Sunday, 24 November 2013


(All photos from

8am Sunday morning, I'd like a cup of tea but I'm not ready to face the world yet. It's freezing cold and I have a mountain of things to do once I'm up. My only motivation this morning is that by this evening, my parents will be looking after Megan (therefore I'm avoiding the Sunday night bathtime and getting ready for school tantrums), I will be in Cardiff having food with my sister, a few drinks and off to see/listen to one of the sexiest voices in music! It's been two years since I saw the Stereophonics last and I can't wait, so maybe I will get up this morning. After another five minutes hiding under the duvet! 

What's your Sunday morning motivation?

Saturday, 23 November 2013

I love weekends, especially this one!

It's Saturday, I'm getting a lie in, the most stressful week ever is over and here are a few of my favourite things!

This quote has literally got me through the week. It serves as a reminder that no matter how ever stressed and fragile I feel, I have faced some pretty tough things and have made it this far :) 

Unexpected Thursday night dinner and a well needed glass of wine with a friend, her daughter and Megan was just what we needed. See my recap here.

My iPad Air has become indispensable! Especially on a Friday night when I'm home alone, fancy a hot bubble bath, a glass of red and some easy to watch tv. I'm not one for 'reality' television really but Made in Chelsea makes me laugh so much. Everyone's allowed one guilty tv pleasure though right?

Megan had an accident Tuesday and hurt her face and knee, so she was home from school Wednesday. To cheer her up we made some cute heart jam tarts because what's not cheery about home baked tarts, and we just love anything heart shaped!

Last but not least, our latest rescued blind bunnies have their new home in our garden. They are adorable and although I was happy enough with just the two we already had, we'd be lost without them already! Megan wants it call them Bunny and Fluffy though.....still working on that one!

I'm so excited to be going to see the Stereophonics tomorrow night with my sister and some girlfriends.  My late teens/early twenties come straight back to me every time a song comes on and they are a local band which is going to make the gig in Cardiff huge!!! I can't wait to hear Kelly's amazing voice sing Dakota again. Aah that voice! I may or may not still have dreams about marrying that man! ;)

Have a fantastic weekend.

Linking up with Katie

Friday, 22 November 2013

Does an octopus have legs or tentacles?

Jacket, animal print top - New Look / Blue t-shirt, boots - Primark / Leggings - Next / Bag - Nica

Just one more day to get through and then I have a lovely weekend planned. I'm not being dramatic when I say that it's going to be one of 'those' days. There were some issues at school yesterday for Megan which I have to sort today around working. So, when my friend asked early yesterday evening if we would like to join her and her daughter at Frankie & Benny's for food, we jumped at the chance!

Now to be honest, I don't rate the food there that highly but I was so hungry and a glass of wine was certainly in need! Whilst I don't prescribe alcohol as a cure for problems, well not often at least, it did help to relieve some stress and we were kept amused by our girls attempted jokes and 'guess who' antics. Which leads to this post title, does an octopus have legs or tentacles? When guessing a sea creature that has legs, my friend suggested an octopus. To which I replied that an octopus does not have legs it has tentacles right?? What ensued was a whole debate on the car journey home, which amused the little 'uns until they got bored and asked, "I guess you give up then?".

So what do you think is the answer? Have a good weekend my lovelies :) 

Linking up with long distance loving, Favourite Fashion Friday, Hi Five for Friday

Wednesday, 20 November 2013

Fashion Pinspiration

Do you ever get one of those days when no matter what you do, all you want is to stay in your pjs, or if you have to get dressed then pull on your comfiest pair of leggings, top and a slouchy cardigan or jumper? Please tell me you do?! Well, I'm not having one of those days, more like one of those months! I've spent a ridiculous amount of money on clothes the last couple of months and still can't be bothered to get dressed, doing my hair or make up when I don't completely and utterly have to.

I'm sure it'll pass, it's probably just a combination of intense physio, having had a cold and the weather that is making me like it. So, today whilst I'm at home cuddling up with my poor girl (she had a nasty accident last night, cutting her face, knee and ending up with a black, swollen eye), I'm going to take a look through my Autumn Style Pinterest Board in the hope I get some inspiration and motivation back. I usually love to dress up and create outfits, but lately I'm just not feeling it. I'm sure the ladies from  What I Wore will help though as well! 

What do you do when you're stuck in a fashion rut?

Linking up with Shanna

Tuesday, 19 November 2013

Weekend roundup

I've had somewhat of a long weekend due to picking up a virus last week. Megan had a school inset day Friday, which was pretty much spent on the sofa making list for Christmas.  Saturday I felt a little better and guessed that after two days without leaving the house I should escape for a while! The morning was spent at the dance studio as Megan prepared for her presentation and competition on Sunday.  It was a long morning. I have tired of the bitchiness that seems to go hand in hand with Latin and ballroom dancing so hid in a corner with a hot chocolate unit most of the mums had left and Megan had switched from her social class to her private lesson.  We dropped Megan to her friends house afterwards and headed to ikea to escape, pick up ideas for my living room and eat meatballs. We got back in time to watch Wales thrash Argentina at rugby and spent the rest of the day / evening on the sofa (trying to block out Megan's tantrums - I'm hating the pre-teen stage). 

Sunday morning was pure craziness! Megan woke up at some unearthly hour wanting to get ready for her competition, which incidentally wasn't starting until 12.15! After hiding under the duvet (grown up I know) I gave in and made breakfast - gluten free porridge, banana and agave nectar in case you wondered! As I was working we dropped Megan to her friends where she finished getting ready and headed into town early. The rest of Sunday consisted of returning boots to next, meeting my aunt and uncle quickly, working, the first Black Forest hot chocolate from Costa of the year, and picking up my new iPad Air! I've been umm-ing and aah-ing for a while and am glad I waited, even though I had no idea that there was a new iPad out! It is so light and will make everything so much easier when I'm on the go and at meetings. Next on the agenda, finding the perfect case for it? 

I hope you had a fantastic weekend, do you have any blogging app recommendations for the iPad? I'm a newbie and all ears! 

Linking up with Monday Morning Gossip, Weekend Shenanigans 

Friday, 15 November 2013

Some things I'm loving

I've been a little sidetracked this week, mainly due to becoming sick, which makes my fibro fog kick in and become near on impossible to accomplish things.  I've had a number of posts but not got around to finishing any of them, so here is a roundup of my favourite things this week.

Kindness - Wednesday was World Kindness Day and is something that has been prominent in my discussions with Megan this week.  Without going into too much detail, she has had a few problems lately with some children saying unkind things and I have been trying to explain why we must always show kindness to people even if they do not show it to us.  I came across the website Random Acts of Kindness, which has some lovely ideas encouraging and inspiring kindness.  We are all guilty of neglecting kindness at some point and it serves as a good reminder to the difference, even just a smile can make in a stranger's life.

"We think too much and feel too little. More than machinery, we need humanity. More than cleverness, we need kindness and gentleness." Charlie Chaplin

My new fire - When I moved into my house, there was no fire in the fireplace and the radiators downstairs are sparse.  I borrowed my parents fire whilst they weren't using it but they recently redecorated and wanted to use it in their new room.  The last week has turned so cold and we really noticed how chilly it had become downstairs, so I finally got around to buying a new fire.  I couldn't be happier, I ordered it yesterday and it arrived this morning! It looks so cosy and we are warm again!

Physiotherapy - I'm so happy with how my Advanced Rehabilitation has been going for the fibromyalgia.  After being so fit and active, being unable to work out due to pain has been awful.  I am now four weeks into an eight week, intensive physiotherapy programme, which basically aims to loosen me up again, gain some strength and building up my resilience to the pain.  The first three weeks were killers, three hours a day physio and hydrotherapy, twice a week left me coming home in pain, crying, exhausted and spending the rest of the day in bed.  However, I have always been determined not to let it run my life and for it not to take my independence.  
Well after reaching the point last Thursday where I didn't think I could take any more, I spent my first weekend pain free! I can't believe it.  I managed to go to the swimming pool with the children, play and go down the slides with them for just over two hours.  It may not seem a lot, but after the last year or so it meant so much.  My physio has even suggested that with my progress, I could even, possibly (!) try running after Christmas! Beyond happy!  I was disappointed to have to miss yesterdays session, but it wouldn't have been wise with this virus. 

Vouchers - Look what I've got!! Can't wait to hit Joules this weekend - for some Christmas shopping of course!

What have you been loving this week? Have a fantastic weekend.

Linking up with Katie, Lauren

Monday, 11 November 2013

(Jackdaw) Poppies and Plaid - We Will Remember Them

Beanie - New Look /  Top - H&M / Scarf - New Look / Poppy Pin and Earrings Jackdaw

Yesterday in the UK was Remembrance Sunday and today, Armistice Day.  At 11am both days we stop for two minutes to honour and remember those who made the ultimate sacrifice and gave their lives protecting our country and freedom.  This year was the first for many that I did not attend a service, however I wore my poppy with pride.  As a historian specialising in the inter-war period, I will always argue the importance of remembrance, however, personally I will remember - not only today but everyday.  I honour those who I love and have served and those who continue to serve, and I remember my heroes that I have known, loved and lost as they gave their lives to protect us.  I pray that they now rest in peace and that their families continue to be strong in their darkest hours.

They shall grow not old, as we that are left grow old:
Age shall not weary them, nor the years condemn.
At the going down of the sun and in the morning,
We will remember them.
                                                                                         ~ Laurence Binyon

My poppy this year came from Jackdaw, hand made by my lovely school friend Christina.  These iPhone pics really don't do justice to how beautiful and sparkly the pin and earrings really are.  They are resin and made with Swarovski crystal and glitter and have attracted lots of attention and compliments. Best of all, Christina is giving 10% of the cost to The Royal British Legion, who help serving members of the armed forces, veterans and their families, remembering those who have made the ultimate sacrifice and raising money to help those in need today.  Aside from her Poppy Appeal collection, you really should check out the rest of Christina's jewellery - you won't regret it!


linking up with LeeAnn, Sami, The Pleated Poppy, Shanna

Friday, 8 November 2013

A typical day

Blog Every Day in November Challenge

Here is a typical week day for me.

Alarm goes off at 6.20.  Hit snooze, hopefully once, probably twice. Get up, feed animals and make cup of fruit tea.  Shower, then get dressed and get a home made clementine and poppyseed muffin and fruit for breakfast.  Eat as I put my make up on.

I finish getting ready and wake Megan up..  My mum comes over to get her ready for school so that I can leave at 8.15 for work.

Arrive at the museum and at 9.30, hit the 'on' switch on the kettle and have a morning meeting.  This morning we have a conference going on and I am in the galleries.  I manage to get some research done as it is not too busy.

Copyright - The Cardiff Story
About 1.30 I meet my friend Tyler and we head to my favourite coffee shop, for a tea and gluten free cupcake.

About 2.30 I walk in the beautiful sun to the university library to do some historical research for the museum.  I am currently looking at Cardiff's sporting history.

After picking up some shopping for dinner, I pick Megan up from her school choir practise about 4.30.    The school bunny, Nibbles, is hopping around the grounds so we of course stop for a while to fuss him!

We popped over to my sisters house for an hour so that Megan could play outside with my nephew so I didn't prepare dinner until about 6.30.  I decided on a healthy paella after only scoffing a cupcake for lunch.

After getting Megan to bed around 8.30, I read a few blog posts and wrote a new post.

I then sorted some dishes, prepared school uniform and lunches for Friday, before making a cup of fruit tea and relaxing in a hot bubble bath.  My joints and back were really starting to hurt and I called a friend for a chat. 

I didn't get to bed until around 11pm, by the time I'd checked on Megan, let the cat in and taken my tablets.  It was another busy week day, which probably explains why I am so sore today!

I'm looking forward to reading about your day!

Wednesday, 6 November 2013

Time to destress

Image credit -

This post is a bit late in the day, this is no cheesy excuse given that the #BEDN topic today is stress, I have genuinely been trying to destress this evening! As I suffer with fibromyalgia, where symptoms can be triggered by stress, it is very important that I remain as stress free as possible. 

I true to write this post a few days ago but have struggled as I didn't want it to sound like some sympathy seeking post, everybody has stress to deal with in their lives but although there were other factors, I truly believe that the amount of stress I was dealing with (or not) was a major contributor to my diagnosis. I never thought that I would end up registered disabled due to it.  I suffered with an eating disorder, had a couple of disastrous relationships, a daughter with additional needs and then decided to go to university whilst dealing with all of the aforementioned.  I took on far too much, putting too much pressure on myself physically and emotionally.  

Although there are things that I can't change in my life, I am getting better at reading my body and am slowly learning not to take on too much.  I find it hard to accept help, but now realise that there is no shame in asking for it and that everyone needs some at times.  It's no exaggeration to say that a Mindfulness course changed my life.  One of the treatments for fibromyalgia is teaching you to manage stress and it has taught me techniques to cope with stressful situations, to live more in the moment rather than worry about things that may or may not happen, or that were out of my control and to deflect negative comments / influences that would have impacted my outlook previously.

Although these days I am constantly tired and in pain, I am actually eating well, not feeling guilty for saying 'no', appreciating the smaller details that would previously passed me by and making time to run that bath, light the yankee candle and enjoying that hours peace rather than feeling as though I am wasting time.  
How do you relax when things get too much?

linking up with Shanna

How did you remember the 5th of November?

So, how did you celebrate that on 5th November 1605, James I survived an attempt by Guy Fawkes and the Gunpowder Plot to blow up the Houses of Parliament? 

We went to a fireworks display on Sunday, so tonight we stayed at home in the warm, threw together this delicious cod in chilli, plum tomato and garlic sauce, and watched the plentiful (and noisy) fireworks through my bedroom window. All of course whilst keping this little furball safe!

I hope you had a safe and enjoyable night.

Monday, 4 November 2013

Meatless Monday

I've reduced the amount of meat I eat To just 2-3 meals per week and I love quinoa as a clean and healthy source of protein. Here is a lovely recipe that I found on Pinterest as a quick and easy Monday night recipe. Tonight I'll be having mine with roasted plum tomatoes. Of course mine will be made with gluten free breadcrumbs. Enjoy!


Lighting up the sky

Apparently my post didn't show up yesterday, so here it is again (slightly amended!). 

We spent the weekend pretty much in the house this week, mainly due to the awful storm that hit South Wales on Saturday, but partly due to the fact that I have been away the last two weekends, what with our trip to Paris and my cousins wedding last week. I had lots of jobs to get on with in the house therefore explaining the lack of photos! 

Sunday however, I worked the afternoon and we debated going to our local fireworks display at the rugby club. I ha been awake all night feeling unwell and the weather was still wet and windy, so was kinda pleased when Megan said she thought that she'd rather watch Little Mix and Taylor Swift on The X Factor!
Typically though, by the time if finished work she had changed her mind, so we donned our waterproof coats, hats and wellies and headed to the rugby pitch.

I'm glad we did, as although it's not Bonfire night until Tuesday (and I think I've been spoilt with Disney fireworks), it's the only display that we will go to this year and I do love the sparkly fireworks that light up the sky and the smell that lingers around the air afterwards. That being said, we froze and I was relieved to get home, put on my pyjamas and tuck into a bowl of chilli and a cup of tea!!

How was your weekend? Did you brave the weather and make it to a firework display? 


Linking up with Sami, LeeAnn 

Friday, 1 November 2013

Some things I'm loving....

The last two weeks have been so hectic but so much fun, here are some of my favourite things and memories made. 

I made a bit of a big deal of Halloween again this year, so much fun carving pumpkins and trick or treating with Megan, my niece, nephews and friends. My poor little nephew was too sick to go outside, but dressed up and handed out sweets to anyone who came knocking! 

After goodness knows how many visits to Paris I finally made myself go up the Eiffel Tower. This is one of the better photos, I was petrified!! I felt so sick and was actually shaking but the views were fantastic. 

Megan wasn't at all bothered, in fact she was overwhelmingly excitable. I think the air pressure at that height must have gotten to her!

Parisian sunsets at the Jardin de Tuileries, simply beautiful. 

My cousins wedding set in the village where the classic Wind in the Willows is set. The church was next to Toad Hall! (I'll be writing a post with more photos). So lovely to spend time with my family. This photo is with my cousin and my sister . 

The most adorable 17th century coach inn. My room 'Chimney Corner' had stairs behind the bed leading up to the bathroom. As a historian, I was in heaven! 

I hope you're all not being blown away by the storm. I think Storm Jude bypassed South Wales last week as it's worse here today than then :( I hope it clears up by tomorrow for our fireworks display! 


Linking up with Katie and #BEDN 


Six months ago I joined Rosalilium for the Blog Every Day in May challenge, where although I didn't manage every day, I did have a pretty good running! I'm now back for Blog Every Day in November and the challenge is needed as that little thing called life has been well and truly getting in the way of this little space lately.

Back in May I wrote this introduction to moi, which still stands but here are a few current extras. 

I am now 32, not 31. Sigh.

I have recently caught the travel bug again. In the last three months we have been to Portugal and Paris, this weekend I should have been in Abu Dhabi for the Formula 1 (not gutted at all), and we already have a host of plans for next year. 

I have adopted another two bunnies since May. They were blind, injured and their owner didn't want them so I couldn't help myself.  I had only had my house bunny free for one day (after moving our last rescued two into a hutch) and the cage was in use again. 

I have once again become a shopaholic. I can use the excuse that I have put on weight and need new clothes, however this wouldn't have made much of a difference. I was thinking about a self imposed shopping ban for November but this morning purchased a new pair of boots, so I guess that's gone out of the window already. I did think about it though right? Small steps! 

I kinda got carried away by Halloween this year and Christmas could see the same. I think I am becoming more of a child as I get older. Working in a museum kinda helps with this. Take a look at what I got paid to do this week....

I will post earlier in the day than this during BEDN. I only decided to do the challenge last minute so haven't had chance to schedule any posts but I am going to be prepared! To be be fair, I was going to post this morning, however being the lovely aunt that I am I have looked after my poorly niece and nephew  whilst my sister was working. Now my house looks like an explosion in a toy factory, I'm still in my pyjamas and I've realised I've not eaten at 4.15pm. Don't worry, the kids have I promise! 

Well, after the lamest intro ever I hope that you will stick around through November! It will get better I promise/hope!