Sunday, 25 November 2012

A 'hurry up'date:

It's less than a week until Fake Christmas, and I'm getting ready to decorate the flat ridiculously early and get under Craig's feet while he does a much better job at cooking than I ever could...  (Craig's response: 'Oh, I'm cooking, am I?!')  I might not be a dab hand with a baster, but I'm hoping to provide a sensationally tacky Christmas experience for my second family.  In case anyone was worried, I now have both a cheesy Christmas jumper and a present for my lucky Secret Santa recipient in my possession.  Phew!

To get you all in a Christmassy mood (and because I know you're dying to see it) here's the long awaited official photo of my friend Margaret and me in front of the Coca-Cola Christmas truck:

Good, eh?  Subtle advertising, too.

Sunday, 18 November 2012

Holidays are comin':

Apologies for the ridiculous product placement (I don't even drink Coke anymore because it's so bad for my teeth!) but the Coca Cola Christmas truck was in Edinburgh city centre today! As you all should know, the legend goes that it isn't Christmas time until they start showing the Coca Cola Christmas advert on TV, but of course they show it earlier and earlier every year...  Still, even if it is only mid-November, it was quite fun and festive to go and see the truck and have a photo taken in front of what is pretty much an iconic piece of advertising.  Official photo (taken by a Coca Cola Christmas elf!) to follow.  Phew, I should be getting paid for the number of times I wrote 'Coca Cola' there!

Real Christmas might be a while away yet, but my preparations for Fake Christmas are  getting under way, slowly but surely.  One of my stipulations in the invite was that everyone MUST come dressed in the ugliest Christmas jumper they can get their hands on.  I've been keeping my eye on some beauties on eBay, including these stunners:

It turns out that people are willing to pay a surprising amount for horrific knitwear...  In fact, when it comes to eBay the rule seems to be the uglier the sweater, the higher the price!  I might miss out on these particular gems, but hopefully I can make an even better (read: more cringeworthy) ugly jumper my own in time for Fake Christmas!

Friday, 16 November 2012

The easiest way organise a Secret Santa:

I've decided to host a Fake Christmas dinner at our flat this year, and I've invited a few friends (who we will hopefully be able to fit around our modest dining table...) round for a traditionally awkward family Christmas experience.  I have lots of ideas for the menu and for entertainment, but everyone knows the most important part of Christmas is getting presents...  No, not really.  But, also, yes really.

So rather than spending lots of money on presents for all of my eight friends who are coming, I decided to organise a silly Secret Santa with a £5 budget.  This way, everyone will get something to open, but nobody will be majorly out of pocket as a result.  Plus, my friends are funny people, so specifically telling them to buy silly presents for each other will probably generate some pretty interesting results!

I used the above Secret Santa generator to allocate a Secret Santa for everyone instead of the age old 'names in a hat' method, which makes it a lot easier when everyone lives in different places.  There are plenty of other online generators, and it's really just as simple as setting a budget, making sure you have the email address of everyone taking part and typing them in correctly.  Once you've submitted everyone's name and email address, the generator will automatically send a random name to each person involved, with a reminder of how much they're allowed to spend.  Just remember to put your own email on the list so you aren't accidentally left out!

And if you're a Secret Santa who is stumped about what to buy, there are lots of ideas here on the blogosphere, including the lovely Seonaid's Christmas gift guide series.  Here's my favourite of her gift guides so far, just to get you started!

Friday, 9 November 2012

Office Space:

I pretty much gave up on being chained to a desk by third year of uni, preferring to keep warm (and give myself a bad back) with my laptop on my knee in bed.  Still, not too long ago I decided that I really needed my own creative space in the flat, and a desk seemed the logical choice.  I've turned one otherwise unused corner of our spare room into my little 'office' space (I don't need a study space, and 'writing space' just sounded pretentious...).  Here's the mess I was dealing with before:

And here's what I managed to achieve with the help of some flat packed furniture and some cupboards to hide things in...  Even looking at these photos makes me breathe a sigh of relief!

If you're curious, the desk and chair are both from IKEA (MICKE desk and KLEMENS swivel chair).  I know the chair isn't the cutest, but I was serious about the sore back I got from sitting at my old desk in Dundee, so I wanted to get something with a bit more support. Just so you know, I built these all by myself!  I'm very proud.

The giant ampersand bookend is from Primark, and it's holding up just part of my enormous notebook collection, the majority of which have never been used.  I think I have a problem.

This huge drawer is my favourite feature of this desk, because it means I can keep my clutter hidden and give myself as much free desk space as possible.  Look at all my stationery!  Can I be a writer now?

Thursday, 8 November 2012

Instagram #4:

1. Some cupcakes that got very damaged in transit...  2. My best wee pals!  3. Treat day at Starbucks

4. 'Will this microwave be all right in the microwave?'  5. A cosy outfit of the day  6. Did you know that this is what an egg looks like when you shine a light on it?!

7. Withered Hand playing Music Like A Vitamin at the HMV Picturehouse  8. Flowers from Craig when I wasn't feeling well :)  9. Hocus Pocus and Halloween nails!

10. The winter scarf is officially out!  11. Steven's Doc Brown look  12. A Richard Nixon Dracula mask

13. Craig wearing a matching shirt to a small boy in a '70s horror flick  14. Ruaridh pretending he can play guitar  15. My horribly drunk face...

16. A pancake breakfast for Craig's birthday  17. An odd note on Bruntsfield Links  18. Craig tempting fate with the glacier at Dynamic Earth