Saturday, 29 June 2013

Home Tour: Sneak Peek! Living room/Lounge

Hey friends!
This is just a little sneak peek into our living room/lounge in our new home. It's really simple at the moment. It's set up very similar to our old place except we've got some extra furniture like the corner bookshelf that was in another room before & a new rug from Ikea that is so fluffy sometimes we sit on that instead of the sofa!

This is only a week and a half after we moved in. There are a few more things I want to do & add over the next few months but it's a slow process, not finished at all but this room is the most serene in our new home. It feels so comfortable, warm & cosy! It's L-shaped so the part you can't see will be our dining room & there is a deep alcove which we want to turn into a reading nook eventually.

We've started a photo wall which we had in the previous place but I was too wary to nail too many holes into the wall because of it being a rental, this home is a rental but we have more freedom to do whatever we like here. We still need to add more family & friends to it but it's a start for now & we love looking at all the people who have blessed us and been a big part in our lives!

We've already had a few dinner parties, film & game nights at ours. The amount of space we have in this place makes me feel so blessed everytime I wake up. Our (shared) garden was used for our church community event the weekend we moved in & we've now got a spare room & our first overnight guests will be arriving in August unless someone needs a place before that. It feels great to have a space to host & have people stay. This was my desire from the beginning when looking for places to live. I want our home to be open to people. I can't wait for more events to take place here. I think we're going to build a whole lotta memories in this place. REALLY good memories!

I'll share more when we've added to it and feel a little more settled and straight.

Thursday, 27 June 2013

DIY: Cushions

I've been having a lot of fun making our new house a home. One of the projects I wanted to do in our other home was make my own cushions but I never got round to it and admittedly I was a little hesitant too because I've never done handmade cushions before.

I was inspired by a friend I had coffee with the other day. At her house she'd got a new (to her) sofa from her neighbour & had made her own cushions for it. They were so cute I thought I had to get on and make my own and believe that I could!

I used this tutorial after I just googled something ridiculous like 'how to make easy cushion covers' and that's just what they are...EASY!
This style is called Envelope Cover. It's one of the easiest things I've done. My first one took a while to work out but once I'd done that one I was making a cushion cover every 20 minutes until my sofa looked welcoming & cosy. I think I'm addicted! I started making some for our bed but now I've run out of materials!

I got these materials from the craft show held twice a year at the NEC, Birmingham. It's one of the things I look forward to going to every year to get my year's supplies! Things are sold much cheaper than in the shops but it's worth looking for pretty materials in markets & thrift shops.

Tuesday, 25 June 2013

Celebrating two years...

Today we are celebrating two beautiful years of marriage.

When I became a wife I knew it would be full of fun, laughter and a whole lot of love. I knew it would be full of challenges, battles & learning a lot too. I knew there would be someone else to consider in every day life, decisions to make together instead of alone and both good & bad times to fight through together.
I will be the first to admit marriage is tough but it's soooooo totally worth it! Sam is totally worth it. Being able to spend the rest of my life with him is the greatest gift God has ever given me.

We are two totally imperfect people, we recognise that, but we are two imperfect people fighting for a love and a life that we believe in.
Sam has been my world, he IS my world. This year has been full of challenges, big stresses & health issues but our characters have been shaped more, God has pushed us to the limits, we have learnt so much more about each other, our needs & how to use our love languages in a better way. We have let go, we have never given up, we have been driven, we have been tired, we've been beaten & hurt, we have been restored & healed, we have cried, we have celebrated & we have loved more fiercely than ever.

You are worth it all Samuel. I love you so much! X

Sunday, 23 June 2013

Nail Art - Marble Effect

Hello all!
I'm here today with a really simple nail art. One good thing about not working in the catering & baking business anymore is that I  get to paint my nails again. It's a real relaxation thing for me & I get to be creative too!

Warning! This method is slightly addictive!

Begin by choosing your base colour. I used "Put a medal on it" by Maybelline Forever Strong. I use Maybelline Forever Strong most of the time. I could not recommend it enough. It gives a really smooth finish and I've only ever needed one coat. It's fast drying & stays on my nails really well - It usually lasts about 5 days without a single chip.

Choose three colours to go on top. I've used a dark glitter forest green & a teal colour - both came from a nail polish set from my sister as a gift. The set was called Gold by Giles which I think can be found in New Look. The third colour is 'Sky High' by Rimmel 60 Seconds. Place a blob of each on your nail as seen in the image below.

Use a cocktail stick or a very thin paintbrush to blend the three colours together. Don't blend too much because you still want to see all three colours. Leave to dry (you may want to do this while watching a film because drying time will be longer than normal).

Seal your marble effect with a clear top coat. Then spend all week admiring your work!


Friday, 21 June 2013

Upton House

I had a date with my momma where we visited Upton House for the day. It's such a stunning place with a long drive way up to the house with trees on either side allowing you to pretend your making a grand entrance for a casual day out!

We had a lovely walk around the house & gardens. There was a giant vegetable patch full of every vegetable growing that you could imagine. The garden is designed to perfection with floral borders, an orchard and large lawned spaces to run around, arms wide open taking in the big wide world, wind rushing through you're hair, spinning in a long floaty dress...oh...that's just me.
If you don't fancy that there is always the walled garden to potter around and a woodland to explore!

The 1930's house is equally as good as the grounds. You can sit & read in the lounge or go and watch a film in another room which takes you back to 1938 shot on a cine camera making you feel like you're really there. To add to that excitement you can play the old piano, choose a record for the gramophone or listen to the radio with news from the 1930's. Nothing will take you back to Old England more than this place. 

No visit is complete without a quick treat in the restaurant. We treated ourselves to prune and date cake and a cup of tea. Yum!

I really enjoyed my time here and will no doubt be back to visit. England really is a beautiful country.

Tuesday, 18 June 2013

Aaaand we're off!

Today is the day we set off for our holiday. I am so excited to get away and spend some special time with Sam making new memories.
We're going to Alicante & Cadiz in Spain, Messina in Sicily, Cephalonia in Greece, Dubronik & Korcula in Croatia & Venice in Italy all on a mediterranean cruise for 17 glorious sunshiny days!

It feels like we've got a chance to relax & let go of the every day stresses. Honestly, this has been a really tough year for us with my two job losses, illnesses & big changes with moving house & stepping down from roles that we've had within the church just to create space and take off the pressure. It's been challenging to let go of trying to understand reasons for events that have been & gone this year but I think we're finally in a place of peace.
We've learnt so much as a couple, what we both struggle with & how we deal with the stresses & conflicts of life but also how each other needs to be supported & loved through it all.

Don't get me wrong, we've had some really great times too. This year my family have been closer than ever, I could not feel more blessed to be surrounded by them. My brother & his wife had the most beautiful baby (who has made me unbelieveably broody by the way!) and we've also moved into an incredible home.

This holiday is going to be a new start. A time of reflection and refreshment of our souls. I am excited to soak up the sun, read a few good books & fill my belly with food too good to be true!

P.s. I'll have a few posts ready to go out while I'm away so don't be a stranger! Really looking forward to sharing our time away with you all once we're back!

Sunday, 16 June 2013

Father's Day

This is my dad on my wedding day looking totally handsome. I am so proud & lucky to call him my father. He is hardworking, beyond generous, supportive, hilarious & fun to spend time with! He is one of my best friends.
I just want to take this moment, this father's day to say I am immensely privileged to be his daughter. He has been a rock to Sam & I throughout our time together but especially this year.
He has cared for us, guided us through lots of important decisions, supported us when we've chosen an unconventional route for things, has had faith in us even when we've failed & picked us up when we've fallen. He has loved us always and in everything.

Dad, you are a huge part of my world. I love you so much! Xx

Saturday, 15 June 2013

FEATURED! Nail Art - Arrow Effect

Hey friends,
I'm over at Here Comes The Sun Blog again sharing a tutorial on how to get this arrow effect on your nails.

Click on the link HERE to find out how.

Thursday, 13 June 2013

4 big-project goals

So I need to have this list up because declaring that I'm going to get these things done in public means I'll be more inclined to get them done!
These may not seem 'big-project' type things to some people but they are for me. They are things that have been on my mind to begin for a long time. Some of them I have started but not finished, others are desires I've had to create/make for a while but haven't had the time or the push to do it! Now is the time!

There is no time limit but I do plan to do them within the year. I'm excited to get started already! It really does work to get your goals written down somewhere where you'll look & see & be reminded!

1. Make a quilt. I've wanted to do this for a while and I've kept some floral material from our wedding with the purpose to make a quilt from it.

2. Crochet a blanket. I have actually started this but it's been in process for a few years. I plan to start it up again and try to get it finished at some point. I'm not going to give myself a time frame but I will finish the blanket eventually!

3. Decorate a feature wall in bedroom. Our bedroom is very plain at the moment. It needs a good spruce up! Not sure what yet but I do love Elsie's handwriting statement wall!

4. Artwork for home. I want to get some of my own artwork up in my home. I have done a lot of craft projects but I want to get back into painting/drawing/collaging and get it up on my own walls.

What are your big-project goals?

Tuesday, 11 June 2013

DIY: Decorative wooden spoons

Back with a cute DIY! I saw these from Anthropologie although I don't think they sell them anymore. I decided to have a go at making these myself anyway and you'll most likely have these things lying around your house! Zero cost!

You'll need:
Wooden Spoons, masking tape, paint (you can use anything really, I had some sample wall paints left so I just used those), paintbrush & clear gloss varnish.

Put the masking tape on where you want to paint up to, make sure it stuck securely down so you have neat straight lines when you peel it off. Paint the spoons in your desired colours. I used 'chic shadow' & 'coral flair' from my dulux paint samples. Leave to dry.

I was originally going to use black paint but decided to go for gold using a liquid gold leaf pen that you can get from most craft stores or amazon. Draw/paint on your design. I've gone for simple polka dots & aztec inspired lines.
Once dry use a couple of coats of varnish to seal your design.

They certainly make cooking a little more exciting and my kitchen pretty! The one thing I would warn you about is that they aren't particularly dishwasher safe. I did a couple of washes through the dishwasher and they were fine but after a third wash one of my spoons began to peel. They are fine in the water but I don't think they can survive the heat a dishwasher gives out so HAND WASH ONLY.

We had dinner parties Friday, Saturday & Sunday this week so they got a lot of use. I really like them!
Have a go! Xx

Friday, 7 June 2013

Sponsor Opportunites

It's that time again...


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I am excited about this new season for myself & for new online friends to share blogs & new inspirations!

Take a look at my SPONSOR PAGE for more information!

Huge hugs sent to my readers today!

Wednesday, 5 June 2013

A quick catch up

Hello all!
My lack of posts means we have finally moved house! It was all very last minute. We actually still have 2 weeks left on our contract at the last place but we found that this new place was ready for us & Sam had some time off work so it made sense to just get it done.
We had so much help from people to get all our stuff moved across, luckily we have only moved up the road so we didn't need to hire any big trucks, we just did lots of shuttle runs in several cars.

It has been a really stressful & tiring few weeks and has tested my patience to the max. Poor Sam just sailed through it all & put up with me. I feel like life has just passed me the last month or so and I've missed it, as if I've been asleep this whole time. I'm feeling a little on edge & anxious about my next move in life. I know I'm going to work for myself from home but it's been difficult pinning down exactly what it is I'm going to do & I feel like time is running out. I'm worried that I'm not helping us financially, I know that we will be totally ok but I can't help the little niggle in the back of my mind. However, I found myself saying to a friend this week that although things might be financially tight in this season of our lives I wouldn't have it any other way. Sam & I are in this together, trying to make the right choices and live within our means. As much as that can feel frustrating at times I'm glad we get to do it with each other knowing we want to support & love each other throughout.

We are SO blessed though. This new place is twice the size of our last place & so much cheaper. We couldn't have moved at a better time! God's timing has always been perfect. There are more windows to let more natural light in, bigger rooms & plenty of storage space. We've been given the freedom to do (almost) what we like to the place so eventually some of the rooms may be painted. The best thing is that we can nail whatever we like to the walls so it's been refreshing to go wild with pictures, posters & art.
Sam now works downstairs so the odd little kiss in the middle of the day or secret little wink when I pass his desk to go out has been a welcome tradition!
Our garden is HUGE, well technically we share it but through the summer months it's ours as not many people are around to use it. It has a trampoline, kids play area, decking & lots of secret little seating areas in different places. For the first time yesterday we were able to go and sit outside in the sun in our own place with bowls of fresh fruit & barefeet in the grass. It was glorious! It's hard to believe the other place ever felt like home to us. This place is incredible & feels so much like a testament to God's generosity and the places he has brought us out of.

And what's next? A holiday! In less than two weeks! We have been so blessed to be able to go away this year. It wasn't going to happen but then for various reasons we're going! I realise not many people have the privilege to go away every summer so I do not take it for granted for one second that we've been given the chance to go. We're going on a cruise across the central mediterranean. After such a difficult year it's going to be so much more appreciated and such a joy to relax & breathe again. I'm excited to spend some quality time with Sam and just be in love without the pressures of life around us or the thoughts of things that need to be done or sorted. We can drop everything & just be.

Thanks for letting me catch up with you!