Saturday 23 April 2022

Wanderings Lately :: January, February and March 2022

Recap of the first three months of this year; We spent New Year in Scotland which was lovely, then back to Surrey to work on the house. We powered through two days straight painting the living room which was well worth it. I joined a local 6 week gym taster challenge which encouraged me to get out of the house to try and reach a 10k step goal (which I still rarely reached), and mum and I went to The Swan at Shakespeare's globe for afternoon tea.

February; my birthday month! We got a rescue cat! Sootica is at this point now the queen of the house but back in February on that first day she came out of the carry bag and hid under the chair. I managed to coax her out with some treats eventually but she was incredibly timid at first. She's now very confident and has spent the whole night outside a couple of times! We also had our wardrobes delivered and built in February which made a huge difference to our bedroom, we had the small bedroom plastered and my mum came over to help paint it. So I've got my home office back again. And for my birthday Victor took me to Duck and Waffle for breakfast, I have wanted to go for such a long time and it didn't disappoint. The view was great and we were really lucky with the weather so could see for miles. I really enjoyed my food - I had poached egg with avocado and crab on my waffle.

and March - finally Spring is coming. We were able to take advantage of having a garden finally, there was a week of fantastic weather which meant we could cut the grass and finally cut back the bamboo at the back of the garden. I planted some seeds I bought from the supermarket and had lunch outside a few days in a row. We also finally did some small jobs around the house - putting up the kitchen blind, fitting a lock to the bathroom door and putting up my spice rack. Quite small jobs but they made a big difference. We're making slow but steady process in making this house a home.

Thursday 21 April 2022

Wedding DIY: Crochet Bouquet and other flowers

When we were planning our wedding, I was conscious to try and avoid some of the wasteful elements that are deemed 'essential'. Especially since everything for a wedding is so incredibly expensive already. For flowers, I knew what aesthetic I was going for, having a clear memory of loving the flowers that my friend Anita had at her wedding [in August 2015]. 

Some thoughts I had about flowers and waste, was the possibility of 'resusable' flowers out of felt. There were a few places where I found templates for felt flowers: a thistle, a rose, some eucalyptus. Cutting these by hand with scissors, was possible but took SO LONG that it wasn't going to be feasible to do this for the table arrangements. I did try and invest in a (second hand) cricut machine to help with this, but in the end the version I bought wasn't able to cut felt and I just couldn't justify the most expensive version which would do the job just for the flowers. 

On my internet search quest for felt bouquets, I saw a few crocheted flowers which I thought I'd give a go. I bought a pattern from etsy that turned out to be far too difficult for a beginner, but I came across these videos where the lady takes you through the entire process. This I could copy and after a few tries, I got the hang of it. Also her voice was very soft and soothing which was good for all the times when mistakes got frustrating!

Since all the wedding planning was happening during lockdown(s), I had plenty of time every evening in front of the TV to crochet rose petals. Each rose takes 9 petals, plus a sepal and stem. I decided to just crochet for my own bouquet since it was going to take quite a while to make enough stems. I was so pleased with the end result, and glad that this is something I can keep forever. On the day I added some soft ruscus greenery and baby's breath alongside the roses and bound everything with jute string.

Another potentially wasteful element (and unnecessary expense) was confetti. We were actually not allowed to throw anything outside our church, and could use only natural confetti at the venue. So over the year until the big day, I saved petals whenever I had cut flowers in the house - and so did my mum, her neighbours and anyone else we could cajole! We had a huge basketful for the wedding day, plenty for all guests and it didn't cost us anything additional! I'm still not out of the habit of wanting to save petals from any flowers we have in the house since the wedding.

And for the table decorations, I couldn't manage the felt flowers but I still went with DIY and collected lots of jars of various sizes and some tonic bottles - which my mum spray painted blue. These were all wrapped around with tartan ribbon for decoration. I bought the DIY flower box in blue and lilac from triangle nursery which was great value. They offered an online consultation which was immensely helpful for planning how each table arrangement would look and how to organise the preparation. I would really recommend their service for anyone brave enough to DIY!

It was so easy to dry the petals, and a good money saver. Probably not a huge saving but every little helps!

I was pleased with these thistles but they were just far too labour intensive to be worthwhile.

Crochet practise, total beginner...

This was the first rose I made, which wasn't make properly to plan and had a lot more petals than later versions. Plus I didn't bother to make the leaves for the bouquet because they were a big faff, and actually the leaves are removed anyway from fresh roses.

Once I got into the flow, it became quite a therapeutic activity in the evenings and the finished roses were quite impressive.

Making the final white roses; all the petals, floristry tape and a glue gun!

The bouquet on the day - some people didn't even realise these were not fresh!

I was pleased with how the table decorations turned out; a handmade effort which was pretty and added nice touches without being over the top. 

Friday 4 March 2022

Unpublished Wanderings

Oh well, from August onwards last year was pretty full on... I prepared this post and then never wrote anything or published it. 

We spent August in our temporary flat, and then moved briefly to Essex while we waited for our house to go through, In the end it happened without much fanfare on a Tuesday afternoon. I met Victor at the house where he'd met the vendor earlier to collect the keys. We now had a new home, but it was in desperate need of a thorough clean and a lot of love. It has been neglected for many years, but we are ready to make it our own. We just needed to get married first!

So yes, in September and October 2021 I started a new job, moved house, had my hen party, finished wedding prep, got married and went on honeymoon. It was a lot, all at once and I tried my best to just enjoy every moment of it but it would be a lie to say it wasn't also a fairly stressful time.

Of course our wedding day was simply the best day, celebrating with our friends and family - seeing some for the first time in over a year. The only COVID restriction was masks in the Church for our guests - pretty lucky considering. 

Below is life in August and September 2021.

Before we left the temporary flat, I squeezed in a Korean meal with two work friends in New Malden which was such a tonic. Finally seeing people in person to socialise brought so much joy.

A couple of final wedding bits ready for the big day!

Finally made it to the Postal Museum, which was my mum's Christmas present in 2019! An interesting place to visit, and a novelty to take a trip on the train which has so much history. 

First day in our house! 

Me and my hens! A super spice fun day around London with all the girls <3 

A new commute from the suburbs.

Saturday 31 July 2021

Wanderings :: April, May, June & July

I blinked and it's the end of July! So much life has happened since March. We put an offer in on a house and are still currently in the process of trying to exchange and complete. We hadn't expected things to take this long, but nevertheless decided not to renew our rental contract and moved out at the end of June. We have belongings in storage, at parents' and in our temporary flat. Pretty much everything is in a mess, but we really hope we're nearly there with the house purchase now.

We've sent our wedding invites and have started to have meetings about the day and make purchases (rings!) as it fast approaches. 

I've just got a promotion at work, and now things are winding down in my current role whilst I get prepared for the new position in September.

I'm an Auntie again, and have the most precious and tiny new nephew! Other friends' babies have turned one! Celebrations have typically still been held in the park, but as shops and businesses re-open and restrictions ease we've started to live life once again.

Weather is on and off, extremely hot and then torrential downpours and flooding in London. At least we are living somewhere with a small garden currently and so we are taking advantage of sitting outside in the evenings.

April & May

I think this is my favourite make so far, it was really quite simple and the sizing was pretty spot on from the packet. 

Continued to enjoy walks around Battersea park with friends.

Mastered giraffe bread and made it once a week while we were in our flat!

Had Sunday lunch at our local pub, ahead of opening inside we sat outside in these little pods. It was slightly too cold to be outside but still nice to go out and not have to worry about washing up!

Harry Potter studios was open so we were able to use Victor's Christmas present. It was nice to go again, as there was so many new exhibitions since the last time I went.

SUCH A THRILL to be reunited for an in person meet up with my friends. Ayoola was about 30 minutes late, so nothing much changed from before lockdowns!

Had my first vaccination

June & July

Another successful dress made, although this one was tough and I put off finishing it for ages. It was fairly simple in design but the sizing just didn't suit me and I had a really hard time altering it as I just don't have the knowledge and skills. I also still need to add a few buttons as it blows open a bit too much with the current fastenings.


Another Christmas present used! A lovely spot of afternoon tea - on one of the hottest days of the year.

And afterwards cooling down out in our garden with a homemade aperol spritz

Train tracks into Ongar as seen on my couch 25K route, Essex edition!

A nice after work walk turns out rather wet!

Our empty flat

Last drive from Essex to Wandsworth

Van journey to take our belongings to storage

Last night in our flat, dinner in a box sitting on camp chairs

and sleeping on the floor

Last Sunday lunch at our local, inside this time, whilst the rain was lashing down outside!

Scotland in the Euros (and England in the FINAL!!!)

Last walk around our local park - the place we've spent the most time outside of our house during the covid pandemic

Menu tasting at Mulberry House, ready for wedding decisions!