Staying in doesn’t have to be boring!

It’s rare that I get my party head on, but a couple of weekends back I found myself doing just that.

Ok… Ok I didn’t have some big arse night on the town but I did have some girls round, drink a few cocktails and glasses of champers, eat a little pizza and play a few party games. Actually it felt great to let go and have a little fun.

The guys at Ladbrokes supplied me with a box of treats topped with items designed for a girls night in!

I grabbed my box headed over to my mums and called a few of the girls over for a Casino themed night in.

Before the drinks started flowing I prepared finger food and experimented with the cocktails.

Here’s some of what we got up too…

Cocktail making… I’m dead proud of my mojitos

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And the games were much more fun following a few glasses…

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We even popped open the champers I was given when winning a Mad blog award in September…

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We then settled down and watched some talent on the TV before finally having a girls only poker session that we played in the upmost serious manner…

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See… Staying in doesn’t have to be boring :) Thanks to Ladbrokes for supplying our box of party essentials.

Stupid things I’ve done before the age of 30

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Regardless of your age, I’m guessing that more than a few of you will relate to a few of these listed below.

It’s them little things we remember isn’t it? I look back on my life so far and I have to admit it often makes me chuckle. Growing up we do some silly things, some are more silly than others. We’ve embarrassed ourselves stupid, thought we looked cool when we so didn’t, done something to impress a boy or two, and a whole lot more besides.

However, you must admit, that no matter how silly these things are… Most were a lot of fun in the process.

So with that I’ve made this list! A list of all the stupid little things i’ve done before the age of 30!

So… In no particular order, here it goes

1. Had a tantrum in a supermarket for a red balloon (or so my mum informs me so)!

2. When at school, I’ve said something bitchy behind my friends back.

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3. Made plans with all school friends that once I’m 16 I’ll emigrate with them to Spain where we will run a bar and live happily ever after… Blah… Blah… Blah

4. Bunked school only to be spotted by my mothers closet friend (almost every time, that woman was everywhere).

5. Tried to act the big girl when stating “yer, I eat the hottest curry at the Indian” only to feel like crying my eyes out when trying to prove it.

6. Got stuck in a baby swing at the play park only to need cutting out by dishy firemen. Note: 1, I was 15, 2, I was wearing a short skirt, 3, I was actually bunking off from school at the time, 4, my Head of Year was called and judging by how quickly she arrived to laugh at me, I’m guessing she flew there!

7. Gone to a friends for dinner only to find her mothers cooking disgusting. As a result I’m forced into the difficult task of trying to feed it to their family dog when no ones looking! Only problem is the dog didn’t seem to think much of it either)!

8. Left the girls loos to discover I’ve got my skirt tucked in my knickers and loo roll on the bottom of my shoes.

9. Accidentally killed a goldfish in a record half a day (not once but 2x)!

10. Needed to go to the toilet while at a boyfriends house but being to worried he may hear the action, held it for far to long, resulting in bad tummy cramps that left me rolling around like a baby on the floor.

11. Got a sudden case of the giggles at the most inappropriate moment.

12. Pretended to talk on my mobile in front of a group of lads only for it to start ringing.

13. Stuck chewing gum and a few drawing pins on a teachers chair.

14. Sat pulling a string of faces at my brother while my mother told him off, playing the angelic little angel whenever she looked in my direction.

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15. Got drunk on cider…. That’s it… “Got drunk on cider!”

16. Woke up with kebab in my hair (and I don’t even like kebab so work that one out).

17. Wore a Union Jack dress when Geri Halliwell from the spice girls rocked one back in the 90′s.

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18. Fallen over on a busy high street, jumped up and of course walked on as quickly as my little legs would carry me.

19. Spent a whole weeks pocket money on gobstoppers.

20. Dressed the family cat in dolls clothes then shut it in a draw.

21. Out loud i’ve sung the words to a song completely wrong then blamed the song.

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22. Got stranded up town on New Years eve when losing my purse. Walked all the way home in heels only to realise the buses were free from midnight (we’re not talking up the road here but 8.6 miles).

23. Played knock down ginger (not literally, my son has red hair)! This game actually just involves knocking on doors and running away at speed. Not proud now but was dead proud then.

24. Sent an email about someone (hoping that someone would never know or hear about it) yet instead of sending it to the person I intended, I’ve accidentally Sent it to that someone who wasn’t meant to ever ever see it!

25. Quit a Job through anger only to regret it by the time I’ve had my second vodka at the bar directly across the road.

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26. Accidentally made plans with two different people. Told one that I’m staying in and having an early night as gotta be up early. Only problem is that I see them in the club I’m at that night! The fact that I’m really swinging my pants on the dance floor at gone 2am really doesn’t help.

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27. Ran away from home only to get as far as my garden gate.

28. Run and grabbed someone from behind shouting “Give me your money” only to realise that it wasn’t the good friend I thought it was. Honestly try explaining that one to the police!

29. Done my own fake tan just before a big night out, only to end up looking like a streaky version of the tango man.

30. Sent a drunken text but worse still… To the wrong person.

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31. Gone on a night out dressed in next to nothing, without a coat during December. Why…. ?

32. Eaten a pot noodle for dinner. With the rising cost of living a pot noodle is no longer even considered a poor persons dinner… But it was when I ate it!

33.. Surfed on the back of an ice cream van.

34. Spent my school lunch money on cigarettes.

35. Stalked a paper boy I had a crush on.

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36. Drunk hooch and Lambrini at parties when under the illusion it was a classy thing to do.

37. dropped out of school simply because I thought I knew better… Wasn’t impressed when I had to get educated as a woman!

38. 2 days after having a baby I attended an intermediate high impact cardio workout class. Just 5 minutes into the season I lied about needing the toilet so I could escape back out the door and back home.

39. Told my child’s teacher the dog ate their homework because I accidentally binned it.

40. Slipped and fell in a puddle of beer while doing my funky thing on the dance floor.

41. Slipped and fell in a puddle of sick while doing my funky thing on the dance floor.

42. Consumed far too much alcohol on an 18 to 30′s holiday therefore forgetting where or even which hotel I’m staying at.

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43. Lied about my age to a boy only to be left red cheeked when I’m finally found out… (as you always are)!

44. Cried over a boy and screamed at my mum when she suggested I’d laugh about it one day! Of course she was right!

45. Fallen of a bar that I was dancing on (well, I was working in Greece and at 17 can be forgiven)!

46. Followed a fashion trend despite looking like a bit of a C#%#.

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47. Spent a weeks wages on shoes!

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48. Spent an absurd amount of money at a fairground trying to win an inflatable hammer or a teddy in an inflatable ball.

49. Eaten my own body weight in chocolate.

50, Dressed up in a couple of net curtains and danced around my bedroom pretending to marry Robbie from Take That (no not the reformed Take-That).

51. Chosen a water ride at a theme park as my first ride of the day. The sun isn’t shining much, I’m wearing jeans, have no change of clothes and another 6 hours before my train home! The word Idiot springs to mind!

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52. On boxing day I’m sat playing Hairdresser when cutting all my Barbies hair off despite Christmas only being the day before.

53. Drunk so much black coffee before a job interview that I’ve gone in shaking like a alcoholic… No I didn’t get the job!

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54…

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So, go on then… Make a list of you’re own! I bet you’ll have a giggle as you look back and realise that there were times when you were quite simply pathetic!

Self diagnosed eBay addict

I wake up in the morning reach out for my iPhone and here’s what I do…

1) Check my email
2) Check my twitter
3) Check my blog
4) Check my eBay
5) Check my Facebook

For goodness sakes I’m not even joking! I often sit and try to cast my mind back to those days before social networking and online auctions such as eBay bloody existed, I know my life wasn’t boring so why do I now consider it to be just that if I’m unable to check-in to my 5 online hotspots throughout the day?

Yes, Social media is taking over the world and i’m happily clinging on and going for the ride!

Seriously though, I don’t sit for hours tweeting and liking, life won’t allow me. Yes, I’m a mother, I have a family to contend with! Yet I do find myself frequently popping in and out to my online life, modern technology such as the iPhone makes this an easy task to achieve.

Now, if you noticed number four on my list is to check my eBay. Now this much loved online auction site has griped many including myself, only I’m surprised just how long that actually took to happen.

As a lover of shopping its rather strange that I’ve only actively been buying and selling through eBay this year. My friends and everybody else I know seem to have been at it forever and although I’ve always been completely aware of such happenings I had never found myself needing, nor wanting to use it… Well till now!

I think that maybe the sensible side of my brain made sure I stayed away. I’m the kind of person whom is quiet easily drawn in and rather hard to suck back out!

Hands up… I absolutely love that land called eBay!

Now although I have recently sold items on eBay I’ve actually brought a considerable amount more. So, what is it about buying on eBay that I just can’t seem to get enough off?

The fonder of eBay in my opinion is one very clever so & so. It’s simple, we’re not just get the frill associated with shopping we are also getting the buzz of winning! Then there is that aspect of getting a bargain and who in gods name doesn’t like getting one of those.

I have had my fair share but a bargain can only be that if we really need such items in the first place. I’m currently hooked on bidding for dresses and pretty vintage style clothing for my daughter. I’m also always on the hunt for trendy boys wear for little man and the toddler as well as indulging my shoe habit a fair bit of late. But although you’ll often hear me state “You can never have to many pairs of shoes” in all honestly one can and I probably have!

So, what is it I’m checking when I’m reaching for my iPhone at 7am. First thing I need to check is that of my buying list… You know, items i’ve won and items I’m winning! Then I’ll check my watch list and make the early morning decision on wether I want to bid on any of them items. Next up its of to my Selling list, where I’ll check to see how any of my listings are proceeding and maybe share them via my connected social networks.

Now although I’m holding my hands up here and admitting that yes maybe I am a little bit of an eBay addict, I can still say with confidence that items I’m bidding on get a max bid which I stick to. There has been the odd item I’ve battled for but now I use a special technique “Would I buy it right now in a shop for the same price?” this normally does the trick.

As for selling, this is a buzz in itself. It’s great to list a desirable item then kick back and watch the interest and watchers grow. It’s also rather lovely to watch your item ending especially when the price rises beyond what was expected.

With three growing children and my own over flowing wardrobes caused by obsessive shopping trips and hoarding items for donkeys years I have a fair bit of stuff to sell. Unfortunately eBay are only allowing me to list 10 items per month and despite my continuous request for a higher selling allowance and ebays promise to send me a letter as verification of my address they still have failed to send it so I’m stuck. Another problem with selling on ebay is the fact that I never seem to transfer the funds made from my listings back into my bank account via PayPal to withdraw! Why not… Because I use it to buy more!

I’ve been reasonably lucky with my listings and this is mainly due to some great sellers tips passed around by friends here on the net. Here’s a few I’ve been introduced to which have worked well for me!

1) In most cases list items as singles (especially when selling branded clothing and lovely children’s pieces) this also cuts down your postage costs.

2) Don’t start your listing to high as it puts people off.

3) Add photo packs (great for free and reduced insertion days)

4) Be reasonable with P&P and offer a combined postage.

5) Recheck spellings before confirming a listing as you don’t want to be coming up on the listings over at “Fat Fingers”

6) Add pictures from varying angles

7) Don’t list for no less than 10 days ( this means your item gets seen more and end up in many a persons watch list)

8) schedule listings to finish at around 9pm as this is normally a child free time (unless your living in my house)! It’s true though it’s the most least busy hour of a person’s day, unless you work nights or are tucked up in bed.

9) List brand names and picture the labels

10) Reframe from listing a “Buy it now” price (this often makes people reluctant to bid more in the end if the item doesn’t sell before the end time)

11) It does no harm to hit the share button and blast out to your followers on social networks.

I do follow the above and for me it’s been beneficial.

But what about buying on eBay?
I’ve got some awesome buys for a steal, example… TOPSHOP woman’s coat (brand new with tags) original price £75.00 won bid at 99p and the P&P was £3.00, Infant Red LEGO Kickers won bid at £1.04 and the P&P was £2.70 and another great one was a bundle of girls clothing consisting mainly of dresses from next, monsoon and Zara, number of items 13 won bid at £6.00 and p&p 4.00

So… Is there a trick in getting things for monkey nuts?

The TOPSHOP Coat and the Lego Kickers both had typos within the listings title which I found using the “Fat Fingers” app available on iTunes. The clothing bundle consisting of 13 pretty dresses made the mistake of listing within the wrong category as well as having an early hours ending time.

I have found in the short time I have actively been using email that feedback is of great importance. I now read this before biding (unless the item is ending within seconds when I’ve discovered it and I really want it that is). I brought a pair of Adidas women’s trainers for a steal at 99p but the seller took my PayPal and seemingly never sent the item. I’m all for giving people the benefit of the doubt, but when you state, “I’ve sent so out of my hands” when I inform you it hasn’t been delivered. Then tell me on a second occasion, “I don’t care it’s your problem” then I get the sneaky suspicion you never sent it anyway. Yes it’s just 99p with a fivers P&P but it’s beside the point and after several attempts to reason with the seller and opening a case with email I gave her bad feedback.

Feedback helps buyers feel more confident in bidding on your items making you more money. As a stay at home mum and full time carer I just sell the odd item and then use the funds to bid on items I need for the children. But I can sell the money that can be made easily with the help of eBay and it’s something I’d consider come Christmas. If my sellers allowance is increased that is!

I’d love to hear from any eBay pros, please feel free to leave your comments and any useful tips or wise advice within the comment section below.

Below is a picture of a few items I’ve brought and what I’ve paid (yes there are plenty more from where they came from)!

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World Book Day

Yes, I admittedly hold up my hands, my presence here has been a little scooby, though in my defence, I’ve had a tank load of stuff to get on my other blog, (I actually still do) and as my first blog, it takes pride of place in my ToDo list!

However, this readers is just a quickie. I simply couldn’t resist the urge to post a picture of my daughter, ‘Alice-Sara’ who is 9 and in her fourth year of primary school! As many will know (well, you parents and bookends) for sure, is that today is “World Book Day” My eldest didn’t do the whole dressing up thing, which suited him fine and likely did the rest of his peers! His in a special school for children on the autism spectrum, the prospect of change and dressing in non tactile friendly costumes, wouldn’t have been much fun. Nonetheless, my daughter did get dressed up :)

Yes, she insisted on being a freaky chick “aka a monsters high fashion diva” but given we didn’t have such resources, she opted for Moana the Vampire (Yes this used to be on CBBC when I was a kid) and I still have the book which I’ve given to my daughter!

We all love reading in this crazy house, and the toddler is already loving reading along with mummy. It maybe a fun day for our children today, though we do need to remember the importance of today… Reading is a skill one our children will require throughout life, let’s make it that bit easier on them, by taking the time to read and enjoy books as a family!

As for Moana the Vampire, Just check out the style… don’t you just love a reason to dress up? Alice-Sara does… poser!!!!!!

Kissing boys for “Milkyways”

Morning all… I was recently tagged in a “Meme” by the very lovely Lou (aka @Bobbity666) over at Bloggomy.  Lou has designed the “Meme” to highlight some of her Firsts and has tagged me to do the same! I have to say, I’ve quite enjoyed taking a trip down memory lane, so thanks Lou. 

 *   Who was your first boyfriend/girlfriend?

I had a silly little boyfriend, when I was age 11. He was a year older and would buy me chocolate with his pocket-money! Apart from the chocolate he grated on me a bit, (Oh no, that’s terrible is that lol)! The father of my children was my first “real” boyfriend (well, the one I got butterflies when thinking about)! I was just 14 years old and people laughed when I said I was in love! Well, who’s laughing now hey, 15 years later his still here lol. excuse the poor photo quality (this was a throw away camera lol, I was 22, so this was taken almost 8 years ago).

 *   First person you kissed?

The chocolate buying kid who grated on me! I only kissed him for his milky way *giggle* Please tell me you know I’m joking, I was never that mean, seriously!

 *   What was your first job?

I worked in a cafe, in Greenwich! I was a teenager on £140 a week, not bad hey! My best job was my summer job when I lived and worked in Greece age 17. I was dancing and loved it!

 *   First pay packet – can you remember what you bought?

Umm… knowing me, it was crap (hangs head in shame)! I swear it was half a pint of cider at “Hotshoots” on a Friday night with my teen friends, gosh we thought we were big women! (Underage and drinking, what was I like!)

 *   First record or CD you remember buying

Oh… Yer… I’ll never forget the answer to this one! It was the album belonging to “East17″ with songs such as “Stay another day” and “Everybody in the house of love” I really couldn’t decided if it was Brain or Tony I fancied more, now I look back and ask myself… “Surly it wasn’t nether one of them!”

 *  First holiday abroad?

English: The village and castle (acropolis) of...

Image via Wikipedia

It was one hell of a holiday, so good I never come home. It was the fabulous year of 1999, just 17 years old working and living in Greece on the island of Rhodes. Amazing and so glad I did it before becoming a mother.

 *   What age were you when you first moved out of your parents home?

I was very young, I was a rebel in-fact, I just wanted to grow up too fast (through I’ve always loved my independence is why)! I was 16 when I moved into a hostel followed by a shared house, which brings some great memories flooding back, I was there for around a year + though I was in Greece for a chunk of the time and on my return I feel pregnant with Little man, now 11 years old. I gave birth to the Little guy at the tender age of 18. I then moved into my own flat in Blackheath and enjoyed daily trips with my baby to Greenwich park. Ah, a trip down memory lane, I love it! 

As not to ruin the creation of this Meme, I’ll tag…

IF HANDBAGS COULD TALK!

I don’t know about you ladies but if my handbag could talk it would likely have a thing or two to say about its owner!

I have a multitude of handbags in a multitude of colours, in an array of shapes and sizes! Is it at all possible, that I do not have a handbag to compliment every single outfit in my wardrobe? Umm… I very much doubt it!

You see, bags and shoes are a love of mine, there my downfall when it comes to spending money, I just cannot resist! My motto of late seems to be, “The bigger the bag the better” though if I’m completely honest, thinking about it, I have to ask myself, “Is my love for the oversized bag, causing me to become more than a little disorganised?”

I swear… Merry Poppins has nothing on me! When I pop my hand in one of my handbags, I tend to lose a whole arm! The depth of the bag becomes endless, which makes routing around at speed, a little difficult.

Now, when purchasing my chosen bag, I want it to have that, “New Leather” smell, the one that screams out… “I’m new!” The right design and colour are of the up-most importance, yet, so is the interior! I like compartments, lots of them, a bag that boast efficient storage space. Though, why this is, I’m not sure, I simply don’t understand!

Why? Well, I may use the main inside zip pocket to store my iPhone, money or anything else of importance, but even this doesn’t happen all of the time! I’ve acquired the most annoying and horrid habit of quite literally lobbing ones belongings into what will undoubtedly become, the inner depths of the Bermuda Triangle!

As I’m stood with hand (oops, I mean arm) wedged into my bag, panic fills me as I say out loud but still to oneself, “Shit, I’ve lost my phone” Only I haven’t (well not really) it’s just buried somewhere between the lip gloss and address book in that oversized bag that seemed the perfect buy at one time, after all it was to be the perfect accessory to them beautiful Karen Millen shoes.

I envision the heads of women everywhere nodding rhythmically as they feel my pain, or maybe not, maybe it’s just me (gosh… I hang head in shame)!

Now although the phone scenario, is one moment that gets the heart racing almost to the point of a heart attack, I ask myself, “Can it possibly be any worse than the Oyster card hunt?”

Handbags on Southbank

Handbags on Southbank (Photo credit: The Style PA)

In my head I hear this voice, it tells me “Now place the Oyster card in the inner zip pocket of your bag… place the Oyster card in the inner zip pocket of your bag…” over and over again! So, how comes somehow, having been stood calmly at a freezing cold London bus stop for the past 40 minutes, when that bus does finally arrive, having slipped a hand in that inner zip pocket, I make the horrid discovery that I have once again ignored the inner voice and the Oyster card is anywhere but that inner zip pocket. I deluge in, gearing up for what now seems like a man hunt, I hear the tutting and sneers coming from those stood behind me, the tired peed of shoppers and worse, on a really unlucky day, I may even find that the backs of my legs are being rudely crippled by that inpatient mother stood behind, the one who’s just used her toddler and his oversized 3 wheeled pushchair as a weapon of mass distraction (No offence to mothers who use public transport as I’m proudly one myself).

So… ladies, my question to myself and you too, “Is the oversized bag designed to make one’s life easier doing the job it claims to do, or is it time to downsize that bag? After all, I’m pretty sure the bigger bag just results in me overloading it with my own or even the families crap. They see a big bag you end up carrying everything and anything. Though yes this is all simply unacceptable, the prospect of my oversized beauties transforming into tiny smart clutches’, is quite honestly very unlikely at all!