Thursday, 20 August 2015

Kitchen Makeover

I think it's fair to say I have not been the most dedicated blogger this past year or so. Family life, as it should, comes first. I gave myself a year off after Noah was born, and during that year I set my mind to fixing up the house on a budget. So, school runs, babies, DIY and all those other things get in the way of blogging, but I'm sure you all understand.

We bought the house 6 and a half years ago. I made plenty of decorating mistakes back then. (I'm still not an expert and continue to make blunders.) But my Mum has been teaching me that 'white paint is not just white paint' and the direction your room faces matters when it comes to shades and colours. Pinterest and Houzz are sources of inspiration too. Subsequently, I've developed a bit of an interest in interiors and design.

In recent years our kitchen had stopped functioning. The layout was bad and after Noah came along we simply hadn't got enough room to all sit around a table together. Jack was still in his highchair (aged 3!) so something had to change. The bad wooden floors were warped and scuffed and the wooden cabinets looked dated. 

It was amazing what a few simple changes made. I just moved the table at a 90 degree angle against the wall, which opened up both sides. Problem: where to put Noah's high chair which was too low for the bench? Solution: Clip on Mountain Buggy highchair. Seriously one of the best items I've ever bought.

This gave me more room for a useful sidetable and some shelving. There's no good in marrying a talented illustrator if you're not going to coerce him in to creating some wall art for your vision. (Note: the wall art is of cuts of meat from beef and pork. Hard to explain to your 4 year old vegetarian-at-heart) 

Ikea FORHOJA kitchen trolly £80      /       Ikea GRUNDTAL wall shelving £19 each

The new tiled floor (by far the most costly change) and the rearrangement worked so well it inspired me to go that bit further and paint the old wooden cabinets. I was really worried about this. I even got a few quotes from professionals, but we were talking almost a grand and my husband convinced me we could do it ourselves. He was right. It took an entire week, but I love the new colour! It feels so modern compared to the orange-tinged wood. 

Walls: Craig and Rose Acrylic Eggshell Chinese White     /    Cabinets : Farrow and Ball Purbeck Stone Estate Eggshell Paint      

Ikea BOSSE Bar stools £25 each (Cut to size)

You may have noticed my boys enjoying the new family-friendly kitchen in the cutest matching pyjama sets? The lovely people over at Powell Craft sent the boys a pair each (Noah wears the various vehicles design, and Jack is rocking the Tractor version) They're beautifully hand-crafted and made from soft cotton. Noah looks all grown up in a two piece. The family-run business, Powell Craft design some amazing vintage-inspired clothing, homewares and even toys.

Up until now Powell Craft has been wholesale, available at all good kidswear stockists. As of next week their brand new website launches at - I'm excited to see the new site. Thanks so much to the brand for sending these gorgeous jammies to the boys.

So, all in all, the not-really-brand-new, but feels brand-new kitchen is functioning so much better. I'm really enjoying being in it! So inspired was I by a lick of paint and some rearranging that I have become super motivated (my husband would say I've lost the plot) and basically re-painted and rearranged 75% of the house. I'm still going. I'm currently painting the landing and stairs (having just finished the downstairs hallway and the back room)
Hope you enjoyed seeing the kitchen makeover, and perhaps this goes some way to explaining my longer absences between blog posts. You know. Since I found paint. And lost my mind.

Here's our week that was. I've cheated a bit and used some of photos from a couple of weeks ago.

1. Rainy family weekend away
2. Love these two rascals
3. Dabbling with Great Nana
4. He loves brushing his 6 little pegs
5. More DIY (forgive me husband.)
6. Building sandcastles
7. Ring-a-ring-rosies
8. Married to this dreamboat 6 years tomorrow! Happy Anniversary x

Thursday, 13 August 2015

Rainy Holiday

Hello all! A couple of weeks of the summer holidays left, and I just don't know where the time has gone. The weather this summer has not been kind, and was even less so last week when we took ourselves off on our holidays to County Donegal (my happy place) for a whole week. It bucketed down with hardly a break for 4 of the 7 days, but we didn't let it stop us. We got soaked to the skin numerous times, but that's typical Irish weather for you.

The last two days the sun shone and gave us a bit of heat, so we took a walk through the perfect Poison Glen of Gweedore. Noah was napping, so we missed him on this little adventure. Jack loved it. He wanted so badly to join his Daddy and I on our climb up Mount Errigal. We were advised against it, and it was just as well. It was a challenge as it was, and definitely no place for a 4 year old. Even the dog, who has two legs up on us found it a struggle. Plus, on the way down the heavens opened and we basically slid the whole way back down. It became really a bit treacherous!

We rent a huge house for the week with the extended a family, and Jack, who is a chatty social little being loves the company. There's always someone to have a natter to. I think he must miss the interaction as he has been talking my ear off this week. I alone am getting the conversation he would have spread around 15 people. It's a lot for one person to take!

Jack says when he's a 'big man' he wants to live in Donegal. That's the dream. I've told him we'll go with him. Every year I come back to the city and dream of someday moving to live by the mountains and the sea.

Noah was only 10 weeks old when we took him here last year. 14 months now, and he was able to properly appreciate the beach, the company, and a little break from normal routine. What a great holiday, and such a lot of special memories made.  Here's our week that was, which was just full of action and fun.

1. Tiny feet enjoying the sand
2. Beach times
3. Climbing Mount Errigal, Co. Donegal
4. Bucklepping and Snorkling
5. Archie and Noah build Sandcastles
6. Big Jack, Little Jack
7. Poison Glen
8. Bro's