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Friday, 29 May 2015

Should I Move In With My Boyfriend?

What I posted: His & Hers bath robes at the ready...Chuffed to be moving in with my man!!

What really happened: Hold your horses on the New Home card people, I'm not moving just yet. I mentioned in an older post that my other half is currently renovating his first home (how very hands on) so he's not even living in it himself yet. The topics been broached though that it'd be nice if I lived with him there one day. Now before you label me a bunny boiler this was his suggestion. How sweet hey, and exciting. I'll never have to hoover up a spider again.

So after the initial excitement came the FEAR. I currently live alone in a blissful haven of whites and creams, were pale pink cushions stay perfectly plumped, worktops and sideboards are loose change free zones. My toilet seat is always down, and my kitchen towels can always be found folded and hung over the oven door and the inside of my Marigolds are always dry.

If I was to take the plunge and leave my testosterone free dwelling and move into his pad, how would I enjoy back to back episodes of The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills without feeling judged?

How would I keep him convinced that I'm a natural beauty, when it'll only be a matter of time until he catches me waxing my top lip or wearing my retainer to bed?
I had braces years ago and was told I'd need to wear a retainer at night occasionally for evermore if I want teeth like Simon Cowell's.

Will he be repulsed if I stare at my pores in the mirror (my boyfriend not Simon Cowell), or shocked at how much of my evening I like to spend soaking in the bath?
If he comes home unexpectedly and I'm halfway through my Meditation Level 3 CD will he become concerned for my well being? I know for a fact he'll take the piss when I'm meeting my spirit guide, and that'll be that ruined.

Things will change when we move in together. How scary that something going so well might not work out one day. We never really row (touch wood) but I can see me reaching breaking point after a prolonged period of time if he continues to mess with my marigolds, and that's not an innuendo. Whenever he washes up at mine, he gets the insides wet. How? Why? These are questions I've asked repeatedly.

I could at this point go on to share how he never squeezes the dish cloths out so they smell fusty all the time, but I won't. It's the kind of thing that we find a bit funny now, but ten years down the line I could very well be sat face to face with my probation officer, giving a somewhat uncomfortable explanation as to how I ended up trying to strangle a man with a J Cloth. No doubt one that stinks.

I was talking to a counsellor about it. Not my counsellor, but someone I know who happens to be a counsellor. A tip for you there, befriend a counsellor and enjoy the odd casual free session, "So how've you been? You're looking well. Should I move in with my boyfriend?"

She said when your making big life decisions you have to ask yourself if you have the right ingredients. Love, Trust and Happiness. If those three ingredients are there then the rest will fall into place.

I thought that was a lovely way of looking at it. A way that I will remember and try to adopt whenever I'm over thinking things, and fearing the worst.

He said the other day he's thinking about putting a dart board up!! Crikey!! I'm fairly sure they don't come in white!!! *Repeat to myself LOVE TRUST HAPPINESS. LOVE TRUST HAPPINESS*

Moving in is a big step isn't it. Do you live with your partner? Is it a dream or a bloody nightmare? I'd love to hear your thoughts.

We fly tomorrow afternoon for our first proper holiday together, so the offer of moving in might be off the table after a full week with me anyway!!
Hope you all have a lovely weekend however you spend it. Thanks so much for reading x x

Find me on Twitter @NotYour9To5

Monday, 25 May 2015

Wedding Etiquette: When Your Plus One Gets The Dreaded Flavour

What I posted: Bridesmaid duties done! Had the most romantic day celebrating the wedding of one of my best friends!
What really happened: One of my oldest friends tied the knot this weekend. I love a good wedding. Her two years of planning came together perfectly, the day was beautiful.
 
Now I've been to a few weddings as a singleton. Sat on my lonesome quietly nibbling a starter with a happy couple on my right and a happy couple on my left, wondering if the man of my dreams was planning on making an entrance any time soon! Coming to terms with the fact it wasn't going to be tonight as I do the obligatory leg kicking to New York New York. The joy! 
 
You can imagine how nice it is to have a plus one these days. Rejoice! What could possibly go wrong?
Gents, if you're accompanying your girlfriend/wife/partner to a wedding please take note of the following Do's & Don'ts:
 
If you're waiting in the church for the bride who is running slightly late, DON'T text your girlfriend (the bridesmaid) to see if you have time for another pint.
 
DO pace yourself with the free drinks on arrival at the wedding venue. When you're offered a Peroni or a Prosecco DON'T choose both.
 
DON'T find an accomplice drinking buddy and DON'T encourage each other.  
 
DON'T drink so much that you develop a lazy eye before the starters have been served.
 
DON'T grab the table centrepieces and pretend to 'batter' your accomplice with it. Especially if there are young children at your table.
 
Should you be taken to one side for a quiet word DON'T make the false claim that "you're as drunk as you will get today." If you carry on drinking you will become more drunk.
 
DO take full advantage of the complimentary toiletries in the gents loos but DON'T sport a new hair style every time you re-emerge.
 
If your girlfriend asks how she looked walking down the aisle DO say she looked lovely, DON'T say she looked nervous (even if she did).
 
DON'T play with your girlfriend's dessert while she is in the ladies. She will notice that her delicate chocolate basket is in a crumpled heap on her plate when she sits back at the table. She will not find this funny.
 
If you offer your girlfriend your blazer jacket DON'T hold it down over her head until she struggles free. She will not find this funny either.
 
DON'T tell the Bride that you are in love with her Mother, the Grooms Mother and the Grooms Nan.
 
DON'T do a foxtrot with the grooms Auntie.
 
DO get up quickly and discreetly should you fall on your arse on the dance floor. DON'T wait for the Brides Mother to help you up.
 
If you should find that you have experienced some or all of the above DON'T decide Jaegar Bombs are a good idea. They are not. 
One hell of a hangover later my plus one has survived to tell the tale (what he can remember of it) and I'm all set to make sure he never hears the end of it.
 
Thanks so much for reading x x
 
Tweet me @NotYour9To5

Sunday, 17 May 2015

Quitting Facebook

I quit Facebook two weeks ago. I've been threatening to for ages and have finally done it.
I've never really shared too much on Facebook apart from the odd sickly holiday snaps with my boyfriend "look everyone see us here having cocktails with our sunglasses on" etc etc.

I'd definitely be on there everyday though, scrolling through my news feed wondering more and more why I was reading the statuses of 'friends' I haven't clapped eyes on since high school. 'Friends' who come to think of it I didn't even speak to at school and if we were in the same room today probably wouldn't even say hello to each other. Not because there's any issue, but just because we don't in reality actually know each other.

I finally took the plunge and logged out when a girl I used to work with posted a picture of her sick child with a caption along the lines of "Not well at all, didn't even want any sweets." The poor thing was curled up under a blanket looking like hell and NOT in the mood for photographs. Fancy running for the camera before the Calpol!
I'm not criticising her skills as a mother, I'm sure she does a brilliant job but I was shocked to see the photo. Can you imagine if you were ill and someone tried to share a photo of you on social media?? I'd be livid as I dished out a swift whack across the chops with a hot water bottle.

After ANOTHER grumble to my boyfriend about Facebook, we both decided we'd quit and see who could resist the urge to log back on. I didn't delete my profile, I didn't want to make a grand exit 'Yes dahhhlings I'm like so totally over Facebook' and then be back on it a week later 'liking' like there's no tomorrow.

So how have my two Facebook free weeks been?
Day one and two, no problem. On day three I had a fleeting urge to check my newsfeed. I resisted. I was sailing through life Facebook free and without a care. Without warning, nine days later, I lapsed. I logged in early doors and checked my newsfeed.
My boyfriend doesn't know this, I've kept it to myself. If he reads this then... "Look I can explain everything. It was a one time thing, it meant nothing."

A friend of a friend was getting married at the time of my lapse and I wanted a sneaky peak at her dress. Nobody had shared any photos anyway! What a waste of a lapse.
If I'm completely honest, I had a second reason too. My boyfriend had been out with friends the night before and I wanted to see if there were any photos of him drinking tequila shots in a room of naked supermodels! There were no photos of that either. I logged back out disappointed with myself.

I haven't been on since. Facebook isn't all bad I know, it's good for sharing parts of your life and connecting with people. It's an easy way to keep in touch isn't it. 
Despite this, I can't help disliking Facebook. It can make you lazy as a friend. Just log on for a catch up instead of picking up the phone or actually seeing each other in the flesh.
It's slow paced compared to Twitter or Instagram for example. I'd sooner be trying to get Dame Edna Everage to retweet me than be reading if the child of someone I haven't seen for 15 years slept through last night or not.

What do you think? Are you for or against Facebook?

P.S Dame Edna favourited my tweet in the end. Result!!

Come and find me @NotYour9To5 and join my massive Twitter following of ahem 33. Don't judge me I've only just joined.

Thanks so much for reading, hope you're all set for a good week ahead. xxx

Sunday, 10 May 2015

Motivation To Exercise...For The 'Normal' Girl

What I posted: Loved starting the day with a healthy breakfast and a cheeky run. 10k nailed! 
 
What really happened: I was up bright and unusually early for a Saturday morning yesterday. I was running round the park like a fitness fanatic, in the rain I might add. It wasn't a cry for help. I'm in the process of shaping up for my summer holiday.

I didn't quite do 10k, but by the time I go on holiday in three weeks, if I add up the total distance covered in all of my pre-bikini runs it would total 10k. Probably.

Now I am aware that if you promote shaping up for summer these days you run the risk of being lynched for 'body shaming.' So let me add a little disclaimer on the off chance that this post causes any offence. I've decided to up my exercise and be mindful of my diet because I feel healthier and happier when I exercise regularly. Whatever shape or size you feel happy at is the one you should aim for right??

In a superfood obsessed, smoothie mad world how does the girl who wants more than a liquid diet get in shape? I have to confess I've toyed with the idea of getting a smoothie maker myself but decided against it. Would I really spend time in a morning chopping pineapple, kiwi's, avocado, spinach to mix with coconut oil and water?? No.
Between you and me, if I started my days off with highly nutritional smoothies, I'd be plagued by flatulence before you could say "Is it time for elevenses?" Your not telling me blended spinach and kale for breakfast isn't going to have an aromatic side effect! Surely!

Anyway, I'm working on toning up my legs and stomach, so I won't be caught skulking from palm tree to palm tree when I'm bikini clad at the end of the month. Cue the opening theme tune to The Pink Panther! This people is why I was running in the rain at 9am yesterday morning.

The best way for be to get in shape, with the risk of pointing out the obvious, has never been a strict diet but rather mindful eating and plenty of exercise. Now that Mr Motivator is off our screens, here's how I motivate myself to get moving.

Set Myself A Realistic Goal:
What do I want to get in shape for? I have a friends wedding and a holiday the week after looming, so a couple of months ago I decided I would aim to be in shape by the end of May. Give yourself a realistic and healthy time frame.

Have Something Nice To Wear While I Workout:
Who doesn't love a new outfit? It's worth investing in some practical and comfy clothes. I love the range of sportswear at ASOS.

Don't Go It Alone:
Make plans to work out with friends. That way I can't get out of it without letting a pal down. Plus you I look forward to spending a bit of time catching up. Let his/her gossip drown out my grunts and gasps for breath as I pretend I'm in better shape than I really am.

Invest In A Workout DVD:
I bought Davina McCall's 7 minute fit DVD and love it. It does what it says on the tin basically and has a selection of workouts to target different areas that last for, you guessed it, 7 minutes each. 
Perfect for if I'm short of time after work and struggling to fit a trip to the gym in. It's far easier to convince myself to get started if it's only potentially for 7 minutes. I probably spend longer than 7 minutes wondering if I should or shouldn't bother.
The sections are short but really effective. What's not to like?

Vary My Exercise:
Keep it varied to ease the boredom. I like to switch between gym trips, road running, squash, fitness DVDs and the occasional yoga class.

Be Mindful Of My Diet:
No sh*t Sherlock! I never do a strict diet but I try to be mindful and make small healthy changes that I'll be able to keep up. I drink lots of water to keep hydrated and swap cups of regular tea for green tea. Be mindful when you shop, if you don't have unhealthy snacks in, you can't be tempted to eat them! Try going for wholemeal options when you choose your bread, pasta, and rice. Swap regular crisps for multigrain light bites. There's often a healthier alternative. You don't have to go without.

Use My Lunch Break To My Advantage:
I make my own lunch and make it a healthy one, instead of buying something at work. If I make up a salad in the morning I have no choice come lunch time (I hate throwing food away) - healthy option it is. 

Read Fitness Magazines:
I treat myself to the odd fitness magazine for inspiration and tips on healthy living. They're more interesting to read than you'd think. Try to ignore the irony of sitting on your arse flicking through a magazine about fitness. 

Stay Away From Maltesers:
If your shaping up, Maltesers are the devil. That's why they come in a red box. They may be the lighter way to enjoy chocolate but not when you've demolished a 360gram box on your own. It's not possible to just have a couple. Don't believe me? Try it for yourself. Don't say I didn't warn you.

The hardest part about exercising is starting it. I can feel a Nike slogan coming on 'Just Do It.'

What gets you motivated to work out? Are you jumping up to put your trainers on this very second or really fancying some Maltesers?

Tweet me @NotYour9To5 

Thanks so much for reading. Hope your enjoying the weekend x x
 

Monday, 4 May 2015

Living With Your Parents - What Drives You Mad & What You Miss

What I Posted: So excited to finally be on the property ladder! Loving having my own home!

What really happened: Have you heard of the Boomerang Generation? A generation of people, usually in their mid twenties(ish) who return home to live with their parents, typically so they can save for a mortgage deposit after studying/travelling/renting. In my mid twenties I fit the stereotype perfectly and made the big return.
After finishing University and renting for a few years I'd found myself stuck in a rut. I was paying more in rent that I would have for a mortgage and had zero chance of saving. My Mum suggested I move back home, save up and start over. So after four years living away I took my Mum up on her offer.

It's tricky when you make the return because you've been used to doing things your way, and your parents have been used to not having you under their feet, mainly moping because you'd really rather be in your own place. You find yourself slowly morphing back into a sulky teen but this time without a KEEP OUT sign for your bedroom door.

These are the things that annoyed me at the time, but would actually be lovely now that I'm in my own place again.

EVENING MEAL: This is a big deal, and needs to be discussed as soon as the day begins. 'Will I be in for tea?' needs to be established pronto. Sometimes I wouldn't know, sometimes I would prefer to finish my cereal before thinking about it, sometimes I'd just fancy making my own. Sometimes, and this was a biggie, sometimes I'd say no and it would still be cooked for me anyway!

SUPERMARKET SHOP: This is another big deal. 'Is there anything that I want?' Don't make the mistake of saying you'd enjoyed something or it'll be bought in bulk until it's coming out of your ears. Nobody wants an egg custard every week.

PROMOTING KITCHEN CUPBOARD CONTENT: Typically after a supermarket shop I'd be talked through the recently purchased items. If any of the new items remained untouched for a few days, stage two would commence. Various items would be taken out of the cupboard and displayed on the kitchen worktop as a subtle reminder and to visibly entice me into eating it.

LAUNDRY: My Mum is a laundry fanatic. "Have you anything that wants washing? What about those socks on your feet?" If something needs washing I would put it in the washing basket. Simple. Heaven help me if it was a good drying day. Dry AND breezy! Dressing gowns, flannels, bedding, there'd be a round up call for the lot. If it could be washed it was going in.
(I made a call to my Mum halfway through typing this post and she was in the middle of ironing. Just saying)

CUP OF TEA ON ARRIVAL: When I got in from work a cup of tea would be thrust at me. Without fail.

Why did I find these things annoying? I'd love to have a cup of tea made for me when I walk through the door after work, or have someone else wrestle their way round a supermarket on my behalf. I could even come to terms with having my laundry taken care of.

Occasionally I've found myself asking my boyfriend what he fancies for tea before he's finished his first coffee of the day. I've pointed out to him 'there's fresh pineapple chunks in the fridge' too before now...What have I become??

Have any of you ventured back to live at your family home and lived to tell the tale? Make the most of it, you really will miss it when you've left (well parts of it, when you need to do a big shop).

Thanks so much for reading. x x