Check-In/Check-Up!

So, what a weekend!

This is a flattering photo of neither of us, but I fancy I look a tad better

James’ friend, Devan, came over Friday night, which was also James’ birthday, and we went up to Linda’s (J’s mum) house for steak (awesome!) and James was basically a total ass the WHOLE time.. I don’t know if he was acting up because his friend was there (he’s not a toddler, I swear), or was just excited for snowboarding the next day, but either way, I was absolutely dreading the rest of the night. When we got home, the boys had gone and bought 3 bottles each of this super strong cider, and James hadn’t packed anything. He whined loads, but eventually we all settled down on the sofa (it’s a big sofa….)

 

and ended up having a really freaking fun evening! See, Devan does photography stuff, and product design at Uni, so he has awesome gadgets (I have a desperate need for an iPad Pro…) and so we got on really well having geeky chats about photography. The boys got more and more drunk, and as I wasn’t drinking, I laughed my head off. Plus, hilarious snapchats. Overall, it was really not as bad as I thought it might have been, and now I’ve learned that I should be a bit less uptight over stuff like that and relax first.

 

We were in bed by half midnight, and they were up at 4:30…out the door by 4:50! Off to France for a week of snowboarding, alcohol, and pizza (and apparently Danish girls doing the splits…. o.O)

He really is such a dick…

I, on the other hand, had something to attend to. I had to meet my dad’s girlfriend. Long story short, my dad had a midlife crisis, cheated on my mum with a 28yr old (I was 22 at the time, I think) and contrary to what everyone said would happen, is still with her. My parents’ divorce was finalised over Christmas, and by happy accident, my dad’s gf (her name is Helen, which is unhelpfully also the name of my aunt (my dad’s sister, who he lives with)) was here this weekend. And I somehow ended up agreeing to meet her.

 

I thought this might be a bad idea for a few reasons, not least being that if James wasn’t here then I couldn’t depend on his particular brand of humour to cheer me up, and also that he couldn’t be there too to drive me home when I got myself drunk in order to cope. This therefore meant that I a) couldn’t drink, and b) had to make sure that I was mentally capable of coping on my own. So, I made preparations.

 

See above. This is my plan. I don’t know about everyone else, but I feel infinitely better when I have my “warpaint” on. Rightly or wrongly, I feel better in makeup, and when my hair is done, and I have my nails sorted. I feel prepared, and I feel like me. If I haven’t got my nails painted, I feel weird. It has been (as you can see) some time since I did my roots, but I wanted to have my lilac hair back, so I did that in the morning on Saturday. It had been a weird bluey-yellow-grey which was…well, weird.

 

I painted my nails (well, I painted a false set and stuck them on), and I made sure I did my makeup with an old Lancome palette that I know always goes on well. I used my new MAC foundation that seems to go on amazingly, match perfectly, and stay put (I have yet to try it under testing conditions, but for now I’m in love), and made sure my eyelashes were ready to kill. I wore my new Jo Malone perfume that fills me with happiness and calm everytime I breathe it in, and my H&M jumper that I was so happy to be able to wear in a size S. In short, I put on my armour, pulled up my big girl panties, swore under my breath that I was an adult and that this would need to happen eventually, and drove to dinner.

Long story short, she’s exactly what I expected, and I’m still creeped out by her age (more specifically, the age difference between me and her, and the fact she should be my SISTER not my potential step mother), but I feel I managed perfectly reasonable conversation, I chatted and smiled, and tried not to pretend that she wasn’t there. I painted my aunt’s nails, grumbled that James was on holiday and I wasn’t, and then left at about 22:30 because that’s a reasonable time to be in bed.

 

When I got home (had to totally defrost the inside and outside of the car, and had to pop into Tesco for loo roll) I made my bed (after discovering that the white, 100% Egyptian cotton fitted bedsheet delivered from Amazon was in fact a white, polycotton double duvet set, and subsequently contacting them to have them sort this out), lit the candle, removed all makeup, got into clean (Harry Potter) pyjamas, and laid there ignoring everything and just focusing on my breathing.

 

I managed a whole 8 hours of sleep, and then transferred myself to the sofa for a duvet day of wrestling with Photoshop (it won the battle, but I will not let it win the war), and then watching film after film, and ordering Dominos because I wanted it.

 

Weekend rating overall: 5/10, do not recommend. Also, I do NOT like sleeping on my own. James needs to get his butt back home.

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Just call me a photographer…

So, I’ve had some awesome news!

JoJo gave me a call on Friday and said that she had been asked to come and review a bike on a track day at Oulton Park on 25th February, and she was wondering if I would like to come with her and do her photos! Which, obviously, I do. She then upped the ante with saying she wants to road test it too on the Friday, which I said yes to as well!

So, Friday 24th February 2017, I will officially be designated a photographer (I even set up a Facebook page for myself so I’d have somewhere to post the photos!) for her and get to follow her around taking photos of her gorgeous face, and the gorgeous motorbike too!

I am incredibly excited because this isn’t something I’ve ever done before, and it’s not something I truly know how to do (still learning to use the damn camera!), but it’s a couple of days away with a really good friend, and I’m absolutely SO excited for it!

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Photos like this, but I’ll have a decent camera and a telescopic lens!

Happy New Year!

I had a whole post planned about Christmas, which is somewhere in my drafts I suppose?

Anywhere, as New Years go…this was a bit chaotic.

James and I went to my colleague’s house party, where there were meant to be quite a few people, but it ended up being just 8 of us, which was a bit odd (very quiet for a house party!). Her husband was already super drunk, and just got more and more so throughout the night! It was all chaotic, but all in all, a good night. They had 3 of those sky lanterns, but the only one that was successfully launched was the one that I did… The other two, well, 1 got a hole in, the other was set on fire…and nearly burned someone’s hair off! I kicked someone in the face (they were pulling on my heel and I just reacted instinctively!) and made their nose bleed super badly, and James got touched up and had a proper moment with our host’s husband! It was hilarious, and I’m glad we went.

There ends the amusement.

We got home at 1:30 (pretty light for a night out!) and went straight to bed. I’d noticed that one of our friends, Morgan, had removed himself from our Cartagena Reunion Facebook group, but I assumed it was an accident, and didn’t think anything of it. Then, I woke up this morning and on my timeline is a post from Morgan saying…well…saying he’s had enough really. That his life has been so awful over the past year (it genuinely has) and that he can’t cope anymore. This was at about midnight, and then he disappeared off the face of the earth. Everyone is trying to find him, loads of posts about it, and long story short, he was eventually found at about 13:15 today. He was fine, not in a good mental state, but good enough that he was checked over at the hospital and now two of his friends have brought him home. We’re all going to back off so he’s not inundated (I bet his phone will be blowing up when he eventually turns it on), but it’s really made me think about life.

I know it’s a total cliché, but stuff like that really does make you think. We’re all meant to be going to Manchester this weekend to go out for the night and then do go-karting on the Sunday. It’s a meet-up for Garage 5 from the Cartagena track day. We all became so close over those 3 days, and I’ll be forever grateful we met.

Life has a funny way of kicking you up the butt. I never used to do anything; I never went out, I would sit at home on my laptop, or my phone, or reading, and I would never do anything sociable. I’d occasionally meet a close friend, or go out with family, but not often. Since meeting James, all of that has changed. I have a wider friendship group, I’ve made friends with these people on my own! I’m in a job I enjoy, and I chose to go out with them instead of sitting around doing nothing. I go with James to trackdays and make friends with the people there.

All this with Morgan this morning? It’s made me realise how important it is for me to live my life, to see my friends, and to tell people how much they mean to me. I don’t want to be sat there again thinking “But I was just going to say how much I was looking forward to seeing them”. It’s all well and good all these people turning round and saying how much Morgan means to them now, but it would have been even better if we had all been paying better attention to the signs he gave that things weren’t right, and then offered help or support.

Go out, tell your friends they matter to you. Sure, you might get a few funny looks, or someone saying you’re being soppy, but for one of the people you talk to, that may have just been the difference between them giving up, or reaching out.

 

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If you need help or support, please do contact the Samaritans.

V.I.C.T.O.R.Y.

I am dancing right now! Not that you can see it, but please, feel free to imagine it.

So, we got paid yesterday. This is brilliant for many reasons, but the main one being that I can finally buy the last couple of presents, and also bought a load of food for the foodie pressies I’m making. The second reason is that I really wanted to have something nice to wear on Christmas Day. I have lost a stone in the past few months, and I want to look at any photos taken on Christmas Day and think “Ah, remember that present?” not, “Holy shit I look like a whale”. I know we’ve all had moments where we’ve thought we looked half decent only to see a photo and want to curl up into a ball and shrivel to nothingness, but there is one photo of me last year  two years ago (2014) that makes me nearly cry every time I see it. When I look at it, I wonder how on earth James found me attractive, and thank my lucky stars that he obviously really doesn’t mind my size! I will post it here, because it serves a purpose.

I look pregnant. God it’s awful seeing it again!

Now, I decided I wanted to wear leggings on Christmas Day due to them being comfy, and me enjoying my comfort. But, if one wants to look like not a slob whilst wearing leggings, a nice top/dress is of utmost importance. I’m fortunate enough to work right next to a large shopping mall 

so I had a look online for anything that might be sold inside that would require minimal walking.

 

Fortune is clearly on my side as there’s the perfect jumper! Ah, but H&M…well. They’re known for their tiny sizing; I was thrilled when I fitted into a dress of theirs that’s a size ‘L’, and that wasn’t fitted or anything. I also wanted jeans…dark ones. I’ve never owned dark jeans as I thought they made my thighs look massive. Found some…but again, H&M! Even worse for jeans than tops. I tried on a pair of size 16 ones not that long ago and couldn’t even get them up my thigh sooooo.

Anyway, I took the screenshot off with me to H&M on my lunchbreak on the basis that with all the crowds, I couldn’t cope with looking around for things (why aren’t all the jumpers/jeans/tops just in ONE place grouped together..) but I would ask a nice assistant if they stock it and where it is, and then I could try it on. I do this, but, horror, they only have one left! And it’s a SMALL. Still, I’m full of festive cheer and not wanting to have to try and find another outfit, I decide to give it a whirl. H&M in Norwich also has their jeans right next to a changing room, so on my way I have a look through and find some nice ones in size…30? What is a 30? European sizing confuses me, so I just grab them thinking it can’t be worse than failing to get a size 16 over my thighs.

 

That was the result. I’m so in love with the jumper it’s unreal, and the jegging-y things are so soft and amazing and comfy. The jumper isn’t the soft rose colour I was expecting, and it’s a little dingy, but with some sparkling gold jewellery and nailpolish, I’ll be sorted.

But….drum roll please……..SIZE 30 IN EU IS A SIZE 12 IN UK SIZING. I AM A SIZE 12 IN H&M JEANS OMG. So, I know they’re stretchy…but they do up, comfortably, around my squish. I got them over my thighs!! I actually like how I look in them!

So, yesterday was the biggest bestest day of my life so far, and I’m thrilled. Christmas will no longer be horrid, I may look half decent in photos, I fake-tanned last night and only managed to miss my right knee (how did I even do that?!) and nobody will be seeing that anyway…and everything, finally, is coming up Milhouse (Harriet).

*rolling eyes emoji*

You know when people are actually ill, they usually shut up, keep their heads down, and generally don’t moan. Whereas, when someone just wants sympathy they’re constantly sniffing and coughing and sneezing and generally moping around? Well James’ brother is doing just that and it’s driving me up the bloody wall. He’s one of these people that always needs to be the centre of attention, and acts so hard done by all the time. Ugh.

Anyway!!

I’m sad because my glasses haven’t arrived to try on 😦 I really thought they’d be here today because that’s what the lady told me when I called to amend the options, but sadly not.

I sent back a handbag yesterday, so hopefully I’ll be getting that refund through soon. I need to get James’ mum something for Christmas but god-knows what. She’s so difficult to buy for – always needs to have obviously spent money on it – and I was going to get her a lemon-yellow handbag because she kept saying how much she loved mine this summer. Only, the one that arrived wasn’t lemon-yellow, more buttercup, and she then told me she’d bought a handbag in Debenhams or something for herself for Christmas, so I just sent the damn thing back. She can have another Pandora charm or something. Boring, but she loves the thing (we got her it for last Christmas), so I’ll have a look and see what I can find.

I thought it would be a nice handbag…

(I know I sound really bitter, but it’s very depressing when you spend ages finding something for someone only for them to go and ruin it by getting themselves something very similar.)

True to expectations, I didn’t get anything done last night. So tonight I’ve dragged everything out so it’s all over the floor and I simply have to use it. I still don’t know when I’ll be doing the creams, but at least the presents will be wrapped and will have tags on them!

Sorry for the filthy carpet, but I have no chance keeping it clean with J around

I bought James’ last (and main) present today. It was a splurge, and I’m going to have to apologise because I in no way stuck to the £50 limit we gave ourselves for each other…but he needs a new hoodie (hoody?), and the shop I went to is really lovely so if he doesn’t like the one that I (panic) bought, he can swap it for another one instead. I used to prize myself on my present-buying skills, but they’ve been really pants with him. I think £50 isn’t much really…next year I’ll ask to up it to £100!

 

Is it illegal to throw people out of windows?

Christmastime!

….mistletoe and wine!

I also ordered myself 4 more pairs of free frames to try on, because when I went to amend my order, they had already shipped it! So I should be able to try them on tomorrow! So exciting!


These are my two current favourite pairs!

Tonight’s activities will hopefully include:-

  1. Cooking SW-friendly Hunters Chicken, because although I’m not hungry (Five Guys was AMAZING and massive and omg I don’t need dinner), I don’t think James should starve…
  2. Giving the peppermint/orange/rose/maraschino creams a go. I’ve never made them on my own before, not since I was about 9, and never on the near-industrial scale (for about 25 people) that I need to do them for Christmas. So, dry run will be good…
  3. Consider making honeycomb at some point this week. It’s going to be hellish, and chaotic…but if that’s what I’ve chosen to do for people for Christmas, I need to learn how to make it.
  4. Burn this beautiful candle I was so kindly given by a lady at work (she’s leaving, and has had this for a year in her desk and knows I love candles so she’s given it to me).
  5. Do my roots? I’m so not sure about this one ’cause I’d rather they be done for Christmas, and I haven’t  bought any toner….so I think that’s this one off the list actually.
  6. Wrap up the last few presents. I get really excited about present wrapping, and then get bored really quickly. Plus, most of the people I’m wrapping stuff up for don’t really get that into nice wrapping paper, or handmade tags..so I get a bit deflated.
  7. Find tags before it all goes dramatically wrong. I have wrapped my mum’s presents in one type of paper, James’ in another type…however there’s a good three more people I need to wrap for, and putting anything else under the tree without a tag is just asking for trouble. I will dig the tags out of the box, and make sure to label everything up before I have to unwrap all the damn things because I forgot who they belong to/what they even are.
  8. Related to 2&3 – work out how much of everything I need to make all this stuff. I have the flavourings, but I don’t know about the colouring, or how much icing sugar, or anything else really. Oh, and the ingredients for the 3 gluten-free tarts I’m making for the day after Boxing Day, or the pavlova I’m making FOR Christmas Day…or the cake…or the cookies…
  9. Collapse having managed to only complete 1, because that seems to be what’s going on lately…

 

 

Dreary, dreadful, dull…..

Tuesdays are the absolute worst days of the week.


(This is the view from my window at work and it’s just too grey)

I have been completely unable to shake this awful cold that suddenly jumped on me last week, and it’s been playing havoc with my sleeping… Even James, who can sleep through nigh-on anything, woke up with me tossing and turning.

So, I get to work and I’m already dreading it because yesterday was horrific, and then I realised that my glasses (which have been in service for a good 6 years!) really are dead, and really do need to be replaced (James has sat/stood on them at least 4 times – before that, they were doing quite well…) and was moody about that until I remembered an advert for somewhere that will send you the frames to try on at home for free, and all their prices include the lenses! (Glasses Direct for anyone who needs glasses)

I now have 4 pairs of glasses winging their way towards me (I also emailed them and asked if they could swap two pairs for two different pairs because James thinks I’d suit Wayfarers, and who am I to ignore him when he so rarely mentions anything about what I’m wearing. Plus, he was 100000% right about me bleaching my hair lilac/grey, so I’m going to carry on paying attention to him tbh) which will hopefully arrive soon and then I’ll send them back (again, free!) and hopefully order a pair or two! All the frames I chose came as buy one, get one free, so I’ll finally have a spare pair again which is perfect, because I suffer from severe glasses-loss anxiety (normal anxiety too, but we’ll get to that another time) everytime I take them off and they aren’t right next to me.


(Hair befores and afters. My hair can be anything from a lilac grey, to a blue-grey, to that Malfoy blonde in the bottom corner. It depends what I wash it with!)

After my successful foray into free glasses frames, I decided I wanted something nice for lunch. I’d just like to point out that I’m technically doing Slimming World, but it’s December, which means Christmas, which means delicious food, which means it’s more fire-fighting than actual on-plan eating.

Anyhow, I called a friend who works in the same office as me, and asked if she wouldn’t quite like to join me at Five Guys for lunch today! Fortunately, she has no plans, and she’s super lovely, so I’m now counting the minutes (12) until we can go to lunch and stuff our faces with expensive, but apparently delicious, burgers! And fries…and milkshakes.

Honestly, I’ve lost a stone on Slimming World, so if I put it back on over Christmas? Well, it will have been a deliciously brilliant use of my time.