Thursday, 16 November 2017


Good Morning to you,

Do you know something, I cannot believe that the time has arrived for 'Out and and About with my Shopping Basket'. The weeks seem to be flying by and before we know it we will be saying hello to the month of December and once again, Christmas will be with us.

Nothing heralds Christmas, like a visit to the town. All the shops are overflowing with everything associated with Christmas. Each shop visited has Christmas decorations hung, and its own style of Christmas music playing in the background. 

As you know I love Christmas time, but I do try hard not to get carried away with the season. I decide which gifts I want to buy each member of the family, I make a list, then George and I head to town to do our Christmas shopping. Hopefully, if we are successful, everything will be bought in one visit.

But before that day arrives, I thought I would  go in to town, because there was a little something I wanted to buy for myself, and to be truthful, I missed out on buying the 'little something' last year, because I left it too late.  You know what it is like at Christmas time, you have to buy before you need it, or  it will be sold out, which is so disappointing.

I'll give you a little hint of what I went in to town to buy. Something for my feet..... something which is so comfortable, that they fit like a glove.

Any thoughts? Have you guessed?  Take a look at this photograph and you will know exactly what I wanted to buy.

If you have been reading Ivy, Phyllis and Me! for a while, you will know that I am a great fan of 'Hotter' shoes.

Shall I open the box and let you take a peek inside? 

Oops, I couldn't wait to try them on. To be honest, they were unwrapped and out of the box and on my feet in moments.  

Do you know something, I am not a flamboyant person, but I do like a snazzy shoe and not only are these Hotter shoes snazzy, they are as comfy as you like.

The 2 1/4" heel is just perfect for me.  Oh and I forgot to tell you the name of the shoe. The shoe  is called Donna. They come in a variety of colours and this is my third pair.... I know extravagant, but it has been over a period of 3 or 4 years, so I feel the cost is justified.  Actually, I am sorting through the rest of my shoes, to donate them to charity, as I tend to only wear the Hotter brand now. I have a black pair of loafers which I wear all the time and a lace up pair of brogues which are perfect worn with jeans. I cannot recommend them highly enough.  If comfort is what your after, then take a look at 'hotter' on line and as an added bonus, at the moment, there is 25% off the normal price.  

I have to be honest and say, some of the styles are not for me, but, I adore the shoes which I already own.

.... oh and just a thought, you may have noticed that my leggings are a little ruched around the ankle, that is intentional, as I am wearing my Indian leggings. I thought I would mention it, just in case you thought I looked like Nora Batty from Last of the Summer Wine.

So what else was on my list,

As you can see my Hotter shoes were right at the top of the list. The next item I wanted to buy was a new mascara.

I really don't wear very much makeup, but there are two very important things which I always use, lipstick and mascara.... oh yes and a Benefits eyebrow brush.  Well that isn't a very good start is it, because that makes 3 items.... alright I had better come clean and tell you I also wear blusher and eye shadow when I go out.  I think that is all. I'll let you know if I remember anything else.

Anyway back to the mascara. I wanted a change from my usual mascara so I decided to visit Boots. The young assistant I spoke to was so helpful and she suggested that I try the Roller Lash, apparently it is so popular it has even out sold Chanel mascara.  The hook 'n' roll brush, promised to lift and curl my eye lashes.  I was a little sceptical at first, but I was told if I was not happy with the product, then I was welcome to return the mascara.

So the next day, out came the hook 'n' roll brush and it coated my eye lashes brilliantly.  I put the mascara down and double checked in the mirror.... think of this as a drum roll..... rat a tat tat.... yes, my eye lashes were curled.  

So I thought I would recommend this mascara to you. I love it when my friends recommend products as you know first hand what does and doesn't work.

My next visit was to Marks and Spencer.  I do love their bedding, cushions and candles.  So I popped in to see what they had on offer and discovered this brilliant Christmas cushion. It took me a moment to decide, and in that moment, I had decided, that  not 1 but 2 cushions would adorn my chairs at home.

.... and whilst in Marks and Spencer's I decided to look at the candles.  They were very easy to find, I just had to follow my nose, as the perfume would tell me where to go.

I discovered these little beauties.  The lids are so pretty and I love the Christmas fragrance. So I popped them into my shopping basket.... well after paying that is.

I was wanting some pot pourri, but not the one with small bits and bobs in it.  I wanted the pot pourri to be substantial,

with lots of pine cones and I found just what I wanted in Next.  I think the red painted nuts are pecan nuts and when I rattle them, I can hear the nut inside.

The tangerines take me back as I used to make my own dried tangerines for Christmas time.  They are so easy to do, I really must make a note and show you how easy it is.

Now the following items were not on my list, but they never tend to be, 

as I always stop to visit second hand book shops, as they are such good value for money. It is amazing how many books are donated by people in aid of charity. 

I was thrilled to find this gardening book written by Monty Don, as I love watching him present Gardeners World on a Friday evening.  It was the colourful Alliums which first attracted my attention and upon opening the book, I discovered, it was a fascinating account of Monty and his wife Sarah, buying a derelict house with a 2 acre field. Further down the first page Monty talks about 'Finding evidence of at least three buildings on the site, with Saxon remains, the footings of a medieval hall house and the existing building, which is, itself an amalgam of two separate timber framed Tudor houses'. The diary begins  on 1st January 1998 and ends on 31st December 2001.  I have a feeling I am going to thoroughly enjoy Monty's book.

.... and my second find was The Button Box by Lynn Knight, I just had to pick up this book,

not only for the content, but look at the inside of the book.  Isn't it beautiful. I'm sure your grandmother and mother were just like my grandmother Ivy and my mother Phyllis, they always had a button tin, which as a child I loved playing with. Even when I was older and had children of my own, I would often rummage through Phyllis' button tin.

When I discover a book I have not read before, I tend to read the first page,  to get a feel for the style of writing. When I read the first page of The Button Box

'I used to love the rattle and whoosh of my grandma's buttons as they scattered from their Quality Street tin.'

.... I was smitten. I cannot wait to read the rest of the book.

.... and my third and final book is one I thought I already owned, but had not been able to find.  A lot of our books are still in boxes stored in the loft, but I really don't remember packing it.  We sent a lot of our books to the Charity shop, so I am wondering if this book went with all the other donated books.  It would be funny if I had bought the original book I already owned.

I love old cookery books, because they give us an insight into how our mother's and grandmother's cooked and the ingredients which were available to them. I love the title, 'Tested Recipes in Plain Cookery' by Miss Mason.  'Add the Chef touch to all your dishes - cook by gas'!

I was browsing through the book and discovered a recipe for jam sauce, the recipe itself was simple, but on reading the Method, I reached the final sentence where it advised serving the jam sauce with Canary pudding, Cornflour Mould, or other farinaceous puddings.... what on earth is farinaceous?  I had no idea, because Canary pudding is a steamed pudding and a Cornflour mould, I take to mean blancmange.  I couldn't make the connection, so I had to look the word up.

Well I never, farinaceous means 'consisting of or containing starch'.... well that is certainly a new word for me. I wonder if Jamie or Nigella would ever use the word 'farinaceous'..... I very much doubt it, but on second thoughts,  Nigella might.

I was really pleased with all my purchases.  The red Hotter shoes have been worn, because George's niece recently became engaged, so I wore them to the engagement party.  I danced the night away, without the merest hint of sore feet.

The Christmas cushions have been put away until December, but I couldn't resist leaving out the candles and the pot pourri as they fill the house with an exquisite aroma.

I told you I love Christmas, so the merest hint of Christmas, is just fine.... for now.

Take care I will catch up with you next Thursday.

As Always,

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