Thursday, 28 February 2013

Leave a Light On

Hubby & I have always been comfortable with sleeping in the dark.  We felt no need to leave any lights on in the house overnight.  For this reason we decided not to start putting one on overnight when the girls were born.

We went along quite nicely for 2 years before Freya suddenly developed a fear of the dark, so we started leaving the landing light on for her when she went to bed.  We'd then turn it off when we went to bed & everybody was happy.....until about a year ago.  Freya then started waking up in the middle of the night & asking us to put the light back on, so we just left it on all night (energy saving bulbs were a MUST!).  Abby has also picked up this fear of the dark, which became ever so apparent when we had a power cut recently - oh my goodness, the panic & terror that came from them both was awful.

The trouble is, now we find that the light disturbs us at night & we don't sleep very well at all.  Light bulb moment (get it?!!) - how about we get them both night lights for their bedrooms?  We've been looking around everywhere for months for plug-in night lights.  There were battery-operated ones everywhere that were quite cheap but we decided that the cost of batteries was probably not worth it.  The plug-in ones that we found seemed to be around £20-£30 each, which was not ideal when we had to buy two of them & we haven't really got a lot of extra money.  So, imagine our delight when we found some perfect lights in Ikea the other week.

The lights cost £6 each & we spent £4 on the energy-saving bulbs - £16 for two lights, we thought, was an absolute bargain!!!

Here's the one in Abby's room.....

We put it down a but lower so that she could switch it on & off herself.  Here it is when it's turned on....

Here is Freya's light....

and turned on....

These have been the perfect solution!  We haven't had to have the landing light on, so we have been sleeping a bit better, & the girls have had their lights on all night (sending a soft pink glow across the upstairs!).

The lights are plastic & I was a bit worried about them getting hot after being on for so long but I checked after the first night & they were not hot at all - phew!


Wednesday, 27 February 2013


I am a dreamer.  An idealist.  I will spend hours dreaming up our perfect life, perfect home, perfect everything.  I am also a bit obsessive about everything.  When I get an idea about something in my head I will spend hours day-dreaming about it, researching it, trying to get as much information as I possibly can.

We booked our wedding just over a year in advance of the date.  For that year I became a wedding-obsessed nutcase.  I bought EVERY wedding magazine available EVERY month in the run-up to our wedding day.  I'm not exaggerating.  I dread to think now how much money I wasted on all of those magazines that, let's face it, showed more-or-less exactly the same things each month anyway.  I was desperate to soak up every picture, every idea I could lay my hands on.  We were extremely fortunate that my parents paid for our wedding, but even then it wasn't as if we had a never-ending supply of money to spend on a humongous, gargantuan wedding.  In fact, we knew exactly what we wanted & we were able to plan it all very easily (no bridezillas in sight!).  Yet, I was obsessed with weddings as a whole.  I literally lived in a wedding bubble. 

As our lives changed my obsessions changed.  When I became pregnant for the first time I bought the baby magazines, spent time on the pregnancy websites; when I started on my quest to become "Domestic Doris" my addiction changed to everything housekeeping-related; now that we've moved & I've discovered Pinterest I'm seeking all things home-decor related as well.

While all of this keeps me focused, it is a hindrance to my life - it stops me from actually DOING any of the things that I dream about.  Sometimes I actually find that I've overloaded myself with all of this information that the thought of DOING any of it exhausts me!  I am aware that the more time I spend in my little dream-world, the less time I have to actually LIVE my dream.

I am trying to DO more of the things that I want to do, & in doing so I find that I don't need to spend as much time with my head in the clouds.  In turn, I have also found that I have more energy the more I do.  It really is true - if you want something, only YOU have the power to go out & get it, it won't come to you.

Dreaming is great, but DOING is better - it's all about having that perfect balance of the two.


Tuesday, 26 February 2013

Cable Organisation

Have you ever been on Pinterest?  If you haven't then do so at your own risk!!!  Many an hour has been wasted looking at fantastic photos & gathering fabulous ideas to make your life a little bit easier.

I found a brilliant idea on there (I can't remember who exactly it was from) about organising cables.  The table in the corner of our Living Room that we've just replaced contained all manner of charging & data transfer cables.

Using my label maker I decided to label all of the cables so we know exactly what they're for:

It's a small thing, but it makes me feel more in control of the stuff that's left in our storage boxes!


Monday, 25 February 2013

Living Room Update

After a last-minute trip to Ikea the other day we have made a couple of updates to our Living Room.

When we moved in this coffee table was left here:

We've really found it useful but I was getting fed up with constantly having stuff dumped on here & then left there (the photo was taken on a good day!!!)

We also had a small table in the corner of the room, which was where the laptop sat along with the router, phone & a whole host of other bits & pieces that were kept in the box underneath.  Even the wiring for all of these electrical goods were getting on my nerves!!

Here's another, slightly closer photo of this dumping corner!

Anyway, we found the perfect (& cheap) solutions to these little problem areas in Ikea!  First of all, the coffee table has been replaced with a white one, which has made the room look cleaner & brighter, but has also given us an extra shelf underneath to hide the TV remotes etc whilst leaving the top looking clear!!!

A bargain for £14!!!

We also bought an Expedit shelving unit to go in the corner to replace the table we had:

Wow!  Look!  No junk!!  Not only have we been able to hide the collection of stuff, we've actually gained surface space so that everything on top doesn't look as cluttered as before & we've also added extra storage space with the boxes.  The unit cost £20 & the boxes cost £2.50 each (we already had one so only had to buy 3 more for the unit).

For the grand total of £41.50 the difference made to this room is amazing (to me anyway!)


Sunday, 24 February 2013


that despite having spent all morning tidying up all of the children's toys upstairs & downstairs that they are having fun:

Really, they had fun...

Also, when it comes to replacing dried-up Play Doh, remember to buy Moon Dough instead - fortunately for me, it was Moon Dough that was spread all over the floor & it hoovers up like a dream!!!!

I hope you've had a lovely weekend, whatever you've been up to.


Friday, 22 February 2013

Last Weekend

Well, we got back from my parents' house on Tuesday after spending a long weekend in Berkshire.  We had a really lovely weekend.  We managed to see a lot of my gorgeous niece & nephew as well, which my girls were really happy about.

On Saturday morning we took all 4 children to a local Play Centre & spent a couple of hours watching the girls run around like wild things while my 7 month old nephew looked on, desperate to be able to join in!  I did take a few photos but it seems that none of them really turned out very well - who knew that children wouldn't stay still long enough to get a non-blurry picture?!!!!

My Sister-in-Law cooked a delicious dinner for us all on Saturday evening, which was really nice.  She fed us home-made lasagne followed by apple & rhubarb crumble - yummy!!!

We went to visit one of my old school friends & her family on Sunday morning.  It was so nice to catch up with them - the last time we saw them we had only just found out that I was pregnant with Abby, so that was well over 2 years ago!!!  They have a 2 year old daughter (who was only about 6 weeks old when we last saw them) & had a son back in November - the recipient of baby blanket #5.

Sunday afternoon was then spent out in my parents' garden with the girls blowing bubbles - the weather was beautiful, albeit still very cold!!!  Yummy Sunday roast followed (beef with yorkshire puddings, roast potatoes & vegetables) & chilling out with Mum & Dad, Sister-in-Law & children.

I took the girls to visit my Grandparents on Monday morning.  This was quite emotional as they are currently living in a nursing home - my Grandpa is unable to see very well or move at all really & my Grandma is suffering from severe dementia.  I don't really see them very often &, to be honest, they don't even remember who I am or when they last saw me anyway, but I still think it's important to at least try to visit when I'm in the area.

The girls spent more time playing with their cousins in the afternoon.  The only half-decent photos I was able to get all weekend were these ones of the toys the girls were playing with nearly all weekend:

It was nice to see everybody but it was also really good to come home - that's the first time ever I've actually felt like that, so this must really feel like "home" to me!


Friday, 15 February 2013


I watched this via Loobylu's blog this morning & had to share it.

Have a lovely weekend.  We are off to my parents's down in Berkshire for the weekend.


Thursday, 14 February 2013


Well, work on our dining room has now commenced with the whole room being stripped of its wallpaper yesterday.

Here's a few before photos:


 We were lucky enough that all of the furniture was left, so we've been able to make this into a "proper" dining room, unlike at our last house where we had a dining room/playroom.

As you can see, all the woodwork is stained dark brown - not our taste & it makes everywhere look so dark - so Hubby's going to paint it all white.

We've also managed to get hold of a fireplace surround so we've taken the shelf above the gas fire down.

There are built-in cupboards in each alcove, which have been really handy for storing my growing crochet supply stash!  These will also be painted white.

As of now, this is what the room looks like:

I think the plan is to get the ceiling painted next & then all of the woodwork.

It's all exciting stuff!!


Wednesday, 13 February 2013

Our Kitchen

Following on from my Housewife Command Centre post I thought I'd post a couple of photos of our kitchen, as it as at the moment.

This is the view from the doorway (my Command Centre is on the right at the front of the picture).  The kitchen is very long.

Still from the doorway, but a little way into the room, turn left & this is the view - a lovely window overlooking the garden by the sink & a nice new cooker & hood at the end of this run of workspace. The door leads out into the conservatory, which is where our fridge is as there is no space to put it in the kitchen.

If you stand next to the sink this is the view into the rest of the room.  We are very grateful that the kitchen was replaced before we moved in.  I'm not sure why the landlord decided against putting wall units up (possibly cost), so at the moment it looks very bare.  We'll see over time whether we need the extra storage in the form of wall units or shelves so for now we'll leave it as is.

Before I asked Hubby to put my shelf up, I had been keeping my cookbooks & "dumping basket" in the corner where the microwave is now - it looked very cluttered, so I'm glad I now have somewhere else to put it!!  We have just got a printer, so at the moment that is in the kitchen (out of the reach of the girls) but in time I'm hoping we might find a more suitable place for it.

All in all though, we are very happy with the space we have here & are looking forward to taking advantage of the potential that the house has to offer.


Tuesday, 12 February 2013

Housewife Central

Inspired by these fabulous images on Pinterest I wanted to create a "Housewife Command Centre" where I could keep my calender, books & other things that I may need in my quest to become more organised.


Achieving Creative Order: Kitchen Command Center


We have a blank wall above the radiator in the entrance to our kitchen, which I thought would be perfect to use for this project.  My "Command Centre" is a work in progress & I intend to add to it & amend things as time goes on & I work out what I need to include here.  For now though, this is what I have done:

Seriously, it looks a bit pathetic in comparison to the ones above but I love it!!  I have put my cookbooks, my Household Management File, Financial File & Housekeeping books on the shelf:

I have also put my basket of "to do" stuff - such as filing, things that as yet have no other home etc.

The books & the basket were all taking up space on the kitchen worktop, so having another place to put them has freed up a lot of space & also just looks tidier.  I typically empty the basket on a weekly basis & file the papers that need filing, deal with paperwork that is pending.

From the hooks I have hung our calender & also a small dry-erase white board, which I got from Poundland.

As I said, it's a work in progress but I'm pleased with it so far & I look forward to really using this space to our advantage as I get myself more organised!


Monday, 11 February 2013

Bargain Hunting

In our quest to find some knick-knacks to update our newly-decorated living room we have been lucky enough to come across some wonderful bargains.

We're fortunate to live near a Shopping Outlet Village where clearance/factory reject items are sold for much lower prices.  It was in the Next Outlet shop that we found some fab things for our living room & also some others for our dining room, which is next on our list to decorate.

 I thought that this was a nice thing to have on our windowsill in the lounge as it picks out the lime green from our wallpaper.  It cost £4 at the Next Outlet.

We also saw these 2 short, black glass vases for £2 each.  They have a couple of minor scratches on them but nothing that it really obvious.  They are currently residing at either end of our mantelpiece.

These 2 bottles are currently in our dining room.  The heart one (a bit scratched, as you may be able to see in the photo) cost £1 & the "Do Something you Love Everyday" one cost £1.50.  I just really liked these & for the prices I couldn't resist!!!

My Mother-In-Law actually bought this for me for £3 in the Next Outlet.  This is also in our dining room on our windowsill & is bringing a little bit of happiness to the room!

We found some lovely wallpaper for our dining room at £3 per roll in Next as well (more on this another day).  The colours in it are purple & pink, so I wanted to use purple as the main accent colour.  I saw this massive vase behind the cash desk I HAD to ask whether it was being saved for anyone.  Luckily for me it wasn't, so I managed to snatch this up for £8 (originally £35).

This morning we took a little trip to our local Cash & Carry.  This shop is FANTASTIC, especially when it comes to plants - no doubt you'll hear more about it in the coming months as we get out into the garden!  When we got there we saw that they had cushions on offer - 4 for £5.  Low & behold they had the PERFECT colour to match the blue/turquoise in our wallpaper, so we now have a bit of colour on our sofas:

I also couldn't resist bringing home a few bunches of my favourites - carnations.  At 20p per bunch who was I to refuse?!!!

I have a vase on our living room windowsill & also some more carnations in the small vases on our fireplace.



Sunday, 10 February 2013

Colourful Sunday

Well, we didn't have any of the snow that was predicted but it is very wet, windy & dark here in South Yorkshire today.

I have just dropped by quickly to bring a bit of colourful to this otherwise dreary day.

This whole tray cost £3.98 from the local Cash & Carry & will bring some much-needed colour to the garden.


Saturday, 9 February 2013


On Monday night, along with most other people, we had another snow blizzard.  Luckily it wasn't too much & we only woke up to a powdery coating of snow everywhere on Tuesday morning.

Although it did continue to come down on & off throughout the morning, it had all melted away by the end of the day.

I think that they've predicted up to 4 inches over the weekend in some places so, wherever you are, I hope that you stay warm & have a lovely weekend.


Friday, 8 February 2013


Last weekend Abby turned 2 - 2?!!!  How did that happen?!  It seems like only yesterday that she was born.

We took Abby & Freya to a local soft-play centre, where they went mad for an hour or so.  When we came home Lee's parents came round for a little bit of lunch & then we were joined by Lee's brother, his wife & their family (twin girls who turned 2 back in November & their baby boy who was born last November).  The kids all had fun running around & playing with each other - it was nice to see as, although we only live 10 minutes apart, we don't actually see them very often.

So, with Abby's birthday out of the way, the next milestone for the girls will be in April when we find out if Freya has been accepted into the primary school of choice, which she is due to start in September (eek!!!)

 Excuse the blurriness - it was really to prove that she did have candles to blow out!!!