Share The Blog Love…#BEDM

Todays post is to talk about other blogs that you read regularly.

I have followed a particular blogger for years!

When I got engaged I began searching for wedding inspiration (as you do) and found the blog of a girl called Heather.  She too was getting married and making a lot of bits and bobs and she recorded it all.  I found that I enjoyed reading what she was up to, and following her stories.   I then decided to start a wedding blog as well.

This is her blog now, it’s called Heather Drive and what’s really nice is that her life is very similar to mine, but 6 months ahead!!  She had her first daughter 6 months before I had Joel, and then she had a second daughter just before I had Josiah.  So I have her experience to look on and it’s been really nice.  I’ve left a few comments on her blog, I feel a bit strange, you know, being a stranger from another country, but I guess thats the blogging thing.

Here’s my wedding blog link as well… (just in case you were interested!!)

National BBQ Week….#BEDM

What springs to mind when thinking about BBQ’s?  Maybe men standing around a fire charring meat to within an inch of its life?!

I am actually a very good BBQ-er.  My Dad taught me well. And since I’m married to a man who is anti any form of cooking, we never have to argue over who is cooking as we both know it’ll be me whatever.  On Steve’s turns to sort dinner he just rings a take away so I try to cook as often as I can so we are eating healthy options.  Of course some times I’m just too tired and it’s junk food time but maybe once or twice a month at most.

Anyway, there is nothing quite like sitting around outside with a cool drink and the smell of chicken, burgers, fish or lamb cooking gently over hot coals.  And of course you need the salads and accompaniments to go with it.  I love charred corn on the cob with butter dripping down, cooked peppers and tomatoes, I’ve yet to try halloumi on a BBQ.

Being in Britain, the opportunities are not about all that often as we may start with a sunny day which ends in rain so as a nation we all watch the weather carefully and with a sunny evening all jump to the nearest shops and empty the shelves of meat and bread and requisite BBQ stuff!!

We’ve not fired up yet this year, but I’m looking forward to doing so at some point in our garden this year!

Bank Holiday Fun….#BEDM

Oops, I missed a day!

Oh well, I am on holiday this week!  I’d tried to be organised and written a ton of posts before I went away but time got away from me and apparently yesterday was the day I was supposed to sit down and start afresh!

I don’t feel as though I’m getting the benefit of bank holidays at the moment as I’m off work and everyday is blending into the other without a lot of distinction.  Steve would tell me that whilst on maternity leave every day is a holiday.  For which I could hit him!

Anyway, what did my day consist of eysterday?  It was a good bank holiday.  We spent the morning on the beach with bright sunshine emerging from the clouds intermittantly but with gorgeous views of mountains and Anglesey in the distance.

Then I slept all afternoon!!  I was pretty shattered from a few bad nights with lots of wake ups and was meant to have sorted dinner for everyone.  I emerged very bleary and sleepy on their return with no potatoes peeled or anything!  I must have needed it!

So for me, bank holiday was a beach trip and a very much needed rest finished with a big family meal all sat around the table eating chicken boursin, cakes and cheese and crackers!  And lovely it was too 🙂

Best Thing About Childhood…#BEDM

I had a lovely childhood.  I really did.  I’m sure there were down bits, but the truth of the matter is the happy and comforting things stand out more.

I was in a family where my parents loved each other (we used to find them kissing in the kitchen and shriek and run away covering our eyes but really, we were just glad our parents were together), and we had a simple routine life.  Monday to Friday we went to school, and played outside everyday afterwards.  We would have a family dinner around the table and talk about our days.  Saturdays we went to town and helped Mum buy vegetables from the market, had ballet lessons when we were younger and played outside all afternoon or visited our grandparents.  Sunday mornings we went to church, came home for a roast dinner and the afternoon would be spent walking on Cannock Chase, before coming home for a bath, getting in our pyjamas and having boiled eggs and toast whilst watching the BBC programs such as ‘The Lion The Witch and the Wardrobe’.

Every summer my parents rented the same caravan in north Wales for two weeks and we had a lovely holiday.  Mum would always pack a ‘rainy day’ activity for us as there would always be a few of them and we’d have things like cut out wardrobes for paper dolls!  My Dad would save all his coppers all year so we could use them on slot machines and we’d each get a money bag from him!!

They didn’t want us going off to parks too young, so they bought us swings, slides and a climbing frame for the back garden and our friends would come to play in our garden.  We had our dog Bonnie when I was three, and when Sarah and I were eight and seven Dad came home with two guinea-pigs for us!  We had two cats, gerbils, hamsters and fish as well along the way.

Sarah, Kate, Amy

The three of us were, (and still are) very close.  We made our own entertainment, made gangs and secret societies, built dens in the woods, wrote story books and made little towns out of paper cubes!!

We all three had piano lessons, Sarah gave up first after grade one, I got to grade five and Amy went all hte way to grade eight!  Amy and I joined the junior choir and I went on to the youth choir.  We all went to Guides, but Sarah didn’t like it, and Amy soon left whereas I went onto Rangers and to be a Young Leader.  Sarah instead joined the drama group and was in lots of productions.

Throughout it all though, our parents were there, and we’ve always known they would help us out and support us through anything.  And I think having that security shapes you as a person.  It gives a confidence in life and humanity.

We are all going away for a weeks holiday next week, and our children will be the ones playing on the beaches in North Wales whilst we sit and watch them and remember when we were young.  It’s crazy to think how slow your childhood seems to go by, but year by year time speeds up until you want to slow it down again.  But this time you’re living the childhood through your own children and seeing their enjoyment of rock pools, and sandcastle building, exploring or climbing a big hill.  And if they feel as secure and happy as I remember us feeling, then something has worked out right in the big scheme of things. 🙂

Healthy Living…. #BEDM

Hmmm.  Healthy Living is todays subject.

All I can say is that I try.  I really do.  I genuinely enjoy vegetables and fruits, but I also enjoy chocolate and Big Macs.

I know that moderation is the key, and when I’m of sound mind and body that isn’t too much of a problem but as I’m currently in my 14th week of breastfeeding, the hunger just takes over and it’s a real battle choosing the healthy options over the quick sugary and fatty fixes.

I used Slimming world to lose weight before I got pregnant last year, and I’ve got my cookbooks and magazines back out to browse through for inspiration.  I know the basics and it’s all very sensible.  Cutting out sugar, fats, monitoring carbs and filling up on ‘free’ and ‘superfree’ foods at meal times.  The best thing about it is the quantity of food you can eat.  If you’re hungry you can eat, just not crazily.

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Last pregnancy I put more weight on afterwards whilst breastfeeding than I did during the time I was pregnant.  This time I am trying to be more aware of that.  I do have a number which I want to get down to, and feel that I’m not as slim as I could be.   But on the plus side, I am in my old clothes again and the main issue is my double c-section stomach which I think only a tummy tuck will fix 😦  My attempts at pilates really didn’t come to much.  I must give that another go but flailing about on the floor wasn’t much fun as the woman on the tv made her legs stay in the air and I could barely lift mine off the ground.

I am walking a lot and pushing a buggy with a heavy toddler standing on a buggy board is helping burn some calories.  The breast feeding is meant to be burning calories but that is probably weighted out by my extra intake to keep up with the feeding, so healthy eating is the way to go for me.  I am considering going along to meetings to be weighed as an extra push, but it’s about finding a club I can get to at certain times but I think I will need to do something extra very soon.

Date Night… BEDM

Firstly, I really liked the film!  I went to see it with Steve as a date night when it came out!  We enjoyed it so much we bought the DVD!!  There’s something lovely and endearing about Steve Carrell that I’ve come to appreciate further with watching An American Office!!

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Plus you know. the film really resonated on all levels.   Making an effort is hard.   Having children makes you tired.  Being tired makes you want to sleep.  Sleep does not help conversation and keep the spark going.  Date nights however, do help to keeping a relationship alive.

This past three months I have been so very tired, grumpy, irritable and downright uninspired.   Steve has had to put up with a lot of grief from me.  But I have also had to put up with a lot of flack from him about my grumjpiness and you know because I’ve just had a baby he can’t really get away with it, but he knows that it’s the sleep deprivation talking.

For our anniversary at the start of this month we had the first date night since New Years Eve!  That is way too long to without making an effort, and in an ideal world we would go out once a month at least.  When we were first married it was a weekly thing!  Friday night was date night, whether it was in or out and efforts were made.  But that has reduced drastically.

It’s something that we will have to reinstate once Josiah is a bit older and in the meantime, lunch dates are the way forward!!  If I can get Steve out of his office for an hour we can go out for some food, have a chat and Joss is quite happy being walked around the block by Grandma or Grandad.  And it’s good to talk, especially when talking about children is prohibited!  It reminds us that we are people as well as parents!!!

Being Adventurous…#BEDM

adventure

I love a bit of adventure.  Granted I don’t act on it so much these days.  A few years ago I was happy to go gliding through the air on a wire, climb mountains, camp out under the stars.  These days I prefer a few more home comforts and with having children I seem to have a few more fears as an adult than I did as a child!!  It’s amazing how age can add fear to things.

These days I prefer to leave the adventuring to Bear Grylls, and watch it on television and feel glad that its not me.

That said, I also like to think that if there were a need for survival I would manage it!!  I was a Guide for many years and can build a fire, make a den, cook outside, I would know to find water first and hopefully be able to sterilise it.  Steve and I have discussed our zombie survival plans.  Mine is to get to a packed up car and drive north to the lake district and find a little island to inhabit as I don’t think zombies can swim.

On a more realistic level, I guess I’m on a pretty big adventure right now!  The adventure called life…

 

 

Best Thing About Being An Adult….#BEDM

The best thing about being an adult is having got through childhood relatively unscathed.  I don’t have any wishes to go back to school age at all.  I’m glad that’s all done with.  I enjoyed my university days but who wants the life of an eternal student forever?!  I’m far more happy feeling settled with the ability to make my own decisions, do as I wish to do, and although it’d be nice to knock a few years off my age (my Dad happily told me I’m middle aged now half way through my three score years and ten).

One of the things I’m finding really strange right now, is that I can clearly remember my parents 40th birthdays.  I made my Mum a butterfly cake and decorated it myself.  I remember thinking that it was really good, yet seeing a picture of it it was really wonky and badly iced!

And I’m going to be that age myself soon.  Is there a point where we feel that we’ve grown up?  I don’t know.  I’m a parent now and still don’t feel grown up.  My parents are the grown ups, not me!!

So here’s some internet meme cartoon things that tell it better than me!

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This is crazy true.   Plus now on official forms I’ll be ticking the next age group box up 😦 35-44!

Funny-growing-older-quotes

I used to be fun.  I used to drive all over the country to meet up with friends, have nights out, sleepovers and fun, drink a little and do reckless things like midnight viewings of The Hobbit at the cinema, or triple film showings to see a trilogy in one sitting!  (I know, not that reckless really, more geeky).  I guess I’m banking on the fact that when the children are old enough, I may get some of that back!  Right now, I feel I have to go to bed early in case the night is disturbed and my fun levels are in negative status.

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And here’s a sappy one.  I think I’ll be ok in the end.  🙂

Museum Day…#BEDM

Today’s subject matter is to talk about a favourite Museum or experience.

As a child who was dragged around many a National Trust stately home by my pass holding parents I have been exposed to many a museum.

I always enjoyed Sudbury Hall with its museum of childhood.  It is one to appeal to children obviously.  And we live nearby to Shugborough which although terribly expensive to visit, is lovely and interesting.  We had a lot of school trips there when I was little.  Biddulph Grange has lovely gardens.

It’s funny how these days museums seem a lot more appealing now I’m grown up!  Unfortunately it’s hard to get the husband to feel the same but I hope to get Joel and Josiah to appreciate some of the heritage we have in the UK.

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One of my first jobs was working at the Wedgwood Visitor Centre in Barlaston.  I stood at the reception and welcomed guests, took their money, sometimes helped in the gift shop, conducted tours around the factory and the museum.  I’ve always felt an affinity with the Potteries.  It’s where my family is from and my Grandma was a lithographer when she worked there having had to leave school at 14 to help make money.  She stopped working when she married but always loved pottery and had a little kiln which she used to fire pottery which she painted as a hobby.   It’s partly one of the reasons I like Josiah as a name so much!  Josiah Wedgwood and Josiah Spode were both famous potters, and Wedgwood was instrumental in the Industrial Revolution, helping with the Trent and Mersey canal as a means of transporting the china safely.

One of my favourite memories of the Wedgwood Museum was the people who worked there.  My Grandma came along with my parents for a day visit and they were all so kind to her.  She was in a wheelchair at the time and we pushed her around the exhibitions and when we got to the stations with folk working to demonstrate the skills, when she got to the lithographer they insisted that she had a go!!  So she did, and made a bowl which they kilned and gave to her!  I have it now and it’s very special to me.

I also have various little jasper pots which I made myself and use them to put my make up brushes in!!

If you’re ever up in the midlands, I would really recommend a visit to the Potteries, especially the Wedgwood Museum and Visitor Centre.

Favourite Decade…#BEDM

Ooh, this is a hard one!

Favourite decade when there are so many to choose from!!

I like different aspects to so many this past century.

My wedding dress and my wedding day was inspired by the fifties and vintage stuff….

outside nibbles tables Me and Dad  31885_392480549130_151884259130_3889988_7829858_n

 

I don’t have a figure for modern dresses!  I’m short and curvy so a fifties style dress was the only way to go for me.  I ordered it online from America!!  It was a bit reckless maybe, but I think it certainly paid off for me.  If you like this sort of style too, I recommend that you check out Dolly Couture as they were wonderful helping me out four years ago.  I had a local dress maker lined up to make the nips and tucks required but I was so happy with my choice.

I love the 70’s for the cheesy music!  I love such a broad range of music and Steve despairs of my love for compilations!!  But the seventies were very catchy and I can sing a long to a lot the tunes I hear on the radio!!  Plus I was born in 1979, on this very day!  Happy Birthday to me!!

I also have to say I love the 90’s for the TV shows which began to emerge!  Friends, Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Frasier, Saved by the Bell, Dawson’s Creek!!  I went to University in 1997 and we had many happy evenings sitting and watching these tv shows.  Suddenly our four channel lives got more fun with the television shows from across the pond.  I still sit and enjoy a reminiscing watch of some of these programs although you can tell the difference now with HD and content!

Ha!  Fashion, music and tv!  Does that make me shallow when I think about decades?!  Should I be discussing momentous political decisions, or things that changed the world?!  Oops!