Beauty -vs- Brains Tag

I’ve seen this tag being done by a few people; either on their blogs or as YouTube videos, so I thought I’d give it a whirl, and, as you know, I’m a very nosey person so I love finding out little snippets of information about people, so for me, posts like this are fascinating!

Let’s crack on then, shall we?


WHAT IS YOUR FAVOURITE BOOK?
The book I’ve read most in my lifetime is one I had a child and can still quite happily pick up and read now, called The Faraway Tree.  In summary, it’s about some children who live near a forest and, whilst exploring one day, discover a magic tree which takes them to lots of different lands.  I was enthralled by the story when I was younger as I loved the magical feel to the story, and nowadays, I just enjoy reading it because it takes me back to being a little girl.
I also recently read a book called The Assassination of Marilyn Monroe.  It gathers real-life information from witnesses, police reports etc in relation to Marilyn’s final days and her mysterious death.  It’s quite a thick book but I read it within a matter of days because I couldn’t put it down!  I find true-life crime stories totally captivating.

WHAT ARE YOUR FAVOURITE QUOTATIONS?
I love quotes and I love discovering new ones relevant to the current time in my life or emotions I’m feeling.  A few of my favourites are below:

“You may be one person to the world, but you’re the world to one person”
“The greatest thing you’ll ever learn, is just to love and be loved in return”
“The past is like an anchor holding us back; you have to let go of who you were to become who you will be”
“Every sixty second you spend angry, upset or mad is a full minute of happiness you’ll never get back”
“Everything is always ok in the end.  If it’s not ok, it’s not the end”

WHAT WERE YOUR FAVOURITE AND LEAST FAVOURITE SUBJECTS AT SCHOOL?
I’ve always loved writing so really enjoyed English lessons, but I hated PE because although I love sports, I’m not a very sporty person myself.

WHO IS YOUR FAVOURITE CELEBRITY WITH A BRAIN?
Stephen Fry.  I adore him!  I would love to sit down with him and have a chat, I think he’d be fascinating! 

WHAT IS YOUR NERDY LITTLE SECRET?
Hmm… I like watching quiz shows on TV because I like seeing how many of the answers I know!  I get very excited when I know one!  Does that count as nerdy?!

FAVOURITE BEAUTY GURU’S WHO YOU ADMIRE FOR MORE THAN THEIR LOVE OF BEAUTY OF FASHION?
For me, I think it has to be Dita Von Teese.  She is a great role model for women, has excellent business acumen, an interest in the well-being of the planet, humans and animals alike – all on top of having her own beauty range, fragrance and lingerie.

IF YOU COULD STUDY ANY SUBJECT ANYWHERE, WHAT WOULD YOU DO?
This is simple for me – I’d love to study Criminology.  I wanted to enrol in a course to learn it, but it’s really expensive and just impossible for me to consider at this point in my life, so I’ll have to re-evaluate my position in a few years and see if it’s an option for me then.  I’d also like to study Psychology as I’m interested in the human mind, our emotions and what makes us tick.

IF YOUR BLOG DIDN’T FOCUS ON BEAUTY OR FASHION, WHAT WOULD YOU LIKE IT TO FOCUS ON?
I don’t think this question is relevant to me as my blog doesn’t focus on purely beauty or fashion, it’s more a lifestyle blog.

NAME SOMETHING YOU’RE OBSESSED WITH WHICH OTHER PEOPLE WOULD FIND NERDY OR GEEKY?
Hmm… I guess the only thing that could be considered as nerdy or geeky by people outside of the community is my blogging.  A lot of friends have said to me that they don’t understand why I do it or what I have to gain from it, and they struggle to understand even more when I explain I don’t do it for any reason or for any kind of profit; I do it because I love it.  Simple as that.

NAME 5 PEOPLE WHO INSPIRE YOU?  (NOT YOUR FAMILY)
Ooh this is a tough one; I automatically thought of relatives, but I’d have to say:

1.
Dita Von Teese
For the reasons mentioned above.
2.
Stephen Fry
For his intelligence, being unique and totally himself without question, and his passion for the things he loves in life.
3.
Marilyn Monroe
For her beauty, femininity and her strength as a person, although, sadly, her weaknesses caused her death.
4.
Normal everyday people who have survived awful times, events and obstacles in their lives and overcome them.  It amazes me what the human mind and body is capable of and just how strong (and selfless) people can be.
5.
Every single old couple I see that are still so clearly in love – it melts my heart!

WHO IS YOUR INTELLECTUAL SOUL MATE?

My two best friends; Carly and Rachael.  No matter what happens in life I know they’re there for me and will always support me.  We are totally on the same wavelength; sometimes just a simple look between us says everything we need to say – no need for words!

Have you done this post on your blog?  If so, leave me the link in the comments box below, I’d love to read them!

LilliesandLove xx

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My Weekend In Pictures


As you may have noticed from the title, today’s ‘My Week in Pictures’ post is actually just focussed on Friday-Sunday.

This weekend, I went away to Butlins with some of my girl friends.  For those of you that don’t know what Butlins is, it’s a popular British holiday camp, usually open to everyone but this weekend it was ‘Adults Only’ and the theme was 90’s Revival (think Take That, B*Witched and S Club 7).

I was very excited and looking forward to going, and I’m pleased to say it didn’t disappoint.  I laughed and danced so much that I’m sure I should have come home with a perfectly toned six-pack (if only dancing and laughing worked… seems I might have to actually put some effort in to getting the body of a Goddess).

Below are just some of the photos that sum up my weekend.  It really was a blast and I’d love to do it all over again!

As I was “on me ‘olidays”, the healthy diet went
out the window.  Burger King en-route.
My outfit for Friday night – as a ginger,
I never thought I’d be able to wear orange!
The obligatory ‘before we went out’ picture with
my best friend, Rachael.
“Check out our guns!”
I love this lipstick – Lancome L’Absolu Rouge.
What better way to relieve a hangover
than to laze on the beach?
Rachael had a nap.  I got bored.
Saturday night outfits.  Both dresses are
a few years old – Rach’s from Asda and mine
from Unique Boutique.
Love having my hair curly, must invest
in some curling tongs.
Borrowing glasses from a gang of geeks
And the wigs from the scary clowns.
Rach and I enjoying a bit of S Club Party
live (there’s only 3 of them now)
Silent disco.  Honestly the best thing
I have ever done!
Silent conga
Locked out of your room?  Never fear,
just find a friend small enough to push
through the open window!

 

LilliesandLove xx






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What Made Me Start Blogging

Today’s post was inspired by one I read on Jessica’s blog (Jessica Leigh Beauty & Lifestyle) called “What Made Me Start Blogging”.  I love lifestyle blogs and the insight it gives you into people’s worlds and I found this piece really interesting.

I guess there’s lots of reasons why people start blogging and, as time goes on, it can be easy to forget how and why it all came about.  My blog is my ‘baby’ and I really love it, it may not be anything dazzling or spectacular, but it’s mine and very special to me.

So much time has passed since I first began blogging and I don’t ever stop and think about why I started, but reading Jessica’s piece today made me reminisce and made me want to cover the subject.

My old blog’s style was very different to today’s one


I began blogging because of a broken heart.

I’d been dating Gino (his nickname) for a few months.  Just to make the situation clear to everyone, I had been dating HIMHE had not been dating ME.  As far as he was concerned I was just something to occupy his time.  Unfortunately, being a stupid girl who was starry-eyed over this particular man, I was oblivious to it.  Looking back, I wish I could jump in a time machine, go back and meet me and punch myself in the face.  I was SUCH a fool.

Anyway, to cut a long story short, Gino and I finished the first time (it was very much an on-and-off-and-on-and-off-and-on-and-off-and-on-and-off relationship) and I was really down in the dumps; in fact, I was a snivvelling, heart-broken mess.  However, as a newly single lady, I decided the best way to heal my mangled, foolish heart was to throw myself back in to dating.  I decided I’d start going out and meeting people, I’d join online dating agencies and go speed dating, and that it would all be very exciting and I would document the thrills and spills of my new life by way of a blog and a Twitter account.  (I had spent far too much time watching Sex And The City and wanting to be Carrie Bradshaw, obviously).

So, I set up my blog, I started up a Twitter account and I started writing.  I wrote about my heartache, I wrote about what a douchebag Gino was and I wrote about the exciting things I was going to do.  I joined an online dating site and was astounded by the sort of messages I was getting from men.  I mean, there’s nothing wrong with online dating, it’s worked for several people I know and they’re all very happy.  However, I received such an inordinate amount of messages from weirdos and perverts that, pretty quickly, I deleted my account.

Soon after, Gino and I were on-again and my blog took a different direction.  I wrote about my life in general and it became more of a lifestyle blog.

Fast forward in time to May 2011 and Gino and I broke up for good.  It was like someone had turned the light on and suddenly everything became clear; he was using me and I was an idiot.

At that time, my blog was very much my saviour.  That sounds ridiculous but it’s true.  I struggle to deal with emotion; I don’t like showing weakness and I very rarely let anybody see me cry.  At a time when I felt at my lowest, my blog was the constant for me.  I didn’t want to tell my friends or family how I was feeling, but I could open my heart to my blog and it was cathartic.  It was like shouting into an empty room – it was a release.

Unfortunately, on one of the occasions during our ‘relationship’ that Gino and I got back together, I deleted my early posts as I didn’t want to risk him ever seeing them.  I kick myself for that now; I think it would be really interesting to look back at them.

After the final break-up, I was home alone quite a lot and so I was able to focus more attention on my blog.

Earlier this year, with my blog getting more traffic, I decided it was time for me to take the step and take it away from a blogging site and get my own domain.  I redesigned the page, gave LilliesandLove a new look and with this fresh start, found a renewed focus and passion for writing.

If you blog, do you remember what inspired you to start?  I’d love to hear, so please let me know in the comments box below, or if you decide to do a “What Made Me Start Blogging” post on your blog, leave the link in the comments box below – I’d love to take a look!

LilliesandLove xx










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Why Can’t People Just Be Nice?

You see that picture?
It’s a goat.
“Why is she showing us a picture of a goat?” you might ask.
Well, because at the moment, certain members of the human population have got my goat.  They’ve got it good.
Honestly, WHAT is wrong with people at the moment?!  It seems like everybody is so negative and looking for a fight and (as a lover not a hater) I find it all a bit baffling.
Here are the reasons my goat has been got this week:
Bickering Bloggers
My blog isn’t huge and I’m not one of the big-players in the blogging world (I nearly wet myself with excitement when my hit counter reached 12,000 the other day) however, I’m pleased to say that so far I’ve always found the blogging community to be a nice one.  The majority of people are extremely supportive of each other and there is no jealousy at all.  In fact, the perfect example of that is Kellie of BigFashionista – when I discovered her, I found that she does her weekly ‘Nom or Vom’ posts which are essentially the same as my ‘Friday Fittie’ posts.  I sent her a message saying how funny it was that we both had the same idea, she agreed and that was that; no jealousy, no comparisons. The other week she published her post and it was the same man I’d intended to feature.  When I saw it, I simply deleted my one and chose another fella.  Simple!
However, in the past week or so I’ve seen quite a few arguments breaking out between bloggers on Twitter and some of them have been quite nasty.  Some of the rows have descended into chaos with more and more bloggers getting involved, when really, technically, it wasn’t any of their business.

A bit of healthy competition is good, it makes us raise our game.  Other bloggers can inspire us, drive us forward as well offering support, help and assistance in times of need.  There’s no need for all the back-stabbing and bitchiness.
Twitter Trolls
Last night,I opened my Twitter to find a message from someone saying “Why the hell do you persist in wearing the exact same outfits? Thought you were into fashion?”

Firstly, this confused me.  Wearing the exact same outfits?  What?  Where? When?  I have no idea what this comment was based on.

Secondly, yes, I like fashion, however, I don’t have the disposable income available to buy the latest trends or fashion fads on the market.  Does this person also believe that just because a man doesn’t play football professionally, he shouldn’t have an opinion on it?
Makes no sense.

Fake Friends and Busy Bodies
(I’m keeping this anonymous for the sake of wanting a quiet life).
Over the weekend Person A sent a message to Person B telling them what they thought of them (not good thoughts).  As I’m the mutual friend of these two people, Person B decided it must have had something to do with me and told our other mutual acquaintances about it, painting me out to the bad guy.
Cue everybody slagging me off on Facebook and numerous people deleting me.
All the while, I was oblivious, sat at home on the sofa watching back-to-back episodes of Come Dine With Me.
Sunday evening I noticed some people had deleted me from Facebook. I sent a text to Person A telling them and saying how weird it was.  Person A confessed that they had sent a message to Person B and that they must have assumed I was behind it too.
I wasn’t a happy bunny, not a happy bunny at all.
I sent a text to Person B saying I’d just found out about the message and it was nothing to do with me.  A few texts later and Person B admitted they should have spoken to me first to ascertain the details before deciding to tell everyone that I was involved and therefore a massive cowbag.
Now, if I was Person B, I would have posted on Facebook immediately telling everyone I’d made a mistake and it wasn’t true, etc. But Person B hasn’t done this.  Each to their own, we’re all different; different strokes for different folks and all that.
I decided to try and save my name from being dragged through the mud anymore and sent a message to several of the people that had been saying nasty things about me, explaining it wasn’t anything to do with me and also opening up and telling them a few other things I felt they ought to know, including reasons why in the past few months I’ve withdrawn from the group and social scene (I didn’t feel like I fitted in cos I’m too much of a dude – I like football and wrestling, they don’t – plus my debts, my broken womb and the effect it’s had on me etc).  I opened my heart and laid it all on the line, and you know what?  Not one of them has replied to that message, not one.  Yeowch.
Yesterday evening I was contacted by somebody outside of that circle of friends and told that they had been told about what had happened and that one of the people Person B told has been telling people widely and openly about the situation and therefore making even more people believe that I’m a total douchebag.
I text Person B this morning and was told “You just need to brush this off now, I don’t think anything can be done.”

The thing is, I think something COULD be done.  People could stop getting involved in other people’s lives where it isn’t needed.  People could stop spreading rumours.  People could stop getting their big wooden spoon out and stirring the proverbial to try and create friction.  “He said this”, “She said that”… there’s no need for it.  I never get involved in other people’s disagreements because it’s nothing to do with me.

Person B and I had drawn a line under the whole event and everything was fine.  Now, I feel like our friendship is hanging in the balance and I wonder if it will ever fully recover.  It’s sad to think that a friendship that’s lastest this many years may be irreperably damaged, simply through the meddling of other people.

Apart from the risk of losing this friendship, I’m really hurt that a) everybody believed the situation without asking me first, and b) that despite the truth being out, I’m still hearing of people talking about me behind my back.  It really, really hurts.

I didn’t do anything wrong, yet I’m the one that’s suffering.

Debt Clearing
As you know, I’m in the process of trying to clear some rather large debts.  I was very proud of myself for paying off £800 in the first month.  Everyone was congratulating me and telling how well I’ve done.  Apart from one person.  This one person has made me feel like a total idiot and said I’m not taking this debt clearance malarkey seriously.
In fact, just this morning they told me that my boyfriend surely won’t want to be with me because of my debts (he knew about them before we even became a couple, so I don’t really see how it’s going to bother him).
Honestly!  I’m one month into a debt clearance programme that I’ve made for myself and I’ve paid off £800.  I think I’ve done really well and there is no way that I’m going to let somebody else ruin it for me!
So, now I’ve got that off of my chest, why don’t we all just agree to start being a bit nicer to each other?  Yes?
LilliesandLovexx
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10 Things That Make Me Smile


Back in May, I read a post on Romany’s blog (Me, Mitch, Monty and Munchables) and it really inspired me to write something similar, however, time somehow ran away with me and now it’s September!  But, I guess it’s better late than never, eh?

The post that inspired me was called ‘What Makes You Smile?’ and it was simply that – a list of five things that make Romany smile.

It seems to me that everybody is so stressed these days – work woes, money troubles, relationships and friendships causing upset… sometimes I think we become so focussed on the things that make us sad, that we almost forget about the things in life that make us happy.

I don’t know about you, but, for me, the things that make me happiest really are the most simple of things.  As the saying goes, “The best things in life are free” and I truly believe that.

So, today’s post is about ten things that make me happy.  I think it’s really refreshing sometimes to take a step back and realise just how lucky we are – it’s so easy to forget!

1.  SINGING ALONG TO A SONG I KNOW ALL THE WORDS TO

Seriously, how good does it feel to be singing along to a song you love and being able to sing every single word along with it?  I love it!  For me, I think one of the best songs for singing along to has got to be the theme tune to The Fresh Prince of Bel Air – it brings back so many childhood memories and I just love the fact that everyone seems to love it as much as I do!

2.  CUDDLES WITH AN ANIMAL OR CHILD
I love having cuddles with animals or children.  They’re so completely innocent and unspoilt by life that the affection you’re getting from them is purely that, just them wanting to be close to you.  I also think it’s a sign of trust, that they’re able to let their defences down and are comfortable enough to just snuggle in to you.  I LOVE cuddles!


3.  THE WARMTH OF THE SUN ON MY SKIN
Living in England, it seems like I don’t get to see a lot of the sun, so as soon as I see the tiniest little sign of it coming out from behind the clouds, I’m straight outside!  In fact, earlier this year, I was laying in the garden when it was only 12-degress (it was a bit chilly, to be honest!)  Being fair-skinned, I have to be careful in the sun as I burn easily, but I’m such a sun-worshipper, it’s almost unfair that my complexion doesn’t let me spend too long out in it, but I’m always sensible.  I love being outside when the sun is shining!


4.  LOOKING THROUGH OLD PHOTOGRAPHS
Photos are amazing; they catch a single moment in time that you may well have forgotten, but you can look at the picture and all the memories come rushing back to you.  Then there are the photos that bring no memories back at all and you look at them and say “What on earth was happening there?!” or “What was she/he/I doing?!”  I also love looking at photos from before I was born – photos of my parents with my elder siblings, or before they had children, or of grandparents, great aunts and uncles, people I’ve never met; it’s fascinating.

5.  SHARING A SMILE OR A JOKE WITH A STRANGER

It gives me a real warm feeling when I exchange a smile, a joke or even a simple ‘hello’ with a stranger. I love it when just for a few seconds or minutes in time, you bump into someone, walk past them and smile or stand next to them in the queue at the supermarket and exchange a few words, then separate, maybe never to meet again.  I guess what I like most about it is the simple friendliness.  Instead of keeping your head down and yourself to yourself, you engage with the people around you and in a very positive way.


6.  FRESH BED LINEN
I love getting into a bed with fresh, clean, crisp bedsheets – especially in the summer when it’s hot outside and the sheets are so cool.  Just thinking about it makes me smile.


7.  LAUGHING UNTIL IT HURTS
I think I laugh quite a lot.  I don’t know if it’s more than the average person, but I know that I spend a large portion of my life smiling and/or laughing (I know I’m very lucky for that).  I think the reason I laugh so much is that the people in my life are so great.  My family all have brilliant sense of humours, my boyfriend can make me laugh until I snort (attractive!) and my best friends make me laugh every single day.  Through all these moments of laughter, I love the ones where you laugh so much that you think you’ll cry, when it hurts your stomach and you think you’ll wake up the next day with a perfectly toned six-pack.  There’s also the brilliant times when someone is trying to tell you a story and they can’t get the words out because they’re laughing so hysterically and seeing them like that makes you laugh too and you don’t even know what you’re laughing at!  These are really special moments.


8.  NAPS
I think this one speaks for itself.  I. LOVE. NAPS.


9.  LOOKING UP AT THE STARS
As a child I was fascinated by the sky at night.  I used to lay in bed with the curtains open just staring at the sky for ages.  I had loads of books about astronomy and I used to spend every possible second I had staring upwards.  Even now, when night falls, I can’t resist having a look skyward to see the moon and the stars staring back at me.  I find it almost therapeutic and strangely calming to realise how tiny I am in the grand scheme of things and what a huge world we live in and even bigger universe beyond.


10.  TRAFFIC STOPPING FOR AN ANIMAL IN/CROSSING THE ROAD
I have to drive down country lanes to get from home to my office and I never fail to smile when I see traffic stopping because there’s an animal standing in the road, or crossing the road.  Just the other week I saw rush-hour traffic, previously zooming down the road at full speed in a hurry to reach their destination, come to a halt and queueing back up the road to let a mother duck cross the road with her ducklings following behind.  It just made me smile and never fails to restore my faith in humankind.




As you can see, none of these things require lots of money or effort and they’re pretty simple pleasures, but for me they’re pleasures nonetheless.

I love life, I think it’s hilarious and ridiculous and not be taken too seriously.  Our time here is short and we have the make the absolute most of every second.

I’d love to know what your ’10 Things That Make Me Smile’ are, so please leave yours in the comments box below, or if you decide to do a post on this topic on your blog, leave the link below and I’ll check it out!


LilliesandLove xx







Disclaimer:  As always, I’ve tried to use as many of my own photographs as possible.  Any other photographs are courtesy of Google.

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