Solo Shopper

Hello. Happy Friday! And what a beautiful Friday it is, the September heat wave continues for another day here and its splendid!

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I will start off by apologising, I seem to be banging out the alliterative post titles this week Winking smile there must be something about the letter ‘S’ … Maybe when September finishes my alliterative streak will come to an end. (Unlikely though.)

Yes you guessed it, today I did a spot of shopping – solo shopping. I drove up to my favourite shopping destination, Bluewater, and just mulled around the shops. It was blissful.

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I went swimming at half 8 this morning with my mum, who by the way joined the gym earlier this week! We had a lovely swim and was out and showered by half past 9 this morning. There is something so refreshing and accomplishing when its still only early in the day but you can already say that you’ve started it on the right foot Smile.

I headed straight to Bluewater and arrived there just after 10 o‘clock . I was pretty eager for a coffee so my first stop was obviously Costa.

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I ordered a medium iced caramel latte. It was wonderful: sweet and creamy with a good kick of coffee. I drank it as slowly as I could to savour it, but it was pretty difficult being so tasty.

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I sat at a table by myself and watched all the shoppers pass by. It was actually sort of nice to just be by myself and soak up the pleasant atmosphere.

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After my coffee, I happily glided round all of my favourite spots.

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As per usual, I saw loads that I liked. But technically I was only going for a little browse today, as I have been shopping recently. Unfortunately my ‘little browse’ didn’t turn out so little In love

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Uh oh. Is it bad that I actually consider today as a tame shop? As a, ‘I’m being good and not spending too much money’ sort of shop…. Yet I came home with 5+ bags…

What can I say? Winking smile I needed a little pick me up. Besides, I work hard so why not? It all started once I tried a few bits on. I just can’t help myself. Its the feeling of putting a new garment on and plotting in your mind what you could wear with it and where you could wear it.

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For example this top from New Look stood out to me straight away on the rails. I love the colour and I think the design is really pretty and quite unusual. I buttoned the back up and my mind was automatically visioning what I would pair it with…

Black skinny jeans?Westwood pumps?Hair in a side plait or perhaps up in a high, smooth bun? And seen as though the top isn’t tight it would be ideal to wear for meal.. a meal I have planned with the in-laws in a couple of weeks?

Yep I was sold! It turned out to be a cheeky purchase because the top wasn’t exactly expensive to begin with (it was £20) and a quick flash of this earned me 20% off:

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Sweet! Open-mouthed smile I love my student card so much, the amount I use it, it must save me so much money seriously! Great investment right there.

Once I buy one thing, the ball starts rolling and more purchases follow and so I came home like this:

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Just call me the bag lady. Winking smile

A few bits from my shop:

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I’m feeling pretty satisfied with today as I achieved what I set out to do: I exercised, bought my boy’s final present for a special date next month and got a final piece to finish my outfit for that special date. Open-mouthed smile I’m really looking forward to it, I need something positive to focus my energy on…

Have a lovely Friday evening x

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September Sun

I’m feeling a lot better today, and I’m actually feeling capable of enjoying some September sunshine unlike yesterday.

Todays Workout:
Duration: 35 Minutes
Workout: 5 min warm up on stepper
30 mins cross trainer
Calories: 350
Additional: 60 leg abductions
30 seated leg curls

I hit the gym at 8 this morning for a quick blast of cardio. I originally had my name down for a Zumba class but after the day I had yesterday, I wasn’t really in the mood for dancing. Instead I had a date with the elliptical. It was a hot sweaty workout: exactly what I needed. I was home nice and early for a coffee break in the garden.

Reality check.

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Is this weather for real? Its beautiful outside right now. It feels so calm and there literally isn’t a cloud in the sky today. If you didn’t know better you’d say that its like Summer out there. If you look closely though, there are plenty of signs to remind us that autumn is in full swing.

Like a carpet of leaves forming on the grass.

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It doesn’t mean that we aren’t making the most of it.

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This little one doesn’t mind the weather one bit. In fact this is the perfect temperature for her. Give her a shaded patch of grass and this is one happy little pig.

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I took advantage by eating lunch outside today at the table.

Lunch.

Lunch was a fun little mix of goodies today. I was feeling pretty random as I pondered what to have in the kitchen today.

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Two soft white rolls, one filled with something sweet and one filled with something salty. Oh yes I did:

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Peanut butter and raspberry jam Open-mouthed smile and on the side I ate a bowl of raisins, crisps and a Go Ahead bar. A nice satisfying lunch after an early start at the gym today.

This weather is all well and good, but there has been a big part of me craving for autumn. Its nice to get a few final wears out of my summer dresses I suppose, however I think I’m ready to wrap up in my gorgeous new winter clothes. Especially since this arrived today:

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My lovely new blazer Open-mouthed smile 

I ordered it online from ASOS at the beginning of the week and it came today. I’m so chuffed with it! It has a beautiful fit and I feel quite sophisticated in it Winking smile. But sadly, for now it has been put away in my wardrobe until the temperatures drop a bit.

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Don’t worry blazer, we will meet again very soon. Open-mouthed smile

While I’m on the subject of clothes and my wardrobe – how adorable are my new coat hangers?! They are super sturdy so they hold my clothes wonderfully. I’m using them to hang all my jeans over.

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So not only are the hangers strong but they also keep my wardrobe looking tidy as my jeans aren’t all dangling all over the place. Tidiness = added bonus in my books Open-mouthed smile

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And if you’re wondering where I got them from… Just a little store called Primark Winking smile 10 hangers for £4 … gotta love a bargain!

I’m off to work at 3 to run the late shift. Here’s hoping it won’t be too stressful.. Enjoy the rest of the day whatever you’re doing! x

Don’t Cy Over Spilt Coffee

Hello! Its been a gorgeous Wednesday today but the mood in our family didn’t meet the same standard unfortunately. Let’s just say its a stressful time in our household to say the least right now.

Its was a beautiful evening and I spent the majority of it in this position sulking:

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I know I should have been outdoors making the most of the September heat wave, but it really was one of those days today Sad smile

Do I want to go into details about it on my blog? That’s the question.

No. No is my initial answer.

My blog seems to be the only place where I can actually get away from the reality of my family life. On here I can pretend that it doesn’t even exist. I know that most families have their problems, and a lot of people must have it far worse than we do, but you can’t help but let it get to you sometimes. Today was obviously one of those times where I let it get to me.

As I sit here typing away at my laptop I know it isn’t even possible to capture this fragment of my life and present it on my blog. However, blogging has become like a glorified diary for me, its a personal space for me to express myself and lately I feel like I’m pouring myself into it.

Its like this, if you imagine you’re making yourself a glass of orange squash. You’ve got about a quarter of the cup filled with squash and you slowly add the water. The more water you add the more diluted the squash becomes. The outcome of adding the water is to get more drink but if you think about it, you’re getting less squash. I hope my blog isn’t becoming like a glass of orange squash.

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I pour all of the sweet and nice things into my blog. I write about all of the things I love and make me happy – because after all these are the things that get me through – but mainly because on my blog I can hide my problems behind these things. Whereas in reality I can’t.

Also, what a dreary and depressing blog it would make if all I wrote about were my issues.

I want to talk about what is good in my life.

And today I will share the not so good aspect of my life.

The burden of two sick grandparents. One is currently in a hospital bed. He has a severe case of Parkinson’s disease. He can’t do anything without assistance. He doesn’t make a lot of sense, but he still knows who we are just about. The other one is living at home. She can’t remember something you told her two minutes ago. You have to write important things down for her. She still forgets. She has no concept of the real world. She knows who we are, but again, only just.

I can’t even begin to explain the strain this has on my parents. At the moment they are all over the place trying to hold everything together. Its impossible to hold this all together though.

That is the not so good aspect of my life. The knowledge that probably in the near future we will end up having to move in with them to be their carers. To move. To change our life. To turn our world upside down. Its scary.

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So today, we tried to spend one day as a family. One day to try and ‘get away from it.’ It went tits up if you haven’t already guessed. Mum, Dad and myself all have a lot on our minds. It doesn’t help that we seem to be down each other’s throats all of the time lately.

Dad and I were parked up in the car and we made a coffee from a flask. I put my coffee down in a snug little spot in between the passenger and driver seat and told my Dad to be careful.

Two minutes later he’s trailing off onto the subject of how my Nan is getting on, and what does he do? He knocks my coffee flying. The hot coffee misses my legs (I was sitting in the back seat) but goes all over the side of my Fossil Handbag, on the car seat and the floor.

All hell breaks loose at this point. There was a lot of shouting. A lot of swearing. A lot of slamming things around. And a lot of tears on my account. Obviously I needed to let it all out today. This is going to sound melodramatic, but sometimes when I start crying I can’t stop.

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Hearing your Dad say that he hates his life is difficult to digest. Even though I can imagine that he does hate it, I was still a little bit stung. What about Mum? What about me? I wanted to say.

It was just the heat of the moment.

*

I don’t want to go into anymore detail because I feel tired by it all (even though it hasn’t even begun.) Perhaps I will be more open about my family’s burden on my blog though. The occasional update on how things are going and stuff..

I want to end this post on a high, because that is what my blog is all about. Life is too short to be miserable.

Things that made me happy today:

An 8.30am Pilates class.

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Cruising with the roof off the car.

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Vanilla shake from Nero’s.

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Browsing a Cath Kidston store.

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Most importantly, knowing he is there supporting me all the way.

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Watching cute pug videos on Youtube like this one Open-mouthed smile

Sorry for such a long post today. But it feels good to get it off my chest. I have a long weekend this week so I’m going to make the most of it and try to enjoy myself x

Taking Baby Steps In The Kitchen

Recently I’ve been trying to get myself in the kitchen more often to cook. I enjoy cooking but I just don’t do it enough but I’m getting to the stage where I’m thinking, I’m 19 years old and my speciality is toast! Yes I am embarrassed to admit that, especially because I love my food so much.

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So the best place to learn Continue reading

Things I’m Loving

Welcome to Things I’m Loving:The September Edition – a new feature I’ve created for the blog. Basically this is a new post I’ve decided to feature once a month, as an opportunity for me to talk about all the things I love right now. The things I’m including are going to be appropriate for each specific month – this isn’t just a post where I’m rambling on about everything I love in the world.

What’s the intention of the post? Continue reading

In Mum’s Bad Books

Living at home with your parents, means that you have to come to terms with arguments, disagreements and generally being in your parents bad books. I think I’m in my mum’s bad books again. Now I said that you have to come to terms with it, I didn’t say anything about it being easy. Because believe me it isn’t.

Even when you’re putting more effort in, apparently you can still piss them off.

This morning I even made my parents tea and biscuits in bed.

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I gave the guinea pig her breakfast.

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I took us all to the gym with my free passes so we could spend some time together as a family.

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I’ve been trying to help out more in the kitchen.

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Yet I’ve still managed to work my way into my Mum’s bad books. Apparently I need to “get motivated”. Its a bit of a frustrating circle but I will try my best to keep my mum sweet. So I’ve made a list of jobs to do tomorrow:

Monday Morning Check List:
– Wash Car
– Clean Room
– Tidy Laptop area
– Tidy Desk Draw
– Post eBay Items

Oh well, its a start I suppose.

Breakfast.

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Todays breakfast was a bowl of warm Weetabix, cup of tea and a banana. The Weetabix went from two solid biscuits like this:

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To a sloshy bowl of tastiness that looked like this:

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Yum Open-mouthed smile

Before work today I managed to get to the gym.

Todays Workout:
Duration:
30 Minutes
Workout: 10 Mins Arc Trainer
                 10 Mins Cross Trainer
                 20 lengths in pool
Calories:  330
Additional: Leg exercises

Here’s to the start of a productive week!

Spinning Virgin

I felt like a virgin yesterday.

It was my first time.

I was nervous, inexperienced and a sweaty mess by the end of it. Obviously I’m talking about my first spin class… Winking smile

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All I have to say is WOW. Surprised smile 

I’m going to admit that I honestly had no idea what to expect from a spinning class. It. Kicked. My. Butt.

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I was as red as a beetroot after just 5 minutes. It was so tough on my little legs. I felt ridiculously unfit at first but sort of got into it by the end of the class. The instructor was motivating and definitely tried to get the class to push ourselves, often encouraging us to turn up the resistance. As a newbie I kept the resistance pretty easy and even that was challenging for me.

I really loved the new experience of the spin class and I think its good to have a challenge, so I put my name down for next weeks class! Bring it on!

I got home from the gym, fresh, showered and feeling like a new woman. I was pretty hungry by lunchtime and I was craving something eggy.

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More specifically dippy egg.

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I had a a bit of an egg fail to begin with though.

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I must have cooked the eggs for too long so instead of being nice and runny, they turned out like this:

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Solid yolk! Sad smile How was I supposed to dip my soldiers in there?!

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Luckily we had enough eggs in the house so I could correct my dodgy one. And we definitely had enough toasted soldiers.

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Mum also had an egg with me so we shared some soldiers to dip (I didn’t eat all that bread by myself). Finally we got the egg right!

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Runny egg yolk Open-mouthed smile so delicious but messy!

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It was an eggy mess!

The rest of my afternoon was spent relaxing and catching up on blogging. I was supposed to meet up with Fran to get a Costa, but we rearranged it for an afternoon in the week some day.

For dinner Mum made a fabulous curry feast, Gary came round to enjoy some of her Indian cuisine after work. Then we all went out for a drink at our local after dinner, where I was quite unconventional and enjoyed an alcoholic beverage.

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Generally speaking, I’m not a huge drinker. I enjoy the occasional drink on holiday or on special occasions but other than that I stick to the diet coke. I do quite like cider though especially Jacques – and I’ve been tempted to try the Bulmers Red Berry. So last night I shared a bottle with my Mum. She was driving so couldn’t have one to herself Winking smile

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It was really sweet and fruity. Just how I like it to be Open-mouthed smile

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Cheers to treats at the weekend!

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Gary was busy snacking on crisps.

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And my Dad was being his usual silly self.

A little while later Gary left as he was going on a boys night out, so it was time to say Bye for the evening. The three of us stayed for a bit longer before calling it a night. I finished Saturday off by watching X Factor Winking smile

 

What I’m Wearing.

Yesterday I was feeling pretty laid back, so I dressed pretty low-key.

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I’m wearing a vest and crocheted cardigan both from Primark. I really love both of these pieces of clothing. The vest is so comfortable and the colour goes well with loads of outfits. The cardigan just looks really pretty, however it can be a bit of a nuisance as its catching on all my jewellery!

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I’m wearing light denim Levis jeans (and my slippers in this picture Smile with tongue out)

Because of the style of the cardigan, jewellery was minimal again.

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Butterfly studs.

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Fossil watch, some beads from Spain and my favourite butterfly ring.

Just F.Y.I nails are by Rimmel Pro.

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Have you ever taken a Spin Class? Have a lovely Sunday evening for me, as I’m spending mine at work. x

Friday Night Equals Date Night

Hello! I hope your weekend is off to a pleasant start! I can safely say this weekend is already a lot better than the last one.

I’m still a bit behind in the blogging department but I’m hoping to catch up over the weekend.

Friday

Lets skip back to yesterday. Friday night meant date night last night! But firstly, onto breakfast:

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Breakfast was a nice bowl of crunchy, delicious Honey Oats And More, with a banana on the side and a lovely mug of tea to drink. I’ve really been enjoying eating breakfast recently, and the reason is because I’ve changed my morning routine slightly.

For the last week I’ve been making a conscious effort to sit up and eat breakfast properly. Normally breakfast is the only meal I eat on the sofa in front of the TV/laptop and I think that eating it this way takes my attention off the actual food I’m consuming. It leaves me feeling unsatisfied and hungry.

Sitting up at the table with my breakfast in front of me and actually paying attention to what I’m eating is so much more fulfilling.

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My morning was actually a bit slow in starting in the end. We were up early because I had to take my Mum to the dentist at half past 8, but the morning just slugged along.

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For the last month or so Mum’s been suffering with an infection in one of her teeth. She was on antibiotics to reduce the infection, but the antibiotics weren’t the solution to the problem. The tooth needed either root canal treatment or to be removed.

She’s been pondering over what decision to make for a while now. She had root canal a few years back and it left her in agony for a couple of months afterwards, suffering with constant face ache. I was a girl when she had it done, but I can still remember seeing how poorly my mum looked and how miserable the treatment made her feel.

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The memory of it for all of us made us quite biased towards the situation and I was encouraging her to have the tooth removed. I can’t stand seeing her miserable.

I think deep down Mum knew she couldn’t face root canal again. But she was really torn over what decision to make. The thought of having a gap where her tooth should be was not at all appealing to Mum, nor would it be to anyone I imagine. But luckily the tooth is located in the middle if you picture a set of teeth, so it wouldn’t be massively noticeable.

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In the end she decided to have the tooth removed. So I drove us down to the dentist to go with her to have it done. I sat in the waiting area and tweeted while she went in. I was a bit worried about what state she would be in afterwards (we are quite a queasy family – don’t  do well with blood, hospitals etc) but surprisingly she was ok. Tender and a bit grumpy, but ok.

I’m glad she decided to have the tooth removed. You can’t even notice it, and even if she feels self conscious about it, there’s always the option of a false tooth.

Anyways, the rest of my morning was pretty uneventful. I did some cooking, [full post coming later] tried to motivate myself to go to the gym but failed to and waited around for the postman.

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He eventually knocked at my door, bearing the parcel that saved my week. My new laptop charger! Meaning I can happily blog away again now.

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My evening was a lot more eventful than the morning. That is because Gary and I went on a date. We haven’t been out on a date for ages now and I was really looking forward to it! We went out and celebrated nothing in particular and it was fabulous.

We went for a meal at a country pub called The Three Tuns, about a twenty minute drive away, that we’ve heard good things about. Gary had been before for a quiz night, but it was his first time dining there. We also know some people who work there (my cousin is a waitress and Gary’s close friend works in the kitchen) and the landlords are also related to another friend of Gary’s, so we were keen to try it out.

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It was a beautiful evening out there yesterday.

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The atmosphere inside the pub was warm and friendly. I instantly fell in love with the country charm it has. We arrived early so we could have a drink before and I eyed up the perfect spot for our drink, a sofa!

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We placed our usual order of diet cokes. But the drink was a bit eh and flat. Maybe it was at the end of the tap?

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Gary wasted no time in browsing the menu.

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We spent some time deciding what to have and then once we were ready Gary went up to the bar to order for us. We moved from the sofa to a table near the bar by this point.

Gary went for a very manly looking burger.

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While I went for something completely different, a vegetable lasagne.

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The lasagne was delicious! I always love a good pasta dish and this completely lived up to my expectation. It was hot, cheesy and full of all the good stuff! LOVE vegetables. I was sad when the dish was empty.

We let our dinner settle down for a bit before looking at the dessert menu. It was nice to watch the evening slowly get darker.

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A little while later we got dessert. We both opted for a slice of brownie with ice cream.

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While the dessert was good – the ice cream was thick and creamy and the brownie nice and moist, I couldn’t help be a little bit disappointed with it. The only reason the dessert was disappointing was because the brownie wasn’t served hot. It would have been so much nicer if the brownie was hot! Sadly the dessert didn’t blow me away.

Overall Impressions.

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Overall, we had a really lovey evening. The food was special and you could tell it was all made carefully and precisely. I also loved the cosy and chilled out atmosphere. We will definitely be returning to The Three Tuns Smile

What I’m Wearing.

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This was my outfit last night. I wanted to keep it dressy yet casual!

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I’m wearing a rich purple coloured shirt from Topshop.

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Jeans are black skinny Levis.

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Shoes are classic black, Mary-Jane styled Vivienne Westwood heels.

I kept the jewellery really simple last night, with just earrings and a few bracelets.

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Vintage purple studs.

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A bracelet my uncle made me.

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And some beads I purchased from a stall in Spain.

If you’re interested, nails are by Barry M.

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How was your Friday? x

Rewind

Hello!
I’m back! Open-mouthed smile
I feel as though I need a << Rewind << button for this week. Where do I begin?

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Monday.

On Monday I made an early trip to the gym. I went on the treadmill for half an hour and did 2 miles in 29 minutes, however I didn’t wear my knee support properly and I could totally feel it in my left knee, which freaked me out so I stopped as soon as I made it to 2 miles. I don’t want to aggravate it. Ever since I’ve been taking it really easy on my legs this week and thankfully I think its feeling ok. Afterwards I worked on the upper body with some hip exercises too. Burning about 300 calories.

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Lunch consisted of homemade mushroom soup, a buttered roll, crisps and Go Ahead Bar. In the evening Gary came over and we spent the night in front of the television catching up on the weekends X Factor.

Tuesday.

Tuesday begin with a delicious bowl of Honey Oats And More, a cup of tea and banana. Enjoyed in my new breakfast set. I had a lazy morning reading blogs, blogging and wishing I was blogging. In the afternoon I met my mum for a 2 o’clock Pilates class in the studio. It was another nice class, plenty of stretching and my whole body seemed to do some work. Upper and lower back, chest, abs, arms, legs, bum, hips – you name it.

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Once class was over Mum and I made a quick dip in the pool and swam 20 lengths before showering and getting ready to leave. The evening was spent in front of the television for the second night, with the boyfriend again watching the second to last American Pie. Slowly but surely we’ve made our way through the box set. My favourites are the films with the original characters but I’ve thought the other films have been alright, but boy are they crude films. Good job I have a crude sense of humour Winking smile

Wednesday.

I had to go on yet another course for work on Wednesday. This time it was just a one day course in Basic Food Safety, but it doesn’t make the travelling seem any easier. I was up at 6am on a dark, wet morning and I wanted nothing more than to get back into my warm bed. Instead I muttered a few bad words, got dressed, threw some breakfast together (toast) made myself a coffee in the thermo cup and stormed out the door into the drizzling rain.

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Thankfully I managed to get a lift with a few others from work who were doing the same course. I sat in the back, supped coffee – which made the 3 hour drive a tiny bit bearable and snoozed in and out of consciousness for most the ride. The course was boring as hell but luckily we were finished just before 3 which meant we got to avoid the 5 o’clock rush hour traffic on the M25 and I was home and drinking tea by 5. Mum and Dad went out for lunch during the day so they kindly bought me dinner at our social club. I ordered a cheese and mushroom omelette. It was tasty! Then they took me to see my Granddad in hospital, which was difficult for me on many levels. I just hate hospitals in general. But more than that I hate seeing my Granddad laying helplessly in a hospital bed. I don’t know how my Dad has the strength to go every single day. But I suppose I would have to make myself if it were my Dad.

Thursday.

One word. Zumba. I went to my first class yesterday and definitely enjoyed myself. The instructor was young and full of energy which just bounced off to the rest of the class. For the most part I would say the class was pretty easy, ya know just bop along to the music and follow the instructor. But I have two left feet and zero coordination and at times I couldn’t follow her lead. I kept losing my step a bit. But none the less I just kind of went with it and tried my best. The more I go the better I’ll get I’m sure. Despite feeling like a bit of a lemon, it was a fun workout and a different approach to exercise which is always refreshing. I’m certain it burned a few calories off anyway!

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I ate my lunch on a tray in the lounge yesterday. Lunch consisted of a fresh and delicious brown bread sandwich with light spreadable cheese, cucumber and rocket. I had a packet of crisps, Go Ahead Bar and coffee on the side. I worked the late shift in the evening – and ran my first shift by myself: I think it went well!

 

I just whizzed through my week so far, and hopefully covered it in a nutshell. Basically I’ve been using my mum’s laptop for the last few days, and while it has Live Writer so I could blog – there was no way of uploading any pictures. And a post isn’t any fun without pictures is it?!

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But then about an hour ago the postman finally delivered the parcel I’ve been waiting for all week:

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My new laptop charger! We have power! Open-mouthed smile I’m so happy to be back on my own laptop – and to be able to blog again. I’ve missed it!

I’ll be back to blogging as normal from tomorrow. Have a fun Friday everyone x