Wednesday, 29 May 2013

I'm just too tired!

I'm not at my best this last week or so.  I've had official confirmation from a specialist that I do indeed have fibromyalgia and my pain and tiredness levels are quite high.  It is also half term and my little monkey didn't cope too well the first few days with the change in routine.  I  trying to remain positive about it all and to be honest I am really, I'm just too darn tired to progress with much this week.

I'm majorly behind on my post writing and am not sure where the hours are going, so tonight I'm thinking "Oh well" and am going to bed! It will all still be there tomorrow! 

My planned posts for this week will be finished off and scheduled for next week instead and I will be back on Friday as normal.  Sometimes life gets in the way and tonight I am surrendering!

Megan and I are going to our old haunt tomorrow to visit our friends.  It will be a full on girly day in the village, complete with a visit to the park then cake and coffee at our favourite coffee shop.  Megan is then going to her friends for a sleepover and Dave and I are going to head out for an evening meal. Just what I need right now, I'm completely worn out and in need of increasing my medication, rest and chilling out for a few days. 

See you at the end of the week, hopefully in my rejuvenated form! :)


Monday, 27 May 2013

Secret talent I have a secret talent?? No, not that I can think of!  I can always think of something that others at good of, but a talent that I have? I'm really stuck on today's BEDM topic of what's your secret talent?

I can just about juggle studying, work, parenthood - just. But then again so can everyone else.  I can usually spot a potential meltdown, keep three steps ahead of my dyspraxic / autistic spectrum daughter and all her hyper sensitive, literal interpretation and rigid thinking issues and sometimes even deflect them elsewhere. Although not all the time and most certainly not today.  

Maybe my secret talent is staying relatively normal amongst it all.  Hmm, not sure normal is a word I could use to describe myself but I'm not sure relatively sane covers it either! (If you had heard the shouting and seen the chaos in my house today you'd clearly think that I was anything but - Dyspraxia, ASD and pre-teen hormones are not a good mix!). 

Soo, what's your secret talent anyway?? (Did I mention deflection anyone?)


Friday, 24 May 2013

Thank goodness for the weekend!

Am I glad this weekend is is here! This may seem lame as the last Bank holiday was only umm a few weeks ago, but I am seriously tired and in need of three days off work.  We were planning on going away again this weekend, but we are all tired and as we have been away every bank holiday so far this year, we have decided to stay at home.  I love going away but sometimes home is the place to be.  There are a few jobs that need doing in the house and garden, plus we are thinking of a trip to the beach and may be horse riding. All weather dependant of course!!

This week has been long and hard (see my posts here and here) but in amongst it here are 
 fab things that have happened this week:

  • The weather has mostly been summery
  • Date afternoon with the Mr on Tuesday to watch The Great Gatsby! :)
  • Enjoying eating clean food all week (except cinema treats of course!)
  • Big Band Night at the museum I work at tonight and getting to dress up 1950s style.
  • I have been chosen as a regular contributing writer for the Gingerbread Making It Work campaign blog. So excited to get started on this and will reveal more next week! 

I hope you all have a great Bank Holiday Weekend / Memorial Day Weekend.  I'm off to get made up and to step into the 1950s! 


linking up with Lauren Elizabeth 

Thursday, 23 May 2013


What better way to cheer myself up than documenting this......

(when talking about my job and my limited funds)

daughter - "they don't pay mummy enough"

bf - "they don't pay mummy what's she worth"

daughter - "oh nobody will ever be able pay mummy what she's worth"

I'm not good at taking compliments.  I'm getting better and of course they are lovely to get, but they kinda make me a bit uncomfortable aswell.

This though, melted my heart and these guys rock my world :)


linking up with Her and NicoleHappy Kids Inc.Rosalilium

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Wednesday, 22 May 2013

Britain's heavy heart

So it turned out that today could get worse and it did. I am lost for words, in tears and completely horrified by what happened in Woolwich, London today. A terrorist attack on an unarmed, defenceless young soldier. A soldier who has fought for Queen and country and who deserved to feel safe in his own country yet was butchered on our streets.

The details of his brutal murder are too horrific to write and I am sure most people are aware.  I am struggling right now with what we have witnessed today. I am struggling with the world in which I am bringing up my daughter.  I am praying to God for an explanation, for the strength to be able to explain this brutality to my child. But what can possibly explain such evil?

One thing is sure, Britain must stand together, our nation can not let evil win. We must stay united.  Our communities must not become secularised. All religions must be against this as one.  We cannot and must not demonise, terrorise and target a whole religion for the actions of a few crazed lunatics. There are extremists in every religion and we can't let the likes of the EDL, BNP and UKIP get their hands on this and twist it with their nasty racist views. The majority of the British population, Muslim or not, are law abiding citizens who contribute to society in a positive way. Innocent people do not deserve to be in fear of retaliation just because some mad men happened to share their religion.  

A friend of mine (who is in the British Army posted this earlier...
"We all must now wait for justice and hope for condemnation. On the news I was disgusted that there seems to a suggestions from a 'spokesman' that Governmental policies have 'driven' people to do this because they feel aggrieved. This is nothing less than a personal choice made by these people which is evil, unforgiveable and inexcusable"

Tonight I pray, not only that the soldier is now at peace in His arms. But also for the grieving family and friends, the people who witnessed this horrific act and for Britain as a whole. Keep us strong, law abiding and compassionate.

Lastly, hold your loved ones close tonight and everyday. We truly don't know what is around the corner.


Floral neons, hope & prayers

floral top, black cardigan, seam free leggings and nude ballet pumps - all New Look
Turquoise beaded necklace - Peacocks

Megan and I took a lovely walk Saturday evening on what seemed like a beautiful summers evening.  This outfit is so comfortable and I love the pop of neon that the floral top brings. Just about enough for me! I'm also thinking I need some more of these seamless leggings in my life, I could wear them everyday! The pumps are so comfortable aswell. I didn't think they would be considering they aren't the most expensive and they are so flat, but the cushioning is so good they got me through four days of walking around Paris without me wanting to cut my feet off! :) 

Now that the more seasonal like weather is here it seems as though I'll be able to tidy up the scruffy fencing and decking that is decorating my garden right now!

I could do with a burst of colour this morning to be honest. I had another post written for here today but just before I left for work I had some bad news. My sweet cousin found out yesterday that she has breast cancer and it is also in the lymph nodes. 

Bolt out of the blue. 

I'm in serious shock that I couldn't take it all in but it seems that she will be having the operation to remove the lymph nodes today or tomorrow and then it is a case of waiting and finding out her prognosis.  She is being incredibly positive about everything and it is unfair that we should be anything but the same.  It would mean so much to me however if you could keep her in your prayers. Cancer is so cruel and it has ripped through our family. I've had my own brush with it and it took both of my grandmothers.  Thankfully my two uncles recovered and my aunt is in remission from breast cancer.  Hopefully, my cousin will get through it just as well. 

Sorry for the glum post today, but that is how my heart feels and it would be false to post anything else this morning. 

Here's to overcoming another obstacle and living to fight another day.  I will be resuming my Blog Every Day in May posts tomorrow. 


Linking up with Shanna, Pleated Poppy

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Tuesday, 21 May 2013

Yesterday's News Flash

This was yesterday's post but for some reason it didn't publish when scheduled.  It was obviously written before the news emerged of the devastating tornado in Oklahoma.  My prayers are with everybody affected and the friends and families of those who lost their lives.

Monday 20th May  
I'm staying away from the news today for two reasons. Firstly, I missed the MotoGP yesterday therefore no news coverage is coming passed my ears or eyes until I've caught up with it this evening! Secondly, this morning I was having a yucky day and didn't want to be depressed further! 

As today's BEDM topic is Newsflash I had planned on writing on something that I could get my teeth into, but instead of getting into the Gay Marriage Bill (which I 100% support) which is being discussed in parliament today, or anything else political, I've decided to share some workplace news.  This is a lot more light hearted and enjoyable (just in case I worked myself into a frustrated frenzy)!

This week is Adult learners Week and at the museum we have been holding a number of events, introductory jazz sessions, Welsh reading sessions etc.  To celebrate, this Friday we are holding a Big Band Night which has caused a lot of excitement as we get to dress up in 1940s, 50s or 60s clothes. There will be music, singing and Lindy Hop dancing and the talk between us all over the last few weeks has been to do with outfits, make up and hair styles! 

Source unkown

My daughter is even getting into the swing of it and coming with us and I'm having so much fun planning her outfit!  She's particularly looking forward to teaching everyone how to dance! I'm working all day beforehand but hopefully will manage to get my hair and make up done well enough in time! I'm looking forward to sharing some photos next week.

linking up with My Thrifty Chic

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Monday, 20 May 2013

Weekend Roundup

Captain Scott Memorial and the Norwegian Church, Cardiff Bay

It was another beautiful weekend here but I didn't really do anything exciting. Saturday, Megan was at her friends so Dave and I ran some errands and visited my grandfather.  He's 83 and heading off on a cruise by himself tomorrow.  On the way,  I discovered McDonald's Mango and Pineapple smoothies which I thought was delicious considering I don't usually touch anything McDonald's.  I needed something refreshing in the heat and at the retail park we were at McDonalds was all there was. After enjoying it and claiming I wanted another, I was mortified to learn the rubbish that is in a simple smoothie.  Needless to say I won't be having another!

Dave went out for a stag night late afternoon so when Megan returned from her friend's, we went for an evening walk and did some baking. It was lovely having some girly time together. After letting her stay up a bit later than usual and doing her nails, I settled down in bed and watched Les Miserables.  Probably wasn't my best idea whilst I was emotional as I blubbed all the way through it! Although Russell Crowe's monotone performance of Stars is probably enough to make anyone who loves Les Mis cry :/ 

 Dave was away Saturday night on the stag and activities continued with paint-balling and quad biking.  On Sunday I went for a quick iced tea and lunch with a couple of friends and headed into work. Nothing really exciting happened yesterday evening, we all got home once I finished work and I made a prawn paella before watching a documentary on Australia in bed.  It turns out that I am in the wrong job, I shouldn't have bothered going to university and instead should be living in Perth and working as a truck driver in the mining industry - Aus $90,000 - $130,000 after tax will do me nicely! 
Oh and it turns out that Dave may have fractured a rib or two paint-balling. Oh the joys!! 

After a rather uneventful weekend I am looking forward to an afternoon date with Dave tomorrow to see The Great Gatsby (so excited for this one!), getting my hair done and attending my work place Big Band Night on Friday.  Then even better there's the bank holiday weekend to look forward too :)

Happy Monday peeps, lets hope this sun stays and it's a good one!

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Friday, 17 May 2013

Friday - My walk to work

I often complain about my journey to work.  It should only take around twenty minutes but in rush hour when it can take an hour it makes me tired before I've even got there.  After moving out of the city last year going from a five minute train ride into Cardiff centre to sometimes an hour on the bus can seem like a lifetime!  For the first leg of my commute I usually try to read a bit and make some use of the bus journey, but I usually end up reading blogs or writing a post!  Once we pass the villages though this is when the views can take over. 

 I am incredibly lucky to live in a place where we have so  many lovely views and castles to look at.  The one below is called Castell Coch which in English means 'Red Castle'.  It is a Victorian Gothic castle, built on the site of a 13th Century castle for the 3rd Marquess of Bute, as a rural retreat when he got bored of his main residence, Cardiff Castle (coming below!).  As children, my sister and I were told that it is where the tooth fairies lived as it is on a hill looking across Cardiff and its neigbouring towns.  To read more and for stunning pictures of the castle look here.

My bus gets in to probably my favourite part of Cardiff, the civic centre where I pass the City Hall.  I absolutely love this building.  My Great, Great Grandfather built the clock tower of the building, which is one of the most iconic landmarks in Cardiff.  My sister also got married here and part of my university graduation memories are also from here.  I love walking through this beautiful city every morning.

Just across the road is Cardiff Castle.  I love that we have a castle that has been here since the Romans came to Cardiff 2000 years ago, and that it is in the city centre.  The Roman fort was the first of four forts that were here and evidence of each stage of the castle's evolvement can be seen within the walls (see here for more details).

St. John's City Parish Church is next to where I work.  Apart from Cardiff Castle, it is the oldest remaining medieval building in the city and it dates from the 12th century.  It is a beautiful church and I love hearing the bells ring out whilst I'm working or when leaving work in the evening. A wedding at the church creates quite a scene, with shoppers and tourists stopping to watch and clogging up the streets around. At Christmas time, the Christmas markets are around both the church and our building and the atmosphere is particularly festive.  You may also recognise it if you are a Doctor Who or Torchwood fan.

Here I am at work, a beautiful Victorian Grade II listed building...

...and the view of the church from the office window isn't too shabby either!  

If you're very lucky (like today!), you may also catch a glimpse of Benedict Cumberbatch filming the new series of Sherlock :)  One of the many benefits of having the BBC Production Studios here in Cardiff.  Did I mention how much I love this city???

Not the best IPhone pic but it's the Batch people! :)
In other news, it is Friday and as this has been a very long post I will keep things short!

Dear Cardiff, I love you - I think this has been very well documented above!  Dear Sophie & Scott, I'm so excited to see my beautiful cousin Sophie back on our screens soon presenting the SpeedwayGP on Eurosport! See the press release here! Scott, well done on your 2nd place at the British Championships next year.  It was a great performance after your mechanical problems and you are still 7 x Champ!  Dear Kent Kings Speedway, you suck big time and you know why.  I have nothing else to say.  Dear Kelsey,  I really enjoyed our catch up this week.  It was long overdue and I'm so pleased for you on your new career path as a nurse, you will be perfect :)  

I hope everyone has had a good week and has a great weekend.  I'm ready to relax!

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Thursday, 16 May 2013


I don't know about you, but pampering can mean different things to me on different days.  Tonight for example, I'm going to need a long, hot candlelit bath and a massage as my fibro is playing up and I'm aching even though I'm only halfway through the day. No such luck on the massage though as the Mr is away :/ 

Other days, pampering myself could just mean taking an hour out of my day to curl up with a blanket or sit in the sun (if only we had sun), and lose myself in a good book.

I'm not one for facials or pedis but I always feel much better after getting my hair done or painting my nails. 

I think though that pampering should be less seen as 'spoiling' ourselves and more as taking time to look after ourselves, both physically and mentally.  Granted not many of us get to do this as often as we'd like or really should, but maybe we should be prioritising our pamper time, even if it is only half an hour once or twice a week. Everyone needs time to sit down, take a deep breath and relax in order to restock and cope with the demands of busy lives. Who knows, just 15 minutes of this a day could save both ours and our family's sanity! ;) 


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Wednesday, 15 May 2013

Life's a lesson

I've written before about how I have been  obsessed with plans.  I have notebooks of lists, had my mind set on everything that I was going to achieve and when I was going to achieve it by.  If life has taught me one thing then it would be not to let life pass you by whilst you're busy making plans.  The thing is that life has a habit of of not working to your plan and I've started to think that maybe we are setting ourselves up for failure by sticking to a strict plan of how we want things to go.  I am not saying that we shouldn't know which direction in life that we want to go, I think that it is important to have ambition and not to just drift through life without any sort of idea what you want to do or the person you want to be.  I now think though that it is important to be somewhat relaxed about your goals in life.  It is all well and good being motivated to achieve, but there are no rules that say you must achieve everything by a certain date or time in your life. There is no point in achieving them at all if real life and enjoyment is passing you by.  

I had my life mapped out in front of me from a very young age.  It most certainly didn't include not going to university straight after school, or being ill, divorced, penniless and a single mother long before I hit 30. I was going to have it all.  A successful career, a loving husband and children (by the age of 25), be comfortable and healthy.  I grew up always putting pressure on myself.  I had to have the best grades, have the fastest lap time in a race and have everyone like me.  By mapping out everything and having to be good at it all, I made some very bad choices in my relationships which left me in situations that nobody should ever have to experience, and I made myself very ill.  I also missed out on a lot of fun.  When something didn't go to plan, I got anxious.  I couldn't cope in a situation that was not 'in my plan of things' and became so ill that it sometimes feels that I have not been able to make the most of my little girl growing up and have passed by opportunities and letting good people into my life.

I have often said that if I could go back and do things differently then I would, but I am not too sure.  Of course, if I could go back and miss out on the hurt, pain and illness, I would.  Who wouldn't?  But then I wonder if this was all part of His plan for me.  If I hadn't followed this path in my life then I wouldn't have my beautiful daughter and I would not have the strength to believe that I can survive anything and that I can cope on my own.  Maybe I was selfish going back to university when my daughter was young.  Would I do it again if I had a young child? Maybe not, but I hope that I have been a positive role model in showing her that if you work hard then you can achieve.  

I have started to let go of 'my plans' a bit now.  I am not where I expected to be in my life and I do have some regrets, I think that is only natural.  I find it comforting to let go of some of the control that I needed in my life (ironically, I didn't actually have any it would seem!) and to hand it over to Him.  I am ready to enjoy my life.  I still have plans of where I would like to go professionally but I am relaxed enough to believe that there is no rush whilst still having the desire to get there eventually.  If for some reason I don't get there it will be because He has a different plan out there for me, which will lead me down a better path.  I still have my demons but for now though I am going to enjoy the ride being a mother and girlfriend and thanking Him for bringing them into my life and showing me how good it can be, with the love of the right people.


On a lighter note  (and because I've rambled for too long), I've been enjoying stripes again as the weather has decided to take a turn for the worse and keeping warm is once again necessary.  I really need to carry my camera around with me more but as you can hopefully see I've been opting for lighter layering to cope with the unpredictable weather recently.  Both cardigans are from Primark, a bargain at £6.00 each and the leggings / trousers / jersey tops and boots are all from New Look :)


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Tuesday, 14 May 2013

Food, Glorious Food - Clean and Lean Cinnamon Toast

I love food, especially clean, delicious recipes. Whilst I try to maintain that 80-90% of my food is clean and healthy, I do of course like anyone else enjoy a treat.

I saw this recipe on Ellie Gonsalves blog ( and adapted it to make it gluten free.  This is possibly my favourite breakfast of the week and has become a Sunday staple!  Most definitely a treat breakfast but has the bonus of being totally clean and lean!

  • 2 pieces of gluten free bread (or organic rye bread)
  • 2  organic free-range eggs, 
  • 1/2 tsp of coconut oil, 
  • Half teaspoon of cinnamon, 
  • Organic raw honey
  • Handful of your favourite chopped fruit 
  • Prep time - 5 mins
    Cooking time - 5-10 mins

    Firstly, grab your free-range eggs & break them into a bowl, sprinkle the cinnamon on top & whisk it together!

     Then what you need to do is take your bread and soak it into the whisked cinnamon egg.

    Take your 1/2 tsp of coconut oil & heat it in a non-stick frying pan (Be sure not to burn, don't turn the heat up too high!) then put the soaked cinnamon rye bread into the pan once heated & cook it on both sides until a golden-brown colour this will happen after 2-3 mins. 

    After you've cooked your cinnamon toast, top with a handful of your favourite fruit, (mine are cherries, blueberries and bananas) and natural yoghurt if desired :)

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Monday, 13 May 2013

Go Green

Apart from the normal things such as recycling as much as we can (we are lucky as we get a full recycling collection from our council), this is how we try to stay as green as possible. 

* Use our food waste. Feed salad, fruit or vegetables to our rabbits, keep some waste for our own compost and put the rest in the weekly food waste collection.

* Turn off all our appliances and unplug them when not in use. Saves electricity and money. Win - win.

* Grow plants in the garden. It contributes to the health of the planet and looks pretty too! I'm attempting to grow my own vegetables aswell to reduce the carbon footprint and cost.

* In the meantime I use fresh, local produce. I try not to buy too much packaged produce and use the market in Cardiff city centre to buy meat, fruit and veg as much as possible.

* Minimise use of plastic bags. There is a five pence charge in Wales if you need a plastic bag in a shop. Personally, I agree with the charge as it has reduced the amount of carrier bags that are being used and therefore reduces their manufacturing.  I rarely buy a plastic bag now and carry around some pretty bags that fold away to carry my shopping home in.

* Eat less meat. It was reported last year that the world would need to reduce meat consumption by 50% in order to reduce the effect of climate change fertilisers used to feed animals for consumption are amongst the most potent and damaging to the environment. PETA claims that 46% of water waste in the USA comes from animal farming and production. I am trying to reduce the amount of meat we eat as a family. A vegetarian diet has proven beneficial to fibromyalgia sufferers, but I am also shocked at some of the statistics regarding meat and dairy production and also practises relating to animal welfare.

* Clothes swapping.  I am lucky enoug to have a friend who is pretty much the same sizes as me and we often swap clothes instead of throwing them out. Not only does this save money and revamp our wardrobes, but also cuts down on manufacturing.  Any clothes we do want to get rid of however, we take to a charity shop.

* Using less water. Now this is one I struggle with! I love long, hot showers but 8-9 minutes is around about 12% of water usage. It has been shown that taking cold showers is better for the environment (heating water is the major energy usage in households) and has health benefits such as improved circulation, increased metabolism, depression relief and boosting the immune system. All sounds good, but unfortunately not appealing to me in the least.  Instead I am aiming to reduce the time I spend on the shower, saving energy and water. I have started this week setting a five minute timer to hurry me up!

* I'm also looking to scour the web (by that I probably mean Pinterest) to find some natural household cleaner recipes (recipes??).  I've decided to try and get as many possible chemicals out of the house as possible :) 

Now I know that I'm just one person in this huge world, but I'd like to think that I make a little bit of difference.


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Weekend Break

First of all I am behind in my Blog Every Day in May posts. The reason for this being that Megan last minute, went on a school camp as there'd been a cancellation, so I headed over to Clifton to stay at the flat with Dave for the weekend. We decided to take some time out from the routine we normally have on a weekend as we don't get the chance usually, and it was wonderful. We ate out lots, lay in bed in the mornings and went shopping. Just what I needed to take my mind off worrying about Megan.

Not the best pic, but I was trying to snap it quickly without being seen!

 I found some stunning Jimmy Choo's, a Victoria Beckham dress and vintage Chanel bag in Harvey Nichols. Dave couldn't understand why someone would pay £4,000 for a bag that had a previous owner and my reply of "it's not used, it's vintage" didn't help matters! (Maybe I could use that as part of my Go Green BEDM post - to help the environment always buy Chanel vintage not new!).

At least my mum understood! ;) We then popped to Cafe Rouge for a two course lunch before I tried on some more dresses for a wedding next month. I've finally chosen one, will just need some new shoes and accessories - shame.

After going back to the flat (where I fell asleep as Dave watched the FA Cup Final), we got changed and went for dinner at Raymond Blanc's restaurant, Brasserie Blanc. The food was AMAZING, seriously good. The rum and raisin panacotta was so good that I need to find a recipe for it.

Sunday morning we visited my grandfather before I had to go into work for a few hours. Dave picked up Megan who'd had a lovely time (apart from a brief homesickness wobble Saturday night).  She quickly became grumpy fro over tiredness though, so we cuddled up on the sofa before putting her to bed. Soon after, we went to bed to watch a Victorian set crime drama and cuddled up with this little man. 

Now it's Monday again and I'm hoping that I can remember how to cook and it's the to catch up on writing some posts.

I hope you had an amazing weekend.

linking up with Join the Gossip and Sami's Shenanigans