A little update…

Posted by Lipglossiping On July - 10 - 2012

If you’re here for a beauty review today, I’m afraid you’re gonna be a bit disappointed. As I write this, it’s 01:39am and I promised my husband that I wouldn’t be late to bed tonight. I didn’t even have my fingers crossed when I made that promise but still, time has once again, caught up with me.

Time is a particularly precious commodity at the moment and I can only see it getting more stretched over the next month or so. You see, at the ripe old age of 30 – I’ve finally flown the nest. As a family, we’ve very comfortably shared living space with my Mum and Dad for the last ten years. I know it’s a bit taboo and even a bit “weird”… but it’s a situation that has been more harmonious than most would imagine (sometimes!)

Yesterday we signed the tenancy agreement on a new flat and to say I’m bricking it, is an understatement. I wish I still had the bravado that doing this kind of thing when you’re young(er) supplies but alas, I’m just a big wimp if I’m honest.

top floor – if it ever stops raining, we might enjoy the balcony

 Now that the excitement of having a place to call our own has died down a little, I’m overwhelmed. There’s a lot to be done and the previous tenants have left the flat with filthy carpets, about a billion broken “little” things, and a slightly funny smell. Aside from the cupboards, the kitchen is completely empty and all the windows are naked. I had NO IDEA that curtain poles were so expensive!  We’re starting from scratch with nothing more than our clothes and computers to call our own (oh, and makeup – I have some of that too).  Hold me, I’m scared!

If you have any tips on reviving a plush-but-horribly-mistreated carpet, I’m all ears!  Is it worth getting it cleaned professionally?

I sound like a huge moaner. (I am). I’m not – I’m tremendously keen to live out my long-held fantasies of playing house but I’m not afraid to admit that I just have no idea where to start.

And so I apologise, because where there should have been a fantabulous post on beauty this afternoon – all I can really do is stare blankly at the IKEA homepage and wonder what the hell we’ve got ourselves into.

Thanks for listening, I needed that.  I promise to man-up ASAP.


63 Responses to “A little update…”

  1. Alicat says:

    DEFINITELY get that carpet cleaned professionally! Urgh, don’t want to imagine what the previous tenants got up to, seeing as they could hardly look after the place. Anyway, good luck, it won’t seem such a huge mountain to overcome, promise! Our first flat together was teeny tiny, but amazing, and I loved every second of it!

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  2. Kathrine says:

    The landlord should get that cleaned; if it was agreed that the property would be professionally cleaned prior to you moving in, then I’d push back and ask that the carpet be done again.

    Congratulations on your first home away from home. xxx

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    • Chelle says:

      Damn straight! Your new apt should have been cleaned & repaired prior to you moving in. Document everything (take pics!), so when you move out, your landlord doesn’t try to keep your security deposit. When you finish documenting, make a copy, & both you & your landlord should sign both copies & each keep one.

      If your landlord is unwilling to clean & make repairs, tell him your subtracting the costs from your next rent check. If the carpets are REALLY nasty, pull up a corner to see if there is hardwood underneath. If there is, ask your landlord if you can just pull up the carpet, instead of cleaning it. Hardwood is alot easier to manage than carpet; cleaner & less stinky!

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      • Thank you so much – unfortunately, being on the top floor – we can’t have hardwood or laminate, gotta think of our poor neighbours below us! x

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    • Wordbird says:

      She’s SOOOOOO right!!! I just left a house I was renting and part of my tenancy agreement was to pay to have the whole house’s carpets professionally steam cleaned. You should have the property handed over to you in mint condition. Your Landlord should pay to have all the carpets professionally cleaned. And s/he should replace or fix all the little broken things.

      If s/he doesn’t, you have to photograph everything and make a full listing of everything that’s not in mint condition. Because otherwise when you leave (I know you don’t want to think of that now!) you’ll need to be able to prove it was all like that when you moved in. Or they’ll take it out of your deposit.

      Anyway, yes, professional cleaning gets a ridiculous amount of filth out of the carpets. Quite horrible, actually.

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    • Thank you lovely xx

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  3. Kerry says:

    Huzzah to getting your own place! If you’re renting, the estate agent should hand over the keys to a clean flat – including the carpets. See if you can get them to do that for you as many will.

    Oh and – don’t skimp if you’re buying a sofa! We bought the £120 Ikea model when we moved into our first unfurnished flat and I curse that decision every evening!

    Good luck!

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    • Oh god, is it the Klippan? We were gonna get the Klippan just because it’s flat pack and we’re on the top floor.

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      • Amy says:

        Get the Export, they are flat pack too but much comfier. The covers are changeble aswell in case you get bored or spill your dinner down them.

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        • Hi Amy! Do you mean the Ektorp? I like that one a lot but I want the grey one and that’s annoyingly 43948093 times more expensive than the stupid white one. Stupid pricing. Leila would Ribena the crap out of it in about a nano-second.

          We might just have to sit on deckchairs until I’ve saved my pennies! x

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          • AmyB says:

            Yep Ektorp. Stupid phone predictive text.
            The grey was lush, but we went for the bright red whihc i guess would be pretty ribena proof. Really comfywith sqishy cushions and arms and it has a ten year gaurentee. The cushions are all reversable to prolong life and all the covers can be washed althogh i’ve not done that yet.

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  4. moonpiglet says:

    Congrats on your new home! If you are renting, the estate agent should really should have made sure it was clean and up to renting standards before handing over the keys, you should really complain. As for the carpets, you should try renting a rug doctor (I think its about £25 for 24 hours)- if you are lucky the estate agents might reimburse you. Anyway, good luck and enjoy your new home!

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  5. Definitely get the carpets shampood, it can make a huge difference. Even one of those machines you rent work well, and I’ve seen carpet cleaning on Groupon a few times.

    B&M is your friend for stuff like cheap curtain poles (in fact, for A LOT of super cheap house stuff), so long as you can cope with them looking a bit cheap. And really, once your curtains are up, who gives a shit about the pole they’re hanging from?

    Good luck!

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    • Oh I WISH we had B&M down here :( I always have a nosy around the one near my MIL when I’m up north. I think our nearest is about 50 miles away *sigh*

      I’ve found some cheap IKEA curtain poles (IKEA to the rescue – again) x

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  6. Danni says:

    Congrats on the flat! I understand the overwhelmed feeling – (now) hubby and I felt the same when he bought his first flat after always renting fully furnished flats. It was totally empty, with no flooring and in desperate need of redecoration!

    Definitely have a crack at hiring one of those rug doctor carpet cleaner things – they should get your carpets looking good as new!

    I have 3 bits of advice.

    1: Don’t buy all your furniture in one go. Just get the absolute essentials and then get other bits once you’re in there and using the rooms. Last thing you want is to spend money on furniture and find that you never use it or it doesn’t work with how you use the room.

    2: Don’t worry about buying cheap. I’d have loved to buy my perfect furniture the first time round but we just couldn’t afford it. Go for quality on your bed and sofa if you can but for everything else, go affordable for now and then you can always replace it in future.

    3: Charity shops are your friend. We got our first sofa from the charity shop – it was an ikea one that was in really good condition and it cost us £40. The only part I don’t recommend is deciding to save the £20 delivery cost and carry the sofa the mile back to the flat. That bit wasn’t fun!

    Looking forward to seeing some future posts on the new flat and how you decorate and furnish it :D

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    • Thanks so much for all your great advice Danni, I really appreciate it. I’m so pleased that I’m getting so many recs for the Rug Doctor, definitely hiring one as soon as the painting is done.

      I’m trying really hard not to buy everything at once and being super-sensible and stealing my Mum’s Which magazine login before I look at fridges/cookers/toasters/microwaves etc etc!

      I’m rethinking the sofa because the one we planned on getting is cheap (though we felt it was comfortable enough) – but I’m not too sure that spending 5 minutes bouncing on it in the store is enough to get a good feel!

      I’m posting a couple of pics of the undecorated flat tomorrow. I’m gonna be a flat bore, sorry! x

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  7. Sophie says:

    Hiya, the joys of renting hey!
    We hired a Rug Doctor to clean our carpets, it was pretty cheap and did an amazing job! I never thought cleaning would satisfy me as much as it did that day :) You can get them from most supermarkets, just google and you can Redbook online.
    Happy new house, enjoy!

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  8. Fee says:

    Well I hope it feels all less daunting soon and becomes fun as you make it your own! :)

    As for the carpet and all the other bits and bobs these really should have been sorted out by your landlord before you moved in (that is what the last tenant’s security deposit was for). I’m also a landlord you see. So if I were you I would get on to your landlord and ask him/her to provide you with a carpet cleaner and arrange to fix anything.

    But if you don’t want to ask to get all the things fixed then I would highly suggest you take photos of all the faults (with the date thingy thing up on your camera) and just store them in a folder on your computer, just in case if/when you move out you cannot be blamed for any of the problems!

    Hope everything goes well :)

    Fee x

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  9. NeenaJ says:

    Congratulations!

    Does the UK have an equivalent to ChemDry? That’s who I used to clean my carpets – and they look, smell and feel amazing afterwards.

    The nice thing about your situation is that you can move it an your pace. Fix one room up at a time starting with kitchen and living room, then work on the bedrooms and finally the bathrooms.

    As a reader above stated, don’t skimp on critical things like a comfy sofa. Also, good appliances and mattresses.

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    • Definitely, we don’t even need a big removals van – most of it (except for the obvious big stuff) will transfer over in our car. We’re so lucky really. I’m worried about the sofa – the stairs up to the flat are really quite tight… we might struggle with that one! x

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  10. liloo says:

    no need to man up just yet, it’s a big venture and it’s perfectly normal to be a bit daunted by it all. all the best :) do we need to expect pictures of Mr L with his top off and white paint on his chest, showing his bum cleavage? :)

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  11. mirianv says:

    definitely get the carpet cleaned professionally. i went through all this back in february. everything got overwhelming really fast. we need new bedding, lamps, curtain rods, curtains, BLACKOUT curtains, new plates, pots and pands, kitchen table, side tables…EVERYTHING. it was a nightmare, but Ikea and well thought out financial planning helped us sort everything out.

    as for the furniture…if you don’t have a lot of room in the budget, ikea has cheap, temporary thing that will work. here in the US we bought side tables for 12.99 EACH. you don’t need the $150 ones. we also got out kitchen table (unstained wood) for around $30 and just throw a cover over it.

    just take a deep breath…ready?…now start a list of things that need to be done by PRIORITY then set yourself a budget. it’s not so bad and i’m 23 and did it, so no sweat!

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    • It is such an airy flat that blackout curtains or blinds are gonna be essential! I bought plates… and found out this evening that they don’t fit in my kitchen cupboards!!!! ARGH.

      As for priority, the kitchen doesn’t need much decorating, just a couple of touch ups and a good scrub – so, we’re slowly carting stuff over to fill the cupboards. Plus there’s the small matter of white goods. ARGH.

      I’m not very good at budgets – I shall do my best! Bet you’re relieved it’s all behind you now!? x

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      • mirianv says:

        Trust me…it’s still a never ending project. It’s little things that you don’t realize you have…BAKING SHEETS. i can’t roast any veggies. i also just splurged on a food processor. i need large tupperware, a new duvet cover, a rubber broom for the carpet (serious dog shedding), extra stand alone fans, and another bookshelf.

        the longer you live somewhere the more stuff you need. it’s ridiculous. the important things are out of the way though and i can sleep easy without the sun waking me up at 5 am.

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  12. mirianv says:

    also forgot to mention…buy extra storage/shelving units. They can be wooden or wire. they’re fairly cheap and a godsend!

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    • We’re pretty lucky with storage – the hall has two HUGE airing cupboards and the kitchen is well-fitted. The rest is up to us though and Leila’s room has nothing built in, so we’re gonna have to be clever!

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      • mirianv says:

        something like a small, shelving unit in the bathroom will help store extra towels, hand towels, soap, shampoo/conditioner. little tips!

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  13. Oh oh, such a big venture! Everything costs so but it will all be worth it when you’ve prettified it and can call it your family home! Good luck Charlotte!

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  14. shauna says:

    you should try the carpet shampoo you can buy in the supermarket. i can’t remember the name of it but its a mousse spray and you spray it onto the carpet leave it for an hour. i think you have to hoover it off as normal or maybe wipe off the excess with a cloth i can’t remember! but it works really well as we were going to get the carpet professionally cleaned but the mousse stuff worked so well we didn’t have to. i think it might be 1001 carpet cleaner but they’re a lot cheaper than a professional carpet cleaner and worth a go :)

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    • That sounds like hard work Shauna! I totally would if it was just a couple of stains but there’s so much of it, I’d need to clear the supermarket shelves. Having said that, I’ll be sure to pick up a bottle of the mousse to keep it in tip top condition once it’s been cleaned! x

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  15. Anne says:

    Oooooh – congratulations! If you are renting your landlord should be sorting all the broken things and the carpets for you – rented home should be suitable to move into. If you do end up having to clean the carpets yourself the Rug Doctor is the cheapest efficient way to go from my personal experience. Shake and Vac stylee things from supermarkets will not sort out super minging carpets. You can Rent Rug doctors from places such as B&Q & Homebase. You also have to buy the shampoo for it too – ask the store people to help you re amounts!!! I cleaned the carpets from my last rented house when moving to where am now. My partner and I rushed over here to clean the carpets in our maisonette too within the time limit we had paid for – it works so well that seeing what had been done versus what had not made me feel sick! Sadly the carpets have returned to their ‘darker’ colour once again!

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    • Oh that feels me with much excitement! I see that they also do a spot removal one which will hopefully work on the proper stained bits. I grew up in a house where we didn’t have to take off our shoes indoors… ergo Mum always chose dark carpets haha!

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  16. Trimperley says:

    Don’t go down the Vanish spray route, I tried that and the marks came back. Also tried the professional cleaner with a machine route but the man refused to climb the stairs to the top floor so check that he will when booking. Kidderminster is a good place to shop for carpets but its not vey local to you and you would have to ask your landlord for permission to replace the carpets and you wouldn’t want to leave them if you paid for them so scratch that. Remember to take photographs of what the flat looked like when you moved in in case there is a dispute at the end of the tenancy. If you haven’t been given an inventory of landlord’s items make your own and send a copy to the landlord/agent so any discrepancies can be sorted out now. Your landlord should tell you within a month of the start of the tenancy how he has protected your deposit and about the scheme for settling disputes about the deposit at the end of the term. Stoke on Trent has excellent factory shops for china but again its a bit far from you. Our local hospice sells furniture they have been donated. They get some good stuff and it sells quickly so if you have something similar locally check it out. A warm hug and best wishes from me.

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    • LOL what a lazy swine! I’ve been told that they would use their “portable” machine because I’m on the top floor, so I think I will just rent one of those Rug Doctors for the day and see what I can do! Thank you so much for your advice and warm wishes xx

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  17. Jo says:

    Congrats – I’m glad you were happy with your previous living arrangements but being able to shut your own front door on the world is lovely!
    Decent beds would be top priority to my mind(or mattresses – better a good mattress on the floor than a crap mattress on a fancy bed), and then frankly if you’re on a budget I really recommend being a willing recipient of 2ndhand stuff from friends and family, and Freecycle of course, so that you don’t spend money on stuff that “will do for now” – if it’s not what you want longer term you might as well get it for free instead, if possible. And it’s eco-conscious too :-P
    Of course you’re only human so you’ll want to splash out on some stuff that’s truly your own taste/choice – maybe some artworks? (you can take them with you if/when you move on, and it should lighten your heart every time you see it)
    Other than that I would encourage you to beg or borrow a sewing machine – making curtains, cushion covers etc is pretty easy – you can get very fancy with sewing but it’s really just joining one piece of fabric to another, not rocket science :-)
    All the very best, Jo :-)

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    • I’d love to learn to sew – my Mum used to be great at it but her eyesight is failing her nowadays. Curtains especially – that would save heaps of money for the sort I want. I used to put stuff up on Freecycle but the number of non-collections used to drive me crazy. I haven’t looked on it for years! Thanks for the tips and advice Jo x

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  18. Alex says:

    Good luck! :) Hire a carpet cleaner, or watch out in local paper for flyers for professional services, they often do mad discounts on the cleaning. If all else fails, IKEA do some really cheap and nice rugs to cover the worst bits! Enjoy your new home!

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  19. Wordbird says:

    Oh, and for furniture, keep a search on ebay, Gumtree and preloved for second hand stuff in your area. It’s often waaaay cheaper than IKEA and it’s usually nicer and more sturdily built. It also lends itself to ‘shabby chic’ repainting.

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  20. Juliet says:

    Since you are renting and ave signed an agreement, I would first ask the landlord to clean it before considering professional service (or renting). And maybe see if the agreement says anything about the carpets.

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  21. Oceane says:

    Im not sure what the conditions are like in England for renters. In New Zealand you have to get the carpets cleaned professionaly. They ask for a receipt. The house has to be in the exact same condition as moving in. It shouldn’t be your job to fix the prior tenants f&^k ups. Like previous readers have said check your contract. Take pictures. Any costs to the house should be deducted from your rent. Talk to the landlord.

    BTW, congrats on your move. I’m sure once you get into a routine everything has a way of sorting it’s self out.

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  22. Beauty Box says:

    Congrads!! It is such a big deal to own your own place. I don’t have very many tips to give about the carpet but if it is anything like cleaning an old grubby mattress…I’d say, get a new one, speaking from experience – it’s very expensive to clean it professionally. But if $$ is a real issue, then cleaning would def seem more attractive if you don’t see yourself being able to afford a new one for the forseeable future.

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    • Thank you! We’re taking our own bed and mattress (thankfully) and Leila has just been treated to a new one courtesy of her Nan and Pop! Spoilt little girl (and her Mum!) x

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  23. I just moved out myself a few months ago so I totally sympathize with how overwhelmed you’re feeling! Just remember that not everything has to be present and correct on day 1, or even week 1. You will survive without curtains/kitchen table/dust ruffles/whatever until you find the right one at the right price. Focus on getting the things you cannot live without (bed, sheets, towels, etc.) and then work from there.

    Also, FOCUS ON QUALITY. You’re starting a home, and you should spend your money on things that will last. Sometimes that means buying used things that are better quality vs. new cheap things. I got a ton of my furniture via Craigslist and it was the perfect way to get good stuff for less. I also bought some things from furniture outlet stores. That said, sometimes you can find good quality at a low price. All of my cooking utensils are from IKEA and they’re great.

    And most importantly, take whatever you can get that’s free. I was fortunate to get some basics from my parents who had kept things around for when I moved (old towels, the previous set of drinking glasses and flatware, etc.) If your family or friends have these things for the taking, TAKE THEM. Replace with something you like better when you have the cash to spare.

    Good luck!

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    • Thanks chick, how are you enjoying your independence?!

      You’re right about taking time to invest in quality. BUT I WANT A SHOE CABINET AND I WANT IT NOW! Hahahah!

      Gah, I’m so excited I want to buy all of the things! x

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      • Loving it! Paying rent? Not loving that bit so much. But I think it’s worth it in the long run to have had the experience of living and taking care of everything by myself.

        Ha, it’s been 5 months and my shoes are still on the floor of my closet… I’ve managed and so will you! I also had to trash some of the cheap kitchen stuff I bought because it ALREADY BROKE. So, word of advice, don’t get the flimsy mixing bowls.

        Other tips: Try to get 18/10 stainless steel flatware because it will last forever and it won’t get bendy (does that mean something horrible in the UK?) when you press on it. Oh, and stoneware plates/bowls are the devil and chip constantly, try to get porcelain or china.

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  24. please work out with professionals and if you find cleaning with steam equipments for carpet that will be great steam cleaning i suggest best for sofa carpet and home cleaning. you find windows naked need to buy curtains

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  25. Another rug doctor vote here. We’ve hired these a couple of times and I bloody love using them – so satisfying! Many congratulations on your new adventure. x

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  26. Julia Arenas says:

    Living harmoniously with parents is a very Filipino setup. Some don’t take warmly to it, others see its perks like eager grandparents willing to help with little children and pass on gold nuggets of ancient wisdom. It’s still better for many of us that those who help with the children are still family members. My paternal grandmother lived till her last days with us and I have the fondest memories of her as a child.

    Congratulations on your new sanctuary. Will still check everyday as I always do, no pressure, just want to :)

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  27. Jade says:

    Eeeee how exciting! I’d say get the carpet cleaned and fill the place with things you love and before you know it, it’ll be comfy and homey and you’ll be all settled in! :)

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  28. YAY! Noooo Home!

    How exciting for you, but understandably daunting.

    Loads of tips above, but if I may, blackout blinds are my thing! All my boys have blackout at their windows, and we’ve had ‘officially labelled’ blackout and the much cheaper plain black ordinary blinds from B&Q and Argos. They keep out a lot more light. They official ones just make everything look a bit blah and dull…

    Ebay will be your friend too, as will friends and family. I left home 20 (ouch!) years ago, and STILL get offered bits when friends move. Some we take and makeover, some we don’t.

    Very best of luck with all of it, the squabbles and rows will be worth it in the end, particularly when Mr L brings you flowers one day and you’re putting them on your own table in your own home.

    S x

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  29. Lisa says:

    Wow, I can’t believe you’re only just moving out! I know it works for some people but I can’t imagine living with parents, I haven’t since 21. I guess I assumed that because you’re married you had your own place. All I can think of is how much money you must have saved!!

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  30. mary says:

    Vanish and chemical stain removers you apply yourself can discolour the carpet and make it look worse. I would get them professionally cleaned, they are always doing 3 rooms for 2 offers. Prices can vary a lot so I would ring round, it’s also good to find out what companies the local (respected) letting agents use as they will be called upon to sort out some real disasters. I had mine done after a tenant had lived there 8 years. It was worth the money, the whole feel of the house quickly became mine and it sorted out that ‘funny smell’ that other people leave behind.

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COMPETITION NOW CLOSED! WINNER IS: “IZABELLA” (COMMENT #96045) – WINNER HAS BEEN EMAILED!   It’s still January, the MET office have just issued yet another …

Hello? Is this thing on?

Phew, that was a little unexpected. For those of you who haven’t had the misfortune of reading my hand-wringing tweets and woe-ridden facebook updates, let …

Big savings on French Pharmacy brands, win my Escentual.com top picks!

I’m of the firm opinion that for the money, French pharmacy brands offer some of the best solutions for diffcult skin-types. Escentual.com have long been …

Win it! 3 EcoTools Bamboo Bronzer Brushes to win!

I’ve written about these before, you know I love them, I want you to love them too! So why not have a go at winning …

FOTD Busting out of the comfort zone!

You may recall my bitter moans last week about how when presented with a rare opportunity to spend an indecent amount of time playing with …

Dear Obesity...

We have been together for over 20 years, our lives so entwined that I’ve never been sure how to live without you.  I would like …

Urban Decay The Black Palette - Photos & Swatches

The soon-to-be-released Black Palette from US eyeshadow maestro’s Urban Decay is an altogether darker affair than the recent Naked set… The Black Palette includes 6, …

Avoid the brush off with Oral-B Pro-Expert

There’s a new toothpaste in town. It’s lean, mean and err not very minty as it happens.  Featuring the revolutionary bacteria-busting ingredient Stabilised Stannous Flouride, …

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