Tuesday, 30 April 2013

April Favourite Things

Linking up with Ashley today for my favourite things in April...


I've been looking for some cute storage ideas for my beauty products and came up with storing my nail varnishes in a coffee jar and my brushes in a white plant pot from Ikea!  I love how simple yet practical they are and how pretty the floral tins (also from Ikea) are.


Batiste dry shampoo has been my saviour this month!  Since high school I have been obsessed with washing my hair every day.  My hair dresser has been trying to persuade me for years not to do it as it is bad for your hair, especially as mine is so fine.  I have finally taken the plunge and attempted to only wash it every other day.  The first week or so, my hair was awful but with the dry shampoo on hand to refresh it, get rid of any oil and give a bit of boost, I am no longer washing it every day......heck on a few occasions I have even managed two days in between!!  I think I have gone through the whole collection (to be fair, I have stocked up whilst it's on offer at Boots), I even have a different fragrance over at Dave's flat!


This photo - Easter Sunday at Dave's parents house.  After finding her eggs around the house, Megan then pulled up a chair and sat guard outside the bedroom door to make sure nobody stole them!  ASD makes things stressful at times, but she does give us a giggle :)


In Thursday's post I hinted that I was making some changes in my life.  This month I have been thinking long and hard about the route I am going to take career wise.  I have been disillusioned lately with my job and my career prospects in general.  What I had wanted has had to be placed on hold for now due to my diagnosis of fibromyalgia, the additional support that Megan needs and the result of the economic situation on funding at my workplace.  I started to think that going back to university had been a waste of time, as I now need to be at home more and would be unable to use it as a lecturer as I had hoped.  After talking it over with Dave and my parents though I have realised that I can still have a career, even if for now it is not as I had planned.  I have always wanted to write and am going to start some freelance work, which will enable me to be at home more often.  I have also made a giant leap of faith and have booked a three month slot of gallery space at the museum in order to hold my own exhibition! I hope to get some funding so that I can run a community project with single mothers in Cardiff, looking at Women's history in Cardiff.   I am so thankful for Dave's love and support in what has been a testing few months health wise for me, and with the struggle of finding the right balance between motherhood and my career, and I am genuinely excited about the path that I am going to head down.  Here's hoping that May will lead to good things.

What have been your favourite moments of April?

P.S.  Visit again tomorrow for the start of Blog Every Day in May with Rosalilium

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Monday, 29 April 2013

Sunny Skies

After spending a couple of hours at Ikea Saturday lunchtime, we decided to make the most of the sun and take Megan to let off some steam at Victoria Park.







The sun was deceptive as it was still so cold but blue skies, blossom on the trees, flowers starting to bloom, fooling around in the playground and ice cream, made it a nice hour or so out in the fresh air. Then heading home to a nice hot pot of tea and pizza for dinner.

How was yor weekend? Hope that it was sunny and joyful :)

Amy - Louise

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Friday, 26 April 2013

April Showers - British style

Perfectly timed for today as the rain comes down (in typical British fashion), here are my picks for the seasonal showers.  I am known for my colourful coats, whether it be winter or spring.  I just can't resist a pop of colour to liven up the grey days and this mac from HOBBS fits the bill perfectly!  I always have my sunglasses on hand though just in case.  What about this gorgeous umberella?? Isn't it just the best? I love how glam it is and may just feel a bit like Mary Poppins with it, which can't be a bad thing, can it?!?

Well today sees another week ending and I am starting the weekend off in the best style.  I am meeting my gorgeous friend Gemma and her six month old daughter for coffee at Starbucks in the morning and then my man has the afternoon off work.  We don't have many plans for this weekend, apart from a possible trip to Ikea, which is okay by me as I am looking forward to resting (although a plate of Ikea meatballs will go down a treat!).  Maybe I'll do some baking as I have a couple of recipes I want to try, but I'm thinking some quiet nights and DVDs are in store.

What do you have planned this weekend?  I hope it treats you well :)
Amy-Louise xx

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Thursday, 25 April 2013

The end of procrastination!

I have to be honest, I have been at a loss about what to write about today. So many things are going around in my head and for once I am not scared or worried, but excited by them.

A few more things need clarification before I can share with you, but what once seemed like obstacles have now become opportunities and I can't wait to get to work on them. I have spent too long procrastinating and now it is time for action!  I'm looking forward to sharing the news with you on Monday.

On a different note, I am excited to see a lovely friend of mine tomorrow and her baby girl. We have been trying to catch up for months and something has always gotten in the way. She is absolutely gorgeous and always looks fab, even when sleep deprived so I'm off to decide on an outfit!!

Hope you're all having a good day.
A xx

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Wednesday, 24 April 2013

Spring days off

Yesterday was the most beautiful spring day, spent having coffee with my lovely Greek beauty Natalie, in Whitchurch, then with the company of my American friend Tyler at home.  My mother brought me some plants for my front garden, which Ty helped me plant and then we sat down with a cup of tea and a well deserved slice of Dave's banana bread. Such a lovely way to spend my day off.

Although the rest of the weeks weather is looking unpredictable, I am enjoying updating my wardrobe for spring and can see these two outfits that I've pinned on Pinterest becoming key staples as the weather improves.  Even better, I already have similar items in my wardrobe so it can be done without any cost!  I am determined to get more outfit posts on this blog, so it looks like Dave may have a new job when he's here ;)

I hope that you are all having a lovely week so far.
A xx

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Monday, 22 April 2013

Happy Monday!

It's Monday and I'm in a good mood!!  How did that happen??  It may have something to do with a lovely weekend and the fact that I have a lovely week in store.  Coffee dates, dinner with friends and Dave surprised me this morning by telling me he has booked a half day Friday :) That certainly put a smile on my normally grumpy Monday morning face!! 

So our weekend was spent.....

... having coffee with Dave and Tyler on a sunny Saturday morning in Coffee No.1, before popping next door to the travel agents to arrange our summer holiday to Portugal.

... visiting my Grandad and then driving over the bridge to Bristol for a night at Dave's flat.

... eating a lunch of saucisson, crackers and French cheese before heading down to the waterfront for a few drinks with Dave's friends.  Dinner in town, another drink or two, before going back to the flat to relax and watch Avengers Assemble in bed.

... enjoying a Sunday morning lie and relaxing bath.  A lovely breakfast cooked by Dave as I got ready and watched the London marathon, looking out for my friend Jenna who was running.  Our thoughts were most definitely with everyone in Boston and we were so pleased that it made everybody more determined to attend.

... driving back across the bridge to pick Megan up in the afternoon.  Playing My Little Pony with her whilst Dave watched the football and having cuddles with my ever so cute cat.  

... eating a dinner of BBQ ribs and sweet potato, with freshly made banana bread and a cup of fruit tea for dessert :)  

... watching the Moto GP from Texas before bed.  Again, our thoughts were with all those affected by the tragedy in Texas.

... being thankful for everything I have and my wonderful boyfriend, family and friends.

I hope your weekends were just as enjoyable.  Here's to a good week ahead!
A xx

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Friday, 19 April 2013

Hi Five for Friday & Neon Fancies!

1. AX Paris - £28.00  2. ASOS Oasis Knot Stud Earrings - £4.00  3. ASOS Ted Baker Bow Necklace - £35.00  4. ASOS Western Tip Belt - £12.00  5.  Marc by Marc Jacobs watch - £135.00  6.  Next - £18.00  7. Kurt Geiger Affection - £75.00  8. Nine West Oval - £40.00
I love the brightness and simplicity of this dress.  I would probably tone it down with these black accessories though as I'm not one for bright all over.  It may be too matching for some people but I think it would balance out with the block colour on the dress, and the black would make me more confident!

Now onto other matters like...woohoo!! It's Friday and I couldn't be more excited for the following reasons...

1. We are booking our holiday to Portugal - our first one together!

2. I think the side effects of my tablets may be starting to wear off..

3. It may be windy but the sun is shining..

4. I have a whole weekend with my gorgeous man..

5. We are getting to go out and stay away for the night. It'll be good to have some grown up time.

It has been a good week (apart from being exhausted and having some yucky side effects from meds). I've made some important decisions, spent some lovely time with my other half and Megan has been happy with the lighter evenings and being able to play out after school.  Fingers crossed the sun will keep on shining over the weekend.  I hope you have a lovely few days :)

A xx

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Thursday, 18 April 2013

Look what I got....for the price of a mascara!!

Why is it that everything runs out at the same time? Last month it was my moisturisers and eye cream this month, my make up. Foundation, mascara, plus my face wash.

Typically I only use No. 7 or M.A.C. make up, but with having to take sick leave last month, a holiday to pay for and other essentials piling up, money is a bit tight this month.

I popped into Boots today to pick up mascara and Rimmel had an offer on. Spend £10 and get the Scandaleyes mascara free.  I normally spend £12.95 on the No 7 Fanomenal Lashes mascara alone and was a bit reluctant to buy Rimmel as I haven't used the brand (apart from eyeliner and nail varnish) since I was in high school!  I have read some good reviews though so considering I was able to get mascara, foundation and a nail varnish for £12.98, I may aswell give it a go!  I really hope that the 'Wake me up' foundation really does what it says on the bottle because I am in real need at the moment!  I love the 'cocktail colours Hawaiian Punch' nail varnish and can't wait to put it on this evening.

As I'd spent over £10.00 I received a voucher for £5.00 off No 7 skincare, which means that I can now get my usual £9.00 foaming cleanser for only £4.00 - result!!

Rest assured I will put a review up once I've given it all a try.  I'm looking to revamp my make up bag and hoping to find a few bargain buys at the same time.  Are there any cheaper brands that you have found that are just as good as the more expensive ones?

A xx 

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Wednesday, 17 April 2013

I can't believe...

I can't believe how adorable this dress from Zara is.  I think I must have it! Where to wear it? I'm not sure yet but I can figure that out later!  And the cute bobbed hair, very tempting aswell!
I can't believe that it is finally starting to warm up! It's only April 17th!  Maybe I might actually be able to wear some spring-like clothes soon!
I can't believe that we have finally decided on a holiday for the summer and will be booking it this weekend :)
I can't believe that I'm still so tired after a day of yesterday spent lazing around and cuddling up with my man - it was the best day though.
I can't believe that I am craving chocolate so much at the moment and have the urge to bake lots of gluten free treats right now.  There must be something missing from my body right now.
I can't believe how weird it is to have a day off during the middle of the week.  Now I will definitely lose track of the days for the rest of the week. 
A xx

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Tuesday, 16 April 2013

Duvet Day :)

I'm hanging with my man today :) 
We're stocked up on food, dvds are piled up and Megan is in school - complete duvet day!

Have a good Tuesday!
A xx

Monday, 15 April 2013

Weekend round-up

This weekend was a quiet one, spent not doing much at all which was just what I needed. I spent Friday in bed as I was unable to go into work due to a combination of the fibro flare up I had last week and the side effects of my new medication. I slept pretty much most of the day whilst Megan was in school and as I was still feeling pretty rubbish when Dave got home from work, dinner ended up being a rare one from the chip shop. Not that I ate much as my appetite has gone courtesy of said meds.

Saturday was just as quiet. Megan had her usual dance class, but as I hadn't slept much due to the meds and the fact my neighbours decided to air their dirty laundry for all to hear at 4am, I spent most of the morning in bed. I was in less pain though so we decided to head to the supermarket to get some food in. This would normally be a disaster with Megan due to her ASD, she can not stand the crowds and walking around the aisles with the bright lights and noise. However, my sister was there bag packing with my nephew and the rest of his rugby team to raise money, so Megan happily pulled on a rugby shirt to help whilst we shopped.

After dinner, Dave left to go back to Bristol to meet some friends and play football Sunday morning, whilst Megan and I cuddled up to watch The Voice.  After another sleepless night, I did manage to have a lie in and then got up to make crepes and strawberries (Megan's request and yes apparently it is still Easter, therefore warrants the bunny ears!), before we made a start on finishing her English presentation for school.  She has decided to talk about her favourite author, Jacqueline Wilson, and has put together a lovely presentation.  Is this girl really only ten??

Megan was out in the afternoon so I popped over to my parents where my dad happened to be cooking a Sunday roast - good timing!!  It was nice to put my feet up with my parents and I think I finally found us a summer holiday - we've only been searching since the new year!  My mum and I then spent the afternoon online looking at houses.  We started off with the more realistically priced ones but ended up spending about £20 (non existent) million of my poor dad's money on a 13 bedroom house in Greece and a pad at home!!

This morning I am going back to work.  I am still so tired and have some weakness but needs must.  I usually dread Mondays so much as Dave goes back to Bristol for a couple of nights.  Today though he is coming home for two nights and we have a day off together tomorrow, which makes working bearable and I'm so excited about it :)

I hope you had a fun weekend.
A xx 

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Friday, 12 April 2013

Pretty shoes to make a girl better!

I kind of guessed that I was heading for a chronic pain flare up by the way my emotions have been all  over the place and the fact that I have been unable to sleep and think straight.  Today has hit me full force in my legs and although I managed work, I had to visit the doctor this evening and after a warm bath have been in bed since.  This is the third doctor that now agrees that I have fibromyalgia and I am seriously having to accept that I am going to have to make some changes to how I do things around here.

In the scheme of things my choice of footwear really shouldn't be a major issue, but for a girl who loves heels and has such a vast collection, it sometimes is a big thing.  Whereas I used to live in heels, over the last couple of years I noticed more and more pain in a short time of wearing them.  Even before my physiotherapist and doctor suggested I had developed fibro, I was rarely wearing them any more as it was just too painful.  I have worn flats when running around after Megan and at work for a long time now, but wearing them out is still alien to me, especially when out on a date or dinner with friends.

Recently though, I have started to move away from the 'flat is practical' mentality and more towards the 'flat can be cute and fun' train of thought.  As I have been unable to do anything this evening I have wisely spent my time looking for inspiration on Pinterest - as you do!  I am in love with these!

Source: zzkko.com via Ceecee on Pinterest
Source: zzkko.com via ZZKKO on Pinterest
Source: chicnova.com via Kate on Pinterest
Source: tands.com via Erin on Pinterest


I've also realised that it's time for Friday's Letters - duh! I've only been waiting for this day all week.  We'll blame the meds for my forgetfulness!  

Dear Dave, seriously, what would I do without you??  You've put up with a crazy lady all week.  A complete emotional, pain ridden mess!  You are completely amazing and I still don't know what I did to deserve you xxx  Dear Mum, thank you for all your help this week.  It was nice to have some time with you on my day off.  I will try not to cry as much next time!  Dear inspiration, thank you for returning!  I'm a bit overwhelmed with what you have come up with this week, but fingers crossed I have the strength to see it through and to share it with everyone soon!  Dear weekend, I am so ready for you and to rest.  Even though I am gutted that Dave won't be here half of it, I need to stop and do nothing for a couple of days.  I had planned some DIY projects and gardening to keep me busy whilst Dave was away but they will have to wait.  Bring on some lay ins and some sun :)

Have a great weekend lovelies 
A xx 

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