Living room – progress pic

We have a living room and separate dining room in our house, the dining room was barely used so we turned it in to a playroom. That never really worked as I like her playing where I can see her and to be honest having such a large toy space meant we just filled it up. We’ve been slowly ditching the excess in the two rooms in preparation for the wall between them coming down for a few months and 3 weeks ago it finally came down!

These are all taken from roughly the same point in the room so you can see how it’s opened up.

It still needs the walls patched up and a fresh coat of paint and we won’t hang pictures until after that. We have a different curtain pole to go up so it matches the window at the other end and I have a new sideboard coming tomorrow, it’s a bright colourful retro style and the storage fits board games, our current one doesn’t.

Here’s the other side:

And after we realised moving the bookcases would make the space look tidier:

There’s so much more space now and it looks so light and airy. I really love it, it’s better than I expected and a Tabi has been running circles through the two doors since the day the floor went down!

We’d still like to change the triple window at the dining end for a bifold door at some point but the quotes were too high so that’s on hold for now.

We may also replace the dining table for something bigger. I’d like to start hosting Sunday lunches and this table just won’t do, again that’s something for later when we’ve saved up a bit.

Hello again

My exam is over, building work in house mostly done and I have 3 weeks off to catch up a bit!

My exam was as I expected, 2 source analysis (excerpts from the Iliad and Persians) and 2 essays. One on Homeric values, one on 5th century Athenians self perception. I’ve definitely passed but not sure what grade. I’m hoping I got 70%+ to maintain my grade but won’t know until it’s marked.

The wall separating our dining room (playroom) and living room is gone but we haven’t decorated yet or finished flooring. 

Also so much crap in our spare room right now! 

Off to clear it out now.

A short interlude

I had been doing a week long Refinery29 style money diary post but after the Manchester bombings it just seemed really frivolous so I canned it.

I was really upset by the bombings, in way that previous attacks haven’t gotten to me. Maybe because there were so many young girls killed or now without their mothers and I now have a young girl who will eventually go to concerts and am also missing my mother.

I’ve stopped checking the news now. I just can’t bear it. It’s either dead children, nasty election campaigns, brexit or Trumpty Numpty and I’m done. 

I also have an exam* in a week so, I’m offline, have signed up to yoga and have a week off work to revise. I will be back mid June.

*the university had to send everyone an email to get to the exam venue early for additional security checks. I have to worry about being blown up in addition to remembering the last years course work apparently đŸ™„

Discardia – 10

Pretty good week on the clear out front.

I sold an ikea kallax unit, eames style rocking chair, large rug and donated a floor lamp.

I’ve also sold some clothes on eBay and donated the box above to our local charity shop.

I think I’m about £100 up but someone is supposed to pay £99 for a dress which will take me to £200! If she pays of course đŸ˜’

A small rant

What exactly is the point of a magazine?

I thought that a magazine was a way to learn about specific hobbies, like sewing or running, to keep up to date or read opinion pieces on interests like psychology today or new scientist.

Now I don’t read magazines often, but today I downloaded a copy of Red magazine, which I’ve only heard good things about and basically I’d have been better sitting watching adverts for an hour.

I have a handy little content breakdown here:

Pages in the magazine – 212

Pages in the magazine that were full page adverts – 87 (41%)

Pages in the magazine which were labelled ‘features’ but the only writing was an items maker and cost (separated from main adverts as the magazine had to create the content but still with intent to sell) – 36 (17%)

Pages in the magazine which had NO advertising at all <30

It was very hard finding a page without advertising, I mean if the page is an article with an author and they mention their new book, it’s an advert, but it is also an article which doesn’t exist for the SOLE purpose of selling. There’s value in it beyond the sale.

Once you start thinking about refusal to purchase you realise how many adverts you see. I always thought ‘5000 adverts a day’ was a total unrealistic claim unless you spent your day in Times Square, now I think all you need is a magazine to reach quota….

Discardia – 9

Well, I finally had a productive weekend!

We gutted the only storage cupboard in the house ahead of the door being moved from my husband’s study to the downstairs bathroom so we intend it to be more of a utility cupboard now instead of a dumping ground/utility cupboard/extension of the study.

The way we (I) approached it was to pull everything out of the cupboard bar the shelves and put it in the playroom, then close the door so Tabi couldn’t get at it. Then we worked through it in pieces over the weekend, cleaned the cupboard, then replaced the things we were keeping in that cupboard.

Before(s) on the left.


Unfortunately the befores don’t show the scale of crap we had, so heres what the playroom looked like!


And here’s some of the stuff we got rid of. Plus a full box of donations and I just sold the big chest of drawers we were using in Tabi’s room.IMG_0578

A lot of stuff is now piled up in boxes because it’s to be kept in the study now but we can’t do anything with it until the building work is finished so I’m just going to have to live with a messy house for the next 2 months.

There are some things that I’m not sure we’ll use but want to wait until the we’ve finished downstairs and then discard, just in case. I’ve been trying to list a chair and a table lamp on gumtree with no takers for months but when this work is finished, I’ll have a perfect spot for them so they don’t need to go anymore. If I’d managed to sell them, I’d be scouting for replacements so I’d like to avoid that situation with other things, like picture frames and ornaments.

Hopefully this is all finished in 2 months. Every single room in the house finished/decorated and decluttered in 2 months!

Money ‘earned’ – £35*


*Edited as I sold a rocking chair just as I hit post!


I’m 33 today.


Overall, I’m very happy. I have a good house (it’s not an old doer-upper or brand new self built eco house, which would be my top picks but unlike those two, I can afford it!), happily married (we’ve been together 13 years next month), absolutely besotted with my gorgeous, bat shit crazy, tornado of a daughter and I have a good stable job with brilliant management and co workers.


I think I might start treating my birthdays like MOT’s. Just to see if there are any niggles that could be sorted out for the year(s) ahead. Kinda like New Year Resolutions, but made sober and not abandoned in February.

  • My life balance is out of whack. I’m not managing to juggle part time University study, part time work and spending quality time with my daughter, husband, friends, extended family… I have no hobbies, just an endless to-do list and something needs to give because I feel like I’m just bolting through tasks instead of enjoying my time. I’m pausing uni next year to chill out a bit and try to find a better balance before adding studying back on.
  • Health & fitness. I’m really unfit. And overweight but I’m less concerned about that. If I was given the choice of being able to run a 10k at my current size, or keeping my current fitness level but waking up a size 10, I’d rather run a 10k. I’m going to focus on my health in the next year with the aim of being able to do either Tough Mudder or a 10k at my next birthday. I’ve only got one body and I’m treating this one horribly.
  • Declutter – and finish it. Whole house, take no prisoners, decluttering. My husband has come around to the minimalist mindset which makes things much easier!
  • Counsellor/Therapist – Is there even a difference between these two things? My Mum died suddenly 18 months ago. I was 9 weeks away from giving birth so I just shut down and haven’t really dealt with it since and I’m now finding that I can’t stop tearing up when I’m on my own, mainly when I’m driving and that’s probably not normal, to be crying off and on all day. So I’ve been thinking about seeing someone. I don’t know if I’ll actually do it, some inherently British mindset about self care being self indulgent, but I’m considering it.
  • Take up a hobby. Not something which serves another purpose like running to get fit or studying to gain a qualification. Something which is its own end. I’m leaning towards learning the cello. I’ve never learned an instrument before, can’t read music. I just love the sound.