Oh Gosh Silver


My Carry On Flight Essentials


My Cancer treatment

A Trip to the Beach

One of my favourite things to do near my birthday is head to the beach. Yes it's the middle of January. Yes it's cold. Yes it's a bit windy. But it's so lovely at the coast in the winter. Especially for someone who lives in pretty much the middle of the country! And it was a great time to introduce Melle to the seaside. 

We googled good dog beaches and popped over (I say popped but it's a two hour drive each way) to Reighton Sands for a couple of hours on the beach then went for fish and chips looking over the beach at Bridlington. But mostly we watched the fur faces play on the beach. 
And now I wonder why I don't live closer to the sea. It's a curse that happens every time I visit. 

Recent Reads - a bit of a recap from 2015

I go through phases of reading. Reading lots. Reading very little. I think it's all related to how much time I spend on Instagram or googling random crap.
In 2015 I read a lot, and I think 2016 will be along the same lines. I'm not saying what I read is any good (a lot of the time I read whatever is 99p on Amazon) but I like reading. And I love reading the posts people write about their reading lists too so I thought it might be fun to start my own series of posts with a bit of a recap of what I enjoyed reading in late 2015. Going forwards I'll post as I have a few things to talk about. 
The Mermaid Sisters - I bought this during a Kindle download frenzy because it was on cheap and I liked the front cover. This says a lot about my reading habits I think. But despite the questionable start to it's life on my kindle, I loved this book. It's a little bit magical and a lot beautiful. The book centres around two sisters Maren and Clara who are growing up on a mountain in Pennsylvania with their aunt. Clara believes she will one day become a stork and her sister a mermaid, and when Clara starts growing scales the two, and their best friend O'Neill must figure out how to save her. 
It's classed as a YA book but it's just a really lovely read that will make you smile! 

Mrs Hemmingway - This book takes us through Earnest Hemmingway's adult life from the point of view of his four wives. We see him first as a young man married to his first wife Hadley with his young son, living in Paris and summering in Antibes. The story then follows him, jumping backwards and forwards in his life, from Europe to America, as hemoves between his four wives Hadley Richardson, Pauline Pfeiffer, Martha Gellhorn and Mary Welsh. The book is purely fictional but it's beautifully written and so well researched and follows Hemminway's life events that drags you into the world of these four ladies and how this one man has bound them together. 

Carry On - I am a big fan of Rainbow Rowell so this was high on my to read list as soon as it came out. It's sort of a follow on from Fangirl, but totally stands alone as a book itself. The book follows the lives of teenage magicians Simon and Baz. Simon is the worst Greatest Mage as his room mate Baz would say, but when one term Baz doesn't return to their magic boarding school, the two of them and their friend are  at a magic boarding school who are thrown into the midst of battling the Insidious Humdrum, who is stealing magic. There are a lot of nods to Harry Potter, there are some wonderful twists that make you smile and there are as always some beautiful characters. I wouldn't say this is my favourite RR book but it's a perfect read! 

The Queen of the Tearling & The invasion of the Tearling - We read The Queen of the Tearling as a book club read late last year. I wasn't sure that I would enjoy it as I read a review that said it was like GOT and whilst I love the show, I tried to read it but failed. But I have to say I loved the book so much that I immediately downloaded the second book in the series. The series follows the story of Kelsea, the heir to the Tearling throne, who has been brought up in hiding but must return to the capital to take the throne and help the kingdom deal with the Red Queen in the neighbouring kingdom. I don't want to go into too much details as some of the bits in both books surprised me.  
What I really liked about these books is that they were set in a world that is so futuristic that there is no electricity, little medicine, and few books. There are glimpses to a world that is like ours, but this new world is wonderfully created and revealed to us. 

The Shock of the Fall - I read so much hype about this book that I just assumed that I would like it but I'm just not sure that I did. I found it sad and evocative and it's an interesting portrayal of mental health issues, but I just didn't enjoy reading it. 
The story follows Matthew from a child to being a young man. As a child his brother dies and we see his guilt in trying to deal with that death alongside the problems of growing up as his mental health issues worsen.

The End of Everything - This was another of my cheap purchases that worked out wonderfully in the reading department. The End of Everything is a pretty dark book, that tells the story of the disappearance of a 13 year old girl, Evie, from her best friend, Lizzie's, perspective. Because you're getting the details of the story from the point of view of a 13 year old, the details can be a bit mixed up, not quite interpreted right and in some cases just wrong. We follow Lizzie's journey through trying to find out what happened to her friend, and whilst it wasn't the easiest thing to read in some place, it was gripping and had me questioning the book pretty much all the way through.

What have you read recently? Anything good you can recommend to me to add to my reading list?

In the mind of a four month old puppy.

This week Melle turned four months old. It seems crazy that it was only two months ago that Toni and I ventured to pick him up. And I'll be honest it seems crazy that he's four months old at all. He's so grown up in so many ways (I swear his legs grew four inches last night) and in others he's a crazy little uncordinated puppy who makes me heart squeeeee every time I see him.

But enough of my ramblings about much I want to smush his face all the time. Here are some of the thoughts that I swear go through the said 4 month old's very little brain (yes, we all know this is just an excuse to post puppy pictures. Bite me. It's my birthday. I'll post what I want!)

  • Omg. Stairs. Must climb stairs. Oh crap. I've climbed all the stairs. Lets whine until someone comes to rescue me.
  • Ooooh, I'm downstairs again. OMG. Stairs. Must climb stairs.
  • You know what will work out really well, I'm going to launch myself at Flash's head. That wont piss him off at all.
  • Just going to stop here for a rest! 
  • Foooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooood.
  • I think dad with really love being woken up by me biting his face.
  • Oooh, I've had a great idea, I'm going to try and eat that food Flash is eating.
  • Is it bedtime yet?
  • I wonder if mum wanted these slippers I'm about to destroy?
  • Chew chew chew.
  • I might only be little but that Alsatian looks like it wants to play with me.
  • If I poop up here, in this corner of the room I'm snuck into, I wonder how long it'll take before it's found?
  • I wonder what Molly will do if I pull the fur from her tail really hard?
  • I'm ready for a nap!

  • This makeup looks tasty. Let me see what happens if I lick it. 
  • Oooooh. A wire. Must chew wires! 
  • Where's mum. Need mum. She's weeing. Best she wants some company. I wonder why they call me a mummies boy. 
  • I bet if I start squealing really loud during this play fight with Flash he'll get in trouble. Oh. He did. I'll add that to my must do list
  • Ah. Naptime! 

So, there you have it. The thoughts of a four month old puppy as they happen! Naughtiness. Food. Naps. That's about it really!

Lust List - Getting Healthy

Blah, blah, blah, it's January and we're all trying to get fit to work off our Christmas excess I get it, I really do - but I am trying to figure out how to get healthy to work off the excess of the last 18 months to go with my word for 2016 - Healthy - and all hopefully before I go on holiday in 6 weeks. 

I'm a big fan of getting my gear in order before I start a project of any sort - I guess you could say I'm a bit of a 'all the gear, no idea' kind of gal when I start out on a new way of life. And I'm a big fan of that gear being super cute and functional. 

1. I've had a Fitbit for a few years and I love it but my big issue s it doen't work with swimming and well, they're just not very pretty. Enter the Withings Activite Pop watch - they come in an array of beautiful colours and not only monitor your acivity, swims, sleep but also acts as an alarm. 
2. I can't wait to get to Canada and get shopping in LuluLemon. I made the mistake of not buying anything last time we were there but this time I am going to rinse my band account in the shop - especially if the £ stays as strong to the $.
3. I love fruit flavoured water (my favourite is mint and cucumber) and this Define Bottle has a separate bit at the bottom for the fruit so that it's easy to clean.
4. Snacking is also a problem for me when I am trying to be healthy so something that rations my snacks for me is essential. And then when I am done with being healthy I can fill it with M&M's and Haribo. Or something more grown up!
5. I love these Reebok ZPrint trainers. They are pretty, cool and functional all at the same time. I've not looked at Reebok for such a long time (I had classics in 1995) but now I've revisited them they have some super cute trainers. 

House plans for 2016

I am sure one of the questions you’ve been asking yourself for the last year is ‘whf is going on with that house of Emma’s?’*  I know, we moved in 18months ago and I talked the big talk about how I was going to renovate it all pinterest pretty, and well, I’ve been a massive let down. I basically showed you the newly done living room and that’s it. Woopty bloody do.
But truth be told we’ve hit one big snag – the house needs rewiring. I have a beautiful bathroom to show you that’s fully decorated but is lit by a rope light until the rewiring is done. I have a hallway ready to be replastered and painted and decorated but we can’t do that until the house is rewired. I have wallpaper and plans for the spare bedroom ready to go, but there is no point until the house is rewired. We have a new oven sitting in the corner of our kitchen waiting to be wired in, but that can’t actually be done until the house is rewired because it appears we are living with wiring that was put in before electricity was even invented and it might all explode if a new oven taxed it a little. I exaggerate. Slightly.  
And if you’re wondering why we haven’t just done the bloody rewire already – money. It’s a little bit, ok, a LOT expensive to rewire a 3 story Victorian terrace. But this much fabled rewire actually kicks off in a couple of weeks and if I can look past the holes in walls and mess in the house that it’s going to create I can see a house that will actually look nice. I get to pick plug and light fittings this weekend. I'm not sure how to contain my excitement on that. 

On the list of jobs to tackle this year are;
  • Get the bathroom lights working and ta-dar, that room is finished.
  • Get the hallway plastered, painted furnished and recarpeted. Small job being as it’s over 3 floors!
  • Redecorate the spare room. Create a guest haven.
  • Sort out the garden – we’re getting a new fence, more grass, a herb planter and a veg area. Once I figure out a way to keep those beastly pups of ours from eating all the veg I’ll be on that one. My dad’s friend is hopefully doing it all for us, we just need to pin him down.
  • Update the kitchen. Again money is holding us back from ripping the whole thing out and starting again but a new paint job, new floor and a new oven and hob should make a big difference!
  • And if we’re going to be REALLY ambitious, lets add the shower room to that list! Currently it’s an empty shell of a room with a hole in the roof. It’s a big job!
So there you have it, if you have been that person wondering when we’re going to do something to the house (i.e you’re my mum) you have your answers. It’ll be happening. It’s just happening slowly.

*I know you spend your day thinking about me. Go on, admit it.


Travel - A trip to Toronto, Montreal, Vermont and Boston!

For Christmas Jim surprised me with the three books above and flights to match. Can you imagine a more wonderful gift than a holiday.

Later this winter we're flying in to Toronto for a few days of fun, seeing Niagara falls and visiting some of his Indian friends who recently moved there, then we're moving on to Montreal by train for another few days, travelling down in to America for some snowboarding in Vermont (if there is any snow in Killington. Gulp.) then finishing the trip with a few days in Boston.

Jim has done lots of planning so far (mostly places to eat!) and I have my Wallpaper guides to advise us but we all know that the best way to find the places you have to visit is to ask  people in the know so I thought I might see if you had any suggestions for me on where we should stay, any Airbnb gems you've found on the way, what we just have to see en route, where we must eat (preferably not sandwiches as Jim seems to have them covered!) or any other ideas you have for us?

Also, if you live in Montreal, Toronto or Boston can you send me some clues as to the footwear I should be busting out in Feb/March - I'm 100% sure that my Converse won't cut the cold, but will walking boots be overkill?

And once again - how amazing is this Christmas gift.......I've got 7 weeks to get in snowboarding every day shape now though.......

2016 - lets do this!

Yes. We've made it to a new year. And I know it's the 7th day of the new year and maybe this post is a bit late but hey. I'm sure we'll all get over it.

I've been trying to write a round up post of 2015 but in a lot of ways it's been a hard year to look back on. I feel like I've had a crappy couple of years as a whole but there HAVE been some awesome bits to the last year and I think it's important to focus on them.  

There were countless nights out with friends that lift my spirits immensely, there were days out with Flash who just makes me so happy, I had some excellent holidays including Vancouver, Seattle, Whistler, Glastonbury, Cornwall and Berlin. We grew our family by one - cute little Melle is now Flash's baby brother. We gained a nephew. I learnt new skills. I made new friends. See the good has to out weigh the bad doesn't it........

And now on to 2016. I know this will be a better year. 
+ I am making changes to make it a better year.
+ I am making positive changes to the way I live - to what I put in my body and to the exercise I do. 
+ I am making changes to keep my mind healthy. 
+ I am making positive changes to the people I am around by choice. If you drag me down - you're gone. If you make me smile. You're in!
+ I am starting a new job full of new opportunities - leaving my last job meant leaving a couple of very negative people behind which has made me feel so much lighter.
+ And most importantly I am planning for it to be a better year. 

Bring it on 2016. I am ready for you!