Saturday, 2 May 2015

5 Ways I Like To Spend A Night In

It's not often I go out on the town. Not anymore anyway. Now I am far from being ready to hang up my heels and go into early retirement but the whole prospect of going out on the lash just doesn't appeal to me as much as it once did. So more often than not I find myself indoors for the night and looking for a way to spend my evening and here are my top 5 choices..

1. Catching up with all my Sky + recordings. Ok so this is going to make me sound ridiculously sad but I have so many recordings set up on my Sky box, I very rarely get to watch any of them at the time of airing so literally have to catch up with everything and watch an obscene amount of programmes in one night. I get far too excited than I probably should at the thought of a whole night to myself with nothing but my Sky planner.

2. Our regular "Treat Nights". Since being on Weight Watchers , Saturday nights have become my treat night. Not only is it a day I look forward to because I can treat myself to something yummy but its also a day Aally has come to love also. She loves treat night more than me as it means pizza, popcorn and a movie. She is a big movie buff like me so loves to settle down in front of a good flick with a big bowl of popcorn.

3. Eyes down for a bit of bingo. I have played online bingo for a few years now. Nothing excessive just every now and then. I love the thrill of being close to a win and given that I cant always make it to the bingo halls online bingo is a far better option. I can socialize and win some money (hopefully) without even leaving the sofa. Most sites offer great bonuses for new players too. Just check out a bingo comparison site and see which big bonuses you could claim. Who knows you might be the next jackpot winner!

4. Game Night. Aalliyah is an absolute board game nut! As much as she is glued to her iPod or the Xbox most of the time, she loves nothing more than playing a good board game. I always make sure she gets lots of new games for Christmas so she has enough to last throughout the year. Game nights are brilliant and we love to get competitive with knock out rounds of monopoly, connect 4 and battleships live. She actually has around 4 games still sealed from Christmas that we are yet to try out so I think is game night is on the cards again soon.

5. Catching up on the chores. Ok I wasn't actually doing these in order but somehow the housework has ended up in last place (Funny that) Now I know most of us don't see housework as a pleasant way to spend an evening but with work and other things in the week, sometimes things just get in the way and I put things off until the next day (then the next, then the next) A pattern forms and before you know it the washing is piled high and the dust is an inch thick. Sometimes I enjoy just catching up on the cleaning at the end of the week.

So there are my top 5 ways I would usually spend my night in. Exciting eh? How do you spend a quiet night in if you are lucky enough to have one?

*Written in collaboration with Greatbritishbingo.co.uk 

Friday, 1 May 2015

The A - Z Of Me

After seeing many bloggers taking part in the A-Z of me challenge, I decided to give it a go myself as I saw it as a great way of sharing a little more insight into our little world..

So here goes ..

A is for Aalliyah. The ultimate love of my life and my best friend.



B is for Black Ops . Just one of my guilty pleasures. I love playing Xbox with Aalliyah (even if I am ridiculously bad at it)

C is for Cancer. Something that we have had to face as a family on far too many occasions. My mum has battled it numerous times and is currently finishing up treatment to kick its butt once more.

D is for Dinner. Yes I am one of those annoying people that snap away at meal times and share my food with the world. Because I am following the weight watchers plan I am often instagramming my meals for my fellow weight watching followers,

E is for Emma. That's me! Emma Louise (of course)

F is for Fitbit. I have just treated myself to a Fitbit charge watch. I am logging all my activity and really trying to up my mileage with my walking.

G is for Gordon Ramsay. Anyone that knows me with know I am a bit of a Gordon Ramsay NUT! Totally in love with him and his shows. I had my day made a while back when he tweeted and followed me on Twitter!

H is for Hell's Kitchen. One of my all time favorite shows! I literally plan my whole week around settling down to this! #shutitdown

I is for Irish Lotto. Something I have always been interested in playing. I have always been put off at the thought of having to go into a betting shop but now I know you can buy lottery tickets online I've played it for the next 5 weeks. So keep them fingers crossed for me! 

J is for Jam tarts. Love them but its always the apricot ones that seem to be left in the packet.

K is for Kicking the habit. I used to be a smoker (Quite a heavy one in fact) But have been smoke free for about 4 years now and have never looked back.

L is for Love. Something I finally feel open to. After being on my own for so many years I finally feel comfortable at the prospect of a new romance.

M is for Minecraft . This game quite literally took over my house and much like my slight COD obsession I am quite the Minecraft lover. Seriously , You wanna see the excitement of finding diamonds after a hard days mining.. Too far?

N is for Nicky. My amazing big sister who I admire and love with all my heart. I honestly couldn't wish for a better sister. She is my rock and my best friend.



O is for Ordinary Lies. A brilliant program on BB1 recently. I am a big TV/movie lover. This was a great series and if you didn't get a chance to watch it then you should definitely check it out on iPlayer.

P is for Photography. Something I have always dreamed about studying further and only just had the confidence to even think about going for it. Looking into further study at the moment and hoping to pursue my hobby and turn it into something more professional.

Q is for Quorn. I hold my hands up . I am a fully fledged carnivore and I love my meat. But I have also (since joining weight watchers) found a new love for Quorn. It makes a pleasant change and I love the mince in particular.




R is for Running. Something I have always assumed I could never do, but you know what? Since losing weight and keeping up with my fitness I do often have an urge to run. Granted, I can barely run a mile and at such a slow pace but nevertheless.. I run.

S is for Snake. My little sidekick is such an entertainer she has recently made her own Youtube channel. She is now know to everyone by Aally the snake. She makes me laugh so much with her weird and wonderful videos.

T is for Toys R Us. It's where I work. I started out nearly 2 years ago as a Christmas temp and was offered a permanent position shortly after.

U is for Unfriended. A new film which is due in the cinemas very soon and one that I am very keen to go and see. It looks like a great movie. I am a huge horror fan so anything dark or sinister wins my vote.

V is for Venison. Something I had gone my whole life without trying until recently. I absolutely love venison burgers at the minute. They are just divine and so lean. Absolutely no fat and so low in points for us Weight Watchers.

W is for Weight Watchers (Of course) I decided to join weight watchers a couple of years ago after tipping the scales at just under 20 stone! I decided enough was enough and needed to do something about it. I have since lost 5 stone. I have a long way to go and it certainly has its ups and downs but its a lifestyle change and I am in it for the long haul.

X is for Xbox. As I mentioned before its a guilty pleasure of mine. Not only for gaming but I have all my apps on there too. In particular Netflix which is also another love of my life.

Y is for YouTube. As I mentioned before Aally has her own channel and I am such a YT addict . I can sit for hours on end watching anything from hair tutorials to science experiments. I am hoping to start my own channel soon and delve into the world of vlogging.

Z is for Zumba. Something I have never tried but have been invited to go to next week. I have a feeling I may pass out after ten minutes so wish me luck.

So there you have it. The A-Z of me. I hope you enjoyed learning a little more about me and if you feel inspired to write your very own A-Z do let me know so I can pop over and have a read.


*Post written in collaboration with lottosend.com 

Monday, 20 April 2015

Stepping Into Study

When people ask that age old question "If you could go back in time and change something what would it be?", my answer is always the same. I would have gone all the way with my education. I wasn't a bad student and actually remember getting some pretty decent grades but I was young, naive and thought I knew better so ended up leaving school not having sat my exams. Something I have always wanted to do is get some form of formal qualifications under my belt since leaving school without any. Now don't get me wrong as much as I love my job (at times), working in retail is not something I saw myself doing long term and it is far from being a passion of mine. 

I have a huge interest in delving into the world of photography. It has always been an ambition of mine to study photography and one which has quite often been scoffed at by people around me. Maybe that's one of the reasons I have put off doing anything about it for so long, but if these past few years have taught me anything its that you should do what makes you happy right now. Don't put things off and don't be too scared to just go for it! With this in mind I have been scouring the local college website recently and found some interesting courses I would be keen to enroll on. I am eager to start of with some access courses to ease me in to the world of studying and get some basic qualifications behind me before moving onto a more specific course type.

Reading through the courses really excites me. I have always wanted to make a career out of something I enjoy doing just for the love of it. I love pictures (Taking them more than posing for them) although my large roll of selfies on Facebook would say different. I love the thought of capturing magical moments for someone and giving them wonderful memories that they can treasure forever. Now as much as I love snapping away on my smartphone, I think a decent camera is definitely on the cards if I do enroll on one of these courses and I am thinking that If i do take some access courses beforehand then what better way to reward myself if when I pass than a new camera? As I will be just starting out I haven't got a huge list of requirements when looking for a camera, just something tough, compact and purse friendly. I have seen a few decent cameras that fit the bill and the Panasonic Lumix Waterproof Camera really stood out for me. Its a really durable camera which given that I have dropped my phone a million times is a must for me. Its cute, compact and really affordable too and with the added benefit of being waterproof , even swimming selfies are not out of the question :)

I am hoping to call into the college at some point in the next few weeks to start the study ball rolling so will of course keep you all posted on the outcome.

I would be keen to hear from other late students who have studied or are currently in adult education. Have you taken a course later in life? 


**This post has been written by myself in collaboration with Panasonic.

Thursday, 16 April 2015

Our Easter Break - Made #BetterWithCake

It's movie night 
The popcorn is popped
And there's a big slab of cheesecake
Strawberry topped


The sun is shining
It's time for a stroll
So pack up the sarnies
And the swiss roll


Its Easter Sunday
And time for our roast dinner
Chocolate gateau for afters
Is always a winner


Time to get creative
With an afternoon of art
When the doodling is done
Enjoy tea and a bakewell tart


A day of shopping in town
Just Aally and me
A pit stop for some coffee
And a gorgeous brownie


Time for some pampering
Just me and my girl
So out come the face packs
And the Viennese Whirls


A weekend away 
Just my sister and me
Always stopping for cake
And a refreshing pot of tea


Browsing in Harrods
And admiring the price
I'd need to remortgage 
Just to afford a slice


Afternoon Tea 
With some friends after school
With a tower of temptation
To make anyone drool


I love school holidays
So many memories to make
And whatever you do
It'll be "Better With Cake"

We had an amazing few weeks over Easter filled with lots of fun and laughter. From days out in the park with Aalliyah to a weekend away in the big city with my sister. We shared some amazing moments together as  well as some pretty amazing cakes...

“This post is an entry for #betterwithcake Linky Challenge (http://bit.ly/betterwithcake), sponsored by Mr Kipling. Learn more at   https://www.facebook.com/mrkiplingcakes”



Did you enjoy your Easter holidays? I'd love to hear what you got up to.




Monday, 23 March 2015

Beating Cancer Yet Again - Walking The Walk

Like many others out there, I like to have a good moan, especially when I feel I am having the worst day ever or have been struck with a run of bad luck that just wont quit. Also like many others I am guilty of being selfish when wallowing in self pity and failing to recognize that there are a million and one other people in this world who are worse off and dealing with harder struggles than me. But just lately that's exactly what I have been doing. I've been angry with the universe and spent many nights wondering how much bad luck can one person get? Why does a person who has done no wrong deserve to be tested so many times? and why do bad things always happen to good people?

For the past few years we have had an uninvited guest in the family.... "Cancer" . For those that know me, you will remember my mum underwent surgery for bowel cancer five or so years back. After what seemed like a lifetime of treatment and recuperation, things went back to "normal" (Whatever that is) and life went on. Then a few years ago it came to light that mum had Endiometrial cancer and again underwent surgery, having a full hysterectomy to remove the tumor. It was around the same time that the doctors also discovered cancer on her liver. Cancer that had been there for so long but had been stunted in its growth from the chemotherapy she had for her previous bowel cancer. Yet again mum underwent surgery, having a liver resection to cut away the cancer. At a simple follow up appointment this year we discovered that life was not done testing us just yet. They discovered 2 groups of cells at the site of the hysterectomy and mum is actually getting ready to undergo a course of radiotherapy in the next few weeks. Life has literally been turned upside down lately and yet mum seems to be more upbeat and positive now than ever before. It is amazing and inspiring to see how positive she is and ready to kick its arse yet another time. Its hard not to get caught up in self pity at times, especially when life gives you one bad hand after the other which is why we are all thinking and acting positively as a family. Facing it head on, together and praying that this will be the last time we have to kick Cancers butt!

For those that don't know, my sister is a district nurse and is often dealing with patients who require end of life care. I honestly can't think of anything harder than dealing with this type of thing all day and having to come home and be faced with it again. I am ever so slightly bias but I think she is amazing, finding the strength to do this and still being my rock and my supportive big sister.




With that in mind I am absolutely bursting with pride that she is challenging herself and taking on a 26 mile walk in the hope of raising vital funds and helping to beat cancer sooner. She is taking part in the 2015 Moonwalk, an event which sees over 17,000 women and men, taking a stand against cancer together and walking through the night on a 26 mile walk in London. She and her fellow nurses are braving the cold and the blisters and taking part in one of Londons most-loved nights! 

I can't join her so it would be incredible if I could help raise some donations for her. Literally every single penny helps in beating something that continues to tear lives apart each and every day. If you have some spare change and would like to donate please click here to be taken to her official Moonwalk sponsorship page. Honestly guys, no donation is too small, please just give what you can and help make a stand against cancer. 

Thank-you 






Tuesday, 24 February 2015

Newspaper Print Nails Using Water - Tutorial

I am not the best at growing my nails. I try to keep them in good condition but they get to a certain length and then split or break and a manicure rarely lasts more than a day if I am at work. I love to play around with different nail polishes and decorating bits and bobs and had a blast trying out this new fun way of printing on your nails using newspaper articles. Check out the video below to see how you can get this great effect really easily.






Friday, 23 January 2015

Losing Out To Technology

A couple of days before Christmas, Aalliyah misplaced her iPod and after spending the best part of three days turning the flat upside down and driving myself crazy by searching the same places ten times over, I had to face facts. It was lost. It was frustrating as the only possible way of it becoming lost was in a matter of five minutes walking from one street to the other. She had run home from her nans house, so chances are it fell from her pocket. With Christmas day looming, I thought it was best to just deal with the issue afterwards as I didn't want it to put a cloud over our festivities.  As much as I was annoyed at the time, I really can’t blame Aalliyah for losing it. Since getting it over a year ago she has been amazingly responsible with it. It’s just one of those things and as much as I am sure I will be replacing it for her soon I can’t help feeling slightly pleased that just lately I seem to have got some quality time with her back again. Now don’t get me wrong, we do spend time together as a family whether staying in for game night or going out for a walk somewhere, but there were days when she would literally spend the best part of the evening glued to that iPod. She is an avid gamer (Minecraft in particular) so is ever so slightly addicted to those gaming videos on YouTube.

I came to realise that up until the point she got her iPod, she was a very regular reader. She has always had an exceptional aptitude when it comes to English and reading and her reading level has always been ahead by years. She would literally devour a book in one sitting and loved nothing more than getting a new book. I remember when we joined the library. You would think it was Christmas with how ecstatic she was. She would always mention new books she knew were coming out and I would always do my best to get them for her. I loved her thirst for knowledge and didn't mind paying for books as opposed to toys or games as I knew they were expanding her vocabulary and she was learning through doing something she enjoyed. When Christmas comes around, it is the perfect excuse for me to stock up on reading material.Tesco always seem to have such a wide variety of kids’ books and I am always spoilt for choice when deciding on new ones to purchase. Just look at this beautiful selection of children’s books below. This is just a small selection of the books she actually has. They are just crying out to be read. Aalliyah recently stayed at her nans house for the night and where she is used to a DVD before bedtime she had to take a book as there was no TV. She came back the next day full of excitement and telling how good the book was and how much she was enjoying it. This is what I wanted to see. I want her passion for reading to come back.



Aalliyah has made a commitment to herself to read more. She knows that she will inevitably get a new iPod but has made a promise to not only me but herself to not let it take over her other past times that she loves. In particular, reading!


Are you an avid reader? Do your children share your love of literature? Or are you left out in the cold from technology? I would love to hear your thoughts..


** This post has been contributed by Tesco.