Thursday, 31 March 2016

Coal Grill & Bar


Coal Grill & Bar, Unit 7, Southwater Square, Telford, TF3 4EJ

This evening I met up with my best friend Roxy for a meal at Coal in the new Southwater development of Telford.


Coal restaurants sell fresh, char-grilled food from an extensive menu of burgers, meat and fish. I would normally have gone for a burger, but decided to be a bit different and went for the fishcake with mashed potato instead - and it was gorgeous. Literally the best fishcake I've ever had. Roxy had a burger with chips that she said was great too.

We didn't have any dessert as we were so stuffed, but the chocolate pudding caught my eye - and the cocktails also looked good and were 2 for 1.


Afterwards we had a wander around the nearby Telford Town Park (I haven't been on a swing for aaaages - it was very exciting until I fell on my bum and got sand down my pants...), and also went to Asda to look at the home section.

Earlier today I also went to Bridgnorth with my mum and sister, and ended up posing with a giraffe outside a shop. We had a lovely lunch out at a cafe with a view over Bridgnorth, and I also got my helix at the top of my ear pierced - very spontaneously! My sister and I have matching piercings :)


It's important to give it all you have while you have the chance.



Tuesday, 29 March 2016

Everyone is fighting a battle you know nothing about


Yesterday Wentworth Miller, who stars in programmes like Prison Break, opened up about his depression and body issues after finding this awful meme above, that was posted on the Facebook group The LAD Bible.

He then posted this on Facebook in response:
"Today I found myself the subject of an Internet meme. Not for the first time. 

This one, however, stands out from the rest.

In 2010, semi-retired from acting, I was keeping a low-profile for a number of reasons. 

First and foremost, I was suicidal.

This is a subject I've since written about, spoken about, shared about.

But at the time I suffered in silence. As so many do. The extent of my struggle known to very, very few.

Ashamed and in pain, I considered myself damaged goods. And the voices in my head urged me down the path to self-destruction. Not for the first time.

I've struggled with depression since childhood. It's a battle that's cost me time, opportunities, relationships, and a thousand sleepless nights.

In 2010, at the lowest point in my adult life, I was looking everywhere for relief/comfort/distraction. And I turned to food. It could have been anything. Drugs. Alcohol. Sex. But eating became the one thing I could look forward to. Count on to get me through. There were stretches when the highlight of my week was a favorite meal and a new episode of TOP CHEF. Sometimes that was enough. Had to be.

And I put on weight. Big f--king deal.

One day, out for a hike in Los Angeles with a friend, we crossed paths with a film crew shooting a reality show. Unbeknownst to me, paparazzi were circling. They took my picture, and the photos were published alongside images of me from another time in my career. "Hunk To Chunk." "Fit To Flab." Etc.

My mother has one of those "friends" who's always the first to bring you bad news. They clipped one of these articles from a popular national magazine and mailed it to her. She called me, concerned.

In 2010, fighting for my mental health, it was the last thing I needed.

Long story short, I survived.

So do those pictures.

I'm glad.

Now, when I see that image of me in my red t-shirt, a rare smile on my face, I am reminded of my struggle. My endurance and my perseverance in the face of all kinds of demons. Some within. Some without.

Like a dandelion up through the pavement, I persist.

Anyway. Still. Despite.

The first time I saw this meme pop up in my social media feed, I have to admit, it hurt to breathe. But as with everything in life, I get to assign meaning. And the meaning I assign to this/my image is Strength. Healing. Forgiveness.

Of myself and others.

If you or someone you know is struggling, help is available. Reach out. Text. Send an email. Pick up the phone. Someone cares. They're waiting to hear from you. Much love. - W.M."

You know what this made me realise? Everyone is fighting a battle that you know nothing about. Mental illness is not obvious in most cases - someone could be suffering with something in silence, and saying something horrible to them, possibly without thinking, could make it even worse.

I think Wentworth Miller is really brave to open up about his depression and suicidal thoughts in this way - he was almost forced to do so because of the meme that was voted on Facebook. I'm hoping that by using his platform to promote mental health he will help so many other people, as they will know they are not the only ones suffering. Sometimes just knowing others are in the same boat can really help.

This also shows that mental health is not just psychological - it has physical aspects to it, as well. I personally lose weight when I am suffering severely with my depression, and also get aches and pains in my muscles, which make it difficult to get out of bed.

I'm just hoping that this post will make people think before they post anything nasty on the internet.
Our prime purpose in this life is to help others. If you can't help them at least don't hurt them.
                 - Dalai Lama



Monday, 28 March 2016

Upton-upon-Severn


Upton-on-Severn is a beautiful little town in the Malvern Hills of Worcestershire, and is also known to be the smallest town in the country. We met my aunt, uncle and cousins there for a few hours and went for a lovely walk along the river with our dogs.


We stopped at one of the many pubs in the town (there was a lot of choice!), called Ye Olde Anchor Inn, where I had scampi and chips - which I haven't had for years, so really enjoyed.


We also got to meet our cousins' adorable golden retriever-doodle puppy called Fergus, who was so fluffy that you couldn't see his eyes the majority of the time!


It was so nice to catch up with our family and have a relaxing day out together. We don't get to see each other that often so it's always fun when we meet up. A perfect day for Easter Monday!
The best way to capture moments is to pay attention.
                    - Jon Kabat-Zinn



Sunday, 27 March 2016

Happy Easter!


Bardot Top - H&M
Ripped Jeans - Asos

Happy Easter everyone! I hope you had a lovely day (and ate lots of chocolate). I wore my new bardot top from H&M, which was only £7.99 and will be perfect for the summer, with some ripped jeans and my small leopard print heels. I also straightened my hair, which I haven't done for about a year!


Here's an example of how bad I am at posing to make you laugh...


...I nearly fell over. I really am a very clumsy person.


My family and I met my grandparents at a restaurant called The Woodman, situated in Claverly. We always have a really good meal there, and the staff are lovely, so I was looking forward to it.


I had smoked salmon and prawns for my starter, a pesto tagliatelle pasta for my main, and marmalade bread and butter pudding for my dessert. All of it was absolutely amazing and we were completely stuffed - so much so that I actually haven't eaten much chocolate today! Disappointed in myself...


Afterwards we came home and played more board games all evening. I have had a really good day - I hope you have too!
Die with memories, not dreams.



Saturday, 26 March 2016

Our Easter egg bowl


It's become a tradition in our house that every Easter my mum will buy an abundance of chocolate eggs for us to artistically arrange in a bowl, and pick at over the long weekend. So today my sister and I put it together - and realised that Mum had gone a little over the top with the chocolate buying.


I haven't left the house today, but it has actually been lovely. My family and I have been playing board games all afternoon and evening, and then Dad cooked us a lovely meal of baked camembert to start and a prawn pasta dish for the main. Days in with my family are always good fun - and it's nice to spend so much time together as a 5. I also had a really good snuggle with Bruce earlier, who fell asleep on me for about half an hour (check the photo out on Instagram here!).
It wasn't a waste of time if you learned something.



Friday, 25 March 2016

Good Friday in Ironbridge


I have mentioned Ironbridge so many times before on my blog - it is a town in Shropshire famous for having the first iron bridge in the world. As it was such a nice day today, my mum and I decided to go to Ironbridge for the afternoon.


We spent the afternoon wandering around the many gift shops. There are no chain stores in Ironbridge, just little independent shops, which I think adds to its charm.


Dungarees - New Look
Striped Top - New Look
New Balance Trainers - Getthelabel.com*


The rest of the day was spent relaxing in the summer house, doing some work, and getting ready to go out with friends tonight. I hope you have had a lovely Good Friday!
One of the happiest moments in life is when you find the courage to let go of what you can't change.



Thursday, 24 March 2016

42 things you should buy for your house right now

I love a good interior haul, and have recently seen a lot of things that I would love to purchase for my future house (my room is too full of cute things to add any more at the moment), so thought I would do a round-up of homeware items that I have found online.

H&M

2) Hanging planter - £24.99
4) Crab cushion cover - £6.99

New Look

1) Pale grey pineapple money box - £8.99 (currently £6.50)
3) White scallop cut out lantern - £7.99 (currently £6.00)
5) Pink woven stripe pom pom trim cushion - £7.99 (currently £6.00)
6) Bronze metallic honeycomb lantern - £7.99 (currently £6.00)

Urban Outfitters

18) Chalkboard globe - £30

Asda

20) Pom pom throw - £20
22) Camera money box - £8
24) Fox print duvet - £10-14
26) Tassel cushion - £7

Etsy

30) Flamingo print - £4.36
33) Cactus print - £4.36
34) Donut print - £6.53+

Lily Rose Co

35) Alphabet spotty mug - £11.90 (currently £5.95)

As you can probably tell, I have a bit of a penchant for bright colours and quirky accessories. Oh, and pom poms. My future house is going to be a fun one!
Those who dare to fail miserably can achieve greatly.
             - John F. Kennedy