Friday, 12 May 2017

DECOR | Gallery Shelves

Gallery, Decor, Framed Prints, SS17, Home Interior, Home inspiration,

Gallery, Decor, Framed Prints, SS17, Home Interior, Home inspiration,

One thing I knew I wanted to do in our living room (I think before we had even moved in) was to create a stylish focal point using gallery shelves and framed prints.

Ever since discovering gallery shelves on Pinterest (the source of many of my ideas) I got a little bit obsessed with them and am not ashamed to admit that I have totally jumped onto this trend bandwagon. I think they look stunning, eye catching and sleek. I have seen people style them up in so many ways whether it is one long shelf positioned low and housing giant eye catching prints that take up the whole wall or a simple shelf housing family photos side by side. Some people add a few ornaments too.

I am sure I will play around with my arrangement and maybe even change some prints over time (I like the idea of a cluster of different sized prints) but for now I am very happy with how my gallery shelves look.


Top Shelf (L-R)
-We have a simple quote 'Be your own kind of beautiful' which I just love and totally believe everyone should be.
-Next is a simple Nordic Leaf Print to go with the 'urban jungle' themed living room.
-After that I have a black and white print with the definition of family.
-Lastly a 'London' print because London is close to our hearts having always been on our doorstep in   Essex and with it also being the city we got engaged in.

Gallery, Decor, Framed Prints, SS17, Home Interior, Home inspiration,

Gallery, Decor, Framed Prints, SS17, Home Interior, Home inspiration,

Bottom Shelf (L-R)
-'Marilyn Monroe' black and white photograph, anyone who knows me will know I love love LOVE this woman. Both the Hollywood persona and the intelligent, shrewd and witty woman behind the image. I have read countless books on her and this is one of my favourite photos of her so it had be involved.
-Another quote (which sadly because of the foil print doesn't show up too well) 'Make Yourself At Home' I loved this because I love having people over and spoiling them. I truly want people to feel at home in this house so what better way to say it than a framed print?
-Lastly (but not least) is my Nordic blue stag print. I love the nordic themed prints and this one caught my eye so I had to have it!

All of these prints were from eBay and really didn't cost a lot. The maximum one cost me was about £4.95 and they are 10 x 8 in size (aside from the two smaller ones which are 5 x 7). The frames were from Tesco, the larger ones were £7 each and the smaller ones were around £3. The shelves themselves were £8 each from Ikea so the whole thing from start to finish really didn't cost a lot.

Just under £50.

I know I could have spent more but we weren't in a position to when we first moved in and I wanted to get under way with decorating and making our house home. I don't think the style has been compromised though in all honesty.

What do think of these shelves and the prints I have chosen?

Gallery, Decor, Framed Prints, SS17, Home Interior, Home inspiration,

Gallery, Decor, Framed Prints, SS17, Home Interior, Home inspiration,

Tuesday, 9 May 2017

LIFE | Why Did we Move to Norfolk?

If you follow me on social media you will probably be aware by now that my family and I have relocated from Essex and now live in Norfolk. Despite the fact we moved at the end of September last year I haven't actually written a blog post about why we moved or how we are finding it. NOTHING.

The reason for this is mainly because we had quite a lot of shit happen in great succession after moving here, it is only now nearly seven months down the line that we feel as though we are sailing through calmer seas, well hopefully anyway!

So why did we move from Essex to Norfolk?

In a nut shell; money. With me being a full time housewife and not currently earning a regular income from freelance writing there obviously wasn't two salaries being taken into consideration when we applied for a mortgage for our first house. In Norfolk our money was always going to go a hell of a lot further than in Essex. In Essex we would have ended up buying a flat most likely or a small two bed house in an area we didn't really want to live in. The prices in Essex are going up all the time! The two bed end terrace house we used to rent would be worth nearly 300k now! Our three bed detached house cost nowhere near that AND it is new. AND DETACHED YIPPEEE!

Patrick has family here with whom have always kept in regular contact so we visited Norfolk quite a lot and always enjoyed it whenever we did. It is a different life here and we decided it was the kind of life we wanted Savannah to have. Not that there is anything wrong with Essex, I am proud to be from Essex but I love the pace of life in Norfolk. I love that the locals are friendly and have time to smile at you and say hello. Even people who work in shops here are friendly and say hello! In Essex they scowl at you. Savannah has been going to her nursery in the next village for about six months now and absolutely loves it. She also has a best friend she is inseparable from and who we have met up with for a play date.

The schools are great around here and the surrounding areas are lovely, there are lots of pretty villages and green belt land as well as farms and great family days out.

Now I feel I have the best of both worlds because I can visit Essex and catch up with family and friends, have a lovely time seeing everyone and going to some of my favourite places then come home to our lovely house in Norfolk. Perfect!

Despite some of the crappy situations that occurred after moving - beginning with hubby being made redundant two weeks after we made in, BEFORE we had even made our first mortgage repayment - we have kept strong and made the best of what was thrown at us. We have had a run of bad luck including a major fault occurring in our car and Ford having it for two weeks because they weren't sure what was wrong (and me being stuck in Essex for my birthday when I had planned to be at home with my family!) Our pet rabbit suddenly dying as well as trying to keep on top of bills (especially after hubby then got made redundant again before his three month probation finished at his next job as the company had overstaffed themselves at that site.) Oh and my random sudden operation for a detached retina. It's been all go here I tell ya.

Luckily, we have been able to keep smiling through it all and just kept going. There have been other silly little odd issues like an unexpected bill or whatever and yes there have been times we have been down about it all but overall we know that you can't stress over the things your can't change. You just have to deal with each day and each issue as it presents itself.

So, we are already nearly halfway through 2017 - don't look at me like that you know it's true! next month it is the longest day of the year! - FINALLY we can start to look to the future now that hubby has a new job that he is succeeding in and I too have a lovely little weekend job which I am thoroughly enjoying. I am also really enjoying earning some money again. As well as my HuffPost Blog I now have another regular freelance job too which is great. Everything finally seems to be looking up (touch wood)

So why did we move to Norfolk? A fresh start I guess...and just as the bright weather begins to creep in, this fresh start finally seems to be brightening up too.

Wednesday, 19 April 2017

PARENTHOOD | It's All Going Too Fast.

At 5.30 yesterday morning I was wide awake and couldn't figure out why. As I gave up trying to get back to sleep I scrolled through my Facebook timeline and found that many other parents couldn't sleep either but unlike me, who had no reason to be awake, they were anxious about finding out if their children had gotten their first school choice for September.

Throughout the day yesterday I spoke to mummy friends, most of whom seemed elated because their child had gotten into the school they had desired and while I was thinking how great that was I was also thinking 'How the heck are they starting school in September already?!'


Savannah is now three and has already been going to Pre School for a year now (a fact which also blows my mind) and because she now gets government funding, from today she now goes twice a week for two full days. I am excited for her because she loves school so much but at the same time sad knowing this is the summer I need to be researching local schools and attending open days, as come September we too will be making the tough decision in picking a primary school for our little girl.

I truly can't believe how quick it goes. Two friends of mine who I know separately but are both close friends had children a week apart. Both of them text me at some point in the day elated that their little ones had got their first choice school. I too was happy for them knowing how stressed they must have been about it but couldn't help remembering both of them meeting at our housewarming, October 2012, both heavily pregnant with less than a month to go until their due dates.

So much has changed since then for them and for us, so much does change in four and a half years we just don't always notice it. When you sit and think about it you realise just how much has changed from silly things like waistlines and hair styles to big things such as children or moving house.

I have already started looking at schools and will be contacting a few this week to get the ball rolling regarding open days / visits. I feel a bit more daunted than I think I would have done were we still living in Essex because at least I would have an idea about the schools. Having only lived in Norfolk for seven months I don't have a clue about any of them although I do only hear good things about the schools nearby so am pleased about that.

What scares me though is in no time at all another year will have passed and I will be one of the anxious mums not being able to sleep because I want to know if my baby got her first choice school place. I will no doubt be then writing another blog post similar to this one, harping on about how it only feels like yesterday I was writing this one.

I hope any parents reading this who's little ones start school in September got their first choice places and I wish your child all the very best in starting a huge new chapter. I also wish you - the parent - luck in holding it together because if you're anything like me you will be a sobbing mess when the day comes(!!)

Make the most of now. Cuddle them when you can, play with them when you can and enjoy them while you can. While I will enjoy having an extra day to myself to get work, the gym and housework done I couldn't have Savannah going anymore than two days a week because I wouldn't want to miss that time we have left together. When she goes to school for five days a week next September that will be it. There will be no choice. That will be the end of our time together too. While I know it is just under 18 months away yet it makes me shudder to imagine how quickly it is going to come around.

I feel as though I am getting way too deep with this blog post now but just wanna finish it off by saying it is only in time frames like this - children starting school or pre school or just generally growing up - that we realise how quickly time has gone so we do just need to let go of the bad stuff and enjoy the little things like our kids. Even when they are being little shit bags, which I know can happen a lot, enjoy them. I may be being sentimental in this post but don't think I am being naive to the amount of times we rally our kids off to school or an overnight stay at the grandparents with glee because they have been bloody hard work and we want some peace and for nobody to call us mum for a few hours. That happens a lot I know. I guess I am just saying don't get too caught up in the here and now and the trivial things and miss the bigger picture. Enjoy the peace and quiet when you need it and then enjoy the little darlings again when they're home.

Hope everyone had a lovely Easter x