Category Archives: budget

New Year, home makeover

It’s a spanking new year and this year I made a vow to not make any resolutions or “changes” to the way we live. I did however make myself a promise, one to travel more this year and secondly to finally get this house into the home I have always wanted.

I’ve mentioned before how it isn’t in the best place, it isn’t the biggest but it is detached and is modern enough to have nice square rooms with no funny business so pretty much anything goes. We get flooded with light all year long but I have always decorated with what society has expected from a family. Instead I made a vow to decorate just the way I wanted.

In fairness this has been a challenge, fun but hard work finding the furniture from charity shops that is always hit and miss and finding wallpaper or paint that matches my vision. I began boldly with making over the downstairs loo. It is a tricky space as it has pipe work boxed in, it has a tiny sinking the smallest window but i wanted to add a nerdy look but with an expensive feel but with things we already had, I forgot to mention my budget for the whole house is practically zero!

We had some old star trek annuals that I had bought the husband a few christmases previous that had barely seen the light of day and thought these would make a great feature wall…



I have to say I wasn’t wrong! I love the look, it was a dream to put up, simply with wallpaper paste and it doesn’t look overpowering, it also makes great reading!

I had planned to leave it at that, just a feature wall and the rest staying white but I found a new love for deep strong colours whilst checking out pinterest so I made a little adjustment…



We had the plum left over from the tv wall in the lounge, the towel rack was an old one that used to be behind the front door for coats, the vintage mirror is about 4 years old and was bought on eBay for £3 and the cute rug was a few quid at tesco a few months back and i couldn’t find the perfect home for it.

I LOVE the space now! It hasn’t become a pram dumping ground again, it doesn’t feel cold and unloved anymore and even though the window is small it just bounces light around its almost magical!

It’s the perfect start to my end goal. What do you think? Would you be so bold in a small space?


Thrifty Thursday

I haven’t done a Thrifty Thursday for a while now, purely because I haven’t had the time to do this projects I have laying around waiting to be finished. but whilst tidying up this morning I noticed a whole string was missing from my wooden bearded curtain *shakes fist at the dog*

Well after spending some time online trying to find a replacement i realised I could fix it myself and make it unique. A few of the bamboo beads where missing on other strings also so this is what I did..


I took a rogue ball of wool that I knew there wasn’t enough to make anything else with and plated it into the string that holds all the beads together, filling the gaps as I went. I really love how its turned out, the natural colours compliment the bamboo and it has a very bohemian look about it, what do you think?


With the spare wool I added some strings to a paper shade that I had laying around, I have seen this look on Pinterest a few times and always loved it, you can’t really see from the photo but because the space is so vast above the stairs it gives a feeling of the space being filled which makes the space feel more ‘cosy’..


Very simple, not time consuming crafts that don’t cost a penny that anyone can do!

What do you have laying around you could bring back to life?


Monday Musing

Monday Musing’s is where each week I’ll round up whats been on the blog, what I’ve bought, created or simply just enjoyed doing. I do hope you will all get involved and let me know what you have been doing as well.

It’s been a big week for Easter sales and I’ve grabbed myself some gorgeous pieces for an absolute steal.

I bagged this gorgeous H! by Henry Holland sweater for just £10.80 in the Debenhams Sale cos seriously it’s so not summer weather just yet!


And these real leather boots from ASOS for just £11.87


I also grabbed a brushed cotton Topshop lumber jack shirt and a New Look brown cord jacket for 99p each at the British Heart Foundation. Now I just need to bag those boyfriend fit tapered jeans I’ve been lusting after and I’m good to go!

I’ve found a new love for flamingo print and I had to have THOSE tumblers from ASDA, and at £2.50 I’d have been mental not to surely?!


Epic right?! In fact some of the new Home Ranges at ASDA are pretty epic, I’m digging this milk jug especially, retro chic!


Check out their nautical look, it’s to die for!

I’ve talked about Emmy Twenty, gorgeous ballet flats made from real leather and in loads of different styles, I styled my 3 fave pairs for summer, you can find the post here.

Ive also been seriously lusting after the new pieces at O’Neill. I love the surf style and I have a massive girl crush on Joss Stone, but hey who doesn’t! You can find the O’Neill styled post here.

A fine Choice have some gorgeous Easter gifts, all chocolate free which I’m fully on board with, you can find my top 3 picks here.

Not to forget the home, I love shelving and what Shelf Store offer is something really unique. Check them out and their awesome design wizard. See what I had to say about them here.

For all you cake lovers out there, I shared one of my fave recipes for pudding, Eve’s Pudding, go find it here.

I got my hands a little dirty and for Thrifty Thursday created something cute for the kids!

So all in all it’s been a busy week, I’ve enjoyed listing to music I had long forgotten about and polishing up my knitting skills. Next is to tackle crochet *yes this puts the fear of god in me!* I refuse to let it beat me and the amount of patterns I’ve been hoarding in the hope I’ll crack it is obscene and well most of them I NEED IN MY LIFE!

Oh and I’m hoping to soon be launching something fun on Instagram. I’m currently knitting like a mad lady to create a wide range of sizes and style of bow ties and hair slides for kiddies and grown ups too all just £2.50 each with a fixed postage costs of £1.80 no matter how many you order. Commissions are welcome 🙂 Drop me a line if you want to find out more.

So long for this week and catch you all on the other side! I’d really love to know what you guys have been upto, share below or via Twitter 🙂

Thirfty Thursday – Converse Make-over

Nearly everyone has a tatty pair of oh so comfy but oh my gosh they have seen better days converse or similar cotton pumps hiding in the back of the wardrobe, especially the kids. Well this week I’m gonna tell you how to make them loved again!

Grab those grubby converse, a couple of iron on patches and some funky laces and lets get to it.

I threw my eldest daughters black Converse through the wash to start with, it brought the canvas as clean as when new and made them that little more ridged again. She’s a size 1 now and just can’t get funky shoes that she likes so I took the opportunity to give her something she can love.

I threw out the laces and bought a set of rainbow Shoeps, if you have never heard of them you can check out my review here. And a pair of My Little Pony iron ons from ebay.

$_12                                                                                    $_12-1


Half an hour with the iron was all they needed to make sure they where well attached. Thats the thing with Converse they are easy to manipulate.

And BAM! Total one offs and one VERY happy 10 yr old!


What would you want on yours?


Thrifty Thursday – socks to leg warmers

This Thrifty Thursday I’m bringing you a quick and easy tutorial to turn old socks into cute little leg warmers, alternatively make them for yourself instead of the little folk.

You will need at least 4 pairs of worn out socks, then cut the foot part out, like this.


You then need to place them right asides together and inside each other, like this:


Then on the fabric edge, NOT the cuffs, you need those to stop the leg warmers falling down, you need to sew them together. You can sew by hand or on a machine just remember that its a stretchy jersey so don’t pull them out of shape whilst sewing.


I used a mix of one of worn out socks but you might want them to match. Once sewn together they would look like this:


Do the same with another pair and you are good to go!


My girls love wearing these, they aren’t to heavy but help to keep legs toasty when out n about and best of all they are total one offs!

The same method can be applied if you want to use an old jumper or cardigan sleeves to make leg warmers, simply cut out the sleeves and then hem the raw edge.


And this is what they look like on!


Perfect for little legs in the winter.

I’d love to see what you guys come up with.


Kitchen Bin Up-cycle

So I spent a few hours scouring the inter web along with twitter requests, looking for a funky kitchen bin that came in under than £200. I mean lets face it, who’s gonna pay that for a kitchen bin?

This Wesco beauty is to die for but my budget just couldn’t justify it, how ever beautiful and epic it is!


So instead of splurging £260 I suddenly had a brain wave, I had some sticky back plastic and our old grey plastic bin, make my own!

You can too so heres how..

Take an old and tired (or new) plastic kitchen bin.


Ours has seen better days, much like our kitchen, but thats a whole other DIY tutorial!


I used this cute Orla Keily inspired sticky back plastic I bought from Home Bargains last year for 89p a roll I think it was.


I laid it out and measured it to size. As the bin tapered I knew I was going to have to become creative with the fit. There are some lumps and bumps to the back piece I couldn’t couldn’t get out but with a little patience you should get a smooth finish.


I did the front and back panels before tackling the shaped sides.


I cut two pieces to fit the shape as best as possible and laid them over. This has helped to cover the pulls in the side pieces due to the shape.


Its not perfect but optically, as you really don’t spend ages staring at your kitchen bin, the pattern melts together and you don’t notice the joins.


Sadly the lid was to tricky a shape for the stick back plastic to take but it could be spray painted in white to match, turning this once tired out old bin into something pretty.

I actually really love it , it cost me nothing, kept me out of trouble for a half hour and is a great start to our new made over kitchen!

What pattern would you choose if you pimped out your old kitchen bin?

New Year, New Outlook

Last year and the year before I decided to follow a make do and mend ethos, buying nothing new that wasn’t necessary and it has really changed how i look at not just material goods but life in general.
We as a whole generation tend to take things for granted, we always have a warm bed and food in our bellies when there are thousands homeless and cold each day in Britain and all over the world and to tell you the truth I’m more than grateful for the comfortable life we have.
We can eat when hungry and sleep soundly in our beds, our children are happy and being educated in a way that suits them as well as us and i couldn’t really ask for more.
So this year i wanted to step it up a little and try to refine the steps we have already taken. I plan to grow more than ever this year, i already have some lettuce planted in doors and some other bits that will have a great start indoors before the spring. I plan to sew more and not just for me this time but for the hubby as well as the kids, the nothing new for a year challenge really made me see that I’m a little like a magpie, i get distracted by pretty things and tend to just buy them whether we need them or not but now I’ve learnt a certain level of restraint and make sure i really need or want it before handing over my pennies and i will always make sure i cant purchase it cheaper second hand first as i feel recycling is more important than ever.
I don’t even remember the last item of clothing that was brand new i bought!
The chickens are laying great so this year i plan to extend the space they have and maybe get a couple more birds and sell the excess eggs to friends and neighbours to cover their feed and up keep, nothing like providing for yourself eh ladies! 😉
I’m also hoping the new bunnies we have will breed so we can sell the babies, just for a short space of time anyway, to pay for a bigger hutch for them and keep them in the life of which they have become accustomed! you cant say my furry friends aren’t spoilt lol!
then next on the list is getting a cold frame on the porch at the front, it has full sun all year and i want to maximise growing time for things like tomatoes and lettuce that we tend to eat all year that doesn’t take a lot of space to grow then onto planning in the back to get the tops of the animals hutches edged and sealed and get things growing in them, cant grow anything low level this year due to the animals having free run of the garden, the bunnies demolished what was left of my plants within a fortnight of having free reign!
Then finally i think it will be to replace the grass, as the soil isn’t deep enough for lush grass so it goes patchy 😦 with faux grass so the girls can use the space that’s left to play out all year round, we get a little rain and the back is like a bog as it gets no sun over the winter months.
And of course i plan to do all this for as little as humanly possible so if you if have any of the things afore mentioned that you need reviewing or your replacing then please do get in touch, this is gonna be a year long project with continual up dates (shameless plug there i know!!)
So here’s to a new year and new challenges, i hope you all are working on something rewarding for 2013.
L x