A Christmas Tree from Pines and Needles

Pines and Needles Christmas TreeI love Christmas and I love getting into the festive spirit. This year we are getting started nice and early with this fabulous Christmas tree from Pines and Needles.

I have always been a huge fan of real Christmas trees. I love the smell and there’s just something nice about having a real tree rather than an artificial one. There is also something really nice about going to choose a tree yourself. But, I have to be honest, that part has become more of a challenge now we have small children. Fitting the tree in the car along with said children is a bit interesting for one thing and then there is carving out the time to go and get the tree.

Pines and Needles, with their delivery service, take that hassle factor out of choosing a tree as they deliver them right to your doorstep. We chose a Nordman Fir, as the needles are softer than a “traditional” Christmas tree, and they drop less, which means less hoovering, a huge plus.

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The Nursery is finally finished!

Over the summer we did really well with transforming our junk room into the baby’s room. #GetGoodSummer hosted by Claire at Clarina’s Contemplations was a great motivator for us and we did really well…. Then the progress sort of tailed off a little. The only thing left for us to do was the wall stickers, but we chose quite a big mural and I’ll admit I was pretty nervous about getting it on the wall, so we kind of put it off!

Last week though we decided to take the bull by the horns and just get on with it! It went really well and now, finally, thankfully, the nursery is finished (with just over a week until baby is born, just in time too!!). So here it is, our lovely nursery and a few of our favourite things in there.
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#GetGoodSummer -They think it’s all over, it is now!

So we are at the end of the 10 weeks of #GetGoodSummer! What started off seeming like a long time has actually flown by, especially lately. I can;t believe we are at the end already. So, what have we achieved?

Goal 1 – Clearing out the baby room 

We did well with this one early on and managed to get it cleared out ready for decorating, which was goal no.2


Goal 2 – Decorating the baby room

I haven’t ticked this one off sadly. We have done a lot of the decorating but it sadly isn’t finished yet, as I had hoped it would have been by now. The blind we bought and started to fit, turned out to be bent in the middle so we are currently waiting for a replacement to be sent out. We have got the furtniture out of the loft but haven’t yet managed to build it. We don’t want to put the wall stickers on the wall until we have got the furniture in place as we aren’t 100% sure where we want them to go until then. But we have made great progress and I am sure it will be ready in a couple of weeks time (hopefully!).


Goal 3 – Sorting out the lease on my flat.

This is the big failure really as we are yet to sort it out and it is really irritating me as I know we need to do it and need to have got somewhere by the time baby comes, otherwise it just won’t happen and could end up costing us even more money 🙁

Goal 4 – Catching up with family and friends 

A very fun goal this one and one that was really easy to fulfill. I didn’t manage to catch up with everyone I had hoped to over the summer, as pregnancy and SPD put a stop to a couple of planned outings, but we still managed to do really well and had some lovely fun with friends :).

Goal 5 – Getting Organised 

There is still more I would like to do with this one but we have done a lot and really does getting organised ever end? As soon as the furniture has been built for the baby room I can start organising the baby clothes and then I will be happy. We got them out of the loft at the weekend and its incredible looking at all of the teeny newborn clothes. Hard to believe Monkey ever fit into any of these gorgeous miniscule little clothes!

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Overall I am pleased with what we have achieved and I think #GetGoodSummer has really helped motivate us to get things done. If it has taken us this long even with the help of #GetGoodSummer I dread to think how little we may have achieved without that added motivation! A big Thank You to Claire at Clarina’s Contemplations for hosting this fab linky over the summer!

How have you got on with all of your goals?

#GetGoodSummer Week 9, One week to go!

I can’t believe we are on week 9 of #GetGoodSummer! This summer has gone by so so fast, but with the weather lately it does feel like it is pretty much over.

So anyway, where are with our goals?

Goal 1 was to clear the baby room and we definitely checked that one off the list at the start of the summer!

WP_20140827_14_02_55_ProGoal 2 was to decorate the baby room. We haven’t finished yet but we are making progress. The room is completely painted now and yesterday we had the flooring fitted! We have gone for some ultra hard wearing vinyl, which is pretty expensive but our hopes are that we never really have to put any other flooring down – it has like a 15 year guarantee on it! We like hard floors as good for spills and messes but with it being vinyl its not as cold as some hard floors can be. It looks lovely too!

Hubby also drilled holes to get the black-out blind up, and we just need to cut it to the right size now. We also got some gorgeous curtains from our sister in-law who doesn’t need them anymore – some lovely pink gingham Laura Ashley ones, they are just gorgeous! We need to buy a curtain rail before we can put them up!

Now the flooring is down we can finally get the furniture sorted out in there and then we will need to get the wall stickers on the walls, though we aren’t wanting to rush that as it may be a challenge!

Overall though Goal 2 is going well and hopefully we will get a few more bits done in there at the weekend!

Goal 3 is the goal we are failing at so far. We have not really got anywhere with sorting out the lease on my flat. We were recommended a property lawyer and hubby called them, but sadly they weren’t available. He left a message but hasn’t had a reply so we are pretty much at square one with it! We will try and get started over the next week but there is now no chance we will complete that one by next week! Boooo! 🙁

Goal 4 went really well and has been a lovely fun goal – catching up with family and friends that live far away before baby comes along. We have done pretty well with that one and Baby day is getting ever nearer now!

Goal 5 was to get organised. We have done lots on this one too though there is still more I want to do – which is organise baby things. Now the flooring is down in the baby room and we can get the furniture set up, it is also time to get the baby boxes out of the loft. Time to see what we kept, what is in good enough condition, and what we need to stock up on for baba’s arrival. I am hoping to get a bit more of this done during the last week of #GetGoodSummer, so keep fingers crossed for me on that one!

How have you got on with your goals? One week to go!!

My DIY Confession

We love a bit of DIY in our house, and our current project is decorating the baby room. Unfortunately though not all of our DIY attempts go to plan first time. There was the time hubby drilled all the way through a wall when putting a shelf up (thankfully that room needed a bit of re-plastering anyway due to him enthusiastically ripping out a built in wardrobe!). There was also the time I knocked over a pot of bright turquoise paint, spilling it all over the carpet. I’ve also been known to step off a ladder into a pot of paint. Honestly I should not be trusted with paint!! 🙂

We were recently contacted by Poles Direct who are asking for my DIY Confession as part of their ‘Changing Attitudes and Values DIY Blogger Challenge.’ The problem really was not thinking of an example of a fail, as we have had a fair few, but of finding ones with photographic evidence, as we do tend to rectify our mistakes eventually.

Then, I remembered one of our biggest DIY fails.Which we haven’t rectified, or even attempted to! So here it is, our DIY Confession.

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Planning the Nursery – #GetGoodSummer wk3

Wow so we are into week 3 of #GetGoodSummer already! Time is flying! I am now 24 weeks pregnant, which means if we have to have a c-section, we could have a baby in 14 weeks.. doesn’t sound too long away when you put it like that! Two of our #GetGoodSummer goals are related to the baby room. The first (to clear out the room) is pretty much done, though there is still an exercise bike that needs to be moved out, but that isn’t a big job. Which means, it’s on to goal 2 – decorating the nursery!


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Getting Organised! A #GetGoodSummer update

At 22 weeks pregnant we are now well in to the second trimester, and making the most of the extra energy to get ourselves organised for when baby comes. When I get massively pregnant, and then when baby comes, it is not going to be so easy to get the bigger jobs done so we really want to do as much as we can now. I am joining in with the lovely Claire over at Clarina’s Contemplations linky #GetGoodSummer, where you set 5 goals to achieve over the next 10 weeks. You can read more about my goals here.

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Baby, baby, baby

The only word I can think up to sum up this week is “baby!” Because, since our scan on Tuesday, the fact that we are having another baby has suddenly become more real. Whether it is because we know “it” is in fact a “she,” or because we know that she is growing well in there I’m not sure, but she has now become a reality.

It’s suddenly dawned on me that we are in no way ready for another baby! I know we have a while to go yet and so I am not overly stressed or panicky, but I am suddenly feeling that we aren’t ready, and I so hate being unprepared for things. Complete control freak! I know I’ve been thinking about things like whether to get a new buggy, but that’s as far as we’ve got, thinking. My lovely physio (who is also pregnant, and due a week or 2 before I am) was asking me last week if we had everything and if we were ready, and I was so blasé and said we were pretty sorted, when we really aren’t!

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A glimpse into our home…

I’ve talked a lot about our garden recently, and there will be another update about that on Thursday! I’ve also recently shown you Monkey’s bedroom, but as the theme for The Theme Game this week is “home” I thought I would give you a few sneak peeks into our house, by just showing you a few of my favourite things, that make me feel really happy to be hom.

Starting in the hallway, where we have a hanging I bought on my travels, in Xi’an, China, to be exact. I just love it.


Also in the hall is a lovely montage of is and our family. We try to update it fairly regularly, and we like fairly candid shots if we can, just all of us having fun :). The frame was a wedding present from my big brother, and its a bit dodgy now as it fell off the wall in our old house and broke 🙁 but we still love it.


Into the downstairs shower-room. We converted what was a really dingy little toilet, and a hall cupboard into a little shower-room. it’s all very simple and white, with just a fun hint of colour in the form of sparkly tiles in the shower and behind the sink.


Into the living room, and you start to see how much we love colour! We have a bright blue wall, and a gorgeous mirror which I just adore. Lots of colourful blankets and cushions, a little area behind the sofa for Monkey’s toys and some of his millions of books! We also have a gorgeous armchair in about the funkiest fabric we could find, and I love the framed picture of the coordinates to our home (though hubby has decreed I am not allowed to publish that picture, in case someone looks up where we live!).

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Off sideways into the kitchen, another room we completely renovated, and just a simple shot out of the kitchen window. I love looking out at all the fresh green at this time of year.


Through into the dining room, where we have our most grown-up piece of furniture, a gorgeous dresser, and our photo wall, which again we try to update regularly.

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Upstairs we have our spare room/office, otherwise known as the map room, for obvious reasons! It’s quite often a mess and covered in laundry and paperwork but it’s such a tranquil space to spend some time when it is actually tidy. This picture was taken when it was first decorated, as it is a right mess in there at the moment lol!


I won’t show you too much of our bedroom, but I love this photo. I took this picture of the door of a temple in Luang Prabang in Laos. And I adore it. I have had it in my bedroom for years and all of the walls and bedding and accessories are themed around it.


We have one room upstairs which is basically a tip – full of all sorts of bits and bobs that haven’t yet been thrown out or made it to the garage or loft. But that will have to change soon as that is to become the new baby’s room, so at some point this year we will have to get around to painting it (it is currently decorated in a dark grey) and putting some flooring down!

So there you have it, just a sneak peak into our home! Reminds of that old Lloyd Grossman programme, Through the keyhole. “Who lives in a house like this?” A generally happy little family, that’s who :).

The Reading Residence


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