Wednesday, 9 April 2014

Zurleys competition

Our first big project in the house is the kitchen. We have decided that once this is completed we will move in and live with the rest of the house as it is and do that up as we go along.
The kitchen is a very big project and this is how it looks at the moment.
Our serving hatch which we are NOT keeping!

Kitchen cupboards and sink which will all be coming out.

Retro doors

Old fashioned kitchen

Zurleys is a new furniture and home accessories store online which sell different types of furniture, including mirrored and retro. They have asked me to think about what I would do to a room in my house if money were no object.
There's so much I would like to do to my kitchen as I know this is the room that we will spend most of our time in.

Firstly where to start? I would ideally like to drop my kitchen down a little so that we step down into luxury.
I would then have all oak cupboards and surfaces with replica brick tiles on the walls to give that country cottage feel.
I would ensure space for a small breakfast bar at one end of the kitchen and would like the comfortable, stylish bar stools from Zurleys to stand under the breakfast bar, I really like the one which have a back and arm rest, they would help to make the kitchen look modern and cosy.

I would also really like a huge retro SMEG fridge in my kitchen, ideally Black and an AGA so my husband can do lots of cooking ;)

I would also use all the funky kitchen accessories from Zurleys as they are extremely colourful and very modern. I would maybe choose the colour red as my husband is likes this colour and you have to let him have some things he likes don't you? I would have the red storage tins, utensils, pans and bin which will give the kitchen a funky feel.
To brighten up the kitchen I would have spot lights dotted around the roof and also along the bottom on the kitchen cupboards.

To finish I would have oak doors leading into my hall way and into my garage to continue that country cottage feel.

If only money wasn't an object...


Monday, 7 April 2014

Our BIG project!

As promised, here are a few pictures of our house.
I was there today and luckily my sister and 3 very helpful children came to help to and we've managed to strip almost two whole rooms!
Luckily the wall paper is coming off very easily! Maybe because it has been on for so many years!

These are pictures of the living / dining area of the house. 

The house is ours!

I know I haven't been on for a while to write comments and keep you all updated on the process of the house. 
I am very busy as a Primary school teacher, working full time and in a school 20 minutes away. I also managed to full over whilst playing netball for my local team and have damaged the ligaments and soft tissue in my ankle - this has resulted to me being on crutches! Not ideal! However, as the school holidays are here I now have lots of time to update my blog!
We also found that once the solicitors have hold of the paper work and the remaining arrangements, everything goes quite and they get on with their job in the background of everything else.
Anyway, I can now confidently say the house is ours and we have the keys! This is all so exciting, the house needs every room renovating except the bathroom so we have a lot of work to do but are very keen to get in there and get going!
We are now beginning to write never ending lists (If you are a Primary school teacher yourself, you will know that lists are very important!)
Did you know?
This morning I rang the local council to ask them about council tax and inform them that we would not yet be living there as we have lots of work to do. I had been informed by various people that you didn't have to pay for council tax for a certain period of time if your not living in the property. However, this is not true, the rules changed in April last year and you still have to pay if not living in the property.
This is something useful to take into account if trying to budget.
If you have any tips or ideas for renovation please let me know!! :)
I will update the blog with some photographs soon!

Thursday, 20 February 2014

Compeition entry for cooperative electrical vouchers.

I am writing this post in hope that I win vouchers from The co - operative electrical, they have a competition running until 21/02/14.

The recipe I have chosen is a yummy treacle tart. I really love treacle tart of any kind and really at any time of the year. However warmed and with custard, it is the best winter recipe!

This particular treacle tart is one I make quite often for family and friends. When cooked it has a crispy pastry and the tart is topped with latticed pastry which is equally as crunchy!

What do you need to make this delicious winter recipe?
  • 2 large eggs
  • 454g can of golden syrup
  • about 1tsp finely grated lemon zest
  • 140g white breadcrumbs, made from a day-old loaf
For the shortcrust pastry (Obviously you can buy the shortcrust pastry ready rolled)
  • 250g plain flour, plus extra for rolling
  • 150g cold butter, cut into cubes
  • 1 large egg, beaten
23cm tart tin or shallow pic dish

How to make:

To make the filling: Beat the eggs in a bowl and stir in the syrup. Add the lemon zest, then the breadcrumbs and mix really well with a wooden spoon. Set the mixture aside whilst you make the pastry.  

To make the pastry: Put the flour and butter into a bowl and massage with fingers to make breadcrumbs. Reserve some of the beaten egg for glazing the pastry and then put the remainder into the breadcrumbs and mix until they just come together as a ball. Remove and shape the ball into a slightly flattened ball.
Weigh the dough and set aside 150g for the lattice top. Form the rest into a flattish ball. Place on a lightly floured surface and roll out into a circle about the thickness of a £1 coin, turning the pastry and flouring the rolling pin regularly. Use the pastry to line the tin and then trim the edges neatly with a sharp knife. Prick the base lightly and chill for 30 minutes.

Preheat the oven to 200oC/Fan 180oC/Gas 6. Stir the syrup mixture and then pour it into the pastry case and smooth the surface. Brush the pastry edge with the reserved egg. Roll out the rest of the pastry and use to make a lattice top.
Brush the top with more egg to glaze and bake for about 30 minutes until the pastry is golden brown and the filling set. Allow to cool a little before eating.

I think that this tart is served best with custard, however my family members also enjoy with ice-cream or a blob of cream.

Friday, 14 February 2014

Waiting again!

I got very excited on Tuesday as I received an email from my mortgage advisor to say that our documents had been accepted by the mortgage company and that they had arranged to go and complete a survey on the house the next day. I immediately rang my husband to tell him the good and exciting news.
However, as we all know, the mortgage process takes a long time and so we haven't heard anything about the survey or anything else! We are just hoping that no news is good news.
I have however been advised to keep pestering the mortgage advisor to get answer. This is not something that my husband or I feel comfortable doing but I did send them a polite email today to ask for an update. Guess what...I didn't get a reply!
We are waiting patiently and hope that we will hear something next week.
Please post if you can share any of your experiences!

Sunday, 9 February 2014


We have now been in the mortgage process for quite a few weeks and it is proving more difficult then we thought.
Virgin money decided on the last minute that they could no longer offer us a mortgage. My husband is in the RAF and he has less than 2 years left and therefore they have said that this is too risky for them!
Our mortgage advisor then needed to search for another mortgage company which had no fees to be paid to them
Note that when you start the process with a mortgage company they will often take a fee from you to start and if they decide that they no longer want to give you the mortgage then they get to keep the fee! - Cheeky I know!

We have now been offered a mortgage with Natwest and are currently going through the process with them. They have no upfront fees so that is much better!

These companies seem to take a long time and keep coming back and asking us for extra things for example, proof of deposit. Therefore I would advise that when you start the process try and ask them for a list of everything they will need - especially when you are stuck for time like my husband and I.

We are now hoping to here from the mortgage advisor in the coming week.

Have you experienced any other problems? Is it hard for all military personnel?
Please share your comments on my blog!

Friday, 24 January 2014

Mortgage advice!

Read this link from Martins money saving expert. He has lunched it on his website this week and it is a helpful document.
He talks about all the important details.

When we went to our mortgage advisor, one thing he mentioned was the credit score. Mortgage lenders are taking this very seriously now a days. If you are like me and have no credit history because you have had no loans etc. then it is hard for them to even trace you for a credit score. However, make sure that you are on the voting register and this means that you are traceable. Also, if you have a store card then it can also make you noticeable. I have a NEXT store card and was told that this was ok.

Also this document explains about saving for extra costs such as solicitors fees, stamp duty fees etc.
Our extra costs are about £2,500 and this includes the survey, solicitors fees and stamp duty. (This was a much lower price than we expected) It is good if you have this money saved before buying your house as well as your deposit.

I hope you find the document useful!