A travel and style blog

How To Spot When You're Turning Into Your Mother

January has been a nice quiet month. I can confirm that my New Year resolution to eat healthy, fructose free meals is still in place. If you couldn't find me at the supermarket stocking up on healthy produce, then I'll have been peering through my oven door keeping an eye on a batch of healthy flapjacks. I have become a domestic goddess.
Apart from the time I drank a bottle of Prosecco, fell asleep on the sofa until 1:30am, went upstairs only to remember I'd stripped the bedding and forgotten to put it back on. (How annoying is it when that happens?) So, apart from that time, I have become a domestic goddess.
Now before I get any grief, I know Prosecco isn't exactly health drink of the year, but cut a gal some slack. It was a Christmas present and I wouldn't want to be unappreciative of a kind gift would I?? 
Washing up gloves.
Last Monday there was an upset to my domesticated bliss when I was publicly humiliated in Waitrose. I'll spare you the gory details but it mainly involved me, a checkout, a trolley full of shopping, my boyfriends card and an incorrect pin.
I'll say no more. Well actually I will say that I had permission to use his card. I hadn't dashed out after a lovers spat with one aim only... to max out his stolen card on luxury food items!
I was however ready for a lovers spat when I drove back home furious. Until my supermarket shaming, I'd been having a lovely morning. That's when it occurred to me... I really had been having a lovely time...maybe too much of a lovely time...doing a Waitrose big shop. What had I become??
The signs are popping up left right and centre that I have changed. I have reason to believe that I am in fact turning into my Mum!
Here are the tell tale signs...
* I notice and appreciate a 'good drying day.' You know the one, no rain, slight wind, bit of sun.
* Sometimes I'll treat myself and buy a branded pair of washing up gloves. Not the supermarket own brand ones but a 'proper' pair. Good fit and grip with a comfy lining inside.
* I love a store that sells really good napkins.
* When deciding what clothes to wear the ratio of keeping me warm to looks good has slipped to 60/40 in favour of warmth.
* I always take my brolly out with me... just in case.
* If I've been out with friends at night I like them to text so I know they got home safely.
* I don't feel like I'm failing at life if I'm not out on the town every Saturday night.
* I believe a hangover is a waste of a day.
* I talk about things I've watched on the telly more.
* I cry at things I've watched on the telly more. Those poor little over worked donkeys.

No offence to Mothers was meant by this post.
Thanks so much for reading. Enjoy what's left of January and get set for lighter nights and more good drying days very soon!

I'll be coming out of hibernation next month and doing bigger things than the big shop. I'm learning to ski for a start. Why do I have a feeling my public humiliation isn't over? Wish me luck x x
Not Your Nine To Five is on Twitter here and Instagram here

The Worries You Have When You're At A Health Spa

If you can tell me the name of one person who doesn't like to relax and be pampered, I'll give you a fiver.
Who doesn't enjoy spending a day unwinding in luxurious surroundings, taking a break from the hustle and bustle of your everyday routine? A chance to rejuvenate and revive your senses before, well, going back to the hustle and bustle of your everyday routine.
You work hard so why shouldn't you treat yourself every once in a while? A cheeky little full body bamboo scrub never hurt anybody did it?
Press play on the panpipes (volumes 1 AND 2), we're coming in!! ...
Polaroid photo of girl wearing a cucumber face mask
Now... breathe deeply and slowly as all your worries start to slip away... except for these:
#1 Am I supposed to put my dressing gown on in the hotel room and arrive at the spa reception ready, or will everybody else be getting changed into their robes once they get there? What if I turn up in my robe and look like a pervert? Then again what if I turn up fully clothed and look like a prude who doesn't spa regularly? 
#2 Will all the complimentary lemon water make me need a wee during my treatment? *starts to need a wee*
#3 When I get left to undress for my treatment, exactly how long have I got before she's coming back into the room? *gets undressed at the speed of light*  
#4 Did she say I'm supposed to lie on my front or on my back?  

#5 Did she say lie on top of or under the towel?

Spa Day Essentials, Dressing Gown, Swimming Costume, Flip Flops
#6 When she gently knocks before re-entering the room am I supposed to say "come in?"

#7 Can she tell my paper knickers are slowly disappearing up my arse? *Tenses bum cheeks to prevent any further disappearance*

#8 Exactly how young and pretty will the girl massaging my boyfriend be? *clocks young pretty thing lead him away and disappear into a room TOGETHER*

#9 How can I rebuild my self esteem after swanning into and straight back out of a full steam room? *does silent bikini clad moonwalk back out*

#10 Why is there always one person in the sauna who thinks I've come here for a chat? Half dressed and sweating is not the right time!

Cucumber Face Mask

Is it just me or is anybody else in the mood for a spa break now? Might have to look into one. After I've asked my bf who gives the best massages. Me or her? Well.....??

Tell me I'm not the only one whose mind goes into overdrive, even when you're relaxing!

If there's ever a time you don't want to make a social faux pas it's when you're scantily clad in the midst of a hot flush. Trust me. I'm speaking as a girl who once mistakenly thought a  guy who'd been talking to me, was gesturing to shake my hand as we left the steam room. He was in fact going to open the door for me. I died inside while he shook my hand out of politeness. 
Remember, if in doubt, nobody in a steam room is ever trying to shake your hand!
You can follow Not Your Nine To Five on Twitter here and Instagram here x x

New Year Resolution: Quitting Sugar...Again

Always stand out from the crowd! Unless it's January. If it's January it's perfectly fine to follow the crowd and join the masses making new year resolutions for a healthier you.

Your resolutions will be like the ones you made last year, but this time it's different. This year you mean it. No really, you do.

There's something about being at the tale end of a fortnight spent rummaging through a jumbo tub of Quality Street, searching for the fudges, *insert personal favourite here* that makes January the one. The month that sees you filled with determination to make healthy lifestyle changes.

You vehemently cast aside the Cadburys and laugh in the face of Lindt. January sees a new you! ... a you that drinks coconut water goddam it!

Sugar free healthy living cookbooks, I Quit Sugar For Life by Sarah Wilson. Deliciously Ella by Ella Woodward.
My go to wellness bible, I Quit Sugar For Life, Sarah Wilson
The Christmas present I can't wait to get stuck into, Deliciously Ella, Ella Woodward.
Delicously Ella book by Ella Woodward. I Quit Sugar For Life by Sarah Wilson.
My new year resolution is to make healthy lifestyle changes. I know what you're thinking, "well slap my thighs and call me Norma, what an original NY resolution." But there you have it.

My aim is to cut out processed foods and sugar from my diet to live a healthier happier life. Simple and whole foods are the name of the game.

I'm NOT dieting. I repeat I am NOT dieting. I'm introducing a new way of living.

I made a start at introducing these changes in the summer of last year. A mid year resolution if you like. If you didn't catch it at the time, you can read about the start of my 'wellness plight' here.

Kilner Jar. Colourful vintage paper straws.
I wrote at the time that I'd share my progress with you, and as I'm a woman of my word, here you go...

What Got The Thumbs Up
There is no calorie counting. Eat as much as you like of the 'good stuff' so there's no room left for the bad stuff.

Even though it wasn't my aim, I lost weight. I'm talking about that impossible to shift weight too, that sits round your stomach and the tops of your thighs. No muffins in your cupboards or hanging over the top of your jeans!

My mood altered, I felt happier and more positive.

A couple of people passed comment that my skin was looking clearer and brighter.

I enjoyed learning new ways of cooking and with some ingredients I'd never even heard of.

What Got The Thumbs Down
Sourcing the ingredients isn't always straight forward. Not everything was stocked at my usual choice of supermarket. It is all out there though, it just takes a little time to do a spot of researching before you set out with your bag for life. (those 5ps add up right)

It can be time consuming. It definitely takes more time to prepare yourself a fresh dinner from scratch than it does to pop a 'convenience' meal in the oven.

Cooking with new ingredients can be complicated, and stressful if the final result doesn't turn out right. Note to self: pecans can and do burn if you leave them in the oven too long.

You have to plan ahead. If the urge for a snack strikes in-between a meal, you need to have something you prepared earlier ready to grab.


Despite all the benefits of a sugar free lifestyle, I found that after six weeks or so I gradually started to slip back into my old, less healthy ways of eating. Some of the recipes that I tried, although I enjoyed eating them, took me so long to prepare that I struggled to maintain it.
Christmas also came along as a convenient excuse to jump back into eating sugary treats. If it was coated in chocolate and given a festive name I was all over it. Yes to the Yule Log all day long.

2016 landed and things came to a head. A whitehead. On the end of my nose. I kid you not. As well as the breakout in blemishes, my mood well and truly crashed.
I felt like I hadn't felt in a long while and for the first time, could feel the huge effect that diet has on my mood. Maybe it was so glaringly obvious because I'd had a selection box for tea the day before my slump! No need to ring Sherlock, I've figured this one out on my own!

Quote from I Quit Sugar For Life, "so-called lapses are good! They are perfect for reminding us why we choose not to eat sugar. Take comfort: once you know the deal with sugar, you don't go back to where you started. 'You can't unlearn this stuff!"

Going Forward I made my first attempt to be sugar free out of curiosity and boredom. I just felt like trying something different.
I'm making my second attempt to be sugar free after experiencing first hand the slump in mood and difference to my appearance that sugar causes.

I'm calling phase two 'Sugar Free The Resurgence: This Time I Know What Chia Seeds Are!'
Deliciously Ella book

It gets easier too. Suddenly you'll have a handy little supply of ingredients that you've gradually been accumulating. You'll work out which recipes you can whip up and which ones to give a miss. You'll learn new ways to cook and with ingredients you've never tried before and feel a little bit pleased with yourself. If your skin happens to be glowing too, bonus!!

There's no lazy way to live a healthy lifestyle. It does take time, but what would you be doing instead?

Deliciously Ella, Ella Woodward. I Quit Sugar For Life, Sarah Wilson.
See those 'Coconuts, Kale & Yoga' slogans and be like yes darrrrling that is totally me. 

Have you tried a sugar free lifestyle? Do you have any tips for maintaining it long term?

Thanks so much for reading. Not Your Nine To Five is on Twitter here and Instagram here x x

The Best Of Not Your Nine To Five...So Far

Today is the first Monday of the year. As if you needed reminding! It's also, very nearly, Not Your Nine To Five's first birthday! To celebrate I've put together a quick best of 'NYNTF'.

Not Your Nine To Five Blog
Please don't send birthday presents. Cash is fine!

It might only be a small feat, but I'm pretty pleased with myself for keeping the blog going for a year. Ta very much to anyone that's taken the time to read it. 

My aim when I started blogging was to write something and have a stranger, (i.e not just my Mum) say they'd enjoyed reading it. It's important to remind yourself sometimes of the little goals you set for yourself, and realise when you've achieved them. 

I'm terrible at times for comparing my blog to other more successful ones. *at times meaning most of the time*

"Such a body's blog has 30,000 followers AND she's ten years younger than me. Shit!"

Although I might not have gone viral (despite checking on the off chance after every post, you just never know), nor have I been able to phone into the office and tell them to shove it... I have gained a few little followers and most importantly I've loved working on Not Your Nine To Five. 

So, while some posts make me cringe...the one I wrote slightly drunk, which was basically about the industrial sun cream I used on holiday. Don't expect a link to it. I reckon some posts aren't so bad for a beginner. If I do say so myself.

The top five most popular posts:

#5 Five Friends One Luxury Lodge

#4 Agent Provocateur & Why I Once Spent £55 On A Thong

#3 Snag A Man For The Long Haul: The Moustache Theory

#2 From Thong To Brief: The Evolution Of A Relationship

#1 What Nobody Tells You About Being In Your Thirties

In a nutshell, you enjoyed reading about fancy lodges, fancy knickers, getting older and men. Shame on you! ;)

Thanks again for reading. Have a lovely day. DO NOT compare yourself to strangers on the internet!! Unless they're less successful. In those cases, fill your boots. I'm joking, I'm joking! Sort of.

Not Your Nine To Five is on Twitter here and Instagram here x x

Christmas 2015: The Outtakes

How was it for you? I hope you've all enjoyed the holidays. I hope mainly, that you can all say,'Yes he's been!'

We took the decorations down at home today, and the 'big clean' commenced. We are now the proud owners of a living room that seems  much bigger.
I know traditionally we're a bit early taking the decorations down, but everything seems so cluttered and untidy the minute you finish singing Auld Lang Syne.(I might or might not have Googled how to spell that. I might or might not have typed it originally as Auld Lans Eyne. Never could sing it correctly, never mind spell it).

So to round off the festive season, and before you get back into a routine where you can remember what day it is, sit back and enjoy the outtakes from my holidays. Written for anyone who scrolled through their Facebook feed on Christmas Day and thought ... 
'F*ck me E V E R Y O N E is having the world's greatest Christmas' and believed it.
Santa It's A Long Story, Christmas Cushion

* My boyfriend and I went for a winter walk on Christmas Eve and stopped at a café for a spot of lunch. We made our choices from the menu. The waitress told us they'd stopped serving food.

* On the hungry walk home we witnessed a woman attempting to throw herself off a bridge. Fear not, there were plenty of people around helping her.
Slightly traumatised, I wondered what circumstances had brought her to that bridge? What would I have said to her, if other people weren't helping already?
Which celebrity would present me with my Pride Of Britain Award? Maybe Eddie Redmayne.
If the universe wanted to put not getting a Tuna Baguette into perspective it did a top job of it.

* On Christmas Day a winter bug hit! In the interest of niceness, lets just say Rudolph wasn't the only one trotting.

* I managed one alcoholic drink all day. That's ONE! See, I told you I was ill. There wasn't much over indulging in the food stakes either. I'm a big believer of letting sleeping dogs lie.

* My boyfriend worked nights on the Big Day, so my sister rescued me from festive loneliness and put me up for the night. Who would've thought my cute as can be niece, the prettiest little thing, grinds her teeth in her sleep. Think two coconut halves scraping together. We shared a room.

* Post Boxing Day, feeling better, I flicked through my new Deliciusuly Ella healthy recipe book, and scoffed half a box of After Eight Mints until the irony and guilt consumed me. I put down the book, not the chocolates.
The healthier me will be under construction the minute I finish my stash of Christmas treats.

Was your Christmas a glittery magical affair or do you have some bloopers of your own??

Thanks so much for taking the time to read this. Don't forget Not Your Nine To Five is on Twitter here and Instagram here x x

P.S Happy New Year!! x
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