30 September 2014

Upcycling: Footstool heaven!

Found these two little beauts at my local recycling centre (the dump to you and me).
Can you believe they were thrown away? Whatttt????
Not sure what my plans are with them yet. 
The pink one definitely needs a lick of paint on those orange pine legs so I am thinking I will paint them in an 'Old white' and then decide whether to re-upholster the cushion.
The grey cushion on the second footsool I love so will definitely keep that, the base just needs a freshen up so will give that a light coat of ASCP 'Old white' also.
Planning to keep the grey one in the bedroom as it will go perfectly with our new d├ęcor, the pink one may need to be sold on.
So many decisions! Cant wait to get started on these bad boys :)

29 September 2014

Lifestyle: My weekly round up

Following on from my busy birthday week last week, this one felt a lot quieter in comparison.
However, I still managed to find lots of happy things :)

1. My Monday was spent shopping and having a lovely lunch - clothes and food, my two favourite things. Oh, and nothing beats having a Monday off work!
2. The new, shiny H&M catalogue arrived this week and I couldn't wait to sit down and go through page by page with my sharpie pen (and a box of maltesers).
3. I had a lovely quiet week at work - sometimes it is nice just to slow down every now and then.
4. A couple more birthday treats (yes, I may win the award for the longest running birthday celebrations ever)
5. Finding the strap for my camera.  After getting a nice new camera, I was so excited to get to use it on my holibobs to Corfu but spent the WHOLE holiday searching for (and not finding) a shop that sold camera straps so I could wear it round my neck without having to carry the (very bulky) camera bag around with me.  So what did I find when I was clearing out my room this week? THE CAMERA STRAP! Little did I know, the camera came with one when I bought it, I just hadn't looked that far into to the box when unpacking it.. oops!
6. Hubster cleared out our spare room, found our two wedding photo albums and left them out on the side so the next time I went in I saw them sitting there and I couldn't help but flick through all the memories :)
7. Now that my sister lives so close we got to pop over on Friday night and had our first fire of the season! Totes coze!
8. After seeing Martin (the money saving expert don't you know?) on 'This Morning' on Monday giving his top tips for Christmas budget planning, we couldn't help but get a little excited.  I know, I know, its not even October yet but we look forward to Christmas so much and so we spent the morning writing our spending budget for this year.  Yay Christmas!!
9. Groupon have an amazing deal on at the moment, 2 Odeon tickets for £10 or 5 tickets for £20! seeing as we have an Odeon just down the road we had to snap up this amazing offer.  We are planning on seeing 'Gone Girl' in a couple of weeks time.
10. I had finally had enough of Bobby hunting the little baby birds in our garden so decided the only way to stop him would be to reduce his manhood and get him a little sparkly collar with a tinkly little bell. Little did I realise this would provide us with such entertainment, watching him trying to get it off - just a shame I didn't manage to snap a photo!
What were your highlights for the week?

22 September 2014

Lifestyle: My weekly round up

This week was a particularly good week for me as it was my birthday! wooooo!
Happy birthday to me, happy birthday to meeeee..

Anyway, my weekly round up will feature lots of birthday things as it pretty much dominated my week and like everybody else I extended the celebrations for as long as I could, naturally.

1. Feeling the love. I received so many lovely birthday wishes from my nearest and dearest and really felt loved this week. Thank you all :)

2. Hubster.  Each year my birthday is made extra special by him being in my life.  He thinks about all the little details and makes my birthdays amazing. Thank you hubster!

 3. My favourite perfume, Narciso Rodruigez (buy it here).  It is absolutely deliciously amazing and I have been dousing myself in it all week.

4. Birthday surprise BBQ! The first and the last of the year, unless we can squeeze another one in before the cold sets in.

5.  Cakes, cakes and more cakes... I think I was lucky enough to have 4 birthday cakes this year and nothing beats cake!

6. My lovely Mummy treated me to a Champneys gift voucher so I can go and spend the day being pampered, well needed I think!

7. Treating my 'inner crafter' to a day at The Handmade Fair with Mum, Look at these little cuties we made!

 8.  Payday.  Need I say anymore? Money, money, money!

9. My hairdresser, Michael. He works wonders on my hair and I cannot praise him enough.

10. Charlie.  When we got him from the RSPCA last year he was very nervous and jumpy. After a year trying to get him to relax a bit more he has finally settled down and is such happier little cat. Just look at his happy little face!

What has made you happy this week?


17 September 2014

Lifestyle: Getting to know me

I am getting a bit obsessed with reading blogs and watching vlogs on youtube and I think the best way to introduce yourself to the world is by having a 'getting to know you' post. 
These are always the first posts I look for when I stumble across a new blog as it is such a good way to get an insight into the person behind the blog and a great way for readers to connect.

So here it is, my 'getting to know you' questions, no holds barred!

1. What was your favourite food when you were a child? Spaghetti Bolognaise! I think I could have eaten it everyday if my Mum let me!
2. What’s the #1 most played song on your iPod? I don't have an iPod, or even listen to music at all (other than the radio in my car)
3.What is one of your favorite quotes? 'Thoughts become things', Bob Proctor (taken from the book 'The Power' by Rhonda Byrne)
4. What’s your favorite indoor/outdoor activity? Yoga - can be done indoors AND outdoors :)
5. What chore do you absolutely hate doing? Ironing, avoid it like the plague.
6. What is your favorite form of exercise? Shopping, don't tell me that doesn't burn hundreds of calories!
7. What is your favorite time of day/day of the week/month of the year? 6pm, on a Friday, in the Autumn :)
8. What’s your least favorite mode of transportation? Buses.
9. What is your favorite body part? The mind... ooooohh deep.
10. What sound do you love? The sound of a wine cork popping out of the bottle, followed by the gulping noise as I pour it into a glass.
11. If you could throw any kind of party, what would it be like and what would it be for? My favourite kind of party would be full of all my friends, family, old and young having a BBQ in the garden on a hot summer's afternoon drinking Pimms and Lemonade :)
12. If you could choose to stay a certain age forever, what age would it be? 18. To be honest, I have spent the last 8 years thinking I am still 18.
13. If you knew the world was ending in 2012, what would you do differently? Well, considering it is 2014 I would be very relieved that it didn't end! I believe you should live everyday as if it was your last. Live in the moment.  I would try to do that more.
14. If you could witness any event past, present or future, what would it be? It has to be the moment I was born, I would have loved to see that. On second thoughts, my Mum had a Caesarean and I wouldn't have wanted to see that - too squeamish!
15. If you could learn to do anything, what would it be? Sing, I wish I could sing without bursting the eardrums of the people around me.
16. If you won the lottery, what is the first thing you would do? Scream! AHHHHHH! Then sit down and work out how I was going to spend it.
17. If you were reincarnated as an animal/drink/ice cream flavor, what would it be? A cat, a very lazy cat.
18. If you could know the answer to any question, besides “What is the meaning of life?”, what would it be? Where do we go when we die?
19. Which celebrity do you get mistaken for? None, I guess that is a good thing though!
20. What do you want to be when you grow up? A wiser version of me :)
21. When you have 30 minutes of free-time, how do you pass the time? I either watch TV or paint some furniture.
22. What songs are included on the soundtrack to your life? 'Don't worry, be happy' 'Red red wine' 'Wanna be'
23. Have you ever had something happen to you that you thought was bad but it turned out to be for the best? Having past relationships come to an end, thought it was the end of the world at the time but turned out my Mr Right was just round the corner :)
24. What was one of the best parties you’ve ever been to? Mine/My sister's weddings - they were pretty awesome!
25. What was the last movie, TV show or book that made you cry or tear up? One born every minute - I cry every time those little bubbas pop out!
26. What’s the hardest thing you’ve ever done?  My degree.
27. What was the last experience that made you a stronger person? Coping with the loss of my amazing Dad.
28. What did you do growing up that got you into trouble? I was such a golden child, never in trouble!
29. When was the last time you had an amazing meal?  Last night at my local Indian restaurant!
30. What do you miss most about being a kid? Being able to eat what I wanted without worrying about putting on weight.
31. What story does your family always tell about you? The time when my sister dropped me down the stairs and I had to go to hospital as all my teeth fell out.
32. At what age did you become an adult? 19, the moment I stepped into the huge lecture hall at the start of my uni life.


14 September 2014

Lifestyle & Food: An evening at The Rex

My Saturday evening was spent with these lovely ladies - my two amazing sisters and my gorgeous mum.
We treated ourselves to a pub dinner at The Three Horseshoes in Winkwell (near Berkhamsted).

The pub is in a gorgeous little location, set along a pretty canal. It is a perfect spot for chilling out with a beer on a summer afternoon.  

The decor inside is lovely. Very old country pub style with original old beams and rustic wooden flooring but with a modern twist.

You can't step into a proper British pub without spotting one of these huge fireplaces, no pub is complete without one!  A perfect warmer for cold winter months whilst you feast on your Sunday lunch.

We didn't pre book a table for dinner but we had no problems finding a spot.  They have extended the restaurant area and so have plenty of space.  We did our usual 'can't decide where to sit' shuffle so spent ages settling on the perfect area.  Once we sat down we were instantly welcomed by the friendly staff, given our menus and asked if we wanted anything to drink.  

I'm a very fussy eater and find pub food menus the most difficult as there is never anything I fancy.  This was the total opposite, I wanted to try everything!  We all found it so hard to decide what to order and so spent ages talking over each dish. 

 Kate went for the Calamari Caesar Salad with Sweet Potato Chips.

 Mum had the tapas option, she chose Honey Glazed Pigs in Blankets, Scotch Egg and Chips.

 Anna is currently avoiding meat (something to do with pregnancy food aversions) and so had the Spicy Bean Burger with Chips.

 And I settled on one of my favourite dishes - Slow Cooked Chilli Brisket with Rice and (very large)Tortilla Chips.

The presentation of the dishes was good but unfortunately we weren't blown away by the taste.  The prices were a little more than I expected from pub grub and naturally I was preparing for some amazing tasting food so I was a little disappointed by this.  I would definitely return to this pub, but would probably go for lunch and opt for something a bit simpler like one of their sarnies or small tapas dishes.  

After dinner we headed to The Rex Cinema on Berkhamsted High Street.  

If you don't already know about this cinema, you would never know it was there.  It is completely hidden - tucked along the side of The Gatsby and I will be honest, you won't be very overwhelmed by the cinema's pretty dull entrance. But once you are inside, have picked up your tickets and stocked up on little tubs of sweets, nuts and cups of tea (no ordinary cinema snacks here!) you will make your way into the cinema's extravagant huge screen. Wowsa!

As you walk through you will really feel like you have been transported back to the 1930's.  The seats are huge, soft and with so much leg room! Downstairs you could even hire a little table by the bar (yes, there is a fully stocked bar inside the screen area!)

And to top it all off, our tickets were only £9.00 each, bargain!
Definitely worth a visit as it's such a great experience.

Our movie of choice was The Jersey Boys.  I am not a film critic, nor am I going to pretend I am one so will keep this bit short and sweet.  Thought the movie was pretty dullsville, no real storyline and lack of character development but enjoyed the songs. 

Despite the mediocre food and boring movie it was an enjoyable evening with the family :)


11 September 2014

Travel: Kicking back in Corfu

The hubster and I wanted a really relaxing, kick our feet up type of holiday this year and after months of trawling through pages and pages of online travel sites we I finally decided on the beautiful Greek island of Corfu as the destination of choice.  The all inclusive style treatment was a must so we booked 'Hotel Aquis Aghios Gordios Beach' with Thomson Holidays
Take a look at the view from our room! 

Unfortunately we didn't get the relaxing honeymoon we were hoping for last year, so we wanted this holiday to be thought of as 'Honeymoon Part 2'.  We informed the hotel of this prior to our stay just in case they had any special touches up their sleeve but we were sadly told that you have to have had your wedding within 6 months prior to the holiday....bummer!
Never mind though... when we arrived we discovered that they had upgraded us to one of their best luxury suits.. yay! And what a suite it was! Our view was amazing.
The hotel is in the best location, set back in the mountainside surrounded by rocks and trees. Bliss.
 Our first day was spent exactly how everyone spends the first day of their holidays... exploring!
We wandered down the many, many little steps to the beach and walked along the sand into the nearby little village of Aghios Gordios.
And loved it so much we spent nearly every night there.... 

Although we opted for a chilled out holiday we are still little culture vultures at heart so we did a day trip into Corfu town.  After listening to our friendly Thomson rep talk about all the lovely (but pricey) excursions we could go on we decided to just 'wing it' and do it ourselves.. and thank god we did!
Got up ridiculously early to catch a PACKED bus (standing space only) and travelled about an hour until we reached Corfu town.  The day we picked to go was a scorching hot day (about 35 degrees) so we didn't want to spend all day there.  Luckily there wasn't a lot to see so we bashed out the sights and caught the lunchtime bus back to the hotel. Although it was such a quick day it was lovely to see the town and get our culture-fix.

  We were so excited to go to Greece as we are obsessed with pita bread and hummus but surprisingly found it difficult to find anywhere that served it... what?!
It wasn't a problem though as we soon discovered 'gyros'. Delicious wraps made from flatbread and stuffed with chicken, chips, tomatoes and drizzled in tzatziki... my mouth is watering just thinking about them, I think we hade one every day for lunch. 
This holiday was just what we needed after a difficult year.. total relaxation.
But just like any holiday, we came back with some gruntles and here are our travel tips if you plan to visit this amazing island.
Top tips
1. Stay in Aghios Gordios, we didn't see much of the rest of the island but heard many people talk about how this part was the most beautiful.
2. This isn't the type of destination where you need the safety and security of an all inclusive travel package type holiday.  The food is safe, the people are friendly and we saw some lovely little boutique hotels in the village. 
3.  If you do decide to stay at the Hotel Aquis Aghios Gordios, don't be put off the beach by your first impressions.  The hotel's private area is very squashed, dirty and just a bit un-loved.  We met a lovely lady called Joyce a little further along and she was amazing. Her little seafront area was the cleanest and most hassle-free.  No annoying 'massage ladies' or men trying to sell fake watches.  She provided beach games, snorkles and magazines and I think we paid only 5 euros for two beds and an umbrella each day, so worth it.
4. Visit Corfu town on a cooler day as it gets very busy and requires a lot of walking.
And finally, any holiday isn't complete without a few selfies..