Garden storage from Keter

One of the first tasks when we bought our house was to tackle the garden. Last year we managed to finish clearing it all, get some decking laid and also get a pretty big big of lawn laid as well. It all looked beautiful until Jackson destroyed the grass with his poison pee. Anyway, the one thing we lacked was garden storage.

We have a shed at the bottom of the garden but it’s such a mess. It has woodworm, a rotten floor and a massive hole in the back where something keeps digging its way in or out. This is how it was when we moved in. We know it needs to go but we need a store for firewood at the minute.

Last month we splashed out a little bit and invested in a Keter Storage Box. Ideally, I really wanted a new shed and a wood store but we don’t have the money for that right now. This was the next best thing.

Garden storage

The Keter storage box is pretty much what you’d expect it to be; a storage box for outside. This box is actually made from plastic so it is weatherproof. This was the main selling point for me. I can’t be doing with more rotten wood.

The storage box took hardly any time at all to put together. John and I did it together because of how big it is. We managed it in less than half an hour. Most of the pieces slot together and there are only a few screws, even if a few are in awkward places.

Garden storage

The storage box is really sturdy and has so far survived some quite strong winds. Although we haven’t gotten round to it yet, you an add a lock if you want so the box is super secure. We only keep the dog food and rabbit hutch things like hay in there at the minute though.

garden storage

There is also an option to add a shelf to the inside. However, all the instructions state is buy plank of wood and screw in. The wood is not supplied. We haven’t bothered with this.

I honestly love our garden storage box. It’s got so much room in it and holds loads. I can see this being used for Erin’s scooter, bike and other outdoor toys when she’s older.

Unfortunately, these aren’t cheap even though they’re made from plastic. Ours was about £90 I think when we bought it. I didn’t mind though because it’s something that will last ages and we can move it around when we want.

I’d actually like something else from Keter and maybe do away with the wooden shed altogether one day. This is the perfect garden storage for us, especially while the garden is a work in progress.

Disclaimer: This post contains affiliate links. All opinions are my own.

Pride of place

It’s been a while since I have written anything to do with the house. To be honest, I haven’t had the time or money to do anything to it. Recently though, I have given Erin pride of place in our living room.

Pride of place

A few weeks ago at Baby Sensory we were able to have a photo session with Louise Walpole Photography which was fantastic. The session didn’t cost us anything and there was no pressure to buy anything. However, I loved most of Erin’s photos so I had to buy some.

Last week I found some chunky black 7×5 frames in Sainsbury’s on sale for only £4 each. I bought 5!! I knew that I wanted black frames to do a picture wall somewhere in the house at some point so I bought all the frames Sainsbury’s had. I bought photos of Erin, 2 were 7×5 and 1 was 10×8 so I couldn’t frame all 3 pictures.

I’m not quite sure where the picture wall is going to go yet but I was desperate to put up the pictures of my little girl. Our mantelpiece needed a bit of rearranging so I decided the pictures would go there, where I could see them every day. Unfortunately this has meant wedding photos of me and John have come down now.

Pride of place

I am so in love with how this looks. The black frames are fantastic. Now I have two photos framed it makes me want to get a load more done.

We had another photo session done a couple of weeks ago and I’ll be ordering some more prints soon. I have a spare 3 frames so I know exactly what will go in them now. Unfortunately, I have no where to put them at the moment until I redecorate a room and make a feature of the framed pictures.

How do you display family photos around your home?

Review: Chicco Polly Magic High Chair

2016-05-07 11.51.42Being so small Erin did not fit into a high chair very well. They all looked way too big for her and I was always worried that she wouldn’t be secure enough. After a lot of research I came across the Chicco Polly Magic Highchair which, unlike others, stated that it was suitable from birth instead of 6 months. As soon as I saw it, I knew it was the one for us and I had to have it.

Price and availability
Up until now I have been quite frugal when it comes to shopping for Erin. I have bought most of her clothes in sales and there is not much at all that I have paid full price for. I have managed to get a bargain where ever possible. That was not the case with this product. I figured that if I was going to splash out on something then it was going to be this. The high chair cost me a whopping £110. Before it was time to buy one I was planning on getting a second hand high chair from Facebay for around £15. Ooops.

The Chicco Polly Magic Highchair comes in a choice of colours which was something I really liked. I don’t like Erin to have anything overly girly or pink if I can get away with it but I also want things to look as nice as possible. The choices are a brown and cream combination called Cocoa or Pois which is cream and red. I ended up choosing Pois as it just looked that little bit nicer in pictures and more stylish.

Putting it together 
I was so excited when the chair arrived that I couldn’t wait until my husband got home from work to put it together. I’m generally okay at this kind of thing but the box it comes in was massive and a little daunting! However, the high chair is so, so easy to put together and it took me a massive 15 minutes on my own. The instructions are very clear and simple to follow with each piece easy to locate. I have had some instructions before that I couldn’t even read, let alone follow so this was a nice change!

Although the main reason why I purchased this high chair instead of others was because of the age it was suitable from there were also more reasons.

As this chair is suitable for newborns the chair has a memory foam insert to make the size of the seat smaller and more secure. The soft cream material is wonderful and makes a big difference to the size of the seat for Erin. This can be removed for when the child is big enough to fit in the regular seat. With all three bits of material (pattered, red and the cream) the seat is super soft and comfortable.

One of the biggest selling features of this chair for me was the multi height and multi position options. As Erin is only little still I didn’t want this to be used solely for being up at the table. I wanted to be able to have her in this near me on the couch but off the floor as she would be in a bouncer. This chair offers six different height positions and also three different reclines. The highest the chair goes is up to table height while the lowest setting is a little bit higher than my coffee table. The reclines go from being completely upright to being laid back, making it possible for babies to sleep in this chair as well!

Safety is obviously a really important factor when choosing a high chair and the Polly Magic 2016-05-14 20.42.43Highchair has a 5 point safety harness which is fantastic. The straps are adjustable so I’ve been able to make this fit Erin really well and I’ll be able to loosen them as she grows. The table tray also has a middle section which helps to keep the child in place while sitting in the chair.

Speaking of the tray, we don’t actually use it yet. Erin sits near the dining table at the minute when we feed her but it is a very thick and sturdy tray. The tray actually comes in two parts, a main tray and a plastic kind of cover. This means you can have the main tray attached to the chair but take the plastic tray in the kitchen, prepare your child’s meal and bring it through on the tray, all while they still have a table in front of them!

The less obvious features about a product are sometimes the best! This high chair has a foot rest with a removable bottom and it’s all adjustable. The chair has added storage underneath in the form of a basket which folds up if you don’t want to use it. The table can be clipped to the back legs for storage! Everything is moveable with soft touch buttons which have not stuck once yet and they make moving things really easy!

2016-05-14 20.39.28Something that this chair has that I haven’t seen on another is a toy bar and it’s a feature I absolutely love. Erin has not been a fan of bouncers etc. much so far so I was worried she wouldn’t like sitting in this chair. She took to it straight away though because instead of freaking out about being in a strange chair higher up off the floor, she noticed the toys and forgot about where she was. The toy bar keeps Erin happy and occupied while I’m sorting out her food. The toys are also really nice! There is a teether, rattle and squeeky toy all of which can be removed or changed if you wanted to. The toy bar is removable and also adjustable. The handles on the chair have different holes for the toy bar to clip into so you can move it either closer to or further away from the child.

How does it work for us 
Erin and I absolutely love this high chair. Although it was more expensive than I thought I would ever pay for a high chair it has been worth every penny so far. Not only is Erin comfortable sitting in some kind of chair now but she is very happy eating her meals in it. I love the height options as it means being able to keep Erin higher up and away from the puppy.2016-05-14 20.43.31

Something else I must mention is storage of the chair. The whole thing folds up really well. The seat goes into a completely upright position, the arms fold up and the storage basket also folds up so pretty much everything ends up flat! We do have enough room to keep this out properly all of the time but for people with smaller houses it would maybe be the difference between being able to have this or not having it!

The Polly Magic Highchair is sylish and extremely practical and every part of it works like a dream for us. This is suitable up to about 3 years old so we’re going to get a lot of use out of it for what we paid!

The nursery: organised chaos

Anyone who knows me will know how organised I like to be. I love order and cleanliness and I absolutely hate for things to be out of place. Everything in our house has a ‘home’. My husband will completely disagree with me on that though! He’s much more laid back about putting things away (I think that’s a nice way of putting it) and could care less if something got put back in the same place as where it was the day before.

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One room that I don’t feel in control of much is Erin’s bedroom, the nursery. Erin has the second biggest room in the house (very close second to our bedroom) but yet there doesn’t seem to be enough room for everything. I wish I could take a picture of the whole room but it just doesn’t fit in from the doorway. As you can see from the picture above there is a changing table, cot and a chest of drawers on one side of the room. On the other side is a wardrobe and a shelving unit.

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While there is a bit of storage I guess I feel like things don’t really have their own proper place. The changing unit is fine and that really does hold a lot. As you can see in the picture I have it completely packed with nappies and wipes. The wardrobe has mostly dresses hung up as well as a few coats and cardigans. The shelving unit has baby grows and sleep suits while the chest of drawers has socks, tights, leggings and t shirts.

I think I wish that I could get to everything a bit easier/ I could see things better. To start with I had so many baby grows and sleep suits that didn’t fit Erin because of her being so small so the shelving unit had multiple sizes on the shelves. The wardrobe is so packed it is hard to find what I want. There are also boxes of extra clothes in sizes going right up to 3 years old (because I buy cheap when and where I can). The t shirts and leggings in the drawers are impossible to sort through quickly to find something to matches.

Erin would probably find this to be the most calming or fun room in the house with the soft colours, tree on the wall and animals everywhere but it stresses me out.

How do you make the most of your nursery and do you have any tips for clothes storage?!

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My first attempt at upcycling furniture

When my husband and I bought our house we didn’t have nearly enough furniture for it.We moved from a 2 bedroom flat to a 4 bedroom house. We still don’t have enough furniture but I’m constantly looking on Facebay for some bargains. A couple of months ago I managed to get a chest of drawers and a bedside table for £20. Below is what they originally looked like!

The drawers had some really ugly drawer handles too but I took this photo after I’d taken them off and started painting! I bought some Annie Sloan chalk paint to do these up with in Paris Grey. The spare room that I bought the furniture for will be decorated in a grey and green colour scheme eventually so I wanted something to match. Annie Sloan chalk paint is amazing because it paints on near enough anything without having to do any sanding or preparation. The furniture only took 2 coats of paint and each one dried within a couple of hours so I managed to get most of the painting done in one go. Instead of just painting the shell and the fronts I also painted the insides of the drawers.

As you can see, the drawers look completely different than they did to begin with and so much better! So far I have put on 2 coats of Annie Sloan clear wax to seal and protect the paint but I still need to put another coat on and then buff. 

One of the trickiest things with this furniture was the handles. I couldn’t find any drawer handles that had the exact measurements for the holes already screwed in. I was tempted to fill them with wood filler and drill new holes but then I found a solution. In a local store I found some large round handles that are swirls. By using 2 of these next to each other it gives the impression that it is one large handle! This was so much easier than what I was going to do. The shop has run out at the moment so I still need a couple more!

I also wanted to do something a bit special with the insides of the drawers. They can look so plain and boring when they’re just one colour so I decided to decopatch them. I found some really lovely flowery decopatch paper to line the drawers with. This part was really tricky as the sheets were just smaller than A4 and a pain to lay flat in one go. I also had to use different size strips of paper around the edges and some bits overlap so it doesn’t look as neat as it could do but for my 1st attempt, I’m pretty happy. The drawers will be filled anyway so it doesn’t matter too much I guess. From afar they look lovely though. I’ve added on a couple of top coats of glue/ varnish too so that the paper is sealed and has a smooth finish. 

I really love the insides of these drawers now! They really do have that something extra now when you open them.

It’s taken me quite a while to get these done as I only have time on my days off to do bits to them. I can’t wait to get my final couple of handles for them to be finished completely.

For my 1st attempt at upcycling furniture, I’m so pleased with the result. Now I have done these pieces I think I could easily do some more especially now I know how the products work and what to do differently next time!