Tag Archives: monday

Monday Blues Banishers #20




Good Morning!

I can’t believe that it’s Monday again so soon. I can’t believe it’s almost August. I can’t believe it’s 2014.

I don’t just wander around in a constant state of shock at the nature of time like a gormless simpleton. But it does go really quickly, which is both a good and a bad thing. Good because the weekend comes around quickly and bad because the week also comes around quickly, more quickly, if you ask me.

Here are some happy things that I’m going to think on whilst the week whizzes by:

1)      List making. I love making lists, they bring sanity and order to my otherwise unruly mind. I like nothing more than to settle down in front of the telly with a cup of tea and a notebook and scrawl out my needs and goals (need = go food shopping, goal = obtain meaningful reason for existence etc). I like to write obvious things on my lists so that I can never fail. Nothing is sadder than a list of un-ticked tasks. Throw ‘wake up’ and ‘shower’ on there and you will almost never fail. Last night I got in bed and listed away. Today I woke up and showered – if I can tick off two items from my list every morning by next year I’ll be a slim, wealthy, successful person with a dog and a driving licence. Wish me luck!

2)      Netflix. I don’t think we take enough, if any, time to appreciate modern technology and the wonders it works on a daily basis. This weekend I watched Beaches, Street Rats, The Rainmaker and Moonrise Kingdom. That’s 4 films that I had no idea I wanted to watch until I saw them on the menu that I then went on to view from the comfort of my own sofa, pausing whenever the mood struck for a tea or bowl of ice cream. I often wish I was born in Victorian times but I am beginning to change my tune.

3)      Port. An overlooked drink unless it’s Christmas time or you’re a rotund, booming aristocrat with a monocle perhaps. I propose we re-evaluate its merits. I’ll admit that I hadn’t drank it properly until this Christmas (I had drank it as a young teenager because it there was always a bottle lurking in somebody’s parents’ drinks cabinet) but what’s not to like – it’s just strong, sweet red wine. STRONG AND SWEET, the best adjectives that can be used in conjunction with any drink. I had a glass last night because we had a bottle gathering dust from Christmas and I identified a desperate need for wine after the shops were shut. Maybe next time it won’t be a last resort.

4)      New (to me) TV programmes. I watched the first episodes of The Big C and The Bridge this weekend and so far, I like them both very much.

5)      Catching up on The Archers – my slice of rural village life. I wish I lived in Ambridge!


Monday Blues Banishers #18


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Good morning!

How was your weekend? Mine seems to have gone really quickly, which is odd because it was four days long… I’m beginning to think you can get used to and become ungrateful about anything. I’ll have to remember to count my blessings (four day weekends being right at the top of that list)!

Here are five thinks that are making me smile this week:

1)      Yesterday’s Sunday Roast. It wouldn’t be a Monday Blues Banishers post without me reminiscing about the previous weekend’s food now, would it? Anthony did himself proud yesterday and made the most delicious roast pork with loads of roasties, carrots, cabbage and gravy. YUM.

2)      The Mill. I was at a loss for something to watch now Game of Thrones has ended. I decided to watch series one of The Mill before series 2 starts. It was good! I love period dramas indiscriminately though, so take my recommendation with a pinch of salt.

3)      Home spa days. On Saturday I decided to have a home pamper sesh. I ran a deep, hot bath and made this green tea face mask (I found the recipe on A Thrify Mrs). The mask was actually really good and my face felt refreshed afterwards, it was quick, easy and dead cheap to make as well (exactly the way I like them).

4)      Pilates! I’ve started doing some pilates videos at home. I love pilates and I’m really glad to have lots of space in my dining room to do work out videos as going to classes isn’t always convenient.

5)      Melons. I bought two this weekend. I could have eaten four. I love them. Lovethemlovethemlovethemmmmm!

Monday Blues Banishers #17


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Wheeew what a scorcher this weekend has been. It was lovely to get some sunshine, I’m hoping that a massive dose of vitamin D will help give me a boost of energy for the week ahead. Last week and for the majority of this weekend I have been feeling a bit sluggish. Perhaps it was the huge amount of pastry I’ve consumed in the past five days (chicken pie), perhaps it was the muggy weather, or perhaps it was because all I’ve done since Thursday is watch football and read… we’ll never know for sure.

Here are five things that are putting a smile on my face this morning:

1)      Marilyn by Norman Mailer. Looooove this book. I went to see my Dad on Saturday and he let me go through a pile of books he was going to give to the charity shop. I love free books. Amongst them was this gem. I have been struggling with Armies of the Night for a few months now. I just couldn’t get into it. Marilyn could well be my gateway into Norman Mailer’s work. I have always been intrigued by Marilyn Monroe as a person and cultural icon, although I have never watched any of her films. I find the mystery surrounding her fascinating and I also find the sixties interesting as well so this book is ideal for me. I’m hoping that afterwards I can read Armies of the Night more easily.

2)      I finished books 1-3 of the Song of Ice and Fire saga. My thoughts on them are fairly negative but dislike them as I do, I’m going to continue reading them because that’s who I am. I’m a finisher. I’ll read anything and finish it…eventually. It might take me years but I’ll get it done. I’m planning a post for the end of this week which will have my opinions on books 1-3 in more detail (I know none of you can wait). For now, I’m just glad they are done with.

3)      Painted my nails (toes and fingers) a pretty, summery coral colour. I feel fancy and put-together for once.

4)      A homing pigeon came into my garden yesterday and strolled right up to me, then it took a leisurely saunter around my picnic blanket and pecked my cushions. It was so tame and laid back. I wish I could have kept it as a pet.

5)      National anthems of the World Cup. There are some corkers. I’ve never really appreciated national anthems before but since the World Cup started I haven’t been able to get enough of them. France, Russia, Chile and Brazil are top dogs in my book. I’ve even gone as far as to look into translations of the lyrics and to explore the anthems of non-participating countries (Wales is brilliant, lyrically, and South Africa has a lovely anthem).

What’s making you smile this week?


Monday Blues Banishers #16

Green Tea

Green Tea


Gooood morning!

Have you all had a brilliant weekend? Mine was lovely and lazy but far too rainy for my liking. We spent most of our time watching the football because the weather was appalling and it’s the week before payday which is always a quiet time in this household of poor budgeters!

Here are five things that are sending my Monday blues running:

1)      I made a really good celery soup this weekend and the leftovers are waiting in my freezer for next weekend. I say it all the time but nothing makes me happier than being organised. That and soup.

2)      I’m currently ploughing through A Song of Ice and Fire like a trooper. I don’t really like it but you can bet your farm that I’m going to finish all the books in record time and then give you my opinions on them whether you ask for them or not.

3)      Podcasts! This week I saved all my podcasts up (I usually listen to them in the bath, whilst trying to get to sleep or when I’m cleaning) so that I can listen to them at work. This week I have been reading A Song of Ice and Fire in the bath and not cleaning, because we didn’t mess the house up (grown ups) so I will have something to help the office clock tick a little bit faster. My favourites are Desert Island Discs, This American Life and The Archers Omnibus. Any others I should look out for?

4)      Our house. I just love our little red-doored home. Nothing makes me appreciate it more than spending a few days a week away from it. Right now, as I type this in my dining room I feel so happy to be here, with all my stuff. God knows I love my stuff.

5)      My nails have grown to a ladylike length and I’ve filed and painted them in a ladylike manner. I’ve had a desk job for four years now and I have no strenuous hobbies and yet this is the first time I’ve managed to grow strong, long nails and maintain them for any significant period of time. I have no idea what’s caused this but until I work it out I am not going to change a thing.

What’s putting a spring in your step today? Let me know, it’s lonely in Scotland.

Monday Blues Banishers #15


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Good morning! Did everyone have a fabulous weekend?

It rained a lot here but we did venture out to the library on one day and to the cinema to see Godzilla yesterday evening. Other than that I spent the rest of my time cleaning, reading, eating and watching the good old telly.

Here are five reasons I’m smiling this Monday morning:

1)      Anthony is starting working with me this week! I really enjoy having the exact same schedule as him (so convenient) so working together has never been a problem for us, this time around we won’t even be doing the same work so we won’t be ‘under each other’s feet’ so much, not that we were before. It will certainly be lovely to have him in Glasgow with me, there’s only so much alone-in-a-hotel time I can handle before I go all ‘the shining’.

2)      The train journey to work. I love trains! Long train journeys through the British countryside are so romantic and beautiful, I love to gaze out of the window and daydream or read whilst whizzing past gorgeous scenery. Long train journeys also remind me of the marathon train trips between my mum’s house and university (I went to uni in Cornwall). Sometimes the trip could take nine hours, but looking back on that time of my life makes me feel good and so a long train journey will always bring a smile to my face.

3)      I have plans for Wagamama or Nandos or even both this week. A reason to get out of bed if there ever was one.

4)      The Archers. I have half of last week’s omnibus to catch up on.  Over the past few weeks I’ve been listening to the whole thing in one go whilst cleaning so I’m quite glad to have half left this week to listen too at my  leisure rather than when scrubbing a grotty worktop.

5)      We had a cheese, bread and beer for dinner on Friday and even just thinking back on the creamy cheese, crusty bread and very welcome beer is making me feel happy. I love cheese.

How about you, what’s making you smile today?

Monday Blues Banishers #14




I don’t know about you lot but I definitely need five reasons to smile this morning. The prospect of a train to Glasgow hanging over my head has not left me feeling chirpy, especially because it’s half term – a dreadful time for all commuters. I like children, I really do, just not on public transport. Can we not just ban them?

However bleak things may look, there are always reasons for cheeriness and here are mine (I’m going to force myself to remember these on the train):

1)      I am one of those people who anticipates the working week with a certain feeling of dread. I like working, but I also like being at home, in my house, with all my things. I chose the house, I chose my things, and I put my things in places of my choosing within the house that I chose. Why wouldn’t I want to be here?! That’s not the point I’m trying to make here though. My point is that my working week is only Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday. By midday on Thursday I’ll be back on my settee for a looooong weekend of doing stuff I choose with things I choose in the house I chose. Phew.

2)      It’s June. It’s actually the summer now and no one can stop me wearing sandals and floppy sunhats.

3)      I have a general ‘good’ feeling at the moment. Do you ever get that? I feel like there are a lot of possibilities, that I can do anything and that something excellent will happen, soon. This is preferable to the other feeling I get, which makes me think I should just stock up on ice cream and never see another living soul again.

4)      Coconut oil has made my skin HAPPY. Of course I had read millions of blogs and pinterest pins extolling its virtues but I never believed it until I tried it myself. It is now my moisturiser of choice. My purse is happy too because a big jar of coconut oil is £6 which is pricey for a cooking oil when you think olive oil is £3 a bottle…but when you compare it to a teeny-tiny double-walled pot of £20 moisturiser it is quite the economy.

5)      Eastenders. I love the Who Killed Lucy Beale storyline with unabashed passion. I refuse to be embarrassed – Ian Beale forever!

Monday Blues Banishers #12


Morning Gang!

How are you this bank holiday Monday morning? Did you wake up to the sound of angels singing? I did, because I love a bank holiday (as you well know). The extra day just means you can create the right blend of fun, laziness and productivity needed to enjoy the perfect weekend.

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As if we needed more reasons to smile, here are my Monday Blues Banishers – things that are making me smile this morning that might make you crack a grin too.

1)      My bedroom is still clean. That’s a total of seven straight days of cleanliness, a new record. Perhaps I’m finally a grown up. It’s so nice to sleep and wake up in a relaxing, peaceful, and most importantly, uncluttered space.

2)      I found the perfect oatmeal cookie recipe on my beloved Pinterest this weekend. I made a batch for my Saturday night treat and conveniently I already had all the ingredients in my cupboard. It’s this one if you’re intrigued – just remember to chill the dough for a bit before baking. Why am I still smiling about it? Well, for one it was really, really delicious and the memory alone is enough to keep me happy for the rest of the week, but on top of that I made enough dough to cook two batches and freeze some so that next time I crave fresh from the oven cookies it’ll be easy and mess free. I’m so smug about this.

3)      Anthony cooked an amazing beef pepper pot stew on Saturday and we ate the lovely leftovers yesterday. It was delicious. Today he’s cooking me a beef brisket pot roast with all the trimmings. I am so spoilt and I can’t wait for dinner time.

4)      Green tea. I haven’t drank any green tea for ages but over the last week I have regained my taste for it. I’m so glad because it’s so healthy and I feel so good when I drink it.

5)      Despite rediscovering my love of green tea I have plans to make an iced coffee on the first sunny day this week, it’ll be my first one of the year and I’m very excited.

Monday Blues Banishers #11




Good morning!

How were your weekends? Mine was glorious.

I did just enough cleaning and exercise to feel productive without feeling hard done by. I made a Mexican bean soup so that I had some food prepped for the week ahead (I’ll sort the rest of the week’s meals out this morning since I don’t leave for work until half past one). I did a food shop so that the fridge and cupboards are stocked with healthy ingredients. I blogged. I got dressed on both days which is usually unheard of.

Buuut, I also managed to squeeze in a bottle of wine, watching films with Anthony, listening to The Archers omnibus (outrageous, tut tut Tom Archer), the Eastenders omnibus (oh, Ian! Why is the world so cruel to you?), a long soak in a bubble bath, two lie ins and an episode of that rubbish but ever so compelling period drama on BBC 1. Whew. Equal parts exhausting and amazing.

Here are some reasons I’ll be smiling this Monday…

1)      We are inching ever closer to another bank holiday! If you’ve read this blog even once before, or met me, or maybe just seen me in the distance on a crowded train then you will without a doubt know that bank holidays are my absolute favourite.

2)      Mad Men! (and to a lesser extent, Game of Thrones) They are back and they are providing us with something to watch every Monday night (or early Tuesday mornings in my case). After we finished The Sopranos, Breaking Bad and series four of Boardwalk Empire life felt a little bit empty. I’m glad we have a couple of programmes to watch regularly again, although if truth be told I could just watch The Sopranos on a loop and ignore the rest. Well, maybe I couldn’t ignore Don Draper and all the fabulous clothes in Mad Men but some episodes are just bleurghhhhh and Peggy drives me nuts.

3)      New clothes. I treated myself to some new (but very budget friendly) clothes from Boohoo on payday and they arrived on Saturday. I was in desperate need of a new dress and the one I chose with a lovely daisy print did not disappoint. I can’t wait to wear it this week.

4)      Old clothes. I delved deep into my wardrobe and found loads of old gems I’d forgotten about. I keep meaning to rotate all the clothes in my wardrobe so that I wear them all, or at least see them occasionally…but I always forget and end up wearing the same few outfits to death. If I did rotate them I wouldn’t be able to find a four year old cardigan wedged at the very back and feel like I’d treated myself, so maybe this way is better. I can’t wait to wear my cardigan this week!

5)      My bedroom is clean and tidy. This made a huge difference to how well I slept last night. I feel like a new woman today! My bedroom is usually the last room I get round to cleaning as mostly the mess is clutter and clothes and nothing so pressing as the disgusting food coated plates stacked up in the kitchen. Yesterday I tidied away all the clutter and the room is now lovely and peaceful.


Happy Easter! Can you all briefly reach consciousness from your Easter egg comas to read this post? Well you should because I’m going to give you five reasons why I’m smiling this Monday and they might make you crack a grin too (although I won’t lie, if the day off work and the chocolate eggs and bunnies aren’t doing it for you already, you are perhaps a lost cause).



1)      Sunshine! It’s a beautiful morning where I am and later on today I’m going to go outdoors and enjoy it, but until then: gorging on chocolate in my onesie.

2)      Four day weekend. I wish every weekend was four or even three days long. Two is too short. We need time to do some lazing, something productive and something fun (that’s the perfect balance – and two days doesn’t give you enough time to cram all those aspects in). I’m so glad with have two further bank holidays to look forward to in May to ease the pain of my looking back on around this time last year when me and Anthony were in Italy.

3)      I entered a couple of races! That’s right. I do always jump in at the deep end. I was getting tired of my suffering fitness levels and decided I needed some motivation – I have signed up for a 5k and a 10k over the summer. I’m going to document my training here on the blog as I go along. I’m so excited.

4)      Getting back into reading. I’m so happy to be my usual bookworm self again. I talked about my reading drought recently in this post.

5)      The hashtag #pinterestfails on Instagram. I will admit that I’m late to the party on this one but when I discovered it yesterday evening I couldn’t help laughing out loud at everyone’s attempts at those Easter bunny bread rolls that many pinners had proclaimed were ‘so simple’ – the failed attempts were deformed bunnies or all merged together on the baking tray. I just loved that it was the same Easter themed fail across the board. I can’t wait to check back at Christmas!

Monday Blues Banishers #10

Monday Blues Banishers #8


Here’s wishing you a happy week ahead on this grey and drizzly Monday morning (it is gloomy where I am, anyway, and I’m starting to get really sick of it). I hope everyone had a brilliant weekend. I certainly did, but as ever it was far too short and it whizzed by really quickly and I didn’t achieve half of the things I wanted to.


Unrelated photo of Formby

Here are some things that are cushioning the blow of the start of another monotonous week!

1)      I have tomorrow off work! And whilst that’s enough to be a standalone Monday Blues Banisher – I have the day off to go and see Justin Timberlake with one of my oldest friends who I haven’t seen in absolutely ages and ages. Icing on the cake? The tickets were a birthday present.  A quadruple whammy, if you ask me.

2)      My Aunty is about to pop round with my three little cousins. I don’t think there’s a better way to start your day or week than with small children, although I’m almost certain my stance will change on this matter once I bring a few bright lives of my own into this world and waking up to screaming and Cbeebies is the rule, rather than the exception.

3)      Yesterday I went to watch the Manchester Marathon because a) it was a free activity which got me out of the house and b) my Dad was running in it. I really enjoyed myself and it inspired me to focus more on my fitness. You never know, perhaps next year I’ll be running in it rather than clapping politely from the side lines – I was just too embarrassed to cheer or whoop at anyone. There was a lady next to me who kept shouting ‘GREAT RUNNING’ at the participants with what I can only assume were the best of intentions, but we were stood at mile 24 and a large proportion of the runners were walking or even hobbling by then so it just came off as sarcastic.

4)      Not long to go until Bank Holiday season! I love a long weekend. I’m going to start making plans now so that Anthony and I don’t just waste it by sitting in our pyjamas watching cartoons (Anthony would not actually consider this a waste). I mean, of course there will be a great deal of pyjama-ed cartoon watching but there will also be activities which take place OUTSIDE OF THE HOUSE. Plus I’m intending to roast some meat to perfection and bake an Easter themed cake. What are your plans? Tell me so I can steal them.

5)      I didn’t listen to The Archers omnibus yesterday which means I get to catch up with it throughout the week. Nothing makes cleaning and folding laundry bearable like a trip to Ambridge.


What’s making you smile this Monday?