Sunday, 23 April 2017
Another month has passed since I last opened up blogger. In recent weeks, months and even the last year I've come to realise that really do not give any care to the numbers side of blogging. If people want to comment and read then that's amazing but I'm not going to fight for it anymore. It's just not what I started this for. I still enjoy taking photos but for "normality" there's a photo of my current view and a fuzzy "real life" webcam shot to show the OOTD!
So I guess we go back to the dear diary format, where I type like I am having a conversation with whoever is reading. If you want the glossy editorial content, you aren't going to find that here. I've really loved the recent trend of vloggers and bloggers my age acting like adults again and loosing the "perfect" glossy filter on their lives. There is a place for that and there are people who will still love that content, I'm just saying it's not for me.
I started writing this post two weeks ago and I can't remember where I was going with it so maybe there does need to be a little bit of planning! I think I was going to "update" (like everyone has been on edge wondering where I've been ha) on what's been going on.
At the end of February I handed my notice in at a job I'd been in for three and a half years, a daunting experience and one that took a little while to come to terms with. I'm not very good with change usually, but I took the leap and I now work in Marketing at a Private Hospital. So far, so good. I'm really happy with my new role and everyone around me. I've even had the chance to observe operations! Not going to lie, I loved wearing scrubs.
On the same day that I had my last day at my previous job, we finally moved into our house. Nothing like doing everything in one weekend for someone who doesn't usually cope well with change! Hmm! Living in our house is amazing and we are loving having a garden, especially all his creatures that have come with it.
The other topic I want to cover is the snap General Election that has been announced. All I want to say on the matter is USE YOUR VOTE.
I think that's it for now, who knows when I'll hit publish again. Hopefully soon because I've got loads of really under talked about products that I really love, DIY updates and decor things I'd love to talk about and well... my sister is due to have her second baby in two weeks - so there's that too!
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Tuesday, 21 March 2017
Hi, Hey, is there anyone still here? You may have noticed from recent posts and my social media that we are finally in the process of moving into our first house! Only 7 months after purchasing. You can see what the house looked like back in this post. The plan to update monthly on renovations quickly became so unrealistic, but that's for another post. For now I am focussing on the decor and accessories in our bedroom.
Before this room was bright yellow with a horrible green carpet, now it's a beautiful grey with a silver carpet and I just can't wait to get in!
The picture above is how the room looks right now, all we have moved across is our cabinets (which we plan to change soon!) and the new pillows and duvets creeping in the bottom of the photo. We have gone with darker curtains to contrast the carpet and I think I want to get some statement lights to go on the bedside table. But nothing too statement because I now use a daylight alarm clock.
Working in an Energy Consultancy has made me really pie hot on what lightbulbs are best for being environmentally friendly. Especially as the trend at the moment is for really elaborate light bulbs and decorative filaments.
The Lighting Superstore recently emailed me regarding this very same issue. It's so important to share the knowledge of just how much better LED lightbulbs are for the home. Not only do they have a longer lifespan, but they use 90% less power than a normal lightbulb and customers in work have seen huge savings because of this. If it's good enough for their business, it's good enough for my home.
They don't have to be ugly either, I'm going to order two of these for our bedside tables. I love the tripod look in lights and the hooded design, is that the right term?
The above is our lounge! Yes more grey, but in our defence the flat we have lived in for 5 years is full of magnolia and the house before we got our hands on it was all yellow.
Our sofa is going to sit in the middle of that wall so we can make the most of the view out of the french doors and I'd like to have a floor lamp to the left. There is a running copper theme throughout our house, this was 100% down to me and it's a colour I loved before it was popular, and I've found an LED copper lamp on The Light Superstore - here. I like that this is simple and won't over take the room, but that it is also adjustable!
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Collaborative post - but I am far too excited to share our house now! Did I mention this has taken 7 months?!
Monday, 27 February 2017
Renovating our house has been the single most stressful event we have experienced as a couple. From an initial view to be in within three months of purchasing, we are now eight months down the line and we are still not in.
Our house no longer looks like the mess above and I will be doing a reveal video/blogpost soon. Things all got a bit overwhelming and the monthly house updates just had to stop.
One of the trickiest parts of renovating a house was finding trusted tradesmen to complete the jobs that we just couldn't do. There are lots of means of finding tradesmen and we relied heavily on word of mouth, however have been left a little disappointed with some of the contacts that were passed on.
If you don't have links to such contacts you can use a service such as Bidivine, an online (and really simple) way to get in touch with the professionals of services you need.
The process is so simple and surprisingly accurate. You are asked a series of questions before getting to the part where businesses can provide a quote. Perfect for transparency and they can't turn up without claiming they know what the problem is.
There's a huge range of services on offer from Tennis Lessons to someone to put up furniture!
I really like this, especially as sometimes you just can't guarantee who is going to turn up and you can leave reviews about their service.
Now to book that removal van...
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Thursday, 16 February 2017
The art of burning candles is something that I have only recently got into thanks to the girls and their passion for Yankee Candles. Who knew candles were so much more than just lighting them! Sweet & Salty Caramel has by far been one of my favourites, so much so that it's the first candle that I have ever used up completely.
I was annoyed at how much wax was still left at the bottom of the glass jar and with the price of these candles being on the higher side for my liking, I didn't want to waste it. So I got straight on iMessage to Shelley to find out what she did with the millions of amazing candles she owns. Turns out that it's pretty simple.
With the darker coloured candles you will see a little separation in colour at the top of the water but this didn't affect the scent of the wax left at the bottom.
The remaining wax will float until the top after a few minutes.
Remember that the wax will be so hot so I used an oven glove because, ouch. The happened much more quickly than I expected, I thought I would have to leave this for at least 30 minutes to release the wax, but this was done after about 3-4!
Using a spoon poke out the metal wick holder.
You don't have to bother with this step if you aren't going to reuse the wax, I wanted to use the remaining wax as a melt in my burner. Although this does create a hole in the middle which made getting the wax out of the jar really easy.
Pour out the water and remove the wax.
Don't make the same mistake I did and leave the sink covered in wax, try having some hot water already running or pour the water into a container you are happy to throw away. I really wanted to keep the glass jar for cotton wool storage but there is so much wax residue inside. No matter how many times I've repeated this method the glass jar still isn't clean. But I have managed to get four good sized melts out of what was left!
Monday, 30 January 2017
As the date to move into our first house draws closer, the more time I am spending wondering if we will ever find that four legged dog friend that will fit in our lifestyle (and that won't make Matt have an asthma attack!).
I already know where his/hers cage would go, where I'd keep the lead and have pictured our daily routine over and over again. But one thing I am still unsure of is what I would feed it. I had always been bought up with family feeding their dogs the standard dog food but recently my eyes have been opened to the world of raw feeding. The dilemma is since going Vegan - could I do it?
|Indy - Charli's Puppy!!!|
It's widely know that protein aids growth and repair and it's an important energy source for everyone, not just dogs. In dog food this is usually sourced from meat and fish as it is the most natural and digestible form for canines. However this can be expensive so there are cheaper dog foods with vegetable protein and there are some vegans will choose this over meat sourced protein.
Fats & Oils
These are important for dogs as not only are they a source of energy but they also keep the dog's skin and coat healthy. I'm part of a dog walking group on Facebook and there are regular discussions around what oils owners feed their dogs. The most popular are omega 3 and 6 and are usually added into the food.
There is some debate around the benefits of fibre in a dogs diet however, it's widely believed that it helps to aid water absorption and prevents diarrhoea. Fibre can also do the opposite and prevent constipation by drawing water into the digestive system.
Something which I am already aware of with Bertie and Rocky, each have mineral supplements and a salt lick. In dog food this is often referred to as "ash" apparently because of the way that its nutrient content is measured. Important minerals for dogs include; calcium, phosphorus, magnesium, potassium, iron, copper, zinc, manganese and selenium.
Again, something I am used to with Rocky in-particular as guinea pigs need additional vitamins. There's a trend for dog food to be cold-pressed now because there is a difficultly in preserving vitamins when you heat food to high temperatures.
|Darlow - Cardiff Dogs Home|
As I will be adopting a dog, most likely from Cardiff Dogs Home, a transitional period between foods will be needed. At the home they are fed on very bland food to be on the safe side, unless there are known health issues. It's suggested that you follow the method of a 75:25 split between the old food and the new. Keep it like this for a couple of days, before changing the split to 50:50 then 25:75 old to new.
We are having a huge kitchen so our dog will have their own cupboard and I can't wait. There will be numerous airtight containers of food and treats. Unless we go down the raw feeding route and then it is recommended that you buy a separate freezer!
If you own a dog I'd be really keen to here what you feed it.
Tuesday, 17 January 2017
Once upon a time I would only wear converse with my jeans as a casual outfit. I wouldn't even venture into colourful ones, I would only strictly wear the white version. Fast forward to today and I've recently been sat in the office on a dress down Friday and noticed that more and more girls are wearing actual running trainers as womens shoes.
This isn't limited to just my office, all over instagram, blogging and just in general there is this huge shift to wearing trainers again as shoes. Although, the only problem is the trainers I own are bright purple with neon pink laces or grey with neon green. Not quite the look that I think is fashionable now and both would be too hard to wear with a colourful top.
The common trend is that most of these trainers are Nike and as I like to be a little different I have found three from Sketchers that I'd happily wear as shoes. I think iI would get the most wear out of the plain black ones, even though my favourite is the ombre (is that still fashionable?!) pair.
Sunday, 8 January 2017
Highlights for me include the days where we would take the dogs to the beach. They would get absolutely exhausted (and dirty!) in the sand and we knew that we would be taking them back to the kennels for a comfortable nights sleep.
Annoyingly I haven't been at the dogs home recently and it's something that has really been playing on my mind. With the house renovation being all consuming physically and mentally, I just haven't had the energy to get there and I really feel like I am letting the dogs down.
I've been spending a lot of time looking back at photos from my time at the dogs home and it's sparking the excitement that I have when I'm at the dogs home or with a dog. My Saturdays were a routine for me and a trip to the dogs home was embedded into my week. But as soon as this changed and I spent a couple of Saturdays away, it was hard to go back.
Hopefully we will be moving into our home within a month and then my routine can fall back into place because I miss it, I really do! I can't wait for the weather to clear so that I can plan some days out with dogs - especially the beach. Watching a dog pretty much eat the mud is hilarious, I managed to capture it in one of my youtube videos - watch it here.
Monday, 2 January 2017
2016, what a year! I think most people would agree that it was one of the worst years portrayed in the media. So, in a bid to remain on the positive side of life - here are the good things that happened to me in 2016.
We became homeowners! A huge achievement for anyone given the prices of houses and how much of a deposit needed now. We still aren't moved in yet due to renovation works becoming a *little* more of a project than anticipated! I've been updating on here and on youtube, there's couple of updates that I need to post. Hoping to be moved in by the end of this month.
I am 100% not looking forward to the packing, but I am looking forward to making memories in our home.
I became an Auntie again. Amelia was born and she is the apple of my eye. I couldn't love her anymore, even if I did miss the birth after months of preparation! You can find out why in the video on my youtube channel. In other news, she's going to become a big sister this year and I am hell bent on not missing my Nephew's birth!
After two really meaningful posts, here's something very materialistic but with a meaningful intent. In 2016 I went completely cruelty free with my makeup so I'm having to find new favourites, luckily most of them were already cruelty free, however my foundation wasn't. Enter Charlotte Tilbury.
After attending an event all about the brand I was hooked on the Magic Foundation, annoyingly I love it more than my £6 NYX foundation - but it's so worth it.
Muffin got her home! I posted about this dog many times, but she was my girl and I loved her through and through. Annoyingly she was so overlooked but it worked out in the end because she's in the loving home she deserved.
One that I can't not mention here really, in March I went Vegetarian and throughout the year I've gradually been making more and more vegan choices. I am loving it and can't ever imagine myself ever eating meat again.
After watching a documentary I made sure that I educated myself on the subject and as of now I have stopped reading about it, I know enough to know I will never eat meat again. It was this research that made me determined to be vegan and I am well underway into that.
I do find eating at others houses difficult so the majority of the time I am 100% happy to be catered for as a vegetarian, I'm even bought dairy free ice cream now. Everyone has been relatively accepting of my choice, even though I have been quizzed about it, and I hope that it does become more mainstream.
The picture that I never thought it would upload. In 2016 I lost 2stone (I've put on half a stone over Christmas, but F it) and I am now wearing tight clothing and feeling much more confident.
I've never had body confidence, even when I was barely 8 stone after recovering from glandula fever, I hated how I looked and was always covering up. Towards the end of last year comments started coming in suggesting I'd lost weight so I weighed myself and it turned out I had!! My trousers weren't loose from wearing them too much, they were loose because they were too big.
I went shopping for pencil skirts and have had a complete mind shift. This was all done without the gym so in 2017 I'm going to get fitter and be the healthiest I can be. We are putting a gym in our garden shed (it's huge) so this will get me on my way.
What were your favourite parts of 2016?
Sunday, 1 January 2017
There seems to be a lot of controversy around setting New Year's Resolutions all over the place at the moment, but to be honest, I am a huge fan of having a defining moment where you want to create change. I don't mean changing who you are as a person, unless you are a complete cock, but making the pathways to become the better version of yourself you can be. What are your thoughts?
Today I sat with a very large cup of coffee, made with my new favourite oat milk and with one of my new diaries in hand I started to write. My resolutions have evolved into a bit of a yearly to-do list and there is currently 29 items across four categories and it's probably not going to end there.
I want to add to this throughout the year and evolve the list into a working itinerary for the year. I know this will be completely against what people say about lists and goals - you should have a timeline and they should be specific, but mine aren't.
The four categories I have are Health, Financial, Personal and Career, whilst I won't share all of these on here, an example of some are:
- Go on a photography day trip
- Drive on a motorway
- Make more vegan choices
- Complete courses to supplement my career
There are lots more as I said, but some are really personal so in my diary they will stay!