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My Very Own Kitchen Adonis & Our Anniversary Menu

When Wayfair got in touch and asked me to take their latest interactive quiz: Dating Disaster or Recipe For Love, I decided to pass the link on to the SWH (super wonderful husband!).
The reason for this is because the kitchen in this house belongs to him and he does like his gadgets and utensils!
I’m happy to say he got 8 out 10 and was given the title of Kitchen Adonis 🙂

kitchen adonis - Wayfair dating disaster or recipe for love quiz results

I can see that he’s now going to expect everyone to call him Adonis whenever he’s in the kitchen!

Special Anniversary Dinner

I’m very lucky to have a kitchen adonis, however, especially now we’re in lockdown and won’t be able to have our week away at the end of April for our 15th wedding anniversary.
He’s going to cook us a special anniversary dinner instead and two of the children will be here sharing the day with us (KayCee’s moved in with her Nan to look after her while we’re on lockdown).

15th wedding anniversary menu

Ant has his own recipe for French Onion Soup. I’ll share it on another post soon. It’s absolutely delicious.

The dauphinoise potatoes recipe is from BBC Good Food and the shredded Brussels Sprouts with slow fried shallots is from

The profiteroles recipe is from BBC Good Food.

Making The Best Of Lockdown

Even though we won’t be celebrating our wedding anniversary the way we had planned, we’re not going to let lockdown dampen our spirits!

The only way we’re going to get through this tough time is by being positive and focusing on making the best of things.
We’ll use the special dinner set, make a lovely table centrepiece and light candles.

I can’t wait!

I Ended Up In The Hospital – Again

We’d all been staying home as the government had asked us to, except for Ant who still has to go and check on his dad.
I didn’t mind staying home as there’s plenty to do to keep me occupied and I was quite looking forward to reading more and getting more book folding done.
Instead of having a relaxing Mother’s Day though, I ended up in the hospital.

Mother’s Day

On the 21st of March, just after lunch, I got up to make a coffee. Everything was normal until I sat down and found myself struggling to breathe.
It was as if I’d been on a fast run and anyone who knows me, knows I don’t run!
My chest was tight and it hurt to breathe in.

It carried on throughout the day, gradually getting worse.
It took me ages to get upstairs at bedtime because I had to stop on each step and get my breath back.

I didn’t sleep very well because I couldn’t breathe and when I got up on Mother’s day, I was shattered so I lay on the sofa.
After half an hour or so I got a pain on the left side of my chest and it was spreading into my armpit.


We decided to phone 111 but it was really busy so we went to the 111 website instead.
I put in our postcode and clicked start. The following page opened:

Ant phoned 999 after seeing the warning about tightening in the chest and within 10 minutes the ambulance arrived.

After doing all their checks, they said I needed to go to the hospital to have a blood test to check for heart problems.
I had to go on my own because they weren’t allowing family members to go to help minimise the spread of the virus.

Different A&E Procedures

Due to the coronavirus and my breathing difficulties, we weren’t allowed to go to the regular A&E. While in the ambulance I had to put a face mask on. We were sent to another entrance and a man took my temperature before we were allowed on the ward.

They did all the tests and got me to go through what happened again when the doctor came.
The nurse had trouble getting blood so another nurse tried and he didn’t have any luck either. They had to get the doctor to come and take the blood then put a cannula in.

I had to keep the mask on the whole time I was there and whenever a nurse came into the room, they had to put a mask, gloves and apron on.
Also, all visitors had been banned but Ant was allowed to drop me a bag off with everything I needed for a few days stay.

Medical Emergency Assessment Unit – MAEU

I was sent to the MAEU ward after a few hours. There were only 2 other ladies there and I got chatting to a lovely lady called Mandy.
We were allowed to take our masks off on this ward but the staff had to put masks, gloves and apron on whenever they came on the ward.

If they had to leave the ward for any reason they had to bin the mask, gloves and apron and put fresh ones on when they came back on the ward.

When I left the ward to go for a CT scan I had to put the mask on again. It was horrible trying to breathe with a mask on when you’re short of breath but obviously it had to be done.

A new lady in the bed across from us had dementia and she was shouting all night. Coupled with the beeps from all the machines and being woken for observations, I hardly got any sleep Sunday night.

Pulmonary Embolism

The CT scan showed I’d got a Pulmonary Embolism again. I was in the hospital for 10 days in 2009 when I had the first PE and I wasn’t looking forward to spending another 10 days in the hospital.

The ward was empty most of Monday then it started filling up in the evening.
It was noisy again and I was shattered. Around midnight they woke me again to transfer me to another ward.

I was wheeled, on my bed, to an isolation ward. I had my own room with a bathroom attached and to say the silence was golden would be an understatement!


I stayed in the isolation room all day Tuesday and Wednesday and had a heart scan on Wednesday.

My results came back from the test they did for coronavirus when I was at A&E and thankfully it was negative.

Moved Again

In the middle of the night again, I was moved to another ward where no one had to wear masks.

The doctor came to see me on Thursday morning and told me I’d be on blood thinner tablets for the rest of my life because this was my second pulmonary embolism.

He also said that I could go home 🙂

After not seeing Ant or the kids since Sunday morning, I was so happy to be going home.

Still Tired

I’ve slept much better since I’ve been home but I’m still feeling tired all day. I had to have a nap yesterday and I’m thinking I might have to have another soon because I’m struggling to stay awake!

It’s been a bit stressful but I’m glad I won’t have to go through it again because the blood thinners will stop me getting another clot.

I’m so grateful for our wonderful NHS.

Thank you NHS

Decorating Update

Poor Ant has been left to finish the decorating on his own after I ended up in pain for a week with my hernia, after stretching to paint the walls on the first day we started decorating.
We finished the hall downstairs and my Treasure Hunt Bookcase wall canvas is looking lovely 🙂

treasure hunt bookcase from photowall
Treasure Hunt Bookcase from Photowall

He’s painted the stair steps black and the bookshelves white and fixed the floorboards on the landing upstairs. He’s ow painting the woodwork upstairs and will then move on to painting the rest of the walls.
The final job will be painting the floorboards on the landing.

The stair risers are still to do and I should be ok helping with that job because it doesn’t require any stretching at all! We’re going to paint the front of the risers white before painting each one a different colour ready for the book titles I’ve cut out of vinyl using my Cricut Maker.

Hopefully, we’ll get it finished this week and I can come back next week with the ‘After’ photos 🙂

Feeding the Squirrels

My mother-in-law has lots of squirrel visitors to her garden. They eat most of the food she leaves out for the birds and they’re always knocking the seed holders over and tipping the seed on the patio.
Her dog, Chichi loves sitting at the window watching the squirrels!

We had some mixed nuts in shells leftover from Christmas and this morning I took them for the squirrels.
We spent a good half hour watching them and taking photos 🙂

squirrel eating a nut
squirrel climbing up to the bird house
squirrel eating a nut in the bird house
squirrel on the bird house
squirrel in the tree
squirrel on the birdhouse
squirrel on the birdhouse
squirrels in the garden

KayCee and Veganuary

cartoon cow with a red 'no' circle on - veganuary
Image by jean-bernard Devaux from Pixabay

KayCee went on a school trip to France last month and on the coach on the way back, she had a conversation with one of her teachers about veganism.
She decided that she’d like to try being a vegan so asked if she could try Veganuary.

After having a discussion with Ant, we decided we’d fully support her.
Ant did some research into veganism as he wanted to be sure she was going to be eating healthily while eating this way for the month.

Two Weeks In

We’re two weeks into January and she was really enjoying being a vegan until she weighed herself and discovered that she’d lost 11lb in 2 weeks which puts her on the edge of the Under Weight category on the NHS height and weight chart.
We had another discussion and said we’re happy to keep on supporting her, however, we’d much prefer it if she chose to be a vegetarian while her body is growing and when she’s an adult she can then choose to be a vegan if she still wanted to.

To help her as much as we can, we’ve decided to make all family meals vegetarian-friendly.
Ant needs to cut down on red meat anyway and whilst I could never be vegan (could not do without milk, cheese and yogurt!), I’m quite happy to plan vegetarian family dinners.

Slimming World Recipes

I’ll now be posting a lot more Slimming World vegetarian recipes in the coming weeks.
I’m quite looking forward to trying lots of new recipes and hopefully, it’ll help keep me on the right track to lose weight this year.

KayCee drinking hot chocolate

If you’re trying Veganuary, we’d love to hear how you’re getting on. Please feel free to share your links or comments below 🙂

Happy New Year and a Look Back at 2019

I hope you all had a wonderful new year’s eve. Ours was a quiet one without the girls. Ella slept at her friend’s and KayCee went to her sister, Kellyann’s.
It was just Aiden, Ant and myself at home and Ant slept for most of the evening before waking about half eleven!
As usual, here’s my look back at 2019.


I completed my Goodreads challenge again.

My Year In books - Goodreads 2018 reading challenge


It was a frosty end to February. So cold but so pretty.

frosty trees


An email I got in February changed my life in March; I got sent a Cricut Maker machine to review.
Now, I know it sounds a bit dramatic saying it changed my life, but it truly did.

I’m self-employed and work from home. All my money was earned through my blog but since having the Cricut Maker and finding out I was actually quite good at paper crafting, I started making things and selling them.
I love working with the Cricut and hope to get lots more business this year.

Cricut Maker


As well as the Cricut Maker I also got sent an Easypress 2. I was very excited about being able to design t-shirts but a few months on and I’m not as enamoured!
I don’t enjoy making them as much as I enjoy paper crafting so now I only make t-shirts if KayCee or Ella want one making.

Ella wearing her new t-shirt


I finally got around to reading the Game Of Thrones book. I’d been wanting to read the series for a while but they’re so long I kept putting it off.
I really enjoyed it.

A Game Of Thrones Book Cover by George R.R. Martin


Work started on the garage for my new office/craft room. I was taking up too much space in the living room with the Cricut Maker so we needed a better solution.

notebooks and a pen


I ask KayCee and Ella a set of questions at the end of each school year. I love looking back on them.



KayCee and Ella had their birthdays in August but now they’re getting older, they’re not wanting to be blogged about as much so I didn’t do the usual birthday blog posts this month.
In fact, there aren’t any personal posts in August except for a book review!


My new office/craft room was finally finished and it’s now called the studio 🙂
I love it so much!

my new studio


I was too busy making Christmas paper crafts in October to do any personal blogging.
I spent all day in the studio making advent carousels, nativity stars and Christmas tree decorations ready for my first craft fair.


The Christmas adverts started and I was pleased to see Kevin the Carrot was back again.


Apart from having terrible hernia pain that started just as our guests arrived for the Christmas Eve party and stayed with me all of Christmas Day, I still had a lovely Christmas.
Spending the day in hospital on Boxing Day wasn’t much fun either, especially as it meant I missed seeing the rest of my family.
As always, we were all spoilt by our friends and family and I had some lovely gifts.

Christmas day 2019

Well, that was my look back at 2019 and it was quite a good year for me.
Here’s to 2020 and hopefully, an even better year for everyone 🙂

Absolutely LOVE My New Studio!

I have a wonderful new studio where I can work on the blog, make brilliant(!) paper creations and photograph said creations without having to find somewhere with a nice background.

Since getting my Cricut earlier this year, I was slowly taking over the dining room table, bookcases, shelves and basically, that end of the room!
I bought an organiser trolley from Hobbycraft for my Cricut Maker as I got fed up with having to keep putting it away when dinner time came.

Hobbycraft rolling organiser

I also bought two other trolleys from Hobbycraft so I could organise my craft supplies a bit.
However, it got to the point where I really couldn’t fit anything else in the living room and the dining table was more of a craft table than somewhere to eat.

Ant’s Office

When we moved in here, Ant set up his office in the garage. We never planned to use the garage for the car and he needed all the space for all his computer ‘stuff’!

As time went on, the office got filled up with anything and everything and it was so cold in there during the Winter that it stopped being used.
The only time Ant had to go in there was to see to the server.

My New Studio

We decided to empty Ant’s office and turn it into an office/craft room for me. We’ve been trying to get it done all Summer but something always seemed to come up to stop us.
Finally, about 3 weeks ago, I decided to take the week off volunteering at the charity shop and use the time to get the office emptied.

Before Photos

Ant's office before I claimed it as my own!
ant's office before
Ant's office before the transformation
Ant's office before
Ant's office before

After Photos – My Lovely New Studio!

New studio
New studio - office desk and crafting desk

I haven’t got the monitor connected to anything yet. The plan is to set up a computer especially for use with the Cricut. At the moment I’m using a phone and whilst I can use it to make projects I’ve saved, I find it easier to create and make the projects on the laptop.

New studio - storage shelves

I love the A4 paper storage shelves. They were from Amazon and only cost about £12, I think. They’re very sturdy.

New studio - photo staging corner

This is my photo corner. I need to iron the background and sort out the one on the bench as it’s just loosely folded at the moment.

New studio - comfy chair and quilling storage

This is the old chair that I used when working in the living room. We got a new electric recliner and this one got put in the garage until we decided what to do with it.
Now it has a purpose again and I glad we found a use for it. I know it’s not the best looking chair but it’s comfy and that’s all that matters!

New studio - most important part - the coffee machine!

This is the most important corner because it houses my new coffee machine given to me by my lovely friend who does the weighing with me at Slimming World every week.

I love not having to go inside every time I need a coffee.

New studio - office desk
New studio - crafting corner - Cricut machine storage

This is my crafting desk. It is so wonderful to have everything to hand when I’m paper crafting.

New studio - crafting desk
New studio - office desk

Please excuse everything that is on the outside of the window; the covered bbq patio is out there and at the moment it is currently full to the brim with everything that came out of the garage!

I love it all so much, I’m even happier to be working from home now!

Back To School And College

Where the heck did those Summer holidays go?! I can’t quite believe it’s back to school already.
We didn’t do a Summer bucket list year due to both girls having plans with friends and family right through the Summer. We didn’t get a chance to go to the beach, to Daisy Made or on a family day out at all because they were too busy! And now it’s back to school and college and I’m a little bit sad.

Aiden started back at college today. He took his first train ride today to get to his new college and he’s also started a new part-time job. It’s totally a day of first for him!
He’s not sure what time he’s going to get home tonight as he’s working in a kitchen. I can’t wait to see how his first day has gone 🙂

I know I’ve said it before and every parent says it at some point, but I really can’t believe how fast time is going. KayCee’s started year 10 today and Ella went into year 8.

KayCee year 10 - back to school and college
Ella year 8 - back to school and college

Felin Fach – Our Best Ever Holiday

If you’ve read my blog before, you may have seen a post I did a few years ago about falling in love with Mundesley when we went to celebrate our anniversary.

Well, we now have a new favourite place – Felin Fach cottage in Wales.
We’ve stayed in a few cottages over the years and this is by far the best ever; the 6+ hours drive was totally worth it!

Felin Fach Cottage

The property had recently been sold to Lynsey and Andrew. We were only the second guests they’d had but we’d never had known if they hadn’t told us. They were excellent hosts who were there when needed but left us alone to enjoy the peace and tranquillity.

Andrew showed us into the cottage where he’d left a plate of homemade brownies, a bottle of milk and half a dozen eggs from one of the local farms.
We also found tea, coffee and sugar in the canisters which are always welcome when you first arrive somewhere like this because it means you don’t have to start unpacking straight away to find your supplies; you can relax with a cuppa after the long drive 🙂

Homemade brownies, milk and eggs at Felin Fach cottage, Pumsaint, Wales

Lovely Living Room

After giving us all the information we needed, Andrew left and we went to check out the rest of the cottage.
I was very pleased to see a wood-burning fire. I didn’t think we’d be able to make use of it seeing it as it was mid-August and to be fair, we didn’t really need the fire to warm the place as it was lovely and warm anyway, especially as there was under-floor heating, but we had a couple of rainy days and used the log fire because it made it feel all nice and cosy.

Log burning fireplace at Felin Fach cottage, Pumsaint, Wales
Log burning fire

This sofa was very comfy and from here I had a lovely view of a robin that kept landing on the steps outside the patio doors.

Comfy sofa
patio doors
Patio doors leading to a barbeque area
Our little robin friend who kept coming for a visit
Our lovely little robin friend 🙂
Plenty of books and some card and quiz games at Felin Fach cottage, Pumsaint, Wales
Lots of books, both fiction and non-fiction as well as cards and quiz games.
More books -always a welcome sight for me!
I spied more books on the ledge up the stairs.

The Bedroom

I have to admit, I never have much luck with mattresses because of my bad back and I still haven’t found one comfier than the one in Mudesley but this bed wasn’t too bad for me.

The bedding was so lovely. It was soft and snuggly and even Ant, who usually kicks duvets off because he gets too hot under them, found himself sleeping under it all night!

double bed with purpple and white bedding at Felin Fach cottage, Pumsaint, Wales
dressing table

The bedroom is a good size with plenty of storage for clothes.

small window looking out over the front
comfy chairs in the bedroom
High ceiling with lovely lights
I LOVED this light fitting!

Ant loves bedrooms with balconies. Unfortunately, I don’t much care for them, especially ones where you can see through to the ground below so we didn’t end up using it!

balcony off the bedroom

The Bathroom

Ant enjoyed this lovely big bath. I wasn’t able to use it, sadly, because I was suffering from a bad knee and was worried I wouldn’t be able to get back out.

big white bath

It didn’t matter though because I loved this big shower! Towels and bedding were included in the price which is always good because they can be bulky to pack if you have to take your own.

large shower

I know it’s weird to take photos of a bottle of handsoap but this one smelt so good I wanted to see if I could get some when I got home!

method hand soap

27 Acres

The cottage is set in 27 acres and you’re free to go exploring. There’s a river that runs through which means there are little bridges dotted about.

I have to say, I’m so incredibly jealous of Lynsey and Andrew being able to live here all the time!
When I was younger we were always down at the brook, finding tadpoles and fishing for sticklebacks. I would have been in heaven as a child if I’d grown up here!

bridge over the river at Felin Fach cottage, Pumsaint, Wales
gardens and fields to explore
another bridge over the river
This bridge is in front of the cottage, just over a small lawned area.
the river at Felin Fach cottage, Pumsaint, Wales
shallow parts of the river
I so wanted to go for a paddle!
wild strawberry
Wild strawberries growing in the front garden
lilac coloured flower
pink flower at Felin Fach cottage, Pumsaint, Wales
another kind flower!
shallow river

Seeing these hazelnuts on the ground took me back to when I used to go nutting with my dad. We’d collect hazelnuts and chestnuts. I loved it.

lilies growing in the front garden at Felin Fach cottage, Pumsaint, Wales
my favourite flowers

We definitely plan on going back to Felin Fach next year. We’ll be celebrating our 15th wedding anniversary in April and we had planned on going back to York Lakeside Lodges where we went for our honeymoon but we’ve decided we’re going to Felin Fach. I need to hurry and get it booked before someone else gets in before us!

Thank you, Lynsey and Andrew, for a totally wonderful, relaxing week and we’ll see you again soon!

Questions For KayCee At The End Of Year 9

I started asking Kaycee and Ella some questions at the end of the school year in 2012. I love being able to look back at the changes 
These are KayCee’s answers at the end of year 9.



KayCee hasn’t sailed through the year as she has done in previous years, she’s had a lot to deal with, but she’s come through it stronger and more confident.

I can’t believe she only has 2 more years left at secondary school (unless she decides to stay on for the sixth form, of course), she’s growing so fast and is turning into a wonderful young lady.

As always, we’re very proud of her. 🙂

I am really good atFood tech
I like to go to friend’s houses after school
My favourite thing to learn at school:Food tech
1 person who makes me laugh:Sophie and Maddison, I can’t pick just one!
One word that describes me:Unique
I am really happy when:When I’m with my mum
I am really sad when:When I fall out with friends
My favourite book: Love Aubrey
My favourite TV show:Jane The Virgin
My favourite vacation: Greece
I like school when:Everyone is friends and there’s no drama
I don’t like school when:I have geography
My favourite season: Summer
My favourite toy: I don’t play with toys anymore
My worst nightmare fearCotton wool/spiders/the mole on my neck
Things that make me mad: Ella
Favourite sport: Netball
I like my Dad becausehe’s funny and makes my lunch
I like my Mum because:she’s nice and supportive and we have good talks
I like my family because It’s big
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