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Blogging / Buying A House / Exchange / Homeowners / London / Moving

I’m back to blogging.

In the last year we’ve sold our house in Manchester and last week we moved into our new 2 bedroom flat in London.

Selling was awful. Aside from the obvious new flat side of things, it’s the reason I’ve finally put aside the time to start blogging again – so if anyone else is unfortunate enough to end up in our situation their Google of ‘Solicitors did not obtain regulations or indemnity insurance for removal of load baring walls‘ might pull up something helpful. I’ll bless you with that post at a later date, when it’s all poured out of me on to WordPress and I’ve probably had another good cry and a G&T. Read More

The Power of Paint – Hallway Edition

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Decor / Hall / Landing / London / Painting / Photos / Picture Post

We’ve been in our London flat for about 6 weeks now. If you (me) end up moving into a rented place that needs a bit of love, you (I) feel the need to get everything done as soon as humanly possible. It’s a very different feeling to buying a house and swanning about for 6 months before you pick up a paint brush, because you know your time might be limited to your contract.

What I’m hinting at is that we’ve basically painted every room in the house (apart from the bathroom) already. Read More

How to Let Your House, Without an Agent, For Under £100

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Letting / Manchester / Renting / Tenants

I wanted to post about letting out our property in Manchester. This post is LONG and is meaningless to anyone outside of the UK or anyone who’s not letting out their house in the future. It will probably be meaningless to people who are thinking of renting out their property too, because it’s so long you’ll probably be dead by the end of it and your house will have been given away in your will.

This was our main panic button when we realised we would be moving back down to London. After years of handing over keys to landlords and being done with places we’d live in, it felt really foreign knowing we’d still be responsible for our house in the north when we were living in the south. Read More

And We’re In

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Letting / London / Painting / Renting

We made it. We made it into the truck and up the six flights of stairs into our attic flat. We made it a whole week in Manchester with just a sofa bed, two plates and two glasses to our names. We made it through finding tenants and through cleaners who didn’t turn up and were mental.

The last month has been pretty insane.

Our tenants are going to be moving in on Saturday so until then I’m going to keep quiet about that just to be on the safe side. But I’m quite excited to write a semi boring post on how to be a landlord in a few steps. We waded through a lot of bumph to get to the point we are at now.

So yes, anyway, we left our house in Manchester on Sunday morning bright and early…

…and arrived in London at lunch time to get cracking on turning our little flat into our new abode. After about six hours of moving boxes around, hitting our heads too many times to mention and crashing on the sofa we were about here:

I love the light in this place, being so high up really gives you some perks. Great light, looking out of the window to see the tops of the trees, Canary Whaf AND the Shard. Is it worth the near-constant breathing difficulties I’m experiencing every time I climb the stairs, we will have to wait to find out.

They’re are a few things we need to do to this place before we can fully unpack. The living room is the main culprit, with its pea green walls and giant crack in one wall from when the building moved at point. The bedroom also had a delightful poo brown feature wall which I banished yesterday, so that’s one room ticked off the list although we still need to find some kind of storage that fits into the toddler sized space at the side of the room, but that can all wait for another post. The kitchen is a bit grim wall wise too, but I think it will shape up nicely when its had a lick of paint.

It’s a tricky one going from our own place to a rented property. You feel the pull to start spending money on things you can’t take with you and have to put the brakes on. But I’m excited about finding ways to make this place home without flashing too much cash.

Big News!

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Letting / Moving / Renting

Sooooo…I didn’t keep my promise about writing more regularly again. You wanna know why? Because I’ve spent the last couple of weeks having tiny panic attacks about everything I can possibly think of, BECAUSE…dunnnn dunnn dunnnnnnnnn…we are moving house!

You heard!

We are moving back to the big smoke, back to the lovely old streets of London. And I’m excited. But I am also soincrediblystressed. Everything has moved so quickly since Ben accepted a new job down south. We had to get cracking straight away so that we had somewhere to live for when he started work at the end of May. I mean, we had very kind offers from my family to house us both, but we really wanted to try as hard as we could to sort something as soon as we could.

And that we did.

The week after Ben accepted his new job I hopped on a train to spend the week in London viewing every possible flat I could handle. From living in London before I knew the two main rules:

1) Rent is HIGH
2) Good places go FAST and usually before they’ve even been formally advertised.

I was praying for one of these illusive good places. It’s very much right place right time. It’s also very much a case of the letting agent pinning you against a wall and screaming at you until you tell them you want the flat and handing over a holding deposit before you’ve even caught your breath.

I was very much prepared for all of this and yet it still made my head spin.

I spent my first day traipsing up and down the streets of Stoke Newington, going to to every letting agent I could, repeating my lines ‘can I give you my details, I’m after a 1 bedroom flat and my budget is max £1500 per month’. And without fail nearly every agent replied ‘there’s not much on the market at the moment, everything is going so far, but how about viewing this flat, which is in the ghetto and out of your price range?’.

I booked in a few viewing for the following day, none of which I was particularly excited about. They’d all been on the market for at least two or three weeks, so I knew they wouldn’t be up to much. The following morning I decided to do a bit more online searching. Gum Tree…nada. On to the letting agents. I found a place I liked the look of, right at the very top of our budget but in the perfect location. I gave the agent a call. Gone. ‘But there’s a flat that only came on two days ago and only had one viewing. Do you want to see it?’ Why not. Where is it? Three doors down from the very building I was sat in, my sister’s house. Creepy, but promising.

Literally 15 minutes later, I’d had my viewing, I’d Skyped Ben a mini flat tour and we’d handed over a holding deposit.

Things move that fast.

I’ve only got some rubbish photos that I took on my phone and some I took of the actual leaflet I was given by the agent…but here is our new home.





I do really love it. I mean, it’s on the 4th floor, in the attic of a town house, it needs some serious painting (which the landlord has agreed we can do), it’s one bedroom, so much smaller than our house right now and tall people may not cope well in there, but I can’t wait. It’s about 100 meters to a really brilliant park, about the same distance to one of the most ‘happening’ streets in North London and there are shops, busses, and pubs galore. It’s next door to my sister and down the road from my brother and one of my oldest friends. 

We are in the process of renting out our home in Manchester. We’ve just found some lovely tenants and so within the next month we should be moved in to our new London home. I’m going to write some posts about letting out your home and  also about moving in to our new one, so hold me to them.

The Whole World

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Dining Room / Homeware / Picture Post

I’m easing myself v-e-r-y s-l-o-w-l-y back into the world of blogging.

I don’t think I can quite talk about our leaking shower (ripping all the tiles off the walls, replacing the walls, putting the tiles back and it NOT being covered by the insurance…anyone?) although I will do I promise. We’ve also painted our bedroom other such delights, but they all seem like big scary posts, so instead I’ll let you know this:

We bought the coolest tablecloth ever.

I was so sick of all the wood in the living room, and was lacking in much love for our dining room table. Then one weekend I was at my lovely friend Christina’s amazing Liverpool City Centre pad and on her tiny table for two was this map of the world tablecloth. And I copied her. Like, almost immediately. 
It’s from John Lewis and is £18 a metre. We needed two metres but I would have paid more because I love it that much. It’s made out of some kind of PVC wipe clean-ish material, but it’s matte and that’s the key here people. It’s actually pretty unassuming believe it or not. 
I, along with the rest of the planet, love a good map, and it means that if we run out of couples conversation over dinner we can just look at places we would rather be. ( I joke of course). 


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Not Much

Wow. I’ve neglected this bad boy for something like four months now. If it was a child I’d be in prison. If it was an animal I’d be on Pet Rescue.

I’m sorry.

We’ve actually done a fair bit to our bedroom in the last few months, but with Christmas, a huge bout of work on my plate, my total lack of a decent camera (still) and studying to become a make up artist (yo) I’ve fallen behind with my duties and feel a bit bad.

So, this is just to say I’ll be updating more regularly from now on innit.



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Gifts / Homeware

It was my birthday this weekend and I was INCREDIBLY lucky. I got to spend time with lovely friends and family AND I received some pretty epic presents and cakes. But this blog is about our house (hause) so I figured I would just share my housey type gifts… of which I had a few.

First up, this AMAZING Klippan blanket from my big sis.

Klippan is a Swedish brand of pure lambs wool blankets in loads of amazing designs and colours. I’d actually had my eye on almost this exact blanket and had pinned it on my Pinterest, but my lovely sister had no idea and obviously struck up some kind of psychic link instead. It really cosies up our living room and is so heavy and warm. I absolutely love it and reckon it will last a lifetime. 
Next up, a cute squirrel tea towel by Donna Wilson. He requests that you use his tail to dry your dishes. He doesn’t know what he’s asking. Ben has a habit of using clean tea towels to mop up spilled coffee and what-not and it really upsets me, so I’m hesitant to put this squirrel through that just yet.
Also from Donna Wilson came the Mog plate. Another thing I’ve been after for forever and another thing my sister stole from my brainwaves without even realising. Actually it was her boyfriend who bought it for me but I image she may have something to do with suggesting it. 
I’m trying to decide on the perfect spot for him and it’s giving me sleepless nights. 
And last but not least, I received this wicked little retro sugar bowl from Sagaform.
My mum had a dinner set very similar to this when I was growing up, although it was orange and brown and straight from the 70’s. That sentence makes me sound old. I’ve realised I’m starting a lot of sentences recently with “When I was younger…”. Shudder. 
So there you have it. Amazing homeware-y gifts for one very lucky 31 year old. Happy Birthday me. 


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Cheap / Flowers

This is quite a girly post about flowers.

Someone told me once that buying flowers for your home is like showing your house you love it. I like that as an excuse.

I’m really getting in to buying flowers for our house. I think it stems (!) from the fact that I find it very difficult indeed to keep plants alive for long and flowers just die after a few weeks so I don’t feel too guilty about it. Obviously, alongside the fact that they are pretty and add colour and a bit of softness to your living environment.

I usually pick up a bunch when we go food shopping, which is once every few weeks as we never have any food in and live on a diet of McDonald’s and chips, cheese and gravy. These guys in the pic above were £1.50 from Aldi of all places. I think they are Gladiolus. 
I also bought another bunch in a different, amazing, coral colour. Again £1.50. 
Sometimes the act of going to buy flowers is actually just as nice as having the flowers themselves, so grabbing a cheap bunch of blooms in the local supermarket doesn’t quite cut it. My sister gets an inordinate amount of pleasure from going to little independent florists and finding out everything she can about the flowers she buys. I’m talking the kind of research you would do before adopting a pet. 
She bought me these lovely flowers this weekend from a florist in the Northern Quarter and I think it made her as happy as it made me. 
So there you go. A post about all of the flowers I have in my house at the moment. It does kind of look like someone has either had a wedding or died, but it makes me very happy having all these flowers around me while I work from home. 

Goodbye Beige Wonder

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Fire Place / Living Room / StoneLux

As I mentioned (understatement) in this post back in July, we no likey our fireplace.

So we finally decided to do something about it, bit the bullet and bought a pack of primer and stone coating in White Limestone from Stonelux. I’ve read every review they had on their site and Googled the hell out of it and to be honest there’s not a hue amount out there to reassure you that you’re doing the right thing. But the products themselves were only £32.44 (excluding P&P) so we figured our hatred of the fireplace outweighed the risk of it going wrong.

So I removed all our bits and bobs from the fireplace and gave it a bit of a clean.

Are you enjoying that veiny beigeness? How’s about that SHINE! Here’s a close up just because I’m nice like that. 
As I mentioned in a previous post, this update was going to have to be all about the surround. We don’t have the money to fully replace the whole shebang. Don’t get me wrong, we hate the insert just as much as the surround, but we are going to have to live with it for the time being.
Anyway, I cracked open the primer which was included in the pack and painted one thin coat over the entire fire surround. I thought I might be a bit hesitant about finally covering the Beige Wonder, but I felt nothing if not a huge thrill. The primer went on like a dream given that it was being painted on to marble. 
After waiting over night for it to dry (it only specifies 3 hours, but I was watching season 3 of Fringe and got distracted) I was excited to get cracking with the actual stone covering. 
This is how much you get for your money:
Not exactly loads given that you have to paint three thin coats but it was actually enough, although I was a bit concerned when I saw the size of the pot. The consistency of the stone coating is so weird, it’s like painting your fireplace surround with sandy water. It smelt pretty strongly of PVC glue though so I’d imagine that’s an ingredient.
I’m not gonna lie, the first coat freaked me out. It looked rubbish! I didn’t take a picture because I was panicking and starting to regret messing with Her Royal Beigeness. It was pay back. But as I built up the coats they began to go on more easily and by the third coat I was pretty happy with the finish!
Check it out, don’t you think it actually looks like it’s real stone? Pretty cool no?


Yeah I know, it’s not exactly a huge reveal, but you can really see the difference in real life. I think the matt effect of the stone coating is much less offensive than the shiny shiny beigey marble and the colour is just more neutral and from the cooler side of the colour family. I also painted Bob’s frame from cream to black to keep any beige/creamy tones from getting back in on the action. 
So there you go. I’d definitely recommend using Stonelux coverings if you are in a situation like us. They are way more affordable than buying a brand new fireplace and can give you a bit of light at the end of the home owning tunnel.

* I wasn’t perked in any way for this review, it’s all real brother.