*wipes finger along dust collecting on the windows*
Wow…. this place has been left unattended and unloved for a while…
*sits down in the dust, rather than cleaning it up*
So, summer hit again. It you look back at this time last year, you will note my numerous references to “going a bit funny” in the summer. It wasn’t quite as bad this summer, but the work load always suddenly seems to snowball and before you even have time to blink you are swamped and drowning. As quickly as it came and made you into a snappy, stressed out lunatic, it’s gone and you wonder where on earth the summer went.
Outside of work, summer has been awesome. I have had some really amazing times with amazing friends. We still have one exciting festival adventure to go on at the end of this month so it is not over yet! It hasn’t been all doom and gloom, just some real highs and some real lows.
One of the highs of summer – Brighton Pride 2016. Amazing day with amazing friends.
Anyway, as a result of all of this, I have abandoned the blog. I feel a bit like we are friends that were really close in primary school but now we have drifted off and don’t really know what to say to each other any more. Alas I am not ready to give up on you little blog of mine.
I feel a bit like I am still very much finding my feet with what I am doing here, and perhaps trying to cater for an existing audience that doesn’t actually exist (if that makes any sense). I am not necessarily writing about things that I care about, but more writing posts to fill up space, or because I haven’t for a while. I guess that is the joy of all of this though, it’s all a bit of trial and lots of error. A scrapbook of me trying to figure out where I stand in this massive blogging universe. I am going to get things wrong, but occasionally I hope to get things right.
Thank you if you are still reading, thank you for bearing with me and thank you if you plan to stick around. I hope that eventually I will find my feet, find the value I am searching for in all of this, and I will be able to give you some cracking posts. There will also be some shit ones to look forward too I am sure.
Love and hugs
P.S. I realised we never caught up about our holiday to The Netherlands. Please enjoy the video below
May has seen some sunshine, some rain, some sunshine, some rain, bit of wind, sun and rain at the same time, but at least no snow this month. Hurrah. As one of the students keeps telling me at school “You cannot trust the weather in England”, he is 100% right.
May has been a quieter month, not quite as many exciting adventures but some fun stuff has been happening.
This month saw the return of Brighton Festival, which for me and my chum Jo means one thing, time for red wine and The Ladyboys of Bangkok! After years and years of dithering about going, we finally did last year and had the absolute time of our lives. So when this year came around there was no way we were going to miss it. This years show was fabulous, there was an abundance of glitter, feathers and cheesy tunes. I was in my absolute element! It is just so much fun. If you love a good bit of cheesy, tongue-in-cheek cabaret be sure to check it out next time they come by.
This month also saw Eurovision on our screens. For the last few years my friends and I have all gathered to watch this glorious spectacle and embrace some good old British (binge) drinking games… every time there is a wind machine DRINK, pyrotechnics DRINK, air punching DRINK, singing in their own language DRINK… you get the idea. We all dressed up as different countries to add to the fun (your country performs…DRINK). I was the Netherlands and Jezz was France. Had an awesome party, drank far too much and felt deservedly dreadful the next day. Thank you very much to Jo and Ed for hosting.
In May I finally got around to completing the long awaited edit for the video for my birthday last year. Yes, last year… my bad. I would like to say I have been really busy and not had time to sit and edit it together, but that would be lying! Once I finally began, I really enjoyed it! It was great fun to put all the clips together. I am so pleased with the final video. I really did have the most wonderful 30th birthday so it is something special I can look back on. Thank you again to my beautiful friends who made the trip so awesome.
It has given me a bit of a bug again about being creative, so I am hoping to make some more videos of adventures coming up. Just need to save the pennies now to get a decent camera!
At the end of May for a week, Jezz and I went off to the Netherlands with our wonderful friends Beth and James and their two children. Seeing as this holiday was half in May, half in June I will save that one for next time..
Hope that you had a lovely May! Did you do anything exciting or interesting? If so please let me know in the comments below. Also if let me know if you enjoyed the video! Perhaps some more will happen in the future.
One of the perks of your parents deciding to build a holiday home in Portugal, are the delivery of lemons I get every so often. They are the most wonderful delicious lemons!
I decided to try and be a bit creative with some of them and came across this fantastic recipe from Jamie Oliver. The biscuits went down a treat at work, they were all gone by lunchtime. So I thought I would share it with you all. They really are delicious!
125g of butter, cubed, room temperature
100g of caster sugar
1 egg (preferably free range)
200g of plain flour
2 lemons, the zest (keep the juice to one side for icing)
1/4 of a teaspoon of baking powder
1 pinch of sea salt
extra plain flour for dusting
1. Put the sugar and butter into a bowl and cream together. You can use a fork or an electric blender.
2. Add the egg to the mixture and mix until fluffy.
3. Add the baking powder, flour, salt and lemon zest and mix to create a ball of dough
4. Once you have your ball of dough place it in the fridge for at least 2 hours. This will help to firm it up.
5. After removing your dough from the fridge roll it out on a floured surface. It should be around 1/2 centimetre thick.
6. Use a cutter of your choice to cut out the shapes. I used this duck, it was a nightmare, so I switched to a man shape, which was also a nightmare. The rest was rolled into balls and squashed.
7. Place your shapes onto a baking tray (don’t forget to grease it!) and bake for around 12 minutes at 180°c/350°F/gas 4.
8. Once baked leave on a wire rack to cool. Or a plate… I don’t have a wire rack. Oops.
9. While you are waiting you can make your icing! Now I used all of the juice from the two lemons which made enough icing for around 7000 biscuits. So just use a little as you go. Probably 1/2 of a lemon will be more than enough! Once your biscuits are cooled you can ice them.
10. After making a right mess of the kitchen, rescue the one you dropped in the vat of icing.
If you read my last post you will know that March was a difficult month and one that I was quite glad to see the back of. Although my Nan’s funeral was planned for the middle of April it was a much more positive month.
The day of the funeral was in a strange way, a really nice day. As my mum quoted from Dickens “It was the best of times, it was the worst of times”. Despite being terribly sad, and it sideways raining, it was really lovely to spend the day with all of my close family. We cried together, we laughed together and we ate the biggest Chinese take-away I had ever seen! At the end of the day I thought to myself, “Nan would have really enjoyed today” and that made me smile.
This was like a box of chocolates – there were two layers!
April started off with a bang when Jezz, myself and 3 friends went up to London to see Infected Mushroom at The Ministry of Sound on the 1st. We planned this quite a few months back. I last saw them about 8 years ago, and we have kept missing them since then so there was no way we were missing this one! We went with our friends Chris, Adam and Adam aka Number 2 (he did not like being called number two). The boys had decided that we would go VIP to make it extra special. My 14-year old self would have literally shit her pants at the knowledge that I was in the VIP section at The Ministry of Sound in London. It was ludicrously expensive, but amazing.
The VIP actually saved us I think, I was somewhat worried about the prospect of pulling an all-nighter (it’s been a while!) but it was great having a table to return too and somewhere to sit. It worked out perfectly for us, we had drinks, danced for 2 hours straight while Infected Mushroom played and then went back until they kicked us out.
I had the best time, it was awesome.
We had two awesome road trips in April, for the first we popped over to Bristol for the weekend to see some of Jezz’s friends that he hadn’t seen in a couple of years. We had a brilliant time, we enjoyed the first BBQ of the year, had some drinks in the sunshine and then yet more drinks in a pub, then some more drinks at someone house. So drunk, so very very drunk. I had literally the worst hangover ever on the Sunday! But had a really great time. We are going to a festival in July with a few of them so super excited for that now. Woop!
I didn’t take any photos in Bristol… here are some sausage rolls I made instead. They were lush.
We also went on a trip up to Leeds to wish our brilliant friends Alex and Andy a fond farewell before they jet off on an epic adventure to South America. We embarked on a pub crawl all dressed as Mexicans. Our friends Toby and Lina that travelled up with us stayed with Alex and Andy at their flat, and Jezz and I stayed in a really nice hotel about ten minutes walk away. We had a really great weekend, on the Sunday we headed over to Tropical World (lord knows I love an animal related attractions – aquarium and zoos ALL OVER IT!), and had a nice evening just chilling out together and watching some TV.
We had all booked off the Monday so we didn’t have to rush back from Leeds hungover on Sunday. So we made a slow wonder back to the South via Ikea in Croyden. I shit you not, we spent 4 hours in there. I am pretty sure that Ikea steals hours from your life in the form of scented candles, flat pack, meatballs and all the storage my heart desires.
It was a really lovely weekend all in all.
The Queen also turned 90 in April, and seeing that she is obviously such a massive fan of the blog, she wore an outfit to match our engagement cake. What a legend.
Who wore it best?
That was the exciting parts of April, we were lucky to have two marvellous adventures this month. I love going on car adventures, so excited to plan more for this year now we have a car!
HIVEDATE = The saga continues… I decided that my two culprits were either the biological washing liquid I had recently started using, or perhaps the new Dove body wash/body lotion. So I stopped using both and it seemed to clear up. HURRAH. No hurrah. On the Sunday of our adventure to Leeds I woke up super rashy and itchy. WAH. I have been taking anti-histamines since. It flares up for a few days, then I am okay again. I am keeping an eye on it. I would like to say that hopefully I will not have to write about the hives saga again, however seeing as I am typing this from May… I can tell you it will not be the last hivedate. Sigh….
This month has been pretty difficult to write. When I set up this blog, the main focus what to “find the happy”, and I still stand by that. Which is probably why the March update is running a bit behind, because to be frank, March has sucked.
It has been one thing after another and I am glad to see the back of it. It’s hard, even for the most annoyingly positive person, to remain positive after a month of rubbish-ness.
However we are now in April, already things are looking up so hopefully it is the end of the crap.
Here are some good things that happened in March:
Ski Holiday was a bit of a fail for me as I got sick with this horrific cold/flu/bronchitis bug that has been doing the rounds, however it was a blast with the others. The resort was really beautiful and we had a lovely chalet which I bonded with very well. Me and that sofa spent some hours together over BBC daytime TV.
I did manage to get out of the chalet one day to the Spar shop and purchased all these sweets. I am obsessed with these so when I saw all the different colours had to get them all. Still to try the purple ones…
My wedding shoes arrived. I cannot reveal them just yet, but they are so beautiful and ridiculous and exactly what I wanted! I know a lot of girls who have dreamed about every aspect of their wedding day since they were little, but I haven’t really. The only real thing I had in my head that I knew I wanted was my shoes, so ticked that off the list pretty promptly when I found out it was possible. I have plenty of time to break them in! Hurrah!
Here is a little clue, it is these shoes but I have had them customised.
This door stop.
I cannot have a real one (cat…not doorstop), so Coco has come to live with us. She is pretty low maintenance, won’t go outside… I think she might be a bit intimidated by the cat next door. She likes to sit by the radiator at the back door, I think it’s probably because it’s nice and warm there…. 😛
I finally caved and bought the limited edition Liz Earle cleanser (yes another one, I have a problem) but it came with loads and loads of these potato starch packing peanuts. After deciding that everyone in my office needed to experience a packing peanut snow blizzard (you’re welcome) our accounts chap told us you could make things with them. He then produced the elephant. He has some serious skills, totally wasted in accounts. The rest of the office proceeded to have a go and produced the zoo below which now lives on my desk.
So that is where we are at now. We are actually pretty deep into April so I will need to start that post soon!
A Little Note.
On Monday 28th March 2016 my beautiful, brave Nanny, lost her hard-fought battle with a long illness. It was not a shock, we knew it was coming, but it was still very sad. We are going to miss her very, very much. (And her roast potatoes). She was the best Nanny ever, she spoiled her grandchildren rotten and coined the phrase “chimney pot” because if we asked for it, she gave it to us. I remember as a kid once complimenting her on her super sparkly clip-on earrings as she came to our front door for a visit. She promptly whipped them off and gave them to me. Whatever she could do to make any of us happy, she would do. There are lots and lots of happy memories. She was the best.
Ooooh monthly updates! Why didn’t I think of this sooner? I mean, that is sort of what has been happening anyway but here we go. Let’s try this. See how it goes.
Thank you for joining me for what will be known as “2016 – The year of sporadic blogging”, a brain-storm, if you will, of finding my footing in the bloggosphere.
So what did February bring?
Oh lots of things. It is interesting that normally Jan/Feb are really tough months for me (I think many people find this actually), but this year they have been a breeze. I believe this is because I have been somewhat distracted by wedding planning which is terribly exciting.
February has been a month of Gel Nails! I originally decided to get some lovely nails done for the engagement party at the beginning of February. I am now on my third round and loving having pretty nails. They last around 2 weeks. I am not sure how long I will keep doing this for, I am not sure how great it is for your nails! Think I will probably do one more round for my holiday in March but have a break after. In any case, I can HIGHLY recommend Daisy Nail Company SPA on Preston Street in Brighton. They always do a fantastic job, the staff are super nice and they have around 200 colours for gel nails! I am currently sporting a pastel purple which I am totally in love with.
Our engagement party was on the 6th February! We hired the village hall in Rottingdean, and decorated it with some banners and photos. I don’t actually have that many photos as I was too busy milling around talking to people. We were really overwhelmed with the number of people that came, and the number of presents and beautiful cards that we were given. I have bought a nice scrapbook to save all the cards. I think this will be a nice thing to look back on in years to come. We had a fabulous time, and again huge thanks to my parents for all their help to throw the party, and my Aunt Lisa for the incredible cakes! Everyone has been raving around them since.
February also saw the absolutely incredible Slamboree play their first headliner gig at the Concorde 2 in Brighton. I was first introduced to Slamboree when they played a tiny festival in Brighton about 3 or 4 years ago held on the Old Steine so it was great to see them again, this time truly appreciated by a HUGE up-for-it crowd. We all got dressed up in hats, gold, reds and blacks, as much glitter as I could get my grubby paws on. It was amazing. The show was sold-out, I danced my arse off, it took me the best part of 3 days to feel normal again. (I am getting too old for this).
We also saw Fairport Convention again with Jezz’s Dad, his girlfriend Valerie and their friend in Worthing. It is a yearly trip we all make. Jezz has been going since 1995 with his Dad, and his Dad even longer so it is really lovely that I have now become part of their yearly thing. This was my 4th year and they were just as good. A very different pace of gig from Slamboree!
I developed hives in February. WOOP.
I initially suspected bug bites but as time went on I decided going to see a doctor was the best step. She confirmed it was hives and probably from something I had eaten. I hadn’t eaten anything unusual that I could think of, but reading I can see that sometimes some people just develop an allergy literally overnight. Super weird. More internet research (apologies to all doctors out there) I read that it isn’t always necessarily from something consumed but could also be a cosmetic. So I have narrowed it down to the following suspects, Dove shower gel/moisturiser, biological washing detergent… and most distressingly… gin. I have been taking anti-histamines and been a lot better, no huge flare ups for a few days now fingers crossed… I just hope it is not my beloved gin. *wails*
February wedding planning was still a go-go, some big decisions were made and some dresses tried on. I am, for obvious reasons not going to talk about dresses too much. I am much happier about trying dresses on now and it is much more fun when you are into it! However you can go dress blind… lace, white, sparkles, chiffon, tuille…. it’s a alot. But I am enjoying it! 😀
We have decided on the venue, booked and set a date now. EEEEEEEEE. So we are looking at September 2017. It feels very good to have set a date and got the important bits done, if all else fails we are definitely getting married, can have some food, all in a building with some seats we can use! HURRAH!
So yes, that is February 2016. It has been busy. It looks as if March is going to be pretty busy too, and it is also bringing the looming ski holiday (panic). So… I will report back in March… if I survive!
I am terrible. I have got worse, but as I said in my last post, sorry it might happen a bit this year. January was NUTS. Pretty much every weekend was filled with grown up things and doing stuff and I have not had a chance to spend a days sat on the sofa in my pants.
Trying to cheer up the dreary January weather
So the planning for the wedding has begun! Things are starting to move forward a little and while that still makes me feel a bit, “ARGH”, it also fills me with confidence. Last year I found myself getting a bit panicked because nothing was happening and there is just so much to do!
I always knew that there was a lot involved in wedding planning, but my goodness there is A LOT. So many things, and many of these things can’t be arranged until something else is done… and… well. My brain is already full of things.
We have now visited 5 venues. Without giving too much away, we arranged visits to a few different styles of location. Some manor houses, barns and one wild card. So we shall see. There are just so many in the area, and it is very overwhelming. Who knew you could get married in so many places?
We have decided that we do not want to get married in Brighton, we would like to go out of town. We live right in the centre and spend most days in the area, so both feel like it would be good to get away. Go somewhere new and exciting to celebrate. However, this also poses the problem of transport, and finding places that are not too far away for guests. Absolute minefield.
Anyway, it is so incredibly exciting, and is really starting to feel more real now. I could hardly sleep last night my brain was in overdrive thinking about the day, and the honeymoon, the dress, the shoes, the favours, the tea and coffee, the rings…. SO MUCH TO THINK ABOUT.
Hopefully soon we will have a venue, and I can start organising more of the little bits. I may have already organised my shoes!
We find ourselves here in 2016 and I cannot help but think… when the bloody hell did that happen?
Christmas flew past, New Years shot past and now I am back at work having put on 3 stone in weight and trying to ignore the naughty leftover Christmas treats sitting at the end of my desk.
(Be gone with you box of celebrations).
I would like to resolve this year to be better at making blog posts, but as you can probably tell, I am not very good at this (or keeping resolutions). So I have decided to not put quite so much pressure on myself to post this year. I have so many draft posts sat waiting, that I never felt were quite up to scratch to post. Rather than filling my blog with hauls (my credit card breathes a sigh of relief) just so I can get up 2 posts a week, I am going to write, when I want… I feel a bit like a still need to find what suits me most with blogging. I do love it. I do love reading comments and hearing feedback. So I will continue, but for now, probably not every week. Maybe, I am going for a more informal blogging technique for now.
There is a wedding to plan this year. I cannot help but feel incredibly overwhelmed by this at the moment and totally out of my depth. A guest list has been made. An engagement party planned. A couple of visits arranged for the location. I guess headway is being made! But I still feel a bit like I do not know what I am doing, but then I remind myself that no bride probably knows what they are doing. They are all in this boat. I need to dial down my control-freak tendancies I think, and go with the flow. It won’t be fun if I panic, and more than anything we want it to be a fun day.
Anyway, long and short of it, I think 2016 is going to be a super exciting year, super busy but super exciting. I hope to use Amynoos as a platform to make note of my exciting planning adventures. So bear with me (as usual) this year, maybe less posts, but hopefully better ones.
Don’t worry, I will no doubt bore you with some hauls still 😛 Can’t leave my credit card too unloved!!
I hope that 2016 is good for each and every one of you! I look forward to seeing what the new year brings for each of us.
It’s the most wonderful time of the yeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeear!
This year I feel super Christmassy for some reason, and so in order to celebrate and indulge in a bit of festive fun here is the Christmas Tag! Thank you to Lola from Lolas Little Wonders for the list of questions!
What is your favourite Christmas Movie?
Santa Claus The Movie. No question about it! It was actually the first movie that my parents saw after I was born (first trip out sans bambino). I have to watch it every year. It is the law. Otherwise the world my implode.
I am also a massive fan of The Polar Express. Oh that film gives me all the warm and fuzzies.
Do you open presents on Christmas Eve or Christmas Morning?
Christmas Morning durr… how can you open presents before Father Christmas has been? Silly question…
Do you have a favourite Christmas memory?
Oh there are hundreds and hundreds, but generally sitting around the table with my family oh Christmas day eating dinner. Throwing Christmas cracker rubbish on the floor.
What is your favourite festive food?
My mum’s Christmas pudding! It is the best! And of course pigs in blankets.. om nom nom…
What has been your favourite Christmas gift?
This is too hard! I always got amazing gifts. I cannot think of one alone! A few years ago my mum got to get 2 kittens, that was my favourite present she ever got 😉
What is your favourite Christmas scent?
Christmas trees. The smell of pine is lush! Mulled wine is also pretty good 😉
Do you have any Christmas Eve traditions?
Bit of a weird one, but we have take-away curry! Nom!
What tops your Christmas Tree?
Nothing at the moment – I have bought 2 and both are too heavy for the tree! WAH!
As a kid what was one crazy gift you always asked for but never received?
Mr Frosty. (is such fun, he makes drinks for everyone). As an adult I now realise that my mother did not want me filled with sugar ice water… probably for the best.
What is the best part about Christmas for you?
Family. Giving presents to people, I love buying presents for people and finding that perfect gift. I often go way over my budget but it is so worth it!
FIND THE HAPPY – Monday 9th November 2015 – Sunday 15th November 2015
Happy #1: On Wednesday we went to our lovely friends Jack and Daisy’s house for dinner. We have not seen them in quite a while so it was really good to have a catch up over a glass of wine or two. Jack cooked a really delicious stew/casserole type thing. Perfect for the wet, windy horrible day it was.
Happy #2: Jezz doesn’t really eat a lot of chocolate so he never gets an advent calendar. For the past couple of years we have seen the development of the “non-edible” advent calendars. So this year, I decided to treat us both to one! For Jezz I went for the Lego City one. I got myself the Yankee Candle one. I am super excited for 1st December!
Happy #3: It’s the time of year where all the Christmas adverts start to appear on the TV and this year Sainsburys have outdone themselves. Do you remember the Mog books as a kid? You will love this. It made me so happy when I saw it!
Happy #4: On Thursday my work chums and I congregated with our colleagues from our sister school in Eastbourne at The Kings Head Pub in Lewes. We had a really delicious meal and a few drinks. I had the most delicious lamb and potato dauphinoise. Delicious!
Happy #5: On Saturday Jezz and I went up to London to see our friend Rob again. He is off to Canada travelling for a while at the end of the month so we joined his London friends for a goodbye shindig. We saw some friends that we hadn’t seen in a very long time, drank too much Prosecco and generally had a rather lovely silly hilarious time of it all. Thank you Rob for your hospitality and see you next weekend for round 2 *ding ding*
What have been your happies for the week? Don’t forget to link up with the tag #findthehappy