Monday, 31 March 2014

British Summer Time

What is it about the clock change to BST that turns me into a dribbling wreck?

So the pros of daylight savings...

More sunshine

Kids sleep in longer

Evenings seem longer, due to the extra sunshine hours

The weather begins to warm up

The cons...

Skimpy clothes
Milk bottle legs
Looking & feeling like a zombie

All that has happened is that I have lost a single hour of sleep, so why do I stop being able to function, is anyone else like that? Or is this just a BeeBee problem.

So here are my tips for a quick energy boost, to keep the droopy eyelids at bay.

1. Go for a brisk walk - hark at me, hopefully in some spring-filled sunshine.
2. Bang some happy tunes on and have a mini disco party.
3. Drink a cup of tea, this has been proven to help.
4. Spritz face with cold water, keep a small spray bottle in your bag (available at Superdrug).
or my personal quick fix favourite
5. If all else fails (or you are feeling that way out) a bag of maltesers and a diet coke! Works for me, and quickly too.

Thursday, 27 March 2014

My New Coat

Here I'm introducing you to another impulse buy from BeeBee Towers. Again from the True range. It was such a stunning colour I couldn't resist adding it to my Spring wardrobe.

I say it was an impulse buy but I did think about it for a week before I took the plunge. Sadly in that week they sold out of my preferred size within the first week of it being up on the site. Reluctantly I got the next size down. 

Amazingly it fits! Apart from a couple of sleeve-length related issues - which probably would have happened if I had bought the bigger size too as I have exceedingly long arms, to go with my long legs and even longer body. 

Wednesday, 26 March 2014

What I Ate Wednesday

Poached eggs on multi-seed batch loaf toast. 

I'm currently obsessed by cheesy puffs at the moment... mmm cheesy poooofs

This is half a pot of butterbean and chorizo soup from Tesco's Finest range. 
A really filling soup, I ate it with a seeded spelt roll from the bakery. 

The nibbles were upon me this afternoon, so a quick fix from the food machine beckoned. 

Tea today was pasta with a tomato and mascapone sauce and some chorizo slices. 

Tuesday, 25 March 2014

Showy Flamboyant

I've not done a make up review in a while and I recently got my hands on this little beauty.

The Revlon Colorburst Matte Balm in Showy Flamboyant - 220.

I've been hearing lots of good things about this product range.

I've had matte lipsticks before and found them tricky to apply. I've even resulted, with one certain stick, to leaving it on the radiator to melt a bit while doing the rest of my face before applying and I always have to put a lip balm on underneath.

But there is none of that palaver necessary here. For a matt product it is positively creamy and easy to apply. I've worn it on a number of different occasions and find it difficult to smudge and transfer on cups and glasses when drinking is minimal.

And then there is the packaging. So simple and sleek. I love it. It now has pride of place in my handbag's make up bag as it is my lippy of choice for the office.

Now I have found this range, I will be going back to try the others Revlon have to offer.

Monday, 24 March 2014

Get Moving Monday

I've not written one of these in a while. Mainly because I haven't been doing any sort of formal exercise. I know after I got those shoes!

I'm finding that life has this trick of changing my plans. After what I can only call a really low and emotional weekend, I have gone through my stash of fitness dvds and found out a couple I can do and get under my belt before I head into the office. (Did you know, once upon a time I used to be out the door at 5am to go running?)

At the moment I'm rediscovering Zumba. I have 3 dvds and right now I'm using the Zumba Express one, 20 minutes from beginning to end, no floor work (which I hate), a lot of dance (which I love) and you can lower or raise the intensity to what you can manage. Which is paramount if you are out of condition, don't want to get injured or just aren't as fit as you should be.

This works for me as, like many people, I don't like to be seen to exercise in public, partially as I have a tendancy to break out in a blotchy rash from head to foot - attractive huh? Also, as I have been on the receiving end of some less than favourable attention while pounding the pavement.

I do know that breaking into sweat and raising my heartbeat is important for my general health. It also promotes a feeling of wellbeing which I've been missing. I'm not getting the chance to move around as much as I used to now I'm sat in front of a monitor all day.

Friday, 21 March 2014

Family Friday

Three weeks I've been in my new job.

This week my eldest has been telling me he misses me when I'm at work, bizarrely I've had two days off this weekend!

It's odd, but I'm already feeling more settled in myself.

The routine seems to have been something I was yearning for. Other things are beginning to fall into place too.

About time really, it has been a thought year.

Here's to the future.

Thursday, 20 March 2014

A Wardrobe Malfunction

So there I was walking down Coney Street in York when horror of horrors I felt a draft. A cold draft at that, right where I shouldn't be feeling a draft when wearing jeans, woolly jumper and a vest top.

I oiked up my jeans and kept walking. I think I got 2 shops down, I had to stop and oik them back up again. What to do? Erm, get some new ones was the best option I could come up with.

So with waistband clasped in both hands I high tailed it to New Look in Blake Street and foraged in the Inspire sale section. I came across a fab pair of black jeans, 32" leg for just £10.

What a difference a pair of trousers make.

I forgot how nice the cut of the trousers are at New Look, especially for taller people. The feel of the material is good, and it feels durable. The over black dye means that they can double as work trousers with a smart top too. Here's hoping that the next time I need some new trousers that they still stock the high-waisted jeans.

Wednesday, 19 March 2014

What I Ate Wednesday

Breakfast: 2 slices of Kingsmill Seeded toast and black cherry jam.

Tall Starbucks Hazelnut Macchiato made with Colombian Narino espresso.

Lunch: The hubby and I went halfsies on these wraps from Asda. 
The Chicken Tikka and Onion Bhaji one was my favourite.

I bobbed into the pub to have a natter with a pal and picked up these hard pretzels. 
A great snack, but could have done to have a bit more spice and a little less sweetness. 

Tea: A dreadful picture, for a ping meal. Chicken and rice enchiladas from Asda and 
half a Hunter's Chicken with spiced potatoes. Not bad but not my usual fare.

Tuesday, 18 March 2014

Put It in a Box

This is not my usual Tuesday blog fare. I felt like expressing something, and that's tricky when you're reviewing something.

Everyone copes with bad stuff in their life. But I feel that how we are able to express it, and handle our feelings and emotions is what makes us.

I'm no different to anyone else, I have my ups and downs. I've had lots of downs that I have had to pick myself up from. I take medication to keep my moods even. I have to employ methods to get me through both the beige and the grey days.

I have a tendency to over think, to dwell, to plan. This can help and hinder. I have routines that I employ that keep me occupied. I like order. I'm not keen on surprises, yet I am impulsive. I am my own enigma wrapped in a conundrum.

I stay busy and I channel my emotions good or bad into different projects. I find that by making a promise to be somewhere I overcome my desire to stay in the house behind closed doors and get out there. Helping others in that time makes it doubly worth it.

Paying it back reaps its own rewards.

In essence I still employ the technique I was given after my mother's death, put it in a box. Then shut the lid. Do or think 3 things and pile them on top of the box.

So if you have a problem, work it out. Break it down into manageable pieces. Then put those pieces together and fix it. If it is a thought, a bad memory, your inner voice telling you something bad... put it in the box and cover it with good thoughts, ideas and actions. The good will outweigh the bad, and as with every good smultzy film good will vanquish evil.


Monday, 17 March 2014

My Life Monday: Word Building

Today I've been spending a bit of quality time with my eldest boy JJ.

He's currently 8 going on 30, with a touch of toddler strop thrown in for good measure.

It would appear he has entered the word building phase, taking different sounds and putting them together to use in place of the expletives I must admit I try hard not to use.

Today we have had boosh, skidoosh and skidooshi. None of them have any particular meaning to him but they are littered within conversation.

Now I can just about recollect the heady days of being an 8 year old. One of my words was squaz. It mean a little bit, gizza squaz of that paint. A bit more than a squaz was a squazidick. I still love the feel of that word, although I can't really use it in day-to-day life with many people.

Then again, when I was 8 I was obsessed with being a witch trapped in a human dimension and I could only pass to the wiccan side via a tree or through a certain pair of goal posts at the local school.

Things seem different for boys, at least it does for my two. Games with no defined story or that aren't based around some sort of video game just don't seem to happen.

It's a shame, I'm trying hard to instil some imagination into these two but they're not going for it yet. However, they're constantly making up new gangs. Prank Gang, Secret Agent Spy Group and Weird gang, so you never know it might just be me sucking the imagination out of them.

Silent Sunday

Saturday, 15 March 2014

The Perfect Saturday

Do you have a perfect day in mind for the weekend?

Or do you have a list as long as your arm of things that need to be done?

For me it would entail not doing much more than pottering. A film here, a bit of baking there, and no cleaning at all.

Those days are rare. For example today we did the weekly shop and then I disappeared to a neighbouring town to start taking apart a greenhouse we have been gifted.

My thumbs hurt even now. Tomorrow, I return to dismantle the metal structure. Then an elaborate jigsaw begins in the Princess Garden.

In my perfect weekend dreams the boys play games and lark around without a care in the world, it's just a shame that the reality is never that peaceful or stress free.

So now I'm going to go and work my way through pinterest and find me some garden inspiration.

Friday, 14 March 2014

Family Friday: 10 Facts About Me

1. I have a conflicting streak where I love to be the centre of attention, but don't like people paying too much attention to me.

2. I have a thing about science fiction/fantasy and superheroes. TV series, films and graphic novels I love them all.

3. I get bored far too easily, and then I have crazy ideas of things to do.

4.  I get distracted by shiny things far too often.

5.  I make my own wine, and then I drink it.

6.  I share my birthday with the day that Holst first performed the planet suite.

7.  I stand by the idea that carrots scream when being uprooted, after reading it in a free book of facts I got in a magazine.

8. I was asked to leave cookery and needlework classes at secondary school.

9. I have never officially solved a Rubik's cube.

10.  I played violin for 8 years, and can't remember a note.

Thursday, 13 March 2014

New Dress!

 It must be Spring... I'm starting to break the legs out, albeit in opaque tights but they are out and that counts!

I was looking for a work appropriate dress that could be dressed down and dressed up as my mood takes me and found this F&F True Floral Plus Size Wrap Dress on the website.


It doesn't look overly low cut, however as boobs are not my biggest asset I have popped a vest top underneath which matches the middle of the daisy prints. I also like that the website tells you the height of the model so you can judge the length, I'm the same height and it's not far off!

At this rate my office's toilets are going to be famous from the OOTD/selfies that I have taken to doing in there on the sly. 

This design appears to be flying off the shelves. I bought this on Saturday and now half of the sizes are limited and down to only 1 or 2. So if you are a larger size I'd get there quickly. I hope that with the popularity of this style that they will bring other fabric designs in the same cut. If they do I'll be there first in the queue to get them. 

I haven't shopped with the True range for a long time as they haven't had the best designs recently and since leaving the shop floor. This season they appear to have made a change. I also am in love with a hot pink mac on the site... Fingers crossed they will still have one left on pay day!

Wednesday, 12 March 2014

What I Ate Wednesday: Cajun Night Special

I thought I would share with you some of the goodies that I ate on Saturday night.

Each month my friends and I gather for a 'cultural' evening, which is a good old natter over a themed spread and a couple of glasses of wine.

This month we chose to do Cajun.

We had seafood gumbo, bbq bourbon chicken wings, chicken, chorizo and prawn jamalaya and finished off with Jim Beam Brownies.

Fresh crab pancakes with a Wolds Chilli Mayo

Seafood 'ey-bye' Gumbo with mussels, prawns and fresh crab
BBQ Bourbon Chicken Wings

Chicken, Chorizo and Prawn Jambalaya

Jim Beam Brownies with raspberries and chantilly cream

Tuesday, 11 March 2014

What I've Been Reading: Kindle Edition


Have you got a Kindle? Or even the Kindle app on your tablet/smart phone?

I've mentioned before how my father-in-law has lent me his Kindle, before that I used the app on my android tablet.

On a whole I read a lot. I'm partial to murder mysteries, light and frothy chick lit, horror tales and short stories.

Right now I have been on a run of novellas from De-Ann Black's Tea Dress Shop Series 99p reads that don't take long to pick up and get to the point.

As it is I am already a sucker for a Christmas novel which is originally how I discovered this series of three.

As a busy mum I don't always have time for a big book or an indepth novel. I just want something that will occupy me during the football.

Got to love living in a house full of boys.

Back to the books, they are all very similar, so all can be read independently of each other. Although, Findlay, the lead protagonist from the first story, is referred back to as she is the original Tea Dress shop owner.

Personally I preferred the third book in the series.

The Vintage Tea Dress Shop in Summer.

Hard-working marketing expert Esmie is passed over for promotion once again, just as she is offered the chance to own her own shop in a small Scottish village.

After a short weekend visit she finds herself falling in love with the quiet life and the villagers residents... and one in particular.

The Fairytale Tea Dress Shop in Edinburgh

Delphine leaves Glasgow and with her redundancy settlement opens the Fairy Tale Tea Dress Shop in Edinburgh. At the same time she splits from her chef boyfriend.

After previously working as a fashion merchandiser Delphine puts her knowledge to good use. The other businesses in the neighbourhood quickly showed support for the fledgling retailer.

A couple of mislabelled blog posts and an email later and business is booming, but can Delphine find what her heart is searching for?

The Tea Dress Shop at Christmas

Findlay has been unlucky in love, after finding out that her boyfriend and her supposed best friend have been more than just friends, she moves to Glasgow and decides to make a fresh start for herself.

After finding a shop that had laid empty for a long time she decides to pile in her savings and open a shop selling new and vintage tea dresses that she has designed and made herself.

We follow Findlay as she renovates her shop, builds her business and listens to what her heart wants.

Monday, 10 March 2014

My Life Monday: Outfit of the Day

One thing I have realised in the last week, I don't have as many office-friendly clothes as I thought I did. Strange.

So this is a bit of a mash up.

Apart from the shoes which are ballerina pumps from Shoe Zone, it's a Yours Clothing collection outfit. The black dress is a staple from my wardrobe. I've had it for a couple of years and it's so forgiving and fits if you have gained a few lbs or lost a few. I added underneath a white blouse so it didn't look so much of a party dress.

The light is shocking in the office toilets, I'm such a glamourous person, I really am.