Raise your hands if you’re a terrible blogger? *Raises both hands*. I fully admit that since re-launching this blog, my head hasn’t been in the game. I launched it with the intention of documenting our house buying journey as well as sharing food and lifestyle reviews and general blog features. It’s clear to see from the lack of posts that this has not been happening. Who knew that being a first-time house buyer could be so time-consuming? Not me!

On 7 January, we had our offer accepted on our first home. On 13 February, we received our official mortgage and skip forward to now, we’re not much further amongst solicitor enquiries etc. The most frustrating part is that there’s no chain involved, we are first time buyers and our seller is going to be renting somewhere so in an ideal world this should have been an extremely quick sale. We thought that it would have been simple and were expecting to have been settled in by now. Unfortunately, that’s not the case.

One thing that I have learnt from this process is that patience is key and there’s no use stressing over a situation that I can’t control. The delay also means we’ve had a couple of extra months to save which has helped too. For now, all that we can do is sit back and wait for certain enquiries to be answered and for the contracts to be ready.

So here I am, back to blogging and hopefully for good this time. Watch this space for a new name, theme and launch…Exciting times!

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*Image sourced from Google/http://www.deardarrica.com/a-little-life-update/.

Food review: When it comes to trying new dishes, I am far from adventurous however this is something that in 2017, I am determined to change.

I’m fussy when it comes to taste, texture, smell and even colour so when I went out for lunch with a colleague and she suggested that we went to Wagamama, I was definitely nervous. It’s not even the worry of not liking the food, it’s the worry of ordering it and being unable to leave it due to looking rude or disrespectful.

My colleague suggested that I tried the Chicken Katsu Curry because as far as dishes go, this is pretty plain; especially at Wagamama where they have a huge selection of exciting dishes.

I’ve never eaten a curry from fear that it would be too spicy; I am a complete spice wimp. However, after a couple of mouthfuls, I quickly fell in love with this dish. There was a kick but just the right amount and the chicken and rice were equally amazing as the curry sauce.

I am now a regular visitor at Wagamama and I’m practically counting down the days until one opens in Colchester. I’ve even started being even more adventurous and trying some side dishes, all of which have been delicious!

What’s your favourite Wagamama dish?

On Saturday, I headed over to Freeport, a local outlet shopping village in Braintree, for some shopping and a spot of lunch. Normally she. When we go to Freeport we end up having lunch at either Prezzo or Pizza Express but Wildwood has recently opened at the village.

It was Wildwood’s huge selection that appealed to us as well as the warm feeling that the restaurant gave us when we walked past. We decided to go in and we were greeted by a friendly waitress who showed us to a booth.

The staff were quick to see to us and we ordered our soft drinks and a jug of water. Unfortunately, the glasses were warm which is always something that bugs me but as it was a Saturday lunchtime I put this down to it being busy.

With a range of grills, pizzas and pasta as well as specials, making a decision on what to order wasn’t easy. We all shared some garlic bread for starters and ordered one rosemary and garlic bread and one mozzarella and garlic bread (without caramelised onions)…it was amazing. I’m a huge fan of garlic bread anyway but this garlic bread was on another level and the portions were huge. The garlic and rosemary bread was £4.40 and the mozzarella and garlic bread was £5.55 so fantastic value for money.


For mains, I ordered a cheese burger (completely plain because I’m super fussy) with fries. I regularly order a burger when out for lunch/dinner so I had plenty to compare to and this burger definitely didn’t disappoint. With loads of Monterey Jack cheese and a well cooked beef burger, it was delicious. The bun was a bit too soft for my liking but I know that this is just a personal preference as some people like a soft bun. The chips were lovely too with a hint of rosemary for extra taste, the only downside is that they weren’t particularly warm but because they tasted so good, I didn’t mind too much. This burger was £11.65 which for the size I do think is a lot but the quality was good and I expect that if I went during a quieter time for the restaurant, this meal would be even better.


Overall, we had an amazing meal and I would definitely go back to Wildwood next time I’m at Freeport especially as with such a great selection of food, I know there’s something for everybody to enjoy.

2016 for me, was amazing. It was full of travels to places included Dominican Republic, Brussels, Dublin and Marbella which I think both myself and Liam needed to get out of our systems before we become real adults and have to start paying for bills and being sensible with our money. Although, I have no doubt we’ll still fit in a cheeky holiday or two this year!

Out of all of our 2016 adventures, one sticks out the most…Dublin. On the August bank holiday weekend, a group of eight of us headed to Stansted airport early on Saturday morning to catch a flight to Dublin.

I’d done no research on Dublin prior to visiting (unless you count watching P.S I Love You 1027264 times!) but I’d had recommendations from friends and family to visit two places, Temple Bar and the Guinness Factory.

After arriving at the hotel and leaving our suitcases we headed into the centre for a bit of breakfast and stumbled across a traditional Irish pub full of a group of Irish men all drinking Guinness…I kid you not, it was like something from a film. After a couple of drinks in this quieter pub, we headed on to another local pub before deciding it was time to head over to Temple Bar to see what all of the fuss was about. By this time, it was about 1.pm and we were already all rather drunk. Temple Bar is basically a strip of traditional Irish pubs that attract tourists with traditional Irish museums and a constantly buzzing atmosphere. We found one particular pub that we all loved, the music and atmosphere were amazing and we ended up staying there for a few hours before heading home to get changed and come back for the evening.

What I loved most about Dublin was how friendly everybody was; whether this was the barman, the taxi driver or the local on the dancefloor with you. All of us agreed that it was the best weekend of our lives and I am now waiting for the perfect excuse to head back there. It’s something that I never thought I’d say but I’d choose going back to Dublin over a week in the sun.

Food and drink at Temple Bar are expensive and are a similar price to a night out in London but as long as you save in advance and prepare yourself I think it’s worth it and accommodation can be found very cheap. Additionally, to save some money you can eat and have pre-drinks outside of Temple Bar but for me, it was this atmosphere that completed the weekend.

After a weekend of drinking, eating and exploring I think it’s fair to say that Dublin has well and truly stolen my heart!

 

It’s a real bugbear of mine that in school we’re taught about the periodic table, algebra and what causes an earthquake but we’re not taught valuable life lessons such as how to get a job or a mortgage. When it came to buying a house, I knew nothing, my parents haven’t bought a house in 19 years and a lot has changed since then so we had a lot to figure out.

Here are 5 things I wish I’d known before I started looking at houses:

1.There’s no limit on how many houses you can view – If there’s 10 or even 15 houses on the market that you love then view them all because even if you don’t like any of them, you’ll begin to get an idea on what you do/don’t like and can start limiting your search down.

2. Do your research – An estate agent’s job is to sell you a house so as much as they’ll enjoy telling you all of the perks of the property, they won’t be so keen to tell you anything else so it’s down to you to do your own research. Whether this be to find out if the road is noisy, parking’s a nightmare or if your neighbour has a loud dog that barks all night; this is all things that you need to find out for yourself.

3. Register your interest – If like I was, you find yourself scrolling through Rightmove everyday waiting for new properties to be uploaded then make sure you’ve registered your interest with your local estate agents. You can specify to an estate agent exactly what you’re looking for and your budget and they’ll send you properties that fit this criteria 48 hours before they are uploaded to Rightmove so that you can have the first chance to organise a viewing/put an offer in.

4. Pictures don’t tell the full story – Life would be easy if all was as it first seemed and house buying is the same. The pictures uploaded to Rightmove have been done to paint the house in the best light possible so don’t be disheartened if the house doesn’t look as it did in the pictures when you go to view it.

5. Stay positive – It’s really rubbish when you feel like you’ve looked at loads of properties and not loved any of them but stay positive, your perfect house will come along.

* Image taken from Google