Decorating Diaries

I’ve had a bit of a blogging holiday for a few weeks, after finding myself caught up in the busy world of homeownership.

This is a world where any extra pennies (of which there are few) are spent on paint brushes and picture hooks, and at any given moment I can be found staring blankly at a half finished room with paint in my hair. If I’m not doing that, I’m browsing online for the wallpaper that’s ‘the one’, and discovering there’s a whole world of lampshades and doorknobs I never knew existed. All this, paired with becoming increasingly pregnant (24 weeks and counting), has left little time or energy to write, and whilst in my mind’s eye I can envision every room immaculately decorated, the end is still far from in sight.

Even though we moved into our home four months ago now, work to make it our own has only just begun, due to some essential electrical work that had to be carried out first (watch out for my post on lessons I’ve learnt as a first time buyer).

In an attempt to stop neglecting my blog, I thought I’d share a few updates as I go. The first I wanted to share is this fabulous wall sticker I purchased last week, which we’ve put in what will be the nursery for our soon-to-be-born little lady.

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Easy to put up, although a little fiddly, we were ridiculously happy with how this turned out. It’s completely transformed and livened up the otherwise very white walls of what’s currently our spare room. At only £10 in the sale from Mamas and Papas, it’s worth every penny. This, with the Scion little fox wallpaper we’ve chosen for the chimney breast wall, creates a whimsical woodland theme for baby (fingers crossed she doesn’t develop a fear of woodland creatures).

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You may think the wallpaper is an unusual choice for a baby girl’s room, but I’ve never been one for anything pink and girly, and wanted the room to reflect our personalities and taste. I think this will add a splash of colour and fun, without being too ‘girly’, and should see us through a good few years. I got this from fashionwallpaper.com as it was slightly cheaper than other retailers (e.g. John Lewis), and because I also ordered our living room wallpaper I qualified for free delivery. The great thing about this is it’s ‘paste the wall’, which I would thoroughly recommend for any first time wallpaperers.

Still some ‘finishing touches’ to go (furniture and a carpet the key missing items here!) but decorating this room has shown me that a complete transformation can be pretty easy and inexpensive, with a little patience of course.

 

 

I Heart NY

So, as I mentioned in my last post, it’s been a bit quiet here recently due to a number of reasons, one of which being a week-long work trip to the US of A (alright for some, eh?), and then spending the following week recovering from a combination of jet lag and exhaustion, whilst still working 9-5. Now that I’ve had time to think, let me tell you a bit about my trip….

The work part took me to Baltimore for 4 days, which although was a lot of fun and a very productive few days in the office, I won’t bore you with the details as I saw very little of Baltimore itself (unless you count a rather crazy taxi journey from the station which involved more u-turns than I care to remember).

I was lucky enough to squeeze in a couple of tourist days around work, the first being in Washington D.C. I saw the White House (of course), and what felt like hundreds of Starbucks stores (there really s one on every corner) but have to say I was more impressed by my visit to the Smithsonian Natural History Museum. I only wish I’d had more time to explore this more thoroughly, and check out all the other museums in the area as well, as if the Natural History Museum is anything to go by they could have certainly filled a week on their own.

As a reward for my hard work, I headed to New York City at the end of the week, armed with some spending money, but unfortunately not an umbrella. Luckily I was travelling with my manager who I get along well with and have similar interests to, so there was no arguing over where to see (or would where to shop be more accurate?) on our whistle-stop tour of the city.

Arriving in NYC late after a severely delayed train journey, we quickly dried off in the hotel from the downpour we got caught in on the way from Penn station, but didn’t let that dampen our enthusiasm for taking in the city. With inappropriate footwear, a light jacket, and only a beret to protect me from the elements, we followed the bright lights to Times Square and soon forgot about our wet feet and numb hands.

The following morning we headed back to Times Square and hit a few shops on the way, my favourite new find being ‘Loft’ (www.loft.com) which I’d never actually come across before. Unfortunately, I didn’t have time to go back and purchase the couple of things I had my eye on, but after browsing online I feel I’ll soon be rectifying that!

We filled our afternoon with a stroll down Madison Avenue, secretly hoping to be transported back to 1965 and bump into Don Draper or Peggy Olsen, but no luck on that front I’m afraid. We headed off down 5th Avenue instead, and found ourselves in Banana Republic for more time that we should have given our few hours remaining. (In my next post I’m planning to tell you all about my purchases from the store).

A bit more aimless wandering and a quick trip to Macy’s and JC Penney later, and it was time to head back to the station and travel to Newark for our flight home. It only took a few hours, but I definitely fell a little bit in love with NY while I was there, although after a hectic and tiring week was happy to be heading home.

Thanks for having me America, maybe I’ll be back one day!

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A busy month!

Some of you may have noticed that it’s been a bit quiet here at I am what I for a few weeks, but fear not, I’m back and ready to write.

My absence has been due to a spectacularly busy month, beginning with a work trip to the US, which was fantastic, but exhausting!

On my return I had to then set about packing up my flat, ready to move into my beautiful new home (I’m finally a homeowner, hurray!). Although happy to see the back of renting, 2 weeks on from the move I’m still surrounded by bags and boxes, and with an ever-growing list of odd jobs that need doing before the place really feels like home.

Add a nasty cold into the mix, and that’s been my month, and why I am what I was temporarily neglected. Oh, and of course the fact that until yesterday I was without an internet connection!

Watch this space for more posts on what I’ve been up to 🙂

Envelope Cushion Cover (no skills required!)

I bought a new sofa recently, after my beloved second hand sofa that served me well for about 7 years finally gave up on me.

I fancied some new cushions, but couldn’t quite find anything I liked at the right price. While browsing the haberdashery stall in a local market, I found some printed cottons that I thought would look great, so thought I’d have a go at making my own.

I was surprised at how easy this actually was to make, I think I was done in about 15 minutes! It’s extremely basic, but I didn’t want to have to fiddle around with zips or buttons, so went for the envelope style, which actually looks really neat.

I didn’t expect this to work as well at it did on a first attempt, so didn’t take many photos as I went along, but here’s a quick step-by-step guide:

Materials required:
1/2 metre of whatever fabric takes your fancy
Small scatter cushion pad (I got mine from eBay)
Tape measure
Pins
Scissors
Sewing machine or needle and thread

  1. Cut the fabric to about 2 1/2 times the length of your cushion.
  2. Neaten the 2 shorter raw edges by turning the fabric over 1 inch, and sew.

WIN_20150920_1216113. With right sides together, fold the fabric like and envelope, so that you’re neatened edges overlap, and your cushion fits comfortably on the fabric.

WIN_20150920_1226044. If the fabric is a lot wider than the cushion, trim the raw edges so that the fabric will fit nicely round the cushion. Remember to leave a seam allowance.

5. Sew the raw edges of the fabric.

6. Turn inside out and insert cushion!

7.Find more pretty fabric and make far more cushions than you will ever need…

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