Our First House – Renovation Project

Today’s blog post is a reflection of both Mine and Aaron’s experience of not only buying a house, but completely renovating it. I’m not going to lie, the process was long and stressful. However, it was by far the best project I have ever seen through to the end, and we reap the rewards every day. On several occasions over the last year, I have debated writing into a Home Magazine telling them our story because it’s got everything a journey should have, both struggles and triumphs.

The story so far – on the 17th April 2014 at 1pm we completed and exchanged on the sale of our very first house together. Aaron was working away in Florida at the time, and maybe that was a sign for what was to come.

Buying a house is all very romantical, so when your other half is miles away it’s all a bit emotional – or it was for me. I promised Aaron that I wouldn’t go to the house until he was home, where we could spend our first night like a couple of squatters in sleeping bags. I did upload on Facebook an obligatory keys-in-hand photo though.

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With my promise to Aaron made, my Dad and Brother stepped in to check everything was ship, shape and shiny. Well it would be more appropriate to say sh*t, shoddy and not shiny! Dad called me to say the house was a dumping ground and I was round there like a shot. Queue the continual sobbing (along with a broken promise to Aaron).

Be warned – these photos are not blog worthy and to this day I am embarrassed by them – even though it wasn’t our mess!

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It’s all getting a bit graphic now isn’t it? Don’t worry, two massive skips and TWENTY-something dump runs later and we’d made some serious progress. However playing stig of the dump delayed our schedule by 2-weeks, and not to mention cost us quite a bit in unexpected Skip Hire.

Finally we were left with a workable Brick Skeleton, and we tackled one task at a time.

Stairs

bath

kitchen 1

lounge

Ok, so that’s the last of the Ugly!

We are both very fortunate to have supportive Families, and my Dad in-particular ran the show as he knows the trade better than anyone. He is the Trade!

 In 5 months we managed to turn it around and transform the house completely into something perfect. Before I insert a few pictures, I have three tips for anyone thinking of renovating a house.

Tip 1 – Focus on one room at a time. I didn’t, and I got myself into a house-related pickle!

Tip 2 – Shop Online! Yes, you could go to your local Topps Tiles, but the online market is so accessible. I ordered our Tiles from TileMountain.co.uk, and they were amazing quality at a fantastic price. I also used Ebay to source my Steel Metal Bannister and other bits and pieces.

Tip 3 – Try and rope in as many people as you can to help – no job is too small, or no person is too small. We had a 9-year old on site occasionally! Tea, Biscuits and Chocolate Bars make for very happy workers – but that should really be Tip 4!

So without further a due, here is our final pictures. If you have recently undergone a renovation I’d love to see your photos in return! x

Kitchen done

Lounge done

Bathroom 2 done

bathroom done

bedroom 2 done

landing

stairs done

Dining Room

The Cutest Breakfast

Breakfast

So this was my Mum’s breakfast on Sunday morning at Hudson & Hudson in Colchester. I mean can you imagine my Slimming World envy when this came out? Its ok, don’t feel to sorry for me – my bacon sandwich softened the blow quite nicely. Did I say Slimming World? Peh!

I am a sucker for novelties and I love the overall presentation of the Granola Bowl, so I thought it would be really nice to create this look at home. So after searching the internet I found Lakeland and Amazon were my winners!

Lakeland, Miniature Milk Bottles – £1.99 Each.
http://www.lakeland.co.uk/18335/Lakeland-250ml-Milk-Bottle\

Amazon, Miniature Mason Jars for the Fruit Compote – £4.44 for a set of 4.
http://www.amazon.co.uk/Iggi-Clear-Mason-Themed-Glasses/dp/B00EJCA41K/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1432564662&sr=8-1&keywords=mini+mason+jar

Aesthetics purchased, if you really want to push that boat out – I recommend you check out Deliciously Ella’s Granola Recipe – it’s super easy to make and delicious! http://deliciouslyella.com/how-to-make-delicious-granola/ 

I’m about to P-bomb and say how Pinterest is this blog post.

Let me know in the comments below, if you have any good granola recipes or if you purchase any of the miniatures mentioned!

Also, shout out to Hudson and Hudson in Colchester – if you are in the area you should definitely eat there! It’s amazing!

x

 

 

 

 

The Best Burger – Gourmet Burger Kitchen

Burger

The Taxidriver!

The closest Gourmet Burger Kitchen to me is Cambridge & Lakeside, so it’s quite a hike, but completely worth it. So when my mamma hen said we could visit GBK on Wednesday, I was delighted, as no cambridge visit is complete without the cheeky calorific trip.

It’s one of my favourite restaurants, like ever. My other favourites for reference are:

  • Milsoms, in Dedham
  • Farmer Browns, in Norwich
  • The Noodle Bar, In Colchester

But as far as Burgers go, GBK is the one. The actual burger is great, but its the sauces, relishes and toppings, that I love most! My usual is the cheese, bacon & BBQ sauce burger and Aaron normally has the GBK sliders. We get like Adam Richman excited about our food in GBK. (Bloke from Man Vs Food.)

The milkshakes are so good as well, the monthly special is Peanut Butter at the moment, but I love the Oreo shake! They are probably horrendously calorific as they are made with Yeo Valley ice cream I believe.

Download the GBK App if your planning to go, I have received a free BBQ sauce & chips, just by having it on my phone! Result.

Blakeney Point – Seal Trip

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On the sunny saturday just gone, my boyfriend & I travelled up to Blakeney Point in Norfolk to go see the seals. I won’t attempt to even try and type a seal sound, but you know the noise they make! I went to Blakeney Point for a meaningful reason I probably won’t share, but it really made a great day trip. We saw lots of families on the boat, who were checking out the seals and making a day of it too. Just to be clear there wasn’t the occasional seal…there was 1,000 just lazing around on the beach, chillaxing! Rows, and rows of the lazy species – apparently they spend 90% of their life laying. Starting to think I was a seal in a previous life. I liked the fat speckly seals, they were pretty. So all and all, go visit them! My photos aren’t that brilliant with a bumpy ride, a water spray it was hard to keep my hand still, so apologies. Cromer is half an hour away from Blakeney Point, so there is plenty to do.

Total day cost:
£20 in Petrol
£3.50 to Park
£20 for 2 Seal Tickets on Mr Beans Boat
£20 Nando’s on the way home, as I refused to have a fish sandwich from the Pier.

Achica

Achica

I thought I would share with you all, my favourite website – ‘Achica’. It’s a members only luxury lifestyle store, and even though it sounds like you have to pay big bucks to join, you don’t it’s free, free, free! It’s a bit like Secret Escapes, where you have to sign up to see the deals of the day. With categories from Homeware, to Fashion, to Travel.

I check on this website every morning for bargains, a MASSIVE SECRET is they occasionally sell Louis Vuitton at a discounted price, and they are 100% genuine. The iconic Monochrome Speedy Bag was on there a month or two ago, for £285, when they retail at £435. I sobbed for hours that I didn’t have the money to purchase a Louis. Besides LV, they stock other designers such a FCUK, DKNY & Gucci and they all often appear with ridiculous discounts. I saw Ray-Bans on there recently too.

Fashion aside, I always check out the travel deals on this website. The hotels always look stunning, the kind of places you’d expect to see the Sex & The City cast, and some are at an affordable cost. Even to us students. Mama & Papa White went to a hotel in the UK, via this website and they said it was amazing. So thats living proof that the pictures don’t lie!

Hope to see you all signing up to Achica soon. At the moment, for every friend I invite, I get a £10 voucher, as so do you! It’s a win, win! So, if you fancy signing up for some dealage, click on the link here: http://www.achica.com/2578114/AmyW

TODAY ONLY (23/04/13) they are selling Lomography camera’s at a discount – perfect for photography blogs!