Saturday, 20 August 2011

Favourite Autumn Products - House and Home

We have had a couple of really fabulous Autumn days since my last post and they have really put me in the mood for sharing some more of my favourite Autumn products...

Yankee Candles Apple Cider Small Tumbler

Way too expensive but I love them. Sadly, candles give the DH headachs so I can only enjoy them when he's not around.

Crossroads Buttered Maple 6 oz. Room Spray

Actually, I don't care which brand it is, I've had a few maple scented room sprays and they just make my mouth water. I don't know why maple seems like a fall scent to me but it does.

Bath and Body Works Soap Sleeves

How freaking adorable are these? I first saw them on A Shimmering Star's blog and I can't wait to get myself one. I may go for the autumny squirrel one or this Halloweeny spider web one:

Tuesday, 9 August 2011

Favourite Autumn Products - Bath and Body

What do I love about Autumn? Every-fucking-thing. :)

I thought I'd spare a few posts to share some of my favourite Autumn products...

Starting with stuff to make me smell good:

Bath and Body Works Sweet Cinnamon Pumpkin Body Lotion

I live for this stuff. Seriously. When I'm in America I stock up on it so I will have a brand new bottle to open on the first day of Autumn.

DKNY Red Delicious

Mmmm.... Apples. Lush.

Bath and Body Works Fresh Market Apple PocketBac Sanitizing Hand Gel

You can't have Autumn without apples - and you can't work in a busy call centre without anti-bacterial gel.

LoveLee Soap's Caramel Apple Soap

I love everything that LoveLee Soap does. Her scents are fantastic.

I guess you could tell that I'm crazy about Bath and Body Works. They have a new range of lotions for Halloween 2001 that I can't wait to try: Spider Cider, Black Candy Apple, Scream-a-Colada, Wicked Spiced Pumpkin, and Sinful Vanilla - not to mention all the anti-bacterial soaps, gels and candles. I hope someone goes with me when I visit B&BW so I don't buy the whole store. :)

Monday, 8 August 2011

The Four Week Hunt for a Dining Table

Mr. Vanian and I are about to make our first furniture purchase as a couple. (Yikes.) The only problem with that is we're close to flat broke. Lol.

Since I moved in with Mr. Vanian and his mother eight years ago, we've eaten meals whever we could take them: standing in the kitchen, on the sofa, etc. etc. because there's no dining table in the house. At the time, there was a very practical reason for that: we had a lounge and his mother had a lounge. Why create fights over what to watch on telly if you don't have to, right? And there was no way we could cuddle with her watching on all the time. It suited us - at the time - to have two lounges instead of a dining room.

But now Mr. Vanian's mom is gone. We're doing our best to make the house our own on the almost non-existent budget we have. The first step of that is creating a dining room so we can FINALLY sit down and enjoy our meals together. (And, have some place to do homework and craft, I might add.) We've been looking for a second hand dining table for about a month now and haven't really been able to find anything suitable. There's been a small amount of bickering as well since we don't really agree on style most of the time. Then there's size - I would have gotten a 2-seater while Mr. Vanian insisted on a 4-seater. And, finally, there's money. You can't find many dining tables for the price we have in mind - even second hand ones.

But we didn't give up. Ebay has been our biggest friend in the hunt for a dining table. Unluckily, most of the ones we liked were too far away to make them practical to go and collect.

Eventually, we agreed on a table that's close, second hand and has next to no style at all to argue about and is just the right size. It's perfect for a poor couple's first dining table:

Just one problem... There's still a day and a half left to go on the auction. Can we get to the end without going over our stupidly small budget? Goddess, I hope so! I am so freaking ready to eat like normal people! I'll keep you posted on how it goes...

Saturday, 6 August 2011

Slimline Quaddie Lunchbox

Yesterday I mentioned that I've been packing my lunch (or dinner, whatever you want to call it) for the last few months. I have a lunch box/bag but it's kind of bulky and isn't really the best design and it's so bottom heavy that the top flap (where the handle is located) comes undone if there's too much in it. Boo.

Something that I've been wanting to try for AGES is bento. (Bento is a Japenese-style packed lunch.) There have been a few things that have put me off trying it:

1. In most of the recipes (being Japenese) there are an awful lot of fish and raw veg. Mer. I don't eat anything that once dwelled on the bottom of a lake.
2. Bento boxes get kind of expensive and I don't really like the style of most of them. They're pretty, sure, but not practical for someone like me who breaks stuff just by looking at it.
3. Making cute little shapes and things out of food is time consuming.

Well, I've tackled ONE of those excuses reasons. I found something called a Slimline Quaddie Lunchbox at my local ASDA store. It has three smaller compartments on the top and one larger compartment on the bottom AND it's plastic which means it's totally Wondra-proof. :)

(Mine's black 'cause I'm so emo like that. Lol.)

I got it for a few quid cheaper than it would have been elsewhere because of the back-to-school sale at ASDA which makes me happy. Plus, a bento box of the same basic size and shape would have cost at least twice the price.

Now... I just need to tackle those other two little problems - laziness being the hardest. Can I axe the fish & vegginess of bento and create my own American-stuck-in-Britain style? We'll see...

Some of my favourite bento ideas are (where else?) on pinterest.

Friday, 5 August 2011

A Lunch Box Tip From Aunty Wondra - And Pinterest

About three or four months ago I dedcided it was about damned time that I started "brown bagging it" at work. The cafeteria at my work is only open until 2.30 - and I don't start until 12 - so getting dinner before they closed meant eating really early or trying to cram it into a 15 minute break which made me feel exceptionally yucky.

Oh... And it was stupidly expensive.

My other option was to walk down to ASDA in my hour long break which gave me plenty of time to get food but not eat it. Also, not that cheap.

(I won't even mention the perils of the local McDonalds. Ugh.)

So I embarked on the path of The Lunch Box. (Brown bags are SO not-green. Lol.) Since then, I've been looking for cool ideas to fill my lunch box with. Where else would I turn for such inspiration but pinterest?

One of the most handy things I found was how to preserve sliced apples so you don't have to pay through the nose for those pre-packaged ones from the store. (And also avoid the embaressment of having apple juice dribbling down your chin. Just saying.) The advice was to soak the apple slices in apple juice for ten minutes. It also suggested a lemon lime pop. I figured there was only one way to determine which one was better.

Interestly, I only had Cherry 7UP to use for this little experiment and now I don't use anything else. The pop leaves the slightest hint of a cherry taste on the apples and it's actually really nice. I thought it was just me but I made Mr. Vanian try both the apple juice soaked ones and the Cherry 7UP soaked ones and he prefered the 7UP ones too.

I guess it's the acid or something that makes it work, blah blah blah... I don't really care so long as it does work. I left them (covered, obviously) for about five hours before I went back to them and they'd only just started to get a bit yellow. The apple soaked ones start to turn first.

For more helpful ideas from other pinterest users, check out my board, Brilliant Ideas.

Thursday, 4 August 2011

Top 10 Reasons to Buy a Doxie

My mother-in-law always wanted to buy a daschund. She's always say that when she retired, she'd go ahead and buy one. Then she was diagnosed with terminal lung cancer. When she came out of the hospital, confined to a wheelchair/bed for the rest of her life, Mr. Vanian and I decided we had to do something to lift her spirits. Being stuck in one room can get pretty lonely, so we decided that a daschund would be the perfect company for her.

Of course, we didn't realise how expensive they are! I balked at paying over £500 for a stupid little rat dog that we would be stuck with for the rest of our lives but Mr. Vanian argued that it would make his mom exceptionally happy so I gave in and we bought her a miniature short-haired daschund puppy that was about 3 months old. Mr. Vanian was right, of course. His mom bawled, she was so happy. She said it was the best gift she'd ever gotten which made us bawl too.

Did our little daschund grow on me? Hell, yes. I fucking adore this dog. Lol. I was never into small yapper type dogs because I always thought they were neurotic, you couldn't play rough with them, etc. etc. - the list goes on. I was so wrong. Now, I would recommend a daschund to any one and every one. Having a daschund is kind of like having a nice cat. Lol.

But, if you need a better reason for getting a doxie, I'll give you ten:











And in case subtlety isn't your thing... This post was just an excuse for me to brag about my fucking awesome dog. :)

Tuesday, 2 August 2011

July 2011 Reads

(My book bag, after my last trip to the library. Clearly, I should not be allowed to go unattended.)

The Books:
1. Entice (Need Book 3), Carrie Jones
2. My Soul to Keep (Soul Screamers Book 3) Rachel Vincent
3. Preludes & Nocturnes (The Sandman Book 1), Neil Gaiman
4. Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, JK Rowling
5. Dead Beautiful (Dead Beautiful Book 1), Yvonne Woon
6. The Awakening (Darkest Powers Book 2), Kelley Armstrong
7. The Goddess of Troy (Goddess Summoning Book 8), P.C. Cast

I didn't really read all that much at all last month. Of course, I did have some pretty huge distractions in the way of funeral planning, etc. Still, 7. :)

My favourite of the lot is obviously the HP one which I read just before I went to see the new movie. (As you should.) But Dead Beautiful came a close second. The premise of the book was really fresh and different and not anything I was expecting. It was the author's first novel and it looks like there's another one coming in the series, which I'm looking foward to.

Oh... By the way... These seven books bring me up to 60 for the year so far. Every year, I take part in The 50 Book Challenge on shelfari. Last year I read 67 books. My goal is 70 for this year so I'm almost there already.

Monday, 1 August 2011

Button Embroidery

Hello. My name is Wondra and I'm a pinterest addict.

As it turns out, that's actually a good thing. No, a GREAT thing.

Pinterest is pure graphic-intensive inspiration. Take, for instance, this pin which showcased DIY Spring Button Flowers from Freckled Nest:

I've been thinking about this project for weeks. I even went out and bought some kick ass ceramic buttons (I'm not going to mention the price - why make myself cry all over again?) to use. After a few weeks of being too damned busy to even stop and scratch my ass, (which, of course, I would never actually do, being a lady and all) I dug out those wicked buttons and got to work.

Sure, it's a bit wobbley but it makes me smile. :) And, I only stabbed myself with a needle once - which is pretty darn good for me!

And because it wouldn't be me if I didn't mention it... I was sewing these happy little flowers while watching IT. Yup, 'cause blood, gore and evil clowns just bring out the cuddley side of me. ;)