Wednesday, 28 January 2015

On Repeat

Cards! Cake! Balloons! Gifts! Flowers! Turning 40 is like the birthday that just keeps on giving. Not only was the day itself really lovely and spent with my most favourite people, but the following day my parents returned from seeing my sister with more presents, then at work on the Monday my new work buddies had organised a surprise of lunch in the restaurant and some fabulous presents that are just so me. It's all been absolutely lovely and a bit overwhelming. I'm going out on Friday night with old work buddies for birthday cocktails. I don't think I've celebrated a birthday for a week before since turning 21. Maybe this 40 thing isn't so bad after all...

Year of Craft - January

My crafty aim for January was to make a silver ring using PMC (Precious Metal Clay). I failed.
However, I did make a silver ring for Dizz's 40th, although it wasn't using PMC.
So I'm going to count January as a draw.
Fizz NIL: Universe NIL

Sunday, 25 January 2015

App Love #1

I love apps. 

I love taking photos. 

I love apps that let you add interesting elements to photos.

Candy Camera is my new favourite app. I have an Android phone so I don't know if this is exclusive to the Google Play Store, but let's face it, Apple have ALL the apps so if it is Android exclusive, well that's just icing on the cake. Essentially the app allows you to take photos directly from inside and then edit, or you can import photos taken with just the phone camera and then edit from in there. You can add colours, bokeh (not entirely sure what that means), light, shapes,'s a really fun little toy. I love using it to mix up my photos and make them look that little bit more interesting. 

I've always loved taking photos but having a stonking good camera on my Samsung Galaxy has really increased my snappy-ness. That and my love for Instagram. Happy snappy days. What is your favourite camera app? 

Thursday, 22 January 2015

Dizz and Wavey versus the Universe

Okay, okay, we hear you loud and clear, we won't even try and book any further birthday weekends away. 3 years. For the past 3 years we have made plans to go away for birthday weekends and for the past 3 years we have had to cancel them. You think we'd have learned by now. Perhaps this time will be the lesson learned for good. Birthday weekends away in January just ain't never going to happen. The Universe has spoken and we have paid attention to the signs. The weekend away is cancelled.

My overwhelming feeling about this is not even boo, hiss, poor us, type thing, it's more a quiet acceptance that yep, here ahead of us is yet another test that we have to overcome. Who is this test-y person and what is up with them? Do they have the most mightiest grudge against everyone in the world? One of my friends texted me today to say 'you need some good shit to happen'. We do. We so do need some good shit.

In the meantime we will battle on, Dizz and Wavey versus the Universe. I'm thinking we might need a cape. Apparently they're very 'in' this season...

Wednesday, 21 January 2015

The Good (BRILLIANT!) Wife

I know, I know, yet again it's a case of hello, where have you been for the last 6 years? Thanks once again to the glory of Netflix and being able to watch entire series in one sitting I've just started watching The Good Wife. Oh my. I don't know why I have this weird thing of jumping on bandwagons way after the time, it's just a thing. A thing that stops me wanting to join the party at the right time and avoid all the hype and then BAM, a sudden discovery decades later of the brilliance of something. Better late than never. 

Let's talk teevee. Like seriously good teevee. I'm only on series 1 but I can already tell I'm going all the way with this one. So freaking good! The characters, the story lines, the actors, the kick ass boots that Kalinda wears and let's face it, her general all round kick-ass-iness that just makes me love her more with each show. And Eli Gold. Oh! He's not really around too much at the moment but I have a feeling he's going to stick around too...and Carol from ER and Mr Big. I mean seriously, way to go the Scott brothers for seeing the potential in this one and running with it. 

I think I'm about 5 series behind so I've got a lot of brilliance to admire with this one before I'm done. It's at times like this that I'm glad I work from home for half the week as I can squeeze in a good number of episodes in my regular breaks. Not that I sit and binge watch 3 episodes in one go, nuh-uh, as if I would do something so time wastery...

I'm beyond intrigued what is going to happen, and I saw a trailer for series 6 the other night and had to hide behind my jumper as I'm sure all sorts of things were revealed that I have yet to discover. It's a long time since I've felt this excited about a TV programme. I think it might be love at first episode... 

Monday, 19 January 2015

Snowy Sunday

It snowed! For about 10 minutes, but it snowed! Long enough for it to leave a light dusting on the ground and be all pretty. I'd already booked in a walk with Fizz and Chewy so we weren't going to let a little bit of snow stop us from our plans. We went to a place called Coatham Wood that is basically dog walking heaven. There was a whole heap of dogs, all shapes and sizes and bouncy and playful. Chewy ran around like a wizzy-wizz off his lead, and Fizz and I put the world to rights. Pretty good start to a chilled out Sunday... 

Sunday, 18 January 2015


I can no longer deny it. By this time next week I will be 40 - gulp! There are so many reasons why I can't believe this, but the main one is that it just sounds so GROWN UP! Surely by 40 I should be a proper adult, with grown up attitudes, and other grown up, you know, stuff. 

In reality, in my head, I've never really moved on from being 19. Ah, the happy days of being 19. I loved it! By then I'd been at the art college, that was quite literally the making of me, for a year. I was high on life with some amazing friends and new and fabulous experiences on a daily basis. I spent most of the time drunk and staying over at friend's houses as they didn't have a curfew like I did, so coming home at 5am was perfectly fine...

Okay so clearly I'm not 19 any more. The only thing I am doing at 5am is sleeping soundly, and if I did try to stay up that late/early, I would need to stay in bed for at least a week to make up for it (Granny). And I also don't get drunk on a daily basis, but mentally, like my way of thinking and attitudes and things, yep, still 19.  

But the years do not lie. I will soon be 40. And so my question is, how much longer can I continue wearing tiny skirts or cheeky braids before I begin to look like mutton? You will tell me honestly, won't you...? 

Saturday, 17 January 2015

Year of Craft: January

I can hardly believe it, I have actually completed the January challenge in my Year of Craft! Don't worry, I'm as shocked as you are. Let's talk crafting! 

The challengeOrigami butterflies (I only used the images as I have no idea what language that is!)

Preparation: Very little to be honest. I used pages from a catalogue I had received in the post (recycling and upcycling - double bonus!) and found the scissors so that I could turn the A5 catalogue into squares as demonstrated below. 

Sadly this is where being a good blogger fell completely by the wayside as I was so busy concentrating on the folding and trying not to stick my tongue out too much in concentration to remember to take photos of the process. Erm, oops. 

The end result

How tricky was it? Not at all that bad. I know for all you seasoned crafters out there a bit of paper folding might seem a bit like amateur hour, but in my defence, I am very much a beginning crafter so not too taxing was a wise choice for my first challenge. 

I like the end result! Really I do. I'm not sure what to do with them as they don't easily attach to anything - I tried to blu-tack them to the mirror but they fell off after a micro-second - but I'm proud of them. Most of all, I really enjoyed making them. It was a quick 20 minutes but was a nice, and surprisingly relaxing, end to my work day. 

Here's a sparkly photo using my new favourite app too:

There we have it. January challenge complete. I'm actually really excited for February now! Share in the comments if you make any butterflies for yourself. 

Friday, 16 January 2015

Happy Birthday!

Wavey and I have a lot of love for January. While everyone else is feeling glum and trying not to eat all the chocolate leftover from Christmas, we embrace gluttony and greed and celebrate our birthdays! Yesterday was Wavey's. I made/bought him all his favourite things: chilli, crusty bread, beer, chocolate cupcakes, and we celebrated with a little birthday tea. Happy birthday to that man! 

Sunday, 11 January 2015

Kicking butt (as in mine)

I think the saying goes that with age comes wisdom. What they don't tell you is that it also brings all sorts of other things to play in your head. 40 seems like an important age to me, I have a feeling that I should have all my shit together, and for the most part, I think I probably do. But I also know that I am lacking in one serious thing and that is the exercise commitment. I can't expect to eat all the food I do and get away with doing nothing. Well I can if I want to be a fatty but I don't really want to do that. Don't get me wrong, I don't expect to be super slim, it's highly unlikely that will ever happen as hello, I love to bake! But getting fitter? That's a good thing to aspire to for certain. 

That all sounds so good doesn't it? But what happens when you're a total gym-hater like me? And I say hate with true vigour as I really do despise the gym. I've tried so many times to force myself into liking it and failed miserably on so many occasions, stuck paying for somewhere that I never go to. Gah! When we lived in the house I exercised at home, loads of free stuff online that is good and easy to follow. It's tricky to do that when you live in the centre of a block of flats with neighbours above and below. Not so much jumping about is acceptable for some weird reason...hopefully the house won't be too much longer and I can pick that up again but that's another story. 

So the point of this post today? I joined a 21 day body and soul detox. Felt really good at signing up, shared it on my social medias to persuade other people to join and Day 1? Today? Total fail! Noooooo! I missed the email that said you should kickstart your day with a lemon water. So I started my day with a cup of tea, some bran flakes and some catch up TV. Followed by a stinking cup of coffee. Hmmm. No lemons or water in sight. I feel miserable. How can I be so bad at this? 

I'm planning to rewind and start again. Not the day obviously, I'm not Dr Who, but I'll start tomorrow instead. Nothing wrong with being one day behind. And in other news to feel proud of myself I started a 30 day squat challenge, which is probably quite barmy but surely any second doing something is better than many minutes sat on my bottom. Today was 30 seconds. By the end it's 5 minutes (gulp). But I think it's time. Like seriously. Time to be motivated, take control, and stop just talking about getting fitter and do something positive about it. I really hope this is the year I can make that happen. Stay tuned...

Wednesday, 7 January 2015


Did you make any new year resolutions this year? I stopped making them years ago as I basically repeated the same ones each year and generally, by about day 3, I had failed miserably at them both. Not much point setting yourself up only to bring yourself back down! It would seem that nail biting and swearing like a trooper are two vices that are here to stay. 

I like the idea of a new year, new start, but much like Christmas felt very amplified to me this last year, all this resolving and praise the lord-ing for a new start all just seemed a bit too much. Is this an age thing? Am I set to become more cynical as I head into my 4th decade (5th...? which one is it when you will be 40?) If so I might have to get a head start on banishing that straight away or I will end up a grumpy old woman and I'm not timetabled to do that for absolutely years! 

At this very moment in time, all my resolve is being put into keeping my (ample) arse very securely rooted to the seat and not for it to lift off the chair and bumble into the kitchen to eat yet more chocolate. It was very inconsiderate of Wavey to go away and leave me with ALL the chocolate in the whole world living in the cupboard. It's so hard when you know it's there to be eaten! SOMEONE TAKE IT AWAY PLEASE! Do you think I'll make it through? Only time, and my own honesty, will tell. 

But back to the resolutions thing. I'd dearly love to be that person who has resolutions like 'get out of bed at 6am every day to go and do a morning run in the brisk winter of the North East of England' but let's face it, I would not only be lying to myself but to the whole world (who of course read this little blog) as we all know that is never going to happen. Like never ever in a month of Sundays when hell freezes over type thing. 

All this jesting aside, I did however make one teeny little resolution to myself and that was to keep schtum. Yep. If I can't think of anything nice to say I am trying very hard to just keep my opinions to myself. This is going to be tricky I think, as other people are often trying to draw me into bad conversations that I want no part of - I've already this week (and it's only Wednesday) had to choose words very carefully to avoid getting entangled into just such a conversation. Cos it's the easy way out, isn't it? I try to avoid being judgemental, as frankly, one never knows what is going on with anyone and there could be all sorts of reasons for whatever it is they might be doing that you may not agree with, but that's no reason to comment on it and be drawn into bitchy conversations. I say enough already of this type of behaviour. It's not big, clever, or attractive, and most importantly it doesn't get anyone anywhere. This is not meant to be preach-y by the way, it's just me doing my little resolution thing. Refer to previous sentence on not being judgemental. 

Anyway, we'll see how it goes. Sometimes, in work situations particularly, it's a very tough thing to stay away from this type of happening. Having said that, they already think I'm weird there, so what's one more thing to add to the list?! Feel free to share your resolution or add comments below. Share the love! Because it is all around after all... 

Sunday, 4 January 2015

Follow the Trail

Without a doubt, one of the best parts of my new(ish) job has been the people that I have met. This time I don't mean the people I work with, but the ones that have been at the networking events that I have attended to promote my project. So many interesting folks, so much variety in what they offer. One such lady that I met has her own business writing treasure trails! Very cool. On an impulse I decided to buy one for Wavey as part of his Christmas stocking, and so, in possibly the longest introduction ever, today we went trailing for treasure! 

I decided to go in easy and selected the trail for our local town. At just over 2 miles and 2 hours duration it seemed like the perfect one to start with. Following clues in the booklet we had to eliminate murder suspects by walking our way round various points of interest in the town and answering questions. I can honestly say that many of the plaques we had to find have basically passed me by in all the years that I have lived here. 

This is the type of clue, to give you a basic idea: Find a top-hatted train driver. Rearrange the letters of a word associated with him to reveal another innocent person. Here is the top-hatted man:

The word associated with him was 'locomotion' and so we eliminated 'Tom Coolion'. 

All the way round I was fascinated by the idea of actually creating the trail. I guess that she must just walk around and find things like the top-hatted man, but you must have to have a certain type of mind to be able to think like that. 

Halfway round we totally started flagging and it was basically lunchtime so we stopped off and supported the local economy by eating our way through a panini, a coffee, and a sticky bun, before going back to the police station and re-starting again.

The only downside was that due to ongoing, extensive regeneration works, one of our clues had been removed entirely to make way for something new so we couldn't solve the whole thing fully. But that really didn't make very much difference to either of us, though it could certainly be an annoyance.  

Summing up, a thoroughly smashing explore was had by all. Thanks to Yorkshire Trails for the inspiration. I would definitely be tempted to buy another one again, especially if we were going somewhere on holiday and wanted to explore somewhere totally new in a slightly different way. 

Saturday, 3 January 2015

Let's go - crafting!

Happy New Year dear readers! I do hope you had a fabulous festive time and are heading into the new year feeling reinvigorated and full of energy. Or spending as much time sleeping in and enjoying not being at work and dreading Sunday evening as that means I have to go back to work on Monday. No? Just me then. 

I love that I have immediately gone off topic. 

In October last year (so last year!), I attended a crafting session at my theatre group where we made poppies. These poppies were made from felt and crocheting and I freely admit that I absolutely loved the whole session. I'm not a person who finds crafting very easy, it's not something that comes naturally to me and I often struggle with how something should be done. A similar thing happened at the poppy session. The lady was trying to show me how to crochet the poppy one way but my hands will only work the way they want to. She soon realised that even though I was 'doing it all wrong' I was actually making it work for me. I was really quite proud of the finished results and it fired a little thought in my head and thus was born the Year of Craft.

The Year of Craft will essentially be me finding something that I want to try. Give it a try and see how I get on. Invariably Fizz will become involved as she is a master (mistress?) of crafts and can generally turn her hand to anything and everything. I plan to document it via the blog and probably my other social media as let's face it, I will be proud of my makings! I do hope you won't be too bored... If I am trying something via another blog/website I will share the link so that you can give it a try too if you feel inspired. Or just join in the Year of Craft too and share your makings. Let's all make things together! 

In true style I have no idea where I will start, although I do have my eye on some little bowls that you marble and bake in the oven as I am good at the baking thing, and I'd like to start successfully or this will soon turn into the Year that I failed to Craft...

So there you have it. One of my (many) goals for this year. Welcome aboard! And good crafty wishes to you.