Monday, 18 February 2019

Last Week #34


What a fun week last week was, more relaxing on nights after work even getting to see my grandparents for tea again ( I had missed a few weeks of this). We even skipped the football on Saturday to head on to a wedding anniversary party, it was a day party and I have realised I can't drink half as much as I used to in fact as Saturday went on I struggled more and more. Sunday was then a struggle as I was hungover (the worst one I have had in a long time) but we managed to power on through and actually went out and did some exercising, which involved me finally kicking a football again but today I am struggling. So here is what I had...

Been Watching: There was some football on which I managed to watch once again, but other than that we watched a bit more of The People vs OJ Simpson. I also watched a lot of Soccer Reviews For You over on YouTube, I am loving those videos and seeing more football boots.

Been reading : I am really slacking on reading once again, I really need to start that Hope Solo book.

Been listening to : I really can't stop listening to Ariana Grande in fact there hasn't been a day where I haven't listened to her album.

Bought : I picked  up a few new bits last week, I got a new pair of trainers for football, a new football shirt and a set of Star Wars candles.

Plans for this week : I want to get the house spotless again as we have really neglected the cleaning recently. I also want to try invest in something for me to edit my images for the blog with as I think it will get my images looking a whole lot better. I need to start stripping the walls in the spare room too as that really has been neglected. I want to find time to get some workouts in too so fingers crossed. 

So there you have it that was my week. What have you guys been up to?

See you soon
Lucy

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Friday, 15 February 2019

Future Blog Set Up Goals

Now that I have changed the main focus on the blog I have so many content ideas it is unreal, and I want to make those ideas really come to life and be the best quality I possibly can. Which got me thinking about my blog set up currently and some improvements I would love to make in the future (some are small and some are pretty big) these would help me improve the quality of what I am putting on here.

One big thing I would love to have is my own space to take images and create the visual side of the blog. Where I live we are lucky if we get 10 good days weather wise a year so having a space just to go in to take the images would be a huge benefit. With me doing a lot of things football related I want to start doing equipment reviews and boot reviews so having a space near by where I could just go into no matter what the weather would mean I could make a lot more content throughout the year. This could either be an office locally or even just a shed in our garden but it would make things so much easier. Obviously not all the content would be shot in here as I would love some action sort of shots too but if I could do a few in hear it would really add to the posts.


In this space I would love a little bit of artificial grass to lay down to take the shots on just to give it that football feel and fits the theme a little more. It could be used for showing stud lengths and just adds a little extra to the shots instead of them just being on a plain floor or a carpet which doesn't really showcase the products for what they really are. who knows I could even kit the full room out in this and mark it out as my own little pitch.

I would love the shots to be against a plain white background for a change too as that will really show off the product too. As the product would then become the main focus without anything else in the background, whether that is an object or something on the wall.  



A ring light is something I will definitely be investing in this year as my photography for the blog really needs to be stepped up. I feel like I could do so much better for it and that with the correct lighting this could benefit the blog so much more, plus it could really help my Instagram (which I am trying to build up a following on, if you love football or fitness check out my Instagram here). A ring light is something I had been looking at for quite a while alongside a lightbox as the lighting in our house isn't as good as it could be so something to add a bit of extra light would be a huge benefit. 

It is not only lighting I want to work on but I also really want to start actually editing my photos, this is something I have never done but I know it will make the quality so much better. I really want to learn how to get the most out of my images and how to make them really stand out and look the best they can so this year I will also be investing in a photo editing tool, I just aren't sure which yet so if you have any recommendations please let me know.  


This might sound like a bit of a weird one but if I get my own space for the blog I just want a plain white table, just something nice and simple for it  I wanted to do some unboxings or if I had any posts where the image would be better suited to be taken from a height instead of on the floor. Plus it will also double up as a desk for when I sit down to type the content up, I just wonder if I could actually keep it looking white after a few weeks. The good thing about these is that the are pretty in expensive too.

If I got an office or shed big enough I wuld really love to recreate part of it to look like part of a changing room. Complete with changing room style seating and hanging space, it would just really add to the feel of the room and give it such a football style. I could hang jersey in there for images and ultimately use it for creating the content as well as it looking brilliant. There is so much inspiration for this available online and I really love to have that as part of my set up.



Finally to me this is one of the biggest parts, I would want somewhere to store any boots or equipment over time and Ikea would be the first place I turned for this. They just have some many different options I could go for. I love the Lack shelf where I could put a pair of boots on each shelf for an easy display but I also love the cube storage units, I could have boots in each cube with a mix of colours and styles on display. Plus the cubes could also have equipment in baskets hidden away. It just means items are out of the house and in their own little space. 

So there you have it those are the things I would love to have as part of my blog set up in the future. It is just so nice finding the motivation to post new content and get it online, I just really hope these changes I have made really benefit me and I can keep up with the schedule have created myself. Hopefully some of these set up changes may come into play at some point too.

See you soon
Lucy.
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Thursday, 14 February 2019

The Games Room


When we were originally house hunting we always said we wanted a games room so when we found the house we are in now we knew it would be perfect. With 3 decent sized bedrooms we were spoilt for choice that is why we opted for the biggest bedroom as our games room as we knew we had plenty to fill it. Plus we knew this was the room we was going to be spending the most time in. 


That is why the week after we moved in this was the very first room we made a start on and aimed to get done as quickly as possible. Granted it took quick a few months to get it to this stage but it has all been worth it. In terms of decorating all we had to do was paint the walls white, put up shelves and lay the new carpet then it was time to fill it. So here is how it is looking now... 




As you come into the room the wall on the right is filled with a few posters a game zone sign and our ever growing collection of pin badges. The posters just add something to the other wise blank space plus they add a bit more of the gaming character to the room, we have my favourite from Overwatch Tracer and a Nuka Cola one for Liam. Then we have my Demi Lovato one that I got when I went to see her last year. 


The long shelf above here has plenty of my collectibles on it which range from Pok√©mon to Harry Potter with a bit of Star Wars and Minecraft thrown in. 




Then we have my little corner. This is where most of my blogging happens mixed in with some PC gaming. I have my little shelf with Tracer and Stitch on it and my big whiteboard up on the wall. The whiteboard is where I put  rough blog schedule & any important things coming up, it has actually helped me out quite a bit. I have recently added some LED lights to the back of the desk to go along with my new gaming PC and keyboard although the keyboard will be switched out soon. The dual monitors are also great for blogging as I can write my content whilst watching something on the other screen or looking at product info.  


On the other side to my desk is Liam's set up where he spends the majority of his time, he also has his own whiteboard and the shelves above our computers are filled with our Funko Pop's & Tsum Tsum's I just wish Liam would keep his Funko's in the box.
In front of our desks we have a sofa bed, we wanted something comfortable to sit on whilst playing on our consoles and this really does the trick. Plus it is somewhere else for people to stay if needed. It is also filled with some geeky soft toys and pillows and a giant Ikea shark.



Now onto my favourite part our TV and consoles, plenty of hours get spent here playing FIFA and ignoring other games. Both book cases either side are filled with plenty of games for us to get through. On top we have a few random bits and our controllers. Each section on the bottom of the console unit holds a console whilst the PS4 & Xbox One are on the longer slimmer shelves. The Switch is currently right next to the TV. The little cubes down the right have a mixture of Disney Infinity characters, PS2 games, accessories and other random bits in, I am sure these will change around over time but for now I love it. We also need another poster for up above the unit.


We still have bits to add like a little side table we just bought but I am really happy with how it looks and how it has all come together. It is the perfect room for us to spend 90% of our time, I can't wait for the nephew to be old enough to enjoy games too because there can be hours of fun spent in here teaching him how to play the games we love.


So there you go that is what our games room is looking like. 

See you soon
Lucy
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Wednesday, 13 February 2019

One Step Forward 10 Steps Back : Bradford City


Ah Bradford City the team that at the moment is driving me insane. It wasn't that long ago I was travelling to Wembley to watch them lose the playoff final against Millwall, since then I don't know what has gone on. Last season we just missed out on the playoffs and since January 2018 and now we are on our 4th manager & one of our joint chairmen have finally left after been a huge factor in the fans turning on the club. This season after buying the players we did in the summer you would think we would be fighting for promotion once again but nope, we have bought players who really don't show the dedication they should for the club which is ridiculous and we are fighting for survival in league 1. It shouldn't be happening but some of the players bought don't deserve the job they have and should have been sent packing by now. The joint chairman Edin finally left the club and honestly things started to get better, we had a brilliant December, but now I really don't know what is going on we seem to take one step forward and 10 steps back.

Take this weekend for example it was our first home game since the 4-3 win against Shrewsbury where we kept fighting to the very last minute and finished with the 3 points to looking lazy and sloppy against Fleetwood where we ended up loosing 1-0. The fans weren't happy and rightly so, after a good few performances once again we had gone backwards and that fighting spirit looked like it had already disappeared, it was like the players were happy to only concede one when we should have gone in fighting and actually got something out of the game. Granted Fleetwood came to slow the game down and spoilt it and you could tell within the first 5 minutes in the game that this was going to be the case, but we should have been one step ahead and actually countered this and made them play a totally different game with us on the front foot. Fleetwood looked in the first 10 minutes they would be happy to leave with a point so why didn't we try attack that, instead there was no threat from us and terrible defending once again meant they got an even better deal and left with all 3 points.

The referee could definitely have done more to punish their time wasting and there were quite a few decisions that once again went against City and weren't given but we are used to this by now, we should know that not all decisions are going to go our way so why not keep playing to the whistle and try calm our tempers, it is that exact reason why so many yellow cards when there is really no need.

I thought the days of hoof ball were over but clearly not as we seem to have reverted back to that too. When we actually play the ball on the floor we can string together some great passes and actually look a strong threat so why don't we do it more often, especially in a game like Saturday when one of Fleetwood's centre backs was 6ft 7, what makes you think that your lone striker who definitely isn't a target man is going to get anywhere near that? In fact the fans actually started shouting who it was going to before the ball even got near him we were just that predictable. It actually started to feel like I was watching tennis at certain points as it was just back and forth.

One other thing I noticed in the weekends game was a total lack of shots from City, again I thought we were over this. Especially with December showing us how many goals we could get if we actually took a chance and gave it a try. We seem to freeze whenever we get near goal again or just don't want to get the ball into the box. With players on the team like Payne, O'Brien, Doyle and Ball we have plenty of players more than capable of getting goals, they have done it on more than one occasion in the season already so why can't they get some form of consistency they should be scoring goals for the fun of it with the quality they actually have.

We really need Scannell back in my opinion as he is a threat down the wing when he is back to full fitness I really do believe that he can really add to the squad. Hopkin doesn't exactly play with wingers but he hasn't really had chance due to injury, at least if Scannell was on the pitch he will run forward and actually put a ball into the box. With us not necessarily playing with wingers we seem scared to put the ball in the box nobody seems to want that responsibility and we end up missing opportunities. But to be honest at times this benefits us because what is the point in putting a cross in when there is no one in the box. This one really frustrates me because why are those players never in the correct positions and why do they not want to take the opportunities. There is no point poor Caddis charging forward to attempt a cross into the box when our striker is just jogging slowly nowhere near where he should be. It is just pure lazy and there are players sat on the bench who would love to get some minutes under their belt and I am sure they could do no worse than the players out there week after week. I can't do with lazy players, there is just no need especially when they let a great shooting opportunity go by.

We have some great players in defence too some good names who really are better than how they are playing this season. The players at the back just look totally lost, I don't know why but they can't seem to communicate between themselves or the keeper either. They are out of place at crucial parts of the game and given away stupid goals to the opportunity. The left side in particular to me looks pretty weak and the lack of communication really shows on this side. Instead of playing out wide the centre back plays it to a crowd of players or back to the keeper when the left back is wide open. The left back charges forward and nobody pulls across to cover so there is a big gap left open. They won't go in for the challenge 90% of the time either they just back off and back off until the opposition is in the box or through on goal. For players of their quality they are caught out and out of position far too many times.

Not only that but they are putting unnecessary pressure on the poor keeper O'Donnell, why play it back when the striker is charging him down when there are players in front of them completely unmarked it is just ridiculous. Then to have a go at O'Donnell for putting the ball out for a throwing is just down right stupid, don't complain when you have essentially caused it. In fact I think that this could be the first ever season where my favourite player is actually the goal keeper, he is the one who has pulled off some great saves and actually kept us in so many games, without him I think we would definitely be at the bottom of the league almost certain to go down he has also definitely been the most consistent in his performances and shows the passion every time he plays in fact it is great seeing him so animated with what goes on at the other end of the pitch and you can see what every City goal means to him.

We did our usual on Saturday too, waited until it was far too late to wake up and look the slightest bit threatening. I don't know why it takes us too long to get into the game but it happens the majority of the time and it is getting ridiculous they should be playing the full 90 mins not just from the 80th minute on. We normally spark up once changes are made (when they eventually are), I though we were out of the stage of leaving it too late for a substitute to make an impact but clearly not. Why only give them 10 minutes to prove themselves when they come on they clearly make a difference so why don't we make it earlier like 90% of other teams do, it will be far more effective.

We have this brilliant skill this year too of making teams look way better than they are. It has happened at quite a lot of games now, teams we should be putting up a fight against and have a chance of getting points from just walk all over us and it is actually embarrassing because we all know we are better than that. Yet against the teams we shouldn't have a chance against we fight and fight and keep it a nice close game, its like we sit back and think we are better than those teams who walk all over us, when in fact we aren't.

I aren't keen on Hopkin's tactics and honestly I know a lot of fans aren't either, it is like the players don't even know what they are doing and I think something needs to be done about this soon or fans really will turn and want Hopkin out, no one wants to play League 2 football again and if something doesn't change soon that is where we are going to end up because if we play like we did on Saturday we will keep dropping points and drop out of the survival race. It is now time for Hopkin and team to try win back the fans and show us what they are really made of. If we do end up losing the next few games it may be the shock the players need but will it all be too little too late.

Valley Parade used to be a fortress, teams would worry about coming here and taking away any points at all and now we are gifting them all 3. It wasn't too long ago we had one of the longest unbeaten streaks at home now look at us we are lucky to even score a goal most home games. Goals in front of the Kop happen a lot less frequently now too and you can tell how happy we all are to see them at that end because when we do score down here it is like we have won a cup final, same when we actually win a game, it means a lot to the fans after the recent troubles and I am now hoping that the only way is up from here and we finish off the season fighting and retain our spot in League 1.

I have always been excited for my Saturdays and occasional Tuesday nights to be spent watching City but that is slowly dying down, why go sit in the cold and watch us give up straight away when I could be doing other things like playing Fifa as City and actually getting a win or even doing housework, which I would gladly take doing over freezing at the stadium watching us look lost for 90 minutes. I know either way I will be getting a season ticket for next season because I love the game and I still do love City but lets hope things change for the better and I am excited to go watch us again, who knows we may also get an atmosphere back if they spark up. So come on City please do something about this and get playing like you should.

See you soon
Lucy

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Tuesday, 12 February 2019

Weight Loss #2


So last week I didn't manage to get one of these posts up mainly because there was nothing to report on. After work I was straight into bed due to the fact that this ridiculous cold came back full force, I am just hoping I am finally over it and can get back to usual. Last week I ate pretty bad too because me and Liam just really couldn't be bothered, but this week that is going to change. We went shopping and I actually managed to think meals through and we are stocked up for the week ahead, I even got bit for smoothies again too.


In terms of exercise this week I really want to go all out not only do I want to get back into the gym but I want to do some football work too. Not only will this help with many areas of my weight loss but it also gives me a fun way to do it as it doesn't feel like a chore if I have a football at my feet. Fingers crossed this all goes to plan and I can get doing this. I also want to reintroduce small home workouts into my routine for those days where I can't get to the gym, these will only be light work outs but it still keeps me active.


 I am also thinking that this week I m going to start tracking my food on MyFitnessPal once again, I used to love using this app and it really helped me so why not start again. I now have some kitchen scales in the house meaning it is a lot easier to track. 


So my Aims for the week ahead are:
Get at least 2 gym sessions in
Go do some basic football drills
Get some more football gear for training
Substitute meat out of 2 meals in the week



Start weight : 15st 13 3/4 lb
Current weight : 15st 13

Difference -3/4lb

It may only be a small difference but to say I didn't do very much I am pretty proud of actually losing weight. Lets hope I can keep it up this week. 

Sorry for the super short post but there just really wasn't much to report on last week, but lets hope this week is a different story. 

See you soon,
Lucy



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Monday, 11 February 2019

Last Week #33


What a fantastic week, what can be better than the fact most of the week had been spent watching football whether that was the men's or women's game. Unfortunately though I have been ill which meant the gym was put on the back burner but I still managed to lose weight (see tomorrows post for that one). It was also my sisters 21st so plenty of time was spent with family. Overall it was the perfect week for me just family time, football time and relaxing. You will have also noticed a few changes on the blog which I can't wait to continue with. So here is what I had.... 

Been Watching: I had Man City Women vs Chelsea on Wednesday night which I watched on my phone from Frankie and Benny's, then Arsenal women vs Man Utd women Thursday. Sunday was then kicked off with the w-league semi final between Brisbane and Sydney and finished with Man City Women vs Chelsea again. Between all this I have also caught up on YouTube and made it half way through season 3 of One Day At A Time. 

Been reading : I finally finished my Carli Lloyd book, next step is to start my Hope Solo one.

Been listening to : Since it's release on Friday I have only listened to Ariana Grande's new album as I am hooked on it but before all that all I listened to was Lucy Spraggan.

Bought : I got a few bits from Ikea last Monday but that was it, I am slowly getting better with my spending which I am so glad of.

Plans for this week : I am definitely getting back in the gym. I will also be taking plenty of pics over the course of the week for some up and coming blog posts. One of the main things to do though is start stripping the walls in the spare room alongside building our little table for the games room. I will also be carrying on working in my bullet journal as I really think this is going to help me keep things in order and get the blog running how I want it.
So there you have it that was my week. What have you guys been up to?

See you soon
Lucy

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Friday, 8 February 2019

The First Big Test For Manchester United Women


Yesterday saw the first real big test for the Manchester United women's team when they came face to face with Arsenal in the Continental Cup semi final. Arsenal are flying high at the moment in the Women's Super League and are strong contenders for the top spot, they are also the current holders of the Continental Cup so obviously they wanted to try get back to back wins. Manchester United however, are newly reformed this season and are sitting 4th in the league with plenty of games in hand. They have played 11 games in the championship and having only drawn 1 game and lost 1 out of the 11 they are definitely contenders for promotion when the time comes. They have scored 52 goals in the league too whilst only conceding 4. To say they have only reformed they have been doing brilliantly but you can really tell the difference between them and the other championship teams as manager Casey Stoney has managed to bring with her some absolutely brilliant players such as Alex Greenwood, Martha Harris, Siobhan Chamberlain and Leah Galton. 

The quality difference in their league is one of the big reasons I couldn't wait to see how they faired up against Arsenal as this was definitely one of their biggest challenges yet. Arsenal may have been hit by a lot of injuries this season but their starting 11 didn't show that and they put out a very strong side including Beth Mead, Leah Williamson, Kim Little and of course high flying Dutch striker Miedema.

To say they put out a strong side in the opening 10 minutes they did look really shaky, United were pressing really well and closing down the defence. However, it only took one great pass through to Miedema for Arsenal to go up 1-0.  You would have thought this would knock United's confidence but honestly they kept on fighting even with Arsenal dominating possession providing themselves with some brilliant chances they unfortunately couldn't capitalise on. Arsenal went 2-0 up through another brilliant Miedema goal which Chamberlain had no chance of stopping and it was a well deserved goal as Arsenal had really picked up and got settled into the game. But that second goal seemed to spark something in United and after a couple of changes, they had Arsenal playing out from the back under a lot of pressure again. Kirsty Hanson cam on and really made a difference for United with her strength and speed, I honestly don't think Arsenal knew what to expect from the player and she really worked that to her advantage. 

In the 83rd minute of the game a brilliant strike from Mollie Green made the game 2-1 and that really put the pressure on the hosts as United kept the pace going and trying to get that equalizer. Unfortunately it wasn't to be and the game ended at 2-1 with Arsenal progressing to the final where they will once again meet Manchester City. 

Although it ended in a defeat for United they can be proud of how they played as their are Super League teams who have let more in from Arsenal and United showed the fight needed to keep it a tight score line. I think a lot of people wrote United off before the game even kicked off but I am so glad they proved everyone wrong.     

I just wish we could have had that first Manchester derby as the final but I guess there is still the FA cup to provide the first meeting if the draw ends up going that way.  Manchester United are proving to be a great team to keep up to date with and it is made easier seen as Liam seems to have switched from Man City to United which leads to some interesting conversations in our house these days. I think the team has really begun to prove others wrong and is really starting to build up a strong fanbase and I can see them becoming a huge threat in the future. As for Arsenal, for a team to do so well with some many injuries they really are a force to be reckoned with and if they carry on the way they are I think the Super League is going to go to the final day, which makes it even better for us as fans.

Player of the match went to Kim Little and it was well deserved for her as she was there for every big play created by Arsenal, Kim is one of the players who doesn't get enough credit for how good she really is. 

Next up is the final held at Sheffield United's Bramall Lane, between Manchester City & Arsenal on Saturday 23rd February kick off is 12:15pm. 
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