I was thinking to celebrate the 3rd home anniversary by writing a post on the 3 reasons why I love owning my home. I blogged about the 1st home anniversary and the 2nd home anniversary, if you fancy a read.
It’s obvious that owning a home is not always great. For example, if some noisy neighbours are moving in next door it’s unlikely we could sell the house and move in a matter of a couple of months. That might sound a bit random, but in the three years we’ve been here, one of the neighbours got married and had a child, while before she was out every night. Another elderly couple sold their home and new neighbours moved in, with a cat, dog and kid. Luckily for us, everybody is amazing and polite and we don’t hear noises from dusk to down.
1. I can decorate how I want.
All our walls are white. It’s not exactly a bold statement colour, but before that our rented home had magnolia. I can’t express enough how much I dislike magnolia, I think I would rather had dark red or black. If, by chance we want to change the colours, we can do that. It’s unlikely as we both love white and the furniture is mostly white too. It’s a great colour to have on the walls if you have a dog, as we can wash and paint over if we need to.
The same applies to pretty much everything else in the house. We were able to modify the lights and we have now all the cables through the walls. The TV is looking like is floating on the wall and I love that.
2. I build up equity, not waste money on rent.
This is the most obvious one. Instead of paying rent, the money go towards an asset. It feels great every time I think of it. I really can’t say anything more on this, it’s just as simple as that.
3. My home is not checked by letting agencies or landlords.
This is one of the things that annoyed me most when renting. While the visits were ok when we were there, it happened once not to be at home. We’ve notified the agency and they replied that they can’t change the date, even though that meant only a week before or the week after, and it wasn’t their first check either. So, being away and knowing that someone comes into what I’ve considered my home to check how clean it is was awful.
I think the law should be changed and landlords shouldn’t be allowed to check a property if the tenants aren’t in. Just think of all the stuff we had at home, we were supposed to trust the guys from the agency will not take anything or will not open a drawer from our furniture… while checking if we are trustworthy with the house we’ve been renting for a long time. It doesn’t seem fair, does it? I would understand landlords entering without permission if they were denied access a few times or there are a few complaints from the neighbours.
Owning our home means we don’t have to deal with that. It feels more secure and that we have privacy.
Do you own your home? What do you love about that?
August has proved to be a fantastic month. I’ve started volunteering at a stately home as a room guide, Croxteth Hall. As a plus, I even dress up as a housemaid. I’ve been there twice and it’s so much fun. Besides learning about the house and the family, during school holidays the volunteers are making truffles with children and it’s delightful. I love it and I wish I would have asked earlier if they were looking for volunteers.
I’ve started two online courses and I’m learning interesting things. Both courses take 2 to 3 hours each week, so it’s not too demanding. Also, if I have the time, I can finish the course faster, by doing two or three weeks at a time. I like the flexibility.
In the last few days of August, I went to a Painting Class, to a pub, I visited a small and cute village (lots of amazing pictures to share) and I’ve been to Anderton Boat Lift. As they are so many, I’m going to blog almost every day for the next 10 days or so. I enjoyed all these activities a lot, only wait and see my masterpiece.
I’ve read a lot of books, 8 in total, and today I’ll finish another one, but that will be included in the roundup for September. I’ve reviewed my foot cream and what I got from UKLingerie.
September will be a fun month again. We are celebrating Festus’s birthday (he turns 8), we are also celebrating our 3rd home anniversary. It will be a month when we’ll visit again new places as it’s Heritage Open Days and I have a couple of other trips in mind.
How was your August? Do you have something planned for September?
01. Excluding romantic relationships, who do you love?
I love animals and this is why I make ethical choices from the food I eat to the clothes I’m wearing, the plates I’m buying and the seat covers of the car I use.
I wanted to give an answer a bit more different than the usual friends and family.
02. What is your earliest childhood memory?
Going with my grandparents to the tea rooms and having a lovely swan eclair. It was a treat not because I was eating something sweet, but the whole experience. They treated me like a small adult and it was very special for me. I made the eclairs at home and they were amazing. Recipe on my food blog, CookStyle.
03. What book has had the greatest influence on your life?
Obviously the Primer Book, as in the Alphabet Book. I learned many things from many books, but none as life changing as being able to read.
Another book with great influence were “Freud and Jung on Religion”, the first psychology book I read when I was 15. It made me even more eager to study the human mind at University. I should read it again.
04. What three questions do you wish you knew the answers to?
1. What was before the Big Bang, if it was something?
2. How the Earth will look like in 2,000 years or 20,000 years?
3. How our history would have been like if the Roman empire would have remained as it was for another 1,000 or 1,500 years?
05. What is the greatest peer pressure you’ve ever felt?
The greatest peer pressure I felt was to have children. From the age of 26, being married with a good job and owning property meant that I was under pressure to have at least a child. As the years went by, this didn’t go away. Sadly, I just stopped talking with the acquaintances (and a few friends too) who felt they should impose their views on my life. If I don’t enjoy spending time with someone because they can’t stop themselves to ask me personal questions instead having a lovely chat about movies, books, holidays, recipes and home decor, why bother to meet in the first place?
In addition to having babies, I also experience peer pressure from getting married and loosing weight to choosing the “right” political party. I’m pretty confident with my choices, but it’s still stressful.
06. What’s the biggest lie you once believed was true?
One of the biggest is that Santa was real. That was not even something that made my Christmases better as a child. I would have rather known that my parents and grandparents where the ones getting me the gifts. I also think I would have had wonderful memories of making gifts for my relatives, like a drawing or something similar, given the choice. It’s a shame.
I had a discussion about this with a couple of parents and they said it’s magical for the kids to know Santa is getting them gifts. Well, I stick to my opinion, less “magical”, but more nurturing and real, gifts are made by parents & grandparents & relatives that love them and want them to be happy. I can’t imagine anything better for a child at Christmas.
07. In your lifetime, what have you done that hurt someone else?
Of course, everybody does, sometimes not even realizing. I wish I didn’t.
08. What’s the best part of growing older?
Cake and pizza for breakfast. I don’t eat those often though as it’s not healthy, but I can do that if I want to.
09. What’s been on your mind most lately?
Something that I want to start in a couple of years. It will take a bit of time to make sure it’s something I really want to do.
10. What do you think is worth waiting for?
I can’t think of anything. Some things take time, but that doesn’t necessarily makes them better.
11. What chances do you wish you had taken?
I took most of them.
12. Where else would you like to live? Why?
I would like to move to another city in UK because I love discovering new places.
13. What motivates you to go to work each day?
The pleasure work gives me.
14. What do you wish you had done differently?
Nothing, as I like where I am and, more importantly, how I am.
15. What is your greatest strength and your greatest weakness?
I think both are one and the same: being a realist. Sometimes it’s better to have a pair of pink-shaded glasses to view the world through them.
16. When was the last time you lied? What did you lie about?
Can’t remember. I try not to lie and I would skillfully avoid the answer or say something I think it’s true that is a bit related to the question without saying the more important thing, that can be hurtful.
17. What made you smile this week?
My dog, he makes me smile every single day. My husband also made a couple of jokes that made me ROLF.
18. What’s the best part of being you?
I would say that my view of the world.
19. What motivates you to be your best?
The fact that I have to be with me every single moment for the rest of my life.
20. When was the last time you lost your temper? About what?
I don’t know, it might be politics or economy. My husband is always laughing when I start “yelling” at the telly and tells me I should stop arguing with it. I know he is right, but I get so annoyed and I know I can’t hurt the telly’s feelings, so I can yell at it.
21. What will you never give up on?
My values. They might change in time, as I change, but I will never give up on them.
22. When you look into the past, what do you miss the most?
The naivety to think that some people will change enough to be different.
23. How would you describe the past year of your life in one sentence?
Business as usual, I had ups and downs, I saw and tried amazing things, I cooked and I enjoyed time with loved ones.
24. What is the most spontaneous thing you’ve ever done?
Talking with someone on the train? More details on: How I met hubby. Maybe it’s not the most spontaneous thing I’ve done, but surely it’s the most important spontaneous thing I did.
25. What makes you uncomfortable?
Lots of things. I have a bit of anxiety and a phobia and I don’t feel comfortable with public displays of affection (unless is a hug & kiss on the cheek). I don’t feel comfortable if I’m in a group and someone is talking too loud and getting attention from others. I don’t feel comfortable with personal questions and I would avoid them as much as I can.
26. If you had to move 3000 miles away, what one thing would you miss the most?
I moved almost 3000 miles and I missed things I never thought of, like green walnut jam. I don’t know what I would miss if I moved 3000 miles again.
I looked online to see what places are ~3000 miles from Liverpool:
Guinea-Bissau – Bissau
Kazakhstan – Astana
Chad – Ndjamena
Kuwait – Kuwait City
Turkmenistan – Ashgabat
So, I can say I would miss the British weather (I love it!) and I imagine all sort of other things too, especially if I moved in a place that would be so different. I like that I’m living in a country were being gay, transgender, catholic, protestant, muslim, atheist, covered from head to toes or in a crop top and shorts is legal and widely accepted. I like that I live in a country with a lot of diversity that still holds on to traditions. I love the history and the care most people have for their culture. I also love the Queen and the Royal Family.
27. What worries you about the future?
Being able to do what I want.
28. What one ‘need’ and one ‘want’ will you strive to achieve in the next twelve months?
Both are one and the same, but I don’t want to share them on my blog. I’ll say what I need and want regarding my blogs. I need a better structure for promoting posts on social media, unless they aren’t seen and it’s a shame (because I do value the work I put into the blogs) and I want to do more recipes for my Taste the World project.
29. What life lessons did you have to experience firsthand before you fully understood them?
Unless you can experience something firsthand you can’t fully understand.
30. Do you like the city or town you live in? Why or why not?
I like Liverpool a lot. It’s a lovely place with lots of events and nice museums. I like walking in the city centre and on the docks. There are plenty of shops in L1, Metquarter.
I have to start my post by telling you about a dream I had: Festus, my dog, was King of England and his uncle, Aksel, was trying to over-throne him. The funny part (as it’s not funny enough that I had this dream) is that he might have an uncle Aksel. I asked the owner of one of his aunts and she wasn’t able to tell me the names of the rest of the litter. But, it’s possible, as all of Festus aunts and uncles have their names starting with A. I could ask his breeder, but he will think I’m going batty, so I will refrain myself. Of course, the dream was only natural after reading so many historical fiction books by Philippa Gregory. I should take a break from history for the next couple of books, so I can clear my head, but I borrowed another historical book from the library. This month I’ve read 8 books.
I made 5 bags of stuff and I took them to different charity shops. I wanted to do that for a long time and I managed to do it. I had all sort of things at home that I didn’t use and most of them were new, only a couple of books were used. I hope the items will raise a bit of money. I only wrote this in a hope it will inspire my readers to do the same. If you have something you don’t use, don’t keep them in the cupboards like I did.
Last Sunday I’ve been on Women’s Running Race Series, the 5k run. I mentioned I’m going to race before, when I talked about How I prepare for 5k in collaboration with Roots Collective, the oficial sponsor of race series. In Liverpool, Women’s Running Race Series was held in Sefton Park. There are more races if you want to have a go.
I made a routine and I was able to stick to it in the first three weeks, but after 7th July I had some health issues, a cold paired with a headache, and I wasn’t able to run as planned. I did some pushups, but it’s not exactly helpful for running.
I wanted to have a good time as the first point in my 40 before 40 list was to run a 5k in under 40 minutes. I was motivated to do that, but I wasn’t sure I will be able to do it.
I usually workout or run in the mornings, after walking the dog, at around 8am, before breakfast. On Sunday, at the race, I was running later, as the race started a bit after 10am. So, I had a light breakfast, only a sandwich and some raw peppers, less than I usually have. I had two espressos 30-40 minutes before the race and a banana 15 minutes before. Now I think I should have had the coffee and the banana closer to the race. For the race I made my own energy drink with golden syrup and sea salt (it has more minerals than regular salt). I though it was a good idea, until I had a drink during running and it was yucky. I still drank it as it was a better option comparing to water, but I’m not going to make this energy drink again.
I managed to get to my objective. According to my app, I did 5k in 37 minutes. I crossed the finish line in 39 minutes (and 5.2 km according to my app) and either way I was under the 40 minutes. I think the difference is that I start my app before actually passing the start line, as I was further down the field. I will consider the 37 minutes as the result as I paced myself with the app. I was looking at the stats when I was running, I knew the time I wanted to achieve and I made sure I did it.
I’m a long way off the winners, I imagine they had under 30 minutes, but for me this was the best result I had and I’m proud of myself.
The official results are out and my Chip time is 39:01. I finished 39 from 73.
At the end of June we’ve celebrated our 10th wedding anniversary, that was the most important thing that happened last month. Besides this, we had a packed month with 3 wonderful events and a short holiday. I will talk about them a bit further in the post.
For our anniversary, I’ve created the cake we wanted for our wedding, decorated with fondant rose petals. At our wedding there was a mix up and the decor wasn’t what we were looking for, still nice, but different. As for the flavour, I made it foret noire, a little different than the chocolate cake we actually had.
I like how the cake looked and it was delicious too. I think the roses are perfect considering it’s the first time I use this cutter for roses. Last time I made them free hand and now they look much better as my technique improved. I can’t wait to make more roses and more fondant shapes for cakes. I find it relaxing.
On Father’s Day we spent some time in the garden with Festus. He had a couple of toys to play with. One of the pigeons who has his nest on our neighbour’s tree arrived for his breakfast. Of course, he wasn’t bothered by Festus. He is used to Festus and that makes me think he is the same pigeon that had the nest close to us a couple of years ago. I think they are more comfortable with Festus as there aren’t any cats in our garden. We make sure we chase any cats from the garden, as we don’t want them to come when Festus is in the garden. Unlike with the pigeons, Festus is very interested in cats.