The one where we organised my bedroom.

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I must admit, I’ve been taking something of a sabbatical from my blog whilst I did other, seemingly important things, like to get married, go on holiday and start a new job. Whilst it has been nice not worrying about what I might write in that time, and wondering what kind of platform it is exactly that I’m writing to, and whether people read my blog and think I’m waffling on; I’ve really missed just writing my thoughts down in a way that is neat and organised and easy to follow.
Today my mum and I went in to tackle my old bedroom at my parents’ house. Being a girl who just loves to collect things, my old bedroom is a hive for all the things I am simply nostalgic for and can’t bear to throw away. However, my trove of pastime treasure (and trash) needed to be sorted through as my poor teenage brother has been long awaiting the move from the box bedroom into the big, spacious one. I found all kinds of things that I had, naturally, forgotten I owned. Handbags, shoes, papers, old school books, folders, sheet music, candles etc that over time I had been too soft to throw out/recycle. I think when working with my mum on it, she encourages me to be a bit more ruthless, and so there is an awful lot going to the recycling centre tomorrow morning.

Our wedding day was, however much of a cliché, the best day ever. Of course, the best part of all, was exchanging our vows and making cement what we have felt for six years, becoming husband and wife.

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The last thing I want to write in this post is just how truly blessed I feel. Yes, it is no secret to anyone that I have ALWAYS been a ‘home-bird’ and so taking in all the changes has sometimes been a little hard to get my head around and I have often felt in some kind of purgatory between old and new, but the reason I am blessed is this simple reason – I have always, always known love. My parents brought me up telling me every day how much they loved me and how special I am to them. They have always given me the best of everything, and I would be nothing without them. I have also only known love with Dan, throughout everything we have gone through, some things big and others trivial, I know I am loved, and will be loved for as long as we live.
Mrs. G x

I’m becoming a grown up now… and I’m a bit frightened.

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SO August is literally NEXT MONTH and I’ve never been so frightened and excited in equal measures. Next month I move out of my home with my parents, brother and my dog that I have shared with them for years, I leave my job that I’ve been doing for four years and I get married to the love of my life. I can’t quite believe that now we are entering the wedding season that Dan and I talked so wistfully last year. We have a jam packed few weekends coming up, with me going away to Ireland this weekend, my hen party, my Grandad turning 80, moving house, some of our most loveliest friends getting married, leaving work and getting married myself!!

Myself and Dan took ourselves on a date night last week to watch my favourite book A Fault in Our Stars that has been made into a film. It was fantastic and a great opportunity for some time away from the mania that is wedding planning. Plus, the actors in it were just so fantastic and they portrayed the characters (I felt) so well, and true to the book for the most part. Here is the trailer, go see it, I urge you!!!

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It feels so strange to be at a point in life that as a child felt so far away. I remember being the same age as the children in class I help and dreaming about the days where I would be older and getting married (to a Disney prince, obviously) and now, all these years later, being at that point wondering why I didn’t understand when people said how quickly the time would pass!

I hope everyone has a good week and I’ll do my best to make a post again sooner than I did this one!!!

 

Dear Insecure Bride…

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I get so ridiculously angry at bridal magazines. Like, blood boiling, rage, spitting feathers, calm me down quick kind of angry. Firstly, I hate the notion that is passed along that your body in a wedding dress isn’t the one your husband wants to see. I’m sorry did I miss something???!!!? The whole point of you getting married is because he (or she) loves you, all of you. I resent ALL magazines that weekly tell you how to make yourself into a person you think other people want to see. I’m sorry, but under no circumstances will I be losing weight through pressures from people I don’t know (or those I do know) to become a bride my fiancé won’t recognise. I, believe it or not, am truly happy the way I am. I believe people should make the choices for themselves, not through pressure.

I recently went to a photo project type thing aimed at plus size women. At first, I admit, I wasn’t sure what really to expect, or what I would gain. I also admit, that at first, I was shocked at how openly people talked about being ‘fat’. Now, after a month or so has passed, I know how I feel about things, thanks to that day. That day, when my make up and my hair was done professionally, I felt fabulous. And there is no reason on earth why I, or others, don’t deserve to feel like that every day. I go to the gym regularly, but I enjoy food!!! I enjoy a good healthy salad, fresh fruit juice, fruit and steamed veg, but I also enjoy croissants with butter and jam, apple crumble and cheese on toast. I also like wine (other alcoholic beverages are also interchangeable in this context). Since being diagnosed as lactose intolerant, I have to try and avoid more foods, which has (kind of) made my choices healthier for me, but chocolate milk is just my downfall (I know, right!). 

This, I know, is quite an angry post compared to my usual sleepy lifestyle-y posts. I just needed to sound off after reading something which really riled me! I know for a lot of women over the size of about 14 you feel like you’ve reached a point of being socially unacceptable and whatever you read you feel like it’s time to crack out your meal replacement powder and get on the diet. That’s just so not true!! The first and most important thing I think anybody should feel is the capacity to be comfortable in your own skin. After all, it’s the only body you’ve got. When a bride should be made to feel like she will be anything less than beautiful on her wedding day by anybody then I guess it’s just a sad world we live in. Everyone is wonderfully different, and differences should be embraced not scorned.

I hope everyone has had a wonderful weekend and bank holiday, for those who have had the time off. Image

Speak soon,

E xx

Something I love.. Bank holiday style!!

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Hooray for the bank holiday!! Fortunately for me my break extends to Tuesday afternoon as I’m only needed in the classroom after 1, so I get two lie-ins!!

I remember recently that I was so gutted that one of my favourite bloggers has dropped off the radar a little bit and has stopped posting so much and then I was a bit cross with myself for being cross – because it’s been AGES since I wrote anything (sorry!!!!). 

So here goes for a Something I love for the bank holiday!!!

Something I read…..

I have been reading Billy and Me by Giovanna Fletcher (Mrs. Tom from McFly), and at first I was very sceptical – I often don’t hold out for much from celebrities turned authors – and although according to my kindle I’m 76% of the way through, I want to say the book has proved me wrong, but it hasn’t. The plot feels quite flat and very idealistic. The story is about a girl from a small village falls in love with a movie star who, all in all, just is far too good to be true. I really wanted to like this book, I read Giovanna’s blog for OK and I quite like the lady, but so far, the book is just far too twee and too much of a Twilight love story for me to really warm to it.

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Image courtesy of goodreads.

 

Something I watched……

I just can’t get enough of new Game of Thrones, it’s something that I became addicted to while season 2 was airing, and I quickly caught up with it. Now season 4 is on Sky Atlantic and that’s my Monday nights taken over!! 

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Something I wore…..

I bought myself some EEE fit wedges from Next this week ready for a friend’s birthday outing this weekend – they ARE on the big side due to the fact (for once) my feet are too slim for the fit. So I do have to wear some insoles in them to keep them up, but they really are fantastic – and so comfy!!

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Something I listened to…

I love this song by Kiesza – it’s brilliantly elecropop! Give it a listen!

Something I love…

Meet Snowy! We have become a family with a dog now – I absolutely adore him!! He’s a scruffy pup and having a hair cut this week but he’s so beautiful and a great natured dog!

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Hope to speak to you soon!!

 

Selfies, instagram, and 100 happy days…

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So on instagram (@thingsaboutemmy) I started doing the #100happydays challenge whereby you take a photo everyday for 100 days, to show things that have made you smile/made you happy. The problem I find with instagram, taking selfies, and visually displaying parts of my life like that is I often take a photo and wonder if it’s really good enough. I follow an awful lot of people on instagram who are very good at taking ‘perfect photos’. You know the kind, against a white background, or the sun is filtered just right, or the teal spotty vintage mug is placed just beside the scone in the vintage tea room. And, I admit, I’m jealous because I just can’t seem to take those kind of photos. So I’ve made a promise with myself, that when I take a photograph of it, I post it first time (unless it’s blurry). I’ve made a commitment to take photos of things that make me smile and happy, rather than constructing a scene around me and making a caption to fit it. Sure, I’m going to post a photo of my cup of tea and a chocolate bar, and sure sometimes I’m going to try and construct pictures artistically. After all, I was once a Fine Art student and the artsy part has never quite left me. But I’m not going to take and retake and take again a photograph that is perfect to start with because the scene it represents made me happy before I even got my iPhone out. 

E x 

 

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My break from blogging, photoshoot and birthday…

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Hello lovely readers I am BACK and what an eventful few weeks it has been!!

Firstly was my photoshoot with Betty Pamper and Lily VonPink at ‘Capturing the Curve’ – here is a sneaky preview of my photos to come…

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Then it was my birthday! Hooray!! I think it stems from my childhood where birthdays were MASSIVE occasions and still in our family they span days worth of celebrations. I was a very lucky and spoiled girl and got plenty of presents and cards to keep me going with. I spent the day with my best friends Iona, Cookie and Tom at Frankie and Benny’s and shopping, followed by a meal with Daniel in the evening at my favourite restaurant and drinks at the pub with some of my closest friends. The following day my parents took me to Albert’s Shed for my lunch and then took me for cocktails at the five star Radisson Blu hotel bar named Opus One in the middle of Manchester. It is quite simply, amazing.
One of my presents for my birthday was this peach Bessie handbag and a Cora Taylor purse from my parents. They are both absolutely beautiful!!
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The bag has TONNES of room for my massive Filofax and papers, plus plenty of room at the front for my pens and bits and bobs I keep in my bag. I adore the floral print on my purse and the beauty of the waterproof-y finish on the front. It’s great!

My last bit of happiness this week has stemmed from me and Dan celebrating our six year anniversary!! Time has passed so fast lately and it’s just crazy to think that in only a few months time we will be a married couple!

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That’s right! TWENTY weeks to go. How scary! So I made this little photo of how my hand will look in twenty weeks time! I can’t wait! It seems like we have been waiting an awful long time to get married, having been engaged for nearly four years, and I can’t lie, it has been really difficult seeing others get engaged and then married whilst we have been waiting. BUT I can certainly say I am glad we have waited until the time is right and I can’t quite believe how fast the time has come around!!

Hopefully, there will not be such a long break between now and my next post!

Have a lovely week, and I will leave you with a photo of the beautiful Heath Ledger in 10 Things I Hate About You!

E xxx

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Blergh!

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Hello again! 
It’s been a while, I know, and aside from every time I sit down at my laptop to give my blog a bit of love, I usually start my posts with the words, I’m sorry or it’s been a while!!
Unfortunately for me, lately I’ve been a very stressed out individual indeed. Work pressures and the stress of being already poorly with an ongoing problem have meant I got really sick this week and I ended up in hospital. I like to think I was brave but I really wasn’t, I cried when they told me I’d have to stay in overnight and even then I pleaded with the doctor to discharge me (which thankfully, she did) so I could sleep in my own bed and I promised her I’d go back for the check ups I needed. I don’t know why, but I’m terrified of hospitals. I know, that given my line of work and the amount of times I’ve been sat in A&E with a twisted ankle or a suspected broken bone thanks to my usual dopey-ness, that I’d be quite used to it and be completely chilled out about the whole experience. I’m really not. The idea of being in a strange place with strange people, sleeping in a bed that’s not mine, being with other people who are sick and also noisy, just really terrifies me. I’m on the mend now, and fortunately have not been sick for a good 72 hours! The only thing left hanging on from it is aching legs and a loss of appetite – but that’s helping my diet loads!
I’ve been thinking lately about the kind of person I am. Dan brought me home a questionnaire he was given in one of his lectures. One of his modules of his masters is the consultancy and management side of being an engineer and therefore they’ve been going through management approaches and the type of person they are and the style that you naturally adopt. So, last night, I sat down to do this quiz and I uncovered that I am a team player, and a co-ordinator. I have no idea how accurate this quizzy thing is, but it had a description of what your result meant and mine said I enjoyed working alongside others as a team player and I enjoyed seeking out solutions with those around me and involving people in new ways of thinking and sorting things out. I could quite agree with a lot of what it said to be honest, although I know that a lot of it is very generalised.
It also came into my thoughts a little bit today as well, my role as a co-ordinator (I am starting to see this as a nicer word for bossy) because next Sunday it’s Mother’s Day. (There you go, I reminded you!) A lot of people I know have a similar attitude to Mother’s Day, the same sort that some have to Valentine’s Day, that it’s a great opportunity to show your appreciation, but an enormous money making thing. I’m not sure where my opinion resides to be honest. I like to make the effort to give my mum small tokens of appreciation all year around, not just for one day, but I do really also enjoy the gift that is giving to someone else. Anyway, me and Dan are this year putting our funds into another pot so birthday presents and Christmas presents have suffered a little bit to our usual standards and this year for Mother’s Day the same rule has applied. So, we went to the supermarket in search of some small treats to buy for our mums to pamper themselves next weekend. It is more than evident, in the relationship Dan and I have, that I am definitely the birthday rememberer. I know that I’m right in saying that in every relationship there is one out of the two who always remembers the birthdays and gets the card. For Dan and I, it’s 100% me. In his defence, he is better at remembering a ton of other stuff that I can’t, but in this particular field, it is me who buys and writes the card, and makes sure it gets there. 
I also bought whilst I was in the supermarket some Vaseline body lotion that is cocoa scented and is supposed to give you a healthy glow. I always moisturise my arms before I get dressed every morning, so once I’ve given it a go for a few days I’ll marker my findings on it. I do know so far it smells really good just from flipping the cap up on the bottle.

 

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Image courtesy of google.com search

 

Have a great week!

E x

 

 

Where EXACTLY does time go when it’s gone?

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Dear readers,

Let me first apologise for the lull in writing. I have gone back to work and my life currently consists of being too tired to do anything else when I get home except eat my tea, sometimes go for a workout and go to sleep. 

Scarily, we have reached the less than six months to go stage which, of course, is terribly exciting and petrifying in considerable quantities. 

I have spent quite a lot of time pondering things lately, my job as a locum means I spend an awful lot of time on my own in the car with just myself for company. I’ve found a comforting routine in my days, leaving the house to get in the car and catch Nick Grimshaw’s breakfast show while I drive to work, to arrive at work and eat my lunch at 12:15 most days, come home and listen to a playlist I’ve made on Spotify through my car’s bluetooth system. 

One journey I heard a song, that I hadn’t heard in a long time, one that I (and a previous boyfriend) particularly favoured in the midst of embarrassing teenage angst and self indulgence and I just wondered to myself, where has that time gone??

It’s strange, when you use things, you tend to be able to keep their shell or some kind of memory of it even if it’s disposable. For example, if you use up all the power in a battery, unless it’s re-usable, you could either throw it away or keep the empty zinc cylinder (whatever floats your boat). If you ate all the spread inside a limited edition jar of Nutella, you could wash it out and still keep it. 

When you use time, you have nothing particularly to hold on to. Photos maybe, or videos, but nothing to hold, or smell, or taste to show the hours and days gone by. When I was younger, I used to think that somewhere there was some kind of Argos catalogue of all the times that I had had in my life that I could rifle through and find particular instances of times in my life. 

Hearing the song in the car felt strange, because it took me back to a time in my life I completely forgot existed. I have barely any photos of that time because I’m just about old enough to say that I didn’t have a mobile phone that had a camera until later on in high school. Nine years ago I started high school and although the year was very eventful for me at that time in my young life, now I can barely recollect a specific time or instance or lesson. 

I’m not sure I completely know where my post is going. I don’t think there is a natural ending to this, because we all know, of course, that we simply don’t know where times go. I’m not saying it’s a good thing to live in the past, because it’s not, we should live in the here and now. 

So my advice from this post, as simple as it may be is - take photos. In my opinion, it’s a great opportunity to capture moments we want to hold on to for when the moment has gone.

I hope everyone has a great Sunday!

E x

 

p.s, check out this track called Good Times Gone by Nickelback. It was one of my favourite tracks of their album Silver Side Up (which I played until it was scratched beyond belief) and it kind of summarises my post!!! (He drops the S bomb in it – so be advised!!!) 

 

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 Hello, readers!
I thought I’d do a slightly different feature this time, and write you up my favourite family recipe for Chocolate Victoria Sponge cake.
Ingredients for the sponge.
100g Self raising flour
50g Cocoa Powder
150g Butter
150g Caster Sugar
3 eggs
1tsp vanilla essence 
Ingredients for the middle.
Equal parts butter to icing sugar (specific I know! This entirely depends on how much buttercream you want!)
Orange zest
A good dollop of a jam of your choice. (Raspberry is my favourite.)
Method.
Preheat your oven to gas mark 6 before you start!!
Beat the butter and sugar together until there are no lumps! Personally, I always use a wooden spoon for this, but I appreciate some lucky people have KitchenAid’s and those kind of gadgets which will also do just fine. (Kitchen Aid type device is so on the wedding list!!!)
Weigh out your flour, sift it to remove lumps and keep in a separate bowl to your cake mixture.
Crack the egg into your mixture, and before mixing chuck in a spoonful of your flour. (We were always told when we were studying Food Technology it stops the egg splitting and the mixture curdling. I don’t know how much of this was actually reliable food science or just my teacher’s habit.)
Repeat this step for all your eggs, and once finished, add the vanilla essence.
Finally, add the rest of your flour and sift in your cocoa powder. Fold this in with a metal spoon. Again, it’s a foodtechnologyteacherism, but it’s always worked well and most sponge recipes support this direction.
Grease and line two fairly shallow tins (usually about 3cm thick), and bake in the oven for about 20-25 minutes. You can either test if your cake is done by either:- 
+ Pressing gently on the top. If your mixture sinks under your fingers, it is not cooked. A cooked cake should spring back up after you have touched it.
+ Inserting a clean skewer to the middle. This is not a professional approach to baking as it leaves a hole in the top of your cake, but this is a highly reliable test. If your skewer comes out clean, your cake is baked! If it comes out with mixture still stuck to it, it needs longer.
Once the cakes are cooked, turn them out onto a surface to cool down. 
Filling
Don’t put your filling inside the cake until it is completely cooled. The buttercream will just melt and you will be left with a sticky mess.
In a big bowl (trust me, icing sugar gets everywhere) slowly mix together your butter and icing sugar until you have reached a smooth consistency. Grate zest from an orange (and squeeze the juice in for extra tangy-ness) into the buttercream mix and give it a good stir.
Once your cakes are cooled, carefully make a clean cut along the top to make them straight where they will have risen in the oven. Your cakes should look like two flat cylinders.
Using a pallet knife, smooth the buttercream on one of the cakes. If you have any left over buttercream, it tastes amazing on toast. Just saying.
Spread your jam onto the other cake, and sandwich!!

Traditionally, a sponge cake is lightly dusted on top with icing sugar. There are many different toppings you can use, personally, I like it to be dusted and garnished with strawberries, but each to their own!

Enjoy!! 
E x 

10 things that make me happy, like REALLY happy

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I was reading a book and it was talking about being at a lake. The author, in their creative flow, probably thought absolutely nothing about mentioning it was a lake, and now come to think of it, I can’t even remember what book I was even reading. 

Coming back from my small tangent, reading about this lake took me back to July last year and being at Lake Windermere with a lovely girl from Michigan. I had put on my tour guide Barbie suit on and I was out for the day in the lakes and I got to show little hidden things that I found great and absolutely beautiful. My Michigan friend and I stay in touch and although I wish more than anything she could come back just for a little bit so we can do more exploring, I really love the great nostalgia I hold from that day.

So what 10 things, make me happy? And not just 10 tiny things, like getting an extra marshmallow in your hot chocolate that makes you smile and sigh at the guy in Starbucks, but happy in your stomach that you feel in your whole body?

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For me, my number one, is being with my family

Don’t get me wrong, I argue with them so much, and if I had a pound for every apology I’ve ever made from being a *bit* of a diva, I would be so rich I’d have a deposit on a house already. My family and I hold a great relationship which, frankly, I feel could never be beaten. My dad and I share the same cynical, sarcastic, dry sense of humour and we’ve both been crying and howling with laughter. My brother says very little, but he has his spectacularly hilarious one-liners which are aptly timed and comedic genius. My mum and I get on really well together most of the time! We have a great mum-daughter relationship and I think it’s fair to say that I actively seek opportunities to spend time with my mum because I enjoy it so much. When the four of us are together, there is never a dull moment!!

Number two for me has got to be being with my fiancé.

I know it’s going to be pretty much a given for the post, why would I be marrying him if I didn’t like spending time with him, or he didn’t make me happy!!? I genuinely feel grateful for him every day, he is a great guy and he always makes so much effort for me, I’m blessed that I am almost his wife!!!

Number three, is being with my best friends.

My three best friends are completely different people. I don’t know if this is why I love them all so much, because they are so different, but it certainly means that I have a wonderful, and vast, array of opinions on matters!! I don’t mind if it’s sitting on a bed drinking fruit tea and laughing until my tummy hurts or watching films and drinking wine or going out for dinner in small cafés, they all make me feel great and they are the best friends in the world.

Number four, is being warm inside when it’s raining outside.

It sounds like a silly one, next to my other three, given that the others sound so profound and meaningful, and this just feels well, kind of lazy. There’s something really quite special about being cuddled up somewhere and not needing to move, and hearing the rain battering the windows and feeling like wherever you are, it’s your safe haven.

Number five, is surprising someone with a small act of kindness.

I’m going to admit, I really don’t do this often enough. Have you ever experienced the warm sense of gratitude from someone, when you do something for them, that you really didn’t have to? Like, for example, where I live, in the city centre there are a lot of beggars who sit out on the main street during peak hours. Whatever reason they are sat there for, I don’t know, but especially when it’s cold this time of year, I always aim to go and buy them a cup of tea from Subway or a café to at least keep their hands and their insides warm.

Number six, is dancing like no-one’s watching.

OK, own up, everybody does this. Everyone gets their iPod’s out and dances around to Queen or some European DJ’s remix whilst they’re cleaning up. And nobody really feels too embarrassed about it, because it makes you feel good. Especially when you have Cillit Bang for a microphone.

Number seven, is being at church, celebrating God with my church family.

There is actually nothing that makes your soul feel more replenished than being with people who love you through all stages of your life. Being at church, for me, is not about following rules or being made to toe a line set by ancient men who wore tea towels on their heads, it’s about discovering God, and your own faith, wherever you are with it, and celebrating the good news that the Gospel brings.

Number eight, is forgetting that when you sing with earphones in, people CAN still hear you.

See point six. Apparently, just because your earphones block out the noise you are making from yourself, doesn’t mean that it blocks off the noise for other people!!

Number nine, is being with my grandparents, aunties, uncles and cousins.

Lots of people who know me, know that I come from a B-I-G family (and the majority of the people this post will get publicised to are my family *waves*) and that my big family, make me very happy indeed. I enjoy being around the people who are like me physically, whether that’s the same nose (hi, cousin Holly) or the same unruly wavy hair (hi, cousin Lauren), or the same eyes (hi, Grandad) – or whether it’s because we have a similar personality, for example clumsiness (need I say more Ella!) or the same unapologetic dry wit (hi, pretty much all of my dad’s side of the family), but there is a reasonably warm comfort to just being with your family. I know, that I am blessed to be related to such a great bunch of people, and compared to many I am so rich, and I am grateful for their support and their love always.

Finally, number ten, is when you do a great big belly laugh!

I saw a vine on FaceBook titled ‘how I laugh compared to normal people’, and I watched it so many times over, the second example of laughter is so much like me that I know Dan gets embarrassed of me if I laugh really hard in public!! It’s proven to be really good for you to just let out a big laugh, so give it a try!!!

What makes you happy, like REALLY happy?

E x

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