Look, books!

31 January 2016

I have previously mentioned how much I love my 'chic lit' books and I wanted to do an update on all things rom-com literature!

The book I've read most recently was 'A Wedding at Christmas' by Chrissie Manby. I really liked this story as it is an continuation of Chrissie's previous novels featuring the families the Benson-Edwards and the Buchanan's. This time Chelsea Benson is planning on getting married and this book follows the drama's that follow on the lead up to the big day.
I had started to read this over the festive period it, so as such the time setting of the story was apt. I enjoyed the pace and seeing the story being told for different characters view point. I would recommend this book, but I would add it might be worth starting with 'A proper family holiday' to get an understand of the background of the two families.

I have found of recent that I haven't had my nose in a book like I normally do. I'm not sure why, perhaps it is a mixture of waiting for new releases to come out and spending more time on my blog. If only there was more hours in the day!

Daily Blog Post - Thurs 28th Jan 2016

28 January 2016

Today thankfully the sun decided to make an appearance! Yesterday it rained pretty much all day and today was clear and bright, but blinking chilly!

Being that I had the day off, I thought it would be an ideal day for a winters walk. And an ideal place for a walk is Arundel in West Sussex. Arundel is a small town with a pretty big castle and a cathedral. In the warmer months the castle is open to the public, and I have been around the castle before and would recommend it if you ever visit the area.

Myself and Dan set off, with camera's in tow to the train station to get to Arundel. After about 50 minutes we arrived. We would of arrived sooner if the train we wanted to catch wasn't cancelled!

We headed towards the castle and decided we made a poor decision in walking along the river bank as it was super muddy and slippery. We turned off at the nearest exit (into a car park) and continued on much cleaner ground towards the castle. Even just walking outside the castle, it looks fantastic and very photogenic.

Dan and myself walked towards a lake called Swanbourne and took some snaps as we walked along, which I have shared below. Now I'm no nature photographer but I did my best to capture the wildlife in action!


After an hour or so of walking to, around and back from the lake we walked into the town centre and had a browse around some of the shops. If you love your high street chains, then I'm afraid Arundel will disappoint, but if you like traditional, independent shops, then you will be in your element.

Daily Blog Post - Tues 26th Jan 2016

26 January 2016

Today is my last day off before I am back to work after my few days off for annual leave. And it has been very much needed! Still, I have Thursday off and Sunday, then one week in and then another week off so I'm not going to complain!
My OOTD: Dungarees, Stripe jumper and faux fur jacket

Today I had arranged to go to Gunwharf in Portsmouth which is an outlet store village right next to the harbour. It has been ages since I have been shopping with both my mum and my sister, so I was eagerly looking forward to a little shopping trip with them.

I woke up at about 8am, got dressed and then did some work on my blog. At about 11:15am my sister, with my mum in tow turned up and collected me to drive us all to Portsmouth. It only takes about 20 odd mins to get to Portsmouth from my flat as it's mostly motorway. We arrived and parked in a massive car park at Gunwharf, like was wondering how many people they plan on being at Gunwharf at any one time?! At this point it had started to rain so we decided to have a hot drink to keep dry before we hit the shops. We went into Cafe Nero and I had a yummy hot chocolate :)

We then visited various shops, including Gap, where I brought 3 jumpers (£6.99 each, bargain!) a pair of leggings, two vest tops and a hooded jumper and a t-shirt for Dan. Not that I needed more clothes but they were so cheap!

Other shops we visited were Cath Kidston (had to really!), HMV (where I brought Paper Towns on dvd) and Jack Wills.

After a couple of hours we admitted defeat and we headed back to my flat. On the way we stopped off at a local second hand furniture store run by a local hospice and I brought (with my sister paying half) a woven dressmakers dummy. I have always wanted one as I thought they would look great displaying clothes on. You can see what it looks like in the photo's below.

Once home I then popped back into town with Dan to get some dinner from Tesco Express. There is only a M&S in the centre of town. The nearest supermarkets are on the out skirts and in this weather we opted for convenience! I then came home, got into some lounge wear and snuggled up on the sofa to watch Paper Towns. I enjoyed it as it is a great coming of age film and Cara Delevigne definitely showed she is more than a pretty face. I would recommend it but it's not a classic by any means.

Now I'm writing this blog and looking forward to my dinner as I'm starving Marvin! Anyway I had a lovely day out. I hope you've had/having a good day too.

Thanks for reading :)


Shopping Haul :)

Recently I have been feeling my fashion mojo (if I ever had one that is!) has gone AWOL. I used to work for a fashion retailer where I had constant access to the latest must have looks, and there was a in work joke that I was never seen in the same item twice!

And since working in a non fashion retail store, I find on my days off I tend to stick to skinny jeans and a jumper. Not that I'm knocking jeans and a jumper, but sometimes I fancy looking a bit more on point. So when I visited a nearby town, Southampton, I decided to do a bit of a Primark haul, to try to readdress my fashion woes.

When I was looking around the vastness that is Primark, I decided to try on items I would normally shy away from and my moto was 'think outside the box'. I ended up trying on a full length black dungaree's, a denim dunagree dress and a black and white patterned skirt. For some that might be norm for them but for me that was stepping away from my comfort of my staple outfit of jeans and a jumper! And I was actually pleasantly surprised that I didn't think I look ridic in them! After much wondering round the shop (poor Dan was waiting in Mapin looking at the electronic gadgets!) I purchased a few items.

Normally when I shop I end up buying random tops, then get home and realise they don't go with anything I already own, so this time I invested in some outfits that I can wear. Now I'll never be en vogue with fashion, but I at least want to try and look passable. As a side note, some would say that fashion is shallow and perhaps in some respects the would be right. But rightly or wrongly I do feel more sense of confidence when I am wearing something I feel happy in (sure there's logic in that!).

Below I have some photo's of what I have brought (plus an additional out fit I brought recently too).

 Denim dress - Primark | Stripe Jumper - Primark | Tights- Primark | Tan boots - New Look
Stripe t-shirt - Primark | Black dungarees - Primark | Tan boots- New Look

Blue dress - Primark | Owl pendant necklace - Accessorize | Black zip detail boots - New Look

Striped jumper - Berschka | Blue jeans - Dorothy Perkins | Red bobble hat - New Look | Tan boots - New Look

Wonder what I'll wear today!


Daily Blog Post- Friday 22nd Jan 2016

22 January 2016

Hello and Happy Friday!

My many, many apologies for not daily blogging over the last couple of days. On Wednesday I had a very typical day at work and came home, had dinner and went to bed. The day was not worthy of blogging about. Unless you wanted to know what I had for dinner!

Yesterday I spent most of the day in bed, in my trusty pyjama's, so again nothing note worthy to report (such a rock 'n' roll lifestyle huh!).

Today I really haven't done much else. Again been in my pj's and in the flat. My lovely monthly friend came for a visit (you catch my drift ladies?!) so I have resulted to another lazy day. I hope to be back to actually doing stuff with my life tomorrow. I can't fester in my bed much longer.

I don't want to go into too much specifics, but every month, pretty much like clockwork my body will go to it's monthly cycle (sorry if this is TMI btw!) and I get cramps for about 24 hours. Normally I result in taking some paracetamol and grinning and bearing it. But I find it does dictate my life to some degree. If I know when it will appox be and I have something planned for the same time, then I have to think realistically if I can do said plan as otherwise I will be only good for lying on the sofa or bed. Christmas and the day after my wedding have both been times I have cursed mother nature.
But equally there has been times I have been grateful for the luck of the date it's been on.
I have been to the doctor's but I've not had much joy other than been given some strong painkillers, which didn't work and made me feel sick. The pill isn't an option as I have family medical history that would dictate it wouldn't be best for me to take it.
So I tend to get through it in my own way. Sucks, but that's the card I'm dealt.

So anyway, I have found this a useful day to update my blog and do a bit of socialising on line and being able to engage with you lovely lot (or just you as I don't know how many people actually read what I write!).
I did find out from my colleague today that the managers had chosen me (little ole me) as the Roofraiser (basically an employee of the month incentive) for January! Not that I want to brag but there are over 100 staff in my work, so I'm chuffed that they thought I was worthy of such an accolade :)

A day of randomness...when looking through some old photo's with Dan, as he writing a book and needed some photo's to go in it, I found this letter, coinsdentally from exactly 17 years ago today!
I wrote to a pop magazine called Big! (showing my age) to ask for a fanmail address for a long time defunct American boyband called Take 5. This was before I had email, so they had to reply via snail mail! Nowadays I would probably just tweet them!

On a different note, I do have an event to attend to tomorrow down the road. My husband is part of a local self published author group and they had a writing competition going via the local paper and they are awarding the winners tomorrow. Local and well known author Kate Mosse will be there, and I have been asked by Dan to help take some photos. Could be interesting how my photo's turn out!

I'm also looking forward to being able to wear my new Sleek cosmetics eyeshadow pallette tomorrow. I haven't used Sleek products before, but after watching a youtube video with a vlogger using it, I wanted to give it a go.

I might try and go to a local car boot on Sunday, as it's also down the road (useful living by the town centre!) and see if there are any goodies to be found for something to do with the day.

I might also try to go out somewhere with my sister as she owes me a day out!

Anyway I'll leave it here as that has brought you up to speed with my day. Hopefully be back tomorrow with another daily blog post! Thank you eternally for reading!


P.S. Sorry for the lack of photo's with this post. My spotty face and greasy hair should not be seen. I'll endeavour to make up for photo's tomorrow!

Valentines Gift Inspiration for Her

With St Valentine's in the not so distant future, I did a little bit of internet searching for gifts you might like to receive from a loved one or an admirer...

These are just a teeny selection of items I personally wouldn't mind receiving. But most of all the love from your nearest and dearest is what money can't buy!


The No Bake Fridge Cake!

The No Bake Fridge Cake

I will be honest up front, I am useless at baking or cooking in general. Beans on toast, yes, but anything more complex then that, then it's a microwaveable meal.

So when I discovered a cake that requires, NO BAKING, then I thought even I can do that, surely?

I have photographed the stages below to give you guidance, but to be honest if I can make it, then I have high hopes for you!

The Ingredients

125g of unsalted butter 
300g of milk chocolate
2 tbsp of Golden syrup
250g of digestive biscuits
135g of Malteasers
A sprinkling of mini marshmallows

The Recipe

First of all weigh the butter out and place into a Pyrex bowl (or any other microwaveable bowl), then follow with adding the chocolate which you have broken into chunks.
Hint- use the chocolate at room temperature, it's easier to melt.

Pop the bowl into the microwave for 60 seconds (I have an 1000W microwave so you might need a little longer for less wattage, but check your microwave hand book if unsure).

Once microwaved, stir together the mixture so that all the chocolate and butter has melted. 
Add 2 tbsp of golden syrup to the mixture and stir.
Then add the crushed digestive biscuits and stir the mixture so that all the dry ingredients are coated in chocolate. 

I chose to add some mini marshmallows and gave it all a final mix.

I then spooned the mixture into paper cup cakes (try to use cup cake cases that have some sturdiness to them). I have alternatively in the past spooned the whole mixture into a cake tin (20cm x 20cm should do it) which had been grease lined.

Finally you pop this into the fridge. I normally make this in the evening and leave it to set over night.

Once out of the fridge, your no bake fridge cake is ready to devour!

The finished cakes!

If you have any easy peasy recipe's you would like to share, please let me know!


My chocolate brownies :)

I'm not a great baker. Thought I would get that in first. So when we held a Macmillan Coffee Morning bake sale in my work recently, I thought I would try something other than my default Malteaser Fridge Cake.
So I did a google and found a highly rated chocolate brownie receipe. In fact it had the highest rating, so I thought this would increase my chances of my attempts not ending up in the bin!

I went out and brought all the ingredients and set to work. I also invested in a electric food mixer. I would of loved to of got an Kitchenaid one as they are top of the range, but sadly out of my price range, and I opted for a Tesco own brand one for appox £25. 

I will list below some photo's of what I did to make, what I'm pleased to say, were rather well received brownies. I will also link where I found the recipe on line, so you can use that as well if you prefer.

All the ingredients

Cut 185g unsalted butter into smallish cubes and tip into a medium bowl. Break 185g best dark chocolate into small pieces and drop into the bowl.
I then placed the bowl (check yours is microwaveable) in the microwave for appox 1 minute (my microwave is set at 1000W) and covered the bowl with cling film.

Whilst you wait for the mixture to cool set your oven to 160c for fan ovens/180c for conventional ovens/gas mark 4.

Line a square 20cm tin with either butter or you can use grease proof paper.

Weigh 85g of plain flour.

Sift flour into a bowl.

Sift in 40g of cocoa powder into the bowl with the flour.

Flour and cocoa powder.

Break into chunks 50g of milk chocolate and 50g of white chocolate and leave to the side.

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