Home Again: A catch-up

Home Again: A catch-up

So today marks one week since I got home from Jordan. Where has the week gone? And when did it get so cold? To be honest it’s a relief – I can finally sleep comfortably at night again. And layers are my friend.

After an über lie in today, I’ve been pretty productive after jumping straight back into work this week. Stuff has been cleaned, clothes have been organised and plans have been made. So here’s what’s happening.

 

A shopping trip was needed

I realised that I had no office appropriate winter gear so headed to Primark yesterday with a budget. I was doing so well until I wasn’t. Damn you homeware section. It all started with a halloween pumpkin LED light and escalated quickly from there. Topher was pretty annoyed until he saw the Winnie The Pooh Honey Pot (mug) I brought home for him. Bit sneaky of me but #noregrets. To be honest I think I did pretty well over all and came out with pretty much everything I need including some new ankle boots and some tops to go with my black cord pinafore.

I’m also pleased I managed to hold it in when I popped into the Disney Store that same day. Hot damn I know where my pennies are going this winter! Fellow Disney fans will know the usual pain of heading into a Disney Store and it all being stuff for little kids. Well, not any more. There is a ridiculous amount of merchandise for adults now. The buying team at Disney are killing it. If I hadn’t have been struggling under the weight of my giant Primark bag I might have caved and bought everything.

Oh and in other news I got my hair chopped off again. My head feels so much lighter and it’s awesome.

Routines are coming back

Earlier this week Topher and I signed back up for the gym and he’s been twice. I haven’t been yet but have full plans to head back tomorrow. Wish me luck! As for our weight loss, I was super pleased to find out that I’d lost half a pound at Slimming World since before the holiday. I think that’s the first time I’ve ever lost weight on holiday! It’s definitely all down to having a dress that I needed to still fit into for my cousin’s wedding. Otherwise I would have been left with a black tie event to go to and nothing to wear. So now I have the motivation to keep going as we’re home again and I can eat when and what I want. Target here I come.

Topher and I also want to get back into the routine of going to the cinema as we barely used our Cineworld passes over the summer. Money down the drain so that needs to change. Any suggestions of what to see? I like the look of Searching.

 

Holiday dreams are becoming reality

So officially our next holiday is Japan in Easter. I’m so excited I can’t even. While in Jordan I was doing so much “Japlanning” (thank Topher for that one!) and I’m pretty sure everyone in my family has gotten an earful of our plans.

This week we were discussing holiday allowance for 2019 at work and for the first time in a while I realised we could also go somewhere else. So I mentioned to Topher that if we were able to save enough and I could get the reward flight I’ve been saving miles for, maybe we could even do Hong Kong next October. It’s safe so say that he’s totally up for that as we want to complete all 6 Disney resorts in the world so watch this space!

 

What I’ve been reading and watching

I read three books in Jordan as well as another since I got back. My favourite was Happiness for Humans by P.Z.Reizin* so definitely recommend that one! It’s about an AI called Aiden that is chatting to a human called Jen and decides to help her find a boyfriend unbeknown to her.

I went to the cinema once in Jordan too and saw The Meg. I can best describe it as something along the lines of Deep Blue Sea (remember that film?). It’s a B movie but takes itself a little too seriously. I think it would have gone down a little better if it was a little sillier because that’s what I was expecting from it.

I watched the last episode of Season 2 of The Handmaid’s Tale and totally screamed at June at the end. Pretty sure I wasn’t the only one who did too.

I’ve gotten Topher into watching Brooklyn 99 too so we’ve been watching that together. I started from the beginning for him so can’t wait to catch up to where I got to.

Also on Netflix I was able to watch To all the boys I loved before which was really sweet. It’s exactly the type of film I would have loved when I was a teenager. Plus it was so refreshing to have a minority lead in a teen film where the story isn’t about the fact that she’s a minority. More of this please. And last night I watched Sierra Burgess is a Loser. So cool to see Barb from Stranger Things be the star and my teenage self also loved this film. What are you reading and watching at the moment.

 

Upcoming posts

So you may have noticed that up until recently I completely lost my blogging mojo for a bit there. Well it’s not totally back but it’s on the way I think. I got a burst of motivation during Jordan and I have a whole bunch of posts planned for the season ahead so we’ll see how it goes. I need to write about Jordan (as well as make the video) as well as a few other bits and pieces so I’m just trying to ease my way back in and not put too much pressure on myself. Fingers crossed!

 

How was your summer?

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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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March in Photos – Family, Friends and Food

Hello April and hello Spring.

I thought since I’ve been a bit MIA recently, especially with the “My Week” posts that I’d do a little catchup. I only posted six times during March and they were mainly travel posts so here are all the in between bits.

March in Photos - blue sky

Mental Health

It’s been all over the place this month. One minute I’m feeling fine and getting stuff done and the next I can’t get out of bed. The clocks changed which I’m hoping is going to improve my mood generally and those down points will get fewer and far between. I’ve been beating myself up less about not being active though so that’s a positive.

Friends & Family

We saw our friends a few times this month which was nice – a board game night at Claire and Steve’s, a birthday party for Topher’s mum and a leaving party for our other friends who are off to live in Japan for a year. Topher and I also babysat our friend’s 7 month old baby for a few hours which was a learning experience! Big respect to all the parents. The most I’d come into contact with a small human prior to this was holding one for about 30 seconds so it was interesting.

March in Photos - articulate

My parents came to stay with us too which saw the usual flurry of activity of food and doing bits around the house. Which brings me to…

Home

We have a new bed in the guest room. The king size one we had in there before was uncomfortable and was probably about as old as I am. I always felt bad for our guests having to sleep on it but now I don’t have to. My parents gave us their old guest room bed which is only a double so there is SO much more space in the room now. You can actually walk around the bed. Of course this meant new bedding was needed. This Mexican inspired rainbow cat bedding is from Asda a few months ago. How cute is it?! Sombrero kitties for the win.

March in Photos - new bed

March in Photos -rainbow bedding

We also finally replaced our old cat tree which has been on it’s last legs for a long time now. This new one is amazing. It’s from Amazon* and is super tall. Perfect for our big cats. I actually adapted it slightly by not putting on the hammocks as Pickles especially is far too big for them and they’ll just break! Plus it just means more uninterrupted climbing for them both.

March in Photos - cat tree

Car fun

And speaking of new things I got a new car. Well, new to me anyway. It’s an automatic and has a few more bells and whistles than my old car so I’m pretty excited about it. I’m going to be selling my Clio this month once it’s finished being fixed after it got rear ended in February so hopefully I can rest easy with car stuff for awhile. Now please can all the bad drivers stay away from my new car so I can drive in peace?

Films

Topher and I really need to get to the cinema more this month as we only went once during March. We saw Game Night which I really enjoyed. It’s been so long since I saw a comedy at the cinema where I was laughing out loud the whole way through. Definitely recommend.

Food

I didn’t cook anything new this month as I wasn’t up to it but we did go out for two meals. The first was Bem Brasil with my parents which was nice. I didn’t take any photos as a) I was too busy eating meat and b) who wants to look at pictures of slivers of meat on a plate? The second place we went was just Topher and I to Wasabi in Chinatown. We’ve been before but we were really craving Japanese food so we nipped in before the leaving party at the weekend.

I bloody love ramen.

March in Photos - ramen

Easter came and went

Topher and I had only planned on having one egg each but we ended up with 2 each as his family got us some. Oh well, more chocolate for us. Now that that’s all over, I’m going to try and get back to my healthy eating. I’m not feeling particularly comfortable at the moment with my weight as it’s close to my heaviest so that’s gotta go. Back to the happy weight please.

March in Photos - easter

And finally, the cats

They’ve been their usual adorable selves. Pickles is being better at night as there was a point where he would keep us up for half of it. I put it down to the clocks changing. Luna has been extra cuddly recently – climbing on both our chests and attacking our faces with head bops – especially to Topher. She purrs super loud and is so intense it’s funny. Pickles has also found some toys to play with on his own which is great. Half of them were under the bed when we got the new one! We play with them both but it’s nice that they can amuse themselves too when we’re busy. Luna has always been fine with that but Pickles used to be extra work. So yay for that.

March in Photos - Pickles

As for April, I hope to get out to a car boot if it ever stops raining, get my decluttering on and get this blog back up to regular scheduling amongst other goals. Wish me luck!

How was your March?

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I’m having a hard time at the moment

I’m having a hard time at the moment. There, I said it. I’m feeling far from my best. 2018 so far has been littered with lovely moments like going to the cinema with Topher, having dinner with friends, seeing my parents and all the little things in between. But overall, I haven’t been happy.

As soon as I’m left alone during the day that voice in my head starts creeping in. The one that makes me doubt my work. The one that says what’s the point? The one that says just stay in bed. And the one that says go on, just have one more snack.

I try to ignore it but it keeps coming back. Because to tell you the truth, I’m far from bossing it. My work life is making me miserable and it makes me feel like I did last time I was self employed. And the last time I worked in an office too. Then I make myself feel sad because I can’t seem to find my thing. I know there’s so many people out there who haven’t found their thing either but it seems like anything that isn’t my thing makes me feel down.

Every job I had, there’s been something wrong. Retail – I hated it. Office job 1 – bad company, boring job (though thanks to that, I have this blog.) Self employed stint 1 – barely made a penny and put a strain on my creativity, Office job 2 – loved the job, hated the company and the commute, Office job 3 – nice company, boring job and now I’m on self employed stint 2. Year one was great, year two I just felt myself sliding. I’ve made enough money to survive but only just. Thanks Topher for keeping us afloat.

Every job and every situation we’ve been in, we’ve just survived financially. We don’t have much disposable income at all. I just want to be able to replace something when it breaks without thinking about it and be able to go on holiday without breaking the bank.

Since office job 3 I’ve had ongoing health problems with my hands and arms. It’s due to repetitive strain which started in my right hand and it’s spread to both hands and arms. It makes admin work hard and that’s what I do. It makes me feel down because I need to find a career that isn’t so admin based but I don’t know what it is.

I haven’t even wanted to blog, which is unlike me. I can tell when I’m happy because I blog – if you see me disappear for a while, something’s usually wrong. I’ve been just blogging about stuff I need to – collabs and such.

It’s not all doom and gloom of course – I have a husband and family and friends who love me. I have the two sweetest cats you could ask for. And I have a roof over my head that isn’t going anywhere. But there’s something in my life that I need to fix.

I’m not sure how to fix this but I think I know where to start. I need structure. I need to take the pressure off.

Wish me luck.

Colour Walk Manchester - i heart mcr

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I Can’t Do All Of The Things

https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4309/36131989165_f115075b10_b.jpg

Lesson learned.

I can’t do all of the things. Something has got to give. I can’t simultaneously have two blogs, a business to promote, VA work to do, house decorating, cooking, cleaning, an entire wedding to plan including DIY’s and just general taking care of myself. Nope, it’s not happening.

It’s unsurprising that I was tired all the time, not eating properly and my eye wouldn’t stop twitching. So stressed. It was my own fault of course – note to self and you guys, if you’re doing wedding DIY’s get them done as early as possible.

And you may ask where was Topher in all this? He was just as stressed as I was and couldn’t help me since he was juggling two jobs.

So something had to give. In June I took the decision to stop blogging and promoting both Nomad Seeks Home and Begin.Create until after the wedding was over. Only concentrating on my freelance VA work, as well as getting some Slimming World ready meals in, I would try and do less things. Topher also handed in his notice at his second job.

Now that the wedding is over, we both feel so much better. He’s off from school for summer and I am slowly trying to get back into a routine (which includes blogging of course!). I can’t imagine what would have happened if I had tried to keep going and doing it all.

That is my advice to you. Please don’t try to do all of the things. Let some stuff slide, ask for help and just take care of yourself.

So what have I been up to since I last posted?

  • We were guests at two more weddings, one of them being in Jordan. That certainly was by far my shortest trip there ever! 3 full days…

I can't do all of the things - jordan wedding

  • I turned 29. In all the wedding rush, I almost forgot about my birthday! The last one of my twenties. I spent the day doing my final dress fitting and having afternoon tea with my parents followed by girly films with Topher. He had never seen Mean Girls and that needed to be fixed!

I can't do all of the things - dress fitting

I can't do all of the things - afternoon tea

  • I had my hen party. It was such a good day. Crystal Maze in Manchester, followed by afternoon tea and finally a sleepover at mine with games and amazing cocktails.

I can't do all of the things - crystal maze

I can't do all of the things - cocktails

  • We got married! I’ll do a full post on this soon. In answer to the inevitable question, “so how’s married life?” I’ll answer, “exactly the same!” I mean, how could it be any different when you’ve been in a relationship for over 8 years and living in sin for almost 5 of them, right? One thing’s for sure, it’s so great to be able to say the word husband. Is it just me or does the word fiancé sound kinda pretentious?

I can't do all of the things - our wedding

Photo by our amazing photographer, Nikki Cooper

  • And for the last week I’ve just been sleeping, tidying, doing a little bit of work and chilling out before getting back to business.

So that’s it. I’m back baby!

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