April Monthly Favourites

Once again, I have to apologise for this INCREDIBLY late monthly favorites, but I'm hoping all will be revealed (and you'll forgive/understand me) once you get to the end of this post. We jumped into May so fast that I can't believe we're almost halfway through 2022 already! But here we are with brighter, warmer days (...sort of) with more opportunities to spend time with the ones we love. This month I've got some new little household bits to show you, a cute new addition to the family, and some very exciting news to explain why I've been so useless with posting! 

Car-boot Bargains

Towards the end of April, we ventured out to our first car-boot sale in almost 2 years! We found one very near to our house that runs 10-12 times a year a think, so plenty of opportunities to scout out some bargains. We didn't want to spend loads of money and just took £10 each, which is what we could afford to spend that day and to be honest, I think we did really well. 

The main one I wanted to show you is this beautiful decorative plate we picked up for 50p! This has a bit of an interesting story...basically, we to the car-boot not knowing what we might find but wanting to pick up some extra snack plates, bowls, and glasses but we didn't expect to find this beauty. On the back of this plate it has the letter L and some little symbols up top then "D I D" or "D I P" and then "Delft" "Hand-Painted" "Holland" with the artist's signature on the bottom, I had no idea what this meant so looked it up and apparently if it's a genuine Delft plate it could be worth between £2,000-£4,000!!! I have no idea if this is a copy, a fake, or an original and I think I will be taking it to get it appraised because it's in perfect condition and to be fair...I don't really wanna eat my toast off a £4,000 plate! If anyone out there knows anything about Delft or any of their creations, please let me know because I have no idea what we've bought. 

The next thing we picked up was this cute fruit bowl with a hand-painted apple in the centre. I'm a sucker for mismatching things so I like to collect all sorts of different plates, glasses, bowls, mugs, and plant pots and have a house full of interesting things, so we're actually not using this as a fruit bowl it's a cereal/ pasta bowl and it works brilliantly and only cost me £1.50! 

Towards the end of the day I came across this shiny metal tart tin, I wasn't actually looking for baking bits but then I remembered I don't own anything to bake tarts in, and especially as it's getting nearer to summer I want something to make some beautiful citrus tarts in and now I do! The guy gave it to me for 75p and although it's clearly been used and well-loved, it works perfectly, has a detachable bottom to make it easier to get the pastry out and it's made of metal, not plastic, all big wins for me! 

The final things I picked up are these beautiful handmade scrunchies. As we made our way down to the bottom of the field I saw this lady selling these scrunchies in hundreds of different patterns and colours, she explained that during lockdown she saw some tutorials online about how to make them and now uses scraps of material to make them and I think they look brilliant, and because it was the end of the day she said I could have 4 for £1 instead of 3, so I came away with these amazing scrunchies which all except the gold paisley one have lasted and do very well with my thick, slightly frizzy hair, the 4th one you can't see in the picture is a black and white polka dot that I'm currently wearing whilst I type this out, it's become my favourite so far and I think it looks really fun, but also the cream one with the white daisies is super cute too. 

And those were our bargains! I think we did really well, the only other thing which is very practical but slightly boring, is that my partner picked up some brand-new inner soles for his work boots and paid £5 where they usually cost around £13 in the supermarket, so a big saving for him there. 

Baby Shubunkin Goldfish

We were finally to do what I spoke about in the last monthly favorites, which is getting a friend for our Black Moor Goldfish, Nero! Since we upgraded his tank, there is plenty of room for at least two fish to swim around happily, so we went off to one of our favourite places in the local area; Ruxley Manor, and came home with a little Shubunkin Goldfish that we've called Tiger. 

In the picture above you can see Nero and Tiger together and there's quite a big size difference! We misjudged the difference in size and unfortunately, Nero did bully Tiger for about 2 days, constantly chasing him around the tank and nipping at his fins so I looked up what might be causing the fighting and how to calm it down. I guess kind of obvious to say but looking online it seems like territory is the main issue, Nero has been used to this space being just for him and now another fish has intruded and he's not happy...understandable really, so I looked up how to help this and saw that some websites say to completely change around everything in the tank and then the fish are forced to set up new territories amongst themselves, and this seems to have worked! Nero is leaving Tiger alone for the most part and Tiger has taken up residence in the fake log that's in the tank, it makes me panic whenever I can't see him but then you peer into the log and he's snoozing away in there, it's kind of cute actually. 

Finger-crossed, we seem to be doing really well with the both of them and they're getting on now, sharing food and sleeping anywhere (sometimes even next to each other!) in the tank, I'm glad to see Nero has a friend and that Tiger has someone to learn from. 

OSC Levels 2, 3 & 4 Animal Care Qualifications

So, here is my big reveal...I've gone back into education! After getting my degree in 2017 I said I was done with education and I wanted to get out into the world of work and use my degree, unfortunately, I haven't been able to use my degree as much as I wanted to and I began to see myself moving back into a comfort zone that I didn't need to be in, so I've gone back to school! 

Ever since I was a child I've wanted to be a veterinary surgeon, but when I got accepted into music school I knew I had to take that opportunity and run with it as far as I could, well I took that dream as far as I thought was possible and now I've got the chance to pursue working in animal care. I spent ages looking around online for the course that would be right for me, it couldn't be too expensive and it had to offer very decent qualifications that I could take into the working world pretty quickly, which is when I found Open Study Courses.

* I feel I need to say they don't know I'm talking about them, nor have they asked me to talk about them, I'm just explaining my story and hoping it might help someone who was feeling a little stuck like me.*

Open Study Courses give you the opportunity to study almost any level of education, completely online from your home. This works perfectly for me as I've chosen a 3-year course that I can learn part-time and still work full-time to earn money, I pay £30 a month across the 3 years and it entitles me to all the course materials (which I've chosen to have online but you can pay extra and they'll send you all the physical reading materials as well as some fun notebooks, pens, and highlighters), as well as a tutor who I'm able to speak to any time if I need help. For those of you worried about tests/ exams, my course is completely assignment-based and tasks me with an assignment at the end of each module that I have to complete in order to progress. 

So the qualifications I'm working towards is a Level 2 in Animal Care which is the equivalent to the highest graded GCSEs (this is the most basic qualification you'll need to work professionally with animals) which could get me a job in a kennel, cattery or animal rescue centre as an assistant. 
The second qualification is Level 3 Veterinary Support Assistant which is the equivalent to A Levels and would give me the knowledge to work in a veterinary surgery supporting the surgeons and nurses. 
The final qualification is Level 4 Animal Welfare and Legislation which teaches you about animals within commercial functions, legislation to protect British wildlife, as well as marine biology. This is the highest grade qualification and is the equivalent of a diploma/ Certificate of Higher Education which would help me to get a job within animal welfare, like the RSPCA. 

I've started the first qualification and I'm absolutely loving it, it's taking a long time for me to get back into the headspace of learning something new again but I genuinely love learning, especially as it's about something I've been passionate about since I was a child. 

So what does all this mean for the blog? First of all, I'm adamant about keeping the blog and keeping it all going, I've loved every second of this journey with the blog so far and I don't want to give up now, but there do have to be some sacrifices. Both the course and the blog take up a lot of my time and I have to put the course first so I'm letting you know now that I'm changing the structure of when I post new content from every couple of days to probably once/twice a week a most. I'm sorry if that sounds like a huge loss of updates but I've been bullying myself quite a lot about not putting anything on here and I only work on the course on my days off, which is obviously the same time I have any time to post stuff on here so I'm going to find a happy medium where I can get back to regularly posting on here but just a little less frequently. 

I hope you understand and I hope you share my excitement for the next few years to come, of course, I'll keep the blog updated on my progress with the course when I complete assignments and qualifications but I also won't talk about it all the time as I understand it may be boring for some people, but I wanted you to know and properly understand why I've been so rubbish at posting at the moment, now you know! 

But that's it for April's Monthly Favourites! A lot of new and exciting things and I feel like I've been able to explain myself and get a few things off my chest too which is always good. 
My next post will probably be sometime next week, but it's gonna be another fun one where I use my Vegan Cheese Making Kit to make some Homemade Halloumi! 

H x