Tuesday, 30 December 2014

This year is a particularly special Christmas indeed. On Christmas morning my boyfriend of nearly 7 years, Christopher, asked me to marry him and presented me with this lovely ring that he'd chosen for me. For some reason he was very nervous...? (he's the "father" to my cats so obviously I was always going to say yes!) and bless him, he went to so much effort to make sure everything on Christmas morning was just perfect!

Of course, there's no such thing as a perfect relationship and we sometimes argue and of course we irritate each other... I can't bear the way his socks leave black fluff ALL OVER the carpet ALL OVER the house and he hates the way I leave used make up wipes and bits of jewellery scattered everywhere around the place (oops)! I wish he'd do more cooking and he wishes I'd wash more dishes. But aside from the silly stuff, we've seen each other at our very worst and it doesn't ever seem to matter, we still love and stand by each other no matter what. I read this on Pinterest recently and couldn't imagine anything more "us"... we talk like best friends, we play fight like children, we argue like husband and wife and protect each other like brother and sister. That sums it up! Chris, I love you.

Now to enter the scary world of wedding planning and get crazy pinning dresses, cakes and flowers and all that stupid over-the-top stuff. I can't wait!
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Sunday, 16 November 2014

Pastels eyeshadow palette/Nail polish in "Ice Cream Ella": Technic // Nail polish in "Starlet" and "Starlight": Barry M // Strawberry & Banana Milkshake Bath Bomb: Bomb Cosmetics // Blonde Toner: Jerome Russell

On a recent shopping trip out for Christmas gifts I naturally had to pick up a few goodies for myself... (shopping on a crazy busy Saturday is hard work that should be rewarded of course!) I'm not all that "in the know" when it comes to eyeshadow and don't often wear it but I would like to start using it more. This palette of pretty pastels was recommended and for a couple of ££ I thought I'd give it a go as a place to start. I wore the minty shade yesterday and amazingly, it stayed on all day and didn't crease either. Very impressed!

Again with the nail polish. I didn't need 3 more bottles, I gotta stop. You can't see it in the photos so much but "Ice Cream Ella" by Technic actually has a ton of iridescent sparkles in the bottle along with the blue, pink and white dots. It's a really unique glitter mix and after wearing it this week, I've found it's good for no chipping as well as being super pretty. The pink polish, "Starlet" by Barry M is a thick full glitter that needs no colour base, just a couple of coats and sparkles SO BAD - it's beautiful! Barry M do glitter so well and the bottle of "Starlight" is full of tiny gold stars alongside iridescent gold glitter. It dries to a shiny coat too that enhances those little stars even more! It's so festive it makes me want to wear it all through December! I found this in Boots and it may be a limited edition? The Barry M was on 3 for 2 on the day I went it too, so even better. Tell me I'm not the only one that gets so easily distracted whilst out buying gifts for others.... #oops
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Thursday, 11 September 2014

Ridding our new house of its many walls of magnolia is well under way. We started our decorating with the downstairs cloakroom; as it's the tiniest room in the house I felt it was the best place to start being a novice decorator! But it went very well and so the hallway was next up... this was the before shot. A very open, plain space and so very magnolia. This boring little room left much to be desired. 

And after...

Ta da! Our new hall is still simple but now has it's own style. It feels warm, welcoming and well cared for. We wanted this room to feel homely and give a good cosy first impression - after all the hallway is the first room a guest will see. The warmth and texture of the rustic pine compliment the calm, tranquil sage green to perfection. I just fell in love with this colour scheme. It has the feminine/masculine balance just right which is necessary for us living as a couple, we have to compromise. Pink paint and shabby chic white furniture are not allowed in this house, but then dark paint and Manchester United shirts put into frames aren't allowed either! (well, at least not outside of his "man cave" anyway!) ;-)

A place for everything and everything in it's place. I can't bear clutter and I'm on a mission to clear up. No more car keys living on the dining room table. No more missing spare keys! This adorable wooden key cabinet was the perfect find and such a little bargain. It even has a teeny chalkboard for little messages. It's charming and I'm completely in love with it!

This pine unit originally had the most horrid black metal gothic pull handles on it, see here... yuk! So I bought a packet of bronzed metal knobs from B&Q, good quality heavy ones and did a bit of a swap and I just think they look SOOOO much nicer! And they were so easy to change too!

The other side of the room is still incomplete... we need a long blind and a piece of artwork as well as some paint edges that need touching up, but I just couldn't wait to put these first photos up on the blog as I'm so pleased with it! Have you made over any rooms in your home recently? Do share your link below!
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Thursday, 24 July 2014

I can't believe our teeny fur babies are now 5 months old. Their perfect little blue eyes have turned amber/green, their faces now fit a little better with their bodies and they ooze confidence. They still have these long bambi legs and their ears forever look far too big for them, but they're certainly on the way to being all grown up! I thought anyone thinking of getting a kitten might like to know how our experience as newbie cat owners has gone so far!

Buying from a breeder vs. rescuing/adopting

Initially, we toyed with the idea of buying a specific breed of cat from a breeder. At the time we assumed cats and kittens in rescue centres and shelters had probably been mistreated in some way. We assumed a rescue cat was unlikely to become a happy sociable pet due to the sheer amount of animals in the shelters; would they receive all the attention they needed? We just couldn't imagine a rescue cat would make a very affectionate companion. But something about paying a breeder for a pet niggled at me. So we had a think and decided to check out the RSPCA and one or two other shelters in our area to see how the animals were cared for.

Binkle's growing fast!

We were truly humbled by the RSPCA. The wonderful work these people do is overwhelming. All the cats had individual play pens, blankets and toys (no cages!) and had workers monitoring them and looking after them constantly. They would work with and play with the cats to bring them on socially - especially those who had been mistreated - to help them trust humans again. They knew aspects of all the cats personalities so as you are looking around, each cat has a clipboard to tell you all about them so you can figure out if you are "right" for each other! We didn't find the right cat for us here as we wanted two, and nearly all we saw on this day were better suited to living as the only pet. However so many of them tugged on our heartstrings, particularly the cats that were head bumping the glass to give us a fuss and sticking their little paws through the gaps to touch us. We gave a donation then left as I was about to burst! I was so emotional on the way back to the car; it sounds so silly but as a cat lover I found it really difficult and quite upsetting. Not that they weren't being looked after well because they were, but because I couldn't save them, I couldn't take all of them home to live with me! It was a good experience to have and I'd recommend it to anyone. If I had it, I would give endless amounts of money to this charity - the work they do is very special.

Best buddies for life

We found Binky and Roo at the Shropshire Cat Rescue shelter in Shrewsbury. This big property had many felines roaming around freely with lots of little kitty houses, bushes and nooks and cranny's for them to hide out in and play. We were greeted by 3 or 4 lovely big affectionate cats at the entrance before we even got to a staff member, teehee! Some cats were kept in large outdoor pens with tall climbing frames and lots of toys. There was also a section dedicated to the older "residents" - like a care home for little old cats! Ours were in the "nursing" block, a bit like a feline maternity unit (awww!) as they were only 4 weeks old at the time. Their mum Buttons was pregnant when she was found as a stray. We had no problem choosing them and as they're sisters they'll grow up together and be company for each other (we wanted this as we both work and didn't want a lonely kitty). We came back when they were 9 weeks old to collect them and hand in our donations. They had already been vaccinated and came with a "going home" pack with lots of advice and guidance plus a shelter magazine with little tributes to their favourite feline residents! Again, these people do such an amazing job and I only wish we could have donated more. 

Our preconception of rescue cats was totally wrong. Cats in shelters are given so much love and attention before they go on to new homes. Our kittens are very loveable, very affectionate and have clearly been handled well since they were tiny. They're naughty of course as all kittens are, however they've never once been aggressive or grumpy with us and just love to be where we are. They miss us when we're at work and buzz with purrs and miaows when we get home. They want head butts, kisses and cuddles at 4am every morning. They love to snuggle when we watch TV and they go absolutely bonkers when the laser pen or a Primark bag comes out. And the best bit of all is knowing you rescued them. They could have easily been born as a stray in a cardboard box at the side of the road. But these little mites now live with us - wrestling daily, having lots of naps and Whiskas pouches and they seem like the best of friends. My heart squeezes, I just love them furry little felines!

They take a lot of patience. It's amazing how much a tiny kitten poops and they can potentially ruin and break quite a few things in your home - my advice, Blu Tac EVERYTHING down! You'll need to watch for open windows and doors as they will be curious (Roo was locked in our pantry for 9 hours whilst we were at work one day because she snuck in at breakfast time and we had no idea, we felt terrible! Now we check everything!) Until they're 12 weeks old or so they need lunchtime feeds so leaving work on lunch breaks to go home and feed the kitten is essential for a while! Plus food, litter and vet bills can be all add up (a yearly vaccination booster alone is around £80 per cat!). Kittens are a real handful and if we did it again, I think we would choose adult cats - see this link - and if you're a little more pushed for time or help, an adult cat would be better. But it has been a lovely experience.

If you're thinking of getting a cat I would most definitely recommend checking out local shelters and the RSPCA before you seek out a breeder. Just go along with an open mind, you might just find your perfect furry friend, vaccinated and ready to go with his little bag packed, desperate to come and live with you. They have so many dogs, bunnies, guinea pigs, chickens etc. looking for homes as well. These places run because of their love for animals; they're not breeding animals to make money. Plus you'll be doing a good deed. 

Have you ever rescued an animal? 
Now we have our pets our house definitely feels more like a home :-)
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Wednesday, 23 July 2014

It all looks so sweet and neat in these pictures. In reality, the kittens are four-legged loveable little hooligans, the dining room chairs are scratched to pieces and there's always a huge laundry pile and bowl of dirty dishes to deal with. There's lots of kitten poop. The lawn mower cable was mowed over and chewed up on the first go. Lack of furniture means our brand new carpet has seen it's fair share of spillages. And let's not get started on the bills... bye bye money! There has been stress and there have been arguments.

But as stressful as we've found running our first home, we're getting better at dealing with things and I think we make a pretty good team. We wouldn't have it any other way now. Our house is homely, warm and cosy and actually a really nice place to be. We love our little home and our little (furry) family. The first six months here have been a real learning curve. Let's see what the next six bring... :-)
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Sunday, 29 June 2014

Very eager to get some more soft furnishings and ornaments into our (very) magnolia home. We have actually already bought this clock for our kitchen; it was one of the first decorative pieces we bought! So many stores have amazing homeware ranges recently, so much so that it's hard to decide on a theme or colour scheme you want for each room. All I know is, rustic coloured distressed wood, blacks and whites with chrome and gold is what I love right now. Modern and clean but still warm and cosy.
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Monday, 26 May 2014

We keep singing their names to the tune of "Winnie the Pooh"!

These two little ladies are our new kittens! You may have seen this post from earlier in the month when we were getting ready for their move-in (and look back at how teeny they were then!) Well, we collected them two weeks ago and they're now almost 12 weeks old and settling in wonderfully. Roo (the black one with the white stripe) was very shy at first and has only in the last couple of days started to take to us. She'd hide and run away from us at all costs, venturing out from under the TV only to eat, however the last few days she's really getting brave and is playing with us and letting us fuss her. Last night she finally plucked up the courage to be our best friend and slept on Chris's chest all evening with her little white belly on display for all to tickle! It's so lovely to see how she's slowly developing such trust in us.

As for Binky (white with black patches like a cow!), she's been a little menace right from the start! She's so different to her tiny sister. She's bigger, braver and far more boisterous. All she wants to do is play and wrestle and gives many kisses. She's a little terror (and a bit of a bully to tiny Roo!) but has been so loveable from day one. Nothing and no one scares her... lil badass Binks! But oh my what a pretty girl she is. Roo makes me giggle with her frazzled little whiskers and black spotted nose!

We love them already and can't wait to come home to see them every day! I'll be writing a post soon about our experience with the RSPCA/cat shelters and the process of rescuing a cat if you were interested - it's been a pleasure and I'd fully recommend it if you were thinking of getting a pet!
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Sunday, 25 May 2014

It's been a fair while since I treated myself to anything beauty related; to be honest I feel like I'm letting my self-care slip a little bit especially since joining the gym recently. Yes I'm physically trying to get healthier, but it also means I spend a lot more time with gross sweaty and frizzy hair these days with my make up melting off. I'm way overdue a hair cut, my skin is looking pretty bad and my mascara and eyeliner are practically dried out. So a few new beauty bits are in order to kick start my efforts to be a bit prettier once more!  

On to my wishlist. I get bumpy skin on my upper arms so the scrub would work a treat for me. Plus Soap & Glory products always smell yummy. I sniffed the Escada fragrance today and it's so fresh and summery; it's also a pretty addition to the dressing table. Barry M's new Aquarium shades are so luscious and would compliment a tan extremely well (if I'm lucky enough to get one this year!). A top quality hair oil is something I desperately need - after trying L'Oreal Extraordinary Oil I'm put off the cheaper high street brands, this one felt so synthetic and just seemed to coat my hair in liquid plastic! I'll never buy a L'Oreal hair oil again. I hear good things about Kerastase so I'd be willing to cough up the cash for this one. A lip conditioner with the colour of a lipstick is perfect for summer evenings and a COMPLETELY jet-black-yet-waterproof liquid eyeliner is still a perfect product I'm yet to find. I'm not sure if this Benefit one is waterproof, but I'd like to give it a test to find out...

Have you a summer beauty product you can't be without? Or can you tell me where to find the perfect liquid liner as I just can't seem to get my hands on one!?
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Sunday, 4 May 2014

You may remember this post I wrote a few weeks ago where I mentioned we were hoping to adopt two rescue kittens from a local shelter. Well, thankfully all seems to be going well and so we have been given the go ahead to collect them next Saturday (woohoo, so excited!) I went to visit them a few weeks ago whilst Chris was away with work to find out what sex they were - turns out we'd chosen two baby girls! They were only 5 weeks old and teeny at this point with their pink baby tags on... SO CUTE I COULD SQUEEZE 'EM arrgghhh!

We have started to buy them what they'll need, including lots of little toys and bits like a soft catnip mouse toy which it turns out is nearly as big as they are... I hope it doesn't scare them, haha! We found lots of great things for them at Wilko and Pets at Home in particular. The paw print fleece blanket is to go in their carry case and was a little bargain from eBay!

And I may have gone just a little bit far in spending half an hour this afternoon turning a couple of cardboard boxes and toilet roll tubes into a 2 storey kitten house. I probably would have gone as far as getting the papier-mâché and paints out to decorate it but I had to stop and have a quiet word with myself - come on, you've gone too far now, this is just getting silly. 

If the kittens don't use my awesome yet crappy "Malibu Kitten Dreamhouse" I'll probably cry after battling with all that brown sticky tape - I want to see them sleeping in there, looking through the windows, maybe climbing up to the second storey to look out over their tiny kingdom. Whatever really. I'm just SO EXCITED. Have you any tips for bringing home new kittens?
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Friday, 2 May 2014

Viktor & Rolf BonBon now available at Debenhams*

Soft, sweet and almost edible is how I'd describe this luxurious new fragrance from Viktor & Rolf. The cutest pink bottle shaped like a bow (or is it a wrapped candy?) holds a liquid filled with mandarin, orange, peach, sandalwood, jasmine and amber scents wrapped together in caramel. It's silky smooth, girly and feminine without being sickly sweet. It's a creamy fragrance. When I originally saw the bottle I did wonder if it would be too sweet for me, but it certainly isn't. It's dreamy! BonBon has quickly become one of my favourite perfumes and I will happily re-stock this on my dressing table once it runs out! It's just perfect. Maybe more of an evening perfume in my collection; perfect for when you want to dress up a little more fancy than usual. It reminds me of a more mature version of Vera Wang Princess Night which is always one of my favourite perfumes!

BonBon starts from £50 for the 30ml, so it is a higher end perfume but in my opinion this luxury is worth every penny. Best of all is this is available with free delivery from Debenhams right now!
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