Friday, 31 July 2015

Be true to yourself | Lifestyle

This will be the first time I've discussed this topic on my blog, sexuality. Specifically my sexuality. I married a man and had a baby so general presumptions are that I'm straight, when in fact I'm bisexual. When you meet someone initially you don't say 'hi I'm Michelle and I'm bisexual' just to set facts straight, but I wish it was that simple.

I'm writing this post because I've been reading things recently about being trapped in a situation where you feel you are unable to be 'you'. I would hate to be living in a world where I felt that I couldn't be 'me' as a person, and had to hide from everyone. I couldn't imagine how draining that would be on a daily basis to pretend to be someone else. In fact, it scares me.

My sexuality has never defined me as a person either. I came out when I was 19 to my mum with the words 'I think I might be gay' and asked her to tell my dad for me, I was too embarrassed. My parents have always been supportive of me and have met both my previous girlfriends and boyfriends. I've always been out in the workplace and never had a problem either. Perhaps I'm just one of the lucky ones who hasn't suffered persecution at all; apart from the occasional 'eurgh look at that lesbian and her girlfriend' comments from childish teenagers.

I must admit, sometimes it can be hard to be accepted with friends. I've lost a lot of gay friends because I've had a boyfriend and 'turned straight', and I've lost of a lot of straight friend when I've had a girlfriend and 'turned gay'. The usual 'you're just greedy' or 'you can't make your mind up' comments are always thrown around too. Mostly I just shrug it off and have a laugh because at the end of the day, it doesn't matter to me. Nowadays, my friends are my age or older, we've all grown up and become more accepting and generally couldn't give a damn what I or anyone else did.

A couple of questions that I've been asked too:
How do you know you're bisexual? Generally because I fancy both men and women.
How does it feel to be bisexual? I'm not sure how to answer this, because ultimately it feels like 'me'. I didn't just wake up one day and decide that I wanted to try anything new, it's always been a part of me and I've known I've liked both sexes since I was around 10. Obviously trying to work out my feelings when I was younger was pretty hard and that took it's toll until I was around 19/20, but that's all part of being a teenager and discovering yourself.
Are you greedy? Well no I'm not actually. Generally like the population, if I see someone and fancy them, I fancy them. It's not rocket science either.
Do you just want attention? Not really, like I said in paragraph one. If I did want attention I'm quite sure the first thing I would tell people was my sexuality, but like I've mentioned again, it doesn't define who I am as a person.
You must like threesomes? This is such a personal question I've been asked lots. I've never had one. And it boils down to the whole 'no I won't sleep with your girlfriend and you can't watch' either. I'm not down with all that kinda thing.
You must cheat on your partner or sleep around? Yet again, no. I've never done that. I do have a tendency to swap sexes once I've had the opposite. For example, had a boyfriend, split up, want a girlfriend, etc.
Do you prefer one sex to the other? Yes I do. I'm not sure whether this is me or whether this happens with most bisexual people, but I do have a tendency to sway towards men. I feel better stability in a relationship with a man but that's because my past experiences with women haven't been that good. Although to be honest when I was in my teens and early twenties my relationships with men weren't that good either. It's safe to say I haven't found the right person yet.

Ultimately, you fall for someone who you like, and that's how the cookie crumbles. I just wish the world was an easier place to live in, without persecution, and so that people really could just be themselves, and not have to hide from the world and create a separate persona; because I've never felt the need to do this for myself. Like I said earlier, I must just be lucky.

Thursday, 30 July 2015

Orla Kiely Sicilian Lemon Scented Candle | Lifestyle

It won't come as a surprise to my readers that I am a huge fan or Orla Kiely prints. You may have seen my recent Orla Kiely x Maclaren pushchair purchase here, and my goodness it's been the best buy I've ever had. I think I should definitely do a review of it. Anyway, recently I came across the gorgeous Orla Kiely scented candles and knew I would have to give them a try. 

I chose the Sicilian lemon scent, and just hoped that it would be as good as other well-known scented candles out there. I couldn't have been happier when it arrived, and it's definitely living up to expectations too.

The Sicilian lemon scented candle comes in a Climbing Daisy print jar that will have multiple stationery uses when the candle has burnt out. The jar also comes with a built in heat protection mat so the glass won't overheat and scorch any of your surfaces.

The fragrance is definitely there, but not too overpowering and really does smell like Sicilian lemons; super citrussy and refreshing in any room. The candle if well looked after should last for 50 hours burning time. I've noticed that you only need to keep the candle lit for an hour or so and the scent lingers for hours afterwards, so a worthy purchase.

I've noticed the candles are different prices online, but I've picked the Orla Kiely site and gone with their price of £25 for the 200g candle*. It's definitely a worthy purchase, and I'm sure all the scents are to die for. I regret not picking the earl grey or rhubarb but these are good purchases and I'm sure when this burns out I'll have to add more to my collection, if not for the scents on their own, but definitely for the jars!
This blog post has been written in collaboration and may contain product sample(s); all content contained within, images (unless specified) and opinions are my own.

Back to College Stationery Wish List #1 | Lifestyle & Stationery

So as the title suggests, I'm going back to college in September! Some of you might already know from Facebook and Twitter that I applied to study a Level 2 Diploma in Hairdressing, had a college interview earlier this week and was offered a place on the spot. Of course I had to accept, which means a whole new range of stationery for me to get my mitts on. I've already picked up some stationery for my next University module in October, but decided that I would have to have more...

This is the life of a stationery addict.

And because I'm a stationery addict, I've decided there will probably be more than one stationery wish list post. I've already bought a couple of items from this post (namely the Lamy Safari pen, the Kate Spade paper clips and the ban.do agenda) however, there is so much more than I want. I'm never satisfied.

I've seen a couple of blog posts recently where everyone is jumping on the ban.do and Kate Spade stationery wagons, and of course mine is not too dissimilar, but I thought I would mix it up a little with Paperchase who quite often get forgotten about in the stationery world. They currently have a 3 for 2 offer on their stationery at the moment so I might have to stock up; I mean who doesn't need a pink pony USB stick?!


You can thank me later for all the pretty things soon to be in your life...

Wednesday, 29 July 2015

Birra Moretti Gran Tour (30th July - 1st August), Leeds | Lifestyle

I'm really exited to share with you a passion of mine, food; and what better of a way to celebrate this than heading to the Moretti Gran Tour over the next couple of days in Leeds. Essentially, the Moretti Gran Tour is an Italian street food festival, displaying foods from various parts of Italy. Of course I'll be heading down to the opening media evening tomorrow where no doubt my eyes will be bigger than my belly. This is the first time the Moretti Gran Tour has been to Leeds, and I'm hoping it will come back for many years to come.

Who will be there?

  • The Pizza Fella - Friarielli pizza from Naples
  • Ipsum Vintoteco - Arrosticini from Abruzzo
  • Tigellae - Fusilli with pulled pork from Modena
  • Arancina - Pizza Alla Palla from Lazio
  • Pasta E Basta - Gnocchi with slow cooked pork shoulder from Valle D'Aosta
  • Brio Gelati - Geleto 
  • Arancini Brothers - Arancini from Sicily 

The Pizza Fella, Ipsum Vinoteca and Tigellae will be serving specialty cuisine from all over Italy, alongside live music and the opportunity to enjoy Birra Moretti. Each vendor will showcase authentic cooking methods and share signature regional dishes they are representing, such as a pizza from Naples, lamb from Abruzzo, gnocchi from Pasta E Basta, plus a host of others.
I think I'm mostly excited about trying the arancini balls, I've seen these pop up quite a lot on My Kitchen Rules Australia (yes, and what?! I watched all five season of that bad boy), although pizza from Naples is possibly the best thing in the world. All in all, I can't wait for this event. 
Not only do you get to sample some of the greatest Italian dishes, this time the Moretti Gran Tour will incorporate masterclasses too, so you can learn to make pasta etc. 
Advanced tickets are priced at £10 plus a £1 booking fee. This includes two Birra Morettis, two dishes from any vendor on-site and a gelato. Tickets can be booked at www.designmynight.com

Wednesday, 22 July 2015

Body Shop Event, Skipton | Beauty

A couple of weeks back I headed over to Skipton for the Body Shop's very first blogger event. It was intimate, which I absolutely loved, and gave me chance to talk to the staff about their products. Something that I find incredibly essential when you head to a meet up. Only four bloggers attended at the timing didn't suit everyone, but this was a great time to chat to chat to everyone and get to know each other. I already knew Beth from BethTinkerbell, and we popped for a quick coffee and cake before the event started.

I haven't been to Skipton in a long time (probably around ten years since I worked there!) and didn't even know they had a Body Shop, so this was a nice surprised to be invited. When Shannen, the store manager asked to join the Yorkshire Bloggers Facebook group and sent out invites, I knew I had to go. It's rare that events happen closer to my home, and that I don't have to travel into Leeds all the time, something of which I can't do very often now.

When we arrived, we were treated to a beautiful hand massage with some of their newest products. First of all we were asked if we wanted to try the Virgin Mojito or the Fuji Green Tea range. I know what the Mojito would smell like, mint obviously, so decided that I would opt for the Green Tea; and I'm so glad I did. It was beautiful and refreshing, bitter and very unlike their common fruity ranges. First of all my hands were introduced to the body scrub and then on to body butter. My hands felt refreshed and soft. I suffer with a lot of eczema and dry skin, so this relieved them without aggravating my sensitivities.

I was then treated to a quick cleanse with the Chamomile Cleansing Butter, one of my favourite products, which removed all traces of my make up and thick eyeliner with one quick swipe, leaving my skin soft and well cleansed.

We then headed over to make overs. I haven't used Body Shop make up products in quite some time so it was a refreshing change to be introduced to some of their newer products. As always, I love their bronzer. Light in shade and well pigmented, leaving a natural bronzed glow. I was also introduced to the Honey Bronze Highlighting Dome and had to come home with one of these gorgeous cream to powder blushes. It suits my complexion perfectly. Also highly on my product list (and another product I had to come home with) was the Universal Lip & Cheek Velvet Stick. Although this comes in sleek black packaging and looks very dark purple, it's a pH balanced product that will change according to the pH in your lips. On my lips it's a perfect fuchsia, and with it being a velvet texture, comes across as more of a balm and leaves my lips feeling very soft and moisturised.

I was introduced to so many new products, some of which I came away with and some of which are on my 'to buy' list, and a real ethic of what the Body Shop is all about. Since the 90's, it seems to have lost it's way to buyers, but with their new collections and new spins on old products, I definitely think they will find their way back into everyone's lives.

There will be another blog post shortly featuring my goody bag and items I picked up when I was there too, a real treat for all my beauty readers.

Monday, 20 July 2015

Little Fingers Baby Foods ~ A Review | My Motherhood Diary

When babies start to wean it's imperative they have the right diet and right foods. I recently attended a HENRY (Health, Exercise and Nutrition for the Really Young) course at my local Children's Centre, and although Dexter is much too old to be weaning, I learnt a lot about first finger foods and introducing different textures and flavours to babies.

When Dexter was young, I was lucky that I had an Annabel Karmel app for my iPhone and made a lot of his purees and finger foods myself, but they are very time consuming and involve a lot of ingredients, so many that I was making more trips to the supermarket for him than I was doing myself. Little Fingers Baby Food helps to alleviate that problem.

Little Fingers Baby Food offer delicious and nutritious organic baby foods which are freshly handmade, frozen to keep extra fresh, and delivered to your home. They are based in West Yorkshire however, are branching out and are available in some local stores too.

When Little Fingers popped over a couple of treats for Dexter his eyes lit up and immediately started grabbing the packaging. After a little chat with Little Fingers, and on her exit to the door, he jumped up and followed her out! Definitely wanted more snacks.

So what did we get?
Squash Bites, Apple and Sultana Mini Cakes, Lentil and Cheese Fingers, and Courgette Bites.
All come frozen and packaged well, with a very good date on them for the freezer.

First of all we tried the apple and sultana mini cakes, obviously I had to have one too. They are the perfect size for little hands, and he wolfed it down quickly. They tasted absolutely delicious, and are a quick and easy snack to grab either at snack time or on the go. Secondly we had a mixed dinner of squash bites, courgette bites and the lentil and cheese fingers with sweetcorn and peas. Again, gone within a few minutes! I love the fact they are the right size for him to feed himself, and he really enjoyed all the different flavours. It's something a little different to what he would normally eat, and they are ideal to keep in the freezer when you need a quick snack or an easy dinner.

So what did we think?
Dexter loved each and every one of the bits, and ate them quickly. You could tell by his expression that he was interested in each of the flavours too which is essential when babies start to wean. Not only do these bites help Dexter him feed himself (which is a huge relief to me) it also encourages coordination and independence too.

I would definitely recommend them to all parents who are about to start weaning, and to those who have hungry toddlers too!

You can buy Little Fingers Baby Food direct from their website here, delivery is only available around the Huddersfield/West Yorkshire area, and products start at a couple of pounds per packet.
This blog post has been written in collaboration with Little Fingers Baby Food, and may contain product sample(s); all content contained within, images (unless specified) and opinions are my own.

Saturday, 18 July 2015

Clash of the prints feat. Radley Bloomsbury | Fashion

If you read my blog regularly, you'll know I'm certainly no stranger to clashing prints. Actually, I think I only tend to wear clothes that have clashing prints nowadays, but anyway, this was one of my latest outfit posts. I took it last week before the dreaded summer cold/tonsillitis hit me and made me nestle away to watch numerous seasons of House, MD on Netflix. We all know this is my current obsession and won't end until the eighth season.

One of the main features of my outfit, and what I think holds the outfit together perfectly by adding a pop of bright colour to it, my gorgeous Radley Bloomsbury. I never used to be a fan of Radley bags until I saw this one, I've always been put off with the large dog tag however, the dog is so small and cute on this that it looks really amazing. The Radley Bloomsbury is from their heritage range, and looks very similar to a hat box. I think this is what really attracted me to the bag, as well as the gorgeous bright turquoise colour. The bag is large enough to fit my purse, keys, and phone. It comes with internal compartments to fit your phone in however, I have an iPhone 6 Plus so mine doesn't, but the bag opens very well (not fully) so nothing falls out. The bag also comes with a dust bag to keep it protected at all times.

It looks very sleek and chic, and comes in two other colours: grey and midnight blue. Both are absolutely gorgeous and would match my wardrobe down to a tee. I've had a look at a couple of their other bags in the heritage range and I must admit have been really pleasantly surprised. Not a brand I would have initially bought from, but definitely wouldn't overlook next time. I'm a sucker for a good quality leather bag, and they meet all my needs.

It's easily become my go-to grab bag, now Dexter is older and I can store his nappies and wipes in his new buggy, I have no need to cart my enormous nappy changing bag everywhere I go. I have so many things in my wardrobe that will work so well with this bag, and it definitely fits in with my prints and vintage themed wardrobe.

My outfit consists of New Look Inspire black joggers that I picked up in the sale a couple of months back, teamed with (yet again) a New Look Inspire black square print top, also picked up in the same sale, along with my trusty Primark jacket that cost me £3 a couple of years back, yet again in the sale. The shoes are just standard £4 black ballet pumps from Primark. Can you see a theme going on here? All of these are old season clothes so aren't available online.

Also, yes my hair is blue, but this was a complete accident. I bought the wrong hair dye that I presumed was the one I needed only to discover after I had applied it as a tint, that I'd used the 'colour shot' for extra vivid grey colour. Only I'd used that as a colour, not a shot. It's fading to a sea-green that I'm not too keen on, so I think I'll be going pink/lavender again next week.

This blog post has been written in collaboration with Radley London, and may contain product sample(s); all content contained within, images (unless specified) and opinions are my own.