Monday, 31 December 2012

2013 resolutions

I often make new years resolutions yet to date I have never actually kept any of them! This year I figured putting them out there on my blog would mean it was easier for me to come back and revisit them and to make sure that I actually stick to them - I have this year made more attainable resolutions rather than the random ones of the years before.

1 - Begin a new degree.
I have alluded to this aim for the last couple of weeks, and after much soul searching and many, many, discussions with my nearest and dearest I have decided that 2013 will be the year that I begin a law degree. For a long time it was always my intention to train to be a barrister and with the help of the Open University I will be able to do just that whist working around my current job. I know this is a massive side step from the dancing, but it's something that I really feel I should do and now is the time to do it.

2 - Explore new places.
I love to travel, from picking somewhere to go, planning all the fun things to do there, packing, travelling, arriving and leaving, there is not one part that I don't love. 2013 is going to be the year to explore lots of new places - from day trips to local attractions to weekends away exploring the nooks and crannies of the UK - I cannot wait!!

3 - Believe in myself.
Admittedly this is one that I don't think will be very easy to achieve but it is one I am going to work on. By the end of next year I would like to believe that I can really achieve all the things I set out for myself in life.

4 - Keep blogging.
I had toyed with the idea of starting a blog for a while, now that I have I absolutely love it and I have no intention of giving it up! When I first started I honestly didn't think anyone would be interested in what I had to say - but according to my page views someone is reading :)

5 - Watch more live sport.
I adore sport, any sport so long as there is a competitive aspect (I am a lifelong supporter of Coventry City FC so am generally used to sporting disappointment). This year however I have attended next to no live sport, except for the hockey world cup which my fairy godfather was competing in. I fully intend to remedy this in 2013, starting with a trip to the Ricoh Arena to see Coventry triumphant (hopefully) in the semi finals of the Johnson Paint Trophy.

6 - Watch more theatre.
Musical Theatre is my true love, I can quite happily sit and watch people sing and dance about their lives all day every day (although for some reason I really dislike Glee) this year I have only been to the theatre twice and this is something that weights pretty heavy in my heart. My mom and I have agreed that in 2013 we will make more of an effort to go to the theatre together.

Saturday, 22 December 2012

Mom and I

My mom is my best friend and Wednesday was just the tonic I needed. We spent the day enjoying the sights and sounds of Covent Garden, supplemented with a Pizza Express dinner, Browns Champagne cocktails and a trip to the theatre to see Shrek - a highly recommended show which had us both in hysterics from start to finish. It was exactly what the doctor ordered and I headed home to Canterbury feeling lighter and much more at ease than I have done for weeks. Below is a selection of photographs from our day.

Lunch - we have the same thing every time we go out!
Champagne Cocktails in Browns - the first my mom has ever had!
Random Covent Garden street performer
Rudolph by day
Christmas Tree
Mom and I
Rudolph by night

We both had an absolutely brilliant time and left to go home exhausted but happy.

Oh - FYI - Richard Blackwood was absolutely fantastic :)

Friday, 21 December 2012

Friday Letters #015

I love this series of posts, mainly because it gives me a chance every week to sit down and reflect on all the good things that have happened through the week and let go of the bad.

Dear Mom - Thank you so much for an amazing day in Covent Garden on Wednesday, who would've thought that a slow lunch, champagne cocktails, coffee and cake followed by Shrek would be so much fun. Was nice to just spend some time the 2 of us and I am looking forward to repeating it on Boxing Day xxx
Dear St Pancras Starbucks Staff - A huge thank you to these guys for sitting with me and calming me down during a panic attack, I can honestly say that I was overwhelmed by your kindness and concern x
Dear 2013 - I am so excited to welcome you in and an looking forward to all the fun things I have planned during your 12 months.
Dear Random Guys at St Pancras - Thank you for confronting the guy who purposely tripped me and for making sure I was ok and still had all my belongings with me.
Dear Self - You are stronger than you give yourself credit for, 2013 will be the year to build upon my self belief.
Dear Christmas - It really feels like you have snuck on me this year, I still have a ton of things to do before I am ready for you.
Dear Stuart - So we now have 3 whole weeks together before you disappear every Monday morning again. This is the longest we've had together since the end of August - Can't wait!! xxx


Enjoy your weekend guys and I hope you all have a great Christmas xxx

Thursday, 20 December 2012

Grilled Grapefruit

The other evening I was sitting around contemplating what to have for dessert, I wanted something fruity and warm and available pretty much instantly. With only grapefruit in I had to experiment and came up with quite possibly my most favourite grapefruit recipe ever, one which I  have already used 3 times since discovering it!

Grapefruit - cut in half
1/2 Teaspoon of Sugar
1/2 Teaspoon of Cinnamon

Take a sharp knife and take it around the edge of the grapefruit and the individual segments (this makes it easier to eat later)
Sprinkle the sugar and cinnamon over the grapefruit
Place under the grill for approximately 5 minutes, or until the sugar has started to crystallise


I love grapefruit served like this, and it has easily become on of my favourite desserts/breakfasts/random snack in the middle of the day! Plus eating grapefruit makes me feel healthy so I can pretend it compensates for all the chocolate and minced pies I'm eating - hey it is Christmas!!

Monday, 17 December 2012

It Couldn't Be Done

2013 will mark a whole new journey for me, one that has been on my mind for many years but recent events have seen me take a giant step forward and look into starting a new degree, one that will see me ultimately change careers. I know how much of a challenge I am setting myself, and I am sure that there will be times when the mountain seems far too high to climb, so this poem will be the reminder that I can do it, that the pain, the hard work, the anti-social hours I'll keep, the inevitable tears and sleepless nights will all be worth it.

It Couldn’t Be Done

Somebody said that it couldn’t be done
      But he with a chuckle replied
That “maybe it couldn’t,” but he would be one
      Who wouldn’t say so till he’d tried.
So he buckled right in with the trace of a grin
      On his face. If he worried he hid it.
He started to sing as he tackled the thing
      That couldn’t be done, and he did it!

Somebody scoffed: “Oh, you’ll never do that;
      At least no one ever has done it;”
But he took off his coat and he took off his hat
      And the first thing we knew he’d begun it.
With a lift of his chin and a bit of a grin,
      Without any doubting or quiddit,
He started to sing as he tackled the thing
      That couldn’t be done, and he did it.

There are thousands to tell you it cannot be done,
      There are thousands to prophesy failure,
There are thousands to point out to you one by one,
      The dangers that wait to assail you.
But just buckle in with a bit of a grin,
      Just take off your coat and go to it;
Just start in to sing as you tackle the thing
      That “cannot be done,” and you’ll do it.

Friday, 14 December 2012

Friday Letters #014

This has been a topsy turvy sort of week full of every emotion from being deliriously happy to bone crushingly sad and everything in between. It has been a week for remembering friends who have passed and celebrating Christmas with the children I teach. This weekend will see a Christmas party with my Saturday class and a long overdue cinema date with Stuart before spending Sunday relaxing and catching up on all the TV we have saved on our sky planner - cannot wait!

Dear Stuart - Thank you for being 100% behind my new crazy idea, I love that I can always rely on your support and encouragement and hopefully all this hard work will be worth it when I can the people who need it most xxx
Dear Glasses - You are me new best friend! No headaches now for over a week and that's all down to you :)
Dear J - I'm so proud of the way you handled yesterday, after everything you have been through yesterday you showed just how much you have matured and grown up. Love you xxx
Dear C - I love how our games of word are getting so competitive now even if you are having 'help' from someone else!! Love you xxx
Dear Christmas Spirit - WHERE ARE YOU?!! The house is decorated, I've enjoyed mulled wine and spent this last week playing Christmas songs, please turn up soon.
Dear Snow - Please come back again next Friday when I am free to enjoy you.
Dear Body - I promise to give you lots of rest over Christmas and fill you with yummy food, please don't give up on me now.


I hope you all enjoy your weekends :) xxx

Thursday, 13 December 2012


No post today although I spotted this slogan on pinterest which spoke to me so I thought I would put it up here as a constant reminder to myself to keep on forging forward after the last couple of months.

Wednesday, 12 December 2012


I don't really have a sweet tooth but Stuart definitely does - one of his weaknesses is fudge so I thought I would give making it a go. This recipe was ridiculously easy and tasted delicious - it's definitely one I intend to make again and would make a wonderful gift for someone.

400g Dark or Milk Chocolate
397g Condensed Milk
25g Butter
100g Icing Sugar

Break the chocolate into pieces and place in a non stick saucepan with the milk and butter.
Melt the ingredients together until they are smooth and silky, stirring occasionally.
Sieve in the Icing sugar and make sure that it is mixed together thoroughly .
Press the mixture into a lined tin, smoothing over the top with the back of a spoon.
Chill in the fridge for an hour until set.
Cut into squares.


I pressed some mini marshmallows into the fudge once it was smoothed over in the tin. I think you could also try dried fruit/nuts/silver balls - Anything that takes your fancy really!!

Tuesday, 11 December 2012

All that glitters

I have wanted a sequinned skirt for as long as I can remember, I have flirted with the idea of getting one, even getting so far as trying a couple on but I have always backed out of the purchase at the last minute, mostly for fear of looking like a fool! A couple of weeks ago I thought that maybe pairing a sequinned skirt with a plain black jumper would make the skirt more wearable during my everyday life, so again I went out on the search for the perfect skirt - this time I found it and quickly purchased it before I could change my mind! Let me know what you think of it :)

Skirt: Republic £25, Jumper: H&M £17

The pictures were taken on a ridiculously cold day so please excuse the very forced smile you can see!

Monday, 10 December 2012

Its beginning to look a lot like Christmas....

This year the Christmas spirit seems to have by passed me, I just don't seem to be able to get into the Christmassy mood at all. I have walked around the Christmas market, listened to Christmas songs,  thought about what presents I want to buy people, even woken up to a snowy winters wonderland but I still don't feel very excited. I think part of my problem is that Stuart and I decided not to have a real tree this year - this is the first time in my whole life that I've not had a Christmas tree - we just don't have the room in our house for a Christmas tree without some major rearranging of our lounge. I have spent many weeks thinking about an alternative idea and had been yet to find something I loved, until this weekend. Some of the girls I teach were dancing at a lights switch on and right next to the area they were performing was a florist with some amazing branches outside, with the briefest of glances at each other Stuart and I were in agreement and they were very quickly purchased :) Saturday evening saw us arrange them in a vase with some twinkling lights at the bottom and we decorated them with a couple of purple baubles (so as to match the lounge) and finally my Christmas spirt woke up!! There is just something about sitting in a lounge lit only by twinkling lights and candles which makes me so ridiculously happy, this week will see me purchase and write our Christmas cards ready to be posted or hand delivered the week after. 

An assortment of decorations around our lounge at the minute.

Alternative tree. Although the branches aren't as white as they seem in this picture, they are more subtle with a hint of glitter!

Friday, 7 December 2012

Friday Letters #013

It's the end of a fairly mixed week for me, one which has seen me not write a single blog post until today. I'm not entirely sure why, I know what I want to blog about but I have no motivation to actually sit and type anything, I'm really hoping that by Sunday night I'll be ready to sit down and do a weeks worth of blogging :)

Dear Glasses - Well so far you seem to be working, yesterday was the first headache free day since September. Remembering to wear you will be difficult but I'm going to do my best to remember.
Dear Mom - Thank you for the chat last night, you had me in hysterics! xxx
Dear Snow - I love you and you make me feel so happy and Christmassy, but could you possibly not come back until I've finished work?
Dear Transport - WHY is it that one tiny bit of snow and the whole train system shuts down?
Dear Stuart - Hopefully you'll get snow soon and not boring old sleet! xxx
Dear Body - You only have next week left and then I promise to let you relax, sleep in and not keep making you do Grade 6 ballet every day!!
Dear Christmas - Why do I feel no Christmas spirit yet?! Very excited to spend some time with my family but as yet I'm not looking forward to Christmas at all.

This weekend is a busy one for me - I have a Glee club tomorrow morning and then some of the girls I teach Jazz to are dancing at the switching on of the lights in the local area. 


Friday, 30 November 2012

Friday Letters #012

Happy Friday everyone, this has been a really hectic week but I'm hopeful that this is the last week where I will be suffering from the daily headaches - fingers crossed!

Dear F - Thank you for everything - for listening, for offering advice and for supporting and encouraging! xxx
Dear Optician - Thank you for getting to the bottom of the headaches, 2 hours in a dark room discovering that my eyesight is bad will be worth it next week when the headaches disappear :)
Dear Alarm - I really am starting to not like you very much, maybe we could come to some sort of deal where you only wake me up when its warm?
Dear D - Thank you for the message of support this week xx
Dear Stuart - After a hectic start to your week I'm glad that it got itself sorted out quickly xxx
Dear Facebook - I'm debating get rid of you for a little bit, you are just to much of a distraction!
Dear Application - Please do well.
Dear Dad - I loved our impromptu chat earlier this week :) xxx
Dear Mom - So looking forward to our theatre trip in a couple of weeks, I feel like we both really deserve it! xxx

Enjoy your weekend guys. RAWR!


Wednesday, 28 November 2012

I can see clearly now...

Yesterday marked a new phrase in my life - after a lengthy doctors appointment and an even longer opticians appointment I may finally have the answer to all the headaches I have been having recently - after discovering just how blurred my one good eye is (I have a congenital cataract in my right eye) I am now a glasses wearer (well I be next Thursday when they arrive in Boots). To start with I only have to wear them for reading, blogging and using my phone. I have to admit that although I'm excited about wearing glasses - i've wanted them since I was about 5 years ago - I 'm also a little nervous. I don't know how I will feel wearing them, how long it will take for me to get used to them being on my face and (vainly) how I'm going to look wearing them.  

Does anyone have any tips for a newbie glasses wearer?

Fingers crossed next Thursday marks the end of these nasty headaches and the start of a clearer future.

Monday, 26 November 2012

Time to be Thankful

I spent yesterday in bed with yet another headache and a body that ached like I was coming down with the flu, today the aches have gone but the headache remains - shock (I'll be phoning the doctor later so hopefully we'll get to the bottom of it ASAP). With all of this I have been feeling a little overwhelmed so I thought it was about time I listed the things I was currently grateful for.
  • A husband who makes dinner, hoovers and brings me flowers when I am stuck in bed feeling sorry for myself.
  • Friends like F who are always at the end of the phone no matter what the problem.
  • Family who send me fun links to pictures to make me smile and who cut me no slack during words with friends games.
  • A cat who loves to cuddle up with me when I'm feeling sorry for myself.
  • That no matter how bad I think things are, I am surrounded by love, friends and family.
  • New friends on twitter and other bloggers who have provide me with a whole new support network.
  • That Christmas is just around the corner which means a week of food, drink, laughter and lots of time spent with my amazing family.
There is probably lots more to add so expect lots of editing to this post but for now I'm off to do some research into keeping these headaches at bay until I can get into the doctors.

Friday, 23 November 2012

Friday Letters #011

Wow it feels like only yesterday that I was typing last weeks Friday Letters up. This week has gone by in the blink of an eye, I am looking forward to Sunday which will be my first real day off in 2 weeks and I fully intend to relax and do absolutely nothing!

Dear Back - I think maybe you've been feeling a bit neglected recently - what with all the attention my head has been getting. If you could stop hurting as soon as possible I'd really appreciate it and I promise to treat you with lots of nice warming, relaxing baths.
Dear Endo - It's like you know when I'm feeling down, you pick the worst moments to come back into my life. Hoping the doctor can recommend something to make you leave me alone for a little while longer.
Dear F - You are an amazing friend, one that I feel lucky to have, just a big thank you for being you! xxx
Dear A - Thank you for always being there to listen and for offering your own, unique advice. xx
Dear Head - It would be nice to just have 1 minute without you either hurting me or whirling through life at 100 mph.
Dear Self - Don't give up, things may feel hard at the minute but they will improve.
Dear Twitter - You make me laugh, you make me smile and you offer advice and information on the craziest of subjects! 

A mixed bag of a week full of as many highs as there have been lows.


Enjoy your weekend guys :)

Wednesday, 21 November 2012

5 Minute Dessert

No your eyes do not deceive you, last night I really did make a dessert which took 5 minutes to prepare, bake and pretty much eat! I found this recipe months ago on Pinterest and whilst I pinned it I didn't really have much intention of ever baking it, you see I have a fear of the microwave, yes the small rectangular object in many a kitchen scares me! I think it comes from being a child, my parents very rarely used a microwave, actually I can't remember them EVER using one. When I left home for University my wariness of the microwave stuck, it was great for heating up a heat bag and the occasional bag of rice but that was it. It wasn't until recently that I discovered that people used the microwave for actual cooking. This recipe for me was my introduction to cooking with the microwave and I can honestly say I'm hooked - this dessert was amazing! I told Stuart what I was doing and he was pretty jealous so I think this dessert is pretty much going to become a regular in our house.

Chocolate Nutella Cakes (makes 4):


(now I have to admit I wasn't too precise with these measurements, but it worked!)
1/2 cup Plain Flour
8tbsp Caster Sugar
4tbsp Cocoa Powder
2 Eggs
80g Butter (melted)
2tbsp Nutella
1tsp Vanilla Extract

Place all the ingredients in a large bowl and whisk until they are thoroughly mixed
Fill 4 ramekins/mugs/bowls with the mixture (just under half full)
Microwave on high for 2 minutes, until they have risen and are puffy.


That's it - super easy, let me know if you give it a go.

Tuesday, 20 November 2012

Introducing Tetley....

Tetley gets a lot of mentions here on the blog, especially during Friday Letters so I thought it was about time you guys got to know a little bit more about the cat love of my life!

Tetley is a rescue, he came from Battersea after being discovered outside a Police station in a cardboard box. We actually didn't meet Tetley (formally named Kenzo (!!!)) until the day we collected him, we had visited Battersea a couple of times although we had been unable to put our names forward as we were still living in our old flat and having a kitten just wouldn't have been practical. A few short weeks after making the move to Canterbury Stuart received an email from Battersea asking if we were still interested in adopting a kitten as they had a kitten who was desperate for a new home, they sent us a picture and it was pretty much love at first sight.

Tetley arrived in our home on a Friday and spent the weekend exploring and making the house his own. He is a tenacious cat, once he sets his mind to something he is going to do it, whether that be chewing through cables, climbing the Christmas tree or terrorising the (much bigger) cat that used to visit our garden. Whilst he drives me crazy at times I absolutely wouldn't be without him.

Tetley and I

Just woken up

Sleeping with his tongue out

Yes I'm in the sink, and what?!

Just before he tried a Cosmopolitan 

Chilling on the sofa

For more information on Battersea please visit the website -

Monday, 19 November 2012


I cannot believe that it is Monday already, the weekend flew by, probably because I spent it working so today is my Friday and tomorrow is my day off, yay!! It's always a bit strange to wake up on a Monday morning and discover that Stuart is gone (back to Norfolk for the week) but the good news is that hopefully come January he will be based in Maidstone which is much closer to home. Even though the time apart has been tough I really feel like it has helped us grow as a couple and we now appreciate our time together even more.

Enjoy your week guys.

Friday, 16 November 2012

Friday Letters #010

So glad this week is over, unfortunately for me I don't get a day off until Tuesday so i'll be making the most of that with a day of relaxing before heading to the opticians and doctors to try and get to the bottom of all these headaches.

Dear Headaches - You have become a part of my life now, I don't like you though and I cannot wait for you to be gone.
Dear Sniffers - I know having a blocked nose is horrible, but please please just bow it rather than sitting behind me for an hour sniffing.
Dear Stuart - I'm really proud of the way you have carried on this week, you are great at your job, keep going xxx
Dear Lilies - I love you and the way you have made my house smell beautiful, i just wish you could last forever.
Dear Self - It's probably about time I started looking after you better, more sleep and less worrying.
Dear Brain - I'd love it if you could just switch off when I got into bed, that'd make me feel much better.
Dear Stuart - Thank you for just being there for me xxx
Dear F - You are an amazing friend and for that I thank you - you always know what to say and when to say it. xx

Happy weekend guys Don't forget to support the Give and Makeup shoebox campaign.


Thursday, 15 November 2012

Give and Make Up

Just read this shocking statistic on the Give and Makeup website and wanted to share it and then urge you all to go and look and join in the latest campaign - I know I will be:

For women aged 19-44, domestic violence is the leading cause of illness, injury and death: greater than war, cancer and motor vehicle accidents. 

They are currently running a shoe box campaign for children who are in shelters this Christmas, there is much more information over on the website and I urge you all to go and look and join in.

Thank you xx

Wednesday, 14 November 2012

Monkey Forest

I have been fascinated by monkeys for as long as I can remember, my dream is to one day be able to go and see them in the wild as I hate visiting zoos where animals are caged, for some reason it makes me feel really uncomfortable and I end up not having a good time. Stuart has known about my monkey love for a long time and surprised me last year with a trip to the Trentham Monkey Forest in Stafford. Here, in 60 acres of woodland 140 Barbary Macaques live in total freedom. The monkeys are able to explore the surroundings with almost complete freedom. We paid, went into the forest and straight away I felt an overwhelming sense of disappointment - where were the monkeys?!! Well it turned out that my crushing disappointment was wrong, we turned a corner and WOW monkeys galore! Everywhere you looked there were monkeys - old monkeys, young monkeys, baby monkeys being carried around, it was incredible! At Trentham there is 3/4 mile winding path which you follow around the forest, as we were walking around monkeys would just appear in front of you going about their lives.
The photos below are just a small selection of the photos that we took during the couple of hours we were there - I would recommend a trip here to anyone!!