Wednesday, 30 April 2014

Turning our house into a home #2

We've done a lot more work in our new house over the last few weeks, particularly over the Easter weekend, so I thought I'd share some photos of how things are progressing. We've certainly achieved a lot since my first 'Turning our house into a home' post!

I've done lots of work on our front garden... do you like my pink garden gloves? I went to B&M Bargains and kitted myself out with gardening gloves and a mini fork and trowel. The flower bed below was full of horrible sprawling plants and weeds so I decided to pull them all up and start again. This was a strangely therapeutic task. I've planted lots of flower seeds so I'm hoping this will be full of colourful flowers in a few months!

My parents also bought us these cute little wooden fences as a present to separate the flower bed from the lawn and to add a bit of character. I think they make the front garden look extra homely and it'll look so pretty when (if!) the flowers start blooming in a few months. 

On top of our gardening work, we've also added a lot of fixtures and fittings inside the house, as well as a few pieces of furniture in our bedroom. It's so lovely to see the house finally coming together with our own little touches. Luckily we have very similar tastes so there haven't been any (major) squabbles about colours, curtains or cabinets! 

Talking of cabinets, I love our shiny new bathroom cabinet... I can even reach the top shelves, just about. 

We've also bought all our curtain rails and have put up these beautiful curtains in our bedroom. The photo doesn't do the colour justice, but they're a lovely baby blue with a delicate white floral pattern. The walls are a very light shade of blue so the curtains are a great match. The silver curtain rail matches the silver door handles and light switches... as you can tell, I love a bit of colour coordination! 

We also spent far too much time in IKEA over the Easter weekend and bought our chest of drawers and matching bedside tables. Our bedroom is full of white furniture as the doors are all white and the feature wall is white and grey/silver, so everything matches perfectly. Obviously.

I'm also a big fan of the little grey and chrome lamps we bought from Argos a few months ago. Got to love the all important finishing touches! 

The bedroom is quickly becoming my favourite room. I love the colour scheme as it's perfect for a room that should be the most relaxing room in the house, and the white furniture is just beautiful. 

It's all coming together slowly, and we have lots of other exciting house plans over the next few months as we continue to make it our own. 

Have you moved house recently and blogged about your experiences? Send me your links! 

Monday, 28 April 2014

Cosmeston Country Park

I now own a house a stone's throw away from a country park... I never thought I'd write that sentence!

The weather was beautiful last Monday afternoon so we went for a walk around Cosmeston Country Park after putting together a chest of drawers (as you do). Cosmeston is very sprawling so you could walk around it for hours if you were so inclined, but we went for a fairly short 45 minute walk around one of the lakes. The lake itself is beautiful, but there are also pretty walkways, trees, flowers and a little play area for children.

Here are some photos of Cosmeston Country Park... such a tranquil place, even when it's full of children / swans / dogs!

So pretty! Has anyone else visited Cosmeston lately? Do you have any photos? Send me your links!

Friday, 25 April 2014

Outfit of the Day... trip to Cardiff Bay!

As promised in my latest Easter in photos blog post, I thought I'd elaborate on what I got up to over the Easter weekend. One of my favourite outings was our walk to Cardiff Bay on Saturday, so I thought I'd start with a post on that. I'm also conveniently combining it with an Outfit of the Day post as I haven't done one of those for a while!

Dress - New Look (out of stock)
Shoes - Red Herring at Debenhams (last year)
Bag - Guess, from Florida

I really love this new dress from New Look so I thought I'd wear it on our stroll to Cardiff Bay last Saturday. It was actually pretty cold in the morning/early afternoon, so I unfortunately had to wear a coat over it. I also bought these pretty shoes from Debenhams last year which went perfectly with the dress. They're black with green and red flowers so I haven't worn them much as I don't wear green or red very often. This dress therefore gave me the perfect opportunity to wear these shoes! My bag is yet another Guess purchase from Florida... this one was actually a present from Neil the last time we visited Orlando. Simple outfit, but I like it!

Once we got to Cardiff Bay, we had a little wander around the main shopping area then popped in to Fabulous Welshcakes and bought a blueberry welshcake and a chocolate chip welshcake each. You might think people shouldn't mess with the traditional welshcake flavour, but I can guarantee that you'd change your mind if you tasted these. I'm already so excited that Fabulous Welshcakes are providing the favours for our wedding day!

We then walked over to the Red Dragon Centre and had a hot chocolate in The Coffee House, run by Cadwaladers (a Welsh ice cream chain). Yes, I know I drink too much hot chocolate. In my defence, I always ask for skimmed milk. I don't like tea or coffee... what else is there for me to drink in a coffee establishment?

There were a few market stalls near the Mermaid Quay area so we had a look at those before heading back to my flat. There were stalls selling slate goods, jewellery, cupcakes, welshcakes, photo prints, curry powder, cheese, fudge and lots more! You can't beat a cluster of Welsh market stalls. I bought these lovely earrings for £3 from a craft stall... they conveniently go with my new green dress. 

The Bay is a really pretty place and I always love walking around there, even if it was a bit cold on Saturday. There isn't actually much to do in the Bay unless you want to eat and drink all day, but it's always a nice place to visit for a couple of hours. 

Have you been to Cardiff Bay recently? Did you also give in to the temptation of Fabulous Welshcakes?

Wednesday, 23 April 2014

Easter in photos

I had a long five day weekend over Easter and took lots of photos of what I got up to, so I thought I'd publish an 'Easter in photos' post just to summarise my weekend. I'll be blogging about some of these activities in more detail over the next week or so, but here's a little taster. 'Taster' is a good choice of wording here... I ate rather a lot!

My weekend started early with a trip to Pizza Express on Thursday
with Edwina and Sarah

Options hot chocolate in my Easter mug

My Easter nails

Bit of gardening...

Carvery at Cedar Tree Farm

A wander to Cardiff Bay

Went to the pub and had a hot chocolate!

Neil cooked dinner one night.
Stuffed peppers, salad and continental meats to start...

...and bacon, leek and asparagus cheesy tagliatelle for the main course!

Toasted hot cross buns for breakfast

We spent a lot of time in IKEA

As a consequence of our visit to IKEA, we built some furniture

Reduced Easter chocolate 

Aldi's Mini Eggs are nicer than the real thing!

Lovely walk around Cosmeston Lakes

Jack Daniel's burger in T.G.I.Friday's

Went to see The Amazing Spiderman 2... it actually was amazing!

More cooking from Neil. Spanish scrambled eggs!

Easter present from Neil

Last hot chocolate of the weekend in Caffe Nero,
with a sneaky Lindt bunny!

What did you get up to over Easter? Did you take as many photos as I did?

Monday, 21 April 2014

My new sunglasses... thanks, Poundland!

Yes, you read the title correctly... I recently bought some sunglasses from Poundland. Before you judge and wonder what on earth possessed me, look how pretty they are!

Aren't they beautiful?! I've been looking for mint sunglasses for months so I was very excited when I stumbled across these in Ebbw Vale Festival Park last weekend. They're a lovely bright mint colour with white polka dots, and they cost £1! I'd have hoped you'd already grasped the price from the title, but I thought I'd emphasise it just in case. Coincidentally, this pair of sunglasses is a perfect match for the mint vest top I bought in H&M a few weeks ago.

The sunglasses do look quite small and could initially be mistaken for children's sunglasses... however, they fit me perfectly and I definitely don't have a particularly small head, so I'm assuming they are supposed to be for adults!

It was lovely and sunny the day after I bought these so I was able to wear them the very next day. I kept looking at my reflection in the car mirror and grinning... I think Neil thought I'd lost my mind. 

Have you ever bought sunglasses from Poundland? I think I might be in the minority here! 

Friday, 18 April 2014

A day out in Bristol

Before last October, I'd never been to Bristol city centre. I've been to Cribbs Causeway several times, but I'd never set foot in the actual centre of Bristol.

After venturing to Bristol for the first time and having a lovely day there with Amy last October, we decided to meet there again last week for a catch up and some shopping (and eating, obviously). Liz travelled from London to meet us for the day so it was a bit of a grand reunion! I decided to travel on the Megabus to avoid the stress of driving and parking in a new place... the bus journey cost £7.50. When you consider that the Severn bridge alone would have cost me £6.40 if I'd have driven, this was a total bargain. I even managed to have a seat to myself until we stopped in Newport!

The Megabus took an hour or so to get to Bristol and dropped me off at Colston Hall. Such a lovely building! I did get a bit lost when I attempted to find my way to Debenhams, but a very kind charity worker gave me detailed directions which put me back on track. I didn't donate any money to her charity though... I felt mildly guilty about this.

Once we'd all found each other, we decided to go straight for food. I'm glad all my friends love food as much as I do! We headed to Cabot Circus and decided to eat in Frankie and Benny's as it has good lunch deals and also has something for everyone due to its range of cuisines. I decided to be vaguely healthy and went for the penne meatballs rather than choosing something that came with chips. However, believe it or not, my decision was made in vain as the meatballs were actually served with chips. Well, I was offered a choice between chips and salad... who on earth would choose a salad when faced with those two options? Chips and pasta on the same plate isn't something I've ever experienced before, but I won't complain too much. As I've frequently mentioned on my blog, I love carbs more than any normal person should. The meatballs were really good, and the pasta, sauce and chips weren't bad either. We decided to go for dessert too as the deal was just too tempting (it would have been rude not to), so I went for the apple and cinnamon crumble with ice cream. Delicious!

After finishing our food and having a good catch up, we did some shopping. I'm busy saving for my wedding and honeymoon so I didn't buy much, but I was very pleased with the two honeymoon purchases I did decide to make. I've actually worn the earrings already as they're so beautiful, elegant and versatile, but I think the shoes will definitely be saved for our honeymoon. I don't usually wear heels but I can walk in these with no problems as they've got a strap and they're not too high. Result.

After shopping for a few hours and doing rather a lot of walking around various corners of the city centre, we simply had to stop for a drink in Costa. It was essential that I had my obligatory hot chocolate to replenish my energy levels!

As we wound down in Costa, we were already talking about the next time we'll all be together... my hen weekend in July! However, I think we'll be planning more days out in Bristol in the not too distant future. It really is a great city with lots of contrasting areas and a vast array of shops, restaurants and interesting places to wander around. It's also easy to get to and is quite a central place for us all to travel to once in a while.

Here are some photos of Bristol... might as well slot them in to back up my compliments!

I love the architecture of Cabot Circus 


The road leading up to Cabot Circus

Yet another area in the city centre, near where I got lost!

My bus back to Cardiff wasn't until 7pm so I had a lovely long day in Bristol. My return bus was a double decker... I've never been on a Megabus double decker before! I get excited about such simple things. I had a seat to myself for the whole journey back, and it only took about 50 minutes as we didn't stop in Newport. Great end to a great day.

Have you been to Bristol recently? What did you think? Let me know if there are any other areas of Bristol you think I should visit!