Welcome to the next part of my new home tour! I’ve already shown you around the kitchen, bedroom, and dining room in my earlier blog posts, so now here’s the living room! This room is probably where I spend most of my spare time when I’m home. I love it because it’s so light and cosy! The large balcony doors let in lots of sunshine and I love snuggling up on our cosy sofa.



I’ve been in my flat for over three months now and I’m all settled in and loving having my own place. I thought it would be quite hard to adjust moving out from my parents for the first time but it’s actually been a pretty smooth transition. The only thing that I really miss is my two kitties!

Merlin and Marshall live at my parents still as it felt cruel to have two cats and two humans all in a one bedroom flat with no garden! Plus, Gavin is allergic to cats (or at least he pretends to be!) and Marshall is deaf so tends to be very noisy without realising it. But I do enjoy having the cats staying over at weekends every now and again, they are so cute and I love spending time with them!

Anyway.. back to the living room tour! I decided I wanted to carry on the duck egg blue theme in the living room as well as the bedroom. I used the same Arthouse Chinoise Shadow wallpaper (£9 per roll) which is a very close match to the Laura Ashley Oriental Garden wallpaper (£44 per roll) that I used to have in my dressing room. Plus, I managed to get the wallpaper even cheaper for approx £2.60 per roll by bidding on a listing on eBay for 5 rolls which I won for £13!

All of the furniture in the living room (and in fact, the whole flat!) was bought cheaply second hand from eBay or local Facebook selling groups. I found the gorgeous grey sofa on Facebook marketplace; the lady was selling it brand new as she bought it for her new conservatory but it turned out it didn’t fit! So she sold it to me for only £100 and I’m so pleased with it. It’s only a two seater so it’s a little small but it fits in really well. Above the sofa I’ve hung a ornate white mirror on the wall, the duck egg throw on the sofa is from Julian Charles, and the square cushions are only £7 each from Dunelm.

If we ever do have guests and need additional seating, I also bought a tub chair in a gorgeous duck egg blue colour for only £30 off eBay. Again it was brand new and is still selling for £99 in Dunelm! And I got the huge duck egg rug brand new from the same person for £40, originally £125! I saved a huge amount of money buying my furniture ‘second hand’ as buying it brand new would have cost hundreds! The cushion on the tub chair was actually made by my best friends Mum using the same fabric as the wallpaper! It matches so perfectly.

I also bought the big white TV unit from Facebook for only £40 which is still on sale in Ikea for £180! It matches the large shelf unit in the dining room (which I bought for £25 on eBay) and it’s the perfect size for the living room. I love the drawers which are handy to hide away little bits and pieces, and the cubby holes can be used to display pretty decorations. It’s also a nice width so it fits in nicely and there’s space for Gavin’s big TV alongside my pretty picture frames and candle jars!

I felt that the corner of the room next to the sofa was a little bit dark, so I spent a while hunting for a floor lamp to fill the gap. I found this copper lamp in Argos for only £30 and it was exactly what I needed (I’ve just noticed it’s now only £24!). I think the lamp looks great against the wallpaper and next to the copper clock, which was also a bargain.. only £6 in Wilko! The teapot lamp on the side table I got from Litecraft years ago, I love it so much!

On the little ledge that goes out to the balcony I have some little trinkets including this metal bird lantern, little lavender pot plant, copper look bunny, and a big silver lantern. Can you believe I found the little bunny in Poundland a little while ago? It looks so much more expensive!

On the TV unit I keep some of my favourite little pretty decorations, most of which I’ve had for years! The ‘HOME’ wooden letters I got from Dunelm years ago, and they fit in the little cubby hole perfectly! Alongside that I also have a copper basket, my duck egg Roberts radio, and jar candles. I also have a string of fairy lights going around the unit and a little marble vase which I bought from The Range that sits next to the unit.

The latest addition to my living room is this white wooden butler tray table which was a bargain for under £20. I wasn’t sure how much I would use it when I first got it, but it’s so handy as we don’t have enough space for a coffee table, we can just drag the little table over if needed. I also find it very handy for taking photos of products for my Instagram! Plus it just looks pretty cute sitting by the window with a vase of flowers on.

The curtains I bought as a kind of cheap temporary fix when I first moved in. They were only £12 from Argos and I thought they would do in the short term but I’ve actually grown to love them! The metal tie backs came with the place when I bought it, and although I hated them at first and had actually bought new cream ones, these have grown on me too so will also be staying!

And finally.. I was looking for something to fill the gap above the TV and found this lovely watercolour bird print on Ali Express. I cut it down and put it in a cheap frame I bought from B&M and it’s perfect!

I’m so pleased with how the living room has come together with the rest of the flat. Now there’s just the bathroom to finish off!

 

Don’t forget to follow me on Instagram for the latest updates!

So you’ve all met my lovely fluffy Ragdoll Merlin, and now say hello to my new baby cat Marshall! Back in July I went and collected this little ball of fluff from a local rescue home. I had been a member of a Facebook group that specialised in rescuing pedigree cats for a while, and when I saw a photo of ‘Snowy’ the Persian that they uploaded, I was instantly interested in him!

white Persian pedigree cat


They had a little bit of information on his history; he’s approximately 4 years old and had been rescued from a home in Malta where he wasn’t being very well looked after after being abandoned by his previous owners. He went through lots of vaccinations and tests so that he could be flown over to the UK (he has his own passport!) so he could be re-homed somewhere here safely. When he arrived in the UK his fur was so matted that it was actually hurting his skin, and he wasn’t in a good way.

white Persian pedigree cat

I’m half Maltese myself and there was just something about him that I liked, and I decided that I wanted to give him a new life at home with me and Merlin (my Ragdoll kitty). Unfortunately, I wasn’t quick enough. Another lady had already taken him home by the time I had thought about it and messaged the rescue centre asking if I could visit him. I was pretty gutted and couldn’t stop thinking about him.

 white Persian pedigree cat

 A couple of days later, his photo popped up again on my newsfeed. He had been returned back to the cat rescue centre for being “too lively”. I was heartbroken for the little thing, being passed from pillar to post and moving countries and going back and forth. I felt like this was ‘fate’ and this was my chance to rescue him once and for all!

white Persian pedigree cat

I booked my visit and took him home with me that same day. The lovely rescue home had fixed him up and he now has a beautiful pure white soft fluffy coat, he is no longer matted, and is now happy and healthy at home with me. Due to my love of Eminem, I have renamed him Marshall, as his previous name was Snowy. The little thing is completely deaf, so he’s not confused by this sudden name change! Isn’t he a beauty…

white Persian pedigree cat 

Although he was lively and quite a handful when I first got him, he has now settled in and is like any other cat. On the first few nights we had him he would yowl and cry so loudly (apparently deaf cats do meow much much louder than normal cats generally). I was worried for him that he was distressed and we tried our best to comfort him. He wasn’t eating much either so we were a bit concerned. But he settled in a bit more everyday, and after a few weeks he was eating fine and was much calmer, so we introduced him to Merlin (my big fat cat).

There was lots of hissing and growling to begin with. Mainly from Merlin who was obviously a bit miffed that there was a new kitty in his territory. But because Marshall is deaf as a post, he didn’t seem to be in the slightest bit bothered, and kept trying to make friends with him! Although now they are perfectly comfortable around each other and aren’t aggressive, they’re still not exactly best of friends. They do enjoy each others company, but only at a distance!

Because Marshall is deaf, he is very clumsy and knocks everything over. He doesn’t seem to realise because he can’t hear the ‘smash’ against the wooden floor whenever he knocks another photo frame off the mantelpiece. But other than that, he’s a lovely little kitty and I’m so glad we’ve been able to give him a happy home! He absolutely adores my Dad, and loves being brushed. Whenever you come home he runs up to you and when you stoke him he will lick your hand with excitement and purr non-stop. He is a lovely little cutie!

April was a pretty busy month for me, and therefore lots was going on over on my Instagram! If you don’t already, I’d really appreciate it if you could follow me so you can keep up to date with all my latest happenings!

 

Gavin bought me a gorgeous Olivia Burton watch for Christmas in a pale blush pink colour, but the strap wore really quickly and I was pretty disappointed. Luckily I was able to exchange it for a new one, and this time I picked this stunning rose gold and mint green strap one!

On a really boring food shopping trip to Iceland with my Mum the other day, we came across this profiterole tower half price, so it only only £3.25! Absolute bargain, it even came with the golden stand and gold sprinkles! It was delicious too!

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I found this gorgeous floral dress originally from Debenhams in a charity shop for only £3! It’s such a pretty print and will be so nice to wear in summer with a pair of wedges.

I was really pleased when I found these Nails Inc nail polishes in none other than Poundland! I think this is probably because this is their old shaped bottle which has now been discontinued, so this is just old stock. But the colours are actually really nice, and great value for only £1 each (normally they retail for over £10)!

I went up to Stoke to visit Terri one weekend and I wore my new floral embroidered dress from ASOS 😍

This denim combo is probably one of my favourite outfits for spring when the weather isn’t warm enough for summer dresses, but not cool enough for jumpers. This shirt is from Primark and I like to team it with this denim a-line zip up skirt I bought in the Matalan sale.

Another charity shop bargain, I found this cute little floral tea set in a charity shop in St Albans for £4! It comes with a teacup and saucer and also a side plate too! It’s so pretty, I couldn’t resist it (and you can never have too many tea cups.. right?).

On a recent trip to the Cath Kidston outlet store I picked up these kitchen storage tins which are supposedly damaged. They look fine to me, except slight dents on the bottom, but they were reduced to only £4 each! I also picked up the teacup trio for only £6!

I recently tried waffles for the first time ever at The Waffle House in St Albans. Everyone always makes a fuss about waffles (and pancakes, but I’ve never tried those either) and I’m not really sure what all the fuss is about. I think they’re pretty over rated. I kind of expected them to be really sweet and soft and warm. But it was kinda just like a really expensive cold Nutella sandwich with ice cream on top.

I found this lightweight bomber jacket in the H&M sale for only £6, and even though bombers are probably already out of fashion, I’m in love with mine! It’s so easy to throw on top of anything, and it’s nice and light, and less granny-ish that my cardis!

This is baby Merl being adorable and attention seeking. He doesn’t usually sit on my lap but if I’m on my laptop in bed he comes and lays all over it and distracts me. Look at his little eyes.. aww! Can’t believe it’s his 5th birthday next week!

I recently spotted these two embroidered bags on the Matalan website, and I couldn’t decide which one to choose. In the end, I decided to add both to my basket because they’re just so pretty!

And this is my snazzy new running outfit! Not that I ever go running. Or go to the gym. Or ever do anything. But for the very rare occasion that I go out on my bike or for a little job I have a new outfit from Primark!

After a pretty rough couple of months I kind of feel like everything is a bit better now.  Maybe time really is the best healer, but there have been lots of little things that have helped to pick me up; summer is on it’s way, great friends, the best family, a sunny holiday and a fluffy snuggler. 

Merlin has recently turned three years old and it still feels like only yesterday that we picked him up from the breeder and he was so tiny. I knew from our first moment that we would be best of friends, which sounds corny as hell, but it’s so true. My little kitty Merl has greeted me every morning for the last 3 years with a snuggle and then tucks up to me at bed time until I fall asleep and then he migrates to his own bed. 
Being a newly single lady meant that recently I spent a lot of time in
my bed (with Netflix and cake.. obv) and I genuinely feel like my little
Merl could sense my pain and did his kitty-best to comfort me when I
was feeling low. After lots of fluffy snuggles with my furry chum I felt
a little bit better, and it made me realise how much pets really do
mean to us. It’s been well researched that pets really can help to ease
stress, anxiety, and depression in humans because they have so much
love, comfort and companionship to offer which releases feel good
chemicals in the brain.
I’ve always been a cat lover, and my last kitty Magnus was with me for almost 15 years. I cried non stop for days after he passed away from old age a few years ago (I wrote all about it here!). Thinking about losing Merl does make me tear up a little bit even though (touch wood) it’s a very long way off yet. Luckily due to his breed, he is safe indoors most of the time, but he does occasionally try to escape out of the front door! I always worry that he could pick up some kind of disease from other cats on the street, run away and not find his way home or is stolen, and I worry about the danger of cars as he has no awareness of roads. Having cat insurance gives a little bit of piece of mind that in case something did happen to my fluffy pal, that he would be covered.  
He really is a part of my family, and we all fuss over him non stop. He is spoiled rotten really, but he brings us so much happiness that we think he deserves it! And who needs a boyfriend when you can have a super cuddly kitty?! Much better behaved too.
 

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It’s now coming up to two years since I first brought home my sweet baby Merlin from the breeder. He was so tiny and adorable and I thought he could never cause any trouble. You know how mothers always say about their troublesome teenager: ‘he would never hurt a fly’, well that’s how I’ve always felt about my baby Merl. But as the two years have quickly flown past, Merl has developed quite a personality and is a little rascal most of the time. 
In case you are new to my blog, Merlin is my cat. He’s a ragdoll breed, which means he is bred to be docile, friendly, generally well behaved and cuddly. Well up until recently my little bundle of joy has been all of those things. Ragdoll breeds are meant to be indoor cats, but I spoil my little baby, so we often let him roam around the back garden and supervise the little terror. Because he’s generally quite new to the outside world, he was quite frightened at first, and he didn’t like to spend very long outdoors. As he has light blue eyes I think they’re quite sensitive to the sunlight so he’s always squinty, and also he seemed to be scared of everything. 
However, he’s now grown into a big brave boy, and he will spend the whole day out in the garden if we let him. He loves leaping around, sprinting from one end of the garden to the other, and is intrigued by the bouncy trampoline.  However, his newest hobby is hunting. My sweet baby Merl is now a mean hunter cat. Of course it’s in his nature, but I’m so used to him being a little scardy cat that wouldn’t say boo to a goose. And now he’s managing to catch rodents and even a bird just in our back garden! And then he takes delight in bringing them into the house for us, but not quite dead yet. Yuk. 
We have a fence around the garden which currently he doesn’t seem to realise is a barrier. But I dread the day he realises theres more world out there than just our garden! As all doting mothers are, I’m very protective of my little angel, and his recent step into fully grown adulthood has made me a little bit nervous. I’ve even been reading up on cat insurance for in case he has some kind of accident or eats something he shouldn’t and gets ill. He’s very curious about everything nowadays. And what if he leaps over the fence one day and I lose him? It doesn’t really bear thinking about! My little treasure is my pride and joy and I am so pleased that he’s grown up a bit and is discovering new things for himself. With any luck he will start to realise he can poop in the garden so I don’t have to keep emptying his litter box (lazy Mummy)!
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My little kitten Merlin has fully grown now, into quite the handsome big cat! He was such a tiny little thing, and I can’t believe he’s almost 2 years old already. I’m a bit sad looking back on his old photos, as he grew up so quickly, and now he’s a big fat lump, but I love him more everyday (soppy cow). He’s been especially affectionate now as an adult cat, he’s not quite so hyper and crazy, although he definitely is still very playful. He doesn’t play fight/bite as much anymore either which is nice! He used to love to chomp on my hands and feet as I slept. But he does still like to leap out of the dark on his hind legs and throw himself at me to make me jump, which he seems to find amusing.
Time has gone by so quickly, but he’s still my baby kitty 🙂 He’s a proper part of the family, and we never stop fussing over him! He’s not very vocal and doesn’t meow too often. If he wants feeding he’ll scratch at his food box, and he’s discovered his treats box which he manages to pull out and open up… cheeky fatty. Although he’s a ragdoll breed of cat so is essentially an indoor cat, we let him roam around the back garden without much supervision. He doesn’t try to jump over the fence or escape at all, and he just loves chasing butterflies! If it’s a sunny day he will wait patiently by the back door for someone to let him out, but if it’s windy or rains he freaks out! He spends most of his time asleep in the same cat bed he had as a kitten. I think it’s about time I buy him a new one, I think he’s outgrown it! 
I can’t imagine my life without Merlin now, as he’s such a big part of me, and I spend all my mornings fussing over him and cuddling him (often delaying me for work!) and then when I’m away I miss his cute little face lots. As soon as I come home he runs down to say hello and he sits with me for the majority of the evening. Then when I turn off my light and get into bed, he immediately comes and headbutts me (I like to pretend he’s giving me a goodnight kiss) and he settles in for a cuddle until I fall asleep, and then he moves back to his own bed. Then in the morning he somehow knows when it hits 7am and he comes and headbutts me again to wake me. He’s the perfect fluffy alarm clock! He also doesn’t let anyone use the bathroom in peace, as he will scratch at the door until he’s let in.. he just loves to watch toilet action, the freak. 
My cat is a massive part of me and my life, so I can only imagine how important assistance dogs must be to those that need them. I’m not at all a dog person, but I found this article about assistance dogs from Bolt Burdon Kemp really interesting and inspiring.. I never knew there was more than just ‘guide dogs’. It just goes to show how important pets can be to people, whether it’s just as a loved companion or a vital lifeline to those with disabilities. Clever doggies! I especially agree with how pets can provide emotional support, because since I got my kitty I’ve had a few horrible times, but having him there to spend time with me and love me made me feel so much better. I love my Merl ♥ (and I think he quite likes me too).

* Collaboration post. All content is my own.