Saturday, 31 May 2014

Beauty product of the month - May

I haven't bought many beauty products this month but something that I do buy regularly is new nail varnish. I love wearing pretty pastel colours in the spring and found this lovely babydoll pink that I thought would look perfect in the sunshine.

I love the light shade and think it suits my skin tone especially as it makes me look more tanned! It is a good shade for both hands and feet and at a mere £1.99 it doesn't break the bank either! I bought this bottle in Superdrug but it is probably available in other make up retailers as well.

What products have made your fav list this month?

Positive pic of the week #9

This weeks positive pic is Juice.

As I have mentioned before I decided to do a two day detox to try and get myself under 10 stone and I am pleased to say that with a little help from this juice I managed to do it! Hopefully the hot dogs that I just ate don't push me back over again :/

I made the juice myself in a juicer and will put a post up in the next couple of days with the ingredients. Also the little milk bottles I purchased for my daughters birthday are a perfect size for a shot of juice. If you are trying to kick start a health routine or want to drop a few pounds I find juicing is a great way to start and if you get the right fruit and veg mix that don't taste too bad either!

If you have a pic of something positive that's happened in your week then please join in and post on the linky below...

Friday, 30 May 2014

50 books 2014 - May

This month I have managed to get through four books with a little help from the half term, giving me some extra reading time. I mentioned before that I would like to read at least one classic and this month I chose Lady Chatterley's lover. I thought it would be quite a hard read but was pleasantly surprised and I think I would like to read a few more classics in the future.

I came across this book in the free section of the kindle books and was surprised to see a Jodi Picoult book there so downloaded it straight away. I learned afterwards that it is in fact a short story but nevertheless it is a great read and it is an introduction to the character Serenity Jones who features in her upcoming novel.

Serenity is a psychic who has her own TV show and when she tries to get into contact with a war veteran for his young widow she gets more than she bargained for in return, but will this boost ratings or threaten her future as a TV psychic? This was an enjoyable read and I am looking forward to a full version in the new novel.

My partner actually downloaded this book onto my kindle as he only ever reads crime books. I didn't pay much attention to it for a couple of months but then I read the first few pages and realised it was based in Hackney which is where I grew up so was intrigued to carry on reading.

This is a troubling tale of the gritty life teenage gang members lead in inner city London. One young boy is murdered and the search is on to find his killer, the main suspect is very nonchalant about the situation but how does he feel when his little brother decides to follow his footsteps into the life of crime? At the same time there is also the tale of the detective on the case and his journey to a life away from the harsh realities of life on the estates. Great read if you don't mind a bit of violence in your novels.

Some people feel really motivated by self help books such as The Secret while others are quite cynical and see it as a money making tool for the people behind it. I have read a few 'Chicken soup for the soul' books and I loved them as they were full of feel good stories but this book does seem a bit repetitive. 

The main theme of the book is the law of attraction. There are many contributors to the book who all try to convince the reader that positive thinking can bring you anything you want, I am not saying it cant, its just a matter of belief. Positive thinking obviously worked for them as they have all achieved what they want and there is no harm in it so why not I say?

I thought it would take me forever to get through this book as I remember trying to read classic books when I was younger and struggling to understand a word, however the only thing I struggled with was when the character Mellors was speaking in his Yorkshire accent. There were a few old fashioned words that I didn't know the meaning of but because I was reading on my kindle I could just touch the word and the meaning would come up which was really useful. I did find it quite amusing when a couple of my 'word of the week' words came up but at least I was familiar with them!

The story is about Lady Chatterley (Connie) and her discovery of herself, she seems like a feisty character and had a bit of 1920s girl power about her. Connie's upper class husband has been paralysed through a war injury and is therefore unable to physically please his wife. This causes tension between the two of them and she seeks love in other places, but what will happen when she decides to provide them with an heir to the Wragby estate? The book is quite raunchy in parts and rather than romantic I found it to be a bit crude, almost like the author was trying to shock the reader with his words! Worth a read if you are a fan of classics.

 I have now read 17 books out of my 50 book target so still have a long way to go but I am really enjoying spending more time reading and hope to get through at least 5 next month!
My #50books2014 challenge is linked up with Sara over at Ups & downs, smiles & frowns.

Word of the week - Amelioration

I feel like so much has happened this week and so much progress has been made, especially in the house.

We have had all the scaffolding taken down, the fence has been fixed and a new front door has been put in. The best thing is that my drain has been cleared, every time I used the washing machine or dishwasher the water was coming back up into the kitchen sink. It was really annoying having to use a jug to empty the water out, that I was only washing what was needed and had a massive pile of dirty clothes, now I have finally emptied the washing basket!

On a personal note, I have wanted to lose a bit of weight for a while, ideally I would like to be 9 and a half stone but I have found it so hard to get below the 10 stone mark. This week I decided to do a detox and just have water, juice and fruit for a two day period (yesterday and today) This morning I weighed myself and was 9st 13lb! I am hoping to lose a couple more pounds but I am going to take it slow to try and keep it off!

Apart from the miserable weather, it has been quite a pleasant half term and I am actually looking forward to going back to work. I love the last term as everything exciting happens at school. Staff and children find out their new classes/teachers, there are end of year assemblies and parties and playground duty isn't so bad when the sun is shining!

For your information the word amelioration means to progress or advance and comes from the 1650s word meliorare meaning to improve.

The Reading Residence

Wednesday, 28 May 2014

My Prime 5 - Pet hates

What better way to start my prime 5 than by having a good old moan, it's better to get it all out in one go so we can move on to better and more positive things!

 I am quite an easy going person, I don't let too much bother me but like everybody I have a few pet hates, these are the top 5 things that bother me...

1. Buses - At the moment I am not driving so I don't have much choice than to get on the bus but everything about them annoys me! Waiting for one to turn up, when it turns up it's packed and you have to squeeze on, when they are so packed that the driver skips right past your bus stop without even a wave! Smelly people, the passengers that hold the bus up looking for their fare/oyster card, the ones that leave their kids to mess around and play on the stairs, the ones that sit on the outside seat leaving the window seat empty and the worst are the ones that put their bag on its own seat like its paid for it when they can see others want to sit down! I think I actually prefer walking, plus it is more healthy.

2. Shoppers -  I shop in most supermarkets but I have to say Iceland have the worst shoppers, you know those ones that fill their basket and then get into the queue only to put their basket down by the conveyor belt and carry on their shopping.This is always happening in there, I had an incident once where the woman in front of me disappeared, all the customers in front of her had gone and the checkout guy called me over, then out of nowhere she pushed past me with her extra food and muttered under her breathe 'don't let me start an argument in here today' I was shocked at her rudeness and felt like slapping her but I like to be the better person and ignored her, karma is a bitch!

3. Tagging - I hate it when Facebook friends tag me in pictures or statuses. It's bad enough when you are in the picture (usually drunk and looking really rough) but its when they tag pictures of themselves or their kids and put my name on it, why?? I am not in your picture and the rest of my fb members do not want to see it! Also those family members that want to tag themselves in all of my pictures, leave them alone, they are my pictures!

4. Alarms - That ringing sound in the morning when you are in the middle of a nice dream, it's just not natural! I am definitely not a morning person but will happily wake up to the sound of birds and sunlight shining through the window, instead its usually a really annoying beeping sound that I have to constantly snooze....Zzz

5. Smoking - I have never smoked and have never seen the point of it. My mum has smoked since she was 9yrs old and even now at 54 and with a lung disease she continues to do it. Growing up some kids will follow what their parents do and start smoking but others like me are completely put off. Most adults I know that smoke actually want to give up and I think more needs to be done to help them. What actually are the good points to it because I struggle to find any yet so many people start?

So those are the things that get on my nerves, what really irritates you?

Write your own post on your top 5 pet hates, add a My prime 5 badge and link up at the bottom of this post. The linky will be open for 2 weeks to give you plenty of time to join in
Tantrums and Glitter

Saturday, 24 May 2014

Word of the week - Exhale

It has been a really busy few weeks, so busy that I have had hardly any time to blog and have just been catching up again this week.

We have had birthdays, including this Alice in Wonderland party We have had illnesses... I barely have a voice left through all the coughing! And we have had exams, daughter pulling her hair out with GCSE worries and son barely batting an eyelid (as boys don't) with his A Levels.

The half term is here again and I feel like I can finally breathe (with the aid of some lozenges) I have little planned but hope to fit in as much fun and relaxation (in equal measures) as possible and will be kicking it off by dressing as a schoolgirl for my friends St Trinians themed birthday party tonight!

For your information the word exhale comes from 1400 latin word exhalare meaning to breathe out.

How has your week been? Come and link up with #wotw hosted by Jocelyn over at the reading residence

The Reading Residence

Thursday, 22 May 2014

My cleaned up garden

It has been a few weeks since I posted about my mess of a garden and I am pleased to say it has been cleaned up quite a lot since then (credit goes mostly to the man) and you can actually see the shed now!

I notice whenever I cut back the grass it turns from a lush green to a patchy brown and I would love to know how to keep it fresh looking?

I do love a before and after picture so here a few. I have not yet cut back the bushes as much as I would like, mostly because of the weather changing but hopefully it will be sunny over the half term and I can carry on with it then.

The scaffolding is already half taken down so hopefully it will all be removed soon as apparently my fence (which has fallen down even more) cannot be repaired while the scaffolding is still up!

The best thing is seeing a bit of colour finally appearing in the garden...

I think I am going to set myself  a project for the summer which is to try and make this shed look pretty...I know it's going to be a hard task!!

Mammasaurus and How Does Your Garden Grow?

Wednesday, 21 May 2014

May Glossybox

I actually forgot to post my Glossybox contents last month and cannot remember what was in there so it couldn't have been that great! This month however I am very impressed with and have already used all the products that were in the box.

I have always wanted to try John Frieda Frizz-Ease and never got round to buying it so I was very pleased to see it in the box. It is a full size product and at only 25ml it does seem quite small but as only a small amount is needed each use I think it could probably last a while, saying that we do have 3 females with frizzy hair in this house so it may not last too long!

I am not really a lover of foundation so when BB creams came out I was swayed by the fact that they cover your flaws but feel like a moisturiser. The Garnier BB cream covers really nicely and was a great shade which is suitable for myself and my daughter, who is a shade darker than me. This particular one also hydrates and protects with SPF 15.

Another 2 full size products were the Scholl overnight foot mask and the Maybelline crystallize nail polish in nearly black shade.

I have to say the velvet smooth overnight mask for the feet really did work. I had quite dry heels which felt rough to touch but after leaving this cream on overnight they really were velvety smooth. I do not recommend using this night mask when it is a hot or humid night though as my feet felt sticky through the night and made it uncomfortable to sleep.

I don't normally wear really dark nail varnishes and I don't think I own any black shades, I prefer pastel and pretty colours but it is nice to have a change once in a while. I have a St Trinians party that I'm going to at the weekend so I think I will wear this then. It is a little sparkly and rough to the touch, not smooth like most varnishes but still looks nice.

There was another full size product in the box which was a sheer conditioning lipstick but my daughter seemed to disappear with it before I could take a picture!

The 2 bonus items were the Ghost Eclipse fragrance which has a fruity, floral fragrance and is definitely one which I would wear, perfect for summer. And the other is the Garnier oil beauty lotion which I have not opened as yet but think I will use it on my legs when I get them out!

Were you impressed with your Glossybox this month?

Monday, 19 May 2014

Mealplan Monday 19/05/14

I am going to do a mealplan this week but have decided to have a break for a while. I seem to put the same dishes on my mealplan each week, which is fine as its dishes that we all eat and are simple to make but I would like to find some new recipes and make something a bit different! So instead of posting a mealplan I will post a new recipe that I have made.

Another reason for having a break from the mealplan is because of my fussy family. I have two picky daughters, one that just wants to eat pasta with sauce everyday and another that never seems to like anything I make even though its food she has eaten in the past! Then there is the son who turned vegetarian, I'm sure its been about 4 months now and whenever we have a meat dish we have to cook something different for him. Basically there is at least 3 dishes happening each day so this week we are going simple meals that they all like and then I think I will leave them to get on with it themselves... well my daughter does want to be a chef!

Monday - Burgers (including vegetarian burger) with chips

Tuesday - Jacket potatoes with tuna and sweetcorn filling

Wednesday - Pizza with garlic bread and salad

Thursday - Salmon with baby potatoes and green beans

Friday - Meatballs and spaghetti

Saturday - Wraps with chicken and salad

Sunday - Roast with all the trimmings

I am linking up with #mealplanningmonday and will still be visiting to get some inspiration for some new dishes!

Meal Planning Monday

Saturday, 17 May 2014

Positive pic of the week #8

This weeks Positive pic is shoes.

I got these shoes this week as a present from the Mr for my birthday. I don't normally like pointed toe shoes, I think they just make my feet look bigger! These however I think look lovely. This is surprising considering that myself and the man have completely different tastes and never agree when it comes to style!

I love the colour and the fact that there are straps around the ankle as me and high heels are not really the best of friends, so having some support to walk in them is a must! I have quite a few parties coming up, including a 40th, 50th and 60th so I am glad I have some new shoes to wear.

What has made you happy this week? Come and add your positive pic at the bottom of the page.

Wednesday, 14 May 2014

Alice in Wonderland birthday party

This week is a busy week of birthdays in my house as today is my big day (I am half way to 70) and 6 days ago was my daughters birthday. It has been a long time since I have had a proper party so I thought I would post the highlights from the Alice in Wonderland party that she had at the weekend.

Kyra was 12 last week and she always likes to have a party to celebrate her birthday, she actually starts planning the next party within weeks of the last one finishing! I loved the idea of having a tea party with sandwiches and cakes on stands and little teacups so we thought we would make it a bit like a mad hatters tea party.

I used Amazon to find lots of little props for the party, I especially love the tiny milk bottles that we filled with milkshake and the plastic jars full of sweets (not sure if the mad hatter had pick'n'mix but we wanted it anyway!) complete with paper bags and weighing scales.

We didn't have as many decorations as I wanted but we did cover the table with playing cards and cups and saucers. The inflatable flamingos were meant to go in the garden along with the game of croquet, only it was pouring with rain! The girls were not worried though as they were busy gossipping, some of Kyra's friends are from primary school and she hasn't actually seen them for 6 months so it was lovely for them to be able to catch up.

The party bags matched the sweet bags but as they were quite plain we put out a craft table for the girls to decorate their own bag before filling it. This didn't actually happen as they were too busy taking part in a talent contest and all I could hear coming from the kitchen were the lyrics to 'Do you want to build a snowman?' Yes, I should of known it would turn into a Frozen party eventually!

Kyra really loved the day and it was great to see so many of the girls dressing up as characters from Alice in wonderland.
 I hope she doesn't have anything too extravagant planned for next year as I also have a sweet 16th and a big 18th to contend with!!

Tuesday, 13 May 2014

Bluebell Railway

Last week we spent the day at The Bluebell railways for a school trip as part of the topic of trains (we have been on this topic for a long time now!!)

I had never heard anything about The Bluebell Railways before our trip and didn't know what to expect. The class teacher asked if I could take photos and I thought we would just be taking a ride on a steam train and only need to take a couple of photos. I ended up with about 100 pictures (don't worry I didn't post them all on here) as there was actually so much to see.

The railway is situated near East Grinstead and it took us about 2 hours to travel there by coach from South London. It was a really long journey for the kids, so long in fact that we actually missed the train leaving the first station and had to keep on driving to try and catch it two stops up!

The train travels from Sheffield park - Horsted Keynes - Kingscote - East Grinstead and back again.

We made it to Kingscote as the train was pulling out again so had to wait and catch it on its return journey. Luckily there was a lovely eating area round the back of the station for us to sit and eat lunch.

Kingscote station has recently been refurbished to look like a typical 1950s style train station complete with old fashioned suitcases and advertisements and it looked really pretty...

After lunch we waited on the platform to watch the steam train approaching. There were quite a few old gentlemen that worked for the Bluebell railway and were on hand to give the children lots of information about the steam trains and the railway, they accompanied us on the journey and gave the children their own little tickets, that they then came round and stamped for them.

The journey was very smooth and comfortable considering it was such an old train and there were beautiful views out of the windows. The fact that we missed the train was probably quite a good thing as the children really enjoyed themselves without the journey being too long for them to get bored.

As we got back to Sheffield park we were taken on a tour to see all the old steam trains including the one that was used in The railway children. I am one of the few people that have never watched Downton Abbey but apparently part of it was filmed along The Bluebell Railway as well as a few other programmes/films.

Also at Sheffield park station is a lovely little museum with loads of information on the history of steam trains, small models of trains and even old clothes and hats for the kids to dress up as train drivers.

We were very lucky that it was a gloriously sunny day and we got to enjoy the outside space as well as the drive upon the steam train. The children thoroughly enjoyed themselves and were worn out by the time we got back to school. If you have children that love trains (or if you love trains yourself) then this would make a lovely day out.

For more info and to find out what events are happening at The Bluebell Railways then visit their website.

This post is linked up to #countrykids over at Coombe mill

Country Kids from Coombe Mill Family Farm Holidays Cornwall
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