Real Housewife of Suffolk County

Tuesday, 31 March 2015

Discovered 2015 #1

Last year I started a monthly series called "Discoveries". It was going well, and it was fun to do, until I felt the pressure (I was putting on myself) of having to find something every month for each topic to include and so I gave it up.
Although for the last 3 months I think I've discovered some quite lovely things and thought it would be quite nice to share those things, some not necessarily new but new to me at least.


The film that made me message a friend saying I was sobbing because I had never seen Tom Hanks die before. Saving Private Ryan, to me, was always a boys film. I never intended on watching it, especially as I am not particularly into those shooty-shooty gun type films but with this one starring Tom Hanks I gave into temptation and decided to watch it. At first I was a bit "woah!" at the gore although thankfully I had been warned about this, and as the film went on I LOVED it. Of course I bawled my eyes out, which I had to try and do silently as everyone else was in bed asleep and wouldn't have wanted to wake up to hear me crying!

It took me 2 days to watch as I felt asleep whilst watching this in the evening and then had to continue watching it the following day once Harry was at preschool but The Wolf of Wall Street was another amazing film! I was a fan of Leonardo DiCaprio when I was little (Hello Titanic, Hello Romeo and Juliet) and then I saw what his lifestyle and attitude was like in real life and it really put me off him. Watching him in Wolf of Wall Street did feel uncomfortable at times, and I couldn't help but wonder how much of his life experience he took with him when playing Jordan Belfort. It was a really enjoyable film, and as much as I gasped in some parts I also found myself laughing a lot in others. Highly recommended.

Another Leonardo DiCaprio film was The Great Gatsby. Oh what a beautiful, amazing film. I've always loved Baz Luhrmann's film style since watching Romeo and Juliet all those years ago. And Leonardo felt like he was back to that innocent Jack/Romeo style character rather than a bad boy.


I am so late to the Ed Sheeran party but oh-my-gosh, how did I not appreciate his amazing-ness and talent until now?! I quite liked his songs up until recently anyway but didn't want to be part of the hype surrounding him so managed to avoid him really. Then, came the Brit Awards this year and, well...did you see it?! I pretty much decided then that I was a massive fool to not get his album X after watching his performance.
Now, that was one of the best decisions I ever made! I got the Deluxe version from Amazon which has 17 songs instead of the original one they had in Asda which has something like 10 or 12, for the same price!

I also bought Sia's album too. I was first made aware of Sia because of the video for Elastic Heart. It was quite controversial with people not really understanding art and alternative dance and instead wanting to believe that she was in fact promoting pedophilia. NOT THE CASE AT ALL. After Youtubing to watch the video I then spotted some of her other songs....and had to buy her album. It is so amazing. One of my favourite songs is number two on the album 'Big Girls Cry'. I really like the lyrics:
I may cry, ruining my makeup
Wash away all the things you've taken
I don't care if I don't look pretty
Big girls cry when their hearts are breaking

Her voice is stunning....although at times is a little Rihanna-esque which I look passed.


I did have this big plan to read more books this year and have so far...well...not completely failed as I have read a book and a half, but I could do better.
The book I finished I wouldn't say is good enough to be listed as a 'discovered' because it was boring in places and also a tiny bit predictable.
One that is good enough to mention though is Caitlin Moran 'How to be a Woman'. Oh my goodness this is hilarious! Maybe not the best book to read when on a plane sat next to a stranger who will definitely be having a sneaky nose to see what you are reading, however if you are confident enough to then go ahead!
I am not a feminist in the stereotypical way but this book shows that I can believe in the things I believe in (ie, I do prefer men in particular job roles than women) and be a feminist in the more modern way which basically just involves being a woman. It's as simple as that.
The chapter titles are hilarious:

Chapter One: I start bleeding
Chapter Three: I don't know what to call my breasts

The reviews on Amazon are mixed and I think it's because people are being a little over-sensitive. Caitlins writing style is very honest and out-spoken but I wouldn't say that she is preaching to me or telling me "You are stupid for not believing this". It's just as if she is talking to you over a bottle of wine....or a cocktail.

Sunday, 29 March 2015

Get Hard

On Monday this week I had yet another "date". It's funny, all of a sudden I seem to have this social life and it seems quite odd. I'm used to not really doing anything and being this person who is jealous of those announcing on Instagram that they are going out with a friend or a group of girls...and now I am one of those and it's odd.
Nice of course, but odd.

So this week I went to Norwich with a friend I met on the school run and who has now become one of my best friends. She had free tickets to a preview screening and asked if I wanted to go. Erm, YES PLEASE!
So with our children all sorted and a pick up time of 5pm (and various messages throughout the day of "SO EXCITED!") we were on our way.
We were rebels and stopped off at Poundland to get some drinks because you know, cinema prices ££££ and then parked up and headed in.

The thing I love about my friend, Christine, is that she lets me be myself. I seem to get on better with people if I can have a bit of banter with them, even if it includes saying some mean things which are obviously jokey and are not taken seriously at all. And I have that kind of friendship with her.
We also seem to be at this point where we try to embarrass each other as much as possible.
I think I am winning with that one, although I didn't quite expect her to turn round to the guy serving us on the food counter and telling him that we wouldn't be ordering drinks because I would end up going to the toilet all the way during the film!
After around 10-15 minutes of them faffing making our food, and us making even more inappropriate comments and jokes, and giggling far too much we were finally able to get to the screen.

Because it was a preview screening there were security guards at the door requesting we had turned out phones off and had no recording equipment etc. It was quite intimidating, however after making a joke about our food and me wafting our Nachos under their noses to distract them from the fact that I hadn't been able to take my phone out of my bag to turn if off we went in.
You know that awkward moment when the room is dark and you can't really see where you are going to you just sit at the first seats you see? Well, we did that, which we later regretted slightly as the screen was huge and we struggled to focus...and there was a particularly revealing part which had us covering our eyes and giggling like school girls!

We ended up having such a lovely time. Laughing, gossiping and being able to go away and have secret giggles over the word "Mayo" and "that toilet scene".

The only downside is having someone (male) ask you "which film did you see?" and then you having to reply with "Get Hard. It is NOT what you think". Awkward!

Thursday, 26 March 2015

Walking in the Rain

I woke up this morning, looked in the mirror and didn't want to be the person I saw looking back at me. I looked her in the eyes, and recognised that person who I just don't really like. The one I find annoying, the one with all of the flaws.
In the pit of my stomach I felt sick and disappointed, because I knew she would be with me all day. I would have to put up with seeing her in the mirror, or in any reflections but worst of all, I had to live as her today. I didn't want to do that. But I had no choice.

 This mornings Instagram photo. With the description:

I've never dressed so casually or slummy for the school run as I have today.
I'm stressed, feeling fat and horrid after not exercising for a few days and generally just a bit worthless.
Fun times.

I look at that photo and feel a bit disgusted really. I see chubby legs, a baggy top hiding a body I feel ashamed of. A head cut off because that added to the body is just too much for anyone to see. It's horrid.

I got in the car, took Charles to school and as we pulled up and I turned the engine off I just burst into tears. I had no idea they were coming so was a bit surprised and didn't really know what to say to Charles when he asked me what was wrong.
I managed to pull myself together to walk him to the school door without crying anymore. However, I was pretty aware that I felt oddly annoyed at everyone around, despite them not actually doing anything wrong (apart from the boy who decided to purposefully get in the way when I tried to open the gate).
I got back to the car, started the engine and turned up Ed Sheeran. Song of choice, Shirtsleeves, because at that point I suppose it best described how I was feeling. Some more tears came and then I cleared my eyes enough to see my way to drive home.

I got in, made a coffee, sat on the sofa feeling angry at myself because of the tasks I've set myself that I should have done a week or so ago before we go on holiday on Good Friday. There are some gifts I need to order and I'm afraid I've left it too late and am now beating myself up about it.
I had a look at Instagram, to read the comments left on my photo and I felt a mixture of emotions. I felt embarrassed that I'd done that whole "woe-is-me" thing and could have been seen as attention seeking and all "tell me I look great" thing. It wasn't that at all. It was a way to vent. But I also felt quite lucky at the kindness of people, even if I don't believe the things they say.
And then it was almost like I'd slapped myself across the face. 

How dare I sit there and feel that way. I remembered how I felt last year, when I was almost 4 stone heavier, and that moment that I went on my first power walk. The one that started off my healthier lifestyle. 
That power walk was done in the rain. It was muddy and not at all pleasant. And the weather today was worse but that inner me, the one who kicked my butt last year and made me go out, returned and I sent an SOS text to my mum and within an hour she was round, I was dressed in a pair of leggings with my running trousers over the top, a vest top, a long sleeved tshirt, a sweatshirt and my raincoat...and then my wellibobs because my running shoes would never have survived the mud I was about to face, and I was ready to go.
I even braved a cocky faced photo. That smile is a bit fake and I can see in my eyes that I'm not really into it, however, it was a reminder for the next time I feel like this that I can do it.
So looking like a hot bit of stuff (joking), with my headphones and Spotify playlist of Ed Sheeran, Sia and Sam Smith I went. 
It was quite eerie with no one else around. The weather wasn't great but I didn't really care. I was able to think and to walk out my frustration and anger. 
It wasn't until a mile into my walk that my anxiety set in and I had that feeling of being followed. Thankfully though, due to my "mad-at-the-world" attitude I just carried on walking, upping my pace a bit, thinking that if someone was really there to kill me that there was nothing I could do about it anyway.

I didn't really know which route to take. I didn't do the usual walk I did last year and I really wanted to push myself. So I walked as far as I could until there was a orange fence-thing stopping people from walking any further and then I turned back on myself and walked back the way I came.
It rained the whole time, but I could feel my body working hard to keep me going and that felt good. 
I was able to think all the things I needed to think about. 
I played out conversations in my mind, and everything I needed to organise I suppose. I can't say it helped, sometimes these things just make everything worse. However, being able to walk a little faster to make my leg muscles ache a little bit more helped. The pain in my legs helped distract me from my head.

An hour later, and 5 miles walked, I stepped into my house asking my mum if my legs were still attached because I couldn't feel them!
A cold shower....for as long as I could handle (fun times!) followed by a hair wash, coffee and healthy lunch of avocado, tuna, tomatoes and cucumber made me feel a little more human, although I was still mad at the world.
The good that came out of it was reigniting that passion for those walks. Knowing how far I can walk in a short amount of time, and how I can feel a little better about myself and my body after doing that.

I still don't like the me I am today, and hope that tomorrow I wake up as that Lauren that I like. The one who doesn't have to force a smile. The one who feels confident and not overwhelmed at the school run, and like she is drowning due to everyone surrounding her.
The Lauren who feels like she has self worth and is liked by people, and more importantly is liked by herself.

Wednesday, 25 March 2015

Springtime Surprise Project

You know when you have those weeks and days when you really need a pick me up? You need something special to put a smile on your face and to make you feel appreciated.

I signed up to the Springtime Surprise Project when signups first opened. I was so excited and I really like the concept of Random Acts of Kindness and thought this was ideal! It thought it would meet new people, and to really research someone (bringing out my inner stalker!) and to then put something special together especially for them.

I was paired with Sian, one part of Bone White China. Sian was completely new to me so it was lovely getting to know her through her blog and Instagram.
You can see the items I sent to Sian here.

As soon as my box was delivered by the postman I knew I was in for a treat. Sian had put so much effort into making it pretty and already it had made me smile.
I may have welled up a little at the fact that she had wrapped my presents in a beautiful floral napkin from her wedding. After noticing this, I spotted something on the inside of the box lid. Again, I may have got a bit teary. There were four quotes, and three pictures of Ricky Martin, Tom Hanks and Sam Smith. Proof that Sian had really studied me because I regularly post quotes I like onto my Instagram, and my bio says:
 ♡Loves..♡Blue Floral Dresses♡Sailing♡ 
♡Ricky Martin♡Tom Hanks♡Sam Smith♡ 
♡Animal Print♡Coffee♡Photos♡ Tweet @laureninsuffolk

Sian had put so much effort into making everything so perfect. From the wrapping, to the reason behind everything (something to eat, something to drink, something to wear etc) and I felt so so lucky and really quite overwhelmed at how kind and thoughtful she is.

Lucy is opening up the project for the summer too. If you are thinking about joining in then DO IT. There is such a lovely satisfaction of putting a box together for someone (although also massive pressure that you naturally put on yourself to make someone smile) and the most lovely feeling receiving something that someone has put together especially for you.

Sian, thank you so much for making me smile and for making me feel appreciated.

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