Wednesday, 30 October 2013

Trick or Treat Hodgepodge

Happy Halloween Hodgepodgers!

1) What's something you're dealing with that might be described as tricky?

At the moment my hospital needs a bladder scanner. It's something we have always needed but funds have been tight. Next week I have to do a presentation to my executive director to persuade him to get the hospital one. The trouble is a scanner is about £8000 - so I am finding it tricky to do a presentation with facts and figures. Argh!

2) What's your treat of choice?

Anything sweet!

3) Did you/will you carve a jack-o-lantern this month? Which real (living or dead) or fictional 'Jack' would you most like to meet in person? Why?

I haven't carved one and due to working busy shifts this week I doubt I'll be able to. I still love the lantern I carved last year. I don't know any real Jack's but I would love to meet Jack from Titanic. He's a romantic and fun sort of guy!

4) What's the grossest sounding word in the English language?

I think this is a popular one but I have never liked the word moist. It just makes me feel a little uncomfortable when I hear it. I really hate it when I hear a cake is referred to as moist - it just doesn't sound appetising!

5) When did your heart last skip a beat?

It hasn't for a while. A song came on the radio recently that means a lot to me. My heart skipped a beat and I found it a struggle to concentrate back onto my driving!

6) Monster Mash by Bobby 'Boris' Picket, Michael Jackson's Thriller, Werewolves of London by Warren Zevon or Ray Parker Jr's. Ghostbusters...your favourite scary tune is?

I'd have to say Michael Jackson. Great song and great video!

7) It was a dark and stormy night 2004 when a 100ft tree fell onto my neighbours house. We all had to be 'evacuated' for the evening whilst they chopped it down and sorted out the damage. It was freezing!

8) Insert random thought here.

This weekend just gone was my sisters wedding reception. It was a great evening celebrating her nuptials to my brother in law. I have to be honest though. I am glad all the wedding stuff has finished. I found one wedding tiring, let alone two. Below is a picture of my siblings and I.

Sunday, 27 October 2013

Life Lately

Life has been somewhat of a blur for me lately. I am not a person to wallow in pity but the storm I am riding is not an easy one. In saying that there have been many positives that have happened in my life and i have plenty to look forward to too!

1) Nicola and Robbie's wedding

It was just a very special day and I loved being Nicola's bridesmaid. Nicola looked beautiful and Robbie looked so smart. I am so pleased they got the wedding they wanted. They got married in Cyprus and this weekend they had a wedding reception for all family and friends who could not attend. It's safe to say they are so tired! But they had a great time and said they would do it all over if again if they could.

2) Cyprus

The wedding was just one day and the other 4 days I had in Cyprus were lovely. It was the first time I had a chance to get away from this mess and really think. It was so so good to read, relax and just be calm without any stresses. Cyprus itself was beautiful and the harbour had a really pretty promenade to walk along. I miss it.

3) Mental health

Therapy has ended and it's something I am in two minds about. It became routine every Tuesday evening to go and it was my chance to really focus my mind and get a bit more of a grip. On my bad days during the treatment I could just focus on my next session to get me through. However, I now have lots of new tools to help me. I have a HUGE understanding now of what I can do and I am slowly changing my way of thinking to be less destructive. This is a long road, much longer than I anticipated but I am determined. It's all I can really say on the matter.

4) Girly weekend

Last month one of my good friends said we should have a girly weekend away and I jumped on the bandwagon! This weekend we are going to stay in a converted barn, attend a bonfire night and have girly time. I know you shouldn't wish your life away but I would rather like next weekend to hurry up. I am so so so looking forward to it!

5) Tackling the bucket list

I am not sure if I have mentioned this on the blog but I have booked a trip for next year!!! I am finishing off America by going to Washington DC, New York, Philadelphia, Niagara Falls and Toronto. I know I have been to NYC but I didn't get to do Empire State as it was closed. So I will be able to say I have fully finished NYC after this trip!!!

6) Christmas

Last year I did 'Airmail Christmas' - where you send a card to an anonymous person you don't know. This way your'e spreading Christmas spirit intentionally to all areas of the globe. Anyone interested in taking part again this year?

Thursday, 24 October 2013

Throwback Thursday - Bicycles

I think this is the oldest photo I have on my computer from when I was little. This picture was taken in the spring of 1992! It was just after my little sister was born.

My garden looks so different now. I remember I loved playing on that yellow slide all the time. What I love about this photo is the bike my sister is posing with is actually broken. The chain bracket had completely snapped off but Nicola was adamant she could still ride it. I remember the wheels had these gem things on so when you turned the wheel they sparkled. Sadly, the bike had to be scrapped but this photo does bring back the memories.

Wednesday, 23 October 2013

Mind your manners Hodgepodge!

Welcome to Wednesday Hodgepodge!

1) When it comes to good manners, what two top your list of most important?

Saying please and thank you. Also, eating with your mouths full - ick!

2) Let's open a proverbial can of worms...common core. Are you familiar with the term?

No not familiar with the term at all.

3) Name a celebrity whose fashion sense you admire and share why.

I like people that play it safe, who are elegant and use a look that suits them. So that rules Lady Gaga and Miley Cyrus out in a heartbeat. I think Reese Witherspoon has wonderful style. I really like classic looks too (love the 1920s era!) so Emma Watson, Taylor Swift and Kate Middleton pull this off well.

4) How are you affected by the changing of seasons?

I wouldn't go as far to say I have seasonal affective disorder. But I really don't adapt well in terms of changing my clothes. I hate changing my summer clothes over to winter ones and grey skies I find depressing. I tend to have a bit more of a spring in my step when the weather warms up.

5) Scariest book you've ever read?

I can honestly say I have never read a scary book and don't intend to.

6) What time of day are you most hungry? What's your go-to snack?

I am most hungry late afternoon. I tend to feel my tummy grumble about 3pm. At the moment my go-to snack are ham sandwiches!

7) Do you lean towards being too needy or too independent? Which do you feel harder to with in others?

This is a tough one and not because I'd say I am balanced - far from it! But it really depends on the situation. I'd have to say I lean more towards being too independent as I don't like to ask for help and I much prefer doing things in my own way. However, I can be very needy, especially when I am feeling low or stressed.

8) Insert random thought here.

I finished therapy this week and I am finding it hard to let go of the fact that I won't be going back to my classes for a while. I kind of feel a little in limbo at the moment which sucks. On the plus side it is my sisters wedding reception this weekend so I am looking forward to dressing up.

Friday, 18 October 2013

Nicola & Robbie's Wedding

This past week has been full of love. It was the perfect wedding day for my sister and her (now) husband Robbie! I enjoyed everything about it and I will never forget their special day. It was also nice to spend a week away from home and out in the sunshine. Below are some pictures from the wedding!

All ready to walk down the aisle. Nicola was very calm all day. She only got nervous just before she walked down and that was only because people in the hotel were pointing at a bride in the reception

They married at sunset

Us bridesmaids. My sister Rachael, myself and Robbie's sister, Emma.

Cutting into their cake

My Mum and brother - I love this one

Our flowers

Their wedding song was 'Nobody Does it Better' by Carly Simon. Thank you for letting be part of your special day. It was 13 years in the waiting but worth every second.

Monday, 14 October 2013

Wedding Bells

Today my sister gets married.

She has been with Robbie for 12 years and today at 5pm they will become husband and wife in Cyprus.

I am one of her bridesmaids and I really can't wait to see them make this transition. The one thing I love about their wedding is from the get go they have done everything just how they want. They haven't got caught up in it all and just made it very understated and very them. From day one these two were made for each other and I can't express the joy I have in their impending marriage today.

All the luck and love in the world to both of you.

Thursday, 10 October 2013

Throwback Thursday - Turkey

It seems only fitting that whilst I am in Cyprus celebrating my sister's nuptials, that I delve into a sunny stream of pictures. I settled on this one. A picture of my friend Becca and I in Turkey, September 2009.

This is my favourite photo from the album because it was the most difficult to take. We decided we wanted to take a photo of us together in the pool but there was no-one around. We had the pool to ourselves. So we decided to do a self-timer one. I got out, dried my hands, set my camera up and jumped back in. But I then realised I had put it on a 30 second timer and not the 10 second one. Also, I had stupidly set it up in the deep end of the pool. So for 30 seconds we looked like drowning fish as we doggy paddled to stay in position and more importantly above water! It was the longest 30 seconds ever! But it came out quite well!?

Wednesday, 9 October 2013

Where in the world Hodgepodge!

Today I am heading to Cyprus for my sisters wedding. But I wanted to take part in a Hodgepodge before I flew off! I have not taken part in Wednesday Hodgepodge for a few weeks so I want to get back in the saddle again.

1. The USA will mark Columbus day this year on Monday, October 14th. What's something you need or want to explore?

There are so many things. On a personal level I want to explore my mind and retrain it to be more positive. The therapy I am having at the moment is helping but it's not an easy journey! On the plus side there are many countries I want to explore too.

2. The Wicked Witch of the West from The Wizard of Oz, Ursula from The Little Mermaid, or Maleficent from Sleeping Beauty...who do you most love to hate?

I have to say Wicked Witch of the West! I don't have a reason why but I just love her cackle.

3. Is open-mindedness a virtue?

I'd like to think it is! It's good to be receptive to new ideas and be willing to learn about others opinions as well as your own. I think the trouble with being open minded is often people use it as a rationale to adopt new ideas and act on them - good or bad - because they're being 'open minded.' When that to me is not the case! For example, on the news the other they were interviewing people who agree with what suicide bombers are doing. In fact, they used the sentence 'they're being open minded and acting on their instinct to spread the word of Allah.' This ISN'T being open minded, because to be open minded you have to impartial and evaluate both sides of the story. Suicide bombers killing themselves and innocent people isn't being open minded.

4. How often do you weigh yourself?

Every couple of months.

5. Costa Rica was recently named the happiest country in the world on the Happy Planet Index. What's the happiest country in the world to you, and what makes it so?

I would be biased and say England as it's my home and I cannot imagine living anywhere else. However, in just the few short weeks I spent in Australia I have to say I have never met more kinder and positive people. I just found their way of life so relaxed, the people so polite and the country so well kept. I just felt so safe and content there. If it wasn't miles and miles away I'd go back in a heartbeat!!!

6. Besides the Bibles, what is one book that you think should be made mandatory to read for high school students?

One book I read during secondary school was 'To Kill a Mockingbird' by Harper Lee. It was the first book I had ever read that just left me speechless. It had history, morals, well thought out characters and I kind of wish that Jem and Scout exist somewhere.

7. I went shopping at some nearby outlets last week. And whilst I was there, I picked up a couple of Christmas gifts. How about you? Have you started your Christmas shopping yet?

Yes I have but not intentionally. I saw something online and thought 'my sister would love that' and the next chance I can give her a wrapped gift is Christmas. So I will keep it until then. I usually keep an eye out for gifts from the end of October.

8. Insert your own random thought here.

My sister gets married on the 14/10/13 in Cyprus. I fly out tomorrow and I am looking forward to laying by the pool for a week. Oh an wedding cake too! I just hope I remember how to do a corset up!

Monday, 7 October 2013

The day I met Holly

I've always said that the best thing about blogging is meeting other bloggers. I have met a few bloggers in real life like Laurie, Sam and Ruth in London. I also met up with April in Las Vegas last year! So in August I got to finally meet my friend Holly from New Zealand!

Holly is coming over for teaching experience and to try something new. I just love that she was 26 hours away and now only 3 hours from me. It was so good to finally meet her after about 4 years of blogging and tweeting each other. I hope she wasn't too offended when I said I thought she sounded more Aussie than Kiwi!

We went round London for the afternoon. I introduced her to Big Ben so she could hear him chime. We went and visited Westminster Abbey (where Kate and William got married), then I took her to Buckingham Palace to meet the Queen (haha I wish!) Afterwards we just talked and talked while we walked and walked. It was really fun to be open with each other and finally talk face to face! In the evening I took her for Japanese food and at the end she gave me Kiwi chocolate!!!! I loved it!

Holly I am so glad we're finally IRL friends. We better see each other soon, as now we don't have oceans and countries blocking our way!

Thursday, 3 October 2013

Throwback Thursday - Qualification Day

Thursday 5th August 2010

I qualified as a nurse

There are no words to describe the elation I had that day. It was a day I was so proud of everyone I passed with. Plus, I was especially proud of me. I did it!

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