Review: The Lovely Book for Wonderful Women

The last time I reviewed a book was Othello for GCSE English, so while waiting to recieve this through the post* I was pondering how exactly I’d go about it. Upon opening it I realised this had been pointless as The Lovely Book for Wonderful Women by Lehla Eldridge isn’t like any other book I’ve ever read. It’s a fantastic collection of fun and sweet ideas punctuated with Lehla’s brilliant, slightly eccentric illustrations.

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It’s so easy for us all to get grumpy, stressed, tired and generally complacent about the (so called) little things that make life lovely. This book reminds us that we have more to appreciate, more to enjoy and more power to support each other than we sometimes realise. Lehla brings so much warmth and humour while including examples that are both universally truthful, yet specific, the book has the uncanny knack of feeling like it’s been written just for you.

I've just got into the habit of standing alone in the kitchen enjoying my perfectly cooked eggs, haha!

I’ve just got into the habit of standing alone in the kitchen enjoying my perfectly cooked eggs, haha!

 

It’s fantastic for reminding us we should make time to treat and pamper ourselves…

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Support each other and having self confidence…

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Getting in touch with our soulful side and enjoying the simple things in life…

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Looking outside ourselves and being generous of spirit…

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I couldn’t think of a better present for someone you like, love or even admire to make them smile and most likely laugh out loud. The Lovely Book for Wonderful Women is basically a hug in book form.

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Lehla Eldridge has fitted so much into her life all ready including acting, illustrating, writing, creating theatre, running a restaurant and being a wife and mum, that you wonder where she finds the time to do the things included in the book. But I suppose that’s the point: To be mindful, high-spirited, kind (to yourself as well as others) and to make the time to appreciate it and enjoy it all!

You can all get 20% off the book and free p&p at Pinter and Martin by entering the code lbblog20 at the checkout.

*This book was kindly sent to me by the author for review purposes.

I Bruised My Peach!

I’m in pain but the reason for that is too slapstick not to share. Me and The Bloke were drunkenly tottering home through our local park at around 2.00am on Saturday (the park is probably the safest place to be at that time of night in that area) and we were having a giggle and I, being the least drunk was leading slightly. Then he veered onto an edging, wobbled frantically, tripped over his own feet, then landed on me like felled tree!

I (we) landed on my arse which ironically, didn’t provide the ample padding it normally would because I’ve been working really hard getting it toned for summer. If a greater power does exist, it has a snide sense of humour!

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A fairly accurate example of my colourfully bruised arse today.

Today I’m stiffer than Pinocchio before he became a real boy. We were meant to be going out for a meal for The Bloke’s Dad’s birthday but they were total sweethearts and re-arranged it because of my “sore back”. I’m glad I’m going to be better for Sunday as it’s the Blog On conference at MOSI and I’m damn well not going to cancel because “my boyfriend used me as a crash matt & broke my arse.”

An open invitation to our exhibition launch in July

Chapel Street Community Arts

All are welcome to come along to the launch of our exhibition Chapel St Then & Now, which takes place 3.30 – 6.30pm on Friday 5th April at Salford Museum and Art Gallery, Peel Park, Crescent, Salford M5 4WU
Light refreshments will be provided.
Please RSVP to Stephanie.jones@scll.co.uk by 30th June 2014.

CSTN_invite

Chapel Street Then and Now
5 July to 12 Oct
Manchester visual artist Ian Mckay and three community arts groups have been exploring the changing face of Chapel Street. With support from Chapel St Community Arts, the groups have created combined work incorporating watercolour painting, photography and mixed media visual arts. The exhibition celebrates D.C. Thomson, the publishers based on Chapel St who produced the Beano and the Dandy, highlights significant venues and stories, looks at how the area has changed, and imagines what the current redevelopment work might bring.

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Marry My Blog tag

I was always the quirky one, the one who swore never to conform to social norms. Then I realised over the course of my life the idea of a wedding was starting to creep into my thoughts subconsciously. Now, by that I mean ‘the wedding’ part not ‘the marriage’ part. I love The Bloke and he loves me. Nice and simple.

So, when I read Keeley’s Marry My Blog tag on her blog Phat Cupcake, I thought hyperthetically marrying my blog sounded brill, then I noticed she’d tagged me into it and squeeled! The idea was inspired by Carrie on Sex and the City marrying herself – to get her stollen shoes back… Anyway…

The Ring

Ring

I’ve always had an affinity with Celtic symbolism but didn’t want anything too chunky. I find diamonds to be beautifully sparkly but rather cold, so this 14kt white gold Celtic knot ring is perfect. I actually adore it! Hang on Chrissie, this is all just hypothetical -_-

The Dress

dress

Come on, this is me, it was never going to be traditional. As I also have slim hips like the model, I’d prefer the rouching to be really high up. I do think the combination of the relaxed structured corset, the colour and the fabric is stunning!

The Accesory 

gloves

When Carrie had her wedding for real she decided she would love nothing more than to be accompanied by a bird – a dead one – on her head. So here is my rather macabre but much sexier accessory.

The Shoes Boots

Boots

The Bloke and I have always had this intuative understanding that if we were to get married  I would obviously be wearing some bad-ass boots. So the same goes for Mr blog. My blog as a male? That’s weird. What would I be called then, Mrs Blog? Ha! I can just imagine me dancing on a saloon bar holding my skirt up while wearing these boots.

The Cake

Cake

I typed ‘dragon cake’ into Pinterest (oh crap! I should have made a board of all this) and a lot of beautifully painted Chinese cakes appeared. Total works of art. The Bloke would have gone crazy over them but with everything else being a little unusual, I chose this simple but beautiful cake (by Hillary Rose Cupcakes, with crowning rose omitted). But wait for it…

Dragon Cake Toppers!!!

dragons

The Venue

venue

A castle of course! Part gothic fantasy – part fairytale, this is castle Coch in Cardiff, Wales. My blog (who’d be present via laptop) and my loved one’s could have a pagan/hippy wedding reception in the woods below.

The Honeymoon

hawaii

It’s got to be Hawaii. Top picture is rainbow falls and bottom picture is haiku steps ‘stairway to heaven’, this picture doesn’t really give you a clue as to how steep/high they actually are. Still the easiest way to climb a small mountain! Oh, I can just imaging myself and my blog chilling on the beach, hiking, cycling and exploring the wildlife. Although in the evening I’d have to sneak off & cheat on it with The Bloke.

I tag:

Peace, Love and Patchouli

Square One Notes

Philippine Artisan

KJ Andersen

Mich Eats and Shops

Doesn’t matter if you are already married or (as you can tell from mine) what you can realisticly afford. You’re marrying your blog so go wild girls!

 

Crabtree & Evelyn Pomegranate Argan & Grapeseed Conditioning Hand Wash

I kindly received this six months ago from Crabtree & Evelyn but I wanted to wait before reviewing it to show you the extraordinary amount of time it would last. The fabulously shaped bottle (£15) holds 250ml. I only need to use a tiny blob every day and as you can see, it’s not even half way used yet. This is because it’s so thick, foamy & fantastic! It does contain SLS (Sodium Laureth Sulfate) but the pomegranate, argan and grape seed oils are so incredibly moisturising it’s not remotley harsh on hands and is PH balanced.

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Now the pomegranite scent, wow! Since using this I’ve started drinking a lot more pomegranate juice to settle my cravings, haha! The Bloke adores the scent as well, which is a small miracle as he hardly ever likes my ‘smellies’.

I’m going to take advantage of the 2 for £20 offer on their website as I’ll want another when this eventually runs out and one as a gift for my Mums birthday.

John Rylands Library Photo Story

John Rylands Library

John Rylands Library

John Rylands Library

John Rylands Library

John Rylands Library

John Rylands Library

John Rylands Library

John Rylands Library

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John Rylands Library

John Rylands Library

John Rylands Library

John Rylands Library

This building is absolutely stunning! There is such incredible attention to detail and little dragons hidding in every corner. It reminded me of a beautiful Gothic church – although there was the odd student surrounded by piles of books, tapping away on their lap top. The light in there was really magical and made it difficult to get many perfect shots – which I quite liked, to be honest.

‘The John Rylands Library was founded by Enriqueta Rylands in memory of her husband John Rylands. In 1889 the architect Basil Champneys designed the striking gothic building, which took ten years to build and was opened to public readers on 1 January 1900.

The Library became part of The University of Manchester in 1972 and currently holds the Special Collections of The University of Manchester Library. Mrs Rylands’ memorial to her husband is now part of the third largest academic library in the United Kingdom, and the Deansgate building houses over 250,000 printed volumes, and well over a million manuscripts and archival items.’

Article taken from The University of Manchester website.

OOTD Alternative Summer

Yay, it’s so warm!..Ooh it’s a bit chilly in the shade…Dam, I need some of those cool transitions lenses, it’s too bright. Yup, it’s that sought of weather, so this is that sort of outfit. Still channeling the same 90’s grunge from last year but with less layers and I’ve finally got my legs out.

90's grunge S/S 2014

90's grunge Spring/Summer 2014

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Nourish Protect Smoothing Hand Lotion

This has a really refreshing scent and is antibacterial due to the presence of citrus oil. The aloe vera, shea and (omega rich) sunflower and borage oils work together to make an increadibly hardworking hand lotion. I’d started to get dry flaky skin around my nails but this sorted it out really quickly. My skin felt uncomfortably tacky for about 20 minutes after using it though. I’d watch out for the strong pump though as I ended up squirting it across my bathroom!
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At £12 for 100ml this is a little expensive but I personally think it’s worth the price conscidering it’s 94% organic, soil association and BUAV approved.

Rating 4/5

Barry M Silk Effect Nail Paint

I’ve given myself the length of Spring to ease myself into pastels, or as I like to call them ice cream colours. As soon as I saw this range I knew I’d start with my nails. I’m still sticking with my safe blue/green pallette but the colour is a lot softer and prettier.

Barry M Nail Paint in Meadow

This goes on exactly as if you are using emulsion paint so it’s best to do two thin coats and be very aware of your brush strokes. It dries to a beautiful matt opaque sheen that looks incredibly elegant and sophisticated. It’s also incredibly long lasting and takes ages to remove. This colour will really pop with my tan this Summer.

I’m going to buy blossom next, a lovely pinky peach colour.

My Mission: To Keep ‘Normal’ Hours

I’ve unsuccessfully tried to keep ‘normal’ waking and sleeping hours since I left college age 19. I managed (with the relentless help of my Mum) to keep different 9-5 jobs, the longest being a year before getting sacked for being late too many times.

The second part age 27-28 away from home I got insomnia for an entire year. I survive the work day on a cocktail of pro-plus and Red Bull. On the bus home I’d be barley conscious then once home, I’d fall asleep sat up (sometimes with my tea on my lap) for an hour or two, then I’d be wide awake until around 4:00am or until the sun started to make an appearance. Then at 7.00am I’d get brutally jerked into consciousness half way through a sleep cycle by my alarm and actually feel hungover. Then with a sinking heart I’d realise I had to do it all over again.

I’ve got better over the last 5 years, now I sleep deeply and I feel physically refreshed upon waking up naturally.

These things are still messed up though:

I find it difficult to switch my weird and varied thoughts off.

My dreams are either based around a frenetic uni life (I never had) or an Indiana Jones style adventure, leaving me mentally exhausted upon waking.

I honestly don’t wind down until 12.00am

I don’t actually do enough in the day to tire me out but doing too much exhausts me into a stressed mess.

I’m having to stay up because I’ve eaten too much, too late.

My Mission

Wake up before 9.00am

Get my ass out of bed before 10.00am

Remember to take phone to bed with pretty jingly-jangly alarm on.

Have a vague idea what to wear so I’m presentable in under 30mins.

Eat breakfast an hour after getting up – no later.

Start exercising early evening before I even think about parking my arse in front of the telly.

Eat light evening snack before 10.00pm

Switch off all screens an hour before bed.

Go to bed before 12.00am

Spend around 15 mins thinking about my day and the next day, then just concentrate on my breathing instead of being all wired and creative.

So…

Ignoring my iPod before bed will be a serious test!

Getting to sleep without going over random scenarios in my brain or asking myself deep questions will be tough. I’m at my most creative in that in between stage.

The waking up shouldn’t be a problem, having the will to haul my ass out of bed however…

Wish me luck!

Has anyone got any tips?