A Family That Laughs Together…

family

So I’m still playing catch up on my 52 Weeks of Gratitude Challenge and Week #3 and #4 are family and a family member.  Here’s your advance warning – grab a brew as this might be a long one.  I am going to stick with tying them together as they go hand in hand anyway.  I think in order to appreciate the need for gratitude you have to go right back to the beginning.  An abridged walk down memory lane with a little prefaced history into our unconventional family dynamic.

bp2My nuclear family consists of my dad, my little sister and me.  My dad is what you’d refer to as a man’s man.  In 1983 he was a younger, more virile, man’s man.  In his professional life he was a very skilled, much sought after builder and tradesman.  In his personal life he had just moved into a new home with his wife and two young daughters.  For all intents and purposes he was living the dream.  Work hard and play harder.  He was a provider.  He was running a big site over towards Wendover when, one afternoon going out of his way to give someone a lift home which would take him off his usual route, he was involved in a life changing head on car collision.  Lucky to survive, he would find himself spending months in hospital and rehabilitation.  He finally came home on crutches still needing physio and help with a long road ahead of him but he had his family around him.  

In March of 1984 I was just about 6.  My little sister was 18 months and my dad hobbling around adjusting to his life post accident.  My mum was also adjusting just sadly in a way none of us saw coming.  She up and left, without warning.  I mean truthfully I was so young maybe there was warning I just didn’t see it or know what it was.  Just I know one of my last, very vivid memories is being stood at the school gates waiting to be picked up and her not coming.  Yet another life changing event for my dad.  Now alone on crutches with two young girls at a time when single fathers weren’t exactly the norm.  He had to fight tooth and nail, under the scrutiny of Social Services and through the High Court in London, to be eventually awarded full custody of us both.  But he won and that became our family, just the three of us.  Now I know there’s not really that much unconvention in a single parent family but there is when the lone parent is the dad.  It also causes a shift in the roles within the family.  As I got older I adopted more of a maternal role towards my little sister.  As she got older we returned to sisters fighting like cat and dog, but always me with a motherly eye on her.  I am 39 this year and she is 35 and I still mother her…or perhaps mither I’m not 100% sure.  Our “mum” has had very little contact over the last 30 + years.  I could probably count on the fingers on one hand how many times we’ve spoken to her, and even less seen her.  By defacto she has given up all rights to be referred to as mum which is why she is Alyson, if she is even referred to at all because honestly she just doesn’t factor into our lives.  I mean I know if it was not for her I would not be here but literally that is the only thing she has ever done for me.

 


All of this brings me to finding weeks #3 and #4 of the Gratitude Challenge easy.  I don’t have to put any thought into why I am grateful for my family.  I just am.  I don’t have enough time to go into why things could’ve been so different for us all but individually and together but we a proof of the old adage that what doesn’t break you makes you stronger.  My dad is an epic man.  He is funny, charismatic, charming, generous and loving.  He is also a stubborn, strong willed, belligerent pain in my arse.  I spend equal parts of my day juggling the want to give him a big squidge with a compulsion to throat punch him.  Would I change that about him? Of course I bloody would! Who would genuinely say “of course let’s keep all the opinionated stubbornness you can find” seriously right but these things are him and I love him regardless.  There is not a day goes by when we don’t laugh about something.  Even in the darkest of times and probably strangest / most inappropriate of times we will always find something to laugh about.  We have no shame or boundaries.  We laugh at ourselves, each other, anyone or anything but I firmly believe if you can laugh with each other and at each other then there is nothing else you couldn’t do together.

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So I am grateful to my dad…the half deaf, bouffant white haired, hugely inappropriate old fool.  You are the man that all men in my life are measured against.

What do you laugh about with your family?

TTFN

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My First Month As A Blogger…

bloggerversary

I can’t believe I’ve just reached my one month bloggerversary.  I pressed publish on my first post on 18th January and this will officially be post number ten.  I thought one month in would be a great time to reflect on the last four weeks.  Don’t panic I’m not going to be one of these “let’s celebrate every month type” people.  I just thought, as deciding to start writing was such a big thing for me, it would be useful to have a point of reference I can refer to as my journey continues.  Think of it as somewhat of a “Dear Diary” entry.

Strangely enough I have to confess I’ve found it a little harder than I anticipated.  For the most part I’m confident in what I do and say and I have no problem expressing an opinion.  Starting a blog had been on my radar for a little while.  I’d dabbled in other areas before and it never quite took off but I knew this was an area I am comfortable with and will hopefully thrive in once I find my feet.  All that being said I’m not 100% sure why I am struggling more than I thought I would.  I think a factor maybe I thought, probably somewhat naively, that I’d be a bit better received.  As I already run a plus size group on Facebook and know a lot of lovely PS Bloggers I had some preconceived idea it would be a bit like a Take A Break centre spread.  We’d all be holding hands, skipping in a meadow full of daisies, in slow mo, with the wind blowing through our hair and there would be laughter and merriment and music in the background (ok I know I’m painting a picture here but I obviously slightly exaggerating but you get where I’m going with it) and we’d all run off and live happily ever after.  

The reality has been starkly different to this and I think a lot of it is down to me.  All of a sudden I’ve turned into little nerdy, slightly nervous 12 year old Jelly on the first day of Secondary School, on the outside looking in at the amazing, idealised powerhouses.  I mean I’ve looked up to and adored these girls and now all of a sudden I’m in the same playground as them [insert squeaky bum here literally].  I could feel my confidence slowly draining away and I’m back to being this little imp that needs constant reassurance, praise and to be patted on the head and told I’m doing a good job.  I struggle to even refer to myself as a blogger as I don’t feel that, just ten posts in, I warrant that title but an amazingly lovely and very smart lady said to me “You have a blog, you’re posting on it…you’re definitely a blogger!” and I think perhaps maybe I just need to start believing that.

I think I’ve been doing ok.  My posts seem to be being well received and the feedback I get is mainly positive.  I’ve made five goals I’d like to achieve in the next month:

  • Buy my domain name With payday coming this one will be achieved within the next few days.
  • Move from WordPress.com to WordPress.org I’m still coming to terms the creative side of my blog and I’m thinking the advice to focus on getting a grip with .org and making the jump sooner rather than later is the smart decision.
  • Network more I’ve started taking part in Blogger Chats on Twitter and I’d just like to put myself out there a bit more.
  • Get to grips with scheduling Currently all my post shares are done manually by me so I think this would be really beneficial.
  • Include more plus size related posts This has always been what I wanted to see my blog doing and I’m hoping a few new outfit purchases and a pick up in the weather will help this no end.

I also think it’s healthy to say something about any achievements I’ve had, as well as improvements I’d like to make, as it’s always about the balance.  I’ve had 3 blog tags which has led to some great content, I’ve already been asked about a guest blogger spot on a new blog starting and my most popular post has been my Open Letter To Plus Size Brands About The Cold Shoulder.  Since I’ve started blogging I’ve had 1024 views and 670 visitors and I’m actually quite chuffed with that.

I’d like to finish with a feature that seems to be running through my posts of late…a mushfest.  There are a few ladies I need to thank as they’ve been really helpful and just good old fashioned nice and kind to me and with me, that goes a long way.  Some of them I knew before I started on my journey and some a new to me but either way I owe them some love.

Clare from NeonRainbowBlog Clare and I have been friends for around ten years now and I’m always sad to say, in friendship terms, we’ve never made it to first base (we haven’t actually met in real life) but this does not make her any less my friend.  She’s always got my back and when it comes to blogging she is my sounding board, my first port of call with ideas and usually my first draft looker overer.  She is a great help and support to me and I love her (ok that’s over back to hating on you whoreface).

Zoë from I Knew I Was Next (IKIWN) I’ve followed Zoë’s blog and stalked her on Instagram and Twitter before I started blogging but since I’ve started she has been an ear when I needed one and always ready to offer friendly helpful advice.  When you are starting out this really means a lot so big thanks Zoë.

Kellie from Big Fashionista and my new tweetheart Laura Both ladies are new to me but their support has been unwavering.  In this social media age we live in I think a post like or retweet is like the equivalent of a little cyber hug or pat on the back.  If you are having a proper crappy day a cheeky little retweet can cheer you right up and it’s something that takes like a millisecond to do.  So thank you both so much ladies.  

So how do you think I’m doing? Are you enjoying reading? Is there anything you’d like to see featured?  I will say if you just take one thing from this post then please retweet more.  If you see something and you love it – retweet it.

TTFN
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Why Start This Challenge?…

So I was having a nose through my blogging buddy Jenn’s posts over at And The Beat Goes and I stumbled across this 52 Weeks of Gratitude Challenge:

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Week #1 is Why Start This Challenge?  I thought the challenge sounds really interesting and, despite already being 8 weeks behind, I might like to give it a go.  I really like the idea of speaking about some things I am grateful for and paying it forward.  Immediately there were some topics I felt would come quite easy to me but at the same I could also see some weeks that would serve to challenge me and it was this element I was drawn to.  As I’m so far behind I thought I’d take the opportunity to tie weeks #1 and #2 together and kill two birds with one stone.

13th-january-2017Week #2 is Spouse / Significant Other.  This is my Jase and me, or Ade as he is known to his friends as they think he bears a resemblance to Ade Edmondson.  We are collectively referred to as Jelly and Ade.  We have been together for 12 years this year and married for 7 years.  

I guess I could add another mushfest warning and gush relentlessly about why I love him so much.  I could also add reasons why I remind him on a regular basis I am a super nut about CSI, Law & Order and Criminal Minds.  Not only could I murder him and dispose of his body, I’m pretty confident I could get away with it.

In the interest of sticking to the post subject rather than going off on a tangent I’m just going to share a few reasons I am grateful to my Ade:

  • Being the best dad you can be to our son
  • Supporting me through some of the most difficult times a couple can go through
  • Always writing on the wrong side of a card
  • Letting me cry and shout and even give you the silent treatment during our difficulties
  • Maybe an old, outdated, unPC thing but being a great provider
  • Knowing that my crumpets need double dipping at a minimum
  • Leaving me the last diet coke when there is only one left
  • Texting me every morning to ask if I’m ok and I slept alright
  • Doing my hot water bottle for me, even though you can’t deal with that dodgy top
  • For being everything I need you to be, and even some things I don’t

Now this isn’t a tagging kind of post but I’m hoping some of my blogging buddies take part as I’m looking forward to reading some responses.  I will probably cheat and tie my next few posts together just so I can catch up quicker.  Even if you don’t want to take part in the challenge how about sharing something you are grateful for?

TTFN

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20 Wishes For 2017…

20wishes

So this is lucky blog tag #3 and I have to say I quite enjoy doing these.  I have to thank my lovely friend Clare at NeonRainbowBlog for this one.  20 wishes for 2017.  As I’m so new to blogging I thought this would be a great measuring stick so I can come back this time next year and check on my achievements.  As always the rules are quite easy.  You must include 5 personal wishes, 5 family wishes, 5 blog wishes and 5 hopes.  Then tag someone else to take part.  So here goes.

5 Personal Wishes

This one comes quite easily for me as it ties in with my Goals For 2017 post.

  1. Improve my makeup skills.  I mean I think when I go out I look ok and I don’t look like my face has been gangbanged by a box of crayola but I’d like to have skills.  I’d like to be able to put my false eyelashes on without it being an epic task that could lead to murder.  I’d like to have my winged eyeliner go ok and not have one Chanel and one Primarni and maybe even throw in a little contouring.  These are the kinds of things I wish for my face.
  2. Try more new things.  This is just a really generalised one.  Anything new.  Meeting someone new, trying a new food.  Just striving to push yourself that little bit further than the norm and testing your boundaries.  
  3. Work on my fitness levels.  Not to be confused with weight loss.  I just want to do something to make me feel a bit fitter.  If bits tighten up along the way I’m ok with that too.  More walking, maybe get a bike.  These kinds of things.
  4. Meet more people.  I have forged many great friendships online.  Some of these people have been with me through some really dark times and I feel a genuine bond of friendship with them.  I’m hoping 2017 will be the year I get to actually meet some of these people in real life.  
  5. Learn to dance.  Now don’t get me wrong.  For a big bird I can move.  I can turn it out and shake my bon bon when I need to but this is more than that.  This is about something proper.  I adore the Argentine Tango and the Jive.  Improving my fitness level and purchasing an industrial strength sports bra will definitely help with this.

5 Family Wishes

  1. Go out more.  I think an improvement in the weather will help this one but just simple things.  Picnics in the park, to the beach for the day.  Just more of this.  It’s not even about things that cost loads of money.  Just simple things.
  2. Have a holiday.  I’ve been with my hubs 12 years this year and we’ve never been abroad together.  The last couple of years we have managed a week in Cornwall and we absolutely love it down there.  I’d love for this to continue and for us to be able to enjoy at least one family week away.  Doesn’t even have to be out of the country as we are quite happy with Perranporth.  
  3. Get a new sofa.  Now this may sound like a daft one but we have a small two seater sofa and it’s on it’s last legs.  We have never had a brand new sofa.  This is definitely a wish for 2017.  I even have one picked out.  A beautiful corner sofa.  You will be mine, oh yes, you will be mine.
  4. Happy School Transition.  Our son is moving from Junior School to Secondary School this year and I wish for a smooth happy transition for him while he makes that change.  It’s such a huge leap and culture shock when you move to “big school” and he will always be my little boy.  Although actually I do feel like he is so little as he is the baby of the class.  He will be 11 for all of a week before he moves to Secondary School after the summer holiday.  
  5. To extend our family.  Whilst I’m pretty sure, not matter how much we try, a little bublet is out of the question I am working on wearing hubby down for another furbaby.  Or maybe even chickens (although with a bird phobia this one is looking less likely, but is also great leverage in favour of another furbaby).

5 Blog Wishes

  1. Be seen more.  I’m guessing these wishes will be quite easy as I’m so new to blogging everything is a wish.  Just to average being seen by 2/3 people a day is a wish right now.
  2. Improve my photo skills.  When the weather is better I’m hoping to include more plus size fashion in my blog, which means being outside having more full length, multi angled pictures taken.  Whilst I feel, with the equipment I have, that my skills aren’t too bad I need to help other people take pictures of me I am happy with.
  3. Consistency in posting.  I think there is almost a bit of a binge element to my posting at the moment.  Lots and then nothing.  I’m hoping this is because I’m my fairly new and looking to find my feet.  I think I’d like to level out to manage at least one post a week.
  4. Attend more events.  2016 saw me still being quite new to the plus size community. I run a plus size group on Facebook but I wasn’t a blogger so I didn’t really sit in a particular pigeonhole.   This isn’t a particular problem for me as I’m used to marching to the beat of my own drum but I’d just like to do more events as a blogger this year.  Last year I attended two events, which were opposite ends of the spectrum for me.  In May I went to Curvy Con which as an event was absolutely poop but as a chance to meet people I’d talked to was amazing.  Then in September I went to Curve Fashion Festival which was fabulous.  I just had the best day.  Seeing fabulous clothes, meeting amazing people and meeting so many people and bloggers I look up to and admire within the plus size community.  I’m already booked for this year and I’m really looking forward to seeing the event grow.
  5. Be happy calling myself a blogger.  At the moment I feel a bit like I’m playing dress up.  Like I don’t deserve to call myself a blogger just yet.  Just because I’ve written a few posts it doesn’t actually make me a blogger right?  I want to get to a place where I don’t feel uncomfortable and awkward saying “I’m a blogger”.

Finally 5 hopes…

  1. I know it’s all so very British to moan about the weather right but I’d love just a long stretch of sunny, warm weather.
  2. There are so many amazing bloggers I admire and look up to.  I’d like to hope just one of them would read one of my posts and have some feedback.
  3. I hope for restraint.  Not for epic stuff but just enough that I could open a packet of biscuits and just have maybe 2 rather than a packet.  Damn you Fox’s Jam Rings.
  4. I desperately hope to read more.  I keep banging on about it.  I just want my reading mojo back properly and not on the fritz.
  5. I hope I don’t lose my bottle when it competing as Mrs Buckinghamshire Curve 2017 in the Miss British Beauty Curve pageant.

So anyway that’s enough about me.  I’d love to know some more about you and your hopes and wishes.  I’m tagging Emma from Plus Size Of Life and Jenn over at And The Beat Goes On.  

TTFN  

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Love is…

This week it has all been about the love so this post comes with a super dooper mushfest warning.  I’m warning you all in advance this post will be laden with overshares and clichés

mushfest

Monday was Galentine’s Day and Tuesday Valentine’s Day and my social media feeds have been full of public displays and outpourings.  I love love.  I love the idea of love and the actuality of love.

Like many I spent a long time trying to find it.  Here comes a cliché….I did look for love in all the wrong places.  Being a plus sized lovely, for quite a while I thought I didn’t deserve love.  I would never find love and I would never find someone to love me for who I was.  I fell into the habit of confusing lust and sex with love.  Thinking that if someone wanted to have sex with me surely they must love me right, or think they’d be able to love me.  Luckily I only wasted a couple of years (give or take a couple more) believing in this premise.  It’s probably one of the most valuable lessons I’d love to pass on and it was so liberating to realise my worth wasn’t connected to these two things.  

Anyway I’ve gone off on a tangent as usual.  I was getting to the love bit.  I met my now husband in 2005.  I was at the regional finals of a karaoke competition at my local and he was down there with his brother.  I truthfully thought he fancied my sister when he started chatting to me (this was a regular occurrence).  I even told him if he was interested in her I’d introduce them.  So imagine my surprise when he said it was me he liked if that was ok.  We chatted and arranged a proper date for the following week and three weeks after that we were pretty much a full on item.  This year we have been together 12 years.  I love him with everything I have to give, and some stuff I didn’t even realise I had.  We don’t “do” Valentine’s Day in the traditional sense.  We exchange cards if we remember but we don’t buy in to huge gestures once a year, on a special day.  I find love in the smallest of gestures.  Waking up to a text every morning asking if I’ve slept ok.  Making sure there is always a cold diet coke for me in the fridge (trust me this one could have murderous consequences).  I don’t need chocolates and flowers although the occasional creme egg goes down a treat.    

My point for this post is to acknowledge that I know not all people have this but love can come from anywhere and everywhere.  My family, friends, children, even pets.  I honestly don’t know if there is anyone in the world that loves me more than my furbaby loves me.

loveis 
In this social media age we live in love can come in the form of a retweet or a post share.  It’s not about popularity it’s about sharing the love.  Someone could be having a bad day or week and the simplest of gestures could cheer them up.  So to that end here are a few things I’ve seen this week that I have loved.

  • The gorgeous Kellie over at Big Fashionista did an awesome blog post featuring Joanie Clothing.
  • Claire from Aloha Lola Cards has been sharing some epic illustrations over on her Twitter feed.  Whether you need buttons or blog headers or just a little motivational pick up Claire’s your girl.
  • If it’s even possible, I fell in love with the delectable Sam from FattyBoomTatty after discovering her love affair with bacon.  A girl after my own heart.

What have you loved this week?  Let me know.  If you’ve not come across anything yet try sharing some love. You never know it might come back to you.

TTFN

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The Bedtime Tag

bedtime-tag

I’m so excited! I’m still in my first month of blogging and I’m already on my second tag.  Big thanks to That Mummy Blog for the tag.  I have to say I saw “The Bedtime Tag” and assumed it would be about my munchkin’s night time routine so was pleasantly surprised to find it’s actually about me and my bedtime routine.

THE RULES OF THE BEDTIME TAG

Step 1: Thank the person who nominated you, and link back to their blog.
Step 2: Display The Bedtime Tag badge; which you can find at the end of the post.
Step 3: Answer the ten questions included above.
Step 4: Nominate fellow bloggers to take part and answer the same questions.

So here’s a little bit about me and what I get up to when I go to bed…

betsyDescribe your usual bedtime routine  I’m usually in bed by 10pm.  The hubs is usually fasters by then, or working away.  I usually have a little companion in the form of my furbaby who is a Jack Russell / Lakeland Terrier cross called Betsy .  The TV is usually on on Discovery Turbo but I turn it down and watch my “stuff” on my kindle.  Usually something crime related.  I love procedurals.  CSI, Law & Order SVU, Mentalist, Criminal Minds (I am still mourning Derek Morgan leaving), Rizzoli & Isles and Castle but to name a few.  I also watch Vampire Diaries, The Originals, Hawaii Five-O, Blue Bloods, Scandal, Chicago Fire, Chicago Med, Chicago PD…believe me the list goes on and on.

What are your favourite pyjamas?  I love PJs.  I have a pair of pretzel ones from Asos Curve which are amazeballs.  I definitely need to make it a mission to add more Asos PJs to my collection.  I also have a Christmas pudding pair from Simply Be I got for Christmas (that I happen to be wearing as I write this post).  My most comfortable bottoms are a blue and white striped pair of bottoms from Tu at Sainsburys.  I’m not overly bothered about tops but I do like a comfy pair of bottoms.

What is your current bedtime reading?  I’ve just started Crow by A. Zavarelli (available from Amazon UK here).  As previously mentioned I have a love of self published, indie chick lit/romance authors.  You can check out my TBR list on GoodReads.

What would I find on your bedside table?  I don’t have a bedside table as my side of the bed is right up against the wall.  That being said there isn’t one the hub’s side either but we do have our angel daughter’s memory box next to the bed.  Occasionally that may have a remote control or a kindle / mobile charging on it but due to it’s nature I’m likely to become unhinged if I find much else on it.

What scent makes you sleepy?  Not sure about scent, although I do like vanilla, but I don’t think there’s a much better smell than bed linen that had been washed and dried on the line.  I use Surf Tropical washing powder and Comfort Sensations fabric softener, normally Strawberry & Lily Kiss or Honeysuckle & Sandalwood, and it smells amazing.

What are your usual bedtime and wake up times?  My usual bedtime is 10pm but that doesn’t always mean sleep time.  That can depend on what I’m reading / watching.  I’m usually awake by about 6.45am and get out of bed around 7.15am / 7.30am.

What are your top three bedtime products?  I don’t class myself as exceptionally high maintenance and have never been one for skincare routines (naughty me right) but I always take my makeup off with Asda fragrance free baby wipes and pop on a bit of Soap & Glory Speed Plump All Day Super Moisture Marvel.  I use a tiny bit in the morning and evening…when I remember.

What is your most common sleeping position?  
On my right side with my left leg raised up, usually with my foot outside the duvet.  

Do you have anything you like to take to bed with you?  Other than my husband, my phone and my kindle.  Depending on the weather, my hot water bottle.  

What is your worst bedtime habit?  Probably taking my phone with me.  I usually play candy crush, check my social media, read messages in the middle of the night and forgot to answer because I’m half asleep.

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Now you know a little bit more about what I get up to when I go to bed let’s find out what Clare at NeonRainbowBlog, Stacey at UnicornFairy.net and Emma at The Plus Size of Life  get up to.

As always thanks for reading.

TTFN

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My 2017 Liebster Award

liebster

Let me start by saying a huge thank you to LabelsLisaLoves for nominating me for this Liebster Award.  I’m not even a month old yet but to get even a mention from a fellow blogger just blows my mind.  If you are not showing Lisa some love please stop by and check her out.

Now let’s get on with this Liebster Award.  The rules are quite simple.  If you are nominated you must do the following:

  • Post 11 facts about yourself.
  • Answer the 11 questions that your nominator has asked you.
  • Nominate 11 other bloggers.
  • Ask them 11 questions.
  • Let them know you have nominated them.

facts

Here we shall start will 11 facts about me.  You can also find an additional 13 facts on my About Me page.

  1. I have an unhealthy addiction to Cadbury’s Cream Eggs at the moment.
  2. I can get my entire right hand in my mouth (mainly because it has no fingers on).
  3. I have seen the movie “What’s Love Got To Do With It” at least 25 times.
  4. I collect Momiji dolls.
  5. I am desperately trying to love fruity tea but try as might I just can’t find one I enjoy enough to drink.  Apparently this fact does not stop me buying them.
  6. I run 7 Facebook groups covering a plethora of subjects including a TokiDoki Buy/Sell/Trade group and a Plus Size Chat group.
  7. I also have a collection of Precious Moments porcelain bisque ornaments.
  8. I have bought a Create 365 Happy Planner for 2017 and am looking forward to filling it up.
  9. I wear prescription glasses and I love them.  I can’t imagine not wearing them, to the point I think my face looks weird without them.  I currently have 7 pairs.
  10. I’m hoping 2017 will be the year I pop my Irregular Choice shoe cherry.  I NEED a pair of Ban Joes in my life.
  11. I love Unicorns and hope to add to my 2 existing tattoos with a unicorn tattoo this year.  I also have a larger memorial piece planned for my left thigh.

question-time

So here are my questions from the lovely LabelsLisaLoves:

You’re hosting a dinner party, you have 10 guests in total, including you, who are the other 9 guests, they can be dead or alive? Ohhhh this one is really difficult as there are so many people I’d like, which makes deciding on just 9 a mission.  I’ll have to settle on my “9 right now” but acknowledge that it could change depending on my mood / need.  I’ll start with my Vegas bestie Amy of Lady of the Library.  We’ve been friends 3 years this year and have spoken on the phone but to meet in real life would be amazing.  This one could also be doubled up with meeting another friend across the water, author J.B Salsbury.  Jamie has written many books, including one of my favourite series #TheFightingSeries #BlakesMouse.  We connected over my love of her book and became firm friends.  I was fortunate enough to be able to provide Jamie with some local knowledge for the sixth book in the series Fighting Fate.  Elvis Presley (68 Comeback Special, black leather outfit, guitar singing “One Night With You” Elvis) and Johnny Cash.  Betty White.  RuPaul and Michelle Visage.  Last but by no means least my Nan and Grandad, who are both in heaven.

If you could do one thing again what would it be and why? Have the other half of my heart back, my baby girl, but this story is for another time.

What is your most embarrassing moment? No cheating!! When I was courting my husband, in the very early stages of our relationship, I decided I needed to drop a few pounds.  So I thought the most ingenious plan ever would be to skip the doctor and just relieve my dad of a few of his Xenical pills to help kick start my mission (I know not my smartest decision).  I took the first one, not knowing any of the side effects or owt (yes totally stupid and highly NOT recommended) and went off to meet my “in laws” for the first time.  All was going ok but my stomach was making some extremely strange noises (think White Chicks) and I did the smallest of pops ever.  I thought “ohhh that will be fine no-one heard that”.  Not long after I excused myself to the loo to discover that the pop was not a pop but a shart.  A typical orange oily Xenical shart.  That had come through.  On my clothes.  Cue to an extremely apologetic quick exit.

What would be your worst and favourite Groundhog day?  I’m going to skip this one too.  I know I’m turning out to be a bit of a flake on the question front, but again it involves my daughter and it’s far too early in my blogging journey to be weighing you all down with that.  We will get there at some point just not yet.

You have 1 year to live, what would you do? Absolutely everything.  Some of my bucket includes seeing the Northern Lights in Iceland in one of those glass topped igloos and holidaying in Fiji.

Dress up or dress down? A little bit of both.  I love dressing up, even if I have nowhere special.  I can often be seen traipsing round Sainsburys in a full on 50s outfit but I can guarantee if you visit me at home unexpectedly I will have my PJs on.  I have one day a week (usually Sundays) where if I can help it I don’t get out of them at all.

What/who are you most grateful for? All the people in my life that love and support me on a daily basis.

What/who is your biggest inspiration?  All the people I choose to have in my life.  I have people in my life that inspire me on a daily basis, sometimes with the smallest of gestures or actions.  These are the kind of people we should all aspire to surround ourselves with, and the kind of person we strive to be.

What do you need to improve? Jeeze another long list but I’ll try and give you the abridged version.  My ability to take criticism, my makeup skills, how to pose for full length pictures (I currently have Russian Shot Putter and Latvian Javelin Thrower in my repertoire) and how to walk in high heels without looking like I’ve had a tragic sharting incident (flashback to Question #1).

If you could have one superpower what would it be? My heart says the power to heal yet my head says x-ray vision for sure and a lot of Tom Hardy stalking.

What 3 items could you take to a desert island apart from food and water? My mobile phone, a mobile wifi hotspot box so I could get a signal and my red lipstick collection.

If you managed to stay with me that long here are my 6 nominations (I know it said 11 but I’ve literally been blogging 3 weeks and I don’t know enough people yet):

@miss_jennjenn
@UnicornFairy_
@plussizeoflife
@XLaslife
@NeonRainbowBlog
@Estellosaurus

Finally my 11 questions…

  1. What is your favourite ice cream flavour?
  2. If you could be any animal what would you be and why?
  3. What is your favourite season and why?
  4. Do you prefer the beach or the city?
  5. What is your favourite outfit?
  6. What was the last film you saw?
  7. Do you have a nickname?
  8. What do you usually eat for breakfast?
  9. What is the most spontaneous thing you have ever done?
  10. If you could be one person for the day who would it be and why?

I’m looking forward to reading all your responses and thanks again LabelsLisaLoves for the nomination.

TTFN

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