I have never been very good at keeping my clothes tidy. As a teenager my bedroom was so obscenely messy that I once trod on my guitar and didn’t realise until a few days later.

Not any more.

No more puddles of clothes on the floor or stacks of washing needing a home. Oh no. Because I have THE WARDROBES OF DREAMS. (Otherwise known as my new built-in wardrobes from Sharps.)

I admit that I was nervous during the planning process. (Read about that bit here.) I’ve never had proper built in wardrobes before and I was worried that they might look a bit, I don’t know, tacky maybe? I’m not even sure that’s the right word, but hopefully you know what I mean. I think it was just that built in wardrobes felt like such a grown up thing to have – how could they be cool at the same time??

But OH MY GOODNESS they are SO cool. (Or my definition of cool at least.)

Here’s the space pre-fitting:

Sharps built in wardrobes review

You have to empty the room and take the carpets up before your fitter arrives. They don’t fit wardrobes on top of the carpet because they need a firm, sturdy surface. The space like this looks pretty small, but here it is with the wardrobes: View Post

We’ve been in our new house for about seven weeks now. It feels like WAY longer, which I’m taking as a good sign because that must mean it feels like home right?

One of the things that I’ve been meaning to do since we moved in is to put up a picture on the plain white chimney breast wall in our living room. We had a family photo shoot done before we moved with Life is Crawsome, so I had been thinking that one of those photos would be nice. But then I was a bit nervous about having a giant ME smiling down while I watched TV, so I decided a mirror might be a better option.

It was brilliant timing actually, as Exclusive Mirrors had been a touch previously asking if I fancied taking a look at one of their mirrors, so I said ‘yes please thank you very much’ and picked the Claremont round gold mirror.

‘This Claremont round gold mirror is oh so stylish with its uniquely designed frame,’ the website told me. ‘The stunning mirror is finished in a luxurious gold and comes complete with wow factor frame. Perfectly suited to either a contemporary or traditional setting the mirror is extremely versatile.  Customers have the option with this Claremont round gold mirror to feature it either on its own or alongside other stylish furniture and accessories to create a fabulous appearance.’

Luckily the quality of the mirror is not reflected by the quality of the description writing.

(See what I did there? REFLECTED? I’m so good at this.)

Here it is, with me in it obviously:

review mirror exclusive mirrors

Isn’t it beautiful?

It’s just over a metre in diameter and so fills the chimney breast perfectly. I loved the fact that it looked like a huge flower. I painted the wall this lovely turquoise colour especially to really make it stand out and I love how the colour comes through each of the petals. View Post

I’ve lived in Taunton on and off now for nearly twenty years and in that time there have been certain shops that have probably always been there, but which have passed under my radar.

And then you buy a house and suddenly you start noticing things and thinking about things that you’ve never thought about before, like boiler insurance and bespoke shelving and built in wardrobes.

We have a Sharps showroom in our town centre, but all this time I honestly thought it was just one bed and a wardrobe, just casually in a shop window. Oh and sometimes balloons advertising special offers.

Sharps fitted wardrobes review

When we knew we were buying this house, and that we were going to go from having big built in bedrooms cupboards to NOTHING, I decided to pop in to the Sharps showroom with Belle and my MIND WAS BLOWN. Turns out it isn’t just a bed and a wardrobe. That place goes back for MILES. Okay, maybe not literally miles, but a long way. I smelt a nice juicy blog project…

Let’s back it up a bit first though.

Let me set the scene in our bedroom so you can see what we have to play with.

It’s not a massive room – roughly 4m x 3m – but part of that is a fairly deep alcove, approximately 2 metres wide. I was VERY proud of myself remembering to take a photo of the empty space before we moved in: View Post

If you follow me on Facebook, you may have seen that Belle and I have recently been in Greece, on the island of Leros. We were there as part of a trip organised by Blog Authentic, to find out more about the refugee situation and to help out in any way we could. It was a fantastic trip, and I’ll be writing more about it over the next few weeks, but I just wanted to share something that I’ve been thinking about a lot since we got back.

It’s essentially about luck.

Take a look at this picture:

Greece refugees

It was taken by Kirby from Blog Authentic one afternoon when we went with some of the refugee families on a trip to the local beach. It’s only a ten minute drive away from the dilapidated ex-mental hospital building they currently live in, but they can’t visit often because the centre doesn’t have any transport. It’s only a small thing, but we were pleased to be able to organise some cars for the afternoon.

The boy on the right is called Winston. He is five years old and he lives in Yorkshire with his mum and dad and his two brothers. He likes colouring and drawing and he has beautiful handwriting. His mum Esther writes the blog Inside Out and About and we absolutely loved sharing our experiences in Greece with them.

The teenage boy on the left is called Matez*. He likes swimming and he loved Winston. They posed for dozens of photos together. He is currently living in Leros in a refugee centre all alone, as an underage minor, without any of his family. His mum and dad and brother are still in Damascus in Syria. We asked Matez where he hoped to live eventually. He said he just wanted to go home.

So what has Winston done ‘right’ that means he gets to live with his family in a safe country? What has Matez done ‘wrong’ that means he is alone in a foreign country with no idea of what’s going to happen to him?

Nothing.

It’s just luck.

It was just luck that Winston was born in the UK. Just luck that Matez was born in Syria. It’s just luck that you’re reading this now, probably from a perfectly comfy sofa or office chair, knowing that your family are safe and that you live without fear for your life.

What feels doubly unfair to me though is that so many people feel like they are somehow ‘better’ than people like Matez, that they can sit on that comfy sofa and judge him – package him up in their mind into a group of people who are somehow less deserving of love and support and kindness.

Matez is a CHILD. An ordinary boy. He likes swimming in the sea and making new friends. He just happens to have been born in Syria and is now on his own, missing his family. It feels so sad and wrong to me that life deals out such different hands to people, purely at random, and yet we can’t open our hearts to everyone, regardless of where luck lands them.

Winston talked about his new friends all the way home and wants to go back and visit them, but how can you explain to a five year old that Matez doesn’t even know where chance will take him next?

We’ve set up a fund to raise money for the refugee families on Leros. Please donate here. Belle and I have seen for ourselves what a big difference a small gesture can make. Thank you.

*Some names have be changed.

Okay, straight up, this is a review of a bin. I’m not gonna lie to you.

But when is a bin more than a bin? When it’s a waste separation and recycling system.

The JosephJoseph Totem 6o waste separation and recycling system in fact. Like this one, which now lives in our kitchen:

JosephJoseph Totem 60 review

Ooooh!

As you know, we moved house a few weeks ago and although in some ways we have a lot more space, like a garage and a garden and a loft, we do have a smaller kitchen, and you can’t keep your kitchen bin in the loft can you? NOT handy when you’re cooking tea.

In fact, in the weeks leading up to the move I started to freak out a little bit about the kitchen. Belle must have been sick to death of me talking about where we were going to put a table, and I’d say that by the time it came to moving day she was DONE with all talk of recycling storage options.

(I don’t blame her. I was BOOORING.)

In the old house we had a big space under a worktop where we could keep all that kitchen crap like carrier bags and recycling and potatoes, but in the new house we don’t have anything like that. What I needed was some kind of genius system where I could keep rubbish and sort recycling without it taking up any more space than a regular bin.

OH WELL HELLO JOSEPHJOSEPH TOTEM 60! View Post