Sunday, 28 July 2013

Bath: Learning to make time for yourself

Finding time for yourself can be really hard. Sometimes it takes someone rlse forcing you to step back that makes you get off the endless hampster wheel and just pause for a minute.

And that's exactly what I did this time last year when I made a trip to the Thermae Spa in Bath. My Mum had a big birthday, and had become a carer for my father, so we thought she needed a special treat, and the  chance to recharge with a massage, a nice meal and an afternoon focusing on herself without distraction. 

So when I heard that were offering the chance for someone to similarly chill out and explore the wonderful city of Bath, I just had to share the news... I mean, who doesn't love a bit of pampering?!

Win one of three luxury experiences in Bath from! 

Simply follow the link to like redspottedhanky’s Facebook page and enter the competition to win a weekend stay at the luxurious Francis Hotel in Bath and your choice of one of three Beautiful Bath experiences! Choose from a session of luxury spa treatments at the Thermae Bath Spa, a torchlight visit to the historic Roman Baths, or a gourmet dinner for two at Brasserie Blanc!

 The competition is free to enter and open to UK residents 18 and over.

Ends 5th August 2013.

Note: I have received no payment or incentive for sharing this competition.  I just feel that we all deserve the chance to enjoy ourselves!

Monday, 22 July 2013

We're Buying

So I've been at bit AWOL recently.  I do feel bad about it. The thing is Hubby and I have been spending every spare minute preparing for the next big step. Buying. 

The thing about Buying (the capital is mandatory obviously) is that it turns everything on it's head. We're first time buyers and the whole process is like wading through treacle.  None of our family have purchased recently so we've had to do our best - and at best, it has been very much the case of blind-leading-the-blind.

We've analysed our savings, spoken to 3 different mortgage advisors, endlessly Googled the house buying process, registered for countless estates agents... all before the actual viewing. And boy, isn't there sone real variety on the market?! We saw one place that essentially just needed tearing down and starting over. A lick of paint and marketing the property as 'an investment opportunity' was no where near enough to put the poor thing out of its misery.

But we've finally had an offer accepted. It's stretched us to the limit (we're going to be hand washing clothes and sitting on the floor for a while after the big move - currently unclear as to how we'll stretch to furniture), but that's short term pain.  Long term we'll have a beautiful garden, a house with three bedrooms and when we eventually have children it's in a good catchment for schools.

We've instructed a solicitor, and are getting the mortgage sorted... so all we can do now is wait.

That and try to scrabble together the pennies for white goods.

Sunday, 21 July 2013

How to make a Pink Ladies jacket

They say the most stressful things in life are getting married,  moving house and starting a new job.  Well in the past 4 months I've done two, and as I'm already married, I suspect Hubby would be rather alarmed if I'd made the hat-trick! Running around putting offers on houses, and learning new routes to work are firmly my excuses for not keeping up the blogging schedule. But this weekend Hubby and I agreed to take sometime for ourselves... 

I love fancy dress, but I do find that pulling off the perfect costume can end up really rather pricey,  and as first time buyers with an offer accepted on a property, money is a real issue. The theme is 'America' (a friend is emigrating) so I decided to raid my nearest charity shop for inspiration...

Hunting for anything that could be adapted into cheerleader/cowgirl/American football outfit I came upon a really lovely vintage blouse... and all modern interpretations of America were cast aside.  With the help of a little customisation I'm going to channel one of the cult images of 50s America.

The Pink Ladies were a group of Girl-Friends. Street-wise, confident, sassy, hopelessly flawed - and likely burst into a spontaneous song and dance routine.

Take one vintage blouse:

Add some sequins, a bit of fabric glue and some more sequins:

Team with a trusty Little Black Dress, big hair, vintage sunglasses (again charity shop find, £1.99) and some bright red lips - Et voilĂ ! Grease is the word!

Total  spend:
- Blouse: £8
- Fabric glue: £3
- Sequins: 70p

I'll make sure to tweet the full ensemble once the glue has dried!