Friday, 29 July 2011

Lady Bug Says ... My Home, My Pride & Joy!

Evening Lovelies!

A while ago I asked you lovely people what you would like to see on my blog and a few of you said more lifestyle posts. So I thought I would show you the main thing I have been spending my time on for the last 18 months, my house!

We first started looking for our first home in April 2009 and very quickly realised that even though we liked older properties we couldn't get a whole lot of room for our money. So we started looking a new build properties and for us they offered a lot of what we wanted, a decent sized house, with a garage and a good sized garden. Plus they offered good incentives for first time buyers which certainly helped us get our foot on a decent rung of the property ladder!

In May 2009, at the tender age of 20, I co-signed on the dotted line and made the biggest purchase of my life so far! Now all we had to do was wait until the end of August for our house to be completed!

Every few weeks we would go and look at the progress! When it was just the foundations and concrete pad we were worried that it was tiny!

But as the walls started to go up we could get a much clearer idea of the size of the rooms!

As is the way with house builders, they were inevitably running behind and we didn't actually get the keys until November 2009!

One of the upsides of purchasing a new build was being able to pick finishes such as the kitchen cabinets and bathroom tiles. We could also choose exactly where we wanted electrical sockets, light switches and telephone points which was really useful! As I design kitchens for a living I did try to convince them to sell us the house without a kitchen but unfortunately it is illegal to sell a new house without one!

As house builders like to charge crazy amounts for any extras (£20 for a toilet roll holder anyone?!) we decided to go for the bare basics. Luckily due to the industry I work in I was able to call in flooring contractors, plasterers, plumbers and electricians to do any works we needed, at a lot cheaper than the house builder would charge us! After all our solicitors fee's and deposit we only had a few thousand pounds left to do any works, so ended up doing the majority of the work ourselves.

Despite purchasing a new home, we knew that there was a lot we wanted to do to make the space work better for us. As soon as we moved in the Mr took 2 weeks off work to get a big chunk of the 'messy' work done before we properly moved in. One of the first jobs was taking down part of the stud wall between the kitchen and hallway to make a narrow room a lot wider. We also got a plumber to take the toilet out from under the stairs (we definitely did not need 4 toilets in a 3 bedroom house!) and install the washing machine to turn it into a small utility room.

My Dad moved the doorway for us and we got a plasterer in to make good the walls and the ceiling. Once the wall was down the Mr chased out a lot of the floor to run cables under it as we were pretty keen to not have sky/network cables visible. We spent many a night routing cables under floors and through walls!

As the kitchen was fairly small for a 3 bedroom house, with very limited workspace and no where to put an under counter fridge and freezer (seems house builders don't think of this!) I got my work to build and extension piece for the kitchen to house the appliances and have a much need wine rack!

We purchased the slate tiles online for a load cheaper than we could in any tile shop and the Mr taught himself how to do floor tiles by watching a lot of YouTube videos! It was a long tiring job but I am so glad we did it ourselves and saved a load of money! He also extended the tiling over the new worktop in the kitchen.

We didn't really have any money left for new furniture so we had to get a little creative. The table legs were rescued from a coffee shop refit my work did and resprayed silver, the table top is a sheet of veneered mdf with solid oak lippings. The chairs were also from the same coffee shop and we sanded them down and painted them to match our colour scheme. Our 8 seater table and chairs ended up costing us about £45 which wouldn't of even bought us a new 2 seater set!

In the bathroom we wanted to install a shower and tile to full height ourselves. Unfortunately by the time we got around to doing this the existing tiles had been discontinued so we had to take them all off and start again!

The Mr had to build out the wall so we could get a plumber to install the shower.

Whilst building out the wall we decided to take the opportunity to build in a little cubby hole. We managed to save money by using a fairly cheap limestone effect tile for the majority of the walls and just purchasing 3 'special' large tiles as a focal point. As the ceilings we so out of level (thank you house builder!) we had to finish it all off with a wooden trim. We tiled all the bathroom floors ourselves, I definitely discovered that tiling was not my strong point, but I'm not too bad at grouting!

In the lounge we decided to mount the TV on the wall, which as the wall had no substance to it the Mr had to take down the centre of the wall and build a wooden frame to support the TV. We then decided to wallpaper a feature wall (oh how I hate wallpapering) and we have finally found a light that we like (£25 in the B&Q sale!).

We have still got a lot of things we want to do, mainly decorating (magnolia everywhere is a little dull!) and finishing off lots of DIY projects we have started!

Purchasing a new build was the right thing for us, but it was not without its problems, everything you hear about new house builders is true! We have had an 18 page long list of snags and so many various issues ranging from leaking showers to having to have the house re-roofed! But thankfully with new builds you are covered for 2 years so we haven't had to pay out for anything.

Sorry this is a very long wordy post, but the last 18 months has largely revolved around sorting out our house. We are very proud of what we have achieved and are glad to now be getting to a point where we can sit back a little and enjoy the fruits of our labour!

Monday, 25 July 2011

Lady Bug Says ... 100 Things That Make Me Happy #9

81. Shopping

82. Baking

83. Grand Designs

84. The Beach

85. Panacotta

86. Post Secret

87. BBQ's

88. The Shawshank Redemption

89. Sudoku

90. Lanterns

Thursday, 21 July 2011

Lady Bug Says ... Autumn Colours In Summer

Evening Lovelies!

As I look out of my window it is very hard to believe it is 'Summer'! I always thought summer meant sunshine, warm temperatures and long evenings?! As we seem to have fast forwarded to Autumn I can't help but feel the need to indulge in some warm 'seasonal' items!

Steve Madden Suede Booties, TK Maxx £35, Black Pleated Skirt, Next £12, Striped Tshirt, H&M £4, Belt, Primark £1, Rust Cardigan, Primark £6

Necklace, Temporary Secretary, Christmas Gift From The Mr

Turquoise Ring, Primark £2 & Anchor Ring, ASOS £6

Outfit total - £66

Tuesday, 19 July 2011

Lady Bug Says ... Matalan Style Project

I was recently asked if I would like to take part in this months Matalan Style Project and now the project has gone live on the Matalan blog.

The theme we were given was 50's glamour :)

I would be very grateful if you would head on over to the Matalan Style Project and vote for me :)

Monday, 18 July 2011

Lady Bug Says ... Mustard & Peaches

Evening Ladies!

I have had to go back to good old inside outfit photos thanks to the weather (anyone else think its turned a lot like autumn over night?) putting pay to outside photos. Also for a change I am actually posting an outfit the same day I wore it! The joys of having time to take the photos in the morning (hence the tired eyes!) before work and also time in the evening to post!

Today's outfit incorporates two of my favourite colours (not foods as the post title may suggest!), mustard and peach. I purchased the lace tshirt & the cardigan at the weekend. The tshirt was a Next sale bargain, £22 down to £10, it is a size 18 but as I like my tshirts a little over sized it fits pretty well. The cardigan is from Primark and is a new style they have started doing in their basic range, it has really cute little pearlescent buttons and comes in loads of great colours.

Brogues, Primark £8, Skinny Jeans, Matalan £10, Peach Tshirt, Select £4, Lace Tshirt, Next £10, Mustard Cardigan, Primark £6

Brooch, Charity Shop £3

Swallow Ring(set of 3), Matalan £2, Coral Ring, Matalan £5

Outfit total - £48

Just a quick note to let you all know about a couple of things I have been lucky enough to be involved in!

Firstly I have guest posted over at the Most Wanted blog on the voucher codes website. They are currently running a series of 'What are you Wearing' posts with various fashion bloggers, so head on over and check my post out!

Also I am one of four bloggers taking part in this months Matalan Style Project. This months trend was 50's glamour, so please check it out and vote for me if you like my outfit :)

Friday, 15 July 2011

Lady Bug Says ... Summer Trends

Evening Ladies

Recently I was invited to guest post over at the Most Wanted blog on the Voucher Codes website about my view on this summers trends.

This is one of my favourite outfits I posted about :)

Chiffon Blouse, New Look £15, Pleated Skirt, Vintage £3

Ring, Lucas Jack £46 & Red Platform Heels, Primark £12

Please head over to the Most Wanted blog to read the rest of my post :)

Thursday, 14 July 2011

Lady Bug Says ... Grow Your Own!

Neither the Mr or I were born 'green fingered' by any means! But once we had our little patch of land to call our own our gardening instinct seemed to kick in!

The Mr has done the majority of the structural work and I have concentrated more on the actual plants! When we got our house I knew that I wanted to grow lots of fruit and veg, for no real other reason than because I could!

The fruits of our labour(please excuse the pun!) are now starting to show :)

Hugging carrots! I'm sure the neighbours thought I was more than a little strange when I let out a squeal when I discovered these!

Chilli's, Raspberry's(munching on a bowl of these as I type) & Peppers

Runner Beans & My 1st Tomato :)

The first gladioli of the year, sunflowers and lilies!

I hope you all find these kind of posts interesting :)

Monday, 11 July 2011

Lady Bug Says ... The Finished Dress & A Wedding

Evening Lovelies!

Sorry for such a big gap between posts! Last week was beyond busy, I don't think my Filofax has ever had so many appointments and deadlines written in it! But thankfully this week is looking a lot clearer and less stressful!

At the weekend I attended my Dad's wedding and finally got to wear the dress I have been slaving over. I am so glad I got it finished in time and didn't have to wear the back up dress!

It was a very different kind of wedding, they got married in an old steam railway station, then we got on a steam train and travelled to the reception which was on a boat on the river. Finally our transport back to the cars was a tractor!

Here are a few photos from the day, I don't have too many, I was mainly relying on the professional photographer to get some good ones!

My sister wore - Maxi dress, H&M £15, Coral sandals, New Look £17, Coral Clutch Bag, New Look £8, Necklace, New Look £5, Cardigan, TU at Sainsbury's £6

Outfit total - £51

I wore - Dress, made by me, fabric £8 :), Nude Wedge Heels, River Island £25, Nude Clutch, Matalan £6, Coral Ring, Matalan £5, Gold Feather Earrings, Matalan £2

Outfit total - £46

Us with our mad Dad, who for some reason is holding the bouquet in a lot of the photos!

Us 'kids'

The Mr and I on the boat

Our tractor transportation!

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