Monthly Archives: April 2014

Molly Pie’s Grand Adventure!

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Molly asked for a night in a hotel for her birthday treat. As far as we’re concerned, ten is a special one. So we went all out and booked dinner and a night’s stay at The South Lodge, a five star hotel near to home, with Michelin star dining.  Just because we do like to do things properly, and with aplomb.

This is our photo diary of our great adventure. Molly pronounced it ‘the best birthday ever’, so no pressure for next year then 😉

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When we arrived, Zoe at reception greeted us by name and made a huge fuss of Molly. While I checked in, Molly was given a little tour of the lobby and shown where the toys and dvds were for later. Then our bags were carried down the corridors for us and we were shown around the hotel on the way to our room. Our room was competely breathtaking, I have lived in flats that were smaller and I plan to borrow some of the design elements in the new house, all the bold patterns and chunky frames for example.

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After unpacking, we dived into the biggest, bubbliest bath in the whole world. I need more baths like this in my life. It was divine. It was deep enough to swim in and had lights and jets. We were in heaven.

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After dressing for dinner we went to the bar for some delicious fruit cocktails. We sat at our table and the staff brought us drinks, and olives, and special birthday chocolate brownies as well! Then we were given menus and made our choices from the amazing food on offer before being invited through to the restaurant.

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We enjoyed an amuse bouche before our starter, to tickle our tastebuds before the meal.

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I had pork belly…

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Molly chose melon…

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My main course was salmon…

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Molly’s was cod and mash…

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With of course more chocolate brownies for pudding! Every single person who came to our table wished Molly a Happy Birthday and made sure we were having the most special time possible.

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After dinner we went to reception to choose a couple of dvds and went back to the room to get our pj’s on. Zoe knocked on the door to bring us some popcorn, because you can’t have film night without it. We stayed up until nearly midnight watching Despicable Me 2 and chatting and cuddling.

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The next morning, despite deciding we’d have an extra long lie in, we were both awake early. It must have been partly due to the excitement and partly due to the deep and comfortable night’s sleep.  So we got up, had a luxurious shower (it had five jets. FIVE!) and went down to breakfast.

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It was the most wonderful breakfast in the world. Molly chose lots of fruit and smoked salmon and a croissant. And had a posh hot chocolate to wash it down.

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I ordered a full English with poached eggs. It was the best fry up ever.

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Then we spent our morning exploring the hotel and its grounds. We discovered a secret rockery, ran up and down winding staircases, hid round corners and explored the cellar. It was a bit like living in a Disney film.

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But in the end it was time to leave. Our bags were taken to reception and my car was brought round (just like in a film), we said our goodbyes and came home, utterly pampered and probably spoilt for staying anywhere else ever again.

I think we’ll make this a yearly treat for me and my Pie. She deserves it, and frankly so do I! It was one of the best experiences we’ve had and will be a memory we’ll treasure forever.

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The Big Pre-Move Declutter!

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I’m starting it today, properly. I have been clearing odds and sods for a while, but the sun is shining and I’m off work so I’m psyching myself up for a Grand Purge.

The Pie is well on board, I have given her a box and a bag with instructions to fill both (bag for the bin and box for charity). I am going to start small, with the bedroom cupboard of doom, and work my way up until I’m brave enough to tackle the loft. Rob is going to attack the garage when he gets in.

I haven’t decided yet whether I’m going to order a skip or whether we can do it all in runs to the tip and the charity shop. But honestly, the mammoth task is keeping me up at night. I know it’s going to be one of those jobs that is nowhere near as bad as my brain is telling me, but I am a bit wobbly about starting it.

The loft is mainly full of stuff I planned to take to the charity shop. My routine decluttering of clothes etc usually goes as follows: clear through clothes, stuff unwanted clothes into a bag for charity, walk past the bag every time I leave the house, eventually get the arse and throw the bag in the loft. Rinse and repeat.

I intend to be ruthless with the rest of the house. If I haven’t used it or thought of it in a year, it’s gone. I need to convince the Chums to do the same. My sticking point will be Rob who is much more attached to his things than I am and who will find a potential use for every manky old bit of carpet and broken camera unless I put my foot firmly down. I have a garage full of stuff as testament to that. But we are both in agreement that our new house will be a haven of calm and no clutter, so it must be done.

Right, less talk, more action. Wish me luck, Amigos.

 

 

 

The Pursuit of Happiness

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I like to think I’m very good at being happy, it’s kind of my thing these days.

 

I made a decision a long time ago to just be happy and I took control of my life after years of bouncing around like a demented pinball. It was a game changing decision.

That’s not to say I glide through life on a magic carpet of rainbows and glitter, but I do my best to put a positive spin on most things and I have become increasingly convinced over the last ten years or so that the Law Of Attraction is a real, viable thing. Now, before you all shout at me for spouting Woo bollocks, I have evidence. Sort of.

When I was in my teens and early twenties I was very depressed, and life was shit. It was a vicious circle of things being awful, me expecting them to be awful, and things continuing to be awful. I made very few good choices. My late teens saw me jobless, homeless and basically a big pile of fuck up. I started to take control by applying for a volunteer post far far away (well, Basingstoke), but I didn’t make any real changes and although I completed my year’s voluntary work I didn’t get to the root of my unhappiness and the cycle started up again. I ended up living in what can only be described as the grottiest flat in the world, in a block that was due to be demolished, barely surviving on benefits and the goodwill of my rapidly dimishing circle of friends. So I did what any rational, right thinking person would do. I got pregnant.

I know right? Not good choices. It was a theme. But it was the start of something. I’m going to gloss over the next four years because it’s boring boring boring and I don’t want to give it a second’s more thought, but I’ll sum it up by saying I fell into an awful marriage, had another baby, eventually decided life was far too short for this shit and finally, finally took control of my own life.

So life began. My babies and I started our real lives. I went to college in the evenings and worked in a shop during the day. We rented a beautiful flat. Our home was full of love and cuddles and potential. I did affirmations every day for a year, literally standing in front of a mirror telling myself I was worthwhile, that I deserved happiness. It sounds jaw droppingly cringy, but I really would love everyone to do it, it works.

Being happy led to more happiness. The universe decided to send me Rob. In fact, I asked the universe for him and he came along. I’ve often said that the timing was perfect as I wouldn’t have been ready for him before, I was too needy and didn’t value myself. He came along when I didn’t need anyone, when I had my life in my own hands, which meant we could build a solid, grown up relationship.

My wonderful husband. He is gorgeous, talented, funny and kind. He supports me with my every hare brained scheme and crack pot  idea. He believes in me. And it’s reciprocated. Our life is based around making each other, and our children, happy. We have never, in seven years, had a cross word. He shares my positive attitude to the world, which has led to our friends gently mocking us for our ‘it’ll be fiiiiiiiine’ catchphrase.

But that’s the thing. It will be fine. We have decided to be happy. Which isn’t to say nothing bad ever happens, of course it does. But we can always weather it, I have been through enough shit (usually of my own making, to be fair) to know that I can take anything on.

We have so far sailed through income crises, debt the size of a small country, house moves, job changes, illness, bereavements, the whole nine yards. By sailed, I mean that the water was often choppy, but never what you would call stormy, because we’ve always been able to keep our eyes on the horizon and keep our course set.

I know I probably sound unbearable, I’m sorry. It’s really difficult to describe what I mean without sounding smug. I’m very far from smug, I promise. I do know and appreciate that luck plays a big part in happiness, but really and truly I think that you can make your own luck. Expecting good things, believing you deserve them, making real steps towards getting them and being thankful for the things you already have makes a HUGE difference to life.

My life now is so far removed from my life ten or fifteen years ago that it sometimes feels like it happened to someone else. But those experiences are what enabled me to have this life. I chose happiness and worked for it. I know, because I’ve done it more than once, that making huge, life altering changes is possible, if a little scary. You just have to believe that the life you want to have is within your reach and then grab it with both hands. Don’t compare your life to other people’s and grumble that they have more, because you will just end up with less. Law of Attraction, you see. Instead, tell the universe that you want more, believe that you deserve more, and then go and get more. Live well, have control of your own life, do right by others as well as yourself, make good choices and I promise you will reap the rewards. Don’t sit back and expect life to just happen for you. Because it will just amble by.

Anyway, that is my Saturday morning rambling life advice done with. I don’t have all the answers but I think I’ve mostly got my own shit together, and you may find it interesting or you may just want to punch me in my smug mouth please don’t.

Now I’m off to enjoy the weekend. I hope yours is amazing. Be excellent to each other, dudes.

 

 

😀 xxx