Tuesday, 29 July 2014

Taking A Moment

After the hustle and bustle of a busy month or two, sometimes you just need to relax. Give yourself a second. Recharge those batteries. Sometimes, this isn't possible. You have deadlines, you attend meetings, you have a house to take care of. You go on trains, buses, long car journeys - which all take you to the next appointment in your busy schedule. At the end of the day, do you feel rested? Do you need a long, hot bath to soak in? Or a tall, cold drink to get lost in? 

Take a moment to yourself. Read a chapter in a book. Sip a cup of tea. Have a nap. Walk in a meadow, or your nearest park. Dip your toes into the sea. Just take a step back, and look at everything you've accomplished. Pat yourself on the back. Treat yourself. Just make sure you get on with it, you've got that thing booked in this evening...

Chelsea xo

Sunday, 27 July 2014

1001 in 101 Days #5

I've been pretty busy over July, and I forgot to tell you all that I updated my 1001 in 101 Days list. I did mention I might change it in my last update, and I took the plunge in June. So yeah, probably should have told you all a bit sooner. I thought as it's so close to the end of the month, I would let you know why I've ticked off. You can see my new line up here, too!

Continue adding to my memory jar
This is a work in progress. I added this to my list, and it's something I've been doing since January. I decided to make a memory jar to store all the good things that happen, which I no doubt forget about as soon as I fall into woe. I cannot wait to look back on it when 2014 end. 
Yeah, I had to play in a tunnel for my work experience. Hard life...
Get some work experience over the summer holidays
I was lucky enough to lead a social media team for the Forest of Imagination - an arts installation funded by the Arts Council and various other creative bodies in Bath. I basically tweeted all weekend with my best friends from uni, and it was awesome. I've hopefully got another placement lined up over the holidays for a food festival, which sounds pretty cool to me.

Buy a fancy hoover - complete!
Oh yeah, you know I did this. Guys, I am living the dream here in my crazy adult life. Of course, to counteract this ridiculous adult deed, I also bought myself a fancy new bag 'for uni'. Right, Chelsea, riiiiight.

I've also got a few more 'work in profess' items, such as read so many books and watch all of Game of Thrones, but you don't need a paragraph about these things. Basically, I've read some books, and watched all I possibly can with Game of Thrones. Yay me! I hope you all forgive me for updating my list - I'm sure it doesn't matter if I adapt it in the grand scheme of things, but yeah. Hopefully I'll have a few more things ticked off on my next update. 

Chelsea xo

Friday, 25 July 2014

The Goodreads Tag

Hello everyone! Absolutely ages ago, Hayley tagged me in the Goodreads Tag! I love a good tag, and I love books, so I thought this would be perfect for my little space on t'net. Feel free to answer the tag yourself, I'd love to know your answers if you do!

What was the last book you marked as read?
I finished Monsters of Men by Patrick Ness. I honestly cannot recommend the series enough, it's so good. YA novels are so underrated these days, but don't let that stop you enjoying them. 

What are you currently reading?
I've started A Girl is a Half-formed Thing by Eimear McBride, due to it winning the Bailey's Women's prize for fiction this year. It's quite hard to get your head around, but that's pretty much the whole point of the book. 

Gotta love those instasnaps...
What was the last book you marked as to read?
Strange Weather in Tokyo by Hiromi Kawakami, which was reviewed by the glories Becky a few weeks ago. 

What book do you plan to read next?
Mr. Penumbra's 24-Hour Bookstore by Robin Sloan. It's on my reading list for one of my uni modules, but it looks interesting. I'm such a loser, I know.

Do you use the star rating system?
Yeah, but I wish you could give half stars. I sometimes think that a 3-star review is so harsh! 

Are you doing a 2014 reading challenge?
I sure am, I'm hoping to read 20 books and I've read 15, which is going. Goodreads tells me that I'm four books ahead of schedule, so maybe I'll read a groundbreaking 25 books this year!

Do you have a wish list? 
Sort of, I tend to use my to-read list as a wish list, but I also have a folder on my computer with links to all the stuff Joe should buy me.

What book do you want to buy next?
I'm on a book spending ban at the moment, but I'd like to get some Margaret Atwood novels, and Mark Watson's new book which has just recently come out. 

Do you have any favourite quotes? Would you like to share a few?
Erm, I could quote endlessly from Winnie-the-Pooh, but one of my absolute favourite quotes is from The Elegance of a Hedgehog and it goes...

“They didn't recognize me," I repeat.
He stops in turn, my hand still on his arm.
"It is because they have never seen you," he says. "I would recognize you anywhere.” 

Who are your favourite authors?
At the moment, it's definitely Patrick Ness and Rainbow Rowell. So addictively good!

Have you joined any groups?
No, they seem like a bit of a chore if I'm honest. I have joined a blogger's book club, so I should probably buy their latest pick. I've also taken part in a book swap, so fingers crossed they've picked a good'en for me! :) 

Chelsea xo

Wednesday, 23 July 2014

Food for thought: ilumi meals

You'd think living with a chef, I would have well planned, nutritious meals created every day, especially for me. Sadly, this is but a dream (and I'm super fussy, poor Joe!) and I often have to make myself something very last minute when I decide mid-2 Broke Girls marathon that I'm hungry. To put it simply, I am a convenience eater. If I can whip it up and eat it within twenty minutes - then hells yeah, win for me.

Luckily, Tribal Media got in contact with me and set me up with some yummy ilumi meals. Now, most people would frown at a microwavable meal, but all ilumi meals are nut-, gluten- and milk-free.  I can't eat nuts, so this was great news for me. You'd think the meals would compromise taste - I mean, what can taste good when it has no milk or gluten in it? - but this is not the case. All the meals I received were remarkable, and honestly, tasted as good as any meal Joe has cooked up for me. 

Someone send me a vat of that beef gravy, baby!
I was sent a few samples of their Chinese range, which included the 5 Spice Pork* (yum!) and the Chicken and Mushroom Northern Style* meals. I have to say, I was blown away by the pork meal, it was full of fresh flavour and the meat didn't taste zapped by the microwave or anything weird like that. The Chicken and Mushroom was nice, but I'm not a huge mushroom fan. Joe tried both of the meals and thought they were both full of flavour and he could not believe that they were from a packet. 

I'll be a food blogger one day... 
I would recommend these meals to everyone - the range is extensive and there are so many different styles of food, including Mediterranean, Piri Piri, Indian and Italian, that should please every palate. Another plus for the ilumi meals is their price point. Most microwave meals are overpriced and cost as much to buy as fresh ingredients, but I found that the ilumi meals are far more cost effective than cooking up a whole meal. The joys of lone eating! To round off this review, the meals were tasty, quick and easy to make - you can even buy the accompanying side dish such as rice or pasta - and yes, I would buy from ilumi in the future! 

 Have you tried anything from ilumi?

Chelsea xo

Tuesday, 15 July 2014

Shyness is nice...

Sometimes I miss being a six year old. At six, I never worried about what people thought of my appearance or personality, and I could quite easily enter a room of six year olds and talk to each and every one of them. Of course, I couldn't buy my own clothes or biscuits, but it's that easiness of friendship that I miss.

I have mentioned before that I have few friends where I live. Don't take pity (or click off the page, I'm not a total loser) but my closest friends in this little town in Somerset are my driving instructor and his wife. They're people we knew before we moved (they're family friends on Joe's side) and they're roughly ten years older than us. Whilst their company is great, they're often busy when we're free and we don't get to see them enough. My next closest friends are my uni friends, but they're a 90 minute £12 train journey away. I love them to pieces, but their evenings consist of getting drunk or spending their wages on beautiful clothes, whereas mine are spent ushering Dylan to bed and trying to tidy up endless bricks of Lego.

This is mostly why the majority of my friends live online. In my pocket and on my iPad. I sometimes worry that I moan and whine too much on twitter, or in blogposts, but then I remember that these are my friends. You rant at your friends, and they either offer advice or wine. Of course, this might be virtual wine, but in that moment if need, it helps. I wish I had friends who were closer but sometimes the best people live a few hundred miles away. I'm not sure if I've wrote a post like this before, but today I really felt like I needed to remind myself of the friends I can't see every day.

Thanks for being there for me, guys. Who's up for a blogger sleepover when I finally build my spare bed?

Tuesday, 8 July 2014

Pretty Fly For July

I'm hoping I have Pretty Fly For A White Guy stuck in your head now. I'd say it's always lurking around in my head, so it's only fair I share it around. We are now over a week into July, how crazy is that? A week of living in our new home, and a week of moving boxes from one room to the next. I thought I would let you know how I got on with my June wish list thing (spoiler: not very well) and give you my list for this month. 

In June I only managed to achieve three things out of six - so half ticked off, which isn't horrific I guess - and those things were...

A bookcase selfie - bookfie? No, let's not make that a thing.
Read 3 books 
I actually managed to read four, yay me! I mean, I only just scraped that last one in, but I did it. I read Eleanor & Park, The Knife of Never Letting Go, The Red House and The Girl Who Saved The King of Sweden (I always, always want to put King of Spain there). I wanted to review all of these, but only managed to review Eleanor & Park, which you can read here if you haven't already done so. 

Meet some bloggers!
June started really well and I met a handful of lovely bloggers at the #SWBlogSocial in Exeter. In turn, they met Dylan, and everyone was really lovely and just sort of put up with me telling Dylan to not climb under tables or steal somebody's chair. In retrospect, I wish I could have gone without taking Dylan, as I missed out on the first two hours of the event due to misplacing the pushchair, and I couldn't sit in on any of the upstairs fun. Nonetheless, it was a fun time and I'm really glad we went. 

I also met up with Leona which totally counts, as she was also introduced to Dylan and we basically decided that we are the best people ever. I was a bit worried that after meeting her for McBusted, we would realise we only actually had McBusted in common - or, I dunno, she hated Dylan or something - but luckily that wasn't the case and we had a fun day of Hulk Smashes, ice cream and buying cute tiny person clothes from Cath Kidston. Oh, and Dylan ran into a lamppost. That was funny. 

Take on as many shifts as possible 
I didn't think I had achieved this, but my pay this month was double what I had expected so that's great. In the end though, I didn't manage to save any of my extra money as it went on paying fees and the bond for our new house. We also took out contents insurance for the first time (after three years of having my own place, which is super naughty!) as it was in the small print of our contract to have it, but I'm glad we did. 

As I've just moved home, I wanted to keep this month's tasks pretty simple. I've already secured a few extra shifts for this month and next so I'd like to keep adding to that. However, I need to find out if I can get a bus to work, as I've added an extra 40mins walk to my usual route! I'm also working away this weekend (if you can call it working away) so I'd like to ensure Dylan is looked after and that I spend some extra time with him from Tuesday onwards! Two things for this month, so hopefully I can get them both ticked off and let August be a mammoth list to make up for this mini one! 

Chelsea xo

Saturday, 5 July 2014

Larger Than Life

Hello everyone! Hope you've all enjoyed the peace and quiet from not having me blog recently. I wish I could say I'd been busy relaxing, but instead we moved home (as I'm sure you're all totally aware of by now) and I haven't had a second to myself. Oh hang on, that's a bit of a lie...

You see, as Joe only has two days off a week, he cleverly decided to pick the Day Of The Move and the day after that. This meant once we had moved all the big and heavy boxes, Joe ended up going back to work, leaving me with all the light boxes to move. Except I can't really move things as we don't have any storage space at the moment. Which means I have no wardrobe to put our clothes, no bookshelves for books or DVDs, no bathroom cabinates to put all the shower gels and whatnot. Those hideous built-in panel units we had in the old house aren't looking so unappealing right now.

So, basically, I just read a 500+ page book instead. I'm so productive! As I type this, I am waiting for an electricitan to come and give us TV as we've had no signal - which in turn meant I've watched Bolt more times than I'd care to admit in the last four days - so that will be nice. Still, I'd much rather go without TV than deal with three weeks of no internet (which is why I'm posting this on a sneaky future visit to Joe's parents). 

But I can't complain really. I've got the move that I've wanted for so long, and now we just wait and watch over the coming months as we buy shelves and side-tables and really make this house feel like home! 

What have you been up to recently? Any unpacking tips? 

© Love in Modern Life. Design by Fearne.