Bits and Bobs!

Yay! It's Friday!

I couldn't be any happier today, not only is it Friday and I get to look forward to the weekend and spending time with my Husband but this morning we passed our interview for my green card which means I feel like we just got married all over again and can celebrate. It also means that in a few days I will receive my card which will allow me to go HOME!!! Yay! I understand that may sound a little backwards as the point is I can now stay here in the States. But after having not been home for a year while the process has been taking place, I can absolutely not wait to see my Nanna and Grandad and the rest of my family again...and a plate of fish and chips! :p In addition once I get back here it means I no longer have to worry about being away from my husband and our future together!! :)

So this Friday is full of all things happy and therefore I thought I would share some things that have been making me smile this past week. I like doing this as I feel it's a nice way to reflect on the week and to be grateful for all it bought with it! :)

 
John Bishop has to be my favourite comedian. I simply love him. If you haven't heard of him before, look him up, YouTube him, buy a DVD, anything, just make sure you watch him. Back in the UK I've enjoyed countless Friday nights sitting with my family all laughing out loud while watching his shows. He was fantastic on 'A League of their Own' (A sports quiz show hosted by James Corden, if you don't know him look him up too. My sister and I also appeared on this show but unfortunately John Bishop wasn't there that day.) and he has entertained my family as we bring in the New Year for the past couple of years. Nothing beats the London fireworks, singing along to Gary Barlow, drinking a glass of Baileys and following it all up with a bit of John Bishop. It makes for a perfect night in! :) My sister, Kelly, bought this book when she was back home for the holidays and upon her return to Kentucky it was all I heard about. I had to tell her to stop spoiling it for me and I have been trying to read it as fast I can so she doesn't tell me all the good bits. Well, what can I say? I thought I loved him before I started reading the book. I am thoroughly enjoying every story, every page and every witty, sarcastic and funny joke that pops up off the paper. Not only is he inspiring in all that he has achieved, he comes across as a wonderful person and the book has me smiling from ear to ear. As you can tell I really can't say enough good things about this guy so if you haven't checked him about before or you haven't read this book, I highly recommend you do! :)
 
 
I made a pact a few weeks back with my husband, that if I watched all the Rocky movies he would watch all the Harry Potter movies. So far I am three Rocky movies in and Chris is two for eight on Harry Potter. I have to say that I have loved the Rocky movies, albeit turning away when the fights get a touch too bloody, the Rocky character has completely won me over. Chris has been enjoying Harry Potter and I have been having a blast explaining the stories and characters to him...he needs to read the books! :p This is one of my all time favourite quotes, not just in Harry Potter but in life and every now and again I like to look at it and read it. It lifts my spirits and I think it's rather beautiful! :)
 
 
You might be thinking 'hand cream?' 'That makes you smile?' :p Honestly though, with this weather my hands get so dry and I'm grateful that when I get in the house I can put this on and feel better. It's not something I feel should be taken for granted. We have all these lotions and potions for a million different things that can soothe us, help us, make us more comfortable, fix us and heal us, we are blessed to have access to them when others don't. Futhermore, it makes me think of my Mum. She's always putting hand cream on and making me and my sisters put it on too. She likes to buy us the ones she likes the most and put them by our beds at night time. I wake up feeling nice and refreshed. I picked up this one this week and it smells scrumptious and cost $1.20 at Kohls! :)
 
 
 
The quote says it all really. But to expand on it: every now and again I feel everyone has a moment where they feel down, whether it be over something big or small or because of what someone said.  Maybe something isn't going exactly how you would like it too or how you planned. But this quote to me is a reminder to never give up and through it all to always make sure to be yourself and stay true to who you are. You are you and their truly is no one out there that can compare. Be proud of that and do things your own way and remember, remember, remember, 'Never let anyone dull your sparkle.'
 
On a side note I came across this website called www.luvocracy.com through watching http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wgKCrvKX-38&list=UUtm8vkLl55Nzt6WmC3MJvdA&feature=c4-overview Love her! I thought I would check it out as I am often glued to Pinterest and love getting ideas from there. Basically this site is very similar, you can follow (trust) people and you can add things that you like and recommend them to people. It's pretty cool that if you see something you like you have the option to buy it there and then. Another awesome thing is that if I ever mention anything on here that you like the sound of, you can head over to my page and buy it or check it out! If you are interested you can have a look here! :) www.luvocracy.com/lululocket Enjoy!
 
Wishing you all a fantastic weekend and thank you so much for reading!
 
Love Lulu xx
 
 

 
 
 



You can't beat homemade! :)

It is my Nanna's 83rd birthday today and while I couldn't be there to give her hugs and kisses in person, I did get to speak to her and wish her a happy birthday via Voxer thanks to my little sister, who by the way is simply awesome! :)

I have been thinking lots about my family today and am missing them like crazy but instead of curling up and getting sad I thought that in honor of my Nanna I would get in the kitchen and whip up something of hers that makes me smile! :)

I had a Pandoro staring at me and you just don't eat Pandoro without Nanna's homemade custard, so custard I was going to make. This custard and Pandoro mix is something that makes me feel so incredibly giddy and excited and something that my family and I have been enjoying ever since I can remember. Nanna would usually only make it on special occasions but over the years we have had it when there's been a Pandoro lying around or when Kelly (My Sister) and I would be home from Kentucky and Nanna wanted to surprise us. I mentioned in a previous blog that this cake is dangerous and I can quite literally eat an entire one myself and when you add the two together, you seriously have to pry it out my hands.

So without further ado:
For the custard, you will need:

* 4 cups of whole milk.
* 4 tablespoons of sugar.
* 4 tablespoons of flour.
* 4 egg yolks.
* Vanilla (add as much as you like, you know I do! :p )
* Orange skin.
* Lemon skin.

This recipe is near and dear to my heart and just so special to me. I love being in the kitchen making this with Nanna and have many a fond memory of my sisters and I dancing round the kitchen as we eat spoonful's straight from the pan.

* Place a pan on medium heat and add all the ingredients above. Whisk until mixed together.
* Do not let the custard boil.
* You will need to keep whisking gently for around 2 mins before it becomes thick.
* Continue watching the custard and stirring for another 5-10 mins to make sure it is fully cooked. It will thicken as you do this.
* Set aside and leave to cool.

 
 
While the custard is cooling you can prepare your Pandoro.
* With a knife slice the Pandoro horizontally so you end up with layers of cake that look like a star.


* This is when my Nanna would drizzle these layers in Marsala wine but I didn't have any in today so left that bit out. If you are making this cake for children you can leave it out too if you'd like! :)
 
 
When the custard has cooled it will be quite thick but that's ok. To finish:
* Spread the custard over each layer and put the cake back together again. When you do this, angle the pieces slightly so they don't go on exactly how they came off. This way it will look like a star, a mountain or a Christmas tree! Whatever you would prefer to call it! :)
 
 
 
I made mine a mini one today so I could use the other half for something else. I haven't quite mastered Nanna's art of slicing the Pandoro evenly but I think it's cute! :) You usually get a powdered sugar pouch with the Pandoro too, so I carefully dusted that over the top! :)
 
 
This cake is a family tradition and favourite of mine that I truly hope you enjoy! :)
 
Love Lulu. xx


So...I married an American! :p

I don't think there is a week that goes by where I don't say something that makes my husband, Chris, say "Huh?" Growing up watching American TV shows and movies I was always aware of the occasional different word that Americans used compared to us British, as I think everyone is, Gas over Petrol, Sidewalk over Pavement and things like Faucet instead of Tap. But until I arrived in Kentucky and began spending most of my time here and after having recently got married I don't think I have really paid too much attention to it. I hate to admit it but I feel like I almost didn't even notice myself using the word Trash instead of Rubbish or Fries rather than Chips. However, having been in the States now for a year without going home I feel myself missing little old Britain and all things British, which in turn has made me very aware of the differing cultures. That and the fact that this past Christmas my Mother in law spent 3 hours running around a shopping mall looking for jumpsuits to get me for Christmas after Chris expressed my love for jumpers and that I would be more than happy with receiving one as a gift. It seems some things I just haven't quite adapted to saying yet, a jumper will always be a jumper and not a sweater to me! Sorry Mom! :p

It's funny that when I come to write about it I struggle to think of the sayings Chris and I often confuse each other with. It's the same when I go to answer the question of "What stuff do you say that we don't?" and believe me I get asked that a lot! :p It's a little easier being able to sit here now and think, but still the different words come to mind quicker than actual sentences, for example, these would have to be the top 5 words that make Chris laugh, honestly his face is a picture every time he hears them, so cute.

* Effing and Jeffing meaning swearing.
* Fit meaning good looking/sexy.
* Candy Floss meaning Cotton candy.
* Dummy as in Pacifier.
* Nappy as in Diaper.

But it's the sayings that more often than not catch him off guard. Here's a few I can actually think of, thanks to a voxer from my little sister just now. :p

* Don't give a monkeys = Don't care.
* To go off on one = To get mad.
* Then the penny dropped = The light bulb went off.
* On your bike = To go or you're joking.
* Pop round = To go and visit.
* Call her = Ring her.

About 5 years ago Kelly (my sister) and I bought Chris a book called "Knickers in a twist" we had told him that he must learn all our English phrases so he could keep up. Just the other day I picked it up and went through it, stopping every so often to have him guess what something meant. I came across a lot of words that my husband thought were funny but also stated that I don't say, it occurred to me that I have become a lot more American that I had first thought. Here is just a few words that came up that I remember using all the time growing up or hearing my Mum say:

* Besotted = To admire/like/love (Chris seemed to think I was calling him a nasty name when I first said this to him! :p )
* Muck around = To waste time.
* Gutted = Disappointed
* Chocka = Busy
* Mucky pup = Messy.
* Manky = Dirty
* Muggins = Kind of like a maid/ talking about yourself doing all the work.

To me it's always a slightly weird concept when Chris gets confused at a word like "Peckish" my brain can't fathom him not knowing what it means or him having never used it. It's like him not listening to The Pogues at Christmas time all over again, although that is slightly more unforgiving than "Peckish".

On many an occasion I like seeing his face when he doesn't understand me, like when I use the word "Shattered" and he looks at me like I'm mad, it's fun to teach him new words and I love it even more when he try's to say them with his American accent. :)

Proud to be British! :)

There you have it, my English to American dictionary! :) If you know anymore unique phrases or funny words please feel free to share them in the comments below, I know that I'm forgetting a fair few! :)

Have a lovely day and stay warm!

Love Lulu xx

Wrestling Makeup!

Happy Monday! :)

Hope you all had a wonderful weekend!

I have been getting a few requests recently to do another makeup post but talking about the makeup I used when I was wrestling, so here it is! :)

For pictures on all these items, please check out my pinterest and my 'wrestling makeup' board. Due to not wrestling at the moment I had gone through all my makeup and had a bit of a clear out and sorted through what was getting old and what was completely finished and needed throwing out, so I was unable to take pictures of the products.

www.pinterest.com/LucyKnott

*To start with, a few years back I got the Real Technique core collection brush set, recommended by Abi Lawrence. I still have these and use them all the time. You can get these brushes here http://realtechniques.com/ and I've also seen them at Kohl's. These are great brushes and aren't very expensive either! For my eye makeup I bought a simple set I found at Boots back home and I can't for the life of me remember the name, so sorry, but I know www.sigmabeauty.com and plenty of other brands do awesome brushes at a range of prices and you can even buy sets at Walgreens or Target too. So pick up any you fancy! Speaking of which, I'm due an upgrade on my eye brushes. :)

*To start my eye makeup I always used the Mac Pro Longwear concealer. I placed this under my eyes and on top of my eyelids. I liked to do this first as I felt it really helped make my eye shadow brighter and pack on better. I usually do this with my fingers.

*If you have seen pictures of me when wrestling I tend to have really dark eyes compared to my sister, Kelly. For the longest time we would wear exactly the same makeup and even the makeup artists we had on some of our first photo shoots did our eyes the same. That was until Abi came a long and started doing our eyes different. Even if we suggested they be the same Abi would do them slightly different. When we asked her about it she explained to us that our eyes are not the same and vary in shape, therefore what suits one doesn't always suit the other. Ever since then I go for the darker smokier look and Kelly prefers, and gets away with, bright and colourful eyes. To do my eyes dark I always used a lot of black, again until Abi and the makeup ladies at TNA taught me how to blend different colours together to get the smoky look rather than just throw on a ton of black shadow. I've definitely had a bunch of hit and misses, again Google is not my friend ;p For the darker looks I used the Illamasqua Neutral Palette and the Illamasqua Complement Palette. They have some wonderful palettes for all types of looks and eyes! :)

This is one of my favourite looks that Abi did and an example of her doing the smoky eye for me! :) The picture was taken by Kayleigh Plant, put these two together and they are our most favourite people to do photo shoots with! :)

*To finish off my eyes I used Mac Liquid Eyeliner and Benefit Bad Gal Mascara.

*Once my eyes were done, I cleaned any dustings of eye shadow from my cheeks with a makeup wipe and let it dry before applying foundation. The foundation I used was a blend of Illamasqua skin base foundation in shade SB 8.5 and the Illamasqua limited edition skin base in shade AU. Abi had used this foundation on my sister and I for a photo shoot and suggested we try it for wrestling. I LOVE this foundation. It feels incredibly smooth and has amazing coverage even when using just a little bit. It stayed in place even when sweating during matches and more often than not just needed a tiny touch up after. It is very durable and was simply perfect! Thank you Abi! :) Head over to http://www.illamasqua.com/ to see all that they offer.

*Next I brushed on my Illamasqua, in shade Sophie, blush and then with a big powder brush added a touch of Urban Decay baked bronzer. After letting that all set for a minute, with a smaller fluffy brush I applied the Smashbox photoset finishing powder to my t-zone, as that is where I can get a touch oily.

*For lips I had no set look and liked to experiment with any lipstick or lipgloss I had at the time! I do love pink or nude lips though! :)

I do have to mention that the look I talk about above is one that I have stuck with for around the past 2 years, however, it has not always been that way and I have experimented with quite a few brands of makeup and colours. Having been lucky enough to work with people like Abi and the wonderful makeup artists at TNA, I have learnt what is best for me and I still like to wear darker colours on the occasion that I am getting dressed up and going out. But with my current obsession of watching makeup tutorials on YouTube I am sure I will be experimenting some more.

I hope you enjoy this post and please if you have any makeup favourites or questions feel free to comment below! :)

Love Lulu. xx



A yummy start to the day! :)

Weekend is here...yay! After 5 days of getting up and making a rushed breakfast for my husband and then wondering what to make for myself , I LOVE Saturday and Sunday mornings. I feel on these days my husband and I can take our time, put the coffee pot on and conjure up a yummy treat.

So here is one of my favourites! :)

French Toast Crunch!

What you will need:

Texas toast or cinnamon swirl bread. ( Really whatever kind of bread you fancy, I tend to go with Texas Toast as it's thicker.)
 
Cinnamon
 
Vanilla
 
Two eggs. (May vary depending on how many you are making it for.)
 
Milk
 
Cornflakes (Frosted or plain is fine.)
 
Confectioners sugar.
 
Spay oil or butter.
 
Frying Pan
 
Baking dish.

What to do first:

Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees.

Smash cornflakes by placing them in a Ziploc bag, make sure to gently squeeze all the air out, and proceed to press down with a rolling pin or your hand to break them into small pieces. Place in bowl and set aside.

Crack the eggs into a bowl and beat. Add vanilla and cinnamon. I like to add as much as I feel is necessary, basically until I get a nice strong aroma of the cinnamon and vanilla, this way I know I will be able to taste it! :p I'd say around 1 tblsp vanilla and 1 tblsp cinnamon. Then add half a cup of milk. Mix together.

Warm up the frying pan and add a touch of butter or spray oil if you prefer.

Dip your chosen bread, a slice at a time, into the egg batter until it has all been covered, then place in cornflake bowl. When you do this sometimes I like to pat down on the bread so that the cornflakes stick better and the loose ones can then fall back into the bowl, this saves us making a mess in the pan.

Brown the bread in pan, around 1 min on each side, then place bread into baking dish.

Repeat with desired amount of bread.

Once all of your bread is in the baking dish, place in the oven for 10 mins. Flip the bread over and place back in oven for 5-10 mins.

Take out of oven and serve. I like to sprinkle the confectioners sugar over the top, it adds a touch of sweetness and also makes it look pretty!

You can enjoy this with syrup, fruit or whatever you like! :)

French Toast Crunch!
 
 
Hope you guys enjoy and have a lovely weekend!
 
Love Lulu xx


This weeks favourites!

This week has been full of rather happy and creative days with lots going on and plenty to do! :)

Here are some of my favourite things that have been keeping me busy this past week and some things that have simply made me smile!

 
I love sitting down to write letters. If ever I need a little cheer up I get out my cards and letter sets and write a letter, it truly brings a smile to my face. Although we have emails these days, this is still the way I prefer to communicate. I Skype with my little sister often but know that nothing quite beats her getting a letter in the mail (Owl Post) from me or my sister Kelly, it makes her day. Just this morning she sent me a picture of my Nanna reading a card that I had just made and sent, Nanna was crying and smiling and just so happy! :) Perfect! In addition, I keep two calendars on my wall, one for everyday appointments and one for birthdays, this is something my Mum has done ever since I can remember, and therefore she has never missed sending someone a birthday card! :) Little tip: make sure you are always fully stocked with cards and letters and try having a calendar also, I feel this can really help you feel organized and making someone else feel loved can make you happy too. :) 

 
 
This was another project Kelly and I worked on yesterday. She had bought a card kit from DoodleBug at Archiver's and we sat down together to make them! They turned out super cute and adorable and we can't wait to give them out! It's fun to set yourself a task of creating something and it is definitely very rewarding after. Next time instead of buying a card, why not try making one! :) Visit www.archiversonline.com and check out the latest sales and stock up on card making necessities.
 
 
 I may be cheating here as I think I might have seen these last week but I had to post them here. Seriously how pretty are they?! I walked in to Kroger and couldn't help but smile when I saw them. It's the simple things in life! :)
 
 
 
 
Last week ( I know, I know :p ) I tweeted about eating a Mr Kipling Battenberg as Kelly had bought me some back from her trip home to Stockport over Christmas. I adore them and was pleasantly surprised when @mrkiplingcakes tweeted me back. Isn't it exciting when you get a tweet back from someone, or I guess in this case a company you love? I was giddy to say the least! We ended up chatting and they wanted to send me a box of goodies, how sweet?! However they don't ship to the States. I explained that my family were still at home in the UK and they ended up sending this gorgeous box of French Fancies to my Mum. I had told them that sending them to her would be a nice surprise as I wouldn't tell her. Mum was very excited upon receiving them and loved the note. The note read "We wanted to send you a little faraway Kipling love from Lucy for being so exceedingly wonderful." This about made me cry. This was a note I had not asked them to write nor was I aware they would even send one. The fact that they had paid attention to me being far away from home and that they took the time to send such a sweet note to my amazing Mum was just beyond thoughtful to me and I was touched. It truly made my week. There are some very kind and lovely people out there! :) Thank you Mr Kipling! :)
 
 
 
So anything and everything to do with my husband makes my heart insanely happy and I am incredibly proud of all that he does. This week though his show The Chris Silvio show has been getting great reviews and taking off and I love it! He works so hard and if he has an idea or a dream in his head, he will make it happen and he will bust his butt until it is the absolute best of the best! He has been inspiring me everyday since I met him and I guarantee if you listen to his show you will enjoy it and feel pumped and inspired too! Check it out for everything from funny, crazy wrestling stories, to red stag challenges, to daily up dates on what's happening in the world or just if you want to hear one helluva sexy voice!! ;) Check it out here: www.Costerfeld.podbean.com
 
What's been making you smile this week?
 
Love Lulu xx
 

 


 
 


A little bit of DIY! :)

Happy Friday everyone! :) I hope you've all had a great week and are looking forward to the weekend!

Yesterday I got to spend the day with my sister Kelly. She's my favourite and our days usually consist of talking, talking, a little more talking and working on some kind of project. I had bought a few mason jars from Kroger for Christmas to use for a gift idea I had, more on that later, and I had a few left over. I had been looking at them for months and while they looked cute filled with candy, I wanted to do something with them. Pinterest provided me with some wonderful ideas from painted jars to glittered jars to jars wrapped in burlap (that one I did for my wedding) and jars filled with flowers or tea lights. The painted ones really stood out to me and I have been on a bit of a pink and gold obsession lately so I decided I wanted to paint them and maybe attempt a pretty pattern. Off to Michaels Kelly and I went! :)


From Michaels, I bought a pack of brushes and other useful sponges, pink satin Martha Stewart paint, this pink was called 'Poodle Skirt' and a Gold metallic paint. These were quite inexpensive so I thought I would give them a try. I had thought about spray painting the mason jars but the spray cans seemed a little pricey at around $8 compared to the $1.99- $2.49 I spent on the paints. Plus I didn't feel like bothering a sales assistant at 8pm Wednesday night to open the chained and locked doors to check out the spray paint. I always feel like then I can't just peruse at my own pace and that I would definitely have to buy something for all that trouble! :p

Yesterday Kelly and I set up some newspaper on the dining room table and began our relaxing painting session. It really was quite calming. Both the pink and gold I applied with a yellow triangular sponge, it came with this packet but isn't shown in the picture as I had already taken it out, but you get two of them. I found them to be the best tools for applying the paint rather than the paint brush. It went on smoother although still needed around 3-4 coats.

This was how the pink one looked after I had finished and let the paint dry! :)

 
 
 
And these are the final products. I already had some gold ribbon, also from Michaels, in my craft drawers so used that to make the bows. I attached them with a little adhesive so they would stay in place better and then wrapped another piece around that so that the gold would stand out more and you couldn't see the white adhesive. With a gold marker i drew on the hearts! :)  Hope you like them!
 


If you have any other craft ideas or other creative ways to decorate mason jars, I would love to read about them in the comments below! :)

A Christmas gift!
Just a little side note as I had mentioned above about the mason jar Christmas gifts I did last year and I wanted to share the idea. It was very simple to do and all the recipients loved them. Depending on who you are giving them to each one can be different, for example, my brother in laws sister likes makeup, so I collected a bunch of makeup that would fit in the jar and that I thought she would like, eyeliners, lip-glosses, nail varnish and eye shadows, things like that and I placed them all in the jar. I wrapped a red bow around it and decorated the lid with her name. It made for a simple but thoughtful and cute Christmas gift.
For friends, I got their favourite types of candy and chocolates and placed those inside the jar. I decorated with Christmas stickers and bows and again put their names on the top. I loved how sweet they all looked!
Why not have a go this year?! :) You can keep it simple or even try themes! I like to share English treats with my American family and friends so another one I put together was filled with English biscuits, tea bags and jams! :)

Now I'm thinking about Christmas! :p Happy crafting!

Love Lulu xx

Let's get scrapping! :)

I like to take pictures. Pictures of my family, pictures of my friends, pictures of holidays and birthday's and every special occasion really. I snap away at pretty things from clothes to makeup to anything cute and Hello Kitty like. And yes I admit, I'm the kind of person that likes to take pictures of food. My friends have all been the victims at some point in our friendship of my 'must capture the moment' ways. You can picture the scene, just as they are eagerly about to take a bite of a cupcake, cookie, or let's be honest, an actual meal, (nothing can escape a picture) chicken parmesan anyone? They hear the dreaded "Stop, wait, you have to have a picture first!" Luckily for Kelly (My sister) and I, our friends are pretty awesome and more often than not, happily oblige! It's lead to some very interesting and very funny scrapbook photos.

I started scrapbooking when I began wrestling at 16. At first it was a way to keep track of shows and matches Kelly and I had. We would collect the posters from events and whatever pictures we could find and we would put them together in a big book. Once we developed a small group of friends at wrestling practice and we ventured out into the world of hanging out, going to the cinema's or to the shopping centers, we got a little more excited about scrapbooking and tried to take pictures of everywhere we went and everything we did.

Fast forward 5 or 6 years and so began our visit's back and forth to Kentucky. Now this is really when I got snap happy, you name it and I took pictures of it. I was clicking away and didn't want to miss capturing a second of being here. So much so that I have about 7 scrapbooks, all of which are completely full, of the past 5 years in Louisville. I absolutely LOVE looking through them. So many amazing memories and fun times that those days and days and days spent sat at the dining room table, back in Stockport, printing thousands of pictures and ordering them all into little piles of days, dates and events then cutting them into shapes and making pretty borders before gluing and sticking them into the books, were very much worth it. Even Mum asking when her table was going to be cleaned up every few minutes was more than worth it! ;)

Now I do have lots of my pictures loaded onto my computer and I even have a few doubles of pictures so that I can put them on the wall too, but nothing really compares to sitting down with a cup of tea and being able to flick through a bright, colourful, sparkling scrapbook filled with tons and tons of pictures and memories of your dearest family and friends! :)

Over the past couple of months Kelly has been working at Archiver's, a scrapbooking store in Oxmoor mall here in Louisville. She has been loving it and with the treats that I have been receiving lately, I have been loving it too! :p If you like to scrapbook like us and you have an Archiver's near you, make sure to go and visit over the next few days as they are having some really great sales. Unfortunately this is due to the store going out of business, which is truly a shame as Kelly and I have been making trips and picking up little bits and pieces from there for the past 5 years. We are sad to see it go! Check out their website here: www.archiversonline.com

In the meantime though we have been stocking up! :)


 
 
During Christmas time I made sure to get a bunch of Christmas stickers and card. I love making the pages of my scrapbooks pop with all different kinds of stickers. It's even more fun when you can match the stickers to the events. You bet I have hundreds of cupcake stickers! :) Also, you can buy this little container from Target. It's great for storing all your scrapbooking essentials. 
 



This is one of my favourite Christmas presents ever from Kelly. It's a gorgeous scrapbook with a Santa suit sleeve. I got so excited to scrapbook all my memories from this Christmas as it was just so special, so this Santa book is perfect. The top right is an example of one of my pages. New York paper and my pictures from 'First Date' on Broadway and my meeting Zachary Levi!! :) And the bottom picture is some DoodleBug Christmas paper. Cute or what?! You can see the entire DoodleBug range here: http://www.doodlebug.ws/

 
 
Kelly surprised me just the other day with this ADORABLE collection. I just LOVE it all! Stickers and paper for every occasion. Doodlebug sure do it right! For all the latest DoodleBug news follow their Blog here: http://www.doodlebugblog.com/ You will find so many wonderful projects and creative ideas! :)
 

 
 
I thought I'd share my first little attempts at card making. When I'm not using all the above bits and bobs for scrapbooking, I like to make cards especially to send home to my family. I think it's lovely and a nice touch when you receive something handmade! :) It always puts a smile on my face and I know my Nanna and Grandad love it too!
 
I would love, love, love to hear from you if you like to scrapbook too. Maybe you have a specific store you go to or know of places you can find useful tools or simply the cutest stickers. Please feel free to leave a comment below! :)
 
Happy scrapbooking and have a beautiful day! Make sure to live and capture every moment! :)
 
Love Lulu. xx
 
 

 


Let's talk Makeup! :)

My sister, Kelly and I didn't start wearing makeup till we were 16 years old. The main reason for this being that our Mum has never worn makeup. To this day the only makeup we have seen her wear is the occasional red lipstick when she is going out. Now it was never a rule and Mum never talked bad about it or said that we couldn't wear it, it was just never a big deal to her and therefore we as kids didn't care for it or ask about it. Our Mum was and still is the most beautiful person on the planet to us, as are our Nanna's. They are and were the epitome of growing old gracefully without worrying about looks. So why would we care about makeup?!
Well... :p At 16 we started wrestling and actually it may have been more around 17/18 that we started wearing it, as that was when we began doing wrestling shows. And what came with wrestling shows... yep... you guessed it, pictures! Pictures of us while we were wrestling, pictures with the fans after, pictures popping up online, in magazines, pictures, pictures, pictures! So this was the time we started looking into it! I can't quite remember our first purchases but I can remember going to OVW (Ohio Valley Wrestling) for the first time and having the girls look over at our tiny, tiny and I mean tiny, like one little foundation, some eye shadow and a little blush tiny, collection and asking us if that was it and then telling us to just keep putting more and more and more on. After all we were now going to be on TV, with TV cameras and the works. Needless to say after 9 years of wrestling my knowledge of makeup along with my collection has expanded. I am in still no way an expert and honestly all you have to do is type 'The Blossom Twins' into Google to figure that one out and to get a good laugh or scare, whichever way you want to look at it! ;) I often smile, giggle, laugh (ok, you got me but only sometimes cry ;p) at how far we have come.
A big part of this is having been given the opportunity to do photo-shoots and work with different makeup artists. All of whom have been wonderful and taught me a ton of ways in which I can do my makeup to create a variety of looks. Some looks I have liked, some not so much and I must admit I can never quite replicate the ways in which they do it as good as they can, even if I swear I am doing every technique exactly how they explained it! :p My absolute favourite makeup artist that Kelly and I have had the pleasure to work with is Abigail Lawrence. Abi is from Liverpool back in the UK and we have worked with her 4 times. Each shoot has been different but she always gets the looks perfect and exactly how we visualized in our heads. Make sure to follow her on Twitter @AbiMakeupArt  and check out www.AbigailLawrence.com
These days being 4000 miles away I still like to message Abi when I have a makeup query, she is simply awesome. However, I have also been loving makeup tutorials on YouTube and am a big fan of Jaclyn Hill and Nicole Guerriero. In the past few months I may have even got slightly obsessed and can sit for hours watching their videos, just beautiful! :) I am still a big believer in 'it's what's on the inside that counts' and my Mum is still very much a huge inspiration to me but I do like to experiment and think makeup can be fun. Nowadays I some what find myself balancing out both worlds and since I stopped wrestling my makeup bag has got a lot smaller and I like to do my research as to what makeup can be good and healthy for my skin. So today, here's a little look see into my makeup bag for some of my favourite beauty products! :)

This is the Maybelline Dream Fresh BB Skin Protector in Medium sheer tint. I picked this up from Walgreens in Florida when I was there for my wedding. I wanted something light that I could wear on the beach and something that would also protect me from the sun. This is perfect. It's very lightweight and incredibly moisturizing. It's become part of my daily makeup routine that I like to wear with a little bronzer and blush.

These are all Abi recommended! :) The brush is a Real Technique powder brush which I love and is just perfect for applying powder. I have the Bare Minerals Original foundation in Medium Beige N20. This I like to apply over my BB cream to get more of a full coverage. But some days if I really don't want to wear makeup I will just brush a little of this all over my face just to give me some colour! My concealer at the moment is the Bare Minerals correcting Concealer in Light 1. This I am not overly keen on as I feel like it sets into the creases of my eyes. On the occasion that I can make it not do that it can look quite nice and smooth and doesn't feel heavy or make my eyes tired! :)

Here I have Bare Minerals Lash Domination Mascara. I don't know much about mascara and can never really tell a difference in the thousands of brands, so if you have one that you love please feel free to recommend below in the comments section. I do like this one and it does it's job however it can be really tricky to get off. The blush is from Illamasqua and I have the colour Sophie. I bought this one again because Abi recommended it and as you can tell I LOVE it and have pretty much used it every single day since I got it. Thank you Abi! :) I've been quite big on lipsticks and glosses lately too and found this Maybelline lipstick in Walgreens. I was drawn to it immediately as I adore the colour. This is from the Vivids collection in Shocking Coral. So so pretty! :)

After watching Jaclyn Hill a few weeks back I did make a trip to Sephora as I wanted to try out the Josie Maran 100% Argan Oil. When its cold and windy outside and usually in the Winter months, I can get very dry skin and I have heard nothing but raving reviews about this oil. I went for the light version and after washing my face at night and using my toner I applied a little of this all over my face... I love it. It works wonders and I wake up in the morning with dewy soft skin. I definitely recommend this product. Also, another Sephora buy and Jaclyn Hill favourite I bought in New York, is the Urban Decay makeup setting spray. So far I have only used this a few times when I have worn a more full face of makeup and again I recommend it. I love the feel of it and my makeup stays looking fresh without moving! :)

Eeek! :) These I just treated myself to as I had a 10% off code! I have been hearing so much about these brushes and couldn't resist. I have yet to use them as I am saving them for when I try out a new liquid foundation and concealer. I got the F80 and F86! :) You can check out the Sigma range at www.sigmabeauty.com
I have a few other bits and pieces but these are my daily go to's!! I like to try and keep it simple but am creating quite the wish list on www.sephora.com thanks to Jaclyn Hill. :p These days like I said before I do love to experiment and I like it when my Mum sees a picture and loves the makeup I'm wearing. Although I am forever grateful for her lessons in 'beauty being in the eye of the beholder' as well as 'it's what's on the inside that counts' I think it's important to remind myself of these pieces of advice every now and again as to not to get carried away. It took me a long time to feel completely comfortable without even a little makeup on but now I can smile and be confident with or without it! :)
Have a lovely Sunday and if you have any makeup favourites I would love to read about them! :)
Love Lulu xx

Tanti Baci!

Happy Monday everyone! :)
It's been two weeks since my sister Kelly arrived back from England and I have to say I love having her back. We have had plenty of catching up days involving, mostly, lots of nattering over tea and English biscuits. It truly is amazing how much talking we have done, you'd think we didn't talk at all while she was gone let alone Skype every single day! :p But to be fair, having not been home for a year now I had to hear every detail as to how my Nanna and Grandad were doing, what's changed and what's going down in Stockport. It was very cool to hear her stories and even cooler to see what she had bought back for me. Hehe. You see my mother is the best at always managing to make me feel loved and comforted from 4000 miles away, so I was eager to see what she had snuck into Kelly's suitcase and with that being said, my Mummy knows me oh so well. My favourite items from what turned out to be a magnificent, wonderful, magical treasure chest are what I wanted to talk about today. They simply fill me with so much happiness and bring back so many lovely memories! :)
So without further ado...

Baci! :)
"Baci" means "kiss" in Italian and this little kiss has been around for 100 years. Produced by Perugina and exclusively made in Perugia Italy, Baci are little bites of chocolatey, hazelnutty, nougaty, silky, Italian goodness. (Try saying that out loud! ;p)  They have been a staple in my family since I was born and I can't remember a time I wasn't eating them. I have incredibly fond memories of sitting round the dinner table with my Nanna and Grandad and my sisters, having just eaten a scrumptious meal of pasta, pizza, salad and salami, and all delving into a bag of Baci and excitedly picking one out. It would be gone within seconds. But wrapped around every delightful, delicious kiss there is a small love note/message. The notes are written in English but we like to read the Italian. This would keep the excitement going a while longer as we shared them with each other. I have quite the collection of these lovely little notes from over the years. Growing up we would always get our Baci through our family in Italy. We would get so giddy when we knew Nanna and Grandad had received a parcel as we knew as soon as they opened it there they would be, in all their silver and blue sparkly glory. Nowadays Baci are easier to come across and you can find them in most supermarkets back home in the UK. One of the reasons I received the box above was due to the fact that my Mum and sister Jenny were beyond excited when they found them available in Sainsbury's. Here in Louisville I often buy a small box of two from World Market when I need a pick me up. For me they are a comfort and I love having them in the apartment. For my wedding I received a box from Italy and 3 months later they are all gone. After finding a Baci tree in a chocolate shop in Richmond Virginia over Christmas, the apartment was happily restocked. Whenever I am feeling down or stressed, an Italian kiss is all I need. It makes me think of my Nanna and Grandad and everything else just melts away. So if you haven't tried them before, get to it. You won't be disappointed. Also, they make adorable gifts especially to someone you love. Why not say I love you the Italian way?!! :)
For more information on Baci, check out www.perugina.com A tour of the museum is on my 'to do list'! :)

Pandoro! :)
This is like heaven in a box! No seriously, if you are ever around me or one of my family members when it's time to dig into one of these, please do not judge. We will literally stick our heads in the box just to smell the amazing, delectable, divine, aroma of this cake. Honestly, to die for. Again this is a family tradition. We would have this cake more often than not at Christmas time. My Nanna would make her homemade custard and slice the cake into layers. She would then smother the cake with custard, and marsala wine, well, more like drown it in marsala wine, and put it back together but in a star shape. She would finish it off with fresh strawberries to decorate. Now I am not kidding, this has to be my favourite thing ever. I could devour the whole cake. Thankfully my family are usually always there to have a slice or two of there own as to stop me, but really it is that good. Over the years it grew to not just being a Christmas thing, we would have it for birthdays and Easter and whenever we found it in the shops. This is another Italian treat, like Baci, that you can now find in many supermarkets, although it does remain more popular at Christmas time. However, my Nanna usually stocks up so we can eat it all year round. I love the look on her face when we ask her if we can open one and when we run around the house with sheer joy after having a slice or four. It makes her and my Grandad so happy when they see us enjoying Italy's finest. My Grandad is so proud of where he comes from and likes to tell us every time we pop round that Italy makes the best food in the world. I would 100% whole heartedly have to agree with him. I can not tell you how happy I was when Kelly gave this to me. Granted I know I can just take a trip to World Market and pick one up but this one is special as I know Nanna saved it just for me and I can hear her telling Kelly that I must have one for Good Luck. My sisters and I adore Pandoro and like to eat it plain or toasted and covered in Nutella.
Ok, so while these weren't in Kelly's wonderful treasure chest I can't talk all things Italian and not mention them. These are a must have/try! :)

Nutella...enough said! :p

Rossana! :) These candies are one of my all time favourites. I actually haven't had them in a few years as I have never seen them available in the UK or over here, I usually get them from Italy. They are a hard candy with a creamy hazelnut center and I just love them. They bring back so many memories of being at Nanna and Grandads that I just smile from ear to ear when I see them. Italy's favourite candy and one of mine too! :)

These I have mentioned before. In fact I did a whole blog about them. Check out 'A taste of home' I can't give you the exact location of where you can get these or find them as Grandad has always bought them back from Italy. All I do know is that if you ever go to Praiano or Sorrento you must visit every bakery until you come across them. Once you find them, buy them, buy them all. They are amazing and you just won't be able to stop at one. I like to have them with a cup of tea or coffee. :)
I do hope you are able to try these treats and that you enjoy them just as much as me but if you have any favourite treats, Italian or otherwise, I would love to hear about them in the comments below! :)
Have a wonderful day!
Tanti Baci
Love lulu xx

Birthday Fun!

January 9th is always an exciting day for me. A day I can't help but get a little giddy for. A day this year that I kind of, sort of,  ran around like a mad women trying to make everything perfect. January 9th is my husband, Chris's, birthday and this was the first year that Chris and I got to spend it together. I've always been in England on his birthday, so gifts and cards are usually sent. But even 4000 miles away I would get this overwhelming happy feeling that on this day the person I feel I was destined to meet, was born. Five years ago when I met Chris I had no idea I would end up marrying him but what I did know was that I loved and cared about him very much and that we shared a strong connection that lead us to being the best of friends for those five years. He was the coolest person I had ever met and I loved everything about him. I could talk to him about anything and everything and he would always listen and give me the best advice. Sometimes I wouldn't even have to talk to him and he just knew what was up and what to say. Over those five years birthday gifts were always very simple but so perfect. They are one of the reasons that truly makes me believe in soul mates and that Chris and I were meant to be. Our favourite books, notepads, cards and quotes were given but it always felt like so much more, like we were learning about each other through these books and stories. This year wasn't too different, I wanted to spoil him a little but ultimately just wanted to have a nice day celebrating him and all that he is to me! :) So I bounced around the house putting up banners and blowing up balloons and trying to make the apartment as colourful as possible! I set out the cards like my mum has always done for me and my brother and sisters on our birthdays and put out the presents all neatly on the table ready for when he arrived home! :) I had his favourite meal of meatballs and pasta all planned for dinner and the little gifts I knew he either wanted or would just make him smile! :) I feel so blessed and grateful that this year we got to be together and that I actually got to hug him on the his birthday, his 30th birthday non the less! It was an awesome day! :)
So...birthdays wouldn't be birthdays without CAKE!! :) I have been naughty lately and haven't been baking a whole lot but on Thursday I was prepared. I had my recipe, ingredients and my baking station ready to rock. On the menu: Red Velvet cake with cream cheese frosting, of course! This is Chris's favourite! :) In the past, when making cupcakes, I have struggled to find a good Red Velvet recipe so this time you know I was on a mission and praying that which ever one I picked would turn out great! :p I was so so happy when I pulled this one out of the oven. It was soft and bouncy and smelt delicious. I let it cool and whipped up my own cream cheese frosting. Once frosted I put all the candles in place ready to surprise Chris when he got home from work. My sister and her husband and all my family...( I was so proud of it that pictures were sent via voxer immediately! :p) all thought it looked wonderful but at the same time were all eager to see if it tasted just as wonderful as it looked! :p After surprising Chris...yay, a family rendition of Happy Birthday and candles being blown out and wishes made, Chris cut the cake and......it tasted scrumptious! :) Everyone thoroughly enjoyed it and I was singing the praises of and thanking The Food Network! :) You can find the recipe below!  I will mention that I used way more vanilla and red food colouring than the recipe actually called for! ;)
http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/food-network-kitchens/red-velvet-layer-cake-recipe/index.html
For my Cream Cheese frosting all you need is:
One packet of cream cheese (Kroger brand is fine)
Icing sugar/Confectioners sugar.
Vanilla
Cinnamon
One stick of butter
OK so my sister Kelly and I tend not to measure out our frostings. A lot of recipes call for 6 or more cups of icing sugar and we find that to be too sweet and therefore just add it until we are happy with the taste and consistency. If you wanted to frost cupcakes and needed the icing to be stiffer then by all means add more. I guess it depends on what you are making and what you need from your frosting, so just simply add to your own discretion! :p
Throw all these ingredients in the mixer and beat till it's nice and creamy and fluffy. Again we add cinnamon and vanilla to taste!
And ta da!!


A few other pictures from Chris's day! My sister and her husband came over and we had a really lovely evening just hanging out!



Hope you all have a fantastic weekend and if any of you are celebrating birthdays have the most fun and awesome day! :)
Love Lulu xx

And at last i see the light.. :p

Happy New Year everyone! I hope you all had an amazing night and that 2014 began a happy and healthy year! :)
This week has been very positive for me, it really does feel like a fresh new start this year and I am embracing it 110% I feel ready for anything  and want to make things happen in 2014!
Just briefly I want to mention the reasons behind the feeling of an exciting fresh start. After 9 years of wrestling and being consumed with the wrestling world, I am no longer a part of it and honestly, it feels good! It was time to get away from something that was starting to bring me down and say a huge thank you for all the amazing opportunities it gave my sister, Kelly, and I! It truly gave us some wonderful memories and experiences I will never forget and be forever thankful for. I still watch it with my husband and get goose bumps when I watch guys like Bruno Sammartino! I guess it's true what they say "when it's in your blood, it's incredibly hard to get it out!" ;)

So with that being said, as of late I really feel like I have been taking everything in and stopping to smell the roses so to speak. Everything seems brighter and the smallest things can make me feel happy. Today I wanted to share with you a few of those things! :)

Candles!
I love candles as they remind me of my Mum. She always has one on the corner of the counter top in the kitchen and it's always the most delicious smelling one she can find! So simply, if it makes me think of my Mum it makes me happy! :) I went through a phase of having lots of candles in my room but I would never light them. They just looked too pretty. Now I have them everywhere in my apartment and love the glow of the flame when the room is dark. It makes my apartment feel very cozy. My favourite candle has to be either Vanilla cupcake or Christmas cookie from Yankee Candle. Although, I do sometimes just pick up the cheaper ones from Kroger. They don't smell as strong but they still look cute! :)
 
Writing letters!
I love to get mail. I love having a little walk to the mail box and finding a card or letter from someone 4000 miles away inside. It warms my heart. Growing up we used to write letters to our family in Italy and New York all the time and we always wrote thank you cards after birthdays and Christmas. Mum also has a calendar just for birthday's so we know when a card needs to be sent out. There's nothing like receiving a handwritten letter or card from a friend or family member, it feels personal and special. When we were younger my sisters and I used to be obsessed with Sanrio stationary. We couldn't get enough and would enjoy writing letters to people just so we could use our adorable paper. When Harry Potter came out, you know we were sending letters stamped 'Owl Post!' :) This week I began writing my Christmas thank you's and I couldn't help  but smile when putting pen to paper!
Quotes!
Every now and again I like to read a nice quote, something that makes me think or that can inspire me. So many of my favourite actors and artists have shared their words of wisdom in the past, words that have stuck with me for the longest time and often given me an extra boost when I've needed it! It goes to show just how much words have an effect on people and that we should try to do our best to always speak with a kind heart. This week I came across this quote and love it so much! It's so perfect! :)

Chuck!
I have mentioned this show in previous blogs because it's my absolute favourite but I have to mention it again here as this past week I finished the whole series with my husband and definitely made him a Chuckster! :) Moreover, through the wonderful world of Twitter I have been able to see just how much others love this show too. I got introduced to a website called We Give A Chuck. Please check it out here www.wegiveachuck.com They are currently putting together a video entitled Chuck Gives Back and are encouraging all Chucksters and Jeffsters for that matter, to do something to give back. Whether that be donating to charity, doing a toy drive, doing a bake sale, raising money however you can or quite simply doing something nice for someone. They will then be collecting pictures and quotes from each person and making a video! How AWESOME is that?!! I was taken a back when reading it as I think it's such a beautiful thing that all these people are coming together through their love of a TV show, Chuck, and doing something to make the world that little bit more of a magical place! :) Thank you to all that created this and put the project in place! :)

New Year Clear Out!
This Christmas I received lots of lovely clothes and shoes. When I get new clothes I am the type of person that likes to get rid of old ones. I feel guilty if I buy new clothes when I have a cupboard full. In saying that, a cupboard full to me consists of a few jumpers, jeans, some leggings and tank tops, a bunch of floaty dresses and about 5 pairs of shoes! But hey, that's 5 more than some people right?! This guilty feeling comes from my Mum. She is not a big shopper and taught me that it's what's on the inside that counts. I love her for this lesson as its incredibly sweet and very true. I will admit however, that occasionally I will see something that I love and now that I'm older I love fashion a little more, but I keep what Mum taught me in the back of my mind and if I go ahead and buy that something, I sort through my wardrobe and collect a bunch of clothes that I know I won't wear again or some that I don't quite feel is my style anymore and I take them to GoodWill! It makes me happy to think that someone out there might like them and get a great amount of use from them too! :)  


I hope that some of these happy things will make you happy too and wish you a wonderful weekend!
Love Lucy xx

I heart New York!

I have talked about my family in many of my Blogs, about how incredible they are and how blessed I am to have them. Well this Christmas my sisters Kelly and Jenny really out did themselves!
Chris and I were about an hour or two into our journey to Virginia on Friday 20th December when my phone started popping up with emails. When I read a message from GoToBus.com about bus tickets being purchased for New York, I looked over at Chris. I was excited as we had talked about one day going to New York for Christmas, had he actually booked it for this Christmas? But Chris looked confused. After a few more email confirmations and me questioning Chris about this either wonderful surprise or credit card fraud, another email popped up confirming two tickets to see First Date on Broadway. Ah ha!! My brain clicked and my heart was pounding, I knew exactly who the culprits were! A few minutes later and Kelly and Jen were bouncing around on the other end of voxer, so happy with their master plan. Had I not been buckled in I would have been jumping around with joy too! :)
So it was booked, Chris and I would be leaving VA early boxing day and going to see First Date on Broadway that evening and returning that Friday! I couldn't wait to get on that China Town bus...Chris...not so much! He knew those busses all too well! :p


Oh did I forget to mention that Zachary Levi was starring in this play?! :p Now the excitement makes sense right?! :) My sisters and I spent the majority of last year curled up on the couch watching and re watching every season of 'Chuck'. 'Tangled' is my favourite Disney movie and my heart melted watching 'Remember Sunday' I LOVE this guy! :)
Now contradictory to what my husband believes... :p I don't LOVE him like that!!! Honestly! I swear! I truly love when someone can make a person smile just by being them. We all have those 'celebrities' we are drawn too, who we like to see in movies and enjoy watching their shows but I believe it doesn't even have to be a 'celebrity' or a 'famous' person that you can idolize, look up to or who you can be a tinsy winsy bit obsessed with! ;) My husband makes me giddy, just yesterday I heard him coming up the steps to our apartment and my heart skipped a beat. He makes me happy beyond belief just existing.  I think it is incredible how we have the ability to effect people's lives in such ways.
For example, the best thing about being a teacher to me was seeing the children smile. Everyday, no matter what mood I was in, if a child walked past me and said hello with a big smile on their face, it made me smile too! Working with children who just needed that someone to show they cared meant the world to me, I just wanted to be there for them, to teach them, believe in them and encourage them to grow and chase their dreams. So even though people may sometimes laugh at 'celebrity' crushes or idols, I do feel it's a special thing and something that can truly impact a person's life! Even if it is just by spreading one smile! :)
Anyway, back to the story ! :p I'm a big fan of Zachary Levi, from his shows, movies and the work he does for Operation Smile, I think he's awesome and I was very much looking forward to seeing the play and visiting New York for the first time with Chris! Boxing day arrived and after nine hours on the now (Chris was right) not so fun China Town bus we made it to New York City! Yay!
We got a taxi to our hotel which was beautiful and began to get ready for the evening! Stepping out into the busy and cold streets of New York, Chris got a voxer from Kelly...uh oh! She informed us that Zachary Levi was sick and wouldn't be in the play that night! My heart sank a little, it wasn't nice that he was poorly but coming all that way I sure was going to miss seeing him! However, Kelly had worked it all out and between her and my awesome husband and within less than an hour, she had booked us bus tickets back on Saturday, researched getting a refund and seeing the play the next day and Chris had booked the hotel for another night, cancelled tickets and got us new ones! Now you see why I go on all the time about my family being amazing! :)
"Don't freak out" :)
We spent that night wandering around New York and watching Football (English Football) in a cozy little bar we found! And... relax! :)


Day two was a blast! We walked and walked and walked around the City seeing all the cool sights and visiting some of the shops. I just so happened to remember the way to the Sanrio store...funny that! ;) We had pizza, a must on Chris's list and stumbled upon Guy Fieri's restaurant which we noted to go back to that evening. We started to get used to where we were going and got better at directions too. I began to understand why people say you can fall in love with this City!


Dinner was yum and I made a mental note to take Dad there one day. Guy Fieri's place had Corvette and Cadillac signs everywhere. Dad would love it! Then it was time to head to the Theatre! Inside it was rather pretty and I was excited getting all comfy in my seat!
What can I say?!!! First Date was fantastic. I enjoyed it from start to finish and laughed a whole bunch too! The whole cast was phenomenal and did a wonderful job! It was a very cool story and so funny. I always get slightly jealous when people can sing so beautifully, it is a talent I in no way posses (tone deaf :p) and these guys were great! For an hour and a half straight, they hit every note, every line and it was simply awesome, thoroughly enjoyable! I could have watched it again right away!  :)
To top the night off, Zachary Levi came out to sign everyone's Playbill and take pictures. I actually got to meet him and talk to him and he was lovely! The absolute sweetest! :) I am incredibly grateful that I got the opportunity to say hi and to say thank you, it really meant the world to me! I did get a little shy and am not sure why but it was such a wonderful night!


Thank you Kelly and Jenny for such an amazing Christmas present, the thought and effort that went into it meant more than you can imagine! Thank you to my Husband for standing out in the cold and for also just making the New York trip so magical and fun! And thank you Zachary Levi for taking the time to meet everyone and for inspiring me and making me smile! :) Ooh and thank you very much to the guy that took the picture for me, I really appreciated it!
Have a blessed and wonderful New Year everyone! Best wishes for 2014!
Love Lucy xx

Happy Holidays! :)

I had some trouble logging into my Blog over the holidays so I apologize for the delayed Christmas wishes! I hope you all had a fantastic time with your friends, family and loved ones.
This year was a new experience for me as it was my first Christmas away from home and away from my usual Christmas day routine and family. I must admit that while waiting to see if my parole visa would come in time to make the trip home to the UK, I was very emotional and teary eyed at the thought of not spending Christmas the way I have done for the past 24 years. Saying bye to my twin sister Kelly was not easy but after 10 months away from Nanna and Grandad, I wanted her to be home for the holidays, even without me, as I knew she was way over due hugs and cuddles from our family there. Chris (my husband) and I were set to fly out on Saturday 21st if the timing of my parole card would permit, but after eagerly awaiting mail on Friday afternoon, it was not meant to be. A few sad and emotional voxers later, Chris and I hit the road for VA!! Now don't get me wrong, I was happy at the thought of spending Christmas with my family in Virginia but the idea just took a little getting used too. I think I had spent so much time focusing on what I was going to be missing in Stockport that I had briefly forgotten about all the things and people I had around me here. I was scared that Christmas wouldn't feel like Christmas.
Needless to say when I walked through the doors of Chris's family home in Virginia and was greeted by my Mom and Dad in law and a living room that looked like it could have been Santa's Grotto, I suddenly felt a complete calm and sense of relief. Yes, it was going to be a different Christmas and yes, I was going to miss my family 4000 miles away but I sure was the luckiest girl in the world to be able to spend the holidays with my family here and to be part of a home filled with so much love and laughter. Plus, with the wonders of technology I was also going to be able to Skype with my family in England too! To quote my Favourite TV show, Chuck, "Don't freak out!" :p
So here are some of my favourite Christmas memories from my first Christmas at Casa De Osterfeld! :)

Growing up we never did stockings but it's a tradition in Chris's family. I was very excited when I got my own stocking with my name on it that hung over the fire place! :) Chris and I also did stockings in our apartment before going to VA and it was so much fun! I prefer the little things and love how thoughtful a simple stocking can be when filled with ones favourite things! :)

I like how holiday nails can make you feel that little bit more festive, so I enjoyed spending one morning with my Niece Saranda having a pampering session at the nail salon. I went with a light pink with Gold glitter while Saranda had red with candy canes and snowflakes! :)

Christmas baking with Mom! :) I love to bake and think it's wonderful when at this time of year people like to spread cheer through cookies and treats and baked gifts! Mom found this recipe on Pinterest and we had a blast making it. All you need is a box of white cake mix, food colouring and a tub of white frosting. Follow the directions on the packet to make the cake batter and then split into three bowls. Add red food colouring to one and green to another, then pour into cake pan without mixing together! Very simple and so pretty! :)

Is it just me or can you not help but smile when you see pretty colours and sparkly lights as far as the eye can see?! :) We had a little family outing to see the lights around Mechanicsville and Mom knew where some of the most extravagant houses were. This one was stunning and what made it more wonderful was the owner dressing up as Santa Clause and taking donations for the Make a Wish foundation! What a lovely idea!

I mentioned in one of my previous blogs how excited I was about mine and Kelly's present for our Nanna and Grandad this year, well, the reason being is that we spent the past couple of months putting together our family recipe book. We wrote stories to go along with each recipe, included pictures of all the food, our own attempts at their dishes, dinners at their house, baby pictures from around the table and more. I was blessed, again due to the wonders of technology, thank you Skype, to see their faces when they opened it and when they began to read the letter that starts the book. A letter to thank them for being so incredibly wonderful and inspiring us in so many ways. My heart melted when they began to cry and I was overwhelmed with love. It made me so very happy to see them smile and for Grandad to understand what it was. One of my favourite Christmas moments EVER!! :)

Spending time with my husband was the best gift of all! Christmas day I awoke at 5:30 to Skype with my family back home. I watched them open presents and gifts that Chris and I had sent them and I got to talk to them and be a part of their morning before jumping back into bed and getting a little more shut eye before our Christmas morning would begin. Waking up next to Chris made me smile so big that even though I still missed everyone, I felt so blessed to have him by my side that I couldn't complain at all! :) Christmas at Casa De Osterfeld was relaxing and fun and everything Christmas should be. A day spent hanging out with family, thinking about one another, putting each other first, being thankful for all the memories and years that have past together and a day to show how forever grateful you are to have them in your life! So I guess it wasn't that different of a Christmas after all! :)
I do hope you all had an amazing day full of cheer and love and that Santa brought you a small treat or two! :)
Also thank you Mom and Dad Osterfeld for a lovely Christmas! Miss you already and love always.
And another big thank you to my sisters for turning on Skype whenever I asked and for not letting me miss anything at home! :) Love you!
Love Lulu.
xx