It’s al’white. Get it? Ha.

You know you’ve reached a new level of sad in your life when you laugh out loud at your own joke.  Even when it’s not really a joke but a very lame use of words.  And you’re home alone.

I’ve recently been accessorizing myself with white   – with the fashion product that is matt emulsion.  I’ve been sporting it in my hair, speckled over my arms, and if I’m feeling particularly cutting edge, smudged down my forehead and cheeks.

Before now I’ve only used white emulsion as base coats on walls before adding a coat or two of colour.  So it feel’s weird to be piling coat after coat of the white stuff.  It’s a bit like ground hog day.  But I like it.  A lot more forgiving.  And oh my goodness, the room is so much lighter now.  I’ve always always always preferred creams over white for the added warmth but I’m very excited to see how this room shapes up.  Carpet is coming Monday so we’ll have just enough time to bring the house back to normality in time for going away to Soul Survivor camp.

We’re house-swapping in the third week of the summer holidays so we’re all looking forward to slowing down in the very very gorgeous Yorkshire Dales.  This will be the pinnacle of our Summer Staycation (I guess we’re cheating really, because we’re not ‘staying’ at home that week – but you know what I mean) and the girls are loving coming up with ideas for our Summer Staycation List.

Mallorca Schmallorca.

I had my hair cut last week the day before my birthday.  I have not had a lot of luck with hairdressers. Back in 2010 I wrote about some of these hair-nightmares.   This time round was the shortest I’d ever had it cut and ironically it was at the salon that I ended up in at the end of my blog post a couple of years ago.  My regular hair dresser was on holiday so i had a younger girl.  After I’d washed it myself I couldn’t do a thing with it.  Clumps of hair pointed in all directions and all I could do was try to tame it with a hairband.   By yesterday I had had enough.  I had the salon’s number in front of me and I really wanted them to look at my hair, but I bottled it because I would have felt so uncomfortable if the girl had been there.  So I called a different salon and begged them to save my hair.  The owner was so lovely and told me to come over at 6.30.  I got there, sat down and showed her some pictures of what I had been hoping for.  She didn’t say much as she looked through my hair, section by section.  She got a mirror and showed me the back of my hair.  I burst into tears, so horrified at it.  The hairdresser soothed me and told me it would be fine.  She did say that she’d never seen such a bad cut. WHAT ON EARTH??? OF ALL THE HAIRDRESSERS IN THE WORLD, HOW DID I FIND TWO WITHIN A COUPLE OF YEARS THAT MANAGEDTO HACK MY HAIR INTO A MESS THAT HAD THEN HORRIFIED OTHER HAIRDRESSERS?? There were some things the hairdresser could fix, some she couldn’t.  She left the top of my hair to grow but had to cut quite a bit off the sides.  It is super short now but at least its in a definite style that should grow well.

Who knew hair could be so stressful?  What I need is a nice light and white, airy room to calm my nerves…


The very boring blog post about a picture frame.

PRIOR WARNING: This post contains content of very dull info on the redecoration of our living room.  I wasn’t going to write such dullness but I figured it would be nice to look back and think “ooh do you remember how long that took just to decorate one room?”!!!

Don’t say you weren’t warned.

So last week when I got to wander around the shops with my ma we picked up some crazy bargain picture frames – only they were picture frames WITH a pin-board.  Very cool.  The frames were black and straight away I knew I wanted them white and distressed.

I wish I’d taken a photo of it when I bought it for the sake of comparison.

So the first one I used I painted with  regular old satin wood.  It took a few coats to look even but by then it didn’t want to be scuffed up at all.  Uh.  I banged it around a little and I like it but it definitely needs roughing up a bit more.






The pictures are not clear at all.  It makes them look way ‘whiter’ than they really are.  The pinboard section has been bordered with string.

The second one I used spray paint and it was soooooo much quicker.  Plus, because it was a lighter coat, it scuffed up so much easier too.  Perhaps too much, I’m not sure.





I’m gutted that attempt #2 has bubbles in the pin board.  I fought temptation to mess with it with common sense.  I doubt any cork would remain if I had a scalpel in hand.  I’m not feeling the love with the picture frame people either.  But I figure once the pin-board has all sorts pinned onto it you’ll never see the little bubbles.

I learnt way more painting two frames.  I went back to the shop to get a load more and they’d all gone! Boooo!

The ones I do have though definitely have the weathered feel I was looking for and I love the string border on the pin-boards.  I think I just have that on the brain.  In any shop I gravitate to anything in the shade of teal or anything distressed or white.  Well not anything white.  That’d be just silly.  One wall in my living room has now got some paint on.  Granted, it is a base coat to secure the new plaster, but it has paint on it nonetheless.  I think everyone in the house is getting a little tired of everything being out of place so that’s an incentive to try and get the painting done. 

I’ve started distressing the fireplace that we took off to plaster the walls, and we’ve hidden the little bits and pieces we’ve bought for the room in a cupboard until the room is ready for them.

Not long now.


While I wait patiently for the plaster to dry in our living room, I’m dreaming away looking for inspiration in rooms that are ‘coastal’ inspired without making you feel you’re actually in a beach hut, sand and all.


Shake things up in your living room by choosing mismatched pieces that are united by a common theme. In this case, it’s sea blues and nautical decorative elements.


Without the pops of cobalt blue, this smart seating area’s neutral tones would feel a little washed out. Fun patterned pillows with drapery and flowers to match don’t take the focus off the main event, the wraparound water view from the windows.


I’m having to think outside the box a little – push my creative limits.  Originally, I knew exactly what I wanted.  And I wanted blue.

Throw in some stripes and you have yourself some seriously relaxed coastal vibes.  The problem was that when I went to Dunelm Mill to get some curtains I was so overwhelmed by its’ enormity that I just walked around and around….And around in a daze.  Eventually I found myself standing in front of some really pretty curtains the right size.  When I got them home i noticed they were more of a really really soft teal than blue.

So instead of this….

Decorating With Blue

I need to start thinking in terms of this…

Though initially deterred I’m now refocused.  This is totally doable.  I’m thinking less (of teal) is more, and lots of white.


Beachy Elegance


I reckon I don’t need to depend on the colour though.  Of all the pictures I looked at this  – this last one was the most powerful.  Its’ use of texture convinces you that there’ll be sand-dunes beyond that window.  I’m in love with that mirror on the fireplace AND that small table!  The pebbles on the hearth remind me of my own memories of collecting treasures from the beach.


An extra-large cushioned space for lounging adds a quiet elegance to this simplistic living area. Organic extras such as the driftwood coffee table and decorative beach stones have a natural coastal charm.


So now I’m inspired I just have to make it happen.  And on a shoestring.


(All images that do not have a source immediately below are from


The upheaval for the week ahead has begun.  The fire surround is off and room empty bar the two sofas and the TV.  It is the England match this evening after all.


I know. Lovely right?


Tomorrow the walls will be plastered and the room will pretty much stay as it is until the decorating fairies come to paint the walls.

I want my walls to turn out nice.  I want my home to be nice.  But being in God’s house this morning reminded me that, of course, I can enjoy expressing myself in decorating my house but my heart beats for something so much bigger, higher and greater than that.

clean children, chocolate and empty living rooms

Phew! What a week.  The Husband took a work trip to the Isle of Man and so I needed to really pull it out the bag.  My mum was here for the first part so I was able to ease into my independent-I-can-totally-do-this mode.  And by the grace of God I did! I managed to keep the girls alive – no, more than that – I managed to keep them fed and clean moderately clean.  I do reckon though, the only way I’d ever survive single motherhood would be to go to bed at the same time as my girls.

Ordinarily I would have kept it low key with the plan to accomplaish the bare minimum.  However, I needed some shorts for my physio session this week because I needed to start working on the muscles in my legs.  Problem was that none of my shorts fit me anymore and clothes shopping is not quite as fun when you’ve put a load of weight on – but I had to do it – so I hit the shops before one of the school runs.  My purchase ended up bitter sweet; I found a really cute pair of shorts in GAP for £5.00 – yes £5.00(!!) but to get them over my thunder thighs I had to go up yet another clothes size.  Yey for the GAP bargain, booooooooooooooooooooooo for the bigger size.

If you’re read this blog for a while you’ll know that I’m a stereotypical yo-yo dieter.  At best I start great and lose weight like a champ but somewhere along the road I meet a doughnut.  At worst I meet the Donut the same day as I decide to diet.  And don’t scream at the screen that diets are wrong and that its all about healthy eating, because left to my own devices I will just eat the chocolate.

And having pulled out an old recipe for making the worlds best fudge to put up on my new foodie page I now have a tub full of the stuff in my fridge.

Next week will be so crazy though that even thinking about it is burning calories.  After months of hmmmmmmmms the living room will be prepped tomorrow and plastered on Monday.  That means we The Husband will be clearing the room today while I supervise.  No its ok, he really loves it…

mayhem, paint and emulsion.

I have a new love.  It was not love at first sight, in fact before very recently I’d pout at the thought of being in the immediate vicinity of the object of my affection.  But since we decided to and started doing a load of work in our house ourselves, B&Q and I have become quite close.  Even when back is spasming I get a jolt of energy as we pull into the carpark.  I could easily wander around the isles for hours.  Rob had to hurry me up when we were there a couple of days ago when I was staring at a massive display of screws.  We don’t need screws right now.

It’s probably a good thing I havn’t been there alone, I wouldn’t want to be that weirdo.

The girls don’t mind going to B&Q, they like dragging the wheely-baskets around and enjoy the extra space you don’t get at the supermarkets.

Ruby enjoys the space a little too much.  She likes to dive under the isles.  You’d be suprise how many hide&seek opportunities there are for a three year old.  But mostly she just runs.

For a long time I’ve loved the idea of working on batters and worn furniture, so having a load of ‘projects’  on the go at the moment, I’m having to force myself to limit the time I spend on them.  It’s hard working on these projects when you shouldn’t be bending, lifting and stretching.  So I’ve been trying to take it easy and control myself.  I’ll write about each project individually, sharing the good, the bad and the ugly. Taking photos of the creative process has allowed me to slow down and appreciate it as much, if not more than the end product.

I’ve been using a lot of sprays on some projects.  Much less messy and I like the finish they produce (that’ll make more sense when I write about reworking our old dining chairs).  And the choice! Be still my beating heart.

And in case you didn’t clock them:

I’ve been racking my brains to find some furniture that would look nice glittery but I’m yet to come up with anything.

We’re at a place now when everything should come together very soon.  All the woodwork has been painted, the cupboard handles are ready to go back on and the offensive tiles have been covered.  I want to write more about tile paint sometime soon, now that I’ve had a bot more experience with it.  The kitchen/hallway/stairs/landing flooring is coming tomorrow and we always marked the new flooring as the end of our work.  For the kitchen, hallway and landing anyway.  Its weird, I love the process of decorating and upcycling but it’s been very demanding and intense so we’ll be relieved when it’s all done.  I’m surprised The Husband is still standing.  He’s a warrior.

I was looking after my girls this afternoon and tried to multi-task as we approached the twilight zone of 4.00-6.00pm.  I don’t do multi tasking.  Apparently it’s infused into the core of every woman so I must have been at the back of the queue.

This is what happens when I try to multi task.

I mourned the loss of two eggs for a little while but then pulled myself together and cleaned it up and slowed it down.

And through all the mahem, pain and emulsion there is one member of the Steward family who always sits backs and watches from the sideline.

Tonight The Husband brought this back for me:

We’ve been looking out for them ever since the TV campaign of new flavours.  I was totally expecting them to be like Reeces cups but they’re not.  the peanut butter is more salty.  It still worked though.

Time to climb into bed.  Hope it’s nice and sunny in the morning…!