Sunday, 24 January 2016

DIY Marble Table Makeover

As promised I just wanted to share with you some before, during and after shots of our dining table make over. I've wanted the West Elm Marble table for ages but I just can't afford it anytime soon so we decided to have a go at doing up our old table. The first time was a spectacular fail as we tried to cut one piece out to lay over the top and then put a piece around the rim. In the end we just cut out a piece larger than the table and laid it over the top. We then went around the under edge with a scalpel. Its by no means perfect but it works for us. It looks really expensive and it is so effective. The marble contact paper was £5 from Wilko's and the chairs we're around £23 each from ebay (seller here). I was really impressed with the chairs in particular which I ordered on a Sunday evening and they arrived on Tuesday. They are replica Eames chairs which are really popular at the moment. There are tons of tutorials floating around on the internet showing you how to use contact paper if you fancy having a go - I also did a post last year on how to use contact paper on a smaller scale here. I'm waiting for spring when I can spray paint the legs on the table to finish it off. I'm still debating between doing them black or maybe even gold or copper - what do you think? 

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Sunday, 17 January 2016

Home Decor Inspiration #1

Today I wanted to do something a little bit different and share with you some of the homewares I am currently loving or lusting after. To say I am massively into interiors is an understatement, particularly since we moved and I have the freedom to decorate however I please. I recently made over our old dining table on a seriously small budget (blogpost coming next week) and I have several other wallet friendly DIY home decor ideas including my gorgeous DIY bar cart - again mega budget friendly. I'm ordering some gold spray paint this evening and as soon as we get a fine day we are going to head to my friends house and finish it off in her garden. 

This month I treated myself to this beautiful gold cutlery set. I've wanted this set for over a month but deliberately made myself wait until payday to buy these. As you know I'm trying to be incredibly mindful with my money these days so when payday came around I was like ok now you can buy them. So payday came and guess what? They were sold out in every Argos in Leeds, Bradford, Halifax and Huddersfield. I felt like it was some cruel joke! Craig being the absolute hero that he is managed to track them down in an Argos concession in Homebase in Harrogate! So we went for a little road trip and they were finally mine. I also picked up the pretty little succulent from Homebase while we were there. If you want these I suggest you grab them while you can if they have them in your local Argos. They do also have a copper set in Next but I personally prefer the gold ones. 

I watched the first episode of Dickensian on catch up and got a flash of inspiration to get a vintage style gold hanging bird cage and get a couple of love birds. I don't know if I've mentioned it before but I absolutely love the sound of birdsong. I immediately went to Pinterest and started browsing but all I could really find was wedding decorations. Then by a happy accident I found these lampshades and oh my I've fallen in love hook line and sinker. I eventually tracked them down but they are so expensive so I've decided that I'm going to have a go at making one of these myself. 

Last but not least following a trip to my favourite place Salts Mill last weekend I had another flash of inspiration. Salts Mill is home to lots of David Hockney's work and then it dawned on me that it would be a really nice idea to have a couple of his prints in our home. The first one I've settled on is "A Bigger Splash" which I will be treating myself to next Payday. I'm also eyeing up an Andy Warhol print with one of my favourite quotes "All is Pretty"

Be sure to follow me over on Pinterest where I get most of my home inspiration! Next week I will be sharing more photos and details about my table make over.

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Monday, 11 January 2016

Minimalism Monday - Links I Love

In this installment of my Minimalism series I wanted to share with you a few links I have been loving this month.

I discovered Canna of Sugar Mamma TV when I was looking for videos about personal finance and clearing debt. Not only does Canna give seriously good financial advice she also does videos sharing how she incorporates minimalism into her life. Her website is also fab with the weekly Sugar Hit post - something I really look forward to reading every week. 

Rachel Aust is another lovely YouTuber who I have mentioned previously. She's a gorgeous Australian YouTuber who makes videos on health, fitness and lifestyle. I really enjoy her minimalism series and her videos in general - she has such a soft soothing voice. 

When I was reading Marie Kondo's The Life Changing Magic of Tidying I stumbled across Lavendaire's channel. She has a series all about the book and each element of it which I really enjoyed watching as well as lots of other lovely videos on Minimalism.

Another lovely YouTube channel I found was Miss Plantcentric. Brittany has a lovely youtube channel with lots of videos on how minimalism changed her life for the better and how she incorporates it into her life. She also has some videos on her channel about her plant based vegan lifestyle too which are an interesting watch. Also is it just me or does she really look like Kirsten Dunst?

The Blissful Mind is a lovely website I found whilst browsing Pinterest. Taken straight from the website The Blissful Mind is a guide to help you be the calmest, healthiest, most productive version of yourself. You’ll find weekly updates that encourage you to slow down and focus on the important things in life. Whether you want to be more productive, start eating healthier and feel good about your body, or start a capsule wardrobe.
The Blissful Mind is for you if:
You want to simplify your life and focus on what’s important
You want to be the healthiest version of yourself, both mentally and physically
You’re looking for some realistic advice that isn’t totally cheesy

I couldn't round off this post without mentioning The Minimalists. I watched a Ted Talk with these guys last week whilst I was having a soak in the bath and I found it really interesting. They have an amazing website with so many resources for the budding minimalist. This link is an excellent starting point.

Last but not least I really enjoy browsing Pinterest to find interesting articles and links all about minimalism. Please feel free to come over and say hello, this article I found on there is a particularly is a good one to check out and shares 20 things you can get rid of without even missing.

I hope you find something in here that you enjoy and I will see you next week for the next post in this series. 

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Monday, 4 January 2016

Minimalism and Me - An Introduction

I wanted to start a series on Minimalism with a new post every Monday and I thought a good place to start would be with my journey into a more minimalist lifestyle and some small ways I have incorporated this into my life.

There are many different definitions of minimalism and what being a minimalist entails floating around on the Internet. One that I particularly like is 
"Minimalism is a lifestyle that helps people question what things add value to their lives. By clearing the clutter from life’s path, we can all make room for the most important aspects of life: health, relationships, passion, growth, and contribution." - The Minimalists

For me personally there are no set rules when it comes to minimalism. I'm still pretty new to the concept and I'm really enjoying incorporating it into my life. I touched on this in a previous post but thinking about it I started moving towards a more minimalist lifestyle when we moved house back in March last year. The amount of stuff we had accumulated in the 2 years we had lived there was astonishing. So much of it was buried in the spare room, under the beds, stuffed in wardrobes, you name it. The amount of things we threw away, donated to charity, sold or gave to friends was quite frankly obscene. I was sickened with myself that I had wasted so much money on things I didn't even remember I owned. 
We resolved that when we moved into our new place we would be very mindful about what we bought for our new home. We went from a two bedroom cottage to a 2 bedroom apartment so we had less storage available to work with. This really helped us think more carefully about what we were buying, where it would go, did we actually need it, and would we still want it in 12 months time. 
This mentality then started spreading into other purchases I made, not just homewares. I started being a lot more mindful about what I was spending my money on, from make up and skincare to clothes and shoes. I started asking myself did I really need this? And if I didn't 'need it' would it add value to my life in some way or make me happy.

Tidy Home Tidy Mind.

Not long after this I discovered the Marie Kondo book that you will more than likely have seen - The Life Changing Magic of Tidying. This is something I would recommend reading if you want to declutter your home. I really enjoyed it and as someone who has always been quite organised but a little messy it has left a lasting impression on me. I speak honestly when I say my home never looked so good. One rule we stick to that maybe you could try is keeping the surfaces clear. Sounds mega simple doesn't it? You would be AMAZED how much crap piles up on your kitchen work tops. I only keep out the things I use daily so my kettle, toaster, teabags, utensil pot, knife block and a couple of plants. That is it. I used to have all sorts on my kitchen worktops, bottle of olive oil, salt and pepper, candle holder, blender, sugar canister (we don't even use sugar) amongst other things. Its so nice to come down in a morning to make a cup of tea to clear surfaces - try it and see for yourself.

Declutter your digital space.

Moving on from that I also attempted to declutter my "digital space." First things first empty your trash bin and your downloads folder. Next up clear your desktop and keep it that way. Do you still have all of those apps that come installed on the laptop on your toolbar even though you only use may 4 or 5 of them? I had all sorts on mine, GarageBand, iMovie etc - keep the ones you use regularly and hide or remove the rest. Next up tackle those emails if you haven't already. I was one of those people who had thousands of unread emails. I downloaded an app for my laptop called Go for Gmail. This worked really well for me. For some reason I never could keep on top of my emails with my phone so I downloaded this app and I religiously clear my emails every night. If you do have thousands of emails to get through you can filter by subject or sender then select all and delete. Or you could be a total rebel and select all and mark as read. I am planning an entire blogpost on this but until then try these tips and also check out this video by Rachel Aust.

Minimalism and Money.

This is another subject I plan on elaborating on but after watching this video by Sugar Mama TV I decided to try a minimalist approach to my purse. I've always had a huge purse, and its always stuffed to the brim with receipts, scraps of paper, more loyalty cards than I can begin to list amongst other general rubbish. I'm not quite sure where this whole "need" to have a huge wallet came from but it happened. This Christmas I downsized my wallet to a smaller leather purse and seriously slimmed down what I carry around with me. I also received a travel card holder which was life changing - no more scrabbling around trying to find my train pass at the barriers! Downsizing my wallet and only carrying around with me the things I actually use has been liberating. This will be different for everyone but for me I take some cash, my bank cards, my driving licence and breakdown cover card, my Boots, Subway and Waterstones loyalty card and thats it. When was the last time you checked the contents of your purse? 

I think I am going to leave it here for this post as I don't want to go into information overload. There will be a new post every Monday covering a different topic and sharing some of my favourite links or resources for you to check out. Next week I will be sharing some of my favourite Youtube Channels and Blogs but until then here are my 3 links for this week.

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Friday, 1 January 2016


I cant quite believe its 2016, the years seems to fly by at lightening speed. I must admit I do love the start of the New Year, it's a fresh start, an opportunity to wipe the slate clean and start over. True to form I thought I would share my musings in my annual New Year's Day post.

 The biggest thing that happened in 2015 was that we took the plunge and moved house. We relocated to Saltaire and it was the best thing we ever did. You can read more about the move in this blogpost but 9 months on we are still so happy here. I love our home so much I can't even tell you and our quality of life is so much better. Last year our intention was to save up a deposit and buy a house but life has many twists and turns and sometimes you have to just follow your instincts. We are so happy where we are right now saving for a deposit is no longer a major priority. We've spent most of this year slowly furnishing our new place - it's an expensive job going from a fully furnished house to a completely unfurnished property but I wouldn't have it any other way. Sometimes you just have to take a leap of faith - thats what we have done and it has worked out better than we could have ever imagined.

Another major thing that happened this year was that I became an aunty and little Oscar was welcomed to the world. He brings so much happiness to the family and I adore him.

We were lucky enough to have several holidays this year with a stay at Centre Parcs, a camping trip in the Yorkshire Dales and finishing the year with an eventful holiday to Egypt. We were caught up in the dramatic events that unfolded in Egypt in October and whilst it completely tarnished the holiday we were very lucky and learnt some valuable lessons. 

This year I'm looking forward to working towards some personal financial goals and other than that I want to continue exactly as I am right now, focusing on my intentions of living a positive, happy and healthy life. 

Whatever your own personal goals are - I hope all of your dreams come true in 2016.

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