My January Favourites – 2015

I know it’s a little late, but personally I don’t know how you can create a favourites until the month is up! Especially as I discovered one of my favourites right toward the end of this month. So without any babel, here are the things I’ve been loving during the first month of 2015. DSC01594DSC01591 Excuse the grumpy face and zebra crossing on my head – I wasn’t too impressed with the state of our room and also the shocking light I’m subject to! My first favourite is this Karrimor running top. At only £4.99, this was a bargain. This is everything I want and love in a running top, a long body, tight but not enough to show rolls, breathable and bright. It ticks all of these boxes. Some tops I buy ride up when I run which is my biggest hate about fitness tops, but this one doesn’t! DSC01597 DSC01598 Keeping in the theme of fitness, I have loved these ear phones this month. I actually got them for my birthday last year but when I first tried to put them in my ears I didn’t like how massive they were so refused to wear them again. Big error. I watched a tutorial how to use them properly and they’ve been a dream since. I always have the problem with my earphones falling out of my ears, smacking my piercings and getting damaged by sweat but these are on another level. For any fitness fans – these are a must. DSC01590 DSC01589 A present from my Mumma and Pappa at Christmas, these hair curlers are unusual to say the least. I had seen hair tutorial from famous Youtuber’s testing these out and I’d always been cautious as a) my curls never stay in as I have fine thin hair, b) they look pretty lethal and c) they’re an expensive investment. So when I opened these at Christmas I was so excited to try them out! I can confirm they are incredible. My curls stayed in not only the whole date night, but after a run the following day too with minimal hair spray. My curls when I used to use my GHD’s would stay in for all of an hour and turn into scraggly waves but these are a god send. DSC01587 This book. I am loving. End of. DSC01601 I am addicted to these bars. They’re gluten, wheat and dairy free. I was sceptical at first as they look like dog treats to the eye, but they’re filling, tasty and good for you. I recommend these to anyone who wants to remove snacking from their diet as these are good snacks 🙂 They have a huge variety of flavours, however they are quite pricey! DSC01586 DSC01585 This head and shoulders shampoo I have been using for a few months now. I have really noticed to difference in the strength of my hair; it normally falls out at any given chance and is always in pretty bad condition but considering it’s winter, I’m outside a lot and I’ve not been taking care of my hair, this shampoo has saved my hair. It was actually my fiancé’s but I stole it when my usual shampoo run out. I really would recommend this when you want a quick hair salvage. The Dr. Organic Shampoo and Conditioner I only bought a week or so ago. My friend recommended them as they’re meant to be much better for the hair as they contain little chemicals and are a lot more natural than brands such as Herbal Essences. On my first use, I used the Shampoo twice as I didn’t feel my hair was clean enough and also the colour and smell put me off. However, after a few uses my hair looks more shiney and ‘salonesque’ – if that’s even a word? I probably should have kept this for a February favourite as these may not grow on me too much but at first use, they’re a good switch from my regular shampoo and conditioners. DSC01599 I’ve wanted this box set for ages as I don’t have Sky so I can never watch re-runs and when I was younger and at home I’d always feel super awkward watching it infront of my rents! I received this for Christmas and as I’ve now been ill twice since, this has been a life saver. I have also worked out I can watch this in German and many other languages, which basically counts as revision, right? I spent 12 hours watching back to back episodes in German and my mind felt fried but I couldn’t turn it off – problems! It doesn’t advertise that it has not only subtitles but audio options in different languages so if anyone wants some easy watching in different languages, please buy! So these have been a random collection of things I’ve been loving in January. There hasn’t been much else I’m afraid as most of my January has been filled with running, eating and being ill! Let me know if you guys have tried any of the items mentioned above or any favourites you had in January which you’ll think I’ll like. XX

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January Haul – (mainly fitness)

I have been fortunate enough to have had a little bit of spare money throughout January, which is the exact opposite of how my January’s normally go – not getting paid for around 6 weeks and scrounging off of my other half in the remaining days before pay day and checking my account at midnight to make sure my company have actually paid me! January 2015 was actually a little kinder on me.

After my amazingly great start to 2015 (cough) I thought I deserved a few treats so splashed out on the following:

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These are my new babies! When I first competed for my club back in June last year, everyone had a pair of spikes so I was incredibly jealous, but being a novice you don’t know if a) you’re going to enjoy this whole speed milarky and b) whether they’d be a wasted investment as they’re quite pricey. So after a lot of uhming and ahhing I decided to treat myself to these beauts. I’m not normally a fan of girly colours but there’s not as much choice in this area of running shoes. I haven’t had a chance to test them out but I’m expecting to put them to the test on Thursday.

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Ah god. What can I say about these bad boys? I was in a phase in January where I needed to buy anything and everything running related to give me a boost to get back into and ‘own’ running again. I was sick of getting annoyed at my regular running shoes, which when I originally bought they made me buy a size larger than my normal shoe! After getting my gait checked (I’m now a neutral gait woohoo), I realised I had loads more shoes to choose from and come across these bad boys. The shop assistant said the size is always down to preference and whoever sold me my 6’s clearly had no 5’s left in their more expensive shoes – what a mug that made me feel. So I opted for these in a comfy 5.5’s and I can only describe them as a dream to wear.

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I also decided a Yoga mat would be a good investment for our home as stretching is super important with running and with my stress levels raging at the moment, I could probably do with the ‘chilling’ aspect that comes with Yoga.

 

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Soooo I may have gone a little crazy in Sports Direct. How can I not? The prices were an absolute steal in the January sales. I’ve tested out all of the clothing above, except for the 2nd top on the bottom row as it’s not been warm enough to wear alone yet. My favourite is definitely the Karrimor pink item on the right for the gym ( it has small holes in so I don’t get too hot) and also the bottom right long sleeved Nike top, it has the hand inserts which really help to warm my hands with long distance as taking gloves, even in the snowy weather we’ve been having, is a big no no!

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Onto something a little less running related and more interlinked with my Bucket List – I’m going to see DEATH CAB BABBBBBBY! Words cannot explain how excited I am for this! I have waited to see them live for years as most American artists shy away from touring the UK…and if they do, their shortage of gigs sell out fast! We bought these tickets, as you can see at 6 minutes past 9 and 8 minutes later they were all gone. Ahhh I am so happy I’m going. This year is officially going to be amazing 🙂

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I also purchased this hoodie…however it may look mint green to you but when it arrived, I realised it was actually more green than a light mint as I think the picture shows. I’m actually in the process of sending this back for the coral version – something a little more girly and not usually what I’d opt for!

The only other bits I really bought in January were race places, event sign-up’s and ….. the entry to the New York marathon ballot! I know my chances of a place are slim, but I secretly really really want it. I think mentally I am now ready for it.

To end this, I’ll also tell you I splashed out and got my hair highlighted, not something I often allow myself to spend money on in the fear of having my hair look like a zebra crossing…there’s a reason for that…because it’s happened again! With 20 weeks to go until the wedding, I’m lucky this didn’t happen later on, but I’m still pretty annoyed as I look like a toddler has put yellow strips of Play-Doh through my hair.

Much love, Tay XX

 

My Crazy January

Spoiler alert: it hasn’t been that crazy but you wouldn’t actually read on if I’d have said my mental break down month right?

So I’ve had a strange January if anything, it’s been full of spunking money on things that I definitely don’t need, deferring my French uni module and getting back into running. Most of my friends knew that towards the end of last year I was running on overdrive, I had no time for anything, my hours were all planned from 6am- 10pm and I plain wasn’t enjoying life. Whenever I would drink I would get so drunk and either cry or to the point where I wouldn’t remember what had happened during the night – yeh, not so cool.

The reason for this was I had taken too much on; two uni modules, a now 3 hour commute to and from work everyday, 9 hours at work, the stress of wedding and hen do planning, getting back into running/trying to get in shape and all while still trying to have a social life. It just didn’t give me any free time to a) myself and b) with Ben. I think the saying is burning the candle at both ends? But I’m notorious for getting these sayings wrong!

So I decided I couldn’t do and have everything and something would have to give. After a chat down the pub when Ben’s rents came down to see us, I was basically told that I would never get anywhere near professional levels in my running career (which I knew anyway!) and therefore it should be uni I should focus on. After growing up with parents who were so chilled with what we did after we had done our qualifications, funnily enough I didn’t like being told that. So I followed my heart and chose to stick at running, my favourite outlet for stress, a sport in which, no I won’t excel at starting at the age of 21, but I love! On the rare occasion I did open my French books, I was always grumpy, stressed because my ‘tutor’ was the least helpful one I’d had so far and we got off on the wrong foot straight away and upset that I wasn’t excelling as fast as I have with German. So I deferred the year.

Many people would see that as admitting defeat but I’m someone who will often not see things through and it won’t bother me at all. I can return to it, of course, but for the time being there is no point attempting to put half of my heart into something when I could give it my all when I am at a better place in life. Over Christmas I decided to get a lot of wedding planning done so I’m no longer stressed about that and I’m actively making sure I go to as many social events as I can make so not to become a boring loner who lives in the countryside and see’s no-one but her fiancé!

So my weeks are now organised by long runs, my track training (I have finely returned to athletics), gym sessions, nights out and lots of stretching and healthy eating. My mind finely feels good again. I’ve had time to start reading again, in German of course 🙂 and even had time to slip in some bakes. Two of my closest friends are going through individual crises at the moment and I need to be there for them, especially as I experienced something similar in both of their situations.

In other, less morbid news….

– I could be crossing one of my Bucket List items off on the 8th June 😉 very exciting.

– I have entered the ballot for the New York Marathon – what I was thinking when I did this I don’t know, I wasn’t even pissed!

– I have signed up to the actual Will of Iron…which I did do whilst pissed and have just this second remembered – I think I need to quit wine.

– I think I have finally found my bridesmaid dresses!

– I may be booking another tattoo (my in-laws will love that – tehehe).

– I’ve got a skiing holiday on 7th Feb to get real excited about.

– I invested in some new running shoes……..2 pairs, oppsie. I will add photos of all of my new purchases in my next post as I want to do a haul/fitness update.

– I’m back to running 9-10 miles, adding on a mile each week.

– I’ve worked out that my new SITC box set I got for Christmas can be listened to in German! I have been glued to the telly today (I was off work due to some weird illness I have).

And finally, so this isn’t all just boring words, here are some of my photos of what I’ve been up to lately.

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Firstly, I have been loving the sunsets from our bedroom window recently, especially as they’re becoming later and later.

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Yeeees, we have dodgy windows!

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To help me relieve my stress, I’ve been having loads of long baths and getting stuck into this. It’s definitely a young adults book but that’s good for my German.

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Hahaha, had to add this, this is what I just realised I signed up to last night – why oh why do I drink!

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Loving this present I got for Christmas, it really motivates me to get out as you can see your splits, how you’re improving over time and of course, it’s green!

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I’ve been having trouble with my eating at the moment due to my stress, more so with just my body confidence so I found this picture of me when I was at my skinniest and using it as my ‘thinspiration’. I know how wrong this is but there is noway I would go back to my old ways, this is just to prove to myself that I can get to a size I’d like to be when I put my mind to it.

I’ve got a couple of post ideas lined up – now that I actually have time to myself my content will hopefully get a little more interesting. As I’ve said before, I don’t really have a direction with this blog but I lot of the time it will be my rants, thoughts, my fitness and my adventures 🙂 So I hope you keep enjoying a nose into my life and thoughts.

Hope you are all well and 2015 is being kind to you. Much love XX

Own 2015

Happy New Year to you all!

How did you all spend your New Year’s? Were you hanging out of your arse’s and eating bad food or were you straight down the gym and having a cleansing smoothie?

I have to say I was pretty much between the two! I ended up going to a house party which was pretty fun but I tried to make sure I didn’t get too drunk so I could attempt a 7 mile run – the effort was there guys, I got dressed around half 11 after slobbing in bed all morning, headed out but could only manage just under 2 miles, what a massive fail! I was sick (which I’m pretty sure may have been the alcohol) and I was running pretty quick to get home to the toilet – not good. But I did try and eat a little better yesterday and drunk lots of water.

My mission for today is to get that 7 miler done. I’ve signed up to two half’s this year, one of which I now can’t do as my fiancé booked us tickets to the Athletics in Birmingham that weekend and I didn’t have the heart to tell him I had Brighton Half Marathon on the Sunday – for those of you who don’t know, getting to Brighton from Birmingham for a half 8 start would mean leaving at stupid o’clock and my body wouldn’t have been fully prepped. Which is a massive shame as I’ve not run in the Brighton half, I’ll have to sign up for next year instead 🙂

As it is a New Year and every New Year I like to set myself goals rather than resolutions as most people are more likely to stick to a ‘goal’, I’d thought I’d share what I’m going to try and achieve this year.

[1] Complete 5-8 more entries on my Bucket List – this one for me is important. Why have a Bucket List and not bother actually living the experiences you’ve always wanted?

[2] Get back to Half Marathon fitness – I don’t really have a choice on this one, not that I wouldn’t want to do it but as I’ve signed up for two (now one) half marathon, I need to make sure I’m going to be fit enough to complete these without injury. I wanna own sport this year, not only for my body’s sake but for myself. That reminds me: I’ve got to contact my old coach and a potential new one for the Athletics season too!

[3] Start treating my teeth with respect – the more I look at other people’s teeth, especially the older generation, the more I’m frightened that I’ve let this lack of respect go on for too long! The amount of damage I must’ve already caused with the amount of sugar I consume is beyond repair. But what I can do is prevent anymore damage. Ben got an electric toothbrush from my parents for Christmas so I’ve bought a head for it so I can use it too, it comes with this cute little timer which lets you know when you’ve spent long enough on one section of your mouth – it’s surprising how long you actually should spend brushing your teeth! I’ve also got some teeth whitening strips that I wanna give a bash, hopefully sort out the colour a little too.

[4] Turn my diet into a useful one – as you know from all of my ranting and raving, I am always ill. This year I want to make sure I’m getting the most out of my food, with lots of nutrients and vitamins to help me and also getting the right fuel for my running an exercising. This one will be pretty hard as we still have the Christmas shite still in the cupboard but I’m pretty sure Ben may be able to take some into his work and it’ll be eaten up straight away!

[5] Spend more time with my future husband – this is a given. Since moving we’ve barely spent any time in our new home which is a massive shame. I love it here and we moved here for the beautiful countryside, the benefits of being able to cycle without less traffic, talk long walks in the sun and have generally less people around us (unsocial crones!) but we haven’t had the chance to make the most of it! He’s been staying at his parents a lot what with still working in Essex, but now his transfer is scheduled for next week, I’m so excited to have some us time back!

[6] Say no – I am a sucker for saying ‘yes’ to every plan that gets thrown my way. I don’t like letting people down and I have a real time management problem. I need to learn to say to people ‘no’ as I still have other work and Uni work commitments which are more important. In the past I have been guilty for knowing I have an essay due in the next week but still seeing different friends on both weekend days then moaning I haven’t seen Ben and consequently giving myself 48 hours to get the work done! I guess this one is also about learning to manage my time better!

[7] Read 30 books across 2015 – as you can see in one of my latest posts about my most re-read books, I have so many unread books that I want to read but never allow myself the time to do so. This year I’m setting myself the goal of getting through 30 books to make sure that I can actually read the books in my beautiful mini library. I love buying the books themselves and get excited to read them, but the day-to-day running of my life doesn’t normally allow to get much personal reading done. So this is my target for this year.

I’d love to know about your resolutions and goals! I did actually have 10 but I thought 10 would be greedy and quite hard to reach.

Although everyone has been saying ‘this is gonna be my year’, I sort of agree.

This year I will:
– be getting married
– going on a surprise hen do
– taking Ben to the place I grew up skiing
– honeymooning (twice) 😛
– wine tasting
– weekend awaying
– camping
– exploring our new area
and much much more! So I have lots to look forward to.

Here’s to 2015 guys, make sure you own it too!

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Bucket List Update – 2014

I’ve got a few ‘end of year / new start’ themed posts lined up to write, which is unusual for me to be thinking about as I am such a NYE Grinch. I think there’s so much pressure for you to go to an awesome party, be around all of your friends AND family and try to live up to the saying, ‘how you spend NYE is how you’ll spend the next year’. Well to be quite frank I’d rather sit in drinking a bottle of wine and eating cheese and if that means I’ll be doing that for 2015, I will not be moaning!

But alas I’m being dragged out to a party where none of my friends will be seen as they’re all in different places this year so it makes sense to see all of Ben’s friends! So I’m putting my foot down and hosting a New Years party next year. My friends and I haven’t spent a NY’s together in…ever? We couldn’t do it this year as we’re having works done the house and the ground floor is so cold you pretty much have to wear a coat and slippers as soon as you walk down the stairs – not cool.

Rather than talking about my resolutions in this post, I will save that for maybe tomorrow or a week from now as my post timings have become really irregular due to the fact I have been crazy busy over the ‘relaxing’ Christmas period. Instead, I’m going to look back at the whole reason I made this blog – My Bucket List.

I started this blog last year with the intention to get 5-8 things ticked off of my bucket list each year…let’s see how I did…

22) Rent a cute cottage in Ireland with a log fire

So this one involved Ben’s proposal, a holiday and discovering S.West Ireland – which by the way is incredibly beautiful and some bike rides to remember. We went away on June 26th and he proposed on the 27th! A date to remember 🙂

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BIKE FRIEEEEEEENDS

36) Go to the Ice Bar

I completed this one with the help of two of my best friends to celebrate my birthday. Unfortunately I was horrendously hungover from my birthday bbq at our old house, so getting the motivation to get up and get a train was proving to be somewhat of a mission. I think that morning has got the be the most hungover I’ve been in 2014. I’ll take my bow 🙂

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40) Run a Half Marathon

In March of this year I completed the Silverstone Half Marathon, my first half marathon of hopefully quite a few, if my body decides that it will allow me to push myself this much! I really loved this day, I can’t lie it was harsh conditions with a lot of wind and considering I was injured the week before, I didn’t fancy my chances. I completed this in 1hr 59, which I was happy with as my goal was sub 2hrs! Woohoo! We celebrated with wine and steak that night at one of my favourite restaurants. Check out this tired, sweaty mess !

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49) Go to a PROPER Christmas market (none of these British City wannabes)

As featured in one of my recent blog posts we visited Cologne, Germany just before Christmas which was incredible. As this is still pretty fresh for the blog, go check out the page as I won’t bore you with the details I’ve written in the past fortnight.

53) Have a pint of Guinness in Ireland

Again, this one I completed on our holiday where Ben proposed in Ireland. I had tried Guiness before this point but really hated the stuff. But I felt it had to be done – when in Rome and all that!

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61) Drink Champagne in a Hot Tub

This one was a bit of a cheat because my friends and I actually had Prosecco. But if I’m honest I actually prefer the stuff, it’s so much easier to drink – dangerous. The hot tub was rented out for my bestie’s little sister’s birthday as a surprise, so once she’d got over the novelty of the hot tub, we took our chance and had a night in there! It was pretty sweet actually, I felt like a rich and famous person. I know hot tub’s aren’t too expensive but I don’t think I’d ever want to invest in one, especially now we’ve moved to Suffolk!

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SIX! I managed to complete 6, which is pretty much the goal I wanted last year – I’m happy with that one. One of my resolutions is to get through a few more of these next year, I have a few in mind, can you guess which ones?

If you’re struggling for a New Year’s Resolution, I suggest making a Bucket List and trying to get through 5-10 each year, it’s such a fun way to make sure you’re not wasting your life. I am constantly adding to mine throughout the year when I remember something I am desperate to do!

Did you guys tick anything off of your Bucket List this year?

Happy New Year!! (It’s taken a lot for me to say this so be nice) 🙂

My Most Re-Read Books

I’ve seen similar posts around to the one I’m about to write and also ‘2014 Book Favourites’ etc but if I’m honest, I’ve not had much time to get through many books this year as I’m studying; German and French books have to take priority. But even then I don’t often read novels in each of the languages because of my work load *sigh*.

So instead of having a top reads from this year, I’ve decided to show you guys my most re-read books. Of course there are hundreds others as I used to re-read my Jacqueline Wilson books several times when I was younger and the ‘Sleepover Club’ series I’d take out of the library on a weekly basis – does anyone remember these?

Anyho, I don’t often re-read books because my book shelves look like this:

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I’m one of those people who has a problem with buying books. I buy more than I have the time to read; I reckon there’s about 50 books in there that are on my To Read list. Although, having said that, once I really get into a series like I did in 2013 with The Hunger Games and Divergent series, I won’t stop reading them regardless of any other work/study commitments I have, so a book has gotta go a long way to capture my attention.

My first and probably most re-read book is the following:

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I’ve battered this book! There’s pages fallen out, so many pages turned over – I love it. I can actually remember buying it, I was 16 and in town with one of my old school pals Danny and we sat in Waterstones for hours trying to pick me a star sign book and I came away with this. I am in love with it. Everything in this book about my own star sign I believe is incredibly accurate and many others too. I tend to only read the star signs of those around me, like my best friends and brothers etc. I would really recommend this book to anyone who has an interest in Astrology.

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Now a massive movie phenomenon, The Hobbit was a classic book to read and I personally am really mad that they’ve made this into so many movies considering how short this book actually is. This was an accidental re-read for me, it was one of those books that I kept reading 2/3’s of and never finishing and forgetting the story. When the first film came out I told myself I’d read the whole thing and I eventually did. I do love the story of The Hobbit but I do think the films have ruined the image I had painted in my head of how the characters looked etc. A common negative to watching films after the books.

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I want to first start off with saying what incredible authors Nicci French are, they’re actually two people I believe, I found out once when googling the author. My mum used to read Nicci French books all the time when I was around 14-15 years old and so naturally being a book worm I asked if I could borrow one. She said of course but be warned they are a little scary. At the age of 15 you think you’re brave as fuck so I went for it. My god, some of their books have had me in tears before with fright. This is my favourite one of them all I think, I must’ve read it at least 3 times (a lot for someone who doesn’t like to read an old story). They’re crime/psychological thrillers so if you’re into that genre, I would seriously recommend any of Nicci French’s books.

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Oh hey booties! This book is actually a German book so I’m not too sure why I’ve added it in, but I was given this by one of my German exchange partners when she came back over to England. It’s quite an easy read for the average German teenage girl but when I first read this it really did challenge my language skills which is such a good way to learn. I love the story of this and each time I read a foreign language book I feel my mind is getting more of a work out than me being lazy and reading an English book. One of my favourite kind of books are ‘chic lits’ and in general they’re easier reads so when I do choose to ready trashy novels, I’ll try and find their German or French equivalent so I don’t feel quite as guilty.

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I had to throw in a chic lit! Especially a Christmasey one! I love to re-read my Christmas chic-lits, their endings are always happy and that’s what I wanna be reading in the run up to crimbo. This particular book I actually bought in the summer months as I remember first reading it on a boiling hot train into work – bleurgh. But I have re-read this a few times since, along with other Christmas romance books. They’re just the best. They’re always set in small remote villages with some poor single girl who loves staying in on Saturday nights drinking wine – remind you of anyone? Hahah.

One of my New Year’s goals is to get through the ton of unread books I do have festering on our shelves, but I need more of a structure to be able to actually follow my resolutions, so I’ll be having a think about these and will reveal my list sometime around New Year’s Eve!

If anyone has any ‘intelligent’ books or classics you can recommend, I’d be so grateful. I’m trying to broaden my mind and read up on all subjects to try and be a little more well rounded. I also think it would be a good idea to challenge my English reading, as we all know my favourites are pretty easy reads!

3 DAYS! XX

Köln – Part II

I’m still in awe of this beautiful city. As I’ve gone to write this post I’ve flicked back through all of our photos we took last week and Köln truly was incredible It is such a Théa city, that’s the only way I can describe it. I cannot believe it was only Tuesday we came back though, it feels like ages ago – time is flying too fast and I don’t like it!

Now I want to show you guys all of our other ‘non-boring’ photos as my brother nicely described our Facebook photo album. Isn’t he nice? Please be warned, some of these were taken on my phone so the quality isn’t outstanding.

Also, it may look like I wore the same outfit every day, I didn’t, just the same warm (head-turning) boots and coat during the day as I cannot cope with feeling cold, my circulation especially to my feet is dire.

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As you can see I found the best wine glass in the world (vase but I immediately thought wine), we drank a hell’a’lot of beer and ate amazing German food and had loads of fun exploring together. I might be biased but I also put some pictures of Ben looking handsome in there for good measure! There’s a Lindt factory nearby (which we visited the day after the Sydney tragedy – awks) and I’m obsessed with chocolate so we couldn’t not take a look inside! We also had the richest hot chocolate ever after in their little café, plus had our own personalised chocolate made. Mmmmm they’re in our stockings ready for the biggest feasting day of the world.

Does anyone else on Christmas Day just go absolutely mental with their portions? Maybe I’m just the only gluttonous chump around here 🙂

Only FOUR days to go!

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Oh and how could I forget? I actually crossed another item from my bucket list, number 49:

49) Go to a PROPER Christmas market (none of these British City wannabes)

Woohoo!!!

Köln – Part I

First up, to avoid any confusion, Köln is the German word for Cologne but I always feel it is appropriate to use the actual name of the place rather than the English translation – it’s almost bordering on ignorant. Alas, Ben and I went to Köln on Saturday for a cheeky four day trip to discover the city, get me speaking a bit of German, enjoy their amazing food and of course visit their many’a Christmas market – which might I add, did not disappoint.


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So that I can split this into two blogs (so you’re not completely bored by our photos) I have tried to opt for ‘architectural/historical’ photos in this blog which may be pretty boring to those of you who have already been to the city. Just so you know, I can’t really take credit for these photos, Ben took most of the ‘arty’ one’s, I don’t really have an eye for capturing a good pic. Most of my photos consisted of booze and food – nommy. Don’t worry, it’s what you’ve got to come.

Cologne is a beautiful city, although four days to roam around is plenty. For some reason I thought it’d be a little bigger but you could easily walk around it in 2-3 days – on our final day we spent 2 hours twiddling our thumbs before dinner! This isn’t a bad point by the way, I just don’t suggest you spend longer than 4-5 days there especially if you’re doing a tour of Europe or Germany.

Going to Cologne only enhanced my love for the country; their food, drink, language, friendliness and ways of life are just a touch above anywhere else I have ever visited. Their transport system for example is miles ahead of the UK’s. 3 hour delays in rush hour are just unheard of. Litter on the streets is rare and rude locals are non-existent. Another awesome city that Germany has to offer, it is definitely in my top 5!

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Our Wedding : The Reality of Planning [Part 2]

So following on from my wedding goals post, I’ve decided to talk to you about my wedding planning I’ve been doing. After going to a few weddings in the past few years, all I wanted to be was a wedding planner. I’m in love with the idea of love, I love to see people in love and I think weddings are a beautiful symbol, not to mention have me in tears without fail. So when Ben proposed, I was more than ecstatic. I am so excited to marry the one man (and I say man because most of my ex’s have been ‘boys’) I’ve ever felt crazily in love with, I feel like a smitten young girl in his arms.

The reality of planning the wedding I’d always dreamed of is, to be quite frank, a pain in the arse. I have enjoyed some bits which I’ll get into, but in other areas I’ve wanted to pull my hair out. Don’t get my wrong, I’m still excited as hell but some parts of this planning process I could’ve done without.

I won’t get into too much detail with this one as Part 3 is going to be details of my actual wedding, the more exciting bits, so you guys can have an insight to what sort of wedding we’re going for!

First things first, being the organising nob I am I made a wedding spreadsheet.

Screenshot 2014-12-07 16.04.45Colour coded and everything! So firstly I made the above tab with basically every aspect we need to think about so we don’t forget anything…I originally forgot to budget in favours – I mean I didn’t even know what these bloody things were! Luckily Ben’s cousin is also getting married to one of the most awesome girls I’ve ever met who I’ve mentioned before in posts about sticking together with his fam…so yeh she’s been helping me with ideas too!

Another important tab I definitely think is our budgets tab! For example I didn’t even realise how expensive flowers were for a wedding, I budgeted £500 for these….you think we can find any in that region? Nu uh. I mean not everything we’ve gone over budget on, infact we’ve saved a lot of money in some areas but budgeting is a MUST before organising a wedding.

I would show you that page but I think it’s a bit controversial as some people will be like ‘HOW MUCH’ or the opposite and think we’re scrimpy tight wads!

DSC01382 DSC01380 DSC01393So after much advice, browsing on the internet and gifts like the wedding planning and notes book that I was given, the rest of the planning could commence. I think having everything organised, printed, saved, whatever your preference is a must.

The order we planned in went something like this:
– The amount of guests
– The venue
– The registrar
– The date
– My dress
– My hair and makeup (priorities girls!)
– DJ
– Photographer
– Bits for favours
– First attempt at Bridesmaid dresses
– Save The Dates
– Cake
– Flowers
– Chair covers (another thing I didn’t even think about)

Currently…
– still looking for bridesmaid dresses
– having our invites designed

What’s left to do…
– Pick our rings
– Plan a honeymoon
– Choose our wedding food
– Send out invites
– Create our favours
– Find my wedding shoes
– Get the men’s suits
– Think about thank you gifts
– Buy the page boys and flower girls outfits
– Sort out the table plan and theme (already got an idea for this one 😉 )
– Buy a wedding book/something to write in

So we’ve still got lots to do but we’ve got the worst bits out of the way. My most favourite was obviously picking the venue and finding our cake supplier – who doesn’t love cake tasting.

My most stressful parts were definitely finding my dress and (still trying) to find bridesmaid dresses. A little piece of advice to anyone getting married; do not say to your bridesmaids they can pick what they want/ decide if they don’t like your choices. With the amount of bridesmaids I’ve got, it is just not happening! I’ve already bought 2 sets of dresses and had to send them all back, so yeh, pick the dresses and they’ll have to like it or lump it!

I’ve also had a problem with one of my bridesmaids but that’s for another time or maybe not even on here! But yes, be careful all your brides-to-be.

So my part 3 is basically going to be details of our actual wedding so you can have a little insight in, but to go in with my planning, here are some of my other photos. [WARNING: Spoiler alert]

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Black Friday

This blog is going to start with a rant. I am absolutely furious with boohoo.com, infact I don’t even think furious covers it. I ordered some clothing on Black Friday from them, you’ll what below, and I opted for the free delivery which they were advertising which normally to be fair to them, comes quicker than the 3-5 business day delivery slot.

So I waited and waited and in the mean time other Christmas presents I’d ordered had turned up and so I decided to track the order and it said it had been delivered. Weird. So I messaged boohoo and to be fair to them on this front, their turn around for complaints is 24 hours which they did actually keep to but they proceeded to say, it had been delivered, can you ask your neighbours, check your garden? What sort of a question is this!

Firstly I had it delivered to my work which is an industrial estate on which the majority of people who work their, I’d say 80%, are male so why would they even think to keep the delivery. Secondly, the first line of the delivery address was the name of my company…if you pull into said estate you are firstly directed in the direction of our office and you can’t miss the god damn thing! We have from about 4-10 vans with all the companies logos on sitting outside!

So yes, I checked with my ‘neighbours’ and funnily enough they hadn’t received size 6-8 women’s clothing! So I am proceeding with this claim when I get a Facebook message from a random guy asking if I’d ordered anything from boohoo recently. It turns out he lives at the same number as our Unit on a similar road nearby and they’d left it outside their flat in the middle of the day, thankfully no-one had stolen it, he’d taken it in and contacted me! Good karma that boy shall have! So I’m going to proceed to tell Boohoo that I haven’t received it because that is disgraceful considering I spent over £60 on clothes.

Anyyyyway…..

Here are my ‘Black Friday’ purchases – a relatively new concept in the UK which I find totally bizzare. There were mongrels on the t.v fighting each other for the last televisions in Tescos, having full on fights over microwaves….seriously? Shouldn’t you lot all be at work?

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