Doing Life

Adventures, He and I, Renovations

I am still around, just doing Life.

Making: Travel Plans! I hope that I will be crossing off at least nine items from my Travel Bucket list, this year.

Cooking: Udon. My in laws seem to love it. I made a fiery gingery batch, (how I like it) and apparently it tastes like Pho. Need to give that a go. Also my manager send out his family recipe for pancakes, maybe I’ll give that a go over the weekend.

Drinking: Taro Milk.

Reading: Emerald Street Subscriptions, which comes into my email, every day. They always have pretty ideas, which naturally leads to me spending more money, but also having fun. Lots of fun.

Wanting: More money. To travel and see above.

Looking: “Your face is so clear, but your eyes are so tired. Like so so darn tired.” That is what husband said.

Deciding: Where to go and what to do in Paris and Bergen.

Wishing: “If I was a rich girl, nanananana”  –Gwen Stefanie.

Enjoying: Getting home early from work and having an evening.

Waiting: For March bank Holiday.

Liking: That the weekend isn’t far off, and looking forward to Momos and baking.

Wondering: How much money I would make, if a book I wrote were published.

Loving: My new Nivea Tinted Moisturizer. Makes my skin glow!

Pondering: Whether there is a way, I could better structure and live my life, to be able to do everything I want to do and not run away from ‘responsibilities’

Watching: Mad Dogs. The American version.

Considering: Taking meditation classes.

Hoping: That the coming family trip to Africa is totally awesome.

Marveling: At how strong I really am. ‘You never know how strong you are until being strong is the only things you have’. So true.

Needing: A full body massage.

Smelling: Myrrh.  It makes the house smell like heaven.

Wearing:  Black jeans and a fleece top. Comfort, always comfort.

Following: Amy Turn Sharp. Her poems make me feel better and passionate about life.

Noticing: My skin clearing. I have started to take better care of it. Aloe Gel at night. Moisturizer every day. Hydrating Masks every week. A Facial every month. Drinking lots of water. Eating lots of fruits.

Knowing: Everything will get better.

Thinking: About finishing and publishing a book

Feeling: Restless.

Admiring: My mother. She is a strong woman.

Sorting: Ideas and things I can take as a solo traveler and on long haul flights to make it more interesting.

Buying: Little bits and pieces for above

Getting: Settled into my new job.

Bookmarking: Lonely Planet Guide’s Solo Travel handbook

Disliking: Having to wake up way too early.

Opening: My journal. To write a few ideas down.

Giggling: I just remembered how in Prague a friend’s boyfriend and I were drawing silly things on the snow-covered cars. I drew boobs, he drew willies.

Feeling: Thankful at how much I have achieved and how far I have come in life.

Snacking: Wasabi Peas

Coveting: These

Hearing: My neighbor’s canaries, in his backyard. They are the sweetest things.

 

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Bathing under the sky

He and I, Renovations

This picture makes me wish that I had a larger garden, with tall, tall fences, all around, where people on the outside, would stand on their tippy toes, or climb each other’s shoulders, just to get a peek. Well naturally because it all seems so very curious. And when they do, they would see a beautiful garden with flowers growing everywhere. Small shrubs of roses, fuchsias and camellias. A wildflower meadow. A mini sunflower field. An apple tree or two, perhaps a raspberry tree too; and hidden within all these beautiful flora, how odd, but is that a bathtub?

Who in their complete and right mind would even think of bathing outside of closed doors?

But imagine if you had all the privacy. A lovely bathtub nestled among the lush flowers and greeneries of your beautiful garden. Wouldn’t it be lovely to be able to wake up in the morning, walk out to your garden and take a refreshing shower/bath? And after, you could dry off naturally with the cool morning breeze, perhaps stop to pluck some apples and berries from your trees and even pick flowers for your home?

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This picture is from a facebook page called Cottage Whimsy where I mostly find dreamy pictures as such!

Garden Highlights

Renovations

Hooray for spring. The tulips are staring to bloom everywhere, and so before I get started with my Garden for this year, I wanted to share some highlights of the Garden, from last year.

White picket fence: I had always wanted to live in a house with white picket fence. I think it just goes and creates that “homely” feel.

Yellow picket fence: I loved the picket fence in my front yard so much, that I installed it on our backyard as well. I did this, to place flowerpots along the borders and grow flowers along it. I painted this fence yellow, because I love colours, and yellow is a very happy colour for me. Plus, it attracts butterflies, birds and bees, and they are good for the garden.

Bottles: Remember the centrepieces for our wedding? That’s right, the bottles! Since I had put so much time and effort into it, I didn’t feel like throwing them away after the wedding. Hence, I used them as decorative accessories in our front yard. It actually makes people stop and look at it for a while. I love it that people would stop and admire our hard work and effort.

Bird Houses: I love birds and bees and butterflies. I also love cute, pretty, colourful things. Every time we went to the country side, I couldn’t help buying these birdhouses. I have hung them on my back fence and I put some bird feed inside it. So far I have only seen a squirrel on it. Come on Birdies, these are for you!

Scarecrow: More like Fun-crow or cute-crow, there is absolutely nothing scary about it, but it makes the garden pretty.

Wild Flowers: I loved the look of the wildflower meadow when I went to Lake Distrcit the first time. This inspired me to grow my own wildflower garden.

Sunflowers: My favourite in the world! I hope my garden will always, always have sunflowers in them.

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Wedding bottles as borders

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It began with lots of mulching

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Mulching and weeding

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Clean lawn

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Tulips through the picket fence

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On a grey day, yellow makes it cheerful

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Bird Houses line on a fence

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Garden Accessory from an old broken fork

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Our swing from Cuba

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Wildflowers here

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Wildflowers there

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Wildflowers everywhere!

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My favourite

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My Cutie scarecrow and Sunny

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All lined up!

Reading Nook

Renovations

Winter is here!

Thus, I have my winter wardrobe out, the cuddly sweaters, warm fleece onesises, thick socks, poofball hats and large quantity of hot chocolate supplies. It also means spending a great deal of time, snuggling up in my favourite spot in the house.

My perfect little reading nook. And so, I wanted to share, ‘behind the scenes?’ details.

I used the smallest room in the house for this. This was already my craft room and my dressing room. Yet in the corner, I also managed to create myself a cosy reading space.

We brought home an old TV stand, which was lying in my dad in law’s shed. After up-cycling it with a good clean and fresh paint (Thanks to hubby dear), I placed it in the corner of the room. The shelves on the TV stand served to be a perfect space to keep my books and stationeries.

I then bought a Large Japanese nest chair and placed it on top of the stand. It was a perfect fit. The dark emerald green colour of this chair contrasts perfectly to the light pastel colours of the room.  This is the only piece of furniture with bold colour. I also find emerald green to be a calming colour.

Complete it with some of my favourite floppies and a cosy blanket and viola….

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Subtle Halloween Set-up

Renovations

With Dashain gone and out of the way, I can start with my Halloween set up.  While it is still two weeks away, I feel I already have some adaptable items in my house, which can be used as a foundation, well, for just about anything.

Like this, rustic wooden light, it gives the room the Gothic feel, which is always a good basis for a Halloween theme.

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The dark door mat, with orange fore-colours, and an owl, it just screams of autumn.

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Halloween means costumes, this beautiful Venetian Carnival mask peering out through the window, creates an eerie feel.

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This dark, majestic chair quite fit for Dracula himself.

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Look at this magical light shade, with the trees and branches stretching around, it forms a beautiful sight. When lit, the light escapes through the gaps and casts an enchanted forest against the walls and ceiling.

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And lastly, what is this creature lurking in the toilet?

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Kitchen Highlights

Renovations
First of all, thank you to everyone for the lovely comments about my kitchen. My Kitchen post misses out so many of the little touches I have put in place. In fact there just wasn’t enough room to write about them all. You can see a few of them in the pictures; however, I have dedicated this post exclusively to the small touches.

 

1.       Water pump sink tap: When I was younger, my grandparents had a water pump installed on the well, in our courtyard, in Nepal, and it always intrigued me so much. I knew this was something I would love to have as a tap in my kitchen.

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2.       A retro microwave: It definitely could not be anything modern or contemporary. I still wanted that traditional feel and this matched with the stove. (Image: http://www.wilko.com/content/ebiz/wilkinsonplus/invt/0328556/0328556_m.jpg)

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3.       Retro Milk Bottles: Believe it or not, these are actual milk bottles from the late 70s and early 80s. They have advertisements on them. My dad-in-law had them all stacked up in his garage (You can see one that says Leicester Mercury). This was no place for these gorgeous, beautiful things. So, with a bit of soap and water,and some cleaning, it became my spice storage.

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4.       Fruit plate: So I walked into an antique store near Devon, and what do I see? This beautiful piece of treasure. What was not to love? The yellowness of it and the sunflowers, it screamed, “Buy me, buy me.”

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5.       Teapot light shade: This was one of the first surprises Sunny got for me when we bought the house. He knew I would love it, and I do!

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6.      Cutlery Holder: Again, storage issues and wanting something pretty. (Image: https://www.google.co.uk/search?q=cutlery+holder+box&client=firefox-b-ab&biw=1680&bih=913&source=lnms&tbm=isch&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwi7jazMl7fPAhXMIMAKHXhrAJkQ_AUIBygC#imgdii=ATvkZ980UDZrXM%3A%3BATvkZ980UDZrXM%3A%3BcJ71rxtdrxswdM%3A&imgrc=ATvkZ980UDZrXM%3A)

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7.   Cabinet handles: I had seen these little knobs in Italy once. I had forgotten about them, but since I was doing up the house I remembered those little grape like handles and said “we get something like that For the kitchen .” They  add a bit of colour to the plain white doors. (Image: https://ae01.alicdn.com/kf/HTB1JIjDJVXXXXafaXXXq6xXFXXXe/Cartoon-font-b-Fruit-b-font-Vegetable-font-b-Cabinets-b-font-Door-font-b-Knob.jpg)

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8.    Barrel for wine: we like to be stocked well, especially with booze. Every now and again we enjoy a good glass of wine or a gin or rum or beer. We picked this up at a sale in British Home Stores.img_0467

9.    Potato Sack: Well, where else would you put your potatoes?

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10.    Onion Crate: and the onions?

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11.    Mortar and pestle: These cuties were gifted to Sunny by his old flat mates. I love cute stuff, so up it went on display. They do work as well. I have grounded  many garlics and gingers, and fennel, and,  cumin seeds in it.

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12.    Coffee grinder: I gifted this to Sunny, a) because he loves his coffee and b) it was just too cute!

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Everything and the Kitchen Sink

Renovations

I have been sharing bits and pieces of my home, so far the living room and the dining room. Today I am posting about our Kitchen.  Let’s look at the before pictures first.

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This house was well maintained, and everything inside was pretty hardy and solid. The only problem was, it had old and ugly 70s decor. I probably could have adapted to that, but I really didn’t want to. I wanted to do my own thing. I wanted to put my own stamp on it. Our stamp on it. Sweetpea and Sunflower.

The aim was to go for a traditional cottage kitchen look.

Many kitchens these days have tiles. For some reason I really dislike tiles. I wasn’t too keen on leaving the kitchen with plain walls either. Hence I decided on stone, but I hadn’t a clue where to get stones or who would install them. Luckily, I came across Travertine slabs, in a hardware store, in my local area. They were beautiful. Travertines are a form of limestone deposited from minerals springs and this particular brand had come all the way from Israel.

The next thing we set off for was a kitchen stove. I had looked online quite vigorously, and found a perfect stove that I knew would give my kitchen that country cottage feels.

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We couldn’t decide on the flooring for the kitchen. We didn’t want the same rustic wooden floors. I was concerned about the damage it would get from the kitchen. So in the end, I just went with a cream coloured Vinyl floor.  It’s not our favourite thing but we had to settle for something.

The shelves and cabinets on the walls were pretty solid. All it needed was a bit of a revamp. We found an online cabinet door maker and provided them measurements of the cabinet door sizes and the style we wanted.

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Once the doors arrived, we fitted that in, and for extra oomph, I got Sunny to fit in colourful fruit and vegetable knobs.

For paint we went with a neutral colour of Hessian from the Dulux range. It was the closest colour I could find that matched and also contrasted a little with the travertine.

Here is the overall picture of the Kitchen.

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For Extra accessories please watch out for my upcoming post, Kitchen Highlights.