Category Archives: life

Pray for Manchester 

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Pray for Manchester 

This week and atrocity happened in Manchester. A city I love. 22 people have been senselessly and brutally murdered by a terrorist at the Manchester Arena after seeing one of their favourite artists or just being there to pick up their children. It has been horrible and really emotional this week to see the young people of Manchester murdered this way. I can’t get my head around it and the city itself has been such a wierd place after it. The armed police and the military are comforting to see but also very scary and I’ve been relieved to go home and see my family every evening.

I went to pay my respects this week and laid flowers in St Anne’s Square and I also went to the 1 minute silence there too. It was amazing to see everyone in the city come together like they have done and be unired against terrorism. More needs to be done to protect our children and people in the future from terrorism and I know that I won’t forget what happened at the arena on the 23rd May. I’m still praying for Manchester. 

Flowers in St Anne’s Square

Manchester

Flood Update: House Tour

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Flood Update: House Tour

Finally we have moved home! It’s been an incredibly stressful, downright awful and at times truly heartbreaking 5 months but now that is behind us and we are home again! Through some excessive hardwork and money saving we have been able to upgrade our house and I love it! So I thought I would take you on a little tour MTV cribs style…well sort of.

Entrance Hallway

The water stretched through to here so we had the floor redone. It was odd as I had to put the Welcome Mat on the insurance damage list. So we have a new ‘Cat Welcome Mat’ and I have a mirror. I don’t like hanging coats here as I like it to be open and easy to enter the house. The flooring downstairs starts here and its painted in Jasmine White.

Hallway

The lounge

So I was happy with my living room when the house flooded. I felt like it had literally just been done so it was pretty tough seeing it in such a mess. We managed to save the armchair, the TV and stand and the Marseilles Wallpaper in the alcoves which I love. The floor was replaced by the insurance company and we had a wooden laminate in a lighter shade put throughout. The walls were repainted in the same colour which is Fog by B&Q Colours. We replaced my beloved turquoise sofa, with the French Connection Zinc Sofa by DFS in blue with matching foot rest and its so comfy! We also managed to replace the big seventies shag pile rug that was completely ruined by the water as it soaked it all up. We found the exact same one on sale in Ikea lucky lucky. We then bought some box shelving units in white as I like to display our books and ornaments. I’ve added some cool little random bits and pieces like a Jam Jar light from a local scandinavian inspired shop and a Mango Wood End Table by John Lewis with copper legs. My living room is now back to its usual beautiful self and its lovely.

DFS Zinc sofa

The Kitchen

The kitchen has been the most stressful room and the room most damaged by the water. We decided that as the bottom units of the kitchen were wrecked, that as we had some money saved up we would replace and upgrade the whole kitchen. We looked at a few different stores and in the end we settled on the Bodbyn Kitchen from Ikea. It’s in off white with an oak laminate wooden work top. What I liked about Ikea was that as we have quite high ceilings I could get kitchen units that stretched nearly all the way to the top giving us extra storage and making the most of the space. I wanted a country style kitchen and this was perfect. All the appliances are built in, something I just wanted as it looks neat. We also managed to also squeeze in a mini dishwasher. My favourite part is the large Belfast sink with the black antique tap it adds to the country feel. The floor from the living room was taken through to here to add flow to the house and keep it spacious. To finish the walls my husband spent a long time tiling them in a sage green metro tile from B&Q which keeps the look up to date. The walls were painted in Dulux Jasmine White with accent walls in a Dulux green called Overtly Olive. And I put back our favourite frame wall in here to add personality. We bought a table and chairs to fit the room also from Ikea and it was worth all the stress as it’s now beautiful and much more usable.

Kitchen

Frame Wall

The Porch

The porch was the first place the water came in, through vents the previous owner had added for their tumble dryer. It was also a bit of a forgotten space after the water hit. I had it retiled in an Italian terracotta tile from Wickes which sets off the green in the kitchen and the woodwork of the porch. It has had a fresh coat of paint of white paint and the vents filled in. It’s looking a thousand times better and is water tight. We use it to store gardening supplies.

The Porch

The Cellar

I hate the cellar it is just not a place for me I find cellars creepy and stay out of them but it still needed a lot of work. It had to have the water and mud pumped out before it could dry. It was completely professionally cleaned and repainted with masonry paint. We use the Cellar like a garage and it is my husbands domain for his tools and lawn mower etc. We plan to get metal shelves to store everything off the floor and add some shelves to keep other items. ( I have no picture here because it’s creepy!)

The Stairs and landing

Whilst the house was a wreck we had plasterers in. Particularly for the kitchen walls but we also had them skim the artex ceilings on the landing. It looks nice and smooth now but the plaster made a huge mess. I paid extra for the insurance company to Decorate the walls and ceiling in the same Jasmine White from the kitchen. I have managed to save the original postcard wallpaper and the shell light fitting from the plasterer too. As part of the insurance we had the landing recarpeted in a cream carpet which is in all the bedrooms upstairs and its a lovely fluffy carpet. 

The Bathroom

The bathroom was not affected by the flood but it was affected by the workmen using it to clean brushes and plasterer equipment. Tut Tut. So this had to be deep cleaned and to add to the brightness of the house the floor was replaced by a limestone effect lino which is a similar shade to the carpet. I do love my bathroom and I missed it whilst I was away. It has the best bath and a huge window so it’s nice and bright. We had the old victorian window replaced with a single frosted pane so it’s even lighter still. Whilst the house was empty we had all the windows replaced throughout the house. I bought bright blue towels from John Lewis to add colour to the room.

Spot the Lush haul!

The Master Bedroom

Oh my bedroom. It has to be my favourite room. I wanted the bedroom to be calming so it’s white and a pale blue. We repainted the walls in Jasmine White to match the rest of the house and as I find the seaside so relaxing and refreshing it has a bit of a seaside theme. I have wallpaper on the back wall of boats and fishermen and some harbour art work. As well as some gorgeous travel posters of Northumberland, my favourite place, bar home. I have my beloved Versailles dressing table from Dunhelm Mill in here and Ikea wardrobes in a white. We had the carpet redone in the same cream as the landing and its just so spacious and calm. I really missed it when we had to move out for a while.


The Little Room

This is our spare room. It is soon to have an exciting purpose as our baby’s room. It has been a rollercoaster of a pregnancy made so much better by being able to come home. A truly wonderful thing to be having my first baby. But for now this room is closed for renovation! ( also because it is full of stuff I haven’t sorted yet!)

Closed for renovation

If we go back downstairs we have the garden.  My husband is a great gardener and the garden is looking lovely. Once we have some sunshine it’s a great space to be and the cat’s favourite place.

Garden

So there you go that was my MatV Cribs-esque house tour of the work we have done. I hope you enjoyed it if you made it to this part of the blog I salute you as this is a particularly long post. I can’t describe to you how hard it’s been being away from home to be back now is just amazing and as we have a new little one on the way life is good right now. A woman’s home is her castle and mine is definitely that.

Flood update: Officially Dry!

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We have got the amazing news that after 2 months of constant drying with huge machines our house is now dry and we can start work!!!

Yes! I cannot tell you how horrid and stressful this has all been. There are a lot of jobs to do, plumbing, replastering, building work and decorating as well as relaying floor throughout. But we can now begin to look at kitchens and sofas and colour schemes. The insurance company do keep adding more hoops to jump through but slowly and surely we are getting our house back. I have so many ideas in my head for the house that I can’t wait to just get started. Plasterers please!

2017: The Keyword is Hope

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So it’s Happy New Year to everyone. I don’t want to put a dampener on anything but it’s very unlikely that 2017 will see me down at the gym, learning a new language or suddenly picking up a new personality that will allow me to become a brand new me. However, I am an advocate for fresh starts and trying again. I do enjoy New Years Day for a refreshing walk with my husband to discuss our trials of the previous year and our hopes for the new one. 

So instead of resolutions that I will bully myself into doing only to regret and beat myself up about later I am going to focus on hopes for the year ahead instead.

You may know that at the end of 2016 our house was flooded so our first hope is to be back home by Easter weekend or at the latest my birthday in May.

My other big hope is that my health issues are resolved this year. I have a big year ahead of hospitals and appointments and I hope the outcome is beautifully positive. Fingers crossed. 

I hope that all family and friends continue to be healthy and lead happy and positive lives.

I hope that I get a lot of happy times out of 2017 with lots of walks, fresh air, laughter, crafts, fun and small triumphs.

Last year’s motto was ‘Do more of what makes you happy’ which I followed with some success (new job!) and some failure (i.e WI failure!) this year’s is apt and written by the eternally great Bruce Springsteen, who has become a bit of a hero of mine in 2016. It is’No retreat, baby, No surrender’. I hope this inspires me and my husband to keep going through all trials and tribulations ahead of us this year.

Happy New Year to everyone and I hope that you get all that you hope for this year too.

Flood Update: Life in a Skip

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Flood Update: Life in a Skip

So it’s been nearly 1 month since the terrible flood happened and we had to leave our home. We are now in a tiny temporary house in the same town with our surviving Guinea Pig and our cat is now home as well. 

Our insurance have been great and are sorting us out slowly but surely. Today a company have come to remove our damaged furniture and clean out our cellar which is still full of mud and water. It’s a bit sad seeing your belongings in a skip after all some of my furniture I’ve had since I was married and I’ve spent 2 and a half years redecorating and getting it just right. This is probably one of the hardest times of my life and every day is tough and I am so homesick!

Life in a Skip

It’s Christmas so we want to try and focus on the positives. We have each other, our animals, a little house to live in, a Christmas Tree and a project for the New Year. Bring on 2017.

Our little Christmas Tree

Water Water Everywhere

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Water Water Everywhere

You may have seen on the news in the UK that there was a horrendous amount of water dropped over Greater Manchester last Monday. a months worth of rain in one night. This resulted in flooding and heartbreakingly included my house!

We came home Monday very late as my train was cancelled halfway through and I had to walk till my parents could get to me and my husband had to park and literally wade through the water. By the time we got home there was a torrent of water flooding down the back of our house and out the drive and then through the whole of our downstairs.

There is no feeling like the utter helplessness of watching your beloved home and belongings being covered in water and river sludge. A reservoir had broken it’s banks and it really did cause devastation. We had two Guinea pigs in the garden and the hutch was swept away in the torrent. Luckily for us our neighbour saw it and he waded out and grabbed the hutch. We have one very nervous Guinea pig left. My poor cat was trapped upstairs but wasn’t harmee. However the entire of our downstairs was ruined and there are no words to explain the feeling.

The next day was heartbreaking as we realised slowly that this wasn’t a quick fix and we can’t move home as easily as we thought. Our insurance company have been brilliant getting people in with dehumidifiers to dry the house and they will come soon to strip out the damaged parts. Unfortunately this includes the cellar, the entire downstairs flooring, half the plaster, the entire kitchen and most of the furniture. To get all the work done they are saying it will take 3 to 6 months, so I am incredibly homesick at the moment. It’s so sad when you have built your home around you from nothing and suddenly it’s damaged or even gone completely. Although our house was damaged it wasn’t as bad as some other people down our street who had 4 feet of water.

Without sounding corny it is times like this that make you realise how much you value your family and your home. Luckily nobody was seriously injured. My husband and I are still together and we are staying with my parents for now and are slowly coming to terms with it. The cat has been put in a cattery for now which he wasn’t very impressed with and the Guinea pig now has an indoor cage. We are hoping to get a short term let flat in our home town to be near our house and our family and I am doing all I can to be in for Christmas so we can get some semblance of normality.

We are planning to make the most of this situation and renovate our lovely house so it will be better than before and I am truly grateful for all our friends and family who have helped us with this. it’s a long road ahead but we will get there in the end but I miss my lovely house and my lovely life and I never expected this to happen. I have found a quote that has inspired me to keep going.’Strength grows in the moments when you think you can’t go on buy you keep going anyway’ and I’m using this to keep going. 

The night of the flood

Water water

The dehumidifier doing its best

Mud

Quote that is keeping me going

Just a quick word….

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I just wanted to record this on here so that I remember more than anything. This time last year was the horrid for me. I’d just handed in my notice at my job which was the scariest thing I’d ever done. Scary because I didn’t think I would get another job and scary because of the company I was in at the time and as expected it didn’t go down well.

I’d just reached a point in my life where I needed more time to be myself and look for something else in my life other than work. I was also travelling so much during the week to and from work it was dragging me down and I was so tired and sad with life. I didn’t think I’d get another job straight away but I did through hard work and determination to apply and get myself seen. Although it wasn’t my dream job it is so much better and has allowed me to earn more and be more flexible with my life which has meant that the last year has been so much better. Also the commute was cut down to 30 minutes instead of 1h 30 minutes which helps! 

But the main thing I am so happy about is that it has given me the time to really think about my future and what I want to do. I am 27 now I feel like my decisions have more bearing and more impact on my life so I deliberate on them longer then I have before. But I made a decision and I signed up last night to do a course in Makeup Artistry. It’s a course part time in the evenings over a year and will let me qualify with a level 3 NVQ. It’s going to be a year of happiness and finally taking some time to pursue something I am passionate about. 

So I just wanted a record of this moment so that I remember how far I have come in a year and to record that I am following my New Years Resolution to…