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Dream Home - The Shower Room

We're pretty lucky that our house has 2 bathrooms, well, it has one bathroom and one small shower room with a loo in it too. The shower room is, for want of a better term, pretty shit. The shower is small, cramped, old, only has two heats - hotter than hell and cold - the water is a trickle, the ceiling of the room came through in a recent storm and a quarter of the room houses the boiler. We're swapping out the boiler this winter so it seems to make sense to makeover this room too. 

In a world with no budgets, this room would be a like something from a boutique hotel, but in the real world I'm hoping we can still install a bit of luxury for the money we have, just maybe not quite as fancy as my dreams! But think wet room style with big glass panels, huge shower heads, recessed cubbies and soft, fluffy towels. 

Obviously I've turned to Pinterest for my dreaming (and to help give Jim a bit of inspiration too) and here are a few of my favourite shower rooms;
We've never had a wet room before so it's all new to us figuring this out so we're open to any help we can get - do you have any advice on designing a wet room? Have you picked out the perfect shower recently? Do you have a top tip for buying tiles? Or do you just love one of the images above? If so, please help us out. We're such bathroom novices!

House Tour - The Drinks Station

One of the most used spaces in our house is the drinks station, which lives on the sideboard in the dining room. I know the cool thing to do is have a bar kart, but we have more of a bar corner and we love it. And I think as home bar corners go it's a pretty well stocked one.
The main bits of our bar live on a cute little tray that I lucked out on finding in T.K.Maxx. I love the shell mosaic on it and the fact its a little blingy. The tray itself houses our decanters, which were gifts from people. One has gin in it, one should have whisky (but it's all been drunk), and the one with the shot glasses beneath it - tequila of course.
Along side the decanters we have a bottle of Crystal Head Vodka - which amazingly was a housewarming gift from my lovely friend Liz, 4 different gins including a delicious elderflower gin and a Cornish gin we picked up on holiday, oh and 3 different whiskies, two rums and some champers too. All bases covered then!
And the shelf, well this Universal Expert beautiful shelf came from West Elm. It's only available in store in the UK so on our trip to London the other week I bought it and made Jim carry it round with us all weekend! I think it makes the space don't you?
It's the perfect place to store our wine glasses, but also some of the cocktail making equipment that we have and a couple of cocktail books. The books we have up there are the Mrs Lillian Cocktail Swatch books - which I love.
Jim loves making cocktails and is great at it too - so it's great to have everything right at hand for him. Some of the essential bits of kit that we've found we need are a cocktail shaker, shot measures, straws, miniatures and bitters - I bloody love bitters, especially just in some lemonade.
The sideboard was an Ebay purchase bought a long time ago for our old house, and brought back from near Nottingham in the Polo, much to everyone's surprise. It's proved beyond useful since we bought it.
The cupboards store some of the cheaper booze we have, bottles of wine, pitchers, extra plates and tea sets and things like silver moule eaters (you know, essentials) and the glass fronted section stores our glass wear. Over the years we've built up a slightly worrying collection of glass wear - martini glasses, highball glasses, tumblers, gin glasses, champagne flutes, wine glasses, shot glasses - we have a glass for every occasion.

What do you think? Do you guys have a drinks station at your house? How do you style it? Is there something that you think we're missing? And what cocktails should we be making?

DIY Mountain Cushion

A couple of our friends have just moved into a new flat in a new city and I wanted to send a little house warming present to make it feel a little bit more like home. Zoe and Jordan have spent the last couple of years living the dream, they spent two winters snowboarding in France and the summer in between travelling. 

Knowing they'll be missing the mountains this season, I thought that I'd try and send them something to help them through the long dark welsh winter. Enter the 'Mountain Cushion'. Now I've seen mountain cushions a lot of Etsy, but they were all in America, and do you know the cost of shipping from America? Plus it looked like something I could totally make myself. 

And if you fancy making one yourself, here's how;

What I used;

  • Fabric for the base of your mountain. I bought my 'mountain fabric' from John Lewis, it's actually blackout curtain material, but I liked it so got it anyway. How much you use depends on how big you want your mountain to be. Mine was a piece 120 x 40cm folded in half to 60 x 40cm.
  • White felt for the snow.
  • Cotton.
  • Sewing machine (or some patience).
  • Cushion padding.

What to do;

  1. Take your piece of fabric and fold it in half, right sides together.
  2. With the fold at the bottom, draw on your mountain range. I did 3 peaks, you could do as many or as few as you like to fill your fabric. I drew the 'snow' on too to make it easier for myself to see if they would look right.
  3. I pinned round it the shape and cut it out with a one inch seam allowance. 
  4. Next I took the white felt 'snow' and pinned it on top of the mountains - right side - and cut out my snow. This didn't exactly follow my original snow shape but I did what I felt would work best. 
  5. Then I sewed the bottom edge of the snow on to the right side of the mountain. I only added snow to one side of the mountain as I was worried about it matching up.
  6. I turned the mountains right side together again and started sewing along my lines. As the fabric was folded in half the sewn edges were just the mountain peaks and sides - this I think helped it stand a bit nicer too! Make sure you leave a smallish gap in the seam so that you can turn your cushion the right way round. 
  7. Trim the excess fabric from the seams. I found I had to cut right down to the edge of the sewing where the bottoms of the peaks were to make it look right once it was turned right sides out.

- Stuff with cushion filling. I used a long ruler to make sure the filling was in the peaks evenly. 
- Sew up the gap and plump your cushion.
- Enjoy.

The whole process probably took me couple of hours, but that was with gaps in between to play with Flash! 

And here is the photo I've stolen from Twitter of it in their new place. What do you think? Will mountains be gracing your sofa this winter?


Photo Memories with Photoworld

So, you know in my Blog Hop post I said I wanted to start taking more care with my photography, well, looking back through my photo's and reminissing about the places and the people and what I was doing when I took the picture has given massive kick up the bum to give to bust out the SLR and the phone and to actually think a little more about what I am pointing them at so that I'm capturing memories, rather than just throw away shots!

So when the lovely people at Photoworld got in touch about a competition they are launching today to focus on our photo memories I thought it would be the perfect thing to tell you about. For the next four weeks they're encouraging us to share photos along a theme to be in with the chance of winning some amazing prizes - think an awesome 16gb Lytro Camera worth £250 and £250 worth of John Lewis vouchers, and also runners up prizes of £100 and £50 of CEWE vouchers. If you've heard about Lytro cameras you'll know how amazing they look - they are seriously cool!

They have set four weekly themes to their competition, asking you to share photo's that relate to Family, Friendship, Travel, and Celebrations. With this in mind I've been back through some of my photo's and I want to share with you the pics I'd enter with.

Here's a 'family' portrait taken last month on our holiday. We don't often take photo's together - not all 3 of us, actually I'd say there aren't many photo's of just me and Jim either as I'm usually behind the camera, so we thought it would be nice to try and get one. This took four attempts, and came out really blown out and light, but it's the only one Flash was looking forwards in, and even here he looks grumpy as sin. He'd been in the car for an hour, then didn't get nearly as much cornish pasty as he's have liked and wasn't allowed to chase the seagulls over the cliffs at Lands End. It's a pretty tough life being him really! (Also yes, we do have matching shades!)

Having spent a lovely night last weekend with these ladies I'm pretty blessed to know I have some awesome friends. I met these ladies nearly 11 years ago working for Quiksilver and it's been friendship since day one. We've all been there for each other through so much that I don't think it would feel right to not have these ladies in my life and last year, in November we celebrated our ten year friendiversary. And last weekend we were all together for one of our birthdays, and it might be Christmas before we're all together again, but I know they are there when I need them.

This is one of my favourite 'Holiday' snaps. It was taken in Essouira in Morocco. The whole town is pretty much a sea of white houses and white walls, it's like a minimalist bloggers dream come true. The walls are broken up by cute, brightly shuttered windows and doors. Half the town looks like it needs a re-paint, the other half is glaringly bright. I love this picture though because of the shadows. I love the fingery shapes coming from the canopy over the window, and I love the varying stages of open-ness of the windows.

What are celebrations without Jager? Remembered, that's what. But to hell with that, that's what photo's are for. Right? My best friend (one of the ladies above but I won't say which one) turned 36 this last weekend and we celebrated with a day session in London complete with afternoon Jager, shopping trolley riding, balloons, red velvet cakes, cocktails and we finished the night with with 2.30am Sambucca. I tell myself that one day I'll learn, but lets be truthful, I'm 33 now and I've still not figured out how to be sensible so, it's not likely to happen is it?

So, I'm hoping you've liked these memories I've shared, and that maybe it's inspired you to share some of your own too. And remember to be in with the chance of winning a super cool camera, and some John Lewis vouchers, or vouchers to print your own work on a canvas or in a book, all you have to do to enter is share a photo on Twitter, in keeping with their photo theme of the week and tag @cewephotoworld and #weprintmemories in it and remember, the weekly themes are 15th Sept: Family, 22nd Sept: Friendship, 29th Sept: Travel, 6th Oct: Celebrations! You can check out the full details here!

*This is a sponsored post*

Lust List - Autumn Style

I don't know what it is about September but it has me wanting new clothes more than any other time of the year. Maybe it's some sort of residual 'new school gear' hangover, or maybe it's just because I love cosy clothes. Cosy clothes mean it's nearly winter which means its nearly snow time! 

And whilst I really shouldn't have my eye on new clothes, what with all the stuff for the house we need, there are some bits that I just really, really can't get out of my mind! 
This Seafolly waterproof from Seasalt has been on my 'need' list for such a long time - walking to work every day during winter is probably going to be a bit grim so I think it's about time I treated myself to it don't you? And this cute blue is just so me. It's no secret that I have a converse problem, but some times they just don't cut it in the winter. I've been looking for some all round casual boots for a while and I love the pop of floral on these from Brakeburn. I've pretty much lived in a little denim dress this summer so updating it for winter with this longer sleeved number , paired with a thick pair of tights seems like the sensible thing to do don't you think? This Burton cardigan looks so slouchy and comfy I think it'd be perfect to throw on over a pair of skinnies and a t! And well, a beanie is pretty much uniform as soon as it starts getting chilly! Now if only I had the budget to buy some of it. 

What have you got your eye on this autumn?

The Perfect Cuba Libre

Living in Leeds for 10 years means for a while I think my blood may have been replaced with rum. Rum with Ginger beer. Rum in Mojito's. Rum and coke. Rum in many, many, many forms. So when I was asked if I'd like to help celebrate Bacardi's launch of their new 40% golden rum and the birthday of the Cuba Libre, I jumped at the offer. Gold rum is my go to rum of choice, and this certainly doesn't disappoint. It's delicious with a slight vanilla flavour to it. 

The perfect Cuba Libre

40% ABV Bacardi Gold rum
- Coke - preferably out of a small glass bottle
- Fresh lime
- A couple of ice cubes

Pop your ice cubes in the glass, pour a measure of rum over the ice, top up the glass with coke, and squeeze in some fresh lime. 

I don't drink coke very often any more, we gave up caffeine when we went paleo last year, and it's about the only thing that I've stuck to, but when I do drink coke, these days it's full fat and if possible from a bottle - I don't know about you but coke out of a bottle just tastes loads better. And with rum, well, it's even better! And I think fresh lime, squeezed in with whatever mixer you use, is a great accompaniment to rum. 

What's your favourite way to drink rum?  

*I wasn't paid for this post, but I did receive the rum to try for free.

An August round up and Septembers Goals

August was busy. Busier than I fear it should have been really for everything I wanted to achieve. There were trips to Middlesbrough for 4th birthday parties and to meet Flash's Jug cousin, Bruno Bear. There were visits from family, there were broken cars & crashed into cars. There was dog sitting and blogger events in Leeds. We had the great grey debate of 2014. It raged on our living room wall for an age. We also spent a tonne of time painting - walls, woodwork, built-ins, picture rails & window frames. You name it. We painted it. We had a leak that ruined a bathroom ceiling. There were sofa delays (we still don't have one - it's been 8 1/2 weeks!) and carpet decisions. We spent a lot of time making cocktails at home and juicing everything we could and there was a lovely holiday. Then there were mini breakdowns at the fact nothing in the house is done or finished and the fact I can't see an end to it - I'm hoping that feeling will pass. House do-er-uper-ers please tell me it will! 

And now on to September and my goals for this month. 


Travel: A week of visiting friends and getting back to the sea.

Oooops, sorry for the 10ish day absence, but work was so crazy before my holiday that writing and scheduling blog posts to go live whilst I was away was impossible. I thought though that I might share a few glimpses of our little family holiday which turned into a bit of a tour of the south of England. Forgive me the image heavy post, but believe me when I say you've only been subjected about 1/8th of the ones we took!

Vintage Flash!
First we popped to Bournemouth to see my friend Katie for a little post her birthday catch-up. We struggled to find a pet friendly hotel that wasn't going to cost us a fortune (one hotel wanted an extra £40 for Flash to stay one night) so we turned to Airbnb and found a little flat in Poole that would let Flash stay. The lady who owned it had quite eclectic taste. The flat was full of vintage finds and fabric! It was quite a flying visit with Katie due to crazy traffic trying to get down there, but we saw the sights of Poole, popped to Bournemouth beach and had some dinner and a chance for a little chat. A successful trip all in all. (If you are new to Airbnb - sign up with this link and you'll get a £15 credit for your first trip -

Checking out the record collection in the airbnb!
Next we popped over to see one of Jim's friends, Paula, who lives a little further up the coast in Fareham. We had a lovely few days of local pubs and BBQ's and breakfast in cute little beach cafes and trips to the beach and walks with Flash. All whilst staying in a room that felt like a hotel! Flash was thoroughly spoilt too, so he loved it. 

Our model pup. 
Fareham beach. 
Our next part of the trip was to Falmouth, where my parents were waiting with the boat. We left a sunny Portsmouth to arrive in a rainy Mylor. We camp a little up the road when we go, so putting the tent up in the rain was a lot of fun! We've been at Mylor for nearly 20 years now and in that time there have been new restaurants and yacht clubs spring up and it's become full of fake RP accents that would put those on Made in Chelsea to shame, but I still love it, even on a rainy day!

From the shore at Mylor!
There were walks with Flash down coastal paths

We took a trip to Lands End. I haven't been since I was a little kids and it's far more touristy now than it ever was, but we have a fun day out. 

The Tall Ships were in Falmouth last weekend so we sailed out to see some of them come in one day and then took a trip over to see them up closer. They are so beautiful, and I loved the fact that they all came in with pirate flags flying too. I wish we could have stayed for the Parade of Sail on sunday too as that looked amazing.

And then there was the food. We ate a lot. Lots of seafood, like all the seafood. I didn't take many pictures of the food though. I was eating too much to take photo's of my meals. But we ate at one of our favourites The Pandora Inn - their moules marinieres were possibly the best I've had for a long time, and then as the Tall Ships were in town, Falmouth turned into a bit of a food festival. Here are just a couple of the 'street food' delights we had - seriously, street food served in shells is the way forwards people!

Oh, these scallops. I could have eaten them all night!
My first time trying oysters - they tasted just like sea water. Not sure what the attraction of them is!
And the colours, just check out these doors. Hope Cottage is my favourite.

And Flash, well, he loved being on holiday. He loved all the pasty ends, and ice cream and the walks and the walks on the beach. He wasn't so sure about the life jacket though.........

As always, it went too fast, and there wasn't enough time on the water, but I loved it.