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Three More Things In My Flat That Just Make Sense…

November 23, 2020

After writing about my lockdown purchases I though I would share some things in my flat from pre lockdown that just make sense.

Timer Smart Plugs.

I have a bunch of Kasa Smart Plugs dotted around my flat with all my lamps connected to them.  The plugs are great as I can turn these lights on from my phone.  Particularly good as some are located in awkward positions!  However, the best function is the scheduling that has allowed me to set the lamps to come on and turn off at different times of the day.  As I sit here wirting the sun has gone down and three of my lamps have turned on.  Later around 10pm they will slowly switch off, a good signal to me to wind down for bed.  When I go to my bedroom the light in there will be on welcoming me in.  I can easily turn it off as there is a button on the front of the plug.  Depending on where you are in the world there might be a better option to these plugs and that smart power points.  It is not something readily available in the UK, but having the power point smart enabled reduces plastic waste and is more aesthetically pleasing.  This tech is changing fast, so I recommend doing some research first to find the best solution for you.

Automatic Lights.

Even before I was home as much as I am now in lockdown, I realised there were spaces in my flat that I would go into only for a minute or so that required lighting.  It was an effort and not always convenient, hello early morning wardrobe searching (!), to be turning on lights.  I found some rechargeable motion sensor lights that are perfect for these spaces.  Rechargeable is the way to go as I’ve had the battery ones before, and they really don’t last.  Plus, the horror of knowing batteries take over 100 years to biodegrade and then they leave behind a waster that we should all be ashamed of.  I’ve got a few of these dotted around the flat.  In the wardrobe, the laundry as I am often just dropping off something quickly and in my Monica closet that I dump things in for later.

Robot Vacuum.

Full disclosure this has been a purchase influenced by the lockdown but has always been in the back of my mind.  The cost of robot vacuums has decreased significantly in the past year and their tech abilities have increased.  I wasn’t home that much pre lockdown and only had to vacuum maybe once a week, but now times have changed.  Living, and I mean properly living, in this space, most of the week sees me vacuum nearly every day.  Turns out I hate it.  A lot!  So, I have used some of my Australia flight money (because who knows when I will go back to visit) and brought myself a robot vacuum.  Have a look at them, but keep in mind that they have huge discounts in the sales, and this is when you want to purchase.  Some even have a mop function which sounds heavenly.

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My Christmas Wish List…

November 9, 2020

With the post becoming full of parcels and more delayed as this pandemic continues, I sent off my Christmas wish list last month to the other side of the world. In addition to the beautiful things below I’ve requested a care package of milo, mint slices, strawberries and creams, and dutch cocoa. My favourite food things. This list has gotten shorter as my tastes have changed. I no longer request any chocolates as I don’t like the aussie stuff. I hope this gives you some inspiration. If you need more have a look at my birthday list from this year too!

  1. Earrings moulds from Bob N Frank, an aussie maker, to try and make earrings from jesmonite and resin.
  2. Aesop Reverence Handwash £27. My favourite for the kitchen with all the little bits in it.
  3. Aesop Rind Concentrate Body Balm £27. I use this on my hands to help refresh them from all the creating I do.
  4. Dremal 3000 £60. This is perfect for my new earring making skills and will save me lots of time sanding.
  5. The Other Side of the Frontier, history of Australian Aboriginals and Torres Strait Islander and the British Invasion
  6. Container Store Acrylic Handbag Hook, was the one thing on the Home Edit I really want
  7. Em Rusciano Try Hard Autobiography, one of my fav female comedians
  8. Trevor Noah Born a Crime, looking forward to reading this to understand apartheid better

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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 a 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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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 Etsy maker MEKU
  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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