Devonshire Woman

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Brixham Fishstock 2017

Welcome sign for Brixham Fishstock

Every September, Brixham hold their yearly Fishstock festival. It’s like a mini food and drink festival right next to the beautiful harbour.

Stalls at Brixham Fishstock

There are lots of lovely food stalls and of course, you can buy fish that is fresher than fresh, straight off the boat that morning. You could also learn how to dress a crab!

Fish market at Brixham Fish Stock

Inside the fish market, (where normally in the early hours, there is a hive of activity, where buyers come as far as London’s top restaurants to purchase the freshly caught fish) there was a lovely array of stalls selling local crafts and produce. They were also showing a demonstration on how nets are created, they made it look very easy.

Fish market at Brixham Fish Stock

There were lots of informative stalls too, the boys loved learning about all the sealife and undersea landscapes that surrounds the Devon and Cornish coast.

We then had the chance to look around one of the local crabbing boats, William Henry II.

Crabbing boat William Henry ii at Brixham Fishtock

The skipper of the William Henry II explained all about how the boat works and also some tales of his time working at sea.

Skipper on Brixham Crabbing boat

Myself and the boys ventured down the steep stairs to the living quarters of the boat. The boys were so intrigued by how everything had to be secured as we explained to them that it can be really rough out at sea.

Inside crabbing boat at Brixham Fishstock

The next level down was the engine room, it was a bit too steep and enclosed for my liking but i enjoyed watching the boys venture down and explore all the mechanics of the boat.

In the engine room of Brixham Crabbing Boat

Here was the view of the harbour from William Henry II crabbing boat.

View of Brixham harbour from crabbing boat

As well as the stalls and the tour of the crabbing boat. You get a chance to enjoy the gorgeous views of Brixham harbour. I love looking out to sea here, it is always so protected because of the breakwater, which is also great to walk across.

Brixham Harbour

At Fishtock they also do some great cooking demonstrations. If you want to know how to prepare and cook fish, this is the place to learn!

Cooking demonstration at Brixham Fishstock

If you’re lucky, you may get to meet a real life Brixham pirate… we did!

Pirate at Brixham Fishstock

Fishtock was a great day out, there were lots of activity stalls and fun things for the boys to do. The tour of the boat was especially fun. I think maybe next year we will attend in the day with the boys and then return sans kids to experience some of the food stalls and gin bar. There was also live music too so i think the evening right on the harbour would be a fun night out.

See you again next year Fishstock!

Charity Shop Haul #1

I cringe when I think back to my teenage years when I would get so embarrassed when my mom would go in a charity shop, what if my friends saw? Oh, the shame! I would wait outside (and when I say outside I mean about 50 yards down the street) annoyed that my mom would do this to me.

The funny thing is now I am a grown up adult myself, I flipping love charity shops! I realise now that there was no shame, my mom could afford new clothes but she just loved getting a proper bargain, and I totally get that now. I could shop on the high street if I wanted but I love getting a bargain too. So I save money, recycle to stop any more clothes and nik-naks ending up at the landfill and for the first time in my life have a wardrobe full of clothes that others would be envious of!

I thought I would share with you some of my recent bargains found in the charity shops. I think this could become a regular feature on my blog as i find it almost impossible to walk down our high st in my little market town, without having a good look round at least one charity shop.

Dresses

dresses from charity shop haul

On a recent trip to birmingham to visit my parents, i ventured into the charity shops that used to fill me with such cringe when i was younger. My mom and I had a great time looking round. I picked up 2 dresses for a bargain £2 each! The dress on the left is a Dorothy Perkins and i just thought it was really cute. I’m going to wear it as a tunic dress over leggings and knee boots in the Autumn, but it would be a cute summer dress too with sandals. The dress on the right is a Misguided dress. I love how vibrant the colours are in it. I have a wedding coming up in October so think i’ll wear it to that.

Day Look

day look from charity shop haul www.devonshirewoman.co.uk

I just love the outfit i have pulled together for a casual day look, all from charity shop bargains! The jeans are Topshop and were £3.99, i can not see any signs of them being worn either. The brown leather boots i got a while ago, they were as new but i have been wearing them quite a bit, they cost a massive £1… that’s right, Clarks leather boots for a quid! The cute coral and white top is from La Radoute and cost me £2.50 and the bag is a Mataray (Debenhams), it was brand new when i got it and cost me £4. Outfit total = £10.49!!!!

I will dig out some of my other charity shop bargains and show you some more hauls soon. I really love the thought that i am not causing more waste by recycling clothes, i’m also probably the best dressed that i have ever been 🙂

I’m also going to start sharing my love of other ways to save money and even get free stuff over the next coming weeks. I love being frugal and motivating others to save money too. Hope you enjoyed my first charity shop haul.

Kitchenspiration At Its Finest

The kitchen can definitely feel like the hub of a home, wouldn’t you agree? It can often be the room that the whole family congregates in at certain points of the day. It maybe in the morning where you drink your morning coffee and the children eat their breakfast before heading out on the school run. It might be in the evening when everyone has gotten home, one person is preparing tea, maybe children are doing their homework, and everyone is generally discussing their days. So it shouldn’t be a huge surprise that when it comes to decorating your home, the kitchen can be very high on the priority list.

However, there is no shying away from the fact that also the kitchen can be one of the most expensive redecoration projects you take on in your home. Have you priced up a full kitchen recently? Which is why I thought I would share with you some of the inspiring ways you can add some flair and style to your kitchen, making it a project that can be done within a budget. Whatever you decide to set.

Change the doors not the kitchen

We all know that a fully fitted kitchen can be expensive to replace, even if you are quite handy and can fit it yourself. But, half the expense is the kitchen shell that is already fitted in place, and the worktops that have been added. However, if you like the positioning of the cupboards and the layout of your kitchen, and it is in good condition, then there really is no need to replace these parts. This is when you could revamp your kitchen simply by changing the cabinet doors. Maybe you like a more modern look or something more rustic. This change alone could even make your kitchen appear to have been replaced entirely.

Add some colour

Colour is one of those things that can add a huge change and atmosphere to a room for a very little price tag. A quick paint of the walls can make a kitchen feel different and completely changed. Colour doesn’t need to just stop at the walls though, you could maybe paint the original kitchen doors or upcycle some of the furniture you have in there to create a different look.

Treat yourself to some new kitchen gadgets

Sometimes a few small changes here and there is enough to keep our changing demons at bay. So you may want to consider replacing some of the smaller gadgets you have in your kitchen. Perhaps a new microwave or kettle and toaster set, for example. There are always beautiful collections available. You may even want to make your kitchen function better with some added gadgets and things like water softeners. This can help to reduce damage caused by hard water to things like your washing machine or dishwashers, for example. Websites like Best Spy can showcase some of the best ones to consider. Small changes like this can make a big difference to our kitchens, how they look and how they function.

Just make one significant change

If you do have some room in the budget for something a little more extravagant, then consider making one significant change. Something like the flooring, or adding or replacing tiles on the walls can have a huge impact on how your kitchen looks, without the need for replacing the whole thing in its entirety. Kitchens work well with many floor types including tiles or vinyl, so there is sure to be an option to suit all budgets.

Replace older appliances

Whether they are integrated or freestanding, when was the last time you bought your washing machine, your fridge/freezer or your dishwasher, if you have one? Many of us make these purchases and then forget how quickly time can go by. Often, older appliances aren’t as energy efficient, which can mean a saving can be made to your bills when replacing them.

Have a move around

Finally, moving things around can often be all it takes to make a kitchen feel like it has been changed in some way. Rearrange the way you have things on your surfaces and countertops. If you have a family area in your kitchen add a table or a sofa, or change the layout of it to suit your needs. While you at it, give the kitchen a good deep clean and declutter the cupboards. You may be surprised to find old tins of food and things you no longer want or need lurking at the back of them.

I hope this has inspired you to make some changes to your kitchen.

Old vs New: The Great Housing Debate

When you make the decision to buy a home, choosing between old and new builds is one of the biggest choices you can make. And there are plenty of advantages and disadvantages on both sides, which are worth considering in more detail. Of course, each house has its own merits, but within this article, we will give a basic overview of the main advantages of new and old homes. So, let’s get started.

Reasons to Buy an Old Home

First of all, old homes tend to be located in neighbourhoods that are more established, so a lot of other facilities have already been built around them. This means that you can visit the area to have a walk around and get a pretty good idea about what to expect while you are there. One of the biggest arguments that people offer in favour of older properties is that they have a sense of character and history that new builds simply cannot provide. If you are a fan of architecture and period features, an older house may be for you. When you are making an offer on an old home, what you see is what you get, and you can look into the property’s history with more information so you can make an informed bid. This also means that there will be no delays with moving in, which could be the case with new homes that are still under construction.

Reasons to Buy a New Home

When you move into a new home, you are starting from scratch so you really have plenty of options available to personalise the place. They tend to give you more of a blank canvas which is not really the case with older properties. New builds tend to come fitted with modern, high-specification appliances, up to date heating systems and good insulation. And you don’t have to think about the time and expense involved in difficult DIY jobs. Not only this, they tend to be a lot more energy efficient which can save a great deal on heating bills. Many new home builder organisations are building communities as well as homes. It may not be an appealing prospect to move into an established neighbourhood, but rather one in which you can meet other first-time buyers that you can share experiences alongside.

Your Own Preferences

When you are in the process of searching for a new home, it is worth looking at both new and existing properties so you can get the fullest picture of what suits you the most. You may be interested in moving into a neighbourhood which has already been established and a home which has a sense of history and character. On the other hand, you may be interested in starting from scratch in a house that you can really put your own personal stamp on. Hopefully, this article will have helped you to weigh up the options in front of you so you can make a more informed decision.

These Decking Ideas Will Make Your Neighbours Jealous

Why is decking so popular? The main reason is that it has an uncanny ability to bridge the gap between outdoor and indoor spaces, helping to open up the garden and enable owners to make the best use of their property. But decking can be so much more than a rectangle at the back of the home. There are all sorts of ways to use it really cleverly that’ll make your neighbours seriously jealous. Here’s how.

Put Decking Around The Shed

In today’s gig economy, sheds are being used for all sorts of purposes. Offices, gyms, workshops – even somewhere to store garden tools on occasion. As a result, there’s a lot of people tramping in and out, meaning that the area around the shed entrance often gets heavy use. Smart owners are taking this as a sign that it’s time to put down decking around the shed, not only to guard against wear and tear but also give it a bit of uplift.

Layer Up Your Deck

It might be cheaper to put down a single layer of deck, but it’s certainly not the most stylish, nor the most family-friendly option. But if you’ve got a modern home or a new build, consider layering up your deck, placing one layer on top of another to create different zones. Higher zones might be for dining or sunbathing. Lower down, you could have outdoor kitchen space or storage areas.

Extend Your Deck As A Garden Path

Decking is supposed to connect the home to the garden. But sometimes the border of the deck with the wildlife can leave a lot to be desired. It’s not meant to, but sometimes it can look decidedly abrupt.

Clever families have gotten around this by simply extending their deck in the form of a garden path that connects different parts of the backyard with one another as if it was a boardwalk over a marsh. Raised deck keeps people off your precious shrubs.

Combine WIth Balustrades

Want to up the aesthetic of your deck? Then why not combine it with balustrades? Today, there are many different types of balustrades on the market, all designed to complement different home styles. Balustrades keep people safe and allow you to relax more while the kids are playing on the decking, knowing that there are fewer places where they can fall off.

Combine Decking Materials

Most people have decking constructed from wood (or composite alternatives). But there’s no reason why deck can’t be combined with other materials too, like concrete or stone. Mixed material decking works particularly well in ultra-modern homes and in urban areas.

Garden Island Deck

If there a particularly scenic part of your garden? If so, it could probably benefit massively from what’s being called “destination deck” in the industry – in other words, a decked area of the garden, far away from anything else. You could create a garden island deck anywhere you liked, perhaps nestled up to some trees, or in amongst your flower garden.

Use Decking To Connect Structures Together

If your family home consists of multiple buildings, then a large decking area is a great way to connect them together. Decking has the ability to create flow in properties with annexes, generating a community feel. What’s more, the decking also helps to increase outdoor living space, creating places where people can come together and mingle.

Experiment With Sunken Decking

The Japanese are very fond of tables sunk into the floor. Traditional restaurants often require people to sit in pits with the tables themselves at floor height. Though it’s unusual, the effect can be quite dramatic, and surprisingly relaxing. If you don’t want to build your decking upwards, you can always do down, sinking it into the ground. Sunken decking works especially well in areas that already have retaining walls. Decking can be placed on the inside of the retaining wall, providing a partially sheltered space to put tables, chairs and sun loungers.

Build An Outdoor Dining Area

With the rise of outdoor kitchens, al fresco living is becoming increasingly popular. But most people are still dining on traditional patios, not realising some of the benefits offered by decking. Not only are you raised up higher than a patio, but decking can also be placed in amongst other garden features, like trees, bringing a whole new dimension to eating outside. Decking can also be used as a supporting structure for other features, like lanterns.

Experimenting with decking is a lot of fun. Don’t make your nneighbourstoo jealous!

 

Plymouth Poppies on Tour Wave

There is one city we just have to go and visit when the sun comes out and that is beautiful Plymouth. Last weekend (well the Saturday anyway), the weather was rather lovely, so we made up a picnic and jumped into the car to visit this lovely city.

We love walking around the quay, on hot days you can sometimes find this gorgeous retro ice cream van… I want one!

Retro ice cream van on Plymouth Harbour www.devonshirewoman.co.uk

There are also some lovely shops and quaint side streets, there is something humorous in the fact that they have painted double yellow lines down these narrow roads.

Once we have taken in the sites of the quay we tend to walk up to the Hoe for our picnic. I just love the views on this walk, I see something new every time we visit and almost feel like we are not in England anymore. There are lots of little cafes and coffee shops built right into the wall of the harbour.

Last year we actually went into the Tinside Lido. It was far too cold when we were in Plymouth at the weekend to even think about going for a swim. (this photo was from last summer when the weather was a lot hotter)

Tinside Lido on Plymouth Hoe www.devonshirewoman.co.uk

Without fail when we visit Plymouth Hoe we take a picnic and sit and enjoy the beautiful views of the lighthouse and the surrounding sea.

Having a picnic on Plymouth Hoe

www.devonshirewoman.co.uk Lighthouse on Plymouth Hoe

We were fortunate enough to see the Poppies on Tour wave at the CWGC Plymouth Naval Memorial. The breath-taking sculptures were initially conceived as the key dramatic sculptural elements in the installation Blood Swept Lands and Seas of Red at the Tower of London in the autumn of 2014. Aren’t they dramatic and such a wonderful remembrance for all those that died during the great war?

After our walk along the Hoe, we headed into town for a coffee and some cake. Plymouth has lots of great places to have a drink and a bite to eat. We decided to try Barista Brothers an Italian coffee shop. It was quite quirky inside, it was nice to try somewhere a bit different and the coffee was good too.

Although we didn’t visit there this weekend (but have many times), another place you have to go if you visit Plymouth is the National Aquarium. It is very interactive for the children and of course, there are lots of wonderful things to see in the huge tanks.

Large Tank at Plymouth Aquarium www.devonshirewoman.co.uk

Husband and I are planning to have a grown up weekend in Plymouth soon so we can go and see what the bars and restaurants have to offer. We would love to see a show at the Theatre Royal also. Let’s hope next summer the weather is a lot warmer, I want to play in the Lido again!

Little Loves – The Teacher, Foo Fighters & Organic Pinot Grigio

READ

photo of the book The Teacher by Katerina Diamond www.deonshirewoman.co.uk

I bought this book a while ago in a charity shop for £1.50, it’s written by a local author Katerina Diamond and the story is based in Exeter which makes it even more interesting to me. I am only a couple of chapters in and am so intrigued about where the story is going. As I know Exeter well, I can really put myself in the story when it talks about certain locations. I will let you all know when I have finished what I think about it.

WATCHED

Photo of the Netflix Original Glow

I love a good old Netflix Original and recently my sister recommended GLOW (Gorgeous Ladies Of Wrestling) to me. I am an 80’s child (albeit young child) so all the nostalgia is wonderful! Who wouldn’t love all that hairspray, blue eye shadow and sparkly leotards huh? I am only 4 episodes in but can see a bit of binge watching in my evenings this week!

HEARD

Who saw the Foo Fighter set at Glastonbury this year? I certainly did and they rocked! I have always liked the Foo Fighters but after watching them at Glasto, I decided I freaking love the Foo’s! The next day their Greatest Hits were being sent my way and I have been blasting it in the car all summer to my kid’s dismay joy. I particularly love their music videos, especially the one for ‘Walk’, which was a copy of the film Falling Down starring Michael Douglas. If you need a bit of a giggle watch it, it will make you smile.

MADE

Apple Pie Spice and Crockpot Cooking Apple

Yes, it’s coming into my favourite season… Autumn. Husband came home with 10 cooking apples yesterday, someone was offering them free (i love it when people do that!) I put them in the slow cooker with a little butter, brown sugar and this Apple Pie mix from Aldi. 4 hours later on low setting and my house smelt of Autumn and I can not wait to tuck into a crumble and pie this week.

WORE

Pot of Cien Q10 face cream from lidl www.devonshirewoman.co.uk

I suffer dry skin, even during the summer months. I had been using Burts Bees moisturiser but it actually wasn’t helping so have reverted back to this cheapy from Lidl. This costs £1.69 and goes on my skin lovely and my make up always looks dewy when I use this product, and what a bargain too!

AND LASTLY…

Bottle of Aldi Organic Pinot Grigio www.devonshirewoman.co.uk

Did you know that Aldi now does an organic Pinot Grigio? Neither did I until my sister told me about it! For £5.99 this is a gorgeous wine, and I assume due to it being organic the headache the next day might not be so bad haha! This is my new favourite wine and will be happily chilling in my fridge over the Autumn months.

Hope you all have had a good week, who else is looking forward to cosy nights in this Autumn?

Have a lovely week!

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