Category Archives: life

My Favourite Things about Autumn and Winter


I love this time of year, it is definitely my favourite. I love it when the weather starts to get cooler and you can wrap up in coats and boots. I love the colours of the trees and hills as they start to change and I also love the food and making myself all cosy. So I thought I would write a quick homage if you will to my favourite season and talk about what it is that I do just love about this time of this year!

  1. Hot Drinks

Yes hot drinks as basic as that sounds. I get so excited when I see the Christmas cups come out at Costa and Starbucks and the Christmas flavours of drinks. I had a delightful Salted Caramel Cappucino yesterday and it made me feel all warm inside. Hot Chocolate as well makes a big come back this time of year for me. I love indulging in them in cafes and having wipped cream and marshmallows and one of my favourite things to do is to get a winter inspired hot drink from a little cafe or coffee shop and take it on a walk round some crunchy leaf strewn park or Craft Market. I love them so much that this year I am making my own at home and I even bought mini marshmallows. It is just the epitome of Autumn/Winter for me.

2. Walks

Speaking of walks I absolutely love being out in the fresh cool air at this time of year, not particularly when it is raining but when it is one of those days that is crisp and fresh and sunny it just makes me feel relaxed and happy. I love to go for long walks with my husband admiring the scenery, talking through our plans and putting things right, it really does blow the cobwebs away.

3. Christmas Planning

Is there anything better at this time of year than the run up to Christmas? I enjoy making my Christmas List and planning the presents I will buy my family and purchasing the odd thing stockpiled for Christmas treats like for example Swedish Ginger Biscuits (My husband’s favourite!) or Snowman Handwash (yes it’s a thing in Dunelm Mill). I like to wander around Christmas displays in Manchester and in the big department stores or in local garden centres seeing all the twinkly lights and decorations. Looking at Christmas cards and wrapping paper. I really enjoy getting the house ready for Christmas and putting up the fairy lights and decorations but it is still a little too early to get too excited over this. (But I will point out that I am super organised this year and I have completed all of my Christmas shopping already!)

4) Cosy Candles and Oil Burners

Candles. I am a candle person and if it smells slightly vanillary, cinnamony or biscuity I will buy it and I will light them all. My living room is full of candles and I love to light them, turn out the bigger harsher lights and enjoy the cosy atmosphere they make. I also have a Yankee Candle oil burner which just fills your room with scent and a glowy light. I love nights in with my husband or even by myself curled up watching a movie or reading a book and just taking some time to relax and candles are a big part of that.

5) Knitting

I am a knitter so you must have known that knit wear or the act of knitting would creep into this post. I find knitting the most rewarding and relaxing thing you can do and at this time of year when the nights draw in I find myself knitting more and more often. I make things for Christmas and with the baby on his way I have been knitting up a storm for him. If I can knit something rather than buy it I will so I usually make all my own cosy hats and scarves and even slipper socks. Because the fashion in winter for jumpers and scarves is just right up my street and always has been.

So there is my homage to this time of year, what are your favourite things about Autumn and Winter?


Flooded Again


So we have flooded again in 10 months. I can explain to you how depressing and how hard it is to see your lovely house that we have literally just completed get covered in water again. This time things need to be different as the baby is due in 7 weeks.

It started on Monday morning. It was the scariest thing I was just leaving to go to work at 8AM when I heard a banging coming from our garden. I saw a big puddle forming on the drive and then I saw it start to deepen. I ran back in the house and to the back of the property and the water was spilling up out of the ground like an explosion. I grabbed towels and a double duvet to try and stop the water coming into the house from the back as it was already knee deep outside. I put the guineapig in its cage on the table and locked the cat upstairs. It was pure panic as the water started to seep in through the walls and under the kitchen units in the kitchen and living room. I called my husband who immediately came home from work and I also called my parents who came down to help. The house was flooded again in 10 minutes. It was unbelievable and the scariest thing I had seen.

My neighbours were amazing and took the furniture from our house into their homes and what wasn’t taken out was taken upstairs. By this point it had reached ankle depth in the kitchen and the rug in the living room was soaking the rest. My parent’s friends arrived with mops and buckets and we began to mop the water out of the house. We were able to clear the living room in about 30 minutes whilst the water in our cellar came up to the top step which as you can imagine is very deep. The water stopped coming in at 12:30 and through sheer hard work we had managed to save my furniture and keep the water levels down.

All this water has come from a Victorian Culvert that runs under the property. We have a storm drain as well that goes above this and the culvert has collapsed. This has left me with 2 sinkholes at my property outside. The local Council have been helping us a lot and were able by Thursday to stop the water coming into the house through the cellar. They have dug down to find the culvert and find the blockage. You would not believe what they found down there, 4 tyres, melted plastic bits of fabric which when all combined together have resulted in a blockage that was never cleared or sorted last time. I have given them permission to dig into our garden to do this So I really hope it is all put back. I have also been to a town council meeting this week to raise the issues and get their attention. I’ve also been interviewed on ITV Granada which was on television and two local papers as I want people and the council to realise what’s happening.

I have been doing loads of research into flooding at my property and due to the culvert and the natural springs of Mossley the house has flooded before. In 1998 and 2004. But it didn’t flood again till 2016 so what has happened now to make me homeless again? There are a load of new build properties behind my house which have blocked the overspill areas for the water and mean that when it floods it heads straight for us and not where it is safer and meant to be.

I am hoping that with the council’s help we can clear the blockages and keep the water levels down. I am also hoping that my neighbours will stand with me to speak to the council and make them aware of the dangers of not maintaining water ways in a town full of people. Meanwhile we may have to pay ourselves for the work to be done at our house as our insurance company are so slow and I have a baby coming in 8 weeks. Through sheer hard work and luck that I was there we were able to save a lot. The fear is that if we spend more of our money, money that was all meant for the baby, and the house floods again I will be left in a worse state. This can’t happen again I cannot allow it so I will be fighting as much as I can to stop it.

Pray for Manchester 

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


Flood Update: House Tour

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.


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.


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.


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: Work Begins


So the house is the finally coming together after all the flood mess and its starting to look a bit more like our old house.

We now have a floor and skirting boards and decorating is starting already. Soon our kitchen will be delivered and we will have a move home date! Exciting times ahead.

Floor half laid

A living room floor

Skirting boards!

Kitchen floor ready for a kitchen

Flood update: Officially Dry!


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. So here we are removing the rest of the kitchen! Plasterers please!

2017: The Keyword is Hope


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.