Five Things Making Me Happy Right Now

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I can’t believe it’s actually going to be May by the end of next week!  We’ll be speeding through summer before you know it – and that flash of hot weather over the Easter weekend was just what the doctor ordered.  I spent the first couple of days of the long weekend catching up with a few jobs around the house that needed doing, and then spent Saturday afternoon soaking up the sun in my local beer garden.  Sunday and Monday was spent slobbing out on the sofa with plenty of chocolate.  It was lush!  So, aside from the lovely, summery weather, here are five things I’ve been enjoying throughout April…

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Blossom

I mean, who doesn’t love the blossom this time of year?  It’s always been one of my favourite spring things and there’s a tree not far from my house that puts on a hell of a show every year.  I pass it every day on the morning dog walk and I’ve really loved watching it slowly burst into colour.  Even Bungle’s loved it; he’s obsessed with the carpet of pink petals and likes to sit there for a couple of minutes during his walk. Weirdo!

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Game of Thrones

It’s back, it’s brilliant and… I’m bloody well terrified.  Considering there’s been a year’s break from the annual summer visit to Westeros (…what a jolly holiday that would be…), I was amazed how easily I got sucked back into it all.  What can I say?  The first couple of new episodes were downright deviousYes, not a lot happened in the grand scheme of things, but the truth is that the show’s producers basically spent two hours reminding us of why we love all these characters so much.  And that’s devious of them because the white-walkers are going to turn up at Winterfell next week and slaughter them all.  I’m scared.

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Left Over Chocolate

Easter was a strange one this year; I feel like all the eggs and chocolate were in the stores for such a long time that I kind of forgot about the whole thing!  Sunny and I did a lot of cream egg scoffing back in February instead.  But, one of the best things about Easter is the left over chocolate and all the half price chocolate banging about on the shelves right now.  We stocked up and have plenty to fuel us through a few binge-watching sessions at least.

If you fancy using up some of your leftover chocolate and doing a bit of baking, then you can’t go wrong with these Creme Egg Doughnuts that I made last year, and – in case you missed it – over on Instagram I posted a recipe for this Easter Tiffin Cake.

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Alaskan Bush People

Okay, this one is a strange one – I know – but hear me out.  Sunny’s obsessed with all those Discovery shows like Tanked, Storage WarsIce Road Truckers etc, and he happened to pick up the second season of Alaskan Bush People over on DMAX whenever he was working from home.  If you’ve never seen it before then it’s basically a show about a family living out in the wild (the bush) in Alaska.  Think Bear Grylls’ The Island, only years later… and in Alaska.  I made fun of my husband for watching it at first, because it all seemed so ridiculous, but over Easter weekend I managed to get completely sucked into it and somehow we’re now balls deep into season five.  Aside from the beautiful views of Alaska – of whales and bears – it’s just so interesting how the family live so far from everything and everyone, and how they chop their own wood, build their own houses, hunt their own meat and even invent their own appliances from bartered or salvaged materials.  Plus the nine kids are all so interesting – from their names (Snowbird, Bear, Bam Bam…), down to their different talents and resourcefulness out in the wild.  They’re such a tight, loving family too – you can’t help but root for them.  LOVE IT.

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Chamomile Tea

Boring one and I’m probably really showing my age here, but I’ve started swigging Chamomile Tea at night (…in front of Alaskan Bush People) about an hour before bed and it’s really helping me to wind down, feel relaxed and sleep more soundly.  During the day I’m a strict Darjeeling no milk kind of girl, but I can easily – so easily! – swig my way through five cups or more in a day.  I’ve been trying to cut down on caffeine and have been trying to slip in a couple of cups of chamomile instead of my usual brew, especially in the evening. 🙂

So, come on then.  Who do we think is going to snuff it in Sunday’s episode of Game of Thrones?  😉

 

5 ways to get that Spring feeling (when it’s not Springing outside)

Is it just me or has this felt like the longest winter ever?  True to form the British weather has been a right old tease the past couple of months, from that false flash of Spring back in February to the March deep freeze.  And despite the fact that we’re now over a week into April, Spring seems to still be playing hard to get.  So, if like me you’re getting tired of waiting for warmer weather to arrive, here are few things you can do around that house to get that Spring feeling. 🙂

T Shirt & Sunglasses – Primark, Trainers – H&M (similar here), Scarf – really old! (similar here)

Have a Wardrobe Clear-out

On a soggy Sunday afternoon a couple of weeks ago, I was bored enough to feel like tackling my wardrobe.  I made myself a cuppa, put Youtube on, scooped out my clothes and chucked them on the bed, and then I slowly started putting them into piles.  It actually didn’t take very long, but at the end of it I’d sifted out all the clothes I didn’t wear anymore and the ones I wasn’t going to need until next winter (I held a few jumpers back knowing full well that 1. Spring got lost in the post this year, and 2. Uh, Wales).  And bonus, I found some clothes I’d completely forgotten about, worked out what I was missing and made some room for some fresh Spring/Summer togs (you should see my ASOS wishlist…).  Ah!  That felt goooooood.

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Bring the Outside Inside

Ever since Bungle moved in, I’ve become a really neglectful plant parent, and over the winter my indoor greenhouse kind of turned into a plant mortuary.  Oops!  Last week I decided enough was enough and had a crispy leaf clear-out.  I got rid of all the dead plants, cleaned their pots and then trimmed, fed and re-potted the survivors (…there weren’t many… *ahem*).  It’s surprising how empty and bland the house feels without a bit of greenery though, and so – even though I should probably be banned from ever owning vegetation again – I’m going to think about buying some new plants. 🙂

Make a Spring/Summer Bucket List

Okay, so the weather’s crap and it’s just too miserable to go out.  So, I’m going to start making a list of everything I do want to do when the weather eventually cheers up.  That way, as soon as the sun makes an appearance there won’t be any dithering and deciding where to go and what to do!  I’m ready and raring.

Eat Fresh

I find it so hard to eat healthy when it’s cold and wet!  All I want to do is stuff my face with chocolate and pizza.  But I always feel so much better and more like summer is on its way when I ditch the heavy comfort food and start eating more fruit.  Time to look up some new recipes to try!

Deep Clean the House

There’s nothing better than having a good old Spring clean, and this year – let me tell you guys – a deep clean was definitely needed.  It’s been a wet winter and Bungle’s muddy paws had not only done a number on our carpets and skirting boards, but he’d flicked wet mud off on the walls so much that they were starting to look like a Jackson Pollock painting.  Before Easter I took a couple of days and cleaned the house from top to bottom.  And I mean really cleaned.  I washed the curtains, wiped and repainted the skirting boards and went through about five bottles of Zoflora, but IT. WAS. WORTH. IT. 

So whenever Spring actually feels like turning up, I’m ready for it!  Have a great week everyone! 🙂

5 Ways I’m Styling into Spring

Is it too early to use the S-word yet?  I mean, we’re only a couple of days into February (buh-bye January) and it’s not technically Spring until the middle of March… But what the hell, I’m taking it and running with it; January is over and that’s good enough for me.

It’s around this time of year that I start getting excited for Spring fashion; you know, that slightly warm day when you can finally rail your winter coat, or that dry day when you can head out in those cute flats without worrying that you’re going to tread ankle-deep into a puddle or leaf gunk and ruin them.  But… we’re not quite there yet.  So here are five ways that I’m slowly mixing things up and styling myself into Spring. 🌷


1. Bright and Bold

So maybe it’s a bit too soon to ditch the black skinnies and fluffy grey knits, but swapping in a bit colour in Spring shades – whether it’s a pastel pink handbag or some turquoise earrings – can make any outfit look a bit more… springing. These daffodil-yellow tassel earrings by Welsh jewellery designer Rhian Kate have barely left my lobes recently! They bring a perfect little pop of colour to any outfit.  And you’re all probably sick of seeing my fluffy pink jumper from Oliver Bonas, which I maintain is the softest and cosiest jumper I’ve ever owned (…it also survived a Kir Royale explosion over Christmas… same can’t be said of my kitchen wall… oops!).

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2. Prints

Now it’s a bit early for flowery dresses in my book (Florals, for Spring?  Groundbreaking…), but spots and stripes are great transition prints; they’re understated enough to be worn on grey and gloomy days but can easily be dressed up when the sun decides to make an appearance.  I bought this spotty dress from Mango a few years ago and it’s easily the best dress I own – I mean, my cost per wear must be into half pennies by now.  But you don’t have to go monochrome like a dalmatian or a prisoner on day release, colourful spots and stripes – like this green jumper from ASOS – look great too 🙂

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3. Flats

I’m always the first to slip into some flats at this time of year, even when it’s still cold and wet outside (and even when my Mum rolls her eyes and warns that I’ll get *sigh* chillblains… which sound like something out of a Dickens novel, not the 21st century.  Sorry Mum.). Being able to say so-long to socks and boots to me means Spring has most definitely sprung.

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4. Blazers and Bikers

So. It’s still waaaaay too cold to go out without a coat, but it’s not quite cold enough to really bundle up. It’s the perfect time of year for blazers and biker jackets – easy to layer up and down whatever the weather.  (I’ve got my eye on that lovely blue Pimkie blazer below. 🙂 )

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5. Scarves

Scarves are probably the one thing from my cupboard that I find really hard to let go of when it gets warmer.  I never want to say goodbye to snuggling down and having something to hide my split ends in on a bad hair day.  Well, thank God there are neckerchiefs and lighter scarves out there to make the bare neck transition a little bit more… bare-able. 😉

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What are you excited to wear again now that Spring’s just around the corner? 🙂

6 Spring Things I’m Craving

This time of year always feels like a push.  Whether that’s the sun trying to force its way through the grey blanket overhead, the Daffodils pushing up through the mud, or even if it’s just the desperation to shed the layers and slip into something a little more summery 🙂  Yeah, I’m gutted we haven’t seen snow – AGAIN – (we seemed to be short-changed every winter on that one…), but I’m so ready for Spring!

Light!  It’s so dark and gloomy all day long at the moment, I’m craving those lighter, longer days and evenings.

Bare legs.  I’m not a huge fan of tights it has to be said (prickly bum, anyone?).  I’m not quite ready to say goodbye to jumpers and scarves yet, but tights can do one.


Tea and Cake and outside.  Being able to sit outside and eat and drink in the sun.  It’s such a fine thing.

Our garden to be full of flowers again.  We planted so many bulbs at the end of summer – daffodils, hyacinths, tulips – and now I can’t wait to see them bloom.


Burnt Barbecue Sausages.  I’ll have mine on the dark and crispy side, please thanks (even though a recent study showed that burnt things probably cause the Big C… *sigh*  What doesn’t?).  Probably more of a summer thing I know, but you never know when you’re going to get the good weather and sometimes Spring surprises everyone.

Somewhere New.  We’re off on a short break to the New Forest in a few weeks, and I can’t wait to explore a new place 🙂  (If you’ve got any recommendations I’m all ears!)

What Spring things are you excited for?