Major Man-Fluing

I spent last night trying to contend with what I so beautifully described to Katie this morning as ‘an avalanche of snot’. This is a lifestyle blog yes, so I’m afraid you’ll have to listen to the not so pretty parts of life too. Basically, I’m man fluing. I’ve been brought up in a house where a cold is not valued as an ‘illness’ and more of a ‘minor setback’, so when I woke up this morning and cried to my mum that I didn’t think I could go into college today so told me that I should get on with it. I’m a Maggs and apparently that means that illness doesn’t affect me. So I went off to college … and came home again after three hours because my psychology teacher told me I looked terrible and he didn’t want my germs in his lesson (it was said in a caring way if that makes it better). The rest of the day has been divided between sleeping, drinking tea and making my way through several tissue boxes (ew gross).

Seemed like I was going to have a pretty rubbish day UNTIL I remembered the new Cadbury’s advert which kind of gets me in hysterics every time I see it. I think it has something to do with the man in it looking very much like a guy I used to work in a similar office with. I like to think this is what he does when no one else is around.

Hannah

A DIY Wedding Gift

In case you’re new to this blog, or just haven’t really been paying attention, my brother (Tim) got married at the start of August. Considering the celebration of my brother convincing a woman (Esther) to marry him, and the gaining of a new sister-in-law, my other brother (Luke) and I decided we should probably get them a wedding/welcome to the family gift (which also turned into a birthday AND housewarming present. We’re not too great with gifts). Being the loving and supporting brother he is, Luke decided to dump the whole thing on me with the words “You’re a girl, you know what you’re doing with gifts and things.’

Here’s what I came up with. I say came up with, I just stole it off Pinterest. But it’s a very good idea, especially if it’s for a couple that don’t particularly like lovey-dovey stuff, but still want to remember their wedding date – even if it is just so they’ll remember their anniversary!

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It’s pretty simple to do. The photo-frame is bought from Ikea, The backing pictures can be pretty much anything that’s not going to be too distracting. I chose textured photographs to give a little interest but not distract from the main subject. The letters are cut from cream card, using a Cricut machine, but can be done just the same by hand.

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In the original post on Pinterest, they’d added the couple’s last name to the top, but I thought that would make it a little too wedding-y for them, but may help it make sense to people not in the know!

Hannah

Getting WAYYY Too Into Gift Wrapping

They always say that It’s better to give than to receive’, but that’s the sort of statement that you can’t believe until you’ve become … well, old(er). It’s like when you were in Year 8 and everyone would say, ‘Your school years are the best years of your life‘ and you’re like ‘Urm nah, this is so dull.’ It’s not until after you have a job that requires you to work from 8 in the morning until 5 in the afternoon without spending the majority talking about ‘fit’ boys and who kissed who, that you begin to realise, actually that wasn’t so bad after all.

And so it was with the whole ‘It’s better to give than to receive’ malarkey. Is that a word? I love getting presents. Who doesn’t? Unless they’re from your grandparents and turn out to be a pack of paper (yes, that happened to me once. My 11th birthday, 11 sheets of paper for every year of my life). But I discovered recently that wrapping presents is my highlight of anyone’s birthday. It’s just the watching people tear them apart that I can’t deal with.

DSCN4139These are my creations. Two of these were for my eldest brother’s 26th (and one of those may or may not be a Thomas the Tank Engine book…) and the other’s for my American sister’s 20th. Seen as these presents will be travelling all the way over to the US I wanted to make them extra special (and also to make her cry. It’s the mark of a good present don’t you know).

DSCN4143 DSCN4145It was also an excuse to spend many hours on Pintrest, without feeling as guilty when I should have spent the last few hours making dinner.
DSCN4146 DSCN4147I also added little pieces of paper to tell her why I’d bought each present. The first – “Because of what you said the first time I talked about this” – is a bar of Cadbury’s dairy milk, and is in remembrance of the time I took her for her first English McDonald’s and was going on about Dairy Milk McFlurries. She asked me what was sprinkled on top and I repeatedly told her ‘Dairy Milk! Dairy Milk!” to which she replied “Yes I know ice-cream’s made from milk but WHAT’S SPRINKLED ON TOP!” Bless. It’s so easy to forget to America isn’t actually England with a funny accent.

Hannah

The Father’s Day Tag

So it’s Father’s Day tomorrow, so we thought we’d do a little post for our Dads. We also invented a little ‘Father’s Day Tag’, which you’re welcome to use yourself, but we do ask that you would please credit us in your post.

Today, it’s my dad’s turn. In case you’re wondering, his full name is Christopher David, he’s 51, and he’s been a father for 26 years. Aged 25 he was a father of 1, 4 years later he became a father of 2, and another 4 years later, a father of three.

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What is your first memory with your dad?

I don’t know if this is actually my first memory, everything’s a bit jumbled up when your little. I remember him putting me to bed every night and as part of our routine, we would do a little kid’s bible guide. There’d be a verse, a little lesson and some form of quiz or puzzle. Whenever I did a puzzle he’d sing a little song that was meant to put me off, but now, whenever I do a puzzle, I’m always singing that song in my head.

What is your most embarrassing memory with him?

This involves my mum too, but in my Year 6 Leaver’s play, I played the part of a rabbit. I say played, I had one line and mainly just held someone hostage for the whole thing. But for three nights, I got dressed up in a completely brown outfit, some hefty face paint, and some cardboard bunny ears.  On the night that my parents came to watch, we ran out of face wipes, meaning that I had to then walk home with full-face rabbit paint. My parents then managed to find my bunny ears, put them on and hopped down the road, as many of my friends drove past.

What is your favourite memory with him?

When I was nine, my dad was diagnosed with cancer. I remember one night I had a dream that it had killed him and we were all at his funeral. I woke up crying and he came in to check on me. He sat with me for ages while I calmed down, then he sang me back to sleep. That sounds so unbelievably cheesy, but it’s my favourite.

Which of his genes has been passed down?

Everyone always says I look like my dad. We have the same blue eyes, the same slightly wonky mouth and (unfortunately) the same nose. We have the same sense of humour, same hatred of tomatoes, same love of the zoo.

If you could live your childhood again, what would you do differently?

I wouldn’t have been so mean to him. I’ll admit that I have quite a harsh sense of humour, and some of the things I said to him actually really upset him. Like when he was having chemotherapy, and I told him I didn’t want him to take me to school, because I didn’t want my friends to see he was bald. I’d definitely be more loving. Oh, and I wouldn’t give up my swimming lessons. I could have been a lifeguard by now.

If you had an unlimited amount of money, what would you treat him to on Father’s Day?

I’d start off with a personalised box of Kellogg’s corn flakes, because he loves them was too much. In the morning I’d hire Andy Murray to play a game of tennis with him. I’d also pay him to let my dad win. Lunch would be at exactly 1.00pm. He’s very exact with lunchtime. I’d take him to a special sandwich bar, because he’s a strong believer that lunch=sandwiches. The afternoon would be spent in a museum of Maths. My brothers can accompany him on that bit. Then a dinner of chilli con carne, and an evening spent at a musical, because it’s no secret that he loves a good sing-a-long.

Hannah***

Stories of an Average Day

So if you read the lovely blog ‘Charlotte’s Web’ you’ll know of a little thing she’s started called Mundane Midweek, in which you have the excuse to write about the little things from your day, that wouldn’t usually make it onto a post, but you secretly kinda want to share. So here’s my contribution:

Last night, I set my alarm for 10.00am. I had to be in work for 12, and I factored in an hour for getting ready and half an hour to walk there. I woke up at 6. In the morning. After lying there for ages I gave up and spent a good couple of hours researching some weird stuff on the internet. My search history from this morning now consists of:

  • Is the old that played Hedwig still alive?
  • If you punched someone in space, would it hurt them?
  • Why didn’t giraffes just evolve to climb trees?
  • What is the collective term for hermit crabs?
  • What is a hermit crab?

After all that learning, my parents left for work, leaving me to waste some more time in front of the TV. unfortunately, I then fell into the terrifying black hole that is CeBeebies. I have no idea why I chose to watch that channel, there aren’t even any children in my house. But now I’ve seen some things I can’t un-see. The Tweenies being worms and performing the worst hopping ever seen. A whole twenty minutes of repeating the word ‘four’. A hippo that swims to the bottom of the sea and sits on a sea turtle (the turtle was fine, don’t worry).

After all that, I walked to work, holding my iPod the whole way because none of my clothes ever seem to include pockets. Also, why do people see you have earphones in, then decide to start a conversation with you? I thought I was going to be offered a promotion at work – I wasn’t. Then I had one of those awkward moments where you say something and the other person ignores you. I ducked my head down and pretended I hadn’t said anything, then after about a minute of complete silence she replies ‘Oh, were you talking to me?’.

Either way, you know you’ve had a pretty dull day when your highlight was the fact you managed to walk to and from work between rain showers.

Hannah***

Cut-Out Cupcakes

So it’s another friend of mine’s birthday today. Man, these things just keep coming! I feel like it was only last week that I was desperately trying to think of a present for my best friend’s birthday, but that was actually back in March!

I think I’m going to end up as a ‘thing’ girl. A lot of my friends are ‘thing’ girls. The sort of girls that, when you turn up at a party, people will ask “Oh, is cocktail girl coming?” (she does make some interesting mixes) or for the less fortunate, ‘sick girl’ – (who could forget that night?). I reckon my thing will be cakes. And that’s fine by me. Who doesn’t want cake girl to turn up?

So being the cake girl that I am, I (and a little help from Bella) baked some mean chocolate muffins. Pretty basic stuff, but tasty all the same. In an attempt to make them look a little more exciting, I coped an idea from Do or DIY’s instagram. They post some clever stuff on there (@do_or_diy if you’re interested). You can see the original post here.

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Mine didn’t quite work out like those in the example, but then again, when do they ever? The top was just too crumbly to stay together and I didn’t actually have a heart cutter that small so I was cutting them out by hand. If you want to try this, be prepared for a lot of mess!

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I also made these little message flags out of some spare paper and cocktail sticks. I won’t tell you how to make them. It’s pretty obvious.

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Another birthday down, and almost a whole month until my next one, though that’s my Mum’s so I can hardly get away with making her cake. Any ideas anyone?

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Icing Flowers

My Grandma is a talented lady.

Amongst other grandma-y things, one of her biggest talents is cakes. And I don’t just mean the actual cake – though she’s pretty damn good at that too – I mean the decorating of the cake. She’s been making wedding cakes, birthday cakes, christening cakes and any other cake you can think of for as long as I can remember.

I’ve always wanted to be able to help decorate her cakes, especially as my brother’s wedding is coming up and I’d love to help her out on his cake. She came down to visit us the other day and I asked her to teach me how to make the tiny icing flowers and leaves that are her speciality.

 

I thought it was going to be pretty basic until she wacked this great thing down on the table:

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Let me tell you, it’s not easy. It took us all day to make three roses, but to be honest, that was mainly because we spent a lot of time gossiping and drinking tea. Still, that’s what Grandma’s are for.

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Daily Prompt: Press It

I'm part of Post A Day 2013

Daily Prompt: Press It

Give some love to three blog posts you’ve read and loved in the past week, and tell us why they’re worth reading.

Okay, so this is one from a couple of days ago but I really liked it so I’ll do it now:

1) OhDearDrea – A New Home – A Living Room Tour
   I love having a snoop around other people’s houses. I’m the sort of person who likes to watch home improvement shows and asks for tours around people’s houses. Subsequently I absolutely love this blog, because their home is so beautiful and basically exactly how my dream home is.

2) LoveTaza – And Then We Fell In Love With New York All Over Again
   Keeping on the snooping on other people’s lives track, Love Taza is one of my favourite blogs. Her pictures are full of colour and happiness and really brighten my day!

3) The Shine Project – 6 Ways To Pull Back Your Bangs
   There’s only about one day a month that my fringe is acceptable for society, so this is very helpful for me to make pinning it back a little more exciting.

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