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Showing posts from 2016

Yo! Ho! Ho! Ho! Merry Christmas

Merry Christmas everyone!!

We've got a Pirate themed Christmas this year - so I hope everyone is eating as much chocolate coins and drink as much rum as we are!

#WearnBathroomMakeover - Wall Tiles are up and they look amazing

The white grout makes them pop but none of the pictures do justice to the deep inky blue of the tiles.

What's left to do is the floor (white tiles) - which should be done by the end of the day and the putting the bathroom pottery and the shower in place (Thursday's job I guess) and then the fitters from Wickes are done.

Then, after Christmas we'll need to paint it (white) put up shelves in the alcove, find some baskets, and some storage and sort out bit and pieces and then it's done - and it will be so very nice to have a bathroom upstairs again. We're lucky to have a cloakroom downstairs, and lovely neighbors who've let us use their showers - but we brought a house with a upstairs bathroom for a reason. These last few weeks have cemented the idea that we made the right choice in this decision.

@bcwearn Amazing Birthday weekender Round-up

Wow! What a wonderful weekend!

New Train sets & Onesies were amazing... Thank you everyone who helped us celebrate our amazing son's 2nd birthday.

#WearnBathroomMakeover update - Atlantis Blue Tiles

I assume naming tiles is not as exciting as naming paint but these really are a lovely shade of dark blue.
It's just tiling and fitting to do now I think from the professionals...

Happy 2nd Birthday @bcwearn

Our amazing baby boy turns 2 today - there's a weekend of exciting things planned but he really has given us so much joy over the last 2 years. He's an absolute superstar.
He has gone off, as is tradition, with a caterpillar cake for nursery, and has stage 1 of his birthday presents bonaza to open tonight when he comes home

#WearnBathroomMakeover Day 1 - We had a bathroom once

That was quick...

The plasterer arrives tomorrow but it seems we need a new floor?

Casa Wearn Census history

So, working out the history of the bathroom over the years reminds me that I did do a bit of work on who used to live in our house.
We know it was built around 1910 so the first port of call was the 1911 census.

Even with 5 in the house it must have been fairly room and pleasant - to be in a brand new house but I was surprised she's there as a widow - so I did a bit more digging and she turns up on the 1901 census - married to an engineer called George and living on Newport Rd.

Since it's not actually my family I'm not doing much more research but when the 1921 census comes out I'll be sure to have another look to see if she's still there - or if not her, then who.

#WearnBathroomMakeover - Uncovering the past

Work was meant to start today on the bathroom but it's been delayed a day or two by the fitters having over run on the job before. That's ok - we've cleared the diary of any entertaining or having guests in the house until after Christmas anyway in case this kind of thing happened - we learnt from the kitchen makeover that these things happen and it will all be ok.

What we did manage to do last night was finally work out (we think) the different configurations of the back of the upstairs that has given us such an interesting space to work in.

We know it's fitted into to the extension that squared off of the house (and gave us a massive kitchen) - and the information we do have on the house states that was around 1983.

This must have brought a bathroom upstairs for the first time -and judging by some very technical artex analysis (squirly in one bit, stippeled in another) and some weird details that have never made sense with the tiles (more on this) we finally worked o…

#WearnBathroomMakeover - Before pictures

It's funny how quickly you forget what something was like before you change it. we didn't really take enough pictures of the kitchen before - so it was hard to really get a sense of the transformation - but here's some before pics of the bathroom for reference.

I've thought more then once about painting that wall / shower and do something like this:

but more importantly it's going and removing that will make such a difference to the space.

#WearnBathroomMakeover - What's with all the sludge coloured tiles

The kitchen tiles were easy - we never thought about anything other then white metro tiles, having been inspired by every hipster bakery and coffee shop we've ever been in.

The bathroom's a different beast  - It's a bright room, with 3 windows - and white tiles seemed a little bit stark (also we'd only just sold the leftover kitchen tiles on ebay and it pained us to buy more)

Anyway - turns out tiles samples are a thing, and a very necessary thing. Many of these tiles are very different from the pictures on the internet - at least 2 of them are called duck egg' and a different from both the duck egg toilet seat we already have and any duck egg we've eaten.

The middle turquoise one that everyone liked on Facebook has a crackle glaze and the guy in the shop couldn't quite convince us it would work in a bathroom. What we also learnt is the difference in looking at tiles in different rooms and lights is outstanding. Tiles we liked downstairs looked like sludge …

#WearnBathroomMakeover - planning

This time last year we embarked on the kitchen - this year it's the bathroom - the Kitchen was more work then we thought it would be - but it does look amazing, it's been a dream to cook in and a year has gone so we've forgotten the pain and chaos.

The bathroom is a funny thing in the house - a full size bath, a shower cubical, toilet & sink running along the length of the extension that squares off the kitchen. It's not small, but it's very narrow. Working out how to make it work better - while being aware it's getting harder to clean the shower tray and the paint is peeling off of the tiles - means once we worked out a way to make it work for us, via Pinterest, Charlotte and too much rum - It was full steam ahead in getting it done.

We learnt a few things from trying to project manage the kitchen ourselves - were not great at communicating with trades people and getting people to turn up to even give us quotes was hard work - and it all stretched on lon…

Grown up portraits for the price of a pint

One of the lovely things about Stafford is it's a nice little hub for creatives - and these things mean getting professional photos done in a pop up portrait studio set up at the back of your usual pub for less then a price of a couple of pints is a fairly normal thing.

Kate at Shoot This Media took them (after convincing me her backdrop would look great) and a lot of jiggery pokery with lights so my glasses didn't look too shiny. There's been a few things recently where I've needed a decent photo and it's very nice to have up to date ones.
I might even be convinced to change my regular 'batgirl or an avatar' on twitter, maybe...

Alexa say huh?

I'm enjoying having an amazon echo in the house, and I really like the ability to add things to a shopping list - but clearly something has gone amiss...

Unless I really did ask Alexa to add 'Razor Pheasant' to the shopping list this morning.

If anyone would like to suggest what I did actually ask Alexa to add to shopping lists at 6:30am answers on a post card please....

Living the Pinterest Dream

Just imagine, there was a time before you even knew gallery walls existed, let alone had one of your very own, in your very own house.
Also, it turns out hording picture frames for years and years makes doing this super cost effective - somewhere in the region of £3.60 for all of the printing...

Fitbit Adventures

The fitbit app updated last night and I love the new feature of 'FitBit Adventures' - where your steps take you through a google map and panorama photo trek in some very pretty bits of the world.
I also love the idea there is a parallel me walking around Vernal Falls in Yosemite while I'm actually walking around Stoke. 15K steps is my target goal for any day - and I usually just hit it (although I don't get too angry at myself if I only hit my soft goal of 12K a day) but it's nice to have that extra motivation.

My more gamification side of my brain is piqued by the idea of collecting things so we'll see what this is all about I guess...

#Commuterbaby test walk

Nothing like an 8mile mooch around town to test a fancy new toddler carrier.

Lillebaby 3-1 Carry On quick Review - Very comfortable and easy to wear (if a little bit moist around the waist band on a warm day) - but despite some excellent efforts on behalf of Brit trying to wriggle out of it he felt safe and secure and my back didn't hurt at all which was nice. So onwards to Monday!!

A short history of #commuterbaby so far

It's Wednesday of the first week of doing a commute by train since I moved to Stafford from Liverpool. It's felt a bit like starting a new school or a new job it's so exciting (and nicely familiar at the same time). What makes this more exciting is that I'm doing this commute with Brit ever morning, since he's now at the Stoke nursery. (Settled in like a champ, like he's always been there etc)

Initially I've used the tried and trusted Littlelife backpack - which is fab, but not for trains. Brit hates being strapped into anything - and the boy can wriggle - like wriggle out of the bottom (or half wriggle out, not entirely sure he can escape - but he can also wriggle out of the straps - despite the addition of a Stop Strap - which works great for keeping him from wriggling from his car seat and his pushchairs (also a problem) - but in this case did nothing much to keep him in place. Yesterday morning I had to carry Brit because I didn't quite have time to…

Dundee food lowdown

As I mentioned I've been in Dundee for the week - and I don't actually think  I've had a bad meal here (unless you count my rather uninspiring breakfast buffet - which I'd rather not) Here's a low down of places (I'm also trying to better at reviewing places I've been so here are some of the facebook reviews too) :

The Bach - - Fab Place, up a million flights of stairs in a carpark - had fantastic meatball pasta for lunch an my companion had an amazing vegan curry. Had a New Zealand lemonade I'd never heard of. 100% would recommend.

Tinsmiths - - Popped in for a coffee and a breakfast roll - amazing haggis in a brioch bun and fantastic coffee for a very reasonable price.

avery & co - - Here for breakfast - Lovely smoked salmon and some of the best scrambled eggs I've had in a long time - excellent coffee too.

The Braes - https://www.f…

What! Really! Why??

So, walking through Dundee's shopping centre to grab a photo of it's vegetable vending machine (in case I'd imagined it - I hadn't) I also spotted this.

Now, back in the day - I loved my (massive) Troll collection - I do't know why - but I did. I have a weird feeling my mum sent them over with all of my Sylvanian Family stuff so now I might even be retro cool.

Anyway, I dind't just collect trolls - which were pointless things to collect - I categorised my trolls, using Protext - I designed more then one version of my troll database - categorised by hair colour (pink, green, yellow, multi etc), size (tiny, small, medium) and features (looks like Elvis, BK kids Klub trolls and so on)

But Trolls the pc game was one game I can remember being brought for me - and I got good at it too. It was my game I let my brother play. It was hard too if I recall - I might see if it's available to play or download anywhere but I bet I'm rubbish at it now...

Dundee's Vegetable vending machine

This sounds like some weird thing you'd get in japan - but not, here it is in the Dundee shopping centre.
It got restocked in between me finding it existing and going back to take a photo in case I'd imagined it - so it must get used. Thinking back to when we lived in Liverpool actually finding vegetables, not pre packaged vegetables ready prepared was really hard - because all you had were metro versions of supermarkets, not big things. Since we didn't have a car for a lot of it getting out to big supermarkets - or bringing home big bags of veg was a nightmare - it's why we eventually opted for the beetroot heavy local veg delivery scheme. So this really is genius, I've just never seen it before, ever.

Midrange Budget Hotel Room Survival Kit

I've been away form home for the last week - up in Dundee for a conference - which is an awesome little city full of wonderful pubs, bars and cafes.

I haven't actually eaten any bad food and I've learn't from previous conferences to never have the same meal twice and keep an eye on the bread intake as it makes you sleepy in warm conference rooms. Visiting a city for work is always strange, you might do some partying, and you might do some sightseeing but it's never the same without your family so I've also found myself in my hotel room catching up on work.

This room at least had the basics which in this case was a kettle and some Nescafe. This is not like the time I had to stay for a long time in a Ibis Budget hotel pod and went to buy my own kettle and had enough dehydrated food to last me through an apocalypse. Alas it didn't have a fridge. Since this isn't my first conference rodeo I did some shopping on my first day and got the following:

Screw top red…

Spice Inforgram

This is the stuff they should teach in schools

Due to uneven classroom grouping I only ever did one term of 'food technology' in school (I did 3 of CDT so I'm a dab hand at badly cutting mdf with a band saw) - and that one semester was entirely pasta related (apart from a 'Easter' cake at the end which I dedicated to Kurt Cobain, which warranted a concerned word to my mother at the parents evening, my mother to her credit said the cake was delicious and she too was sad at the passing of Nirvana's lead singer)
Anyway in however many weeks of pasta related horrors (Pasta salads warmed by the musty school bus on the way home, a pasta stir fry that was never repeated) never did we actually make a decent pasta dish. Certainly not one to this caliber:
(adapted from a vegan friendly pinterest board - made un-vegan again but infinitely adaptable) Serves 2
Fry an onion, or two in a big saucepan / saute pan Add garlic - lots of it (5 cloves perhaps)
Once that's softened add: 2 cups of veg stock 1.5 cups of milk (any kind…

Long Life Food stuff

Until Brit turned 12 months and we started him on cow's milk I hadn't given the long life section of the supermarket any thought - unless I needed a specific thing for baking I just kind of skipped past it. As we were moving him from formula to cow's milk (which was no bother, but he's robust like that, if he even noticed the difference from the Hipp Organic. He didn't seem to notice the difference when we moved from my milk to formula so I'm not sure why I was surprised).

It just so happened that moving to cows milk coincided with a trip to Barcelona to visit mum, and since UHT is what everyone else uses we went with that - and haven't really looked back. So now we're happy in UHT Whole milk land (and it really does make life easier if you can buy it in bulk and use it as you need it) I've spent more and more time in the long life isle working out what else they have.

We developed a system of 'snack packs' a little while ago - encompassing th…

Persistant case of the Walkies

Brit is home from nursery with chicken pox - although apart form the spots he isn't remotely ill. We're holed up in the living room watching Star Wars for the first time (since his favourite books at the moment are these). I'm trying to do some work.

Pete is busy planning for the launch of Service Station Coffee on Monday so there's bit of paper, wood working projects and the like strewn around, hence trying to keep Brit in one room. Brit has other ideas.

In the space of 20 minutes he has done the following:

Brought me his shoesBrought me his reinsTried to put on his socks himselfTried to put on his reins himselfPut on his iron man backpackTried to put on his hoodie himself (this led to some impromtue peek-a-boo)Walked up to me and waved 'bye bye' repeatedlyBanged on the living room door (which he is so very close to being able to open of his own accord)Brought me Pete's cowboy bootsTried to put on Pete's cowboy boots himselfKept pulling my arm away from…

Robert Overlord

I'm a little bit excited that when I get home Amazon should have delivered our lil' robot hoover - What we're actually getting is this - in my head what we're getting is this...

now it just needs a good name...

I'm a Barbie now...

my birthday is in the summer (hint hint)
She can keep Computer Engineer Barbie company in my new office in Stoke