Because sometimes we need a feel good movie

30 September 2013

I love a feel-good, cheesy film - I don't care what anyone else says - you have to admit that sometimes, you just need to sit down with a bar of chocolate, a blanket and a feel-good film to nuture the soul.  I am not sure whether it is the pregnancy hormones, the subtle and gradual changing of the seasons or me just being anxious and stressy but I am so emotional at the moment.  I am mentally exhausted , I cry at the drop of a hat for no apparent reason and sometimes I just so wish that we lived closer to my family!  So when our dear friends suggested we go round for cheesy movie night on Saturday, it could not have come at a better time.

I have always been a fan of the cheesy, feel-good, chick-flick genre film.  Some of my favourites include 10 Things I hate about you (added!) ET, Rocky, Billy Elliot, Bring It On, The Holiday, Runaway Bride, Love Actually, Up, Mary Poppins, Home Alone, Benny & Joon, 3 Men & a Baby, Crazy Beautiful.....and Pitch Perfect has definitely been added to the list.  We do not go to the movies that often, we have a subscription with LoveFilm which works pretty well for us.  We have watched some really brilliant movies as well as some duds which we have switched off after 20 minutes.  But I do love a visit to the cinema!

As a child and then a teenager I distinctly remember watching a few movies over and over and over again.  I used to be able to quote most of the lines.  Namely, Benny & Joon, Bring It On and Crazy Beautiful.  What is your feel-good movie/s?

Happy feel-good movie-watching ♥

3 years: Part II

25 September 2013

 3 years ago today we celebrated again - this time in beautiful Robertson, Cape Town surrounded by family and friends.  Bon Cap wine farm is an idyllic location and we just had the perfect day.

I have been recently thinking about marriage and what it means etc.  Now, bear in mind I am almost 6 months pregnant so there are hormones flying around and one might tend to feel a bit emotional.  But seriously.  Am I the only one who thinks its not easy?  It takes a lot of work - and I am no angel.  Mani will tell you.  I can be difficult, selfish, needy, emotional (must I go on?)...and Mani is always there.  Always.  I mean we might not be best of friends at these times but he is there and thats what counts.  He loves me unconditionally and I him.  No matter what.

And this is what I believe what marriage is about - as Ike Graham says in Runaway Bride (yes I am quoting from this movie because it is one of my faves!) "Look, I guarantee there'll be tough times. I guarantee that at some point, one or both of us is gonna want to get out of this thing. But I also guarantee that if I don't ask you to be mine, I'll regret it for the rest of my life, because I know, in my heart, you're the only one for me."  And I know this to be true with Mani.

Another quote which really warmed my heart and made us feel normal was from Marie Barone on Everybody Loves Raymond - you gotta love this - it is so true.

"You want some real marriage advice?
I'm going to give you the secret now:
There's going to be yelling.
There's going to be anger.
Don't fight it-- accept it.
You love him. You hate him.
You keep your head down, and you plow through.

But Marie, you said "hate--"
how can hate have any place in a marriage?
Marie Barone:
You make room.
There's going to be hate. Hate is real.
Marriage is real.
We might fight, but...
we're okay with each other.
And do you know why? We've endured."

After 3 years and hopefully at least another 50 to come, I love being married to my husband.  I love that he always offers to make me tea in the evenings and he always adds a little cold water to my tea so I can start drinking it immediately. (Not that I am impatient or anything!!!).  I love that he has started to put his hand on my belly to feel our baby move.  I love how he gets so passionate and starts shouting at the TV when he watches a football game.  I love his infectious laugh.  I love how he always makes sure I turn around & wave to him when he drops me off at the train station. So here is to three years and plenty more to come. .

Anyone have any ideas or notions about marriage?  Funny stories?  Little things you love about your husband or wife? 

3 years: Part I

19 September 2013


Today we celebrate 3 years of being married (part 1).  We had two weddings, the first one a beautiful, colourful and festive Hindu wedding held at Ufton Court.  It was amazing and so much fun...definitely a day I will never forget.

3 years have flown by.  I won't lie - these 3 years have been filled with both good and bad times, but that's what makes us stronger.  And we have so much to look forward to and so much still to experience.  I cannot wait.

Tonight we will go out for dinner, just to a little pub down the road which we haven't tried before.  We don't really do extravagant things for our anniversary - its not our thing.  Plus with baby on the way we are saving the pennies!

Here's to the next 3 years. 

Love you sweetie ♥

Note: images courtesy of Jane Allan

Such is life...

18 September 2013


Life seems to be getting away with me at the moment, I cannot believe it is the 18th September already.  Where has the time gone?  It hasn't been the best week to be honest.  It started last Friday when I decided to throw myself down some stairs (only 2 thankfully) and sprained my ankle.  This wasn't the best time for me to do this as hubby was away in Germany for work.  Plus I was on my way to work when it happened and no where near my GP or home. Thankfully, I have some very good friends at work who picked me up and I managed to get an emergancy appointment at the GP - I am lucky enough to work above a large surgery so that was convenient.  She checked the ankle - so lucky I didn't break anything and of course we checked baby's heartbeat which was perfectly normal.  And relax!

I honestly did not know a sprained ankle would be so painful.  Or maybe my pain threshold isn't as high as I thought it was.  Anyways, I got home and moped for a few days - what with being by myself, hobbling around and having to deal with the pain but I am feeling a great deal better now.  The ankle is bruised and swollen but it is getting easier to walk on.

This is life.  Things happen.  Good and bad and we just have to take them as they come and deal with them as best we can.  I am grateful baby is OK, I could have fallen a lot worse.  I am grateful for friends and family for their support.  Baby is kicking away, more and more as each day comes and goes.  He is so strong and I just cannot wait to meet our little one.   4 months tomorrow is my due date - how scary is that!  So much to look forward to - and whether its good or bad - I will be OK.

Such is life ♥

In other news, I submitted my final (a.k.a. LAST EVER) assignment for my degree I am doing part time.  I passed - thank goodness and now I just have to write my exam on the 9th October and I am a graduate - obviously all things being well!  I am so proud of myself, 5 years of studying part time is no mean feat and I cannot wait to accomplish one of my life goals!

Happy Wednesday.

P.S. Don't forget to enter the fabulous giveaway with Becky Pearce Designs to win some teeny tiny earrings - open to readers worldwide!

Cinnamon, Banana & Blueberry Muffins

13 September 2013

These low fat muffins are a must for any household - perfect for a snack and are super easy and quick to bake.  Next time I might add some oats and seeds to them too.  I love experimenting when baking.  If I had more time (and more friends to share the food with) I would bake everyday.

I got this recipe from The Hairy Bikers - you could adapt it as you see fit but this recipe worked pretty well for me ♥

Cinnamon, Banana & Blueberry Muffins
Makes 12

250g plain flour
2 tspn baking powder
1 tspn cinnamon plus extra for topping
Pinch salt
2 ripe bananas, mashed
150g blueberries
2 tbspn honey
3 tbspn vegetable oil
1 egg
185ml milk
50g caster sugar

♥ Preheat the oven to 180C/350F/Gas 4. Line eight holes of a muffin tin with paper muffin cases.

♥ Sift the flour, baking powder, cinnamon and salt into a large mixing bowl. Add the banana and   blueberries and, using a fork, lightly toss the fruit through the flour.

♥ In a separate bowl, lightly whisk together the honey, vegetable oil, egg and milk.

♥ Add the liquid ingredients to the dry ingredients and stir until just combined (don't over-mix or your muffins won't be as light in texture). Spoon the batter into the individual muffin cases.

♥ Mix the extra half a teaspoon of cinnamon and the caster sugar together and sprinkle on top of the batter.

♥ Bake in the oven for 20 minutes, until risen and lightly golden.

Must be had with a cup of tea! Enjoy x

P.S. Be sure to check out the lovely giveaway on the blog at the moment with Becky Pearce Designs!

Nursery Inspiration

11 September 2013

Oh I am so very excited to get started on the nursery.  We have lots of ideas and were very lucky this weekend to get our hands on a dresser, cotbed and wardrobe in immaculate condition off ebay.  Woohoo.  I love second-hand, there is absolutely nothing wrong with it in my books.  We also got ourselves a buggy from our lovely friends which is a whole travel system so thats another tick off the list.  Now that we are buying things, it is becoming more and more real that we are having a baby - and I cannot wait for him to arrive. 

Here are just some of my ideas - I am also going to get the sewing machine out once my exam is out the way and get started on a quilt & a mobile for the little one amongst other things - if I have the time.  It really is not long now and I need to get a move on!

We are not really going to have a theme as such for the nursery - I just would like a mish mash of beautiful things, items that mean something, items we love and things that are practical too.  Colour wise we are thinking, blues, greys and neutral tones with a splash of colour too! We like the idea of having a hint of an animal theme - we just love giraffes and elephants ♥

Woodland nursery

Loving the grey, blue and pops of red

Giraffes, elephants and pops of colour
Loving the spots on the wall ♥
Calming colours
Just love this circus theme!

Pictures and spashes of red
These are just a few nurseries that caught my eye - there is so much inspiration out there.  

September Sponsors

6 September 2013

Hello friends - can you believe it is September! Where has this year gone?  I find that as I get older the years seem to go faster...feeling a bit sentimental and emotional at the moment (obviously this has nothing to do with me being 5 months pregnant!).

Anyways, I wanted to introduce some new friends on the sidebar this month.  I am no longer using Passionfruit Ads since they now charge for a service which I can easily operate myself.  If you would like to sponsor Bright and Illustrious - just pop me an email - I love making new friends in the blogging world.

Becky Pearce Designs
Becky designs and creates beautiful contemporary jewellery from rings, bracelets, earrings, necklaces and custom pieces.  Her jewellery oozes charm and quality and who doesn't love supporting an independent designer?  She works from her studio at home and has a lovely blog too.  We have organised a super cute giveaway to start on Monday so be sure to check it out.  You can find Becky on twitter // bloglovin // facebook // Folksy //

Blowfish Shoes
"The hugely popular American brand now has a dedicated UK site, created especially to bring you all the latest styles direct from your favourite young fashion shoe brand.
Latest styling on offer includes ankle boots, heeled boots, knee boots, wedge shoes and boots, pumps, ballet pumps, flats, heeled shoes and party footwear."
Watch out for an awesome collaboration I have in store with Blowfish and the chance to win a pair of Blowfish Shoes.  Find them on facebook too.

Le Caseta De Paper
Laura has a beautiful blog celebrating all things pretty - her blog name means "Little Paper House" in Catalan.  Laura runs some pretty cool giveaways on a regular basis with her sponsors as well as writing about fashion, blogger tips and crafty projects.
You can find Laura on twitter // facebook //  pinterest // bloglovin // 

Happy September friends - make it a good one.

The Big Feastival

5 September 2013

We ventured down to The Big Feastival on the weekend, it was only a 25 minute drive from our house and we really wanted to go to a festival this year.  When we booked the tickets we didn't take into account that I might be 5 months pregnant!  But a good time was had.  There was loads to do for families and kiddies and I will admit that I may have lingered at Adam Henson's farm stall where you could pet the donkeys, goats, sheep, rabbits and piglets as well as hold the chicks.  They were all adorable.  And yes we were the only adults in there without kids but I was having fun!

The food was fantastic but pretty pricey but we were expecting that.  The music line up was good but after 10 hours in the sun on Saturday I was wiped out and we didn't make it down on the Sunday.  I was a bit gutted but my body was telling me otherwise and I had to listen.

I will be honest, I wouldn't go and buy a ticket for another festival in a rush.   Maybe it had something to do with me being 5 months pregnant, a bit tired and not in a partying mood or maybe I am just an old granny.  But we enjoyed it and now I can say I have been to a festival.

And best of all?  The sun shone and oh, it was so good to be outside, in the fresh air among haybales with my gorgeous husband.  ♥

It's a....

3 September 2013

It's a BOY!  Of course it is.  I won't lie - I might have had a tiny bit of my heart set on a girl and I am not ashamed to admit that.  But we are so very thrilled.  And everything is healthy, normal and well, which of course is the main thing.  He was (it's so lovely to be able to say "he" now!) moving around a lot for the scan and his little hands and feet and legs were squirming around.  He is gorgeous and I cannot wait to have a little mini Mani in our lives.  I mean, how lucky can one girl get?

Now we know it's a boy we can really start to buy things, plan and play around with a few names.  There is only 139 more days to go until the 19th January and when you put it like that it's a tiny bit scary but I am not going to get anxious (haha), everything will be organised and ready in time.  It is going to be fine.

He is growing well and my bump is getting bigger, I cannot lie on my back and tummy anymore and I have my eye on a maternity support pillow which I am going to have to buy pretty soon in order to get a good nights sleep.  I keep rolling over on my back or tummy which is not ideal, so I have decided on this one - it look super comfy and just what I need and I love the spots!  Plus Bounty are doing an offer at the moment where you can get it for £12.95 (if you are a member).  Bargain.

In other news, I went to my first pregnancy yoga class yesterday which was relaxing and I really enjoyed it - my friend Rebecca has just started offering classes and I would highly recommend them - check out her website if you are in the local area and happen to be pregnant too!!

So glad the news is out - and so super chuffed and that everything is normal.  Grateful and blessed. ♥

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