Everything has Changed

Living Alone, Personal

I’m officially old, or so my sister tells me.

With my 25th birthday less than a month away, I thought I’d look back over the last few years, and see just how much things have changed, and how much I’ve grown.

So here we go!

I remember when I met my best friend, 7 years ago. We were 17/18 and thought we were so damn grown up.

Turkey Nicole and Sian 3Turkey Nicole and Sian

As I sat with her the other day, drinking our skinny caramel macchiatos  (because we are supes basic), discussing our mortgages and home insurance, I couldn’t help but look back.


When we were newly friends, our shopping trips consisted of NewLook, Top Shop, H&M and of course Primarché, now they’re Next Home, Matalan Home and my all time favourite, the Range.


We’ve swapped shoes for shelves and dresses for drawers. But you know what, I love it. I could easily spend hours wandering around the Range, mentally adding ever thing I see to my wishlist, along with a bigger home to house it all.

The feeling I get when I see a super cute candle holder, or another throw cushion that I totes don’t need but somehow end up buying, is just indescribable. The more homely and cosy my home is, the happier I feel.

I used to feel that way when I added to my fancy shoe collection. Not anymore, its all about the £6 ballet pumps from primark for this girl. £40 for a pair of shoes I’ll wear everyday for almost a year? That’s absurd. £50 for a throw that’ll sit folded on a shelf with the other 7 I own, only to be used a few times a year, if I remember I have it? Totally worth every damn penny.

I’m not even joking.


throw pile

Excuse the mess of my cabinet! There are 5 throws there, and 3 more out of shot in the bedroom… I have a problem.



I remember when the biggest decision we had to make was whether we were going out to Mayhem or Element that night (to show just how old we are, neither of those clubs are around anymore), and whether to take a pair of flat shoes in our bags (N.B always make room for flats!) now, sipping our coffees we discuss mortgage providers and solicitors fees.

Even our texts are mature and responsible.


I mean, you can’t get more adult than discussing food shopping and comparing delivery rates.

Clubbing Nicole and Sian 3

How times have changed.

Its nice to reminisce about the past, but I wouldn’t change my present for anything in the world.

I guess I’m a real adult now, despite still feeling like a lost little girl at times.


Nicole x






Home Inspiration

Living Alone

Home Inspiration – Zoella Edition


For the last week, all I have seen are photos of the beautiful Zoella Apartment (perhaps because I stalk the @ZoellaLifestyle social media pages), and let me tell you, before I saw those photos I didn’t believe in love at first sight.


Last week I posted this blog about the long awaited completion of my flat, and I was so, so happy with it! Until I saw the Zoella Lifestyle range and now I feel the need to revamp my place and incorporate so many of those stunning products.


The first thing that caught my eye (and I screenshot and sent to the fam-a-lam whatsapp group captioned NEED) was the ‘Naps Fix Everything’ cushion. Oh, my damn, do I need that in my life. The best thing is it fits per-fect-ly with my bedroom colour scheme. So mum, dad, if you’re reading (which let’s face it, I’m probably standing over you now, making sure you read this) this is on my Christmas list!



Next, the travel cup. This is everything a tea addict like me needs in the morning! I watched Zoe’s vlog showing us around the apartment, and everything she said about this cup spoke to me. It screws on, no more risk of spilling drinks everywhere when you think you’ve popped the lid on securely. Definitely know this one from personal experience. To top it off, the words are just so damn cute, ‘Topped with cream and sprinkles’ I get the feeling that just sipping from that cup as I trek into London on a Tuesday morning will brighten my day! Another addition to the Christmas list (yes, I am 24 and yes I still write a list, how else will Santa know to get all my stocking presents from Zoella Lifestyle!).


I cannot write this post without mentioning those candles and diffusers. You all know how much I love a good candle, and about my small addiction to diffusers. If you don’t, have a little recap on this blog post! Now, I haven’t had the good fortune of actually going to the Apartment and experiencing the smells for myself, but I can only imagine how gorgeous they are! But just to be sure, every scent of candle and diffuser has also been added to my Christmas List… for … research purposes (?)


Stationery. Oh my, literally stationery heaven. Words cannot describe how much more organised my life would be if I had every single piece of stationery in that apartment. The notepad and post-its are top of my list, very closely followed by everything else. Need, need, need!


The last thing I want to talk about is the pots. Those pots though! Aren’t they just so adorable? I especially love the marbled one. Now, we all know I have a hard time keeping plants alive, but perhaps with such a beautiful pot, I might be more inclined to remember to water my plant? Or I’ll just get a fake one? Either way, that pot needs to be on display in my flat ASAP.


All photos have been sourced from @ZoellaLifestyle on Twitter and Instagram.




Nicole x



There’s no place like home

Living Alone


What a difference… two years makes!

 16,032 little hours…

On the 8th of November of 2014, at a mere 22 years old, I collected the keys to my first property. I clicked the heels of my Ruby Red Slippers together and suddenly I’m outside the front door of my very own flat.



What on earth do I look like?! Not a flattering photo!


The process of finding a place I could see myself living in was long and drawn out, but not as long and drawn out as the actual process of buying was. I encountered issues left, right and centre. From things costing more than I was quoted and had budgeted for, to the tenants out right refusing to leave. Safe to say, I’m in no hurry to move any time soon.


But, after months of tears and panic, they finally left and I could sign on that dotted line. It was hardly a palace to begin with. The floors were sticky and the walls had some questionable stains, but it didn’t matter because it was mine.


Gradually, with the help of family and friends, that little festering hole of crap became a cute, modern home that I am super proud of.


To begin with, we ripped/steamed the wallpaper off the walls. Not that much steaming was needed as it was practically hanging off anyway!




Then came the floors. The carpets in the lounge, hallway and bedroom hardly warranted being called carpets (as evidenced in the above photos!), they were so old and trodden in they were practically concrete. So we said good bye to them fairly quickly. The lino in the kitchen however, had to stay a little longer as the floor underneath it was vile and keeping that old, grimy plastic flooring seemed to be the better of two evils.




Once the walls were freshly plastered and painted and the new carpets were down, the flat already looked so much cleaner and modern, not to mention more spacious.


I decided on a fairly plain colour scheme with the view to use colours in the accents, like cushions and small decorations, but you’ll see those later!



Next it was the kitchen, a literal breeding ground for bacteria probably not even known to man yet. It was horrendous, I wouldn’t have wished my worst enemy to eat food prepared in there.

With the help of my Dad and his friends, we tore the whole kitchen out and as a very very generous moving in present, my parents helped me to buy a bespoke kitchen to maximise the space. I am so grateful for this and I am very lucky to have such amazing parents.


A whole lotta elbow grease and sweat and this:



Was transformed into this



I mean, can you even believe it’s the same blimming room?!


When it comes to the shower room, I’m going to have to invoke the Bambi rule of niceness. I have nothing nice to say about its original state so I won’t say a thing.


This is the room my dad is actually most proud of in its finished state. Fresh white walls, super straight tiling in the shower and a cute tile patterned cushioned floor to finish it off. I can now take a shower without the risk of contracting some kind of disease.


The whole flat has changed so much;

The bedroom started off like this:



This is the back wall that the head of my bed is now against


The deep windowsills were stained dark, making the space feel smaller and older.


Now it looks like this:




I love how deep the windowsills are. Easily one of my favourite features of the flat.


The lounge started like this:


Notice the dark stained door frames and skirting boards


And was transformed into this:


Changing the door frames, skirting boards and windowsills to white made such a huge difference and makes the whole room seem more open and light.


Fun fact: that windowsill on the right in the above photo is my favourite place to sit and write, hence the placement of the laptop!

When it comes to DIY, I definitely do not comply. I wanted desperately to try my hand at everything but I just had to face the fact that I am not handy in the slightest.

I tried a few things like;

Putting door handles on…


Tiling (Well one tile…the top right one to be precise)


Putting flat pack furniture together…


Small side note: what the actual heck is going on with my eyebrows? How high do I want those arches?!


And even trimming the bottom of my front door with a hand saw…


But ultimately good ol’ papa Bradley had to step in and take over those tasks.

I mentioned earlier that my walls are very plain, and I opted to add a splash of colour with accessories, which, if you’ve seen my Summer Home Favourites blog, you’ll know I’ve chosen to use Duck Egg and Dusty Pink for my accents.

In the lounge;

I got these super soft cushions from the Range:



This gorgeous inspirational canvas from the Range:



In the bedroom, I got this throw from Home Bargains




And I have got plans for that wall above my sofa, so stay tuned for that!

[UPDATE: The wall above the sofa is now complete! Click here to have a look!]


Huge shout out to Emma and the team at Hunt Roche who made the whole experience of buying my flat so much nicer, Emma even coped with having me on the phone in tears at some points! If you’re looking to buy or sell in Southend on Sea and the surrounding areas, definitely give Hunt Roche a call!



Nicole x

Summer Home Favourites

Living Alone

Happy Friday lovelies!




Got something a little different for you today, so here goes!


I have a whole lotta love for anything duck egg right now. It’s probably a good thing I live alone because I sincerely doubt anyone would put up with all of the new additions that somehow find their way into my little flat.


5% discount if I buy 6 things in the same range… it’s just downright rude not to.


Garden crockery? Hell to the yes. Do I have a garden…. No, but I can pretend with my beautiful BBQ style glassware. That’s the same, right?


Oh, whats that? Another inspirational plaque? Don’t mind if I damn well do.


Perhaps my obsession has gone a little too far? But hey, we’ve all got to have our vices. I don’t smoke or take drugs, so if I want to spend my hard earned cash on growing my collection of things for the home I’ll probably never use, then so be it.


I wanted to quickly run through my favourite purchases of the summer.


Ice Cream and Sundae Dishes




Can we all just take a moment to appreciate how freaking awesome these little glass ice cream cones are? Is it a bowl? Is it a cone? Yes – to both! I absolutely adore these. Perfect to serve up some ice cream without that pesky cardboard-y wafer cone getting in the way of that gorgeous, cold, creamy treat!


I’ve used these when entertaining friends, because y’know, I am an adult now. Adults have their friends over for ice cream, don’t they?


Quality Goods Crates




Obvs still sticking with the Duck Egg theme. Saw these when I was out shopping with my dear mother, and before she could even blink I was at the till practically throwing the money at the cashier, grinning from ear to ear.


They are super stylish, rocking a little bit of a vintage look, which I totes love. Did I need them? Being super critical, no, but the heart wants what it wants. Some people want to find true love, I just want Quality Good Crates to store all my other impulse purchases in.


Pink Motivational Pillow




Ok, so my whole flat is Duck Egg, except from my bedroom. Being deprived at my parent’s house of a girly bedroom to make any Disney Princess green with envy, has seen me acting out in my own home. I’m a Princess, god-damn it. Popping into a stationery shop, of all places, lead to me buying this beauty.


I’m all about the positive energy right now, so Pink + Positivity = Purchase. Sorry bank balance, but you see the equation… maths doesn’t lie.


Reed Diffusers


reed difuser.png


What can I say, I’m a girl, I like things to smell nice. This is becoming a bit of a habit in itself, I currently have 3 on the go and my flat is tiny. One in the Living Room, one in the Bedroom and one in the lobby area outside of my front door. You can smell it from the front door of the whole building #SorryNotSorry. It smells far better than the smoke and boy smell coming from the ground floor flat anyway.


Measuring cups




I love, love, love baking, so when I casually strolled past the homeware section in Asda (Ok, ok, made a beeline straight for it and then spent 20 minutes practically dribbling over all the beautiful things) and saw these I just had to buy them. Half price definitely justifies the purchase of measuring cups when all the recipes you use are in grams, right?


I think the general rule for me is, if it’s Duck Egg, Inspirational or Girlie, I must have it.


Going to make this a monthly piece, reflecting on what I’m loving each month. It could be homeware, films, books, even apps (we all know I love a good app!)


Let me know if you’ve found any little homeware gems, because I need to feed my habit soon!




Nicole x