Thursday, 24 December 2015

Merry Christmas!

So it's almost here! Christmas has crept up on me this year, one minute I had plenty of time and was prepared and this week I've found myself panicking over what has been left to get done before the big day. Last night however, I stopped worrying. If we haven't got it by now we can do without; what will be, will be. This morning there are just a few things left to do. Stuffing to be made for tomorrow's turkey; a few last minute presents to be bought; a food parcel and presents to the homeless and maybe a festive cup from Costa (Starbucks is noticeably absent from this neck of the woods) before heading home. Tonight will be new pyjamas, a film and a takeaway then lots of wrapping with more than a glass or two of bubbly I expect. Because yeah, that wrapping everything before Christmas Eve this year, well it didn't exactly go to plan! 

Christmas Day will be a little different this year and I'm not sure what it will bring, but I'm just grateful that we have made it to the end of the year and that most of all I can't even begin to describe how thankful I am that our little Livvy is still here with us to enjoy the festive time.  I wanted to take this opportunity to say a huge THANK YOU to everyone for their support, love and comments over what has been a difficult year. I've really been reminded yet again that I have some amazing friends who are right beside me through thick and thin and I will love you all forever. I will be away from my dashboard from this evening as I make the most of every moment with my family and friends. I'm going to appreciate it so much more this year, with plenty of good food and Prosecco along the way!

I hope that you all enjoy a wonderful and safe Christmas and I look forward to catching up with you towards the New Year!


Tuesday, 15 December 2015

Culture // Bath Fashion Museum

It has been a while since I looked at upcoming exhibitions in our museums and galleries. So much so that I've not had the opportunity to look around a few exhibitions at Bath Fashion Museum. It may be difficult to get to the museum with Christmas just a week away, however these exhibitions are closing on January 3rd. Both exhibitions and the Georgian exhibition are included in the general museum admission price* and if you are visiting the Christmas Markets, would make a lovely break from the manic crowds last minute shopping.
* (Bath and North East Somerset Residents are admitted free with a residents Discovery Card)

Victor Stiebel, c.1950s
Great Names of Fashion
I absolutely adore this collection! It encapsulates 20th Century fashion and with names like Christian Dior, Yves Saint Laurent and Alexander McQueen, there are an abundance of truly beautiful dresses to be seen. I love Paul Poiret's c. 1920s gold silk evening dress with a gold lace skirt, the c.1950s dress above by Victor Steibel, but also the more modern addition of a Sarah Burton for Alexander McQueen, in 2011. I'd love to have free reign to try them all on and you'd probably struggle to get me to leave. This is probably the must see exhibition if you are short on time.

Image: Craig Green SS15
Craig Green SS15
Each year the Fashion Museum asks a different fashion expert to choose the ensemble from the international fashion collections that they feel is the most exciting, or directional, or simply sums up the year in fashion.  For the first time in 50 years, menswear has been selected for Dress of the Year. Gordon Richardson of Topman, chose two ensembles from British designer Craig Green for the Fashion Museum's collection.  Green's ensembles are contrasted using both cotton and quilted plastic, matched with bold colours. You can also view the Fashion Museum's collection of dresses which span 50 years on their online catalogue. 

I don't know about you, but I sometimes find the week in between Christmas and New Year can often be underwhelming and am looking for things to do outside of the house. This will be the perfect time for me to visit and get some much needed motivation to get on with my own exhibition research!
I'll be rounding up some upcoming exhibitions from around the country in January, so if you know of any that deserve a mention please don't hesitate to contact me. Whether a small local exhibition or a national event, I'd love to hear about it!


* Photographs from Bath Fashion Museum

Lizzie Somerset

Monday, 14 December 2015

Running out of time

So Monday's here again and I have a massive list of things to accomplish before school breaks up Friday lunchtime for Christmas. So much to do, so little time and motivation! Today will be spent finalising an exhibition for next year, some online shopping and list generating; all things that were meant to be done this weekend but were placed on hold due to some winter bug that I came down with.

As usual, my highly organised plans of being ready for Christmas have been thrown out of the window and I'm ready for the chaos of crowds, queues and excited children! Our tree finally went up this weekend and although my planned theme didn't work out this year, it looked pretty and felt cosy with a bottle of red watching the CMAs last night. Although there are nods to Christmas throughout the house now, I will admit to still not feeling very festive and that I should be working to the backdrop of Christmas songs to get me more into the Christmas spirit. However, as the cursor hovered over my iTunes Christmas playlist it somehow managed to select Anberlin instead! I'm running out of time to get into the spirit of things, finish the present shopping and card writing. So tonight I am arming myself with a stack of Christmas DVDs, a walk to collect a ton of holly and will be throwing myself full force into spreading some Christmas cheer!

linking up with IBOT

Thursday, 10 December 2015

Christmas Style // Getting into the Festive Spirit

The picture above is about as far as I've got with getting into the festive season! As usual my gifts have to all be wrapped with coordinated paper and this year I'm loving WHSmiths range. I made a start to the wrapping on Tuesday whilst watching Nigella's Christmas on TV trying to bump up my enthusiasm! Our neighbouring houses are all decorated and I haven't even got mine out of the garage; something which I hope to rectify today! We did make a batch of mince pies after school on Tuesday so that is another job jobbed and hopefully I will get somewhere today. 

I love a real tree so will be heading to our local farm shop to select one. This year I want everything to be simple and elegant and have decided to have white decorations. Typically though I think we have every theme but that, so will be popping to Cadbury garden centre in Yatton to select a few baubles and the Range in Weston-Super-Mare.  I'll also be making the most of our surrounding countryside and collect some holly from the lanes. I love having real holly in the house and was lucky to have a good supply around our house when we lived in Cardiff. I can't imagine that my house will ever look as idyllic as the picture below but I can dream right? I do love the sprigs of fir and mason jar candle holders and will be hoping that there are plenty of pine cones in the forest later when I walk the dogs. I much prefer a few subtle touches and bringing some of the country indoors, rather than all out, in your face Christmas decorations!

Modern Christmas Decorated Living Rooms-12-1 Kindesign



Christmas table settings with candle and candleholder #Christmas #Candles #Candleholders

DIY snowflake with pinecones

(Click on the links underneath the photo for source or visit my Christmas Pinterest Board for more inspiration!)

I like to support local businesses rather than mass chains where possible and most of the food I buy will be from local farms and farm shops. Christmas Day itself is usually spent opening stockings, bacon sarnies for breakfast be and tree presents at home before heading to my parents house with my sister and my niece and nephews for a glass of champagne and more presents! This year though will probably be a little more low key as we now live further away, my niece is still having cancer treatment and my grandfather is in hospital. We still haven't planned too much but I have prepared some things in advance for dinner and we'll just take it as it comes! Whatever happens, I'll be in my pjs with a glass of prosecco by 8.45 in time for the final Downton Abbey!

There is a candlelit carol service at a nearby church this evening. The church was built in the twelfth century and only opens once a year for this service so I'm really hoping to attend. Maybe it will finally give me a push into getting the house decorated!


Lizzie Somerset

Thursday, 3 December 2015

Recent Thoughts // Recent Events & Communities

I'm not really sure where this post is going today. My mind is pretty vacant, there's a lot in there (I think) that is waiting to come out but at the moment I seem completely unable to process it. I've felt increasingly overwhelmed with everything recently, our lives have changed so much this year, there has been a lot of upheaval, ultimately becoming one of the most testing years to date which has really taken a toll on me. My body seems to have given up on me in the last day or so and so I've become even less productive. Yesterday was spent in bed and today will be either spent on the sofa or bed with laptop in hand. I'm rolling with it for now, I'm obviously in need of rest and if I let my body recoup maybe my mind will unscramble itself! I tried to switch off yesterday by reading a magazine and posting some style relating ideas, but to be honest it's all seemed a bit trivial recently in the grand scheme of things, hence my absence. 

The events of the past few weeks have also been playing heavily on my mind. The shootings in Paris hit me hard; not only is it my favourite city in the world but I have close friends who live there and we have spent many an evening in the places where the awful events took place. Of course, the horrific killing of innocent people in other places is every bit as awful, but I think many people were hit so heavily by the Paris shootings and bombing as it was so close to home. It could be have been any one of us going about our daily lives and enjoying a Friday night out, I love going to gigs and dining out, especially in Paris. 

My friend headed home early that evening thankfully, but after spending 24 hours at home went to the scenes of the previous nights terror attacks. The photos he took made the situation even more real, but I understood his need to visit in order to process what had happened. I have been sickened by the reactions to the attacks by some people during the aftermath, targeting people and refugees just as innocent as those killed around the world because of their religion.  I do not want to be political here, if I was we would be here all day, but the decision by the leaders of our country to bomb areas of Syria sits very uncomfortably with me. Do I think something needs to be done? Of course - Is bombing and potentially killing more innocent people the answer? I highly doubt it and I worry about the safety of the families still in Syria along with the safety of our armed forces who have to take part in these strikes. Amongst all the darkness however, stories have emerged of love, compassion, kindness and humanity. Stories of people comforting and protecting strangers, the love of parents reassuring children and the strength of people defying the terrorists by carrying on with life despite fear. 

I've been at a cross roads for the past few months and have been reassessing what I'm doing with my life. The overwhelming feeling is that I need to make a difference somehow. I would rather leave a legacy that in some way I had made a difference in this ever increasingly frightening world, than be successful financially with all that trappings that go with it. I'm so uncomfortable with the fact that the world in which we are living is frequently making people lose their compassion. I met a Syrian lady a few months back who had come to the UK at the beginning of the conflict. She is a highly educated lecturer who spends a lot of time working with refugees and women in safe houses and runs a multi faith group at a university. Each week she also volunteers her time talking to and comforting people who are in conflict in the family court. She has experienced so much evil in her life and negativity since moving to the UK, yet she is not bitter and remains kind and compassionate, believing that we can be the light in what  seems more than ever to be a dark and broken world. This is the type of person I want to be; we can all make a difference in a small way. 

The small things, a cup of tea with an elderly neighbour, donating time or supplies to a homeless centre or food bank, all contribute to a more friendly,  compassionate and accepting society. There are so many ways you can help the most vulnerable in your community, BBC Radio 1 and 1 Xtra have just launched their #1MillionHours volunteering campaign for 2016. For more information you can click here or search for charities or local projects where your time and help would be so much appreciated and where you could make a real difference to somebody's life. I'm currently developing a project and will be releasing more information soon, but I would love to know your thoughts and about any projects or charities that you work with. By the way, well done if you made it to the end of this very long post! This is why I don't sleep at night!


Monday, 30 November 2015

A Guide to Wells; England's Smallest City

As a newbie resident of Wells I've also been lucky enough to explore England’s smallest city as a tourist. During the time since moving here I've found some little gems hiding away amongst the quirky streets and beautiful buildings. Of course Wells is famous for its breath-taking cathedral and rightly so, but Wells and its surrounding area has a lot more to offer. Although small I initially found Wells to be a bit of a maze with hidden streets and cul-de-sacs, I’d recommend purchasing a map for £2 in one of the well signposted car parks.  

If visiting the Cathedral you will need a good few hours to look around and marvel at its beauty. You should also make sure that you wander over to Vickers’ Close adjacent to it. Built in the 14th Century it is claimed to be the first and oldest intact residential street it Europe, and its cobbled street and quaint houses will not fail to charm you. Also alongside the Cathedral green is Wells Museum and the permanent memorial to Henry ‘Harry’ Patch, who before his death in 2009 was the Last Fighting Tommy. Entry to the museum is £3 and although small it is well worth a visit.

Whether history is your thing or not, you will be amazed by The Bishop’s Palace. Built in Medieval times, the palace has been home to the Bishops of Bath and Wells for 800 years and is surrounded by a beautiful moat which is home to the famous mute swans who ring a bell when they want food! There are 14 acres of gardens to explore, along with guided tours, the Bishop’s private chapel and the ruined Great Hall. If you've worked up an appetite there is a café at the palace aswell as tea rooms, pubs and coffee shops surrounding the Cathedral but if you are looking for something a little different, I would personally recommend Magpie Bistro Bar on Market Street. The décor is lovely and there’s a friendly atmosphere that really compliments the great food and even better cocktails. The book worm in me loves the menus that are inside old books, Magpie is definitely a favourite place to relax in Wells.

There are some lovely little independent shops and some high street stores in Wells, aswell as a market in the square on a Wednesday and Saturday. However if you are a shopaholic you may be disappointed and I’d recommend Clarks Village in nearby Street for outlet shopping or Kilver Court in Shepton Mallet. Here you will find the Mulberry shop, Orla Kiely and other designer clothing aswell as locally sourced home and beauty products.

Wells is a good base to explore the beautiful surrounding landscape. Head to Glastonbury and climb the Tor for truly magnificent views which span 360 degrees; Cheddar Gorge where you can explore the caves, hop on a sightseeing bus, rock climb and make friends with the resident goats! The world famous caves of Wookey Caves are close by which hosts over 20 attractions and which all the family will love including a circus, a 4D ‘The Lost World’ experience, Valley of the Dinosaurs and Adventure Golf. There really is so much to offer for all the family whatever the weather, set in a beautiful area of Britain.

Lizzie Somerset


Wednesday, 11 November 2015

Remembrance thoughts

I've spent many days preparing for and teaching children and community groups about World War 1, as a social historian concentrating more on people's stories, experiences and the impact that events had on communities rather than the military strategies and statistics. I've studied the stories of soldiers, their families, read diaries, letters and watched countless documentaries of veterans emotionally reliving their experiences in the trenches. I've been privileged enough to take oral histories from men and women who experienced the Second World War first hand, trying to remain professional whilst struggling to hold back tears as I've listened to the horrors that they've experienced or witnessed, the pain of their memories etched on their faces and still evident in their eyes. I spend hours deliberating the best and most respectful way to honour those who have fallen and those who are left behind, both in the workshops I hold and the exhibitions I curate.

Still though, nothing prepares you for when the loss becomes personal. To see the face of someone you know, have lived amongst and cared for appear on the television without warning or on the front page of the newspapers with the headline 'Heroes Killed in Action' is something you never forget. To wake up suddenly as your (now ex) husband has nightmares of the horrors he saw in Iraq and watch him crumble and lash out at sudden noises and flashbacks, without being able to do a thing as he tries to explain the scars he now bares. To know that you will never be able to understand and what you hear is only the tip of the iceberg. Yet, as painful as these experiences are we are the lucky ones. We are the ones who have so much to be thankful for and proud of, we are the ones who continue to sleep safely at night.

So to all those men and women who bravely gave their all for our freedom and security. Those who continue to serve our Queen and Country, those who may still be here but whose scars live with them, visible or invisible and to their families.

We shall not forget.

To Dale, Kyle, Kevin & Mac, may you forever Rest in Peace -


Monday, 9 November 2015

City Country Life // The Fifth of November

Every event seems to be a first at the moment. Being at opposite sides of the bridge(one in Cardiff, the other in Somerset) during the week for so long meant that we were unable to do a lot of things together as a family. One thing we'd been waiting for once we were all living in the same place was Bonfire Night and this week we finally got to watch the fireworks together.

Back in South Wales, the fireworks seem to be let off consistently every night for the entire week. Although Halloween had been a bit of a disappointment here in our area of Somerset, I wholeheartedly approve of Bonfire Night here! Being in the middle of the country has it's benefits when your cat is scared of the constant bangs, you need to take the dogs for a walk and get the children to sleep at a reasonable time. Although there were a few odd fireworks let off during the evening (which looked lovely whilst we were sat in the hot tub!), it was hardly the deluge that we were used to and was pleasingly peaceful.

I love fireworks by the way, I just prefer them at an organised event and really enjoyed the bonfire and display at the school in the next village. We wrapped up warm and joined some friends huddled around the bonfire with a hand warming hot chocolate. I have to say that for a tiny Church of England school in the middle of nowhere, the fireworks were beautiful and dramatically lit up the trees and church surrounding us. It gave an eerie but lovely presence and I really enjoyed it. Yes, we missed my sister,  niece and nephews at our usual rugby club display, but it was nice to come home to silence all around us! In this instance the scoreboard looks like:

South Wales Bonfire Night - 0, Somerset Countryside - 1

Getting  back to the reason we celebrate November 5th, the historian in me laughed at this post from The History Podcast!


Linking up today with Lizzie Somerset & Essentially Jess

Lizzie Somerset

Tuesday, 27 October 2015

(Inexpensive) Things To Do This Autumn Half Term

As much as I love Autumn, half term can be a struggle financially with the run up to Christmas to find things to do that don't cost the earth. I was challenged by Personal Capital to do just that, so here are some ideas of fall activities that won't break the bank.

1. Host a movie night - With the temperature dropping during the evening I'm less inclined to want to go out. For family movie nights, how about these Disney inspired snacks? Whichever you choose some cosy blankets and cushions / pillows will really make the night and a roaring log fire is a bonus!Hosting a movie night is also a perfect autumn / winter adult night; you get to socialise while being in the warmth of your own home! You provide the movie and invite your friends, asking each person to bring a snack and drink. Pinterest has some great ideas for adult themed movie nights.

2. Pick your own fruit - This isn't just a summertime activity. Autumn is perfect for collecting your own apples pears and blackberries. Although pumpkin patches are not as common in the UK, they are around and would make the perfect day out. You can search for 'pick your own' farms in the UK by clicking on this link. We bought our pumpkins from a local farm shop and will enjoy carving them for Halloween later in the week, decorating the house with bats and ghosts and enjoying the delicious pumpkin pie and roasted seeds that we've scooped out in the process!

3. Take a walk or a hike. This time of year is one of the most beautiful and nothing beats wrapping up warm and getting out for a walk around the park or countryside. We'll be out with the dogs, most probably collecting leaves to make an autumn collage. Keeping fit and preparing for a free activity at the same time!

4. Visit a museum - Most museums now hold workshops or activity sessions during half term that are free or very low in price. If you are in the Cardiff area The Cardiff Story Museum is holding a free mural workshop on Friday 30th October and The National Museum, Cardiff is holding numerous free family events throughout the week.

5. Getting ahead with Christmas preparations - I know Halloween isn't over yet but today we will be making a few batches of mince pies and stuffing to freeze ready for December. The children enjoy making them (with our favourite film Elf of in the background) and when Christmas arrives all I need to do is take a few out of the freezer and pop them in the oven. We will probably enjoy a few with some ice cream tonight while pinning some more crafts and activities onto our Christmas Board.
Do you have plans for the rest of the week? Please let me know if you know of any gems!
Readers in the US may find the Personal Capital website useful if looking for ways to manage finances.
Linking up with IBOT

Saturday, 24 October 2015

Recipe // Follow me over to The Diary Of A Jewellery Lover...



You can find me over at The Diary of a Jewellery Lover today while the lovely Mel is on holiday, where I'm sharing my favourite meat free meal; Cream Cheese Stuffed Tomatoes with Mixed Leaves.
I like to use the freshest of ingredients, whether that be from the indoor market in Cardiff or from the abundance of organic farm shops in Somerset and our three girls enjoy learning how to cook clean, healthy alternatives to their favourite meals. 
To read more and for the recipe head over to Mel's blog here!

Thursday, 15 October 2015

Autumn Chills

So it's happened; although my nails suggest that summer is still here, the autumn coughs and colds have arrived, we're all feeling a bit under the weather this morning and 2/3 girls are home sick. This obviously means cosy knits, duvets on the sofa, candles lit, hot drinks in abundance and a day at home cleaning for me! I guess it's also an opportunity to get some of my October goals ticked off by doing some online Christmas shopping. Hopefully everyone will be right as rain by the weekend as we've booked to go to Airhop and have some fun. Normal service will hopefully resume tomorrow!


Monday, 12 October 2015

When Legends Step Up


Those of you who have been here for a while will know that my little niece has been fighting Stage 4 cancer for the past few months. When a relative is diagnosed with cancer it affects and devastates the whole family, children in particular find it confusing and difficult. Throughout Olivia's battle her older brothers have been just as strong; loving, protecting and comforting her every step of the way. At just eleven and six, these boys have been inspirational and so brave even though they have themselves been at times confused, upset and angry.


It has been so important to my sister and her husband that they keep as much normality as possible to their daily routines, as difficult as this is with operations, chemotherapy and radiotherapy taking up so much of the week. The boys live and breathe rugby, they are dedicated to their team and Owen in particular spends most of his free time training, studying his heroes and perfecting his kicking. For them, rugby has been their 'norm', their 'constant' throughout their sisters battle and we couldn't be more proud of everything that they have and continue to achieve through the toughest of times.

We could never have imagined the support that the local, regional and international rugby community has given to the family, it has been completely overwhelming and not 'normal' at all. Just after diagnosis she received hundreds of messages from around the world, a card from her beloved future husband George North, aswell as club players, Welsh Internationals, the England team and many, many more. All three were invited to the Millennium Stadium to meet the players and spend the day watching them train, Livvs got to meet George and give him a picture she drew of him (no kisses though Georgey, Daddy said!) and they were given tickets to World Cup matches to enjoy as a family.
This weekend though the boys were given something just for them, that they will be able to cherish forever. Welsh rugby legend Shane Williams posted a video on his Facebook and Twitter just for them. I was lying in bed and a friend tweeted me with a link to the video and just after my phone started to go crazy! As I watched it tears started rolling down my cheeks. I'm so so proud of my two boys and they truly deserve the recognition they received from their hero, both for their rugby achievements and the loving brothers that they are. They were ecstatic and it has given them such a boost. Just a minute of his time has made a massive impact and will be treasured for years to come. 
A quick message for Logan and Owen who both play for Beddau RFC.
Posted by Shane Williams MBE on Friday, 9 October 2015
I can't end this post without a mention to our local rugby club who have been absolutely remarkable, they raised thousands for Latch, the children's cancer charity in Wales, with sponsored head shaves, bike rides and even the minis climbed Pen Y Fan just weeks after a massive £20,000 for another cancer charity, the support has been phenomenal. It has taken me so long to write this post and I still can't find the words to sum up or do justice to what has been achieved - Thank you will never be enough. I'm so proud of where I come from and no matter where I am in the world, no matter what results our team get, I will always wear the red jersey with pride.
linking up with IBOT

Thursday, 8 October 2015

Midweek Treats

When you're having a stressful week and there's a couple of bottles of Prosecco on chill and birthday chocolates patiently waiting in a Hotel Chocolat bag, a midweek treat is definitely in order. We are trying to eat clean throughout the week but having been unwell and unable to open a bottle or a box from my birthday, a treat was irresistible! After a hearty casserole, an hour in the hot tub with a couple of glasses of bubbly and chocolates in bed watching the last Nashville of the series, was the perfect midweek pick me up. A coffee at the farm shop with a new friend and getting my nails done this morning has left me ready to face the rest of the week.  Sometimes the rules just have to go out of the window!
I'd love to hear what gets you through the midweek slump?

Tuesday, 6 October 2015

Lifestyle // Goal Setting - October

October Goals:
Omg a friend of mine posted yesterday morning that it's only 11 weeks until Christmas! Seriously, how is this happening? Cue major panic as we have so much to accomplish in that time. I was so unwell last Christmas that everything was a rush and it was difficult to enjoy, I actually slept all of Christmas morning.  This year I planned to be way ahead of the game starting early to make sure if I was wiped out in December Tim wouldn't be rushing around buying presents on his own and worrying over Christmas dinner. With a living room to redecorate beforehand Christmas is far too close for my liking so today I have to  my October goals to include some realistic Christmas prep expectations.
1. Stick to one work goal per week. I've been placing too much pressure on myself to achieve three separate goals per week in relation to work. My memory is still not good and it is taking so much longer to get things done yet, I've still been expecting to get as much done and feeling frustrated when I haven't.

White + texture:

2. Finish sorting our bedroom. I still have clothes with  nowhere to go and now the girls things are also creeping into our space. We need to be able to relax at night therefore I'll be organising and freshening up our room ready for winter.
Cherries dipped in white chocolate

 3. Christmas prep - buy at least two presents per week and prepare stuffing and mince pies to be frozen during half term. Order chocolate moulds and supplies to make presents for the children's teachers and family members. Finalise menus and write shopping list.
Jack-o'-Lantern Flower Vase        Ditch the standard candle and brighten up your jack-o'-lantern with an arrangement of bold-hue harvest flowers. Cut the stems, arrange in a small vase, and set inside a carved pumpkin. A white Lumina pumpkin carved with a skeletal face makes this arrangement extra spooky.:

4. Decorate the house and prepare costumes for Halloween. I always decorate the house for Halloween and take Megan out with my niece, nephews and neighbours. This year will be different as we won't be with them but I'm planning on baking and decorating to my hearts content for our three! I'm definitely going to look for a pumpkin patch around here, the girls would absolutely love it.
5. Stick to a blogging schedule. For the same reason as number 1 I've been finding this difficult, but I have quite a few draft posts or ideas to get out here. Hopefully this will get my brain back into gear and everything else will follow!
Do you have goals for October? Have you started to prepare for Christmas yet or re you burying your head in the sand like many I know!!


linking up with IBOT 


Friday, 2 October 2015

The Friday Five

Ah October, it's now officially ok to enjoy pumpkin spiced drinks, wear tartan prints and cosy jumpers. I'm making the most of the summer like days, but winter is definitely on its way and I'm enjoying the cooler nights and crisp mornings. On this mornings dog walk, I definitely felt the chill in the air, my hands and ears were telling me that it will soon be time for a hat and gloves. A couple of hours later though and the fog has cleared and the sun is shining. I'm sticking with the tartan shirt I'm wearing though, I've been waiting until it was time to get it out of storage!
So this week has been incredibly busy. It was my birthday over the weekend and I was so spoilt, it quite possibly tops the 'best birthday ever' list! I've not written about it yet but we enjoyed a lovely day with my family coming over to visit and all of the children playing in the hot tub for the afternoon. My Mulberry gluten free birthday cake is the first of my Friday Five, I loved it and it was a big surprise.
I've spent a fair bit on new make up and brushes over the summer. A few weeks ago I picked up a few L'Oreal lipsticks as I wanted to re-vamp my autumn look. I love a red lip but have not always been  confident wearing it, however Red Passion (shade 297) is perfect and left me feeling much more feisty and able to kick a bad days a*s last week and was also featured on L'Oreal's social media channels.  A big thumbs up to brighter make up!
My UV gel nails from Glam Nails, Cardiff are probably the best nails I've ever had. No exaggeration, I've had them for three weeks now and with three children, copious amounts of washing and soaking in the hot tub almost every day, they've not chipped, lifted or felt false for the entire time. Apart from being in need of in fills next week they look as good as new and have generated lots of compliments. Most people seem to think Cardiff is too far to go to get their nails done, but it's the perfect excuse every three weeks to catch up with my bestie!
The Rugby World Cup hitting England and Cardiff. I'm Welsh - need I say more!

Looking up at the stars at night, whilst the kids are in bed and we're lying in the hot tub. We could be anywhere looking up at the night sky. I missed the blood moon but seeing the super moon just a few hours before was the perfect end to my birthday. Did any of you get any decent pictures of it? I'd completely forgotten to charge my camera so my iPhone had to do. Major fail!
So this weekend is going to be quite quiet I think. A bottle of bubbly in the garden tonight, some things to get done around the house before the wet weather gets here and a family day back in Wales Sunday for my dads retirement and before they head off to America. What plans do you have? Catch you all Monday!


Monday, 21 September 2015

Weekend Roundup

Happy Monday! I hope that you all had a lovely weekend. I'm trying to be as positive and happy as is possible on a Monday morning, in the hope that this week will be a lot brighter than last. It was truly an awful week that tested us to the limits both emotionally and physically and the weekend was spent trying to move on from it. That meant starting the weekend off on Friday night with a long soak in the hot tub after the opening match of the Rugby World Cup and a few glasses of Prosecco. We've only had the hot tub for a few weeks but honestly I think it is the best thing that we've ever bought. It's so relaxing once the children have gone to bed, I love looking up at the stars and it's given Tim and I an hour or so together after the chaos of the day, without the interruption of phones ringing or emails pinging through.

Summer reappeared on Saturday which was lovely as we headed to Castle Combe for Rally Day. We were a little disappointed with the cars that were there, nothing really stood out although the girls enjoyed the doughnuts on the test track. We went for a lovely walk around a neighbouring village but otherwise it was lovely to be at home taking care of ourselves and pretty much hibernating from the rest of the world.

This week some things need to change around here. We've made the conscious decision this week to be a bit kinder to ourselves and healthier all round. We don't drink a lot but the odd glass of bubbly on the weekend may have become the odd glass with dinner lately. Hardly warrants checking into AA but considering I'm usually a clean eating fanatic and that dessert has become a regular occurrence aswell, it is time to get back into a routine of preparing healthy, nutritious meals only during the week and saving a dessert and glass of bubbly for a weekend treat only. I'm looking forward to the detox and hoping that it will help me become a bit more productive. My memory still isn't too good from the accident back in March, which is making work difficult and I'm lacking any motivation at the moment. I know where I want to be but trying to work out how to get there is a struggle so this afternoon will be spent with a pen and notepad to hand writing some of my famous lists!
How are you starting your week off? Have you got any advice for regaining motivation? I'm all ears!
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