Revamping our room with photo wall

Revamping our room with photo wall

So the lovely people at photo wall got in touch and offered to send us some gifted wall paper to review. as we’d been planning to redecorate our room since we first moved in we jumped at the chance.

We immediately looked at what they had and had to make the hard decision on what to choose. There was so many beautiful prints and styles and I was so close to ordering a animal mural for Elijah but you know what I deserve nice things too! Ordering was super easy and we out the measurements in. Within a few days it arrived.

It arrived with instructions, paste and the wallpaper. You could tell the quality just from opening it. We went for the top range so no reflection at day time as our bedroom is very light.

Before. White, Chipped, dirty looking.

Now the wallpaper had arrived we contacted someone to come do our wallpaper the following weekend as covid guidelines allow it now and we got to work. Our bedroom was a state. The previous owners had rushed about and made a mess. Gouges in walls, dodgy filling, a whole in the wall and paint here there and everywhere. It took us four nights to paint the walls, ceilings and fill holes. We took of the clothing rails and filled and painted them too. We glossed everything we could and even touched up the door and window sills. I painted the inside of the fire box and it looked so much better.

Then came the wallpaper day! The guy came as we didn’t trust our selfs and got to work. He said it was super easy as it was clearly labelled and informed him wear to cut. He was able to line and match up the wallpaper easy. He said it was easy then the other wall paper we got for the chimney breast. When he was done we where amazed at how it looked.

After as it started to dry on wall!

Immediately it became the smartest room in the house. It was like our very own art work. Something different to any one we know. The flowers and birds are beautiful and like nothing I have ever seen before. I enjoy looking at it and thinking wow this is our room! I love birds and cherry blossoms so I’m so glad I picked this. It goes with bedding and my bedroom already so no need to change the room over either which is always a plus!

The only downside was we over measured and had to cut the birds tales of because of the door way and the fact we run out of space but I’m super glad the faces of the birds look like they’re peaking in and they’re all there.

I’m so thankfull and my house feels a bit more like a home. It’s my personality, my happy place my safe space!

Massive Thank-you to photo wall for gifting is this beautiful wallpaper. I will cherish it forever!

Go check them out here- https://www.photowall.co.uk

Also check their Instagram here- https://instagram.com/photowall_sweden?igshid=xh7cw7o04lxc

You can get 25%off with code – hazelwoods2020

Thanks for reading, Charlie x

We had a flood!

We had a flood!

Maybe not as dramatic as it sounds but you know me i am dramatic af. Basically we woke up yesterday to our kitchen in a puddle of water and it gushing from the stop cock (the way water comes through and can be turned of in case of emergency) had basically exploded. James ran out to the street and turned the water off and started drying up the flood. Being home owners it was our responsibility and only ours to get this sorted. Luckily we were due to get our sink changed that day anyway! He was due to come a few weeks before but cancelled twice so I guess it was pure luck the plumber came out on the very day we needed something major fixed. Which obviously caused more expense and took more time and a lot more stress.

We’re hoping that everything drys ok but we can already tell we have a lot of damage so may need to replace everything but for now I’m just glad it was fixed basically same day and lucky nothing bad happened and it wasn’t worse. Dehumidifier is on round the clock now to try suck up all the moisture it can but as our floorboards suggest it’s pointless. Hopefully our insurance will cover this or I might have a mental breakdown after all the stress and upset it’s already caused. It’s really hard when something happens to your safe space. But for now it’s fixed and we have a shiny new sink and tap even if it may need ripping out again at some point if we have to replace all the cupboards and work tops from the damage 🤦🏻‍♀️ here is a before and after.

Enjoying the little things

Enjoying the little things

Having a toddler it’s hard to enjoy the little things when your world goes by so quickly. This morning we got up and did our morning routine. As much as I adore a lay in I’m becoming fond of our routine. I love coming down with Elijah chatting away as we make breakfast, Elijah stands with me and talks to me as I make it and tells me what I need to get such as a bowl, spoon, milk and cereal. He gets so excited and I love watching him dance around excited for what’s next. We sit and have breakfast together and I don’t feel lonely as I used to when James would be at work and on my days off I would be alone. I enjoy how Elijah eats by himself now and I sit and think how clever he’s become, he doesn’t make a mess and tells me when he’s done and tells me how much he enjoys the food by saying “a NICE!! Mmmm!” Tilting his head back smiling!

I enjoy getting him dressed in the morning, I enjoy picking outfits and letting him choose. My favourite thing to do is buy him lovely clothes and letting him choose what to wear everyday. I love him looking stylish and his little confident stride as I compliment how lovely he looks everyday! Boys probably going to have the worlds biggest bead by time he’s in school!

I love playing with him. I love he can play alone too, but I love when he brings me his toys because he wants to include me. I love playing together and pretending to be different characters or doing an activity pretending it’s real. I love doing arts and crafts and activities he needs me for as it’s nice to be able to help him do things he can’t normally do. I love teaching him. I love showing him the world and explaining what it is and teaching how to be a good person. I love our chats about animals and daddy and will never get bored of saying lion 197227726 times a day as he gets so excited. I love watching his imagination work away as he plays or thinks and talks.

I love having a cuddle, it’s rare now but I absolutely adore it. It makes it all worth it. It makes me feel like his mummy again and not just someone who does everything for him. I love it when he tells me he loves me and calls my name when I leave the room. I love hearing “muummmmmy where are yooooouuu “ and his excitement when I return. I love how much he loves everyone and shares his love. I love how he shares his toys without a problem and insists on sharing! I love watching him learn and his mind working and how proud he is of himself and how proud we are.

I love when I read him story’s and he sits twiddling his fingers and trying to read it with me sitting cuddled up to me on sofa or in his story tent in his bedroom. I love how he insists on a big cuddle before bed and taps our backs as he does so. I love watching him dream and how cosy he looks and how I ache missing when he would sleep on my tummy but now he’s his own boy and wants his own bed. I love being his mummy.

How going from being a working mum to a stay at home mum has affected me.

How going from being a working mum to a stay at home mum has affected me.

I never thought in a million years I’d give up work. I’ve always been a driven woman wanting to do my bit for the community but also get paid and have a ok living from it. That was until I had a child and even then I wanted to work. I wanted to be a good roll model I wanted to show I could do it, I could work and be a mum but it became impossible.

Childcare was difficult I had to rely on nursery two days a week as childcare and if Elijah was unwell I still had to pay the bill and take unpaid leave from work. It seemed he was always getting ill and with no alternative childcare I had to take unpaid or it was lucky I was on annual leave while he was ill. I had to keep taking leave as I had no flexibility to rearrange childcare to work different days so. In the end the pay wasn’t worth it. It wasn’t worth the stress of the job and the guilt of working for so little. I left mainly because of the stress and how it effected my mental health and I have to say it’s the best thing I’ve ever done.

I’m not saying run out there and quit your job because that would be silly. If it’s something you want to think about and discuss with your partner then do so but it’s not a decision to make lightly. We had always said one day I would stop working and it just came at a good time really.

James is self employed so he can go out and earn more money. As I left work James was in the process of taking on a lot of work and because I stopped working that meant James could start and finish earlier getting more jobs and more money. He was no longer doing the nursery run and was also visibly less stressed from not having to sit a car for a hour and half a day. We are financially better off. James has full flexibility now as I’m home to watch Elijah and it’s made such a big impact.

My mental health is miles better. I’m no longer on the edge waiting for something to push me off. I still have down days but they’re nothing like they used to be. I don’t stress about made up situations and scenarios in my head about work. I don’t worry about money. I don’t worry I’ll get fired if I or my son feels ill and can be there for my family when they are ill. I don’t have too much to worry about.

My relationships are better. I have more time to see my friends and too talk and I also communicate through texts more. My friendships are stronger than ever and I’ve even made more friends. My conversations are no longer me staring off into distance as I’m stressed wanting to leave because I’m exhausted and don’t have the mental strength to maintain or care about anything said to me. I’m able to fully input into a conversation and have some positive things to add into a situation. My family ties are stronger as I’m not so stressed, I’m not uptight as much and enjoy being in my family’s presence and making more time for it.

My family life is better. I feel like a mother. Not a part time care giver. I spend everyday with him now and have gone from sometimes not seeing him for 24 hours to not missing a thing. I’m not exhausted from work anymore so I have the energy to chase Elijah around, to play and teach him. I take him out more and it’s positive for both of us. It’s now we bond and learn together having fun every step of the way. Me and James’s relationship grows stronger everyday. For some reason I’ve found James is less stressed with me home. I thought it would be the opposite but he tells me it’s better and he doesn’t want me to work as he likes it. The house is tidy when he comes home now or little bits need doing so we have more us time. When Elijah goes to bed at 7 we have all night so we have more time to relax. We will watch a movie or tv series and cuddle on sofa, play a game or James will do work stuff at the table and I’ll read my kindle talking every now and then. Where was before we’d normally zone out and do our own stuff as I’d get home at 8 sometimes earlier and have to still do the clean up and cook and shower. I’d be exhausted and just flop onto the sofa with my phone and spend my perhaps hour of rest before bed ignoring life. We had breakfast together which used to be nice but it turned into a hulk it down so I could get ready for work while James got Elijah ready. Now we have time to be a family and sit down together it’s rare we don’t eat together now. James gets to come home and relax and we relax together. He still helps here and there but I try to get most of the work done and if we’re both exhausted I’ll offer to wash up the next day. The nicest thing is we talk more and on his days off have family time where we are all present in the moment not exhausted and thinking of other things.

The households more maintained. I have time to keep the house tidy and not just clean. I have time and energy to do decorating with James when we want to. The thought before of using my crucial time of to paint a wall made me feel physically sick. I cook more nutritious meals from scratch. I plan ahead and I’m now organised. We enjoy our home more than we used too. We also go out more too and have more guests over as I’m not embarrassed by my house.

My health is improved as I look after myself more. I don’t binge eat at work on lunch breaks from the chippy or Chinese with a dessert of chocolate every time I’ve had a shit day. I take time to look after myself. I have time to exercise. To take my tablets on time, to eat right and to be able to have time to relax and have a self care/ skin care regime too.

I do however miss my work. I miss colleagues and having a laugh with the girls. I miss having a career. I miss having somewhat a important role. I miss learning and adapting to change. I miss having me time on the way home from work and my lunch breaks. I miss being Charlie when everyone didn’t just ask about Elijah, they asked about me. I miss feeling proud to be a mum making her own money.

I don’t like asking for money. Christmas is going to be hard for me as I don’t want to ask for money to buy James his own presents. I feel degraded and I don’t think I’ll ever get over it. James doesn’t mind but I hate relying on someone else and it gets me quite uptight. I also get defensive if I’m told no because I can’t just get it with my own money now. Rarely I’m told no btw and I’m not a gold digger so calm down If that’s what you where thinking.

My tired is a different tired. I’m exhausted from a child that takes every inch of my energy. He’s demanding as hell and although I love the time we spend together he can’t half be a pain in the ass.

I get lonely. If I don’t have plans for a few days in a row I get lonely. Even with Elijah I feel alone and like I have no friends even though I know I do. I also get bored easily and want to do something different all the time.

I hate the stigma that comes with being a stay at home mum. It’s like all the years of working have been for nothing. It’s like your worthless because you’ve decided to stay at home and look after your family. People don’t respect you. They think your lazy and have life easy. Having done both, working and staying at home I can say working was easier sometimes and work stops motherhood doesn’t. There’s no home Time when things get tough or calling in sick because you’re having a bad mental health day or chucking your guts up. There’s no lunch break and nobody to help.

Overall I am lucky to be given the opportunity to stay at home and to have such a loving, hard working husband to provide this life for us all. Sometimes I miss working, sometimes I don’t but for now it’s been the best decision we’ve made.

Did somebody say Autumn? Spooky candles review.

Did somebody say Autumn? Spooky candles review.

It’s official yesterday was the first day of autumn! My favourite season is finally here and i can go full out chunky knit/ long sleeved goodness. I may even send james to the loft this weekend to swap my summer clothes for my winter clothes i’m that excited! The weathers getting cooler the days are getting darker and its the time of the year i can feel comfortable in my own skin layered up in a massive woolly jumper and jeans and some uncomfortable ass boots that look gorgeous on!

So i have already started my shopping with some lovely new candles from tk maxx. DW home and sand+fog are my favourite candles even over Yankee candles and i love buying them! The fragrance is so strong and when burning smells even stronger. They last a long term burning away and sometimes last weeks burning every night. The smell is strong but not strong enough to give you a headache like some candles do. The glass jars look beautiful as well.

Heirloom pumpkin smells lovely like spice something like a pumpkin spice smell. It smells a little sweet and is a calming smell and feels really homey.

Trick or treat smells exactly like fresh apples. Apples are such a autumn smell as reminds me of candy apples. Something i didn’t at all expect from a Halloween smell but it smells fresh and like something yummy being cut to make a cake.

Toffee apple smells like a burnt toffee smell. Like toffee popcorn more than a pumpkin but again smells like being inside a coffee shop and very cosy.

I CANNOT recommend the Dw candles enough they are an american brand so hard to get a hold of but whenever i head to tk maxx they are always stocked to the brim and for 12:99 for a large candle which isn’t even the size of these big ones it’s super worth it!

Home DIY:

Home DIY:

Moving house is expensive especially when trying to make it your own. There is no real rush when you move into redecorate every last inch of it and that’s something I’ve lived by.

I enjoy taking our time and deciding what we want and setting aside a day to achieve it. When we moved into our house I was pregnant and the thought of any real decorating exhausted me. When we moved in we ripped out the bathroom floor and relayed it, scrubbed away the limescale and mould build up and basically disinfected everything then we painted the ceiling and wood and walls from a disgusting magnolia to grey. I love that grey and yellow are my favourite colours so I’m lucky they go together so well! We then brought some art work which are a few vintage bits and newer bits in a vintage style in different colours to bring colour. We then brought loads of storage I brought 2 units, a under the sink unit and another one with a drawer and cupboard and shelf. I also brought a mirror cabinet and some lovely metal black baskets to organise our stuff on the shelf of a cabinet.Slowly I brought ornaments like my trailing artificial plant and my succulent artificial plant and my soap dish with soap on! I brought my shower curtain from IKEA which is white and black with a nice monochrome pattern. The mat is grey and from primark it’s so soft and easy to wash too! I brought a lovely Toilet brush which is also grey but hidden away as I hate them on display! A toilet caddy for cleaning products next to the toilet that matched the rest of my white cabinets gives even more storage and looks good too better then bleach on display! When I was 9months pregnant I painted the hallway a dark purple. I hated it a month later never paint pregnant. Although the bathroom looked amazing.

A few months later I repainted the hallway a nice pastel green which looks ten times better. I plan to get a big print done of my wedding photos with everyone in to scatter through my hallway. Next job was the kitchen. We repainted all the cupboards and up cycled them. We then painted the tiles again to save wastage on getting new tiles when nails where just in need of love. We painted the walls a olive green which looks way better than it sounds and kept with a shabby chic style where we got sage green blinds and sage green oven kits and tea towels with ducks on them to match from dunelm. We have a few chalk boards with wooden backing as art work in here aswell as a wooden heart and a chalkboard beer opener which was a gift for James last Xmas. We are looking into getting a chrome sink after our granite one limescaling terrible due to a bust tap.

All of our flooring has stayed the same in kitchen, living room,bedrooms as recently latex and still looks good. We are in process of picking new carpet and underlay for stairs and hallway.

Elijahs nursery was originally painted dumbo themed but we moved him rooms into the bigger room when a small but of mould grew in the room which I treated but was too nervous to keep him in there with! We moved him into his play room/wardrobe room which is now his bedroom where he has a massive open ikea wardrobe, dinosaur stickers, jungle animal curtains and lampshade. One green feature wall makes it look great. We brought Wall stickers from eBay and stuck them up and they look great. We also ordered a personalised Jurassic park sticker with Elijahs name on. My cousin is a artist so she made 3 personalised art work dinosaurs for him which are in frames and a sign with his name with those dinosaurs behind them I know that nobody else will have this art work which is nice. We do love the dinosaur and jungle theme we’ve went for as now he absolutely adores both. They also compliment each other quite well. He also has a tippee and a long rug we have in a corner with his bean bag and pillows next to his bookshelf where we lay for story time every night. It’s my favourite thing to do. We also have some dinosaur fairy lights Elijah got from his auntie last year which we some times turn on with his ikea cloud lamp. We will completely paint this room properly at somepoint as we’ve not repainted it just decorated with art and bits but we will wait till Elijah is three and we know what he likes!

Today we did the living room. We have a living room with a dinning room attached which I love as its open means there’s more space and toys can be hidden at bedtime better. We’ve for ages wanted to paint all walls and sort the doors out as they’ve been yellow with age. So today we took on the mammoth task and three of us managed to pint the living room grey and do the skirting boards, radiator,doors and more! The room looks amazing now and I love it it’s something I’ve wanted for ages. We will keep dinning room section as is for now and just recover the white at some Point and do the skirting board when we have the time. But for now it’ll do and still looks lovely and we might even wallpaper a feature wall when we can be bothered. We have styled our living room just with things we like really and yellow accessories. The living room is more modern and the dinning room is more relaxed shabby chic/modern. But for now here’s a before and after picture, I’m off to bed exhausted and happy with our work and how much our house feels like our home.

What to feed a fussy toddler for lunch so they eat!

What to feed a fussy toddler for lunch so they eat!

As a mother I love talking to other mothers and getting advice on things, one of the most important things for me is what do you feed your fussy child? Every child eats different of course but sometimes you can pick up on what others eat and try and change it around to fit you and your child.

I try not to put to much pressure on meals as if he doesn’t eat or isn’t hungry I don’t want him to associate food with negativity when I want him to be a foody like his mummy and daddy! So today’s lunch was a dunker box. Breadsticks or crackers with spreadable cheese is always a favourite as he loves to dip! A cheese string. For little mouths cut up! A yogurt which is good for dairy needs! Hand full of raspberries and chopped mango. A glass of water to teach him we drink at meal times to get more fluid intake! And a slice of teddy bear ham he gobbled up earlier!

Some things I give at lunch time he enjoys.

  • Wraps.
  • Wrap pizza (outing tomato paste and cheese on a wrap and putting in over for three minuites to melt the cheese).
  • Toast
  • Toastier.
  • Pasta.
  • Rice.
  • Cous cous.
  • Shredded chicken.
  • Food that looks like things.
  • Breadsticks.
  • Cheese crackers.
  • Cheese straws.
  • Beans on toast or spaghetti.
  • Jam sandwiches.

We try to change it up everyday so he doesn’t get bored of what he’s eating which he seems to enjoy we do same for dinner times too!

Running a house with a toddler

Keeping a house tidy is so hard with a toddler. Whenever you get the chance to clean you’re exhausted from running around all day and you just want to avoid it as much as you can. I find utilising naps when he has them is helpful. If he naps I’ll normally do a quick job e.g cleaning the bathroom as harsher chemicals so can open window and shut door and take the monitor in with me and clean.

My favourite products to use are flash bathroom spray, minky sponge, bloo toilet cleaner, bleach, zoflora and antibacterial spray. I spray the whole rooms basins, and toilet basically with the the flash then I start cleaning the sink then the bath and toilet with minky (toilet I use a single bit or kitchen roll to not spread germs). I put zoflora down the drains after I’ve rinsed everything away to make it smell good. I put bleach toilet with brush then I put bloo down. I then spray everywhere with antibacterial spray the detol spray.

After that If he hasn’t woken up I’ll clean the kitchen wash up breakfast items and clean the surfaces. I’ll tidy up the toys quickly and wait for him to wake up. I dust while he’s awake as he doesn’t mind and hoover with him he enjoys fake sweeping and hoovering with us. I feel it’s important to clean around him so that he learns a house doesn’t run itself and that it’s ok to help. When he goes to bed at night I try to teach him to tidy away his toys and that’s when I normally wash up after dinner and clean everywhere down with febreeze and odour neutralising sprays. The bins get emptied too and sprayed down.

Deep cleaning can be pure hell. With a toddler they don’t want you to leave the room much and if you do they turn into gremlins and destroy whatever room they’re in. Things like cleaning oven and the fridge out is hard to do and I can never do it as much as I want to but a quick spray of oven cleaner or anti bacterial spray and fairy liquid is the way to do it quickly. I mop as often as I can but again when he’s in bed as he gets in the way and wet floor and toddler is not a good mix for success.

Shopping. I often get a food shop in for ease but sometimes I’m sent the wrong thing and the dates are terrible so some days I go shopping but it’s so hard with a toddler who needs entertaining the whole time or a snack so we choose supermarkets that give free fruit sometimes which is great! Obviously a house doesn’t run itself so shopping is unavoidable.

It’s all about finding your own pattern and what works and sometimes the housework doesn’t matter and you should just enjoy the mess as it means you have a happy home.