The 2nd March had been marked off on the calendar for quite a while, Mari’s Hen Party. With the school mums, the twin mums a few long standing friends and my sister in law to be we were going to hit the giddy heights of our local town, eat Italian and crawl the pubs to celebrate the last Saturday night before I got married as a hen.

Then #TeamHonk announced they would be climbing Snowdon that very day to raise money for Comic Relief, invitations to the blogging community went out to join them and I knew deep in my bones there was nothing I’d like more to do than spend my Saturday, most likely in the rain, walking up Snowdon with a great bunch of inspiring, intelligent and funny people.

It’s something I’ve always wanted to do, actually my dream is to one day climb Machu Picchu but Snowdon will do perfectly for now. I’m not sure how many of us there are, possibly between 10 – 16 coming from all over the UK the common denominator is we all blog. Some of my fellow trekkers I have met on many occasions like Penny Alexander, others I am to meet for the first time.

I’d like to say an enormous and very special THANK YOU to all my mums who accepted my cancellation with grace and didn’t make me feel bad about it. We will get out soon enough I promise xxx

The CLIMB

The climb is on Saturday 2nd March. We will be meeting at 8.30 for a 9am start – meeting place and route to be confirmed.

KIT:

A waterproof coat (needed)
Waterproof trousers (recommended)
Warm clothes – fleecy jumper / trousers ( not jeans – they are crap if they get wet!)/ tshirt / warm socks and spares
Sturdy footwear / walking boots
Rucksack
Water bottle/thermos / lots of high energy snacks
Gloves / hat / scarf and spares
Penny and I will be bringing a map, compass, torch, whistle and first aid kit each but it you want to bring your own too that’s cool.

So I have a few bits to get like the waterproof trousers and coat, a decent rucksack would be a good investment and I might get a fleece too to go over my ski thermal underwear. Dressing in layers is the way forward I am told.

I’ll be leaving home on Friday afternoon to make my way towards Stoke on Trent by train where Penny will pick me and Danielle up and we’ll drive the rest of the way there and stay in the Youth Hostel at the bottom of the mountain.

That leaves me just one question to ask you –

Can you sponsor me please?

Any donation, even just £1, would help because if every reader were to leave £1 that would be a hell of a lot of pounds all going to Comic Relief and continuing the #goodwork they’ve been doing for the past 25 years.

Penny is one of my Panasonic Mums and here she is modelling one of their fridges, doesn’t she look cool? (Did you see what I did there?)

Penny Alexander checks out the Panasonic fridge

and here she is in Ghana assessing the days work at the Bakery

Penny Alexander about to break bread

That Tuesday when they were out in Ghana, I had an idea of the programs they would be featured on and here is me watching the show in the UK

#Teamhonk Comic relief

But more importantly here’s one of Penny’s shots of Jonathan Ross tirelessly on the phone, as was Davina, all day long reporting back to us in the UK the work and efforts being made in Ghana
jonathan ross on phone

Please be assured that any donation you make to my Red Nose Page will automatically be added to the #TeamHonk pot and we’d like to smash the target of £1000

Please share and spread the word xxx

bridal make upRight, I’ll be perfectly straight with you. I don’t wear a lot of make up.

That doesn’t mean I’m immensely beautiful and am graced with a perfect unblemished skin that I can easily do without. Noooo, it simply means that most days for a quick school run, I can’t be bothered with it. At most if I’m looking pasty I get out my bronzing powder and a big brush and give myself a quick glow.

When I go out I add some mascara, maybe a lick of eye shadow and pencil and a bit of lippy that probably will have been eaten off by the time I reach my destination anyway.

So with my wedding looming and my lack of skill and know how to do bridal make up, I booked into the No 7 stand at the Boots in Bluewater; I wanted to see what they would do to me and more importantly if I would like it as I’m not used to seeing myself with full make up.

This is a free service and it doesn’t have to be bridal makeup as I was looking for on this occasion, the assistants on the Boots No 7 stand are more than happy to try new ranges out on you and introduce you to their enormous range of products. Well worth remembering.

Bridal make up trial

So you are asked to arrive with no make up on and that bit was dead easy for me. My make up artist, Sarah, started with a quick cleanse to prepare the skin using these products :- Beautiful Skin Normal/dry to cleanse, Protect and perfect serum, the same range moisturiser and a little Youthful eye serum too and then …

bridal make up start

Before

Base

Primer – Airbrush Away (I didn’t even know this product existed!)

Concealer – dabbed around the eye area.

Eyes

Eyes – yes before foundation. Now that was new to me but I was told that if you make a mess it can be cleaned without ruining your foundation. She chose a palette of three greys, Classic matte, and covered the entire lid with a brushing of the lightest shade, she then defined the crease and the corners with the middle colour and finished off with dabs of the darkest shade to the corners of the eye.

A line of Deepest Purple eyeliner was ‘tickled’ across the top eye.

Mascara – Lash Extend in black.

Base part 2

Foundation – Exciting part, she got out a brand new contraption which assesses the perfect tint out of 22 shades for your skin. I was cool beige. Applied with a brush and coated all over blending well to avoid any lines.

No 7 Boots skin tone detector

Blusher – Mineral soft Damson – applied to the cheekbones to add a bit of definition

bridal make up

Lips

Outline – a line is drawn to define the lip edge and make sure the lipstick doesn’t bleed

Lipstick, applied with a brush the lip area is filled in

Gloss – a small amount of Poppy Icing Glamour is applied to the central part of the lips

No 7 Classic Matte No 7 products

Verdict

I’m impressed. I love her choice of colours and bought the eye pallet, the lip liner and the lipstick. I’m seriously considering going back to invest in the gloss too. She wrote everything down on a piece of paper and sent me home with lots of tubes to try out for cleansing, masks, foundation and eye serum (YESSS, the new No 7 Youthful Eye Serum which everyone is talking about) she was super friendly and invited me back to have another go if I feel I need to. She filled me to the brim with skin beauty tips and applying make up tricks. A lovely, lovely lady. I would definitely advise any bride to be out there to book themselves in one month before for this free trial

No 7 product samples

messy officeBack in October when I realised I was spending best part of my day sat at the computer and it was in fact becoming a job – a paid job at that. I decided it was time to carve out for myself a little space to keep all my work bits in one place.

I had an old table in the garage which I cleaned up – it was far too big but it didn’t cost anything so the mister couldn’t argue with that and I rearranged the Billy bookcase, old faithful from Ikea to suit my needs. Job done!

I was sitting by a window so could use real daylight too!

Everything was ticking along nicely until one day in January Billy bookcase collapsed. I was in trouble. I was up to my ears in books and toys as it doubles up as the area I keep the girls toys in too.

I went online and went straight for the Expedit bookcase from the Ikea range which I’d seen and lusted over for a long, long time. Of course the timing of Billy dying on me like that was totally inappropriate, doesn’t he know I’m getting married in March? This is hardly the time for me to be forking out big monies for new bookcases but I drooled and drooled and thought, blow it!

I ordered it there and then online. I went for the largest model (in for a penny in for a pound) and I got it delivered as the mister had said he didn’t want to spend his weekend in Ikea (his idea of HELL) and I couldn’t lift it on my own. Job done I waited patiently and one Friday two geezers knocked on my door.

‘Got yer delivery luv.’

In came four packages and before long I had the pieces out and was putting it all together.

I was massively surprised at how easy it was to assemble. I did it on my own and it took a couple of hours tops but then I hit my first real problem..lifting it upright.

toys

Paul was out on the razzle that night and the dining table was covered in toys that needed a new home so I knocked on my neighbour’s door and begged.

Roger popped round and helped me lift the Expedit onto it’s base after which it slided so easily against the wall it was a dream.

Expedit bookcase and desk - Ikea

In my enthusiasm on buying the Expedit bookcase I’d been tempted with the desk too which was dead easy to put together and holds the bookcase upright saving any holes in the wall to stop it falling over and this is now my office – what do you think?

Tips on assembling the Expedit bookcase

  1. Measure the area you are building in and make sure it’s big enough for the bookcase plus area to move around it.
  2. Place two strings or strong strips or a piece of cardboard under the end where you start working as once completed it will be very difficult, due to the weight, to slide your fingers under to get it upright. IMPORTANT

 

gingerbread house

Home insurance can involve a multitude of differing packages and quirks to suit your needs perfectly.  This is why you should carefully select a comprehensive package – this guide by Endsleigh one of the UK’s largest insurance firms helps you take the right steps.

Home insurance is about much more than just protecting your building against things like fires and floods; a good contents insurance package can go some way to allaying the fears associated with having a treasure trove of portable gadgetry.

Home insurance is by and large divided into two main subcategories: buildings insurance and contents insurance.

Buildings insurance can differ from one policy holder to the next in terms of whether you’re a landlord or own holiday homes and the like, but its basic credentials are often much more generic than contents insurance.  Buildings insurance tends to cover your building itself and fixtures and fittings.

Contents insurance can be adapted much more to cover your lifestyle.  If you’re a student or you rent your home there are packages for you and you can cover against a variety of eventualities including things like accidental damage, loss, and malicious damage.

What is important is that these two terms – buildings insurance and contents insurance – are highly malleable to mean what you want them to mean.  These terms are important as logistical subdivisions, but if you want to insure say a musical instrument or a laptop then you can happily ring-fence as you wish under the broad banner of home insurance.

A modern home is laden with electronic gadgetry and much of it is portable which presents a raft of new dangers.  A mobile phone can easily be lost or damaged in transit; the same applies to a laptop.  It’s easy to forget the value of these goods due to the micro technologies they possess.  Most home insurance sites now cater for these types of goods, often providing like for like replacements within 24 hours.

Disclosure: A post brought to you by Endsleigh