35 Before 35 ~ Throw a Gilmore Girls party


Remember back in November, when the Gilmore Girls revival was released on Netflix, and the world went Stars Hollow-mad? That would have been a great time to write a post about the Gilmore Girls party that I threw, when it was especially relevant. Cut to nine months later, when everyone is totally over it, especially given just how disappointing 75% of the revival was, and here I am, writing my post.

Hey, I never said that I was a good blogger.

I put this item on my list last year for the simple reason that I was so excited about the new episodes, and I knew I’d be watching them with my friends, and I thought it was the perfect opportunity to throw the type of party I have seen on Pinterest.

In the end, of course, it didn’t really turn out that way. The decorations weren’t Pinterest-worthy, and the new episodes were disappointing. I still managed to have a lovely time, however, because I got to spend time with my best friends, and we ate lots of food (we decided to cook a Thanksgiving dinner, except that just ended up being a roast dinner), and we got to go back to Stars Hollow.


As you should be able to tell from the photo, we dressed up – V was Paris, Anna was Rory, I was Luke, and Hannah was Sookie. Actually, V didn’t dress up as Paris, she didn’t really dress up at all, but we just decided that she could be Paris. My other friend Jen bought a chow dog toy and sort of came as Michel, but doesn’t really like having her photo taken, so we used Paw-Paw in the photo in her place!


Hannah went all out, ordering a smock and having Sookie’s name embroidered onto it! She did almost all of the cooking as well, so it was only right that she looked the part


I wish that my house didn’t look as messy as it does in this photo, but I had to share it simply because I love that there is a sign on the wall that says ‘No Cell Phones’ (lovingly created by me), and these three losers are sat on their phones!


Hand on heart, at this distance, I am mostly pretending that the revival episodes didn’t happen. The best bit, by far, was the scene in which Lorelai calls Emily and finally mourns Richard’s death properly. Everything else was something between don’t-really-care and I-can’t-believe-they-did-that. Some things* are just better left un-revived.

And Pinterest-worthy or not, I had a lovely time with my friends at my Gilmore Girls party!

*most things

12. Throw a Gilmore Girls party

Afternoon Tea in a Box

It has now become a bit of a tradition for me to blog about what I have made for my friends’ birthdays. It turned out this year that, as we all turned thirty, I didn’t have the money to splurge on lovely gifts, so I had to resort to making them in one way or another. You may remember that I made a scrapbook/photo album for Anna, and a Lord of the Rings cross stitch for Jen. The last of our gang, Vicky, turned thirty a couple of weeks ago, and of course I wanted to make something special to mark the occasion!

In a spark of inspiration one evening, I decided that I wanted to make her an Afternoon Tea in a Box. I don’t really know where the idea came from, but in my head, it was perfect. A vintage tea cup, some lovely tea, maybe some baked goods, and some recipe cards for her to make some of her own goodies, all packaged in a lovely box.

In the end, of course, it didn’t turn out quite as I was expecting it to. You know when you just have this idea in your head of the way you want something to be, and then in reality, it’s nothing like it? That happens to me all the time when it comes to creative things. I’m a tryer, but I don’t always quite hit the nail on the head.

Talking of being a tryer – I took some photos, but they aren’t the best photos in the world!

Minolta DSC

Minolta DSC

Minolta DSC




As you can see, Afternoon Tea in a Box consisted of a cup, saucer and plate set, three different types of tea bags, some shortbread that I whipped up, and though you can’t see it, a little pot of Wilkin’s jam. I also made some bunting (this was one of things that wasn’t as I pictured it in my head, because I couldn’t find all my craft supplies!), and labelled each item with a little card that I made by stamping a heard shape and threading with ribbon.

I was actually quite proud of the finished product, and I know that Vicky loved it, and that’s the main thing! I hope she gets to drink lots of lovely tea, and thinks of me while she’s doing so!

Best Friends ~ BEDM

It’s funny that’s today’s prompt should be Best Friends, because I am lucky enough to be spending this weekend with mine!

I’ve mentioned Team VAJJ a lot on this blog, and I’m sure regular readers are probably aware that it is comprised of Vicky, Anna, Jen and Jane (that’s me). We’ve been friends as a group of four for about ten years now, although Vicky and Anna have known each other since they were tiny, and Jen and I have been friends since we were about twelve. Anna and Jen were friends throughout most of secondary school, but although I was friends with Jen, I barely knew Anna at all until sixth form, when we randomly sat next to each other in a French class and (at least in my memories), became best friends instantly. As for Vicky, I knew who she was, but it wasn’t until we were on work experience (her at Boots, me at the Body Shop) that we really became friends, and I guess the rest is history. Somehow we merged as a group after we finished A-Levels, and now these three girls are my people.

I think the true test of good friendship is being able to spend time doing absolutely anything, and having fun because you’re with your favourite people. A perfect example of this is when the four of us, plus Jen’s boyfriend John, got stranded on the side of the M25 on the way home from Thorpe Park.

I wrote all about it here, but the long and short of is that we turned a pretty horrible situation into a really great memory, singing, larking around and generally having fun.

Now, most of our time spent together isn’t in these potentially horrible situations, but we’re an easily-pleased bunch, and I think the most important thing for us is to spend time together. Anna, Jen and I all still live in Essex, but V lives on the south coast, and so getting together regularly can prove challenging. Added to this is the fact that Jen works shifts, Anna has various commitments, and I never have any money, and you get a situation where we have to work really hard to spend time together. Quite often, it ends up being three of us rather than four of us, but we try really hard to all get together as often as we can.

Which brings me back to this weekend, which I am spending with the girls at the Caravan of Love in East Sussex. We’ve been going on weekends away to caravans in various places for a few years, and now we are lucky enough to have one in the family, so it’s ideal for us. Tea, chatting, eating, laughing and having lots of fun are the ingredients for a perfect Team VAJJ weekend. And this weekend is Jen’s birthday, so it’s a special celebration.

I am really not one of those people who says “They’ve been there for me at some really difficult times in my life.” Because I think it’s a bit of a cliché, and I think that if you are talking about your best friends, your people, it doesn’t really need saying that they’d be there for you when you need them. That’s what makes them the best. But in September of 2011, in my time of need, my friends were there. Bearing in mind what I said about how difficult it is for us all to get together at the same time, they were there, in the blink of an eye, to give me hugs and tea and tissues. And to watch this repeatedly.

But mostly, we’re lucky enough not to have bad times. Most of the times are good.

(Yes, I have been playing with the A Beautiful Mess app. What of it?)

A Roll of Film

Last summer my dad gave me a film camera; I’ve been wanting one for ages but it seems that everyone is jumping on the retro bandwagon, and they have gotten quite expensive! But my dad bought one on eBay for the lens, and didn’t need the camera, so gave it to me. Luckily, the films seem to be readily available in the pound shop, so I popped one in and away I went.

The results aren’t all that great, to be honest. My dad has done some minor repair work on Photoshop, but it hasn’t made a great deal of difference. But I thought I’d share a few of the shots on here, and then, hopefully, when I start using it again (it’s been sitting on a shelf for ages), I’ll improve and be able to see a difference!

My sister’s cat, Pudding.

Vicky and me being foolish with sweety teeth at Anna’s birthday party.

Anna and her birthday cake at her birthday party.

Dudley, a labradoodle that I know.

Hattie, last summer. Her hair is about 150% more crazy now.

Dolly, another dog that I know. No idea what breed she is.

A very chilly day in Brighton last October.

Hannah, last summer in Colchester.

Throwback Thursday ~ Thriller

It’s not often I acknowledge such things as Throwback Thursday, but I was thinking about this thing I did a few years ago, and I decided I wanted to write about it, and this seems as good an opportunity as any!

When my best friend Anna was organising her wedding, we used to talk for ages about what song she and Rob would have for their first dance. Anna wasn’t keen on the idea of a first dance at all, and Rob came up with some really odd suggestions for songs. At some point, after having watched 13 Going on 30, someone (I can’t remember who) came up with the bright idea of doing a Thriller dance instead of a first dance. Anna even considered acting like it was going to be a romantic dance, before breaking into the dance. In the end, they picked a suitable song for their first dance, and we saved the Thriller dance for later in the evening.

Although we tried to watch 13 Going on 30 and just learn the dance from that, it proved pretty impossible, so what we ended up doing was watching both that and the actual Thriller video, and then kind of choreographing our routine. We spent various afternoons in the lead up to the wedding rehearsing, trying to a) teach Rob the routine, b) instil in him a bit of rhythm (impossible), and c) teach him to put him weight on one leg (also impossible).

On the night, we all managed to have enough to drink to lose our inhibitions and actually perform the dance (but not so much that we forgot it!). I am so proud of the result, and watching the video fills me with so much joy! If you do want to watch it, here it is!

The dancers are me, Vicky and Jen in the back row, and the groom and bride, Rob and Anna, in the front. If you do watch it, and your eyes are drawn to Rob, that’s understandable, because he’s at least a beat off for almost the entire song. There are various things throughout the video that I love, including Vicky’s star jump towards the end that wasn’t entirely choreographed (Anna and Rob’s wedding was all about her, dontcha know?).

Have you ever done anything this ridiculous?