Living Room Wishlist

posted in: HOME | 5

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BLANKET / WINDOW MIRROR / GLASS PENDANT LIGHT / PAINTING / RUG / FAKE PLANT 

Last week I decided our living room needed a serious re-org. You may have seen my previous ‘tour’ post where I showed the room as is and mentioned a few things I wanted to change. Well since the living room is our main living space (and my working space) I thought I should prioritise getting it finished earlier than the rest. First up I wanted to replace the huge grey sofa with a smaller one, move the leather sofa to prime position and find SOMETHING to fit in that awkward corner. IMG_0095-1024x893IMG_1461I’m trying a ‘desk’ (it’s actually a half made KALLAX from Ikea) in the corner and the foot stool and coffee table on the right are mapping out the size and placement of the new sofa while I mess around with what will fit where. I think a basket for our blankets where the glass laptop table is (to the right of the desk) might look nice and maybe the laptop table on the other side with another basket underneath? I want the little corner to feel open enough to sit in but not feel like random space. I pushed the sofas together at an overlap before to reduce the dead space but it bugged me so I think unless I am prepared to have someone custom make a coffee table that will fit perfectly (seriously something I might do.. is that crazy?) I need to make it feel like an intentional area rather than something to hide. I’m also going to swap out the stool at the desk for a larger named style plastic chair we have and maybe a sheepskin rug over it because 1. it’s the thing, isn’t it? and 2. it may add nice texture against the blankets, basket and new VELVET sofa!! I had expected to wait weeks but it’s being delivered TODAY, hence my sudden excitement to pull the rest of the room together.

IMG_1464The rug (much as I love it) has had its day and needs to be replaced, we actually did replace it with this one from Ikea in our last house but ended up getting rid of that when we moved after a million kid spillages and puppy accidents.. but I’m considering repurchasing cause I loved the black and white and it’s not mega expensive. In our old house the living room was a walk through from the front door to the back whereas this is a room off the hall so I’m hoping there’s less chance of treading in dirt this time and we may be able to keep the white looking white.. we’ll see. The finishing touches will be a big mirror ( I LOVE the look of those ‘window’ mirrors), some kind of artwork over the leather sofa, a nice light fitting (again I love the glass panelled pendants) and a plant.. a fake plant FOR SURE but something large and leafy. I’ve really enjoyed our white and grey theme for the past 8(?) years but I’m ready for some colour and in this new house I really want this room to feel like home.. watch this space for more updates very soon!

Anniversary Weekend

posted in: TRAVEL | 5

RUDDING PARK HOTEL REVIEW

A couple of weeks ago we were looking for a last minute weekend away for our anniversary and stumbled upon Rudding Park in Harrogate via Secret Escapes. If you don’t use the site you should, they room was about half of the regular cost, we got dinner, bed and breakfast for around £150 and the bathroom… THE BATHROOM!!  When looking for a place to stay I always check reviews but rarely actually post my own so since I was so happy with our stay I thought I’d give it a whirl..

RUDDING PARK HOTEL REVIEWRUDDING PARK HOTEL REVIEWRUDDING PARK HOTEL REVIEWRUDDING PARK HOTEL REVIEW

Photos are the most important part, aren’t they? The bath was super swanky and built for two (*wink* – we actually sat in the tub listening to My Dad Wrote A Porno on our anniversary.. just about the least romantic thing ever but hey!) and there was a massive glass shower cubicle with what my husband tells me was a magical shower head but I didn’t test for myself. When we first arrived we ordered a bottle of process from room service which was promptly delivered in an ice bucket and we decided to pay the extra (I think it was £7) to take our breakfast in bed the following morning – since we’d made such a saving on the booking we were pushing the boat  out. We had a set menu or a set value to spend (£40 pp if memory serves) for dinner and I ended up with steak and scallops.. I couldn’t tell you what Lee the because I was in a food haze.

RUDDING PARK HOTEL REVIEWRUDDING PARK HOTEL REVIEWRUDDING PARK HOTEL REVIEWThe whole place feels super swanky but not intimidating, the staff are friendly and there was a wedding there during our stay so there were families and children but it felt like they belonged.The bed was comfortable and so big I had no idea where I was the next day because I couldn’t feel Lee laying next to me.. I could get used to a bed that large but sadly our new bedroom is a shoebox so we’re stuck with a standard double for the foreseeable. All in all an awesome stay, we were already planning a return on our journey home and if it pops up on Secret Escapes again I will jump on it!

Mental Reboot

posted in: HEALTH, LIFE | 7

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Today I wanted to write my weekly update but If I’m totally honest I’ve not quite felt myself this week. I like to think I’m a positive person and try to ‘choose happy’ rather than dwell on things when the option is mine but I’ve been a little low and have struggled to find the motivation to be happy happy in videos and write peppy posts. Mental Health is a buzz word right now, I was listening to the radio on the way back from school this morning and they said 3 quarters of college students are seeking help for depression or anxiety and I wasn’t sure how I felt about that. I am a cynic and when things crop up en mass I tend to take them with a pinch of salt but perhaps that’s short sighted. I honestly believed that whereas for many it’s a very serious problem, for many more it was just attention seeking. For every YouTuber/Blogger who said they suffered with anxiety there seemed to be 5 more spawn with identical symptoms. It felt less than genuine and so I took less notice than I would have had it only been a handful. The news story sited social media, politics and uncertainty about their future as causes and having lived through the birth of social media, only recently discovering an interest in politics and at 31 actually starting to think about what it is that I want to do with the rest of my life, I get it. They said that, now more than ever we feel that we have a responsibility to change things that aren’t working and that pressure is starting to weigh.

In my own very small circle of reference I see how bloggers could feel the strain, working for yourself with an inconsistent income is stressful and for a lot of us it’s a solitary job so if you can reach out via twitter and find people to connect with then why shouldn’t you? I will never not be suspicious of ‘people’s motives online but I do realise that I have to be more open to the idea that some people are asking (inadvertently or not) for help that they really need. There are degrees of severity but we can’t all be happy all of the time and it’s important to know the difference between feeling ‘a bit hormonal’ vs something else entirely. I suffered with post natal depression after having my daughter 11 years ago and didn’t recognise it in myself for a long time, I didn’t bond with my baby, I felt like she wasn’t really mine and at 31 I think I would have seen it but at 19 I thought, I’m 19, this is normal! I’d like to think I’d see it in myself now but it’s hard to know whether I could be that objective.

We all deal with stress in different ways, I tend to be overly laid back and push it out of my mind until such a time as I’m ready to deal with it or (hopefully – rarely) it’s dealt with its self. This can build up and explode sometimes, I don’t feel like I’m bottling anything up I just don’t see the point in worrying about problems I can’t fix or situations I can’t control. I don’t flip out in traffic or if I’m going to be late, unless I can change the outcome, what good will it do? I thought that was a great way to live and as a result I was happier, less fraught and would definitely get less wrinkles, but maybe not? From time to time I feel down and my way of dealing with that is SLEEP. Crying helps too but my minds way of handling tension that has become too much seems to be to shut down. Maybe I work too closely with computers? It’s a bit like when I have too many tabs open on my browser and it crashes, there’s only so much it can cope with before it needs to reboot. Other people let off steam multiple times a day, they seem a bit stressy and in some cases angry for my liking but I’ll bet they never have a meltdown, they probably sleep really well too because nothing is ever held inside.

I don’t know the right way, I just know how I am and because of that I know I am judgemental when it comes to people sharing their own mental health issues because I like to keep that stuff to myself. That being said there’s a reason I love memoirs and self help books.. I know I need help and had it not been for the trend to talk about mental health I would never have been open to considering my own or learning new mechanisms to cope with situations I previously would have ignored. I feel grateful to be very low on the severity scale but am starting to understand why everyone can benefit from talking about how they’re feeling a little more often.. I would totally be up for a bit of therapy, actually. I know it’s such an americanism but forced contemplation is not the worst idea they ever had. I did see a counsellor after having my daughter but I always felt a bit out of touch with it, they asked me generic questions that I felt weren’t relevant to my state of mind but the general idea of talking to someone impartial, I do like.

If you do think you need help beyond (or rather than) friends and family you find info online here, I went through my GP way back when  but there are more options available now. Obviously my experience was some time ago so if any of you reading feel comfortable sharing a more recent experience that would be really helpful! For right now, I’m going to try to take stock of my emotions more regularly and take an actual day off once a week without any guilt. The solution doesn’t have to be professional help, identifying the problem is the first hurdle, the next step is up to you. I don’t think I’ll be updating on this topic any time soon but I felt inspired to write something today for those of you, like me who really didn’t buy in to the new mental health conscious generation but could maybe benefit from stepping back and looking at their own.

PS. Took a duvet day yesterday and watched the entire of The Santa Clarita Diet (with Drew Barrymore) on Netflix.. it’s awesome, watch it! #noregrets

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