Saturday, 31 October 2015

Goodbye October ..... Hello November

How can it be November?.... I'm not sure where 2015 is going but October has passed in a swirl of falling leaves, autumnal nights and lots and lots of scrummy thing!
October really is one of my favourite months and I have tried to enjoy every day and celebrate the season of autumn.
> October started with some gorgeous evenings and I took complete advantage by exploring the streets of London whilst walking to the station.
Starbucks launched their Pumpkin latte's in gorgeous autumnal cups.
> London streets looked lovely with their falling leaves.
> Rugby fever still prevalent at my desk during October with pool games concluded it was time for the Big Boys games and gazing at Dan Carters thighs!
> I spent lots of time out doors in October and enjoyed walking, reading and soaking up the autumnal sunshine and falling leaves.
> Cats had much fun with munchkins and conkers in October as well as lots of snuggles.
Walk to work continued with new routes found and scenery enjoyed from on foot.
Bake days got a little spooky in the month, when I made this Gryffindor cake for a Harry Potter friend for her birthday.
With gorgeous autumnal days I spent some time tidying at the cemetery and celebrating Nans birthday.
> Nothing lends itself to the halloween week than the side alleys and streets of Southwark and Borough market. The Victorian lights and artistically lit tunnels are perfect to create that spooky vibe.
> October saw the big yellow store turn blue & gold for a journey to the stars for Christmas.
> Much fun with the build up to the launch of the 24th Bond movie - Spectre. Saw the movie on night of release and will share my thoughts over the next week.
> spent a couple of Saturdays at the rugby watching the All Blacks which was just amazing, here is my Rugby world Cup adventures in full!
> enjoyed all of the sights of the season from the changing & falling leaves to having some pumpkin fun.
October saw be participate in an instagram daily for autumn which I enjoyed .. find out how I got on here.
Much fun in the scrum with these gorgeous men in the month!











October culminated in the conclusion of the Rugby World Cup, seeing New Zealand meet Australia in the final. I'd called the final 18 months ago when the pool games were released and thought these 2 mighty teams would meet. There could only be one winner on the day and I am thrilled that the All Blacks retained the trophy and showed the world that they are the best team. with 2 of their legendary greats bowing out after the final, it was a fitting end to the careers of Dan Carter and Richie McCaw.
An amazing end to a fantastic month. Here's more of my adventures from previous months.
Looking forward to seeing what November brings.

October Daily....

Last month I shared that I had discovered a whole new world on Instagram for Planners and that I would be participating in Mrs Brimbles October daily.
This is my first foray into the fun of instagram daily and I have really enjoyed it.
1. October - kicking off month with #octdaily.
2. Brown - breakfast plans in shades of Brown.
3. Autumnal - hues on the desk and across the planner.
4. So me - whenever friends read my blog the first thing they say is its "so me"
5. Chocolate cake & cupcakes made by me.
6. Favourite - favourite things of autumn, sunrises, scarves, pumpkin latte, cozy jumpers, flowers & sunsets.
7. Snuggly - lots of Kit snuggles in October.
8. Journal - lots of page shares for the planner.
9. Warm Drink - coffee to stay and coffee to go New York style.
10. Colours of Autumn displayed in technicolour from blooms, pumpkins & conkers.
11. Orange - through back to summer shades of orange & pink.
12. Memories - getting ready for NY trip and memory journal.
13. Book - reading an old favourite before I see the movie.
14. To Do - long list in this months planner.
15. Leaves - lots of gorgeous autumnal leaves on  commute to work.
16. Selfie - loath selfies but did share this one of my new hat for NY.
17. Out & About - cake delivering today with this Harry Potter creation.
18. Dashboard - sharing this snap of Taylor's dash
19. Cozy - nothing says cozy more than Uggs, candles, blankets, sofa.
20. Soup Season - home-made soup & ryvitas - staple lunch for October.
21. Apples - Plums & apples for breakfast
22. Decorate - Selfridges decorate for Christmas, journey to the stars.
23. Conkers - signs of autumn
24. Stickers - lots of sticker treats for the planner.
25. Toasty - eggs & toast in brass rail for breakfast
26.  Preparation - thinking about November.
27. Crisp or Crunch - leaves underfoot love the sound as you walk on them through the trees.
28. Pumpkin - T's terrace decorated with pumpkins and candles for halloween.
29. Changing - as October comes to an end you stay to see more leaves on the floor than on the branches, signs that the season is changing.
30. Treat - a day off and a treat to spend it out in the streets of London
31 Halloween - Calendar corner a treat for the halloween weekend.
Thanks Mrs B for hosting October Daily I had so much fun.

RWC adventure 2015

Today sees the culmination of 44 days of rugby, when the 2 best teams of 2015 meet in the World Cup final for the first time. This afternoon New Zealand All Blacks take on the Australian's to lift the Web Ellis trophy.
I have had a fabulous world cup adventure, which has seen me meet some rugby icons and heroes.
I have been fortunate to go to a number a games and had a fabulous time.
 My world cup adventure kicked off at the beginning of September when I went to the premiere of Building Jerusalem in London where I met Jonny Wilkinson and some of the winning world cup 2003 squad, Martin Johnson, Matt Dawson & Sir Clive Woodward.
The film and evening was fantastic and kicked off the campaign and my rugby adventures perfectly.
My adventure continued a week later when I joined 20,000 others to wish the England squad well with their campaign at the O2.
The squad's send-off was hosted by Vernon Kay and entertainment provided by a number of artists along with Take That headlining the #WeartheRose event.
The evening was a lot of fun and really set the atmosphere and excitement for the cup kicking off.
I had been lucky enough to secure a number of the pool game tickets and looked forward to seeing some great games and a few of my rugby heroes & icons.
The fun continued the day before the opening ceremony whilst rushing through Waterloo station I saw the gorgeous Dan Carter - fly half for the All Blacks and one of my Rugby dream team!.  As the brand ambassador for MasterCard he was launching their priceless #44daysofrugby campaign.
An England ticket was never in my budget for the campaign so can you imagine how thrilled I was to be gifted a corporate ticket for the Opening ceremony.
I arrived at Twickers just in time to see my other rugby hero carry the Webb Ellis trophy into the stadium. Touching distance to both!!
Amazing night and a great show to start the campaign.
A weekend of rugby followed with me attending the France v Italy game at Twickenham.
A lively, noisy game full of passion.
My next game moved to east of the capital at the Queen Elizabeth Park so see the All Blacks take on Namibia. - Highlight seeing a Haka in real life.

Fantastic night, saw Namibia score a running try against the All Blacks lifted the stadium.
QE stadium is a great venue and look forward to visiting it again when West Ham take up residence next season.
Also saw a lot of Dan Carter, who was water boy and ball boy pre-game.
Instagram photo's proved a hit with many, along with the great man himself.
September continued with more pool games and much excitement, who would have thought that Japan would beat South Africa so successfully, and that the underdog nations would put on such a great show. When I was offered an England / Australia ticket I jumped at the chance to go, this was England's last chance to qualify and odds were split either way.
After a morning at my desk, I headed to Twickenham to watch Robshaw and the squad play the game of their lives.... alas it wasn't meant to be and the host nation bowed out of the Rugby World cup campaign.

My final game of the tournament was a Semi Final ticket - which saw the All Blacks meet the Springboks at Twickenham, New Zealand v
South Africa.... media bud as one of the closest games of the cup.
The atmosphere was electric, with a full capacity stadium, amazing from start to finish.
The weather was grim, but this did not stop any of the action on or off  the pitch. Kicking off with a roar inducing Haka and a pyrotechnic spectacle.
With the Bok taking the lead and holding it through the 1st half the All Blacks went to the half time behind; the first time in the tournament.
Richie McCaw led his men out early for the 2nd half and they soon turned the tables on the Bok. Highlight of the night seeing Dan Carter score a phenomenal drop kick goal.
With trys and conversions on the score board, the All Blacks soon pulled back the deficit and took the lead. The joy on the squads faces was evident when the final whistle blew.
Here my world cup adventures came to an end and I now look forward to watching the All Blacks take on the Aussies in what will be a fantastic final to a great tournament.

Friday, 30 October 2015

Haere ra to an All Black icon ...

Tomorrow one of the most successful and iconic rugby players of the last 12 years will hang up his international boots and All Black jersey. He has so far scored 63 points in this world cup (including a fabulous drop kick goal against the Springbok) and a record breaking 1,579 in an All Blacks shirt, he has also scored 29 trys and has been capped 111 times.
He will tick off the only accomplishment that he is yet to achieve in his incredible career and that is to play in a Rugby World Cup final. The player is of course Dan Carter ~ New Zealand All Black number 10 fly-half. He alongside Jonny Wilkinson are my Rugby heroes and I am thrilled to have seen both during my Rugby World Cup 2015 adventure.
My Rugby adventures with DC started on the day before the  Rugby world cup kicked off when I was hurrying through Waterloo station.
Dan was at the station with MasterCard, who had turned the station oval as one of the big sponsors of the cup and launched their #44daysofcrazy
He was lovely and I was thrilled to see him in real life!... Having watched him play on TV for many years, I was a little excited!
My 2nd encounter was at the New Zealand / Namibia game at the Olympic Park in Stratford.
Was a little disappointed to see that Carter had been rested for the squad line-up for the game. However my disappointment lifted when the No 10 with those gorgeous thighs ran out to train with the squad pre -game. Loved the game, seeing the Haka and the iconic Richie McCaw on the pitch.
My DC montage on instagram has proved popular, with the man himself liking the post! ( was a little giddy when this flashed on my phone during a meeting!!)
Dan has kept his fans updated on both twitter and instagram during the campaign with some fun & rugby. Loved seeing some of the all black boys travelling on the tube, greeting fans and taking the rise out of the 'tee-boy'
It also gives an insight into what this tournament has meant to him, from being selected for the squad, through to reaching the final.
 I am sure that there will be hearts breaking all across NZ and the world tonight when this guy along with Richie McCaw and others hang up their All Black boots for the last time.
Undoubtedly  he is responsible for a legion of female fans taking up following rugby!... he is without a doubt one of the most gifted players and I feel lucky to have seen him play in an All Blacks shirt.
He really does put the "Scrum" into Rugby  in so many ways!! and will miss these promotional shots from his all black 'jockey; campaigns!
DC will finish his career in France with Racing Metro and I am looking forward to travelling to Paris to see him play next year and wish him continued success in his next rugby adventure.
I have loved following and being part of this World cup ... here's some more of my adventures here. including the opening ceremony and bumping into my other rugby hero Jonny Wilkinson, another No 10 icon.

Monday, 26 October 2015

A date with 007...

So today sees the long awaited new Bond movie, Spectre, follow-up to Skyfall and Daniel Craig's 4th outing in the legendary tux!
I am very excited to see this movie; it is no secret that I am a bit of a Bond girl and have loved the last few movies (think DC may have something to do with it!!)
So from the first teaser trailer I have been hooked....
Bond is back and looking as moody, brooding and bloody sexy as ever!.
I was intrigued when I heard that Sam Smith had bagged thebond theme song had some reservations when I heard the song on the radio, but it has grown on me and lends itself brilliantly against the video, so will be interested in how its woven into the epic opening scenes of the movie.

So tonight I have my tickets booked and  have a date with 007. The trailers have absolutely teased the taste buds for Spectre, the cast looks fabulous, and thrilled to see the Aston Martin DB10 which just looks delicious.
Pop back later in the week when I share my thoughts on Spectre and 007's new adventures.
Here's a few Bond related posts from previous adventures.

October - Book loves

Octobers book loves are many and I seem to have got my reading mojo back. With lots of travelling ans the late nights drawing in it gives me lots of opportunity to read!.
Taking Hollywood - Shari King - its 1993 and 3 childhood friends; Davie, Zander & Mirren from a Glasgow housing estate take the stage in Hollywood to receive the Oscar for best screen play. Fast forward 20 years and the 3 are at the top of their game; Davie top host & show producer, Mirren writer & movie director and Zander box office movie star gold... they also haven't spoken since that fateful night 20 years previous, their relationship devastated by one horrific secret. Suddenly the lives of the 3 stars start to unravel and with a young Scottish reporter landing in Hollywood determined to hunt the story that could change her career it seems that their perfect lives are falling apart. This book has it all, glamour, mystery, glitz all set to the backdrop of the Hollywood; thrilling from start to finish. Ross King is the King part of this writing duo and its his inside knowledge to the movie & glamorous world of Hollywood that absolutely adds to the mystery of this novel and makes you ask, how much of the characters is fact or fiction!!
Autumn In Verona - Melissa Hill -  Verona has always been the Italian city for lovers; tourists flock to the city famed from Romeo and Juliet. Over one glorious autumnal weekend four visitors paths cross as they visit this magical city and a little trattoria run by an elderly Italian couple.Newly-weds Sarah and Nate are hoping that their mini-moon will be the start to their marriage that they need, after a stressful wedding, family tensions and travel delays. Widower Declan is visiting Verona on the request of his late wife one year after she passed; can he start to move on with his life? and Romance novelist Lily; who is hoping for some inspiration after having her heart broken again. I enjoyed this novella and it firmly transported me back to my own weekend in Verona.
Unravelled in New York - Suzanne Nichol  - Charli Cooper arrives in New York from Sydney after leaving a disastrous controlling relationship. As a journalist she finds herself working at the New York Herald. On her first assignment she meets Jack Manning; arrogant, cocky and extremely powerful; he has no patience to deal with an inexperienced journalist who has no idea of the New York social scene.  As Charli starts to dig into the back story of Jack and his empire; she has to make some decisions. I was completely swept away by this book an easy read against the glamorous backdrop of New York.... a grown up gossip girl! xoxo with some very gorgeous men!
A Cottage in the Country - Linn. B. Halton - Maddie Brooks impulsively buys a run down idyllic cottage in the country after finding her best friend having an affair with her husband of 25 years. With the big 50 birthday rapidly approaching Maddie seeks solace in renovating her cottage, with the help of local handyman who can Lewis. With best friend & boss Ryan waiting in the wings, Maddie has some choices to make, especially after she finds that Lewis was the man who wanted to buy Ash cottage. I enjoyed this book, its a fun read, perfect for an afternoon curled on the sofa with a big mug of coffee and a packet of chocolate biscuits!.
Secrets at Maple Syrup Farm - Rebecca Raisin - Lucy is juggling 2 jobs and caring for her very
sick mum and would do anything for her. What she didn't expect was that she find herself promising to leave her and take a year out for herself. When she finds herself on the first bus out of town, she didn't expect to find her adventure in the next state and the town of Ashford, here she is befriended by the local residents in particular Lil and Cee Cee from The Gingerbread cafe. After seeking a job at the local Maple Tree farm with the reclusive Clay. Lucy has never lived long enough in one location to have friends and find herself falling for the town, its residents and a certain farm owner. This is a delightful read and a lovely continuation of Rebecca's Gingerbread cafe , once in a lifetime series.
Big Stone Gap - Adriana Trigiani - a lovely revisit to Adriana Trigiani's 1st book in the Big Stone Gap series. I am really interested in seeing how this translates into a movie which is due for release soon. Ave Marie Mulligan is the town spinster and as she rapidly approaches 40 her life in Big Stone Gap is challenged when a secret from her past is revealed. I read the BSG trilogy many years ago and it really is a lovely story; The characters are fun, especially Iva Lou (played by Whoopi Goldberg in the movie) and has the warm feeling and female camaraderie that Steel Magnolias did when released.
Breaking Hollywood - Shari King - Breaking Hollywood is the follow-up book to Taking Hollywood. Zander Leith, Davie Johnston and Mirren McLean are at the heights of their hollywood careers and are some of the most powerful people in Tinsel town. Suddenly bad things start to happen to all 3 and their shining stars in the city start to dull. Having not spoken in the 20 years since they won their oscar, the past that they thought they had buried starts to come back and haunt them. Suddenly they need to put old feelings aside and work together to uncover the person behind the incidents. This is a roller-coaster story of love, jealousy, revenge, laughter and ultimate friendship.

My October reads took me from the Tinsel town of Hollywood, across the pond to the back alleys of Glasgow, to the quaint town in New England, down to the glamorous skyline of Manhattan, and to the romantic Italian city of Verona. The perfect travelling companions during my commute and travels across London. They transported me to other cities & lives filled with love, laughter, glamour, sex & ooodles of gorgeous men!... perfect escapism on a stuffy tube!.

Monday, 19 October 2015

Island life in NY city

Last year I blogged about 5 things to do to see New York from a height and a different perspective. When visiting last year I got to do some of these, one of those being a trip to Roosevelt Island on one of NY's iconic images the red tram cable car.
Situated on the East River Roosevelt island, Roosevelt island is 2 miles long and about 800m wide. For many years the island housed asylums, several hospitals, a penitentiary and a prison, after closing all of the asylums and prisons, the island became an area for welfare housing.  It was not until the 1970's that the cable car and a subway accessed the island. This change the shape and the desirability of the island, allowing commuters to access the city.
The island houses some stunning architecture, parkland's and fabulous views onto the Manhattan skyline and can be accessed with a swipe of a metro card.
The cable car runs alongside the Queensborough bridge and offers great views of the bridge and its architecture. (many people travelling across at this point will recognise this scene from the closing scenes of The Amazing Spiderman.
Once on the island there are a number of parks and architectural points to visit along with historical points.
I had a good hour to myself walking the path along the river enjoying the view that this little island offers both onto Manhattan and Queens.
The views onto Queens offer you great views of 2 iconic signs of the borough; Silvercup Studios which has made and housed some of the best American TV & film outside of Hollywood, including Gossip Girl, Ugly Betty, Mad Men, Sex & the City, White Collar and The Sopranos. The other is the iconic Pepsi Cola sign, now residing within the Gantry Plaza State Park, previously sited on the top of the Pepsi Cola bottling plant.
The Manhattan views offer great sights of the river and the circle line cruises, along with the iconic buildings of the NY skyline.
One World trade centre, Chrysler building and the Empire State.
The parkland and conservation areas looked urban and bleak when I visited in December but had a wild charm that I enjoyed exploring. The gaggle of geese walking across the parkland were a joy to watch as they waddled in their line. I am sure that this area looks glorious in the spring and autumn, but I quite liked the place to myself in the midst of winter.
Roosevelt is a great thing to do, to see a different New York and I am so glad that I took the trip across the East River. Here's some more of my New York adventures.

Sunday, 18 October 2015

6 sweet coffee stops in the City.....

With 6 weeks to go until my trip across the pond, my New York planning has kicked up a gear and my wish lists and things to do are being compiled on Pinterest, and within my notebook. Looking back on last years adventure and photographs I thought I would share some of my favourites over the coming 6 weeks.
Today whilst curled up on the sofa with a large cup of Joe, I'm sharing some coffee favourites from last year. Travelling to New York over the last 20 years, coffee stops have evolved from the corner cart to the big coffee chains and more recently the independent coffee houses.
Coffee is the staple for all New Yorkers and "to go" is the most preferred option. Here are some of the places that I enjoyed on my travels.
Tavern on the Green - this iconic restaurant that nestles amongst the tress in the meadow of Central Park is a film as well as a NY icon.  After undergoing a huge renovation T on the Green opened its doors again last year and along with a glorious menu, now hosts an On the Go menu from 7am. A daily stop on my early morning walk in the park.
Magnolia Bakery - world famous for it's cupcakes the bakery boutique within Bloomingdales is the perfect stop for a sweet treat and a cup of Peets coffee whilst you rest your feet from the shopping.
Toby's Coffee - originating from Brooklyn in 2012 where's Toby's is roasted and brewed; the 3rd NY coffee-house opened in the West Village in November 2014
Situated on the corner of Charles Street & 7th Avenue it is the epitomy of what you imagine a New York coffee shop should be, complete with a comfy sofa; the perfect place to stop for a coffee on route to work or when strolling leisurely through the village.
Breads Bakery - situated on east 16th street a short walk from union square, this artisan bakery serves and bakes its own bread onsite. The range is extensive and each loaf a work of art. With a "bread of the day" menu; the bakery is busy fro the moment the open sign is turned until the loaves sells out, from baguettes, ryes and challahs, all look amazing. With a small cafe at the rear of the bakery; its a great early coffee stop, when the bakery is awash with freshly baked bread aromas.
Baked - is a very cool bakery which originated in Brooklyn and last year it opened its doors in Tribeca in Manhattan. It was on my must list last year and I wasn't disappointed. On a damp cold drizzly December afternoon it was the perfect place to warm up and enjoy a fabulous coffee along with the best eggnog cheesecake I have ever tasted... the most perfect way to while away an hour on a cold afternoon. Definitely on a return list for this year.....
Finally Gasoline Alley which is a small coffee stop, tucked on Lafayette street just north of Houston street. It is a stripped down urban coffee stop, which houses some of the best coffee I tasted in New York. Loved the cool vibe of the place and the great coffee served.

Looking forward to visiting some of these again when I return in a few weeks... what other recommendations do you have for a quick coffee stop?

Monday, 12 October 2015

4 Things Fun & scrum !

Its Monday and I need to inject some fun into my week!.... over the last month there has been a number of things on social media and through trailers that have certainly put a smile on my face. Here's the 4 D's that are making my autumn gorgeous!
* David Beckham
* Daniel Craig
* Daniel Carter
* David Gandy
David Beckham ~ David's new H&M campaign stars himself and the US comedian Kevin Hart. The campaign is much fun and this behind the scenes trailer, the full length is 15 minutes and very funny, David completely sends himself up and Kevin is his comedic self.
The gorgeous Daniel Craig reprises his role as 007 James Bond this month with the opening of Spectre.... Sunday papers made me smile this weekend with this headline!... I'm really not complaining of a bare-chested Daniel Craig.
I am sure that there will be other blog posts on the lead up to the movie and post theatre release.
Daniel Carter is the gorgeous No10 fly half for the All Blacks and has made my Rugby World cup
adventure ....very pleasing on the eye!. I have seen Dan Carter a couple of times whilst he has been in the UK and will share those adventures in a coming post. He really is as delicious in the flesh, alas not as mush as this, ... do love following the Rugby boys on twitter when they share photo's like this!
My final 4th D of fun is of course the stunning David Gandy.
David anniversary'd his Gandy underwear collection with M&S in September.
This included new lines to the range along with an Ad campaign and a thank-you trailer.
along with an Autumn/Winter trailer for the 2015 loungewear.... Oh MY!!!!!
I hope that I have put a little smile on your face this monday..... Enjoy ! X

Saturday, 31 October 2015

Goodbye October ..... Hello November

How can it be November?.... I'm not sure where 2015 is going but October has passed in a swirl of falling leaves, autumnal nights and lots and lots of scrummy thing!
October really is one of my favourite months and I have tried to enjoy every day and celebrate the season of autumn.
> October started with some gorgeous evenings and I took complete advantage by exploring the streets of London whilst walking to the station.
Starbucks launched their Pumpkin latte's in gorgeous autumnal cups.
> London streets looked lovely with their falling leaves.
> Rugby fever still prevalent at my desk during October with pool games concluded it was time for the Big Boys games and gazing at Dan Carters thighs!
> I spent lots of time out doors in October and enjoyed walking, reading and soaking up the autumnal sunshine and falling leaves.
> Cats had much fun with munchkins and conkers in October as well as lots of snuggles.
Walk to work continued with new routes found and scenery enjoyed from on foot.
Bake days got a little spooky in the month, when I made this Gryffindor cake for a Harry Potter friend for her birthday.
With gorgeous autumnal days I spent some time tidying at the cemetery and celebrating Nans birthday.
> Nothing lends itself to the halloween week than the side alleys and streets of Southwark and Borough market. The Victorian lights and artistically lit tunnels are perfect to create that spooky vibe.
> October saw the big yellow store turn blue & gold for a journey to the stars for Christmas.
> Much fun with the build up to the launch of the 24th Bond movie - Spectre. Saw the movie on night of release and will share my thoughts over the next week.
> spent a couple of Saturdays at the rugby watching the All Blacks which was just amazing, here is my Rugby world Cup adventures in full!
> enjoyed all of the sights of the season from the changing & falling leaves to having some pumpkin fun.
October saw be participate in an instagram daily for autumn which I enjoyed .. find out how I got on here.
Much fun in the scrum with these gorgeous men in the month!











October culminated in the conclusion of the Rugby World Cup, seeing New Zealand meet Australia in the final. I'd called the final 18 months ago when the pool games were released and thought these 2 mighty teams would meet. There could only be one winner on the day and I am thrilled that the All Blacks retained the trophy and showed the world that they are the best team. with 2 of their legendary greats bowing out after the final, it was a fitting end to the careers of Dan Carter and Richie McCaw.
An amazing end to a fantastic month. Here's more of my adventures from previous months.
Looking forward to seeing what November brings.

October Daily....

Last month I shared that I had discovered a whole new world on Instagram for Planners and that I would be participating in Mrs Brimbles October daily.
This is my first foray into the fun of instagram daily and I have really enjoyed it.
1. October - kicking off month with #octdaily.
2. Brown - breakfast plans in shades of Brown.
3. Autumnal - hues on the desk and across the planner.
4. So me - whenever friends read my blog the first thing they say is its "so me"
5. Chocolate cake & cupcakes made by me.
6. Favourite - favourite things of autumn, sunrises, scarves, pumpkin latte, cozy jumpers, flowers & sunsets.
7. Snuggly - lots of Kit snuggles in October.
8. Journal - lots of page shares for the planner.
9. Warm Drink - coffee to stay and coffee to go New York style.
10. Colours of Autumn displayed in technicolour from blooms, pumpkins & conkers.
11. Orange - through back to summer shades of orange & pink.
12. Memories - getting ready for NY trip and memory journal.
13. Book - reading an old favourite before I see the movie.
14. To Do - long list in this months planner.
15. Leaves - lots of gorgeous autumnal leaves on  commute to work.
16. Selfie - loath selfies but did share this one of my new hat for NY.
17. Out & About - cake delivering today with this Harry Potter creation.
18. Dashboard - sharing this snap of Taylor's dash
19. Cozy - nothing says cozy more than Uggs, candles, blankets, sofa.
20. Soup Season - home-made soup & ryvitas - staple lunch for October.
21. Apples - Plums & apples for breakfast
22. Decorate - Selfridges decorate for Christmas, journey to the stars.
23. Conkers - signs of autumn
24. Stickers - lots of sticker treats for the planner.
25. Toasty - eggs & toast in brass rail for breakfast
26.  Preparation - thinking about November.
27. Crisp or Crunch - leaves underfoot love the sound as you walk on them through the trees.
28. Pumpkin - T's terrace decorated with pumpkins and candles for halloween.
29. Changing - as October comes to an end you stay to see more leaves on the floor than on the branches, signs that the season is changing.
30. Treat - a day off and a treat to spend it out in the streets of London
31 Halloween - Calendar corner a treat for the halloween weekend.
Thanks Mrs B for hosting October Daily I had so much fun.

RWC adventure 2015

Today sees the culmination of 44 days of rugby, when the 2 best teams of 2015 meet in the World Cup final for the first time. This afternoon New Zealand All Blacks take on the Australian's to lift the Web Ellis trophy.
I have had a fabulous world cup adventure, which has seen me meet some rugby icons and heroes.
I have been fortunate to go to a number a games and had a fabulous time.
 My world cup adventure kicked off at the beginning of September when I went to the premiere of Building Jerusalem in London where I met Jonny Wilkinson and some of the winning world cup 2003 squad, Martin Johnson, Matt Dawson & Sir Clive Woodward.
The film and evening was fantastic and kicked off the campaign and my rugby adventures perfectly.
My adventure continued a week later when I joined 20,000 others to wish the England squad well with their campaign at the O2.
The squad's send-off was hosted by Vernon Kay and entertainment provided by a number of artists along with Take That headlining the #WeartheRose event.
The evening was a lot of fun and really set the atmosphere and excitement for the cup kicking off.
I had been lucky enough to secure a number of the pool game tickets and looked forward to seeing some great games and a few of my rugby heroes & icons.
The fun continued the day before the opening ceremony whilst rushing through Waterloo station I saw the gorgeous Dan Carter - fly half for the All Blacks and one of my Rugby dream team!.  As the brand ambassador for MasterCard he was launching their priceless #44daysofrugby campaign.
An England ticket was never in my budget for the campaign so can you imagine how thrilled I was to be gifted a corporate ticket for the Opening ceremony.
I arrived at Twickers just in time to see my other rugby hero carry the Webb Ellis trophy into the stadium. Touching distance to both!!
Amazing night and a great show to start the campaign.
A weekend of rugby followed with me attending the France v Italy game at Twickenham.
A lively, noisy game full of passion.
My next game moved to east of the capital at the Queen Elizabeth Park so see the All Blacks take on Namibia. - Highlight seeing a Haka in real life.

Fantastic night, saw Namibia score a running try against the All Blacks lifted the stadium.
QE stadium is a great venue and look forward to visiting it again when West Ham take up residence next season.
Also saw a lot of Dan Carter, who was water boy and ball boy pre-game.
Instagram photo's proved a hit with many, along with the great man himself.
September continued with more pool games and much excitement, who would have thought that Japan would beat South Africa so successfully, and that the underdog nations would put on such a great show. When I was offered an England / Australia ticket I jumped at the chance to go, this was England's last chance to qualify and odds were split either way.
After a morning at my desk, I headed to Twickenham to watch Robshaw and the squad play the game of their lives.... alas it wasn't meant to be and the host nation bowed out of the Rugby World cup campaign.

My final game of the tournament was a Semi Final ticket - which saw the All Blacks meet the Springboks at Twickenham, New Zealand v
South Africa.... media bud as one of the closest games of the cup.
The atmosphere was electric, with a full capacity stadium, amazing from start to finish.
The weather was grim, but this did not stop any of the action on or off  the pitch. Kicking off with a roar inducing Haka and a pyrotechnic spectacle.
With the Bok taking the lead and holding it through the 1st half the All Blacks went to the half time behind; the first time in the tournament.
Richie McCaw led his men out early for the 2nd half and they soon turned the tables on the Bok. Highlight of the night seeing Dan Carter score a phenomenal drop kick goal.
With trys and conversions on the score board, the All Blacks soon pulled back the deficit and took the lead. The joy on the squads faces was evident when the final whistle blew.
Here my world cup adventures came to an end and I now look forward to watching the All Blacks take on the Aussies in what will be a fantastic final to a great tournament.

Friday, 30 October 2015

Haere ra to an All Black icon ...

Tomorrow one of the most successful and iconic rugby players of the last 12 years will hang up his international boots and All Black jersey. He has so far scored 63 points in this world cup (including a fabulous drop kick goal against the Springbok) and a record breaking 1,579 in an All Blacks shirt, he has also scored 29 trys and has been capped 111 times.
He will tick off the only accomplishment that he is yet to achieve in his incredible career and that is to play in a Rugby World Cup final. The player is of course Dan Carter ~ New Zealand All Black number 10 fly-half. He alongside Jonny Wilkinson are my Rugby heroes and I am thrilled to have seen both during my Rugby World Cup 2015 adventure.
My Rugby adventures with DC started on the day before the  Rugby world cup kicked off when I was hurrying through Waterloo station.
Dan was at the station with MasterCard, who had turned the station oval as one of the big sponsors of the cup and launched their #44daysofcrazy
He was lovely and I was thrilled to see him in real life!... Having watched him play on TV for many years, I was a little excited!
My 2nd encounter was at the New Zealand / Namibia game at the Olympic Park in Stratford.
Was a little disappointed to see that Carter had been rested for the squad line-up for the game. However my disappointment lifted when the No 10 with those gorgeous thighs ran out to train with the squad pre -game. Loved the game, seeing the Haka and the iconic Richie McCaw on the pitch.
My DC montage on instagram has proved popular, with the man himself liking the post! ( was a little giddy when this flashed on my phone during a meeting!!)
Dan has kept his fans updated on both twitter and instagram during the campaign with some fun & rugby. Loved seeing some of the all black boys travelling on the tube, greeting fans and taking the rise out of the 'tee-boy'
It also gives an insight into what this tournament has meant to him, from being selected for the squad, through to reaching the final.
 I am sure that there will be hearts breaking all across NZ and the world tonight when this guy along with Richie McCaw and others hang up their All Black boots for the last time.
Undoubtedly  he is responsible for a legion of female fans taking up following rugby!... he is without a doubt one of the most gifted players and I feel lucky to have seen him play in an All Blacks shirt.
He really does put the "Scrum" into Rugby  in so many ways!! and will miss these promotional shots from his all black 'jockey; campaigns!
DC will finish his career in France with Racing Metro and I am looking forward to travelling to Paris to see him play next year and wish him continued success in his next rugby adventure.
I have loved following and being part of this World cup ... here's some more of my adventures here. including the opening ceremony and bumping into my other rugby hero Jonny Wilkinson, another No 10 icon.

Monday, 26 October 2015

A date with 007...

So today sees the long awaited new Bond movie, Spectre, follow-up to Skyfall and Daniel Craig's 4th outing in the legendary tux!
I am very excited to see this movie; it is no secret that I am a bit of a Bond girl and have loved the last few movies (think DC may have something to do with it!!)
So from the first teaser trailer I have been hooked....
Bond is back and looking as moody, brooding and bloody sexy as ever!.
I was intrigued when I heard that Sam Smith had bagged thebond theme song had some reservations when I heard the song on the radio, but it has grown on me and lends itself brilliantly against the video, so will be interested in how its woven into the epic opening scenes of the movie.

So tonight I have my tickets booked and  have a date with 007. The trailers have absolutely teased the taste buds for Spectre, the cast looks fabulous, and thrilled to see the Aston Martin DB10 which just looks delicious.
Pop back later in the week when I share my thoughts on Spectre and 007's new adventures.
Here's a few Bond related posts from previous adventures.

October - Book loves

Octobers book loves are many and I seem to have got my reading mojo back. With lots of travelling ans the late nights drawing in it gives me lots of opportunity to read!.
Taking Hollywood - Shari King - its 1993 and 3 childhood friends; Davie, Zander & Mirren from a Glasgow housing estate take the stage in Hollywood to receive the Oscar for best screen play. Fast forward 20 years and the 3 are at the top of their game; Davie top host & show producer, Mirren writer & movie director and Zander box office movie star gold... they also haven't spoken since that fateful night 20 years previous, their relationship devastated by one horrific secret. Suddenly the lives of the 3 stars start to unravel and with a young Scottish reporter landing in Hollywood determined to hunt the story that could change her career it seems that their perfect lives are falling apart. This book has it all, glamour, mystery, glitz all set to the backdrop of the Hollywood; thrilling from start to finish. Ross King is the King part of this writing duo and its his inside knowledge to the movie & glamorous world of Hollywood that absolutely adds to the mystery of this novel and makes you ask, how much of the characters is fact or fiction!!
Autumn In Verona - Melissa Hill -  Verona has always been the Italian city for lovers; tourists flock to the city famed from Romeo and Juliet. Over one glorious autumnal weekend four visitors paths cross as they visit this magical city and a little trattoria run by an elderly Italian couple.Newly-weds Sarah and Nate are hoping that their mini-moon will be the start to their marriage that they need, after a stressful wedding, family tensions and travel delays. Widower Declan is visiting Verona on the request of his late wife one year after she passed; can he start to move on with his life? and Romance novelist Lily; who is hoping for some inspiration after having her heart broken again. I enjoyed this novella and it firmly transported me back to my own weekend in Verona.
Unravelled in New York - Suzanne Nichol  - Charli Cooper arrives in New York from Sydney after leaving a disastrous controlling relationship. As a journalist she finds herself working at the New York Herald. On her first assignment she meets Jack Manning; arrogant, cocky and extremely powerful; he has no patience to deal with an inexperienced journalist who has no idea of the New York social scene.  As Charli starts to dig into the back story of Jack and his empire; she has to make some decisions. I was completely swept away by this book an easy read against the glamorous backdrop of New York.... a grown up gossip girl! xoxo with some very gorgeous men!
A Cottage in the Country - Linn. B. Halton - Maddie Brooks impulsively buys a run down idyllic cottage in the country after finding her best friend having an affair with her husband of 25 years. With the big 50 birthday rapidly approaching Maddie seeks solace in renovating her cottage, with the help of local handyman who can Lewis. With best friend & boss Ryan waiting in the wings, Maddie has some choices to make, especially after she finds that Lewis was the man who wanted to buy Ash cottage. I enjoyed this book, its a fun read, perfect for an afternoon curled on the sofa with a big mug of coffee and a packet of chocolate biscuits!.
Secrets at Maple Syrup Farm - Rebecca Raisin - Lucy is juggling 2 jobs and caring for her very
sick mum and would do anything for her. What she didn't expect was that she find herself promising to leave her and take a year out for herself. When she finds herself on the first bus out of town, she didn't expect to find her adventure in the next state and the town of Ashford, here she is befriended by the local residents in particular Lil and Cee Cee from The Gingerbread cafe. After seeking a job at the local Maple Tree farm with the reclusive Clay. Lucy has never lived long enough in one location to have friends and find herself falling for the town, its residents and a certain farm owner. This is a delightful read and a lovely continuation of Rebecca's Gingerbread cafe , once in a lifetime series.
Big Stone Gap - Adriana Trigiani - a lovely revisit to Adriana Trigiani's 1st book in the Big Stone Gap series. I am really interested in seeing how this translates into a movie which is due for release soon. Ave Marie Mulligan is the town spinster and as she rapidly approaches 40 her life in Big Stone Gap is challenged when a secret from her past is revealed. I read the BSG trilogy many years ago and it really is a lovely story; The characters are fun, especially Iva Lou (played by Whoopi Goldberg in the movie) and has the warm feeling and female camaraderie that Steel Magnolias did when released.
Breaking Hollywood - Shari King - Breaking Hollywood is the follow-up book to Taking Hollywood. Zander Leith, Davie Johnston and Mirren McLean are at the heights of their hollywood careers and are some of the most powerful people in Tinsel town. Suddenly bad things start to happen to all 3 and their shining stars in the city start to dull. Having not spoken in the 20 years since they won their oscar, the past that they thought they had buried starts to come back and haunt them. Suddenly they need to put old feelings aside and work together to uncover the person behind the incidents. This is a roller-coaster story of love, jealousy, revenge, laughter and ultimate friendship.

My October reads took me from the Tinsel town of Hollywood, across the pond to the back alleys of Glasgow, to the quaint town in New England, down to the glamorous skyline of Manhattan, and to the romantic Italian city of Verona. The perfect travelling companions during my commute and travels across London. They transported me to other cities & lives filled with love, laughter, glamour, sex & ooodles of gorgeous men!... perfect escapism on a stuffy tube!.

Monday, 19 October 2015

Island life in NY city

Last year I blogged about 5 things to do to see New York from a height and a different perspective. When visiting last year I got to do some of these, one of those being a trip to Roosevelt Island on one of NY's iconic images the red tram cable car.
Situated on the East River Roosevelt island, Roosevelt island is 2 miles long and about 800m wide. For many years the island housed asylums, several hospitals, a penitentiary and a prison, after closing all of the asylums and prisons, the island became an area for welfare housing.  It was not until the 1970's that the cable car and a subway accessed the island. This change the shape and the desirability of the island, allowing commuters to access the city.
The island houses some stunning architecture, parkland's and fabulous views onto the Manhattan skyline and can be accessed with a swipe of a metro card.
The cable car runs alongside the Queensborough bridge and offers great views of the bridge and its architecture. (many people travelling across at this point will recognise this scene from the closing scenes of The Amazing Spiderman.
Once on the island there are a number of parks and architectural points to visit along with historical points.
I had a good hour to myself walking the path along the river enjoying the view that this little island offers both onto Manhattan and Queens.
The views onto Queens offer you great views of 2 iconic signs of the borough; Silvercup Studios which has made and housed some of the best American TV & film outside of Hollywood, including Gossip Girl, Ugly Betty, Mad Men, Sex & the City, White Collar and The Sopranos. The other is the iconic Pepsi Cola sign, now residing within the Gantry Plaza State Park, previously sited on the top of the Pepsi Cola bottling plant.
The Manhattan views offer great sights of the river and the circle line cruises, along with the iconic buildings of the NY skyline.
One World trade centre, Chrysler building and the Empire State.
The parkland and conservation areas looked urban and bleak when I visited in December but had a wild charm that I enjoyed exploring. The gaggle of geese walking across the parkland were a joy to watch as they waddled in their line. I am sure that this area looks glorious in the spring and autumn, but I quite liked the place to myself in the midst of winter.
Roosevelt is a great thing to do, to see a different New York and I am so glad that I took the trip across the East River. Here's some more of my New York adventures.

Sunday, 18 October 2015

6 sweet coffee stops in the City.....

With 6 weeks to go until my trip across the pond, my New York planning has kicked up a gear and my wish lists and things to do are being compiled on Pinterest, and within my notebook. Looking back on last years adventure and photographs I thought I would share some of my favourites over the coming 6 weeks.
Today whilst curled up on the sofa with a large cup of Joe, I'm sharing some coffee favourites from last year. Travelling to New York over the last 20 years, coffee stops have evolved from the corner cart to the big coffee chains and more recently the independent coffee houses.
Coffee is the staple for all New Yorkers and "to go" is the most preferred option. Here are some of the places that I enjoyed on my travels.
Tavern on the Green - this iconic restaurant that nestles amongst the tress in the meadow of Central Park is a film as well as a NY icon.  After undergoing a huge renovation T on the Green opened its doors again last year and along with a glorious menu, now hosts an On the Go menu from 7am. A daily stop on my early morning walk in the park.
Magnolia Bakery - world famous for it's cupcakes the bakery boutique within Bloomingdales is the perfect stop for a sweet treat and a cup of Peets coffee whilst you rest your feet from the shopping.
Toby's Coffee - originating from Brooklyn in 2012 where's Toby's is roasted and brewed; the 3rd NY coffee-house opened in the West Village in November 2014
Situated on the corner of Charles Street & 7th Avenue it is the epitomy of what you imagine a New York coffee shop should be, complete with a comfy sofa; the perfect place to stop for a coffee on route to work or when strolling leisurely through the village.
Breads Bakery - situated on east 16th street a short walk from union square, this artisan bakery serves and bakes its own bread onsite. The range is extensive and each loaf a work of art. With a "bread of the day" menu; the bakery is busy fro the moment the open sign is turned until the loaves sells out, from baguettes, ryes and challahs, all look amazing. With a small cafe at the rear of the bakery; its a great early coffee stop, when the bakery is awash with freshly baked bread aromas.
Baked - is a very cool bakery which originated in Brooklyn and last year it opened its doors in Tribeca in Manhattan. It was on my must list last year and I wasn't disappointed. On a damp cold drizzly December afternoon it was the perfect place to warm up and enjoy a fabulous coffee along with the best eggnog cheesecake I have ever tasted... the most perfect way to while away an hour on a cold afternoon. Definitely on a return list for this year.....
Finally Gasoline Alley which is a small coffee stop, tucked on Lafayette street just north of Houston street. It is a stripped down urban coffee stop, which houses some of the best coffee I tasted in New York. Loved the cool vibe of the place and the great coffee served.

Looking forward to visiting some of these again when I return in a few weeks... what other recommendations do you have for a quick coffee stop?

Monday, 12 October 2015

4 Things Fun & scrum !

Its Monday and I need to inject some fun into my week!.... over the last month there has been a number of things on social media and through trailers that have certainly put a smile on my face. Here's the 4 D's that are making my autumn gorgeous!
* David Beckham
* Daniel Craig
* Daniel Carter
* David Gandy
David Beckham ~ David's new H&M campaign stars himself and the US comedian Kevin Hart. The campaign is much fun and this behind the scenes trailer, the full length is 15 minutes and very funny, David completely sends himself up and Kevin is his comedic self.
The gorgeous Daniel Craig reprises his role as 007 James Bond this month with the opening of Spectre.... Sunday papers made me smile this weekend with this headline!... I'm really not complaining of a bare-chested Daniel Craig.
I am sure that there will be other blog posts on the lead up to the movie and post theatre release.
Daniel Carter is the gorgeous No10 fly half for the All Blacks and has made my Rugby World cup
adventure ....very pleasing on the eye!. I have seen Dan Carter a couple of times whilst he has been in the UK and will share those adventures in a coming post. He really is as delicious in the flesh, alas not as mush as this, ... do love following the Rugby boys on twitter when they share photo's like this!
My final 4th D of fun is of course the stunning David Gandy.
David anniversary'd his Gandy underwear collection with M&S in September.
This included new lines to the range along with an Ad campaign and a thank-you trailer.
along with an Autumn/Winter trailer for the 2015 loungewear.... Oh MY!!!!!
I hope that I have put a little smile on your face this monday..... Enjoy ! X