Saturday, 31 December 2011

2011 - The Year of Blogging

So this year I started my blog up, although I have blogged in the past it has only really been like an online diary before now. Especially when I was a teenager with a lot of anger ;) But this year I started blogging what I would call "properly" and have loved every second of it. I think it took me a few months to get the hang of it and really get my teeth into it but I love having this little place, reading everyone elses blogs as well is just one of the best things I've ever done. It's wonderful being able to see peoples opinions and different lifestyles and I wouldn't change that for the world. This post is really just to say "thank you" to everyone who has hit the follow button on my blog, the only thing better than having a place to express my thoughts and opinions is the fact that people are reading them and actually taking into account what I say. When I started this blog I never expected that to happen! So thanks to all of you and I'm looking forward to the continuation of our blogging journey in 2012 together.

Friday, 30 December 2011

Very Happy!

So today, I think I found the answer to my "diet". My other half told me he would like to start eating healthier too, which set me into panic mode. This being because when I try to eat healthier, I mainly eat salads. It's no issue for me, I love them, but he won't eat them, which means we've been eating separate meals recently. So while the thoughts "oh shit what am I going to feed him??" ran through my mind, my lovely friend Robyn came online and suggested to have a look at slimming world. I knew she had been on this plan for a while with her sister and between them they must have lost a lot of weight in 2011 so I made my way to the website. I guess I hadn't looked at it before because when I think of proper diet plans, I think of starving yourself and of course those nasty little ready meals that weight watchers harp on about which aren't even healthy. Anyway Robyn told me to have a look at the recipes as I can make healthy food from their recipes without signing up to weekly weigh ins or giving them any money, I thought if I manage to find one or two meals that both me and Chris will eat it will be quite an achievement. Bear in mind that aside from baking, my cooking skills really are very lacking. Anyway, basically what happened then was I found over ten meals that both Chris and I would eat and I'm still searching through websites finding even more recipes. I've also found the most genius low fat cheesecake recipe I've ever seen. I made a little list and showed Chris and he agreed that he would eat everything on there. All the meals are things like fish and chips, pasta, pies, all normal food but you just make everything totally from scratch from the healthiest ingredients you can find. So basically, from Monday (as I still have bits to use up in the fridge freezer) I will be starting having fruit for breakfast, salad for lunch and making both Chris and I the same dinner. I'm really excited about this as we haven't eaten the same proper food for ages and it'll be nice to sit down and enjoy the same food! Hoping this will work, it sounds great though and I would suggest to anyone to have a look at it and try it out if you're looking to shed a few pounds or more.

Thursday, 29 December 2011

What a fast year

I'm writing this at stupid o clock in the morning because for some unknown reason I'm finding it hard to sleep these past few nights. I feel fine, in fact, I feel great and have no reason to be lying awake wondering why I can't sleep. It's funny how I can sleep fine in the morning when I should be getting myself into gear and getting things done! Although saying that, I've been trying not to sleep in too late to try to get myself to sleep at night but even though I'm really tired for some reason my body doesn't want to doze off! I think it's partly because my partner has been staying up late playing a new game; he always does this when he has a new one, and it doesn't help that him and 2 friends have decided to play through it together and one of them has been messing them around and not turning up to play when he says he will. Tonight he didn't show online until about midnight, which is fine for him as he's a student but Chris works 9-5 and usually he would be going to bed at around midnight. They've had a few tiffs about it and apparently this friend has had his "three strikes" and is now out! They talk on skype and were all arguing until Chris declared him to be a "dick fart" which concluded the barney. I do wonder why he didn't think of a better, perhaps more stinging insult but the lack of response from his friends shows that he doesn't need to bother. Says a lot about all of them really doesn't it! I'm not sure why and it's quite sad but I do find it harder to sleep when he isn't in bed with me, even if he is in the room next to me playing games to his hearts content. I think it must be his body heat and gentle rise and fall breathing that just allows me to relax and switch off that much easier.

While I can't sleep I'm considering where this year has actually gone. They say time flies when you're having fun but in all honesty I've had a pretty crappy year. Among relatives, including my Nan dying there have also been many months of stress and struggle, especially with money before Chris landed his placement job. At the time it felt like things would never get better, but time certainly didn't drag. I'm starting to see the correlation between growing up and the years moving by quicker and quicker every time a new one comes around. I'm pleased to say that things couldn't be much better at the moment and I'm loving every single day of life, enjoying my writing, university and family life. When I was younger I never thought I'd enjoy spending time with my Mum but now I try to see her once every week or two (we live 45 minute drive from each other and she does dodgy shift work) and even get excited about the next time I see her. Again, I feel this is quite a "grown up" feeling. I still don't really feel like much of an adult but I'm starting to see that I probably never will. I love living with my partner but it still almost feels like playing house - I can't even begin to imagine what it must feel like to have your first baby.

As you can probably tell I'm in quite a reflective mood and have written quite a heart felt post - not usually what you get from me so I hope you enjoy reading this one. I cannot wait to get 2012 underway, getting myself that little bit closer to finishing university (there will only be one more year to go!) and hopefully finding a job that I can use my writing skills for. Journalism is probably the top of my list, but hey, I'm not fussy to start with! In the nearer future I am looking forward to tomorrow as I am going to attempt to make myself some low fat cookies. I just love filling my flat with sweet smells and having a little treat that won't ruin the waistline!

What are you looking forward to in the far and near future?

Monday, 26 December 2011

It's boxing day

And I am starting to see everyones new years resolutions flying around all over the place. On blogs, facebook, twitter, everyone is talking about what they are going to change in the new year. It baffles me that so many people are saying "I will start on New Years Day!". I don't understand why anyone would have such good intentions but actually plan a day to start them. Surely if you have these thoughts and intentions you act on them when you first think of them? I believe this is the reason why so much money is wasted in January on deluded people joining the gym or forking over money for expensive exercise equipment. People delude themselves into thinking that when they wake up one morning they will automatically feel more inspired to attain something that for the rest of the year, they can't be bothered with.

I for one enjoyed a big meal yesterday and will probably not be eating salad today but I am still aware that I want to lose weight and have spent well over an hour today getting the exercise that I need. Even if I don't lose weight because I've had a few unhealthy snacks along with a big roast dinner, I feel better for getting off my ass and moving. And I know that I am not just sitting on the sofa with my feet up, greasing myself up in all the chocolate and sweets that I can find, like so many people will have done today.

Of course I am not discouraging people to go for their goals and try to lose weight, I am simply asking them to consider if the new year is really enough of a reason to make this push? Is your life going to drastically change within the next year? For example, my cousin is graduating from University in 2012 and she wants to lose some weight so she can look her best and smartest for when she goes on all those job interviews when she finds herself in the "real world" of work. I think that this is an excellent reason to lose weight but of course, if you have this in your mind now, why not act on it now? You will only regret sitting in front of the T.V pigging out in a weeks time so why do it to yourself? Of course, have a treat or two but keep active in order to keep the weight off, even if it's just going for a walk after your meal for fresh air.

And to those of you who have no real reason to lose your weight apart from the fact that it's "new year" I would totally discourage you from spending lots of money on expensive gym memberships, perhaps invest in a kinect game or exercise dvd instead.

Good luck to everyone with new years resolutions and I hope that these couch potato "I will start in a week" types prove me wrong.

Tuesday, 20 December 2011

A truly awful (but apparantly hilarious) day...!

For a change, I'm going to write a post about how my day went yesterday. This is because everything seemed to go horribly wrong but all my friends and family seem to think it was hilarious! Well it wasn't for me but I'm going to share it with you all because it might put a little smile on your face.

First things first, I had an awful nights sleep for no apparant reason and I couldn't drag my ass out of bed until about 11:30, which doesn't sound that bad really, but recently I've been getting up at 8:30 at the latest and having all my housework done by 9:30. My cousin Lorna was meant to be coming over so we could see each other a last time before christmas and I was surprised when I eventually got up and checked facebook that she had apparantly been lazy and lying in bed to stupid o clock too! She's an early riser and once awake she jumps out of bed to start the day so I was really surprised that we had had the same kind of day on the very same day.

I mustered up the energy to go to Tesco and buy the bits of food that we needed, and wonderfully, the weather was awful. I parked as close to the store as I could but the rain was so heavy I ended up soaked through anyway. This past week I've been getting more and more bad tempered about going to do the shopping as it's just packed full of people aimlessly wandering around, getting in your way and not moving unless you shove them up the ass with your trolley (yes I actually do this) and generally, panicking because the shop will be shut for 1 or 2 days so loading as much bread and milk into their trolleys as possible. Anyone would think we were running out of food and fighting for the last few bits. Anyway, I got through this ordeal and after getting drenched in the rain, made my way home and changed into my pj bottoms and my fiancee's t shirt and my fluffy bed socks. Minus the majorly frizzy hair, I was very comfy.

I hadn't checked my phone for a while so had a look and realised that Lorna had sent me a text about 30 minutes before saying she was just leaving, which meant she would be here any minute, and just as I started munching on my wrap, she buzzed the door. Obviously I went and let her in, apologised for my horrible attire and she literally had time to take her coat and bag off and empty the pockets in her jeans (so it was more comfy to sit down) when the fire alarm went off. I live in a big victorian house split into 5 flats and when someone sets the fire alarm off from burning food, they usually go and turn it off straight away and warn everyone that it's not a real fire. The alarm is the loudest most awful noise you can imagine, it literally hurts your ears and my wonderful neighbours, including the twats who set it off, completely ignored it. I have never set the alarm off so wasn't 100% sure how to turn it off, and I had to assume that because nobody was evacuating the building that someone had indeed just burnt their toast but couldn't be arsed to go and turn the noise off and let everyone know that they were safe. I opened my flat door open wide and went into the communal hall to the fire alarm settings and tried to work out how to turn it off, and to my horror Lorna followed me out and shut the door behind her. Yep, we were locked out, me in my pj's with no shoes on and she left all her stuff inside the flat, including her car keys. Luckily she had left her shoes on and while I flapped around panicking, she came up with the plan. She walked all the way (about 30 mins each way) to my fiancee's work place in the pissing down rain, with no coat, in hope that he had his keys on him, if not they would have to go to the letting agents and get them to come out and let us in. While she was doing that I was sitting in the communal hallway which isn't heated, wearing no decent clothes freezing my ass off, with no way of telling the time and just hoping and praying that Loppy would be back soon. Chris, my fiancee, was very surprised and confused as to why he was told that Lorna was in reception, dripping wet asking to see him urgently. Obviously when she told him, he laughed in her face and declared us both to be "knobs" but luckily, he handed his keys over to her. She then walked back in the pissing down rain and just as I was starting to imagine that this must be what prison feels like, I heard lots of knocking at the main front door and the jingle jangle of keys, I opened the door to Lorna who had a massive smile on her face despite looking like a drowned rat and we let ourselves into the flat as quickly as we could. Luckily Lorna was wearing her slackers clothes and had a big hoody on, and when she took it off she was pretty much dry underneath. I dried her hoody off as much as I could in front of the heater and we treated ourselves to a cupcake each. It took us both forever to warm up but we did have a really good chat after it had all happened.

Although it was horrible I do have to see the funny side and of course, acknowledge that things could have been a lot worse.

1. Chris might not have had his keys.
2. I might have been desperate for the toilet.
3. Lorna could have been wearing less clothes, or even worse taken her shoes off.

I do like to see the bright side of situations and I'm pleased to say that we both saw the funny side of it even when it was actually happening. Merry Christmas!

Monday, 19 December 2011

4lbs Lost!

Apparantly my little tactic is working! I've managed to lose 4lbs this week and now I'm wondering how much I can lose before Christmas day, and in fact before I go back to university; well I have a month off I may as well make the most of it and get some serious workouts done! Does anyone have a tip for getting through Christmas day? I'm considering going for a run early Christmas morning so that the big dinner I have hopefully won't do too much damage. Of course my blog is primarily about my writing and my life surrounding the writing so I won't be keeping a weight loss diary here. Maybe an odd mention here and there if I'm particularly proud of myself!

So as I mentioned, the tradition for us is that my partner cooks the Christmas dinner. He says that because I do most of the cooking throughout the year, he will do all the special occasions, including Christmas. I was a bit worried about this idea to say the least but I figured well he is offering, I have to at least let him try. A badly cooked Christmas dinner is better than one cooked by me, right? Well I don't have to worry about that anyway, last year he did a wonderful job and apart from a Toby carvery (god I love them!) I hadn't had a roast dinner so nice in a long time. Which means this year I'm just looking forward to getting my feet up and drinking wine while he does all the work. It's times like these I feel very lucky. I am wondering though whether to buy a dessert from the shops or to make my own? I'm a bit fussy with Christmas desserts and won't eat any of the traditional ones - I guess I'll have a look around and see what takes my fancy.

I met up with my wonderful girl friends over the weekend, had a meal, and swapped presents (but didn't open them!) which was really nice. I had a fairly small main course so I could go to town on dessert and had myself a chocolate fudge cake with a scoop of icecream which was just delicious! We decided to try to meet up for a meal and a chat every month and you can really tell we're starting to get "old". The choice of conversation being control pants and when to start our anti aging skin care regimes! Jo and Michaela are a few years older than myself and Loppy so they're starting to think about it all now whereas I have a couple of years left yet. Slapping a bit of anti aging moisturiser on your face between the ages of 25 and 30 is better than getting to 35/40 and realising we need to buy stuff to get rid of wrinkles. That's what we're going with anyway.

As for my writing I don't think it's going to get done this side of Christmas. The old republic is out which I'm really enjoying playing and when I'm not on there I'm either baking treats for friends and family or getting on the kinect for a workout. Once Christmas is over I will jump straight in and cure my boredom by getting some of my story written.

Here are the treats that I made for my girlfriends, the recipe I adapted from this blog (if you're into baking you have to press the follow button!) What I actually did was took the recipe for the gingerbread men from the Christmas section and then used them for cupcake toppers on top of the vanilla cupcake recipe. This is because although I like gingerbread one or two small bits is enough for me. They went down brilliantly and after having a sneaky taste of one they are definitely the best cupcakes I've ever made. I might even have to make some more because everyone's asking when they can have them again! They're going in my recipe book and I have a feeling my friends and family will be looking forward to these every Christmas from now on!

Friday, 16 December 2011

New blog to look at

Hey guys, my cousin has just found her way to blogger! She is an art student in her third year of university and she wanted a place to upload some of her work and write down her thoughts and feelings and what better place to do that than here. It's literally her first day of blogging so she hasn't got much up there yet but I promise there will be exciting things to follow if you're in any way interested in art. Click here to view her blog and if you're feeling really nice why not leave her a nice little comment to welcome her to blogging!

I hope you've all had a lovely Friday and wish luck to anyone who needs to go christmas shopping this weekend; I can't imagine how busy those shops will be! I've spent my afternoon making gingerbread which is now settling in the fridge before I make gingerbread men cupcake toppers out of them later this evening. I'm hoping that Lorna and our other girl friends will enjoy them tomorrow when they're completely done.

Merry Christmas everyone and have a wonderful weekend x

Thursday, 15 December 2011

Boring few days

Firstly thank you to all my new followers, especially the ones who have followed me when I haven't written anything remotely about my writing for a few days! I've had a boring few days not really doing much, The Old Republic is now open for me to play and I don't even really feel like it. My partner yesterday said that he felt really unwell and so off we went to stock up on the cold and flu capsules and we've both been drinking shed loads of orange juice in an attempt to get some vitamin C and hopefully stay well. Tonight we were watching telly and I fell asleep on the "gaming chair" (it is ridiculously comfy..!) while clutching a hot water bottle and woke up about an hour later feeling like total shit.

Painkillers taken and a curry ordered (I know I'm on a diet but it'll be my treat for the week!) and I feel a little better. I'm hoping I feel better tomorrow as I'm meeting up with my girl friends on Saturday to swap Christmas presents and have a meal and I have a busy day planned for tomorrow, making them cupcakes as part of their gifts. I bought some lovely cake accessories from ebay super cheap and once I've made them I will upload photos of them and tell you the details for the bits that I bought in case anyone who reads this is a fan of baking.

As for the writing I plan to continue writing a story that I started months ago this weekend seeing as usually I'm writing so much for uni I don't really have the time to do it because I actually enjoy it. Very much looking forward to it and who knows... maybe the story will be finished in a few years.

I hope you're all managing to stay away from illness - it's times like this that it's nice having friends on the internet!

Monday, 12 December 2011

Diet starts today!

Yep I'm going for it properly as of today. Today has been incredibly productive and it's not even midday yet. By 9am I had done all my housework, I then went to uni and printed off and handed in my assignment. Then I went to tesco and bought a shed load of healthy food and stuffed the fridge full of it. I'm now relaxing after breakfast sipping on some flavoured water chilling out before I start my workout on the kinect.

I have always been a bit weird when it comes to my weight and when I diet no amount of weight loss ever seems enough. This is because I'm naturally heavier than most women my height - with my boobs being so big they weigh an awful lot and even when I lose weight they don't get any smaller. Of course I know that really but when I look at the scales and it won't go past a certain weight, even though I feel good I still feel like it's never enough. So as of today my partner and I are trying a new little trick that he suggested. First thing this morning I got my scales out and stood on them while looking up at the ceiling while my partner looked at my weight. He has stored it on his computer in a secret little folder that I won't look in and every Monday morning we will do the same thing. The plan is that he will tell me how much weight I've lost on a weekly basis and overall and I will stop dieting when I actually feel good about myself instead of letting myself get obsessed with numbers. I hope this little tactic will work, I suppose we will see that in the weeks to come.

Sunday, 11 December 2011

Radio Play and RCU DONE

Hooray my last assignment of the year is done! Now I can officially kick back and look forward to Christmas. Well apart from the fact that I have to email my tutor with a digital version of the script and then she will be emailing them all over to the radio production students and they will be picking five or six of them to produce. I will be holding my breath hoping that mine is chosen, but if it isn't I am actually still really pleased with myself. I've had some hard times this semester and I'm really proud that I've managed to create a piece of work that I'm really proud of despite that. It doesn't need to be in by tomorrow and this time last year I was struggling to get everything done in time; a massive contrast to this year. I've been thinking long and hard about how and where I can improve and have been making tiny little changes that hopefully might make the difference. I really hope that I can get a 60 or over for this piece of work and have got everything crossed until I find out  my result in January.

So now that I have time to myself over Christmas what am I planning on doing? Working out is top of the list and I have a lovely shiny new kinect to do this with so I should have lots of fun while I do it. Being a bit of a nerd I love that I can get more gamerscore on my xbox account while I get fit. I also plan on doing some cross stitch, my Mum told me she can no longer see the holes in order to do it herself so she gave me one to do for her. She really wanted it done because it's a lovely picture of a dog that looks just like hers and she wanted it framed and on the wall at some point. I also want to get some baking done. I have my cupcake  maker as you know and I already have some recipes lined up that I want to try. There will be pics of my attempts coming up in the next few weeks.

For anyone else who has an Xbox live account my gamertag is Pink Banoffee, feel free to send me a friend request.


Friday, 9 December 2011

Christmas decorations are up

I've spent today cleaning and putting up all my christmas decorations and I actually feel worn out. Maybe it's the lack of sleep because my other half was out drinking with work mates last night and although I had a (fairly - for me!) early night he came in very loudly and making sure to cuddle me until I woke up and then he was telling me all about his lovely meal he had and how he had been drinking all night and hadn't paid for anything. So we were up for half the night just talking about what fun he had with his work mates, then I got up early and spent most of the day cleaning and making our flat look festive and now I feel just about ready to drop. I will very soon be having a bath so hot that I almost pass out when dipping a foot in and then settling down into bed. Tomorrow I'll be making the finishing touches to my radio play and writing my RCU which will be my last assignment before Christmas. I plan on doing some reading for pleasure which I'm really looking forward to and doing some writing for myself. I will have a whole month off over Christmas and I intend to do some creative things for myself - it's always much more enjoyable when you write because you feel like it instead of writing in an attempt to get a certain grade...

Whatever you're doing this weekend, whether it's quiet or busy, enjoy it. This time next week you'll be panicking about Christmas.

Tuesday, 6 December 2011

Help from writers...

I'm going to be trying to keep this post quite short as I've just been baking another cake - i'm going to visit my Mum on Thursday and she's cooking me dinner so I thought I had better make something nice for her for afters, and it's in the oven at the moment so I don't want to lose track of time and also - when I bake I tend to have a tipple or two and now I'm nicely lightheaded and easily distracted!

My point in this post is I'd like to know if any of my writer friends have always enjoyed one type or writing or do you write in more than one format? Uni makes you take all different modules and before I went I was looking forward to the prose and story writing but since I've got there I really enjoy and am good at the script writing. I'm confused as to what I want to focus on now or should I try more than one? Have you always known what you wanted to do? Or did you have to think about it and test it out? My dream was always to write books but I think it might be starting to change! I assume this is normal as we assess everything depending on what happens to us in life and doing well in and enjoying scriptwriting so much is really making me consider it as an option. If anyone has any opinions or advice then please comment I'd love to hear your thoughts.

Monday, 5 December 2011

New design

OK so I've spent ages trying to design my blog so it looks a bit more interesting and prettier - don't know if I like the outcome yet but I'm leaving it as it is for now to see if it grows on me at all. I love the purple colour at least I know that!

In other news my dramatic writing tutor handed me back my radio play today and told me that I should get a very high mark for it as long as my essay about it does it justice - which it should as I realised yesterday I've actually got a lot less to do than I first thought - it's the only thing I have left to do this semester! Big smiley face! So going to change a couple of bits in the play and then write the essay, and then I can look forward to Christmas properly! Yay! I finished writing my cards out today and will post them tomorrow, then I just need to buy a few more bits and wrap them. I'm looking forward to putting my decorations up at the weekend - then it really will be Christmas! I can't believe another year is nearly at an end - crazy times! Hoping that 2012 is a good one!

Sunday, 4 December 2011

I love Shakespeare...

Today I finished my essay off for my critical analysis of an extract taken from As You Like It and I'm quite pleased with the finished product. I do feel a bit of a nerd enjoying my work so much but it's simply because the topic is Shakespeare. Not only are his plays a pleasure to read or watch  because there's so much going on in them and of course the language and format but also because I find him such a fascinating character! Perhaps the fact that we know very little about his personal life makes him even more interesting to me. Anyway I have downloaded a book to my kindle about him and not only is it helping me massively with my studies it's also incredibly enjoyable to read. I started off just skimming through it earlier to find a quote to reference my essay to and ended up climbing into bed, snuggling under the covers and reading much more than I was intending! I'm definitely going to read the whole thing but will have to make myself wait until I have a month off for christmas as I have a few more assingments to do before this semester is over and they'll never get done if I continue reading this book! For anyone interested in Shakespeare as I am the book is called 1599: A Year in the life of William Shakespeare and can be found on amazon here. As I am an English Literature student as well as Creative Writing I intend on doing my dissertation on Shakespeare next year and I have a feeling that this book will be massively helpful for that.

Saturday, 3 December 2011

New writing tactic!

Well, this is going to sound incredibly obvious but oh well, I've had a moment of realisation! So I have an essay due in on Monday and I've been trying all week to write it but with no luck. This is mainly due to my fiance being home from work for a week and generally being loud and a distraction - always suggesting that we go do something shortly after I sit down to work. Yes this is my fault for not saying no, but still, it's annoying! The story is basically that I accidentally gave the modem a bath and now the wireless won't work! This is OK seeing as both our computers sit close enough to the modem that we don't need to use the wireless internet, but today, out of desperation I took my laptop to bed, feeling a  tad hungover after having a girls night in, and for some reason, having no internet, nobody on msn, facebook chat or twitter, I had written over half my essay within an hour! I've almost finished it now, just need to look through my kindle for some lovely quotes to finish it off. I am definitely doing this more often, not only is the quality of work better (in my opinion!), but I am writing so much quicker this way. So completely cutting myself off for an hour or two means more time to do fun things after! Sounds good to me!

Here is a picture of a lovely chocolate cake that I made while drinking last night with my cousin Loppy to brighten my blog up and make you all hungry! :) Hope you're all having a lovely weekend.