Thursday, 18 September 2014

The travelling pants

Wavey reminded me of a conversation that we had when I worked in libraryland, along the lines of me saying, "I never get to go anywhere..." Fast forward to now and these days I'm rarely in the office. I'm usually in my car, satnav plugged into the cigarette lighter, radio on, driving off to some meeting or other. I kind of like it, and I'm kind of massively out of my comfort zone! It's a heady mix that often leads to Nervous Nelly moments, but I'm being really really brave and each day is a new achievement. I'd like to say it's all plain sailing, but combined with the evil house move stress I've had some wobbly moments this week. 

As I was driving home from York today, which took about an hour, I cast my mind back to when I lived in London, and would think nothing of travelling for up to 2 hours to go and meet people and do exciting London stuff; at one house I lived in, including the walk to the station, my daily commute was 90 minutes! If someone asked me to do that now I would laugh in their face. No thank you kindly job person. Which of course got me to thinking about how everyone else is doing the daily grind to get to work. 

Take Wavey for example, he works 30 miles away from our house so each day he does 60 miles! Tizz sometimes goes on a ferry to get to work! The best commute I ever had was when I worked in the next town along and it literally used to take me 6 minutes from my front door to the car park. It's all relative I guess, and it's a part of life for everyone. 

What do you do as you travel? I like the radio, as it feels less lonely and more like a conversation. Plus I get to sing along to all my favourite songs and often laugh out loud. When Wavey and I go on road trips we always have the iPod with a mix I've usually created specifically for the journey. I think we all do something that helps us get through that journey. 

So, as well as trying to open a banana and drive at the same time today, I was planning this post. It's kind of rambling but there go my thoughts when I'm in my car. That's all. 

Friday, 12 September 2014


When we thought we would be moving into our new home a couple of weeks ago, we did a whole heap of packing and many many trips to our storage container. Now, weeks later, when we're still waiting for an actual moving out date, it's odd for the house to be so bare. Everyone comments when they come in, and the only way I can describe it is unloved. We don't really love it anymore, as we're moving onto the next phase, and the new owner has told me she loves it but until all her stuff comes and she makes it her own, it's this version of unloved nothing-ness; it's kinda sad. And it doesn't really feel like coming home anymore, mainly due to how much everything is reduced. 

Take our eating stuff for example. Whereas before we had big piles of plates and bowls, now we're operating on the absolute minimum and have two of everything. So basically if anyone comes round to eat with us they might have to bring their own cutlery, or I create a menu that is entirely based around eating with your fingers and happily provide the napkins - pizza anyone...? 

This is going to sound really vain but the thing I am least enjoying is how much my wardrobe is reduced. We took most of it to Wavey's mam's house, which is hardly miles away and easily accessible at any time, but I'm operating with this reduced choice of wardrobe. Oh! It makes me sad. I love all my clothes, seriously I do. I don't have anything that sits in the back of the wardrobe not being worn, I mix it up day after day to make sure I give them all the love they deserve. But right now, I have this whole capsule thing going on. I have all my work clothes, which are not many, as I'm not a huge fan of the bizness dress thing (stop repeating yourself, they get it) and then the rest of the time I've lived in jeans. Like every single day. And some variety of vest/tee with maybe a cardigan if it's a bit cold. Bor-ring! 

And the same pair of shoes. That I paid £6 for in Tesco, and have most certainly earned their keep. Literally never had them off my feet. They may walk away by themselves soon... I'm already regretting packing away my boots as Autumn is fast approaching (or is it actually here? I can never tell) and boots will soon be needed. I've already mentioned to Wavey that I think I need a trip to the storage to seek them out, otherwise it means going out and buying new when I have perfectly good stuff in there that I love (and miss!). Oh the dilemmas. 

I'm curious to know if this capsule thing is what most people have going on normally? I know I have a lot of clothes, I'm never ashamed to admit that, but I reckon when you make good use of them there's nothing to feel bad about. How do you do it though, if you only have like 2 jumpers to choose from? Is it all about the accessories? Even they are reduced as I foolishly packed them too. 

So the moral of this story is: never believe estate agents who give you moving out dates. It's entirely possible they are lying to you. 

Anyone got a spare fork we can borrow...? 

Thursday, 11 September 2014

The natural world #4: deodorant

Let's talk armpits. Did you know that the main ingredient in any deodorant is aluminium? Yes you read that right, daily we're all rubbing or spraying metal into our armpits. Which are frankly very delicate areas and should be treated a lot better than that. After a conversation with my good friend D, she recommended a totally natural deodorant to me and I'm here today to share it with you. 

I have to admit to being slightly nervous about this one. I'd tried a natural deodorant before and had a really bad reaction to it, which definitely defeats the object of trying to go au naturel. But not entirely, as none of us want to be a Smelly Sally or a Sweaty Betty. And for years I've been using a Mitchum super strength thingy which works really well. But enough about that. Here's my review.

What is it? The brand is Salt of the Earth, and the weird looking thing below is a crystal which is entirely natural. You can either rub it directly onto damp skin, or you can wet it under the tap and rub it in that way.

Say what? I know, I know, it looks totally weird but you'll find that is often the case with natural stuff. Anyone remember toothpaste-gate? It truly isn't as weird as it sounds and I'll be honest, I've been able to use this straight after shaving without that crazy, jump round the room like a loon, stinging sensation. 

Value for money? This came in two sizes - I got the travel version to try as I didn't want to spend too much in case I had a repeat of my previous experience with natural deodorants. This came in at £3.89 and according to the packaging, if you dry after each use it will last for months. All I do is leave the lid off while I potter about having my breakfast, and then when I go back upstairs to brush my teeth, I pop the lid back on. If it really does last for months, then it's excellent value for money. The full size version is approximately £4.69, which again, for months of use, is a total bargain.

Does it work? Absolutely! I've been using this for about a week now and it's been brilliant. I've had total confidence, in all types of situations, that my armpits remain dry and non-smelly, yay! I know a week isn't long for testing purposes, but I think with something like that it's going to be an instant like or dislike. You can't mess about when armpits are at stake! 

Where can I buy it? I got mine from Holland and Barrett and this handy page lists all the stockists, UK and International 

Summary? I would definitely recommend. I've been worried for a long time about leaving deodorant on overnight but have always been too lazy to wash it off. This doesn't leave any residue, or white marks on clothes, and seems to just be gone by bedtime, but not in a bad way. I'm almost in danger of giving it top marks... 

Wednesday, 10 September 2014

20 Things

Let's share a few random facts! I came across this via The Maiden Metallurgist and thought it would be a fun thing to do, so here are 20 things about me.

1. How tall are you? 
I'm 5'8", not too teeny at all.

2. Do you have a hidden talent? If so, what? 
I don't at all, most of my talents are out there for all to see! I did used to wish that I could put lipstick on just like Clare from The Breakfast Club, but sadly I've never learned that skill...

3. What's your biggest blog-related pet peeve?
There's a couple of beauty blogs that I read who I think sometimes aim their language to try to be 'down with the kids'. I'm not normally one to be annoyed by bad grammar but a lot of that is just wrong words that mainly make me cringe.

4. What's your biggest non-blog related pet peeve? 
Littering, particularly from cars. There's so many rubbish bins around, use them! I think this actually annoys me more as a lot of kind people use our front hedge for putting their plastic bottles/glass bottles/leftover kebab trays. I suppose at least they're not leaving it on the ground...

5. What's your favourite song? 
No! I can never answer this question ever. It changes almost all the time, depending on mood, time of year, so many factors. Next question.

6. What's your favourite Etsy shop that isn't yours?
I don't have an Etsy shop, mainly because I am utterly rubbish at crafting. I can't handle the stress, too much concentration required. Fizz is currently secret squirreling away on an exciting project that may or may not involve an online shop. I can't reveal any more or she might kill me. 

7. What's your favourite way to spend your free time when you're alone? 
Oooh tough one! Again, it depends entirely on mood. Some days I just want to lie on the sofa and catch up with all my blogs, other days I'll be my own DJ and blast out loads of songs and sing at the top of my voice. If it's sunny you'll definitely catch me in the garden with a good book. I generally post to the blog when I'm alone so there's another one. I'm all good with alone time, I can always find ways to amuse myself. 

8. What's your favourite junk food?
Haribo Fangtastic. Fizzzzzzzzy! 

9. Do you have a pet or pets?
Nope. But Wavey and I are in talks to get a golden retriever who we will call Bob. This is years down the line cos we'd feel bad about leaving him at home while we went out to work. We'll probably get Bob about the same time we move to France. 

10. What are your number one favourite fiction and non-fiction books?
I don't read a lot of non-fiction but when I do it usually has lots of gorgeous photos and I will idle away hours just flicking through. Fiction is truly hard, I'm a tough critic. I would say the Tales of the City series by Armistead Maupin. I've read them so many times they're almost threadbare and they totally inspired me to go to San Francisco for an amazing holiday I will never forget. 

11. What's your favourite beauty product? 
Anything and everything. I am a total lush when it comes to lotions and potions. 

12. When were you last embarrassed? What happened? 
Yesterday at work. I had taken my work buddy one of our giant courgettes and there were a lot of innuendos flying around the room and exclamations of where did you get that?! I don't know why I blushed to say that we had grown it. I'm a blusher, often, really wish I wasn't. 

13. If you could only drink one beverage (besides water) for the rest of your life what would it be? 
Yorkshire tea. No question. Can't live without it. 

14. What's your favourite movie?
Probably Pretty in Pink. Is that sad to admit? So many memories, with so many people, of watching it over and over again. And I'll always love Duckie. What a dude. 

15. What were you in high school: prom queen, nerd, cheerleader, etc.
I think school in the UK is not really like high school (she says, totally basing all experience of American high schools on tv, books, and films). You either fit in or you didn't. I didn't really. I was with a not great group of people, and I lacked confidence, and I let them make me do a lot of things that I knew weren't good but I wasn't brave enough to walk away. And I had giant hair. And I was all arms and legs and had no boobs til I was nearly 16. School was not my most favourite. 

16. If you could live anywhere in the world, where would you live?
France. I'm not a big planner, but Wavey and I have very grand plans for our future life in France. Watch this space. 

17. PC or Mac?
Um, iPad and laptop...?

18. Last romantic gesture from your man?
Every weekend Wavey makes me breakfast in bed. And for that I know I am a very lucky girl. Don't tell him I told you that...

19. Favourite celebrity?
I'm not really into the whole celebrity thing anymore, it's all a bit old now. But I'll say Peter Capaldi, the new Dr Who, as he seems like he's totally cool and I'm loving him as the Doctor. 

20. What blogger do you secretly want to be best friends with? 
I'd love to meet Pop Culture Librarian one day. It could well take years but I definitely reckon we'd have a top day!  

So there you go. 20 things about me. Who's up next? 

Sunday, 7 September 2014

Big screen

Guardians of the Galaxy

I had literally read nothing about this film before going to see it with Fizz this afternoon. I was quite certain that it was Marvel related (correct, well done Dizz) and a vague notion of a group of superhero types saving the galaxy. I'm still not entirely sure how to describe the characters, bizarre could be a good word, as could mixed bag. Let's see if I can describe them: there's a raccoon, a tree that speaks, a green lady, a buff bald painted man, and the lead guy who was a bit of a mess and still listened to mix tapes on his Sony Walkman. 

There's an orb, lots of space ships, Glenn Close as a cop boss, and lots of explosions. Ordinarily that would be right up my street but there was something about this film that just didn't really grip me. I'm the champion of leaving any logic at the door and just throwing myself into the whole experience, but it was all just a bit silly and the first 10 minutes were totally confusing and frankly, not that interesting. 

It's weird as Fizz and I often go to the cinema together, but we also have quite different tastes in films. She loved this whereas I was shaking my head at the bonkers awful of it by the end, where of course they had already set up the sequel. 

Summary: great music, moments of mild amusement, but an overwhelming feeling of nyeh about the whole thing. For me, they were more like the guardians of cheese, as in cheesey, not that great a film. 

So what's next, Fizz? It is the season of good films. I would definitely be up for the Box Trolls. Any recommendations for us? 

Thursday, 4 September 2014


Currently the days are challenging. There's all sorts of blah house and Wavey's job stuff that no-one wants to read or hear about, and so I'm enjoying distractions. My Instagram feed is one of my most favourite distractions, cos who doesn't want to look at stunning photos or silly photos or outfit of the day photos #ootd 

So I thought I'd share a few of my favourites for you to seek out and enjoy too. Spoiler alert: you might be surprised by some of these as I generally don't come across as being all coo-ey over tiny dogs and pigs, but I love them unashamedly and might even admit to the odd squeeee popping out of my mouth. 

@hailzoltar: a teeny tiny black pug who is quite simply adorable

@prissy_pig: a teeny tiny girl pig and her brother. Completely bonkers and very possibly wrong to make pigs wear tutus but an absolutely awesome distraction

@dexterandthebear: a giant cat and a cockapoodle dog. Worth it for the captions alone, and they are the pets of the fabulous @modelrecommends

@meanwhileinnowhere: doors. Of all shapes, colours, and sizes. Genius. 

@natgeo: AWESOME nature photographs. Totally awesome. Lions, tigers, and leopards, and many many more, oh my!

@finalcutking: unbelievable editing and comedy genius in short video format. My most recent discovery and makes me laugh out loud every single time

If you don't have Instagram, then seriously I urge you to get an account. It's beyond brilliant and it has absolutely been my discovery of the year. If you have any recommendations to share, please do so. Especially if it will make me laugh and possibly squeal out of sheer cuteness. Stop it. Safe to say my tough cookie reputation just went down the pan. Nyeh.