Sunday, 24 September 2017

Creating a cosy bedroom

What's better at this time of your then having a cosy, relaxing space to come home? I love to keep my bedroom homely and chilled out to create the ultimate space to relax in on a night. As the nights are starting to get colder and darker. I've begun to think how I can add some extra autumnal touches to my bedroom. Think candles, snuggly bedding and ALL the cushion scattered on the bed! With this in mind I've come up with three bedroom looks that I'm loving right now.

Monochrome































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I love the clean and simple look of a monochrome bedroom. I think the big velvet and knitted cushions add some softness and warmth to the look and the candles would provide some beautiful autumn scents.

Traditional































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I absolutely love this look, to me this just screams autumn and I'd love to create a similar look in my bedroom. The reds, oranges and mustard tones are my absolute favourite colours for this time of year. I can't resist cinnamon scents in autumn either. I can just imagine falling into a big pile of those checked cushions and wrapping myself in the throw!

Blush
































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This look is probably the most similar to how I have my room now but I definitely need to swap out my lighter fragranced candles for something more suitable for the season. I've had these two candles before and they smell amazing. I really want some new cushions for the bed too. I like plain bedding so I feel like different patterns and textures on cushions really add some detail to the room, I've think the best cushion covers you can find online at Yorkshire Linen.

Which look is your favourite? 

This post is in collaboration with Yorkshire Linen. All opinions are my own.

Friday, 22 September 2017

Autumn '17


It's officially autumn! Today marks the first day of my favourite season.

For the past few years around this time, I've posted an Autumn moodboard of my favourite Pinterest images. Autumn is my absolute favourite time of the year, from the cosy pj's, burning candles, dark evenings and then Halloween, Bonfire Night and Christmas. There's just so much to look forward to and October, November and December will forever be my favourite months. This year I thought I'd combine my usual moodboard with a list of things I'm excited for this autumn.

Pumpkin carving - I have to say, Josh is the creative one and over the years we've had a Beatles themed pumpkin, a Monster's Inc one and a Star Wars one. I can't wait to see what this years theme will be!

Liverpool - it's become a tradition for us to have a little break somewhere just before Christmas, however this year we don't finish work until a couple of days before Christmas Day which makes it impossible for us to do that which is a little disappointing considering we usually combine that break with our anniversary celebration too. Seen as we're both tied to school holidays because of our jobs we've decided to go away in October instead. As it's a celebration for our 10 year anniversary, we're staying in an amazing hotel and I can't wait to see it.

Bonfire celebrations - as it was the cats' first bonfire night last year we only bought a small box of bang-less fireworks just for us as we didn't know what they'd be like. It turns out they were fine so this year I think we might have some family over and have a bit more of a party out of it. Of course we'll still stick with the tamer fireworks though as I don't want to unnecessarily scare the cats.

Hot chocolate - we've recently started swimming and there's nothing better than coming home to a mug of hot chocolate after swimming on a cold evening. Of course with trying to be healthier I'm trying not to have too many but they're a great treat! I'm more excited than I should be for Bailey's hot chocolates!

Our nieces Christening - our niece is getting Christened on Bonfire Night which should make for a pretty good celebration.

Re-watching House - we both love House and there's something about this time of year the makes us want to sit down and watch it all again. So I can't wait for cosy evenings spent under warm blankets, watching one of our favourite shows.

Autumn meals - there's nothing better after a long, cold day than coming home to a warming bowl or homemade chilli or stew or shepherd's pie. I've always loved using my slow cooker but recently I've got into batch cooking meals to freeze and it makes for a super quick but yummy tea.

Baking  Yorkshire Parkin - Josh and I use an old recipe that belonged to his great grandma and it honestly makes the best Parkin. I shared the same recipe we use in a post a few years ago (you can read it here). Is there anything better than a house filled with ginger cakey scents? I think not!

Anniversary celebrations - Josh and I have been together for 10 years in December which I can't quite believe. I don't think we're doing much as we're working but we have the swanky Liverpool hotel booked which I've already mentioned and I have a couple of good present ideas up my sleeve!

Christmas - how could I not round my list of with this?! I bloody love Christmas. I'm hoping to squeeze in a couple of trips to Christmas markets and maybe one or two other festive outings. I think I might vlog throughout December again too like I did last year.

Tuesday, 19 September 2017

FILMS: What We Watched #20

We're back with our mini film reviews and today we've got two kids films, a thriller and a biographical drama. Enjoy!





















Sing
2016 | 108 min | Animation / Musical / Comedy
Sing delivers colorfully animated, cheerfully undemanding entertainment with a solid voice cast and a warm-hearted -- albeit familiar -- storyline that lives up to its title. [Rotten Tomatoes]
J: It's a fun animated movie, it's got some good jokes and fantastic voice acting, and I was pretty entertained all the way through it, but much like 'The Secret Life Of Pets' (which we review later in this post) it's nothing to write home about. The movie felt modern and current, which kids will love, but that same quality is its downfall. With all the modern, current music in it, it will quickly start to feel old and dated. But then I'm a sucker for properly scored movies with orchestras and the works!

L: I really enjoyed Sing, it was an easy, light-hearted watch. There wasn't anything particularly different or new about the storyline but it didn't feel boring. Gunter was by far my favourite character and brought the most comedic moments to the film. My only real issue with it was some of the song choices, nearly all of them were modern songs and I get why it was done when it's a film aimed at kids but it means the film quickly becomes dated.

 The Belko Experiment
2017 | 88 min | Horror / Thriller
In a twisted social experiment, a group of 80 Americans are locked in their high-rise corporate office in Bogota, Colombia and ordered by an unknown voice coming from the company's intercom system to participate in a deadly game of kill or be killed. [Rotten Tomatoes]
J: The premise of this film is great: kill or be killed. You have no choice...it's an absolute lose-lose for all involved! The acting was great and you felt like the characters were in real danger. And I liked the black security guard too, he provided quite a few chuckles. Wait...it's not racist if I say that in a lot of movies the chubby black guy is always funny and lovable, right? Anyway, it's grim and definitely worth watching. I liked the wide open ending too, I'd be happy for there to be a sequel!

L: I really enjoyed this film. I think I've said it before but horror and thriller films are by far my favourite genres and this did not disappoint. I had no idea that this was by the same producer as The Conjuring and Annabelle until I started writing this post. In all honesty it doesn't feel like those films at all which is good because we've reviewed Annabelle on here before and we weren't fans! As is usually the case though this was left wide open for a sequel but not in a way that doesn't provide you with a satisfying enough ending.

  United 93
2006 | 110 min | Biographical drama
This is the story of the takeoff and hijacking of United Airlines Flight 93 by terrorists, the discovery by passengers with cell phones that other hijacked planes had been steered into the World Trade Center towers, and the realization that their plane was being steered toward Washington D.C. [Rotten Tomatoes]
J: This movie captures the confusion and panic as the terror attacks of 9/11 were happening. It feels almost like a documentary at times (a point which annoyed Lauren because she's simple and she doesn't like it when she has to go for extended periods of time without seeing a dancing animal or an upbeat musical number). Maybe it's because I remember 9/11 happening and I vividly remember little 11 year old me watching it still unfolding when I got home from school, but I think this film is fantastic and accurately portrays what went down that day. Literally.

L: I don't want to give this a bad review because of its subject matter but then again part of me feels like it may have only received glowing reviews exactly for that reason. I didn't enjoy this film at all, and while I have to applaud it for treating the real life events well and not resorting to big Hollywood tactics, it bored me. I didn't particularly enjoy how it was shot, it felt less like a film and more like I was looking in on the events which again goes back to keeping things simple, but there was no real dialogue happening. For people with a real interest in the events of 9/11 this would be a brilliant film but it just wasn't for me.





















The Secret Life of Pets
2016 | 87 min | Animation / Comedy
A comedy about the lives our pets lead after we leave for work or school each day. The Secret Life of Pets offers a beautifully animated, cheerfully undemanding family-friendly diversion. [Rotten Tomatoes]
J: I don't really have much to say about this movie...I think I covered it in my review for Sing. Pleasant enough, funny, loved Kevin Hart as the psychopath rabbit, but...it's no Disney, Pixar or even Dreamworks classic. I do believe that Lauren thinks this is what really happens when people go out and leave their pets, and she found this movie to be every bit as factual as 'United 93' though. Which is weird really.

L: Much like Sing, this was a simple and easy watch though I think I preferred this one ever so slightly more than Sing. It was funny and at times heart-warming and a perfect chill-out day film for both adults and kids. Kevin Hart as the rabbit, Snowball, was of course very entertaining as were various other little pop up characters that kept the film flowing nicely. Of course it ended with that all important fairy-tale ending too!

If you only watch one of these films it should be...
J: The Belko Experiment
L: The Belko Experiment

Thursday, 14 September 2017

Our first home: Garden Project #1

Last year I wrote some update posts for the work we'd done when we first got the keys to our house. I shared our living room transformation and our upstairs transformation. While there's still so much I want to do in the house, one of my major bugbears is the garden. I mentioned in my garden inspiration post back in March that even though we knew we were getting quite a large garden we didn't fully know the extent of it until the day we got the keys. 

As you can see from the pictures I took below on the day we got the keys the garden was extremely overgrown as the house had been empty for almost 2 months and to be honest it didn't look like it had had a lot of TLC before that either. We had masses of ivy growing all over the back wall, dead trees down the side of the garden and two conifers that completely blocked to view of the garden and made the lower patio seem really closed in. There were weeds in every bit of the planter wall and patches of dead grass everywhere. The trees on the other side of our fence were leaning heavily on the fence and blocked a lot of sunlight later in the day.
So within a couple of weeks my Dad had been round and chopped down the ivy, the conifers, all the dead trees in the garden and cut back some of the branches of the trees over our fence. While it certainly made it look neater, it was still very bland and ugly. 

This year I decided we were at least going to make a start on making the garden look pretty. Like anything with home renovations, sorting a garden out is not cheap at all, so when you own a patch of land the size of a small field then we're talking big bucks which is why transforming our garden is going to have to be done in phases. However I'm so pleased with what we've achieved so far, I finally have a garden that I'm not ashamed of! 
 So here's what we've done so far:
  • Josh and his Dad cut down a couple of the trees that were against our fence earlier in the year. This has protected our fence and given us so much more sunlight all day round.
  • We painted the fence a nice bright 'Autumn Red' colour. I don't think the fence has ever been painted and it looked so bland. Not only has painting it protected it against the rain but it's brightened up the garden a massive amount.
  • We planted flowers in the old planters where the conifers once were. This frames the garden so much better than the ugly trees did and makes the patio area nice. 
  • We attached solar fairy lights to one fence. I love the style of the multi coloured bulbs and it adds a lovely warm glow to the garden on an evening.
  • We planted a palm tree and put solar lights around the bottom of it. I think we've settled on eventually wanting a bit of a Floridian feel to our garden so a baby palm was a cheap and easy place to start. 
I think just these few simple things have made a massive difference to our garden already and I'm excited to start thinking about what projects we can begin next year. I think I may do another garden inspiration post next spring and discuss that next phase in our project then but for now I'm beyond happy with what we've achieved.