Saturday, 7 December 2013

The 2014 Blogger Challenge

I saw on someone's blog (I'm ever so sorry, I have no memory of who's post it was, I must have been very sleepy when I read it!) that they were doing the 2014 blogger challenge, as hosted by Gaby of Another Girly Blog. Basically, Gaby will email us twice a month with a topic idea for us to write about, with the aim of getting us to write about things which may be out of our comfort zones.

As someone who struggles for ideas of blog posts that aren't just life posts, I think this will be really good, and I'm very excited to be involved! If anyone else wants to get in on the action (there are over 360 of us now!) then you just have to leave a comment on this post of hers or email with your name, blog URL and email address before December 9th so be quick!

In other life news, I have a few draft posts nearly ready to go, and were supposed to be posted this week, however I have had the week from Hell, with two accidents on the motorway causing me to be delayed for 4 and a half hours on Tuesday morning and 5 and a half hours on Thursday night. Luckily work were very understanding about Tuesday, but on Thursday it was 10:30pm before I got home, and I was so desperate for a wee! I'm having our en suite bathroom redone at the moment as well and lots of that has gone wrong as well, so what with all of that and this being the first week without Rich, blogging kind of got put by the wayside. I promise I will return properly this week though, with my very delayed holiday posts!

Rachel xx

Tuesday, 3 December 2013

Deployment Bucket List

Now Rich has gone I want to fill my time to the brim so that I'm so busy I crave days of doing nothing, and so that the time flies by and before I know it he'll be home. One way to do this is to employ a state of mind I have used in the past when I found myself newly single, or in a new place: Say Yes To Everything. Sometimes when someone asks you to do something, you really don't fancy it, or you won't know anybody and you're scared it'll be awkward. I try and say yes to all of those things. I already have my first Yes event planned, I'm going to a friends birthday party next weekend, even though I won't know anybody else there. Let's hope it's fun!

The other way is to make a deployment bucket list, as I saw on Katie's blog back in May when her husband deployed.

Deployment Bucket List

  • Lose a stone: I lost a lot of weight nearly a year ago, and got down to my lowest weight I'd been since I was 13! It's slowly crept back on over the last few months, especially in the last month when Rich and I have been cramming lots of eating out and fun times in before he left. So I'm going to start calorie counting again using My Fitness Pal as that's worked for me in the past.
  • Complete a park runParkRun is a 5k free event that goes on in parks all over the country on Saturday mornings. I was doing the NHS couch to 5k scheme last summer and began to really enjoy it, but since moving I haven't kept it up, so once the weather perks up a bit next spring I will learn to run again, and I will complete a 5k!
  • Watch 10 new movies: I am ridiculously bad at having seen movies that everyone else has seen, especially as I often prefer watching a movie I've seen before rather than something new. So watching 10 new movies will help to get me out of a rut I think.
  • Give blood: This is something I've always meant to do but have never got round to doing. So I will do it in the next 6 months. I will.
  • Start a YouTube channel: I promised myself that I'd make some videos so Rich can watch them while he's out in Afghanistan, so even though I'm not sure what they'll be about yet, I'll aim to make some for him to watch.
  • Reach 50 blog followers: 50 is an awful lot of people, and I can't imagine that there are that many people out there that want to read my ramblings, but a girl can live in hope! I'm on 15 currently, so 50 isn't that far away.
  • Bake for the people at work: I love baking, so will aim to bake at least twice for the people at work. Mainly so I don't eat all of the produce myself!
  • Go to a blogger meet up: This is something that scares me, but it fits in well with the saying yes to everything mentality I mentioned earlier. Hopefully there will be one in the Yorkshire area soon for me to go to. If anyone hears of one, please let me know.
  • Develop my photography skills: Rich bought me a lovely beasty camera for Christmas this year, which I'm loving using, but I would really like to develop my skills further to make me a more confident photographer.
  • Work on the Food For One blog series: Cooking for one is a right pain, and many people when they have to cook for themselves wind up having something unhealthy, such as a takeaway, to make things easier. I got used to it when I lived on my own for a couple of years, so thought I'd share the knowledge via a blog series. 
  • Begin wedding planning and saving: Now Rich has gone away I'm officially allowed to start wedding planning! However the saving up also has to begin. I'm imagining this is going to take up a lot of my time out in the next 6 months, and this excites me a lot!

Phew! That's a long list, I think I'll be very busy completing this list and blogging about it all for the next 6 months. Rich will be back before I know it!

Sunday, 1 December 2013

Deployment: Saying Goodbye

I'm back! Sorry for going so quiet over the last few weeks, life went a bit mental with arranging everything for Rich going, heading all over the country to say bye to people and spending as much quality time together as physically possible.

He left on Friday, and I've heard from him this morning that he arrived safe and sound, and had eaten coco pops for breakfast. The last couple of weeks before he left were quite hard really, the anticipation and the waiting were the worst part of it all. He wanted to get out there and get stuck in, and I was hating the counting down feeling, and the mounting dread. The ability to have a very naughty last week of meals was good though, and included a massive KFC, a Dominos and some huge burgers.

We went down to his parents to have a (very) early Christmas at the beginning of November, including the Christmas tree being up and Christmas jumpers! Afterwards we went on holiday for a week to a lovely lodge on the edge of the Yorkshire Moors, and I'll be doing a blog post or two on that in the coming days. It was great to spend that time together away from the stresses of work and packing etc. It also gave us some good memories and was actually the first time we'd been on holiday for longer than a weekend together.

I did well on the crying front, only having one big cry the weekend before he went, totally unexpectedly, and then only after I'd said goodbye. Rich appreciated the lack of tears I think, as it didn't make him feel quite as bad for leaving me, as it isn't his fault, it's the jobs fault!

Work have been so supportive, as have everyone I know, and I headed straight to my parents after saying goodbye on Friday, to give me company and help to keep me distracted. I've spent the weekend shopping, seeing friends and sleeping a lot! 

I have a huge bucket list to do before he gets back, and lots of things to keep me occupied, including this blog, so expect to see a lot more of me around for a change! I'll do posts about the care packages I send out to him as well, if anyone's interested, and regular updates on how it's going being very long distance for a while.

Rachel xx


Friday, 1 November 2013

2 Ingredient Pizza Dough

Yes, you read that correctly. 2 ingredients can give you fantastic pizza dough, with no proving, or even that much waiting around. It's quick, it's easy, it's (relatively) un-messy and cheap to make!

This is all you need Self Raising Flour, and Greek Yoghurt. We went for the 0% fat variety. Think it's because it came in smaller tubs.

Measure out a cup of flour, and stick that in a big bowl.

For once it doesn't matter if you get flour everywhere on the worktop as you measure it, as you'll be kneading on there later.

Stick the entire pot of yoghurt in there. Use your fingers to scrape it out, because you're about to get messy anyway.

Give it a good mix together until it forms a big sticky ball. If it isn't quite binding together, add a bit more yoghurt. If you're like us and didn't buy extra Greek yoghurt, we just stuck in a spoonful of natural yoghurt. Don't worry too much if it's pretty sticky, as you'll be adding extra flour when you knead it. 

Sprinkle your work surface liberally with more self raising flour and dollop your dough on there.

Give it a good knead, and when it gets to the right consistency (you'll just know when it's at that point) stretch it into a rough pizza shape. I'm sure most people would be able to get it into a perfect round, but, to be frank, I couldn't be bothered. Try to make it pretty thin, as it puffs up as it cooks.

Plonk it straight onto a good non-stick baking tray. No need to oil it or pre-heat it or anything first.

Add tomato puree and mixed herbs.

Top with whatever you want. I went for mushrooms, ham, pepperoni, salami, a bit of red onion and a couple of tiny bits of jalapeno. I put some cheese on underneath my toppings first, to give it a good base. Cheese-wise I used Sainsburys basics grated mozzarella, as it's much more easy to sprinkle and melt. And it's cheap.

Rich went for salami, pepperoni, red onion and jalapeno. He likes the spice.

Top liberally with more grated mozzarella. Or cheddar or whatever other cheese you fancy. We also cracked some black pepper on there, and added chilli flakes, for an extra kick.

Bake in a pre-heated oven at 200 degrees for 15 to 20 minutes, or until it looks and smells gorgeous.

They were stunning. Next time we may bake the raw bases in the oven for 5 minutes before we top them, just to see if we can make it any crispier, but the texture is just like a regular pizza, but much better as you know you've made it, and it's topped with whatever you love.

Let me know if you try this recipe, and if you have any other variations on it. It's a bit scary to know I'm only some Greek yoghurt away from pizza now...


Tuesday, 29 October 2013

Anticipating Deployment

As you may or may not know, Rich, my other half, is in the RAF. When I met him (a story for another blog post) he was, so I've never known any different in our relationship. We did long distance for a year as he got a new posting after we'd only been together for a month and a bit, so it would have been a bit soon for me to follow him, and I had to finish my training first. However we are now living together as I managed to get a job up north, near(ish) to where his base is and everything is going brilliantly.

But (there is always a but...) he is getting deployed before Christmas, for 6 months. This is the first time I will have ever experienced a deployment, as no member of my family or friends are in the armed forces, and this is also Rich's first deployment. I did debate whether or not to write about this on my blog, as it's a very public domain, and I will have to be careful about what I do and don't say, but I thought it was important for me to talk about, so any other girls who find themselves in my position can read about how it is for someone else. When I spent a lot of time trawling the internet when I was first getting together with Rich about deployments and being a military wife, I massively struggled to find anything about UK military wives, it was mostly US ones, which although useful, wasn't always relevant. So this is my two penneth about it all.

I've known since ages ago that he'd be getting deployed so it has been anticipated, however now that it's getting closer it's beginning to hit home that for 6 months - half a year - I won't be seeing Rich. He does come home at some point in the middle for a break, but it's only for a few days, so it's still a very long time without seeing him. We're both trying to be very positive about it, and I'm busy making my bucket list for while he's away, which also includes a lot of wedding planning, to keep me busy, and to try and make it so that I have things to look forward to whilst he's gone. I'm a very independent woman (resisting urge to sing Destiny's Child here) and I lived on my own for 2 years before I moved in with Rich, so I know I'll cope practically, it's more the emotional side I'm worried about. We are very much in love and are incredibly close, so it is going to be like missing half of my body for 6 months.

I'm going to keep this blog updated with what's happening and how it's going, and my deployment bucket list is going to be featuring on here quite a lot, so I'll keep you all posted. I promise to be completely honest, and show you the good, the bad and the ugly!

Rachel xx

Sunday, 27 October 2013

Tropical World Day Out

This weekend myself and Rich found ourselves with a weekend of no visitors and no plans, which hasn't happened in a really really long time for us!

We recently bought a new DSLR as a present to us both for Christmas, and to help me take better photos for this little blog. So we thought we'd take it out for a play to Tropical World in Leeds, as I'd heard it was really good.

It's admission price is really cheap to get in at £3.40 for an adult, so we weren't expecting much, but it surpassed my expectations by far! If you've ever been to the Eden Project in Cornwall, it follows a similar theme to that, except it has animals in it as well as plants.

After walking past the first exhibits - which had massive tarantulas in it - very very quickly (Rich is terrified of spiders, so tarantulas as big as his face aren't something he wants to pay to see, unsurprisingly), we headed into the first area, which was tropical, and full of butterflies. As I was wearing a bright top they seemed to absolutely love me and kept flying in my direction and landing on me, which was an amazing experience. These aren't just your standard butterflies, they are huge and such pretty colours.

They're some of my favourite pictures I took of the butterflies, and I was gobsmacked at how well they came out. I think I've found my new hobby! There were also water features and other animals in there, even a crocodile/alligator (what's the difference? And which is the one I saw?)

After this area we headed into the next zone which was the desert area and had Meercats in it! Unfortunately they weren't speaking in Russian accents, but they were being very cute, and as Rich was taller than the glass around the enclosure, he got some amazing pictures.

There were birds flying around as well, and having a munch on the food that was out for them, and there were some really unusual ones and cute ones.

If anyone can identify the pinky orange bird please let me know in the comments. There were info boards by the exhibits, but as the birds and butterflies were free to roam throughout the exhibits it was hard to remember all their names and information!

After we had melted ever so slightly walking around Tropical World (if you ever go in winter, wear layers, as it's about 28 degrees in the zones) we headed for a walk around the gardens which surround it. They were free to walk around, and really picturesque, even in autumn.

Jumper - £22, Similar jeggings - £20, Dr Martens - £110
I love my new jumper from Dorothy Perkins, it fits really snugly, and looks smart, but is really comfy. It's also easy to dress up for work, and down for a rock chick weekend look. It's also long enough in the sleeve and the length for me, which is rare for standard range clothes.

What have you been up to this weekend? Have you ever been to Tropical World? Let me know below!


Sunday, 20 October 2013

What I've Loved This Week...

This is (hopefully) going to be a new series where on a Sunday I list the things I've loved in the week. This can be anything or everything, and just shows you what is going on in my world. And it gives me a chance to wax lyrical about things when I'm sure Rich is totally fed up with me going on about them.

Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn

I'd seen a lot of other bloggers on instagram going on about this book, and when I found myself in the position of having nothing in my to read pile - a rarity - I thought i'd get this. And for 99p on the Kindle Store, who could say no.
I found this book really fascinating and gripping, straight from the start. I love the style of seeing the same event from two people's views, and the characters made you care about them. I liked how intelligent they seemed as well, as it was a book that kept me thinking about it even when I wasn't reading it (not often, as I was reading it every spare second of the day, Kindle app, thank-you). The ending was really good, very fitting to the characters and I wasn't expecting it, which always makes me happy.
I think i'll be reading the author's other books soon, which is a mark of a good novel. They're also making this into a movie at some point, which has the potential to be fantastic, as it read like a movie in my head.

Crazy Stupid Love

After a conversation at work about Ryan Gosling where I confessed that I really didn't get the Ryan Gosling Thing and didn't find him attractive at all, Clair offered to lend me this DVD as this is where she discovered the Ryan Gosling Thing.
This is a brilliant film, so much so that i'm going to have to buy it on DVD. It's funny, has a star studded cast including Emma Stone, who I have a total girl crush on, and has definitely converted me to the Ryan Gosling Thing. The moment where he takes his shirt off. YUM. I think I swooned more than a bit, and I now need to see everything else he's ever been in. Please. 
Now lets all take a moment to think about Ryan Gosling one more time...


Marks and Spencers Bodysensor 100 denier tights

Now that it's getting a bit colder i'm wearing thick black tights more and more often, and lots of mine are very old now and getting a bit bobbly, so I thought it was high time I bought some more for this winter. After reading this Thrifty Mrs blog post, and this post about where to find good tights for tall girls, I hot-footed it over to M&S and chose these bad boys.
I'm 5'11 and a half, so i'm pretty tall for a girl, and I often have the issue of buying tights in the biggest size possible, only to have the crotch stop mid thigh, and refuse to go any higher without putting a hole in them. This has resulted in a lifelong quest for decent tights. New Look did tall tights a couple of years ago which were amazing, but after a month or so changed, and started being nowhere near tall, as they started to refuse to get anywhere near my crotch. 
These M&S tights are perfect. I even risked buying the large, as according to the chart on the back that's the size for taller ladies, and they fit like a dream. They're brilliant quality too, wash lovely (I just bung them in with my usual load, I really can't be bothered with hand washing), and this may sound a bit sad, but I love that they have a label in them so you always know which way is the back, as I like to stick to which way round I wear the tights as the bobbles always begin on the bottom of the feet and the heels. All this tight goodness for £9.50 for 2 pairs has me completely sold. These are what are going to be on my legs between now and summer!

Hope you've enjoyed this post, and won't mind more of these coming your way!

Rachel xx

PS- Top tip for tall girls who wear tights, wear a pair of black boxers over the top of them, it holds them up, and means if you have a Marilyn Monroe moment you won't be flashing anything more than a load of black material. It's come in very useful for me on more than one occasion *blush*


Saturday, 12 October 2013

A Catch Up!

Yet again it's been an age since I last blogged. I'm in my new house now, and started my new job and life is looking really good!

We didn't have the internet for a while, and it's taken me this long to actually begin to be able to chill out without life being crazy! I had a guy knock my car wing mirror off last week, and the amount of time it has taken to actually sort everything out and get my car repaired has been insane. Like hours and hours on the phone insane. I have my wonderful Brenda back with me now though thank goodness, with a shiny new mirror attached to her. I can't believe how much I missed my car considering I had a brand new (only 33 miles on it) Ford Focus to drive whilst Brenda was in the garage (Brenda is a Hyundai i30 in case you were wondering).

Last weekend Rich's parents came up from down south to see where we are living, and they met my parents for the first time. We all went out for Sunday lunch to a lovely pub nearby and thankfully the parents all got on well. I also went to the Railway Museum in York on the Saturday with Rich and his parents and it was brilliant. I didn't take a camera so couldn't take pictures, but if you live anywhere near York i'd recommend it. It was really interesting seeing all of the different trains, including a Japanese bullet train and the royal carriages used by British Kings and Queens since the 1800's. One of the Kings (I forget which) had a bath in his carriage, I bet it was awkward when they went through level crossings!

Today I went into Leeds to meet up with one of my old university friends. I hadn't seen her in 5 years but we got on like it had only been 5 minutes, which was awesome.

I wore a New Look tall jumper dress, purple scarf from Primark, leather jacket from New Look tall, and as always, my Doc Martens. All of this stuff I bought ages ago, but I thought I'd show you the outfit anyway.

After we had a huge catch up and natter about weddings (she got engaged just before me and Rich did, and we're getting married at a similar time too!) we went to a pub for a burger and her fella joined us. After a while we said our goodbyes and before I hopped back on the train I had to go into Victoria's Secret for some more knickers. I bought some last time I was in Leeds, and they're such good quality and so comfy I couldn't resist.

They're 5 pairs for £20, and as they're £7 each normally I thought it was a bargain! I know that showing underwear purchases can be seen as a bit weird on blogs, but I'm of the opinion that it's only knickers, and I hunted high and low for where to get nice ones which aren't all lacy and uncomfortable, but are a bit more interesting and for a good price, so I wanted to share my find with you all.

So that's what I've been up to in a nutshell! I have lots more post ideas to do in the near future, and if you keep your eyes peeled things may be changing very soon about this here little slice of the internet (ooh mysterious!)

Tuesday, 20 August 2013

Top 3 Things About Commuting

So, as you may know if you follow me on Twitter (@inelegantwench btw) or read my previous post here, I am now commuting from my parents house to my midlands job, a big change from my 10 minute walk to work I was used to for the past 3 and a half years!

So to keep positive I thought i'd write a top 3 post. I quite like making positive lists about things, as it helps me to look on the bright side of not quite as good things!

My banana socks stuck in a motorway traffic jam. I was a passenger at this point, not driving!

1 - The chance to sing as if my life depended on it.

I am certifiably tone deaf (Singstar on the PS2 confirmed what was already suspected by almost everyone I know) and as such I don't subject people to my singing voice any more often than necessary. If i'm trying to explain about a song I don't even sing a bit of it so people know what i'm on about, because i'm that bad. However, when i'm in my car on my own with the music up loud I have no objections to belting out songs at the top of my voice pretending i'm an amazing singer!

It has been scientifically proven that singing releases endorphins, the feel good chemicals that the body releases when exercising or eating chocolate, so it definitely helps to brighten up the inevitable British motorway traffic jams! My personal favourites to belt out are Christina Aguilera and Linkin Park. And I am fully aware I must look mental to people in other cars, but I just don't care, i'm having too much fun!

2 - The time to think.

As I was used to living alone, but i'm now back with my parents, and will be moving in with the Rich when I finally start my new job, i'm relishing the two hours each day I get to just be by myself and think and organise things in my head. I don't know if other people need this time as much as me, but when i'm around people 24/7 I begin to feel a bit mentally cluttered, so after a nice drive I feel refreshed, and able to take on the world again.

Also, it gives me a nice gap between work and home, so by the time I arrive home i've left my working day behind me and can focus my energy on whatever i'm doing that evening, whether it be going to the gym, spending time with loved ones, or just watching TV or a movie, all without that niggling work thing lingering in the back of my head.

3 - Getting to listen to the radio every day.

I love Radio 1. I get bored of listening to the same music all of the time, and get bored of listening to just music, so radio is far better for me than my iPod, unless i'm in a particular mood for a certain band. I also can't stand radio adverts, so for me it's pretty much Radio 1 all the time in my car (the exceptions are the Review show on a Tuesday night, Saturday nights when it becomes 1Xtra, and Matt Edmondson - I just don't get how he's funny...). I love the daytime line up of DJ's right now, and I really enjoy Sunday evenings, so much so that i'll often put it on whilst pottering around the house doing end of the weekend jobs.

I get to keep up to date with new bands and songs, and have a giggle with the presenters and get really involved with the shows as I listen for over two hours each day. I'm so attached to my morning routine now, I think i'd miss it if I suddenly couldn't listen any more!

So. Those are my top 3 things about commuting, I know there are a load more bad things than good about it, but there are some positive things to come out of what most people see as a wholly negative part of my working week!

I'm hoping to maybe make Top 3 Things into a bit of a regular post on the blog, what do you guys think? Good idea? Let me know what your top things about your commute are!

Thursday, 8 August 2013

The Old School Blogging Tag

Hey guys

I'm not going to keep apologising for the gaps between posts, because my life is a bit mental at the moment! I moved out of my flat, and back into my parents house whilst i'm working the rest of my contract at my Midlands job, before heading up to my new job for the beginning of September. So the move has meant my commute has changed from a 10 minute walk to an hour plus commute by car (it took me 2 and a half hours yesterday, I was a bit desperate for a wee by the time I got home!) and that, plus going to the gym and having to go to bed a lot earlier to accommodate the early early start has meant i've had a lot less time to myself.

However! The lovely Rebecca from Its Rebecca has tagged me with the Old School Blogging Tag, my first ever tag as a blogger, so it would be rude not to ;-)

Five things I have a passion for...
1. My family2. My fiance (did I not mention I got engaged?! Excitement!)3. My job (lame I know but it's really really interesting)
4. Food5. Learning (almost anything, I think it has something to do with how nosy I am!) Five things I would like to do before I die...
1. See the Northern Lights (Sorry for stealing from you Rebecca, but this is very high on my list ever since reading the book by Philip Pullman!)
2. Have children and get married
3. Try snails and frogs legs
4. Go in a hot air balloon
5. Visit America

Five things I say a lot...
1. "I really need to stop yawning" - usually said whilst yawning
2. "Bless you" - people at work sneeze a lot3. "Where's..." - not that I misplace things a lot...4. "What shall we have for lunch/tea?" - I like food.5. "That's dead cool!" - I'm easily pleased me

Five favourite movies...
1. Bring It On - so bad it's good, and was watched so often I kind of know all the words, and the cheers, and the dances...2. The Matrix - total classic and watched an awful lot by me as a teenager3. Love Actually - Best Christmas Film Ever, but can be watched at alllllll times of the year!4. Monsters Inc. - My favourite Pixar film, and Boo is sooooo cute!5. Catch Me If You Can - Leonardo DiCaprio with curtains still (I have such a thing for 90s curtains) and the best sick day film!

Five places I would love to travel to...
1. Anywhere in America, but particularly New York!2. Thailand3. Greece4. Ireland5. Japan

Five people I hope play this Old School Blogging Game...
1. Katie from Cake Vs Scales
2. Becky from Becky Bedbug
3. Bon from The Life of Bon
4. Amy from Did Somebody Say Pudding?
5. Katie from Mr and Mrs Foster

That was a fun first ever tag! Let me know down below if you've done it already, and i'm always up for being tagged!

Sunday, 7 July 2013

New House Wishlist

So, as I mentioned here, i'm moving in with Rich in a couple of weeks, and as he doesn't own much in the way of furniture and knick-knacks (how on earth do you spell that word?) and as i'm moving out of a 1 bedroom flat into a 3 bedroom house, we'll probably have to go shopping. What a shame.

So I might possibly have been doing some online window shopping for things i'd like to get and here are my top 5 things on my wishlist.

1 - Scientific Spice Rack £19.99 - Link

How cool is this spice rack?! I love all thinks geeky, and test tubes are one of my favourites. It doesn't just look awesome though, it's practical too, as it's narrow, so will fit on a counter top nicely, and you can fit a decent amount of spice in a test tube!

2 - Butterfly House £24.95 - Link

In the new house we have a garden, and it's going to be the first place that I've lived in since my parents house that has a garden where I can spend time and buy things to put in it. This butterfly house is top of my list as they're gorgeous creatures, and anything I can do to encourage them is great in my book!

3 - Duvet Cover £50
Next - Link

As my current duvet set is purple and pink, I think it might need to be changed for when we move in together, Rich might not appreciate all of my girly pink throw cushions which go with it! So that's going to become my colour scheme for the spare room, and we'll get something new for our bedroom. I like natural style covers like this, especially as our bedroom has a greeny type colour on the walls already. It's a little pricey, however cheaper bed sheets i've bought in the past have faded very quickly, and are never quite as good quality as the more expensive ones, so to me, spending more money on a duvet cover is well worth it!

4 - Slow Cooker £29.99
Argos - Link

When I start my new job i'm going to have a significant commute to do every day, so a slow cooker is going to be on my wishlist to enable a hot cooked meal to be ready and waiting for me when I get in from work, instead of having to spend hours slaving over an oven. Especially in the winter this could be a very very welcome addition to my kitchen! This one took my fancy as the reviews on the Argos website are nothing but complimentary, and the colour is really vibrant, and red is the colour I automatically go to for kitchen equipment. No idea why!

 5 - OCD Chef Chopping Board £19.99 - Link

It's a chopping board. With lots of lines on it. So you can chop all your vegetables to be precisely the same size. HOURS OF FUN! You have no idea how much I want a 1cm cubed salad. (I'm fully aware this probably makes me a bit lame, but you still love me don't you?)

Have you found any new homeware things to share with me? Let me know in the comments section below!


Friday, 5 July 2013

Birthday shenanigans part 2

This is a continuation from my last post. Missed it? Catch up here.

So after the amazing fun of London, I had yet another fun day planned for me which was a complete surprise, all I knew was that I had to wear outdoorsy clothes and take gloves. Oh, and that my sister and her boyfriend were joining us. 

As soon as we started along the route, I figured out where it was that we were going, and became very excited!

Forest Segway at Go Ape! Segways are a very unusual method of transport, and to manouver it you use your weight, by leaning forwards or backwards. It was very very weird, and took some getting used to, but once I got used to it I had fun trying to keep up with everyone and going up and down the hills and through the puddles!

As you can see in the picture it was a bit of a damp day, and part way round it started throwing it down with rain, making it hard to see, but twice as fun! The most scary moment for me was going downhill as I felt like I was going to fall off backwards, but I managed to stay upright, an achievement for me, the most uncoordinated person ever.

Once we'd had fun around the course and in the forest we headed back to my parents house where we had a good catch up, before getting ready to go out for the evening. 

I didn't get any pictures of the meal we had, as it was just standard really, nothing spectacular. But the company of Rich, my sister and her boyfriend more than made up for it. Once we'd eaten we walked into town where we headed to Revolution which is my favourite cocktail bar in my home city. We indulged in a few cocktail pitchers, and the odd shot and had a great dance before heading home around midnight as we were all a bit tired from our epic adventure of a day.

All in all I had a brilliant birthday and spent it with some amazing people and I feel like the luckiest girl in the world! Can't wait til my 25th!

Have you ever been on a Segway? Do you enjoy Revolution? Let me know in the comment section below!

Rachel xx


Thursday, 4 July 2013

What made me laugh today...

Colleague 1: Whats the number for the office downstairs?
Colleague 2: 8702
Colleague 1: Why isn't this phone working?
Me: Because that's a calculator, not a phone...
Colleague 1: Oh yes! Wheres a phone?

Kept me giggling all afternoon that did...

Birthday shenanigans

So two weeks ago I turned 24, and having been single for my past 5 birthdays I asked the boyfriend to organise something (anything) just so I didn't have to organise my own birthday yet again. After teasing me for weeks that he'd done nothing, my birthday finally arrived!

I had my favourite breakfast made for me expertly by Rich, smoked salmon and scrambled eggs on toasted english muffins. Then I started opening my presents which were wrapped individually, then placed inside two large boxes which he'd also wrapped. So it was like a game of pass the parcel but just for me, and with the most amazing presents, no penny sweets for me! I wish i'd taken more photos of things, but I was just too darn excited.

After present opening I was told to pack a rucksack to spend the night overnight and we'd be getting a train shortly. Exciting! Rucksack packed we headed to the train station and as soon as I heard we were going to Watford, I knew immediatley where we were going.

Harry Potter Studios!! I have been the biggest Harry Potter fan ever since my Aunty bought me the first book just after it came out, and I loved the films as well, even though I rant about the differences between them and the books! 

Super excited Harry Potter train faces!
I'm not going to say too much about the day because I don't want to spoil it for anyone who wants to visit, but you HAVE to visit! It was one of the best days ever, not least because I got to be a complete Potter geek and see behind the scenes, and open the doors to the Great Hall because it was my birthday, and become the proud new owner of a Hermione wand!

Trying Butterbeer was interesting. Imagine Gatorade with a dollop of cream on the top... Yeah. My top tip is to just buy the one glass to share with everyone you go with, as it's a bit expensive, especially if you throw most of it away like we did because it was just so weird! 

After a very satisfying day of Pottery goodness, and spending a lot of time wandering around the gift shop deliberating what to buy, we headed to London for the night, where Rich had booked us into a lovely hotel on the South Bank. No pictures of the hotel i'm afraid, but of course there are pictures of the food we ate!

For tea I looked on Rosie's blog ( for recommendations and finally settled on Byron's burgers ( as Rich loves a good burger, as do I, and it wasn't located too far from the hotel, as my feet were knackered from walking around all day!

Our amazing spread included burgers (duh) with added avocado on mine. If you take only one thing ever from my blog, make it putting avocado on burgers. It was stunning. We also had mac and cheese, onion rings - Rich is a huge onion ring fan, the best that we've ever had is Alton Towers Hotel restaurant - chips, and courgette fries. The courgette fries were delicious, the perfect mix of firm vegetable, with the fried goodness, and went perfectly with the juicy medium cooked burger. As a drink I ordered the fresh lemonade, which was some of the best homemade style lemonade i've ever tasted. This has to be the best birthday meal i've ever had, and i'm already counting down the days until I can go to visit again and gorge on the most beautiful burgers in the world.

We wandered along South Bank for a while after we'd eaten as it was a lovely evening and neither of us wanted the day to end. Once we were back in the hotel we both fell asleep very quickly as we were worn out!

In the morning we headed to Covent Garden for breakfast and after wandering around for a while nosing at menus we settled on a place of which the name completely escapes me! Bad blogger! But I still have to share with you the picture I took of my epic breakfast, which far surpassed my expectations.

I wanted something a little different to the usual English breakfast fare, so I went for the breakfast platter, which included brie, parma ham, smoked salmon, cream cheese, strawberries, greek yoghurt with honey, and butter and jam. This was served with a bucket of bread, including a croissant, warm sourdough bread and warm white bread. What a feast eh! Now, both me and Rich don't like greek yoghurt with honey as a rule, but we tried this and I have no idea what types of greek yoghurt and honey they were but they were lovely! The whole plate was wolfed down between the two of us (and Rich had a full English, but shh!) and was most enjoyable.

We spent the rest of the day wandering around London, and meeting up with an old school friend of Rich's before heading back to the Midlands very happy and very tired, ready for part two of birthday shenanigans, to be talked about in another post!

Have you ever been to Harry Potter Studios? Would you like to go? And do you know what the place was called where I ate breakfast?!


Wednesday, 3 July 2013

Where have I been?

Oh my goodness I am such a bad blogger.

So, I last posted at the end of April, and after that the sea of revision consumed me and I drowned.

Check out my awesome diagram of a nicotinic acetylcholine receptor! My exam revision technique is about 2 or 3 weeks before my exams begin, I turn myself into a hermit and do very little else other than revise until the exams are done with. This does drive me slightly crazy, but it works for me as I just absorb myself in the world of revision.

Between my viva (oral exam) for my professional qualification and my university exams I had a job interview for a permanent contract up north, near to where the boyfriend lives and works. I have NEVER been so nervous about anything in my life, I was so desperate to get this job! It was my first ever professional job interview, so I went and bought a suit to help feel extra grown up and professional.

Skirt £23 and jacket £35 - Next.
Nervous face - models own.
I'm no fashion blogger, but I love the suit, it's comfy and looks good, and being part giant (5'11) having the option to mix and match between tall and regular lengths really impressed me. I went for a tall jacket and regular skirt if anyone was wondering.

So, after the interview, and the exams, I needed a bit of a breather from life before re-appearing. I went to Download Festival again, and had the most AWESOME birthday ever! But those will have to be discussed in a different post, as this one is already threatening to become a bit long!

Two majorly happy pieces of news to share though:

1 - I GOT THE JOB!!!! I'm moving up north to live with the boyfriend in a lovely house and work at a new amazing hospital as a fully trained qualified person. It's very very exciting and yet i'm a bit sad to be leaving the Midlands where I know and love. 
2 - I GOT A FIRST CLASS DEGREE!!!! Results day was yesterday and I was at work when they were announced online. I didn't believe my eyes for a full five minutes and then nearly burst into tears I was so happy. 4 years of hard work of doing a full time degree whilst working full time has paid off in the biggest and best way. 

I'm back people! And promise to try and blog a lot more often now (hopefully) my life has calmed down a bit.

Have you had any good news lately? Share the goodness in my comment section below!

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