Saturday, 15 August 2015

Little things make a big difference and a Sports Direct haul

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For a home improvement blog we haven't been doing much in the way of DIY recently. But we have done a couple of jobs that have been lingering on our 'to-do' list for years. Yes, that's right. Years.
We 'finished' the bungalow about three years ago - completing bits and pieces after we moved in. I think we even went a few months without a bathroom door but eventually the most important bits got finished and all the doors were hung... Except one.
The back bedroom, aka the junk room, aka the future nursery, had a door waiting to go on. I'd painted a base coat on one side but then I accidentally dropped it on it on the edge of a radiator and gouged a massive hole in it. SBB repaired it but I never got round to painting it. And so it sat, resting against the wall for 3 years. We didn't really mind that there wasn't a door on the back bedroom - plus Cillian enjoyed running in there and hiding under the bed when we weren't looking.
Then, last weekend when SBB decided that the door had been sat unused for far too long and decided to hang it. And here it is...!
Okay, it's not a very attractive door I'll grant you but it feels like we've finally got a complete house.
Another job that's been nagging at me was wardrobe storage. Years ago I bought a wrapping paper storage bag that is designed to hang on a hook on the back of a cupboard door. I'd intended to hang it in my wardrobe on a dowel rod and had even had it specially made in yellow and white fabric to match our bedroom. I'd told my dad about it and he very sweetly made four shaped blocks with holes pre-drilled to insert the dowel into.
Then, I'm ashamed to say, they sat, unused, on my dressing table for... ooh... probably about 2.5 years. But I've finally fitted them! Completely on my own too - SBB was out and I measured, I cut (slicing up my thumb nail in the process. Doh!) and I even used a level to make sure everything was square. It was the dirtiest level SBB owns (it lives in the garden and was covered in mud and spiderwebs) because he'd taken the key for his toolbox with him - but I was not deterred.
I was so happy to get them up - although I did forget to use the level when I attached the last one so it was a little wonky. Whoops.
But here they are, and I can't help smiling every time I open my wardrobe now.

Finally - just because I'm so chuffed - I'm going to share a clothing haul. SBB's Gran and Grandad always get me a M&S voucher for my birthday and sometimes for Christmas which is great because I only tend to shop there when I have a voucher.
This time I had a bit left on a old gift card and then this year's birthday voucher. I wanted to buy a new swimming costume as the last one I'd bought (also an M&S purchase) had been worn to death but when I got there they had the smallest section of swimwear I've ever seen and no basic, 'normal' costumes. For shame, M&S. For shame. The only option for me was the bandeau costumes which, for the bustier woman, were downright indecent. So that was a no. I left with a new pair of work trousers, three t-shirts (two white and one purple), a pair of white linen shorts and a birdhouse. I know the birdhouse seems a little random but I didn't want to leave anything on the gift cards and couldn't really find anything else I wanted - and who doesn't want to encourage birds to nest in their garden?

So, when I came home I went online in search of a new swimming costume. I just wanted a basic costume and I knew I'd seen some in Sports Direct so I headed to their website. I found some. I bought some. One for £3 and one for £4. That's right. £7 for TWO swimming costumes. Awesome. While I was there I decided to have a little browse of the rest of the sale and this is what I got:
2x swimming costumes
2x basic t-shirts
1x three-quarter length sleeve 'baseball' shirt
2x bikini bottoms
1x basic white vests
1x green vest
1x pair jeans
...all for the price of one M&S swimming costume. I was a little bit chuffed.

You can see my little spree in the picture below (although it doesn't include one of my white M&S t-shirts or the purple one as they're in the wash)

Have you recently bagged yourself a bargain?

Saturday, 8 August 2015

These boots were made for planting

Flowers are growing quite happily in our garden (so are the weeds, but that's another story) and the bumble bees are really loving the lavenders I've bought, which is lovely.

There's been something I've wanted to try for a while; putting flowers in boots. My mother-in-law, who (as the daughter of a gardener) has a lovely one in her garden that I've been quite envious of, so when I noticed that SBB had left a pair of his old work boots in the garden over the winter, I knew my chance had come. I casually asked him one day what he was planning on doing with them.
"Nothing," he answered, "I thought you'd like to plant something in them."
"Really?" I asked, delighted. "How could you tell?"
He smiled. "Because I know you."
It's true, he does, and the fact that he thought of me and purposely kept them for me is lovely.

We were in B&Q, looking at plants. I was looking for something that would be okay in the pot and I'd been looking for a few minutes before I remembered I know NOTHING about plants. Nothing. SBB suggested just talking to his mum and asking her advice. I agreed and then I saw them. Geraniums. We shared a look and identical smiles. You might be thinking that we're a bit crazy so at this point I'm going to mention that we're fans of The Dubliners. In order to get the reference (and the joke) check out Seven Drunken Nights, by The Dubliners.
It had to be done.