Friday, 19 February 2016

Friday Highlights | Half Term

This week has been half term here in the UK so even though I'm not involved with the education system any more, the week has been a little different.

1) My mum is a teacher and has had the week off so we had a mother-daughter shopping and lunch date. I don't go into the city very often as we have a big shopping centre nearby but I do love getting the train into the city centre and seeing the different atmosphere there.

2) Work has been really quiet this week. Classes have only been half full and some staff have been away because of half term, but it's been lovely to work with the smaller groups and see the children progress.

3) I had a lovely day out with my Grandparents the other day. As they are getting older, they struggle to walk very far but there is a little town nearby where you can park up and walk along the riverside which they love to go to. We stopped at a cafe for cake and a cup of tea and by the time we had got back to the car, they had walked nearly 3000 steps according to the pedometer. It wasn't much but it was nice to go out and make memories with them, and they never fail to make me laugh.
The flood defences have been up after lots of rain recently.

4) The weather has been so bright and sunny this week. It's not warm by any means but it makes me happy to wake up to blue skies rather than grey clouds. I've been able to spend a lot of time relaxing in the conservatory now it's warmer which makes a change after a winter of not spending much time in there.

5) I drove home during a lovely sunset yesterday. It makes me so happy that the evenings are starting to get lighter again. Roll on Spring!

I'm really looking forward to this weekend as I get to go to see the family in North Wales for the first time since my Birthday. And getting to see the family means I get to play with my favourite little girl Emily :)

How was your week?

Thursday, 18 February 2016

Throwback Travels | New York 2012

Last year I started on a series of posts that are a throwback to places I've visited. I say I started a series- I only posted one post (Barcelona 2013) but I do intend to post more throwback travel pictures in the future! As you can see, this post is filled with pictures that I took on my trip to New York with my family in August 2012 (we flew out the day after the London Olympics and the airport was filled with Olympians returning home).

From the Empire State Building at night.

This was taken from the plane as we were preparing to land in Newark.

Like any ex-gymnasts do... handstands in Central Park

From the Rockefeller Centre

On the last night, me and my dad took the subway to Brooklyn and walked the Brooklyn Bridge at sunset. We then walked all the way back to our hotel in Times Square and I can honestly say I don't think I've ever felt as tired as I did after that!

We went on the Staten Island ferry to get good views of the city and the Statue of Liberty- the best free ride in New York City! The Freedom Tower was still being built back then so it's cool to see it finished now knowing that we saw it still in the construction process.

Caught in the act with my camera.

With my sister in Central Park. I love this picture because I'm right up on my tiptoes to lessen the height difference :P

We saw two Broadway shows- we got tickets for Bring It On in advance, and my dad managed to get us tickets for Mamma Mia from the booth in Times Square. They were amazing seats right in the middle and we all danced and sang along to the entire production.

So that's some of the highlights of the New York trip! I can't believe it was nearly 4 years ago, and I loved looking back at the pictures and having the memories flood back.

Friday, 12 February 2016

Friday Highlights | A Better Week

This week has been so much better than the last week I wrote about!

1) I've got new glasses! I had my eye check last week and my prescription had changed very slightly so I had a choice whether to get new ones or keep my old ones. With all the problems I've been having with the swelling around my eyes recently, I decided to get new ones and they suggested that plastic frames would be better for my allergies.

2) Talking about the swelling around my eyes, I've finally got some sort of diagnosis. At the moment, its being treated as a mild form of Angioedema, but we still don't know what my trigger is. I've been referred to an immunologist so I've got to wait until April for that appointment to get more answers about what is going on, but I guess it could be worse.

3) I had a really successful shopping trip this week. I'm planning to go into the city next week for some more shopping so I think I'll wait til the end of the month and write up a February purchases post to show you what I've bought.

4) I've been using the pedometer app on my phone for around three weeks now, and I've seen an increase in my fitness levels even though there hasn't been much change on the scales. I started off walking around 11,000 steps a day, and this week I've been averaging about 15,000 steps a day, which is more than 10km daily.

5) I had a big spring clean and reorganisation of my bedroom and threw out a bunch of stuff. It makes me feel a bit better about my shopping spree!

How was your week?

Wednesday, 10 February 2016

Happy Pancake Day!

So yesterday was Pancake Day! I know most people get excited for Valentines Day at this time of year, but to be honest Pancake Day excites me more. I mean, anything that makes Nutella go on sale in the shops gets a thumbs up from me.

As I work in the evening, I had my pancakes for lunch. It's not quite as fun to make them when you are home alone, but I have to say I think this years pancakes were my most successful yet!

 I used the recipe from BBC Good Food, but halved it so I used: 50g plain flour, 150ml milk and 1 egg. This mix made three good sized pancakes and I had fun thinking up toppings to put on them.

I made two pancakes topped with nutella and crumbled digestive bisuits- yummy!

My other pancake can be seen in the header picture for this post. It was topped with blueberries, strawberries and a banana, then topped with maple syrup.

What is your favourite pancake topping?

Monday, 1 February 2016

Current Favourites

It's time for another favourites post again! Here are some of the things I am currently loving.
This is my current Yankee Candle set up. The small Snowflake Cookie one was a Christmas present and is a scent that I've had a couple of times before and love. The large jar at the back is called Christmas Cookie, and is one I found in the Boxing Day sales at more than half price. On the right was a Christmas present from my Auntie- I can't see a brand on it but it's called Winter Berry. It's not as strong smelling as the Yankee Candles but it can still fill a room. On the left is a medium jar called Summer Scoop- this was a Birthday present. My auntie actually has a Summer Scoop candle in her house and when I visited over Christmas I mentioned to my mum that I like it. Little did I know that my mum had already bought it for me as a Birthday present!

Butterbear Bath Bomb from Lush. I saw Renee write about this on her blog and was intrigued by how it doesn't look like much in the bath but afterwards your skin feels super soft. Santa bought me a few Lush bath bombs and this one was the first one I tried. I can totally agree with Renee's review! My skin felt so soft and silky :)

Ciate Broken Ballerina Collection- This was another Christmas present, this time from my nan. I have to admit I wasn't familiar with Ciate until recently when Lucy had a Ciate nail polish advent calendar. First of all, how pretty is the packaging? The colours are all named with a ballet theme- Fool for Tulle, Raising the Barre, Plies Please Me and Prima Ballerina. My favourite has to be Prima Ballerina (the 2nd from the right in the 2nd picture), as it is a pretty neutral shade and can be worn for a number of ocassions. 

I picked these boots up from River Island in the Boxing Day sales. I wasn't actually going to buy anything in River Island because the queues were so big but my sister was buying so as we were going to have to wait for her anyway I decided to get these boots. They are super comfy (that's a lot coming from me, my feet hate wearing any shoes that aren't trainers) and are brilliant for dressing up a casual outfit.

So that's what I'm currently loving! How about you?