buzzoole code

painting furniture quicklyI’d love to be one of those craft bloggers that spend all day doing amazingly beautiful crafts, but in reality? Well, I’m heavily pregnant, a stay at home mum to a two year old and hey! I like to go to bed early these days! 9.30pm? Yes please! So this isn’t any old guide to painting furniture, this is the busy parents guide to painting furniture, which personally I think is far more handy!

I posted a couple of weeks ago about a dressing table that we had turned into a new sideboard for our dining table and I mentioned at the time that we had also started on another project. Well, that project was a dining table and six chairs. We had a nice dining table. Arguably it was the most expensive item in our house (oops!) but our cats had scratched the legs, it looked really dark and out of place in our new room and it damaged so easily that it was permanently covered with a really grim heat resistant tablecloth. So when we saw a slightly knocked around dining set in the charity shop for £25 we decided to go for it. After all, it wouldn’t take long to fix, right?! View Post

Hilltop Farm Benfleet is a bit of a hidden gem. Not many people know about it but it’s a great place for fruit or strawberry picking in Essex. Occasionally we go out as a family and I think ‘I’m not going to blog about this, I’m not going to blog about this, I’m just going to have a nice time…’ and then ‘Argh! This is too nice! I have to blog about it!!’ So this is my review of it – if you want to know about the farms opening times or other places for fruit picking in Essex then I’ve popped these at the end of the post.

pick your own fruit benfleet

This weekend we went to Hilltop Farm in Benfleet, which is about a twenty minute drive from central Southend. I’ve wanted to do fruit picking for ages, I grew up in Kent and picking strawberries was just one of those things that you did every summer holiday. As I grew older I had friends who worked on the farms picking blackberries and the likes and to me it always reminds me of my childhood. Fruit should be something we can pick, not just something we pick up in Tescos. But round here? Well, despite the loveliness of the seaside I live in one of the most densely populated areas in the country. There’s foraging to be done, but it’s at the side of busy roads, so the discovery of Hilltop Farm was a rather sweet one. View Post

beautiful things crochet class essexLearning to crochet is something that’s appealed to me for a little while. Why? Well if I’m honest, I’m not totally sure. I feel that as a crafts blogger it’s something I ‘should’ be able to do and I like a challenge but at the same time the idea of sitting down and following a pattern isn’t very me. And for all the craft books I’ve bought over the years I can probably count on one hand the instructions I’m actually able to follow. So I’m not even remotely ashamed to say that I approached Claire Mackaness who runs Beautiful Things in Brentwood and begged her to let me come along to one of her classes in return for a review of it. Nope, no shame at all!

Of course, when I got there the panic kicked in, as it often does. Crochet is a bit like knitting. I hadn’t thought of that. Why hadn’t I thought of that?!? I can’t knit to save my life despite the attempts of my lovely Nan who spent many an hour trying to teach me, only to see the wool get wrapped and wrapped more and more around the needles. View Post

Do you remember a little while ago I wrote a post about how to take to take your own photographs during pregnancy? Well, as fate would have it, while I was writing that post I was contacted by Marie Donn to see if I fancied doing some maternity photos with her.

marie donn photography

Marie is a proper photographer and does gorgeous lifestyle shoots so of course I said yes. And then the panic set in. I am not a supermodel. I am a normal woman, in my early thirties, living in Essex. Generally, I am quite happy with the above facts, but when you realise that someone is going to take pictures of you, being as normal a woman as you can be while heavily pregnant…. well, I was a little bit worried. View Post

So, what with helping out at Restore recently I’ve got a bit inspired to see what I could do myself around the home. Thankfully The Husband is of a similar frame of mind so when we decided that we needed a new sideboard for the dining room we were able to tear ourselves away from the normal constrictions of the cheap-but-a-bit-boring Ikea catalogue and instead raid the local Sue Ryder shop.

Of course, they didn’t have any sideboards, but what they did have was this dressing table for the grand price of £20

dressing table

And yes, the image of a highchair in the mirror’s reflection when my son is two and a half shatters any illusions of a neat and tidy house, right?! It’s made of the vintage equivalent of mdf, but I rather liked the shape of it and it was £20? Have I mentioned the £20 bit yet? I couldn’t say no. View Post