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My first blog year in photos

I haven’t done a full year on my blog yet, even though I started it in 2009 but I figured I’ve got enough photos from this year to choose some of my favourites. So here is my first blog year in photos.

I missed January so let’s get right on to February, when I was inspired by Cherry Menlove to get my kitchen more organised 🙂 For the full post, read Inspired.

Taken today

 

We moved the freezer over in place of the laundry basket, rearranged some of the boxes so I could fit my new Tassimo on the shelf next to the kettle and put all the gardening books within easy reach on top of the fridge. I also changed the walls from the yellow in the first photos to the cream in the last one. (I forgot to move the boxes of hair dye off the table before I took the picture. Look out for a future post showing off my new red hair!
Onto March and another inspired project! Cherry Menlove has a lot to answer for!
I updated an old chest of drawers and I have to say, I still love it! For the full post read, Revamping a set of drawers.

 

Before

 

After

I took another blog break until June when I wrote about Wisteria and Raspberries. I’d recently discovered my green fingers and this month saw me really get the gardening bug. Things that I planted, started to grow and I was amazed!

Coriander, grown from seed 🙂
It wasn’t all good on the gardening front though. A cat got to the Robin’s Nest and really upset me when I found them all dead the next day.
I’m hoping we have better results in the spring.
I didn’t have many flowers last year but the few I did get were beautiful.
The highlight of the month was going to watch our little Ella in her first Sports Day. She had a brilliant time 🙂
 
July was the month I made a proper commitment to my blog, thanks to Ant. He was the one who encouraged me to write more often when he told me how much he enjoyed reading my posts.
I enjoyed writing anyway but it was much more fun knowing someone was actually reading!
We had family visitors in July when my brother brought his family to see us. The Cousins got on well and had lots of fun 🙂
We baked cake and had lots of messy fun while doing it!
I had a birthday and got spoiled as usual 🙂
We had a back breaking month but the garden started to take shape 🙂

 

Before

 

After
and we came to the end of an era when Ella stopped going to private day nursery ready to start at the nursery at KayCee’s school in September.
We doubled the number of children we normally have here when 3 out of the 4 of my sister’s children came to stay for the week.
We also celebrated a few birthdays; KayCee turned 6, Ella turned 4 and Nanny’s a lady so her age will never be disclosed!
The girls had their party at Grandad’s house because our garden was a bit on the dangerous side to let young children loose in there.
Ella started to wonder where she came from and why we wanted an Ella 🙂
One of my favourite parts of the garden was nearing completion; thanks to my wonderful hubby, the rockery started coming together….
and one of the highlights of the summer holidays was our 2 week activity plan, of which the fairy garden was the biggest success. It’s still outside and before it got too cold, the girls still played with it.
September = new school uniforms
and peas!
and a super wonderful husband who does everything he can to make me happy, such as lighting up the rockery and love seat with candles because he knows how much I would love it….and I did 😀
October saw us take a weeks holiday at Butlins in Skegness, which featured more face painting!
And the girls got busy painting a huge tree and making handprint leaves.
I wrote a post for The Gallery about a person who inspired me; I wrote it about my husband and it’s one of my favourite entries into The Gallery I’ve made so far.
I started my Day Zero Project in November and I have to say I’m loving having such a big challenge to work on. The fact that it’s a list makes it even better! (I’m a list junkie lol)
Another Gallery post I love had the theme, Something I’m proud of. I used it to show off the huge changes we’d made to the garden in 2011.
Daddy had a birthday and the girls made him a cake
Christmas was making it’s way steadily towards us and the girls were eager to hurry it along a little! They started writing the first of many Christmas cards to their friends and family.
Which brings us to December and a wonderful month full of Christmas magic.
The kids loved the activity advent calendar I made and looked forward to opening it every day.
We put the decorations up on the first Saturday of December
and had lots of fun on Christmas Eve when we did a mini treasure hunt. We also had people over for a buffet tea. A lovely time was had by all and we went to bed, the children in new pyjamas, excited about the day to come.
Christmas Day and Boxing Day were everything I could have hoped for. The week between Boxing Day and today has been very quiet seeing as the children stayed in Belper and Ant’s been catching up on paperwork while the shop has been closed but I don’t mind. I enjoy time to myself 🙂
Well, that was my first blog year and it’s been a good ‘un!
All that’s left for me to say is thank you for reading and commenting and I wish you all a very happy and prosperous new year.

Revamping a set of drawers

This set of drawers has been at the bottom of the stairs since before I moved in with Ant.
It’s full of his tools, screws, ‘things that will come in handy one day!’ etc.
Things also get dumped on top of it and left there for years (it may sound like an exaggeration but that printer has been there 2 years at least and last week there was another printer next to it and a box of computer software books on top of the big printer!) and now I’ve had enough of having to look at it every time I walk downstairs.Old set of drawers that have seen better days

I’m not sure how old it is but it’s seen better days! The wood veneer was chipped off on some of the drawers and it just looked old and tired.Chpped veneer on the drawers

I sanded it all and removed the veneer from one of the drawers due to more veneer coming off while I was sanding it.

I filled the other chips with wood filler then painted on the primer….with a little help from Ella!Ella helping to paint!

Ella painting

She really enjoyed helping, as she always does!
It took a few coats of paint but it’s finally done 🙂The drawers look like a new set

I bought the dandelion stickers from eBay for about £5 and the paint from my local B&M store. The white paint cost £4.99 for 1.25 litres and I used less than a quarter of a tin and the brown paint was by Crown and was on sale for 49p!!
I was very happy with my bargain tin of paint!

I wasn’t sure about the brown when I first did it and was getting ready to repaint the drawers white but I’d already ordered the stickers and Ant suggested I waited until the stickers were on to see if I liked it then.

I loved it! The stickers made all the difference.Drawers after painting - they look so much better

Inspired

I came across a wonderful website called Cherry Menlove but unfortunately, as of 2017, it’s no longer available. The author of the site has inspired me to cut my addiction to Facebook and actually do things that needed doing around the house.

Inspired to make changes

Here’s what I’ve done since finding Cherry’s site a few weeks ago:

I finally got all of Aiden’s baby pictures out from under the bed and onto the wall, going up the stairs. They’ve been waiting to see the light for over 5 years!

At the bottom of the stairs, next to the front door, was a big white bookcase that stored loads of VHS tapes (yes, I do realise the world has moved onto DVDs, but we just can’t seem to rid ourselves of all those tapes….!) and it wasn’t a very pretty first impression when people came through the front door.

Swapping Furniture

At the top of the stairs, was a small, brown bookcase (holding more VHS tapes I’m afraid!) that I knew would look better in the place of the white one so I swapped them over.
This also opened up wall space and I was able to put pictures of the girls on the wall.
The hall looks so much nicer now although I haven’t quite finished.

Updating Furniture

There’s a set of drawers at the bottom of the stairs where Ant stores tools, nails, screws etc and it’s quite old. I’m thinking it’s in need of a loving makeover (I haven’t discussed it with Ant yet, but he usually tends to just let me get on with things around the house and only steps in when I ask for help!) but I’m not sure what I want to do with it yet.
I’m thinking it would be nice to change both the bookcase and the drawers in some way that will make them match and brighten up the area.

Kitchen Update

I wish I’d have thought to take pictures before I started but I wasn’t planning on blogging any of this (and yet again, Cherry is the reason I remembered this blog and decided it was high time I got it up to date!) so didn’t think until it was too late. I decided to move onto the kitchen while I think about what to do with the bookcase and the set of drawers.

Every time I went to the kitchen, my eyes would be drawn to the unit where we make drinks and I never liked what I saw.
No matter how many times I re-arranged things, it never looked tidy.

Before:

kitchen before

 

I was browsing Very online and came across some great storage boxes. The prices were quite good so I snapped them up and ordered them for next day delivery.
I had the rest of the day to fill while the children were at school. I set too and made some curtains out of an old tablecloth to hang under the shelf and hide the shoe box, bucket, clear plastic drawers etc.
We don’t have a sewing machine so I had to sew by hand, but it wasn’t a chore. I enjoyed making them, especially as I was recycling something that I would normally throw away.
Ant hung them for me when he got in from work and I was very pleased with how they turned out.

I eagerly awaited my delivery the next day and was so excited when it arrived!
I went straight in the kitchen, emptied the shelves and packed everything away in my new, lovely boxes.

After

Inspired - kitchen after


I must say, it felt so good seeing it looking 100% tidier!
My next kitchen project is to brighten up the cupboard doors until such time as we can afford a brand new shiny kitchen!!

While looking for material to make the curtains, I came across some old bedding and curtains that we no longer use.
They’re an assortment of purple and lilacs and would match the girls’ bedroom decor so I decided to make them each a patchwork quilt for the summer.
I know it’s going to take quite a while having to sew it all by hand but I made a start that afternoon and I’m enjoying it!
I’ll add a post and pictures when I’m done.

So, thanks to Cherry, I feel better about my kitchen and hall and I have projects on the go and in the pipeline.
It’s much more satisfying than playing games on Facebook!

Thanks, Cherry 🙂 xx