Versatile Blogger Award

First of all, I'm so, so sorry I've neglected my blog! But I was away the other weekend, then we had a huge awards do at work so I was busy with all the prep and follow-up on that, and then last weekend I was just so tired all I wanted to do was lie on the couch and gorge on TV catch-up. But as I finally have a quiet few days (well before life starts gearing up again ahead of another big work project and then Christmas) I thought I'd get some posts ready so this wouldn't happen again!

Anyhoo, whilst I was on my mini-hiatus I found out that the lovely Katrina at History Never Repeats had nominated me for the Versatile Blogger Award :) So thank you Katrina!

The rules of the Versatile Blogger Award are as follows:

- Display the Award Certificate on your blog

- Announce your win with a post and thank the blogger who nominated you.

- Present 15 deserving bloggers with the award.

- Link your nominees in the post and let them know of their nomination with a comment.

- Post 7 interesting things about yourself.

So, here are my nominees:

And these are my seven interesting things (though I'm not sure how interesting they are...):
  1. When I was little, I would read everything I could get my hands on (still do in fact!), to the extent my mum wouldn't let me open books first on Christmas or birthdays because I'd just read them and ignore everything else! Similarly when we went on holiday she had to hide the books I was taking with me or I'd read them before we left.
  2. My worst habit is picking mascara off my eyelashes. Sorry, I know that's really gross and probably a bit naughty...
  3. My early ambitions were to be a vet or a zookeeper (I blame Animal Hospital). Then I had to scrap those when I realised I wasn't very good at science. But oh well!
  4. When I was a student, my absolute favourite post-club 3 AM snack was a toastie (made in a Breville) with Nutella and crunchy peanut butter. Try it sometime, it sounds horrible but it tastes really nice!
  5. I love rose-scented things and am constantly on the hunt for that perfect rose smell, be it in a hand cream, a perfume, a body wash... I've come close a few times, but never managed to find one that's just right (yet).
  6. The country I would most like to visit is Canada, mainly as it's one of very few places I haven't been to!
  7. My favourite beauty product is red lipstick - either Rimmel Kate Moss 01 or MAC Ruby Woo.
Thanks again to Katrina for the nomination, this was a really fun post to do and a lovely surprise to get nominated! I still feel like a newbie blogger in a lot of ways so this was a lovely way of feeling a bit more like I belong in the blogging community, as well as proof of just how welcoming and friendly it is.

I'd love to read my nominees' posts if you complete the challenge so please tweet me at @Laura_C_Tweets or leave me a comment below!

Have you been nominated for any blogging awards? What do you think of them? And are there any you're particularly proud of getting? Let me know in the comments and have a great day!

ETA: Just got a tweet from Gaby at Another Girly Blog saying she's already done this one, so I'd also like to nominate A Pinch of Shaz for the award.

October Goals Update and 100th Post Giveaway Winner!

It's my birthday! *to the tune of Happy Birthday* Happy birthday to me, happy birthday to me... I have now reached the grand old age of 26 (which makes me a grandma in blogging terms), and by happy coincidence today is my first post for October, so it felt like the perfect time to post my monthly goals update blog.

Cook or bake something new every week
I keep wondering if I should take this off my list, because every month I put it on, and every month I fail at it! I think a big part of it is going to be making my own lunches as I have to admit I've been lazy and N has been lovely and made me a sandwich when he makes his the night before. But I will start doing it! I've got a day off on Monday as I'm off up to Lancashire and York this weekend, so will do a Tesco run on the way home and pick up some things for lunches next week so I can post about what I've made.

Reduce the beauty product stash
This has been progressing, albeit slowly. I've got rid of two nail polishes, a tube of moisturiser, a body lotion and three face cream samples, but also bought a bottle of shampoo and a night cream, so the total is now 125 (it was 130 at the beginning of September). So I'm still reducing the stash which is A Good Thing, but suspect that with the birthday it may go up again as I do tend to get beauty stuff for birthdays and Christmas. But we'll see.

Read three books a month
I haven't quite managed this, but it's got pretty close - I finished Talk To The Tail fairly early in the month,  then read Tess of the D'Urbervilles, and am currently steaming through Dark Fire so hopefully I should have a review of that up soon. In a nutshell Talk to the Tail was a good light quick read, whilst Tess went quicker than I thought (probably helped by now getting buses to and from work) but was a bit meh. So far Dark Fire is very good, but then I'm a Tudors nut and love historical mysteries, so it's something of a given that I like it!

Taking photos
Again, I didn't do very well at this. In fact I was worse than last month, I think I only took about three pictures! So I'm going to start again this month, as I'm hoping that the nights drawing in will be a kick up the bum to get photos whilst the light's decent, and I'm also going to try and take plenty of photos on my trip up to York as well.

Complete Zombies, Run! 5K
I'll be honest, I sort of fell off the wagon with this one. Mainly because I had such bad runs the last time I tried it, and it actually made me a bit scared, so I decided to start just going for runs - putting my headphones in, setting the timer on my phone for half an hour, and then seeing how long I could keep running for. And so far it's going well; I managed to do 12 minutes straight on Sunday, which at my current speed is about 1.5K. So not brilliant, but it's getting there! I've also joined the gym so hopefully will be able to keep up the running when the miserable British winter weather eventually kicks in.

Clearing out my flat
Not much progress since last month I'm afraid. I did manage to get through some more CDs, but none of them have sold so looks like it'll be Music Magpie for them! But hopefully this month I should get through most of the others and then that'll be it :)

Get serious about blogging
I think I can safely say I managed that one! I did #BlogYourSocksOffSeptember so wrote a blog post every day last month, and tried to do blogger chats on Twitter at least once a week (as it turned out, I managed to do most of them). It was a very tough challenge but I'm incredibly pleased that I did it, as I got loads of help and support from other more established bloggers and it helped me to get disciplined about my writing. I've learnt a lot from it and will definitely take things forward to help make the blog the best it can be!

Start the wedding planning
OK, so I haven't got much further than I was last month, other than hacking up heaps of wedding magazines. But that has actually been quite helpful as it's given me lots of ideas for what I'd like especially in terms of decoration, dress shapes/details and colours, so that's useful! I'm going up to York for a wedding fair this weekend so hopefully my mum and I will be able to have the budget chat and get some quotes from suppliers then, as well s getting to meet them in person, and then start sending out the save the date cards by the end of the month.

Overall, not a brilliant month to be honest. I did manage to do a couple of things, like the reading and blogging challenges, and got my product stash down so there were some minor successes, but there is definitely room for improvement! Oh well, onwards and upwards, I suppose...

Also, I said I'd tell you all who won my OPI I'm Not Really A Waitress, and I'm pleased to announce the lucky winner is... *drum roll* Gemma from Touch of Belle! Congratulations lovely! :) The prize is on its way to you so should arrive soon.

Did you have any goals or challenges for September? How did you get on? And is there anything you'd like to achieve this month? Let me know in the comments and have a great day!