Time to relax

To say we’ve been busy lately is a massive understatement. Thanks to the delays with our house purchase it means that our renovations have clashed with Nick having to drive to Gillingham four days a week to judge the Great Taste Awards. It’s so frustrating because we had bags of spare time in February and early March that could have been put to good use but now we’re trying to juggle it all at once and we’re running around like headless chickens half the time. We’re working until 10pm most nights (and on the days when Huxley hasn’t slept through the night we’re both ready to kill someone!)

I don’t want to be a sad-times Sally about it because we’ve got an awful lot done to the house given the time restrictions we’ve had but juggling Huxley, renovation work, actual money-making ‘billed’ work as we’re both self-employed and now Nick’s lack of time has been a pretty massive strain on us all.

To remedy this, we’ve been trying to maximise our relaxation time whenever possible. It really makes a difference to your state of mind if you can just sit quietly for even just 10 minutes a day.

I’ve been making Nick take time out to do yoga whenever possible as I know that as well as stretching his back out and helping his muscles, it also helps him to stay calm and focused mentally. I’ve also been making him listen to music while he’s working at the house as I think this lifts his spirits and takes the tension and seriousness out of the situation a little bit.

I’ve been trying to curl up with a cup of tea and a book for 20 minutes each day to give myself a rest but to be honest, a lot of the time I’m too tired to read and I find it just as relaxing to look out over the garden and do a bit of mental ‘filing’ where I can try and put all my thoughts in order. I’m having to decide what kind of bathroom and kitchen to buy and how I want our bedroom laid out while it’s still all a pile of rubble and it’s making my brain hurt!

Rob Ryan & Party Ring cushion from Flamingo GiftsTop: Miss Selfridge (old) | Jeans: Gap | Slippers: Next | Rob Ryan cushion & party ring cushion: c/o Flamingo Gifts (currently with 10% off everything and 1p delivery!)

Here’s some before and after shots of the house so you can see what a complete mess it is right now!

This is the kitchen. We’ve knocked the wall through to the dining room to make a big kitchen/diner. Check out the wallpaper!

Kitchen before

Kitchen afterThe bedrooms had to have all the plasterboard removed as they need insulating properly so we currently have no walls upstairs!

Bedroom before

Bedroom after

As you can see, we’ve got a long way to go yet!

 

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Out for lunch!

I took my grandparents out for lunch at The White Buck in Burley last week. They have both recently turned 80 but what with Christmas getting in the way and a huge 3-week cruise (that caught fire and they had to come home early from!) we hadn’t had a chance to celebrate yet.

I didn’t really know what to buy either of them for their birthdays and I know they get a lot of pleasure from seeing and spending time with Huxley so I thought taking them out somewhere nice for lunch was the best solution.

I didn’t take any pictures at lunch as I think my grandparents would have considered it a bit rude. They don’t really understand what I do at all as they don’t have a computer and my explanations would have just been met with confused faces. So no food porn over here today I’m afraid. In case you were wondering, I had fish and chips, and you all know what that looks like anyway ;)

I was a bit torn about what to wear because my nan has spent my entire life moaning at me for always looking scruffy but I’m such a ‘jeans and comfort’ girl I find this hard to get around. Plus it was a daytime affair at a (posh) pub so a dress would have been over the top. I decided to go for the best of both worlds with a white silky shirt (brave choice with an 18 month old!), black skinny jeans and Converse. I thought I’d take the opportunity to use my swanky new DKNY handbag that Harvey Nichols sent me. (Yes there was a lot of screaming and jumping up and down when that email came through!)

Isn’t it beautiful? I’m not one for excess so only really have 3 handbags, my Mulberry Bayswater (which is massive & heavy), my Kate Spade satchel and a scruffy khaki shoulder bag that I use when travelling. So I was really lacking in the ‘posh black bag’ department and this one fits the bill perfectly. It’s just the right size to fit everything you need for a night out and smartens up any outfit wonderfully – which is pretty handy for a scruffball like me!

British fashion blogger wearing silk shirt black skinny jeans Converse DKNY bag

UK fashion blogger with DKNY handbag from Harvey Nichols

DKNY black Saffiano cross body bag from Harvey Nichols

UK fashion blogger The Style BoxShirt: H&M | Jeans: Gap | Shoes: Converse | Bag: DKNY c/o Harvey Nichols

 

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Holiday planning – India

As well as planning a trip to Orlando in December this year, we’re also thinking of going away to India. I know they seem like two very extravagant holidays for someone who has just moved into a new house that needs completely renovating but we’ve both been saving hard for these trips for a few years now. The trip to India would be to celebrate Nick’s 30th which was in January but at the time we just went to London for a few days because we were waiting to exchange on our new house so we decided to put off the trip until later in the year when we were all more settled.

I’ve been to India before about 10 years ago and it was so fabulous. I was lucky enough to trek around the Himalayas, get lost in Delhi and marvel at the Taj Mahal. (Cue cringey photo…)

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This time around it will be slightly different because we’ll have Huxley with us. This is the main reason I’ve been searching for more luxurious holiday ideas and hotels in India rather than the usual cheap-and-cheerful style of holiday that Nick & I usually go on! As lovely as India is, due to the noise & dustiness, it would be nice to be able to escape back into a clean, quiet hotel when the day is over. Once Huxley gets older I’m more than happy for him to experience India a bit differently but while he’s still so young, safety is my main priority.

There’s so many things I’m excited about that I don’t even know where to begin! The wildlife is definitely a big draw for us, especially after seeing how excited Huxley was at the zoo recently. When I was in India, I saw elephants just walking down the street and to see Huxley’s little face watch an elephant stroll past while he’s eating lunch would be worth it’s weight in gold. I’d also like to visit a tiger sanctuary, although I’ll be doing lots of research into which ones treat the animals properly and aren’t just dreadful, inhumane tourist attractions.

elephant

indian-tiger

Nick is always really keen to visit cities and ‘tick them off his list’ so as well as visiting Delhi, I think we’d travel around a little bit and try and see some other places around the country. Jaipur is only 4.5 hours drive so maybe we’d try and get the train down there or something. As well as seeing the Hawa Mahal, it would be great to try out some of Rajahstan’s regional street food to see how it differs from that in Delhi.

hawa mahal

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While in Delhi, we’d be silly not to make the trip to the Taj Mahal. Although I’ve been before I certainly wouldn’t mind going again as it was so serene and peaceful there. It was quite funny actually because we were one of the few groups of western tourists there. I expected the place to be packed with western backpackers but it was mostly full of locals or Indian tourists. In fact, we stuck out so much that several of us got collared by groups of Indians asking to have their pictures taken with us, which led to several embarrassing situations of being partnered up with other people from my group and asked to hold babies while photos were taken! It was so bizarre!

india-taj-mahalWhile Nick is always keen to see the hustle and bustle of cities, I’m always badgering him to get out into the countryside a bit more. When we went to Japan, we only visited Tokyo and I wish we’d made the trip out into the hills as I think it would have been much more relaxing. I’d love to travel around the countryside in India a bit more as it’s such a huge and diverse country that I feel we’d be missing out if we just stuck to the cities. I’d love to visit a tea plantation.

India-sceneryHave you ever been to India? Where do you want to visit on your next ‘big’ birthday?

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