Poorly Happy

30 November 2014

You know when you make loads of plans and it all goes out of the window? That.

After a day of Christmas shopping yesterday, I was plagued by a sickness bug yesterday evening and have been feeling sorry for myself today, mainly involving lying in bed, watching films and sipping water. To cheer myself up, I thought I'd make myself a happy list, of all the little things that have made me smile this weekend.

001. Putting up the Christmas tree - I'm ready for all the Scrooge's to tell me that I've put the tree up too early, but did you all realise that there's only three more Thursdays before Christmas Day? Exactly. Get that tree up now and enjoy it!

002. Smoothies - I had a peach smoothie yesterday whilst shopping and it was gorgeously refreshing.

003. About A Boy - Before the dreaded illness started, I was watching the classic film with Hugh Grant and forgot how much I enjoyed it.

004. England beating Australia in the rugby - that keeps all the men in the family happy.

005. Hearing my name on the radio - I'm in a concert next week with Gemma, and BBC Radio 2 mentioned us. It makes me even more excited to perform again!

006. Decorations everywhere - It's feeling truly festive now, and a personal favourite of mine is supermarkets dolling up their exterior with lights. It makes even the most boring of food shops fun again.

007. Fresh bed linen - is there anything that beats fresh bed linen?

008. Friends - honestly, I do not know where I would be without some of my friends. I'm a very lucky girl.

009. Disneyland Paris - it's two weeks till were off on our annual trip to the castle across the pond, and I cannot wait.

010. Post - I had to pick up 4 parcels from the post office yesterday. It's always nice receiving something through the letter box.

So that's 10 things that have made me smile. I think the plan for the rest of this Sunday is a hot bath, more sipping of water and an early night. I'm not sure if I can face work tomorrow but we will have to see how I feel in the morning. Hope you're all enjoying your Sunday more than me!

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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!

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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 me..it'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.

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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 easier..it 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... ;)

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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 hour..fail). 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.

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10 things we should do more often

11 November 2014

There is always time for champagne. Always.

001. Writing letters: It's amazing how good putting pen to paper feels. Hands up who actually has handwritten a letter this year? I bet a majority of you haven't, and it's not your fault either. Internet, email and phones are partially to blame for the lack of writing letters, but I promise you, you won't regret buying some cute letter paper from Paperchase and sending something lovely to a friend. After all, there is nothing more exciting than receiving mail.

002. Baking cookies: This is something that a lot of people do for themselves (we all love a bit of indulgence), but what about baking and giving them to people you love, just because? I baked a batch of choc chip cookies yesterday for Jonathan to take back to base, and wrapped them in a little parcel with a bow. Not only does he get to eat yummy morale food, but he can share them with his officer friends - always a good day!

003. Walking: Whenever I need to clear my head, the first thing I will do is take Max for a walk. It doesn't even need to be a long walk. Sometimes it's just good to get out of the house, breathe in some fresh air and take in your surroundings. It's incredibly therapeutic.

004. Pamper yourself: Seriously, not enough people do this, and I don't even mean the 'Sunday evening routine' where you have a bath, put on a face mask etc. I mean really pamper yourself. Book that spa day you've been wanting to do for ages with someone, have a massage and whilst you're at it, go for the champagne afternoon tea deal too. You deserve it!

005. Watch your favourite childhood film: There is absolutely nothing to hide about being in your mid-twenties and wanting to watch your fav films from your childhood. They hold special memories for us, and it's good to relive those memories like we're 7 again. These films can 100% include A Little Princess, All Dogs Go To Heaven, Fly Away Home and every Disney film ever created.

006. Try new things: Not all of us are good with change and can find new experiences scary. However, they say you should do something that scares you every day, so if you're afraid of heights, try Go Ape with some friends. If you're being a bit 'samey' with your dinners, buy a food magazine and try a new recipe. Whatever the result, at least you tried something new, and a new experience always means learning or appreciating something you didn't before.

007. Eat the burger: If you're craving a burger, then eat the damn burger. Life is too short to be constantly worrying about calories and clothes sizes, and you need to enjoy food occasionally. So if it's the burger you want, eat it totally guilt-free. If I died tomorrow, I'd like to know that I had a yummy meal beforehand.

008. Turn off technology: Sometimes, we get so wrapped up in our phones, TV, cameras, laptops etc that we forget what we already have. I turn my phone off at night so I can sleep better, I don't have the TV on as background noise and I put my laptop away when I'm not using it.

009. Treat someone: Nothing says 'I value you' more than a small, meaningful treat. This can range from a gift in the form of flowers or jewellery, to the something simple like a Starbucks when out shopping. Last week, I visited my parents and cooked dinner for them every night - simple, but meaningful. It took the weight off them when coming home from work and I also made them dinners they hadn't tried before (remember that 'trying new things' point? Exactly!)

010. Smile: It's scientifically proven that even on the worst days, kidding yourself into smiling can make you feel better. I'm the sort of girl that smiles at strangers as I walk past them in the street - smiling is contagious and you never know, you could be reminding someone that they can get through a tough time. Regardless, smiling releases endorphins and gives us all a positivity. Time to show some pearly whites!

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