Books, Life

Moving Across America!

CrossCountryBooks

Wow this month has been busy! In the past four weeks we’ve finalised the sale of our house, packed up everything we own, and drove all the way across the country! Twice.

Yep you read that right, we drove across America twice. Why? Because we’re crazy! Just kidding…sort of 😉 We had two cars to take with us, and because we have pets we decided it was easier to drive one car across the country a couple of weeks before, then do the real move with the animals in the second car. Phew what a lot of driving!

It was such an interesting trip though, seeing the changes in the country as we made our way from state to state. I made a vlog to show our journey and how different things are across America. I hope you enjoy it 🙂

I took a couple of books with me on the trip, planning to have time to read both – that’s the real craziness lol! I managed to find time to start The Girl Who Would Be King (which is really good so far!) but definitely over estimated how much free time I’d have.

crosscountrybooks02

  1. The Girl Who Would Be King by Kelly Thompson. Amazon | Book Depository
  2. Iced by Karen Marie Moning. Amazon | Book Depository

(PS: how gorgeous are those covers!)

So now we live in a place I hadn’t even visited before, and it’s all very new and different. We’re both loving it so far though – the mountains are gorgeous, and they surround us! Plus we’re back in “civilization”!  Where we lived in Florida there wasn’t a lot of variety in places to go or things to do.  But here we get the choice of so many shows, conventions, restaurants, hiking trails, and historic places to visit! I can’t wait to explore properly 🙂

As usual I’ll be taking part in Stacking The Shelves, and The Sunday Post – check out some of the other posts to find great reads 🙂

I purchased these books with my own money, and received no compensation for my honest opinion.
I am a Book Depository and Amazon Associate, and I receive a small commission if you use my link.

Life

Home Sweet Home

newHouse

We bought a house! And it’s beautiful, and wonderful, and full of projects we need/want to do, and…and… it’s all ours <3

We’ve never bought a house before. Such is the life when you might be told to move across the country. Or to a different country! That hasn’t really changed, but our “settled” feeling in a rented apartment had. We wanted to paint walls, to change decor, to get our hands dirty in some DIY projects and truly make ourselves a HOME.

And now we can!

The past few months have seen us moving, unpacking (ish), and getting settled into home ownership. And while we were doing all of that, I realised this blog needed a new “home” too. So welcome to the newly named Natalie’s Life (formerly Modern Woman) a place where I’ll be talking about all sorts of things going on in my life – DIY projects, pets, recipes, gaming, books and more!

I hope you like the new design and layout of the site. I had a lot of fun playing with this awesome theme, and I can’t wait to show you all of the new things going on here at home. HOME! *ahem* Excuse me while I go and do another happy dance!

Life

Something Witchy This Way Comes

Last night I heard small footsteps, running on the stairs.
But when I looked outside my door, nobody was there!

I crept along the landing, crouched down on the floor,
Do my eyes deceive me? I found a little door!

As I reached to touch it, something happened – strange indeed!
I started to get smaller, not much bigger than a weed!

Through the door I ventured, whatever would I see?
A row of lovely lanterns, to guide the way for me!

I went along the pathway and then into a wood,
There hung a sign to warn me, but it did no good.

Just like a little cat, curiosity did take hold,
So onward did I venture, feeling rather bold.

There I met some dragons, keepers of the way,
They looked me up and down again, then told me not to stray.

I walked around a mystic pool, with lanterns all around,

Then from my little vantage point, the Haunted House I found!

I met some other travelers, walking the same way,
They told me to come with them, to a party there that day.

In the Haunted House’s garden, some witches there were brewing!
I stepped a little closer, to find out what they were stewing.

The hostess came to greet me, with her guardian giant frog!
She said inside the cauldron was the party-goers grog!

We went along some fairy steps, that led up past the pool,
I dipped a toe into the water, it was so nice and cool!

The party then got under way, a Halloween witches ball!
We danced and laughed and made good friends, a fun time had by all.

It started to get very late and “I must be on my way”,
The witches and the little cats were so sad to hear me say.

The magic of the little door – a Halloween witches spell,
I raised my glass to toast new friends, then bid them all farewell!

I made my way back through the wood, along the twisting path,
Remembering good times I’d had, I gave a little laugh.

The tiny door came into sight and through it I did crawl,
As soon as I was home again, I then got very tall!

I hope you liked my story; this Halloween Blog Party post,
To all my new found friends on here, I give a welcoming toast!

Magic and laughter fill the air, as leaves do start to fall.
I wish you Happy Halloween! Best witches, one and all!

Love

Welcome To The World Of Tomorrow!


Or at least the House Of The Future.

I went to Grand Designs Live yesterday at the NEC. One of the things I was excited about was the House Of The Future “stage” area they had, showing inventions and innovations that are either available now or will be available for homes within the next 5-10 years.

I actually saw the demonstration twice because there were a few..technical difficulties the first time round! The guy came on stage and started talking about what we can expect from a house in the future and started walking towards the touch-less wardrobes, which basically open when you get to them so you don’t need to touch them at all. …Except they didn’t open. So he took a step back and they started to open, so he walked forward again and they snapped shut lol! It was like a comedy version of a futuristic home! This happened a few times and in the end he opened it with his hand, but still the wardrobe wanted to be closed and kept trying to shut on him while he was holding it open. So eventually he opened one of the draws inside the wardrobe and used it to prop open the door…which was still intent on closing and either trapping him in/out or chopping him in half. Then there was a power-cut lol!

So at this point, home of the future was not really much better than home of today!

I went back later, after the power to the stage had been turned back on again and was pretty impressed by most of the things on there. Some weren’t really very innovative, some were very interesting but not things that I’d want to use myself, but there were a few I’d like to have in my home at some point in the future.

The touch-less wardrobes looked a lot of fun (when they didn’t have a mind of their own lol!) but I think the novelty would wear off, and I’m not sure I’d like the doors opening every time I went near them. Inside the wardrobe were fingerprint scan draws. Basically this means that only you can open your draws by having your finger scanned each time you want access. Unless you have super secret pajamas that noone else is allowed to see, I didn’t really grasp the need for this – especially as you’ll have someone in the home doing the laundry so then how will they get the clothes back into the draws? Do they have access to all draws in the house then…kind of defeats the point of it.

Fingerprint scanning for office draws I could understand. But for your socks? Really?

Next He talked about an oven that has a built in chef and engineer. These are available now (although not cheap, I’m guessing) and what it means is the oven will learn how long you put your potatoes in/how crispy you like them, if you want your beef undercooked or overcooked, etc and if it has a fault the internal engineer will log what has broken and tell the real life engineer which parts to bring. It’s good for saving time as far as the engineering diagnostic goes, but what happens if the internal engineer is the part that breaks? He didn’t cover that in the talk. It’s an interesting idea though and one that I’m sure will be improved over the next 5-10 years.

Also in the kitchen was an induction hob. Now this is something that did impress me and I’ve already told my husband that I want to have one when we buy a house (we rent right now)! The hob never gets hot. How does that work? You need to have special induction cookware to use on it but basically there is an electrical reaction between the hob and the base of the pan, so the pan will heat up (because the base of the pan produces the heat electrically) but the hob itself stays perfectly cold. Why is this so good? It means the surface won’t be something to worry about kids putting their hands on and burning them (or even big kids doing the same because I know I’ve done that once before!), if something spills out of the pan, or boils over, there’s no hassle cleaning the hob because it’s cold and will just wipe off no problem. There aren’t any raised dials, everything is touch pad, so again that’s ease of cleaning. Obviously if you’re cooking something on there for a long time then the area of hob under the pan will start to get warm due to basic heat dispersion.

On the same principal, induction, they talked about wipower – wireless power. This would mean no more cables for laptops, you would be completely wireless and able to have a charge in your battery wherever you wanted to be in the house. No more cables to TVs – have it freestanding in the middle of a room if you wanted. Vacuum the whole house without needing to move the plug, and mow the front and back garden without any power cables at all. This impressed me a lot. It’s not at the mowing the lawn stage yet, but is available in the form of wipower pads/areas where you can just place things ontop (mobile phone placed down on your desk, etc) and they will essentially be “plugged in”, only without any wires.

Next was a waterless, soapless dishwasher. This was impressive but I wouldn’t want one personally. It cleans the dishes/plates/etc through sonic waves and all the dirt and grime from them can then be used on a compost heap. There was also talk of a clothes “freshner” product along the same lines – if you’ve worn something for a day, it’s not dirty but you don’t think it’s clean enough to wear again, pass it through the freshner and sonic waves will “blast” it clean/fresh so you can wear it for another day without needing to wash it.

Something that I liked a lot, but had seen on TV shows before, was privacy glass. It’s basically glass that you can “turn off”; it will become opaque when you click a button. This impressed me and again is something I’ve told my husband we should get when we have our own house. The benefits are quite numerous and include not only things like privacy and not needing curtains, but also shading and heating benefits, UV filtering and versatility. I’m not sure if curtains will actually go out of fashion – there’s something luxurious about them, especially in winter, that makes you feel quite snug. But I think being able to turn glass off, especially in the summer and in hotter climates, would be a great addition to a house.

There were a few things revolving around the bathroom that didn’t really impress me at all, so I won’t mention those here, and a light for the bedroom to help you sleep that was equally unimpressive.

3D TV was the final item on the stage. Sky 3D launched earlier this month so they talked about all that was involved with that. I hadn’t had a look at a 3D TV before so I gave it a go while I was there. The idea is impressive but I have to say I haven’t been impressed with 3D in general lately. To me, 3D means watching something and having things pop out of the screen at you, but the past several years 3D has turned into having thing projected back from the screen instead. Which just doesn’t seem worth it. The Sky logo comes out of the screen at you in the 3D demo and that was great, with the water droplets floating around right in front of your face! But then the rest of the demonstration it was from shows and movies and they all do the pushing-things-backwards tactic, which doesn’t impress me at all. So I’m going to skip 3D TVs and stick with our HD TV until hologram TV comes out, which is sure to be the next TV step!