Life's Cup of Tea

Wednesday, 30 December 2015

2015: The year that was

And there goes another one. Goodbye year, where on earth did you go?
2015 was the year that:

... I blogged very little. I don't have a desktop at home and I really seem to struggle blogging on a laptop / ipad. When I visit my parents, I am straight on the old computer blogging away.I need to start setting up properly and buying myself a little keyboard and mouse to plug into my laptop. Maybe that will help! I also struggle coming home from a long day at work though I don't really know what I do when I do get home.

... I FINALLY passed my driving test and bought myself an adorable little car called Harold. I literally cannot remember how I even coped without my set of wheels!

... I went mad on holidays. It started off in Dublin, then to Bremen, on to Santa Susanna. Mexico, Belize and Guatemala were backpacked through before a weekend in Prague. I have been a very lucky girl.

... I got lucky. Turns out a very nice bloke had been working 2 floors directly above me all along. The rest they say is history :) (also he's taking me to Oslo in January which is an added bonus!)

... I still couldn't decide what to do with life. All that panic in your GCSE years that there is nothing you want to do and here I am 8 years later still none the wiser.

So 2016, if you could: provide me with a life path that would be perfect; a better method of blogging would be ideal; and hopefully you will be filled with joy, hours on planes and lots of new adventures.

Sunday, 20 September 2015

That end of Summer feeling

Summer is in it's dying days, christmas gifts are already lining the shelves of shops and my car is beginning to get that really annoying condensation in the mornings. That's right, Autumn is on it's way! Here's what I love about this time of the year...

1// Fashion. Autumn fashion is the best, the perfect balance between the practical-yet-ugly depths of winter style and the how-little-can-I-decently-wear hight of summer.  The darker colours, boots, scarves and thick tights. Goodbye shaving everyday, hellloooo an extra 5 minutes a day!

2// Autumn TV. After a Summer drought of television, my evenings and weekends have suddenly become full once again. Between MIC, GBBO, Dr Who, Strictly and X Factor I will hardly be leaving my sofa which is just as well...

3// Snuggles. Getting home into your onesie, cradling a hot chocolate while snuggled up in bed because it is 'just that cold' is the best way to spend the evening. Fairy lights, check. Candles, check. Hot water bottle, check.

4//Dark evenings. Sure it's nice to leave work in broad daylight and STILL have hours to while away in the sunshine. But there is something about dark evenings that are just so much more... snug.

5// Autumn Food. After a summer of lighter foods, I love when my appetite for warmer stodgier foods comes back. Butternut Squash, thick soups and apple-berry crumbles are all back on the menu!

6// Pretty Scenes. The British countryside looks pretty good most times of the year especially at this time of year with the orange leaves, morning mist and the chance of seeing Mr Squirrel with his acorn.

7// Autumn Entertainment. Let's face it, anything that is anything is in Autumn or Winter (apart from Easter or a certain someone's birthday of course!)

Sunday, 13 September 2015

A day in Blackpool

Having grown up in a seaside resort in Devon, I am really quite partial to chips on the beach, arcades and hoards of seagulls. I was therefore not really in the position to say no when it was suggested as a day trip destination. Actually, I lie, I practically begged to go there. As the man in my life is a Lancashire Lad it made total sense for him to give me the grand tour. Ninety minutes after leaving home, we had the famous tower in out sites. This is Blackpool. 
I was pretty excited about my trip, as I hadn't seen the sea for a fair while. Having parked up at Bispham we hopped on one of the trams to North Pier and headed straight for the tower. A reasonable £13.50 later and we were whizzing up the lift to the top. 

Test your nerves and walk on the see through floor 148m up. I wasn't too keen initially, but in the end I didn't want to get off it! There is something incredibly unnatural about being able to see far far beneath your feet but a great unnatural feeling!
 As well as looking down under our feet, we were able to climb some more stairs almost to the summit of the tower from where the view was stunning, reaching as far as Wales one way and Morecambe bay the other. We were lucky, there was not a cloud in the sky. The view of this legendary stretch of coast from this height was spectacular, also great for a bit of people spotting.
 After our Tower thrill we headed to the arcades and piers where I am not even ashamed to admit, spent a lot of time and 2p's before heading for a sit down meal of fish and chips (or sausage and chips in my fish-phobic case!) and brew. Once the sun set the Blackpool Illuminations came to life so we walked along the seafront admiring all the twinkling lights all while helping burn off some of the days seaside calories!
I had a magical day in Blackpool, and will definitely be returning to do all the things we just didn't have time to do (cough ballroom cough). That's definitely another place ticked off my UK Wanderlust list!

Sunday, 23 August 2015

A Weekend in Bremen

The beauty of living so close to an airport and having the ability to take holiday at such short notice makes it incredibly easy to escape the UK for a weekend. That's just what I did, making the most of Ryanair's amazingly cheap flights, and took an extended solo weekend break to Bremen, North Germany.
The best way to reach the centre of Bremen from the Airport is by the Trams which run throughout the city. I stayed in Townside Hostel in the trendy Das Viertel area of Bremen, full of restaurants, bars and cute little shops. Best of all, it is only a 10/15 minute walk to the centre of Bremen, even shorter on the tram.
My first stop was the Schnoor, a maze of tiny medieval streets full of quaint little shops and cafes. While the rain on day one slightly dampened my spirits, a wander through on day 2 in the sun really bought out the best of this area.  

While you are there I strongly advice grabbing a drink and some apple cake, watching the world go by. Also pick up some Kluten from one of the gift shops, think mint creams dipped in chocolate. Yum.  

I then took a stroll down Böttcherstrasse, this short street has a variety of shops and art places down it as well as a tank with a real live Lion Fish in it. I am not a massive fan of fish at all, but even I was slightly amazed to see this exotic specimen down an alleyway in an overcast German city!

The best way to find exciting things in new places is just to wander. That's exactly how I discovered Bürgerpark, a short walk from the centre. This massive park contains everything from fountains, to lakes to forest and most excitingly, animal enclosures. The goats and sheep have a thatched cottage to call home, and just look at the tiny buildings for Guinea Pigs! I spent a good half hour looking at the animals (absolutely did not spend half of that at the llamas....)

To finish off a fab weekend, I sat in the sunshine munching on a Pretzel admiring the market square and the statue of The Breman Town Musicians as at the top of the page. 

All together, this trip cost me less than £150, one weekend and one day off in lieu. Not too bad, bring on more European weekend trips!

Have you been on any great weekend trips recently?

Sunday, 8 March 2015

What's in my Bag?

I love a good what's in so without further ado I poured my work bag out and neatly arranged all the rubbish into a photograph-able layout. But before we get to that I feel I should tell you about my bag of choice.

It's a Primark classic, missing a buckle because it fell off. But that just adds a little lovable charm to it! I have attached what I think is the cutest little thing ever, bought in an airport to use the last of my currency. #5yearoldatheart
Receipt - My bag = receipt graveyard
Tiny Hairbrush - To tame that bed head in the morning. 
Alpen Bar Wrapper - Because I got the munchies on the way home.
Keys - Kind of essential!
Tiny Notebook - This one's from M&S and is incredibly cute. I use it for a bit of everything, mainly my to-do lists and shopping!
Irish £5 note - From my trip to Ireland. It's been there for months, I'm too scared to try and use it here!
Hairgrips - To tame those flyaways.  
Purse - My now rather tatty Radley purse is one of my prize possessions. It's withstood a lot!
Diary - Because where would we be with no diary?
Paracetamol - I get really bad headaches sometimes that quickly snowball into me needing to crawl into a dark space. Hence the paracetamol to boff them on the head when they are fledglings
Ipod- I would go stir crazy at work if I didn't have my Ipod with me. And it's so tiny. You might notice that I love tiny things!
Highlighter and Pen - Highlighter is accidentally in there after I tidied my desk. 
Change - When I go to a shop I always put my purse away before they give me the change then chuck the change into the bottom of my bag. It's an awful habit but it's great if I forget my purse / have no money in it!
Body Spray - Essential if I utilize the gym after work
Concealer, lip balm and powder - I never really use these when out and about but I feel obliged to carry round just in case. 
Tiny Lint Roller - I live in the worlds fluffiest house so this has become a little life saver in making my blue coat stay blue and keep my legs from looking like fluffballs when I wear tights.

What is an essential in your day-to-day bag?

Friday, 27 February 2015

The time I Tried Online Dating

Sadly the town I have moved into appears to be populated by women and old men. Every young man is taken or just a total ars... idiot. Having been a single pringle, save the odd date, for over a year, I decided to take the plunge. Online dating. 

Sexybabe69 or something more serious?
First come first, a username. I did't want to give away too much about myself. My first name definitely couldn't be in there, I didn't really want my birth year there either. What emerged was a jumble of letters from my first and middle name and a random combination of numbers. Sexy. 

Matchmaking Questions
Before I drifted off to sleep I answered a couple of the bizarre questions which would hopefully lead me to my Romeo; "Would the UK be safer if everyone had a gun?", "Would you sleep with someone on your first date" blah blah blah. Not feeling overly confident that these responses would really find me my soulmate I switched off and headed to the land of nod. 

Logging in
It wasn't until the next evening I even remembered what I'd done the night before after I received an email informing me that I had a match! I logged in and all I could see was that a 50 year old balding man had visited my page, which at this point had very little on it, creepy. I decided the only way was to quickly update my profile to make it clear I am after someone under, not over, the age of 30 and to give a little more information about yours truly

All about me
Having cleared up my ideal age range and that I was in fact looking for a male that lived near to me I came to writing about myself. This became my second dilemma. Should I be truly honest? My favourite Friday night is getting into my rabbit print PJs, eating cheesy pasta and crying along to a weepy film. One thing I am is a terrible liar, so I just avoided the Friday night question and advertised my more appealing traits. Yoga, check. Baking, check. Travelbug, check then finally happy with what I'd written, and confident that it described me I uploaded. 

My worst nightmare, I hate photos of me at the best of time. I was absolutely feeling the pressure as I browsed my image library for this defining image. This was to be the first thing people see when they flick past my profile. My one shot. At this point I realised how few photos I have with just me in. I wanted a realistic pic, not one where I had spent an hour getting ready for a night out. I settled for one on my travels. Windswept, slightly tanned and with a goofy grin standing on the Great Ocean Road. 
I cropped it. I submitted it. I waited. I made myself a brew. I refreshed my page and BOOM! Almost 30 views and 5 messages, it had only been 15 minutes. What was with the world!
"Hey, how are you? :) x" read one. The bloke still looked closer to the age of my parents than me. There were a lot of 'Heys', I began to realise I am crap at flirting. I wasn't prepared to enter a 'hey, how are you?' convo. Then this beauty hit me from a fella whose username was something along the lines of 'imamazincool'*
"Hey ur cute we a shud go 4 a drink sometime" 
Where do I even begin?! The lack of punctuation or The use of early 00's text talk or the whole ur cute thing. I had just enough time for a quick browse of my 'matches' who consisted mainly off topless men and selfies so close I could see their pores before I quickly logged straight out and refuse to log in again.  
Maybe internet dating isn't for me. Or maybe I need to splurge to a more reputable site. Or there is always the Cat's Protection where I can begin my decline into crazy cat lady territory.

*names changed to protect serial daters identities. 

Friday, 13 February 2015

Friday Thirteenth

In case you haven't consulted your calenders today you may like to know that today is Friday the 13th. Many consider this unlucky. I wouldn't consider myself particularly superstitious but even so, I awoke this morning with a small feeling of doom. Partly because of the deadline I had by lunch and partly because I was down to my last teabag. As I sat at my desk furiously typing before doomed deadline I vowed Friday 13th would not defeat me and it would actually be a great day...

I deadlined with hours to spare. 
The tuck shop got updated just in time for my mid afternoon Friday Tuck Treat. Yes Bounty bar!
The gym was as good as empty. Pick of the machines!
I accidentally walked down the chilled pudding aisle at Tesco and a pudding accidentally slipped into my basket (perfecto for my Valentines dinner for one tomorrow!) 
I had a Valentines surprise from Mummy Bear waiting on the mat when I got home.
I had soup for tea. With a hunk of tiger bread and cheese. Nom. 
It just so happened that my favourite bunny jumper and bottoms had nicely dried and warmed up on the radiator when I got home. 
I blogged! For the first time in over a month.
I signed up for my first blogger meet in Manchester. So excited!
Last but not least, it's FRIDAY!

Best of all we get to do Friday 13th all over again next month. How have your 'unlucky' days been?

Monday, 5 January 2015

Happiness Jar

I haven't really made new years resolutions. Apart from being able to run around my local Mere without dying. And travelling a lot. And being happy. Ok, so I made 3.

As part of number 3, I have created a happiness jar for 2015. I am sure lot's of little things happen in my life which make me incredibly happy, but I then forget. Not any more, using my nifty jar, I can delve into it during periods of glumness and despair and realise how truly wonderful life is.

Here's how I went about it in case you wish to recreate. 

You will need:
A jar (clean and free of your festive pickled treats), 
A Glue Gun,
A Sharpie, 
Some Buttons, 
Some pretty paper
A tiny peg (I nicked mine form my mums Christmas card hangers, shh)

1) Sharpie '2015' onto your jar. You can either freehand at this point, or print the numbers onto paper and tape it to the inside of the jar and trace over. Nail varnish remover and a cotton bud create a nice little rubber if you go wrong. 

2) Using your glue gun, carefully glue buttons all over the jar. 

3) If like me you love glitter, glue glitter to the lid. Now glue the tiny peg to the jar lid .

4)Cut out rectangles from your coloured paper. I made mine 2cmx5cm so they sit nicely on the top of my lid. 

5) Use the tiny peg to hold your tiny squares of paper and you are good to go! You could even invest in a tiny pen to place inside your jar. 

6) Everytime something great happens, you smile or you laugh, write it down and jar it. 

Saturday, 3 January 2015

2014: The Year That Was.

Can you believe it's 15 years since the millennium! Nope, nor can I! In good blogging tradition I have decided to have a little reflect over the last year - and what a fantastic one it has been!  It's going to take a LOT of work to make 2015 half as good as 2014 was but we'll certainly try!

2014 was the year that...

... I started working at 10am in a shop. Graduated, living at home but with a dream to see the world

... I had my first heartbreak (sure there is a song of this title!). Almost 4 years of happy times came to an end, and I was pretty broken! But now I see that it was for the absolute best, I've been able to do so much by being a single pringle that I would never have been able to do otherwise. 

... I backpacked round Thailand and Australia. Nuff said. 

... I fulfilled my ultimate childhood dream of visiting Australia. I then bettered this by completing my life goal of visiting Ramsay Street (home of Neighbours, yes, I am an addict)

... I had the most hectic summer, working crazy hours and spending quite a bit wanting to cry with pressure. But I worked with the most amazing people and made friends all over the world. Hard work, but good work. 

... I saw one of my favourite singers, Kate Miller-Heidke, in concert. And it was worth the many years I've been waiting!

... I checked Iceland off the travel wish list. 

... I got a job, in exactly the field I have been interested in for an age!

... Within 10 days I'd packed up my stuff and left the sunny climes of Devon for a new life in the North. 

... And since then I have slowly been developing into a real adult being. I now wash, clean, cook and do the odd bit of gardening. I know understand the value of a glass of wine on a Friday evening. I am officially old ;)
So there we go, Happy New Year. Bring on 2015!!!
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