It was lovely to actually have an action packed summer this year though that I have been able to enjoy for the first time in a good twelve years, rather than dread as I did with how busy and stressful my old retail job would be over the summer holidays! I do warn you though that I have a lot to cover so I do apologize as this will be a rather long post!
So I will start where I left off back towards the beginning of August when I finally got to have a coffee and a catch-up with an old work colleague and meet her gorgeous little boy William for the first time, who was already four months old at this point and just gorgeous. He was such a happy little chap and was more than content amusing himself in his buggy whilst we had our first proper catch-up in a good few years!
That week I was also really chuffed to have the 4Ocean bracelet that I had ordered turn up all the way from America in super fast time, less that a week after I first ordered it.
I first came across 4Ocean a few months back through a friend on Instagram and just loved the organisation and what they, so I just had to buy one of their bracelets. Basically for each bracelet sold a 1lb of rubbish gets removed from our oceans, and all of the bracelets are also made fully from recycled materials. The organisation was only set up in Florida at the beginning of this year, but already they have removed 126,025lbs rubbish from eight different locations across the world. Below you can see my limited edition shark conservation bracelet, for which 10% of the profits alo went to shark conservation as well as removing 1lb of rubbish from the ocean. If you would like to know more about this worthwhile movement please go to: https://4ocean.com/
Talking of conservation and such like I also came across an Elephant Hawk moth larvae on the grass outside our home that week. I don't think that they are that rare in this country, but I have only ever come across one once before and that was years ago in my parents back garden. I find them quite fascinating creatures to look and watch though, and then once I had finished I moved him out of harms way to a nearby bush so that he didn't get trodden on.
You can see him below!
The following Saturday I then headed down to Chichester with both mum and sister to visit our Nan, do a spot of shopping in Chichester, and stop off for brunch in our favorite cafe.
Sunday was then the Christening of my uncles, stepdaughters son, which was held at at their local church. It was a lovely service and he was so good! We then headed off to their local village hall after to celebrate, where there was a beautiful spread of food and a bouncy castle laid on for the kids, which they loved. The weather was also gorgeous, which was pretty lucky considering that it had been pretty unsettled and unpredictable in the lead up to the day.
Everyone had an enjoyable time and the little boy in question loved crawling around on the grass, it was also good to catch-up with the family most of which we hadn't seen since Christmas.
Below you can see a few pics from the day.
The following week I then had another bit of lovely post turn up in the form of a personalised "Merci Maman" bunny bracelet, which I had ordered with a voucher that I still had left from Christmas. I had saved the voucher as I wasn't sure what to spend it on at the time, but as soon as I saw this bunny bracelet of course I just had it get it, and below you can see just how lovely it is!
The weekend that followed was that of the August Bank Holiday, which as I have mentioned before is usually a weekend that I dread as it's the busiest weekend within my retail job. But being that I am not there anymore meant that I had the whole of the Bank Holiday break off for the first time in over 12 years! Which it turned out was a pretty good thing as not only was house sitting for my parents, but we had the wedding of my hubby's brother that weekend.
Talking of house sitting for my parents, whilst I was out watering their plants one evening I came across a little toad that had clearly taken up residence in their pond, and who was chilling out quite happily on the rocks. It had been years since I had last seen a toad so I watched him for a bit, but he was so still that he looked like a little ornament as you can see below!
The Sunday then bought my hubby's brother's wedding!
The day itself was held at a beautifully restored National Trust Hall just outside of Wimbledon on a boiling hot day, which again was pretty lucky since the weather had been pretty rubbish for most of the week before!
Both the day and the venue were just stunning, their daughter (our little Niece) made the most gorgeous flower girl and we all had a wonderful time. Below you can see a few pics of their day.
On the night of the wedding we then stayed in a beautiful hotel in Wimbledon along with the bridal party, which you can see below.
The day after the wedding we woke up to another gloriously sunny day and over breakfast we had the most beautiful view of the park that backed onto the hotel as you can see below.
Then as it was such a gorgeous day and because we had never been there before, once we had checked out we decided to go exploring in the park! I'm glad that we did too as apart from the beautiful views and gardens, we also came across a mummy duck and her ducklings who I could have watched all day.
We loved Wimbledon, but was odd to think that we were so close to central London with so much countryside around! I definitely think that we will be returning both to Wimbledon and the hotel at some point though! Below you can see pics from our little adventure, and plenty of the ducks!
After our little exploration we returned home later that afternoon, and then after a bit of a chill out I headed up to our neighbors that evening to celebrate his birthday with him and his girlfriend, where we ended up catching-up until the early hours!
So needless to say after an action packed Bank Holiday weekend I was pretty knackered the following week! But the action didn't stop there as come Thursday I was back out again with the girls at a pottery painting and cocktail evening held at our local ceramics shop.
I had never been before but it was good fun, and great to catch-up with the girls too! I wanted to paint something that I would use so I painted a flowerpot for Florrie's basil plant, which I wrote "Florrie's Basil" on. It didn't turn out too bad considering, and you can see my efforts below.
The next Saturday bought the first weekend of September and our little Florrie's 1st birthday! I still can't believe that it came around so quickly and that she has been in our lives for ten months now already, but equally it seems like she has been a part of the family forever too. As I mentioned at the time of getting her I didn't think that I would have another bunny again until we had children that would be old enough to have them, or that I could love another bunny again as much as I did with my Mill & Moll! But she stole my heart and now neither I or my hubby would be without her.
As you can imagine she was thoroughly spoilt and had a birthday breakfast of hay, pellets, basil, dandelion mix, and food stick, all in a little birthday bowl. I also made her a little party hat, which she was more that willing to show off in, and she got presents of a new sea grass tunnel and chewy mat, a play stick tunnel, and some food sticks! All of which she loved and got quite hyper playing with! Especially the sea grass tube, which she has enjoyed hiding in, but that she has already eaten nearly all of a month on, and her playstick tunnel which again she has enjoyed hiding in, stripping the bark from, moving, and has now discovered how to stand on too!
Obviously I couldn't let her 1st birthday pass without a little photoshoot so below you can see her enjoying her day, and quite happily posing in her party hat!
Below you can also see Flo flo enjoying hiding in her playstick tube!
On the same day as our little Flo's birthday there was also the annual food festival taking place in town so we went along to check it out, as again due to my past working commitments I haven't really had the chance to in the past!
Thankfully the weather was beautiful and warm once again, having been pretty unsettled, chilly and wet in the lead up to it!
The hubby and I enjoyed moseying around all of the different food stalls and came away with some locally made cider and some chilli and chocolate sausages, which is a combination that I really didn't think would work but after sampling I realized really did! My hubby was also in is element as not only were there food stalls and live music there, but there was also a visit from Optimums Prime and Bumblebee! So being the Transformers fan that my hubby was and still is he was like a little child in a sweet shop!
Below you can see a few pics from the day.
After having had quite a few busy weekends and knowing that we had more coming up the Sunday after the food festival was a day of chilling in pj's and shutting the world away, especially since the weather was pretty awful.
The following Thursday the hubby and I then headed up to Islington for the gig of one of my hubby's favorite artists, which was held in the most gorgeous chapel as you can see below!
It was a lovely night, if not a rather late and tiring one by the time that we had got the train back.
Saturday then bought another rather busy day! Firstly a pub lunch with a group of my school friends, for the first of one of their 30th birthday's. Which was lovely, as being that many of us live apart from each other now it's only at such events like this that we all really get to meet up! But being that we are all going to be turning 30th within the next year these meetings could be getting a little more frequent!
Then that evening we then rushed to get to the 10th Wedding Anniversary party of one of my hubby's brothers, which was being held at their house.
Unfortunately the weather hadn't been the best that day and most of the party was being held outside, but it had at least stopped raining by the time that we got there, even though it was a little chilly! We all had a good time though, and the children made little speeches and even got their parents to make additional vows such as: "I promise to pick up daddy's dirty socks" etc which was so cute, and very funny!
Below you can see a few pics from the evening.
The following weekend I then worked the first Saturday in my new job, in order to cover holiday. Which was just some of a rather lot of overtime that I have been needed for recently, and another reason aside from being busy socially as to why I have been a bit behind with my illustrating and social media presence lately!
Saturday evening I then ended up going straight from work up to Brighton to celebrate another of my best friends 30th birthday's, which was a fab night!
We started off in a lovely bar that was all decorated to look like you were inside a cave, before heading off to a lovely rock bar where we partied the night away until the early hours.
Sunday was then unsurprisingly spent chilling!
Then come Monday I realized that I had somehow manage to bruise my wrist quite badly on our night out as you can see below! I have no idea how or why it took me so long to realize! But I have always bruised easily and can be pretty clumsy at times, so I probably bashed it whilst dancing the night away!
Then below you can see it looking rather colorful and like it was forming it's own galaxy come the following week!
As well as realizing that I had bruised my wrist, that Monday also bought a rather sleepless night for us as our little Florrie wasn't at all well.
She was fine when I got home from work, but I could just tell when I went to feed her that evening that she wasn't quite right. She took her basil but wouldn't even touch her pellets which is very unlike her, especially in the evening.
I then woke up around 2am to check on her and still no food or drink had been touched, and she was hiding in he log tube looking very uncomfortable flopping out one minute and getting up to get comfortable the next. She also let me pick her up no problem which is also very unlike her! So I had her out briefly to give her a little tummy rub to see if it would help, but by 2:30am she was back in her hutch still looking very uncomfortable and trying to hide away as far back as she could in her sea grass tube. She also seemed to be so much skinnier than she was even that morning, so much so that even my hubby could see that she wasn't right. I was very worried and thought that a trip to the vets was going to be in order, but amazingly by 4am I woke up again to hear her eating, and by the time that we woke again the next morning she was eating, drinking, crashing about in her hutch, and moving her stick house around as usual! It was such a relief and I have never been so happy to be woken up by her antics!
Come playtime she was then full of beans as if nothing had happened and stuffed her face that day! I don't know what was wrong with her, but it was so worrying. Especially since bunnies can go down hill so quickly and you often don't know why. What made it even more worrying is that the first time that it happened with my first bunny Dusty, it was the last and we lost him. Then with Mill and Moll it would happen maybe twice a year, which we would refer to their off days when they would often be lethargic like Florrie was and off their food for upto twelve hours with no explanation, and then be fine again after. It was almost like they had tummy ache, and obviously with bunnies not being able to be sick or pass wind that can be fatal, hence the tummy rubs! With Flo I think it was probably a combination of the fact that she was a bit blocked up where she hadn't done many droppings that day, plus as I have mentioned before she is a bit of an over-groomer despite me brushing her and often passes pearly dropping full of fur, which is what she did the day after.
Thankfully she has been fine since though!
Typically the day that she was ill I had booked her in for her nail clipping and six month health check with the vet earlier in the day, which she had on the Friday before last.
My hubby came with us for the first time, and Florrie tried out her new pet carrier for the first time too rather than her box, which is getting a bit scrappy these days!
I wasn't sure how she would react to it, but she was actually pretty chilled in it! I think that she liked being able to look out unlike in her box, and whilst we were in the waiting room she was chilled enough that she was munching hay and even started to make a bed in it!
She was also the best that she has ever been with the nail clipping too, which makes a change as as I have mentioned in the past she is not usually great with it! Hence why we tend to leave her nails for as long as possible before clipping!
She didn't jump over my shoulder this time either, but did lean her paws up on me to pick her up! But rather than jumping up stayed there and let the vet listen to her heart and breathing for a good while, all of which were good thankfully! It was also her first time of seeing a male vet, and she was nowhere near as stressed as she has been in the past when we got back either. All of which makes me a bit happier about the idea of getting her spayed, as due to her temperament I have been worried about the stress that it would put her under as I have mentioned in the past. I also discussed how they are kept before and after spays with the vet, and pain relief etc, so I am edging a step closer to letting it happen!
Below you can see Flo's new pet carrier as well as a few other pics of her from over the last seven weeks.
I love this pic of Nutbrown Hare hitching a ride on Flo!
Because we all have days where we have crazy hair and feel the need to pull funny faces!
Florrie in destructive mode eating what's left of her sea grass tube! (The last one she had lasted for about four months before she fully demolished it!) This one has lasted less than a month! Then to the right Florrie barricading herself and making a little den, by knocking over her hay cart and using what's left of her sea grass tube! Plus giving her best "no mum you are not picking me up to go out to play" face! Little monkey that she is!
After Flo had had her visit to the vets we then headed up to London again that afternoon for the gig of another of my hubby's favorite artists, which this time was being held at the Albert Hall! A venue that I love!
We have been up there once before, which was last year and which you may remember me mentioning, but it's such a gorgeous building that you can't help but be overawed by it each time!
The gig was fab, and we managed to get a really good spot towards the front too! Once again it was a rather tiring journey back though, with us once again getting in the early hours. But as always it was worth it!
The weather had also been lovely that day, so by the time that we got there there was a gorgeous sunset over both Kensington and the Albert Hall, as you can see below along with a few pics of the gig!
The following sat then bought my dad's birthday. For which we headed into town for a lovely pub lunch, before going back to my sisters new flat to continue the celebrations!
She laid on a lovely little spread for us with homemade brownies (which were delicious,) along with pimms, gold balloons, and a matching gold Happy Birthday banner for decoration. So all in all it was a lovely enjoyable family day.
That evening I then headed off to pick the hubby from his dad's where he had spent the day helping him and his brother lay a new patio in the back garden. Before we headed home to have another a much needed chill out!
Below you can see the yummy starter and main that I had at the pub, which consisted of rarebit and fish and chips!
The Sunday was then a lovely day filled with warm early Autumn sunshine, so we made the most of the day by attending an American car and bike festival in town. Which was complete with American food stalls, as well as an Elvis impersonator!
It was the first time that it had been held in the town, but we both really enjoyed the event and there were so many beautiful cars and bikes to look at! I think that I fell in love with just a few of them, especially the classic ones so there are quite a lot of photos as you can see below!
The weekend before last was then a relatively chilled one compared to recent ones! With us going out for lunch with Mark's sister last minute on sat, and meeting up with his brother and his nephews for a few drinks after. Before we then then had an early chilled out night watching TV and chilling on the sofa Flo. Plus the weather was pretty awful out!
Then come Sunday we had another chilled out one, as not only did we need it but the weather was also pretty awful again so it was a pj kinda day!
Below you can see our waffle breakfast the perfect start to a dull day!
Last Tuesday was then my hubby's birthday, so after he had finished work we celebrated by having our neighbours around for a few drinks. Unfortunately I typically came out with a head cold that day so didn't feel that great, and felt even worse the day after and for the rest of last week, but we still had a nice evening and a good catch-up.
This weekend was then another busy one packed with me making up a frame order and finishing a frame present during the day on sat, before I headed up to Clapaham in the evening for the 30th birthday meal of one of my school friends. It was all a bit of a rush to get up there with trains being cancelled and my hubby not being able to attend last minute, meaning that I ended up having to go up on my own with no idea of where I was meant to be going! But it all worked out in the end, I didn't end up being as late as I though that I would be, and we all had a fab time/catch-up!
Sunday then involved another train journey, this time up to Croydon to visit the hubby's mum for her birthday with the family. As always his mum had laid on a lovely spread of food so we all ended up eating way too much as usual, but it was lovely catching-up with everyone and seeing our Niece and Nephew's playing so well together now that our Nice is getting a little older. She's such a character and at just over one and a half knows her mind, and is turning into quite a little chatterbox!
So there we go, that brings you up to date with what like a said has been a very busy few months!
On the illustration front, even though my sales are going well I feel like I am pretty behind with everything else regarding it! Having not had the time to produce any new work recently, or go on social media much. Which as I mentioned earlier is due both to me bring busy socially, but mainly due to the amount of overtime that I have being doing in my new job to cover end of year holidays. Which I don't mind as I love it there but I just need to get back on track, which I am hoping to do this week as I am now back to my normal hours for now.
I have however managed to get a few creative bits done in the form of a late wedding present for both Mark's sister, (who I mentioned got married in Las Vegas a few posts back,) his brother (who's wedding I mentioned in this post), and for his other brothers 10th Anniversary present, (which I also mentioned in this post. All of which I will share with you in my next post.
So there we are! Thank you so much for bearing with this very long post if you are still reading it, and thank you for all of your support over the years! September 4th marked my 5th year of blogging, and I'm so appreciative that all of you that still come here and read my ramblings! A lot has changed since I first started this blog, but my goals and focus have always remained the same, and slowly but surely I am getting to where I want to be as an Illustrator.
I hope that you are all well, that you had a good weekend, and that you all having good start to the week! x
I hope that you are all well, that you had a good weekend, and that you all having good start to the week! x