Tuesday, 20 January 2015

10 Quick Things About Me




1. My middle name is Marie and so is my Mum's

2. I have two sisters and three brothers and I am the eldest

3. My favourite colour is blue 

4. The first place I travelled to abroad was to Lanzarote with my now ex boyfriend and his family - we had the most rain in 48 hours they had had in 15 years or something - lucky me!

5. My favourite animal is a pygmy hippo, closely followed by elephants

6. I HATE BLUEBERRIES

7. My favourite childhood film is Dumbo

8. My favourite meal is spaghetti carbonara

9. I passed my driving test first time aged 19

10. I really want to be a food blogger one day maybe

Share one quick fact with me about you

Monday, 19 January 2015

8 Kitchen Lust Haves



These are my 8 kitchen lust haves at the moment, lust haves rather than must haves because what I really need in my kitchen at the moment is boring stuff like a ladle and a whisk and some decent knives but these are the little pretties that I actually want!!

1) I really want a Bento lunchbox and this one looks really cute. It might mean I actually enjoy making lunches for work rather than the usual sandwiches

2) I love the look of this kitchen timer but as my cooker has an in built one and I have a timer on my phone not really all that necessary

3) So I actually hate drinking through paper straws but these ones are very pretty and who doesn't want looks over substance sometimes (in straws only obviously!)

4) I love using my iPad when I am cooking for both recipes and listening to music but don't so much love the flour or cake mix that I end up getting all over it so I think this would be really useful

5) The idea of cocktail making fills me with glee and the thought of being able to dispense these drinks from this pretty thing makes me beam from ear to ear 

6) Bundt cakes are my new obsession - I have never eaten one or even seen one in real life but my Pinterest board is full of them 

7) Seriously Delish is written by the owner of How Sweet Eats which is one of my favourite food blogs and I really want this book, pretty please someone

8) So this Kitchen Aid mixer is the biggy and at it's price is going to be staying as a lust have for a very long time but it is beautiful 

Do you have any kitchen lust haves? Which one of my picks is your favourite?

Saturday, 17 January 2015

Cherish the Little Things

I've been feeling a little down recently. I think it's the slog of getting back to the daily grind, Christmas is over and work is at this weird quiet but crazy stage that makes me anxious and stressed and bored all at the same time. I think it's the reality of finally trying to feel settled in my new home, it's been six weeks since I moved in but it still doesn't feel quite real and I love it but feel scared about it at the same time. I think it's being nervous about the beginning of my Open University course, there are a lot of books, a lot to read and I'm worried about how I am going to fit it in. All of this just feels like a bit of a dark cloud over my head.

Belinda @ Found Love Now What has started a new link up about positivity called the Joy365 Project which is about finding happiness in every day situations. So instead of dwelling on the stressful or the anxiety inducing, today is all about cherishing the little things.

(source: Pinterest)

  • Dinner at Wagamama's with my sister - pork ramen and chilli squid all finished up with cheesecake - pretty good night
  • Two Costa lunches in a week - one with my best friend who is expecting her 2nd baby and I am so excited and another treated to by my Dad
  • My Dad coming to my work to fix the gate and bringing the dog along
  • Cake dates with my best friend and her gorgeous little boy 
  • Pretty phone cases and a new diary
  • Friday nights - last week was episodes of Suits and pizza, this week was chicken and sweet potatoes and Ryan Reynolds (it was in the Green Lantern though!)
  • Game of Thrones - I'm still only in the second season so I am glad I have so much to look forward to
  • Getting stuff done at work that I thought I would suck at and that I'm actually quite proud of 
  • Homemade pie at home with the family - honestly my Mum serves the biggest portions ever
  • Finally being invited to see Chris when he lives away - I have stayed in his girlfriend's bed before I have been invited to see him!
  • This pin sent to me by my sister 
(source:Pinterest)

So today we are having a flat mate date so more to look forward to again, so time to keep my chin up! 

What little moments are you cherishing? 

Thursday, 8 January 2015

2015 Fashion Wants

***Thanks to Louise @ Sprinkle of Glitter for inspiring this post***


Dear 2015 Fashion Gods,

If you could please grant me the following I would be eternally grateful
  • A playsuit that actually suits my body shape (slightly chubby with a long body and short legs)
  • A shirt that doesn't gape at the boobs 
  • Leggings that never go see through
  • More tartan print trousers.. actually just more tartan everything
  • A pair of jeans that never falls down so I'm not always doing the awkward jean pull
  • High heels that are comfortable enough to wear all day
  • MORE SEQUINS
  • ... AND GLITTER!!
  • OH AND BOWS, LOTS OF BOWS!!
  • Dresses that are actually a suitable length to wear to work
  • NO MORE BODY CON
  • A slogan tee that actually looks nice on me (and says something witty!) 
  • A hat that doesn't make me look and feel ridiculous
  • Bright lipstick that doesn't come off when I shove cake in my face (like seriously do lipstick wearers not eat??)
  • More fluffy jumpers
Much appreciated (and if you could send it all to me for free that would be great)

Wednesday, 7 January 2015

Chimp Management

You know when maybe you aren't being the best version of you. You spend too much time worrying, hating how you deal with situations, stressing, feeling bad. Well that was how I felt a few months ago. I was anxious all the time, scared to do new things, nervous about going to work. I wasn't happy with the way every day interactions were going - normally ending in arguments, raised voices and tears. And I felt awful. Why didn't people like me? What was wrong with them? What was wrong with me?




Something had to change and I started reading a book called Chimp Management. Its written by Professor Steve Peters who is a very successful sports psychologist and worked with the British cycling team before their massive wins in the Olympics so you know nothing to be scoffed at!

The simple theory is that your mind is split into 3 parts:

  • The Computer - the part that deals with everyday functions
  • The Human - the logical rational side
  • The Chimp - the emotionally driven side
When you are acting in a way that doesn't make you happy this is your Chimp acting. The chimp can react quicker than your human side and is stronger which means you often react with your Chimp and then regret it once your human side kicks in. The more I read the book I realised I wasn't being responsible for my actions and emotions. So many times the book hit the nail on the head and sometimes the message was quite hard to acknowledge (i.e the tendency to blame others for when a situation goes sour rather than accepting my own responsibilities)

There is no way of getting rid of the Chimp - it is an integral part of who you are - but the book tries to teach you to manage your chimp and I have found the ideas really helpful. I now have a Chimp Management book where I write maybe 3 or 4 lines as to how the day has gone and how I think I could improve. It's also abut not making yourself feel guilty about having feelings you aren't happy with or acting in a way you wish you hadn't as feeling guilty is another wasted emotion. I'm trying to also recognise the fact that I can't control other people's Chimps!

I have never read a self help book before, never thought I needed to, but honestly this was one of the most enlightening books I have ever read and one of my wishes for 2015 is to try to manage my Chimp. I haven't got it all sorted but hopefully with some more practice I can feel more in control

Have you read any helpful self help books? If you do decide to read Chimp Management let me know how you get on, I'd love to know what you think

Saturday, 3 January 2015

Organisation Plan



One of my wishes for 2015 was to get more organised (I actually wrote 2014 here to start with - I just can't get it yet!!). So I have started an organisation plan - ideas of what I want to organise in my life - and as I still have no idea where to even start yet I need a plan!

BLOG

  • Plan my blog content - it is so hard to think of ideas sometimes off the cuff and also need to spend more time organising the post before hand. I have read that a lot of bloggers spend days tweaking posts and you can really tell that their blog posts are a lot more crafted than mine. I have a notebook I started while I had no internet so I hope this will help - how do you plan your blog content?
  • Blog schedule - I tried this before and failed - I guess I had the wrong system for me and I also didn't have enough blog content planned out to do this. I also played with the idea of doing specific post types at a regular interval which I might bring back - do you have a blogging schedule? 

HOME

  • Organize my things - I have recently moved out and I have a lot of things that I have no idea how to store or where to put them. I think I need more storage as my large chest of drawers wouldn't fit up the stairs into my bedroom! Do you have any clever storage tips?
  • Keep my wardrobe tidy - At home my room used to be covered in clean clothes that I never put away in my wardrobe as it is my most hated thing to do! One of my resolutions when I moved out was to put my clothes away once clean. I also want to make sure I am using my wardrobe to it's full potential - wearing my all my clothes and getting rid of any that don't fit or I don't wear - what is your most hated household chore? how do you keep your wardrobe fresh?
  • Meal planning - Another of my resolutions was to cook more but I'm a bit of a haphazard cook and used to end up wasting a lot of money on wasted ingredients. I seriously cannot afford to do this so hopefully planning meals will help with this and get rid of the nightly stress of what to eat! Do you meal plan or are you more an off the cuff chef?
  • Finances - I am a bad financial planner - I pay too much for stuff I don't really need or use and I'm not very good at saving money. I'm too generous and lend out too much money and it's not something that I can afford to do anymore since I have moved out so I need to look at ways to sort through what I have, expenditures and savings - do you have any good saving tips?
UNIVERSITY
  • Work schedule - I am starting my Open University degree at the end of January and I'm working full time and I want a life so I am going to have to make time and work productively - how do/did you plan your study time?
  • Organise my notes - When I worked on my Open University intro course I noticed that I am a bit of keep notes everywhere person which I did improve when working through the module - hopefully I can improve this more - are you a pen & paper or a computer notes person?
WORK
  • Plan time productively - I think I spend a lot of time doing things poorly just because that's the way they were always done so I'm hoping to be able to shake things up a bit (permission permitting!) I am also thinking of doing the idea where if a task takes less than 5 minutes to complete then I should do it straight away rather than sitting on it/ adding it onto my ever increasing list or forgetting it entirely!! How much input do you have over how you plan your day?
  • Organise my desk - I moved desks when I moved roles at work and this new desk just doesn't work for me. I have to have a lot more stuff to do what I do and I just don't like how it is all set up - tips for an organised desk please!!
And if I do all of this I will seriously be the most organised person in the history of the world!


Wednesday, 31 December 2014

Wishes for 2015



I have never stuck to a New Years Resolution in my life so I'm hoping that if I throw enough wishes down onto a page then hopefully some of them will maybe stick. So in 2015 I want to...


  • Travel - in the UK/ abroad - I just want to see more of the world
  • Spend more time blogging ... and less time worrying about the stats and page view
  • Spend less time worrying in general
  • Complete my first module of my degree
  • Spend more time cooking ... and share some of the recipes on here
  • Try something new - yes very vague but something new
  • Spend more time with friends
  • Manage the chimp (I will explain all very soon)
  • Put myself out there
  • Have more fun
  • Be more organised - with blogging/ with work/ with my degree/ at home/ with money
  • Speaking of money - save some money - I'd like to save a minimum of £1000
  • Go on a date
  • Take more pictures ... and share them
I'm excited to get started... bring on 2015!!

What are your wishes for 2015?