Be yourself; everyone else is already taken.

Saturday, 29 April 2017

Goodbye April


I didn't plan on writing this post this week - in fact, I was going to share a post on my top 5 destinations for a summer holiday, but I didn't want everything to come across like it is fine and dandy in camp Eleanor Graceful when this month has been a bit of a roller-coaster.

You see, my mental health has taken a bit of a battering this month. I can't pinpoint why, but my struggle with anxiety has been even more evident than I've felt in a long time.

For me, feeling anxious is a part of my daily routine - I've come to live with it, but for some reason this month I have felt so on edge and irritable more so than ever before. My panic attacks feel like they could bubble at any time and I've had to up my medication just to feel like I won't break down.

One of the things that I feel might have contributed to it is moving house. Although that has been one of the biggest steps in my life, and I have loved every minute of owning my own home, the actual impact of the amount of change on my life has been colossal; and for someone who doesn't deal with change that well normally, it was bound to shake me up this month.

I think as well, because money has been such an important entity this month, I've always had that in the back of my mind. I'm normally quite good with my money, because I've usually had some to fall back on; but now because I need to know where every penny is going, it is making me feel a bit trapped, which I've never really felt before.

Although April has been a really good month in some respects for me - I've been to Ibiza for one of my best friend's hen do, I've seen old friends and made some amazing memories with new ones - but it's still been hard to shake this feeling of unease.

I think in the blogging world there is a really good support network when it comes to mental health, and every time I'm feeling a bit low I know I have a really good group of people I can rely on. Saying that as well, my friends who don't blog and maybe don't suffer from as many prominent mental health issues are also amazing when I need them.

Talking about anxiety is a strange one because it brings the feelings to the surface and makes you face them head on, but it also gives you an outlet to get your thoughts in order and share them with people who may also be going through something similar.

It's always a tenacious decision for me whether to share these kind of posts on here, but this is my place to share my life on the internet, and this is a very real part of my life.

Maybe one day I will live my life anxiety free, but for now I'll keep chugging along this old train that we call life.

Always remember, it's ok to not be ok.

xx


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Tuesday, 25 April 2017

Weekly Love #16


I'm writing this post a little bit broken and worse for wear after a hen party in Ibiza which I only just got back from but hey ho, that's life baby...

Last week was a blur with not knowing what day it was and also having to get 5 days work done in 4, and also having Monday and Tuesday off this week but here were all the things I was loving last week.

1. Easter Monday Catch Up

On Easter Monday, I met up with two of my favourite blogger girls Lily and Erin at Rosylee in Manchester. We hadn't seen each other since Christmas so it was really lovely to catch up with them both and be able to talk about Instagram and follows and everything without someone rolling their eyes at you (and take pretty pictures of our food). I will always be so thankful for the amazing people that this blog has introduced me to, and being able to call them real friends. (Photo - Erin on Instagram)



2. Rosylee

As mentioned about 3cm higher, me and my gal pals (don't worry, I want to punch myself for saying that too, but going with it...) went to Rosylee for out meet up because a) it is all the instagram goals, and we are bloggers at the end of the day (expect LOL I forget my camera and the phone pic is rubbish) and b) it was 50% off food with it being a Monday, and if there's one thing I love more than actual food, it's spending half the amount on it. The service wasn't great in Rosylee, but the food (and gin fizzy cocktail thang) more than made up for it - we all went for fancy kebabs and fries which were delicious!



3. Richmond Tea Rooms

After lunch on Monday we had a bit of a blogger photo shoot around the graffitied walls of Manchester's Northern Quarter before we felt like we needed a piece of cake. We decided to go to Richmond Tea Rooms up by Piccadilly train station as none of us had been before. When we walked up to it, it reminded me of some of the back streets in Bruges, and inside its Alice in Wonderland themed which was amazing. The cakes are in a glass cabinet when you walk in and were mostly three tiered amazing-ness (yep, I just made up a word). We all went for different cakes (I got a banana and chocolate one) and shared a teapot of berry tea - all very delicious. If you're looking for something a bit different in Manchester, I would definitely recommend this place (they also do breakfast which looks amazing!) Website here. (Photo - Lily on Instagram)



4. New Shoes

I had to go to the Trafford Centre on Wednesday to pick up a parcel I had had delivered there (because this girl does not like paying for delivery!) and whilst I was in there, I decided to have a little mosey on into Primark. The one in the Trafford Centre is inside Selfridges and is quite small, but it makes it much better because you don't get easily distracted and end up with a £100 bill. I'd been toying with the idea of a pair of black mules to wear with jeans for a while and Primark had exactly what I was looking for and for a quarter of the price of ASOS. Winner winner!



5. Ibiza

On Friday evening, me and 8 others flew to Ibiza for one of my best friend's hen do's. Its been in the diary since October, and I've been looking forward to getting away with everyone for ages. It was such a good holiday I'm actually lost for words on how to describe it... but it really was such a fun 3 days of making memories with some amazing people. I'm going to do a full blog post on it with some of my pictures in the upcoming weeks, so keep an eye out for that!



6. Sabor Ibiza

I promised to do a special mention on here for the company that did our entertainment on the Saturday night that we were in Ibiza, Sabor Ibiza. They are a private catering company based on the island who specialise in party food and luckily for us, the apartment we were staying in had a roof terrace with an outside grill. They did a BBQ for us and we had a mixologist for 3 hours who made French martinis, mojitos and margaritas. The food was some of the best BBQ food I have ever ever had - a mixture of burgers, sausages, marinated chicken, fresh salads, coleslaw and probably some more than I have forgotten because I'm too busy salivating over here. It was such good value for money and was really nice to make the most of the apartment we were staying in and be waited on by two lovely guys (Gary and Steve) and an idea I would recommend, especially for something like a hen do. Find the website here.



xx

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Thursday, 20 April 2017

What To Do When You're Feeling Rubbish



The weather's not on our side at the moment, and whether we like to admit it or not, for most of us, this has a negative effect on our mood. It's also 4 months into the year, and I for one, am starting to feel as though I wanted to have achieved so much more by this point, leaving me to feel a bit deflated. (Don't get me started on the state of the country as well...)

Sunshine is great, we all know it. You don't have to worry about bringing a coat (except, LOL we live in England and better to be safe than sorry...) everyone seems to be a bit chirpier, you can eat your meals outside with a fruity cider and day drinking is always acceptable; but sometimes, we can still tend to feel a bit rubbish every now and again and I wanted to share some tips on how I try and get out of a slump.


1. Plan Plan Plan

Having something to look forward to instantly lifts my mood. This could be a mini break, a week long holiday, or even just a meal with your friends. I'm not one to wish away the days, but having plans in my diary makes the working week just seem that little bit better!


2. Buy Something Exciting For Dinner

Once you become an adult, there's no one dictating what you eat day in and day out, which is the beauty of doing your own food shop. Seen as food is such a big part of my life, having something delicious to look forward to after a long day at work or a takeaway treat on the weekend seems to get a smile on my face!


3. Don't Be Afraid To Open Up

Sometimes one of the worst things when we're feeling down, is to keep it inside. I find that speaking to my close friends and my boyfriend allows me to open up about what is on my mind whether it's relationships, work or my blog. Even if you only tell them that there's something up and don't delve too far into it, they will hopefully be able to take your mind off it.


4. Remember You're Not Alone

For someone who suffers from mental health issues, it can sometimes feel like the loneliest place in the world. If you don't feel comfortable talking to someone you know personally, there are always other options - your GP, a councillor, a helpline. If that is what your brain is telling you it needs, then listen to it.


5. Don't Leave All Your Plans To The Weekend

This is one I try to stick to every week, and honestly, it really lifts my mood. It's easy to get bogged down in the 9-5 grind and look forward to the weekend, but there is no reason why you can't do something fun in the week. Arrange to see your girlfriends, have a date night to a new restaurant, see you family for a meal, go for a drink with work colleagues - anything that gets you excited to finish the day!


6. Take Some Time For Yourself

Whether this is an hour or two or a whole evening, focusing on yourself, having a pamper and having some 'me time' will give you some breathing space and allow you to feel on top of the world come the next day. Tip - even better with wine!


I hope this post has given you a few pointers of what I like to do when I'm not feeling my best, and fingers crossed it'll help you out, even just temporarily!


What else do you like to do when you're feeling a bit rubbish?


xx

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Monday, 17 April 2017

Weekly Love #15


Although the weather is back to its usual self of drizzle, wind and arctic temperatures (how British of me to start a post talking about the weather) most of the UK jumped for joy at the fact we've had a 4 day weekend!

When you're at school, Easter weekend usually falls in your Easter break, so it's somewhat overlooked; however, once you start living for the weekend, having 4 days off work without having to take a holiday is an absolute godsend!

Anyway, weekly loves... and yes, food does feature a lot in this post - so kill me!

1. Boots Order

I treated myself to a few new makeup treats last week, but only picked up the parcel at the start of the week. I find Boots and Superdrug two of those places that you just get sucked in by the offers, and before you know it, you've spend £60 and have no idea how it was so easy. As a slight makeup junkie, I always want to try new products so I opted for a Rimmel brow set which I've heard is a really good dupe for the Benefit Browzing which I currently use (and under half of the price) and a L'Oreal blusher, which apparently matches the pigments in your skin. The other products our favourites of mine that I had run out of. That's another thing about being a girl; you have to fork out so much money when everything seems to run out at the same time!



2. Dua Lipa

On Wednesday night, my friend Sophie invited me to see Dua Lipa at the Ritz in Manchester. I hadn't been to that venue in so long, and it reminded me of all the drunken nights as a student that I had spent there. I was really impressed with how good her voice was live, and the crowd was such a mix of people from kids to older adults. We had a really good dance and sang along all night and it was a great way to spend a Wednesday!



3. Oke Poke

I'd been invited to the launch of Oke Poke on Twitter the week before, and once I heard Hawaiian food, I was very intrigued. I brought Hannah with me (from Hannah Gets Hench, you'll know her by now!) and we went to try some new cuisine. The restaurant is quite small, on Church Street in Manchester's Northern Quarter, but a perfect size to just nip in and grab some lunch or a takeaway. Read my full review here.



4. Old Friends

Whilst we were out on Thursday night, I got a message from my old friend Abi, who now lives in Leeds, saying that she was back in Manchester for the evening and was I about. We met up in West Corner in the Northern Quarter, and went for some drinks to Turtle Bay and then on to Terrace. It was really lovely to catch up with her and her fiancee and hear all about her upcoming wedding and house plans. I decided it's my turn to go to Leeds next time!



5. Greens

After our Thursday night out, I was feeling slightly worse for wear when I woke up on Friday morning (thank goodness for it being a bank holiday) but as I had organised to go out with my Nan into Didsbury, I knew I had to get my act together. We decided to go to Greens in West Didsbury, which is a vegetarian restaurant owned by Simon Rimmer. We'd been once before when I used to work close by, and I'd always wanted to go back. For a starter we all shared some flatbreads, humous, veggie black pudding and olives, and then for a main I had cheese and leek sausages, with mustard mash and a red wine gravy and it was delicious. It definitely opens your eyes about how much good food can be meat free!



6. Levenshulme Market

Even though we had eaten quite a big lunch on Friday, me and Jordan decided to take a drive to Levenshulme market, where they had an Easter night market on. I'd never been to Levenshulme market before, but I'd heard that it was amazing, and if it involves food, then I'm there. Typically it was chucking it down, but the market itself was quite busy and there were some amazing food stalls. I went for a grilled cheese sandwich with pastrami and sauerkraut and it was delicious. We also got some fudge and Nutella brownies, but obviously I ate them before I took a picture. Oops!



7. Saturday in Manchester

On Saturday it was one of my friend's stag do's at Haydock Races, so me and some of the girls decided to go for some lunch and to get our bridesmaids dresses altered. Unfortunately the place was closed for Easter where we getting them done so me and my friend Laura decided to make the most of our free day (and sort of passable beer garden weather) and headed into Manchester. We went to Bar and Grill's outside terrace (where luckily they had the heaters on) and then on to the Oast House. Afterwards, we had a drink and some food at The Alchemist, which was lovely. I'm definitely a drinks in the day person, especially when you can almost sit outside without catching frostbite!



8. Easter Sunday

After a pretty chilled, chocolate-induced Easter Sunday, I went for dinner with some of my closest and oldest friends. We went to Sigiriya in Hale, which is a Sri Lankan restaurant that I've been to once before. I went for Chicken Ceylon, rice and a naan and the food was delicious. We went for a drink afterwards and had a really nice catch up, putting the worlds to right! A lovely way to top off a great weekend.



xx

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Saturday, 15 April 2017

Oke Poke, Manchester

 

On Thursday evening, myself and Hannah went to the launch of Oké Poké in Manchester City Centre. I had been invited by one of the staff members on Twitter, and as soon as I heard Hawaiian food, I was massively intrigued.

Manchester's food scene is becoming one of the best in the country in my opinion, and every time I go to the city, I hear of somewhere new to go - so Oké Poké is joining an ever-growing foodie vibe. With healthy eating becoming more and more desired in our busy schedules, I think that Oké Poké will fit in perfectly in this area.

The restaurant is on Church Street, in Manchester's Northern Quarter, and is in a great location for those who just want something quick and healthy to eat, or a sit down lunch.


When we got there, I was surprised at how far back the restaurant went seen as it didn't look that big from the outside, but it serves its purpose as being a takeaway joint. We were met by one of the staff members, who said to have one of the freshly squeezed juices; I went for orange, and Hannah went for grapefruit before moving on to the white wine (it was thirsty Thursday after all!) I noticed from the menu that they do all kinds of smoothies as well, which is good to bear in mind if you're after a hangover cure!



I'll admit that when I heard that the restaurant specialised in Poke, I wasn't entirely sure what that was; but from speaking to the team, I learnt that it is traditional Hawaiian street food deemed as being more healthy than our western alternatives.


Poké itself translates to 'chunk' with the idea that the bowls are much like deconstructed sushi. With sushi being one of my favourite foods, I was keen to try it. We were offered the classic ahi (sushi rice, tuna, avocado, carrot, wakame, cucumber, spring onion, sesame seeds) another day in paradise (sushi rice, prawns, mixed leaves, cucumber, pineapple, red cabbage, tabiko, spring onion, tamarind sauce) and the teriyaki jack (black rice, free range chicken, radish, red cabbage, celery, edamame, coriander, spring onion, picked ginger, teriyaki sauce) all of which were delicious.


Although we only had samples of each of them, I did spot and Uber Eats driver come in and pick up one of the bowls which were stacked high full of fresh ingredients, which would set you back £7.95 - not the cheapest of lunches, but definitely worth it considering how much fresh produce was used - you also have the option of building your own bowl.


Unfortunately, because I don't work in the city centre, I'm not sure when I'll be able to get there next, but it will definitely be on my list of places to go for a slightly healthier, alternative lunch when I'm in the city centre.

xx

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I was invited to the launch event as a guest. Thank you to Oke Poke for the food and drinks. All views are my own. 
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Monday, 10 April 2017

Weekly Love #14


Was it just me, or did last week feel as though it lasted about 4 times as long as any other week this year? Not that I'm complaining as it's almost mid-April, which means it isn't even that long until I turn 27 (June 13th if you're saving up for anything special...)

The weather this weekend put me in a great mood - as well as the majority of the UK - and we even managed to spend some time in our new garden, although it still does need a bit of work doing to it...

Anyway, weekly love time!

1. Salon Success Parcel

This one is a little bit delayed because A) it became one of about a million boxes that got moved to the new house and B) I didn't want to put it in my weekly love post before I had actually tried the products. I love being part of the Salon Success tribe and it's a great way to test out products that ordinarily you wouldn't be able to. This box included the Marula Oil range (a hairspray, primer and 3-in-1 styling cream) complete with a gorgeous monogrammed, marble notebook - every blogger's dream. The products are really high quality and I'm excited to keep using them.



2. First Night

On Wednesday night, we had our first night in the house. I thought it was going to feel really strange, but I think because we took my mattress and all our bedding and pillows, it felt homey anyway. The one thing I'll say is that our bedroom is SO dark. I was used to the wifi light and the fact that my old blinds were quite thin in my old bedroom, but I think it is better for your quality of sleep if you have a completely dark room - not so much if you need the toilet in the middle of the night though...


3. Housewarming

On Friday evening we had some of our close friends round to see the house. I had (impulse) bought a big cocktail dispenser so I decided to make a batch of Sangria, which was very summery and fruity, and surprisingly easy too (a little bit too easy...) we had pizza and all caught up which was lovely and I really liked entertaining in our home. Here's to many more!




4. Saturday Walks

On Saturday we both had manage to wade off the hangovers (despite horrendously mixing beer, cider, wine, spirits and everything else under the sun) and decided to go for a walk to one of our favourite pubs in Didsbury, The Woodstock. We used to go here a lot when we lived at our flat there, but I hadn't been for a while and it was really nice to sit in the beer garden. We walked home via the River Mersey and it felt lovely knowing that those kind of places are on our doorstep.



5. Simba Came Home

Over the weekend we've been getting Simba accustomed to the new house and I think he's really taking to it. He's been eating and sleeping as normal and being very loving towards us, which if you've ever met him, is a nice surprise! It felt strange not having him here for the first couple of nights, but now our little family home is complete with him. Here he is looking suitably unimpressed...



6. Sunday Lunch

As Sunday was still such a lovely day, I invited my Nan round for lunch as she was staying with my parents who were out for the day. She very kindly made a roast dinner and brought it over to the house, and we took a walk through the park opposite after lunch where they had a fair on. Next time she comes round I'll insist on cooking though!


7. Friend Visits

Before we had lunch on Sunday, my friend Louise from college came round to see the house too. She lives in London now, and we only see each other every few months, so I always make sure to see her when she's up visiting family. We had a lovely catch up and I already can't wait for the next one where I'll hopefully be visiting her down south.


8. Sushi

Even though we ate a roast dinner on Sunday, I decided I was still hungry for a proper meal later on in the evening. Although we had food in the house, we chose to have a sushi takeaway from a place in Sale where we've been a couple of times before - plus Just Eat had 25% off too, so it would have been rude not to. Sadly I ate it so quickly that I completely forgot to take a picture!


9. Masterchef

It's not often I talk about TV programmes, but I am SO happy that Masterchef is back on. I'm a massive fan of cookery programmes, and I have watched the series for the last few years. We'd managed to miss quite a few of them with being out and moving still, so we had a lot to catch up on on Sunday evening.



10. Grand National

For the last two years I've flukily (who knew that was a word?) won on the Grand National by betting on the horses that have the best names or the prettiest silks (apparently the name of what the jockeys wear...) This year I wasn't going to have a bet because no one had done a sweepstake at work and I thought what are the chances of winning three years in a row on a whim. Jordan is very much in to horse-racing and was showing me a video on Facebook where all of the names flash up and you pause it on one. I decided that it couldn't hurt to put a bet on, and that fateful horse was One For Arthur. We were walking back down the canal when the race was on and I really wasn't paying attention, so when he said that it had won, I was in shock! Maybe I am lucky after all...



11. Friday Treat

On Friday I met up with my friend Sophie for a scone at Sugar Junction in Altrincham. It'd been a while since I had been there, but unfortunately they were running low on cakes (I blame Easter holidays) so we both opted for the same, which they warmed up and had cherries in - very nice!


xx

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Saturday, 8 April 2017

21 Things I've Learnt From Buying A House



Unless you're new around here, you might have noticed that a couple of weeks ago, my boyfriend and I finally got on the property ladder and bought our first home together.

Although it feels like it was an eternity since we viewed the house and finally walked through the door, our experience was actually quite seamless - I've heard horror stories in the past!

Here are 20 things I've learnt from the experience...


1. You'll need about £5k more than your deposit

It depends on the cost of your house, but solicitors fees, surveys, stamp duty and all the other wonderful crap that comes with buying a house isn't cheap. Make sure you bear this in mind when you're putting your offer in - and be warned, estate agents will most likely ask for proof of funds or just a laughable screenshot of how much debt you're going to be in...


2. Everything takes longer than expected

Whatever time-frame you are given by your solicitor, mortgage advisor or estate agent, add a week o for good measure. Who knew receiving a letter from the seller's solicitor could take up to a fortnight - oh that's right, everyone but you...


3. Solicitors are notoriously hard to get hold of

So you've tried to ring your solicitor, and they're on lunch... no problem. Ring an hour later and they're in a meeting... ok I can deal with that. Ring back at the end of the day... they've finished and will answer your query in the morning. Except no they don't. Just keep pestering; they're used to it.


4. Paying your deposit will feel like you're cutting off a limb

Once you click confirm transaction (after triple checking the bank details) your heart will slowly sink into your stomach as you realise you no longer have any life savings.


5. Everything looks different in natural light

Chances are, if you're like us and work all day, you'll be viewing the property in the evening when it'll most likely be a bit darker. Unless you take a torch into every room and get on your hands and knees to check out the carpet, paintwork and skirting boards, chances are, you're going to miss something.


6. House stuff can be very pricey

Once you have the keys, have paid your monies (and done a little cry) you'll realise how expensive furniture, plates, glasses etc. all are. There are ways to keep the cost down - accept things from your family and friends, shop smartly and don't eat for the first month.


7. Whatever you think something will cost, double it

I've never had anyone do any work to my home before - painting, joining, fixing etc. - so I wasn't sure how much any of it would cost. There was a bit of painting that we needed doing when we got the keys and I stupidly thought that it wouldn't cost too much to do. Wrong... We had quotes from 3 people, of which there was £500 difference across them. Make sure you do your shopping when it comes to decisions like that and ask for recommendations.


8. You'll never know the right time to introduce yourself to your neighbours

They'll see you move in, but as soon as they want to come over, you're in the door unpacking boxes. We met our first neighbour when he had to help us get a chest of drawers out of the car. Slightly embarrassing, yes, but at least it broke the ice!


9. You're the one in charge

When we first got the keys, we didn't have any hot water for the first few days, and the person we had bought the house off was on holiday. Unfortunately, this meant that we were delayed moving in, and we had to ask a family friend to come and have a look at the boiler. That's the thing about being a homeowner - you're the landlord now.


10. If you can, visit the property at night

Not something I've learnt, but a piece of advice that was given to me before we put an offer in and one I would recommend doing if you are new to an area.


11. DIY takes agesss

Got a wardrobe to put up? Can't take more than a couple of hours surely? You'll be in the pub in no time! Think again... Once you have deciphered which nail is which and which hole said nail goes in over and over again, that time will have passed long ago...


12. You'll notice stuff that you didn't when you first viewed it

Was the carpet always that colour? Did the dining room always have this light fitting? Was the shower always that small? Who knows, but it's your responsibility now!


13. Everyone in IKEA is out to get you

A bit of an exaggeration, but it's what it will feel like when you visit 5 times in a fortnight. My advice - go on a Monday evening and make sure you reward yourself with a pick 'n' mix at the end.


14. Ebay is great alternative for furniture

It might not be the most logical option if you're trying to move in straight away, but I found that eBay has some great offers on bedside tables, corner units and general housey stuff. And most of the time it's cheaper than getting it in store.


15. Painting is therapeutic

Well, painting flat, rectangular walls is (I can't vouch for anything different). But if you have any rooms that you feel comfortable doing yourself, just whack your music on, get into some baggy clothes and go for it!


16. You have to have insurance for everything

When we were at the final stages of our journey, our mortgage advisor asked if we had written a will and whether we had life insurance in place, to which, I nervously laughed - but it turns out, you can't actually get the keys to your new house unless you have property and contents insurance in place. Oh and get a decent life insurance policy, as morbid as it is.


17. You'll want to impulse buy everything

A vintage cocktail dispenser? A wine rack that looks like a saxophone? A 3m tall plant? Of course our budget will stretch *eye roll*. Now you've bought your own house, you become strangly drawn to the home section of shops. Make a list of everything you need to be able to move in, and see if you have enough left to splurge a little bit.


18. You'll lose sight of whether you bought a house or a cardboard factory

Once you start buying furniture, unpacking your boxes and throwing them into the spare room, you'll realise how much cardboard you have to recycle. Always a loborious task.


19. Your elbows will start to ache

You'll realise how old you're getting when you start getting elbow pain from using a screwdriver and painting. My advice - buy a drill!


20. An iron is important

Pretty self-explanatory!


21. There's no better feeling coming home to your own space

I've only really felt like this since we have been living in the house - at first, it felt as though we were helping friends paint, or staying in a B&B - but once you've spent all day in an office, it really does make you feel all warm and fuzzy inside to be sitting on the sofa that you paid for (well, financed...) in the house that you own.

xx

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Monday, 3 April 2017

Weekly Love #13


Happy April everyone!

April is one of those months that I really look forward to. It's the start of the evenings being lighter, better weather and the countdown to summer has begun.

This weekend was a good weekend in the UK weather-wise, and I just feel as though that puts everyone in a good mood.

And on that note, this is what I've been loving...

1. Wedding Countdown

Monday the 27th officially marked the 2-month countdown until one of my closest friends walked down the aisle. The wedding has come around so quickly, and I'm so excited for the big day. We've still got the hen do to Ibiza to look forward to as well later this month which I'm really looking forward to.



2. Ikea Trips

On both Monday and Saturday evening (yes, you read that right) I went to Ikea with my Mum and Jordan. I might have had to lie down on the back seat being crushed with a very weighty wardrobe, but we found lots of bits that we needed, which is always something to put a smile on your face (although not so much my bank account...) and now I have a place for all my crap!



3. Byron

On Wednesday evening we had an event with work on Deansgate in Manchester City Centre. After the seminar, I was enlisted to chose where we went for dinner. As I hadn't been in a while, I thought Byron would be a good choice for the four of us, and it didn't disappoint. I had the Korean special, the Kimcheese. and a chocolate brownie for dessert. A great way to spend a weekday evening!



4. Gin Festival

Me and a group of friends went to the Gin Festival at Victoria Baths on Thursday for a night of lovely gin cocktails, food and chats. I went to Victoria Baths for the first time back in February for their Valentine's Day showing of '10 Things I Hate About You' and fell in love with the venue - so when the Gin Festival rocked around, I knew I had to go back. If you've known me for a while, you may think that gin isn't really my drink, and to be honest, I've always been a vodka girl - but after sampling so many different gins and having different mixers with them, I'm a convert! Plus I'm a fan of anything that can get me Thursday night tipsy, without waking up with a hangover. I'll 100% be back next year!



5. Salon Launch

On Friday night, my auntie's new salon had its launch party in Alderley Edge. The salon (called Cheshire Beauty if you want to hit them up) has been going for a while as The Nail Rooms, but has since had a bit of a revamp. It was really lovely to catch up with her, my uncle and my Nan and see all the treatments they have available. I've already got my eye on a spray tan before I go to Ibiza...



6. Catch Up Drinks

I had the day off on Friday to get some house things done, but they took a back seat when I got a text off an old friend visiting from Dubai, saying he was around my area. I could only meet up for a couple of hours before we had a joiner coming round (yep, this is my life now...) but it was great to catch up, and we managed to meet back up after I got back from the salon launch. Sometimes it feels like no time at all has passed when you see old friends, and I love that.



7. Sunny Saturday

As I stupidly managed to break a light bulb all over the landing on Saturday, I thought the best thing to do would be to get outside and have a glass of wine to calm my nerves after the ordeal. I met up with my friend Laura for a drink at Volta in Didsbury and it was such lovely weather that we sat outside and soaked up the sunshine. Saturday's are definitely better with a glass of Malbec in hand.



8. Makers Market

On Sunday. I stupidly took the wrong turning off the motorway back to my parents and ended up on my way to Knutsford, which was actually a blessing in disguise because the Maker's Market was on. We had some lunch and a fresh lemonade and a walk around stroking all the cute dogs, which was definitely better than wasting time in the retail park (although we still went there afterwards...)



9. House Update

Although we are rapidly coming up to our overdraft limits (note the plural...) I feel as though this weekend was really productive in terms of getting little things for the house that we'd ordinarily forget to buy - like a bottle opener for the housewarming! After a weekend of DIY, too many bruises and giving in and buying a drill, the house is actually coming together quite nicely and is starting to feel like home. We should have everything up and be moved in by this weekend which I'm really excited about!

xx

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