Life and Loves Lately June 2017

I can’t tell you how many blog posts I have started and not got around to finishing these last few months! I think I had to accept somewhere along the way there that I have taken on too much. I can’t actually do it all. I am a major perfectionist and there is a great deal of frustration in not being able to do anything properly. Still, when I think about it, I know I would rather be trying than giving up. I love blogging – more than watching TV or scrolling through my Facebook feed so I really need to just make the effort and cut back a bit on those things to fit it in. I also feel that the niche I have created for myself here is rather a difficult one to maintain. I am all about the home decor and interior design and when I started this blog, it was really a way to track our journey in those areas as we made changes to our home. However, we can’t keep spending money and time doing those things without really putting pressure on ourselves and I don’t want to be responsible for that so I think, going forward, I will probably be rambling more about the things that have kept us busy and any stuff that interests me and that I feel may be of interest to others.

So here we go then, some ramblings about our life and things I’m loving lately. Thanks for hanging in there 😉

I’ve been loving having a bit of sunshine lately. I am not a sun worshipper but I do like to look out from under the shade of an umbrella or a tree and sit quietly with a little breeze to keep me cool!! I would love to get some decent garden furniture – I’ve been keeping on for years about having one of those rattan sofa sets and I would love a couple of loungers so that when the sun does shine, we can make the most of it.

The trouble is, in our garden, there is always a little footballer kicking around and you are likely to get a football in your face at any moment – it makes for a rather less relaxing experience but I wouldn’t have it any other way 😉

When I do get a chance to sit and relax, I love to have a good book in my hand. Recent favourites have included:

‘My Brilliant Friend’ by Elena Ferrante – this is a series of four following the lives of two friends who were born in the 1950’s in a poor neighbourhood on the outskirts of naples and tells the story of their complicated relationship against the backdrop of a changing city and I have read the first two. I can’t wait to read the other two. It’s not the sort of book I would usually go for but I’m seriously invested in the characters now and can’t wait to find out what happens to them.

‘All the light we cannot see’ by Anthony Doerr – this was the 2015 Pulitzer prize winner and I could see why. It’s so beautifully written and follows the lives of a blind French girl and an orphaned German boy during the build up to the second world war. Needless to say, they both encounter their share of drama and heartache but it was the captivating language and descriptions that really drew me in to this book. Definitely not a light read but so worth the investment.

If you are looking for something lighter, I have also recently read ‘Baby Doll’ by Hollie Overton and ‘Breakdown’ by B D Paris, both of which were real page-turners which swept me along easily. I’m told that ‘Behind closed doors’ by B D Paris is even better so that’s definitely next on my reading list.

As shared on instagram, I am currently reading ‘Wonder’ by R.J. Palacio. My 13 year old daughter recommended it and I am nearly done and trying to drag out the end as I don’t want it to be over!

For the home, I am still really loving these cushions (the pink floral one on the right below) I bought from Tesco Home and they are bringing a real touch of summer to my living room!

And even the garden in recent days! 😉

They are currently out of stock online but I think some of the stores still have them.

And how cute is this little pineapple topped jar from debenhams? Loving it and moving it all over the home – I think I need more!

We have just had to throw out our living room rug – when you have a pup, rugs really seem to hang on to the ‘doggy’ smell and this one had been with us too long, if you catch my meaning 😉 I’ve been searching for something to replace it and I have seen some really lovely options around which are really reasonable. If you are looking for a rug, be sure to check out La Redoute – I didn’t find one for us there as it needs to fit in to our particular colour scheme but there were some really cute options. I especially liked this one. Wayfair is another great source for rugs. They have an incredible selection (really, it’s HUGE) and so many gorgeous, colourful options. I literally could re-design my home around them! This one is my current favourite for our living room but I don’t want to rush in before I’ve really exhausted all my options (ha ha!).

I don’t think I shared with you that I purchased a new mop for my floors recently. The Vileda 100 Hot Spray Mop has been a revelation! I love the fact that you get all the benefits of a steam mop without being tethered to the power point. You plug it in until it’s hot, then unplug and off you go – no chemicals and super fast too. I’m loving it!

Our kids have been very busy little bees lately and I’m starting to feel like there’s going to be a bit of a hole in my life (and heart!) when our little man heads off to secondary school in September with all the independence that brings. He went off on his first school residential recently and was away from Monday to Friday. We had no way to communicate with him at all so it was certainly a long week for us back here at home. We kept ourselves very busy while he was away and he loved every second of it (even though they had absolutely terrible weather!) and was buzzing when he got home so all was well. It was so good to have him back! (even if he did go straight down with a tummy bug! I was so glad he made it back before he fell ill, I would have hated for him to suffer while he was away.)

Our daughter has had her fair share of adventures too, with a 4 day school trip to Belfast in Northern Ireland where she visited the Crumlin Road Gaol, the peace walls, the Titanic museum and had a surfing lesson. She loved it and had her first experience of flying without us. (I didn’t enjoy that part as much!) She also travelled up to London with my sister and her family to watch Shawn Mendes in concert at the O2 – do you know his music? He’s such a talented young chap and we have all enjoyed listening to his latest album. So grateful to my sis for taking such good care of her only a week after the Manchester bombing. We adults all felt a little wobbly about it but the girls were determined to go. I shared my thoughts about that and some of the other terrible things that have happened here in the UK recently over on instagram. We are certainly living in a tumultuous, and sometimes very unkind world and my heart goes out to those affected and their families.

The kids haven’t had all the fun though! I managed to get across to Swansea to see Take That with my sister and brother in-law a couple of weeks ago and then, this week, hubby and I made a ‘post-work’ dash up to London to watch ‘La Traviata’ at the Royal Opera House.

I have always wanted to see an opera and he got me the tickets for my 40th birthday back in January. It really has been the birthday that keeps on giving (ha!) We had a wonderful evening even if it did mean a 2.30am return home with a 6am alarm call on Wednesday! Ouch!

I just love finding a good box-set to keep me entertained while I’m doing the ironing and I recently caught up with ‘Nashville’ which I started watching when it first came out and lost track of around the middle of season two. All the series’ are now available on Sky on demand and let’s just say, I’ve never been so on top of my ironing!! (wink, wink!) The best part is that season 5 is now running on Friday nights so I haven’t had to go completely cold turkey!

We have started watching ‘Riviera’ as well, which looks like it could be good. I’ll keep you informed. What are you loving to watch at the moment? Any tips for ‘must-see’ box-sets?

Oh, and for any fellow ‘Fixer Upper’ fans out there (my all time favourite property makeover programme) itvBe are now showing old episodes again so you can get your ‘fix’ while we all wait for series four to be aired. (Come oooon ITV, they are already filming season 5!)

Finally, a couple of beauty finds I wanted to share as well (sorry for all the terrible quality images in this post! They were the best I could find). I am loving Essie nail polishes for their ability to stand up to some rough treatment for longer than most other brands, this self-tanner (currently on half price offer for ÂŁ3.50 via that link) which is my favourite and smells really lovely – not a hint of that ‘biscuity’ smell self tan lotion can leave behind. And finally, this Fit Me foundation from maybelline is just so light and lovely. It comes in 19 shades so you are very likely to find one for you and as someone who hates to ‘feel’ makeup, this one is the best I’ve found for not making you feel like you’re wearing a mask!

And there we have it – how’s that for a random bag of ramblings! I did warn you 😉 What are some of the things you’ve been loving lately? I would love your top tips!

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