Today’s blog every day in May topic is about what’s in the news today. I’ve been super busy all day with decorating, Murder Mystery writing and then watching Game of Thrones. As such I am heading to bed and rather than make a poor attempt of this topic, I will do it in the morning. I am torn between one of two topics, so you’ll have to wait until morning to find out which I pick!
I’ve been thinking about this topic for a little while and I think the only traditions I have concern Christmas. There could well be other traditions connected to other events during the year, but off the top of my head I can’t think of any!
Our Christmas is full of lots of traditions to be honest. They include things like wrapping the girls presents in specific wrapping paper each, rather than wasting time with tags (just the ones from me as there are usually 5-6), having one Christmas gift each on Christmas Eve (our Christmas Eve present) which is always a set of new pajamas and some Lush, connected to this is the Christmas Eve bath (or shower) – a must for everyone in the house! We also always have muffins and/or crumpets for breakfast on Christmas Day (when I was younger my dad always used to make oatcakes and after he died the tradition got lost), there is always a 20p in our piece of Christmas Pudding, and very prior to Christmas my mum calls me around on the day she’s making Christmas Pudding and we all stir and make a wish (and I drink the left over Guinness).
I think in a lot of ways, December itself is just full of traditions, but within a limit of what’s possible. My daughter’s birthday falls in December and for the last 3 years she’s been bowling on her birthday. This almost feels like a tradition itself. Also in the village we live, there is a Santa on a fire engine parade thing that goes on one weekend in December and we make sure to stand on our doorstep, wave at Santa and get thrown a handful of sweets. Red cups from Starbucks are also a huge tradition for me. I don’t tend to go to Starbucks a lot the rest of the year, but I more than make up for it in December. Writing letters to Santa, for the one gift they specifically want from him – and the loop I’m thrown through as one of the kids asks for something unexpected that I haven’t bought yet. (This year it was Lily asking for shoes and a wig in addition to the Merida outfit she had already mentioned, last year it was Megan asking for Pascal in addition to the Rapunzel outfit she had already mentioned).
From the moment Christmas Eve gets round to about 5pm, our traditions just roll on for 24 hours. The Christmas Eve gift, with all the family around drinking hot chocolate/baileys (or baileys in hot chocolate!), the kids bath, the new pjs, the milk and cookies for Santa, the magic key on the front door, hanging the stockings… through to waking up the next morning, everyone climbing into our bed in the morning and taking turns to open stocking gifts, getting up, having breakfast, opening the gifts under the tree here, getting dressed, going to my mum’s for lunch, opening more gifts there…. It’s literally been the same year after year, for as long as I can remember (with the odd alteration here and there).
Christmas is one of my most favourite times of year and a lot of that is to do with silly traditions that I’ve been doing since I was younger and have passed on to my own family, or that we have made up together over the years. This last year we added silly Christmas Jumpers to our mix! Can’t wait for what else we might add!
As I have mentioned before, my thirty fourth birthday is coming up in just over a week and for my party the usual suspects are all getting together with me for a Murder Mystery party. Unlike any we’ve done before, my brother and I are writing this one ourselves, with parts specially written with the specific guests in mind.
This is our opening synopsis:
Moe Fletcher is a local dot-com millionaire and father to his only daughter, Isabelle Fletcher. Needless to say when Isabelle’s birthday swings around, its a big deal. This year is no different from any other – a huge affair to which all the local town folk are invited. Isabelle has chosen a Fairytale themed birthday party, to be held at her father’s castle (yep that’s right, he owns his own castle!) – a party which will be much like a Ball. Moe Fletcher, with the help of Isabelle’s boyfriend Theodore Behr, is pulling out all the stops. This is the event of the year and to be sure you do not want to miss out!
Maurice “Moe” Fletcher – Inventor of BeerGoggles.com (Dot-Com Millionaire) and father to Isabelle
Isabelle “Belle” Fletcher – Local Journalist and daughter of Moe
Theodore “Theo” Behr – Isabelle’s long-standing boyfriend and local Sheriff
Richard “Dick” O’Malley – Deputy Sheriff
Rose O’Malley – Housewife and Mother, married to Richard
Eleanor Marley – Owner of “Maid for Hire” Cleaning Services
Fiona Hartwell – Au-Pair/Daycare Owner
Sonny Gilmore – Factory Worker
Jake Orion – Exterminator
Mr Wolfe – Lawyer
Marvin the Magician – Entertainer
I haven’t told everyone who is who, they’ve all just been told their own part. Obviously those in couples will tend to know their other half’s part, but the rest is probably just left for my friends to speculate. Everyone has also been given very specific costume suggestions which I hope they will stick to.
Today I’ve been organising some room decorations, a lot of items which I’ve had on my Ebay watch list for weeks, finally costing and ordering. However here are a few of the bits I would love to have ordered, if money was no issue.
C. Faux Castle Window Mural (approx £110 inc. postage), D. Fairytale Carriage Table Decoration (approx £90 inc. postage),
E. Fantasty Goblet (approx £13 each inc. postage), F. Castle Doors and Windows (approx £8.50 inc. postage – not out of my price range but no where to put them in the house!),
G. Childsized cardboard castle (£60 inc. postage), H. Various hanging tapestries (just wouldn’t use again).
I’m so glad today’s topic was best friends, rather than just friends. I think when we’re school age we throw the word best friend around so easily and its not until you’re a lot older that you realise the difference between a close friend and a best friend. Certain people you can turn to in certain situations, other people – your best friends – you can turn to in any situation.
I consider myself very lucky to have two best friends.
Amy (from Cocktails in Teacups)
|Our friendship in terms of Halloween costume
The Glinda to my Elphaba
Amy and I have been friends since 2004. Despite the 9 year age gap between us, she has always been one of the most like-minded people I have known. We technically met through a website I ran, but it wasn’t until 2004 that we met in person and soon became close. Over the last nine years we’ve had our ups and downs, even had 3 periods of time when we didn’t speak at all. We have been through the beginnings and ends of relationships together, all three of our children’s lives so far and many many a drama. She is often the first person I turn to in any situation. Unfortunately we currently live about 4-5 hours away from each other. I hate it to be honest but I know there isn’t much that can be done about it for now.
|A weekend away in London – one of many|
Luckily my birthday is a week on Tuesday and Amy is coming to visit from that Wednesday to Saturday. To say I can’t wait is definitely an understatement. I want to chat with her about so much stuff, to laugh/to cry, just to catch up. I haven’t been able to wrap my head around my birthday party as yet and although I’m sure I will have by then, I know she’ll be all for last minute planning and organising if I need her to.
|One of the numerous photos we’ve had taken together at Platform 9 3/4|
So many of our “obsessions” (I say that because we more than like things, or even love them, we obsess over them) are the same. Matchbox Twenty, Disney, Once Upon a Time, Harry Potter, Deckleswood, Chick Flicks, Lush – to name but a few. While we do have many loves that are different, especially clothes, music, books etc there are enough of the ones we do like to keep us obsessing for a life time.
This time last year, we started a stream of Murder Mysteries going. We’ve had one almost every month since. From Space to Pirates – from Halloween to Christmas – from Alice in Wonderland to…? The one coming up in two weeks is by far the one I’ve looked forward to the most. I can’t share too much here as at least 3-4 people who are attending read this blog! But its gonna be awesome. I know Amy is just as excited as I am!
Nat (from But a Mask)
N.B. she’s not really a blogger as such so her blog is more personal than anything
|Bridesmaids together in October of last year|
I’m going to start off by saying I have known Nat pretty much the same length of time as Amy. There is a similar age gap between us, though Nat is just a little bit older. However Nat used to be “the sister of my brother’s girlfriend” (or then ex-girlfriend) and “the friend of a friend”. Its only really been in the last 3 years, that Nat and I have become close friends ourselves and now I consider her my best friend.
|A park date, many years ago|
In doing this post I’ve actually found it fairly hard to find pictures of just us. Our friendship originally came from having kids of similar ages I think. A group of us seemed to form, because we all had young children. It became nice to go out to the park together, go for picnics, even use parties as an excuse to socialise. Nat was always very easy to get on with and though I can’t really put my finger on why we connect, we just do. Nat is one of the only people I have ever met, that I’ve never fallen out with, never had a cross word with, or even talked shit about behind her back (haha sorry but I do bitch about a lot of people).
|Alton Towers about 3 years ago|
After that our friendship became very much a three-way friendship, along with Nat’s best friend Hollie. We hung out for girlie nights, even went to Alton Towers together. In fact I have struggled to find a picture of just Nat and I, which didn’t have Hollie in it too. At times the friendship became four-way – at one point being with my brother’s (now ex) wife and at another time with my best friend Amy. I’m not convinced we always work as a three or even a four, but I do know that Nat and I together works just fine. What started as coffee dates together and moved to evenings at my house for tea and chats, soon became a best friendship.
|Amused that we’re always fairly close in pictures (see 1 and 2). Our whole group in 3.|
Some things I’ve done with one friend, that I wish I could have done with the other. Some things we’ve shared, I wish could have been shared with both. However one thing I know is that I wouldn’t trade either of them. These two friends are two of the main people who have held me together through rough and smooth. These two people are my BEST FRIENDS.
And… if you’re lucky enough to have either of these two people in your life – be thankful. Don’t take them for granted, don’t treat them like shit. And if you’re lucky enough that they consider you a best friend in return, don’t take the piss and abuse your friendship. If one day they’re gone and you’re no longer friends, you’ll regret it more than you know.
I don’t walk to work. In fact I don’t really walk many places. My house in on the edge of the village I live in and therefore I tend to drive to the shops and drive to the school. My job itself is in Lincoln and so I drive there too. However what I thought I might do is give you a walk around my village (all pictures from the internet, not me personally).
The village I live in is called Saxilby. It is located to the west of Lincoln and is only about 15 minutes from there. I absolutely adore this little village and have lived in 5 different houses there. When I can eventually afford to buy a house, I hope it will be located in Saxilby too.
Not far from where I live is St Botolphs Church. It’s the church I first got married in 14-15 years ago and its the main “church” in the village. Though I can’t say I’ve visited it recently for any reason, its certainly one of the main landmarks in Saxilby.
Another main place in the village is the train station. We are very lucky in Saxilby to be serviced by both a bus and train route. I seem to find myself at the station almost monthly, with friends coming or going to visit. It’s not manned at all but its a really simple station to use. One side for one way and the other side for the opposite direction. A train journey into Lincoln is literally 10 minutes.
The canal/river is another lovely landmark of the village. It runs all the way along the majority of High Street. Boats come and go all the time and luckily can moor up outside one of the two pubs along that stretch.
Saxilby really is a lovely village. On top of the things I’ve mentioned we also have a Lincolnshire Co-op Supermarket, a Post Office, Newsagents, Fish and Chip Shop and Chinese. There is a Fire Station, Police Station and a library too. We have 2-3 pre-schools and daycares, along with a primary school. There is a DIY shop, Charity Shop, 3 open pubs (and one closed), a village hall, Methodist church, doctors surgery etc. etc. When the Olympics were on we were even lucky enough to have the torch come through our village.
I am both happy and proud to live in Saxilby and like I said before, I’d be happy to live here for a long time.
I’ve left this BEDM post for most of the day, partly because I’ve been busy but also because I feel a bit uninspired towards it. I’m not really a very girlie girly and I don’t tend to do a lot of pampering. Being a mother I’m so used to not even having time to bathe, let alone pamper.
Just recently I had a pamper evening with the kids, which was a lot of fun (I posted about it briefly I believe). We each had mud packs on our faces and I gave the kids a foot soak, pedicure and then manicure. The next day I also gave them a make-over. That said, it was for them rather than me. They occasionally give me shoulder massages and foot massages and while they’ve far from the real thing, they’re definitely appreciated. My partner also gives me the odd massage here and there, but certainly less and less often than he used to.
My one proper experience of pampering, was at a place called Eden Hall. For my 30th birthday, everyone bought me gift vouchers. I used some to book the day at the spa itself and the rest to book some treatments. The whole day was amazing and I would definitely go back. The only thing I would say however, is that no sooner had I got home, the day felt like a long time ago. The next day it was almost forgotten. These pampering days are great but they are expensive and one day back to being a mother and all that luxurious pampering is forgotten. My ex-inlaws always go to Ragdale Hall and I have to admit that a few days in a place like that (while expensive) could feel much more worth it.
I don’t really do lotions and potions, nor do I care about manicures, pedicures or even painted nails. I love long soaks in the bath (especially with Lush) but these days I spend half my time thinking of all the other things I could be doing instead of wasting time bathing. I am probably one of these most low maintenance females you’ll meet.
Would I like to be pampered? Of course. But can I sit on my laptop with a face pack on? Can I dye my hair while cooking? Can you paint my nails while I make a cup of tea? I don’t have time for pampering. Or at least I choose not to have time for it.
Just for point of reference
|The World’s first 14 looping rollercoaster|
In case this isn’t obvious, my post today has absolutely nothing to do with rollercoasters themself and instead is a continuation of my post a couple of days ago. Life is a rollercoaster.
As those of you who read that entry will know, I was a little disappointed not to get a job that I had originally thought was ideal for my life. The hours were near on perfect, the pay was good and ultimately it was a better job than the one I have currently in Telesales. However on realising the disappointing fact that I had not got the job, plenty of tears and even some anger, I tried to move on and get on with it. That night and the following day, I spent time trying to convince myself it was for the best. I spoke to my boss about flexible hours, I talked with my boyfriend about certain changes in my life and I spoke to my mum about things I had decided on that would make life more tolerable despite not getting the job. I decided it was for the best and that my current job was just fine. That things would be okay. I even looked for closure by writing to the people who I had applied for the job with, to at least feel like I’d had an answer, a reason, an end to the interviewing process.
At around 2.30pm yesterday I received a phone call, informing me that the job was mine if I wanted it. Apparently a letter offering me the job had already been written and the reason for the delay had been due to waiting on the other person’s references. I could still complain about how I feel like some decency and communication would have been nice to inform us of the delay, but at the end of the day I got the outcome I wanted. Or had I? On ending the conversation (and accepting the job – it made sense to say yes and change my mind afterwards if needed) I abruptly burst into tears.
Now I’ll skip all the in between bit which involves crying on my partner’s shoulder, calling my mum and texting one of my friends, but ultimately I was left with a decision to make. Instead of talking myself into one decision or another, convincing myself one option was better than the other, I had to seriously think about all the pros and cons. I made my mind up after a few hours I think, but I left my mind open to the various possibilities. I spoke to my daughters about it (at 5 and 8 they can actually be very grown up) especially as the decision does effect my ability to go to certain things at their school, within school hours. I spoke to my brother about it, who called around for a coffee last night. I spoke to my mum about it again on a later phone call that evening. And of course I spoke to my partner some more about it.
Today I needed to go to work (my current job) and then on to the new place, to fill in all the information needed for a CRB check, as well as standard new job procedure. I still hadn’t fully let myself decide what I was going to do, leaving it open to changing my mind one way or the other after going to both places in one day.
However I am happy to report that I will be taking the new job. I know that it will inspire me more to get up in the mornings, to enjoy my actual job. The people are nice, the hours are still near on perfect and the pay is better than my current job. I know I will feel absolutely awful handing in my notice tomorrow as my current boss is so lovely and I’ve only worked there for just over a month. But on the other hand I also know I have to do what’s best for me, for my kids and for our family life.
I’m excited at the thought of starting my new job after half term. I’ll be working as a Catering Assistant between 9.30am and 2.30pm every weekday, prepping food, serving lunch and then cleaning down. It might not sound like much of a career to most, but as a full-time mother, begrudgingly working to make a better life, I’m massively grateful for the opportunity. The school seems lovely, the people I work with so far seem really nice and I have to say that I feel like I’ve landed on my feet.
Sure enough when I got home today, a letter addressed to me asked if I wanted to the job. I’m definitely really chuffed that over approximately 10 people, I was picked for this position. Fingers crossed it was worth the jump from one ship to another. With summer holidays coming up its a great relief to feel like I’ll be around for the kids, every single day. Perhaps I’ll even be wishing for school to start again by September!
Thanks to everyone who left a comment on my post, or to those closer to me who actually took the time to text. I’m glad their was a happy ending to this particular tale.
Today’s BEDM is a tough one for me, as the description is: What is the single most important lesson you have ever had?
At the age of thirty three, almost thirty four, I feel like I have learned so much about life. I am a completely different person today than I was at sixteen, at twenty one, even at thirty. Every day life teaches you something, whether its something for the better or something for the worse. As people we grow constantly, change and adapt to what life brings us. No one expects to go through half of the things that we as humans end up going through. Of course most people expect to fall in love, to settle down and to eventually die. However nothing can prepare us for heart break, loss and especially death.
Though most of life’s lessons are cliché, I think there is a lot to be said for the platitudes that people throw out. You’ll be fine. Time will tell. It is what it is. Live and let live. It could be worse. What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger. If life gives you lemons, make lemonade. And so on…
While we don’t necessarily want to hear those things at the time, they often turn out to be right. Things in the now are always so much worse than they are after some time. Don’t get me wrong, I worry a lot. I get myself upset easily and things can weigh down on me over a long period of time. However I’d like to think that mostly I am a cheery and optimistic person who can appreciate that at some point, “this too shall pass”.
My biggest and most important life lesson? Live it, love it, get over it, deal with it. No-one gets out alive ;)
I know I’ve already blogged a few times today, but I couldn’t bare you all missing out on some amazing GoT bargains and must-haves today. I might also add, I have bought two out of the three.
This t-shirt has literally just come on sale and will be available for the next 48 hours. For the next 24 hours it is £8, plus £2.50 postage and for the following 24 hours its classed “Last Chance Tee” and sells for £10 plus £2.50 postage.
Next comes TeeFury
This has already been on sale for majority of the day. It has just under 6 hours remaining on it. The price is $11 plus $4 postage, this works out around £11. It will be available for a few more hours after that, again as like a last minute buy, called “After Hours”. I can’t remember how much they are then but I think its about $15 plus postage. This is not for a full 24 hours though, like the other site.
Finally there is Tee Turtle
For this week only, you can get either of these designs (or both) for $15 each. The postage however is far more steep on this site, another $14 on top, at least it is to the UK. Chances are both these t-shirts will come up on the other sites mind you, if you’re not wanting to part with that much cash!
So what are you waiting for? Go go! Once they’re gone, they’re gone ;) or at least… probably far more expensive elsewhere.
God, I love food. Seriously, I absolutely love food. Not in an “OMG I stuff my face all day!” type of a way, just that I like so many types of food and I really appreciate good food. In fact 90% of my facebook photo uploads, are in fact of food!
|Just a glance at my Facebook uploads!|
Some of you might know, but I actually used to own and run a restaurant with my ex partner. He was a chef and to be fair to him, he was amazing. My eyes were opened to so many wonders and I now eat so much more food than I once did.
I also love eating out. Screw buying new clothes, going on holiday or having the latest technology, I would be happy with a nice meal out once a week. I don’t care if its with the kids at Pizza Hut, going to some amazing Gordon Ramsay restaurant as a couple, or eating chinese takeaway. I just love and appreciate so many types of food. On top of that, I love to cook food and entertain people. My go to meal is always Lasagne but I cook a great Roast Dinner too. I’d like to think I can turn my hand to almost anything and it turns out pretty well.
|Recent Roast Dinner|
Obviously followers of my blog will also know about my recent addiction to making cakes (and even my increase in baking). It all started with my daughters Alice in Wonderland cake really, then my partner’s Alice in Wonderland themed cake and more recently my friend’s Baby Shower cake. My brother’s birthday is in June and I’m already thinking about his cake.
|1. Lily’s second birthday cake, 2. Carrot Cake, 3. Homemade Salty Pretzels
4. Soda Bread, 5. Baby Shower Cake, 6. Lily’s Alice in Wonderland cake, 7. Chris’ Alice in Wonderland cake
Sadly all this food does have the knock on effect of gaining weight. I’m not one of those people blessed with a high metabolism, or an eternal thiness. Instead I go up and down and certainly in the last ten years I’ve had to be far more careful with piling on the pounds. I’m sure there must be a happy balance but majority of the time I feel like I’m a sort of all or nothing person.
My favourite dish of all time, is probably Beef Stroganoff. Now I come to write this, I realise I haven’t had it in an awfully long time. One of the nicest I’ve ever had was actually the night I got engaged to my ex *husband*, at a place called the Barge on the Brayford.
|Barge on the Brayford|
I also love pizza! Doesn’t matter if its homemade, Pizza Hut, Pizza Express, Dominos – you name it, I’ll eat it. The kids love to make it at home and decorate their own. Whenever we eat out, they nearly always have pepperoni pizza if its an option (they are definitely my kids!). One time when my brother, a friend and myself went to Bella Italia, they had an amazing pizza plate which my meal came on. My brother asked how much to buy it, and bought it for me (I still have it).
Having now completely this BEDM post though, I’m now feeling really hungry! Luckily I made casserole for an early dinner and there is still some left. Might have to go and help myself to another portion…