Thursday, 24 March 2016

February || I have

So this is a bit of a late one because despite all my talk of things I have been doing, I haven't been very organised!
  • I have continued to declutter my house.
  • I have brought seven bags full of clothing to the charity shop.
  • I have met our new nephew who was born on the 26th!
  • I have planned a walk-in wardrobe for the attic bedroom!
  • I have got my hair transformed (there is no other word for it!) and I wrote a post showing the transformation here if you would like to see it.
  • I have been eating totally gluten free. I might do a blog post about the reasons why at some stage.
  • I have been cooking more often (instead of relying on Andrew to always cook)
So, there you have it. A short list of things I have done in the month of February (gosh, doesn't that feel like ages ago). 

Irma xo 

Wednesday, 24 February 2016

So, I went for a haircut || Big changes and new starts.

I have always had long hair. Always. So, this is the first time I have ever done something so drastic. This was also the first time I have ever been to the hairdressers... I've always been a home dye kinda gal.

I genuinely love the change. It makes me feel more grown-up and sophisticated but also kind of, dare I say it, cool... I also decided to send my hair off to the Little Princess Trust which is something that you should definitely look into if you are considering chopping your hair!

My hair was down to my bum (very technical measurements there!) and the roots were so long I could almost disguise them as an intentional ombre! My new hair is a lilac/ grey toned ash blonde and is cut to just above my shoulders.

The other amazing this that has come from this new hair has been a 'New Me' attitude. I have never been one for 'New Year, New Me' at the beginning of a year but this new hair has inspired me to change in a positive way. I have been clearing out my clutter (which really, really needed done). This may not sound like much but for me it really is a big deal. 

Irma xo

Monday, 1 February 2016

January || I Have

Does anyone remember this post where I talked about what I have achieved in the three years that I didn't attend university? Well that post has been the inspiration to start a  monthly series called I Have. It will be a monthly round up of things I have achieved/ done and at the end of the year I can look back and remember the little things from each month that I couldn't remember for my round up of 2015. This month is January and therefor the first month in this series. I hope you enjoy!

  • have read a whole book (Eleanor and Park by Rainbow Rowell) which for me is huge! I'm sure to most of you this is nothing but I had really fallen out of love with reading and this book has been the first I have properly read in a few years. 
  • I have started another book!
  • I have put Humphrey in doggy daycare! It may sound silly but it is the best thing I have done for Humph because it means that the days where we are working longer hours and will be out of the house he has somewhere to go where he can play all day with other dogs. He LOVES it.
  • I have begun to declutter my house. 
  • I have ordered blinds for our livingroom (I never promised that these monthly posts would always be exciting!).
  • I have begun planning my new kitchen.
  • I have looked after Humphrey while he has been sick with an infection in his paw. He is much better now but is still on antibiotics and anti-inflammatories.  
  • I have been to a baby shower and am very excited for our nephew to arrive!

Okay, so January hasn't exactly been fun-filled and exciting but there have been some mini achievements for me which will be nice to look back on at the end of 2016. 

Irma xo

Sunday, 10 January 2016

2015 || Reflections and Looking Forward

I haven't got one picture that sums up 2015 so I thought that my Instagram 2015 Best 9 would just have to do! (If you want to actually check out my Instagram page you can click here!)

I wanted to write some sort of review of my 2015 but if I am totally honest I can't remember further back than a few hours let alone a whole year so remembering the whole way back to January was never going to happen! So, I have decided that the best thing to do is just to reflect on a few things that have happened over the past year and think about moving on into 2016 with positivity and feeling refreshed.

One major thing about 2015 has been stopping taking anti-depressants and trying other ways of making myself feel better, including starting CBT and pushing myself out of my comfort zone and saying "yes" to more things. Actually coming off the medication was HELL (you can read more about that process here) but has been worth it for me so far. CBT has been fairly positive so far, I am still attending regular appointments, and despite feeling overwhelmed with emotion after each session I do feel that it seems to help. Regarding getting out of my comfort zone and saying "yes", I have been getting out of the house a bit more with friends and family. I saw more live music in 2015 than I had in at least the four or so years prior. I have eaten out more, spent more time with friends in their houses and even been to the cinema once or twice..

Andrew and I started some major renovation on the house we bought back in 2014. Trying to save money and doing a lot of the work ourselves (with a lot of help from my amazing daddy) has brought with it some major stress, anxiety and tears but I know it will be worth it in the end. I wanted to start a blog series about renovating the house on a budget but have never got round to it.. maybe 2016 is the year! 

We got a dog. I am sure you have all seen Humphrey pop up on my blog and Instagram lots of times in the second half of 2015. You can read my first post about him here and see his 6 month update here. He has been challenging and like the house renovations has brought with him a range of emotions from excitement and love to stress and despair. I am sure I will continue to post updates on here for any of you who are interested in his progress! 2016 may also bring Humphrey's very own Instagram, so watch this space!

One major thing that I failed to even think of until the very end of this rambling post is that I started blogging again in 2015 after a two year break! That's pretty important seeing as if I hadn't you wouldn't be reading this right now! 2016 will definitely bring with it more regular blogging and a variety of subjects that I fancy covering on my little piece of the internet.

So, let's end this here. Would you like to see Humphrey's own Instagram, a budget home renovation series and more regular blogging? Let me know your thoughts and any suggestions on topics that you might like to read about (or just tell me something about your 2015!). 

Irma xo

Friday, 27 November 2015

Humphrey || 6 month update

I feel like I am writing an update on a baby or a pregnancy with that title but I assure you it is actually about my puggle puppy Humphrey! 

If you remember a few months back, when I had just brought Humphrey home only a matter of days, I wrote this post. In it I spoke about how having a puppy isn't really what I thought it would be, how hard it is. Today I wanted to write a little update on how he (and we) are doing now.

Over the past few weeks I have started to notice a big change in him. He is definitely becoming easier to manage and I think this comes down to several factors including his age and how we are behaving around him and some new things we have been trying out.

Humphrey seems to have quite a sensitive wee tummy (I wont go into detail but I am sure you can imagine that a dog with a sensitive tummy isn't great...). Many a vet trip and many a change of food later we seem to have arrived at a brand of food that suits him. James Wellbeloved is supposed to be fairly natural and says it is a hypoallergenic food. It definitely seems to be helping. The vets put Humphrey on various special diets before coming to the conclusion that sticking to this was the best option. 

The best thing we have bought Humphrey has been the Thundershirt (seen on Humphrey in the photo above). Honestly, I was skeptical that a coat would make any real difference to his obvious anxieties but I can truely say that he is a much happier dog when he is wearing it! He is now calm in the house when we are getting on with day-to-day tasks rather than barking and biting as before. He is so much easier to handle out on walks whereas before he pulled on his lead and jumped up on people and would randomly turn and bite at my calves. It was as if you flicked a switch. 

The biting was getting out of hand, for example, if things weren't going Humphrey's way he would start biting at me and whoever else was around. We tried puppy classes and were told, "good luck with him..." which I have to say was very disheartening. We persevered because we couldn't give up on him and it seems we are finally getting some of the issues under control. The Thundershirt I mentioned above has been one of the things that has helped the most. 

Another thing that has been happening over the last few months (not currently though) is that Humphrey has been teething and we have been finding little teeth all over the place! We have found that there have been some chew toys, etc that Humphrey has preferred to others. His favourite thing to chew is an antler that was bought for him by my mother and seems to be what he reaches for most (even now that he doesn't seem to be teething). He has plenty of toys to keep him amused and we switch them up every few days to make sure he doesn't get bored of them. He also enjoys chewing on the edible crocodiles you can get from Pets at Home which you can see in the picture above.

We tried crate training because we were told it would help with Humphrey's anxiety when we are not with him, especially overnight. This just did not work. He became very distressed in the crate and I was very worried he would cause injury to himself. We decided after persevering for as long as we felt appropriate to buy him a soft bed. This was definitely the best move because he loves sleeping in it and after the initial few nights getting used to it he has been no bother at all overnights in the past few months!

Another thing that helped with his sleeping has been Harold, our name for the toy pictured above! (Humphrey used his buster collar to his advantage to carry things around in... The little fabric dog is filled with the little bag that you heat in the microwave with calming scents in it like lavender. Humphrey brings Harold everywhere when he wants to have a nap, warm or not, whether to his bed or to the couch! It is very cute to watch but really does seem to help Humphrey sleep better. My mother bought him in a local pet shop but I am sure you can purchase him online. 

Finally, I wanted to talk about a very recent change. Humphrey went for his little operation to be neutered (castrated) on Friday (13.11.15). We made the decision to have him neutered for various reasons - mostly because it is supposed to help with boisterous behavior. Obviously with it only being two weeks ago we haven't noticed much change other than he doesn't seem to flip into crazy mode like the flick of a switch like he used to. He really, really didn't like the buster collar (or lampshade as many people call it) but he had to keep it on for over a week. This was especially because he had to have a lump on his leg removed while under the anesthetic so had a few stitches in his leg. He recovered well and I will write an update post in a few months time.

If anyone would like an individual post about any of these topics I would be more than happy to do one (especially about the Thundershirt because it genuinely has worked wonders!). Also, if anyone has any advice or tips please leave them below, I'd love to read them!

Irma xo (and Humph)

Monday, 16 November 2015

Recipe || Toy Story alien cupcakes

I made these buns for Andrew's birthday way back in September (wow, how is it November already...) for a bit of fun because he loves Toy Story. I usually make him a cake with fondant icing in a Toy Story theme but these year I kept it simple with cupcakes (not that I ran out of time or anything...). 

The recipe for these buns is exactly the same as the one I posted recently for the Easy Rose Cupcakes so just click the link if you want to read how to make them! The only difference was the topping which I will go through now!

I used the same recipe for the buttercream icing (so, again follow my previous easy recipe) but this time added a teaspoon of lime green food colouring paste. 

I also bought these metallic blue cupcake cases to look like the little outfits the aliens wear and I think they really finished the look off perfectly!

I piped the icing onto the cupcakes and created a small point at the top to try to make them look as much like the aliens as some blobby green icing can! I found these little edible icing eyes in a local cake decorating shop but I am sure you can buy them online very easily. They worked much better than my original plan of sticking craft googly eyes on! 

All in all I think they turned out pretty well and everyone seemed to enjoy them! Andrew was pleased with his traditional Toy Story themed birthday cake (well, buns) and I think they were definitely a bit of fun!

If you try these out please let me know over on twitter myfriend_irma and let me know if anyone in your life loves Toy Story as much as Andrew down in the comments!

Irma xo

Monday, 26 October 2015

Blogger Box Share 2015

So I was lucky enough to take part in the first #bloggerboxshare set up by the lovely Ms Mistry and Becky. The idea was that we had to spend no more than £10 plus postage on a gift for a blogger that we were paired up with. I got paired up with the gorgeous Abi and we began messaging back and forth to find out lots of things about each other. 

It was lovely to find we have so many things in common! Using some questions we asked each other and a good stalk through her blog and instagram I chose some gifts for her (you can read about what I bought her here) and she did the same for me. 

The box Abi sent my gifts in was gorgeous, the spotty thing you can see is the lid! She also sent me a really thoughtful card (she obviously new how much I love tea!) with a lovely message inside.

My absolute favourite thing in my box was the Tsum Tsum because I am starting to collect them, they are just so damn cute! Abi also got me a copper frame from Primark which will go perfectly with my new livingroom decor when it is finished and a little canvas which will look great in my spare room which is quite girly and pink. 

We both got each other Primark candles (great minds think alike, eh?) and the one she got me is just so festive, I can't wait to light it when it gets closer to Christmas, although is it ever too early to get excited about Christmas?!. Going with the Chrismas theme Abi also got me some Disney Princess (how perfect?!) chocolate christmas tree baubles! 

Unfortunately we had one casualty in transit... This poor little ring dish arrived to me in pieces!

I loved taking part in the Blogger Box Share and the best bit about it has been making a really lovely new friend in the blogging world and I know we will remain friends for a very long time!

Irma xo

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