Wednesday, 25 June 2014

We're all the boss*

I was recently contacted about joining up with Giffgaff and their 'We're all the boss' campaign - i.e. how the decisions I've made have changed my life. When I first read about it, I was bit unsure whether I could write anything up to be honest - I've not moved to a big city; I've not set up my own business and I've never been travelling solo (expect for my flight to Oz but I was greeted by friends at the other side - does that count?).

I really liked the campaign idea so I got my thinking cap on and decided that actually yes, there has been one hell of a significant moment in my life where I took control and it most definitely changed my life. Now be warned, this may get a little heavy from here on out...

If you've been reading my blog for a while, you'll know that I lost my elder brother many moons ago (18yrs ago now-if not, you can read about that here). I was only 9yrs old at the time so not fully aware of what exactly was going on and how it would affect me. I took it in my stride and got on with life - didn't really know any other way, after all, I was only 9. My parents were very supportive and never pushed at all and let me grieve in my own way. 

This was all fine until I got a bit older and I started to think about it a bit more. In 2002, I lost my Uncle very unexpectedly in a motorbike accident and that was the trigger for my grief to rear its not so pretty head. This may sound completely barmy, but it wasn't really until then I don't think, that I realised my brother was never coming back. You would think 6 years would be enough of a clue, but I must of suppressed all my feelings and this tragedy was enough to unleash them. 

It was during this period that I was sent to the school counsellor - my teachers were worried about me and thought this would be a good option. I'll be honest, at first, I was horrified - I wasn't a crazy person that needed to see a counsellor, so I sat there for the first couple of weeks ignoring the poor woman. Then finally, we started chatting about generic stuff, nothing about death or grief, just the previous weekend and she turned out to be alright. After that session, I made the decision that I would give this counselling stuff a go and see where it took me. I wanted this to be something I did for ME so I kind of kept this to myself - only my close friends and teachers were aware of it. It was me who was struggling and only I knew why, so only I could fix it. 

I went along to my counsellor for about a year and a half and it was probably the best decision I have ever made, even to date! She was truly incredible and I wouldn't be where I am today if it wasn't for her. I was gutted to be leaving school because it meant I'd be finishing with her, but we've kept in touch even to this date. 

Obviously I don't know what my life would have been like if I hadn't of gone to counselling, but I'm pretty sure I wouldn't be as happy and content with my feelings as I am today. 

Phew, told it could get heavy! But that's my reality and that is a big part of my life that involved me taking control and making decisions! Why not share your stories with me about the decisions that you've made and how they've changed your life?

p.s. I am aware that counselling isn't for everyone - I actually saw a counsellor when I was about 13 which didn't work for me. I was very lucky to find a counsellor who just clicked with me and that's why I think it worked out so well. Please don't think I'm saying everyone who's lost someone should go to counselling - it's each to their own! 

Sunday, 22 June 2014

Texas BBQ pizza party with Dominos*

With the World Cup on the tv ALL the bloomin time at the moment, the opportunity of my very own pizza party with Dominos* couldn't of come at a better time! They currently have a limited edition Texas BBQ range available which is just music to my ears - bbq base on a pizza has to be my ALL time favourite so this range just suits me perfectly!

So on Friday, whilst the other half was parked in front of the tv (as he is most evenings at the moment), I invited some of my bestest girlfriends round to join me for some yumminess!

Now, if you know me, you'll know I need to get the best deal possible so I spent some time studying the 'deals' section of the Dominos website and opted for the 'family deal' which consisted of 2 medium pizzas, 2 individual pizzas, 7 chicken strippers and twisted doughballs - that's a whole lotta pizza!

We had the BBQ Chicken Melt & BBQ Meatball Melt as our medium pizzas (with a cheese stuffed crust on the chicken, oh yeah!) and they were just delicious! Both are quite similar with peppers and crispy onions as toppings. There is sweetcorn on the chicken melt however we opted to switch this up to spinach as none of us are fans - I love the fact that you can customise the pizzas, especially being a fussy little madam when it comes to veg! Basically both pizzas have a bbq sauce base (in place of your standard tomato base), yummy mozzarella cheese, toppings and then the meat option! I can't quite decide which I preferred - the meatballs are rather scrummy but bbq chicken is just a good old classic!

On the individual pizzas we opted for good old classics hawaiian and vegetarian supreme which were equally as good!

It's safe to say that we were all pretty stuffed by the end of the evening but, we still made room for cookies - and if you've never tried these before, as I hadn't, I couldn't recommend them enough! Mmmmmmmmmmm they were the perfect mix of crunchy on the outside but gooey on the inside (I'm drooling now thinking of these)!

Let me know if you've tried any of the Texas BBQ range?

The Dominos Texas BBQ Mega Melt pizzas are available now for collection or delivery - and don't forget to check out the deals page here, always a bargain to be had!

*PR samples

Monday, 16 June 2014

Gym journey

The day has come that I never thought would...I joined a gym! Mainly out of guilt as the other half was signing up and I was just sat there thinking about the £1 dominos I'd just had for lunch. So, I caved and joined along with him.

I'll be completely honest, I'm not looking forward to this one little bit. Not at all. Nope. I am THE laziest person I have ever known and really really don't want to exercise BUT I know that it's important, and if I want to carry on eating the way I do (which I really really do) I'm going to need to include the all important 'exercise' otherwise I'm just going to end up looking like a monster.

I don't count myself as fat at all, just rather podgy around the area's we'd all love to be slim/flat and after finding my old slimming world book, turns out I've managed to maintain pretty much to the lb the weight I was when I left there 3yrs ago - not bad going I don't think. I think this is mainly down to walking my lovely 3 labs which require a good hour or so each evening, and I'm rather lucky that most of those evenings are spent as beach walks (so I'm probably fitter than I actually give myself credit for). So basically, I'm in it to loose a few lbs but to generally tone up.

If you've read my blog for a while, you'll know I've got some issues with my knee which means certain things are out of the question for me i.e. running boohoo (hopefully you can sense the sarcasm there) but if I'm spending my hard earned cash monthly on this subscription then I am going to make sure I damn well use what I can of it.

So, I thought I'd start this as a bit of a gym diary/journey that you guys can come along with me from the start and also, so I can log how I'm progressing. Now, I don't expect to be one of these people that end up loving going the gym - I've always done exercise out of necessity rather than want, but I'm all game for whats to come!

I have my first day tomorrow so I'm writing this up tonight as I'm sure I'll be flaked out on the sofa all tomorrow evening whining about how achy I already feel (I can see it already).

If you're gyming it, let me know any of your hints and tips; suggestions for music; what to eat beforehand and evening clothing/trainers - who knew how many bloomin different types of trainers there were!

Catch up soon x

Monday, 9 June 2014

NOTM: June

A classic french manicure - I feel so fancy pants when I have a french manicure - classy lady indeed!

Friday, 6 June 2014

The finishing touches

When there's a birthday or an occasion for presents, I'm sure I'm not the only one who's ever asked - 'how about a lovely piece of jewellery?' My answer is always 'I'm not really a jewellery kind of person but I've come to realise, that even though I still believe this to be true, I actually have quite a little collection and because of some very recent purchases, I thought I'd share my favourite little finishing touches with you lovely lot.

Now, if we're being honest, I am your typical plain Jane - I don't do much dressing up, wear very little make-up on a daily basis (if I go in to work with mascara on it's a major deal) so don't go expecting exceptionally exciting items here - I don't want you to feel disappointed when you see my loot! I'm more of the pretty & understated kind of items that just add that 'finishing touch'!

First of all I thought I'd start with my collection of rings. Oh how I love this little trinket dish (so much so that I bought the whole collection when it was out in Marks & Sparks back at Christmas)! Up until a couple of weekends ago, I had one lonely little ring which graced my fingers at every occasion, which was the heart ring from Pandora. I've had this for a couple of years and I love it - it's so simple and pretty and so so reasonably priced at only £35.
Then, a couple of weekends ago when I heard that Pandora were doing a 3 for 2 special on their rings I thought I'd check out what other little gems they have to offer - hence why you now see 4 rings in my collection. 

I just couldn't help myself - I decided on the beautiful bow ring (it would've been rude to not include it in the spree) and very much loved the colour emerald the May birthstone ring had to offer (usually they're really dark green and I'm not a fan, but this is a beautiful shade of emerald). And finally, a simple yet equally as pretty white enamel ring. Obviously I'm not wearing all of these together at the same time, but I have been enjoying switching them up each day and playing with different combinations. 

How pretty is this?!?

If you're looking for a ring and don't want to spend a fortune then I would highly recommend checking out Pandora - beautifully made and very reasonably priced.

On to bracelets - I've got my trusty Pandora - lets face it, pretty much every one of us has a Pandora bracelet. I opted for the leather woven bracelet just because I wanted it for everyday use and in true plain jane fashion, I don't have many charms as I prefer it to be more simplistic. 

Now this next bracelet has to be my favourite item of the moment - a stunning Tiffany bead bracelet with a rubedo (rose gold to you and me) heart. I was gifted this for my birthday after lusting after it for the past 8 months and it's not left my wrist in the last month!

This final bracelet does go against everything that I've said about being a plain jane but this was a gift for my 21st birthday off my oldest and bestest friend and I feel so fancy when I wear it. This usually only gets outings at very special occasions but I just had to include it. It was from Swarovski Crystal many moons ago and I can't find it online now I'm afraid. 

Finally necklaces - I only have 2 to show and the first being an incredible gift for having the honour of being chief bridesmaid. It's a beautiful pearl necklace with a very pretty little flower. This necklace always makes me smile when I wear it as it brings back so many lovely memories of a very special day. 

And last but not least, my Tiffany bow necklace - I'm rather partial to a bow design! This was a gift last year for my birthday and I wear this nearly everyday. I got the mini bow which is so delicate and easy to wear. 

So that's my jewellery collection from a non-jewellery wearing person (I may have to re-think my answer in future). 

What's your favourite piece of jewellery?