Sunday, 29 November 2009

Tagged: 10 Things

A few days ago, Brittany over at Sweet, Sassy and oh so Classy shared a list of 10 things that made her happy, and tagged all her followers to do the same. So without further ado, here's my list:

  1. Spending time with my fantastic family and friends
  2. Shopping!!
  3. Not having to get up early at the weekend
  4. Having a nice class to cover when I'm working
  5. The "buzz" I get when an idea or piece of knowledge really clicks with a student
  6. My friends N and M's baby H...he's 10 months old and getting cuter every day! :-)
  7. Starbucks' flavoured lattes and skinny muffins/cakes
  8. Drinking and dancing with my girls on a night out
  9. My friends' L and G's wedding a week today... can't wait!
  10. 3 weeks of work left till Christmas...that means only 15 working days! (well 14, because I've got the day after the wedding off :-) )

So, how about you? What makes you happy?? Looking forward to reading your lists!

Tuesday, 24 November 2009

Clouds and Silver Linings

I've been doing my "Highs and Lows of the Week" posts for quite a while now, but last week I really noticed how closely some of the highs linked with some of the lows...just like clouds and their silver linings (hence the title of this post!). So, for this week at least, my highs will be mixed in with my lows just to remind me that clouds do have their silver linings, and that we can find positives in most situations if we look hard enough!

  • I didn't get the job - As some of you will know I went for a interview last week, for a job that I think would have suited me down to the ground. After the interview, I had mixed feelings about my performance...I thought some of my answers were spot on, but that others were absolutely awful! After around 3 very stressful hours of waiting, I got a call from the headteacher telling me that unfortunately I had been unsuccessful on that occasion. Yes, I was badly disappointed but there was just a glimpse of a silver lining...

Silver Lining

  • But my interview feedback was excellent - As standard, the headteacher gave me feedback and said that my interview had gone very well indeed, and that I'd only just been pipped to the post by the person they'd eventually appointed (who had a great deal of experience) and that it had been a difficult decision. This reassured me that the interview had been better than I'd percieved it and also gave me more confidence to take to other interviews in future. I know I'm nearly's just a case of finding the right job for me!


  • 3 hours of stress whilst waiting to hear if I'd been successsful in my I mentioned in the previous cloud, I had 3 hours of jangling nerves and butterflies in my tummy whilst I was waiting for THAT call. I'm naturally quite impatient, so every minute was like agony. I tried to keep occupied, so I logged onto Blogger, and whilst I was browsing through my dashboard and I found my silver lining...

Silver Lining

  • I'd won my first giveaway: A few weeks ago Holly from Her Southern Heart was running a week of giveaways. I left comments on her blog to enter, then forgot all about them. But there it was in black and white! I'd won a pair of beautiful earrings courtesy of Holly and Barefoot Maiden! I was so excited, especially as I couldn't remember the last time I'd won anything! So I left a very excited thank you comment on Holly's blog, sent her a very excited email and am now (im)patiently waiting for the earrings to wing their way across the pond! I'm so eager to get them, and will be sure to blog about them when they arrive!


  • I'm no dancer: It was my friend L's hen night on Saturday, so all the girls (and one guy!) headed out to a club called Copacabana in Manchester. As the name suggests, it's a Latin club and included in the package we'd booked for the evening was a 45 minute Latin dance lesson...perfect for L who's been dancing since the age of 3, but a lot more intimidating for me who has 2 left feet and a lack of natural rhythm! Our class was merengue, which was meant to be really simple to pick up and at first things weren't so bad. I picked up the basic footwork with little difficulty, but just when I was feeling pleasantly surprised...reality kicked in! I'm obviously not meant to dance with a partner, as when my friend E and I teamed up, it was murder on the dancefloor (on my part, not E's!) The instructors could see we were having difficulties, so stepped in, which made me feel even worse! I know I needed to relax and loosen up, but I get tense when I'm struggling with something, and dancing with someone unfamilar didn't help matters! Eventually, I got to a point where I could dance with an instructor, but leave me to my own devices and bam...right back to reality! But despite massacring the merengue...

Silver Lining

  • I had a fantastic night, and I'm determined to master the merengue! : Although the dance lesson was a didn't stop me from enjoying the rest of the night! We had a gorgeous tapas meal, frozen cocktails and great fun wearing our pink fluffy kitten ears and waving our fluffy wands! We even did some dancing although none of us were brave enough (or had good enough memories!) to put our new found "skills" to the test! I've also gained a new found determination to become a better dancer...there's no way I'm going to let a few steps defeat me lol!

So that was last week...hope you all had a good one, and that this week is shaping up to be fantastic too!

Friday, 20 November 2009

Dear shoes...

I love you. I know we've only been together for about 3 months but I can't imagine life without you! You've gone to so many different places with me; you've graced cocktail bars and karaoke bars, pubs, clubs and even a school yet you've never looked like you didn't belong. You've helped transform me into a witch, girl about town and serious teacher and I'm confident you'll help me become an ace salsa dancer this weekend!

You've got the perfect personality for're sexy, yet comfortable and drop dead gorgeous but practical at the same time. You never fail to cheer me up when I'm feeling down, and even when I'm having a fat or ugly day, I know that you'll still fit and look good!

And because I love you, I'll do my best to show you how I feel. That's why I keep you wrapped up in your might not sound like much, but you're about the only pair of shoes I've done that with! And I know that you've had your fair share of knocks and scrapes, and I apologise for that. I should be more careful, but sometimes I'm just so excited to be out with you, that I just want to dance and show you off! But if ever you do get hurt, you know I'll get you fixed up. I want you around for as long as possible...who knows, it might even be forever!

Looking forward to going out with you again this weekend...I can't wait!

All my love
Julie xxxx

My favourite them! <3

Monday, 16 November 2009

And another week goes by...

almost without a peep out of me! I honestly don't know where the time's gone...I did have a bit of a manic week but I was still aiming to post a couple of times! But never mind, at least I can summarise my week into one post: my highs and lows! And here they are for last week:

  • Birthday fun with family and friends: Not my birthday, but over the last week I've spent quite a bit of time celebrating birthdays and had a great time doing it! Well there was just one exception...but I'll come to that later! Anyway, my friends E and D both had their birthdays last week so I spent 2 very chilled evenings in 2 different pubs sharing in their celebrations and catching up with my friends. Then on Saturday, me and my family went for a meal with my Grandad and Uncle, to celebrate my Grandad's 90th which was on Friday. The company and food were fantastic and it was really good to see my Grandad enjoying himself and looking so well...nobody can believe how old he actually is! Plus the pub/restaurant we went to organised for us to have a free bottle of sparkling wine to help mark the occasion which was very much appreciated (by me anyway!)

  • Reductions at the till: Yet more shopping this week...although there was an actual purpose behind some of it (you'll find out the reason later!). I picked up a gorgeous sequinned top/dress which I love, not least because it had a 25% reduction on it. Then I went to Next at the weekend as I wanted to buy a suit(there's a big hint there!) and I had a giftcard that I needed to spend. I decided on purchases that I thought added up to the value of the card, but when I got to the till I discovered that the trousers were less than half price! So instead of spending up, I still had 12 pounds of free money left! Bargain!!

And last but definitely not least...

  • Interview: Yes, you read right...I've got a job interview! It's my first interview since my last long term post finished last December and I still can't quite believe it! I was in absolute shock when I opened the envelope and read the letter, as I when I'd seen the school's address stamp on the back, I was convinced it was another rejection! But no...they are pleased to invite me for interview on Thursday, and I'm really excited (although trying not to get my hopes up too high!). The vacancy is in a Year 4 class, which is one of my favourite age groups (ages 8-9), the school has a very good reputation and it's situated in a nice area, only about 5 minutes drive or 20 minutes walk away from my house. Can you tell I want this job lol?!


  • Birthday not-so fun with friends: Remember how I said that there was one exception to the great birthday celebrations my friends had...well here it is. The night didn't get off to a particularly good start... E and D had invited loads of people to town but only 5 of us ended up going out (including E and D themselves!)! Then when we got out, things seemed to be looking up...but that didn't last long! We went to a bar first, then to a club shortly after that and that was when the problems really started! Whilst E and I were having a great time...the boys (D, S and NE) didn't seem to be. D was practically falling asleep, NE was hungry and telling everyone this at every available point and S just looked miserable as sin! Needless to say, we gave up relatively early for town (about 12:30) and that was when it really kicked off. E was upset with the boys, especially S and wanted to be away from him. I was also annoyed as I hadn't wanted the night to come to an end, and so E and I decided to have a short walk to cool down. But S kept following us which made E furious! She wouldn't talk to him, so I tried telling S to leave us alone and we ended up having a big row in the street which I'm sure highly amused everyone else around us! Eventually we got into a taxi and endured a very uncomfortable ride home. Me and the boys are fine now, but E is still angry with S, and knowing their rows and how stubborn E is, this will run and run! Things really just got out of proportion and I'm trying to see the funny side, but I sense that there might not be many nights out for a while!

  • Noisy classes: They get really frustrating and I nearly lost my voice one day last week! Enough said!

So there's my highs and lows! Hope you all had fantastic weeks last week and have great ones to come!

Monday, 9 November 2009

Highs and Lows of the Week

Can't believe it's Monday already...the weekend went far too quickly! But it is, which means only one thing...that it's time to share my highs and lows of last week!

  • Having a 3 day week: Now I could have been negative and seen my return to work after half term as a bad thing, but I'm not going to. One of the reasons is that I only actually worked on 3 days last week. I had Monday off as the schools didn't go back till Tuesday, and although I was available for work on Friday, I just didn't get a call which meant no work and an early start to my weekend! The second reason that I quite liked work last week was that three of the four classes I worked with were absolutely lovely, and at the end of the day I left the classroom feeling good about myself which is sometimes a rarity!

  • New clothes: I picked up a couple of new tops from Asda last week that I'm planning on wearing for a couple of big nights out that I've got coming up...the joint birthday bash for my friends E and D on Saturday and my friend L's hen do on the Saturday after that. No pictures yet...I'll either do them in my next wardrobe Wednesday or when I've actually worn the tops.

  • Christmas Starbucks: I was so excited when I went in Starbucks on Friday and saw that the red cups were back and the Christmas food and drink ranges were in store. I just had to have a Gingerbread latte and a Cranberry and Orange muffin (both zero guilt on my part!). And they were so good that I was forced to go back yesterday and have another latte and a Christmas Pudding cupcake. I'm already wracking my brains to think of the next time I can go back for another treat!


  • Rain: As I sit and type this it's a lovely sunny day, and I can already see the beginnings of a gorgeous sunset. It's so much better than the almost endless rain we had last week which was horrible. I got soaked on the way to work and then, after getting dried out, proceeded to get drenched again on the way home. Although I used an umbrella, my coat got wet, my trousers got wet and water somehow leaked into my shoes and I ended up with wet feet. Nightmare!! I'm seriously considering buying a pair of wellies so it doesn't happen again!

  • My dodgy immune system: I came down with a cold on Saturday night, which meant I was sniffling then and all day yesterday, and am rather blocked up today. I know I'm lucky that it was over quite quickly and I haven't been that ill, but I hate that annoying feeling where you're not completely well, but not really ill either. It's also my third cold since August, so I think I've already had more than my fair share!

  • The X Factor: I normally love this show but I'm getting really sick of it now due to the fact that the terrible twins are getting through week after week. They can't sing, can't dance and are really annoying and I think it's really unfair that better singers are going out at their expense. And I can't believe that Simon Cowell didn't take the opportunity to get rid of them when they were in the bottom 2 last night! He's been moaning for weeks about how bad they are but failed to do anything about the situation when he had the chance! It does make me seriously consider the rumours that the show has been fixed in favour of them, and if they do get much further, I think I'm going to give up and watch Strictly Come Dancing instead!

So there's my highs and lows. How was last week for you?

Tuesday, 3 November 2009

What's-in-my-wardrobe Wednesday - Fancy Dress for Less

Once again, I'm late with this post, and I'm feeling really lazy at not blogging for 6 whole days...but at least I'm here now, better late than never and am making up for my guilt by giving you 2 posts for the price of 1! So sit back, relax and enjoy...a little bit of my weekend mixed up with a whole lot of outfits!

Now, I love going to parties, and every now and then, the time comes around for fancy dress. I love that too...but what I don't like is the cost involved. Whilst some of my friends have bought expensive dressing up outfits in the past, I really don't see the point. It's not as if it's something you can really wear again, unless you want to run the risk of everyone knowing what your outfit will be before every single party (because it's ALWAYS the same one!)! Now that's not to say I won't buy outfits if they're the right price...but I like to be a bit more creative if I can! So here's a few outfits I've created in my time, and a few tips for getting a cool looking outfit for less. I'm not saying I'm a style expert or anything because I'm most certainly not, but I have been pleased with what I've managed to achieve!

  1. Work with what you've already got

Last Saturday, I went to a Halloween party dressed as a witch and had a fantastic time! Initially, I had planned to buy a costume but could find nothing in the shops. At first I started to panic but then I remembered a dress I already had and everything else started to come together. This is what I wore:

I wore this black can't see very well but it had wide bottomed sleeves and a zig zag hem...perfect for a witch. I teamed it with black fishnets over purple tights and my black ribbon tie shoes from Next...all three were things I already owned. The only new addition to my outfit which cost 1.50 from a discount shop.

2. Start shopping early

Now I know this isn't always possible, but if you know about something in advance, I'd strongly recommend looking around earlier rather than later. A good example of this was for my friend's 25th. In honour of our decade of birth, he decided to go for an 80s theme and I was determined to buy a vintage 80s dress for the occasion. So I looked on Ebay...and every now and then I saw a dress I liked so I put a bid (or ten!) in. But they went for too high a price so I missed out...that's another thing I'd say...always set a price limit! But because I still had time left, I didn't get stressed and just kept looking. And then it happened...I saw a dress, bid and won! In fact, I was the only bidder and bagged myself a genuine 80s gem for less than a fiver. What do you think?:

I teamed the dress with leg warmers which I also bought off Ebay for a couple of quid and a pair of 80s style black stilettos from Dorothy Perkins that I already owned.
3. Customise the basics (or get others to do it for you!)

A couple of years ago, 2 of my friends had a joint fancy dress party. The theme was cartoon characters and for a while I was stumped. How could I find quite a simple outfit? Then I thought of Wilma Flintstone...all I'd need was a white dress and a string of pearls and I'd be sorted! So the white dress hunt was on, and I eventually found a strappy white sundress for a few pounds. Then my mum got to work on it. She removed one of the shoulder straps and cut the bottom so it was jagged. Add a string of chunky pearls that I borrowed off a friend and a wash in/'wash out hair dye (that didn't really work!) and voila!

4. Buy items that can multitask

I probably spent the most I ever have on the fancy dress outfit I wore for my friend's western themed birthday party. But I didn't mind because I knew I'd wear everything again and I have. My cowboy boots...check! A checked shirt..check! A cowboy hat...check! (It's great for those sunny days!)

And finally one more tip that doesn't have a photo with it!
5. Accessorise, accessorise, accessorise

A really good example of this was when I was looking for a simple and cheap costume and decided to go as a police officer. I had the black trousers, white shirt and sensible shoes already so all I bought was the accessories: handcuffs, hat, neckerchief, badge and epaulettes for my shoulders. Hey presto: instant outfit!

Another example of this was when I went to another 80s party. I bought another cheap dress off Ebay, but then made it a little bit special by adding a vintage belt (again from Ebay) and an 80s clutch that belonged to my mum!
So hope you enjoyed! Like I say, I'm not claiming to be an expert...but if at least one person gets any ideas from this, I'll be very happy! :-)