Monday, 29 February 2016

weekend #9

I can't believe it's Monday already.

Where did my beloved weekend go?

I think it feels like my weekend passed me by in the blink of eye because we did so much. As they usually do, Saturday started with a lay in and a quick breakfast.

After which we headed into town to run a few errands, and pick up a few bargains at Wilkinsons and Morrisons, before mooching over to Available Car to see what kind of styles were available within our budget. 
We're not looking to buy a new car right now but we probably will be looking seriously next year, so we wanted to get an idea of what exactly is available on the market, for how much. We sat in over one hundred cars (jokes, but it felt like it) but narrowed our favourites down to three different styles of Ford.

When we got home from window car shopping, I washed up, made a salad, and changed out my winter cushions (grey with a sparkly snow flake) for my spring cushions, which actually came with the sofa. I'm not sure I'm going to keep them for years to come, but they'll do for now.
I actually think I might buy some larger plain blue cushions for the sofa as I like to have two either side, and not the one in the middle (this middle cushion was originally bought with an armchair in mind, but we've not found the right armchair yet so it's awaiting to fulfil its cushion destiny right now) :)

Saturday night was spent eating delicious food, watching Spectre, painting nails, and catching up with hub's littlest sister who is at uni in Leeds, but was home for the weekend.

Sunday started with cleaning, but I didn't do a full clean because I knew my parents were coming over in the afternoon and they're messy sods... joking. It's actually because they were bringing Izzy, their beautiful border collie, who is malting, so I didn't see the point of hoovering twice.

Instead of cooking a roast, we decided to do steak for Hubs and dad, Quorn peppered steaks for me, and garlic chicken for my mum, who is not a fan of steak, followed by ice cream and this delicious dessert.

As usual, with full bellies, we headed out for a walk amidst the spring-like countryside...
I love how light it is staying now; the countdown is on to Easter when the clocks fall forward an hour :)

I do love the weekends; I love spending time with Hubs; I love catching up on the week with family; and I love getting to know our new home, a place we fought so hard to move to and own. I love writing these weekend posts because it's fun to look back on what's happened and what we got up to; I just wish I'd done it last year because this time last year we'd only just discovered the building development we now call home. I remember the stress, confusion and anxiety well, but it's such a part of our journey to this point, I wish I'd written it down.

Wednesday, 24 February 2016

moving home: tips & tricks

"Fail to prepare, prepare to fail."

Moving house is one of the most stressful things you will ever do... trust me on that one. Hubs and I moved house in September 2015 and five months down the line, the thought of the stress and finance involves still frightens the heebie-jeebies outta me.

Since hearing the mantra above a few years ago, it's been my go-to when anything stressful, such as a job interview or moving house, has loomed. I found so many helpful tips and articles online that I wanted to share a few of the ones that helped me the most, as well as share a few of my own with you, so you can have the smoothest move possible.

Until you have an accepted offer on your home, make sure the house is always tidy; at one point we had full cupboards and a jam-packed loft space but the places prospective buyers could see (rooms and surfaces) were clean, minimal and de-personalised. Once you have accepted an offer, that’s the time you can pull all the junk outta the cupboards and loft and start sorting it.

Seriously de-clutter – who needs five spatulas or 20 tuppawear boxes – keep only the things you love. Get rid of things that are broken (recycling what you can) and then create two piles: a donation pile and a car boot pile. Drop off what you can to a local charity shop and do a car boot to get rid of the rest, as well as make yourself a bit of cash. We sold pieces of furniture via a local Facebook group and not only freed up space, but also made ourselves cash that came in handy when we couldn’t be bothered to cook or needed moving supplies; we got most of our boxes for free but I took the plunge and bought this set from Argos a month before we moved because I was worried we would run out of boxes.

Talking of boxes, turn your baskets, laundry bins, hampers, suitcases and anything else you can into storage – I filled laundry baskets with cushions and used one of those large blue Ikea bags for our bed linen, which also made it easier to find at the end of the long moving day!

Employ the colour-coding system; stick coloured stickers onto each box so you know which room they’re destined for. This will make unpacking easier as you’ll know all the blue stickered boxes are for the kitchen and all the red for the study, and so on.

Start as soon as you can but pace yourself. You're not going to be able to de-clutter your whole house within a week; you'll be lucky if you can do one room in that time. So take your time; do a drawer or a cupboard a day, that way you won't end up feeling overwhelmed by the task ahead. Don't try and take on the task alone either. Rope your other half into helping, even if they just do the tip runs/charity shop drop-offs; every little helps!

Make sure you determine which window treatments and what items of furniture you'll be taking with you and get rid of any that won't fit in your new home; there is absolutely no point in moving things and then getting rid - get rid before you move.

Make sure you defrost your refrigerator at least a day before moving.

The day before you move, make sure you get a good night's sleep.

Wake up early, wear comfy clothes and enjoy a calm cuppa before the chaos of the day is in full swing.

I cannot recommend this enough but make sure you have a clear plastic box containing all the essentials (kettle, tea bags, Sellotape, scissors, mobile phone chargers etc.); it’ll make them much easier to find.

I would also recommend packing an overnight bag containing some shower essentials, clean PJs and clothes for the following day. You won’t be able to find a thing amongst all the boxes (no matter how clearly labelled they are) so make sure you have a few comforts to hand so you can have a shower and collapse into bed feeling tired but human at the end of the day.

We moved into a new build, which had been cleaned prior to us moving in, but if you’re moving in as another family is moving out, the first thing you’re gonna want to do is clean, so make sure your cleaning supplies are handy. Should I have needed them, mine would have been in a second clear plastic box so I could clean as I unpacked.

As you take apart certain things, like curtain rods or small items of furniture, make sure you place the screws/fixings into a food bag and Sellotape them to the furniture (or place them in your essentials box, labelled of course). I would also recommend taking a photo of the back of your TV before you unplug anything; this will help you get everything set up quicker on the other end.

I hate to say it but no matter how prepared you are, I'm pretty sure that if you wake up in one home and move all your worldly possessions to another in just one day, it's inevitable you'll be stressed, but if you adopt just a few of these tips and tricks then everything should go smoothly :)

Good luck!

Monday, 22 February 2016

weekend #8

I've been hoping for a while that the worst of winter is behind us and it really felt like it was weekend...
It seemed as if, despite the odd rain shower, we might finally be heading towards spring.

Saturday started bright, which we all know makes me fall more and more in love with my humble abode. Having kept the place tidy for the majority of the week, and getting my cleaning done on Friday afternoon, I came down on Saturday morning to a tidy and light house and my heart smiled.

After a spot of lunch, my parents came over to help us put up the picture ledges we bought from Ikea back in January. Obviously Hubs and my dad did the bulk of the work, while I supervised and cleaned up after them :)
Izzy loves playing with her very own tennis ball at our house - we think it's because it bounces well on the floor.

Once the ledges were on the wall, we headed out for a walk at Sence Valley, which was once a quarry and is now a country park with several lakes and an array of wildlife...

That's real British countryside right there!

Saturday night was made perfect thanks to pizza, lounging on the sofa and an early night; it's unbelievable just how crazy we get around these parts!!

Even after an early night, I made the most of a glorious lay in on Sunday...

Before getting up and rearranging the picture frames on the new ledges - I wonder just how many time I'll alter them over the coming weeks?

After enjoying a delicious roast dinner at my parents' house, mum, Izzy and I headed out for a walk amongst the mud and crocuses...

Family was definitely the theme of the weekend; I love soaking up these quiet and mild-weather weekends. They're like the calm after the storm of Christmas/winter, as well as the calm before the chaos of summer, where I generally feel like I'm wasting my weekends if I don't get out of the house and do something. Hopefully I can enjoy a few more before cracking on with our garden project!

Have a great week :)

Friday, 19 February 2016

high five for Friday

Happy Friday, peeps.
This week has flown by - I can't quite believe it's Friday already!

1 | Although my week has flown by, I feel as if I've been pretty productive. I've caught up on my TV shows, I've kept my house relatively tidy (meaning I shouldn't have loads of cleaning to do), and got all my work at my day job done :)

2 | The sunrises have been really quite pretty this week, although I can't wait for the clocks to go forward.

3 | My planters are beginning to flower :)

4 | I'm loving this beautiful song from dan+shay; the lyrics are so moving. Gotta love the fact that country songs can make you blub and smile all in one!

5 | I get to finish work earlier today, so I'm off to do our food shop, then home to clean so I can hopefully enjoyed a fun-filled Saturday, which may even include getting a spot of DIY done #fingerscrossed

Have a great weekend!

Monday, 15 February 2016

weekend #7

I found another new favourite corner of my house this weekend...
The morning sun streams through this window into the downstairs loo and it's actually quite beautiful.

While couples all over the UK world more than likely enjoyed romantic strolls, candlelit dinners, boxes of chocolates and bunches of roses this past weekend, Hubs and I had a great weekend, filled with quality time spent together in the place we call home, the place that we fall more and more in love with every weekend.
For us, there was no need for roses and special dinners, because (while we can appreciate Valentine's Day for the newer couples out there), we don't feel the need to be soppy or over-the-top romantic towards one another one day a year; for us, it's the small details that happen daily that declare our love and commitment to one another. So, there's no sign of Valentine's Day anywhere on this post #sorrynotsorry #everydayisValentinesdayhere #not

It was a weird one weather-wise this weekend; I feel like I experienced every season going in the space of 48 hours.

Saturday was dull and the wind was bitterly cold, as we discovered while walking into town to run a few errands, which is why hubs treated us to Costa to warm our bones...

Once home from town, we followed up our Costas with a bowl of soup and some tiger bread...

Before I got on with the cleaning...

And Hubs did the food shopping and re-potted his beloved cactuses...

Knackered from our action-packed day, we tucked into a lazy tea of tacos and collapsed on the sofa...
And called it a night at 10pm #sorockandroll

We woke surprisingly early on Sunday, but time seemed to run away with us; I watched Chicago PD, while Hubs watched the footie; I mopped the floors while hubs sorted out the laundry; Hubs nipped out to get some ice cream while I had a quick shower; we put the roast dinner in the oven, as my parents came to ours this week...

After a roast and delicious puddings, my mum, Hubs, Izzy and I headed out for a long walk along the train lines. We left our house at 2:45pm to warm sun and blue skies...

But, 15 minutes from home, around 5pm, the dark clouds rolled in suddenly and the heavens opened, with an actual blizzard of snow...
It was crazy!!

We warmed up with hot chocolate and cookies, before waving bye to my parents around 6pm. Soon after Hubs' mum and step dad came over for a coffee and a catch up. 

I really do love our weekends and spending quality time with the ones we love, as well as one another. We've got a few job-filled weekends on the horizon, especially as the weather begins to improve and we can start tackling our garden project, so it's nice to make the most of the quiet, almost lazy weekends while we can.

Here's to a great week!