Monday, 21 May 2018

Life Lately #147


Hello lovelies,

I know you're probably all incredibly bored of me talking about my new house by now (especially if you read last week's post!) but I'm still absolutely loving it! I can't believe we've been moved in over a month now & the weather has been so beautiful, we've been out in the garden eating breakfast & dinners most evenings. We've also had family & the doggies over for BBQ's, which has been lovely! Honey & Harvey adore the garden & spent the first day exploring every nook & cranny they could stick their noses in. Once our grass seed has improved the lawn, I can see them sitting out there for hours! 

We have also been doing some work on the actual garden. Like I say, we've laid some weed killer & grass seed, as well as planted some flowers & seeds for onions & lettuces. I've started weeding the patio as well, but had to stop as I got so hot last weekend! I'm currently writing up another post all about falling in love with our garden, which I can't wait to share with you.

At the end of April, it was Gem's birthday. We celebrated by having the most delicious roast at a local pub. Baby Alice also said my name & made me cry, much to Boop's amusement!

At the beginning of May, James & a few of the girls & I went to watch Bo, Chris, Cathy & Ben perform in a play at our local theatre. It was such a good production! They performed Night Must Fall, a play I have to admit I hadn't heard of, which actually made it alot more interesting to watch the story unfold. 

The Sunday after, James & I went to Hever Castle. It was the most stunning day & we explored the castle & gardens before heading home to a BBQ with Allan & Maria. I've written a full post about our day here if you'd like to see what we got up to.

James & I went to Prezzo for a date night on last Wednesday. I know we live together but with our work schedules being so different, there's nothing quite like getting dressed up & spending quality time together. I have to mention my dish, it was absolutely delicious. I had the penne gorgonzola, which I'd highly recommend!

Last Saturday, the girls came round to mine for a housewarming / Eurovision night as James was in London on a stag do. We all dressed up in connection with our countries, either colours from the flag or something related to the country. We also had a prize for the highest placed country, which Char won! Congrats again Israel!

Last Sunday I went to Ikea with Cathy. We had such a good time! I managed to pick up a few extra bits for the house, including some more tea lights, which I buy on every single trip! But I did manage to resist bringing another plant home.. amazing for me as I seem to pick up a new baby every time we go..

Oh & I've been feeling like complete death this past week. I've been off sick from work & am just starting to feel human again. It always feels so wrong to me being ill at this time of year, it's Summer! I should be out in the garden with my plant babies, not wrapped up in 10 blankets sweating my face off! Nice image for you there.. haha!

Oh & I can't not mention the Royal Wedding in this post. What an amazing day, Meghan looked absolutely stunning & I honestly couldn't have been more proud of our country. I actually wish I'd booked the day off work & had the girls round because it would have been so much fun as I heard there were so many wonderful events in our area!

& finally yesterday James & I went to Brighton as we had some vouchers to use at Café Rouge. Never, ever again will be go to Brighton on the same day as the "mini marathon". The journey was supposed to take us 45 minutes max, but we ended up on the road for 2 hours. The traffic was at a complete standstill in some places & we had to call the restaurant twice to say we were going to be late! They were very understanding & weren't fully booked thankfully, so we managed to get a table & sit down to eat at 2.15pm, instead of our initial reservation at 12.45pm. We had planned to go shopping for last minute holiday bits as well, but we couldn't face the shops after the ordeal of getting there, so we headed home! We had a lovely lunch regardless, it was just so frustrating!

How has your week been lovelies? Did you watch the Royal Wedding?

Thursday, 10 May 2018

Our Adventure To Hever Castle

Hello lovelies!

On Sunday, James & I went to Hever Castle.


It's a place I'd heard so much about but had never visited. My parents kindly bought James & I gift vouchers to go for Christmas & as we had a heatwave in the UK, we decided it was the perfect day to go.

We'd done our research online & saw that the castle tour would take around an hour & the gardens about 1 hour 30. We packed a picnic, suncream & my camera & headed off down the M23. As it was such a beautiful day, we took my car so we could have the roof down & even though we got attacked by the fairies on the route, it was so nice to finally feel the sun on our faces!






The first thing you see when you arrive is the lake, which was absolutely stunning with the sun shining on it. You can hire a paddle boat or pedalo to enjoy on the lake, or you can walk around it, which takes approximately 1 hour 15. We went & took a few pictures by the side of the lake but didn't actually complete the walk as it was so hot, we just enjoyed taking in the view!








We decided to do the castle tour first, so we made our way through the Italian & Rose Garden to the castle. As it was May bank holiday weekend, the grounds were alive with Morris dancers, families dancing round the maypole (which brought back fantastic memories for me from Primary School!) & there was even a procession following the Green Man through the gardens! Obviously there are different events on for different days, James & I were also very keen to see the jousting which is happening in July & August & the 'Castle Canines' event at the beginning of August.






The tour of the castle was extremely busy! If you're going to do it, just be aware you are stuffed in a confined space with alot of other visitors & it can get a bit squished heading up & down the stairs! (We both commented on how Henry getting up & down the stairs would have been near enough impossible as they were so tiny!) It's definitely worth doing & you find out alot of history about the castle & Anne Boleyn's life.





We then sat & had a picnic by the river, next to the castle which was the most perfect view of the gardens. After that, we headed back towards the rose garden but I caught sight of the most beautiful staircase in the distance. Just look at it! It reminded me of something out of Beauty & The Beast! It was just incredibly charming.





Of course, I then got James to take a flurry of photos of me on said staircase. BUT JUST LOOK HOW CUTE IT WAS! & it seemed extremely quiet, a few other people had ventured to it, but otherwise it was secretly hidden in the grounds. Once you reached the top of the staircase, there was a beautiful waterfall as well, with some benches to sit on & flowers decorating the path. I'd definitely recommend finding it if you go!


Have you ever been to Hever Castle? We'll definitely look to go back again to enjoy the gardens in the Summer.

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Thursday, 26 April 2018

Moving Into Our New Home


Hello lovelies!

If you didn't already know, James & I have moved into our new home! On 7th April, we moved out of our 1 bed flat, into our 2 bed house, on the other side of town. 

When I think back to that Saturday, I actually feel quite sick. Not necessarily in a bad way, but even now, the actual moving day was a bit of a blurr. I cried, I laughed, I gained lots of bruises & my back ached for days, but now looking back almost 3 weeks on, all I feel is happiness.

On the morning of the 7th, James & I drove to our house to meet Mark, the guy who would be doing our inventory for us at 9am. This is where it all started to go downhill. I was already stressed from packing manically the week before & once we started looking round the house & pulling it to pieces (every crack, scratch, dent, mark has to be recorded) I was feeling mildly sick. It wasn't until the guy had left & I was standing with James in the middle of the lounge, with nothing surrounding us, I burst into tears. Call it what you will; hormones, excitement, sadness.. it all hit me at once. The house was cold as the tenants before us had moved out a couple of weeks before & all that was going round & round in my head was the guy saying "So this house has had it's fair ware & tare, you can see here this is damaged & this is broken.." Everything got a bit too much & all I could focus on were the negatives. After poor James consoling me best he could, we headed back to our old flat, to meet our "moving family" before loading up the first van full. After another surge of tears & everyone convincing me I'd gone slightly nuts, that this move was honestly the best thing ever, I decided to head back to the new house with my girls to unload the first few boxes. 

I love to organise things & be in control so we thought being in the new place unpacking was the best thing for me to do while James stayed at the flat (& it got me out of the flat that I was so upset about saying goodbye to!) The girls were amazing & we set about making ourselves busy in the kitchen, un-packing the cutlery, plates & pans. The boys would occasional rock up with heavy furniture & I could direct it all to the places I wanted them! After an hour or two I was starting to feel more relaxed. My brain had told me this was the right move for us & once I'd got a few of our things into the house, I felt so much better. 

If you have moved before, you'll know that the majority of the day is one big blurr & to be honest, that's exactly what it was. I remember unpacking boxes & cleaning & hunting for the kettle (FYI, it was the last thing we found, despite my strategic packing!) but the rest of the day went by so fast.

A few people stayed after we'd moved everything in & we grabbed a cheeky KFC for dinner. Luckily Allan, Alex & James had set up our bed & Maria had been kind enough to make it up for us, so we literally crashed about 9pm. 

The next morning, I actually surprised myself & woke up & knew exactly where I was. I wasn't feeling on edge or upset, but content. James woke me up at 8.30 (Tbh I was so tired, I could have slept till midday!) & made me a cup of tea & we set about unpacking a few more boxes. We figured out how to use the washing machine, the hob & attempted putting up the washing line. (Update, I've only just figured out how to properly use it without it collapsing but it's still an on-going battle!) 

The following Monday we headed back to the flat to clean. This day probably topped the stress of the moving day.. I absolutely love clean things, I just hate cleaning. We spent the whole day on our hands & knees cleaning the flat top to bottom, before taking photos & heading home. 

Friday was our official check out date & as James had to work, I met our agents at the flat to give back our keys. It did feel slightly weird knowing it was the last time I'd ever be in our first home again, but I wasn't as upset as I thought I'd be. It will always be extremely special to me, it was the first home James & I shared together, along with our first Christmas & other countless memories. However, our new home has become so special already.

I hope this post doesn't sound all doom & gloom, I mean, firstly, we now have a garden! YES. A garden! Our outdoor furniture arrived last week & we have been making the most of this "heatwave" by trying to eat breakfast outside in the mornings & having tea in the afternoons. Last weekend, mum & I went to our local garden centre & got some new plants which I have potted in our beautiful pink pots Nicola kindly got me for my birthday. I've also purchased a few seeds, so I'm going to attempt to grow a few onions, carrots & lettuces! I've never been into gardening, but I'm extremely excited to have a garden to experiment with now!

We also have a second bedroom which we have turned into an office / second bedroom. Just having an additional space has made our lives feel alot less cluttered & spacious. I also adore our bedroom & lounge, in the evenings I light all our candles & we have fairy lights on around the windows & TV stand. It's really starting to feel like home.

Writing this post, I honestly thought I'd feel more upset about knowing I'll never be going back to our flat again, but actually, I'm not. I'm so happy in our new place, I never thought it would feel as homely as it does so soon. It was definitely the right time to move on & perfect timing for Summer. I can't wait to get everyone round for a BBQ & games!

I just wanted to say a final thankyou to everyone that helped us move & for all our housewarming gifts. We are seriously so grateful & couldn't have done it without you all!

Thursday, 19 April 2018

Life Lately #146


Hey lovelies!

So I'm back after my 'break'. I hate calling it that, but to be honest, that's exactly what it was & what I needed. I learnt from when we moved last year that it was almost impossible to keep up with blogging while moving house & working a full time job. I don't know how some people do it! Anyway, we are now all settled & have just got our internet activated again, so I'm officially back!

Giving myself time off was excatly what I needed. I know last year I went through a phase with my blog where I just didn't enjoy writing it anymore. I was pushing myself to get posts out that I just wasn't that happy with but I refuse to do that now. Hopeully I'll have a lot more of the content I want on here & not just posting words because I need too.

Anyway! Enough of me waffling on! I wanted to share a few updates of what I've got up to over the past few weeks.

Firstly, little Alice celebrated her 1st birthday! I met up with Gem at Costa to give her her presents & cards & she loved them! I can't believe a year has gone by of her life.. only seems like yesterday Gem was pregnant.

I also went with Mils to see a show our friend Sheryl was directing. It was all about the pangolin, an endangered animal being hunted for fun. It was truly eye-opening & the cast where all from our local college & they were fantastic!

& then it was Easter! I unfortunately had to work alot of the extended weekend, but managed to have some time with my family around my shifts. James & I went to visit his mum & partner Barrie on Easter Friday & we saw the Greatest Showman Singalong on Saturday evening! It was so much fun, the whole theatre came alive. (COME ALIVVVVVE, COME ALIIIIIVE) Easter Sunday was spent with Allan & Maria & finally Easter Monday we headed to my mums for an Easter egg hunt. We were so spoilt, we're still making our way through our Easter eggs!

& finally, we moved house! The weekend before last, we moved from one side of our home town, to the other! Even though the flat & our new house are only 10 minutes apart, it felt like we were moving miles! The past week & a half has been spent organising our new home, with a trip to Ikea thrown in along the way. I'm going to write a full post on our move, so I won't harp on about it too much now, but we are so happy & can't wait to get started in our garden. (yes, I can finally say we have a garden now!) Our garden furniture arrived last Tuesday & I'm currently sitting writing this in the sunshine. It's seriously the best feeling.

I just wanted to say a masssive thankyou to everyone that helped us move & to those that have helped us out everyday since. We couldn't have done it without you!

Tuesday, 27 March 2018

Book Review - Three Amazing Things About You By Jill Mansell



"Hallie has a secret. She’s in love. He’s perfect for her in every way, but he’s seriously out of bounds. And her friends aren’t going to help her because what they do know is that Hallie doesn’t have long to live. Time is running out…

Flo has a dilemma. She really likes Zander. But his scary sister won’t be even faintly amused if she thinks Zander and Flo are becoming friends – let alone anything more.

Tasha has a problem. It’s not being nicknamed ‘Bin Girl’ because of an embarrassing incident with a credit card. It’s that her new boyfriend is the adventurous type. And she’s afraid one of his adventures will go badly wrong.

Three Amazing Things About You begins as Hallie goes on a journey. A donor has been found and she’s about to be given new lungs. But whose?"

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I've been trying to write my review of this book for the longest time, but have no idea how to start it. How do you put into words how a few hundred pages can make you see a different side to life?

What I love most about this book, compared to the last one I read (The Fifth Letter By Nicola Moriarty) is that the characters are clearly introduced from the start. Even though you're following three completely different story lines, there wasn't a point in the book where I didn't know who was who or what was happening.

I absolutely loved all three of the stories, but Hallie's particularly touched my heart. I won't give anything away but, you find out towards the end how all their stories intertwine. Hallie is a similar age to me (late twenties) & it made me connect with her even more. She is fighting for her survival, needing lungs from a donor to keep her alive. She is the most amazing, positive character & that made me love her even more! Add in a bit of forbidden romance & I was hooked. Hallie's character honestly couldn't have been anymore likable.

You also get to meet Flo, another lovely character who falls in love with Zander, who has an extremely aggravating sister. What I love most about Jill's writing is she instantly brings you closer to the characters - whether you dislike them or not!

& finally, Tasha, who falls for Rory, the adventurous, adrenaline junky. I actually really liked this storyline as I completely felt for Tasha. Rory is such a strong character & I really related to her when she feared for his life doing some of the things he was doing. I absolutely hate anything remotely daring.. the idea of rock climbing or jumping out of a plane or even going on a ferris wheel is not my idea of fun! But I loved how they came together & became stronger because of it.

As always, I love Jill's writing. There's something so heart warming & beautiful about the characters she creates, you just can't help but love them! I have quite a few of her books on my shelf to read, so expect a few more reviews coming soon!

Overall Rating - 

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