We’ve been living in our house four and a half years now and all the while, living with a kitchen which I hated. With so many things to change though, we knew it would be a while off before doing anything as it would have to be gutted and replastered. Our conservatory runs off the kitchen, but even with this much sunlight, the room always felt cold. With black floor tiles, blue wall tiles and a navy worktop (?!) it was a far cry from my dream kitchen. I’d searched on Pinterest for a long time to get ideas on how to change it but never bothered, thinking I hated the cupboards so much, nothing could salvage it. That changed a few months back when I decided to try and paint the wall tiles to brighten the room a bit. What a difference! I used Wilko tile paint, making sure to scrub the tiles with sugar soap first. Once they were completely dry, I used a gloss roller and was really shocked as how easy it went on (it’s quite gloopy). Two coats later and I was feeling pretty pleased with myself.While this was a huge improvement, the worktops were still the awful faded navy and the room really craved some warmth. I toyed with what colour to paint the walls and settled for a dark grey (also from Wilko’s own range). This made the cupboards seem whiter and cleaner straight away.I read lots online about using sticky back plastic for worktops and was really dubious. I didn’t think it would look convincing at all but at £5 a roll, I figured why not? The only why I was asking later was ‘why haven’t I done this sooner?!’. This stuff is amazing! I used a wood effect from D C Fix and the results speak for themselves. Again, I scrubbed the counters down with sugar soap, waited until bone dry and then using the application pack, started sticking it on. If you mess up, you can just peel it off and start again. The whole kitchen took me 3 evenings and cost a total of £25! Here are my top tips for trying either of the above updates:

1. Be careful of paint drips on the tiles. Go back over where you’ve painted a few minutes later and brush over any runs in the paint.

2. If you’re using masking tape around any edges, use a Stanley knife to cut it away from the paint before peeling away, otherwise you risk peeling the paint off too. 

3. The smell will go. It’s very strong so I’d suggest ventilating the room as often as possible. You’ll definitely think you’re going to smell paint for the rest of your life but trust me, it does fade and eventually disappear. 

4. Have patience with the sticky back plastic. There was an area of our kitchen that I did towards the end and I swear, if I’d started there I’d have never done the whole thing. Just stick with it and gently pull away if you make a mistake.

5. Don’t worry about any little mistakes. I had a meltdown over that piece towards the end when I big crease formed in the middle. I tried a few times and eventually started with a new piece of the roll and the same thing happened; maybe I just have dodgy worktops? But after admittting defeat and just going with it, I popped a chopping board over it. 

6. Nobody is going to scrutinise your counters, even if you do. When someone walks into your kitchen, they’re taking in the whole thing. Once you’ve got some accessories in there, you won’t notice any little marks or bumps that just wouldnt go. 

7. If you hate your worktops as much as I did, it’s absolutely worth a try for just £5 a roll. 

I added a few new accessories in here and now I absolutely love this room. The cupboards don’t bother me anymore and while there are still things I would change eventually, it’s now a cosy room that I’m happy to sit in long after dinner has finished.I’d love to know what you think or if you’re thinking of giving it a go yourself. 

Emma  x

So considering it’s summer, I’m sat here with all the candles lit, warm pjs on and thick socks. I’m feeling very cosy, but that may also have something to do with the lovely weekend we’ve had and a belly full of pancakes. 

Yesterday, the forecast was pretty good for the morning so we headed out to Hendrewennol Fruit Farm. It’s only a 30 minute drive for us and is great for little and big people alike. You can pick strawberries, raspberries, blueberries, red currants and blackberries during summer and we’ll be going back for pumpkins later in the year. They’ve had lots of visitors and strawberries were running low when we arrived, so we headed straight for Daisy’s favourites…blueberries. With basket in hand, she ran off to fill her boots (or punnet!). After we’d picked what we wanted, we headed to their cafe for some gorgeous homemade ice cream and a sit in the sun.Today’s forecast was not so good, so we made use of our delicious fresh fruit and made American style pancakes, with bacon and berries. YUM. YUM. We loosely follow this BBC Food recipe and it’s a great base for lots of tasty toppings. For the sauce, we just brought the berries to the boil, with some caster sugar and a splash of vanilla extract. Stirring well and crushing the berries up gives you a lovely, thick sauce to drizzle over your fresh pancakes. It was brilliant to see Daisy picking her own blueberries and then using them in the kitchen at home. I’m sure she’ll love doing this more and more as she gets older. A definite staple to the summer bucket list. 

Emma  x

If you follow me on Instagram, you’ll know that I’m a major lover of a weekend breakfast. I don’t have breakfast through the week and work Monday to Friday too, so weekends are a real treat in our house, even more so if Jon is off. img_9236I love sitting around the table for meals and think it’s a really important part of family life. No distractions, just each other. I think that’s why weekend breakfasts are my favourite time to sit around the table; we rarely have to race off anywhere, most of the time Jon will be home and who doesn’t love breakfast?img_9237I always set the table nicely (I have a real problem with serve wear / table wear / pointless pretty utensils etc), turn the Motown music up high and we usually have a dance around the kitchen while whatever we’re having is cooking. It doesn’t have to be anything fancy and is normally store bought frozen pastries that you pop in the oven – I do make a pretty mean American pancake though!img_8818This is one of my favourite things to do as a family and I honestly get excited mid week knowing we have nowhere to go, nothing to do, just plenty of good food and smiles. Here are a few of the breakfast set ups we’ve had over the last few months, each as good as the one before. img_9898img_7807img_8668.jpgimg_8712img_8556I hope this gives you a little inspiration to have a tasty weekend breakfast of your own.

Emma  x

Hi, my name is Emma and I’m a bit of a control freak. My two beautiful best friends are my bridesmaids, but I planned my hen party. Not because I don’t trust them, but because I just enjoy doing this kind of thing and admittedly, like to be in control of what’s going on. I didn’t have much say in ‘Derek the Dick’ mind, a 90cm inflatable penis, who absolutely made the weekend.I wanted to keep it relatively small, so there were twelve of us in total; just my close friends and family. We had a day/night out in Cardiff, which is just half an hour away from where we live. Lots of drinking, dancing, food and even a bit of karaoke.

As soon as I saw the ‘Team Bride‘ range over at Ginger Ray, I knew I had to get some of their stuff. Blush pink and rose gold? What’s not to love? I’ve got a few of their decorations for our wedding and everything is so pretty and well made. I’d really recommend checking them out!After settling on the sashes and glasses from Ginger Ray, I made some little hen party bags for all the ladies, with a few essentials and some fun bits and pieces. We had some of the trashy hen party stuff  (it’s not a hen party without a willy straw) and then used the sashes and glasses for a prettier look in the evening – although ‘Derek’ did bring our ‘classiness’ down a fair bit! Haha!Here’s what I included in everyone’s bags:

  • Team Bride Sash
  • Team Bride Glasses
  • Shot Glass Necklace
  • Willy Straw
  • Tiara
  • Team Bride Temporary Tattoo
  • Chewing Gum
  • Plasters
  • Bobble
  • Paracetamol
  • Water
  • Printable list of contents

Everyone also had four of the little cocktail cans and a strawberries and cream shot. Ugh! I’m reliving it now! We had such a good time and I’m still suffering now; this could definitely be the dreaded three day hangover. The sign of a good night eh?

Emma  x

 

 

How fast did June go by? I don’t know whether it’s because we had a holiday, but this month has gone past in a flash; albeit a very happy, smile filled flash! Here are a few things that have been putting said smile on my face throughout June.Peonies. Ah peonies… I so wish you could pick these beauties up all year round. They are so pretty, smell amazing and brighten up the house no end. I’ve had a few bunches this month, but finding them for £3 in Aldi and £2.40 in Asda with a big ‘whoops’ sticker on them, made them even better! I’m keeping the smell alive with my The Library of Fragrance Peony Cologne though.img_9479Okay, so I bought this in May but only found a home for it in June. This print is absolutely gorgeous! It’s from The Hidden Pearl Studio and is hand painted by the very talented Charlie. I could never pick a favorite season and love them all for different reasons, so this print was perfect for me. Charlie has a lovely range of handmade cards and prints, and I know I’ll be visiting her online shop in future.img_9106I’ve been researching music for our upcoming wedding and creating playlists for different parts of the weekend. You can read a bit more about our wedding plans here. We thought it would be nice to have some Motown hits for when our guests arrive at the venue after the ceremony (who doesn’t love a bit of Motown). I started creating a playlist and found so many amazing songs that I’d either never heard or didn’t know who sung them. We’ve expanded the playlist to include some more modern soul music too now. My favourite find is Leon Bridges. How had I never heard his stuff before?! We’ve had his album on repeat and know we’ve love it for years to come.A bit of beauty now and this new moisturiser from L’Oreal is AMAZING! It’s the Hydra Genius Aloe Water and I highly recommend it. My skin can get oily with some moisturisers and I end up looking more ‘Sweaty Betty’ than ‘Dreamy Dewy’. You only need one pump, it absorbs instantly and leaves your skin feeling smooth and refreshed; no greasy skin!img_9924Last but certainly not least, these blush pink, embroidered shoes of dreams. As Carrie Bradshaw would say, hello lover! I treated myself to these for my hen do this weekend and cannot wait to wear them. The detail on them is stunning and they’re super comfy too. I’ll be wearing these all through summer, autumn and even winter paired with some cosy knit tights.img_9923

Emma  x