A Hop, Skip and a Year’s Gone By!

CalendarHello friends! Can you believe we are nearly at the end of September already? This year is flying by and we are officially back into my favourite time of year, September to December. Or as I call it, Party Season!

Whilst I’ve just been bumbling around in my own little world for the last few weeks, I did actually pop out of my bubble long enough to realise that we’ve just had LFW and therefore, we’ve just had my 1 year anniversary of being single. I know I dated someone for a few months earlier this year but really I’ve spent most of the last year as a single girl. This is the first time I’ve been single for any significant time since I was 14! On that basis, I thought I should probably reflect on what I’ve learned this last year because I’m a very different person now to who I was then and I’m a million, zillion percent happier than I’ve ever been in my entire life.

I literally cannot comprehend that this time last year I wasn’t eating, couldn’t sleep and generally felt like I’d messed up everything I’d ever done and would continue to do so with all future ventures. Obviously I was heartbroken but I wasn’t really mourning the loss of the man who I’d split up with, I was heartbroken that I’d failed again. I blamed myself for the whole relationship going wrong and that just wasn’t the case. Yes, I played a part in it and I definitely was not a perfect girlfriend but he was not a perfect boyfriend either. It took me quite a while to really make that stick in my head but once it did, it made me realise that not everything that goes wrong is my fault.

Since then, I’ve been on a number of dates with a variety of guys, some great, some ok and some plain terrible. I’ve also dated the aforementioned guy who was exactly the reality check I needed. Dating him raised the bar so far beyond where other relationships and boyfriends had been because for the first time ever, I’d been fussy and found someone who I liked as a whole package. Now I know there are guys out there like that, I’m not settling for less again!

That mentality has carried further into my life than just relationships…I’ve spent a year fending for myself, proving that I can survive the tough times. I can keep myself alive and I do have a great family and friends around me to keep me entertained and for the odd hug when things are difficult. More than that though, I’ve realised that I can’t “fake it”. I’ve spent most of my life trying to fit one mould or another and I’ve never felt happy. I hadn’t necessarily realised that was the case before now but looking back, it’s blindingly obvious why I’ve spent so much time feeling miserable; I’ve rarely spent any time pursuing the things that my gut told me were right.  I think this could be one of those things that you learn as you get older and I’m possibly a bit behind the curve in learning it but I’ve got there now!

This year has been absolutely invaluable because it’s forced me out of my comfort zone of following the lead of other people and I finally know, at nearly 28 years old, that I can look after myself. I will be ok and it’s not a problem that things go wrong because life is all about learning from those experiences. I live a life of extreme highs and lows but that’s what I’ve always wanted so who is anyone else to tell me that I need to keep things on a more even keel?

So here I am a year later, still single, without a proper job, totally broke and happier than I can ever remember. Sometimes things really do happen for a reason, even though it’s hard to see that reason at the time. This year has been a rollercoaster and a half but the ride has been thrilling and has smashed away the blocks I had been building my life on. It’s given me the opportunity to re-build from the ground up and this time the blocks have been replaced with balloons. They may burst, they could float away but whilst they’re there they are colourful, fun and anything but a heavy burden to carry around. x

The Best of The Rest

Yesterday I had some spare time as part of my lazy Sunday so I decided to mooch around the internet a bit and look at some of the results Google throws up beyond the first couple of pages. Specifically what I was looking for was online fashion stores that I didn’t previously know were there. It can be so easy to go to the same old sites…ASOS, Very, etc. but that can often mean you end up in the same get-up as your friends and tonnes of other people out there too!

There’s a fair bit of mooching still to go in order to find the real gems I know are out there but I have found some initial goodies. The first site I found which I hadn’t known was there is Promod. Promod is a French brand and when I was in Lille last year I found some funky t-shirts in their store, sadly the one I bought died in the first wash as it went in with a brand new duster! So now I am super excited to find them online and I found some good looking bargains too. Here are my faves:

I love this 60s inspired dress, the design is simple yet striking and the choice of colours is right up my alley! You can add this little beauty to your wardrobe for just £39.00.

Continuing with the 60s theme is this fab orange swing coat. Orange is such a big colour right now and it’s so good for autumn. Try it and you might just like it!

The coat is £95.00 but if you like it, it’ll be an investment piece you’ll be wearing almost non stop for months, if not years on end. Grab it now here.

Stepping aside from the 60s colour pop trend, I have also found some great British inspired treasures with much more traditional colour ways for winter in the UK.

I love this jacket so much! I would however, try it out with a dress and some biker boots for a more edgy look than they have here. It’s £47.00 but I think it’s one of those you could put with anything and definitely clash it with other colourways. If you were, however feeling a bit more conservative, perhaps on a work day, I think these shoes would look just fab with this jacket:

These are a total bargain at just £36.00 and would look totally hot with dresses as well.

In my next post I will tell you about the other sites I found but I just had to go first with Promod as there were so many tasty items :-)

As an FYI, I am not being paid by Promod, I just love their stuff!!!

Anyone else got any good “secret” online stores they have found? x

Buying vs. Selling

I’ve spent the last few days pondering whether the reason I buy so much is to fill the void I have from not selling anything. Every now and then I have a little clear out (which to me seems huge) and I sell some bits and pieces on ebay. When I do this, I actually tend to spend less money on buying as it seems I get my kicks out of selling. In fact, I actually get a bigger kick out of selling and get ridiculously excited that I have managed to do so. Given that I don’t have a huge amount of capital behind me to set up a shop of any kind, for now I am restricted to selling my old bits and pieces on ebay and making that buzz stretch out for as long as possible – free listings this weekend btw so a great time for a clear out.

Given that I can only sell a limited number of items, does it then make it ok for me to spend again as I have sold? I keep selling things telling myself I will do something useful with the money but I keep then spending the money on more things I will sell a few months down the line. How does one break this vicious cycle? Will I ever be content enough with what I have not to shop? Even for a week?

Has anyone else been there? Can anybody help me!?! I fear I may be addicted to spending money and my bank balance is not thanking me for it!


Look into my eyes…

Oh yes, I really am about to tell you about my first encounter with hypnotherapy. I can’t really believe just how out of character it is for me to actually go and do something like this but I have!

I went to a local hypnotherapist in Reading for my free consultation and as I stepped into the room I realised that I was in for a whole lot more than I had bargained for. Firstly, it was the exact opposite of the clinical, stark environments that hypontherapists inhabit in films. The room was literally full from top to bottom with paraphernalia! There were pictures, postcards, quotes, theatre tickets, all sorts – some of which had been arranged especially for me. The part of the room I was to inhabit was literally the world’s most comfortable leather chair which I happily snuggled right into.

I had thought that I would tell the therapist what I wanted to happen and he would talk to me about putting me in a trance. What actually happened was he asked me lots of questions about me and my family, job, etc. and then freaked me out by asking me to close my eyes to establish the real reason I want to be a puppy trainer and the reason was there! Similarly when asked to close my eyes and describe a memory from a particularly tough time in my life, my mind was literally blank. I had a big black rectangle sat just behind my eyes – mental!

Anyhow, we progressed to a me being in a state of relaxation whilst he basically created a story in my mind involving me. It was very bizarre and somewhat disconcerting what that revealed and it has left me somewhat on edge about whether or not to go back. I went to get in the right mind frame for a diet and somehow now have a lot of deeper, darker things that need to come out first which I’m not totally sure I want to happen. I have however come away with a technique for putting my mind in a relaxed and safe place instantly which I think I will be using a lot from now.

Has anyone more sceptical been to see a hypnotherapist? Was it the same for you or only for me as my mind was open?

Very, very strange experience and not one I would ever have imagined having!


I want to ride my bicycle…

Super quick post, I just have to share this with the world…I exercised again today! Go me, I am so proud!

The bf and I went for a bike ride in the woods which I’d like to say went swimmingly but in all honesty I was a bit grumpy to start with. This was my second time riding in about the last 8 years and the woods was difficult, too many trees with their stupid roots making it all really tough! So I moaned and grumbled until we came out of the woods and down a road. So glad we did, the road was a steep hill so we whizzed down it, I felt a bit like a dog with its head out of the car window with the wind sailing past my ears. We saw Mapledurham House to our right and then cycled back along The Warren admiring all of the posh riverside properties. Lovely! In total we descended and then ascended about 1000ft and rode / walked a bit for 5miles according to the iPhone app he used! I am so super proud I just had to share it!

That is all :-)

PS Having written my previous post, I decided to set up a separate blog for my candida diet journey, this can be found here so check it out: Candida Free

Candida Get Out!

Ok, so here I am again determined to battle through my digestive hard times. Having scoured the net for the last 3 years and been to many doctor’s appointments (to no avail), I am now fairly certain that Candida is behind how rubbish I have felt for the last few years.

So…here I go on the diet, hardcoring it this time, have bought a special cookbook and everything! Today is day 2 and I am just dying for something sweet, even just some fruit!

I’d like to invite anyone that thinks they are suffering or knows they are suffering with Candida to join me on this journey and share your experience – safety in numbers and all that!

For those of you who are not sure if this is for you, here’s a quick checklist of the symptoms to watch out for:

And that is just some of it! Please post a comment if you’d like any advice or want to join me on the diet – I can post diet tips and recipes if you want! lol!
Self motivation is key and I’m hoping that writing this will help – wish me luck :-) x

Blimey – 5 Months Already!!!

Wow! I knew it had been quite some time since my last post but 5 months seems insane – what a time it has been and so much to catch up on.

Run down of events since my last post:

End November – my birthday! Spa hotel and super sexy KG shoes from the boy to celebrate my quarter century…love, love, love!

December – work Xmas party, tres fun, delicious dinner in the Forbury restaurant in Reading, purchase of super fit All Saints leather Jacket – £200 in the sale – half off! Lots of family fun times and Grease in the West End. Rudi, the Miniature Schnauzer enters my parents’ life – absolute bundle of love. Sadly I move out shortly after

January – new year, super healthy, impossible to stick to diet which did nothing at all to help my tummy, just made the world very depressing. Moved out – was told I would be living with a woman, in reality live with a couple and a child most weekends; my idea of hell, looking forward to the next move in June!

February – Valentines fun, a gorgeous meal in Brighton with the Mr and finally a promotion at work!

March – Hard times! Sold the beautiful yet expensive car in favour of an orange Punto with a broken windscreen wiper – boo! Teechers – me, on stage! So yes, more theatre, it keeps cropping up but this time it’s me :-)

April – not a lot has happened so far but for 1 thing tonight which I want to talk about… Go Karting!

I think it was right at the end of Feb that a group of us from work went Karting at Teamworks in Reading. They have electric karts and the track is fairly small but I smashed it – did really well – until the point where it mattered and I ended up with no podium place; I blame the guy that span me. I was however top performing female by quite a way and the adrenaline was akin to that of an opening night at the theatre. It got me thinking that maybe, should my non existent acting career not work out, I could have a career in racing. In the last few months I have also considered puppy training, opening a cafe, opening a boutique, etc, etc. Something tells me I’m not quite cut out for the office lifestyle!

I had finally reconciled myself with the fact that I didn’t win when I found out that there was karting mark 2, minus the guy who span me last time… oh boy, what an experience that was! Tonight was the most fun night in AGES! This time we went to Premier Karting where they have petrol karts and boy was that the real deal! The track was loads bigger, more fun, the karts were faster and there were more overtaking spaces. I crashed so hard my entire body lifted out of my seat (and luckily landed back in there) – it was immense! The best thing about it was that I made it to the 3rd place on the podium as well – absolute love! So, if anyone knows how I make this a real hobby and find out if I am better than anyone other than my work colleagues, please post as I have made this my new mission. I am an adrenaline junkie – it just so happens I get my kicks when performing in a theatre or on a karting track!

That is it for now, just wanted to get my buzz out there :-)

Wicked! Surprise Party and Life in the Real World

Wow, I literally can barely remember the person I was last time I posted something and have even less memory of what I cared about at that time! I figure I must have been obsessed with planning a surprise birthday party for my bf – that is now done and dusted!

What a night the surprise was; the initial panic set in earlier in the week when the hostess came down with a hideous ear infection and was off work sick. Luckily she had recovered enough the night before for us to start decorating her pad in preparation (sparkly red hearts are very manly don’t you know!). Then the fateful night arrived and as we walked through the door and everyone yelled “surprise” with cameras flashing everywhere, what did my bf do…act totally nonchalant, walk straight in and start saying hi to people. Worst “surprise” face ever! Everyone said it too – no emotion…not even a hint! This of course added to my nerves so I decided it would be best to hit the booze and fast! Hit it I did – vodka and cranberry juice and lots of it. I still don’t know why I chose vodka given that it always makes me hideously drunk and sick. As you can now imagine, I did indeed reach the point in the night where I literaly snapped from being drunk one minute to complaining I was going to vom the  next. (Of course none of this had anything to do with the fact that I could barely breathe in my size 8 dress!!!) Luckily my lovely friends managed to get an IKEA bag in front of me to catch the pink wonder that flew out of my mouth. I then proceeded  to fall asleep on the sofa in the corner and missed most of the party I had put so much effort into organising…fail! The important thing is he enjoyed it though.

That night then set the precedent for the next day – matinee tickets to see Wicked in the West End. For local theatre I am almost always bang on time / late, for the big shows I always like to be early. Not this time. I awoke on the Saturday morning feeling particularly shite as my stomach is dodgy at the best of times and proceeded to delay us whilst I was unsure I could manage food. We then got on the train, at which point it became bf’s time to feel ill, he did have to crouch down like a pervert with a foot fetish as of course there were no seats available. Finally we arrive at Paddington only to find the Circle Line closed so we have to take a longer route to the theatre. We literally got there as they were closing the curtain to stop anyone else coming in…but boy was it worth it!

Wicked was superb! I didn’t actually know that much about the show or the storyline prior to going, I just assumed it would be good as I had heard so many rave reviews. Turns out I loved it! There had been a slight bit of scepticism based on my love for The Wizard of Oz but the humour and talent in Wicked really brought the story to life and made me appreciate it as a whole separate entity. Interestingly it has also made me look at Wiz in a new light and I shall be re-watching soon to look for hints of this backstory. I definitely recommend a trip to Wicked for young and old alike.

Anyhow, the birthday went well and seems to have improved my standing as a truly amazing gf.  Sadly it seems that the rest of life still exists and I keep having to do that work thing in order to get the money I NEED to spend on shoes! However, even good news here! I have taken on a whole new aspect of my role – temp recruitment. What a volatile beast that is!!! I love it and it has definitely made the days go quicker but heck there are some annoying people out there – how hard can it be to say you will take a job and actually turn up on the day!?! Mentals! Love love love though and hope to carry this on for much longer :-)

The next exciting event is our Come Dine with Me competition amongst friends. We have teamed up with 3 other couples we know to host dinner parties; ours is first, this Saturday. Luckily we have an obvious theme to choose and have gone for bonfire night. Already the drama has started though; we decided some pink sparkly paper to print the invitations onto would be just the ticket…easy…or not!?! Apparently inkjet printers will print onto shiny paper but the ink won’t dry and laser printers will print and the ink will dry but the paper will also get stuck in the printer / create a burning smell…twice…at work…oops! Luckily bf lives with the IT Manager so all is sorted. It did mean we ended up inkjet printing, then mounting on more paper and laminating but now we have firework proof invites, hehehe! Update to follow on the dinner party as I don’t want to give any more away at this stage.

You may have noticed a lack of mentions of exercise…it dropped off the radar – even my new Nike outfit has not kept me going. In all fairness my gym buddy and I have been busy people but still no excuse. It may have something to do with the fact that we nearly died at the Capoeira class we went to but we have definitely booked ourselves in to another class tomorrow – I WILL fit into the size 8 dress I bought for the Xmas party and be able to breathe at the same time! Ideas on a postcard of how to do this whilst still eating at least 3 choccie bars a day please!

Update done! Will defo be back much sooner next time x

Exercise, Theatre (standard!), Online Shopping and Meeting the Parents!!!

Yet again since my last post there has been more theatre going activity. This time I was back at the Hexagon in Reading watching The Naked Truth which turned out to be rather funny. It is cast entirely of women, is about women and as such had an audience almost entirely made up of women but that was part of what made it so enjoyable. The characters are quite predictable but that meant it was easy to relax and enjoy the show, much like going to see a chick flick at the cinema and it was definitely good to get out with the girls and have some fun. Michelle Heaton also showcased her super hot bod and pole dancing skills…we are now thinking more seriously about taking up pole dancing having seen that! There is in fact a class at the uni this Sunday evening which could definitely be a possibility.

Talking of classes, I also returned to the scene of the crime for another exercise class. This time we did aerobics, figuring it would be easier as we would have only our feet to trip over and not the step as well. We were wrong…big time! Not only did we put more energy into the workout but the class leader also threw in some circuit training style work. I don’t think I have ever sweated so much in my life! What made it worse was the somewhat chunkier girl with the belly lapping me in the running and generally being much fitter than me. I felt like a total let down, I look the part as I’m fairly slim and I had on my brand spanking new Nike gym gear. Oh yes, new pink Nike T shirt thing and tight black bottoms – learned last week that jogging bottoms from Zara are not the done thing. The sad thing was I also own Nike socks and Nike trainers…like a walking ad until I start exercising, at which point I think the brand managers at Nike would rather I wore anything other than their brand!

Anyhow, exercise is old news now, no need to update you on that unless I suddenly become pro or find a class which burns calories without you even noticing. The other form of exercise I have been doing is much more fun, or at least it would be if I didn’t manage to get it so wrong. What am I talking about you wonder…no, it’s not sex, but I have been clicking my mouse; I’m talking about exercising my credit card, I’ve really been working on stretching it’s limit recently. Online shopping has become something of an addiction but I am crap at it! So far I have bought a headunit which eBay are now due to refund as it didn’t work and the seller didn’t respond; a pair of Topshop shoes which turned out to definitely not be Topshop and some kind of cheap, ill fitting copy…which I’m hoping eBay will refund. Then I bought a faux fur coat which is beautiful, size S, unfortunately it’s the biggest Small I’ve ever tried on so that will be going to the tailor to be taken in. Then I bought a leopard print playsuit from Miss Selfridge; I’m always a 10 so that’s what I bought…except in this instance when I need an 8; can’t find it in the shops so will probably have to send it back and order another one. I cannot tell you how many times I have made these same mistakes, yet as with any addiction, I just can’t stop. (Here are some more occasions within the last few months… 3x playsuits, 1 New Look, 1 ASOS, 1 Dorothy Perkins…all the wrong fit, 2x underwear sets M&S, 1 I ordered the wrong set (duh!) and 1 didn’t fit…it seems selling works much better for me!)

A friend told me she read a magazine article that basically says mine and her shopping habits mean we are trying to fill an emotional void and that we should work on the route cause of this. I say…bollocks to that, I love shopping and am happy to keep trying to fill the void! I’m even on that Retail Therapy game on Facebook (don’t try it!). However, online shopping is an even bigger anticlimax than Xmas; firstly the parcel is always later than you think, then when it arrives you get all excited before 1 of 3 things happens: 1.) you open it and instantly realise your mistake and try to work out the quickest way to send it back and get your money back. 2.) You open it, it looks and feels amazing, you try it on and it doesn’t fit / looks shit on you. 3.) Very rare occasion, you like it and have nothing to moan about so instead inspect every last thread whilst trying to find something to moan about. Bad times all round! I vote…get off your arse and go into town; calorie burning and more efficient!

Enough moaning about the internet, what I have to say next is the really important part of this post. Tomorrow I am going back to my bf’s home town to meet his family and some of his friends…OMG! Never has this been a big deal before as I have always had bf’s who lived at home and thus met their parents straight away. This situation seems a whole lot more scary; my main worry is that they find me either shy, rude or crude. Many people have found me to be 1 or more of the aforementioned and that is just not a good impression to make. Or, what happens if I go the other way and I’m so over friendly and nice that they just think I’m a total weirdo!?! How much of your real self should you show to people you don’t know but need to impress??? Argh!!! And, even more scary than meeting family is meeting friends, they are way more judgemental and openly so usually. In 1 weekend I could potentially completely bugger up 4 months of good times, oh the pressure!!! I will update next week to let you know if I still have anything to bugger up! x

Exercise…How is this good for me!?!

OMG…have just exercised for what could well be the first time in literally years! I must however point out that I have not gone totally mad, I did follow this exercise with eating far too much chocolate…wouldn’t want to actually lose weight because then I couldn’t moan about my thighs any more!

Not only have I exercised but I have also broken a sweat…yes actual beads of watery type stuff appeared on my forehead…mental! This could not have been at a much worse time as I then saw a very attractive man in the car park who had handily parked next to me. He did “check me out” and I had a good look back, though I fear I may be kidding myself and actually he was wondering what the hell I had been doing in the gym to come out looking quite so shit!!! What I had been doing was in fact a class with the most hideous name ever…Step: Bums and Guts. Apparently I am now so obese that I have a gut rather than a slight tummy, shock tactics are clearly working though as I did attend. Luckily next week’s class clashes with a theatre trip…oh darn!

I’m thinking maybe restricting my exercise to the odd go-karting session when I’m at work may be the way forward, not least because I seem to be good at that as it requires no co-ordination and impatience is actually a bonus!

Right, exercise rant over, time to hang out my washed and wet laundry before bed. Over and out x