Wednesday, 17 August 2016

refreshing tile grout


grout renew

Things have been a bit quiet around here lately but that doesn't mean there isn't serious DIY happening in the background! I just made the mistake of starting a small "fun" project in the hall which snowballed into me having to paint all the woodwork in there and on the stairs *sob* while still working on our bathroom upstairs. 

Anyone who's ever painted a cream skirting board white and not had anyone bloody notice after your hours of fiddly painting will tell you what a boring and thankless job it is, but alas, it needed to be done.

However, I did also do the quickest, easiest, most satisfying little project in the bathroom that I wanted to share with you today...

Tuesday, 16 August 2016

yay!!! thanks!!!


I just got an email informing me that I'm shortlisted in the Blog Awards Ireland again this year. Thanks so much to everyone who nominated me, I've been feeling a bit swamped and unproductive blog-wise lately so this on top of being nominated for the Amara Interiors awards is a lovely little boost!

Fingers crossed I make it to the finals so I'm forced to have a night out ;)

Thanks again lovely people!

Sunday, 14 August 2016

get my posts all up in your inbox





I have literally just realised that my email subscription box wasn't working, and has probably never worked!! So sorry guys but it's up and running now so if you want to sign up to get my posts delivered directly to your email just head on over and fill in the box on the sidebar with your email address now. Do it! You know you want to ;)

Tuesday, 2 August 2016

diy essentials

Cute, but not helpful.

Hey everybody, how was your bank holiday? It was wet and dreary here in Limerick but we decided to suck it up and headed off to the Craggaunowen historical site where they had some great storytelling and re-enactments to celebrate the Lughnasa festival. We learned a making wool, ground flour to cook oatcakes over an open fire and rounded it off with a scone by a peat fire in the lovely cafe. It was a great day out and I thoroughly recommend it for adults and kids alike.

So todays post is about kit, basically. I was thinking how often I get asked how I manage to get projects done with kids around, and I suppose usually they happen randomly, whenever I get the time or when the mood takes me, without a lot of prep and a trip to B&Q! And I think the reason for that is that I have most of the essentials when it comes to DIY to hand, ready for me to jump right into a project whenever I get the chance, and I thought I'd share with you what they are.

In case you were planning on putting together a DIY "go-bag" or something.

It's not a long list, but if you keep these things knocking around your house then when the kids actually go to sleep on time on a day when you aren't totally exhausted you'll be able to get crap done without first planning an expedition for supplies.

So, you will need....

Basic tools

Every homeowner is going to need a few basic tools anyway, just for general upkeep, and they're used every week in our house. We use a drill, pliers, hammer and saw all the time. Add a measuring tape, a staple gun and a level and you're pretty much set for all eventualities.

We pick up most of our stuff in B&Q, they have all the basics you'll need in one place, and the prices are good. You don't need to go top of the range with this stuff, own brand works fine!

 


Once you have your tool kit assembled, start a...

Paint collection



Basically, there is always a can of my favourite Rustoleum gold spray paint and a tin of white gloss knocking around in our shed, along with the leftovers of every colour we've used so far in this house and a box full of testers. It just means that while I might not have a specific colour I'm looking for, I always have the paint to hand to do touch-ups, paint doors and skirting etc. You know, the boring jobs that no-one wants to do! But at least when the day comes that I think painting all the skirting in the hall seems like a great idea I'll be able to start the job before I come to my senses!

I also keep paintbrushes, masking tape, sandpaper and a cheap roller set in the shed for the same reason. 


And then, once you have you tools and paint to hand, sort out some...


Protective gear

Dust sheets, old sheets, whatever you have that will protect your floors and furniture from paint splashes, and something to protect yourself too.

You might think you're careful, trust me, you're not that careful.

Mine is currently a super chic ensemble consisting of a pair of too-short tracksuit pants and a t-shirt from a charity event, both covered in so much paint they practically stand up by themselves.

Stylish.

One day I'll kit myself up with some decent workwear, Engelbert Strauss Workwear have some great stuff, but until then I'll make do!


So there you have it, if you keep some basic bits and pieces to hand then you'll be able to move fast and get that wall painted on that magical day when the monsters are both having a nap and you've had so much coffee that you feel like you could paint the whole damn house in an hour. Striking while the iron is hot people, it's the only way to get DIY done with kids!

That, or giving them away for a few days. Thanks grandparents!!!




*this post was sponsored by Englebert Strauss Workwear




Friday, 29 July 2016

plans for an industrial/glam bathroom...and a trip to Barcelona


rustic industrial glam bathroom


Hola friends!

I'm just back from a holiday in Barcelona so I come by that "Hola" honestly. We spent four nights on our own in the city and then headed to a vineyard outside Perpignan for the beautiful wedding of one of our oldest friends.

As in, we've known him a long time, not that he's of particularly advanced years or anything.


Wednesday, 6 July 2016

kids table makeover


The playroom makeover is done and dusted, and I've moved on to pastures new (gross, grubby pastures, in the form of our ensuite bathroom), but before I let you in on my plans for that and how it's going I thought you might be interested in a little update we did on the Latt table and chairs we have for the kids.

Sunday, 19 June 2016

adventure themed playroom reveal! finally!



adventure playroom makeover diy


Yay!!! It's finally time! I got my act together long enough to actually clean the playroom and take semi-decent photos! Go me! (exclamation points!!!!!!!!!)

I feel like I've been promising this post forever, but in my defense my kids sole reason for being seems to be to thwart me. Better late than never right? Right?!

So lets get on with it shall we, before some poo-related catastrophe get's in my way? Lovely.

Monday, 13 June 2016

personalised cork board


personalised corkaboard tutorial



Keep your eyes peeled people, the playroom reveal is coming this week! I've decided that I'm never going to do the couple of things I've been meaning to "finish off" in there so this is a good as it gets. I'm just waiting for the gods of good photo's to bless me with a bright day that happens to coincide with the room being tidy and I'm golden!

So basically don't hold your breath.

Friday, 3 June 2016

who hasn't lost a kid?!


You get bonus cousin Jamie in this photo. No need to thank me.

So bear with me, it's another short "parenting is frigging tough" opinion piece from me today. For those of you who wish I'd just get back to painting stuff already I promise it's coming, but there's just something I need to mention first.


I once lost Em in her own bed. 

The bed had bars.



An achievement, I know. let me explain.

I went in to check on her after a particularly "vigorous" bedtime wind-down (once they're old enough we operate a "go the hell to sleep,I'm not coming back in here unless you're actually dying" policy) and she wasn't there! The place looked like it had been ransacked! I freaked out, obviously, checking the windows and all the other rooms, thinking someone had somehow gotten into our seventh floor apartment and snatched her. It was terrifying, and all the while I was thinking "this is all my fault, maybe she was shouting because she was scared and I ignored her, I'm a terrible mother"!!!!!!!!

And then I went back into her room and recognised the pattern of her pyjamas peeking out from amongst the destruction that was her cot.
There she was, panned out, snoring gently, covered by her blankets and all the toys and cushions she could reach to pull into the cot (another bad-mammy move!) completely oblivious to the fact that she had just scared at least ten years off of my life.

I've lost Max too of course, more frequently and dangerously. He's a sneaky, fast little guy and now I have another kid I need to watch too, so either he's wilier or I'm paying less attention. Honestly it's probably a little bit of both.

Twice I have been in play centers, turned my head to check Em and looked back to find him gone. Both times strangers found him outside on the footpath. And I felt like crap, of course I did. But you know what, I was doing my best, and accidents happen. I was just lucky that he was found safe and well, with nothing more than a taste for freedom and an industrial strength leash to show for it.

The lady who's son crawled into that gorilla enclosure wasn't so lucky. He ended up in a terribly dangerous situation, and I can't even begin to imagine what she felt as she watched what was happening. 

And for that, good people, she should be pitied, not vilified. 

His dad was there too, the kid shouldn't have been able to get into the enclosure at all, the zoo didn't have any choice, of course they didn't, and yet SHE is blamed. 

There is no-one to blame. This was a terrible accident, that is all. And anyone talking about how the gorilla was "protecting" him or that they should have risked tranquilizing him instead?! Let's just stick your kid in there to take the kind of abuse I saw on the (uncut!) video and see how you feel about it, shall we? 

It's very easy to be an expert when you're sitting safely at home. You know, without a giant, agitated gorilla dragging your small child around? 

                  

And what's been enraging me even more about this is that a couple in Japan left their child in the woods on purpose, causing him to be missing for SIX DAYS and all I hear in the media is "oh they must feel terrible", and "sure who hasn't tried to scare their kids by pretending to leave them?"

Eh?!! ME!! I haven't!! 

I don't get it, why the complete opposite reactions? I mean, at one point I was listening to a talk show on the radio where they literally went from one topic to the other, and the reactions were a total attack on the mom from the zoo, and then concerned pity for the parents of the child in the woods, and at that point he hadn't even been found yet for crying out loud! They thought he was dead!!

So why the difference? Why the complete hypocrisy?

Well, I don't want to seem cynical folks, but I find it very interesting that the mother was the focus in the zoo case, while the father took responsibility and gave the interviews in Japan. It would seem that a father's outrageously crappy parenting is a mistake, but a mothers mistake is unforgivable. 

I'm so tired of this crap. Really.


So that's it, mini rant over. I'm not foolish enough to think my opinion means much either, but I just felt like I had to send some positivity that poor woman's way, 'cos she for sure is getting more than her share of the opposite.




Wednesday, 25 May 2016

10 signs your lovely toddler may be entering the "twatty twos"


Toddlers! They're great aren't they?! All wobbly and cute, still baby-cuddly but finally developing a personality that means you can actually start enjoying them as little people in their own right. You get a couple of months of this loveliness, and then, out of nowhere, you're hit with a tsunami of rage and whinging so terrible it is remembered with fear by parents everywhere.

Oh yes, the terrible twos, or more appropriately in my case, the twatty twos. 

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