- Christmas Shopping: I can't believe how quickly Christmas is coming up...it'll be here in less than 5 weeks!! And as of just a week ago I was almost completely unprepared, having bought very few presents...but now, thanks to a lot of online shopping and a couple of afternoon shopping trips, I feel much happier about things. I'm not totally sorted by any means but I'm getting there!
- Sharing in Birthday celebrations with family and friends: October and November are busy months for me in terms of birthdays, and I've really enjoyed catching up with family and friends and celebrating together. I've indulged in a Chinese all-you-can-eat buffet for my friend N's birthday and a delicious pub lunch for my Grandad's 91st! I enjoyed an evening of comedy and cocktails (only one...it was a school night!) for my friend E's 27th and made a mad dash across town after work to celebrate my friend D's special day. All were special in very different ways, and I can't wait for the next big event :-)
- Buying tickets: Whilst spending almost 5 hours trying to book concert tickets isn't much fun, I'm so glad that I (and my sisters) did. Because, as a result of our perseverance, stubbornness and downright craziness (on my part at least!), two of my best girl friends and I will be going to see Take That in June next year!! Although I wasn't particularly a fan of them the first time around, since they've got back together I've developed a new found love for them and that coupled with the fact they've got a reputation for putting on incredible live show made me determined to get tickets no matter what!
- Just chilling: Whether it's with a mini bottle of wine and Saturday night TV, or checking Facebook and my favourite blogs in a break from work, I've been loving those precious moments of doing nothing much.
Sunday, 21 November 2010
Wednesday, 20 October 2010
- Almost 2 weeks ago now, my friends N and M welcomed their second child into the world :-) He's a boy, his first name begins with J and he's an absolutely adorable addition to their little family!! I've so enjoyed being a part of his older brother H's life and watching him grow up and I can't wait to do it all again with little J!!
- After over a month and a half of (sometimes) serious job hunting and a very definite lack of supply work which saw me becoming very disillusioned and hating the situation I found myself in, there is now the definite possibility of a light at the end of the tunnel. You see, yesterday I found myself in the extremely privileged position of being contacted about not just one job opportunity but two!! I'm not going to go into too much detail at the moment but I'm just so relieved that things seem to be going my way at last. My finances are starting to become a bit of a worry, especially with Christmas and quite a few birthdays coming up, so if I get even one of these jobs (they're both part time), it would be a major load off my mind :-)
- Right at the start of the month I was thrilled to get a part in my drama group's pantomime!! In January, we'll be staging Aladdin and I'll be playing the Spirit of the Ring (insert your own jokes here...the rest of the cast has!!). It's not the part I auditioned for, but I actually prefer this one anyway (there's no solo singing, which I'm very happy about :-) ) And, as long time readers of my blog will know, I was really disappointed not to be successful at last year's panto auditions, so to get any part is just a dream come true!! Initial readthroughs of the script have been a blast, and I'm really looking forward to more rehearsals and getting to spend more time with our amazing cast.
- And continuing on the dramatic theme...I went to the theatre a couple of weeks ago and saw the most amazing performance of "A Streetcar Named Desire". Having never seen or read the play before, or watched the film, I didn't really know what to expect but I was absolutely blown away. All the performances were top notch, and the three hours plus running time simply flew by; definitely an experience not to miss!!
- Spending more time with friends...what with the birth of Baby J, 2 birthdays over the past few days and another one coming up fast and numerous TV/DVD nights, I'm getting to spend some much needed quality time with my friends. And after all the "likes" I got on my new Facebook status regarding my job prospects, I'm once again reminded of just how great they are :-)
- Lovely October weather...be it unseasonably warm, or cold and crisp, there have been some beautiful sunny days which have been just perfect for walking in
- Autumn baking...I've tried out a couple of new recipes, both featuring apples and a subtle taste of spice (just perfect for this autumn weather!!) and I've got more up my sleeve for over the next couple of weeks...I'm thinking Halloween cookies, something involving pumpkin and sticky parkin. Oh, and I'm seriously thinking about starting a baking blog. What do you reckon??
- Up...I was introduced to this film last weekend by one of my girl friends and I'm in love. It's seriously one of the most beautiful, funny and moving films I've ever seen and I'm hooked. Even if it did make me cry more than most other films ever have. Seriously, I was crying like a baby!! But I still love it, and I need a copy in my life, like now!!
- Receiving some negative (and I feel pretty unwarranted) feedback from a school I worked at...again I don't want to go into detail, but there were two main issues which were raised. One which, in hindsight, I maybe could have handled slightly differently, although I feel like I was very much manipulated by the headteacher and placed in a situation in which it was very difficult for me to act appropriately. And then two, which I completely dispute and feel like it almost amounted to a personal attack, as opposed to a constructive criticism of my teaching.
- Lack of work and money and what feels like endless hours of job hunting: As I mentioned before, this has really got me down over the past few weeks although, fingers crossed, I'll hopefully have some good news on this front soon!! Tomorrow's looking to be a red letter day...I'm making a phone call to one of the possible employers tomorrow morning to find out more details about that job and I have an interview for the other post tomorrow afternoon. Fingers crossed the outcomes are positive!!
Thursday, 7 October 2010
Saturday, 25 September 2010
- The beautiful colours of the autumn leaves...I adore the reds and oranges, yellows and browns and hearing their crunch when they're underfoot is music to my ears!!
- Halloween!! Whilst I'm no longer a child myself, and don't often celebrate the occasion in a big way, I still love lots of things about the date. Seeing little trick or treaters in cute costumes, and sometimes getting the chance to dress up myself, pumpkin lanterns which add an eerie glow to many a house, eating themed food...all fabulous in my book!!
- Chilly autumn mornings when you can see your breath and the crisp, bright days that follow. I do know that we get rainy autumn days too...but I'm choosing to ignore that fact (hell, it's my blog and I can do what I like!!)
- Buying new autumn clothes and rediscovering old favourites...I love wrapping up in cardigans and am looking forward to being able to wear my cosy boots again!!
- Conkers...As a child, the start of the conker season was one of the main heralds of autumn for me, alongside the start of a new school year of course, and I still love collecting a few of them when I'm out walking. However, even though these days I'm particularly discerning and only pick the shiniest and most beautiful looking ones, I've still got quite a few and I'm not quite sure where I should put them or what I should do with them!!
- The smoky scent of bonfires and fireworks...Even though I hate fireworks and so am not overly fond of Bonfire Night, I love the smells associated with it, and the smoky, slightly foggy atmosphere that lingers for a day or two afterwards. And being the food lover that I am, I also look forward to such treats as parkin (a dark and sticky ginger cake made with treacle and oats) and treacle and cinder toffees :-)
- Dark autumn evenings spent watching TV or reading and curling up near the warm fire (I would describe it as roaring but that would be an exaggeration considering our fire is gas powered lol!!)
- Autumn baking and cooking...This is the first autumn that I've really got into baking/cooking and I'm looking forward to making lots of seasonal treats including parkin, halloween biscuits, gingerbread, soup and lots of apple and pumpkin based cakes. I can't wait!!
And those are a few of my favourite autumn things!! What are yours?? I'd love to hear from you :-)
Till next time...
PS: I was intending to include some pretty pictures with this post, but we heart it is being slow and I'm getting impatient, so you're just going to have to wait till another day! I'll post an autumn days picture post soon, I promise!
Sunday, 12 September 2010
Anyway, till next time...
Tuesday, 31 August 2010
Anyway, I'm off out now... so happy Wednesday everyone!! Till next time...
Monday, 30 August 2010
I heard it for the first time yesterday, and whilst it took a little time for it to grow on me, now I think it's fab. So much so, that I've gone on YouTube to find it and have decided to blog about it!! There's just one problem though...for a song called Misery, it's just a little too upbeat lol!! :-) What do you think?? Hope you enjoyed as much as I did!! Till next time...
Sunday, 29 August 2010
Till next time...
Saturday, 28 August 2010
1. What was the last thing you put in your mouth? Cup of tea and a banana bun
2. Where was your profile picture taken? Holy Rood Church Hall, Swinton
3. Can you play Guitar Hero? Badly!
4. Name someone who made you laugh today? My Grandad
5. How late did you stay up last night and why? I went to bed about 12:30. It would have been earlier but I was doing my usual messing around before bed thing!
6. If you could move somewhere else,where would it be?I'd stay close by if possible.
7. Ever been kissed under fireworks? No...nobody would get me out under fireworks for any reason whatsoever!!
8. Which of your friends lives closest to you? N and M
9. Do you believe ex's can be friends? Sometimes
10. How do you feel about Dr Pepper? I can think of lots of nicer drinks!
11. When was the last time you cried really hard? I can't remember - maybe a few weeks ago??
12. Who took your Facebook profile picture? Someone from my drama group
13. Who was the last person you took a picture of? Myself?! I can't really remember to be honest!!
14. Was today better than yesterday? No
15. Can you live a day without TV? Yes
16. Are you upset about anything? My work prospects...I'm not really sure where my future lies at this moment in time.
17. Do you think relationships are ever really worth it? The right ones are
18. Are you a bad influence? I suppose I could be...I'm very lazy and love food too much, and will incite others to slack off and eat crap!
19. Night out or night in? It depends on my mood and the company.
20. What items could you not go without during the day? Phone, purse, pen, tissues, food and drink (obviously!!)
21. Who was the last person you visited in the hospital? My grandad
22. What does the last text message in your inbox say? Thanks for the invite jules but me and linds have already made plans. Enjoy the film and we'll see you soon x
23. How do you feel about your life right now? It's ok...
24. Do you hate anyone? Not that I can think of
25. If we were to look in your facebook inbox, what would we find? Messages
26. Say you were given a drug test right now, would you pass? Yeah
27. Has anyone ever called you perfect before? Don't think so...
28. What song is stuck in your head? I haven't really got one right now...you should have asked whilst X Factor was on!!
29. Someone knocks on your window at 2:00 a.m, who would you like it to be? A hot guy! Only joking, I think it would have to be a friend
30. Wanna have grandkids by the time you're 50? No...I want to enjoy other things in my life first
31. Name something you are doing tomorrow? Having a driving lesson
32. Do you think too much or too little? Too much!
33. Do you smile a lot? Apparently so! (I asked my sister!)
34. Is there anything you'd change about yourself? Yeah...my weight, my pessimism and my lack of self esteem.
35. Do you have a secret crush? There's someone who I'm not really sure of my feelings of...but the situation would be complicated anyway, so it's best left well alone!!
So they're my answers, and like I said, it would be great to read yours too!! Till next time...
Friday, 27 August 2010
- My sister Amy's fantastic exam results: she got an A, 7 Bs, 3 Cs and 2Ds, and I was so proud!! I was also smiling about my other sister K's test results: she achieved an A and 3 Bs and I'm sure she'll do really well in her exams next year.
- My Grandad feeling much better: On Monday, my grandad was admitted to hospital suffering from a bad chest infection. After visiting him on the Tuesday, my family and I were really worried as he looked so ill and didn't seem himself at all, but luckily, by Wednesday his condition had started to improve and now he's practically his old self again :-) He has got to stay in hospital a bit longer, just so the medical staff can keep an eye on him, but he'll hopefully be home early next week.
- Going to the Comedy Store with friends: I had a really good laugh and it was also a break from the norm. I think I'll definitely be going back more often in the future.
- A long conversation with a friend after they'd given me a lift home
- Finding amazing images on we heart it (yeah, that's where the one at the top is from too!!)...it's turning into my new obsession, along with Frontierville!!
And fingers crossed the smiles won't stop there, as I'm looking forward to a (3 day!!) weekend full of friends, family and fun. And I hope that everyone has a fantastic weekend ahead too, whatever you're doing. Till next time...
Thursday, 26 August 2010
As you'd know if you read my blog yesterday, I've just started exploring we heart it and have uncovered some beautiful images. Above are 10 of my favourites so far, including some I only came across today...so maybe being unable to post pictures yesterday was a good thing, as I would have missed out on some of the best. And my online album is sure to be getting fuller and fuller, so I reckon that image posts might be making a more regular appearance on the blog, as I can't resist sharing them with you all. Would you like to see more photos on my blog? And how would you like them to be arranged? I'm thinking of doing a mix of both random and themed posts, but there's nothing set in stone yet!!
Wednesday, 25 August 2010
So I suppose I'll end with a question (or two!!) instead. Are you a fan of weheartit? Where have you discovered your favourite images? It'd be great to hear from you :-)
Till next time...
Tuesday, 24 August 2010
Maybelline Dream Matte Mousse Foundation
I've been using this for a while now; over 2 years I think, and when I first purchased it I was basically just jumping on the bandwagon. I'd seen the adverts proclaiming it to be Britain's bestselling foundation and decided to see what the fuss was about. And I've never looked back (maybe sideways...but more about that later!) And why do I love this? Well, for quite a few reasons. Firstly, I love the coverage. As someone who suffers from redness and frequent blemishes, especially around my T zone, I need a foundation that neutralises and covers these and Dream Matte Mousse does just that. Also, it's longlasting...if I've been working or for a night out, I may need to do a mini touch up once, but other than that, no action is required. And loads always comes off on my remover wipe when taking it off. It's also reasonably priced, easy to apply and blend and one jar lasts a long time.
Bourjois 10 Hour Sleep Effect Foundation
Right now I suppose you might be thinking "If you love the first foundation so much, why bother with another?" Well, I'll tell you. Despite the fact I love the mousse, I think it's a bit too heavy and matte looking for summer wear...I want something lighter and fresher looking. And this is where this comes in. Not only does it leave my skin glowing; almost radiant in fact, it also has a gorgeous smell and is longlasting. Now, as it provides lighter coverage than the first, it does mean that I often have to add a couple of minutes onto my make up routine...using concealer and/or Dream Matte Mousse on any spots/blemishes before the Bourjois, and then dusting pressed powder over my T zone afterwards, but for the look it gives, I think it's well worth it.
Rimmel Extra Super Lash Lash Building Mascara
Now when it comes to mascara, I've experimented with a fair few in my time. From budget (Primark and Natural Collection) to high end (Benefit) and volumising to lengthening. I've tried those with white base coats and waterproof varieties. There've been big brushes, standard brushes and bendy plastic wands. But the one I've always come back to is this this one. Why? Because it does exactly what it says on the tin. It truly "builds a natural to dramatic look". One coat and I'm ready for work or a night in with friends. Two or three...and it's party time!! Whilst it may not be waterproof, it is longlasting and at the cheaper end for a brand name mascara. So really, what's not to love?
Urban Decay Lube in a Tube Miami
I came across this product by chance in a local discount fashion and beauty shop (Ethel Austin) for, I think, £1.50 and was instantly attracted by four things: the colour, the description on the packaging, the fact that it was Urban Decay and, of course, the price! Basically this is my favourite lip product because it combines all the things I like in one...it has the moisturising properties of a balm (thanks to the shea butter which is one of its ingredients) with the pigmentation you'd expect from a lipstick or gloss. So for someone with limited room in their make up bag (a la me) it's ideal! As well as moisturising and giving my lips a lovely reddy-pinky colourcolour, it also gives them the tingliest feeling on application. I'm not quite sure why (maybe it's the mint which is another active ingredient), but it's definitely a pleasant sensation :-) In terms of reapplication, I'd normally put another coat on every couple of hours or so, which is pretty standard for me when it comes to lip products, so it isn't disappointing in that sense either.
And that's all for now...stay tuned for some more favourites coming up!! What are your favourite make up products/brands?? Let me know...it'll be great to hear from you :-)
Till next time...
Monday, 23 August 2010
I've been able to trace happy events like marriages and births...but have also discovered some sad ones that, although maybe commonplace at the time, seem positively tragic to me in the present day, especially as they've happened to my ancestors; my own flesh and blood. Maybe disappointingly, I haven't uncovered any great scandals although I do know that there was a divorce in my family early last century which would have been quite shocking at the time. And I do have some suspicions that one of my ancestors may have been illegitimate, and this really interests me...maybe her father was the rich and important person that I'd be so excited to find. Because on the surface my family tree is filled with ordinary people...not rich, nor important; just normal individuals, mostly working class who seemed to lead ordinary lives. Probably not interesting or important enough to make it onto an episode of Who Do You Think You Are!! But, although it'd be fun to find an important ancestor, as far as I'm concerned, the normal people would be the stars of my show because without them I wouldn't be here today. These ordinary people make me want to visit churches hundreds of miles away; make me determined to overcome the barriers that adoption,divorce and illegitamacy pose when I'm researching; make me thrilled every time I can add a new name to my family tree. Because that's who I am...part of an ordinary group of people who, to me, are the most crucially important of all.
Till next time...
Sunday, 22 August 2010
- I still haven't bought any new DVDs for myself this month, but have made no further progress in getting through my collection either...I'm going to really try to make some headway with this during the week.
- No new MP3 player yet, but this is a priority before I go back to work; listening to music makes long bus journeys so much more bearable!!
- I've read one book so far this month (The Memoirs of Sherlock Holmes from this wonderful set) and am on the lookout for another book to get stuck into.
- Last Thursday, I baked a new recipe from my Hummingbird Bakery book and took a couple of photos to go with it...the blog post will be coming soon!!
- Since my last goals update, I've watched Toy Story 3 and have got some vague plans to see Inception at some point during the week. No A Team as yet, and I think it might be a challenge to organise a trip, as most of my friends have already seen it.
- No outing organised yet...I'm thinking of arranging something for the Bank Holiday Monday which is coming up in just over a week.
- Goal achieved!! The weather was kind and allowed my friends and I to watch these films without getting soaked :-) Fingers crossed that we might even be able to watch more films at Spinningfields before the season ends.
- This is something that I'm shamefully behind on; another priority for the upcoming week methinks.
- No real progress since the last goals catch up...I think I'm definitely going to have to be more proactive and send a few texts/fb messages to those friends who I don't see much of.
- No progress...thinking about my career gets me stressed at the moment so I've been (rather foolishly) avoiding it. I know this ian't the best course of action, however, so am resolved to do something about this soon.
- I've not done anything about this either. I think my first step is going to be investigating how much demand there would be for Avon products amongst my friends and family, as they'd form the bulk of my customer base.
Mind and Body
- Not done...I'm going to have to pre plan and dedicate an evening to this.
- This has tailed off since my last goals update... I've tended to spend more time reading outside than walking lol!! Although the scales tell me I've put on a few pounds, so I reckon I need to get back to good habits pretty sharpish.
- I've looked into places to visit but haven't really found any new ones that I could get to within a reasonable time so I reckon it'll probably be Manchester again. I've got no idea yet what I'll do though!!
- I have looked at evening classes at my local college and nothing really appeals so I'm definitely going to investigate online courses instead.
- Not achieved yet, although I have made an appointment for the end of August. Hopefully I'll be fit and well and able to donate, unlike at the last donation session I attended where I was suffering from cold symptoms.
- Not done...I am a shameful procrastinator, but in my defence, I know that it'll be an all day job, so I'm waiting for a completely free (hopefully rainy!!) day.
- As was true last time my wardrobes have been sorted, but my drawers still haven't.
- I'm on track to meet this goal so far...if only just!!
- Still not done, mainly because I have lingering doubts about my ability but also because I simply keep forgetting to do it!!
And that's it...August may be slipping away, but I'm still determined to make Operation August a success!! Till next time...
Saturday, 21 August 2010
Till next time...
Friday, 20 August 2010
So, I suppose this is one part apology, another part explanation, and finally a thank you to my followers and commenters new and old...I appreciate your comments and support, and I hopefully be back to posting what I intended as of tomorrow :-)
Till next time...
Thursday, 19 August 2010
Wednesday, 18 August 2010
Till next time...
Tuesday, 17 August 2010
Till next time...
Monday, 16 August 2010
Till next time...
Sunday, 15 August 2010
- Time spent with friends: Most of my evenings this week have been spent in the company of some of my favourite people aka my friends! Whether we've been at the cinema, at a party or just relaxing by watching DVDs and having a chat, I've had a fantastic time and I know their company is something that I really value; basically I'd be lost without them!
- Good films: Over the past week, I've watched some amazing films. There's been Toy Story 3 at the cinema (I cried...proof that I have a soul!!), Stand by Me on the big screen at Spinningfields and Spaceballs and The Goonies on DVD at my friend's house. All very different...but all great. I have a feeling that I'll be adding some more DVDs to my collection once my buying ban is up at the end of the month!!
- The fantastic weather this weekend: If you're a frequent visitor to my blog, you'll know that I've recently been bemoaning the terrible weather we've been having over the last few weeks. Well, the weather fairies must have been listening to me because the last two days have been glorious. Sunny, but not too hot...the perfect weather for sitting outside and reading my book or for going for a leisurely walk. Hopefully it'll last into next week too!!
- A fantastic driving lesson: My last driving lesson was one of those blessed ones where everything just came together. I even managed to get my bay parking right twice in a row!! Now I just need to book my test...hopefully before I have a terrible lesson and lose my confidence!!
- Stress-free shopping: On Friday, one of my closest friends and I had to go shopping to buy a present for our friend's 21st birthday. As her party was that evening, our schedule was pretty tight, and I was half expecting the trip to be fraught with tension, as we rushed from shop to shop to find the perfect gift. But no...it was one of the easiest gift shopping trips I've been on in a while. It turns out that we had similar ideas on what to get, so selecting the gifts was a breeze. And we even had time for a well deserved Starbucks before heading home!!
- The summer holidays: I'm currently half way through my summer holidays, and even though I've been moaning about the weather, I've definitely been enjoying the freedom to stay up late, without having to worry about being up early for work the next day :-)
Now I'm meant to write about my lows, but to be honest, I can't really think of any!! So I'll leave it here for today. Till next time...
Saturday, 14 August 2010
So from now on, I'm striving to get my balance back. I'm not going to give up blogging every day...I've set myself a goal and as far as I'm concerned, there's no going back! But I'll be trying to manage my time a little better...to find moments to read, as well as write. To contribute to the blogs of others, instead of being so focused on my own. I'm part of a big blogging community, now's the time to act like it!!
Till next time...
Friday, 13 August 2010
Till next time...
Thursday, 12 August 2010
Ok so I've made the sauce, prepared my dry ingredients and stirred everything in. I've spooned the mixture into a prepared tray and left it to chill in the fridge for a couple of hours. And voila, this is the end result:
I think I could have done with a little bit more chocolate to cover those rogue cornflakes, but other than that, I think it's turned out pretty well. And I'm pleased to report that it tastes ok too (naturally there were lots of rogue crumbs when I was cutting it that my family and I just couldn't resist sampling!!) And now I'm sat here, with most of it packed up in a box ready to take to Spinningfields where my friends and I are going to watch "Stand By Me". Food, a film, fresh air and fun...sounds like a pretty good evening to me!! Till next time...
Wednesday, 11 August 2010
Cream garden print cap sleeve dress
This is one of my favourite summer dresses, not least because it was a real bargain...I picked it up for just a fiver off one of the stalls at my village's summer festival. I adore its vintage look, and think the print is simply gorgeous...it pretty much sums summer up for me. Plus it's really flattering to wear, this is something that doesn't come across well on the hanger...I kind of wish I'd made the effort to take some pictures of me wearing it now! There's only one thing I'd change about it if I could, and that's the fact that the skirt has 3 layers: a silky underskirt, a net one over that and then the main skirt itself. Whilst they give it a lovely shape, they make it just a little too hot for high summer wear, as I discovered to my peril as I wore this to the theatre on one of the hottest days of the year so far!
Full skirted floral print shirt dress
Coral and grey flower and leaf print dress
Now, I love this dress. It's light and flowy, so it's perfect for summer wear and I love the fact that it's just a little bit different...probably because it was a limited edition piece. But what I love most about this dress was that it most certainly didn't have a limited edition price tag. This little beauty cost me the grand sum of £1.00!! That's right, it was just £1.00!! Like the first dress, this was a bargain from my home town's summer festival, but this is a more recent acquisition, having only been purchased a few weeks ago. But unlike the other dress, this still had its original tags on, which told me that it was from the Marks and Spencer Limited Collection and had started life at £45. Yet there it was, on the £1 bargain rail. I couldn't believe my luck...and am still convinced the stall holder had made a mistake. But I didn't question it...I just marched up to him, said "This is from the pound rail", and waited for him to bag the dress up lol!! Now being M and S, the only downside is that it ran a little big, but lucky for me my Mum is a whizz with a needle, and was able to put a couple of darts with no trouble :-)
Coral tulip skirt shift dress
Yet another coral dress; this was a favourite for summer evenings out last year and has even managed to get one or two outings this time around, despite the less than summery weather. I love the fact that this dress is very figure flattering; it nips me in at the waist, adds to the curve of my hips and hits just the right spot above my knees. And it has pockets...I love dresses with pockets. Sometimes I wear it as is, other times I wear it with a thick black waist belt to give me an even more defined waist (and to show more of my legs!!), but I wouldn't recommend doing that if you were eating out whilst wearing it...suffice it to say, I've tried it and it's not the most comfortable thing ever!! The coral colour also matches well with a range of accessories...I've worn it with cream, stone and grey shoes and gold, neutral and silver/pewter toned jewellery and it's looked great each time...another reason why I love versatile pieces!!
Hope you enjoyed this glimpse inside my wardrobe :-) Till next time...
Tuesday, 10 August 2010
Monday, 9 August 2010
ate: a hobnob and a sport biscuit
drank: a cup of tea (what else?!)
heard: my sisters talking, and the TV in the background
watched: TV programme: The Simpsons
Film: The Blues Brothers
bought: a 21st birthday card for my friend
read: a list of the last things that people had done (on an Internet messageboard)
blogged about: well other than this, it was an update on my Operation August goals list
thought: "I wonder if this blog post is going to be a load of rubbish...??"
How about you?? What were the last things you did? Or what are you doing right now? Let me know...it'd be great to hear from you :-) Till next time...
Sunday, 8 August 2010
- Well I haven't bought any new DVDs this month (well except for "Shutter Island", which was part of my friend's birthday present), but I haven't made any progress in getting through my collection either. Hopefully, I'll watch more next week!!
- There's been no real progress towards my other goals in this category...a few half hearted efforts perhaps, but that's about as far as it's gone!
- As I blogged about on Friday, I got to see Blues Brothers at Spinningfields on Thursday night, which means I'm half way towards my goal to watching two films there. Yay!!
- I met up with a good few friends last night for one of their birthdays. It was good to catch up with people I hadn't seen for at least a couple of weeks, but I still feel like I should be making more of an active effort to stay in touch with my friends, rather than waiting for events to take place.
Mind and Body
- I think I've managed to get in my required exercise this week, even though I haven't been overly active. I've taken a walk most afternoons or evenings...it's one of my favourite forms of exercise as I love the fact that I'm out in the open air.
- I sorted out one of my wardrobes on Monday in preparation for Tuesday's shopping trip, and managed to clear out quite a few things to go to charity (either to clothing collections or to a local charity shop). However, that's only the beginning of my task...I've got another cupboard and some drawers to go yet!!
- I have managed to blog everyday this week...if only just!! My aim for next week is make more time for it so that half my posts aren't just 5 minute rush jobs when I'm panicking!!
And that's pretty much it...I haven't bothered to blog about the goals in the "professional" category because I haven't made any progress towards them...fingers crossed I'll have more to report next week!! And now, all that's left for me to say is hope that you've had a good week and relaxing weekend. whatever you've been doing!! Till next time...
Saturday, 7 August 2010
To make up for three rushed posts now, I promise that (most of) my forthcoming ones will be more lovingly written and will have a lot more time and attention spent on them as I do really want to make a proper go of this blogging everyday lark :-)
Till next time...
Friday, 6 August 2010
- Watching "Blues Brothers" at Spinningfields...that means that I'm half way towards my goal of watching 2 films at the big screen there!! And it was also a fantastic night...watching a hilarious film with great company and eating loads of junk is always fun, and then add to that the amazing atmosphere that last night brought with it, and it was pretty much perfect. I loved the way that people were getting up and dancing during the songs, and how much effort some individuals had put into preparing for the night...some people had got dressed up as the Blues Brothers, and a couple even dressed their dogs up and brought them along too!! Fabulous!!
- My hair getting a well needed cut and restyle...I think my last appointment had been in April, so needless to say it needed quite a bit taking off!!
- Eating delicious home made chocolate chip cookies that my sister had baked whilst I was out.
- The rain holding off while I went for an evening walk!! :-)
And that's it for today!! Till next time...
Thursday, 5 August 2010
And that's your lot for today...promise I'll be back with something longer and hopefully more coherent tomorrow!! :-) Till next time...
Wednesday, 4 August 2010
Denim effect leggings in black and blue
Black, white and grey floral print skater dress
This is a piece that definitely has autumn written all over it (or maybe even summer if our recent weather's anything to go by!). I think it'll look great worn over black leggings or super opaque tights, and I'm hopeful that I'll be able to dress it up or down depending on my footwear and accessory choices.
Whilst I love the originality of these (and also think the checked lining is pretty funky), the one downside is that they're cut quite low at the front, meaning that if I wear them with leggings you can see quite a lot of my socks...not such a good look!! So I get a feeling I'll be saving these for wearing with jeans/trousers and keeping my old pumps for wearing with leggings based outfits like today's.
Coral and teal rose print scarf
Beige shiny effect mac
A classic mac was also on my shopping list for yesterday's trip, and I think this one's absolutely perfect and can see myself hopefully wearing this for years to come. I love how the subtle sheen makes it a little different, whilst still being timeless and elegant in design, and I love the fact that the belt is long enough to tie in a proper bow (although this is something I've obviously not quite mastered yet judging by the photo!!)
Here's a back view:
Ignore the creases on the back and focus on the puffed shoulders and back vent detail instead!! I'm really looking forward to wearing this, both for work and also to help smarten up more casual outfits. My first beige mac...I almost feel like a proper adult!!
And there we have it...hope you enjoyed :-) Till next time...
Tuesday, 3 August 2010
Hope everyone else is having a good day, whatever you're doing :-)!! Till next time...
Monday, 2 August 2010
So, will I be participating again? Absolutely! Am I going to recommend Mingle Monday to all my followers and readers? Definitely! Till next time...
Sunday, 1 August 2010
- Buy no new DVDs this month...watch only those already in my collection (including Season 5 of House)
- Buy a new MP3 player and load it with music.
- Read at least 2 novels/collections of short stories (can be those I already own or new additions!)
- Try at least one new recipe this month and blog about it (complete with photos!)
- Watch the following films: Toy Story 3, Inception and The A Team
- Organise an outing for me and my friends...possibly a picnic in the park (weather permitting!)
- Watch "The Blues Brothers" and "Stand by Me" at Spinningfields with friends.
- Reconnect with at least five old friends via Facebook
- Be in contact with every member of my circle of friends at some point this month (This may sound like an odd one, but as I have quite a large group of friends it's rare that we're all in the same place at the same time, and I don't always make the effort to be in touch with them outside those occasions.)
- Investigate job opportunities outside of teaching.
- Find out more about becoming an Avon representative.
Mind and Body
- Give myself a girly pamper day (do my hair and nails, use a face mask, have a long Lush bath etc)
- Do at least 30 minutes of exercise 3 times a week
- Take a day out to be a tourist in a city of my choice
- Investigate evening classes or online courses (with the aim of taking at least one in September)
- Donate blood
- Sort out my room once and for all
- Clear out my wardrobes and drawers
- Blog every day throughout the month
- Book my driving practical test (I wasn't really sure where to put the last 4 items so I thought this section was as good as any!!)
And there we have it! Some of the goals may seem a little frivolous, but as I mentioned at the start, I'm aiming to do things that will fulfil me on a variety of levels, not just at the deepest one. And as one of my goals is to blog every day, I'll be documenting my progress throughout this project, with lots of details on what I've done, and I'll also be crossing off the goals on the list as I go, of course!! But rest assured, I'm not only going to be blogging about "Operation August", there'll be other things in the mix too. I'm planning on bringing back "What's in my Wardrobe Wednesday" with a bang, there'll be weekend updates and "Highs and Lows" posts and as I'm trying to grow my blog at the mo, I'm going to get involved with other bloggers' themed days too!
And that's all from day 1 of Operation August. Stay tuned tomorrow for Day 2, when I'm hopefully going to be blogging about something new (to me), that I think is an absolutely fabulous idea!! Till then...
Saturday, 31 July 2010
Tuesday, 20 July 2010
- Friendship and support
One of the most fantastic things about the stage society is how it brings people together, so we're not just acquaintances with a common interest, we're friends. Friends who've added each other on Facebook and follow each other on Twitter. Friends who get invited to each other's birthday parties and anniversary celebrations. Friends who are willing to open their houses to the entire society so that we can enjoy amazing after show parties!! People who enjoy spending time with each other so much that they organise social events outside rehearsal periods so that everyone has a chance to catch up on all the latest gossip! But it's not just about the social side; the going out and having fun. It's also about the support we give to one another. During the last show, pretty much all you heard in the wings and ante rooms at the side of the stage was people congratulating others after their solos and dance spots or reassuring them and calming their nerves before they're due to go on stage. And at the end of a solo/duet/small group performance, as well as the applause from the audience, you'd also hear cast members clapping and cheering behind the curtains to show their appreciation. It may not be professional (or so I've been told) but I wouldn't have it any other way. And society members who aren't taking part often come and watch...I got a lovely Facebook message from one of them early last week, saying how much they enjoyed my solo performance and it was just overwhelming. But it's not just on show nights, whenever anyone has a problem or worry, you can pretty much rely on someone from the society to be there for them; asking them how things are because they genuinely care. And that's what I love so much.
2. Opening new horizons
Being a member of the stage society has truly broadened my horizons. Since joining I've sung all kinds of songs that I wouldn't even have listened to before and although they're not all to my taste, it's been a learning experience, to say the least!! And I've also met and got to know people of all ages, from all walks of life. People ranging from age 12 to their early 70s. People who are students, teachers, shop workers, retired. People who I wouldn't normally have the opprtunity, or maybe even the inclination to spend time with, but thanks to the society, I've got to know and like them!!
3. Confidence and self esteem
Maybe it's because I've met lots of new people. Maybe it's due to the fact that I've performed on stage and got pretty much nothing but positive feedback and applause in return. Whatever it is, I now find it much easier to talk to people, and even though my confidence has taken a knock due to the saga of my job hunting and my (very) mixed experiences on supply, I know that there are things that I'm good at and that some people think I'm fantastic just by being me!! And if all else fails, I can use my acting skills to (hopefully) ace a job interview sooner or later!!
4. A chance to be someone else/somewhere else
One of the things I love most about being on stage is the opportunity it gives me to be another pesron. Whilst this is more apparent in acting than in a song and dance show, it's still there regardless. When singing "Will you Still Love me Tomorrow", for example, I wasn't me, I was a confused, lovestruck girl wondering if, and hoping beyond hope that, the man she loved felt the same about her. And when I walk on stage, and the lights hit me, I'm somewhere else too. When acting in the past, I've been to 17th century New England, modern day London and a fairytale kingdom. My mind is free to explore another person's life in another place, and it can be a great escape, especially when real life isn't so good!
So there's my list. Drama has been one of the things I've enjoyed most over the last couple of yours and now I'm interested about you. What are your interests and hobbies? Are you a performer like me or are you a more backstage type of person? Are you into sport or a couch potato? Whatever it is, let me know!! 'Til next time...
Sunday, 18 July 2010
And so to the title of this post...in many ways, I'm currently facing the end of a chapter in my life story. As I've mentioned, it's very nearly the end of the school year. And as things stand, the end of the school year will also bring my time as a supply teacher to a close. Due to circumstances beyond my control (a ridiculous government ruling), newly qualified teachers i.e. me, can only do short term supply for 16 months before completing their induction period (a year/3 terms where NQTs have to demonstrate they meet certain standards and are supported by a teacher mentor at their school). After your 16 months is up (it starts counting down from the very first day you work on short term supply, and doesn't stop...even if you don't work as a supply teacher after that initial day, your 16 months would be up at the same time as someone who had done supply for the duration!!), that's it! No more short term supply (anything less than a term) until your induction's in the bag!! And this puts me in a really tricky position...basically to give you a potted work history, I qualified in June '07, and started doing short term supply from the September of that year. I covered a maternity leave from May to December of 2008, thereby completing a term of my induction, and have been doing short term supply ever since. I found out about the 16 month ruling in September of last year (it's been around for a while but is very rarely flagged up to anyone; I only found out by complete chance), and was able to secure a 3 term extension taking me up to now. Now where I have been unable to secure a long term/permanent teaching post that would let me finish my induction. Now where my teaching career appears to be at an end, momentarily at least. I know that supply teaching wasn't the job I would have chosen in an ideal world...I've been longing for my own classroom and I know that I've definitely had more bad than good experiences of the supply teaching world, but I'm still angry that my teaching career's being taken out of my hands through no fault of my own and there's nothing that I can do about it!!
But with an end also comes a beginning. This hiatus in my teaching means that I'm free to try new things although, for a while, I was at a loss to exactly what they were. Should I try and get a permanent teaching assistant job as the next best thing to teaching? Find some temping work unrelated to teaching? Embark on an altogether new career path by applying for full time jobs outside the education sector (or at least outside school settings)? Go back to uni and work part time to help support myself in the meantime? I considered all of these and more, and have recently come to a decision. My new beginning is hopefully going to be working as a teaching assistant on a supply basis. This has the advantage of still enabling me to work with children, without having all the responsibilty and stress that comes with being a teacher, and it will hopefully allow me to gain more experience of working in the EYFS with the youngest children in the primary age range (3-5 year olds); this is one area I'm currently lacking in and I'm keen to do something about it! Plus I'll still have the flexibility I've come to really value on supply so if I need a day off or get offered a long term post elsewhere I'll be able to take it wothout feeling I'm letting anyone down. Of course, there will also be disadvantages. Pay won't be as good; I'll probably have to work a full week to earn the same wage I'd get for 2 or 3 days of supply teaching, and there's no guarantee that work will be available all the time. Also I'm preparing myself for some awkward questions: Why am I doing TA work when I'm a qualified teacher? How come I've not been able to finish my induction yet when I've been qualified for 3 years? But these are things I'm just going to have to live with. I'm still planning to carry on applying for teaching jobs as I have been doing over the past 18 months so nothing's really changed in that respect, I'll just be filling out slightly different details in the "current employment" box on my applications!! At the moment, I've got a vague idea of giving things another year, but I suppose I'll just wait and see what happens between now and then.
But maybe thinking about September before the school year's even out might be a little premature. After all, there's the summer to think of first. A summer that I plan to spend sleeping in, reading, seeing friends and spending alone time, soaking up the sun (hopefully!), getting out and about but also having some time at home. Time that I'll dedicate to me. Not in a selfish way, but in a useful way. Time that I'll use to plan for the future, time where I can hopefully begin to discover what really makes me tick. At the minute, new ideas are popping up on a regular basis! I'm considering becoming an Avon representative, and am also interested in finding other ways of earning some extra money. Who knows, I might even find something I love so much, I'll know exactly where my future lies! But whether I do or not, I know that I'll have a good summer nonetheless. So here's to a well deserved break (if I do say so myself!!) To happy(ish) endings and new beginnings...I'm going to do my best to make the most of each and every one of them!!
Sunday, 4 July 2010
And relevancy and meaning brings me onto my second proof that I can still be inspired...my morning scribbles. If I'm not prebooked on a given day, once I've had my breakfast and got myself ready, I sit and wait for a call that might not even come. Sitting and waiting isn't quite all I do, however, as that would drive me crazy very quickly. I used to read while I waited, now I write. And I write whatever comes into my head. Often it's lists; to-do lists for the day/week/weekend ahead, lists of blog posts like the ones I mentioned before. Lists that I don't often stick to, but that are somehow comforting as they give order and structure to my semi chaos. But lately, my writing is increasingly likely to be a full blown piece. Something that I'm intending to post on my blog but, inevitably, by the time I get round to doing so, it's lost its urgency and immediacy, its meaningfulness and relevance, so I shelve it and stare at the computer screen instead, racking my brains for a viable alternative. The bulk of this post actually comes from one such example...I wrote it on Monday morning, and looking at my original draft, I got to this point at 8:35 lol!! But although it's taken me almost a week to post, and it isn't quite in its original, first draft, state, I was determined not to let this piece go the way of the others.
So I'm posting this, mainly because mornings are when I find my true inspiration. For me, it seems the desire to fill those dangerous moments between the possibility of a stressful, last-minute dash to work and the (almost) certain knowledge that I'll no longer get an early morning call at such a late stage, has led to something unexpected. My tension seems to breed creativity. I get an urge to write...and I don't want to stop writing until the clock strikes 9 and I'm safe from stress and uncertainty. So out of my cloud, that situation I absolutely hate has come my silver lining...I've found that I can produce writing that's true and honest and straight from my heart. Writing that has meaning and urgency...words that I have to say now as I simply can't keep quiet any longer, even if I haven't realised it before I put pen to paper. So it's those tricky mornings that are, surprisingly, proving to be my inspiration, and I'd like to know...where and when do you find yours??