Friday, 31 January 2014

Family Friday: Valentine's Day Crispies

Thursday, 30 January 2014

January Favourites

Here are three items I have loved this month.

Hair Screws.

This little items may look like a device of torture but make bun wearing and updos so much more comfortable, easy and long wearing. You can get them here

Avon Eye Shadow Quad in Mocha Latte. 

I love this little bundle of neutral colours, and the fact that they come with instructions on where each colour should go on your eye to create a natural smoky look. Great for work and casual daily looks. A yummy mummy palette of goodness. Available from your local representative.


This month I discovered this gem of a product. I tend not to use a lot of face washes as my skin can have some fantastically bad reactions to them. I was having a fair few breakout issues after the festive season, so I mixed up my cleansing routine. I remove my make up, then use this. I massage the fine beads into my skin and removed with a fairly hot flannel. It leaves my skin really nice and soft. Superdrug currently have this on offer here.

Wednesday, 29 January 2014

What I Ate Wednesday

Breakfast was coffee:

I have a broken tooth and eating really did hurt. Thankfully it has been temporarily fixed.


Chopped salad: lettuce, tomato, cucumber, cheese, gherkin, ham cubes, home-made coleslaw and a boiled egg.


Chicken Casserole with sage and onion dumplings.

Tuesday, 28 January 2014

What I've Been Reading: Kate Harrison's The Secret Shoppers Affair

After the first two books I was really looking forward to reading this one. There was a stab of disappointment when I saw the cover when I picked it up off the shelf. The other two had a certain something that this one just doesn't. 

After the last two books the three friends have left their secret shopper past behind them. The things that kept them together have fallen by the wayside. Sandie is pregnant by Toby, Grazia has said goodbye to the great love of her life and is embracing an long-forgotten skill, Emily is still with Will in Heartsease working in and living above their homemade shop. 

Emily wants to be pregnant, Will has put a kibosh on that one for the foreseeable future. Emily is starting to become more and more resentful of the time that the shop demands from herself and Will. 

From the outside Sandie appears to have it all. The climbing career, the heir to Garnetts as her boyfriend and a new home being renovated. However, Sandie is struggling. The house looks like it won't be ready in time for the baby's arrival, Toby's family's empire is crumbling around their ears and Emily is just draining her. 

Grazia has finally stepped out from her late husband's shadow, and stepped into the arms of a loving man - with teenage children. She quickly finds her stride as the relationship looks like it could blossom into something more. 

Can these friends make their way back to each other or are they destined to float ever further apart?

Monday, 27 January 2014

My Life Monday: Get Moving

Over the weekend I decided that I wanted to do the Race for Life again this year.

I stopped running last July/August, not long after my last race.

My fitness has dropped right off. So today I have started the long road back to being a 5k runner.

I went out for a walk. It was roughly 2 miles. I didn't march it out I just took it nice and steady.

I'm planning to walk a similar distance 3 times a week until I cover 3 miles comfortably, then I will gradually introduce power walking intervals and then running until I am able to run the full stretch.

Around where I live I am lucky that we have such fantastic scenery, but unlucky in that there is no non-hillly routes!

I'm not impressed with my first time. however it can only get better!

I forgot how nice it was to just have a bit of peace and quiet time. I plugged in my ancient ipod and listened to some old Jillian Michael's Podcasts and blocked out the world around me. When I start with the running I will be moving over to more up-tempo tunes to motivate me and to match my stride pattern to.

What do you do to keep moving, and what do you listen to when you are out and about?

Saturday, 25 January 2014

My Nail Woes

Over December I had some fabulous nail art going on.

Since January they've done nothing but split and peel. I've never had this problem before.

So I have taken it upon myself to cut my nails right back, and will use an arsenal of Avon nail care products as I grow them out again.

This is my starting point.

Short and stubby.

The first product I'll be using is Pearl Shine.

Let's hope that my nails grow back fast, and strong, I'm not keen on this lack of nails nonsense. I don't wear them exceedingly long, but I do like the pads of my fingers to have a little bit of protection.

What products do you use to keep your nails in tip top condition?

Friday, 24 January 2014

Family Friday: Pot Luck Dinner

Once a month my friends and I gather for a meal.

We all take a dish from a particular cuisine.

This time we chose Greek. I took pitta breads, taramasalata, houmous and tzatziki and a greek salad.

There was also a beef stifado, mousakka, stuffed peppers and tomatoes, lemon pilaf, prawn toast (we always have prawn toast mmm), oreo truffles, cheesecake.

We laughed the night away with ouzo and a few games of this...

The table looked full with all these goodies

please don't judge, it is really funny. You just can't be easily offended!

Thursday, 23 January 2014

Valentine's DIY: Easy Crochet Bunting

I was looking for something different to do, and I came across this idea while I was googling. 

Simple Crochet Bunting

The only stitches you need to know are:-

ch - chain
dc - double crochet (single crochet in US)

I'm using a 4mm hook and double knit wool.


Row 1.  First, chain 2.

Row 2.  Work two dc into the second chain from the hook (ie. the first chain you made).

Row 3.  Turn your work.  Ch 1.  Dc twice into each of the two stitches.

You should now have four dc stitches in your row.

Row 4.  Turn your work.  Ch 1.  Dc twice in the first stitch then dc once in each of the remaining 3 stitches.  (5 stitches in row.)


Row 5.  Turn your work.  Ch 1.  Dc twice in the first stitch then dc once in each of the remaining 4 stitches.  (6 stitches in row.)

Row 6.  Turn your work.  Ch 1.  Dc twice in the first stitch then dc once in each of the remaining 5 stitches.  (7 stitches in row.)

 Continue working two dcs in the first stitch of each row and one in each of the rest.
Turn.  Ch 1.

Keep going until you are happy with the size of your triangle.

Fasten off and sew in the end of the yarn.

You can do the same with the original end of the yarn (at the bottom) or thread it through a glass bead before knotting and cutting.

To join your bunting triangles together, select your choice of yarn.  I chose cream.  Chain 30 (or more if you want a longer tie) and then, right side of your triangle facing you, carefully double crochet along the top.

Carry on chaining (I chained 6 in between each triangle) and dc-ing along the tops of all your triangles and then chain an additional 30 for the other end of the tie.  Turn your work, chain 1 and then dc your way all the way back along both the chains and dcs.

Fasten off and sew in your ends.

What do you think?

Wednesday, 22 January 2014

What I Ate Wednesday

Pre-school run breakfast was coffee and a Soreen banana bread bar.

Followed by my favourite mushroom sandwich (don't knock it until you try it)

Lunch was a grilled bacon sandwich 

I had a handful of savoury snack bite thingies. 

I called in at a friend's pub for a natter and a swift diet coke, and discovered these bad boys. Extra spicy pretzel pieces.

Tea was a takeaway, chicken, beef & king prawn and brocolli with boiled rice. One of my favourites. 

Not my healthiest ever day, but gosh it was tasty. 

Tuesday, 21 January 2014

What I've Been Reading: Kate Harrison's The Secret Shopper Unwrapped

This is the second book in Kate Harrison's Secret Shopper Trilogy. 

We meet up with Sandie, Emily and Grazia. Formerly, Charlie's Shopping Angels. After the success of the rebrand of Will's DIY store, Sandie is on the up and up with her new business helping troubled companies to keep the wolves from the door. 

Emily and toddler Freddie are now living with Will above the shop. They've re-opened as a village shop and are struggling to make ends meet. Over Christmas, with the help of her son, Emily visits the department stores of London to check on the Santas in their grottos. 

Grazia, has moved on from her old life. With wealth on her side, and a new toy boy, she is checking out the latest hotels. 

Can Emily and Will pull together and lift the shop out of certain financial ruin. Will Sandie find balance instead of losing herself in her work and will Grazia remember just how old she told everyone she was?

I loved this book, and was really difficult to put down. 

Monday, 20 January 2014

My Life Monday: What's Holding Me Back?

and most of the time I am my own worst enemy.

While I have been thinking about how to change things for the better. I sat down and tried to work out reasons why I don't ever seem to reach my goals.

To do this a did a quick drawing of the things that stand in my way.

There are times when I feel that my family hold me back. I have been putting them first for so long, I seem to have forgotten what being just me was like. Making decisions because I want to do something, rather than what can I do that pleases everybody else.

What I think other people think or are thinking about me stops me from living life to the full in the way that I want to live it. Last year I was severely burnt by people and how what they assumed I was doing and thinking about things.

Sleep, I simply just don't get enough. I'm out of routine, I can be up to 2am maybe 3am most mornings then don't rouse until 8am. Far too late for a simple school run, a stressed rushed one yes, but not a nice simple one.

Finally the other thing that seems to create a sticking point is money. The lack of it, the use of it, the power of it.

So my next challenge is how to tackle these obstacles...