Sunday, 29 June 2014

Only 11 more months

Last month I wrote my first post in the count down to my best friends wedding, which you can read here

Today marked 11 months to go and so it was time to courier over the next present...

Vintage lace hanky
Inside I wrote this beautiful poem...

Your Wedding Kiss

When you walk down the aisle as all brides will do,
a hanky you'll need to carry with you.

So here is that hanky from my heart to yours,
with all of my blessings to open life's doors.

When you place that kiss upon his lips,
on this hanky wipe the kiss,
that changes your name to Mrs. from Miss.

Then keep it among all your cherished loved things,
that remind you of happiness life surely brings.

Wishing You Joy and Happiness.

Tuesday, 24 June 2014

35 pounds to go

Most people try to save pounds, but I am trying to lose them and that's because I'm not talking about money.  I'm talking about weight.

I have always been someone who struggles with my weight and a few years ago I found out it was probably because I have polycystic ovaries.  So I'm one of those people who can look at a chocolate bar and put on a stone.  Sure it sucks but that's my reality, so I started running and I lost a lot of weight, around 2 stone - so that year I went on holiday a very happy bunny!

I did really well with my running, kept it up and the weight off and then about a year later I slipped down a flight of stairs holding my nephew and in an effort to save him, I took the fall hard and managed to break my back.

As you can imagine, injury's like this take a while to heal and I was pretty crippled for a while.  It's taken around a year to recover completely and apart from the odd back ache I would say I was pretty damn lucky.  

However, after he year of no exercise that two stone I lost has gradually crept back on.  So last week, I made the decision that enough was enough.

I have watched my best friends little sister do so well over the last year or so losing so much weight on the Herbalife plan, that she has inspired me to do the same.  Hasn't she done amazing?  Here is a link to her blog.

I have been having the shakes and my meals since Saturday now and they are great and since then I have gradually been working on my fitness too.  I have started small, taking the dog for a long walk every evening and have been working on the crunches in the evenings too and will be weighing myself in on Saturday, exactly a week after I started.

I'll update you all again in a few weeks and let you know how I am doing and if I find any amazing recipes that I would recommend for you all too.  But for now, wish me luck....

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Saturday, 21 June 2014

Days at the Seaside

Most of you who read my blog regularly will know that I have a nephew who recently turned two, and he definitely knows his own mind now.  So what do you do with a two year old for the day?  Well being an overgrown child myself I have lots of ideas, but my favourite one is the seaside.  I Am a  firm believer in spoiling children with your time and not your money.  Although I like to treat him to things every now and again (who doesn't) I mostly like to make memories with him, as these will last a lifetime.

Collect moments not things
So last weekend when it was sunny we pakced a bag and headed for the beach, a place I was familiar with after spending every weekend there as a child.

Days at the beach with my brother, sister, nan and grandad
So me and Teddie made our way to Southend-on-sea and it was freezing - but we jumped on a train along the pier and had a look around.

Waiting for our train to arrive to take us to the end of the pier
Southend Pier is one of the longest in the UK and has been through its fair share of hardships over the years with a few fires keeping it on its toes.  The pier has been rebuilt in the last few years and is still running daily to take people to the end of the pier, where the life boats are kept and back again.

The pier is somewhere I love and have lots of memories of going to growing up, I used to wave at all the people walking along when I was a little girl and even walked my dollies in their prams along their too a few times with my nan who lived there.

Now I am older, I hope Teddie will have lots of things like this to remember when he is older too.

Watching for people and looking at the 'juice'
Now I am older I encourage Teddie to look out the window for the people walking along too, so that he can wave to them in the same way that we all used to when we were his age.  He also enjoyed pointing out all the juice to me on the way.  Juice is Ted's word for water...

At the end of the pier there is always people fishing, however, on this particular day we found a lovely man who was showing the children the crabs he had caught.  I used to love crabbing when I was a kid and would spend hours hanging over bridges seeing who could catch the most and then throw them all back in again.  Teddie however, wasn't so keen.  In fact this is as close as he was getting to any crab on the pier that day.

After checking out the lifeboats and buying a windmill for Teddie, we went to get a snack before heading back.  Ted's such an old man already, asking for a cup of tea when we got to the cafe - so we stopped for tea and then made our way back to get off the freezing cold pier. 

Time for Tea!

Playing peek a boo while we waited for the next train

Here comes the train, ready to go back to the shore
Southend also has its own little amusment park, which I still call Peter Pans Playground, as it was called way back when and on the cliffs had a place you could explore called Never, never land.  But since the cliffs slipped a long time ago now and Never, never land was no more, they changed the name to Adventure Island.  If you want to go for the day you can get wrist bands or if you are just hopping on a few rides you can get some tickets.

As Teddie is a bit too small for most of the rides still, I took him on the oldest ride in the park - the waltz and he loved it.  In fact he tried to stage a protest and not get off the ride, "more Auntie Lauren".   So off we went to get some more tickets and got back on the ride again and again until I was starting to feel a bit sick...

Waiting for the rides
After the tickets ran out, we went to get Ice Cream in our favourite place, Rossi's.  Rossi's has been there since my nan was a little girl, this is where she grew up during the war and actually used to swim to the end of the pier on a daily basis.  So every weekend come rain or shine, we would go get a Rossi's Ice cream - it is the best I have ever tasted and I have tried a lot of ice cream.

Ice cream time
After our Ice Creams we made our way back to the car and went home to find mummy.  We had a brilliant day and would recommend it to everyone (especially the ice cream).

What are your top tips for a day at the beach? Comment below and let me know :)

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Friday, 20 June 2014

A place called home. London

OK I'll admit it, I am guilty of moaning about the place that I live and dreaming of new shores, but London definitely has its benefits.

A lot of people hate the ancient traditions that we have in England, but I love them and am proud when I get to see them on days out.  Recently London has seen some amazing events pass through its city, The Olympics and The Queen's Jubilee being the two biggest.  I loved the feeling of excitement that was in London during this time and the 'Blitz spirit' that was adopted, so going to see Trooping the Colour at Horse Guards Parade this last weekend was amazing.

Lots of people go to Buckingham Palace to see the changing of the guard, which happens every day in the court yard, so when we bumped into a lovely Canadian couple doing just that, who had stumbled upon Trooping of the colour by accident we convinced them to stay and watch the whole thing.

I can assure you, if you stay to watch this parade while you are on holiday in England you will not be disappointed.  The parade starts with the customary pageantry and tradition you would expect from the Royal's, the marching soldiers, the marching bands and then come the horses and finally the carriages carrying the Royal Family.

The Duchess of Cambridge Kate and Prince Harry were first in the procession this year, sharing their carriage with The Duchess of Cornwall Camilla.  Last to arrive was the Queen and Prince Phillip followed on horse's by Prince Charles, The Princess Royal and Prince William on the grey horse in the middle.

After watching everyone go in, we had a slow walk down The Mall to get as close as we could to Buckingham Palace, where we knew we would be able to see the possession along with the Royal family make it's way back.

Once you have sang the National Anthem, the barriers are taken down and everyone makes a quick dash to the front, so they are able to see the family make their entrance on the balcony of Buckingham Palace.

Then comes my favourite part of the whole day.  The fly over takes place, which includes the Lancaster bomber, Chinook helicopters and by far my most favourite of them all, The Red Arrows.

Here are some of my best bits of the day...

Getting off to a good start

The Royal Family

Fly over at Buckingham Palace

St. James' Park SELFIE

St. James' Park

Large crowds

The Red Arrows

Have a good day and see it through to the end

My tips for the day:
- get there early
- watch the parade go into Horse Guards Parade
- run to get a good spot at the front of the palace
- sing the national anthem loud and proud
- go for a walk through St. James' Park
- go and explore Covent Garden afterwards

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