Ascot Races and Country Living Christmas Fair

24 November 2014

Horse racing is one of the most exciting sports there is. Did you know that the Grand National is the most watched sporting event of any year? And that after football, horse racing has the most spectators? See. You learn something new every day! I actually work for a national horse racing company so it's no surprise that I love it - give me any excuse to be screaming at a grandstand and I'm there. I wanted to get someone else excited, so I thought I'd take Brogan with me for the day.

Ascot Racecourse is only a couple of minutes away for me. It holds huge memories and is somewhere I can enjoy myself, no-matter what races I'm watching. Royal Ascot will always be a favourite of course - this year's celebrations consisted of getting rather tipsy on Bollinger sitting in the rooftop terrace of the Royal Enclosure. However, the racing is what I enjoy. For those who don't know much about racing, at a meet, there's usually 5 or 6 races over a 4 hour period. With jump season in full flow, Ascot put on a Country Living Christmas Fair to keep the racegoers amused in between races. The main concourse was packed full of stalls, ranging from tweed companies to Turkish baklava. Christmas music was being played and there was a real festive buzz in the air.

Next came the racing. Brogan had absolutely no idea about racing, but said she would be placing a few bets for fun. I explained how it worked over a glass of wine and then we put our bets down on race one. I think it only took Brogan a few minutes to realise just how exciting this type of sport is. Everyone shouts for their horse and jumps up and down holding their betting cards in the air.

We had a classy bite to eat of a classic hot dog and a glass of champagne - the best combination of course, all whilst having a catch up and discussing the next horse we were going to put our chances on. Despite the weather being a bit dreary, all the racegoers were out in their country finest and the weather didn't seem to dull anyone's mood. The atmosphere was just wonderful and it made me appreciate one of my favourite sports more than ever. There's a brilliant respect with racing, and you can find yourself chatting to anyone and everyone.

When the races finished, I had managed to win 4 out of 6 races - not too shabby! Bets aside, it was a wonderful day, and I think I managed to convince Brogan that racing is exciting and more than just seeing the horses run. It's the whole package, and that includes having a laugh with your bestest friends. Brogan actually vlogged the day, so make sure you keep an eye out on her YouTube channel for the upload!

twitter | youtube | instagram | pinterest | bloglovin

Not Going Out

22 November 2014

In my prime, I used to love going out. It was 'the thing' to go out on school nights, usually Thursday's and Sunday's (classic Sugar Hut nights before it was taken over by the awful TOWIE), and everyone would crawl into class the next day looking worse for wear but feeling pretty proud of themselves that they made it. University was no different. I met some of my closest friends in the toilets of a club, hugging each other in a tipsy state and proclaiming that 'Omg this is our songgggg' to whatever song was on next. It was a classy affair.

However, as I've grown up, I've stopped going out so much. Hell, you wouldn't find me in a club nowadays unless it was for a particular event I suppose. I've always been more of a 'let's go to a nice bar and drink champagne girl and have a chat' rather than noisy places and drink WKDs, so it's only natural that to me, staying in on a Friday or Saturday night is the best option.

My recipe for the best night in

1 tidy home - I can't relax until everything is looking lovely and in its place. Then my mind can unwind.

2 candles - Candles set the mood and give the place a night atmosphere. Plus they smell damn good. I've been burning one that Steph bought me recently and it's delicious.

A dash or two of alcohol - I say a dash as this is up to the person and if they fancy a drink. Being me, I will always have a nice glass of wine to hand, and remember, life is too short to drink cheap wine. Hell, go all out and drink the champagne. You don't need a reason to drink it. Just do it!

A handful of fairy lights - In my house, you can expect a lot of fairy lights. It's just pretty and lovely and happy!

1 takeaway - What diet?

2 films - Kick your feet back and watch some of your favourite films that make you feel cosy. Last night I watched The Muppets Christmas Carol. Don't judge's less than 5 weeks to go people.

A sprinkling of naughtiness - Interpret this to be how you want. As 'I'm A Celeb' is currently on, last night Gemma and I decided to do our own pretend bushtucker trials with our Chinese takeaway. I won't go into many details but it involved some sweet and sour chicken balls.

To me, not going out is the new going out. Personally, I would rather feel comfy and cosy at home be it on my own or with friends. You can still have just as much fun and there's something very nice about celebrating the weekend by just chilling out, reading blogs and watching tv.

If you haven't had a 'great night in' in a while, I highly recommend this recipe.

twitter | youtube | instagram | pinterest | bloglovin

The Christmas Tag

20 November 2014

It's slightly scary that it's only 5 weeks today until it's Christmas Morning. I repeat. 5 weeks today.

I know. 

I really need to get my act together and start sorting some more presents. I've seen this tag floating around after spotting it on Victoria's blog and I love reading everyone's answers, so I thought it was time I answered them myself.

Christmas at my parents

What is your favourite Christmas movie/s?
I am a keen Christmas movie watcher and like to crack out the films as early as possible, and The Muppets Christmas Carol is definitely my favourite - it's got culture, history, literature, comedy and morals in it, all whilst giving you that warm and fuzzy feeling.

Do you open your presents on Christmas Eve, or Christmas Morning?
ALWAYS Christmas Morning. I have to alternate Christmasses between my parents and Jonathan's parents, but when I'm with my family, I still run downstairs like a four year old and my dad shouts 'He's been! The stockings are full to the brim!' We put on music and open the presents together as a family.

Do you have a favourite Christmas memory?
I remember once when I was younger, my parents went outside into the garden and made what looked like sleigh tracks on the grass, and I spent the next hour being mentally excited that Father Christmas actually lands his sleigh in the garden. I was more than gullible!

Favourite festive food?
Oh wow, at Christmas I'm like 'give me aaaall the fooood!' I think a classic fav of mine is eating a hot mince pie, with a little bit of thick rum cream on the side, whilst curled up on the sofa with the fire roaring. It's definitely Christmas then.

Favourite Christmas gift?
After watching The Lion King when I was young, I became obsessed with lions for a while. My aunty bought me a cuddly toy of Nala and I just screamed with happiness.

Favourite Christmas scent?
Mulled wine and cinnamon. Always. Laura Ashley do some great Christmas scents.

Do you have any Christmas eve traditions?
If I'm with Jonathan's family, it usually involves a long dog walk, watching Christmas films and singing at Midnight Mass (as I'm a church chorister). If I'm at my parents, I'll help my mum with the cooking preparations, dance around the room to Christmas music, head to the pub to wish everyone a lovely Christmas, and then head to sing at Midnight Mass.

What tops your Christmas tree?
When we were younger, we had an angel and it was always a big moment of who got to place the angel on the tree. That angel was used well and had its day. A couple of years ago, my mum upgraded it to a rather lavish angel from Harrods. It's more of a 'look but don't touch' ornament!

As a kid, what was the one gift you always asked for but never received?
Without sounding spoilt, I never had to want for much. I did the whole folding down of Argos pages and writing my Christmas list from adverts in between episodes of Hey Arnold and Sabrina the Teenage Witch and it obviously worked quite well. I've been very fortunate!

What's the best part about Christmas for you?
I think it's a mixture of lots of things: the lights, the smells, the festivities, the people, the celebrations etc. For me though, it's not Christmas until I'm singing carols in Church.

Now who's excited for the festivities?! Someone get me a mince pie and a glass of mulled wine..stat!

twitter | youtube | instagram | pinterest | bloglovin

Things To Remember

18 November 2014

I had a rubbish day yesterday. It didn't help that it was Monday, and all I kept thinking was that the Boomtown Rats were right. I don't like Mondays. However, that's not like me. I'm usually a little ray of positivity and happiness and I don't like not feeling like myself. A quick text to my best friend, and after work finished I was over at her house drinking prosecco and eating glitter coated cupcakes. It's amazing how your friends can instantly make things a little clearer.

Gemma and I have been best friends since university, so after 6 years of friendship, she knows me pretty well. We were chatting last night about various things, and I think sometimes in the hustle and bustle of life, it's very easy to forget certain things, such as having all important 'me' time and keeping a balance with work and life. So when I got home last night, I made a list of the things that I need to remember on a daily basis, but especially when you're having a rough day:

001. Work to make a living - don't live to work. Make sure you have that balance between work and your own time. Life is too short to spend the whole time working and we all need our time to do the things we want to do.

002. Be a warrior, not a worrier. Worrying doesn't make anything just sits there and mulls with you and can make you feel worse. Just aim for happiness, and the rest will fall into place. (I'm trying to work on this one!)

003. Keep a clear head. For me, I do this by going to the gym, walking Max, playing the piano or singing, having a bubble bath etc. Find the things that help your mind relax a little.

004. Never let anyone dull your sparkle. By this, I mean always stay true to yourself. Never let something or someone change you and what you're about.

005. Give things some time. We can't make rational decisions on the spot or without giving things some thought. Just carry on doing what you're doing and re-evaluate when needed. And when you do, sit down and talk it over.

I've written all of these things down and am going to have this list on me, just so that I can remind myself that it's fine to have a wobble occasionally and you don't always need to be strong 24 hours a day. And when things do get tough, just call your friends and have a chat. There's no better solution really...oh and that includes laughing at Jimmy Bullard doing his bush tucker trial on I'm a Celeb last night - I felt much better after watching that... ;)

twitter | youtube | instagram | pinterest | bloglovin

Thoughts on being the 'new person'

14 November 2014

It's finally Friday (or Friyay as is more appropriate).

I'm home from work and sitting cross-legged on my bed picking at pick-n-mix I apparently took home with me from an event I went to last night (prior to going to the gym in an I started my new job this week, and I think it's always good to reflect on these things. However, I have observed certain things about being the 'new person'.

001. The nerves will never go away. I'm a confident person but wow I was nervous before starting this job. Driving there on my first day, I needed a real boost of encouragement, so thank you to all the people who tweeted me/texted me to wish me good luck - it was massively appreciated!

002. The introductions never stop. I cannot tell you how many times I've had to say 'Hello' and 'Lovely to meet you!' By the end of the day, I had a smile sewn into my face like Tour Guide Barbie from Toy Story 2.

003. You never know when it's acceptable to start organising your desk. Straight away, I just wanted to sort my stationary, get everything organised and make my desk area my little space. However, you don't want to look like the weird stationary OCD person, so that had to wait until day two. It's now a little Paperchase haven.

004. Lunch breaks. This one kills me. I don't want to look like the overly hungry person who has to eat lunch the moment the clock strikes midday, but I'm hungry and my nerves are only making the hunger worse. I want my yummy quinoa salad and I want it now!

005. Being called the wrong name. Ok new work colleagues. I know you're learning and so am I, but please take the time to not call me Tasmin. It's not hard. Give it a few weeks and I will be biting your head off if it continues.

So far, so good with the new role. It's going to take a while for me to settle I think, but that's only natural. It won't be too long before my new team are subjected to my foghorn laugh and then there's no going back for them!

Instagram @titchtamsin

Last night, I went back to my old work for their annual End of Season Ball. I was actually quite nervous about going back, which is really unlike me, but it was a great night and any excuse to get dressed up and I'm there! Now I'm just looking forward to a quiet weekend - Jonathan is coming home which is certainly a reason to be happy!

twitter | youtube | instagram | pinterest | bloglovin