The Best Stores for Kitting Out Your Home

Now obviously, this is completely subjective, and this is done purely from the experiences we’ve had doing up the house. It’s not gospel, and I’m sure there are other great stores out there that we didn’t use, but these are our faves, and I’ll explain why 😊

Ikea

I MEAN, WHO DOESN’T LOVE IKEA, of COURSE it’s at the top of the list! One of the most exciting things about moving is the prospect of going to The Narnia of household furnishings! You know as soon as you step through those doors, however well thought out your shopping list was, you’ll be leaving with more than you planned for 🙃 Virtually all of our furniture is new, and virtually all of it came from Ikea. I didn’t realise until I just thought about it then…it was a busy and confusing time, but I suppose we did end up going twice in 2 weeks AND get an order delivered to our home address too… It’s safe to say that we are now absolute masters in IKEA DIY (you know that when you don’t even really need to look at the instructions because you can pretty much guess which screws go where). I loved building our furniture because it was fun, the experience of Ikea is ALWAYS enjoyable, and #adulting!

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Dunelm

I’ve loved Dunelm ever since I first moved down to London. Mama P took me to the big store at Clifton Moor in York before I moved, and I fell in love – it’s a fab store for home furnishings and small bits of furniture. Ed and I ended up getting curtains, light shades, bed linen, bits of cookware and more! The prices aren’t too bad either – there’s definitely a few bed sets that are way more than one should be spending on linen, but equally they’ve got some items clearly aimed at students – so it’s perfect for everyone!

Wayfair

Advertising won, I wouldn’t have known about Wayfair were it not for Lorraine Kelly squating away in the ITV advert breaks. And, the advert’s right – whatever homeware you’re looking for, there’s something for you and your budget – and a lot of it too, they’ve got a great range of products! I’m in love with our stacking tables from Wayfair – I hadn’t seen any Rose Gold tables anywhere else, and I love the style! We also got a bean bag and clock from here, and they won’t be the last purchases, I can tell you that for sure! My one word of warning though, things seem to go fast, so if you have a floor light saved in your favourites, it may not be in stock a week later. I see it as a sign (yes, this happened to me), but it’s good to be aware!

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Next 

I never thought about going to Next for homeware until a google search for marble look placemats took me there…but they’ve got some lovely things! Kitchenware, bedroom things, decor…and not too extortionately priced either! (To date), we’ve got the placemats, tealight holders, candles and a trinket dish from there, all of which are perfect for our home.

The Range

Similar to Dunelm I suppose, a little cheaper though (and they do craft things there too, for any keen crafters out there)! We mainly used it for kitting out the bathrooms, though I’ve shopped there before for wall art and wedding decorations too (YES, that’s right, but I’ll be sharing these details AFTER the wedding) 😊

Etsy

I’m pretty sure I’ve mentioned on more than occasion how much I love Etsy, so I’m sorry to sound like a broken record, but I really do! I came across it a couple of years ago when looking for gifts, and I’ve been a regular visitor to the website ever since – for gifts, and now for home decor too. We got our personalised house sign from there, as well as a canvas painting for the bedroom and marble mason jars for my desk. I love being able to support small businesses, and there’s some gorgeous, quality stuff on there. Go and check it out if you haven’t already, especially with Christmas on the way!

We’re still not done kitting out the house yet, so if you have any other stores that you think we need to visit, let me know in the comments below!

And NEXT TIME, I’ll be sharing some of my favourite new items in our little home, so if you’re curious about seeing what we actually got from these shops, stay tuned!

Lynette x

Things No One Tells You About Moving House

When we decided back in March that we were going to move, I had no IDEA what the reality of it would actually be. Of course I’ve moved before, but it’s never been as big as this one…whilst moving to uni or to central London have been significant points in my life, they were never MASSIVE. Sure it’s stressful, having to pack everything up and move your entire life elsewhere – but it’s not until we started the process of buying a house that I realised all my previous stresses were NOTHING compared to the adulting version.

I wasn’t totally naive, I knew there’d be a lot of things involved (things you don’t think about until you’re doing it) but the whole process was made unnecessarily stressful by factors we couldn’t control. I’m not going to go into the nitty gritty of the actual sale of the flat/purchase of the house, because frankly, I don’t want to. What I AM going to share with you are the day to day experiences.

1 – Stress

The constant STRESS will be nothing you’ve ever experienced before. Plenty of people said to me over the last few months that along with divorce, it’s one if the biggest things you can do in your life. I’ve felt stressed plenty of times in the past, as we all have, but stressing about something at work now seems like a walk in the park by comparison! There’s so many things hanging over your head for so long, you can’t do ANYTHING about them, it’s all in someone else’s hands…and that was maybe the worst bit.

2 – The disruption to your life

We carried on working as we moved, but I’d be lying if I said I was still able to give work my full attention during the process. I was often distracted, but in particular, it affected the amount I could work from home. As a dance teacher, I do all of my prepping, music finding/editing at home, and when we were moving I just didn’t have the time. I take my hat off to anyone with a 9-5 job (or similar) who keep working and move at the same time, because I really struggled.

3 – Packing is SO time consuming

If you can, start early. Yes it’s a pain to live out of boxes, but TRUST ME, the sooner you start the better.

4 – You’ll have a constant dull headache

Most likely brought on by the stress, and thankfully I didn’t have one for the entire 6 months…but for the actual move itself, it was always there. Keep the paracetamol handy.

5 – How mentally and physically draining it is

…I think because for so long, your life is out of your control. You rely solely on other people to make this dream happen for you, and you may feel like they don’t give a s**t. Which can be such a gutting feeling to have to walk around with, particularly for months on end.

6 – You have so much CRAP

I’ve said it before, but you don’t realise how much crap you accumulate until you have to box it all up and pack it away! We used the move as an opportunity to have a bit of detox and a sort (a lot went to charity or in the bin in the end), but you’ll still have a million things to pack. And a month after moving in, you’ll still have unpacked boxes littering your home. It’s not ideal, but it’s best just to accept it!

7 – Even though it’s a legally binding document, signing doesn’t feel real

Probably because it’s taken so long to get to this point. You’ve had so many phone calls, so many cases of getting your hopes up that things are starting to happen, but then being let down. So when it ACTUALLY happens it feels very surreal. I didn’t even believe it when we got the keys!

8 – How much cardboard you’ll accumulate

Obviously, there’ll be tons from the boxes you used to move stuff over, but even MORE so if your furniture is new. Our house is a new build, was totally bare, and we wanted to use it as an opportunity for a fresh start – with the wedding in 6 months, it was the prefect time to start a new chapter. Which is amazing, but the amount of things you have to buy will be a lot more than you thought! And that translated into cardboard means a LOT of runs to the tip.

But please don’t think it’s all negative! Not at all! There’s so many positives (and I’ll be talking about these in a separate post), but you can GUESS the good ones ahead of time. The ones I’ve listed are things I hadn’t even considered until we experienced it ourselves!

I’m going to leave you with a positive though:

9 – How incredible it feels when things start coming together

You may not be totally happy with how things are, your TV still isn’t mounted on the wall, you’ve got some doors off hinges after having the carpet done and your second bedroom resembles a dumping ground…

But it’s starting to take shape, it’s starting to feel like home, and after the crazy, busy, stressful experience, it’s in AMAZING feeling!

AND whilst I have the opportunity, I want to give a huge shout out to our friends and family for all the support you’ve offered. Whether that was an ear to moan to (I’m looking predominantly at my ladies dance/fitness class on a Monday – Moaning Monday I nicknamed it, I’m so sorry 😂), a supportive or encouraging word, the offer of help or a ‘Happy New Home’ card…it means a lot. In particular, I need to show lots of love to both sets of parents who’ve been absolutely amazing (as ever, but especially) during this process 💖

Stay tuned for more house posts – I’ll be discussing our fave stores for kitting out our new home next time!

Lynette x

The New Year Post: 2018


We managed to get through the random limbo week between Christmas and New Year, and 2018 is here!

An excellent time for reflection, to take count of what you have, what you’ve accomplished, and also maybe what you haven’t accomplished yet.

Lynette-Dance-55Credit: Graham Hebron Photography

I said it last year, but I don’t like to make resolutions. They feel very formal and easily breakable – perhaps we set ourselves too big a challenge, expect too much from ourselves in a short period of time. I’m no expert, I’m just going on personal experience. Instead, I like to decide upon something I’d like to try to alter slightly…

12 months ago, I said I wanted to spend less of my time on social media, especially as I use it for work. And dyou know what, I’m quite proud of myself, because I managed to do that. I’m not saying I stayed off it completely, not at all. But I spent less of my free time mindlessly scrolling.

This year, I want to keep that up, plus I have a new ‘want’.

To say I’m a dancer/dance teacher with a Musical Theatre degree – I’m shocking at going to see shows. In 2017, I think I only went to the theatre 5 or 6 times, 3 of which happened in December, and one show I saw twice! (Obviously I’m not counting being in the theatre for work). That’s pretty bad. It’s a tricky one to be honest with you, because of work having such anti social hours – particularly for theatre visits! But I really want to make the effort to see more. Because I love it. And if I love it, I need to do it, right?

IMG_8677Image captured during Queen and Adam Lambert’s gig at Leeds First Direct Arena, December 2017

The other thing is just to make sure I find time for myself. This job can become incredibly consuming if you let it, which I did for a section of last year – it was near impossible to find free time, and I felt a little suffocated. I’ve been better in the last couple of months, and I will always commit 110% to whatever I’m doing at the time. I just think it’s so important to allow yourself the down time – learn when to say yes or no. And that yes or no can be applied either to work, social life or activities. None of us want to let people down, it’s just learning (for the sake of our own sanity), when we need to take the day off from running round like a headless chicken, and sit down by ourselves with a book and a cuppa. OR, when we need to say yes; to allow someone or something the ability to distract us and let our minds chill out for a while!

I was incredibly lucky to have the best year of my life. I got myself a couple of new jobs and classes that I love, I got to work with new, amazingly talented people, I made friends with some genuinely good souls, I learned to drive, passed my test and got a car, and I got the guy. My best friend of 8 years and the most incredible person. On reflection of 2017, I can’t recall a time I was this happy.

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I wish you all the very best for 2018, and I’ll do my best to keep my blog up to date – I know I’ve been terrible recently at keeping a flow going. I’m now up to 6 days of work per week so I don’t know how I’ll be fixed for free time to dedicate to this…but I’ll try 😊

Lynette x

Hello 2017…


Well then! Happy New Year to you all! I can’t believe how fast 2016 went – I observed with several people over the last couple of months that each year seems to go quicker than the last. Can you remember when we were at school and the terms dragged onnnnnn and onnnnnn and onnnnnn. It felt like we spent our entire lives there. Half terms were only actually 6 weeks long! Now, 6 weeks goes by in the blink of an eye. Weird.

I hope you all had a lovely Christmas and New Year and spent it as you wanted, whether that be with friends, family, or colleagues (for those of you out there who had to work) 😦 It’s such a nice feeling to have friends and family come back home for Christmas. The feeling of the place changes and you easily pick up and adopt old traditions. Whether that’s an annual party (big nod to the Corrins, you hosted an excellent party, as always), games day, night at the pub, countryside walk or quick cafe visit. 

49f4eda9a94de446169d850e5f8a77cc_screenAnd whilst there are plenty of nice traditions…there ARE a couple that crop up every year, that you pray you’ll maybe escape this time…

  • The DVDs/tapes that are brought out, of you and your sibling/siblings as kids…
  • The quizzing from the grandparents about why you don’t have a boyfriend… 
  • Losing at Monopoly. Every. Year. 

Nevertheless, it’s a wonderful time of the year and regardless of the negatives, we know we’ll look forward to it just as much next year. 

So, Christmas is over, you’ve stuffed yourself with left overs, drunk enough Baileys to fill a bath and struggled with the random limbo week where we don’t know what to do. Now comes the New Year. For me, New Years has never been anything special. But this year, I’m home and I got to spend it with exactly who I wanted. Not watching High School Musical 1-3 back to back in my studio flat in Hammersmith (yeh, I saw in 2016 really well, don’t be jealous) 😉

Which brings us to New Years resolutions. I understand that a New Year seems an appropriate time to make lifestyle adjustments. But a ‘Resolution’ feels like such a big title – we put a lot of pressure on ourselves to achieve something, which is sometimes unachievable (‘I want to quit this, I want to quit that’). As with any change, I feel baby steps are the way to do it. So instead, I like to acknowledge what makes me happy, and  if there’s anything about my life I’d like to change. The main one for 2017: I want to spend less time on social media in my spare time (especially now that parts of my work are heavily based/dependent on it). I think the majority of us can put our hands up and admit we could make better use of the time spent aimlessly scrolling. Pass me a book.

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2016 was a strange year for me. A lot happened. Lots of big life decisions – but I’m happy with the decisions I made. I’m going into 2017 happy, with a job I love, in the place I love, surrounded by the people I love. It’s a new chapter. And I can’t wait to see what the year brings. 

Sending best wishes for 2017 to you all,
Lynette x

P.S. New Year, New You (please forgive me for saying that) – I have new adult classes starting at Studio 3! Dance classes for beginners and fitness classes for all abilities! I’m so looking forward to these, ESPECIALLY after piling on the Christmas pounds! :’) For more information, head to my Instagram (lynette_s3dance) or search for Studio 3 Dance Workshop on Facebook 🙂

To blog, or not to blog…

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So. I’ve been back in Yorkshire for just over two months now. Setting myself up as a dance teacher in Knaresborough and Wetherby, finding my feet, having fun with promo vids and posters. And the one question that’s continually cropped up when I’ve talked to people… ‘Are you starting a blog?’

At first I would laugh and say no. But as more and more people asked, the more I began to think, maybe it’s something worth doing. Afterall, I’m trying to create an online presence for myself, to advertise my teaching work. So why not give it a go?

I’ve never thought of myself as much of a writer. Or that I had anything particularly intereting to say. Especially doing a blog…who would want to read about my life and my work? But there is SO much involved in being a teacher. More than I anticipated. (I’m pretty sure this subject deserves it’s own blog, so watch this space). I barely have time to breathe and currently, I only teach three days a week! But, what this DOES mean, is that I’ll actually find stuff to talk about (she says hopefully).

So we’re gonna give this a bash and see how we go…

Lynette x