Thursday, 5 November 2015

Its where the magic happens...

...quite literally magic did have to occur in this small makeover. Looking back on pictures of when we first came to look at the house it was so tired, neglected and dirty. Since, it has had a brush down, a dust off and a touch of style added to it.

It is nowhere near finished yet as there are worse rooms in the house that need some real work first but for now... I LOVE IT!!



We went with grey and yellow as I love the colours together. It's a clean, sleek look and isn't to feminine, as I doubt my other half would appreciate that.
Most of what you can see was done on a budget, the most expensive items being the cushions.
All three of the cushions were from Dunelm Mill and each averaged at about £18.
At the time we had just bought all the huge things like a fridge, cooker, sofa and a washing machine so our funds were pretty low so I decided that bedside tables were not an option. Instead I spotted some collapsable boxes in Matalan (£9). The yellow and white chevron boxes are stacked on top of grey boxes... they make perfect and affordable bedside tables.
My favourite part of the bedroom is the three pictures above the bed, they were inspired by items I had seen on Etsy, I managed to make them myself for a fraction of the price. The love hearts contain maps of the three cities we have lived in and together. The three photo frames were from Tesco in the sale. I used coloured paper from Paperchase for the background and bought a GB road map to make the hearts. I made a cardboard love heart stencil to create three identical shapes. I stuck it all together and there you have it, Etsy inspired love heart maps.

Chrome Lamps - (George at Asda £7)
Bedside boxes - (Matalan £9)
Cushions - (Dunelm £18)
Bedding - (Beddeck £35)
Grey throw - (George at Asda £25)
Chevron photo frame - (Dunelm sale £3)
White candle holder - (Dunelm sale £2.50)
Three grey/white frames - (Tesco sale £3)

Wednesday, 4 November 2015

Shabby to chic...

Who doesn't love to save some money?
When we moved into our house there was a chest of drawers left in the garage by the previous owner, I specifically remember her saying as she left "you might want to chuck those", I looked at them and thought yeah your probably right, I wanted my house to be more chic than shabby. Weeks past and as I came to start organising our ever growing mountain of rubbish that was bursting from the garage I uncovered them again. We had a gap in our kitchen that left room for something similar, tucked into the return of the fireplace and it needed to be filled.

I visited a local DIY store and came across some chalk paint, I had seen Kirsty Allsop swooning after this so I decided for the sake of £14 it might be worth a crack.

I chose winter grey... a beautifully neutral colour that worked with the coppers, wooden and earthy tones of our kitchen.

I carefully prepped the drawers, sanding them gently and dusting them down and then one by one I gave each drawer 2 coats and the frame itself. It sat drying in the sun while I thought about the handles. With the kitchen having lots of grey black and copper elements mixed with off white cabinet doors I decided that the wooden handles looked a bit naff. Instead I knew of a beautiful gift shop that sold separate quirky/vintage handles. There were so many to choose from but in the end I went for a stone cream handle with a copper/brass design (pack of 8 - £7.99).

The end result was pretty perfect for £21.99, don't you think?

Life is like a whirlwind...

So after leaving University 2 years ago I took a year out to work in a school and then moved on to completing my PGCE, time passed so quickly and now I'm here.

In the time I have neglected my blog I have moved to a little village in the South of Wales not too far from Cardiff.


It still doesn't seem real but we are officially adults, and I am living somewhere I never thought I would ever end up with the man of my dreams (CHEESE!) and it is beautiful.
So while we turn our house slowly into a home this blog is going to become almost a diary. I am so happy with how much we have done already and will begin to document all the crazy and wonderful interior adventures as we go. So if you love a good housey read then be sure to stick around.

Wednesday, 25 March 2015

Life of a Primary PGCE student...

I have never been so tired/stressed/worried in my entire life.
I haven't posted in way over 6 months due to my commitments of starting a full time PGCE which has left little room for sleeping, never mind actually having a life.

I am training to become a primary teacher on a course that is spread over 10 months. I am 7 months in and am on the home straight now!!! YIPEEEE
At first I didn't think I was going to survive, getting up at 5am to arrive at school for 7am and not leaving school till 5.30pm and then staying awake till 11pm trying to plan and evaluate... it was hard... did I mention it was in a year 6 class. But it got easier and I loved my first placement. Time seems to have literally flown by and now I'm starting my final placement, this time I'll be teaching year 1, a refreshing change. I now know what to expect in terms of work load and organisation so at least this won't come as much of a suprise!

But now comes the battle of the job search, many of my friends have already secured local jobs for September and I am so proud. I, on the other hand, am making the big move to South Wales where me and my partner have decided to settle, the job market seems a little stagnant and the competition for jobs is a lot higher, I'm slowly coming to terms with the fact that maybe I will have to supply for a while to get my foot in the door and do some networking. Although this is slightly annoying after all my hard work I always believe that, 'hard work pays off', and that round the corner there may be the perfect opportunity.

For those who may be contemplating a teaching career, here are some little pointers you may wish to know;

PGCE checklist:

  • Buy a printer that is cheap on ink - this will be a blessing during placement.
  • You can never have enough stationary, especially plastic wallets and staples.
  • Don't sweat the small stuff - your only learning, everyone makes mistakes.
  • Organisation - when your tutors say its key... they mean it!
  • Give yourself a deadline, if you stay up till 1am marking and planning is this really going to benefit your teaching when your 5am alarm sounds.
  • Don't reinvent the wheel, there are already so many cool resources out there for you to use and edit.
  • Don't take everyone literally, there will always be that one person on your course who is 'practically a qualified teacher' before they even begin, don't worry they don't have a clue.
  • Stay positive :)
  • Find a work life balance, once you find a routine it will all become easier.
  • It's ok to cry -  providing you can wipe away the tears and shrug off your bad days.
  • Being nervous is normal - I haven't spoken to any PGCE friends that didnt have a dry mouth when being observed.

Sunday, 17 August 2014

Wedding Photography

So this little post is going to be a little different. As some of you may know my partner is a photographer. He is mainly based in the north west but also has huge connections to south wales and can photograph across the UK. My post today is to pretty much advertise the amazing offer he has going at the minute on wedding photography. I wish I was the one sat behind a computer looking through endless pinterest ideas on table designs, dress ideas, seating plans, and making endless lists of crazy things they have at weddings these days, but unfortunately I'm not (maybe one day ;) ). Instead, I want to help those that are. So instead of pulling your hair out just take a deep breath and sink your teeth into this little deal. 

Take a look at his website and feel free to make an enquiry via his contact page. He offers a fully professional and flexible service that can be altered to suite any miniature detail that you want included. If you want added extras he can add these too; second photographer, video, engagement shoot? You also have the choice to have your photos printed to a beautiful, timeless folio album, something you can treasure forever.


Wednesday, 13 August 2014

5 things I wish I'd have known when I was a fresher.

Today marks a big day for a lot of people across the UK, you actually find out which uni you will end up at for the next 3 years. SCARYYY, not really! It will be the best 3 years of your life. Your mind will be opened up to different ways of living and you will meet people from anywhere and everywhere. Going to uni comes with so many responsibilities, for the first time in your life you can leave your room as messy as you like, you can go out and come in at 6am, you can even leave your washing up for days on end if you really want too. Today I want to give all you freshers some insight in to what I wish I had known 4 long years ago.

Wheres wally? Oh dear.
I couldn't have met a nicer guy <3
My drunken self thought this hilarious.

1. Money, so it may seem cool that student finance are shelling out £4000 to see you through the year, it seems so much, believe me its not! While it may seem a lot it soon disappears and you cant even remember how you spent it. A little tip I'd give is budget. Work out how much you get every 3 installments, minus your bills and rent and divide it by the weeks your at uni. This gives a weekly budget. I also worked throughout holidays when I came home, it just gives you a bit extra, who doesn't love extra cash.

2. Friends, Do not worry. You will be in the car come September setting out on your newest adventure thinking 'oh god, what the hell are my flatmates going to be like'. Be open-minded, not everyone lives how you live or has the same views but it seems that everyone at uni knows how to have fun. I didn't click with my flatmates at first but now one of them is like my right arm, I don't know what I'd do without her.

3.Washing up, For some reason every flat will have an issue with this at some point, whether there is someone that seems to love collecting moldy bowls or someone that denies that any of their plates that they have clearly ate off are theirs. If this happens speak, speak with your flatmates, pent up anger over some silly washing up can never end good.

4. Relationships, Ok so some of you may be going to uni while in a long term relationship, I did. Don't be too harsh on yourself, enjoy being a fresher and having fun rather than feeling tied down. I tried to do both but eventually it just did not work. Not to fear I know of a few people that managed to stay together through uni and its safe to say they are just meant to be. Just remember to have fun, there is time for marriage when your 30 and have responsibilities. If your going to meet someone at uni (wait till second year) the partying has calmed down by then and you have more time.

5. Essays, Don't freak out about work, as long as you pass first year it doesn't actually count towards your final degree mark (mine didn't, but I would double check). This doesn't mean to mess around and literally scrape by. Give yourself this year to learn, learn the new writing style, give yourself a structure and get into a routine; otherwise you'll be kicking yourself in third year. Read your feedback, its easy enough to just look at your mark but actually read the comments it will help you gain extra marks next time; when there are 10 marks between a 2:1 and a 1st it is worth it. 

To anyone heading to uni this year as a fresher you don't have a single thing to worry about, don't be shy, jump in with both feet. You'll meet amazing people and who knows maybe you'll meet Mr. right, I did!


What's in my Suitcase?

So when your limited to a 15kg suitcase, packing can be the worst part of the holiday; should I take the wedges I so dearly love or is after sun more important? Personally I am the worst packer, I seem to take enough clothes to last me an eternity and seem to only wear 2kg worth. This summer I learnt my lesson as me and my other half had to share a 15kg suitcase so I HAD to limit my packing habits. When your packing with a man who has size 12 feet and insists on taking two pairs of shoes, believe me it was a struggle.
After seeing the competition from the Bloggers Lounge and I decided that I would share my packing essentials...

1. - Gadgets and gizmos; you can never take enough pictures, what better way is there to save a memory. Taking any form of ipod or Mp3 player is a lifesaver when your stuck travelling, its calming and helps ease the boredom. Please remember chargers!

2. - Accessories; colorful accessories brighten up any outfit, make the most of it on holiday, especially pastel colours, they look great with a tan. Lets face it, its definitely more acceptable to walk around on holiday with your hair filled with flowers, looking like a rose garden, than walking round Manchester.

3. - Products - On holiday these 3 were my go to products. Got2be salt spray, it saves doing your hair when you can get away with that beach look. Simple eye roll on, after 3 hours on a plane with unnecessary air conditioning my eyes felt like they had shriveled like prunes, this was a god send. It is also great for sunburn. Boots body spray, great for just having in your beach bag to cool you down and to keep you smelling fresh as a mango ;)

4. - who wears short shorts? I do love dresses but shorts are a must, especially if your walking a lot. I picked up the denim pair at Primark and the cotton pair at Tkmaxx (super bargains).

5. - Kimono - great for wearing over your bikini or to dress up a plain outfit. Also, super great if like me you tend to get sun burnt and feel chilly at night.

6.- Bikini - If your going abroad and its hot and there is sea or a pool then why not, this little number is from River Island! there is some gorgeous swimwear out at the minute. For those a little more body conscious Next have some gorgeously flattering one pieces in.

7. - Dress's & Sandals - Lets face it we have all been to Primark and spent £50 on numerous pairs of flip flops and gladiator sandals in numerous colours and styles when really all you need is an essential pair that go with everything. If your wanting to cut down on baggage weight try and find a neutral pair that match every outfit, these I picked up from Tkmaxx. Evening wear, some nights may just be spent BBQ'ing but others may need a little more sophistication, white is a super colour to wear with a tan so make sure you save your best outfit till last, you'll be glowing!!