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On Its Way — Prepping the Home and Garden For the Summer

The warm days and late nights certainly make people feel happier and more positive, so why not use those vibes to spruce up your home both inside and out. These six simple tips are sure-fire ways that you can make the most of the summer to enjoy your home and surroundings even more.

Bring out the barbecue

As it starts to get warm and you start to prefer eating in the garden, check your BBQ is clean and in full working order, ready to receive those bangers and steaks that will no doubt be grilling on it over the next few months. Stock up on charcoal and firelighters so you can have an impromptu BBQ if a bunch of buddies suddenly turn up. If you don’t have a BBQ, see if you can create a temporary one made out of brick in the corner of your outdoor space, then dismantle it as the nights start to draw in.


Prep up your garden tools

Make sure your garden tools and other features are pristine and up to the job. Do you have the right hand tools? Will the lawnmower start up properly? If you have a pond, does it need to be dredged and cleaned? And finally, if you have a fence, wouldn’t it look so much better with a timbercare product, which you can get in a variety of colours?

Give your garden a spring clean

Spring clean your garden: Prune any bushes and borders, get rid of weeds and fertilise your lawn. Buy some manure and work it into your soil with a pitchfork. This will provide the nutrients that your plants and vegetables need to flourish. If you’ve planned ahead, any bulbs that you planted the previous winter should have burst into life, providing your garden with a further splash of colour.

Bring the warmth (and colour) indoors

Why not bring the outdoors indoors by placing some fresh flowers in rooms to fragrance your home. Buy some cushions with bold floral patterns on them and/or re-upholster your furnishings with petals or pastels. Summer is the time to embrace the light and warmth so use light fabrics, colours and tones.

Let the light in

Speaking of light, make the most of the summer air by throwing open your windows and doors. Not only does this let the refreshing breeze waft through and the light come flooding in, but you can use it as an opportunity to check the condition and state of the hinges on windows and doors. These take more of a beating in summer due to their constantly being opened and closed. Make sure they shut tight and fasten securely before winter rolls round again — you don’t want to discover you have a draughty home when it’s chilly outside.

Seize on the heat

Lastly, take advantage of the natural heat to save some money (and also some discomfort in the sweltering warmth). Swap your heavy curtains and other fabrics for lighter ones. Change your bedding for sheets. Turn off the central heating and use it for hot water only.

Above all, enjoy this most lovely time of the year, it won’t be too long before it’s dark again.

Still, these long summer nights will be a delicious memory to keep you warm during the cold weather!

GP – Janey Thompson is an interior design enthusiast and summer is her favourite season. When winter comes she likes to get away to somewhere warm.

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Tactile Textures


I love bathrooms. No, let me say that again, I love a well designed bathroom. There is nothing like sinking into a huge deep bath with bubbles up to your neck, candles everywhere, magazines within reaching distance and big fluffy towels. I’ve always been a bath girl, when I was younger I remember taking the radio into the bathroom at home playing a whole cd and just laying there for hours. Bliss!

I don’t really get the time to do that now, if I try and have a bath while the boy is still up, either he or some of his toys will join me “lets see if this boat floats mummy…..” so I tend to have the best baths when the kids are staying with their grandparents because I can literally lay there until I’m one big wrinkle.

brick wall

Our bath here isn’t my favourite thing. It’s short and shallow. I’m quite tall, but not to extreme measures, but I cannot get my legs flat in the bath. I can get my torso in and my legs go up against the tiles. Or, I can sit up and bend my knees. So, you know. Fun. My dream bathroom would have a free standing rolltop bath. Long enough for me to lay down in, but even if it wasn’t, I could hang my legs over the edge! I love textures in a bathroom, exposed brick walls against modern sinks and an old fashioned bath. Plants, animal print, patterned tiles and dark wooden floors, making it seem like a proper inviting space to relax and unwind.


If, unlike me you’re less of a frustrated interior designer and an actual one then C.P Hart have a great trade selection with lots of inspirational products to help create your perfect bathroom. They also have several showrooms throughout the UK.

In the meantime, have a look at my #tactiletextures board on Pinterest.

Follow kateagreen’s board #TactileTextures on Pinterest.


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Decorating & Redoing

Let me just start this post with this statement. If I could make money by pinning my ideal home on Pinterest then I would be a millionaire twice over.

Now that’s out of the way, I can get on with it. I’m a frustrated interior designer. If I had unlimited cash and time then I would be in my element. Aside from buying a house and redesigning it structurally, I would be able to decorate every single room in just the right way. And when I got bored of it, which I would eventually, I’d start all over again. When I was a kid my bedroom was painted purple. With dark purple skirting boards. I was obsessed with the naughty twin from Sweet Valley High and she had a purple bedroom.  I’m known for being the person who moves furniture round when I start getting bored. Like a mini facelift for the home.

At the moment we’re working through a list of things that need doing in our house. And I’m then going through the list again picking the easiest things I can start with. The downstairs loo is the smallest room in the house and would take me a couple of hours to paint, so that has made it’s way to the top of the list. The hallway, being three floors with crazy high ceilings makes me tired just thinking about it, so that’s not so close to the top. I’d like to get someone in to do it for me, but I’m not sure I want to spend the sort of money required! We shall see….

It’s actually really bugging me that the hallway is the biggest battle because I can picture how I want it to look in my head. And on my Pinterest boards. White walls, of course, huge, French style mirror on the wall, a small console table, no shoes anywhere to be seen and a big feature rug as you walk in. The carpet on the stairs would have to be plain, light grey-ish in colour, a bit like these from All Floors Express. In fact, this image is pretty much how I see it in my mind, without the artwork.


I have my collection of instagram prints to frame/not frame which will eventually climb up the wall leading to the first floor. Or, they might fill the main wall on the landing instead. Leaving the walls clear as you’re heading up the stairs. See, always changing my mind. Probably a good thing I haven’t got round to finishing it yet.

I know that our bathroom is going to be dark grey. It’s a horrible salmon pink at the moment, god knows who decided that was a good colour for a bathroom (or any room for that matter) Thankfully the sinks and toilets are all white. God! Could you imagine if they were 80′s style and coloured?! ARGH! I probably have too much of a thing for white paint. And white furniture. But I always think if you make the main stuff plain and clean, you can get away with mismatched accessories and just by changing a few bits and pieces you can make the whole room look different. Monochrome is my new best friend, I have the most gorgeous cushion on my bed from Ikea, I wanted to get more than one so maybe I should sneak back there and see what else I can find. Any excuse for an Ikea shop up! I’ve also got a thing for yellow at the moment, just dotted around here and there. I got a bargainous coffee table from eBay last week, which needs some serious work doing to it (keep and eye out for that blog post!) and I’m toying with the idea of painting it yellow, like one of our Stokke chairs. I feel another Pinterest session coming on…..

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Basket Case

It would seem that I am a bit of basket addict. When you walk in my front door, I have three box type baskets holding several hundred pairs of shoes. Get into the living room and I have another basket holding a few (not that many, don’t listen to the bloke) glossy magazines. In the wardrobes I have more baskets, again, full of shoes (in mine), fancy dress stuff in TB’s and scarves, belts and all manner of things in GG’s. In fact, in the bathroom I have a stacking basket type thing. Bloody hell. I am the official basket lady!

Now, before you start picturing old lady knitting baskets, don’t! They’re all very nice, quite fancy baskets. I think most of them were flashy picnic hampers at one point or another, not mine I’d like to add! You know the type, they get sent to the bigwigs at Christmas (thanks Dad!) and they’re full of chocolates, wine, chutneys and all things yummy. I love a hamper!

Where was I….?

I love a basket! Oh, thought of another one – laundry basket. How could I forget that one!

Although, saying that, probably the only type of basket I don’t have is an actual picnic basket!? What’s that about! I’d love to have one of those that fold out with all these hidden compartments, spaces for bottles of bubbly and all the goodies that lead to a great alfresco lunch. Now we’ve had all of 3 days worth of summer, I’m getting itchy, I need to get out in the sunshine and lay on a blanket, drinking alcohol and eating posh salads and huge, juicy strawberries. We really don’t go on enough picnics. Probably due to the great British weather, but I remember having loads when I was little, on the beach, by rivers, even in the car when it was too wet to sit outside. I’m sure we had a few on trains too! *Makes a mental note to take the kids on lots of picnics this summer*


If you’re a bit like me and you have a need for pretty baskets in your life, then I would imagine The Basket Company is probably going to be the best place for you to shop, it has, and I do mean literally, every single basket you could ever imagine! It even has pet baskets on the horizon, so I’m going to be keeping an eye out for those. The pooch Lenny is seriously outgrowing his bed and I’m very, very fussy when it comes to pet products (i.e if it has bones on it, it’s not happening) so a basket would be goooood! There are even under the bed baskets, although they would only come in handy if you have a husband who likes to hoard stuff under the bed in case we might need them again. You know, boxes, files of old paperwork, a million and one plug extension things. Oh to be the kind of family who has nothing under the bed… (except baskets that are meant to be there!) I could even store out of season clothes in there, to free up some room in the wardrobe for more clothes to reduce creasing.

You see, there is more to the basket than meets the eye. You’re welcome.

Sponsored post, you can check out my disclosure policy here.


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Remember the happy

It’s been a while since I’ve written a ‘proper’ post, I think I’ve probably lost some of the blogging mojo when it comes to sitting down and making an effort to write what I’m actually thinking about things, other than what I think about pretty stuff. Don’t get me wrong, I love the pretty stuff, but that’s not why I started this blog.

So, in the interest of breaking with tradition, I thought I’d go with the “happy” theme. It’s so easy to just get caught up in what makes you miserable in life, what makes you tired, stressed, angry, emosh. It’s actually easier to think about why you’re so damned stressed out than it is to remember why you should be happy, and that’s not quite right is it?

I know that when the bloke and I get a chance to sit down and have a chat, minus the kids, tv, phones, emails, whatever, we usually start the conversations off with what went wrong in our days first. I used to think it was so we’d get the negative stuff out of the way and be able to concentrate on the happy stuff, but I think it’s literally because we’ve become so used to talking about the shit first, we don’t even question it now! By the time we get round to, “Oh, this will make you laugh….” it’s not bloody funny anymore.

There is SO much to be happy about, for me anyway, at the moment. The kids are happy and healthy (always good!)



We’re *this* close to breaking up from school, which means no more early morning school runs (it also means 7 weeks of being together 24/7 but we’ll skip past that bit)


My basic counselling course is almost finished and I’ve got a high merit in every piece of coursework, I am working in the office of the place I want to be, granted, not in the position I want but who starts off doing that!? I’ve also applied to two colleges for September, fingers crossed!


The bloke is happy (and has a shit hot beard), we finally have a garden this summer AND a trampoline. My best mate is getting married in a few weeks, GG is bridesmaid, I have a hen weekend coming up in August which is basically 3 days of drinking and laughing with no kids or men allowed. Er, heaven!?



It’s almost summer, there are BBQ’s every weekend, my mate Aimee has written another *hilare* book and I got to read it before anyone else, there are several date nights on the horizon, I mean – come on! What’s not to love?!

I’m not going to say my life is all sunshine and flowers, because it’s not, but things are bloody good right now, and if I can’t turn around and say it now, when can I?

Remember the happy, people, remember the happy.


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PC-Oh you’ve got to be kidding me…….!

Hi, my name is Kate and I am a carb-a-holic. After spending around 10 years being a veggie, carbs have always been my favourite food, pasta, bread, rice, potatoes, chips. A meal didn’t feel complete unless it had some form of carb with it. I have got better at it, I’d rather have sweet potato than a white one, if the kids (and bloke) want pasta for dinner, I’ll have something else but I’ll never *ever* be able to turn down crusty white bread. I mean, life is too bloody short for that!

But. Always a but. I have recently been told that I have PCOS and a quick google shows that carbs are NOT my friend. They’re not really anyone’s friend unless you’re running marathons or training for some crazy sporting event, but they seem to have problems with me and my ovaries. Long story short, a few years ago, during the IVF stage (pre Boy) I was told I had PCOS but because the only focus was getting pregnant, all the treatment revolved around making babies, not actually dealing with the syndrome. After The Boy (insert disaster birth story here!) and a couple of years of crazy issues, serious weight loss, then gain, and crazy issues again, I’m right back to where I started! What I’ve noticed is, when my weight is right down, I don’t get any symptoms. But being able to get the weight down is a tricky balance, simply cutting out a few crappy food groups doesn’t work for me, something to do with the insulin resistance that having PCOS causes. Typical really, losing weight cuts symptoms right down, but losing weight is a serious struggle when you have it.

I could go on the pill, hide the symptoms and not bother with any weight loss. Of course, me being me, finding a pill that doesn’t either cause more weight gain, hormonal spots (remember them? Another side effect of PCOS) or make me zombie-fied and dead behind the eyes is proving practically impossible. In fact, if anyone reading this has this and takes a pill, please let me know which one it is!

So, the decision is, get fit, lose the extra weight and try and control my ovaries naturally. I’d still like to find a contraceptive that gets on with me, but since having TB, my body seems to react to any fake hormones in a bad way so I don’t think it’s going to be easy. The doctors have been passing me around each other like some sort of after school project, I don’t have all the typical symptoms, mine are literally weight around the middle, a cycle from hell (apologies if you’re reading this and you’re male!) spots and dodge ovaries. Obviously, I’ve tried almost all “diets” out there and they don’t work. They work while you’re doing them if you’re lucky, but the second you stop, the weight is back on. And who can do a “diet” forever!? What I’ve worked out, with the help of Leah, co-author of Your Hormone Doctor, is that I need low carb, low GI, protein rich, low (or no sugar) and high in veg. I need to exercise and I need to keep the stress levels down. Did you know that high stress means weight gain, especially around the middle? Nope, I didn’t either! So, I’m taking my backside off to a Rosemary Conley group tomorrow. Apparently it’s all about low GI/carbs and good stuff. It’s calorie counting, which isn’t something I’ve been good at before, but it’s more about health now than fitting into a pair of jeans, although that would be a happy result, and exercise. I’m not aiming for a number on the scales, nor am I aiming to be a size 10, because I’ve done that and been there, this time I just want to be able to control my hormones without too much of a struggle.

I’m not under any illusion that it’s going to be easy, in fact it’s probably going to be a bitch for the first few weeks but I am a stubborn, stubborn cow, and I am determined to do it as much as I can.

So, wish me luck and, any tips (on dealing with PCOS, not losing weight!) would be more than welcome!



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