Monday, 27 January 2014

Life 365

I'm linking up with Teaberry Trails to document the year in photos.
I'm loving having some highlights for the new year. My hair is very fine so I tend to keep the same style, but it's nice to change up the colour a bit.

I took Megan to see her dance idols, Aliona Vilani and Brendan Cole, at the Wales Millennium Centre. She loved the whole evening, it was great for her to see them dance up close and not just on the television on Strictly Come Dancing.  She had a beaming smile all night especially when Brendan answered her question and tried it get her on stage.

I've spent much go the last fortnight in bed due to a flare up and kidney infection. After feeling sorry for myself and eating lots of comfort foods I've got back to eating clean and have added chillis to just about everything as they are a natural pain killer.

The remainder of the time has been spent looking for Labrador puppies and writing out meal plans.

This little furball has kept me company whilst I've been unwell. He's loved all the cuddles in bed and hasn't left my side. When I've ventured as far as the sofa he's been straight down with me. 

How has your weekend been? Have you thought about linking up with life 365?


Linking up with Life 365 and Monday Morning Gossip

Wednesday, 22 January 2014

January shopping ban - umm...look what I got!

This January I gave myself the challenge of not buying anything for myself. Now, I know the above photo doesn't look like I've succeeded but I think I've done fairly well. The black denim leggings are for work. I really did need another pair of trousers to wear to work, but because of the fibro pain I get in my hips and legs I can't always wear normal jeans or trousers, I need something softer and more comfortable. I received a £20.00 gift card for Next, so I only paid £4.99 for them. I've also bought a few pairs of black tights to wear with my dresses as all of mine have had to be binned. I think these purchases are essentials, therefore the only non essential purchase I have made since Christmas is this bag. Initially I did not purchase it, but after leaving a bag this colour last spring and regretting it, I couldn't get it off my mind. At £15.99 in New Look, I think it was a bargain and I am quite pleased that I took the time to think about it and didn't just purchase on impulse. Normally during the sales I would do just that and I feel quite proud that this year I have resisted.

Have you bought any bargains this year? Or have you resisted temptation and saved some pennies? 


Linking up with Random WednesdayLook what I got

Monday, 20 January 2014

Comfort drinks

We've spent this weekend trying to stay warm and comfortable. I've had a very bad week with fibromyalgia pain and chronic tiredness, resulting in a few days off work and now it's Monday I'm home again and have Megan off also with a cold and sore throat.

I decided to try work again on Friday, therefore requiring a peppermint hot chocolate for my efforts! (Have you tried one with soya milk? So delicious and creamy). Friday night passed in a blur, luckily Megan was staying at her father's for the night, meaning that after a bath I could go straight to bed. 
The rest of the weekend was spent pretty much the same way, i.e. more comforting Starbucks and rest. I did counteract the hot chocolates with some smoothies but have to be honest they don't go quite as well with comfy clothes and fur throws!

I'm hoping the worst is almost over, I have so much to do and an eleven year old to look after. So today is all about rest, positive thoughts and planning for the next week.

How did you spend your weekend? What is your comfort drink of choice?

Linking up with Monday Morning Gossip


Tuesday, 14 January 2014

See our history like you've never seen it before - The Cardiff Story needs your help!!!!

I wouldn't normally do this but I'm hoping that you can all help me. Some of you may know that I work at The Cardiff Story Museum in well, Cardiff. We have been short listed for the Connect 10 competition and I would be so grateful if you could vote for The Cardiff Story by following the link at the bottom of the page. We are a small team and rely heavily on external funding and donations.  As you can imagine, the prize of working with an acclaimed artist and help towards the cost of providing alternative tours of the building would mean so much to us.

Copyright The Cardiff Story / Culture 24

The Connect10 competition is a part of Culture 24’s Museums at Night festival.  The aim of this festival is to inspire after hours cultural events at museums, galleries and heritage sites which will take place every May.  Connect10 is a competition which allows museums, libraries and archives to win the chance to work with a contemporary artist, and use the experience to reach out to new audiences and create a lasting legacy.

The Cardiff Story Museum has been shortlisted for the prize  to work with Janette Parris alongside People's History Museum, Manchester, Weston Park Museum, Sheffield and The New Art Gallery, Walsall. The winner of the prize will be selected via public vote. The public vote will open on Tuesday 14 January until Tuesday 28 January. Voting details can be found on Culture 24’s Museums at Night webpage

If successful the Cardiff Story Museum will be collaborating with the acclaimed contemporary artist Janette Parris whose work has been exhibited across the UK, and will receive a £2000 bursary to create 'alternative' tours delivered by a combination of actors, comedians, ventriloquists and puppets. 

You can vote for us by clicking here and enter to win tickets to the event in May. Voting is open until January 28th. Thank you so much and I'll be eternally grateful if you vote for us!


Sunday, 12 January 2014

Boyzone and fast cars

I'm going to apologise for the quality of my photos from this weekend straight away. I went to the Autosport International Show at Birmingham NEC and as I knew my fibro was playing up, I didn't want to carry my camera around all day and relied on my iPhone 4S. I haven't edited them yet but here's a glance of our day. I loved having a close up view of the cars that Tim has been working on. The pictures of Lewis Hamilton's F1 car do not do it justice. Jenson Button's McClaren was also stunning, I felt a bit of a traitor saying it, but it's kinda ok as Tim has built their engines aswell!!
It's an amazing experience being up close to the cars and the racing, there is a huge buzz around it. I have to say though a particular highlight was seeing Boyzone's Shane Lynch in the paddock! He's now a successful drift car driver and he looks amazing in a race suit! I may well have turned into my 15 year old self again for a while!!

Hope you had a great weekend.

Friday, 3 January 2014

Believing in 2014

Lying in bed on the last morning of 2013, I was listening to the rain falling heavily and could have sworn it was the early hours as it was so dark. My daughter woke up snapping at me and I thought that it was going to be a rather gloomy end to the year.  To be fair, the weather didn't make me want to rush to get up and I was rather lacking in motivation. But as I looked back on the year and all it's ups and downs, I can see that there is a lot to be motivated about in 2014.

The last evening of the year turned out to be perfect.  So perfect in fact that I didn't take any photos. I've been kinda happy this festive season to live in the moment rather than capturing it on camera and I've really enjoyed being relaxed and taking everything in, rather than looking for the next photo opportunity. I could recap 2013 with so many memories, there were the ups such as taking Megan to her first proper concert, the look of pure joy and excitement on her face and the heartbreak of broken down relationships, of being diagnosed with a lifelong, chronic illness. But if I was to sum it up, the year was about acceptance, realisation and growth. 

2013 ended well, I've reconnected with my best friend, my soul mate, the person who believes in me and just 'gets me'. Whatever it's form, that's a pretty speci relationship to have but it got lost somewhere along the way in the business and complexities of our lives.

2014 is all about moving forward, building on last year and 'believing'. I achieved five out of seven of last years resolutions, which is a fantastic achievement. This year however, I'm not making resolutions as such. It is going to be a year full of difficult challenges, which will take a lot of strength, but by the end of the year I hope to have come through it and be in a more settled and content place. In order to achieve this I need to grow as a person and believe a lot more. Believe in myself, my decisions, my capabilities and those around me. I have already grown a lot as a person but this challenge of believing will take me out of my comfort zone. It is time to tackle the thoughts that have been inside my head for so long and show the courage to reach out for those things I truly want.

How was your New Year? Have you set any goals for the year ahead?