Monday, 20 June 2011

Isn't she lovely?

Well this announcement has been rather a long time coming.  The reason for my blogging absence in the last fews weeks has been a rather exciting/stressful/exhausting time all in one. 

We are.......having a little baby!

Little lady was camera shy and looking downwards.
I think I can already tell she's gorgeous.

We wanted to keep the news quiet until after the first scan - which happened, but wasn't so joyous as we had to have further test to make sure the baby was ok.  

The following week we had the extra tests and thank goodness everything came back healthy and happy.  That's when we found out we're having a girl.  I'm so over the moon.  I was secretly (well, not so secretly) hoping it was a girl.  

Being the wanton lover of fashion and general loveliness that I am, I'm already looking for the most amazing clothes I can find.  

I still love this that I found a few months ago:-

 Cute. As. Heck.

So if you spot anything cute, let me know.  I'll continue to worry about what I need when the baby is born, what pram to buy and other general parenting nonsense.  Including feeling tired pretty much all the time.  Hoorah! 

Wednesday, 25 May 2011

Meet me where the sky touches the sea, wait for me where the world ends

(my holiday view from the Minack Theatre - Cornwall).

I have no words today. 
Maybe tomorrow some will come out. 

Monday, 9 May 2011

Only fools Russian

See what I did there?  Well, probably not until I explain what the heck I actually mean.

Look at these two little loves:-

I am a complete sucker for Russian Doll paraphernalia as I've told you quite a few times before.  In fact, if you're bored of russian dolls, or me talking about them, errm, not much I can do there, I'm obsessed! 

I'd like to point out I was obsessed wayyyyy before anyone else liked them and I 'preferred their earlier work' so ner. 

So - these little beauties are actually lip balm.  Although M told me I really didn't require anymore lip balm I don't think he understands the severity of a possible situation if any one of the 60 million tubes/pots/tubs I have runs out.  Cracked dry lips are NOT attractive.

I got the vanilla (the blue one on the right) and cherry flavour.  They are really yummy smelling, I was tempted to eat some of one the other day but managed to stop myself just in time.

They are £2.99 each from Mad Beauty.  You have to search for them under gifts and then lip glosses, or you could just nosey around everything.

In other news, over the weekend I was traumatised by my very own big toe.  I was half looking at the floor and spotted a big black thing out of the corner of my eye. 

Sensing the fear of a rather large spider creeping up on me I screamed, pulled my foot off the floor and hyperventilated for a short while. 

This was all before I realised that I'd actually just spotted my big toe which is currently sporting black nail polish.  Utterly shameful behaviour.

Is anyone else as stupid as me?  I suspect not.     

Monday, 2 May 2011

This love is be and end all

Hullo!  Major life stuff happening right now - aside from being away on holiday our life is seriously hec-tic.

So when we arrived home at silly o'clock I was rather excited to see a lovely little package waiting for me.  I love receiving things in the post, it's one of life's little pleasures, isn't it?  Well, except when it's a bill.  Packages. Packages are good.

Inside was this very beautiful dainty necklace from Azuni

I have to admit that when Azuni offered to send me something I hadn't heard of them before.  After a (rather long) look around their lovely designed website, I knew their jewellery was right up my street.  I suspect it's right up a lot of people's street.  It's quirky, well-made and really striking.

The love necklace I was sent reminds me of old fashioned writing, scrolls of wonderful poetry and love letters, old school style tattoos with swallows that are ever popular.  I really can't recall having seen anything quite like it anywhere else.  Although I know the style is increasingly visible.   

There is plenty more on offer on the website too.  I have my eye on this rather simplistic bangle and this beautiful gold triple hoop necklace - a little Grecian style, very pretty.

So, to the good news for you.  I'm sure you deserve to be spoilt, don't you?  If you spot something that you'd like, you will receive 20% off any purchase you make, until the end of May.  Just phone or email the lovely team and mention my blog 'I'll Be Francoise'.  Now, I just need to persuade someone I deserve some more of their goodness.

Toodles for now.

Monday, 11 April 2011

James Martin: The Leeds Kitchen

So tonight we've been for a meal at James Martin's new venture - The Leeds Kitchen which is down at The Clarence Dock.

As he has a slight HUGE man crush on fellow Yorkshire man James, M was overjoyed to learn that the man himself would be in residence in the restaurant for the first two weeks, so that we'd be able to sample food cooked by his fair hands.

The restaurant itself is inside the Alea casino which was slightly strange on entry as I had to give my date of birth.  I presume it's because I look really young as they let M through with just his surname.  I'm not complaining.

Once inside, the restaurant space is very small and intimate.  We were shown straight to the table which was fairly close to the kitchen area - which is completely open at the front.  When we sat down M asked "did you see him, did you see him" in an excited voice.

As I was walking towards our table apparently with my eyes shut I appeared to miss James standing directly in front of the kitchen hatch!  Damn I thought, I've missed my chance to see him (I was facing into the restaurant - I let M have the prime seat facing the kitchen so he could drool).

We ordered some drinks and then as we were perusing the menu, James walked past.  More perusing and he stopped off at our table to shake our hands and ask what we were having.  He was so personable and offered some recommendations on the dishes.  It was a really nice touch.  I'm pleased to say M didn't wet himself, he was close though, heck, even I was at this point.

So, the starters came out really quickly and it looked so good I forgot to take a picture until I'd already eaten part:-

 Fried Laverstoke Park Mozzarella with Ampleforth cider and pear chutney.

Pot-roast chicken breast with smoked bacon, vegetable and mustard shoots.
As you can see - I forgot pictures again and had already added some carrots and some mash.

Finally - Cox's apple custard tart with Yorkshire clotted cream.

The food was ACE.  Perfectly flavoured and delicious.  The starter was just enough for a pleasant introduction. I was struggling to finish the main which was delicious, the chicken was really well cooked.  The mash, well, I could have just eaten three bowls of that for all courses.  Such great comfort food.

M had a cod and monkfish starter, lamb which looked lovely if a little pink for me and then the jaw dropping sticky toffee pudding - the pudding which he'd been sure he'd have at James Martin's restaurant before he'd even opened the restaurant.  He said of the sticky toffee pudding "memories of bonfire night treacle toffee with added awesome in a light toffee sauce that you could drink in pint glasses" - he doesn't just talk like that in conversation, he wrote that for a review, obviously.

It was so funny seeing the ladies reaction to James wandering around the restaurant, there was lots of swooning happening.

Great food, and so reasonable too.  I hope it continues to be a really lovely new addition to the area.

Wednesday, 6 April 2011

All the pieces, pieces, pieces of me

As you're aware if you're a regular reader of my blog - I'm a bit of a magpie for accessories.  Jewellery, shoes, bags, shiny hair clips - you name it, I've got a drawer or cupboard full of it. 

So, when I was asked to review the Clippy custom handbag I was rather excited.  I've heard of the brand before, but I think it was some time ago.  I seem to remember Helena Bonham-Carter wearing one in a magazine and as I'm a little in love with her it stuck in my mind.

I chose the small handbag with black handles - I thought I'd probably wear this more than the larger styles because I already have shopper type bags.  It has six pockets on each side of the bag to add pictures, badges etc.

You can order a plain bag and add your own personal photos once you have received it, or you can upload your own images for Clippy to print.  You can even choose from a selection of lovely images they have in their catalogue.  But I wanted something that was more of an expression of my tastes rather than just some of my photos.

I actually found that side of things a little hard but incredibly fun.  Whatever you decide to have in the pockets, it is entirely your own creation.  I can think of so many images that I adore, it was tough!

I set about conjuring up some of my favourite 'thoughts'.

From the top left going clockwise:-

1. This is me (on the left) and my sister.  Some time in the 80s.  I think we look suitably cute.
2. Blythe.  Oh how I love you.  This is a rather lovely picture of Blythe.  And it reminds me of my hair when it was red.  I miss my red hair.
3. The poster for the 1962 film of the book, Lolita.  Those red heart sunglasses turn up everywhere these days, such a striking image, I love it. 
4. A scene from Eternal Sunshine of a Spotless Mind.  I've written about this before, glorious film. 
5. The Sundays, Static & Silence.  One of my all time favourite albums.  In fact, containing my all time favourite song:-

6. My Neighbour Totoro!  A gorgeous film full of utter loveliness.  If you haven't seen it, watch it soon!

All in all, it's been a really nice experience - far more than a review of a bag.  And that's the wonderful thing about the clippy bags, having a blank canvas to do what you like with it.  It would make a really nice personal present for a friend.  I'm a sucker for a more thoughtful gift.

Disclaimer:- My bag normally costs £24.00.  I received it free for review purposes.

Tuesday, 5 April 2011

The runaway train came down the track and she blew, she blew

Hey loves.  Yet again life has encroached on my bloggerising.  It's not on really is it?

On Sunday we took a trip to York.  Originally we planned to go for a general mooch but ended up visiting the National Railway Museum

I've always loved going on train journeys.  I love the adventure of it all, even if that's just travelling to work.  I admit, I don't actually travel to work on trains and perhaps I wouldn't be so romantic about it all if I did - but it just relaxes me.  Looking out of the window, drifting away into the rolling countryside....listening to someone else's stereo....oh, a child is crying....someone's phone just went off....OK...ok it's not all great, but I can dream I'm still in Victorian times.  In first class. 

I'm not some kind of trainspotter (although we did mingle with quite a few hardcore ones furiously jotting numbers down in their notepads) but actually the museum was REALLY interesting.  There was heaps to see, loads of funny things and plenty of helpful people ready to explain just how a steam engine works.

I started off taking pictures of a couple of the trains and the intricacies of the amazing designs.  Then I sort of went off on a side track due to the great signs and posters.

A pretty awesome train.  Clearly.

Look at this coolness - it's part of The Duchess of Hamilton.

I'm 5ft 5 and I was smaller than this wheel. Wowsers.

See? I want to join this fine fellow in first class.
He looks quite pensive.

I reckon we could wheel this one out again.

This sounds like fun.  Or a bit weird.  You decide.

Imagine if there were still signs like this? It would be ace!

Oh come on, it had to be snapped.

All in all it was a really lovely way to spend a morning.  After we'd finished browsing train stuff we walked into York and ate some nice food by the river.  

Before we left I had to pop into paperchase and get something from their current Easter range.  Welcome to my collect nesting bunnies.  

They're cute aren't they? 

Sleep now I believe.  Hope you're having a lovely evening.