Monday, 30 January 2012

DRESSES TO IMPRESS . . .

I pretty much live in dresses (when I can't live in pyjamas, inside my flat, that is!) as they are so much more EASIER than anything else. Wearing a skirt or trousers means having to find the right top to pair with them, and I find that tends to be a bit of a nightmare. So dresses all the way for me!

As a result, I spend a lot of time on asos looking at the pretty dresses, and tonight a whole array of these have dazzled me. I'm practically having to sit on my hands not to keep clicking on the "add to basket" button. I thought I'd share them here instead in the hopes that it will somehow discourage me. Hmmm . . . unlikely but worth a shot!
LOVE this. It's so simple yet pretty, and such a lovely colour. Want.
I was seriously tempted by this dress until I remembered I actually own it already in navy blue and, pretty though it is, the underlayer of the garment kept trying to work its way up and I spent the whole day I was wearing it yanking it back down so my pants wouldn't be revealed through the sheer outerlayer. Not fun!!!
Okay, so I had to allow myself at least one dress. You can't put all that temptation in front of me and not expect me to buy SOMETHING! So this Mango shirt dress (a snip at 17 pounds in the sale) has made it into my shopping basket. Oops... ;-)
I love this tea dress - unfortunately it was not available in my size. Of course!!!
I like the sparkle to this one - it would be nice for going out at night when you weren't wanting to make TOO much of an effort. However cowel necklines somehow tend to have me revealing an unexpected amount of cleavage, and usually my bra as well . . .
This dress is so cute and would be gorgeous for my holiday (did I mention I'm going to Ibiza in August?) but if I'm too skint to buy normal clothes at the moment, I can't justify 25 quid on something that I'm not going to wear for seven months!
I like the simplicity of this but once again it's a potential holiday dress consideration more than anything else (it would look GREAT with a tan) so I'll need to leave it for now...)
And now the dress below (has blogger been acting up for anyone else recently? Anytime I add photos it's nigh on impossible for me to format the post correctly. So annoying.) I think this is really cute. Although would possibly make me look the size of a house. I bought a dress that model was wearing before and I was about three times the size of her in it, so I don't think I trust her . . .

I love this one - I think it's adorable, especially the subtle butterfly pattern on the material, and I love the colour. It may have to be a purchase after payday (only two weeks to wait - sigh.)

So girls (or guys, I suppose - I want to be open-minded) . . . do you wear a lot of dresses? If so, what style do you prefer? Would you wear any of my choices? Feel free to share! :-)

(PS - I've went off the dress below. Blogger won't let me get rid of it though.)

Sunday, 29 January 2012

NOT SO MUCH X FACTOR, AS ICK FACTOR???

Now we all know that I'm not averse to getting involved with a younger man. But I do have my limits and that is why the whole Caroline Flack/Harry Styles relationship did freak me out somewhat.

For anyone not in the know, Caroline is a tv presenter around about my age (early thirties). Harry Styles is a member of boyband One Direction and is a mere 17 years old. Well, apparently he is going to be 18 on Wednesday but it's still a pretty hefty age difference.

As far as I'm aware, they've broken up now, but I've found the whole short relationship a little weird all the same. I know some relationships have big age differences and if we fast forward ten years and Caroline was early forties and Harry was late twenties then it wouldn't seem like such a big deal . . . but right now I really find it icky.

He may currently be in one of the UK's most successful boybands and I'm sure he's gotten his fair share of tail in that time and is possibly a bit grown-up than your average 17 year old, but the fact is that he's barely left puberty and she could practically be his (very young) mum. Even when I was seventeen myself I found seventeen year old boys to be a bit young and immature . . . I may have once saw an attractive guy on the street and thought "nice!" before I realised he was not wearing a suit but actually a school blazer . . . but I wouldn't have then went AFTER him.

I'm really trying not to judge because we can't help who we fall for but . . . seriously??? He's not even legal (to drink, I mean, not for the other stuff). As the Mirror quoted on their break-up "The split comes ahead of his band’s first tour of the States and just a week before Caroline could legally take him for a pint". Doesn't that say it all?

Don't get me wrong, I think it's horrible that Caroline got so much of a backlash from One Direction fans about their romance - but I think that would have happened anyway, regardless of the age difference. Unfortunately that's the price you pay for dating a so-called heart-throb (I don't see it personally - but then again, that's possibly because HE'S SEVENTEEN!) And it would have been one thing if she'd fallen for him and THEN realised his age (a la Monica from Friends in "The One With The Ick Factor" or me that time in the pub when the guy told me he was in his final year at uni but everyone else thought he had his school uniform in his rucksack) but she has been perfectly aware of his age considering that she is presenting the spin-off show of the reality show he became famous on, so once again it gets icky.

And I'm not talking double standards here - i think it's equally gross when a man in his early thirties goes out with a girl in her teens, even though girls are allegedly more mature than boys. I may actually judge that more, and maybe some people would see it as almost EMPOWERING that the roles were reversed in the case of Flack and Styles. But no, it's equally yucky either way, as far as I'm concerned.

I'm not surprised the relationship ended because there was just so much about it that was a little taboo. I'm more surprised that it lasted as long as it did. I hope the two of them can move on and find happiness elsewhere - and if they want to hook up again in ten years, then fair enough!




What do you think? Should people in their thirties be dating people in their teens?

Saturday, 28 January 2012

PROUD . . .

I don't know if I've mentioned this before but one of the many things I am utterly rubbish at are job interviews. Even if i know the answer I get all stuttery and start talking nonsense and apparently forget every word in my vocabulary, if what actually ends up coming out of my mouth is anything to go by.

So I try to avoid putting myself in these situations.

It stands to reason then that I hadn't applied for a job in five years. Why risk the humiliation???

But this week I applied for a job slightly senior to my own. I had the interview yesterday. As far as I was concerned, the usual babble started exiting my lips, just as always. The only word I remember using that I was particularly proud of was "superfluous", although I couldn't tell you if I'd even used it in the right context because it was all a bit of a blur.

The upshot though? I got the job. It's just a temporary promotion, but hey, I did it all the same!

Hope you'll all have a drink for me tonight to celebrate on my behalf. ;-)

Sunday, 22 January 2012

GIVEAWAY WINNER!

Thanks to all who entered the My Memories giveaway. All four of you. :-)

Oh well, at least you had a one in four chance of winning which significantly increased your odds of doing so.

Congrats to Cathenia, who claimed the prize. I used one of those randomizer applications to come up with the winner - quite exciting as I'd never used one before. Cathenia, I'll get in contact with you once I know how to get the prize to you.

Apologies to the rest of you - I wish I had more than one to give away! - but you can still get $10 off My Memories Suite v3 on their website by using the promo code STMMMS90070 when ordering the software and checking out. After purchase, you'll also get another $10 off voucher.

I've got the giveaway bug now. It's this blog's four year anniversary in March, so I think I'll arrange something for then. (If any company wants to sponsor me, get in touch!) Watch this space.

In the meantime, normal action will resume again shortly . . .

Thursday, 19 January 2012

"RHETORICAL" QUESTIONS . . .

  • Why is it that when you've been wanting something for ages and waiting impatiently for it to happen, when it comes along you find yourself barely motivated to do anything about it? Is it the fact you've been waiting so long that it's almost an anti-climax?

  • Why does my favourite meal from the Chinese takeaway have to be soooooo unbelievably NOT chinese that hardly anywhere does it? I've been craving breaded chicken in cream sauce and noodles all week (and I've had it twice already)...

  • WHY IS NO ONE ENTERING MY GIVEAWAY??? *stamps foot* It's free, it's available to everyone and it's not hard work. Please enter! Pretty please??? (Go here..)

  • Why has it been like eight weeks or something since I've hung out with my good buddy Mich??? How it that even possible? (That should hopefully be remedied tomorrow.)

  • Why isn't the working week two days long and the weekend five days? I'd even accept 3:4. Come on universe, throw me a bone here!

Anyone got any answers for me? Or any "rhetorical" questions of their own???

Tuesday, 17 January 2012

MY MEMORIES GIVEAWAY . . .

So yesterday I mentioned that there would be a giveaway happening shortly. I've never actually had a giveaway before in nearly four years of this blog being around, so this is pretty exciting for me!



Over Christmas, I received an email from a woman named Liz who works for a company called My Memories, a digital scrapbooking website. Now, I'll be honest, I don't really know a lot about SCRAPBOOKING, let alone the digital kind. I went through a phase a few years ago though where I made up some scrapbook for some friends, so when she offered me the chance to try out and review some of their software, I was pretty enthusiastic.



Unfortunately real life has somewhat got in the way and I haven't got around to play with the software quite as much as I would have liked, but so far I'm liking what I see. There's loads of different things you can do with the software - you can get some really cool effects with both text and photographs - different tints on the photos etc. I've never had software like this before so I'm geeking out a bit now I've had a chance to have a proper go at it.
I've started off by making myself a little advert for my blog: I thought that would be kinda fun!
I've just taken the same picture of myself and put it into various different tints and styles. I had great fun playing around with this. Okay, it's still pretty rough but maybe I could make it into a poster and advertise my blog around town. Probably not (I can imagine it getting defaced by all and sundry as I type this) but it's nice to have the option!



I will definitely be using this software again - I recently got a new laptop and a printer came with it (although I've been too busy playing with the laptop to even take the printer out of the box) so getting this software is really good timing. It will be great to get back into scrapbooking again (I need a hobby to keep me occupied) and I think it could be great for making cards as well (save myself some money!)



So . . . here's the fun part for you guys . . . do you want a chance to get this software for free??? My Memories have generously offered me the chance to give away a copy of this. Retailing at just under 40 US dollars (I have no idea what that is in other currencies, even my own currency!), it's easily downloaded and can be used on PCs or Macs, so everyone is happy. :-)



All you need to do to be entered is visit the My Memories website, have a look around, and let me know what your favourite digital scrapbooking design is in the comments section on this post. Anyone who enters will be entered into a draw and a winner will be randomly selected - the contest will close at 8pm (GMT) on Sunday 22nd January 2012. Good luck everyone!



And if you can't wait that long (or don't win!), you can get $10 off My Memories Suite v3 on their website by using the promo code STMMMS90070 when ordering the software and checking out. After purchase, you'll also get another $10 off voucher. Happy scrapbooking everyone!

Monday, 16 January 2012

MY FAVOURITE THING . . .

. . . at the moment is Rekorderlig flavoured cider.

It is absolutely delicious. Especially the strawberry and lime flavour.

I could drink it forever.

It's weird because normal cider is not something I like very much. It reminds me of being underage and not being able to afford anything more expensive. I don't even like Magners or Bulmers. Not even the flavoured versions of those.

This stuff though, I DO like.

You may have realised that my not-drinking-so-much-in-January thing has pretty much stalled. Oh well, back on with being good tomorrow!

Do you like fruit ciders? What's your fave?


PS. There is a giveaway coming up in the next few days. Be excited!!! (I'm afraid this giveaway is NOT for cider - sorry Sprinkles! That's what I get when I try to do a post under the influence of alcohol I guess. It's for something completely unrelated - but it will be open to you too!)

Tuesday, 10 January 2012

CHEER-ME-UP-TUESDAY . . .

Okay, so I've spent the majority of the past two days cooped up in a stuffy room with only a photocopier for company. It has NOT been easy. Today I described myself as the modern day Cinderella - photocopying instead of sweeping, covered in toner from trying to solve jams rather than cinders . . . and rather than rags I was covered in bits of paper that had escaped from the shredder. Fun! So today has not been my best day.

Since I've got home, things have brightened up slightly. Especially after someone on Facebook led me to THIS clip:




I might hate flying a whole lot less if this guy was on MY planes!

Anything funny you care to share?

Tuesday, 3 January 2012

1 GOAL . . . AUDIENCE PARTICIPATION REQUIRED!

I'm not doing resolutions this year, but I just have one "goal" and that is to get healthier.

I fill my body with junk on an almost constant basis, forget to eat my greens, and drink too much wine. Is it any wonder I was plagued with health issues no one could diagnose for a large chunk of last year??? Maybe if I'd looked after myself in the first place, none of it would have happened, from me feeling the need to go to A & E, to them losing my bloody sample, and spending months worrying about why I didn't feel 100 per cent. Even today i am feeling horrible inside after the excesses of christmas and new year - sometimes it isn't until I stop that I realise how bad I feel and I've now been feeling dodgy for two days, which isn't great.

My problem is too that when I'm sad and depressed, it's almost like I FORGET to look after myself. I'll forget to eat - or just not have the energy to walk to the kitchen - I'll not force myself to get active (other than perhaps going to the pub), and I'll lose any motivation I ever had to actually cook for myself. Add that to the fact that most times that I DO try to cook I'll be interrupted by the kitchen-sharing flatmate (who is perfectly nice but, unlike her, I try not to be cooking at the same time as it's a small kitchen and it gets complicated) so most of the time I'll opt for convenience rather than anything else and just grab a ready meal.

On top of this, I really want to lose some weight and tone up. But I'm trying to see that part as a side effect of me getting healthier rather than the be all and end all. I want to be providing my body with the right type of fuel so that it works better for me - so that I can stop feeling ill like this too!

So the plan is to:

1. Buy more healthy food and cook from scratch at least a few times a week.

2. Stop going out for dinner as much (which will have the added bonus of saving me money!)

3. Trying to get into a routine where I get to bed earlier and get more sleep as a result.

4. Cutting down on my wine intake. I'm going to limit myself as much as possible this month and definitely try not to drink when I'm in the flat alone, and I'm hoping that by the end of January I'll have got myself into that habit.

5. Experiment with food I haven't tried before.

6. Exercise exercise exercise! I start back at my pole fitness class tomorrow night after more than a month away from it, which should be interesting. The girl who runs the classes is also starting up a Saturday morning class for two hours, which will include both pole work and circuit work and I'm considering trying to go at least once or twice a month, but that's dependent on my money situation really. I walk to work and back everyday anyway which is between four and five miles roundtrip in total so I've got that going for me, but I need to set myself more goals than that. I've got the Hannah Waterman dvd so if I can motivate myself to do just 20 mins of it three days a week on top of the walking and the pole class, then anything else I manage over that is a bonus. I also quite like the idea of trying out a yoga or pilates dvd - nothing complicated (I'm not very flexible), just something relaxing that could help me wind down when I'm feeling stressed out.

So actually this is a really ambitious plan I suppose but it does fall under the umbrella of this one goal, and I feel like I really need to give this my best shot.

So I could use some help. First of all, does anyone else want to get in on this with me? I need motivation!

And I need some suggestions. For websites with healthy (and, most importantly, EASY to make) recipes - preferably with not too many ingredients because that confuses me! Some tips on how to wind down earlier at night time so I can at least ATTEMPT to get an early night. And if anyone could recommend a dvd (or a website) with yoga or pilates that would help to de-stress me but not be too difficult . . . then please help me out with ideas!

Oh yeah, and also (if I'm not asking too much already!) positive thoughts please? I really want to do this. Wish me luck! :-)

Monday, 2 January 2012

AND IT GETS WORSE . . .

I have spent the day feeling like utter shite. Partly because I am nursing the Hangover from Hell(which has lasted all day) and partly because I feel utterly let down. It took me a while to cry, but when I did it sounded rather akin to a wounded animal. The pain felt that raw.

So far, I'm not particularly impressed with 2012. I didn't think 2011 was particularly great, and about this time last year I felt this shit for a very similar reason but this time . . . I just feel more than a little hopeless.

But I'm strong. And I'll turn this year around.

Eventually. Right now I just need to wallow for a while.

AND IT'S DONE . . .

Happy 2012!

I rang in the new year with people I love and had a lot of fun - albeit getting very drunk and passing out and being drawn all over.

Unfortunately I was also let down by one of the people I trusted most seven hours before the clock struck midnight. With an email which I still replay in my mind nearly two days later.I'm trying not to think about it because I have rarely felt this devastated. I didn't do anything wrong apart from try to keep a friendship going.

Now I'm so angry I could scream!!!

I've disabled any comments on this post though - I may be angry but this is my own internal battle and I'm upset with myself that I'm even SPEAKING about it, but look at it like this . . . yesterday I was all ready to go out for new year's eve, make-up done, dress packed, coat on . . . I was JUST about to leave my flat when I saw the horrible email.

As I told the sender, the timing was impeccable.

And I'm going back to bed to cry now. Since I haven't done that yet.