Our house renovation dream

We got engaged!

We’ve been off the radar because we’ve been up to this!



Paul proposed at home on 16th January and then we had the best secret weekend away at the Wensleydale Heifer (post about the amazingness of the Heifer to follow really soon!)

Rachel’s Cakes for Paul’s Birthday

Just a quick post to let you know that Paul is 35. He doesn’t look it, I know.

We had a brilliant day out celebrating his birthday in a little bit of snow in York. We both love York and have made it a bit of a birthday tradition to take the day off and do something in the city. A couple of years ago, I had my birthday there and Paul treated me to a thousand hands massage which blew my tiny mind.

Anyway, Paul’s birthday started with an outstanding breakfast at Bruks Cafe who have just moved premises and thrown us completely, but have done out their new digs with old pallet boards and clearly spent a ton of time on Pinterest and actually using it to make stuff that looks good. Bravo.

We had our own private tour around York’s Chocolate Story, not because we’re swanky VIPs but because  we showed up at 11am on a Wednesday with a Groupon voucher and no one else was there. If you like chocolate, (hello, everyone), get to it. It’s a brilliant day out (especially if you have Dougie the tour guide who I want to run tours of the house when we have people over)

Once we’d wandered around York, we headed home for a traditional birthday tea, with cake.

For context, last year I bailed on buying a cake for Paul. We were so busy at the house that I delegated the job to my Mum. Knowing that Paul is the world’s biggest Tiffin fan, she bought a huge slice of Tiffin instead of a cake for Paul, put some candles in it and presumed that would be satisfactory.  It turned out that Paul would give her grief for this particular misdemeanour pretty much every week for the following year.

So I decided to ask my lovely old friend, Rach, who makes incredible cakes to make Paul a Superhero cake.  All her own idea, I can’t take any credit apart from a brief which basically said “he loves all Superheroes”. It tasted incredible – double chocolate amazingness and it looked incredible too. Here’s what she came up with:

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…the happiest Paul has probably ever been! Thank you Rach!

Here are some of her other cakes from the past year, I love them all, especially the Potter cake.



If you’re in or around Leeds, check out her Facebook page: Rachel’s Cakes

The Customised IKEA Wardrobe Odyssey

As many of you are aware, I don’t post on the blog very often (I leave it in the capable hands of Heather). Its not because I don’t want to, its because I’m significantly better at actually doing DIY than I am writing about it (a teeny weeny bit is also because my writing next to Heathers writing makes me feel like a kid with a crayon versus Oscar Wilde).

That said, I’ve just finished my part of what has been one of those unexpected ‘labour of love’ jobs – namely the customised IKEA wardrobe.

I say ‘my part’ as there are still mirrors to add to the door segments and something across the top to tie it all together, but that requires a more cultured eye than mine so I’ll leave it to Heather to post the final image (and a handy guide as to how we achieved it all).

Back to my part….the idea was simple, a full wall length set of wardrobes for the main guest bedroom that will allow us to get our stuff off of the temporary rails and hanging it up like normal people, whilst allowing extra space for some well deserved retail therapy after some hard house renovation.

Looks simple and easy right? Nuh-uh

Looks simple, right?

All I can say is that for me, this job has been right up there in terms of annoyance levels with the itchy insulation. I can sum it up all pretty succinctly.

Wrap your house and garden in cling film so you can prime and then lay and spray/roller 3 coats of paint onto 94 pieces of wardrobe, to make it look less straight off the IKEA factory line and more ‘The Great Interior Design Challenge’ (yup, we watch a lot of that – fast forwarding through the history bits of course). By my count assuming each piece has a front, back and four edges – that’s 2,256 individual layers of paint!

The above may sound a bit negative, but as with any job that is hard, it is absolutely worth it. The wardrobes look great, give us much needed storage space that we had been struggling without for six months and when they are finished with the mirrors, will really bring the bedroom to life and reflect light all over the place.

Would I change anything with hindsight that might help you in future. I wished we had scratched/sanded the standard melamine surfaces on the units first so that the paint got a better bonding surface that was less likely to chip, but at least we know for next time.

I love our wardrobes and I can’t wait to get them finished now we are on the home stretch, but if you want a sample of how sick I was of them with the endless painting and rushing to get them built in time for Christmas, then just watch the below on repeat for 30 seconds or so ;o)


Lets hope this wardrobe post helps me to open up a bit on future posts……. Get it?