time flies when you're being a mum

Time for Home

home and organisation – stuff I’m not amazingly good at but I do try.

...and I had a baby in the middle of it

09 Feb, 2019

At the beginning of July 2018, the builders moved in to start, and I quote, 6 weeks of building work.

If you follow me on instagram, you may have seen me mention them a few times since because they are… Still. Freaking. Here.

These chaps are lovely. If you had to (which I do), these are the ones you want around.

Brian, the joiner and our main chap, is wonderful (although started sweating before he even walked through the door from about September onwards as he was terrified I’d give birth in front of him).

There’s also a team of local tradesmen – tilers, plasters, plumbers, electricians, decorators, carpet fitters, scaffolders, sanitation experts (for our septic tank), timber merchants and every delivery man in Northumberland – who are all very pleasant. And, for much of December (merely weeks after I had Nancy) lived at our house so that it would be ‘ready’ for Christmas.

Building work


But much like a child who is still hanging about at 30, it’s time for them to leave!

We have one last big job to finish at the back of the house (TV room and utility/boot area) and then we’re left with the niggly bits. Doors closing properly, touching up paintwork that has cracked, putting up shelves, soft furnishings (*shudders*) the bits that could last a life time to finish…

8 Months of Building work

If you’d said to me when we started, “You’ll still have builders in your house in March next year.” I’d be pretty distraught at the prospect, but somehow you just muddle on! Day to day it’s not so bad. And much like with breastfeeding you have to keep thinking, nearly there. Tomorrow will be better. And when you get the odd finished room or area, you are spurred on to keep going.

It’s been hard on Mike as he had to take over the project management for me, which on top of his day job, is a full time job. And, it’s certainly taken its tole when evenings and weekends are dedicated to sorting out yet more household jobs (whether it’s moving our stuff about the place, chasing tradesmen, or sorting out the order of events because at one point we had about 15 different things that HAD to happen by 15th December so the floors could go down – that was fun. Not.)

So, while Mike was running the show and I didn’t need to worry about that (other than his mental state), the absolute worst time for me was when I came home with Nancy (did I mention I’ve had a baby during this building work – she was nearly named Brian!). Everything seemed a lot noisier and busier. Work men in every room (all playing different radio stations and singing at the top of their voices), using different power tools. And while Nancy was able to sleep through it, I was not. I was hormonal, in permanent pain in the nipple area, and fecking knackered. Tears were shed!!

Building work

Then the big win came. Just before Christmas.

We had had a few days at Centre Parcs and left the house a building site. When we came back they had all but finished the front of the house. We had gone from living in the kitchen and sleeping in the attic to having 2 front rooms (living room and study), our bedroom, spare rooms, bathrooms AND a downstairs loo.

It’s a big house but compared to what we were living in, it felt like Versailles.

Mike has a video of us walking around the evening we got back and one day I really must edit it into a short video to share on here.

After the building work

So, we’re getting there. But, then the real ‘fun’ starts. Finishing it off. Curtains, rugs, furniture, decluttering random things that have gathered because they no longer have a home… that’s the really tricky stuff.

I know how to get a radiator moved or a new wall light put up because we ask Kevin or Alan. But neither Kevin nor Alan can tell me which rug to buy or if we should put up curtains in the Living Room or not – my dad says yes but I’m not convinced!

Either way I’m looking forward to saying goodbye to this…!

Building work



Baby Outfit of the Day

06 Feb, 2019

Do you watch Stories on Instagram? I love them! (favourites include Brummy Mummy of 2, Make Do and Push, Toby and Roo, and What Katy Said) As a way of getting back into blogging and being online, I’ve been doing stories everyday since New Years; just sharing little bits and pieces from our day. One thing I love from Hannah at Make Do and Push is her #BOOTD (Baby Outfit of the Day) – cute little boutique finds and cute baby. What’s not to love?

So I stole it and have been doing it with Nancy. While her outfits are more sale from Tesco rather than unique little finds, I’ve been really enjoying it and seeing how much she’s changing from week to week.

Here are a few favourites from the past month…

BOOTD – 3rd January

8 weeks old


Cardi – Marks and Spencer

This cardigan has been a firm favourite from Gabriella’s mum. I love the little ears and it’s thick, which is ideal for this time of year and in our old house with a temperamental boiler!

Leggings – F&F at Tesco

Reindeer are for life, not just for Christmas. I love these leggings!! A pressie from my mum, she’ll be wearing them until they fit no longer.

BOOTD – 9th January

9 weeks old


Muslin – Aden and Anais (from Boots)

Up until this point I had been making do with a few scrapy blue muslins I’d had left from when Reuben was little. My friend and I made it a mission on the same day that my phone screen was being fixed (big day!) to find some new ones and a few wee outfits for the growing Nancy. I got this extra large one, which I’ve also used for swaddling and a pack of 3 smaller muslins, all with these beautiful animal prints.

Dress – F&F (sale)

Some of the first things I bought after having her and finding out Nancy was indeed a girl, were some little dresses from Tesco. Easy to put on and cute.

Leggings – Boots Mini Club, pack of 3

I love these ruffled little leggings, a present from Mike’s Best Man and his fiancé. Not only do they look cute but they are are also great for keeping socks on underneath. I’ve sized up with them (3-6 months) as I find some leggings dig into her tummy.

BOOTD – 15th January

2 months old


Cardigan and ruffled leggings (pack of 3 see above) – Boots Mini Club

I never bought clothes for Reuben from Boots (I can’t remember where I did actually!) but I was so impressed with the lovely clothes there and I got loads of things half price in the sale, including this lovely cardigan. The leggings are from the same set as the ones above. Such a gorgeous print.

Short Sleeve Vest – F&F

From a pack of 5 that she grew out of very quickly!

So, these are just a few of the outfits I’ve liked so far. Nothing boutique or unique but I’m just enjoying this new experience of dressing a baby girl. I’m just playing dress up really, aren’t I?! I’ll keep sharing them each week.

Where do you buy your baby clothes from? Where else should I be shopping?

She’s growing so fast, I can hardly keep up, so I’d love to hear where you get your things from. I’m also going to start charity shopping as I’m sure there must so much stuff that’s barely been used because they grow so fast! Please do comment below or over on the Mums’ Days Facebook Page or Instagram, where you can follow my daily #BOOTDs on Stories 🙂

38 weeks pregnant


26 Oct, 2018

I can’t believe we’re nearly through October, and I’m 38 weeks pregnant?! Honestly, where did the summer go?

I say, “where did the summer go?”, but I can tell you it was used up organising our village fete (which nearly killed me and took a week to recover from), days later we started a huge renovation project (which is ongoing), looking after kids in the school holiday, oh and being pregnant.

I’ve also started a new business, Box Happy!, with a pal of mine – who incidentally I first met through this blog and now our kids go to school together! It’s a happiness Subscription Box full of proven techniques to help improve your mood and mind!

Maybe not the best time but when Emily had the idea it was TOTALLY up my street (I love reading about happiness and mental health) so baby or not, I couldn’t pass up the opportunity to be involved. Come say hi on Facebook!

38 weeks pregnant

Last time around I blogged my whole way through the pregnancy but I seem to have very few photos of my bump this time around. I have this one, which I sent to my brother in Japan to show that I was ‘showing’ at about 25 weeks. So I’ve replicated it today to show me at 38 weeks pregnant.

38 weeks pregnant

25 weeks verses 38 weeks pregnant

The summer was amazing and we had so much fun in the garden. People would ask me how I was coping in the heat but in all honesty, I loved it. Tube dresses and mama Spanx (which I shall elaborate on in my next blog post) got me through the hot weather.

I’d say overall the pregnancy has been a good one. I’ve felt much more tired this time around and I’ve put on a fair old amount of weight but I’m trying not to stress too much about that now. Fingers crossed this is the last time I’ll be pregnant, so I want to enjoy it!

The House

The ‘6-week’ house project started in the first week of July. They started in the attic room and slowly took the whole place apart to the point where we only had the kitchen and some bedrooms, like distant islands in the dust, to live in.

Going to the toilet multiple times in the night has made me feel like Indiana Jones, avoiding the booby traps on my mission to find the holy grail.

We have just got the first room back – fully decorated – which Mike and I are going to be staying in for the foreseeable future. It’s a spare bedroom at the top of the house away from the dust and near a toilet! We’ve had it fully insulated, a window put back in and a cupboard created to box in the boiler. It looks sweet as a nut and I will be mostly nesting in there over the coming weeks.

38 weeks pregnant

Our master bedroom is also coming along nicely, but it’s a lot closer to all the action (read: dust) and there’s quite a bit of plumbing work still to do in the ensuite so we probably won’t be in there for a month or two.

But remember this picture from the post, Master Bedroom, I did back in June? Check out how it developed, it’s been quite the transformation…

38 weeks pregnant

It’s now looking more like this…

38 weeks pregnant


Family time

Despite having all the building work going on and not going on holiday, the long, lazy summer was a good one. We enjoyed making dens in the garden, picking all the amazing fruit the garden has to offer (I found a plum tree and must have eaten 200 over the course of a week), seeing friends and taking day trips.

38 weeks pregnant


Reuben turned 6 and Gabby turned 12…check out my balloon skillz (this was the week we moved everything into the kitchen).

38 weeks pregnant

And, Reuben broke his arm. I was 100% convinced, after 2 hours at the hospital with him virtually doing handstands on it, that nothing was wrong but there you go. It was broken. Kids’ bones are weird and it was healed within 3 weeks!!

38 weeks pregnant

Most recently (last week) we had a little break in a yurt. Bloody freezing and ‘wild’ doesn’t cover it, but it was absolutely gorgeous.

38 weeks pregnant - wild northumberland yurt

Here was our compost loo (a LOT nicer than a porter loo but not totally convenient in the middle of the night!).

38 weeks pregnant - wild northumberland yurt

So, that’s been the last few months in a nut shell.

It’s crazy to think how much our lives are going to change in the next few weeks. At 38 weeks pregnant, with every niggle and Braxton Hicks I’m very aware that it could be sooner rather than later. And, while things aren’t perfect at home, the show must go on and this baby will be loved regardless of the chaos around it!

38 weeks pregnant

Were you all sorted by 38 weeks pregnant?!

Comment below or come and join the conversation on the Mums’ Days Facebook Page.

Master Bedroom


Ideas and inspiration

25 Jun, 2018

I’ve mentioned that we’re about to start doing the house up, so I’ve been sharing our ideas and inspiration, room by room. It’s as much about working out what we want to do (at the 11th hour) as it is sharing with you guys what we’re up to these days. So today I’m onto the master bedroom…

Master Bedroom inspiration

I’ve also blogged our ideas for the Entrance, and the Living Room and Study.

Before I get to our ideas, we now have an actual start date for the building work… 10th July!

Crap, better get ordering things. Stat. (more…)



Ideas and Inspiration

07 Jun, 2018

To follow on from last week’s post about our plans for the Living Room and Study, I thought I’d share what we’re planning on doing with the Entrance.

Entrance Ideas

Weirdly, I’ve found this area to be one of the most challenging and the area I’ve spent the most time looking for inspiration for. Hell, I’ve even created sections within my Pinterest Board for the different aspects.

I guess because it’s grand, it’s a bit intimidating – I can feel it telling me ‘you’d best get it right, girl, I am fancy.’

From the huge Georgian Window and original Brass Doorknob, to the panels of ‘historical significance’ (according to the house’s grade 2* listing) this is an area that demands respect.

At present, it doesn’t have much respect. It has a piano that’s too big and crammed next to a sofa that’s been discoloured due to animals sneaking on it when we’re not looking.

Entrance Ideas

It has extra random furniture that hasn’t yet found a home, sad looking floor boards and stair woodwork, hideous wall lights and peeling wallpaper.

Entrance Ideas

I can just feel the Entrance’s disgust at its mistreatment! I also think it doesn’t respect me because I’m trying too hard. Tough crowd.

Entrance Ideas

So the plan is…move everything that is current there out – for example, the piano is moving to the living room – and make it fancy.

entrance inspiration

Clockwise from top:

Image 1: Restore the window and make it clean and fresh. Return all the walls to an off white or light grey.

Image 2: Restore the wooden floorboards and stairs, and put a grey stair runner up the stairs.

Image 3: Simple furniture to keep the area uncluttered. Respect yo. I also like the paneling although I’d probably only do a half wall rather than the full wall as shown.

Image 4: Some sort of statement pendant, with subtle wall lights to replace the current monstrosities.

There you have it!

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