If you’d have asked me this time last year if I thought I’d ever be able to afford to buy a house I would have laughed heartily. No one can right? And then I CASUALLY went into an estate agent, just wanting to nose at some new apartments that had been built in our town, and it turns out there’s such a thing as a 5% mortgage, and suddenly it all seemed rather more feasible.

But no one would ever give ME a mortgage surely?

Even at business networking groups people look at me suspiciously when I say I BLOG for a living – imagination the reaction of a financial institution??

Except oh. It turns out that actually I’m worth a punt.

Right, so we’ll just go and look at a few places, no pressure. Except this one which we see in our first round of visits is actually pretty nice. It’s way over what we can afford but we may as well make an offer?

And then it’s accepted, and nothing goes wrong, and here we are.

And it’s lovely, and it was the right decision, and I have the SHELVES OF DREAMS but there is also a part of me that feels deflated and overwhelmed and a bit ‘well what now?’ about the whole thing.

I think I spent so many nights in the three months between the offer and the move lying awake, imagining all the things I was going to do and how amazing it was going to be, that when I got here, it felt like everything was over before it began. Yes, I still have all of these projects do to, but it turns out they take hard work and money AS WELL AS Pinterest boards (who knew!) and I want everything perfect NOW. View Post

Did you see my OUTRAGEOUS CONFESSION on Twitter the other day?

I’d been sent some Flip & Dip from Philadelphia – these cool, new, topped dippy cheese things – and they wanted to know whether or not I was a double dipper.

Philadelphia Flip & Dip

At first I wasn’t sure what they meant. How else are you meant to eat dip?! You dip in your carrot baton, or whatever it is, take a bite, dip it back in, take another bite… that’s how it works right??

Apparently not.

Apparently this WHOLE TIME – (39 years, although probably I didn’t eat a lot of dip as a baby) – I have been committing a hideous social faux pas which, unbeknownst to me, has probably been making my dip companions recoil in horror and disgust. According to research from Philadelphia, 60% of Brits consider double dipping a complete no-no. Luckily for me though, we’re all so horribly repressed that no one is likely to say anything, to my face at least – 62% of us would rather suppress feelings of discontent and suffer in silence or gossip with other guests about the double dipper in question.

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You might think that the weekend just before a big house move would be a BAD weekend to go away, but a couple of days at Bluestone in Wales, away from boxes and bubble wrap, turned out to be just what we needed to recharge our batteries.

I mean come on, who could fail to feel reenergised looking out at this beautiful view?

Bluestone Wales review

Bluestone Wales review

I’ve not done any editing at all to those photos – I wanted you to see how lovely the light was in the evening as the sun started to go down.

It helped that we were staying in one of the upside down lodges, so the bedrooms were on the ground floor and the open plan kitchen and living room space was on the first floor, taking advantage of the view of the lake.

It wasn’t our first trip to Bluestone – we visited a couple of years ago around Christmas time when I made Belle dress up as an elf – but we were keen to come back again in warmer weather to try some of the outdoor activities. Bluestone is set up in a similar way to a CentreParcs style resort, but I actually prefer it to CentreParcs as it’s a lot smaller and easier to get about. The resort centres around a ‘village’, which includes pubs, restaurants, a cafe, shop and spa, plus there are outlying areas for activities. Everything is within easy walking distance although you can hire golf buggies for the duration of your stay if you want to. (Belle was DESPERATE to do this, but they were a bit on the pricey side I felt.) View Post

I want to introduce you to what may well be my very favourite thing in my new house – my shelves from Tylko:

Tylko flexible shelving

Well hello there!

Let’s start at the beginning though. How exactly did I create this masterpiece of shelving?? Easy peasy actually. I’ll show you.

First up, you have to go to the Tylko website, then click under the ‘shelves’ menu to find the kind of shelving you need. They have split it into categories to help get you started, like bookshelves and sideboards, but essentially they all do the same thing as everything is totally customisable.

Pop in the dimensions of your space, then play around to get the design you want: View Post

A little while ago Belle and I went for a weekend in Newquay, Cornwall. From the beach we could see a large building out on the headland.

Headland Hotel Cornwall

Can you see it?

‘What’s that do you think?’ Belle asked at the time.

‘I don’t know,’ I said, ‘but it looks a little bit creepy doesn’t it? Like it could be an abandoned asylum, staring out to sea.’

Turns it out wasn’t an abandoned asylum at all. It was The Headland Hotel, as we discovered when we pulled into the car park in front of what, in fairness, does have a very grand, traditional feel to it. (I did ask and although it was purpose built as a hotel, it was used as a hospital during World War II, so perhaps I just sensed the ghosts of patients past.)

Inside was very far from hospital chic. Instead it had a very classical, opulent hotel feel. Proper chintz, but in a good way, if you know what I mean. Big comfy sofas and swooshes of curtain, framing gorgeous sea views from what felt like every window.

Headland Hotel Cornwall View Post