DIY: Kitchen Renovations – Part One

The bigger picture.

Our kitchen is finally coming together, its been a labour of love and planning, now just to add the finishing touches, we will be ready to move on to our next project.

Going back a while, when we viewed the house prior to purchasing it, this is what we walked in to.

The picture on the right shows the entrance from the garage into the kitchen. The floor tiles were having an effect on my eyesight!

The floor tiles were slate with rough grooves and totally unsuitable for a kitchen.

Wall and floor cabinets were the original units built in the 1980’s

Renovation underway. First, take up the floor tiles, then remove all the existing predated cabinets. The curtains had to go!



The floor had to be leveled, popcorn ceiling re-boarded and skimmed. Temporary cabinets in place (garage shelves). Did you notice that there is no sink, dishwasher or range. We were literally camping.

Moving forward –


We have cabinets

Thank goodness I measured the floor correctly, the pattern we designed fit perfectly

DSC00808DSC01690Slowly our kitchen renovation project is coming together. Under cabinet lighting installed. My husband tried his hand at tiling the backsplash. Tiles from Home Depot.

Floor tiles from Tile and Stone Express Douglasville

Appliances from Appliance Smart

The floor tiles we decided to take into the hallway as you enter from the garage and also into the downstairs half bath. More photographs in our next DI Y series.

Kitchen Renovations – Part One. More to come. The finale. Watch this space


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Window Dressing

Who would have thought that choosing blinds/shades would be so difficult?

After recently redecorating our sitting room, all that is left to do is to choose a style that we both can agree on for the windows. Seems simple enough?

This room opens out to our deck and Pergola. There is a central patio door with sidelights. Windows on either side that require addressing. It is important the light filters in so no dark blinds shades or drapes.

So much choice! So I chose several swatch samples. I had 3 styles in mind:-

Faux wood/bamboo Roman Blinds/Bali Blinds

Patterned Roman Blinds

Cellular shades

The fabric swatches we chose for Roman Blinds looked lovely on the small swatch however, too busy pattern wise when I looked at the bigger picture. They were also the most expensive. The ones with no pattern – just too plain for this room.

Bamboo blinds I love as we had then installed in a previous house, but, I felt they were too dark, even though they were available in top down, bottom up, therefore, adjustable.

Cellular blinds we have on in the guest bathroom, again quite plain but I did like these as they let the light. There was also an option for top down bottom up too.

Roller blinds too boring!

Drapes? I wanted a change

So where do we go from here?

Watch this space as we venture out (masks on) to find more examples for our lovely room.

Window Dressing – quite simple?

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Closet Tidy Up – Purge

Why are the closets in the majority of houses too small? Are the builders short of space or are they trying to control our shopping habits?

Either way its not one size fits all!

Generally, there is at least one closet per bedroom, generally a larger one in the Master to accommodate two people. We have 3 bedrooms in our home and 4 closets plus a bonus room over the garage that has another storage space/closet. None of them are very spacious, 2 of them can be best described as cupboards.

I can not function in clutter, its claustrophobic to me.

I am on a role right now since we are still staying at home during this Pandemic. Last weekend we both tidied our garage after recently repainting the inside.

I opened the door to a storage closet in my office space in the bonus room above the garage to be faced with more clutter.

I had forgotten what was in there.

It was somewhat of a dumping ground I am ashamed to say. Tile and carpet samples, paint charts, family photograph albums, Christmas/birthday cards, a fold up table, a dining table insert (extension), Jewelry, Handbags, Scarves and much more!

As you can see the contents of the closet covered the floor. Where did all that come from?

Sometime later, I had one huge dustbin bag of rubbish to be disposed of. Two bags of clothing, handbags etc to go to charity!

The end result is not perfect but definitely an improvement.

Next our Master Bedroom closet needs a purge. Clothing and shoes!

Now if only I could get my husband to do the same.

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Staging a Home Versus Listing A Vacant Home

When you are contemplating selling your home for sale, how important is it that you market it properly and present it in the best possible light?

Selling or buying a house is by far the most expensive transaction you will ever make. So, why wouldn’t you want to do your best to make it happen?

When someone puts their house on the market we dont always know the circumstances behind making that decision, so it is important whether you are a Realtor or a Home Stager that we act respectfully in the best interests of the client.

There is no doubt that staging a home can make a huge difference in terms of time on the market and sale price.

Adopting a “Buyers Mindset” is not always easy especially when the seller has become very attached to the property.

Potential buyers need to be ale to visualize themselves with their belongings in the property. Therefore, if the house is vacant and empty of furniture the house can feel devoid of warmth and that homely feel. Instead it can present of being cold and bleak.

House 1. Open concept

Empty rooms may appear smaller that furnished rooms, that makes the potential buyer wonder if their furniture will fit.

House 2 Living Space

Empty rooms can loose definition and buyers maybe confused as to the purpose of the room. Buyers like to be able to identify the purpose of each room, if its vacant they may not be able to figure it out., it an office or a dining room.

Buyers want to see a home that is inviting from the outside in. They can imagine themselves and their family surrounded by their own furniture and accessories living there.

House 1 The Living and Dining Space after Staging

Staging a Home Versus a Vacant Home – Staging wins every time.

House 2 Living Space Staged

According to The National Association of Realtors 83% of buyers found staged homes easier to visualize as their own property.

Your home should be inviting to prospective buyers from the moment they park outside your house to the moment they leave. Creating a happy experience that encourages buyers to put in an offer.

Geri Looker

Habitat Muse – Home Staging & Decor

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The Year Ahead 2020, Ambitions, Goals, Enjoyment!

Almost half way through January 2020. Where did that go?

Do you make New Years Resolutions? Have goals? Do you live one day at a time? Maybe a little of all the above.

One thing that I really think helped me move forward happend in December 2019. My daughter introduced me to 21 Days to Abundance Challenge – Deepak Chopra

I was familiar with the writings of Deepak Chopra so I wasn’t surprised when there were tasks to complete and daily short meditations.

It was a challenge, some exercises were enjoyable, others I had to dig deep and I found uncomfortable, but that’s the whole point. I practiced daily the tasks set for me.

Each day tasks were laid out to be completed.

Day 21 I realized how helpful this had been.

After day 21 I felt calm, whole and fulfilled. Ready to move in to 2020 and whatever comes my way.

So far January has been a mix of emotions, opportunities, challenges and fulfillment and we are not quite halfway through.

Exciting times ahead, so I am just going with the flow.

How about you?

Are you embracing 2020?

Ready to move forward,

Trusting your instincts, facing being let down, celebrating the unexpected?

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Wrap Up for Autumn? Wardrobe Essentials

The temperatures have cooled down after a long hot summer.

Time to look at your wardrobe for the Autumn/Fall/Winter

I have a few things that will be making an appearance again this season, however, I cant resist adding a few extra pieces to my wardrobe.

Recent acquisitions include:

Shadow Leaf Blouse by Cabi. A size small is a perfect fit for me, love the sleeve design with the added cuff. Pair with black Jeans, Denim or an evening trouser.

A classic Skinny Jean from Cabi perfect with these animal print boots, although I didn’t order these. What about that coat as a statement piece?

Not the coat or boots, playing safe with these Cabi black cinch skinny jeans that will pair with anything, dress up or dress down.

This gorgeous laser cut scalloped dress (high at the front longer at the back) a steal from Shein. Green isn’t a colour I normally wear, but it’s time to experiment.

A soft tulip hem sweater from Shein, that will work with pretty much anything from Jeans, to maxi skirts or tailored pants.

Leather and suede side buckle ankle boots from Marks and Spencer are so comfortable, once again a staple piece for all seasons.

I have these in a mink colour from a couple of years ago, I chose a wide fitting therefore, a size down from my normal size. I have worn them constantly and they are so versatile. When I saw the black ones online I dd not hesitate to add them to my collection

Now I am not saying that these items will be the only ones I add to my Autumn/Winter wardrobe as I have a yearning to find a classic Camel Coat! So watch this space.

Where do I shop?

Shoes and boots mainly when I go back to the UK – Carvella, M & S, Moda In Pelle, Charles Clinkard. Underwear and swimwear – Bravissimo and Marks and Spencer, Clothing- Apricot, M & S, Zara, Cabi, Shein, Next, Macys, TJ Maxx and lots more, I love to bring something back from holiday too.

What are your favourite stores to shop?

What clothing items are you looking to buy currently?

Are you an online shopper or a high street a try on in store person?

Do you have a particular designer that you follow?

Wrap Up for Autumn? Wardrobe Essentials

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Hola! Reminiscing – Lopesan BAOBAB Resort Gran Canaria

Our son found this resort for a family holiday, celebrating our daughter-in-laws 40th birthday and our granddaughters 2nd birthday.

I have to say we really didn’t know what to expect and we were more than pleasantly surprised when we arrived around 8 pm local time, after a long journey from the United States via Amsterdam. We were ready to freshen up, enjoy a meal and a couple of cocktails. A pleasant surprise awaited our accommodation for the next 10 days a Junior Suite, an upgrade, so beautiful with a huge balcony, master bedroom, master bathroom with a walk in shower and soaker tub.

Eager to meet up with our family we ventured with the help of a resort map to find our way out onto a deck that led to a bar and an a la carte night restaurant named Akara.

It really wasn’t until the next day though that we could see more of the resort and we were not disappointed. This resort catered for couples, singles and families. Boasting bars, restaurants- buffet, lunch and night a la carte, relaxed and fun pools (I think I counted 5 different pools) each with a different theme, a gym, a kids club, playground and so much more.

The Resort had been beautifully designed with an African theme hidden amongst the Jungle foliage were hidden animals – Elephants, Hippos, Zebras, crocodiles.

And if that wasn’t enough, step outside the resort to find even more restaurants and bars overlooking the sea.

Highly recommended,

Lopesan BAOBAB, Mellonaras Gran Canaria

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A little light packing for The Summer Holidays?

Here we go again.

Fitting a square peg into a round hole.

Holiday packing, what to take and what not to take.

Checked the weather and its scheduled to be hot.

It comes to something when your facial products and grooming products take more space than your clothes.

Shoes are a problem, yes I know I can only wear one pair at a time, but which ones do I take to go with my evening outfits?

My suitcase is always full and half the time I dont wear 50% of what I take.

We have traveled quite a lot over the years, but packing still eludes me. No matter how organised I am. The kitchen sink seems to go in at the last minute!

So my question is. How do you pack your suitcase and what are the essentials to take?

What tips can you share?

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Planning a Garden and Further Renovations

When we bought our current home, first sighting we fell in love with it. We could see the potential and we knew it would take time and money to turn it around.

The house had been empty for over two years, sadly a foreclosed property. We wanted to bring it back to life and restore a family home. Both the inside and the outside required “true grit,” “patience” and “perseverance.”

More about the inside of our home in another post or two.

The gardens had been sadly neglected for some time. Both the back garden and the front garden covered in at least 6 inches of pine straw. Huge pine trees obscured the view of the front of the house, that would have to be removed! Although an expensive task it had to be done.

I had a lovely English garden back in the UK, but we quickly realized that we couldn’t grow the same plants here. We needed some help! We needed a plan.

The first thing to do was to decide what kind of gardens would work for us. Did we want grass or paving, a rockery, maybe a feature?. What kind of perennials and annuals should be planted? In the end my husband and I decided to enlist the help of a Landscape Architect from Pikes Nursery.

It was a little expensive but worth the investment.

The front garden plans includes what plants and shrubs recommended.

The back garden has a dry creek at the bottom of the garden, hardly any shrubs just lots of trees. The plans gave so many options, plants native to Georgia and the type of soil here.


Before and after pictures of the front garden and our house. As you can see we repainted the exterior of our home. Gave it a face lift with new windows an a new garage doors.

Its all about “Curb Appeal”

More about the indoor and outdoor renovations in future posts

Planning a Garden and Further Renovations

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A Week of Fashion and Sport – World Cup – Royal Ascot

What a week or more it has been.

The Women’s World Cup is ongoing with wins for England and the USA, although not without controversy! Need I say more being English living in the USA, nail biting matches, superb football to keep us all on the edge of our seats. So proud of most of the teams who have conducted themselves with pride.

Royal Ascot 5 days of Horse Racing in East Berkshire which was founded in 1711 by Queen Anne, it has maintained close ties with the Royal Family, indeed Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth has not missed a Royal Ascot meeting since 1945, located 6 miles south of Windsor and 25 miles from London England.

Royal Ascot is Britain’s most valuable race meeting, attracting many of the world’s finest racehorses to complete for millions of pounds of prize money.

The highlight of each of the 5 days is The Queen arriving in the first of 4 carriages accompanied by various members of The Royal Household and friends. Her arrival always prompts speculation on what she will be wearing along with her carriage companions.

Certainly one of the highlights of the Race Meeting was when  Hayley Turner became only the second female jockey to ride a Royal Ascot winner.

High Stakes whether backing the winning horse or the stunning and fun outfits worn by both the Ladies and Gentlemen who have to adhere to strict dress codes. The Royal Enclosure being the most strict for those attending. The Queen Anne and Village enclosures are not as strict but dress codes still apply, while the Windsor enclosure has no official dress code although ladies are encouraged to dress smartly.

Ladies Day has to be the day to attend Royal Ascot. A chance to really ‘go to town’ on that special outfit sip ‘Champagne’ or that “Signature Cocktail’. Not forgetting the Gentlemen sporting their “Morning Suits” and top hats while studying the Racing Form.

Oh the decadence, flamboyance, sartorial elegance. A milliners dream!

Definitely on my bucket list to visit.


Ref: Photographs: News Media. Hello Magazine, Yahoo, Harpers Bazaar, Getty Images, Reuters, Wikipedia


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Visiting the UK. Wining, Dining and Shopping.

We returned to the UK to catch up with our family and friends and stocking up on a few essentials.

Landing in Manchester then via train to Leeds to meet up with my husband who had traveled on ahead of me due to the fact that his mother was seriously ill in hospital.

We had planned a get together with friends the following day, so hitting the ground running it was time to venture into the city for a little shopping and drinks, rounding off with Dinner at The Old Post Office Leeds. Highly recommended for the food service, ambiance, the restaurant was just buzzing!

The following day we met with friends for drinks at Friends of Ham then onto Dinner at The Craft House and cocktails at The Botanist. A full and enjoyable itinerary before visiting family in Doncaster then on to the sights and sounds of London.

We did manage a little shopping spree from a couple of our favourite stores whilst in Leeds.

Shopping Marks and Spencers – nightwear,

Pure Cotton Dobby Chemise

T Shirts

v neck striped T Shirt, also in White £8.50 each currently 3 for 2


Also shopped for underwear for both of us, not shown, use your imagination!

Shoes Charles Clinkard


Paula Urban Coastal Sandals in Kiwi £75 so comfortable and stylish

Parallel Womens Dress Sandals

Elegant and Chique HD Pewter Metallic Sandal £69 reduced to £49


Bugatti Benjy Mens Leather Boat Shoes

Bugatti Benji Leather Boat Shoe £85


Bugatti. Felix Colour Cognac £90


Next Stop London England, more shopping, sightseeing and family time.

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