Category: Uncategorized

It’s been emotional

I’ve been an emotional wreck for the last few days. I don’t know why I’ve been so touchy, but that’s life. Not really the best subject matter on International Happiness Day – sorry!

Be Happy

It started with this story which had me in tears at my desk on Friday, Seriously, it hit me right in the heart and I had to go and shut myself in the toilet for a sob. 7 year old Filip’s Mom died when he was just 2 years old and is buried in Poland. Now Filip is dying from leukaemia, and his wish is to be buried alongside in his Mom so she can look after him in heaven. That poor little boy. His photograph broke me, the story broke me, and his Dad’s crowdfunding efforts to grant his boy’s dying wish broke me. And, no offence to anyone reading this who believes in religion, but stuff like this is further proof to me that God can’t possibly exist, because why would an entity that’s supposed to be good ever ever cause so much pain and suffering for an innocent child?

I never really donate to crowdfunding efforts but I couldn’t not chip into this one. The nice news is that they’ve smashed the initial £6,500 target, so poor little Filip will be reunited with his Mom when the sad time comes.

On the back of that (and crying over it again on Saturday as I was telling my Mom about it) I got all emotional about our impending move. A couple in their late 50s came to view the flat, with a view to just the man buying it. They’ve been together for over 30 years but don’t want to be together any more, even though they’re still great friends. And that made me really sad. People try so hard to find love, and when it comes to an end I think that’s heartbreaking (unless someone cheats in which case it’s bloody good riddance after smashing up their stuff and badmouthing them to anyone that will listen).

Those tears (which came after the viewing was over!) soon developed into a full on blart fest about leaving the flat. We’ve been so very very happy here. We only intended to stay for 5 years but have been here for eleven, and they’re the happiest years of my life. I know it’s only bricks and mortar but I feel content, safe and settled here. And while the new place will be great, it’s still a big wrench to leave our little space in the sky.

Crying about moving on to better things in life, nuts eh?

So, there you have my uplifting take on International Happiness Day – ha! I can’t say I’m any happier today, and I don’t know why! I need a bang to the head!

In spite of all that, I actually had a nice weekend; family time and Indian food for my Mom’s birthday on Friday night, friends time at a gig on Saturday night, and husband time on a lazy Sunday afternoon.

What have you been up to?

Thanks, as always, for reading. x

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The Lent Diaries – What Ellen Wrote

This feels like a bit of a cheat post to me, because I generally write original content (whether its any good or not is a different matter!) But I just have to implore you to read my friend Ellen’s blog, which at the moment is focussing on her experience of giving up sugar and alcohol for Lent.

Lent

This is not for religious reasons; more Ellen being a stubborn so and so, and proving to herself that she can do it. Which I applaud massively. I’d much rather support other people giving things up than do it myself. Things like Stop-tober and Dry-January are bad enough at 30 days, but Lent is a whole 40 days which, if you can’t do the maths, is a whole 9 days – or 1.5 weeks (almost longer).

Anyway, back to Ellen’s diaries. They’re insightful, funny and more funny. I think you’ll enjoy them. Even if you don’t, you’ll be grateful that you didn’t make such a nuts decision! (sorry, Ellen)

Let me know what you think! Thanks, as always, for reading! x

 

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Sales shopping for Spring

Because January sales are no longer confined to January, there’s still the opportunity to pick up some sales bargains well into February and even March. Of course, buying jumpers and woolly hats is a bit daft at this point of the year, but the beauty with online sales is that they tend to contain something for all seasons because retailers just list everything they still have in stock.

I had an email from Forever 21 a couple of weeks back declaring that the more you buy, the more you save (shopaholic logic right there!) so I popped over for a look-see.

The premise was that if you buy 2 things you get 20% off the already reduced sale price, 3 things 30% off, 4 things, 40% off, and 5 things gets 50% off. So half price on items that were already, in many cases, half price.

With that in mind I ordered 22 items!

Unfortunately the discount was capped at 50% off, otherwise F21 would have been paying me to buy their clothes (the dream, right there!) and anyway, they weren’t 22 different items; many of them were duplicates but in different sizes (because we all know how crap high street sizes are, right?)

Much of what came was too short or too low cut (the perils of shopping in a store aimed at people almost half your age!) but I ended up with a few nice things that I’m rather chuffed with.

Faux suede hat – £3.99

faux-suede-hat

Burgundy and blue floral dress – £5.49

forever-21-burgundy-dress

Rust frill sleeve maxi – £7.99 (this does actually need a little bit of “refining” around the bust to make it suitable for wearing a bra with, and I fully expect the husband to ask why I’m wearing a nightie)

forever-21-rust-maxi-dress

Black and cream flares – £2.99 (love these)

forever-21-striped-flares

Bargainous!

In a separate order I had already procured these rather fabulous paisley velvet flares, which you my have seen if you follow me on instagram. Not reduced, not for spring but definitely not worth NOT having!

Forever 21 red paisley velvet flares

I’m definitely erring towards more boho / hippy / 70s purchases right now.

What have you been buying or lusting after? Let me know!

Thanks, as always, for reading! x

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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

 

 

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Plans for 2017

Just because I don’t make resolutions, doesn’t mean I don’t make plans. The beginning of a New Year yields opportunities such as a whole load of annual leave to book, as well as a summer of fun, and music to enjoy.

Here are my plans (so far) for 2017.

plans-for-2017

Move house
This is a biggy! We’ve lived in our flat for almost 11 years, even though when we moved in the plan was to only stay for 5. We’ve been so incredibly happy and settled there and never both felt like the time was right to move but now we’re both ready to take the next step (although I’m not looking forward to stairs, I love one level living!) We want a garden where we can have friends round for barbecues and have wooden sunloungers with drinks holders, and we want another spare bedroom which I can have as a dressing room and display all my shoes in an MTV cribs style (yet to be agreed with the husband). Unfortunately we have a very small search area and also need a garage (rarity where we live) so we’re going to end up like those annoying couples on Location, Location, Location who are so picky you just want to shout at the TV that they don’t even deserve a home of their own.

Go to Whitby
Part of my birthday present was a weekend in Whitby, at a future date of my choice. Home of Dracula, Whitby has the stunning abbey ruins, a pretty harbour and the super cool Bats & Broomsticks guesthouse, which is where we’ll be staying. Each room is decorated individually and the candle lit breakfast room is in the basement. It has nothing but brilliant reviews so that’s one to look forward to.

Go to Malaysia
This is booked and in the bag – we fly at the end of April. I’ve always wanted to travel East and although Malaysia has never really been on my radar this appeared as a deal that was way too good to turn down. We’re spending 5 nights in Penang and 3 nights in Kuala Lumpur and it’s very exciting because we’ve never done a trip like this before. Oh, and imagine the food!

See Guns n Roses
I don’t actually love Guns n Roses (I find Axl pretty screechy at times tbh) but I do love some of their songs and the husband has a lifelong love of the band so when they announced a tour with 3 of the 5 original members it was a done deal that we would go. Lots of our friends are going too so it will be a cool day and night out at the Olympic stadium, although the ticket cost of £95 is disgusting, especially when you consider that £9.99 of that is a transaction fee. Per ticket. Bullshit.

Change my car
I do a 60 mile round trip to work each day so the miles have quickly clocked up on my car. I think it might be best to change it now before the mileage gets too high and affects the value, although I have no idea what I want instead.

Get back into blogging
The end of last year was not good for me – I (understandably) lost my mojo and blogging took a back seat. But I’m feeling inspired again with lots to talk about and, having blogged more regularly so far in January, it feels good to be productive again.

Start contributing to My Trending Stories
Last autumn I was contacted on Instagram by a representative for My Trending Stories, inviting me to become a contributor. I’ve seen some people suggesting that the website is trying to piggy back on successful bloggers, but I’m just an iddy biddy blogger with a small audience, so they’re certainly not taking advantage of me! Anyway, it was a compliment to be invited and it’s another outlet to share my thoughts and interact with other people so why not?

I’ve seen lots of resolutions around people eating more healthily, going to the gym, etc but it would be pointless me including them in my plans, because it would be an out and out lie! I can only be who I am, unfortunately!

Have you made any resolutions or plans? Leave me your links in the comments box!

Thanks, as always, for reading! x

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5 things I have been genuinely baffled by this week

There’s a lot of crazy, stupid, daft and inexplicable stuff that goes on in the world – stuff that genuinely makes you think “huh?” But there seems to be more of it around lately than ever, like there’s a big full moon sending everyone a little crazy!

the-world-is-a-little-bonkers

Here are 5 things that have made me despair this week.

US politics
Wow. What a mess. What a huge, great big, bloody mess. A playground hotbed of name calling, he said she said, finger pointing awfulness. Where’s the coverage of actual policies? The only thing I’ve picked up from the media is Trump’s racist xenophobia and plans to persecute non Americans based on the behaviour of a minority. I couldn’t tell you what Clinton stands for or what she’s lobbying about – everything seems to be geared towards the personal behaviour of both nominees. Which, by the way, is appalling. Of all the intelligent, knowledgeable and clued up people in the US, how the hell did the Presidential race come down to these two? More importantly, how in anyone’s mind, ever, is Donald Trump a good bet for becoming the leader of the free world? He’s a misogynistic bully with an overinflated ego, a lack of morals and a questionable understanding of being a human being. Plus his hair is beyond a joke!

New Royal yacht
The news that UK parliament were debating between building a new Royal yacht or recommissioning Royal Britannia made me want to laugh and cry in equal measures. Either option seems pretty bloody unnecessary to me when you look at the cost of it and the bigger picture. Our economy is in a post Brexit mess and the powers that be want to spend £100 million on a fancy boat? Do me a favour! How about spending on the NHS, to make up for all the fabled EU costs that the Brexiters lied about during their campaign? Apparently Britannia helped to secure £3 billion in trade deals in her lifetime and so a new yacht will boost our economy. How??? I call bullshit.

Killer clowns

This is both stupid and dangerous. Anyone who thinks it’s just a bit of fun needs to look up the definition in the dictionary. It’s only a matter of time before it escalates – someone will have a heart attack through shock. The worst thing is, if a person did genuinely get scared and run over a clown with their car, or hit them with a bottle, they’d be the ones in the wrong. A criminal record in response to a bit of “fun”? Childline has reported 120 calls in a week from kids who are scared they’re going to see a clown in their daily life. Nothing fun about terrorising children.

Honey G
How is this silly bint still in X Factor? More importantly, who’s voting to keep her and why are even the judges coming round to her? It makes a mockery of the show and a mockery of real talent. Great singers got sent home so she could have a place. It’s laughable.

Ross is the favourite Friend
I find this one possibly more crazy than the rest of them put together. In a vote on who is the favourite character in Friends, Ross came out on top? What? He’s the most annoying! From his over gelled hair to his gormless face to his “we were on a break” excuse. No. Just no. Chandler was robbed (although I’d have settled for Joey in first place too).

Any craziness that you’re struggling with right now? Things you can’t quite get your head around? Let me know in the comments!

Thanks, as always, for reading! x

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Botox for balls? (Twit of the Day!)

The beauty of the internet is that you find out about things you would never usually come across in everyday life.

Similarly, the horror of the internet is… Yep, you get the drill.

People, I give you…SCROTOX.

Literally botox for bollocks. What the actual living, chuffing hell?

wrinkly-nuts

Who does this? Who thought of this? Who would pay £2,800 for this?

Find out more, including the supposed benefits here.

Now, I’m no expert (after all, the husband might be reading), but aren’t balls supposed to be wrinkly and a bit sweaty?

Haven’t men (and women) managed for years without sticking needles in their plums? Aren’t good hygiene and clean pants enough to keep the downstairs region fresh? Do balls need to look bigger? Does it make a difference? I’ve never judged a man on the size of his knackers.

(also, how many more words for testicles can I fit into this post????)

Scrotox givers and receivers doctors and patients – Twit(s) of the Day!

Thanks, as always, for reading! x

 

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When the going gets tough…

…the tough go shopping.

Or so the saying goes.

I think the actual saying is “the tough get going” (or at least that’s what Billy Ocean sang – if that makes no sense to you then ask an older person. One that isn’t me). My personal fave is “the tough have a drink”. But that’s just my own mantra and not immortalised anywhere. It also works for when the going is easy, or the going is neutral.

That’s besides the point.

I haven’t actually been shopping, I couldn’t think of anything worse at the moment, but I have been slightly cheered by a parcel I ordered last week, before life fell apart all over again. In fact it’s been sitting unopened since before the weekend, and I’d actually forgotten what was in it.

Cue some smiley happy shoes.

I love shoes. They always fit, they never make you look fat, and they have the power to transform an outfit from just ok to “wow”. Bags I don’t really get. But shoes? Oh yes!

These are two bargain beauties from H&M.

Multicoloured lace up roman sandals – £9.99 (reduced from £24.99)

Buying sandals at this juncture in summer may seem an odd move, but I get a lot of wear out of sandals and this style is right up my alley (in fact it’s pretty much the only style I’ve bought this year). I love the multi colours, and the versatility and I know I won’t tire of them so they’ll be great to wear into next year as well.

Yellow suedette heels – £12.49 (reduced from £24.99)

These are less versatile and I will get less wear out of them, but fuck it! They’re a lovely bright colour and, despite looking like they might have the same effect on your toes as cheesewire, they’re surprisingly comfortable, because the toe strap is soft and padded and the slight platform offsets the heel (which is already lower than many of the pairs I own). The buckle sits slightly awkwardly on my ankle bone, but I can handle it, I’m hardcore 😉 I’m going to pair them with all shades of denim, dressed up or down, and maybe with a dress too if the occasion arises.

Are you a shoe monster? Hit me up!

Thanks, as always, for reading. x

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Some purchases from Peacocks

Back in the time before I had put myself on something of a spending ban (or at least severe limitation) while I get my finances back to where I would like them, I bought a few bits from Peacocks.

I actually bought them in store, and then got an email with a 20% discount offer so returned everything and rebought it (that’s just good economics, no?)

Printed viscose top

Peacocks paisley print sleeveless top

This is lovely and light and airy, looks and great with dark denim

Lace up sandals

Peacocks yellow lace up sandals

These are advertised as yellow, but they’re more of a neon acid chartreuse I think (ooh, get me!) I suddenly realised that most of my sandals were beige or black and that I (wanted) needed some bright summer shoes in my life, and these were the answer.

Beaded sandals

Peacocks beaded ethnic ankle strap sandals

“While buying one pair of sandals, I might as well chuck another in,” thinks I. So I did. These had me convinced that I had one ankle which is considerably bigger than the other as the right one felt tight, but they’re more comfortable as time goes on – which means either the leather has stretched or all that hopping on one foot has been paying off.

Dark denim shorts

Peacocks indigo denim shorts

Just because. I thought I’d wear them loads. I’ve worn them once. Must rectify.

All that for the princely sum of £41.60 – pretty good eh?

Oh, and then the sale started and I picked up this fringed black and white Aztec poncho kimono thing (a kimoncho?) for £7.

Peacocks aztec print kimono

Send me links to your latest buys; I’d love to have a nose!

Thanks, as always, for reading. x

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Days out: Chester Zoo

On Saturday the husband and I drove up North to Chester Zoo!

I have mixed feelings about zoos, because of the captivity thing, but Chester Zoo is renowned for doing lots of conservation work with animals and looking after them really well, plus I’d heard that the animals have lots of space and anyway, I really wanted to see the giraffes!

It wasn’t cheap (£21 each and that was buying online in advance – it costs more on the gate) but it’s well worth the money. Parking is free and plentiful and there’s so much to see, it’s a full day out.

First stop was the elephants.

Followed by the one horned rhinos – these were fascinating. They look as close to prehistoric dinosaurs as you can imagine; their bodies look like armoured plates. The husband fancies himself as a bit of a Rhino Whisperer, because he beckoned it to come over from the other side of the paddock and it did!

We watched the giraffes for ages!

Just seeing how tall I am today!

Chester Zoo tall giraffe

This is an Okapi – part of the giraffe family. No-one even knew they existed until the beginning of the 1900s!

We saw penguins and flamingos.

A spectacled bear and zebra.

This is a scimitar horned Oryx. Now I admit to being rather underwhelmed with these, until I got home and read that they’ve been completely extinct in the wild since 1999. Isn’t that sad? Also they can survive up to 10 months without any water! Say what?!

Chester Zoo scimitar horned Oryx

Part of the Zoo has been designed to resemble tropical islands and over here live the tigers, gibbons and orangutans. Unfortunately I couldn’t get any pics; they were all feeling a bit shy. But there is a charming lazy river boat ride which runs through the islands.

Chester Zoo feels more like a wildlife park than a traditional zoo; it’s very open and green, with lots of pretty flowers.

The animals, on the main, have lots of space and there isn’t the feeling of being overly caged in. The lions had a big area with lots of trees and rocks and there were lots of swinging ropes and things to climb on in the monkey houses. There was plenty of information about the animals, including their names and history, birth place, relationship to each other, which is nice.

Apparently there are over 20,000 animals! That’s a lot of meals to prepare!

I’d definitely recommend a visit if you ever get the opportunity, but be sure to wear comfy shoes, there’s a lot of walking involved to do it justice.

Have you ever been to Chester Zoo? Or any other UK zoos? I’d love to go to Edinburgh and see the pandas…

Thanks, as always, for reading! x

 

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