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Wedding Wednesday: The Engagement Party

Engagement Tea Party – Saturday 19th September 2015 Last Saturday we held our engagement party at our house, we spent the day with around ...

31/08/2015

Film: Straight Outta Compton

Straight Outta Compton – in cinemas now

You might not know this about me but I am a huge hip-hop fan, I’ve loved Dr Dre, Jay Z and the like since I was a teenager. When I heard about the new NWA biopic Straight Outta Compton I knew that I had to see it – so me and my boyfriend went to see it on Friday when it was released in the UK. I didn’t know a lot about the story of NWA as I was only a child when they were at the height of their fame, but I was interested to find out more about Dr Dre in particular.

Straight Outta Compton is produced by Dr Dre, Ice Cube and Eazy-E’s widow Tomika so I was looking forward to getting a real view of what it was like to be in the band during their rise to fame. Ice Cube’s son portrays him in the film which is pretty cool, he is also quite attractive!

The film was amazing. I cried twice and left the cinema with my stomach in knots – it really was a bit of an emotional rollercoaster! I wasn’t expecting it to be as good as it actually was, I couldn’t take my eyes away from the screen the whole time. The story is gripping, I learned so much about the band and the hip hop industry that I didn’t know and I left the cinema wanting to go and listen to the albums mentioned in the film. I enjoyed the ‘cameos’ of high profile artists that were signed to the labels and the development of some of the famous songs.

If you’re a fan of hip hop music you’ll enjoy this film and I would definitely recommend it. I actually can’t wait to see it again.

What was the last film that you saw at the cinema?

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27/08/2015

Back to Work Wish List

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H&M Striped Jersey Top - £9.99 | H&M Pussy Bow Blouse - £24.99 | New Look Floral Dress - £19.99

H&M Superstretch Trousers - £14.99 | ASOS Suede Ankle Boots - £45 | Gok for Tu Houndstooth Skirt - £25

Topshop Red T-bar Shoes - £28 | Converse Leather Low Tops - £54.99 | Tu Black Leggings - £12 | Tu Yellow Cardigan - £7

I work in a school and so I’ve had the pleasure of six glorious weeks off, I go back to work on Tuesday and I’m quite looking forward to starting the new year. I have been thinking a lot about my work wardrobe over the summer and I could really do with an update, especially as Autumn is here on the way. I work in a special educational needs college so the clothes I wear have to be practical, I could be cleaning up vomit one minute then off for a jog up the street chasing a runaway the next. So flat shoes only and clothes that I don’t mind going through the wars a bit, ideally I’d wear jeans but I really don’t feel comfortable enough in them to wear them every day. The look in the middle is my typical work outfit: dress, leggings and boots/trainers. I’d love to wear the third outfit but it would be totally inappropriate for my setting, maybe if we were off out on a trip or something!

Are you refreshing your wardrobe for Autumn?

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26/08/2015

Wedding Wednesday: Engagement Party Invitations

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After getting engaged a couple of weeks ago we decided that we would hold a small engagement party for our families to meet properly. As we are having a ‘long’ engagement tradition dictates that the party should be held between one and six months after the proposal, we are holding ours about a month and a half after. We were going to have a ‘big’ party but we don’t really have enough money to throw at it at the moment so a small affair for just family is what we have decided on. We are going to be holding the party at our house and there will be around 20 guests – not sure where we’re going to put them all though!

I was excited to get crafty and create some handmade invitations for the party, I’m a huge stationery hoarder and have a whole room filled with paper, card and embellishments – now was finally the time to put them to use. I’m also toying with the idea of making my own wedding stationery so this was a bit of a practise run. I knew that I wanted to use kraft cardstock for the invitations and some pearl stickers but the rest was a bit of a mystery. I browsed pinterest for some inspiration and found this pin with the tie-the-knot string detail which I decided to incorporate into my invites. In the end I chose to create some bunting to link in with the string and decorate the front of the cards with this and some stamped letters. I created the insert on Photoshop using some of my favourite fonts and a pale blue polka dot background. I printed these onto white card so that they were a bit more sturdy then snipped the corners with my corner rounder and stuck them inside the cards. I then added the twine ‘knot’ detail to attach the two sides of the cards together – this was a little bit fiddly.

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I’m really happy with how the invitations turned out and all of my hard work has paid off. Everyone has told me how much they liked them, although my Nan didn’t get the ‘tying the knot’ bit.

I am now looking forward to decorate the house for the party, we don’t really have a theme or anything but I’m sure it will all come together. I will do a post on here on any ideas we have next week.

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25/08/2015

The Body Shop Pomegranate Firming & Refreshing Eye Roll-on

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The Body Shop – Pomegranate Firming & Refreshing Eye Roll-on - £15*

The Firming & Refreshing Eye Roll-on by The Body Shop is a nifty little product that makes early mornings that bit more manageable. The Roll-on claims to brighten, smooth and firm the under-eye area with it’s lightweight moisturising formula. There is a metal ball applicator which makes the roll-on very cooling and refreshing and easy to apply. The product is indeed very lightweight it’s a gel consistency when applied and it sinks in within a couple of minutes. Perfect for applying before concealer to ensure that the delicate under-eye area is rejuvenated. I find that if you apply too much though that it does take a lot longer for it too sink in meaning that you have to wait a little while before applying make-up. A couple of swipes under each eye is enough to get that rejuvenated feeling.

I tend to keep this product in my handbag to apply on the go when my eyes are feeling a little bit tired, being a glasses wearer I find that if I’ve been straining my eyes all day that they look very dark in the afternoon. A quick roll of this and I feel a bit more awake and the darkness is reduced. This is going to be very handy when I go back to work in September, I might have to keep it in my pencil case to apply in between lessons!

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After using the product for a month or so now I have found that it is perfect for refreshing the eye region when you’ve just woken up or when you’re tired. I have not noticed any difference in the fine lines around my eye but I do like how concealer sits when I have this on underneath. I will continue to use the product until it has run out but I don’t think that I will repurchase it.

Have you tried one of these eye roll-on products?

What did you think?

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24/08/2015

A Picnic in the Park

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Last Tuesday, my mum, sister and I went on a picnic at our local ‘big’ park. We had been planning the trip for a few weeks as we are both on summer holidays from work and we’d promised Gracie a picnic. We chose the week when it decided to rain. This did not deter us though so off we went in the rain, I think I actually preferred the rain to it being too hot and Gracie didn’t seem to mind. The park has a large playground area with climbing frames and swings and slides which Gracie loved and it also has some big rides which we avoided as it’s a bit pricey. The park is huge and there is also a lake, a train ride and some wild birds to look at.

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We spent a lot of time chasing Gracie about on the playground, she is such a little daredevil that she loved climbing to the top of the biggest slides and zooming down the zip wire. We actually couldn’t get her off the zip wire and she didn’t really like sharing it with the other children. She is a braver girl than I.

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We braved eating our picnic on one of the picnic benches near the train station, it was a bit wet but we got on with it any way. Gracie enjoyed playing with a huge tree trunk that had fallen on the ground and was climbing all over it, she chased some birds and tried to feed them her cake.

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Then we walked down to the lake and the big sandpit which Gracie had remembered from previous visits, she was the only one in there and she was loving throwing the sand everywhere. Me and mum are not the biggest fans of sand so we stayed well away on a bench, but Gracie was doing roly polies and sand angels and all sorts. We spent quite a lot of time at this part until Gracie got bored and started being naughty. We also fed the ducks and swans here, I think Gracie was trying to hit the swans (no fear!) with the bread though. It was lovely to see the cygnets with the grown up swans and all the other ducks. Gracie enjoyed looking at them all and watching them try to eat the bread. When we ran out of bread Gracie decided to feed the ducks Party Rings – they weren’t fans though!

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There are two peacocks that live at the park and we wanted to show them to Gracie so we went on a peacock hunt. She wasn’t too impressed by them though. We found them hiding near a new part of the park which has lots of water activities and wooden play equipment. It was pretty fun and Gracie got soaked! I also had to ride a pretend horse to take her to the ‘shops’. She has such a big imagination now that she’s always inventing a game for us to play together.

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We had to convince Gracie to go on the train around the park with us, she really didn’t want to. I think she was a bit nervous as she hadn’t been on it before. Once she was on it she was fine though, she liked looking out of the windows and seeing the different bits of the park. I really enjoy going on the train as there are some really beautiful parts of the park that you don’t get to see otherwise.

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After the train we headed home as we’d been at the park about 4 hours! We only spent about a tenner between us so it was a fab day out on the cheap. One we will definitely be repeating next year when the weather is hopefully a bit better.

How do you like to spend family days out?

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14/08/2015

6 Months of Owning a Home–Things I’ve Learned

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We moved into our house six months ago, and I have learned so much about running and looking after a house in that time. I thought I’d share some of the things that I have learned and a few tips and tricks if you have recently moved into a new house or are about to.

1. Buying lots of house bits and bobs in advance has been a godsend – we didn’t need to buy anything when we first moved in as we had already got it. We also have a never ending supply of candles…

2. Having £50 a week to live on is entirely possible and a bit of a luxury.

3.White vinegar is amazing for cleaning, it’s cheap too. It’s the only thing that whitens the grout on our shower tiles – the perils of being a dyed red head.

4. A meal plan is the best way to budget your food spending, we make a meal plan before we go shopping and then try to keep to it during the week. We sometimes move the days around but on the whole we stick to it – unless Dominos has sent us a discount code!

5. Having a joint account for all of the bills and mortgage to come out of is a really fair way to organise the money, both me and Jamie pay in a set amount each month and everything comes out by Direct Debit. We both still have our own bank accounts that we are in charge of which is good as I can still buy lipsticks things without feeling guilty.

6. Make time to go out and do things, with money being a bit tighter we don’t eat out nearly as much as we used to but we do try and go out for a meal about once a month.

7. Having a cleaning routine, you know the ones that you see on Pinterest, is not very practical for us – we just clean as we go. The house doesn’t really get messy with just the two of us living here.

8. Find a good, local builder/handy man that you can rely on to do lots of little jobs when you first move in. Our guy has looked at our roof, removed our old toilet and plumbed a new one in. We are happy that if we ever need anything doing he can sort it for us.

9. Shop around for energy suppliers, we switched ours straight away and saved lots of money. Also change TV/Internet providers for a better service, we also had to have a digital aerial fitted so that we could watch Freeview TV.

10. Even though it’s our first home together it’s still important to give each other some space and time alone, I’m a bit of an introvert so crave alone time to recharge. Sometimes I’m a bit hormonal and do Jamie’s head in too – I have to go and play Sims out of the way before I bite his head off!

Do you own your own home yet?

Any tips or tricks for a happy home?

 

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13/08/2015

Family

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Gracie Age 3

Eleiyah Age (Almost 3 months now! Not in these pictures though)

This was supposed to post yesterday but I scheduled it wrong – oops!

I’ve had a lovely day today, I ventured off to see my mum and sister Gracie which is about an hour bus journey away now I’ve moved house. On the way I met my village Nan (she lives in a village…) on the bus, she was really excited about the engagement and we chatted all the way to my mum’s house. During the school holidays we always visit mum on Wednesdays, two of my aunties live in the same town so we go and see them too.

We spent the morning at my mum’s house, playing with Gracie and the new cat. Gracie is very excited about the cat, she has always wanted one and Rosie is her new favourite play thing now. Rosie is a stray that mum found in the garden in a very sorry state – she is nursing her back to health but she is still poorly (I didn’t want to cuddle her in case I caught something lol). Then we made the weekly visit to the charity shop to see what new stock they had, I do love that charity shop, I bought a huge length of floral fabric for £1 – there must be about 3 metres of it. I also picked up a few books, mostly children’s ones this week as I wanted something new to read with the little boy I tutor on Saturday mornings. After we’d finished browsing the bargains in the charity shop we went to grab some groceries and some chips for lunch from the chip shop. It’s always a treat to have chips for lunch and this particular shop does really nice ones that we all look forward to.

After lunch we walked to see my Aunty and little cousins, Gracie was in a bit of a mood by this point and didn’t want to walk. So to make it more exciting I decided that we’d play the detective game like we did when she was little, you have to walk like a sneaky spy periodically getting your binoculars out and hide behind bushes and lampposts. I’m sure we look ridiculous but it entertained her for the walk. My little cousins Ruby, Lacie and Lola were at my auntie’s so Gracie was happy when we got there as they are all similarly aged. We played in the garden and with my auntie’s sausage dog, Mitsy. So cute. We said goodbye to Village Nan as she was staying at my auntie’s a bit longer, and headed to the bus stop. I was off to see my Town Nan and Gracie was really tired by this point so I knew it was time to go.

Town Nan is the one that I used to live with, I was going down for dinner and she’d prepared a lovely roast chicken dinner. She was very excited to see my engagement ring and tried it on! It’s quite similar to hers as they both have Rubies and Diamonds and I don’t think Jamie planned it that way but I love it even more because of that. My brother, his fiancee and my little niece Eleiyah also joined us for dinner. I was so excited to see my niece again as I hadn’t seen her for a few weeks, she’s grown so much now and is a lot more alert. She was smiling away at me and looking at the floral print of my dress – such a little cutie. She’s camera shy though and wouldn’t let me take pictures of her hence the very old ones at the top of this post.

It was such a nice day seeing some of my family, just the thing for a mid-week pick me up! Can’t wait for next week’s rendezvous as we are taking Gracie for a picnic at our local ‘theme’ park – if you are local to Northamptonshire you’ll know that Wicksteed Park can’t really be classed as a theme park! It will be fun though as we are going to take Gracie on the train and Carousel. Hope it’s sunny!

Do you spend a lot of time with your family?

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11/08/2015

Primark Haul August 2015

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Primark Haul – August 2015

I popped along to my local Primark in Northampton for a bit of retail therapy at the start of the month. I don’t visit Primark much any more but I do like to have a bit of a blow out on pay day! I didn’t buy many clothes but I did buy a few accessories and some new pyjama bits.

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Game of Thrones T-Shirt - £8

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Harry Potter Pyjama Top - £5

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Burgundy Cardigan - £6

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Black Satchel Bag - £9

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Arch Support Socks - £2.50

Harry Potter House Socks - £2.50

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Pug Unicorn Foldaway Bag - £1

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Hair Bobbles - £1 each

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Gel Effect Top Coat - £1

Cosmetic Pencil Sharpener - £1

What have you been buying from Primark lately?

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10/08/2015

I Got Engaged!

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August 8th 2015 – St. James’s Park London

On Saturday my life changed forever.

I hopped on a train down to London with my boyfriend, his dad and some of his work friends to see my favourite band (Anti-Flag). I’d been looking forward to seeing them live again as it’s been 2 years since I last went to one of their gigs, so I was super excited. Jamie had promised me that we could go on a picnic when we got to London as we had a few hours to spare before we needed to be at the venue, I was also excited for this as I love picnics and he rarely wants to go on one with me. We headed to St James’s Park which is a park I’ve walked through before but never fully taken notice of, this time we took our time and it really is a beautiful park. The main draw for the park for me was the pelicans, there are four pelicans that live in the lake that runs through the park and although they were being a bit antisocial when we got there it was nice to see them. I also enjoyed seeing all of the other birds and ducks in the lake, it was very peaceful and calming to see them swimming around. We found a spot to eat our picnic underneath a tree and although it was cheap and cheerful I still loved it, obviously if we hadn’t have been going to a gig later on I would have packed us a proper picnic and a blanket. Then we headed for a wander through the park and saw some squirrels and pretty flowers and lots of lovely old trees.

We came to the blue bridge that goes over the lake that Jamie had mentioned, he knew I’d love it as it has a fantastic view of Buckingham Palace. I do love seeing the Queen’s house when I visit London and here I was standing in her back garden. It was at this point that Jamie asked me if I was happy and started calling me by my full name so I knew what was coming next…

He presented me with an amazing ring and asked me to marry him, I was a bit shocked so neither of us are sure whether I said yes or not but he slid the ring on anyway. It was perfect, we were surrounded by people but at that moment it was like we were alone and the next twenty minutes were a delightful whirlwind. We spent time taking in our surroundings and looking at the beautiful park that would be a little bit of our lives forever now. We phoned my family and text our friends with the good news and continued our walk through the park. We crossed the road into Green Park which is was my favourite of the London parks and found a bench to relax for a few minutes before heading to Greenwich. Jamie had planned the whole thing to be ‘the best day ever’ for me and it really was, a visit to London, a park, a picnic, a proposal and a night of punk. He is definitely a keeper.

I’d love it if you’d share your engagement stories, or if you have any wedding planning tips in the comments.

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