Tuesday, 31 March 2015

Focus: month three

Earlier this year I set myself the challenge of focusing throughout 2015. 
I was going to pick something different to focus on each month, and in order to hold myself accountable,
I was going to blog about it. March was the time to focus on eating better, seeing as I didn't do as well as I'd hoped at this in February.

I don't think I've done too bad at this this past month. I've eaten pretty healthily, despite indulging in a few treats, although I do feel like my sugar intake has slowly crept up again. So, going forward into April, I'm going to remain focused on eating better and making healthier choices, focusing particularly on reducing my sugar intake, especially at breakfast time. 

For April, I'm going to focus on being positive. I've felt a bit down in recent weeks so I think it's time that I focused on the good things in my life. When I did the 100 happy days challenge at the end of 2014, about 50 days in I realised I was feeling happier and appreciating the little things more, so I want to bring some of that back into my life again. 

Every day in April I'm going to aim to post a photo on my Instagram account of something that makes me happy, something that is positive, something that my life would be empty without. By doing this I hope to not only feel more positive and learn to appreciate the little things in my life, but also to encourage my followers to feel happier, more positive and appreciate what they have.

Feel free to join in.

Monday, 30 March 2015

dSLR dump (2)

I feel like I might actually be getting the hang of this 50mm lens...

I've practised more with it this month than the previous two months of the year and I think the clocks going forward this past weekend will give me even more time to practice as it'll still be light when I get home.

I really do love taking photos and find it so rewarding when I get a good shot - I'm particularly proud of the horse shots above, although that probably had more to do with the light being behind them than anything I did. 

I am 100% manual now and have been for about nine months, and while I might not always take the most technically accurate shots, at least I am trying; however, I still see so many people using their dSLRs on auto and it makes me want to scream!

Friday, 27 March 2015

High Five for Friday

TGIF, right?!
How's your week been? Mine has been no where near as bad as last week and I've been trying to stay positive, which is pretty easy to do when the weather is as beautiful as it's been this week. The big news of my city this week has been about the reburial of King Richard III; the city literally came to s standstill both on Sunday and on Thursday, but I have to confess, I don't really care about a king who has been dead for over 500 years and who, as I was taught at school, was a pretty nasty dude!

Anyway, on with the highlights of my week...

1 | Last Friday evening, I enjoyed some good food and some good chatter with some friends, which was exactly what I needed :)

2 | How awesome has the spring sunshine been this week?

3 | Easter treats are starting to appear in the office, not that I'm complaining :)

4 | All the kitchen cupboard and drawer handles have now been changed #yay and it kinda looks like a new kitchen!

5 | Again, I'm looking forward to the weekend (when am I not?!) despite the fact that Hubby is working on Saturday AND Sunday morning (my little worker-bee). I'm planning on filling my alone time with more blogging and plenty of chores, but tomorrow we're also off to see the house/plot we want to buy, so I am super excited for that!

Have a great weekend, peeps!

Wednesday, 25 March 2015

Things I'm looking forward to...

Happy Hump Day, blogland.
To keep things feeling positive on here (not to mention the gorgeous spring sunshine is making me feel positive),
I'm gonna give you a quick run down of
  • An early night tonight and watching a new episode of Supernatural tomorrow morning before work.
  • Seeing the plot/house we want to buy on Saturday, as well as the show homes at another nearby development, because the upstairs in one and the downstairs in another are the style of house we want! 
  • Dinner at my mums on Sunday, followed by hopefully a walk in the sunshine.
  • The clocks springing forward on Sunday - yes, it may mean an hour less in bed, but it also means light evenings and summer!
  • Pay Day. God, I hate five weekend months!
  • Buying some new nail polish and mascara next week.
  • EASTER. Time off work, hot cross buns, chocolate and time with the family & friends!
  • The fact that our current house could be on the market by Easter.
  • My Supernatural Convention, which isn't until May but man I'm getting excited!

What are you looking forward to?

Monday, 23 March 2015

I'm lovin' it, Ba da ba ba ba...

It's Monday, and I'm honestly not feeling it, 
so here's a super-easy-to-write and super-easy-to-read look at what I'm currently loving...

Signs of spring
I love these daffs in this old ceramic marmalade jar that used to belong to my nana!
I got to put two loads of washing out this past weekend and it was glorious!

Avon Instant Repair 7
I've been using this for about three months now; I just squirt a few sprays into my wet hair after a shower. I wasn't sure if it was actually doing anything, but I was looking at the ends of my hair the other day and do you know what? No split ends. I always get split ends, so I'm well impressed with this product, especially for the price, and it's defo not because I get my hair cut regularly, because I don't; I've not had a trim since November!

Online Food Shopping
I've been doing a start-of-the-month online food shop for about six months now and I can confirm I am definitely saving myself money as I'm not tempted by those bright displays of food I don't need.We top up our monthly food shop with weekly trips to Aldi, which is a shop we really love!

I'm bursting with ideas for our new home and Pinterest is just helping me fuel the fire :)

What are you currently loving?

Friday, 20 March 2015

High Five for Friday

I've got my act together and am planning to write and schedule some blog posts tomorrow for the next couple of weeks,
but as for today, I'm back bitches...

1 | On Monday, I placed an order for some new 'home' things from Asda, which we picked up on Wednesday night after work
I love them. I love yellow anyway but these cushions are so beautiful and so plump and soft!

2 | On Sunday night our oven broke; it wasn't heating up! Luckily, we still had a spare part from when it last broke in 2011 - we thought it was said part but when Hubs went to change it, he discovered it wasn't the part, it was actually a broken fuse. My dad came over on Tuesday morning and helped Hubby change the part and voila, our oven was fixed!

3 | After a month off, Supernatural, Arrow and The Flash made their returns to TV this week, which means we're getting ever closer to the dreaded season finales and summer hell-atus :(

4 | Last weekend, Hubs and I spent a couple of hours on Saturday changing our old broken kitchen cupboard handles for the new ones we bought from Ikea the other week, and the look bloody amazing...

5 | I've had a pretty shite end to the week, so I'm looking forward to a relaxing weekend, focusing on things that make me happy!

Happy Friday!

Thursday, 19 March 2015

A Spring Clean

Tomorrow is the Vernal Equinoxthe first day of spring

It’s traditionally a time for cleaning the house, ridding it of winter cobwebs and generally preparing for the summer. So, it’s time to roll up your sleeves and give it some elbow grease to ensure your house is shiny from top to bottom…

Living Room - It’s time to focus on all those spots that often get missed: lampshades, skirting boards and the top of door frames are all places that get neglected, so make sure you pay them a little attention.

Kitchen - With so many appliances and white goods in 21st Century kitchens, we often don’t have time to clean them all on a regular basis – the arrival of spring is the perfect time to clean these, focusing especially on clearing out old food from the fridge, and canned, jarred and packaged goods from cupboards that have passed their expiry dates.

Bathroom - As well as polishing mirrors and windows, a ‘spring clean’ gives us the perfect excuse to clear out the bathroom cabinet; throw out anything half-used that you’ve not touched in the last six months, and throw out anything you don’t need any more.

Bedroom - The arrival of the warmer weather gives us the chance to clean duvets, blankets and pillows, but don’t forget to flip your mattress to help prevent sagging, increasing its lifespan.

Top tips for easy spring cleaning
  • Make sure you have everything you need before you start to avoid unnecessary trips to the shops half way through a job.
  • Make windows really shiny by cleaning them with old newspaper.
  • Do one room at a time – why not play your favourite upbeat songs to help keep you in the mood; you’ll also burn more calories with all the dancing!
  • Pour a couple of cups of white vinegar into your kettle and boil to remove limescale – make sure you wash the kettle out thoroughly afterwards.
  • Make sure you clear out your wardrobe and be strict – if you’ve not worn it in the last six/twelve months, chances are you won’t wear it in the next six/twelve months so chuck it out.
  • Pour half a cup of soda crystals down the drain to prevent blockages – flush through with hot water.
  • To give your house an inexpensive fresh feel for spring, buy some new accessories, such as candles, throws and cushions, and picture frames.

Happy spring!

Tuesday, 17 March 2015

The struggle is real!

Hey there blog world friends!
It's been a while, eh?!

I've struggled to find the time, and, if I'm honest, the inclination, to blog just lately. It's not that I no longer enjoy blogging, but instead that life has gotten in the way - the best laid plans and all that! I was even so busy at work last Friday I didn't get time to write a High Five for Friday post, something I've taken part in almost religiously for the last nine months or so!

The worst part is, I can't even boast that I'm busy because things are moving with the house... they're not! It's at a standstill. The low-down on that front is... we wanna buy a plot that hasn't been released by the developer yet, which means, because we're selling our house via the developer's Assisted Move scheme, we can't proceed with selling our property until this plot is released. We have no idea how long that'll take, however, the plot next door has been released, so it can't be much longer. TELL ME IT WON'T BE MUCH LONGER! We have had some good news regarding our house though; it's worth what I predicted, so when it goes on the market we know what it'll go up for and the minimum we can accept for it!

Hubby keeps telling me to be patient and that we're in no real rush to move, but I'm rubbish with patience. Once I've decided something, I want it. I've decided I want to move. I know where I want to move to. I know the house I wanna buy. It's the most frustrating thing I've ever encountered to not be able to make these decisions become reality because I'm waiting on others. I usually feel in control, like I have control over my life and my destiny even if that might not be the case, but lately I'm constantly frustrated with life, so frustrated that I could scream!

I need to do something to distract me; I need a new focus so I can put this whole house business to the back of my mind for a while and just get on with living instead of wishing my life away - I keep picturing what life will be like in the new house and it's making me want it even more.

Have you got any suggestions on how I can stay busy and distract myself with something fun while I wait for life to catch up with the dreams I have for it?

 Oh god, another blog post without photos! Must. Try. Harder.

Thursday, 12 March 2015

A Happy House

Avid readers of this little blog of mine will know that hubby and I are currently in the process of buying a new home. It's a new build, so I'm eager to ensure I put heart and soul into the house as I know a common complaint of new build houses is that they lack character and soul.
I'm bursting with decorating ideas for the new house (I've even created a new board specifically for the new house) and because I'm kind I like nosing at what plans others have for their lives homes, I thought I'd share some of my initial ideas with you #yourewelcome (oh and FYI, Pinterest is my bestie)...

I had this pinned before we knew we were moving. It's such a cute idea for the hallway, esp as most of our coats and 
shoes would be kept in Harry's bedroom the under-the-stairs cupboard, which is in the living room. 

I love this for the laundry room. 

I think this TV wall is a great way of creating storage,  
as well as a feature to give the living area some character.


However, I also have ideas that don't involve Pinterest...

This is an example of how our kitchen/diner could look...
There is much less worktop space than I'm used to in this layout so against the far right wall ^
we wanna put an Ikea kitchen island and we've seen this one...
 STENSTORP kitchen island, Ikea, £200

We've also seen these stools that'll work really well on the breakfast bar area of said Ikea kitchen island :)
 INGOLF bar stool with backrest, Ikea, £45 each

 We want two chairs like this in the big bay window :)
I'm also loving 'coastal' colours for the downstairs living areas, which are pretty much open-plan...
Outside, I'd love to do something with railway sleepers to create raised beds

And how useful would this be for washing muddy boots, dogs and kids?!

As you can see, the ideas are flowing :)