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.

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….

#30wears

If you haven’t spotted this hashtag floating around instagram already, it’s a campaign started by Livia Firth to ask yourself ‘will I wear this item 30+ times’ before buying. 

Will it last? Is it good quality? Does it ‘fit’ my style? 

30 wears doesn’t sound like a lot, but if you wear a pair of jeans once a week, 30 wears will take you 7 months. I’ve had jeans wear through in half that time.

I’m using an app called style book to minimise my wardrobe and keep an eye on cost per wear, it’s a paid app but totally worth the money. I’ve just reset my app so lost all previous wears but i think I’ll still get useful information starting now.

My project 333 attempt lasted about 2 weeks before I lost the plot so I might have another go next month.

It’s so much harder to have a minimal wardrobe in summer, at least in Scotland. May has had some beautiful weather, proper shorts and t shirt sunshine, but it’s also pissing down every other day, we had frost last week and 3 weeks ago it snowed! You have to cover every eventuality so I need my winter jumpers, but also shorts? Winter is much easier. It’s cold, dress for that!

The point of Birthday gifts

It’s my birthday next week and I’ve gotten the usual messages from friends asking what I’d like as a gift.

Normally I’d have an amazon wishlist, full of books because they’re around £10 and so within an acceptable gift budget. Not because they were the things I most wanted, but because I knew my friends could afford them. This is a bonkers way to look at birthdays.

The things I need (a wax jacket, cashmere jumper) are too much, I’d never ask my friends for something that expensive. I put vouchers on the list so that everyone sort of chips in for one thing without the hassle of organising but everyone wants to give things. I say ‘just buy me a drink when we’re out’ and they say they feel awkward without a gift.

Don’t get me wrong, there are loads of things I want but they’re not ‘gifts’. It’s stuff like a new living room rug, a le crueset casserole dish, decking in the back garden and a new iPad (mine is so old they don’t update the software anymore).

Any ideas? How do you handle birthdays?

 

I’m exhausted…

We’ve gotten so much ticked off our to do list.

I’ve had an insanely busy week but I haven’t felt this ‘on top of things’ in ages! However, I’m knackered so todays post shall be in bullet point format!

  • We’ve ordered the garden toys for Tabi (climbing cube, rocking horse and a pedal-less trike).
  • Bought a new vacuum (ours was 11 years old and starting to struggle)
  • Replaced damaged clothes and filled some wardrobe gaps. Not finished yet but getting there.
  • Changed Tabi’s bedroom. We needed a wardrobe now she’s wearing dresses more.
  • Sold 3 things on eBay
  • Took a boot full to the recycling centre (mainly the packaging for Tabi’s new furniture but at least it’s not in the garage!)
  • Recycled my iPad (new one to be ordered)
  • Stripped and remade the bed. Yeah, I know, should be weekly but we never seem to get around to it! Think it’s been a month!
  • Last but not least, we paid off every single unsecured debt we had. We increased the mortgage by the amount of our non mortgage debt so we’re now paying 2.69% instead of anything up to 17.19% and our monthly outgoings are reduced by a little over £800.  We still have 20% equity in the house so we haven’t over borrowed either.

Good for a week!

Momentum

And my complete lack thereof.

I’ve done little things this week but we’re still wrangling planning permission and a budget for the housing changes. There’s a huge clear out coming very soon, I reckon you’re in for the mother of all discard posts as soon as the work is completed and we start moving our furniture back in!

I did go to my Nana’s on Monday and try to clear her spare room out. She’s a hoarder and also stores stuff for my uncle to sell at car boot sales (which he hasn’t done in almost 2 years) so she couldn’t even see the bed, let alone get into the room.

I didn’t take before and after pictures but we took a car full to the recycling centre and charity shop, she can now use the bed and the floor is visible. She still needs to go through things like videos and bedding, as well as her clothes and shoes, but we got started, which is the main thing. Especially since when I’d finally cleared a path to the window, I found it covered in mould! It’s being scrubbed with bleach as I type and the window will be left ajar until it airs out.

It did need done but I think it also felt easier to help my Nana than to get on with my own clear out. I’m hoping I have more headspace after my exam to really finish editing our possessions and finding some stable ground for a while.

Unfortunately I’ve also rediscovered my love of buying Baby Boden clothes cheap on eBay so there’s more stuff on the way in. Baby clothes seem to spawn out of control whenever I turn my back. She’s growing so quickly I can’t get the ‘too small’ stuff listed quick enough!

House Edit

Ah the house changes….

We are doing the following

  • Moving a door into a cupboard from my husbands study to the w/c
  • bringing down the wall between our living room and dining room (currently Tabi’s playroom)
  • changing our living room window for a bifold door
  • installing decking outside the new bifold door
  • moving the front path and extending the fence.

Currently Our living room looks like this:

We’re planning to change it to:

The first picture is aiming towards the wall with the TV on it, which is coming down, the second picture shows the living room window as a door.

Maybe floorpan will be easier!

RoomSketcher Level Image

I think a more open plan layout will be better with a toddler running around and the door out onto decking should give us more use of the garden. I can’t let her run in and out just now because of the step down to the patio, I don’t want her to trip, especially not onto slabs!

I do have some concerns. We went open plan in our last house and found that unless everything was spotless, the whole space looked messy. That was an open plan kitchen, living, dining in roughly the same space as we now have for living/dining. The last house didn’t have a large glass door at one end either so I’m hoping the combination of larger space and extra light stops it looking cluttered.

It’s just nerves because it’s quite a lot of money to be spending (I think around £7k) and there’s alway the chance that it’s a mistake and you’re wasting your money!

And the £7k isn’t just for the wall! It’s the wall, decoration, moving a cupboard door from husbands study to the w/c, building warrant, bifold door addition, decking and some work on the front garden. All electrical and plumbing work (there’s a radiator in the way), flooring and with any luck it should stretch to cover maybe half of the string shelving I have my eye on!