In my last post, Neil and I visited Sheffield Park and Garden. We took a right turn when we left, and little did we know what we stumbled upon…Read More
Neil and I visited the beautiful botanic gardens at Wakehurst place at Ardingly in West Sussex about a month ago when the blossom was in full bloom. The same day I received a surprise wee package in the post and ever since we've been inseparable.
Meet my new lucky charm. A shiny silver wishbone necklace from JewelStreet by designers Astrid & Miyu.
I've never been one for costume or statement jewellery, always opting for simple white gold or silver rings and necklaces. Astrid & Miyu have a unique yet simple collection on JewelStreet's website, polished to perfection sterling silver at very affordable prices. My next purchase will have to be a pair of their shiny wishbone earrings to match. They're a steal at just £29.
For any upcoming birthdays, graduation presents or if you fancy treating yourself I'd recommend having a look at the website and Astrid & Miyu's offering. There's something for everyone for every budget.
- Check out all Hove's tea & cake offerings and share more on this blog. Small batch, Ethels Kitchen, Maroccos, I gigi, V & H Café, the list goes on... I'm comin' your way.
- Runs along la promenade. Let's be realistic, will probs turn into strolls with a stop off for ice cream, but still, spending more time at the beach is a must :)
- Trial some home DIYs. I've bought my first can of spray paint for my first project - blates inspired by A Fab Life.
- Learn some tips and tricks in photography. Now that Neil & I are living together, what's his is mine (lols) and therefore all his camera gear is mine for playing around with (he'll be shaking his head if he reads this). Early June, me and a few Brighton bloggers are heading to a photography masterclass to experiment more with our DSLRs and interior photography is on my radar. Can't wait to learn more.
- Begin the Blog Life e-course by Elsie & Emma of A Beautiful Mess. It sounds like the perfect opportunity to learn more about brand identity, optimising traffic and building readership. Not just for this blog, but my marketing career too.
This will be an exceptionally quick and photo heavy post from me, as I'm amidst a pile of cardboard boxes with clothes as far as the eye can see. I'm packing up for the big move next week; May has come around so quickly and I'm getting palpitations with excitement. This time next week I'll be blogging from Fifi McGee HQ (i.e my new flat) pinning home decoration ideas furiously.
On to the post. Neil & I received press tickets for the ETC Home & Garden Show the Sunday before last. We skipped away from the riots up by the station and got lost in all the interior stalls at the Brighton Centre. Seen a couple of things we want - a smeg fridge and a telly that probably costs more than the flat - but weren't that blown away with what was on offer.
However two very special stalls easily stole the show for me. I finally got to meet two crafty ladies who I regularly tweet/email but never met properly in person, Claire who runs Cat-a-Cake Creations and Claudia who runs Claudia Made This. The lovely twosome shared a stall at the event and it was easily the most photogenic corner of the exhibition.
Hence why it's the only part we photographed!
Before I go, have you entered my interior giveaway? Alison at Home are sending one of my readers this beautiful Colonial Tripod Floor lamp from their Heritage collection (worth £175!)
The giveaway is open to UK residents only. The very lucky winner will be announced on the 31st May 2014 12am and the prize will be delivered to your door a week after. Just in time for sprucing your home up after a spring clean :)
To enter, all you have to do is follow my blog on bloglovin and like my page on facebook, filling in the rafflecopter below.
There's lots of bonus entries on there too, so fill your boots and good luck! I'll just go crawl into my envious cave.....
THE SUN CAME OUT IN BRIGHTON! Boo-yaaa.
Neil and I trekked across t'hills of Stanmer Park this bank holiday weekend, to embrace the 2 degree rise in temperatures and try sweat off some of the Lindt Easter hamper choccie I won (and devoured as soon as it arrived.)
The weekend began with a run round the undercliff walk by the marina, where I almost collapsed in a puddle of chalk from pure unfitness. I don't think I wore my trainers in 3 years, now they're thrown straight to the back of the cupboard for the next 10... Doesn't look like I'm much of a runner anymore. The sunset on Easter Sunday was 100% worth the outing though. Look at this stunning photo of Brighton Neil took. We sprinted back to the house for his camera especially. It's one I'm going to frame when we move in.
Anyway, thought I'd share some of Neil's photos from our weekend shenanigans. Bluebells and cherry blossom GALORE.
We did the obligatory 4 mile walk all across the perimeter which was stunn-iing but passing by all the dog walkers made us want our own :( we'll have a border collie featured in these photos one day. It just isn't as special going on country walks without a cheeky pup to keep you company (and dirty the car).
Anyway, after a hell of a lot of squealing at bumble bees, dragonflies and tripping over the roots of trees, we paid Stanmer Park's tea rooms a welcome visit to rest our weary legs and dream of owning a home on the row of cottages lined up by the stables. Seriously it's the dreamiest place to live.
Topic of the week for conversation here in Brighton is the wind. A part of me dies when I find myself talking about the weather with people. You know conversation is at an all time LOW when you're awkwardly looking at the clouds saying 'yeah but we've been so lucky we had a lovely summer, wasn't it warm' in that annoying 'rising intonation' tone. But in all honesty, I've never seen Brighton take such a bashing as it did last weekend. Look at this video if you don't believe me. And the sheer mess of my hair in the pic below. I'm channelling the cross-bred look effortlessly.
As the wind picked up, the windows howled so Neil and I braced the streets of Kemptown for 'a bit of fresh air' and got a bit more than we bargained for! We took a wander by the beach for some storm-watching activity, to bare witness to the powerful waves and only bumped into a small Amish family on our travels. Brighton is so bloody weird.
I went for a classic spearmint and peppermint concoction, namely the Rockerfella which I'm tempted to buy a batch of on their online shop. Slightly cleaner on the ol' palette and was a perfect match with a hefty slice of carrot cake. I've never once been to MDtea and not bought their carrot cake. It would be a cardinal fifi sin if I ever did - it's the best I've tried.
The whole tea shop is decked out in the most fabulous art deco, 1930s furniture - available to purchase if I remember rightly? And as Neil said in his witty review, it's charming how a little furniture shop has decided to sell tea and cakes. Epic business model ;) I'll certainly be taking inspiration from their interior when we come to buy our own place. Starting first and foremost with my very own delicate porcelain tea set.
So if you find yourself on a wander along the beach any time soon, turn left up Charlotte Street and pop into this rare gem for some tea and a snack to warm your cockles!
I believe Metrodeco also host and organise events from baby showers, engagement parties to wedding planning, too. Definitely one to remember when I'm helping my sister arrange a bridesmaid gathering before the big day.
Who's up for a Brighton bloggers tea cocktail night here soon? Yes please :)
If you're arranging a shopping trip to Oxford Circus any time soon, I can't recommend dropping by Ponti's highly enough. I got a glimpse of their lunch menu too, which whilst isn't quite as tantalising as the Christmas menu, still promises good things.
Just another note, as the restaurant is located so close to the main shops, it would probably be wise to make a booking early on to secure a table with no waiting time - just make sure you leave enough time to hit up all the shops, and arrive hungry!
This Christmas, I'm vowing to be more active in all the festive winter shenanigans going on around Brighton. I've had tonnes of ideas for festive things to see and do either by yourself, with friends, or with the little ones, and in the run up to Christmas, the cheaper the better.
My festive social streak began last weekend, when Neil and I popped along to The Patch Winter Warmer in Hanover (some stunning photos on their way) where we welcomed the start of advent with mulled wine and home made mince pies over a bonfire. Hello December!
Mulled wine & wee mince pies. (I ate it before I got chance to take a photo) pic.twitter.com/xjYAgMDaTm— Fifi-McGee (@fifimcgeee) December 1, 2013
1) Beach Hut Advent Calendar Everyday 5.30pm-6.30pm until Christmas Day.
I was both shocked and gutted when I heard this event has happened every year since 2006 and I've never even been. For every day of advent, one beach hut along the Hove promenade opens up to reveal a festive display as part of a gigantic seafront advent calendar. I plan to pack a few flasks of mulled wine and a lunchbox of mince pies one weekend for a nosey. Totally free, and totally festive :)
Having been along to plenty of vintage fairs last summer, and failing to find anything I could truly cherish I'm ecstatic that Belle's are organising a Christmas special vintage fair. Ok so it's meant to be a haven for the weird & wonderful gifts we should all be on the search for, but where's the harm in treating yourself to a bit of arm candy, or another thick jumper? At only £1 entry, it promises to be a more festive alternative to the manic Churchill Sq. and a lil dickie bird tells me there's a pop up tea shop. See ya there.
3) Festive night in
Yes you can get all Christmassy and sociable without even leaving the house or spending a fortune. Recent studies have shown that more and more women are choosing a night in over shivering en route to a gathering. The answer to all your prayers? Downloading Elf, bottle of mulled wine, a selection box each and a room full of your favourite people. Christmas is about to being with your nearest and dearest after all.
4) Burning the clocks Saturday 21st December 6.30pm, Madeira Drive end of the sea front
In case you weren't aware, 21st December marks the shortest day of the year (and what should have been the first anniversary since the end of the world... we all forgot about the Mayan prophecies, didn't we?) Hooray for us still being alive a year on. Every year, there's a parade of lanterns through the city to celebrate the solstice, ending in the biggest bonfire you'll ever see at the beach, alongside one of the most impressive (and totally free) fireworks displays. It's busy, but it really is unmissable.
5) Santa Dash Saturday 7th December 10.30am-12.30pm, Hove Lawns
Now this promises some epic photographs. The Santa Dash is an annual 5km run raising money for charity, where EVERYONE partaking dresses up as Santa himself. Not sure how children will feel seeing 40 dozen Santas running towards them (no doubt with beers in hand) but it's definitely a hilarious way to kick off a weekend, even if you are just spectating.
Can't wait to get all involved and Christmassy :)
Where did September go?! It only seems like yesterday I was doing a round up of what I got done in August (not a lot!) I promised myself last month I'd do 3 things: head to more craft fairs, organise the Brighton Bitch & Stitch , and 'cook up a rainbow storm in the kitchen' (and when I say 'storm', take that literally - see my last post.... #facepalm) Glad to say I did all this and more. Keep an eye out for a post on our Bitch & Stitch meetup last night - it was so much fun!
Myself and Neil took a trip to the Brighton Unitarian Church a few drizzly weekends ago to get a look at some local handmade gems at the Makers Boutique. Alright, alright. I dragged Neil along, but still. We both really enjoyed it.
We like our weekend trips to craft fairs. I've been to pretty much all of the Brighton regulars (check out the Brighton Craft Alliance review I did) and can't get enough. If you're a wannabe craft queen like me, it's great to wander around for ideas on your next project (or first project - in my case) or to pick up some truly unique gifts for friends.
Here are a few snaps from the day, including a guest appearance from a famous face in Brighton - the muppet pianist :)
What a guy!