Friday 28 May 2021

A Positive Outlook On Online Dating*

Having got married in September last year, and been with my now husband for almost 5 years, I will admit that online dating is not something that I myself have taken part in for quite some time. That’s not to say that I didn’t before meeting my now husband, and even as a married person I can still very much see the benefit and appeal to meeting someone online if you are single.


For example, one of my closest friends met her partner via a dating app. In fact, it’s how the two of us then went on to meet, as I was a friend of her now partner. This was a few years ago now, and the pair of them have just brought and moved into their first house together (aww). Aside from obviously finding that special someone, the pair meeting meant that some solid friendships have also been formed as a result. Friendships that I myself am very grateful for. Had the two never spoken online, met in person and continued to see each other, I’d have never met my now very good friend.


Another longstanding friend (who I’ve known for over 10 years now!) also met her significant other online, although not via a dating app. The pair met and got to know each other through playing World of Warcraft online together, from two separate counties no less! She came over to the UK to meet her online friends in person and the rest is history – they’ve been together for over a decade, and despite everything covid threw at us managed to get married last year!


Then there is another very close friend of mine, who does still partake in online and in-app dating. In her words “why sniff out smelly men in the club when you can have a scroll in your jammies” – and I have absolutely no doubt that she does talk to people in the comfort of her jammies, because why would you not!?


Dating in any capacity, online or off, is all about having the right mind set and expectations. With social media (and if we’re honest, friends and family members) only showing and sharing the best bits, it’s easy to set your expectations to ‘that perfect someone’ when in reality, no one is perfect. We all have our flaws and every relationship will have its difficulties in some shape or form.


I think a beneficial mind set to have is that you really have nothing to lose, bar perhaps a little bit of time. When speaking to people online on sites such as a Nottinghamshire Dating Site, you have a great opportunity to get to know the other person at least a little bit before you may decide to meet them in person. Of course people can be different online to how they are in person, but even online, you can quickly weed out those that you won’t be remotely compatible with.


You need not limit yourself just to Nottinghamshire Dating  either, as there will be plenty of options more local or more suitable to you. Some people will want to search out that special someone within their local area, while others will want to branch out of their immediate locality and look a little further afield, perhaps for a clean break away from past connections or friendships. Regardless of which you chose, just remember to go in with an open mind, because who knows what the future has in store.

This is a sponsored post, please see my disclaimer for more information.  


Thursday 27 May 2021

Making a date jar - and some date suggestions*

After over a year of being locked in the house together you would think that my husband and I are sick and tired of each other’s company by now. Fortunately for both of us, we’ve really enjoyed the additional time we get to spend in each other’s company. Something we haven’t enjoyed quite so much is being unable to go out and do things together as a couple.


With the world slowly opening back up, we are now somewhat spoilt for choice on options for things to do, which means it can take some time to decide on something. To help us out, as well as to add a bit of fun to deciding what to do when we have date night / date day, I’ve created a date jar. To put this together I’ve pinched one of the glass jars from amongst the decorations from our wedding and raided our stationary supply for notes to write the ideas on. To make sure they don’t open up, I’ve then sealed the notes closed with stickers left over from one of my old Busy B planners.


I have divided our jar into four separate, colour coded categories; Green for good weather, Orange for any weather, Pink for bad weather and Yellow for food and places to eat out. So now no matter what the British weather may throw at us, we’ll have something that we can do. By throwing a food option in there we can also avoid the inevitable backwards and forwards of where to go to eat, or what we fancy on any given evening by just plucking a note out of the jar.


Our only real limitation at the moment is that not everything (restaurants included) will be easy to get to and will probably need booking in advance. However, I’m hopeful that we can make full use of the options on a more spontaneous basis as time goes on. If you find yourself struggling for ideas, say you’ve met someone you like on a  Cornwall Dating Site  and you are stuck for something to do for your first date, I’ve included some of our ideas down below. While these are things in and around the Norwich and Norfolk area, I’m sure many of them can be adapted for anywhere, be it Cornwall dating, London, or even outside of the UK!


That all sums up why I’ve put the jar together, now let’s talk about a few of the ideas that have gone into it.


Good weather


Outdoor crazy golf

Go for a long walk and a picnic somewhere pretty

Visit the Botanical Gardens in Norwich

‘Go Ape’ at Thetford Forest

Trip to Cromer Beach

A walk around a local park



Any weather


Swimming in our local pool

Visit OakVilla Gin Distillery – there are also some nice walking routes on the grounds, weather permitting, but the tours are indoors

Cook a meal together – not just a standard dinner, something different to our regular meals

Movie night – either out at the cinema or create something at home

Laser tag

A day at the zoo


Bad weather



Indoor crazy golf

Visit the retro arcade – This has recently popped up in the Castle Quarter in Norwich, and is packed full of old consoles and games!

Trip to Harley-Davidson in Newmarket – they have a wider clothing selection than Norwich, and it’s always nice to go on a drive together

Gaming night – As avid video game players, this one is always a winner, and it’s perfect for couple that can’t necessarily meet up, as there is of course the option to ‘meet’ in the online gaming world instead. Solid winners for us at the moment are Ark, Grand Theft Auto, The Forest and Need for Speed.





Five Guys – this is a favourite of my husbands, so I’ve actually put this in the jar more than once

Turtle Bay

OakVilla Restaurant

Cosmo – All you can eat

Yo Sushi

Middleton’s Steakhouse – they have a really good set menu for lunch time at the moment

The Recruiting Sergeant -  Horstead

Riverbank Chinese Buffet – All you can eat

Mambo Jambo



We’ll be continuing to add to our date jar as and when we think of things to keep the supply of ideas high. Hopefully my little list will help inspire those who are stuck trying to come up with something to do!

* This is a sponsored post, please see my disclaimer for more information


Tuesday 25 May 2021

Moi-meme Monthly - The Sparkle Box - May 2021

If you saw my post about  last month’s Moi-meme box  then you’ll probably already know that it’s a fairly tough box to beat. Whilst last month took full advantage of the seasons slowly transitioning to Spring, the theme for the May box is to ‘be the sparkle’. Reminding that no matter what life may throw at you, it’s important to keep hold of your ‘inner light’ and ‘let your brilliance shine through.’


The first item I unearthed from within my box was the beautiful silver pouch by Katie Loxton. We’ve had a few Katie Loxton items in the past, including one of my favourite mugs, so it’s a brand that I’ve come to know and love through Moi-meme. This structured pouch is just perfect to be used as a clutch now that we are finally allowed out and about again, or it makes a great overnight bag to keep all of your skincare essentials safe and secure.


In keeping with the ‘sparkle’ theme of this month’s box, the clutch is a pretty silver colour with gold details and zip. The pouch itself feels sturdy, and has a reasonable amount of space in it for anything you might need to have with you on a night out. My one criticism is the zip, which caught and broke after just one use, although it has since been fixed.


Next up in the box was the Figs and Rouge Renew and Refine Pore Detox Serum. Designed to refine, resurface and smooth the skin, this lightweight serum can be used either as part of your skincare routine after cleansing (morning or evening), or as a makeup base.


I’ve used it as a sort of pre-primer, and found that it did indeed blur the skin and give my pores a smoother appearance. I then went over the top with my usual primer and foundation and found that the products worked absolutely fine together. Typically I will use different primers, or a mix and match according to where I am applying it, and what I need or want on that day, but I do sometimes find that certain primers don’t play well together.


Used just within my skincare routine, this serum sinks quickly into the skin and again, plays well with the rest of my serums and moisturisers. I have noticed a subtle difference in the appearance of my pores across the cheek area below my eyes, but I can’t say that I’ve noticed a huge change across the rest of my face. However, as with all skin care, the true effects do not become apparent right away, so I’ll continue to test this product out.


Last but by no means least is the ‘sweet treat’, a beautifully decorated cholate bar by Sweet Theatre. For this little collection of chocolates the founder of Sweet Theatre, Sally, has collaborated with her husband. Ronnie Wood of the Rolling Stones, to release a limited edition range of chocolate wrapped in Ronnie’s stunning artwork.


There were three possible options on which chocolate bar would be received, Salted Caramel, White, or Orange Chocolate.  In my box I received white chocolate, which is one of my favourites (and sadly one of my husbands too, so I had to share) which was wrapped in a vibrant blue and white cloud like pattern.



All in all, this was a great little box, although I don’t think it quite lived up to last months – which to be fair was a very difficult one to beat. My favourite item is the detox serum which I continue to use as part of my morning routine.


I can’t wait to see what goodies Moi-meme have in store for us next month for the June box!


Thursday 20 May 2021

The Plant Diaries - May 2021

Hello and welcome to the second instalment of ‘The Plant Diaries’. I started this little mini-series last month as a way to showcase my plant collection, new growth, new arrivals, and to hopefully impart a little bit of knowledge for my fellow houseplant lovers.


I’ll be following the same format as my last post , so will be starting with new growth, followed by new additions to the collection, new additions to my wish list (that seems to be getting longer and longer) and then finally I’ll share plant related purchases. So, let’s get stuck in!


New Growth


Syngonium Albo

If you read my last instalment, you may recognise this from the new growth section then as well. As I mentioned in the post, this thing is growing like mad, and has pushed out a new leaf for me since the half-moon one, and has another slowly peeling itself away from the stem of the previous. Once this next leaf is out I’ll be able to chop the top of this plant, giving me a two leaf cutting that I can root and grow separately. From there I’ll decide if I want to sell the cutting, or keep growing it out and have two plants, because this is one of my favourites.


Philodendron Melanochrysum

I didn’t expect to see growth on this one so soon. This is a recent addition and I find my new arrivals need a little bit of time to chill out from their journey in the post before they start to really do anything. I rehabbed this one fairly well though, which I think has contributed greatly to its progress.


It arrived with the roots in moss, which in turn was wrapped and secured in cling film – probably one of the best ways to ship a cutting. I poked a hole in the bottom of the cling film and added a tiny amount of water to the bottom of the pot the plant was sat in, but kept it packed up as it has arrived. This meant there was minimal disturbance to the roots, and at the point I could see good growth on them (about 3 weeks later) I then potted the plant properly in a mix of moss and perlite.


Typically I would want to fully unpack the plant to make sure the roots were present and healthy, but as this came from a seller I have used a few times, and trust, I felt comfortable with leaving them alone. I can only surmise that this method worked, because a new leaf is quickly forming!


Caladium White Queen

This year is my first time growing Caladiums from bulb, and whilst they are fairly slow to start, my goodness are they worth the wait! The Caladium produces heart shapes leaves, that will come in a variety of colours. The White Queen has a stunning white leaf with bright pink veining and green edges. The largest leaf is bigger than my hand, and a quick look at the soil has suggested that more are on the way.


Caladium Rosebud

The other variety of Caladium is the Rosebud, a stunning green lead with bright pink veins fringed with white. I have just one more variety of Caladium left, which will hopefully spring up soon, but I’m in love with these plants. I’ve found them to be extremely easy to care for (my one hiccup was working out which way up the bulb goes. They bring the vibrant colour of flowers, without the pollen, which for hay fever sufferers like me is a bonus. There are many more varieties, so I think next year I’ve get several and put them in a long planter on the windowsill together rather than separate pots.


Pilea Mojito  

A variegated form of a money plant, my husband picked this up for me in a garden centre as a present. It’s since thrown out four little pubs, and as it needs repotting soon anyway I’ll be separating these from the mother plant and popping in their own pots to let them grow out. It’ll be interesting to see the levels of variegation that have transferred from the mother plant to the pups.


Philodendron White Princess and Pink Princess

These two sit side by side in my plant cabinet, and both seem to have sprung to life, in particular the pink princess (left) which has two active growth points. The white princess is also working on a new leaf which looks like it’ll have a nice splash of white on it. Both of these plants have reasonable genetics when it comes to variegation (the pink and white colouring) and seem to be improving as they continue to grow. It’s unlikely that I’ll chop the white princess, but I am tempted to take a cutting from the pink princess, as it has two growth points anyway.


Variegated Monstera

This plant seems to alternate between giving predominantly green leaves, and leaves with mottled half-moon variegation, which is exactly what I wanted. As the last leaf was fairly green, other than a chunk of white, I’m expecting a leaf with higher variegation this time. You can somewhat predict what you might get from looking at the stem, but it is largely a bit of a guessing game. Ideally this needs to pole to climb, to allow it to make larger leaves that will start to form with holes and splits, and look like the classic Monstera most of us know.


New additions


I’ve only added one plant to my collection in the past month; The Alocasia Jacklyn. Sadly mine doesn’t look quite as happy as it did on arrival, and is favouring root growth over the maintenance of it’s one tiny leaf. This is certainly something I can live with, as ultimately healthy roots are what will dictate how well this little plant does in the long term.


Wish list Additions


Philodendron Florida Beauty

This isn’t actually new to my wish list, but I forgot to include it in my last post. Sadly this one is going to take some saving and some searching. Cuttings are quite expensive (around the £3-400 mark) and they seem to vary a little in quality. Given the value of these, I would prefer to spend a little more and source from a reputable seller to ensure I get a healthy plant that is also packaged correctly.


Syngonium Orm Nak

I need to do more research into these, as some of the examples I’m finding are a beautiful deep pink, while others look a paler, less appealing shade. There also seems to be a divide between the colour being present over the whole leaf, whereas others would indicate a more sectoral colouring. At a guess, it is dependent on the genetics of the individual plant, so again, it’ll be a case of waiting for the ideal specimen.



I haven’t really made and plant related purchases, other than some pits and soil to do some repotting, so nothing all that interesting in the purchase department. 

Here sums up the various growth and activities in my collection over the last month! I’ve got a few more Caladiums on the go, so hopefully they’ll be springing up soon, especially given how beautiful the current ones have turned out! 

Do you have any houseplants? Which are your favourites? 


Friday 7 May 2021 / Norwich, UK

May Goals 2021

Hello and welcome to my (slightly late) set of goals for May! I can’t quite believe how fast this year is actually going, we’ll be halfway through the year before we know it! I also have the feeling that time is only going to go by faster as we creep out of lockdown and into the summer months.


As per the usual set up, lets first have a look at how I got on with my set of Goals for April.


Blog views

Since I took out an advertising package recently with the lovely Jordanne over at ‘Lift of a Glasgow Girl’, my views have more than doubled, so I’ve taken out some more slots with her and am making more effort to promote both old and new posts on my various social medias. Things are going really well so far and I’m well on track to blow last month’s views out of the water.


Resume the lookback posts

Tick! I did a look back over last month at the start of this one, which you can read here if you haven’t seen it already.


Complete my Strava challenges

I did all bar one, which was to take part in Yoga once a week for four weeks in a row. The hardest challenge was to run a 10k in one go, but I’m really glad I did it. I’ve set some similar challenges for this month, which I’ll cover in a bit.


Catch up with Maria

Not only did I catch up with Maria, I actually got to see her twice last month! She came here first and we went for a walk in the woods, and went hunting for a dog bed big enough for Otto. Then a few weekends later I went to her and we again went for a long walk, followed by a really lovely lunch at OakVilla Distillery.


Take more photos

I managed to take a few, and more to the point I’m actually using them! I’ve become incredibly slack over on my  Instagram as I simply haven’t had the motivation to post much. I’ve been slowly getting back in the swing of it again now that I have a half decent stock of images to use.


Saving plan

Mexico is more or less paid for now, but as we’ve just brought two new cars the saving might not be all that feasible for the time being.



Overall I’m pretty pleased with last month’s goals, so let’s get stuck into what I’d like to achieve in May.



Do another 10k run

I did one of these last month for my Strava challenge, and I’d like to do another one this month as well. I’m not overly fussed about running the whole way (I didn’t last time) I’m more focussed on just covering the distance. If I have to walk for some of it then so be it.


Start my shakes

I’ve got some meal replacement shakes to try out for a bit, so I want to get started with those this month and sink into some kind of routine. I don’t intend to replace all of my meals through the day, although I might do on days I’m not feeling all that hungry. I’ve gained a little weight over lockdown (as most people have) and I’m simply using them to give me a bit of a kick start. I’ll be attending the gym and going for runs and walks, and generally trying to be a bit better.


Sort the cars

As I alluded to above, we’ve got rid of the Audi and have now swapped back to having two cars again. We’ve done really well to share one the past few years as we’ve always worked either in the same building, or close to each other, but with various changes in both of our working lives we now need one each again. Mike has already got his BMW, and I pick up my Ford tomorrow. The insurance and tax is sorted, but I want to get parking sensors fitted to the back of my car, as it’s quite large, and I also need to put my private plate back on it. Mike wants to do some bits to his car too, so we have a few things to sort.


Hit my daily step goal

I’m getting a lot better with my steps and general activity, but I’d like to try and hit my daily goal of 8k steps every day, or at least most days. As I’m working in the office a couple of days from next week, this should be a little easier on those days, so it’s really the days I don’t do much that I need to focus on.


Think of something for my birthday

I keep getting asked what I want, and what I want to do for my 30th in July, and honestly, I have no idea. My original plan (ages ago) had been to go on a trip abroad somewhere with friends, but that isn’t really viable for several reasons. As for what I want as a birthday present, I have absolutely no idea. Other than a dog, which we have agreed we’ll look at after October, there isn’t anything I actually want or need.


Back in the office

As I’ll be back in the office part time from next week, I want to think of some places I can go during my lunch hour, and also catch up with people who work in the area. Given that my office is basically in the city centre, there should be loads for me to do during my break!



That’s the end of my goals for May, I’ve kept them pretty short and sweet, and also stuck to things that should be fairly easy for me to do.


Do you have any goals for May? If so, what are they?


Sunday 2 May 2021

April Look Back - 2021

After a long break, the monthly look backs have returned! I have to say, April has been a pretty great month to look back on, simply because I’ve finally been able to get out and actually do things now that the world is slowly starting to open back up again. Hopefully with the vaccine being rolled out we’ll continue to move forwards and not be forced back into another lockdown. Just in case we do, Mike and I made sure to get plenty of activities in over the past month.


Axe throwing

We kicked off the start of the month on the bank holiday weekend by joining our friends in one of their hobbies, and attended an axe throwing class in nearby Costessey. Admittedly I wasn’t all that great with the axes as they were a little bit heavy for me, but I had loads of fun with the throwing knives. It was lovely to get outside (even if it was a little chilly) and do something a little bit different.


We have since started going every other week, and it’s nice to get out of the house and get some exercise. It’s a pretty good workout too. If my Fitbit is to be believed, 2 or so hours burns almost 600 calories!


Saw Maria

Something I wanted to make sure I did in April was catch up with one of my oldest friends Maria, and we did just that. First we visited a few shops in search of a new dog bed for her fur baby, and then we went on a lovely walk in the woods where we could chat away and have a proper catch up.


I then went and saw her again later in the month and we took her lovely doggo for a nice long walk before we went to lunch at OakVilla Restaurant and Distillery near East Harling. We managed to get a spot outside in the sunshine and had a great lunch together chatting away before we visited the distillery shop to see what they had. I got a couple of bottles of Whiskey Beer for Mike before we made our way back to Maria’s to sit in her garden and continue chatting away.


Booked my Smear

I know for some that just booking a smear is not all that great an achievement, but for me it is. This will be my second one, and last time I put it off for well over a year, made my sister come with me to hold my hand, and almost cried while I was in there. So to have booked my appointment on the same day I got the letter is pretty good going for me.


There are many posts around online that will assure that a smear isn’t actually all that bad, and it really isn’t. My issue comes more from a past traumatic moment when I was a teen. Fortunately, my friend will be taking me there on the day, and although she obviously can’t come in to wait with me, it’ll be nice knowing I have a friendly and familiar face for before and after.

New car!

Two new cars actually! Mike and I have managed to get by sharing a car for the past few years, as we’ve always either worked in the same place, or places close to each other. With him now needing to travel more, and combination of flexible working and a change of location when I do go to the office, it just made sense to swap to two.

So we’ll be swapping the Audi for a BMW for Mike, and I’ll be getting an SUV so that we also have a practical option, especially as we’re looking to get a dog later towards the end of the year. 


This month has also been pretty good for fitness, with a few milestones met. I’ll hold off talking about those too much as they’ll be covered in my monthly goals.

That just about sums up last month for me. I’ll be back in the office part time from this month onwards, and working from home the rest of it, so I should be out and about even more through May.

What did you get up to last month?


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