Friday, 30 September 2016


I'm not long back from a holiday abroad. Didn't you know? Chances are, if you follow me on any form of social media you probably do know. As I really like making sure everyone knows I'm on holiday and having fun.

I'm sure it's not just me - after all, you're in a different place from usual, so why wouldn't you be wanting to tell all and sundry what you're up to?

So here's my guide to things you should be doing on social media when you're on holiday . . .

The obligatory airport Facebook check-in, complete with glass of alcohol
The holiday don't start until there's a picture of me on Facebook (at the very least!) waving a glass of wine at the airport - no matter the time of day

Plane selfie
If you don't take a piccie of yourself on the plane and later post it on Instagram, were you really on a plane?

A tweet to your holiday company to moan about something... because something always goes wrong
They ran out of wine on the plane? (This has happened to me before.) They messed you about with your transfer bus? It's a long drive to your resort (usually) so you might as well complain while you wait... and then be inevitably infuriated by the unhelpful response.

Hot dogs or legs pic
Personally my legs are too chubby to be mistaken for hot dogs, but if they were I'd probably do this. However, I will still probably take the odd picture of my legs, on a lounger, with a glass of vino in hand...

"Hard day at the office"/ "not the usual Monday morning view" type post
You know the kind I mean, right? Pic of the pool or beach with a variation on one of the above captions. Sometimes with added "hot dog or legs" bonus footage. If you can post it right at the time where everyone you know will be in the office, do it. They'll love it. I promise. ;-)

Picture of cocktails
Doesn't matter if you don't usually drink cocktails. It's a must on holiday! Top tip: just have one cocktail for the photo opp and then switch to your usual drink. If you can tie the name of one into a song lyric for an instagram caption, even better! (For example... a picture of a tequila sunrise captioned "it's another tequila sunrise..." Or "Tequila . . . it makes me happy". You'll be glad to know the tequila themed part of the post is now over. And yes... I used both of them on one holiday!)

At least one mirror selfie showing you are wearing far less clothes than everyone back home
Whether that's because you have a hot bikini bod (not me!) or you just aren't likely to wear that particular item of clothing ever back home because it isn't hot enough (definitely me!) this is something you need to do!

And so that ends my list. I'm sure I had absolutely tons more, but once I actually sat down to type this up, they suddenly had all drained out of my brain. Please note that this is very much tongue-in-cheek and, when I'm on holiday again next week (yep, I only got back from the last one four weeks ago but I'm away again) you can guarantee most of the above will be happening on social media. So . . . you might want to follow me?!? (Here for twitter, here for instagram.) (Shameless plug, I know, but I'm not sorry!)

Have I missed any? What do you always make sure to do on social media while on holiday, or anything you've noticed other people doing? Feel free to share in the comments section - I do love a comment!

Thursday, 8 September 2016


Do you answer phone numbers you don’t recognise?

I don’t.

There is little that instills the fear of god into me more than when my phone lights up with a phone number and a query of whether to answer it or reject it. (To be fair, sometimes I feel similarly when I do recognise the number, but when I don’t know it, it is so much worse.) You can guarantee that baby is getting either completely ignored or rejected.

But it’s constant. And oh so annoying. Several times a day, at least, I get these strange numbers ringing my phone.

Sometimes it’s the same number numerous times. Sometimes different numbers. Sometimes it’s a mobile number. Sometimes it’s a London number. Occasionally it’s even been an Egyptian number.

They all get ignored.

I used to reject them immediately if I saw the call coming through. But it seems the nasty numbers don’t like that, and you’ve barely swiped in the “reject” direction when a call comes through from the same number again. So now I tend to just blank them. I never have my ringer on anyway which makes matters a lot easier.

I google them afterwards, of course. Just to be sure I haven’t missed anything important. Luckily there’s so many forums where people document their experiences with these numbers and so the internet regularly reassures me that it’s okay, I don’t need to worry that I’ve missed National Lottery’s HQ telling me I’ve won a million pounds despite the fact I haven’t bought a ticket for six months. (This is the sort of thing that crosses my mind.)

Instead I’ve had a lucky escape from being told I might be entitled to PPI (I’m not). Or I’m due an upgrade on my phone (I’m not). Or I’m entitled to compensation for an imaginary accident I’ve had.

I can breathe a sigh of relief, knowing that my decision to ignore the number was completely correct.

But here’s an even more painful pain point, the sting in the tail… when the number you don’t recognise phoning you is “unknown number” or “private number”.

I’m going to ignore it still, granted. But not being able to google it afterwards? Hateful.

I really really hope when the National Lottery HQ phone me, they at least do it from a number I can google…

Thursday, 1 September 2016


Dear mosquitoes of the world,

Why do you like me so much?

It's very flattering, don't get me wrong. I would never have imagined I had such delicious blood that you all come swarming to me like bees to honey or moths to a flame. However, I am absolutely sick to the back teeth of having pretty much every foreign holiday I go on result in me ending up covered in bites.

And while some people do not appear to be affected at all by mosquito bites, I firmly fall into the opposite camp.

Mine are itchy and unsightly, and I never know quite what they're going to do next. On my first day in Rhodes, I was bitten several times on the foot and legs before I even had time to smother myself in mosquito repellent. I don't know if it was just one of you little blighters who did all of that bite-work, or whether it was several of you . . . either way, not one of them reacted in the same way. Some reddened to different degrees, others blistered . . . there was one that I had to cover with a plaster almost immediately as it was so tremendously ugly.

It makes the whole holiday process more difficult because I'm trying to treat the bites, while stopping new ones, AND balance this with frequent reapplication of suncream so I don't end up with sunburn to add to the irritation of the mosquito bites. And if I DARE to go in the pool, you have to go through the whole rigmarole again once you're out because if you guys sense any sort of weakness, any little chink in the armour, you zoom right in there like the heat seeking little missiles you are and chomp away at me.

And it's not even necessarily places with ridiculously hot climates that you seem to frequent, lying in wait to pounce on my flesh. I once got attacked by one of you in Paris in April one year! Three times on the hand, and it was so bloody sore I ended up shouting at the fella when the poor dude tried innocently to hold my hand when we were at Euro Disney the following day. I hope you're happy with your behaviour!!!

The thing that winds me up the most about it is that there doesn't seem to be anything I can do about it. No matter how much repellent I apply, you still manage to get in there somehow and suck my blood. And they always end up scarring. And never seem to even attempt to heal until after I am home from the holiday.

I just wish there was a solution - a way you could just leave me the hell alone. Or a miraculous cure for making the bites vanish almost as soon as they appear.

Unfortunately, I haven't found a solution or a cure. But I live in hope.

In the meantime, if you could all just give me a break for my next couple of holidays, I would be extremely grateful.

Thanks in advance

P xx

Tuesday, 16 August 2016


I have always been a massive fan of pasta.

I sometimes try to limit my carbs, but my love of pasta means that will never last for long. It is just the best. So tasty, and such a comfort food staple in my book.

My go-to current pasta recipe is my own version of carbonara. I've always been a massive fan of carbonara. My version though . . . well, it's a healthier one than the norm, or I like to think it is anyway. Mainly because it doesn't have cream in it. But it does have plenty of other delicious ingredients, it's easy to make, and it tastes ace. If I say so myself. ;-)

So let's get you up to speed on how to produce a plate of this yumminess all by yourself, yeah?

INGREDIENTS (this will serve two)
  • 160g spaghetti (you can use other pasta if you want, but spaghetti is my personal fave)
  • Veg of your liking (I used a red onion, a handful of chopped up mushrooms and around half of a red pepper, but you can pretty much use whatever you want and in whatever quantities. It's a pretty adaptable recipe! I also throw in a garlic clove if I happen to have garlic around.)
  • Diced chorizo (I used about 60g for the recipe)
  • Fage Total 0% Greek Yogurt (small tub - 190g)
  • 50g of grated cheddar
  • 1 medium egg
  • Spices - a sprinkling of hot chilli pepper and paprika (optional)
  • Parmesan (to serve - optional but extremely delicious)

  • Cook your spaghetti the normal way.
  • In the meantime, chop up your veg and add it to a pan with either some olive oil or Frylight. Fry away.
  • After about five minutes, throw the chorizo in and continue to fry. By this time, your spaghetti should be nearly ready to go.
  • Add the entire pot of Greek yogurt into the frying pan, ensuring the hob is now done to a low heat. If you're planning to add spices, do so at this point.
  • Drain the pasta and then add it to the pan of vegetables and yogurt, keeping on a very low heat, and keeping everything moving so nothing sticks to the pan (add a tablespoon or two of water if necessary). Mix everything together well, then crack an egg into the pan, mixing it in thoroughly.
  • Once the egg is mixed in, add the grated cheddar and keep stirring for a minute or so longer.
  • Serve up onto the plates, sprinkle some parmesan on top, and enjoy.
This is definitely a lovely treat for one of those days where you have had a rubbish day and want a nice big dose of carbs, meatiness and cheese. It also isn't mega-high in calories - when I was adding this into my diary on myfitnesspal last time I was making it, it came to around 650 calories. Which granted, isn't ideal if you're being incredibly strict but if it's that or you go out for dinner and end up having the heavy cream based carbonara as well as a starter and half a bottle of wine . . . it's a decent alternative. ;-)

You could also leave out the meat if you're not a meat-eater. Oh and if you're weird with eggs, rest assured you won't even notice the inclusion of that one egg. Pinky swear.

Let me know if you give this a go. And enjoy!!! :-)

PS. You can check out all of my other recipes here.

Friday, 5 August 2016


Happy Friday!

Always an awesome feeling  . . . well, as long as you don't work weekends, in which case I apologise and will try not to rub it in. This post isn't really about the weekend anyway. It's about something related to Friday in particular, which quite a lot of people will experience in their working life.

Dress-down Fridays.

I don't really *get* the whole concept of "casual Fridays".

It may partly be because I'm not really a "casual dresser" as such. I've only owned about two pairs of jeans in the past five years and I don't really feel comfortable in them. At the moment I don't own any that fit, for a start, so I'm certainly not going to wear them to work on a Friday!

I also just don't understand what makes Friday a different day from the rest of the week, when you're required to dress smartly. Don't the same things still happen that happen every other day that mean you dress smartly on those days? Meetings, visitors coming into the office? I've worked in so many offices over the years that operate a casual Friday policy and this still bamboozles me many years later!

But the main thing that annoys me about it is that I only have a few outfits I actually feel I can wear on a Friday, probably about three outfits that I wear on a rotation - a black top and stretchy mini skirt (I have two in different patterns which I alternate), a grey pinafore dress (pictured above) or  a black jersey dress. Which are also my standard weekend garb. (Seriously, if you look at any Instagram pics of me from a weekend you'll start to notice a recurring theme!)

I think most people wake up on a Friday, think "brilliant, I can wear what I want" and throw on a pair of jeans and a nice top and come in and look fab . . . I just always wear the same thing. And if I'm meant to be going out straight from work it's even worse because I'm not wearing anything different than I wear most Fridays. So I feel like people must think "does she have no clothes or something?" on a Friday. Even if I do think the few "more casual" clothes I own are cute.

It's weird because I used to love a "non-uniform" day in school growing up. The difference was though that I was wearing a uniform I hated on the other days. These days I far prefer my "uniform" of non-casual clothes and would rather stick to them!

Maybe I just need to buy more casual clothes.

Any excuse to spend money on more clothes! ;-)

Do you have a casual Friday in your workplace?

Thursday, 4 August 2016


I'm a wee bit of an exercise DVD addict.

I've had wee phases of getting into the gym (emphasis on the "wee phases" part - they normally last a couple of weeks max) and I tried to get into running a couple of times without success... and I'm not a "class person" either - my once a week pole fitness class can be stressful enough for me at times (I am ridiculously possessive over the pole I use and get very upset if anyone beats me to it!), so I wouldn't want to add to that stress. So exercise DVDs are my saviour.

Well, I'm not sure "saviour" is the right word. I am interested in exercise DVDs.

I like to buy them.

Using them is a bit more sporadic, let's just say.

I do however feel I'm a wee bit of an expert in them due to me owning so many of the damn things. So I thought it would be good to do a post about the things that I don't like in an exercise DVD. Y'all ready to hope on board today's rant? Okay, let's do this!

When the people in the DVD don't have their hair tied back
I don't trust people who work out with their hair loose. Either their workout isn't hard enough or they have some sort of ridiculous sweat glands that just don't produce sweat. And how dare they look glam after the same workout that makes me look like an angry tomato with a greasy scalp? They're taking fecking liberties, that's all I can say! Oh, and while we're on the subject of hair, what about the celebrities who appear to have gotten hair extensions purely for the purpose of the DVD so they can have a high swishy ponytail? We don't care about your fecking hair, we are trying to get your celebrity BODY here!

Jumping around
I hate exercise DVDs that involve too much jumping around. I don't mind the odd bit, I know this plyometric stuff is good for me but my legs hate me for it! Oh and lunges, especially jumping lunges are the worst. My knees are my worst enemy (well, after my flabby gut) and this sort of move really does not agree with me . . . and is most likely to leave me walking away from your DVD and never returning.

Strange dialogue
If you find a DVD that you don't mind the exercises for and start doing it regularly, one thing you notice the dialogue going on during it. And sometimes it's really bloody weird. One DVD I do fairly regularly, the Clare Nasir one (I know, I didn't know who she was either) has an exercise they do called "Stir the Soup" during which a very strange conversation goes on between Clare and her trainer "What's your favourite type of soup?" she asks the trainer. He replies "Strawberries and cream . . . but I don't think it's allowed on the diet plan." That is just weird, but I can accept it because the workout itself is okay. Other DVDs have had me screaming at the TV to shut up. Jillian Michaels spouting her self-help crap or telling me not to "phone it in" makes me want to hurl the remote, for example.

Repeating the same moves over and over and OVER again
There's a particular trainer who does this a lot and is behind a few so-called-celeb fitness DVDs. If you don't mind a certain move that's one thing . . . but if you end up having to do more than 300 knee lifts over the space of a 20 minute section of workout (and, yes, this has happened to me!), it seems a bit too much like overkill, even if it does burn a lot of calories. The boredom just ain't worth it!

Long warm-ups which are part of one of the main workouts
I generally like to do my own warm-ups when I am going to do a fitness DVD. This is because I find the ones on most DVDs a bit boring and frustrating. So I hate when a fitness DVD goes to the trouble to split the DVD into sections that you can skip between . . . but attach it at the start of the first workout so you have to try and fast forward through it if you want to do your own warm-up and then launch into that particular section. Very irritating. See also: cooldowns at the end of one section of the workout - this generally happens with ab/core workouts. Sometimes I might want to do the cooldown without the ab part first, you know!

Someone really buff doing the "easy" version of the moves
It's always nice when there's an easy version of some of the moves, especially when they are particularly hard. When it's someone who is quite clearly in extremely good shape and more than capable of doing the harder moves, it winds me up. I feel a bit patronised.

Including burpees in the workout
Main reason here is that burpees are the devil, they exhaust me, and I can't bloody do them properly! Is it just me who hates them? Am I the only person who finds their body won't actually work correctly when I try to do them? How the hell am I meant to make my legs jump out behind me and then propel me upright in one swift move? My body can't do it! Burpees make me feel like a failure. Please don't add them in! I can try and fail at them on my own time, 'kay?

Are you a fan of fitness dvds? What puts you off them?

Tuesday, 2 August 2016


Guys, I am beyond obsessed with pastel hair.

Ever since I discovered Bleach London's range of pastel colours about a year ago, I have sporadically been using the rose and lilac colours, usually mixed together. But they wash out so quickly!

So when I found out about Schwarzkopf's Live Lightener + Twist range I was immediately intrigued. But a bit scared. Because the dye claims to lighten hair up to four shades while also providing a pastel tone.


Now, I did a wee bit of research prior to purchasing it, and I couldn't find any reviews of it - if it wasn't for the fact that I knew a girl in real life who had used it (the girl who told me about it in the first place), I would have been trying it completely blindly. So I figured I would document my experience for anyone who is curious about the product. (You are welcome.)

First of all, the box states that the dye is not suitable for use on coloured hair. Now, I did not realise this until now, as I type this review up! It is intended for blonde hair, but I guess they are trying to say it is only for natural blondes. Now, I hardly know any natural blondes myself so they are probably limiting their market somewhat with that statement.

I am obviously not a natural blonde. My (naturally brown) hair is probably medium blonde and usually darker at the top than the bottom, and I had about half an inch of black roots prior to using this hair-dye. So I don't even have white blonde hair that could potentially act as a blank canvas for a pastel shade.

But I decided to go for it anyway. Because I wanted pastel hair that much.

I opted for the cool lilac shade as I thought it would potentially be more subtle than the pink. It was simple to mix up and then it was just a matter of applying it to the roots, followed by the rest of the hair for a much shorter time near to the end. (Weirdly, this was following the instructions for previously dyed hair - so totally contradicting the advice on the box, no?)

I did find it a wee bit difficult to apply to the hair - it wasn't as easy as one of my usual blonde hair dyes, it didn't rub in as smoothly. Plus I was very paranoid about it going wrong, especially as my roots were looking a worrying bright orange colour under the dye!

I left it on slightly less time than advised, once again because I was paranoid about it going wrong. Then it was just a matter of washing it off, and massaging the colour after-treatment into my hair before washing that off too.

I was pleasantly surprised (and relieved) with the results - I just wish I'd left it on longer now.  My hair is definitely a bit lighter, with a definite pastel lilac tone to it. I really like it, and I like that it's not going to wash out straight away like the Bleach London ones. I'm sure you'll agree it doesn't really look much like the model on the box - but then remember I'm working with already dyed, unnaturally blonde hair - and my hair is in nowhere near as good condition as the model on the box, but we'll pretend it looks just as glossy and amazing, OKAY??? ;-)

I will probably use the dye again very soon, to try and get more of an all-over effect, now that I know what I'm doing and what to expect.

It's currently only £5.49 in Boots, so it's a pretty good deal - if you are looking for lilac hair and don't mind a bit of bleach in your hair I would personally recommend it, although I guess results will vary depending on the original colour and condition of your hair. It worked for me anyway and I'm happy with the results!

Update: as nice as the results are, they unfortunately don't last long. I have used it another time since the first time and both times the pastel was gone within a fortnight. (I do still plan to use it again though, and I also found the Bleach London dyes have taken better in my hair as a result on account of it being lighter).

What do you think of the pastel hair trend? Is it something you have tried or would try?

Friday, 15 July 2016


So I've been enjoying a couple of days off work this second half of the week, and this meant I could catch up with my sister (she works in retail so often has random week days off). We decided to go bowling, as neither of us had been in a while. We both love it - I'm shit at it but want to be good (plus the fact that I can enjoy a vino or three while playing is obviously an added bonus) and she is great at it and who doesn't love a game that you're great at?!?

However, there are a couple of things that do irritate me about bowling - would you expect anything less from me??? - so I decided it would be an ideal time to write a blog post about this while it's still fresh in my head! So let's get on with it, shall we?

Getting set up . . . for instant failure!
You want to be all independent when the staff ask whether you need help setting up your names etc at your lane, and say you can do it yourself. Then you look at the little screen and think "How the fuck does this even work?" and have to end up asking for help anyway . . . so you may as well have just let the staff member hold your hand right through the process anyway. Less humiliating overall!

Sharing is most definitely NOT caring
I hate that you effectively have to share a lane with another group of people. I know you have your own lane, but the way it's set up with the seats facing each other and you sharing a bowl machine (I have no idea what the technical name of it is!) it does feel like you're having your party invaded by another party. Especially when they actually do take over some of your space. As you may know about me, I am not a fan of people invading my personal space.

The machines don't make sense!
So you'd think in this day and age that you could throw a ball down your lane and it would actually return to your side of the machine right? Why doesn't it? To me, the tussle for bowling balls with the people in the neighbouring lane is definitely exacerbated by this issue. Which leads me onto . . .

People and their balls
Seriously, why do you need so many bowling balls within your party? There's space for like, what, five balls on each side? Do you really need more than that? You know they come back to you (mostly - refer to previous point) after you send them flying down the lane, right? You don't actually need ten spares . . . pun not intended! Oh, and while we're on the subject it would be nice if you put your chosen bowling balls back where you got them when you were leaving so that the next lot of people who want to use the lane don't have to try and work out what ones were yours so they can move them without stealing the balls that their neighbours are using. Just a thought!

Ball thiefs
I know there are a limited amount of bowling balls available, especially in certain sizes. But don't just come up and take a bowling ball from someone's lane without asking first.  And if you see the person in your neighbouring lane using a certain bowling ball all the time and have taken a fancy to it for some reason . . . GO AND GET YOUR OWN rather than using it when it's your neighbours turn so they have to wait around for it. One time the fella and I were at the bowling and the two older couples we were facing kept using the one bowling ball I had brought into the lane (before they turned up, might I add!) even though they had brought over a selection of completely different weights to this one before they started playing! Infuriating.

Faulty machinery
THREE TIMES there was an issue with our pins yesterday, and we had to wait for help. One of the times it even involved a technician having to look at it in around the back of the lanes. The third time it happened we didn't even know if that was it fixed and my sister finally took her shot hoping that there wasn't some poor guy in the back who was about to be attacked by her bad-ass bowling technique! We don't think there was . . . but then maybe he just hadn't been found by the time we left. We didn't hear any screams anyway so let's assume it's okay!

The price
Is it just me who finds bowling ridiculously expensive? We paid 36 pounds for three games, and because there was only two of us, it was over in an hour. And it would have been less time if it hadn't been all the waiting around for our lane to be fixed. Literally the only time I think you can get a discount in our local bowling alley is if it's your birthday . . . so I guess the best solution for me would be to make friends with people who like bowling who have birthdays coming up! Good plan, Paula! :-)

What do you think? Have I hit the nail on the head with these (Or I guess this case the question should be "have I hit the pin with the ball with these!)? Have I missed any? Please feel free to share in the comments section.

Thursday, 7 July 2016


I’m a wee bit obsessed with Pinterest. I don’t really understand how it actually works and I’m not really sure if I actually care that I don’t . . .but I really just like drooling over pictures of food on it.
I’m also a teeny bit in love with cashew nut butter. (Remember the time I made cashew butter cups? Sometimes I still think about those. Mmmm . . . )
These two admissions seem unrelated but, trust me, they’re very much interlinked.

Back in January while planning my latest health kick, I was browsing through Pinterest for healthy recipes while drinking some bottles of Mixed Fruit Kopparberg (like one does!) when I happened across some recipes for healthy peanut butter fudge. Now, I’ve made peanut butter fudge before but it included the slightly more processed version of peanut butter and icing sugar, so I think we can safely assume that it was not a healthy variety! These versions were much more natural and unprocessed, and I immediately wanted to try to make some for myself.
The problem is that I never seem to have the correct ingredients for these kind of recipes. I’ll have coconut flour and oil when a recipe calls for coconut butter or sugar, I have no clue what liquid amino even looks like, and I use a stick blender whenever a food processor is called for – usually with mixed (pun not intended) results. So I looked through loads of recipes, couldn’t find any with ingredients that completely matched the current contents of my kitchen, and decided to improvise.
The results were good, but I forgot the recipe. So I kept meaning to recreate it, but that pesky thing we call life kept getting in the way. But the fella has been trying to quit sugar of late, and when he bemoaned not being able to find sweet things to eat, I decided this was the ideal time to try and make it once again.
And so, ladies and gents, I present to you . . . cashew butter fudge!!! (So good it had to be introduced in bold.)

The pros? It’s delicious. Absolutely delectable. It’s sugar-free. It’s even vegan, I believe.
The cons? It’s more-ish. Oh so very more-ish. And even though it’s full of good ingredients, these ingredients are pretty much exclusively high calorie ingredients. So you really don’t want to eat too much of it. Also, it’s not particularly portable – you’re going to want to keep it in the freezer when you’re not storing it in your mouth and stomach.

  • 4 tablespoons of cashew butter (I used Meridian smooth cashew butter)
  • 1 ½ tablespoons of coconut oil
  • A few drops vanilla essence
  • Sprinkling of sea salt
  • 2 tablespoons of rice syrup
  • Cacao powder (optional and up to you really how much you put in – I probably sprinkled in somewhere between a teaspoon and a tablespoon).
The method is ridiculously simple. Just put all the ingredients in a bowl and mix it together. (I stuck the cashew butter and coconut oil in the microwave for 20 seconds just to soften it a bit first and make it easier to mix – the other ingredients mixed in without any difficulty!) Pour into a plastic tub once it is mixed and let it set in the freezer before breaking it up into pieces. (If you’re as lazy as me, you could even mix it IN the plastic tub you’re going to put in the freezer and it means even less dishes!)
I also made some coconut "crack bars" from Chocolate Covered Katie's blog... so good!

Then eat just one piece. Then another. Then another. Then put it in the freezer to stop yourself only to return to get another piece. Twice. Okay, three times. Then lock the freezer and throw away the key.
Just me? ;-)

Anyway, so I'm just off to the freezer. For some . . . frozen vegetables?

Who am I kidding? I'm off to cram the rest of the fudge in my face. See ya!

Monday, 27 June 2016


I was doing pretty well on blog so far this year I reckoned. I'd been posting fairly regularly, coming up with some good ideas, producing (in my view) some decent content . . .

And then I went on holiday.

I knew I wouldn't be blogging in Corfu and I was okay with that. But I was thinking of ideas the whole time, so inspired and motivated to get back home and make these ideas into blog posts. But then I got home and just felt a bit "meh" about everything, and as a result, I haven't really been posting very much.

So I want to get inspired again. I still have a list of ideas of things I want to post - I just need to make the ideas into actual posts. And I've been thinking for a while about setting some social media goals, just to try and give myself a bit of a proverbial kick up the arse. The numbers are set out below, and I'm going to give myself until the end of August to see if I can hit them or, even better, surpass them. So . . . let's do this!!!

So back in the days of Google Reader, I was actually pretty popular - but ever since it was removed and Bloglovin became the new way everyone got their blog fix, I have struggled to build up my followers. At the moment I'm at 62 which I know isn't awful, but it would be nice to get a bit more popular on there. So I'm going to aim to get up to 100 followers. Wish me luck . . . and follow me on bloglovin too, for the love of God! ;-)

I actually only set up my blog's Facebook page a couple of months ago - I hesitated over doing it because it meant promoting myself a wee bit to my Facebook friends to build up likes and although I don't mind people in real life knowing about my blog, I still don't really advertise it. But I figured it was a good way to drive some people over to my blog (I'm still waiting to be proved right on that!). I have managed to get 71 likes on that page (mostly actual Facebook friends) so let's be highly original and go for 100 likes there too. (You can find my Facebook page here, hint hint!)

I probably currently get the most traffic to my blog from Twitter, so it's important for me to get engagement on there! I also think I'm pretty funny on it, but it has taken me a long time to build up the following I have - as I type I'm at 1621 followers but by the time I hit publish on this post I may have lost or gained a few! Most likely lost. I tend to lose several followers every time I gain a few so it's a very much "one step forward, two steps back" kind of situation. Anyhoo . . . let's try and drive this up to 1700, shall we? And if you're not following me already on there, then why not? I'm pollypoptart. Get following. :-)

Last but by no means least, we have Instagram. Now, I currently am not really advertising my blog on there and I'm no good at flatlays and I literally just post whatever pops into my head (which is a bit like the way I am in real life  - there is a reason why someone once told me I should think before I speak and then not speak at all!) but I post some nice food pics and some not-quite-as-nice selfies (I'm not good friends with the forward facing camera). I currently have 621 followers on there (exactly 1000 less than on twitter, how weird!) so how about I try for 700? And since my main theme so far on this post has been one of shamelsss self-promotion, this section would not be complete surely without a link to my aforementioned Instagram account . . . so here it is!

So in order to try and get to my goals, I'll be trying once again to blog more regularly, promote myself on the various social media channels, joining in more twitter chats and generally just selling myself.

And if you have any other advice you can give me, please feel free to share!

Saturday, 25 June 2016


I often feel like I'm having a full-time bad hair day.

Is it just me?

I look around at other people with their beautiful hair and I wonder if they go through as much shit with their hair as I do. I seriously can't cope sometimes. Let me break down some of my issues with my so-called crowning glory . . .

My parting - or lack thereof . . .
My hair just won't part properly. I don't know what it is. It seems to naturally fall into some random zig-zag of a part, and when I try to fix this, it just looks ridiculous. I walked into a parking barrier (I know, what an idiot, right?) when I was seven or eight and I needed stitches in my head, and ever since I've never been able to do a proper centre parting. I'm not saying it's related but I think it is! But then every other parting looks ridiculous too, so maybe it really is just my hair!

Bedhead . . .
There is literally no point in me washing and drying my hair at night and expecting it to look nice the next day. Regardless of the temperature, regardless of if I'm tossing and turning all night, I will wake up with completely unrecognisable hair to that of the day before's.  If I've blow-dried and straightened it, it will be wavy. If I've let it dry naturally in waves which looked okay the night before, it will be frizzy. It will definitely be tangled to fuck. I'm no fairytale princess, that's for sure.

Hair grows . . .
Does it? Mine doesn't.  I don't even feel like there would be a point in getting extensions as my real hair would still be there, looking shit. (I've done the clip-in extensions before - was always a laugh when I got caught in the rain and my natural curls would kick in while the extensions would stay straight.)

Curly or straight . . .
It seems the quickest way for my hair to go curly is to straighten it, and vice versa. Plus, even though my hair is naturally wavy, it does not naturally look good that way. To make it look good wavy, I have to either blow dry it straight/leave it to dry naturally and then tong it. And as for "creating beachy waves with straighteners"? That seems to be the quickest way for me to end up with straight hair. Oh, the irony . . .

Tying hair back . . .
So most people, when they're having a bad hair day, have a simple solution . . . they just tie their hair back in a ponytail or some other sort of updo et voila, they're good to go! I usually struggle to get my hair looking decent pulled back and after ten minutes of trying I have to go out with my hair loose, 50 times greasier than it was when I started, with my bad hair day right there on top of my head for the whole fecking world to see!

Hair tutorials . . .
I love pretty hairstyles and watching hair tutorials and I'd love to be able to make them work like they actually do in tutorials on my actual hair. Unfortunately around 90% of the time, it does not work everytime. Or any time for that matter. (I do have a few with you though, that I will share with you one day. Maybe.) I can't even follow a simple "bouncy big blow-dry"tutorial. Maybe one day . . .

Is it just me who has these sort of hair issues? Please tell me I'm not the only one who has a virtually permanent bad hair day? Or share your own hair issues? Please!!!

Thursday, 23 June 2016


Things are rarely what they seem, especially on the internet.

I know this from personal experience. Look at this post, for example, from a few months ago, where I talk about the sometimes false impressions various social media platforms may have given about me in the past (and present, and future) and you'll see what I mean.

I wanted to revisit one of the points I made back in that post - the one about me possibly sometimes giving the impression that I'm really outdoorsy and active when in actuality I am often just hopping out of the car for a moment or two to take a picture while whining about it being too cold and windy. One time, actually, on the Isle of Skye, it was so windy my phone actually blew out of my hand! But I digress.

My point here is . . . I do actually walk sometimes. And, like I said back in that post, I'm usually not too happy about it.

I start off happy. I'm always enthusiastic about the idea of walking up a hill or the side of a waterfall. Initially. I actually do like walking. It's just I generally prefer my walking on the flat. Unfortunately, most pretty things made in nature are not on the flat. So it's a necessary evil.

Very evil.

On one recent walk, the fella threatened to start a Tumblr about the things I come out with when I'm on one of these very trying walks. I'm pretty sure they are normal things for people to say though. You want some examples??? I have a few . . .

  • "Why is it so steep?"
  • "Why are you walking so fast? Do you not want to be seen with me?"
  • "Why aren't we there yet?"
  • "My feet are wet!"
  • "I'm SINKING!"
  • "I thought you said this was only going to be five minutes? That's been five minutes. Since the last time you said five minutes!"
  • "You mean this isn't the top????"
  • "My calves hurt sooooo much."

Let me give you a wee bit of background of what I was whining about behind some of these pictures which may or may not have appeared on social media . . .

Kilpatrick Hills, the other week . . . "Why did you tell me that those five year olds were catching up on me? You know I don't like being chased!!!"

Conic Hill, last month . . . "What do you mean 'we need to move; it's going to rain'? I only walked up here so I could sunbathe at the top!!!"

Queen's View, the day after Conic Hill (I must be a sucker for punishment) . . .  "well we're going to have to go back to yours before we go bowling now because MY FEET ARE COVERED IN MUD!"

In Glenashdale Forest on the Isle of Arran . . . "I'm just going to hide behind this tree until you agree we can give up and go back to the car."

Okay . . . that one was a bit of a joke. But by the time I'd tried to walk from the Glenashdale Falls to the Giant's Graves, which I believed would be less than five minutes walk apart, I was NOT a happy P. :-(

See? Chief Grumpus is reigning supreme in this little pic!

So I guess there are a couple of morals to this little story . . .

1) I am an unfit, belligerent git but I still like to look at pretty views
2) If you have been reading my Scotland the Beautiful posts and I describe something as being an easy walk, it really is easy!

Oh and the final lesson?

I keep thinking I want to climb a Munro.

Based on all of the above, I'm probably not ready.


Saturday, 11 June 2016


I hate fake tan.

Not on other people. On other people it looks amazing. And I'm sure it's worth the time they spend doing it.

Not so much on me.

I rarely use fake tan. I will use it if I am getting my pins out for a night out, but usually on my legs only. The rest of the time, I'll rely on a suntan from holidays/the rare sunny day in Glasgow and if I go paler over winter then so be it! Because I really am not a fan.

It's loathsome. And here's why . . .

1) More often than not, it's an absolute BUGGER to put on.
What a fecking palaver it is. You actually have to set aside a large window of time to deal with fake tanning, and some of that involves trying not to touch anything for hours so that you don't accidentally smear it and end up with white bits. Or end up fake-tanning bits of furniture or clothing by accident. Plus, it's really difficult to reach some bits by yourself - your back for example. Nightmare! You end up wishing you were a contortionist just so you can ensure you have an even tan.

2) The biscuit smell.
I like biscuits, but I don't have any particular desire to SMELL of them! And even fake tans that smell lovely upon application still result in you ultimately smelling like a stale tea biscuit. And who wants that? Not me!

3) The hand dilemma
I always end up with a ridiculous hand tan situation . . . I always end up with bright orange hands even though I've tried to wash the shit off me as soon as I've finished applying. But also, when I'm trying to remove the lotion from the palms of my hands unsuccessfully, it usually is a lot more successful on the back of my hand and I end up with horrid streaky bits around my fingers. I know a lot of people use gloves but I don't really understand how that would work either - I'd probably end up with a white line around my wrist that I managed to miss.

4) When it starts to come off
It never comes off evenly. I remember applying fake tan to my legs for a night out once - it was meant to last for a week maximum and it did what it said on the bottle. Apart from my feet. I go to pole fitness once a week which we do in bare feet and for at least three weeks after that fake tan application I had horrendously brown ankles in that class. Mortifying!

5) I'm scared of it
If you use a new one, you just don't know what the results will be. I'm old school and tend to use the ones that are invisible on application, so there's always that unpredictability of whether it will be streaky or not. I know some people use fake tan that they have to wash off after a certain amount of time to reveal the proper tan underneath... that also terrifies me! Oh, and there's also the terror that I'll mess it up if I put it on my face . . . am I meant to put it EVERYWHERE? What if I mess it up? Will foundation hide it?

In conclusion?

It's a necessary evil, yes - unfortunately living in Scotland I can't avoid using it a lot of the time due to the Scottish weather. And with all of the warnings about sun exposure causing premature ageing and skin cancer, it's definitely the better option. But I'm sure others can identify with my issues with the stuff. And please, if you do have any tips on how to avoid the above problems . . . then please feel free to share these with me!!!

Friday, 10 June 2016


Ladies and gentlemen, I have a confession to make.

*insert deep breath here*

I hate water.

Okay . . . I exaggerate a bit. I don't hate it as such - that would be slightly churlish given that it is all over the bloody place!!! And I love swimming in it, and baths, and we can't forget all the beautiful lochs I love to gaze at.

It's the drinking it I have a problem with.

I've never really understood people who say things like "I love water, I can't get enough of it."

That sort of sentence I would pretty much reserve solely for wine. Water doesn't even come close. Even Jesus knew that.

But at the same time, I know that water is far far better for me than wine. Which is a sad, but true, fact and one I have struggled to accept.

Anyway . . .

I feel like my dislike of drinking water holds me back a bit. Well, except in the peeing department because I probably take far less loo breaks than most. So I cut down on loo time, but I don't think that's really a benefit, except maybe for my employers!

So I've set myself a couple of wee challenges this week and one of them is to drink at least two litres of water a day.  My plan was pretty simple:

1) Buy a two litre bottle of water
2) Take to work with me
3) Pour into a drinking cup with an inbuilt straw, refill drinking cup as required, empty full bottle

Why this is a good plan?

1) I drink water far easier through a straw - don't ask me why!
2) If I have the water at my desk and don't have to go to the water machine to refill, I am more likely to drink it. This is because it's not really acceptable to go to the water machine without having to ask everyone else if they want a drink too, and I'm not good at carrying multiple open receptacles, and walking and negotiating fob-access doors at the same time. So I'll tend to put off going to fill my cup, or opt for a can of juice instead because it's easy to carry multiple cans!

I've now completed the second day of my challenge, and have actually managed to finish two litres of water within four hours both times. I now need to either start spreading the drinking of it out over a longer period of time a day . . . or possibly drink more water each day?

Nah. Let's not get carried away here! ;-)

How do you feel about drinking water? And do you have any tips for making the whole process easier?

Sunday, 5 June 2016


When you're on a holiday there is always the fear that you'll fall foul of the dreaded sunlounger stand-off . . . well, if you're on a sunshine holiday anyway, obviously if you've headed to the Arctic or on a city break you might not necessarily face such a problem! But if you're somewhere with a pool and sunloungers, there's always a chance that you will experience all of the downsides of people who can't play nice in the pool area.

Now, I've usually been pretty lucky in this respect. There has been the odd holiday I've been on where it's been impossible to get a lounger because they are all bagged, don't get me wrong - but largely I can get a lounger in the sunshine which I can move around if necessary . . . and my recent holiday to Corfu was no exception.

All of the loungers could be in the sunshine all day, which was good. Usually you have a little pocket of the pool where the loungers are the best in terms of sunshine, but I don't think that was really the case with this pool.

You still got the odd person coming out and bagging a lounger and then fucking off for several hours, it seems to be inevitable! But because we were in a half full apartment complex probably due to it being a) very early in the season and b) a Friday 13th flight it didn't really affect us.

But there were these two woman who really started to piss us off with the loungers. To the point where we started to think they were doing it on purpose.

Whatever loungers we appropriated on any given day, we would come out the following day to find they were in that spot.

Now, I'm not saying we owned the loungers, far from it. They got them fair and square.

But we kept having to move to a completely different set of loungers each day because of them . . . only to find them in those loungers the next day. It was like they saw the loungers we were in, thought they looked good . . . and would choose them the next day. Then be jealous of our alternative loungers so choose them the next day . . . . forcing us to move again.

Even more galling, the third time this happened, one of the woman moved her lounger so that it was actually practically in the pool, forcing us to have to have to walk really carefully around her to get to the bar so we didn't fall in the pool! I was very tempted to pour some wine on her "by accident" . . . but I would have hated to downsize on my vino blanco fix because of her.

It genuinely did feel like they were purposely trying to wind us up.

After we were on to them, we decided to defeat them by going out earlier than them. So we went out and re-appropriated the loungers they'd beat us to the following day. Ha!!! They were forced to go and sit elsewhere for the day. Or so we thought...

That day it was really hot so we decided to pop over for a drink inside the bar, and had a couple of games of pool while we were over there. I glanced over and the women appeared to have gone . . . but when we got back to our loungers I discovered it was because they'd decided to move their loungers to right behind us! There was no reason for it, the sun was still hitting every single spot around the pool. Why do it if not to just be pains in the arse?

Okay, okay . . . I know I'm being a total drama queen about this, but we were on holiday and the whole set-up was very relaxed, so maybe I just needed a wee bit of drama in my life so I invented it! That being said, the boyfriend completely agrees with me on this, and he's pretty sensible, so maybe I'm completely justified in being annoyed about this. :-)

I have to admit to a TEENY bit of satisfaction on our last day when there was only a tiny bit of sunshine in the morning before it went dull and rainy, and they missed that hour window. Seeing them sitting in the pool bar with their faces tripping them cheered me up a tiny bit. Oh god, I'm such a mean person!

Anyhoo, when it comes to sunloungers on holiday, I have a couple of rules to live by.

1) I have no problem with you bagging a lounger in advance. But PLEASE make sure you're actually planning to use it shortly after bagging it. I have a MASSIVE problem with you if you stick your towels over the best loungers at 8am and then go back to bed until midday.
2) It's okay to leave your lounger and go for a wee bite to eat in the pool bar, or nip back to your room for ten minutes to cool down. But, once again, if you've decided you're actually going to go for a big lunch elsewhere or a boat trip or to lie on the beach for a bit instead cos you're bored . . . take the bloody towel with you and free up the lounger for someone else.

So I guess my basic rule is only leave your towel on the lounger if you're planning to be on said lounger for most of the day.

And I guess my other rule is don't piss me off. Unfortunately I can't 100% advise you on how to do this, because people continue to come up with new and inventive ways to piss me off. But follow the other rules above and you'll be a lot safer from my wrath! ;-)

Oh, and please feel free to share any sunlounger-based drama you have experienced. I do love a bit of drama (in case that wasn't obvious!). . .

Sunday, 22 May 2016


I've been a big fan of the Greek Islands for years but over the last few years Corfu has became a firm favourite . . . So much so that I've just returned from a week holiday there for the third year in a row!

So this is where I'm going to tell you why I go to Corfu . . . And why YOU should consider going too!

1. Holidays are cheap
Compared to Spain or Spanish islands, booking a holiday to a Greek island tends to be far more reasonably priced  (at least it does from Glasgow!) and Corfu is consistently one of the cheapest. Please note though that a low price does not spell out bad quality when it comes to this beautiful island!

2. It's a short flight
Some of the Greek Islands  (Rhodes for example) are a five plus hour flight from the UK. As Corfu is actually situated slightly north west of Greece and actually more in line with Albania it is only a 3 and a half hour flight from Glasgow if you are (like myself) not a great flyer. Ideal!

3. Great weather

Beautiful weather - you can find the apartments here!

I've always went in May where admittedly the weather can be a bit changeable still at times... but I've never had less than five lovely days in a week and those days, although seeming to be in the late teens, low twenties according to the weather forecast, have a real feel of far higher temperatures. That being said, it's never felt overly humid... which is a great thing!

4. The food
Oh my God, the food itself is enough to make me immediately want to return. Baked feta is the absolute bomb (boyfriend bought two packs of feta in Tesco as soon as we got home so we could recreate that dish asap!); or how about sausage stuffed with feta and garlic? Sausage in a spicy tomato sauce? Moussaka? Kleftiko? Sofrito? Cheese pies? I could go on. (But I'll stop. And just refer you to a selection of some of the delicious meals I sampled this year in the below pic.)

If you're not into Greek food there are plenty of other cuisine options on offer and even the traditional Greek places tend to offer non-Greek options... but as far as I'm concerned the Greek options were by far the best! If you are in Sidari I would recommend The Three Little Pigs, El Greco or Ocean Taverna for delicious meals. You're welcome!

5. Friendly people
The people in Corfu are so friendly and will do their best to make you feel at home. You're warmly greeted when you enter a restaurant, they'll go out of their way to make conversation with you and often will even shake your hand when you leave! Occasionally you might even be provided with a little shot of kumquat liqueur with the bill (if you're really lucky!). You don't get that happening much back at home. Nor do you pop into a shop for wine for the apartment and find yourself having a twenty minute conversation with the shop owners about Brexit! And if you don't speak Greek don't worry - no one expects you to be able to. Phew! Yamas! (Feel free to learn more words if you want - unfortunately that's the only one I know - it's "cheers" by the way!)

6. Varied types of holiday available
Corfu has many different resorts so can cater to all. You have Kavos for the clubber type holidays  (well I'm assuming here as I've never been there but I have had the dubious pleasure of seeing a couple of episodes of "What Happens in Kavos"...), you have tiny quiet resorts if you want to get away from it all (if you do, I would highly recommend Kalami, which is teeny but stunning) . . . And Sidari, where I've stayed the past two years, has a lovely mix of quiet and busy, traditional and modern. You can stay in apartments that seem remote and set in countryside but the actual hustle and bustle of the main strip of Sidari is a mere ten minute walk away so you can literally have the best of both. Ideal!

7. Fantastic scenery

Posing at the Canal d'Amour
Pop up to the Canal d'Amour (or remains of it anyway) in Sidari, or get a more traditional vibe in Corfu town, taking in the culture and shops. There is plenty to see and do if you're not a beach person. When we stayed in Kalami two years ago we hired a boat and sailed up and down the coast a bit which is a great way of seeing more of Corfu. You also get some stunning sunsets over both Corfu and neighbouring Albania.

Corfu town

Sunset pic courtesy of the fella

8. The prices
All that wonderful food I mentioned? Ridiculously cheap. Once again, the quality does not suffer.  You'd never get these dishes at home for such reasonable prices! The alcohol is also very cheap both in restaurants/bars and if you're just looking to buy a bottle or two for your apartment/as a holiday gift.

So . . . what are you waiting for? Get that holiday booked, stat!

Oh, and take me with you? Please???