31 Jan 2011

My New Secret Ingredient

I've done a guest blog for http://www.lavenderworld.com/ and you can read it here. I've recently been learning about how lavender can help me so I hope you enjoy and find it a useful read xxx

27 Jan 2011

Adele = genius

I love Adele. I've just been listening to one of her Radio 1 Live Lounge tracks from earlier today and welled up just listening to the first 30 seconds. I've not heard much of her new album but what I have heard sounds as astoundingly beautiful as her first album, '19'. 19 has become one of my favourite albums from the very first listen and although every song is stunning, Hometown Glory was the standout track for me. You can buy it here.

I caught the back end of a live broadcast on http://www.adele.tv/ the other night and once again she's got me hooked. 'Someone like You' seems to be the 'Hometown Glory' of her new album '21' (and both are the finale tracks on their respective albums).

All Adele's songs are breathtakingly, heart-wrenchingly honest and tap right into situations you are currently going through or manages to stir up feelings you might have ever had. What an incredibly talented young woman. I wish I had her voice. I would just sing to myself all day long. You can find out more about the lovely Adele here. I think I'll head off to try and buy 21 right now. Toodles!

25 Jan 2011


I love Leeds and Manchester accents. I like to listen to them in any situation but I think it makes attractive blokes even more attractive. Yummy *sigh*

What's your favourite accent?

24 Jan 2011

The House Of Avalon - a Vintage Wonderland

Last May, 'The House Of Avalon' opened in York. It's an amazing little place just round from the York Minster. The whole place is decked out with beautiful vintage furniture, and the shop itself is split into two main bits. The front part is with all the clothing, handbags and other lovely little trinkets. In terms of clothing, although it only has a small stock holding, it is the best selection of vintage items I've ever seen. Sadly a lot of 'vintage' shops these days stock vintage inspired things that retailers pretend are vintage (read how it p***es me off here) but are actually Topshop in disguise whereas The House Of Avalon stocks the real McCoy. Beautiful ballgowns and stunning daywear all from between 1910 to the 1960's. There's also a backwash sink tucked away in the corner because they also offer hairdressing services. What a talented bunch of people!

Out the back of the shop there's a cute little tea room where you can have tea or coffee and cupcakes and lovely things off china cups and plates. Everything is just as though you are in a more quaint and lovely time. They even have a picture frame on the wall and project old-school Fred and Ginger and Audrey Hepburn movies into the centre! I was in heaven. He's a pic of me looking delighted to be there.

As you can see in the background, the staff really dress the part. This lady in particular looked so beautiful!
My mam got a stunning and very unusual evening bag that she couldn't take her eyes off whilst we were enjoying our tea. How civilised are we?

The other twist to all this is that it's part of a charity so the entire thing is non-profit. The Avalon charity helps to create employment for people with learning disabilities within a social enterprise. You can read more about their aims and background here.

A great vintage experience and a fantastic cause. You could feasibly come out of there with new hair, a new outfit, fed and watered AND having done a good turn for charity. Everyone's a winner! You should definitely visit. If you would like to do so the address is as follows:

5 High Petergate, York, YO1 7EN

Knock your vintage socks off!

21 Jan 2011

Frugal Friday Tip 2

Another Frugal Friday blog for you all.

This weeks tip is to join up to sites such as Momentum Screenings to be first in line to see all the latest blockbusters when they are doing the previews at your local cinema. I've just got two tickets for The Fighter for free :)

Ordinarily I'm too poor to go to the cinema since it has got so much more expensive recently, but this is a great little cheat for you to get to see films and still have a social life even if you don't have the readies. The only drawback is that they all start at 6:30pm so you would need to go straight from work if you work on that day. Otherwise, happy days!

Happy film watching guys x

18 Jan 2011

Bruno M-arsehole

I'm sure he's got tons of fans judging by the success of his records but OH MY GOD, I hate him! Well I hate his songs...I'm sure he's a very nice person.  I myself am in a relationship so it's not a bitter-and-alone scenario, his lyrics are just beyond sickly. I mean, if my fiance said he would throw himself in front of a train or catch a grenade to prove his love I'd probably check him into an asylum. It's just too much.

I wanted to know if I was the only one who was scratching their ears off whilst simultaneously trying to change the radio station so I asked people on facebook. The feedback was a resounding agreement from both males and females that he needs to shut up and never record another song. So, thankfully not just me then...what do you all think?

17 Jan 2011

Don't Let The B*****ds Get You Down!

When I think of Janet Street-Porter, I envisage a no-nonsense, straight speaking, ballsy, successful woman. I’ve never really known what to make of her, but I have always respected how strident and sure she is of her personal and professional achievements.

Due to these facts, I was eager to read “Don’t Let The B*****ds Get You Down” because I knew it would be a sensible and dry approach to self help culture. I was not disappointed. Elements of this book made me laugh out aloud as she has written the book, exactly how she would speak the information to you. Regarding political correctness gone mad, Janet Street-Porter says all the things I hear people say everyday and sets the record straight in a witty and sensible fashion. For the most part, I actually felt that she might have listened to my daily rants and plucked the thoughts staight from my mind.

The government has bred generations of people that cannot do anything without being instructed to do so by the authorites or the government themselves. This has signalled the end of common sense for the forseeable future and element by element, Janet busts myths and reassures the reader that they can in fact get through their lives without the ‘safety’ of guidance from those running the country.

My favourite part is the fabulous ‘useful addresses’ bit at the back. I love anything that helps me do something for myself or helps me to streamline my life for the better. I’ll be sure to make use of most of these links at a later date.

This book is the only self-help book you should ever read. It’s a brutually honest assessment and verbal shake-up/wake up; slapping down hysterical people and the hysteria caused by unfounded claims from the media.

14 Jan 2011

FRUGAL FRIDAY - Make internet offers work for you!

I recently received a mailshot from LizEarle.com which offers free P&P for the whole of January if your order was over £30. I need some Cleanse and Polish but I don't have enough money to top the order up with things I don't urgently need. But I do URGENTLY need some Cleanse and Polish. It got me thinking about how other skint people such as myself could get the things we wanted without getting sucked into the offers and spending more money than we have.

I decided to rope my mam and a colleague in (as they are both Liz Earle fans) so we could qualify for the offer without going against our budgets. I suggest you all do the same in the future with similar offers on and offline!

13 Jan 2011

Hair Do or Don't....

I'm desperate to have something different done to my hair. Sadly I've had these thoughts for almost my entire 27 years. Throughout that time I've mainly had long dark brown hair (it's never even been dyed). Only once did I actually get the bottle up to do anything and  had a jaw length bob cut in which I regretted after a fortnight.

Until now (when it is sooo desperate for even another boring trim) I have been trying to accessorise with hair things to try and make it all more exciting. My most recent and effective tactic is to use hair grips to pin brooches around a bun for a sophisticated style. PLEASE BE CAREFUL and make sure that the pin is fastened down to the brooch and won't come loose and stick in your head. However I feel that now is the time to hunt for and put into practice a proper style so if you profess to know anything about hair or know someone who does, I'd appreciate the guidance. It seems a good and trustworthy hairdresser is a rare commodity these days.

12 Jan 2011

January rocks

How's everybodys 2011 going? I was excited to find out I won a Kodak M590 from Marie Claire magazine today. I'm soooooo pleased because I was desperate for a new camera so I can take good pictures for the blog and for general life. I'll let you know what I think when I've recieved it and played about with it a bit.

Thank you Marie Claire, thank you Kodak x

9 Jan 2011

My perfect car

In my imaginary perfect life, I own one of these. Selfishly, Nissan only made a limited number of them and they hold their value so alas, I fear your friendly neighbourhood Tilly may never own one. Boo Hoo.

6 Jan 2011

I Love Curry!

Due to my recent cookery comp success, I've been interested in learning a lot more about food in general and trying to improve my cookery skills. So I'm going to start reviewing cookery books and when I get chance and get my act together I'll let you know my favourite creations from each one and which are easy and effective. Firstly though, here are my thoughts about I Love Curry by Anjum Anand.

I have followed Anand on her cookery shows on T.V. and so when I got the opportunity to review this book I was eager to give it a read. My family are all curry lovers and I've had a go at some slow cooked curry recipes in the past but never any other types and I wondered how these recipes would compare in complexity. I was pleasantly surprised by the straight-forwardness of the dishes! I don't claim to be any sort of expert, but the recipes in 'I Love Curry' are easy to follow and very well explained which will assist even the most inexperienced cook.

Aesthetically, the book is stunning and very well organised. It is split into Vegetable, Fish, Poultry and Meat curries and the accompaniments are also split into clear sections.

Reading the book in its entirety was really interesting and informative. The first few pages describe characteristics of currys from different regions and lots of important basics you should know and learn in order to fully understand the basis of Indian dishes. There's a 'Spices 101' section at the back detailing the appearance, the fragrance and the use of each spice. I was especially impressed by the fact that the book offered to teach you all the basics rather than purely offering recipes. Anand also offers up suggestions of where other alternative ingredients can be omitted or added in to create the flavour that is best for you.

I guess the only thing that is left to be said is that I was salivating whilst turning every page of this lovely book and I can't wait to get stuck in making and learning from such a great cook.

5 Jan 2011

Christmas and New Year

After all the usual Christmas stressy build up, I broke up from work and took a breath. Then I went out to my local for the annual Christmas meet up. Everyone from my college and school days come home to their parents houses and we all catch up on the years events and it sets me up just nicely for Christmas day with the family and my fiance. I'm actually hoping that next Christmas will be my first one in my own house if we can get enough money together. Watch this space.

Christmas Day was lovely. I got thoroughly spoilt and ate far too much. A food timeline reads:

Pastries (Breakfast) ------> Christmas Dinner (Turkey and Beef) ------> Sweets (Supper)

New Year was slow starting but very fun in the end. We went to a local pub which was full of NOBODY I knew. So after a few glasses of wine the night picked up, assisted by some golden songs which all had dance routines. 'Muscle Memory'? Understatement. I hadn't a clue what my arms and legs were doing to begin with but then I realised it was SATURDAY NIGHT by Whigfield. There was also The Boat Song (Oops Upside Your Head); Macarena; Agadoo; I Am The Music Man and The Time Warp. Musical, lyrical genius. Ok, I know it sounds hilariously bad but I do love whipping out all those old school time moves :) After seeing the new year in we all moved along to a house party (and mischeviously drew willies in the condensation on car windscreens the whole way) Mature huh?

What did you all get up to this Christmas and New Year? All the best for 2011.

4 Jan 2011

I'm struggling to find a reason to ever leave my bed ever again...

Hello everybody and Happy New Year. How was your Christmas? Mine was really great and I'm currently preparing a short but sweet post covering my Crimbo and New Year happenings. This post is about this marvellous invention...


My Grandma used to have one of these amazing things back in the day and had told me about it (since I love tea). I'm seemingly the only one amongst my friends to know what a Teasmade is but they're soon becoming appreciative worshippers at the Swan Teasmade altar....

...So I open all my presents on Christmas day and my wonderful, fantabulous treat from my wonderful fantabulous parents was this Teasmade. Thank you parents, thanks you Swan Teasmade.

P.S. If you want one you can get them from Marks and Spencer here