Discovering that gardening is therapeutic 

Our house on the lake is still a place I look forward to returning to after a day at work and I still can’t quite believe it’s ours. As you know we’ve been doing lots of DIY on our little gem and although there is still lots to do it’s spring and that means our DIY takes us outside!

One of the essentials when we were looking for houses was an outdoor space and we’re lucky that we have 33 meters of garden at the back of the house:  

Its actually quite difficult to design a garden that’s that long and narrow (I know, first world problems) but we’ve decided to divide it up into four parts – a patio, a classic english garden, a herb garden and an outdoor kitchen. Again Pinterest has become an absolute obsession, it’s very easy to get carried away 😉 

However, we’ve started with the classic English garden, which we dug out to fit beautiful lavenders, box hedging, hydrangeas and hornbeam:

A few before and after photos:   

               In total we planted 180 box hedges but being outdoors, sitting in the sunshine and letting your mind run wild is actually quite therapeutic. Although I had a lot of this:   Finishing one section of the garden gives you a real sense of achievement and puts us one step closer to finishing our project, which puts a big smile on my face 🙂 

What’s your spring project?

The seasons are changing

I love seasons. I’ve always said I love New York because it has all the seasons – crisp and snowy winters, bright springs, warm and sunny summers and gorgeous autumns. Now, I don’t live there but that’s another blog post for another time.

I love nature. I’ve always loved the outdoors and as a child my sister and I would play outside until dinner. I often think back on those days, those we’re good days.

Moving to the house on the lake in the summer was great, nature was great and I fell in love with my surroundings:
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It’s a place that I look forward to spending every season and now that the first frost has hit I’m actually a little excited about what’s next:

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I’m hoping for snow this year (well after my parents arrive for their/my first English Christmas) as winter is my favourite time if year!

What’s your favourite season?

Do you ever stop dreaming?

My blog is personal to me and as you know from about me I set out to write it as a sort of therapy / reflection / diary of life.

One of the things I’ve been contemplating is whether we ever stop dreaming? I see myself as a realist, I get up and get on with things, I get things done and don’t dwell on them – it’s who I am, take it or leave it. However, as you get older I think your dreams slow down a little bit and I’ve learned that you don’t have to hurry to get there. So I had a cuppa:
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I can be impatient, which is why Welly is probably good for me. I tend to want everything at once but he once said that he doesn’t want our lives to pass us by and I love that. However, when I invited my sister to a walk and a pub lunch in the country and her reply was ‘we’re not 50 yet’ it really made me think. So I made myself a cocktail:

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I think that as you get older your goals and dreams become long term rather than short term ones – for example you can’t renovate a house in a month or even two and that’s OK.

I am still a dreamer and I don’t ever want to give that up. I’m also a doer and I will make my own dreams come true, they will just take a bit longer to get there which is AOK with me!

The fruit of our labour – eating what nature has on offer

The whole idea of moving to the house on the lake was to enjoy the outdoors a bit more, live a healthier and happier lifestyle and have more space. We have all of this but what I didn’t foresee was all the wonderful fresh food readily available on our doorstep – by the way, this is now our doorstep ;-):
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As you know from my recent thoughts on how to destress during the evenings I love I good walk around the lake. Recently I’ve indulged in these tasty blackberries:

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These delicious little plumbs were a welcome surprise and were enjoyed as a snack:

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However most incredible of all was these delicious crayfish, which Welly turned into an oh so tasty pasta dish with a crayfish bisque:

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Knowing that the nature around us is so full of life and goodness makes me even more aware of how important it is to be living an eco friendly lifestyle and using natural products!

I can’t wait to see what else is around the corner as the seasons change.

DIY – slow and steady wins the race

DIY – it’s rewarding, fun, exciting and grownup but it’s also slow, hard work and a little frustrating at times, mainly because it’s stuff we can’t do ourselves!

My good friend over at Let Her Eat Clean once said to me ‘slow and steady wins the race’ so that’s what I’m standing by and letting the experience of doing up our first house together be an enjoyment!

I’m learning new skills, which is great and putting late victorian features back into the house on the lake is so rewarding. My latest project has been restoring a fireplace for the second bedroom – this eBay wonder that Welly won:

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Paint stripper in hand, protection sorted – it all began:

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Two hours and two layers of paint later:

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Four hours and four layers of paint later (I was starting to wish I had just applied a fifth layer of paint at this stage):

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Meanwhile Welly had made room for the fireplace by exposing the original ‘hole in the chimney’:

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And it went in, got sanded down and got plastered up:

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Now we just need to sand the floors, paint the room, put a radiator back in, put down vintage victorian tiles, paint the fireplace and most importantly decorate the room. It might sound like a lot but we’re more than halfway there and it’s all still pretty exciting 🙂

Are you living the DIY dream?

Dreamy bank holiday – diy, friends & food

It just so happened that the last bank holiday of the year was the first bank holiday in the house on the lake for Welly and I.

We have extensive plans for the downstairs of our home so we wanted to paint a bit and put in some colour before we get going with our kitchen extension next year:
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I love Habitat so safe to say we paid them a quick visit. Our eBay antique and history-filled furniture are perfect backdrops to a punch of colour:

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Upstairs is another story. We’re currently getting the second bedroom ready for mama and papa Hansen’s visit in September – check out Welly exposing the fireplace:

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And ripping up the gorgeous chocolate brown carpet:

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Between all the diy and interior goodness we got to have our first dinner party with my favourite gal over at the house called abe and her hubby herringbone kitchens which was just dreamy! We followed this with a BBQ with good friends enjoying the fab weather until the bats came out to play!

This weekend has been one we’ve dreamed of for a very long time and the fact that we did it all is another tick on the to-do list 🙂

The big move

It finally happened, we’ve moved to the house on the lake and it’s fab!However, let me take you back to when we started the big move.

It’s incredible how much two people who share one room can have between them. So Everyone who knows me will be aware that I like a good plan and the move was therefore organised, time managed and it came as no surprise that the first van load looked like this:
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But the two other that followed was a bit of a shock. So what’s a girl to do?! After all I do have my priorities in check :-):

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Welly and I did the move each day after work for three days, we could have waited for the weekend but the excitement of having bought our first home made us feel a bit like Hercules. Plus we treated each day like a big celebration:

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I’ve always been a morning person but I realised that mornings in the house on the lake are better than what I could have imagined – they are simply blissful:

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And when your morning commute starts with this wonder of a walk you can’t really complain:

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I can’t wait to share the progress with you as we renovate, clean and unpack this little gem.

Do you have any exciting projects brewing?