Day 4 of No Spend

So I’ve stayed true to my word so far; but let’s face it we’re only 4 days in and my amazon basket keeps sending me notifications.

I have resisted so far. Go me! Keeping busy and removing those ever so tempting “get it in the next 20 min” apps from my phone to keep me on the straight and narrow has helped.

My car already had fuel in, so we felt no guilt in taking a little trip to the Dales at the weekend to blow away the cobwebs. And my goodness those cobwebs were certainly blown away. We set off in brilliant sunshine, one small dark cloud looming in the distant. We saw rainbows. And I mean multiple rainbows, so vivid too. Then that dark cloud continued to double in size and kept growing till the rain made an appearance along side the wind just as we parked up in Burnsall.

Burnsall sign posted.

We walked up to the church and tried to find my great grandmother’s grave to no avail, and Hubs and I took turns using my new camera. Got to admit, he’s got a decent eye for a good landscape where as I prefer portraits so far. But I am very much still learning. As you can tell from my failed attempts at a Robin, could not get a focus on it. But, hello bench right!

Delilah got too cold despite being layered up and complained the entire time we were there. She is literally the coldest little person ever, two pairs of tights that girl had on under lined wellies as well as the rest, and she was still too cold. Then she got home ans was inevitably too warm to striped off and watched about 7 minutes of a movie in her knickers before getting bored again. Arh, the life of a 4 and a half year old.

I wasn’t going to, but hubs took a really arty shot of what he thought to be a post box. Turns out on closer inspection, flicking back over the photos it’s actually a dog poo bin. Couldn’t help but have a giggle at that one. Here it is, in all its Yorkshire Dales glory, the poop bin!

Anyway, totally off topic there… my initial plan for this update was to share my meal plan and a recipe, but I’ve actually not decided on how to share my meal plan; in the sence of what format. Because I literally just take a pen and scribble it on a bit of A4. It’s not very pretty, but it serves me well and I write my shopping list from it too. And I totally forgot to take pictures of the meal I wanted to recipe for you, so while I ponder out that one for the next post, I thought I’d share something else.

Since the new year, and in the spirit of self improvement I’ve been looking into gratitude and manifestation. Starting with being extra grateful for what our lives are currently blessed with, and so far I can tell you I love the way this makes me feel. For no other reason, other than chasing that inner excitement, please give it a go. I’m pretty sure I’ve barely scratched the surface with what I’ve read and watched so far, but anything that makes you feel relaxed and happier in the moment I’m all for. Ill keep on keeping om with it qnd see how it goes. Loving the idea of a New Year full of self improvement. Or just in fact any self improvement; and I’m feeling its about time I find myself again after being a hermit and using the pandemic as a good excuse to hide away.

Time to find my best self I think. Anyone else feeling all good about ’22 yet? I’m feeling ’22 because it’s a bloody good number – my birth date too, must be lucky.

Thank you for sticking it out this far, its great to have you here.
L, xox

How To: Mini Home Spa Evening

This is my plan for a mini spa evening. Little one will be in bed, I’ll be turning on the shower and getting my mini home made spa treatments going. I can not stress to you how important it is to take time out for yourself. Especially at the moment when there is an endless pile of washing up, clothes washing, cooking, cleaning, entertaining small ones and yourself. It is paramount. Give my little home spa treatments ago and invest some time on yourself.

Fresh faced, dont forget the toner and moisturiser!

First thing is first, grab everything you need and shut the bathroom door. No distractions, you deserve your full attention. Get the shower on; as hot as possible and create some steam. This will help open up your pores and let which ever products you use do their magic. My essentials for locking myself in my steamed up bathroom are; some icy water (add in some fruit or cucumber, mint if you have it), body brush, body scrub, razor, shampoo, conditioner, hair mask, face mask, hair brush or comb, body lotion/cream (your favourite, this is about what you like).

My recipe for body scrub is super simple and just below, but if you have your preferred which you use anyway, go with what makes you happy. First get your hair mask on. Give it enough time to soak up into your hair and do what it’s supposed to do. Time is the essence with this my lovelies. Spend the time on yourself, you owe yourself.

Let’s talk body brushing! I love my body brush. I aim to use it every time I shower or take a bath. Mainly on legs, but I’ve been using it over my entire body these days. The benefits of body brushing are endless, but to name a few; Exfoliation, getting rid of the dead skin cells that build up between showers is a really good idea if you want to have glowing skin. Dead skin cells make you skin look dull, and not one person I know wants that. Also supposed to be good for cellulite, I’m sceptical about this but it certainly dose promote blood flow to the area you are brushing. Ergo no downsides, in my opinion at least. Brush upwards, make you sure you are brushing towards your heart. Keep sipping that icy water.

Get your scrub on, but firstly turn down the shower. Hot water, as good as it feels aint all that for your hair; and that comes next so get prepared! Exfoliation is amazing, and with my DIY super simple body scrub you just have no excuse not to scrub your pins. The simplest recipe ever. 2 part granulated sugar to 1 part coconut oil. The coconut oil should be liquid form, I normally melt mine quickly but gently on the hob, but if you don’t have coconut oil, try olive oil its great for your skin. Mix thoroughly, and let cool. When you’re ready to use, slather your legs in it. Work it in to your skin in circular motions and then rinse off under a warm shower (not hot), before shaving your pins to leave them gloriously smooth.

Hair pep. Get under the warm (not hot, warm is better for your hair) shower and soak your hair and shampoo your roots, not your tips – just your roots. This will clean your scalp and save you drying out your ends. I’ve switched my products recently to a natural product. I’ve really enjoyed using it so far and its paraben and sulphate free. It’s good for the curly girl method which ive been doing for about 6 weeks now, it’s a work in progress but my hair seems to have improved in texture already, so my current method is based on my findings (if you like) so far. Remember, just your roots, not your lengths or tips. Same for conditioner. Use it like a wash, only on your roots and leave it in for the suggested time. When you rinse the product out the water will help work it through the rest of your hair, it is your scalp that needs the attention. While you’re waiting for the conditioner to do its thing use your fave body wash. Rinse that wash off and as you do use either a comb or your fingers to untangle your mane and rinse your conditioner out.

Absolute new staple, wouldn’t be without it.

Before jumping out of the shower, when your hair is still sopping wet run a little leave in conditioner through your lengths and tips. Do not get close to your scalp, if you do you’ll most likely be oily before the drying process is out let alone the day. Squeeze out the water with your hands and t-shirt dry your hair. Yes, you read right, use an old t-shit. It is less harsh on your hair. Towels create frizz; they are simply too rough, and no matter your style -curly, straight, wavy or coiled no one wants the frizz. I ‘plop’ my hair at this point after some scrunching with curling creams and gels (curly girl method – post for another day), but get it off your face regardless of the method your using and apply your face mask. I’m using Garnier’s moisture bomb sheet mask at the moment which I have on subscription through amazon. I buy two a month, so aim to do one every other week. This one is really hydrating, but feel free to use your fave or get creative and make one.

Plopped hair dont care.

Enjoy your face mask and as you do smother your body in lotion or body butter as soon as you can to lock in the moisture from your shower. When your face mask timer is up, rub in the remaining serum if there is any and get a toner on your skin; again to lock in the moisture. Running theme here, but skin hydration is a must.

Dry your hair in your own fashion, I’m avoiding heat when using the curly girl method meaning air drying for me. Get in your comfies et voilà. Basic spa evening completed, add in mani/pedi for extras. Most importantly, feel good and do this for yourself. Enjoy, you deserve it.

Love,

L xox

The Home In My Head

We’re so close to having the deposit for our first home it’s driving my creative side a bit scatty. My Pinterest feed is full of home decor and I have build myself a perfect picture in my head about how our home is going to look.

Ideally it’s going to have a gated garden, which undoubtedly will have a drive way and a garage (mans want, I really couldn’t careless about a garage). I’m having a porch too. Finally a place with some hooks for coats and some shoe storage to boot because coats slung on the sofa and shoes by the door is unavoidable in the place we are currently living.

Living room will be simple in colours. I’m thinking mostly white and grey with hints of pink and copper. Pictures from Pinterest (where else?!).

This will need to be an ultra functional room, so I’d be all for a wooden style floor which is easy clean. Great big rug in the centre with a mix of different textured textiles all over including some lush green plants. I adore the more glam copper against the the simple white/grey.

The heart of the home is definitely the kitchen. I cook, every day and every meal if I’m at home. It’s rare that I don’t. I really like the idea of dark coloured cabinets with light colours counter tops. I’d like to carry a theme through the house as well, and at the moment I’m going for the hint of copper.

Copper pipe shelves in this picture (again from Pinterest) are beautiful. I love the idea of having heavy copper bottom cookware lined up on the shelves. Favourite spices on show and living herb pots (herby teacups) on show. Double oven, yes. Gass hobs, yes.

I’m not overly fussed if we end up with a kitchen-dinner or a separate dinning room. Either would be perfectly good in my mind. I’d love a dramatic dinning space, darker colours but carry the copper again. This pallet is perfect (Pinterest pic).

There it is, an insight into the decor of the home in my head. Well at least the first floor. I’ll save the upstairs/bedrooms/bathroom and offices for another post.

What’s your ideal? What palette would you pick?

Xoxo, L.

Sandy Toes

After a leisurely morning we took a trip out to Formby just by Southport.

Man and I went once the year we met, but it’s the first time we’ve been back. It’s such a beautiful place, I’d be happy to live on the door step of Formby. The houses are beautiful, the type that are huge with double garages and a gated driveway. Probably well out of our price range (for the moment). Anyone wants to give us a house there, we wouldn’t say no!

The beach is hidden away by a woods and sand dunes, so it’s a fair walk. With pram and bubs it’s a killer walk, especially in flip flops on the soft sand. Dela wasn’t overly sure of sand when man put her straight in it, but a few moments of sand discovery late she loved it. Touching, patting it, crawling it and putting it in daddy’s shoes.

Our day in pictures

We had a down pour as we walked back to the car. Under the tiniest umbrella we didn’t get too wet, Dela of course was okay under her rainhood on the pram.

Happy, sunny, sandy Sunday.

Xoxo, L

A Flicker of A Sweet Memory

It’s funny what you remember when you miss someone.

My Nana passed away sometime ago, while I was still at university studying (fat lot of good that venture did, but that’s another story). My dad’s mum, my nana was a larger than life character. Mum of boys, larger drinker, lipstick wearer and experimental cook. I knew I got my attitiute for cooking from someone, and I’m so giving my nana some of the credit.

I can’t even tell you what made my mind wonder to her sausages and flying saucer eggs today, but I found myself laughing as I remember dinner times at her flat. It was a smokey affair, she chain smoked when she chatted but because she had the window open as she did it, of course it wasn’t that bad (we would cringe now). Anyway, I digress. She owned a George Forman Grilling Machine. Or, in her words “George Formby Grilling Machine” she loved the thing, and it got used a hell of a lot.

My brother and I were always fussy with what we ate at nanas house, mainly as the older she got the more interesting the combinations became and the more the food tasted like smoke. She was however, a fabulous cook in her hay day. We ended up having chip pan chips, homemade of course or pancakes, finished off with crisps, chocolate and yogurt. All healthy stuff! My dad was subjected to actual real dinner, and this particular night was rather spectacular. I remember her wafting through the living room with dad’s plate in hand before plonking it down on the table. On the blue and white crockery was a breakfast for dinner. A staple of her household and very much enjoyed.

On dad’s plate there was a fried egg (sunnyside up), tomato, beans, bacon and what looked like two burgers. My dad stabbed one the burgers and held it in the air asking what it was. My nana asked him what the hell he was playing at waving that sausage about. We were hysterical, well all apart from my nana who was completely confused about the laughing. Dad asked why it was so flat, so she demonstrated her Formby Grilling skills in the air at the table.

She’d only gone and put butchers style (the really chunky, fat kind) sausages in the grill and squashed it down until the machine cliped shut. She returned to the kitchen to put her own meal together.

In the meantime there was the fried egg. Same meal, same day. Dad struggled to cut the white of the fried egg so picked it up to see what was going on. Turns out this egg had been fried to with an inch of it’s edible life. It stayed perfectly flat as he picked it up. He starts making his idea of UFO noises as the yolk balances on it’s white plate like shelf with a slight yellow wobble. Again, both me and my brother fell about laughing while dad tried to put back on a straight face as nana came to the table with her own dinner.

I still remember the smell of her pressed powder, the shade of her lipstick, her choice in skirts and how she always wore a pinny over them. Her kindness and patience. Her spoiling us and caving to our every request for sweets as children. I remember having to watch the snooker when it was on because she loved it but then she’d let us watch the Simpsons over dinner time and let us sit of the sofa instead of at the table with our food. I miss her, her accidental funny anecdotes and the liverpudlian twang that still remained from her younger years in her voice. The raspy cough and the way she would order herself two halfs of larger instead of a pint just because it wasn’t lady like to order a pint (but it was okay to sit with two drinks).

I miss her – photo from my 18th birthday meal. A day of mixed emotions, I lost a dear friend that exact day.

What sweet memories do you hold of a missed love one? I’d love to hear a story or two.

Xoxo, L