Tuesday, December 15, 2015

And then he was One

My little baby boy is one today - he's gone off to Nursery with a Caterpillar cake as is tradition.

I don't really know how we went from this small squishy little thing that you could put in one place and he'd stay there - through a year of feeding, food, crawling, to almost walking and eating like a champ to the amazing little boy we have now!

We had an awesome birthday party for him on Saturday - Softplay, birthday cake, pineapple hedgehogs, Caspar Babypants - the works and he was surrounded by friends and family.



So thank you to everyone who's helped make this year special - and to him, for being wonderful and filling our home with laughter and reminding us how to have fun and how to play.

This is his new trick =D



Thursday, November 19, 2015

#WearnKitchenMakeover - Bedding In

I don't remember what the old kitchen was like! For the 2nd time this week Pete and I had tea at the kitchen table - there's so much more space, and flow.

Cooking is a joy, the beast of an oven is being tamed and we're almost done sorting things out and putting things away.

We've changed some things, got rid of the massive cooker hood that sucked all the joy and light out of the room but everything else fits nicely.

The floor to celing bookcase still needs to be built and there's a vintage angelpoise lamp on the way. Really though it's minor things, it's pretty much done - and it's perfect =D

Monday, November 09, 2015

#WearnKitchenMakeover - End in sight

It's almost all there - the tiler has finished, the 2nd plumber we got came in and oversaw attaching the new oven and we're fully in the throws of sorting the chaos back into tidy, labelled drawers.

It's looking good, the space we needed is now there - and the layout works - we had to re-jig a few things as we moved the furniture in, but site lines work, and it felt really good yesterday where Pete was cooking a toad in the hole and I was putting away plates in the colourful storage (that obviously was a bit of a memory jog for a lot of people judging by the facebook likes) - Brit was in a high chair and it all worked - no jostling, no tempers fraying - it was really nice.

We think we have enough storage, I'm using more of the brand new space in the utility more then I thought I would straight away - mainly for 'party' items - and we have a crate full o'booze but we're also being ruthless with getting rid of things - and that filing cabinet is amazing - I don't know why they arn't standard in every kitchen! I have a filing drawer full of cookie cutters!


More importantly, everything fits, nothing feels awkward and there's a great sense of light and space the old kitchen didn't have.

What's more so is it feels like us, it feels like that's how the kitchen has always been and it feels right for the house. I'm looking forward to a winter of cosy cooking and maybe even some entertaining ;)

Friday, November 06, 2015

#wearnkitchenmakeover - getting there

The trades are done, the oven works, tiles looks pretty, floor is wipeable, furniture is in (and bigger then we rememeber) but it's getting there!!

Friday, October 30, 2015

#WearnKitchenMakeover - Presents for the Kitchen

We have a lot of kitchen stuff - we cook, and bake and both of us have done since university - so over the years we have accumulated stuff - so we're going to be a bit choosier about what goes back in. but we've also brought the kitchen some new presents - a new bin, a kettle, tool, ceramic saucepans and silicone oven gloves - that kind of thing

I love the fact the most of the stuff in the 'new' kitchen is old / vintage / retro, but it's really exciting to have new things to look forward too as well.

Thursday, October 29, 2015

#WearnKitchenMakeover - Walls and Progress

Progress is happening, it's slower then we thought (although I have a theory that Pete's excellent coffee making skills isn't speeding things up at all) - but once the walls are done then and grouted that's it - and it's getting there.


Here's the sink unit in place, but not plumbed in. It had to be in place because these beauties are being tiles around it. Tempting as it was to go a bit crazy with the colours of the tiles, I made a a grown up decision to pick up two packs with some overlapping tiles in the same colourway. 

Mexican tiles from http://www.ebay.co.uk/usr/corinnacorinna1974
 Since we've kept the mint green ceiling we painted ages ago (when we painted the kitchen white and got rid of the magnolia in an attempt to freshen it all up) it made sense to keep the same pallet - especially since the oven is British racing green too.


I think Pete had to do a little bit of explaining about how to get the desired effect, I'm not sure random comes easy to a tiler - but they look amazing on, just enough colour to pop around the sink.


 The rest of the walls are just white metro tiles, with a grey grout - which as Pete pointed out with some of the distressed wood and unusual furniture the kitchen has taken a swanky London coffees hop vibe - not a bad thing.

Thursday, October 22, 2015

#WearnKitchenMakeover - Midway point

We're on Thursday - the floor is over half done - and should be finished by tomorrow. We've got the weekend to fit the sink, box off some pipes and cover up that delightful yellow squares.


Getting the sink unit in will make a big difference - once because although we have hot and cold water thanks to another trip to b&q - trying to do washing up in a little bowl isn't great. it will also give us a little bit of storage back - so we can start moving some of the detritus that's in the dining room out so we can move around again.

Highly sought after Ikea sink unit - who knew
Finding the right sink was a bit of a battle - we looked at lots of butler / belfast sinks and some industrial ones before finding a now discontinued Ikea Varde unit in Knutsford. It's going to look awesome - and hopefully all done and finished by this time next week.

Monday, October 19, 2015

#WearnKitchenMakeover - Hipster Storage

We first got the idea of a free standing kitchen in our head - we were inspired by the sink unit in Pete's barber shop - which was an old vanity unit with a new sink in it.

When we got home to have a look at our kitchen we released we were already there to some extent - having brought a 50's larder in Liverpool, and used it extensively since then. We already had a kitchen table and neither of us are fans of integrated appliances. 


We know that's big enough to keep all of our food in, however since we've got rid of all of the built in cupboards we were suddenly very aware if what we didn't have - which was storage. Cue frantic ebay hunting.


The first thing we brought was this:


We actually only popped around to have a look at it - since it was local - and slightly awkwardly ended up buying it for the listed price since another 16 people were watching it and we were there - and it is huge. I've come to realsie that if you're hunting for 2nd hand furniture on ebay you watch everything / anything so that doesn't mean much in the scheme of things. but we brought it, and trundled home trying to avoid speed bumps

I feel vindicated in buying it now since it's currently sat, in the mudroom filled with all of our crockery with room to spare.

The 2nd bit of storage was this - we both fell in love with this instantly when it popped up on ebay -  it reminded us of a coffee shop we'd been into in Barcelona, where they had a similar system filled with cups and serviettes.


It did also involve a drive to Malton in Yorkshire - via a museum trip to Sheffield. It made us realsie that with a small person that doesn't like restraints, like a car seat, that items closer were better.

So the final things we've left to pick up are these from outside of Crewe - I think Pete's going to try and pick them up this afternoon.




I genuinely breathed a sigh of relief when we won this ebay auction - starting to get a bit bored of the constant hunting / searching / if we don't get this one what next?

If we've got too much storage (We've brought a kitchen trolley, remembering the sink has a big cupboard and there's space in the oven too)  We're also planning a clear out we can go hunt some more if we don't but I'm happy for now to see how we go. I'm very happy indeed to not have to set another reminder on my phone that a random auction is at an end.

Saturday, October 17, 2015

#WearnKitchenMakeover - Living in Chaos

I admit it now, I wasn't really prepared for the chaos of renovating a kitchen - and this in my eyes a fairly simple project - 2 trades (plumber / gas man and a tile man).

I hadn't really thought about what not living with a kitchen for any length of time would be like - let alone with a small person - who gratefully is fed 3 square meals a day in nursery and isn't hungry when he gets home. I'm not sure how you'd manage this with a stealthy small person at home - hats off to anyone on Grand Designs that does.


We have a mini kitchen set up in the dining room - microwave, toaster, electric kettle (we usually use a gas hob), coffee grinder and beans - very important - and we still have a sink etc so it's ok - but I'm finding not having space for anything, or prep anything hard going (and I admit not really the time or inclination to sort out the dining table when I get home - although that might be tonight's job)

What is good is we have everything in a storage unit in Stafford ready and waiting - the 'new' gas range should actually be in maybe today - which will help but I've planned raclette for tonight in case it isn't. Once the floor and walls are tiled we can work out where things are going - since it' all free standing furniture we can move things around to suit.

Today is Tuesday - the Tiles are delivered on Thursday - The Tiler is coming on Monday, this time next week it should all be done!

Thursday, October 15, 2015

#WearnKitchenMakeover - Bonus Utility room

When we moved in there wasn't really a utility room - just a tiled space, next to another tiled room / outdoor pursuits storage / mudroom / downstairs loo. We were informed they'd had washing machine and chest freezer there and following suit it's where our washing machine and fridge / freezer lives.

Utility area with 2 sad shelves
It also came to house a wine rack, the recycling, plastic bags etc - and was an unloved, slug trap dumping ground.

No more!! Clever and handy Pete has reused cupboards and counter space from the kitchen - This feels like a real bonus to the project - and has made a difference to the entire back of the house.


Tuesday, October 13, 2015

#WearnKitchenMakeover - Opening up the space

This doesn't look that exciting, but it is - that relocated dishwashers heralds the end of the peninsular unit of doom




It used to take up so much room - and really only served to house the stopcock and plumbing that had once been along the wall of the kitchen before the extension. We're assuming in some jaunty way they used it as a breakfast bar, maybe - but we'd had to keep the front on with cabin hooks, hoped the tiles around it didn't disintegrate any further and wonder why inside the cabinet bit was a double plug connected but inaccessible.

And now it's gone, and it opens up the space nicely. Between the wall cabinets coming down and this being taken down the potential for the space in the kitchen is beginning to feel a very real reality.



Sunday, October 11, 2015

#WearnKitchenMakeover - floors in progress

Pete has a thing about Red quarry tiles - we looked at reclaimed ones, and that worked out at about £3785 (it's a big kitchen) and the cautionary tale that my brother picked up a load to do something with and they are still in the shed because of the effort to clean them.

Anyway - new red quarry tiles are very cheap and a bit of a conversation about how to lay them led to this image in my mother in law's Country Living - perfect inspiration.


Assuming it was just concert underneath the existing 'floor tiles of death' Pete has just sent me this photo - he's in charge of the manly task of stripping out the kitchen.


So we were bang on what we wanted, period to the house - we've just no idea now how many, in what condition or if the lovely tiling guy can work with them - but it feels like a good sign we're doing right by the house not going with a modern fitted kitchen.

Friday, October 09, 2015

How to do a kitchen make over - Casa Wearn Style #WearnKitchenMakeover

The story so far..

Step 2 - Eventually squirrel together some money
Step 3 - Be Brave and go and talk to every kitchen salesperson on a wet Bank Holiday Monday
Step 4 - Pick up so many brouchers you get confused, and realized despite your collective advanced education neither of you even have an idea of how to start pricing up a kitchen, you're not even sure you want - and no one seemed that enthused about selling to you.
Step 5 - Buy another pint, and something to entertain Brit while you work out what to do - because the kitchen is starting to get on your nerves and make you sad.
Step 6 - Get excited by the idea of just getting the utilities moved and the place tiled and filling it with awesome furniture
Step 8 - Obsessively scour EBay for things, and then working out how you get them home
Step 9 - Start stripping out things in a bit of a panic because the plumber can fit you in on Monday....




Gosh, what a lovely shade of yellow that is....

Wednesday, August 26, 2015

I don't win at many things...

... but it turns out I'm really good at walking
I'm also very much enjoying having a fitbit to track everything

Tuesday, July 28, 2015

More post like this please...

When you're saving for a kitchen it all helps =D

Monday, June 08, 2015

Me and @BCWearn (Almost) 6 months on


I think this is my favorite picture of the last 6 months -  It's me getting ready to do my talk at LudoLunch (a family friendly game developer picnic in Oxford I co-hosted over the weekend). I suppose it's a nice sample of the kind of things we've been up o in the last 6 months since Brit was born.

I didn't really mean to take a massive break from the blog - I took a longer blog maternity leave then I did actually maternity leave - I suppose I didn't want to bore you about how great being a mam to such a wonderful little boy is. It's not that I've shielded him away from social media - there's plenty of Facebook pictures and he has his own twitter account (@BCWearn).

How Brit tweets

So I might start posting again, this might become a place I talk about gaming with a baby, or family friendly game developer events, or possibly humble brag posts (Oh, I just don't know what to do with myself since my son sleeps through the night now) - but maybe not. I might also be a place where I get angry about unnecessarily gendered clothes, books or toys. It might be where I'm snarky about on-line baby groups (Which so far, I've been very good an kept in check and not asked questions like 'Does anyone know where you can get laudanum from these days?')

But whatever I use this account for - remembering I also have a work one too - I'll try and post a little more often, if can, if I remember =D