I'm allowed to be girlie every once in a while! :p

It's that time again where I get a bit girlie and like to talk Makeup! :p I got quite spoilt on my birthday and received lots of goodies, some of which are just too cute not to share! I also unwrapped a Sephora gift card, courtesy of my awesome brother in law, and rather enjoyed ticking items off my Jaclyn Hill wish list! So here are of my new favourite makeup pieces in my ever growing makeup collection! Enjoy! :)

 
Lime Crime Lipstick!

Ok I had to put this at the top of the list as I was so giddy when I opened it; one because my sister Kelly is a sweetheart for remembering that I had been looking at the LimeCrime range for a little while now and two, it's purple and has a unicorn on it...how can that not make you smile?! :p Kelly chose this opaque lipstick in the colour Geradium and I love it. It's a beautiful pinky colour that's not too bright but still stands out and looks so pretty! This brand is cruelty free and vegan and I just think that it is really cool too!

 
Urban Decay Foundation & The Sigma F80!
 
 I had bought the Sigma F80 brush a few months back after watching tons of Jaclyn Hill videos. As I was in need of a new foundation brush, I thought I would give this one a try. It looked so clean and neat when it arrived that I didn't want to use it, I know I know but that's just me I like to keep things new for the longest time. But after purchasing some new foundation, with my birthday Sephora gift card, I thought it was about time to take it out of it's wrapper! Well, as Jaclyn Hill would put it, it is "Amazeballs" I love it! The brush is just awesome for applying foundation smoothly and evenly and it makes such a huge difference to the finished look. I can definitely understand the hype around Sigma and would most definitely recommend this brush to everyone! In addition, my new Urban Decay Naked foundation is just as wonderful. This was recommended to me by my brother in law's sister, who by the way always looks flawless, and I have to say it is one of my favourite foundation's that I have ever used. It leaves my skin feeling soft and smooth and it does indeed look naked and no way near cakey. A big thumbs up for Urban Decay Naked! I have mine in shade 4.5.
 
 
 
Stila Kitten Kit!
 
I can't say too much about this kit at the moment as I have yet to try out the eye shadow and duo highlighter. Kelly bought it for me from Nordstrom Rack as it was again another Jaclyn Hill favourite that I had been going on about. But I wasn't allowed it until my birthday. The colour is beautiful and I can say that the lip-gloss is gorgeous as that I have been wearing since I opened the tin. It's so pretty and shimmery and is very close to being the perfect colour for me! When i'm not in the mood for a bright pink or coral I opt for something this kind of shade, something that is more neutral and not as bold but still makes you sparkle! :)
 
 
 
Nars Blush!
 
I had heard so much about this blush from pretty much everyone and with my Illamasqua "Sophie" blush coming to an end, I thought it made sense to give this one a try! This is Nars in shade "Orgasm" It is such a pretty shade. For me, I am loving the fact that it's not too pink, I tend to go for bright pink which can sometimes make my cheeks seem a little too rosy, so this one is just simple, subtle and beautiful. I love that it has this shimmer and glisten to it, so cute! :)
 
 
 
Lush & Mac Pro Longwear!
 
With a little bit of birthday money I had leftover, I treated myself a tad bit this week. I mentioned in my first makeup blog that I had bought the bare minerals concealer and I wasn't that keen on it, with having nearly finished it though, I thought I would go back to what I had been using for the past 2 years while wrestling. That being the Mac Pro-Longwear concealer. I know Jaclyn Hill raves about this one too, so if it ain't broke, don't fix it! Mine is in shade NC 20. Lately I have been getting rather into the idea of masks and exfoliating and cleansing, basically anything to do with really looking after my skin.  So my next purchase was the Mask of Magnaminty. I have been walking past Lush shops for years but have never ventured in due to the fact that in all honesty the smell can often be too overpowering. However, I like the little section in Macy's as it is easier to handle and after again hearing so much about this product I really wanted to try it, so this lead to my first Lush purchase. The lady in the store said it is a great detoxing mask and it gives you an incredibly deep clean. I'm looking forward to relaxing and trying it out! :)
 
So there you have it, my latest beauty splurges! Please feel free to share your beauty favourites and must haves in the comments below! :)
 
Have a lovely day everyone!
 
Love Lulu.
xx
 


 

 
 

 

Let's start with a BANG!!

My sister and I decided to take a break from wrestling back in October and I must admit that since then I have had many a day of throwing my hands in the air with a big 'Woo Hoo' due to not having to worry about fitting into spandex every Wednesday night or on weekends! There was the occasional happy dance too while waving around a chocolate biscuit! What can I say? I'm Italian, I love food! :p Now don't get me wrong, it's not like over the past 9 years I never ate a cupcake or devoured everything my Nanna and Grandad made, I most certainly did, but even knowing that I could still do that extra bit of cardio or push myself with my next workout, I always felt guilty. It was a constant battle fighting with myself and feeling down that I didn't have enough will power. I couldn't fully relax and enjoy what I was eating as in the back of my mind I knew that it wasn't going to help achieve certain goals! However, I can't say that I didn't have good or even great weeks and months of being strict and working my butt off in the gym, as I most certainly did that too and I loved it, but there's one word for me that get's me every time, a word that my brother has drilled into my brain on more than one occasion and more recently a word that Brooke Tessmacher (TNA Knockout) stressed the importance of to me too. That word is...

CONSISTENCY

Yep, consistency, you fail me every time! :p

As I talked about above, it is a battle. You see for me, I honestly love the gym, I do, really! I enjoy leg days and I think squats would have to be my favourite exercise. I enjoy the feeling after, the feeling of accomplishing something and challenging yourself and doing something that 30 seconds ago you thought you couldn't do. I've gone months training, feeling stronger, getting excited that i'm starting to see a difference and then...uh oh, I spend an evening cuddled up on the couch scrapbooking, getting stuff organized or just being cozy with my husband and all of a sudden my brain switches, my brain now loves doing that and doesn't want to go to the gym! I fall out of routine and it becomes an absolute effort to switch my brain back into mode of getting my butt out of my house and into the gym and trying to tell said brain of mine that I love the gym and always feel wonderful after I pay a visit to it!

I will admit too, some days I would get sad and look at these beautiful girls around me, the likes of Brooke Tessmacher, Velvet Sky, Gail Kim and the entire TNA Knockouts division and think that they were just incredibly blessed and that God was feeling extremely kind hearted and generous the days they were born. I guess I couldn't fathom that hard work achieves such fantastic results, as when looking at my own body I never felt I saw that big of a difference. So in turn I thought that they got lucky with genetics, it couldn't possibly be the gym that left them looking so awesome! My brother would bust my butt for this way of thinking and time and time again tell me that genetics means nothing, he would insist you have to work hard with no excuses to see results. I would listen but it didn't quite sink in and my apartment would feel even cozier.

Well after this past year and being around these girls more and getting to talk to them, I started realizing just how hard they work. It may sound silly and obvious but I think just talking to them helped my brain click. Brooke has a body to die for and you know what? She deserves to flaunt it. Why? Because she didn't just get given it, no magic wands were waved, she works hard for it day in and day out. As I mentioned earlier I got to speak with her at one of the TNA shows and discuss her fun workout videos on Instagram and tell her how much I learnt from them and she was extremely encouraging. She mentioned my dreaded little word 'Consistency' and how she is always in the gym and somehow it made me look up to her even more and I felt inspired. As much as I dislike that word, her cute videos and positive attitude when talking to me made me think that working out doesn't have to be a chore and if I miss a day, it's ok, just don't miss a week. It took me back to days working out with my brother at Elite performance in Stockport and I smiled, I only went there 2-3 times a week and I have never felt better. It made me realize that while being inspired by others it's important to do what makes you feel good. My not going to the gym every day is no reason to get down on myself, I should be positive and make the most of each session and not give up. Whether it be 2 days or 6 days, consistency is still priority and absolute key. It may take a little longer to see results but being healthy and looking after my body is an achievement in itself.

Furthermore I do have to say that Velvet Sky is a sweetheart and every time I got the chance to talk about workouts and ask for advice she had a way of motivating me while making me feel so confident and happy in my own skin. I simply adore her for that. I just have to look at her these days and I smile and feel ready to kick some butt.



So I don't know whether getting older has made me more relaxed or self assured or that taking a break from wrestling has lead me to the following conclusions but I do feel that it has been one hell of a rollercoaster ride to get to this point and if any of you reading this are very much like me, please know the ups and downs are worth it and you will find yourself at the end of it all! :)

Conclusion one: Attitude is EVERYTHING! Believe in yourself and you can and will achieve all goals that you have. After all believing is seeing! I had been working hard with my husband the 4 months leading up to our wedding, I had the odd day where I got down about not seeing a difference but I stayed positive and smiley and was just very happy during these months. I believed everything would be fine and I stayed focused and worked hard. I look back at my wedding photos and am pleased that I look a lot more toned than usual! :)

Conclusion two: Be Inspired! Look to those around you for inspiration but never be jealous or get down on yourself! Every single person is different and everyone is beautiful. You will always look like you whether it be with a 2 pack or a 6 pack, embrace it and keep going forward but always love you every step of the way!! :)

Conclusion three: Find a Balance! This is one of my biggest learning's. If I missed a workout and ate a piece of chocolate the whole week would turn into a disaster and before you know it I will have eaten chocolate every single day that week and missed all my workouts. It was pretty much all or nothing! Nowadays, I find it very hard to consume a tub of milky buttons (I'm pretty sure I will try though, I go home in 2 weeks :p ) and if I can't get to the gym I lunge around the house, dance to music and simply stay active.

And conclusion four: Be happy. Be healthy and Be you!! We are not all models, professional athletes or body builders. The food, the workouts and the routines they go through are not something you have to try and copy to a T. Exercise to be fit. Eat well to take care of your body and most importantly be happy in your own skin.

More over, after 9 years of feeling guilty and getting very stressed over exercise, 'diets', and slipping up, I have been enjoying my foods, my chocolate and a little more relaxing guilt free and it has been wonderful. However, yesterday I began DDP yoga with my husband. We both wanted to try something new and had been lacking consistency in the gym department for a couple of months. We could feel that we wanted to get back on track and had heard lots about DDP yoga and thought it would be fun to try. We are back to cooking more healthy meals and I'm not waving the chocolate bars in the air as much. I'm really excited to be setting goals and getting focused on something again! My brother, my husband, my family and the likes of Velvet Sky, Jaclyn Hill and people I look up to on a daily basis help me to believe in myself. To me these days it's not so much that I want to look a certain way but more that I want to be confident, healthy and full of energy and life all the time! (Consistently :p ) I like the idea of yoga and having that peace within. Plus I happen to think DDP is really cool! :p With that and advice and exercises given to me by my brother over the years... I will keep you posted! :)

For fun and awesome tips and advice and for kick ass personal training, check out http://www.fatlossandperformance.com/

For DDP Yoga check out
www.ddpyoga.com

For 18 Amazing benefits of yoga, according to science, check out this article:
https://www.jenreviews.com/yoga/

For the lovely knockouts click here http://www.wrestlingknockouts.com/

Be well!
Love


Some type of Chalet!!

This past weekend my husband, Chris, surprised me with a mini vacation to the Smokey Mountains for my Birthday. We were to stay in a Chalet and my sister, Kelly, her husband Chris and our friends Michael and Kacie were to join us. I was very excited upon hearing that we would possibly get to see a bear as they are my favourite animal and I loved the idea of hiking in the woods and spending our evenings by a cozy fire!

Here is a sneak peek at my weekend in pictures! :)

1) Our Chalet! We were all relieved when we pulled up to "Goldilocks Haven" to find that it was not dangling over the cliff and that it seemed to be built on solid ground. Passing some of the other Chalets we all began to get a little nervous at the thought of being placed at the edge of a cliff. It still took my husband a bunch of three point turns to get up there, as the roads were scarily narrow and had incredibly steep and sharp turns, but he did and we made it up to this pretty Chalet safe and sound!

 
2) The smell of toasted marshmallows is probably one of the best and most scrumptious smells ever and marshmallows taste better when they are golden or burnt! I had so much fun making smore's on an open log fire! We all devoured our fair few and they were delicious! :) A big pat on the back is in order for the boys as they got the fire started and kept it going! :)
 


3) Hot tubs are pretty awesome! I think this had to be my husband's favourite part of the trip as he couldn't wait to get in it and got up at 7 on a Saturday morning to do so... 7 am! It was beautiful to sit and relax while looking out at the mountains. And at night it was nice gazing at the stars and seeing all the lights from the other Chalets dotted around the mountains, while we occasionally looked towards the steps incase a bear came to say hello! (That made us all a tiny bit nervous.)

 
 
4) I'd heard of Dick's Last Resort restaurant a while back so I knew of the place when Michael suggested we try it for lunch. The premise is that the waiter's are sarcastic and rude and just don't treat you very kindly. I wasn't sure if I would be into that but we had a blast! You can't not have a blast when taking my brother in law Chris to a place like this, he provided us with many laughs and happily joined in with the waitress throwing napkins and straws at us. Although he took it a step further and proceeded to throw fries around the table and into beer glasses! This was definitely his kind of restaurant! All in all the food was really good and we had a great time! :)
 

 
 5) You can never have enough chocolately provisions! :p We stocked up at the Village market to make sure we had essentials! :) One of my brother in laws favourite drinks is Woodchuck, I tried it and now very much enjoy too! :)
 


 6) I love morning coffee with my husband and feel blessed that I got to spend the past two days in such a beautiful and tranquil environment while we sipped our coffees and began our day! :)
 
 
 
It was a lovely weekend and Kelly and I laughed calling it a couples retreat, we really felt like grown ups going on vacation with our friends! :) Thank you to Michael and Kacie and Kelly and Chris for making it such a fun weekend! I loved every minute of hanging out and talking about Harry Potter! Next stop England and Watford Studios Kacie!!! :)
 
What are your favourite types of vacations? Do you have a traditional family holiday spot? I would love to hear your stories in the comments below! :)
 
Hope you all had a fantastic weekend too! :)
 
Love Lulu. xx
 
 



What's it like being a Twin?...

I was smiling today thinking about my sister Kelly and what a lovely birthday we just had together on Tuesday and I thought I would do a little repost for all those who may not have read this on my previous blog site! :) Though it was a few months back I still feel exactly the same way! I love my twin sister more than anything! :)

 
 
Here goes:
 
So I often get asked the question "What's it like to be a twin?" and my response is usually the same, "Well, I don't know what it's like to not be a twin!"

Over the past few months this answer has made me laugh on numerous occasions and more often than not when I am talking with my husband. You see he has taught me a lot, as far as growing up and being independent, but he still stumbles upon those difficult moments where he just can't quite get me to see why, for some, having your twin sister in the room when your getting a flu shot or running it by your twin sister whenever you need to make any kind of choice or decision, no matter how small or really tiny or simply miniscule of a choice or decision that might be, can seem a little crazy. I would then go through the process of  trying to explain to him that it's completely, 100% normal that up until a few months ago I'd never driven a car without my sister in the passenger seat, I'd never been to the grocery store without my sister by my side, I'd rarely venture out the house without my sister coming with me and don't get me started on going shopping, getting the bus, getting a job and really anything you think of that usually only takes one, confident, independent 25 year old!

Now I may be exaggerating slightly as we have faced those moments where we have had to be split up and besides the worry while we are away from each other, we always manage to cope...funny that! :p We have heard all the 'You can't be together all the time.' 'You will have to learn to live without each other eventually.' etc and as with anything, we have got used to change. We are both now married and live in separate apartments, 15 mins from each other and the separation has been good for us. We like having that little bit of me time!

When we were younger, we were the twins that couldn't grasp how other twins weren't as close to one another and it would genuinely make us sad when we came across twins that didn't hang out together and actually didn't like being twins. Without thinking too much about 'being a twin' we just loved being together and proceeded to do everything together. It was and still is a comfort to have her by my side. We grew up loving the same things, although we both have very different personalities, our interests were pretty much exactly the same. We both love working with children and went to the same college, did the same course and got jobs...in different schools! That was actually a lot of fun and was more or less our first taste of going 8 hours without seeing each other. And yes, we would miss each other and look forward to getting home so we could chat about our days. At around 16 we began following our dream together and have done so for the past 9 years. It led us to America and to our husbands, it bought a long with it our own separate, unique stories and our first experience with wanting different things.

This is how close my twin sister and I are, even though for the past 8 months she has wanted to begin a new chapter she has stuck by me and stayed with me all because I couldn't bare to be without her. This goes back to what I was saying about the whole what seems crazy to others is not crazy to us. At 25 years old and with a husband you shouldn't have to do something you don't want to do just because your twin sister wants you too, but she did. It's a normal thing for us, we always have to make sure somehow, no matter what, we feel the same. That means talking for hours and going round in circles till we agree on the same thing. So ultimately one of us is sacrificing a bit of how they feel to make the other one happy and in this case it was my Keg (Kelly) doing all she could to keep going to make sure I would be ok.

Well it's funny how the world works and how in sync twins can actually be, as just a few weeks ago after I got married, I naturally felt how Kelly felt and understood what she had been going through the past 8 months and we are back on the same page. We are moving forward and excited about where we are going! During this time we have dealt with those 'Just because it's right for her doesn't mean it's right for you' moments and the 'it's ok to not be doing the same things as each other' speeches. But you know what?... yesterday I saw my Kelly happy, relaxed and excited for an opportunity, she looked like herself and acted like herself more than she had in a long time and In turn I have never felt more happy and content. Knowing that Kelly is happy makes me truly happy. I breathed and felt calm and it made me think, although to some our relationship is baffling and silly, I wouldn't have it any other way! I love her more than anything in this world and there is no one quite like her. I'm never going to hide being a twin or try and look different to my twin or not call myself a twin because that is what I am, it's who I am and is what makes me special!! As Grandad says "She's my other half."

Thank you Kelly for all that you do for me, for looking after me, being there for me and for understanding me like no one else. I will now and forever happily look like a complete fool having to have you by my side when I need to make a phone call or referring to myself as 'we' when talking to people!! :)

I feel extremely blessed to have a twin sister and I wouldn't change it for the world!

So in closing I guess I have a new answer "What's it like to be a twin?" "It's a blessing and it's AWESOME!!!!!!"

Have a wonderful day!

Love Lucy. xxxx

p.s I also happen to have a little sister too who is beyond amazing, as we've got older she's more like our triplet and we love her dearly, more than you can imagine!!! Love you Jen-fer!!! <3

It's my birthday i can...

I woke up this morning feeling very happy and rather grateful! Yesterday I got to celebrate another birthday with my twin sister Kelly and it was such a lovely day that I can't help but smile! :) I do have to say that in 26 years we have, thus far, spent every one of our birthdays together and that makes me feel incredibly blessed! :)

It may have been the first one without our whole family with us though or at least a family member, as I think our Dad has always been in Kentucky with us when it's been our birthday, but of course we got to Skype with them and I received lots of voxer's, including Grandad singing, to which I don't think I could have asked for much more, that made my day! He always sings us Happy Birthday, however this year he'd learnt a new one about being born in a zoo, that might now be his favourite version! :p

So that began my day followed by opening cards and tucking into a delicious breakfast made by my gorgeous husband Chris, who also happened to give me the sweetest card ever! Then it was off to see Kelly and her Chris. Upon arriving at their apartment, we shared a few more gifts before the boys had to go to work. Kelly and I always look forward to each other's presents, as we know one another so well it's fun buying for each other. In addition, we like to keep it simple and cute. It's the thought that counts. :) This year she got me lots of makeup that I'd had my eye on and an adorable LimeCrime lipstick that I'd had on my wish list for a while! :) I got her a little makeup that she had wanted, a DoodleBug kit and her favourite Harry Potter quote framed!


Kelly and I had a lovely time at home, skyping with family, opening cards and re-arranging her bedroom décor, before heading to the mall to hang out with our beautiful friend Negin. Sephora, Macy's, Old Navy, Bath and Body Works and a Starbucks later we set off back home with bags of foundation (Thanks to the Best Brother In Law in the world) jumpers, tank tops, candles and hand cream, hanging from our tired arms. We had a little minute to wait for the boys to finish work so we had fun catching up with twitter and Facebook. I was extremely touched by all the messages and posts and tweets we received. Really, it means the world when people stop and take the time out of their busy schedules to think of you, so thank you everyone for the lovely birthday wishes, it truly meant so much and I felt very loved! The boys got back and we multi tasked, getting ready for dinner while watching an episode of Chuck! You've got to have a little Chuck on you birthday! :p

Dinner I was very excited for as we were going to The Melting Pot! I had been once before and enjoyed it so I really wanted to try it again! :) Negin and her boyfriend/our friend, Ali, joined Kelly, her Chris and me and my Chris (I know, I know it can get slightly confusing, put them and our brother Chris in the same room and it's worse. :p ) and we had such a wonderful evening! The food was delicious and we very nearly devoured every crumb of every course, to which there were four, cheese fondue, a salad, meat/fish/chicken fondue and chocolate fondue. Spending time with Ali is just the best as I don't get to see him too often now that I don't wrestle and as Negin lives in Australia it's rare that we get to have dinner together. Hanging out with Kelly and Chris I love and of course being with my Chris was perfect. :)



The whole day just felt so happy and positive and full of love and I thank all my friends and family and everyone for my cards, gifts and messages, thank you so so much.
I like birthdays, I love to celebrate the life of all those around me and the fact that they were born and we met each other and have each other in our lives. If you are a February baby, I hope you had/have a wonderful birthday too and celebrate many more to come! :)

Love Lulu. xx

Me and My baby ready for dessert! :)
 
My treats from Kelly and Chris! :)
 
My awesome new craft station thanks to my lovely Mom and Dad in law! :)
 
 
P.S. I'm off to a log cabin in Gatlinburg for the weekend thanks to my husband! I'm ready to see the bears at the Parks and can not promise I will not try to bring one home! :p
 

You know what time it is...

Happy Saturday everyone! :)

Just a little post today as I just wanted to share my husbands latest Podcast and encourage you all to go and have a listen! :)

I may be slightly biased but he is doing an awesome job and working very hard and as I've said before, he inspires me everyday and makes me feel like anything and everything is possible!

This past week my sister Kelly and I got to be a part of his show and we had a blast! He always brings out the best in us and we have so much fun when we are all together! :)

We talked about everything from our wrestling career's, TNA and OVW to Valentine's day, romantic gift ideas and what a girl wants, to bullying, dreaming big and always standing up for who you are! :) Plus you get to hear about our very first meeting with Chris Silvio and how he made such an Impact that he made it into my diary entry! :p

If you check out past podcasts you are sure to have a laugh with the likes of Jamin Olivencia and 'Paredyse' James Long, learn a bunch about wrestling from Buddy Wayne and hear some crazy, funny stories from 'Manbeast' Ted McNaler and there's also the awesome and former WWE superstar Mike Mondo! So there's plenty for everyone! :)

Be sure to 'Like' #TheChrisSilvioShow facebook here www.facebook.com/TheChrisSilvioShow

and check out the podcast here www.Costerfeld.podbean.com or iTunes.

Thank you and remember to always dream big! :)

Have a wonderful weekend!

Love Lulu xx

Having a blast with Chris Silvio! ;p
 
This is one of my favourite wrestling pictures of him! :)


Happy Valentines Day! :)

One of the things my sister Kelly and I noticed about America, when we first got here, was that they like to celebrate. Let me rephrase that, they LOVE to celebrate and I mean they LOVE to celebrate everything!!! Our first Halloween here started as quite a calm costume party at a friends house, everyone was dressed up and the whole place was decorated, which made for a nice change to that of what we were used to at home. However it slowly became what one can only describe as a 'wild night'. Our friends proceeded to pile out of the house and over to the park, at the back of our apartment complex, it was freezing outside but this wasn't going to stop them conjuring up the most elaborate obstacle course we had ever witnessed! We had commentators, officials and teams, the whole nine yards. Those brave enough to attempt this crazy course provided the rest of us with a night of high quality entertainment that I will never forget. You had elf's, Greek gods, Samoans, Spartans and the Cheshire cat, squatting, jumping fences, running up slides the wrong way, taking part in three legged races and so much more. Halloween had definitely created a few monsters.

Moving forward I experienced Thanksgiving. All my friends would get together, each having made a scrumptious traditional dish, and spend the day, afternoon or evening together. They would simply hang out, but it was always a very big deal. This past year I experienced my first Osterfeld family Thanksgiving and that in itself was wonderful. Cards, decorations and the entire family coming together. A Feast and drinks that flowed all night.

The first Christmas here walking into my friend Erin's house was like stepping into a magical fairytale. The house had completely changed and we had only just been there a few weeks prior. From top to bottom it was covered in snowmen and every where you looked there was a tree! A beautifully decorated, unique and wonderful tree. Every shop was full of sparkle. Toys, wrapping paper, gift ideas, tinsel, trees, gingerbread, plates, bowls, mugs, cups, tablecloths, stockings, everything now appeared to have Santa Claus emblazoned on it.

So far, I was pleasantly surprised and loving it. I loved Christmas and Halloween growing up so it felt great to be in a place where everyone seemed to love it just as much too. And it was fun to spend a day with family and learn what Thanksgiving was all about. Well...then came St Patrick's day and my gosh, as far as the eye could see, everything was green. My first St Patrick's day plans were being put in place at 8am as to what was happening that night, I was dashing round shops by 2pm with Kelly and Erin trying to find something green and by 7:30pm we were at OShea's pub amongst a sea of green people and green beer. As the years went by and I spent different months in Kentucky I got to experience the likes of  Easter, 4th July, Mother's Day, Father's day, Veteran's days, Memorial day and Valentines Day all in the USA! I was always amazed at how quickly the shops changed to suit the events. They have decorations for every occasion, cookies to suit every theme and the kids at school make all kinds of crafts.

Now of course we have Mother's day and Father's day and Easter etc back in England and Christmas is still just as magical, but here it just seems everyone goes all in. It's more over the top and enjoyed! And in my opinion I think it's wonderful. Not necessarily because I buy into the gifts or cards or choosing one day to show someone you care, but because I think every now and again it's important to take the time to pause and think about what is important and if a holiday can be the reason for that pause then why not? Yes, family is important everyday and not just at Christmas but isn't it nice when everyone makes that extra effort? Isn't it nice that you don't have to feel guilty on that one day if you're not thinking about work or yourself but those around you? And on St Patrick's day, isn't it kind of fun that everyone makes an effort to come together and wear green? Isn't it kind of cool that on that day no one cares if you wear the same thing as them, its not going to become a fashion crisis? And on Valentines day, isn't it a lovely thing that the whole world can connect to celebrate love? Isn't it sweet that really no matter if you have a girlfriend/boyfriend, husband/wife or not you can spread love and be reminded to tell someone you love them?

At first I thought it was crazy when I heard that kids make Valentines treats for their whole class or when our cousins in New York would send us Halloween cards but now I've learnt to embrace it. I love any excuse to send cards, decorate, share a smile with someone and bring people together. America, you're doing it right! :p

With that being said...Today is Valentines Day!!! :)

When Kelly and I were younger our Mum would always write us a card, she would even put it in the post sometimes so we would be surprised at having mail. Even though we new it was Mum, she would still attempt to disguise her writing, one year I would have a card written in big handwriting and Kelly's card would be written in small handwriting and the next year it would be the other way round. I love her!!! I guess as we got older she stopped doing this, I think due to the fact that there was the odd time when we would get sad that it wasn't a 'real' Valentines day card or we had boyfriends and were more concerned with them, but I thought about this as Kelly and I sat down to make our husband's cards and it made me smile. So this year we decided to send and make cards to our Mum and Dad, brother and sister and Nanna and Grandad. We tell them we love them everyday but like I said above, isn't it nice that on this day you can say it and make them feel extra special? That on this day, a day that the whole world is thinking about love, they know you are thinking about them in particular?! :)

Whether you are in a relationship or not this Valentine's Day try not to be sad or think negatively towards those who are in a relationship. Smile and know that you are loved and there are tons of people around you who you can share your love with and who just might need it! :)

Happy Valentines day everyone! :)

Love Lulu! xx


The handmade/homemade cards Kelly and I sent home! :) Courtesy of DoodleBug! <3 

Meat and Potatos!

I remember making the cheese and onion version of these back in high school, during my Food Technology class, and I was so excited when they turned out delicious and that I was actually able to make them from scratch and by myself. I'd had many of them from Greggs, a bakery back in the UK, and they always warmed my tummy and made for a scrumptious treat while out shopping with Mum! Happy memories! :)

Now, I don't eat them everyday or make them everyday, but yesterday I wanted to cook something different for my husband and these came to mind. I thought it would be fun for him to try something new and something British! :)

So here is my simple recipe for Meat and Potato Pasties! Enjoy! :)

What you will need:

*1lb Ground beef. (I like the 90-92% lean) *Idaho Potato's *Brown Gravy *Onion (Mine was already chopped hence the blue tub and thanks to my gorgeous husband :) )
 
 
*1 Packet of puff pastry sheets. Set these out to thaw while you cook your meat and potato's. (They need around 40 mins to thaw.)
 
 
To start:
 
* Peel and dice the potato's and place them in a pan of boiling water. Continue to let the water boil on the stove top and cook potato's until a knife goes through them easily. Turn off heat and set aside.
 
* Add a drop of olive oil to a large frying pan and turn on heat. Chop your onion, you can dice it or just do slices, whatever you prefer and add to pan, cook for 1-2 minutes before adding your ground beef. Add salt, pepper, garlic powder and parsley and stir until all the meat has browned. (Once the meat is fully cooked you can taste it to see if you need to add anymore seasoning.)
 
* Make brown gravy as instructed on packet and pour over meat. Bare in mind to not make the gravy too watery, you want it nice and thick. Leave meat to simmer for 3-5 minutes. Turn off heat.
 
* Drain potato's and pour them into the meat and gravy mix. Stir until combined. You should end up with kind of a mushy mix. Try not to over mush though, just make sure all the potato's are covered. Set aside.
 
 
 


* Roll out pastry on a floured surface. This pastry is quite thin to start with so it doesn't need too much rolling out, just enough so you can make 2 rectangles out of each of the three sections.
 
 
 
* Pour a little milk into a glass, this will be used to seal your pasty.
 
* Spoon the meat and potato mixture onto the right hand side of the pastry sheet. Leave a little room around the edges. Dip your pastry brush or clean fingers into the milk and dab onto these edges. 
 
* Gently fold the left side of the pastry sheet over the top of the meat and potato's and bring the pastry edges together, securing the meat and potato mix inside. (Like you are folding a card.)
 
* Press the edges down gently with a fork and pierce the top of the pasty.
 
* Place in the oven at 350, for 20 minutes or until golden brown. (Check every few minutes as puff pastry can burn easily.)
 

 
And there you have it, the end result! :) Yum! 
 
 
Hope you find this recipe fun and easy to make! :)
 
Have a great day!
Love Lulu xx


 

The Elaborate Entrance of Chad Deity!

I just got back from Virginia where my husband, Chris, and I were visiting family and turning up to surprise Chris's best friend Ben for his 30th birthday. We had a lovely time and always wish we could stay longer. I have so much fun when I go to VA, I just love it and feel at home. It's nice to be around family and getting to spend time with them when we don't see them very often!

This visit I was extra excited as we had tickets to go and see our friend Jimmy/James Long/Paredyse, in the play 'The Elaborate Entrance of Chad Deity' This was Jimmy's fourth time playing the role of 'The Bad Guy' but with it taking place in various States I hadn't been able to see it before now! As luck would have it, Chris was able to get a day off work that would co inside with both Ben's birthday and the play and I was thrilled that we were going to be able to watch it! :)

If you haven't heard of this show before, it was written by Kristoffer Diaz and is about the passion, love, showmanship, history, physicality, idealist views and perceptions and beauty of professional wrestling, one man's dream since being a young boy and all he puts himself through for the love of what he grew up watching and what he believes Professional wrestling should be all about.

I had heard about the play before and how it deals with race, politics, the American dream and the ups and downs of the wrestling business itself, but to be honest I wasn't quite sure what to expect. I was looking forward to watching it mostly, I admit, because Jimmy was in it. And for those of you who don't know who Jimmy/James Long/Paredyse is please check out his twitter @paredysexoxo and head over to www.ovwrestling.com to see him in action. He is without a doubt one of the most creative, imaginative and talented people I know and seriously that is not me being biased...go and look him up! From drawings, designs, video packages, graphics and paintings, to pretty much anything, he can do it all and it will be 100% unique, something only he could visualize and produce!! :)

Back to the play! :) The play begins with the main character "Mace" setting the scene and introducing the story. He talks about his childhood and growing up with his brothers watching wrestling and playing with action figures. His brothers had WWE figures and he had the AWA figures, he liked the AWA ones better because, though they were small, you could actually move their arms and play with them. The WWE figures were just big and bulky and muscular. He adored wrestling and instead of joining in when his brothers started wrestling each other, he would sit glued to the screen taking in every bit of it, the stories, the psychology, the way the wrestlers worked together, he thought it was beautiful, he explained. Needless to say, within the first few lines of this monologue, I looked at Chris and smiled from ear to ear. I was most definitely going to like this play.

To me the play was perfect. The story was simple but covered so much ground. I liked how it didn't come across as whiny or as a complaint to wrestling today, it simply pointed out how the business works. I loved "Mace" I adored his passion for wrestling, his passion for telling a story, his passion for working together with your opponent, his passion for doing what was asked of him, giving it his all and allowing himself to be beat night after night even when deep down he knew it was wrong.

It's hard to go into too much detail as I really just feel it's a must see. For me it was like so many things I wanted to say but someone was able to put it on paper and say it much better than I ever could, while also entertaining people with it! :p

It's for the underdog, the guys that make the others look good for the love of what they do, the guys that play along even when no one sees it their way and the guys that want to go out there and create art!! Go see it!!! :) It is currently showing in the Fire house theatre in Richmond VA, you can find all information here: http://www.firehousetheatre.org/postthe-elaborate-entrance-of-chad-deity/

Oh and obviously Jimmy was awesome!! :) He had the whole theatre laughing and joining in and was a delight to watch. Every second he was on the stage he had the audience captivated and it seemed like the part was made for him! :)


"The Bad Guy" James Long!
 
 
The whole cast did a wonderful job and I can't say enough good things about it!
 
Make sure you go and watch it, you won't be disappointed!
 
Hope you've all had a lovely Monday!
 
Love Lucy xx

Love is Louder!

I've never been a big fan of watching the news, I'm a very emotional and sensitive person and it seems that these days every little thing upsets me. I, like many of you I'm sure, wishes that all the "bad stuff", for lack of a better term, would just go away. Some days I simply go to bed at night and pray and pray and pray, hoping that when I wake up there would be no guns, no wars, no missing people, no bullying, none of it. But the reality is that it's just not that simple and since the history of the world, there's always been good and evil, people have always fought to overcome obstacles and wars have always been present. Still, I am the kind of person that just can not except this at times. I don't like to use the word 'Hate' as it is such a strong and nasty word, but in this case I absolutely 'hate' that things like this exist. It truly breaks my heart.

My husband is often subjected to many of my heartfelt, passionate rants and I am beyond grateful that he will sit and listen. It helps to get things off your chest and not keep them bottled up and sometimes it can lead to ideas, solutions and setting down a plan of action!

While I am aware that I can't stop every bad thing from happening and that it's not good to put the weight of the world on your shoulders, I do feel that we can each do our bit to help, even in the smallest of capacities. If we start with ourselves and go from there, we can then be the change we want to see in the world. :)

My simple ways to make a difference!

* Smile at EVERYONE!!! :)

* Be kind to your parents, brothers, sisters, aunties, uncles, family members.

* Be considerate to every person you meet on a day to day basis. Shop assistants, cashiers, waiters, drivers, colleagues and so on. This can lift someone's spirits when they are doing their best to help you. Choose to be patient and kind rather than aggressive and rude.

* Think before you speak! If you haven't got anything nice to say, DO NOT SAY IT!!!!

* Be the first to lend a helping hand, whether it be for your Mum doing the washing or holding the door open for an elderly man.

* Strike up a conversation with every person you meet, even if it's a simple "hello, how are you?" You'd be surprised how this simple gesture can make someone's day while also making you feel happy too! Try it!

* Always remember your pleases and thank you's!!

* Keep in mind that two wrongs don't make a right!

* Be encouraging! Support a friend or someone you have just met. Are they starting a new job? Doing awesome in their current one? Congratulate them. Is that girl at school dressed nice today? Does her hair look pretty? Tell her!

* Be happy for other people in their successes! Learn from them, be inspired by them!

* Take the time to listen to someone, a child, a friend, a neighbor.

* Use social media to spread positivity and love. Share the shows, music, movies and people you love instead of spending precious time talking about things you hate! NO TO HATE!!!

* And last but not least and the one thing that I feel connects all of the above together as well as being something that my Mum always says... "Treat people how you would want to be treated."

Too often we can forget these little steps, we fall into being critical, giving our opinions in a way that can hurt people or we get into fights with family members and have too much pride to say sorry and forgive. Every now and again take a step back and breathe, think about the important things in life.
One of the best things about working in a school is that kids have the ability to make you smile no matter what mood you are in or how you are feeling. When they walk up to you at 3 years old with a huge grin on their face and say "Hi Miss Knott." all troubles fall away, you're looking at someone who needs your undivided attention, encouragement and enthusiasm and who just wants to play with you and see you smile.

Be that kid, choose each day to be that kid to someone, lift their spirits and be their source of positivity! :)

My last little note before I close. When I was getting married my beautiful sister in law made me a book and in this book each person in our family, a long with friends that came to my bridal shower, wrote a note, a few words of marriage wisdom for me and my husband. The most popular note read "Never go to bed angry." It may seem like a generic phrase but I think it's quite important, not because my husband and I are always fighting as we are quite the opposite, rather because it's a reminder that when we get it to bed at night, to let go of any negative thoughts that may have occurred during the day through the stresses of work, to let go of any silly bickering between friends or each other and to simply close our eyes together with nothing but love in our hearts. And this I think is something that doesn't only apply to married couples, I think it can be said for every single person. Go to bed thankful for the day that you have had and wake up grateful for a fresh start! :)

Have a happy weekend and remember: LOVE IS LOUDER!!

Love Lulu. xx

Who's that girl?...

It seems that every time I watch New Girl I fall in love with Zooey Deschanel and her character Jessica Day all over again! From her clothes and the way she dresses to her whole demeanor and attitude, I just love her.
I think there is something so beautiful about Jess's innocence and how she deals with every day situations, she's always up beat and a little naïve while still being such a strong and independent character. I adore that she wears pretty clothes, likes to make cupcakes and always sees the good in people, yet she stands up for what she believes in, is confident in going after what she wants and likes to have sex, even if she can't say the word "Penis".

Now that last point I have to expand on, you see I feel that people are always quick to judge others based on the way they look, whether it's their clothes, hair or simply that they look 16 when they are in fact 21. After this initial judgment they then assume that this person lacks everything from a back bone to a sex drive. Somehow the cute bows and the fact that they do not desire to have their cleavage on show at all times, means that they are a prude and can't possible be sexy, professional and heaven forbid, a woman. By no means am I saying this applies to everyone, it is just something as of late that I have become more aware of. Furthermore it's something that I myself have experienced. This morning, after having watched New Girl last night, I was doing my usual pinning and looking up some inspirational quotes for the day and I came across a bunch of my favourite's, however this one still stands to be my number one.

This quote makes me smile. I remember when my sister and I first arrived in America, it became really obvious, when around so many people who seemed to have so much life experience, that we grew up quite sheltered. We were pretty naïve to most things and our Dad accompanied us everywhere throughout our wrestling journey. It also seemed we lacked in having a wide range of vocabulary. Listening to all these guys at training talking and doing promos on the spot, with all these fancy words and intricate phrasing was intimidating, especially when all we could muster was the likes of "Cute" "Lovely" "Gorgeous" and, wait for it..."Nice". That transferred over to real life too and Kelly (my sister) and I would often get disheartened and think we were stupid. People would treat us as such. We were too nice to be wrestlers and too cute to get anywhere, were some of the things we were told. It took us at least two years till people took us seriously and realized that our jobs in childcare had more responsibility and were hard work and actually real, than they first thought. After 5 years of bumps, bruises and tons of sweat we finally proved to them that just because we worked with children and had flowers in our hair, we were in no way weak.
 
The quote above is something that is somewhat parallel to those parts of my life. Before, and in between, wrestling I have worked with and spent a large portion of my days around children. I'm aware I've also had contact with grown ups but I've often felt more comfortable and more myself, covering the carpets in glitter, making play dough and wearing floaty dresses. In addition, within the confines of each school I have worked at, I never felt judged. I don't think I've ever had a compliment that has made me smile bigger than a 5 year old telling me that I looked like Miss Honey from Matilda or a parent saying that their son had come home saying "Miss Knott is always smiling." In my wrestling world I felt happier wearing the flowery dresses and never cared to feel the need to act any other way despite what others were suggesting or telling me. I felt proud to come from the school background and that having had such a big impact on me.
 
It's a stubbornness I have yet to break. I admire the beauty in everyone as well as the way's in which they choose to express it. I am grateful for advice and can reason with those who just for the love of God want me to feel empowered, be a woman and not act like I'm 10. But do those people ever stop to think that maybe, just maybe, I feel on top of the world wearing a jumper with a penguin on it and bright pink lipstick? I admit that there are times, places and situations for everything and I'm not saying I don't like to dress up, I do, but I don't feel the need to apologize anymore for caring about every child on the planet and wishing they could live in a bubble till they are 16, free from swearing, sex and IPods, the fact that my Nanna and Grandad's house was and still is my favourite destination any night of the week and that thongs still make me think 'injury waiting to happen' ;p
 
So today I want to shout out to those who aren't afraid of ribbons and bows, who acknowledge that there is always a child watching and looking up to you whether you think you're a role model or not, to those who use the word "cute" at least 20 times a day, cry at Disney movies, don't like anything remotely scary and who enjoy sex as much as the next person but don't feel the need to tell or show the whole world. You are still smart and tough and strong and my gosh you are still a woman.
 
 
Here's to allowing everyone to just be themselves without fear of judgment! And to re-iterate this isn't a put down to anyone who expresses themselves differently as there are plenty of women I love and admire who flaunt a little more of what God gave them! :) 
 
 
Thank you Zooey Deschanel for the inspiration today! :)
 
 
Have a wonderful day!
 
Love Lulu xx
 
 
 


Britains Best! :)

Growing up my sister, Kelly and I would dream of America. At 5 and 13, we were fortunate enough to visit our family in Long Island, New York and at 19 spent a week in California with our Dad and younger sister, Jenny, and we fell in love with it. The fact that we also grew up around American classic cars and going to car shows with our Dad added to the magic of it too. We loved the era of the American pin ups and adored all things 50's.

Fast forward 6 or so years and I have now been in Louisville KY for one whole year. The 4 years prior to this were spent back and forth, staying in KY for a few months at a time but having a considerable break home in the UK in between. But this past year, it's been Louisville, Virginia, NYC and Florida all the way. And I have to say that I don't feel like the magic has faded at all and I love America. I still find myself dreaming of the road trips and places I have yet to visit here and it makes me giddy and fills me with excitement. However, one thing I have to admit is that the year away has made me grow to appreciate where I am from, good old Great Britain.

Last night I experienced watching the Super bowl for the first time and although I enjoyed it I must own up to the fact that I think I got much more excited watching the new H&M advert with David Beckham and seeing Mark Strong, Tom Hiddleston and Ben Kingsley in the Jaguar commercial. What can I say? Other than I felt proud to be British. I'm not exactly sure why in these moments I felt such a surge of pride, maybe it was my missing home, my sudden urge to watch the Premiership or simply the fact that we get to claim such kick ass talent as 'Loki', I don't know, but pride I did feel. 

So, today I sat thinking about some of my favourite things from my homeland and thought I would share them. Here, in my opinion, are some of Britain's best!!

Harry Potter.
I know, I know, I have my priorities in order, right?! But you knew it was coming! :p I love Harry Potter and can't help but smile that this magical world was created by JK Rowling in the UK. The books make me smile, the films make me smile and they give me great comfort when far away from home. And I just love that I can say I'm from where Harry Potter is from, it doesn't get much cooler than that! :)

Comic Relief/Sports Relief/Red Nose Day/Children In Need.
I absolutely LOVE everything about the events listed above. Every year I look forward to seeing the different fundraisers and what goofy/funny/incredible stunts celebrities are going to do to help. I think it's lovely when everyone comes together for such amazing causes. In 2012 you couldn't help but be inspired watching John Bishop run, row and cycle 290 miles from Paris to London, all in aid of Sport relief and raising 3.4 million. I still smile thinking about what he accomplished let alone all the other millions of people taking part in bake sales, marathons or simply donating. Sport Relief is coming up this year on 23rd-25th March and I can't wait to join in and be a part of it!

John Bishop, JK Corden, Peter Kay, Miranda.
Just some of my favourite comedians! Rule Britannia... :)

The cup of tea.
There's nothing quite like sitting down with a good book or for a nice chat and having a cup of tea in hand. It makes everything better.

Mr. Kipling.
My cake of choice would have to be the Battenberg but I love the Bakewell tarts too. If you have no idea what I'm talking about, click here http://www.mrkipling.co.uk/  I've yet to see any of Mr. Kipling's cake over here in the USA and I think they are missing out. So yummy!

Fish and Chips.
That was a given! ;) I can't speak for everyone in the UK but I'd like to think everyone has their corner chippy. It's a nice thought. I love walking to the chippy on a Sunday and sitting round the table with my family to dig in. It's always a treat especially when we surprise our Grandad. He makes things fresh, Italian and doesn't eat out often so I don't think he was that eager to take a bite when we first bought him some, but now his face lights up when we pop round with a bag of fish and chips, and he can't get enough.

Ant and Dec.
Saturday morning's were never the same when SMTV live went off the air. My brother and sister's and I used to love waking up to Ant and Dec and Cat Deeley. We would spend our morning's laughing out loud and joining in with whatever was going on on the TV. We'd dance around to our favourite bands and shout out answers to all the quizzes, it was just so much fun and we loved Ant and Dec from then on. I will happily sit and watch them whatever they present and I can't fathom people not knowing who they are. My husband for one got a nice rendition of 'Let's get ready to rumble.' when he gave me the 'who are they?' face! :p

Mince Pies.
Christmas should simply not exist without Mince pies. They are Christmas in a bite.

Mark's and Spencer's.
WHSmiths.
Boots.
Argos.
Debenhams.
Sainsbury's.
Tesco.
I can't say that there are no shops here like these as they are pretty similar to the likes of WalMart, Kroger, Target etc but I still find myself not buying the odd thing here and thinking 'I'll just get it when I go home, I know where it is in Boots.' :p

Greggs.
If I think too much I will start drooling! :p You've got to love Greggs. Sausage rolls, meat and potato pies, cheese and onion pasties, gingerbread men...all of the mentioned...yes please.



I think I'll stop there before I start listing every shop, person and food in Britain but it's been nice thinking about home! Again I have probably missed a bunch of wonderful and important things I love, so if you can think of anything please feel free to comment below.

I hope you like my brief look into British culture, to which I didn't even get started on the music! :p

Happy Monday!

Love Lulu xx













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