2017 and looking ahead

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.

2017’s Accomplishments;

  • ‘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!

Brand Planning

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


  1. January 4, 2018 / 4:57 pm

    I have loved seeing your house come together it is absolutely gorgeous! I am a student and your blog makes me excited to build my own future home. I admire your non-stop positivity and you have reassured me that motherhood does not mean the end of opportunity and success in your own life/career! X

    • justalittlebuild
      January 4, 2018 / 5:00 pm

      This is so lovely to read, thank you!

    • justalittlebuild
      January 11, 2018 / 6:21 pm

      This is just so lovely to read, thank you! All the best for your studies and the many opportunities ahead! X

  2. Dionne
    January 4, 2018 / 4:59 pm

    This all sounds so incredibly exciting, well done on all your achievements and successes so far! I love following your IG page from my own (a_little_renovation_life) and I really look forward to seeing what’s next for you in business! X

    • justalittlebuild
      January 11, 2018 / 6:22 pm

      So glad to hear you enjoy following our journey! Thank you for sticking with me! Xx

  3. Michelle Gregory
    January 4, 2018 / 5:22 pm

    What an inspirational post. I myself am looking into new adventures this year wether that’s a new career change or progressing in my currrent role. Like you I have 2 small children and balancing work, children and Home life is a juggling act, add shifts into that and well its a whirl wind but organisation is key but like you I thrive off planning and organising. I wish you well in your new ventures and look forward to seeing it all soon. Best wishes Michelle x I have just checked out the interior design and how bizzare it’s cheltenham based which is where I live!

    • justalittlebuild
      January 11, 2018 / 6:24 pm

      I’m glad to hear I am not the only one! It’s just so reassuring to know that other people are going through the same dilemma in life with the whole work/family life balance. Xx

  4. Danielle
    January 4, 2018 / 5:37 pm

    I started following you just after I lost my Mum. I was pregnant at the same time and really struggling to feel enthused about life. I was so sad! Some Instagram accounts can make one feel a little, disheartened with themselves. Not yours- you inspire me!

    One of my new year’s resolutions is to pay compliments and tell people when they have a positive effect on the world around them or on me. And you certainly do! I look forward every day to reading your updates and posts and am so glad I discovered them! Thank you for making me feel a little optimistic again- you deserve every happiness and success because you are such a lovely, genuine person who should know that their little bit of sunshine touches the hearts of strangers far away.

    • justalittlebuild
      January 11, 2018 / 6:29 pm

      Hi Danielle, you’ve brought a tear to my eye, you honestly have. I’m so sorry to hear you lost your Mum. That is just terrible. To think I have given you a little bit hope and optimism is wonderful and I am truly touched. I hope you find this year to be a little easier and look forward to what positive things life has offer. Thank you so much for following me xXx

  5. Dawn
    January 4, 2018 / 5:48 pm

    I love reading your blogs. Good luck with everything! It sounds like you have it all planned out!

    • justalittlebuild
      January 11, 2018 / 6:30 pm

      Thank you so much x

  6. Lisa
    January 4, 2018 / 6:09 pm

    Ah lovely to read about all your success last year and your exciting plans for the future. I know it’s a leap of faith but you’ll be fab..go for it!

  7. Jacqui
    January 4, 2018 / 7:08 pm

    Here’s to an exciting year for you and your little family. I look forward to continuing following you x

    • justalittlebuild
      January 11, 2018 / 6:30 pm

      Thanks Jacqui! X

  8. January 4, 2018 / 9:47 pm

    Love your blog, it’s nice to come across a family’s life which seems similar to my own, building our dream home which we all can’t wait for it to be finished in October and starting my own small business up while juggling 3 kids a partner and my own collection of pets 😊

    You give me confidence (thank you) x

    • justalittlebuild
      January 11, 2018 / 6:31 pm

      Wow, you really do have all the life goals ticked! Wishing you all the very best. Thank you for sticking by me! Xx

  9. Brodi
    January 4, 2018 / 10:29 pm

    I found you via Instagram and now really enjoy your blog. Good luck with the year ahead and your exciting plans. I look forward to reading more!

    • justalittlebuild
      January 11, 2018 / 6:31 pm

      Thank you so much! Xx

  10. Rebecca
    January 5, 2018 / 8:56 am

    Absolutely my favourite Instagram account to follow. Good luck with your new ventures! X

    • justalittlebuild
      January 11, 2018 / 6:31 pm

      Thank you so much! Xx

  11. charlotte
    January 6, 2018 / 11:11 am

    Good Luck moving into 2018 – 2017 was an incredible year of achievements for you, and a pleasure to watch. Your instagram is beautiful so please keep going! x

    • justalittlebuild
      January 11, 2018 / 6:32 pm

      Thank you, means a lot xxx

  12. Ciara
    February 1, 2018 / 11:16 pm

    I love your Instagram. I love your style so much everything you touch is beautiful. I am really inspired by your house in Cornwall as a business. It’s something I would love to do. Good luck for 2018 xx

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