Friday, 31 January 2014

More About Me


Me and my furrball nephew Wilson


Hopefully all of you lovely readers have got the gist behind These City Days by now, and have delved into some of my (hopefully shared interests), but I thought I'd share a few more bits and pieces about me. So here's my favourite facts. If you'd like to join in and leave some thoughts below, click and connect.

3 Things I'm Not Very Good At:

1. Cooking eggs - Mum makes the best scrambled eggs, whereas mine just end up like rubber with white lumps in. I just can't seem to get it right. Probably paranoid they won't cook properly.

2. Drawing - always hated that my sister inherited the arty jeans, and annoyingly my best work got ruined in the kiln or kept at school. Luckily I discovered crafting.

3. Sticking to a skincare routine - I do try to look after my skin as best I can, but I have so many body butters and creams hanging about, I just seem to randomly pick one up when I remember rather than do a set cleanse, tone, moisturise routine. So I need to get into a routine, and use some things up eventually. My current favourite is my strawberries and cream body butter I got as a present.

3 Claims To Fame

1. Was chosen as one of a group for a photo shoot at school which appeared in the local paper when I was in my first few years of senior school. It was a jumping in the air pose which didn't quite work.

2. I was in the audience of CD:UK a few times when that was running, you may have seen me dancing along to Steps on one occasion as I was near the front.

3. I had one of my co-written songs (the lyrics were mine) entered in a competition called The Fame Games in America. Because it reached the latter stages it made it on to the actual radio show stage and was played out across radio stations across the US. Pretty cool huh?

3 Things That Rile Me

1. People that are famous just for being famous. I have never really been that interested in reading hyped up gossip, but am completely over celebrities who have no real claim to the tag.

2. People swearing in front of their children - especially babies. I just think it's disgusting the language I've heard some people use in front of their young children and babies - either in conversation or at them. I am an Auntie rather than a mother at the moment, but knowing how sharp my nephew is, I shudder at the thought of him picking up anything like that, and detest swearing anyway.

3. People that tweet celebrities like they are their friends - no you do not know them, their twitter accounts are likely jointly controlled by management/record labels, and I am really not bothered about the date they followed you or gave you a re-tweet.

3 Random Facts

1. I have always loved and been fascinated by dolphins, and it's a lifelong ambition to swim with them, possibly at the same time that I am on holiday at Disneyworld in Florida (a girl can dream!)

2. I used to have a dream when I was younger where a big wolf would come into my room, tip up the bed so I fell down it, and then spin me around on it, to the point it was like I was dizzy, then disappear.

3. My worst injury was probably being hit in the stomach with a ball when playing Rounders when I was at Junior School. Really hurt, and I blame my sensitive tummy on that incident!

There you go, a few more bits and pieces about me, I hope you enjoying reading, and have a few bits and pieces to share as well. I try to read and reply to posts and blogs as often as I possibly can, between 2 jobs, so please come and say hello and leave your blog links.






Friday, 10 January 2014

New Years Resolutions



A week into the New Year, and instead of doing a 'review of the year' style post, I thought I'd get back into blogging on a more positive note, and dive head first into my New Year's resolutions for 2014. I don't normally make any, but last year was a bit of a tough one for many reasons, so I want to do everything I can to make this one a good one. So here are my pledges for the coming year:

1. My ironing pile to be no bigger than 3 items.

I have to be honest and say I quite enjoy most housework, but loathe ironing, and for too long, I've just let it pile up on a chair until the pile was huge. No more, I will limit it to 3 items and just get it done and over with. 10 days into January and so far so good!

2. Take proper computer breaks.

Although I have another small job that gets me out the house, between blogging and working as a professional writer, it's all too easy to fall into the trap of spending over long staring at the screen, or faffing about on social media in between tasks. I started trying to resolve this last year, not eating lunch at my desk to start with, and now I'm making sure I get up and take breaks now and then.

3. Listen to more of my music collection.

My MP3 player is badly in need of an update, I've no idea how long it has been, but it also needs to be charged regularly, instead of just left in the draw when the juice runs out. Mum also commented she doesn't hear me listen to music much, and I suppose with the radio on in the kitchen, and me working or out the house I've lost the habit. So I fully intend doing some proper CD bashing this year.

4. Get in a better haircare routine

I'm not exactly lazy when it comes to my hair, but just like little day to day housework tasks and such, and with no motivation to get up early, it sometimes get left a little long. Now I have finally discovered the right gap between hair washes which suits my hair, have even marked it on the calendar, and so far I am sticking to this as well  - quite pleased with myself.

5.Achieve Some More Work Goals

Freelancing is a great big rollercoaster, this past year or so more than most, and in some ways I am starting afresh trying to build up new areas and new contacts. I keep in touch with past contacts and my specialism of music, but I have gradually started working in new areas, which means pitching alongside my usual job hunting. I am hoping to build on my two national/specialist successes this year, and along with whatever random ideas come up to pitch, I am trying to narrow down and focus some other work goals. It's not easy, but I already have a couple of leads to follow up - where they will lead who knows, but it makes me feel much better, and that is what I want, an inspired, motivated 2014.

6. Re-launch my craft business

Crafting is first and foremost a hobby for me, and one which I love very much. One of the best things I ever did was start crafting. I was lucky enough to sell in a pop-up shop for six months last year which was a great experience, and got me thinking. I've always been one to pick and choose what I like and would enjoy, both in terms of crafty shopping, and actual projects, but I felt a re-brand was in order, hopefully to generate new sales and interest, and refresh my creativity. So I have already taken steps to change my crafty name to 'Paw Prints and Petals', ordered a custom rubber stamp for price tags etc, and when I have time I'll be planning a sale. Hopefully now the fun will start - I won't be making 100's of the same thing as a rule, but I do hope to create some sort of brand, and be known for certain things - now I just have the challenge of selling old stock and creating something new. 

How about you, have you made any resolutions? fallen off the bandwagon or standing resolute? Let me know below, and lets all encourage each other out of the January blues.

Tuesday, 7 January 2014

Christmas and New Year 2013

Happy New year everyone!

It's been a little quiet over here in the last couple of weeks, but according to my stats I have hit another blog milestone, and gone over 5K views since I was last here. I had no idea how my blog would be received when I launched it in June, so thank you all very much for the comments, and for reading all my ramblings.

I thought for my first posts back I would reflect on Xmas and the past year, and start with all the festive goings-on in our neck of the woods. Personally I hate it when all the decorations and lights come down, the house looks bare, and the weather is miserable to match. But Christmas was great. Apart from the occasional check of the net on my phone, and a couple of necessary laptop visits I was essentially off, for the first time in ages for 2 weeks.

My first attempt at decorating the cake!
We had my sister visiting briefly Xmas morning, and a few pressies/cuddles with my nephew Joey and furrball Wilson, a yummy roast, more presents, and then just chilled watching TV for the rest of the evening, interrupted by more food! Boxing Day my sister, her boyfriend, my nephew, and Wilson were here most of the day, so we had another roast dinner, more presents, chased an excited dog about until he hid behind the sofa to get some space and have a rest, and entertained my nephew with books and his new toys. My Nan was over both days as well, so it was family time at home.

My nephew is 1 now so got all excited over his presents, with cute little baby noises, and grins as he figured out what to do with his toys.

We managed to watch the soaps (which were a bit depressing) but not a whole lot else, although Nan seemed to enjoy watching Home Alone 2 for the first time. Annoyingly I forgot about the few programmes I wanted to record, so I am not starting the New Year with much to watch. I do feel refreshed after the festive break though, and spending time with my parents having drinks in town. Santa family were very nice to me as well and I feel spoilt! I love all my presents, and a few treats I bought with some of my Xmas money. A few things I received:
  • Andy Murray's new book (big fan and cried when he won Wimbledon last year!)
  • Now Disney (again big fan and this album has LOADS on it!)
  • Gucci Miniatures Gift Set (I'd seen but never expected to get this, and love all the scents!)
  • Snood style fabric scarf with owl design (always wanted an owl scarf)
  • Paper Cutting book (something new to try in 2014!)
There's other stuff too, but I wont go into all that, I just feel lucky, and thankful, and happy that all
New books for my nephew!
my family and pen pals etc enjoyed their gifts. I don't have any NYE parties to tell you about I'm afraid, I just stayed up and watched Gary Barlow's Xmas gig, then my sister etc came back on New Years Day for food and more family time. It was nice to properly switch off, and apart from a few worries over due invoices, totally switch off and enjoy the holiday!

I hope you all enjoyed Xmas and New Year. What did you all get up too? Did Santa bring you many nice things and surprises? I hope so. Thanks again for reading, please keep commenting, and if you're new come and say hello. I always try and interact as much as I possibly can!

Best Wishes for a great 2014!

Lauren
These City Days

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