Friday, 28 September 2012


Thanks (very much) to the leap year, this year my Birthday fell on a Monday. This was the last year I will ever spend my Birthday at work, I made a vow to book it as holiday every year after. This is because after having spent an amazing weekend with my husband and family, I walked into work on Monday morning to my boss being in a foul mood & putting a dampner on my Birthday day immediately.

Having said that, my wonderful husband definately resolved that by taking me out for a delicious mexican/latin american meal followed by a trip to the local theatre to watch the touring production of Grease.

I have watched the film many, many, many (many, many, many) times before, seen the show in London, and I also played Frenchie in the school production about 10 years ago! It's safe to say it is one of my all time favourites! I was a bit worried about whether Matt would enjoy it but he was soon tapping his toes & joining in with the clapping!

One of the other highlights of the weekend was my first every 'wife' card, I loved seeing that in print!

Tiered Sponge {Foodie Photo Friday}

For my first attempt at linking up to Foodie Photo Friday, I have decided to use a photo of this rather yummy sponge cake my mother in law made. I really wanted her to make one as our wedding cake, but at the time she didn't have the confidence. I think it look pretty amazing though! Definately tasted it too!

The Crazy Kitchen

I want...

I have been tagged by the lovely Lauren (Real Houswife of Suffolk) in a new meme - bare with me, this is my first attempt at a tag/meme/linky !!

In Laurens words: "The concept is to basically write the things you want. From simple things to the more ridiculous. Anything goes"

I want...

1. A job that I enjoy and get satisfaction from
2. A healthy and happy family
3. All of my family that live away to all live within an hour of me so I can visit more often
4. Another sunny all inclusive holiday with my husband before we have children
5. More time to be able to spend with those that I love
6. To be able to lose weight without falling at the first hurdle
7. To enjoy the gym (!!!)
8. Children of our own, when the time is right
9. To be able to control my OCD over cleaning/things being in the "right" place
10. To not be such a "moodymoosewife" too often
11. Nicer shaped fingers that aren't splodgy at the top and then end in a point at my fingernails
12. To go out for dinner and not put on 28lbs just by looking at the menu
13. An endless supply of pink fizz
14. To relive our wedding day
15. Local friends that can pop round for a cup of tea
16. My student loan debt to disappear
17. Permanent gel nails
18. To be taller
19. A memory bank of all of my favourite memories so far
20. My life as it is... I love it!

I tag my cousin Milly and anybody else who would like to join in!

Daddy's Girl.. {Flashback Friday}

This time last week I was completely oblivious to the fact that my husband and Dad had been having secret conversations and had planned for my Dad to be sitting on our sofa when I got home from work!

Insignificant to some, but to me this was amazing and truly special!

You see my Dad lives in Wales, a whole 231 miles away from me. He has lived there for almost 10 years, since my parents divorced and I don't get to see him anywhere near as much as I'd like to.

I appreciate relationships & marriages don't always work, but I never like to see children suffer from their parents breakdowns. One of our neighbours is a single Dad (I don't know any details) but I always love to watch when his young daughter, who can only be primary school age, comes to visit. He has her stay over at least 2 or 3 nights during the week and at the weekends too, it is so lovely to watch them play and bond together, sharing Daddy and Daughter time.

My situation is slightly different in that I was 18, at university, when my parents split up. It wasn't a case of going to visit him after school, it was a trip at weekends from university in Portsmouth. At the time I was geographically a lot closer & it was easier to visit my Dad from there. Once university finished though, I moved back "home" to where I grew up in Suffolk and the geographical distance between me & Dad grew again. It became ever more difficult to visit him whilst I was looking for work - lack of money for petrol and waiting around for interviews.

Since then I have only managed to see him a maximum of 3-4 times a year. A far cry from the first 18 years of my life where I saw him every evening and every weekend.

I would give anything to have my Dad living closer to us, but understand why he is there for work and that he is now settled and loves the little village he lives in.

As silly as it sounds I really loved doing "normal" things with Dad last weekend like drinking tea & reading the papers at home! Things you'd take for granted living in a family home all together.

We had a lovely evening on the Friday - Matt made a yummy chilli which we enjoyed with a bottle of champagne given to us on our wedding day, and lots of wine! We ended up chatting round the table in to the evening.

Saturday Matt had to work so Dad and I went out for a lazy breakfast and then headed to a garden centre as he wanted to buy me some bits for the garden for my birthday. Wandering around the garden centre Dad taught me lots about the different bulbs and plants - when to plant, how much sun they like, how often to water, how deep to plant them. It was so nice to hear him talk about his hobby and to pass on his knowledge! We then went back to our house, drank tea, relaxed, read the papers and waited for Matt to come home.

Before we took him back to the train station we decided to go for a drink in a pub garden by the river as the sun had come out.

I was really sad to leave him at the station, luckily I had sunglasses on!

It really was a perfect 24 hours. I love my Dad xxxxx

 I'm linking this up with Flashback Friday:


Tuesday, 18 September 2012

Weekend with friends

This past weekend 14th/15th/16th we have been down in London staying with friends - actually one of my bridesmaids and her boyfriend. Another of my bridesmaids and her husband also came along. It was the first time we'd all been together since our wedding so it was great to have a catch up.

After our sight seeing drive into London (past the Ritz, Trafalgar Square etc... silly sat nav!) in Friday nights rush hour traffic, we eventually got to their house where we were greeted with a much needed ice cold drink! Our hostess had been slaving away that afternoon, making a lasagne followed by a lime cheesecake which we all really enjoyed.

Saturday morning we all had great intentions of getting up early and heading into town for breakfast - our hangovers had other ideas!

When we eventually got out though we headed into South Kensington for coffee. Once we'd had our caffiene fix we decided to brave the boris bikes! Some of us being far more experienced than the rest of us at cycling in London! I can safely say I couldn't remember the last time I had ridden a bicycle other than in the gym! After a few wobbly starts I did get to grips with it though and thoroughly enjoyed it.

Don't ask me exactly where we biked as I haven't a clue, but we started in South Kensington, cycled mostly the whole way around Hyde Park, through some very nice streets with expensive shops, down Pall Mall to see the Queen at Buckingham Palace and ended up along the river where we docked the bikes. It was great fun and something I'd definately do again! It's a great way to see places and very inexpensive too.

This is 5 of us (minus Matt) outside Buck Palace:

From here we went on to Sophies Steakhouse in Covent Garden - which was amazing! I was so impressed.. they did a "steak frite" meal deal for £9.99 which included a large glass of wine too! It was really good. We then enjoyed a cocktail for dessert!

From Sophies we walked along the river hoping to get a boat back towards Fulham but none of them seemed to be going that way at weekends so changed our plans and got on a bus to Putney for a few drinks by the river.

On our way to Putney we came across a florist called 'Only Roses' which had rose petals on the pavement outside the shop - I thought it was absolutely beautiful so had to get a photo:

In the evening we went to a pub around the corner from my friends house called "The Antique Chair" - from the outside you wouldn't think anything of it, and to be honest it doesn't look very appealing with it's dull appearance and net curtains in the window. We had been recommended it though so decided to take a look. I'm glad we did! It was really pretty with very beautiful antique features. The tables & chairs were all worn and mis-match which gave great character. I wish I'd taken more photos, the only one I took was of the glass my G&T came in:

Great weekend had by all : )


The weekend of 8th/9th September we stayed local and continued with our projects at home.

Saturday morning M had to go out to work so I had a "lay-in" (by that I mean 8am!) and then went about doing the housework & laundry etc. I also made some sausage rolls for lunch for when Matt got back from work.

Then we decided that as the weather was nice we'd get out in the garden. Our summer hanging baskets of fuschias were looking a bit tired & hadn't flowered for a few days so I decided they'd come to the end of their life and emptied the baskets. Matt cut the lawn, washed my car & the windows of the house and then we relaxed in the evening watching Saturday night tv with a few drinks and a hairy bikers dinner - which, I think, from memory was the Chicken Jalfrezi which was hot, but really lovely.

Sunday we had planned to get up early and head to Ipswich for the start of the Tour of Britain cycle race which was starting off from there at 10am. Mother in law rang and decided that her & our middle nephew would be coming to see us for the afternoon so we decided to change our original plans of going for breakast and instead pick up some bits for a lunch in the garden.

On our way home we took out a small mortgage in B&Q (!!) and bought some violas for the hanging baskets, some compost to fill the beds with once we'd dug out lots of the slay soil, and also some perennials - lavendars, heathers & roses to fill a bed by our patio door.

It was a really beautiful day and was soooo warm in our garden. Mother in law was a huge help & helped us in the garden.

We encountered one problem though - the corner where we'd intended on planting the perennials was full of concrete & we were unable to dig deep enough for the roots. Matt being the DIY king he is had the great idea of building a raised bed instead. So off he went to B&Q again to buy the same wood boards he used for the decking, after an hour or so of sawing, nailing & coating, plus planting, here is the end result:

I think it makes a great feature & I'm really looking forward to watching it grow : )

Wednesday, 5 September 2012

Bargain Hunting

Last weekend I decided we needed some new plants for our garden pots, so I set off on a tour around the garden shops -  local garden centre, Homebase, B&Q and then remembered about the new Next Home & Garden store that had recently opened locally.
We visited it a couple of months ago intrigued by the garden centre but found that it appeared quite expensive compared to competitors so left empty handed.
Having some time to kill while M was at work I thought that would be a good place to go as I could browse the clothes, home and garden centre.
I was really surprised to find that not only did they have a reduced section on some plants, but that they were also still in quite good condition - some of them perennials too, so with good care over the winter they should produce some lovely flowers next year.
I filled the trolley with £50 worth of plants for £12! I was amazed and really happy! I bought: a lavender plant in a lovely pot, two celosias, an orange dahlia. a pink new guinea and a gorgeous pink rose. I also managed to find a "wedding day" penstamon which is quite appropriate for us as recent newlyweds!

Admittedly I did sneak in the beautiful pink hydrangea too, but at £12 I couldn't resist - it was worth every penny as it looks amazing in our garden. The colour is so striking and just reminds me of our wedding : )
p.s. yes, we do both love the colour pink!

I'm watching you

I have worked at my current company for 2 & 1/2 years, and have always parked in the same multi storey car park since the first day. For as long as I can remember there has been a guy 'appear' at almost exactly the same time in the morning as me & park up, and then return within seconds of me in the evening. I didn't think much of this as presumably there are many people that use the car park who work 9-5 hours.

Then I started noticing him in a lot of other places - shops at lunchtime (again, not unusual for people to take 12-2pm lunchbreak and head into town); if I went out to run an errand for my boss, I would spot him out then too. I remember a particular occassion when it was mid-afternoon and I popped to Sainsburys to get something, and there he was standing outside looking conspicuous..

After a couple of months this guy changed his car to a smart car covered in branding for an estate agency, presumably one he worked for. Not really knowing the town very well, I wasn't sure where this estate agency was (clearly I don't pay much attention on my walk into work.. more about that in a minute) at the time M & I were looking at buying our first house so I was a regular on rightmove, happened to see a nice house so decided to get some further information. Not looking at which agency it was marketed through, I sent an email. When I had a reply I noticed that it was the same agency that said guy worked for - possibly even an email from himself..

I began to feel a bit funny at arriving the same times as him to the carpark so always found a reason to sit in the car a bit longer until he'd clearly left the building - way too awkward holding doors open for him!

On the odd mornings when I found myself walking from the car park towards work and he was in the vicinity I would ring Matt, with absolutely nothing to say, but just because I felt safer having him on the end of the phone as I walked along! To me it felt like said guy would walk quicker to catch me up.. again, I could be completely imagining this and should just put it down to coincidence.

One morning I was obviously paying attention and noticed that the estate agency he worked for was literally around the corner from my office and I have to walk past it in on my way in. If he happens to get to work before me, he is always watching out of the window & makes me so self conscious walking past!

This morning I was early enough to get 1 of 2 "good" parking spaces on the 1st floor, whilst I was getting my ticket from the meter, guess who pulls in?! He proceeds to park next door to my car and hops out. I scurry across to my car and get in via the passenger door (he is parked next to the drivers side) and I took my time to display the ticket and pack up my bag, meanwhile he has locked his car and walked towards the exit. Just when I think the coast is clear, I get out of my car & begin to lock it only to hear his foot steps again!! I have no idea why he went back to his car but it resulted in me having to hold doors open for him and have him walk behind me down the stairs and on to the street towards my office.

I can bet my bottom dollar that he will also be there at 5.03pm this evening when I get to my car too!

Weird or just a coincidence?!?!