Monday, 23 March 2015

Photo An Hour - March 21st 2015

After a busy week and more than a few late nights, I decided that Saturday would be an easy one, with a morning of doing what I fancied and an afternoon of work - nothing stressful. I had planned to stay in bed way beyond 8am but Tinker had other ideas and politely reminded me that food was required by dabbing me on the chin until I got up.

9am - Boring laundry.

10am - Time for a cuppa. I'm loving Teapigs Yerba Mate at the moment, not least because I get to use my super cute teapot and get such great satisfaction when I put just the right amount of water in the pot to fill my mug.

11am - Feeling a little 11o'clockish I had a small treat in the form of a cupcake. Remembering that this was the first thing I'd eaten, I had an apple chaser to up the nutritional value.

12pm - I had a hankering to get me outside! I feel like I've been stuck in my office, at my desk for weeks! And after admitting in my last post that I hadn't been to the woods all winter I thought it was about time. Sadly, the weather was worse than it's been for a while - windy, chilly and spitting rain.

I don't mind being outside as long as I'm correctly dressed for the elements. My wax jacket is the warmest thing know to man and with a beanie pulled down over my ears I set off at a purposeful pace! Sadly my mobile battery died after just one shot and this was to send to Andy to say I should've worn my wellies. I wanted a shot of me with trees, in the beautiful wood, I wanted proof that I'd been there. I saw deer and hares and pheasants and primroses and all I got was a picture of a muddy puddle. But look there are leaves, trees must've been nearby...

1pm - It did me the world of good to get out. I've been feeling so tired and have had so much to do recently, it's been never ending, my to-do list keeps getting longer and a sore neck has kept me from getting a good night's sleep. I returned home bright eyed and rosy cheeked, feeling refreshed and awake - such is the power of nature. The postman had been while I was out and left me a parcel - these boots are for my hen night, part of my costume. All will be revealed.

2pm - My sister-in-law and nephew have birthdays coming up and I was determined not to forget in the midst of all the wedding shiz so I've been super organised this year.  Their presents are now wrapped (and one has now been delivered a week in advance).

3pm - Time for more tea, a few more treats (I'd forgotten about my earlier cupcake) and a perusal of the new Next summer catalogue. Which is weird because the spring edition turned up on a photo an hour day too! Lots of lovely things in their that make me hanker after foreign shores and sunny adventures.

4pm - The high from my lunchtime walk had well and truly worn off. I sat in my office chair, staring at my computer and did nothing. I simply couldn't muster the energy. So instead I swiveled around and sat looking at my sleeping boy cat for a while. Quite a while actually.

5pm - I gave in and went for a nap. This time it was Socks who reminded me that food was required. Once back in bed it took me about 30 seconds to fall asleep!

6pm - Feeling better after a nap, I enjoyed a glass of red and settled on the sofa for a night of nothing much. Sometimes you've just got to know when to stop - am I right?

7pm - Enjoying a second glass for wine and the weight of a cat on my lap.

8pm - I was presented with a plateful of fajitas. Sadly, when things get hectic my diet suffers, either I don't bother to eat at all or I eat nothing but junk. My focus is just elsewhere, but Andy tends to step in at these times and keeps me fed.

9pm - Saturday night viewing. I am loving The Voice but think some who got through to the semi finals, shouldn't have. You can not trust the viewing public to vote wisely.

10pm - This is the face I get when I say the magic word 'treats?'. This also signifies bedtime - my favourite time of day at the moment. I vastly under estimated how many decisions I'd be making on a daily basis for the wedding and work has decided to go bonkers too. I'm hoping that I can get everything done in time to have a few days of relaxation before the wedding day, but the list of things to-do seems to just keep growing. The wedding itself is mostly sorted but it's the amount of work work I need to do that is currently worrying me. But this is the reality of being freelance, you have to take the work when it comes and if that means working until late into the night and over weekends then so be it. I wouldn't have it any other way, I'd just like a little teeny tiny bit more sleep.

So, not a very exciting day once again. At one point here was a possibility that this would be my hen day, but that's next weekend... may be I'll do a photo an hour for that...?

Thanks once again to Louisa and Jane for hosting.

Hope you had a good weekend!


Friday, 20 March 2015

Was Winter Wonderful?

I joined in with Lucy's Wonderful Winter and it has been pretty awesome. Christmas was great and so far the year has gotten off to a flying start. With our wedding only a few weeks away I wonder how I managed to find time to do anything other than plan it, which can be the only excuse I can offer for doing so badly at my Wonderful Winter list. That said, when I wrote the list I didn't know I'd be getting married.

1. Walk in the woods
Nope. I cant believe I haven't done this. I can see woodland from my house, it's within walking distance, why the hell haven't I been? #massivefail

2. Go to the beach
Nope (can't see the sea from my window but still it only a short drive away, so it's not good enough!).

3. Read three books
I managed two - Notes On A Scandal by Zoë Heller and Guards! Guards! by Terry Pratchett. Reviews to come soon on Alex's A Blogging good Read.

4. Have friends over for dinner
Yes! Last Friday four of my favourite people came for supper. I was pretty zonked from a busy week and Andy was too, so we were both a little subdued and not the best of company but it was lovely to see them all none the less.

I also had my Mum and Andy's Mum over for lunch one day. This was the first time they'd met. It went well, we chatted about the wedding for about 4 hours straight.

A few weeks later I had them over for lunch again, this time with both of Andy's Aunts and his cousin, and we talked about the wedding for about 4 hours straight.

5. Watch Frozen
This is how we spent the first evening of 2015. I loved it but Andy was less than enamored. I then watched parts of this on my brother's 3D TV, it looked like it was snowing in the room. Snowing - In. The. Room.

Yep, this was my first experience of 3D and I thought it was awesome.

6. Visit Hogwarts in the snow
This didn't happen. The time seemed to slip away and before I knew it, it was February and we'd missed the opportunity. Maybe next year...? Or sooner because who doesn't want to go and see the Hogwarts Express!??

7. Finish my patchwork quilt!!
At the beginning of the year I was concerned that with a wedding to plan (and hours lost to day dreaming and scrolling through page after page of wedding pins) this wouldn't get done. And it didn't. But I did make progress and continue to do so.

8. Make Jaffa Cakes and this boiled fruit cake. 
I looked at the recipe, does this count?

9. Weekly home improvements
I should have several examples of home improvements for you. I have a measly total of six.

Office print - I've been cooing over this print from How Kapow for ages and one day just thought 'sod it' and ordered it. A trip to The Range for a frame and a picture hook later and ta-dah! It only took me 24 hours to get it on the wall which is pretty good going for me.

Lamp shade in hall - not very exciting but better than a naked light fitting.

Lampshade on the landing - I had to replace the one we had as it was much longer and every time we opened the linen cupboard door it hit it and sent the shade swinging.

New TV - new to us anyway. When my brother got his swanky new 3D TV we inherited the old one. Apparently I'm still not too old for hand-me-downs (not complaining).

New arm chair - Loved this before Christmas when I first saw it in a local shop. When I went back in February it was reduced, when I asked about it I was offered a lower price with free delivery - result! Sadly, Socks the boy cat has had more opportunity to sit in it than I have but I love it, even though it is completely out of place with everything else in the room.

New sideboard for the spare room - I've been slowly improving the spare room and when a friend of mine posted this for sale on Facebook I snapped it up. It's exactly what I'd been looking for.

and finally...

10. Sort out my office.
So, here is my office on January 1st. Total. Disaster. Area.

And it' still a total disaster area, and if anything it's got worse. Much worse. I keep telling myself that I'll get it sorted once the wedding is over, but then I've said this about a lot of things. I'm going to be busy.

How was your Winter? I'm so glad Spring is here!


Wednesday, 18 March 2015

Wedding Wednesday #8 - Buying Wedding Rings Online

One of the first things that my soon to be sister-in-law said to me (after crying and squealing and buying me a pile of glossy wedding magazines) was that we should look at buying our wedding rings online.

I have to admit that this doesn't sound very romantic, but heck, time wasn't on our side and I do love a bit of an internet shop. Not to mention that fact that you're cutting out the middle man and therefore can get them cheaper than on the high street.

Andy wasn't overly excited about the prospect of a ring, in fact he won't be wearing it. Agricultural machinery and wedding bands don't really mix, so after the wedding day it'll sit in a draw to be worn (maybe) on Christmas Days until death parts us. I'm cool with that, I'd rather he keep all his fingers fully intact.

So, for Andy we decided that we didn't need anything overly extravagant. In fact what we ended up with can only be described as 'vagant', as there is nothing remotely 'extra' about it. I'd hopped onto Silver By Mail and found this steel ring for a meager sum of £14.25 (in the sale). When I told his sister, she said that steel was absolutely perfect for him. And I have to say it looks pretty good. And I kinda think it makes him my 'man of steel'. *

With his ring sorted I had a look at Diamonds 365 - the site recommended by Andy's sister - but they had nothing on the wedding bands page. I kinda gave up there, feeling all tuckered out in the decision making department for that day. I decided to get comfy with a glossy wedding magazine for the hundredth time. It was here I found a flyer for Wedding Rings Direct (with a cheeky 10% discount code).

What can I say? The process was so simple. I had no idea of the amount of styles available when it comes to wedding bands... which to choose? I found their blog post on wedding ring shapes very helpful and then set about ordering some sample rings. Put simply, you can order as many styles as you like and you're sent samples in silver to try and return within a week. Each sample ring costs just £2.40 and you're sent a pre-paid envelope to return them. You can keep the rings for longer if you need to, they just ask that you let them know. When you find the size and shape you want, you then order your actual ring in the metal you want.

I started off with 6 rings but felt I needed a thinner band, so I ordered 4 more options. They didn't have all of the samples I wanted but they sent alternative sizes / weights which where more than enough to help me make my final choice.

A few days later my wedding band arrived in a lovely box, looking all shiny and making me just a teeny bit emotional.

* Feel free to berate for being soppy.

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