Video: Pet Tag/Furry Friend Tag (Part 1)

I’ve seen a few people doing Pet Tag/Furry Friend Tag videos on YouTube, and as I talk about my own pets so much, I thought it would be a good idea for me to do these videos for each of them!  In this video (Part 1) you meet one of my dogs, Maizi.

They say you should never work with animals or children, but I have to admit, I had a lot of fun making this video – I definitely recommend it!

If any of you decide to record a Pet Tag/Furry Friend Tag, I would really love to watch it, so please add your link in the comments below.


LilliesandLove xx

My Week In Pictures

I went for a carvery dinner with my Dad
and we both ate far too much!
I recorded two Pet Tag videos for my YouTube channel
– hopefully to be uploaded tonight.  The dogs
didn’t seem to excited by the prospect though!
My first ever attempt at polka dot nails –
I don’t think they’re too bad for somebody
with no artistic talent!
A cuppa in bed whilst watching TV – perfection!
A night in with my best friend, Rachael.
It’s always nice to have some company whilst blogging!
We celebrated what would have been my
sister’s 30th birthday.  RIP Katy xxx
Believe it or not, we had a BBQ in this weather.
My Dad and I went to see Blake in concert – as
always,  an amazing night.  I’ll blog about it soon!
I lost 9lbs last week, but being a Bank Holiday
weekend, I fell off the wagon a little bit… oops!
Three of my weekend outfits – casual day in, night
out with Dad, and a day shopping/relaxing with Kris.

LilliesandLove xx


Dear Katy, Today You Would Have Been 30…

On 6 March 1985 my sister, Katy, died.  She was 2.5-years old.

She wasn’t poorly, she just died.  She had a cold-type bug and Mum was taking her to the doctors.  As Mum was putting Katy’s coat on to leave the house, Katy asked for a cuddle.  Mum cuddled her and, as they parted, Katy collapsed.

They went to the hospital and, after a little while, Katy passed away.  My elder sister, Clare, was 5 at the time and she watched the whole thing.  My Dad was at work but rushed to the hospital to be there.  I can’t imagine how horrific it must have been to go through this.  My poor, poor family.

At the time Katy died, Mum was 6-months pregnant with me.  All my life I’ve felt a closeness to Katy and as a child I would cry to my parents, saying I missed her and wished I’d met her.  It seems insane to feel a loss for somebody I never met, but I can only assume it’s true when doctors say that whilst in the womb babies can hear everything – Katy used to talk to me, calling me ‘Bump’, so maybe I was aware of her being around?  I don’t know.

The reason for this post is that today would have been Katy’s 30th birthday.  All my life I’ve wished I could have the chance to speak to her, so as it’s her milestone birthday, I thought I’d write her a letter.  I used to write her letters when I was a little girl and, although I haven’t done so for many years, today seems like the right time to drop her a line again.

Dear Katy,

Today you would have been 30.  Wow, 30-years old, it seems so insane!  My big sister, frozen in time as a 2.5-year old and now you would have been 30!

I know we never met properly, but I think about you every single day.  I wonder what you would have been like.  I wonder how you would have had your blonde hair – long, pixie crop, bobbed?  I wonder how tall you would have been – I’m 5ft2, Clare’s 5ft (and a quarter of an inch, as she’s always telling us!) and Leo is a fair bit taller than us, although I don’t know quite how tall he is.  Would you have been tiny like me and Clare or would you have been more around Leo’s height?

I wonder if you would have been married by now, or had children?  I wonder what you would have been doing for a living?  Clare and Leo have both gone into professions that help people, whilst I work in the public sector looking after some villages in Essex.  I wonder what you would have ended up doing?  Would you have gone straight out to work like us three did, or would you have gone to University?

I wonder if we would have gone out together?  Would we have gone down the pub together or gone clubbing?  Would we have got drunk together, got into scrapes and made memories that lasted forever?  Would we have woken up this morning with horrible hangovers after celebrating your birthday last night?

I wonder if we would have moved out together, got a flat and been house-mates as well as sisters, or would you have moved out on your own and had your own place like us three all have?

I wonder what your fashion style would have been like?  What sort of clothes would you have liked?  Would you have been into fashion and beauty?  Would you have been sporty?  Would you have been animal lover?  Would you have been a petrol-head like we all are?

I have so many questions and there are so many things I wonder about, but I’ll never know the answers.

I went to see a medium last year – I don’t know if I believe they’re genuine or not; I sometimes think they prey on the vulnerable, I’m a huge cynic.  Towards the end of the session she told me there was a young girl there but that she wasn’t talking, she was just watching.  As I said, I’m a huge cynic so I took it with a pinch of salt, but still I couldn’t help wondering if it was true and if you had come to say hello, just making yourself known to me.  I’d love to talk to you but I don’t know if that would be possible – you were 2.5-years old when you died, so are you still 2.5 now?  Is your vocabulary the same as when you died, or can you talk freely wherever you are now?

You dying was the worst possible thing that could ever happen to a family, but from your death we have tried to make the best of things.  You taught us that life is short, you taught us that family is the most important thing in the world, you taught us that ‘shit happens’ and you just have to get on with life, you taught us never to go to bed on an argument and to always tell people how much you love them because tomorrow is guaranteed for nobody.

You dying was the worst possible thing that could have happened, but it made us the people we are and, that, I feel, is the ‘silver lining’ we have to take from this.  Everything happens for a reason, as they say, no matter how much it may break our hearts.

I love you Katy.  I always have and I always will.  I miss you.  I always have and I always will.

Today you would have been 30, and, I hope, wherever you are, you’re happy and enjoying yourself. We think about you every single day and we won’t ever forget you.

Love you lots


My 27th Birthday

This is a little bit late, I know, but I’ve been mad busy this past week and haven’t had an opportunity to write this post!!
Last week was my birthday.  I turned the grand old age of 27.  27.  TWENTY SEVEN.  That’s the age of a proper adult, like, a grown-up.  I’m a grown-up.  I absolutely in no way feel like I’m 27, I still feel like I’m about 18… maybe 21 at a push.  Sometimes I feel like I’m 12.
I sometimes stop and think about all the things I’ve done – house, mortgage, separation from ex and dividing up our belongings etc – it all seems like a different life.  Almost like when I was younger and I used to play doctors and nurses, I sometimes feel like I’m playing at this grown-up life and I should be taking it a bit more seriously.  But, I don’t want to.  I like not taking stuff seriously, it makes life much more fun and much more interesting.  I don’t want to get bogged down by the nitty gritty, iddy biddy details.
So, on with details of my birthday.  I had a lovely time and felt very loved.  I have wonderful friends and family and I really am lucky to have them all.
My birthday started, really, the night before.  My birthday eve, so to speak.
I went round my friend Rachael’s house at work (you may know her from Twitter or some of my YouTube videos).  As soon as I walked in the door her two children (who I love to the end of the earth and back) wished me happy birthday.  I got cuddles and they gave me my presents as they didn’t want me to wait until the next day to open them.
Rachael’s daughter picked the handbag out of Debenhams and she drew me a picture of a butterfly.  How cute is that?
Rach made me dinner, we drank wine, we chatted and laughed.
We recorded a YouTube video (see it here or scroll to the bottom of this post) and decided to take a new Facebook profile photo of ourselves, with the obligatory face-pulling-acting-like-morons shots thrown in for good measure.
I had a lovely night and the next morning the kids gave me more drawings they’d done and a teddy bear.  They are just the cutest children in the world!
After leaving Rach’s I went home to see my family.  My family bought me an Android tablet so I can blog on the move without having to carry my bulky laptop around with me.  I’m forever thinking “I wish I’d brought my laptop” when I have a spare half an hour so now I can carry my tablet around with me and blog whenever I get the urge – fantastic!  What an amazing present and one I know I’ll get so much use out of.
I got a few additional presents too from people – Dad got me a mug and coaster with a cow on them (my favourite animal) and my sister got me some handcream (also cow related – I’m easily pleased).  Kris’ parents bought me a woven bag for me to use when we go on holiday and a bottle of wine (which went down very nicely, thank you)
I got a few cards that really made me smile as well – my friends and family are all total jokers so I always know I’m going to get brilliant cards that make me laugh.
Every year my mum makes a cake for my birthday and this year was no exception, with her making a box out of icing and filling it with money for me to buy myself a little something if I wanted to.  Mum’s so arty and talented, I wish I’d inherited that from her!
In the evening, I was going for dinner with my best friend as Kris was playing football with his friends.  However, when I got to the restaurant, my best friend wasn’t there – Kris was!  Between the two of them, they’d planned for me to think he’d chosen football over me on my birthday and that I was seeing her, when in fact it was a surprise and he was taking me for dinner.  It was such a huge surprise and I was so taken aback!  I now know that my best friend and my boyfriend are massive liars too!  Only joking, it was amazing.
Kris gave me my card and present – I loved the wrapping paper, pink and with cats on it, perfect!
You may be wondering why he bought me sun lotion and think it’s a rubbish present, but it’s symbolic of the real present he got me – he’s taking me on holiday!!  I’m so excited and can’t wait to spend some time in the sunshine with him, it’ll be so nice!
He also presented with me a cupcake with a candle in it – how cute?!
So, as you can see, I really was spoiled this year – brilliant presents and so much love from the people in my life.  Birthdays are nice and it’s good to receive presents, but more than any of that, it makes you realise just how lucky you are.  I have a fantastic family, amazing friends and a boyfriend who makes me smile every single day.  I’m a very lucky girl!
LilliesandLove xx

Bad Exam Results? Don’t Worry!

It’s GCSE results day here in the UK.  All over the country there are young adults queueing up for the dreaded envelope that tells them how they’ve done in their exams.

Ask anybody and they’ll tell you how scary it is, first of all waiting for the results, then opening them.  There’s a sense of your future literally being in your hands; your future in that envelope.  Will you have got the grades needed to take your education further or to get your dream job?  Will you have got grades that will make your family beam with pride?  Or, have you somehow scored low grades?

For those of you that have done well, huge congratulations!  But, this blog post is for those in the latter case.  Those of you that haven’t done as well as you hoped you could, or perhaps as well as you should have done.  There’s many reasons you may not have got the grades you wanted – maybe you didn’t listen in class, maybe you didn’t do your homework, maybe you didn’t revise, maybe you were just too busy having fun to worry about your academic life, or maybe it just didn’t work out for you the way you hoped.
For those of you in that situation, I say this:
First and foremost, don’t beat yourself up about it.  What’s done is done.
Secondly, don’t panic.  Just because you haven’t got brilliant grades, it’s not the end of the world.
I’m sure you’re now reading this thinking, “Not the end of the world?!  How the hell do you know?!”  But, I do know.  And do you want to know the reason why I’m so certain it isn’t the end of the world?  Well… I don’t have any GCSE’s.  Not one.  Nothing.  Nada.  Zilch.
I dropped out of school aged 13 as I was being badly bullied.  Instead of transferring to another school, due to the depressed state I was in, I stayed at home and my parent’s taught me as best they could.
Unfortunately, it’s nigh-on impossible to take exams if you’re home-schooled.  Mum and Dad approached lots of different schools in the local area but none of them would allow me to sit my exams in their hall.  So, I had no choice, I couldn’t take my GCSE’s.
To cut a long story short, with no qualifications I didn’t think my life looked that rosy.  I thought people would assume I was stupid or that I was a waster as I had nothing to list on my CV.  So, I decided to do something about it.  I organised work experience for myself in different places – a week here, a week there – all voluntary.  It’s very rarely that you’ll find a company that will refuse free labour, and the time you spend there will look great on your CV.  Plus it shows initiative because you’ve organised it yourself.
I decided I wanted to go to college, but due to my lack of qualifications they wouldn’t take me.  So I phoned them.  And phoned them.  And phoned them.  And phoned them.  In the end, they were so sick of hearing from me that they called me in for an interview just to shut me up.  I went in there with a portfolio showing all the different things I’d been doing while I wasn’t at school – websites I’d made, poems I’d written, articles I’d had published in newspapers and magazines, plus letters of recommendation that I’d asked my work experience companies to give me.  That was enough to show them how serious I was and they allowed me to join the course.
Next I enrolled in an Evening Class to learn English Language and Literature.  Once a week I’d go to a local school in the evening and take these classes.  I’ll be honest, I hated every single second of it, but that was purely because everyone else there was 40+ and I was 16.  I was a total outsider.  But, I stuck it out, took the exams and obtained my qualification.
At the same time as doing all of this, I also had part-time jobs.  Don’t get me wrong, I was absolutely knackered.  I mean – KNACKERED.  But, it showed I was willing to work hard.
Now, I’m 27 and I hold a high-pressure, senior-level, responsible job (in fact, I’m the boss).  I’m so, so proud of everything I’ve achieved and I know I got where I am today through sheer hard work and determination.
Don’t get me wrong, there were times when I went out with friends, partied, got drunk etc., but the next day I’d pull myself together, get my head down and work hard.
If I can achieve what I have and get myself to the position I’m in now, you can too.  Bad exams results are horrible, I know, but don’t for a second think it’s the end of the world.  You can be whatever you want to be.  Exam results don’t define you, they don’t make you the person you are – YOU make you the person you are.
Take it from me, you’ll be fine, I promise.
Now go get ‘em, Tiger!
LilliesandLove xx


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