Thursday, 31 January 2013

catching up, breakfast with friends

A bit of catching up, last week Friday - Sunday. Mark leaving for the Wirral on Friday, walking with mum & Indigo to take Mark to the bus stop, waiting for the bus, waving Mark off, being sad that he was gone but at least we'd only be apart until Tuesday, simple beans and cheese on waffles for dinner (I used to eat this like everyday, I've rediscovered my love!), eating mini Creme Eggs and watching all the soaps with mumma bear, doing mum's ironing for her, reading and spending a lazy Saturday in PJs, finishing Book 3 and ordering the sequel, the biggest serving of homemade spag bol I have ever had, but oh it was so so good! (thinking about this now makes me wish I was having spag bol right now!!), mum making us steam chocolate pudding out of a tin, no custard for me but it was quite tasty, breakfast with my best friends on Sunday morning, koala bear presents from Australia, leaving said koala bear presents in the cafe (sob sob), having brunch but secretly it was kind of lunch, nicola's kids meal and her colouring book, having a lovely catch up, going round morrisons to get some shopping afterwards and all of us buying a gingerbread dinosaur (for Mark, Chris and Lee if Nicola doesn't eat hers :p), Nicola buying a book with a picture of a cat that looks exactly like her cat Henry, Sunday afternoon, a quiet one, watched Mr Selfridge in the evening and told mum and Willow who everyone was cause they hadn't been watching, followed by an early ish night ready for the hospital on Monday morning... also included here is a photo of Gemma and a photo of Leah (the last two) from our lunch at the cafe on Tuesday before I left to travel back to the Wirral (I was fitting in as much friend time as possible!).

Wednesday, 30 January 2013

Liebster Award

The lovely Margaret over at Roaring Twenties has nominated me for the Liebster Award - I feel so priveleged to have made it on to the list! I have done this before, but I'm going to do it again anyway :)
The Liebster Award is given to bloggers, by bloggers, and is an award that can only be given to blogs with less than 200 followers. When you're tagged, you have to nominate people yourself, and it goes on and on! I think this is lovely for new bloggers, or for those with not so many followers. Speaking of followers, I would just like to say a big hello and thank you to the few people who have started following my blog in the last few days, and also all my followers, I can't thank you enough and I feel so privileged that anyone that reads my blog :)

Margaret's questions:
1. Why did you start blogging?
There were a few reasons, I am useless at keeping a diary but hooked on blogging, so this way I get to keep a document of things that are happening in my life without having to tell myself off every day/week/month because I haven't filled in that little book that never gets used! Also, I wanted somewhere to share my drawings/paintings :)
2. If you could live in any era, which would you choose and why?
I was born late in the 80s, and so I guess that makes my era the 90s. To be honest, I loved growing up in my era and enjoyed all the things associated with the late 80s and 90s.

3. What is the most exciting thing you've done/greatest achievement?
This is a tricky one! The thing I'm most proud of myself for that has happened in my life, was helping my mum to take care of my dad when he was sick with cancer. It was very tough, but there wasn't a point during the whole process that I allowed myself to think I couldn't do it. It was something I not only felt I had to do, but I wanted to do it. I wanted to spend all those last precious times with my dad, I wanted to look after him. It's only when I reflect on that time now, how much I miss my dad, and some of things we all went through, that I realise exactly how tough it was, and all the things that I don't know how we got through. So it isn't exciting, and probably isn't really an achievement either! But I'm very proud of how I coped :)
4. If you could only ever eat one for the rest of your life, which: chocolate or crisps? (ooh!)
Chocolate without a doubt! I do like crisps occasionally, but I am through and through chocaholic if there ever was one!!
5. What's your favourite film/most treasured DVD?
My answer to this has always been Matilda! I love that film, it's been my favourite for so long. I love anything Disney as well. For a more grown up choice, one of my favourite films is called The Prestige - it's about magicians. It's amazing and I definitely recommend it to anyone.
6. Do you think white marshmallows and pink marshmallows taste different? (I plan to use your answers to settle a debate with my friend...)
I think they taste the same!
7. What is your favourite high street shop and why?
It would probably have to be Topshop. I know this is what loads of people would say, and I don't even buy that many clothes from there, but I love walking around the shop. I love seeing what's new in there even if I wouldn't buy it. I also love the make-up range and the collaborations.
8. If you were a cartoon/film character, who would you be AND WHY!?
I would be Peter Pan, so I never had to grow up!
9. Favourite pair of shoes? (bonus points for a photo so we can all have a peek...)
I have a post about this right here :)
10. What did you want to be when you were little? - taller doesn't count
I don't know if I really knew what I wanted to be, one thing I did know was that I wanted everyone to be happy and I always wanted to be with my family.
11. Morning person or night owl?
A bit of both! At my mum's house, we get up so early and it doesn't bother me at all - I like making the most of the day. But when I'm with my boyfriend, we tend to stay up later and consequently get up later!

My nominations:
1. Victoria at Walk In Your Own Shoes
A California girl who'd love to visit the UK! A genuinely lovely person, and a really great blog!
2. Kate at La Fresne
The most dreamy, romantic blog full of vintage treasures and poetry.
3. Amie at Credit Crunch Chic
Takes serene & gorgeous outfit photos, finds the best charity shop bargains.
4. Hari at At Rubik
Beautifully crisp photos, simple posts, gorgeous layout.
5. Rebecca at Bandasaur
Stylish, pretty thing and fellow creative.
6. Danielle at Danielle's Discerning Eye
The best kind of reviews - some of my favourite to read, gorgeous nail designs.
7. Kerry at Kerralina
Shares the most lovely images, a columnist & jewellery maker
8. Rachel at Rachel McIlmoyle
Has the most gorgeous long hair, and impeccable taste!
9. Aimee at The Lost Girl
Photographs in gorgeous places, beautiful scenery, and a pretty lady!

My questions:
1. What inspires you?
2. What do you never leave the house without?
3. If you could only wear one colour, what would it be?
4. If you could only shop in one place for clothes for the rest of your life, where would it be?
5. What is your favourite season and why?
6. Where is your favourite place to visit in the UK?
7. Stormy weather or calm blue skies?
8. What do you think is your best feature? (can be physical or mental!)
9. What is your favourite smell?
10. What is the most embarrassing CD you own?
11. What is your favourite song?

I hope everyone enjoys checking out these lovely ladies' blogs - I know I love reading them! I'm looking forward to seeing all the answers to these questions too :)

Tuesday, 29 January 2013

Indigo's 4th birthday & some baking

Last Thursday (the 24th) was my little sister Indigo's 4th birthday! How very grown up she is getting! Most of the photographs throughout the day and her birthday tea party were taken on the Canon DSLR, but I do have a couple of photos here from my Nikon J1. Indigo was going to playgroup on her birthday, so it was a bit of a rush opening presents in the morning! We then played hot and cold whilst Indigo tried to find her last present, which was her very first bike! It was hidden in the conservatory, and Indigo was very pleased! However, she had given very specific details as to what her first bike should be like, so although it included the tassels on the handles and a little basket on the front, the missing bike bell did not go unnoticed! Luckily, Lynn had bought Indigo her very own little silver bike bell :) you may have noticed Indigo's two favourite things featured heavily in her gifts - Peppa Pig and Hello Kitty!

Whilst Indigo was at playgroup, Mark helped me to bake Indigo's birthday cake. I put all the ingredients together, he did all the mixing (the manly part of course), and I put the finishing touches to the sponge. It was a plain sponge with raspberry buttercream inside and on top, it went down very well and was all gone by the next day!

One of the gifts I got Indigo was a set of three books with a world map - bear, lion and penguin books! Whilst admiring her map, Indigo exclaimed "mummy, we've got a rain cloud!" over us, because mum showed her where we live on the map and there was actually a big rain cloud over the UK and Ireland! Indigo also referred to the bear's footprints as "bear ports" instead of bear paws! Indigo and her bunny pillow pet were sitting on Antarctica, and Indigo claimed "we're on holiday, look we're in the snow". Another animal related gift Indigo received was the lovely bear hat shown above - how cute!

The other cupcakes pictured were made using the easy cake recipe, and were chocolate orange cakes. They were so delicious!

Sunday, 27 January 2013


I just wanted to say a little hello :) I have been trying to write a post in response to a Liebster Award for the past few hours, but I have finally lost patience with my mum's awful laptop. I'm at the hospital tomorrow morning, but hopefully I'll manage to get a post up tomorrow evening! If not, I'm leaving for Wirral on Tuesday afternoon, back to my own laptop (I love you working laptop!). I hope everyone's enjoyed their weekend - I enjoyed mine! Today it was lovely to catch up with friends and chill out with family :)

I would like to say a very big hello to my new followers - hello! I'm so grateful to anyone who reads my blog, so thank you so much! I have lots of catching up to do with my reading list, but I promise I will be back soon.

Saturday, 26 January 2013

making a snow bear

So much snow!, embarking on a mission to build a snow bear with Indigo and Mark on Wednesday afternoon, putting all our Winter woolies on to keep warm, Indigo not wanting to wear her hat, snow boots, gathering up the snow into a pile and beginning to build the bear, having lots of fun, getting extremely cold fingers and hands!, having trouble building our bear's arm as the right one kept falling off, being very proud when our bear was built, searching for something to be our bear's eyes and nose, using two chocolate iced gems for the eyes and a piece of strawberry jelly for his nose, Indigo wanting to eat his nose but reluctantly not doing so, mumma bear coming out to have a photo with us, and take a photo of us, Rennie and Munch joining our bear outside, making a sign 'welcome home baby bears!' for Phoebe and Phoenix to come home from school to, eagerly awaiting their return but realising they'd stopped off at their friend's house on the way home, it starting to snow again, tiny lovely little snowflakes, Indigo catching snowflakes, Phoebe and Phoenix finally arriving home to us and our snow bear and being very impressed, before we all went inside to warm ourselves up, printing off some of these photos for Indigo to take in to playgroup. All in all, the most wonderful afternoon spent in the snow :)

Friday, 25 January 2013

My favourite shoes

I love these Patent Scallop Ballerinas from Next. They are just £30 and I think they are absolutely wonderful! I love the scalloped shaping, and patent shoes instantly add something pretty to any outfit. These are definitely on my wishlist!

I have written this blog post for a competition over at Laura's blog. I'm very late in entering, with just half an hour until the deadline, eek!! I also forgot all my own paints, so I had to borrow my little sister's, which didn't even have a black!! So I had to borrow my even littler sister's (Indigo!) paints, which were £1 and she handily bought them only this morning as I told her I'd be doing some painting this afternoon. That's good luck if I ever had it! Good luck to everyone who entered this lovely competition :) below are some photos from adventures my beloved shoes went on...

Thursday, 24 January 2013

arriving home, millies cookies & a hospital trip

On Monday morning, Mark & I woke up to heavy snow on the Wirral! So we were quite worried about our journey on Monday night. However, we braved it and thought well we will stick with our original plan, and headed to Liverpool for our 7.50pm train to Nuneaton. Luckily, our train was only a teeny bit delayed in getting us there, and was running perfectly fine! We were very pleased to have arrived safely in Nuneaton, as we really didn't know if we were going to make it, it was a relief. It was lovely getting home, and our dear friend Lynn collected us from the station even though she doesn't like driving in the snow, so thank you Lynn!

On Tuesday morning, I walked with mum to take Indigo to playgroup. The snow is so much thicker here than it was on the Wirral, and everywhere is covered. Our road is particularly bad, as the gritters never do it! Tuesday afternoon Mark & I travelled to Leicester to go to my appointments in the balance center. It was very funny in the waiting room, it was full of elderly people, and nobody could hear very well! Listening to some of the conversations was very entertaining. One lady got fed up of waiting at the desk, had a rummage and helped herself to some new hearing aid batteries before leaving!! We were quite early, so it was about 40 minutes before I was called.

Start of huge health update essay...
First off, I had more hearing tests. It was longer than the usual ones, and the earphones were getting uncomfortable with wearing the two sets (one that sits on the ear, one that sits on the bone behind the ear). Now for what should be the fun part! The CDP (or Computerised Dynamic Posturography) test. It involves being harnessed in to what is like a little cubicle without a door. My feet were positioned in two rectangles, with my ankles lined up with a sensor. Each element of the test is repeated 4 times (I guess this is to obtain averages!). The floor beneath my feet moved in different ways and directions, and the walls moved too, in some kind of organised manner. The aim of the test was to remain upright, without moving my feet. I fell around 5 times, but the doctor and the harness caught me! It was a very weird sensation, and there were many more times that I felt the urge to fell but didn't. Mark told me afterwards that throughout parts of the test I was leaning further towards the right each time. He commented that the test looked weird, but intriguing enough to want a go! One of the tests requested (VEMPs) couldn't be carried out, due to the machines being down. After a little wait, finally was the worst part of the testing, ENG (Electronystagmography). The first part wasn't so bad, it involved sitting/lying in various positions wearing a highly technical pair of what were essentially goggles. I had to follow lights with my eyes without moving my head, look in different directions and hold it whilst the visor was down (so it was completely dark and I couldn't see). My least favourite part was the Caloric testing. I had read that it was done using water, but in my hospital they used air. During these tests, the visor on the goggles was down for the entirety, so I couldn't see anything but was supposed to maintain looking straight ahead. First up, the doctor blew hot air into my left ear for maybe about two minutes, then I assume she was monitoring my eye movements for the few minutes following, where I was to look ahead whilst counting in my head to keep me concentrated, rather than thinking about the dizzy feeling it provoked. After a few minutes, a little light was shone that I had to concentrate my eyes on for a short time. That wasn't so bad. I had a little break whilst she wrote some things up, and then it was the same again in my left ear. Except in my left ear, it hurt unbelievably! I thought my ear was going to explode, it seemed to go on forever!!! My ear hurt for the rest of Tuesday, and for the majority of Wednesday too. This was followed by cold air in each ear separately, and again, it was worse in my left ear but not as bad as the hot air. I was very relieved when it was over!!! The air being blown into my ears did provoke dizzy feelings, but they passed quite quickly. The reason for this test is to test each side of the balance system individually, by stimulating the inner ear with the air. I have no idea what the outcome of any of these tests was, and won't until I see my consultant at the end of February. I'm very intrigued to find out what these tests determine, and hopeful that I will get some help with my problems.
...end of huge health update essay!

Afterwards, I didn't feel so bad except for a bad headache and a sore ear, so we went into town to get loads of Millies cookies and catch the bus home. We had vouchers for Millies, so we got two boxes of 12 for the price of one (£6.49), and we got four dips, 2 chocolate and 2 toffee, for the price of three (75p each). We chose equal amounts of white, dark, and milk chocolate cookies. They really are the best kind of cookies!! The twins and Indigo enjoyed them, as did the rest of us :)