Friday, 31 August 2012
A few weeks ago, I was invited by the very lovely people at Kellogg's to hear all about their new Special K Biscuit Moments. It just so happened that the presentation was being held at Champneys in Tring, so I couldn't really say no, could I? Armed with the world's biggest coffee, a big bottle of water and some restorative pineapple chunks, I boarded a train at obscenely-early-o'clock and headed off to Hertfordshire.
Champneys was, predictably, heavenly. There are no decent photos of the spa itself (or, in fact, anything, despite me lugging my DSLR up and down the country) because I was just far too busy relaxing. There are few things I love more than turning my phone off and leaving it in a locker for the day. As well as sitting in a glorious outdoor jacuzzi for more time than was strictly decent, I had a Candle Light Massage and it was quite possibly the best thing that's ever happened to me. Just perfect.
So, what of the biscuits? Well, I don't have a massively sweet tooth. In fact, nine times out of ten I'd pick a bag of crisps over chocolate or sweets. But I do occasionally get a little hankering for something sugary. For that, Biscuit Moments are perfect. They're sweet and fruity (either blueberry or strawberry) and really really nice. They're particularly good with an afternoon brew. Fact. You can get them in major supermarkets now, priced at £1.99 for a box of five packs of two. They're also under 100 calories for the two biscuits and they really don't taste like they should be! Which is always a good thing.
Disclosure: I was a guest of Kellogg's at Champneys but I received no monetary compensation for this post. In fact, I was given some of the Biscuit Moments to try as part of the presentation, but I have since rebought them!
Thursday, 30 August 2012
So, I got flu then.
After three ridiculously stressful weeks at work I got home last Friday, ready for a lovely relaxing weekend, and promptly got ill. It also happened to coincide with seeing The Soldier for the first time in a month. So that was, er... a bit bloody annoying really. We still managed to have a lovely time, as ever, including a trip to Almost Famous. Which was epic, really. Last time I went I declared that it was "nowhere near as good as MEATliquor" but now it kind of is. So that's nice. What was less nice was the trip to the IMAX afterwards to see The Dark Knight Rises. My flu decided to take a firm grip on me and I slept through 75% of it. Fumin' babes.
I've been dogsitting for my parents for the last couple of weeks so my Instagram has been awash with photos of the little hounds. It's been possibly the quietest couple of weeks ever but it's been lovely, illness aside.
1) Homemade brisket, sweet potato fries and coleslaw; 2) Almoust Famous joy; 3) New favourites; 4) Pyjamas and cider;
5) All I wanted were liquorice allsorts and tissues; 6) Poorly sick with my hound; 7) & 8) MEGA cheese;
9) My Mum was such a little hottie; 10) Incredible sunset; 11) & 12) Millie and Daisy
I know Instagram posts are seen by some as a bit of a cop out but I'm not quite back to full health yet. Plus, I really bloody love Instagram. So there you go.
Saturday, 18 August 2012
I took these photos aaaaages ago but, inspired by Aimee and Alice, I've finally got around to posting them. My house is still very much a work in progress, which is slightly frustrating, given that I've owned it for well over 18 months now. But there are just never enough hours in the day to get everything done so I'm trying not to beat myself up about it too much.
Things that I have learnt whilst doing up my house: I have an obscene obsession with fancy candles; I love colour SO much and would happily live in a multicoloured haven for the rest of my life; I would rather sit on the sofa than paint walls; All-white walls do not have to look like you live in an asylum.
That photo of the booze tray was taken a wee while ago now. The vodka has been replaced by three different bottles of gin. Gin is king. The Le Creuset dish refuses to fit in any cupboard that I own and is therefore permanently on display. It is very pretty though so I think that's ok.
Eventually I want to cover the entire dining room wall with prints and pictures but this is as faras I've got for now. I do have about 20 prints sitting in packing tubes, just waiting to be framed. So, waiting until I win the lottery then, given the price of framing. The Shelf of Almighty Booze may not be a permanent feature but, for now, I do quite like it. My favourite wines, unusual bottles and bottles that remind me of happy times are all represented. The scrabble box is the first in what I hope will be a long line of board games. Love a good board game. The shelves, however, must go. And soon!
I don't think I've ever posted my crazy rainbow spindles on here and that is quite clearly an utter tragedy. Those, plus the canvasses (the idea was inspired by Submarine) are quite possible my favourite part of the whole house. Life is nothing without a spectrum of colour.
So, that's a little insight into my small South Manchester home for you. Part Two in a VERY occasional series of posts that I'd like to make more regular. You can find the first part here.
Now, if you'll excuse me, I'm off to watch the Olympic opening ceremony again and do emotional sobs into my coffee. LYMPICS I MISS YOU!
Monday, 13 August 2012
Seriously, I think I have a problem.
Sunglasses are taking over my life. I own about ten pairs but I still spend far more time than I should browsing websites like SmartBuyGlasses and wondering which glasses won't make my face look larger than it already is. For those of you who aren't aware, I am entirely convinced that I have one of the largest faces/head circumferences in all of the land. So, somewhere that sells a large variety of brands, including Ray-Bans, Chloe, Tom Ford and Dolce & Gabbana sunglasses, is perfect for me, as there's bound to be something that will have face-reducing properties.
The photos above were taken earlier this year on holiday in Lanzarote with Sammy, who I blame solely for my obsession. She is the queen of sunglasses. The minx. So, although I'm in a very thrifty frame of mind at the moment and am trying to squirrel away as much money as possible for THE FUTURE (dun dun dun), there's no harm in looking is there?
I have wanted a pair of Carrera sunglasses for longer than I'd care to admit and these little beauties in particular have caught my eye...
But, I'm also absolutely in love with these gorgeous leopard print sunglasses from Bolle. There are few things better in life than hidden leopard print. One of which is obviously in-your-face leopard print. But still...
So, IF I was to buy a new pair of delicious eyewear, which should I go for?
This is a sponsored post but I really do LOVE sunglasses an obscene amount
I do sometimes think that this blog makes it look as though The Soldier and I are constantly off gallivanting but, I promise you, that really isn't the case. But, recently, I was incredibly lucky to be whisked off to Northern Ireland for a few days by my lovely Belfast boy. We started and finished in Belfast, and took in Giant's Causeway and Londonderry along the way.
We stayed at the Fitzwilliam Hotel in Belfast and it was AMAZING. Anywhere that gives you a candle and matches next to the bath is fine by me, given that I spend at least 40% of my time in the bath when staying in a nice hotel. Preferably with wine.
It was such a lovely few days and, as you can tell from the photos, we were rather lucky with the weather! There are, of course, seven bazillion more photos from this trip, including about 400 of Giant's Causeway, but I thought I'd keep it to a minimum, as I'm sure not everyone likes cliffs, rocks and sea quite as much as me.
As ever, here's the Instagram version of the holiday:
1) Our Olympics opening ceremony feast; 2) Amazing light fitting in a cafe in Portrush;
5) Converse; 6) Graffiti in Belfast; 7) Hiya, England!; 8) Black Milk leggings in the Crown Liquor Saloon;
9) The most INCREDIBLE burger ever at the Barking Dog; 10) Ice cold Sauvignon Blanc at the Fitzwilliam;
11) Cocktails at the amazing Custom House in Derry; 12) My planes had PROPELLERS :'(
11) Cocktails at the amazing Custom House in Derry; 12) My planes had PROPELLERS :'(
ILU NORN IRON!!
Sunday, 12 August 2012
Dudes, let's talk tiredness.
I have spent the majority of this year absolutely k-n-a-c-k-e-r-e-d. A stressful job (I work with numbers and it exhausts my brain) coupled with lack of exercise and a less-than-perfect diet has resulted in me becoming an absolute shell of a human. I go to bed early (most of the time) and I do sleep well but I rarely wake up feeling refreshed or ready to face the day. While I think the weather has had a part to play (who wants to leap out of bed when it's raining?), that's not all of it.
All of the above led me to develop a SERIOUS Starbucks venti-Americano-no-room-for-milk habit. But all that black coffee played havoc with my skin and I started to look as tired as I felt.
So when I was contacted and offered some Energex tablets from Healthspan, I jumped at the chance. These are billed as a natural "pick me up" and each tablet contains guarana, Panaz ginseng, amino acids and plenty of lovely B vitamins.
Do they work? YES! I tend to take one each day, with my breakfast, and can honestly say that they do make a massive difference. I feel far more alert and attentive at work these days and I can usually feel the effects right through until evening. Whereas before I'd get in from work and slump onto the sofa with a bowl of pasta and Coronation Street, I know actually have the energy to do STUFF. Magical.
While I'm not sure I'll keep taking them long term, as I do intend to get back on the exercise bandwagon and I'm hoping that'll help, I do think they're great for giving me a little burst of energy when I'm feeling less than sprightly. They don't even give me those crazy heart palpitations that the likes of ProPlus do, which is nice.
You know that you've finally become an adult when:
You'll happily spend £30 on a candle for the living room but question spending £30 on a night out.
Your satnav takes you on the scenic route to Nottingham and it ends up taking an hour longer than you're used to but you don't even mind because the scenery in the Derbyshire Dales is just so beautiful that it takes your breath away.
You finally accept that you really should have your bra size checked, even though the results will probably mean that the pretty lingerie in high street shops will be out of bounds forever. Damn you, boobs.
A night in with a really good bottle of wine, your boyfriend and a plate of cheese and biscuits is the most heavenly prospect on this earth.
You suddenly have a job that terrifies you, exhausts you and makes you want to run away and work in a cake shop. But then you accept that, really, most people feel like that, most of the time.
You spend your Sunday mornings being woken up by the children of your friends and you don't even mind. Well, not too much.
You realise that the things on your birthday list include a joint membership to the National Trust, a Kenwood Kitchenaid and a new dining room rug.
Thankfully, there will always be ridiculous clothes to make you feel like a child again...
And by "you", I clearly mean "me."