New Old Stuff

Since we moved I have hardly bought any vintage. I have been very good and even left Pyrex behind! I am trying to operate a “one in one out” policy with any new bits. Because I like all my current stuff, I am not rushing to replace it any time soon.

However there is alway room for a few small bits of tat cute vintage pieces. Here is what I have required in the last 15 months –First up is the seven Babycham glasses which I went to a huge effort to style for this photo in the cupboard! They used to belong to my grandparents, and when my parents moved Mum gave me them to Ebay. I seem to have kept them. Oopsy.Next is this Hornsea tea storage jar. I wanted one to go with my new kitchen colour scheme. I hunted for one in the local charity shops for a while, but then I got impatient and cheated and bought one cheap on Ebay! Next are the two Staffordshire Pottery Kilncraft bowls which I found for £1.50 in an Isle of Wight charity shop. I actually left them behind, but then got the regret big time, so I sent mother back to buy them much to Rob’s dismay! He hates them! Currently being used to store eggs and for teabags and compost scraps (thats a bit of avocado skin in there in case you were wondering!)And finally this 1980’s National Dairy Council tea towel. It was 50p down the market. It has a few stains on it, but for that price it would have been rude to have left it behind!

Lately #19

My life is pretty boring at the moment (just the way I like it! No dramas for me, thank you!) but I thought I would do a quick catch up post on here anyway.

  • I’ve finished work now, as my temporary summer job’s contract has ended. So I now have the worlds longest ever maternity leave. If I could carry on working, I would, but I don’t have a choice. Its a bit dull, but I am trying to make the most of things, having lots of lie ins, enjoying the last of my free time, going for walks and writing lists of things to do to keep myself busy etc. Fingers crossed the next 9.5(ish) weeks will fly by for me! And fingers double crossed for me that I get my maternity allowance approved and paid into my bank account soon!
  • The store that I was working in have promised me a job again next summer when I am ready to go back to work (if Rob and I can sort out looking after the kid between us, that is!) So that’s reassuring, as I hate being out of work and not earning any money.
  • The big news is that my morning sickness is now finally over! I stopped throwing up at 28 weeks, and I can now drink water without gagging again (TFFT!) It has not been fun being unable to drink anything and forcing down squash and Nesquik (two drinks that I normally hate), so I am making up for lost time guzzling down lots of fizzy water (just in time for the last part of pregnancy where you keep going to the toilet!) Its so great being able to drink like a normal person again and I only dry heave occasionally now, maybe once or twice a day. Hurrah!
  • Talking of dry heaving, we recently visited the Isle of Wight to see my family and we put the cat in a cattery. When we picked her up and drove her home, she pooed herself with fear in her carrier (yes, for real), which was on my lap. Bleugh! I nearly threw up with the smell of it! We had all the windows open, with me heaving all the way home, and poor Rob didn’t know what to do but laugh (which I can now also do retrospectively!) Bloody cat!!!
  • Rob’s folks also visited us recently and could see why we moved down here. They loved it.
  • The old gas fire in the lounge has now been ripped out. I love the last photo below that Rob took of the hole in the wall when the outside flue was removed.img_2881img_2883img_2885img_2888
  • Rob is currently grouting the kitchen tiles and cursing me for choosing black grout! But it will be worth it as it will look f**king fantastic when done!black groutBlack grout has now been added to the list of things that I am not allowed to decorate with ever again.
  • Next we will finish decorating the lounge and then start the guest babies bedroom. I might do a wee post on my ideas and inspiration for it. Or will that be really boring? I hope not!
  • And finally, does anyone remember this amazing mid century house in Kent that I blogged about back in 2014? It has gone back on the market again and the current owners have ripped out the original kitchen! Whaa! I mean, its still an awesome house that I would be more than happy to move into, if I could afford it, and I could pick it up and move its location to where I live now. At least they kept the original upper kitchen units though. And I still have a lot of love for this house even with its new updates. Check out the listing here.
2

How it looked in 2014

Currently in 2016. Both images from themodernhouse.com via wowhaus.co.uk

Currently in 2016. Both images from themodernhouse.com via wowhaus.co.uk

  • And talking of retro kitchens and interiors, here is a Instagram account to follow full of retro Swedish kitchens and interiors if you like that kind of thing!

One Last Post About Our Last House

Just for my own records so that I can look back at things on here, I want to share the estate agents images of our last house.

Its always interesting to see pictures of your house taken from another persons perspective. The agent that we used to sell our old house did not send a ‘professional’ photographer round (like some of the other agents used as a selling point for their services!) We used one of the cheaper online estate agents and the local expert did a decent enough job with her little compact camera.
old hose frontold loungeold dining roomold kitchen 1old kitchen 2old bedroomold bathroomold garden

My Improved Kitchen Cupboards

I will hold my hands up and fully admit that I am a complete and utter saddo because my newly fitted out, much improved, all singing all dancing pantry cupboard (or is it called a larder cupboard? IDK?) and broom cupboard in our kitchen have made me so happy!

I also shouldn’t admit that I have spent far too much time perving over images of organised pantries on Pinterest!

And even worse, I am now the proud owner of a spice rack!

Ah well, too late!

Its a good job that I have no shame! But some of those Pinterest images are to die for. I mean, phroaw! Swit shwoo!

Some girls daydream about finding a handsome man to settle down with who will spoil them rotten with regular bunches of flowers, hotel mini breaks, meals in fancy restaurants and boxes of Milk Tray.

Nah. Not me.

I just want a man who puts the time and effort into building me the pantry of my dreams, so that I can organise the shit out of it and hoard half a supermarkets worth of tinned food inside it! That’s my idea of a romantic gesture!

Just look at these bad boys. Aren’t they amazing? Rob has improved them so much. I am never going to move house again because I never want to leave these cupboards behind!!!

Here are the before photos –

broom cupboard before

The boiler cupboard pictured back in May or June when we first moved in.

pantry before

And the other kitchen cupboard that originally housed the warm air heating system, that the house was built with, before it was ripped out and changed to gas central heating and radiators.

We swapped the use of the cupboards over. It makes better sense to store food and perishables in the other cupboard rather than next to a warm boiler. I am a bit funny about things like that, because in our old Chatham house, some of our kitchen cupboards that were hung on an outside wall had a touch of damp in them, and I kept finding green fur on things like my Paxo and pasta! Nice!

Rob made all the shelves from MDF and we used cheap basic shelf brackets and fixings to hang them. We then covered the pantry shelves in some of this stuff from Wilko so that they are easy to wipe clean, and I also brought a £2 shelf divider for my tinned food and some cheap pull out storage baskets for my potatoes and onions from there.

I found the spice racks cheap on Ebay, and I cannot tell you how much I love having a spice rack! I must be old before my time (or rather I am now officially sad and old – as I am practically a middle aged woman after all!) because I feel that my life has improved so much since I have got a spice rack! Its just so handy!!!

Here are some photos of the work being out –

img_2855

Underneath about five layers of lino Rob found these floor tiles in the boiler cupboard. I am guessing that they are the original 60’s/70’s flooring?

image

He removed the shelves in the boiler cupboard, gave it a lick of paint and then planned how to make the most of the space with some clever hooks and shelving.

img_2852

Before painting and shelving the other cupboard Rob lined it with MDF. He is such a good boy! ….And a perfectionist!

Nearly there, it just needs organising.

Look at all that space!

Once again I do apologise for the quality of these photos. I promise that I will use the DSLR for my future fully finished kitchen reveal post! Here are the after photos below –

boiler cupboard

The new and improved boiler/broom cupboard. And yes, as you can see, we have gone over to the dark side with our paint colour choice for the walls! #noregrets!

img_2865

My pantry in the other cupboard!!!

img_2866

A close up shot of all the crap I have stashed in there. Plus Rob even put a battery operated sensor light in there for me!

Lights Alive

Who else remembers the toy Lights Alive from the eighties? I wanted one so bad when I was a kid!

Anyway, this is another one of my random-musings-type post. I mean with that intro, I might as well start as I mean to go on, eh!

I was thinking about our new house, the decorating and the forthcoming kid. This is the first house that we’ve not had to decorate and change things because we need to (in that things are falling apart and are unsafe etc) – we just want to.

Take the lights pictured below in our lounge and the kitchen. They are fairly new and work perfectly fine. They are just not the fittings that I would have chosen.
imageimageI feel bad for spending money changing them, and guilty that the old fittings will end up in a landfill (charity shops will not accept certain electricals – including light fittings).  I asked myself if it is necessary to change them.

But then on the other hand, Rob and I are both homebodies and we like our home to look nice. We like decorating (well, the end results rather than the process of decorating!) and improving things, making our house(s) a home. We are putting our own stamp on the house, turning it into a colourful, retro/mid century influenced home that is very ‘us’!

We are both former art students who appreciate good design and we like things that are visually pleasing (I mean that’s why Rob settled down with me because I am so darn good looking! Ha!) Plus Rob works from home and I will be spending more time indoors next year. So having a nice, relaxing, functional, comfortable home is important to us.

I have been very fortunate that I have a small inheritance from my grandparents (obviously I would rather have my grandparents still here though) which has enabled us to move and to be able to decorate this house. (Which we were going to spend on some new interior doors and a new patio and driveway in our old house BTW!)

But should I keep the money in a savings account for the kid? After all, we are spending it on our future, not theirs.

But then I go back to thinking that this is something that we want to do. We want to decorate this house.

Everyone keeps telling us to make the most of things right now and to enjoy our freedom, because come next year, we will not have any time to do anything.

We are well aware of this! But thanks for telling us anyway!

So instead of having one last big blow out like an expensive holiday abroad (or a babymoon as they are called) or me demanding that Rob buys me a ‘maternity’ ring or an expensive trinket (or a push present as they are called!), we are treating ourselves one last time by decorating the house.

This will be the last time that it is all about us. Next year everything we do will be about the kid. Their needs will come first.

Neither of us are bothered about this. We are mature enough (I hope!) to realise what is coming. It will be a big shock change, just like everyone keeps telling us.

But bring it on, I say!

….I just hope that our little darling to be doesn’t destroy the place in a few years time!!!image imageAbove ↑ Our new lights in the kitchen and lounge. The kitchen lights were from B&Q and were not too expensive. The lounge light was from John Lewis (but I did buy it when it was on special offer with 10% off!) which looks soooo much better than the chintzy floral light fitting that was there before!!

The New House – Lounge And Kitchen Progress

I thought that I would share some (badly taken mobile) photos showing the current state of our house in the midst of the decorating progress. Please excuse the mess and washing up etc. You know me, I never tidy up and stage my photos on here!

This is whats happening in our house right now. We are still working on the bathroom and Rob has now started to strip the wallpaper from the lounge and has removed the tiles from the kitchen.imageimageimagePictured above – as you can see I have acquired some new furniture! Our old furniture that we brought with us from Kent was either not working in this room or completely knackered. So we sold the G Plan coffee table (sob, I loved that table so much, but the room looks so much bigger and better with out it) and donated our old (smaller) sofa and discoloured dining chairs to the local hospice charity shop and ordered some new colourful replacements from Ebay and online.

We have also brought a new, slightly smaller dining table and I splurged on a gorgeous, vintage Ladderax unit for the lounge. I have wanted one for so long and I am so pleased with it! Lets just not talk about how I spent the same amount of money that it would cost for a pram/buggy system type thing on it! Oops! Priorities, eh!

The old G Plan unit has been moved upstairs into the ‘guest’ bedroom which I will share a tour of soon.

Why are we stripping wallpaper in this room, I hear you say? In my photos it just looks like it needs a lick of paint, doesn’t it? Well the lounge has lining paper on the walls that unfortunately have a hideous (IMO) fleur de lis pattern on it. Rob did try to convince me that once we painted the room grey I wouldn’t notice the pattern anymore.

Nope, he wasn’t fooling me! He is currently reluctantly stripping the walls and bitching and moaning about how long it is going to take him to repair all the damage to the plaster!

image

Still to do in this room – sort the flooring, lighting, fireplace, tv unit and curtain situation out.

Right, on to the kitchen! We (and you know that I really mean Rob here) have chipped off all the old grey tiles and taken down the filthy, stained vertical blinds (we will have to buy new replacements unfortunately) and the pointless bits of wood above the windows. There is dust everywhere!

I did say in a previous post that we were keeping the current tiles, but we have decided to just go for it. If we are going to give the kitchen a make over, changing the tiles will make such a huge difference to the room.
img_2811img_2812

Apparently Jason and Marc installed the double glazing as we discovered when Rob removed the window sills to tile underneath them!

img_2818img_2819img_2820img_2821img_2822
imageimageimage
So there we have it. I hope that this post was not too boring. Its nice for me to look back on how far we have come and to have a reminder on here never to move house and decorate again!!!

The New House – The Kitchen

Wowzers, today marks four whole weeks of living in our new house, and boy, have we been efficient with the decorating and tarting up of the new place!

We have finished decorating our bedroom, Robs office and the hallway and landing! And once we have worked our way through the snag list of finishing touches, I will share the updated rooms on here. That is after I have shown the before state of the bathroom and the spare bedroom …and once I have learnt to take some better photos that do the finished rooms justice!

Anyway back to now, here are yet more unprofessional photos of our kitchen taken with my mobile (sorry, its quicker and easier for me to blog this way ATM, I promise I will harder soon!) just to give you a feel of the room.

Here is a snap from the day we moved in.
IMG_2377And here is a snap taken today with my obligatory washing up included. Plus added bonus paint brushes and rollers drying on the window sill! That’s some nice styling touches there Helen!!!imageThis kitchen is larger than my Kent kitchen and is really nice to cook in. It was installed in 2012, so all the appliances etc are the same age as the ones we left behind in our last kitchen. I was a little concerned that the ceramic hob would not be as good as my induction hob that I left behind, and the same goes for the oven (first world problems alert!) but they are just as good, if not better than my last set. (I think that’s because we bought the cheapest induction hob on the market from Ikea, and these are decent mid range Howdens appliances!)

The kitchen is nearly new and decorated nicely. It is not 100% to my taste and I would not have chosen the cupboards and finishings myself, as I prefer cleaner lines and more modernist touches, but I am not worried about changing this room. It will more than do!

Its funny, but I am kind of over having a dream kitchen. Its no longer a goal of mine. It was in my twenties, I guess because I was a little influenced by all the home improvement shows and magazines! But now I am older and wiser, I think there are more important things in life than having an immaculate, massive kitchen with a huge range cooker in it. Perfect kitchens will not make you happy – your health, friends and family do.
imageBefore we moved in, we thought about changing the tiles. But that is such a big, messy job and once you do that, you might as well change the cupboard door fronts, then the worktops and then you have ended up putting in a whole new blooming kitchen! So they are staying. They are not bad tiles and we will decorate around them. What we will do is change the flooring and repaint the walls in time.

Unfortunately I have not got a clue what colour to paint the walls though! The vibe I want to create in this room is a kind of 60’s/70’s look, influenced by my Hornsea plant pots, my avocado coloured Cathrineholm kettle and my Briarwood Pyrex pieces. Which means that I am going to slowly replace my pink nik-naks in the kitchen and go for more multi coloured accents.

I played around in my head with the idea of olive coloured walls, or mustard, or even orange for a 60’s/70’s retro look. But instead we might play it safe and go for a light grey colour to compliment the tiles. Or maybe we will go really daring and paint it a dark grey, blue or black colour*!

It is a big room with plenty of light, so I think it could take dark walls if we switch the flooring for a lighter one? Any ideas, anyone? I have no idea what colour to use!IMG_2380I think Poppy has left us a little present in her litter tray in the below shot!imageThe most exciting thing in this room and another thing that sold this house to me was the pantry cupboards! Yes I know, I am really showing my age now – what a saddo!

But how exciting are the hoarding opportunities with a pantry! Think how many cans of tomatoes I can stash in here for any upcoming apocalypse!

Rob is looking forward to the woodwork project of shelving these cupboards for me and I am looking forward to organising them better, so its all good! Win win!imageimage* My current leaning is to paint the room in a very dark greeny-black colour. But my secondary school uniform was bottle green so I am scarred for life when it comes to dark greens! Does anyone else never wear clothes in the the colour of their school uniform? Thank god I never wore black to school as I would have nothing to wear!

Lately #15

Here is what I have been up to lately –

We went camping again for another one night quickie trip. This time was with my sister, her family and my parents who stayed in a glamping pod as my Mother refuses to camp. And we remembered to take our towels this time! We stayed near Stonegate in East Sussex in a lovely little campsite that was for Camping and Caravanning club members only. Oops! I did not realise that small detail when I booked it, and I felt really guilty and like a fraud when I filled in our details in the paperwork when we got there! Ah well, hopefully, they will never check us out!!

My one and only snap of our break

My one and only snap of our break

Spotting some knock off Pyrex Cinderella bowls in TK Maxx. I could not believe my eyes when I saw these amongst the official Pyrex! I cannot remember the manufacturer of them, but needless to say, they were made in China, the land of cheap counterfeit goodies!

Apologies for the terrible mobile snap. I am due an upgrade!

Apologies for the terrible quality mobile snap. I am due an upgrade soon!

Washing my hair with Dr Bronners. I would love give low poo or no poo a go, but my hair is quite fine and greasy, so I always cave in and reach for my bottle of SLS and paraban free shampoo. Recently, I found some Dr Bronners at a discounted price in my local TK Maxx store, and I love it! Its great as a shower gel too. You only need a few drops as it foams up loads so a bottle will last for ages. I love all the hippy stuff about it, like that its not tested on animals, vegan and completely biodegradable. It also opens up lots of homemade cleaning solution options, but to be honest I will probably just stick to using Wilko’s cheap ready made white vinegar and liquid soda crystal solution to keep things cheap and easy!

Eating homemade lollies to survive the heat. I made the simplest of simple homemade lollies by just juicing a bowl of oranges and pouring the juice into my moulds and freezing them. Its a refreshing (if a little sticky) treat full of vitamin C and much nicer than the sugary alternatives in the supermarkets. And so simple! I cannot believe that I did not think of doing this before! Disclaimer – this was not my good idea. I saw it on someones blog!

Hand model I aint!

Hand model I aint!

Acquiring a new blog obsession. Like I need another, eh! But now, alongside my usual lifestyle, 30 something British lifestyle, mid century modern, vintage, food, frugal and Pyrex blog collections in my Feedly feed (I love saying Feedly feed BTW!) I now have a new category – Cycling and fitness blogs! I guess a lot of people might think that reading these kind of blogs would make you feel inferior because you never work out and feel like a fat bastard because you prefer to eat cake to kale (or is that just me that I am talking about here?) but I must be immune to all that stuff, because I find them really positive and inspiring! I am so pleased with my new blog discoveries that I might write up a little completion of them in a post on here soon. So many blogs about so many women being happy and enjoying life, it would be rude not to share the blog love!

We had our new flooring fitted yesterday. I am so pleased with it! We are nowhere near finished with the decorating yet, but I have shared a little sneak peek of the progress so far below. We replaced the crappy laminate that we inherited in the hallway when we moved in 5 years ago, along with the kitchen flooring and the carpet in the dining room. Whats that I hear? Didn’t you just put in new carpet in the dining room and vinyl down in the kitchen not that long ago? Yes, we did, but from the minute we laid down the kitchen flooring, I hated it. It was too dark and ridiculously hard to keep clean. I put up with it for three years (yes it really is three years since we decorated the kitchen!) Finally, we sucked it up and accepted that we made a bad choice with the flooring (or rather I convinced Rob to change it) and we set about fixing it. Next came a few stressful window shopping trips around flooring places. Agh! Too many options! Too many colours! Too expensive! But eventually, I decided that I wanted pale, neutral coloured flooring, and we found some we both liked in the first shop we looked around!
Regarding the carpet in the dining room, it is being relocated upstairs to the smaller spare bedroom. We found that the dining chairs were slowly ruining it with their pointy feet, and laminate is much more practical for times like when the cat throws up in there (she always chooses that room for some reason) and when I am feeding my nephews etc (they are messy little rascals, believe me!). Plus Rob needs a bib when he eats sometimes too.

Top row - the concrete floors hath returned! Bottom row - a little look at the progress we have made. It also needs cleaning FML!

Top row – the concrete floors hath returned!
Bottom row – a little look at the progress we have made. It also needs cleaning ATM!

The Ever Evolving Shelves Of Kitschen Glory #3

I have lots of blog posts planned to publish. I just need to actually write them first!

For the next few weeks my blog will be a bit higgledy piggledy, as I publish whatever is on my mind and floating my boat. There will be no schedule (is there ever on my blog?) and no connection from one post to the other. One minute I will be talking vintage, the next cycling, the next personal, and then there might even be another room tour!

Yes, we are in the middle of decorating right now. After a bit of a hiatus, we* are tackling the hallway and landing. We have ordered some new flooring which is being fitted next month and Rob is sanding up a storm preparing all the woodwork on the skirting boards, doorframes and stair bannisters ready for glossing. So things are a little chaotic and dusty right now, but it will all be worth it in the end!

I guess if you have followed my blog for a while, you probably won’t notice any difference! After all I have never really had any consistency on here, lets be honest!

And now, true to form, its time to talk Pyrex!

After acquiring my latest cinderella bowls, I had to have a little reshuffle in the kitchen. Here is a photo of how things look right now –shelves 3

I think this is the happiest I have ever been with the arrangement on my kitchen shelves!

For the previous shelves of kitschen glory posts see part 2 here and part 1 here.

*By we, I mean Rob, of course. As always!

The Ever Evolving Shelves Of Kitschen Glory #2

So I got my (fake) milk glass cake stand. I admired it. Took photos of it. Blogged about it. Thought about making a epic chocolate cake to display on it. But then stashed it away in a kitchen cupboard, only to come out again on special occasions.

No, I thought to myself, its far too pretty to be hidden away. So it was time to rearrange the ever evolving shelves of kitschen glory!

Before on 03/03/15 –kitchen shelves3.5 hours later on 03/03/15 –shelves afterPhew, is all I can say! I often try not to snigger when I see people describe themselves as stylists. I think how hard can it be to arrange a few nik-naks and hang a few decorations up? And people actually pay them money to do this?

But after hours of indecisiveness and faffing around, I finally settled on the current arrangement of vintage Pyrex goodness, kitschy animals, soup cans and knock off cake stand above. I am not 100% happy with the set up, but it will do for now. And most importantly, I will no longer be a mean girl rolling my eyes at stylists and now give them the respect they deserve!