Hanging out in Limbo

Have you ever found yourself hanging out in limbo, waiting for one piece of news that might change your life?

I am right now. For now I’m going to have to be mysterious and not say exactly what I’m waiting on, as I don’t want to jinx it. But for now, it’s just waiting. Limbo sucks. I don’t know what to do with myself.

I’m trying to keep busy, keep myself distracted and just hope for the best but it can get hard at times. The sunny weather is definitely helping though. After saying in my Home Decor Plans post that I wanted to get my garden under control this summer, I’m actually taking steps to achieve that.

Once I’ve finished this post I’m heading out there to get my hands dirty and pull up a load of weeds. The “flower beds” are definitely not flower beds anymore so I want to pull up everything and start from scratch. See, projects. I’m distracting myself. Plus if this news goes my way, I won’t have this much time on my hands again to work on it. So now is the time.

I might even do another car boot this weekend. Get my decluttering on. My dream is to have my airing cupboard be clear from all my car boot stuff and be able to just store the usual stuff in there, along with our smaller suitcases.

Every time my mind wanders back to this news, I just can’t stop thinking about how great it will be if it goes my way. Topher and I’s quality of life will definitely skyrocket and I’ll actually have more to talk about on here. I don’t even want to think about if it turns out to be bad news. It won’t be the end of the world but it would be such a bummer.

I really hope it’s good news. Wish me luck.

March in Photos - blue sky

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May Goals and Bullet Journal Spread

I’m looking outside right now and it’s so sunny! Hallelujah.

For the first time since January I’m going to talk about my goals for the month (and year) ahead.

  • Get down to 12 stone anything

So I was around 12 and a half stone at the beginning of the year and I have gone in the wrong direction. Due to my down period of the last few months continuing I put on about a stone. So I’m now hovering just below 13 and a half stone. That was a major blow for me as I haven’t weighed that much since 2013. That was my heaviest weight where I felt so unhealthy and decided to join Slimming World for the first time. So I just want to get back to 12 stone anything to make a start on getting on track with my 2018 goal of getting to my happy weight of 11stone. Fingers crossed!

  • Do a car boot sale

There’s so much stuff to declutter in this house. It feels like it will never end but getting to a car boot will definitely help things. And help raise some pennies for our Japan trip next year. We’re hoping to get to a car boot this Sunday as currently my weather app says it will be sunny. I hope it works out as it’s the bank holiday weekend and footfall is usually increased!

  • Get a secure stream of income

I’m really working on that this month. My 2018 goal was to just make some fecking money so I intend on doing that. Will keep you posted.

  • Raise £100 for Japan

I really really really want to go to Japan. It’s such a dream and with what we’ve raised so far it could really be possible for Topher and I to go next summer. So I’m really getting my skates on this month so get another bundle of cash added to our pot.

  • Paint two living room walls white and polyfill holes

Now this one can only happen if I secure some income so fingers crossed. As I mentioned in my 2018 Home Decor Goals post I really want to finish the living room off. Painting the walls grey was a good idea but I think painting all of them grey wasn’t the best as it’s quite a dark room that doesn’t get much sunlight. So I’m injecting a bit of white.

May Goals - main page

As for my bullet journal spread, things have been working for me by keeping things as simple as possible. I’m still using my Leuchtturm 1917 dotted A5 bullet journal* and have been fully in the minimalist zone. However I wanted to inject a bit of colour and creativity back into it. So welcome back washi tapes and coloured felt tips.

I noticed other people using a calendar layout in their bullet journals so I thought I would give it a go. I love how it looks. It of course took longer than my usual list style calendar but it’s a lot easier on the eye. Now I can see the weeks laid out ahead. I think I’ll be keeping this style up.

May Goals - calendar

Of course I had to include a page for my freelance hours. Since taking this photo I’ve added in boxes for each client and it looks pretty good. Much better than my old approaches of just columns where all my clients are shoved in.

And I think I’ll always keep up the weekly goals as otherwise it’s so easy to just lose track of your main goals throughout the month.

May Goals - freelance

If you want to see the main spreads in my bullet journal for the year, take a look here. 

And if you’re interested in my other bullet journal posts, they’re all here.

What are your goals for May?

Any items marked with * are affiliate links.

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April 2018 Roundup – Books, DIY and Halloumi Fries

Hello May!

Insert cliche “where is the year going?” remark. So before I rush ahead to my plans for May, it’s time to reflect on the month that’s just gone by. So here’s my April Roundup.

Blogging

I felt like I posted a little bit more this month but it turns out I just posted 6 times again. But they were mainly in the last couple of weeks so maybe that’s why. I haven’t got any huge plans for posts in May as I’ve been really blocked this year but I’ll just take things as they come and hope that I have enough inspiration to keep things moving around here. Fingers crossed

Mental Health

april roundup - blossom
I’m feeling a bit more like myself in the last couple of weeks. Even though it’s been pouring with rain, that little injection of sunshine we had did me good. And it looks like we’ve got some better weather coming for May so bring it on. There have been down periods of course but I’m just taking the bursts of energy as they come and rolling with them.

Food

april roundup - halloumi fries
Topher and I paid Solita a visit after it being on our wish list for ages. Topher enjoyed his burger and I took a risk on one which didn’t end up working out for me. Seriously Diane, stopping getting fried stuff with a side of bread. But I do want to go back as all the other burgers on the menu look amazing. And we’ve both agreed that we need to go back for the halloumi fries alone. Damn those were good. Definitely recommend them as I’m still dreaming about them!

We also went for breakfast with Claire and Steve to Harvester in Ashton as they have a breakfast buffet along with your usual main dishes. They all got full english’s and I got pancakes as half on an english breakfast contains pork and the other half I don’t like. I usually end up with eggs on toast in that situation. And hash browns. But as they had pancakes on the menu I couldn’t refuse. Plus they came with fruit so that’s one of my five a day, right?

Finally, Topher and I also visited Tru Street in the Trafford Centre which was an interesting experience. Once again I didn’t make the best decision with meal choice but I would like to go back as there were so many nice things on the menu that I’d like to try. Topher loved his jambalaya and even I could have a taste of it as the whole restaurant is halal so no pork (yay!) They had substituted the chorizo for a beef sausage type of thing. Warning to those who are fellow wimps when it comes to spicy things – there are a lot of spicy things on the menu here.

Home

april roundup - landing
I finally got our wedding photos up along with a few other frames for our landing gallery wall. Now I just need some more photos up there as it’s mainly prints at the moment. Decluttering didn’t go anywhere during April as there was just too much rain. We are hoping to get to a car boot this weekend though as it looks like it’s going to stay dry for a bit.

The lawn in the garden got mowed for the first time this season. I also got rid of most of a bush that was taking up a whole load of room on one side. I actually found a beautiful plant underneath it which is now flowering since it can see the sun! I have no clue what the people who owned the house before were thinking. They planted 3 fast growing creeper type plants all on top of each other in one corner of the garden. Not to mention the large bush that is under the apple tree so you can’t get anywhere near it. Even people who don’t know how to garden (i.e. me!) know that stuff grows so don’t plant stuff right next to each other. I’ll get it under control soon enough!

In other news, I sold my old car so all that drama is over now. Yay!

TV, Films & Books

april roundup - books
I’ve been watching a lot of RuPaul’s Drag Race this month as I heard that Netflix was removing seasons 2-7 at the end of the month. I hadn’t seen 5-7 so that’s been rectified now. Of course I’ve been watching it so much that even Topher keeps going, “byyyyeeeeeeeeeeee”.

We only got to the cinema once again in April so really need to step it up in May to get our money’s worth of our Cineworld passes. We saw A Quiet Place which was amazing. It was refreshing to see something so original in the cinema. Go see it!

And in books, I wrote about the books I read so far this year and I joined the library. I got three books out on Saturday and read and finished one that day. So good! I’m going slower with the second one but am hoping to finish it before Friday when I head back to the library so I can return them.

Pickles and Luna

april roundup - luna

april roundup - pickles
Now that the sun is out, they’ve been spending a lot more time near the patio doors as that’s the sunniest place in the house. I’ve also been trying to cut down their food as the vet recommended me doing so. They’re not overweight but Pickles is a little on the big side for his age. They just want me to monitor him to avoid him becoming overweight. He’s a greedy boy who loves his food so this has been interesting…

Anyway, stay tuned for my next post of my plans and goals for May.

How was your April?

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Top Picks #55

*All the product links in this post are affiliate links. That basically means that if you buy anything from these websites then I get a small commission with no cost to you.

Here’s what’s on my lust list this month.

Backpack, $79.90 – Boxlunch

top picks #55 - backpack

I seriously need this backpack in my life. I’m loving the whole Harry Potter collection from Danielle Nicole but this one is by far my favourite. As soon I saw it on Instagram I was hooked.

Shirt, £45 – Cath Kidston

top picks #55 - shirt

I want this print on everything I own. In fact, Cath Kidston do have this print on quite a few things in store at the moment. Walking round their store yesterday I wanted them all. This shirt may have to be on my birthday list though. I just wish they had a short sleeve version too.

Dress, £38 – Joanie

top picks #55 - dress

This dress is super cute and versatile. It makes me want to go on a picnic.

Dress, $108 – Shop Disney

top picks #55 - small world dress

This dress is everything! Fans of It’s a Small World might recognise the print. I actually tried on a dress with this same fabric in Disneyland on my honeymoon but it just didn’t suit me. This silhouette however is definitely more my style. The price tag is the only downer. Birthday present perhaps?

Earrings, £32 – Laura Jane Cullen @ Etsy

top picks #55 - earrings

I’ve grown tired of earrings recently but I do want to wear something. Preferably gold ones that I can wear in the shower and not have to bother putting in and out all the time. These triangle ones fit the bill.

Dress, £22.99 – New Look

top picks #55 - sundress

This dress is just perfect for summer. If the sun makes an appearance that is!

Socks, $9 – Modcloth

top picks #55 - socks

Who says socks have to be boring?

Highlighter, £7 – Paperchase

top picks #55 - highlighter
I’m always a fan of novelty stationery and this highlighter is bonkers!

Metal Drink Bottle, £20 – Typo

top picks #55 - water bottle

I’ve been on the hunt for a metal water bottle for a while and this one is perfect.

Vest, $28.90 – Boxlunch

top picks #55 - vest

This vest is so cute! I loved the Aristocats when I was a kid.

 

What’s on your wishlist?

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Book Reviews – April 2018

I joined the library last week! A few weeks ago I wrote about how I don’t read a lot anymore and wanted to get back into the habit. I finally joined but haven’t checked anything out just yet. Mainly because I want to finish the books I have lying around first. These reviews are the last of them. The next book reviews (as I hope to make this more of a regular feature) will be books I’ve gotten from the library.

 

Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine*

book reviews - eleanor oliphant
4 and a half out of 5 stars

“Eleanor Oliphant leads a simple life. She wears the same clothes to work every day, eats the same meal deal for lunch every day and buys the same two bottles of vodka to drink every weekend.

Eleanor Oliphant is happy. Nothing is missing from her carefully timetabled life. Except, sometimes, everything.

One simple act of kindness is about to shatter the walls Eleanor has built around herself. Now she must learn how to navigate the world that everyone else seems to take for granted – while searching for the courage to face the dark corners she’s avoided all her life.”

You may have seen this book a lot on social media, particularly on Instagram but it’s definitely worth the hype. Though Eleanor is definitely an oddball, I found myself intrigued and invested in her story. There are even certain things I can relate to.

This book kept me interested right until the end and there was a twist that I wasn’t expecting too which was a nice surprise. I loved the characters and found myself laughing and crying at different points. Definitely recommended.

 

How to Stop Time*

book reviews - how to stop time
3 out of 5 stars

“Tom Hazard has a dangerous secret. He may look like an ordinary 41-year-old history teacher, but he’s been alive for centuries. From Elizabethan England to Jazz-Age Paris, from New York to the South Seas, Tom has seen it all. As long as he keeps changing his identity he can keep one step ahead of his past – and stay alive. The only thing he must not do is fall in love…”

I was really interested in the premise of this book. I know some people found the time jumps back and forth a tad confusing but I was completely fine with it. I did enjoy it but my one criticism is that it felt very rushed towards the end.

The book is on the thin side anyway but knowing what the goal of the protagonist was, I found that I was getting dangerously close to the end without anything happening. So when it did, it was very quick and felt a bit anti-climatic.

 

Passenger* & Wayfarer*

book reviews - passenger
4 out of 5 stars

“New York City, present day

In one night, Etta Spencer is wrenched from everything she knows and loves. Thrown into an unfamiliar world, she can be certain of only one thing: she has travelled not just miles, but years from home.

The Atlantic, 1776

Captain Nicholas Carter is tasked with delivering Etta to the dangerous Ironwood family. They are searching for something – a stolen object they believe only she can reclaim. But Nicholas is drawn to his mysterious passenger, and the closer he gets to her, the further he is from freedom.

The Edges of the World

Together, Etta and Nicholas embark on a perilous journey across centuries and continents, piecing together clues left behind by a desperate thief. But as Etta plays deeper into the Ironwoods’ game, treacherous forces threaten to separate her not only from Nicholas, but from her path home – for ever.”

Even though I last read Passenger when it came out a couple of years ago, I still wanted to review these books together as they are the same story. It’s another series that jumps back and forth through time; only this is actually about time travel. It’s been a while since I found myself pulled into a fantasy story and this one didn’t disappoint.

I was really invested in the characters and the adventure they go on together – I enjoyed both books. And as far as I can see that’s the end of the story. I was getting a little worried that Wayfarer would end on a cliffhanger like Passenger did but luckily it didn’t. There are so many fantasy trilogies out there that it was refreshing to come across a two book series.

The only reason why I only gave them 4 stars is that it did get a bit too complicated at times. There are a lot of rules to this universe, a lot of characters and a lot of different time periods. Though this was mainly found in the second book. Since I got them on their publish days which were around a year apart, I forgot who half of the secondary characters and had to look online (without spoiling myself). Thanks so much to the person who made a handy infographic!

 

The Secret Wife*

book reviews - the-secret-wife
4 out of 5 stars

“Love. Guilt. Heartbreak.

1914

Russia is on the brink of collapse, and the Romanov family faces a terrifyingly uncertain future. Grand Duchess Tatiana has fallen in love with cavalry officer Dmitri, but events take a catastrophic turn, placing their romance – and their lives – in danger…

2016

Kitty Fisher escapes to her great-grandfather’s remote cabin in America, after a devastating revelation makes her flee London. There, on the shores of Lake Akanabee, she discovers the spectacular jewelled pendant that will lead her to a long-buried family secret…”

It’s another story with multiple timelines – sensing a theme here? This was a book my mum lent to me and I wasn’t expecting much from it. However I was pleasantly surprised with how quickly I got into it.

Everyone knows historically the Romanov’s were all murdered in 1918. And that there was a conspiracy that Grand Duchess Anastasia survived until it was finally disproved around 90 years later. Grand Duchess Tatiana is the second oldest daughter of Tsar Nicholas II (Anastasia’s older sister) and is one of the main characters in this story.

When I first started reading, I thought how fun they’ve gone with something different from the usual Anastasia plotline. But then I started reading through Wikipedia and found that there was a lot of truth to parts of this story. It turns out that Dmitri did exist in real life and in fact there was something between him and Tatiana. It appears that if it weren’t for the civil war, they probably would have married in real life. Unfortunately Tatiana was murdered and Dmitri was killed in combat a year later. This story is all about the question, “what if?” What if Dmitri survived?

I love a good mystery and this was definitely a page-turner, especially towards the end. But then I do love a bit of historical fiction!

 

What have you read recently? Any recommendations for me?

Any items marked with * are affiliate links. This means if you click through and buy something then I get a small commission. 

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