My new blog and giveaway

I am proud to present you my new cooking blog: CookStyle. I thought the best way to celebrate this new beginning with a giveaway and these earrings are perfect for a cooking blog: teacup and teapot.

The competition is opened until 3rd May. Win one of the 2 pairs of very cute handmade novelty earrings.
giveaway

My newest post is Halloumi Pizza, baked on a pizza stone. There are also a lot of new recipes to come, as I want to post almost daily.

10 Halloumi pizza

To enter the giveaway answer the question: Which is your favourite blend of tea?

a Rafflecopter giveaway
This giveaway is opened to UK residents only and closes at 12 am on 3rd May.  The prize is offered by me and not by a third party and there is no purchase necessary. No cash alternative is available. Two winners will be picked on 4th May and they will be contacted on the email address provided. If the winners will not respond in 28 days, new winners will be picked up.

Fat vs. Thin

There is a debate regarding a comment a singer made about the plussize clothing available in shops. I have no idea why she was bothered by this, I certainly only care if they have on stock my size for the item that I want to try&buy. I think any woman should be able to buy clothes from any shop.

I use to be fat and had no issues with it. In 2009 I was gaining pounds due to a very unhealthy lifestyle. I was drinking endless cups of coffee and I was eating only once per day. While I was fat, a few shopping assistants told me they don’t have my size and I thought they have a terrible stock control system, now I know they were trying to be snarky. I had no idea what size I was, never bothered me, I tried what I liked, a bigger/smaller size if that one didn’t fit and that was all.

Having some health concerns, in 2010, I’ve realized I was overweight and I’ve started to loose weight. Friends and family told me I’ve put on some weight, but as I felt beautiful, it didn’t matter.

weight-thru-the-years

I’ve lost that extra weight and now I’m doing my best to keep it off. My motivation is the way I feel and, of course, the health risks that being overweight can cause me. I eat 5-6 meals a day, I exercise and I try to have an active lifestyle.

From 2011 until today I’ve oscillated between size 8 and 10. I finally know my size as it’s so helpful for ordering online.
Amazingly, as a size S, I still got a snarky comment! I know that some women are struggling with their body image which made me reply in a firm way to that lady. Some people are just impolite.

Birkenhead Priory

I’ve been to the Birkenhead Priory twice in the past. The tower was in the process of being restored so we weren’t able to visit it. Last weekend we went to the Wirral trams.

The Priory is the oldest building in Merseyside, build in 1150. The tower is a Victorian addition to the old monastery. Now is open to the public. There was a survey done by the specialists, they tested all 3,000-3,500 bricks to see which ones have issues. After the survey, around 500 bricks were restored or changed.

01 Birkenhead Priory
These are the interior walls that remained, the rest were demolished.

02 Birkenhead Priory
the old church

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09 Birkenhead Priory

10 Birkenhead Priory

Wirral Trams

Last weekend, on Saturday, there was a special event to celebrate 20 years of The Wirral Transport Museum & Heritage Tramway. We like riding in restored old trams, so we went back to Wirral for the day.

01 Wirral trams

We parked near the museum, quite convenient. We’ve missed the first tram, but we arrived in time for the second one. A return is only £2 for an adult, I think it should be a little more, as they are using the money for the museum.

02 Wirral trams
The tram looks stunning.

03 Wirral trams

04 Wirral trams

05 Wirral trams

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07 Wirral trams
There is only a short drive to Woodside Ferry, so we got there in less than 10 minutes.

08 Wirral trams

09 Wirral trams

As we could return with any other tram, we’ve decided to have lunch at Home Coffee.

11 Wirral trams
This is the view from their second floor, lovely, isn’t it?

10 Wirral trams

After we’ve browsed thru the menu, we ordered the Eggs Florentine and Mushroom Rarebit. Hubby went for the vegetarian option and so we were able to share.

12 Wirral trams
The eggs Florentine were delicious, still runny, the spinach was fresh and kept a bite to it. Loved it.

13 Wirral trams
The rarebit was delicious, the mushroom was cooked nicely.

We had dessert too, I had the Coffee and Walnut cake and hubby had the Sticky Toffee cake. Mine was perfect, not too sweet, moist and I could taste the coffee. Hubby’s cake was a little on the sweet side, but it was a sticky toffee, so it was expected.
As soon as we’ve received the plates we’ve started eating and then I realized I had no pictures. So hubby took one of the cake counter before leaving.

It was a lovely meal, the service was good, the food very nice and it is affordable. I would recommend Home, this is why I mentioned them.

14 Wirral trams

The tram arrived in little under 10 minutes and it was a different one. It was one we’ve been with before, for my name day.

15 Wirral trams
It was quite busy, as you can see.

16 Wirral trams
This is the sight from the tram.

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This was our trip to the Wirral Trams. We’ve already visited the Museum, so I didn’t take any pictures inside. Before leaving, we went to photograph Egerton Bridge. We’ve passed on it so many times, but never stopped to take some pictures.

22 Wirral trams

23 Wirral trams

24 Wirral trams

Our day continued with a trip to The Birkenhead Priory, but that is another post. The tower that was in refurbishment 3 years ago is now open.

The Versatile Blogger Award

‎Katy @The Ugly Fish nominated me for the Versatile Blogger Award. I am reading her blog and I was so surprise to find about the nomination.
It’s fun and I was thinking of posting about the blogs I’m reading so I’ve joined in.

versatile-blogger-bw

The rules are simple:
1. Show the award on your blog
2. Thank the person who nominated you
3. Share 7 facts about yourself
4. Nominate 7 blogs
5. Link your nominee’s blog and let them know

Seven facts about me that I never mentioned before:
1. I was a Michael Schumacher fan that a few of my pets were named: Schumy – the dog, Gina Maria and Mike – parrots (after his kids) and Ralf and Ralfina – my hamsters (a feminine version of Ralf Schumacher, Michael’s brother and F1 driver himself) .
2. I had a duck as a pet even though I lived in a flat.
3. I had 3 love the dress and trash the dress photo shoots after our wedding in a wedding dress received from a friend.
4. I always had long hair, since I was 2.
5. I don’t like hot weather, so the perfect holiday for me would be in Antarctica or Iceland.
6. I don’t like jeans. I have a few pairs, but only because they are practical.
7. I don’t have any pair of flats, I don’t like them and I don’t feel comfortable wearing them.

I read a lot of blogs and it was hard to chose, but I’ve decided. Some of the blogs I started reading a few weeks ago and I love them, others I’ve read for months. Have a look x

I’m nominating for The Versatile Blogger Award:
1. Katy @littlemisskaty
2. Mark @thatgentmark
3. Sam @happyhomebird
4. Lorraine @theuncheshirewife
5. Sandra @cakeandwhisky
6. Laura @ilovecraftyblog
7. Kezzie

5 tips for renovating

Exactly 6 months ago we moved into our new home. Instead of writing a long post about the joys of living in our own house (so many), I’ve decided to make a short list of tips for renovating.

Untitled-1
The pictures aren’t from the same angles, but it’s the same garden and room 🙂

1. Ask for advice. We had so many long chats with our plumber. He explained a lot and told us about a few shops where we can find more material and a much better price. It was great, as we’ve needed a lot of things. We saved money or got better quality materials. For example, we’ve spent the same amount on an luxury underlay instead of the standard one offered by the carpet sellers.

2. Don’t listen to the advice. It sounds strange, but the advice is not always the best suitable for you and your situation. Hubby wanted to change the pipes and insisted on bigger ones. The plumber said we don’t need them as we don’t need the extra water flow, but he was wrong. It happened a few times to have the washing machine and the dishwasher on and, at the same time, to have to take a shower because we were in a hurry to leave. So, having bigger pipes was a very good call.

3. Be patient. It would be great to finish all the projects in no time, but unless you have an unlimited budget and an army of constructors, you’ll have to wait. Also you’ll have to compromise or do a lot of DIY. Even the tasks the contractors did took a while, as one of them had to wait for another and for the delivery and so on. Wait and all will turn out better instead of having a rushed up job.
As you can see in the “after” pictures, we still have some work to do in the garden and in the house.

4. Make a list. It’s obvious you have to prioritize, but the most urgent task doesn’t necessary has to be the obvious one.
The first thing we’ve done was to remove most of the slabs from the back garden, dig the soil and throw grass seeds. We did this while we had to do a lot of things in the house, like changing the kitchen cabinets, paint, central heating, change the carpets, refurbish the staircase. Our decision raised some eyebrows with friends and family, but now we have grass in the garden and not bare soil with new carpets. The grass is not thick enough and we’ve planted some extra seeds, but it’s still thick enough to be able to walk on it.

5. Think outside the box. I wanted to paint the stairs because they are semi-floating and I thought it’s a shame to cover them with carpet. The issue is that we have an 110 pounds dog, so the paint must be very durable. So, after researching a lot, I’ve decided to go with decking paint. Hubby was reluctant at first, but he agreed that it is the best option for us.
I would recommend this type of paint for stairs as it’s so durable and it’s not slippery at all, another important aspect. On the downside, the smell was horrible. We were still renting at that time, so it wasn’t a huge problem for us.

 

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