30th birthday lockdown celebrations

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Saturday morning started with a nice long walk. We found some snow and it was so lovely and peaceful. The silence was needed.

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Got back from a chilly walk and Gran had made a birthday breakfast.

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Spent Friday evening getting the living room ready for Josh's 30th birthday meal. It's not perfect but it was really cosy.

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Made this delicious crispy chilli beef and salt and pepper chips. It's Josh's favourite thing to order from the Chinese takeaway and we don't have one nearby, so I thought I'd give it a go. The taste was amazing and you can find the recipe here if you fancy giving it a try yourself! I actually made the sauce ready first then fried the beef when we were ready to eat.

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I did scallops and black pudding on a pea and mint puree. I was planning to do this for everyone on Christmas Day but we had a prawn cocktail instead, to make life easier. These jumbo scallops are from a local firm and they are amazing! I just fried the black pudding and scallops in a little olive oil and made the pea and mint puree before hand. I didn't whiz the peas in a blender because I didn't have one, so instead I used a pestle and mortar to crush the pea and finely chopped mint leaves. It worked out ok but it would be nicer as a puree. You can find the recipe I used for the puree here.

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After tea, we played 'who's most likely' with Josh's friends over zoom. He didn't know about any of this, so it was all a real surprise for him. Then we sat in front of the fire (which needs a good brush down), with a glass or red and stuck a film on the projector.

Hello lovelies, how has your weekend been? It's been a really lovely weekend for us, just what we needed I think. We got to enjoy our house finally, with heating, a roaring fire, a 3 course meal and of course some red wine. Josh turned 30 yesterday, so I wanted to make it a little more special for him, seeing as we couldn't go for a long weekend break away or out for a meal. I think I pulled it off pretty well and I would be lying if I said I wasn't chuffed with myself. He's got a lot to live up to when my birthday comes around in 10 months time, haha!

The house seems to have come on leaps and bounds in recent weeks. We actually have the majority of our en suite bathroom stuff here, which we hope to get installed as soon as possible. I would have loved to have gone for brushed gold fittings but they were hard to come by for the systems we had fitted, so we did end up going for chrome. It's not what I envisioned but it will still be lovely nonetheless! We've also sourced some engineered oak flooring for the master bedroom which we should get down soon too. I did think that the master bedroom would be a room that kind of just sat there doing nothing for a while, whilst we got comfortable in the spare room but that's not going to be the case!

Anyway, with all this rambling and looking at what I've eaten over the weekend, I'm feeling peckish. Time for a roast beef dinner to finish the weekend off. Speak soon, L.

Old door, new glass!

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Really want to leave these kind of pictures until we are completely done but that won't be for a very long time so here's a pic from summer 2019 and yesterday (17th Jan 2021). I love looking back at how it once was and then taking a picture from the same angle now. Opening up the living room and kitchen has made the downstairs feel a lot bigger than it actually is. The high ceiling's certainly help, as well as good lighting.

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Before, during and after paint stripping/installing new glass! The reeded glass really looks so much better than the yellowy brown stained stuff that was in before. I love it! We bought it from a local trade shop called SBS (if you're local you can find them here). I have a tin of Basalt by Little Greene which I'll paint the front door in. Hopefully this weekend if the weather is nice!

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The inside of the door still needs a bit of work, like a good sand and perhaps a little more stripping to get the main bulk of the varnish or whatever it is on it off. The 'wood effect' is just an effect and was pretty much all over this house when we bought it. I'll be glad when it's gone! Thinking of either matching the door to the walls, which will be a very light grey/white or going for something super bold and out there. Lots of suggestions for orange but not sure I'm brave enough or could look at a bright orange door every day! Also going to have a curtain that we can pull across the door for privacy too.. so perhaps we just go plain and go for a funky curtain?

Hey lovelies! I was supposed to post last night, as I usually do, but time got the better of me and I ended up having a couple of glasses of red wine whilst watching Who Wants to be a Millionaire. Thrilling stuff, right? We had a busy weekend at the house and got rid of a lot of stuff that didn't need to be sat in the way, gathering dust. We also got the door stripped and new glass fitted, which you will have seen above. We are both so pleased and the room feels just that bit brighter with clear glass in. I'd like to think that I'll get around to painting the walls sometime this week but I feel like I've been saying this for quite some time now. It's Josh's 30th on Saturday, so I've asked him if he'll help me get the dining table out the garage so I can cook him a meal and present it all nicely. I actually have a vlog coming Sunday, which I'm excited to share! I've really enjoyed filming again and I've been using the DJI Osmo Pocket which makes filming much easier because it's so small! You can find that here if you're interested.

My 2021 resolutions

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New year, new aspirations

What a year 2020 was. I think we will all agree that we are happy to see the back of that year and look towards a better 2021. I am feeling really positive about the year ahead and what it has in store for us, and hopefully you feel somewhat the same too.

I started 2020 with so many ideas and plans. I really thought that it was going to be our year, and although we achieved so much with our house renovations, like taking the roof off, building our dormers and re-slating the roof, we didn't really get to do everything we thought we would travel wise.

Witness more sunrises

Do more exercise

In June last year we brought home our gorgeous, cheeky, loveable little Erik. He's not so little now but he has certainly kept me busy during what has been a roller coaster of a year. I'm not going to sugar coat it, he has been a bit of a handful but has finally mellowed out after reaching 8 months in December and he is honestly the best thing to have come out of 2020. One thing I want to do more of this year is to wake up early, catch more sunrises, run, hike and skip outside. I know that having Erik will totally encourage this and I'm already looking forward to more daylight so we can spend more time outdoors. Roll on Spring!

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Shop well, live well

I've tried my very best to shop well. When I mean shop well I mean buy good local produce. Meat, seasonal fruit and veg, good stuff which yes, may cost a little bit more but is better for us and better for our environment. I'd also like to plan meals better so there's much less waste and more thought through meals. I love when you can use left over bits and pieces for the dinner the next day! It's such a great sense of achievement!

Cherish family & friends

2020 made me realise how truly grateful I was for my family and close friends. Thankfully my family are pretty close by and when I say close by, I mean a 2 minute walk from door to door. Some might think that that is way too close but I love it, and I wouldn't change it for the world. The only thing I wish I could change is being closer to the rest of my family in Thailand, who I haven't seen in so long. I know I can't be there in person, but it would be great if I could start learning Thai again, so when I do see them again I'll be able to string a sentence together!

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More creativity

I finally got around to starting a college course, towards the end of 2020 and I absolutely loved finding my creative self again. For 2021, I'd love to spend more time photographing, creating videos and of course print making. I've loved looking back at last years blog posts and videos I uploaded to YouTube of our walks and renovations. When the renovating slows down, I'll be spending much more time focusing on creating better content because I do absolutely love it.

Well, I hope you've enjoyed this post. It's not the post I planned on sharing this evening, but I'll go in to more detail on my first vlog of 2021 which I've been filming for over the last week or so. Let's just say, our central heating 'switch on' did not go to plan... Anyway, time for bed and another episode of the Serpent. We only have 2 episodes left which I'm gutted about because I think it's been a really good series but that's what always happens when you find something good to watch! You binge it and then it's over 🙁 Speak soon, L.

A new found favourite hike and the perfect start to 2021

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I've been wanting to hike St Sunday Crag since last Summer but never got round to it. Kind of glad we never did it in the summer months as I imagine it's a popular one. The snow just makes the mountains extra special and so much more quiet, which is why I love hiking at this time of year. You can find the route we 'sort of' followed here, although we did cut out 'Gavel Pike'. It took us 5 hours and 9 minutes in total, from and to the Patterdale Hotel. It would take much less time than this in the summer months as it's much easier to walk when the ground isn't so slippy. Just bear this in mind if you are planning on heading up here over the winter months, as daylight is limited and you don't want to be stuck on a mountain in the cold and the dark.

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We parked at the car park opposite the Patterdale Hotel. It's £4.50 for the day and only accepts change, so remember to take a pot of money with you! From the car park you cross the road over to the Patterdale Hotel and then you follow a foot path behind the hotel.

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The first mile or so is pretty tough going. It's steep but it does mean that you end up getting pretty high, quite quickly and the views certainly keep you going, so don't forget to look behind you!

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Josh and Erik above Ullswater.

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Descending down to Grisedale Tarn from the top of St Sunday Crag.

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It's a good job Josh brought his pick axe along with us because it really helped when the ground got a little slippy. I think a pick axe and some decent crampons or shoe chains are going to be my next purchase.

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After reaching the tarn and stopping for a quick bite to eat, we made our way back down to the car. It took way longer than we thought from the tarn!

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The light on the way back down was beautiful. I love it when the grass looks all golden.

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The two of us.

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And me being a poser. The best out of a bad bunch!

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And almost back to the car!

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Some really cool sheep that came over when I rustled my bag of Maltesers at them.

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We stopped at Kirkstone pass to watch the sun set but then it was too cold so we jumped back in the car. We then saw the most wonderful sunset on our ride home in the wing mirrors!

What a day yesterday was. We were hoping for some snow and we certainly got it! A little sprinkle came down just as we started the ascent. There were some icy parts underfoot but we quickly reached the soft powdery stuff. The route we took was fairly quiet, although we saw plenty of other hikers in the distance on Helvellyn, Fairfield Horseshoe and Dollywagon Pike. Fairfield Horseshoe was one of the first hikes Josh and I ever did together. It was during the Christmas holidays in the snow, with perfect views across the Lake District. In fact, you can find that post here! Even though it's a very short one with some terribly blurry imagery, it is one of the first hikes that made me love the mountains so much. As you can see, I've had the same Patagonia down jacket since 2014 and it's still going strong, although I think I'll treat myself to a new one with a hood once the house is finished.

I'm not sure what the plan is for today, although I think I'll try to get some tidying done and do a bit of art work before the evening. It would have been nice to get out sledging but almost all of the snow has disappeared where we live.. and to be honest I don't think I have the energy after yesterday. I might make a chilli con carne if we have all the ingredients. I was craving it yesterday after our walk but couldn't be bothered making it and buying it ready made is never the same. It's the perfect meal after a hike or whilst camping with some mash or in a wrap with plenty of cheese, mmm. Right, time to close my laptop for today and do something productive... or watch the rest of The Serpent.

A Covid Christmas

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I hope you all had a lovely Christmas, even though it's been a bloomin' strange one! Hopefully 2021 will be a little more 'normal' and we can start to plan holiday's or just be able to see family and friends as and when we please. We were due to go to Thailand in March but have had to cancel, so hopefully we'll be able to squeeze a holiday in sometime in the Summer to somewhere in Europe.

Today is the last day of my Christmas break. I must admit it's gone super fast, and all we've seemed to have done is eat, drink and sleep. It's only a 3 day working week for me this week and typically the weather is glorious! Josh is going hiking tomorrow, which I'm a little jealous of but I haven't had the energy for any big walks. We walked over from Cautley Spout back to Sedbergh on Christmas Eve which only took just over 3 hours but I was so tired afterwards that I had a 2 hour kip before tea and bed. On Christmas Day the weather was so crisp and frosty. The sky was blue and it was just so nice considering the circumstances. We had roast pork, stuffing, apple sauce, pigs in blankets, cauliflower cheese, roasted onions and everything else. It was so good! I had been looking forward to Christmas dinner for ages, as last year we had a selection of Thai food, so it was good to be a little more traditional this year.

I need to make the most of this last day, so I'm going to go and get some bits done at the house, like finish painting the ceiling in the lounge and decide on final colours so I may nip to B&Q for paint and get that sorted. Josh is fitting our temporary worktop, which we will have for quite a while before we can afford the quartz worktop we really want.  Once that's on we can then get our new SMEG kettle and toaster out - thanks to my Mum and Dad! But I'll show you all this when we have the worktop on and oiled! Anyway, speak soon. Lots of love, L.

Deciding what colour to paint the living room/kitchen

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Doors hung and lovely antique brass door knobs added. Josh chose these, after I showed him a few ideas of what I imagined would look good. I'm so pleased with them! They really make the doors look extra special. We reused the existing doors, although they are a little wonky! They originally had glass in, which we had to get rid of because of fire regs and I guess they aren't ideal for guests.. So we boarded them up, filled, sanded and primed them, then painted them in Shirting White (Little Greene) mixed by Valspar. It's a lovely chalky paint to use. We used it on the skirting boards and above the dark walls in the spare room and it's such a nice crisp white contrast.

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I did a little tester of Mizzle by Farrow and Ball next to the kitchen cabinets. I do like it but I'm not sure it's the colour we will go for. I have actually tried the Shirting White too but didn't get a photo of that. It looked a lot more grey next to the white though, which I do want but still not 100% sure. We'll make a decision this week and hopefully get hold of some paint for the Christmas break. We will also have a work top this week too! We've decided to wait to get the quartz, as we don't need it right now and can't afford it to be quite honest, so Josh has got some ply which he'll fit and we can use that for the time being. I'm just looking forward to getting all our kitchen stuff in the cupboards and finally being able to cook! I did a little order from Ikea the other day, just for some basic bits but I'll show you those next week. Unless of course I start vlogging again, which I have really missed doing.. then I'll show you there! Don't hold me to it though!

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Hello lovelies, how has your week been? I took Thursday and Friday off to organise some Christmas stuff but it just seems to have whizzed by and I still don't have all the presents I wanted. My Mum and my Gran are just so hard to buy for, I really don't know what to get them... Perhaps a spa day for Mum would be nice. In fact, I'm going to do some research this evening! Or if you have any suggestions, please let me know! How's your Christmas shopping gone? I haven't spent anywhere near as much as I usually do and I've tried to buy everything from local shops, besides from the few things I ordered in October whilst they were on my mind. Today we visited Tebay services farm shop to get all the meat for the Christmas period. We have a piece of pork for Christmas day.. and I'm so looking forward to it. It doesn't feel like we've had a proper roast in ages, although Gran does tend to make them often. Anyway, time for bed, I've had far too many late nights recently (watching MIC and romantic/really sad films on Netflix). Speak next week, L.

I can’t believe we have a kitchen!

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If you didn't see my Instagram stories on Thursday evening.. then you won't know that Josh surprised me with this kitchen! He told me he was going to be working late Thursday evening, to catch up with work. I didn't think too much about it because he often works late and has a lot on his plate, so I prepped myself for an early evening, took the dog out for a walk in the rain, had a nice hot bath, washed and straightened my hair (for the first time ever!) and put my pyjamas on.

At about half past 8, when I was just about to jump in to bed... He texts me asking me to meet him at the house. An early Christmas present had arrived and I was allowed it early. So 45 minutes later, there I was, in my pyjamas, at the house. I was expecting a rain jacket, which is what he said he was going to get me for Christmas but then I saw the cardboard in the window and thought perhaps it was a huge print or a photograph for the house. To my surprise it was the kitchen we had been wanting from Howdens! We said we were going to wait until February to get the kitchen, as we have plenty of cooking equipment we use when we are camping, so I was totally not expecting him to have gone out and got this and start fitting it!

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Today we had the electrician fitting the lights under the units. There will be some lights in the glass units and above the plinths too, I think. I lit the fire, brought round all the stuff I have accumulated over the past 6 years from the garage (excluding the sofa) and had a little tidy up, which means it's all tidy ready for the week ahead. I really need to get the internal doors painted so we can get those hung. It will make it feel much more cosier when we can shut the doors of the rooms we have carpeted and not worry so much about Erik getting the carpets dirty from all the mess downstairs.

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Here's a little sneak peak of the spare room. I've got this gorgeous rug airing out in there, as it's been in the garage for almost a year! We bought it when we went to Manchester Christmas markets last year, but couldn't bring it back as we were on the train so my Dad ended up lugging it across Manchester and back home on the tram, as he was working down that way. Anyway, it looks great in here but we will eventually use it downstairs in front of the fire. Who knows, I might change my mind and have it elsewhere!

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I try to get out on a decent walk with Erik Saturday morning's, seeing as though we stick to the same boring old routes through the week, when day light and time is limited. This weekend we did Winder fell, which was beautiful! Even if it was a little wet and incredibly misty.

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Anyway, Josh is moaning about the tapping on the keyboard so I'll catch you next Sunday! Lots of love, L.

Lino printing and house work | photo diary

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Hey lovelies! How's your week going? I've been working on this print this week for a college project and I'm so happy with how it turned out. I imagined it always being printed in black on white paper (second image or if you're on a computer then it's the image on the right) but I really love the white print on black paper. What I love about lino printing is that every print you do is completely different. I think because the black paper was grainy, the white ink looks almost like a newspaper print and I really love that effect. I messed up a bit on the table, so it looks a little wonky. I slipped when I was cutting the lino which is so easily done and you can't even correct it once the lino has been cut = nightmare! If you'd like to follow my print page, I've created another instagram page called lkfprints. You can find it here. I've also set up a Facebook page too, just to keep the two linked and to share my updates/progress for anyone interested, here.

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On Saturday morning I took Erik for a walk through the woods. There is a walled path (as pictured) which was part of the house that sadly burned down in the late 1900's. Apparently there's a ghostly old lady who walks up and down here. Thankfully I have never seen her and didn't see her on my morning walk but it's the first time I've walked down there in years!

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We got the Christmas tree set up on Saturday! Wahoo! I carried this 6ft.. maybe even 7ft tree from the shop all by myself. Fair to say I was rather sweaty by the time I got home.. and totally out of breath! We don't have many decorations, just some left over from my Gran's tree at home. And these white/blue lights which I'm not a fan of. I think I'd like some warm lights next year and I'm all for the traditional red decorations.

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I made a special trip to Youdell's in Kendal for some art supplies. Got these water based printing inks, alongside some other treats which I'm so excited to use! That place is just a little shop of treasures! Ended up losing my bank card but thankfully a lovely couple picked it up and messaged me on Facebook, so I had it back in less than half an hour or losing it!

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Got this print up today too! It's a gorgeous print of Scafell and Wastwater and the colours just work so well in this room!

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Brought my other gorgeous Lesley Birch print to the house too but have decided I'll have this in the living room where we can see it more often.. or on the landing perhaps. Or... maybe even our bedroom but I'm not 100% sure. So really, I haven't decided at all!

Erik went on a nice long walk with Josh's brother and dog, Otto. So he spent the afternoon chilling in front of the fire, thankfully. Usually he runs up and downstairs but we've set his cage up now we have carpets and dusty floors still, as we can't have those lovely wool carpets ruined!

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I'm absolutely shattered this evening. I didn't sleep well last week and haven't had any early nights to catch up on sleep so I'm going to dry my hair, get in to bed, put something on Netflix and do a few sketches in my sketchbook of some ideas I have for prints. I really need to cut down my screen time again too. I'm spending way too much time scrolling through Instagram and it's driving me mad but I just can't stop myself. I did so well during the first lock down when the weather was good and I could get outside more but now I really need to find something to occupy myself! Anyway, I hope you had a wonderful weekend and I will speak to you soon. Lots of love, L.

Weekend

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Hello! From a very full and bloated Llana. I've just demolished a roast beef dinner, with all of my favourite trimmings.. cheesy leeks, roast potatoes, cabbage, yorkshire puddings, honey glazed carrots and proper gravy. Urgh! I think it was one of the best roast dinners I've ever had, thanks Grandma. Not to mention the sticky toffee pudding with custard and ice cream to finish things off. How can you not on a Sunday?!

How has your weekend been? I've been so busy! We cleaned the house from top to bottom and got rid of a lot of sh*t. It is slowly beginning to feel like a house! I'm contemplating using emulsion on the floor board downstairs and on the landing for the time being, just to tidy things up a little. What do you reckon?

Oh, and we have carpets! I cannot believe it. It feels so snug now. The guys at Westmorland Flooring have just been wonderful. I cannot thank them enough for managing to squeeze us in and for helping us pick this lovely wool carpet. We just need to get the doors painted and back on, so we can actually shut them. Although we don't have any rim lock keeps or door knobs at the moment, but the keeps are on their way and we can always use the old door knobs for now until we find some we like.

This evening I've made a wreath which my friend over from @forageandfoliage dropped off. It was so nice to do something hands on, instead of just stare at the tele or my phone until tea time. I will get a pic of that sometime this week, perhaps hung on the door at the house.. even though we are hoping to replace the glass and sand it, prime it and paint it first.

Anyway, I'm in bed and I'm ready to watch something on Netflix. We started The Queens Gambit on Friday night which is class. I highly recommend, even Josh likes it too! It's just so different, I love it. So, enjoy the rest of your Sunday. Speak soon, L.

We’re ready for carpets!

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Couldn't start a blog post without beautiful Erik's little face, could I?

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He's loving paddling in the water at the moment. Just takes himself off for a little roam about!

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The office all painted up (besides the door which we'll do at a later date). What do you think of the colour? It's like a green/grey. Going to look good with our wooden book case, a huge pin board and a ton of prints on the wall. Ps, send me your favourite places for prints. Preferably small independent people/business please <3

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This it the spare room and it is by far my most favourite room in the house at the moment. I love to dark walls! I was so nervous to do it but so glad I did. I cannot wait to show you the colour and how we finish this room off. I have so many ideas now, I just need to win the lottery, lol. Ps, these images are from yesterday and the painting was not finished then. 

Hello, hello, hello lovely people. How have you been? It's been some time since I last posted and I can now finally say that the three rooms being carpeted on Friday have now been painted and we are very happy with how they have turned out. I spent last night giving the place a good clean and I used Zoflora on the windows to get rid of all the mould, YUK! Anyway, they scrubbed up pretty well and they will do until the Spring/Summer when Josh will have time to take them out and give them a proper sand and replace the glass etc. I took today off work to finish all the fiddly painting jobs, like painting under the picture rails and above, as well as finishing off the skirting boards. God it's a pain in the butt but when you use frog tape... peeling it off is just a wonderful feeling, one I can't quite describe. I won't be back now until the carpets are in. I'm just going to lie there, on the wool carpets, roll around perhaps, maybe even open a bottle of prosecco to celebrate. Anyone would think we were moving in.. not yet unfortunately but hopefully soon. Right, well.. long day tomorrow! Work and then college, which by the way is very enjoyable and I am totally loving finding my creative self again, as well as meeting other like minded people. Right, it is way past my bed time so.. goodnight and don't let the bed bugs bite!

Lots of love, L.

This week

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I repainted the dressing room. I can't believe it I even purchased pink paint but I'm so glad I just repainted it with the colour I originally bought for the master bedroom. It's a lovely off-white colour. Sometimes it looks as though it has a slight hint of pink, it's really lovely and fresh looking. I've got another colour for the master now, which will work so much better with my colour scheme. 

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Our tiles arrived this week and tiling begins tomorrow! We are using these 1x1m tiles in the en suite, along with a herringbone tile on the main wall.

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My Dad got me this gorgeous print for the house. I'd shown him Lesley Birch's prints a few months ago, so it was a lovely surprise to receive this.

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Good evening folks. Sorry it's a late one, I'm not quite sure where the hours disappear to anymore. The weekends just roll in to a day and before you know it, it's Monday morning and I'm sat at my desk (dining table) ready to start the working week again. I've just started watching Rebecca on Netflix and I am hooked. I'm considering booking a holiday to wherever they are in the first episode because it is STUNNING. Obviously when things return back to some kind of normal.

Anyway, tiling begins tomorrow. I am very excited! Hopefully we'll have the en suite done by the end of the week. I'm not sure how long tiling takes but I guess we'll see by Friday or maybe even earlier. I'm almost done painting the 3 rooms that are being carpeted at the end of the month. I just have the picture rails, wall above them and the skirtings to do which sounds like a lot but I hope to get cracked on with it this week.

Love, L.

A quiet birthday

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Processed with VSCO with c7 preset
Processed with VSCO with c7 preset
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It's true what they say, the older you get the quieter your birthdays become and you eventually feel less and less excited about turning another year older. I'm not old but I laugh when I think back to 16 year old me who thought I'd be married with my first child by the time I turned 26! Ha, who was I kidding?! At 26 I don't even know what I want, I can't even decide what colour to paint my walls or what I want to stick on the tele never mind thinking about planning a wedding or looking after a child.

I made a last minute decision to take the day off work today and spend it in the Lakes. The weather was lovely, although wasn't expected it was a really nice spontaneous morning spent swimming in Ullswater, sipping hot chocolate and eating sausage butties by the lake side and then walking through the woods up to Aira Force. The leaves on the trees were all golden, it was beautiful. It really is the most perfect picturesque time of year!

It was unbelievably quiet. I don't know why I was so shocked, we are in a National Lockdown! Probably shouldn't have been going out for a jaunt in to the Lakes but I just had to get in to some cold water and spent the day outdoors. I've never needed the outdoors as much as I have this last year. Once you start spending more and more time outside that's really the only place you ever want to be. Unless of course it's cold and wet and you have a nice roaring log burner and a cosy sofa to curl up on! Hope you enjoyed these pics. I'm loving taking and editing photos again! Speak soon, L.