This month’s review is less a review and more of an idea, just because the make up organizer I have sold out in shops. I got it from B&M. Similar one can be found online though, at Home Bargains for £5. I wasn’t sure if it will be of good quality as it has a low price. In the end, I was so happy with it and I end up buying two.
I got the first one a few months ago. It was a little bigger than I wanted but it fit in a cabinet and I had to rearrange a few things to make space for it. I have enough space for everything I need to store in it and there is still a little bit of space left for anything else I might decide to get and use.
I used to keep my nail polish in my bedside table. Some of the makeup was in the bathroom and the rest in a drawer. Now that I have everything in one location is great. I keep in the bathroom only the makeup remover and, of course, the cleansing products, like face wash, lotion, masks. Because I moved all the makeup in the bedroom, now I can see and use easily the things I have in the bathroom. The samples and new items are kept in my bedside table until I decide to use them.
After having it for a couple of months, I bought another one for the caravan.
In the caravan, the makeup organizer, was a life saver. I have a traveling makeup bag that I’m using, but it’s so much easier to have all the makeup and cosmetics within easy reach when I’m looking for them. Before having the makeup organizer I used some glasses for the toothbrushes. I found that in the caravan, the makeup organizer was even more important as I keep there all the cosmetics and stuff for my hair too. As you can see, the organizer has more things in it, as I have there the shower gels and so on.
The best part of doing that reading challenge last year is that it made me want to read more. In early February I finished 3 books that I’ve enjoyed. After taking pictures for this post, I finished another one, but I will talk about that one in my next post about books.
I enjoyed all of them, maybe because they are so different. I read two of them at a time and I saw that it gives me the possibility to read more, as sometimes I would prefer something light.
The first book I read this year was “Alexander McQueen – blood beneath the skin” by Andrew Wilson. I spotted this book in the library last year, but postponed reading it as I didn’t have time back then.
The book was written with the support of the McQueen family and help from friends too. It shows a fascinating insight into Alexander’s life and work, his style and his struggles.
The book was so well written and his story is very interesting. I didn’t want to put it down, this is how much I enjoyed it.
The book begins with his memorial service, after his suicide. After that intro, the book shows Alexander’s life from the beginning, with the stories of his family tree, his childhood in East London, his relationship with his siblings and at school. It depicts details from his career and it offers a view of the fashion world. The book is honest and real, nothing is sugar coated and I loved it for that.
I would recommend it without a doubt, a must read if you love fashion. If you would like to read the book, you can order it from amazon or pick it from the local library as I did.
Last week my husband and I went to visit the Transport museum Coventry. We were walking around the city and we intended to see the art gallery. When we saw the Transport museum we thought we have time for a quick look. It was so big and fascinating that we end up spending much more time than we’ve anticipated and we missed the art gallery all together.
We’ve started our visit with the special exhibition called Hot Rods & Kool Kustoms. This exhibition can be visited until 14th May. In this exhibition there are beautiful American and British custom made cars. It is a really interesting display and the entrance is free, both to the special exhibition and to the museum.
1952 Hudson Pacemaker Coupe was my favourite car in this exhibit, I think it’s beautiful.
These small cars were made for children. I thought these sort of cars are something new and modern, but it looks like they were available many years ago.
I wanted to make a weekly meal plan for ages, but I get ideas and this makes me want to cook something else and I can’t stick to a plan, until now. For our last week away (well, a little bit more than 1 week), I made a meal plan and this is how I discovered How to make a realistic meal plan.
I started by thinking how much time I will have to cook. Basically not a lot, as we were away with work. I also didn’t have a lot of space to cook, as we were caravanning. I have an oven and a hob with 2 burners, a small fridge, but the worktop space is limited. Considering all these, I chose the best options available. We eat shop-bought soup, so I got enough cans for each day, making sure we have 1 of 5 a day and we also have loads of different options. I’m going to talk about the meal plan I did when we were busy, most days include only the breakfast and dinner, as at lunch time we had different things, vegan healthy bars and sandwiches most days.
Because I wasn’t at home, I prepared the rice, cornmeal and pasta by weighting in how much I would need to cook once. I also made the mix for pancakes/cupcakes, dry ingredients, to which I got to add 2 eggs and some milk. It took only 10 minutes to prepare everything. I prepared a few cans of veggies too and I took some coconut milk from home for the risotto. I didn’t want to have to go shopping often.
B – Sandwich and soup
We had sandwich, soup and cake.
L – Vegan coconut milk risotto with veggies
I made coconut milk risotto with bamboo shoots.
D – Mash potatoes and halloumi
Mash potatoes, pan-fried halloumi and red cabbage salad.
B – Pasta with veggies
We had pasta with 1 can of peas and 1 can of tomatoes, herbs and sesame seeds.
D – Stir-fry
Stir-fry with leeks, carrots, peppers, mushrooms and halloumi.
Soup. Stir-fry of peppers, carrots, mushrooms, potatoes and onions.
B – Soup and pancakes
Soup. Savoury pancakes with mushrooms and cheese.
D – Nachos
Nachos with homemade tomato sauce.
As you can see, I did pretty good. We had at least 3 servings of veggies every day. We also had some fruits, so I don’t think there was a day with less than 4 from the 5-a-day.
So, these are my tips on How to make a realistic meal plan.
Make it flexible.
I think my meal plan was a success because I didn’t think of an exact recipe. I said, for example, “stir-fry” and this meant I could do it with each ever veggies I fancied. As you can see in my plan, we had quite a lot of mushrooms because we both wanted to have more mushrooms that week.
Make it simple.
Another thing that was very important is that I kept everything easy and simple. Not too fancy, so I didn’t have to spend too much time cooking because I didn’t have a lot of it. I made plans before, but it was too complicated for the time and resources I had.
Last time I made a plan, we were away, like this month, but we were staying in a self-catering cottage, I had the pans they provided us with and again, not a lot of worktop to do what I wanted.
Make it convenient.
Use the things you know it will make your life easier and it will also make it more likely you will stick to your meal plan. I used canned soup, canned veggies along fresh veggies and some frozen mushrooms too. At home I have more time and I would cut down on the number of canned foods I would have. So, instead of asking myself to cook from scratch with fresh veggies that I bought that day from the supermarket, I chose convenience for myself. Leaving the caravan at 8.45 and getting back at 6 meant I was able to cook in the mornings and in the evening too. A few years ago I would have left the cottage at 8 and got back at 8 after going to the supermarket to get fresh food. Do I have to point out that we had pizza and pasta almost every evening? I was too tired and had other things to do too.
These are my tips. I will make another meal plan for next week, to see how well I will stick to it while at home.
Do you make meal plans?
I had a little break from blogging, not intentional though. I had a cold, still struggling with it, so I wasn’t in the right mood for blogging. Last week I’ve been to Coventry and I have loads of pictures to share. I also visited the Transport Museum, but I will blog about that in a different post these days.
Now that I’m getting back to blogging, I have a few exciting things I want to blog about and a couple of very exciting new projects.
My husband and I went to Spon Street and, as mentioned, to the Coventry Transport Museum. There are plenty more things to see in Coventry, like the art gallery and the cathedral, among other things. We’ll have to visit the city again in the future, to see everything.
Spon Street is pretty much in the centre. The old half-timbered 14th century buildings were restored and now they are shops, pubs and restaurants. Spon Street first appeared in documents in the 12th century. Spon Gate was one of the 12th that were protecting the city, built in the 14th century and demolished almost 400 years later.
On this street there were traders from the 12th century until the 19th century. There were a lot of trades on this street: fuller, weaver, cordwainer, saddler, plumber, smothi, carpenter, cloth dresser, woader, salter, cobber, fletcher, dyer, tanner, whittawer, watchmaker, apothecary and physician. In the 18th century Coventry was booming due to its ribbon manufacturing. With the industrial revolution, factories appeared and they replaced the ribbon makers. As they didn’t have money, the shopkeepers started to lose money too. It was a bleak period with starvation and soup kitchens for poor families.
The buildings we see today were rebuilt 40-50 years ago with the original materials. Some of the houses have boards on them with details about the initial look of the house and when it was rebuilt.
If some questions will be too personal, I will avoid answering them or I will answer vaguely. But the purpose of this series I’m starting is to look more in depth of things I might avoid. Knowing the why and asking the question is the first step into solving a problem.
1. When was the last time you tried something new?
When it comes to food, I try new things weekly, recipes or ingredients. When it comes to activities, I learned how to make my own perfume and I enjoyed that a lot.
2. Who do you sometimes compare yourself to?
I make an effort not to compare myself to others. I don’t know their story and how they got where they are. As a blogger I might compare myself with other bloggers, or I compare myself with high-school colleagues and I do that when it comes to work. As soon as I realize I do that, I stop and I try to take a step back.
3. What’s the most sensible thing you’ve ever heard someone say?
I don’t know. At the moment I have as a background on my laptop: Whether you think you can, or you think you can’t – you’re right.
4. What gets you excited about life?
Traveling with my family, my work, cooking.
5. What life lesson did you learn the hard way?
All life lessons are learned the hard way, or they wouldn’t be life lessons.
6. What do you wish you spent more time doing five years ago?
Nothing really. I just moved to UK and everything was new and exciting. I was visiting the city and discovering new ingredients and recipes. It was so exciting.
7. Do you ask enough questions or do you settle for what you know?
I ask many questions. I’m very interested in discovering the WHY behind the actions.
8. Who do you love and what are you doing about it?
I love my husband and our dog. I should do more about it, more special moments, less arguing over stupid things.
9. What’s a belief that you hold with which many people disagree?
Some of my beliefs would be quite controversial to disclose on my blog, so I will refrain from that. One I talked about is being vegetarian. At the moment there are more people eating meat than veg*ns, so it’s something the majority of the people will disagree.
10. What can you do today that you were not capable of a year ago?
This is a very interesting question. The first thing that I though of is that now I am happy to make decorations with fondant. I was scared to try it, because I wanted to be perfect. When I stopped being scared, I tried it and I loved it. Funnily enough, I think the decorations I made look perfect.
11. Do you think crying is a sign of weakness or strength?
Neither. I don’t like revealing my feelings in public, so I almost never cry if others can see me. I can’t say I cry often though.
12. What would you do differently if you knew nobody would judge you?
If it’s something I believe in, I don’t care if others will judge me. They might judge me either way, but it’s my life and I must be the one happy with it.
13. Do you celebrate the things you do have?
Yes, it’s a part of being happy. I’m not a naturally happy person, but I know that and I know how to put myself in the position to focus on the happy things. Celebrating the things I have is a part of it. For example, we celebrate the day we bought our home.
14. What is the difference between living and existing?
It’s a huge difference, obviously.
15. If not now, then when?
Good question. Well, let’s try now.
16. Have you done anything lately worth remembering?
It’s work related, so I’ll not get into details. I was so happy and proud when I saw the results, a special moment.
17. What does your joy look like today?
Going to see something new, having a laugh with my husband and walking with the dog.
18. Is it possible to lie without saying a word?
Yes, of course.
19. If you had a friend who spoke to you in the same way that you sometimes speak to yourself, how long would you allow this person to be your friend?
I think this is the most important question from the whole lot. I don’t know, but it’s a question I will ask myself monthly and hopefully answer will be a longer and longer time.
We know we should be kind to others, but being kind to ourselves makes us egoists, doesn’t it?
20. Which activities make you lose track of time?
Reading and cooking.
21. If you had to teach something, what would you teach?
22. What would you regret not fully doing, being or having in your life?
I’m not sure if regret is the best word, as I love what I’m doing, but I would have loved to be able to practice what I studied at Uni. I also think it’s a shame I be even more organized.
As for regrets of not having someone in my life, it wasn’t fully my choice. Even if I pushed someone out, it was their actions that brought us to that point.
23. Are you holding onto something that you need to let go of?
I think we all do that.
24. When you are 80-years-old, what will matter to you the most?
I don’t know, I’m not in that position.
25. When is it time to stop calculating risk and rewards and just do what you know is right?
I don’t think there is ever a time to stop calculating risks. I also don’t think there is a time to not do what I know is right. I didn’t feel this way 10 years ago, but I was 10 years younger and less mature.
26. How old would you be if you didn’t know how old you are?
Well, 5 when I’m playing with the dog or picking up Disney JPs because they are cute. I can also be around my age (hopefully less) when I’m dressing smartly. And around Mary Berry’s age when I’m baking the perfect Victoria sponge.
27. Would you break the law to save a loved one?
This is a strange question. The law doesn’t always depicts the moral values that any of us might have. For example, would I speed up while driving to get my husband to the hospital if it’s nobody on the streets and it’s safe? I think most of us would say yes. I’m not sure I would say yes because I don’t usually drive and I might get ourselves killed before we reach the hospital.
I can say I think I would break the law, if it’s in accordance with my moral values, to save a loved one.
28. What makes you smile?
The dog makes me smile every single day. My husband makes me smile, cooking makes me smile, my work makes me smile.
I love pubs. I can’t live in UK and not love pubs, can I? I also never been to Cavern Club before! Considering I’ve been living in Liverpool and the Wirral for the last 5 years, that was quite puzzling. For my first pub in the pub of the month series, I wondered if I should start with Cavern or with the pub we love and to which we went to for many times, a pub never mentioned before on my blog, not sure why. As you can see, we’ve decided to go to Cavern Club, on a Friday night, late last month. On 16th January Cavern’s celebrated its 60th anniversary and that was another reason to pick them.
We got there and, as usual, people were taking pictures of the pub, the club, the statues in front of them. You might know that this is where The Beatles played 292 gigs in the early 60s. The Club had a tumultuous history, but now it has the same principles as the ones they had when it was started: fun atmosphere and live music every day from mid-afternoon until late.
As part of the 60th anniversary celebrations, the statue of Cilla Black was unveiled at the Cavern. She worked as a cloakroom attendant at the club in the 60s.
It was quite early when we got to the Club, around 6pm. Even so, the Club was packed and everybody was having a great time. I really enjoyed the music, it was better than I’ve anticipated. This part of the Club is reproduced in the Beatles Museum, only a short walk from the Club.