Wednesday, 31 March 2010

Highs and Lows of Last Week (and a look ahead!)

What a surprise! Yet another post that's later than promised (although only by a couple of days this time!) So, making a long overdue appearance, here are my highs and lows of the past week (well the ones I can remember anyway!)


The power of Facebook: Early on last week, I posted a status on Facebook asking for recipe inspiration, as I don't want my repertoire to consist solely of gingerbread lol! Within a couple of hours of updating, I got the first suggestions and since then have had quite a few ranging from banana bread to peanut butter cookies, and even a couple of full length recipes for chocolate chip cookies! I wasn't even sure if anyone would respond, so was very pleasantly surprised! Look out for some baking posts coming up soon!

Nights in with friends: Quite a big part of last weekend for me was spent with friends watching DVDs and Youtube clips, chatting and much so that that was what I was doing on Friday night, Saturday night and Sunday night! For someone who used to be out most Saturday nights at the very least, it's coming as a bit of a shock to realise that I actually love staying in! Not that I'd want to do that every weekend, but sometimes you just can't beat it!

Your expectations being exceeded: On Monday last week, I did not want to go to rehearsals for my drama group's latest show. Why? Because I was embarassed. The Friday before had been our auditions, and I planned to sing Moon River as a solo audition piece, as well as singing a group number with my friends. I'd been practicing Moon River all week and, while not exactly confident, wasn't totally dreading my solo either. Then came my turn to be called up. The backing track started, the accompanist counted me in, I opened my mouth to sing and...completely the wrong note came out. So I started again, but again the note was wrong. Then I tried to sing acapella, but still couldn't find the right key! Not wanting to prolong the agony any longer, I ended my audition then and there, feeling absolutely mortified! Although the group audition went ok and restored my shattered pride a little, I was convinced that I wouldn't get offered any solos. But, lo and behold...I did! I've got the first verse of "Will You Still Love Me Tomorrow" all to myself, and my friends and I are also going to be doing "Cell Block Tango" from Chicago, which I'm ridiculously excited about, if apprehensive at the same time (I'm not a dancer by any means!)

Flashforward's back: After 3 months, Flashforward was back with a bang (and a double episode!) After thinking that I wouldn't even be able to remember where the story was up to, I was amazed at how quickly I got back into it. I just hope that there's going to be a second series, as I've heard rumours that there won't be due to poor ratings in the US. Fingers crossed it's not true!

And now for the lows...


Tiredness: After just a couple of full days of work last week, I was ready to drop! I'm not sure if it was more the fact that I find it difficult to get to bed any time before 11 or that I can never get into a proper routine, due to the variability of my work situation! Plus the fact that the clocks went forward really didn't help, as Iwas deprived of a whole hour's sleep! On the plus side, the Easter holidays are coming up very, very soon!!

No town hall tour for me (or Amy): On Sunday afternoon, Amy and I headed to Manchester to have a Town Hall tour. We met up with our tour group at the visitors' centre and were very excited when the guide said that there were no events taking place there that day and that he'd have carte blanche to take us wherever he wanted. But as we walked over to the town hall, things started to go a little awry. We looked up and saw a man standing on the town hall roof. "Was he meant to be there?", we wondered. Then we saw a few police officers standing around and realised that, no, he definitely wasn't! Our guide stopped us in front of the main entrance, only for us to be moved on by the police. So he attempted to begin our tour again, only for us to be moved even further down a couple of minutes later. So finally, we went right round to the third, and final, street entrance and were just getting ready to go inside when...a town hall employee came over and told our guide that we couldn't go inside, as the police were sending teams inside the building to try to get the man down and there was to be no access to anyone else. So that was the end of that! We went back to the visitor centre, got a refund and made our way home. On a happier note, I found out the next day that the man had made his way down safely, and I suppose that's more important than anything else!

And finally, as it's the end of the month, here's a list of things I'm looking forward to in April:

  • The Easter Holidays: The schools in my area break up tomorrow, most of them for 2 weeks, so I'm looking forward to 2 weeks with no early get ups, lots of chocolate and as much relaxation as possible!
  • An Easter Saturday meal with my family at our favourite pub/restaurant.
  • My theory test: While this isn't exactly something I can't wait for, I am keen to get it out of the way! It's in just over a week (8th April), and I'll have to do a fair bit of revision before then, as whilst lots of the answers are just common sense, there's some facts that you just need to learn too!
  • The Primary Education Show: This'll be my third Primary Education fair, and it's something I really look forward to. As a supply teacher, it's often difficult to get hold of resources and undertake professional development, so I love taking the opportunity to go round the stalls and take part in seminars/workshops.
  • Dancing on Ice Live Tour: This is another event that's becoming a tradition for me. It'll be the fourth time for me, and the third for Amy, who I'm going with. It's always a great show and I'm especially looking forward to it this time, as Amy and I have got floor seats, and we're on the second row from the front!!
  • Iron Man 2: Whilst being really annoyed that the UK DVD release date for Sherlock Holmes has been put back to 17th May, I'm much more happy that Iron Man 2 is being released over here on 30th April, a full week before its US release. Although I'm not going to see it in April, I'll definitely be watching it in its first weekend...I just can't wait any longer for my RDJ fix!!

And that's it from me...expect many more posts now the schools are breaking up!

Saturday, 27 March 2010

My second award!!

Can't believe it's nearly the end of March already, and 10 days since my last time flies!! I really should have written this a long time ago, but somehow have only just got round to doing it now! So without further ado...I've got another award (yay me!!)

This is an award I've never seen in Blogland before so I'm really quite honoured to have it, and even moreso because it was given to me by one of my favourite bloggers, Kirsty over at The road less travelled. Her blog is a great read, and she's a fab blog friend who always leaves lovely comments. Nothing else to say but check her out!

In other news, I really am intending to post tomorrow (although knowing me it won't happen!) with my highs and lows of the week and a look forward to next week, but if I don't, rest assured that you'll probably be hearing a lot more from me soon as the schools break up for their Easter holidays in less than a week!! Hopefully I'll be able to take 2 glorious weeks off, although that does rather depend on my bank balance!! Till next time...!

Wednesday, 17 March 2010

What's-in-my-Wardrobe Wednesday: Another Primark trip!

Now this is a post that I've been meaning to write for ages, but never really got round to. During my half term break which was about a month ago now, my mum, sisters and I took a trip to Primark, and here are some pretty pictures of what I picked up:

Charcoal/grey burnout floral tunic

I think this top is gorgeous and a great way to introduce florals into my winter wardrobe, although I got a bit of a shock when I tried it on at home because it's absolutely massive! As it's so big, I wear it cinched in with a thick black patent waist belt to give me a little bit more shape!
Whilst the weather's been cold, I've been layering it with a black long sleeved top underneath, but am hoping that I'll also be able to wear it without when it warms up a little!

Black ankle length leggings/Blue denim effect leggings
Just a couple of pairs of leggings for wearing under my longer length tops. I'd been looking for a full length black pair so the black ones were ideal. I wasn't so sure about buying the denim leggings (I can't bring myself to say the word "jeggings"!), as I couldn't decide if I liked the trend or not but I'm SO glad I took the plunge! They're really comfy and easy to wear and, unlike my other leggings, they don't fall down!

Multicolour floral print button front dress
This was another piece that I was immediately taken by, and I was even more attracted when I saw the price. This little number was only £7.50, and, best of all, it looks much more expensive on! I haven't worn it yet as I'm waiting for the weather to warm up, but will probably team it with either cropped leggings and pumps in the day or black opaques and heels for night. I already have a dress that's quite similar, and am hoping that this dress will be as versatile as that one.

Indigo skinny jeans
Another basic buy. I already have a pair of skinny jeans from Primark, and I like them so much that I've been wearing them to death over the last year or so. So I thought it was high time for another lol!

Pale blue/white longline striped shirt with pintuck detail
This is possibly my favourite item of clothing from this shopping trip. It's really comfy and easy to almost feels like wearing a man's shirt because it's a bit oversized, and it reminds me of the times I used to borrow a boyfriend's shirts to sleep in! I nornally team this with either my skinny jeans or denim leggings and my tan studded ankle boots.

Here's a close up of the pintuck detail:

Longline sleeveless striped T
Apologies for the crappy picture quality...the stripes on the main body of the top are red, and those round the neck are blue on one side and black on the other. This is another top that's a bit on the generous side, so I''ll be belting it with my skinny cream belt (pics to come later) and wearing it with skinny jeans or leggings. I wore it for the first time on Saturday night for a friend's birthday, and got some really great compliments so I reckon it's definitely a keeper!

Black chenille scarf/gloves set

I bought this as I needed a new pair of black gloves. I already have tons of scarves but as the set was in the sale, I thought I might as well get two things for the price of one!

Skinny tan leather belt/Skinny cream plaited waist belt

I'm really glad I bought these as lots of the tops I've bought recently are a bit on the generous side, and they look a lot better when they're cinched in. My personal fashion concept at the mo is all about my waist!

Blue/gold scalloped edge bag
I have my mum to thank for this one, as she noticed it before I did! I absolutely adore the vintage look it has and I think it adds a really different edge to an outfit.

Silver filigree butterfly necklace

There's not really much to say about this other than I really like it! Here's a close up of the butterfly:

Monday, 8 March 2010

Musings from my dark side

Despite the fact that I sometimes wish that my blog had more readers, it's times like today when I'm glad that my friends don't read my blog or, in most cases, aren't even aware of its existence. Why? Because I'm about to make a confession that may hurt, upset, anger or disappoint them if I knew the truth. And the truth is this: I'm jealous. Not of all my friends or in every aspect of life; my own particular green eyed monster is a sneaky creature and is very picky about the times it chooses to emerge. So let me illustrate with an example...

The time: Saturday night. The place: A bustling bar in the centre of town. The players: 5 twentysomethings; 2 of whom are a couple and 3 who are single (including me and my friend E). Everything is going swimmingly. Drinks and conversation are flowing, the music is great and the atmosphere's just right until...a guy spots E and makes it quite clear he's interested. So everyone else starts laying the groundwork; people strategically swap places so that the two couldn't help but "accidentally" bump into each other, one of us goes over to the guy to tell him E's name and even I try to convince E to go over and talk to him (she doesn't believe in making the first move!) Then after 45 minutes of trying, just as the likelihood of the plans coming to fruition is looking increasingly remote, BAM...conversation ensues and kisses and mobile numbers are exchanged. Mission accomplished! So tell me this...why did I not feel happy for her? Why did I wish it hadn't happened? Why was I feeling increasingly down?

Now, I meant what I said to her...I genuinely wanted her to start talking to him. They were obviously interested in each other and it would have been a shame if the opportunity had been missed. And I see my friends in relationships, and other than the odd wistful "I wish I had my someone special", they don't have a negative effect. I watched my best friend J get married and it was one of the happiest occasions in my life, and I feel the same happiness whenever I see her and her husband together, as they're such a good match. So again I ask: why did this hurt me so?

I do have some theories, some which I feel are more relevant than others, but all containing at least a grain of truth.
  • Was I annoyed that my friends weren't putting in a similar effort to set me up with someone? This is probably the weakest of my theories. Yes, I do get my paranoid moments where I think that my friends don't really like me that much, but to be fair, I hadn't seen anyone who I was interested in, and even if they had tried to set me up with someone, I probably wouldn't have been interested anyway as I'm notoriously picky!
  • Was my lack of self esteem the cause of my jealousy? I think this definitely played a part. I don't think I'm particularly physically attractive, and so I think I may well have seen the fact that someone was interested in E as a reflection on my attractiveness. Men are often interested in her when we're on a night out, therefore she must be better looking than I am (at least in my head, if not in real life.)
  • Am I scared of being alone? In a word, yes! E and I have both been single for a while, so I suppose I might be scared of being on my own if she started a relationship with someone new. She might not be my best friend, but we are very close and she's the friend I see most of, as J lives a couple of hours away. Now, I know full well she's not the type of person who'd drop her friends if a guy came along, but it didn't make any difference to my thoughts on Saturday night! I hate the thought of being the only single girl in my circle of friends. I suppose with this one I'm feeling a bit like House in S4, where he's coming to terms with Wilson having a new girlfriend, or even like Holmes in the new Sherlock Holmes film, when he seems to be less than happy at the thought of Watson getting married. But this is where the similarities end...unlike those two characters, I wouldn't stoop to sabotage to try and ensure that she remains single! I always give her honest advice and I want her to be happy...that's why I encouraged her to go and talk to the guy at the bar and also why we spent hours together beforehand picking out an outfit that she felt happy in, as she was having a fat day and feeling pretty down in the dumps. And I know she'd do the same for me. Which is why I'd be horrified if she knew I felt this way.

So, there we are. I appreciate that I may raise some strong opinions with this post...I fully expect to. If you think that I'm horrible then, as much as it would hurt me to hear, then so be it...I don't exactly like this side of me either but it's something that I've got to deal with somehow. And I thought that maybe writing it down might be the best place to start...

Tuesday, 2 March 2010

Things I'm loving today...

Well, I've been feeling a bit sorry for myself today, so because I know it's not healthy to wallow in self pity for too long (believe me, I've tried), I've decided to give myself a kick up the backside by making a list of the things I'm loving today. So, drumroll please because, in no particular order, we have:
  • The beautiful's a lovely sunny day today and apparently it even feels quite mild outside! Maybe my prayers from Sunday have been answered!

  • The fact I don't start work until 2 pm today and will be done by 6...I know it means that I won't get paid as much, but there is just something so decadent about swanning into work after lunch and and working less than half a day!

  • This song:
    I went to the first rehearsal for my drama group's new show last night and we started going through a few of the songs. Moon River was one of them. Whilst I've been aware of the song before now, I never realised how beautiful it was until last night. Now I absolutely love it...I've been singing it all day and I get a feeling that my family might be sick of hearing it long before the show kicks off in July!
      • The fact that it's been really easy to meet one of my goals:
      • In Sunday's post, I was bemoaning the fact that most of my goals weren't really happening for me, including the one to put some money in my ISA each month. But today, I took my own advice and set up a standing order which will transfer some money from my current account every month. It was really quick and easy to set up, and is also a perfect solution for me, as now I don't have to physically get to my bank to pay money in! RESULT!
        And whadd'ya know? I'm actually feeling a little cheerier already! Maybe I should get back to doing these lists more often...!