Monday, 28 January 2013

Snow and pantomimes and cocktails...oh my!!

What a busy weekend it's been! So busy that I'm really glad I booked today off to recover, especially as I've not been feeling 100% today. But along with the busyness, there's also been lots of fun with some of my favourite people so I'm really happy to be reliving the past three days through this post! Let's start off with Friday...

On Friday, I'd booked a half day at work so finished just after 2. I hurried home grateful that I wouldn't be commuting through the heavy snow that had been forecast for rush hour that evening. I then spent some time visiting some of my favourite websites before having a shower, grabbing some tea and then getting ready to make my way to the first performance of my drama group's pantomime, Jack and the Beanstalk. My mum and dad had got tickets for opening night so we all piled into their car and drove carefully through the heavy snow that had been falling for an hour or so. As always, the nerves were jangling and there was an adrenaline rush that could probably be felt by all the cast and crew, but I think it's safe to say that we all had a fantastic time on stage and the audience seemed to love it too! Then the show was over, and we left the warm and bright church hall and stepped into a veritable winter wonderland! The snow clearly hadn't stopped falling for the entire performance, and it lay thickly on each and every surface around us. The drive home was tough, even though we were only driving a very short distance. We were still in the grip of the snowstorm and even the major roads hadn't been treated, meaning the only way to position our car on the road was to look out for the tracks made by other drivers! I honestly can't ever remember driving in conditions like that before and  it was a bit worrying at times, especially when we could see cars skidding in front of us! Luckily we made it home safe and well, and I spent the rest of the evening warm near the fire :-)

I had a lazy morning, before acting in my second performance of the weekend. After the show, I went round to the home of my friends The Performer and The Guitarist (both of whom were also involved in the panto), where we met up with a couple of others and then all headed off for a post birthday meal at one of my favourite restaurants: Pacifica Cantonese. Seriously, if you're ever in the Manchester area, I'd highly recommend it, even if you're not normally into Chinese food! The king do ribs and spicy Mongolian beef are to die for! After eating, I'd planned to go to the restaurant's upstairs cocktail bar for a few drinks, but it was booked for a private party so when my friends who'd just planned to have drinks with me had arrived too, we took the short walk to a pub known for its low prices. 2 pitchers of cosmopolitan for £10? Yes please! The night ended with a cold and rainy walk home in high heels...never the best idea! And judging from the blisters I had when I got home, I think my feet would agree with me!

The first part of my day was basically the same as Saturday's (a lazy morning followed by the pantomime), then I grabbed a quick Subway sandwich with the Performer and the Guitarist, before the three of us were picked up by the Guitarist's brother and taken to the cinema where we watched Les Miserables. We opted to book in for Gold Class, which whilst being more expensive than your standard cinema experience, meant that we got leather reclining seats, free popcorn and access to our own private bar! Don't mind if I do! And as for the film itself? Well, as a fan of the musical, I was sure I'd love it and it's safe to say it didn't disappoint! I laughed, I cried (at least three times!) and was taken aback by the sheer spectacle on many an occasion. I'll definitely be seeing it again, and if Anne Hathaway doesn't win an Oscar for her role as Fantine, then there simply isn't any justice in the world ;-)!!

Basically the laziest of lazy days! :-) I watched Murder, She Wrote with a cup of tea, got dressed and took a brief walk before lunch, then spent the rest of the time either on the Internet, watching TV and/or eating! It's been a lovely way to round off my long weekend, although it's really making me not want to have to get up at  5:45 for work tomorrow :-( . Roll on 4 pm on Friday when my week's holiday from work begins!

And that's pretty much it! Hope you've enjoyed my weekend round up. What did you get up to? Was your weekend as busy as mine or much more chilled out? Let me know, it'd be great to hear from you!

'Til next time...

Wednesday, 23 January 2013

My 30 before 30

For me, yesterday was a very special was my 29th Birthday! Even though I must admit to feeling daunted by the fact that I've reached the last year of my twenties and am now less than a year away from the big 3-0, there was still a certain magic as I spent the day with my family and some of my closest friends and felt almost overwhelmed by all the wonderful cards, presents and birthday messages that I received. I am certainly a very lucky lady! And maybe everyone feels the same way about their birthday, but I also think I'm especially lucky to have mine in January. "Why?", you may ask. Well, for one, it adds a little extra sparkle to what can often be a cold, dark and depressing month and gives me something not too distant to look forward to once the Christmas and New Year festivities are over. Secondly, and this is something that has seemed to become more and more relevant the older I get, it gives me a chance to reaffirm and reevaluate my new year's goals and resolutions as I start a new year of my own. So, with this in mind, I've taken the opportunity to come up with possibly my most ambitious goals list to date: 30 before 30. As with all my previous lists, there's a mix of items on there. Some fun, others more serious. Some will hopefully be things I can tick off rather quickly, whereas I know that others could take all year and may not even be completed at all. But I do know that I'll give everything my best shot and am looking forward to attempting every one of my 30! So without further ado, here's my list: 

My 30 before 30

  1. Get a new job
  2. Create a monthly budget and stick to it
  3. Save at least a fifth of my monthly salary
  4. Lose at least 2 stones (28 lbs)
  5. Exercise for at least 30 minutes, 3 times a week
  6. Complete Couch to 5 K
  7. Have a ruthless clear out of my wardrobes and drawers
  8. Declutter my bedroom and keep it tidy
  9. Read at least 24 new books (2 per month)
  10. Bake at least twice a month
  11. Try 10 new recipes
  12. Learn a new skill and/or develop an existing one
  13. Go on holiday somewhere new
  14. Exfoliate weekly
  15. Give myself a DIY pedicure every week
  16. Grow my nails
  17. Moisturise my problem areas (elbows, feet and knees) every day
  18. Find a facial skincare routine that works for me and stick to it
  19. Find and purchase the perfect pair of skinny jeans
  20. Organise at least 5 social events for me and my friends
  21. Watch at least 10 new (to me) films (to include at least 1 Tarantino...I don't think I've ever actually seen any of his films, to the shock of some of my friends!)
  22. Be a better blogger (specifically blog at least 3 times a week, comment/reply to comments more often and try to become more active in the blogosphere by participating in blogger link ups, tags etc)
  23. Take and share more photos
  24. Start taking part in quizzes again
  25. Go for afternoon tea
  26. Watch an open air film/concert (or both)
  27. Be a better friend
  28. Be a better family member (sister/daughter/niece)
  29. Declutter my email inboxes, unsubscribe from any spam and maybe even deactivate old accounts.
  30. Do more and talk, procrastinate and worry about things less!!
So there we have it! And now it's over to you! Do you make birthday goals lists, and if so, do they work for you? Are you still a big kid when it comes to birthdays or have they lost their magic over time? If there's anything at all you want to say, feel free!

'Til next time...