Tuesday, 1 March 2016

The Best Surprise!


As I sat at the weekend writing my 24th Birthday Wishlist post, it got me reminiscing about my 23rd Birthday last March where I was sipping sangria in sunny Barcelona, soaking up the amazing culture and stunning architecture that the city has to offer. It was my first time visiting Barcelona last year and Craig and I vowed not to leave it too long until we visited again.

Little did I know that Craig was about to drop the bombshell of my 24th birthday surprise - We're off to Barcelona!!

I haven't been able to sit still since he told me he had booked us a weekend in Barcelona staying at the stunning W Hotel, overlooking the beach - the excitement is real! I've always wanted to stay at this hotel and read so many positive reviews from bloggers and on Trip Advisor, not only does it appear to be the coolest place to stay in Barcelona...it's location and beautiful views from the bedrooms look amazing - I can't wait to experience it for myself!

Walking around Barcelona last year, The W Hotel was visible from almost everywhere you looked...it's a unique building that stands out for miles. Everywhere I went in Barcelona I'd look at it and wish I was staying there for that incredible view! I am so excited that this year I actually get to stay there for myself. The Eclipse Nightclub looks pretty impressive too...it would be rude not to have a birthday drink in there and experience everything that the W Hotel has to offer!

I can't wait to spend my birthday in Barcelona this year, we're flying out in just over 2 weeks so the countdown is most definitely underway! I can't wait to tell you all about it, hopefully the weather is lovely and I'll have some impressive pictures!

Have you been to Barcelona or stayed at the W Hotel? Any recommendations of cool places to visit or to eat - let me know in the comments!

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Wednesday, 24 February 2016

24th Birthday Wishlist


Ever since we bought our first house last summer, I've ditched my shopping addiction and focused all my efforts on our little house. These days you are more likely to find me browsing the aisles of B&Q than Selfridges beauty hall,  and weekends consist mainly of DIY and painting rather than getting all pampered and ready to hit the town!

While I'm really enjoying this stage in my life, it also means I do really appreciate the occasional browse round my favourite shops. I'm quite excited for my birthday this year, to enjoy some much needed 'me time' and get treated to something other than a new pair of curtains or tin of paint!

Every year my boyfriend and my parents are always asking for ideas of what they can get me for my birthday and I usually struggle to choose anything, but this year as I haven't been buying anything for myself...I've got a huge wishlist already and my birthday isn't till March!! (P.s...greed disclaimer! - these are just a few things I'm lusting after at the moment, but I absolutely do not expect to get everything on this list!)

I included a few makeup bits that would be a real treat as I usually tend to buy high street makeup for myself. I'm almost out of my Nars All Day Luminous foundation so for my next high end foundation purchase I'd really like to try the Charlotte Tilbury Magic foundation. there's also a few Mac lipstick shades I've got my eye on and I'd love to try some new spring shades from Clinique.

My boyfriend has already mentioned that he wants to get me a Pandora bracelet for my birthday as I've wanted one for a while now. I'm sure it will be really nice building a collection of charms that all mean something to me.

What's on your wishlist at the moment?

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Sunday, 21 February 2016

Six months in our new home

Six months ago we took the plunge and made the biggest purchase of our lives...buying our first home.

As soon as we'd decided we were ready to live together, we immediately started looking at properties for sale, constantly browsing Rightmove and stopping to gaze into the windows of estate agents anytime we were wandering down our local high street. 

It was only after we'd bought the house and I was telling everyone that I realised that the majority of people I spoke to had rented a place with their partner before taking the leap into home ownership. "Oh wow, so you've never even lived with him before?" seemed to be a common response. I began to panic about the prospect of living with this messy male and how we were locked in to this mortgage for the next 25 years! Would the stress of adjusting to living together as well as being responsible for keeping this roof over our heads all be too much for us to handle?

Luckily my cold feet was just momentary and we soon proved ourselves wrong. Six months later and we couldn't be happier in our new home together. It was the best feeling picking up those keys (mainly waving goodbye to solicitors and their fees!) and we soon got into the swing of home ownership, getting our finances in order and organising all the bills and boring stuff.

The exciting (and expensive part!) is still ongoing - decorating and making the house our own. At the moment it doesn't feel like we've done very much as we're doing little bits at a time. So far we've painted over some flowery wallpaper in the bedroom as a quick fix make over, and we've replaced all the carpets upstairs (downstairs is all wood). Apart from that, we've mainly just been buying and assembling flat pack furniture - a real relationship test!! And generally just enjoying living together.

At the moment we're currently working towards a new kitchen, and as it gets closer to spring I'm also looking at the garden and hoping the good weather comes soon so we can enjoy it!

I am planning to post a home tour in the future - probably as soon as I've done a bit more work in the house!

Have you moved recently? Or do you have any interiors inspo to share?

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Monday, 21 December 2015

Favourite Christmas Pins

It's no secret that I'm a Pinterest obsessive, but at this time of year I think my obsession gets even worse! Pinterest is always jam packed with festive baking and craft ideas as well as tree inspiration and party outfit ideas. I'm addicted.

Each year I like to try out some different Pinterest creations...I'm always usually doing the easiest most effortless things, but that's the beauty of Pinterest - some of the ideas are so simple you don't need to be a master baker or crafter to have a go....yet you still feel like Nigella!

I thought I'd put together some of my favourite pins from my Christmas and winter Pinterest boards.

If you are a Pinterest obsessive, feel free to check out my boards (link below), and leave your own links in the comments too!

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Sunday, 20 December 2015

January Sales Home & Lifestyle Wishlist

I apologise, this is definitely not one of my most interesting blog posts. But now that I'm a homeowner my shopping doesn't get to consist of just makeup and clothes anymore. *sobs*...

Anyway, harsh realities aside, there's a few home and lifestyle things I really have my eye on at the moment and will be watching out for in the January sales.

1. Garden Furniture
We moved into our house at the end of July this year, and summer was almost non existent so I didn't rush out right away and buy garden furniture only for it to sit in its box in the shed till next summer. I figured January is probably a great time to buy something like this as it's so completely out of season. Hopefully I'll be ready to host some summer BBQs next year!

2. Sofa Bed
I really want to get a sofa bed for our spare room for when Craig works night shifts. One of our spare rooms is a junk storage room that will soon turn into my dressing room once I eventually unpack all our boxes. The other is Craig's little man cave. We'd love to get a sofa bed in one of the rooms so that there is still a functional spare sleeping space even though we are both using the spare rooms for other things at the moment.

3. Dyson Handheld
This is the most lame thing ever, I never thought I'd see the day where a vaccum cleaner would be on my blog, but I am seriously turning into a housewife! I've realised that having a beautiful home is not all about shopping for pretty things. I have to actually put in some graft and spend my Saturday mornings cleaning. I think this little tool would make life that little bit easier so I'm hoping there's one of these to be found in the sales!

4. Charlotte Crosby's workout dvd
This is more of a lifestyle item, but I'd definitely like to pick this up in January. I'm one of those annoying cliche "New Year, new me" types. There's just something nice about getting your health kick in full swing after almost a month of solid binging on mince pies and chocolates! I've heard some good things about this dvd so I think it will be fun to try!

5. Kitchen Aid Mixer
This one is unlikely to happen at the moment, but I really would like a mixer for baking, I would also really like a cream one to match all my other kitchen accessories, so naturally...I stumbled across this one!! Maybe next year!

6. Treadmill
Another fitness/lifestyle item to help with my January fitness! I really would like a home treadmill, I'm not a huge fan of the gym, it makes me feel really self-conscious so I prefer to work out at home. I'm hoping I can get one that folds away and isn't too big and bulky, as I'm not sure I really want my spare room to become a gym...I'd just like to be able to store some gym equipment to use when needed.

7. Paint
In the new year I'm really going to be getting stuck into the DIY and getting our house decorated, so I'm hoping I can pick up some bargain DIY supplies in the sales.

8. Dishwasher
Our dishwasher packed in a few weeks ago, when I say 'ours' I mean the dishwasher that was already here when we bought the house, so I don't grudge buying a new one. I'm hoping to pick one up in the sales and put an end to the daily dish washing chore after dinner!

So there it is...the most exciting wishlist of all time! 

Are you a homeowner? What boring household items are you lusting after?

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Friday, 18 December 2015

How We'll Spend Our First Christmas

This year, Christmas is going to be a little different for us as it's our first Christmas living together in our new home. 

Despite having LOADS of work still to do in the house, we're saving that joy for the new year and instead, have decorated our Christmas tree and made the best of what we've got, and I'm loving how cosy and warm the place feels.

It will definitely feel weird not waking up at my parents house this year but as we are going there for Christmas dinner, I won't feel like I'm missing out too much. Usually Christmas at home is pretty chilled out, on Christmas Eve, my boyfriend would come over, and we'd watch a Christmas movie with some Christmassy snacks. On Christmas Day we'd both spend the day at home in our own houses with our families, but he'd come over in the evening after dinner and we'd open presents from each other and watch TV/eat chocolates if we've got any room left after dinner!

So this year, even though we've been together for years, will be the first year spending Christmas day together from start to finish. Christmas Eve will probably remain the same as always, except it will be Christmas movies in our own little house. I'll probably spend the few days before baking festive treats that we can eat too!

On Christmas morning we'll wake up in our own house, put on a nice Christmassy outfit, open our presents to each other and then get ready to head over to my parents house. We'll open presents there too, then eat and chill out!

In the evening we will probably head over to my boyfriend's parents house (just along the road from our house) for a few drinks before walking back to our little house, where I'll probably finish the evening with a relaxing bath and putting on some new Christmas PJs.

Unfortunately Boxing Day is a normal work day for me this year, so I'll be setting my 7.30am alarm and going straight to sleep!

How will you spend this Christmas?

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Thursday, 17 December 2015

Mince Pie Making!

To me, nothing says Christmas like mince pies! I just love sitting down to watch one of my favourite Christmas movies with a cup of tea (or something stronger) and a mince pie in hand.

Usually I just pick up a packet of mince pies when I'm doing the food shop, but now and again I love to make my own, especially if I've got family and friends coming over.

I whipped these up using Jus Roll pastry blocks (cheating, I know!). Then simply roll out the pastry, cut out and place in the muffin tray, filling each with a teaspoon or two of mince meat. Then add the tops to the pies using a beaten egg to seal them together, 

Bake in the over at 180 degrees Celsius for 15-20 mins until golden brown then leave to cool and serve with a dusting of icing sugar....easy as that!

Do you like to make your own mince pies?

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