Sunday, 28 May 2017

Swimming

So I have wanted to swim for years and years. I can swim, but lack confidence both in the actual swimming department, as well as the self esteem one. After having to force myself to buy a swimsuit recently, I decided to start swimming in my local pool and was really proud of myself for doing 10 lengths for my first attempt (bearing in mind that I hadn't swum in almost 10years!). Since then I have progressed really well and have even made myself a little chart to prove it!

If there's a chart, it must be impressive, right?

So in week 1 I managed 10 lengths. This included a long stop between each one (which is so bad, I know) but I was pleased with my first attempt. In week 2 I boosted that up to 14 lengths, and then 16 in week 3. In my fourth week I started to find my confidence a bit more, and completed 24 lengths - I also found that I could start doing more in one go, without stopping. Last week I managed to hit the half mile mark, with 32 lengths, and today I made myself proud with a total of 50! I have my eyes set on the mile for next weekend...

I'm really enjoying myself, and it feels great passing my previous score each week. I know that won't always happen (to be honest, I nearly gave up at 20 today as I just couldn't find my rhythm) but if I can continued progressing as I have been, I will be really happy. I feel good about it too - both in a confidence and a health sense. Ok, I still hate how I look but I have managed to get over a massive hurdle in getting myself to the pool in the first place, so if nothing else that's a decent achievement.

My next target is a mile, like I said. That isn't non-stop but swimming a mile is good either way right? I also really need to improve my technique because I honestly am an awful swimmer. I can do it, but it's not the best (and never has been to be honest).

On a completely unrelated note, but appropriate to my blog - I have spent this afternoon sewing more flowers onto my bunting and it's starting to look really good now! Hopefully I can get it sorted by the end of the week, then thread together strand two, decorate that, and finally work out how I'm attaching the bumblebees. Time for bed now though!

Week 21

Sunshine and family time.

21st - 28th May

From left to right: colourful cooking, watching Owen play a gig at the Brewery Square Food Festival, lasercut lovebirds, bowling with the family, Dave showing off my first 6m of bunting, a hilarious bottle opener from Dave's parents (the penis thing started when we bought them something in Rome a few years ago), started stitching on flowers, friend's bike!, and I love walking to work on days like this!

Sunday, 21 May 2017

Week 20

A few days off!

14th - 21st May

From left to right: planted mixed petunias in our front pots, homemade pizza and cider night, found a doggy in the garden (delivered her home, don't worry), Dave made a planter for the garden!, bowling on Saturday afternoon, poached eggs on toast in the garden, sunny buttercups, a blurry Guardians Of The Galaxy selfie, and Dave took his car to a Lotus meeting!

Monday, 15 May 2017

Congratulations to Kirsty and Dicky!

After many months of waiting, Saturday marked the day of my best friend's wedding; and it was absolutely beautiful. The weather was stunning, the venue was gorgeous, and we all had an amazing time. And she was so relaxed about it all!


It was a truly magical day. I arrived bright and early (around 8am) to start getting ready. Had my hair done by the lovely Sarah, and makeup by fellow bridesmaids Kat and Georgina. Kirsty remained so laid back she was near horizontal for the entire morning (I hope I can be the same for my wedding in a few months!), and didn't let anything bother her - not that anything went wrong! She looked amazing in her dress, and I managed to lace it really well too, which I had been stressing about.

What it took to make me presentable!

The ceremony was a real tearjerker and the wedding breakfast was fantastic! Now, I won't lie, I had been a little pessimistic about the food because it really wasn't my kind of stuff, but I'm glad that I decided to stick with the set menu and not chicken out like Dave did and go for the kids one! I ended up eating confit duck (which I would have preferred warm but that's being super critical) and pan fried seabass with coconut and lemongrass risotto! Dave had boiled eggs and soldiers, followed by fish and chips (which looked so good!). The speeches that followed dinner were really funny - the best man's was fab!

Little bro and I!

We didn't stay late into the evening reception but I messed around in the photobooth a couple of times, and we had a couple of drinks. Caught a quick glimpse of the amazing wedding cake, made by Dicky's Mum - fancy and wedding on one side, and icing folding back to reveal Lego bricks on the other! Very clever!

A close up on the cake - photos by Laura
All in all, I am so thrilled for my best friend. Kirsty has been there for me through a lot over the years, and I remember having discussions with her during her single times about how she was going to die alone, surrounded by cats. Now look at her! I like being right haha!

I wish you both many happy years together, and I hope you have an amazing honeymoon! You both deserve some sun and time to unwind - enjoy!

Week 19

Wedding bells were ringing!

7th - 14th May

From left to right: a sunny afternoon spent in the garden, bridesmaid hair, a perfect day, drinking tea from a milk jug (did the trick), my stunning best friend just before going to see her groom, my corseting skills were on point!, pan fried seabass with coconut and lemongrass risotto, photobooth fun with my brother, and my gorgeous bridesmaid bouquet!

Tuesday, 9 May 2017

Shutter Island

I have managed to fly through 2 books in the last couple of weeks, and am now only one book behind on my reading challenge! Woohoo! I was starting to get concerned (though my crochet is suffering because of it).

I really enjoyed reading So You've Been Publicly Shamed by Jon Ronson. As I said in my previous reading post, it was something that I never would have usually chosen to read - perhaps that's why I enjoyed it so much. Having previously been a really avid user of social media, I found it fascinating to read what happened to people after posting some simple "jokes" that have been misinterpreted and blown out of proportion.

After that, I started Shutter Island by Dennis Lehane. Oh my goodness! I absolutely love the movie that was released a few years ago, and it stars quite a few of my favourite actors. At the time, I never realised that there was a novel behind it all, but was bought it for Christmas a few years ago. Only just got round to reading it, and was completely hooked! Firstly, I love how true the movie is to the original book - there were only a few changes made (which seems to be really unusual nowadays). Secondly, it's so fast paced and brilliantly written - I couldn't put it down! I think it definitely needs to be added onto everyones "things to read before you die" list, and I'm going to look up some of Lehane's other books!

I am now up to 1,872 pages read so far this year (which when I remember that's only a few hundred longer than Stephen King's "IT", doesn't seem like that many to be honest). Not sure what my next book will be - I need to force myself to get some of these smaller flags made so I can start the final assembly on my bunting. I have a busy weekend ahead so won't get much done, but a few days off afterwards so perhaps then.

Monday, 8 May 2017

Week 18

Lots of cooking this week!

30th April - 7th May

From left to right: making more brownies, pretty pink roses, it's always a happy day when my next issue of Good Food magazine arrives!, been swimming again, having a hair trial for Kirsty's wedding, yummy chicken with herb and wine sauce, chilli chicken on a Sunday night, Marvel wrap for Dave's birthday presents, and Kirsty having her wedding hair trial!

Monday, 1 May 2017

Week 17

Loads of good food!

23rd - 30th April

From left to right: blurry greens, delicious chicken with harissa for dinner, a good start to the day, celebrating Sarah's birthday in style!, amazing dinner at The Dancing Duck, a chilli plant from Kirsty and Dicky, went for a cake tasting session for our wedding, crispy hash brown, and the light on our new burglar alarm sensor is watching me sleep...