Garden Winter cleanup

Isn’t it sometimes funny that we put small jobs off for months! For some reason our brains avoid certain things and us cleaning up the garden for Winter has been one of those things. But in just over an hour today, we cleared as many leaves as possible and emptied all the pots ready for next Spring. It felt good to see it clearer once we had finished, but I just wish we were better at doing the small jobs!!

It actually doesn’t look massively different on these photos, but we filled a wheelie bin and about 10 big tubs full of leaves! I am now of course, just waiting for snow!! Finger crossed.

Wardrobe Make Over

It’s funny you know, I have tried to start this post a few times as I am worried that it’s going to sound like I’m bragging, which would, you know, be a bad thing. But I just really wanted to document how totally chuffed I am with our new wardrobes – I mean REALLY pleased.

I lived as a singleton for a long time when I left home at 21 and only ever really had the need for a single wardrobe. So when M and I moved in together we were desperately short of storage space and so we bought ourselves a couple of sets of matching draws and wardrobes.

Wardrobes bought in 2005

Wardrobes bought in 2005

They were from Ikea and we thought they were ace. We had them in the old house in Haydock and then they moved brilliantly with us to N-le-W. However, after we moved we quickly realised that we had more stuff than wardrobe space and had to invest in a garment rail too so that everything didn’t feel squashed.

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But that made our bedroom start to feel untidy so finally about a month ago, we decided to invest in some new fixtures and fittings thought we would give Ikea another go. We firstly tried the PAX Planner thingy, which went horribly at first but after some perseverance we managed to get it working and came up with this design.

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PAX is the self build wardrobe range from Ikea that has mix and match interiors which include everything from pull out shelves, shoe racks and soft close, glass fronted drawers. Wardrobe porn basically!!

Anyway, we went to Ikea in Warrington and even though they carry some lovely furniture, their customer service techniques are patchy at best. We went initially to get a quote and were served by a young girl who looked like she tolerated us rather than valued out custom. Then when we returned to actually order the wardrobes we had to search the windowless and cavernous shop for an assistant as the wardrobe section was empty of anyone. BUT once we located someone she dealt with us fairly efficiently. However, here is where we me the 1st of 2 stumbling blocks. Ikea advertise that they will deliver the wardrobes for £35 and install them for 20% of the purchase price. So even though we thought that was quite expensive, we agreed in lieu of an alternative.

However, it turns out that the £35 is paid to Ikea but the installation people are 3rd party, need paying in cash on the day and will only come a few days after the wardrobes (bits) are delivered. So that was a NO from us. Instead we just asked Ikea to deliver to us on a particular day and organised the ever BRILLIANT Handy Macky to come and install & build.

So on the prescribed day and without too much fuss the many, many, MANY boxes of wardrobe parts arrived… which made me think, you don’t actually buy a wardrobe so much as a wardrobe jigsaw.

It took Handy Macky 2 full days to put 1st the carcasses and then the sliding doors together and  of course the girl in Ikea had ordered to wrong size doors which saw us hotfooting it back to the horrid store. To be fair to Ikea they refunded us £10 of the delivery charge and then picked the correct door sizes for us, despite them usually being self-serve and them being so busy, there were people queuing to get in!

But we did get the right doors without too much stress and honestly if you ever need a handyman around the Widnes/Warrington/St Helens ish area, then Handy Macky is your man. He worked SO hard to get things ready!

So whilst all this was going on, M and I had been to Ikea the week before and picked all our interiors, which of course came flat pack and we had to spend a good few hours putting together. This actually was quite fun and so when the carcasses were finally erect, we actually had everything else ready to go…..

It took us (well, M) another couple of days to get the runners and rails in place to accommodate the various draws and shoe racks, but finally they were ready!!

My particular favourite bits are the shoe shelves and M’s pull out tray for his little bits and bobs. But my ultimate favourite part and the thing I think set the whole arrangement off, are the lights. They come on when we slide the doors open and they are just BRILL!! They give off a lovely soft light and I feel like now I can really see my clothes properly!

We have also had a MASSIVE clothes clear out and both the old clothes and the old wardrobes and drawers were donated to The British Heart Foundation. They weren’t new, but they were well looked after.

Getting wardrobes from Ikea has pros and cons. The pros being that they were very interchangeable in that we could pick from a different colours, door styles, interiors, lighting and sizes. The cons being basically the complicated flat pack nature of the wardrobes and the hit and miss customer service of Ikea.

But overall, we are very pleased with the final product and the trade-off for the cons was the reasonable price. This post wasn’t paid for but I have to say, I am still a fan of Ikea furniture and the like. The shop is AWFUL, it’s the only place M and I come close to falling out and the staff can be invisible but their furniture is stylish and competitively priced. You are my guilty pleasure Ikea, a bad boyfriend. You give me a headache and cost me money, but I keep coming back!

G x

Bents Does Christmas

Yes, Yes, I know it’s too early and Yes, Yes, I know I am breaking my own rule about keeping Christmas in December, but yanno – it’s so pretty….

So on Saturday, after we went to Pennington Flash, we decided to go somewhere for a nice cup of tea. As it was fairly late in the day, we decided to go to Bents Garden and Home. Not so much a Garden Centre but a MASSIVE garden centre/cafe/housewares/supermarket/toy store/gift shop/furniture and pet shop!

But we didn’t get to the tea for a while once we arrived as they are fully bedecked for Christmas, which I STILL think is too early for me, but I guess for retailers, it makes sense. Either way, I got too giddy and took some photos of their stuff –

As you can see from the photos, there was a tiny break in the Christmas adornments for the odd pumpkin and decorative apple, but mostly it was all about the tree and the lights. I did treat myself to a large frosted candle holder as well as some twinkly lights for my dressing table. Overall a very good visit  – oh and the tea was good too – eventually. 🙂

Gill x

Snug Reveal

Oh wow, so I am pretty excited to share this with you – but we have finally finished our snug. We call it our “snug” but it’ actually the top floor of our house and technically it’s supposed to be our master bedroom. However, we had other ideas… 

We have been using it for storage since we moved in, but we have decided to finally get some furniture and make it into a proper room… I filmed a video to show you – but first her are some pictures:

and if you want to see it all in real life…. 

We are so chuffed with it… 🙂

G x 

New mattress

So yesterday we took delivery of a brand new mattress and let me tell you, it was NOT before time. We have thought we needed a new one for a while and I wasn’t convinced, but after 5 days on the lovely, comfy beds in Anglesey and one uncomfortable night back at home, my mind was made up. 

So we went shopping and found ourselves in “Dreams” which is a national bed and mattress shop and I was AGHAST at the flipping prices of things. Mattresses started at £400 and went right up to £2,500!!!!  Dreams also have a new campaign which advises that you should change your mattress every 8 years and seeing as we have had ours 17 years.. then maybe our purchase was  a little overdue. 

Anyway, the mattress was delivered yesterday and Dreams charged us £38 for delivery and “installation” – utter bunkum…. two lads took it upstairs and plopped it on the divan base. But all looked good and I made the bed and thought I would have a glorious night’s sleep – I couldn’t have been more wrong 🙁 

However, the sleep I had – or didn’t have, was nothing to do with the new bed arrangements, it was simply that the bad dreams that have plagued my slumber since mum died, returned in abundance last night. 2 dreams, one about me losing my hair and another one where people keep coming to me to tell me mum has died, and it feeling like I am hearing the news afresh each time. 

I was subsequently awake on and off all night and eventually got up early for a shower. Ho hum.

Let’s hope the day improves. 🙂 

G x 

p.s. the new mattress was VERY comfy and well worth the money  – sometimes, you do get what you pay for.