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Life

My Lockdown Purchases That Just Make Sense…

September 7, 2020
A picture of me in my flat sitting on my couch.  Taken before lockdown purchases when it looked very neat!

Full disclosure I have been very active on tictok hence the title of this post! If you aren’t familiar there is a trend to show things in your home that just make sense but today I am going to do my lockdown purchases that just make sense. Prior to lockdown I thought my home was very organised and not really in need of any updates big or small. However, like you being in my home for longer time periods has allowed me to see where small improvements could really change my space for the better.

Spice Rack Clips On The Pantry Door.

I purchased this spice rack from ebay and waited the customary billion weeks! If lock down has taught us anything I have def learnt patience. They arrived and I promptly stuck them on my pantry door with the thick tape adhesive they came with. In the middle of the heat wave. Not sure if it was the heat or just this tape ain’t that great but I woke in the middle of the night to loud banging and realised my spices were falling inside my cupboard! Disappointed but not discouraged I pulled out my £20 drill, charged her up and screwed those racks into the door. Solved and now I have plenty of space in my cupboard when I am trying to find something.

Tube Squeezer.

I saw a fancy version of this tube squeezer at Liberty’s. I asked them how much and they told me they didn’t sell them but were always asked about it. What followed was my business head having a conversation with the assistant about lost sales opportunities! Later I ordered this one from Amazon. Yes yes we aren’t meant to shop there anymore but this was beginning of lock down and I was stressed. There are cheaper plastic versions but darling for for this cause she is beautiful and you know it will last. Perfect to get every last drop out of your Aesop hand cream tube!

Mini Trampoline.

Well that was an unexpected step change to exercise. The minute it became obvious Boris was going to announce a lock down I stress searched the Internets for a mini trampoline. Did you know 10 minutes on a mini tramp is the same as a 30 minute job? But better for your joints. It’s the only thing I remember from that horrendous show ‘You are what you eat’. Remember the poo samples?! If you are too young then thank your lucky stars cause we saw it all! Anyway, digression, the mini tramp. She was cheap and cheerful purchase from Argos and I exercised three times a week for three months on her before she started to break. Not terribly just a seam came undone which meant a spring dropped mid jump! I sewed her back up because by then all the mint tramps were sold out, even the £400 plus ones. Now that the gyms are back open her and I have a session once a week. She is a fragile but I am also determined to get the most out of her before she becomes landfill. Note if you want one to do serious exercise on I recommend a tramp that has elastic where the springs are. These are the professionals pieces that gyms use and more expensive but much better long term for the earth.

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Life

My Birthday Wish List…

May 18, 2020

Whilst it is a few months off until my birthday, my family are already asking for my birthday wish list!  They recently sent a package from Australia that took six weeks to get here.  Normally it takes two, maximum three weeks.  With these uncertain times I’m trying to stick to items from the EU.  However, there are a couple from Canada and Australia in there.

In the last couple of years since leaving advertising agency crazy life I have taken my birthday off to celebrate.  This year’s day is loosely planned out.  A sleep in and I’ll make myself a hot breakfast.  I’ve bought a ticket to Yayoi Kusama’s Infinity Rooms at the Tate Modern.  Not sure if that will still happen!  A late lunch at a Wahaca and its delicious Mexican food.  Previously I would have then gone to a theatre show but I think this time I will head home and watch a movie.  Splurge, and pay for a latest release!

  1. Kroft Hanging Clothes Rack
  2. Rachel Castle and Things Baby Floral Pillowcase
  3. Indy Tute Upcycling Vintage China Upcycling
  4. Hand Caning Workshop
  5. Rainbow Confetti Glasses
  6. Indy Tute Cold Pressed Soap Making Workshop
  7. Jesomite Bowl Making Workshop
  8. Bimby & Roy Ubi Dressing Gown

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Life Making

Different Ways to Paint My Entrance…

April 27, 2020

I’ve been thinking about my entrance hallway and how I want to make it over.  I am a lover of colour, but the thought of painting entire walls is not sitting well with me.  Within my home colour is in the furniture and accessories and I’ve realised I do enjoy the calmness of the white walls.  As part of my makeover I have thought about painting and as I have been searching for options these different ways to paint have come up.

Pops Of Colour On Doorway Edges.

I first saw this idea on Bright Bazaar who credits Martha Stewart Living where colour is added just to the edge of the door.  This is a great way to create colour impact without committing to an entire wall.  A great contrast adding colour against neutral walls. I also feel that this allows me to have a bright colour that might have been overwhelming on a bigger piece.

Image from Martha Living.

Creating Frames Around Doorways.

2lgstudio are colour lovers and design beautiful spaces for their clients.  I was particularly drawn to this scalloped framing around doorways.  Again, it allows a pop of colour without taking over an entire space. 

Beautiful Doorways by 2LG Studio.

Subtle Wall Stripes.

Emma Jane Palin is a fab designer blogger who loves bold colour, creativity and culture.  Not one to stop being a renter get in her way, Emma has injected design into her many abodes.  In her previous flat she added simple stripes at the top of her walls.  I like the one she did in the bedroom that added the scallop motif as well.

Stripes from Emma Jane Palin.

Arches and Circles.

With small spaces adding colour can be encroaching and I adore the way Gen from Collective Gen has added this arch in her daughter’s bedroom.  This simple design creates a distinct space for the bookshelf.  Gen has also experimented with painting half her front door using this approach of creating shapes. 

Front Door Magic From Collective Gen.

For the moment the arches and circles idea are my favourite.  The scallop look is a close second.  I want to wait until all the pieces including the hanger are installed before I decide.

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Life Making

How To Hang Curtains…

April 20, 2020

I moved into my flat three years ago and I was flat broke! I was sleeping on the floor and had only two chairs and a table. You can read more about that here. I also didn’t have any curtains. Instead I had a very old duvet cover and a shower curtain which I hung across the windows with command hooks! Once my bank account had recovered I saved up for blinds and my dad showed me how to use a drill to hang them.

Forgive me these photos were taken ages ago when I did this and my photography and editing skills weren’t great. It is what it is!

This was the situation in my bedroom! A piece of blackout curtain was stuck permenantly to the window with hooks and bluetack. A blind pulled down in front of it to make it look nicer! Sometimes on the weekend I would take it down to let in light. The window could be open at any time. I longed for the day when I could open my curtains but the blind would stop nosy parkers as I got dressed. Not having to turn the light on would be so lovely. Saving for my lusted after West Elm Velvet Curtains took nearly three years and I thought I would share with you how I hung the curtains.

I decided I wanted the rod and hardware to be black and whilst the West Elm products are lovely I settled for these Ikea ones. It all came down to budget! First tip is that Ikea do not supply screws to hang the hardware so I had to nip out and purchase those.

Using the curtain holder I marked on the wall the gap where the screws could go. I wanted there to be enough room at both ends to tuck part of the curtain around the holder. This way when I pull the curtains the whold panel doesn’t move to the other side. For this curtain pole I left a 5cm clearance.

Using the drill bit I made the holes for one of the curtain holders. I decided to complete one at a time to not rush. Now that I have more confidence in the drill I would have done all the holes and not had to change the bits as many times. Placing the curtain holder in the right spot I screwed in both screws. Done! Once I had completed the second curtain holders I added the covers.

To make things a bit easier I left both ends off the curtain rod and threaded on the curtains. Lifting these up in the holders I was then able to add the ends. To ensure that hte curtain doesn’t move across the whole rod I made sure one curtain tab was on the ‘wrong’ side of the curtain holder. After living with this for a few hours I moved another tab over which helped to balance and also prevent any light coming through the side crack.

Using a drill does have this scary overtone but it is quick an easy skill to pick up. If you are unsure get some scrap pieces of timber and practice on those. The biggest thing I forget when drilling is to click the drill in reverse to get the drill bit out! I soon remember as the bit will not budge without it!

Now that I have lived with the curtains for a couple of months I need to jump back up and adjust the curtain holder on the left. When I was fiddling around with it and extending the curtain rod the older moved and actually it needs to be further to the left of the window.

Do you do any DIY at home? PF xo

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Life

Everything I Have Learnt About LED Laser Facials…

March 23, 2020

If you follow me on Instagram it won’t be a surprise to you that I use an at home laser mask or am always running off to a salon version.  I’ve had some form of acne since I was eleven and decades later it doesn’t look like it will ever leave me.  Sometimes this can be attributed to stress, then it is obviously because the air is quite polluted or other times it is hormonal.  My skin is sensitive, and I get red marks that can last a year despite my everyday routine.  Fortunately, my skin rarely scars so that is a blessing.  Laser facials have changed my life these past two years and I thought I would share everything I have learnt about laser facials to help you.

The Science.

Healing with laser light was first developed by NASA for their astronauts.  It was discovered that specific light waves could kill bacteria (blue) and also help to promote healing (red).  Further investigation has determined that light can reduce pigmentation (green), refresh mature skin (yellow) and boost collagen (white).

Picture of me holding the Neautrogena Light Therapy mask. Everything I Have Learnt About LED Laser Facials.

Try A Good Cheap Product First.

At home treatments can be expensive and you also need to see if this product works for you.  Neutrogena has a great Light Therapy mask at a lower price point.  It has 16 lights that emit 8 red and 8 blue light waves.  This means you are getting healing and bacteria killing at the same time.  The draw backs of this device is that it limits the usage, however youtube can help you with hacks for this.  Also you have to have both lights on even if you don’t need one and you can’t adjust the time. Because there are only 16 lights I found I did have to do this everyday to make a difference.

Picture of my MZ Skins Light Therapy mask. Everything I Have Learnt About LED Laser Facials.

Research Before You Invest.

When you are ready to invest more you can find light masks on the market from £200+.  The key here is to think about what you want from your mask as it will last a long time.  I wanted all five light options, with the ability to choose, more lights (at least 100) and to set a timer.  At the time of researching I settled on MZ Skins Light Therapy mask.  It is sold here in London so any issues I knew I could get in contact with them quickly.

Picture of person having a salon light session. Everything I Have Learnt About LED Laser Facials.

In Salon Treatments.

These are the dream and much stronger than any at home treatment.  Lots of salons will offer LED therapy as part of facials, but the ones who know where the money is at allow you to book just the LED light for a 20minute session.  Walk in, walk out.  No need to even take your top off.  Just sit in the chair, meditate and get on with your day.

My Personal LED Light Facial Routine.

I started with the Neutrogena Light Therapy mask and it worked great.  I had to use it everyday and after two years it broke and only gave me the red light.  I kept using it but realised that I needed the blue light to keep breakouts at bay.  My skin went crazy and I had soooo many breakouts that I booked a salon course.  I went once a week for five weeks and everything healed up and pimples went away. 

Then I invested in MZ Skins Light Therapy mask that has 150 lights.  I find I can use this 2-3 times a week, 10 minutes per coloured light.  As it is a bit stronger I also find I’ve had hardly any breakouts and can use just two colours, blue and white.  I still get pimples but the way they behave now is much different.  They literally appear within a few hours and if I pop them, because let’s be honest we all do!, they are ready and there is no scab or mark. Now I treat myself to a salon treatments every 4-6 months when they are on special.

Hope this was helpful and you are on your way to better skin too.  Read more about my skincare routine here. PF xo

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Life Making

Creating A Functional Entrance Hall…

March 16, 2020

Each year I participate in Apartment Therapy’s January Cure.  It is a great way to reset your home, identify tasks that need doing and clear out the years clutter.  Each day you are given a goal from clearing a drawer to donating items to charity.  The big task is to put together your yearly home project.  Identifying something that you want to do, putting together a list of what that entails and planning it out.  You aren’t expected to complete this task in January and it can take as long as you need.  This year my yearly home project is to create a functional entrance hall.

How The Entrance Hall Functions Now.

Spoiler – it doesn’t!  I moved into my new build flat and I wasn’t allowed to repaint or decorate.  The plaster requires up to eighteen months to air and dry out limiting any decorating.  When I come into my flat there is a small entrance hall which every other room feeds off.  To the right, tucked behind a boxed in pillar, is a small space where I keep my shoes and coats. 

I currently have a very traditional, English coat rack in the space and that is it.  Storage wise it is a space that could be doing so much more and really could look better.  In this space is also a double powerpoint that I use for my hairdryer and fairy lights.  UK standards are limiting when it comes to power in bathrooms and we aren’t trusted to be able to plug in appliances in wet spaces!  As a result, all my other hair gadgets are piled in this space as well.  Safe to say I am not looking after these gadgets, and I have to tidy this space at least once a week.  It does not function well.

Planning and Budgeting The Entrance Hall Makeover.

Over the past four years I have researched many ideas on how to make this space function better.  The ceiling height means I can lift my coats with a hanging system.  It makes sense to have some sort of storage that stacks the shoes.  I’ve love to not see them poking out from their space! 

One of the biggest sticking points were my hair gadgets and how to store them.  Researching online I found several systems designed specifically for Dyson hairdryers.  Some even use magnets to display the attachments.  Finally, I would like to have a second double power point so that I can get rid of the power board.

Knowing the cost of this project would determine if I could go ahead.  I spent a few hours researching, over a couple of days, and came up with the below design.  It is a total spend of £290, excluding paint.  I am still unsure how, and if, I will paint the wall, total area, ceiling or nothing.  Paint isn’t cheap!  The most expansive item is the Kroft hanger which I might try and DIY later this year.

Getting Started On The Entrance Hall.

Excitedly I have decided to move ahead with the project knowing I have a year to slowly purchase and put everything in place.  I have borrowed a stud finder from a friend and organised another’s electrician husband to come and put in the powerpoint.  I’ve purchased the Dyson hair dryer holder and marked the ceiling where the hanger can go.  A few months of saving and I’m looking forward to making over this space.

Mood board picture of all the elements I am hoping to add to my entrance hall. 
 They correspond with the list of seven items nest.  Creating A Functional Entrance Hall.
  1. Kroft Hanger £98
  2. Silver Double Point Power Point £24 plus £50 install
  3. Dyson Hair Dryer Wall mounted Display £21
  4. Black Metal Shelf £15
  5. Made.com Wall Hooks £19
  6. Yamazaki Shoe Rack £52
  7. Earthborn Clay Paint £20+

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