Wednesday, 12 December 2018

Magic happens to those who believe. {A New Theatre Royal Post}

Christmas Magic.

Christmas can be a skeptical time of year. For older children, whispers start about certain questions of truth and we can find ourselves asking the same thing. Is the magic real? As a teenager I don’t remember not believing in Christmas magic, but I remember accepting that certain things are done by certain people and if I wanted to enjoy the prospect of Christmas magic then I simply didn’t say anything against it and got on with it.

With younger siblings there was always some kind of magic needing to be portrayed at this time of year. Whether it was “be good or Father Christmas won’t come” or even joyfully looking on at Santa visits, having younger siblings meant, in our house the Christmas magic was real, until I left the day we got married. Having a 7 year old brother at that time meant that it was all too truthful that the big FC would only come if you were good! And carrying that into our married life, Christmas happened, as you would expect until our own children came along and suddenly we needed a bit of magic in our house too. The early years were easy, I only think in the last 3 Raph has fully understood what it is all about! Films help tell the story, but that magic can’t be touched in the same way. Having met Santa a few times, we all get a sudden burst of magic and he becomes real in that way, but sometimes, sometimes the magic comes from other places. It’s shop assistants wishing you a Merry Christmas as you leave a store, or local experiences that let you see the happy magic that appears, and it just really highlights how Christmas magic is centred around one man at one time of year. Christmas magic comes from everyone who is willing to give it and it is us who can then perpetuate that into our children and others.

The Theatre at Christmas.

We went to The New Theatre Royal on Friday for the opening night of their Panto SNOW WHITE AND THE SEVEN DWARFS. I expected a great performance as that is what the NTR put out. What I didn’t expected was a certain level of magic that came with it. As always the NTR stellar cast took to the stage with great enthusiasm. With a few familiar faces from past shows and from the TV we were entertained to the highest level of stage class! Amazing scenery, great costumes and well rehearsed lines were at the forefront of the show which made the way to laughing and clapping a plenty! Particular highlights for me was the amazing singing this year, with 3 amazing lead female vocalists {AMELIA LILY, SOPHIE GAUDIE & PAIGE BROOKLYN COOK} the show sounded incredible. With a fabulous princely character played by BARNEY HARWOOD and a comic sidekick played by CHRISTOPHER JOHNSON and a traditional panto Dame JOEY HOWARD this show was packed with entertainment throughout.

The magic is real

What you can never anticipate with kids and the theatre is how much they like it. Our children look onto that stage and just want to be on it. They see it as magic, the people acting are those characters, the things they say are the truth and our children fall head over heels in love with the show itself. They can't get enough of it, you can see on their faces that everything in plain sight is the best thing they have seen. What Raphael and Giulietta  have always been great at is listening to a story. They love books, they love films and thanks to our fortunate life they have been able to see some truly special stage shows at local theatres. This year it could be to do with their age, maybe their imagination is stronger and takes control more but they both watched this show with such joy that for Rob and I, we were able to truly see them being drawn in by the theatre magic. 
The thing with this theatre though is that now it is a bit familiar to us, the children are really comfortable here and when it was offered to us to hang around and *maybe* see some of the cast I felt very honoured. At the Easter Panto here you have an option to meet the cast, fully dressed after the show as it is slightly smaller, but the Christmas panto is a much bigger production with lots more going on and their isn't the same option. However, not saying anything to the kids until the last minute meant that expectations weren't set up and by magical chance, who should walk out when we were standing there but the male lead BARNEY HARWOOD. Our Children's faces were an absolute picture. They just couldn't believe their luck at being there when he walked out. And thanks to the sheer kindness and patience of Mr Harwood our children got to sit and chat to him like he was a true mate. He was closely followed by CHRIS JOHNSON {The comedy sidekick} who equally made the kids laugh and laugh after he gave up his time to stand about and entertain them. 
Their time and kindness only solidified what coming the the theatre means to us. For Rob and I as parents, this place gives us a magical feeling of going somewhere special and it gives our children that magical twinkle in their eye. 
It also allows them the knowledge of understanding that maybe dreams really do come true and that people, who may act on stage or stand in front of you in plain clothes also bring the magic in the most simplest and kindest of ways.
Give yourself time this year to try and see a local panto. Let children experience the theatre because there is nothing quite like the magic that it can bring. 

The Show Pictures

*These tickets were gifted but the thoughts remain true. If you follow me on social media you will see that we attend this theatre and other locals ones often as we love them so much!

(Note from Rob: as I was spell checking this I was welling up as we had such a wonderful time and I'm an enormous woose!)

Wednesday, 5 December 2018

Make Your Own Old Jumper Scarf.

Turn old jumpers into a beautiful new scarf!

I mean, I feel like a real broken record but let's just say that I have found a passion for reducing a bit of waste!
Fashion waste too, and in a way I wouldn't have wasted these but they would have sat doing nothing for a long time!
Anyway, having had a few cashmere {not 100%}  jumpers get a bit moth eaten, I was really loathed to throw them. I know so many people are so good at repurposing items and after a lovely discussion with some women at work I felt truly inspired to have a go at turning old jumpers into a scarf and it could not be easier!

A little how to.

This method is incredibly simple but the joy of it is that you can really make it your own. In fact as I write I am thinking of all the options, but for me I simply made two scarfs in different colours sewing 3 jumpers together. But, imagine making making a whole grey scarf from a range of different shades of grey. The ideas can so easily be adapted.

The basic plan goes something like this. Cut straight under the jumper from armpit to armpit. Then, depending if the hem is really tight or loose, cut straight across leaving you with the jumper middle and two joined seams.

Then cut one of the side seams off. I would pick the one where the label is. Cut the whole seam off, it means you will have a nice edge when it comes to sewing it to another jumper. 

So now, you will have a pile of jumper middles. Yes, one seam is still visible, but trust me, this is how you want it to look! 

Once you have cut up your jumpers (3 make a great length) you can start sewing the edges together. Mine were pretty similar widths so I just matched the edges up. 

Sew a simple straight line stitch joining the two pieces and keep adding until you are happy with the length.

And that is it.
The cashmere gets a beautiful natural roll and you don't need to do anything to the edges, it sits beautifully and the seams suit its style so much.

Imagine what you could do? You could even make it a wide scarf by sewing the long lengths together, oh it would be like a blanket but you will need a lot of old jumpers for that!


Tuesday, 4 December 2018

Fashion Column: The Journal {December Edition}

My Fashion Column 

I have started sharing the fashion coloumn I write for local magazine The Journal as I know some of you would like to read it but not have any access to it.

December 2018 Issue {The Journal}

As we enter into one of the busiest months in the year I feel it is only fair to share something almost polar opposite to how the world might be making you feel. December really can be a time of great enjoyment, it doesn’t need to be stress filled and it doesn’t need to be a time when you just throw money at everything. I find December is one of my favourite months in the year and not because of the present giving and parties, but because I really find it a time when we can relax and really enjoy family time. Here in Lincoln we are lucking enough to have a host of events that get us out the house. Not only have we got the Christmas market but we have St Barnabas’ Hospice Walk of light, we have lantern parades through the High Street and there are plenty of carol services going on through the city too. All lovely events which can take us out the house and give us a reason to layer up well to help us battle the cold! This last winter in Lincoln Jack Frost definitely nipped at our noses somewhat and after being unprepared for the cold weather last year, I think I stepped up the practicality part of my wardrobe! I often think practicality doesn’t always need to be boring. Rich colours, bold prints and thick layers will always have you feeling like you have dressed up but you can now do it with a very trendy edge. Through December I plan to be out a lot but not in a party way. I want to walk, see the twinkling lights in the city and enjoy the sounds that Christmas in the city brings. And I plan to do all of that wrapped in style!

I'm wearing:


Monday, 3 December 2018

Fashion Column; The Journal {November Edition}

Sharing my column for a local magazine.

After I published my first column a few months ago in The Lincolnshire Journal I knew that a lot of my readers would not be able to access it. I am so proud to have my own page in this magazine and I wanted to make sure the work I put into it gets shared further a field too so I have decided to share each edition on here a few weeks after publication. This one is obviously a bit more out of date now as I am only just getting round to sharing but this was the November issue about party dressing. 

November 2018 Issue {The Journal}

The party season can often throw up all sorts of worries about what to wear to sparkle. For me, Christmas party dressing is about finding something truly festive and, no, that doesn’t mean an actual Santa suit, but more something that helps represent the colours and magic of the Christmas season.
Now, I am not one to worry about going bold, in fact a bright red dress is so very fitting at Christmas, but for parties I do prefer to focus more on detail rather than colour. A party dress has to represent the event and at Christmas time there are so many options to consider when searching for the perfect one.
Embellishment can be your best friend, and for me, everything is good. Whether it’s sequins, beads or embroidery, enjoy picking clothes that bring the fabric to life. Embellishment can also be movement in the fabric which is really complementary and will flatter all body types. I love a sequined dress or skirt; sequins immediately excite and there is something very special about the glittering effect when heading out in sequins which can make a dreary December much brighter. If you are looking for something plainer but with detail, embroidery is a great option. You will find outfits with beautiful stitching in most stores. Gone are the traditional, embroidered frocks; now you can find items that use embroidery to intensify pattern and bring colour to simple items.
For me, sticking with something that is classic and black, which has been emblazoned with colour in a simple way is always going to be a winner. This dress from NEXT is a great example of that. Layer up with black tights and comfy courts (specifically for dancing) and let the dress do the talking.
What I really want you to remember this party season is: enjoy dressing up. I find it doesn’t happen often in life nowadays so when the opportunity arises embrace it! Be comfortable, feel confident and look amazing!

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