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Best Friend Gift Ideas and Inspiration

Buying a Gift for your Best FriendPhoto by Court Prather on Unsplash

Buying a present for a female best friend can be tricky. You probably know her likes and dislikes inside out, and could spot her style from a mile away, but that doesn’t always help when it comes to buying a gift. You want something special but also practical that she’ll actually get some use out of, but the two don’t often intersect. With that in mind, I thought I’d share some ideas and inspiration of what to buy your best friend for a special occassion, or when you just want to remind her how much she means to you:

A Trip

What better gift to your best friend than the gift of quality time spent together? Okay, so a jaunt to New York may be out of your budget, but a day trip to London or your nearest city for lunch and some sightseeing (or shopping!) could be an amazing way to show your best how much she means to you. You could even book a hotel and make a whole weekend out of it, allowing you to really let your hair down.

Home Tech

Buying your friend some useful tech for her home is a great way to show her how much she means to you, but also how well you know her! Is she someone who always needs ice in her drink? How about buying her the best ice maker for her home so that she’ll always have fresh ice for her beverages?

Unique Jewellery

Going and buying your bestie some generic jewellery might be an easy option, but it won’t neccessarily be well received. However, if you opt for some unique jewellery with a design that suits her personality, it’s likely to be a gift that she will love and cherish forever.

An Experience

Kind of like a trip, but with a difference! Is your bestie a thrill seeker? Is there something she’s always wanted to do? Booking an experience day for her means that not only will you get to spend time with her, but you’ll get to watch her tick something off of her bucket list. A couple of years back, Husband booked me a zoo keeper experience to help care for raccoons and it was, hands down, the best gift I’ve ever received!

A Photo Book

If you have a whole bunch of picures of the two of you from over the years, a photo book could be an amazing way to memorialise your friendship. Spend just a few hours picking your favourites and using an online photobook maker and you’ll end up with a totally personalised gift which will bring back so many memories of happy times together.

Do you have any amazing ideas for showing your best friend how much she meas to you? Leave me a comment below, I’d love to hear from you.

A Moment in Time

Husband and I are both keen photographers; we don’t tend to carry around huge bags of photography equipment, but we both take photos on our phones almost every single day and also both take our cameras with us on days out, to document our family fun. We also spend time looking at our photos a lot, rather than just consigning them to the archives never to be looked at again. Quite often, once the girls are in bed, we’ll sit at Husband’s PC and look through all of our photos together and think back to times past, when Sausage was little, or even before both girls were born.

Photobox has asked a bunch of bloggers to create a post around “A Moment in Time” (and yes, before you ask, I’ve been singing the Whitney Houston song in my head almost constantly since the email came in!) asking bloggers to share a photo which has captured a magic moment in our lives. I’ve thought long and hard about which photo to share and I think it has to be these ones:

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If you’re a regular reader, you’ll know that I don’t share photos on the blog of either of my girls, but the one photo of Sausage ever to make it onto the site is the one above. This is the first time I ever got to hold her without tubes and breathing apparatus in the way, the day that we were told we could take her home in 24 hours, after a week in the neo-natal intensive care unit. There’s another picture, of the first time I ever held her, but that’s super personal and not something I often show anyone.

It’s a bittersweet thing, seeing your baby in an incubator. Tubes and wires look so wrong against a tiny human, but knowing they’re helping her to breathe and eat makes you feel grateful to all of it at the same time.

Five and half years later, along came Burrito Baby, our little pocket rocket!

02.17.2014_12.30.50The first few weeks of their lives couldn’t have been more different. BB’s birth was relaxed and uneventful, and the photo above is of me holding her when she was just moments old. Whilst Sausage was still in hospital on day 8, BB was coming along with her big sister and I on the school run!

I know it’s probably a bit of a cliche and it’s something that the vast majority of parents would say, but these two moments are the most special of my entire life. Meeting Husband and getting married comes a close second, as does when we adopted Chuck, but nothing will compare to the two precious moments where the bonds with my daughters began.

What is your ‘Moment in Time’? Do you have more than one? Were you lucky enough to be able to capture it on film? I’d love to hear about it, so leave me a comment below.

The Fappening

Jennifer LawrenceUnless you’ve been living in a cave in deepest, darkest Guatemala for the past three months, you will no doubt have heard of ‘The Fappening’. To be fair, you may not have heard that particular (and fairly distasteful) expression, but you’ll definitely have heard about the hackers who are breaching the iCloud security of various celebrities and selling their intimate photos to the highest bidder. The likes of Aubrey Plaza, Jennifer Lawrence, Kate Upton and many more have had their images splashed around the internet and other media.

There’s been a lot of discussion, from all angles. Some idiots people have been saying that these women are public figures and shouldn’t take intimate pictures if they don’t want them leaked, others have said that they must’ve wanted people to see the images if they took them in the first place and I can’t even begin to explain how much this kind of victim-blaming bullshit annoys me. Privacy is a basic human right, no matter how public your chosen career. Just because Kate Upton makes her money in bikinis, it doesn’t mean we own the right to see her personal, private photos, any more than being an accountant means you’re obliged to do the tax return of everyone you know during your spare time (very skewed analogy, I know, but BB’s not sleeping well)

Then, Jennifer Lawrence said this:

It is not a scandal. It is a sex crime. It is a sexual violation. It’s disgusting. The law needs to be changed, and we need to change. That’s why these Web sites are responsible. Just the fact that somebody can be sexually exploited and violated, and the first thought that crosses somebody’s mind is to make a profit from it. It’s so beyond me. I just can’t imagine being that detached from humanity. I can’t imagine being that thoughtless and careless and so empty inside.

Now, I’m a huge fan of J-Law but I’ve got to admit, I stepped back from that statement with a sharp intake of breath. Branding this is sexual violation seemed like a very strong statement to make. I started thinking about women who’d suffered sexual abuse, rape, sexual violence and it made Jennifer Lawrence’s assessment seem rather grandiose to me. Being looked at is in no way comparable to rape, is it?

Then I thought back to something which happened to me when I was 20. I was walking to a careers evening at my local hospital, which was at the end of a busy dual carriageway with a tree-covered path on one side. As I was walking along, I saw a man in the bushes at the other side of the road, trying to catch my attention and as I looked over he started masturbating. As he stood there in the bushes touching himself, my anger kicked in and I actually chased him away, before stopping and realising he was a fully grown man who could hurt me a lot more than I hurt him.

No, this man didn’t touch me in any way but his act still felt like sexual violence. He was gratified by my shock and disgust and used me to get sexual satisfaction in his depraved way. While I’m not comparing any person who’s enjoyed J-Law’s image to a sexual criminal, I completely understand how you can feel violated by someone’s unwanted attention. Incidentally, the police never caught the flasher, but I saw him a few years later in a local paper after having been convicted of several rapes and sexual assaults, so what happened still haunts me.

It’s easy to write off what has happened to these women as ‘just photos being looked at’, but having your most intimate images splashed across the internet for all to see must be absolutely mortifying and the thought that so many people are viewing them is enough to make your skin crawl. These women should be able to take whatever damn pictures of themselves on their mobile devices without the fear that they’re going to be stolen and I’m really sad that we live in a world where privacy is so undervalued and can be sold off to the highest bidder.

So, what do you think? Is this an act of sexual crime, or is Jennifer Lawrence undermining ‘real’ sexual assault by saying so? Has anything similar ever happened to you? Leave me a comment below.

Closer to Nature

This weeks Closer to Nature comes courtesy of a very industrious spider, a beautiful morning dew and the macro setting on my camera, which is my favourite setting to play with. I took a few photos which worked with varying degrees of success but I still couldn’t choose my overall best so I thought I’d show you them all:

If you have any wonderful photos of anything nature related, link up below. There’s badge code that you can grab in the sidebar too.

 

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The Gallery – The 80’s

I’ve not joined in with The Gallery for ages, mostly because I’m so rubbish at blogging that I only find out the theme once the linky is almost closed, but as a child of the Eighties, I felt it was my duty to show you some photos and generally give myself the chance to show off just how damn CUTE I was as a child. So here goes…

Me, looking cute in a bouncy chair:

Me, looking cute (but grainy) sitting in a cardboard box with a dog…(yeah, I don’t know either…):

Me again, pulling some fairly obnoxious faces in a photo booth, but still looking cute:

And finally, the pièce de résistance – The cutest photo EVER TAKEN of me:

(I’m even in a caravan – how 80’s is that?!)

If you want to see some fabulously 80’s-tastic hair and fashion, head over to Sticky Fingers where everyone else has linked up.

Treasured Secrets

I discovered something the other day; my Husband is a complete and utter sneak.

I’ve spoken about my pregnancy enough here and in other places for most of you to know that it was utterly miserable, but for those of you who are new here, I found out I was pregnant because I was puking so much that I tore a hole in my oesophagus. The hyperemesis gravidarum continued for near-on five months during which time I also developed SPD, gestational diabetes, polyhydramnia and a number of other oh-so-pleasant things which meant that the famous ‘pregnancy glow’ eluded me completely. I was ill and miserable for 8 and a half months out of the nine that I was pregnant.

Because of all this, I became completely phobic of seeing myself. I banned all photography around me and as far as I knew, not a single photo of me pregnant existed. Four and a bit years on, I felt completely rueful about this, cross at myself for my own stubborness and gutted that I had not a single pregnancy photo.

Until, that is, I discovered my Husband’s sneakery! We were going through some archived photos the other day so that we could show Sausage the pictures of the sharks we saw in the Maldives and we found not one but several photos of me, with-child! I honestly had no idea they existed, convinced that any photos that he did manage to get at the time had been deleted. And because I’m so pleased, I thought I’d share some with you, so you can see how NON-glowing I was, but also how young I looked!

So, for once, I can honestly say that I’m glad my Husband didn’t listen to me and although I was huge, covered in stretch marks, washed out and looking utterly miserable in most of these photos, I’ll treasure them forever.

Royally Tits Up?

So, the French press have papped our Kate with her boobies out, eh? A source said this:

“There is a feeling of anger and disbelief about these photographs,” 

Apparently the Royals are unfamiliar with the lengths that the French papparazi will to to get a picture…*insert smiley for IRONY that hasn’t even been invented yet*

Errr, REALLY? Anger…and disbelief?

“We feel there has been a red line crossed with regard to publishing these images.”

Usually, it’s just a line that gets crossed, but when it’s the Royals, it’s a red line. I might have known they’d get a more fancy line than everyone else…*insert bitter mutterings about our tax money paying for aforementioned fancy red line*

Continue reading →

Saturday is Caption Day!

I thought I’d have a go at linking up with the lovely Mammasaurus’ ‘Sat Cap’ linky today and this is my offering:

“If I hold the card here long enough, maybe she won’t notice my monkey assistant aiming his camera up her skirt…”

Leave a caption in the comments below and don’t forget to head over to Mammasaurus to take a look at all of the other entries.


Saturday Is Caption Day

Urban Bluebells

I’ve noticed recently that the area I live in seems to be awash with bluebells, they’re growing everywhere. My own front and back garden seem to be stuffed with them. I always thought bluebells were a rare flower, but we’ve got an epidemic on our hands!

Being the bleeding-heart liberal hippy that I seem to have grown into these days, I don’t tend to look upon them as a weed that needs to be got rid of, rather a welcome splash of colour in this urban sprawl that I call home. I’m kind of the same about urban foxes to be honest…yes, they rip our  bin bags open, but I bet they lived on this land long before we built houses on it.

As it turns out, bluebells are protected by UK law, and I found this snippet of info really interesting:

H. non-scripta is a protected species under the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981. Landowners are prohibited from removing common bluebells on their land for sale and it is a criminal offence to remove the bulbs of wild common bluebells. This legislation was strengthened in 1998 under Schedule 8 of the Act making any trade in wild common bluebell bulbs or seeds an offence.

As you may have noticed, I’ve gone a bit collage mad recently (probably after hours of me and Husband trying to get a bad install of Picasa to work on my crappy netbook, I’m getting the most out of it after our effort!) and I made this one of all of the pictures I took of the bluebells along the way when Sausage and I walked to the shops today. I love the way the flowers look alongside concrete, ceramic tiles and bricks, such a juxtaposition of nature and man-made products.

They were only taken with my iPhone 4S, but if you click onto the collage you can zoom in on individual pictures to see them a bit better. Anyway, here it is.

As a side note, Urban Bluebells is the best name for something, if I ever start my own kids clothing label, that’s what I’ll call it!

Listography – Mugs

I have to say, when I saw this week’s Listography topic, I wasn’t too sure about it. Then I bothered to do the washing up looked in the cupboard and realised that we’re a family of hot drink drinkers (Husband likes anything herbal, Sausage has a penchant for Tick Tock Rooibos tea and I love a decaf instant or a macchiato from my beloved Tassimo machine). So, without futher ago, here’s the Mum’s the Word World of Mugs:

This mug may have been a freebie, but it reminds me of the fab time that I had at Cybermummy, meeting women who'd become my friends, learning from some fabulous speakers and getting bundles of lovely loot to take home with me!
This mug was bought for me by Husband, I like to think that he thinks of me as Wonder Woman (yeah...right...!) and it's a perfect size and thickness for drinking a nice cup of monkey tea from!
I bought this mug for Husband after I broke the previous version. It's artwork comes from the graphic novel 'Death Note', and luckily for me he liked this even more that the last one!
Sausage does love a cuppa and she bought this out of her birthday money when we took her to Colchester Zoo for her third birthday. It's a gorgeous mug but a total bugger to wash as it's all bumpy on the inside and the nooks and crannies get stained very easily.
I bought these mugs when I realised that we didn't have any decent ones to offer a hot drink to a guest. I got them from Wilkinsons and I think they're super cute. They only cost a pound each too, which is a bargain!

Hop over to Kate’s blog to see the rest of the entries.