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Monday, 24 October 2016

Three Birthday's, Two Hen Nights, Two Weddings and A Week Off!

So another six weeks have flown past and we now find ourselves in the month of October already! Last month I was saying about how mild and muggy it had been here this summer and how much I was looking forward to the coming Autumn and winter, and I am pleased to say that within the last six weeks since I last blogged it finally officially feels like we are in Autumn! Whoop! The horrible mugginess to the air has gone and made way for a definite Autumnal chill in the air especially in the mornings and the evenings, the beautiful colours of the leaves are also coming out and are starting to fall here and there, the nights are drawing in a lot now, plus on the whole the weather has still been set pretty fair and bright which has also bought with it some gorgeous sunsets!

Now I will warn you now that the last six weeks have been pretty packed socially so this is going to be quite a long and picture heavy post!

Firstly back in the middle of September I had the first of my best friends Hen Do's! We had already held a pre-hen for her at Download Festival back in June as she had done for me back in 2011, but this hen was held around her parent's house and was organized by her mum! We all had a fab time, the drinks flowed, there were lots of games and dancing into the early hours, and in traditional UK hen night fashion her mum in her wisdom had organized a surprise stripper for her, which may I add she hated! But apart from that she loved it, and if nothing else it amused us seeing her cringe so much!

The weekend after this was the wedding of my manager which was held at a local hotel. My colleagues and I attended the evening reception as we were working during the day, and again we had a lot of fun! We all get on really well at work and are like a little family so we love going out socially together, and ended up making the most of the downtime by mucking around in the photo-booth that they had provided. Again there was also a lot of dancing to cheesy party songs and good times had by everyone.

Below you can see a pic of the first dance and the centre piece on one of their tables.

Following the wedding came yet another weekend of partying and this time it was for the much anticipated main hen night of my best friend, and being that I am the joint the Maid Of Honour with another of our friends it was our job to organize it!

It did initially start out as being a surprise, but by the time we left she pretty much knew everything that we were doing. We were given a brief by the Bride that she wanted club entry and overnight stay somewhere, with perhaps a beach or activity. Based upon this we initially looked as places like Newquay, but decided that it was a bit far to travel for one night plus as the weather can be a bit unpredictable at this time of year we were unsure about the idea of an activity such as surfing. We then looked at Wales and up north but again decided it was a little far so we started looking a little closer to home. We thought about London as it's only about an hour away, but being that the bride works and goes there quite frequently we decided that we wanted something a little different. In the end my fellow Maid Of Honour suggested Bournemouth as it had the nightlife, as only a couple hours away, could be done within budget and has a beach! Plus none of us had been there before!

So once we had our location we set about finding a suitable hotel which is when we stumbled across the "Chocolate Boutique Hotel," which we instantly fell in love with! I mean what girl wouldn't want to stay in a chocolate hotel! Luckily it was available and we also found a decent and pretty impressive looking club nearby too despite not being able to find a decent rock club, which we also managed to get VIP access for. So then we were all set for our first ever girly night away altogether!

The Sister-In-Law to be of the bride also kindly offered to drive us all there and back in her parents Jeep which was much appreciated, as otherwise we would no doubt have ended up having a pretty horrendous train journey! Mainly due to all of the issues and strikes that there have been with Southern rail recently!

When the day came the bride's Sister-In-Law to be also decorated the Jeep inside and out with hen night flags, streamers and pictures which was a really nice touch! She also had some really cool hen night wristbands made in homage to our festivaling antics, and I dished out the personalised t-shirts that I had got for us all as a surprise for the bride! Which being that she is a lover of Jack Daniels had the Jack Daniels logo on them, and were personalised with her nickname from school "Davey" and "Hen Weekend Bournemouth 2016!"

Below you can see both the t-shirts and sashes that I got for the hen night, as well as us wearing our epic wristbands!

Our journey down was pretty good and only took a couple of hours with one pit stop in between for us to stop for bubbles! (Accept the driver of course!)

Below you can see us enjoying our bubbles, the flag that we had on the car, and the gorgeous weather that we had for our journey down!

On arrival we were a little early for check-in so we headed for lunch at a beach side restaurant that we had pre-booked as it looked pretty good! As it turns out it was fab and had just the right vibe for a causal hen meal, plus it had gorgeous view over the beach and pier. Whilst there we also had the final member of our group of six arrive who was a girl that I hadn't seen since school, due to the fact that she had moved to Bristol not long after so it was lovely for us all to have a catch-up, especially since she had just got married too!

Below you can see the yummy food and drinks that we had, plus the gorgeous views from the balcony.

After lunch we headed to check-in to the chocolate hotel, and it didn't disappoint as it was a lovely small family run hotel with only 15 rooms. They only provide breakfast but there was a lovely personal feel to our stay from start to finish. We had booked three rooms, one single, one double and a suite.

Below you can see pictures of the foyer of the hotel and the suite that I shared with the bride and her Sister-In Law to-be, as well as the chocolate fountain that we had on arrival as a surprise for the bride and the room decorations that we set up once we got there.

Once settled in we spent the rest of the afternoon making garters to wear on out night out, with garter making kits that the bride's Sister-In-Law to be bought. It was a lovely activity for us to do together and for us then to be able to wear them, but they did take forever to make!

Below you can see my garter making kit and the finished result!

After the garter making we proceeded to get ready for our night our night out on the town and played a few hen night games before we headed down to the hotel bar for a few choctails to start us off! 

Below you can see the gorgeous bar and our choctails and cocktails!

Once at the club we were greeted by a fire dancer at the entrance before being taken up to our VIP table which was on a balcony overlooking the dance floor, before we then had our drinks package bought over. The building was beautiful and very impressive, plus there were lots of pyrotechnics throughout the night, so it was a bit of an upgrade from the only small little night club that we normally have to contend with in our hometown to say the least! We laughed, drank and danced the night away and all had a fab time!

Below you can see the fire dancer that greeted us on our arrival as well as views of the dance floor and our table and drinks.

The morning after the night before was an even brighter and sunnier than the day before but quite windy, so we made the most of our morning there before heading home by going down to the beach and paddling in the sea. The beaches are also a lot sandier that the stony beaches that we are used to at home, so it was nice to walk along the beach with our toes out.

Below you can see the sun over the lovely gardens outside of the hotel when we left for the beach in the morning, a sign that I think that we can all relate to that was in the hotel foyer, as well as some of the lovely views and beach antics that we had!  

We were all knackered by the time that we got back, but we all had a fab time together! The bride also got a little emotional about how much effort we had gone to and how spoilt she had been, so I think that it's safe to say that we managed to pull it off!  

The weekend after the hen night fell before my hubby's birthday which was on the following Monday, so after I had work on sat we made our way up to Croydon to see my hubby's mum and step-dad. It was lovely to see them as it has been a fair while since we have all been free to meet up, so we went out for a yummy curry together. The following morning we were also joined for breakfast by my hubby's brother, fiancee and our gorgeous little niece, who again we haven't seen for some time. Then in the afternoon we were then joined by my hubby's sister and her boyfriend for a roast dinner cooked which was cooked by my Mother-In-Law, before heading home in the evening. It was lovely to see them all but we were so stuffed by time that we left having had a curry, friend breakfast and a roast in the space of 24 hours!!

Monday then bought my hubby's birthday and more food as I cooked him an M&S meal after work. I think that he will also love me for life due to the fact that I found some massive bottles of his favourite cider that he didn't know that you could get! The way to this man's heart is def through his stomach!

Below you can see my meal efforts which consisted of pork belly with pork scratching crumbs, shredded veg, rosemary potatoes, and gravy. Then for dessert we had Cornish clotted cream ice-cream with adult pomegranate and berry jelly, as requested by my hubby as he is big kid and still needs jelly and ice-cream for his birthday! 

The Monday of my hubby's birthday also marked the first day in my much anticipated week off! I def felt that I needed it after having gone through our busy summer period at work and having had quite a few busy weekends I needed to chill, which is what I spent most of the week doing as this was the first week off this year where I didn't have to decorate anything! It also meant that I finally had the opportunity to get stuck into some drawing for the first time in over two years! It has been soo good to get back into it, and I finally have a new Bobby Bunny design that I will be able to share with you very soon!

So all in all I had a really lovely chilled week off, which I finished off with a visit and a shopping trip to my Nan's with my mum and her boss, before having a quite night in before I was back at work on the Sunday. 

So that nearly brings you up to date with another packed six weeks with one big exception, which is that on the weekend before last the day of my best friends wedding finally arrived after what seemed like forever! Especially since her and her fiance have been together for 11 years, and engaged for four! 

The day prior to the wedding one of our mutual friends that is a nail technician painted all of our finger and toe nails ready for the wedding, which was lovely as I rarely bother painting my nails as they always chip too easily at work. 

Below you can see the finished design, which was also replicated on my toes. 

On the day of the wedding itself I could barely believe that after all of the time and planning that the day was finally here for her! I know that she had been stressing a lot as she like me is very creative and did a lot of the decorations, invites, order of services etc herself, and was just ready for the day to arrive so that she could finally chill after all of her efforts!

We woke up to a lovely Autumnal day on the morning of the wedding, and I set about getting my hair and make-up done before making my way over to the bride's parents house. We were all going to get ready together but I knew that I would get way too stressed with my hair and make-up if I did, and had already been having dreams about being late as I am not the best at time keeping generally! 

Typically despite me trialling my hair a few days before it obviously didn't go up as well as it had done before which I knew would happen, but it looked good enough!

On arrival at the bride's parents it turned out that the bride and one of the other bridesmaids had just finished having their hair done, so we all got a chance to chill a bit and take in the day before the bride did her make-up and the photographer arrived. Surprisingly everything was pretty chilled, we got the bride into her stunning dress and we all left the house for the church on time.

It was weird going to the church that she was getting married in, as it was the same church that I had also got married in nearly five years previously and it was also the first time that I had been back since. It was very weird to be walking back down the same isle again too, which I have to say that I and my fellow Maid Of Honour were pretty nervous about! This was mainly due to that fact that we were walking first in front of the Bride, plus the track that we were walking down the aisle to was quite a hard track to time slow walking to and we didn't do a very good job of it in the rehearsal! We needn't have worried though as we nailed it on the day and everything else went smoothly too! It was a lovely ceremony and I have to say that I did shed a couple of tears as her dad gave her away!

After the ceremony we headed off to the reception which was held locally in a 15th century manor hotel, which is exclusively open for functions only. Unfortunately by the time that we got there it had started to rain, so we only got a few quick pictures outside with the wedding umbrellas before some very heavy rain set in throughout the evening, but luckily most of the main photos had already been taken outside of the church so it didn't matter too much!

The room that the reception was held in was beautiful with wood cladding, a lovely double staircase, a bar, and it was also relatively small which made it lovely and intimate. We enjoyed a three course meal, heartfelt speeches, and watched the couple cut their cake before the evening guests arrived for a night of partying! The groom, brother of the bride, and the father of the bride all play in a rock band together so they played a couple of sets together which were interspersed by a rocky DJ set. We all danced until we dropped that night and my feet ended up blistered and hurting for days after, but it was worth it and a fab time was had by all! My hubby and I also stayed at the hotel that night were we had in a four poster bed to stay in for the first time, which was just gorgeous and so comfortable! We then enjoyed a lovely full English breakfast the morning after with the bridal party before we made our way home.

Below you can see just some of the pictures that I took of their beautiful day! 

We all felt pretty weary the day after the wedding but the fun didn't stop there as we then had my friends twin boys sixth birthday to contend with, which consisted of a Star Wars themed party that was held at our local church hall. It was the first proper birthday party that they had had, and they along with their friends loved training to be Jedi's!

Below you can see some of the pictures that I took of the fun that they had, and their awesome Star Wars cake!

After the fun of the party we went back to the twin's house where we watched them open some of their many presents, before I helped then with their homework and reading which was just adorable, before helping putting them to bed and reading to them.

Needless to say after all of the social events of the last month or so the hubby and I are definitely ready for a few quiet weekends! 

Thank you for visiting and reading my posts as always. I hope that I find you all well and that the start of you week is going well! x 

Friday, 9 September 2016

It's September & Time To Chill & Celebrate My 4th Blogging Birthday!

September is here and it's arrival has meant that the kids finally return to school whoop whoop!

For most people August signals the arrival of summer holidays and chill out times, but for myself and my fellow colleagues it signals our busiest time of year, lots of stress, overtime and not a holiday in sight! So needless to say I am the opposite of most as when comes to September appearing, and rather than mourning the end of the summer I am happy with the thought of finally having some downtime and looking forward to the temperatures dropping with Autumn just around the corner!

Being that I have been so busy at work over August has meant that home life has been pretty quiet around here over the last month, with the exception of the Bank Holiday weekend when I had the wedding of a college friend.

It was held locally at a beautiful privately owned venue that was built back in the 17th century and regularly has it's gardens open to the public. It also turned out to be one of the warmest and most humid days of the year! If I am honest as lovely as it was it was a little too warm especially when we were all dressed up for the occasion, so most guests found themselves sheltering away from the sun after being out in the courtyard for a while. We all had a lovely time though as did the couple in question. Below you can see just a few pictures of the day!

Not only was the wedding held on beautiful day, but as with most of July August has been warm sunny and very humid here with very little rainfall. Even now coming into September although the weather has broken a little with a bit more wind and rainfall, it is still very humid!

As I mentioned in my last post I can't wait for the Autumn to come and for the temperature to drop! It is not quite here just yet but there are a few signs that it's on it's way. For example, the fact that the nights are beginning to draw in, that the temperature has come down very slightly and that our little resident owl has returned! 

I just love getting into woolly jumpers, snuggling up with a hot chocolate and the colours of Autumn. There is also something about the coming season that always gets me feeling inspired and creative, so watch this space for some new Bobby Bunny work! 

This probably also explains the fact that why on the 4th of this month way back in 2012 that I decided to start my little blog based around my Bobby Bunny illustrations, and my desire to become a professional illustrator. It's crazy how the last four year have flown by and how much things have changed in that time both with my illustrating and personal life, as I have not only set up my blog but also my website, Facebook page, and I have also begun selling my Bobby Bunny cards on Etsy producing 11 different designs to date, and making 56 sales so far just based on it ticking though of its own accord. 

Equally I have not been able to blog, produce as much work, or as many products as I would have liked in this time, or been able to start marketing my little business yet due to commitments with my retail job and buying and decorating our first property, which was a massive achievement for us! But I am really happy with how it has gone so far, about the positive feedback that I have had from both customers and other bloggers that spur me on to achieve my dream of making my way in this difficult industry, and for the friends that I have made through my blogging journey. Thank you for visiting and for all of your support over the years, and for making up part of my 27450 views!           

I hope that you all have a lovely week and that you enjoy the coming weekend! I have part one of my best friends hen do to look forward to, but right now as usually happens after the busy holiday period at work I am trying to ward off a head cold that is on the horizon by sipping Lemsip! x

Wednesday, 10 August 2016

Summer Finally Apears....

So since I last blogged summer seems to have finally arrived and we seem to have hit into a heat wave, which first appeared around mid July and during which time we had a week where temperatures that were in the low 30's here! To those of you that do not live in the UK that may not sound particularly warm, but for us it is pretty much unheard of!

In truth I'm not a big fan of the heat and getting all hot and bothered in the humidity that we tend to get here, plus the sun doesn't tend to like me much either as I tend to burn very easily! But nether the less it has been nice to have some brighter and drier days, which I think makes everyone feel a little cheerier!

On one of the first weekends that we had the nicer weather we had a family day over at the hubby's dad's, which was lovely as a lot of that side of the family we have barely seen since Christmas! It was nice to have a catch-up with everyone and chill out and enjoy the sunshine, and my father-in-law put on a lovely spread of food as always! It also meant that I got to see my gorgeous new niece for the second time, who is now 5 months old and just so adorable, as well as our other nephews, plus step niece and nephew.

Whilst there they roped the hubby and I into taking them for a walk through the fields to go Pokemon hunting! I can't say that I have bought into this "Pokemon Go" craze and I was a little concerned that we were going to end up getting lost with 5 kids in tow as we didn't know where we were going, but thankfully we managed to go and find the Pokemon and get back without getting lost or losing any of the kids in the process!

I have to say though that as much as I haven't bought into the game myself, it was lovely to see the kids running through the fields and all playing so nicely together!

The following week I then continued to enjoy and make the most of the sunshine by spending my day off meeting up with my mum and going for breakfast at a local garden centre that has a lovely little cafe, where we got to sit outside and I enjoyed a very yummy granola sundae! I then went for a little walk in the countryside again to make the most of the sunshine! I was hoping to spot some bunnies, but as I suspected it was far too warm for them to be out! On my way home though I ended up walking through town where I spied something bunnified in the form of a gorgeous bunny purse that I naughtily found and bought in the Joules sale! Technically they are hare's but I thought that they looked pretty bunny like in this instance! I absolutely love it and am so glad that I bought it even though I shouldn't have done! I also spied a gorgeous little outfit for my niece whilst I was there too! Again I shouldn't have bought it, but I just couldn't resist! Below you can see my yummy granola sundae as well as my naughty buys!

Moving on towards the end of July the hubby and I spent a sat evening pup sitting my sister-in-laws gorgeous Blue British Bulldog Ralph who I mentioned a few posts back, as they were going out for the evening and he doesn't like to be left alone.

Now Ralph is a much loved pup who is my sister-in-laws baby and she has been at home looking after and training him pretty much since they got him, which was just before Easter. The only problem with that is that the poor little pup has been getting separation anxiety now that she had tried to start leaving him. So they have been trialling leaving him for short amount of time with things to distract him, one occasion being the previous weekend whilst we were at her dads. Whilst there she had an app on her phone with a camera that was linked up so that she could see him, but he just cried and cried so they ended up going back to him. They will try to ease him into it gradually as obviously there are going to be times when they can't be with him, but it's going to take some work! Hence us dog sitting!  

Now I have always been an animal lover, but I have never been a massive dog fan as a general rule. But I have to say that little Ralph just melted both mine and my hubby's hearts and is just so adorable! He was also so well behaved when we looked after him, even though he did know that something was different and that his mummy wasn't there! He didn't bark but rather squeaked and was very playful. He generally sleeps a lot too, but as knew that something was different when we were there he kept getting up and down from his bed, and when he did sleep it was with one eye open so that he could see what was going on! Below you can see some of the pics that I took of him! 

    Just look at his little face, isn't he adorable!

So moving on again to the weekend before last which a very busy one for us! 

Firstly we had my sister's boyfriends 30th birthday on the Friday evening, which went on until the early hours. This was then followed by an afternoon tea on sat for my mum's 50th which we celebrated with my sister, Nan, aunty, and some of her girly friends, before attending my sister-in-laws Dr's & Nurse's themed graduation party that evening to celebrate her graduating as a nurse, which again went on until the early hours. Then on the Sunday we celebrated mum's actual 50th by going out for a lovely meal to celebrate with the family, before having cake and going for a country walk. Needless to say we had a fab time at all, but we were knackered by the end of it! Below you can see some pics of the weekend!

30th Birthday and Graduation balloons!
One of my sister-in-laws graduation cakes left, and the cake that I got and iced for her right.
The beautifully presented afternoon teas and the gorgeous selection of handmade sandwiches, cakes, and scones that were just divine!
A pretty little teapot that we were served with that I rather took a liking too!
The pretty allotments outside the window of where we had the afternoon tea!
The beautiful flowers that mum got given by friends as well as many other presents!

The lovely roast that we then had for Sunday lunch, as well as the yummy dessert that I had after! We also gave mum her present from my sister and I whilst at the meal which was a pair of tickets to see the railway children in London, which she was very surprised about and there were tears for! As well as a Pandora charm to go on her bracelet with her birthstone on. We don't normally go so mad for birthday's but it was a special birthday and mum does a lot for us so we felt that she deserved it!

The view over the south downs from the garden of the pub that we had our roast at.
A rather large pond that was situated along the country walk that we went for after our lunch once back home, which is only about a ten minute walk from my parent house. There was also a bridge along the way where we stopped to play pooh sticks!

 Some more pics from our walk

Above left mum with her engagement ring on for the first time in over ten years, after dad got it repaired for her as a 50th birthday present from him. Above right the birthday cake that I again aced for mum birthday.

So that brings us up to this weekend just gone, which apart from me working as usual on sat was a pretty quiet one after last  weekend! The hubby and I just made the most of chilling out, going for a little jaunt into town as the weather was lovely once again, enjoying good food, and catching up on TV!

Apart from this not much else has been going on other than the usual day to day things! My retail job is now coming into its busiest period of the year now that the schools are off, which I always dread as it gets very stressful and means that I don't have as much time to focus on my illustrating due to the extra hours required. But we are getting there with only three and a half weeks until they go back, even though the worst is still to come! I have still been getting my card orders done though and have had some more lovely feedback on them over the last few weeks or so, which is always lovely to receive!  

I hope that I find you all well and that if you are in the UK that you are all enjoying the summer whilst it lasts! I also hope that you are having a good week and thanks for visiting as always! x