Sunday, 2 June 2013
So, confession time. The food budget challenge? Failed it. Blogging more often? Failed that too. BUT, what I have achieved in the last two weeks is lots of quality time with family, friends and The Soldier. There have been lots of cuddles with babies (two of my friends have recently given birth), an epic 2nd birthday party, lots of lovely food and drinks, some horrendously stressful times at work, lovely sunshine, lots of watching of The Walking Dead and a fair bit of relaxing. I've been cooking more, trying to look after myself a bit more (hello Origins purchases, you have saved my face) and trying to get to bed a bit earlier (but usually failing).
So, June! You've crept up haven't you, you cheeky little minx! I'm using June as a bit of a fresh start to be honest. I've put myself on a spending ban, particularly in relation to beauty products. I have shelves full of unopened products and I think it's high time I started working my way through those, rather than buying the next "miracle" or must have product.
I've also put myself on a takeaway ban. Whilst I've been doing really rather well at eating more healthily, the odd takeaway here and there has crept back in, usually when I'm exhausted from work and just can't bear the thought of preparing a meal. It has to stop though as, without fail, I always feel absolutely disgusting after eating takeaway food. Ain't nobody got time for that.
Aside from those little personal challenges, June is going to be exciting! We're off to Grillstock next weekend, I'm in Belfast the weekend after that for the Game of Thrones exhibition (oh yes) and then we're off to Glastonbury at the end of the month. I've got ten days off work and I intend to savour every single moment of sleep, cider and music-filled joy. Bliss.
Friday, 17 May 2013
Say hello to the new love of my life, my brand spanking new deliciously purple Kanken. I'd been lusting after one of these little beauties for a while, after seeing posts from numerous bloggers, but it was the lovely Bee who finally pushed me into taking the plunge when she posted that there was a cheeky little 15% discount on all Kankens at the moment. And, just between you and me, it's still valid! GO! BUY! LOVE!
I've been staying at my parents' house for the last ten days or so, looking after their dogs while they gallivant around America. Again. Whilst it's nice to take some time away from home and relax in leafy Cheshire, there is one slight issue. I can't so much as look at a piece of food without this little monster plopping herself down in far-too-close proximity and lstaring at me with her beady little puppydog eyes. She's a tiny tyrant.
Neon jumper. Ghostbusters lounge pants. Comfort at its finest. Yes, I just said lounge pants. Let's deal with it and move on.
This cheeky little lobster roll at Neighbourhood made for an extremely decadent Wednesday lunchtime treat. Lobster: Guaranteed to brighten up even the toughest of work days. Add in a cheeky portion of chips and you've got yourself a whole heap of joy.
And now for my giant face! As a card-carrying member of the We Hate Lipstick brigade, I feel I must confess my sins: I bought Rimmel Apocalips in Big Bang and I FLIPPIN' love it. Whilst I will always (always) fear stained teeth and a stained face (I'm a face toucher), I think I can just about cope with it for this little wonder product.
Saturday, 11 May 2013
A few weeks ago Jenn from Much To My Delight posted about the food budget challenge that she was about to undertake. She updated her blog weekly about the challenge and then at the end, with the news that her and her husband's total spend for the month of April was $1,041.57. Yowzer. Now I've suspected for a while that a large percentage of my earnings goes on what I'm eating and drinking but I thought it would be interesting (at least for me!) to actually find out exactly how much I spend. So for the next month (upto 10th June) everything I spend on food and drink (including any nights out and meals out) will be recorded in my nifty little Google Drive spreadsheet. It's no secret that I flippin' love spreadsheets so hopefully this won't turn out to be too arduous a task. Although I do fear I'm going to be absolutely horrified by the amount I've spent at the end of the month. I'll be checking in once a week, on a Saturday, with the rolling total.
This month might not be so typical as I'm actually staying at my parents for the next ten days or so, looking after their dogs. The fridge is pretty well stocked (best parents ever) but there were still a few bits and pieces that I needed (wanted, not needed) to pick up. I bought hot sauce, garlic, cucumber, grapes, chicken tikka pieces, gnocchi, apples, green beans, lemons, green tea, fromage frais, wholemeal bread, carrots, mushy peas and a couple of packets of pasta 'n' sauce (no judgement please, I usually cook from scratch but these are perfect for a quick meal after a long day at work) and that little lot cost me £20.23. Oh food, why must you be so delicious and expensive.
Spreadsheets on a Saturday night. I truly am living the dream. It's a good job there's a nice bottle of sauvignon blanc in the fridge to counteract my dullness.
Thursday, 9 May 2013
I'm a huge herbal tea fan. My kitchen cupboards are groaning under the weight of my tea collection and a sizeable amount of my desk at work is filled with packet upon packet of the stuff. When Twinings got in touch with me a while ago (a long while ago as this post is massively delayed, for which I apologise) and offered to send me a few teas from their new range I jumped at the chance. I was sent boxes of Awake, Sleep and Detox tea (there are also Purify, Defence and Digest in the range) and I've been working my way through them ever since.
All the teas are delicious but I think Detox is my favourite. It contains lemon peel and milk thistle and I've been known to sip on this when suffering as a result of too much wine the night before. Miraculously, it actually does help! Sleep contains lavender, camomile and vanilla and, although I'm not normally a camomile tea fan, this is lovely to drink just before bed. I am a troubled sleeper (oh hai work stress) and I'm not entirely convinced that this tea has helped to solve that but it does definitely help me to relax, which is always nice. Awake has hints of ginger and ginseng, with rooibos and cinnamon. Again, I'm not sure that it really does wake me up, but the only thing that ever really manages to do that is a potent combination of sugar free fake Redbull (I am thrifty when it comes to energy drinks as this enables me to buy expensive candles. MAGIC!) and a venti Americano. Double trouble.
Overall I think it's really my failings as a human, rather than the failure of the teas, that result in them not exactly living up to their promises. Despite this, I really love these teas and the other three blends are definitely on my shopping list. Thanks Twinings!
Disclosure: I was sent the samples of tea but received no other compensation for this post
Wednesday, 8 May 2013
A good three years after I bought them these obscene Topshop leggings are still going strong. I must own at least 20 pairs of printed leggings (they're one of my addictions, along with pizza, dark chocolate peanut butter, ice cold Marlborough sauvignon blanc (my favourite) and really good steak) but these are definitely in the top five.
Frozen raspberries, sliced banana and coconut yoghurt are my new jam. Along with a huge cafetiere of Taylor's Lazy Sunday, obviously. With Glastonbury a mere seven weeks away (and with the need to squeeze into my denim shorts becoming ever more pressing) I'm eating fruit and vegetables like they're going out of fashion. Although I wish someone would tell my skin that as I appear to have become a teenager again.
More rug love. I can't help it, I'm totally smitten. Also, I think it's clear from this photo that I need to add "buying cushions" to my list of addictions. The Soldier constantly fights a losing war against my battalion of cushions.
The weather over the Bank Holiday weekend was absolutely glorious, at least in my little patch of South Manchester. On Monday I slapped some Factor 30 on, poured myself a large iced coffee and sat in my teeny yard in the baking sunshine flipping through issues of Grazia that have been gathering dust on my dining room table. It's quite rare that I actually sit down and read (does reading magazines even count?) but it's something that I definitely need to make more time for.
And here's me! On Saturday night I headed out to dinner with a couple of the girls from work. In honour of me actually being bothered to leave the house for the evening (I'm such a homebody these days) I even straightened my hair and wore super high heels. Shocking. It's been a while since I wore anything other than Converse or boots so my calves didn't know what had hit them the next day. Poor things.