Hello there thank you so much for reading this blog over the past few years, hosted here on WordPress. I have decided its time for a change and have signed up to a new blog, with a new swish domain name! So head on over there if you want to carry on reading my random babbles about life in general. There isn’t a lot there yet mind, as I’m sure you can see! But here are the addresses to get to it (the domain might not work as I’ve only just signed up, takes a while to link to the thingummyjig, technical!)
Thanks for reading xxx
im not entirely sure how its got to march already. are we sure its really march? did we miss out february or something? anyway one thing is for sure, this year is absolutely flying by! and i thought it would be a good time to share a few things that im really loving right now, before time has passed so much i dont love them anymore!
1. colourful luggage
im flying to belfast this wednesday with my fiance to stay with the future in-laws for a week and sort out some more wedding stuff. i always get such a feeling of dread when i am standing at the baggage carousel that my bag isnt going to turn up, or i will accidentally pick up someone elses, or even worse, mine keeps going round and round and i dont recognise it! normally i tie something brightly coloured around the straps or something to help me recognise it, but i still get that horrid feeling in the bottom of my stomach that i will be wearing the same clothes for a week because i lost everything! so this is where lovely colourful luggage comes in. not only does it help satisfy my need for lovely colourful things, it also means my luggage is much more noticeable on the carousel. and i got my new suitcase from a little independant store in camberley so its very unlikely anyone else would have the same one!
2. colemans season and shake
im not a good cook, and nor do i profess to be, so i like simple to prepare meals that taste great, and offer a bit of variety without too much effort. i recently discovered colemans season and shake sachets and they are seriously good! i dont use the bag to cook the chicken in, i just mix the chicken and the seasoning together, because the first time i used it the bag melted onto my roasting dish (pretty sure its not meant to do that) but it still tastes great, really succulent, even without the bag. so far we have tried the bbq, paprika and Mediterranean chicken seasoning and they have been really tasty. and its so easy, put the chicken and the seasoning in the bag, shake it all up so its coated nicely and then bake for 20 minutes or so. so simple, and great with chips, mash, veggies, whatever you like!
3. the simpsons
i have always been a big fan of the simpsons but marty and i went through a phase of always watching friends when we got home from work, which is on at the same time and we would miss it. since friends switched to comedy central, even though its on at the same time, we decided we had seen it all enough times, and switched back to the simpsons. i cant get enough of it at the moment, and all those of a similar ilk (family guy, american dad, and especially futurama). its great to get home from work and stick it on when im cooking dinner, and i forgot just how good some of it was! i know its not everyones cup of tea but its my go-to show at the moment for ease of watching and a little light relief!
4. wedding blogs
i am extremely nosey at the best of times. if i walk past someones house and they dont have net curtains then i am gonna gawp right in there! and since getting engaged and now we are getting really close to actually getting married, i have been exactly the same with wedding blogs. i find most of them through stumbleupon and usually its a photographers website or something similar, with pictures of weddings and ideas for decorations and dresses and cakes. and i just love seeing what other people have done and what classes as their “dream day”. i have some pretty wacky ideas, so to see what other people really wanted is really interesting to me. and i have got some great ideas from these blogs too, like my fingerprint tree guest book and my sweeties buffet.its great for inspiration and also curbs the voyeur in me!!
5. underwired sports bra
since starting at the gym, when i would normally have worn a medium impact sports bra which didnt have underwiring, i have invested in one with underwires and it was a lot more expensive but it was totally worth it. i was finding before that i couldnt run very fast on the treadmill because of, erm, bounce! With DD breasts it was really quite painful and a medium impact bra just wasnt helping. i even took to wearing two of them on occasion which helped, but there still wasnt enough support. so i bit the bullet and got a really nice one from m&s. it was 25 quid (ouch) but seriously worth it, now i can run to my hearts content (or death, as the case often is) without too much bounce, nor black eyes. considering i only spend about 6 quid on a bra normally it was quite an investment but it should help me in the long run!
wedding plans are well underway. i think i am almost finished, but every time i say that, i think of something else i have forgotten, be that a small detail, or something pretty massive (like the DJ that i only last week realised we didnt have sorted yet). its still quite some time away, but i want everything to be done as early as possible so the weeks, and even months, in the lead up to the big day can be as stress-less as possible.
so what have i done so far?
save the dates / invites = my wonderful mum is in the process of making all of our save the dates and invites. they looks so beautiful and colouful! she knows me so well, i let her have free reign over the design and she picked exactly what i would have wanted if i chose it myself. they will be sent out over the coming weeks.
transport = as a lot of my guests will be travelling from overseas, whether thats from england, guernsey or america, they most likely wont have cars or transport while they are over there. so i have arranged for a coach to take guests to and from the castle and the hotel where we are holding the reception. i think its only fair that they are well looked after once they get to belfast, as after all, its really not going to be cheap to attend this wedding. flights, accommodation, drinks and of course their very generous wedding gifts(!) all adds up, so the better looked after they can be once they arrive, the better mood they will all be in.
reception= the reception itself is being held at corrs corner hotel in newtownabbey. this is quite a drive from the ceremony in belfast castle, so again another reason to put on some transport for our out-of-town guests. we havent seen the hotel yet, but my mother in law to be has visited and sampled their food, and was very impressed. i have mostly picked it for location, but the pictures i have seen have looked really cosy and homely.
ceremony= as i am sure you are now aware, the ceremony is being held at the beautiful belfast castle. the ceremony is at 12 noon, so quite an early start for getting everything ready, but unfortunately weddings in belfast can only be held at 12 or 3, due to registrar commitments. i dont think i could have waited until 3pm to get married! so maybe its better that its as early in the day as possible!
photographer = my good friend Ash is doing my photography. his stuff is really beautiful, and we have discussed the types of things i want and where. we have also set up a http://www.photobox.com site so our guests can upload their digital images after the big day. often the best pictures are the spontaneous candids, so we only want a few “staged” official ones, and then Ash and the rest of the guests can just snap away happily as and when they like! and it will be lovely to be able to see everyone else’s pictures and how they captured the day. visit http://www.flickr.com/photos/ash-brown/ to see some more of his stuff!
photo website = setting up a photo website is all well and good, but it has a password, and the guests may not know where to go or what to do. so i got these mini business cards made from vistaprint, very cheap and another little keepsake for people, and to jog their memory to upload their pictures once they get home!
cakes = trying to remain as untraditional as possible, i have enlisted the help of http://www.crumbscakes-belfast.co.uk/ who make beautiful cupcakes. they also rent out the cupcake stands. i have also managed to talk them into making a special cake for the top of the tier, a rainbow cake! the cake will be simply covered just with plain white icing, and no topper. everyone will think “how out of the ordinary compared with the rest of the wedding?” until we cut it and unleash the colours! i think cupcakes are great, as you dont have the faff of trying to cut a cake into 80 pieces, but its nice to have a proper cake to cut too, thats one of the very few traditions im keeping.
dress = my dress is being custom made, oo er!! but its not as expensive as you think. i found a seller on ebay, who makes dresses from scratch for 90 pounds. thats right, 90! with your own measurements, your own colour, whatever style you like. they are also making my bridesmaid dresses for 70 pounds each. i really wanted my bridesmaids in all different colours, but all the same style gown, so this way round it was perfect! for me, i have gone for a very bright cerise floor length gown, with a little bit of an underskirt to give it a bit more oompf, but nothing too over the top (its already cerise, after all). for the bridesmaids, floor length slinky strapless dresses in dark blue, dark purple and emerald green. i cant wait to see how beautiful they look!
hair = i have opted to wear a wig for my big day, for several reasons. firstly, i change my hair so often, i dont want to have to start thinking several months before “how am i going to want my hair to be in 2 months time”. also, because i change it so much, its really not in the best condition, and styling it may be a problem! secondly, i get so so so hot when im using hair dryers or hair straighteners, and it takes me ages to cool down. i am pretty sweaty generally (nice, i know!) and its something i have always had to live with and to try and avoid situations where im going to get too warm. so having a wig i can literally just put on at the last second and it look fabulous seems the best way to go. i then dont have to worry about the condition or colour of my hair, nor getting extremely hot when i have already got my wedding face on. i have gone for this lovely number from lightinthebox. i think blonde suits me best, as much as i love changing the colour, and with the length of this one and the already cute curls, i think it should be great!
shoes = as my dress is floor length, its unlikely anyone is going to see my shoes so i really didnt want to spend a lot on them. also, i dont want the pain of changing my shoes halfway through the day because my feet hurt from heels, and therefore my dress drags on the floor because its too long when im wearing my trainers! so i have gone for these beautiful indian khussa shoes, which will look gorgeous if anyone catches a flash of them, but they will be awesomely comfortable so i can dance the night away (and not worry about falling over when i get hideously drunk)
bouquet = i am making my own bouquet out of buttons! its not quite finished yet, but i will be sure to post a picture when its finished! i think for my bridesmaids, just a single stem flower, maybe a large hydrangea. but fake flowers, so its something they can keep. i see no point in spending hundreds of pounds on flowers that will be dead the next day!!
mother of the bride and groom gifts = i had a brainwave earlier today about these gifts. i have been pondering what to do for some time, as again the “traditional” thing to do is to buy them a bouquet. that will die within a few days, and who really likes being given a massive bunch of flowers they then have to keep track of for the rest of the night, or try and find some water and a vase for? so i have decided that while flowers are a nice idea, a plant that will live for ages would be better, and go one better than that? have the plant named after them! i found this on http://www.iwantoneofthose.com , you can name a rose after someone and they send you a pack of seeds of your newly named rose. I intend to give them these seeds in a customised pot, and they can grow their own namesake roses for years to come! i think its a pretty cute gift and a nice way to say thank you for all their help!
bridemaids gifts = i am also looking for ideas to personalise something for my bridesmaids. got a few ideas so i will see what materialises!!
favours = my favours are all kinds of kids toys! little miniature ones, like the crazy puzzles where you can only move one square at a time, crayons, bouncy balls, that kind of thing! and they are all being put into party bags like you would get at the end of a five year olds party! i think it should be a good icebreaker and conversation starter, and as there are quite a few kids going, it will keep them entertained for a few minutes too!
entertainment = the DJ we have gone for is http://www.gaz-entertainment.com who is also a balloon modeller! also great for the kids! he has a big screen and light display, and does karaoke too. it should be a pretty awesome night with him at the decks!
sweetie buffet = i see this everywhere on wedding blogs at the moment and i absolutely love it! for my card and guestbook table, i am going to have massive jars of sweets, with cute little sweet bags that people can fill up as a change from the usual desserts. they will also of course get a cupcake, so it saves us money on expensive desserts when really we dont need them!
guestbook = i am doing a wedding finger print tree as a guestbook. its getting a bit cliched now if you visit wedding blogs as much as i do (which is a helluva lot) and you see it everywhere, but i just think its so cute and who really re-reads a proper guestbook after the wedding day? at least with this, we can frame it and put it up on the wall when we eventually get a place where we can hang stuff on the walls! i have bought miniature multicoloured stamps, and will set up up on an easel with baby wipes handy for afterwards!
cards = for the cards, i got this old school 1970s magazine rack! i got it from ebay and i absolutely love it! i am getting my mum to make a little banner for the top that says “cards” so people actually know what its for! i think it fits in pretty well with the randomness of the whole wedding = but my dad absolutely hates it!!
i think thats everything for the moment but i will post some more when i remember what i’ve done so far!!
So its been nearly 3 months now since I started going to the gym! The weight loss isnt exactly great, but I think I’m starting to tone up a little at least. People have certainly commented that I look slimmer so whether the scales say so or not, it doesnt really matter. Whats more important, looking better or “weighing” less?? 3 more times to go in February, and my lovely fiance owes me 60 quid (he bet me I wouldnt go 4x a month for 3 months!). I quite enjoy going, I mean its a hard slog, but I have got my 5k time down to 35-37 mins, and I am up to 7k total now, which last night took me 58 minutes. A pretty decent effort all round!
Its been a long time since I updated the blog, and quite a few things have gone on so I shall update you, as I know you are all on the edge of your seats!
Had a night out with my 2 bestest uni girlfriends a couple of weekends a go in Cardiff of all places. It was my friends birthday and she wanted something a bit different, so Cardiff it was! The hotel was really well priced, and everywhere we went had cheap entry and drinks. It was such a good night, and although I ended up hating my outfit and feeling hideously fat (doesnt help when my two bestest uni friends are both size 6′s I guess…) we had a really awesome time. Managed to avoid a hangover too, always a bonus!
Wedding planning is also rolling on with a vengeance. We have finalised the guest list and my mum is sending out save the date cards and invites. The castle is booked, the hotel is booked, I have just paid the DJ and the cake maker, my bouquet is nearly made (its made from buttons!) and I have bought my lovely long blonde ringlets wig. I also have the tiaras, the sweetie jars and scoops for my sweets buffet, little business card type things with a web address where people can upload their pictures. I think thats quite a nice idea – everyone has digital cameras these days and the candid spontaneous ones are often the best. So everyone has the username and password for a Photobox account and can upload all their pictures after the big day I have also got a large A3 size tree outline printed on card stock, and lots of mini coloured ink pads, so people can stamp their finger print on the tree instead of a guestbook and sign their name Cute huh? Can tell I have been completely amazed by wedding blogs!!
I am also planning on getting a tattoo the day after the wedding! My wedding photographer, also a really good friend, is planning on hanging around to get some shots of the tattooing too, which I think will be a really nice touch for the wedding album. I am hoping to get “And so our story begins” in script writing, and the date stamped under that of the day of the wedding. Maybe a few bird outlines around it as well, I think that will look really cute! Planning on getting it on my wrist, dependant on how big it would need to be to fit that all in. Cant wait, I have always wanted a tattoo but have never been sure what I want. Getting married has given me the perfect opportunity!
I have also dyed my hair a LOT recently. I dyed it black initially, keeping the blonde at the front. But it made me look really pale and I had to put so much make up on to look decent, and it only really looked nice curly so I had a lot of work to do! And a friend had hers black pretty soon after me and I dont know, I just like being unique I guess. So I then used ColourB4 to try and take some of the black out. It went quite nice red colour so I left that for a while. But then watching Suits, the American drama-comedy about lawyers, I saw the character Donna who has gorgeous ginger hair. So I bleached, an dyed it ginger!! It went really bright though and it was a bit too much. So I have now dyed a semi perm brown all over the tone it down a bit. I intend to bleach it out and try the ginger again eventually, but I am giving my hair a break for now!!
well. you could knock me down with a feather, i tell you. gary johnson has been signed up as yeovil town’s new manager, with terry skiverton stepping aside as his assistant. no official word as yet on jonesy and weasel. i was joking around on twitter the other day with the hashtag #getsirgarybacktoytfc but did i ever really mean that? i mean, i never actually thought that was possible. it was all just a bit of fun after gary became unemployed. this is a very shrewd move on the boards part, as much as i hate them. gary has already managed to bring back the feel good factor for the sheffield united game. they have certainly gained at least 5 more away supporters due to gary’s return that i know of, and no doubt countless more will show up too. i havent felt this way about going to watch yeovil in a very long time. even in the slade years there was a little something missing. i dont know, maybe because gary was the manager when i first started watching yeovil, i kind of always associate yeovil with him. whenever we would sing “hey russell slade” or “hey terry skivo” to the tune of hey baby by dj otzi, i always had to correct myself when i immediately thought of singing “hey gary johnson”. and it has never felt quite right to me that we recycled that chant as ytfc fans for any manager who came after gary. to me, that was gary’s chant. and now, were able to sing that once again. i hadnt even contemplated going to sheffield united. on a tuesday night? in january? pissing freezing and i have very little cash after christmas – no thanks! but when it was officially official ( i mean, we all knew before 2pm yesterday, right!) i just couldnt miss it. i just couldnt warrant spending the night on my sofa knowing that people would be absolutely jumping along to “hey gary johnson” at bramall lane. and so, here i am, at home taking a half day from work, getting ready for a 7 hour round trip on a tuesday night, with a 9am appointment tomorrow in kingston that i will have to leave the house for at 7:30am. and why? gary johnson. the sole reason. as much as i love yeovil, i would never have gone to this game, in a million years. but now, i feel a little bit of that love coming back for ytfc. i have always loved them, from the start, but now, this just feels like it used to when i would get to the ground at 1pm on a saturday, chat to all the players as they made their way in, be one of the first through the turnstiles, sit on the little wall in the bartlett stand as was, and watch the lads run out and applaud the fans one by one.
this doesnt solve the problems. it goes a little way to making me feel more like part of the club again, just garys interview at the press conference helped with that. but it will take a miracle for gary to be able to sort everything out. unlike john fry’s thoughts, that its up to gary to get people through the turnstiles, well no, its absolutely not. a few more may be there on saturday to see his return but what about after that? will they keep coming? whats there to keep them coming back?
i intend to seriously enjoy tonight whether we win lose or draw, but dont go thinking i have changed my mind about this little football club. it still has a long way to go.
today i received my bloom loom in the post!
i originally saw this on pinterest, the original website is here and i bought one pretty much immediately because i thought the flowers it made were so cute!
follow the link to see how you use the loom! its basically weaving around the little pegs, to create the “petal” loops, and you can use multiple colours or just the one, do extra layers for chunkier flowers, whatever your heart pleases! i bought mine on ebay, just searching for bloom loom, and i believe including postage it was 3 pounds. you probably could, if you so wished, make one but i was far too lazy and impatient for that!
my photos are, of course, bad quality (when arent they) but here is my first couple of goes!
and here’s one up on my wall, above the picture i made the other day, and was able to hang using the magical 3M picture hangers!
i have to admit i used one of the flowers there because the hanger was peeping over the top of the picture frame because i hung it too high… but i think it looks pretty cute there
sorry its zoomed out, but incidentally see the top gear book in the bottom left corner, covering the light? yeah, that. the light is too bright when we are in bed, its not really a bedside light. especially when marty wants to stay awake and im trying to sleep, so we cover it over with the book to dim it a little. even with a low watt energy saving bulb, its too bright. im currently contemplating how i could pretty up the shading of the light, rather than a hardback top gear book!! hmmm…..
thanks go to marty for helping me with the links in this post he is a little gem sometimes! its great having an IT professional in the house!
i saw this little beauty peeping out the top of a skip on a guy’s driveway while i was out on the road doing assessments today. i dont know why, but i just really wanted it. for no real reason, and i have no idea what exactly im going to do with it. so it can stay in my boot for now! but im thinking mod podge is quite likely to be involved, maybe some pretty paper on the top, hmmm possibilities! but it was far too cute to just let it languish there in the skip!
the cogs are turning
i am literally addicted to pinterest at the moment. for those of you who dont know, pinterest is an online pinboard. you can “pin” from any website, if you see a picture you like, a craft idea, whatever. pinterest saves them all onto an easy to view pinboard so you can look back over it at a later date. i have pinned so many crafty ideas, i will never have time to do them all! i use it in conjunction with stumbleupon. again, if you dont know what stumbleupon is, its like a random button for the internet. people “like” webpages they have found interesting, and by clicking the “stumble” button you are taken to a random page someone else has liked. you can set it to stumble on certain categories, and mine is always, always set to crafts! i was finding that its very difficult to find things again once you have liked them on stumbleupon. although it saves all your favourites, pinterest arranges things so much more easily, and its more user friendly. so i stumble for craft ideas, and pin them on pinterest. give them a go, and follow my boards if you would like some random craft ideas!
i have so so so many earrings. and i am always in a hurry. which means i very rarely wear any of them, because i simply dont have time to search through my jewellery box (or on top of the chest of drawers where i have tended to dump them after wearing occasionally) for a pair i want to wear. im exactly the same with necklaces. thrown into a drawer, all tangled up, i simply dont have time in the mornings to search through them! and then i had an idea!
i had this old frying pan cover which, for some reason, is really tiny. not sure what use it is really, it came in a set with a really big one. which is perfect for covering up a frying pan full of bacon, but the little one? i have literally never used it. and i have seen those really cute little earring holders where you just poke them through wire and secure on the back with the earring backs. and i thought, why spend money on one of those when i can make one out of this frying pan cover!
here is it pre-earring-ing
and here it is after!
i literally just poked the earrings through. the mesh was a little too close knit but if you push hard enough, you widen the mesh and they go through pretty easily. secure them on the back with the earring backs, and voila! i stood it up in a vase filled with purple beads (but the vase is purple so to be honest, it doesnt really matter what colour the beads are!) to secure it and keep it upright. you could also hang it using the handle, but i have literally no hanging space anywhere, there is something hanging on every nail in this house! and i think it looks quite nice as a display.
now i can take my pick really easily every morning, and actually get some wear out of my beautiful and vast collection!
ok, so its getting to that time of year again. normally, i dont bother making resolutions, because i am infinitely bad at keeping them and i just get depressed!! but this year, or next year, or whatever you want to call it, i have decided to make a few and really, seriously stick to them this time.
obviously i am on a diet at the moment, and joined the gym (i have been 4 times already by the way, so i have kept up my end of the bet!!) and one of my resolutions, apart from staying on the diet of course, is to go to the gym at least twice per week. one day at the weekend, thats nice and easy because i can go whenever, and one day in the week, at least. two if i can manage it, its all time dependant, but i will MAKE time for at least once. yesterday at the gym i managed to run 3.7k in just over 25 minutes, so i am making some real progress there. and i am even enjoying using the weights, apart from the devil abs machine, that is a real killer!! But it obviously works, as my abs are so sore the next day!!
my second resolution is a real biggie for me. and i think it may shock people! however. for the next year, starting january the 1st, i will not buy any brand new clothes. none. zero. wedding dress aside (i kinda have to buy that!), anything else i buy will come from a charity shop, or it will be fabric i use to make my own, or it will be something i have altered that i already own. no brand new clothes, at all, is a massive deal for me. but i just feel that now im losing weight, i am literally wasting my money. so, 2012 will be the year i buy nothing brand new. it also means i can get creative with the things i already own, tart them up a bit, adjust them, alter them as necessary. and i can have a good rummage through charity shops for nice bits, even just to cut them up and use them as fabric.
and last but not least, i will not carry over any work from one day to the next. because i see clients all day, then i write up reports of my visit within 3-5 working days, i am often leaving it to the 4th or even 5th day because im really busy. but then i have maybe 4 days work to do. its really hard for me now that marty finishes at a decent (well, i say decent!) time every day, because while he is here i want to spend time with him. whereas at his last job, 2 nights a week he didnt finish until 8, and thats when i would get the majority of my work done. but, from the first of january, i will do all my work when i get home on the day of seeing the client. this way, it means fridays when i work from home i have much less to get through, and i can spend time on all my admin tasks and catching up with clients on the phone etc etc etc and all that boring nonsense.
so, from the 1st january 2012:
i will go to the gym 2x per week, every week, and continue with my diet
i will not buy any brand new clothes, i will only make clothes / alter clothes
i will finish every work task on the day i get it and carry nothing over.
what are your new year resolutions? its time to get thinking about them!