As I have said in my previous post Ikea Hack my dinning room had to be done on a budget we really wanted a new dinning room but our money had to be spent elsewhere… More
My name is Jessica and I love Netflix! What did we use to watch before Netflix became good…DVDs? I don’t know but I’m not a huge film person I much prefer a series and Netflix have the best ones from old classics (Gossip Girl and Gilmore Girls) to the amazing new stuff (see below). I’ve recently really gotten into there true crime documentaries too.
Here are my top picks (in no particular order) for this year so far.
You – 10/10
If you haven’t watched You yet why and where have you been? I watched this one with Dave and we were hooked it was one of them series, where we watched the full thing over a couple of nights, sleep deprivation was totally worth it. One – it has Dan from Gossip Girl in it. The character he plays is creepy yet in parts, I was falling for him (watch it you will understand). Two – It wasn’t predictable. Three – go watch it.
The Good Place – 8/10
I binged watched season 1 & 2 of this and “holy shirt balls” I just loved it! It’s easy watching and hilarious I couldn’t wait for season 3 to be released and it didn’t disappoint. The storyline is loopy its all about the afterlife. The 4 main characters are relatable and funny. Worth a “forking” watch.
FYRE – 6/10
It was all over social media so Dave and I watched this documentary. We couldn’t quite believe what we were watching. Its all about the festival that never was and how people were conned into believing in the exclusive private island party. I still can’t believe that Billy McFarland truly believed it was possible to get away with what he was doing. It’s shocking how so many people were scammed by this man. I heard that they are making this into a film.
One Day at a Time – 8/10
I don’t know how I ended up watching this I wasn’t recommended it, I’d never heard it (even though its a reboot) but I’m so glad I found it. I watched season 1 and 2 last year and it made me cry, laugh and everything in between I was invested in this family and what they were going through. Its set in California in a Cuban-American families apartment with some very strong women leads facing current issues. I had been counting down the days for season 3 to be released on February 8th and it was worth the wait I just really hope there will be a season 4.
Dumplin – 7/10
For a country music, American loving Netflix watcher, this was perfect for me. I am not a massive film viewer I much prefer a series but I really enjoyed this. Jennifer Aniston, Dolly Parton’s music, beauty pageants and drag acts! Loved it. If you love a good chick flick give it a try.
Friends from college – 7/10
It is what it says on the tin a group of friends from college now in their late thirties and finds themselves all living in the same city. It’s about how their lives intertwine with friendships, IVF, affairs a wedding and a funeral. I found season 1 slow to get into to but once I was in I was hooked… roll on season 3!
Abducted in Plain Sight – 6/10
THE most bizarre thing I have EVER watched. How on earth this is real life is beyond me. What this family did is unreal and to be willing to share their huge mistakes with the world, I mean why would you? (money I know). Watch this to become as baffled as I am and the rest of the world is over the Broberg family and their criminal neighbour.
Q. What do I plan to watch next?
A. Russian Doll – I will let you know next month my thoughts
A. Queer Eye – its due back March 15th YAASSS! (I hope my sources are correct I love this feel-good show).
A. Dirty John – I have literally just pressed play on episode 1 the trailer looked awesome so I can’t wait to get into this one.
If anyone else has any recommendations please let me know.
We have been to Manchester a few times in the last couple of months. Dave (my fiance) had a little operation and his surgeon is based there. The trips have turned into nice nights away from Hollytree for us. The first visit (after reading amazing reviews online) we stopped in The Gotham Hotel. We ended up upgrading our room because the room we were allocated had no windows which really freaked me out. Although the room we ended up in was amazing I don’t think the hotel as a whole (value for money and facilities) comes close to Kings Street Townhouse.
Kings Street Townhouse
Check in was quick and easy the staff were friendly and eager to help. Our room was a generous sized suite (for a city centre hotel) on the fifth floor that had a four poster (super comfy) bed, floor to ceiling windows with a view of the town hall and clock tower, a stand-alone bath (I have this thing for bathtubs so this was a big tick) and a beautiful bathroom. You are provided with the most luxurious robes I’ve ever had in a hotel room, not your regular towelling ones that are always way too big. The mini bar is a charged one but you do get free tea and coffee.
Although the room was beautiful the main reason I would visit this hotel again and again and recommend it to anyone that will listen is the pool and spa area on level 7. We were lucky enough to have the spa area to ourselves which was perfect for the must-have Insta pics at the edge of the pool with the amazing view. *side notes if the screen is down (I’m guessing to keep the water temperature) ring reception and they will open it up remotely without disturbing you. The spa pool is definitely the star attraction but the spa has other things to offer. Next to the pool is a steam room and a relaxation area where you can take in the view, read the magazines provided and enjoy drinks from the bar. There are treatments options which on our next visit I will definitely be making the most of. The top to toe 90 mins treatment is top of my list!
Q. What could make this hotel any better?
A. Breakfast wasn’t the best – service was slow. Dave had the English breakfast and really enjoyed it, I had the American pancakes and they were overcooked and greasy.
Minibar – other hotels we stop in, for example, The Dakota deluxe offer a free minibar in suites which is a nice touch when you are spending so much already.
This year Easter Sunday has ended up being on a week that we have Mollie (she has a week with us a week with her mum). I was a little bit excited about this I love creating Easter egg hunts I get far too into writing the clues and I worry that the next time Mollie has an Easter with us the magic of the Easter Bunny will have gone so I wanted to make this one the best yet. We are so blessed with our garden it is perfect for an Easter egg hunt I was just praying the weather would be on our side as it had forecast rain and it would have totally spoilt it (luckily we were ok).
I’m really sorry but when I was visiting your new house to bring you your Easter treats I had so much fun playing with the other rabbits, chickens, Quails & ducks that by the time I came to deliver your Easter treats they were all gone. I’ve had a really big think and I’ve left you some clues to where I was playing, I hope you find them all.
Love from Easter Bunny Xx
When I first got to your garden I hoped over a giant gate there was a rabbit waiting for me she took me to this strange looking house with lots of pieces of trees in it she said her and her friends sometimes hide behind it when cars come onto the drive, we sat in there for a while to wait for her brother maybe you will find a treat in there.
Mollie found her first egg in the log store.
Her brother took me up to the top of the garden there was a little flag and some sand I went for a nibble in his burrow and then I was on my way, maybe you will find treats there (I hope you do).
Next I met some ducks they said we bet you can’t jump across the lake onto the island so I did my best stretches and boy did I jump far, so far I nearly fell off the other side of the island into the water and I hate water! Maybe you will find a treat around there (I hope nothing fell in).
After all that I started to make my way back towards your house after all I did have a job to do. Along the way I got a little lost I went through an arch way and was stood next to a tree with curly branches I think there was another little flag nearby. I went up a little hill and from there I could see your house so set back off towards it. I’d take a look there because I did sit under that tree to catch my breath.
On my way back to the house I met some more rabbits we were near some really big trees and we decided to see who could jump the highest we thought maybe one of us could jump as high as the trees. I knew it would be me, being the Easter bunny I have to be able to jump really high to get over things (like your big gate) but I got a little bit silly and instead of just jumping up I also jumped forward and landed in the trees. I managed to climb back down. Don’t worry I’m not stuck there now I’m certain treats will be though!
After climbing down I herd some funny noises coming from some little houses so I went to investigate. There were chickens & quails. I let them out to play I hope you don’t mind. (Check there)
I hopped past a few wooden houses and then came really close to your house when I met a lovely rabbit family there was Lilly (the mummy) and Daisy, Daffy, lavender, Poppy, Petal & Tulip they have a beautiful home in the flowers. We had lots of fun. Check near the flowers if you see the girls say hi from me.
After all that fun I went in the little house with brown windows near the big grey box. I had a bounce (I love to bounce) on the bed & the couch (don’t tell your dad and Jess but they make really good trampolines).
I finally managed to get to your house, thank you for the carrot. I love carrots! That drink you made me was DELICIOUS I wish everyone made me drinks like that (I would love the recipe). I did manage to get one treat into your house. I went upstairs and found you fast asleep you have some lovely toys I’ve hidden your last treat in there. Happy Easter!!
Happy Easter everyone! Thanks to our family for all our Easter treats. I hope you enjoyed our Easter egg hunt as much as us & are having a good Easter.
Well I feel this post is long overdue we seem to have been working on our dinning room forever every time we would start it there would be something go wrong either in the dinning room itself or with another part of the house. Anyway I’m glad to say it is now finished (other than my picture wall that will grow as & when I find things for it).
When we originally spoke about decorating the dinning room we were thinking because its open plan from the kitchen we would have to stick with the farmhouse/country style theme that our kitchen has however, the more places we would visit for food and drinks the more we wanted an industrial style dinning room. At New Years we stopped in Chester for a few nights and one lunch time we visited Urbano 32 (they make amazing Pizzas if you are ever near I would definitely give them a try) the restaurant had exposed brick, logs around the wood-fired pizza oven & a mixture of wood & metal. When we were sat eating our pizza’s we both had the same thought if we are going ahead with the industrial theme this is the way to do it.
The Feature Wall
We have exposed brick in our living room and I love it! I thought there was no way of creating that in the dinning room, I didn’t want the brick style wallpaper but Dave said he would be able to sort it. He found some brick slips from a company on eBay. I am really lucky in that Dave can pretty much turn his hand to any DIY so what ever idea pops into my head he seems to be able to do it.
The Table & Chairs
We were really lucky that the previous owners of the house left us a solid wood farmhouse table & chairs. We didn’t want to get rid of such good quality furniture so we decided to up-cycle it to fit in our new dinning room. Dave removed the top, planed it and then rubbed it with Rust-Oleum clear finishing wax. We bought some metal legs from eBay and he attached them. With the remainder of the wood from the table he made a bench. The chairs are from eBay too I’ve said in previous posts how Dave loves an eBay find.
The Light Fitting
The light fitting Dave made from a vintage ladder, some chain and three lights from Ikea. I love it because its one of a kind. Everybody that has seen the dinning room since it has been finished comments on the light fitting, Dave probably won’t agree but it didn’t seem to take him long to put it all together.
The lamp was from Aldi, the plant was from B & Q, the frame was from Paperchase.
My plan is to just keep adding to the photo wall as and when I find images/prints. Although I love my light fitting it does not produce much light so these wall lights solved that problem (eBay find again). The candle holder is from H&M I have two on my table.
We have two cupboards that have to be in that room so we added old plumbing valve handles from the USA so that they were in keeping with the theme of the room. The M is for Mollie from Next (she loves it because it lights up) the plant is from B&Q (I love bringing the outdoors in).
I love, love, love the antelope head from Oliver Bonas. I made the vase myself out of a vase from IKEA and vintage watch cogs (it took ages but I think it was worth it).
The dinning room is now my favourite room we used to eat all our meals at the breakfast bar in the kitchen not any more. I’m super proud of Dave for creating what I had envisioned & putting up with me trying to explain my crazy ideas, I love it.
So my dinning room had to be done on a budget as we have to spend our house budget on more structural type of things but we really wanted a new dinning room as we love having friends round for food and we wanted to make it our own. I’m going to be writing a blog post on the dinning room as a whole when it’s all finished but I just wanted to share with you one of the ways I created an industrial style shelving unit from an Ikea garage type shelving Hyllis.
I was scowering Pinterest for ideas and came across this
However couldn’t find the how to guide that went with it so I thought I would give it a go without.
I started by following the instructions and I put the piece together (I feel like I’m a flat pack expert between home and work I’ve assembled so much recently). Then I sprayed it black with Rust-oleum painters touch it took two coats. *tip* don’t put too much paint on at once as this can create drips if this happens its a lot more work to put right – sanding and respraying. (this happened to me)
Next I measured out Spruce furniture board the measurements were 60cm x 27cm this was to put on top of the metal shelves to give it a more expensive feel to it. Dave cut them out for me as I don’t trust myself with his ripsaw (he wouldn’t let me have a go).
I then stained them with Rust-oleum dark finishing wax although this is a finishing wax not a wood stain it gave them just the right look and it finished the wood as well. It was really easy to use it just wipes on using a cloth and a little bit goes a long way (I have lots left for my next project) I would definitely recommend this product.
I placed the wooden shelves onto the metal shelves and Dave secured them by screwing them in from underneath. This is how it turned out
Cost break down –
Total cost £78.98
Candlestick monkey- H & M (currently in the sale)
Candlestick rhino – H & M (currently in the sale)
Cactus – B & Q (no longer available)
Box – TK Max
Frame – Homebargains
The Cocktail print in the frame is a greeting card I found in TK Max for £1.50.
My friend asked me yesterday if it was worth doing it myself and up-cycling, I personally think yes I am extremely pleased with it and think it fits in with my dinning room perfectly plus I made it!
Mollie has had a growth spurt recently and literally everything doesn’t fit anymore so Sunday we hit the shops and had a family day out to Meadowhall (our local mall). When I first met Mol she hated shopping but I think judging on Sundays trip I have changed her into a mini shopper. I love shopping for Mol I get to dress her up or at least I used to. This trip I realised she is developing her own taste and definitely knows her own mind. When I was trying to put her in ruffled shirts and the little dresses over a t-shirt she simply refused to even take them into the changing rooms. Dave was no help he just agreed with her, I’m not sure he likes all my style choices in fact most of the clothing I own he has something to say about them (Hamburglar, lumberjack and the newest one a comic strip of breaking bad). I never normally care what he thinks about my fashion choices but Sunday he was rubbing off on Mol and that was not fun, so with the shopping we had to play it safe and let Mol have some say. I did manage to steer her away from the sequin t-shirts where if you brush it one way it is one emoji and then brush it the other direction a different emoji (Dave was still team Mol on these tops). We didn’t manage to get everything she needed as the hanger set in on all three of us so we called it a day and hit TGI’s.
Here are some of our purchases from the trip.
Mollie chose this dress from Zara
These are some of the things I wanted Mol to try.
The dresses on the left are from Next and the ones on the right are from Zara. I’m going to keep working on her, I may even play the aunty card, she loves my younger sister she’s “the cool aunt” so if she suggests it maybe I might get her to at least try them on…
For Valentines we decided we weren’t doing gifts instead we had a trip down to London we went down Monday afternoon and came back Tuesday night. Me & Dave haven’t really been to London and stopped over together before. While I love a London trip Dave isn’t a fan. He had a meeting he had to attended Tuesday morning in the city so with it being valentines and half term he invited me along. First class travel and four star hotel I could cope with a few hours out of my day talking about weeds and trees, it was actually quite nice to have an incite into his work (not that I’m admitting that to him).
Monday was spent doing what we do best eating and drinking. We didn’t want to stay out too late with us having the meeting the next morning, so we stayed close to the hotel. We found a boutique bowling alley that served food and cocktails. I would recommend booking in advance if you want a game as the one we visited didn’t have many lanes so we didn’t manage one. The food was yum and they did there own version of my favourite cocktail the porn star martini this was named All Star Martini it had rhubarb vodka instead of vanilla I will definitely be trying to recreate this one at home. We then headed to Londons cocktail club on Shaftesbury Avenue it was happy hour all night! I loved people watching couples, groups of friends from all over the world. The girl who served us was super helpful with choosing cocktails for us, its definitely worth a visit if you love a good cocktail and this isn’t the only one they are all over London meaning more to try next time we are there bonus!
The next morning we hopped on the underground then the DLR to Dave’s meeting, meaning I saw parts of London I’d never seen before and perfect for more people watching. Then shopping in Covent Garden, lunch in China Town, window shopping in Harrods (mostly spent dribbling in shoe heaven) and then we went to the Picturehouse central cinema and watched fifty shades darker we’ve all read the books so we know what the films about.
Walking in the cinema I was in love with the decor especially the lighting is was very industrial we are currently decorating our dinning room and thats the look we are going for so I took far too many pics this was my favourite piece of lighting.
After the cinema we were walking through London to collect our bags and then back to Kings cross on the walk I had a total Love Actually moment, you know the part at the end of the film when Hugh Grant tells us all that love actually is all around (I now believe him). There were couples walking hand in hand, people waiting with flowers, inside restaurants were people who looked so in love. The streets of London were filled with happy couples and I loved just wandering through them imagining their stories. We walked past a girl coming out of her apartment to meet her friend, her friend had brought her a card and a rose and said I know we were doing an anti-valentines besties thing but happy valentines. For a few streets we followed an older couple, I have this thing about the elderly I just love them. My nan was my best friend (sorry Jodie) but they tell the best stories and being around them makes me feel happy anyways back to the couple. They walked hand in hand chatting and laughing she was carrying a single red rose and when they got to where they were headed they stopped he kissed her cheek and he held the door open (its the little things) I hope me and Dave are as in love and still have as much to laugh and talk about their age.
On the train home we exchanged our Valentines cards I’m glad we didn’t do presents it meant we both put more thought into our cards (I wrote a blog post all about mine here) and it finished our Valentines off perfectly. Hope you all had a good valentines too.
Last month I went for a girls day out to London with my bestie. As we were passing time (shopping) waiting to see the final matinee performance of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory we stumbled upon the nicest little (since realised global chain) stationary shop Kikki K I walked in and was in stationary heaven I love anything stationary related any note book/diary/journal I can write in, or quirky cards I can send to friends and family. I could have spent a fortune but after already doing far too much shopping I limited myself to two books and a card.
The card is for my fiancé for valentines its simple but perfect it says on the front reasons I want to marry you. Ever since I purchased it I’ve been making notes of different things I can write in it. I’ve loved doing it so much that I wanted to put the list out for anyone and everyone to see and also because ****soppy alert**** I’m so grateful that we found each other and I can’t wait to marry my amazing man.
Reasons I want to marry you …
- You make all the amazing things happen (our dream home, our amazing travelling trips and planned trips, our wedding) and for all of this I am truly grateful.
- You planned the most perfect proposal any girl could wish for down to every detail, I still pinch myself when I think back to it.
- You said from the very start we will be together forever and you truly meant it.
- You’re an amazing dad. Watching you with Mollie makes my heart melt.
- You are such a good cook and make the best Sunday dinner ever! (Mol agrees)
- Every morning you send a have a nice day, I love you text. It brightens up my day.
- You know I’m not a morning person so if I have to be up early you set your alarm too to make sure I am up, thank you. x
- We can get our geek on together (movie marathons and Harry Potter world).
- You are my best friend.
- I can’t wait to spend the rest of my life with you.
I’m not usually the confess my undying love all over social media type of girl but with it being valentines I thought why not…
Since getting engaged I couldn’t wait to go to a wedding fayre I went to my first one about two weeks after we got engaged I loved it, showing off my ring talking about our plans for our wedding and filling up my goodie bag. When I got home reality hit I liked and wanted so much and weddings are ridiculously expensive. So Dave (my fiancé) being Dave made a plan and we are getting married in August 2019 meaning we will have been engaged for three years when we do get married. Since then my best friend got engaged, booked her wedding and asked me to be her maid of honour so I am back hitting the wedding fayres but with my MOH hat on.
Last Sunday we went to the I do wedding fayre in Leeds. On arrival we got our complimentary goodie bag and prosecco (I am still a bride to be after all and love a freebie). The goodie bag was pretty good it had a razor, face creams (I’m yet to try), graze goodies & some new Nestle fruit bags (Bounty & Galaxy). The exhibit was well set out, easy to navigate & there was a good variety of stalls. One stall that stood out to me was Manjo home, they had a good variety of DIY wedding things that you could purchase on the day. I bought the Ginger Ray hen party badges and photo booth probs. The badges are super easy to make and very cute once made.
The other wedding fayres I have been to I’ve never watched the catwalk show however today Jodie (my bestie) wanted to hear a violinist who was performing after the catwalk so we decided to take a seat. I don’t know if this is the norm but I just felt so cringe with the dad dancing done by the male models I wanted them to come out masculine and show off the suits like they were our future husbands not an embarrassing uncle on the dance floor maybe thats just me. All in all it was a good morning. I will definitely be booking again once my turn for wedding planing comes around.
p.s I would totally advise booking morning tickets and get there for it opening it is a lot quieter and easier to get round the stalls.
What a nice time/way to start my blog. When I first walked into Hollytree I imagined where my tree would go in fact thats how I judged most of the houses we viewed. I love decorating for Christmas, playing out traditions, creating new ones, spending time with family and friends it’s such a special time. I have been looking forward to this Christmas all year the first one in our new home.
We (me & my fiancé Dave) have a little tradition we started a few years ago we go out for tea with Mollie (my step daughter) and her little sister. It’s such a nice thing to see the girls so excited for Santa coming that night we always take them their bags from the pyjama elf with matching pj’s, a book and Christmas sweets. The girls get so excited with their little bags.
This year was the start of a new tradition (hopefully) usually me and Dave do a whistle stop tour of our families houses so this year we had everyone come to us. The day started with just me and Dave swapping presents thankfully he loved his coffee maker & wallet and I definitely loved my Kate Spade shoes and phone case. Dave went to collect Mollie and our families came to Hollytree. It was so magical seeing Mollie excited, happy and grateful for all her gifts. This year was the year off the Hatchimal, bike, make-up and little mix tickets one lucky little girl.
Dave made the most delicious Christmas dinner while I played at being hostess he is definitely the better cook in the relationship. Mollie took her bike out for a spin and came back with her dad on the most perfect bike for me a Somerby Victoria Pendleton I love it! The day ended with board games and Christmas cocktails. Fingers crossed this is the first of many.
We took our new bikes for a spin around our little village followed by Christmas dinner round two. Later that day Dave’s sister and brother in law with their four year old triplets came to visit they live in Hong Kong so it was their first visit to Hollytree.