Our new monochrome kitchen plans

Planning Our New Monochrome Kitchen

About a year ago, I posted about our kitchen, and plans to revamp it, versus replace it. We had planned to replace the tiles, floor and worktops and keep the oak cupboards. Well after many (many) quotations for revamping it, it became very clear that to rip it out and start again would be a better use of our hard-earned money. So I started planning our new monochrome kitchen.

If you follow me on Instagram, you may have seen glimpses of our plans, but now it’s finally time to reveal our plans! Considering our house is our ‘forever home’ and we plan on being here for many many years, we figure if we’re shelling out thousands of pounds, we may as well get exactly what we want.

OUR CURRENT KITCHEN

Whilst our old cupboards are sound, they have all been positioned way too high, at least an inch higher than normal. This explains the large gap above the dishwasher! The top cabinets are even higher, so I need a step stool to reach the top two shelves.

Orange oak kitchen with old electric oven

There is a large gap above the dishwasher – a tell tale sign that the worktop is too high. You can see how tall the kickboards are too.

So for the time it would take to move and rejig all the old cupboards, it would not be cost effective. So we will get a much better result (plus doors and the layout we actually want) for spending the extra on new cabinets.

The main driver of the kitchen replacement is the oven. It barely works and has taken all the joy out of cooking for me. (The amazing pressure cooker I have reviewed recently has helped with that though!) But I also hate the tatty orange faux-tile flooring (it has a hole in it, and is wearing out and peeling up all over the place.) I detest the orange and beige tiles, and I I’m not a fan of the dark laminate worktops. I don’t mind the oak doors but they wouldn’t have been my choice.

THE MONOCHROME KITCHEN OF OUR DREAMS

This is my Pinterest board for our dream kitchen, do follow me if you like this sort of look!Dream Grey and White Kitchen Pinterest Board

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BareMinerals Bare Pro and Original SPF15 Mineral Foundation

BareMinerals Mineral Foundation Original Vs Bare Pro Performance Wear Foundation

I am a big fan of BareMinerals Mineral Foundation. I’ve used their Original Mineral Foundation for ages. I’ve also tried the Matte version (too chalky for me) and their now-discontinued Ready Foundation (which I didn’t like at all). When I heard about their latest launch: Bare Pro Performance Wear Powder Foundation, I really wanted to love it. Read on to see how they compare.BareMinerals Mineral Foundations

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Getting Inspired at The Spring Fair

Have you ever been to a home and gift expo before? I went along to the Spring Fair in Birmingham this week, to look for inspiration. The Spring Fair is gigantic. There are hundreds, if not thousands, of stands from all sorts of brands, big and small. From homeware, DIY, fashion, and gifts, there is a lot to see!

According to a new poll, three in ten people admit lying to their friends about where they bought homeware finds, to stop them copying their style! Well that is not my style at all – when I find a bargain I like to share it! So I’ve handpicked a few of my latest discoveries, and where you can find them.

MY SPRING FAIR HOMEWARE EDIT

First up, these gorgeous neon decorations from Love Inc. caught my eye. They aren’t cheap but boy are they cheerful! This Cloud and Rainbow LED Neon Light is £195, but isn’t it adorable?Neon cloud with rainbow from Love Inc Continue reading

Zoya Natural Nail Polish and Mini Color Lock System

Does Natural Nail Polish Actually Work? Zoya Nail Varnish Review

I’m working towards cutting chemicals out of my beauty regime, but one thing I’d never tried was natural nail varnish. Every normal nail polish I’ve tried stays about two days before they chip, or sometimes three, if I’m really careful. I’ve tried high end and high street and they are all pretty much the same. So I didn’t really think there was any point trying one with reduced chemicals.

But a friend posted a scary article on Facebook about the damaging effects of regular nail varnish on your body. I don’t know how much truth there is in it, but it did get me thinking. She recommended Zoya so I used some of my Christmas money to treat myself. I got this gorgeous bright coral shade, and a base coat and top coat kit from LoveLula, my favourite natural beauty shop*.Zoya Natural Nail Polish Mini Color Lock System

The colour I chose is Wendy, and it’s absolute perfection. It’s really bright, almost neon. I love it. Continue reading

Bella Electric Pressure Cooker

Bella Electric Pressure Cooker Review and Giveaway

Pressure cookers have come a long way since the 80s. My mum had one (probably still does!) and it was huge, heavy, and hogged the whole hob. As far as I can remember, she only used it for the Christmas pudding, and to pop popcorn. Well, fast forward 30 odd years, and I can tell you the new generation are nothing like that noisy old one.  I’ve been testing a swanky electric pressure cooker, and it’s pretty cool and does lots more than just pressure cook.

SCROLL DOWN TO ENTER MY COMPETITION TO WIN YOUR OWN BELLA ELECTRIC PRESSURE COOKER

I’ve been interested in getting a pressure cooker for a year or so now. When I was part of the IKEA Live Lagom sustainability project, a few people got them and were raving about them. They cook really quickly, thereby saving money on fuel costs.

As a busy working mum, my time is very precious. I do love cooking but have been put off since we moved house as our oven is terrible. We are getting a new kitchen in a  few months, so we are trying to save money. This clever electric pressure cooker ticks all the boxes, and has reignited my interest in cooking!

Bella Electric Pressure Cooker and utensils

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Ava practicing ballet

Ava and Thea’s January: Ballet, Tea and Sylvanian Families

January is such a tiresome month, isn’t it? I’m always glad to see the back of it, so I can start looking forward to spring! We’ve had a busy month, as usual, but we’ve been concentrating on family time whilst the weather is so miserable.

I’VE BECOME A BALLET MUM

When I was about four, I started ballet. I remember it so clearly: good toes and naughty toes! Thea is always dancing about so I thought she would enjoy ballet too. Well, I couldn’t have asked for a better reaction! She and her cousin Bonnie went to their trial session and the pair of them grinning from ear to ear though the whole class. So I am now officially a ballet mum, having spent ages sewing the elastic into her little shoes!Mini ballet shoes

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Why we must talk to our chlldren about sexism

Why We Need To Talk To Our Children About Sexism

This week, at age six, Ava has had her first experience of sexism

She’s been going to football club after school for a couple of weeks, and hasn’t really been enjoying it. Yesterday, when I picked her up, she was crying. It was mainly that she was cold and the boys weren’t passing the ball to her. But it also turned out that one of the boys has been telling the rest of the boys that “football isn’t for girls.” And that’s why we need to talk to our children about sexism."Football isn't for girls": Why we need to talk to our children about sexismI told her that in the olden days (she loves that term) only boys were allowed to go to school, as lots of people thought girls weren’t clever enough. She was visibly shocked: “But that isn’t true!” Quite.  Continue reading

PHB Ethical Beauty Mascara review

PHB Ethical Beauty Mascara Review: The Perfect Natural Mascara?

The perfect mascara: it’s is the holy grail of make-up, right? So hard to find, and I have set myself an extra challenge by trying to cut down the chemicals in my beauty products! I haven’t had much luck with natural mascaras in the past, so I wasn’t too optimistic about PHB Ethical Beauty Mascara. This All-In-One Natural Mascara has a lot of promises:

“It lengthens, thickens and volumises lashes with a gentle water-resistant formula that lasts all day without ever smudging or flaking. Made with a unique blend of botanical oils which nourish and protect, helping to lengthen and strengthen lashes naturally for beautiful eyes.”

So did it live up to this description?

PHB Ethic Beauty All In One Natural Mascara with box

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Black circular shelving and mirror in a monochrome family bathroom

How We Created A Light, Bright, Monochrome Bathroom

It’s been a while, but our ‘new’ monochrome bathroom is finally complete! It has been fully functional for a long time, but I have only just found the right finishing touches.

So here is the finished monochrome bathroom:

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My Favourite 5 for December: Christmas Family Fun

We have had the most marvellous December, with Ava’s birthday and party, (I can’t believe I am now the proud owner of a six year old!) Christmas, and New Year. What a busy month!

THE CHRISTMAS HOLIDAYS

We’ve had such fun with Christmassy activities at school and home, and I have absolutely loved having the girls off school and preschool for over two weeks. They are thick as thieves, and were plotting mischief in this picture. Ava and Thea

I don’t know about you, but I’m not looking forward to getting back into the daily school run routine. Continue reading