Sofa-so good

There’s actually been a bit of DIY going on here at alifetimeofdiy. I know! Shocker right? The front room which we use as our main room was one of the first ones decorated when we moved in 7 years ago and to be fair it was starting to look shabby.

The floor was replaced a little while ago and is still in good condition so we kept that as it was but the rest of the room needed painting and decorating. 

We also decided it was time to change our beloved settees. We’d had the one since we bought our first house together 14years ago and the other we bought second hand 6 years ago so they have both had good lives. We donated the one back to charity but the other one wasn’t in good enough condition for them so that was disposed of by the council after a few unsuccessful listings on freecycle. 

We bought our new settee in the sale (is there ever not a settee sale going on?) and we love it. It looked massive when it arrived though. It came in two parts and the first half was supposed to be the shorter end. That looked big enough! 

Then they brought in the second half! 

Wow! It seemed to take up most of the space. 

Although it may be because the rest of the room looked like this:

Thankfully it didn’t look like this for long. The room needed to be emptied so that we could finish redecorating. 

We’ve lived with the new settee for about 6 weeks now and we love it. The kids enjoy lounging on it and it’s really comfortable. We are really pleased with it even if it means our savings took a big hit. 

Stay tuned for the big “reveal” post. Please try not to get too excited lol! 

Home Truths

It embarrasses me to admit that my house is constantly untidy. In fact if I were to take a photo of the front room floor at this moment you would see what I mean. Actually wait right there and I will…..


If you were to visit me, you would need to squeeze past the pushchair in the hallway, negotiate shoes that have just been flung rather than put tidy and then clamber over the train tracks in the front room before you even get to sit down!

I always thought that when I grew up and had a house of my own that it would look like something out of the magazines. Perfectly decorated, accessorised beautifully and – more importantly – tidy! Maybe I’m not grown up enough yet???

Our main problem (if you don’t count the kids 😉 ) is clutter. Basically we have too much stuff! No amount of organisation or storage is going to give us a tidy home. One of the items on my Day Zero list is to declutter 100 items. So far I have decluttered 78 items and I still have a long way to go!! To clarify, I haven’t been counting individual items but boxes or bags of items that have been donated or sold on, ie a box of toys so a lot more than 100 individual items have left the house already!

A bag of toys that was rehomed

A bag of toys that was rehomed

So far we have been through the play room and Little Lady’s toys and books. I have also made a start on my wardrobe and have so far removed 36 items, although according to my rule that will only count as 1 as it fitted in one bag.

Paperwork that was years out of date

Paperwork that was years out of date

I made a good start on old paperwork too and shredded two boxes full of bank statements that went back to year dot, well near enough anyway!!

In January I decluttered 31 items. There was a few individual items in that count as they were big things like my running buggy and D’s baby carrier and isofix base but mostly that was boxes of toys. I must admit here that the attic is chock full of pretty much every toy they have ever owned! I have serious hoarding issues 😮 I am doing my very best to conquer this though. I have given away pretty much all the kids’ baby clothes I had held onto and most of their baby toys.

There aren't even any "Nan's " in our family!

There aren’t even any “Nan’s ” in our family!

Originally keeping all our baby items was a good thing. They were all saved for “the next one” and poor D has lived with his sister’s hand-me-downs throughout his 3 years on this planet (toys not clothes I hasten to add!). But alas, there will not be another “next one” so it all needs to go. The items are being donated to various charity shops or to friends and other items are being sold on selling pages etc with the money going to Little Lady’s Disneyland fund! Well she did do a very good job of her bedroom. The box below is one of 4 boxes she decluttered! Like mother like daughter I’m afraid!

Books and toys

Books and toys

No wonder my house is never tidy! How on earth can it be with all this stuff?? I am a woman on a mission this year and I will get the clutter down to a managable level. We will never live in a minimalist house I know that but if I can reduce our level of “stuff” to a half then the house should look a lot better.

I hope! 😮

Looking a lot like Christmas

So close to christmas now. Only 4 sleeps to go and I still haven’t finished wrapping yet. I seem to be getting less and less festive the closer it gets 😦 I was very disappointed when I pulled all the decorations out of the attic. The front room looks very bare this year and I’m not sure why? I don’t know if I missed a box of decorations or if they have always looked this sad? Anyway I now have a challenge for next year. To make/buy more decorations ready for next Christmas. I haven’t got much to say so I’ll leave you with pictures of our (very sparse) decorations.


A present from a German christmas market. Thanks Mam xx

I love his little dangling legs and would love a Santa to match if I can find one.

There will be no fire in our fireplace 😦

And what christmas post would be complete without a picture of Little Lady on her way to school on Christmas jumper day?


As I mentioned in this post we have finally made progress with the fireplace. Last week the plaster had finally dried enough for us to paint it. To be honest it only took 2 coats of watered down paint to cover the new plaster as it was so close to the paint colour anyway. It would probably only have taken one coat of paint if we hadn’t been advised to water it down by the plasterer.

So drum roll please…… Ta-da

Okay it wasn’t the open fire I had imagined but this is as close as I can get and I think it’s lovely. It does need a bit of colour on the mantlepiece I think but I need a little bit of time to decide how I’m going to achieve that. We have also decided on the hearth but we couldn’t get the size we needed so that will also have to wait. Apart from that I am so pleased with how it has turned out. I think it is quite lovely.

Oh and before I go I’ve got another ta-da to show you. Yes I have finally finished the curtains. Here they are – one of a kind, inexpensive, hand embroidered curtains:


Getting somewhere

Wow! It’s been over a year since I mentioned the fireplace last. You can read the first two posts here and here if you missed them the first time around. I’m sure you are all dying to know what’s happened to the fireplace in the last 12 months aren’t you??

First off hubby made the hole bigger. If you remember the hole wasn’t central to the breast so that was rectified. Then he boarded it out. Here it is looking festive (ish) at Christmas.

Then it pretty much stayed like that til last month. I was getting pretty fed up with hubby promising to fill the hole at the bottom and plaster it all and then not doing it so I took matters into my own hands. (No I didn’t do it myself I’m afraid!)

The house across the road is being completely renovated, so last month, after being challenged to Just Do It – finish a project that has been lingering for a while – I went over and asked the plasterer working there to come and give me a quote.

The quote was reasonable so the following week he came and plastered the fireplace.

At the moment we are waiting for the plaster to dry so that we can paint it and put the fire surround back. I have to say its looking pretty good and now it’s starting to dry the plaster almost matches the colour of the paint already there!!

Exciting times. I’m hoping to do a proper “ta-da” post by the end of the month. I can’t wait 🙂


The carpet in the front room had to go. There was nothing *really* wrong with it if you don’t mind a bright red carpet that doesn’t hoover very well! It was a bit too much disruption for me to rip the whole carpet up so hubby decided to do it himself while I was away with work, bless him.

Helped by my little lady he pulled up the carpet to discover this:

Nice huh?

You’ll be glad to know that we were not planning on keeping this flooring. We had made use of a wickes sale about a month earlier and already had the laminate flooring stacked in boxes behind the settee.

Well where else would you keep them???

With little lady in school and a bit of time on his own, hubby managed to lay most of the new floor with enough work left over for little lady to have a little turn so she could tell me how she had laid the whole floor with daddy!

And the result?

A lovely new floor and a very tired little girl admiring her handiwork. 😀