It’s another Blogiversary!

Today celebrates my 6th year of my Insanely Normal blog.

Image result for blogiversary

It’s been fun, although a little slack, and I know that I have said it time and time again, but that can now change…  I have a lot more time to be able to publish, and I have all sorts of ideas!

So, without further ado, let’s revisit my top three posts…

At number 3…

This post has somewhat amused me since I published it in 2014.  It was a review (a negative one at that!  And badly wrote, haha) about a local franchised café.  I can remember visiting the place – it was bloody awful, and I imagine nothing has changed, because I’m still receiving messages agreeing with my post!  You can read about the Pound Café in Huyton here.

At number 2…

2015 seems to have been the year that brought in most of my subscribers (hello stalkers!), and top of the shot (again), was my Christmas Ham post!  My second most popular post in 2015 was for my slow cooker sausage casserole…  With just under 10,000 reads throughout the year, it definitely got the attention it deserved, ha ha.  You can try the slow cooker sausage casserole recipe here.

Drum roll please, because at number 1…

Every Christmas, I make a ham.  It’s by far the best thing I have ever made, and you all seem to agree, as the amount of views that post has received is amazing!  I first published the post in 2012, and it seems to be a recipe that is used right throughout the year, as it’s always my most read…  My “best” stats for this recipe was on 1 December, 2016, when I had a little over 4,000 views – just on that day!  You can read my Christmas Ham here.


So, it seems that my stalkers like recipes and negative reviews!  Ha ha.  Yes, those were my top three posts in the past six years, and other posts in my top ten include more recipes, a holiday post, and how parenthood drives me crazy.

So, here’s to more exciting times – more recipes, more random stuff, and I may even through in a mini-comp somewhere…

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43 problems every curvy girl has faced at least once in their life

1. “One size fits all” isn’t a game you can even think of playing.

2. You’re no stranger to walking out of a store because they don’t carry anything above a size 12.

3. And you know not to bother with sales because the largest size that’s ever in stock is an M.

4. Strapless bras are just a no-go zone for you.

5. Plus, all the bras that are comfortable and offer that perfect support cost an arm and a leg.

6. Actually, no. All clothes are more expensive than anything “normal” sized.

7. You have to try EVERYTHING on before you buy it.

8. Which really makes online shopping a chore because you never know what your size is.

9. Especially because all stores think people looking for plus-size clothing just want to look like a shapeless sack.

10. And forget about even thinking about getting jeans online.

11. You really can’t go to a cheap market or a random eBay seller because you already know nothing will fit you.

12. Damn, most of the time you have to tie your clothes up to fit your body the right way.

13. All your belt loops are broken from you constantly trying to pull your jeans up.

14. And your pants always rip on your inner thighs because of them always rubbing together.

15. Not to mention all the little balls of fabric that build up there too.

16. But even worse than that? The painful chub rub you get when you wear dresses or skirts.

17. You’re constantly buying baby powder to combat all the chafing.

18. But when you do chafe, you’re forced to wear pants for at least a few weeks.

19. Your pants fit perfectly around your booty and thighs but are always baggy down near your ankles.

20. Or are massive around your waist and give you major butt gap.

21. And jeans that actually fit well everywhere are usually two metres too long on you.

22. Most jeans you own are in that shitty stretchy material, so you always get a bad case of saggy butt syndrome.

23. Any time you wear jeans with holes, you’re left looking like a wrapped leg of lamb with marks everywhere.

24. Button-up shirts always pop open as you walk. Or sit. Or breathe. Or exist, really.

25. You’re constantly pulling dresses out of your ass crack.

26. In the summer, cute lil’ shorts really just look like underwear on you.

27. And whenever you walk with shorts on you have to constantly pull them out of your thighs because they really love to bunch up.

28. Actually…any tight clothing loves to creep up.

29. Skirts and dresses never sit the same at the front as they do in the back, thanks to your booty.

30. You have to stay away from any tops or pants with text on them because they warp out of control.

31. Fabric at the seams of all your pants and shorts always pull and go see-through from the strain.

32. And if you’re sitting in the middle of anything, you feel like your entire, kinda see-through ass is in everyone’s lap as you get up to leave.

33. Every time a song references anything about bass or booty, all eyes are on you.

34. When you work out, your boobs and ass get so damn sweaty.

35. To the point where you’re always afraid of leaving ass sweat marks on the ground when you stand up.

36. You have to hold your boobs as you run so you don’t knock yourself out.

37. And you don’t need anyone else to clap for you as you run because your thighs gladly do it for you.

38. A lot of swimwear either cuts into your hips or slides right off them.

39. So you’re usually forced to buy mismatched tops and bottoms for that perfect fit.

40. Normal clothes like a plain t-shirt or vest top are deemed “too sexy” when they they’re on your body.

41. Which means everything casual you own is no longer work-appropriate. Even if it’s just a T-shirt and jeans.

42. You have to deal with people thinking they’re complimenting you by saying they “love a girl who’s not afraid to eat”.

43. And worst of all, people try to offend you by calling you fat, like it’s anything more than a word…

 

 


Credit for this post goes to Buzzfeed – 43 problems every curvy girl has faced at least once in their life

My Summer Bucket List

As summer is right around the corner, I thought it was about time that I made a list of things I would like to do before it’s over.

As my eldest, Gning, is now in full-time school, my summer falls in line with his.  He breaks up for the summer holidays on 21 July, and he goes back on 4 September.

That gives me a little over 6 whole weeks to try to mark everything off on my bucket list…  I have the final week of the holidays off work, so the list I have made below has to either fit around my usual working times, and then take advantage of having the week off to complete the list.

I’m going to revisit this post in September, to see exactly what I managed to accomplish, and what is still outstanding.  I think this could be a rather interesting experiment!  So, without further ado, here is my Summer Bucket List of 30 things to complete within my son’s 6 weeks holidays.

  1. Have a bonfire
  2. Attend an outdoor concert
  3. Watch the waves
  4. Lie in the grass
  5. Go to a funfair / amusement park
  6. Have an ice cream at the beach
  7. Have a picnic
  8. Make a summer soundtrack
  9. Have a water balloon / water pistol fight
  10. Have a BBQ
  11. Go camping
  12. Take more pictures
  13. Finish a book
  14. Make homemade salsa
  15. Play frisbee
  16. Visit a water park
  17. Visit a heritage garden
  18. Go on a day trip
  19. Make ice pops
  20. Wear flowers in my hair for a day
  21. Feed the ducks
  22. Walk up a hill with the boys
  23. Buy a helium balloon, tie a message to it, and let it go
  24. Swim outdoors! (Bear in mind that I live in the north west of England…)
  25. Draw on the driveway with chalks
  26. Finger paint a summer picture
  27. Have fish & chips at the beach
  28. Visit a park we’ve never been to before
  29. Watch a family film together – snacks incl. popcorn essential
  30. Spend more time with the boys!

20 Satisfying Pictures

The work day can be pretty monotonous and deflate your spirits at times. Just when your day gets super boring, the internet, particularly Reddit, has a way of snapping you back to reality and giving you exactly what you need. I dug through the catacombs of Reddit to find you the most satisfying/pleasing/inspiring pictures, and I wasn’t disappointed.

Here are 20 pictures to lift your spirits today.

1. The way this peak comes through the clouds.

2. This man posted a before and after shot of his physical progress after ditching alcohol.

“One year of no alcohol has changed my life. I lost 53 pounds and I’m 1000 times happier. I tried to recreate my bloated pic,” said Klamsykrawl.

3. This kitty coming up for a quick boop.

4. The lengths these two brothers went to recreate this old photo from their childhood.

5. These beautiful cherry blossoms over the Meguro River in Tokyo.

6. “Every time I mow the lawn….” wrote joey_r00 on Reddit. 

7. This one-day-old kitten.

8. This wood has been dyed and totally looks like a brick of lava.

9. Are you as happy as this pug running through a garden of tulips?

10. This sandcastle that is so perfect it needs to be preserved forever.

11. This cute leaf that looks exactly like a dolphin.

12. This amazing shot.

13. How could this not lift your spirits?

“My son’s knee looks like a worried teenage mutant ninja turtle,” wrote danowar5000.

14. This amazing shot using some trickery.

15. “Home Depot’s cutest employee,” wrote pregglt on this adorable picture. 

16. This water is so clear in Sweden that Reddit user Suborb had to check for evidence that there was even water.   If you look closely, you can see the water around his wrist…

17. This awesome Easter photo from Jim Carrey.

18. This incredible piece of art found under a Denver overpass.

19. This person finally figured out what this compartment in his car is used for.

Wish I had one of those compartments…

20. This shot from a drone capturing a calf and mother humpback whale.

9 Things You Should Do Every Single Day

I could write a post about how important it is to take yourself off for 30 minute strolls, meditating, yoga, and checking your posture and all that, but hey, where’s the fun in that?

So instead, this is built up of the things that I believe you should aim for every single day. The little things that can make an average, dull day into a great day. Into a productive day. Into a day that you actually appreciated.

It’s not always all that easy to actually follow the ‘live every day like it’s your last’ motto, but you can at least get to the end of every day, as you’re rolling about your crumpled bed sheets trying not to let the whir of anxieties and emails and conversations send you into a bout of insomnia, and feel like you succeeded. Feel like you did an alright job of being a living, breathing human.

 

1. Compliment someone

Tell your colleague you love her sassy new strappy heels from Zara, tell someone you adore their blog post and that it’s the best thing you’ve read all week, text your husband and tell him how much you bloody well love him. Be nice because it’s so easy to be nice and it instantly, instantly, within that second, changes someone’s day. We could all do with being told we’re great every once in a while, right?

 

2. Read something

Even if it’s just the link to that BBC news article someone shared on your Facebook. Everything I read, be it a blog post, a newspaper article or a physical book, gives me something to take away with me and think about – something that adds to my brain and way of thinking in some way. A thought, a new understanding of something or a new turn of phrase that I want to incorporate into my own words. It’s so easy to stop reading once you leave education, but sometimes, I find myself losing an entire hour because I am so engrossed in the articles on Buzzfeed (yep – even though it’s just junk, it’s funny junk, and it makes me laugh).

 

3. Wash your skin with a flannel

I mean sure, you’re technically supposed to do it twice a day, but face it.  We are just too busy to have to stick to certain rules, aren’t we?

Lather up dry skin with a cleanser, or a gentle soap, and then remove with a flannel that’s been run under warm/hot water. Skin feels instantly the cleanest it’s been since 1998.

 

4. Eat something damn good

Not good like a chia seed, avocado, or spoon of almond butter that’s full of the good shit, but something that genuinely makes your mouth do a little saliva orgasm, something that seriously makes you happy.

I’m not saying like, eat a McDonald’s Double Cheeseburger every day and just lie about and count your rolls, but have something, even if it’s a Diet Coke or bag of salt n sweet popcorn that gets you a little bit excited. What’s the point of being alive if you can’t make the most of ALL 5 senses?

 

5. Go an hour without your phone

Or your emails. Have some time away from work and social media. Lie and fester in front of the TV, take yourself out on a stroll to buy ice cream…  Or what about an undistracted conversation with your other half? Have you time without comparison or addiction or any of that rubbish stuff that your iPhone is engulfed in, because, let’s face it – the real world is so much more interesting.

 

6. Dream big

I like to remind myself of all the things I want from the future.  I think about where I’d like to be in a year, I think about things I’d like to get done that week, I think about where I’d like to go on my next holiday, or about a career change – all the big stuff. I don’t feel like it weighs me down with pressure to succeed, I feel like it keeps me on the right path and stands as a constant reminder of why I need to get out of bed and be the best I can.

 

7. Write something

Write a page in a diary, write a blog post, write a sentence on a post it note that makes you smile – an inspirational quote, a joke, something you’ve seen on Twitter that you MUST remember.

Handwriting constantly excites me in a world that’s so computer obsessed. Even if it’s an ‘I love you’ scrawl on a piece of paper, make sure you get your emotions and your thoughts out of your head, for some damned reason it just clears your brain and makes everything make sense.  Besides, who doesn’t love a bit of #PenmanshipPorn

 

8. Share a story

Have social time with real people who know YOU – your favourite people, the people who make you smile even when it feels like there’s nothing to smile about. Face to face is my favourite and definitely the most rewarding on your wellbeing, even if it’s a 15 minute catch-up and story-telling session over coffee.

If not? You’ve always got facebook messenger, Skype and Facetime. Seeing a friendly face instantly gives a little surge of happy hormones through your blood stream.

 

9. Find happiness

Some days are shit. Like really shit. It rains, you get told off at work, a bill appears out of nowhere and then what, how are you going to pay your rent and then you have an argument with your other half or kids. You want to cry yourself into a 3-month long hibernation. But, buried deep into every day is a little big of magic.

There is always, always something to be grateful for, something that can make a situation less aggressively hindering on your soul. Maybe it’s fresh bed sheets, maybe it’s watching Frozen for the 20th time, maybe it’s just a gigantic bowl of pasta.

If you can’t find even the tiniest ray of light, the tiniest fleeting moment to be thankful for, to smile for, then what’s the point?

20 recent positive news stories…

Noticed this video in my timeline this morning on Facebook, and I knew that I just had to share it.

Here’s 20 recent positive news stories that you probably didn’t know…

Weird days to celebrate with the kids

This is a great calendar to work with your kids on…  Other than the usual “National” days, these are something a little different that will guarantee to put a smile on your little one(s) face(s).

8 January – Bubble bath day

14 January – Rubber ducky day

18 January – Winnie the Pooh day

19 January – Popcorn day

24 January – Pay a compliment day

31 January – Backwards day

6 February – Eat ice cream for breakfast day

11 February – Make a new friend day

17 February – Random act of kindness day

26 February – Tell a Fairy Tale day

5 March – Learn what your name means day

20 March – International story telling day

2 April – International children’s book day

10 April – International siblings day

14 April – Laugh out loud day

18 April – International juggler’s day

25 April – International penguin day

30 April – Honesty day

1 May – Mother Goose day

4 May – “May the 4th be with you” day

10 May – Clean your bedroom day

11 May – Eat what you want day (within reason)

12 May – Limerick day

13 May – Frog jumping day

14 May – Dance like a chicken day

24 May – Scavenger hunt day

1 June – Say something nice day

6 June – Yo-yo day

7 June – Chocolate ice cream day

8 June – Best friends day

14 June – Act like a monkey day

17 June – Eat all your veggies day

26 June – Forgiveness day

29 June – International jump in a muddy puddle day

1 July – International joke day

2 July – UFO day

10 July – Teddy bears picnic day

20 July – Moon day

3 August – Watermelon day

7 August – Visit a lighthouse day

19 August – Photograph day

30 August – Frankenstein day

13 September – Positive thinking day

15 September – Make a hat day

19 September – Talk like a pirate day

22 September – Elephant appreciation day

1 October – Burst a balloon day

6 October – Mad Hatters tea party day

7 October – International smile day

14 October – International dessert day

16 October – Learn a new word!  It’s dictionary day

4 November – Pharaoh day

6 November – Saxophone day

13 November – Kindness day

17 November – Go for a walk day

21 November – International “hello” day; say “hello” to a stranger (with adult supervision)

9 December – Make a Christmas card day

20 December – Carol singing day

24 December – North Pole breakfast day