10 things I have accomplished in Isolation

We are now on week 8 of lock down and I thought it would be a good idea to write a post of 10 projects that have kept us occupied so far during isolation as this has been the perfect opportunity to get on top of those jobs that always get postponed or to take the time to feel good and refresh. Even though me and Tom have continued to work due to both being key workers, we have still found ourselves having a lot of spare time.  This has allowed us to take a step back and appreciate the little things in life. 

No.1 Becoming Better Puppy Parents

For Ralph, this isolation lark hasn’t been all bad!! We have discovered a new woodland walk within minutes of our house that we never knew existed, which Ralph is extremely pleased about as a daily walk is more than he is used to.  This has also been a great opportunity for us to train Ralph especially on this walk where we have been able to let him off the lead and teach recall to benefit not only Ralph but us too. It is so nice to see how free he looks when he’s off the lead but is a relief to know that he will come back to us when we call.  

We have had no choice but to learn how to groom which is definitely harder than it looks. We used clippers,  scissors and a lot of bribery in treats to get those nasty knots out and be able to see his cute face again.

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No.2 Garden Renovation

Our garden was desperate for renovating so we have used this time and the nice weather we have had to completely transform our back garden. We started by demolishing the rotting decking which was quite fun. We then turned over the grass and chopped it up into loose soil and spread this across the full garden to make the garden level at all points, lowering the high parts to fill in the low parts if that makes sense. 

We had 5 ton of hard core and 4 ton of sand delivered and we covered the full garden first with hardcore and whackered this down until it was solid and then added sand on top. We had our fake grass delivered and Tom fitted this one morning whilst I was at work which was a nice surprise to come home to.  We decided the garden was crying out for a seating area, so chose a corner we thought would be best and built a decking  platform to put our table and chairs on. Eventually I would like Tom to build some seating area out of wood too but I will let him have a rest first! 

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No.3 Exercise

As all of the gyms are now closed and we have been staying in the house a lot more, our healthy diets began to slip and instead of going to the gym we started getting settled on the sofa with Ben & Jerry’s ice cream watching Netflix most nights.  

A couple of weeks ago I was feeling quite sluggish and lethargic so got my act together and started to do some small daily exercises in the hope of having more energy. I have been doing 2 sets of 30 second planks, squats, sit ups and I run up and down stairs as many times as I can to get my heart racing, as well as the daily woodland walk with Ralph which is the best half an hour of the day. 

I was nominated for the Run 5, Donate 5, Nominate 5. I ran 5K, Donated £5 to Captain Tom Moore’s Just Giving page for the NHS and nominated 5 people to do the same. On the sunnier days me and Tom have played a few games of badminton but this never lasts long as the shuttlecock either goes over the neighbours fence or Ralph runs off with it hanging out of his mouth.

No.4 Organise The Loft

From the day we moved in, everything we wanted to save was placed up in the loft in no sort of order. As our loft isn’t very big, there wasn’t a lot of storage space with only a thin board across the middle and the rest as insulation. Tom decided to board a bigger section of the loft by pushing the insulation back and boarding more  of the floor so there is a bigger area to stand on and he even fitted a cheap lino flooring on top of the floor boards as well.  It made sense to shelf both sides of the loft across the trusses for storage and leave the middle to walk along so that is what we have done.  

During this process, we have sorted through everything that we were storing and cleared out quite a lot, we have recycled a few empty cardboard boxes of things we no longer have or need that were taking up a lot of space and filled our shelves in an order so we know exactly where to find everything up there. 

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No.5 Self Pamper

Some of the pampering I have enjoyed in the last few weeks have been 

  • Painting my nails 
  • Using a face mask
  • Using a hair treatment 
  • Having a relaxing bath  with bubbles and a bath bomb 
  • Moisturising my skin 
  • Having a break from false eyelashes and makeup
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No.6 Touch Up Of Painting

I feel there is something so satisfying and relaxing about painting, especially in a quiet house listening to my favourite music.  Even though it is only 12 months since we renovated and painted most places in the house, some areas required a refresh especially some of the woodwork. Due to having some white wood paint leftover we have managed to touch these areas up. We have also painted the shelves in our landing towel cupboard white as we never got around to doing this and before these shelves were natural wood. 

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No.7 Donating To Charity

Charities need our help now more than ever. The charities that I have donated to in the last 3 months  are… 

  • MQ which is a mental health research charity – www.mqmentalhealth.org
    I donated to this charity through an app called ‘Hold’. This free app is great at rewarding you for not going on your phone, as for every 20 minutes you ‘hold’ on the app and do not use your phone you earn 10 points.  Once you have reached 150 points, you can spend this on donating £3 to the MQ charity. 
  •  Sheffield Children’s Hospital NHS Charity,  I found this on their facebook page where I sent a text to the number mentioned and this donated £5 which was taken out  of my bank with my phone bill. 
  • NHS through Captain Tom Moore’s Just Giving page, this was part of the run 5, donate 5 nominate 5 that I mentioned above.
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No.8 Socialising and Baking

As we cannot see our family and friends at the moment, we have been taking part in weekly family quizzes on either the ‘Zoom’ and ‘House party’ apps. Each week, one of us takes it in turns to be the quizzer and ask 40 questions. This usually lasts around an hour and is a nice way of staying in touch and lifts spirits all around. It also gives us all a laugh when we read out some of the funny wrong answers at the end.  

This weekend me and Tom baked Gooey salted caramel brownies together. We bought a cake mix from the Asda with our weekly food shop and although we didn’t make the cake from scratch we still had fun and enjoyed getting stuck in to something different. Baking these brownies took me back to my happy childhood memories and I even licked the bowl like I used to growing up.  It was the first time that me and Tom have baked in our house which will be a great memory. The brownies even tasted good as well which is always a bonus!! 

No.9 Various Small House Projects

Quite recently I have been inspired by Mrs Hinch and Stacey Soloman’s small house projects. Some of the small house projects that I have completed are 

  • Spice shelf transformation – to do this we bought jars and labels and transferred our herbs and spices over 
  • Wallpaper prints – this was done by cutting sections of leftover wallpaper and sticking them in photo frames.
  • Shoe rail – this involved screwing a rail up and hanging my going out heels onto the rail with clips
  • Wooden bath shelf – this was done by cutting and shaping a piece a wood to the bath shape and staining it with oil
  • Make up brush holder – this was created using a empty can of peas that I sanded down and spray painted gold 
  • Twig heart wall art- we made this by collecting twigs, cutting a heart out of wood and gluing the twigs to the heart
 

You can see some of these transformations on the small projects section which I will be updating as soon as I get the chance with more ideas and step by step guides on how to undertake these projects.

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No.10 Spring Clean And Sort Out

Throughout spring this year I have had a thorough clean in the house. I have zoflora’d the door handles, the stair case and all the rooms from top to bottom. I have cleaned under the beds, dusted surfaces including skirting boards and even cleaned the glass mirrored wardrobe doors and windows as these were well overdue. 

I have sorted my clothes out using the theory of if I haven’t worn an item in the last 6 months  or it doesn’t fit then it goes, as I am quite a hoarder when it comes to keeping clothes. My winter clothing have been put away under the bed and swapped for my summer clothes which I have brought out and organised into my wardrobes in sections of types of clothing. I still have accessories to sort out but at least I have made a big start.

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Our Kitchen from Dull to Desirable

'Happy Kitchen, Happy Home'

When we moved into our house, the kitchen was liveable but we wanted  to modernise it to our taste and change the layout. Me and Tom had always dreamed of having a social kitchen to invite family and friends around and host gatherings. When we were searching for the right property, we wanted a kitchen that had room for an island in the middle but never expected we would get this in our first home.

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Interior White and Bright

Lets talk white paint...

One of the most noticeable transformations that we did when getting our house was painting everything white. The walls, ceiling, skirting boards, architraves,  door frames, staircase and porch door all had a fresh coat of white paint. This totally freshened the house up and made the rooms seem a lot brighter at a small cost as we did all the painting ourselves with the help from family and friends.

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