Cool ways to use blackboard paint in your home


cool ways to use blackboard paint

If you haven’t yet used blackboard paint in your house, I would seriously recommend it. Not only does it provide a great canvas for To Do’s and shopping lists, it also adds interest and personality, and replaces the need to fill wall space with something less useful and more expensive.  Not to mention the amusement it can bring the morning after the night before when you realise that someone got hold of the chalk…

When I completed my DIY Kitchen makeover, I finished it off with this little design and have been loving it so much that I wanted to spread the blackboard paint love.

Blackboard paintblackboard paint kitchen

I bought mine from Wilkos which is by far the cheapest I could find (the likes of B&Q charge over £10). You can paint a whole wall with the stuff, or just mark out a space like I did using masking or frog tape. I then used a chalkboard pen and inspiration from Pinterest to add the border and the mixed typography – I’ve found in the past that the chalkboard pens aren’t actually as easy to wipe off as they claim, which is a good thing in a way as it means you can use it for a permanent design and then just use ordinary chalk for the everyday additions.

There are loads of ways you can get creative with blackboard paint – here are some of my favourite ideas which I found online:

blackboard paint ideas

  1.  To paint your dresser and label your draws – never get your knickers and socks mixed up again!
  2.  To create a calendar feature wall – perfect for an office – you could also have this in a central area of the home such as the hallway to use as a family planner
  3. As an edgy canvas to an all-white bathroom – okay, so maybe not so close to the shower, bath, sink…
  4. To make a display feature out of otherwise ordinary shelving areas or wall art
  5. In the nursery or playroom – just make sure you make it clear to the kids that not all walls in the house are for drawing on!
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10 Christmas Fails we love to repeat

christmas fails

  1. You decide to play a game of monopoly with the whole family. Four hours later only the buyer of Mayfair still gives a shitMonopoly at Christmas
  2. You fill up on Roses and Quality Streets before the five-course Christmas dinner
  3. You don’t want to pay £8 for ‘guaranteed Christmas delivery’ on Amazon. Anyway, it says 7-10 days and you’ve got 11 so surely it will arrive on time. It doesn’t.
  4. Even though you promised yourself you wouldn’t, you decide to go out for a couple of drinks on Christmas Eve (it is Christmas afterall…) At 10pm you decide to get the shots in. At 4am you stumble home in your Santa hat singing to the Pogues. At 7am you seem to have lost your Christmas spirit; Santa should not have come here.
  5. drunk SantaIt takes your dad five attempts to set the Christmas pudding alight. And then nobody wants to eat it anyway.
  6. You spend a good 30 minutes choosing the perfect Christmas tree. You don’t want anything that will be ‘lost’ in your living room, and symmetry is so important. When you get home you realise it’s too tall to fit a star on top. It’s actually massive – you’ll need to saw off that two feet you just paid an extra £20 for
  7. christmas tree failYou buy a Christmas jumper to wear especially for Christmas dinner – forgetting that your parents have the heating cranked up so high it’s more like Antigua than Antarctica
  8. christmas jumperYour mum insists that everyone watches the Christmas specials of Corrie and Eastenders, only to fall asleep 10 minutes in
  9. Eastenders imageYou decide to get creative this year and make sloe gin – what a lovely gift for everyone. You plan well in advance, picking the berries, and a good two days are spent making the stuff and buying cute bottles and gift tags. It’s been hard work but at least people will appreciate it. They don’t – they think you’re a cheapskate who didn’t want to fork out £20 on some Bombay…It stays in the drinks cabinet for the next 5 years next to the Amaretto.
  10. Every year your mum has high hopes for the Christmas crackers (“they weren’t cheap these”). Every year they don’t crack but they do contain the same useless spanner, useless nail clippers and useless puzzle…must spend more next year.

Sending lots of festive cheer to everyone! Would love to hear if you can think of any other Christmas Fails that I can add to this list to make 12!?

x

Is there really a baby in there?

Getting ready for labour

Throughout my pregnancy I’ve been known to repeatedly say things like ‘it just doesn’t feel real’, ‘I can’t really imagine it’ and ‘it’s going so quickly’ when asked about how I’m feeling. I think I presumed that the closer my due date got, the more I would feel like I was actually going to have a baby, rather than pregnancy just being a state of mind and a change in my body that I’ve had to get used to (Mr M has taken to calling me a ‘good vessel’).

But as I write this five days prior to my due date, I confess that it still ‘just doesn’t feel real’. Despite baby’s constant jabs in my ribs reminding me that she now has a mind of her own (thank you very much), despite the fact that we have a room in the house we’ve named and decorated as ‘the nursery’, and that I have something the midwives call a ‘hospital bag’ all packed and waiting for what will definitely be the most monumental day in my life, I just cannot imagine leaving the house as two people and coming back as three. All I know is that my life is going to change forever and for the next 18 years and beyond, I’ll be completely responsible for a life other than my own. I’m not sure anything or anyone can prepare you for that.

Of course I do this everyday...

Of course I do this everyday…

Friends keep asking me how I feel about labour but the truth is I don’t feel much – again I thought I would feel anxious, scared etc. so close to D-Day, but I’ve had none of that. I’ve found that everyone has their own little piece of advice to give, but the best I’ve been given is to just keep an open mind since things often don’t go to plan. I’m not very good at handling disappointment so my birth plan is that there is no plan. Other than very basic preferences (i.e. if I’m in immense pain give me whatever drugs I need to make it better) I haven’t been very prescriptive at all. As long as our little bambino is delivered safe and sound I really don’t mind how we do it – I feel like it’s very much out of my hands and she will come out as and when she wants to. I’m sure if I have a second baby I will likely want to be much more prepared, but that comes with knowing what to expect and, like everything, you need to experience it for yourself first.

I think the thought of labour doesn’t bother me as it will mean that I get to finally meet our little one. It’s strange, I keep thinking about her tiny little hands and feet but she is completely absent of any other identity in my mind – perhaps because the thought of mine and Mr M’s faces morphed into one is rather disturbing…We’re both hoping that she won’t be too overdue so that we can get her settled and enjoy her first Christmas together so I’m currently putting to the test all of the tricks in the book from drinking raspberry leaf tea, to taking lots of walks, having hot baths and bouncing on my birthing ball…Sorry? No, not that one.

Watch this space! x

Tutorial: Hand-made Christmas tree decorations

handmade christmas tree decorations

Now that we’re in December it’s considered acceptable to put up the tree and get into the Christmas spirit – hooray! I decided to make some of my own decorations for our tree this year and spent last Sunday setting up my little craft station and singing along merrily to Slade and Mariah, whilst Mr M sank a bottle of red wine (how selfish of him).

I consider myself a bit of a novice when it comes to arts and crafts, with very limited materials, and get frustrated if things start to take too long. So I decided on two fool proof designs…

Hanging heart tree decorations:easy christmas tree decorations

You will need:

  • Sturdy cardboard/ mount board
  • PVA glue
  • Cord/ twine in various colours of your choice
  • Wrapping paper in the colours of your choice
  • Glue dots

How to:

  • Cut out one large and one small heart shape from the mount board
  • rip up the wrapping paper in strips and dip into a bowl of the PVA glue
  • Cover the hearts with the paper and glue (think paper mache technique)
  • leave the hearts to dry (this took a couple of hours)
  • stick the smaller heart onto the larger heart using a glue dot
  • Tie a ribbon out of cord/twine and stick onto the small heart using another glue dot
  • punch a hole in the top and attach twine for hanging on the tree!

Pine cone tree decorations:

You will need:

  • Pine cones
  • Glitter spray (if required)
  • Ribbon
  • glue dots
  • Twine/cord (for hanging)

How to:

  • Spray the pine cones with glitter spray if required (I used Plastikote Project Enamel in silver glitter which is subtle)
  • Make a bow out of the ribbon and stick it to the bottom of the pine cone with a glue dot
  • Use the twine to make a hanging loop. I used glue dots in the first instance to stick it to the cone, which did seem to work initially, but after a week they seem to be dropping! I’ve taken the lazy way out, turned the pine cones the right way up (narrower section at the top) and simply wrapped the twine within the cone – they look equally as lovely (see pic). I’m sure you could attach using a glue gun or similar if you’re a more prepared crafty than I am…

Pine cone tree decorations

Would love to read about any other ideas you have – please feel free to share them with me.

Happy crafting! x

10 side effects of pregnancy you need to milk

pregnancy hormones

So you feel like a beached whale, your brain’s gone to mush and you can’t get comfortable no matter what. BUT look on the bright side – there are some perks to being pregnant…

1. You can have child-like tantrums on a daily basis and people will just put it down to ‘hormones’

pregnancy side effects

What do you mean you don’t want dinner?

2. You only have three outfits to choose between each day. And one of them is your PJs

3. For once, people give your trolley right of way in the supermarket – and enough space to get a tanker through

positive pregnancy side effects

move it!

4. You no longer have to make up elaborate excuses to get out of  attending that event. You’re just too tired, too sick, not quite feeling up to it…

pregnancy side effects

5. Nobody will judge you for stuffing your face at every opportunity. Can’t choose between desserts? Order both!positive pregnancy side effects

6. The usually grumpy cashier at your local store decides to not only smile at you for the first time in five years, but engage in cheerful conversation about your due date, her children, her children’s children…

7. You don’t have to hold in your tummy after that three course meal – people just assume the food baby is real baby

good pregnancy

8. People tell you that you’re ‘looking really well’ on a daily basis – even though you feel like crap

9. You will never have to be designated driver ever again. Ever

10. And you can take delight from the green faces the morning after – for once, it’s not you with the hangover!

I'm feeling pretty darn smug today

I’m feeling pretty darn good today actually!

Have I missed any??

You Baby Me Mummy

DIY kitchen makeover (or ‘this nesting instinct is bloody great!’)

I’ve been banging on about how much I disliked our kitchen ever since we moved into our house this February. The whole house needed a complete refurbishment and, to be fair, we’ve done a pretty good job so far, completing the majority of the house to our taste within the first six months. But upon finding out I was pregnant we decided that the kitchen would have to wait since it’s by far the biggest project to take on and the biggest expense…DIY kitchen makeover

However, when my maternity leave began a couple of weeks back I decided that I could use this time to give the kitchen a bit of a makeover…If I’m honest, I was only planning to paint the tiles in the first instance and replace the lights. And then I decided that it wouldn’t be too much trouble to give the walls a lick of paint before I got slightly (very) obsessed and – to the groans and concerned protests of friends and family (“now is the time you should be resting”) thought it would be a great idea to tackle the units (since “what’s the point in me going to all that effort if the cupboards still look shit?”)

I’d opted for a plain white Ronseal One Coat Tile Paint to freshen up the tiles and Dulux Egyption Cotton emulsion for the walls. I wasn’t overly confident about the Ronseal tile paint – I attempted to paint our garden fence last year with their pressurised sprayer and learnt the hard way that their products certainly do not always do ‘exactly what it says on the tin’. However this brand seems to have completely monopolised the shelves in the likes of B&Q and Homebase so I decided to give them another chance.

The results were pretty good to be fair. The tiles did need two coats and the finish is slightly linear in places where you can see the brush strokes, but it looks like they’re supposed to be like that (or so I tell myself!)

Two coats of tile paint, and two coats of emulsion on the walls later, the kitchen did look much better to me, but I could tell that hardly anyone else noticed. There were just so many brown units in the way… I needed to do the cupboards.

Mr M insisted that my efforts were the equivalent of me trying to polish a turd and thought painting the units was one step too far, but he came to realise that you can’t get in between a pregnant woman and her cupboard paint…

Not really one coat cupboard paint

Not really one coat cupboard paint…

Sugar Soap

You need this in your life

Again, I opted for Ronseal since they were the only brand that was in stock in the colour that I wanted. Anyway, I needed to get home in time to paint as much as I could before Mr M got home so there could be no going back. Sneaky.

I didn’t bother sanding the melamine units, but used Sugar Soap to remove all of the dirt and grime which I’d seen done on a YouTube video. I’d never used Sugar Soap before and to say that I was amazed is an understatement – it’s so easy to use and literally makes cleaning a doddle (I’ve since used it on the ceramic floor too with great results).

Again, the units did need two coats of paint and in some places three, but I’m really chuffed with the results.Blackboard paint

I finished it off with some blackboard paint and added this typography with a chalkboard pen to create a bit of a feature.

The final results are well worth a couple of weeks of graft to get a kitchen which feels much more like my own – even if it will be ripped out in 12 months!

Now, how do I get Mr M to change that worktop?