Saturday, 23 April 2011

Now you know my ABCs, won't you play along with me??

 Sorry, I know I've been a terrible blogger over the past couple of weeks! Blame my exuberance at being allowed out into the outside world again (no more mumps, hooray!!) coupled with a new found addiction to the CSI Crime City game on Facebook and the time I've spent on the dreaded job applications. Anyway, now I've got my excuses explanation out of the way, I'll get on to the main reason I'm blogging today...the ABCs of me. I've wanted to take part in this meme ever since I first laid eyes on it, and being at a loss with what to blog about today, it seemed like the ideal opportunity to get it done! Here we go...:

Age: 27

Bed Size: Single

Chore You Dislike: Putting away clothes. Not when they're freshly washed and ironed, but if I've been wearing them for a short time, and they're still clean. I just let them pile up until the pile looks like it's about to fall at any time! I also disliked cleaning the oven when I lived away from home.

Dogs: I used to have a border terrier called Tess, but I'm currently dog free. While I loved Tess dearly, I've grown up with cats and think I'm more of a cat person than a dog one.

Essential Start to the Day: A cup of tea and something to eat...I can't go out on an empty stomach!

Favourite Color: Coral in the summer; red in the winter.

Gold or Silver: It completely depends on the outfit. If you'd asked me 10 or even 5 years ago, I would have definitely said silver, but now I'm much more open to gold. Plus, I mix and match them on pretty much a daily basis anyway, as the ring I always wear (my parents bought it me for my 21st) has a gold band and the dial on my watch has a silver toned casing!

Height: 5'5.5/5'6 - I'm average height and I love it! I can wear heels without feeling too tall and find it easy to buy clothes that fit me (lengthwise anyway!)

Instruments: I played recorder whilst I was at primary school and I could also play a few simple tunes on the keyboard. My dream instruments to play would be the drums, saxophone and maybe the piano.

Job Title: Supply Teacher/Nursery Support Worker

Kids: None of my own, but I do work with roughly 15 3-5 year olds five days a week! Those coupled with my friend "The Maternal One's" 2 little boys aged 2 and 6 months are the nearest I've got to having children so far, and to be honest, that suits me fine, for the moment at least. I'm far too selfish right now, that's definite, but I'd love them in the future.

Live: Manchester, England

Mum's Name: Barbara

Nicknames: My friends often call me Jules or Ju, with the odd surname thrown in. My sister Amy also occasionally calls me Julio, which I hate!!

Overnight Hospital Stays: Just the one...1987, when I had my tonsils and adenoids removed, and grommets put in my ears.

Pet Peeves: Incorrect grammar and punctuation, particularly misplaced apostrophes. I once nearly chased a bus down the street so I could cross out some offending apostrophes which were featured on a poster on the bus's side! Fortunately for me, my friend was with me so I saw sense and resisted. :-)

Quote from a Movie: I'm terrible at this! I love so many different films, and I'm struggling to come up with a quote from any of them. This one will have to do:

"It's a matter of professional integrity. No girl wants to marry a doctor who can't tell if a man's dead or not!" (Bonus points if you can tell me the film!)

Righty or Lefty: Righty.

Siblings: I'm the oldest of 4 children and have a 25 year old brother, and 2 sisters who are 17 and 16. We're all still living at poor mum and dad lol!

Time you wake up: If I'm working, any time between 6:45 and 7:30. At weekends, it's normally after 8:30, usually between 9 and 10.

University: Manchester University, for both my undergraduate degree and postgrad. I enjoyed my uni experience, but sometimes wish I'd made more of the student lifestyle!

Vegetables you don't like: Are gherkins a vegetable? If so, then those! And broad beans...I'm not a fan.

What makes you run late: Underestimating how long it takes me to get ready, messing around, public transport, having to wait around for other can be any combination of things!!

X-Rays You've Had: Dental x-rays, one on my knee when I cut it badly at the age of 11 (clearly they don't pick up wood as I had a woodchip embedded in it for months after my original x ray!)...I think that's all.

Yummy Food You Make: Mainly sweet treats...flapjacks, rocky road, parkin, lemon loaf cake...the list could go on! I'd really like to branch out though, and add more savouries to this list.

Zoo Animal Favorite: Elephants, orang utans, giraffes, lions and fish/sea mammals in general. They're all wonderful in different ways.

And they're my ABCs. Now it's over to you! I'd love to see your ABC lists and find out a little bit more about you!  So don't be shy, come on over and feel free to share!!

Till next time...

Thursday, 7 April 2011

Thursday Thoughts...

otherwise known as the post where I don't know what to write, so I just have a bit of a ramble! We all write those kinds of posts from time to time, right?? Well, I hope so! :-) And before I ramble any more than is truly necessary, here's a list of my thoughts from today:

  • I'm so looking forward to coming out of 'quarantine' tomorrow. It'll have been 10 days since my symptoms became fully apparent and I was diagnosed with suspected mumps, and according to the information I've read, that means I'm no longer contagious!! I've been pain free for a few days, my face is pretty much back to normal and I'm raring to go :-). My plans so far include a driving lesson and a drama group rehearsal, and I may even pop into town for a Starbucks (I've not had one for ages!) and some window shopping.
  • Another thing I'm looking forward to doing again is baking. I've not rustled anything up for a while now, firstly because I was busy with work, and then because I was scared of infecting the food with my mumps germs but now I'm raring to go again and already thinking about what I can make. So far I'm thinking along the lines of a buttery Madeira cake, but I'm open to suggestion. Do you have any ideas?
  • And another baking related thought...I'm not quite sure how long I'm going to be able to resist buying this:

Yes, it's the Hummingbird Bakery Cake Days book which has recently been released. Now I know that I'm short of cash at the moment, and I've already got more than enough cookery books, but there's no getting through to me. To put it simply, I'm in love. In love with the beautiful photography featured on its pages. In love with some of the amazing sounding recipes that I've heard and read about. And when you add to this the fact that I've had some fabulous results from using the first book, and I know it's only going to be a matter of time. It's just a shame that it's nowhere near my birthday or Christmas!! :-(

  • I've realised that I'm in need of a haircut. It might not seem like an essential especially as I only had a trim a few weeks ago, but believe me it is!! If I have to wait another 6-8 weeks, it'll be practically unmanageable :-( And there's no way I'm going to my friends' N and M's wedding in just over 3 weeks with a bird's nest on my head, it's just not happening! And breathe...! :-)
  • I'm thinking of holidays and wondering if some friends and I will be able to get away for some sun, sea and sand for a few days at the end of May/beginning of June. I know I might not be in the best position financially, but I could really do with a's been far too long.
  • Yet at the same time, I've also been thinking about work. After a kind text from the headteacher at the school where I worked until just over a week ago, I've been once again reminded of what a fantastic group of people the staff were and what a happy time I had working there. I'm going to miss them all, and hope I'll be lucky enough to find another school that's as welcoming.
  • I just love the nautical look (and have been rocking my own interpretation today). I think it's classic yet chic, sophisticated yet easy to put together and the colour palette is one of my favourites...I'm so glad it comes back every year :-)
And these are my Thursday thoughts. What have you been thinking about today?? Don't be shy...I'd love to hear from you!

Till next time...

Sunday, 3 April 2011

Highs and Lows of the Week

(Picture taken from

As the picture says, Happy Sunday everyone! Hope everyone is having one as restful and enjoyable as mine has been so far! And as it's Sunday, there's really no better time to post a round up of the highs and lows of my week. Now long-time readers might remember that this was a feature of the blog back in the days when I did actually post with some regularity, and I'm really keen to make it a major part of it this time around too. Not only does this lazy blogger not have to think of anything original to blog about on Sunday nights (a bonus for me, especially if my brain's been mashed with school work!!), but I also feel it's a really good exercise in giving thanks for both the big and not-so-big things that contribute to making my life as good as it is (I am lucky, even if I forget that sometimes  a lot). So without further ado, here's what's been making me smile and cry this week:

  • Being diagnosed with suspected mumps: This has been my big all encompassing low of the week. Now, firstly this has meant that I've had a swollen face (mainly on the LHS) and chin, which was quite painful leading up to, and also in the first couple of days after, my diagnosis. Also, as mumps is a highly contagious disease, I've been sat at home since Tuesday afternoon for fear of infecting others which means I've missed out on watching "Ghost the Musical", rehearsal and the pub with my drama buddies on Friday night and my friend's hen do (bachelorette party) last night. And it's not just socialising that I've been barred from this week...mumps has also cheated me of the chance to say a proper goodbye to all the children I've taught and the staff I've worked with at the school I've been doing long term supply at since the start of November. The last point was by far the hardest to deal with...I'd been coming to terms with the end of my contract on Friday for a few weeks. I'd already started to plan a party for the children I'd worked with and was determined to go out on a high. And then on Tuesday afternoon I went to the doctors and never came the school have made it quite clear that I'm more than welcome to drop in when I'm feeling better and believe me I'm going to (I have a mountain of resources to sort out besides anything else!!), but it still won't be quite the same :-(
  • Realising there really is no place like home: Now when you're ill, or even if you're just feeling sorry for yourself, there's nowhere you'd rather be than home, And no-one you'd rather have taking care of you than your mum! Seriously, I don't know what I'd have done if I hadn't been living at home this week. Mum made sure I had food that I was able to eat (even going so far as to cut the crusts off my bread when my jaw was at its most painful) so I didn't go hungry and I was just able to laze around all day, safe in the knowledge that I had no household jobs to be getting on with. And big thanks also go to my sisters for having the great idea for them, my mum and I to have a DVD night last night and to my dad for hugging me and just being there while I had a bit of a cry the other day. And whilst I'm thanking the others, I suppose I can't go without thanking my brother for not being quite as annoying as usual lol!! Seriously, I would have been lost without them this week, so I'm saying a BIG thank you to them all as well as Happy Mother's Day to my fabulous Mum!!
  • Having a rest (which really was needed): This time last week I was STRESSED. I had lots of work still to do for school, I had lots of busy evenings coming up in terms of social events and driving lessons and I really wanted a break. Then came my swollen face and the doctor's appointment and bam!! 3 weeks off. A few days of doing pretty much nothing and a few latish get ups and daytime naps later and I'm feeling pretty much back to normal. Just in time for the 2 week spring holidays...woohoo!! :-)
  • Fabulous friends: The kind who take time out of their day to text or fb you to see how you are. The kind who listen to you moan without a word except if it's to check if there's anyway they can make your situation better. I've been reminded of how many of those I have over the past few days, and it's lovely, let me tell you.
  • Losing weight: Over the past three or four weeks, I've been following a personal training programme on the "Biggest Loser" Wii game. Now, I won't pretend I've been being a saint by any means...I've not been exercising every day and I'm not being overly restrictive with what I've been eating, but I have been upping my activity levels (both in terms of doing the suggested workouts and some extra walking thanks to my afternoon job) so I was quite disappointed when my first couple of weigh ins showed that I hadn't lost any weight and my weight had, in fact, marginally increased. So it was with trepidation that I stepped onto the balance board today, having done no exercise for over a week and I was convinced that I'd be looking at no change at best. Imagine my disbelief when I saw that I had, in fact, lost 1.4 kg!! Considering my appetite hasn't been noticeably decreased by my illness, it came as quite a welcome surprise, but now the flip side is that I'm feeling the pressure not to put the weight back on as soon as I can eat crisps and the like!
And that was the week that was...and here's to the next one!! :-)

Till next time...