Monday, 25 April 2016

On the Move

Hi there,

Thank you for following my little blog. I do hope that you have enjoyed it! I would love for you to come on over to my brand new blog at 

It felt like it was time for a bit of a change and fresh new start, just in time for other fresh new starts happening in my life. There will still be the usual madness and tales of what Chris and I get up to. 

We can have a coffee and catch up! 

Hope to see you soon

Monday, 28 December 2015

Our Christmas

Hey there, 

Hope you are all well and have had a wonderful Christmas. I am sending you the very best for Christmas and the year to come. We had a wonderful time. I LOVE Christmas, it is my most favourite time of the year and am now feeling a little blue that it is nearly over. So I'll recap our Christmas to cheer myself up. 

Chris and I had a few days off at the start of the week and had a lovely time. We had done really well with the Christmas planning, and had a few errands to do, which we completed. On Tuesday we had our usual traditional buffet for two and watched Christmas movies. (In Chris' opinion there is only one movie to watch at this time of year and this is Die Hard, something about robbers taking over the Nakatomi building makes Chris feel all aglow with the Christmas spirit. Haha!)

On Christmas Eve, I had to work, but was allowed to finish at 2.15pm, so drove back home to pick up Chris and then we drove to Chris' parents house in Sunderland to have Christmas with his mum and dad, 2 sisters and their husbands/partners, not forgetting Arnie the dog and our new, gorgeous nephew Joshua. It was certainly a houseful. We had another lovely Christmas buffet and received our Christmas Eve gifts of 3 games. We ended up playing a pub quiz game. Then it was soon off to bed, so Santa could make his deliveries. 

Christmas Day broke and it was so warm!! We exchanged stockings and I laughed my head off when I saw Chris had got me a boxing glove to punch people who snore. I could cheat here and say Chris snores, but in actual fact it is me! I am a terrible snorer and Chris certainly puts up with it a lot! Everyone woke up and we had a lovely breakfast of scrambled egg, bacon and rolls with fresh coffee. Then it was present opening time as Santa had certainly visited! We were so lucky, I received lots of presents including books, perfume which I was desperate for, Nigella Lawson's cookbook, a beautiful scarf, and a knitting set. Chris and I decided this year to buy each other a holiday, so later in the year we will be heading to Berlin. So excited!!! Josh and Arnie also received lots of presents, but Josh' favourite gift was the beautiful gold wrapping paper that the presents were wrapped in. Haha! 

We had leftovers for lunch and spent the day playing with our pressies and then it was time for Christmas tea, which was epic. Rick (Chris' dad) has perfected the art of the perfect roast potato. Oh my goodness, they were heaven! I'll put the recipe on here as we have just tried it out and it works beautifully! This recipe needs sharing!!

We played more games and then headed to bed. Boxing Day was spent chilling out, chatting and enjoying the lovely company we were with. Josh is so precious and is so smiley. He loves being cheered, and tickled by Rick (the giant squid) and plotting with Christine the mischief they will get up to and we all got lots of lovely cuddles with him. We are missing everyone so much, especially Josh. On Sunday, Chris and I decided to head to the shops to check out the sales and have a bit of fresh air as Chris was feeling a bit fluey. We spent some Christmas money on more books, body lotions and a calendar and headed back. Today we had a lovely walk with the family, who were on babysitting duties as Josh' mum and dad went to watch Star Wars. (Have you seen it yet? It's amazing,) and then 
, all to soon, it was time to head home. We are now snuggled up and ready to watch Spy. Heaven. 

I love Christmas so much. 

Monday, 12 October 2015

Goals and their realignment

That sounds a rather grand title doesn't it? Haha. First of all, I apologise if this turns into a real rambling post and there is a chance of that. 

For as long as I remember, I'm thinking at least since I was 20, I have had the same goals. They have been a recurring theme running through my 20s, 30s and look set to run into my 40s as well. They usually followed the same theme, wording, everything about them was constant. They looked like:

1. Lose weight and be 11stone 11. (Based on my height and weight and the BMI charts that you see all over the net.)

2. Be debt free

3. To have a nice house

Each few months, new year or autumn, I would buy a brand new notebook, diligently write out these same goals and then plan ways in which I can achieve them. I would try hard, sometimes I was not in the best of places and would end up failing after a few days as the lure of that cake or new notebook beckoned, or I would realise the enormity of all the decorating I would have to do. Other times, I lasted a bit longer, going for a few months and losing a chunk of weight, but never anywhere near my goal weight. 

These goals have been my cornerstone, my constant points on the sea and always in the background ready to be brought out time and time again. 

And how did these goals make me feel? Excited? Scared? Bat shit crazy with glee? Well here's the rub, after a while they felt like a big stick. They became something with which to hit myself with, to beat myself with, to make myself feel useless and lazy, and that I was not good enough and probably never would be. 

This week, after 20 odd years, I realised these goals were not working for me. They were not exciting or challenging or leaving me with butterflies in my tummy because I was excited at actually achieving them, they were just a big stick, and they felt heavy like a millstone. Worst of all, rather than making me a better version of myself, they were making me feel so much worse about myself. I think it was Einstein who said (and I'm paraphrasing here) that the definition of crazy is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting a different result, I never saw it. Nor did I feel excited about achieving my goals, as in what that would actually look like. Sure I imagined myself choosing clothes off the rack, but for someone who is not really into shopping, it wasn't exciting.

I realise this, with the second goal, to be debt free, I am not debt free, far from it, but in this day and age, who is? What I am doing is regularly chipping away at my debt and not adding to it in anyway shape or form. It is doing absolutely fine and is working hard in the background, to the point where I no longer think about it. Woohoo! One for the win! This is not a goal anymore for me. With the third goal, I have a half decorated house, but you know what, every night I want to come home and snuggle in the comfy armchairs, add more fairy lights, enjoy a mug of tea in the armchair we got from IKEA and which I love. So what if the carpet in the bedroom needs replacing, it'll happen. This year we have ripped out our 1970s brown gas fire, and opened up the chimney, ripped out and built a new kitchen. The house is just great, it's cosy and I am excited about winter in it. Again, this goal has disappeared into the background. 

And now to the big one, my weight. It is scary letting go of this goal which I have had for so long. I love my food, I love going out for a piece of cake and a cup of tea with my girlfriends, I love a romantic meal with Chris and I love a bit of pizza and a bit of Strictly. I don't want to be the person miserably eating a bowl of cold pasta while everyone enjoys a barbecued chocolate banana, I want to be someone who enjoys good food whether it be a grapefruit or a bowl of hand cut chips. Most of all I just want to be happy with who I am. 

As I said, this is scary stuff for me and I feel as if all of those anchors in the storm have now gone and I'm being tossed around the sea a bit, unsure of my path. But it's ok. I will be fine. And actually, it feels like the time to make some new goals, things that will make me feel giddy with excitement and glee and maybe just a bit bat shit crazy. 

It's time to wrap up now, I told you it would be a bit rambling. I don't want you to think I am preaching here. My way is exactly that my way, just like your way is your way. I'm just negotiating my way on this big blue ball of ours. (That the earth BTW). Be happy y'all. 

Tuesday, 25 August 2015

All change part 2

I have a lovely friend who contacted me after reading my blog to ask if everything was OK as he saw that I had handed my notice in at work. I feel I owe an explanation of this. Bear with me on this folks, as it's quite a hard thing to talk about.

I had loved my previous job, learnt loads and worked with some great people. But for about 2 years, I wasn't 'feeling it'. We had gone through some major changes and a restructure meant that teams were merged. Unfortunately around this time I began to undergo a period of intense stress. This involved lots of not sleeping, thinking about my work ALL the time and being so exhausted that I spent my weekends and holidays sleeping and thinking about work.

The stress then led into a period of severe depression. I have had depression before and it is not a fun thing. Unfortunately this time I failed to realise the symptoms until it was quite late on. I went to my doctor and wanted to resolve it the best way I knew how, through diet and exercise and I also decided to reduce my hours.

Unfortunately this did not work and after long discussions with Chris, I decided to resign. I felt like Rachel in friends when she handed her notice in at Central Perk! But signed on for a temp agency.

I had a lovely farewell with my colleagues who gave me a great send off and quickly picked up my first assignment with the temp agency so at least Chris and I have some pennies coming in.

I am doing about a million percent better. My decision was the best decision I could have made as   for a while I felt I had lost myself, which is why I have been quiet in the blog for a while. Tonight is the first time I have felt like blogging for a while and it's good to do this.

I miss my old colleagues who were very supportive, but am working with some truly lovely people now, and it is wonderful not to go home thinking about work all the time. My friends and family have all noticed a big difference And I am getting back to my old self again.

I am still trying to lose weight, as I ended up being the heaviest I have ever been and have joined Slimming World and lost 9lbs so far. (Very happy about this!) I am also exercising regularly again with Body Combat and Zumba, which I am tragic at! What I lack in rhythm, I make up in enthusiasm.

Throughout all of this Chris and our families and friends have been amazing and so supportive. I feel truly blessed to have such wonderful people in my life.

Adventures in Body Combat

Hey hey, long time no see. How are you all doing? Hope things are good.

So a quick check in to let you know about something funny that happened to me tonight.

I have been doing a Body Combat class for about a month now and I LOVE it. You remember how much I love Tae Bo right? Well this is the exercise class version of it. It's very HIIT so we have long periods of throwing fast punches or pretending to knee someone in the head. At the end I am dripping and usually beetroot red. Seriously? I do not all. In fact when people see me, they usually want to call an ambulance. But I digress. So Body Combat is a non contact exercise class set to some pumping tunes. The exercises involved are punches and kicks and we usually do a few squats, lunges and press ups for good measure. It's fab. I always end up 'in the zone'. By this I mean that you are so focused on throwing the right punch and keeping your body moving, it becomes almost meditative. As I say, I am a huge fan.

There are ladies and gentlemen of all ages and sizes, and it's so fab to see people really enjoying this workout.

So tonight I ended up next to a chap who seriously looked like he knew his way round a Muay Thai hall. He ended up next to me and threw himself with vigour into the workout. So much so, that he was slightly off beat with everyone else. I first noticed this as an arm whistled past my ear.

Then began the grunting.....

Now I have been known myself to adopt a snarl and in hard moments of the workout count or say what I am doing e.g. Jab, jab, jab, hook, etc. but this was proper, well, sexual grunts. There is no other word for it. Every time he threw a punch or kicked he made a sex noise.... Or whooped.  The girls in front of me quickly got wind of this and started to giggle. And then I began hoping they didn't think it was me!

The best about it was, and usually not being competitive at all, I realised that despite all of this grunting, he wasn't working any harder than me. My legs went up definitely higher then his.

But as I say, I am not in the least bit competitive.

Tuesday, 2 June 2015

All change

Hey there, hope you are feeling good and the week is going well.

Chris and I are recovering from the plague or as we have christened it 'the flu that keeps on giving'. This has been a horrid bug full of snot, sickness and I ended up losing my voice for 2 days. Mercifully it has now come back but I definitely have a husky twang and am seriously considering a career on the phone lines or as a lounge singer. Haha!!

So loads to catch you up on as always. First off, I'm a bit bored of doing book reviews. I love my books and read a ton, but don't want to review every single one. So if it's ok, I'll only review the amazing ones. Is that Ok? Hope so.

I'm also thinking about what to do with this blog.

We are also recovering from a brill weekend of Triathlon.

I have quit my job.

I went to an Alice in Wonderland tea party.

I went to Go Ape and couldn't climb a rope ladder

I had a fab day at the seaside with the girls and Phoebe got attacked by a seagull.

Weight is out of control and bleurgh. But I'm on it (like a car bonnet).

So you see, it's all been going on!!!

Will elaborate more soon.


Wednesday, 6 May 2015

Book Review - The Miniaturist by Jessie Burton

Karma is a funny thing at times. Today I was laughing so hard at something Chris had done (and which I can't tell you what he did, because he will kill me) that I fell over a fence and grazed all of my leg. haha! Serves me right!

Anyhoo, it's book review time. (Again!) The book I am going to review is not one of my usual reads, but I was fancying a change and thought I would give it a go. I was so pleased I did, it was excellent and I very much enjoyed this one. 

The book is set in 17th century Amsterdam and follows Nella, a young girl recently married to one of the wealthier merchants of Amsterdam. As she enters his house, she struggles to find her place there because of a nosy maid, foreign manservants and her husband's imposing sister. Her husband gives her a miniature dolls house and Nella sets about furnishing it using the skills of a miniaturist, who she never sees or meets, but who sends her realistic representations of Nella's home. Who is this mysterious miniaturist? How does she know so much about Nella and the household? 

I really enjoyed this book and it has really stayed with me since reading it. I enjoyed reading about the whole household and how a young girl manages to find her place within it. 

If you enjoyed The Girl with the Pearl Earring, then this would definitely be the book for you. It's already a contender for my book of the year!!!