Monday, 25 April 2011

Super Lovely Easter-ness

Lovely Lyme
 So here in the UK is has been Easter weekend, a lovely long weekend where we get Friday and Monday off work and it usually rains. A lot. However something very strange happened this year - it has been (and still is) SUNNY. And warm. Glorious in fact.

And while this lovely weather is happening Mr P and I have been quite the active pair (for a change!)

To celebrate the start of the long weekend on Thursday night the fabulous Hybrid (of which Mr P is the bass player) played in a local Battle of the Bands final. They won this competition last year so this time it was more for fun. They didn't win but the band that did were fab and it was a great start to the weekend as lots of friends were there for gossip, dancing and drinkies.

Friday Finds

On Friday to get out and enjoy the sunshine we did a Treasure Trail in Dorchester which we have had in the cupboard for nearly a year. If you've not done one of these I highly recommend them. Ours was a Murder Mystery so you have a list of suspects and murder weapons and the Trail pack guides you around your chosen town to find clues (imagine Cluedo crossed with Treasure Hunt). These could be dates on fountains, plaques on buildings etc etc. But the genius part is you get to see lots of parts of the area you would never normally see and explore the history. It is a great family thing to do I imagine although Mr P and I enjoy the clue solving (admittedly it can be frustrating when you can't seem to find the answers and we get a tad competitive over who has solved the most but that's healthy right?) Trails last around 2 to 3 hours usually from what I can see, although our first attempt last year in Weymouth took about 5 hours desperately trying to find one clue to realise that someone had painted over the sign!!!

That evening Mr P had another gig, this time a private party, which means smoked salmon pasta in creme fraiche (how lush is that, a first time effort thanks to the wonderful blog The Goddess's Kitchen. I love this blog, all the recipes are yummy and simple to follow and I find lots of new and gorgeous things to think about baking/cooking.

Spectacular Saturday

Saturday was a lovely lazy morning and then we hopped in the motor and drive over to Lyme Regis. A little seaside town about 45 minutes away from Weymouth (yep it is sunny therefore Weymouth is crazy busy so we leave and go to someone else's town!!!) We enjoyed a lovely walk along the front, a saunter through the town and a nose in some of the shops and then stopped for a late lunch at the Cobb Inn for mussels and curly fries sat in the sunshine. Super lush. I also spent the day trying in vain to shift some strap marks I'd caught in the briefest of moments sat outside a coffee shop the weekend before. Why is it that when you want to catch the sun you can spend all day in it and not a whiff of colour appears but other times you can dash out and in milliseconds have singed certain areas? V bizarre.

 Saturday was another gig (can you tell Mr P is making up for lost time?) This time at the Sailors Return in Weymouth. A small but perfectly formed pub right on the harbourside. My evening started off with drinkies at lovely Laura's and then a quick cab ride into town to the pub and a couple (far too many) vodkas later dancing like a loon to the band. Laura did at one point of the evening try to teach us all how to take self portrait photos from above which makes you look younger (I'm all for this especially after a voddy or 6 but I'm not sure I can quite get the hang of it?

The "what were you attempting to do" photo
 Thankfully I was the only one taking photos so as you can imagine if this is the best shot (!) some of the others were hilarious but not for viewing without a safety warning!!

Super Sunday

While out on Thursday at the Battle of the Bands our friends Chris and Carmen suggested having a BBQ on Sunday. Fabulous ideas we thought. I have been known after a white wine spritzer or two to plan an impromptu BBQ and invite everyone from the pub before actually mentioning it to Mr P. This is not a good plan as I get told off, we then have to clean the entire house, weed the garden etc etc. Once we hopefully sort out our garden this year (bye bye shed that sits in our sun spot and hello patio - I am dreaming of al fresco coffee drinking and blogging at weekends while sat on my super cute patio set like this one from John Lewis

But alas our garden is more wasteland than paradise land - fingers crossed we can get it sorted soon!!) Anyhoo I digress, Chris and Carmen thankfully still felt like having us over for a BBQ (they have a very lovely garden: patios, fruit trees, greenhouses and yards and yards of neat lawn - when we are growed up I hope I have something as lovely) so I spent the morning baking (flapjacks from Goddess again, cupcakes and chocolate muffins from the Hummingbird Bakery cookbook) to take over with us.

And a lovely afternoon/evening it was too. Yummy food especially the kebabs - even if Lucy the puppy (not moi) did manage to steal one before they hit the BBQ bless her. You really can't beat sunshine, good food, chilled rose and chatting away with good friends. A really lovely Sunday. We even walked home from theirs which is only about 30 minutes walk (for Mr P probably only 15 hehe) which I'm sure burnt off the cupcakes/flapjacks etc....

Most Lovely Monday

And so here we are on the morning of Easter Monday. Once again the sun is shining, and once again I'm drinking my coffee in the kitchen with the patio doors open wishing I had a patio but instead of gardening today I will be hot footing it up to Kent in preparation for a strategy day tomorrow. Thankfully I am visiting our super lovely consultant and family so this evening should be vino'o'clock before lots of coffee and deep thinking tomorrow!

How have you all spent your weekends? Lots of fun in the sun I hope?


Mr P and I in Lyme - look at his hair it's a returning!!

Wednesday, 13 April 2011

Magazine Addiction....

My life is dominated by magazines. I work for a magazine publisher, my mother publishes a magazine and I avidly read pretty much every women's monthly (actually to Mr P's disgust I pretty much subscribe to every women's monthly magazine - well it is so much cheaper!)

Each magazine represents a different side of the person I think I either am or aspire to be...

For example Grazia this is my guilty fashion pleasure. Jam packed full of clothes and bags and shoes I would love to be able to afford. It is also an upmarket "gossip" magazine so I can indulge my curiosity of how the celebs live without resorting to Heat style reporting of hiding in toilets with a camera phone (or at least that's how it looks sometimes).

Then there is Red which represents the me I want to become when I'm a grown up. Chic, professional and sleek. No wayward fashion choices or hair that isn't perfectly coiffed. Should I ever want to become a yummy mummy this is the bible to live by.

Next up is In Style again purely for the fashion lust it is a simple post work flick through that doesn't involve any serious thinking.

Of course this line up wouldn't be complete without Marie Claire now this magazine includes the De rigour aspirational fashion spreads (well the advertising has to come from somewhere) but also very well written in depth interviews and social comment pieces so you feel you are actually reading something worthwhile in between lusting after shoes.

She is the final in my glossy line up - and probably my favourite. I like the sometimes random mix of articles and fashion. This is the magazine that probably most reflects me at the moment (bar the children section) as the emphasis is on career and life balance something I think any woman with or without kids is acutely aware of trying to balance. Recent favourites have been some really good articles on how to get started with running (I've extracted all the articles and read them fully even if I haven't actually started the running part!) and the what to wear to work feature with proper clothes that don't either require a pop star budget or size 0 frame.

On top of this somewhat excessive amount of magazines I also subscribe to Wired I love the mix of techie articles with the clean graphics. And I learn something new every issue that is so irrelevant but compelling I can fascinate bore my friends stupid. The cover of the magazine also feels strange in a good way too!

I have the BBC Good Food magazine every month as I try to 1) gauge what the marketing team are up to for inspiration and 2) try and start cooking slightly more adventurously.

Then there is BBC Focus which again I get to compare with our title but also because the articles and images are so fascinating and indulges my inner scifi nerd with the space sections.

Then there is Slimming World magazine and BBC Knowledge and of course I love our own titles especially SciFiNow and How It Works...

Eek I think I'd better stop counting, is anyone else out there a magazine whore or is it just me?


Tuesday, 12 April 2011

20 Questions......

One of my very favourite bloggers Caribbean Princess has tagged me for 20 Questions. So here goes!!

The Flexible quiz rules

Rule 1- The tagged person must write their answers on their blog and replace any questions they dislike with one formulated by themselves.

Rule 2- Tag 4 people to do this quiz. They cannot refuse (although there is nothing to stop them refusing). The tag-ee must state who tagged them.

Ok so let's get started.

1. Name 3 things you are looking forward to
  1. Hearing Mr P's consultant say "All Clear" fingers crossed that one comes soon
  2. My summer festival season - Isle of Wight and Glastonbury here I come
  3. Having a London mini break with my lovely Mother to see Take That at Wembley Stadium (and have afternoon tea somewhere posh too hopefully)
2. If you could have a dream come through what would it be?

To eradicate Cancer from the planet. I've lost my Dad, Aunt, Grandparents to this evil disease and having watch my lovely Mr P battle it recently I think it is time remove this stain from the earth.

3. What would you do with a billion dollars?

Ooh now I would make sure that all my family and friends were ok and then I'd like to travel for a while, buy a penthouse in New York and spend time mentoring young people to achieving their dreams. Then I'd retire by the sea running my own little cake, handbag and Filofax shop. Bliss

4. What helps to pull you out of a bad mood?

Listening to very loud music, talking to my friends, blogging out my rage and Mr P as he can always make me laugh. Thankfully my dark moods don't last long as I think generally I'm the luckiest person I know to have my health, a good job, friends and of course my Filofax family (oh and Mr P of course hehe)
5. What is your bedtime routine?

7pm arrive home from work
7-8pm cook and eat dinner
8-10pm watch TV, blog reading, magazine reading, gossiping on the phone
10-11pm if not asleep on sofa (it's just so comfy) I out my ablutions and zzzzzzzzzzz

6. If you are currently in a relationship, how did you meet your significant other?

Through a dating website that a friend of mine put me on in an attempt to find a good man for me. She succeeded. He was my first and only date from the website and was pretty much the perfect match (if only I could convince him to use a Filofax that is)

7. What kinds of books do you read?

Crime novels (like Girl Who Played With Fire) Autobiographies (Alan Sugar and Michael J Fox particular faves) and Chick Lit for a bit of escapism romance

8. How do you see yourself in 10 years?

Hopefully still happily with Mr P (maybe even becoming Mrs P if I'm lucky), I'll still living by the seaside

9. What's your fear?

Other than loosing those close to me, my biggest fear has to be spiders, and I'm not keen on flying (how do the planes stay in the air????)

10. Would you give up all junk food for the rest of your life for the opportunity to see outer space?

Absolutely. I would LOVE to go into space. When I was a child I wanted to join Starfleet and serve aboard the Enterprise...

11. What's the first thing you do when you wake up?

Snooze my alarm at least 3 times (sorry Mr P!)

12. If you could change one thing about your significant other what would it be?

The only thing I can think to change on my darling man is his utterly annoying ability to be able to repeat parrot fashion back to me what I've just said when I know full well he isn't really listening. Infuriating is not the world!!!

13. If you could pick a new name for yourself what would it be?

As I'm named after a Beatles song I don't think my name can be beat, even if it does seem to be a very popular name for Puppy Dogs recently, so with that in mind maybe I'd choose the name Lily. Love the name, although if I were called Lily it would rule out taking Mr P's name - Lily Putt (Lilliput) I mean really?
14. If you could choose between 6 months of sun or 6 months of rain, what would you choose?

Um is this a trick question that I don't get? Absolutely the sunshine! Can you imagine 6 whole months, in the UK? Standpipes and hosepipe bans at the ready!

15. If you could only eat one thing for the next 6 months what would it be?

Pasta (assuming I could have different sauces with it...)

16. What do you enjoy about blogging the most?

When people comment, I still can't believe anyone actually spends precious minutes reading my ramblings.

17. Do you prefer salty or sweet foods?

Probably salty as I'd find it harder to give up crisps than chocolate...or then again. Um. I love all food!

18. What items are in your handbag right now?

Ooh ok tardis alert - mobile phone, Filofax, purse, pencil case, earphones for iPhone, keys, lipbalm, 3 lip glosses, make up bag, tissues, ibuprofen, cold and flu tablets,

19. If you had to choose between vacationing on a beach or on mountains, which would you choose?

Normally the beach but my next "big" holiday is to be skiing hopefully so that is more mountains based I guess...

20. What do you watch on television that you know you shouldn't?

Any crime dramas - as they give me nightmares I'm such a wimp!
Ok so here are the 4 blogs I am tagging as I am totally addicted to them:

  • Shopaholly who worked out she wanted to try a new life and saved up (hello savings what are those?) to be able to finance it through clever thrifting, inspirational blog and so well written 
  • Lulu's LaLa Life the often tea spittingly funny but brutally honest blog of a yummy mummy
  • Lauren Loves a wonderful hotchpotch of fashion, make up and hard hitting posts. Always makes me smile (oh and want to shop to)
  • Sputtster's Ramblings ok so this is Mr P's blog but even though he is new to blogging he writes so well about things that he hasn't mentioned before that I love reading his posts as I find out even more about him
So there we go even more bizarre yet boring facts about moi but some really good bloggers to check out if you've not read them yet!


Monday, 11 April 2011

Pledging my knees

I've been following the blog Where Are My Knees for a wee while now. It is a blog full of ladies who are aiming to make healthier lifestyle choices, whether to loose weight, improve their fitness or just to be consuming more good stuff than bad.

And finally this weekend reading this blog kicked my (ever growing) butt into gear. I've dallied with diets and fitness fads my whole adult life. From trying Slim Fast shakes (actually the chocolate one not so bad) while helped me slim down 9 years ago to a size 10 (this was gulp 4 stones ago...) and the past few months have not been so great so I've consumed more rubbish than vegetables and fruit and gotten a bit bigger.

However I'm lucky in that when I expand I expand in proportion and as my curves get bigger (as do the boobs and bum) I don't get large in one area or look wonky (if you know what I mean)

However it is not healthy to be so far above the "healthy weight chart" my BMI is not as good as it should be and frankly I hate feeling like the "big" one when I'm with my group of friends.

So inspired by the Where Are My Knees ladies I have pledged the following:

1) Loose a stone before Glastonbury festival swings around (11 weeks)
2) Exercise 3 times per week (gym, long walk, dancing etc etc)
3) Eat my 5 a day and reduce the junk from my diet

Gulp. There it is in black and white.....I'll keep you posted


Saturday, 9 April 2011

Happy 30th Splucy

Today is the 9th of April, a relatively standard day in the calendar. It is not a bank holiday, or a Saints Day or any kind of "special" day in the UK really - well Prince Charles did marry Camilla on this in 2005 according to this BBC site and it is allegedly Rachel "S Club" Stevens birthday as well. (Yep despite google it is a slow event day clearly!)

The 9th of April also however marks the 30th month that Mr P and I have been officially dating. This may seem lame to count months but with everything we have been through over the past few months each and every milestone counts. In other money it means we have been boyfriend/girlfriend for 2 1/2 years....

So here are 30 facts about me, him, life in general to mark this very important day
  1. Mr P's real name is Steve. He is one of a huge batch of Steve's currently in my life hence the nicknames as with my boss, consultant at work, colleague, friend's boyfriend, another friend's boyfriend for starters all being called Steve it can get a tad confusing
  2. One of our friends nicknamed our home Splucy's - this is an amalgamation of his initials with the SP and my name Lucy. It stuck because it sounds funny. And helps for everyone to know which Steve's house we are talking about (see point 1)
  3. We have different superhero style traits eg he has perfect 20:20 vision and I am blind as a bat without my specs or contact lenses
  4. And he is the Mr Tidy to my Miss Messy
  5. While he is a computer IT nerd I am the bigger geek with a (huge) passion for sicifi and cult TV
  6. I am as you know a massive paper diary fan while Mr P is the epitome of digital calendars storing everything on his Google calendar which is synced across mobiles/ipads/laptops etc
  7. Mr P shares his birthday with my Mum - handy for remembering
  8. While Mr P's Mum's name is my middle name - getting spooky eh!
  9. We have a shared passion for live music and love many of the same bands including the Foo Fighters, the Killers and Red Hot Chili Peppers amongst others
  10. When Mr P and I moved in together he could only cook oven ready dinners or lasagna. This repertoire has increased to include many Mexican dishes (chili, fajitas, enchiladas, Mexican sausage and rice) he has done a chicken wrapped in bacon tea once and also makes a mean Thai curry
  11. We both love vodka and coke on a night out as our tipple of choice
  12. We both agree that while we adore the original Star Wars trilogy (episodes 4, 5 & 6) George Lucas should never have made the terrible first 3
  13. We both hate sprouts
  14. Mr P can't understand why I need more than one pair of shoes/handbags/filofaxes
  15. While I don't understand why he owns 4 guitars
  16. Mr P only eats tomato ketchup with sausage rolls - nothing else - ever that I've seen. Weird no?
  17. On our first date we met for a drink (thinking dinner would be painfully long if we didn't get on) but had such a giggle that it lasted until 2am!
  18. I always wanted a Millennium Falcon when I was little and wanted to grow up to be a spaceman on Star Trek
  19. When Mr P was small he loved riding the toy trains at a local amusement park (which is sadly no longer there) and wanted to be a train driver when he grew up
  20. We are both addicted to Facebook if only to sigh longingly at other people's exciting lives while we hibernated/recuperated this winter
  21. Mr P went to his first Glastonbury Festival last year and despite believing he would hate it loved it so much he's going again this year!
  22. If you add our ages together you get 68 - so technically if we were a Splucy we could retire!
  23. Mr P is actually Cornish but lives in Dorset
  24. I was born in Essex but live in Dorset (well you would if you could eh!)
  25. Mr P thinks I have appalling taste in music when I put my ipod on (Britney/Kylie/J Lo and The Wanted he despairs at especially)
  26. Until recently I had never watched Spaced - this is an absolutely awesome TV show shame it only ran for 2 series
  27. When I moved in with Mr P I said he had to get Sky Plus otherwise I just couldn't do it (I can't be doing with freeview no SciFi channel!!) He said fine but it had to be HD (he of the posh flat screen HD ready telly box) so we really were made for each other!
  28. The first time I had a sleepover at Mr P's there were no lampshades anywhere in the house. This soon changed, we now have the full range of soft furnishings - cushions, throws, lamps and lampshades just a rug and blinds to go
  29. Despite being an IT geek my boy only has an iPhone because he had my 3G cast off when I upgraded to 3GS (he's avidly waiting for my upcoming upgrade to iPhone 4 so he can also upgrade as well)
  30. And finally: Mr P I am happy to state is my soul mate; we have lots of fun (mate) and he's got soul (well he does play in a band hahaha)
So there we have it, 30 moderately interesting facts about me, Mr P and Splucy's. Now where's that vodka and coke for a celebration?


Sunday, 3 April 2011

Midsomer Spring Clean..

As I write this it is glorious sunshine outside (yes there is a lot of grey cloud too hey it is still Britain) and it really does feel like Spring has sprung. There is some kind of red flower peeking out of the weeds in the garden (I am not a horticulturist in any sense of the word) and a feeling of hopeful excitement is reverberating around my little home.

Firstly as I've mentioned the lovely Mr P is on the mend now, albeit with what is likely to be an awesome scar where they had a good poke around checking out any leftover cells, touch wood, future planning has re-commenced with a vengeance. I mean we even paid for our Glastonbury Festival tickets today - lucky enough to secure them when they went on sale last year it wasn't certain that we would be able to go until recently - now confirming those really does make me feel like life is beginning to start again.

Apart from a stinking cold that I have managed to catch (I'm guessing a very unfairly timed, post most stressful time ever now over, large germ outbreak) which meant no going out partying with lovely friend M and instead sleeping on the sofa imbuing sinus relief like it is going out of fashion!

I did however venture out yesterday with Mr P in town (such a good anti shopping device he is too, no chance of spending all my pennies with him out with me) mainly for cold & flu relief (for me) and waterproof dressing (for him) and snuck in a coffee with our friend R and when we bumped into her man S she and I nipped into Monsoon quickly while P & S caught up. One swift purchase later and I am the proud owner of a new blue party frock suitable for another friend's 30th birthday dinner that we have coming up next week.

This is fantastic for many reasons:
  1. Have not seen said birthday friend for AGES so will be lovely to catch up
  2. This dinner will mark our return to the social scene - OK maybe that sounds a little too Jane Austen but it will be our first proper outing since Christmas (seriously cancer is a bugger at derailing your social life)
  3. For said outing we are off to a bistro in Midsomer Norton - I grew up near here so I know it isn't BUT I love the name of this village/market town as it sounds like it should be featuring in Midsomer Murders (an ITV1 slow paced crime show which when it used to be on of a Sunday evening 8-10pm I would watch religiously safe in the knowledge that I would be fast asleep before the end therefore never finding out actually whodunit!!)
  4. It requires dressing up - not in formal wear but not in combats/t-shirt that has been my usual Friday night dress for months now.
  5. I can wear ridiculously high shoes with said new frock safe in the knowledge that there is to be no walking miles or clubbing (we are in Midsomer remember) so the members of my beautiful but hideously painful shoe collection finally get to be dusted off for a change!
I've also spent time doing some cleaning/tidying/attempting to iron this weekend (well not actually ironed yet but I am planning to this evening while Lewis is on TV - which also means I can lust after the spires of Oxford again which is handy as in a few weeks Mr P and I are off there for a weekend for a family party.

Of course as ever I'm attempting to avoid the lure of shopping for new Filofaxes (still wanting an personal Deco................) but just about staying on the straight and narrow. In fact, as a distraction, I'm going to finish setting up the A5 Aqua Chameleon, blog post coming soon!

So what has everyone else been up to?