Tuesday, 30 August 2016

My Bank Holiday Weekend in Pictures

To celebrate the final bank holiday of 2016 I decided to try and document my weekend in photos. I was doing okay until that pesky alcohol got involved by the way. Take a peek at my very normal weekend and see what I got up too... 

Friday evening was spent round my Nannie and Grandads, with Jody, my Aunt and my Cousin. My Nans/Grandads is one of my favourite places in the world and we go round every couple of weeks for some tea: Sometimes we play games and sometimes we just waffle on. It's always fun though. This chair from their living room just so happens to be one of the comfiest chairs in the world.

Saturday was my Momma Bear's birthday so we went on a trip to Harrogate to drop her presents off at her work. We got her 6 x 8 packs of Diet Pepsi (her fave) and some lightsaber pens if you were wondering. We also made a pit stop at Primark where I picked up a new burgundy knitted jumper (I needed one for work okay?!) and a thin sparkly top jumper thing.

As Saturday turned out to be quite nice Jody decided to clean his car. Casey (The family chocolate Labrador) and I decided to keep him company and soak up some of the sun before the grey clouds decided to gather. The drive's currently being redone, hence the building site.

We couldn't decide what we wanted to have for dinner so we ended up going to a local restaurant, So Bar, in the hopes that something would tickle our fancy. I went for the fried buttermilk chicken bacon burger (The best clucking burger ever...seriously that was it's name) with fries, onion rings and garlic mayo. I don't know why it was served in a surgical tray either by the way...
Saturday night was spent in our room, watching The X Factor. I lit my Primark Candle, flicked on my lightbox and got all snuggled up under the duvet ready to watch the good, the bad and the ugly. Your thoughts on Honey G please? I know a lot of people hate the X Factor but I love it, especially the auditions. They don't show as many bad ones anymore though which is a shame. The X Factor starting also signals the start of the countdown to Christmas. After missing Christmas last year I'm ready to throw myself into the festive spirit, the minute that it's socially acceptable.
Aaaaand then I went to a christening on Sunday, got drunk, took zero photos (I did get a video of my friend Mum dancing though) and spent most of Monday hungover in bed bar a few hours where I went for a meal with my family. Oops.
What did you get up to over bank holiday?

Sunday, 28 August 2016

The Sunday Catch Up #27

Good morning and happy Sunday! How are we all? I've got a christening today so I'm currently lying in bed procrastinating about getting up and getting ready. I just can't be bothered to be honest. Anyway onwards with this week's round up!

On missing Leeds Fest
Apart from last year (when I was on the other side of the world), this is the first Leeds Festival I've missed by choice since I was 16. We have a christening today which we have had booked in for months so we couldn't really miss it, and with the whole saving thing, we figured it was for the best if we didn't go. It was a bit sad seeing everyone get all excited on Twitter etc but after seeing all the mud I don't feel like I'm missing out. I've seen most of the bands before aswell so it isn't too big of a loss.

On catching up with old friends.
On Wednesday I went to a local Italian restaurant with an old friend I haven't seen in years. We worked together in a supermarket when we were 17 and despite not seeing each other often, when we do meet up it's like no time has passed. I only see a lot of my friends in the pub on a Saturday night so it was nice to go out midweek and do somethign relatively normal and grown up for once.

On the Great British Bake Off.
Oh I love the Bake Off. I know some people thinks it's sad and way to twee but it's just a nice escape from real life isn't it? It makes you want to rush to the Co Op and buy some reduced cake immediately and you find yourself googling baking recipes to try out over the weekend. Spoiler alert: Your probably won't. It's an easy watch and Mel & Sue's puns are hilarious wether you like them or not.

On the bank holiday weekend.
Bank holiday weekends are a special gift to be treasured. I remember working a supermarket (yeah the one I mentioned up there) and having to work them and it was torture getting texts from people asking if I wanted to do something only to reply back 'I'm working :('. Now I get to enjoy my bank holiday mondays and it's wonderful A lie in, some good food and if the weather's playing ball, a jaunt out of the house.

Hope you all have a lovely weekend!

Wednesday, 24 August 2016

Saving for a Mortgage Deposit

money & keys
I've bored on quite a lot on here about how I currently have no life because I'm saving for a mortgage deposit. I know, *yawn* yes Jess we get it, Bore off. But tough shit, here's another grown up post.
Deciding to save for a mortgage is a huge decision and a massive commitment so today I thought I would share 6 ways I'm saving my pennies so I can have my own fireplace and freestanding bathtub.
I live at home
Well I live with Jody's parents. Minimum rent plus we get all of our washing done. It was hard to give up all the independence we found in Australia but it be worth it in the long run. I know some people don't have this option though so I'm pretty lucky!

I have a savings account
This one is actually really stupid BUT having an online savings account means I can transfer half of my wages into it the minute I get paid. 'Cos of the way my brain works I know that that money is pretty much untouchable.

Budget, Budget, Budget
I pay my rent, then put half of whatever is left away. I work out how much is going to go out in direct debits and then I get a rough idea of what events are going on that I will need to shell out for. Any money left at the end of the month goes straight in the pot.

I avoid the pub & only go out for special occassions
Jody and I are terrible for going out so the easiest thing to do on a weekend is to simply turn our phones off and fill our time with wholesome activities (i.e watching Netflix). It's also better for our health so every cloud I guess.

I follow the 'Wishlist' rule
I love clothes. I do, I'm sorry, I'm an addict and I can't help it. Instead of impulse buying I now save things to my wishlists and if I still want it in a month's time then I allow myself to buy it. Tbh most of the time I totally forget about whatever it was I was lusting after.

No spontaneous days out/meals/etc
Don't get me wrong I haven't stopped having a life completely but we used to g out for tea twice a week, get two takeaways and go out on adventures at the weekend. We've now reigned it in and go for one meal a week, order one takeaway and do one budget friendly activity. It's not very exciting but it's all for the greater good.

So there you have it. This is probably a really boring post to most people and they're pretty bog standad tips I guess but they really work for me. My savings are looking pretty fine if I do say so myself.

Sunday, 21 August 2016

The Sunday Catch Up #26

yorkshire sunset
Wasssup and welcome to another sunday catch up post. I'm not hungover this time around so hopefully it's a bit more coherent than last weeks post!

On Being Normal
I won't lie to you Gwen, this weeks not really something to shout about. It's just been you bog standard, go to work, watch TV, go to sleep, repeat kind of week. But I suppose that's real life isn't it? We aren't always going to restaurant openings or sunning it up on a beach in Thailand. The large majority of us have to work and save to you know, eat and buy stuff. It doesn't make for super exciting blogging but it's the truth I guess.

On The Shallows
Jody's obsessed with sharks and has been since he was a little kid so when he saw The Shallows trailer many moons ago, he was made up. After months of talking about it we finally went to the cinema today and it was actually ridiculously good. The shark was great (normally shark movies feature a terribly animated shark), it was super intense and Blake Lively looked amazing - Can you believe they shot the movie 8 months after she gave birth? That's a lot of dedication.

On Sweet Potato Fries
This week I decided to buy some sweet tateys and make some fries. I've never had them or made them before so it was a gamble but it definitely paid off and now they're my new fave thing. I like to spray them with Fry Light Garlic Oil and cook 'em for 20 mins and 200 degrees so they aren't too crunchy. Add some lightly spiced chicken and a touch of garlic mayo and you have the perfect, healthy work dinner. Sweet Potatoes count as one of your five a day aswell so WINNING.

On Watching a LOT of TV
We all know Jody and I watch a lot of TV, it isn't exactly a secret and this week has been no different. We've smashed through series one of Ballers (the one about American football players and starring The Rock) - It's an easy watch & I actually really like it. We're also on series one of Scandal from the QUEEN Shonda Rhimes and whilst I'm not completely sold yet (Olivia Pope is kind of annoying) I'm gunna persevere. Speaking of Shonda, I'm also really into How to get away with Murder - ITS AMAZING AND VIOLA DAVIS IS A GODDESS.

Hope you've had a great weekend and have a lovely week

Wednesday, 17 August 2016

Ten people you get in every office

ten people in every office - satchel
The one who is a self described 'Lad'.
You know the sort, a loudmouth who wants to whole office to know about his weekend antics which usually involve copious amounts of beer and going home with a 'munter' (his words not mine).

The one who gets away with Murder.
That one colleague who seems to do half of what you do but never get's pulled up on it. I mean why is that? They're not benefiting the company in any way, shape or form so why not just get rid?

The one who thinks they're a Comedian.
They think their funny, everyone else does not. They're loud, they tell shit jokes and they make everyone feel uncomfortable with their racism/sexism disguised as 'comedy'.

The one who sticks there nose in where it isn't wanted.
You work in one department, they work in another but if they hear there's a probnlem they simply have to get involved. GO AWAY.

The one who you suspect might like a Tipple or Two.
They're late to work on occassion, have an odd fug around them and sometimes seem a bit out of it. Yep chances are they're a bit to fond of the old sauce and it isn't exactly a secret.

The one who is always in a Bad Mood.
They could have just won the lottery and they would still be pissed off at the world. They give off bad vibes and takes everyone who goes within a metre radius of them down with 'em.

The one who always has an Excuse.
'My alarm didn't go off', 'My car didn't start', 'Ihad to take my cat to the vet'. They always seems to have an excuse for being late but don't worry soon they won't even bother apologising/lying.

The one who has a desk drawer full of Sweets.
Every now and again you hear the giveaway sound of a drawer being opened and then a rustle. They try to be sly but you know what they're up too.

The one who never shuts up.
Okay so this is different to the 'lad'. This is one who just does.not.shut.up. They will waffle on from 9am - 5pm and none of it will actually mean anything.

The one who is always Happy.
9am, 12pm, 4pm, they're always chipper and full of joy, spreading cheer around the office like a manic pixie fairy thing - Except the reality is you're tired, hungry and want to go home and are therefore not in the mood for their shit.

FYI this is a bit of fun and is based on a wide variety of people I've worked with, both in the UK and in Australia. I really like the bunch of people I work with currently so this isn't a reflection on them :)

Do you have any of these people in your office?

Monday, 15 August 2016

The Monday Catch Up #25

Hi! So this should have been a Sunday Catch Up post but as I went to a wedding do on Saturday night then spent all of Sunday spewing and rolling around in bed, that didn't happen. Won't lie, I think I might be suffering from a two day hangover so this post isn't gunna win any gold medals but hey ho.

Speaking of gold medals (See what I did there?) I'm addicted to watching the olympics, especially the gymnasts. I can't even do a handstand and their there doing double backflip half twist somersaults without breaking a sweat. Yesterday's medal haul was amazing and I'm so glad good old Andy went on to win the tennis.

This wedding do we went to was so lovely. I wore a really grown up dress (for me) and Jody looked lovely in his blue suit. All our friends were there and everyone was just in a really good mood. I much prefer fancy do's over going to the pub, it's nice to get dressed up for a change instead of wearing my usual jeans and trainers.

I've been seeing those cord chokers all over Instagram and I really wanted one but there was no way I was spending a £5 on what is essentially a piece of string....Soooo I improvised and order a 2m length of black cord from Ebay for a quid instead. It doesn't look quite as polished but at least I don't feel robbed of my hard earned cash.

I'm racking my brains trying to think if anything else happened this week but tbh all I can think about is how dehydrated I am and how much I'm looking forward to eating a proper meal without the fear of it coming back up so I'm gunna wind it up.

Hope you all had a lovely weekend and have a wonderful week! 

Friday, 12 August 2016

Six things you have to do in Sydney

1. The Bondi - Coogee Walk
This is the one thing that was recommend to me by travellers, tourists and locals and every single one of them was right - It is a must do. I recommend you start in Coogee (it's quieter) and pass through Clovelly, Bronte and Tamara before finishing up in Bondi and catching some rays at one of the world's most well known beaches. It's 6km's long so make you wear some comfortable shoes, stock up on water and snacks and slap on plenty of suncream.

2. Get the ferry to Manly
You can pay like $50+ to go on a fancy boat (which usually includes food) but if you're on a budget hop on the ferry at Sydney Harbour and head over to Manly. You get to see the Sydney Opera House and Harbour Bridge up close (like you would on a posh boat), for the bargain price of like $2. If you have long hair tie it up, cos it's pretty windy once you get going. Manly has an awesome vibe so I'd definitely advise going there for the day.

3. Eat some grub in Newtown
I lived right near Newtown but sadly only made it there a couple of times. It's a really cool suburb with a lot of different eating options. One of the best places is the Cloud 9 Chocolate Cafe where you can get a scoop of ice cream sandwiched between two cookies *DROOLS*. Loads of quirky shops too where you will probably find something to spend your hard earned cash on.

4. Check out the markets
There's a market at The Rocks (near Sydney Harbour, Sat/Sun) that sells artisan stuff but tbh I thought it was a bit boring and over priced. Glebe Market (every Saturday) was just down the road from my hostel and we would spend most Saturday's looking at all the hand crafted gear and the second hand clothes section. The bestest market by far though is probably Paddy's Market, everything is just so cheap there. Go there for souvenirs, funky t shirts or cheap jewellery. They pretty much sell everything.

5. Spend some time at Darling Harbour
I know some people don't really like Darling Harbour and they say that it's touristy, but I actually really liked it. The Sealife Centre there is the only place that I got to see some Platypus so that was awesomne but they also have a fantastic fireworks show on on a Saturday night - Sydney folk say it's only really for the tourists but it is actually really good and set to a great soundtrack. There's also nice bars & restaurants round there worth checking out.

6. Get the train to the Blue Mountains
The Blue Mountains is around two hours from Sydney via train and if you have an Opal card (transport card) you can get there for $2.50 on a Sunday (or you could when I was in Sydney anyways). It's a great place to go get some fresh air and have a mammoth hike but I'd defo take a jacket in the cooler months, it can get really cold! Again, water, suncream, snacks and comfyy shoes are a great idea.

Have you been to Sydney? Is there anything you would add to the list?

Wednesday, 10 August 2016

7 Life Lessons from 'American Ham' by Nick Offerman.

Nick Offerman (more commonly known as Ron Swanson from Parks and Recreation) has an hour long show on Netflix at the moment called 'American Ham'. I went into it thinking it was going to be a stand up show but in reality it's a funny motivational talk that you simply have to go and watch.

Nick Offerman and Ron Swanson are pretty much the same person - They both have strong moral values, are wise as hell and lovelovelove all meat. I came away from watching his show feeling really inspired and here are the 7 rules/lessons that I really connected with and plan on living by from now on.

- Nurture your relationships.
'If you want a healthy marriage it's like raising a shrub, You have to water it and fertilize it, caress it and talk to it'

Okay that quote actually goes on and it's filthy so it wasn't exactly something I wanted my Nannie to read BUT it's a pretty good quote and the first part can be applied to all relationships - Be it with a lover, family or friends. You have to make an effort with people, you have to give them time and you have to show them compassion and listen to what they have to say. And they should give you the same courtesy. I know that I'm guilty of not putting enough effort and it's something I'm working on.

- Just be nice.
'I don't care if you're a librarian, I don't care if you're a litter bug, I don't care if you're a fan of celery, I don't care if you're that fucking guy, I don't care how low you are - We are all brothers and sisters on this planet.'

Being nice seems to be something that people have forgotten how to do. We are all so self obsessed and absorbed in our own lives and our phones that we forget that we all have feelings and that we should all care for one another. Nick tells the crowd to help people when they can - See someone struggling with their shopping? Give them a hand. They'll feel good, you'll feel good, and there will be a little glimmer of hope and positivity in this bleak and miserable world, even if it's only for a brief second.

- What people do in their own time is none of your f*cking business.
'The point is, no matter what you get up to in your bedroom, you can do what you want. As long as you don't hurt anybody or anybody's property.'

I'm big on equality for all, as we all should be. It doesn't matter what gender, sexuality, race or religion you are, you deserve to be treated as equally as the person next to you. What you get up to is fuck all to do with anybody else - You have one life and you should live it as you see fit. As Nick says, if you're a melon f*cker so be it. You do you.

- Look up from your phone and live in the present.
*Talking about technology* 'It feeds on this part of human nature that always thinks things could be better for us somewhere else'

Nick says that thanks to social media we are always wishing we are somewhere else and this is the truth. I see photos of scantily clad chicks and dudes frollicking on Thai beaches and my insides scream with jealousy. I see that someone's booked their dream trip to New York and I think why the hell is that not me? Instead of focusing on where you could be, focus on where you are. Life is what you make it.

- Infact, just get off your phone altogether.
'Instead of playing Draw Something and fucking draw something!'

Hands up if you spend too much time refreshing Twitter or scrollign through Instagram? I know my hand is well and truly up in the air, touching the sky. I used to draw and scrapbook, I used to read and write (like actualy writing on paper) and now I don't do any of it. I sit on my phone and whinge about not being on holiday or not being able to afford that dress. Maybe it's time I got off my arse and took up one of my old hobbies again.

- Stop comparing yourself to people in magazines and on TV and eat some fucking bacon.
'The mirror should be a maintenance tool, the mirror should be for checking to see if you have shit on your face. It is not, it as become so much more'

For the longest time I hated my big ears, my crooked nose and my moon chin but now I kinda love who I am. Sure I have the odd day where I think omg is that really what I look like but don't we all? We spend so much time in front of the fucking mirror thanks to being told by magazines and tv that what we look like is not okay and that our lumps and bumps are hideous, that we forget the mirror is just there to make sure you've got all the toothpaste off your face. It's not a tool to help you to hate yourself.

And finally...

- Love Yourself
'Are you a human? Then you're beautiful'

All of the quotes are about loving yourself, loving your neighbour and having the best life possible. Make the most of your time on Earth and aswell as being kind to others, be kind to yourself. Despite your imperfections you are you, and there is nooone else quite like you. You're a motherf*cking snowflake and you are perfect just the way you are (just like Bridget Jones).

So yeah, be good to yourself, to others, to animals and remember Nick Offerman's wise words. Peace Out.

Monday, 8 August 2016

Eleven things that happened at Kendal Calling

Kendal Calling
I spent the last weekend of July living in a slightly damp tent, living on kopparberg and vodka at Kendal Calling, a music festival in the Lakes District. It was my first time at Kendal and it most definitely won't be my last!  I was gunna do a long, rambly post all about what I got up too but I thought you might get a bit bored so I pinpointed my 11 fave moments from the weekend instead.
Did any of you guys go to Kendal? What were your highlights?
1. I got really drunk on my friend Drev's (yes that's his name) Naughty Water AKA vodka with a touch of flavoured water. I started Saturday being boring and not really enjoying myself but within half an hour of cracking the NW open I was having a ball dancing to Madness. I then KO'ed the minute I climbed into my tent - Rock and roll at it's finest.

2. I felt really, really old. And I'm only 24, seriously wtf. Basically there was a bunch of 17 year olds camping next to us singing Robbie Williams 'Angels' constantly and what really upset me was that THEY WEREN'T EVEN A TWINKLE IN THEIR DAD'S EYE WHEN THAT SONG WAS RELEASED.

3. I fell in love with the Cheese and Ham toasties at the 'Toasties and Baguettes' van. Seriously I ate one a day and it was like something the Gods had created. If it weren't for them I'd have probs starved. Thanks Toasties and Baguettes, you saved me. I swear getting one before bed was the reason I didn't get a naughty water hangover on the Saturday.

4. I adorned myself with Dust and Dance glitter and I'm still finding it in places you would rather not hear about. It promised to stay on all night long and man did it deliver. Go check them out, it's not that expensive, arrives quickly and looks incredible.

5. Despite drinking for 3 nights, I didn't suffer from a hangover once. Obviously someone was looking down on me and decided to bless me for the weekend. Or they knew that I was already freezing my bollocks off in a tent every night and thought that was punishment enough.

6. I don't understand the band Everything Everything. The songs had really weird lyrics and they had cult style robes on. Hmm. On the other hand, The Darkness were increds (Justin Hawkins catsuit is on my wishlist) and The Sugarhill Gang were great, despite not knowing that many songs.

7. I will always go for comfort and warmth over looking cool and on trend. Some chicks looked amazing in their booty shorts and floaty dresses but I'd much rather be all cosy in a hoody and jeans. It's way too cold once the sun goes down and I don't fancy getting frostbite on my noonoo.

8. I saw Noel Gallagher in the flesh and sang along to a mix of the High Flying Birds and Oasis. If I can't see the real Oasis the NGHFB are the next best thing. I do love Noel though, he's so funny in interviews and on the radio.

9. Jody and I had a wicked good time. From reminiscing about our time in Australia to taking the piss out of the people who were gurning their tits off, we had a lot of fun. We had a good time with our mates (obviously) but it was nice to have some time just the two of us (Especially drunk dancing to Madness, we've got some moves, seriously).

10. We left after Noel Gallagher because we wanted to enjoy a full day off work and the SatNav took us a really spooky way to Appleby/A66 on the back roads. It was pitch black and windy but the final straw was an abandoned first aid jeep in a bit of woods. Safe to say I stepped on the accelerator when I saw that.

11. I decided that Kendal Calling is definitely my festival of choice - Yep I'm picking Kendal over Leeds Fest. It might be a bit further away from home and it might not get as high a calibre of acts but it's got such a good vibe. It's also nice and compact so you aren't walking a million miles just to get from your car to your tent to the arena.

Kendal, I love you.

Sunday, 7 August 2016

The Sunday Catch up #24

alright blondie

Hey y'all! Long time no speak huh?

If you read this post you probably gathered that I haven't really been in a blogging state of mind lately. I've felt unmotivated and uninspired and I just couldn't be arsed. Then I went to Kendal Calling, did some overtime and before I knew it, it had been almost two weeks since I last posted anything. Buuuut I'm back now so Hi, how are you?

So the big news this week is that I *might* (spoiler alert: I did) have booked some flights for next year. If you follow me on Twitter you will already know where I'm going but if you don't (and you totally should it's full of pretty things and food talk) I'm going to LAS VEGAS and NEW YORK. How effing exciting is that? I got a right bargain too, seriously go check out STA Travel's multi city tool, it's ace.

I went to Kendal Calling last weekend and I have a couple of posts lined up so I won't go into too much detail but man I had a great time. I'm a Leeds Fest vet but I honestly think I've been converted. It's just so much smaller than Leeds Fest meaning you have a much better experience cos you don't have to walk a million miles in the mud to get anywhere.

This weekend how ever, I went to see the highly anticipated Suicide Squad. Now bar Christian Bale's Batman, I'm a Marvel girl all the way so I went into this feeling a bit meh. BUT I do love the cinema so I was quite happy to go watch it with Jody and keep an open mind. Now, I won't spoil it for ya but I really enjoyed it. Don't listen to the critics and go check it out. Sure there are some parts that feel a bit thrown together but it's actually really funny, full of action and colour and I loved Jared Leto's interpretation on the Joker - I thought he had the darkness of Ledger's and the wackiness of Nicolson's, creating a whole new take on the character. Hopefully him and Harley Quinn get their own movie soon!

I'm trying to be really good and not spend loads of money on clothes so I've got this new thing that I do when it comes to spending. Instead of buying various items over the course of the month, I'll add things to wishlists instead. If I still want it by the time the next payday rolls around, I treat myself. It's actually working out quite well cos by the time payday comes I've fallen out of love with said item or decided I don't actually need it. Seriously, the technique works. (If you were wondering what my treats were this month, I went for this dress and this dress from Missguided).

And that's all for this week! How was your week guys? Anybody seen Suicide Squad and want to share their thoughts in the comments?