Sunday, 25 January 2015

Sunday Supplement: Week #4

Only 2 more days to go until the last in the Duke's Men series comes out and I. Cannot. Wait.

Until then, I've been trying to figure out which of the dashing Duke's Men would be my ideal match.

Luckily, I didn't have to think too hard as there's a quiz! Man, I love a quiz. Anything with questions and I'm all over it. I'm probably the only person who was so disappointed when the census was only 2 pages long! Have a go yourself, here.

Oh, and I got the delicious Max as my answer. I'm expecting delivery in 4-6 weeks.

The Great British Sewing Bee starts again this week and just in time for me - I really need some motivation to get some sewing done.

Sunday, 18 January 2015

Sunday Supplement: Week #3

I caught a glimpse of this trailer for a remaking of Cinderella and I almost swooned. Romance, shoes and dancing - how fun does this look? It comes out in the UK in March and I for one cannot wait.

It's not long now until Sabrina Jeffries' finale book in her Duke's Men series comes out. Until then, I'm satisfying my need for historical romance by reading another Sabrina Jeffries book that's just been reissued - Silver Deceptions. As always, there's the mad rush to get it finished before the next book arrives.

Sunday, 11 January 2015

Sunday Supplement: Week #2

We've made it through week number 2! Woo hoo!

I don't know which is a more exciting discovery for this week - that you can grow your own back scrubber or that it's actually a tasty fruit packed with Vitamin K.

I bought some seeds in the Suttons sale and when they arrived, they came with a free packet of Luffa - that's a back scrubbing loofa to you and me.

Who knew? Probably everyone but me, but that's okay because my mind is blown and I'm going to grow edible back scrubbers this year! Woop!

Okay dokay - I have chosen my first sewing project of the year. Actually, I feel like I've been sewing Tilly's toys non-stop since the start of the year (she's a chewer/destroyer) so I'll rephrase that first sentence to say that I have chosen my first dressmaking project of the year.

It's to be Kwik Sew 3874. Yes, it's a summer outfit but I'm being realistic and should I take as long as I have been known to, at least it won't be July and I end up with something I can't wear for another 6 months. This way, by the time it's finished it'll be ready to wear for a lovely summer's day.

I'm going to make the "romper" because who can resist the word "romper" (*giggles*) and because, hello? - it has pockets!

I know you shouldn't laugh at yourself - or at least you shouldn't laugh at your own jokes but I just couldn't help myself with this.

Anyone remember #alaskagate on The Great British Bake Off last year? Well, the star of that incident is the lovely Iain Watters. One of his twitter followers was in America and spotted GBBO on the telly. He promptly told Iain.

I can't help it - I'm still laughing at my response!!

Friday, 9 January 2015

Back to Work: Stair Master!

Well, it’s hard to believe that this week was the first working week of 2015.

As much as I adore Christmas (and always enjoy being able to laze about the rest of the time in clothes I would be mortified to be seen in public wearing), I have to admit to a wee bit of relief that I’m back to routine. I do like a routine.

Anyway, to celebrate my return to work, I decided to do a quick update of how my first week went.

I say week yet I’m a loud and proud part-timer so my week consists of just 3 days. Not even that - but saying two and a half days just sounds smug!

It’s a brand new year so, of course, that means lots of wild and fanciful thoughts about being a ‘new’ person at work and being all organised, professional and etc.


That lasted the walk up the stairs to my office.

The reason? One of my work resolutions was to walk to my fifth floor office rather than taking the lift.

Yes - fifth floor.


However, there were some positives to this plan. I would be a little more healthy and I wouldn’t have to make small talk in the lift. For five whole floors.

To show you how much the second thing is a problem for me, you should know four things about me if you don’t already.

  1. I am an introvert.

  2. I have depression.

  3. On top of the above two things above, I am a little bit odd.

  4. I’m not capable of hiding that I’m a little bit odd while stuck in a steel box with strangers.

Anyway, my first mission was to find the stairs. No really - I had no idea where the stairs were. (I don’t want anyone thinking that I hadn’t received any kind of induction at my work place. I assured my colleagues that if the fire alarm went off, I am not the kind of person that would fold my arms and refuse to leave my seat and follow them safely out of the building because I hadn’t been told the exact route to take! Even I’m not that odd.)

Upon finding the stairs, I was pleased to see that the early hour meant they were deserted. I have a funny feeling that the first three items from the list above would apply when forced to walk up five flights of stairs with a stranger, too.

So up the stairs I went.

Ground floor: Look at me going up the stairs. I’m awesome at resolutions! *Smug smile*

First floor: Woop - first floor! I am going to be sexy and svelte in days.

Second floor: How does that say ‘second floor’? I’ve been walking for hours. Can I speak to a manager, please? No, never mind - just keep going.

Third floor: Seriously - who turned down the oxygen? Now I know what people who tackle Everest feel like.

Fourth floor: *Breathing heavily and on hands and knees* Must. Keep. Going.

Fifth floor: I made it! I’m here! I’m alive! *Dripping with sweat, I lie on the landing for a while to compose myself before entering the office.*

I wheeze out a ‘happy new year’ to my colleagues as I pass their desks as quickly as my shaking legs will take me.

Slumping at my desk, my mascara has run, my hair is sodden, I have droplets of sweat beading on my brow. My breathing is laboured and far too loud for the occasion. I look for my bag only to realise I’ve sat on it and squished my sandwich as I’ve fallen into my chair. My lunch now resembles a pancake of bread and meat mixed with some fluff from my skirt. Yum!

My boss comes over and asks where I’ve been - I’m 20 minutes late. Then she sees my white pallor and beads on my upper lip. “Oh - you’ve been ill, poor thing.”

Yes, that’s it. I have been ill. Very ill.

There’s no way I’ll tell anyone the truth. The truth that at the bottom of the stairs I was early, poised, professional, decent and dry.

So much for my work resolutions!

And for reference, these are the pretty outfits that I thoroughly ruined this week with my blood, sweat, sweat, sweat and tears.

Monday, 5 January 2015

Let's Be Honest

Before Christmas, I decided that I was going to start my New Years resolutions early and, more specifically, my biggest mission for 2015 around getting fit and healthy.

So - I checked out my local sports centre to see what classes were on.

My eyes lit on Boxercise starting in January. The reasons for my like are two-fold.

1) I like that it starts in January just in time for kicking off resolutions. I also hate the thought of joining a class mid way through. It would be like starting school and being the new girl that comes in once everyone already has a partner for going to the loo, or science, or whatever it is kids these days get paired for. (Did I really just say “kids these days”? How old am I?)

2) I enjoy it on the wii.

Then I noticed a class called RPM also starting in January. I don’t know what it stands for but it’s some sort of spinning class. It might even just stand for revs per minute - although that wouldn’t be particularly inventive if it was.

How exciting! I could get crazy with this spinning malarky and have a hot bod by February. I’d be one of those girls that comes out of the class a little bit shiny (not sweaty - shiny!) with the towel placed nonchalantly over my shoulders. Me and all my equally spandex friends (which I found in the class) would pretend not to notice as the guys drooled. Sipping from my water bottle that matched perfectly with my designer workout gear and trainers, I would feel invigorated after class - ready for my run home. All the while a catchy tune would play over the intercom like the soundtrack to a trendy movie.

Instead, I was laying vegged out on the sofa on a Wednesday afternoon before Christmas, having pigged out on my 3 course work Christmas lunch. And the mini mince pies and coffee. The telly was on, I was in my comfiest (read: unflattering and disgusting) comfy trousers and a jumper watching telly when… I suddenly remembered the fact that I’d signed myself up for the free taster session of RPM taking place the next morning.


I really didn’t want to go.

Now there are plenty of excuses that I could have used for not going.

It’s stormy and snowy out and I had decided to walk to the centre. I shouldn’t go for the good of my health.

If I enjoyed the class I’d want to return in January - that costs money that I don’t really have to spare. I shouldn’t go for the good of my finances.

I’d been at work for most of the week and I didn’t want to upset Tilly further by leaving her alone (and doing so on foot no less!). I shouldn’t for the mental health of my dog.

What if my heart exploded due to over exertion? Yes, this is a true fear I had and it doesn’t need further explaining.

But I decided to be honest…

I just didn’t want to go.

And that was when I realised that I was trying to be someone I wasn’t.

I’m not a gym bunny. I will never be rocking the spandex. I will never get excited by the thought of taking a run down to the gym to workout. Or even worse running home after the fact.

I’m not the kind of girl to have a line of guys drooling. I wouldn’t spend my money on designer anything. And if there was a theme tune playing for me, it would be more likely something cheesy than something trendy.

And do you know what? - admitting that was really freeing.

I immediately phoned the sports centre and cancelled my place at the session. I then went on the internet and closed the tab for the 10k run in April and all the other ridiculous ideas that I had when I thought I was the Malibu Barbie version of myself.

I don’t want to do any of these things. No sirree.

Then it hit me - it’s really no wonder I’ve been failing at this healthy lifestyle thing. I start up something I’m not committed to, don’t enjoy it but stick at it because I feel I should like it. I feel like the ‘perfect’ girl would and should enjoy it. Eventually, and I mean eventually, I decide to give it up. Then comes the berating, the negative talk and the feeling that I have failed and am some sort of quitter. And worse.

Instead of being back at square one, I’m at square minus one.

So I’m now determined to do something I want to when it comes to being healthy and exercising. Not something I wish I liked but something I actually do. Then I won’t quit because I won’t want to.

I’m not the perfect girl - I don’t even think she exists. Or maybe she just does in adverts and movies.

Either way - I don’t want to be perfect. Perfect would be far too much pressure.

I might still go to the Boxercise class but I’m going to have a good long think before I commit myself. Is this the real me that wants to take the class? Or is this the me I wish I was?

It’s time to be honest.

It’s time that the person I want to be is just myself.

Sunday, 4 January 2015

Sunday Supplement: Week #1

Sunday has always been a lazy day for me. A day for coffee, newspapers, family, meandering walks topped off watching a black and white film all snuggled up on the couch. Bliss.

For me, it's definitely a slippers and cosy jumper kind of day.

A former friend of mine once invited me to do something on a Sunday. Do something that means I need to dress, put make-up on and be sociable? Em - you can see why they are a former friend! If it takes effort - it won't be happening on a Sunday!

Anyway, with that in mind, I decided that I would do a easy, lazy post series that I could pop up on a Sunday with minimal effort. Thus my Sunday Supplement was born inside my head.

So, I aim to share some fun things each Sunday for every one of the 52 weeks of 2015. A bit of a daunting challenge but I'll give it a go!

This week I've chosen to read some fun short stories about New Year romance. Maybe it will give me some tips to find a man this year!!

"When you smile to the world, the world smiles back."


The new series of The Musketeers started again on Friday and what's not to love about a bit of swashbuckle at the end of a long week?

Oooh, a slow walking scene - my favourite part of any show/film.
When I plonked myself in front of the telly to watch, I decided to time how long it took before the first punch was thrown. 3 minutes, 34 seconds. Then I decided to time how long it took before the first sexy scene. 12 minutes, 23 seconds. Swashbuckle and smooching - that right there is some awesome storytelling! Is it any wonder I love this show?

More next Sunday. Maybe. Have a happy week!

Friday, 2 January 2015

Happy New Year: The Plan for 2015

Happy New Year!

I love the new year. Not the actual celebration - I’m not a partying kind of gal, you see - but the promise of fresh starts, new chances and a clean slate to reinvent yourself into the person you’ve dreamed (dreamt?) of being. It’s the ultimate Monday start over!

In honour of this, I thought I would write down some small and fun resolutions that I’m hoping to do this year. First I thought I should write down 2014 small resolutions and then I realised:
  • That would be ridiculous!
  • Who has the time? Or the inclination?
  • How long would that blog post actually be?
  • If I was going to do that - it should be 2015 resolutions (day 2 and I’ve already forgotten which year we’re on!)
  • I would definitely fail miserably at even remembering them all, let alone completing them all!

365 is similarly too many, as is 100, so I’ve settled for 50. Not too many, not too few - just right.

Having had time to think about it, I’ve sensibly cut it down to 15. No sense in being overly ambitious! Or overly stupid! 100 - sheesh!

So here we go with my 15 resolutions:

  1. Like what I see in the mirror

  2. Commit to doing some things to kick my depression in the bahooky

  3. Eat good, tasty, nutritious meals and food

  4. Go on at least 5 dates

  5. Learn to love myself (it’s the greatest love of all!)

  6. Move myself into a shape that I feel good in

  7. Grow more of my own veggies

  8. Visit more historic houses and gardens

  9. Keep my job after November

  10. Find a great group of friends

  11. Blog more often

  12. Get that romance book written

  13. Spend more quality time with my family

  14. Get another tattoo

  15. Sew more of my own clothes

I know, I know - very few of these could be considered SMART objectives. Perhaps that’s why I like New Year’s resolutions so much - they can be as rigid or as airy fairy as you like. And I like me some airy fairy!

Some might say that you cannot truly measure your success if you don’t have specific, measurable goals yet after I've woken up, I see it differently. Why set yourself up to fail at something that is supposed to be a happy way to better yourself? Nah - I’d rather be able to look back at the end of 2015 and rate it as a success. And, by giving myself every chance to succeed - I’m already half way to completing my dreams for this year!

That sounds like a damn fine plan to me!

Now get to it, sister!