New House: Garden Must-Haves

T-minus 6 days…

As I mentioned in my last post, we have both been living in places without gardens (The Roommate hasn’t had a garden in 12 years!) so getting the garden ready to enjoy before summer arrives is high on our list of priorities. We actually bought a barbecue last summer, in anticipation of our ill-fated move, so we are bursting at the seams to finally be able to use it.

garden must-haves

  1. Madison Square BBQ – Homebase
  2. ÄPPLARÖ Folding Table and Chairs – IKEA
  3. Tealight Lantern – Amazon
  4. Turf – image courtesy of
  5. Apple Tree – B&Q

As our garden isn’t going to be huge, we really want to make the most of the space – for us, our priorities are to grow things to eat and have space to sit in the garden and relax. This IKEA table seems to be the perfect solution for a small space; flexible and compact, I really think it fits the bill for our petite patio area.

We had the option of having turf laid through the house building company, but we’ve seen the quality of the turf they’ve laid in the public areas of the development and it is already dead, so needless to say we thought we could do a better, cheaper job ourselves… They’re also planting a sycamore tree in the garden, so we’ve decided to replace that ASAP with an apple tree to maximise our growing-to-eat space. The biggest problem is going to be having to wait for it to mature!


New House: Kitchen Must-Haves

I’ve really not talked about our new house on here, as seemingly everything that could have gone wrong has gone wrong so far and I haven’t wanted to jinx it. We certainly won’t relax until we have the keys in hand, but tomorrow marks 2 weeks until we get those keys! A little background…

This time last year, the Roommate decided to start looking for a house to buy. The second house we viewed was, we thought the one. Our offer was accepted, contracts were signed and we were planning on being moved in by August. So we were disappointed crushed when the solicitor called to say that the sellers were pulling out, literally hours before we were due to exchange contracts.

However, after a bit of time (and a lot of bourbon) we realised that maybe it wasn’t meant to be. And after lots of very unsuccessful viewings, we decided to go for a new build. Seven looong months later (and plenty of squeaky bum time moments when it came to mortgage offers) we are 14 days away from completing and excitement levels are approaching DEFCON 1.

We’ve been visiting the site on a weekly (and now daily…!) basis since the beginning of the build last October and it’s been fascinating and so, so exciting so see the house go from a patch of dirt to foundations, to brickwork, to roof timbers and so on. For months we’ve had the furniture picked out and have decided exactly what to grow in the garden (neither of us have had a garden in years so we are VERY EXCITED to have outdoor space!) Amidst all the excitement, I thought I’d create a few collages of some of the items that are on our shopping list when we do finally get the keys! First, the kitchen!

kitchen must haves


  1. Lana Smoked Glass 5 Light – Next
  2. IRIS Pot Holder – IKEA
  3. STRÅLANDE Chopper – IKEA
  4. Bormioli Rocco Storage Jar – Tesco
  5. IRIS Oven Glove – IKEA
  6. APTITLIG Bamboo Chopping Board – IKEA
  7. Magimix Inissia Coffee Machine – Nespresso

I realise this is quite IKEA-heavy, but I actually plan on making the pot holders and oven glove myself – I’d like to make use of my sewing machine since it’s had a clean bill of health, and they seem like pretty straightforward projects to try. Famous last words… The chopper is a funny one. I saw an ad YEARS ago for a product called a “Slap Chop” (hilarious infomercial here) and thought it was utterly ridiculous.  The Roommate got a similar product as a gift and I’ll be damned, it’s amazing. So amazing that it’s actually gone blunt from being used so much, so a replacement is in order. While it’s been so fun window shopping for all the bits and pieces we need, but boy are we looking forward to actually buying stuff!


PS. – Thanks to the ever-lovely and inspiring Dana at The Wonder Forest for her great Photoshop collage tutorial!