Home is where my heart is

It’s no secret that I am a homebody. I love being in my own space and I spend a reasonable amount of time thinking about how I can make our flat more homely.

There are a few spots and things around our home that I am a bit in love with at the moment and I thought I’d share them, if only to serve as a reminder for myself the next time I wonder about updating things.

Our Drinks trolley

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This trolley was in my parents home; my mum found it in a second hand store back in the 80s. It’s been in their dining room as a side board, and in their hall as a table and now it’s joined us. We use it to store our wine glasses and spirits. On top there is a lamp that I’ve ‘borrowed’ from my mum and some famed bits, including a family portrait of my great grandparents and my grandfather as a little boy.

Eames Style Chairs

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The collection is growing a little; it started with a white DSW from Jack, and was more recently added to with this White DAW and a Padded RAR Rocker. I think, if you are curious, they are all from Lakeland Furniture.

Our Dining Table

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When we moved in together a few years ago, it was around my birthday and my mum asked me what I would like. I said some money towards a table and chairs. Instead she took my to Home from Home store in Haywards Heath and let me choose a set. I love the kind of country kitchen chairs and tables, that you can probably find in so many people’s home.

My Dressing Table

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It is my favourite of my gumtree finds, and maybe the most expensive (I think it was around £90) and I am very grateful to Jack for going to collect this, and all the other bits I’ve spotted on gumtree over the last two years. The Eames style chair was a birthday present from Jack last year.

Our BedroomBedroom

After some headboard switches (via gumtree, yes I know! Again!) I’ve finally found one that I am happy with. Our divan bed was a wedding present from Jack’s parents, and we couldn’t bring ourselves to add a headboard to the cost at the time. Beds are pricey!

My favourite winter linen is woodland creatures in white and grey from Primark, and our waffle throw from John Lewis. Yes, that hot water bottle is useless, it’s so small! If only *someone* would get a me a grownup sized one for Christmas…

I cannot wait to get out all the Christmas decorations next weekend. I’ve just about managed to hold off on decorating too early. I know some people go full on in November, but I think Jack would disown me.

Do you have your decorations up yet? Or are you waiting for December patiently too?

IKEA – Living Room Wishlist

Now, I’m not saying I want our living room to be entirely filled with IKEA items. But come one now. Look at how many lovely things they have this spring. Now if I could just magic up some home based spending money and a willing husband…

Plant Stand lantliv-plant-stand-white__0442719_PE593901_S4Granted my plants would all need to be “unkillable” succulent, hardy types as I am still not as green fingered as I would like but when you don’t have a garden and you like greenery this plant stand has got to be a helpful thing.

Seating

Please let this ArmChair make it's way into our home
Please let this Armchair make it’s way into our home
Along with the Sofa
Along with the Sofa

How comfy do these look! Add in some Netflix and some minstrels and that’d be my ideal lazy Sunday afternoon.

A bit of Privacymjolkort-curtains-pair-assorted-colours__0417384_PE574653_S4

When we first moved into our flat I enthusiastically took down the blinds the previous owner had left in the living room, and planned to update / make curtains. Over a year later I have learnt something: I don’t have the patience to make curtains. I want them to be done and to look good.

Now to save up…

Tidy Home: Tidy Mind

We’ll see how true that is hopefully.

It is safe to say that Jack and I are not great at getting rid of things. Since moving in together we solidly have managed to expand to fill our space, and when we moved into our own flat last year it happened again.

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The mess lurks carefully concealed and out of shot at the moment.

Now one year later I am making it my mission to slim down our collection of stuff. This includes books, clothes, trinkets, boxes full of “Memories” and even furniture.

First mission is the immediately obvious:

  • Sell furniture not needed or wanted
  • Root out clothes not worn in the past year and sell or donate

I’ll let you know how I get on in (not so) exciting monthly updates. Do you have any tips on streamlining your home life?

Furry friends and festive fun with family and friends!

I love a spot of alliteration. Did you enjoy my title too? Probably not as much as me!

The last two weekends have been a lovely collection of activities. They were both wintery weekends packed with things to do but they were all very chilled.

The first Friday evening was spent keeping Fran’s lovely little kitties company whilst she was up in London town at a party. They have grown so so so much and have made quite firm friends with Fran’s christmas tree.

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Saturday afternoon was spent with my mother-in-law making Christmas wreaths. Melanie found some bargain kits from Laura Ashley in the sales after last Christmas and picked up a few.

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Not bad for £4, eh?
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We used leftover wreath pieces and hanging decorations to make tealight holders

Sunday afternoon I went for lunch with some of my favourite ladies at the Earth and Stars in the centre of Brighton. They do such delicious vegetarian roasts. No I did not take a photo of it. I ate it too quickly.

Afterwards we took a trip down to the Etsy Christmas Market that was going on, so many lovely stalls!

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It was so so busy!

I bought such a cute decoration from Brighton Jewel‘s stall. It was like the inverse of the one I’ve linked and I love it.

Then back to work for the week, which included our team christmas party. My secret santa (Aisybee) got me the cutest palace pet, and some chocolate – which is long since eaten.

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On this most recent Saturday morning I got up far too early and headed up to mid sussex to help my mum buy and decorate their tree and I think we picked a goodun’. It smells amazing, I know you can’t tell from the photo, but it does.

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FYI new set of light this year from argos at a steal

On Saturday night we went to Duke’s at Komedia to watch Bridge of Spies, which is Tom Hanks’ new film, about a prisoner exchange during the cold war. I have to say I thought it was brilliant. It wasn’t a short film but I was captivated.

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And then on Sunday Jack and I split up our tasks: he and his dad went over to my sisters to pick up the beautiful dresser about that she had kindly (and patiently) been storing for nearly a year, and I went into town to help his mum with her Christmas shopping. After our jobs were done we went for a gut busting all-you-can-eat at Bombay Aloo.

This week is my last week at work before a two week Christmas break and my plans include, posting the last of my Christmas cards, making mince pies and wrapping the last of my gifts, so keep an eye out for a fairly festive post coming later this week. Woo! Christmas!(What kind of Atheist am I, seriously!)

November In Pictures

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Jack and I went to London for a little day trip at the beginning of November – we walked like twenty miles that day!

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We went to the quietest Bonfire Night at Lindfield I think I have ever known. The weather earlier on it in evening was revolting, soak-you-to-the-skin type rain.

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I visited my lovely friend Joey in London, and he took me for my first ever trip to a Westfield shopping centre. Those designer brand shops are intense. I think I’ll stick with H&M.

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Speaking H&M – do you like my new dress. I love love love it. Love me some stripes.

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I have been lovely my colouring book, The Secret Garden. Just need to find my pencil sharpener…

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Yes, I did make a batch of mince pies in mid November. They weren’t bad, homemade filling and all, but I need to hunt down the recipe for my favourite pastry. The Mincemeat recipe I use is Delia Smith’s, but I use vegetable suet.

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Have been living in my slippers. Love them – bought for myself from Accessorize about two years ago and have been well worn ever since.

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Fran, Aisling (of Aisybee) and I went along to see the Brighton Christmas lights being switched on. I’ll be honest: I think I am too old to have enjoyed the musical entertainment, but I did enjoy going for a wander about after they had been switched on.

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My family cam over for a sunday roast, as I hadn’t actually seen my brother and his girlfriend since the summer. One of my all time favourite veggies to have with a roast is slow cooked red cabbage. I go a little off recipe in terms of the measurements, but again I try to follow Delia’s recipe.

Did you have a good November?

 

Home wishlist

We’ve been in our new home for nearly nine months and now that we are more settled there are a few upgrades I’d love to make.

Chairs

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As extra chairs these beauts would do the job (from John Lewis). Our current chairs for the office and  my dressing table fold away which is ideal but they aren’t super comfy and the one I use daily at my dressing table is a tad broken.

I have my eye on adding a couple of these to our flat – one for the bedroom and one for our office and there are much cheaper dupes on ebay and the like.

Shelves
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Image found on PINTEREST

We have a fair share of free standing shelves around the flat but there is something about that screams RENTING to me and we are homeowners. I really want to fit some shelving in the office.

Flooring

Some of the flooring in our flat drives me potty. I cannot bear our bedroom flooring – on a really basic level it is uncomfortable with bare feet and where do you have bare feet if not in your bedroom.

Sofa

When we first moved into together we had a tiny Ikea flat pack sofa, second hand, and a bit mouldy from being stored in a garage. And in addition to that we bought a giant Ikea corner sofa from Gumtree. Don’t get me wrong that sofa has been great, it’s big enough for loads of people and comfy enough for people to sleep over on.

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The current giant, dirty sofa

All that being said it has a really low back and gets filthy like nobodies business And I am now dreaming of this sofa below – blue velvet. Beautiful.Screen Shot 2015-09-03 at 5.29.44 pm

It’s from Made.com and will probably never make it into our home as it’s ‘typical highstreet’ price is £2,500 and who has that kind of money!

A New (Homebase) Kitchen

When we moved into our flat as it was our first home, we knew we would want to change some things. There were a couple of bigger tasks and the biggest was the kitchen.

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Butcher’s block had been wheeled out by this stage..

To the untrained (not a homeowner) eye there was nothing wrong with it. In fact it was probably quite an expensive kitchen; it had fitted units, with glass fronted doors and a steel worktop, a butchers block… what’s not to like?

  • There were no fitted drawers – the only drawer in the whole kitchen was in the butchers block and it was small.
  • It was quite dark for the space – it’s not a large kitchen and the wood units sucked up all the light.
  • It looked messy easily – there was not enough storage – dead space in the corner, the pots and pans on display on the block’s shelves – the glass front showing the kitchen clutter behind.

I don’t miss it at all.

Our New Kitchen

It’s taken quite a while – don’t think because Homebase is a large company that you should expect reasonable timings. If I could do it over I would have shopped around. We tried to put our order in in March, and our eight unit kitchen was finally fitted (not completely finished..) in August.

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It was a very expensive eight units  –  we paid for the fitting because it came with a 5 year guarantee, and because we didn’t have a clue how to rip out a kitchen with a stainless steel worktop…

I love it – it took a long time to get booked in and it did cost more than it was probably worth but I I love it. It’s easier to tidy things away. We have three drawers and more cupboard space.

The last thing to do – the pull out corner cupboard “solution” was the wrong one – I need to work out who to talk to about either switching it or getting the things collected from our home and get refunded for it.

What do you think?

The Gifts

I hope you all enjoyed yourselves over the Christmas break, and are all as thrilled with the lovely things you might have recieved from your loved ones. I have been throughly spoilt, and am going to show off just a few of the very generous and awesome gifts I was lucky enough to be given.

The loop Candle stick Holder.

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My lovely aunt gave J and I this, and I had actually been coveting it in England At Home (where it is available in store) only last week. It also available online at black-blum.com, who make it, and lots of other awesome things.

Instax Camera

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My sister, Fran, is obviously keen on spoiling me because she gave my this amazing camera, which I have been annoying everyone with since!

Make your own Lampshade!

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J has clearly noticed that I am try to be a bit more crafty these days and has challenged me with this beaut. I think it’s also from England at Home.

Video Camera

To carry on with the documenting of life theme: Cam recorder from my parents, tripod and all. Wedding speeches will be caught for future viewing (for sober viewing).

Candles

I was given my very first ever yankee candle and my first white company candle. Our home is smelling all kinds of delicious at the moment. Screen Shot 2015-01-05 at 16.07.04

Cath Kidston

My little brother gave me a gift card for Cath Kidtson, which I put towards some bedding that I have had my heart set on for about 5 years. Needless to say J is less than impressed with the floral theme, but is very forgiving!Screen Shot 2015-01-05 at 16.43.00

New home: It’s a rental

After nearly five years together, J and I have (finally, you’re thinking it too) moved in together.

I found Gumtree to be invaluable in our move. Our find include a corner sofa and a freezer!

new-flat

p.s. Our new lamp is from Argos.