calendula flowers

20% Off Advertising in September

calendula flowers

Hello!  I’m just dropping in quickly today to say I’m offering 20% off all advertising on the blog throughout the month of September!  September is my favourite month so what better way to celebrate it than with a blog sale!

Here’s information on the advertising options and prices (remember to take 20% off the listed price!).  You could place an advert on the sidebar from just £8 for 30 days!

If you’d like to book a reduced price advertising slot for your business, blog, Etsy shop or service, then do drop me an email on to discuss it further.  Get in quick though because slots are limited, and the 20% offer will only run throughout September.

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    blue hydrangea

    Our Slow August

    Hello!  How was your August?  August for us continued much in the same vein as July – slow, apart from one weekend of fairly frantic DIY!

    At the start of the month we did more raspberry picking!  We’ve made smoothies, healthy ice lolly pops, and snacked on raspberries until our bellies hurt.  Now I’ve got kilos of raspberries freezing in the freezer, waiting to see us through the winter months.  Our allotment has been so good to us on the raspberry front, that I can’t imagine ever paying £2 for a tiny punnet of raspberries ever again!  The good news is that we’ve discovered some autumn fruiting raspberries hiding behind our polytunnel, so I might have to start making jam in the autumn to preserve our glut!

    bowl of raspberries

    Now that the raspberries have stopped fruiting we moved on to blackberry picking at the end of the month!  We have a load of blackberries in our garden, but sadly the wasps have discovered them too and so the garden is a bit of a no go zone at the moment as it’s full of very angry wasps.  I discovered this handy tip for deterring wasps though – who knew it was that easy?!  (PS: if you’re jamming this month I swear by this recipe for blackberry and vanilla jam)

    I joined the borax club after this post on household uses for borax.  I’ve already used it to clear a stinky drain and it did the job in 15 minutes so I’m definitely a borax convert!  And it was only £1.29 for a big (plastic free) box of the stuff.  I’m eyeing up the dandelions that have sprung up between the gaps in the paving slabs in the garden next…!

    dri pak borax

    Our hydrangea from this post has turned from blue to purple.  Some people have suggested putting rusty nails into the soil, others have suggested orange peel, and others ericaceous compost to get it to turn back to blue.  Any other suggestions?  I’m all ears!

    blue hydrangea

    My daughter has been enjoying playing shopkeeper with this wooden till, kindly gifted to us by Wooden Toy Shack.  I love toys like this that really stimulate her imagination and encourage role play, and my daughter has had hours of fun so far with this beauty.  Wooden Toy Shack have such a lovely selection of wooden toys, so their site is definitely worth a look.

    wooden till

    My friend Gina picked me some beautiful blooms from her garden!  Her homegrown roses are really brightening up our living room!

    homegrown roses

    We managed a few trips out in August – we hit the Edinburgh Festival; took a trip to Edinburgh’s Gorgie City Farm; and went up to Fife for a visit to the Pillars of Hercules.  Pillars of Hercules is a fantastic organic farm and vegetarian cafe/restaurant.  We had such delicious food that I’m eagerly planning a return visit!  I also spotted a bell tent on the campsite there and now I have all sorts of bell tent envy going on!

    bell tent

    Some posts you might have missed this month: my homemade reed diffuser DIY, some homemade beauty product DIYs, and advice on getting a job in the environmental sector.

    And some posts from the archives that you might enjoy: how to grow pea shoots, alternative search engines, and upcycling clothes with six fab DIY ideas.

    What did you get up to this month?

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      kitchen renovation

      Our Budget Kitchen Renovation Plans

      Disclosure: this is a sponsored post

      I wanted to share with you guys our current kitchen and our plans for its renovation.  I’m always interested in these kind of posts and I thought you might enjoy a little peek at our house!

      The current kitchen is, we think, around 15-20 years old.  It’s quite a narrow, galley style kitchen and is painted quite a dark orange colour on the walls and ceiling.  It’s not quite to our taste, but when we first viewed the property we thought we could get away with removing the claustrophobic wall cabinets, painting the cabinet doors, re-tiling, and painting the walls and ceiling a light colour.  As part of this budget renovation we thought that also replacing handles, the chipped laminated worktop, light fittings, and the sink and tap would go a long way to improving things a bit in there.  We hoped to spend maybe £600 tops on it and call it a day for the foreseeable future.

      Then we moved in:

      orange kitchen 2 orange kitchen

      Please note really high random cupboard!  We don’t know why either!

      The house had sat empty for over year so the electricity and water had been switched off.  When we got our utilities switched back on we discovered the oven was broken.  We’ve been using a counter top plug in oven which kind of does the job in combination with a gridle and the microwave.  To add to the fun I don’t think the actual oven is properly earthed as I got a small electric shock when I touched the oven door.

      We also discovered most of the drawers are broken – the plastic runners have worn out –  and the plastic frames of the cupboards are beginning to degrade.  There’s a leak under the sink meaning the whole cupboard has warped and the kick board under the sink has mould growing on it from the leak, which grows back within days of cleaning and scrubbing at it.  You can see it in the top photo.  Safe to say our kitchen is not a fun place to be.

      Oh, and did I mention the previous owners took the cooker hood and splash back with them when they moved out?  Yes.  They did.  This was already gone when we viewed the house, so we were fully aware of this, but it still takes my breath away every day!

      old kitchen

      That’s our little plug in oven there too.  Total lifesaver!

      After nearly five months of living with our kitchen we’ve decided to bite the bullet and replace the whole thing.  I don’t think there’s any saving it – it’s in such bad condition.  We’re also re-planning the layout to make better use of the space.  I’m really looking forward to removing those wall mounted cupboards!

      While it’s exciting to renovate our kitchen, as it’s an unexpected expense we’re doing the whole thing on a really tight budget.

      The kitchen isn’t insulated and is single skin brick so we’re going to add some insulation when the kitchen comes out.  It’s a bit of an added expense but will save us on our heating bills and make the cold space a lot cosier.  We added some Kingspan insulated plasterboard when we renovated our bathroom and it’s pretty amazing stuff, so we’ll probably use the same stuff again.  It also saves on plastering as you can just tape and skim the joins of the plasterboard.

      When we moved we brought our A rated fridge and washing machine with us from our old house, but we do need some appliances.  We managed to buy this A-rated oven from Homebase when it was on offer, and are going to buy an A rated integrated dishwasher, because, oh my, I really really really miss our dishwasher.  Dishwashers are also less energy intensive than doing dishes by hand, so that’s another good excuse to install one!

      We have quite a few left over white metro tiles from when we renovated our bathroom, so rather than buy a set of different tiles we’re just going to buy a couple of more boxes of the same tiles to save money.

      I’ve sourced some secondhand drawer and cupboard handles on eBay which are coming in at over £110 cheaper than the kitchen company quoted us for new handles.

      We’ll also going to have a darned good declutter to rid ourselves of all the junk and clutter we don’t need anymore.  We tried to declutter before we moved, but ran out of time.  I always think decluttering goes in long way in refreshing a space and costs nothing, but due to a very short period of time between finalising the sale of our old house, the purchase of this house, and the moving in date (we finalised a week before we moved) we were still packing on the day we moved!  Talk about stressful!

      If money was no object I’d also add in a few lovely ethical kitchen accessories to complete the look, such as these beautiful mugs from Decorator’s Notebook and some storage baskets from Nkuku but these are going to have to wait a while.

      I’m looking forward to sharing the end result with you in hopefully a couple of months (we’re feeling ambitious!)!  We’ve almost finished renovating our living room and bathroom too, so I’ll share these with you shortly too!

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