Christmas in Bicester Village

Hi All, How was Christmas??

I had Two weeks off work, and I did…… absolutely Nothing and enjoyed every moment of it.

Christmas for me usually means ‘Shopping!!’. But we all behaved this year. Just one day in Bicester. That’s All. And I promise I have deleted all my favourite shopping apps off my phone. Nearly into the second week of January and Im still going strong…… fighting the urge…… its really hard. But Im doing it.

Its not because I cant shop, its more because at this time of year I end up buying stuff I dont need. Ive still got a hoard of clothes from last year that I havent evan worn yet (and dont know if I will) .

So when the hubby said shall we go Bicester Village tommorrow, I knew it wasnt a good idea, but sat in the car with a smile on my face. This time the condition was that I was NOT driving at all though.

We went with a plan in our heads…… We werent going for shopping…. it was just a day out, because we were cooped up in the house since the school holidays, and had conquered so many series on netflix. We needed to get out with a week left before school started. So a nice day in Bicester village, one item each and doughnuts, Thats all. I was after a wallet (Another one! Yes. Ofcourse. Always another one). My Boy was after a pair of jeans. The younger Boi a jacket, and the Hubby…. well should I say it really? Really? Lacoste…. seriously still waiting on the Loyalty card!

And how did it go??

Well a little like this:

Hmmmmm…. Productive Day. Dont you think? But in all fairness. We got bargains!! so Why not? (still trying to justify it to myself)

For those of you who don’t know or have not been to Bicester Village, it is an absolutely beautiful Designer outlet on the edge of Oxfordshire. And when I say beautiful, it really is beautiful, it’s cute and chic. If the weather is good, you could almost forget you are in the UK at all.

Beautiful village, dressed for Christmas.

And now heres a few bits and pieces we picked up:

From the Hugo Boss Store the Hubby picked up a sports top for himself, and that other ‘red’ top that he claims he will wear for football. (That for sure is staying in cupboard forever!!) Both of these were for £90.

Then we hit the Armani Outlet where the hubby bought this tracksuit for £85. I think that’s a bargain!!

He also managed to pick up these jeans at £49 each

Next up we went into All Saints

I don’t need a coat- but I want one, and this 3/4 coat with toggle on it, was for £84. From £325!! (No longer wanting a wallet 😉)

The shop the hubby was waiting for, although he did well, he bought 6 tops from Cheshire 3 months ago. He received a Lacoste top as a secret Santa at work. (Seriously who gives Lacoste as Secret Santa?!) So he settled for two tops at £37.50 each.

And the Boi found himself two tops at £29 each.

I didn’t know there were two Hugo Boss shops in Bicester, but yup there are two Hugo Boss shops in Bicester, and the Elder Boy found this for himself at £50.

We walked into DKNY. I swear I had no intention of buying anything. Until….. The sales girl had the prettiest of trainers. I just NEEDED them. Perks of it though…. It had £80 written on the label, and when I went to till they charged £48! If only they had in different colours also! Damn!

This is usually our favourite shop, but it was a disappointment this time round. Just got the one top for the younger boi from here for £18.

Cath Kidston had these at £6 each. So picked up a few to give as gifts for little ones in the family

Well we on a shopping spree, already done the damage. Right? Another £17 wasnt going to hurt anyone (but the hubby who’s paying) and I can’t use my pretty new diary without a pretty new pen right? Took out the card one last time…. Listen nobody told him to park outside Swarovski!

So All in All a Note to self: Bicester Village is NEVER a good idea for a Day out unless you want to come back broke

On the way home, we were starving, and decided to hold out until we got back to Leicester. We ended up at Pamson Grill. It’s a traditional Pakistani Restaurant, exactly what we needed to fill our now shopping tired bellies.

The decor and set up inside is so classy

We filled our bellies with a mix grill for starters and papdi chat (which I ate before I took a photo!. I must be been starved 🙈)

And for mains we opted for Chicken Karhai, Lamb Karhai, and Biryani. And we devoured it.

Loved everything about Pamson Grill. Definitely will be visiting again.

Hope you enjoyed our day.

Catch you on the next one.

Love and regards

M11bna

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Secret Santa Gifts £10 and Under

‘Tis the season to be jolly… Fa la la la lah, la la la la.” Also tis the season for secret santa! (Is that to many la’s in fa la la la lah, la la la la? Above?)

Office, retail, workshop, wherever you work, Christmas is the best time to work (if you haven’t got annual leave that is)

The festive spirit is everywhere. I don’t even celebrate Christmas but it’s the best time of the year to be at work. The mood is much different, don’t you think?

We do a secret santa every year at the office, and I get excited about it before it even reaches December.

Here’s a few under £10 gift ideas for every personality in the office :

The Tea Drinker

A personalised mug, maybe with their own name, a message or a picture. Starting at £5 this will be a proper treat for the tea drinker. Also you know they won’t be taking your mug anymore! Find some great ones here www.personalisedgiftshop.co.uk

The Boss

Being a fan of all things personalised I would have to go for a personalised pen. Once again www.personalisedgiftshop.co.uk has some great pens with cases personalised. And you can find them from as little as £8.99.

Mr Muscles

These chocolate dumbells from www.notonthehighstreet.co.uk are just the cutest. Everyone needs a little treat – especially in Christmas. At £8.00, Mr Muscle will be flexing those biceps – (Maybe after Christmas.)

The Office Pervert

Isn’t Secret Santa just made for this person? The options are endless, and funny. Depending on how much you want to insult the person… Choose wisely, it could end up terribly wrong.

Here’s a few ideas

The F*You mug, at £7.99 from www.buyagift.co.uk

The Ultimate Quickie Bell. £3.99 from www.buyagift.co.uk

There’s more far worse (but better ) gifts for a perv. But I really can’t put them on here. Dying of embarrassment. And my brother reads these blogs. So…. Staying….Away….. Do google away though.

The Cold One

There’s always one who’s always cold, even at 50 degrees, they can feel the air (oooops. That’s me). So here’s what the cold one (aka me) would love.

Found at www.fragrancedirect.co.uk for £7.99

The Geek

Me again. Hehe. Depending on what kind of geek they are…. There’s a bookmark for them all.

www.oodlique.com. £10.00 for this copper beauty (adding to shopping basket now)

For the insect geek www.notonthehighstreet.com these are so cool for £7.95

Techy geeks- this one’s for them www.etsy.co.uk. how cool are these at £6.95

Keep searching guys. There’s a book mark for everyone.

Selfie King/ Queen

Whatever you get this person, just don’t forget this wrapping paper. They will be thrilled

Found at www.printster.co.uk

Mrs “I woke up like this”

There’s always that one person who comes into work dressed to the nines, looking flawless and glamorous. How do they do it????? Share the secret please?

So what to get someone who’s always prim and proper, and organised and with it? Heres a few suggestion

www.boots.com have some fabulous Ted Baker gift sets at fabulous prices, (both under £10)

Ted Baker. lip and tips set.

Now I’ve just got to wait for who I get. Hope you guys got some good ideas from here. And do share any characters I’ve missed from the office!

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Love and regards

M11bna

Getting Ready for Black Friday

This year Black Friday falls on 29th November. Are you Ready??

Is it just me that thinks that Black Friday offers more discount then any other time of year? Ill probably say this again in the Christmas sales- but for the time being- isnt it the best day ever for a sale?

Although most stores offer some sort of discount on Black Friday, I find that the most discounts are usually put towards electrical appliances and gadgets like laptops and pcs, and games etc. However all stores usually have something going on, so if you are after something specific, just wait it out. Every penny counts.

If we are ever after anything big- for instance a Television, we try (if manageable) to hold out to this time of year. For the same price we are willing to pay- we can get something far bigger and better.

Last year we bought our TV, proudly sitting on our wall, and the year before I bought my kettle and toaster.

Normally at £79.99 for the kettle and £79.99 for the toaster, I picked up both for £70. And I did this online, so I didn’t have to face the manic rush of going to the store.

The internet has made life easier for shoppers like me- who can’t deal with crowds or queues, however there can be issues with servers, and sometimes the website just stops responding. I remember when I wanted my kettle and toaster, I was at the dentist ( yes I’m forever at the dentist. My teeth are a chronic problem as you may have figured. I should just do a blog on my tooth journey, see how old I get before I have none. I give myself 3 years max.) and I saw that the price had dropped, whilst waiting in reception, I decided to purchase online, but everytime I went to pay- the website would crash. I then called the hubby dearest and both of us tried. After my appointment which went so slow because I had anxiety that I would loose out on my kettle and toaster, (but atleast I wasnt thinking of the pain of the tooth) the hubby rang to say he will go in to the store straight after work. Before he finished work I somehow managed the whole process online. And wahey!! I still have it sitting on my kitchen counter.

As you can see 2 years on, my toaster is spanking, but my kettle has definately had its day (shame on me for scrubbing with a scourer!) So my wish list for black friday this year is the kettle again. Unfortunately evan though its old now- the price is still the same at £79.99. So im hoping Ill get it at half price again, and both products will last me a couple more years.

Since Black Friday is coming up heres a little guide on how to survive the day:

Make A List

Its important to have a list, especially if you have a budget. so you dont end up buying things that are not needed, and neglecting the ones that you Need now.

Budget

Allow yourself a maximum amount you want to spend per product and try to stick to it.

Research

Its best to check where the products are, and how much for. Some products go down alot (like my kettle and toaster) some products go down by 10p. YES! you saw the 10p, but because of the manic and the rush and people not seeing or researching beforehand- all they see is the sale sign and buy it, and later on realise they were done over. And some stores are really clever and sell there products at higher prices in the name of a ‘Sale’. So be Warned and be Sharp.

Black Friday sales usually do start early now- as some retailers want to get ahead of the game- so be aware of this if you are after something in particular from a particular store. Keep checking from a week in advance.

Also Black friday now is followed by Cyber Monday so in all honesty you have a whole weekend to pick up what you need. And do remember if its not available, Christmas sales are starting literally 10 days after, so wait it out!

Online Shopping

If you dont get a chance to go to the store due to commitments, or like me hate crowds and queues, this is the best option. Do make sure that the web page you are using is reliable (check for the lock at the top) and be patient if the web page does crash. Id rather be refreshing the page in the comfort of my own house/office then to be standing in a queue.

Check items before buying.

This does not work for online orders, but if you are in a store, do check the item throughly, as hundreds of people before you have touched this item. So take a few minutes to check its not damaged, or dropped. Its so much more harder to get refunds for sale items.

So thats my tips of getting the best out of Black Friday. Hopefully Ill be using them myself, but the excited little bunny I turn into when I see the sale sign really doesnt help me.

All the best with your shopping.

Love and Regards

M11bna