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11 pictures / 11 reasons to smile

30 November 2012

Morning all. Happy Friday.
In celebration of it being Friday this post today will be a mish-mash of some instagrams and my thoughts regarding those instagrams.
(If you are surprised then you haven't been around these parts long enough)

This glorious sight has happened three nights this week. Wine, candles and incense. These three things make for a happy woman.
On Sunday I decided to have one of those weeks where I don't do anything; no going out, no running around, no stress. Just me and my bath/sofa/bed relaxing and chillaxing.
Try it sometime.
Every night this happens. I have started to bring a separate glass for the little man to sip out of.
So cheeky.
Chocolate. YUM.
I am incredibly lucky at work; we have an amazing cafeteria with some amazing chefs. Who make the most amazing treats. I am convinced that these brownies hold the secret to the universe. Or at least the secret to my gaining podge.
How on earth am I supposed to resist these??
Answers on a postcard please.
These are my new glasses. I love them. This weekend I plan on taking some 'proper' pictures of me wearing them and compiling a 'proper' post for you all. Aren't they purdy??
A few little touches for my side of the room. Some of my favourite people up there...
Parsley.
Good for the kidneys...and I need me some kidney goodness.
This year I have had two kidney infections and roughly twenty bouts of cystitis.
This is me trying to keep healthy. You chop the parsley, boil it, strain and squeeze it then have a glass a day.
Tastes okay. Smells awful.
I had to remind myself 14532 times whilst drinking it this morning that I needed me some kidney goodness.
I have smelt parsley all day. Not even perfume is helping.
 
These two pictures do not make me happy.
Rain, again.
Tastes and smells amazing.
Works to help digestion and remove all those nasty toxins from your system. You should DEFINITELY try this herbal tea if you are looking for a healthy but delicious treat. I find it goes particularly well with a good book!
(p.s their website is like a little slice of heaven..could spend hours and a lot of money snooping round there!)
Today is cold. but I am sure you already know that.
What you might not know about today is that I am SUPER HAPPY because I have a dinner and drinks date tonight with my two favourite girls AND tomorrow I have another dinner and drinks date with Susan. Oh my. Now if I knew what to wear for either of my dates..
 
And that concludes one of the most dis-jointed and random posts ever put up here.
Have a fantastic weekend!!!

sunday opportunities...

29 November 2012

Sunday's have always been one of my favourite days. There is a certain quiet to them that I find doesn't happen any other day of the week. They are one of those days brimming with opportunities to be snatched up. Beware though as these opportunities aren't always obvious. 
Last Sunday I was left to fend for myself for the day when Ben decided to play on his ps3 for the whole day. This scenario paved the way for one of the best Sunday opportunities yet...
He did this:
So I did this:
Priorities in order.
In my opinion it is perfectly acceptable to open a bottle of fine Italian Rose on a Sunday at 1pm. In many respects I positively encourage this behaviour... productivity here I come.
- I cleaned the flat TOP to BOTTOM.
- I sorted out the huge and unruly pile of bags that I keep in the bottom of the wardrobe. This had driven me mad for months.
- I changed the bed sheets. (Long overdue. Please don't judge.)
- I hoovered with our new Dyson. Too exciting.
 
- I enjoyed my wine. A lot.
- I listened to some of my old play lists from back in the day. This resulted in me dancing around the flat to such songs like 'This is why I'm hot', 'Fergalicious', 'Umbrella-ella-ella-eh-eh-eh', ' Hotel' and 'Rockstar'. Not some of my proudest moments but I enjoyed it A LOT.
- I put up the only three Christmas decorations that we have. Our colour scheme this year is red & white. And two of these are tree decorations. Come December, project Christmas!
- I cleaned out and sorted our wardrobe.
- I got rid of a huge pile of clothes that I don't wear anymore.
- I wore yoga pants and a clearly too small top ALL DAY.
- My glass of wine rarely left my hand. That is multi-tasking. Men take note.
- I found that there are three things that can make me instantly happy on a Sunday:
(I wasn't lying about the wine)
- Lastly I made my bed side table more 'me' by throwing a few pictures on the wall and putting my gorgeous silver bear money box out. Isn't he just the cutest??
I highly recommend taking a relaxed Sunday for yourself, pottering around the house, organising and being awesome as a brilliant way to de-stress and de-clutter your mind. Works like a treat.
Crack open the wine this Sunday and enjoy ladies.

Morning people need not enquire / Dolce Gusto Melody review

28 November 2012

That up there is my Nescafe Dolce Gusto Melody.
(By 'my' I mean 'his' and by 'his' I mean 'ours'. You know how these things are)
This gem was my Christmas present to Ben last year and has been making us 'morning people' ever since.
We both love coffee.
We also both love sleep.
Which is why this machine is perfect.
Most Saturday and Sunday mornings we like to have an espresso in bed to kick start our day.
I like to sleepily pad my way to the kitchen, Goblin at my feet, and grab us our coffee so that we can enjoy the morning in bed acting silly. Because I am a 'no frills' kinda girl I like this to be an easy process. No faff please. No cafetieres or boiling the kettle for me. I like to prepare things the night before (to make things extra easy) so I put the espresso pods in our espresso cups and fill the machine up with fresh water.
 
Then all I have to do is turn the machine on, plonk the pod in, slide the top lever thingy to the right and hey presto..COFFEE.
Pod comes out, cup goes on saucer. Rinse, repeat.
Ben likes his coffee straight up. Intense espresso and nothing else.
I prefer a slightly milder version; with a splash of milk and some sugar.
It is easy as that. If I can do it, then I'd be dammed if you can't.
We then sip (guzzle) our espresso's in bed, waiting for the caffeine to kick in so we can start our day.
We may or may not ALWAYS make a comment about how the little tiny cups make us feel like super cool giants. What can I say. We love our little cups.

Anyone else have a weekend/coffee ritual??
(p.s this is not a sponsored post, I really do just love this machine. Head to their website for more techy info and choice of coffee pods. There are TONNES to choose from. My other favourites are the Mocha's and the Latte's. Yum.)

my recent beauty favourites...

26 November 2012

 
Friday night I popped into Boots on the way home for some cotton wool pads. As Ben wasn't with me I took the opportunity to have a casual look around (score) and got very a little distracted by all the offers that were happening... 'buy one get one half price, points this, points that'... You get the idea.
Naturally I walked out with lots of shiny new things and no cotton wool pads. No surprise there.
 
L'Oreal Elnett Heat Protect Spray - Volume
£3.99 (here)
My hair has now got to the point where it needs a cut. As I don't want to spend money on a hair cut I chose to buy a new heat protector instead.
I didn't have the highest hopes for this (I hate the Elnett hairsprays) but I was very pleasantly surprised. It smells lovely, de-tangles like boss, left my hair SUPER smooth and shiny (even the ends) and added a fair amount of volume without feeling remotely sticky or weighing my hair down.
 
Revlon ColorBurst Lip Butter - Lollipop
£7.99 (here)
I have to wear lipstick to work. Bright lipstick. Every Day.
Because of this recently my lips have been drier than usual and I have been on the hunt for a moisturising lipstick that actually has some semblance of staying power (who has time to re-apply it every 5 minutes? yuck). This one is my new Holy Grail of lipsticks. I picked Lollipop. I LOVE IT. Love everything about it. It's creamy, the gorgeous colour holds and doesn't dry out my lips at all.
And here is it on...
 
17 Peep Show Mascara - Brown/Black
£6.29 (here) 
If I could justify spending £20 on mascara I would buy the Clarins Wonder Perfect mascara. As such, I am not made of money so I settle for Drug Store brands...I picked up the 17 Peep Show mascara as a friend recommended it. I usually always go for black mascara but wanted something a little softer for winter. The brush is big and it coats the lashes well. I have been using two to three coats all weekend and am impressed at the way it does seem to lengthen my lashes without being clumpy. Also, it stays on till I want it to and comes off when I want it to. Winning combo that.
 
Bourjois Healthy Mix Concealer - Medium
£7.49 (here)
After taking a wonder around Rebecca's blog (here) I decided to take her advice and try this concealer. I have TERRIBLE dark circles under my eyes and usually wear by Estee Lauder's Disappear under-eye concealer. This is cheaper and does pretty much the same job. It barely creases, has medium cover and is barely detectable... perfect for your every day make-up. Seems to be doing the job just fine for me!
 
Aveda Damage Remedy Intensive Reconstructing Treatment (travel size)
(here)
This gift size was given to me by a gorgeous friend and it is a fantastic mask for anyone whose hair is in deep need of some lovin'. It makes my hair really manageable, super shiny and tames my 'strawlike' ends. I use it a couple of times a week after shampooing, leave it on for about 5 to 10 minutes (longer if I have a bath) and then rinse off. Easy peasy. Definitely recommended if you are looking for a deep  treatment that doesn't weigh the hair down.
 
Hope you enjoyed my new favourites and someone please remind me to pick up cotton wool!!
 

Boys being boys, and a love note from Goblin..

23 November 2012

This year for Christmas we asked Caroline for a Dyson Hoover.
You know when you are getting older and boring sensible when you ask for practical things like a hoover and actually get excited about them. And not just a little excited like 'oh that will be nice'...no no, I am REALLY excited that we now have a hoover that sucks shit up like it is supposed to and not just move dust from A to B.
 
(My girls Claire and Krissy will know exactly how awful it feels to have an under-performing hoover. It seemed we were plagued with bad hoover after bad hoover in our old flat. Bad times.)
 
We received our hoover on Tuesday. And quickly got to assembling it. But not before this...
That up there is Ben using our new hoover as a toy gun. It seems that even grown men with careers, a home and a little family will STILL take ANY opportunity to use anything shiny and new as a toy gun.
It was adorable.
His little face makes me die..
This little face makes me die too. (but I am very biased)
Happy Friday from us all!

p.s For all you American lovelies I hope you had a brilliant Thanksgiving!! 

a journey home

22 November 2012

It seems that I am not alone.
Not alone in wanting to get my shit together and fixing a few things that I am not happy with.
Thank you all so much for your lovely comments and emails about my last post, they made me feel a whole lot better about a whole lotta things. Every single one put a smile on my face and I realised in a big way that we are all in this together. That we are all struggling and all fighting the hard fight.
When I started this blog in January I never thought that it would end up meaning so much to me...that this 'blogging community' would mean so much to me. I am so happy that I decided to bite the bullet and push post that very first time, nerve racking as it was. To think that so many of you come back time and time again to read the nonsense that I spout makes me want to do a little happy dance inside.
You guys are the bomb. (diggity) (<<< that is for my sister. she ALWAYS says bomb diggity. It's embarrassing)
 
I mentioned in that post that I wanted to squeeze and cuddle Goblin more. Mission accomplished... 
I was OVER THE MOON when we got to go pick him up from his little holiday on Tuesday.
He had been staying with my amazing Grandparents for the last two weeks as we had so many long weekends away planned and they were good enough to look after him.
To say we missed him would be an understatement. I have never had more daydreams about a cat's tummy in my life. (there is a sentence I never thought I would say).
Naturally I chose to document the journey back home with him.
As you can see I sprawled out quite a bit. It is not my style to put feet on the seats BUT it was late, I was super tired and I had a food baby the size of a house after all the food Nan had given me!!
Goblin was his usual well behaved self. He wriggled a little in his box but didn't make a peep (he is like the LEAST vocal cat I know). Just look at those eyes. Oh I die!
And there I am...contemplating whether I need a hair wash.
I am trying to not wash my hair as much anymore as it seemed to be drying it out, so this was my day 3 hair. Not too bad I know but I just couldn't make it four days without feeling like a skank.
It seems I can get to day 3 with dry shampoo then BAMM it gets all flat and greases up.
Any good dry shampoo recommendations??
Lastly..
You can't see it too clearly but my handbag is resting on a very large sainsburys bag..in this bag there are about 6 or so puzzles.
That's right, jigsaw puzzles. I cannot wait to get started on some of these. Anyone else like puzzles? Anyone else think they are more relaxing and better than therapy??
Anyone??
 

life lately...

20 November 2012

I have tried to start this post 4538 times today, so obviously my that day started off shit has eased into my blog brain and made me shit at this. Charming.

I have no plan as to what to write today so will start with life lately.
It's been both fantastic and awfully stressful at the same time.
The last few weekends have been such brilliant fun (centre parcs, bournemouth, seeing best friends this weekend) and for that I am grateful. So incredibly grateful.
But on the other hand there has been a lot of stress surrounding me and the people I love.
After a while that takes it toll and as a result of this I have been doing lots of things half heatedly. I have known this and it has been a niggling thought in the back of my head for a while now but today it has hit me hard.
Today I realised that I want to start getting myself back on track.
I want to go out and see my friends more, I want to meet new people and to stop saying no to things.
I want to treat my body better. I want to help my family more, to take more pictures of them all and to squeeze and cuddle Goblin more. I want to treat Ben more because my life wouldn't be the same without him. I want to cuddle everyone. I want to make people smile and laugh. I want to make people happy and proud.
I want more.
Maybe I am thinking about things too deeply, but at the moment some things are not how I want them to be and this rambling feels like my way of saying I want to be better.
I want to be better so that I can help the people I love better.
So here is to making a start and doing all of these things.

And to drinking more hot chocolate and cupcakes. Just because.

Our new best friend; Siri

16 November 2012

We all have one. 
One of those friends that you can just be yourself with.
You don't have to 'try' with them, you can be as silly as you like (read into that as ridiculously silly) and you can both laugh yourselves stupid when your together.
Holly is one of my friends like that. And last night we certainly did laugh our little socks off.
Sometimes all it takes is a bottle of prosecco, a cheese board, gossip, Siri (more about him later) and some good books to make two ladies very happy.
 
 
 
 
Holly showed me some of her favourite books.
TWO of them are Kate Middleton books. TWO. Oh dear.
She also owns a book titled 'Women, Work and the Art of Savoir Faire'.
I still don't know what that means but please note that she has tabbed this book.
And lastly, another of her favourites is a book about making jam (500+ recipes in there guys).
I don't even know how to describe how I feel about these books, so I think I will leave it up to your imaginations.

After having a giggle over the (weird) books and making some bold statements discussing What Would Kate Do??? we found Siri.
I know, I know...you have all probably played with him already but me and Holly are clearly a little slow on the uptake here. Siri provided a good few hours worth of entertainment for us last night.

We were chilling with our prosecco, discussing some new gossip and we fell on to the topic of Hen Parties. Naturally. Holly declared very boldly that I would be in for a treat at my Hen Party as she was determined to find me a 'granny stripper' to perform at my party. Gross.
(And Holly is usually such a classy lady!)
We then googled 'granny strippers'. I chose not to put the pictures we found on here. Didn't want to lower the tone (too much).
This prompted us then to take our chances asking Siri some silly questions.
Unlocking the potential with Siri, we moved on to texting the boys compete nonsense for the next hour.
All the boys were all out together so we thought we would show them how to have a proper good time.
At this point the prosecco had dried up so we moved onto the mulled wine. I blame the next snapshot on the mulled wine.
The words 'fanny', 'willies', 'bum bum' and 'wiggle wiggle' were used far too much last night.
It was a brilliant night and the facebook comments this morning made me giggle muchly.
Thanks for bearing through all of that. Your award is in the post.
I hope you have all had a wonderful week and a lovely Friday so far? I am off to Bournemouth tomorrow for the weekend so don't expect much from me come Monday except for me to vomit hundreds of photos at you! I expect I will still be recovering from my hangover then...

I don't know what to title this... Early Christmas surprise? The last hours thoughts?

15 November 2012

Today my head has been full of all those thoughts that you go 'oh I should write that down, that should go on the blog' but I don't know what happened in the last hour or so but they have all vanished. Gone. Pooof. Nada left.
So I am gonna start again...
My thoughts RIGHT NOW. Brace yourselves.
I loved the cupcake that I had yesterday. Hummingbird bakery red velvet cupcakes rock.
I loved the emails that were sent between me and my Dad today. Super funny.
Ben is out tonight with the boys and I am really hoping myself and Holly can hang out for a bit. Maybe have a glass of wine. We will see..
How much I appreciate working with a girl that makes me laugh and smile all the time. You should all try and be friends with Sylwia you know. She is pretty darn brilliant!
 
There you are..more useless thoughts, as if you didn't hate last night's enough already!
(side note - massively need to get myself in the 'blogging' mood again, you know the one where you produce interesting posts. Ideas anyone??)

Oh, I remember what I was thinking on my commute this morning. I was going to tell you all about this:
(Insert satisfied 'I remembered' dance here)
One thing that made me smile recently was giving my Dad and Wendy their Christmas Presents..
Isn't that a little early you all scream?
Well yes and no. Yes because it is only November. And no because what we got them were Mumford and Sons Tickets for next Friday!!
Awesome present huh?
Make sense now why we couldn't wait until Christmas?
Well in the spirit of me and my sister being total shit heads we didn't want to make it too easy for Dad.
We created a code ('we' as in Microsoft Word). And we made the passage that revealed the present pretty long winded. With Dad being all 'math-sy' we thought it would be funny.
That it was.
There he is looking puzzled. Bless.. I really wish I had taken a picture of the actual page. But obviously I am not so smart at the moment. But it took him about 15 or so minutes to complete it.
 
 

And there we are, looking all happy and chuffed with ourselves. Probably because we had just stuffed our faces with breakfast! But also because we are all good at present ideas.

If you are wandering why Wendy wasn't there it is because she was at work, she knew about the tickets beforehand and they are from her too!I am thinking though that I might put her brain to the test and give her a puzzle just for fun when I see her next. I am sure she will love that.

So the long story short of this post is that we (Me, Tash, Ben,Sean and Wendy) really hope that you (Dad and (Wendy)) really enjoy your early Christmas present!!! I am sure you will.
Love you both lots!
 
P.s Just previewed this post and realised that I have asked a lot of rhetorical questions today. Apologies.

the world's most useless information..

14 November 2012

Right at this very moment I am being naughty. Very naughty. I have been told to have a break from 'social media-ing' tonight yet here I am, posting on here!! Woops! 
Tonight I was ordered to spend some time with Ben, relax after my CRAZY day and watch a bit of the Walking Dead... but as Ben is on the phone to his Mum I decided that I just couldn't keep away and I am being sneaky. Hence this post. 
(I am now wandering how much I can ramble on whilst he is in the other room pacing up and down as he does when on the phone. Anyone else find that annoying? Hmmm..)
 
Tonight I had bangers and mash for tea. It was AMAZING. Yum yum. 
Tonight I used some yummy shampoo which made my hair smell edible.
Tonight I have been that kinda crazy you get when you are over tired. Ben isn't such a fan!!
Tonight I am getting SO into the Walking Dead. 
Tonight I am sure to dream of zombie's.
Oh balls, I have just been caught out.
Now I have to wrap this shit up. In the time that it takes for Ben to make me a cup of tea.
Here is a picture. (courtesy of Tracey-bum). Made me LOL anyways.
Sorry, not sorry, for the complete rubbishness of this post.

Things I have learnt about myself (and others)

13 November 2012

Today is for getting back into the swing of life again after such a lovely weekend away in Centre Parcs. Over the past five days I have learnt many things about myself and the lovely people I went with, here are some highlights..
 
I love playing squash. I have NEVER EVER been 'sporty' and I was completely surprised when I loved squash. Double bonus? I wasn't even half bad.

I also learnt that I look FIT in my squash outfit. Picture above as evidence. Yes we are such goons.

Wearing trainers on three occasions in a weekend does not mean you break out in hives. Who knew??

I discovered Ben is incredibly protective over his pyjama trousers. But let's not get into that.

I learnt that Harriet hates taking shots and it is near impossible to make her do them in one go. I have video evidence of this to come.

...shots out of egg cups? Genius.

I learnt that the ducks at centre parcs are FEARLESS.


I discovered that Sam is a puzzle master.

And that I absolutely ADORE doing puzzles too.
I never did them when I was growing up, that was always Tasha's favourite thing, but this weekend puzzles took a hold of me. I even asked Ben if he could buy me a puzzle this week as I miss the quiet that it brings already. Cheaper than therapy and much more fun? I am there...
(I also think that I might get the award for geekiest blog content ever now. Oh well.)

I discovered that Ben thinks I make a very under standard Zabrovka vodka and apple juice.

Pilates is pretty cool.

Spoons is pretty cool too. Card games, lunging for spoons, shots and giggles is a winning combo.

I discovered that Caroline has the best choice in clothes/bags/shoes even when we are in centre parcs!! She also is a brilliant puzzle mentor. But not so good at spoons.

I learnt that if I hear a noise in the middle of the night and the security light outside goes on, I am DEFINITELY going to make Ben get up and out of bed to check the villa for any 'threats'. Chances are if this happens I will not sleep properly for a good few hours after.

I discovered that Dean cannot be separated from his iPad. But that is okay because he is pretty much our go-to guy for anything tech related. Oh and the fact that he is lovely...and brilliant at dodging shots.

And lastly...I now think that squirrels are cute.
Fat squirrels = even cuter.


There are many more pictures to come but I could just not face sorting them all out last night!!
But do not fear... a centre parcs picture heavy post is coming your way.
Hope you are all having a lovely week??