27 October 2014

Upcycling: Colonial style inspiration

Ever since I upcycled this coffee table I have become a little obsessed with colonial style décor, so much so that I filled a whole pinterest board dedicated to it!

I think it is the mix of the indoors and outdoors that catches my interest and I love the garden green and dark wood brown shades together.

I love the way the brown wicker chairs and wooden tree trunks look against the stark white walls and pillars in these outdoor living spaces.



Animal prints and soft furnishings blend perfectly into colonial style rooms.  A perfect way to experiment with the colour and texture of animal prints in a way that doesn't scream tack!



I had to share this picture with you just because of how much I love and want that ornamental birdcage in my home, and look at that pile of old safari style hats!


I have been thinking of ways to add a touch of colonial living to my painted furniture and I found these gorgeous inspirational examples.  It's all about picking the darker shades of paint that I would usually shy away from but that make the biggest impact. To create a true statement piece of furniture that is not designed to fade into the background.





I also found this great little colour chart of primitive/colonial colours that compliment each other, for times where I think just one colour won't do.

I hope you are feeling as inspired as I am by these amazing home décor images.  I would love to hear in the comments below what your current home décor style is, or what inspires you?


20 October 2014

Upcycling: Before and After, Corner Shelving Unit

I finally found a decent amount of time this weekend to work on a few new projects.
I saw this corner shelving unit on eBay and couldn't resist a bargain (it also helped that pick up was only a couple of miles away).

All it needed was a couple of coats of Annie Sloan paint (I mixed Old White and Old Ochre together to make a creamy colour) a touch of sandpaper and a little wax.

This is currently for sale in my eBay store.


19 October 2014

Lifestyle: My Weekly Round Up

1. I got a new phone this week. Yep! I took a leap of faith and switched from Apple to Samsung, and I am so glad I did.  I love getting new gadgets so I have spent all week playing around on it.

2. Cooked a pretty delicious curry all from scratch for the first time ever.  I ditched that Patak's curry paste jar and raided my spice cupboard.  I will definitely be cooking it again so I will be sure to post the recipe.

3. I spent my Friday evening with a fellow blogging friend (Katy's Beauty Online), a couple of pizzas and a bottle of wine...

4. ...followed by my Saturday evening with my sister, some chinese food and X Factor.

5. Reminiscing over some old photos (I am the cute little munchkin on the left).

6. Already getting ready for the Christmas vibe, organising which Christmas tree to get for the reception area at work. Yipee!

7. Finally finding some time to work on a few new projects.

8. Getting through a serious amount of Friends episodes, obbsessed? nah!

9. Another successful trip to the dump. I need to remember to go every week so I can stock pile pieces to work on over the winter months (when no one has the energy to clear out their homes).

The Secret
10. This quote that popped up on my Facebook newsfeed  from 'The Secret'.


12 October 2014

Lifestyle: My Weekly Round Up

Another week, where does the time go?! Is it me or do the days go past faster and faster? Just another reason to stop and appreciate all the good things in your life because if not, you might blink.. and miss it.

1. A well deserved date night with Hubster.

2. Gorgeous Italian food with the fam for big sister's birthday.

3. My Sunday afternoon spent cooking Daddy's Pie (which is actually a Jamie Oliver recipe)

4. This very motivational poem.  I have this hanging in my bathroom and I read it every morning as I am getting ready.

5.  Welcoming mum and sister home from their holibobs...and getting a lovely bottle of South African wine :).

6.  Waking up on Sunday morning, thinking it was Monday and then realising it was still the weekend. 
Best. Feeling. Ever

7. Replenishing my stock of furniture all ready to upcycle.

8.  I know this one features a lot in my weekly round ups but just look at him.. I don't think he could have gotten any cuter.

9.  Watching endless episodes of Friends.  I have been watching it for a few weeks now and I am still only on season 2!

10.  Cakes, cakes and more cakes! We had a little Macmillan Coffee Morning at work this week. Just look at this bad boy!


05 October 2014

Lifestyle: My Weekly Round Up

When I started writing this blog series I thought it was such a great way to practice the 'Law of Attraction' by giving me my own personal space to log all the positive things in my life.  

I really thought that after a few weeks I would have found it pretty difficult to think of things that have made me happy, there's only so much to be thankful for right? Wrong! It has actually become easier as the weeks progress. 

I have learnt to appreciate even the small things in life.  It doesn't matter how big or how small something is, if it has brought you a little joy to your day then it's definitely something to be grateful for.

So, my last week was a pretty average week, I went to work, came home, made dinners.  Nothing overly exciting, but I still have lots of ammo for this weeks' weekly round up post :)

1.  It is mid-October and yet the sun is still shining and the temperatures are still high.  As much as I am looking forward to the colder weather so I can whip out my winter jumpers and scarves, I am loving the prolonged summer.  Sunshine = happiness.

2.  A little late night road trip with my sister down to Dorset. We are talking car snacks, lots of laughter and best of all - no traffic!

3.  The most comfortable bed in the world followed by a full English breakfast that wasn't cooked by me (the best kind!)

4.  The seaside!!!!!!

5.  A lovely morning catch up with an old friend.

6.  Finding this seafront pub, I really loved the décor.

7.  Mmmmmmmm Sloppy Joe sub and onion rings (yes I took a bite before I realised I needed to take a photo - oops)

8.  A gorgeous dinner with gorgeous friends and lots of laughter.

9.  Colour inspiration.  This shade of blue was literally painted all over the seaside town that is Lulworth.

10.  X-Factor - nothing says cozy evening in like a night in front of the tele.


04 October 2014

Lifestyle: The Power

This book changed my life.

That is a pretty bold statement but it is true, it brought me out of quite a dark place and honestly changed my life forever.

'The Power' is the second book in a series of four amazing, thought provoking books by Australian author, Rhonda Byrne.  Rhonda shot to fame after writing her first book 'The Secret', one that many of you may have heard of before.

I was first introduced to 'The Secret' a few years ago.  One of my sisters recommended that I read it but I could never really grasp it because of the way it was written.  I found that it repeated itself a lot, but I can now see that this was essential to ensure that your mind really takes the message in. Anyway, I think I read about a quarter of the book before I got bored and gave up.  

A few years later Hubster got 'The Power' as a Christmas gift and I knew I had to read it. Looking back I wasn't in the right frame of mind to read a book like 'The Secret'. I believe it's the sort of thing that will make sense only at times when you really need it the most.  A bit like that Nanny McPhee quote that basically says if you require help it will be there, and when you don't it will disappear. Good old Nanny McPhee, she knew what she was talking about.

The second book, 'The Power' is a lot like the first in that it shares the same message, however it is written differently. Basically, 'The Secret' introduces the reader to the law of attraction, and 'The Power' teaches the reader to use it as a tool to get anything and everything you want out of life.

What is the Law of Attraction?
To put it simply (and without re-writing the whole book in one post) the law of attraction is the secret to life.  The whole universe is made up of energy, positive and negative, and the law of attraction is simply the belief that 'like attracts like'. So whatever energy you are giving out, you will receive back.

Anyway, after only reading the first chapter I instantly felt like I had suddenly been shown the whole world and it's infinite possibilities. 

I was sold.  

As the book progresses it helps to train your mind into a more positive way of thinking.  That is essentially it. It's all about thinking positive thoughts instead of negative ones, saying positive things instead of negatives things.  It really is that simple. 

After reading the book I felt so much better in myself, my life, my work, my family. I was happy. Not just content, I was over the moon happy, everyday... !! 


The book advertises itself as a self-help and spirituality book.  Sure, it's a self help book but nothing like you may be used to reading.  Spirituality? I don't know. I wouldn't say it is purely for people who call themselves spiritualists.  It includes quotes from many of the most historical religious figures in the world; Buddha, Jesus, Mohammed.  And even some from the top scientists and philosophers of our time; Einstein, Eddison, Plato.  This book really is for everyone, every religion and every belief, the law of attraction has roots in all of these. 

It's not until you are introduced to the law of attraction that you start to see how easy it is to say/think negatively. Even after a few months I started to slip up, and found myself saying the odd negative thing here and there like 'I don't like Mondays' or 'I'm not feeling very well today'. So I now keep the book by my bedside and when I feel like I need to remind myself, I read a couple of chapters before bed.  That always seems to do the trick.

Try it for yourself, spend one day being fully aware of people's words and actions and take a mental note of how many positive ones you see and hear. You will be surprised (especially on Monday mornings!). Then try and spend the following day being fully aware of your own thoughts and words, try and catch yourself before you say something negative and change it to a positive. It may be difficult for you at first but after a while it will be a natural process.

I really hope that the next thing you do today is go and buy this book and learn about the secret to life for yourself.  Enjoy, and here is to your happy happy futures!


01 October 2014

Upcycling: Style your home on a budget

People are always asking me for advice on how to style their homes on a budget so I thought I would share my knowledge and tips that I have picked up from my own experience decorating my home.
It is so easy to think that the only way to fill your home with lovely furnishings and accessories is to go straight to the department stores and high street shops. Oh how wrong you all are!
 In fact, its so much more exciting to buy things secondhand, make your own accessories or even salvage a few things! Unless you prefer an ultra modern, clean and crisp look to your home, being thrifty with your purchases can create a lovely vintage and shabby chic style.  Lets face it, the pieces with character and charm aren't the ones that came from reproduction style stores.
Up cycling
I am always banging on about how cheaply I furnished my home to anyone who will listen, because I am constantly astounded at some of the things people will just give away!
Just have a look, these are just some of the things I have found at my local recycle centre.  Someone has literally 'thrown' these away.. whattt!? Granted, most of the things I find here have needed a little bit of TLC to wake them up and give them a new lease of life but it really only requires some paint, a paint brush and a little time.

 I picked up this set of three little pots and tray for just a couple of quid.  I painted them using ASCP 'Old White' (a trusty fav) and transferred the words using carbon paper.
They make perfect pots for my kitchen herbs, just got to fill them now!
The vase I got from a charity shop - very cottage chic :)
 Read how I upcycled these tables here
This is a work in progress piece,  I got the TV cabinet from an old charity shop for £15, I plan to paint it but haven't decided on a colour so am waiting for the right inspiration.  For now, it looks okay.
Found these mirrors - bargain only £3 each! they are so big and heavy so I knew they were good quality, I just painted them with a couple of coats of ASCP and they were good to go!
Second-hand Sales
eBay and Gumtree... my two favourite and most visited websites.
eBay is great...if you have the time to sit at your computer during those last couple of minutes while that item you so desperately want ticks down the seconds.  And of course, if you can handle the heartbreaking rejection that is the 'you did not win the item' notification. BOOOO!
Gumtree is easier but I have found there is a much smaller selection of items.  I suppose because eBay has established a more trustworthy and reliable site.  Gumtree also lacks lots of features that eBay excel at such as delivery options, payment options and a better messaging platform.
You can also find selling pages on Facebook - these are also great and you can find some lovely things in your local area.
However, I have managed to grab a fair few bargains from eBay, Gumtree and Facebook in the last few months.  Here is a small selection:
Sofa from eBay- £50.00 and came with two free cushions
 Solid wood extendable dining table from eBay - £50.00
 Sofa from Gumtree - £100.00 with not a single mark anywhere to be seen
Set of two lamps from a Facebook selling page - £14.00 one had a broken plug but was easily fixed.
Do it yourself!
If, like me you have a caged 'inner crafter' bursting to get out then you will enjoy making your own home accessories too. Pinterest has some really easy DIY home ideas and gave me so much inspiration to get crafting.   Here is what I came up with:
 I made these two framed pieces using colour cards from B&Q, a heart and butterfly punch and some glue.  So easy!
I saw this idea on a number of websites like Not on the high street and Etsy and had to give it a go.  They are the locations of where I met hubster, where he proposed and where we got married.  Cute!
 This was an old piece of wooden board that I painted and carbon transferred on an image.
Perfect for our kitchen :)
Another easy peasy one - just bought a plain wooden letter rack, painted it and transferred the letters on. Simples.
 My favourite quote printed onto an old piece of wood with a few nails hammered in for the rustic effect. I like to read this quote everyday as I walk out the door.
 My attempt at chalkboard art - thought it would be difficult, I was very wrong!
Just painted a backing board from a frame in black chalkboard paint then transferred the design using chalk and went over the design in a white paint pen.
 I just painted these two cute boxes white and wet-transferred the image on. I thought they looked quite bridal so displayed them next to our wedding photos.
After our wedding I pressed three of our wedding flowers whilst we went on our honeymoon then framed them in matching frames. Such a simple idea and a nice momento from the day.
A little display above our stairs which includes a few handmade things... some candles, an Abraham Lincoln quote mirror and 'three little birds' scrabble tiles on canvas.
Another great way to style your home for free is to re-use wedding décor.  We had so much leftover that we didn't want to throw away so we kept it all. The photo above has our 'thank you' signs that we used for our thank you photo cards.
And I have these hanging hearts all over my house!

I have also been lucky enough to have a talented mum who has painted some lovely watercolours, so I have those up around my home too.  Just to remind me of places we have lived as a family and keep our home feeling homely.

Oh and last but not least - we got this cuddle sofa (bobby's bed) free from the previous owners.  They didn't have room for it in their new home so said we could keep it. Love a freebie!

I hope this has inspired you to get thrifty with your home décor  - I don't think I will ever buy 'new' again!