Monday, 30 November 2015

Secret Stylist


Eek it's December tomorrow! Another year nearly over, how did that happen? House of Fraser asked me to take part in their blogger #secretstylist - which is basically secret santa, so my first Christmas present of the year arrived on my doorstep last week, which is no bad way to get into the Christmas spirit! A group of bloggers were asked to pick out some House of Fraser Jewellery for each other, and I got these beautiful earrings and necklace, so thank you to my secret stylist, whoever you are!

They feel really festive, particularly the wreath earrings, and definitely something I'll get a lot of wear out of. I picked for Tea Party Beauty so fingers crossed she likes what I chose!

Sunday, 29 November 2015

Lazy Sunday Links

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1. It shouldn't come as a surprise that Charlotte Olympia Dellal has the best accessories 2. Oh my, pear crumble pie! 3. I love these iron beadsteads 4. A beautiful party outfit 5. Why is it gift guides just make me think of things I want? 6. China meets Downton Abbey

I am writing  this on Saturday afternoon, curled up on the sofa with coffee and The Great Pottery Throwdown on iplayer. It's not quite as good as the bakeoff but it fills a gap! Today, after I finally persuaded myself to get out of my warm bed into the cold, I did chores this morning and then went for a long pub lunch with my grandparents. 

Tomorrow (or today by now!) James and I are heading to the East London Furniture Flea. I am desaparately hoping I don't like anything as without a car we won't be able to get it home. I double checked my parents weren't do anything in case I need to persuade them to pick us up from Bethnal Green with a sideboard or something!

Thursday, 26 November 2015

New Bathroom Tour!


It's finally done! Months of scheming, three weeks of work and a skip full of rubbish which is still outside my house but the bathroom is done! I am so so happy with it, everything just came together exactly how I had imagined, which is both miraculous and awesome. I've pretty much had a abth everydaysince we moved back, which I need to stop because I am killing the planet but its just so nice!

The only issue is it does feel a bit sterile, so I am looking for ways to make it feel more homely and lived in. I am thinking maybe it needs a chair, or some baskets, or more art maybe? A rug? I don't know, I think its partly because the room is so big it just feels like it needs a bit more stuff, y'know?

In terms of what we do have in there, the bathroom furniture and the floor tiles are almost all from Villeroy and Boch, via WCOne which is a local bathroom shop. The towels, bathmat, soap dispenser and toothbrush holder are all House by John Lewis. The diffuser is Orla Kiely in Earl Grey (smells amazing!) and the picture of a Narwhale playing the banjo is from etsy, but I can't seem to find it online any more, alas.

Monday, 23 November 2015

Muji Tottenham Court Road


A trip to Muji usually has me ready to both move in and organise all my drawers into neatly divided acrylic containers. Last week's trip to the Tottenham Court Road store to see the new skincare range was no exception. I definitely need to go back and actually try the skincare, as it looked right up my street, but I got way too carried away with Christmas scented candles and bathroom storage. My new bathroom cabinet is going to be the most organised thing ever. And then I'm going to spend the next few months getting annoyed with James when he puts stuff back in the wrong place and he's going to spend the next few months getting annoyed with me because he can't find anything. At least we are predicatable!

I am also obsessed with their touch screen gloves. Not enough shops make them, and they are awesome. I wouldn't go back to regular gloves now, and risk getting cold fingers while I wait for my train to work each morning. Or I could not spend every waking moment playing on my phone, but that is never going to happen.

Thank you Muji for having me, offering me sushi and a sneaky blogger discount too. Much obliged!

Sunday, 15 November 2015

A picture of the week


The bathroom is done and we are back at home. Hurrah! We spent most of yesterday frantically cleaning as my friend Kate is bringing her little baby boy over for lunch today, and it was decidedly not baby friendly here at Casa Harriet. 

We still have a fair bit to do but as long as you ignore the piles of cardboard awaiting removal, the spare paint and tiles stacked in the corner and the skip outside it's all good. The bathroom is just perfect so it's all worth it anyway. I had my first bath last night and it was just heavenly. Photos to come soon! Of the bathroom, not me in the bath obv. This is not that sort of blog!

After three weeks away it was just nice to be back in our own home. Living in a semi-work in progress can get a bit depressing at times as I just notice the things that aren't done, not the progress we've made. Coming home after a break has definitely made me appreciate the house as it is more, as well as giving me the itch to get on and make progress on some of the other areas. Hopefully 2016 will be the year of the Kitchen, as well as the year of the get-all-the-little-projects-done-which-I've-been-putting-off!

Thursday, 12 November 2015

Bathroom Progress


It's not been the ideal blogging situation with my house covered in dust and living out of suitcases at my parents for the past three weeks, but I just wanted to pop in and show you a few photos of the progress so far! We should be all done and ready to move back home this weekend (these were taken last Saturday), but tbh most of the big stuff was done by last weekend and the remaining stuff is mainly cosmetic - fit the shower, tile the floor, add a door to the boiler cupboard, plumb in the sink (ok, maybe that one is not just cosmetic!) The point is it's the home straight now!

It's so weird having only really ever seen the choices we made in a showroom, or a catalogue, now seeing them in real life in my house. It's such a lot of money, yet you just have to pick something and hope it works out! Thus far I am super happy with everything (phew!) The hardest decision was probably the grouting for the tile. I know dark grout and light tile is having a bit of a moment right now, and I was worried it would be a trend that I would grow out of, but I love how it has worked out. You probably can't tell in these photos but the grout is actually a mid-grey rather than black, and in real life it gives a softer look, but it isn't so light that it just looks dirty!

I went a bit nuts in John Lewis last weekend and bought a load of new bits for the bathroom too - new towels, a toothbrush holder, etc. Not stuff I strictly needed, but somehow my old mismatched university towels that didn't bother me in the old bathroom just don't look right in my pretty new one! I have a bad habit in the house of doing 90% of the work in any one room but never quite finishing it off (I still haven't tiled the hearth in the bedroom or put up any shelves in the living room!) and I want to be able to say '100% done!' on this room.

Sunday, 8 November 2015

Lazy Sunday Links

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1. Love this terrace - similar to the look I am going for in my little garden but I admit I think mine will look a bit busier! 2. Cauliflower is such a great autumnal vegetable, I definitely want to try these 3. I love this photoshoot - so creative 4. Accent chairs. I am obsessed. Is there a way i can make a room full of accent chairs look good? 5. I saw an advert on Gumtree a while ago for an upright piano which was free if you could transport it yourself. I was empted even though I don't play - I think they look so good 6. Finally a funny - these astonished animals are so cute!

It's been a pretty good week all in all. We are two weeks into the Bathroom renovation and I'll share some progress photos later this week. We are still staying at my parents and although I did say to my mum several times that she doesn't need to cook for us she insists anyway so who am I to argue? I can't say no to a bit of home cooked food. It feels almost like a holiday just not really having to cook or do any jobs all week!

I'm also on the hunt for a new winter coat which is proving quite difficult. The fashion at the moment is definitely for masculine style overcoats which just don't suit me at all. I prefer something with a more defined waist as I am quite curvy. I ordered this Dolly Skater Coat from Asos but it didn't fit me quite right, and also fell for this Jigsaw Princess Coat but it's out of stock everywhere in my size. Le Sigh. I am hoping it might come back in stock before it gets too much colder and I just have to buy something in order to not freeze.

Other than that my weekend has pretty much been trying to clean the rest of my dusty dirty house now the worst of the building work is done and listening to Hotline Bling alternated with Adele's Hello on repeat, like the rest of the world!

Thursday, 29 October 2015

Bathroom Renovation - The Before


This week work on our long awaited and saved for bathroom renovation finally started. We've owned our house for just over two years now, and while we have lived with the bathroom okay for those two years its been something I have been itching to change, so I am so excited to finally do it!

The photos above are from when we moved in and nothing much has changed. I think the previous owners must have had a brown suite sometime in the 80s/90s - complete with nymphs(!) and then when they moved out and rented the house, they added in a random shower and sink, without worrying too much about matching anything!

On top of the fact everything is old, ugly and difficult to clean, the plumbing is not great, the shower floods and leaks, and there is no ventilation meaning a constant battle of Harriet vs. The Mould. Not fun.

The vision for the new bathroom is pretty clear from my bathroom pinterest board. A clean modern white suite with white walls, subway tile, and a grey tiled floor. As the bathroom is really big I am excited we'll be able to have a bath and a separate walk in shower - the stuff of dreams!

We are lucky enough that James' cousin is a bathroom fitter, so he and James' dad are doing the work for us which I am really pleased about. It's just nice knowing someone who actually cares about the house and us is doing the work, so we know there won't be any corners cut. We have moved out to my parents' house in the meantime, for the three weeks or so the work will take, so it's ended up being a proper family affair - with pretty much everyone involved in some way! I am so excited to have it done, but I am quite glad we are able to escape the dirt and the mess while it is going on, and we can just come back to a beautiful finished bathroom and hopefully avoid seeing everything in its destroyed state!

Monday, 26 October 2015

A Day Out in East London


James and I aren't terribly good at doing 'dates'. Somehow between work and life and all the usual household chores and browsing the internet going on dates isn't something we are good at organising, beyond the occaisional trip to our local chinese.

When I was off work between finishing my old job and starting my new one however, I did plan us a whole day out together, which was a real treat. We started with Spitalfields antique market, which is on every Thursday, followed by a quick lunch at DF Mexico, and coffee at Nude Espresso

Finally the main purpose of our trip - which I planned the rest of the day around - a trip to the Sky Garden. If you haven't been yet (and I think most everyone I know has by now!) I so so recommend it. It's on the 34th floor of 20 Fenchurch Street and it is free to go up but you have to book. We just had a cocktail at the skypod bar, but there are a couple of resaurants up there too, and the views are just stunning. The atmosphere was really nice as well - it was busy enough for there to be a bit of a buzz, but quiet enough that you could easily get a seat and didn't feel like you needed to rush anything. I've not been up to the Shard or Duck and Waffle or any of the other skyscraper restaurants in London, so I don't have much to compare it too, but it was a really beautiful experience.

Monday, 19 October 2015

Bobbi Brown Long-wear Even Finish Foundation Review


I ran out of foundation a few weeks ago when I was in Bristol for a wedding (well, actually, I discovered mould in my old foundation - serious ick! It wasn't even that old... only a few months!) so I had to make a dash into House of Fraser to pick up a new one and ended up going back to an old favourite - the Bobbi Brown Long-wear Even Finish Foundation.

I used this for a while maybe two years ago, and going back to it I can't remember why I ever stopped! The colour is a great match for me (I have the shade porcelain which used to be the palest they did, but they have since made an even paler one) and I love the consistency. Just a small pump is enough to give thin but even coverage, and you can easily build it up if you want more. I'm definitely going back to this one full time!