Thursday, 29 October 2015

A Teatime Conversation.

Sometimes all I need for homesickness is a 20 minute phone conversation with Grandparents.

Here are the highlights:
My Grandad mistook my phone message for one of his bowling friends despite my saying 'Love you' at the end of the message.

My Nanna told me all about my Grandad's latest baking experiment, that she had bemoaned on our last trip home: beetroot chocolate cakes which she begrudgingly admitted tasted beautiful.

I feel so lucky having these amazing Grandparents, they (I'm sure my mum would agree) have been my second parent figure in my life as I've grown up. They have always been the people I would play off against my Mum where some people would do it with their parents, they've been the owners of the house I've threatened to run away to as a moody teenager and they housed me over this summer when I found out Sam and I would be moving across the country and I had to hand my notice in on my flat.

When i'm feeling down or just missing the familiarities of home I always know I can ring them and the most mundane of conversations about their friends new home adaptations of what we're respectively eating for dinner will pick me back up again. They're the holders of wisdom, the feeders (Ringtons ginger biscuits) in my life and the people I've probably cried in front of the most, after my Mum.

I just felt the need to show some appreciation for them as I was on the phone to my Nanna yesterday evening asking for favours even though she's 200 miles away and chatting about tennis even though I've never sat through a match in my life. I don't know where i'd be without them.

And for my Nanna because I'm sure she reads here, this is a more grown up version (I hope) of the poem I wrote you when I was about 6 that I know you have kept. Yes you're still 'as clever as a typewriter.'

Tuesday, 27 October 2015

Not Fair, Not Safe.

Unable to find original image owner, contact me if this is yours and I will credit/remove.
#notfairnotsafe is a hashtag that has been used on Twitter to campaign against the proposed changes to Junior Doctor's contracts by the government, for a bit of background, although often a junior doctor is thought of as a doctor in their first 2 years (as my boyfriend currently is) they really can be seen as any doctor who isn't a consultant/GP. So, that means the anaesthetist who is first on call for all of the hospital with immense responsibility, a person who has had 5 years of medical school, 2 years of foundation and 1-7 years of further training is a junior doctor. That means this proposals affects A LOT of people. A lot of people are upset about it, many think changes will make things dangerous for patients and doctors. It has been enough to create talks of strikes and to instigate large protests by junior doctors and their supporters, doctors are not people who can be politicised easily. 

If our doctors are overworked and tired, they can't look after patients safely. I am a nurse and I have seen what doctors go through on a long stretch of shifts, both in my professional life and the fact I live with a junior doctor. He has just finished working 30 hours over the weekend and is straight onto a normal working week of Monday to Friday 9-5 (but normally ending at 6-6:30) We haven't seen each other all weekend, we haven't socialised with family and we won't this week because of how exhausted he is and yet Jeremy Hunt proposes that Monday to Saturday 7am to 10pm are social hours of work. Not only is it not fair and not safe, it is ludicrous to think anybody could call those hours social. 

What about the doctors who already can't put their children to bed at night because they're working until 10pm each night who will now be told that is within social working hours? The doctors who haven't seen a Christmas with their family for years. Would an MP be expected to do this?

It is both unfair to the doctors and unsafe for the patients, doctors come into the profession to care for people, this care will be compromised with these changes. The fact that there have already been protests and there are talks of strikes attest to this. Doctors do not take these decisions lightly. 

Please email your MP and ask them to listen to the experts and the public - we want a safe NHS and that means safe working hours for staff. Less pay for more hours to create more weekend cover and a 7 day working week? Like that doesn't exist already. We have already see that the death rates for weekends have been skewed, so there is no legitimate reason for these changes. 

Worth a watch, when a comedian is making more sense than our government then you know things need an overhaul. 

Another hashtag to take a look at is #iminworkJeremy 

You can sign the petition here, where there is also a template for you to email your MP. 

Friday, 23 October 2015

Little Loves #2: London Edition.

Sam and I recently had a week off together, we used the time to spend some time at home visiting our families and having a quick 3 day midweek trip to London. We like to be tourist-y every now and then and we had booked a show before going but ended up seeing 2 while we were there. We had a list as long as our arm of places we wanted to eat, shops we wanted to visit and places we wanted to see. We actually managed the whole 3 days without seeing Big Ben which looking back seems strange but I didn't really need another picture of it!
Getting on with the post, these are a few of my favourite things about our trip to London, they're all phone photos because I'm the kind of person who's paranoid of making locals angry by being an annoying tourist heaving a big DSLR about (there actually won't be any proper pictures for about a month because we ended up leaving the DSLR 200 miles away at my Grandparent's house, gahhh!)  or taking a suitcase on the tube, so we did neither of these things!

The 2 shows we saw. 
We saw Les Mis for the first time and it was amazing, when we saw it there were about 6 stand ins but it really didn't take away from how amazing the show was. I was expecting to get emotional as loads of people said they cried all the way through the second half but I didn't. It was amazing though, the stage work is so good, I wasn't sure how they'd do the barricade and everything but it did not disappoint. On our second night there we decided to try for another show and ended up getting amazing seats for Wicked, we had seen it before last year but it's a show I really feel I could see again and again, I was like a little kid watching it, grabbing Sam's arm at all my favourite bits. My favourite of the 2 was Wicked, Sam's was Les Mis.

The Natural History Museum. 
Last time we were in London it was a weekend and the queue for the museum was absolutely crazy, we put it on our must do list this time because Sam had never been and the last time I went I must have been around 7 or 8. I just loved going here, even the architecture of the building makes it worth a visit, everything is so beautiful and I could have taken a million pictures.

The Breakfast Club. 
As I said before, a lot of what we wanted to do while in London involved eating and we had to have a trip to The Breakfast Club. We went to the one in Soho as it was closest to where we were most of the time, the food here is amazing, and the waitress brought us a whole jug of maple syrup without us having to ask, an all round great experience. I think this was tied with Wahaca for my favourite places we ate, I didn't take a picture of my food from Wahaca though because I was full on hangry when we ate there.

H&M beauty. 
I know this isn't a London exclusive but honestly the selection of beauty products in other stores I've been in has been either non-existent or a tiny range. The H&M on Oxford street was a beauty haven! I can't believe I managed to walk away with only one thing, this green eyeliner/eyeshadow pen. I have become obsessed with this, all I did for this look was basically drew it all over my eyelid, blending it out and blended a darker colour into the crease. In my opinion I think it looks like a lot more effort has gone into it and the green makes it a bit more interesting than a normal smokey eye.

I wasn't sure how to caption this without it being super cringe but really it was just amazing to spend some free time with Sam. We've lived together for a few months now but with shift work and rare days off together it was a complete luxury to spend 3 solid days together just in each others company. We had so many laughs, walked about 15 miles a day, enabled each other to spend far too much and just had a great time. I love this dude.

Thanks for reading, hope you enjoyed a little look into what I enjoyed the most during our trip to London! It's not a good tourist guide because we just swanned around doing a lot of shopping and looking at nice buildings. We always know we're going to go back so we don't feel the need to rush everything and do it all in the space of 48 hours. I really feel like we made the most of all of our time there and enjoyed it to the full though.

Just a quick added note, I'm not really sure how blogging will continue for the next month while the DSLR is 200 miles away (sob) because the reason I wanted to write this blog was to enjoy photography and writing again. That means half of the hobby is missing for me! I'm going to try and do some bits and pieces but otherwise things will be back to normal within a month after we've visited home again.

Monday, 19 October 2015

Personal change and learning to admit to it.

I'm sitting down to write this blog post with no real idea about where it's going to go, so if thats really obvious as you're reading it I can only apologise.

Recently I've been reminiscing a lot about my own personal past, my views, experiences, how I've changed. Things like that. I look back upon my previous self often with sadness and sometimes cringing at the world views I felt so strongly about.
I was the girl who vowed against feminism because I thought it was a dirty word, a movement for man-hating terrorist types who didn't shave and were violent before anything else. I put this down to pure ignorance on my part, I was raised, alone, by a strong woman who always empowers other women before putting them down, so why I thought feminism wasn't for me is something that baffles me completely. I can't even see a point in my life when I look back when my views changed, except maybe learning about feminism from an unbiased point of view during A Level sociology.

The point I'm trying to make here is that I feel that we as people should be able to admit change when it happens to us, especially in the world we live in now where no matter how hard we try to go back and change it a lot of our views will be somewhere on the internet for people to find if they look hard enough. I dread to think of myspace posts i made trying to be the 'cool girl' and saying things like 'i just get on better with men, theres less bitching' or something along those lines.
I've chosen feminism to talk about here but really it could be anything, we obviously have a more idealistic view when we're younger and kind of expect the world to just work in the way that seems the most sensible, as adults we probably compromise our views to what fits the most more often that we realise.

I think this post is quickly taking a self indulgent turn which although I do aim for occasionally I wasn't going for this time! So, back on track, a track that doesn't exist since I'm basically sat here typing my stream of consciousness: change, admitting when we as people have changed, and can we do this?
I think it's brave to admit you've changed, that your views have changed or that you didn't realise your views were offensive to someone etc. You often see people getting called out online for something they've tweeted and jumping right back on the defensive, in my opinion, as long as you're not getting trolled for your opinion I find its far braver and far more helpful to try to understand my someone was offended, thats how we grow as humans, not everyone who disagrees with you is a hater (to the youtuber who blocked me for favouriting a tweet) or a troll. So basically if I say something on twitter that you think could be seen as offensive, I want to know about it, I want to change and grow and not have it make me be seen as flakey or 'not sticking to my beliefs' but changing with the times. I have been vegetarian in the past and let me tell you, it was far more nerve wracking telling people that after 3 years I had decided to eat meat again than it was telling them I was becoming veggie in the first place. It's brave to admit to change and changing your mind, and it's a good thing to have your views changed when people put points across that make sense, so let's embrace it.

Children will freely admit when they've changed their mind about something or even learned something with no fear of embarrassment, I've decided that instead of going through life worried that someone will pull me up on views that have changed I'm going to continue to embrace learning and changing and see it as a strength of character in others and myself.

Thanks for reading if you got through that, and please, if I ever say something on any social media that you think I need to be educated about, do it!

Monday, 12 October 2015

Let's Talk: Pampering.

I know that this is quite a cliche thing to post about in the blogging community but anybody who has been on my Instagram knows I am a dedicated lover of all things relaxation, I have a perfect formula that works for me to have the most relaxing evening possible. They are all very cliche and not very innovative but hey, if it ain't broke, don't fix it.

I know, a bath? For relaxing? Groundbreaking. Hear me out. I feel for a really luxurious bathing experience you have to get your chemistry brain on, I'm all about choosing bath products that I think will work well together and my ultimate favourite combo at the moment is a Lush (who else?) duo.
Ceridwen's Cauldron bath melt.  I can't believe as a huge Lush lover, that I hadn't tried this before, its amazing. I think it's probably the product that I can feel doing the most difference when I use it, it's soothing and moisturising and you can use the little muslin bag with the leftover product in it to wash/exfoliate, it's just so luxurious.
Because I like a bath with bubbles I like to pair the bath melt above with 'Milky Bar' bubble bar, I think I'm right in saying that this was originally an Oxford St exclusive, that's where I got my first one anyway but it's now nationwide! A big yay since I actually now live about 320 miles from London!  The smell of these 2 products combined is just amazing and luxurious and it's guaranteed to relax me.

By now I think we've fully established what a candle addict I am, I'm all about midrange kind of candles having yet to venture into Diptyque or Joe Malone, I feel like I would faint if I spent that amount of money on a candle even though I lust after them all the time. Burning in the middle above is a Cowshed 'Lazy Cow' candle which I got as a set of 4 travel size candles in the sale on ASOS at the beginning of this year. I can only find the full size version now. They're designed with relaxation in mind and they smell lovely, exactly as you'd expect, lavender is the main note! I'm also quite a fan of the yankee candle samplers, I don't rate yankee so much as I never feel like their scents fill up the room but the samplers are cheap and cheerful and I always feel like it doesn't matter so much if you don't like the scent as there isn't much of it to burn really. My favourite Yankee scent at the moment is Tarte Tatin. It smells like food, very cinnamon-y but not too sweet.

W A T C H / W E A R
I enjoy making a 'watch later' playlist on youtube and balancing my Macbook on my laundry basket in order to watch it while I'm in the bath, this does vary because often I'll read or watch something on Netflix but I think, apart from having to dry off your hands to skip ads every video, youtube is a good way to go. Vlogs by Lily Pebbles are my particular faves at the moment. 
You mean, not everyone has a dressing gown with their name embroidered onto it? No way. I actually got this dressing gown when I was about 15 and it's about 4 sizes too big for me which of course just makes it lovely and cosy, usually when i'm having a bath i like to pop the heating on just to be a diva and heat up my dressing gown. Again I realise this isn't groundbreaking but it's the little things that make the difference between a bit of pampering and a full pamper evening. I'm also a big fan of slippers and fleece Primark pyjamas.

E A T 
I've always wanted to be one of those people who enjoy herbal teas and has a big collection with all different flavours, every so often I'll buy one to try, force myself to drink one cup and then it gets shoved in the back of a cupboard. I had started to think people were lying about liking tea because I thought they were all so gross. This tea is different, it's a liquorice and peppermint tea from Aldi, I'd picked it up because I'd heard people saying it was naturally sweet and although I don't like liquorice sweets I'd tried the actual liquorice 'stick' thing from an old sweet shop before and enjoyed it. This tea is genuinely naturally sweet and with it having peppermint as well I think it's really settling for your stomach. I know Teapigs do a version but it's so pricey for tea I think I'm going to stick to this Aldi version as long as they keep selling it! It was still about £1.79 for 16 teabags which is about as much as I'm willing to spend I think. This is the mug pictured, I love it. 
The sweet treat here is an Ecclefechan tart, I had never heard of them until my boyfriend's Dad gave me one to try that he'd got from Sainsbury's Taste the Difference range. They're a Scottish buttery sweet tart filled with fruit and nuts, so calorific and so amazing. We actually live close to ecclefechan now and when we visited Scotland a few weeks a go I tried some genuine ones and I have to say (eek!) that the Sainsbury's ones are just as good, I imagine they are made around the area so I hope they're quite genuine. I have to try hard not to eat all of these in one sitting, they're so moreish. Yum! Definitely look out for them, they're on offer with the mince pies (omg, already?) and things in Sainsbury's at the moment. 

I feel this is quite self explanatory, everyone knows you have to do a face mask when you're doing a proper pamper evening. I love this one from Origins, I have oily, blemish prone skin with dry bits around my cheeks, I just won the skincare lottery. This is great for if your skin is feeling a bit gross and clogged up. It does that thing where it dries to a really satisfying dryness where you can crack it by making silly faces, my fave. However even with my oily skin I really do have to moisturise well after using it because it can be quite drying, for that I'll often use the Origins Drink Up Intensive which I bought for my boyfriend but that I know I definitely use far more. He just won't get on board with the skincare routine. ;) 
The second product pictured here is Lush Silky Underwear, I had forgotten I had this until packing all my things to move in July, thankfully even though I must have bought it at least a year ago it's still in date! Lush say that this is a moisturising powder which sounds a bit strange but it contains cocoa butter so I guess they're not lying! For me this feels like a complete princess product, it smells lovely with notes of jasmine and I just think it's a nice added step into a pamper evening. You'll definitely need to hoover up after dusting it all over though, although maybe that's just my clumsiness. 

This one may be a bit controversial but I am passionate about my views on this ;)  Painting nails is NOT relaxing to me and should not be done on a pamper evening. I can't wear nail varnish at work so I rarely wear it on my fingers however I do usually have my toes painted. It stresses me out painting my toes, i can't reach them properly, maybe I have unnaturally long legs or maybe I'm just really inflexible. I always mess up or forget I've done it and put my slippers on so this isn't a pamper evening essential for me, it's something I do when my nails really really desperately need doing and I will put it off for as long as possible. If i didn't hate having my feet touched so much I would probably get Shellac or some other kind of long lasting polish on my toes. 

Hope you managed to make it through this mammoth post, I'm always surprised by how much I manage to write about these things! Thanks for reading :) 

Saturday, 3 October 2015

Sense of Self.

Ingrid Nilsen has done a series on her YouTube channel called 'Sense of Self', I love the format of the videos, so far she has done 3 episodes of it with other youtubers. The premise of the series is her exploring their space (with their help) and looking at one thing which represents each of the 5 basic senses. I've found with this series it offers an insight into what someone places around them that means something to them, because to choose their 'item' for each of the categories I really feel it has to mean something. I decided to use the basis of the sense of self series to create this blog post (after a bit of a crisis as to whether it would be plagiarism!) to show you a little more insight into my space and the things around me that I really feel represent me. 

S M E L L 
This candle is just all kinds of awesome, before moving in together Sam and I went to a little boutique style shop in my hometown and found a tiny version of this candle, we picked it up on a whim after both being completely surprised by the smell. Often when we're shopping in a place with scented candles we spend ages sniffing them all and only offering the other one a sniff when it smells particularly bad (TK Maxx is a good place for this game) and I really thought I would have hit the jackpot with this one on the bad scents game but it smells AMAZING. It's really heady and smokey but not in the way I expected when I picked it up, the patchouli adds a subtle earthy scent that I'm really failing to describe properly! After we had sparingly burnt all of the small one and moved 200 miles away from where we originally bought it we were on the hunt for a big version of it.
It turns out paddywax is stocked quite well nationally, Urban Outfitters in store and Beauty Bay online being 2 of the places I've found them but not this scent! After much trawling I eventually found them (for a reasonable price, after seeing them on eBay for about £80) on Amazon, this was in the middle of some trouble i'd been having where my wages at my new job hadn't come through but I immediately ordered 2, thats what credit cards are for, right? Since then it has been the smell of our home together, being burnt regularly but sparingly, the scent fills the room quickly and theres even a hint when the candle isn't lit.

T A S T E 
In my opinion there is no better food than humble peanut butter, I remember my addiction to the stuff starting as a teenager when it was the best snack to have on toast and I was frequently told off for eating it out the jar 'Joey style'. After moving out I definitely went through a phase of doing that or eating just a spoonful of peanut butter since I was an independent laydee who could make her own damn choices but soon realised it wasn't so great for the healthy eating kick i'd been on! I've tried the peanut butters that are all 100% natural and meant to be used as added protein in smoothies etc, and they're good, but they don't serve the proper purpose of comforting, salty spread that I will use anything as a vehicle to get into my face. My current favourite for eating peanut butter are the little aldi crackers pictured above, the cranberry in them adds a nice contrast of sweetness (similar to the peanut butter and jam sandwiches i consumed almost daily as a teen) and I find they're perfect for an afternoon slump snack when needed. I didn't realise I could write so much about peanut butter, and thats with some of it cut out as well!

 T O U C H

 It's no secret that I'm addicted to comfort, I love nothing more than getting snuggled up on the sofa with a cosy throw and lots of cushions, it's the hermit lifestyle that I love. These 2 are my current favourites, the furry one my most recent purchase from Primark, I think it's to make up for not being allowed pets in this house, and the red throw is from Sainsbury's. It's also now on sale (in store only) for half the freaking price I got it for :( Never mind, it was still quite a steal at £25. I've been looking at and longing for more expensive throws from the likes of Anthropologie and The White Company for some time and even though we are a young couple with no pets or children I can't quite bring myself to get them in case of any spillages or clumsiness (on my part) that could ruin something so expensive, I know, that's what being brought up poor does to you! These being reasonably priced mean they can be changed on a whim whenever the next fluffy thing catches my eye, within reason Sam, don't worry!

S I G H T 
This may seem like a strange one, but for my whole life I have been someone who is rarely seen without a book, if I'm going to the hairdressers I often take 2 books in case I finish one while I'm there, i always misplace books in the house because I carry them around with me to read as I'm doing various tasks and I'm going to need to get another bookshelf soon because mine is overflowing a bit. I am a book hoarder, always have been, always will be. When I was younger and only had one room to contain my things in, there wasn't a surface in my room that wasn't covered in books. I don't understand how someone can do the 'one in, one out' policy of buying books, I'm all for sharing the book love with friends and charity shops but I just can not bring myself to do it often! I've had maybe 3 major book clear outs which have gone to the oxfam bookshop but a few months after my last one I accidentally bought a book back that I had previously donated. After that happened I just bought a bigger bookcase so I could keep all my babies safely instead of balanced all over the place. I'm a rereader of books, I've lost count of the amount of times I've read the Harry Potter books, I honestly wish I'd kept a tally somewhere because I think it's in the hundreds, no exaggeration, reading books for me is how some people are with fragrances, they can transport me right back to a feeling I had the first time I read it. I have books I always read around christmas, books I read when I'm feeling sad or happy, there are old books for every mood and yet I'm constantly buying new ones. The top picture is the book I'm currently reading and the bottom picture is my current to read pile, not including 'Girl on the Train' because Sam is reading that. I've mentioned before that I'm doing a Goodreads 'reading challenge' this year because I felt like I hadn't read enough in 2014. I'm doing okay but need to get cracking if I'm going to complete it!

S O U N D 
I am sorry that this post contains yet another picture of my phone on a marble background, I should have really had some foresight into the 'Now Playing' post I just did as it left me stumped for what to do for sound for this post! I don't really have an ultimate favourite artist and my taste changes so much based upon my mood. When I thought about it I thought about an app I've got on my phone called 'Sleep Pillow', this was a lifesaver when I lived in flats when I first moved out alone especially with doing night shifts and having to sleep during the day when there was grass cutting going on around me etc. Its a white noise app with lots of different sounds to choose from, some of them are crap and i would feel completely ruin good sleep but my favourites are the rain and fan noises. Now Sam and I live together I don't need this on every night like I did when I lived alone (I know, I'm so bloody co-dependant) but it's great still for sleeping during the day, either after a night shift or y'know, when napping. I also like it for if I'm working on something and need some noise going on that doesn't distract me like the TV or music does sometimes.

That's me all done with my sense of self post, I have to give all credit to Ingrid Nilsen for the premise of this post, I was so inspired by her videos that I had to give it a go myself. I hope you feel like you've learned a little something about me :)

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...