Working From Home

Technically, spending the last 6 years of my life as a student, all my academic work has been from home.  But this year, that’s stepped up a notch.  Throughout my undergrad, I lived with friends who were other students; my biggest house was 9.  Days were filled with dozy lectures followed by naps and a wild night out.  However this year I’ve been enduring #masterslife living with just the boyfriend, who works full time.  Lectures have dwindled, instead being replaced with relentless coursework and of course the dissertation (remember the double Ds?!).  This means my life has changed, and I’ve entered into the realm of ‘working from home’ …

And I love it.  I absolutely love it.  Other than the disturbed half an hour when boyfriend wakes up and departs for work, my time is my own, I can use it as I please.  I can sleep in, go to the gym, work wherever I please, eat what I want, watch Netflix galore, go shopping, go eating, go drinking … as long as I get my work done.

I’m a hugely organised human.  I meticulously plan my work for every day of the week on a Monday morning and make sure I see it through.  So as long as I write X amount of words or revise for X amount of hours, I’m cool.  I can do whatever I want.

I live in my Pjamas, I make soup every day for lunch, I have 2pm karaoke concerts, binge on Made in Chelsea and make up tap dances.  I clean a lot, lounge around with Heat magazine, paint my nails and have 4pm glasses of wine.  And when I go out, I go lunching with pals in London, go interiors shopping, saunter around Marks and Spencers or pop to the pub.  My time is MINE.  As long as I get my work done, the rest I can do with as a I please.  It really is wonderful.

Now don’t get me wrong.  I work A LOT.  And I work HARD.  Doing well at my degree means everything to me and if that means I have to have 16 hour working days or nighttime stints in the library, I’ll do it.  But I do attempt to plan my days which means I can hang out and have breaks as and when.  And it works pretty darn well.

However, my working from home life is coming to a timely end.  And at a good time really.  I begin fully fledged adult working full time life in a few weeks and working from home life will be a distant memory.  I do think that it will make me appreciate home a lot more though.  Whilst I love it, I can sometimes take advantage of my beautiful home.  It will be wonderful to arrive home at the end of the working day, collapse onto my sofa, look around and say ‘Ahhhh’.

When I look back at this academic year of #masterslife, I think I’ll remember working from home the most fondly.  Oh, all the fun I’ve had with me, myself and I.  However this chapter is drawing to its close, so for these last few weeks I’m going to milk it for all that its worth.  Lie ins, Jeremy Kyle on +1, Netflix galore and inappropriate wine time come at me.  My time as a student and from working from home is drawing to a close, but my goodness am I going to make these last few weeks count!

Excuse me, inappropriate wine time is calling.

 

March Verbs

A little late in the game here (well, only 9 days but you get the point!).  I’ve moved house!  March has officially been moving month, which I can safely say has completely and utterly taken over my life.  But not in a bad way, I hasten to add.  I have absolutely loved every second, sofa shopping, interiors buying, packing, life in boxes, Ikea flat pack (not so much) .. the list goes on.  It’s definitely the biggest and most exciting thing boyfriend and I have ever done, a new chapter!  And we couldn’t be happier.  Here’s what I got up to in March:

Watching: Kirstie’s Best of Both Worlds

I absolutely love Kirstie Alsopp.  I giggle at her and Phil Spencer, lust after her ladylike elegant dresses and aspire to have her home and property knowledge, which is all rather funny, because boyfriend cannot STAND her.  Anyway, she’s got this great new show on 4od which involves couples searching for the best of both worlds between urban and rural. Being a homeowner and all (squee!), property is another interest added to my list.  This show takes you all around the country, seeing different properties, prices and ideas – a great watch.

The lovely lady herself.

The lovely lady herself.

Reading: Debenhams Catalogue

Not particularly literary genius, I know.  Since beginning on my quest for my ideal home, I have found Debenhams homewares to be absolutely excellent.  I think they have the best variety of quirky and colourful designers (right up my street) at reasonably affordable prices (but make sure to wait for the sale!).  The catalogue allows me to peruse at my leisure and pin point bits and bobs I might save up for, all to make our lovely flat a little more lovely.

My March Must-Read

My March Must-Read

Listening To: Moving House Playlist

Oh yes, we made a playlist.  Since we were without the internet for a while, we reverted back to grand old reliable Itunes to make a moving playlist.  We were so lucky to have all our friends and family rallying round helping us, so it had to be something everyone would like (and not get sick of!).  It mainly included the likes of Bastille, Simon and Garfunkel and Katy Perry.

Bastille made regular appearances in our move.

Bastille made regular appearances in our move.

Wearing on my body: BDG Bad Boys – Comfort Edition

Long term readers may remember a post I did last year about my FAVOURITE ever pair of jeans (which you can read about here:https://bellasbits.wordpress.com/2013/03/19/bdg-bad-boys/ ).  BDG has since become a favourite brand of mine in the jean stakes, and I haven’t been out of this pair this month.  They are really ill fitting Mum, Helen Hunt style jeans, but are comfy as anything.  They are 90s high rise straight leg, but look good with anything and have been a life saver in the moving house department.

They look a bit like this.

They look a bit like this.

Wearing on my face: Maybelline Baby Skin

Having big pores, the same as my Mother and my Grandmother, I have found the recent pore minimising beauty products a life saver.  After a year of shelling out £20+ for Benefit’s ‘Porefessional’ version, when Maybelline launched Baby Skin at just £7.99 I couldn’t wait to get my hands on it.  Whilst the quality and coverage isn’t quite as good as Benefit, Maybelline’s product still acts as a great pore minimiser and primer for foundation (just make sure you let it set!).

Baby Skin

Baby Skin

Eating: Pizza

Anyone who knows me will know how much I like (okay, love) my pizza.  Our new flat is a stone’s throw from a Pizza Hut, so pizza became a well loved, easy, cheesy comfy favourite in the dinner department.  But April is now here and I’m a year older so I’m trying to only have pizza once a month now.

Too much?!

Too much?!

Drinking: Leffe

As a thank you present to all our friends and family for helping us move, it was only fair we stocked our brand new Whirlpool fridge with ice cold beer for the hot and sticky weekends.  We go to Belgium most years, and this beer has become a firm favourite.  Leffe Blonde is the version we’ve mostly been drinking and is very light and refreshing.

Blondes are clearly the best.

Blondes are clearly the best.

What did you get up to this March?

Moving House and The Ideal Home Show 2014

Its that time of year again!  Where I drop everything, take the day off and saunter off to Earls Court to take in a whirlwind day of interiors, food, drink, make-up and nick nacks.  You’ve guessed it, it’s the Ideal Home Show.  One of the reasons it was so important for me to head to the Ideal Home this year is because I’m moving house!  Therefore, it was absolutely essential to pick up some great interior ideas.  (And now – I’ve lived with boyfriend for 10 months and he’s finally come round to my taste!  No more tartan!)

Being quite the regular (you can see a post on a previous visit here:

https://bellasbits.wordpress.com/2012/03/26/the-ideal-home-show/)

I know what I like, where to go and most importantly when to go.  I.e., you must lightly jog to the show homes at 10.02am to avoid 3 hour queues.  Here’s some snaps of the day:

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The amazing entrance!

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I absolutely loved this two tone wallpaper, almost dip-dye style.  I think its a design that would like great on a feature wall (I’m maybe thinking of this for my bathroom in a red), because it gives you that colour without being too bold or overpowering.

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We’ve got a lovely little alcove wall like these in our new living room, so we’ve decided to fill it with some feature wallpaper to make it really stand out.  I love this library look, but not the entire ensemble of the pictured room.  Whilst I like some elements of Scandi design, the whole wood, burning fire place and off greys is a bit much for me.  But hey, that’s my taste!

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I really like the idea of having that shelving above the bed.  I’ve invested in an incredible 5 foot head board that will really draw the eye to the bed, which is of course, the main focus of the bedroom.  We’ve expecting storage to be a slight issue in our new abode, so a shelf across the top of the bed could really help.  You can display treasured items like in this picture (which I’m sure I’ll have a few of!) or have it as more functional storage, with pretty and colourful boxes perhaps.  A great idea.

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This is just incredible, I love it.  Its by an artist called JJ Adams, and I’m seriously considering purchasing it.  We’ve got a great wall space in our kitchen where we could really do with some amazing art.  And well this, this pretty much fits that bill!

So there you have it!  I’m moving house (so apologies in advance if I’m a bit AWOL with internet problems etc.) and the Ideal Home Show!  Ta-ta.

 

My Perfect Bedroom

Whenever I have a spare moment or five, no longer do I endlessly and hopelessly browse Topshop and Urban Outfitters online.  My interests have changed.  Now, it’s all about the interiors.  As I wrote about here: https://bellasbits.wordpress.com/2013/08/20/interiors-scrapbook/, I’m getting pretty into all my homewares and furnishings.  

For my 21st birthday, we went and stayed in the most beautiful luxury B and B (quite possibly ever) and it’s well and truly got my creative cogs whirring for my dream bedroom.  Here’s my pick of what I would choose (with money being no object, obviously!)

Image1)  Epsilon Upholstered Mink Velvet Double Bed Frame – Argos – £549.99

2)  Parisian Mirrored Four Draw Chest – Dunelm Mill – Was £349.99 Now £279.99

3)  Antique Style Venetian Mirrored Grand Chest of Drawers – Nicky Cornell Furniture Boutique – £649.00

4)  Rosalind Dove Grey Dressing Table – Laura Ashley – Was £1000.00 Now £450.00

5)  Purple ‘Antoinette’ Bed Linen – Star by Julien Macdonald at Debenhams – Was £22.00 – £88.00 Now £22.40 – £70.40

6)  Inspire Crackle Mirror Finish Table Lamp Silver – Argos – Was £24.99 Now £18.74

7)  Designer Purple French Bulldog Cushion – Abigail Ahern at Debenhams – £25.00

8)  Natural Embroidered Heart Cushion – Debenhams – £25.00

9)  Plum ‘Miramar’ Chaise with Dark Feet – Debenhams – Was £1000.00 – £1050.00 Now £720.00 – £756.00

I’ve gone for a silver/white/purple look with the ultimate priority being texture.  Obviously these are just ideas, a mood board if you like, but if someone gave me £5000 today for a bedroom, these picks would be a definite starting point!  What’s your perfect bedroom?

 

Interiors Scrapbook

I’ve had one of those weeks.  Just one of those weeks, you know?  Anyway, here I am educating you all about my Interiors Scrapbook!  I started this baby (similar to Book of Books which you can read about HERE: https://bellasbits.wordpress.com/2013/07/21/book-of-books/ ) in March 2012 when Boyfriend bought me an Ideal Home magazine subscription for my birthday.  He could obviously tell I was nesting already, haha!  Anyway, it’s chockablock with cutouts from various interiors magazines with ideas that I love.  Here it is!

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ImageAs much as I would love to have all these gorgeous bits and bobs, wallpapers, colour coordinated stationary, french dressers and draping curtains .. I can’t right now.  (You can read why here:https://bellasbits.wordpress.com/2013/07/26/interiors-on-a-budget/ )  But this scrapbook is an enjoyable hobby, and a book of ideas for the future.  Do you have any scrapbooks?

 

Interiors on a Budget

So as I mentioned in ‘I’m Back!’ (https://bellasbits.wordpress.com/2013/07/17/im-back/), I’ve only gone and got myself a flat!  I know, it’s terribly exciting.  I feel oh-so domesticated and grownup.  It was completely unfurnished so I’ve taken the whole contents of my life from University and from my Mum and Dad’s house (combined with Boyfriend’s bits and bobs) and plonked it into our open plan one bedroom apartment of loveliness.  After two weeks, it’s finally feeling  homely and I’m loving spending time here.  To jazz up the flat and furniture, we felt we needed to go interior shopping, but being fresh from Uni .. we’re pretty broke!  The whole place has been decked head to toe in the thriftiest of fashions, and I felt it would be cruel not to share.  (N.B.: I’ve made the decision not to photograph my flat in order to maintain privacy, so photos are just interior furnishings etc.)

Sofa

Say hello to our sofa!  We picked up our 2 seater couch as ‘Manager’s Special of the Week’ for £40 at our local Hospice Furniture Shop, and it was Manager’s Special for a reason!  On first glance, the cushion covers were stained, the whole thing smelt a bit musty and the brown arms were scratched up.  My instant reaction was: ‘No, Bella, you can do so much better at sofa shopping!’ Perhaps I could, but my wallet couldn’t, that was for sure.  So two washes for the cushion covers, three hoovers and 132 (or thereabouts) cans of  febreeze, the sofa feels brand new!  Plus, it feels great having supported a charity.

As our budget shopping meant we didn’t have any choice over the colour of our sofa; throws and pillows had to jazz this up.  I was eyeing up purple and leopard print, for my swish new luxury apartment.  But, nope, we had to get a fabric/colour/pattern that we both agreed on, and that turned out to be .. well, tartan.  If I’m honest, I’m still not over the moon about it.  It’s growing on me, but, well ..?  Anyway, we picked up the throw for £6 in Primark, and the three cushions came to £9 in Primark also .. so budget central!

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This chair has been in my family since before I was born.  Literally, my Mum bought it when she was pregnant with me to have something comfortable to sit on just for her and the baby (cheers Ma).  21 years on it’s followed me from bedroom to bedroom and now sits pride of place in the corner of our living area.  To match, of course, the tartan throw is again £6 from Primark, and the cushion was £4.  Honestly, my first place, who would have thought I would end up with tartan and pugs?!  NOT ME, that’s for sure.

Poof

Oh my poof, my poof, I’m so desperately in love with my poof!  I picked up this gorgeous colourful poof of wonderment at the Ideal Home Show (which you can read about here: https://bellasbits.wordpress.com/2012/03/26/the-ideal-home-show/)  for just £12, I know, £12!  Of course, I spent the entire day carrying it around looking like a poof (see what I did there?!) but it was so worth it and I think it is beautiful.  It sits on an Argos rug we picked up for just £9 in their mega clearance.

Room of Bath

When we moved in the shower curtain was just a bit grotty and stained, so we decided to replace it, again, with a colour we both agreed on.  So, this turned out to be monochrome, a fitting look for a bathroom I feel.  The shower curtain was £5 in Primark, and the bathmat was just £3 from Primark also.

It’s all so very new and exciting still, having my own place, and because of our current financial circumstances, decorating on a budget was essential.  No £500 leather corner sofas or £20 satin pillows here, no sur-ee.  Instead, we’ve gone with colours, patterns and fabrics we’ve picked together which feels special and homely to us, because its our home.  It all comes down to personal taste (hey, it’s okay if you don’t like it, I’m still not sold on the tartan yet either!!) which as we all know is subjective.  Here’s how we’ve done it for our budget, any interiors tips or tricks you fancy sharing?