Personal: Memories

Memories are so important to me. Making them and, even more so, keeping hold of them. Five years ago my granddad was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s. It’s been three years since he recognised anyone.

 photo 2015-05-04 13.11.13_zpswt015cem.jpgI don’t know whether it runs in our family and I’m not sure whether I’d want to find out. Whilst I’d like to know to sort out financials in later life, if I knew at this stage it would put an end to me wanting a family. What I do know is this – I’ll do anything to keep my brain ticking. I do daily memory exercises, take recommended supplements, try and force down oily-fish (or cod liver oil capsules). And I document my life.

 photo 293801_3323895148611_845060848_n_zpsnemazdal.jpgSometimes people get annoyed when I take my camera everywhere. Yes, most days out are an opportunity to blog, but it means so much more than that. Photos are visual reminders are what we got up to, and I find these bring back stronger recollections than just thoughts. Trying to balance living my life myself verus through a lens can get difficult, but I know in a few years I’ll look back grateful at all these photographs.

 photo 2015-05-04 13.11.30_zps0a6shtna.jpgWriting in my One Line A Day diary helps too. Short sentences means I’ll actually keep up with it, and reading back means the lack of detail works the brain muscles as I try to remember. I only wish I’d started this sooner! I’ll be 26 when I finish it (scary thought) and I’m looking forward to seeing how my life changes in the next five years.

 photo 2015-04-06 13.51.08_zpsrtpvhrxl.jpg photo IMG_2210_zpsy8uxbfra.jpgI don’t want to forget the picnic me and W had the weekend before we parted ways to separte university. I want to remember how snuggly Tee-J is when he is sleepy. I want to remember how stunning Edinburgh is, how much I love Brighton, how yummy Wahaca is. I want to remember how W sticks his tongue out at me every time he meets me off my train on a Friday night (and probably at my back as I leave on a Sunday). I don’t want to forget the sights I’ve seen, how my sister has grown into a friend, even the teen arguments I had with my mum.

 photo 2015-01-31 18.24.41_zpspqkzfijn.jpg
I don’t know what’s going to happen in the next five years. Probably marriage, possibly even (though more unlikely!) children. I don’t know where I’ll be in the future. But however my life changes, I’ll be glad of the memories I’m making and the steps I’m taking to preserve them.

Do you try and document more of your life, or do you live in the moment?

Lifestyle: April Favourites

I probably say this every month, but I can’t believe how fast the year is going. It’s pretty damn scary to think that this time next year I’ll be facing my final university exams and preparing to start (hopefully!) a graduate job. This month’s been a bit odd for me. Most of it has been great, but this past week I’ve been pretty ill and down in the dumps. I always find a bad patch at the end of the month means I’ll think back on it negatively…but here’s the best bits!
 photo April Favourites_zpscydjtsuk.png

  • Finding my perfect blushers. I only wish Max Factor had brought these out before I splurged on my Nars Douceur, though at least they are completely different and I’m still getting plenty of wear out of it. They are stunning – easy to blend, neutral colours, natural looking finish. Love, love, love!
  • Reading an actual book. I love my Kindle, I’d chose Kindle over smartphone if I could only have one, but sometimes I just love the relaxing feeling a real book gives. This ones not the most thrilling of storylines, but for a book given by a stranger on a train it’s pretty good!
  • Spending time with family. It was my dad’s fiftieth earlier in the month and we hired a large house in the middle of the Rutland countryside. Utter bliss…though not exactly relaxing with energetic dogs and children running around! Me and my sis also had a trip to Hogwart’s – pretty awesome!
  • My new Barbour jacket*. It was absolutely perfect for the weekend away, and despite it being a men’s version I adore it. Thanks Repertoire Fashion!
  • Realising how much weight I’ve lost. Since Christmas I’ve lost 23 pounds. My goal of fitting into my old size ten jeans got obliterated (they’re now too big) and I’ve even managed to fit in my sister’s summer shorts.

 photo 2015-04-12 12.23.16_zpssnthxlfm.jpg

I’ve also grabbing McBusted tickets. Admittedly this could have been in March, but it’s going in this month’s! I’m of the age where I was a 9/10 year old when Busted were big (Charlie was my boy!), and just a little older when McFly made it (I remember them supporting Busted at the NEC many, many years ago). I was pretty excited when they merged to form McBusted and went to see their first tour – and yep, it was awesome. I didn’t manage to get time off work for a Sunday show this tour, so when I found out they were hitting Delapre festival just a few miles from my parents? I spent an anxious 15 minutes trying to get tickets. The outcome is I’ll be taking my sister to her first festival as long as she’s back from her Duke of Edinburgh in time (she better run!).

 photo 72c042eb_original_zpsswww6xwa.jpgThe best thing about the last month? Sorting out a flat in London for the summer! Yep, I’m living in London for just under three months. Me and W have managed to score a rather snazzy little place in Wandsworth, and I’m super excited. One, living in an amazing city. Two, actually living with my boyfriend of nearly five years. It’s making me feel rather grown up! Fingers crossed I’ll be able to make more blogger events too…

So yep, busy month! I made the most of the bank holiday weekend to relax and do some serious blog work. No rest for the wicked! How’s your month been?

Personal: Weight Loss

What feels like ages ago, I wrote this post. I wrote about making little changes to improve my lifestyle, make me feel better about myself. Last month I was overjoyed to slip into a pair of size 10 skinnies and be under 10 stone for the first time in years. But this weekend, this happened.

 photo 2015-04-12 12.23.16_zpssnthxlfm.jpgSize 8 skinny jeans. And high waisted too. I cried in the changing room. I’ve tried them on everyday since buying them, to make sure it wasn’t a fluke. I’ve pictured them above against the jeans I have been wearing for a few years. And yep, that’s the true size difference. They’re both stretchy denim too, both high-waisted!

To make me even happier, these jeans were pretty much a bargain courtesy of my favorite new app, Zeek. Basically it allows you to buy and sell unwanted gift vouchers, and they let me test it over the past week. You make a small saving on the voucher you buy and they are often electronic, meaning you pay on your phone even in store. Pretty useful, especially if you receive a voucher for a store you’ll never use! And using my code 2vcbyd you’ll get £5 off your first voucher too…

 photo 09fd7913-ae36-4933-8b8e-e14f1c314ddd_zpsmeysmzow.jpgTo be honest, slimming down this much wasn’t in my goals. I wanted to feel comfortable in myself, to stop over-eating. I haven’t really ‘dieted’ excessively as such. I’ve cut down the carbs in my evening meals, I’ve made sure i’ve stopped eating when I’ve been full. I’ve exercised more. I still have curves (miraculously, I’ve not lost anything from my chest at all), but I’m healthier and fitter than I’ve been in years. I’m sleeping better, I can run from the tube to platform 18 in Victoria without still wheezing at Clapham Junction (scratch that, East Croydon!).

 photo 2015-04-11 13.54.41_zpsuegeep9l.jpgYou may wonder where the above burger fits in with a weight loss post?! Well, I’m not depriving myself. I enjoyed this treat on Brighton beach last weekend (an hour after buying said skinny jeans!), it’s from Burger Brothers and it was AMAZING. Blows Gourmet Burger Kitchen out of the water, and it’s pretty clothes to Byron standard. If it was a little thicker, cooked a little pink, it would be pretty spot on. The deal with burgers and weight loss? No fries, and no doughnuts from the pier.

 photo 5af187a2-1c5c-4133-892c-c42071c0fb25_zpszmi2uypt.jpgI’ve eaten more salad, but I’ve never enjoyed it more. I’ve upped the fat in my diet (I was advised by a gasto consultant my food was actually significantly lacking in the stuff), so salads are actually yummy. Nuts, dressing, eggs, bacon. All the kind of things that make a salad enjoyable. Spicy salad made with tabasco? Hell yes! Chilli salad with beans and cheese? A weekly staple.

 photo 00fc096e-2a13-493f-838b-c5e68add6745_zpsmg8phizh.jpgI’ve enjoyed using A Salad for All Seasons. It’s a book I was sent as part of an un-salady collaboration a few months ago (the Florette one, where I made a salmon pasta). I didn’t use it for that collaboration and wasn’t asked to make a comment about it, but it’s become one of my favourite cookbook. It’s perfect!

 photo 2015-02-08 17.08.52_zpsztvdyxqu.jpg photo 2015-01-10 20.10.13_zpsn6lc6hz5.jpgI’m not going to slip back into my old ways. I’m going to keep exercising, I still want to do a bit more toning work on my thighs. I want to improve my fitness, keep up the running and manage a 5k. I want to maintain the shape I am right now, because quite honestly, I do feel pretty damn confident. I’ll be less strict with myself, I’ll let myself have a bowl of pasta a week, but that weight is staying off!So if you’re struggling with weight loss, it is doable. I’ve gone from avoiding mirrors to being so proud of myself in less than four months.

The downsides? I’m using safety pins to make my skirts stay up. And my younger sister thinks she can steal my new clothes (though I can also have my old ones back!).

Did you make an lifestyle changes over the last few months?How have you been getting on?

Lifestyle: Second Time Lucky

When I was 10, I was meant to go to Disneyland Florida. A three-week holiday was booked, along with all the park tickets and a dolphin-swimming trip. I was SO excited.

The six-month count down made it seem so close, yet so far away. The three-month count-down meant it was soon – to a ten-year old anyway. And then came a phone call. My granddad was seriously ill in hospital having had several major heart attacks. Despite the fact I knew he was majorly ill (I’d watched, unknowingly at the time, him suffer the first heart attack), it came as a huge shock. But what I wasn’t prepared for was the cancellation of the holiday. The trip had been planned as part of celebration of my grandparents ruby wedding anniversary, and a seriously ill granddad meant there was no way it could take place. I was gutted. I feel ashamed now as I know I should have been more worried about my granddad, but I cried, I ranted, I raved. What made it worse was two of my friends went on a similar trip that year. My sister felt equally devastated.

Fortunately my granddad recovered, and he promised myself and my sister he’d take us when we were older. Unfortunately that’s never going to happen, as the dreadful thing that is early-onset Alzheimer’s decided to rear it’s ugly head. I know he’d dearly love us to get that Disney experience and, though I’ve given up my Florida dreams, I’d dearly love to take my and my sister to Disneyland Paris to both relieve our disappointment, and fulfill some of my granddad’s dreams for us.


If I had a second chance, I’d book a trip to Disneyland Paris for myself and sister. We’d visit Baloo and all our favourite characters, scare ourselves silly on the rides (we’re big wimps, so even Big Thunder Mountain is pushing it for us!), and spend a fortune on Mickey ears. We’d get to do all the things we missed out on that year of our childhood, and I know my granddad would love us to go. And that’s why I’m entering this Ocean Finance competition, which gives me the possibility, the chance, the glimmer of hope that one day I can treat my sister to the holiday we missed out on.

What would you do if you have a ‘second chance’?

Lifestyle: March Favourites

It’s finally starting to feel a little bit like Spring! There’s warmth in the air which means I can just about get away with a mac rather than full coat for my walking commute. It’s light for a good while after I get home, which does wonders for both my mood and productivity each evening. And warmth means I’m more inclined to eat lighter foods, which has started to fuel the last little bit of weight-loss I want. I’m at the stage where there’s only a little bit left to lose, and naturally it’s sticking to me for as long as possible.

 photo 2015-03-07 14.43.48_zpsotja8obk.jpg photo 2015-03-17 20.45.54_zpsnykmcwu1.jpgI’ve loved being a little more experimental with food over the last few weeks. I’ve moved towards salads and lighter foods, and with some yummy additions they aren’t nearly as boring as I was expecting. Courgette with pasta actually works; my no carb-onara went down really well! A carrot and baby-leaf salad is livened up with a lemon dressing, crunch added by some baked pitta, flavoured introduced in the form of falafel. Yummy, quick, and fills me up so I don’t need that crème egg.

This brings me to another favourite. CRÈME EGGS. Because yummy. I seriously love them, but this year I’m not quite so enamoured. Could be one of two reasons – my new healthier diet has made me less  fond of sweet things – or (more likely) the fact they’ve stopped making them with Dairy Milk. Sob.

I may have even done some sneaky baking with crème eggs…check back tomorrow and all will be revealed.

 photo 2015-02-08 16.01.57_zps7y4ylsav.jpgI’ve also gotten much more into fashion over recent weeks. Possibly because of my weight-issue, but I’ve not been hugely fussed before. I’ve stuck to the same style of things, and though I have a LOT of clothes it was beginning to look uninspiring. I’ve purchased a few new bits (including a playsuit and what makes my second whole pair of jeans), and I’d like to slowly work towards a slightly more capsule wardrobe. I’ll never be able to hit the 37-pieces or whatever the optimum is, purely because my go-to is patterned dresses and cardigans. I’d end up with around 7 outfits if I did that, which just isn’t happening. But I’m starting to think more about the whole outfit rather than just one item when shopping. I’ve also got some exciting collabs up my sleeve…

 photo 2015-03-13 17.45.16_zpsthto9dyh.jpg photo b66458f9-d74a-4ce0-b8b9-9bbac06532da_zps3lioogaj.jpgA few days in London have brought yummy food. Tacos featured highly, but I also have other delights to show you!

 photo f6685f27-37b0-41eb-93fa-129b45bc4683_zps1uqd2iva.jpgBeauty wise, and nothing much has excited me in the past month. I wanted to pick up a new MAC offering, but after an elbow (twice) in the ribs by the ASSISTANT I gave up trying to get a glimpse. I’m really liking my Bold Metals Tapered Blush Brush, the price might have made me wince but I’ve reached for it daily and it’s really impressed me. I’m not tempted by the eye brushes in the range, but I’ll probably have a look at the other face brushes. When Boots run their next promotion!

 photo 2015-03-07 14.43.08_zpsirkkpfgs.jpgBut other than that, it’s been a quiet month. Work has been extra-busy, and I’m looking forward to several long weekends in April. I’m also starting to plan my summer holiday – I have flights booked out to Rome and back from Venice, so any suggestions of what to do in between would be great!

How’s your month been? Enjoying the lighter evenings?

Fashion: Everyday Floral Style

I’m a massive lover of floral clothes, particularly dresses. It’s of much amusement to W, he’ll just pick up anything in a shop and suggest it to be just because ‘it has flowers.’ My go-to outfit, summer or winter, rain or shine, is a floral dress, and a plain-ish thin cardigan. Add a coat in winter, lose the tights in summer, alternating between sandles, flats and boots. It’s pretty much all you’ll find me wearing.

 photo 63091836-865e-415f-a535-2c2679bceb38_zpsvrqmroub.jpgThat being said, I have recently purchased a pair of jeans, taking my total pair of trousers owned up to two. Though I may have a pair of shorts hiding somewhere…

 photo d241e614-96b7-4d28-a065-03c748feaf9a_zpshjuceosa.jpgThis dress pretty much sums me up. It’s red, a colour I love. It has flowers on. It isn’t tight – I hate bodycon dresses with a passion as my hourglass shape means I have to size up at least once. It looks good with tights and boots, and not bad with bare legs. It’s a little short, so the bare leg situation will be on one of the hotter days of the year when there’s zero chance of wind. It has the tendency to make me look slightly like I’m hiding a bump due to the fit, so I’d always belt it, but this has the bonus of hiding the massive lunch I had before taking these photos…

 photo 812a5dab-8dba-4d34-a83d-e0f5b4d312ca_zps9fckalx0.jpgIt’s from Less Than 10 Pounds, who offered to send me a few items. Understandably the quality isn’t brilliant (think similar to Primark), but it’s fab for the price. The site would be fab if you are experimenting with different styles, or need a few going out clothes. I love this dress. They also sent me a jacket, which I’ll be featuring soon, which was of AMAZING quality, I wouldn’t have complained paying three times the price for that. Other items in this outfit are Primark coat (lovely, but it’s bobbled like hell, a pet peeve of mine), Dorothy Perkins boots (reduced to £10, and the first non-fat leg boots I’ve worn in years), scarf from a scarf shop in Edinburgh, and my beloved Leather Satchel.

What’s your everyday style? Are you a fan of dresses, or living in jeans?

Lifestyle: The A-Z of Me (#2)

I had such a lovely response to the first part of this post, I couldn’t wait to get the second installment up!

 photo What Makes Me_zpsncl6cmkv.pngN – Nose

I had a relatively intensive nose operation in Summer 2013 to correct it’s deformed shape and stop me having constant severe sinus infections. The result is a slightly different nose shape and virtually no colds – but the recovery was pretty horrendous. I genuinely can’t see why someone would have their nose done for cosmetic reasons as it was complete agony for weeks.

O – Obviously

I am of the generation that was the perfect age for both Busted and McFly. I love McFly – although their early stuff is so much better. Obviously and All About You are some of my favourite songs even now. I’m hoping to have tickets to see McBusted at a local festival, seeing as I missed out on their tour.

P – Pigeons

I hate the things. I swear the ones in my current town make it their mission to just miss my head each morning.

Q – Quiet

I’m quite a quiet person until I feel really comfortable with people – and that can take a long time. It’s only in the past month I’ve felt able to be myself at work, despite loving it and my team, just because I’m worried people will judge me. Perhaps a resolution for this year should be to be more outgoing?!

 photo 47e5802c-e5ba-4d87-bc53-318aa387807e_zpslrr7dulz.jpgR – Reading

I adore reading, always have. I’d much sooner have my head in a book than watch TV. I love books a little like Jody Picoult’s – though I find hers to be a little predictable. I’ve recently read a few that I just literally couldn’t put down.

S – Switzerland

W’s parents generously took me to Switzerland with them after our A-Level exams and I fell in love with the country. It’s absolutely beautiful, so much to see and do, and you could quite literally sunbathe by the lakes and play in the snow in the mountains on the same day. The day we went to the Jungfrau there was a blizzard on top, and I got sunburnt in the valley.

 photo 2015-02-15 18.30.16_zpsnc4llb2f.jpgT – Tee-J

My gorgeous dog. We adopted him at the age of 13 months way back in 2007, and he was completely and utterly terrifying! Whilst not aggressive in any way, he hadn’t been trained at all. He would playbite (with a full set of adult teeth), and could jump from sitting onto anything. Including the dining room table. He’s calmed down a lot now, we wouldn’t be without him!

 photo 2015-01-24 11.59.31_zpsici62gs8.jpgU – Underwear

Slightly embarrassing, slightly personal. But I do love underwear – a pretty set makes all the difference. Finding out Topshop stock my size was call for a celebration. And a few purchases!

V – Valentine’s

I’m not sure I totally see the point of Valentine’s – I don’t want or need a day to tell W I love him, and I damn well hope he doesn’t either! But it is nice to have a soppy card and a little gift. And a day in the kitchen together!

 photo ArthursSeat1_zps1e89b3f7.jpgW – William

Obviously! I met Will at the start of sixth form, being in his PE, Chemistry and Maths classes. I was failing Chemistry, he was clever and offered to tutor me – and we were together about three weeks into term! I haven’t looked back since…

X – X-Rays

I’ve had an extraordinary amount of x-rays considering I’ve never actually broken anything. I had severe growing pains as a child so was x-rayed to check everything was in place (it was). I got hit by a pushbike and damaged by arm – turns out it was whiplash in my arm. I’ve had my intestines x-rayed as apparently it’s quite useful according to my gastro-consultant. I couldn’t see a lot to be fair. And I had multiple of my face when getting braces and having my nose done (see N).

Y – Yachts

I love the sea, I love swimming in it or being on a boat. So I desperately want my own yacht. I think I’d suit one too… #PrRequest

 photo Meerkat1_zpsfa7467ac.jpgZ – Zoo

Perhaps an obvious choice, but I LOVE zoos. I want to hate them as I don’t like the thought of animals being caged up…so I make a point of visiting ‘nice’ zoos that do a lot of conservation work. My dream is to go on a safari, but I think that’s a long way off right now!

Hope you’ve enjoyed finding out a little more about me! What kind of posts would you like more of here?

Lifestyle: The A-Z of Me (#1)

I saw this ‘tag’ pop up over on Little Miss Katy (possibly my favourite blog) and just couldn’t resist doing it! I love sharing little bits about me on here – the blogs I love are where the personality of the blogger really comes across.

 photo What Makes Me_zpsncl6cmkv.pngI have so many ideas for my blog right now that I’m not sure where it’s going, so hang on with me! After a few tweaks I’m almosttt happy with my new design too. If only the responsiveness would work reliably! Now, I’m only doing A-M here as otherwise this will be a rather long post, keep an eye out for the rest of it…
Revision photo 2014-05-09174200_zpse9b3f7a5.jpg

A – Actuary

I’m a huge maths-geek and chose to study Actuarial Science at university. Currently halfway through a year’s placement and I know becoming an actuary is definitely what I want to do…I’m pretty much signing away to no social life and twice-yearly exams for a good while!

B – Boys

Despite being a bit of a girly-girl makeup and dress wise, I’m much more comfortable around guys – which is good given my career choice! I went to a Boy’s school for sixth form and, whilst I love my uni girls to bits, I do miss it hugely!

C – Curls

When I was a toddler my hair was properly curly, it then went straight until I had layers put in. It’s more wavy than curly, extremely thick, and difficult to do much with. A good hairdresser is a must, as is experimenting with products. But I have straightened my hair once in 4.5 years, so I do love it natural!
 photo 2014-11-09162706-1_zps6fa069e9.jpg

D – Dresses

I own two pairs of trousers, both of them jeans (and one pair is a new addition). I’m much more comfortable in dresses and skirts.

E – Eloise

I have a “little” sister called Eloise – a combination of mine and my mum’s middle names. There’s six years between us so she’s still pre-GCSE, but she’s exceptionally clever, and not so little – I think she was 12 when she realised she was taller than me!

F – Fry Ups

I love a good fry-up, I don’t think you can beat it. My ideal is bacon, black pudding, egg and toast – sausage is a bit unnecessary. I don’t think they are necessarily too unhealthy either, so I have a couple a month.
 photo 2015-02-01 15.34.41_zps6bbgq3yv.jpg

G – Geese

I’m terrified of geese. I have no idea why, but they scared me so much as a child and that feeling has never quite gone away.

H – Hazelnut

My favourite nut! It started with a love of nutella (give me a spoon and a jar and my evening is made!), but I love snacking on the roasted nuts, drinking hazelnut milk, and adding the syrup to hot drinks. So good!
 photo 2015-01-31 21.13.20_zpsxkqbhiwd.jpg

I – Ice Cream

Another food item – I’m greedy alright! I’ve enjoyed ice cream my entire life, using family cruises as an excuse to find the best – so far one in Sicily has yet to be beaten.

J – Jigsaws

I used to love doing jigsaws when I was younger, and I kind-of want to buy one of those rolls so I can do some bigger/harder ones now.

K – Knitting

I’ve been trying to learn to knit for well over a year, and it’s not going so well! I keep getting into knots and taking it all apart – it’s so infuriating and I get so grumpy with it! My aim is to try and make a scarf for next winter, fingers crossed! I’ve been using this site for instructions, also where the picture above is from, and I highly recommend it!

L – Leicester

I grew up in Leicestershire, and love the city centre for shopping. It’s definitely my go-to place outside of London if I need anything, a lovely mix of high-street and high-end. Plus the John Lewis is huge, heaven in a shop! The countryside is also pretty beautiful.
 photo ae571a53-6b34-4cd9-aace-19866e9f8181_zps5c35369d.jpg

M – Memories

Making memories is really important to me, but more than anything I’m scared of forgetting them. My granddad suffers from Alzheimer’s Disease, and it’s one I don’t think has nearly enough effort going towards finding a cure. Because of it I ‘lost’ my granddad nearly four years ago – he’s still alive but hasn’t recognised me or anyone for that long. It’s not just the memories, it’s the change in personality, and the financial costs involved. I know that if it’s in my genes nothing can really help, but I try to eat as healthily as possible, do memory exercises, and also try and write down highlighters of my life – I love my line-a-day diary for this!

Do you like reading more about the blogger behind the blog? Tell me a random fact about yourself!

Personal: Mum In A Million

My mum is awesome, and I was already planning a post on here to tell you all about her especially for Mother’s Day (it’s this Sunday so remember to pick up a card!). It seems as though Parkdean Holidays had the same idea when they asked me to write about why my mum is a ‘mum in a million.’

It was really hard to think of specific reasons, because my mum just is great. I was the girl in secondary school who didn’t mind going for a girly shopping day with mum – and actually some of my friends used to come along too. My mum was actually given crown as the coolest mum in my group of friends, and not just cos she makes an awesome lasagne (sob, damn allergy!). But here’s just some of the reasons why she’s a mum in a million…
 photo 94e102eb-f43c-49f8-8ef6-5430bc4f49c6_zpsioctaefy.jpg

She Knows Exactly What’s Best For Me

Just over five years ago I was in the processing of looking at A-Level subjects, and thinking about whether I wanted to move schools. There was a very good sixth form at the local Boy’s school but I was adamant I didn’t want to apply, I didn’t stand a chance of getting  in etc. A good few arguments later and I sulked my way to the open evening. Loved the school on the spot, was devastated when I just missed out on the place, then cried when I successfully appealed. Not only did I get a chance to study the exact subjects I wanted to, taught by some of the best teachers, I found my confidence again. And without being made to consider this school, I wouldn’t have met Will. So yep, Mum’s always know best!

She Makes Me Mould Myself Into A Better Person

Without being pushed I wouldn’t have gone to university, I wouldn’t have done the course I loved (but thought was too difficult for me). I would have taken the ‘easier’ option of a placement alongside one of my best friends rather than going it alone. She reads through my CV to improve it, despite not really understanding what I do.

 photo c861af5b-ba8e-4d39-8402-df5a76e0adff_zpszmi6ahoc.jpg photo 2014-12-03 14.13.17_zps34fcy3en.jpg photo 2014-12-03 14.13.11_zpsxy2gzogs.jpg

She Arranged a Fab 21st Birthday For Me

Not only did she manage to arrange something so utterly perfect for me (read about it here), but she and the rest of the family managed to keep it secret until the night before. Even then it was my nan that spilled it..I spent a lot of my time off work over my birthday with my mum, it was so lovely to have some quality time!

She’d Do Virtually Anything for Her Daughters

I’d been at university for two weeks when she drove to Kent from the midlands to see me, then drove me all the way back and an hour further on to be reunited with Will. All because she wanted to see me smile. I’m so grateful for that day, and for everything else she’s done!

 photo 29bad63b-c34e-47f5-90ee-65fb9851cf53_zpst4xklixl.jpg

She’s NOT Sympathetic

Anyone who knows my mum will agree with this. A complaint of a headache will result in a packet of painkillers being thrown in our direction, a cry about exams will get me a chat: “we go through this every year, and every year you do amazingly.”

Yet having said that, she is sympathetic when she needs to be. She looked after me after my nose operation, including sitting on my feet when my hallucinations made me feel like my legs were floating. And after my last A-Level maths exam (which really didn’t go as well as it should have done), when I burst into tears in the middle of town, she bought me chocolate and let me be miserable for an evening.

She Knows What Suits Me

My mum is the only person who I would trust to buy me makeup (she did well on her last trip through duty-free, picking me up MAC Craving which I’ve loved ever since). I would also trust her to pick me up clothes, she instinctively knows if I will love something and what size I will need. Not only that, she shares the same taste in music – we’re desperate to see Bon Jovi, and saw Tom Jones last summer too.

She Would Always Write A Note for PE

Well, not always. But if it was that time of the month, or if I’d had a bad night’s sleep I’d know I could always get out of it. Particularly handy when it came to the football lessons each year – it just wasn’t my thing!

Disclaimer: I was asked to write this post advertising Parkdean Holiday’s Mother’s Day competition, which you can find and enter here. I was sent some goodies to compensate for my time, but no money exchanged hands… 

…And, obviously, all opinions are my own. Because my mum is awesome and definitely one in a million! Why is your mum the best?

Lifestyle: Getting To Know Me

I just fancied writing a chatty post. I’ve got a really busy week at work. I’m training on new software and I’m at a crucial stage in a project. I needed to write aimlessly, so that’s what I’m doing. A post to remind myself about all the things I love, what makes me ‘me’ – before all work and no play turns me into a very dull girl.

So, X Number of Things About Me…

(image from Pinterest)

1 – My hair is the bane of my life. It constantly looks messy, takes forever to wash and dry, and I have no idea what to do with it. I can’t put it up, I struggle to style in. Hot rollers are the only thing that have so far worked for me.

2 – I went to a Boy’s School, and had 8 “prom dates.” Granted, the majority had girlfriends, and obviously I had W! I managed to get into the local and very good Boy’s School for Sixth For, with only a handful of other girls. Turned out that despite going to the Girls School for five years, boys were hell of a lot nicer. I made some great friends, and I speak to far more of my guy friends than those ‘besties’ I was at school with. My multiple dates happened as the school was reluctant to allow external people to prom…and our group were all going to Legoland the next day!

Oh, I did actually purchase that picture, but I can’t find the actual copy to scan in so there’s the marked version. Fab photographers!

 photo 2014-12-03141311_zps8d7c69ab.jpg3 – I love scaring the hell out of myself with ‘extreme activities’ but hate sport. I’ve tried high-ropes courses, zorbing (amazing!), abseiling down a cliff, indoor caving…and next on my list is rafting. Oh, curling is amazing too. But going to badminton with work terrifies me so much I just can’t go!

4 – Currently trying desperately to be healthier. I’m dieting without dieting, and trying my best to squeeze more exercise in. You can read more here.

5 – I have a worsening obsession with lipsticks. I’ve added six MAC ones to my collection since July. One for each pay packet. Not sure where the extra one sneaked in…I’d give anything for the Nars lip pencils too!

 photo 10464251_10201833358628057_7137741447011300528_n_zpsda2dc99f.jpg6 – I fell in love young. I met W when I started sixth form, and we were together within a month. Nearly 4.5 years on, still going strong. Whilst I wouldn’t advise setting out to find your soulmate at that age, I have no regrets!

7 – I still have cooking disasters. I made a toad-in-the-hole this time last year that was basically liquid. Yum…

Revision photo 2014-05-09174200_zpse9b3f7a5.jpg8 – I’m a math’s geek. I’ve loved it forever, and I’m studying Actuarial Science at university. My placement year has confirmed that an actuary is what I want to be, so I’m currently psyching myself up for years worth of exams…

9 – A beach is my favourite place to be. I hardly ever get to go, but I love watching the waves. I can never resist a paddle either. I remember full-on swimming on New Year’s day in Cornwall several years running. And I never wore a wetsuit.

 photo 2014-07-18212135_zpse2324295.jpg photo 2014-07-19124219_zps70610d2d.jpg photo 2014-12-25142812_zps4dda63c2.jpg10 – My dog(s) mean the world to me. My first ‘best friend’ was my grandparents dog (weirdly also a William), and I adored him. Tee-J is also very much adored, definitely the baby of the family. I would sacrifice anything for my dogs!

11 – I’m extremely socially insecure. I occasionally have mini panic attacks when in public, and will constantly relay situations over in my head to see how I could have done ‘better.’ I’m definitely improving – it’s been a while since I cancelled plans due to feeling too insecure!

12 – I have at best Irritable Bowel Syndrome, with other digestive orders currently being ruled out. I’m highly sensitive to changes in water (Kent = worst…give me Switzerland anyday!), and I have to watch what I eat. The hospital appointments are most attractive…

13 – I LOVE cheap hair products. ASDA conditioner has been my go-to for years, and I adore Boots Pink Curl Cream.

14 – I can never remember my postcode. I think it comes from moving around so much with university. I’ve used five over the past two years, and its a nightmare when it comes to medical appointments as for some reason addresses aren’t synchronized.

15 – I still get ID-d for a lottery ticket. Yet not for alcohol. In the same shopping trip. Yep, I don’t understand Sainsbury’s logic either…

16 – Spiders terrify the life out of me. To the point I can be physically sick. I will never live alone for this reason.

 photo 2014-12-02222543_zps88be2c50.jpg17 – I would love to be able to celebrate my half birthday. Mainly because I am desperate for a birthday BBQ, and that won’t be happening anytime soon in July.

18 – I’ve already planned myself three weddings on Pinterest. At least I’ll be prepared when the time comes!

 photo a3d817b8-6871-484c-ace3-c0e984adc0b8_zps75fc13b0.jpg19 – I’m addicted to tea. I can’t function without one in the morning, and I usually have at least three a day. And that’s a considerable cut back!

20 – I can’t throw away books. It’s a major problem, I fear for my floorboards. No matter how many times I have read them, something stops me. I really need to have a clear out though so they all fit on one bookcase again. Especially as I have a much-used Kindle!

I loved writing that post – it was so much fun to think about all little bits that make up my personality. Let me know if you want more chatty posts like this! Now, tell me one random thing about yourself…