Tag Archives: friends

International Women’s Day

Morning!

Happy International Women’s Day, today is dedicated to women and just how bloody amazing we are!

I’m surrounded by strong women in my family and friends. Some are stay at home mums, company execs, some consistently blow me away with their natural talent and flair in floristry, baking and cake decorating, medicine and nutrition, fitness and well being……not to mention my friends in the armed forces. They all deserve the utmost of respect and beneath what they do for a living, all of these women are the most amazing friends and mentors a girl could ask for. They all love to have lazy days in their pjays, dress up in their heels, read, shop, work out, act daft with their kids and unite in their mutual love of wine consumption. Since moving back to the city and facing the challenges that 2014 brought, I’ve never felt more grateful for having them in my life.

Women Rock

We women are just awesome. Life’s multi-taskers! I regularly manage to bath my kids while simultaneously having a pee, restocking the toilet roll, cleaning the dried toothpaste off the sink and soaking up the tidal wave of bathwater with the bath mat! Are you nodding? You do it too right?

On the world stage there has been much talk of pay equality, the press went wild at the Oscars where Patricia Arquette made a resounding speech, supported by cheering and whooping from fellow A-listers Meryl Streep and Jennifer Lopez. There are varying reports on what percentage women are paid less than men, and it varies by industry too. Whatever the percentage, anything less for the doing the same job as a man, is just plain wrong. I live in hope that the more publicity and high profile backing this issue gets, the more likely a positive outcome will be…..and soon. I’m not going to go on a feminist rant (that’s a blog post in itself) but I will be writing a post about how mothers are treated differently in the world of work. Watch this space.

So back to us amazing women……I want to highlight a trend on Twitter #womencrushwednesday and encourage more women to support each other by posting a pic or brief description of a woman you admire and tagging it #wcw. It started out as just a daft celebrity thing, but hey, why not spread the love and bring it to the masses!

Women, keep doing what you’re doing because you rock!

I would like to dedicate today’s blog to Judith Arnett and Rebecca Gould, in loving memory

GG

X

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NYE

Hello!

I was gone a little longer than I expected there but……weep into your pillow no longer, for I have returned!

A super quick recap of the last 15 months so I can move on and write about fun stuff….I gave birth to a beautiful little boy, I moved 200 miles across the country, I left Geordie, I learned how to not pull my hair out on hold to various companies such as Scottish Power and realised just how boring it is picking out carpets and wooden flooring. I now see my parents (all four of them) in a whole new light and my brother and sister continue to be my absolute best friends. Nothing like family when the shit hits the fan huh?

Mini People

Mini People

So it’s the very last day of 2014 and what a year its been. I feel like I can confidently say, this year…at the grand old age of 32….I have finally grown up. The day my baby boy was born I felt complete (and sore as hell following a C-section) but complete none the less. We are now an awesome-foursome and we’re starting a whole new book of adventures.

I don’t have any resolutions for the new year, I have about as much will power as that bloke from the Fatboy Slim video ‘Lazy’ and therefore wont stick to any of them. I am feeling really positive though, and more importantly I’m being proactive. I’ve signed up for two new courses after loving every minute of a creative writing course earlier this year with the OU. I’ve pitched to two new magazines with articles ideas and I’m applying to the BBC journalism training programme in the hope I might elbow my way into a new career. In the mean time I’m going to continue to learn, be happy and enjoy every minute of my beautiful mini people.

What does the new year hold for you?

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Hello….Is it me you’re looking for?

Hello!

It really has been a while this time, are you well? What have you been up to? Are you all sorted for Christmas? So many questions, so much catching up to do!

I’ll make a coffee and decide where to begin….Sept 14th 2013 would probably be a good start!

Back shortly

GG

xx

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Whirlwind

I’ve walked like I was shot in the arse today, it’s not a great look let me tell you.

race for life 2013

race for life 2013

It has been a jam-packed few weeks and I’ve absolutely loved having some of my nearest and dearest around more often, especially while Geordie is away. I’ve travelled down to Devon and Cornwall (fell in love with Bideford fish and chips and Padstow beach) and back up again to Whitby (I’m still too terrified to go back into the Dracula experience). I’ve been to watch moto gp track training, I’ve sewn ball gowns and of course I have eaten way too much cake to even think about losing any weight for ‘Summer’ (whatever that is?) I’ve shared the momentous occasion that was Baby Isaac’s Christening (you remember my cake eating partner in crime Rachel…well her son Isaac, who will also grow to adore cake) which was a 9.5 hour bouncy castle-fest. The sun shone for the gorgeous little one on his special day and a good time was had by all.

Yesterday I ran the Race For Life 5k in memory of my lovely friend Rebecca, support of my wonderful school friend Emma and in hope for a healthy future for Fraja and my own two beautiful little girls. My mind was set on taking off and sprinting the course, Paula Radcliffe style, while my ever supportive running partner Danielle had a more realistic approach and pondered whether to carry her phone to take a picture for if/when I fell over! I had so much fun doing comedy power lunges and moshing during the warm up, as we made the most of being child free for an hour or so. We made a point of high-fiving a bunch of kids and a few marshals which ultimately lost us valuable seconds at the finish and has cost me the use of my legs for the last 24 hours. Unfortunately the sun was blazing at the start (that’s my official excuse) and I limped around in 31:02, greeted at the finish line by my eldest with these pride filled words…… ‘Aww Mum I thought you were gonna win it?’

Lessons I have learned in the last few weeks are as follows;

Always do the warm up and take it seriously instead of taking self portraits impersonating Sonja-from-Eastenders’ fitness dvd.

Do not get a stomach bug the morning of the six-hour car journey home from Devon….

Always have nappy bags in the car (for vomiting into) should the above situation arise.

Mini Pizzas are the best sustenance at a Christening…..all 9.5 hours of it…just keep eating and you will not get drunk….much.

And above all else, surround yourself with lovely people who make you laugh so much your stomach hurts, eat cake and be happy. Life is too short.

 

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I Need A Dollar

I have a confession to make…I slept in the bunk-beds again last night! I know I know, I did mean to get around to that massive pile of laundry and to be fair I did make a good start by sorting and putting away all of my clothes and then I neatly re-arranged all my shoes and then I opened one of my suitcases to find Summer clothes and randomly, my leaver’s book from school! So you see I got a bit side-tracked. Anyway I promise I’ll do it today. I will. Honest.

This week I’ve conducted a kind of sneaky experiment with my blog. I was reading about how to boost my viewing stats without plastering my url all over every social networking site or paying for advertising . I thought I might try a more simple approach and simply write about good news (hey it works for Russell Howard) and after sharing some of the positives in my daily life I more than tripled my best daily viewings total. In conclusion, we all love a happy ending don’t we? Thank you to everyone around the world who read the blog yesterday, I went to bed (bottom bunk) with a big smile of my face!

Inspiration

Inspiration

So back to the school leaver’s book which I was almost in tears reading (there will be a whole blog post on this soon, friends from school look out for your pages!) I’d like to say thanks to my old PE teacher Tim Wright for his comments which, 14 years later have inspired me to get off my ‘ever expanding gluteus maximus’ and do something positive for others.

I’m taking part in Race for Life UK this year, like many I have lost too many loved ones to cancer and I’ve felt those losses very deeply. I am taking part in the 5k event for my daughters and the future generations who might stand more of a chance of fighting and beating cancer if there is more money for research, clinical trials and ultimately treatment. Now that I’ve got you’re attention I’d like to ask for your help. Yes it’s a charity thing and yes I am going to ask for a teeny tiny small donation if you can spare it but more importantly I’m going to ask you join in. Argghhh run away, audience participation. No really, it’s not that scary and it doesn’t even involve raising your heart rate, if you don’t want to. You can run, jog, walk, skip or disco dance the 5k distance at any of your local Race for Life events, click here to register.

If you can’t take part but have a spare £2 in your pocket/purse/down the back of the sofa, please click here to laugh at my just giving page and help me to kick cancers arse.

Thanks x

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Aww You Guys

Leah & Marc

Leah & Marc

Okay look I’m sorry…..I’ve gotten into this really bad habit of writing half a blog post and then being distracted by cute cats pictures on either Facebook or Twitter and then ultimately not finishing the blog post and before you know it three weeks have gone by without so much as a sentence! You’re all probably happy for the break…aren’t you? Well tough because I’m back and I have good news, no moaning Minnie from me, it’s all super cheery positives for this post so if you’re in a crappy mood you have two options, you can try to lighten-up and read on or bog off. Decisions decisions?! (ps, I just wandered back on to Facebook for a minute there as well haha) I think it’s really important to celebrate life’s little (and big) achievements and more importantly to spread good news and make others smile, so if you’re ready and your seat is in the upright position…let’s go congratulating! First up on our happy roller-coaster today; huge congrats to my lovely friend Leah and her new husband Marc, they tied the knot on Monday at the stunning Thornton Hall, Wirral after dating for FOREVER! I want to wish them all the love and luck in the world for their future together. I’ve known Leah since I was 11 and just seeing her looking so effortlessly elegant in her gown made me well up! Much love to you both, lovely people. More congratulations to my fabulous friends Andy and Claire who are celebrating their engagement in Dundee this weekend, I’m absolutely gutted the girls and I can’t be there to celebrate but we shall indeed lift a glass of Ribena to you on Saturday night! Andy and Claire have the most amazing little dog called Percy (the Pomeranian) who I’m going to dog-nap when they go on holi……oh did I say that out loud?

Claire & Andy

Claire & Andy

Next up a different kind of celebration, but news to celebrate none the less. My wonderful little sister just completed her first year exams at uni and is now free for three months of non-stop partying, well done spud I’m very proud of you! And keeping it in the family my lovely older sister has just secured a place in the Great North Run and I’m ecstatic that we’ll all be there to support her with a huge banner (and most likely indulge in the pre-race carb-loading and post-race drinks).

My final congratulations (you’ll be pleased to hear) goes to my two beautiful daughters because they have done an amazing job of keeping me occupied (toddler assaulting pensioners and 7 year-old practising recorder all hours) and keeping my mind off missing Geordie, well done girlies, Mum loves you both very much…….One final note, how cool am I to have such good-looking friends?

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Keep On Doing Something

Okay so I’m back on the fit wagon, for how long this time, who knows? Here are the bare bones of the situation…

I am living on an RAF base 15 miles from the nearest town, I can’t drive and my designated driver (Geordie) is away for the next three months. I spend my days engrossed in the latest episode of Mr. Bloom’s Nursery, while my 19 month old toddler swan dives off various soft play equipment. I drink too much coffee and eat a bit too much cake. (I actually text my friend Rachel on Thursday morning in crazed capitals no less, at 7:30am demanding she go with me to the coffee shop for Victoria sponge, so you see I have a problem). I also have a little pooch who, as a border terrier cross-breed requires a good couple of miles walk at least once a day, so sitting on my ever-expanding arse sampling the new coffee shop carrot cake isn’t really benefiting anyone!

I promised myself that I would ‘smash ‘Insanity‘ this time around. With Geordie out-of-the-way and not admonishing me like my high school P.E teacher for not training everyday (and how he loves to do that which ends with me resenting him for being fit as a butchers dog….do people still say that?) I thought I stood a better chance of getting into a strict routine and ultimately start to look and feel better about myself. But alas it would seem that after a 6 day cycle I can’t stand the sight nor gloating sound of Shaun T, and I am still convinced he is trying to kill me. Insanity isn’t for me, and if you’re reading this Geord, I’m not sorry because I gave it a good go…..twice x

So almost four weeks into my so-called training routine I have completely sacked off Insanity, eaten a fair bit of cake, chocolate hobnobs, custard creams and went a bit mad and had chips, curry and Irn Bru for dinner tonight. I didn’t just fall off the wagon, I obliterated it! As with any downfall there must be a turning point, the phoenix rising from the ashes…or crumbs in my case! And I have my wonderful friends, who also eat cake, to thank for my epiphany!

Defiant Toto will get blown away for good one day

Defiant Toto will get blown away for good one day!

I have discovered that despite the fact that I live behind the wire and currently have to rely on my friends and family to escape the gold-fish bowl, there is a way to get your heart rate up and burn a few calories………..no not perving at all those cute guys in uniform…but the windy, unforgiving perimeter road! Rachel (from the earlier cake story) and me decided the weather was nice enough for a power stroll with our little ones and earlier this week we set off around the airfield assuming it was somewhere around 2-3 miles in distance…only to be completely battered by what felt like hurricane strength winds, while jets flew over head adding to the buffering, making essential gossiping impossible. We eventually made it, bedraggled into air traffic control to ask (read as beg) if there was a quicker route back to the residential side of camp. Sadly the answer from the smug looking airman was no and so we re-wrapped the children up in their buggies and headed back down the perimeter road, at times clinging on for dear life as the weather closed in. Finally reaching the safety of a built up area an hour later we calculated that we’d power walked (been pushed) 6 miles and vowed to continue our healthy start by not opening the biscuit tin the moment we stepped in the front door…..I lasted two hours and that was only because there was jelly in the fridge, which hardly touched the sides as I cleaned the pot. Even though it felt a bit hard going at times, it was fun. We talked about all manner of random things, the kids mainly slept and my dog didn’t poop anywhere near the runway so that’s a bonus!

Since our first escapade at the beginning of the week I’ve clocked up 18 miles of heart racing power walking and jogging and I’m really pleased that on nights like tonight, when I’ve eaten dinner and gotten a bit bored with the ironing, my first instinct is to stick on my Nike’s, wrap the little one up and head out with Toto for an hour’s fresh air….even if we don’t end up back in Kansas!

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International Happiness Day

According to an unconfirmed tweet from someone I don’t follow never mind know, its International Happiness Day. I’m going to take the tweet as gospel and run with it for the sake of a blog post. Forgive me?

Things that make me happy; Watching people trip up in the street, seeing my daughter’s laughing and messing about, Justin Timberlake‘s tune Suit & Tie and the video, new bed linen, dressing up (steady), winning races (even if my opponent is only 7) finishing a really good book, laughing so much I can’t speak, spending any amount of time with my gorgeous little sister and ripping into J-Lo and her hoops. It also makes me blissfully happy when Geordie even attempts to do a load of laundry, just once in a while so don’t I feel like it’s my sole purpose in life. Reading Vogue cover to cover while sipping a gingerbread latte in a quiet Costa makes me happy too. See I’m quite easily pleased aren’t I?

my.opera.comcyanide-and-happiness-laundry-day

I’m a bit of an admin nerd and I love organising things, my weekly shopping list is on a spreadsheet, our kitchen calendar is a Where’s Wally? family grid type with dates and appointments clearly colour-coded and I don’t care who knows it….this makes me happy!

Whatever it is that makes you happy, do it today, as much as possible. Go on, get on with it. Now where did I put my highlighters?

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Fraja-Ellie

I’ve finally found a bit of time to sit down after a hugely busy week and thought I would explain about the Mermaid and Pirate from the earlier blog. I have learned a lot this week, such as mixing washing powder with yellow paint makes an awesome sand effect and why Pritt-Stick is nowhere near as good as gloopy glue! Oh yes, it’s been a thriller!

Living behind the wire (on a UK RAF airbase) can be quite isolating if you’re not a very out-going person but now and then there comes an opportunity for everyone to pull together and the drive in this community is astonishing. There is a desperately ill little girl living here called Fraja- Ellie, she’s only just turned 5 and she is bravely battling a type of cancer called Neuroblastoma. I’ve not met Fraja or her family but after reading what they are faced with I wanted to so something to help. I think that once you have seen Fraja’s beautiful smile and read the blog about her ongoing treatment, she will melt your heart too.

The community here is a giving one; the amount of people involved in organising fundraisers is amazing; women shaving their heads (look out for pictures in the Northern Echo around 25th March…and it was their idea before Jessie J nicked it for Comic Relief) Guys and girls competing in endurance races across the globe as well as sponsored weight loss, comedy nights, photo shoots and lots of local events from bake sales to sponsored silences, all to raise money for Fraja’s treatment. The boards I painted and umm’d and arghh’d over were for a children’s disco fundraiser here on camp on Friday night, so while my involvement equates to little, I wanted to make sure they were the best I could do. I hope everyone had fun and they made Fraja-Ellie smile.

Today, as Comic Relief celebrates its highest grossing total for on-the-night donations (in excess of £75m) it goes to show that even though we’re all ALWAYS skint, we’re also sympathetic to those in need, especially children. Please visit Fraja-Ellie’s web page and give what you can, if you can.

Thanks xx

 

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17

I found these photo's on my Mum's PC a little while ago, they've obviously been scanned in from a hard copy at some point as back when I was 17 there were no camera phones, how crazy is that, it was only 13 years ago! So today's blog is all about the year that was, 17. Please forgive my horrendous hair do, in my infinite wisdom I decided to have my locks lopped off while sunning myself in Australia earlier in the year and well..... it does get hot there you know!

17

I was having the time of my life when I was 17. When I look back on my life so far I think that 17 through to 18 was my year, the one where I had so much fun and adventures and life was a big barrel of laughs. I was a very lucky teenager and never had a problem with my weight, my athletic frame dared me to wear some shocking outfits that my parents most definitely did not approve of. Lots of getting ready at my friends houses went on. I started going out and having a social life at this age and loved nothing more than donning well.....next to nothing, a huge pair of heels and hitting the town, usually with my best friend Leanne. I also travelled back to my birthplace, Australia at this time and spent three months working and generally getting under my aunts feet. I met some wonderful people who I still keep in touch with now, and wont ever forget their kindness. Being 12,000 miles away from my family at this age really helped me to mature.....but only for a little while!17 Again

I look back with such affection to a time so filled with fun, it was all about chasing boys, getting attention, free drinks, little black dresses, high heels, lifts home, hangovers, the big breakfast, sun beds, being in bed by 3am with ears ringing. Around this time I dated a lot, there were house parties, kick arounds in the park with us cheer-leading like idiots or trying to do keepy-ups to impress the boys, we'd regularly go to the local Whetherspoons to order desert and a few drinks to while away the hours. I remember my friend Becky coming out with a classic one night while we were checking our outfits and hair in a club toilet and I think it sums up our audacious attitudes to a tee 'I mean lets face it, with my boobs and your legs who can resist us?' Thankfully my inhibitions have settled down somewhat since then, and just the thought of approaching the hottest guy in a bar and introducing myself now feels me with dread. I've grown up!

I can't help but smile at all of these memories, along with some I can't type that my Mum doesn't know about and I'm not about to open up Pandora's box here! Just a little reminiscing to keep me young. If you need a reason to lift a glass this weekend make your toast 'To 17'

What an amazing year!

 

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The Result

I had an awesome day today thanks to the wonderful little ladies in my life. Up at the crack of dawn as usual we set off on our adventure that involved trains, paper planes and arriva buses not to mention pizza, pasta and free re-fills! After the money was spent, the food was eaten and the refills ran out one thing remained…my love for the little ladies and this…

image

NaBloPoMo

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Toys R Me

I woke up this morning feeling slightly panicked that I’ve not bought a single gift for Christmas yet, I have bought wrapping paper and a gazillion Christmas decorations but nothing for anyone to open come Christmas morning. Wow in one sentence I managed to write the word Christmas three times, I’m sorry I am well aware that it is only the 15th November and I shall have a word with myself.

I’m probably moving house in December so I’ve got a lot to organise hence the panic that I’ve not even made a start on stocking fillers. I’m very lucky to have two little girls who will play with pretty much anything so the lists to Santa are quite vague, this makes the shopping task easier as it doesn’t involve brawling in Toy R Us and it avoids any hissy fits or tears on the magical morning. Another advantage to having kids around this time of year is that you can make calendars for the grandparents that are easy to do on-line and fairly cheap (sorry Mum and Dad but with the state of the economy and all). So the kids are easy enough to buy for but when I was a kid I had a list written out from around September time and thanks to hours of trawling through the Argos catalogue I even noted down the item number to make it easier for Santa (prob not surprising that I would go on to work in auditing). When I wander around Smyths these days there is so much that I want even now, that I can’t get my kids to love as much as me;

1. Operation. I never got this as a kid but got a few go’s at school on bring a toy to school day and what’s not to like about prizing limbs from a human body while trying to avoid having the life frightened out of you by a klaxon? A&E it ain’t.

2. Fashion Wheel. I’m pretty sure my step-sister got this at some point and I absolutely loved it. I could easily while away the hours designing 1980’s power suits and floral tea dresses now. I might actually order one.

3. Mr Frosty. It’s just so awesome and you can never get bored with eating coloured ice right?

It’s taken me twice as long as usual to write this blog as I’ve got 6 other browser windows open looking at cool toys, its official being an adult sucks. If you have kids you can’t help but love Christmas (sorry) seeing their eyes light up when they believe Santa has been and delivered their goodies and the frenzy that follows really is magical. I can’t wait to spend most of the day lying on the living room floor setting up various games and removing the ridiculous amount of packaging on the Barbie dream house…….what it’s for the kids!

NaBloPoMo

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