Tag Archives: miscellaneous

Almost back from the dead

Right – I am almost back from the dead. Just. Firstly I have to apologize for not posting in over 2 weeks. No – I have not abandoned ship and no I am not dead (if I have then its pretty impressive that my ghost can type). I have been close to death for the past fortnight (ok – maybe not that close to death, but two weeks in bed not eating and drinking much is pree-ttyyy close in my opinion) I have been back and forth to two different hospitals, seen countless Dr’s and gobbled up heaps of pills. Don’t even get me started on the waiting time I’ve spent in the wards – it’ll make you weep.  Am I better? Of course not, but I’ll get there eventually.  It’s horrible being so ill and I don’t think I’ve ever slept so much in my entire life. I HATE hospitals. 🙁

The better half was away in New York (alright for some) for the first 3 days of my being ill, so that didn’t help.  He flew back to a very sick and grumpy wife whose main aim was to get up to pee and not much else. I must admit, he has done absolutely everything  these 2 weeks – I didn’t even know the man knew how to operate a washing machine (his hanging out skills are another thing altogether though).  He cooked for me, but I didn’t really eat much, and everything I ate just came straight back out anyway, so I practically lived on coke and fruits. Healthy much? I didn’t really care – as long as it stayed down.

I must admit – I’m not the best patient, nor the easiest to deal with, so I’m quite lucky he has the patience of a saint, though I was beginning to think that was running out last Friday when I refused to take anymore pills as I didn’t think they were working – they were, but I was just delirious. 🙁

Today was my first proper day back at work and truth be told – I probably should not have gone in, I was tired, in pain and grumpy. I made it through though and I hope that’s a sign of me getting (a little) bit better.  I envisioned the mountainous pile of emails that were waiting for me and decided I had to go in. I was also dangerously close to becoming a piece of my bed if I stayed home any longer and didn’t fancy being part of the furniture.

A couple of weeks ago, I applied for a ‘blogging assignment’ for Brita and was so pleased when I got it! Unfortunately, it could not come at a worse time and I had to put it off until I felt fit enough to try and cook again – I mean, I don’t even know what my kitchen looks like anymore?!  I will try and do a recipe from a designated booklet I received from Brita, the lovely Lisa Faulkner is working in association with Brita’s new campaign ‘Cooking is better with Brita’ and so I will be using one of her recipes provided. Look out for that post really soon (unless I die or something horrible like that).

I also have some new make-up to try – that’s right, I’m going mineral baby – so look out for that post too. Gosh, I have so much to do, that I have to get to 100% soon! So, if you see a post that begins with ‘&38y 5hk&^(# sdijljt’, that means I’m still not all well yet. Haha 🙂

Speak soon lovelies,

KimmyX

The weekend

The weekend. Whew. What a weekend. Sorry I haven’t posted for 2 and a bit days – its been crazy. And its about to get crazier. Let me tell you all about it.

It started with a 530am pickup of the GLS – bearing in mind I went to bed at half 2 the night before. We got up (and by this i mean the better half) dragged me out of bed and plopped me into the car (pillow ad blankie included)

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Naturally – the plane arrived half an hour earlier, making us (un-fashionably) late.  So the poor GLS was waiting by her lonesome till we arrived.

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On the way back home, we stopped at a service station as the GLS became hungry (that girl can eat for England) and so, I ordered a coffee and fell asleep on the table – as you do.

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After we reached home, we leapt out of the car and by this time – I’m a little more awake.  We help the GLS unpack and opened a present my folks shipped over to us. I will do a seperate post on what I got – tomorrow hopefully!

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Then we had to run off to Costco (read about our first experience to Costco here) as we had a ton of things to buy before the BBQ on Saturday. While I was there, I bought me a GLS. Don’t worry – i got a coupon for it. Hahaha. KIDDING! 🙂

gls for sale!

gls for sale!!

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We saw some very curious things – like this Wimbledon t-shirt for this bottle of champagne (Ive named the champagne Andy) and this packet of nuts – which I duly bought to share with my friends. None of whom got the message.

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As usual – we ended up with a bloody truck load of stuff which looked enough to feed a small village for a month. Please don’t ask me how much we spent or what we bought – I am too embarrassed.  Suffice to say – all the food went on Saturday and I still don’t know how it all went.

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The GLS I acquired from Costco came in handy when we had to carry stuff into the house!  Well worth the buy! (the fruits and the GLS) 🙂

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GLS (bought from Costco) proving her worth once again. This time by painting out garden walls.  Teeheehee. 🙂

OK. Now I have to introduce you to a magical device. Its called a Karcher (website here) and its easily acquired from Tesco – we got it on a deal 4 years ago. It magically transforms your dirty paving stones to pretty clean ones. Witness the pictures below my friends, and prepare to be astounded. That’s right folks – David Blaine has nothing on me.

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It uses high water presser to blast the dirt off the stones.

MAGIC

MAGIC!

Can you tell the ones Ive done? If course you can! if not, then I’d get your eyes tested.

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Check it out! The pictures below just show how dirty our garden it. We did the paving slabs outside too but unfortunately I forgot to take a picture. 🙁

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Right – so you get my drift – its a brilliant machine.  E-Bay has loads to choose from – there are different models, We’ve got the K2.395T50 and that’s more than enough. House ready and pretty – we started waiting for our guests! 🙂

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Then the BBQ started and we had loads to eat – we even had a chocolate fountain!

P/S: Yes – that is the better half’s white pasty legs. I tried my best to get him out in the sun.

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People started coming from after 2 and left at about 2am – we went through 10 bottles of Pimms, 12 bottles of champagne and God knows how much meat. All in all – we had a mental night but such a good laugh with people we care about.  Not only that – some friends stayed over and surprise surprise, we had another (smaller) BBQ on Sunday (albeit a quieter one – I don’t think the neighbours would appreciate listening to Daft Punk over and over again two days running)

Right – I am off to bed – me, the better half and the GLS are taking a road trip to Bicester Village tomorrow morning at 7am (eeekkk!!) and then driving onto the Lake District (major excitement!)  from there, before driving back down to Bristol to celebrate the better half’s grandma’s 97th (yes really!!) birthday on Saturday – its going to be a long and crazy week.  I will post as much as I can I promise!

Till then, night lovelies. 🙂

KimmyX

P/S: 30 Deg on Saturday?! Christ alive – I’m going to be burnt to a crisp. Can’t wait! hahahaha.

Birthday Pizza

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It is (was) my birthday yesterday and after turning a ripe old age of 24 (ok 29) I have decided 3 things:

  1. Whoever said you get wiser as you get older lied. You still think that putting chopsticks up your nose warrants a laugh from all at the table.
  2. Wearing crocs is still never OK – even if you think people can’t see you/don’t notice. News Flash – Everyone notices those horrid things on your feet (Yes – this means you too daddy- sorry!)
  3. People who you think are looking at you and gossiping/bitching about you ARE indeed doing just that – don’t fool yourself into thinking they like your shoes and are discussing where you got your great taste in fashion from or something (YES – Pizza Express girl – I mean you)

It was a working day and so the better half decided to take me out to Pizza Express. Hey – Im not complaining, I get a free bottle of Prosecco there on my birthday – WINNING! On top of that – I do actually like the pizza’s there and frequent the one at Charing Cross (where I work) quite a lot.

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We got there pretty early – 7pm (this is early for us, we normally eat at past 10pm as we spend bloody years in the kitchen cooking) We knew what we want already – creatures of habit we are (or boring old farts whichever way you look at it) . I go for the Padana and the better half goes for the Diavolo.

dough balls

dough balls

To start – we had the famous Pizza Express Dough Balls.  These little mouth-watering bundles of joy come out piping how from the oven and are accompanied by heaps of garlic butter.  We always order this and cannot get enough of the damn thing. Urghh – dough balls – why must you taste so good – I know you are packed with tons of calories especially seeing as how I eat tons of garlic butter with you – why do you tempt me?! 🙁 And why and I talking to dough balls?!

(P/s: this talking to yourself/food/objects thing – gets worse as you age people!) 🙂

Padana

Padana

What’s in a Padana? Well, for starters, you will be surprised to hear its actually a vegetarian pizza. That’s right folks, no meat whatsoever.  This pizza was introduced to me, by our ex-housemate K years ago (she is a vegetarian) and after taking a slice of hers – I was won over.  This pizza packs; Goats cheese, red onions, tomato, caramalised onions, spinach and mozzarella topped off with garlic oil. Let me tell you – its effin gorgeou-so people. The sweetness of the caramalised onions is offset against the tangy goats cheese, the red onions provide that extra crunch and the spinach, well popeye had it and it made him grow muscles so there you go – reason enough? 🙂  Please please please give this pizza a shot – it might sound boring – but really, its not! I promise! (I don’t make promises lightly – I don’t want to go to hell for lying!) Haha. 🙂

diavolo

diavolo

I’m not a the biggest fan of the Diavolo – only because the Padana is sooooooo good.  The Diavolo is made up of; Spiced beef, pepperoni, mozzarella, tomato, green peppers, red onions, tobasco, hot green and jalapeno or roquito peppers. Jesus – is there anything not in this pizza? I feel they over-did this pizza and that’s why I’m not too keen on it – It’s like they couldn’t decide what to put on it and threw everything in! Nevertheless, the better half likes it. He mumbles about it ‘having a kick’ ‘nice and spicy’ ‘great taste’ blah blah blah (sorry – I don’t listen half the time and the other half of the time I’m singing in my head)  🙂

free prosecco? Yes please!

free prosecco? Yes please!

All in all – a good birthday meal out – cheap too! The main party for my (our) birthday is on Saturday and I can’t wait – this is when we have our annual BBQ. People come, they eat, they drink, it gets messy – a good night in I say! Teeheehee 🙂

Oh yes – and THE GLS is coming down for it too! Yes – that darn giraffe-legged little sister of mine is coming to visit us (really to shop) and will be here early Friday morning. I better get my highest heels out – no chance am I going to be shorter than her – not until my legs fall off and I cannot use heels.

Right – its 125 now and I really should be getting to sleep. These panda eyes are not doing anyone any good and I’m pretty sure if I carry on like this, no one will have/create heavy duty concealer to help mask it anymore. On top of that – the house looks a bloody mess and we have to tidy up before we have guests – fun fun fun! 🙁 Can’t wait to wash the carpets with the Rug Doctor  🙂 Ha!

Night night lovelies!

P/S: What’s your favourite pizza?!

KimmyX

Hearing Dogs for Deaf People Charity

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Yesterday when I was rushing back for 5.10pm to feed the pooches, I ran into this furry guy and I could not resist donating some money and taking a cheeky picture.  The charity this fluffy dog was raising money for was Hearing dogs for deaf people and this was their ‘sponsor a puppy’ charity day. 🙂

After being launched at the Crufts dog show in 1982, the charity has gone from strength to strength and to date, they have created over 1600 life-changing partnerships, pairing hearing dogs with deaf people to help them with day to day things that we often ourselves take for granted. At the moment, there are over 750 working partnerships throughout the UK.

This national charity trains hearing dogs to alert deaf children and adults to household sounds and danger signals such as the alarm clock, doorbell, telephone and the very important smoke alarm. How do the dogs alert their owners I hear you ask? Well, the dogs alert their deaf owners to household sounds by touching them with a paw or nudging with a nose to gain attention. The recipient then asks the dog ‘what is it?’ by voice and/or hand command and then the hearing dog leads the recipient to the source of the sound. For danger signals such as the smoke alarm, the hearing dog will alert the recipient in the same way, but when asked ‘what is it?’ the dog will lie down to indicate danger. How clever is that?! I wish my two could do that – all they do I bark at the poor postman, and bark at people walking by the house, and bark at flies that annoy them as they make that buzzing sound. Ok – they sometimes sit, paw and beg (mainly for treats of course – you should see what they would do for a sausage!). I once spoke to a dog behaviourist about why my girl barks more than my boy, and if I should put a stop to it (she barks at the slightest stranger movement, barks at friends who come to visit, bark at people walking past the house etc etc) and the behaviourist said under no circumstance should we discourage it – she is an ‘alert’ dog. So while she won’t be able take down an intruder (she’s tiny people!) she can alert us to their presence, and then we take it from there. She’s a gem my little girl!

The usual breeds that become hearing dogs are Labradors, Golden Retrievers, Cocker Spaniels, Miniature Poodles and Cavalier King Charles Spaniels. Sometimes, they also train Labrador crosses and Cocker crosses alongside these breeds too.  Yesterday, I met a Papillon who was a hearing dog!!! She looked just like my girl and I was so proud that the breed was helping a deaf person. Here is a picture of her below!! Too cute. Suffice to say, I stopped for a stroke (5 strokes) and a cuddle (3 cuddles) and plenty of kisses (I won’t bother lying about that one) 🙂

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The charity also have their own breeding scheme and adopt puppies from breeders to train, sometimes, they also adopt from rescue centres as and when a suitable puppy is identified – you never really know which puppy you will find at the rescue centres and this charity gives some puppies in the rescue centres a second chance to help vulnerable people which I think is awesome.

Typically, the training of a hearing dog takes around 18 months, and this consists of initial puppy socialisation training (eight weeks to 12-14 months of age) with their volunteers before moving onto sound work training at one of their Training Centres. During this period a suitable recipient for each dog is identified. The recipient and hearing dog then spends a period of time training together before qualifying as an official partnership.

Puppy socialising is so important – let me tell you my experience. When we had the boy, we decided to send him to puppy socialising classes for 6 months. He would be picked up at 9am every morning and would be home by 5pm every day – like puppy school really!  By day, he would be with about 10 other dogs in a farm in Kent socialising with other puppies of the same age.  The boy is very friendly, loves people especially children, likes other dogs (except ones that try to bite him, chase him, sniff him too much and hump him), and he has a constant waggy tail. When we got our girl, we assumed that because we already had the boy, she could socialise with him (and they walked in the park every day with our dog walker and met dogs along the way) so we didn’t send her to socialising class. I think that was a small mistake as while she is a lovely little doggy (wouldn’t change her for the world) and what I call a ‘proper’ little dog, (chases balls, plays catch, chases squirrels) she is petrified of every other dog and is not the biggest fan of people, she’s typically jumpy at every sound and woe betide another dog that sniffs around her, she’s fast to run away! (she will leave Usain Bolt in the dust!)  She’s the type of dog that is suspect of everyone but us and would take hours to warm up to anyone who has come into the house or near the house (this after barking the house down to alert us of someone other than us in the house!) – and while I understand this might just be in her nature, I do think that us not socialising her properly contributed to her behaviour. She has got a lot better with the postman mind you – she has come to realise that he just wants to drop some letter off and not annoy her!  Having said that, I know other people who have not sent their dogs to socialising classes and their dogs are fine – I guess It’s just a case of different dogs, different temperaments eh? (Mind you I don’t know how happy I would be if I had male dogs constantly sniffing around me hahaha!)  🙂

You can recognise a hearing dog by their distinctive burgundy jacket and lead slips, which helps to identify the recipient’s otherwise ‘invisible’ disability – how many times I’ve just started chatting to someone with their dog, only to realise a little later that they were deaf after bending down to stroke their dog and realising that it’s a working dog helping someone in need. A lady we know at the park is deaf and she has a trained Westie (West Highland Terrier) to help her – you would never know she was deaf until you met her, (we try and do sign language and sometimes I carry post-it’s in my pocket for her to write on)  her dog Post really helps her with her day to day tasks – he especially loves barking when the postman arrives apparently!

I imagine it must be very hard being deaf, it can get lonely and sometimes, I imagine scary, as all your other senses are amplified. That’s why I am so happy that dogs can play an important part in helping those who have this disability. I imagine the companionship these dogs provide is also priceless. This pays its due to the age old saying, a dog really is man’s best friend and will be your lifelong loyal companion till the end of his days if you’ll have him as one.

Here are five key points about Hearing Dogs for Deaf People you probably didn’t know;

  1. Hearing dogs are provided to deaf people at no charge.
  2. The Charity receives no government funding. We rely on the generosity of individuals, groups, companies and other organisations.
  3. Each dog is trained to the specific needs of the deaf individual they have been matched to, creating a life-changing partnership.
  4. The breeding, training, placement and life-long care of each hearing dog costs around £45,000.
  5. It takes 12-14 months for a puppy to complete its socialising training and a further 16-18 weeks for a dog to complete soundwork training (reacting to sound)

It costs £3 a month to sponsor a puppy for someone in need and after reading about all the good work the charity does, I am not hesitating to donate. Well done guys and keep up the awesome work!

To read more about this amazing charity click here

To donate towards sponsoring a puppy that in turn is going to help change the life of someone deaf in the future click here

KimmyX

*Stats and information taken from the hearing dogs for deaf people website.

Mosaic Madness

After our series of unfortunate events with the wardrobes – read all about it here, we decided to give up on that idea and live with a broken wardrobe. We did however, agree to spend the money we were both putting aside for new tiles for our kitchen – so I’m excited about that to say the least.  We also decided that we were going to do the whole lot ourselves – cheaper? yes. More risk of going wrong? 100%. Having fun while doing it? Definately. Chances of paying some dodgy company to do it while they run away with our money? Absolutely (highly likely as that ALWAYS happens to us). So – sorted – we would do it ourselves! After the better half’s attempt of doing our bathroom himself resulted in grout stuck permanently to the ground (i swear everytime I walk its like hard breadcrumbs under my feet!) , you would think that would scare us away right?! Nope. I mean, imagine how much money we would save! Might have spare change for a curry or two after for dinner! Yes it is going to take ages, and yes – its not going to be as perfect as how a tiler would do it, but hey – beggars can’t be choosers!

The first step is to choose the tiles. God – we have been back and forth to a few places and I do have in mind what sort of tiles I would like – I saw a sample of them at Costco, albeit in the wrong colour. I would like strip glass mosaics, but predominantly in the colours of black, white and silver – these are bloody hard to find and I’m wondering if anyone in the UK does them!? Ive spent hours searching and have found some – though most of them are from the States. The ones I really like is from a company called European Tiles Direct – but they are SO expensive.

These are the ones I like so far;

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This one I like – but is only available from China. Get it here.

marble mosaic

These ones give a more natural finish to the kitchen, but I have white tiles on the floor and having these on my walls would make the kitchen a little too pale. They are from Topps TIles and you can get them here.

stone mosaic

This split face natural stone mosaic is so sexy – and I might go for it – I just don’t know if its too black and will make our kitchen appear to the small – I mean its not like the have a huge kitchen to begin with! Get it here from Topps Tiles.

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The only thing I don’t like about these is that the individual bricks are the same size – I’m really after the the uneven bar ones – BUT if i have to choose and the prices are too crazy, I will have to compromise and the above mosaic is exactly the colour scheme I want. Get it here from Topps Tiles.

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These were pretty and if they were available in the UK – they would definately be a serious contender. While the colours are neutral, the dark brown bars offset the paler colours.

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Now these are the ones I love – but priced at £35.22 a tile – is wayyyyyy over my budget.  Sad times.:( Check it out here.

What do you think – are you liking any of the above?!

KimmyX

Wardrobe Woes

I don’t know if you would remember – we were visitors to the ideal home exhibition (review here) and we were on the prowl for potentially new wardrobes and ideas for our bathrooms.  We quickly realised bathrooms were going to cost an arm and a leg – and so settled on the fact that we could take ideas away, but it would be a while before we got all the bathrooms done (unless of course my numbers come up this weekend).  What we were really (and more likely to fork out for) was a new wardrobe for our bedroom, and one for the guest bedroom.  Continue reading

A special visit to Battersea Dogs and Cats home

Battersea Dogs and Cats Home

Battersea Dogs and Cats Home

I was SO flippin’ excited last Friday. Why? No not because it was Friday and no, not because I ad a half day at work. The more important question, is WHY I had the half day off work.  Well, I was going to pay a very special visit to Battersea Dogs and Cats home, to meet up with the very lovely Caroline Jack.  She was going to give me and my photographer (AKA the better half) a tour of the home to meet some of the residents, and, talk about the brilliant things this amazing charity does for our four legged friends. Continue reading

Sir Alex Ferguson Thank you and Goodbye

Goodbye Fergie

Goodbye Fergie

Today is black Wednesday. Why? No, not because I have work crawling out of my ears and I am sure to miss my deadlines. No, not because once again, the weather in London has gone bonkers and after a week in glorious sunshine, its not turned to shit (again)   And no, its not because I fell asleep on the sofa and as a result have a bad back either (thank you so called-better half for waking me up NOT). Continue reading

Absence makes the heart grow fonder

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They say that absence makes the heart grow fonder – and I’m starting to believe it.  The better half if in Germany on business, so that leaves me and the two babies to guard the house. Never mind that these two babies are not guard dogs (one will lick you to death and the other perhaps barks you to death), and that I am convinced that (but not limited to);

  • There is a rogue ghost in one of the bathrooms in the house
  • Someone is going to break in to murder me
  • I watch too much Jerry Springer and think up bizarre scenarios that I later play out in my head Continue reading