Wednesday, 18 February 2015


My Dad has lived in Houston, Texas for 12-13 years now ( I even lived there for 2 years during high school). He recently bought a retirement house on St Croix, (US Virgin Islands) and my little brother Ross, his girlfriend Heidi and I went to visit last year.

 Here are some of the photos:
A Parrot in a bar!!!  
My Little Brother and I
Flying from San Joao to St Croix
A (non alcoholic) Beer Drinking Pig
Cane Bay Beach were we dove from
Heidi, Ross and I after our dive
Cane Bay Beach
Breakfast at Cane Bay.. Chicken and Waffles
Cruzan Rum factory tour!
This was our TINY plane flying home.. it only had 12 seats and Heidi and I flew in the Co-Pilot seat
Bar that kept the beer drinking pigs
Rib Cookoff
Iguanas at one of the restaurants

Me at the Cruzan Rum Tour


Last summer I headed to Houston, Texas for a couple days to see my Dad. 
Houston is turning into an amazing city,  because it's such a large city it can be a little overwhelming but it has some great gems... My must do list is:
1. Baseball Game - go check out the Astros (if you get more time also check out the Houston Rockets (Baseball) and The Houston Texans (American Football) 
2. Doughnuts - We must have consumed hundreds in the 3 days I was there (you get Dunkin Doughnuts in the airport too!!)
3. Art Car Museum - these cars change all the time and are AMAZING.. check out the chicken!! they actually move and are used in the annual Art Car Parade!!
4. Beer Can House - this was featured on George Clarkes Amazing Spaces and is well worth a visit.. the inside it a little museum about the making of the house.
5. IHOP, Waffle House and Cheesecake Factory - All work a try for breakfast (My dad will kill me for recommending chains)!!
6. Joes Crab Shack - This is my brothers favourite place!! Order the buckets of crab and dig in!!
7. Lupe's Tortilla - This is one of my favourite restaurants.. there are now 3 restaurants in Houston. Order the Chili Con Queso (and chips) the Fajitas and the frozen Margaritas.
8. The Galleria - A huge shopping mall you will get lost in, with all the designer shops.
9. Giant Presidents Heads - This is a little strange one, but they are definitely worth a visit.. they are often dotted around Houston.
10. Go for a drive - there are some great little shops, cafes and smaller museums to see.. drive around and keep your eyes peeled!  


Friday, 16 January 2015

New Year.. New Start

Don't you love New Year's Day? The 1st of January means a fresh start.. 

This year I am going to try to: 

1. Be healthier - more fruit, veg and healthy grains
2. Have fun - and say YES to more adventures 
3. Create - last year I took an Indian cooking class.. This year I would love to maybe take sign language, stain glass classes or knit a whole blanket.
4. Learn - especially to drive... I had a US licence and It's about time I get a UK one
5. Travel - Norway, St Croix USVI and the West Coast are on the list this year
6. Write - all these things down and recorded so I can look back.. Especially home improvements.
7. Move - I walk about 60 mins each day but I would like to start yoga and get rid of the stress and knots in my neck (might help my migraines too which would be a bonus!) 
8. Organise - my life, my home and my work 

Wish me luck.. I think I am going to need it!! 

Do you make New year resolutions?! What have you got planned? Think you can you keep them?! 

Mari-Anne x

Sunday, 29 June 2014


Do you ever start a project and don't seem to ever get them finished?! I seem to start projects and get bored half way through.. This weekend I tried to finish a couple of things:

I bought an old tool trunk from the Cullen Antique centre for £20 at the beginning of this year.. it was a bargain ..I thought until we noticed it had some old woodworm. 
I removed all the hardware and treated the whole trunk, I did two coats with the smelly stuff and left it for a week in-between each application. Then I sanded the truck.. for what seemed like days.. the old owner had spilt something on the top which made a horrible mark on the top and I just couldn't get it out. I gave up and washed it down.. I added an onion inside to try get rid of the musty/ woodworm spray smell and gave up for a while. 
I dragged the trunk out of the shed last week and attempted to treat the stain with some bleach.. it actually worked quite well but it is definetly still there.. for good. A sensible person would have stained the whole thing dark again but after sanding it for so long I have decided to give it 3 coats of beeswax for protection, reattach the hardware (which I painted black) and live with it for a bit.
Note to self: I also need to power wash my slabs!! 
I also got left a writing desk left by the old owner when I bought my house (have I mentioned it before!?) It was dark brown mahogany and not my taste.. one night I decided to paint it with a primer paint... 3 weeks later I decided to try make my own chalk paint (1 part calcium carbonate, 1 part plaster of paris, 3 tbsp of water and 2 parts paint) I found it too sandy.. maybe I should have used hot water but I didn't like the mix. Last night I gave it another coat this time with a different mix (1 part extra fine plaster of paris, 1 part hot water and 2 parts emulsion paint) it was REALLY runny but after an hour or so thickened up a bit and was much better to apply and looked a lot less sandy. I did a final coat this morning. I need went and made a slight boo boo and tried to use the wax on it (inside first) but it's a yellow coloured wax and I think i might have ruined the white white look I was hoping for so beware!!! Hopefully I can save it. I bought some cute crystal knobs from TKMaxx and then last bit is to paper the drawers so there is a fun pop when I open it.
1st sand and pain

The next project is to organise the shed so I can get all the tools out of the house!!

How was your weekend!? Did you get anything started!? Or maybe even finished!?