March Monthly Favourites

I'm so happy to be into April, although the year seems like it's already moving fast, April means (hopefully) warmer and brighter days and I really need that! April also means we're only 13 months away from our wedding, but we're making a lot of progress already so I'm not too concerned about that. This month I haven't got too much to talk to you about just some new material things and the potential for a new blog segment on something I haven't really spoken about before!

Living Room Furniture 

At the end of February (yes it really took me this long to talk about it) we embarked on the huge task of putting together a D.I.Y sideboard that we bought online. On my partner's birthday, I had bought him a new 50L fish tank with all the lights and filter to go with it, but we needed a better piece of furniture to put it on, so we did some scouring around until we found this beautiful sideboard for £100 instead of £150 in a sale, and we were able to get 0% interest payment installments so we only pay £20 a month to pay it off which made the whole process much easier. 
So it arrived in a week or so and we were left with a 7-page instruction manual and a load of wood and screws...we both just looked at each other a little bit panicked. But we persevered! And over the course of a week trying to fit it in around work, we were able to build it up into this...

Which became this!

I love how it looks! I love the detailing of the little metal hinges and door handles, but it's also incredibly sturdy, as the fish tank we were putting on top is really large we knew we needed a sturdy piece of furniture underneath, and I think solid pine was a great choice! Once we moved it into place we were able to put the tank on and set it up, then I could move a couple of my houseplants into their new home as well, I think it looks so nice and it's really helping to bring the room together a bit more. 

I'll talk a bit about the fish tank next in case anyone is interested, but we're also planning to get a nice, tall floor lamp to go next to the sideboard as it's behind our couch and there's a big bit of space at the end that would perfectly fit a lamp. As I'm talking about price and speaking positively, I don't want this to sound like I'm trying to sell you something so I won't tell you where online I got this from but think for a second and it's very obvious, haha! We did have a look at buying second-hand from a charity shop, Facebook Marketplace, Gumtree, and eBay but they were more expensive than this one and we just couldn't find one that would quite fit the space as well as the one we chose, but still, I would always advocate looking for second-hand furniture first, as this isn't only the more sustainable and eco-friendly way to shop, but if it's stood the test of time to find a new home, I'm sure it'll be sturdy enough for whatever you need! 

Fish Tank 

We got this fish tank from the same website we bought the sideboard and it's the same story really, I had looked around for weeks on second-hand websites but of course, with a fish tank I would have to go and collect it, and nowhere close enough was offering anything as good as what I found online. So I managed to get the tank on its own for £60 which I think is a really good price, we just wanted a plain, large tank, we didn't need any extras or special adaptations so I think it was a good choice. Then we chose the new light because the one we had before would have been way too small, the light was £24 which is more than I'd planned to pay but with its multi-choice of light colours and patterns as well as a remote control to change the settings and power on/off AND you can hook the light up to the filter with an air tube so that it blows bubbles that both help to aerate the water and encourage the fish to play (but we haven't worked out how to do that yet). We keep the lights on a 'glow' setting and it just slowly changes colour in a calming way. 
Then for the pump/filter, we ordered from the same website for £19, we had already been searching to get a new pump in the old tank so we knew what we wanted already. This one is much more powerful and came with lots of different attachments that change the flow and current of the water, but right now we're using the attachment that simulates a waterfall and pushes the current out quite strong in one area, and our fish really likes to swim against the current and chase his food around the tank!  

I think it looks so pretty, and of course, it's a huge improvement for Nero to have so much more room to swim around. The moss balls, plant, stones, fake log, and archway we already had in the old tank so we just moved them over, but we will get some more stones as what we had didn't quite cover the bottom, as well as another plant and 6-pack of moss balls. The plant and moss balls collect a lot of algae and food so it's a great place for fish to forage from and stops them from getting bored, also ours likes to nap on top of the moss balls like huge bean bags! We've also found the plant offers Nero a place to hide, which might sound bad but fish like to go to a secluded place to rest and sleep where they feel safe, so behind the plant or amongst the moss balls is his favourite place, so we want to provide more of that for him. 
Obviously, with all this space we feel there's enough room to get another fish! I wanted to make sure that that tank we chose would give enough room for two fish to happily live with ample space around them and I think we'll have that now so once we get back from our little trip away, we are going on a shopping trip to buy a marine plant, moss balls, more stones and a new friend for Nero! 

M.M Linen Spring Duvet Set 
The next item was a gift from my auntie for my birthday. I'd asked for a more spring-like duvet set and then I recieved this beautiful set from M.M Linen. I've never heard of this brand before but my auntie is very well up on sustainable, organic, and sometimes British-made brands, so I always enjoy getting gifts from her because I know they're gonna be beautiful and sustainable! 

Something that I love about this duvet set is its little fabric case to keep the whole set together and clean, I usually put each duvet set into a matching pillowcase so that it's easier to store and things don't get lost but this one comes with its own case to do just that, it looks really beautiful and although I don't know if it'll go in there quite as neat as it arrived, it is handy to have at least. 

And yes, the style is called "Hattie" which is a nickname for the name Harriet (my name) which means I love it all the more! Having done a bit of research on their website I saw that each duvet set is designed by hand before being printed onto 220 thread count sateen, which is still cotton but it's woven to be soft and silky like satin and you can definitely feel that on these sheets, they're beautifully soft and silky but still thick enough from the cotton properties to keep you toasty in bed. I also really love the wooden button fasteners at the bottom of both the duvet and the fabric case, not only do they look really pretty but they are strong enough to stop the duvet from coming undone. 

I know I keep saying it, but look how beautiful the design is! I love the intricate detail of all the little flowers and greenery that make up the duvet, it seems that every time I look at it I find another little leaf or flower. But, as pretty as these duvets are, they're very expensive and range from £105 to £130 depending on what size you need, so it may be worth asking for these as a gift or as a special treat for yourself. Despite the price, M.M Linen looks like a great homeware company with a huge focus on both natural designs and materials, they also do lots of other home bits like towels and curtains, so if you're looking for a bit of a spend up on some beautiful, sustainable homeware, then you know where to go! 

Nintendo Switch RingFit Adventure

The last part of March's Monthly Favourites is a new Nintendo Switch game I got for my birthday that's hopefully going to help me get in shape! I asked for RingFit Adventure as I'd heard it was a level-design game where you had to exercise to progress through the game, well it turned out that's exactly what it was and I've finally found a form of exercise that I not only enjoy but I want to continue and progress with. 

So as you can see from the picture, if you buy the set like I was given, you get the game, the ring-con where you place one of the Switch joy-cons to track your arm and body movement, then you also get a leg holster to keep the second joy-con in which tracks your leg movements. I haven't found any issues with either bit of equipment and as long as you're wearing tight-fitting or short clothing on your legs the leg holster is very comfortable and tracks perfectly. 
In short, the game is about you and "Ring" which is your ring-con come to life, they've lost all their special fitness powers to the big, bad enemy Drageaux who is a VERY muscly and beefy dragon. You move through different worlds by jogging your way across the map, and occasionally you'll come across some of Drageaux's henchmen, these monsters of varying colours and difficulties that you'll have to fight through exercise movements like squats, over-arm presses and yoga moves like Warrior 1 Pose and Chair Pose. Each area you complete and each enemy you defeat moves you closer to completing levels that earn you better resistance against enemies as well as stronger attacks. 
You're able to do a warm-up and cool down each session that just uses stretches and is very low intensity, but at the end of each session it shows you how many reps of each exercise you've done that session, I'll show you the picture here and just for some reference, the numbers in brackets are what I've done as a whole since starting the game almost a month ago. 

I really enjoy this game and try to use it between two and three times a week for around an hour each time, I feel like I am making a difference but what's most important to me right now is that I'm really enjoying it and actively want to use the game so I hope I'll be able to reap the benefits of using the game long-term! I would definitely recommend the game to anyone who is trying to get back into exercise or starting regular exercise or like me, can't really afford a gym membership so this gives me the opportunity to exercise as much as I want, for as long as I want, in the privacy of my own home. 
I am hoping to track my fitness journey a bit more by making a regular segment on the blog where I share my body measurements, diet, and fitness schedule, update it monthly and hopefully witness some weight loss and muscle gain with you! There's quite a lot to un-pick for me when it comes to fitness and food, so I'm not rushing into it but I will make this a journey we can go through together. 

And that was March! April has already started off wonderfully for me as I went with my partner to visit his family in Manchester for a few days (which is where I'm writing this from now), I've actually just come back from meeting his auntie, uncle, and some of his cousins for the first time, and we've been together 6 years this year so it was lovely to finally meet them all! 
And finally just some little gaming updates; I finished watching a Youtuber called DuckDan play The Last Of Us: Part II, it's actually the second time I've seen the game all the way through and although I'm not the best at actually playing those sorts of games, it did look incredible and DuckDan is a very funny, enjoyable person to watch if you're into that sort of thing like me. I've now started watching a different Youtuber called Gab Smolders play the new Elden Ring game and I'm constantly toying with the idea of buying it even though I don't think I'd be able to play properly but Gab has made the whole Elden Ring and DarkSouls franchise look accessible for us not-so-serious gamers! 

In my next post, I'm doing a write-up of our trip to the creepy Chiselhurst Caves! 

H x