Mrs Williams

A wonderful birthday weekend

As I have now jumped in, both feet, to my second quarter-century, Matt and I went away this weekend with some friends of ours to Herefordshire. I love a good mini-break and this one way a mega treat as we got a gorgeous little cottage complete with HOT TUB, for £150 for the weekend. Less than £20 per person per night and it was wonderlicious. Seriously gorgeous quaint little place, under floor heating (I’m put off cottages by the idea that they’re cold) and in the proper middle of nowhere. I love to be a bumpkin once in a while, and this was a perfect opportunity.

Mostly the weekend was spent reading, hot-tubbing (did I mention there was a hot tub?!) and eating. Despite two of us trying very hard on slimming world, we managed some yummy meals and generally chilled. We even managed breakfast with our books outside on Sat

However, Saturday afternoon was what I had really been waiting for…we made a visit to one of my favourite places in the world. The VERY lovely village of Hay-on-Wye. Now, I dont know if everyone in the world already knows about this place and has just been hiding it from me, but I have only known about it since I started dating Matt. Hay-on-Wye is a beautiful little town on the Welsh border which specialises in second hand books…no, really…the whole village is basically devoted to preloved books. This tiny little place has thirty second-hand bookshops, as well as a plethora of other cutesy little places, AND because the books are second hand I was allowed to buy in them during lent (I had read the rules PRETTY carefully, but decided it was allowed.)

Here’s Matt and I in a little random outdoor bookshop, and to be clear yes he IS wearing shorts and flip flops and yes I am wearing a coat with a furry hood, and thick tights. Thats how we roll!

Now I could spend days in this village I think, hour upon hour of picking out romance novels, or running my fingers down the spines of some ancient classic. But with only a couple of hours to look around the whole town, we all had a good rummage through the shelves looking for the very best books, with the extra joy of hearing the yells of some somewhat inebriated welsh rugby fans echoing around as we shopped. Being around books just makes me happy, and being around recycled and reused books makes me even happier. Managed to control my spending to a reasonable level, my main purchase being this beauty

I am super excited about learning thrifty and ingenious ways to make my life much easier! Reader’s Digest def know everything and are going to teach some of it to me.

Yesterday was mostly spent in the geekmobile (yep, we just love a road trip in that thing), which was not the most comfy with 4 adults in it, but we managed to get one of the four of us to see his Mum on mothers day, which seemed appropriate. It was wonderful to get home to my own bed, although now the dissertation is seriously looming over me and I do have to get stuck in. But if this weekend is what being 26 is going to be like, I think I’m pretty happy with that

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Thrifty Thursday takes a break

So somehow in the last few weeks I’ve become part of a little corner of the tweetiverse with some excellent ladies who are all about being thrifty, crafty, creative and sensationally savvy, and in between their other things, they too do ‘Thrifty Thursday’ blogs, often much better than mine. However, last night the very lovely Lucy suggested that as today is International Women’s Day, we put our thrift on hold and write something related to this.

Now Lucy’s blog is much better than mine, go and have a look at it, now…go on! However, right before she tweeted last night, I’d been having some thoughts about women that I thought I would briefly blog for you today. I’d been texting a friend of mine who was feeling a bit crappy about herself, and had ended up having a conversation with Matt about the age old question…

WHY DO US WOMEN COMPARE OURSELVES TO EACH OTHER ALLLLL THE TIME?!

I think it drives him bonkers, I am basically seriously green with envy at some trait of pretty much every friend of mine. I have two super close girl friends, and a relatively large wider circle of gorgeous girls in my life too, and every one of them I look at and compare myself and find myself lacking in some way. I said to Matt that I think it’s because advertisers play on it. They show us a woman, and ask us to say ‘what has she got that I dont?’ so that they can tell us how we can get whatever it is she has (The answer usually being to spend crap loads of money on something useless!). So it’s wired into our brains to constantly compare ourselves to other women, to see what they have that we dont.

I suspect some of it is natural, and maybe we would do some of it if it wasnt for advertising. But basically I blame them. I blame them for making me think that if I’m bigger than a size 8, I’m fat. I blame them for showing me women who ARE size 8 eating food that would NOT let them stay a size 8 and confusing my brain. I blame them for suggesting that my clothes aren’t expensive enough, my skins not tanned enough, my boobs arent big enough and my shoes arent high enough. I blame them for making me want want want, when I already have SO much. I blame them for making my friends feel crappy about themselves, and when I see my friends comparing themselves to me and others. I blame them for telling young people that they should be having meaningless sex with as many people as possible and that if they’re not, they’re weird. I blame them for saying that if you cant afford something you should borrow money, at whatever cost, so that you can have it NOW.

It makes me very angry actually. I have been angry about it for a number of years, I went to an all girls high school, and it was around then that I started to notice the ways that marketing was affecting us all. I watched friends battle eating disorders and become promiscuous and I got angrier. I try now to avoid it where possible. I dont buy magazines because they mess with my head. I try to fastforward through adverts where possible, and I go out of my way to avoid going to the shops so that I dont end up wanting (too much!) I saw this last week and I just think it is fabulous

Having been brought up in church, and thankfully by an awesome, beautiful woman of God who is pretty tight with Jesus and who showed me what God can do through his women, I am so aware that God wants more for us than what we are sold. The bible says that a virtuous woman is worth more than rubies (Proverbs 31:10), Jesus spoke with women and taught women despite the societal views of them. So the bible values women, Jesus valued women, but most importantly, the bible has this whole different view of beauty. “Your beauty . . . should be that of your inner self, the unfading beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit . . . “- 1 Peter 1:3,4 (NIV). We sing a kids song in church that says “Man looks on the outside, God looks on the heart.”

Flippin heck, if only the media got us thinking about the beauty in our hearts, if only when I got together with my girlfriends we spent as much time talking about how to develop a gentle and quiet spirit as we do talking about clothes, hair, diets, exercise, make up, spots, blah, blah, blah!

So for International Women’s Day, Im going to spend some time thinking about how I can better become a woman of God, how I can develop that virtue that is worth more than rubies, and I’m going to try very hard not to compare myself to the other beautiful women in my life, but to value and treasure them.

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Man does not live by juice alone

This weekend I attempted a juice detox…

I have struggled to have any motivation to be healthy since the wedding, and have enjoyed food and lots of sitting on the sofa with my new husband. I havent actually put on much weight, but I feel pretty grim. So the theory of the juice detox is that you shove some vegetables into a juicer and it does everything to the veg that your body would normally do to it, so that your gut gets a rest. You then (supposedly) dont eat anything else for 7 days, and by the end of it, after headaches, spots and mood-swings, you look and feel amazing.

So I started on Saturday with Carrot and Ginger juice…it was pretty good. Then lunch was orange juice which was amazing. Then dinner…ahhh dinner…it was all going so well until CABBAGE AND CELERY JUICE

Genuinely hideous

One of the worst things i’ve ever tasted

and I was so freaking hungry, I couldn’t resist a portion of Anna’s beautiful Moussaka.

So I failed.

Thats the whole story really

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We are Family

I love my church.

I have loved it for the whole of the 2 and a half years I have been a part of it and I have loved it for lots of different reasons. I love the way they have accepted me and become my family, I love that lots of the important times we share together are around food, I love that lots of the people there are people who’ve been battered by other churches and have found sanctuary from a lot of the rubbish they’ve experienced before by being part of our congregation.

But today I love my church because its a place of honesty. This morning, one of my friends gave his testimony at church. He spoke from a place of some hurt and confusion, he spoke honestly and frankly and he asked for our help. He reached out to us and asked us to pray for him and to support him through what he’s facing right now. At one point, he looked at his notes, and said “hmmm, im not sure I should say this bit, it seems a little blunt…” but went ahead and shared it anyway. Some of it was painful, some of it was stuff that all of us could relate to about the ways he feels he has got things wrong in his Christian journey.

So we prayed for him, and annointed him, and committed to walking with him.

Isnt that what church is for?

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Oh Hello…fancy seeing you here

As someone who has blogged a few times in the past, the feeling of a new blog is like a new notebook on the first day back at school, or a new bedroom in a new house which doesn’t have any of your stuff in it yet.

Undoubtedly in the weeks and months to come I will fill this space with some things I am pleased with, and some that I’m not. Like the new notebook, it wont always have useful or interesting stuff in it, and like the new bedroom it will, inevitable become untidy and disorganised.

But I do love a good fresh start, and just lately I’ve had a few. One month ago today I got married, which is super exciting and weird and scary and wonderful all at the same time. So I have a new husband, a new name, a new family, a new wedding ring, a new housemate, a number of new exciting kitchen utensils thanks to our wonderful guests, and a new, shared future with a wonderful man called Matthew. This is a picture of us at our wedding, just so you can visualise it, and not because we’re a bit obsessed with the photos at the moment…obv

So I’m on a bit of a learning curve really.

I’m trying to figure out a lot of things about being a wife and about sharing a life with someone. Some of those things are easy or fun and some are…less so. I am also in the middle…well in fact two thirds of the way through a degree in Social Work which is something that I have found remarkably challenging but also life-changing in lots of good ways.

So I might have some stuff to say that you’re interested in, and I might have some that you’re really not…happy reading…

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