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Monday, 16 May 2016

Spring Catch-Up Part 2!

So apart from spraying bathroom tiles, the beginning of April also bought my attempt to cook sweet potato fries for the first time! It was quite a time consuming process as you have to chop them and then leave them to soak in water, before cooking them for a good hour so I won't be doing it every day! A few could have done with being a bit crispier here and there but they didn't turn out bad considering it was my first attempt were still very yummy as you can see below!

I also began to learn how to Hula-Hoop in April thanks to a friend who is currently undertaking a Hula Hooping course and learning how to do tricks etc. I however have decided to do it more from a fitness point of view in order to help strengthen my back and core muscles, as I have had a problem with a couple of my discs for years now which I have to have adjusted and kept in place on a monthly basis by a Chiropractor. I have to say that I was beyond useless when I started and couldn't keep that hoop up at all, but now with a bit of practice I have managed to do over 600 spins! I have been doing it on a daily basis and am trying to do at least 200 each way, with some days taking more practice than others! Below you can see my sparkly hoop!

It was also around this time that I found a curious critter on the kitchen wall that I thought I would share with you, as you can see below it is a Lady bird with no spots!

I can't say that I have ever seen one before, but after a bit of Googling I found out that they are apparently pretty common. I wonder if you have ever seen one?

By this point mid April had come around and with it bought a friend's 18th birthday and a Baby Shower which we had a fab time at! We played games including; "Where's My Dummy" which was similar to "Pin the Tail on the Donkey" accept you had to try and aim to get the dummy in the baby's mouth, "Guess How Many Dummy's Are In the Bottle", "How Big Is the Bump", and we also had a quiz to do on nursery rhymes as well as making predictions as to when the baby would be born and how much it would weigh etc. We also watched her open her many presents, and there were so many! I am pretty sure that this baby now has more clothes than it could ever wear, including the gorgeous Joules baby grow and star musie that we got him as you can see below.

After this weekend came my birthday week, which I decided to take off from work in order to relax and get some jobs done. It did however not turn out this way and was instead extremely stressful, so I found myself needing a holiday from my holiday by the end of it! This was due to the fact that being that I had some time off  I thought that it would give me a good opportunity to move onto tiling the bathroom. Two words never again!

Having never tiled before I started on the Monday thinking that it may take me until maybe the Wends to complete, and being in the zone that I was on the first day I ended up working through from 10am in the morning until 4:30am on Tuesday morning. Yes I am mad and there was a lot of Red Bull  involved, but I figured that the more that I did the quicker I would get it done so that I could do the other jobs that I needed to catch-up with on my week off. However it did not end up this way I did it all day every day, day after day. On Weds I came to grouting the tiles and even though I had used the right grout I found that even though the glass tiles were fine, it reacted with some of the untreated stone tiles for some reason making them bleed into the grouting and making it look a rusty colour around them. The tiles weren't meant to be treated before they were grouted so I have no idea why it did it, but the only solution was to stop wiping the grout from the tiles whilst wet as this was making it worse and to wait to get it off when dry by sanding which made it an even bigger job. By the end of Thursday and after a day and a half of sanding I finally cracked and my hubby came home to find me in a sobbing mess!

At this point I was knackered, aching, had lost skin off of my fingers where I had been sanding so much, had no nails left and was generally frustrated that there was still no end in sight and that I hadn't got the chance to do anything else with my week off, or enjoy the lovely weather that we had had that week. So in a bid to console me my hubby presented me with an early birthday present which consisted of the gorgeous bunny necklace that you can see below. I loved it so much and was even more impressed that the hubby had gone to the effort to choose and get it for me, as he doesn't tend to do things like that very often.

My mood was also eased a little more by my early birthday present to myself turning up, which consisted of some lovely Joules wellies that you can see below. I fell in love with them as soon as I saw them about a year ago but didn't really need them at the time so I left it, but when I came to buy them they typically didn't do the style anymore despite having done them or something similar for years! Que plenty of internet searching and the only place I could find them was in America! But luckily being that they had been reduced over there I managed to get them sent over and even with the fees and import tax paid no more that I would have done for then here. It only took a couple of week for them to arrive and I am over the moon with them! They are so very me and will be replacing my last Joules ones ready for Download Festival next month, as after four years my last ones have had it!


By the Friday of my week off I decided that I needed a day off from the tiling as it wasn't going to get finished that week anyway and was going to be busy over the weekend with my birthday, so I just spent the day chilling and trying to get my sanity back!

St. Georges Day was on the Sat and with it came my 28th birthday! I had a well needed chilled out one on the day with a lovely family lunch before heading out with the girls in the evening to let my hair down watching a rock band, having a few drinks and then dancing the night away! It was a lovely day and I was thoroughly spoilt! Below can see some of the lovely gifts and cards that I received many of which were naturally bunnified!

After having a chilled out one on Sunday where I was recovering from the night before came Monday and I was back to work again. I spent my days off that week resuming and finally finishing the tile sanding, then all that was left to be done at this point was for me to add the corner tiles. It was a bit of a slog getting back into it again but it was also good to know that I was so close to finishing.

On the Sat of that week both the hubby and I were bought down to earth with a bump after receiving the devastating news that a friend from my hubby's friendship group had sadly passed away after tragically being hit by a car on the afternoon before at the age of only 30. It didn't help that I found out at work on my lunch break so it was quite a shock, and a shock that we are still feeling now. Unfortunately as of yet there don't seem to be any answers as to how it happened but I hope that for his family's sake that we get some answers soon. He was such a lovely outgoing bubbly guy that had been through a lot in the last year but still had a wicked sense of humour regardless. I still can't quite get my head around the fact that we are never going to see him again, and will always remember his infectious laugh and smile. On that sat night we and others from his friendship group went out for drinks to reflect on the events and remember him, as we knew that that is how he would want us to do. Once again makes you realise how precious life, friends, and family are.

After the events of the day before it was then lovely to treasure a day around family on the following day as my Godmother and her family were over from Australia for the first time in three years, and some family friends also travelled down from Norfolk to see them. We all went out and had a lovely meal and catch-up and got to see just how much their boys had grown up. Luckily it was a lovely sunny day even though it was pretty chilly, but it was better than the weather that they arrived to a couple of weeks prior which consisted of more winter like temperatures mixed with April showers, hail and a brief snow shower at the end of April! It was sad to see them go again but hopefully it won't be as long until we see them again.

This almost brings you up to date with all the goings on around here now, with the exception of last weekend which was another very busy one! On the Sat I had a rare day off of work to go bridesmaid shopping for my best friends up and coming October wedding. It was a gorgeous day that finally felt more like the spring and even summer like temperatures that we should be having! We spent the day traipsing streets and shops of Guildford looking for suitable dresses in the style, four shades, and budget that we were after. However this proved to be much more difficult that we had thought, especially since she wanted one of the dresses to be burgundy as it is not really the time of year for finding that colour. Unfortunately despite out extensive search we didn't come away with anything on the day but we did have a lovely girly day out together. We have however sorted the dresses out since, as she has decided to go for a style of dress that we all loved on the day but that only came in a nude pink/mink colour. So we are all now going to be wearing the same style and colour.

After spending the day shopping I then had to rush to get back in time to go straight out to a family meal for my sisters birthday, which was then followed by some yummy summery cocktails in a local bar.

Sunday then saw my hubby and myself being up bright and early to go to Croydon for a meet up with his family that I haven't seen since before Christmas last year, and I also finally got to meet our now seven week old Niece for the first time! She is just gorgeous and is thriving despite her relatively low birth weight from being a few weeks early. She is in fact now turning into a lovely chubby little baby and has nearly doubled her birth weight already! It was such a gorgeous day that we spent most of the day out in the garden having a BBQ, on what turned out to be now the hottest day of the year so far! I also got to meet the other new additions to the family that day being a couple of puppies named Ralph and Rusty, one of which belonged to my hubby's brother and the other to his sister. They were just gorgeous and loved playing in the garden with each other and the kids. Needless to say that as lovely as it was both the hubby and I were knackered by the time that we got home after our action packed weekend.

This week has mainly been filled by work plus I finally managed to cut and file the corner tiles into their required shape before fitting them onto the wall, meaning that I have now finally officially finished the tiling! Yay! It was never going to be a professional job, and there are a few wonky bits here and there but it certainly looks much better than it did! But one thing is for certain I will not be tiling anything again probably ever! It was by far the most time consuming, draining and messiest DIY project I have ever undertaken. At more than one point my bathroom resembled that of an icing sugar explosion having taken place, and the dust from the sanding went everywhere! I have hoovered and hoovered and I am still finding it about! The amount of blood, sweat, tears that went into it was also ridiculous. I found numerous muscles that I never knew that I had, wore the skin off of my fingers, ended up with many bruises on my hands and broken nails
after all of the sanding, plus I managed to trip over a mechanical pencil and had its lead impale the base of my big toe! So all in all it was the DIY project that nearly broke me! I do still have the painting and glossing to do, but that can wait for now as I am on decorating strike and am just glad that the majority of this last big decorating project is over! Below you can see the results and injuries that I acquired!

Also this week the friend who's baby shower I mentioned at the beginning of this post gave birth to a beautiful 7Ib 12oz baby boy named Tobias on Friday, after a long 32 hour labour! Mum and baby are thankfully doing well even though they are still in hospital at the moment. He looks just like his Daddy and I can't wait to meet him! 

Thanks for bearing with me and my ramblings in another long post! I hope that you have all had a lovely week and weekend! The weather had been gorgeous here again today despite a cooler blip in the week, but the hubby and I have been taking it easy today as this is the first Sunday that we have had free in a long time! x

Saturday, 7 May 2016

Spring Catch Up Part 1!

Hello everyone! So much has happened in the last month that I barely know where to start! So much in fact that I think that I am going to have to put it across two blog posts, otherwise you may get bored to death with how long one would be! Especially since my last blog post was at the end of March, so I have a fair bit of catching up to do with you all!

Back to the end of March came an early Easter and the Bank Holiday weekend, for which I managed to get two of the four days off of work. The first of which was Good Friday and what a glorious day that was!

Every year over the Easter weekend we have an annual Italian Festival within our town which consists of an Italian Market, a Mini rally, a Ferrari parade and display of Superbikes. It's always quite a spectacle and seems to draw more and more people in from the local area as each year passes. Unfortunately I don't usually get to see much of it as I am generally working, and I never get to see the Ferrari parade unless I get the chance to stick my head out of the back door at work to have a quick look, as it generally falls on a Saturday! This year however it fell on the Friday that I had off, so my hubby and I made our way into town on what turned out to be the hottest day of the year so far at that point. We had a few ciders, got to watch all of the parade, and had a good look around the market. It really was the most perfect of days and you can see just some of the amazing cars and bikes that we saw below.

             The blue Ferrari above was apparently the one used in the latest Bond movie
One of the older Ferraris and one of the street performers

The Ferrari above was the only one that was sectioned off and for good reason as it's worth 7 million pounds!
Good Friday was then followed by my next day off which was Easter Sunday! This was a lovely family day that was spent with my parents consisting of my mum cooking us a yummy roast before we then spent the afternoon playing Jenga, Ping-Pong, and a game of the Cornish edition of Monopoly! Which after over three hours of playing we all lost the will to live and never finished! Once again it was a lovely rare family day despite the fact that the weather was pretty awful.

I also got plenty of Easter treats too!

I was then working on Bank holiday Monday but this didn't exactly go to plan, as both I and my fellow colleagues ended up spending half of the day in Costa. This was due to the fact that we had quite a storm and very high winds on the night of Easter Sunday that caused the scaffolding of the shop next to us to become unstable, which meant that we couldn't open for a fare amount of the day as half of the high street was shut off. It was a bit unfortunate as the Italian Festival that had had so much planning go into it was still taking place on the day so it did put a bit of a dampener on it, but hey we got to have the morning off so it wasn't all bad!

On the way home from work that evening I also came across a rather large tree that had fallen in the storm just around the corner from us. You can see below just how big it was and how lucky it was that it fell away from the flats just by it! We haven't had a storm or winds like that for a long time and hopefully won't have any again anytime soon!

In the week that followed I started to move onto faze two of our bathroom makeover, which consisted of me conducting an experiment as to how to cover the delightful flowery tiles that we had dotted about in the bathroom.

At this point we had already decided to tile over the delightful avocado tiles below them, but I didn't really want to have to re-tile the whole bathroom as the nude tiles that surrounded the flowery ones were quite unoffensive and in pretty good nick. However I also wasn't keen on the idea of tile paint as I didn't want it to end up looking tacky or streaky, so I set about looking for an alternative and that alternative turned out to be spray paint! I did some research and thought about the look that we wanted to go for and found a product that sprays with a stone effect. It had mixed reviews and I had no idea if it would actually work for the purpose that I wanted to use it for, but I figured that I couldn't make the bathroom look much worse! I set about doing a few test tiles first and was pleasantly surprised with the result as you can see below!

            The left pic shows the practice tile before I sprayed it and right after                            

So the process that I used was to spray the tile with one coat of the spray, leave it to dry for about 6 hours and then paint it with three coats of clear outdoor waterproof varnish with about two hours or so drying time between each coat and voila!

So after the success of the test tile I set about masking off the tiles that I wanted to spray and got to work! I have to say that it was very time consuming process and took quite a few of my days off and evenings to complete, but I got there in the end and after sorting out the grouting to I am pretty pleased with the result as you can see below! Only time will tell how well it will wear but it seems to be pretty good so far!

                                    Before                                              After A Lot of Masking
                          After Spraying                                      After the Masking Came Off

At this point all that remained of project bathroom was to attempt the tiling, plus to paint and gloss the place. This however turned out to be a much bigger nightmare that I ever thought that it would be, which I will cover this in my next post! But for now I will leave you with a new framed Bobby Bunny commission for a 1st Birthday that I got a few weeks back!

I hope that I catch you all well and that you have a fab weekend! Also thank you for bearing with me and my rather long posts, as always it really does mean the world to me to have your support. x