Saturday, 28 February 2015

BlogLove - February

This post about wearing what you want regardless of your size

This post about how your anchor habits - habits that keep you grounded. I'm not sure I have any so maybe a good idea to start some to keep some normal in my life

Can we celebrate my half birthday?? Even though it is my birthday next month!

Love this article.

Can I have this kitchen please?!? I don't even like pink that much but this is pretty!

I don't have kids but this is cute - and would be nice to praise people's good more often anyway

So these are some of the blog posts I have been enjoying this month - please feel free to share some blog posts you have enjoyed and share the BlogLove


Your favourite post on Simple Chronicles of Me this month - Adventurous: The Art of Trying New Things

My favourite post on Simple Chronicles of Me this month - Banana & Salted Caramel Muffins

Friday, 20 February 2015

Dating Dilemnas - The First "First Date"

I am going on my first date tonight and I'm starting to feel a sense of abject terror at the thought of it. This is my first "first date" - not that I have been single for my whole life but we just didn't do dates for some reason or another. And now here I am about to embark on my first date and I'm thinking of throwing myself down the stairs so that I have an excuse not to go.

So to take the panic off here are 10 thoughts I'm having before a first date:

1. "Ok so what do I wear?" Trivial but oh so important 

2. "What if he thinks I'm crazy?" I am crazy but I don't want him to think that, similar thoughts on if he thinks I'm loud, annoying or a bitch 

3. "What if he's crazy?" I am having thoughts ranging between a little eccentric to straight jacket wearing psychopath

4. "I will spill something down myself" We are going to eat - I am going to look like a complete an utter idiot who cannot feed herself. I went out on Wednesday and spilled food down a baby blue dress, I laughed, my friend laughed, until the waitress pointed it out and I wanted to smash her in the face (please see note 2)

5. "What if he's boring?" I am pretty rubbish at forced inane social chit chat unless I am drunk and as I am driving tonight this will not be the case, if he ain't got nothing to say then I would rather through myself off the pier 

6. "What if he thinks I'm boring?" I'm not so not even going to happen ;)

7. "What if I don't like him?" I don't really know this man/bloke/guy/person - I've seen his picture, chatted to him online and thought yeah he's nice but if he's not then I am a bad judge of character.

8. "But what if I do like him?" I am getting through this by convincing myself it's a one and only but what if I actually like him? What if he doesn't like me back?

9. "What if he doesn't turn up?" This brings back issues of my thirteenth birthday party where literally no one came and I balled my eyes out, fear of throwing parties complex ever since.

10. "What am I going to eat?" This isn't really date related I'm just hungry!

Any tips from you professional daters out there? 
Am I being crazy?

Wish me luck!!

Thursday, 19 February 2015

Life Drawing 101

One of my New Year's resolutions this year was to try new things (see this post here for some more of my wishes and this post here for my tips of trying new things) I'm pretty good at doing the same old thing so when a leaflet came through my door with adult learning courses I decided to give it a go. I picked life drawing. If you aren't familiar with life drawing it's the drawing of the naked human form which yeah can be pretty intimidating but boy did I enjoy it (in a non pervy way!!) 

If you are thinking of studying life drawing here are my tips from a complete beginner:

- Don't be scared of being embarrassed - It's going to be a bit of a shock when you walk into a room to find a man naked so don't expect yourself to have full composure - you will want to laugh and if you might find it quite hard to look at certain ... ahem ... intimate areas. The models are used to it and you get used to seeing it all quite quickly

- Take lots of paper and a variety of pencils - you will most likely draw quite a few different poses so lots of big paper is a good thing. Also some different pencils can be useful (although not a necessity) - apparently my style suited a 4B. Also bring an eraser which brings me on to my next point...

- Draw what you see, not what you think you see - the life model had quite a short neck and muscly shoulders so when standing or sitting in a certain position you couldn't see his neck but to start of I insisted on drawing one. As soon as I stopped and got the head in the correct position my drawings improved.

- Don't give up - you will improve, it will feel more natural

- Get inspiration from others but try not to get disheartened - there were proper artists in my life drawing class with antique art sets and they were really good but they had done this lots before and had been to art college. It is really nice though to see other people's styles and see the life model from a different angle

- Enjoy yourself- it's art not life or death, so what if he has wonky knees? (unless it is life or death then don't enjoy yourself, draw like a madman, become the next Manet and do it quick!) 

If this has inspired you then look for some life drawing classes in your local area, colleges are generally a good place to start as they generally offer them for their art classes for sixth formers or just get Googling! 

Wednesday, 18 February 2015

Adventurous: The Art of Trying New Things

My wish this year was to try new things, be more adventurous and just jump right out of that nice and easy comfort zone. For someone who screams confidence it might surprise you to hear that the reason I love the comfort zone is because new things terrify me. They fill me with enough anxiety to make me want to vomit and to make me not even want to put myself forward. I love routine, spontaneity scares me but actually when being spontaneous (generally forced by those around me) this is when I have enjoyed myself the most.

The thing is the new thing doesn't have to be massive to anyone else. It doesn't have to be jumping out of a plane or flying a hot air balloon, it can be the little things that make the most difference to your life. Today I am going on a train by myself for the first time. For all you train commuters this is nothing but to me this is big, it's scary, it's exciting. Don't put yourself down because you think others will believe your something is nothing. If it is something to you it is important.

Tell people you are trying new things. One it will give you that emotional support when you waver and two they will be able to give you some great tips about new things to try. Always have the same dish at your favourite restaurant? They could recommend something that you had never even thought of trying - even if in the end you order your old dish next time because it was better, how will you know if you never try?

It makes you look out for new things. I made my resolution to try new things and then I had to find some new things to try so when an adult learning course leaflet came through the door I looked for new opportunities and decided to sign up for an art course (which I will be telling you about soon) Art isn't very me but surely that's the point of trying new things?? And you know what I enjoyed it!

DON'T GIVE UP! Don't let yourself quit before you have even started. Agreed to do something? Then don't bail, even if you have only agreed with yourself. 

Talk yourself through your worries (or talk with a friend). I'm pretty good at coming up with the most ridiculous reasons to not try something (generally ending in my horrific death because I obviously read too many thriller books) but if you talk through these worries prior to the task then you already know how to combat the situation. What if my car breaks down? Call the AA or get a bus or get a lift. What if I get lost? Take the sat nav, ask directions, set off early just in case. What if I get abducted by aliens? At least it will be a new thing!

Worry is a wasted emotion, it doesn't change the situation and I know that that doesn't change anything when you are really worried but to me just reminding myself of that fact that worry changes nothing does a great deal to put it into perspective.

So please try new things and let me know how you got on or suggest new things for me to try (unless it's blogging consistently because I am a major fail at that!!)

Sunday, 8 February 2015

Banana & Salted Caramel Muffins

I've been a bad blogger recently so I'm a blogger bearing a muffin recipe as an apology because nothing says sorry like cake...

I hate yellow bananas - I hate the smell, hate the texture, hate the little stringy bits that attach from the skin (I couldn't think of the word for the outer of a banana then - I wanted to say shell) That's not to say I don't like bananas but I am very fussy regarding their ripeness - too green they taste like plant, too yellow well they taste too much like a banana (which you could say is ultimately the point about a banana but you know I'm weird - I'm not denying it) So this recipe uses up all those bananas that are too ripe for my liking but I'm way too cheap to throw away

This recipe also calls for my favourite Hotel Chocolat treat - half a tub of their Salted Caramel & Pecan chocolate spread. It is fairly expensive but bloody delicious - even just spread on the top of a plain biscuit - but if you did want to leave it out I don't think you would find the plain banana muffin unappetizing in the slightest! To get the spread into the batter I melted it as the consistency is really thick so quite difficult to incorporate otherwise.

I'm also pretty rubbish at getting the batter into the muffin cases - there was batter bloody everywhere. I blame it on the fact that my muffin cases are too big for the muffin tin - nothing to do with lack of coordination.

So please make my bad blogger banana & salted caramel muffins and let me know what you think