December 2014through these gray eyes...: December 2014

Wednesday, 17 December 2014

Was I born in the wrong era?

I often think to myself that I was born in the wrong era... Which era I should have been born in, I'm not quite decided on but, I found myself wondering today whether I would have the same opinions as I do now if I had been alive in the 20's - 60's... 

Take women's rights for a start... I'm definitely for equality between genders etc (lets face it, who isn't), I use my vote when the time comes and I am really glad I have the freedom to work and do the millions of things I take for granted which women haven't always been able to do.

However, I like the idea of being courted by a man and then getting married and becoming a housewife and looking after the home and spending a decent amount of time with my children (when I have them) and not having to go out to work and earn a wage. (As I haven't ever not worked, I don't know whether I would feel comfortable with this in reality... I'd just like to be at home... If I could earn money from home that would tick all my boxes). 

I grew up in a traditional household where my father was the breadwinner and my mother was(is) a housewife and looked after us kids and did care work off and on (at least that's how I remember it). My father is the head of the household while my mother is the neck! 

"The man is the head, but the woman is the neck, and she can turn the head any way she wants." 
My Big Fat Greek Wedding.

To be honest they probably turn each other whichever way is necessary for them at that moment so don't think my mum is manipulative because I used this quote. She really isn't! I like this arrangement and it is probably mirrored a little in mine and Tom's marriage. I like the mutual respect and the parts each play in life. 

I've always thought that I wouldn't really be a massive women's rights activist if I had been alive when it all kicked off because I do like the idea of the traditional family home but now I'm beginning to wonder whether I would have actually been fighting for women's liberty... probably! Not least because I am entirely contrary but, also because the equality that there is now and the respect within relationships would not have been able to exist if people hadn't fought for women's liberty. I'm not saying that I would have chained myself to railings - I'm too much of a wimp when it comes to pain for that!

Then there's the dressing for dinner every night that used to go on... If you were a woman of a particular class you probably spent your entire day changing dresses!! On the outside of that world I think this would be amazing, I'm never going to object to 'dressing up' for the evenings especially as you had someone to dress you and do your hair every day! But, I love to laze around in my pyjamas - there is no chance they ever got to do that!

I also quite fancy riding a horse around the country and going around in carriages... I know they over turned but I've been in enough car accidents to take my chances in a carriage at less speed, metal and glass! Though there is of course the downside of the whole journey taking a lot longer and as Tom and I lived 120 miles apart for so long it would really put another spin on the whole long distance relationship!

Since my pondering I've come to the conclusion that there are millions of things to love about whatever era we live in and maybe we don't appreciate enough what we do have at the time...

The 20's for example, seem to have been a time for changes in society which must have been incredibly exciting and to have been a part of that would have been amazing. 

Now, we are all doom and gloom about the world we live in and are going to bring our children into! Yep, there is bad stuff but there have been improvements on previous eras. A hell of a lot of change has happened in the past 25 years maybe not within society so obviously as within technology.

So...maybe I wasn't born in completely the wrong era even if I do love all things vintage and would have enjoyed the lifestyle (presuming I had the money) at least part time... what do you think?


Tuesday, 16 December 2014

365 days as a Mrs....

Sunday was the first anniversary of me and Tom legally being married! 365 days as a Mrs with a whole new surname!(I had a hiccup with WiFi Monday so delayed posting)

We will be keeping the July anniversary properly rather than this December one which being as Tom is away certainly works out well this year. It sucked that he wasn't here to share it with me but I have the next on to look forward to and I did get to hear his voice on the end of the phone!

There were various reasons why Tom and I had a separate legal bit to our big white wedding... firstly, my church doesn't do the legal part of the wedding so it was actually a necessity. Secondly, I was going to be trying to find a job while Tom was away and we wanted to have a house sorted by the beginning of June so that he could move straight in on return. It also meant that I could give a starting date to a new job knowing that I would have somewhere to live.

Our civil wedding was a bit of a 'run in-run out' job which was no less fun than the white wedding. It was meant to be a stress free situation but you wouldn't think it from the fit I had about my hair beforehand! Luckily Jess (Tom's sister) came to my rescue! There was a sudden realisation on my part that there were going to be photos and they were going to be looked at forevermore!

I remember very little of the actual vows, it completely passed me and my bundle of nerves by. I think Tom was much the same. However, I think there was a bonus to being so nervous over the bit we felt was less important because we got our nerves nicely out of the way for the big wedding. We were both pretty much cool as a cucumber on the big day and can remember it all really clearly. 

It was very disconcerting to discover within about 10 minutes of leaving the Registry Office and walking into an Italian restaurant that I was no longer a Senorita but a Senora! That was quite aging and a little depressing. The food was very good though and it was a really nice afternoon so that made up for it!

My mother in law had booked us into Morgans Swansea for the night which was lovely and right opposite Nandos which we obviously had to have for tea! 

Our tiny civil wedding was an amazing day and a very good way to end one chapter and begin another.

Between December and July it was a very weird limbo period - we were husband and wife but still planning a wedding, not living together and having to deal with our separate lives as well as trying to conjoin them more. It all worked out though and I certainly wouldn't change it! My first year of being a Mrs has been incredible! I still miss not being a Senorita anymore though! Didn't realise I was giving up on that too when I became Mrs!

Cue cheesy pictures...

Rice really does hurt!!


Friday, 12 December 2014

Week #4 of deployment...

Finally a month of deployment down but still not yet over the hill to being closer to the end than the beginning! I suppose every week is a week closer to the end but it's very frustrating.

I have found myself constantly buying books and music on my iPad this week! If I was to suggest a care package for the person who isn't deploying I would definitely suggest iTunes vouchers or similar were involved in it!

This week has been very busy hence the randomness of posting. I am slowly finding routine with everything but blogging is taking a little more time to find a routine in amongst working full time and running about like a headless chicken. It being new to my life and all!

The things breaking and going wrong have held off this week as well so with any luck we are out of the woods.

I am struggling to buy Christmas presents for Tom's family at the moment! I was really hoping to have done it by today but I'm still struggling to work out what is best to do... I had so many ideas but none of them are realistic and my weekend was too busy to get anything in the way of Christmas presents done! This weekend is the cut off point though.

At the outset of Tom going away I really did not think my weekends would be busy but they seem to be all becoming very hectic. In fact I'm not sure I have any free weekends left! There is very little time for moping which is definitely a good thing.

My house is nearing a more spotless state so I am definitely approaching normality but I do still have lost thank you cards for our wedding that are hanging over me like a black cloud! They really should have been done and dusted 3 months ago!! Must be more organised!!! Maybe over the Christmas break I will finally catch up with everything and start the new year as we mean to go on! Organised and stress free!

My goals
These bad boys that I set before Tom went away have not entirely fallen by the way side but my weekly goal of doing exercise has been put on hold the past two weeks! I will bring it off hold next week! My other weekly goal of getting out and about with people is definitely going to plan which is great, I haven't gone into a dark hole and not come back out. 

My fortnightly goal to research Vegas, Palm Springs, San Diego and Los Angeles is definitely going to plan! I have started my Vegas research and next week I shall begin Palm Springs! It's really helping me concentrate on the other side of deployment and I'm so excited! I may yet start counting the weeks until we go!

So all in all, I think I'm doing pretty well. Remaining sociable and positive has so far been achieved I just need to get back to exercising! Where do I find the motivation for that in this rainy and cold country?!


Wednesday, 10 December 2014

My #NextmasWishlist...

This Wishlist could go on forever but having been narrowed down to ten by Next I shall duly pick my favourites... Having recently moved into our house not everything is as perfect and as we want it quite yet... Some of these would definitely help us have a more finished home, others are just because:

1. Framed Giraffe print - £30 - this would look awesome on the landing and would definitely set me up for a good day at work by making me smile shortly before leaving the house. There's something so cute about giraffes and the 'hey, are you lookin' at me'.

2. Rug - £90 - £330 - we have been looking for a rug to go in front of our fireplace in our Living Room ever since we moved in... I've never been quite sure what colours to go for but this one means we wouldn't have to choose between cream and teal... Definite winner!

3. Joules throw - £85 - this would complete one look we have in our bedroom! I bought the bed linen which I love! It isn't too girly and is really cheerful! I would love to finish the look off but can't quite justify spending that much on a throw! Worst luck!

4. Festive Spice Scent Votives - £12 - I'm completely obsessed with scented candles and cannot stop buying them... Anything that makes my house smell like Christmas is necessary! 

5. Folding Air Hockey Table - £275 - I can't exactly say that Tom and I NEED this but, we both love air hockey and would probably not do much else! And it folds away so space wise would be amazing!!

6. Robin Robe - £28 -  Now that I've made my house perfect with the above items it's time to laze about and enjoy it!...

7. Snoopy Nightshirt - £18 - I love nightshirts and this one is seriously cute!

8. Pyjama Shorts - £12 - when I'm not in night shirts there is something about shorts that makes me feel lazy but still attractively so!

9. Over the Knee boots - £120 - I've been dreaming of over the knee boots for ages now... These will definitely encourage me to get out of the house after I've been enjoying it's luxury!

10. Coat - £75 - Finally...I'm massively in need of a new winter coat and I really love the colour of this one!

Whats on your Nextmas Wishlist?


Monday, 8 December 2014

5 resolutions for 2015...

2014 has been probably one of the best years of my life, if not THE best. It has definitely been a year of happiness and happenings!

Since Tom went away I have been thinking a bit about how I treat myself and how it impacts left, right and centre - with this in mind I've begun a list of New Years Resolutions... 2015 will be as amazing a year as 2014 and I will hopefully be happier in myself!

1. Be nice to myself - I really need to sop putting myself down or even thinking it... I manage to be self deprecating constantly. Really... it's not cool to put words into someone else's mouth about what they think of you in a particular situation when you aren't at your best. I'm trying to be much nicer to myself, if I'm not why should anyone else be!

2. Stop setting myself up to fail - I find myself promising myself that I will do something and not achieving it or having ideas that never come into fruition and then I beat myself up about it. I'm not actually sure whether I will find it easier to stop the promising or the beating! It really does leave me feeling totally incapable.

3. Learn how to handle criticism properly - I do actually like to be told what could be improved and have people help me progress etc but I don't seem to handle it very well when I don't ask for it. Maybe it's because of what I have already promised myself to achieve - I am definitely my own worst critic.

4. Look after myself better - Being an overactive thinker, I worry way more than I should and I'm fairly sure I can prevent the never ending over thinking I do. I really struggle with getting enough sleep and I seldom wake up feeling like I have actually rested. I seem to always be in such a rush that I don't make enough time for myself  - I feel best when I have spent time getting ready, painting my nails or relaxing in the bath - I definitely think I should pamper myself more (well, lets face it who wouldn't add that to their New Years Resolutions disguised as a perfectly plausible resolution).

No. 5 is not quite the same as the 4 above but it does impact a lot on me and how I feel: 

5. Stop neglecting my family - Since moving away I have struggled to be organised with family birthdays, keeping in touch with them all and seeing them as much as I should. I could make many excuses but none of them are acceptable really and besides with the amount of communication and technology available today it really shouldn't be an issue!

What are your resolutions for 2015?


Thursday, 4 December 2014

Week #3 of deployment...

This has been a good week! The bad things ceased to happen after my brother in law came to sort out a Washing Machine/Boiler leak (I'm well aware that I may have just jinxed myself but I only said ceased not stopped, there is every possibility that they may begin again). Organisation is also resuming in our house as well which has definitely helped this week to be a good one!

My weekend with my in-laws was very relaxing and exactly what I needed to break out of the monotony and to get myself back to feeling a bit normal!

I sent Tom's first Christmas parcel out to him on Monday - fingers crossed it will arrive. I completely forgot to take pictures of what was inside it this time! And it was all wrapped up so pretty!  I mostly stuck to edible things and tiny festive bits that won't take up too much room to bring back. I've started buying more Christmas presents for him for when he gets back, even though we have already done our Christmas! I just can't help myself!

I'm massively excited to be going to my parents this weekend, to see our puppy (and everyone else of course). Hoping to finish all the Christmas Shopping this weekend for our families! I have plenty of ideas but I hate that I'm left with the responsibility of the final decisions! It seems to be a long time since we did Christmas shopping properly but I guess last year was a pretty busy Christmas! Whatever happens this year it won't be last minute, somehow I always seem to find myself in a mad panic wrapping presents on Christmas Day morning which I hate.

Communication is still very limited but we are texting a couple of times a day and we have a short phone call probably twice a week (by short I mean 10 mins at the most). It makes me feel quite panicked when I think that this is all the communication is likely to be until he returns home but I'm trying to take it one day at a time, and we're 3 weeks down now, we will get to the end of it slowly but surely. 

The first parcel arrived that I sent out to him so fingers crossed for his Chrismas one! 
I was surprised how much I managed to fit into this parcel... Didn't fit the magazine though :/ it will have to go out with the next one! There are actual jogging bottoms in there! 

I'm really glad I started this blog just before Tom went away because it is definitely keeping me occupied and preventing me moping too much! Plus I really love it so that's always a good thing. 

Hope you all had a fab week!


Wednesday, 3 December 2014

Paris memories...

Paris is my favourite city in world. My sister Clare lives in Paris and I have spent more time there than in any other city so I suppose I am biased but still... It stole my heart and I don't think any other city will ever replace it.

There is something about this time of year that makes me really miss Paris, maybe it's that I spent November 2008 there before my niece was born or that there was something about Paris which broke into the gloom of winter that made it not seem quite so manky that I wish would break up winters in the UK!

The last time I was in Paris was 2011 (believe me, you will never know how much this sucks! Fingers crossed 2015 is the year). In 2011, I was escaping from a massive decision in my life and it seemed to be the place to go to escape and decide what I wanted. My sister is pretty good for that kind of escape too, I'm very lucky they both happen to be in the same place. Much to Clare's annoyance however I didn't tell her what was on my mind but she knew something was up (really it was enough just to rise above normal life I didn't need to talk about it!)

Anyway, aside from my gloom, because that's clearly not why we are here!! I wanted to share with you some of my Parisian memories:

To start with, nothing beats being woken up in the morning by your nephew shouting "Aliiiiii" up two flights of stairs and being able to look straight down the centre of the staircase and see his cheeky face looking up at you! Followed by breakfast fresh from the bakery at the end of the street including pain au chocolat, french bread and huge Chocolate Meringues (there is no way an English Breakfast could beat that even if I liked them!) Oh, and being able to play the piano any time I wanted (apart from when the before mentioned nephew was asleep)

Being able to see the Eiffel Tower lighting up on the hour from the shower isn't so bad either.

I have done some of the tourist sites but not many of them and some of them definitely need doing again! I went up the Eiffel Tower in the rain and fog and I went to the Louvre when I was too young to really appreciate it. Top of my list to do when I am next in Paris are Versailles and the Moulin Rouge.

Maybe I have fallen so in love with Paris because I have lived there rather than visited while staying at a hotel and have been lucky enough to see Paris with Parisians rather than only heading to the tourist spots.

Paris is beautiful at night. If I could only be there for an hour I would definitely pick an hour after dark! I have spent a few nights out in Paris, each of them memorable for some reason or another: one was a birthday party in the centre of Paris, the night was good but it was really made by the fact that when we left we couldn't find the car and spent a long time going round in circles looking for it.

There was another night when I was invited out by Clare's sister in laws to the cinema and then to a Creperie. The cinema and creperie were in Montparnasse and I remember being given directions for the cinema that once I could see the tower it was to the right. Well, I never realised that there were two towers in Paris, and I was looking for the wrong one! I discovered later that I was stood right next to the Montparnasse Tower the entire time I was on the phone looking for it! It really is a very big tower if I had only looked up!!

The full on Crepe experience at La Creperie Bretonne was amazing too! I would definitely recommend them as a good place to go, I may have to take Tom there when we next go.

Considering Paris is fashion central I haven't really hit many of the shops, I went to Champs Elysees with my mum and went into a lot of shops, but I'm pretty sure we didn't buy anything apart from our lunch.

There is something very relaxed about Paris that I don't find in London, I don't know whether it is just that French people seem less stressed than British or that in some suburbs everything shuts on a Monday or that there is a serious amount of relaxed coffee shops everywhere, I don't mean the chains we now find on every corner - they don't seem at all relaxing! Maybe its that the waiters and waitresses come to you rather than having to queue to order you food. 

I really don't have a clue what it is about Paris but,.. at some point in 2015 I will be sat relaxing in a coffee shop enjoying Paris with Tom and a bottle of Orangina. 

Before that however I'm going to check out this book that seems to be everywhere at the moment:


Tuesday, 2 December 2014

Breaking out of my mould (a beginning anyway)...

I read ALOT of Novels... and the majority of them are romances of some sort... I like them to take me back in time to an era of elegant dresses, chaperones and Dukes found in back street 'gaming hells'. Maybe I'm an 'incurable romance' or living in an age when there are so many rules to break just seems like a little piece of heaven to the 'rebel' in me. 

I have always loved reading and have spent many hours with my head in a book when I should have been doing something else - much to the annoyance of my parents. I have a total inability to hear anyone while I am reading and I have now developed an incapability to put the book down until I have read it from cover to cover. I will soon become annoyance to my husband. 

However, at risk of becoming said annoyance, I am not about to stop reading (sorry Tom). I love it, even if I occasionally come out of a book wishing my life was a novel rather than the reality it is. Ok, I don't get kidnapped by a masked man and carried off in a carriage but I do have my own escapades. 

Moving away, getting married and changing jobs all in one month was definitely an escapade. 

In many respects I seem to tend to stick within a default position of reading the same genre and not exploring the bestsellers that are being published. Too many have passed me and my bubble by. 

In 2015, I would like to break out of my mould in a few areas and reading matter seems the right place to is the beginnings of a list of books I want to read in 2015 outside of my default position: 

The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern
Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn
Taming Poison Dragons by Tim Murgatroyd 
Birdsong by Sebastien Faulks
Storyteller by Jodi Picoult
The Girl You left Behind by Jojo Moyes
The Fault in Our Stars by John Green
Not That Kinda Girl by Lena Dunham

What have you been reading lately? Any suggestions would be appreciated!! 



December is here and Christmas is finally coming. I returned home from work on Friday to find the house opposite us lit up like a theme park... its official preparations have begun.

I love December - it is probably the most social month of the entire year! Pretty well everyone is happy, the best films come out in the cinemas, there are Christmas Markets everywhere, ice rinks seem to breed and there are Christmas Parties left, right and centre.

Lack of motivation is one of my least favourite feelings and I get so frustrated with myself. I had a great weekend at my in-laws and have come back a little more rested and full of inspiration for our house and this space. I even have hair inspiration which I don't think I have had since before our wedding! I seem to have recovered from the downer from last week and all other downers I may have unknowingly been on. I don't know if that was the weekend or the fact that it is December and a month closer to Tom being home but happiness and motivation have been restored. 

It's true what they* say, taking a step back from the hustle and bustle of your life without any deadlines or a stack of projects to do, hanging out with friends and doing something new really does produce motivation and inspiration.

So... Keep a look out for where my current bout of inspiration and motivation takes me, you never know it might be catching!

*I don't know who they are but they do seem to know everything!

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