30 Nov 2010

Stepford Wife FAIL

Here's what happens when I'm trusted with domestic tasks. I had brought the Dyson upstairs to do some tidying but I also needed to straighten my fringe as without straightening it it resembles a letter 'S'.

Bit of a strange thing to do, but I tend to hang my straighteners over the heated bar above the radiator and let them hang down because they are cheap ones and will scorch any surface I lay them on. Unfortunately I'm a doyle. Whilst I was pottering, the straighteners had rested on the hose part of our little Dyson and melted straight through it. I know what you're thinking...how didn't she smell it? Well at the moment, I don't have a sense of smell! Unlucky huh.

So I thought I'd bust the vacuum. Fortunately my mother had a great idea, and proceeded to wrap the hose in duct tape, mending it with practically no effort. What a legend. I need to learn to be a lot more careful in future and perhaps stop trying to multi-task.

29 Nov 2010

Julie and Julia...whats my mission?

Last week I watched Julie and Julia. I didn't know anything about it but had Sky+'d because I loved the cast. The partnership between Meryl Streep and Stanley Tucci is pretty much unbeatable; Amy Adams is a brilliant and versatile actress (definitely plenty more to come from her!) and then there's Nora Ephron who in my opinion can do no wrong. She is responsible for such classics as You've Got Mail, Sleepless In Seattle, When Harry Met Sally and now she has Julie and Julia to add to the line up.

Here's a brief synopsis I took from IMDB:

Julia Child and Julie Powell - both of whom wrote memoirs - find their lives intertwined. Though separated by time and space, both women are at loose ends... until they discover that with the right combination of passion, fearlessness and butter, anything is possible.

I came away from this film feeling positive and very very inspired. It's hard not to actually as there's a bit of Julie in all of us. There are so many people feeling unsatisfied with their lives at the moment (esp with the economic situation) that it's nice to think that such a simple idea could be so recognised and rewarding. We're normal people and people care what we say (well only 11 people at the moment but I'm hoping to improve on that!) I would love to do something like Julie does in the film, where I set myself a deadline and a tricky task but I just don't know what to do. Any suggestions?

I got thinking about what inspired me to blog and I suppose it's the fact that I have a voice and I like to write in my own little way. It's written as I'd speak to a friend as you might have gathered, but it's still got that mask of privacy between us. I can be brutally honest if I like, and say things I probably couldn't say to my friends or family! I guess it's what you could call cathartic. Watch the film and you will see what I'm on about. Hopefully you'll be inspired too.

24 Nov 2010

Size four feet, size five legs.

It's official. I hate my legs. Well I've hated them for a very long time but I'm quite lazy and so I don't know how I expect to have toned legs without putting the effort in. That's why recently I've been thinking of investing in this thing called 'Leg Magic' where you slide about on some little tracks and hopefully, after a while, your thighs don't chafe anymore. So that's my plan....when I read some reviews, save some money that isn't intended for the house fund and decide on a place to purchase one from. To be honest, I'd really love someone to tell me if it works because it'll save me upwards of £40.

However, my real beef is with knee high boots. Since the dawn of time they have been a depressing purchasing experience. Now I have seen those Duo Boots but I'm skint and can't afford to spend that sort of money on what would be great fitting boots. One day eh? Anyway, I digress....I recently won a Clarks voucher and finally got round to spending it the other day. Actually I'm hoping these boots arrive tomorrow! I was 'Christmas Shopping' which basically amounted to window shopping for myself. I realised whilst pressing my face against every window on the retail park that I don't own any flat, black boots despite the zillions of pairs of shoes and boots I do own. So that's how I ended up in Clarks, voucher burning a hole in my purse, when I happened upon these beauties.

They're clumpy enough to make me feel bad ass in the right outfit, they're smart enough to go with a normal skirt or dress. They really are perfect. But...what if my calves were too big? I held my breath not daring to hope that they might fit, but for practically the first time in my life, the boots fit perfectly everywhere!!! Normally they only fit if I buy a shoe size bigger than what I am (hence the title of this blog). They are so so comfy and are just perfect. So now I have to wait for them to be delivered to my home into my welcoming open arms. Thanks Clarks -  for the voucher and for creating these fabulous boots. At last I can be warm and steady on my feet this winter without having to worry about my too-big-for-my-feet legs.

23 Nov 2010

When will I, will be faaamous? Today?

OK it's time to let the cat out of the bag. The reason I was in London recently was to participate in a cookery competition run by Richmond Sausages. It was a bit of a shock to the system to get a phone call on Monday to say I stood a chance of winning £10k and then getting sent down to London from 'Oop North' only a few days later. In hindsight it was probably the best way for me to cope - if I'd had more time I probably got a whole lot more nervous and stressed.

The truth is - I'm not a very experienced cook. I'm proficient at the things I like and at recipes that have been handed down but it's more the love of it and the love of learning new techniques that allows me to get by. However, this competition did not strike me as the type of situation to 'get by'. I mean, I know it's not Masterchef or anything, but it was enough to stop me being able to eat properly for a week with nerves and I'm telling you now, that's just not me. I love my food...perhaps a little too much sometimes!

So off I went that Thursday after work (god bless my boss for being understanding and letting me have Friday off) on the train to the Big Smoke. I felt as though I had a massive secret from the world as I was hurrying to the hotel where I settled in for the night and tried not to panic.

We were collected from the hotel the next morning and put through hair and make up before doing a few photos and making sure we had all our ingredients. Then it began. I won't lie, I was absolutely cacking myself. I was also worried that I wouldn't get Take That tickets which were released that morning! Stressful times indeed! The ladies judging were James Martin's mum and Lesley Waters' mum who were both lovely. James and Lesley even popped along which was a surprise as none of us were expecting them to be there!!! I cooked a 'Sausage and Herby Dumpling Pie' (read 'yummy stodge'); Pam cooked 'Bangers Bolognaise'; Paul cooked 'Mustard, Apple and Sausage Tart' and David cooked 'Sausage and Stilton Potato Cakes'.

After we had cooked our dishes and the food had been photographed we waited while the judgement was made. The other contestants were awesome people, all of us wanted to win but it was great that nobody felt aggressively competitive - the balance of people was lovely and I couldn't have wished to meet better people. So the moment was finally here. They lined us up and announced that I was the winner! I honestly couldn't believe it. Not least because it would be a brilliant boost for my fiance and I being able to afford our first home!

You can see the pictures for yourself in Reveal magazine right now!!! My recipe (which is my grandma's recipe) is officially the UK's favourite sausage recipe!!!

P.S. Excuse the quality of the picture. It was off my phone, straight from the mag!

19 Nov 2010

My new favourite past-time...

Today whilst at work, I gave my colleagues the gift of Urban Dictionary. Needless to say they loved it. I also shared with them a few of my favourites which range from the hilarious to the disturbing...

Don't believe me or just a little bit curious? Check out...
  • Pork Slap
  • Space Docking
  • Mung (Only for the seriously disturbed)
I told my colleagues that they now had one over on their kids as they could look up and dubious words that said children were using and understand the shocking nature of what they were probably saying. Secret weapon...yep...but also really good fun. If you're not looking for a specific word but you are looking for a hearty belly laugh then you could just press random until something appears that tickles your fancy!

I haven't had the time to have a really good look for ages so if you find some good ones, post the name underneath this post and I'll check it out. Enjoy!

16 Nov 2010

Nivea Visage Wipes

Last week I was sent a pack of these new wipes by Nivea.

They claim to:
  • Cleanse, tone and hydrate
  • Remove make-up and waterproof mascara
  • Be suitable for sensitive eyes
Plus - and I think this is quite unusual - its a one size fits all affair. One type of wipes is suitable for all skin types.

I must admit I was a bit sceptical about trying these wipes at first because they didn't seem as wet as the ones I normally use and didn't think there would be enough moisture to remove my make-up. I also have really sensitive skin and was concerned that they might be drying despite claims to be suitable for sensitive, delicate little flowers such as myself.

However, I needn't have worried about anything.... The wipes are some of the best I've used. I held them on my eyes for a but to loosen off the mascara and then gently buffed my skin with the wipe. These wipes have an uneven surface which I think its a great design. It seems to get right into your pores and get all the make up off without too much stress on your skin. Your skin has no oily residue like a lot of other moisturising wipes. Just a silky but matt feel!

My skin has been in really good condition since I started using them and they don't make my eyes feel watery afterwards like most make-up removing products I've ever used. I'll definitely get some more in the future and would highly recommend them to others!

10 Nov 2010

Protesting Palaver.

I am disgusted at what I just witnessed on the news. Hundreds of 'protesters' (read idiots) abusing and assaulting police; smashing windows; generally being mindless hooligans...

I myself have been a student and had the opportunity to go to university for which I am very thankful for. However, before I went, I also considered doing an Open University degree instead so I could work and get experience alongside. In the end I went to my local uni, University of Teesside so I didn't have to pay to go away and incur unnecessary accommodation costs. I do feel very sorry for people going to uni these days as it was expensive enough when I was there and the pain-in-the-arse bit is that most of the people deciding these things got grants and went for free.

On the other side of it. If people are genuinely wanting to go to uni they can...and this is where I think the Open University are going to cash in. They run great quality courses and it fits around your life so it is a feasible option.

So in conclusion, whilst I feel sorry for all the people genuinely seeking further education rather than just getting pissed for 3 years, I don't think this is the way to go about it! These imbeciles ruined it for all the genuine protesters...and lets face it...people like those morons smashing windows today, probably aren't clever enough to be at uni anyway.

8 Nov 2010

Was Cheryl framed?

I'm feeling a bit cross today. I think X Factor is a bit of a farce if I'm honest. If it was a serious singing competition, acts like Jedward and Wagner wouldn't be in it. But as always, the perverse British public keep acts like that in at the expense of more talented people's dreams.

Last night on X Factor, Cheryl had to pick between her two acts. Now I agree, that's her role as judge she SHOULD have to pick. However, the way the show normally goes is that the judge who has both acts in the bottom two normally picks last. She was put on the spot last night and point blank refused to choose, saying she'd rather take it to 'Deadlock' (where its decided by the viewers vote).

I feel sorry for her. The normal way that segment of the show is run was not like that last night and it's painted her in a bad light. People who believe everything they see on the TV/read in the media will now be crowing about how she should have chosen but she wasn't given the proper opportunity to perform her role as a judge in a fair and proper way. Anyone who knows the normal format will have recognised that.

Give her a break, the X Factor let her down last night.