The thoughts of a “wunner”

It’s 6.45 and my alarm is going off. I didn’t go to bed ’til 1.20. I press snooze. It’s 6.50, the alarm’s going again. I press snooze. Ugh! Why am I doing this? Do I really need to get up? It’s 6.55, my alarm is going off, I press dismiss and reluctantly drag my ass outta the leaba (bed for anybody not from the Motherland).

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I’m halfway through week 3 of a Couch to 5K app, I’ve done the hard part this morning…I got outta bed. I feel a bit like Rocky now. I’m up, I’m at ’em. I’ve done me stretching…let’s do this sh*t!

So this week, it’s a 28 minute workout, alternating between jogging for 90secs, brisk walking for 90secs, jogging for 3mins and brisk walking for 3mins, with a 5min warm up and cool down either end….

20170322_000447First 90secs: Wooo! Yeah! Feeling pretty fly for a white girl! Eh? What’s that? Stop running already? Sure I am Usain Bolt lads.

Walkie, walkie…walking briskly…of course.

First 3mins: Phew…starts ok. Ugh..is 3 minutes really this long? Ok! Fine! Fine! Just get on with it Don. Pant! Pant! Hmm…what will I have for breakfast? God, normally I wouldn’t even be up now. Pffft! Puff! Pant! Wheez! Jeezus! Have I any clothes ironed for work? Oh Lord, has Monkey a clean jumper? Why has this one not said stop running yet?

Ding!! AT LASSST! Walk time. Oh my God! Really, why am I doing this? Pant! Pant! Wheez! Jayzus will I ever catch me breath? Like really the only reason I have to run is if I’m chased by a machete wielding clown, or if anybody is crazy enough to hurt my baby…then you better run like Satan and his hounds are on your tail! This is unreal. How am I so unfit? Oh Lord, I still have another 3min run to do! FML!

Second 90secs: Bah! Here I go again…ah this one’s only 90secs…piece a p**s. Phew, still a bit panty after that last one though. Power through Don, power through.20170322_000513

Is that it? That seemed short….the monster is looming though. I still haven’t fully recovered from the last three min sesh. I’d safely say I look like a plum tomato, masquerading as lithe leek. The panting and puffing though ….agh God…embarrassing!

Second 3mins: FML!!! I can’t do this! I CAN’T DO THIS! I’m puffing like an extremely old, on it’s way out steam engine, on the verge of combusting. Oh my God, people can probably hear me coming before they see me, this is woeful. No Don, cop on, everybody starts somewhere, plus they don’t know you haven’t already been running a straight 6miles. True, true, I got this. Oh my God, I don’t got this, my heart is going to leap outta me chest any time now, just like the Alien embryo burst through John Hurt’s chest. Like seriously, I’ve been running for a lot longer than 3mins now. Nope! Can’t do it, I’m quitting, if I can’t do this I’ll never get through week 4. Do or do not, there is no try…thanks Yoda. Ok I can do it. I can’t back out now anyway, I’ve posted on social media. FFS! Why did I do that? Lord divine Jayzus, is it STILL NOT 3 F**KING MINUTES!!! G’wan Don, stick with it, at least you’re at it, it get’s easier. Perseverance is key.You’re right Glenn, ok. I got this.Oh my God, I think I’m gonna puke. I think I may stop. Never had you down as a quitter Don? If you want it bad enough you’ll do it. True say Steve, I’m not quitting. 20170322_000533

BEEEEEP! OH THANK THE F**KING GODS!!! Brisk walk, brisk walk…wheeeze….wheeezey…pant pant puff! Keep up the walking Don, don’t collapse just yet. I did it, I did it! Ugh, my back is wet…ooooh…musta done something right. Ugh…sweaty bum! Not sexy! Who cares….I made it, it’s over! I’m getting better…wooooo….watch out Bolt!

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This is the app I use. There are loads you can follow though.

Just so ye know, this is not a sponsored post guys. Let me know if ye decide to give a Couch to 5K a go and how ye get on. You can follow my progress over on Instagram @TotallyDonnaMarie1

xx

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Gold trousers do not a mid-life crisis make!

For a second my sparkle dimmed, it was like I’d been kicked in the stomach. Somebody had just tried to steal my sunshine, my glittery-ness, my sparkle. Yeah MY SPARKLE!!

Worse thing is, the thief was an unexpected source and so, disappointing. Maybe said thief was having a bad day, but that’s not my beef, don’t take it out on me.

So the sparkle stealing began with a pair of gorgeous gold trousers that I’d seen on the Collectif website. Miss Deadly Red is modelling them and she looks HAWT!!! Now I’m not a total eegit and will tell you, I will by no means look as hot but they’re gold and shiny and I love them, but I don’t buy them. I do however mention them to others as I’d seen another pair in H&M that were completely covered in gold sequins. Sparkle overload lads!170306113743_wm Anywho…a week or so passes and I walk in on a conversation about my love of these gold trousers and Sparkle Stealer or SS for short pipes up, “Gold trousers?And what’s with all these pouty pout photos on Facebook? Are you having a midlife crisis?” Defence was offered on my behalf with “oh it’s for her make up that she does”. Taken aback by the suggestion of a midlife crisis, I said no, I’m just doing what I wanna do, I haven’t murdered anyone. (Well not yet!) Then, THEN!!!! SS asks how old I am!! By jayzus!! I’m tryna be cool like, cos I was getting more annoyed with conversation and what the hell my clothes or pouting had to do with SS. I didn’t realise pursed lips and the possible sight of me in gold trousers was so upsetting. I proudly tell SS I’ll be thirty four in two weeks and ask why this is relevant, you only live once and I’m not hurting anyone.Now you know in your mind you can see yourself f**king s**t up…..SS says “yeah you might do, but it’s acceptable at sixteen not at thirty four.” “Well I like what I like and I don’t particularly care whether anyone else does”.

SS isn’t even on Facebook lads! How is so much known about my pouty pics? Well nosing through somebody else’s profile of course. Hmm and if reconnaissance was done properly, I’m sure they’d notice in most of my pics, I look like a haggard little boy, so by God when I do slick on the lippy and straighten me wig, I’ll post it on every type of social media I have access to! Ironically SS is a fair bit older than me, yet has one or two hobbies which might be deemed as “childish” themselves. I swear to God, the cheek!170307121209_wm

Anyway, as I said, my Sparkly tiara nearly fell off me head and this 10 minute conversation stuck with me. I don’t know why, as most times unless it’s a really brutal, cutting remark, it will have faded from my mind fairly quick. Maybe it was the unexpected source of the dig? So I turned to the person who’s known me all my life…The Mammy. I asked her what sort of  a person I was growing up, was I always a little bit “woooo”? (I’m not super eccentric or anything, but I do love dressing up, whether it’s for a laugh or a glam night out and I try to make it a little different or mine I suppose). Ma said “you’re just the same, funny, friendly and kind. It’s just your nature, you’re like me in a way but more out going. Why?”. I wanted to find out if I’d changed drastically, I wanted to find out if I WAS having a “mid-life crisis”. I mean it can’t be a mid-life crisis if I’ve always been the same eh? So I told her about SS. I told Ma, that for a brief moment SS made me worry if people see me as an idiot but funnily enough, at the same time I didn’t care. (If I like what I’m wearing and it raises a smile from you, whether you’re smiling with me or laughing at me, I’m ok with that…who else made you smile today?) These are my Mother’s wise words;

“Jealousy is a bad thing Donna, and that’s what’s wrong. You’re doing what you want to do and they’re* afraid. They* live boring lives and are stuck in their* ways. You could slap it to them* over their “childish” hobbies but that’s not you. You’re still young, wear what you want and you always look brilliant. I hope you never change.”

With that, I righted my crown and scolded myself for doubting my confidence.

I bought the gold trousers.

Ain’t nobody stealing my sparkle!

Love Donna

PS I always say, that somebody who can’t say anything nice to you especially about how you look, and when you clearly look great, is a jealous creature. Jealous people only try to cut you down.

PPS You too can own a pair of said gold trousers annnnd they’re on sale!! WOOOO!!

 

2016 Book Challenge reviews

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One of my New Year’s achievables for 2016 was to read more.Reading is a brilliant pastime, a form of escapism from the norm, a way to learn and educate. I can’t stress how important I think reading is…your vocabulary expands, your spelling improves, it’s suitable for any age….shur it’s great! Get on it now! Anyway, as you may have guessed, I love reading, but since having Small Monkey, I definitely read less, so to get on the right road I found one of those reading challenge lists and went about completing it.  As you can see the list has a variety of different headers to complete, which meant I actually strayed out of my normal fantasy type comfort zone and picked up books I wouldn’t normally. So if you want to expand your horizons book-wise, take up a reading challenge. Some of the books I read, covered one or two of the topics, and some topics I ended up reading a few books from the suggested header.  There was a few I never actually covered all so I’ll try again this year. If you’ve had a look at my Facebook page you may already have read these reviews but shur just in case you’re not….

Books that were published this year;

14324174_1784887261724450_839442903035615910_oThe UnMumsy Mum is brilliant…and funny…and true to life. If any of you follow her blog, you’ll understand. This book covers the joys of parenting, I mean the sarcastic joys and the real joys.It made me laugh and it made me cry a little too, and even though I’ve eventually come to the realisation that there is no perfect way to be a parent, it was great to have written confirmation. I was going to pass this on to somebody else but decided to keep in just in case The Monkey completely wrecks my head one day, and I need some sort of reassurance that it’s not just me…I’ll reach for this book and I’ll feel better.

13640794_1760308004182376_6867007835768446105_oGotta admit, the title of this book, Letters to my Fanny, suggested to me that it would be a hilarious account of Cherry’s different male conquests (sorry Cherry!) so don’t let the title scare you away from it or mislead you either. It’s a nice book and easy to read with some “LOL” sections.Cherry writes as if she was sitting there talking to you, which I kinda like. She covers ALL sorts of topics in this book in their unedited versions but basically she’s trying to tell us women to be happy in the skin you’re in, love yourself and have fun. I gotta admit I did find my interest waning a little towards the end but I persevered and overall I liked it.

12615503_1706284456251398_3804505197703622923_oAt the time of buying this, In a Dark Dark Wood, was one of the closest books published to 2016 that drew my interest, partly because it was recommended by Reese Witherspoon 😂 and I quite like her.A group of friends, two of whom haven’t seen each other since they were 16, get together for a hen do…one that ends in murder. This book is a good twisty, “who dunnit” read that I really wanted to get to the back of quickly, my only niggle with it was the weak reason the two girls fell out in the first place…like Nora reeeally holds a grudge!

 

Books you can read in a day;

12671643_1706284416251402_2448178747103444143_oNight is the real account of life as a Nazi prisoner, not only was Wiesel a prisoner, but an innocent child. This is his short but heart breaking account of his time in the death camps of Birkenau and Auschwitz. It’s so hard to believe people can afflict so much suffering on each other and even harder to believe the strength of the people who survived it.

 

 

 

A book you’ve been meaning to read;

15156888_1816194485260394_6151292377575875042_oI’ve been meaning to read The Colour Purple for aaaages. It’s one of them books you’ve just heard about. It’s written in a series of letters from Celie to God and then to her sister Nettie, and from Nettie to Celie, which makes it easy to read.

Celie is raped by her “father” as a young girl and has two children by him. Her kids are taken from her and eventually her dear sister is torn from her too. She is married off to a man she doesn’t love, who also abuses and belittles her, strangely enough she learns love and self expression from the flamboyant Shug Avery, her husband’s mistress. The pair forge a bond and become a force to be reckoned with.There’s so much suffering in this book, from rape to female mutilation but there’s also hope, courage and love and one thing that shone through to me, was what strong women Celie, Shug, Sofia and Nettie are. Celie, being the main character has gone through so much and I’m so glad she triumphed in the end.

It’s a great book, so if you haven’t read it you should!

Books that were recommended;

12778747_1706284359584741_4260572613144978734_oStephen King is one of my fav authors so he was bound to show up in my reading challenge. The sales assistant in WHS recommended this one. I’d picked up Mr Mercedes and put it down twice, unsure about this particular King, but I’m glad she convinced me to buy it. It was different to the other Stephen King’s I’ve read in that “shock, horror” there’s no supernatural elements in it. The gripping, opening scene tricked me into thinking otherwise, with the brutal mowing down of 8 people. We then meet the suicidal, retired detective Bill Hodges and psycho killer, Brady Hartsfield and the race against time starts again. Despite spending half the time waiting for something “supernatural” to pop up, nothing did but I still really enjoyed this gripping read from good auld Stephen.

I’ve since found out there are actually two follow ups to this which I can’t wait to get my hands on… Finders Keepers and End of Watch…I really need to know how this all pans out.

15195892_1816194451927064_3276153822877113430_oIf you read reviews on Sleeping Around and Breaking the Rules, you’ll probably notice there’s a lot of comparisons between Catherine Townsend and Carrie Bradshaw which is exactly what I thought when I read them. I still enjoyed the books though and I think if you’re a SATC fan you’ll enjoy them too.

Catherine or Cat, is a real life Carrie though which although I love reading about her “adventures” I still think of the end game. Is she ever going to find the one? She has wrote openly, not hiding her name or who she is…will it be to much for some men? It shouldn’t be, I think she’s actually quite brave being so open about her life. I did, though kinda feel like maybe some of the stuff was done in the name of journalism. Still I won’t complain, I like a bit of frankness and filth and Cat delivers.

Both books are nice and easy to read, what I like to call light or holiday reading and certainly, if you liked the likes of Girl with a One Track mind then pick these up.

14379893_1784881435058366_2295362779125063639_oThe Life Changing Magic of Not giving a F**k by Sarah Knight. I LOVVE this book! It may actually be my most favourite read this year! I borrowed it on a recommendation, as I never read “self-help” type books and thought I’m not wasting my money buying one. I always feel like they’re gonna bore me but this was great. It really helps you prioritise the more important things in life. The things or people you want to put more effort into but don’t as you spend more time with less worthy people or minor things in your life.I think once you turn 18 the government should automatically send you a copy. I must have screen shotted 90% of it and I’m definitley buying my own copy, just to go back over in case I start giving to many f**ks.

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The good news is Sarah has now published another book, which is sitting in my Amazon basket as we speak…“Get Your Sh*t Together; how to stop worrying about what you should do so you can finish what you need to and start doing what you want to do”…yep it’s a bloody long title!

A book you should have read at school;

13147538_1733583043521539_1250037527377895125_oThe Catcher in the Rye‘s main character, Holden Caulfield is a troubled teenager, troubled in that he’s never gotten over the death of his little brother. He seems sad, depressed and convinced that adults just lie most of the time, throw into the mix that he’s caught in that “not a kid but not an adult yet” stage of life, I felt like he was a little bit suicidal and he sometimes annoyed me. I guess though that’s how teenagers are though!? (Annoying, that is.) I feel guilty saying this isn’t a book I will read again, as it’s raved about as being a brilliant “coming of age” type of book but I found it tedious ’til about the last chapter. It took me aaaages to read it. I didn’t hate the book, but the style of writing and content just didn’t excite me.

Books chosen by a spouse, sibling or child;

15235651_1816194508593725_4746642443181276254_oSo I took Small Man up to our bookcase and said pick a book for Mammy to read. Well of course he picked Incy Wincy and as it’s small I asked him to pick another…that’s where Party Cakes came from. 😀

I actually like this version of Incy Wincy…it’s not just about poor auld Incy being washed down the spout…his story doesn’t end there…Incy found a way to overcome his nemesis. I won’t tell you how it goes but this book is full of drama and fun :D…well done Kate Toms.

I gotta say I don’t think I’ll actually use this cookbook. I’m sure there are much quicker and easier ways to make the cakes inside, but there are some really nice designs inside. Maybe it’s just ‘cos I’m not a natural baker, but everything seemed lonnng and technical.

A book published before I was born and was banned at some point;
13116478_1737436259802884_4222428340206150186_oFanny Hill was written 250 years ago and as you can imagine from the title did not go down to well. It was so scandalous for the time, it was also previously banned! Frances Hill is 15 when she heads to London for a better life and ends up working in a brothel. Its almost an 18th century Pretty Woman story line but with more explicit detail, for that era. It can be a little tedious to read at times as it’s written in “ye olde English” and with verrrrry descriptive, lonnng sentences. Cleland was some man to make up different names for certain body parts which I found quite amusing. It’s an interesting insight into what was considered shocking 250 years ago, I mean the book does cover everything including a gay sex scene, but I think if a Victorian was to read the same type of book written now some of our to the point and explicit details would wear out the smelling salt supplies!!
Other banned books: The Colour Purple, Night and The Catcher in the Rye.
A book that intimidates me;
15167689_1816194465260396_5539415777576712021_oI didn’t get to fully read Lonely Planet’s Ultimate Travel list and I’m kinda glad. There were so many AMAZING places in there, it made me scared that I won’t get to see them all and annoyed that I haven’t put enough effort into trying either. Saying that there are about 30-40 places here in the UK and Ireland that I can certainly get going on (Cliffs of Moher & Newgrange ticked off already lads!).

 

So that’s it, please do share your thoughts on these books or if you have any suggestions for future reads let me know. In the meantime, I’m still trying to decide which book challenge to follow for 2017…stick with short or go long? Hmmm…..
Donna xx

 

 

 

 

Last year’s resolutions..success or failure?

 

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“Here we are again, we’re on the road again”….aggh…*sigh*.

Yep. Hiya 2017, you shot round fairly quick, so quick in fact I didn’t get to complete my “achievables” from last year. God there’s just not enough time in a year! So how did I fare? Well let’s have a look…..

The old weightloss…well on that I actually did ok. I got down to my lowest weight so far on my Slimming World journey annnnd I can wear a size 12 in quite a few shops now which is what my target was on starting the plan. Most people have a weight in mind that they want to get down to, mine was a clothing size…a size 12 everywhere. I gotta say though the way sizes vary from shop to shop and depending on the cut, I no longer feel crap if I have to buy a bigger size now. So not only am I lighter and smaller, I’m wise to the ways of you bloody shops and your weird sizing! Just after New Year, I attacked my wardrobe again and was actually ruthless, I got rid of pretty much everything that is now two sizes too big. I was still wearing them ‘cos they fitted but actually they didn’t they were shapeless and baggy and weren’t doing me any favours. Plus I never intend on being that size again so ta, ta for ever bigger sizes (ok I might have kept one or two pretty dresses which I love for if and when I’m preggers again…make savings where you can peeps!) Anyway on that note, if you have lost weight by whatever means (safely, hopefully) but you can’t see the difference yourself, go and try on the clothes you’re still wearing and I bet you’ll see the difference then.

Exercise….hmm…I feel like I did pretty well on this up until October, then it started getting darker and colder. During the summer, I’d started dragging my ass outta bed at 6.30 for a pre-work “wun” (walking/running…interval training I suppose). I’m not ready to commit to the word running just yet. plus there’s still an awful lot of huffing and puffing and general feeling like my heart is gonna burst out of my chest. If I didn’t get going in the morning I’d go walking with Suzanne in the evenings….jayzus lads, I even got outta me bed whilst AT HOME!! At 6.30 IN THE MORNING!! I think the only time I’ve ever been up at that time of the morning at home was on a walk home from the pub…or Ash’s house…with Karl Green! People were going to mass!!!! The SCANDAL!!!!! At the moment though, I’m still struggling to get motivated again…but it’s ok…January Blues an’ all that. 🙂

Money!!! Fecking money!! It can’t buy you happiness but it can certainly help you on your way. Well, this my friends, was a complete failure! I really codded meself into thinking I could save with all that was going on last year. The upside to not having saved is, I spent it on having a really good time! So I’m winning right? Hubby and myself have set the much easier target of saving ALL of our £2 coins…far more doable.

Patience!!! HAAA! Forgit aboud iiiit (say that like Hugh Grant in Mickey Blue Eyes!) I can’t even elaborate…I think I’ve actually gotten worse!

I have learned this year, that I am not now, nor will I ever be a knitter. I tried the sky blanket, but I got bored knitting tiny squares in the same grey (poo British weather) so never got past day 21. As much as I want to yarn bomb Calvin’s front door, it ain’t gonna happen. Fear not though, there was a winner in this too…I sent my Ma all the wool I’d bought, she was delira!

Happily, the “piles” (not the bum ones, thank you) have gotten better. My bedroom is normally clutter free, well the top of my dresser still suffers and it still has no handles BUT the only piles currently in my room are either en route to the attic or charity shop Thursday. I finally got my writing bureau finished and I’m very proud of it, along with a couple of other little bits of furniture I revamped. At the minute I’m in the process of “McQueening” Small Man’s room.

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The Reading Challenge was a success too. I’m glad I took part in it, not that there was a prize or anything but it made me take time out to do something I love again. I think I ticked off each heading on the list. I reviewed all of the books I read over on my FB page but I might just pop it on a separate post here…ya know just in case you’re not on FB and feel like you’re missing out. Hee hee! I’m going to do it again this year so if you have any book suggestions please let me know and if you’re doing let me know too.

I can’t encourage reading enough, it’s such a great pass time, it can take you anywhere, you can be anyone. It can broaden your horizons, improve your spelling and language skills and you can do it anywhere. I read to Small Man every night, woe betide me if I don’t. So go, go get your books out and discover something new.

My Blog..my little bloggy woggy! I so wanted it to be better, for more people to know about it and to read it. I wanted more interaction too, I guess though, that just helps me know that it’s being read and enjoyed…or not enjoyed but how do I know? Thing is though I still don’t know how to promote it, or I’m not brave enough.I still write once a month for Family Friendly Hq, which I find easier to say. Weird eh!? I wanted to write more and I wanted to post prettier pictures like LilliWhiteRose and Kate Kelly, but writing a blog is not as easy as one might think. It’s time consuming to say the least but I’m not giving up and there’s still time. So if you read me, and you like what you read, do share it about and don’t be afraid to say hi now and then.

So what’s the plan for this year? Well as I said to Hubby…LIVE! I intend to do more of the things I want to do and stop procrastinating. Be they large or small, I will achieve…within my means….oooh oooh…I’m going to Paris!!! Wooo!!!! And, annnnd Electric Picnic (pleeeease be good…now if Lana Del Rey was to perform again shur I’d be made up!) I’ll continue my quest to be the “size 12 that fits everywhere” and I’ll get bloody handles for that dressing table!!

Happy New Year People, may it be all you want it to be.

Love Donna xx

P.S When I say more of what I want to do, this will include my menfolk should they wish or should it be suitable for them to take part.

P.P.S It’s 9 days into January and I am totally broke! 😀

 

Can I be your friend?

I seen a post recently on a FB group I’m part of, a girl looking for friends. The girl feels she has friends within the group but once she’s outside of it, she feels like she has nobody. She knows people but there’s no friend friend if you know what I mean.

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I’m very lucky when it comes to friends, I’ve managed to hold onto friends from school and my bestest friend Ash, from national school. I mean she even forgave me for that time when we had a fight and the stone I threw, went through her open sitting room window and hit her little cousin, Selina on the head. Even Laura, who lives in another town and I don’t always get to see when I get home, we don’t speak as often as Ash and myself but she still counts as a close friend just like Ci. The thing is we don’t have to speak everyday to know that, if the shit ever hit the fan we’d be there for each other, even if it is just an ear on the phone.

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Ash & moi!

I moved to London in 2000, on holiday, if you ask me Da. I worked in a pub for a long time so you kinda have to be sociable to do that…well like 80% of the time…when you haven’t had to get up for the delivery or you’re not hungover. That’s where I met Calvin, a.k.a Quelvin/SuperChocolateBear/Bumbacleet. Twenty-five years my senior, I know I can trust him with anything and a cooler guy I’ve never met….well me Da’s pretty cool too actually. I’ve met other people too, but some people you meet in passing, some you miss, some you don’t. Some you wish you’d had more time with ‘cos even though you only knew them a short time, they definitely made an impact on you. One thing’s for sure though, if you have these people already in your life make the effort to keep them and not lose touch.

I think as you get older it certainly gets harder to make new friends. We become shy. We worry about what the other person will think. What if they think we’re weird or worse have no interest in being our friend.

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New friends

What happens to the bravery we had as kids, when we would play with everyone and not worry about what they thought? We just spend too much time over-analysing. So we mooch around being sad and lonely, because we’re too afraid to take the first step and ask “can I be your friend?” I’ve made new friends since having Small Man, and even though I think I’m ok with approaching new people, in my head I feel kinda nervous. I think oh God these people are much cooler than me…oh my God why didn’t I wear something a bit dressier, but then I get sense and I think well here I am, this is me and shur listen I dunno what’s gonna happen unless I just get in amongst it! This was how I met Courtney. Well really I met her through Slimming World but we actually became friends when I actually got me finger out and just asked for her number so we could hang out sometime. This sounds kinda weird, sorry Courtney, but I knew when I saw Courtney that I wanted to be her friend. As Calvin says, ” we gravitate towards certain people”. I felt weird asking but I think she was kinda glad to be asked.

The girl who posted the “cry for friends” was actually really brave and open. We should all take a leaf out of her book cos as she said “if you don’t ask, you don’t get!” The person you’re sitting next to could be feeling  the exact same way as you…just ask!

love Donna x

Lightning McQueen themed birthday

I reeeeally meant to post this aaages ago but never mind, shur here we are now. So Small Monkey’s current obsession is Disney’s Cars. There was a phase where we watched either Cars or Cars2 EVERY night before bed….we’re down to 3 or 4 times a week now. I actually quite like the film though so I’m coping well. Anywho if your little one has a similar taste this post might be for you…failing that Pinterest is king! (My little posty wosty here should give you everything in one hit though!)

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Firstly, let me tell you where I booked, just in case you’re in the area and don’t know…Tiny Gym at Camberwell. It cost £125 for 1hr 45mins. You got the use of the kiddie gym for 25 kids (or kiddults in our case) for 1hr and the use of a room to decorate and have your party in. The gym itself was great craic. The main attraction was the long, bouncy running track that everybody loved. There’s also a ball pit for smaller kids too. The room though, left a bit to be desired, but what do kids care? The time may have seemed short but it was well worth the money and it actually seemed longer, so yeah check out Tiny Gym if your in need of an idea.

So if you want people to come to your party you need to invite them eh? My fantabulous friend printed me off similar invites to these, I found through google as well as the little colouring books you’ll see later.161027111524_wm

Now no party would be complete without a cake and with Lightning being the theme, well he had to be the cake too. I’m no Mary Berry but I like to make the cake myself and I’m quite happy with how he turned out. I just used pre-prepared cake mix for this, filled with jam and loosely followed a tutorial online to shape him. I hate using the roll out icing and didn’t buy enough red so there was a panicked Sunday morning dash to Morrisons to sort that out. Lightning’s race stickers are made from rice paper and I got them here and his wheels were oreos. The good news is, if you can’t be bothered with all that effort, Asda now do a Lightning cake, sadly though it looks pretty small and hasn’t got great reviews.

With it being a car theme, I decided to turn the table into a motorway by using black table cloths, from ebay and used masking tape to make the road markings. I wanted the balloons to resemble traffic lights…as you can see with the colour scheme. I wasn’t overly happy with how they turned out, as I’d no clue how to make balloons sit nicely together but you get the gist. I bought helium from Argos and ordered plain helium balloons from ebay  with the odd printed Lightning balloon thrown in, my brother had the delightful job of blowing them up. I ordered red party cups from…yep…Ebay baybeeee!! I like to have a little personalisation, so I ordered some personalised Cars stickers and made my own Cars themed cups. This worked out cheaper than actual proper Cars party cups. I found a one off deal on the Cars themed napkins and plates on Ebay, so do scroll through to find the best deals when you look otherwise “themed” can be quite expensive. I made the food place cards by just cutting up some stiff white paper and going round the edges with black marker, I then stuck a Cars sticker on each. Cheap and cheerful…I was delighted with how they looked. I’m also a sucker for a personalised birthday banner…I like to keep them. Unfortunately, I forgot to take a pic of Monkey’s one but I ordered from here and it was really cute….of course if the afore mentioned brother had of printed me off Monkey’s birthday pix…I probably would have a pic…hint hint!

 

For the the party bags, my friend put together some Cars themed colouring books from free printables found online. Between Ebay and the 99p store, the bags consisted of a winners medal and trophy, a car, a colouring book, some cars stickers, a party blower thingy majiggy (what are those things called?) and a kinder bar. In each trophy I wrapped a little parcel of smarties in cling film and popped them inside. I stuck a personalised thank you Cars sticker on each bag too.

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Now the fooooooood!! I can get quite grumpy I think when I’m getting party ready. I do have a vision in my mind and I tend to try and do it all myself, luckily for me, Ash won’t have it and my brother Steve had already started buttering bread and giving me jip! As it’s a party of course there were sweets but I’m a firm believer in it doesn’t have to be just sweets…we gotta try find a balance right. I had some ideas of what I wanted but again Pinterest really helped. So here’s what we had….my fav’s were the fruit cups and traffic light sambos…so cute to look at…

Fillmore’s Fruit Cups: flat bottomed ice cream cones filled with fruit.

Flo’s Strawberry Milkshakes: cupcakes topped with strawberry butter icing, sprinkles and one of those yummy lace thingys for the straw.

Doc’s Chocolate Drops: white & milk choc buttons and smarties.

Sarge’s Surplus Sambos: I bought a car shaped cookie cutter and Steve lovingly cut peanut butter and jam shaped sandwiches.

Mater’s Dipsticks: hummus with celery, red pepper, carrot and cucumber sticks.

Sheriff’s Traffic Light Sambos: Ash was in charge of production here. A slice of cheese sandwiched between two slices of bread played the part of the amber light. The circles were cut out using a fruit shoot top. A cherry tomato was used for the red light and cucumber for the green.

Luigi’s Casa Del Tires: oreo cookies

Pitstop Popcorn:…well it’s popcorn innit!

Mater’s Junkyard: wotsits and onion rings.

Sally’s Airbags (hee hee): giant marshmallows.

 

 

I took along bottles of water and sugar free fruit cordial for drinks. Oh and I totally forgot to cook the cocktail sausages to bring along…raging had these cute flags to use!

So there ya go, that’s how I did it and apart from my annoying balloon display, I think it looked quite good. I hope you find it useful, please share your pics of any themed parties you’ve had…I love a nose! I’m off now to start redecorating Monkey’s bedroom Cars stylee…I’ll let ye know how that goes.

Love Donna x

P.S Thanks Ash & Steve for help, actually, thanks for everyone’s help and thanks for showing up xx

 

 

Time waits for no man.

I think I just booked a ticket to go to Electric Picnic next year with the girlies! I dunno where the hell I’m getting the money from to pay for it, actually I haven’t even got the deposit for it yet and I don’t know who’s gonna babysit the Small Monkey as hubalump is likely to be working. I’ve just come back from 9 days at home, I’m going to a wedding in Donegal next month, possibly an overnighter in Dublin in December and I AM going to Paris in Feb/March…again, money and sitters feature heavily in my problems here but shur what about it? Time waits for no man and I fully intend to start sh*tting money!

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We poo money!

Waaaay back in 2008, I decided I was going to wait for the right time less and do more of the things I wanted to do, caring less about what others thought. So I did. I went to visit my fairly brand, new friend and her “met-him-a-coupla-times” hubby in Sweden.

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Yep, that’s me there!

I never fully believed when I told her I’d visit that I would, but one day I decided what’s stopping me? I don’t pay real bills yet (I was working in a pub…food & lodging inc), no kids and no boyfriend, so I booked my flights and off I went. I came back and booked onto a Hadrian’s Wall camping hike for Great Ormond Street Hospital. I knew nobody else going and I’d never hiked anywhere. The furthest away I’d ever camped in my life, was about 12ft from my back door at home in the back garden. The only thing I did know was, I’d always wanted to see Hadrian’s Wall and I wanted to do more for charity so this trip was a win win situation. It was a 25 mile hike and being inexperienced, there were bits I found tough but it was a great experience, I made a new friend and we still talk today. Ooooh and I ate lunch under the tree where Kevin “Robin Hood” Costener defended the boy in the tree!

 

From there I booked a girlie holiday with my future in laws to Gran Canaria. I took my Ma on her first foreign holiday and we had an absolute ball. I kept up the charity work effort by doing one sponsored event a year.Me bestie and I did the Moonwalk for Breast Cancer in 2012, we walked 26 miles…in a row…through the night!! Small Monkey crossed his first finish line for Great Ormond Street Children’s hospital aged 1. Hubby also did his first charity event that day aged 33.  Bar a trip to Lanzarote, after that my “travelling” quietened down a bit as we were saving for our wedding. I did other things though, I booked tickets for hubby and myself to go see musicals that I would normally wait until I had the money, but we were saving anyway and when were we ever gonna have the money? I also did a travel and tourism course somewhere in amongst all that. Oh and I took pole dancing lessons! Why? Cos I wanted to. It looks fun and the pro’s make it look sexy as hell and I’m sorry but what woman doesn’t want to have a good time looking sexy as hell? (Admittedly the reality was somewhat different!) Was I planning on becoming a pole dancer? Nope, I’ve not an ounce of upper body strength for a start (mahooosive respect to those women who can do it). What did people say? Oh I’m sure some had their opinions but why should their opinions stop me from doing what I want?

Things quieted down a bit once I had Small Monkey, but once I made up my mind to stop waiting (for what? I don’t know) and just got out and went to our first Mother and Baby coffee morning, things started happening again. The things I go to or do might not seem big or as exciting as some of the other things I had done but they were tailored to suit my New Mammy Life. I stopped waiting to be invited places and packed myself and Small Monkey off on our own and it’s still the same now. If I wake up in the morning and the weather’s amazing, we’ll go to the beach.It wasn’t planned and we might not get there til lunchtime but shur what else am I at? Wandering around the same street, thinking I should have done this. There doesn’t always have to be a plan. Seriously lads, we’re never at home! Why? Because time waits for no man! Hubby is a different kettle of fish, he is one of those that will hum ‘n’ haw and worry about what will happen, he’s convinced we’ll get stabbed, attacked or bombed wherever I suggest going, so now I don’t wait (although if I do get him going, he normally enjoys it and tells everybody it was his idea!). I don’t wait for hubalump to ponder whether or not we’ll survive a trip to Bexleyheath, I just go. I’m tired of sitting and waiting!

My sister drives now, so we go meet her and we head off to new parks or beaches, instead of sitting around saying we’ll do it…shur there a few weeks ago we were walking around 8000 year old caves in London! When we go home to Ireland, we try to have some sort of excursion. One of the best was probably the road trip to Tramore which was Small Monkey’s first trip to the beach. Four cars, packed with family, friends and sandwiches. We’ve been to Lough Booragh, Lullymore, Malahide Castle, to name but a few and we’ve also crossed the Cliffs of Moher, Clonmacnoise, Newgrange and Bru Na Boinne (how do ya do a fada on a laptop techie types?) off our list.I even got a Nicki Minaj concert and a trip to Czech Republic with the girlies in there too! (Ya know when your foreign friend says she’s going home for her 40th, and you, having never been to the country before and knowing nobody bar her, invite yourself along. Your friends are there and they jump on board, your Czech friend says yeah what the hell, be great to have ye but nobody really believes they’re going until tickets are booked and babysitters are sorted…yeah, ya know them times! #thebesttimes).

 

I think the point of this post is “do less sitting, thinking and more up and doing”. It doesn’t matter if it’s a tiny thing like going to get a pedicure or if it’s jumping out of a plane, if you want to do it and there are no reasons you can’t then why not do it? Stop caring about what people will say…or just care a little less if you can’t completely stop. Be the talk of the village, there’ll be somebody or something new tomorrow. If you’re not hurting those around you, then whose business is it anyway? Wear the sparkly arseless chaps to the pub tonight…well maybe don’t…chaps only look good on rugged cowboys and occasionally Christina Aguilera circa 2002…but you get my point. I had my hair dyed recently, with a rainbow streak. I didn’t do it ‘cos I’m unsure of my age or I’m clutching at my youth or because I’m having a mid life crisis. I did it because I’ve always wanted hot 161014083233pink in my hair but never thought I could carry it off and people would think I looked stupid. I’ve now decided I don’t particularly care to much what people think of my hair as long as I like it. I’d rather they like me myself than my hair. I also have 8 tattoos, most of which you can’t see anyway, because…yep you guessed it…they are for me, nobody else. Somebody did ask me though, why I have 8, or any I guess, what will I do when I’m 70? Well, please God, I’ll see 70 but no doubt life will carry on as normal whether I have tattoos or not. I might dread the sight of them by then, I really don’t know, but what I do know is, right now, today, I love them all…..well maybe one slightly less but shur listen YOLO….YOLO!! What about when you’re all wrinkly? Well I’ll just have more fun ironing them out trying to remember what they are. I think I just want to look back and think I don’t have to many regrets and I’m glad I got to do the things or at least some of the things I wanted, no matter how big or insignificant they may seem.

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It’s a new dawn, it’s a new day.

I’m not even sure if any of this makes sense to you reading it now, so I’m going to finish with  some words from this cool mutha f**ka….

“Look, if you had, one shot, or one opportunity
To seize everything you ever wanted. In one moment
Would you capture it, or just let it slip?…..

You only get one shot, do not miss your chance to blow
This opportunity comes once in a lifetime
You better lose yourself in the music, the moment
You own it, you better never let it go….

So here I go it’s my shot.
Feet, fail me not
This may be the only opportunity that I got

You can do anything you set your mind to, man”

                                                              Excerpts taken from “Lose Yourself” by Eminem

So there ya go lads, life is only temporary.

Love Donna x