Friday, 31 May 2013

Reading & Watching.... Part 1

It's been a while since I blogged day to day stuff, so today I thought I would share with you some of the things that I've been reading and watching in May!.....
Here's what has been grabbing my attention on screen:

  • Nashville - completely hooked on this series, who would have thought country music would be so gripping.... completely torn between Teddy & Deacon ... Think Deacon may just have the winning vote for me!.... Here is the season trailer.
  • Case Histories - one of the best book adaptations to the screen... Jason Isaacs is a fantastic Jackson Brodie... Brooding, disheveled and little bit sexy, Here is a great interview with Jason and Kate the author.
  • The Americans - think this is going to be a slow burn, set in America at the height of the Cold War, two KGB agents are seconded into suburbia spying against the Americans. Great to see Matthew Rhys (previously seen in Brothers & Sisters) playing quite a sinister character. Here is the promo trailer.
  • The Fall - OMG this is fabulous, crept up on me last week and I've been catching up on Iplayer . Have a complete girl crush on Gillian Anderson who is fantastic, wears a wardrobe to salivate ver and she oozes so much confidence in one particular scene, I was green with envy! The murderer is incredibly easy on the eye, which makes his heinous crimes even more sickening... Beg, borrow and Download this as soon as you can, although I would recommend not watching it on your own! Here is a trailer of this fantastic show... already commissioned for series 2.
Four shows that have my attention each week.... What's been grabbing your?....

Monday, 27 May 2013

Here comes the boys!

In all their fine glory!... Thursday evening I had made impromptu arrangements to meet up with my friend Ali. Ali had text me to let me know she was in London for a couple of days and did I want to meet up. Ali is the lovely Ali McNamara author of From Notting Hill With Love Actually and others! she was in London for a book launch  and some research!.. I met Ali through Twitter a couple of years ago, and share a mutual love of many things, New York, coffee and so much more!!
Making arrangements to meet Ali in the big yellow shop, the original plan was to meet in the new Harry Gordon bar but this was closed for the press launch. Fortunately another event was taking place in the store that night, bagging two wristbands for entry we secured front row seats for the Attitude magazine & Selfridges annual men's swimwear / underwear show... perfect research for a character in one of Ali's books!
Greeted by two lovely hosts, complimentary Smirnoff ice on tap and a DJ set G.A.Y would have been proud of.. the red carpet runway was set , staged in an underground car park! Hosted by the effervescent and funny Andi Peters ... Live & kicking right in front of our feet!
The show kicked off with The Ballet boys .. a beautiful choreographed dance sequence, which wouldn't have been out of place in a Matthew Bourne ballet. This was followed by fashion show, showcasing a wide range of underwear / swimwear & socks... all available at the newly opened Men's body wear space in the store. My evening was even more complete when I realised that the gorgeous Nils Mordt from Saracens rugby was modelling on the catwalk that evening...
We had lots of fun and enjoyed the show, this followed up with Pizza and a girlie catchup...
It was lovely catching up with Ali and we had lots of fun on Twitter the following day with two of the stars of the show!...

Looking forward to the next impromptu meet and adventures we will have!

Thursday, 23 May 2013

To kill a mockingbird..

A couple of weeks ago I blogged about 5 of the influential books in my life... last Friday (17th) I was lucky enough to have a preview ticket for the staging of one of those books on the stage. I am referring to To Kill a Mockingbird which is currently being played out on the Open Air Theatre at Regents Park.
This theatre is one of London's hidden gems and is like an enchanted forest in the middle of an urban jungle.... It is gorgeous on a warm sunny evening, perfect for picnicking in the park!... Alas I picked one of the coldest evenings in May and had to purchase a couple of picnic blankets on route to keep me warm!... Thankfully the weather stayed dry which made for an entertaining evening.
The play starts with key members of the cast each standing up amongst the audience and reading passages from the start of the book, they culminate on stage where they each map the town in chalk Also on the stage sits a huge tree complete with tyre swing... Scout, Jem & Dill swing from this onmany occasions  during the play. The simplistic styling and staging of this play is beautiful and tugs in the heart strings throughout. The key to this play is the fabulous casting of the children, who in my opinion steal the show... they leave the audience in tears on several occasions.
The first half of the play is set in twilight which adds to the day to day life in Maycomb, the second under darkness and spotlights adding depth to the courtroom drama dealing with rape and racial prejudice. Atticus Finch is played by 'House's" Robert Sean Leonard who plays the role with depth and character and is exactly how I imagined him to be when I read the book 25 years ago.
A fabulous, heartbreaking staging of a beautiful book.
Mockingbirds just make music; they don’t do one thing but sing their hearts out. That’s why it is a sin to kill a mockingbird”

If you can get a ticket to see this play then grab it with both hands it is beautiful x

Tuesday, 21 May 2013

Harry's new home..

Harry Gordon Selfridge has a new home,... its a stylish and secluded little cocktail bar in the basement of Selfridges Oxford street... I was lucky enough to get a preview of this fabulous little place prior to opening ... Tucked into the corner of the huge new wine shop Harry Gordon's is the perfect after work  retreat.
Styled with chrome, marble and the subdued lighting which takes you back to a bygone era, it really is a place that Mr Selfridge would have frequented!... His portrait hangs proudly in the corner overseeing all that partake in a little tipple!...
I can thoroughly recommend the Smash 1909 ~ gin, peach, mint & pale ale... Delicious... Here is a sample of Harry Gordon Bar & menu ... As well as a fabulous range of cocktails, the bar also serves beer on draught and offers a great range of snacks and nibbles..
..this will soon become one of the coolest places for cocktails & couture!..

Sunday, 19 May 2013

Teresa's Traditions...

When I think of Tradition I instantly think of Christmas!... It's the most traditional time of the year.
Some of my Christmas traditions include:-
  • Christmas Eve Pj's - new Jim jams to see Santa in!
  • Present fairy delivers all presents ending up at brothers for Christmas Eve evening, culminating in 'twas night before Christmas' story read before bedtime.
  • Baking fairy cooks Christmas morning muffins to assist in present opening.
  • Boxing Day is spent at the Big yellow store... Working the Selfridges sale!
  • A ballet is always seen as part of the festive celebrations.
  • My whole Christmas is documented in Journal your Christmas... Example here from 2010.
Outside of Christmas another family tradition that has grown over the last 5 years is my brother running the London marathon... Each year I have joined my Sis in-law niece & nephew and stood on the embankment to cheer on all the runners and my Bruv.. Here's some previous posts.
One of my other favourite traditions is my gift from my Gay Best Friend that I have received for the past few years... As a lover of rugby, this ticks soooo many boxes!... It is the Diuex de Stade rugby calendar from France!... Oh my ....there are no words!!... A tradition I look forward to each year!
And then finally is my love affair with New York!... A bi-annual / annual visit... Usually wrapped into Christmas countdown!... Here's a few posts to see why it's become one of Teresa's Traditions!

Saturday, 18 May 2013

.... Friends....

Friends come in various guises and I have been truly blessed with mine... My life is like a novel with each chapter telling its own story and my friends are very similar... Each unique and special in their own way. My nan always said that friends were the pages to your life's story... Some were with you for a paragraph, others for the chapter and if you were really lucky some even got to be in the whole book.
Whether I see them everyday, weekly, monthly or even yearly they all hold a special place in my heart... Every girl in their friend collection must have an 'oldest', 'family' 'work' and if lucky 'gay'(male), but the cherry on the icing is 'best'. J is my bestie....
 We met on the first day of secondary school and have been friends since... We don't see anything near as much of each other as we would like to, but it doesn't erase that amazing bond that a best friend has. Regardless of where life has taken us in the world we have always been there for each other.... We recently spent some together in New York which was just fabulous, it made my holiday as was the best Christmas present in 2012.
 32 years in she still can make me laugh on site without saying a word, read each others minds, drool at the same men, talk each others ears off and within 5 minutes of being together think we are 15 again!... Her family are my family and I can't imagine my story without her in it...
I hope we end up in the same nursing home, laughing at all the things we did and shouldn't have done!

Wednesday, 15 May 2013

Life's lessons....

You can't get to being in your 40's without having learnt a few of life's lessons along the way... Loved ones through my journey so far have offered several words of wisdom, some of which I've listen to and others completely ignored!... Fundamentally my biggest learn is live with No Regrets...
I've made some huge mistakes along my way, loved too many bad boys, bought too many handbags, drunk and partied my teens, twenties and half of my thirties away!.. Do I regret it.... Hell no!... Life would have been a dame site duller if I had listened!....

Monday, 13 May 2013

It's the little things....

that can still make a difference. Today's blog challenge is "Green"... Over the past decade at least, "recyclable""sustainable", "carbon footprint" "green house gas" has formed part of people's vocabulary... But what does that mean in our everyday lives. Do we do enough to be environmentally conscious and does it make a difference?... Over the past few years I have become more socially aware of the Green elements of my life... I use the multiple wheelie bins for the rubbish, recyclables, glass, paper & garden waste. My rubbish bin wastage is now minimal. I compost what I can and I am conscious of wasting water. .. I'm trying to walk more and use the car less. When food shopping I now plan my weeks meals to ensure that food waste is to a minimum and are conscious of food miles when purchasing. I try to buy local and seasonal as much as possible and would like to eventually grow a few of my own veggies. .....

I am hoping that the stuff I do everyday makes a little difference and goes some way to offsetting my New York carbon footprint!...
A friend of mine is an oceanologist with a vast knowledge of the polar regions....Here is an article he tweeted me earlier this year when I was asking why it was so cold. It makes for some informative and interesting reading. Equally here he is talking recently of life in the poles as part of a university brief. I really hope that some of the stuff we do daily makes a difference, and how much worse could it have been if we hadn't made those changes?

Sunday, 12 May 2013

Secret hoarder...

I live in fear that one day a TV crew will knock on my day and say that my neighbours have nominated me for an episode of "secret hoarder next door"!!... I have started the life laundering, but it is a slow  and lengthy process resembling a very large never ending ironing pile!... Something that sometimes is too easy to hide in the corner and ignore but alas I have run out of corners!... So watch this space.
My biggest passion is books. I've accumulated many over the years and could quite easily now open my own food book shop!...

All I can say is thankyou for the Kindle... My fiction stockpile is not growing at the rate that my baking collection is, as I know download more.... I wish my local library was better as I loved the library as a child / young adult but the range and ordering options are not great... I am going to explore other options. So watch this space as the de-cluttering begins!...




Saturday, 11 May 2013

5 books...

That have influenced my life... For a complete book worm this was a hard choice to make, but I have picked 5 books that have had a fundamental influence in my life so far!
  • The Secret Seven series - Enid Blyton.  I can't whittle down one book as I was and still are a huge Enid Blyton fan. I know that she isn't PC these days but as a small child she grabbed my attention and took me to magical places far away.. From the Magic Faraway tree adventures, to   The boarding school corridors of St Clair's I wanted to live those adventures. However it was the adventures and sleuthing of the Secret 7 and Famous 5 that I wanted to live... Summers spent in a field with a jam sandwiches & lashings of ginger beer picnic and my head in a book... Perfect.
  • To Kill a Mockingbird - Harper Lee. This was study book for my o'levels and it captured me completely. Atticus Finch so reminded me of my grandad, quiet, stoic, but with amazing words of wisdom. This book demonstrates the injustice of racial prejudice along with dealing with some tough domestic issues...narrated through the eyes of a small girl, Scout. Still one of my most thumbed books in my bookcase
  • Pride & Prejudice - Jane Austen. "It is a truth universally acknowledged, that a single man in possession of a good fortune, must be in want of a wife" one of the best opening lines in a book ever. This is my most read book, and every homage to it since in the chicklit genre I have devoured since Jane Austen put pen to paper 200 years ago. Completely adore Mr Darcy... Unfortunately real life not as good as fiction!
  • Scarpetta series - Patricia Cornwell. From a very early age I wanted to be a coroner / forensic scientist. Alas life didn't quite work out how I planned, but I have managed to live some of that life through Cornwell's  books... 23 books in I still love them and buy every hardback on day of publishing. They are not for the squeamish as the descriptions are quite graphic. 
  • The Two of Us - Sheila Hancock.  This book saved my life... John Thaw was one of my favourite actors, from Regan in Sweeney to Inspector Morse I was an avid viewer. I had heard Sheila talking on Radio of how the book had helped her dealing with grief after his death. This book landed in my lap 9 months after loosing my nan, when I was in such a black hole, there was little rational to my thinking. I really did think that I would be better off not here. I read this book in 2 days and it pulled me back from a brink, it made me see that I wasn't going mad and that my days could be up & down and that grief touched people at different times and places... It was ok to cry, whilst sitting at the traffic lights in your car and there would be days when you wouldn't be able to get out of bed... But it would get better... I'm so glad I read this book, I have read it again since, and thoroughly enjoyed reading the life of 2 of Britain's much loved actors.
    I devour so many books each month... Here are a few posts.

Friday, 10 May 2013

New York State of Mind...

Is where I take myself most days!... Today's theme is Travel dreams, I have several, mostly featuring cities around the world, however there is one I come back to more than anywhere else....NEW YORK! There are not enough adjectives to describe why this place holds my heart. I've shared some happy memories, and heartbreakingly sad memories in this city and still I come back for more. It's now in double figures over the past 15 years and I'm still not bored with it.
I have over 80 posts on my blog NY related ( available Here ) featuring Christmas Day in Central Park, Fleetweek in May ( island filled with uniformed sailors!!! Oh my!) best tourist tips and so much more, including the best Chick Flicks and movie moments in New York... NY Movie moments. Sit 
back and enjoy T's travels to the Big Apple!... 
Here was my New York State of mind moment this afternoon at my desk!




Thursday, 9 May 2013

Social media & me...

Now usually Social & me do not go in the same sentence... However add "dia" to the end and I'm a different person entirely. About 10 years ago I had a complete confidence crisis which resulted in me going from a "life and soul of a party" girl to a wallflower, there wasn't one defining thing that bought on this change but an amalgamation of a number.
Social media in several forms has helped me over the past 5 years to become less of a hermit and given me some of my confidence back. There are still occasions and situations that I socially avoid but the joy of the Internet has helped meet new friends and get me out and about.
So what do I love and why do I love it!...

My ultimate favourite is Twitter... I can be found Here . Why do I love it... It's instantaneous, it allows you snapshots of people's lives that you never thought you could ever meet. It suits every audience, gossip, show biz, politics, current affairs, breaking news and daily life. I've met some amazing people through twitter, as well as a quick and easy way to communicate with friends. My daily twitter fix with my GBF is the highlight of my commute!...It has now become one of my active tools for work and I now teach social media training as part of my working life...
Instagram, .. I'm just starting to get my head round Instagram, along with a couple of other photo apps on my phone. A picture can tell a thousand words and brighten up your moment in an instant... Here is my Instagram link... Enjoy!
Where Instagram is a snapshot of daily life Pinterest creates a forum for inspiration. I love it, it's a virtual mood board for what ever takes you fancy.... I have multiple boards covering a broad spectrum of subjects... Take a look Here at my pin boards.... Heavily featuring New York, cupcakes, macarons and Home!
And finally last and probably least favourite..  Facebook.... I have a Facebook profile and dip in and out if it. My primary function of it is to keep in touch with family near and far. I don't post much, it is my least favourite social network and since the changes this year like it even less, especially all the advertising links... I am toying with deleting it altogether... Watch this space!
Look forward to meeting you on one of these sites... X

Tuesday, 7 May 2013

A member of the family...

Todays Blog every day in May post is first pet. Those that have pets or have had pets will know that they become a member of the family, especially dogs. My first pet was a dog called Sally. We were given her as a present on our first birthday. I'm not sure by who i think it was my Grandad and looking back question the madness of giving a single mum with 1 year old twins a 6 month old puppy .... But it worked.

Sally a Collie/Labrador mongrel became part of the family and she loved us with utmost loyalty, I can't remember any part of my childhood that she wasn't part of. We grew up with lots of other pets, rabbits, guinea pigs, and cats but Sally held a special place in my heart... She left us when she was 14,  and it was heartbreaking... My mum never replaced her, because to us she was irreplaceable.

Singin in the Rain

Last Wednesday I joined my friend and her family for an evening of fun Singin' in the Rain. I'm a sucker for a musical and love this old classic. From Good Mornin to Make 'Em Laugh and the classic Singin in the Rain this musical ticks all the boxes. The musical mirrors the film, including the rain (I will come back to the rain!) This musical has the magic and glamour of the movie, with the 3 leads epitomising Gene Kelly, Donold O'Connor and Debbie Reynolds amazingly.

The classic Singin in the Rain sequence comes just before the interval, and having witnessed first hand what this involves I'm not surprised. What my friend failed to mention when she booked the tickets was that she had booked front row.... These come with a splash warning, now this doesn't mean you may get a little wet, this means you get soaked. My beautiful Mulberry bag is still recovering from the deluge!... 14,000 litres are used for each performance, 7,000 in the first half and 7,000 for the finale... All the water is recycled, except that which the audience takes home with them!
I loved the show, and I am looking forward to returning with the my godmother & friend this month... They are desperate to see it before it ends its run in London and embarks on a tour of the UK. If this comes to a theatre near you it's a must... Don't forget to take an umbrella!
Here is a brief montage of what to expect....Singin in the Rain...

Monday, 6 May 2013

Rest & relaxation

Is how I've passed my weekend.... I made no plans for this weekend as I wanted some down time.
Saturday was spent doing chores, shopping and catching up with friends for an early evening supper. My most taxing decision of the day was what colour Birkenstocks were coming home from TKMaxx with me as they were the bargain price of £20. Popped a bottle of wine and flowers into the neighbours on the way home as on my return home from work Friday evening they had weeded and tidied my drive for me... Random act of kindness!

Sunday I went for a very long walk as part of my new healthy living... However don't think the blueberry bagels and coffee were that healthy when I got home. Pottered around indoors for a bit and then packed a picnic and headed over to the park to sit under a tree and read a book from my "kindle to read" pile.
Monday morning was spent in the laundry, followed by a pile of ironing watching the snooker ... As I type this tonight I am watching the final session of the world championship, routing for Ronnie...dipping in and out of Pinterest, twitter & Instagram!

Sunday, 5 May 2013

From fat to fit!

Is my constant battle!... Life and work over the last few years has gotten in the way of a healthier lifestyle, but this year I was determined to make some changes....
Food:  I now make my own pack lunch trying to achieve at least 3 of my 5 fruit & veg options. I have wholemeal sandwiches, yoghurt, crudités and fruit..which I snack on during the day. My day starts with porridge, fruit compote and a banana. I drink decaffeinated coffee and water during the day. I try to cook from scratch each evening and not opt for the easy option of a ready meal.
Exercise: is a little bit like an ex boyfriend to me... We don't have a great relationship! I wish I could find an exercise that I love... I have however started to walk more, I leave the car at home 3 days a week and walk to the station ... This is about a 20 minute walk and is lovely now the mornings are light and the birds are singing. I also over the last month have gone out for  a 5 mile walk early on the Sunday morning. I've downloaded a couple of books and now walk a number of chapters a week listening on my iPod.
With the number of apps to help me along my way... I'm hoping to feel a little fitter by the end of the year.... My goal is to have a lovely bicycle to potter about on, but currently wouldn't inflict my behind on a bike to anyone!
Looking forward to reading what you all do to stay healthy and fit..

Saturday, 4 May 2013

5 blogs I love...

I love blogging, it saved from myself a few years ago and has extended my wardrobe of friends in a way I never imagined. 3 of my favourite blogs I follow ( I have lots I follow via google reader & bloglovin, please do not be offended if not listed here!) have been with me from the beginning.... and I have been lucky to meet up with the 3 writers and we now share a "virtual" friendship.
They are;

  • Florence & Mary  - the world of Victoria, full of fashion & fun. I have met up with Victoria several times, along with her friend Kelly, who now I regard as my friends too... It's been lovely sharing our lives and meeting up over coffee over the last 4 years to catch up in real life as well as blog land. 
  • The wonderful world of Ali McNamara - snippets of Ali's daily life, along with snippets and teasers of her novels. I became friends with Ali via twitter a couple of years ago after her first book was published. We met up and have since shared lots of emails / links discovering a mutual love for New York & Bradley Copper... Both feature heavily in her 3rd novel... From Notting hill to New York actually! ...
  • Mrs M's meanderings the lovely Caroline writes his blog and she again has been with me from the early years, we meet up when she visits London and I love reading about her boot fair finds and life in the West Country countryside.... Although from the comments she leaves me, I know there is a city girl fighting to get out of the country!... I'm currently loving all her budget beauty buys... As budget & beauty never go side by side in my thinking!
  • Just me, my soldier & our 4 little chicks is the blog of Stephanie. It's the life of a soldiers wife, who in the time that I have followed her as moved 3 times, husband has been deployed 3 times, gave birth to twins which resulted in her having 4 girls under 4!!...  on top of that she still, crafts, blogs, & scrapbooks...
  • Chicklit Chloe - blog dedicated to chicklit reviews and forthcoming releases... My perfect escape. A lovely fun read.
As I have embarked on this blog everyday in May I have added some new blogs to my list who I have started to follow. I am looking forward to getting to know you all a little better as the month progresses...

Thanks for providing with endless hours or entertainment... you brighten up my days x

Friday, 3 May 2013

A day in the Life...

of me!...
Day started with a lie in this morning as its Friday! ...Alarm trilling at 5.15am, a welcome half hour extra than usual... Rushed out the door at 6.05, jumped in trusty Florence my little car and drove to station. Caught the 6.24 Greater Anglia train at.....This morning was lovely and bright, which lightened everyone's mood. Once on board I browse my kindle library to select my daily read...this kept me entertained through to Stratford where I hop off the overhead and jump onto the tube. I usually stand ( yes even at that time of the morning, & hence why a kindle is invaluable for commuting) until Bank when the crowds get lighter and I sit until I embark at Bond street.
I quick stop at Starbucks & Pret for breakfast pickup before heading down Oxford Street to the home of Mr Selfridge.... arriving at my desk for 7.30, half hour later than the rest of the week. Coffee and porridge, banana & compote are the perfect start for my morning.  Fun & Frivolity in office as its one of the teams birthday.

Everyday is different, today was a day of 2 halves; training and back to back meetings filled this morning and closing month end filled this afternoon. This was celebrated with a quick after work drink in the sunshine with my team. Followed by my commute home and the homemade chicken korma for supper.... Now time to put feet up and flick through today's Blog everyday in May posts..

Thursday, 2 May 2013

Spring bloom

Today's theme for Blog everyday in May is Spring.... What do I love,... first and foremost is the cherry blossom on the trees. Commuting in and out of London daily when invariabley I leave home in the dark and arrive home in the evening in the dark, a small blossoming tree can lift a weary spirit.
I get excited when I see the daffodils poke their heads above the grass and start to bloom because I
know that lighter days are on there way.... It's the little things that make a difference and a little
injection of colour makes all the difference for me..taking me from the grey and gloom of winter towards blue skies and a little warmth....

Wednesday, 1 May 2013

5 lines...

Blog every day May ~ Day 1
Subject : me in 5 lines! (Feels like Blog online dating!)
5 words to describe me: Loyal, Caring, Stubborn, Independent, Kind hearted
5 things I love:(friends & family excluded) New York, Cupcakes, Books, Coffee, Handbags
5 things I loath: Snakes, Marmite, Coriander, Cucumber, Feet
5 things I like to do; Read, Knit, Bake, watch Rugby, take Photos.
Here is me in one of my favourite places in Central Park on Christmas Day 2010, why am I proud, because I spent the holiday period on my own in NY having an adventure.



Friday, 31 May 2013

Reading & Watching.... Part 1

It's been a while since I blogged day to day stuff, so today I thought I would share with you some of the things that I've been reading and watching in May!.....
Here's what has been grabbing my attention on screen:

  • Nashville - completely hooked on this series, who would have thought country music would be so gripping.... completely torn between Teddy & Deacon ... Think Deacon may just have the winning vote for me!.... Here is the season trailer.
  • Case Histories - one of the best book adaptations to the screen... Jason Isaacs is a fantastic Jackson Brodie... Brooding, disheveled and little bit sexy, Here is a great interview with Jason and Kate the author.
  • The Americans - think this is going to be a slow burn, set in America at the height of the Cold War, two KGB agents are seconded into suburbia spying against the Americans. Great to see Matthew Rhys (previously seen in Brothers & Sisters) playing quite a sinister character. Here is the promo trailer.
  • The Fall - OMG this is fabulous, crept up on me last week and I've been catching up on Iplayer . Have a complete girl crush on Gillian Anderson who is fantastic, wears a wardrobe to salivate ver and she oozes so much confidence in one particular scene, I was green with envy! The murderer is incredibly easy on the eye, which makes his heinous crimes even more sickening... Beg, borrow and Download this as soon as you can, although I would recommend not watching it on your own! Here is a trailer of this fantastic show... already commissioned for series 2.
Four shows that have my attention each week.... What's been grabbing your?....

Monday, 27 May 2013

Here comes the boys!

In all their fine glory!... Thursday evening I had made impromptu arrangements to meet up with my friend Ali. Ali had text me to let me know she was in London for a couple of days and did I want to meet up. Ali is the lovely Ali McNamara author of From Notting Hill With Love Actually and others! she was in London for a book launch  and some research!.. I met Ali through Twitter a couple of years ago, and share a mutual love of many things, New York, coffee and so much more!!
Making arrangements to meet Ali in the big yellow shop, the original plan was to meet in the new Harry Gordon bar but this was closed for the press launch. Fortunately another event was taking place in the store that night, bagging two wristbands for entry we secured front row seats for the Attitude magazine & Selfridges annual men's swimwear / underwear show... perfect research for a character in one of Ali's books!
Greeted by two lovely hosts, complimentary Smirnoff ice on tap and a DJ set G.A.Y would have been proud of.. the red carpet runway was set , staged in an underground car park! Hosted by the effervescent and funny Andi Peters ... Live & kicking right in front of our feet!
The show kicked off with The Ballet boys .. a beautiful choreographed dance sequence, which wouldn't have been out of place in a Matthew Bourne ballet. This was followed by fashion show, showcasing a wide range of underwear / swimwear & socks... all available at the newly opened Men's body wear space in the store. My evening was even more complete when I realised that the gorgeous Nils Mordt from Saracens rugby was modelling on the catwalk that evening...
We had lots of fun and enjoyed the show, this followed up with Pizza and a girlie catchup...
It was lovely catching up with Ali and we had lots of fun on Twitter the following day with two of the stars of the show!...

Looking forward to the next impromptu meet and adventures we will have!

Thursday, 23 May 2013

To kill a mockingbird..

A couple of weeks ago I blogged about 5 of the influential books in my life... last Friday (17th) I was lucky enough to have a preview ticket for the staging of one of those books on the stage. I am referring to To Kill a Mockingbird which is currently being played out on the Open Air Theatre at Regents Park.
This theatre is one of London's hidden gems and is like an enchanted forest in the middle of an urban jungle.... It is gorgeous on a warm sunny evening, perfect for picnicking in the park!... Alas I picked one of the coldest evenings in May and had to purchase a couple of picnic blankets on route to keep me warm!... Thankfully the weather stayed dry which made for an entertaining evening.
The play starts with key members of the cast each standing up amongst the audience and reading passages from the start of the book, they culminate on stage where they each map the town in chalk Also on the stage sits a huge tree complete with tyre swing... Scout, Jem & Dill swing from this onmany occasions  during the play. The simplistic styling and staging of this play is beautiful and tugs in the heart strings throughout. The key to this play is the fabulous casting of the children, who in my opinion steal the show... they leave the audience in tears on several occasions.
The first half of the play is set in twilight which adds to the day to day life in Maycomb, the second under darkness and spotlights adding depth to the courtroom drama dealing with rape and racial prejudice. Atticus Finch is played by 'House's" Robert Sean Leonard who plays the role with depth and character and is exactly how I imagined him to be when I read the book 25 years ago.
A fabulous, heartbreaking staging of a beautiful book.
Mockingbirds just make music; they don’t do one thing but sing their hearts out. That’s why it is a sin to kill a mockingbird”

If you can get a ticket to see this play then grab it with both hands it is beautiful x

Tuesday, 21 May 2013

Harry's new home..

Harry Gordon Selfridge has a new home,... its a stylish and secluded little cocktail bar in the basement of Selfridges Oxford street... I was lucky enough to get a preview of this fabulous little place prior to opening ... Tucked into the corner of the huge new wine shop Harry Gordon's is the perfect after work  retreat.
Styled with chrome, marble and the subdued lighting which takes you back to a bygone era, it really is a place that Mr Selfridge would have frequented!... His portrait hangs proudly in the corner overseeing all that partake in a little tipple!...
I can thoroughly recommend the Smash 1909 ~ gin, peach, mint & pale ale... Delicious... Here is a sample of Harry Gordon Bar & menu ... As well as a fabulous range of cocktails, the bar also serves beer on draught and offers a great range of snacks and nibbles..
..this will soon become one of the coolest places for cocktails & couture!..

Sunday, 19 May 2013

Teresa's Traditions...

When I think of Tradition I instantly think of Christmas!... It's the most traditional time of the year.
Some of my Christmas traditions include:-
  • Christmas Eve Pj's - new Jim jams to see Santa in!
  • Present fairy delivers all presents ending up at brothers for Christmas Eve evening, culminating in 'twas night before Christmas' story read before bedtime.
  • Baking fairy cooks Christmas morning muffins to assist in present opening.
  • Boxing Day is spent at the Big yellow store... Working the Selfridges sale!
  • A ballet is always seen as part of the festive celebrations.
  • My whole Christmas is documented in Journal your Christmas... Example here from 2010.
Outside of Christmas another family tradition that has grown over the last 5 years is my brother running the London marathon... Each year I have joined my Sis in-law niece & nephew and stood on the embankment to cheer on all the runners and my Bruv.. Here's some previous posts.
One of my other favourite traditions is my gift from my Gay Best Friend that I have received for the past few years... As a lover of rugby, this ticks soooo many boxes!... It is the Diuex de Stade rugby calendar from France!... Oh my ....there are no words!!... A tradition I look forward to each year!
And then finally is my love affair with New York!... A bi-annual / annual visit... Usually wrapped into Christmas countdown!... Here's a few posts to see why it's become one of Teresa's Traditions!

Saturday, 18 May 2013

.... Friends....

Friends come in various guises and I have been truly blessed with mine... My life is like a novel with each chapter telling its own story and my friends are very similar... Each unique and special in their own way. My nan always said that friends were the pages to your life's story... Some were with you for a paragraph, others for the chapter and if you were really lucky some even got to be in the whole book.
Whether I see them everyday, weekly, monthly or even yearly they all hold a special place in my heart... Every girl in their friend collection must have an 'oldest', 'family' 'work' and if lucky 'gay'(male), but the cherry on the icing is 'best'. J is my bestie....
 We met on the first day of secondary school and have been friends since... We don't see anything near as much of each other as we would like to, but it doesn't erase that amazing bond that a best friend has. Regardless of where life has taken us in the world we have always been there for each other.... We recently spent some together in New York which was just fabulous, it made my holiday as was the best Christmas present in 2012.
 32 years in she still can make me laugh on site without saying a word, read each others minds, drool at the same men, talk each others ears off and within 5 minutes of being together think we are 15 again!... Her family are my family and I can't imagine my story without her in it...
I hope we end up in the same nursing home, laughing at all the things we did and shouldn't have done!

Wednesday, 15 May 2013

Life's lessons....

You can't get to being in your 40's without having learnt a few of life's lessons along the way... Loved ones through my journey so far have offered several words of wisdom, some of which I've listen to and others completely ignored!... Fundamentally my biggest learn is live with No Regrets...
I've made some huge mistakes along my way, loved too many bad boys, bought too many handbags, drunk and partied my teens, twenties and half of my thirties away!.. Do I regret it.... Hell no!... Life would have been a dame site duller if I had listened!....

Monday, 13 May 2013

It's the little things....

that can still make a difference. Today's blog challenge is "Green"... Over the past decade at least, "recyclable""sustainable", "carbon footprint" "green house gas" has formed part of people's vocabulary... But what does that mean in our everyday lives. Do we do enough to be environmentally conscious and does it make a difference?... Over the past few years I have become more socially aware of the Green elements of my life... I use the multiple wheelie bins for the rubbish, recyclables, glass, paper & garden waste. My rubbish bin wastage is now minimal. I compost what I can and I am conscious of wasting water. .. I'm trying to walk more and use the car less. When food shopping I now plan my weeks meals to ensure that food waste is to a minimum and are conscious of food miles when purchasing. I try to buy local and seasonal as much as possible and would like to eventually grow a few of my own veggies. .....

I am hoping that the stuff I do everyday makes a little difference and goes some way to offsetting my New York carbon footprint!...
A friend of mine is an oceanologist with a vast knowledge of the polar regions....Here is an article he tweeted me earlier this year when I was asking why it was so cold. It makes for some informative and interesting reading. Equally here he is talking recently of life in the poles as part of a university brief. I really hope that some of the stuff we do daily makes a difference, and how much worse could it have been if we hadn't made those changes?

Sunday, 12 May 2013

Secret hoarder...

I live in fear that one day a TV crew will knock on my day and say that my neighbours have nominated me for an episode of "secret hoarder next door"!!... I have started the life laundering, but it is a slow  and lengthy process resembling a very large never ending ironing pile!... Something that sometimes is too easy to hide in the corner and ignore but alas I have run out of corners!... So watch this space.
My biggest passion is books. I've accumulated many over the years and could quite easily now open my own food book shop!...

All I can say is thankyou for the Kindle... My fiction stockpile is not growing at the rate that my baking collection is, as I know download more.... I wish my local library was better as I loved the library as a child / young adult but the range and ordering options are not great... I am going to explore other options. So watch this space as the de-cluttering begins!...




Saturday, 11 May 2013

5 books...

That have influenced my life... For a complete book worm this was a hard choice to make, but I have picked 5 books that have had a fundamental influence in my life so far!
  • The Secret Seven series - Enid Blyton.  I can't whittle down one book as I was and still are a huge Enid Blyton fan. I know that she isn't PC these days but as a small child she grabbed my attention and took me to magical places far away.. From the Magic Faraway tree adventures, to   The boarding school corridors of St Clair's I wanted to live those adventures. However it was the adventures and sleuthing of the Secret 7 and Famous 5 that I wanted to live... Summers spent in a field with a jam sandwiches & lashings of ginger beer picnic and my head in a book... Perfect.
  • To Kill a Mockingbird - Harper Lee. This was study book for my o'levels and it captured me completely. Atticus Finch so reminded me of my grandad, quiet, stoic, but with amazing words of wisdom. This book demonstrates the injustice of racial prejudice along with dealing with some tough domestic issues...narrated through the eyes of a small girl, Scout. Still one of my most thumbed books in my bookcase
  • Pride & Prejudice - Jane Austen. "It is a truth universally acknowledged, that a single man in possession of a good fortune, must be in want of a wife" one of the best opening lines in a book ever. This is my most read book, and every homage to it since in the chicklit genre I have devoured since Jane Austen put pen to paper 200 years ago. Completely adore Mr Darcy... Unfortunately real life not as good as fiction!
  • Scarpetta series - Patricia Cornwell. From a very early age I wanted to be a coroner / forensic scientist. Alas life didn't quite work out how I planned, but I have managed to live some of that life through Cornwell's  books... 23 books in I still love them and buy every hardback on day of publishing. They are not for the squeamish as the descriptions are quite graphic. 
  • The Two of Us - Sheila Hancock.  This book saved my life... John Thaw was one of my favourite actors, from Regan in Sweeney to Inspector Morse I was an avid viewer. I had heard Sheila talking on Radio of how the book had helped her dealing with grief after his death. This book landed in my lap 9 months after loosing my nan, when I was in such a black hole, there was little rational to my thinking. I really did think that I would be better off not here. I read this book in 2 days and it pulled me back from a brink, it made me see that I wasn't going mad and that my days could be up & down and that grief touched people at different times and places... It was ok to cry, whilst sitting at the traffic lights in your car and there would be days when you wouldn't be able to get out of bed... But it would get better... I'm so glad I read this book, I have read it again since, and thoroughly enjoyed reading the life of 2 of Britain's much loved actors.
    I devour so many books each month... Here are a few posts.

Friday, 10 May 2013

New York State of Mind...

Is where I take myself most days!... Today's theme is Travel dreams, I have several, mostly featuring cities around the world, however there is one I come back to more than anywhere else....NEW YORK! There are not enough adjectives to describe why this place holds my heart. I've shared some happy memories, and heartbreakingly sad memories in this city and still I come back for more. It's now in double figures over the past 15 years and I'm still not bored with it.
I have over 80 posts on my blog NY related ( available Here ) featuring Christmas Day in Central Park, Fleetweek in May ( island filled with uniformed sailors!!! Oh my!) best tourist tips and so much more, including the best Chick Flicks and movie moments in New York... NY Movie moments. Sit 
back and enjoy T's travels to the Big Apple!... 
Here was my New York State of mind moment this afternoon at my desk!




Thursday, 9 May 2013

Social media & me...

Now usually Social & me do not go in the same sentence... However add "dia" to the end and I'm a different person entirely. About 10 years ago I had a complete confidence crisis which resulted in me going from a "life and soul of a party" girl to a wallflower, there wasn't one defining thing that bought on this change but an amalgamation of a number.
Social media in several forms has helped me over the past 5 years to become less of a hermit and given me some of my confidence back. There are still occasions and situations that I socially avoid but the joy of the Internet has helped meet new friends and get me out and about.
So what do I love and why do I love it!...

My ultimate favourite is Twitter... I can be found Here . Why do I love it... It's instantaneous, it allows you snapshots of people's lives that you never thought you could ever meet. It suits every audience, gossip, show biz, politics, current affairs, breaking news and daily life. I've met some amazing people through twitter, as well as a quick and easy way to communicate with friends. My daily twitter fix with my GBF is the highlight of my commute!...It has now become one of my active tools for work and I now teach social media training as part of my working life...
Instagram, .. I'm just starting to get my head round Instagram, along with a couple of other photo apps on my phone. A picture can tell a thousand words and brighten up your moment in an instant... Here is my Instagram link... Enjoy!
Where Instagram is a snapshot of daily life Pinterest creates a forum for inspiration. I love it, it's a virtual mood board for what ever takes you fancy.... I have multiple boards covering a broad spectrum of subjects... Take a look Here at my pin boards.... Heavily featuring New York, cupcakes, macarons and Home!
And finally last and probably least favourite..  Facebook.... I have a Facebook profile and dip in and out if it. My primary function of it is to keep in touch with family near and far. I don't post much, it is my least favourite social network and since the changes this year like it even less, especially all the advertising links... I am toying with deleting it altogether... Watch this space!
Look forward to meeting you on one of these sites... X

Tuesday, 7 May 2013

A member of the family...

Todays Blog every day in May post is first pet. Those that have pets or have had pets will know that they become a member of the family, especially dogs. My first pet was a dog called Sally. We were given her as a present on our first birthday. I'm not sure by who i think it was my Grandad and looking back question the madness of giving a single mum with 1 year old twins a 6 month old puppy .... But it worked.

Sally a Collie/Labrador mongrel became part of the family and she loved us with utmost loyalty, I can't remember any part of my childhood that she wasn't part of. We grew up with lots of other pets, rabbits, guinea pigs, and cats but Sally held a special place in my heart... She left us when she was 14,  and it was heartbreaking... My mum never replaced her, because to us she was irreplaceable.

Singin in the Rain

Last Wednesday I joined my friend and her family for an evening of fun Singin' in the Rain. I'm a sucker for a musical and love this old classic. From Good Mornin to Make 'Em Laugh and the classic Singin in the Rain this musical ticks all the boxes. The musical mirrors the film, including the rain (I will come back to the rain!) This musical has the magic and glamour of the movie, with the 3 leads epitomising Gene Kelly, Donold O'Connor and Debbie Reynolds amazingly.

The classic Singin in the Rain sequence comes just before the interval, and having witnessed first hand what this involves I'm not surprised. What my friend failed to mention when she booked the tickets was that she had booked front row.... These come with a splash warning, now this doesn't mean you may get a little wet, this means you get soaked. My beautiful Mulberry bag is still recovering from the deluge!... 14,000 litres are used for each performance, 7,000 in the first half and 7,000 for the finale... All the water is recycled, except that which the audience takes home with them!
I loved the show, and I am looking forward to returning with the my godmother & friend this month... They are desperate to see it before it ends its run in London and embarks on a tour of the UK. If this comes to a theatre near you it's a must... Don't forget to take an umbrella!
Here is a brief montage of what to expect....Singin in the Rain...

Monday, 6 May 2013

Rest & relaxation

Is how I've passed my weekend.... I made no plans for this weekend as I wanted some down time.
Saturday was spent doing chores, shopping and catching up with friends for an early evening supper. My most taxing decision of the day was what colour Birkenstocks were coming home from TKMaxx with me as they were the bargain price of £20. Popped a bottle of wine and flowers into the neighbours on the way home as on my return home from work Friday evening they had weeded and tidied my drive for me... Random act of kindness!

Sunday I went for a very long walk as part of my new healthy living... However don't think the blueberry bagels and coffee were that healthy when I got home. Pottered around indoors for a bit and then packed a picnic and headed over to the park to sit under a tree and read a book from my "kindle to read" pile.
Monday morning was spent in the laundry, followed by a pile of ironing watching the snooker ... As I type this tonight I am watching the final session of the world championship, routing for Ronnie...dipping in and out of Pinterest, twitter & Instagram!

Sunday, 5 May 2013

From fat to fit!

Is my constant battle!... Life and work over the last few years has gotten in the way of a healthier lifestyle, but this year I was determined to make some changes....
Food:  I now make my own pack lunch trying to achieve at least 3 of my 5 fruit & veg options. I have wholemeal sandwiches, yoghurt, crudités and fruit..which I snack on during the day. My day starts with porridge, fruit compote and a banana. I drink decaffeinated coffee and water during the day. I try to cook from scratch each evening and not opt for the easy option of a ready meal.
Exercise: is a little bit like an ex boyfriend to me... We don't have a great relationship! I wish I could find an exercise that I love... I have however started to walk more, I leave the car at home 3 days a week and walk to the station ... This is about a 20 minute walk and is lovely now the mornings are light and the birds are singing. I also over the last month have gone out for  a 5 mile walk early on the Sunday morning. I've downloaded a couple of books and now walk a number of chapters a week listening on my iPod.
With the number of apps to help me along my way... I'm hoping to feel a little fitter by the end of the year.... My goal is to have a lovely bicycle to potter about on, but currently wouldn't inflict my behind on a bike to anyone!
Looking forward to reading what you all do to stay healthy and fit..

Saturday, 4 May 2013

5 blogs I love...

I love blogging, it saved from myself a few years ago and has extended my wardrobe of friends in a way I never imagined. 3 of my favourite blogs I follow ( I have lots I follow via google reader & bloglovin, please do not be offended if not listed here!) have been with me from the beginning.... and I have been lucky to meet up with the 3 writers and we now share a "virtual" friendship.
They are;

  • Florence & Mary  - the world of Victoria, full of fashion & fun. I have met up with Victoria several times, along with her friend Kelly, who now I regard as my friends too... It's been lovely sharing our lives and meeting up over coffee over the last 4 years to catch up in real life as well as blog land. 
  • The wonderful world of Ali McNamara - snippets of Ali's daily life, along with snippets and teasers of her novels. I became friends with Ali via twitter a couple of years ago after her first book was published. We met up and have since shared lots of emails / links discovering a mutual love for New York & Bradley Copper... Both feature heavily in her 3rd novel... From Notting hill to New York actually! ...
  • Mrs M's meanderings the lovely Caroline writes his blog and she again has been with me from the early years, we meet up when she visits London and I love reading about her boot fair finds and life in the West Country countryside.... Although from the comments she leaves me, I know there is a city girl fighting to get out of the country!... I'm currently loving all her budget beauty buys... As budget & beauty never go side by side in my thinking!
  • Just me, my soldier & our 4 little chicks is the blog of Stephanie. It's the life of a soldiers wife, who in the time that I have followed her as moved 3 times, husband has been deployed 3 times, gave birth to twins which resulted in her having 4 girls under 4!!...  on top of that she still, crafts, blogs, & scrapbooks...
  • Chicklit Chloe - blog dedicated to chicklit reviews and forthcoming releases... My perfect escape. A lovely fun read.
As I have embarked on this blog everyday in May I have added some new blogs to my list who I have started to follow. I am looking forward to getting to know you all a little better as the month progresses...

Thanks for providing with endless hours or entertainment... you brighten up my days x

Friday, 3 May 2013

A day in the Life...

of me!...
Day started with a lie in this morning as its Friday! ...Alarm trilling at 5.15am, a welcome half hour extra than usual... Rushed out the door at 6.05, jumped in trusty Florence my little car and drove to station. Caught the 6.24 Greater Anglia train at.....This morning was lovely and bright, which lightened everyone's mood. Once on board I browse my kindle library to select my daily read...this kept me entertained through to Stratford where I hop off the overhead and jump onto the tube. I usually stand ( yes even at that time of the morning, & hence why a kindle is invaluable for commuting) until Bank when the crowds get lighter and I sit until I embark at Bond street.
I quick stop at Starbucks & Pret for breakfast pickup before heading down Oxford Street to the home of Mr Selfridge.... arriving at my desk for 7.30, half hour later than the rest of the week. Coffee and porridge, banana & compote are the perfect start for my morning.  Fun & Frivolity in office as its one of the teams birthday.

Everyday is different, today was a day of 2 halves; training and back to back meetings filled this morning and closing month end filled this afternoon. This was celebrated with a quick after work drink in the sunshine with my team. Followed by my commute home and the homemade chicken korma for supper.... Now time to put feet up and flick through today's Blog everyday in May posts..

Thursday, 2 May 2013

Spring bloom

Today's theme for Blog everyday in May is Spring.... What do I love,... first and foremost is the cherry blossom on the trees. Commuting in and out of London daily when invariabley I leave home in the dark and arrive home in the evening in the dark, a small blossoming tree can lift a weary spirit.
I get excited when I see the daffodils poke their heads above the grass and start to bloom because I
know that lighter days are on there way.... It's the little things that make a difference and a little
injection of colour makes all the difference for me..taking me from the grey and gloom of winter towards blue skies and a little warmth....

Wednesday, 1 May 2013

5 lines...

Blog every day May ~ Day 1
Subject : me in 5 lines! (Feels like Blog online dating!)
5 words to describe me: Loyal, Caring, Stubborn, Independent, Kind hearted
5 things I love:(friends & family excluded) New York, Cupcakes, Books, Coffee, Handbags
5 things I loath: Snakes, Marmite, Coriander, Cucumber, Feet
5 things I like to do; Read, Knit, Bake, watch Rugby, take Photos.
Here is me in one of my favourite places in Central Park on Christmas Day 2010, why am I proud, because I spent the holiday period on my own in NY having an adventure.