About Me

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Northampton, United Kingdom
Welcome to my Blog. I set this up after realising I spend far too much time updating my Facebook status and living in hope that one day a celeb will reply to one of my Tweets. So if you like reality TV, makeup, short story ideas, magazines, chocolate and the occasional gym class, then this is the blog for you. Now get that tea brewing, grab a couple of digestives and let yourself escape into my world...you never know, you might like it here!

Thought of the day...

"The best time for new beginnings is now..."

Wednesday, 24 January 2018

Smear Fear

Over the last few days I've been listening intently to the news that more women than ever are refusing to turn up to their smear tests because they are embarrassed about it. As someone in her late thirties who routinely has smear tests, I feel compelled to reach out to those who are making the decision not to get them done. 

If you have never had one done before, I can completely understand why you would be feeling apprehensive, and I can also understand if it may be your second, third, or even tenth time and you're still feeling like that. 

Let's face it, lying on a bed in a doctor's surgery with your lower body on show for a nurse who is going to insert a weird contraption into you and scrape away cells from your cervix doesn't exactly make for a comfortable experience. Even I feel vulnerable and embarrassed whenever I get mine done, but we need to be practical about this. Would you rather spend 10 mins every three years feeling a little bit embarrassed going through the process of a smear test, or deal with the consequences of what could happen if you are not tested? 

I know that may sound harsh, but I want to reach out and put a bit of perspective on this, and if what I am writing helps just one woman out there, then I will be happy. 

Remember, when you go for your smear test, you are seeing a nurse or doctor who does these tests all the time. To that practitioner, it is simply another routine procedure they do day in and day out. They are not there to judge or make comment and they will do their up most to make you feel comfortable and at ease. It's very quick and despite how you may feel at the time, the moment it is done you will feel so much more relieved and happy you have gone through with it. 

So if, while you are reading this, you are one of those girls who has cancelled or not turned up to your smear test, please rethink your decision. It really isn't as bad as you may think and you'll thank yourself in the long term for going through with it. If I could come with you for moral support, or at least be on hand with a large glass of wine afterwards, I really would, but I am with you in spirit fully supporting you through this. 

We can do this ladies, let's confront the fear and do good for our health. 2018 is the year of the woman, so I'm uniting with you all and encouraging you to book in for your smear tests. 

Let's do this! xx

Friday, 19 January 2018

Happy New year....

Er.....is it too late to say that? I hope not! I know, I know, I'm slacking. "Why haven't you been updating your blog, Tanya?" "When is the next story coming out?" "Tanya, don't neglect the writing!"

What can I say other than, I'm sorry! 

Again, life has been all kinds of hectic, but since the beginning of this year I have been taking some time out to refocus and relax, and it's really helped. Lots of great things are happening again for me this year and I want to stop and enjoy them a bit more. January is definitely a month for reflecting and implementing good changes, and already, I have a great feeling about what's to come this year. 

I won't lie, I'm feeling somewhat apprehensive about what I have in store, but then I wouldn't be me if I wasn't worrying about something! I am actually trying to change the way I worry so much about everything, and ask myself why I seem to worry all the time, but it's one of those things that will take time. I'll get there.

So what am I doing? Well, I'm starting with Yoga. Just this week I did my first session and will be doing another this evening. It's only a 20 minute beginners video I found on YouTube, but already I think it's great. I'm also setting myself up to begin training for a 5k run. To be honest with you, at the moment, I'm not in the right head space for it, but it is something I want to do. I just need to find the right training programme that will work for me and then I'll be on it! 

Sleep is another focus. I'm terrible at staying up late and feeling tired all day, and that needs to stop. Over the last couple of weeks I've been making a conscious effort to go to bed at a reasonable time and I'm feeling so much better for it. 

There are lots more to come, but I'll update you as the weeks go by. For now, it's back to work. Enjoy the rest of your day, lovelies.

Monday, 6 November 2017

Feeling festive

I have an unwritten rule in my life that I don't like to talk about Christmas out loud with people until the 6th November. The reason I do this is because I'm that girl who gets so unbelievably excited in the run up to 25th December that if I started any earlier, I would guarantee to annoy a lot of people! 

I also refuse to let myself think about it until today onwards because there are still so many wonderful things that happen before Christmas that are important to me: my brother's birthday in October, Halloween and of course bonfire night, which are all worthy of being enjoyed first. 

My Christmas cake

That said, it doesn't stop me writing things down and quietly planning for the festive season, and the top of my list every year is of course, my homemade Christmas cake! Between you and me, that pops into my head around September time, mainly because I have to make it so far in advance and I always like to do it over the last weekend in October because that gives me plenty of time to spend feeding it. So yes, the cake is baked and ready to get drunk on Brandy before I marzipan and ice it mid December. 

So here we are today, 6th November and, 7 weeks today, it will be CHRISTMAS DAY! Can you believe it? I've already been looking at present ideas for my nephews and wondering what I can buy my family this year. I even spent yesterday watching some of those heartwarming Christmas movies you find on TV now. I know, I know, it was a day early, but I was home alone, so nobody knew! 

That's what I love though; the feeling of togetherness and being with my family. Seeing my nephews getting excited about Father Christmas coming to town, enjoying Bailey's and homemade mince pies, and of course, decorating the house with lovely trees and sparkly lights. It really is a magical time.

Next thing to do: writing my Christmas card list! 

Tuesday, 31 October 2017

When things go bump in the night

Today is Halloween and there are certainly some strange things going on around me. I've had pens disappearing off my desk at work, my cat starting ferociously at absolutely nothing and my next door neighbours are having a bonfire and fireworks party.

I guess that's all part of the spooktacular that surrounds today. We've had a flurry of trick or treaters knocking on the door - luckily my housemate bought a bag of sweets just incase so we've been able to get involved. I've only ever been trick or treating once when I was 16. I know, I know, who dresses up and goes begging for sweets at the age of 16? Now I'm all about getting dressed up and going out for a few drinks and that's exactly what I did on Saturday. Dressing up as a devil I went to the Picturedrome with some friends for a night of horror and lots of prosecco! 

Now I don't have the best track record when it comes to going out for Halloween because I always end up with my head down the toilet the following morning and the whole day is a write off, but the devils were on my side this year and I survived with just a minor headache and dehydration! 

Another first for me this Halloween is I finally got round to calving a pumpkin after my housemate bought us both one to decorate the house with. I can't say I'll rush to do one again and my calving skills are a lot to be desired, but in the spirit of Halloween, it was fun! 

Now as the stragglers continue to knock on our door, I have given up the scaremongering in favour of the GBBO final. The kettle has boiled and a big cup of tea is calling so I'm off to indulge in some cake envy for the next hour! 

Happy Halloween lovelies x

Sunday, 22 October 2017

The Chocolate Elf

Christmas is getting closer and there's nothing I love more than planning what presents I'm going to buy, baking cakes and mince pies and watching cheesy festive movies. What I also love is the way in which people come together to help and support those who need it. 

That's exactly what local Facebook group, The Chocolate Elf are doing. Set up in 2015 and run by a group of people in Northampton, The Chocolate Elf set out to deliver Christmas cheer by donating advent calendars and selection boxes to children in Northamptonshire.

After what started off as a status update from a young lady called Kelly McAlinden, asking if anyone would like to contribute to a local food bank after she bought a stack of selection boxes for them to give out on Christmas Day, soon turned into a thriving charitable production with the help of her friends, and a mass of people and local businesses within the community. 

"Our dream is that on 1st December every child in Northamptonshire should have an advent calendar to open, on the 25th December every child in Northamptonshire should have a selection box to open."

Three years later, the group have have now identified a range of good causes to deliver to including Northampton General Hospital, St Andrews Healthcare and to local young carers in the area. They are now also taking donations of adult socks and include the elderly and homeless with whom they are helping. 

The group have set up various drop off points around the county to give people the opportunity to get involved in their local areas, and already the donations are coming in. Not only that, The Chocolate Elf have this year expanded to Newmarket, Bury, Eastleigh and Southampton so it won't be long before they are reaching world domination! 

So when you are out and about over the next few weeks, spare a thought for this group and if you can, pop a couple of extra items into your shopping trolly that can be donated and let's all do our bit to help. 

For more information on where to donate, visit The Chocolate Elf on Facebook.

Sunday, 27 August 2017

Happy bank holiday, lovelies

There's something to be said about sunny bank holiday, and today is no exception.

I woke up to photographs from my family Watsapp chat from my mum, who is currently enjoying a break in Devon, and sent a gorgeous picture of the view from her early morning walk around Batham, followed closely behind from my brother, who is on a holiday in Dorset, and spending the day at Shore Road beach with his family.

It is now 3.30pm and I am chilling in my back garden, music on, sun shining and enjoying a vodka and diet coke before catching up with some friends later this evening. My next door neighbours have the same idea. On one side the family are enjoying a late lunch together and being entertained by my kitten, Domino, who keeps jumping into their garden, much to the excitement of the little girl who is with them. On the other side of me, it is very much the same scene, only the bbq is on the go and talk about Sarah Harding's win on Big Brother is very much a topic of debate!

The weather is being particularly kind to us too. As Brits, we are used to expecting less sunshine and more rain these days, however I think the Gods have decided to give us a break and departed the grey, unleased the blue and it's lovely! Everyone is in good spirits. I can hear music in the distance, champagne is being popped and cheers can be heard from a nearby birthday celebration. It really is a lovely way for us to enjoy the last of this years bank holidays.

In a few hours time I am going to be venturing out to a nearby pub garden for a much needed catch up with some girlfriends, but in the meantime, my feet are up, the sun cream is on and I am relishing in some much needed vitamin D!

Enjoy the rest of your bank holiday weekend, lovelies.

Sunday, 20 August 2017

Live life, dream big and go for it

Over the last week and a half I have been spending some much needed time away from work and recharging the batteries and I can't tell you how much I have been enjoying it. After what has felt like a year of non-stop work, I have spent time thinking about what I'm doing with my life and the priorities I have been putting on the back burner, and it has really got me thinking. 

Two days ago whilst going through my Facebook memories, I stumbled across a message left on my page from a guy I got talking to at University. Talk about a blast from the past! Doing what no doubt everyone does in these situations, I clicked on his page to have a nosey at what he's up to now and to my shock, I discovered his page had been turned into a memorial of his life. This lovely man who I knew for a short time in my life had lost his to a rare form of cancer, leaving behind a wife and two children. My heart broke in two right there and I found myself crying my eyes out. He was only a year older than me and although we only knew each other for a short time, he really was one of life's good guys. 

Since Friday, so many thoughts have been going through my mind. I have been thinking about how his passing must be affecting all those so close to him and it has reminded me again just how precious life is. 

On Saturday night I was going to meet up with a guy I've known for a few years. We originally met on Tinder (Yes, I admit it, I'm on there!) and without going into too much detail, it didn't work out. Despite really liking him and both of us wanting the same thing (to settle down, get married, kids etc etc) for some reason or another fate had other ideas and it never happened. However, we have recently been in touch with each other again, and although I had my reservations, I agreed to meet up with him and last night was going to be it, but once again, fate got in the way and it didn't happen. 

Whilst you may find it odd that I have skipped so frivolously to this topic, the reason I am bringing it up is because despite agreeing to meet him, I admit, I was apprehensive. I was worried about how it would make me feel seeing him again, but after my Facebook shock on Friday, I realised life is too short to be worrying about that and I should go for it. That being said, he cancelled on me anyway so it wasn't meant to be. 

Still in my reflection bubble, I have been thinking about all sorts of things; maybe a little too much thinking, but I wouldn't be me if I wasn't trying to over analyse and justify myself. What I have decided though is I am a good person and I deserve someone good to come into my life and treat me well. I also know that despite my anxiety, my sensitivity and my perseverance to try new things, the only way I am going to really live my life is if I do something about it. 

Although the work rush has started to settle down, I know when I go back next week there will be lots to do and I don't doubt for a minute that it will get any less busy. However, what I do know is it's time to re-evaluate my work/life balance and start putting my dreams into plans once more. There are still so many things I want to do and somewhere along the line I have forgotten about them. Not any more. Now is the time for me to focus not just on work, but on myself and start crossing off my own personal "to do" list. 

Life is short and it's so important to do everything you dream of while you still can. To the man I once knew, Rest In Peace. I send all my love and thoughts to your family and friends and am so sorry to hear your life was cruelly taken so soon. During the brief time when we crossed paths, it was a pleasure to know you and I can only imagine how big the gap must be in the lives of those you have left behind.