Oh Gosh Silver


My Carry On Flight Essentials


My Cancer treatment

The Furry Friend Tag

I saw this tag on Life as Unusual's blog last week, and as I’ve been wanted to do a puppy themed post, but I have a full on brain fog going on at the mo I just haven’t written one, it seemed like a perfect post to do.
If you’ve been hanging round here for a while you might know some of this info, but I don’t think you can ever have enough puppy spam! 
What is your pet’s name?
Grandmaster Flash and Melle Mel. Of course! 

What kind of pet is it and what breed?
They are both Jugs – Jack russell pug crosses. The naughtiest of all the crosses! 

How long have you had your pet friend?
Flash has been with us for over 5 years now, and Melle, nearly two. I do wonder if Flash thinks back to the golden days when he was an only dog, but I think he loves having a brother, really, deep, deep down! 
How did you get your pet?
Both dogs came as puppies. I’ve discussed this before so don’t want to get in to it too much – we tried to get a rescue puppy when we were looking for Melle but the rescues we applied to wouldn’t let us have a boy puppy with a boy dog! Go figure! 
How old is your pet?
Flash is 5 ½ and Melle turned 2 last week. Happy birthday Puppy. 

What are the nicknames that you call your pet? 
Get ready for the list;
Flash – Flasherino, Grumpzilla, Poopy, Grumpasaurus, Jerk. 
Melle – Butt pickle, Asshole, Melle No, get out of the dishwasher. 

What are some quirky things about your pet’s personality?
Flash is a grumpy little monster, he gives the greatest dirty looks on the planet, but he also gives the greatest snuggles that you could ever imagine. He loves bringing guests a toy when they come in the house and he hates people leaving. REALLY hates it. He’s obsessed with sugarsnap peas and chasing his ball.

Melle is possibly the most loving dog you’ll meet – if he likes you. If he doesn’t he’s a jerk. But he loves being with people, he will sit on or next to you in a second. He also loves chewing – antlers, toys, socks and pants - chewing is everything. He’s also a massive fan of running like a loon in the park and has a hatred of black dogs – especially labs. Yes, we know, jerk. 
What does your relationship with your pet mean to you?
I love my dogs. LOVE THEM. They’re fab companions and have been such a crutch over the last year – they have no idea that they have been this crutch to me, but they have. I also love the relationship Jim has with them too. He loves those dogs so much!

What are some of your favourite past times with your pet?
I love getting out in to the countryside with the dogs. Taking them on long walks (so hopefully they’ll sleep later on!) is the best way to spend the weekend. I’m a big fan of snuggles too. Especially sofa snuggles where it means I can't get up again because I have a dog sat on me. And whilst it's not a favourite I also find myself realising there hasn't been any noise from a dog in a while and having to go discover what naughtiness they're up to - usually eating pants! 

I'm also a big fan of trying to make them sit still so I can get instagram pics for their account @_flashpuppy. Lets just say it's a hell of a good job my camera has 4K photo because being still is not their favourite!

And whilst we're talking about the dogs, I got an email the other day about a super fun sounding event - Wet Nose Day. It's essentially Red Nose Day but raising money for animal charities across the country. And it's tomorrow. So look it up!

I think it's such a great idea because animal charities really struggle with funding. Flash and Melle will be donating their antler fund for the month to support the day, and I'm sure they'll be putting their very own wet noses to good use!

My anger after cancer.

These past few weeks, months maybe, I’ve found myself getting angry at the smallest things. Not the angry I feel when I’m hungry (just ask Jim about having to keep me fed!) but an angry that doesn’t make much sense to me a lot of the time. I know that some of this anger might be the tamoxifen messing with my emotions, but there is also an underlying anger I can’t shake.

I get angry when I have to caveat a comment about cancer with ‘I know I am lucky’ because if there is one thing I’ve not felt this last year, it’s lucky to have cancer. Yes, I know I am alive and so many people aren’t, but even more people didn’t have to have the year I just had. Yes I have hair when so many people lose theirs, but I worked bloody hard for it and quite frankly, it’s pretty shit hair compared to what it was, so it’s not to be celebrated. Yes, I kept my boobs, but they’re full of scars and they aren’t the same.

I feel angry when I get messages and see posts about how you can cure cancer with a vegan diet, or by cutting out alcohol, or when the man, unsolicited, in the post office starts telling everyone that sugary drinks are the reason people get cancer. Let me tell you now, that man felt my wrath!

I feel angry when people tell me they thought I’d have done more with having cancer. Then they point out people who run cancer blogs or accounts and have become ‘insta famous’ out of their diagnosis as if it’s a competition, when one of the things I tried really hard to do was not become purely a cancer blogger, mostly for my own sanity.

I feel angry at my reflection because this chubby, bloated person, is not who I want to have staring back at me!

And I feel angry when people complain about having a cold, or not having slept or that they have a headache, which is ridiculous because just because it doesn’t seem like a big deal to me, it is a big deal to them, it’s a big think in their life right now.

And I feel angry that people don’t understand that having cancer has affected me more than I could imagine and I’m not the same person any more. Sometimes I feel like I’m supposed to have been ‘over it’ since I finished treatment, like I’m not allowed to be tired any more, I’m not allowed to still feel side effects. 

Sometimes it all boils up in me and makes me so angry. Sometimes it just makes me so weary. Sometime it just makes me need a large G&T. Please tell me it's normal to feel this way?

Travel: Long Island's Forks (or Adventures in Mini Golf)

I was so excited to head to The Hamptons because I've watched way too much Gossip Girl but the way the weekend on Long Island panned out, I fell in love with the North Fork rather than the Hamptons. But before starting researching this trip I had no clue that Long Island had two forks at the end of it - The Hamptons side and the North Fork side. I guess it's the 'rich' side and vineyard side. 
We used some of Jim's hotel points from his India trips to book a hotel in the middle of Long Island, about a 45 minute drive to both sides of the end of Long Island -  there was a hotel closer to the bits but we needed to save some points for NYC so we compromised. But the hotel was lovely and it had a fab pool that I made good use of. The best thing about using points is you quite often get a little upgrade and this stay was one of those times, we got bumped to a bit of a bigger room! Thanks Hyatt! 

On the first night there we were trying to find somewhere local to walk to to eat, but it wasn't really a residential area so our best option was a TGI's. On the map it looked like a short walk, but obviously it was America and people don't really walk places so we ended up wandering down the side of a motorway and dodging sprinklers! We also had literally the worst waitress in the world, but that's by the by now!
The next day, in glorious sunshine, we got in our car and headed out to the 'North Fork' towards Greenport, because during my Pinterest research I'd read about a cute little oyster house I wanted us to try. Our drive took us past so many vineyards that it made me wish we'd been staying closer so Jim wasn't driving and we could have stopped in. But we had to keep driving, right to the end of the island.
Greenport after a bit of a wander round reminded me quite a bit of a Cornish town, that would be my closest comparison in UK terms, but with much wide roads! Although, it doesn't take much to have wider roads than Cornwall does it? 

After a little wander round, some looking at boats (I am a sucker for some looking at boats) and my excitement at seeing the Hamptons Jitney we found the Little Creek Oyster Farm, which is where I'd read about. They do a shuck your own option, which kind of felt like the thing we should do. I saw we, but I was going no where near that knife, especially not when the protective glove came out! So we sat in the sun for an hour, ate oysters, drank local beer and chatted with our table mates about cameras, where to go in New York (us) and trips to castles in Scotland (them).

Our next stop was the beach. We drove out to Orient Beach State Park, which meant driving pretty much to the end of the fork, then down a little spit to the beach. It was a sunny Sunday and the beach felt pretty much deserted, save for a few people having a BBQ in the park behind it and a whole bunch of washed up jelly fish. I know we were there just out of season, but I couldn't believe how quiet it was!
After I'd filled my pockets with shells, and we'd spent some time hunting for turtles (we saw none!) we got back on the road to a mini golf place that Jim had found on Google Maps. Our second gold course in a few days. The course we found was so cute - such a different style to the one we'd played in Amish Country. Once again, even my fluke hole in one couldn't win me the game, but in all honesty I have more of a hit and hope approach that can't really beat his methodical game. 
Our evening was spent eating more seafood at a Greenport institution, Claudio's before heading back to the hotel.

The next day we woke up to find the glorious weather we'd been experiencing for the last 10 days had done a complete U-turn and it was absolutely teeming it down. Not exactly beach or seaside town weather. Which meant it was a laundry morning. The thing about going away for 3 weeks is that we have to do fun things like laundry ever so often and a rainy morning seems like the perfect time to do it.
I was so excited to see The Hamptons, but the torrential rain didn't really make for great sight seeing, so we drove down the South Fork looking for Ina and Jeffery, all the way to Montauk looking for Lobster Rolls. We missed lobster roll season in Maine by a few months and it turns out that the Monday before Memorial Day isn't the best time to hunt for lobster rolls! But on the great roll hunt of 2017 we did swing by the Montauk Point Lighthouse (and we know I love a good lighthouse!), found a brewery to buy some watermelon beer from, and drove around looking at the fancy ass houses. Luckily, thanks to the power of our hotspot wifi and Instagram we found a cute little place that sold Jim a Lobster Roll and me some Moules, in Sag harbour! 

I think I took about 8 photos all day because we barely left the car. But I can show you the bath of lobster that we got to hangout with over a late lunch!

Our adventures in Mini Golf continued with a trip to a monster golf course - a glow in the dark monster golf course, complete with glow int he dark balls and neon friendship bracelets! 
The next day we were heading to New York, but as we couldn't drop the car off until later in the day, we found ourselves an outlet mall for Jim to spend a fortune in and pretty much the best art deco diner for a trip back in time and some people watching!
Despite the rain, we had a fun time on long island. As always I wish we'd had more time to explore, but I think I'll always feel like that - especially in beach side places! My big disappointment is that I didn't bag myself a 'classic' buoy! They were selling them at the beach we went to and I still regret not stopping for one!

So, what do you think of our few days on Long Island? Have you ever wanted to go? 

Introducing Oh Gosh Silver

You might recall earlier this year I posted about a new hobby I had found myself – silver smithing. Well, I’ve been at it for a while now, and I’ve decided to start selling a few bits that I make to help fund more time in the jewellery studio. Silver smithing is not a cheap hobby by any means and post cancer Emma works 4 days a week to help cope with the fatigue I’m still feeling, so I don’t want to reach a point where I am struggling to afford to be able to carry on doing it, and as I am fast running out of fingers and arm space to wear the things I’ve made, I thought I’d start trying to make a little bit extra money from it!

I wasn’t sure whether to write about it here as I’ve mentioned it on social media quite a bit, but today I listed my first item – a replica of a ring that I made myself in the summer - and it felt like it might be the right time to do it.

I didn’t really want to set up an Etsy store as I’m not sure exactly how often I’ll be listing things, and having a shop front sitting empty if I didn’t have anything to list felt a little silly, so I’ve take a leaf out of Littlevaseco’s book and I’ve set myself up a new Instagram to share all my jewellery related posts and to run sales through until I know what I want to be doing with this new found love.

If you haven’t already seen me harping on about it on Twitter and Instagram, you can find my shiny new account here - OhGoshSilver!

Over the last few weeks I’ve been umming and ahhhhing about packaging and business cards, and pricing. Last week my tutor Emmie helped me work out my costs and showed me how to set my prices and I got myself in gear and ordered everything, so now I am set up to sell. As I mentioned above, my first item, a ring I’ve made because I got so many complements on the one I made myself, is live on there for sale now, and I do have a couple of other bits to list too – I’m just trying to figure out the best way to photograph them.  

It’s been a bit of a learning curve as it turns out a bangle I made last week is actually too heavy to sell as sterling silver (it’s 13grams and it needs to be under 7.78grams), without being hallmarked, and right now I don’t have the spare £90 to get myself an account with the assays office – so I’ll be squirrelling that one away for the future!

I’d love it if you could take a peek, let me know what you think of the stuff I’m making and also, if you have any tips on how to sell through Instagram – I am all ears!

Friends who bake together......

Back in March my friends, Lizzie, Kim and Abi and I won a competition on instagram for some Bake Box kits. Yay for winning because I literally never win anything - but maybe this is a sign that I'll hit the euro-millions jackpot if I ever remember to buy a ticket!

Now I know some people probably think we should have baked these by now, but we'd decided, as we'd all tagged each other in the competition, we'd bake them together! And you try organising 4 busy ladies, with holidays and jobs and kids, and, well, lives, to be in the same place, at the same time with enough time to actually bake! It was a challenge. 
But last week we finally managed it. We found an afternoon we were all free over the bank holiday and set about baking up a storm, aided by a mimosa or two, of course! We had kits for 3 different freakshakes, chonuts and brownies to make, and whilst we didn't manage to make them all, it was so much fun to spend the time together, making something, with a little help from our sous chef, Lizzie's eldest son, Jack.

Our afternoon started with some casual lego building, catching up, clothes swapping and gossiping, then evolved into some casual baking!
Jack insisted on making one of the freakshakes first - now I know i shouldn't berate a small child but he clearly didn't read the instructions right - that or his helper, Abi, didn't, because there is 100% not enough milk in the jar - but we'll let that slide because he had fun making it.It had a rice cripie square topper, with strawberry milk and icecream and smarties and fizzie straws. Just the sort of drink I feel you ought to give to a child!
Next up we set about making the brownies. 100% honesty here, I wasn't sold on the thought of the kits. I don't know why, maybe it's because I feel guilty about the variety of baking gear I have at home that I rarely use these days, so this felt like cheating. But I have to say I really liked not having the measure or weigh most things out. I mean you still had to cut up butter and use a jug for water and the likes, but knowing you could just tip the whole bag of something into a bowl and whisk was rather liberating.
Whilst I was making the brownies, Kim was working hard at making the dough for the chonuts. I don't think I'd have attemped them at home if I just had a recipe as I always assumed choux pastry was hard to make, but Kim aced it and made it look easy! Even if she was convinced her uncooked dough circles looked like poo!
I do wonder if we should feel a little guilt, Lizzie, Abi and I because when I look back it was Kim who did all the complicated bits. We had her making the pastry and then the salted caramel for the brownies! Then filling the chonuts too. But she was doing such a great job of it, I think we all left her to it - basically we drank mimosas whilst she did all the hard work!
She did an awesome job though, that salted caramel *kisses fingers*
The best days with frends are ones where you go home with parcels containing salted caramel chocolate brownies and colourfully glazed chonuts! Plus, because we were all on a sugar high, we've still got some freakshakes to make at another date! 
 That face you pull when you're caught "tidying up!"