I love vintage items of furniture – recently I purchased a vintage foot stool20140622_181456 that I aim to re-upholster once I find a fabric I like for it and this vintage writing desk / bureau…


Not a fan of the colour scheme (bit of an understatement), but my plan is to strip the paint off and re-stain the wood. The idea with this writing desk is it will replace Artur’s current computer desk in our spare bedroom – excuse the mess!

I hope to start over the weekend. :) Will be updating this post, with my progress!

Day 1.
OK, it’s been a while, but off-line life has been getting in the way of blogging or starting either of these two projects! – Opps!

Anyway, this weekend (2nd/3rd August – time has flown by!), I got started on the vintage writing desk. I had a few options available to me to get rid of the green. As said before, my plan was to strip the paint off and re-stain the wood, but now I might re-paint it. Which, will still require me to strip the paint somewhat.

Stripping the paint

There were a couple of options I considered for this:

  • The chemical method – Using traditional ‘paint stripper’ from our garden centre / DIY store
  • Sanding

I went for the latter option(!) and two days later, we were ready for… deciding if I was staining or painting the desk.


In our house, we go food shopping each week, mostly for the perishable items e.g. milk, then do a larger monthly (or sometimes bi-monthyly shop) including frozen foods, toiletries and house hold items e.g. cleaning supplies.

I’ve been trying to properly budget the amount we spend on food shopping each week. Here are some of the things I’ve been trying and that work for me (some are recycled from my budgeting post):-

  • Don’t shop for food when your hungry! I find that most of impulse food shopping happens when I go to the shop hungry.
  • Compare brands and check prices. There is usually a store brand version of most items that is cheaper and of comparable quality to the big name item. A lot of the food we buy is now whichever stores own brand.
  • Make a food shopping list and STICK TO IT. We have a magnetic shopping list stuck on our fridge that we keep up to date whenever we’ve run out of an item. We then take it with us when we do our food shopping.
  • When comparison shopping, always refer to the unit cost rather than the retail cost. The unit cost is what the item costs per pound, per 100, per gallon, etc.
  • Don’t get caught up with discounts or multi buys.
  • Make the most of loyalty schemes – Artur and I have a Tesco Clubcard that we use every time we go food shopping there. You earn points every time you spend and receive vouchers and coupons every few months. Either for items you buy regularly or “cash” vouchers. The “cash” vouchers can also be saved up for money of tickets to events/places.
  • Shopping in cheaper supermarkets: Most of our food shopping is done in Tescos, but for some staple foods we also shop in Lidl, who also often have our washing machine liquid at half the price.

Any other tips/ideas?


Remember when I said I was sorting through my bake ware and that I started by organising the ‘supply’ cupboard?

I made the decision to stop procrastinating and get on with organising the ‘equipment’ cupboard as well. :)

Here’s what it looked like before:


I took everything out and started grouping like items on the kitchen work tops together as follows:

  • Party supplies
  • Pans and tins
  • Cupcake cases
  • Cupcake decorating sets
  • Measuring scales
  • Cake stands
  • Piping bags and nozzles
  • Chocolate/jelly/ice moulds
  • Cake pop sticks
  • Hand mixer
  • Collectable cinema cups

Storage boxes – to be honest, some full with things I forgot I had. Some were empty.

I quickly realised I needed to utilise the floor (note nothing that wasn’t sealed was put on the floor) and kitchen table too! Opps… Time to purge.


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I got rid of a lot. Most of it was because a) I never used it, b) it was a duplicate item (how many of the same nozzle do you need?) or c) I was keeping it ‘just in case’.

Once, I’d finished purging, I was left with the following:

  • 2 bundt cake pans
  • 3 round cake pans
  • 1 square can pan
  • 2 loaf pans
  • 2 muffin pans
  • Piping bags and nozzles
  • Party ware – which was moved out of the bake ware cupboard
  • Cupcake cases
  • Chocolate / jelly / ice moulds
  • Novelty cake pans
  • Various items used for decorating, e.g. stencils

Side note: Baking is simply a hobby of mine, a relatively new hobby in fact. I’ve only been trying it out since circa 2011. I’m by no means a professional baker.

Here’s the obligatory after photo:


Not perfect, but my aim was to do it without unnecessary spending and without being able to change the cupboards, I’d have liked to utilise the door space for example.

So pleased to now know where everything is when I need it! :)

Along with the bake ware cupboard, Artur also tidied our cupboard under the stairs. Which used to be very organised but over time wss becoming a dumping ground.

Before – Couldn’t even get through the door properly (it was difficult to take a photo of!) or even see the floor!


Much better. :)