It’s been a tough week

Friday morning from Black Horse, looking down in to Sedbergh. Just gorgeous!

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Another wall picked and Will & Josh working super hard.

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Looks like the only chance I get to post here is on a Sunday evening! Life feels non stop at the moment, which I love of course but right now, I'm super tired and so not ready for Monday morning. This week has been.. interesting, to say the least. Gran went off on her jolly holidays on Friday for three weeks, so we're home alone fending for ourselves. We so badly want to be independent but my god, it's so handy having someone to help out with meals and washing etc. it truly is a full time job! I don't know how people balance having a job, children, washing the pots, doing the ironing, etc. and still having the energy to do something fun. I am drained! From there it all went down hill... Will ended up falling through the bathroom floor, into the alley way below. Turns out the whole ceiling is plaster board! Just what we want... but I'm thankful it's happened now so we can fix it and replace it with something decent. If this is the only problem we encounter during our house renovations then I'll be happy. Obviously it's not ideal but, c'est la vie! Then, yesterday I was parked in M&S's car park when some turnip bashed our drivers door and chipped the paint. Thankfully, he was cooperative and gave me his details, so I'm hoping it gets dealt with ASAP, as we love our Golf and it's sad to see it chipped and wounded. Unfortunately there's no CCTV covering where I was parked either, so he best be honest! I had serious heart palpitations for a good hour or so after. I had worked myself up so much, I don't even remember driving from M&S to Asda. It's so weird how stuff like that affects me. Does that happen to you too? And to top things off, my cat has fleas! Isn't it just fabulous. So, all weekend I've been hoovering, shaking flea powder EVERYWHERE. Itching, scratching, going mad basically! It's all fun and games here in the Fearn/Porter household. If anyone can help me get rid of them though, please tell me how to as I'm going insane. I finally managed to sit down and watch Jesy Nelson's: Odd One Out on BBC iPlayer this evening. I cried, so much. It's heartbreaking to watch such a beautifully strong woman crumble at the words of bullies. You can tell people not to listen, to take it on the chin or tell them it's a joke, but the affects of words can have a bigger affect on somebody than physically hurting them. We were always told that 'sticks and stones may break my bones but words won't harm me'. Not true. You're accountable for what you say, in jest or not. In person or on the internet. I'm so glad that I grew up without social media, that I only saw my school friends either at school or at the playground. There was no Instagram or Facebook.. but we did have MSN. A chat site where you logged in on a computer, where you couldn't be contacted 24/7 but for only the time you logged in yourself. Maybe that's what we need to focus on more, not being so accessible to everyone, all hours of the day. Who knows what the answer is! I just hope that one day, when I eventually have children, that they never have to experience what Jesy has. Speak soon, L.

A Sunday well spent brings a week of content…

What a lovely, sunny, beautiful day it has been here in Cumbria. I woke up super early today, which I was a bit baffled by as I didn't get to bed until midnight but then I remembered that I had accidentally scratched the car and I had felt sick all night at the thought of breaking the news to Josh. Honestly, I am such an idiot! Thankfully, he took it well and we are going to get it sorted some point this week. Not ideal when you have a house to be spending your spare income on but hey ho, such is life! When I woke up early, I also managed to drag a hungover Josh out of bed and I messaged my Dad to see if he fancied a yomp up the fell. We walked up on to Crook to see the fell ponies. One of them was super friendly but there were about 7 in total. They loved the smell of the pickled onion crisps we took with us, haha! From there we walked on to Winder and back down in to Sedbergh for a spot of brunch at our local cafe - Smatt's Duo. Welsh rarebit never disappoints, so that's what I went for. Dad had a good old bacon and egg butty and Josh... well, he went for 'the full works' which consisted of sausages, bacon, egg, hashbrowns and black pudding all in a bun. I had thought to myself that there was no way he was eating it all but he surprised me and polished it off, as per usual! It was a truly lovely morning, spent in the sunshine with both my Dad and better half. My Dad has been teaching me all the names of the British plants and flowers that grow here. My favourite so far is heather, which we are thinking of using in the front garden (Dad's idea), as it's low maintenance and I love the grassy, natural look. In fact, I just love plants and flowers! We have an amazing rose bush in the front but it needs some attention as it's obviously had no love from the previous owners. I'm going to take a few cuttings and plant them in a potato so we can start growing them ready for when we start on the garden. Anyway, I'm going to put the laptop down and watch a bit of tele before the week ahead. I've managed to cut my screen time down by 20% which I'm so happy about. I had so many post notifications turned on on Instagram, so I decided to turn them off which has helped massively. Ideally, I'd love to cut it down even more but at least it is a step in the right direction! Oh and as we are talking of phones, I've just seen that Kelly Hoppen has created her own podcast! Definitely one to listen to for all you interior lovers. Right, I'm actually going now. Speak soon, L.

Thursday

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Dan Bilzerian came to join us this evening to knock some walls down...

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Found this empty caramels cardboard box under the laths over the guest bedroom. No idea why the builders were shoving bit and bobs up there but it's actually quite exciting to discover!

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Josh's friend, Will is home for a while so he's come to give us a helpful hand.

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All kitchen worktops and water supply gone! Had to nip next door to our neighbours and ask for some water for the kettle.

Hey lovelies! How's your week going? I've actually perked up a little since last week and I'm ready to start the gym again. Although, I said that Sunday evening and I still haven't managed to get myself out of bed early enough in a morning. Ah well, maybe tomorrow! This evening we did a few bits on the house. Basically just tidied, picked walls - which by the way takes for bloody ever! I hate it. It's the worst job ever, so I'm super grateful we have Will lending us a hand through the day whilst we are working, as he's managed to get the kitchen external wall done, most of the living room external wall done and he just started with upstairs this evening. The plasterers were asking if they could come and do the first skim (I think that's what it's called), tomorrow but we aren't ready for them just yet. It's actually quite frustrating because if I had known that they wanted to come I would've stayed at the house every spare hour I had to get it ready for them, because once the plastering starts, that's when it will start coming together! But... never mind, I need to learn to be a little more patient and chances are it would never have been ready, even if we had known! I'm not really sure what's next once the walls are picked. I'm guessing we will have to wait for all the electrics and plumbing to be sorted before we can start anything ourselves. Anyway, of course I'll keep you up to date. Speak soon, L.

Renovation tip #3

Howdy! How the bloody hell are ya? I feel like I'm neglecting my blog again but it doesn't surprise me, as I've not been up to anything too exciting or life changing. I can't believe it's already Sunday! Where on earth do the weekends go? I guess I did work half a day yesterday and I do class the food shop as work too, so that's where yesterday disappeared to. I'm currently sat in the most awkward position on the chair in my Grans living room as the cat decided to kick me off my favourite seat. I've spent a couple of hours at the house, on my tod, picking the external walls but I can't be there on my own for too long because I lose motivation very quickly. Josh said he'll be back home soon to help and has actually just text to say that he has a surprise for me.. Although, he told me he had a surprise for me yesterday which turned out to be a Suunto watch for himself. So, now I know not to get excited. Whilst I'm waiting for him I thought I would bring you my 3rd renovation tip, which you may deem quite an obvious one but I often think it is so easily forgotten, especially when you're so excited to get started and that is...

3. Photograph and film as much as possible

Why? Well, it's easy to forget how far you've come, especially when you feel like you aren't getting anywhere! It's a really good idea to get as many photos of each room as possible. I took a photograph in each room from each corner and I saved them all to a hard drive in separate folders. For example, I have a folder specifically for the kitchen, living room, guest room, office, dressing room and loft. I haven't managed to get all the photos from my phone transferred over yet but I will do when I have a 'quiet day'. I quite enjoy sticking a film on and sorting paper work out etc. My mind feels so much less cluttered afterwards! I was actually going to share a few 'before and afters' but I would like to keep them for future posts. Plus, if you want to keep up to date with our renovations, you can find us on Instagram @verynorthernhome. Anywho, enjoy the rest of your Sunday and I will speak to you again very soon! Lots of love, L.

Pillar Rock & Pillar

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Mum very happy, not knowing the difficulties ahead. Black Sail Pass in the background.

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Black Sail Pass.

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At the top of Black Sail Pass.

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The 5 of us at Pillar Rock, thank goodness for tripods and 10 second timers!

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Alex and I on Pillar Rock.

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The top of Pillar with Great Gable in the background.

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Wasdale valley from Pillar.

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Good morning! What a good nights sleep that was, apart from waking up in the middle of the night sweating from the heat. Yesterday me and my Mum, Dad, Alex and Josh headed to Wasdale to tackle Pillar Rock and Pillar. It was the most beautiful day, which obviously meant there were hundreds of other folk who also wanted to make the most of bank holiday weekend but thankfully, there was an extra field open for parking and the majority of those people were heading up Scafell Pike and not in the direction we were headed. I noticed that there was one car parked on the grass verge that received a parking ticket, so just incase there's anyone ever thinking of heading up there... don't park on the grass verge! We left home at around 7am but didn't actually get to Wasdale until gone 9am. I forgot how much of a drive it is there but well worth it, as I'd say it's the prettiest place in the Lake District. Pillar Rock was where my Grandad fell during a MRT training exercise and this was the first time my Dad, brother and Mum have ever been to where it was he lost his life. Obviously it's very touching and when I first visited last year with Josh, it was emotional to think that my Grandad, my Gran's husband and my Dad's Dad had lost his life there. It's very surreal but knowing that he did die doing something he loved in a beautiful place makes it slightly easier to accept. It's a hard walk and once you reach the top of Black Sail Pass, you have to follow a sheep trail round the backside of Pillar to reach Pillar Rock. I ended up slipping on a loose piece of stone and grazing the back of my leg but thankfully no broken bones! Just slightly sore this morning... After spending some time at the cairn overlooking Pillar Rock, we headed alongside the rock and up behind it to reach Pillar. It's actually quite a nice climb, especially on such a warm, still day. I wouldn't recommend trying this in the rain or snow, as it's a very narrow path and quite steep but if you can plan a lovely still day like yesterday, it's definitely worth it for the views over to Buttermere Edge, Haystacks, Ennerdale Valley, Great Gable and Scafell Pike to name a few. Once we reached the top of Pillar, we headed back down Black Sail Pass and down in to the valley where we stopped for a G&T before the long journey home. Anyway, I hope you enjoyed my photos! I did film some snippets on the DJI Osmo Pocket, so I will put together a short video for my Instagram. The plan for the rest of the day is to finish getting rid of all the rubble at the house and begin picking the external walls ready for plastering, hopefully sometime very soon! Enjoy your Monday, whatever it is you're doing and I will speak to you soon, L.

Saturday 24th August

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On my face:

Loreal accord parfait concealer, shade golden honey.

Rimmel London radiance brick bronzer.

Loreal (really old, can't tell what the packaging says) blusher.

And my favourite, Loreal glow amour highlighter.

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What I am wearing:

Jumper from ASOS, here.

Converse, here.

Levi denim shorts.

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I can't believe I was only whinging a few days ago about the cold, rainy weather and today the sun has never felt so warm! It was so good to feel the sun on my face and it was at times, a little too hot (especially in that knitted jumper I decided to put on this morning to do the food shop in). After a rushed morning, I met up with 3 of my school friends and we went for a walk to Hardraw Force in the Yorkshire Dales. It was a super quick walk which was all we wanted but it was so nice to catch up and have a girly natter for a change. It's £2.50 to go to the waterfall, as it is privately owned but wow it's beautiful! We had planned on heading in to Hawes and visiting Wensleydale cheese factory but we didn't have much time so we decided to head home and treat ourselves to ice cream! What flavour? I hear you ask. Well, obviously.. plain and simple mint choc chip! My only regret is not asking for a flake! Anyway, now I plan on getting all the walking gear ready for tomorrow morning. I don't even know where to start, my head feels fuzzy and I want to go to sleep but we don't have time in the morning as we are hoping to set off around 6:30am to avoid any parking issues and bank holiday folk on their jollies. Better scoot, sorry for the brief and random post. This feels rather unusual for me too! Speak soon, L.

Renovation tip #2

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The kitchen space. We have to get rid of the carpets and the rest of the kitchen units soon. Can't wait to see it empty!

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The living room. We moved the majority of the rubble bags outside yesterday evening (I say we but I mean Josh) and I can't believe how spacious it feels with almost all the shit gone.

Hey there. What's happening this fine Monday evening? I can't believe it's almost dark at 8:40pm. I'm actually very ready for Autumn and crisp fresh mornings. I'm sick of these August showers that come and go. I never know what to wear, even if I do wear leggings and fleece's to work every single day (don't judge me). I seriously need to start making more of an effort with my work wear but I just can't justify wearing 'my weekend best' to sit in an office. I also tried wearing my skinny jeans once and they genuinely felt like they were cutting me in half. So, what's the point? Nobody actually cares, right? Anyway, you're probably wondering what fabulous, inspiring tip I have for you this week. In all honesty I really did struggle to think of something I could pass off as a 'tip' but then I realised, it was right in front of me....

2. Take time off to relax

Which again, is way easier said than done. Especially when all you want is to get everything done as quickly as possible. I've been exhausted this week and when I say exhausted I mean, I've felt dizzy from working so hard, my arms ache and I just feel like a walking zombie. I don't even feel like I'm living in the moment and it's a hard thing to face, you know, being tired at the age of 24. I don't like it at all but my Gran always tells us to slow down. Take a day or two off, have a bath (I can't tell you how much I love a bath, wow, I definitely have to get one in our master suite because there's no way I'm living without one after this week), get a good nights sleep, just watch a bit of tele and do nothing. You forget how easy it is to be sucked into work, work, work and we've literally had no work/life balance for a good month now, so it's really starting to take it's toll on our physical state. Although, I should say that we are coping with this all pretty well. I'd say that Josh and I are the happiest we have been together and we haven't had any arguments as of yet.. but I probably should mention that I do always win. Seriously though, you'd think that working on a house every single night together would turn you against one another but for us, it's brought us closer than ever! Anyway, enough gushing... Tonight was the night that we were meant to get all the rubble on his Dad's pick up which I was so looking forward to but something came up so his Dad never turned up. Instead, we decided not to bother spending the night on the house and we came home to have dinner and just relax! I've spent a good hour or so catching up on my favourite YouTube channels. Lydia Millen and InTheFrow have just uploaded two great interior vlogs, which I am all here for at the moment and that is how I like to spend my down time, as well as writing my blog and reading a few pages of my new book 'good vibes, good life' by Vex King. Josh is currently sat in the lounge, shouting at the tele (Man Utd are playing), I'm not sure I'd call that down time but maybe more of a headache. Who's with me?! Oh I also forgot about the new Interior Design Masters programme that Fearne Cotton is hosting. I'm going to catch up on that actually tonight because I only managed to catch the last 5 minutes last week. Anyway, hope you've enjoyed this post and I hope you all find some time to relax and unwind in this non stop world we live in. Lots of love, L.

Sunday

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Would you believe me if I told you that we are already in bed, watching friends with benefits with a hot water bottle? I don't feel like I've had a decent nights sleep this week, so being in bed by 8pm on a Sunday evening is a real treat. So, what was on today's agenda? Well, I began my morning doing the food shop. Oh the joys! I actually bought our first little photo frame for the house from TK MAXX. Man, I love that shop. I think I've picked up one item for the house from there every single weekend! We didn't manage to get rid of the rubble today but it will all be gone by the time I finish work at 6pm. The bags of rubble you can see from the photo is only half of it, so you can probably understand my frustration and how difficult it has been working around such mess. Oh, I picked up a Farrow and Ball paint guide thing and I think I have decided on what colour we are going to do the guest bedroom in. You can see which colour we've decided to go for over on my home account @verynorthernhome, which I will have for solely home related images. Anyway, I'm going to snuggle down and get a good nights kip. I hope you have enjoyed your weekend! Lots of love, L.

This week | house update & choosing our log burner

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Tuesday evening, when I thought that summer was going to stick around a little longer.

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Lunch at Farmhouse Kitchen on Wednesday after an appointment at the hospital.

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Today after a really hard day's graft. Josh also bought me a new mask to help with dust.

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We still have the odd butterfly in the house. This one was in the attic but I let it out of the velux window. The wallpaper on the right is from the bathroom and was underneath the bathroom cabinet. How cute?

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The landing this afternoon before I cleaned up all the rubble and move the glass shower screens.

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The guest bedroom with the skirting and coving removed. Can't wait to get started on our office and guest room (which will be our room for a good few months).

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Here is the log burner that we have decided on from Firehouse in Kendal. In fact, you can see the exact model here.

Is it time for bed yet? Or shall I say, is it time to move in yet? I am bloody shattered, I can't even move after a good old soak in the bath. You may be surprised to know that today marks exactly 1 month since we got the keys to our first home together. Can you believe it? I can't! It feels like time has gone so so quick but it also feels like it's been our home for way longer than just a month. Our first mortgage repayment went out yesterday and I'll tell you something, it's shite being an adult and having these responsibilities. Can I rewind back to when I didn't have to pay bills or do a food shop so I can just spend all my earnings on clothes and holidays? I'm joking, it's great and we have our own home which we can do whatever we want to and nobody can tell us that we can't because we are the owners! A bit of an update from this week. Well, I'd like to say that WE have done a lot but Josh has been at football 3 nights this week so I've been plodding away on my own for the majority of it.. but my fabulous friend Clare did come round to help me remove some plaster on Tuesday night which was ever so kind of her. Obviously we had a large glass of Gin and ginger ale to finish the night off, which went down a little too well, kind of a shame that I didn't have any more mixers... Yesterday evening my Mum and Dad came round to help remove the coving in the main guest bedroom and also the plaster on the external wall. We did it in such good time last night and it's so much more fun when there's a few of you there cracking on. We now only have the bathroom external wall plaster to remove, which we will do first thing tomorrow before we get rid of all the rubble in land fill. I can't wait to see the back of those rubble bags, there's literally like 50 bags of rubble just sat in the living room and it's really bugging me because they are just making life extremely difficult. We also chose our log burner the other day! It's absolutely gorgeous and is not like the stove we originally thought we wanted but it just looks like an absolute classic, with a huge glass front. We also both agreed on a surround for the stove too, which we never thought we would go for but we both said how grand it would look with the tall ceilings and the Victorian coving.. but I'll show you that some other time, as I didn't get any photos and I don't want to give too much away too soon, just incase we do decide to change something. I can't wait to get it all in! Hopefully we will have it in before the Winter weather, so we can have it on when we are working in the house. How amazing would that be?! Anyway, I think I'm going to do some reading and relax before Josh appears home from football. Speak soon, L.

Renovation tip #1

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It's really hard keeping my blog up to date when we are working on the house most evenings and although I thought that I would be on top of things, I really haven't. I don't tend to keep my phone on me when we are in the house, mainly because everything gets super dirty and I'm scared my phone will get dust in the speakers, so I tend to keep it in my coat pocket and only ever get it out during a brew break or whenever I feel the need to take to instagram and film a little video. I know that so many of you are enjoying the house renovations, so thank you for taking the time to message me and let us know. It really does mean a lot that some of you are so invested in our home renovations as much as we are! I totally get it though, I've been following home interior blogs/Instagrams for what has felt like my whole life and now being in the position to do up our own home really does feel like a dream come true! I still can't believe that we have our own home! This week, I wanted to introduce something new to the blog. I know it's probably been done a million times before but I wanted to share with you our renovation tips, how we stay sane and how we stay motivated. So, here is our first tip of the week...

1. tidy as you go

Which is much easier said than done, especially when we can shut the door and go home for the evening and forget about all the mess and the dust we have left behind. Although, if you have ever created an absolute mess and returned the following day to begin work again and had to tidy up from the night before, there is nothing more frustrating and time wasting than having to tidy up the mess you created to then start work again. My advice, or shall I say Josh's advice, would be to get rid of all the rubbish, bag it up, put it to one side or in a pile and get rid of it before you've even thought about it. To make life even easier, we split all the rubbish in to materials. So we have a wood pile for burning, bags for rubble, normal waste goes straight in to the black bins outside, cardboard, plastic, glass etc. all for recycling. Hopefully my friends boyfriend will be coming to take all the rubble bags away for land fill sometime soon (and I'll make sure that the bags don't get dumped so we can reuse them), Josh managed to get rid of all the wood, which will be burnt nearby and other stuff like carpets will have to be sent to the tip I'm guessing? Anyway, there you have our first renovation tip and one that I assure you will help in the long run. Speak soon, L.

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Our first kitchen design

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How are we all on this fine, beautiful weekend? I joke, this weekend is not beautiful. I got absolutely drenched last night, running home from the pub and again this afternoon walking up to the house. It's nice to be inside, all cosy just relaxing for once. Although progress has slowed down on the house, it has felt like a tough week physically and mentally. But we did get the kitchen design back from Benchmarx on Friday and I said I would share the designs with you so here it is! What do you think? We decided to go for the in-built oven and microwave to save space and then the 5 ring gas hob on the opposite side, instead of a range cooker (or Aga, although I so wished we could have an Aga). I really like the wall with the Belfast sink and hob on. It's just simple, nothing too fussy, enough work space, some glass cupboards to break it up a bit. However, the other side under the stairs just makes me feel a bit, meh. I really don't like the gaps above the fridge freezer and the microwave and then above the single cupboard. It looks unfinished and messy in my opinion. We both feel the same and we ideally would prefer to get some doors made to fit in nicely under the stairs but it would cost a lot of money and then may not be the right colour/style as the kitchen. We'll see! The colour is actually nowhere near the colour we want either. I don't want any grey in our home (on the walls anyway). I feel like grey is the new magnolia and I want as much colour in our home as possible. We knew we wanted something really dark so hopefully we can get a RAL colour which is a deep dark navy, almost black.Anyway, this design was to really get an idea of layout for the electrics and the plumbing. We have a good plan for sockets and light switches which we decided on last night and both Isaac and Aaron made a start today whilst I was at work. Oh, we also made quite a big decision yesterday and that was to have a dining table or no dining table. We opted against one for space because we didn't want to cut back on the kitchen and then we also didn't want it to look like we squeezed one in so we are just going to do without. My idea is to have a coffee table which we use like the low tables they have in Thailand and you sit and eat on floor cushions with your legs crossed. I think it will work well and will be quite nice to have a little piece of Thailand in our home. Anyway, let me know your thoughts on the kitchen design. I'd love to hear if you have any tweaks or adjustments you would make! Speak soon, L.

Plans for the weekend

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I can't believe it's already Thursday evening. The weeks are whizzing by! This morning when I woke up at 7am, the windows were wide open, I could feel the fresh breeze on my arm and it felt like Autumn. I love Autumn and I'd even go as far as saying it's my favourite season. I have said before that Spring and Summer are but Autumn just makes me feel some kind of way. It's still technically Summer but have you noticed that the nights are getting darker quicker? That's the only thing I dread when it comes to Winter... the long dark nights, especially when you finish work at 6pm and feel like there's nothing you can do afterwards. Anyway, enough rambling. I'm here to tell you about our weekend plans. Tomorrow night Isaac and Aaron are coming to do the 'first fix'. I'm not entirely sure I know what it means but I know that it means progress, which is good. Josh even said to me last night that we are making good progress and it may not take as long as we thought. I so hope he is right! Saturday morning I'm working and then I think I'll attempt the food shop or I might leave it for one night in the week so I can head straight to the house and help with odd jobs that need doing. Then our friends Hannah, Tucker and their son Zach are heading over to see us. They did say they would lend us a hand but to be honest, I think tea out would be much nicer to catch up over, plus we haven't seen them since forever so food and drinks are welcomed with open arms. Hopefully we will get the kitchen plans from Benchmarx sent over during the weekend so I'll most definitely share those here with you! The lady who came to measure up yesterday was so lovely and gave us lots of ideas we hadn't thought of so I'm super excited to see what she comes up with. We finally decided on the range cooker vs in-built oven/microwave, can you guess which one? Oh and the colour, oh my the colour is just fabulous! I was so torn between a really light and cheery kitchen but I've gone completely the opposite way and I'm so glad that Josh is on board with it because I just know it's going to look 'sick'. Anyway, I'm already showered, in my pyjamas and I have the flat to myself. So, I'm going to read my book, relax and hopefully have a bit of a kip on the sofa before Josh arrives back from training. I am absolutely shattered! Speak soon, L.