Wishlist Wednesday – 7th March 2012

I know, I know, I’m a day late for this week’s Wishlist Wednesday. Joe recommended I do a Thoughts Thursday as an alternative but I told him he was a silly sausage and he should do one himself sometime (come on Joe, get your blogging hat on!).

Anyway, this week I’m lusting over art and picture frames.

I’d argue that our lounge and bedroom are pretty much completely decorated apart from a bit of organising and unpacking still left to do, but the walls are still bare and we still don’t have any photo frames about. So in some ways the house still has that “show-home” feel about it.

It sounds ridiculous writing that because, quite frankly, I’ve been in DIY warehouses that feel more like home than some rooms in our house, but what I mean is, it’s not yet personalised.

We are currently looking to fill a huge wall (about 20ish feet long) in the lounge, as well as the wall above our bed. But we’re stumped.

We have one frame in the lounge at the moment which we got for Christmas (below). We’re going to fill it with pictures of the family, then buy another one and fill it with pictures of friends. This won’t really make a dent though on the huge amount of space there is to fill.

The wall over the bed is a different matter. We’re totally uninspired and stuck for ideas.

Here’s some wall decorations I’ve seen on the web this week that I loved. When we get chance,  I think they’ll come in handy as inspiration. Although I’m not sure if we could think of anything to put in so many frames!

DUMICAN MOSEY Architects - Fillmore Street contemporary staircase

This Etsy shop called Popca-Popca Studio I’ve really taken a shine to when it comes to the art itself. It’s hand painted images onto vintage dictionary pages so they’re quirky and one of a kind. I can’t decide which design I like best though – the cat with a burger on its head, Darth Vader holding an orange spoon, or the skeletons having a snog. Hmmm.

 Karen x

The Autumn/Winter home collection

I love Autumn and Winter. Mostly because I get to crack out my winter wardrobe which consists of funny hats, big coats, hockey jerseys and colourful tights.

But I also love the feel of it. Last year was miserable. Not me. I wasn’t at all miserable. I’m a lucky bunny. But the whole of winter just felt like a downer. The winter rain started in Summer so everyone was frustrated. And so many were complaining about the snow because they couldn’t travel. Well this year I’m trying to stay optimistic. So here’s a post dedicated to taking time out to appreciate what I have: a wonderful house in my favourite season.

The massive tree in the front of the house I’m sure will annoy me & Joe as the years go on, as we have to tackle the hundreds of leaves that it sheds, but for now, they just look so darn pretty, I’m happy for them to be here…for now.

The view when we look up at our front door. Our massive tree

Lily/Pebbles waiting for my outside in a pile of leaves

Joe eventually buried my whole legs in leaves, but this picture is prettier hehe

Bit of a girly moment. Even did my nails AUTUMN STYLE!

What will one day be our driveway, covered in "presents" (read: more leaves)

Joe fitting the tap in at the side of the house. With leaves as his only friends. He looks so handsome in the picture. I love it

Okay so maybe I did use Instagram to make the images a bit more Autumny (is that even a word?!) but that’s irrelevant! 🙂

With Halloween just around the corner, we’re going to carve a pumpkin this weekend for the windowsill. Hopefully some neighbours will pop round (it seems that the area has a lot of families with young children) and it will be a great opportunity to meet more of them.

I’ve bought candy and everything (check me going all American on y’all) so I’m well prepared. I’m sure I will post a picture of our first Halloween in the house, (there I am with that phrase again) with what will hopefully be a decent looking pumpkin. Watch this space…

Karen x

Settling in nicely

I’m not talking about me & Joe, although we really are starting to feel like it’s our actual home now. (Yippee!)

But no, I’m talking about Lily Pebbles.

For a cat who isn’t ours, she really is a confident little buggar. I know I’ve probably posted more pictures of her than of the house on this blog, but she just makes me chuckle so much. Here’s what she’s been up to this week…

She waits for meevery morning in the front garden. Here's a view from our bedroom window. She's waiting to see me in the lounge.

Woohoooo plastic bag! (Still not sure why she loves them so much. Or why there is always a plastic bag on the floor. Oops)

She's spotted the rats. But she's yet to meet them...

I can't be sure, but I think she wants attention?

Naptime on Joe's chest whilst he's playing on the computer.

Attempting to hide in the computer desk. Nice try Pebbles!

I really love animals. And we’re lucky enough to have 3 dumbo rats and a leopard gecko at the moment.
I’ve always been more of a dog person myself, despite having had only one dog in the past, but four cats. Saying that though, it’s really making the house feel more like a home. Meow meow!

I might submit her to LOLcats.

Karen x

Firing up the weekend with a BBQ and sink-fire

If you were paying attention to the news this weekend (or the outside world in general) you probably would have noticed that the weather was a tad hotter than normal for the first weekend of October.

(October is my birthday month, and I don’t think I’ve ever had a birthday where it wasn’t chucking it down, so this really is new to me.)

That will do nicely!

After spending the last two summers living in a flat, Joe & I have really missed not having a garden. Simply because, when Joe lived at home with his parents, we would often play host to having BBQs with friends.

At the flat, me and my sister (who also lives in that building) would often go and sit outside in our designated car parking space with a nice cold cider, just to feel like we had a garden. (It sounds a bit sad but trust me, it was a common thing. We often saw neighbours sunbathing in their car space.)

What used to be our "garden"

So, needless to say, me & Joe had a lot of catching up to do in terms of garden adventures, and we weren’t going to let the fact that it was October ruin that.

Firstly, out came the sink.
When I was younger, it was a family tradition that every bonfire night we would have a bin-fire. This was mostly because my Uncle Steve and Aunty Helen (who hosted the bin–fire) had a small yard and this was the only conceivable way to have any form of fire.

Carrying on this tradition (with slight alterations) me & Joe had our first sink-fire on the Friday night. (Well, if you can think of a better way to get rid of unwanted wood and an unwanted sink, I’d love to hear it!)

Mind you don't singe your beard Joe!

Why does Pebbles always have to put her bum in my face?

Time to stick our feet up and just enjoy.

Poking the fire for fun...

Extreme close-up!

The aftermath. We 'may' have cracked the sink with heat....

And on the Saturday, we had our first BBQ at the house.
It was just lovely.
With our £3 BBQ (that I laughed at the first time I saw it because it was so teeny tiny, but now I think it’s genius!)

Look at the size difference!

Friends 🙂

Lily, oops, I mean Pebbles, visited too!

...and she stayed until after dark.

There's no food left Pebbles. You ate it all!

Luckily we now have a bit of practice for when bonfire night comes around next month. (Again, last year in the flat we just got some sparklers and headed out to the car park!)

Perhaps we won’t have another BBQ for a while since it is due to snow from next week onwards…

Until next summer then!

– Karen x

What a difference a month makes

It took us one whole month from getting the keys to the house, to making it decent enough to live in. Joe took some pictures of the house just before we had the keys, and here are some updated images now that we have got our stuff in, so you can see how much it has come along (and how much we still have to do!) in such a short space of time. Really proud of ourselves, and grateful to the family who have been superstars.

The Lounge

Before

Since then we have…
Stripped and skimmed the walls and then painted them white.
The fire has been removed completely and the floors have been stripped back to the floorboards.

After

The dining table has also been shoved into the lounge for now. As soon as we build a dining room, that's where it will go!

The Kitchen

Before

To be honest, not much has been done in the kitchen. Eventually, we plan to knock through the back wall to extend the size of the room and then build a kitchen. So far, this room has had the boiler installed, and that’s about it! It is mostly being used for storage.

After

Bedroom 1 (the “master” bedroom)

Before

In our bedroom, the horrendous moss green carpet has been removed. The bright pink wallpaper has been stripped off. The gas fire has also been removed. We have skimmed the walls and given it a white coat of paint.

After

Even managed to fit my dresser in there! Plenty of my junk yet to unpack though...

Bedroom 2

Before

This room has been stripped of the horrible wallpaper. Because we couldn’t afford to have another room skimmed just yet, we decided to just paint behind where our wardrobes were going to go, and leave the rest until later. You may have heard me talking about the wardrobes before. They are massive and once they are assembled, we are NEVER moving them.

Poor Peter (Joe's dad) having to assemble them. You're a legend Peter!

The rest of the room is currently being used for "storage"

 Bedroom 3 (The boxroom)

Before

I would have loved to show you what this looks like now, but it is currently home to a computer desk, a spare single bed, and an entire bathroom suite, so it’s pretty stuffed!
We have however, removed the lovely carpets, and all wallpaper.

The bathroom

Before

What used to be this awfully dated pink bathroom suite (rotting, may I add) and a separate WC, we have now ripped out all fittings and tiles, as well as the adjoining wall. We have taken everything back to the brick, added plasterboard to the walls and ceiling (to make a lowered ceiling) and added a toilet. As soon as we can afford taps and tiles, we will fit the rest of the bathroom. Hoorah!

After

We will probably take things a little slower now. We got so much done in the first month simply because we had to. I can’t wait to get all the dirty stuff out of the way and get some flooring in the next few months. It’s going to be a blast.

Karen x

Adventures of a scavenger

For those who have been following my blog this past month, you will have seen a fair few pictures of a cat called Lily.
(Click here if you need a reminder)

She is one of the neighbour’s cats, although we have no idea where she lives. She is super soft, super fat well fed, and so can’t possibly be a stray. However, she has been at our house every single day since getting the keys in August.

Since we officially moved in last week, she has certainly made herself at home. If she’s planning on making such regular appearances I might have to get her a flea collar. Just in case…

Oh make yourself at home Lily! She joins me in bed the first Saturday morning in the house.

Joe & Lily having a good tickle on the couch

"Helping" me unpack...

Playing hide and seek in my wardrobe

Back in bed! Lazy thing. Licking her arse where we sleep. Nice...

Running after me first thing Monday morning. Don't worry Lily, I'm just going to work. I'll be back! (And yes, that's a toilet in our front garden. But that's another story for another day...)

I’m sure there will be plenty more Lily-related posts yet to come. She’s a cheeky thing.

Karen x

The final countdown: Part 1

This time next week we need to be fully moved into the house, as our lease on the flat ends. We will actually have to start living at the house. Scary stuff. Especially when we still don’t have a kitchen, bathroom, or any flooring. But I suppose that’s half the fun eh?

Note to self: Keep up with the optimism. You are a lucky bunny to be on the painful ladder of property at all. Who needs a toilet anyway?

With no time off work this week, me & Joe will be spending every evening at the house trying to get it in a state where we can actually dump stuff in. We’ve decided that we want, at the very least, for our bedroom to be fully painted, so that we can have one room to escape to, to avoid dust and rubble.

Here’s how our final countdown is going this week.

Monday night we gave the wall it’s first base coat.

Here we go!

Good job ONE of us can reach the high bits!

Joe "stomping the spiders away"

This is all we had time for on day one....

My favourite shoes have been destroyed! Rookie error.

Painted myself as much as the walls!

Look who decided to turn up and use her new bowl!

One of the radiators in the lounge. I won't bore you with a picture of every single one, but trust me, I'm very happy they are here!

Tuesday night was time to finish the base coat and start on the second. My sister (Amy) and Hannah from work kindly popped over to give a helping hand!

Amy

Hannah

Joe posing as usual 🙂

The full wall covered finally!

Looks a billion times better (and bigger!) white

Wednesday (tonight!)
Today, I need to get another white coat on the wall, decide what bathroom to order, and pick what colour we are going to paint this “master” bedroom.

Going to test these greens and greys later tonight

I'm sure my sister will want me to pick this one! (Clue is in the name)

Plenty to do. Best get cracking…

– Karen x

We caved for central heating. Tropical house warming party anyone?

I can’t believe how quickly everything is coming along. The central heating is being installed this week and I am certainly not suprised that a lot of houses in our area haven’t got around to doing it themselves.
1. It’s expensive.
2. It’s bloody messy!
3. If you’re already decorated, you’d have to start over.

Luckily our house is a shell and we bought it for that very reason meaning we could:
1. Add value over the years.
2. Make it exactly how we wanted it. Our dream home if you will.
3. Have a project to work on as a family.

Here’s a few piccies of how the central heating is coming along so far. We’re away for the weekend and should be done when we get back. After using electric wall heaters that smell like burnt toast in the flat for so long, I’m excited for that cosy warm feeling again when it comes to our first Christmas in the house.

Back of lounge

Front of lounge

Pile of radiators ready to go!

The boiler!

Upstairs hall. Not much of a floor at the moment!

Main bedroom

“]”]

Immersion heater in the bathroom has been destroyed woop! Adding extra room

What will one day be the bathroom! The door on the right used to be a separate WC but the wall has now gone and will eventually be a double shower.

Even Instagram can't tart up a skip.

-Karen x

Home comforts from the office

The girls at work are adorable.
Originally when Joe and I bought the house, we budgeted for certain things such as paint, tools, and plaster, but decided that we could probably wait a year or so to get central heating; it is costly to install and we don’t use it all that often anyway (we only have 1 heater that we use in the flat and it is pretty much never on).

However, after realising that we can’t decorate any walls or lay any floors until the messy job of installing pipes is done, we decided to go in head first and get central heating before we move in so that we can start decorating sooner rather than later.

Which makes it even cuter that the girls from work bought me and Joe a heated airer as a house warming pressie! (You know you’re growing up when you get excited over a laundry appliance. Joe got some fancy angle grinder tool thingymajig from his friends at work and he literally sqealed with glee.)

Cute card from the girls at work ❤

My name written with space things! I blummin' love space!

House warming pressie 🙂

In their honour, I used Camera+ to edit the piccies because they love it.
Big big thank you to Hannah, Charlotte & Eve. You have each earned 10 friend points and a packet of office biscuits 🙂

-Karen x

Making a house a home

I love that Joe added to this blog yesterday.

I was visiting family at the weekend and was away with work on Monday and Tuesday so I’m really enjoying looking at the pictures Joe took whilst I couldn’t be at the house over those few days (although I did make one or two appearances – I’ve done my bit, I promise!). Although everything still looks a little bit like a building site, it’s really starting to come together quickly. Family is a wonderful thing.

Here’s a few of my favourite piccies from the last week.

Gary (Joe's cousin) attacking the wall between the toilet and bathroom. With a hammer?

Love this picture of Peter through the first hole in the bathroom wall.

Rubbish left at the side of the house. Pre-skip.

Joe putting his feet up in the garden

Joe playing with Lily

Hmmm hall is bit messy!

Luckily we have Carol (Joe's mum), the clean up Queen!

She's defo got the right idea. Using a shower cap to avoid getting dust in her hair. GENIUS!

The lounge looks so much better now that the walls are sanded, the fire has been removed, and the carpet remains have been removed.

Us in our gear ❤

– Karen x