Friday, 8 October 2010
Wednesday, 6 October 2010
Friday, 1 October 2010
Please head over there and sign the petition - and while you're at it, go and visit Claire's blog!
Today's pic - one of my favourites from a solo-travelling sesh through Spain, France and Italy back in 2005. Cinque Terre is a beautiful area on the south coast at the top bit of the boot that is Italy. It was full of the most beautiful multi-coloured houses on the hillside, and this is the first time I thought "ooh, wouldn't it be cool to be able to take photographs?"
Wednesday, 29 September 2010
Saturday, 11 September 2010
I've been doing a lot of thinking about the direction this blog is going to take. I don't have a niche, or a particularly strong idea. I do, however, know that I'm really not a naturally happy-clappy person. Any efforts I may have made to emulate the feeling some of my favourite lifestyle blogs just haven't felt like my real voice, and the best responses I've received have been when I've been, well, a little bit rant-y.
So, instead of lifestyle, I'm going to just do *my* life - what I'm thinking about; what's happening here; what really gets me enthused, good or bad. There will also be full wedding and honeymoon reports - I have to share my extensive photo collection with someone and my disastrously slow laptop just isn't up to the challenge right now!
Massive thanks to Fliss at AnyOtherWedding for giving me that kick... And watch this space!
The picture? I'm a bit of an Americana-geek. Having my first Twinkie from a convenience tour in a small California town excited me more than it would most people.
Monday, 2 August 2010
And just how cute are these? Random South American animals in the English countryside. Taken with Hipstamatic on the iPhone.
Tuesday, 27 July 2010
Friday, 23 July 2010
Tuesday, 20 July 2010
Friday, 16 July 2010
As I don't like the "related posts" blank pics, here's a little eye candy. These are some gorgeous pups, one of which we are considering. Seriously, don't you just want to pick them all up and cuddle them at once?
What personality type do you think you are, and does the test say differently? What do you think of these online quizzes - are they potentially harmful, or just silly fun?
Thursday, 15 July 2010
Wednesday, 14 July 2010
So, I started to write this in Melissa's comment box but rambled on for so long that I thought I'd just write a post of my very own! I was drawn over to her blog after a shockingly risqué comment she made over on Healthy Living With Kelly made me laugh out loud!
Melissa sees both sides of the coin, but is more inclined to believe that city living is easier to do more healthily.
Interesting! In the UK, I'd say that it's very different - it's much easier to stay healthy in the countryside.
Yeah, we don't have the supercool Wholefoods-type places, but that's because there's a farm shop just down the road that has always been organic, even before it was trendy. We don't have to inhale car exhaust fumes *or* jump in the hedge, because there are footpaths and bridlepaths that we may follow. I can go out running by myself, because there isn't a gang of hoody-wearing "yoofs" on every corner, making me feel unsafe.
Cycling becomes a pleasure rather than a chore, because the disused railway lines across the country are slowly being turned into scenic cyclepaths. Smaller communities mean that things like recreational sports teams are more common - nothing motivates my beloved quite like training with his rugby pals twice a week. In London, they didn't have that cameraderie, so if he just ditched to stay home and watch tv, or his fitness levels weren't as good as they should be, nobody really cared. Now, he runs of his own accord, because he doesn't want to let the team down.
In the city, the work ethic is much more "macho" - staying as late as possible and boasting about how many hours one works. In the countryside, people just get the job done and we're home by 6 - plenty of time to be active and cook meals from scratch. Stress levels are lower because of this improved work-life balance. You are more likely to keep a pet - proven to be a great stress-reliver.
The best thing for my health about living in the countryside? Domino's Pizza don't deliver; and it's more effort to have after-work beers. Honestly - such a blessing.
The enjoy work that makes them able to help other people in a concrete and visible way. They tend to avoid conflicts and rarely initiate confrontation - qualities that can make it hard for them in management positions."
Tuesday, 13 July 2010
Saturday, 10 July 2010
Toy Story struck a particular chord as I was an only child for seven years until my bright, shiny, space cadet sister came along. You'd have thought I need hospitalisation after watching Up and Marley & Me.
Unfortunately, it would appear that as the wedding gets closer, I'm getting worse.
Yesterday, I was listening to Belinda Carlisle's Summer Rain. It's one of a group of songs from that era about a girl and boy being separated by life, but pledging to love each other anyway. All very cute and possibly a bit samey for some people's tastes.
It only dawned on me a year or so ago that the word I wasn't hearing correctly was, in fact, "military". Now I'm a pacifist through and through, but something about the nature of the song changed for me when it became about a soldier going away to war and never coming back. I was a bawling mess and completely unable to sing along by the end.
A friend's Facebook status comparing the plane bringing "our boys" home to rest with the plane bringing our embarrassing, overpaid, underperforming, adulterous football team home really socked it to me - our ideas of who we hold up in reverence are really skewed.
So, while I've never been anything but quietly pro-peace, I'm acknowledging my need to be a bit more supportive of those who go away and might never come back. We all want the same thing, after all - a happy, safe world.
Friday, 9 July 2010
Wednesday, 7 July 2010
Tuesday, 6 July 2010
The niggle that I do have about wedding photography is why photographers aren't more straightforward with their charging methods. When someone quotes me £1500 for a fancy album that I don't want, or £3000 for the jpegs as they don't want the quality of their work to be compromised by cheap printing or online sharing, it's hard not to be really confused about what exactly the role of a wedding photographer is.
Our wedding is not a piece of art, it's a day from which we'd like visual mementoes, and we don't want to have to rely on friends/family members (like we would at a regular party) to give up their party time - so we hire a photographer. We want them to have photography skills, an inquisitive nature, and a keen eye for detail.
That's where the first issue arises - with the increased popularity of recreational photography, there are more and more alleged professionals popping up with no more skill than I have with a camera.
While the improved accessibility is wonderful, and competition is healthy, the fact that these lower-skilled photographers are charging as much as the good ones is just not on. We, the laymen, are not always equipt to make the best decision regarding photography - we may naively fall in love with the details of a wedding and confuse that with good photography; a good-looking couple can also sway us; and the number of photographers peddling tales of celebrity clients is amazing. I know it's all a case of caveat emptor, but the accountant in me is just crying out for industry regulation!
My dream photographer? Someone who says "I'm going to be with you for X hours; travelling for Y hours; processing for Z hours. My hourly rate for onsite work is £A; my hourly rate for travelling is £B and my hourly rate for processing work is £C." They then charge for products at cost plus mark-up, like a regular business does.
Whoop! The dotty line is what the scales say; the solid line is the TrueWeight smoothing out. And... The dress is fully zipping up!! Relief. Now I can just get back to slow and steady health-improvement.
As an aside - I apologise if anyone felt that my use of actual monetary figures was a little crass - I just felt that quantities were necessary to make the illustration. x
Friday, 2 July 2010
Wednesday, 30 June 2010
Friday, 18 June 2010
Monday, 14 June 2010
Yummy lentils, spring onions, red peppers and apple balsamic vinaigrette for supper last night!
Thursday, 10 June 2010
Well, no, you can't have any, but the thought was there, at least.
I'm afraid to say that I'm a bit of a lettuce dodger, so what I tend to do is buy packs of vegetables intended for stir fries - cabbage, carrot strips and bean sprouts - and make a salad out of them instead. They're combined with my absolute diet staple - king prawns. There's something about the Co-Op ones; they're just so flavoursome.
Next layer is my favourite recent discovery - leek and alfalfa sprouts. They have just the right level of oniony pungency, without being so overpowering that you can't eat them at work! Also, some people do theorise that sprouting grains are magically good for you... Not sure if I buy it, but why not if they're tasty and cheap? All topped off with a tub of basic salsa. I've been having the most insane tomato cravings lately - thankfully they're a Weight Watchers *free* food, so I can snack on them as much as I like!
Want to see supper as well? Oh go on then...
Aubergines and mushrooms - Patrick hates them, so I'm dosing up while he's away - with asparagus in a tomatoey curry sauce. My favourite curry paste is Patak's Madras: it's so delicious. I've been known to put it in cheese toasties!
I added a bit of frozen chopped spinach to thicken out the sauce, and some frozen chopped green beans, just because they were there.
Pud, you say? Here it is!
One of the things I love about Waitrose is that they just stock nice things - even their economy versions of foods are ethically sourced, free range, British where possible... I love these frozen raspberries because they are delicious, and I can eat a tonne of them with minimal calorific damage. Yes, I am a greedy guts, and yes, I eat them frozen. I blended them once, making the most amazing sorbet, but it's too much like hard work, and it seemed like *everything* was pink!
So, with a healthy dose of Maldon Salt (oh come on - I'm over 300 days smoke-free, I've got to be allowed a vice!) I'm very pleased with my meals for today!
What are your absolute go-to diet foods? The ones that help you to feel like you're not depriving yourself!
Wednesday, 9 June 2010
2. Rain in June is super-depressing.
3. Spilling Lucozade down yourself will make your clothes crispy.
So, this is my first remote post using the email function! I hope it
works ok... Off for my singing lesson with lovely Jules - I'm planning
to be American Idol Experience-ready by June!
Monday, 7 June 2010
I stumbled upon this inspiring and heart-warming post on one of my favourite wedding blogs, Love My Dress and thought I'd share some of the sites (and their posts!) that are helping us make our wedding everything we dreamt it would be!
Savvy Chic Weddings - Becca in Wonderland
My dear friend, Steph was kind enough to put together a mood board for me on her wedding blog, which features all the style and sophistication of New England, along with so many excellent tips and hints on how to plan your big day!
Rock My Wedding - Sponsor... Liberty in Love Accessory Boutique
I have been searching high and low for the perfect necklace to complement my gorgeous, low-backed dress, and everything I found was just too flimsy or - let's face it - a little too Ivanka Trump's wedding budget rather than mine! Rock My Wedding introduced me to the gorgeous Liberty in Love website, where I fell head-over-heels for the Hayworth Vintage Necklace *sigh*.
Style Me Pretty
The Big Daddy of all wedding blogs, this American blog has inspiration in buckets - fully searchable, and oh-so-stylish. I couldn't possibly isolate one article, so I've just linked to the lovely Abby's page.