Tag: birthday

Its my birthday and I’ll cry if I want to…


Image from Etsy seller Sassy Baby Applique

A slight bastardisation of the Lesley Gore song lyrics, but as I’m not having a party it’s the most appropriate. And I have cried. On and off since Friday. It’s my first birthday without my Dad and I miss him. I miss his daft jokes where he pretended not to know the date or how old I was. I miss how he’d play me up and tell me I wasn’t allowed to open my presents early, even if I wasn’t going to see him on the day. And I miss him phoning me up, and the excitable tone of his voice when he used to say Happy Birthday to me.

I know it’s to be expected, with it being the first Birthday since he died, but I didn’t expect to feel this bereft. This is the worst I’ve felt since his funeral at the end of September.

I’ve had such a lovely weekend too, of live music and old friends and new friends and Christmas market and food and husband. But sometimes feeling happy can make you feel even more sad when it hits.

Anyway, not to be a complete misery guts I’ve busted out some season appropriate clothing – wearing my new velvet boots (present from me to me, via Primark) and my new sequin sleeve top (present from me to me, via Everything 5 Pounds) and I’m trying to have an ok day, even though I’m in the office. I’m also wearing red lippie because it’s fierce and my Dad’s watch so I have a little piece of him with me.


I’ve had lots of birthday messages from lots of lovely peeps and I have all my cards and pressies to open when I get home, and the lovely husband is taking me out to dinner.

You know what though? I’d give it all up for 10 more minutes with Dad.

Normal (more upbeat) service will resume soon. Thanks, as always, for reading. x


My trip to Lanzarote

As I said in Monday’s post I really didn’t do a lot on my mini break! But I thought I’d share some highlights and some pics with you.

Our hotel
We booked into an all inclusive resort called BlueBay. It was only 15 minutes from the airport, which was ideal after a 4 hour flight. The hotel was bright and airy, very clean, with a lovely pool area, decked pool bar, low rise whitewashed apartment blocks and beautiful gardens – immaculate trees, flowers and cactuses everywhere!

Blue Bay Lanzarote entrance

Blue Bay Lanzarote pool are


Our rooms were actually apartments; a spacious open plan lounge, kitchen and dining area with a table and chairs, big sofa and sliding doors to a big balcony, and then a separate bedroom with a dining table and sliding wardrobe and a separate bathroom with walk in shower. Food is always something of a concern in a larger hotel, when catering for the masses, and even more so in an all inclusive resort, but there was no need to worry. Everything was fresh and tasty, well cooked, lots of choice and variation. The staff were, without exception, incredibly friendly. It was a good choice.

The resort
We opted for Costa Teguise, on the east coast, due to proximity to the airport. The resort was a 20 (ish) minute walk away from the hotel, or less than 3 euros in a taxi. We used a taxi a couple of times and then on the last day the husband and I walked along the coastal path there and back, which was picturesque but very very windy!

Costa Teguise has no history as such, having been built purely for tourism purposes in the 1980s. There are some tourist shops, bars, low rise villas and a backdrop of volcanic mountains behind. The windy weather makes the bay a haven for windsurfers; there must have been about 50 of them, some fairly far out to sea and getting up some great speeds!

My Mom’s birthday
The reason for the trip was to celebrate my Mom’s 60th birthday. We decorated the room with balloons and banners and spent a relaxed day at the hotel enjoying the sunshine and drinking sangria. I’d bought her a Pandora charm as a reminder of the holiday, a small silver passport.

Pandora passort charm

For dinner we went into Costa Teguise, to a restaurant called El Maestro. I’d selected them from TripAdvisor reviews and emailed in advance to book a table and explain that it was a special birthday. The restaurant offered me a birthday cake, in my choice of flavour with a personalised iced message – so trusting as they didn’t take any payment details in advance! They lit candles and came out singing happy birthday, which was a nice touch.

Mom's 60th birthday meal

The restaurant was beautiful, the service excellent and the food exquisite – garlic mushrooms to start followed by chateaubriand with potatoes and the lightest fluffiest birthday cake for dessert. The restaurant even boxed up the rest for us to takeaway (which we ate on the balcony with cocktails the following afternoon!)

I’d be happy not only to go back to Lanzarote, but to the same hotel, which is an unusual thing for me to say! But knowing that there’s a tried and tested bolthole in the sun we could escape to, just to get away for a few days of R&R during the cold winter months, is great. And of course there’s lots to see and do on the island too.

Sitting in the airport waiting to fly home, in the outdoor bar which has a view over the volcanic landscape (how cool is that?!) I could quite happily have stayed another couple of days…

Arrecife airport outdoor terrace

Thanks, as always, for reading! x


A greetings card gripe

March is a busy month for me. Mom’s birthday, Dad’s birthday, sister’s birthday, Mother’s Day, cousin’s birthday and 2 friends’ birthdays.

I have this same thought every time I’m shopping for a greetings card, and with the proliferation needed in March it becomes ever more apparent.

Why are some cards so bloody schmaltzy?

Greetings cards

A lovely card with a pretty illustration and thoughtful verse can be spoilt by something as simple as “thank you for being the perfect/best mother/father/person”.


In truth it’s bull!

No-one’s a perfect person, or the best person. My Dad isn’t perfect. My Mom isn’t the best Mom in the world. They’re both amazing fantastic people who’ve done so much for me; loved me, encouraged me, made sacrifices for me. But they’re not perfect people. I don’t want them to be perfect people. I want them to be them.

Similarly, I don’t then want a card that tells them they’re the perfect person, or that I think they’re the perfect person, because that’s insincere. I don’t want to tell my sister she’s the best sister in the world. Where does that leave other sisters? Are they rubbish because mine is the best? Are all other Mom’s sub standard because my Mom is perfect? Is my Dad the example on which all other Dad’s should model themselves, and consider themselves a failure if they’re not the same?

Of course not!

I know it’s petty and I’m probably being overly pedantic, but this is my blog for my rants and I wanted to get this off my chest.

Don’t patronise us, card makers. Keep it real, and we can say the things that we mean on our own.


One year ago today…

…I got made redundant from a job I’d been in for 9 years.

Even though I was unhappy, and half looking for another job anyway, it was a massive blow. I wanted to do it on my terms, not anyone else’s.

In truth, it’s the best thing that could have happened. It gave me the kick up the ass I needed.

One year ago

Oh, and it was the pre-cursor to me starting this blog, which celebrates one year of existence tomorrow.

So happy “thanks ex employers for doing me a favour” day today!

Keep calm and get a new job

And happy “one year blogging” day tomorrow!

Blog birthday

Thanks, as always, for reading! x


Make up review: Wunderbrow

Over Christmas I was using Facebook on my laptop (as I was waiting for a mobile replacement following the great phone vs booze debacle of December) and so I started getting adverts pop up which I wouldn’t usually see. Coincidentally I had some birthday money from my Mother in Law which I was looking to spend, and that’s how I came to buy Wunderbrow.

I’d never heard of it before but the promise of hair fibre complex that improves the original brow shape and permafix gel that last for days was enough to get me wanting more. Now I’m a marketing person’s dream to be honest, but the advert came with a video which was incredibly impressive, plus the company offer a 30 day money back guarantee so it seemed to be win win.

See what I mean?

On arrival I excitedly ripped open the packaging and was immediately disappointed. I had ordered black/brown and my first thought was that I had been sent the wrong one. But no, this is what Wunderbrow class as black/brown.

Undeterred, I thought maybe it would look darker on my skin. Unfortunately not. It has a sludgy brown appearance with (to me) a hint of khaki. I don’t want army eyebrows!

Wunderbrow black brown sample

My first try was highly disastrous as I found the application incredibly difficult due to the length of the handle and the long bristles of the brush. I abandoned it and it lay unloved for a couple of weeks.

Thinking perhaps I was missing something, and that it was user error rather than the product’s fault (quite likely) I decided to try again.

Here’s me with naked eyebrows (oo-er!)

Naked eyebrows

They’re annoyingly thin, which is strange considering they were behemoth monstrosities when I was a kid (I’ll share a pic one day). I’ve tried to regrow them to a thicker point but they’re having none of it.

Next is one eyebrow.

One eyebrow

The shape was better this time around as I was more patient with applying it and used smaller strokes. I couldn’t see the hair like fibres though.

Both eyebrows done.

Two eyebrows

The second was more difficult, not sure why, and I ended up with the product a little bit above my natural browline which gave me a funny expression!

I went to bed with it still on to test the endurance (the website says it can last two to three days). To be fair it was still all in tact when I woke up, so I decided to leave it on for the day, even though I wasn’t entirely convinced.

Well, once I was able to see it in daylight (first time as I applied it in the evening and it was still dark when I left for work so the previous photographs are taken in artificial light) I decided to definitely send it back.

Wunderbrow following day close up

It just doesn’t work for me. The shade is too light (in fairness my hair is very dark) but more than that it just looks like I’ve painted creosote on my eyebrows. There are no fibres. It looks like bloody felt tip! Worse still, I had to endure the rest of the day like that at work, wondering if anyone had noticed (this is a very narcissistic comment to make, as I’m sure no-one cares two hoots about how I look).

This is it at the end of the day, it had started to wear off. If you could see more closely it looks flaky and patchy,

Wunderbrow end of day

Huge amounts of disappointment.

The only good thing is that, as I mentioned, the company offers is a 30 day money back guarantee, so I don’t have a £20 waste of birthday money on my hands. I haven’t had my refund yet, but I’m trusting them!

Obviously this is only my own experience, and I’m not particularly beauty minded (or patient) so I wouldn’t dissuade anyone from trying it themselves, especially if your hair is lighter than mine. The reviews on their Facebook page are outstanding and there are lots of YouTube videos showing perfect brows as a result of this product.

It also comes in 3 other shades – blonde, brunette and auburn.

You can buy Wunderbrow directly from their website (free P&P), on Amazon, or at selected Boots stores.


This time in 7 weeks…

…I’ll be on my jolly holidays!

It’s my Mom’s 60th birthday mid March, so we’ve booked a short break to Lanzarote.

Who wants to spend money on a party for everyone else to enjoy when you can spend it on relaxing in the sun, paddling in the sea, and drinking cocktails?

We fly out very first thing on the Wednesday morning and come back Sunday afternoon. Perfect.

Choice of destinations is more limited at this time of year due to climate, and we don’t want to travel long haul, so the Canary Islands are perfect. I’ve been to Fuerteventura in March and the days were actually quite hot, so hoping to get a bit of a suntan. It will just be nice not to have to wrap up from the elements, feel the warmth on our faces and sit outside reading books and watching the world go by.

We’re going to an all inclusive resort so the temptation to do nothing will be strong, but I’d like to get a feel for the island, so we’ll probably go on a day trip whilst we’re there, probably to the volcanic national park, and of course a wander to the resort, seafront and harbour will be a must.

Costa Teguise beach

Costa Teguise town

BlueBay Lanzarote

Timanfaya national park

If you’ve been to Lanzarote and have any tips or must sees, please let me know.

Thanks, as always, for reading! x


My birthday in pictures

It was my birthday on Sunday! Another year older, and all that jazz. I certainly wouldn’t say I’m growing up, or will ever be a grown up actually (the husband called me a woman on Sunday, and I was like no! I’m still a girl!) But the candles on the (hypothetical) birthday cake keep piling up! That’s life!

Anyway, after a less than auspicious Saturday, I was feeling very un-birthday like. But I woke up on Sunday to blue skies and sunshine, and the husband singing Happy Birthday to me before I even opened my eyes, so I was determined to make it a good day.

I got new pyjamas, which were quite apt considering how crappy I’d been feeling!

New pyjamas

Oodles of presents including a girly trip to London in the New Year, Marc Jacobs Dot, a beaded fringed bag, a journal set, some of my beloved Brian Cox, a light up make up mirror (so I can see my aging wrinkles more clearly, ha!), pantomime tickets with the amazing Julian Clary (oh no I didn’t…oh yes I did!)


Marc Jacobs Dot

Jessica Simpson fringed bag

Carolina Herrera journal set

Brian Cox The Human Universe

Light up mirror

Aladdin pantomime

Plus loads more things too. I was supremely spoilt and very humbled.

I drank prosecco for breakfast and then we went into Birmingham to meet some friends for some festive fun at the German market.

German Christmas market

We saw Chris Moose and had a singalong.

German market Chris Moose

Drank mulled wine and beer.

Beer and mulled wine

Visited the Big Hoot Santa Owl in Great Western Arcade.

Santa Owl

And gave him a hug!

Me and santa owl

Went to The Oasis to get some ear piercings (part of my birthday pressie from the husband, more on that another time).

Me getting pierced at The Oasis

Drank more mulled wine.

Mulled wine santa mug

Had another singalong, with the live band.

German market singalong

Popped round to Centenary Square and drank hot toffee cider – OMG! This stuff is amazing; I’d like it on tap in my home.

Hot toffee mulled cider

Oohed at the big wheel.

Birmingham big wheel

Had a cheeky cocktail in The Victoria and oohed at their traditional Christmas decorations.

Traditional Christmas decorations

Then came home and got indian food and snuggled up on the sofa (wearing my new PJs, obvs) and felt very pleased with myself.

What have you all been up to?

Thanks, as always for reading! x


5 things you know if you have a December birthday

It’s my birthday on Sunday. It will be something of a double whammy, as I realised that I’ve told two different people I’m a year younger than I actually am in the past two weeks, so it will be like getting two years older, in a way. Gulp!

I’m not that big on celebrating my birthday, because there’s always so much other stuff going on.

Here are 5 things you’ll know if you have a December birthday (or 5 things to consider if you know someone else who was born this month).

1 – The offer of joint gifts is never acceptable. Would you ask me if I wanted a combined Christmas and birthday present if I was born in June? No. Stop it.December birthday

2 – Everyone is busy with Christmas parties and work events and often can’t make it to your birthday plans.

3 – People are generally in a festively excitable mood anyway, so you don’t get your moment in the sun where people are jolly just for you (what an attention seeker!)

4 – You’re not sure if your post contains birthday or Christmas cards, so often open stuff by mistake.

5 – All your gifts come too close together. Nothing all year and then an overwhelming amount of stuff pretty much in one go. If there’s something you want in summertime you either need to buy it yourself or wait (not good if it’s something seasonal!)

On the plus side at least everyone is in a great mood and ready to celebrate. Imagine a January birthday when everyone is skint and on a detox. That would be awful.

Do you have any gripes about your birthday timing?

Thanks, as always, for reading! x