Sunday, 29 August 2010

Counting my blessings



Wow, the response to my last post has been amazing.

My true friends have read the real message and have contacted me with the virtual hugs I need.

It was indeed a big decision and if I think too hard about it I am at risk of crying.  But the decision is made.  I have my beautiful sort of niece and nephew R & E, and intend to be the best Aunt possible.

I have my grown up sort of nephew C - and intend to spoil him rotten and always be here for him as he finds his way through the world.

I have the best friends I could hope for - I love and feel loved.  I am blessed.

Thank you - you know who you are. xx

PCB x

Saturday, 28 August 2010

Time for a mid year review

well well well here we are nearly at the start of a new term and I have found myself reading back and it's time for a mid year review.  So lets start with:

Work

I love the job I'm doing, love the company and the work.  Have made some really good friends and think that they may offer me a perm role.  This is a challenge as it's 200 miles away from home so would mean continuing to live away Monday to Thursday - most weeks that's fine as I like to have my own space but The Boy is getting a bit grumpy about it.  I think in honesty it was the off season that made him a bit bored but now that the footie is back on he won't even notice I'm not here (as long as there's food in the fridge).

Weight

Well I am 2.5 stone down and much happier still a bit to go but it's all going well.  I completed the Moonwalk and have been an occasional gym attendee, but it's all heading in the right direction.  Walking helps and the new friends I've made at work are great.

Baby

In all honesty I think I have accepted that this isn't going to happen for me.  I'm 38 soon, and a contractor - not really the greatest situation.  So whilst there is an element of heartbreak I am coming to terms with the reality that I will not be a Mum.  It hurst and saddens me, but it's the reality of the situation.

Life

Well the baby decision has knocked me for six the last few months, a lot of thinking and to-ing and fro-ing and the black mood has descended slightly.  I am not keeping in touch with old friends, not on here much or on twitter.  Finding other ways to pass my time.  I'm okay just licking my wounds a bit, boosting my ego and concentrating on work.

So what's next - well still doing the clutter stuff, still losing weight, be the best I can be at work and emerge from this short black period and pay some more attention to my ever patient friends (they know who they are).

So new uniform, new bag, fresh pens and pencils.....new opportunity, new beginning - love that new term feeling.

Sunday, 22 August 2010

The Cleveland Way

This weekend we went to Scarborough and we walked from Whitby back to Scarborough on The Cleveland Way.  It was a cloudy start to the day but the sun came out and we saw the North Yorkshire Coast at it's best.

Its a tough tough but if you get a good day it is truly beautiful.









Friday, 13 August 2010

Things I bought in Philly

Still not sleeping very well which is annoying as when I first got back I was all puffed up and proud as I thought I had escaped the jet lag.....ah well.

When in Philadelphia last week I was staying opposite the King of Prussia mall so after work on Monday I skipped across the car park from the hotel to have a nosy and to pick up some things for The Boy.  

First stop was the pharmacy for some over the counter drugs - they really so have much better pain killers available there don't they.  Then in I went.  I had a plan I needed to get to Kheils and Lacoste for The Boy and they were on the same floor and section of the mall so that was my aim.

However, best laid plans and all that as the sales were still on so I did quite a bit of browsing before landing in Michael Kors.  I love Michael Kors clothes - they seem to me to be made for real women, you know those that have a body that's reflects actually having enjoyed life a bit.  I had always assumed that it was out of my price range but was more than pleasantly surprised that his diffusion line was very reasonable and that they had a sale on........oh dear oh dear.  As I walked in the beautiful store, (light, airy, soft music, shiny things) they nices sales assistant said hello and just let me browse a bit.  As I was working my way back, she just passed me and said - 'sorry the place is a bit of a mess we are just re-arranging as many more items went on sale today'.  Kerching - SALE.  They were putting loads of bags on the shelves at the front of the store as they were on sale - not end of the line naff but some beautiful MK bags....if I hadn't just invested in a bag I would have been tempted but managed to hold myself back.

However, I did buy a fabulous top:




(not great quality photo's I'm afraid as taken with phone)

I also bought a black jersey dress, it has a sort of cowl neck, drape and a little ruching at one side.  Perfect no crease dress for travelling (I wore it for the flight home)


Both the dress and the top were $89 dollars.  I also bought some shoes but have no picture so will have to sort that.

I then went to Kheils and Lacoste for The Boy - both shops had the items he wanted for the same price in dollars as in pounds and there was no purchase tax either so with the exchange rate up around the 158 mark it was a good value trip.

I had a bit more of a wander around and bought three pairs of jeans from Old Navy - whilst they are not the best quality in the world they were reduced to $19 a pair so even after the exchange charge on my bank card I got three pairs for about £38.  I got two skinny pairs, one dark one lighter denim and one boot cut.  It's so nice to have a pair of jeans that actually fit - one of the things I love about shopping in he US is that the sizes are much lower numbers - so a UK size 16 is a US size 12 - this makes me very happy.

Then I went to J Crew - oh my they had their autumn stock in and there were some truly lovely items but I stuck to basics and this is what I got:


    

All in all a great success.

Sunday, 8 August 2010

The Liberty Hotel - Boston, USA

This week I've been away with work; I was in Philadelphia for 3 days then up to Boston for a day.  In Phily I was in an anonymous Crown Plaza hotel, at The King of Prussia Mall - more about that another time.  The Crown Plaza was fine, made better by the brilliant barman Dan who made my drinks without asking what I wanted (after the first order) and when he was packed busy the next night just made me a G&T and passed it through the crowd so I didn't have to wait.  After the otherwise dullness by the time I got to Boston I was really looking forward to The Liberty.

I was originally booked in to The Westin in Waltham, it's fine - perfectly fine but it's big and corporate and when traveling alone is not exactly comfortable in my opinion.  I was talking to a colleague and she said that I should go to The Liberty that the company has a rate there so it's an approved hotel.  I am so very glad I took her advice.

The Liberty is in downtown Boston, a walk away from all the great places and is in an old jail.  It's a boutique style hotel, but large, as well as being a very busy night spot - the two bars were buzzing when I arrived at 8.30pm on a hot and humid Wednesday night.

On arrival you are given a glass of champagne before going to your room, and what a lovely room it is.  I was in The Tower part of the hotel, only on the 3rd and but had a great floor to ceiling window, so just about had a view if I crooked my neck a bit.  The room was classic boutique hotel:






my sort of mini bar











and a great bathroom with fab mirrors & lovely Molton Brown products







and I would muchly like one of these for my bath



After changing I went downstairs to The Clink restaurant - you see what they did there, one of many Jail style touches including a do not disturb door sign that reads 'Solitary'.  I had a vodka martini (not quite dry enough for my liking) with beef carpaccio which was melt in the mouth tasty but a few too many capers, followed by parpadalle with a lamb ragu which was tasty tasty tasty just a tad too salty.  The service was excellent and the crowd bubbling but not rowdy.  Shame that the food was a little 'over done', not over cooked just not quite there.

I then went to the main lobby bar for another Martini, much better this time served by a very handsome barman who was polite but busy chatting to his slightly drunk room mate (who as I understand it was moving out and was going to miss the beer exchange and pizza night.....).  They had every bottle behind the bar you could think of and even make their own infusion of bourbon (Markers Mark infused with a vanilla tobacco which smelt amazing when over ice).

Remembering the Martini rule, I said my goodnights and went back to my room.  Just before the lift doors closed the actor Michael Cera  (in case you are saying Who?)  jumped in - I was a little star struck to be honest having just been watching one of his films the weekend before with The Boy.  He was very polite, asked where I was from and then we wished each other a good night - if only I had been on a higher floor I am sure we would be BFFs by now.

Breakfast was served in the room and was massive, I had pancakes with a side of bacon and scrambled eggs - there was enough for two possibly three.  I managed about half of it - but then couldn't move for quite some time.....



Overall my experience at The Liberty was great - I would strongly recommend it if you're in Boston for business or on a City break.  The prices were not silly and the location and decor made it a great treat.

Check it out here http://www.libertyhotel.com/

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