Monday, 30 December 2013

Instagram feed / Christmas presents!

I'm back from my Christmas blogging break and hope you all had a wonderful time. Christmas Day here was lovely and I was so lucky to receive some beautiful presents this year. Of course though, I was more grateful to have spent it with my favourite people and will go down as the best Christmas in a long time.

It doesn't seem right not to share with you some of my lovely gifts though!

Chanel Coco Madamemoiselle perfume / Thomas Sabo ring / Cameo Rose dress / George blazer / butterfly snood / chocolates / carved elephant / Charbonel and Walker Jamacan Rum Truffles / books / diary / Thomas Sabo perfume / emerald earrings / Next gift card / Coach watch (future post) and more not included here. 

I feel so blessed this year, each present was beautiful and thoughtful and more importantly, the whole day was relaxing and enjoyable.


Friday, 20 December 2013

Silver & Gold - Fridays Fancies / Some Things I'm Loving

Jumper - Kelly Brook for New Look £27.99 / Faux leather leggings - Mango £24.99 /  Boots - Kurt Geiger 'Saxon' £150.00 / Watch - Coach 'Madison' £249 / Earrings - Accesorize £12.99

I've never been one for mixing silver and gold, somebody once told me that wearing the two together was bad luck. The superstitious part of me took over and it's just been a difficult thing to let go of! However, lately I've found myself drawn to mixing it up and although technically this jumper is grey, the silver fleck and jewel embellishment didn't detract me from mixing it up with the gold accessories.  This Christmas Day I want to be comfy, cosy and warm. Comfort being the ultimate goal, due to the fibro pain I get and also the fact that I am cooking dinner and therefore will be running between the kitchen, visiting family and opening pressies all day (yep all day - we like to spread the present giving out throughout the day). I still wanted a bit of glitz though and think it is the perfect outfit to combine all the elements. 

In other news my favourite drink has definitely become a Starbucks soy peppermint hot chocolate. I think I may have a problem! I'm seriously putting on weight from over indulgence and it's not even Christmas week yet!  I think I need to detox this weekend but I have a night with the girls tonight, my works party tomorrow and lots of baking still to do. I don't think it's going to happen! 

What do you think? Should silver and gold be mixed? will you be sporting casual glam or going all out this Christmas Day? 


Linking up with Long Distance Loving, Lauren Elizabeth, What Katie Did, Style Elixir

Wednesday, 18 December 2013

Bittersweet tears

This week is going to be bittersweet. I'm getting so excited for Christmas this year, but it is also time to say goodbye to my dear friend Tyler, who is moving back to North Carolina after studying law here in Cardiff for four years.  I'm still struggling to come to terms with it as I thought we had him in the UK until the end of summer term next year, but alas, he must leave early.  Every time I think of tomorrow, tears fill my eyes and I have to stop thinking about it. 

Tyler and I met in autumn 2009 when he came to Cardiff for his Erasmus semester.  He was sat in front of me and had been given the task of asking questions after I had given a presentation.  Tyler isn't really a fan of modern social history and given that my presentation was on women's history he pretty much had planned to grill me before it started! After class I questioned his accent (thinking he was from North Carolina as I have a close friend there) and it only turned out that he was the exact same place! He returned to Cardiff the following year to start a law degree and over the last four years he has become part of my family.  Not only have we become close, but I have become close wit his family who have visited him in Cardiff.  When we  visited Florida last year, Tyler's mom made the nine hour drive down to holiday with us and shared Megan's birthday with us in July when they returned to attend his graduation.  

He has been there with me through through the highs and lows of the last four years and is one of the most important people that I give credit to giving me the courage and confidence in my faith.  I will now be at a loss on a Wednesday afternoon, which has been our regular lunch date once I've finished work.  We started preparing officially for his departure on Thanksgiving, where Tyler cooked for us all at his apartment.   Last Wednesday saw our finally Wednesday lunch / coffee meet up and on Thursday evening I cooked a traditional British roast pork dinner (complete with apple sauce), which was accompanied by my new favourite, Carolina Coast Spiced Rum, coke and cards! 

We spent the afternoon on Sunday at his apartment reminiscing over the last few years and today I headed down to the Bay to drop of his and his mom's birthday and Christmas gifts, help finish his packing (to be fair, I only sat on his case so that it closed!), then headed out for our final lunch.

 There was no choice to be made about over which restaurant to eat at, we head straight to Las Iguanas for food and 2-4-1 cocktails. We ordered our usual - burritos, honey peri-peri chicken and Cuba Libres. It was a beautiful day down the Bay, the sun was out and it was so warm through the window it actually felt like summer. 

To say that I'm going to miss my (adopted) little bro is a huge understatement, but I'm so incredibly proud of all he has achieved here in Cardiff and know that he is going home to a fine future in law, and I'm looking forward to the next installment of his journey.  This is most definitely "I'll be seeing you" and not "goodbye", as amidst the tears that are rolling down my cheeks now we've said goodbye, I'm looking forward to planning trips to visit him and his family. Most definitely for Thanksgiving one year as he cooks a mean turkey, plus somebody has to be responsible for making sure he does not lose that British twang he now has to his accent!! Apparently, the girls back home are going to love it! 


Linking up with Shanna 

Monday, 16 December 2013

And in a flash it's gone...

This weekend was an attempt to finish of the Christmas shopping. The Coca-Cola truck was in Cardiff, which there was much excitement over and town seemed even more festive. Whilst I failed in finishing the shopping in its entirety, today I think I'm pretty much there! I've also managed to pick up my version of a Christmas jumper, with this Kelly Brook for New Look sparkly number (£27.99) which is so soft and cosy I had to try it out yesterday, even though I had planned on saving it to wear Christmas Day. I'm also loving these Nike blazers (£70, JD Sports), which I'm hoping will make an appearance under my Christmas tree.

We also managed to fit in a visit to pick up the final pieces for my dining room, I can't wait to show you around once it's all set up.  I did manage to smash almost my entire dinner plate collection yesterday morning (don't ask, let's just say I hadn't had the shower or cup of tea that is required in the morning to wake me up!), so an emergency trip to Home Sense was required for a new set! After delivering some presents to relatives, the rest of the evening was spent cuddled up to this handsome little fella. Not a bad finish to the weekend. The weekend as usual was busy and went far too quickly, I can't believe that in just over week Christmas will be here and the new year is just around the corner.


Linking up with LeeAnn

Friday, 13 December 2013

Hi Five for Friday / some things I'm loving

I'm loving how festive things are becoming around here, which will probably seriously be reflected here!

This weeks installment of festive films have included, The HolidayNativity and Nativity 2.  We love Nativity and could watch it time and time again, but I don't think Nativity 2 will have the same effect.  It was funny and Megan loved it but for me the first one will always be my favourite! Need I say more about The Holiday? I absolutely adore this film and loved sharing it with Megan for the first time, cuddled up in bed with tea and cake.

Home made mince pies, fruit soaked in brandy, still warm from the oven and sprinkled with icing sugar and cinnamon. I don't think there's anything better at Christmas!

Our Christmas tree - I'm a little obsessed I think. It's the first real tree I've had since I lived with my parents and it's just so pretty.

Caerphilly Castle at Christmas. Such a beautiful place and with Medieval markets and Santa,  it just can't be missed.

Neutrogena anti aging hand cream has been a life saver this last week or so. All these festivities have resulted in being outside and awful lot, leaving my hands, dry, tight and sore.  This little miracle has not left my side and instantly soothes my hands.

What festive fun have you got planned this weekend? I'm heading late night shopping this evening, I'm sure with a soy peppermint hot chocolate popping up somewhere along the way! Then will be baking more mince pies and visiting friends.
Have a great weekend whatever you're doing.

Linking up with Lauren Elizabeth and What Katie Did

Monday, 9 December 2013

Getting festive

This weekend we got really festive! I started out on Friday by heading to the launch of a new gallery that a friend of mine is involved with. It was an intimate gathering and great to finally preview something I had been hearing about for a good while.  I'll be posting about it later in the week, but it was also an opportunity to catch up with some old school friends that I hadn't seen since 2000! I moved on from there to a cocktail lounge down the road where my friend was hosting his sports management company's Christmas party.  It was also the companies first birthday, so lots of celebrating to be done! It was invite only mad to be honest was nice to be somewhere out of the hustle and bustle of the celebrations in the main bars in Cardiff. If you ever want an evening where the cocktails are divine, reasonably priced and in a stylish yet friendly environment, I'd thoroughly recommend Lab22.

Saturday morning was spent in work, but I finished after lunch and headed home to choose our Christmas tree and decorate the house. After battling getting the tree to fit and glitzing up the house, we decided it was only fitting to go out to dinner and forget about the mess all the packaging caused until later. We rounded off the weekend with a visit to the medieval Christmas markets and a visit to Santa at Caerphilly Castle, the largest castle in Wales. 
Letters have been sent to Santa with a reply eagerly awaited!

Have you trimmed up yet? Megan thinks we were one of the last to do so!


linking up with Sami, LeeAnn and Totally Posted Tuesday

Wednesday, 4 December 2013


When I'm not working this week you'll find me lying in my bed 'resting' again, possibly off my face on prescribed medication! After doing so well with my intensive physiotherapy I've hit a setback.  The cold I have had for the past couple of weeks has passed and turned into trachietis and my fibro medication has left me with a painful and miserable bout of gastritis.  So now, I have an additional two lots of medication aswell as changing my fibro meds which has left me out of it. On the plus though, I finally got a nights sleep! I just haven't been able to wake up all day, hence the late post!

On that note, the photo above was not taken today, but serves as a reminder to myself that I'm not always looking like I've been dragged through a hedge or drugged up to the eyeballs. Not a good look ladies! I have two events to attend Friday evening however, an art gallery launch and a sports management PR event, so fingers crossed I'll be able to string a sentence together by then and will have some decent outfit posts ready! 

Hope you're all having a better week, we're over the hill and on the countdown to the weekend now! 

Linking up with Shanna

Monday, 2 December 2013

A weekend about town

I have so much catching up to do on this little space! Two weekends in fact! Today I'll start with last weekend even though it seems like such a long time ago.

We started the weekend by hitting up Cardiff's Winter Wonderland, the first of two visits that weekend! On our way in we sported the Tardis on top of Cardiff Castle, celebrating the week long Dr Who celebrations for its 50th anniversary.  I'm not a fan, unlike my sister and her boys but it was pretty awesome to see on top of our fantastic castle in the middle of the city centre.  After a few Christmassy rides we headed for a Starbucks and home for some lunch before my sister and I headed back into town for ribs, cocktails, gossip and the Stereophonics.  It was one of the best nights ever and fantastic to share it with my sister as we hardly ever get to go out just the two of us.  Kelly Jones still has it (I can't honestly imagine how he would lose it. Ever!) and kept us happy by standing in front of us for a fair amount of the concert. It was like being seventeen all over again at Morfa.  After it was over we enjoyed a walk through town, with all the Christmas lights making our city prettier then ever and an excited sister spotting the Tardis now all lit up! Such a fab night out, we both even got asked for ID entering a bar and undercharged for the taxi home - what could be better than that??


Linking up with Sami and LeeAnn 

Sunday, 24 November 2013


(All photos from

8am Sunday morning, I'd like a cup of tea but I'm not ready to face the world yet. It's freezing cold and I have a mountain of things to do once I'm up. My only motivation this morning is that by this evening, my parents will be looking after Megan (therefore I'm avoiding the Sunday night bathtime and getting ready for school tantrums), I will be in Cardiff having food with my sister, a few drinks and off to see/listen to one of the sexiest voices in music! It's been two years since I saw the Stereophonics last and I can't wait, so maybe I will get up this morning. After another five minutes hiding under the duvet! 

What's your Sunday morning motivation?

Saturday, 23 November 2013

I love weekends, especially this one!

It's Saturday, I'm getting a lie in, the most stressful week ever is over and here are a few of my favourite things!

This quote has literally got me through the week. It serves as a reminder that no matter how ever stressed and fragile I feel, I have faced some pretty tough things and have made it this far :) 

Unexpected Thursday night dinner and a well needed glass of wine with a friend, her daughter and Megan was just what we needed. See my recap here.

My iPad Air has become indispensable! Especially on a Friday night when I'm home alone, fancy a hot bubble bath, a glass of red and some easy to watch tv. I'm not one for 'reality' television really but Made in Chelsea makes me laugh so much. Everyone's allowed one guilty tv pleasure though right?

Megan had an accident Tuesday and hurt her face and knee, so she was home from school Wednesday. To cheer her up we made some cute heart jam tarts because what's not cheery about home baked tarts, and we just love anything heart shaped!

Last but not least, our latest rescued blind bunnies have their new home in our garden. They are adorable and although I was happy enough with just the two we already had, we'd be lost without them already! Megan wants it call them Bunny and Fluffy though.....still working on that one!

I'm so excited to be going to see the Stereophonics tomorrow night with my sister and some girlfriends.  My late teens/early twenties come straight back to me every time a song comes on and they are a local band which is going to make the gig in Cardiff huge!!! I can't wait to hear Kelly's amazing voice sing Dakota again. Aah that voice! I may or may not still have dreams about marrying that man! ;)

Have a fantastic weekend.

Linking up with Katie

Friday, 22 November 2013

Does an octopus have legs or tentacles?

Jacket, animal print top - New Look / Blue t-shirt, boots - Primark / Leggings - Next / Bag - Nica

Just one more day to get through and then I have a lovely weekend planned. I'm not being dramatic when I say that it's going to be one of 'those' days. There were some issues at school yesterday for Megan which I have to sort today around working. So, when my friend asked early yesterday evening if we would like to join her and her daughter at Frankie & Benny's for food, we jumped at the chance!

Now to be honest, I don't rate the food there that highly but I was so hungry and a glass of wine was certainly in need! Whilst I don't prescribe alcohol as a cure for problems, well not often at least, it did help to relieve some stress and we were kept amused by our girls attempted jokes and 'guess who' antics. Which leads to this post title, does an octopus have legs or tentacles? When guessing a sea creature that has legs, my friend suggested an octopus. To which I replied that an octopus does not have legs it has tentacles right?? What ensued was a whole debate on the car journey home, which amused the little 'uns until they got bored and asked, "I guess you give up then?".

So what do you think is the answer? Have a good weekend my lovelies :) 

Linking up with long distance loving, Favourite Fashion Friday, Hi Five for Friday

Wednesday, 20 November 2013

Fashion Pinspiration

Do you ever get one of those days when no matter what you do, all you want is to stay in your pjs, or if you have to get dressed then pull on your comfiest pair of leggings, top and a slouchy cardigan or jumper? Please tell me you do?! Well, I'm not having one of those days, more like one of those months! I've spent a ridiculous amount of money on clothes the last couple of months and still can't be bothered to get dressed, doing my hair or make up when I don't completely and utterly have to.

I'm sure it'll pass, it's probably just a combination of intense physio, having had a cold and the weather that is making me like it. So, today whilst I'm at home cuddling up with my poor girl (she had a nasty accident last night, cutting her face, knee and ending up with a black, swollen eye), I'm going to take a look through my Autumn Style Pinterest Board in the hope I get some inspiration and motivation back. I usually love to dress up and create outfits, but lately I'm just not feeling it. I'm sure the ladies from  What I Wore will help though as well! 

What do you do when you're stuck in a fashion rut?

Linking up with Shanna

Tuesday, 19 November 2013

Weekend roundup

I've had somewhat of a long weekend due to picking up a virus last week. Megan had a school inset day Friday, which was pretty much spent on the sofa making list for Christmas.  Saturday I felt a little better and guessed that after two days without leaving the house I should escape for a while! The morning was spent at the dance studio as Megan prepared for her presentation and competition on Sunday.  It was a long morning. I have tired of the bitchiness that seems to go hand in hand with Latin and ballroom dancing so hid in a corner with a hot chocolate unit most of the mums had left and Megan had switched from her social class to her private lesson.  We dropped Megan to her friends house afterwards and headed to ikea to escape, pick up ideas for my living room and eat meatballs. We got back in time to watch Wales thrash Argentina at rugby and spent the rest of the day / evening on the sofa (trying to block out Megan's tantrums - I'm hating the pre-teen stage). 

Sunday morning was pure craziness! Megan woke up at some unearthly hour wanting to get ready for her competition, which incidentally wasn't starting until 12.15! After hiding under the duvet (grown up I know) I gave in and made breakfast - gluten free porridge, banana and agave nectar in case you wondered! As I was working we dropped Megan to her friends where she finished getting ready and headed into town early. The rest of Sunday consisted of returning boots to next, meeting my aunt and uncle quickly, working, the first Black Forest hot chocolate from Costa of the year, and picking up my new iPad Air! I've been umm-ing and aah-ing for a while and am glad I waited, even though I had no idea that there was a new iPad out! It is so light and will make everything so much easier when I'm on the go and at meetings. Next on the agenda, finding the perfect case for it? 

I hope you had a fantastic weekend, do you have any blogging app recommendations for the iPad? I'm a newbie and all ears! 

Linking up with Monday Morning Gossip, Weekend Shenanigans 

Friday, 15 November 2013

Some things I'm loving

I've been a little sidetracked this week, mainly due to becoming sick, which makes my fibro fog kick in and become near on impossible to accomplish things.  I've had a number of posts but not got around to finishing any of them, so here is a roundup of my favourite things this week.

Kindness - Wednesday was World Kindness Day and is something that has been prominent in my discussions with Megan this week.  Without going into too much detail, she has had a few problems lately with some children saying unkind things and I have been trying to explain why we must always show kindness to people even if they do not show it to us.  I came across the website Random Acts of Kindness, which has some lovely ideas encouraging and inspiring kindness.  We are all guilty of neglecting kindness at some point and it serves as a good reminder to the difference, even just a smile can make in a stranger's life.

"We think too much and feel too little. More than machinery, we need humanity. More than cleverness, we need kindness and gentleness." Charlie Chaplin

My new fire - When I moved into my house, there was no fire in the fireplace and the radiators downstairs are sparse.  I borrowed my parents fire whilst they weren't using it but they recently redecorated and wanted to use it in their new room.  The last week has turned so cold and we really noticed how chilly it had become downstairs, so I finally got around to buying a new fire.  I couldn't be happier, I ordered it yesterday and it arrived this morning! It looks so cosy and we are warm again!

Physiotherapy - I'm so happy with how my Advanced Rehabilitation has been going for the fibromyalgia.  After being so fit and active, being unable to work out due to pain has been awful.  I am now four weeks into an eight week, intensive physiotherapy programme, which basically aims to loosen me up again, gain some strength and building up my resilience to the pain.  The first three weeks were killers, three hours a day physio and hydrotherapy, twice a week left me coming home in pain, crying, exhausted and spending the rest of the day in bed.  However, I have always been determined not to let it run my life and for it not to take my independence.  
Well after reaching the point last Thursday where I didn't think I could take any more, I spent my first weekend pain free! I can't believe it.  I managed to go to the swimming pool with the children, play and go down the slides with them for just over two hours.  It may not seem a lot, but after the last year or so it meant so much.  My physio has even suggested that with my progress, I could even, possibly (!) try running after Christmas! Beyond happy!  I was disappointed to have to miss yesterdays session, but it wouldn't have been wise with this virus. 

Vouchers - Look what I've got!! Can't wait to hit Joules this weekend - for some Christmas shopping of course!

What have you been loving this week? Have a fantastic weekend.

Linking up with Katie, Lauren

Monday, 11 November 2013

(Jackdaw) Poppies and Plaid - We Will Remember Them

Beanie - New Look /  Top - H&M / Scarf - New Look / Poppy Pin and Earrings Jackdaw

Yesterday in the UK was Remembrance Sunday and today, Armistice Day.  At 11am both days we stop for two minutes to honour and remember those who made the ultimate sacrifice and gave their lives protecting our country and freedom.  This year was the first for many that I did not attend a service, however I wore my poppy with pride.  As a historian specialising in the inter-war period, I will always argue the importance of remembrance, however, personally I will remember - not only today but everyday.  I honour those who I love and have served and those who continue to serve, and I remember my heroes that I have known, loved and lost as they gave their lives to protect us.  I pray that they now rest in peace and that their families continue to be strong in their darkest hours.

They shall grow not old, as we that are left grow old:
Age shall not weary them, nor the years condemn.
At the going down of the sun and in the morning,
We will remember them.
                                                                                         ~ Laurence Binyon

My poppy this year came from Jackdaw, hand made by my lovely school friend Christina.  These iPhone pics really don't do justice to how beautiful and sparkly the pin and earrings really are.  They are resin and made with Swarovski crystal and glitter and have attracted lots of attention and compliments. Best of all, Christina is giving 10% of the cost to The Royal British Legion, who help serving members of the armed forces, veterans and their families, remembering those who have made the ultimate sacrifice and raising money to help those in need today.  Aside from her Poppy Appeal collection, you really should check out the rest of Christina's jewellery - you won't regret it!


linking up with LeeAnn, Sami, The Pleated Poppy, Shanna