Surprise helicopter ride, anyone?

Yes, you read that correctly. For my work’s end of term party, we were all surprised with a helicopter ride to our destination. Since we work in education, we always have a party at the end of July to celebrate the end of the academic year and as a well done from our boss for our hard work through the year.

We all finished work (or arrived at work, for me and a few others who only work term-time) at 10:30 and were handed our first glass of prosecco of the day. After a few photos, we all clambered into our rented minibus and we drove a whole five
metres before stopping and pulling up at the side of the road. Our boss had left a little earlier and we were told we were waiting for her. Now, the wonderful thing TWFT-512
about our boss is that she’s very generous and always plans a surprise or two for the day. Last year, for example, we went go-karting and had a party bus booked to take us around town afterwards for some karaoke and sight-seeing. So, of course, we all began guessing what she could have up her sleeve until one of the guys said it could be a helicopter. We all laughed and rolled our eyes but then we heard what sounded like a helicopter outside the van. We looked out the window to see a helicopter in the sky and our ‘driver’ aka the boss’ husband just smiled at us all. Feeling speechless, we all stared as the helicopter landed on the land opposite our office block and our boss emerged. Shocked, would have been an understatement.

Turns out, we weren’t being driven to York but we were being flown there! It was TWFT-495one of the biggest surprises of my life. I had never been in a helicopter and when I woke up that morning, I had no reason to believe that this would be the day that would change. We were split into two groups and I was in the second group to be flown to our destination. We watched and waved as half our work mates took off then spent the next quarter of an hour or so giggling excitedly as we awaited our turn. The entire plan for the day was to have afternoon tea then attend the races and watch Tom Jones perform afterwards. We just didn’t know we were landing on the racecourse in a helicopter first. Sorry, if we upstaged you, Mr Jones!

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When it was our go, my nerves did kick in a bit but it happened so fast, I didn’t have a chance to get too anxious. The ride itself was so smooth and seemed to go so fast. Then when we actually arrived, it was just so surreal – I felt like a bond girl landing on that racecourse!!

Still in a delirium, we grabbed a taxi into the centre of York and settled into a bar for an hour or two before we headed to The Star Inn the City York for our afternoon tea. We drank more fizz and ate delicious little sandwiches and slithers of brownie and cake. Feeling sufficiently stuffed and a little tiddily, we made our way back to York Racecourse to drink Pimms and bet on some horses. I only made a few bets and then quit while I was ahead so I didn’t end up spending all my money in a couple of hours.

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Once the last race finished at 8:30, we all piled out front to see the legend that is Mr Tom Jones perform live. We boogied the night away and enjoyed the sight of a few men whirling their ties and jackets around their heads during ‘You can leave your hat on’ and I may or may not have done a little Carlton dance when ‘It’s not unusual’ came on.

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The entire day was absolutely amazing!! It was just brilliant from start to finish and I feel so lucky to have experienced it. From Tom Jones to copious amounts of prosecco to a frigging helicopter ride to the late night McDonald’s run on the way back home. What a fantastic day of treats and surprises!

#listoftia

Useful links!
York Racecourse –  http://www.yorkracecourse.co.uk/
The Star Inn the City (York) – http://www.starinnthecity.co.uk/

TB: Colour (run) me pretty!

TWFT-190This time last year I completed the Colour Run with one of my closest friends. We drove from Leeds to Sunderland dressed in pristine white clothes ready to mucky them with colour powder paints.

If you don’t know what the Colour Run is, it’s a 5k run/walk/dance where at each kilometre point you get covered in powder paint. Yes, this is a real thing and no, I haven’t made it up. It’s advertised as the “happiest 5k on the planet” and that’s not false advertising. I had one of the best days ever!

The race was started in tiers and we were one of the last to start. They blast music and get you pumped up before sending you off and into a cloud of colour. The four kilometre points were colour coded: pink, blue, orange and yellow. By the time we reached the final five kilometre point, we were covered head-to-toe and had some wonderful colour tan lines!

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Between my friend’s cling-film covered phone and my disposable camera, we managed to grab some brilliant photos (including a few action shots and the obligatory Tumblr photo of our feet!). There were lots of little stalls and activities to do before and after the race, and one of the best was the colour wheel photo op. You laid down on a giant colour wheel  and got a free professional photo of you with your friend(s) in all your paint covered glory.

TWFT-220Our professional colour wheel picture.

Once the race was officially over, there was then a mini rave where you could chuck around powder paint at any time. It was definitely a great way to finish off the day.

When it was time to head home, we did a quick brush down and made DIY cloaks out of bin liners to protect the car seats before making a quick pit-stop at a Tesco. Despite our appearances, we didn’t get too many odd looks. We grabbed our lunch and some snacks and supplies for the drive home then headed back down south to Leeds.

The Colour Run is something that is on most people’s bucket lists and now I definitely know why. It’s a brilliant day out and if you ever get the chance to take part in one, I’ve two words for you: do it.

#listoftia

Useful links!
The Colour Run website – http://www.thecolorrun.co.uk/

A dress to impress!

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I did it!

After hours toiling away, I finally finished my
dress! I did have to do a bit of tweaking and make a few unscripted alterations like the bow at the front (which was meant to just be a three button fastening) but I kinda like the individuality of my finished frock.

It was definitely a learn-as-you-go type project. I had to tweak certain parts and add extra darts and folds into the neckline when that sagged. The two other ladies that were joining me in this little adventure had similar problems when it came to the neckline and securing the front of the dress. Despite following the pattern for our different sizes, we all found the measurements to be on the small size. We came to the conclusion that since this is a retro pattern and women’s proportions have changed since the 50s, that this could be the reason for the dresses not joining up perfectly. Then again, it might just be our dodgy sewing skills. Not to worry though because in the end it allowed us all to have a completely unique dress – our own couture piece!!

To fully show off our dresses (and to give us a deadline to have them completed by), we decided to all wear them on our last day of work for the summer. As one of the women and I only work term-time, we have the whole of August off and thought our final day in the office would be a perfect for our dresses’ début.

I have to admit the reaction we got from our dresses was amazing. Everyone loved them and we were complimented throughout the entire day, not just by our workmates but the reception staff and people from other offices too. Then when they found out me made them? They were shocked. (I don’t know whether that’s a good or bad thing though …). We even made it onto work’s website and Facebook page! We had a lovely little photo taken and I’m sure you’ll agree that Julia and Karen’s dresses are gorgeous!

TWFT-477Julia, me and Karen showing off our frocks.

Each dress seemed to represent each person and I think that’s wonderful. I’m so please that of all three of us actually finished our frocks and to such a nice standard. It seems really strange to think that I made that dress but I did and I’m super proud of myself! Who knows, this could be the start of a wonderful new venture for me. I already have an order for something similar for my sister!

#listoftia

Only the lonely.

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I found this gem on Tumblr and I couldn’t agree more. It’s soppy I know. And I’m sure, there are some women out there cursing me for not being more satisfied and depending on someone else but I don’t care. I’ve felt on my own for quite sometime so I think I’m personally justified to want someone to care for me. There are so many things I want to experience and do, and I would love to do them with someone by my side. Don’t get me wrong, I don’t need a man to be happy. It’s just that, at the moment, I’m more content than fulfilled.

Being single, you don’t miss out on just the physical side of a relationship but the emotional side too. You don’t have the same support or comfort you do when you’re committed to someone. I know personally, this is something I long for. To have someone hold my hand and show the world that he’s mine. To make me laugh and wish the day would never end. To pull me into their arms, squeeze me tight and tell me everything will be ok. That’s what I want. I’m just tired of being on my own.

Of course, not only would I have someone’s constant love and support, I’d also have someone to eat to the Revels I don’t like (namely those pesky coffee ones!). Which is one of the first attributes I look for in a potential partner!

We won’t be beaten.

It’s been a sad month. Both globally and nationally. Between the tragic deaths in Tunisia and the 10th anniversary of the 7/7 bombings in London, the United Kingdom feels like it’s in a state of mourning. It’s always sad when a minute’s silence is needed but to have two in the space of a week, is heartbreaking.

No one ever wants to read about the loss of innocent lives and unfortunately, it’s becoming more common. It’s events like these that show how there’s still evil in the world and how just one person can cause so much pain. However, it then only takes one person to show that there’s still goodness. We have to remember the loving, selfless people who show it in their gestures, the big and the small. In times such as these where people have become immunised to these vicious attacks, it’s important to remember that good people still exist. It’s extremely important. It’s a way of ensuring that the poisonous people in the world don’t win and they know we won’t be beaten. It shows them that we will stand firm, together, and that they will be defeated. We will not turn against each other and play the blame game but we will unite. Blacks and whites, Christians and Muslims, heterosexuals and homosexuals together.

So mourn the lost, give them the respect and dignity they deserve, remember them but then be brave. Stand tall and show them how strong we all are.

Lazy weekends and thunder storms.

I find myself sat in my room with a storm raging on outside, a takeaway pizza on order and Disney’s Hercules starting on TV. (Yes, I thought it was meant to be July too!) It may not be how I pictured spending the last day of my weekend home alone but if I’m honest, I’d rather be here right now.

Being 21, I feel like there’s always pressure to be out and about but I enjoy time to myself. It’s nice to chuck on clothes that don’t match, forget my make-up for the day and pile my hair up on my head. And I’ve definitely made the most of that this weekend! I think lazy days, and weekends in general, are under-appreciated. Sometimes all you need is day with no plans to just slouch around and recoup before the next week begins – especially as you get older and have more and more responsibilities.

So, I’m gonna fully embrace my free time. I shall enjoy my pizza and have a little sing-along with Hercules. And that’s the gospel truth …

Let the sewing commence!

TWFT-460Fabric? Check.

Sewing pattern? Check.

Pilfered sewing machine? Check.

Well, there’s nothing stopping me now!

After spending a lovely day in Leeds buying fabric with my two sewing buddies, we all ended up with a few metres of lovely fabric to turn into a beautiful dress. I chose a quirky print (hot pink flamingos, to be specific!), Julia chose a pretty blue rose pattern and Karen a summer-y pink flower print. They were all soft and fairly light cottons that the woman at the stall assured us would ‘hang’ well.

TWFT-424My sewing buddies and me.

Due to our opposite schedules, we ended up pinning and cutting out our fabric pieces during our lunch hours at work – I’m sure that’s what the spare office was built for! We tagged all the points for our darts and made sure all the important bits and bobs were marked on our fabric. We were then on our own. The first thing I did was tack everything that I could, following the instructions carefully. Some, like my buddy Julia, didn’t tack and dived straight in but I was too petrified of ruining my pretty flamingos by going wrong. Once I’d prepped all I could, it was time to actually machine it.

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After figuring out where all threads went and checking all the dials and settings were correct, my machine was ready to go. Although, let me tell you, I spent way too long trying to thread the lower bobbin and may have had to watch a few YouTube tutorials to help me. Once I started, it seemed to go well. I stitched all my darts first then my seams and joined my front and back pieces.

All I have left to do now is attach my skirt and hem it! It seemed such a daunting task at first but when I actually started to sew and could see the pieces of fabric were beginning to form a dress, it was so exciting. Whether it’s a wearable garment? You’ll just have to wait and see in my next update!

#listoftia