I can honestly say that 2017 has been a fantastic year. Not only did we complete our ‘Just A Little Build’ project, we saw the arrival of our baby girl Scarlett and the purchase of our second home down in Cornwall. I have thoroughly enjoyed living in a house (not a static caravan as per the previous year!), and have loved sharing our journey with you all. To think that I have achieved a following of over 30k Instagram followers in a year and a half is just so overwhelming! I am truly touched that people like my feed, my life, my home and my family.
- ‘Just A Little Build’ project was completed end January
- Our little girl, Scarlett, was born early March
- We purchased Leat House in Cornwall end of March
- www.leathouse.com was launched in April
- Tom Howley kitchen photoshoot in May
- Took part in the AW photoshoot for Fornessi baby wrap in August
- Appeared on the front cover and across an 8-page spread in KBB magazine, October issue
- Collaborated with Cox and Cox
Looking ahead, what will 2018 have to offer?
Well, first off, I will no longer be working for a brand that I have been apart of for over 7 years. After much consideration, I have decided to not go back to Mint Velvet where I worked as a Direct Marketing Merchandiser. This was by no means an easy decision for me to make as I have been apart of the brand since the very beginning when the company was first formed in 2009 and over the years, have worked with some fantastic people and shared the growth of this aspirational brand.
However, when the time came to decide on whether to return after my third maternity leave, I was faced with the realisation of how I was going to balance motherhood and a career. After having my boys, I returned to MV and worked part-time but found the balance of looking after a home, a family and a career really difficult, especially when James started school and the hours of childcare reduced significantly. I do not have family close by so I cannot rely on grandparents to lend a hand and my husband works very long hours in the day. I often feel like a single mum trying to juggle it all!
I have never been one to stand still and have always loved a project. I love to be creative and love all things to do with house and home. So when the build project came along in June 2016, I was in my element! When I look back, it really did make me question my role at MV… was it creative enough for me? I am good at organising, planning, and budgeting (all great skills for my job) but I’m also creative, have a passion for design and a good eye for detail.
To be a ‘stay-at-home’ Mum just isn’t going to work for me so I intend to keep my blog active, strive for new projects and work with some exciting brands and people. I feel like I can achieve a flexible way of working, that not only keeps my mind and emotional state happy (making sure I feel, as an individual, I am achieving something) but also keep my family and home life balanced.
To kick off the year, I am going freelance and have been asked to work on a rebrand of a new, online home interiors startup. Having previously been involved with a new startup working as an eCommerce Merchandiser and having created three of my own websites, I feel that I can leverage these experiences and combine this with my creativity to build a brand identity that could really succeed. I am so excited to be involved with this brand (which I will share in due course) and cannot wait to get the new website live!
As you all know, we now own a holiday home down in Cornwall. Leat House is a 200-year-old, 4 bedroomed property spectacularly placed in the centre of the hamlet of Port Gaverne, overlooking the sea. This is a second home for us but also a self-catering holiday business. I currently manage the website, the bookings and all the maintenance aspects that come with a holiday home. We do have some projects lined up for Leat House, the first being the restoration of the wooden sash windows and the second being the removal of a disused chimney stack. Slowly but surely we will completely renovate the property, installing new electrics, a new central heating system, new bathrooms, a new kitchen and generally re-decorating the whole property. But one piece at a time, hey!
At the Just A Little Build household there are a couple of external projects that we hope to start in 2018. Down at the bottom of the garden, there is a summer house which accommodates our two cats (Apollo and Bailey) and all the children’s outdoor toys. Our plan is to relocate the cats and toys to a different shed in the garden and replace the rather old, mint coloured summer house with a contemporary garden room, patio and fire pit. The sun sets at the front of our house so it is the bottom of the garden that gets the last bit of sunlight in the day. I have started my research and found some pins on Pinterest that represent the look I am after. I may even consult a landscape garden company to look at further design ideas. One to ponder about…
The other project we are hoping to explore is the opportunity to add a home office. As you may know, I lost my office to the children’s playroom so I am looking at options to give myself a new one to work in and to put all our filing!
Throughout 2018 I also hope to work with other like-minded bloggers and brands. I feel a real sense of pride in my brand ‘Just A Little Build’ and hope I can work alongside other businesses that are in keeping with mine, to strengthen what I have already established. January already has me involved with two businesses that I am really excited to be working with. One is Lauren Gilberthorpe Interiors, the other is Chewton Glen Hotel and Spa.
Who knows how 2018 and will pan out, it may take us down a completely different path altogether! Either way, here’s to a new year of life, adventure and enjoyment! Thank you all for your support, for reading, for liking and commenting on our journey. I hope you will continue to follow me/us into the new year and wish you all a very happy 2018!
Thanks for reading x