Tuesday, April 25, 2017

OOTD | Getting Back To What I Love

Today is a great week. I'm finally getting broadband installed tomorrow, the traffic to work in the morning has halved and I had a chilled weekend, catching up on things and meeting the ever so talented Viivi N Media for a little evening shoot. 

Not only is she originally from Finland, we bonded over our love for Finnish chocolate and living by the sea. Her photography really is first class, I somehow don't think my mum's photography of my outfits will ever compare?

It feels good to be behind the camera again now I'm feeling more settled in my new home, I've missed the creativity and perfecting my Instagram feed. I'm not even fussed with having to keep this pink theme going on my Instagram anymore as I feel so full of inspiration now I'm in my new place. It really is rather wonderful to be getting back into what I love. As they say, you'll never work a day in your life when you do something you love. 

You know the drill, you usually take around 100 + outfit photos and usually only end up with 10 good shoots, cue the shouting and tantrums to get your mum to use 'her initiative' and get that money shot. BUT this probably was the best shoot to date, it was so natural and it's hard not to love them when each shot looks insane. With so many beautiful shots that we took in The Royal William Yard and Devils Point, I've narrowed it down to a selection of shots from the evening that perfectly showcase the outfit, and her wonderful photography <3 
Blouse - Zara
Jeans - Topshop
Brogues - Dune London
Bag - River Island
Watch - Cluse
Photographer - Viivi N Media

Check out more of her dreamy shots over on her Instagram!

What do you think?

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Friday, April 21, 2017

10 Things That Happen When You Become A Homeowner

Congratulations, you're a home owner, or maybe you've moved out of home for the first time? 

Those first steps are always the hardest, but as you look back with pride on what you've achieved you can't help but feel it's the best decision of your life. The biggest purchase of your life. 

It's also life changing, my life has changed. I'm exhausted like ALL the time, I have to have a 30 minute call with my mum when I use the dishwasher the first time, oh and how do I actually cook? Can I iron? 

Anyway, homeowner or not, I'm sure you can relate to these 10 things... 

1. You're tired all the time. How do people work, cook, clean, buy food, socialise and exercise all whilst still living? CANNOT ADULT. 

2. With your newfound 'lack of time' you look for every life hack going. Food home delivery? The best thing since sliced bread. Eating out seems to become an almost daily occurrence.

3. You love Location, Location, Location, like love level that if you miss it you'll come this close to kicking off. Like when did this happen plz? It was always that show you used to detest when your mum watched it.

4. Clothes no longer interest you in the same way like a 99p bath mat from Primark. You get ALL the homeware, in every shop you gravitate towards the furniture, cutlery, home decor bits - you love nothing more.

5. Remember when you were younger and begged for more post? Now you get ALL the post. Bills, bank statements, bills, more bills - it's no laughing matter now, YOU have to deal with them.

6. You keep the Zoopla app. Yes, you've already bought your dream home, but when you got the home bug you love nothing more than nosing inside people's home and comparing your new said home with ones on the market.

7. Your ears prick up every time you hear someone purchasing a property or getting their first mortgage. You're practically a mortgage adviser/consultant, without the extortionate commission and lies. 

8. Those trivial stresses you used to have like your size shoes being out of stock or your nails chipping no longer matter. They're replaced by real adult stresses that consume you. Now it's, the washing machines leaking WHAT DO I DO? How was my water bill that expensive? Deffo did not have 10 showers in one week. WHERE IS MY DOMINOES DELIVERY?

9. You love inviting people round, but you're always on edge. Will they spill wine on the new carpet? Will they stain the sofa? What if they break something? STRESS. You'd now never throw a house party, regardless to it never being an after thought when you lived at your parents house...

10. Nothing stays nice forever. I hadn't been in my apartment for 2 minutes when I rubbed some white paint off the wall and scraped a plug along the wall. You try to preserve everything. Sitting on a rug on the sofa, putting a tea towel across the table. Practical? No. But your sanity remains intact until the next time.

Can you relate to any of these?
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Tuesday, April 11, 2017

My First 3 Weeks Of Being A Homeowner

I'm back! From an albeit brief departure, apparently broadband isn't just a thing that all homes are fitted with these days, WHY? So whilst I have to wait another 3 weeks until I can blog from the comfort of my new cosy home, I'll be dipping in and out of lunchtimes at work to try and get some blogging done. I have been dying to share so much stuff about my new home and some home decor posts with you, but I promise it will be worth it and hopefully you've been enjoying my little snippets on my Instagram too. 

Anyway, here I am after the first 3 weeks of home ownership, I've finally got a bit of furniture, I'm starting to realise this place actually is 'mine' and I've ordered some pastel pink dining chairs, because that really is the beauty of owning your very own place, right? PASTEL PINK EVERYTHIIINGG!

The last 3 weeks have been somewhat of an exhausting whirlwind, no emotion has been missed. I've had highs, lows, tears, stress, anger, and pure happiness, something that really has started to take hold of me over the last week, and it's been amazing. Whilst it was a stressful 5 months, the stresses you think will instantly cease are replaced with new ones, oh the joys of being an adult. So whilst I'll revisit my first time buyer experience in another post, here's a snippet of my move progress over the last 3 weeks!

Week 1 

I wish the day I got the keys was how I would have imagined it in my head, but it really wasn't. With everything that happened along the way, it was inevitable that I wouldn't be let off that easily. It was easily the most stressful day of my life, they really don't lie when they say that moving house is one of the 5 most stressful life events. From not being able to get hold of a full set of keys, to driving past and seeing the 'dressing' furniture still sat in there, to finding out on the morning that I had been rejected for life cover, the day that should have been the best day of my life, left me with a bad taste in my mouth.

I should have been happy, but as those stresses I had during the buying process slowly faded away, someone was like 'HEYY, have some more'. It wasn't until the second day (weekend), I had no one bothering me, no calls and I could let it sink in that this place really was 'mine'. I kept thinking I was going to be caught inside and that I shouldn't be there, it was a really odd feeling. 

As I went back to work 4 days later, it honestly felt like I had been away for an eternity. I was still trying to sort things in the evenings, (STILL AM). I was exhausted and whilst I had to wait until my bed had arrived to spend my first night there, I felt scared. I'd lived away at uni before, but this felt different. I'd never be living at my family home again, and that was quite difficult to come to terms with. Despite the many issues that were unresolved, I knew with time it would get better.

Week 2 

Things got a lot better. I gradually moved my stuff in, I spent my first week in my new apartment and whilst I was exhausted, had no furniture and resorted to eating cereal from the living room floor, I couldn't have been happier. 

The first week felt like when you've been travelling and arrive at your hotel late at night, you don't know where anything is, you resort to living from a suitcase and despite being exhausted you toss and turn all night. It was very unsettling to begin with, but as I spent more and more days there that funny feeling suddenly disappeared.

My morning commute to work was normally met by road rage, and even though my journey time has significantly been extended now it hasn't bothered me in the slightest. When I walk out of my home in the morning and arrive back to be greeted by the sea, nothing else matters anymore.

I had a lot of friends over during the evenings to see my apartment, I was actually showing people MY PLACE, with each night I grew to love it more. Despite the hardships and issues I've encountered, I knew I bought the right property, I knew the second I first viewed it that it was 'the one' and I'm so excited for this next chapter of my life.

Week 3 

Coming to the end of my third week, I look back to the day I moved and I can't believe how far everything has come. From the home, to my adulting to my happiness. Everything is finally starting to fall into place, it really does feel like MY home. 

I always imagined I would live in a certain place when I grew up, and now that really has become reality. Every stress, every tear (by god did I shed a lot of those along the way), I've done it for myself, by myself. For once in my life, I'm pleasing myself. 

I still can't cook, I haven't had TV or internet for 3 weeks, but those things will come in time and for now I'm enjoying the tranquillity of living by myself. It's like when you pass your driving test for the first time and you can't wait to get back in your car at the end of the day and drive home. I feel like that about my apartment, it's SO me and even though it's only been a few weeks, it's 100% the best life decision, and purchase I've ever made. I think I'll be happy here for many years to come.

So, if you have a dream, work hard for it because anything really is possible when you put your mind to it! Keep an eye out for more home posts in the next few weeks, I promise it will be back to normal posting on here when I finally get broadband installed!

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Thursday, March 23, 2017

Upcycling: DIY Mongolian Fur Stool For Under £100

I'M OFFICIALLY A HOMEOWNER!! Like how? Since when? When did I become an adult? I fell in love with my dream home on October 15th and 5 months later it's officially mine. With my stress levels peaking at least 100 times throughout the process, it was a loooong journey, but worth waiting for the end destination. (More home posts coming v v soon).

Despite virtually moving in 5 months ago, it's only been in the last few weeks I've been scouring the net and frantically going back over my 1,000 + pins on Pinterest. I'd already decided I wanted a little furry stool, (I blame Kate La Vie's beautiful home interior for this!) But it was a game changer when I stumbled upon the mongolian fur stool on West Elm, swooon. Coming in at £400 I almost had a little heart attack, why so expensive? But cannot afford to not have this in my life. How hard could it be to do it myself and for a fraction of the cost? Not very. Real Mongolian fur stools are expensive anyway, it's the fur that pushes the cost up, but as I realised when I was searching around for mongolian faux and real fur, the difference between the two was incredible. Faux fur is perfect if you're on the fence for buying real fur or have an ethical stance, but if you want the proper designer and luxe look you do need to buy real fur. It's so much warmer, thicker, won't matt and it looks amazing. 

So, if like me you're a magpie when it comes to fur and fluff, and you've lusted after a designer dupe for so long, then you might want to have a crack at making your own without the designer price tag. Plus I LOATHE DIY, and this one really was simple and the results are A***.

What You Will Need

  • A Stool - £15
  • Sandpaper
  • Spray Paint (if required)
  • Ferrules x 4 (If 4 legged stool)  - £2.75
  • Cotton or other fabric (size dependent on stool)
  • Staple Gun
  • Mongolian or other fur rug - £74.90 (I purchased this one)
How To

1) Firstly you need to find a really good stool to work with. Finding the right one probably is the hardest part of the process, and knowing where to look. To get the desired effect you need to source an old, cheap one. New stools don't have the same character. I stumbled upon one when I least expected it, nearly everywhere has some kind of furniture store that sells loads of wooden chairs, tables and stools that are in need of some love. 

You'll know when you find the right one - this one was only £15! It needed a lot of love and affection, but I knew how I wanted it to look and this stool dates back to the 1920's and the craftsmanship of it really is amazing.

2) Once home, I took off the screws to the bottom of the legs, one had already come off and they were quite rusty, I also removed the initial polka dot cover, totally not Cath Kidston esque. Luckily the foam was in quite good condition, was comfy and didn't smell so I left this part of it.

3) The first step was sanding down the legs to get rid of the glossy finish, for paint to stick to it it needs to be completely bare. I covered up the foam and sanded down the legs to a smooth finish. I then cleaned the legs off with some water and sugar spray, you don't need to use this, but it does help to to get any last bits of roughness off.

4) I purchased a small spray paint can in gold from Hobby Craft which are relatively cheap, and again you can pick any colour you want or leave the legs bare. I went for gold as this most represented the West Elm stool and it adds that slightly luxe factor to it.

5) This bit is of course optional (dependent on stool and the condition of it), but once dried I purchased 3/4 of a metre of plain white cotton fabric, but only really needed half a metre to create the cover. You aren't going to see this part of the stool it's just there to obviously protect the foam so it doesn't matter what it looks like!

6) Once I had cut the correct amount of material for the stool, I pulled it in taut over the stool then laid the stool upside down with the fabric underneath. It was then a case of pulling it taut over the sides and using a staple gun to hold in place. I made quite a tight finish, but it doesn't need to be that tidy as again, no one will see this part! 

7) I ordered some ferrules (actually first started typing in chair leg stoppers to find the technical name, not a clue!), I measured the round part of the stool legs so I knew what size I needed, the ones I used were 20mm. I then headed to ebay and picked up a pack of 4 for £2.75 and in the colour black. I wasn't sure if they would fit, but they were perfect, and the black looks so perfect against the gold.

8) Next was the best part, finally watching my mongolian fur stool come to life, and if it actually would live up to what I hoped. It took ages to scour the net for mongolian fur but finally went for a UK based seller on Etsy called Ecostep, I opted for the mongolian style Icelandic single sheepskin rug which had that curly haired look and was exactly what I was after. The seller was UK based, it came perfectly packaged and I thought it was an incredibly reasonable price for real fur. I would definitely use the seller again. 

I originally thought I would have to staple the fur onto the underneath of the stool, but the size I ordered literally couldn't have been more perfect. All I had to do was drape the rug over the top and hey presto - it looks amazing!! It really is the fur that takes centre stage in the transformation of this stool!

I literally could not have been more pleased with the outcome, with all of the materials it came in at just under £100, which is amazing for a real mongolian fur stool as these are incredibly costly, as you can see from the West Elm one. It's sooo easy to recreate, it's just finding that perfect stool for the job and the type of fur that you want. It's definitely made me think more about upcycling furniture to get that designer look for less as I loved this little first project of mine and it's now sitting pride of place in my bedroom.

The transformation from an old, dated but classic stool into a luxe, swoon worthy stool of dreams!
Have you done any DIY's recently?
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