Sunday, 27 April 2014

Sunday Confessional IX

This confession is a bit of an update, leading on from the one I made about having never seen any movies other people have seen.
Until last Monday I had never seen Beauty And The Beast, A Little Mermaid or Princess And The Frog. 

When I was a child, my sister and I never really watched the cartoon Disney films I don't think, just the live action ones. The main cartoon one I remember watching was the Lion King, and that made me cry every time. I think I saw Dumbo once too as I remember not liking it/being scared of it. Our favourite videos were ones like Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory, Mary Poppins, Honey I Shrunk The Kids and Fantasia. I always remember my little sister choosing to put on Willy Wonka every time we could watch a film, and the opening credits of the melted chocolate making me really hungry!

Not having seen the classic Disney princess films has never really bothered me before, but people have kept being more and more shocked about it lately, and when my RAF WAG friends found out about my lack of Disney film watching they were horrified. To put it right we decided to spend all of Easter Monday eating junk food and catching me up on all that I'd missed. It was also a cheer up mission as the boys had gone back to Afghanistan on Good Friday so we were all a bit sad (read more about that here).

Cat and Jen brought all of their Disney films round to mine, and we filled a lot of bowls with sweets, chocolate and crisps and dips, and got stuck in. I loved Beauty and the Beast, Belle is so me, head in a book all the time! I also love the enchanted furniture, would be so perfect to have around. Chip is mega cute as well! I couldn't believe I had never seen it before, and I now have my favourite Disney princess.

When I was 6 I was in a dance show doing tap to Under the Sea, and that was about as much of A Little Mermaid I had ever known. It was another really good film, Ursula was kind of bad ass, if really evil and scary, and I love Sebastian and Flounder. Princess and the Frog was different to the other movies, and I love that the message of it all was to work hard in order to succeed, but to be happy is the most important thing of all. The music and setting of it was infectious as well, Jen had been to New Orleans before so was telling us how accurate it is to the different areas, and accuracy in films always makes me happy!

To finish the day up we watched Frozen, Cat had never seen it before, so it made me happy that there was at least one film I had seen that she hadn't! It was better the second time around, and I really enjoyed it again, noticing things which I hadn't necessarily spotted the first time. Jen may have nodded off slightly during this film, but I managed to stay awake the whole time, which impressed me, but was probably sugar fueled as I ate so many sweets! Oops!

We had so much fun we have scheduled another day for us to watch a lot of movies, and continue my Disney education!

Have you seen all the classic Disney movies? Please tell me I'm not alone!

Rachel x

Thursday, 24 April 2014

Rich Came Home! But then went again...

Just in case you're new around here, my fiancĂ© (ugh how I utterly hate that word!) Rich is in the RAF and has been out in Afghanistan on tour since November of last year. Catch up here for more details, but basically it sucks, and I hadn't seen him for 4 and a half months. 

A few weeks ago he came home on his R&R (rest and recuperation) and to say I was excited was an understatement. For so long him being away had felt like an uphill struggle, so to be able to see an end was very very exciting. My last day at work before he came home I was literally bouncing in my seat counting the hours to go until I would see him. I cleaned the house from top to bottom, meaning it was cleaner than it had ever been (probably), and spent a very long time making myself look my most gorgeous possible in preparation for him coming home.

The day he was due to arrive I woke up really early, but not just because I was excited, I was nervous too. Would things be exactly the same as before he left between us? Would we have changed? Was I going to mind having someone in "my space" again? The butterflies got bigger and bigger as I tried my hardest to occupy myself until I had to leave. Time went by so slowly that day, I was just willing the clock hands to move faster, but the stubborn things wouldn't move any quicker. I shaved my legs, painted my toenails, painted my fingernails, thought they looked rubbish and took the nail varnish off again, spent far too long choosing an outfit, and there was still hours to go. 

As a last resort, to attempt to occupy myself I baked the raspberry and white chocolate blondies I had seen on Amy Elizabeth's blog and although they didn't turn out looking anywhere near as good as hers did, they managed to get me through til the time when I had to leave to pick up a fellow RAF wag whose fiancĂ© was also coming home with Rich. 

As I walked into her house we both looked at each other, squealed loudly and hugged. We were so insanely excited we were just balls of energy getting into my car and travelling to base. The journey went smoothly, until I managed to miss the turn off the motorway, and as a result had to drive up to the next junction, turn around, and go back down to the one I should've gotten off at. Simple enough, except the next junction was ages away. As I managed to finally get us off the motorway at the right point, we had a message from the guys to say that they were already there, early. Typical! We made it to base about 10 minutes after they did and driving on to see the pair of figures in camouflage made me lose all my driving abilities entirely. I attempted to park my car (read, stop the engine somewhere near some white lines) and we both jumped out of the car and ran towards our guys. They typically carried on chatting being too cool for school but we both lept on them and hugged them hard. 

I am very surprised I didn't cry at this point, but I was too involved in getting the biggest hug I could ever get! We said our hellos and had lots of kisses, which if I'm to be completely honest, felt a little strange after not kissing anyone for so many months, and then we crammed all their kit into my boot and set off to drop our friends off before heading home ourselves. We chatted away, it was so strange to actually have Rich in the car with me rather than just on the other end of a phone! We kept holding hands and looking at each other, and it took all of my willpower to keep concentrating on the road. 

It wasn't until Rich was actually at home with me that the tears came, but it felt amazing to actually have him hug me better, instead of just saying the word "hug" like I'd been used to for so long! We spent the evening catching up, and getting used to each other being around again. Sharing a bed that night was very weird. I didn't sleep too well at all for the first couple of nights, because my favourite way to sleep when alone in a double bed is with my legs splayed out over the other side, and there was a body there to stop me from doing that! 

It may have felt a little strange to have him around again to begin with, but within 24 hours, it felt just like it always had, we were teasing each other, laughing, joking, and back to our usual loved up selves, so all my worry was for nothing (like usual!). We road-tripped it back to his hometown pretty soon after he got back, and it was brilliant to have the time to ourselves to chat and just be together again. 

We had the most amazing two weeks together, we went to the cinema, ate a lot of good food, and went to a lovely wedding of two of his best friends. As Rich hadn't drunk any alcohol the whole time he'd been away (because Afghanistan is a Muslim country, the forces respect their alcohol policy, so no alcohol is allowed by them at all) the first drink he had made him rather tipsy, which was very funny for me to watch! 

Sorry for this turning into a bit of a mammoth post, and if you made it all the way to the end you definitely get a high five, but I wanted to document it all down to remind myself of how wonderful it all was and how I don't need to worry about things!

Rich is back out in Afghanistan now, and will be for another couple of months, but thankfully that's nowhere near as long as the last stint, and I really can't wait for it all to be over properly and have my Rich back for a long time!

Big hugs to anyone who is apart from their other half right now, it does end, and when it does the hug you will get will be well worth the wait!

Rachel xx

Tuesday, 22 April 2014

Holiday Wishlist

Me and Rich have booked our first ever abroad holiday together whilst he's been home (cue excited squeals!). Neither of us have been abroad in 7 years, and both of us last went on holiday with exes, so we're very very excited to be going on holiday together this summer. Going on adventures together is one of our favourite things to do, and being able to explore an entirely new country is going to be amazing.

The main perk of not having been on holiday in 7 years is that I need an entirely new holiday wardrobe! I only own one swimming costume which is a very boring basic black bikini, and I don't think I actually own any flip flops at all.

I thought I'd make a nice holiday wishlist, partly because I'm very excited, and partly because I walked down the holiday aisle in the George section of Asda the other night and had the moment of realisation and panic!

Green H&M Bikini - £19.98 (Top and Bottoms sold separately)
I love this bikini, the colour is dark enough to be comforting, and without being black. I don't like string sided bikini bottoms because if you have any extra padding there, it just digs in and causes you to look bigger than you are, so these knicker style bottoms are much more flattering.

Animal Flip Flops - £14
I have found in the past that flip flops are worth spending that little bit extra on. Really cheap plastic ones are a nightmare to spend more than 5 seconds in, and especially on a beach the sand just gets inside them and rubs you to death. These ones from Animal look lovely, and should be comfy enough for walking to and from the beach without me getting in a grump!

New Look Navy Chino Shorts - £14.99
These shorts will be perfect for day trips, they are a decent length, have pockets, and look nice and smart without being too dressy. I always struggle with what colours to buy things in, as my skin is so pale it's almost translucent, but I think navy is generally ok. These will also work with a holiday capsule wardrobe as I can't imagine there would be much that they wouldn't go with.

Monsoon Bandeau Dress - £22
This dress will be great for walking to the beach with my bikini on underneath, and I can see me wearing it in the UK in summer too with sandals. As it is bandeau, it will skim over my inevitable holiday belly which will appear due to the amount of yummy food I'm going to eat. For a Monsoon dress it's not a bad price as well! 

I'll hopefully do a haul post or video when I've bought some holiday things to show you, as I think a mammoth Primark shop will have to happen as well!

Are you going on holiday anywhere this year? Any shops I've missed out? Let me know in the comments!

Rachel xx

Saturday, 19 April 2014

Nice Day for a White Wedding

I'm ba-ack!

Sorry for just upping and leaving without a word, but Rich came home for his 2 weeks R&R, and I've kind of been off in a little bubble of happiness since then. I didn't want to post on here about him coming home because of OpSec (basically, don't tell people things because you never know who is listening!) and I really really want him to come home safe! He is back out there now though doing his final stint, luckily not for as long as last time as 4 and a half months was insane. I'll be doing a proper post about him coming home soon, but it was magical and I'm very sad it's all over!

Last weekend two of Rich's (and now my!) best friends got married, Rich was so pleased he was back for it, and it was a beautiful day, nice and sunny, if a bit breezy down on the south coast!

The bride and bridesmaids all had wedding pants with bride and bridesmaids written on their bums, so naturally they all wore them over their pyjamas!
The night before the wedding myself, the bride and the bridesmaids all spent the evening together painting nails, practicing hair styles and drinking Asti. It was a really nice relaxed way to spend the night before the wedding, and we had a lot of fun! I was pleased I brought my camera with me as it meant I got to document a part of the wedding festivities the official photographer didn't get to see!

The bride looked stunning, Sarah is really pretty anyway, so with the professional hair and makeup she looked incredible! Jimmy scrubbed up well in his suit with tails, looked very smart and I think I would like similar suits for my wedding. I love how they aren't black, but they're still nice, dark and smart. 

This is the best picture of what I was wearing. I did task Rich with getting an outfit post of me, but with the distractions of the day it was swiftly forgotten. Bad blogger! The dress was from Monsoon - link - and the fascinator and most gorgeous grey lace clutch bag, which I don't have a picture of unfortunately, were from an independent shop near my parents. I had grey/nude New Look heels to begin with which I switched for nude ballet pumps later on when my feet began to hurt. 

The bridesmaids all looked stunning as well in their floor length strapless gowns, and Emma (second from right) is a hair genius because she did all the other girls hair for the day!

The reception was held in a lovely marquee with huge windows so we could see the sea, and the decoration was very relaxed and simple, and reflected the bride and grooms taste perfectly. All of the daffodils were grown by the bride's uncle, and were so pretty! I may have been given permission to swipe one of the stuffed hearts hanging on the back of the chairs too, which will be being hung in my guest bedroom on the door handle I think.

Proof that Rich was there too! All of the place settings had stick on moustaches by them, so much fun was had sticking them on. Is it wrong that I still fancy Rich with all that wonderous gingerness going on? 

Much eating, drinking, dancing and laughing happened in the evening, but not many photos were taken, as too much fun was had. We eventually ended up back at the bride and grooms house where we stayed for the night with another couple who had come down from "Up North". We woke up bleary eyed and sore footed the next day, and proceeded to thoroughly decorate their house! My parents used to do that to their friends and families houses on their wedding nights, and I thought it was a tradition worth continuing.

Just one small part of the fun we had decorating the house! There is 50 balloons in there, the shower cubicle was bigger than we thought!
As I'm fairly sure the bride and groom don't read this blog, I can tell you everything that we got up to, as I'm not sure what they have and haven't found yet. We filled the shower cubicle with balloons as you can see above, and wrote on the glass and mirrors with red lipstick. We put confetti into every pocket and drawer we could find, including their honeymoon packing! We silly stringed their kitchen equipment, and squirted washing up liquid into the toilet cistern so when they flushed the loo it would get bubbly. The worst/best thing of all was that we tore all the labels off their tinned food, so when they come home from honeymoon, they will be having to play russian roulette with their tin opener! 

It was a brilliant wedding, and made me even more excited for when me and Rich get married next year! Sorry for the photo heavy post, but I love looking at wedding photos and I thought you might have liked a nosy too?

Rachel xx

Sunday, 6 April 2014

Sunday Confessional VIII

This weeks Sunday confession is one that I think sets me apart from a lot of people my age, but I think (hope) some of you will feel a similar way.

I hate getting drunk.

A night out at Uni in 2008.
Now don't get me wrong, back when I was 18 and I first discovered drinking and clubbing, I loved it, I used to go out multiple times a week, drink a different drink every time I went to the bar, frequently forget large portions of the night, and quad-vods with Irn-Bru were a regular occurrence. This happened throughout my time at Uni, and for about a year or so after I left.

I think this is quite common for the youth of Britain today (how old do I sound saying that sentence!) and I think I began the drinking and partying to fit in. When I started Uni, I had never been to a nightclub in my life, but as it seemed the only way to make friends, I forced myself to go, even though I didn't enjoy it at all to begin with, but wound up thinking I loved it. 

Thankfully I never was sick from drinking, even though I'm sure I should have been at some point, but I have always lost large chunks of the night when I've been drunk. At times being very drunk has gotten me into some sticky situations as well, some of which I had to be told about the next day when I had sobered up somewhat. I also believe that a not very nice ex-boyfriend of mine used to use the fact that I lost portions of the night to emotionally manipulate me by telling me that I had done and said things which were very out of character, but as I couldn't remember the whole night, who knows?!

Me and the bestie on a night out in 2011.
As I started to lose more and more of the night, and my hangovers began to get worse and worse, I started to be the designated driver of my friends on nights out. I could have just as much fun on a night drinking Diet Coke, and it was cheaper, healthier, and I didn't have to get a taxi home (for some reason I hate getting taxis). I would always remember the whole night, and could remind friends of the funny things they said and did whilst drunk! The amount of calories saved by not drinking also meant that when I did a 24hr McDonalds drive-thru run on the way home from a night out, I could perfectly justify the cheeseburger I had as a 3am snack!

Recently, when on a night out I tried drinking "properly" but my poor body rejected the double vodka diet coke which used to be my regular drink, I felt very sick and bloated and really didn't enjoy the tipsy feeling on a night out when I didn't know who was around and if I was safe or not. After that experience I think I have had to accept that drinking really isn't my thing at all anymore and I just can't do it.

I'm not completely against drinking at all, I'll have a couple of drinks on occasion, and I'll get tiddly at a house party, but I think my days of going out and getting hammered are well and truly over. 

I feel so old!


Friday, 4 April 2014

2014 Blogger Challenge: Photo Firsts

Yet again I'll be tweaking the blogger challenge. This is becoming quite a habit, but I still think that it's worth doing the challenges as it does give me good ideas of things to write about!

This challenge should have been a week or day in pictures type post, but lately my life has been full of housework and actual work and not much else. So, as my blog birthday is nearly upon us (10th April, put it in your diaries!) I thought I'd look back down memory lane at various firsts I've had and taken photos of... in memory of my first blog post. Does that work? I think so...

My first ever Instagram photo, taken almost 2 years ago when me and my sister saw Steps in Manchester. It was amazing. We were both huge Steps fans when we were young, we spent hours learning the dance routines and video taping every Steps thing which appeared on TV, so going to the reunion tour was mandatory. We sang, we danced and we had the best night!

My first teddy bear, which I still have to this day. He's called Old Bear and is in remarkable condition considering how old he is. He now lives on my spare bed along with Rich's first teddy bears. They're great friends.

My first time on a Segway, I talked about it more here, but it was a part of my birthday adventures last year. It was a very strange way to travel, and I thought I was going to fall off multiple times but I didn't, hurrah!

My first ever car displaying a fine covering of festival mud, his name was Kevin, and we had some fun times together! He used to hate having the clutch and break pressed at the same time, if you ever made this mistake his engine would cut out (useful). He also managed to gain inexplicable dents, including one in his roof, which I only found out years later, came from my sisters then boyfriend who tried to sit on the roof one night. I loved Kevin, but in the end I scrapped him to get the money off the government scrappage scheme. What a heartless cow I am!

I hope this has been vaguely interesting to read, and look at. I've been very busy lately, and I hope normal service will soon resume. I have a notebook full of blog post ideas, but no time to convert them into actual posts!

Rachel xx

Tuesday, 1 April 2014

YA Book Love: Guitar Girl by Sarra Manning

I own a lot of young adult (YA) fiction, and I spent most of my teenage years going to the local library every two weeks and getting 8 YA books out, devouring them all before the next visit. I thought I'd share some of my collection with you, and make some recommendations from my favourites.

First up is Guitar Girl by Sarra Manning. This is one of a set of four Bite books I got from a book people type catalouge years and years ago. Bite fiction always deals with some tougher subjects, and deals with sex and love as a part of their books, so definitely more of an older teenager YA book.

Guitar Girl tells the story of seventeen year old Molly, who starts a band with her two best friends, which was just meant to be a laugh. They write songs about Hello Kitty and their life in general, not taking things too seriously and just having fun. Then Dean and T come along, join the band, and begin to take things far further than Molly ever really wanted. 

The band get signed, and go on tour, where things start to unravel as things don't turn out as Molly expects. There are some truly tender moments in this book, and when Molly loses her virginity it is in a very real way, and you become truly invested in her as a character, feeling all her emotions all the way through.

It is a brilliant book to show the darker side of fame in a very accessible way, and I recommend it for teenagers, and 20 somethings who like to dip back into YA books every now and again, like myself. A very easy read, you'll finish it in no time, but you'll feel as though you've been on a roller-coaster ride with Molly all the way through.

Do let me know if you've read this book before, and if you have any other YA book suggestions for me, I love finding new books to read which aren't too serious!

Rachel xx
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