Monday, 30 July 2012

Cake Of The Week - Wedding!

It's been a little while since I've done a Cake Of The Week post so I thought I'd share the wedding order I had for Saturday with you. If you follow me on Twitter  you'll probably have noticed my spending a lottttt of time making sugar butterflies over the last week which were in preparation for this!

The couple were having a rustic theme with olive greens and golds. The bride chose these cases specifically and I was a little worried because they are designed for a heavier muffin mix but I'm pleased with how they turned out. A few did start to peel away due to the shape and the light cake texture but I'm hoping that people were more interested in gobbling them!

What do you think? 

Mrs D x


It's All In A Name

When I was a child I used to be so jealous of other girls that could find their names on things like necklaces or keyrings. I was so annoyed that my parents had given me a name that not only got pronounced and spelt wrong all the time but that I couldn't even have keyrings or pencils with my name dare they! ;) Obviously now I'm older I actually really love my name and despite not having any ties with my Italian family anymore, I like that I still have that little connection with my name. I don't even mind having to correct people when they first meet me anymore, I just hope that my inner eye rolling doesn't present itself outside too!

Fortunately for me, there are plenty of places online that sell personalised jewellery and even more fortunately for me, the majority of them are rockabilly styled! I have a tattoo scroll heart necklace from Bete Noire (used to be Clutterfly Jewellery) which is delightfully big and tacky but I fancied something a bit more subtle though and was overjoyed when I stumbled upon Heidi Seeker.

She has some really cute pieces that can be personalised. If you're into roller derby there is a fantastic section of necklaces and such that will rock your world! All the pieces are made out of a sort of hard felt so they're flexible and don't feel at all fragile. Plus the packaging is super cute.

I got the Personalised Polkadot Heart Necklace which is a very reasonable £8. 

It's slightly smaller than I expected but I'm actually quite pleased. The chain is also a really decent length which is important if you're a chubster like me. All in all, I bloody love it! 

I also got my lovely friend Robyn, this cute owl pin for £5!

Unicorns, ice creams, owls, anchors, cupcakes and burger ear muffs, what more could you want?!

Mrs D x


Saturday, 28 July 2012

Specs-tacular...that's right, I went there.

I started wearing glasses when I was 8 but moved onto contact lenses at age 13. I've worn contact lenses ever since, usually for a good 12 hours a day. The pair of glasses I have for when my contacts are out or when I want to give my eyes a rest are just a cheap pair of boring frames. They're fine for in the house but I'd really like to get myself some fancier frames and then have the lenses fitted so I can switch between them and my contacts.

They are loads of beautiful frames around but I really fancy some vintage style cat-eye ones. I've had so much fun browsing so I thought I'd share the five I've narrowed it down to!

I snuck a couple of pricey ones in but I know I'd never be able to afford them! I much prefer the £8 mark ;) 

Which are your favourites? 

Mrs D x


Thursday, 26 July 2012

O&FOTD 25th July 2012

One of the very few things that perk me up when I'm struggling like I am are my friends. My lovely friend Robyn kindly drove me to an appointment I had yesterday morning and seeing as I was planning on going over later for a BBQ, we decided I should just stay all day. My instinct is to shut myself off during bad patches but being alone for long periods of time does not do me any good. Although it was still a bad day, it was far better than it could have been because I was around people who love me. 

Despite being a Miserable Minnie I did something that for me is pretty brave! I hoisted myself into my only strapless bra (which normally is saved for really desperate times like bridesmaids dresses and I literally have to be wrestled into it) and braved some thin straps. But it was so worth it because it meant I got to crack out this beauty...

Pockets! I bloody love a dress with pockets. My fringe definitely needs some attention, it's looking quite unruly. I also got to debut my cute necklace from Heidi Seeker (a separate post on that is coming up!).
I see you, bra. 
I don't know what my silly grin is all about but my over-enthusiasm with my eyeliner flick paid off a treat.

I hope you're all enjoying the sunshine!

Mrs D x

Tuesday, 24 July 2012

Lush Cupcake Fresh Face Mask

My skin has been doing all sorts of bizarre things lately. I had my Mirena coil removed a few weeks ago so my hormones are all over the shop and as a result I have multiple spots for the first time in years. My skin also feels oily which it never has done before and just generally not good.

I've been wanting to try a Lush face mask for a while so on a very, very rare occasion that I was in a real live shop I treated myself to one. Oddly the assistant who approached me was a gorgeous vintage beauty with the same tattoo name heart necklace on as me! She was very helpful and suggested I try 'cupcake' (how perfect!) which would hopefully clear up any breakouts and also absorb any excess oil on my skin.

The key ingredients in Cupcake are cocoa butter for moisturising, linseed to nourish and soften skin, mint to tone and rhassoul mud to absorb oils. It also contains cocoa powder, vanilla and spearmint oil so it smells good enough to eat!

I really, really dislike getting things on my hands, especially things with a food-like consistency so face mask application isn't usually a pleasant experience for me. (All part of the mentals package!) However, because this was quite thick and smooth I could apply it quickly enough that it didn't make me want to throw up. So that's a big tick for me! 

I kept it on for ten minutes until it started to harden and washed it off with warm water. It took a while to wash off because it is so luxurious and thick but once the initial layer was off it came off a lot easier. It left my skin feeling so incredibly soft afterwards. It was instantly brighter and my skin tone appeared much more even. I've had a make-up free day today but my skin definitely feels less oily. 

This is going to become part of my weekly skin-care routine and I'd definitely recommend it to anyone whose skin has decided to jump back 10 years and have a strop. 

And just because no face mask review would be complete with a hilarious photo like this...

Have you tried any Lush Fresh Face Masks? Which one should I try next?

Mrs D x


Monday, 23 July 2012

OOTD - 23rd July 2012

My mum bought me this beautiful dove print dress last week but I'd been waiting for the sunshine to appear to wear it. Today was that day! 

Mum kept trying to time my looking at the camera without squinting to her taking the photo but considering she still hasn't quite got the hang of looking through the camera as opposed to looking at the screen, it didn't work too well!

We bought this dress in a Yours shop in Northampton but for some reason, it isn't on their website. I was made aware the other day though that it's also on the Lady Vintage website for £5 cheaper than my dear mum paid! I love Lady V dresses and although I was worried the high neck and shorter length wouldn't suit me, it makes me feel bloody fabulous. The material is so silky but has enough weight not to hold it's beautiful shape and the skirt is lovely and flippy. It makes me want to twirl! 

I'm struggling a lot at the minute so I thought I'd make the most of feeling silly and cheerful by squeezing the cat and looking like a cartoon. 

I hope you're enjoying the sun, lovelies!

Mrs D x


Sunday, 22 July 2012

Books I've Read In July

I love books. I love the smell of books; new, crisp ones and old, dusty ones alike. As a child, when most of my friends were being encouraged to read more, I was getting told off every morning because when it was time to leave for school my mum would find me sat on my bed still in my towel, reading a book. I've always loved losing myself in a book and as an adult it's the only thing that allows me to shut off from the world. When I've been in really awful bouts of depression and I can't concentrate on reading it makes everything ten times worse. It's as though someone has taken away the one thing that allows me to escape for a little while and pretend that my brain isn't made of slime.

Being at home all day means that I'm fortunate enough to be able to read quite a lot. I thought I'd share with you the books I've read each month so here's what I've read this month!

Fifty Shades of Grey Trilogy
I'm a big fan of erotica so when I first heard the mumbles about this trilogy I thought I'd give it a go. I knew nothing about it or how it originated until I mentioned on Twitter that I'd bought them. Once I was told that they started out as Twilight fan-fic I considered taking them back but I thought I'd rather have read them before I started slating them. So I read them. And I hated them. I'd imagine I probably rolled my eyes more times during the first book than I have done in the last year. It portrays the BDSM lifestyle is such a negative light; that it's brought about as a result of abuse, neglect and the desire to be abusive towards others. The writing is terrible, it actually reads like fan-fic written by a horny housewife who's had all her self respect beaten out of her. It is not romantic, it is not liberating, it is not arousing. If you find a man using violent sex as a punishment when his girlfriend doesn't agree with him romantic, you're a very strange person. There is nothing romantic about a man saying 'I want to punish you, really beat the shit out of you' to someone he 'loves'. I could seriously go on about this for ages but I think I'm at risk of offending people so I will hush. 

The Perks of Being a Wallflower
I first read this as a teenager and it was marvellous then. However reading it as an adult gave me a whole new perspective on it and if it's possible, I love it more. I've read so many reviews slating the book for being naive, pretentious and over-dramatic but I think they're missing the point entirely. It's honest and makes sense. The main character is a teenage boy and he cries. People seem to have a problem with that but if you read to the end and still don't understand why he's naive, emotional, disconnected and desperate for approval then you really haven't read it properly. If you've never had a moment when you've stepped back for a second and felt like you were infinite, I feel sorry for you. It's a wonderful account of growing up and although it's intended audience is that of the protagonist, I think I got much more out of it as an adult. 

The Sense of an Ending
Although this is written in an incredibly pretentious, Eton, upper-class manner, it's well written and easy to read. Until the end that is. The whole book builds up to what you think is going to be a big revelation that will explain the previous 150 pages and it doesn't. It was the sort of ending that made me want to shrug. It could have been so, so much better than it was. The plot revolves around things that don't make sense and just aren't justified. There's not much else I can say without giving away the whole story but I expected more. 

Have you read any of these? What have you read lately?

Mrs D x


Tuesday, 17 July 2012

A Big, Fat Rant

Today's post is a quite different from my usual ones. You won't find any pretty, frivolous goings on in this post, just big bloody fat ones.

I went for my bi-weekly swim this morning with my mother-in-law which I normally really love doing but it was ruined by two incidents where two different men really pissed me off. I love swimming, I've always been a water baby and always will be. There were a few years where I felt too self conscious to swim but never, ever because of my size, I was always far more concerned about people seeing my scarred thighs. However, my mother-in-law and I have been going swimming at least once a week for quite a while now and I'm trying to build up my fitness so I can swim as much as I used to. The way I do this is that I like to swim a couple of lengths, then have a little rest for a couple of minutes then do a couple more and so on. That way I find I can swim more for longer.

Whilst in one of my rests a man swam up to me, smirked and we had a conversation that went something like this;
Idiot 1: "Well, you're not doing much swimming, are you?"
Me: "I'm just having a little rest actually."
Idiot 1: "You're not, you're just standing there."
Me: *glare*
Idiot 1: *Laughs and swims off*

Did I feel it necessary to comment on the fact that he was kicking his feet around like a possessed child splashing water in everyone's face? No, I didn't because it would have been rude and none of my business. If I want to have a rest after every few length, I bloody well will! If I only want to get in the pool, swim one length and spend the rest of the time alternating between treading water and floating on my back pretending to be a dead body (don't deny you don't do it, too) then that's okay because it's my bloody choice to do so and none of his flippin' business!

So after he splashed off I got a few more lengths in before I was accosted by Idiot 2. He was in the next lane and as I got to the end of the pool he caught my attention and this happened;
Idiot 2: "Keep going, I know how difficult it is but it's worth it in the end."
Me: "....I am but thank you."
Idiot 2: "I know how difficult it is when you're trying to lose weight but you have to keep pushing yourself to carry on. How many lengths have you done so far?"
Me: "20. It might not seem much but I just do as many as I feel like."
Idiot 2: "Oh no, you need to do at least 32, that's half a mile. I've lost 17 stone and I swim twice a day so I understand what you're going through, it is really hard losing weight when you're so big."

He continued to harp on about how much weight he'd lost and that he used to be 38 stone so he's been where I am and how I really should go to the doctors and tell them how depressed I am about being overweight and they'll give me a free gym and swimming membership.

Okay, that's really nice but why assume that because I'm a fat girl and I'm swimming I must be trying to lose weight? That the only reason I'm swimming because I want to lose weight. It was ridiculous. I didn't know whether to be grateful and pleased that this man was clearly trying to be helpful or just be really pissed off. It had nothing to do with him. Why did he feel the need to say that to me? He just kept on and on about how he knows how difficult it is and how difficult it is to even have the guts to get into a swimming pool when you're really overweight but I'd done so well to do that and now I just had to keep going to make sure I did a quarter of a mile every day...

I was so offended! Yes, I'm fat. Yes, I am swimming because I want to get fitter but I'm also swimming because I really enjoy it. Just because I'm a fat person doesn't mean I'm automatically trying to lose weight. And even if I am, what the buggering ballbags does it have to do with him?! What right does he have to comment on that? It's NONE OF HIS BUSINESS.

On one hand, yes he was trying to nice and helpful but it just reinforced the superior attitude that people have towards someone who's fat. Like it's their god given right to pass judgement and comment on it and to make assumptions on them because of their size.

It made me cross because had this happened a couple of years ago or even this time last year it would have completely put me off going back. Knowing that I can't go for a flippin' swim without some stranger commenting on my weight is so infuriating. Last year that would have knocked my confidence completely and I'd imagine it'd be the same for a hell of a lot of people. Now though, it doesn't bother me so much. I don't know how, why or when I stopped being so bothered but somehow, I'm not. Infact, it just makes me more determined to go back, see him and make him count as I only do 30 lengths, not the magical 32. And then belly flop him.

A Grumpy But Still Smelling Of Delicious Chlorine Mrs D x

Thursday, 12 July 2012

A Non-Glutinous OOTD

Today was spent with my lovely friend and excellent foodie blogger, Robyn. We spent the day wandering around Waitrose (one of our favourite pastimes), watching crap daytime tv and trialling some tasty treats she was gifted by the brilliant Mrs Crimbles.

Whilst we waited for our chocolate muffins to cook we took advantage of a very rare bit of sunshine and did an OOTD outside.

Readers, meet Robyn! Isn't she lovely? (And that dress that I am clearly going to borrow at some point.)

This is what I wore today. Silly face included. 

Our muffins were a big, tasty success! It was the first box mix either of us had ever used so we weren't expecting a lot. However, they were brilliant! I'd definitely recommend them to any gluten-free lovelies out there who struggle with gluten-free baking from scratch. (Although clearly you should just pay me to make them instead!) If you want to read the full review of the box mix you can do so here.

Mrs D x


Sunday, 8 July 2012

Making A House A Home - Garden

This is a little/a lot different from my usual posts about my silly jaunts with nail polish and flouncing around in dresses but hopefully you'll still like it.

My dear hairy husband and I clash a bit over what to do with our garden. He's very much an 'if it doesn't serve a purpose, it's not going in my garden' type of person whilst I like pretty and pointless! However, since we started growing our own vegetables I've definitely changed my mind. I still have quite a few flowers but I'm thinking of moving them all into pots to put on the patio so we can have more room for tasty veggies!

I had a little wander round the garden earlier and took a few photos to show you what we've got growing at the minute. Our garden is fairly small and quite unkempt but I like it. We like to think of as cottage-y rather than messy :D
Broad beans
We have about 12 broad bean plants in the garden this year. I'm not sure why we were so enthusiastic with them but it's not a problem because I bloody love them! I really enjoy sitting in the garden in the sunshine podding broad beans, it's very therapeutic. 

Brussel sprouts & yellow courgettes
Last year we had enough brussel sprouts to feed an army. We fed 8 people at Christmas with them and at least 10 other dinners with them. We haven't grown as many this year but we'll still have enough to see us through Christmas-time. 
We bought two courgette plants; one regular and one yellow. However our very naughty Louie-cat really enjoys joining in with the gardening and likes to dig his own little holes when Mr D does and has a little sit down in them. He got a bit too enthusiastic though and kicked our regular courgette plant so we've only got the yellow one left. I'd be cross with him but he's too cute. You can just see the first courgette coming out to the right of the beautiful flower. 

Blueberries are my staple breakfast fruit. I have them on pretty much every cereal I eat so I thought I'd invest in a blueberry bush to save a bit of money. We will possibly need to get a net to cover them with though otherwise the birds might get to them first.

Hydrangeas made up most of our wedding flowers so I wanted some in the garden as a little reminder. They're just starting to appear and the prospect of all those little buds blossoming is making me quite happy. 

This is still sitting in it's pot because I can't decide whether it'd be best to plant it in the ground or put it in a big pot. Does anyone know where it'd be more likely to keep growing every year?

Honeysuckle, roses, begonias...I think
The honeysuckle and roses didn't blossom at all last year so we were expecting to have to dig them up this year but magically they're fine! 

We've suddenly had about 5 or 6 poppies spring up this month. I know they're weeds but I'm really reluctant to get rid of them because they're so pretty!

And no garden is complete without rosemary!

I hope that wasn't too boring or old-lady for you!

Mrs D x

Tuesday, 3 July 2012

A Spotty OOTD

Just a quick OOTD from yesterday. I've been a bit lazy with my clothing choices lately so I'm going to try and step it up a bit!

My fringe is so long at the minute that I'm having to sweep it over to the side. It'll do for now but I'm really missing my proper Bettie bangs! It's on my to-do list though. 

Dress is from Simply Be.

Mrs D x


Sunday, 1 July 2012

A Shameless Plea & Wedding Photos!

Hello lovelies,

If you follow me on Twitter you'll probably have seen this already so I apologise if you have!

A few weeks ago I entered a competition with Hallmark called Treasured Memories where I had to pick a treasured possession and write a little something about it. There were hundreds of entries but a panel of judges whittled it down to ten and my entry somehow made it through! It's now down to a public vote though so I'm really, really hoping the power of bloggers will prevail! The winner gets a pretty incredible Nikon 1 J1 and some Hallmark goodies. As you'll probably have noticed my camera is on it's way out and I could really do with a new camera, plus I love thrusting my sentimental stuff on other people so I love that so many people get to see my treasured possession!

The thing that immediately sprung to mind when I thought about a treasured possession was this...

It's a silver and marcasite brooch that my Aunty Fay who is also my godmother gave to me on my wedding day. I'm very close with my mum's side of my family and always have been. As I was growing up and my personality started to really develop I soon realised I was far more a Tills than I ever was a Dodd (my paternal family name). I'm stubborn, wilful and have a fiery streak that although it doesn't appear too much yet I'm told it will do with age! Added to the fact that from the age of 16 my paternal family closed the door on me they became all the family I needed.

My Aunty Fay along with her husband and two of my cousins came over from Canada for the wedding which I was incredibly touched by. I hadn't seen any of them since I was 8 years old so it really meant a lot to me. My Aunty Fay and I have always been close and I have a stash of letters and notes that accompanied little gifts from her that are quite special to me. When she gave me the brooch she also gave me a letter explaining where and how the brooch came to be in her possession.

The brooch was given to my great grandmother on her wedding day by her mother. It was then given to my nana by my great grandmother. Aunty Fay says she always remembers her nana wearing it and my mum says she recalls my nana wearing it too. My nana then gave it to Fay on her wedding day and I was lucky enough to have it given to me. I felt very, very honoured to get it because I have five older female cousins (two of which are Fay's daughters) but for some reason she chose me. She says she knows how family orientated I am and that it would mean a great deal to me which is very true. It feels wonderful to have something that connects me to four generations of women before me. Sadly my nana died before I was born and I've always felt a huge nana shaped hole in my life. She and my mum were as close as my mum and I am and I really, really love hearing my mum talk about her. From what I can tell my nana and I are quite similar in some ways, although mum says she never, ever heard her say a bad word about anyone or swear...two things I can't profess to do! She suffered enormous amounts of tragedy in her life (something I thankfully haven't) that left her with lots of anxiety and nervousness (something I can definitely relate to). But she was also very matriarchal and loved her family fiercely.

I love objects that have sentimental value and although my first instinct was that I should put the brooch away in case it got damaged, I just can't bear to have it sit in a drawer unloved. I want my child to remember me wearing it all the time so that when she gets it and passes it onto her child they'll know how much it meant to me.

And so, that's my little story! I'd really like to win the competition, not just for the fancy prizes (although they are flippin' brilliant!) but also because I get to share something that means so much to me with so many people. If you have a spare couple of minutes, please go HERE and vote for me. You have to allow access to the contests app on Facebook but it literally takes two seconds.

Just so this isn't completely boring, here are a few wedding photos where you can sort of see my brooch but mostly just for you to coo over :D

This is my Aunty Fay :)

A Very Shameless Mrs D ;) x
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