Life's Cup of Tea

Saturday, 30 November 2013

The end of November, the end of #BEDN :(

#BEDN - The end

Today is the last day of November and the last day of #BEDN. Tomorrow I will be cracking out the advent calender (s) and taking a day or two break from blogging. I am blog knackered!
I am so proud of myself for doing it and posting everyday. I rarely ever complete something with such a big commitment, even if I intend too! Though I am not sure I will do a challenge like this again as I really believe in quality not quantity. 


What I won't miss:
- The pressure of having to post everyday. 
- The rubbish posts I have written to fill a day

What I will miss:
- The prompts!
- All the post's on other blogs that I can read!
- The motivation

What I have loved:
- Finding other blogs, I have found so many good new reads. My new favourite's are "Duck in Dress" - duck always  seems to be doing something really cool with her life! - and "Dear Ms Leigh" which is a fab blog about a Brit living over the pond, such an interesting read!
- BLOGGING!

What I have learnt:
- To always use my own pictures - I have hated using other peoples pinterest pictures when I haven't had time /  have none of my own:(
- To be braver - I have posted things this month that I would have never posted before.
- To be more organised! I am now a whizz on the old schedule button. 

Well done everyone!!



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Friday, 29 November 2013

dreams




In what has been a bit of a fail for the #BEDN I totally forgot to post until now. I have been caught up in the flurry of booking flights for next year that it totally slipped my mind! So this post is being written from my bed on my kindle. Apologies for the shocking post layout!

All I can say now is "freewheeling!". It has been my dream song I was tiny to go to Australia and in a few months I will be there. I posted a while ago about broken dreams and how rubbish it made me feel, but when you achieve a dream it really cancels out all the sadness from the ones you don't reach.

Dream on. Aim high. Don't look back.

What is your dream? I don't care if it sounds silly!! 





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Thursday, 28 November 2013

Thankful for...

Thhings to be thankful for....

As today is Thanksgiving, 

I have a roof over my head ... even if it is back with the parents. 

I have a job ... which isn't quite as terrible as I make out in my head daily. 

I have fantastic friends ... 'Nuff said. 

I have a day off work tomorrow... and am spending it having a girly pamper / 'fake-black-friday-we-don't-live-in-USA' shopping spree. 

I have an amazing boyfriend ... who still love's me even though I'm me :)

There is currently a massive fruit cake sat in the kitchen ...


Happy Thanksgiving American readers!! Hope you all had a lovely day :)

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Wednesday, 27 November 2013

Backpacking Plans

#BEDN - Yes! Moments

Look what came today!

I suppose my 'Yes Moment' at the moment is my travelling plans. We have spent the last year saying we are going to go, the last 5 months working to save up and tomorrow we are booking our flights! We are planning on leaving for Thailand mid-March then a month later moving onto Australia for a few weeks. 

I have never been outside Europe before so am so excited. I have wanted to visit Australia since I was tiny, I used to sit with travel guides in my room staring at the pictures. I have genuinely never wanted to go anywhere as much as Australia. Also, given I have spent the last 5 months (and will spend the next 3 months) working in a job I am not fond of, miles away from my friends, living back with the parents just so I can afford this trip means that when it comes round I am going to be super excited!

In the meantime, I have a lot of reading of my 2 new guidebooks to do and lots of things to sort out! 
Has anyone been to Thailand or Australia? What do you suggest we go and see?



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Tuesday, 26 November 2013

Tuesday Tuneage #5


I'm not usually a massive Rhihi fan but I am in love with this song :)




Monday, 25 November 2013

DIY: Advent calender

The past few years I have bought my other half an advent calender buy he doesn't really like chocolate so it's not really ideal! So today I sat down with (a few) cup of tea and made a homemade one for him featuring a picture of the things we love. 
Without further ado here's how to make your own!


1. Go to PicMonkey and select 'Make Collage'. On layouts, I selected ; Square Deal' and then the option with the most squares, which is ideally 25! 
2. Find 25 (or 24 and leave a gap) pictures and upload them to the site. Drag them into the boxes until you are happy. 
3. Click 'edit' and it takes you to the Picmonkey editing site. I added a few Santa hats, baubles and holly to some of the non-christmassy images. You can also add text etc. 


4. Save the image and open it in MS word. Print onto card. Then without moving the image in your word document, flip the image vertically and apply a grey scale. Print that image onto card. You can now switch off your computer and move to the kitchen table :)



5. Get some Christmassy paper and stick it to the back of the grey-scale printout. Now get yourself a craft knife and cutting mat and cut  3 sides of each image tile to make a little door. Make sure you are doing this on the grey image, not the colour one!!!



6. Now the fun bit. Decorate!! Make sure you are decorating the back of the grey printout, where you stuck your Christmas paper. Go wild. 



7. Now the tricky bit. Grab your colour print out and glue / double sided sticky tape everything that ISN'T picture. Then VERY carefully, place your grey copy on top of it, lining the sides up exactly. Now, in the middle of your advent sandwich, your grey picture and it's identical colour picture line up so when you open the door, you will be presented with a colour picture underneath and a grey picture on the door. 
8. Wait for it to all dry out and trim to size, add a piece of string to the back and wait till Sunday!


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Sunday, 24 November 2013

Motivational Music

#BEDN - Motivation

As part of my Gap Year 50, I wanted to create a motivational music list so that I always have it handy. As today's #BEDN topic is motivation it seemed like a perfect opportunity!

Be Strong - Delta Goodrem
Beautiful - Christina Aguilara
One Day  - Delta Goodrem
Super Human - Aura Dione
Supergirl - Kate Miller Heidke
Gonna be fine - Amy Studt
Breathe in, Breathe Out - Delta Goodrem
Together we are one - Delta Goodrem
Breathe, Dream, Pray, Love - Jim Brickman
I gotta feeling -B.E.P
Just the way you are - Bruno Mars
Free - Maria Mena

So there it is. The beginnings of my motivational playlist. I think I need some Gangnam style jumpy round ones on there too. 


Saturday, 23 November 2013

Date Night


#BEDN - Date Night


Having been long distance for the majority of my 3 and a half year relationship, we don't really get to do your standard 'date night'. We see each other on average one weekend every 6 weeks. Sometimes it will be less time, sometimes longer. 
Usually after the cost of train tickets, we don't have enough money to go out for meals, to the cinema or out for drinks like other couples do. 
So what do we do? We share a mutual love for Spaghetti Carbonara (specifically the stuff from the packet)so we cook up way to much of the stuff and stuff ourselves silly while watching a film. If I'm lucky we'll have a pudding and once again our mutual love for apple puddings usually influences the choice. Usually after all that good food I fall asleep on the sofa (to confirm I am a 21 year old female, not a 90 year old Grandad) and the poor boyfriend is left to watch the rest of the film on his own. 

So that's my perfect date night! (minus Ewan McGregor) What's yours?


Friday, 22 November 2013

'Meh' Mood



Today has been a bit of a fail day all over. Every little thing has gotten to me, and I just feel a bit 'Meh'. So the last thing I feel like doing is creating a brand spanking new blog post. Rosaliums topic today is 'Leaving on a Jet Plane' so I thought I would leave you a link to a post I did earlier this month about my top 10 travel places
Tomorrow I am going to pull myself together, makes plans for life, reply to all my comments  and write a better blog post! Hope you all have a lovely weekend :)


P.s. Doctor Who tomorrow!! Excited much :)


Thursday, 21 November 2013

What I'm Watching

#BEDN - World Television day


For this topic I though I would share the shows I am watching at the moment. All I can say is... "Please don't judge me!!"


Neighbours

I have watched this show since I was a baby. Some of my earliest memories are of watching this while my mum did the ironing. If I could only watch one television show for the rest of my life, this would be it. Super fan right here. 


Hollyoaks

I used to watch this in my teen years, and recently genuinely accidentally had an episode on in the background. Next thing I knew, I was hooked. 


The Big Bang Theory

My housemates used to watch this and that's how I got into it. I sometimes wish my life was like Penny's!


I'm a Celebrity
I hate bugs. I hate snakes. I hate fishy things. I really shouldn't enjoy this show but I do! I'm liking Steve, Joey and Amy at the moment.


Strictly Come Dancing

Who doesn't like a bit of strictly glamour? Highlight of my Saturday's by far!


Made in Chelsea

Another house mate addiction. We would all sit in the living room religiously on Monday nights in our onesies and pig out on rubbish food while watching MIC. I still watch it religiously. I am fully aware it is really quite rubbish, but it is so addictive, you kind of get sucked in!

What is on your box at the moment?




Wednesday, 20 November 2013

Style: Christmas Jumpers

#BEDN -It's only Fashion, Baby.




Tuesday, 19 November 2013

Cycle Safety

#BEDN - Newsflash

I am not the best commentator on news really. I do not have a political bone in my body and don't read newspapers, instead choosing to glaze over the BBC website or catch up with the news over my cereal at breakfast. 



One story which has really got my attention lately though is the mounting media attention to cycling, especially in London. For those international readers, cycling safety has really come into the spotlight after the deaths of 6 cyclists on London's roads in a fortnight. 



I myself have a bike. I used to cycle in my university town because my routes were usually along quiet residential roads. However at home, I have not used it once because the provisions for cyclists are horrific. I hate on road cycle lanes, I personally think they make the situation worse. Drivers feel safer knowing there is a cycle lane, and may not be so careful. Similarly, I think some cyclists feel safer and are not as careful. 

At the end of the day road safety comes down to both the driver and the cyclist. Both have responsibilities under the law to be careful. But I really think that it is important the road safety is integrated into planning and redevelopment work. While it may be too late to make major revamps to cycling in old, built up cities we can start to make a difference now to new developments. 

Woah, that was long. And no pictures! Sorry guys!!


Monday, 18 November 2013

Monday Music and Bullying

#BEDN - Anti- Bullying Week

I have been fortunate to have never experienced bullying to my face. What, if anything, happened behind my back I don't know, and don't care! What you don't know doesn't hurt you. Given the stats now suggest almost half young people say they have been bullied at some point, bullying is now quite a major problem in schools. The BBC this morning, drew attention to online bullying and the devastating effect it is having on young people ; I am possibly just a smidgen too old to have been in the generations really badly affects as I didn't have Facebook till I was in my mid-teens. 






This song by Kate Miller-Heidke is very moving and is about the time she did nothing to stand up for someone being bullied and her regrets now. Don't let that be you!


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Sunday, 17 November 2013

Why I Just Can't Relax


#BEDN - Relax

Source

I am not really very good for relaxing for three main reasons really. Firstly, I am never in the mind state just to relax. As I have posted before I am quite anxious all the time and this makes totally relaxing hard. Relaxing gives me more time to think things over and get more anxious. Hence a nasty circle forms.

Secondly, I am not very good at doing just one thing. I couldn't just lie in a bath with candles etc. I would have to be doing something else as well like read, but then I am too scared to take a book in in case it gets wet.

Finally, I have quite a short attention span. I can't spend the morning just reading because I get bored / frustrated after about 15 minutes.

So Rosie and relaxing really don't seem to go very well :(

What do you do to relax? 



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Saturday, 16 November 2013

Music Makers.

#BEDN - Hobbies


My biggest hobby is music. I started playing the recorder in early primary school, then the Clarinet 11 years ago and then began playing the ukulele at University. Since then I have played in School Bands, at Disneyland Paris, in contests and to people in care homes. I am not great at playing, I am obviously not a natural! But through music I have made some fantastic friends and had some brilliant opportunities. 

If you want to get into music, but aren't confident or don't have enough money to for out on a saxophone / piano / flute etc:


1) Buy a Ukulele. They are really cheap and you only need to learn a couple of chords before you can start whacking out some songs. For less than £20, you can get some pretty funky ukes like these Pink, Purple and Union Jack ones!
2) Join a choir. Have a look on the National Association of Choirs, National Youth Choir or Choirs.org to find a choir local to you. Some you will have to actually be good to join, but many are just a bit of fun and it doesn't matter how well you can sing! Given I was in 2 last year, just goes to show you don't have to be good to sing!
3) Sing along to your favourite tunes. In the shower. Doing the hoovering. In the garden... if you are feeling brave. Singing is great for you. Dig out you Celine Dion albums and warble along to 'My Heart will go on' like you wrote it. 


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Friday, 15 November 2013

Favourite Folk


#BEDN - Favourite Folk



Friends really have the power to make or break you in my opinion. There is nothing like creating fab memories with people, reminiscing or just generally having a moan about life with. I am really lucky to have some fantastic friends :)

Family

Sometimes they get on my nerves no end, but the majority of the time I love my family to pieces. The in jokes, the grand advice and the silly little traditions we have. It's interesting now that me and my not-so-little-little brother are getting older and moving on with life, to see how the family dynamics are changing. Mum and Dad still definitely have the final say on all family matters, but we are not such walk overs any more!
Having spent 3 years living away from home, I am definitely struggling being back home in the family fold. I loved my independence, and do feel a little smothered now I am home, but that doesn't mean to say that I hate being home!

Pets
Aw... I love cuddling up to one of my cats at the end of a long stressful day. Cat snuggles are apparently good for our health (as long as you aren't allergic to them!) and are great stress relievers . I sometimes wish I was a cat, such a nice life!

Nice Customers
There is nothing that brightens my day like a nice customer. 

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Thursday, 14 November 2013

Workspace Inspiration

#BEDN - Workspace

At the moment I work in a big shop and I am not sure how happy they would be of me posting photo's of it on here! Best to keep blogging and work separate in this case right? SO instead I have perused Pinterest and found some awesome desk arrangements :)


Source

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Unfortunately I am far too messy and disorganised to have a lovely space like this :( 
Still we can still dream. 

Do you have a personal office? Or do you do your business on your lap in front of the TV like me?


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Wednesday, 13 November 2013

Poundland Haul #4

This week I once more ventured into the wonder that is Poundland. Previous trips are documented here + here + here (told you I was addicted.)This has now become the highlight of my day's after a long day at work. I have now also had to find alternative storage for my nail varnish collection as it is swelling out of control. here are some of the beauties I picked up the other day. 



I got such a good range of well known brands: Rimmel; Sally Hansen; Revlon; Collection 2000; and OPI. 


I have been looking for a green for ages, but was loathed to splash out on one as I will probably not use it much. Three bottles for £1?! Yes please! I will most likely give two of the bottles away, but I love the colour so much I am reconsidering!
Sally Hansen is a brand I have fallen in love with thanks to Poundland and I needed a new nude colour varnish. This one was perfect and dries with a slight shimmer. 
I can never have too many deep red colour's so Rimmel's purple rain was straight in the bag as was Revlon's Grape fizz. It is a scented polish with a gorgeous glitter. And yes, it does actually smell of grape!




I also snapped up these 3 OPI crackles. They are amazing, and I have been layering the silver one over dark reds and the black over multi-coloured nails. Lot's of people have complimented them, and the look on their face when I say 'Poundland' is classic!
 My final purchase was this Rimmel 'Kate' Lipstick in shade 04. I was really silly and thought this would be a really dark red, guess the lighting was dodgey! It is in fact a dark purple which i will NEVER wear in a million years. I will keep it though for the odd Halloween costume. Even though the colour is not my choice, the lipstick itself is great. It smells really lovely and plumps the lips out while really moisturising them. I am going to pop into boots today to grab one in another colour!

My Savings:

Kate Lipstick
Boots Price: £5.49
Saving: £5.49

OPI Shatters
Amazon price: £11.98
Saving: £10.98

Rimmel
Amazon Price: £5.99
Saving: £4.99

Sally Hansen
Amazon Price (different colour): £3.99
Saving: £2.99


Revlon
Amazon Price: £2.89 
Saving: £1.89

Total Savings = £26.34

Lesson of the day? Poundland rules.

Tuesday, 12 November 2013

Home Sweet Home



#BEDN - Hometown

I am going to recycle some pictures on here (all taken my moi!). I have posted often about my hometown, HERE, HERE and HERE and have come to the conclusion that despite my surface hatred for it, it is actually rather lovely. Enjoy...











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Monday, 11 November 2013

Tuesday Tuneage #4

It's been a while, and it's Monday.... Shhhh.
This week my song on repeat is Celine Dion's Loved Me Back to Life




I have always loved Celine's unique voice, and paired with Sia's fantastic songwriting, this is a match made in heaven!

What's on your radio this week?


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Sunday, 10 November 2013

11/11.

Source


"Age shall not weary them, nor the years condemn...
...We will remember them"

Today I was humbled, when on a busy Sunday morning in the midst of Christmas shopping madness, every customer in the shop I work in stopped still and remembered for 2 minutes.






Saturday, 9 November 2013

Picmonkey

#BEDN - Blog Chat

Today I am going to share with you my favourite tool for blogging. Whether you are a blogger or not I am sure you can find use for this amazing picture editing website. All the pictures on my blog are edited using this website, and it couldn't be easier!


So go have a fiddle, and who know's you could be super creative and come up with some great Christmas present / card ideas on it!


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Friday, 8 November 2013

Book Review: Faithful Place



This is my first ever book review on my blog! In fact this is the first physical book (not on kindle) other that my text books for my degree, that I have read in the last goodness knows how long. 

When I was given an unexpectedly long break at work, I decided to nip to The Works to get some reading material. Usually I go straight for the trashiest chic lit I can find. Predictable, pink and totally unrealistic  This time, I felt like a change and picked this one up: Faithful Place by Tana French.

Frank Mackey is an undercover cop in Ireland, estranged from his family after his girlfriend, Rosie, absconds on the night of their planned elope to London.  
Decades later, Frank is forced to return to his childhood home, and dig up painful memories after the suitcase belonging to his first love is unearthed in the very street their adventure started. 

I have never read a crime novel before, and Tana has definitely convinced me to read more in the future. Though hard hitting, there were elements of love and affection woven into the plot line. I love a bit of love!

While not as much as a page turner as I thought it would be, I was desperate to get to the end to find out the conclusion to the mystery and, although I won't ruin it, I can say it was a big twist!

Thanks Tana for showing me there is more to reading than trashy romances! 


Star rating: 4/5




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Thursday, 7 November 2013

Travel: 5 Favourites and 5 Wishes


#BEDN - 10 Things

I open with 5 of my favourite places and 5 places I really want to go to. 


1) Lisbon Portugal
My first ever time abroad was to Portugal and I have been many times since to many different parts. To me, Lisbon is the Bee's Knees. 



2) Reading, UK

'Really?' You are probably thinking. Disney Land and Greek Islands feature on this list alongside... Reading?! Where is the logic...

I lived in Reading for 3 years and fell deeply in love with it. The shops, the parks, the river. It has everything you could ever want in a town. If you ever visit, I stronly recommend you take a walk along the River Kennet and Thames as it meanders through The Oracle shopping centre and out into the meadows and outlying villages. 



3) Disney Land Paris
Shh. I have been to Disneyland twice and both were with my school orchestra. Even as an 18 year old, there was absolutely no denying the magical feeling you experience as you walk through the gates. Whether you are 4, have a four year old child or a 4 year old Grandchild I cannot tell you enough... GO TO DISNEY!



4) Ile De Ré, France
I visited here 5 years ago with a friends family and loved it to pieces. Our cottage was minutes walk from the beach and we cycled everywhere including to the bakery every morning and along the edges of the salt lakes. Because the island is so small and really flat, we were able to easily cycle to the 
other side of the island, so there is no excuse not to see everything!

5) Zante Caves and Ship Wreck Beach.
Pictures. No words needed.


So where in the future? I want to go everywhere (greedy much) but if I have to whittle it down. Here are the top 5 locations on my wishlist. 

WISH LIST 

1)Australia
2) Volcanoes in Iceland

3) New York, USA
4)India
5) Dublin, Ireland


What's your favourite place and where do you really want to go?