Debenhams Flowers & 25% OFF!

31 July 2015

It is a firm belief of mine that flowers can make everything seem that little bit better, no-matter the situation. Birthdays, anniversaries, happy occasions, sad occasions, acts of romance, acts of apology, or just because they simply look nice - flowers are always there and play a big part in peoples lives whether they realise it or not. I used to always buy flowers once a week without fail for my living room and bedroom, but I have found that supermarket flowers don't seem to last as long as I would like. After receiving some flowers from Bloom & Wild, I started buying from a variety of specialist florists and online flower delivery and was really happy with the results as the blooms would always last that little bit longer and you do get more for your money. I'm a total convert.

Debenhams Flowers got in touch recently as they wanted to send me one of their Summer Bouquets. How delightful! They offer delivery on a day of your choice, or if you need something more last minute, next day flowers are an option. I picked a bouquet - gorgeous roses and sunflowers. However, within a day, the flowers seemed to be wilting a bit and not how they should look when you have a new bouquet. I emailed Debenhams Flowers and sent a couple of photos. The day that they had sent them to me had been a particularly hot day and they could have possibly been a little cooked in transit.

In this instance, Debenhams Flowers assured me that I was to be treated like a customer - this was reassuring when bloggers can be treated with a lot of disrespect nowadays. They agreed that the flowers weren't their best and they'd send me another bouquet on a day that suited me. They were quick to reply and very obliging - brilliant customer service all round. I decided to pick a different bouquet to see if that made any difference, and went for a Lily, Rose and Peony bouquet - mixes of all of my favourite flowers.

This time, the flowers were perfect. They arrived in an upright box, secured inside so they don't damage in transit, and are encased in a special waterproof flannel at the bottom to keep the flowers hydrated. You get instructions with your flowers in how to keep them at their best for longer which is really helpful and my lilies had opened and bloomed in a matter of days. Before you head out to your local supermarket and pick up some flowers, I highly recommend considering purchasing some flowers by post. The whole process with simple, easy and professional, and this bouquet was one of the most beautiful bouquets I have ever received.

Debenhams Flowers have been kind enough to offer readers of Little Glitter a discount of 25% on their bouquets with the code DFBLOG25. You should 100% all treat yourself - go's payday!

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Thoughts on feeling sad

29 July 2015

I wrote this post last night when I was feeling particularly sad. Probably the lowest I've felt in a long while. Part of me thought about not posting it, but writing is good for me. It always has been and it helps me to process my thoughts and feelings. So here it is. My mish mash of feelings, splattered onto a keyboard and jotted down here.

One of my favourite spots on Southbank

I am usually this very bouncy, happy, chatty and positive individual. I have time for everyone that I come across, be it my best friend, family member or someone serving me on the tills in Tesco. A simple smile can change someone's day, and I am a big believer that you should be the positive change that you want to see in the world. It's why I'm running the London Marathon next year. We should all be aiming for positivity and progression.

However, as I'm writing this, I'm not that person. Not right now. Today I'm rather the opposite. I've opened the floodgates a little in terms of having a good cry and lots of the things that I've tried to push past and be strong with have come flowing out. I actually really dislike it when I'm like this on a rare occasion. I'm not saying that I don't cry..I do. Lots. But I feel like today has been a different type of crying, and I can't help but feel disappointed at myself. Which is ridiculous when you think about it. Beating myself up for having a day where I let my emotions come to light? It's really silly.

One of my good traits is that I am always there for other people. I don't just mean 'give me a text if you need me'. I mean driving at 4am like a banshee to help a friend in trouble, ringing people on the other side of the world to help them breathe and cry through bad news and not giving a crap about the horrendous phone bill, buying care packages for people with all of the things that they love in just because I know they will like them etc. More than one person has said to me that if they were stuck in a remote area of Peru and needed help, they would call me, and they know I would be there, no matter how many trains, planes or automobiles it took to get there.

This is absolutely true. I would do that. When I love someone, friends, family and relationships alike, I would do anything for them.

It seems to be recently that that trait of mine is being taken advantage of. The last thing I want to do is sound sorry for myself, but there is something really not nice about knowing that people are using the way you are as an excuse. 'Tamsin will understand because she always does.' Yes, I do understand and I pride myself in always listening and understanding. But it gets to a point where it's almost unfair.

Trying to deal with your emotions whilst being that happy and positive person can be quite a challenge. I'm good at putting on a brave face and I can perform the hell out of anything. That's what a performer does. And I'm really good at it. But today I don't want to perform. I've had news that makes me feel sick inside, I've seen things that I wish I could un-see, I'm sad about some aspects of my life and my heart hurts. My heart really, really hurts. So no, I'm not going to be usual Tamsin today. And I may not be usual Tamsin tomorrow either.

I'm not even sure why I'm trying to justify this to myself. I shouldn't have to justify anything. But I guess that's just the way I am. When you're usually a happy and positive person, those rare days that you feel down and emotional are always a bit of a shock. But today I'm going to cry. I have cried, and I mean really, really cried. I can't say that I feel all that better yet for it, so I'm doing what I usually do and heading to the gym to throw my emotions into strength training.

I'm sure it's just a bad day, but I guess I'm fortunate that I usually have good days. Emotions come and go like the waves in the sea. They're all over the place..sometimes calm and smooth, or at the other end of the spectrum, they can build and be turbulent until sometimes they reach a rather tsunamic climax. If I was going to put myself on that spectrum right now, I'm at a tsunami raging for the shore. It will be over shortly, but I just have to ride that wave out I suppose.

NB - I have just come back from the gym. I won't lie, I cried when one of the PT's asked me why I wasn't myself. But I do feel a lot better for pushing my energy into working out. Thank the Lord for exercise and people who rub your back and tell you it's going to be ok.

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Training Log

For those who read my blog often, you'll know that fitness is a big part of my life. Whilst I'm training for the London Marathon, I've decided to upload my weekly training log so that I can look at exactly what I'm doing, see how far I've come and give myself things to work on.

I'll upload this usually on a Monday..we can just pretend that it isn't Wednesday today ok? Ok ;)

Monday 20th July
5 mile run

Tuesday 21st July
Off training

Wednesday 22nd July
20 min treadmill run
10 x 10 Bulgarian Split handheld @ 15kg
10 x 10 leg curls
10 x 10 press ups
10 x 10 bent arm curl @ 15kg
10 x 10 lat pulls @ 45kg

Thursday 23rd July
30 mins core abs class

Friday 24th July
Off training

Saturday 25th July
5 mile run

Sunday 26th July
500m row sprint (1.26)
10 x 10 Bulgarian Split handheld @ 10kg
10 x 10 press ups
10 x 10 reverse lunges handheld @ 10kg
10 x 10 bent arm curl @ 15kg
10 x 10 thrusters @ 10kg
5 x 10 barbell squat @ 25kg

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Walt Disney World Vlogs - Days 7-9

26 July 2015

Well July..this generally isn't the weather you're meant to grace us with at this time of year. I'm currently cosy in bed, Max is curled up next to me and I'm listening to Ben Howard whilst the rain pours outside. It almost feels like November.

Anyway, time for the instalment of my Walt Disney World vlogs including trips to EPCOT, Magic Kingdom, watching a questionable Bon Jovi tribute band at House of Blues and Disney's Hollywood Studios, with shows of Illuminations (watched from a private balcony..this was amazing) and the classic Fantasmic.

I'm going to do a few further posts on the best way to do WDW, but the one thing you need to have is a plan. You may have noticed by now that our days were pretty regimented. We had things planned for the morning, reservations for lunch, things planned for the afternoon, reservations for dinner, and then usually a show in the evening. It sounds quite full on, but that truly is the best way to do WDW. You could easily not plan your days, but that would be the quickest way to miss things and not make the best of your time and money there. A dedicated post on this will be coming soon though.

For those who want to experience a more adult side of WDW, Downtown Disney is the place for this. We love going to all the different bars, and House of Blues is always a favourite. It has a southern atmosphere, great cocktails and creole food. We'd never been to the actual House of Blues live music club, so we made sure to do that this time. They actually have some amazing people playing there, and we saw a Bon Jovi tribute band. They were pretty ok, and we had had rather a few cocktails so that made it all the more enjoyable!

NB. Next year, Downtown Disney is changing and will no longer be known as Downtown Disney. It will be changing to 'Disney Springs'. So if you're heading there within the next year, make sure to observe the changes and do the classic Disney Quest as that will be closing to make way for more ESPN attractions.

I hope you're enjoying the vlogs. Make sure you're subscribed to see them when they first go live!

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Things To Do Solo This Weekend

24 July 2015

I've always been independent. I've never needed someone else next to me to feel that I'm able to do something. Sure, it's always good to have company, but it doesn't scare me being on my own. One of the best things I've found from doing things independently is that it gives you a sense of exploration. Knowing I have a Saturday to myself can actually be one of the most exciting things!

001. Explore somewhere new. I will often open Google Maps or Trip Advisor and just pick somewhere within a certain driving range. I pack my camera, some money and some treats for the dog, and off we go...we being myself and Max of course. I'd highly recommend becoming a member of English Heritage or National Trust, then no-matter where about's you are in the country, there's always somewhere you can visit packed with beauty or history, and it's already paid for.

002. Start and finish a book. I did this last weekend. Life can be so jam packed and we forget to slow down and take in some literature. Last Sunday, I took a blanket into the garden, some pillows, made a cosy little setup and sunbathed whilst reading a book. Max lay next to me and before I knew it, I'd finished the book. Literature and a tan..what's not to love?

003. Get your bake on. Time to don the apron and try that recipe that you've been 'wanting to try for ages.' Baking time is great for focusing the mind on an end goal, and there's nothing better than seeing something you've created. Pinterest is my greatest source of inspiration when it comes to recipes, and my friends are very used to me producing food for them all to try!

004. Support the locals. I took Max to a charity fayre last weekend and entered him into a dog show. All the proceeds went to helping a local animal sanctuary and Max even came second! It's a great feeling knowing that you're doing good for your local community.

005. Work out. I absolutely love working out on my own. I get into the zone, focus on what I need to do and usually do more than I would if I was working out with someone. Don't get me wrong, working out with other people can be awesome fun and a great motivator, but everyone's bodies are different and you need to focus on what you want your body to achieve. Weekends are one of my favourite times to work out as the gym is quieter and you can spend some real quality time to yourself. Exercise is good for the soul and you will never, ever regret a workout.

006. Go for a walk. Having a dog means that I do this every day anyway, but much like exploring somewhere new, I like to explore new walks too. It's fun for me, and incredibly fun for Max with all the new smells and routes. There are a couple of great dog walking website communities where people post their favourite routes, and I've discovered some of my best walks this way. Walking is great thinking time and I always feel revived after.

007. Dine solo. A lot of people are scared about sitting in a coffee shop or going for lunch on their own, but it truly isn't something you should worry about. I often head to my local coffee shop or a restaurant and have a coffee or some lunch solo. I usually have a magazine to read, or sometimes if I have work to do, I take my laptop. The staff in my local coffee shop know me so well now that they know exactly when to refill my drink. Ideal!

What are you going to do this weekend?

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Walk to Hurst Castle

22 July 2015

If you're after a walk where you can get the sea spray in your hair and the wind in your face, then this a perfect choice. The walk to Hurst Castle is a firm favourite of mine. From Milford-on-Sea, you walk the narrow length of Hurst Spit with the historic goal at the end of it. The Isle of Wight is a hop, skip and a jump away on the other side of the Solent, and you're graced with clear views of The Needles. On the other side is Keyhaven and Pennington saltmarshes.

Hurst Castle is actually a Tudor fort and is a real jewel of history in this part of Hampshire. It was commissioned by Henry VIII to keep the pesky French away from Southampton, so that just shows how much of a part of history it had to play. Even Charles I was imprisoned here at one point. To the side of it is Hurst Point Lighthouse which still works today. It has a sort of Greek ambiance about it I feel, and is quite beautiful from far off.

The fort itself is now owned by English Heritage and is available to visit for less than a fiver. I've been before so Max and I just walked around the perimeter of the fort and the end of the spit. Lots of the original ironworks where the canons and guns would have been is still intact and has been pretty much undisturbed over the years. I love how you can see how it's been weathered over the years and has actually dyed the stone the fort is built from.

Max was pretty intrigued too, as you can see below. He loves history.

On the other side of the fort, there's the beach where the spit ends and the boats move up the Solent towards Lymington and Southampton, and of course, the lighthouse. There's also a water taxi that can take you back to Keyhaven from this point if you don't want to walk the complete length of the spit back again. I must admit, it is tempting to sometimes hop on the water taxi back as walking on stone isn't the easiest, but I'd rather save my £3.50 for a nice post walk drink somewhere in a local cafe.

Here, Max is demonstrating where some of the huge guns would have been. Hurst Castle was fully operational in World War Two, and guns would have sat on some of these concrete points, acting as a defence to the Solent. No longer there, they do make a nice little perch for a picnic.

You can walk the disused tracks from the Solent all the way to the fort itself, where they would have transported items to take into the fort. There's a bit of history around every corner of Hurst Spit, and although the fort isn't overly pretty or at its best any more, it does hold a rather interesting beauty - partly to do with its location and partly to do with all the experiences it would have gone through.

The walk from the car park by Needles Cafe will probably take you 45 minutes there, and 45 minutes back. However, it's a lot nicer to amble along on this walk, take in the views, look at the wildlife on the saltmarsh and even take a look around Hurst Castle itself. Plus, the stones will slow your normal walking time down. 

Remember to wear decent shoes, and if you need a quick break, just take your pick of which part of the beach you want, sit, and watch the boats sailing around the Isle of Wight.

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Run or Dye Bournemouth - #PituitaryPromise

19 July 2015

Prior to being confirmed as running the London Marathon in 2016, I had already decided that I wanted to do Run or Dye. I'd seen the hype over social media - having dye pelted at you whilst you run a 5K..what's not to love? When my place on the marathon was confirmed, I decided that Run or Dye would be my first official challenge of my #PituitaryPromise campaign. I can run 5K easily, as it's what I would run most runs, but I wanted to do this for the process of receiving an actual runners number, having to register and the feeling of standing at a start line, and then running across a finish line. Run or Dye isn't cheap at £25, but I felt it would be worth it.

I filmed the whole thing on the GoPro which you can watch below.

A knock on the front door and Rosie had arrived - you really think I'd run this on my own? Hell no, it's far too much fun to throw dye at people and laugh at them. So Rosie was my friend of choice to run this with me. Thanks girl! There was no bag drop at Kings Park so we rationed our items that we could take and made the walk to the registration area, which is conveniently a couple of minutes walk from my house. Despite it being 9am, there was a real buzz in the air and a great variety of people had come out to participate.

We registered, picked up our race tshirt, race number and a bag with some fun stuff and dye in. After a quick wander around the stalls, we made ourselves at home and chilled for a bit. Before we knew it, everyone was jumping up and down in the warm up. On the main stage, they were throwing out extra packets of dye, and before we'd even checked what colour dye we'd been given, people started throwing their packs around. If you can't beat 'em, join 'em. By the time we reached the start line, everyone was already a nice shade of pink or orange.

The race itself was perfectly fine. The course went around Kings Park and you ran through gates at every 1K and had dye thrown at you. As it was a little breezy, it was like running through a giant coloured gas cloud, but it was extremely fun. I had a mouthful of green dye in the face at the 4th gate and continued to run with green teeth - seriously hot stuff!

When we reached the end, we were given some more dye which we threw at each other manically..that's the only way to do it guys. Go hard or go home. I had a cuddle with Hero the Bear who's Help for Heroes mascot (H4H are the main charity for Run or Dye), we jumped around to the music for a while and then headed home in a bit of a multi-coloured state. All in all, a pretty awesome morning.

So, I've officially completed my first ever organised running event - it can only be onwards and upwards from here right? My next organised race is the Bournemouth Half Marathon in October, but I may slot in a 10K before there somewhere if I can locate one!

If you'd like to donate to my #PituitaryPromise campaign, you can do so here.

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Walt Disney World Vlogs - Days 4-7

18 July 2015

Happy Saturday!

Here's the second instalment of my Walt Disney World vlogs including trips to Typhoon Lagoon, Disney's Hollywood Studios and Blizzard Beach. We had a GoPro with us so were able to have some fun with that in the wave pool and on the rapids.

NB. To anyone who's been to Typhoon Lagoon before, you will know that the waves are absolutely gigantic when you are in the pool. They look small on the video, but they truly are not in real life. Our screaming was genuine 'going to die' screams.

The waterparks hold a real nostalgia for me at Disney. Obviously I love the main parks, as a Disney obsessive should, but I'm a bit of a water baby at heart and growing up, I would spend the whole day tackling the cloud nets at Blizzard Beach or doing handstands in the lazy river at Typhoon Lagoon. It always brings back a lot of happy memories for me.

Fun fact: When I was 9 years old, I actually got lost at Blizzard Beach. Fortunately, my parents had told me that if I got lost, I had to see one of the 'ladies in the red Baywatch swimming costumes'. When this happened, I did just as I was taught and went to see a lifeguard. They put an announcement out over the tannoy and my parents came and got me. Every time we have been to Blizzard Beach since, my family mock me and remind me to see one of the 'ladies in the red Baywatch swimming costumes' in case I get lost.

Also, a note on the rain. Florida is hugely rainy. It's hot, but rainy. You can't expect to go to Florida without it raining. Generally, it rains every day, but sometimes the weather is very localised. It stormed one day when we were at Blizzard Beach, but my dad was 5 miles away in Kissimee and not a cloud was in the sky there. On the day that Rosie and I were stranded, we were walking along a golf course in Disney's Sarratoga Springs to get to Downtown Disney. The most horrendous storm, as shown in the video hit. Had a nice Disney employee not come and saved us on his golf buggy, we would have been in all sorts of trouble. My main tip? Always carry a poncho, even when its clear blue skies. The weather changes very, very quickly.

More vlogs to come - I hope you're enjoying them as much as I loved filming them, and make sure you're subscribed if you aren't already!

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Running in Walt Disney World - #PituitaryPromise

12 July 2015

Firstly, thank you to every one of you who watched my first #PituitaryPromise vlog a couple of weeks ago. The response was quite overwhelming and I'm already near £300 with my fundraising which is incredible when there's still 9 months to go! If you missed it and would like to watch it, you can find it here.

When I signed up to do the London Marathon, I had completely forgotten to address the fact that the training never stops. Currently, I'm not training for a marathon as such. I'm just working on my running and breathing techniques and working my way up to the Bournemouth Half Marathon in October.

I had my holiday to look forward to. Two weeks of chilling and Disney magic. However, this means that you can't just not run. Two weeks is a lot of time in exercise land, and by having time off means that all your hard work can be knocked back a few steps.

So there I was. In Disney's Old Key West resort. Getting up before everyone to head to the gym, or go for a trail run. Quite frequently when I was doing these runs, my family were actually stuffing their faces with pancakes or chilling on the sofa in a pre-Disney park state.

But not me. 

I was running in the crazy humidity of Florida so I could keep my training up. I won't lie, I didn't enjoy these runs at all, but I'm proud that I did it. With the help of my best friend Rosie (who even trained with me) I kept my running up and this means my training is still going to plan.

Thank you for all your support so far. If you would like to sponsor me, you can do this here.

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Walt Disney World Vlogs - Days 1-3

10 July 2015

I'm back from possibly one of the best trips to Walt Disney World that I've ever had. I don't think you can ever have a bad time in Orlando, and all my previous trips have been outstanding, but this trip really did exceed all expectations.

Right now, I'm in a sort of mourning period for the holiday. The whole 'can't believe it's over' stage is fully in swing and getting up for work in the morning is difficult to say the least, not to mention when you add the rather horrendous jet lag that I've been suffering.

Whilst I was away, I decided to vlog every day so that I could remember it that little bit better. It's all about hearing the sounds and the music that just gets me and takes me there. I've uploaded days one, two and three onto my YouTube channel and you can also watch these below. Make sure to subscribe to keep up to date with the vlogs - I'm uploading a couple a week at the moment!

There will be another post coming with photos once I feel ready to look at them. If I think about looking through them at the moment, I get all emotional and start to throw myself on the floor in depression. (You think I'm joking. I'm not. My housemate has been laughing at me for this.)

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