Thursday 21 January 2016

Life & Loves Lately #1

The amount of times I have renamed this kind of feature... I've lost count! Sometimes, I just have lots of things that I'd like to share, be it new finds for Ethan or treats for me or just what we have been up to, lately.

There's a lot of blogger linkys out there, like #LittleLoves, but sometimes the kinds of things I'd like to share don't fit the same criteria.


So, here's my #LifeAndLovesLately post for January...

First up, I saw over on Instagram a special discount code for Parabo Press where new customers could receive 25 free square photo prints. These are usually priced at £18, plus £6 postage, but with the code I only had to pay the postage and they arrived a week later, looking lovely.

I haven't shared the code here as I have no idea if it still works, but the quality of the prints and the ease of ordering through the app makes them well worth the money.

We're going to be giving our hallway a much needed facelift soon. Hubs has already started by stripping the carpet off the stairs to reveal the wood underneath, and we'll probably sand and paint the steps in white and grey.

The walls are going to be white, although I am thinking of painting the section below the rail in a soft, pale grey. Then it's all about the walls. We have photos going up the stairs now, but I want to used the square prints and either create a washing line effect and peg these on, or use square Ikea frames - or a mix of the both.

The idea will be to choose our favourite photos from places we have been and key milestones, and add to this over time.

Oh, and this DIY letter banner from Bea and the Boy, is a must too!

I have a feeling our lightbox might go somewhere in the hall or on the landing too...

Has anyone been trying to do #DryJanuary? How have you been getting on..? I haven't actively gone out to do this, but since Christmas I haven't really had much to drink; if it's not in the house, it won't be drunk.

As the month has gone on, I've just decided to give it a go and for me, it's more about changing habits and seeing how you feel. For a while, we would pop wine in the shopping trolley most trips, so therefore I would drink it. Who doesn't like a nice glass of wine at the end of the day?

If you're trying to be good, I recently discovered Eisberg Alchohol Free Wine and thought, wine not, I mean, why not?!

I really enjoyed the Cabernet Sauvignon and have to admit, it tastes much more like wine than I expected - it just doesn't have that strong taste at the end. It's made a nice change to skip the wine and it's a more grown up alternative to other soft drinks, so if you're giving #DryJanuary a go or just want to try something different, you might be surprised with Eisberg (there's four varieties and it's sold in most supermarkets and works out cheaper than the real thing too).

I did go to stay with a friend last weekend, and it would have been rude not to have a cocktail at her wedding venue, or a glass of red with our steak dinner...! It was the first time I have been away without Ethan for a long time and it was nice to let down my hair a little.

I popped this mud mask in my basket a while ago when I was in Asda, and I have been really impressed with it. It feels lovely on the skin, dries quickly and I feel squeaky clean.

Beauty wise, I recently picked up the Garnier Moisture + Radiance gel moisturiser - just £3.99 and on an offer for two products for £4 at the time - and it's brilliant. Not greasy, moisturises well and gives a good base for make up. Brilliant!

I am also really loving and my ESPA Mandarin Lip Balm has become a staple for sure. It may be £10 but it's lasted three months so far and will last for many more, and it makes my lips feel so smooth, different to any other balm I have tried.

Also new in our bathroom (and out kitchen too) are these hand washes from Carex. Ethan's been really good, getting into a routine of brushing his teeth, washing his hands and his face, and seems to like using the Fun Editions Bubble Gum hand wash himself, turning the tap on and off too.

It's a sweet smell but if it gets him into good habits, I'm all for it!

Meanwhile, the Indulgent variety is much more for grown ups. It has a rich scent and it's good for me to have in the kitchen because it's hand when cooking, kills 99.9% of bacteria and leaves my hands soft.

We've been hibernating a lot this month, mainly as the weather has been so dreary and pay day was a very long time ago - hurry up January!

We did pop to the park in an attempt to see the snow (we failed) and Ethan got to try out his new Muddy Puddles jacket too.

I have been cooking as many meals as I can from scratch and planning ahead too, to reduce waste and save some pennies too. You can read about my meal planning, and I've been getting creative too, mainly with breakfast time and with mince. I've swapped from beef mince to turkey mince, as it's leaner and cheaper too, and have tried making alternatives such as Shepherd Pie or Bolognese. The other ingredients are the same, but instead of loading carbs on the side, I've been adding or mixing in cauliflower rice or quinoa, as well as boosting the veggies too.

We've had quite a few 'creative' dishes like this and whilst they may not be the prettiest creations, it's helped me to make the meat and fresh ingredients go further too.

Next week, it's hubs' birthday so we have a day off together - whatever shall we do without a little one in tow?! It's a day too late, but I see the Moscow State Circus is coming to Birmingham Symphony Hall for one night only on Thursday 28th January - it sounds like a fascinating night out.

What have you been doing and loving this month?


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