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Saturday, 22 August 2015

One year



A year ago today I was at my auntie's beautiful farmhouse, getting ready for the best day of my life. I was full of nerves, excitement and anticipation, hoping that all of the hard work we'd put in for the 2 and a half years that we were engaged, had paid off.

The day was such a whirl of emotion, I still remember waiting outside my auntie's house with my dad and uncle (my chauffeur for the day), when everyone else had left for church, having one last glass of champagne together, the butterflies in my stomach reaching fever pitch.

The day couldn't have been more perfect and I love that our friends and family loved it as much as we did.

Fast forward a year and I'm sat watching cartoons in my dressing gown with my toddler who has been up since 6am and has decided to take all her clothes off.



Nath and I have just returned from a night away. Nath has always been the spoiling type, I can't complain. We spent the night in The Hilton in Manchester which was just lovely, cocktails in the highrise bar, a meal in one of our favourite Italian restaurants, San Carlo followed by a pornstar martini (my favourite) in The Living Room.




I wore one of my favourite LBD's from Missguided and some new shoes from New Look. If you follow me on Instagram or Facebook you'll know that I actually hadn't planned to wear new shoes at all. I'd hastily grabbed a pair of black shoes, luckily took them out of the case in Manchester and realised that I'd grabbed two odd shoes! What a dope! At least I'd taken one left & one right! I ended up having to rush to the Arndale centre to buy a new pair!



I'm very lucky to have someone like Nath, he's so easy going, hardworking and is the most amazing daddy! We'd not been together for very long at all before we found out that we were going to be parents and it could have all been so different for us. He's been my rock through the toughest times and I could never be more thankful to him. I know it sounds soppy but he truly does treat me like a queen and always puts mine and Ava's happiness first. I don't tell him enough how much I love him and how proud and lucky I am. I can't wait to spend my life with him!



Later on we're off for some drinks with friends to celebrate and tomorrow we're having a meal with family. We definitely know how to drag out celebrations in this house!
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Wednesday, 19 August 2015

Hello, I'm still here!

Hi everyone! It's been almost a month since my last post and although it's been lovely to have a break I have so much to tell you!



In my last post I told you that I'd taken on a new job, a full time role that I was looking forward to getting my teeth into. Well, after careful consideration and weighing up all my options, plus going in for some training, I realised it wasn't the job for me. The role wasn't what I thought it was going to be, the days were longer, I was going to lose two weeks holiday and after putting Ava into pre-school for an extra day I wasn't really going to be that much better off money wise.

So I spoke to my manager, cap in hand, and asked if there would be a possibility of reviewing my current, part-time role (luckily they hadn't recruited for mine) and he agreed. I have to wait until September to see if there will be any changes to my job, if any, but I think the whole experience has given me a new perspective. I'm awful for comparing myself to others, something that I really need to stop, and I had lost a lot of confidence, but being offered another post have given me proof that others do want to employ me. I just need to think things through before I jump out of the frying pan into the fire. The grass isn't always greener after all!

House wise, we're getting there, slowly. All decorating is now finished, for now, but we still have a lot of bits and bobs that still need doing, mainly in our front room. Our mantle piece still needs to go up and we want to create a picture wall behind our sofa. I've seen so many gorgeous bits and bobs from Not on the Highstreet and Etsy that I want to buy!

We've had a lot of fun days out lately, The Ice Cream Farm, swimming, our local Summer fair and I've been down to London. We've also had the slight dilemma of our washing machine breaking. Luckily our new machine was delivered today but I never knew how much I relied on it!



Tomorrow Nath and I are heading to Manchester to celebrate our first wedding anniversary-how has it already been a year?!- we are staying at the Hilton and dining at San Carlo, one of our favourite restaurants in the city, I can't wait!



We are heading to Cyprus in just over two weeks for a family holiday so we will be on the hunt for some last minute Summer bits too.

I have a few posts in mind to share with you! I can't wait to get back to blogging!
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Thursday, 23 July 2015

Big life changes- Am I making the right choice?



After writing a post about "stopping blogging" two weeks ago, I seem to inadvertently done just that.

It was unintentional, I promise, life just seems to have taken over, and something pretty huge has happened. I've got myself a new job, a full-time one. And in truth I'm a bit scared!

I've been in my current position for almost 7 years and have been lucky to work part time but it's no secret that I don't enjoy my job. Unfortunately being a stay at home mum isn't an option for me and I believe we spend far too much of our lives at work to be unhappy.

So last Monday a job came up in my town, within walking distance from my house (at the moment I commute which takes me about 40mins a day via car), it's in HR, the sector I want to get into and it seems like a nice place to work. I applied for it and was asked to go in for a interview the very same day. I was offered the job on Tuesday.

I'm not going to lie, I was pretty proud of myself. One thing that has happened to me since working in the same place, for all these years, in a job that I don't enjoy, is that my self-esteem and confidence has been quashed. This gave me such a boost to know that they really liked me and wanted me to work for their company. However I hadn't expected to feel as torn as I did. If I wasn't a mother it would be a no brainer but working 9-5, with no more Wednesdays off, not much more money and less holiday seemed like too much to bear but after mulling it over, long chats with Nathan and figuring it all out I've decided to take it.



It's in HR, which is what I want to do, I hope this will get my foot in the door, the salary is reviewed on an annual basis, I'll hopefully get some job satisfaction and will save so much money on petrol and general car wear & tear. There is progression for me in this new role, a real chance for a fresh new start. Somewhere for me to prove myself, not to anyone else but mainly to prove myself that I can do it!

I'm still completely petrified that I'm jumping out of the frying pan and into the fire, it means Ava going to pre-school for an extra day but luckily Nath's working hours allow him to be there every afternoon to collect her so she won't have to go into breakfast or after-school club. I know that I would regret not taking this opportunity once she starts school next September. I would have always wondered what could have been and I think that we only regret the chances we didn't take.

Nathan has said that Wednesday can be our family evening, whether we go for a walk, out for dinner or watch a film together. I hope that the time I do spend with Ava will be quality time. Mother's guilt is so hard and I can't help feeling that I'm wasting away precious time with her. I just hope that I'm doing the right thing.
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Monday, 13 July 2015

Ideas for expanding our home*

As you may know we recently bought our own home. We were lucky that, as first time buyers we were able to buy such a lovely home for such a great price and, although we haven't been here long ,I'm already thinking of ways to improve it.

We have already decorated throughout and are lucky enough to have a three bedroomed house, although there is room to expand into the roof if we so wish. There is something about loft conversions that I just love, I don't know if it's the beams, quaint, slanted roof or the quirky roof blinds.


Our third bedroom is currently Ava's playroom but converting the loft would be an ideal way to maximise the space and create something new.

I would love to create a bedroom for Nath and I. A Pintrest perfect, light, bright room in cool grey tones. We would obviously need the obligatory slanted roof windows but there is nothing worse than being woken by sun light, luckily Itzala offer a huge range of roof blinds, from blackout blinds to Disney themed blinds, there is something for every taste.

Although I would be tempted to transform the space into a child's bedroom or nursery as their Disney themed roof blinds are so sweet and different, I know that Ava would just love the Cinderella blind!

Moving house is so exciting, I love having a blank canvas to create our perfect family home. I can’t wait for our work so far to be finished so that I can show you around!


*PR Collaboration
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Thursday, 9 July 2015

Mummy pamper evening feat OPI*

Once a week I gather together my favourite pampering goodies and lock myself away in the bathroom once Ava is in bed. The next day I feel happier, relaxed and a little more tanned, thanks to Fake Bake.


Soap & Glory are a staple in my bathroom, every Christmas I receive one of their gift boxes and I add to my collection throughout the year.

Nath bought me the Daily Soothe for Christmas. It's almost finished but it will be repurchased, I love it. It's basically bubble bath which you scoop out with your hand and swirl into your bathwater. It has a strong fragrance which leaves you smelling sweet after your bath. I've recently bought the Breakfast Scrub which smells as though I've mixed some porridge oats and maple syrup together and smothered it onto myself. It takes every amount of self restraint I have not to eat it!

My hair is terrible at the moment, luckily I'm booked in for a hair appointment next week but I have been using my Wella hair mask in the meantime. It's a heated hair mask which feels slightly strange at first but it leaves my hair feeling lovely and glossy.

Fake Bake is by far my favourite tanning brand. I hate looking pale and peaky and over the years I have tried every fake tan out there, but I always go back to Fake Bake. "Flawless" comes with a pair of latex gloves and a velvety mitt which makes application a doddle. If you are looking for the perfect tanning product for the Summer months, I highly recommend this one.

A few weeks ago I bought some Origins products, they really didn't agree with my skin and left it looking red, spotty and angry. I have always been lucky to have quite clear skin so I was gutted. I contacted REN & Pai who sent me a few samples of their products and I adore the Pai facemasks. My skin has completely cleared up and using the facemasks helped. They are specially formulated for sensitive skin so I will be buying the bigger versions once I have run out.

Coconut is my favourite, I love to eat it, to drink it and to smell like it and slathering myself in coconut butter is the best! I buy mine from Boots and it's thick, creamy and smells divine.



I have a "thing" about nails. I hate them being nude, nude nail polish, sure but nails without nail polish make me feel a bit ill. Especially toes... anyway, I was recently sent the new Hawaii gift set from OPI and I couldn't wait to give the colours a whirl. The shades are perfect for Summer, two pretty pastels for daytime and two bright, vibrant colours for evening. The small sizes are ideal to pop into your handbag for a quick touch up during the day and I love the wide brush which makes application a lot easier.


"That's Hula-rious"
 


 
"Suzi shops and island hops"
 
I adore pastel shades, especially in the Spring/ Summer months so both "That's Hula-rious" & "Suzi shops & island hops" are right up my street. I did find that both shades were quite watery and needed a few applications before they became a strong colour. Still beautiful polishes all the same.
 
 
 
"Aloha from OPI"
 
This was my favourite shade from the gift set. I love this bright, vibrant coral that would look perfect with a Summer tan. I think this shade would compliment every outfit. This polish gave a good, strong colour on first application.


"Lost my Bikini in Molokini"
 
Again, this polish gave a good strong colour on first application. I was worried that this shade would be too dark but once it dried it is a lovely, bright purple.
 
 
The giftset can be purchased from Justmylook for £9.95 and would make the perfect travel companion.
 
*I was sent the OPI Hawaii giftset free of charge in exchange for an honest review. Thoughts are 100% my own
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Monday, 6 July 2015

The weekend #9 Facepaints, lady birds and McDonalds

We have something on EVERY single weekend in July so safe to say it's going to be a busy month. I'm desperate to get back into vlogging, I just can't find the time at the moment. Hence this week's weekend post going up late.

Saturday

We had a very busy, fun weekend planned. Luckily the sun was shining on Saturday as we had lots planned.

I made myself some Deliciously Ella creamy coconut porridge to start the day, I must say it was amazing! It left me feeling full without that awful bloated feeling.



Nath bought Ava a paddling pool last week and she was desperate to get in it! The weather wasn't great on Saturday morning but luckily we have a sunhouse which was lovely and warm (with tiled floors, bonus) so I put her in there whilst I go on with some jobs around the house.



In the afternoon we had a fun day at Ava's school, by this point the sun was beating down and we had a brilliant afternoon together. Ava had her face painted, we much on burgers and sausage baps and realised (terrifyingly) that Ava has absolutely no fear whatsoever.



Huge slide, tiny human, nervous parents.



We then returned home and made some smoothies whilst enjoying the sunshine. My dad then came to pick Ava up as she was staying at his whilst we went to our friend's fancy dress party. The theme was dress up as something beginning with the first letter of your last name. At lot harder than I'd imagined, ours was L so I chose a lady bird and Nathan went as Leonardo the Ninja Turtle. There were some great costumes, it was such a fun night.



Sunday


I had a brilliant lie in on Sunday and picked Ava up at midday, we headed straight to McDonalds for a little treat and on the way home the heavens opened and we had a torrential downpour. We spent the rest of the afternoon snuggling in my bed watching Netflix or playing with Ava's wooden toys.



We even had a curry for our dinner so not the healthiest of dinners!

It's my birthday on Friday and we have a very bust weekend. Nath and I are heading to Chester races on Saturday with some friends followed by a meal out and on Sunday we have our gorgeous nephew's Christening.



I'm keeping my fingers crossed for some sunshine! What did you get up to?




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Should I stop blogging?



My blog will be 3 in November this year, believe it or not. It makes me feel sad that during that time I have stopped and started it so many times it's never really taken off. Now I feel almost stuck in a rut with it, I know where I would like my blog to be, I just don't seem to have the time, or the energy to invest into it.

Unfortunately my main issue is my job, a job that I quite honestly despise and for the past week I have been coming home in either a furious mood or in tears. There is no other option for me at the moment but to work, although my dream is just to stay at home and work on my blog and YouTube channel.

I have loved this little space of mine for (almost) three years but I'm really stuck in limbo. I don't know whether it's worth me carrying on, limping on with hap hazard posts now and again or just giving it up completely. The blogging community is an amazing one and I've often been so touched by lovely comments I receive but I feel that it's not one I've embraced fully. I don't comment enough on blogs that I love and always feel a little left behind and I have no one else to blame for than but myself.

My heart really doesn't want to give up this little space, one which I've put so much love and care into but my head says that if I honestly can't find the time for it and it's not going where I want it to then what is the point?!

I feel like I've lost my sparkle lately, I feel like I need a good kick up the butt, or a holiday!
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