Wednesday, 1 November 2017

Our Gallery Wall Project

So a little while ago, Hubs and I decorated our master bedroom [you can read about it here] and while it was a huge improvement on the sea of magnolia we'd lived with for two years, it wasn't finished.

I'd always wanted to create a gallery wall in our bedroom; initially I thought it would go behind our bed but when it was pointed out to me that position might make the room feel cluttered, I began looking for an alternative... and identified the perfect spot! 

Located opposite our bed, this section of wall was perfect for a gallery wall, it was not too big to make a gallery wall make the room feel cluttered but was large enough to make an impact. However, it has our ensuite, namely the shower cubicle, on the other side, which meant drilling and nailing frames to the wall was out. I put my thinking cap back on...

...and decided to try Velcro and Command strips and you know what, it's worked a treat!

I had some Velcro leftover from creating an in-cupboard cork board in our kitchen but bought a small pack of medium-sized Command strips...

The Velcro actually seemed like the best way to fix most of my chosen frames to the wall so I stuck one or two pieces, top and bottom, to each frame.

As I'd already played about with the layout beforehand, I knew roughly where I wanted each frame to go so when it came to sticking them to the wall, I simply placed a small spirit level on top of each frame and placed them against the wall, spacing them by eye... which probably explains why I feel there's too large of a gap above the yellow frame, so I'm on the look out for one final frame to fill that space.
Overall, I'm pretty pleased with our little afternoon project and think it really adds to our bedroom without overpowering the calm and serene sanctuary we've worked hard to create :)

Home Etc

Life With Munchers

Happy Wednesday!

Wednesday, 25 October 2017

There's something you should know...

Remember a little while ago when I wrote this post and I kinda explained my unintended blogging break from earlier this year was due to some life-changing events? Well, today I think I'm ready to share the biggest one with you all...

Yes, I am pregnant; 21 weeks in fact!

I know, I still can't quite believe it either; after writing this post earlier in the year talking of our fertility struggles, we actually conceived this little miracle a lot quicker than we thought. A lot quicker.

Which is why my first thought when those two lines showed up on a pregnancy test in early July was 'oh shit!' because I'd literally had just two periods in 18 months; we really didn't think everything was back working as it should be and I was ovulating, so to be faced with the prospect of parenthood so soon after starting treatment for my Prolactinoma (I started taking medication at the start of April) was scary... and daunting... and exciting... and shit-scary!

Hubs and I managed to not tell a single soul for a whole week; it was our little secret, one we were terrified to speak of outloud in case we scared it away! But after having the pregnancy kinda confirmed by a doctor ("if you've had three positive pregnancy tests then I'm happy to tell you you're pregnant") we finally told his mum and my parents and got some unexpected reactions.

Hubs' mum was obviously over the moon for us but kept her excitement in check; she's already a grandma and it hasn't been that long since we clued her in on our struggle (not wanting to worry her). My dad cried, like legit tears! It was so odd as he doesn't cry - he's old school like that, so to see him shed tears when we gave him a 'I can't wait to meet you Grandad' card was a pretty special moment, one I'll never forget that's for sure. And my mum, well, she laughed, almost hysterically! I don't think she quite knew how to process the news; she was obviously happy for us but I don't think she'd been expecting the news so soon after I began my treatment... she wasn't the only one, let me tell you.

It's a strange feeling to suddenly be faced with the one thing you wanted most in the world but only one year ago feared you would never get to experience. During those dark months in 2016 when I'd convinced myself I was suffering from premature ovarian failure, I never thought I'd get to experience the miracle of pregnancy, and while it was scary for those first few days after we found out, I could not be more excited to meet my son or daughter (affectionately known as Poddington) in March 2018!

Tuesday, 24 October 2017

Space Saving Storage with JosephJoseph

Did you know storing your knives in a drawer blunts them? No, I didn't either until I read it in a magazine the other week. So when JosephJoseph reached out and asked if I'd review some items in their Space Savers AW17 range and I saw their DrawerStore Knife Organiser, it seemed like fate!

Along with their DrawerStore Knife Organiser, JosephJoseph also sent me their DrawerStore Cutlery Organiser and their Nest Colanders and I have to confess, I was a little excited to organise my drawers...
Our sharp knives were stored in a small box on the left-hand side of our kitchen drawer, so I decided to have a little tidy up and rearrange in order to accommodate my new toy...
I'm thrilled with the size and number of knives this DrawerStore Knife Organiser accommodates; it fits perfectly where our old cardboard box went and while I can't currently vouch for the continued sharpness of my knives, storing them separately has got to be better for them than having them bang against one other! It's the perfect addition to my kitchen :)

My opinion on the DrawerStore Cutlery Organiser is not quite so positive...

We keep our posh cutlery in the top drawer, but our everyday cutlery lives in a Kilner jar in a caddy next to our draining board, so I decided it was time to take the everyday cutlery out of the jar and store it like proper adults.
However, it appears this top drawer is simply too thin; we managed to get cutlery in the DrawerStore Cutlery Organiser stuck not once but twice, after which I decided it wasn't meant to be and the Kilner jar was the best option. So, I'm sad to report, I didn't get on with the Cutlery Organiser, but that doesn't mean to say it's not a great space saving product; it's just better suited to bigger drawers.

As for the Nest Colanders, they're perfect; I cannot rate them highly enough!
Before owning these, we had a collection of three different sized colanders, which just didn't sit right together in our cupboard, so we got rid of two, kept one and these JosephJoseph fit perfectly inside, freeing up room in our pan cupboard, which is always a good thing!

While I was sent these products to review for free, the opinions expressed are 100% my own.
I've owned several JosephJoseph products over the years and love their durability and quality.
Home Etc
Life With Munchers
Have a great week!

Wednesday, 18 October 2017

Our Bedroom Makeover

It's been over two  years since we bought our new build house and well over 18 months since I treated you, dear reader, to a master bedroom tour in this post

Well, today it's time to update said tour post as we've (not so recently now) decorated our bedroom... and I love it! In fact, I've just looked back at what it looked like before (go take a look... I'll wait...) and I can't believe we lived with it like that for almost two years! This is what our master bedroom looks like now...

I love yellow and grey as a decor colour combination; in our previous home, our hallway was yellow and grey and I loved it. As many of you know, yellow is my favourite colour, so unsurprisingly there's a splash of it in almost every room in my house, but once I knew we were moving I knew I wanted yellow in our bedroom; it's just such a sunny, uplifting colour. 

In my opinion, I've managed to achieve a sophisticated and modern look with just the right amount of yellow touches... I hope you agree, but it kinda doesn't matter if you don't because I love it; it's perfect for us. I think I've managed to strike that all-important balance (in a shared bedroom) between masculine and feminine...

The wall behind our bed has been painted in Wilkos' Cosy Grey, while the remaining walls have been finished in a standard trade white paint (from Johnstone's, I think).

Our bed linen is from TK Maxx and the throw at the end of the bed from Homesense; let me know if you wanna know where anything else is from.
Before Christmas, I hope to have painted the drawer fronts on our Ikea Hemnes chest of drawers grey and created a gallery wall above our bookcase; I just need to get a few more photos printed and a buy a tin of grey furniture paint!

Home Etc

Happy Wednesday!

Friday, 22 September 2017

Dating in Autumn

 Whether it's for romance or to reconnect with your spouse, date nights are important for a happy and successful marriage. Now don't get me wrong, date nights don't have to be the same as when you were 'courting'; you don't have to get dolled up and go to a fancy restaurant (although you can if you like), but there are a myriad of ways you can spend some quality time together... and there's no better time than now.

1 | Take Walks - the palette of colours that can be enjoyed in the great outdoors during autumn is spectacular, especially on a crisp, sunny day. From golden fallen leaves to green flora, bright blue skies to deep hues of red and russet from the trees, a hand-in-hand stroll with your husband, or wife, amongst autumnal scenery is one of my absolute favourite ways to spend an afternoon. You could even make a day of it and take a picnic to enjoy when you find a pretty spot (don't forget the champagne).

2 | Fire-side Stargazing - a pretty special and extremely inexpensive date, stargazing is great because it's perfect whether you've been together for 50 years or 5 weeks! Head out into the back garden, light a fire to keep warm, take loads of cosy blankets and a cup of hot chocolate (or bottle of wine) and see which constellations you can spot. If you live in a city, it'd probably be advisable to hop in the car and drive further out (20 minutes outside of the city should do it) to somewhere with less light pollution, for some truly amazing stargazing.

3 | Movie Night - spending the evening in each other's arms watching one other's favourite films is a great way to spend the evening, as well as learning more about your significant other (their favourite film is a great insight); light some candles, close the curtains, make some popcorn and snuggle down on the sofa under a blanket... it'll be all the better if the wind is howling and the raining pouring down outside :)

4 | Discover a Local Festival - as it's the traditional time for harvesting summer crops, the autumnal calendar is filled with food and drink festivals, many of which are free or very inexpensive to attend, making them a great day out for you and your bae, especially if you're a bit of a foodie like me.

5 | Cook Together - whether it's a fruity pie or a hearty soup, cooking together is a great way to spend quality time with your spouse. Obviously, cooking dinner for the family can be quite stressful so I'm not suggesting you try and make cooking a meal at the end of a long and stressful day fun, cuz we all know that's never gonna happen. However, joining forces to make and bake a pie to eat after your Sunday roast, or as a treat while watching movies with the family on a Saturday night, is a great way to spend an afternoon in one another's company.

This post first appeared on Kelly's blog last year in celebration of her wedding;
happy almost one-year anniversary, beautiful lady! 

Tuesday, 12 September 2017

Transforming Our Front Garden

I'm thrilled to be back today, linking up with the #HomeEtc ladies; I used to love taking part in this link-up and have to confess, I have missed it during my unplanned hiatus of the past few months. Today I'm here to share our front garden transformation, the outcome of which I'm thrilled with...

As regular readers know, Hubs and I purchased a new build home almost two years ago (say what?!) and new builds, while being pretty, clean and blank inside, are also pretty bland outside (you can see our back garden transformation here). Our front garden was uninspiring to say the least...
Admittedly we hadn't cared for it in the way we probably should; all we'd done was keep the turf to an acceptable length, but the plants had been allowed to grow wild and a number of weeds had established themselves, including a pretty impressive doc leaf!

However, after a couple of Saturdays, approximately £150 and a lot of elbow grease from Tom, it has been transformed into something low maintenance and pleasing on the eye, giving our little home what we consider to be much-needed curb appeal...

Tom started by digging out all the plants and lifting the turf to leave a blank canvas...

Then he lay some weed-blocking membrane, which was covered with our choice of stones...
As transformations go, it was super easy but, once completed, provided a great impact.

As you can see, he's pretty proud of his hard work!

As our house is the first in a cul-de-sac, it's adjoined to a corner plot, so it was nice that our makeover happened to coincide with next door replacing their turf and wild plants with complementary stones and astroturf, for a year-round luscious lawn...
I think both front garden's look amazing. I still want to get some more pots, but will more than likely pot them up with spring bulbs in late Oct/early November.

Home Etc
Happy Tuesday!

Friday, 1 September 2017

Yes, I am still alive

Do not adjust your screens, yes you really are seeing a post from me, the first in four months.
I'm not dead, nor am I ill; there have, however, been some major life-changing things going on in my life over the last four months that I've not been able to share, the most major of which I still don't feel ready to share but, fingers crossed, I can tell you all about it over the next few weeks.

In the meantime I thought I'd do a quick update post; four months is a whole chunk of time to miss, so here's what I've been up to since the beginning of May:

Izzy came to stay while my parents followed in Elvis' footsteps in America...

At the end of May we headed down to Dorset (Poole, Bournemouth and Brownsea Island) for a little holiday...

Before my bestie got hitched in the most beautiful setting...

We went to another wedding in mid-June on the most gorgeous summer's day - the bride and groom could not have wished for better weather...

I've had plenty of flowers from the garden this summer (although many are beginning to look long past their best now)...

We finally got around to redoing our front garden (more detailed post coming soon)...

And this past long weekend, we finally got around to painting some rooms in our home, only two years after we moved in! I'll share the finished product with you soon, along with a whole host of other posts that have been marinating in my head for the past four months. I've had a lovely but unintended break from blogging, but I'm back!

Have a great weekend!