When You Plagarise Yourself…

imageI wrote up my latest Blogmas post yesterday about putting my drunken tree up and annoying the poor cat with various winter hats, and by the time I pressed the publish button, I was happy with how it looked.

Underneath my posts are links from my blog that focus on similar themes, so out of interest I clicked on a few of them to revisit things I had written a year ago – I like to do this every so often as a reminder of the progress that I have made.

It turns out, I had written an almost identical post a year ago, and the year before that. Drunken tree, cats in hats. I even used the phrase ‘positively sozzled’ in last year’s post, despite the fact that I felt I had written something quite humorous this year.

After 800 posts along with another thousand that I have deleted over the years, has it really got to the point where I am now plagarising my own work???

I think I need to get some new ideas…

What about you guys? Do you find that you write in cycles, revisiting the same topics at certain points in the year? Do you write identical posts when doing this?

A Cat in a Hat and a Drunken Tree

imageAfter enviously seeing some of my neighbours Christmas decorations over the last few days, I took the opportunity this morning to finally decorate the tree and front room.

We’ve had the same tree for years – a cheap and artificial Argos purchase – and it’s been with us through three house moves. The decorations initially started off as one silver bauble set, lights and some tinsel that we bought with the tree, but every year we have added to it with things we have purchased on our travels, resulting in a mishmash of glass stars, little pottery santas, Beatrix potter characters, wooden snowflakes and gingerbread figures. People with design ideals and OCD would have a minor panic attack. Continue reading

Getting Glam for Christmas: Rush Hair Salon

imageParty season is just beginning, and I began mine by attending the launch of the new Rush Salon in Birmingham.

It was my first visit to the salon, but with a deep blue frontage and shiny black floor, it immediately stood out amidst the stores on Martineau Place. I was the first to arrive, so was given a tour by the store manager, Liam, of the beautiful interior, along with the tranquil and beautiful treatment area at the back. There were numerous stations set up ready to cater for individual styles and hair types, along with some lovely snacks and glasses of prosecco. The salon was clean and elegant, the staff were extremely welcoming and friendly and I could immediately feel that it had a great atmosphere as soon as I walked in. Continue reading

Family Birthday Celebrations

imageIt’s been a really lovely weekend.

I received a package from the lovely Hugh in the mail. He had put a picture of his Christmas ducks up on Facebook and I left a comment that asked where I could get some Christmas ducks of my own. A few days later, some arrived in the mail! Thanks Hugh!

After setting off at ridiculous o’clock yesterday morning, The Bloke and I travelled up north. It was my mum’s 60th birthday and I was also meeting up with some old friends from my college years, so we were staying at my sister and brother-in-laws house. It was a good opportunity to spend some time with my sister before Baby Squidge arrives next month. Continue reading

The Magic Lantern Festival at the Botanical Gardens

With the build up to Christmas already happening, The Bloke and I thought that we would start the festivities by attending the launch event of the Magic Lantern Festival at the Botanical Gardens last week.

This is the first time it is being held in Birmingham, having launched last year in London and is one of three lantern festivals being held across the UK. Celebrating both Chinese culture and Christmas, the installations are set across the 15 acres that the Botanical Gardens offers and promised to be an exciting experience for everyone.

We weren’t disappointed – the official launch was opened by the Lord Mayor of Birmingham, accompanied by an impressive Chinese musical and dance performance, along with beautiful canapés of tempura vegetables, breaded chicken bites, mini hotdogs and cheeseburgers. We were then led outside to enjoy the exhibition for ourselves. Continue reading

Birthday Shopping, an Engagement and Blogmas!

It was my birthday the other day. The Bloke and my friends were at work and I had already been spoilt with lots of lovely presents and cards (personalised notebook, Mojito lollipops, money, lovely meal, the new Caitlin Moran book, voucher, TICKETS TO SEE RENT IN LONDON), so I decided that rather than attempting to organise a get-together, I would have a day to myself. I was in Birmingham city centre by 8am, munching my way through a McDonalds breakfast, armed with a voucher and birthday money and braced myself for the chaos that descends daily in the city around this time of year.

I had a plan to race round and finish off my Christmas shopping by 10.00am. I did quite well, managing most of it by 10.30am without being run over by a baby buggy or one of those really annoying wheeled suitcases (seriously, don’t even get me started on those…) and then got myself back home armed with lots of bags and bubble tea. I plonked myself under a warm duvet in front of the TV, where me and the cat (who was tired after running around, singing the songs of his people and attacking my face at 3am) caught up on some programmes we missed last week and had a snooze. Continue reading

The ‘Bean to Bar’ Experience at The Chocolate Quarter

Those of you who follow the blog regularly will know of my penchant for independent businesses, chocolate and good company, so when I was invited to a ‘Bean to Bar’ Christmas chocolate event at The Chocolate Quarter in Birmingham, I couldn’t get there fast enough.

I’ve been lucky enough to attend several events at the family-run store, established less than a year ago in the Jewellery Quarter by Kempes, Maninder and Jay, and it is my favourite place to buy bespoke, handmade (and quite frankly, rather delicious) luxury chocolates. Indeed, I’ve made sure to purchase some whenever I’m in the area, something that The Bloke has certainly appreciated when I’ve returned home with new flavours to try. It’s the ultimate place for chocoholics and I absolutely love the warm welcome I receive whenever I go in. Continue reading

Saturday Serenity: Allowing Our Imperfections To Shine

Something powerful to think about from Cher here! Please don’t like or comment on my reblog – hop on over to this lovely post and say hello!

The Chicago Files

sunrise-lake-michigan-november-24-2016

This past week has been another stressful one.  I know I sound like a broken record, but for a while now that is how things have been.  I envision the weekends as being quite productive, getting some shopping done, cleaning out the fridge, greeting the dust bunnies who have set up a wee little home under the bed.  You know, ‘regular’ things that shouldn’t really present a challenge.

Well, that’s not how things have played out this weekend thus far.  I tend to be very hard on myself in always feeling that I need to do everything perfectly.  I think I have an attitude that if I can’t do something perfectly then I hesitate to do it at all.  That’s not to say I don’t take risks with new activities; I do.  It’s just that at times I feel like a deer in headlights, letting fear envelop me so that…

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What Are You Grateful For?

I loved this post from Helen – it’s always good to be reminded of what we have…

Journey To Ambeth

img_0938It’s Thanksgiving in the US this weekend, a time of year when, traditionally, families gather, vast amounts of food are consumed, and thanks given. Even though we don’t celebrate the festival here, I like the idea of expressing gratitude. Of just taking a moment to think about the things I’m thankful for. About a year and a half ago I was challenged by another blogger to take something called The Gratitude Challenge  -I recently re-visited the post and felt it still rang true.

As it seemed quite timely, I thought I might share it again:

I was tagged in a post by the lovely Dee the other day, challenging me to write about something for which I’m grateful.

I’m actually finding this quite difficult. I’m grateful for most things in my life, to be honest. Therefore, choosing one thing to focus on is tough🙂

And I suppose I should be…

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Housesitting…

I’m currently sitting on a ridiculously comfy couch in front of the TV at my friend’s beautiful new house. I’ve been given the Wi-Fi password, the Sky remote, money for a takeaway and some mojito lollipops (early birthday present).

This wasn’t a planned visit – my friend and her bloke have had a trip to London booked for a while to celebrate her birthday – but two days ago a couple of scumbags decided that they had nothing better to do than break in and steal thousands of pounds worth of electronics and even worse, sentimental possessions that hold more value than anything money can buy. And, for some reason, my friend’s face cream, just to rub a little salt into the wound.

Assholes. I’m gutted for them both – they have only just moved into the property and it was obvious that they had been deliberately targeted. A month before Christmas. I’m not one to wish pain and suffering on people usually, but may the burglars crotches be infested with the fleas of a thousand camels and their arms be too short to scratch. Let’s hope that karma comes back to get them. Continue reading