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Latest Purchases #81 – A Vintage Haul

I am already failing at trying to post every day this week but we have visitors staying so I don’t feel too guilty!


On Sunday, Ian and I headed to our favourite monthly market – the Frome Independent. This just seems to get better and better and when the sun shines it is fab. There is a great mix of independent stall holders, local food and drink plus a whole vintage market to peruse. We found some real treasures this time!

First of all, a bottle of the most delicious chai syrup from Henny and Joe’s which is handmade in Bath. Chai tea lattes are my all-time favourite drink but many of the flavoured syrups you can buy just don’t hit the spot. This contains all the natural herbs and spices found in chai with no nasty additives. I also learned about a chai/ cider hybrid called a ‘chaider’ which I must try!

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Ian got a t-shirt too from cool independent brand ‘Wolfe Party’. They have some really great items (I bought Ian some of their wooden sunglasses for his birthday) and I love the neon flecks in this material.

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Onto our vintage finds…

Ian spotted these old milk bottles and it was difficult to narrow them down to our three favourites. This reminds me of when we used to have a bottle of milk delivered and my brother and I would fight to get the creamy bit on top!


I have been looking at macramé plant holders on etsy, as well as contemplating making some myself, but when I saw this vintage one with a cool hanging plant already planted, I admit that the easy ‘ready-made’ option looked appealing! This is a Swedish Ivy and it actually has orange sap which is cool. This is already hanging up in our conservatory.


Next, another item I saw and fell in love with. I saw a beautiful gold cafetiere recently and this original Maxwell House glassware jug with gold detailing is in near perfect condition. I plan on using this to make up a batch of iced coffee or chai lattes to keep in the fridge.

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A pretty gravy boat next in mint green – I didn’t really need this but thought it was so pretty.


Ian really liked the look of these little glasses. I think they are for brandy but I’m sure any liquor will do! This coloured glass has a really pretty pearlescent shine to it and they look great on our bar cart.

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Finally, an old fish box which we hasn’t got a home yet but is the perfect size for storing kitchen items. Lots of restaurants use these style wooden boxes for keeping their condiments in which is a great idea.

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We weren’t on the hunt for any large items of furniture but I love getting some pieces for our home that are truly unique! x


Latest Purchases #59 – Vintage Furniture

It has been a perfect autumnal day today. We met our good friends and their gorgeous baby Ivy for a wander around Frome’s amazing monthly market where we ate brownies, drank cider and bought lots of good cheese!

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Being at the market and seeing all the lovely second-hand, up-cycled and reupholstered furniture for sale made me want to share our recent purchases from the September Frome market now we have found places for them in our home.

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First up, we found this lovely wooden chest in a beautiful grey-green shade.

We decided to use it as a coffee table and it is a lovely focal point in the living room with an added bonus of storage inside!

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Next, my vintage wooden ladder bought (after some haggling!) from a very friendly Frenchman.

I love the texture of the wood in this piece but wanted it to be useful as well…

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Cue my new scarf holder! As you can see, I have a hoard of scarves which were kept in a cupboard and I have to admit to not really knowing what colours I actually had.


Now, they are easy to see and reach for and add a pop of colour to the room.

The ladder is currently in my bedroom but I am thinking of moving it into the hallway as I would usually grab a scarf just as I am leaving the house.

Are you a fan of vintage furniture? x

Football, Food Markets and Vintage Finds

The above title pretty much sums up my weekend!

After a fun Friday night spent with my brother’s girlfriend and one too many JD and cokes, I was up and out early on Saturday to meet my best friend Lu and her family for a spot of shopping, lunch and then to watch Bristol City play. We won 2-0 and the sun shone too – perfect.


Today, Ian and I headed to Frome Independent Market. I have written about this market before and we try to go each month for a wander and to pick up some treats.

I headed straight to one of my favourite stalls, Dark Matters, to pick up a few of their incredible brownies. I chose their peanut butter and chocolate one, a mint choc chip brownie and a rose, hazelnut and pistachio variety…worth spoiling the diet for!

As well as brownies, I also picked up some cheeses, some heirloom tomatoes to recreate my orzo pasta recipe and Ian found a lovely Scrumpy cider stall where we bought a few litres.


As always, we had a spot of lunch there. I opted for a dirty beef brisket baguette which was topped with pickles, BBQ sauce and a pot of the cooking liquid. Whilst eating, we watched some great local bands – my favourite was a punk band called Killing Felix who were ace.

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Finally, we had a wander around the huge selection of vintage stalls and picked up a few things for our house. We have wanted a new coffee table for a little while but couldn’t quite decide on one we both liked but when I saw this vintage trunk, I thought it would be perfect.

It has been painted in a chalky grey colour and I like the fact it isn’t a traditional four-legged table to add a bit of interest. We may move this to another room in the future but for now we are going to trial it as our new coffee table.


The next one is a bit of a strange purchase but one I have been on the lookout for in vintage shops for absolutely ages! On an interiors website about a year ago, I saw an old wooden ladder used as a scarf and belt holder leant against a bedroom wall. It looked amazing and is a great way to actually see the scarves you have whilst adding a pop of colour to a room. I will post a few pictures when I get this set up in our new bedroom.


The rest of the day will be fairly chilled out for us but we will definitely be having a cheeseboard tonight to try our new buys! x


Frome Independent Market

We woke up to lovely sunshine this morning so decided to spend my last day off at Frome’s monthly street market. A short drive away, the town of Frome is a lovely place to eat and shop. It has a great eclectic vibe and is often in the ‘Top Places to Live’ lists.


Their market is huge and a great way to spend a couple of hours. There are wonderful local artists selling their wares (new and vintage) and amazing food and drink on offer. There was also a busking stage with a great mix of artists playing short sets.

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We spent a happy few hours wandering through the stalls, eating plenty of samples and treating ourselves to a few goodies!

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I was in need of a caffeine hit but it was too hot for tea so I had a tasty iced hazelnut coffee from the lovely Lucille’s caravan.

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To accompany this, I discovered the Holy Grail in terms of brownies at Dark Matters. We ended up buying four of the beauties and I have already eaten one of the Unholy Trinity, a cookie base, jaffa cake centre and chocolate brownie topping…absolute perfection! I can’t wait to try the peanut butter and salted caramel varieties.

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I can’t visit a food market and not come away with some cheese and this ripe camembert was calling out to me. It absolutely stinks and I cannot wait to devour it with some baguette!


Finally, we have recently bought some new bedside tables and due to my penchant for cups of tea in bed we needed some coasters. We found a lovely stall selling decorated stone coasters and I love these ‘Mr and Mrs’ ones. I think the swallows give it a cool rockabilly vibe too.


This market takes place on the first Sunday of each month and I can’t recommend it enough for great local produce and a lovely way to spend a morning!


Latest Purchases #29 – More Baking Bits

It is our village fete this weekend and it looks like the weather will be glorious for it. There will be farm animals, plenty of Pimms and lots of food…I can’t wait!

My contribution is something for the cake stall. I haven’t decided whether to make a large occasion cake or lots of smaller cupcakes but I knew I wanted to make whatever I made look special.

I picked up a few baking-related items at the weekend which I think will help give my baking efforts a summer-fete style twist and will no doubt come in handy for BBQs over the summer too.

First up, these gorgeous paper windmills.

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I love the polka-dot and rose prints on these and they make great little cake toppers.

Next, some cupcake wrappers.

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I have lots of gorgeous paper cupcake cases but they always seem to come out of the oven having absorbed some of the grease of the cakes while cooking. These pretty spotty wraps will make any cupcake or muffin look great and there are some vintage-style rose cake toppers included in the pack too.

These pretty paper bags and stickers are a great way to package your baked goods. I may not use these this weekend but I am always looking for ways to transport slices of cake and cookies for friends so these will come in handy!


Finally, I really liked the prints from this ‘Vintage Tea Party’ range so I bought some bunting in the same pattern. This may go up in the house or the garden…you can never have too much bunting!


Before and After – Bathroom

I have to start this post by saying that taking photos of your bathroom is the best motivation to roll your sleeves up and give it a good scrub…mine is sparkling now!

Today I wanted to share another room makeover we have finished recently…our bathroom.


When we first saw this house online, we wondered why there weren’t any pictures of the bathroom included and when we came to view the house, we soon understood why.

The walls were painted a dark shade of maroon (great for a bathroom?!) with some ‘arty’ lilac stripes in one corner. There was a thick black shelf up on the wall and the ceiling light had a dark blue bulb in it meaning it was one of the darkest rooms in the house!


The bathroom suite was completely inappropriate for the size of the room with a huge mock-Regency sink, hideous brass fittings and a non-electric shower, which was temperamental to say the least.



However, the room’s crowning glory was the floor to ceiling mirrors (yes, mirrors!) that covered the three walls (yes, three walls!) surrounding the bath tub. These meant shower times were an interesting experience to say the least and those mirrors were an absolute pain to keep clean!


Seriously, this room was like some hideous brothel and we got into the habit of apologising to people if they had to use it!

Unfortunately, I cannot find many pictures of the bathroom so you will have to take my word on a lot of the above…would I lie to you?!

To keep costs down, we decided to do as much of the DIY ourselves (well, our Dads would!) but we obviously got a plumber in for the big stuff. The first big job however was getting those mirrors off. Now I know the 7-years-bad-luck rule but we really did think we could just smash them and clear up the mess but no!

These mirrored walls were near impenetrable…we threw bricks at them, bashed a shovel into them, tried a drill but nothing would work. As with everything in this house, they seems to be attached with some incredibly strong adhesive so we had to pry them off the wall, terrified they would break and splinter at any moment…extreme DIY!

Once the mirrors were off, the plumbers and electricians did their stuff, my Dad tiled the walls and Ian’s Dad laid the floor.


As it is only a small bathroom, I wanted to keep it really bright and clean and put our own twist on it with accessories and fittings. We opted for a simple white bathroom suite with no fuss and clean lines. For the fittings, we added these vintage-style taps which goes with our decorating theme throughout the house.


The walls were not in the best condition so we decided to tile them all with large white, textured tiles. To break this up, we added a row of grey tiles.


A new radiator was fitted to match the silver accessories, as well as a toilet roll holder, mirror, new door knobs and this vintage-style light pull.



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The old plastic window frame was pulled out and my Dad tiled around the window so we can use it as a shelf.


The floor tiles were one of our extravagances with this makeover and I adore them. They are Cath Kidston tiles but aren’t too flowery or girly meaning we hopefully won’t get sick of them!


My friend Cat got us some His ‘n’ Her hooks for the back of the door, which I love!


We also recently bought this wooden bathroom cabinet for storage too.


This is one of my favourite makeovers we have done so far. There’s no nice way to say it but the bathroom before was absolutely hideous and while the new design isn’t exactly ground breaking in terms of style or colour scheme, we love it. It makes a huge difference each morning to go into a light, bright bathroom and having got another room finished, it certainly spurs us on to get the next one done!

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Before and After – Dining Room

Today, I wanted to share another ‘Before and After’ of our house and this time it is the dining room. It is actually an open plan kitchen-diner but we haven’t started retiling the kitchen yet so I will just be showing you the dining room. With the completion of my recent Dresser Makeover, I think this room is pretty much how we want it. I would still like to get some more art on the wall and it is my plan to start hunting through picture frames in charity shops to create a mismatched gallery wall.

Here is the ‘Before’ picture from when we came to view the house.

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As you can see, it is painted quite a dark green, there is quite a bit on the walls and a large desk and piano in the corner. It doesn’t look as though it is a particularly functional room and it is definitely not a dining room which I think is really important to have.

February 2012: We sat in here on the first night we moved in, drinking tumblers of red wine and eating my Dads’ lasagne feeling absolutely shattered after moving!


March 2012: We only had a very small table to begin with but made do as we began to unpack and settle in.


May 2012: We re-glossed the doors, fitted some lovely new door knobs and started undercoating the walls.

IMG_1444 IMG_1583June 2012: A few more layers of undercoat were applied but as you can see this room was becoming a bit of a dumping ground!

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July 2012: This room became my new project once I broke up from school for the summer holidays. We had lots of paint sample books and were going back and forth between colours until one day I was in B&Q and spotted this beautiful duck egg colour (which wasn’t on the list of colours we liked!) and I made a snap decision and bought two pots!


I was slightly nervous as I was applying the first coat but I soon fell in love with it and it brightened up the room instantly.


August 2012: With the walls painted, I started on the skirting boards. One thing we noticed when we moved into this house was how unfinished everything was. Here is an example of the paint job by the previous residents:


See what I mean?! Needless to say, this sloppy finish annoyed me daily so I couldn’t wait to sand it down and repaint it a clean fresh shade of white! I also repainted the ceiling and coving in white.


My vintage chandelier arrived and Ian’s Dad fitted for us:


I gave an IKEA wine rack a new lease of life:

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My Dad ripped out the old, cheap-looking white plastic shelf and made me a set of three shelves, which I love!

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January 2013: After hosting Christmas and a New Year’s Eve party, I gave the rather battered looking radiator a quick makeover:


February 2013: Next, was the turn of our dining room table to get a quick paint job:


March 2013: My new floral bunting went up:


April 2013: I painted the kitchen dresser which is my favourite piece in the whole room:


We also hung our new blackboard:


And my mini spice cabinet was put up and offered a handy place to store my oven glove and aprons:

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There you go!

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It is now a fully functioning room where I spend most of my time. I tend to blog and do a lot of my school work at the table and my favourite thing to do here is obviously eating, preferably with friends and family and lots of good food and wine!


Here is the final ‘Before and After’ shots, taken from roughly the same position:


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A Perfect and Personalised Wedding Present

I didn’t have time to post yesterday as we had Ian’s parents staying with us for a few days to lay our bathroom floor. It looks lovely so as soon as I have added some finishing touches I can show you a ‘Before and After’ of our bathroom. Another room ticked off the to-do list too!

Today’s post is rather well-timed as it is coming up to that time of year where your friends and family start getting hitched! Two of our best friends got married last summer and we searched all over the place for a gift that would be really personal. On a posh wedding gift website I saw some map photographs and decided I would be able to make my own version for much less and I would probably enjoy doing it too!


This is ideal for a wedding gift but I would also love to receive this as a housewarming, anniversary or birthday present too.

All you need to make this lovely gift is:


  • A pretty frame with at least two windows in it
  • A map
  • Scissors
  • A pencil

I found this lovely frame in Sainsbury’s and I liked how it looked slightly vintage.


You need to think of some places that are significant to the recipients of your gift. For my friends, we chose the place they met, where they live now and the village they were getting married in. It also helped that these three places were quite far apart from each other on the map so I didn’t have any overlap!

Using the pencil, mark out where you think the frame would look best


And then cut them out – don’t worry if they are creased like mine were because they will be pressed flat again in the frame.


Make sure you rub out any visible pencil lines


Pop the map pictures back in the frame and there you have it…


A really meaningful and personal piece of art for your friends, all done for less than a tenner.

(I know my friends won’t mind me putting the cost as we also got them some other lovely stuff!)

Kitchen Dresser Makeover


Yesterday was glorious here in the West Country and it was like everyone came out of hibernation and were desperate to soak up some rays of sunshine and be outside. Ian and I headed out for a walk along the canal, stopping off for a few drinks al fresco…heaven!

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Today, I wanted to share a little DIY project with you which was my mission to finish this Easter. My main Christmas present from my parents this year was a pine kitchen dresser. I looked everywhere for one that I liked but the only ones I could find were over £600 and I knew a big chunk of this price was down to the fact that someone had hand-painted and customised the piece of furniture. So I decided to change my search and look for a plain pine cabinet to redecorate myself!


The corner that I wanted to put the dresser in isn’t huge so I wanted a slim dresser and found this one in Argos for just £139.99.

The first challenge was putting the thing together, which I have to say took the best part of a Sunday afternoon!

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Ian even managed to screw his finger to the wood!


The pine dresser sat in the corner of our dining room for a few months and started to become a bit of a dumping ground for bills, pens and other junk so when I knew I had two weeks off I decided to tackle this!

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When I pictured moving out to the country, I knew I wanted a dresser in my kitchen. In the 1930s almost every household had one and they were the focus of the room. I think they are a fabulous way to display your favourite things and you can decorate them depending on the seasons.

Knowing I am slightly messy when attempting things like this, I tried my best to minimise the mess by laying down a dust sheet in the kitchen (it didn’t help…there are tiny flecks of paint everywhere now!)


The dresser we bought came in two parts so I decided to decorate them separately to make my daily painting a bit more manageable.

I began by sanding down the wood to remove the sheen that had been applied and also to give the paint something to hold onto.




Then it was a layer of white undercoat.


Followed by 3 layers of antique cream paint. I used the same colour paint as I used on my dining table so there is some consistency in the room.dresser24


I decided that the little wooden knobs were too plain and had to go, along with the wooden feet the dresser was stood on. I found these gorgeous vintage-style knobs on ebay and ordered four in a pretty pastel lilac colour.

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After living in complete chaos for the best part of two weeks and having to carefully avoid getting paint on my clothes, it was time to screw the two parts of the cabinet together and here it is…

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Now comes my favourite part…decorating it!


I plan on constantly tweaking this throughout the year but I grabbed a few of my favourite kitchen items and started pottering.


I began with my favourite plates, from Cath Kidston and some candles.


Then I kept adding to it with items I have picked up from vintage fairs and charity shops.




One of my favourite pieces is this tiny mug of my hometown, Minehead, found at a vintage fair in Birmingham for just £1!


With the completion of this project, my dining room is pretty much finished so I will try to put together another ‘before and after’ post…and start to think about which room I can move onto next!

Latest Purchases #16 – Why you should always read the small print!

Today I wanted to share another recent purchase with you and use it as an example to illustrate why you should never be taken in by a pretty pattern and should actually read the dimensions listed in the small print!

One of my favourite vintage bloggers recommended this tray to me and when I saw the price of just £2.99 I thought it was a real bargain. I pictured myself using it to have breakfast in bed, carry things out to the garden for a BBQ or when Ian is out and I treat myself to dinner on the sofa!


So when Ian text me saying my butter dish had arrived I had no idea what he was talking about…

It turns out that my idea and the ebay seller’s idea of ‘a tray’ was a little different although I am taking full culpability here as the measurements are CLEARLY listed on the page next to where I clicked ‘add to basket’!!!

I still love the pattern on this little tray/ dish/ platter (see, I don’t even know what to call it!) and it will make a welcome addition to my home.


It has that vintage floral Cath Kidston look to it, which I love, and it’s actually very useful.

So far, I am undecided about how to use it:

I may have it as somewhere to keep my oil, vinegar and seasonings next to the hob


I may keep near the front door so we don’t keep losing our keys!


Or I may put it next to my bed to put the jewellery in that I take off at night


I have included the link to this should you fancy treating yourself to one and there are a couple of different sizes and designs available.

Oh, and if you do happen to see a pretty, floral tray of normal proportions online, please do send me the link!

I am off to wrap up warm and crank up the heating ready for the below-freezing temperatures we are expecting tonight…hot cocoa all round! x