Monday, 29 April 2013

A Bunch of Second Hand Finds

This is a jumble of bits and pieces I’ve found in the past couple of months – mainly in my beloved charity shops.  This year I seem to be swooning over different things from the last, but I guess this is ultimately a good thing - taste, circumstance and purpose can all change with season.
Winnie the Pooh Tin - £3.00

This Winnie the Pooh tin was a darling find in Ashbourne – in an antiques shop, I paid a little more than what I usually would, but I simple couldn’t resist Pooh bear and it will remain a fond keepsake.  (Also coincidently – having being introduced to Pooh Sticks a day earlier by the girls, this was meant to be).  
Little Joule Cardigan - £2.50

 Found in the children’s section, I couldn’t resist a second-hand Joules item (the first I’ve ever seen) and I adore the giant yellow button and cute embroidery detailing.  We all know kids have better clothing than adults, and I’m kind of lucky this one fits me.

Quite simply the Beatrix Potter obsession will never go away.  When I spotted this video of Peter Rabbit – I realised this is where it all began.  Sitting down and watching this video almost 20 years ago made my heart melt.  I had to buy this at 20p! And Simon managed to put it onto DVD for me which means next time I’m feeling sad, Peter will undoubtedly cheer me up.
Peter Rabbit VHS and Roald Dahl Book from 1976 - 20p each
I’m always on the lookout for older versions of the Dahl classics, ever since watching a documentary about the author and this one certainly caught my eye.
17 Tin - 50p
This ‘nautical but nice’ tin had caught my eye a few years ago in Boots – but I couldn’t justify purchasing some make-up for the sake of another freebie.  I made a beeline for this in the charity shop, because I had always wanted it. I was sure it would be empty, but in fact came with its original contents brand new and untouched for 50p.
Rainbow Hearts Pillowcase - 20p
I found this pillow slip stashed at the bottom of a box of duvet covers all by itself.  I wasn’t sure what I could use it for and almost left it behind, but I’ve since happily added it to my fabric stash.
Winsor & Newton Inks - £2.00
The funny thing is I’ve always wanted this ink set, for years now I’ve bought the inks I’ve needed separately, but have never been able to justify spending £15+ on a set of ink.  When I spied it at a car boot sale I was unsure how much the seller would want, but when he said £2, I knew I had to have it. I wasn’t sure what condition the inks would be in, but I was more than happy to take the gamble.  (Sometimes you have to).
Later that day I found that most of the inks hadn’t been used, though the black one was nearly empty, but I have plenty of black ink anyway, so this doesn’t really matter! Plus I adore the packaging.

A bit of a mixed bunch as always – but mostly small items, so no more cluttering up the house.
Have you found anything interesting lately?

Saturday, 27 April 2013

25 before 25...

I turn 24 two weeks today, which is a scary prospect for me, as there are still a lot of things I want to achieve and reach a point where I feel truly content and happy in my life.   I feel approaching my mid-twenties I need some direction, and crucially focus. 
This list may just serve as a reminder of what I want to achieve – of course I may not achieve them all, but in a years’ time I will be able to tick off those which I have managed to do and maybe reassess the reasons why I haven't achieved the others.
 A lot has changed in the past couple of months for me, I have challenged myself and pushed myself a lot and although it’s not been easy, and this has been met with plenty of ups and downs along the way, I am beginning to see a more confident me.  But this is only the beginning and I know I have a long way to go.

My beautiful friend Kat wrote this post a very long time ago, and more recently I enjoyed reading Emma's yearly review, which has ultimately inspired me to sit down and really make way with my own goals...

25 before 25 
  1.  Find out what I want to do as a career.  My biggest insecurity is my career.  I’ve never known what job I have wanted to do, and have always struggled trying to find my path in life.  It’s important for me to find exactly what it is I have been looking for all these years – even if I don’t catch it, if I know what it is that I want to do - at least I have the foundations to make it happen in the future. 
  2.  Challenge myself.  A lot of my problems in the past have stemmed from my confidence - I think what I am beginning to realise is that I have to allow myself to push boundaries and do things differently, because when I do, I actually feel a whole different me.  
  3.  Stop being embarrassed.  I always no matter what put up a barrier and convince myself people think badly of me.  I need to let that barrier down, and realise that to progress is to not hide away anymore. 
  4.  Don’t compare myself to others.  The one crucial piece of advice that is always so hard to follow however old you grow.  It’s so easy to be jealous, but so hard to be pleased for someone.  I know I’ve felt this at certain times of my life, and to some extent still feel it now. 
  5.  Aim High. I always aim low.  When applying to jobs, when writing bios, I always struggle to sell myself.  I need to remember I am just as capable as everybody else and aiming high can be far more beneficial than aiming low. 
  6.  Secure a permanent job.  I’m under no illusion that ‘dream jobs’ are easy to find, they are extremely rare and hard to come by.  Although I do want to find out what my dream job is, I know finding a job without an expiry date or end would have the potential to change and enhance my life for the better.   Income wise, this undoubtedly would change my life. 
  7.  Smile more often. :)
  8.  Get rid of all the old clothes I don’t wear anymore.  I have so many clothes that no longer fit, or just don't suit me anymore.  It's time to get rid of those.
  9.  Join a club. One of those things I’ve always wanted to do, but never bottled up enough courage to do. WI, craft or book club? 
  10. Continue my letter writing.  Get to know my newest pen pals, as well as keeping close bonds with my oldest ones.
  11. Visit G in Cambridge.  My best friend relocated to Cambridge a few months ago, which means we are almost 3 hours apart in distance now.  This definitely means a wonderful adventure to visit her.  
  12. Meet up with bloggers again.  When I went to Norbury Manor in March I had the best time, I felt so comfortable in other bloggers company.  It was so amazing to finally meet girls I had been following and chatting to for years.   To meet in person was such an incredible opportunity.  This is something  I have to do again.
  13. Believe in myself.  Self-explanatory really.
  14. Have a seaside adventure.  With the Mr by my side, fish 'n' chips and a 99 ice-cream!
  15.  Use my sewing machine again.  The one I disowned after finishing college.  Surely there’s a project waiting to be started.
  16. Paint my Summer house at the allotment.  Either duck egg blue or mint green.
  17. Find more healthy recipesDon't get dis-heartened by low fat cooking, there's plenty more recipes out there. 
  18. Stop hoarding junk. Yes I really mean it.
  19. Get my words published.  In either a magazine, website or newspaper.
  20. Make some alterations to my blog.  I’ve got quite a few fresh ideas with regards layouts and new posts I want to write and share on here.   
  21.  Reach my target weight.  This is an on-going journey which has already begun and one I wish to strongly continue.
  22.  Let Go.  (Thank you Kat for penning this) I have a lot of vent up worry, mostly from the past.  Friendships that have turned sour, memories of school and family fall-outs, job rejections etc, I have to leave these behind once and for all.
  23. Plan our 2014 Wedding.  Our wedding is booked, which means I now have the journey of meticulously planning and preparing for the big day.  I’ve always known I have wanted to put my own stamp on the day, and I really am looking forward to crafting my way through to marrying my true love. 
  24.           Be sociable.  One that could only ever apply to myself.  I have always been shy and introvert, but I’ve proven (this year more than any) I can speak to people.  The one thing I wish more than anything is that I could just strike up a conversation without the need to pre-plan a topic or worry myself silly that I have to talk to a stranger.
  25. Never give up.  Because I need to remind myself, that there is always a reason to carry on, always another chance and possibility out there.  If you give up now, you will never know what was possible.  


Monday, 22 April 2013


I’ve always had a bit of a fascination with Love Heart sweets – back in my teenage years I filled my bedroom with love heart cushions and proudly carried around my mobile phone in a Love Hearts phone case. 
I guess it’s one of those quirky obsessions that never really left me entirely, especially when I spotted a few pieces pop up on My Mad Fat Diary recently…90s revival?  Yes please.
 This super tacky plastic money box was something I had previously had my eye on at Christmas in a department store – though I never managed to track it down in the sales.  I had a funny feeling I might bump into it eventually, it was when I got a tip off that they were selling them off in a bargain store in town, I knew I had to have one... 
£2.99 from B&M Stores
What could I possibly do with this monstrosity? Of course display it!
Did I mention it also came stuffed with Love Heart sweets.  Perfection.  


Thursday, 11 April 2013

Everybody Hurts.

I always no matter what follow my heart and have always found my only comfort in expressing my thoughts through my writing.  My last post was so poignant for me, because I’d been offered a job – a job I thought was the 'real deal', something I could actually call a job, and this was finally the end to all that mountain of never ending rejection.  This was me genuinely thrilled, happy, overjoyed and grateful for the opportunity.  
When you are so convinced something is so right for you, and then it turns out to be completely the opposite to what you thought, imagined and wanted it to be, you can’t help but feel ultimately crushed, broken, angry, hurt and disappointedI am feeling all of these emotions and more right now.

I got offered the job and couldn’t quite believe my luck, I believed I had changed, I thought my confidence had got better and that I wasn’t severely lacking any - it’s now apparent that I probably wasn’t that different than usual, it’s that I was hired solely because they were desperate for staff.  Believe me I am not asking for miracles, I am not asking for a top end job, with a fetching salary, I just want to be treated with some respect and hired out of good will and suitability for the job, not out of desperation.

I won’t go into great detail, but physical demands of the job were unbelievable and that even a much stronger and taller person would struggle with.  How on earth can someone at 5'1" be expected to be on their feet 12 hours a day, pulling a heavy weight around.  The fact that I wasn’t given proper training and basically told to do three shadow sessions, and then work on my own completely from then on, was truly ludicrous.

The thing I cannot understand is why at interview they failed to mention any of this to me and the job advertised wasn’t the true description of the role.  Of course I am disappointed, what I thought was the best opportunity I’ve ever had, has somehow spiralled into the worst experience I’ve ever had.  My confidence in myself and my ability is in tatters – I have zero, I barely could make it out of the house today, without having to hold back tears.

To add to the upset, I gave my charity shop job up for this, and I found out today it’s too late to get it back – meaning I have given up something I loved and was good at for absolutely nothing.  I feel so stupid and cheated.  All I ever wanted was a job, just like everybody else.  Some money coming into the house and some routine in my life.  

 Right now I’ve never felt so defeated.

Monday, 8 April 2013

I'll Stand By You.

If you know me personally or just from reading a few of my blog posts you may know I’ve had a pretty rough ride these past couple of years.  Getting rejected from jobs time after time is something I can only describe as pure and utter disappointment and despair. 

 Beautiful Fairtrade Roses from the staff at the charity shop I have volunteered at for the past 6months.

The day after I returned home from my 4-day trip to Norbury Manor with some other bloggers last month, I attended an interview – and got offered the job the same day.  I know……..this never happens.  I didn’t share the news immediately and haven’t breathed a word to anyone, as it was subject to reference and medical checks.

A full-time permanent job is something I have longed for ever since I left college, and although there’s been jobs in-between, nothing has ever come close to having some security and long term stability in both mine and Simon’s life. 

This marks a significant change – one I am going to fully embrace, because I know how tough  it is these days (however old you are, whatever qualifications you possess and whatever your circumstance).
My best friend G couldn’t believe how fate meant I got the job offer the day after my return from spending a weekend with other bloggers.  She’s been through everything with me, and knows how much I’ve struggled, and she firmly believes something changed inside of me that weekend.  And I can only begin to agree with her. 

Being in the company of other girls who have careers of their own has given me that boost I needed all along.  The day of the interview something was different, I was a different version of me – a confident me, and I truly believe that is what got me the job offer.

A heartfelt thank you from the bottom of my heart  to the girls (you truly know who you are) who gave me the much needed confidence and reassurance I have been searching for my entire life.  

And a sincere thank you  to everyone who has supported me this far – those times of despair, those years of doubt and uncertainty - because quite frankly fate is a funny one. 

p.s Never, ever consider giving up, because one day someone will take a chance on you.

If anyone knows how it feels to be rejected, it’s me. 
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