Wednesday, 30 July 2014

Alphabet Photo - L

LONDON


An icon of the capital city - the Houses of Parliament and Big Ben...the London Eye just caught in the corner...3 of the four cars in shot, London Cabs.

It's been a while London, but in two weeks I'll be visiting you again. Borough Market and Camden Market are already on the list, where else we'll go nobody knows (except for Sion, he's booked the hotel as a birthday surprise!)


Tuesday, 29 July 2014

Let's Go HME Wall Wrap review

Recently I came across a new online homeware retailer, Let's Go HME, founded by Lu Ocheston-Finlay. Let's Go HME specialises in homeware for people who don't own their properties, but still want to put a personal stamp on their space - perfect for us!

All the items that Lu has on the website are easy to install or easily removable and use fun, bright prints. The very first collection was launched in July, showcasing handmade printed cushions and the quite simply amazing removable Wall Wraps, a sample of which I was lucky enough to receive hot of the printing presses!



Sadly Tank the French Bulldog wasn't sent to me, but I did get enough Pegasus wall wrap to jazz up my frankly outdated kitchen cupboards

BEFORE



AFTER



The Wall Wrap is basically a giant sticker, but rolled like wallpaper. All you need is a smooth surface and scissors. Measure the space you want to cover, mark it on the back of the Wall Wrap and cut to size, leaving some spare in case of measuring mistakes (talking from experience!)



Peel the first 5cm of backing away and stick the Wall Wrap to your covering area.



Gradually peel the backing paper away, smoothing any air bubbles as you go. If you notice that you haven't quite stuck it on straight, you can peel it back off. I can vouch for the fact that while being easy to peel back, because the material is a wipeable matt vinyl, rather than paper it does not distort or tear - even when you re-position one piece 4 times (crafts appear to not be a strong point!)



Once you've unpeeled it completely, use a craft knife to carefully cut away any extra Wall Wrap. Then stand back and admire your funky new cupboards...or wall, or drawers, or folders, or anything else that takes your fancy...



There are currently 3 designs of Wall Wrap for sale at £45.00 for a 46cm x 10m roll on the Let's Go HME website. Having used this to cover our kitchen cupboards I would highly recommend this for kitchen & bathroom walls as well as any number of other uses throughout your home. I used a small piece of leftover Wall Wrap on a plain painted wall and after 5 days, it lifted clean away without taking any paint off, or leaving any stickiness behind.

If you think the designs are a little too bold for your space, Lu is also selling fine bone china mugs for £12.00, featuring pretty floral designs.



I was not compensated for this review, however I was sent a sample of the Wall Wrap to enable me to use and test it. All words and opinions remain my own.
Family Fever
Love Chic Living and Love Your Home

Monday, 28 July 2014

Water fights and Horses...

Well, what another jam packed weekend that was!

We invited Sion's family over to ours for a BBQ on Friday evening...there may have been mention of a water fight so I very sensibly went to the toy store at lunchtime to build up our armory. 

Sion's niece & nephew sensibly arrived with their water pistols ready loaded and a change of clothes, but it was actually Sion's older sister who bore the brunt of the hose pipe that Sion unfairly sprayed everyone with - so much so that BIL was phoned to bring a fresh set of clothes down!

Of course we got Sion back later in the evening, although he soon ripped the hosepipe from my hands and got me absolutely soaked...it was only when we took a breather that we realised everyone else had retreated into the conservatory to watch from afar!

Saturday was a beautiful blue sky day. We met up with Sion's work colleagues and headed to Salisbury racecourse for an evening of races. Luckily most people at least broke even by the end of the seven races so we were all in high spirits for the 2 hour open air nightclub that was put on once the racing finished at 9pm. There were some *interesting* dance moves being thrown about, but all that exercise meant that by thew time we wound our way back to the coach at 11.30 we were on our way to being sober...not so sober to stop us picking up a kebab each on the way home mind you!





Sunday brought us back to earth with throbbing feet and a slightly fuzzy head! We shook off the cobwebs by taking Sion's mum & step-dad out for a walk through Riverside Park to The White Swan, where we sat outside and had a few drinks and a lovely light lunch. If anyone is in the Southampton area I'd highly recommend heading down for something to eat, the scallops in bacon & mushroom sauce were the firm favourite at our table!

All that was left to do when we got home was a little DIY crafting that I'll be posting about tomorrow and homemade pizzas for a lazy Sunday evening supper. It was a pretty special, ordinary weekend!

Joining in this week with Magic Moments and What's the Story?




Wednesday, 23 July 2014

BRITA Competition Update

Regular readers will remember me holding a BRITA water jug competition back in May to promote their Better with BRITA competition in partnership with Delicious Magazine and The Big Feastival. While my Lemon Meringue Pie didn't quite make the cut, 10 lucky finalists have now been chosen.

Now all they have to do is cook their products in front of a judging panel - makes me glad I didn't get chosen actually!

Seeing as it's boring Wednesday hump day I thought I would share with you pictures of all the final entries - maybe it'll make you hungry, maybe it'll give you an excuse to get something yummy in for your tea, or like me, maybe it'll make you want to get the cookbooks out and have a go at making something yourself!


Better with BRITA Shortlist (in no particular order)

Lana's Little Pumpkin Pies



Alex's Gluten Free Brownies



Zalena's Chicken Cavabs



Sarah's Southsea Pies



Linda's Gluten Free Cocoa Swirls



Narine's Trilionaire's Slice



Jakes' Summer Fish Wellington



Rekha's Samosas



Emily's Cupcakes



Christine's Oatcakes


Good luck to all 10 finalists! The three winning entries will be selling their products at The Big Feastival on 29th-31st August.

Monday, 21 July 2014

Frozen,dancing,lions!

Yet another fast-paced, fun weekend here at Time to be an Adult! Friday night found me driving cross country to get to Northampton before the niece & nephews' bed time. Despite the countless shunts, breakdowns and roadworks and an unplanned service stop to check a road map, I made it with enough time to get a very sweet rendition of "Let it Go" and a squishy cuddle with a very giggly (and not at all sleepy) one year old.

Saturday morning appeared grey and damp, which meant I lost my Frozen virginity as we watched the film together on the sofa. Am I the only person in the world who thinks Anna is pronouncing her name wrong? Surely if you want to pronounce it Aaa-na, you should spell it Ana?!!

Our trip out was to a bath store! Although I spent this time checking that Sion had made it home safe after his work night out. He had, although the giggling coming from his end of the phone made me think his hangover wouldn't properly kick into Sunday...and I was right!

And then, the main reason for my trip to Northampton - the 80s revival gig at Delapre Park in Northampton. T'pau was missed (there was a heavy shower, so we just decided to stay in the pub instead), but we shook our funky thing to Bony M and Banarama. The rain stayed away and in between the glasses of wine we caught up, laughed and made plans.


As much as I would have loved a lazy day with perhaps a Sunday lunch thrown in, I traveled back to Southampton after breakfast. It was for a good reason though! The Lion King is currently on it's UK tour and I was lucky enough to be given a ticket for an early birthday present by Sion's sisters. From the first bars of music it was incredible. Of course there's no photography allowed, but this You Tube clip will give you an idea of what it was like - be sure to turn it up loud!


This week is a quieter one; hopefully a few evenings in the garden battling with the weeds, getting back into a gym routine and an afternoon/evening at Salisbury races on Saturday.

What are you all up to this week?


Joining in this week with Magic Moments and What's the Story?


Friday, 18 July 2014

Touched by words

touched
tʌtʃt/
adjective
  1. 1.
    feeling gratitude or sympathy; moved.
    "the star said he was ‘very touched’ to receive his medal"
  2. 2.
    informal
    slightly mad; crazy.
    "you have to be a little touched to do my job"

This week I wrote a post that was personal to me. It was on one of those subjects that you could feel bubbling around in your head, until you had to get your thoughts down into some sort of form.

My post was about the issues women of all ages have with their own body image, if you'd like to read it click here.

I wrote it to strengthen my own quiet voice that being a different size to your 18 year old self, or your neighbour, or a supermodel is fine. The important thing is that you are healthy and happy in your own body - however it may look.

But oh my word, I got the most beautiful comments and messages after writing it. People read MY words and they understood. My words had meaning. A few beautiful and wonderful ladies said that I inspired them! Little me, in my teeny tiny blog, wrote something that put a smile on someone's face, gave them strength, made them see an alternative. That's mind blowing!

I'm touched that people read what I write, I'm touched that people enjoyed it so much they took time to comment (and this weekend I will reply to each and everyone of you!), I'm touched that people may now take a few moments when they are next on holiday to take a "jump" photo...and not delete it straight away!

Have a wonderful weekend - I'm looking forward to  niece and nephew cuddles in Northampton, a dance off to 80's classics at an open air revival gig, and a sing along to The Lion King stage show in Southampton...just a normal weekend then!



As always I'm joining in this week with the fabulous Jocelyn over at The Reading Residence to read more great Word of the Week posts - go on...pop over and take a look at a few others!

The Reading Residence

Wednesday, 16 July 2014

Jumping for joy...



While we were drinking our first beer of the day on holiday we watched a couple take photographs of each other. Posing this way and that way, they would pause to take a look at the screen, giggling together and then take a few more. At one point the man put on full snorkeling gear - mask, snorkel and flippers and did the biggest leap into the air. I'm not too sure if that photo even came out, his girlfriend was laughing so much I doubt the camera was steady.

Sion asked me if we should take some photos, but we found ourselves giving reasons not to - "I'm not quite tanned enough", "I ate too much at breakfast time", reasons or excuses? Then the perfect photo day dawned, beautiful blue sky, only a gentle breeze occasionally cooling your face and so the camera was taken out for our lunchtime stroll.

Pretty soon we were like the couple we had seen, taking photos of each other and laughing at the result - but it was more about "Look at my gut", "Oh my god, I've got a double chin", "My nose is so red". We took the obligatory jump shots and while Sion is leaping high, my best one had barely an inch or two of lift. I could say that is the reason I almost chose Sion's photo for my J is for Jump post, but I wouldn't be telling the truth.

When did I become one of those women who constantly compared herself to others? The lead up to the holiday involved weeks of gym sessions, protein shakes, salads and alcohol free days. Did it make any difference? I'm not too sure. I found myself poring over magazines, looking for ways to achieve a beach perfect body in only 8...6...4 weeks. If I see another spread of "Fabulous at 40" supermodels and actresses, who have the luxury of facials, personal trainers and the surgeon's scalpel to help along the way, I can't be held responsible for what I might do.

We are all so aware of the effect airbrush images have on teenagers and young adults, yet here I am, a woman of almost 36, still having body hang ups. I have over 20 years on some teenage girls but hand on my heart, I couldn't sit in a room and tell them I don't feel the same way as them. Sure I probably could get back to having the body I had at 18, but it would involve a lot of money, sweat, starvation and pain.

I looked long and hard at my Jump photo and asked myself "What do I see?". At first I saw a body that is the heaviest it's ever been, I saw a tummy that despite the countless sit ups stays defiantly wobbly, I saw a nose that is always red. Then I asked myself to look deeper, now what did I see?

I saw a strong body, capable of lifting all 12 stone into the air. I saw a body preparing itself to create and nurture a baby (just not quite yet!). I saw a body capable of swimming, cycling and walking for hours. I saw a image of a happy, healthy 30-something woman jumping joyfully into the air, while the man of her dreams snaps away. I saw something to be proud of, me.

And that is why the photo you see is not of Sion, but is of me...in all my beer drinking, holiday eating, bikini wearing glory. I'd be happy to show it to a roomful of teens and say "This is me". I think perhaps we should all dig out a photo and proudly ask "What do I see?"

Monday, 14 July 2014

Magical Maldives

It's been over a week since we landed back in the UK after our amazing time on Hudhuran Fushi in the North Male atoll of the Maldives. Luckily we've had pretty good weather last week so the return to the UK hasn't been too much of a shock to the system!

Lots of people have asked me what the best part of our holiday was and I honestly can't answer, there were so many sights and moments that we locked into our memory to re-live again and again.

That very first moment we saw an island through the plane window as we came in to land at Male airport. The first swim in the turquoise blue water, clear enough to see little fishes darting around your feet. Slowly waking from an afternoon nap under the dappled shade of a palm tree. Sitting on the deck watching the black clouds of a tropical storm roll in across the sea. Dancing in the rain. Winding our way back to our room after an evening at the open air beach bar.

Our holiday wouldn't have been as wonderful without the hard work of all the staff. Every person, whether a waiter, a gardener or a maintenance man would stop what they were doing to speak to us, asking how our day was, if we were enjoying our holiday. They were always smiling, ever helpful and we were so grateful for all the little touches.








Maldives, we hope to walk on your shores again some day.

Joining in this week with Magic Moments and What's the Story?


Friday, 11 July 2014

WOTW - Thankful

thankful
ˈθaŋkfʊl,-f(ə)l/
adjective
adjective: thankful
  1. pleased and relieved.
    "they were thankful that the war was finally over"

    expressing gratitude and relief.
    • "an earnest and thankful prayer"


This week I am thankful.



Thankful that we have been able to go on an amazing holiday to The Maldives, where we met some lovely new friends and saw some beautiful sights.

Thankful that in times of economic uncertainty we have both found out in the last few weeks that our jobs are secure, with strong futures ahead.

Thankful that when the busy working day is done we get to come home and sit in our peaceful garden and enjoy the food and drink that is always in the fridge.

Thankful that we have a health service available to us that will monitor, support and hopefully allow us to become parents.

But most of all I am thankful that when I am looking out of an aeroplane window marveling at the islands dotted below, or excited to get a promotion, or looking at an empty wine glass Sion is next to me.

I am especially, especially thankful that he was there last night when I managed to ride my bike halfway into a privet bush in our garden...those things have sharp branches!

As always I'm joining in this week with the fabulous Jocelyn over at The Reading Residence to read more great Word of the Week posts - go on...pop over and take a look at a few others!

The Reading Residence

Thursday, 10 July 2014

My Recent Garden

So for the last few weeks my garden has, aside from being watered, been left to it's own devices.

The strawberry plants seem to have struggled to survive. I think I may cut them back, add more compost and just see if we get a late burst of fruit. The tomatoes on the other hand are thriving! Countless yellow flowers greeted us on our arrival home and once the first miniature green tomato was spotted, we quickly noticed more and more. Sadly I managed to snap off a whole branch of flowers with my fat, jet legged belly but I'm pretty sure there'll be more than enough tomatoes to go around in a few weeks!

I did a tiny amount of pottering and weeding, just enough to make it look a little tidier, but this weekend will be spent digging out the monster brambles that are trying to take over my flowerbed, along with the continuous fight with the bind weed. I'm pretty sure I'll have to resort to weed killer unless anyone else has suggestions...fire bomb, maybe??

This week I thought I would share a few photos of the flora on our Maldivian island - Hudhuraanfushi. Our beach room was in the farthest corner of the island from the restaurant so each day we would stroll along footpaths, admiring the tropical flowers and trees, before stuffing our faces like it was our last meal! The island has it's own banana plantation and veggie garden, unfortunately we only walked through it once, without my camera, although I did see how they grew cucumbers. They build a foot-high netted box so that once the plants grow tall enough the cucumber fruit grow along and are supported by, the netted box, rather than being on the ground. This lets air flow all around the cucumbers so they don't rot through any of the monsoon season. Pretty ingenious I thought and maybe an idea to recreate in the rain soaked UK!







Joining in this week with Mammasarus #HDYGG
  
Mammasaurus and How Does Your Garden Grow?

Wednesday, 9 July 2014

Holiday Blues

How time flies...this time last week I was sat on a wooden deck, overlooking a surf break on the Indian Ocean, sipping beer and snapping away at the surfers riding the crest of a rolling wave...

Today, I'm sat in my office desperately trying to catch up on my work. The grey clouds are moving in fast and I just heard a rumble of thunder. My thoughts keep jumping from one task to another, things I need to book, things I need to do...book a restaurant in London, find out how to get to the local hospital for a kidney scan, get to grips with my new tumble drier, tidy up the garden, pack for a weekend in Northampton...arghhhh!!

It scares me how quickly you can lose the feeling of utter relaxation, that moment in the day when the sun has warmed you, your hunger has been sated at the buffet, a drink has magically appeared by your side and you feel the hand of your loved one lazily slip into yours.

When the list becomes too long, the tasks too many to handle, I stop; pulling up the folder of holiday snaps that I have stored on every computer, device and memory stick I own, I go immediately to this one - 



I take a deep breath, close my eyes and remember our special time in Paradise.