Thursday, 19 August 2010

Festival Essentials

So the festival season is well and truly upon us with V Festival taking place in Chelmsford this weekend, Reading and Leeds Festivals happening next weekend, Bestival starting on the 9th September and of course all the other local festivals happening in your area over the next few weeks. If you are anything like me and a little bit of a festival newby (this being my second festival experience) i thought i would write about the essentials - which i believe you shouldn't head to a festival without - to keep you looking tip top all weekend!

1. Outfits - My first festival was a bit of a fashion nightmare! I spent most of the weekend looking like a homeless boy due to the unexpected leading me to believe that you take rubbish clothes which you can mess up as much as possible. This is not the case!!!! This year i have put together outfits which are light to carry and comfortable to wear for an entire day! I have chosen an outfit for each day, wearing the heaviest items on my travels so i don't have to endure any uncessary weight whilst carrying my bags to the campsite!  
I have also packed a warm hoodie to sleep in and some spair leggings, top and dress in case of any emergency!




 After all this nasty British weather recently, i have invested in a khaki parka jacket from Very.co.uk. Not only is it fitting with this season hottest new colours, it goes with all of my outfits, again it is light and comfortable and it will keep me warm and dry should the skies decide to open upon us!

2. Beauty - I think it's important to still look as good as possible even though you may be without showers, hairstraightners and all the usual day to day electrics to keep us in top shape. I don't mean taking an extra bag dedicated to beauty products - you're there to have fun, not spend the whole day getting ready! Keep make-up products to as few as possible. Concealer, Foundation, Eyeliner, Eyeshadow and Mascara are my choices. These are all small enough to carry lightly and easily. When it comes to hair i couldn't venture away from my home comforts without a dry shampoo. My favourite is Andrew Barton Dry Shampoo as it makes my hair grease free and has a lovely vanilla fragrance. This should save your locks for at least 2 days, however after this i may recommend wearing a hat or a headscarf.

I paint my nails almost every day. I hate having naked nails and this weekend will be no exception! I'm opting for a nude pink colour to provide a natural look rather than anything to OTT and it matches all my clothes so i dont experience any clashing! I will take a clear varnish with me to apply overcoats to try and prevent chipping as much as possible! Another benefit to painting nails over a festival weekend is that it hides any dirt which may start to appear under your nails! If that's not a top tip - i dont know what is!

3. Accessories - It may just be me, but not being a particularly "boho" person in real life, a few days living in a field can change me from the girliest of girls to eco green hippy in an instant! I don't tend to load up on accessories when i go away as they are often the heaviest part of my luggage and i don't want to risk losing any of my treasured possetions this weekend! With this in mind, this weekend i shall be taking;

1. Oui Oui Earrings - ElsieBelle
2. Peacock Feathered Headband - Primark
3. Satchel - Very.co.uk
4. Purple Headscarf - H&M (We are talking years ago so may not be available)
5. Cowboy Hat - to be purchased on site as i ran out of shopping time!  

4. Hygiene - Noone likes to talk the nitty gritty of personal hygiene, so i'll keep this section short and sweet! Remember the option of showers may be limited where you go. You can purchase solar showers which warm up during the day (providing there is sunshine of course) however one of my funniest memories of last year is watching a couple of my friends try to use this wonderful device and without much luck!! Therefore i advise to stock up on hundreds of baby wipes to use instead! If they are good enough for babies then they're good enough for us! You can pick these up from your local supermarket for next to nothing for about 90 wipes! They also can be doubled up as cleansing wipes to remove make-up after a long day of partying!
Hand Sanitiser - this is super important! The toilets i have experienced tend to have sanitiser units, but remember - if these run out you will have nothing to clean your hands with and being in a field with thousands of other party goers - this would not be pleasant!!! Hand santiser is available pretty much everywhere these days and comes in a small bottle to fit in your handbag - perfect to use whenever you need it!
Loo Roll - It's obvious you won't be doing your business everywhere and anywhere, however take some loo roll when you go if you can! Thousands of people using the same loos all day will result in a shortage of paper! That's all i need to say!

5. Safety - Last but not least, as well as having a brilliant, fun weekend - stay safe!!!! The last thing anyone wants is a tragic end to an event you have been looking forward to for months!
 - Stay Together! Even if you just need to venture out to the loo for 2 minutes, take someone with you - especially if it's dark!
 - Buy your own drink! We've all been there - you get chatting to some hottie, they offer to buy you a drink and you let them toddle off to the bar alone, bringing you back what you only presume is a beer. The truth is you have no idea if it is just beer so make sure if you are lucky enough to meet Mr or Miss Cutie, you go with them to get your drinks - no matter how long the queue is!
 - Pack only what you need! Anything you usually carry in your handbag that you won't need - leave at home! My advice is to withdraw money that you need before you head off and leave all bank or credit cards at home. ID may be required, but try to apply for a cheap ID card before the event so you don't risk losing a passport or driving license!
 - Drink & Eat Sensibly! We are all going to enjoy a few bevvies over festival weekend! Buying drink for our tent was pretty near the top of my festival to-do list! However, don't go overboard! You don't want to risk being asked to leave, making a fool of yourself, potentially ruining other peoples weekends or having a hangover so bad that you miss the event the following day!!! Try to drink as much water as you do alcohol - especially if you are drinking throughout the whole day - to keep you hydrated and try to have something to eat before you start drinking so that something can soak up some of your alcohol!

Most of all peeps - if you are heading to a festival in the next few weeks - HAVE FUN!!!!!!! I'll follow this post up with pictures of my weekend of shannanigans next week!

xxx




Tuesday, 10 August 2010

E is for Eyes

Another Finishing School challenge has been set by the lovely Lottie and this week we are talking about eyes.

Me wearing my glasses


The first challenge Lottie has set is to go and have an eye test. I have a wierd thing about eyes - they freak me out abit if i'm honest! However i wish to keep good care of my eyes and a few years back we recently discovered that my dear nana has a touch of glaucoma, an eye disease which can be hereditory through women in the family at an older age and therefore i tend to have eye tests every year just to make sure my eyes are in tip top condition! Last year i was told that i am becoming slightly long sighted and was prescribed very weak strength glasses to use at work for computer and close up work. The glasses aren't anything special - just the basics from Specsavers but i really love them and wearing them at work can sometimes work really well with whichever outfit i have on that day - never mind the health benefits - they look fab and i gain a real sense of secreterial power! (I'm not a secretary though...) I can be a little naughty at times and often forget to wear them for days on end, but be assured that as i write this i have made sure i am wearing them!


Grace Woodward
I am not quite ready to embrace the full geek chic of the glasses look - i feel that larger frames do not suit my face at all, but i wish i could because i adore the look which seems to be more and more acceptable than in previous years when glasses were just considered geek and not chic! Has anyone seen Grace Woodward on Britains Next Top Model!!! (right) She is stunning and i think her glasses are a great accessory, giving her character as well as enhanced beauty.


Specsavers have recently ran a competition for Spectacle Wearer of the Year. I believe this competition is now closed but it is great to see such an original competition and supported by the beautiful, well known Kelly Brook. I personally hope they run this again next year.

With or without my specs i make sure i am wearing make up everyday. Whether it is full on nothing spared make up or just the basics on a lazy day, having that little bit of slap on makes me feel a million times better. My usual day make up routine is as follows;

1. Garnier Caffiene Anti Dark Circles Roll On - This product was a present, given to me at Easter and i am officially hooked. I have previously used the original Caffiene Roll On, but i love this one because not only is it cooling and refreshes my eye area, it also has a touch of concealer in it so gives a great under eye base before applying foundation. I carry it with me and apply throughout the day when my eyes begin to tire from the strains of my working day.

2. Foundation - I use foundation every single day. I don't feel as though my skin looks "right" without it. In the last year i have switched to higher priced branded foundation as i wasn't happy with how the high street products made my skin feel, often leaving it powdery or greasy. The one i am using at the moment is Clinique's Perfectly Real Foundation as it applies so lightly, makes my skin feel soft and smooth and has real staying power. As i tend to use just a touch of foundation in summer days it stays on for most of my day and i do not have to reapply once.

3. Under Eye Concealer - Ladies, if you are anything like me you will never be without an under eye concealer. I always have really dark circles under my eyes and this is why i tend to use both the Roll On and Concealer. I have seen some people spend crazy amounts of money on concealers, yet i use a much cheaper product - Collection2000 illuminating-touch-concealer. It works brilliantly for me and lasts for ages! Just a couple of spots under the eye needed, blend and you are ready to go without the dark circles!

4. Eyeliner - I love eyeliner, you can get so many different versions and colours now and because of this it's becoming one of my favourite parts of my make up routine! I tend to have "phases" of eyeliner. At the moment i am using liquid as i love how it just glides across my eye, stays put better than a pencil - especially in this hot summer weather and makes my eyes look much more structured. I just line it from the inside corner of my eye all the way across and depending on my mood i occasionally add a small flick just at the outer corner. I use Rimmel's Exaggerate Liquid Eye Liner as it has a great pen effect so is easy to apply and is as black as it could get.

5. Eyeshadow - I'm not a huge fan of hording colour after colour of eyeshadow. I know which colours suit my eyes and i stick to them. Having green eyes i find that for a day look, neutral browns, pinks and dark greens suit me best. For a night time look i tend to opt for darker purples. This metallic neutral eyeshadow from Rimmel is a firm favourite for my daytime look or if i feel like a slightly softer look, i'll opt for a light pink. I just sweep over the lid using a fair sized brush, carefully avoiding any not quite dry liner and dab in the inner corner to open my eyes out a little more.

6. Mascara - If i am lacking in energy and all the above is just too much to face, i will always flick on a layer or two of mascara. I do love my eyelashes as they are naturally long and are full on both the top and bottom, i can get away without wearing any mascara yet i'm addicted to how mascara just elongates my lashes even more! I am yet to find my one true mascara as i find they all do similar things, and with what seems to be a new one coming out every week i like to try new different products if i can. This month i am slightly torn as i am due for a new mascara and the one i have been using - Maybelline lash-stiletto ultimate length mascara has served me well. I don't remember having a day where i had clumpy or unnatractive lashes and for that reason I may be purchasing this one again - unless something truly wonderful catches my eye in the process!




This process takes me less than 15 minutes a day to complete and makes all the difference to how i feel about myself. I am all for applying make-up to make yourself feel better, yet i do recommend removing make up at the end of every day, whether this is with cleansing wipes or facial washes, cleansers or scrubs. Having at least one make-up free day a week is also a good idea if you can to let your skin breathe for a long period of time. This doesn't mean not applying anything, but the products which are applied straight onto the skin such as foundation and concealer are best to avoid if you can just for this one day. I tend to opt for Sundays as i spend more time at home during this day and i feel much more refreshed when i apply again on a monday morning.

xxx

Sunday, 8 August 2010

Dad & Jills Wedding

Apologies for taking so long writing this up but i've had abit of an odd and stressful week!

Anyway, last Saturday was the day of my Dad & Jill's Wedding - event of the year so far for little old me! The day started early - up at 9am to begin getting ready, leave home at 11am to be in North Walsham for 12noon to pick up our corsage flowers from the Bride to be, who had a houseful of people! (My flower broke after a second, but with some clever pin arranging i managed to fix it for the ceremony!) To then move on to meet my somewhat nervous (but good nervous) Dad for a pre wedding drink with our close family and some friends of his.

The rain managed to ease off just before the ceremony and stay that way until after the photographs - thank you mister weather man! The service itself was lovely, very small and intimate but still with just as much impact! Silly me found it all abit too emotional and about 2 minutes in i started to blub like a baby! Someone had to pass me a tissue as i hadn't even prepared myself for tears! In all seriousness though, Jill looked beautiful and apart from my dads one classic comment which will go down in wedding history ("Right is that it? we done now?" imagine said with the thickest london accent!) and the registrar not being able to work a cd player - everything was perfect.

From the registry office we headed to a local pub for wedding photographs, this place has a lovely huge garden and is one of the newly wed's local watering holes! The photo's are going to look amazing and i cannot wait to see them! When they come back, i am planning on having a few made up for myself so i will try to post some of the professional ones on here - unfortunately for now, you will have to make do with my shoddy photographing work! (below!)

The reception itself was brilliant. A scrumptious 3 course dinner consisting of smoked salmon to start, followed by roast beef with all the trimmings and finishing with the most gorgeous lemon cheesecake - which was all well needed after a few too many G&T's and Pimms and wine and champers..... :-) Dad and Lee (the best man and my older half brother) followed dinner with their speeches, dad's speech set me off into tears galore - again! Something Lee has photographed for my embarrassment, thanks Lee! After that the evening began and was filled with laughter, a little dancing, lots more drinking and yes of course, more tears from an emotional daughter!

Overall the day was so lovely, i was so proud of my dad and so happy to see all my family in one place again - lots of them live far away so we don't keep in touch that often! Most of all i am so happy to welcome Jill and her son Sebastian to our family and wish lots of happy future memories for all of them. I'm a little sad that the day is over, it was one of those days that you wished could last forever! However, being realistic the day did end but i managed to capture some fab pictures of the day! Here are just a few of my favourites; xxx



         
                                           

Friday, 30 July 2010

Wedding Outfit Meltdown!

The event of my week, month and possibly year so far is the upcoming wedding of my brilliant Daddy and his gorgeous fiance Jill which is finally happening tomorrow.

The arranging has been taking place over the year but my main problem has been my outfit. Jill isn't having bridesmaids as this is not your typical wedding - both  have been married before etc! However, as my Daddys favourite girl i have tried to co-ordinate my outfit with the bride's. For obvious reasons i cannot divulge what the bride is wearing - although i can confirm she is going to look stunning! However, i can talk you through my outfit meltdown which has been happening over the last month! (Yes month!)

I first began with the option of a summery dress with a flowered pattern and i came across this beauty on BooHoo.Com. Unfortunately, i cannot bring the picture over to my blog so you can view the dress here. I loved the summery feel of the yellow roses and the heart cut out was so cute that i just couldnt resist. However, when the dress arrived, the 8 was tiny around my waist yet the 10 was too big on my shoulders.

So the search began again!

I trawled some of the shops on Saturday and came across the most beautiful dress in Warehouse. Jordan loved it too and because he is such a wonderful boyfriend, he helped me to buy it as it was slightly out of my price range. 

I love the grecian style of this dress and the jewels around the neckline give it that really expensive feel and also means i don't need to accessorise too much.

The shoe hunt, was not quite as simple. After my recent wardrobe clearout i have not left myself with many shoes therefore some new ones were required. I found these in the New Look sale as they looked perfect to go with the dress!

However when they arrived they were really far too lilac and not as grey as the picture may seem. This sent me into a frantic turmoil as with 2 days until the wedding and my schedule pretty booked up, i would have to find time to hunt for some more! Luckily i shot down the road to my local Outfit Store and picked up these gorgeous feet flatterers for a bargain of £25 from Dorothy Perkins - one of my new favourite shoe suppliers!


The photo really doesnt do them any justice at all. They are a more purple/grey colouring but with a gorgeous gold/metallic shine to them. With my skinny little ankles, they are slightly big at the top, but the laces help to disguise this if i tie them tight enough!
So with panic over and outfit complete, i have just these few finishing touches to accessorise my look.    




Roll on tomorrow - it's going to be a fabulous day!              

Thursday, 29 July 2010

Trim Trim!

Once again, my blog post's this week have been sparse! It's a crazy week as i have my dad's wedding coming up this weekend - so lots of organising and preperation has been needed for that! All will be blogged next week.

Anyway, today i just wanted to do a quick post on my obsession of the week! Trimphones.

I saw my first real Trimphone last week when my friend Claire had one delivered to our office. I instantly craved one as they are in true Retro 1960's style and i haven't been able to get them out of my head since!

The Trimphone first came about in the 1960's, they were positioned as a more fashionable alternative to a normal telephone. I think this style has stuck and even today this phone would be a perfect classic accessory to any room - rather than the dull, boyish looking cordless phone we currently have in our house!

The great thing about these telephones is that they come in a massive range of colours so there will be a Trimphone to suit everyone! This purple one would be perfectly matched to my living room and it reminds me of a phone my nana had when i was a youngster. However for those who would prefer a less striking colour i would recommend the red or white ones for a more classic but statement look.




All the colours featured above are available to buy from John Lewis here and cost around £35. You can also pick them up from Ebay for a slighty reduced price which ranges from approximately £20 - £35 or a fraction of that if you want to bid on a true vintage second hand telephone instead.

xxx

Friday, 23 July 2010

Country Girl's view of The Big City!

This week i have been lucky enough to write my 1st guest post! So here it is below. Of course, you can read where is it supposed to be at http://edible-glitter.com/ Hope you all like it.
xxx

I know i'm still extremely new to this blogging malarky, however when i spotted an opportunity to guest blog on one of my favourite reads, i jumped at the chance! @Glitterblog or Edible Glitter for those non twitterers, writes a varied and always interesting blog and so i want to begin by thanking her for this great spot and hope you all enjoy what i have to say.

One thing i am feeling from reading posts in my new blog world, is the feeling that perhaps living out in the country is causing me to miss out on experiences that i might one day regret not experiencing. Dont get me wrong i love Norwich! I love living here, i love that the city is cultural and i love most of all that it is my home. I wasn't born here however, i was born in London - near Heathrow airport although my parents moved me out of the city before i was old enough to remember living there. I have of course made it back for trips, or to visit family and so here are my feelings as to why i love the big smoke that is London.

Number One - The Anonymity. Whenever i head to London, whether for the day or a short break, the second i step off the train onto the platform at Liverpool St - i feel like a different person. In my hometown where i grew up everyone knows everything about everyone. Literally,  everything! In London i love that noone knows who you are and whilst everyone is bustling round, you can just go along with your business knowing that noone cares what you do, who you are, what you want. You can be anonymous, you can be that person who might have to stay a little more reserved back home and thats why London recharges me everytime i go!

Number Two - The Fashion!! Unfortunately i have never been able to experience London Fashion week or any of the fabulous fashion events which occur all over the city throughout the year. I plan too - after all London is in the top 4 of the fashion capitals of the world - i've just never gotten round to it! (shame on me, i know!)  I love shopping in London and i especially love love love Topshop on Oxford Street! I know it's cliche but our Topshop in Norwich is about the size of the accessories section in Londons extravagantly massive store. Speaking of which - the accessories!!! Corsages, scarves (the most beautiful vintage, floral beauties!) tights, bags - oh my just thinking about it makes me think of myself all Carrie-esq in the wedding dress, spinning round and round the rows of gorgeousness.




Anyway back to reality...







Number Three - The Buzz. I don't just mean the atmosphere, as electric as it can feel. I mean, i do mean that - but i also mean how each different part makes me think, feel, smell, different things. I think if i lived in London, i would quite happily ride round on the tube all day and just get off at random stops! I have my favourites though!
North London - home of Camden Town, The Lock, The Market, Primrose Hill. Cafe's and local area pubs and bars feels like a town of it's own - plus there's always the added chance of bumping into Kate Moss or Jude Law! :-) Leicester Square with it's cinemas, it's theatres and restaurants, always vibrant and always so colourful to me, i almost always visit Bar One for lunch or a drink when i'm there and just sit watching people, a favourite hobby of mine! From here it's only a short wander over to Covent Garden - the cobbled streets and the pubs aside (noticing a theme occuring!) This is my favourite part of London during the Christmas Period. The huge tree and roasted chesnut stalls with the haze of lights everywhere, the slight smokey scent in the air... and i'm beginning to ramble like some dreamy kid again so i'll move on!

Maybe one day i will uproot myself and move out to the big city. Maybe i'll stay put here in the sunny, green flatlands of Norfolk. Who knows?! I have family in both and consider both my home in some way or another. For now i'm content with the excitement of planning my next trip down to the Capital of the country we all call home. It can't come soon enough!

Monday, 19 July 2010

Marrakech 2010

This June, the fabulous @CharlyOlivia and I jetted off for a week of girly fun in the sun! Unlike the usual girly holidays destinations such as Ibiza, Magaluf, The Algarve etc we decided to opt for Marrakech in Morrocco. We'd heard of people visiting there before and all the sites we researched looked great so we booked it up and after 6 looong months we were off!

Marrakech is beautiful with all the terracotta buildings dotted around - i fell in love in the taxi ride from the airport! The traffic is crazy - a complete free for all! We only had to cross the road a few times but i felt grateful for surviving that! Even more grateful for the survival of taxi journeys! After a while you become accustomed to the swerving and almost hitting people - however there were a few VERY close calls!

We stayed in the Imperial Plaza Hotel which was about 15 minutes from everything you need to go and see. The hotel was clean, the majority of the staff were friendly and helpful and the pool was lovely!

We spent our days in the sunshine on the rooftop pool. From here you could see across the entire city far into the distance! So relaxing and a well deserved break from normal life!



By night we were led to all the cities hot spots with Charlottes trusty guide book. Remember Miranda in SATC2 - not a patch on our Charly with her fab prepping! Evenings normally consisted of tasty meals followed by drinks and the weekend was spent clubbing in Africas biggest nightclub Pacha Marrakech. This houses two stunning restaurants - (although you may need a personal loan to enjoy more than one course) along with a terrace bar which is filled with Morrocco's finest until after 1am when everyone heads down to the main club.

My favourite place of all our restaurants was a little cubby-hole restaurant which is run by a French family and is situated just outsite the Souks. From its open air first floor table area you can see the local Storks nesting on top of ruins and houses and down below you get a great view of people going about their daily business.

   
Here you could get the most gorgeous Tagine for just a few quid! A well deserved hearty dinner ladened with the added special touch of homecooking - scrumptious but incredibly difficult to finish a whole one!

The main square is a place you have to see. This place is more filled with people than you could ever imagine in one place but is well worth the hustle and bustle! If you do visit the square make sure that you are as covered up as possible considering the heat which stays humid until the early hours of the morning! The local men on the stalls like the Western woman - from Hannah Montanna to Gazzelles, we were called it all! I also do not recommend choosing to sit near children as a safer option - they are street kids and if you make the mistake of pulling out cigarettes - like we did - you will be chased and chased until you drop them for the scavenging beggars to collect from the floor!

The stalls in the market are amazing - spices, orange juice, clothes, jewellery and homeware galore! I would have loved to have bought a real Morroccan lantern, yet with my restricted RyanAir baggage allowance all i purchased was a traditional shisha as a gift for Jordan.


 
Marrakech is a place well worth a visit, the culture alone is something to experience! I would most definately recommend taking a guide book which includes a map as even the local taxi drivers are "unsure" as to exactly where you want to go. Some other amazing places we visited were CafeArabe which served well presented, tasty dinners and had a sultry atmospherically lit terrace bar above the restaurant for after dinner cocktails. This place was so impressive that we actually went there twice! For a true Morroccan experience including dinner, drinks and traditional dancing - head to a supper club. There are plenty around the city and the guide book will point you in the right direction of the best ones. 

This is a perfect city for either a romantic getaway for two or a fun in the sun holiday for friends! The weather is lovely, the pools are in abundance and there is no shortage of things to do and see!

xxx

Everyone can enjoy a garden!

With the weather, rather irritatingly changing for the worst over the last week, i have been unable to enjoy our garden that i have been working so hard to make a little tranquil heaven over the last few weeks. This has resulted in my attention being turned to the indoor garden that is my bed of herbs!

This was originally JLowe's idea, "lets grow our own herbs" as the supermarket bought ones tend to shrivel and die after a couple of days in our fridge! I was apprehensive at first, i am so impatient - why bother waiting months for them to grow when i can pop out and in 20 minutes be adding fresh herbs to my dinners!? I agreed to give it a go and i have actually been suprised with how excited i have been getting! I used a basic terracotta tray and a few packets of seeds from a local DIY store to originally plant them. I opted for 4 or 5 packets of seeds - if one didn't grow there would be a much higher chance of the other's growing! I planted the seeds in a row - lemon coriander, basil, mint, thyme (I actually can't remember exactly what i planted - just adds to the fun though!) After just a few days the coriander and basil were waaay in the lead and are now a good 5-10cms tall and i have used the lemon coriander leaves in a dinner! I am genuinely pleased with this, i honestly thought we would be waiting months for any leaves!

Planting seeds, whether they be herbs, cress in the eggcup or flowers is astonishingly easy - for those of you with children it could be a great pastime for the upcoming summer holidays - after 6 weeks there will be results! Plus, once they have germinated you can transfer them to some really gorgeous pots to keep around the home. These are a few which i have come across and love!

These pretty herb pots from Marks & Spencer come with their own seeds and sensibly priced you can create some fabulous flavours for less than £10!
I also love the idea of not using specifically "made for planting" items. How about using pretty teacups or a teapot? For a more unusual look, try using empty containers from your food cupboards. I love the look of the traditional Colemans jars and tins and this mustard powder tin would work really well!



You can use anything you want to grow them in once they are sufficiently established. The beauty of doing this is that everyone could do it if they wanted! You can grow them indoors as i am doing for now, or you can utilise some space or pots in your garden, if you have one! Fun for everyone!

xxx







Thursday, 15 July 2010

Never regret anything - at one point it was all you ever wanted!


Hello Strangers,

I am officially back! Sorry for my absense (if anyone noticed!)had a crazy few weeks - all of which i will update you on over the next few posts! I thought i would ease myself in with a post for the fabulous @LottieLoves1 Finishing School - D is for Dreams...

I would say that i am one of the biggest dreamers of all the dreamers out there. I am the McDreamy if you like! (little reference for my #1 reader there!) My life has sometimes felt like one huge dream - some of these achieved and some of them not but all of them spurring me on in someway or another. I am a very spiritual person so i believe in Karma, i believe that everything happens for a reason and i believe that everything which has happened in my life so far has brought me to where i am right now.

As a little girl i would dream about being a lady. Grown up, fancy, purdy like my mummy and of course the day i would be a princess bride in a white dress! I would wander around the house with towels on my head as veils and when i was older, every Sunday, when we went to my nana's for dinner i would wear my mums wedding dress for the entire afternoon - even though it was a little bit big!

As i grew older, i started to dismiss my "dreams" as they tended to change on a regular basis - one week i'd dream to be a Vet, another a firefighter followed by a doctor of some kind. It wasn't that i didn't really want all these things - they just seemed so unnatainable and someone as ordinary as i didn't deserve any of them - so i simply didn't try. My theory was if i was destined for great things, then they would just happen!

It wasn't until my 21st birthday that things changed. After visiting my extended family in Dubai for a holiday, i literally did not want to come home. I had dealt with so much crap and drama over the previous years & being in this electric city really made me see that i needed a change - i needed to escape to rebuild myself again. Of course i did come home, but began researching into ways of moving there permenantly, with the help from my Auntie Lolly who lives there and decided to apply for Emirates Cabin Crew. This meant i would be based in Dubai but would also have the opportunity to see the rest of the world too! Never in my wildest dreams did i think i stood a chance - thousands upon thousands of people apply from all over the world! However, somehow i was selected for interview, got through and before i knew it i was jetting off for a new life in the cosmopolitan sandpit.

I returned back to the U.K after about 6 months. Sounds like no time at all but i achieved everything i wanted, missed my soggy wet homeland & with Christmas looming i missed my family and friends more than anything. I love that my travelling experience is part of my life. It shows me that i wanted something & i got off my backside and went for it! I met so many amazing people, saw so many amazing places & experiencing a different culture and lifestyle whilst being away from my loved ones changed me as a person - for the better.




Today i dream about things which are important to me. I still dream of the princess wedding, just the same as when i was a little girl! I dream of love, i dream to move forwards from my past, start my own family and be happy with everything i do. I have been lucky enough to find the love with JLowe, we both just know this is it so maybe the princess bride will only be a few years away.... :-) This week we began our little family with the arrival of our new kitten, Bella. I already love her so much and despite my fears of turning into crazy cat lady, i feel she will be great practice for the future!



People, if i can achieve things i want then you can too! All you need is determination, independence and a little bit of patience - after all dreams don't come true overnight! Reading http://www.lottieloves.com/ has shown me the incredible strength and determination this lady has to acheive everything she possibly can. My best friend is currently in the early stages of chasing what she really wants to do with her life and i cannot wait to watch her climb to success! These 2 fabulous ladies and I conquered our dreams and i think i can safely say that we will all achieve alot more of them too! If any of you wish to share your dreams - attained or not - then do so! Whether you write them down and tick them off as you go, or just read them for that little confidence boost in the morning...Either way - get them out there and get onto making them happen!!!

Friday, 4 June 2010

Bliss Needs Your Support

This is going to be the most open post i will have written to date, but it is so important to me and such a massive part of my life that it would be wrong not too speak about it at all.

This post is dedicated to Bliss Charity and will hopefully raise some awareness to their new Bliss Billboards campaign! For those of you on Twitter you can find them @Blisscharity or visit their website at www.bliss.org.uk



For those who have never heard of Bliss, they are an established charity who are dedicated to researching and improving the survival and long-term quality of life for babies born too soon, too small or too sick to cope on their own. The work they do is amazing and is something i have actively followed and been as involved with as possible over the last few years. When i was 19 i suffered the loss of a child through an unexpected early labour and the effects were devastating. I have and will never get over the experience and my little one is always in my heart and thoughts. It would have been so wonderful to have known about a supportive charity such as Bliss at the time and it is simply because of this reason that i want to push awareness for them and support them as much as possible in the hope that they can make a difference to others in the future.

Their new billboard campaign is a vibrant and fun way to get involved. They are simply calling for parents to get involved and design billboards rather than an ad agency - after all what to ad agencies know about parenting compared to you actual lovely parents!!! All you need to do to get involved is to visit www.blissbillboards.com and follow the instructions from there!

I really hope you can all try to spread the word about this fantastic and worthy charity or get involved in any way you can!

xxx

Photos used are courtesy of Bliss.org.uk

Wednesday, 2 June 2010

Feminine & Fabulous!!!

One of my biggest inspirations to start writing my blog was a lovely lady called Lottie. This woman is brilliant! She is feminine, determined and i think she might one day take over the world! :-) For those on Twitter you can find her @LottieLoves1 and for everyone else please check out her fabulous blog and i highly recommend starting with this fantastic campaign - Feminine & Fabulous - which i think all us girlies (and some boys if you'd like!) should be getting involved in! Click on the Think Frock link on the left to be taken through to her wonderful blog.

So to complete my first assignment set by the gorgeous Lottie i want to tell the world that i love my randomly placed freckles! They are what makes me, well, me! I didn't choose where they are, yet noone else can imitate them - they are mine! I have matching ones on each hand just below my thumb - these are probably my favourites as they are symetrical! I also love the 3 which have decided to place themselves in a row on the top of my left arm! They are small, they are cute and make me unique from everyone else.

So there we have it, i love my freckles! I really hope everyone who reads this will check out Lotties new campaign and whether you choose to get involved or just prefer to stay as a silent watcher, i hope that you get something from it, just like i know i will.
xxx

What am i trying to buy??

Ok so this weekend - pay weekend of course! - i have shocked even myself with the amount of splurging i have participated in over the last 5 days. Yesterday it finally hit me that in these 5 days i have purchased 11 new items of clothing/accessories! 11!!!!!!!!!!! it started innocently enough, "Oooh i do need a maxi dress for my upcoming holiday" (heading to an muslim orientated country, i will need to cover up!) Shortly followed by "Well, brown sandals would be a good summer essential and would look lovely with the new dress" which, after 9 more of these justified comments, led to my extravagant purchasing!

Some of you may be thinking, so you spoiled yourself this month, you indulged a little! Who cares?!!? Whilst that statement is true - you should be reminded that i am going on holiday AND moving house this month and the sensible, grown up girl inside me should know better!

My point to all this spending rambling, is did i neeed any of this stuff?? Yes the original maxi dress is a good buy for my upcoming holiday but i have a wardrobe so full of dresses i can fit no more in, so i'm sure other's would have been perfectly sufficient! Of course i love my new purchases and will wear/use them so much over the next few weeks - this fact i'm not denying! In fact, it is this love of all my new items that stops the guilty feeling creeping over me and consuming me entirely!!! Yet, it still manages to creep in that little bit to say, why did you really need all these things?? Am i really so shallow that i see something shiny and new and just HAVE to have it??! What am i really trying to buy??

Am i trying to buy things to fill some sort of subconcious void in my life? Or am i just completely sucked in by the commercial advertising of labels and fashion! Fashion is a huge part of me, i love it and spend most of time dreaming about it, reading about it, trying to be in the buzz about it!

When i was growing up and we were short on cash, i couldn't have the latest gear that all my "comfortably well off" friends had! Clothes were a luxury, something i could receive on birthdays or christmas - not when the latest craze turned to designer P.E kits instead of the standard school uniformed one! Don't get me wrong, i was never in tatters - my clothes always fit and were clean and kept me warm - but they just werent always as up to date as other's may have been. One thing that sticks in my mind is reading a text on a so called friends phone when i was about 14. She was literally apologising for the way i looked to her latest boy of the week! Reading it really hurt and i've never forgotten. Not only was this person meant to be my friend so should be appreciating me for who i am, not what i wore! She also felt the need to explain me to someone i barely knew or cared about! I remember feeling embarrassed, ashamed and hurt and knew that i never wanted to have people be embarrassed of me ever again.

Now that i'm all grown up, looking back, i know that stupid child stuff doesnt really matter - it has no impact on me as a person now! However, that moment is always in the back of my mind - this is why i think i used to need all the pretty things that i see, whether i could afford them all or not! I happily admit i wanted all these things because they are pretty! Girls i'm not in anyway arguing that shopping is the demon of us! I love shopping! It's up there with chocolate, sex, cocktails, kittens and sunny days! Pretty things draw me in, i'm abit like a magpie in that respect! Yet i have to understand about myself that i will always want things i dont necessarily need, and i will wonder if it is because of that horrid memory or perhaps because i am just a materialistic person!

These thoughts will always occasionally pass through my mind - it's the guilt inside of me! I should be better with my money, save some or buy more food rather than jewellery! However, i do know deep inside me that i like buying things! It's because looking good is important to me, not to please others but to feel special about who i am! I'm not materialistic, i know that my family, friends and personal memories are far more important to me than a polka dot skirt or a pink pearl bracelet! I may not always get the things that i want and i'm ok with that! A day will come in the future when i will have to provide for my family before myself, but until that time i am going to enjoy the gorgeous items that make me feel good!

xxx

Thursday, 27 May 2010

Am I really a Nice Person???

The question that has been on my mind the most these past 2 weeks is "Am i really a nice person??" I know that everybody wants to think that they are but at the end of the day we all want other's to think it too! Yes? Certain things i do without even thinking used to make me question myself as a person. Am i too loud? Bossy? Is my presence noticed and mainly do the people around me even like who i am??!

If i look at my life i have everything i could ever need or want. I have an amazing family, friends and boyfriend. The clothes, the car, the home and everything i want to fill it! What's even better is that it's all mine! I work for everything i have. I love that self admiration of knowing i am independent and can do it alone if i need too. Yet what is it that creates so much self doubt about myself - that niggling feeling that's always in the back of my mind?? Take the recent idea of career change, the idea seems great in theory, yet the thought of putting it into practice turns me into a shivering wreck with constant questions about my potential failure??

My New Years resolution was to stop caring about what other people think or say and just be happy in myself. Do what i want, wear what i want and live how i want. Yet this week i have felt at times as though the last 5 months of ignoring these reoccuring feelings has come crashing back down on top of me in one giant mess!

Take my friend, to protect her privacy i will refer to her as Milf. (A private joke between us.) She is honestly the nicest person i have ever known. I never hear her speak badly of anyone even if they do deserve it! She is always polite, helpful and sincere. I would love to be able to present myself as graciously as she does, yet after repeatedly trying, i just cant get it to stick!

What i am trying to tell you all and that i hope you will take away from reading this, is that you have to be happy with yourself, who you are and what you have got right now. Who cares about people from your past or your future?! Know that everything you have this second, you have gained yourself - you earned it! Everything that has happened to you or that you have done has led you to this moment, right here, right now. Only you know your true feelings & hopes and dreams for the future and only you have the desire, determination and ability to succeed in anything you do by using your own strength. Let the people who want to bring you down try! You have a choice - sink down with them or rise above it all knowing that you are who you are and that you're ok with that. :-)

xxx

Monday, 24 May 2010

Garden Pondering (Without the Pond!)

Even more gorgeous sunshine today has prompted exciting premonitions of the new house - with courtyard! Now, Jlowe is no fan of this courtyard but i love it. Yes it's ever so small and being the back of a terrace house, sits extremely close to the next door neighbours, but it's an opportunity to turn this concrete slab into my outside area to soak up the summer on a budget!

The essential in my mind to begin with is the table. I love Bistro Tables - especially the mosaic ones! My initial thoughts were to combine bright colours into this garden centerpiece, yet i opted to go for a more classic look to keep it up to date all year round. I love this mosaic table from Homebase: -



So with the table set up, my plan is too build with colour around this classic table, i want to inject the colour which will be much needed but also keep to classic styles which wont need updating every year!

As much as i love the white table, i can update the chairs with some tie on cushions - Ikea are great for little garden bits like these: -


Keeping with the classic red and white theme, these kitchen pieces, also from Ikea, would be the cutest finishing touch for bbq's or late night summer evening al fresco dinners:-


To finish the look i would opt for some sparsely placed greenery. I will share the end results with you all once it begins to come together in July. I am nothing of a plant or tree expert - most things i have had, have ended up in plant heaven! However, I just adore the round shaped trees that seem to be everywhere this year - perhaps i might put my own stamp on the greenery with ribbons or scarves for the pots or stalks. If i can dress up - why can't my plants?? This is most definately an idea i love and will definately be researching as i build my tranquil little courtyard paradise! As soon as my idea's start to become reality, i will keep you all involved with the progress. I can't wait - as long as the sun decides to stick around!

xxx

Sunday, 23 May 2010

2 fab women...1 giant cookbook!

Well with the weekend nearly over, i am just about ready for another! All this sun has been wonderful (if not a little unbearable at times today) and mixed with bbq's, pimms, wine it all becomes a little bit of a blur...apart from one thing which will be etched in my mind forever and i will watch again and again whenever i need a little pick me up.

The film i took with me to Mummy Friday was one i had wanted to see for a while. I never saw any trailers for this film but when i passed it in the supermarket one day i just knew i wanted to see it. This film is Julie & Julia.

The story is based on the life of Julia Childs, those of you into their cooking and baking will know that she was an American Chef in the 1960's teaching how to cook french cuisine. After moving to Paris with her husband and taking a class to pass the days away, she found a passion for cooking french cuisine as well as eating it. This classic woman was idolised by a modern day struggling New Yorker, Julie. As everyone around Julie seems to be doing things with their lives and becoming successful, Julie feels as though she is going nowhere and realises the thing she loves the most is to come home from a terrible day and cook. Therefore, she sets herself a goal. To cook the entire Julia Childs cookbook (approx 500 recepies) in 365 days and to start a blog about it. I do of course realise the irony of blogging about a film, in which someone is blogging about somebody else!

I wont tell you too much more about the film itself, but just ask that you please please try to watch it. The only word i have to describe just how totally wonderful it was is...wow. Just wow. Despite the story being so heartwarming and uplifting, the captivating characters who in each couple are so in love it brings tears to your eyes and the achievements that each of these women complete in their stories, i was so utterly taken back by the beauty of some of the scenes. The settings - Paris to name my favourite! The gorgeous 1940's - 60's decor in the perisian rooms, Julia Childs' wonderful outfits - the dresses, jewels and pearls which were also mirrored in the way modern day Julie began to dress once beginning to really relate to Julia. Julie even sees Julia as being so glamourous because "she is wearing pearls in the kitchen". This is where i totally related to the film - the image of the perfect housewife, always so elegantly dressed and with such poise is something i have always aspired too. Now i am not saying that in anyway that us women need to be kept at home wearing pearls and making everthing perfect - good god no! Yet being houseproud is a trait i think is important to have. It shows pride in your home as well as in yourself. In no way have i ever kept to this little personal fantasy of mine except in my probably oh so empty mind, but i love to try as and when i can. I think my perfectionist ways stem from this image...Meryl Streep played this part so well that i think i fell in love with Julia whilst watching this film too.



I wont tell you if Julie finishes the task she sets herself, believe me it's not without trials and tribulations! Yet, with all this new blogging malarky which seems to have taken over my life (seriously, i've never had so much to say!) i felt connected to her too. As Julie says on occasion - Who knows if anyone is reading my posts, but if you are and are enjoying them then please keep following! One day there will be something worthwhile and amazing to read, something which changes me ever so slightly as person, helps me grow or shapes my life - the way re-creating a cook book was for Julie.

xxx

Friday, 21 May 2010

Mummy Friday......


I would be confident in saying that i have gained most of my inspiration over the years, not from clothes or jewels or anything shiny (which normally attracts my attention!) but from my mummy. One of my favourite things this year has been the beginning of "Mummy Fridays..." something which started as a way to avoid lonely friday night's in after the demise of my last relationship. This distraction has ended up becoming a brilliant way to bond with my mum and have the one to one time that i always craved as a child.

My childhood was a fairly normal and happy one. My parents divorced when i was about 11, leaving my mum as a single parent with 2 almost teenage children and a pretty hefty mortgage to keep paying. Having been a dutiful wife and mother - an almost domestic goddess you could say, she had never worked since marrying my dad as we were very comfortable with just the one wage in the family. I will always remember as month's went by, the mornings when letters would drop through the door, demands for money for household bills which unsuprisingly a single mother on benefits and a part time job was having difficulty in keeping up with. At some point though, something gave. She decided that she could keep motionless in the place in her life, jepordising the home she had built for her and her children - or she could do something about it. She decided to go back to college to complete her GCSE's - leaving school at 15 was something alot more common in her day! The 9 months to complete 3 GCSE's came and went and she decided to move forward towards a career in medicine by starting another year of the adult equivalent to A levels. Again this came and went - seems like such an age ago now. Things were not easy whilst these 2 years happened, money was even more stretched and her time was limited between study and working whenever she could to bring the extra cash in to keep us all going. I don't know if i could have kept going had i been in her shoes. Looking back i hadn't exactly turned into the perfect teenager and i know i made things much more difficult at times. I know she often threatened to just give up and get a full time job doing anything, but she never did.

Once the second year had passed, she managed to enrolle on a nursing course at the University of East Anglia. This went on for 3 years and i could see everyday she loved it a little bit more. Things were easier by this time - nurses studying are entitled to a bursary as they train. It really made all the difference and soon enough things started to return to normal.

In 2004, my mum graduated with a diploma in mental health nursing and has been working as a mental health and eldery nurse for the past 6 years. Watching her completely change everything about her life for the better, when it all could have fallen apart is honestly the most amazing thing i have ever seen anyone do. All the work that she had to put in was so tough for her and i like to think that "Mummy Fridays" are something that we can both appreciate now i am older. I most definately appreciate my mum alot more than i did when i was that terrible age of 14.

I think the reason we clashed so much as i grew up is because we are both such similar people, everyday i do become more and more like her. I used to despise people telling me this when i was younger, but now i secretly love to hear it. I couldn't possibly reveal her actual age (if she ever reads this then she would literally kill me dead!) but i think she's still got it! If i end up looking like she does after 2 kids and a life full of drama, then i will be one happy girly indeed!

She is the reason i come out with the most awful "Lindsey-isms" (as they have aptly named by work colleagues)...her brains are most definately in tact, yet her general common sense is not completely what i would call...desirable. She has had me crying with laughter to the point where i have heard the words "be careful with that tissue, the dye may come out of it!" When we go on day trips together she is the one who always has the coke bottle filled with pims in her handbag and not to mention the countless times i have had to play the adult when picking her up from nights out with friends! There is no end to our silliness and i think that's what makes our relationship unique. We understand, even when noone else does!

Thursday, 20 May 2010

So this is blogging...

Hiya,

This is my very first blog..ever! I honestly have no idea why i'm thinking i can start "writing" but you don't know unless you try right?!

So where to start, well if you read the about me section, you'll already know i live in Norwich. I'm currently working in finance and have been training to be a management accountant for the last two years. After a recent realisation that i simply do not know who i am, i have decided to start a blog and start writing about some up coming changes i hope to see in my life over the next coming months and years. I'm either one of the bravest people i know, or the stupidest...

My first chapter in this exciting new change is coming up in about a month's time, me and my boyfriend - who i will be referring to as Jlowe in posts - are about to move in together and become the "young professional couple" ....well as society would like to label us! Excited is an understatement for us both. Yes we have both lived with partners before, but this feels totally new and exciting. I will of course have to adjust living with a boy again, after living with my bestest of my besties, Charlott for the last 6 months! I am also going to have to adjust to the access of just 1 wardrobe instead of 2! This will probably result in lots more purchases of new (and old!) items of clothing...

My still reletively new relationship with Jlowe has been somewhat of a whirlwind so far, i still honestly can say i do not know where this amazing man came from, but i am most definately the happiest i have ever been. I am a very lucky girl and i really appreciate what i have right now every single day. My past has not always been one of joy and happiness, i've been struck with more drama, tragedy and hurt in my first 20 years than most people encounter in a lifetime! Yet, instead of shying away from my past, i use it as something i have grown from. I am proud to be who i am, independant, head strong, confident and i know what are the most important things to me and that's what keeps me sane.

My obsession for perfection is not a secret to the loved ones who know me well...and this is something that he is about to discover on a whole new level as i plan and organise decoration for the new house. Trying not to totally banish all his possesions (which i prefer to push to the depths of my mind on regular occasions!) is somewhat of a challenge for me, but i'm not doing too badly in my eyes...i'm sure his would see a different picture though...Over the next few weeks i will be searching for the perfect white accessories for the bedroom, along with the perfect dining room combination to blend with the varied looks i shall be presenting throughout the given 4 rooms i can control but also trying to com-pri-mise - a word i don't always receive well. There will no doubt be tantrums and upset along the way, both amusing as well as stressful - the amusing are the ones to remember - they are the ones that count!

Each day i will no doubt have new idea's and new exciting plans and dreams, which you will all get to read and see as days go by. I can only hope you enjoy reading what rambling i have to offer, as much as i will enjoy writing them.



Lindsey
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