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A Few Of My Favourite Things

The hubby and I have been in America for over six weeks now and I’m slowly becoming accustomed to my new home. To be honest we’ve both been busy with all the usual hectic stuff that goes with a move abroad i.e. renting a flat; buying a car; settling into a new job; getting to know people; finding the best place to get a take away curry etc. etc.

I’m very excited about coming to America and all the opportunities it presents. From the time I was a teenager, I had a feeling that I’d one day end up living abroad. And now I’ve done just that. But that doesn’t mean I don’t get homesick and miss England and everyone and everything in it terribly because I do. So I always take comfort in anything that reminds me of home… and some of these things even have a connection to my childhood!

BOOT’S PRODUCTS

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I remember when I was last in Oregon a few years back, Target had started stocking  up Boot’s products which I was very excited about. And I’d totally forgotten about it until we went into our local Target last week and found a small section of the store – and I do mean small – dedicated to Boot’s cosmetics and skin care products. That really did cheer me up – to see a little piece of home.

I’m not familiar with many of the brands available in the States although I will inevitably get round to trying them out – but right now its great to see a brand I know and trust.

JELLY

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Or jello as its called over here. OK, I know – jelly is such a kid’s dessert. No one with a sophisticated palate would even consider a bowlful of the wibbly-wobbly stuff and most adults will probably only touch it if you add alcohol and serve them up in little plastic shot glasses at parties.

But then I’ve never really been one for following the crowd and I’ve always loved jelly. It stems from childhood when a bowlful of jelly was an amazing treat – how easily pleased we were – and even now, when I’m feeling homesick or a bit low for any reason, jelly hits the spot every time. And if there’s any ice- cream or squirty cream to go with it, so much the better!

Funnily enough, most American adults I know have no interest in jello – unless we’re talking jello shots – but yet there’s such a fantastic array of flavours unlike the UK where we’re pretty much limited to five flavours. So far I’ve come across peach, melon, cherry, blueberry, apricot, grape, fruit punch, cola, pineapple, mango… and those are just the ones I can remember!

While the Americans beat us on flavours, the thing I love about jelly in Britain is that you can get them in the form of squidgy gelatine squares whereas over here in America it’s always in crystal form. How I love those jelly squares! Whenever my mum used to make jelly for us, you could be sure I’d pop a couple of squares in my gob. In fact, I’ve even been known to scoff a whole packet like sweets!

EGGO WAFFLES

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In Britain, waffles are either Belgian or potato which are both fab but I remember my aunt making a different type of waffle when i used to go round to her house which seemed to be made from batter. I have no idea what brand it was but when I was much older I used to look for them in the frozen aisles but could never find them so they’d obviously been discontinued long ago.

Eggo waffles are the ones that come closest to my childhood memory and they are a firm favourite in our household.

SARA LEE DESSERTS

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Who remembers those Sara Lee television ads of the eighties where we were advised that “If at first you don’t succeed – cheat!” I’m quite sure that Sara Lee gateaus would have been all the rage at dinner parties back in the day but this brand is another thing that seems to have disappeared over the years in Britain. It was only when I used to visit Oregon a few years back that I ran into this brand at the supermarket like a long- lost friend… and those Sara Lee fruit pies soon became a freezer staple.

These days I’m addicted to Sara Lee’s pound cake. Delicious!

 

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Posted by on March 1, 2016 in Brands

 

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Newlyweds: Nick And Jessica

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I can’t remember exactly what it was that got me thinking about Newlyweds: Nick And Jessica, the reality TV series that starred newly married couple, singers Jessica Simpson and Nick Lachey as they embarked on a new chapter in their lives. But I decided to check out a couple of old episodes and soon became hooked again!

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When it came to American teen girl singing sensations in the nineties, Britney and Christina ruled. And when it came to nineties American boy bands, N’Sync and Backstreet Boys owned it. This left Jessica Simpson and Nick’s band 98 Degrees a little in the shade, which was unfortunate as they were – and still are – mega talented. I remember watching Jessica for the first time when she performed on Top Of The Pops with I Wanna Love You Forever, and I know that 98 Degrees collaborated with my then-idol Mariah Carey on her track Thank God I Found You which I absolutely loved. Both acts were well-known in the States but back in 1990’s Britain there were still many people who hadn’t heard of them.

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But Newlyweds changed everything…

At the beginning of the twenty first century, reality television wasn’t as we know it today but it was starting to gather momentum. Today The Osbournes, Donny Loves Jenny, Wahlburgers, and of course, Keeping Up WithThe Kardashians are well-known but Newlyweds was probably one of the earliest reality TV shows to feature the day-to-day lives of celebrities, especially a celebrity couple. Nick and Jessica’s MTV reality show that followed the lives of the newlywed pop stars, who married in 2002 and began filming their series in 2003.

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I remember I used to watch Newlyweds on MTV with my sister. Even though we knew who both Nick and Jessica were, we didn’t quite know what to expect before watching the first episode. We thought it would be bland, boring fly-on-the-wall stuff which we probably wouldn’t bother watching again but we thought we’d give it a go. I was especially interested because I remember that the impossibly good-looking couple’s wedding was featured on one of Oprah Winfrey’s celebrity wedding shows and I was curious to see what married life was like for them.

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Well Newlyweds proved to be anything but boring. It had me and sis in stitches! Jessica’s combination of dumb blonde-meets pop sensation meets wannabe housewife seemed to grate on Nick which provided many of the comic moments. The pairing of solid, dependable, down-to-earth Nick with scatty, dizzy but lovable Jessica who was very comfortable in the world of celebrity made for great viewing. Who didn’t love watching Jessica’s antics and listening to her ‘Jessica-isms’ which often left an exasperated Nick speechless?

But it wasn’t just the humorous aspect that kept us tuning in. Like most of Newlyweds’ fans, I just loved watching Nick and Jessica together. The love between them was evident, and although they may have been chalk-and-cheese, somehow they worked. I used to watch Nick’s romantic gestures and hope that one day, I’d find a man like that too (who didn’t?) It was a modern day fairy tale and I couldn’t wait for my weekly fix of Newlyweds. To be honest, I’m amazed that I pretty much forgot about this couple and the show. As far as memories go, they are relatively recent and both Nick and Jessica are still very much in the public eye. But I suppose it’s the fact that they’ve both moved on and created new lives for themselves and developed as people who are as far removed from their Newlyweds days as you can get, that made us forget that once upon a time, we used to be glued to this show.

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The show boosted the couple’s popularity greatly especially Jessica’s and was great publicity for her many professional ventures including her cosmetics line, Dessert, her album, In This Skin, and her first ever movie role as Daisy Duke in Dukes Of Hazard. Unfortunately as everyone knows, the marriage – and the show – wasn’t to last. At the end of 2005, Nick and Jessica separated after three years of marriage and three series of Newlyweds, despite having a seemingly solid relationship, divorcing six months later. Nick and Jessica fans hoped that the couple would reunite but it wasn’t to be. Fast forward to 2015, and both Nick and Jessica have new partners with whom they have started families, and they have both on numerous occasions expressed a desire to move on from the past and focus on their new families. Of course in the world of celebrity, the past can’t be erased  so easily but there’s no denying that Nick and Jessica both seem happy in their new lives and that’s all that their fans can wish for.

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But the show – and the couple –  will always have a very special place in our hearts.

FAVOURITE JESSICA-ISMS

  1. “Is this chicken that I have or fish?” That infamous line.
  2. “I don’t eat buffalo” – when offered buffalo wings
  3. “Twenty-three is old. It’s like almost twenty-five which is almost mid-twenties.” – on her twenty-third birthday.
  4. “You post a letter before you can send it.” – her thoughts on the prefix ‘post’ meaning ‘after’.
  5. “I feel bad for this horse but I guess it’s on wheels so it makes it go faster.” – during the romantic buggy ride for their first anniversary.
  6. “The horse knows to stop at a red lights?” – during same buggy ride.
  7. “I love this scent. What scent is it again? Oh, it’s unscented.” – on candles.
  8. “They have their own language.” – on thinking that ‘African’ is a language.
  9. I think I just broke my kidney.
  10. “It was total mayham.” – instead of mayhem.

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Posted by on August 30, 2015 in TV Shows

 

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Video

Forever Ulay

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My colleagues love playing a good game of ‘Guess Angel’s Age.” I don’t know why – I’ve already told them I’m old. What more do they need to know?

“I reckon she was born in the 1940s,” laughed one of my colleagues.
“Of course I was,” I replied, “though you’d never know due to all the Oil of Ulay I’ve been using.”
“Oh my gosh,” cried another colleague, “my mum used to use that all the time!”
“Yeah but back then it definitely would have been called Oil of Ulay. None of this Olay Business.”
“I know – I don’t know why they bothered changing the name. They should have just left it.”
“Don’t lie – Oil of Olay used to be called Oil of Ulay?” (Bless her, it was before her time.)

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Trust me, the conversation was a lot more riveting than it sounded – and of course took me back to my childhood when a bottle of Oil of Ulay adorned the dressing table of many women – and my mum was no different. Ulay, back then, was heavily advertised on television, urging consumers to purchase a bottle, with promises of beautiful, youthful skin. As a child, I figured that was what I needed if I wanted to keep looking, er, eight!

 

Olay began life after the Second World War when it was invented by South African chemist, Graham Wulff, a man who undoubtedly has the gratitude of females all over the world! He named it ‘Oil of Olay’ as a spin on the name of the product’s key ingredient, lanolin. Packaged in a heavy glass bottle during the early days, Olay stood out from the beauty product crowd as it was a soft pink fluid rather than a thick white cream.

Olay's inventor: Chemist Graham Wulff

Olay’s inventor: Chemist Graham Wulff

In fact, what Olay actually was was a bit of a mystery as it was never labelled a moisturizer and neither was it referred to as a beauty fluid. the packaging didn’t say what the product actually did but it was uniquely marketed as a ‘beauty secret’ and promised a ‘younger looking you.’

It was soon launched in other parts of the world as Oil of Ulay (UK and Ireland), Oil of Ulan (Australia) and Oil of Olaz (continental Europe). It was only in 1999 that the product was given the globally unifying name of Oil of Olay – which is exactly as Wulff intended.

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Sales really took off in the 1970s, with a huge television ad campaign and an extended product range which included a cleanser and a night cream. The sub heading ‘beauty fluid’ was added to packaging.

Today, the product range has exploded with a multitude of products catering for virtually every age, skin type and skincare requirement. All these years later, Olay is still very much a giant in the beauty industry.

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This iconic, pretty, pink beauty fluid is so symbolic of ‘my era’. Oh and it’ll always be Ulay to me!

 

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Literally The Coolest Lip Balms Ever!

Being a typically girly girl, I am so excited about the new range of lip balms based on Wall’s ice-cream classics. Whoever came up with this idea is a legend in the making!

The new range of lip balms

The new range of lip balms

The new range comes in four fantastic flavours: Feast, Strawberry Split, Twister and Mini Milk. These old school classics definitely take me back to my childhood: a time of ice-cream vans; walks in the park; summers spent hanging out with our little friends, and not being able to walk past a newsagent’s without dragging Granddad in to buy us all ice-lollies.

Feast

Feast

Mini Milk

Mini Milk

Twister

Twister

I honestly can’t decide which was my favourite out of the four as I’m sure I scoffed them all in equal measure. However, Feast may have had the edge simply for being super chocolatey! It’s just too bad that the ever fabulous Fab isn’t part of the line up as I loved those as well but sadly it was unlikely to be included as Fab is not a Wall’s ice cream. Oh well!

Strawberry Split

Strawberry Split

Anyway, I cannot wait to get my hands – or lips – on all four great flavours. Proof that a moment on the lips doesn’t necessarily have to mean a lifetime on the hips!

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Posted by on May 19, 2013 in Old School Stuff

 

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