only a few sleeps left before we move, but I'm really excited about making our new house into a home, I'll share some pics from the new place soon!

Friday, 20 February 2015

Seven good films for a romantic night in

Finding a decent romantic comedy to watch on a night in can prove tricky. Most aren't my cup of tea - Love Actually made me cringe and I could never really relate to Bridget Jones. But there are a few romantic films that aren't overly schmaltzy or cliched. Here are seven great comedy romances to watch with your other half (or best friend... or pet dog) that don't suck.

1. Manhattan 
Woody Allen's classic from 1979 stars Allen as a divorced writer who's dating Muriel, a student when he starts to fall for another woman. The opening scene, featuring 'Rhapsody in Blue' is a perfect love letter to New York.

2. Say Anything
Lloyd Dobler (John Cusack) is a high school student who falls for high achiever Diane. 

Contains the classic scene with the boombox and the perfect line, "I gave her my heart and she gave me... a pen." Poor Lloyd.

3. The Graduate
The Graduate stars Dustin Hoffmann, a graduate (ahem) who gets seduced by his parent's friend, Mrs Robinson. Though made in the late 60s the humour in the film hasn't dated, and the ending makes me cry happy tears!

4. Before Sunrise
Julie Delpy and Ethan Hawke play Jesse and Celine, two twenty-somethings who get chatting whilst inter-railing around Europe. They decide to spend a day exploring Vienna together, walking and talking about life and love. This film spawned two sequels, but the first still holds my heart.

5. When Harry Met Sally
Billy Crystal and Meg Ryan star as high school friends who share a car trip from Chicago to New York before parting ways. They bump into each other again 12 years on and their friendship develops into something more. A great script by Nora Ephron, including the famous scene at Katz's Deli.

6. Overboard
I wanted to include a Goldie Hawn film in this list as she is a queen of comedy romance, and Tom's suggestion was Overboard! Hawn plays a wealthy lady who gets amnesia after being knocked overboard on her yacht. Her carpenter, played by real life partner Kurt Russell, tricks her into thinking she's his wife so she can play mother to his crazy kids!

7. The Wedding Singer
Adam Sandler plays a wedding singer who falls for waitress Drew Barrymore. One of those rare 'good' Adam Sandler movies, with a great 80s soundtrack. Steve Buscemi also steals the show halfway through in a drunken speech at his brother's wedding.

What are your favourite comedy romances? Or are you more of an action movie fan?!

Monday, 16 February 2015

Life, Lately

Posts may be a bit sporadic over the next few weeks as Tom and I have *finally* had a completion date for the house we are buying. Hurrah! It took the best of six months but moving day is just a few weeks away so we've been busy packing up boxes (with me getting rather distracted, finding old memories at the bottom of drawers... 'look, an actual tape!' 'I'd forgotten all about this!' etc).

We've also been having a proper sort of things we don't need and bundling down to the charity shop whenever we can. We've even cleared out our huge bookcase (above), which we will really miss! It'll be strange to leave the Convent but I'm excited to have a whole house and garden of our own.

Apart from packing I've been...

Watching Transparent and really enjoying it as the series progresses. Also enjoying Catastrophe on Channel 4, Community & Better Call Saul on Netflix. And the Gilmore Girls.
Listening to old Kenickie songs I'd forgotten about. 
Making the most of still living in town and meeting friends for Sunday breakfasts
Looking forward to Pancake Day tomorrow!
Pinning house inspiration like crazy.

PS As things slow down on here you can also find me on Instagram

Friday, 6 February 2015

Film Friday: No Manifesto - a film about the Manic Street Preachers

Plot This week I went to see a new documentary about the Manics, directed by fan Elizabeth Marcus, who appeared afterwards for a Q&A. The film features fan interviews that stretch over a ten year period, then features the band themselves during 2005-7.
Guest appearances If you were an early Manics fan perhaps you were in this film?! Other than that the band Rush show up and are mentioned quite a bit!
Fun facts One of my favourite moments was discovering drummer Sean Moore is an avid gun collector and finds target practise 'relaxing'.. hmm!
Overall This is a really warmly made film that shows the band at their most human. Although I'm not an obsessive Manics fan (Nirvana and Blur were my favourites growing up!) I do like their early material and it was fun to hear from their fans who are amongst the most devoted I know of (one man in the audience said he'd seen the band live 87 times!).