It’s nice to be nice!

Because a big part of my job is looking after social media, I get to see all sorts of things I wouldn’t usually come across. How else would I know that last Friday was Random Acts of Kindness Day?

Well, actually, I was aware-ish because Fiona over at Fiona Likes to Blog posted about it, with a whole list of lovely things you can do to make someone smile. Have a read of her suggestions.

My absolute favourite one on there is “pay someone a compliment”. People love to get compliments (as long as they’re genuine!) In fact, certainly in my case, we’re so used to people being mean to each other these days, and reading/hearing critical insulting opinions on Twitter, Facebook, the news and in magazines and newspapers, that a genuine compliment holds more weight than ever. It’s like it’s a surprise that people still have the ability to say nice things!

its-nice-to-be-nice

A few years ago the husband pointed out that I was staring at a woman and that it was rude. I told him that I was only looking because she looked fabulous. And it got me to thinking how cross (and paranoid) I get when I think someone’s staring at me, but maybe they’re looking for nice reasons too. So now, if someone catches me looking at them, I try to let them know the reason why (unless it’s a bad reason, obvs!) If I walk past someone wearing great shoes, I’ll tell them. See a girl with funky hair – I say it looks ace. And don’t just reserve it for appearance related stuff. If someone does something kind, point it out. If a sales assistant is particularly helpful, let them know.

You don’t need to do it all the time, that would be overkill, but a well placed acknowledgement can also do wonders for your own wellbeing. Try it, and see how good you feel knowing you’ve made someone else feel good too.

Spread the love!

Mind the Gap

Gap is one of those places I just never think to go in or look at online, much less buy anything. But I recently decided, in a Pinterest style marathon, that I needed some crop flare jeans – to wear now with ankle / calf boots and in summer with wedges and clogs. Here are my inspo pics.

I especially love the ones on the bottom left…swoon

Simultaneously the husband declared that he needed some new jeans for work, and with Gap 1969 being his preferred style and me being his personal shopper (!!) I headed on over to the website.

“Ooh,” thinks I, “I may as well have a look at the women’s sale while I’m here.” (always dangerous). “I wonder if they have any cropped flares?”

Which is how I came across these beauties.

I love the two tone denim. They’re pleasingly high waisted (I can tuck my post dinner tummy right in!!) and pleasingly similar to my faves above. I might let down the hems for that raw edge finish too but I won’t be wearing them with black courts (sack the Gap stylist!)

The husband told me they look like clown trousers, which made me love them even more!

I also spied these two pairs of distressed jeans, which I’m currently deciding between, to replace my beloved ASOS Saxon battered jeans, which are now more battered than jean and only fit for slobbing around the house (something I do well).

I’m erring towards the ones on the right as they’re a slightly looser fit, and in my head I will look as cool and cute as this when I wear them (in a less young, less slim kind of way).

distressed-jeans-leather-jacket

What are your favourite denim styles? Let me know!

Thanks, as always, for reading! x

 

 

5 things I’ve done on the “most romantic day of the year”

  1. Woke up alone, because the husband was away overnight with work
  2. Hunted high and low for missing paperwork (losing stuff in your own home is so damn stupid)
  3. Went to the supermarket
  4. Applied for a mortgage online
  5. Measured up our existing lounge compared to our “new” one (fingers crossed!)

But you know what else I’ve done?

  1. Got excited about the husband coming home
  2. Exchanged cards
  3. Drunk pink wine
  4. Kissed like teenagers (sorry!) > (not sorry!!)
  5. Listened to “our song” on repeat (only because Spotify was stuck, no joke!!)

valentines-you-me-we

There’s no right or wrong way to do Valentine’s Day. If you want to be all romantic and hearts and flowers, then that’s lovely. If you see it as “just another day”, that’s fine too. Somewhere in the middle? All power to ya!

Love is love is love. And everyone does love differently. Us? We do love with sarcasm, fun, daftness and the occasional bit of soppiness. I love and adore the husband with everything I have (except maybe shoes) and I have no doubt in my head or heart that he loves and adores me. That’s not being conceited, arrogant or smug. That’s the power of emotion, the power of cuddles that convey feelings, and the power of never going to bed / waking in the night / leaving home without saying I love you.

And maybe the power of wine!

How was your Valentine’s Day? I’d love to know!

Thanks, as always, for reading. x

 

 

Don’t tell me what to (tat)too do!

It’s a sweeping generalisation, but also a fair comment, that a woman can be a stubborn so and so (I know, I am one), and also not give up easily.

Which is why I love this story of a woman who’s husband forbade her from getting tattoos because he didn’t like them so, when he died, she went and got all of the tattoos. All over.

charlotte-gutenburg-tattoos

OK, so it’s pretty extreme, and most people wouldn’t react quite so strongly, but the woman had been the subservient wife and done “the right thing” for a long time, putting her husband’s opinion before her own.

So when she finally got chance to be herself, she really went to town. I wonder what her husband would have thought?!

Personally I would never let a man (or anyone) dictate to me about how I should and shouldn’t look, but not everyone is so strong minded or willing to risk a relationship by being “disobedient”.

On the plus side, her extensive tattoos have led to her meeting a new husband and a Guinness World Record!

Hi five Charlotte!

Read the full story here

Thanks, as always, for reading! x

 

Love is love – whatever your gender

With Valentine’s Day just around the corner, I’ve been buoyed to read about two organisations who are appealing to same sex couples as well as the more “traditional” heterosexual man and woman relationship in the celebration of love.love-is-love

The first is Lush, who’s Stateside advertising campaigns have included two men and two women. It’s a shame that the first thing many people notice is that the people in the adverts are the same gender, rather than that the people in the adverts are quite clearly in love, but I guess this is part of what Lush is trying to do – make same sex relationships more “normal” by representing them in the public eye. It’s only unusual because it’s unusual, if that makes sense? Were we surrounded by images of same sex couples in the same way as hetero couples – out furniture shopping, eating out, buying a car – then there wouldn’t be such a big deal because the general public would be used to it.

Secondly is Sainsbury’s who are selling same sex Valentine’s cards. Brilliant! It’s good for people – any people – to see themselves represented in society as it’s a kind of validation that we’re ok, we’re acceptable. This is why soap operas try to include minority characters. And while it’s probably not the most difficult thing to buy a neutral Valentine’s card if you’re in a sae sex relationship, it’s a big step for Sainsbury’s as a high street retailer who could potentially face a backlash from the small minded bigoted people who still have an issue with consenting adults who love each other but have the same parts below the waist.

On that note I think that too many people are caught up in what happens between the sheets in a same sex relationship. Just like with hetero couples, sex isn’t the be all and end all. Why are people so obsessed? Why does it matter? Isn’t it more important that people are happy, content, loved, looked after, caring, nurturing and nice to each other? Isn’t that what any relationship is about? Is it anyone’s business who puts what (if anything) in what hole?

A friend of mine got married to his long term partner of 16 years at the weekend. And that’s joyous. Not only that they have found each other, but that society has now progressed to a point where their union can be recognised in law and in love. That they can openly celebrate and enjoy the same benefits as other married couples – taxes and inheritance and entitlements. That they can hold hands and kiss and profess their love to each other in front of family and friends.

Because, ultimately, that’s what it’s all about. Love.

And anyone who is against love must be bonkers.

Thanks, as always, for reading! x

She wore bluuuuuuuue velvet…

I’m currently mad on velvet, hence the title of this blog post (it’s a reference to the 1960s Bobby Vinton song of the same name, in case you were wondering. Extra blog points if you “got it” without me explaining).

Velvet is so sumptuous and soft and wintery. It’s comforting and cosy, classy but hippy and it seems to be everywhere this year.

It started with these Jeffrey Campbell rip off inspired boots which I bought from ebay. Check out the colour!

plum-crushed-velvet-lace-up-boots

Then, I decided I couldn’t live without a pair of velvet flares. So 70s! So rock n roll! So cool! Luckily Forever 21 came up trumps, and I bagged these black beauties.

Not content with a triangular silhouette, I went in the opposite direction and started looking at velvet skinny trousers. I didn’t want anything too structured, but also didn’t want leggings. These ones from Boohoo are a perfect compromise – pull on style with no zips or buttons, but not too skin tight.

 

Then I turned my attention back to boots. Primark satisfied my hunger on a budget, with these plush grey ankle boots for just £15.

grey-primark-velvet-boots

Finally, for Christmas, my sister bought me these from River Island – velvet and leopard print. What could be better? They’re so incredibly comfortable and anyone who comments on how great they are has to stroke them (I insist!)

river-island-leaopard-print-velvet-ankle-boots

I ordered a load of velvet tops in the sale (not to wear with the trousers and boots, I hasten to add!) but unfortunately they were all pretty naff and belonged in the sale (or the trash).

Just in case you’re disappointed at the lack of actual blue velvet, here is the aforementioned Bobby Darin song to please your ears!

Thanks, as always, for reading! x

The last few days…

…have been up and down to say the least. Mainly down. The weekend started on a high, with a surprise birthday celebration for one of the husband’s old friends. It was great to see people we hadn’t seen in ages, and there was Indian food too, yum!

Unfortunately, from there on in, there was little good to report. The drive home was soured by receiving a property survey which was wildly different to what we expected (see Plans for 2017 for reference) which led to us maturely abandoning our weekend DIY plans in favour of sulking and feeling sorry for ourselves. Spirits were lifted briefly on Saturday night, when we celebrated another birthday, and I was delighted to debut my new velvet flares; I’m nothing if not resourceful/vacuous when it comes to being cheered by trivial things (more about them tomorrow).

A lazy Sunday and roast chicken dinner ended with choosing an early night over washing the pots and pans, which turned out to be a HUGE mistake because we woke on Monday morning – the most evil of all mornings at the best of times – to find a sodding leak under our kitchen sink. A considerable leak, that will no doubt drip drip drip all the way through to our downstairs neighbours (we live in a flat) and piss them off for the umpteenth time since we’ve lived there. So I’ve been unable to use my sink, dishwasher or washing machine until last night when a plumber came and gave an ambiguous response as to whether it’s fixed or not. Sigh.

In the meantime a pile of dirty dishes have built up, I’ve handwashed the husband’s work shirts (and wringing wet clothes out by hand is a workout in itself, I can tell you, and certainly more exercise than I’ve done in months!), and tried to placate the manchild into better spirits with takeaway, beer, wine, fake cheeriness and sitting on my hands to stop myself clonking him on the head in frustration.

On the plus side I scored this little light up beauty from Store TwentyOne for the bargain sale price of £7.

store-twentyone-lightup-carnival-star-lamp

It also comes in white. It’ll look nice in our new home, if we ever get to fecking move…

What’s going on in your world? Let me know in the comments!

Thanks, as always, for reading! x

The Moseley decline into commercialisation, part 1 – Pizza Express

I’m not technically supposed to support Pizza Express expanding into where I live, because Moseley is and always has been a village that prides itself on supporting independent retailers and being a bit different to your usual High Street.

In fact, when Pizza Express announced it would be opening a restaurant, local campaigners and Moseley stalwarts were up in arms (they seem to forget that we already have a Wetherspoons, a Boots and a Sainsburys local).

I, on the other hand, was quietly delighted (shhh, don’t tell anyone) because it means I can use my Tesco clubcard points to pay for food! I’m nothing if not cheap!

On a serious note though, it’s much better to have thriving businesses than empty premises, and one thing Moseley does have a habit of doing is pricing itself out of the market with high rents, so it’s no wonder that chains with big bank accounts are going to find their way in.

I’ll start by saying I rate Pizza Express pretty highly. OK, so it’s not an authentic Italian experience. But I find the food to be good, with lots of choice, low calorie options and the (few) restaurants I’ve visited have always been quite quirky and cosy with a nice feel. So I had high hopes.

The interior has been designed in tribute to Frederick W. Lanchester, who lived in Moseley and ran a factory at nearby Sparkbrook. The Lanchester Motor Company Ltd was started by Frederick and his two brothers in 1899 and elements of the restaurant’s design take inspiration from the early Lanchester cars, including the large air inlet grills.

Which is a really nice idea.

Imagine, therefore, my disappointment to find that the Moseley restaurant has no charisma. Personally I just found it bland and lack lustre. It’s overly bright, there were only a couple of other diners (not their fault I know, but the atmosphere was non existent), the waiter was too cocky and overly friendly for my liking (I enjoy a bit of banter with restaurant staff but this was too much), and the décor was quite insipid.

Almost worst of all, their Christmas tree was pathetic!

What a missed opportunity (and I don’t just mean the tree).

The food was ok, standard fare, we tried the Christmas special starter of a Manzo croquette and some calamari (is it just me who thinks the starters are very overpriced? If I hadn’t been paying in points I’d have definitely questioned the value). There was a special offer on for a free dessert with a starter and a main course, but we were a bit too tipsy full after our starters and pizzas, so we asked the waiter to give our desserts to an elderly man and his son who were also dining (I did ask them if they wanted them, didn’t just send them over unannounced!)

We also now have a Prezzo and a Costa, much to the disgruntlement of some locals. Costa doesn’t interest me in the slightly because a) coffee and b) we have loads of pubs where I’d rather spend my money on wine! But I’m sure I’ll give Prezzo a visit, in the interest of fairness and all that (and because they also accept Tesco vouchers!)

Do you like chain restaurants? What’s your favourite? Let me know!

Thanks, as always, for reading. x

I love you, but…

I don’t know about you, but my social media newsfeed has a lot of people bemoaning the state of the world, the state of politics, putting each other down, putting women down, denouncing feminism and generally just being pretty grotty to each other.

I mean, there is the odd ray of light, but things generally seem pretty bleak right now.

(and I’m aware that I have contributed to afore mentioned misery, before anyone accuses me of hypocrisy!)

So I thought I’d lighten the mood with this article which collates some of the best tweets about marriage/relationships from last year. I can identify with some of them a lot (not saying which ones though, the husband reads this!) but I will admit that the very first one, about the husband not being able to find anything, is probably the bane of my homelife.

manscan-tweet

The husband can’t look properly. He can only manscan. If there’s something in front of an item he’s looking for, like mustard in front of pepper in the cupboard at mealtime, or a shirt tucked slightly behind another t-shirt in his wardrobe, then it OBVIOUSLY ISN’T WHERE IT SHOULD BE. And guess who’s fault that is? Yep, mine. And guess who has to go and find it, if only to prove him wrong? Yep, me!

Anyway, have a read and have a giggle and let me know if you agree with any of them (or what you would tweet about!)

Also, do point me in the direction of any bright and breezy blog posts you’ve written lately to make me smile!

Thanks, as always, for reading! x

Trump, the woman hater

I wasn’t going to say anything about this, really I wasn’t; I think I’ve made my stance about my feelings for the President perfectly clear, along with my feelings about abortion and women’s reproductive health.

So you don’t need to hear me rant on about it again.

But I need to acknowledge what that orange fuckwit has done, in the company of other people who don’t own a vagina, to set back women’s rights and women’s health in the whole world, not just on his own doorstep.

trump-signing-abortion-legislation

Aside from the fact that there is nothing wrong with birth control even if you use it purely to avoid pregnancy, what about women who use it for non contraceptive reasons? Women with acne, or endometriosis, or hormone imbalances?

Why and how and why again does Trump think he has the right to fuck about with women’s lives? It’s not like he doesn’t have younger women in his life. He has a much younger wife, and he’s already expressed his attraction to his own daughter (shudder) so he’s not out of touch with women. What on earth could possess him to do this?

And people are still asking why women outside of the US were “bothering to get involved in pointless Women’s Marches”?

This. This is why. Because Trump is already verging into dictator territory, already publicly displaying his contempt for women, and already using his position of power to further his own personal beliefs.

And that’s a danger to women across the globe.

To finish on a lighter note, this was the best placard I saw from one of the UK marches at the weekend.

president-fart

President Fart. President Hot Air. President. President Noisy and Embarrassing. So there.

Thanks, as always, for reading. x