Saturday, 3 December 2016

adding a bit of drama to the hall

black gold gallery mirror feature wall

Have you noticed that I've been a little....distant lately? As in, I NEVER FRICKING GET AROUND TO POSTING?!

Yeah, me too. I've lost my mojo a little bit I think, and while there are plenty of things I could blog about, for the last while it's been a bit of a struggle to find the will to actually take the sodding photos and put together the posts. There have been holidays, Christmas is coming up, the kids have an annoying habit of growing out of their clothes and needing new ones several times a year, so money for diy just hasn't been a priority for the last while, and I'm fine with that, but I guess it's hard to get excited about projects when you know you aren't going to be able to finish them anytime soon, ya dig? 

Friday, 18 November 2016

finding art for your home on the cheap

finding art for your home on the cheap

Art can transform a room! What you display in your home can totally change the mood and a simple print can often be the finishing touch that really pulls a room together and makes it "yours". 

I love that I can change the paintings in my dining room and suddenly it feels completely refreshed, and I love finding meaningful little images or quotes that I can stick in a frame to add some fun to my decor. You know what I don't love? Paying good money for something when I don't have to! Yes, I have bought particular prints that I really loved, but in general I've found that when I want to jazz things up a bit there are plenty of very inexpensive ways of getting my grubby mitts on the art I'm after!

Sunday, 23 October 2016

out, damned tile!

replacing kitchen tile with laminate

The time is almost upon us friends, we are almost at the point where we can afford to replace the tiles in the kitchen. My little paint job has served me well, and it's made the tiles so much easier to live with for the past year, but it was always a stop-gap and the end is nigh people, the end is very fricking nigh.

Sunday, 16 October 2016

so I lost the run of myself and painted the shower....

painted shower grout diy

Yep, I may be crazy, but I've painted the grout in my shower. Black.

Why, you might ask? Because they were really, really, intensely, upsettingly boring white tiles, the cheapest of the cheap, and they offended me on a basic level. 

Wednesday, 21 September 2016

the least fun I've ever had spending ALL THE MONEY!!!!

condenser boiler zoned heating installation

Meet Neil! Neil cares about the environment and uses his expertise to improve fuel efficiency and save you money. Neil is very necessary. Neil is very boring. Neil cost €3800.

Pause for minor chest pain to subside.

Monday, 19 September 2016

thank you thank you thank you!

So I attended the Littlewoods Ireland Blog Awards last Thursday night, and not only did I get to put on an actual dress and makeup, eat food while it was hot and consume fizzy alcohol while talking to fellow adults (mostly about our kids, baby steps) but I actually won a frickin' award as well!! 

I'm not doing this for praise or kudos, I'm doing this because there are days, many of them, when I feel like the only thing I've used my brain for all day is to come up with inventive ways to say "no" or find new hiding places for the most irritating toys, and writing this blog makes me feel like "me" again.....but I'd be lying if I said I didn't want to be told I'm doing a decent job every now and again.

So thanks to everyone who reads my posts, everyone who took the time to vote for me, and all the bloggers who judged the final stages of the  competition. It means an awful lot that you all thought I was good enough to be up there with all the other amazing blogs that made it to the final stage, and coming home with silver was just the icing on the cake.


Saturday, 10 September 2016

it doesn't have to be perfect to be beautiful

So I was browsing Pinterest recently and I came across something that was so perfect that I had to share it. The idea isn't isn't new, the pictures aren't even mine, but the feeling behind it resonated so much with me that I felt like I had to show it you.

It's the Japanese tradition of Kintsugi, and it's where damaged things are repaired with gold or silver leaf, highlighting the repair rather than trying to hide it, and it looks like this......


Thursday, 8 September 2016

It's September!!! The start of my favourite time of year, tights, boots, fires, what's not to love? The leaves have started turning and I came home the other day to find that my mother in law had not only out out my washing to dry while she was minding the kids, but she'd gathered (and displayed!) this bunch of beautiful Autumn foliage for me.

She's a keeper.

I don't know what they are, but they came form a tree and are a beautiful, deep burgundy/purple colour. I think the add a lovely bit of drama to my sitting room.

So now I'm inspired! Last year I had every intention of making like my American brethren and making an Autumn wreath for the door, but this year I mean it, it's happening!

I found these pics on Pinterest and I'm in love with them all, so I may attempt something similar.

DIY Autumn Leaves Garland
House of Jade Interiors Blog

Watercolor Paper Fall Leaf and Branch Mobile
Happiness is Homemade
Pressed fall leaves can be made into a lovely and frugal front door wreath. Learn a quick and easy method to preserve fall leaves and make this simple wreath today!
Bren Did
Fall Leaf Banner with Bookpage Leaves - from Sondra Lyn At
Sondra Lyn At Home

Love them all!!! But the wreath is definitely happening, I'm determined. As soon as the leaves start to change around here we'll head out and the kids can help me gather some.

What do you think? Do you decorate your house for the seasons? I for one am already planning for Halloween!!


Saturday, 27 August 2016

so awkward

So the eagle eyed among you may have noticed my shiny new profile pic gurning at you there. Awkward isn't it? Hard to look at even. Well the reason for that good people is that I had to LET SOMEONE TAKE A PHOTO OF ME WITHOUT BEING ABLE TO PRETEND I DIDN'T KNOW IT WAS HAPPENING!

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.


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. 

Sunday, 22 May 2016

simple billy bookcase update

simple billy bookcase update/hack

Yes, I've told you guys many, many times that the playroom reveal was on it's way, and yes, it turned out I was lying, but this time I mean it, I promise!!!!!

Everything in there is finished, I'm just waiting on one decal to arrive and then I can photograph the whole thing for you. I swear!

In the meantime, I thought I'd share a quick little idea for jazzing up a bookcase with you.

Thursday, 19 May 2016

10 things I've learned in my first year of blogging

things I learned in my first year blogging

By some miracle I started this blog more than a year ago, and instead of my usual "think it's the best thing ever for a month and then drop it like a hot snot" approach to hobbies*, this one has stuck. If anything my interest has only grown, and the more I get to know about the ins and outs of running a blog the more into it I get. 

*"Hobby" really feels like the wrong word, but I can't think what else to call it. Sideline? Venture? What I want to do when I'm a grown-up? That thing I neglect my family for? Answers on a postcard please.

Friday, 13 May 2016

my first blogiversary!


A year ago this week I hit publish on a facebook post telling everyone I knew that I had started a blog. I didn't know if anyone would read it, but I had been working on it in secret long enough to know that I was proud of it, and that it wasn't something I would be giving up anytime soon.

One year, 3500 facebook followers, 60,000 blog visits and 2 Irish blog award short lists later I can't really believe how well it's going and I just want to say thank you to all of you who read my posts and are following along on this little journey with me. It really means a lot that anyone is interested in what I have to say!

I have so much planned that I want to share with you all, and so many ideas for posts that I will think you will love, (starting with a short series of posts about the ins and outs of blogging, how I got started, the equipment I use etc) so don't go anywhere!

Thanks again you guys, you really and truly are the greatest.

Here's to another year, hopefully even better than the last!



Saturday, 7 May 2016

€200/one week kitchen makeover-6 month update!

Hola amigos, I'm finally back with the second installment of the update on how my cheaper than cheap kitchen makeover is holding up six months down the line (you can find the first installment here) Woo-fricking-hoo!!!!

I have two small children and therefore no social life. I am easily excited.

Thursday, 21 April 2016

painted tile floor-six months later

painted tile floor six month update
This post contains affiliate links

Guys. It's time. 

The other day somebody asked me how my kitchen tiles were holding up and I realised that somewhere in between picking food off the carpet, playing mind-numbingly endless games of "dollies" and answering innumerable questions about such diverse topics as "why isn't there a toy library?" and "how do babies get out of your belly?", more than six freaking months had passed without me noticing!!!

So, it's definitely time for an update. As you might remember, back in August we finally bit the bullet and painted our ugly kitchen floor tiles. (You can read the original post here). 

We didn't have the money to replace them and I had spent months reading blog posts that told me it could be done so we thought "what do we have to lose?!" and went for it.....

Friday, 8 April 2016

my picks from H&M Ireland's new online store

Metal tray €14.99

H&M has finally given me access to their homewares by opening an online shop for Ireland! Finally! Now I can stop being jealous every time I see something amazing on a blog with "H&M home" under it. 

I had a good perv at all their offerings and I've gathered a few of my favourites together so we can lust after them together. Enjoy!

Monday, 4 April 2016

a gallery wall with a difference

empty frames display kids art

The playroom is finished!....well, practically finished anyway, I just have to figure out how to incorporate a little bit more lighting in there. I hate overhead lighting and I will avoid using it at all costs! However, the lamps and strings of lights I would usually use really aren't a great choice in a room designed for such small kids so I'm a bit stumped. Suggestions are totally welcome :)

Anyway, while I'm waiting to get the whole room photographed and up here on the blog I thought I'd share a few of the different elements in here first, and to start with I chose.......yet another gallery/feature wall!! SURPRISE!

You're not surprised? Yeah, me neither.

Sunday, 27 March 2016

updating a charity shop find

updating charity/thrift shop finds

It's been a bit quiet around this here blog lately amigos, but rest assured that work continues in the background. I've got a lot of projects that are this close to being ready to go, but I'm not one of those bloggers who has the patience for posting updates all the time. I'm more of a wait till it's all done and pretty, then post kind of bloggers. I hope I'm not losing you along the way!

The playroom is all but completed and I can't wait to show it to you. It turned out really well if I do say so myself...even if it is completely different to what I originally planned!

So, on to todays little post. I was on a very enjoyable (child free!) trawl through the local charity shops recently when I saw these guys for fifty cent each. I presume they're intended fir Turkish tea or something similar, but I thought they would make gorgeous espresso cups.

My coffee consumption has progressed to the point where I'm knocking back double espressos like they're water. Send help.

updating charity/thrift shop finds
Love, LOVE my new camera ;D

The holders were pretty battered and tarnished but the glass part pops right out so I knew it would be easy to spruce them up.

updating charity/thrift shop finds

A good scrub, a quick coat of my favourite gold spray paint and a further coat of spray top coat and they were done!

updating charity/thrift shop finds

The holders aren't dishwasher safe obviously but they can be hand washed if needs be.

updating charity/thrift shop finds

They make a nice little addition to my collection of "completely unnecessary but very pretty" dining utensils.

updating charity/thrift shop finds

updating charity/thrift shop finds

What do you think? Have you found anything great in a charity shop lately?

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Saturday, 26 March 2016

my first dslr!!!

Yep, this little beauty is now mine, all mine!!!!! 

Cue gollum style stroking and hissing.

Saturday, 12 March 2016

craft tutorial - 3D balloons

How is everyone?! I've been working away on the playroom, which is nearing completion, but it's not blog-able yet! However, I do have a cute little craft you might like to try for your kids room/ room? No judgement!

Sunday, 6 March 2016

the kids are alright

sharpie mug world's okayest mom

Happy "you made a human out of food" day! I'm not usually one for marking these weird "force people to buy an awkward present" kind of occasions, but seeing as being a mother is pretty much my sole occupation at the moment this one got me thinking, about how maybe it shouldn't be just about other people acknowledging what you do for your kids, but about you acknowledging it too.