Friday, 31 December 2010

The Great Sock Declutter!!

I decided to start with something in keeping with the season. Since Christmas has only just been and gone, and like many Christians across the world, my family celebrated the birth of our Lord by the giving of socks. Not to be sniffed at! Especially since my great sock decluttering session exposed 51 pairs of too small, threadbare or holy socks.

Now my husband, daughter and I have lovely organised sock drawers. And I feel energised and motivated to carry on. Today the sock drawers, tomorrow... Knickers!! Maybe...

Oh, and in the interests of me thinking, "I wonder what would happen if..." I have listed our old socks on eBay. Nice!

Wednesday, 29 December 2010

The Home Organisation Project

And so begins The Home Organisation Project.

My home is not reaching it's full potential right now. The whole place needs a great deal of attention with many areas desperate for a good declutter and tidy up. We have lots of storage, but a big storage problem.

I realise that my approach has been all wrong. In the past when I've been at work I've often found solutions to workflow problems, created systems and processes for new jobs, implemented strategies for dealing with change. The list goes on and on.

Why should it be any different at home? This is my job now. I am a homemaker. The pay may be rubbish, but the rewards can be amazing. I just need to tap into my prior experience! Utilise my time management skills. Of course, I can still use my project management qualification. Right here!

So, I'm going to swallow my pride and take you into my home. I will show you the places I'd rather keep a secret. You will see clutter that will make you (and me) blush. My only hope is that i'm not alone.

Monday, 4 October 2010

The Kitchen!!

Hullo hullo!!! I have finally got into a position where I was able to take photographs of our new kitchen extension!! Just the inside for now mind. The outside of the actual building looks fab, but the garden does not. Haha!

There are still some things needing to be finished, but I have given up hope that they might get done before the new baby arrives. The woodwork needs painting and the purple wall needs photos. I have bought two huge frames, but I need to take photos and get them printed. I think I would rather wait until the new baby is here anyway so that I can do one of each kiddo. Kitchen themed though?? Inspiration welcome!!

Anyhoo, here are the photos for you like-minded nosey parkers out there! :)

Saturday, 26 June 2010

Small Update & A Layout

Friday was supposed to be a day for me to have some time to myself, which I had planned to spend crafting. Hubby sometimes plays golf with his friends and then will watch the baby on his own so that I can do something I want to do. Usually, that's crafting. I find it very therapeutic and stress relieving.

unfortunately, life had other plans for us. Hubby got home at 12.30pm on Friday, but it was to a house with no electricity and full of fellas going about their business at work on the extension. With no food in the house and no access to the kitchen anyway (and no power) we decided we needed to go out to eat.

So, my afternoon of "me time" was spent eating at the local soft play eaterie - The Wishing Well (which was crap) and choosing tiles for the kitchen and bathroom while Scott tried to control a very excitable and then tantrummy baby. "But, I want to climb on all the tiles Daddyyyyyy!"

Thankfully, due to the late departure of light, I managed to get one layout done in the evening. I love this photo of the baby when she was only a few weeks old. I thought about editing out the yellow in her skin but decided not to. She looked like this for the first 8 or so weeks of life, so that is how I shall keep her photos!

It occurred to me as I was making this that I do actually like vintage styles in scrapping. I was telling someone the other day that I wasn't into vintage type stuff, but I was obviously talking babba, because this is a pretty vintage layout. Meh. I talk babba a lot.

In other news, this is how our kitchen looks at the moment, except with more health and safety proud extensions and cables laying around.

The photo below is of the new walls to the shower room and the cupboard around the boiler.  

This is where the loo and sink will be (below) and the shower will be where the fridge is now.

I've ordered our new appliances from t'interwebz and they should be arriving in the next week or so. New kitchen stuff is happening next week along with plasterboarding the old kitchen / new study.

I just can't wait until it's all done. Not least of all because it will be awesome and it's all very exciting, but I neeeeed to have my home back. It's so draining living in a shithole 24/7 and being able to do nothing about it. I clean, but within a day there is dust all over again. Everything feels dirty all the time. I can't do my washing as well because there's nowhere to dry it. I've been hanging stuff out on the clothes horse stood in front of my front door! But even then you just know it's all getting covered in dust from the rubbish that's in the skip on the drive.

Baby can't go anywhere except a small section of the living room because it's literally a building site. We have no time to do all the things we wanted to do with her because every weekend seems to be eaten away by prior plans or things to do with the extension or just catching up on a week of being able to do no housework. She can't play outside in the back because it's full of bricks or cement and generally not very nice and the front garden looks like a meadow and all she is interested in is the skip!

Thankfully we have a great team of boys doing the work who are all very considerate and as clean as they can be under the circumstances. I'd hate to think how much more stressful this would be if we had a bunch of cowboys in here!

I know, I know, I shouldn't moan. :)

Friday, 11 June 2010

Extension Update

Okay, so now I have access to my images from my poorly laptop I am able to bring you up to date with the progress for the extension. Scott and I were saying today that we haven't had even one small moment of regret since starting this build. In fact, the only negative point we had was when we looked at the footings and thought "Oh no! Did we go big enough?!" but then we spoke to a few people and apparently it's a common reaction to have to the footings. Now we have walls and stuff we're like "EEP! It's massive!!"

We're so excited. It literally turns our home into somewhere we do not need to leave for the foreseeable long term future. We have somewhere to put our hobby things, which could potentially be a fourth bedroom if needs be. The kitchen will be gorgeous and the living room massive with plenty of room to put all our kid's things in.

Jon The Builder said that we may even get finished before we thought we would, so although I'm not pinning my hopes on that or anything, it does make me go YEY!

Here are our kind of before photos. The garage was already dismantled, so it's not a true before, but it gives an idea.

The build began!! (week one)

Week Two - We have big gray bricks up and our back window has been customised. Yes that is my ironing pile on the table.

Week Three is about the external proper brick work and building our shed.

Week Four has been exciting. We have windows and walls and french doors and a step and ALL SORTS!

This is the window that will be in our new downstairs bathroom. The boiler will be getting moved to the right a little to fit the bathroom wall in. 

It looks neater from the outside!

Notice our shiny new fascias and soffits. The old ones were dire, so we figured we should get them done with the extension. What a boring thing to spend money on though! At least it was done along with more exciting things.

Inside we have been boarded out and the electrics and plumbing first fix has been done. The floor has been insulated and boards screwed down. Flagstones have been laid in front of the door and right along the back so it's not just straight to grass when you step out.

The garden will need some attention! :)

So that's us up to date. I will definitely keep you informed as time goes on with more photos of the renovations as they progress. I am MOST looking forward to taking the end result pictures though! OOOH!!

Monday, 31 May 2010

The Craft / Guitar Room Before Photos (AKA Our Current Kitchen)

Okay, so today I took some photos of the kitchen for posterity. It will eventually become our office/craft/guitar room once it's been done out.

So, this is the view towards what used to be our back door. Now it's an interesting feature wall thanks to the extension wall. :o)

This is the view from the "back door" into the back of the kitchen. This part is actually going to be separated to form a kind of en suite shower room. The shower will go where the fridge is now.

And this is me standing in the doorway looking in. We will need to move the boiler to the right a little to get the shower room wall in so it will be smaller than this. Still a decent size though!

I can just imagine how much you're admiring our gorgeous original 1970's kitchen units. My word, I can't wait to get rid of them!!

There are photos of the extension in progress, but they're on my own laptop, which is still out of action. I reeeeaaaally hope that the IT guys at work can get my stuff off it cause there are photos of the baby on there that I really want! :(

Thursday, 4 March 2010

And so it begins

Yesterday I submitted our plans for our shiny new kitchen extension to the local council. The original plus 3 copies of the planning application, the original plus 3 copies of the Land Registry area map and the originals plus 3 copies of the plans and specification.

On Friday we applied for a remortgage to cover the additional £££ we need to borrow for the build. We have some money in savings too. We actually got a great interest rate just from staying with Halifax.

I am looking forward to this with the excitement that you feel when faced with getting something you've wanted for a while. At the same time, I am not looking forward to the mess and the hassle and just the general upset that is "having some work done".

We got our bathroom refurbished at the end of 2008 and that was nightmare enough. Lord only knows how we will cope with this extent of disruption, but it's all very temporary and all in a good cause.

Keep envisioning your shiny new kitchen extension, Sarah! :)

So far we have spent £15.40 on downloading information about our house from the Land Registry, £34.00 on photocopying the plans and £150.00 on the planning application. Plus £599 on remortgage fees, although technically we haven't spent that yet, and it's going onto the mortgage anyway. Total spend so far: £798.40. Yikes!

On a brighter note, it's sunny outside today!! YEY!! I have put baby's nappies out on the line to dry and I'm hoping they don't freeze up instead. The sunshine always makes me feel sooooooo much better! I've even reshuffled things in the kitchen to try to get some clutter off the worktops. I can't WAIT until there is enough room for everything to go away tidily! EEP!

Baby is going for her top up jabs today. :o( I always feel so sorry for her. She will be all lovely and smiley and completely unaware of what I'm about to put her through. Poor baby! She's sleeping now. I'm just going to let her sleep as long as she wants, but she needs less and less sleep in the day now, so I reckon I've maybe only got another 15 minutes left of naptime peace.

Ooo! I bought some Ribena yesterday. The proper stuff - actual Ribena - and not low sugar or anything. It is yum! Hubby and I used to go through loads of cartons of the stuff. It's ace! We hardly ever get it now though. It's too expensive. Ha! I also splashed out on some Jazz apples. They're supposed to be the dog's pods. They are okay like. Pretty tasty. Don't know whether they're worth the £2.50 I paid for 8 of them though...

Tuesday, 16 February 2010


You know when you say something that's just so incredibly lame? I do it all the time.

For starters, I am terrible at small talk. I. just. can't. do. it. I'm starting to get better about dropping in the weather, but I'm still no pro. Also, I'm one of those people who is never quite sure when to walk away from a conversation - are they finished? Are they going to say something else? Do they expect me to continue the conversation? That kind of thing.

Well, on this particular occasion I was loitering near the printer at work, having sent a lengthy document. As I was pulling pages from the machine someone said they liked my cardigan. Smalltalk about cardigans ensued. After a while, my printing had all come through and I was wondering whether I should leave the conversation, which had waned a little anyway. After a bit of dilly-dallying, I made a bad judgment call and uttered the lamest sentence that has ever escaped my mouth.

"I've gone cardigan mad this month."

I'll just let you take that in...
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