Thursday, 24 November 2011


So I don't technically celebrate Thanksgiving, but I do like the idea behind the holiday, much like Christmas. I think the reality (of both) is a little less than perfect - Tofurkey for me please! But I thought I'd enter into the spirit of things regardless and share my gratitude list with y'all.

First and foremost I am thankful for my (relative) health and happiness, and that of my loved ones, obviously the most important thing, but something you tend to forget about when you're worried about money and the like, so i'm writing it down to try and help me keep that in my focus. My Granddad is a bit poorly at the moment, but I'm hoping that things will work out ok. He's fought illness off more than once before, so I'm confident he can do it again.

Linked in to my health, I am so very grateful I was able to donate blood for the second time last night (along with my husband) - my iron count can be a little low, and I have problems with slow flow from my veins, but I was able to give a full donation (almost a pint) and I feel amazing. I can't think of a better, easier selfless act to commit. Literally, I am still buzzing knowing that Hubby and I have helped to save lives. Yes it makes me feel a bit squeemish, and it's not the most comfortable or fun experience ever, but it's saving lives people! I took my phone with me this time and played Solitare and livetweeted my experience to distract me :) Please please consider giving blood when there's next a donation session near you, even if you've had a bad experience in the past, particularly if you've got a rare blood type, or super blood like Hubby (O groups can be used universally). I'm A+ which is neither, but it still counts! Take someone to hold your hand, you'll be fine :)

I'm grateful for the free tea and biscuits you get at the end too (my favourite bit). I love tea. I love biscuits. It's a no-brainer. I also got a key ring with my blood type on which I'm dead chuffed with, and intend to show off as much as possible.

I'm incredible thankful that our horrible neighbours have apparently scarpered overnight, finally leaving us in peace! They were noisy, littered, rude and frequently had the police knocking on their door, so we are well shot of them. Keep your fingers crossed for a lovely young couple to move in next door that we can be bezzie mates with. Until the new tenants arrive though, such blissful silence, hooray!

Even though my second job ended recently, leaving me feeling a bit worried about how we'll manage over the coming months and whether or not I'll be able to find a new job, I'm thankful I was able to go back and do some cover work this week, and again next week, which means I'll get a bit more money come the end of December when we'll be at our poorest, relieving a little bit of stress.

How are you celebrating Thanksgiving today? What would you put on your gratitude list?

Wednesday, 23 November 2011


These 'my life is instagram' posts seem very popular these days, and since I'm currently too busy to sit down and write a proper blog post - life is rather rudely getting in the way I'm afraid, this is the best I can manage.

1. Brussels sprouts for tea, one of our faves. Yum yum.
2. Cold days mean cold ears, breaking out my earmuffs.
3. A pretty new dress without breaking the bank. £3!
4. We've been watching lots of TV whilst hubby's been sick. All caught up with Pan Am, Gossip Girl and Misfits now. Anyone else watching?
5. We had a little lust over Rob from Great British Bake Off when we saw the cook book in the supermarket. That fringe. Swoon.
6. I've been super busy making Christmas presents - just a sneak peek so I don't spoil any surprises!
7. Even if it's a bit obvious, a bunch of flowers is always nice to receive after a fight. Especially when accompanied by a box of chocolates too!

That's all for now. We're off to go and try and give blood again tonight, although Hubby's probably too poorly too. Going to give it a shot though.

Friday, 18 November 2011

What I Wore- Children In Need

Today is the annual charity appeal of a British charity called Children In Need, a campaign fronted by a bear (don't ask, I didn't come up with it) called Pudsey. Pudsey wears an iconic spotted eyepatch (again, no idea why), so the kids at my school were encouraged to dress in spotty clothes to help raise money.

This is Pudsey dressed as the Eleventh Doctor (Who).

Now, I love to dress up silly, I do it most days in fact. Working in a primary school I feel like I get a bit more of a free reign than in say an office environment, so I like to wear lots of primary colours, prints and generally have a bit of fun with my outfits. Today was no exception...

Cardigan, Skirt & Tights: Primark
T-shirt: H&M
Scarf: vintage

Do you think I was spotty enough?! I considered wearing my pink wellies with the spots on, but just wore boots in the end, boring I know. Did you dress up at your work place or do anything to raise money?

Thursday, 17 November 2011

Currently obsessed with

Dry Shampoo!

Serious confession, I'd never used dry shampoo before maybe a month or two ago. I know, I know, how behind with the times am I? I did not know what I was missing out on! It might be a slight over exaggeration, but barely, to say that dry shampoo has changed my life. No really! I don't like to wash my hair every day (it doesn't really need it), but by 1 and 1/2 days, it is starting to flag, so I use it then to give my hair a boost and de-grease my fringe - which gets way greasier than the rest of my hair. And I also use it - rarely!- when I'm running late/staying over at a friends/hungover (OK, so I use it quite a lot...), as a cheat for washing my hair, and to save my colour from fading too quickly.

My first foray into the dry shampooing world was via the Rose oil & lotus flower Asda version, reasonably priced at £1.50 for 150ml.

My frugal thinking was that I didn't want to waste any pennies on a branded version if it was going to be useless and never used. But I loved it! The scent isn't overpowering but is nice enough, but the product really delivers in terms of performance. No residue or white streaks (one of the criticism's I'd read of dry shampoo before using it), so a thumbs up from me!

Then I entered a competition on Facebook, and actually won! The prize wasn't anything mega (not like my friend Jade who only went and won a trip to PARIS) but I was still dead chuffed when two 200ml cans of Batiste dry shampoo arrived on my door step.

I got the Blush and Hobo er, flavours?

Firstly, I much prefer the new style of packaging to the old one. If I'm honest, the way it used to look put me off trying it quite a lot, so I'm pleased they changed it! The smells weren't wildly different, Blush is described as 'floral and flirty' whilst Hobo is 'sweet and spirited' which sounds about right. Hobo's a bit fruity for my tastes, so if I were to repurchase I'd either go for Blush or try one of the other varieties (the new Wild packaging has caught my eye). I was very impressed with how much life they breathed back in to my hair, even more so than the Asda one, but very disappointed with the amount of white residue it left in my hair which required a lot of brushing out, and on some occasions a bit of water. It could be that I was holding it too close to my head (does anyone really go the full 30cm?), but it didn't happen with the other one. 

I've still got plenty of these two cans left, so I won't need to buy anymore for a while, but when I do, I'm not sure what I'll do. Maybe try another brand out to find my favourite. If you've got any recommendations or beauty staples, please leave me a comment, I'm definitely willing to give any product a try once, as long as it's within budget!

P.S. If you follow me on Twitter, you'll have seen I bit the bullet and decided to make a Facebook page! It's a bit bare at the moment, but once I get to grips with it, it should be up and running, so head over and take a look :)

Wednesday, 16 November 2011

Social Media

So I've been umm-ing and ah-ing for weeks about whether or not to create a Facebook page for my blog (also with deleting facebook entirely, but that's another story) and I thought I'd ask my 'readers' (my kind friends and family who read this blog) whether they thought it was a good idea or if they had any experience with it they could share with me.

I only got twitter in the first place so I could connect with more bloggers and share/promote my blog easier, although I'll admit I'm a little addicted now, which is why I'd like to make a Facebook page - it's a very easy forum to promote discussions and conversations. I'm just worried it seems a little self-indulgent, and also, it means really opening up this blog for public scrutiny via EVERYONE I know, which is more than a little scary! Obviously I want people to read it, I'm just not sure I'm ready for my old school friends, my in-laws and all the rest to be reading it too...

I recently had yet another 'cull' of "friends" on there that I never speak to, and am unlikely to ever see again, so maybe it's time to bite the bullet and stop being such a coward. Do you ever feel the need for a good spring cleaning of your social media sites? I for one am definitely following too many blogs, but I can't bear to unfollow anyone! So my Google Reader averagely has about 500 unread posts on any given day. Sigh.

Honest (polite) opinions gratefully recieved. Would you make a blog page? If you already have, has it had a positive impact on your blog? Do you think I'll ever stop being such a wuss? :)

Tuesday, 15 November 2011

Christmas Countdown

There are only 39* days until Christmas - eek! *(and counting) Where has the time gone? There is so much to do before we head down south to spend a few days with my family and meet up with Hubby's family briefly (we'll be seeing them properly in January since we can't leave the cats for too long). As the song goes, I'm making a list, and checking it twice. Technically speaking I've already made about 5 lists, and I highly doubt they'll be the last ones. Foolishly or frugally, I've decided to make my Christmas presents this year. Times are hard, and I've always been a terrible present buyer anyway, so it seemed to be the thing to do this year, plus it's very 'now' isn't it? Make do and mend etc. Last year I made everyone a jar of Plum jam to accompany their bought presents, but this year I thought I'd go all out homemade.

Unfortunately I can't divulge my exact gift plans as some of my family have been known to read this here blog of mine, but I can say that they won't be getting hand-knitted scarves or embroidered cushions, since I'm hopeless at that sort of thing (and they'd probably hate them!). Despite having never made any of my proposed presents before (cross your fingers they go well, please), I'm sticking to my strengths (the kitchen), and only tackling one (admittedly huge) never-done-anything-like-it-alone project, so it should all be fine.
If not, it's the thought that counts, right?!

I've loved trawling the internet for ideas that are appropriately festive, but also appropriate to the gift receiver, and then scourering the shops for the right craft "ingredients" and I can't wait to share with you how they all turn out - you'll just have to wait until after Christmas unfortunately! Maybe it'll give you some ideas for next year.

How are you going to tackle present buying this year ("in the current economic climate")? Have you started watching any Christmas films or listening to Christmasy music? Hubby and I watch the Gavin & Stacey Christmas special about 500 times a year, so that's our go-to DVD at the minute, and we've just been giving the Michael Buble album a listen - definitely going on the shopping list!

P.S. it might seem a little early to some to be getting in the Christmas spirit, but by the time Christmas comes around I'll be a total grinch so I like to get in the mood nice and early :)

Friday, 11 November 2011


This week has been seriously killer. Hubby has been working some serious over time, and him being tired and late home hasn't exactly made for a fun atmosphere - I get a bit sulky if I'm left on my own too much and he gets a bit sulky if he doesn't get enough sleep... BUT, we're off out into Leeds tonight to see friends and relax and forget about work. We're going to see Los Campesinos! play at the Cockpit, not my favourite band ever, but Hubby's, and several of our friends, so I'm taking one for the team. We're staying in Harrogate with a friend tonight, and then back in to Leeds tomorrow for a family lunch which I'm excited for. And then maybe a spot of Christmas shopping, which I am not excited for. My thinking is if we start early enough it might not be that hellish? But I always loath shopping in Leeds so I imagine it will be fairly traumatic.

In other news, yesterday I was diagnosed with eczema on my hands - hooray! I have no idea what's causing it but I've never had a problem with it before. It's possibly my job, and the stress of it ending, are making it worse, so that may or may not get better after today. Until then, this has become my new BFF...

Does anyone else suffer with it? It's pretty unpleasant :( Trying my best not to scratch but it's really hard! Does anyone have any tips for dealing with it? Things to avoid etc. Don't know a lot about it yet so anything would be helpful really :)

Fingers crossed it clears up ASAP.

Tuesday, 8 November 2011

Why I decided to take my husband's name

Once upon a time (well, 1 year, 1 month and 7 days ago to be precise), I was not the Mrs B you know me as today, back then in the olden days, I was little old Miss G. But on that fateful day I married the love of my life, Mr B, and so I became Mrs B.

It's traditional, and somewhat old fashioned to take your husband's name when you get married, but it's increasingly uncommon. Women today have their own identities and careers and reputations, some largely based on their name, and they don't feel the need or desire to change it (something I totally agree with btw, fair play to those women).

This article on the Guardian's website discusses the issues in a bit more detail, but I thought I'd share my personal reasons for changing. Essentially, getting married leaves you with 2 options, you either both keep your original surnames, or you both take the same name. Now to me, half the reason I got married in the first place was because I wanted to tell the world (shout it from the rooftops like) that this was my man, and I was his woman, and we were ridiculously in love, and us both having the same surname tells the world that. It says we're this unit and we've publicly made this commitment, and you have to respect that it's no longer the same situation as two single individuals. Being a Mrs is a bit like wearing a ring, it's a badge, it's a symbol of what I am now. I am a wife. But most importantly, I am his wife. That's what I'm saying by calling myself Mrs B, and that's really important to me. So not having the same name was never an option for me. We didn't have a big wedding to prove to ourselves our commitment and love for each other, there was no need, we did it so our friends and family could celebrate our love with us and so people would know, even at a glance, what we had together. And so we could call each other Hubby & Wifey :)

Taking your husband's name is not the only way for you both to have the same name though, some people consider double-barreling or 'meshing' - not really an option for us as we both have stupidly hard to spell surnames (his is actually worse than mine was) and it would've just been a terrible mouthful, although we are commonly referred to by friends as RolliB, which is a mash-up of sorts I suppose. But one option we did quite seriously discuss, was that he could take my name, and he would have done that in a heartbeat had I not wanted to take his, but I did. It's also a bit more fuss for a man to change his name than a woman, but that's not why we didn't go that route.

It's hard to explain why I wanted to, but I thought about it, I didn't just go with convention, I consciously decided that this was what I wanted. See, for me, I didn't feel like my identity was tied up in my name, part of it is now, because personally and professionally I use Mrs B a lot more than I ever used Miss G. Back then I was just Rosie, which obviously I still am now. When I changed my name, I didn't feel any less a part of my birth family (or my adopted one! - ha, just kidding, it's a running joke in my family that I'm adopted). I'm still a sister, daughter, cousin, granddaughter, niece and aunty, all the things I was before. Who I am hasn't changed. It doesn't change my ideals or my principles. As Shakespeare once wrote, what's in a name?

What do you think? Would you change your name if/when you got married? Did you? What are your reasons behind your beliefs? I think it's a really interesting topic and I would love to hear your thoughts on it.

Monday, 7 November 2011

La Tasca's Very Important Blogger Event

A few weeks ago. I very excitingly got invited to my first ever blogger event to celebrate the relaunch of the La Tasca brand in Leeds with a redesigned restaurent and menu. Well, it was pretty exciting for me anyway :) So I put on my gladrags - another ASOS sale bargain! - and off I went.
Dress: ASOS
Belt: H&M
Tights: Primark
Shoes: 'borrowed' (thanks mum)

When I arrived I was promptly given a name sticker and a glass of sangria, which was a very welcome greeting :) I'm not a huge red wine fan, but the sangria was lovely - absolutely freezing because of all the ice they put in it (not the best on a chilly autumn night), but very yummy all the same. It was great to meet other bloggers from Leeds, everyone else there was primarily a food blogger - unlike me - and they all seemed to know each other, but everyone was very friendly.

Soon after I arrived the event properly got started with a sangria making lesson. We were shown how to make the house sangria recipe, which we were all tucking into merrily, and a fancier Cava (rather than red wine) based version. Unfortunately I didn't get a chance to try that one, but it looked delicious! Then a couple of bloggers got the chance to try their hand at making them themselves

Tom from La Tasca, Lolo and Eleanor 

Next was a Jamon iberico ham carving lesson, which, for obvious reasons I abstained from getting involved with, but by all accounts, was some pretty fantastic pork. When I ate meat the charcuterie at La Tasca was always very tasty, so I'm sure it was delicious, if you like that sort of thing.

Then we moved downstairs for more sangria and olives, before the dishes started to arrive. Obviously most of the dishes were meaty or fishy, but as you can see from my dinner plate, I still had quite a few options, and everyone was very nice about passing me the vegetarian dishes first to make sure I had enough. Declan, the general manager, very kindly even offered to get something made up especially for me!

The menu has definitely stepped up a gear compared to previous visits. Much fancier dishes, with some interesting ingredient combinations - there's definitely a marked improvement in quality.

On my plate: Patatas Bravas, A Festival of Mushrooms, Mixed Bean w/ Orange & Mint Salad, Almond w/ Tetilla Cheese & Apple Salad, and my personal favourite, Montadito de Queso - ciabatta topped with goat's cheese, walnuts and grapes. Hardly an original combination, but still super tasty. The mushrooms were good too, and the apple salad - although it lacked a little substance (I suggested they include a grain or a bean with it).

At the end of the meal they provided us with some sample dishes for us to photograph, which I thought was a great idea, because I'd not managed to take many pictures whilst busy tucking in and chatting to everyone.

Pictured: Patatas Bravas, Goat's Cheese & Tomato Salad and Pescado Blanco Frito (San Miguel battered white fish with a paprika & garlic mayonnaise) - which sounds delicious, if only it were cheese or a vegetable inside!

As I said, it's not just the menu that's been changed, but the whole interior of design of the restaurent. It was very dimly lit whilst we were there, which was cosy, but much too dark for good photographs, but these photo's from their website show. We had the downstairs (first picture) all to ourselves, but I'm not sure how much I'd enjoy being on one of the smaller tables with a large party in the middle of the room. That said, I'm not sure how often I'd be going there as a smaller party - as enjoyable as the evening was, I think it still remains better for larger parties - because the variety of food and the sharing aspects of the evening made for a very sociable dinner.

All pictures are mine except the bottom two (source)

I'd definitely consider it if I had a large group of people with mixed tastes looking for somewhere to eat in Leeds though. A big thank you to La Tasca Leeds for all the sangria and to Manifest Communications who hosted the event and invited me along, I had a very fun evening :)

Sunday, 6 November 2011

Weekend Wishlist- Spineless Books

If anyone was watching Something For The Weekend this morning (a firm favourite Chez B), then you'll have seen a feature on 'what to buy your girlfriend/mum/granny etc', which on the whole was fairly terrible. HOWEVER, there was one product which really caught my eye, spineless books, and on closer inspection of the website, I am full on in love with this concept. Essentially, it is the whole book (of your choice, from a fairly big selection - although they are mostly classics) in a minuscule font - size 4! - made into a single page posters, with either the words making a shape or silhouette relevant to the story.

The one that they had on the show was Pride & Prejudice by Jane Austen -

As one of my favourite novels of all time, this excited me more than a little bit. Not all of the images are amazing but I really love this one. Unfortunately, given the length of novel, it's a A0 sized poster, which could prove tricky to get a frame for, but it is pretty special. At £56, it's kinda pricey, but if I had that money spare I wouldn't even hesitate to buy it.

Other ones that caught my eye were Romeo & Juliet (£40)

and Peter Pan (£45)

which makes my heart swoon a little at the thought of having it in a little boy's nursery... 

I just think they're amazing, really personal and interesting, and way affordable when compared to 'proper' art. I think one or all of these are going on my real life wishlist (maybe even my Christmas list). As a full on book geek, they essentially fill my heart with joy. Don't you think they're delightful? I'm swooning.

P.S. I wasn't paid to write this or anything (I wish), I just genuinely am in love with this idea.

Edit: Whoops. Totally forgot to say where you could buy them/where I got the pictures from! Too excited clearly. All theses gems can be found at

Friday, 4 November 2011

Job Seeker

So today I'm feeling pretty rubbish. I currently work two part-time jobs to supplement Hubby's proper salary. We're fortunate enough that his income covers our mortgage and bills, but for pretty much anything else, we depend on the money I bring it. I found out a few weeks ago that my temporary contract on my second job is coming to an end (it was only ever maternity leave cover), leaving me scrabbling to find a new job before all our money runs out.

I thought I'd found something pretty good, and had an "interview" last night, which felt like a waste of time. It didn't go badly, it just didn't go anywhere, no new questions were asked and I wasn't shown what I'd be doing if I got it... I was told I'd hear back today but nada. Not that it was my dream job or anything, but boy is it depressing! Either my letting slip that I have a degree (I know, the crime of it) or being totally devoid of personality clearly didn't enamor me to the people there, both of which do not inspire me with hope of ever finding another job.

But since I want a job I don't have to travel for (the cost means I'd have to earn about twice my current salary for it to be worth it), and I can't drive a HGV... Well, my options are pretty limited. Sigh.

Is anyone else job hunting out there? How to you cope with the mind-numbing, dispiriting, dismal depression of it all? Please share any tips with me as I'm dying here.

This post was brought to you by melancholia. Normal service will resume tomorrow, thanks for indulging me.

Thursday, 3 November 2011

What I Wore- English Rose

Dress: Vero Moda from ASOS
Necklace: Stolen Thunder
Tights: Pretty Polly

A recent treat-myself purchase from the ASOS sale - I actually ordered 3 dresses, but this was the only one I could afford to keep really :( It's not my usual style necessarily but I love it's vibrancy. I'm all for jazzing up my wardrobe. I just wore this for work this time, to brighten up a dull dark day, but I also wore for a night out - I'm not one of those who saves things for best. Life's too short! Did anyone else manage to get any goodies in the ASOS sale?

I've been going for a more English-rose look with my make-up these days, dying my hair to cover up my roots has washed me out a bit. And I have to say, I am loving piling on the blusher :) What do you think of my new hair colour? I'm hoping it'll soften a bit with a few washes but I do like it, I think...

Wednesday, 2 November 2011

Dressing up - or why you will never see me in jeans and a t-shirt

I love getting dressed up. For fancy dinner dates with my Hubby, or family lunches, or even just to go to the shops, I'm definitely an over-dresser rather than an under-dresser (if that makes sense). If I'm leaving the house, I like to look good, because then I feel good, and to me, that's half the battle won right there (if I'm not leaving the house, that's another story, then I am the Pajama Queen). But to me, getting dressed will 100 times out of a 100, mean putting on a dress or a skirt and blouse.

So, inspired by this post on Dreaming Spires, I thought I'd share with you some of the reasons why it is you will never see me in jeans and a t-shirt, or, chances are, any pair of trousers at all (unless we go walking together or some other sport/non-fashion activity). You might have noticed my penchant for dresses and skirts - and the occasional pair of shorts - but the truth is, I literally own only a handful of pairs of trousers, two black pairs from when I waitressed, and two ancient pairs of jeans, all horribly unflattering and unfashionable.

I last bought a pair of trousers (black skinnies) for fashion purposes about 4 years ago, and I'll admit, I loved them and wore to death, but when I ripped them, I never bothered to replace them. Why? Because my tastes had changes, and I'd realised a number of things

  1. Trousers do not suit me. At worst, they make me look butch, at best, horribly short. 
  2. I have fantastic legs, why would I cover those up?
  3. I have wide hips but skinny calves. Trousers make me look as wide as my widest point, which to me is totally illogical. It's simply a case of dressing to your body shape.
  4. Even if you're having a lazy/slobby//feeling ugly kind of day, it's hard to look too bad in a pretty little dress, which instantly makes me feel better
  5. Feel pretty, look pretty. This is essentially my life motto, right there, or, in other words, fake it 'til you make it. If you think you look good, or even if you just pretend to think you look good, that confidence makes other people think you look good, which reflects back to you and makes you feel good yadayadayada. My point being, I do not feel pretty in trousers.
Oh, and it's hard to shop for good fitting trousers and I'm terribly lazy. I know exactly what kind of dresses suit me, and I can find them any where, for any budget, so I just stick with that basically...

Reading back those read like terrible reasons, so I refer you to MJ's final point, I do it because I CAN. 

If you ever see me in jeans, you are fully entitled to heckle me in the street, I give you permission.

P.S. kudos to all you gorgeous women out there who rock trousers out there, I'm not knocking you, they're just not for me.

Tuesday, 1 November 2011


Gosh, can you believe how close to Christmas we are already? I'm not sure I can. I have all these grand plans for Christmas decorations and homemade presents and baking and d-i-y projects and blogging and such like, but all I feel like doing is lazing around in my pajamas watching Gilmore Girls re-runs (we've all been there, right?). It totally didn't help that last week was half-term, so I got a free pass for being a total slob, since I didn't have to go into work. I've found that since the summer I've really gotten out of my routines with work and everything, and am really struggling to get back 'with it', so just bear with me whilst I get my bearings - and yes, I know that the new school year started again, oh, about 9 weeks ago now, but I do not deal well with changes to my routine!

Did anyone do anything nice for Halloween? Hubby and I went to a party at the weekend (we were Kurt & Courtney - see the appropriately embarrassing ONLY picture of us below). I tried to use some blonde hairspray to lighten my locks but it essentially just covered me head-to-toe in gold glitter, which has not come off my skin, despite repeat washing... But last night, we just switched the lights off and pretended like we weren't home. Awful I know, since we even went out and bought candy especially, but we just couldn't be bothered. Sorry kids! Maybe next year...

(aka, a dead ringer for Courtney Love, obviously)
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...