This week Amy and Liv came to visit for a few days and we crammed a belated Galentine’s Day, Amy’s birthday and Easter, all into the three days they were here. Our belated Galentine’s was on Tuesday and as a surprise I booked (and paid for) a meal for all my favourite girlies, plus I got everyone a little gift and some sweets. This picture was taken at lunch time in Prezzo, while we waited for food!
I was recently contacted about this fab competition, where you can win a weekend trip to Tuscany, for you and your nominated deservee. It’s really easy to enter and if you’re interested, then all the info can be found here.
The basic idea of this competition is to nominate someone who you feel deserves a weekend away, specifying why you think they do. For me this was a little tricky as I have two best friends – both of which I would love to go away with on a weekend. However as Amy and I have been to Florida this year (and she has two more holidays booked) I thought it would be nice to nominate Nat – after all, she doesn’t even have a passport yet bless her.
Nat and I have known each other for over ten years, though we have only been close friends for about the last five. There is an eight year age gap between us, but for the most part, it rarely feels like it. We originally met through an online website (I know, that’s the age old story these days) and groups of met up and went camping every summer. Since I’m that bit older, my eldest child is ten and my youngest is seven. Her oldest child is seven and her youngest is two. The similar ages of my daughter Lily and her son Josh were what brought us close to begin with and I’m so glad it did as she is now one of two best friends that I have.
Though her partner won’t like me saying this (hopefully he won’t read it!) Nat is by far the hardest working member of her household. Not only does she hold down a job with the most hours (and always has in the time she’s been working) but also she does all the housework and looks after the two kids. I hope she won’t be too embarrassed when I say that their family has always had a very modest lifestyle too, barely affording to do anything other than the essentials. As such, Nat and her partner Tom aren’t even engaged – despite having been together for ten years. They don’t want a long engagement and until a wedding looks like it might be affordable, getting engaged is out of the window. Not only that, but Nat hasn’t been abroad in the whole time I’ve known her. She hasn’t been on a boat or flown on a plane. She doesn’t even have a valid passport.
I know that Nat would love a weekend away anywhere (usually the furthest we manage is London!) but I especially know she would love a holiday in Italy. We have talked about family holidays in Europe previously, but unfortunately due to money it’s just not something that is going to happen any time soon. I would really love to show her how much I appreciate her and how glad I am to have her in my life, by winning this competition for her. She’s had a rough few months; losing a job, having a miscarriage and having to find a new job – all whilst juggling her family – and she definitely deserves this. It would be a wonderful experience (and a great excuse for her to get a valid passport and let me drag her other places) for us both to get away, have some “girl time” and enjoy a bottle of wine!
Even if we don’t win, I know that I’ll always feel like a winner – so long as Nat’s my best friend!
Last week I received some magnets from PicStick and seriously I am in love with them! I was so excited to get the opportunity to review these magnets, that it actually took me about 3 hours to place my order!
The basic concept is a sheet of 9 magnets, made from pictures of your choosing. The site is really simple and easy to use – the only problem you’ll have is narrowing down your pictures to just 9!
The design interface is really easy to use. Once you’ve signed up and made an account, you’re offered a variety of ways to add your pictures, including; uploading them from your computer, Facebook albums and Dropbox. You can then crop or rotate the pictures, before “saving” them and they appear in the right-hand grid. You can swap and change, add and remove, until you’re completely happy with your final 9 choices. Then you simply add to the basket, move to checkout and pay.
These sheets of magnets are only £9.50*/$14.99 and PicStick ship worldwide for FREE. It really is a great deal and I will definitely be shopping with them again. Not only that but my prints arrived really fast and I was very pleased with the outcome! Even better? With my unique discount code you can save yourselves 25%. Just enter DIARY125 when prompted and you’ll receive the discount, making your order £7.13/$11.24!!!
Though the magnets come in a sheet, they are really easy to separate as they’re semi-cut and ready. As soon as I got mine out of the packaging and took a photo, I rushed to my fridge to get them up on display!
While I accidentally forgot my mum (sorry mum!!), these pictures are all of my friends and family. I’m honestly so thrilled with the outcome AND the fact I now have pictures of all the important people in my life, right there when I go to make a cup of tea in the morning.
Jaime, Namu and Adam (with Tom in the background) at Thorpe Park on a Muggle Meet
Lily and Megan, with Lily kissing Snow White, when we visited Disneyland Paris in February 2013
Lily and Megan, doing their “Sisters Forever” pose, as a replica of Anna and Elsa in Frozen.
The Gang! Nat, Tom, Chris D, Chris L, Chris B, Adam, Marianna, Namu, Jon, Amy, Erika and myself, at our Christmas Murder Mystery 2013.
Amy, Nat and myself at my birthday NSFW Murder Mystery this year. BFFs!
Megan, Lily and I at Butlins in April 2014.
Chris and I at Mum’s birthday 2013
Chris, Megan, Lily and I at Legoland, Summer 2013.
Megan and Lily at Pizza Hut on the very last day of summer term, 2014.
Thanks so much to PicStick for this opportunity and I assure you I’ll see you again soon! And for everyone reading this post, don’t forget you can get 25% OFF using code – DIARY125.
Today is National Best Friend Day and it didn’t seem right to let the day pass without mentioning my two best friends – Amy & Nat. Friendship has been on my mind a lot recently, as Megan my oldest daughter has struggled with a best friendship at school these last few months and as conversations have made us discuss my past friendships, it makes you think a little.
I don’t have a single friendship left from when I was at Primary School. I don’t really have any left from Secondary or Grammar School either. I certainly don’t have any from University but that was largely because I didn’t really make any – what with traveling backwards and forwards each day for the boyfriend I had at the time. As I look down my Facebook friend list, a very narrowed down 63 people, I realise that majority of my friends are from the last 10 years, a huge amount of them being friends I made online. My two Best Friends, who have been my best friends for a lot of that time, are both people I met online.
Amy and I (Amy can be found at www.cocktailsinteacups.com)
Our oldest photo together on Facebook, is this one:
That’s me sat on the floor with a phone in my hand, Megan sitting on the bench and Amy sat on the floor – with blonde hair! According to the timestamp this was 2007 (though that could just be when it was uploaded). Amy and I actually met in 2004 when I was pregnant with Megan. Though obviously our friendship took some time to get going, she quickly became my best friend once it did.
|I know she’ll hate me for adding this photo but its the oldest I could find online. August 2006.
We were already best friends at this point – bonded more by peeing together in a field!
Since that time, we’ve been through a lot together – on both sides. Amy chose to attend Lincoln University, partly because I lived over in that direction. She was there when I ran my own business, a restaurant called Cristobels, and I even gave her her first waitressing job. She was there when my ex husband and I first took a break from each other – helping me pack up all of my stuff and move to my mum’s. Amy was there for both my kids growing up, for the actual end of my marriage and helping me move house, for various ups and down ever since. In the same token I was there when she split up with various boyfriends, especially her first long time relationship that resulted in her moving in with me and my family. This was to be only the first time she lived with me though, as two years ago she ended up back at my house – something Amy discusses in a post here. While we’ve definitely had some lows and even some time of not being friends – for the last 10 years she has been my best friend.
One year for Halloween, Amy and I dressed up as Elphaba and Glinda from Wicked. We both love to dress up and even though this was just a small party at my house, we both put everything we had into it. Now almost 5 years on, Amy is one of the main reasons that every month we have a murder mystery party – something the two of us started two years ago tomorrow for my brother’s birthday.
We have been on numerous trips to London together, seeing musicals such as Wicked and Grease, or just sight-seeing. Two years ago we went on a caravan holiday together and several times we’ve been camping for the weekend – all in the name of a Muggle Meet. We share lots of similar fandoms, especially Disney and Harry Potter. Just recently we visited the Harry Potter Studio Tour together and next year we’ll be visiting Florida at the same time which means both Walt Disney World and the Wizarding World of Harry Potter.
Some of my nicest pictures exist with Amy in them, while actually some of my worst do too! I think Amy is the only person that I know who has their camera out more than me – and that was well before either of us blogged.
Despite our age difference, which has at times caused problems, we have lots in common. Amy is one of the only people who I tell absolutely everything to. Though we live at a distance now, which definitely makes things harder, we manage to meet up at least once a month on the whole. During that time its never hard to find something to talk about – gossip or even bitch about. At times it definitely feels a bit more like we’re sisters than friends, but I don’t necessarily think that’s a bad thing. I’m not 100% sure at what time of year we met (though I’m sure Amy could tell you) but I know that this year celebrates our 10 years of knowing each other and becoming friends. I hope that in another 10 years time I’ll still be writing a post about Best Friends that includes her.
Nat and I (Nat can be found on our joint blog at www.twicethemum.com)
Our oldest photo together on Facebook, is this one:
Technically when we had this picture taken, Nat and I weren’t really friends. The timestamp on the photo is March 2007 but I know it must have actually been taken in August 2006. While we had known each other for a while at this point, we were friendly without being friends. It wasn’t really until Nat was pregnant with Josh and I was pregnant with Lily, that we first started to really talk. In fact, there are still conversation on Facebook that we had, asking each other about our pregnancies.
Since then, our friendship has developed slowly over time. For the majority of time we’ve known each other, we were just friends – good friends, but just friends nonetheless. It has really only been in the last three years or so, that the status changed. Having similar aged children has definitely been a main factor for our friendship, as well as a shared friendship group. When my marriage broke down almost four years ago, Nat and I got closer, often organising sleepovers and drinking sessions with her other friend Hollie. Though I wouldn’t say we’ve been through the same highs and lows together as Amy and I have, we’ve been there for the every day stuff. A bad day at work, a child that won’t stop crying, a partner acting like an ass or an insensitive friend – we’ve always known the other was there, that same day, for a cup of tea and moan.
Nat and I have spent days out in a theme park together – not just for Muggle Meets but at other times too. In fact, we have tickets to Alton Towers just next month, as she’s the only person I know who’ll ride the rollercoasters with me! She’s usually my first goto as someone to go to the cinema with too. We first watched Hunger Games (both so far), Avengers Assemble, Divergent, and several kids movies together. We’ve also been to London to Wicked, and take the Harry Potter Studio Tour. For the last two years, she’s been the person responsible for making my birthday cake too. We’ve often talked about taking a family holiday together but sadly its not something we’ve got around to yet. I’m sure we will do one day though as her partner Tom and my partner Chris, both get along well too.
Just like with Amy, Nat and I also have quite a big age difference, though its never really seemed that big because of having two children of a similar age to one another. In the whole time we’ve been friends, Nat and I have never fallen out or spoken a cross word. I’m sure there are times that we’ve even felt upset or annoyed at each other, but we’ve always just voiced it and moved past it. Because Nat lives so close, we definitely have a regular best friend friendship. We see each other almost every week without fail, sometimes even more than that. We’re both incredibly unhappy with our weight right now and in association with the blog we write together, we’re both trying to lose weight together. Nat is one of those people that I feel sure I’ll be friends with for the rest of my life as there is absolutely no reason why we wouldn’t be.
Both my Best Friends
The thing I love the most about my two best friends, is that they are also friends with each other. Not Best Friends, but just friends. This means that for the majority of the time I socialise, I get to spend that time with both my best friends. We’re always going to have things that we do separately too, but its great to know that so many of our good times together, are all our good times together.
While this post is obviously in honour of my Best Friends, I feel like it wouldn’t be right to let the post pass without at least a nod to some of my other friends too. Namu and Jaime who both live over in the US, who I have considered both as very close friends for some time. Sadly due to distance (and even lack of msn these days) we don’t keep in touch as much as we used to.
Also, while there isn’t a picture of just Adam and I, I have to add a mention to my GBF. We’re definitely not as close as we used to be, especially when I was a single mum, but he’s still a good friend that I can talk to about most things.
Finally, as a last mention, it wouldn’t be right now to mention my partner, Chris. While he is my boyfriend, rather than my best friend, I don’t think any relationship truly works if you can’t have a best friend in your boyfriend. He has his faults of course – who doesn’t? – but Chris is my every day rock, the person who’s shoulder I cry on the most and one of the best hug givers I know.
I love you all and I wouldn’t be the person I am today without each and every one of you.
I hope I can look back on this post in years to come and have even more pictures and stories to share!
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.
One of my best friends (I really only have two) is expecting a baby in June. It’s her second baby (and second boy) and I’m super excited on her behalf. Though we’ve been friends for several years, we weren’t as close when she was pregnant first time around, so in a way it feels like the first for me, lol.
Though I have two daughters of my own and definitely don’t want any more, I fully expect to get a little broody when Baby comes along. Almost a year ago I had my other best friend living me, along with her newborn baby girl and although it seems like a lifetime ago (especially since her little girl is so much bigger now) in some ways it feels like just yesterday they were here.
Anyway before I get too sentimental about empty nests and children growing up etc. my purpose for this post was about the Baby Shower I held for my friend, Sunday just gone. It was never going to be a big affair, just a few of her friends and some of her family. In the end there was eight of us in total. I made a cake (something I planned over a couple of weeks), baked some cupcakes and gingerbread men, and provided plenty of tea and coffee.
|Chocolate cake, surrounded by pretzels dipped in chocolate with a blue and white theme|
We played several games throughout the afternoon, including “Don’t say baby”, “Dirty Diapers”, “Pin the Dummy on the Baby”, “The Price is Right”, “How Big is my Bump?” and “Nursery Rhyme Riddles”. There was a lot of laughs to be had and I think everyone enjoyed themselves. My favourite game by far was the dirty diapers/nappy game, where I had melted a chocolate bar into a baby nappy and everyone had to guess what chocolate bar it was. I have to admit it looked gross and because they were warm it was just like a dirty nappy.
My friend Nat got a whole bundle of gifts too. Everyone tried to be really practical, putting together hampers of wipes, nappies, lotions and potions etc. I know she definitely wasn’t expecting anywhere near as much as she got, especially as she hadn’t even wanted to tell me what she needed.
|This was my hamper of gifts, though I added all the items I bought for “The Price is Right” game too|
I absolutely love throwing a party, especially if I can theme it in some way. I have my own birthday coming up this month which I have taken over the plans of organising. I often wish I could win the lottery, just so I could throw really elaborate parties. I don’t have a whole heap of friends, in fact its a core group of around ten people, but I would still love to do it. My brother has even told me that if he gets married again, I can organise his wedding!
I’ll be making a post soon about my birthday party, something I have already started buying bits and pieces for. The theme is Fairytale and Ebay is something I search almost daily at the moment. I’m also super tempted to buy this book:
I don’t have to make my own cake, but it wouldn’t have bothered me if I had to. In fact by the sound of it no one can agree what to make for my cake anyway, so perhaps I’ll just open up a competition….
Anyway, till next time!
Edit: I also meant to add that my friend Nat, and her partner Tom, also bought me some gifts as a thank you. I got flowers, lush and chocolate. They know me well!
|The card is awesome since my besties call me Bee|