Tuesday, 30 September 2014

Dairy Milk Oreo

Oh my glittery goodness. 

Last year when Cadbury released their Oreo bars I was a very happy girl. What wasn't there to like?

Thick milk chocolate, with a creamy white filling and small pieces of the dark, dark, chocolatey biscuity goodness.

The only problem is when they come in a big bar, it is very difficult (if you are me) to stop at just one block or strip. 

Finally, the chocolatey powers that be have seen fit to deem us mortals fit to receive a smaller bar of this gorgeous nectar from the gods. 

I love chocolate and I adore Oreos. Ever since I discovered them on a Barnamint Baileys icecream cocktail in TGI Fridays more years ago than I care to remember.

Anyone who has seen some of my foodie posts in the past is probably aware of my issue with texture.

There is something about certain foods that even though I like the taste, they just feel really, really horribly wrong. On this list is salt and vinegar chipsticks, Pringles, Crunchie bars, well done bacon (there is a really small window between perfectly crispy and wrong), and yogurts. What can I say I'm a complex soul. 

But which do I prefer? The big bar or the (what I would call) handbag-sized bar (but then with the size of my handbag a brick could be described as a handbag-sized bar).

Just look at those chunks. The 41g bar has knocked it out of the park for me. The chunks are slightly bigger, with a bubble like feel to the shape. The chocolate creamy goodness gods have delivered more biscuit and more of the creamy filling into one bite of this smaller bar than was originally in the larger bar. 

Result I say. 

Now shush while I finish the rest of this bar! 

Monday, 29 September 2014

Plus-Sized Blogger

It is hard to deny that I am plus-sized. I'm at best a size 28 right now.

I am also a blogger. So ergo, ipso facto and other ponsy phrases I could use, I am a plus-sized blogger.

However, I don't completely identify with the plus-sized moniker.

I'm not embarrassed about my size, however I'm also not comfortable being this size either.

I do watch what I eat. Otherwise I would be, and have been, even bigger than I am now. I regularly fluctuate between a size 22 and a 32/24. I have managed to hold steady around the 26/28 mark for the last year.

I'm not impressed with myself. I'm also not angry.

I have been a larger than the average person now for many, many, many years. I'm not saying I can't lose weight, because I can and I have. I don't blame anyone except myself and my fondness of the sofa and chocolate and cheese.

I'm not happy at this size. Being so large affects my mood on an almost daily basis. I yearn to do many things that I don't feel comfortable even trying.

I feel for my kids, and the kids that I am an assistant leader to at Scouts, Brownies and Rangers. I want to be a role model to these kids. Part of my job is to show them the best way forward in their lives and help them make the most of the opportunities presented to them.

I'm not the average fat girl though. I go hiking, however my balance isn't great at times and on my last night hike I fell. At my size it created a lot of pain for the rest of the week. Pain I medicated with sugar, which led to a gain on the scales of 6lbs in just 1 week. Not a good moment.

So now I'm back on the trail of trying to not obsess over the little things, in all avenues of my life. Along with the longer hours I am currently putting in the office I need to look after myself that bit better. Making sure that I don't get sick or run down.

You can join me on my eternal journey to find long-lasting balance here.

This is my dieting rollercoaster after all.

Friday, 26 September 2014

My 10 Point Manifesto For When I Take Over The World

1.  This is a Glittery Dicatorship, not a democracy. What I say goes or there will be consequences. 
It will be a happy place, and no place is happier than when I am pleased. 

2.  Soundtracks to your life and entrance music. Just think, music to stride to as you walk down the street. Fanfares and coronets as you walk into an event. You can only ever hear your own, all those sounds all at the same time would just be crazy. Obviously this will all worked inside your own head, operated primarily by witchcraft - or a chip in your brain.

3.  The continent will be a patio/garden facility. It's always nice to have a sunny area to take a cuppa tea or glass of wine and some snacks. None of this passport nonsense. I may keep the theme parks, but that is yet to be decided. 

4.  Glitter will sparkle, but not leave an unclean-able trail behind it. There is nothing worse than trying to wipe up glitter that has been spilt. It mainly looks like that there has been a fairy massacre. It wipes from one side to another never actually gets cleaned up. 

5.  Catsuits. I have a vision. A vision of a world living as one in a mass of catsuits or jumpsuits, preferably Lycra, with a cape and a pair of platform wedges. However, I'm open to change and recently have decided that a second suit may be possible. This one would be of the furry variety and come complete with tail and paw mittens. If you anger me you may be punished and where it in red. Everyone else gets black, with added sparkles if you please me.

6. Guaranteed time off for fun. This is mandatory. How many times have you got excited about the possibility of doing something just to find out that you can' t get the time off from work. I plan to have a multi-skilled work force in place - like a giant global temp agency/office pool that will step in and cover you as you get to embrace the nature of fun. 

7. All music used on TV programmes will be findable, instantly. There is nothing worse than watching a show and hearing an amazing track. Then using track ID, for it to tell you that it doesn't exist. Or that there are 27 different versions by 28 different people. Argh. Stress you just don't need. 

8.  Foods eaten as an accompaniment to coffee will be calorie free. What can I say, it just has to happen. No food when eaten with the ultimate liquid should ever come with a calorific price. Therefore the cake you eat, or the cookie you snaffle with your coffee will no longer resonate with guilt. 

9. Kitchen tap will run hot, cold and chilled rose wine. Nothing else to say on this one. 

10. Fiery volcanoes of doom. This is where those who upset me will reside. Pushing back the lava as it spews forth. Talk about a thankless task.  

Thursday, 25 September 2014

A Place for Positivity

There is no pill that makes everything better.

Even the medication you can get to help don't magically make the world fill with hearts, flowers, glitter and hope.

For many hope is something that we strive for. A choice to be positive has to be made on a daily basis. Often many times during the day.

Each time a negative thought crosses your mind, or your internal monologue turns to a dark subject. Survivors have to pick themselves up, remind themselves of the good times and choose the light over the dark.

I know that I can second guess something and make it much bigger than it actually is, or even could be, in a matter of moments. I can get to the point where I start to feel palpitations and shaky. That can be the effect of 'just' one thought. 

Now imagine if you have those feelings constantly. They become all consuming. Until there is no good sounds left inside your head. All of them are in your voice or the voice of someone who once said something bad. 

This is the start of a problem. However, if you can feel the moments as they rise it is possible to slow them down. 

Just because someone is smiling, doesn't make them happy. Just because they laugh it doesn't mean that they are cured.

What we are doing is faking it until with make it. Trying to find joy in the small things. It is hard to not get bogged down in the minutia. To look at those around you and feel that they have the secret that you are looking for. 

The modern era with the connectivity on the internet has made the world smaller, but also heightened the feeling of being alone and inferiority. 

A scroll through your facebook timeline will bring you face to status with people who appear to have it all, living life as if every day is their last. Checking goals off their bucket list. 

What you don't see is how they felt at breakfast as they left their children in bed so that they could go to work and earn the money to pay for their next adventure. Or the worry of another about where the next pound is coming from to pay for their rent. People on the whole only put the camera worthy moments on Facebook.

Instagram is another prime example of that. Every shot on there is thought about and mostly planned, filtered and now often photoshopped as well. It is a site full of kodak moments. 

As long as you are able to be true to yourself and take most of what you can read online with a pinch of salt you are generally on the right road. 

I am honest on here, however I don't share everything about my life. 

Personally I didn't start to make progress with my own happiness until I cut out the people who brought me down. It had to be a definate decision. I won't lie and say it was easy, because it wasn't. But on a whole everything feels so much better without them in constant contact. I have almost got to the point where I don't think about them and what they think about me at all. 

A lot of my own problems stem from needing to know what people think of me. I would like to be a people pleaser, something in the way I was raised makes me want to be all things to everyone. I find it hard to accept that I have limitations. I don't like to have a limit. 

This is why there are so many facets in What BeeBee Did... just one topic would bore me. I have so much more to me that just one subject. I have a brain that jumps from one subject to another, and frequently. Concentration doesn't come easily to me, neither does original creativity. However, I can leap from one person's idea to another, to a spark that will either get me all excited and unnecessary on will wind up as a post on here. 

I want to keep things positive on here, which will lead to some flippant posts and other slightly deeper ones. 

Wednesday, 24 September 2014

What I've Been Baking... Cherry and Almond Muffins

Office law dictates that when it is a resident's birthday that they must bring cake...

Who am I to defy that law?

So I took these beauties in.

Cherry and Almond Muffins.

Preparation: under 15 min.
Makes: 12
Oven's temperature: Gas Mark 5/200 C
How Long?: 20 m

The Ingredients:

175g (6 oz) soft margarine
175g (6 oz) caster sugar
300g (11 oz) self raising flour
3 eggs
5 tablespoons milk
1 teaspoon almond extract
½ teaspoon baking powder
200g tub glacé cherries, roughly chopped

The Method:

  1. Place 12 muffin cases into a muffin tray. 
  2. Using an electric whisk, beat sugar into the margarine. Add eggs, milk and almond extract, beat again until well combined – it may look a bit odd and curdled. Carry on regardless. 
  3. Stir in the flour. 
  4. Reserve some cherries for decoration and fold the remainder into the mixture. 
  5. Divide mixture evenly between the paper cases, and decorate the tops with remaining cherries. 
  6. Bake in the preheated oven for 20 – 25 minutes. 
  7. Next time I make these I'm going to drizzle the top with glacé icing for a Bakewell tart type affair.

These are so good.

Tuesday, 23 September 2014

What I've Been Reading: Going the Distance by Christina Jones

This month Accent Books have re-released Christina Jones' Milton St John Trilogy with new covers.

They have also been on special offer in the Kindle bookstore, so of course I took it upon myself to top up my collection.

This trilogy started calling me due to my part-time job where I input racing detail. It gives me something to daydream and play makebelieve about during my shift. I know, it's naughty but hey it passes the time.

The book is set in the town of Milton St John, and reminds me a little of a frothy Polo. Granted I haven't read Polo since I was a teenager so I might just be romanticising it a little.

Our heroine of the piece is Maddy. Unlucky in love, but successfully running her own business, living in horse racing village Milton St John with her younger sister - also an apprentice jockey she is at the heart of the neighbourhood.

Peapods, the property across the road from her cottage, used to be a sports club run by her ex-boyfriend has a new resident. Horse trainer Drew Fitzgerald is moving his stable over from Jersey.

The pair first catch sight of each other at a party held at one of Maddy's client/friend home. There is an instant attraction, which strengthens when Drew saves her from her letcherous ex.

Soon Maddy finds out that the Drew is married and feels that they are coming too close for her comfort. Feeling that it would be wrong to come between and man and his wife, which is complicated even further after she meets Caroline and finds out that she really likes her.

As if that wasn't complicated enough, Maddy's ex manages to dived the village with his latest stay rich and powerful scheme.

The village rise up against the scheme as the racing season heats up.

This is a fast-paced story, that didn't let me put it down for long. Probably why I read it in one evening.

I've already started on the second book in the series.

Monday, 22 September 2014

What BeeBee's Supporting... The CRY Campaign

This weekend while I was wallowing in self pity, pain and general glumness a new campaign was brought to my attention.

I'm not a football fan in anyway, shape or form. But I do respect what the supporters try and do with the influence that a large group of people can have towards a common goal.

In this case the Official Supporters Club for Hull City are throwing their weight behind The Cry Campaign in memory of Josh Fell with the launch of a new charity wristband, the brain child of Supporter Club members Fiona Colling, Nadine Matthews (Market Weighton branch) and Paul Abraham (Hornsea branch).

On 9th June 2001, aged just 15 years old, Josh Fell died from SADS (Sudden Arrhythmia Death Syndrome) after playing football at Hornsea School field with friends. Two of which tried to resuscitate him but were too late. The previously healthy teenager had died with no symptoms or signs to anything being seriously wrong.

Since their understandably devastating loss Josh's parents Rich and Donna and younger sister Jasmine have have worked non-stop promoting awareness of this condition and have since become CRY (Cardiac Risk in the Young) representatives for East Yorkshire,

I am supporting this great cause, and hope that you will too. It is shocking to me that there are still previously healthy children and young adults at the peak of their fitness just dropping with unknown heart conditions. As was the case with Bolton Wanderers footballer Fabrice Muamba, whose heart famously stopped on Saturday, 17th March 2012 for 78 minutes and was saved due to the fast work of medics on the pitch.

He was lucky, and had trained professional medics on site as he suffered from his heart attack. This condition doesn't need to be life threatening. However, the screenings that can spot these arrhythmias are not currently on the NHS. Donna and Rich have also been raising money for CRY to fund these heart screening sessions in the East Riding. Screenings are open to 14 to 35-year-olds and the next screening date is due to be announced shortly.

This new campaign is quickly gaining speed and already has support in the shape of Former Hull City striker/midfielder Dean Windass. 

Bands are £2 each and be bought on match day at the Airco Arena, via the website (www.hullcityosc.co.uk) or from Josh's family.

Further details about this silent killer can be found at http://www.c-r-y.org.uk/

Friday, 19 September 2014

Free For All Friday:Top 10 Things That Make Me Feel Better

So I'm still wallowing in my pity party for one.

The germs are slowly being driven out or at least drowned by copious hot drinks.

So here is my Top 10 Things that make me feel better when I'm poorly sick. In no particular order

1. Hot fruity drinks. Hot blackcurrant squash and hot lemonade, the clear fizzy variety.

2. Blankets. Huddling under a blanket with a magazine.

3. A cheesy girly book. I revel in the bliss that is a cheap novella from Amazon's Kindle book store.

4. Sleep. Sad but true. I love my bed.

5. Scrolling on by on Pinterest.

6. Watching Lifetime movies and TV shows. This week I've been binge watching Witches of East End love some frothy wiccan adventures.

7. Sugar. In all shapes and forms. It keeps me pepped up and stops me falling into a stooper in the office. I'm usually an avid coffee drinker, unless I have the germs in residence. Then I forgo the caffeine and top up on sugary goodness. Not that my waist or teeth will thank me for that.

8. Pottering. I just potter. I move from one place to the next, not particularly doing or achieving anything. There is something of an aimless wanderer about me when I'm that way inclined.

9. Youtube. Oh my sparkles. I'm a vlogger lover at the best of times, but I fall into the black hold of YouTube when I'm poorly. Right now I'm loving Jack & Dean, comedy shorts that I'd love to be longer.

10. Soup and bowl foods. There is something about soup or any food that needs to be served in a bowl and can be eaten with a spoon that I find comforting. And when I'm drowning in my own goo packed and stacked high with chilli. So pass me a bowl of chilli, soba noodles broth, spiced chilli beef soup, cheesy rice bake with baked beans... I think you get the gist.

Thursday, 18 September 2014

Pity Alert: I'm Poorly Sick

This week the lurgy has finally caught up with me.

After a good run of being lurgy free I've been walloped with the stick of bleurgh.

I'm not good at being sick.

I'm particularly not good at being sick and continuing to act like a adult.

So to make myself feel better, in the short term at least, I have been partaking in some sweet treats.

Namely Body Parts and Monsters from Maynews... nom nom nom.

Then dosing myself up with cold & flu tablets and Night Nurse. The witchy green goo is my night time saviour, knocking me out cold within a good 30mins of taking it. Thank you to +miss budget beauty for recommending it in one of her YouTube vlogs.

What I have been doing in the little downtime I've had so far is wander the internets bloggysphere in search of bits and bobs to read.

I have found myself drawn to these few.

Louise +Sprinkleofglitter Oh I love this girl.

Shame the feeling isn't reciprocated, yet I will continue to stalk her on YouTube, Facebook and Twitter. At my age I really should know better.

She's a blast of fresh air, as batty as me and just as flighty. There is no hidden agenda here, just a girl who likes to be herself and share her life with the world (ps I love her hair!!!)

Then there is Money Saving Mom my FB timeline keeps sending me here.

With tips on organising your money and house she keeps sucking me in. I'm yet to find someone that sucks me in as much as she does in the UK though.

Although A Thrifty Mrs does come close. 

And this post of Autumnal Date ideas is simply spiffing... must bookmark for when I feel better. 

And then there is always the delight that is @pinterest

It is hard to put into words how much I love this site. I can disappear into a pinterest black hole and not come up for hours. Just scrolling and pinning. One of my favourites is Disneybound, a whole selection of look books based on Disney characters.

I mean just look at those boots!

Wednesday, 17 September 2014

What I've Been Eating... Rebels' Smokehouse

I was lucky enough to have been taken out to lunch last week by a very dear friend.

I really did make the most of my week away from the office.

We disappeared off without our husbands for a bite at Rebels' Smokehouse on Butcher Row in Beverley. I had never been there before, last year I had picked up a pulled pork sandwich from outside during the town's Food Festival, but I'd never stepped inside.

Even though it is fronted by large windows it is very dark inside and reminds me a lot of an American-style square bar I used to work in. The tables are a dark wood, and there is a mix of tall bar tables with bar stools and lower tables with metal chairs and holds 60 covers.

The decor is that homely cluttered feel that you find in bars like TGI Fridays, which is probably due to it turning into a bar once the sun goes down.

Anyway, I digress. Down to the food. Wow. What a menu. So much choice. I got lost half way down the first column.

There is so so much choice, and I dread to think just how much pork they wind up smoking and saucing.

We took a deep breath and dove into the menu, and came up for air bringing a selection of nachos, New York Strip Sandwich with blue cheese and slaw and the special of bigfoot burrito with us. You would have thought with the name bigfoot we might have expected a slightly larger than average buritto.

All meals are served either on wooden boards or a large enamel bowl/plate. Similar in size to what Gran would have cooked a family-sized pie in for 10 people. And this is just one portion.

I can honestly say one portion would handsomely serve 2 people from what I saw with the other dishes that were brought out.

Also on the specials board on the day we visited was a chicken waffle burger calzone and a double cheese burger calzone. Yes. They have actually managed to fit a whole burger - with bun - inside a calzone. It looks immense.

*taken from facebook

*taken from facebook
Thankfully, like the country of inspiration for this restaurant, they offer doggy bags/boxes so you can take what you can't eat now home with you.

This is food that definitely sticks your front to your back.

The barbecued pulled pork is up there with some of the best I have ever tasted, and is a blend that belongs to Alabama native and co-founder Sally McIntosh's family and unique to Rebels'. The pork butts are local and more often than not smoked for up to 16 hours in Sally's imported smoker.

During our visit we were ably served by Restaurant Manager Lucas Billingham, who was both jovial and patient as we waded through the vast menu.

The only downside is that we didn't get to try the Brownies which are the other co-founder Jason Rowe's speciality. There is always next time!

May your day Glitter & Sparkle!


Tuesday, 16 September 2014

Blonde Ambition: Part Two

Earlier this year I began the journey from bright red hair to blonde.

I knew it was going to be a long and windy road heading from this:

To anything anywhere near blonde.

So my first set of highlights brought me to here:

A shade I lovingly named pinge, part pink, part... well I think you get the jist.

So here I am. A good 6 months later, frequently working longer than my contracted hours and without the time to spend the time being pampered at the hairdressers.

I turned to the dye section in my Avon catalogue and chose the lightest Ash Blonde they have. In fact my natural hair colour is a dark ash blonde. That is if you were going to try and find a colour match for it.

I used to dye my hair a lighter blonde during my early twenties, so I'm not a complete novice. Although it was the first time in a very long time that I had lightened my hair myself so I took my 2 boxes of lightest ash blonde (currently £4.50 in campaign 15) into the bathroom.

This kit differs slightly from those that I have used in the past. It is a three part system. 

Part one: a pre-treatment. Almost like a conditioner texture. You add this to the hair that is already coloured (ie not your roots). Massage this is well. 

Part two: the mad chemist bit. You add your tube of colour to the bottle and shake what yo mama gave you. 

I get the wonderful job of doing this bit twice. The joys of having uber long, and extra thick swaths of hair. I used almost a full bottle covering my roots. As directed I left this to cook for 20 mins. 

Then I added the remaining colour to the rest of my hair and made sure that it was well coated. 

I left this bit on for a further 10 mins. I could have gone for longer, but I was against the clock and about to go out for a presentation at the library. 

Part 3: The post dying treatment. What is it about hair dyes? They include the best ever conditioners. After gently wetting the hair, and working it into a lather, rinse until it runs clear. Be patient. If your hair is anything like mine it will take what seems like forever. Then using a wide tooth comb coat your hair in this very thick conditioner and leave for 2-3 minutes and again rinse until clear. 

Then you are done. Style as you see fit. 

I've loved how it hasn't completely lifted the colour on my ends. I'm rather attached to the reddy tinge that is left. There is something about having a bespoke colour going on that I like. I love to be slightly different to the rest of the crowd.

After photo doesn't quite capture the full lightening that happened, the joy of Autumn's changing lights. I've already added another two boxes to my next Avon delivery.

May your day Glitter & Sparkle!


Monday, 15 September 2014

Where I've Been... Saltmarshe Hall Handmade Fair

Through my lovely friend Emma from Lemonade Sundays I was invited to attend a handmade fair held in a beautiful country house in the East Riding, on the bank of the River Ouse.

What a gorgeous place to spend a leisurely Saturday morning. The Grade II listed Regency house has remained in the same family for over 900 years and has been described as one of Yorkshire's best-kept secrets, and I can see why. 

The rooms are tall, spacious and airy. Decorated in keeping with the style of the period.  The large windows let the sunlight just pour in, the amazing chandelier in the morning room glints as the light catches each facet. 

I walked into the hall to be met with a gorgeous lemon cupcake, just what my morning called for. 

In the first room were a number of tables, the one that first caught my eye was bchicy. A wonderful mix of kitsch, shabby chic gifts and home accessories.

There was also a jewellery stall, Just Gems. Their stock comprised mainly of classically set stones that you get from homemade jewellery. 

Their products are well executed, just not up my street. I have seen lots of this style of jewellery and I like something a bit more original and quirky.

In the next room, was two more jewellery stalls and two handmade gift stalls. My favourite of which was Slights Crafts made by Gill Shaw.

A shabby chic mix of classic knitted finger puppets (some more contemporary than others - the jungle creatures were amazing), hanging signs and cards. 

Then last, but not least, there was the brightly lit breakfast room. Wow. They seriously saved the best until last. In here were another three crafty stalls. 

Sue at Spotty Dotty Crafts fashions amazing memory pillows and stuffed animals from your little one's baby clothes, as well as other bespoke gifts with a personal touch. A lovely lady and I look forward to getting some bits and bobs from her in the future. 

Helen's Homemade Home stall stole my heart. From the myriad of stuffed owls and cushions to the make your own cake plates and diy craft kits (keep your eyes open as I bought one of the owl kits).

The there is Lemonade Sundays, recently nominated for a Mumpreneur UK award, Emma makes bespoke jewellery from buttons of many colours. I currently have my eye on this brooch, and it is firmly on the I Want List.

Lemonade Sundays also ran a bracelet making workshop. A chance to make your own personalised button bracelet. More coming on that too soon. Don't forget when the What BeeBee Did... page finally reaches 100 likes I am giving away one of Lemonade Sundays' fabulous bracelets. 

This craft fair was put together by Gemma at Glossy Communications. I know I'm looking forward to hearing more about the vintage fair mentioned on her blog.

May your day Glitter & Sparkle!