Monday, 31 October 2016

The weird and wonderful world of Facebook

Being the social media person in both my job and for my theatre group has led me to some strange and wonderful places on Facebook. Just this last couple of weeks I've added myself as a member to some mum's groups and some Dad's Army fan pages and I've even posted to the Women's Institute page for the North East of England! Completely random though the groups are, it's the strange stuff that goes on inside these groups that has me the most fascinated of all. 

Let's take the mums first. For starters, we all know I'm not a mum and so a lot of the stuff that they talk about means absolutely nothing to me, nor am I very interested at all (just sayin'). They do talk a lot about wine though, which I am totally down with. What I'm not so down with is all the judging, WOAH the judging. Blimey these mums in this group are mean! The biggest judgements from what I can see are over what time your littles go to bed and what is in their packed lunch box for school. Sheesh, I'm glad there are no groups that are just for general adulting as I for one could not cope with someone casting doubt on the snacks I choose for my lunchbox each day. I'm pretty sure that mums in general have all sorts of things that they need to be doing each morning just to get everyone up and dressed and looking reasonable to face the general public - let's go a little bit easier on them when they throw a chocolate mini roll into the packed lunch box eh...

Next up is Dad's Army. I'm pretty new to these groups but first of all, can we just say over 13,000 followers?! WHAT? This comedy classic from back in the day seems to have a special place in a lot of people's hearts! The whole reason for joining these groups is to let them know about our upcoming play, but actually now that I'm in it, I'm all over the fan-boy-ing that seems to be going on as I am a complete and utter fan-girl and so once again, totally down with that. 

There has also been some pretty hideous viewings on the Face thing this week that were for work and frankly offended my eyes. Obviously I can't go into the details but let's just say that I am perhaps a little too innocent for that side of Facebook, and I remain mortally horrified that such things/pages/posts are being shared in the first place, much less being commented on by people who clearly do not think or share beliefs the same way I do *shudders*

Let's lighten the tone and nod a word of thanks to people who post ridiculous videos of their dogs dressed up as ghosts, or golden retrievers chasing their tails until they fall over, and other such things that fill me with all the fuzzy feels and all the chuckling, and which help to make me feel slightly better about it all. 

Weird, wonderful, it is what it is. And seeing as though it's a rather large part of my job...well, there is a certain fondness there...

Or you can take the attitude of a colleague of mine, and I quote: "I hate Facebook today even more than I did yesterday" 

Wednesday, 26 October 2016

Imagination vs Reality

So here's the thing. I needed to buy a new coat for Winter, it's on its way, it can no longer be denied, the clocks will be going back soon and everything. In my head I had this idea of me rocking one of those beautiful wool coats in that camel/tan shade with a belt round the middle being all kinds of chic and stylish like as if I was Parisian or something. You get the idea. 

The thing is when I tried one on I looked like I was wearing a sack of potatoes, with a belt round it. I don't actually own anything that is on the brown/tan/neutral spectrum except for accessories, and this is because it really isn't my colour at all. Nope. Not gonna happen. Back to the drawing board. 

This beautiful grey, military style, 3/4 length coat caught my eye next. Even though the price made me gulp a bit I decided to try it on as the shop had a 30% off weekend (woop!). I put it on and it felt AMAZING - so soft, so dreamy, so chic, so...grown up! I swished and swirled and admired myself in the mirror for about 30 seconds before I took a second look. Yes that coat was beautiful and oh so chic, the person in the coat however? Not so much. My jeans are cropped and mottled and my boots are scuffed and scruffy, the hair the usual mop of madness and I was wearing a battered sweatshirt type top - the two just don't compute. The type of person who needs to wear that dreamy coat is someone in expensive designer jeans, wearing delicate ballet pumps that may or may not be Chanel, with tidy hair that is shiny and silky. I think I still have some growing up to do before I can feel that I belong in a coat like that. 

But don't be sad! Just around the corner I found the one, the coat that is absolutely 100% me. It's still soft and smart and a beautiful dove grey colour, but it's got a massive furry hood and pockets and plenty of room for tying big scarves and the wearing of bobble hats - much more Claire-like. 

In truth I don't know that I'll ever graduate to that fancy-dancy type coat. You think maybe when I'm 50? Yikes! I'll keep you posted! 

Sunday, 23 October 2016

Winning at Weekends

My internet friend Pop Culture Librarian recently did this awesome post all about days off and her most favourite way to spend them, and then she threw down the gauntlet and challenged us readers to do our own, so here is mine which we shall call winning at weekends. 

The ingredients to my weekends are very different depending on what is going down at that time or how much the week before has kicked my arse at work, but this particular weekend we are still in? Pretty much totally awesome, just sayin'. It started on Thursday - I know! You'd think I was a student all over again or something starting out my weekend still in the week! So Thursday. Off we popped, after work, for some tasty dinner followed by all the pretty liiiiiiights at a new exhibition in town called Neon and That. First up I love pretty lights, any colour, any shape, but when they're made using sea-glass found on the beach and are shaped and bent into all sorts of weird and wonderful creations? I'm there, with all the bells on. LOVED IT!

Next up, Friday! Not just any ordinary day at work but the first outing for our official team lunch #digitaldinner It was all kinds of fun getting to chit the chat with my new work buddies over some deeelicious food at The Chairman pub, yet another glorious eaterie on the fab little Bedford Street in town. We mooched on back to work, put in a couple more hours, before most of us packed up for the weekend at 4pm. Yassssss! 

Saturday! First up was brunch with our theatre besties Ruth and Norman. These brunches have become the stuff of legend - we've plotted and planned and even found some inspiration for our set building as we spend at least 4 million hours eating all the food and putting the world to rights. This was yet another great one as we came up with all sorts of plans for our next set and cackled our way through ideas of how to lose all the grumpy people and make this next production FUN all the way...

...forget the couple of hours where I had to go to the supermarket on a Saturday and battle with all the screaming kids and grumpy parents and Dave watched his footie team get beaten yet again...

...Saturday continued! In the evening I had the exciting plans of going to eat dinner, drink wine, and stay over at D's house - a sleepover! With crappy films, all the wine, eating M&Ms until we felt sick, and just before bed caking ourselves in face masks and all the lotions and potions for a truly rockin' Saturday night! I haven't had a sleepover in like forever so it was all kinds of good (and weird!) to be away from my boys. 

And now it's Sunday. I headed into town for a bit of shopping which turned out to be an excellent decision as I found my new Winter coat with 30% off and some stonkingly good boots that will see me through the upcoming season of cold. Check out my fuzzy hood - so snuggly!

The rest of the day will sadly be spent catching up on the ironing before cosying down for the night to watch episode 2 of Tutankhamun, but I really don't mind cos it's been such a fab weekend! 

So there you have it. The ideal recipe for a great weekend - quality time with my boys, catching up with friends, food, wine, M&Ms, shopping - all the best ingredients for the happiest of times. Roll on the next one! 

Friday, 21 October 2016

Listening to...

Since getting the new car I've been raiding the CD collection under the bed and throwing a random five or six in the glove compartment. For the last few weeks Placebo has been on constant play and all the others have been ignored. So bloody good! I've been playing it loud and singing my little heart out on the way to and from work. Sing it with me, "there are twenty years to go..."

Wednesday, 19 October 2016

Clearing out/coming in - let's get appy!

Now that time has become fleeting once again, and weekends are filled with trying to play catch up with boring house jobs and/or sleeping, I decided it was time to get rid of a few things that were not really working out for me. 

Outward bound! (not the camping/hiking sort, just to make that clear)

First up is GoodReads. Well now it's good-gone as I've got rid of it. For the second year running I set myself the task of trying to read 50 books in a year. Also for the second year running I was set to fail. Which you know, whatever, but to be honest I wasn't getting a whole lot of joy from adding my current book to my bookshelf, updating when I was finished, finding the next title...too much and frankly, not enough enjoyment. I've deleted my account and removed the app - GONE! 

Next up is Pinterest. I feel like this one might possibly blow some minds (looking at you, Fizz!) but I can honestly say in the last 2-3 months I've barely looked at it, I don't have time to use the recipe books I have on my shelves much less the hundreds of recipes and cake bakes I had saved in there. It was the obvious choice to be next for the chop. And it's gone! I'm a little sad to say goodbye to my 'Awesome of Hair' board as that was truly filled with stunning hair, but surely that's what Google images is for...? GONE! 

Saved from the chop! 

I briefly considered getting rid of Snapchat as again, I've hardly looked at it, but the ridiculous filters do make me laugh, and my old library buddy uses it to tell me when I have a reservation to collect (libraryland peeps - you totally need to get on board with this idea, just sayin') so that one was saved at the last minute. For the sake of the books you understand. 

Inward bound! 

I'm slowly but surely sorting through my clothes and recently added Depop to my list of apps to try and sell some of them. The other giant selling platform that shall not be named is all kinds of awkward these days and this one seems to mainly focus on clothes and accessories so could be a winner. I've yet to brave it to sell something but will keep you posted. 

Finally, I totally let myself be peer pressured into getting Twitter for myself rather than just work. So far so LOVING it. I've shamelessly fan-girl-ed at least twice when big time Bloggers and YouTubers have responded to a tweet - WHAT?! (yes I am 12). If you want to join me I'm on there as @clairejenno24 I considered sharing a blog post and tagging in a big brand just to see what happened...but I'm pretty sure that my 9 unique page views per post might not be exactly what they're looking for when they send free stuff out for review...

Over and out. 

Monday, 17 October 2016

Weekend wrap-up

Blah blah busy busy. No-one wants to hear about that shizz. Here's some sparkly lights and cosy weekend pictures instead. Hope you had a great weekend! 

A tent full of stars, full of wishes. One of those wishes is mine. I wonder if it will come true...

Oooohhh Ahhhhhh pretty sparkly neon lights. There might be some more of them coming your way next weekend as on Thursday I'm going to the opening of an art exhibition called 'Neon and That' in a venue called The House of Blah Blah (LOVE THAT!) by the same artist as below, Stu Langley. Can't wait! 

Autumn is definitely upon us now. The leaves are turning red and gold and orange, the mornings are crisp, and my feet are starting to get cold - time to crack out the socks and lose the cropped jeans...

It always amazes me how such a big dog can fold himself up into a small furry fluff ball. Bob the Dude, champion sleeper. 

I love how I can watch the light start to fade without moving my ass from my sofa. Sweet deal. 

Monday, 10 October 2016

Round Our Way - The Great North Snow Dogs!

There's so many ways I could tell you about the Great North Snow Dogs, but basically if you live anywhere near Newcastle I absolutely 100% of the highest of all the high recommendations, tell you that you should go and spend a day seeking them out. So much fun! So many miles! So many painted dogs! So pretty! Cute! Each one will make you squeak and say it's your new favourite! Start at the Quayside and make your way round the whole Toon, get your map from the customer services desk inside Eldon Square or download the app. Definitely make sure you wear comfy shoes and have your legs ready to do lots and lots of walking. We did over 10 miles, which basically meant we could stop for tea and cake every 15 minutes as we needed the fuel...

If you follow me on any social media I basically spammed the heck out of it on Saturday when I came back, but just in case, here's a glimpse of some of the dawgs! 

Just in case the photos of madly painted dogs with cute bums isn't enough to convince you, here's a bit more about the dogs: Great North Snow Dogs. I really really really wish I had mega bucks cos if I did, I would so be putting my bid in at the auction to have one in the back garden!

As an added Brucey-bonus, walking around looking for all those snow dogs is a brilliant way of exploring Newcastle! I've been there like a gazillion times but mainly to shop or see bands, and I got to see some really amazing places that I had never seen before with some pretty stunning architecture to boot. As I said earlier, highly recommends once again doesn't cut it. 

It was truly a tip-top day! 

Now I just have to work on convincing Dave that I need to go and find all the rest of them! The little jaunt from the weekend was with my newest work buddy (new friends, yay!) so he has yet to see any of the dogs in person...there's 97 to find in total. I'm sure it can't be that hard... 

Friday, 7 October 2016

I'd like to introduce you to - REN

I think you know by now that when I talk about a product or a brand on here it's because I seriously love it. So I'd like to introduce you to REN

I have to say it's taken me a while with this one as it's not cheap, which is my usual go-to when it comes to recommendations. But I do believe that there is something in this lovely brand for everyone, be it skincare or luxurious shower gels and body creams that are a gorgeous treat yo-self kind of buy. 

I can't remember exactly when I came across it, but it has recently become even more accessible as it's stocked in Marks and Spencer beauty halls, as well as all the online places, which gives you an opportunity to try out the tester product before you buy. 

As a product it's a good'un - they only use 100% plant and mineral derived actives and they are free from a lot of the bad nasties that can be harmful to skin. I've tried all sorts of different products from cleansers to eye cream to body creams and I have loved every single product. The thing I love about it the most though is the packaging. With so many products, both budget and high end, you can rarely see what's inside and there's no way you can squeeze the last drop out of it without taking your scissors to the tube, but REN are total babes! They have some kind of snazzy method that uses the product from the bottom up and you can visibly see how much you have left AND (and this is the clincher) the clever system they use means you can literally squeeze every last drop until you can visibly see the bottle or tube is well and truly empty. GENIUS! Why don't all beauty brands do this?! 

First up, here's their website so you can have a look around for yourself: REN skincare.

Next I've compiled a list of some of my favourite products that I would really recommend to try if you fancy dipping your toe in:

Vita Mineral Omega 3 optimum skin oil (£25.00) - this is my most current product and to say I love it would be an understatement. It literally sinks into the skin and leaves it feeling hydrated and silky soft like golden retriever ears! 

I usually buy the products from Feel Unique or Naturisimo but it's definitely worth checking out Marks and Spencer too as they often have 20% off weekends - in fact all of the options I have listed have offers on at various times or other so it's worth signing up to their mailing lists to get them. I rarely pay full price for it as I wait until I have an offer code or a discount weekend due to the higher price premium. 

You know I love my lotions and potions, but if you're feeling spendy and looking for some new skincare I can't recommend REN enough. Gorgeous and green - I love it! 

Monday, 3 October 2016

October bulletin

Hello, hello, how you doing? Have you done that whole WOAH how can it be October already and why have the shops got Christmas things in? I thought I'd stop by and do a quick life update/catch up thingy so that we can erm, catch up. Yep. Original eh? 

Let's see. Oh yep, I totally got peer-pressured into adding Twitter to my many social media options. 'How can you be doing social media for work and not have Twitter?' ... 'Why don't you join Twitter and then you can like and retweet all the daft stuff that makes you laugh when it pops up in your work feed?' ... 'GET TWITTER!' ... so I did. I have to hold my hand up in all honesty and say that I'm still really finding my feet in the Twitterati (totally stole that from a work colleague) but I do like the throwaway kind of feel to it - seriously it updates so quickly I don't know how anyone has any impact whatsoever, it's sheer fluke if anyone sees something you've tweeted! So I'm there, I think I've done about 4 tweets so far, bear with me while I find my feet. If you're so inclined you can follow me there @clairejenno24 ... I feel like it might be the platform where I curse a lot more. 

Speaking of cursing, oh my god, I have totally turned even more potty-mouthed than I ever was! The reason for this is stupid drivers. Seriously. On my journey to work there are an average of at least 4 stupid decisions that are nearly always near-misses and have me cringing behind the wheel. From my superior seat of absolutely being a brilliant driver (everyone believes they are the best driver ever - truth) I spend a lot of time yelling expletives at said stupid decision makers. Other drivers may perhaps be more fearful of the mad redhead waving her arms and clearly shouting at herself...this is something I need to work on I think... 

Work is ace. Like proper ace. I think I'm entering my 6th week and I've basically been buzzing on how happy it makes me every day. Yes there are totally frustrations and I'm not foolish enough to think my work buzz will last forever but while it's there I'm totally embracing it! Also, can we just repeat again that someone pays me to be on the internet ALL DAY LONG. I mean, it's BRILLIANT! 

This weekend I've made a couple of purchases for my seasonal capsule wardrobe. Give me a shout out in the comments if you'd like to see them. I'm considering a week of my wardrobe photos but with organising everything else on a morning I'm not sure I could pull it off. I'll do my best, stay tuned later in the month. 

I saw Bridget Jones and her baby or whatever it's called and loved it. I laughed out loud, ate cookies and cream ice cream with hot butterscotch sauce, and thoroughly enjoyed my Sunday afternoon cinema trip! What's next? I do fancy that new Woody Allan one...

I think I might be addicted to cake. And I work with someone who is a big cake enabler. This is not going to end well...

Dave and I have loads of exciting things planned for the house and I can't wait to get started on them all! Now we have our new snazzy camera I'm going to try and take some proper before and after. First up is the little bedroom that we are going to turn into a proper dressing room. Yassssssss! 

And finally, I am proud to say that I Walked All Over Cancer for the whole of September. Clocking up at least 10,000 steps every day I did a total of 300,000 steps! Many lovely people sponsored me and for this I am very grateful as I raised £100 for Cancer Research UK. It's possible that someone has kidnapped my mind but I have signed up for pre-registration to do a Colour Run in 2017. Yes that does read 'run'. Refer to the above sentence about cake and repeat after me, this is not going to end well...

See you Friday!