A ‘Totes’ Quick Giveaway

30 Jun

(Sorry for the awful pun in the title. That’s just embarrassing.)

Between all the packing that’s going on and suppressing the panic that I leave the country in 4 and a half days, I totally missed marking one year of on/off blogging. Here’s a quick (because I’ll need to post it before I fly) giveaway to say thank you all so much for your support and advice over the last year and especially lately.

I’m heading off towards summer in London so to celebrate I have a sweet summer dress pattern – Simplicity 2248 – in size 12-20 to give away. As well, there is a heavy duty canvas tote bag from my favourite local Matakana Farmers Market. I use these for pretty much everything – they’re totally indestructable and if they get dirty you just through them in the wash. Lastly, can’t you just picture strolling through Regent Park in your new summer dress to lie on the grass with a classic romatic novel*. I love a good penguin paperback… and you can’t go past the Bronte sisters for a tragically romantic story so the winner will receive Emily’s Wuthering Heights.

To enter I’d love to hear your favourite cheap thing to do in London if you’ve been, or if not – what’s your best travel tip (I’m staring down a 24 hour plane ride, eek). The giveaway is open to all countries and the only condition is that the winner replies to the notification email before I leave! Comments will be open for 48 hours from now.

*(Please don’t destroy my fantasy UK summer, it’s okay I know it’s more likely to rain 😉)



12 Responses to “A ‘Totes’ Quick Giveaway”

  1. Suzie June 30, 2011 at 1:50 am #

    Oh my goodness! What an awesome giveaway. And I’m so excited for you and your new adventure – all the best of luck!

    This might be a rather retro suggestion for something to do in London, but years ago I went over to visit my brother who was living there at the time and he took me to Hyde park (I think) and we rented roller blades for the afternoon – it was a LOT of fun! And I think it only costs about £10 for the day.

  2. Miriana June 30, 2011 at 2:00 am #

    We’ve just had three blisteringly hot days, so I’m afraid you may have missed the London summer (as those three days may have been it). And here is my list of cheap things to do

    1) we have amazing parks and lots of them, both in central and outter London.
    2) Lots of galleries / museums are free (the Tate for example, and I think the Natural History Museum and the Science Museum).
    3) The Notting Hill Carnival is on at the end of August. Free, but mobbed.
    4) The number 23 bus is a good way to see the sites for the price of a regular bus ticket (p.s. buy an Oyster Card for travelling) rather than paying for a tourist one. Don’t rely on the tube map for a guide to distances – sometimes it’s actually quicker to walk. Oh, and buy an A to Z and wander round.
    5) There are some great markets – Spitalfields and Portobello (you just need to avoid buying anything for it to be cheap).
    6) Eat the following (this is a guide to UK rather than London cuisine) – a fry up, a curry, a pub roast dinner, fish and chips. Not all on the same day else you’ll have a heart attack. All of which are easy to come by and reasonably priced.
    7) Don’t go to Madame Tussauds / London Eye / Aquarium. All extortionate. Although the Eye is worth doing once on a clear day.
    8) The cheap places to buy fabric are Goldhawk Road (West London) and Walthamstow Market (East London) – see Karen’s great posts on the areas…

    You’ll have a great time here.


  3. Elspeth June 30, 2011 at 2:28 am #

    Great giveaway!

    Well, I haven’t been to London, but I have endured long plane rides. My best tip is to make sure you get a seat at the emergency exits of the plane. They have much more room & you’ll be able to stretch your legs more, also when you get up it will be less awkward.

    Which brings me to tip No. 2, try to stand and walk around every hour (even if its just to go to the bathroom), it may not seem like much but you’ll feel better when you get off the plane. I hope you have a great Flight!

  4. monkeysocks June 30, 2011 at 2:34 am #

    I love wuthering heights! Its one of my favourite books-and I dont have a copy! (well I do but its still covered in annotation from school!

    Hyde Park is lovely, you can hire a boat and go out on the lake which is really nice if it isnt too cold!

    Id also recommend the museums, particularly the V+A (pretty clothes and stuff and a cracking shop) the natural history museum and the British Museum.

    The markets are all pretty awesome too, last time I was down we went to Brixton Market which is full of cute little bars and shops (one where we were the customer after Florence and Machine!) And the most amazing sough dough pizza restaurant, http://francomanca.co.uk/) which is small and a fun mix of frenzied pizza making and relaxation.

  5. Laurence June 30, 2011 at 3:04 am #

    I would love to get that pretty pattern!

    I am actually going to London the week end of the 9th July. I already have a program…

    For cheap
    – stroll around Hyde Park and Kensington Park (the latter is much quieter and you can see tiny animals in the beautiful gardens) and picnic there.
    – museum wise, I love the National Art Gallery, and sitting in the sun on Trafalgar square right after it, with a cute book.
    – Victoria’s Gardens are also pretty cute, but a bit hidden (next to Charing Cross)
    – Of course, Covent Garden, wit its entertainers

    Not Cheap
    – Shopping in Monsoon (the one that is in Nightsbridge) and Evans (for broader shoes)
    – Fake shopping in Harrods and Selfridges

    For food
    – Patisserie Valerie next to Harrod’s
    – L’Orangerie in Keningtons Grdens (if I remember well…)

    And, I know that I might be the only one, but I really enjoyed the double deck bus tour… It gave me a nice global impression of what I wanted to do and where I wanted to spend more time…

    Travelwise, it’s much easier for me, I take the train. Cheap and fast!
    – Netherlands- Brussels
    – Brussels-London (under the Channel)

  6. lin3arossa June 30, 2011 at 3:23 am #

    I recommend Canada/Quebec anytime. There’s so much nature to see! Or if you love Christmas and don’t have to spend it with family, then go to Madrid. It’s magical around Christmas time.

  7. Becca June 30, 2011 at 4:18 am #

    I love that pattern. I always try to bring some kind of craft with me, I’m not sure if you can bring them on a plane, but I like to knit and embroider.

  8. Allison June 30, 2011 at 5:05 am #

    I haven’t been to London, but for the trip, I recommend first limiting the amount of carry on stuff you have- its just a pain to deal with, especially if you have layovers. But do wear comfortable plane clothes, perhaps bring a pillow, and things to keep you entertained, like magazines, books, music.
    Make sure to drink lots of water, and get up every hour or so and do a lap around the plane.

  9. Amber June 30, 2011 at 9:58 am #

    For a long plane ride, I have to have 3 things – a pashmina to use as a blanket/pillow, an inflatable neck pillow with a soft cover, and earplugs. They really really help. If you crochet, hooks are much more acceptable on planes than knitting needles but I am pretty sure they do allow them as well, maybe it depends on length. I can’t believe you are being so generous right before such a big move. That is very nice of you.

  10. Lakaribane June 30, 2011 at 1:38 pm #

    I completely forgot you were leaving!

    When i travel, I like to wear comfortable shoes and wide-legged pants. I have these Navy sailor pants I usually wear on airplanes. And I bought these sneaker+maryjane combo shoes that are the best of both worlds with the gripping sole and a velcro strap across the back of my foot while beeing sportily elegant.

    I also bought this neck pillow thing that snaps under your chin, very convenient. And I have my own sleep mask that I bring.

    I also pack my handbag (usually a roomy thing) with snacks and a variety of diversions such an ebook reader, magazines and paper books; crossword puzzles, notepad for sudden brilliant ideas. I have a netbook mini laptop so I do stuff that I keep postponing like organize photos, recipes etc. I even write emails, LOL! even without the net. (I also rework my trip budget but that takes a lot of imagination most of the time *wink*)

    If I knew crochet or knitting, I’d probably do that too.

    And if I ever visit London, I’ll go to the V&A and Liberty of London and then sit in the park to digest all the possibilities…

    Have a great trip and good luck!

  11. ruth June 30, 2011 at 6:50 pm #

    what a great give away. For cheap things to do in London, buy an oyster card £3 on purchase and is a returnable deposit – this will half your tube and bus journeys. All museums are free, the V & A is my favorite, closely followed by the Geoffrey Museum. The Stockpot, good for food in Kings Road and so is The Muffin Man, just off Kensington High Street. The parks are lovely and a trip to Kensington Gardens is a must, stopping by The Serpentine Gallery. The markets are enourmous fun too, lots to choose from Columbia Road flower market (sunday), Borough Market, Spitalfields Market and Portobello are a few. And a trip to Liberty is a must, free so long as you can resist all the temptations there! Have a wonderful trip! (from a sunny London)

  12. Law July 1, 2011 at 5:36 am #

    All the museums are free! Natural history, science, tate gallery, national gallery etc etc. Best way to spend a cheap day out.

    Fab giveaway by the way, i love the idea of your fantasy london summer :0)

    Welcome to England!! It is sunny here (sometimes) honest.

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