We’re back baby

Um hi there. Remember me? It’s been months since I’ve posted on the blog. A shameful amount of time. In my brief but genuine defence I did have a baby.

The real news is I am back to the blog at long last now real life has resumed and I’ve finally left the baby bubble. It was nice while it lasted but I’m excited to blog again and ready to start posting regular updates. I’ll start later this week with the long overdue nursery reveal. Loads of pics and all the details. I may have promised it months ago but better delayed than broken in the promise department right?


Shopping Saturday in Drogheda

So part of the reason I set up this blog is the quest to make the web a better place to source home wares and DIY products for Irish customers. I’m not hawking anything here (anyone for de last of de cheeky charlies?!) and I don’t have any affiliations with any retailers. Like any person I have my go to spots for shopping and occasionally try new places too.

I am hoping to regularly showcase things I see on my weekend shopping expeditions that might tickle your fancy. Because quite frankly there are way too few shops offering Euro pricing online for their products – I’m looking at you Homebase and B&Q (and no – promotional PDFs do not count)!

This weekend I was out and about with Mr. W and we called into a few shops on our travels. Here is a selection of housey stuff (and a few bonus baby items) that I spotted or liked last weekend. We happened to hit the shops in the Drogheda area in search of baby essentials and we picked up lots of useful things. I also spotted a few things that I might be returning to as we continue work on Baby W’s nursery.

Woodies DIY (www.woodies.ie) is not normally a place I love to shop. Generally I find their range a little slim and their prices less competitive than say B & Q, which in my normal location of Swords is just a few doors down. But last weekend I was pleasantly surprised by a few things in the Drogheda shop.

These rattan storage baskets caught my eye in the Homewares department. At €29.99 each they are not cheap but are very generously sized and felt sturdy. They were a pale straw colour up close and their square shape really appealed to me as they look neat and tidy lined up next to one another unlike so many bucket style storage baskets currently on the market. They were also offering 20% off some items last weekend – if they repeat that before February I think we might see at least one of these make an appearance in the nursery for toy storage.

IMG_20141025_115904 IMG_20141025_115910

Another bugbear of mine is how hard it can be to find decent lighting options that don’t cost an arm and a leg. I love the selections from Habitat, Arnotts and Made but I usually can’t justify the expense. I have been on the hunt for a large plain white drum shade for use in the nursery. You might think such a thing would be easy to come by but you would be WRONG! We must be a nation that only purchases cream. Cream abounds! White not so much.

Woodies had some seriously old school shades and fittings in stock and none of them were particularly cheap but lo and behold hidden on the end of a row I spotted two modern white options that won’t break the bank. Both are made of flexible plastic so they are cheap and should be easy to keep clean (white shades with dust look so grubby). We have a similar type of ceiling shade from IKEA in our living room (KNAPPA shade) and I have always really liked the clean lines. At €27.99 this could be a good alternative option for the nursery.

IMG_20141025_115716 IMG_20141025_115750

Another similar shade also in stock was this round knotted type below. I’m inexplicably not as keen on this. The longer I look at it the more I think it looks like a football. Probably not the winner but another affordable option to consider.  Strangely neither of these lights is available on the Woodies website so I can’t post links I’m afraid.

A nice bonus with both of these is that they do come assembled. Unlike the IKEA KNAPPA which is fiddly to put together.


Finally Heatons had these really nice mugs from Typhoon. I loved the slightly wonky pattern and muted colours. I think a couple of these with some nice hot chocolate mix and some marshmallows could make a really nice Christmas gift for a friend or relative or even as a teacher present. We have far too many mugs for me to have bought these but I’m sure they won’t be long looking for a good home as they were also nicely priced at €3.50.


Heatons (http://www.heatonsstores.com/) are actually launching a brand new website today. I’m a Heaton fan when it comes to party planning, gifts and homewares. I also picked up some really nice black heeled ankle boots there recently for less than €30. I’m looking forward to seeing the new look site later today and recommend you check it out too!

Happy shopping to anyone heading out in the bad weather this weekend to stock up or start the Christmas shopping!

I’ll be working on the nursery and posting an update early next week.

Blogging 101 Introduction or “Why I’m Here”

So I have started out blogging and am a total newbie. I am planning to read and follow the helpful Blogging 101 series from WordPress. If you are familiar with it you’ll know that the first step is to create a post that explains a little about who you are and why you are blogging – so here goes…

I’m a 29 year old woman living in suburban Dublin, Ireland. 5 years ago this month my husband (then boyfriend) and I bought and moved into our home. We live in a typical Irish suburban 3 bedroom semi detached house with a small garden front and back (we are the WORST gardeners of all time).

Our house was previously rented out for a period of about 10 years. On move in day it was in an ok state of repair but looking very unloved and a dated. We knew that we had lots of work to do and we were excited to do it. We were ready to turn it into a home.

Fast forward 5 years – we have ripped out the old kitchen and fitted a new one, painted every room in the house, hung wallpaper, shelves and pictures and learned a LOT about our limits. We are NOWHERE NEAR finished!

As we tackle projects one room at a time, sometimes big ones like the kitchen and sometimes small ones like finding new accessories, I find I have the same problems over and over.

1. Money – we are not flush so I am always looking for ways to do things on the cheap without them looking cheap! I have often said if I won the lottery tomorrow we would move but I would still do all the work I could never afford just for my own sense of satisfaction (hello new windows)!

2. Time – we both work full time and my commute is upwards of 20 hours a week on it’s own so there are never enough hours in the day. We do as much as we can in the weekends but need time as a family to chill too. My husband is not the DIY enthusiast that I am!

3. Choice & Availability in Ireland – I am a self-confessed Pinterest addict and avid blog reader. The US and the UK have so much more choice and availability when it comes to DIY and home décor and this frustrates me immensely. Major retailers like TK Maxx, B&Q and Homebase don’t offer Euro pricing or shopping online and smaller economies of scale mean we don’t get 1/2 the cool stuff in store that the US and UK do. Add to that the cost of shipping when purchasing for delivery to Ireland from other countries and you may begin to understand why trying to find homewares at affordable prices drives me crazy!

I decided to start blogging as a means of motivation and a personal creative outlet. I hope if you have stumbled across this blog, particularly if you are from Ireland too, you might stop and say hi. Maybe we can share sources or find work-arounds for those impossible to source products together (liquid epoxy in your local hardware shop- seriously!?).

3 is the Magic Number

So friends and family will be well aware by now that in early 2015, provided all goes well, our little family of two will become a family of 3.  Mr. W and I are very excited to become parents. This is something we had been hoping and planning for quite a while and for a planner like me the undefined wait was not an easy one!

At last we have a deadline in mind. Baby W is due to make an appearance some time around Valentine’s Day so the countdown is officially on. As you may have guessed nursery preparations are fully underway at this point and I am really enjoying the chance to create a fun room for our little one.

This has so far been a project with plenty of challenges though. Today I thought I would guide you through the planning process a little to kick off a series of posts I will be writing as work progresses on the nursery.

As with any room there were bunch of things I needed to take into consideration before work could start:

  • Budget (as small as possible – babies cost a LOT of money you guys)
  • Practicality (needs to be warm, bright, easy to clean and have adequate storage)
  • Gender neutral (Mr. W doesn’t want to know so I can’t know or I would spill it)
  • Grown up enough to last (I don’t want a baby room I want a kids room)
  • Space (we live in a Dublin 3 bed semi-d so space is always at a premium)

With all of this in mind I started looking for images to give me a little inspiration. Here are some gorgeous rooms I pinned early in the process. You can click on any one to find out more:


Project Nursery: A pink and navy nursery for Eloise


Project Nursery: Delight by Emerson Grey Designs


Beautiful bedding from BeautifulBebeDesigns on Etsy


This was going to be a LOT tougher than I expected! There are tons of great kids rooms out there but not a huge number of great gender neutral kids rooms. I have never been a lover of cream, beige or lemon and most major retailers, in Europe at least, seem to have limited their baby items to pink, blue and one of those options. Even plain white items can be surprisingly hard to come by!

Where I did manage to find more adventurous options they usually cost a lot more than the standard  – ruling them out of our budget. No change there – I have always had expensive taste!

After all of this finally stumbled on some gorgeous “pinspiration” fr0m DesignSponge.


A great starting point found on DesignSponge

Here was a colour scheme I could get on board with! I knew that I could easily add pops of colour to brighten the room and the neutral background would offer a calm backdrop for the riot of plastic toys, teddy bears and non-gender neutral clothing that will soon fill the room. More inspiration images started to fill up my Pinterest Baby W board!

Now all I had to do was:

  • Clear our spare bedroom of the 5 years of accumulated crap we hide in there
  • Prep the walls
  • Paint the wardrobes
  • Paint the ceiling and walls
  • Source and add affordable nursery furniture
  • Add a new ceiling light
  • Source and add affordable textiles
  • Create storage for nappies, toys, clothes and everything else that comes with a newborn

That’s not so bad right? Oh and one final item:

  • Grow a person while doing all of this!

Maybe I should go take a nap and come back to this list later…

Will it ever be finished?

I have a friend who is in the habit of asking me “Is the house finished now?”

Oh how I laugh. He usually looks a bit confused (and miffed that I am laughing  – oops).

“No”, I say, “it’s not finished. It may never be finished”.

Any house-proud home owner out there might tell you the same. There is always something to do.

Maybe the ceiling in the kitchen is gone fierce yellow looking. Better grab the rollers.

The boiler might be making a terrifying noise. Say a little prayer and switch it off? No, it made the oomph noise – it’s grand.

Perhaps you have finally admitted you HATE those bloody bathroom tiles. I don’t even remember picking up the chisel.

Or it could be as simple as popping some new sheets on to brighten up the bedroom. That lamp doesn’t really work now does it? – I’ll be on the lookout for a new one.

Normally when he asks me if it’s finished I start to worry. Should it be finished by now? Do people actually DO that?

I love decorating my home. I might not always love the sore arms from painting or the sight of my bank balance after another trip to IKEA. Sometimes I might take a couple of weeks off and not lift a finger. (Except for pinning – I can’t kick my Pinterest habit no matter how tired and broke I am. A girl can still dream.)

But in end I always come back for more. I get excited about a space. I think of a way to improve our home and sometimes our life in it. I make a list, start a pin board and off we go again. It makes me happy.

If it’s ever finished we might have to move.