Tuesday, 28 February 2017

Life Lately #124

Hello lovelies,

So on Valentines Day I did my last update post & said James & I were off to Brighton. We had such a lovely day. We explored The Lanes, popped into a few shops & visited the pier. I got some beautiful new tops in Primark & even got to pick up a few bits in Lush from their Valentines range, which was extremely exciting (reviews coming soon!) I mentioned we were hoping to go to The Breakfast Club, but we actually ended up in Days, an oriental buffet. I'd never heard anything about it & looking at the exterior of the place, you would never have guessed that it was like walking into a rainforest as you go in! The food was absolutely delicious & we are already planning another trip to Brighton again soon so we can go again! I also finally revealed to James we were going to see Craig David in concert in April! I bought the tickets back in December & had been waiting for the right moment to announce it & Valentine's Day seemed like the perfect time.

Ok, so last week was actually so miserable for me. I had conjunctivitis (I'm not gonna link to what it is, looking at pictures of people's eyes makes me feel so un well!) but basically it's an eye infection. It's one of the most painful, frustrating things I've ever experienced. You feel like a bucket of sand has been tipped into your eye, it constantly runs & hurts to open. I spent my first 3 days with my eyes shut, feeling hot / cold & not eating much, but then that subsided & I was just left with very sore eyes. My doctor prescribed me some eye drops which I had to take for a week & after a few days of hating the sunshine, I'm back to being able to see again! James was the sweetest thing & luckily this all started happening on a Friday morning & he was off over the weekend to look after me. He downloaded the audio book of Harry Potter so I could listen to that as it was impossible to watch TV or YouTube. He is simply amazing.

Last Thursday, Cathy & had a date day & went to Giggling Squid for lunch, followed by watching Sing at the cinema. I've mentioned Giggling Squid many times on my blog, but it seriously is one of my favourite places to eat. (There'll be a post coming soon about my top 5 restaurants to eat at, keep your eyes peeled for that!) Also, Sing. Most people I've talked to about it have loved it, but some haven't been so keen. I have to say, I really enjoyed it & will definitely be purchasing it when it's released on DVD. I didn't think it was as funny as some Disney films I've seen recently, but that didn't seem to matter because the characters were brilliant in my opinion. I might do a full review on it as I enjoyed it so much!

Last Friday; Cathy, Lily, Elisa & I went to Guildford shopping, on the search for my dream pair of jeans! I've been dreaming about the fit, cut & style of these jeans for weeks but alas, I still didn't find the perfect pair. I did however get some comfy blue jeggings from Primark for £6, so I'm gonna try to distress them myself & see what happens! We also had brunch in The Tea Terrace which is just the most adorable cafĂ© at the top of House Of Fraser.

We also met up with Char & Mils at Nandos for dinner that evening. It was so lovely to see Char as she'd come back for the weekend from uni to visit us & her family. Mils had also just completed her first week of a new job, so we had lots to catch up on.

Last Sunday, it was my Nan's birthday. She turned 88 & we had a buffet lunch at my grandparents' house. My mum bought her the most fabulous cake, covered in iced rose petals. It was sooo delicious.

I also attended my manager's surprise leaving do on Sunday afternoon. Just look at the cake Elisa made! We all know how much Mike loves popcorn.. haha! So anyway, we'd been planning an afternoon tea since May last year, as Mike had a retirement date set early on! It was such a beautiful afternoon, complete with bunting, floral crockery & of course, a lot of tea & cake. He was so shocked when he walked into the barn we'd hired to see all of us standing there waiting for him. It's actually hit me harder than I thought seeing him leave. If you didn't already know, I've worked at my current place of work since I was hired at the age of 17 by Mike. I started as a steward for the films & after a few years & deciding not to go to uni, I was looking for full time work, to which he suggested I move onto the box office & that's where I've been ever since. I remember the day he came up to me & asked if I'd like to go on box office & I was so excited & asked when my interview would be, to which he replied 'you've already got the job Cat, you just need to start training'. I also wouldn't have met James if it wasn't for Mike. We met when he became a steward & we were put on the same evening shift together. I still like to think Mike knew we'd hit it off & become the power couple we are now! I can't thank him enough for all his support & friendship over the (almost 9) years I've worked with him. He really is such a wonderful man & I will miss him so much.

His final shift was last Saturday evening & we have his official farewell do this afternoon. People that know him or have worked with him over the years are travelling to say goodbye, so I think the worst is yet to come. Yes, I cry at everything, so I dread these type of things! Plus.. who's idea was it to jump straight onto box office after the leaving do.. I'm such an idiot.

How has your week been lovelies? I can't believe we are almost in March!
Where does the time go..

Thursday, 23 February 2017

Little Steps To.. Relieving Stress

Hello lovelies,

This post is part 2 of my "Little Steps To.." posts. I blogged about ways to find happiness last week, so today is all about de-stressing & how I find ways to switch off at the end of the day.

1. Go outside
I find at the end of the day is when I'm most stressed. I'll come home from work & immediately think 'I've done nothing today, if I was at home I could have done all these things & now I have such a lot to do'. Sound familiar? Yeah, I know right. My job means I am stuck behind a desk for the day, I do get to see the outside world, but I'm unable to actually go out & enjoy it, so I find when I get home all I want to do is go outside. This is obviously a lot better in the summer when the sun is shinning & you can feel those rays on your skin. However, sometimes it is just nice to have a walk in the chilly, frosty air & come back to a nice warm house.

2. Animals
Ah where do I start with this one? I am so grateful every day to have animals in my life & to have been brought up around them. My family have had chickens, cows & horses since I was born. We got our first cat when I was 5 & a few years later, we got our first dog. Since then, we've had dogs ever since & even though we no longer have cows or horses, we still have chickens. All I remember when I was younger was whenever I was upset, my mum would give me a chicken. I'd sit with the chicken & stroke it while it sat on my lap & it immediately calmed me down. Now I don't understand exactly how animals do it, but they are just the most comforting, reassuring things ever. Honey gives me so much love every day & I can't thank her enough for it.

3. Read
I'm hopeless at picking up a book. The only time I really read is on holiday where I get stuck into a book & will get extremely excited & say to myself I'm going to continue this at home, but I never do. It's such a shame because there are so many books out there I want to read but just haven't gotten round to it. What I do manage to pick up & read is non-fiction books. I mentioned the book Calm in a blog post last year which I'm still obsessed with, but I'm also currently loving Hygge (I'm going to do a full post on this in a few weeks time) but I'm addicted to it, anyone else?

4. Colouring
I got some new pencils & a colouring book for Christmas & I'm loving sitting down with it in the evening. You can pick up some beautiful books from The Works at the moment (they have an amazing sale right now!) but I know most places will sell them now as they are making a comeback! 

5. Meditation
Ok, so I touched on this in my Calm post last Summer, but meditation has become such a big part of my life. I sadly don't manage to practice it as much as I'd like, but I can't believe how amazing it is. If you haven't tried, I'd highly recommend it. Calm & Headspace are my favourite apps to use.

6. Planet Earth
Ok, so you've probably got to this one & thought, what the actual **** but hear me out! As I've already mentioned, animals & being outside are two of my stress relievers, so why wouldn't a program all about animals in the natural world relax me as well? I'll give you an example. For my birthday, I'd organised a night out at the local pub for my group of friends to go for drinks on a Saturday night. So, if I'm honest, I put up the event on complete auto-pilot & it was only after I'd selected the people to invite, made the event & posted it on Facebook, my heart sank. I'd organised something on the busiest night of the week, surrounded by people drinking. My head was screaming 'WHAT HAVE YOU DONE'. If you haven't already guessed, this was one of the worst scenarios for me to put myself in, which is silly because I used to do it most weekends when I was 18/19, but I'm in a completely different frame of mind now. I was ok up until 3 hours before we were due to meet everyone & I sat down with James, almost in tears, saying I couldn't go. Being the amazing man he is, he wrapped my up in his duvet & put on Planet Earth on iPlayer & we sat in silence & watched it. Half way through I realised I was ok. My chest felt lighter & I could breathe again. My head was saying 'you can do this, it's your birthday, nothing bad is going to happen'. & I listened. The program ended, I got ready & went out & I had one of the best nights out I've had in ages. So yes, Planet Earth is my saviour.

I would love to know what you do when you're stressed & how you find ways of calming yourself down. Remember to check out my "Little Steps To.. Happiness" post as part of this series if you liked this one : )

Saturday, 18 February 2017

Little Steps To.. Happiness

Hello lovelies,

I absolutely love reading these posts, so I thought I'd share what I do to boost my mood when I'm having a down day.

1. Pamper yourself
You know that Lush bath bomb that's been sitting in your bathroom, just waiting to be used? Run a bath, light some candles, put on some music & dunk that bad boy in! Nothing makes me happier than seeing a bath bomb whizz around the water! 

2. Try doing your makeup / hair differently
So, at the beginning of the year I saw on Twitter some bloggers deciding they would stop wearing makeup everyday. I used to be that person that wouldn't leave the house till I had a full face of makeup, but since the beginning of the year (thanks New Year's resolutions!) I've been wearing a lot less makeup each day, only putting on a full face if we're going out for dinner or for a special occassion, but also trying different makeup has made me feel like a new woman. Silly really, but such a small thing can really brighten your mood. Same with changing your hair up a bit. I had mine cut at the very end of last year & I love it, but it can simply come down to how you style it if you aren't comfortable with having a chop. Why not curl it today? Or try out that space bun trend that has always seemed a bit wacky? I find looking online, there are soooo many tutorials now. Why not have a search on YouTube for a step-by-step guide or look up some images on Pinterest.

3. Retail therapy
This one is just my favourite thing to do. Ok, so firstly, I don't mean spending hundreds & thousands, I just mean treating yourself to that pair of boots that have been sitting in your ASOS basket for the past few weeks. Just something to look forward to coming in the post is the best feeling.

4. Netflix
Since James & I got Netflix, I've been obsessed. I've been watching things I never usually watch (The OA for example, which I've reviewed recently & Making A Murderer which we are half way through!) but I find when I'm feeling low, all I need is a bit of time spent with my favourite tv characters. Big Bang Theory is one of our favourites when we need a laugh. The episodes are only 20 minutes long & are extremely funny!

5. Be social
I find meeting up with a friend or group of people will instantly brighten your mood. I know when I'm feeling down, all I want to do is sit at home & not socialize, but it really does help if you can get our the house & see people. My girls always know how to put a smile on my face, no matter what.

6. Plan a trip
So, you might not live close to friends or maybe you've texted around & everyone already has prior commitments. No worries, why not plan a trip to see them? I always find if I have an event in my calendar, it's something exciting to look forward too. James & I are potentially looking at going to Wales soon to visit his friend Tom & I can't wait to start planning our adventure.

What do you do to brighten your mood? I would love to know in the comments below!

& don't forget to pop back to see my next "Little steps to.." posts. I'm going to do at least two more; how to relieve stress & how to reduce anxiety.

Tuesday, 14 February 2017

Life Lately #123

Hello lovelies,

Cathy, Gemma, Gail & I met up for brunch at Cote last Sunday. They do such a good breakfast deal; you can have any cooked breakfast, with a juice & hot drink for £9.95! Definitely try to go if you haven't already.

After brunch James & I went to our local sports hall to play badminton. We booked a court for an hour & it was so much fun. I was really nervous about playing but it was so chilled there, it put me right at ease. We managed to do a full hour & even though it isn't the most energetic sport, we managed to make each other run around a bit & got our heart rates up.

Awwh just look at Stan. Isn't he just the cutest thing? James' family rescued him just before Christmas & he is always so excited to see us when we go round!

On Thursday, I met Lorna for tea at Pretty Things. It's one of the cutest little tea shops you'll find & they are currently doing a unicorn hot chocolate which Lorna had & it was the most sparkly, pink concoction I'd ever seen! If you live near or in West Sussex, I'd definitely recommend going! I had a piece of their home-made lemon cake & earl grey tea which comes in the cutest little teapot.

On Friday evening, we met James' parents at the pub for a meal. I was so excited to have a steak as I hadn't had one for so long! (Oh & some cheeky brownies!) Val & Barrie also have a new car, so we got to see that too!

Because I'd mentioned to the girls how awesome badminton was last week, Boop & Cathy decided to join James & I for an hour last Sunday. It was so much fun!

& finally, today is Valentines day! I hope you're having a lovely day whatever you are doing. James & I are heading to Brighton in an hour or so to do some shopping & hopefully go to The Breakfast Club. We've never been before, so I'm hoping it'll be as good as the hype suggests.

How is your February going lovelies? Do you have any plans for Valentines?

Friday, 10 February 2017

The OA

Hello lovelies! 

James & I have recently finished watching a new series on Netflix, called The OA. Ok, so for people that know me, they were quite shocked I was actually watching this.. I'm usually a fan of anything comedy based, mixed in with a bit of romance & I'll occasionally stretch to a nature documentary (you can never go wrong with a bit of David Attenborough..) However, I saw on Twitter that The OA was trending a while ago & everyone was raving about it, so thought we'd give it a watch.


I wanted to blog about it because it really is so different to anything I've ever watched before. So a bit of background; this is how IMDB describe the plot:

"Having gone missing seven years ago, the previously blind Prairie returns home, now in her 20s with her sight restored. While many believe she is a miracle, others worry that she could be dangerous."

So, a bit mysterious right? It doesn't actually tell you anything other than introduce you to the main character, Prairie & not much about the story. From reading that, we weren't sure if it was going to be her story from when she returned home or what happened to her over those 7 years. Without sharing any spoilers, series 1 takes you back over Prairie's life, including her childhood, the 7 years when she is missing & flashes back to the present day & how she fits back into the life she had before she went missing.

You're introduced to characters from her past & present & how she influences their lives. The two characters I warmed to the most were Homer (from her past) & Buck Vu (present) both were fantastic in their roles & also Abel Johnson played by Scott Wilson (Hershel from Walking Dead) & Dr. Hunter Hap played by Jason Isaacs (Lucius Malfoy in Harry Potter) were both brilliant.

So, overall, my thoughts on it. Well, I'm not really sure how to explain it really. But basically, it has you hooked from episode 1. You end up asking a thousand questions an episode, which never actually get answered. You're always thinking 'they'll explain that in a minute' but it never happens which is extremely frustrating, but weirdly addictive.

A lot of people have had mixed reviews on the final episode, which I can totally understand why that is. We never saw it coming & to me, it didn't really seem to fit in very well with the rest of the story. Series 2 is already on its way, so hopefully that will answer a few questions we have still, but going by series 1, it probably will just make us ask more..!

Have you watched The OA? What did you think?

I'd love to hear your thoughts!

Monday, 6 February 2017

What I've Been Wearing On My Nails #38

Ted Baker - No Name (sorry!) / Studio - Silver Glitter
Ok, so you can clearly see I was not over glittery nails in January.. isn't this just the most beautiful combo though? I'm in love!

Models Own - HyperGel Pink / Barry M - Silver Glitter
These were my birthday nails! Every year, I'll have some form of a pink sparkly combo on my nails & these were one of the brightest yet! I love the Hyper Gels from Models Own, they last for such a long time on the nails & are extremely glossy.

Ciate Mini - Tweed & Tails
Ok, help me out here. Nay or yay? I really don't know. I always try every nail polish I own at least once, because I find some look totally different on the nails than in the bottle, but I'm just not sure.

Ciate Mini - Tweed & Tails / Ciate Mini - Caviar Pearls, Shooting Star
& of course, because I thought they looked a bit plain, I jazzed them up a bit with some squiggles. Again, still not sure about this colour, but it looked slightly more creative when I'd added a top layer of Shooting Star.

What have you been wearing on your nails recently?

Thursday, 2 February 2017

Life Lately #122

Hello lovelies,

I met my friend Ricka for a late birthday treat at Bills last Sunday. I haven't had afternoon tea there for over 2 years & even though they've changed it up a bit, it was so lovely! We had two scones each, a pot of blackberries, a piece of Victoria sponge cake & a pot of earl grey tea each. Heaven.

It was Bo's birthday on Wednesday, so we went to the pub for dinner. James & I both had a burger with pave for pudding, just look how delicious it was!

On Sunday Cathy, Boop & I planned Gemma's baby shower. It was so much fun to organise (if a little stressful at times) but we managed to get all the decorations ordered at the beginning of January, invites sent out & cakes baked. Everyone was asked to bring along a sweet treat, so we had mountains of food! Also, Elisa made this fantastic cake for Gemma & Ollie, just look at that little elephant! Gemma knows she's having a little girl in March, so it was easy to buy presents for her. I managed to pick up a personalised penguin dressing gown & had 'Baby Rogers' printed on the front. It was so adorable, I wanted to keep it for myself to be honest..

Tuesday morning I met up with Shezza, Elisa & Lily to have a catch up with life. Those girls seriously know how to put a smile on my face, especially Lily, just look at her little bunches!

Oh, & I always try to include a picture of Honey in these posts, because she's always a massive part of my life & makes me smile so much everyday. After my birthday in January, all the excitement of the last 2 months fades away. I know for most people that happens at the beginning of the month as Christmas & New Year becomes a memory, but it can get you down. All I need to do is make a cup of tea & cuddle this little one & my day is instantly better.

& I have to be honest & admit, a bit of retail therapy does help too.. look at my beautiful boots I managed to pick up in the ASOS sale! They were £19 down from £34.99 & I can't wait to style them once storm Doris has passed through.. the weather really knows how to bring down your mood. I seriously can't wait for Spring now & for us to head into the warmer months. It's seriously scary to think we are in February already though? Madness.

How was January for you lovelies?