Tag: Interior

Introducing…Our Beautiful Chaos

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Let me introduce myself, my name is Manda and I’m a mummy to two boys and wife to Phil. I’m known on Instagram as our beautiful chaos. We are currently renovating out forever home which is what made me start my blog … interior design has always been my passion, even as a little girl I remember helping my mum arrange and decorate our home. I would spend hours rearranging my bedroom and making houses for my dolls out of anything I could get my hands on. I’ve always been more creative than academic, I sketch and paint and love designing things. I also love upcycling things for our home, I love natural materials so our home is full of branches, plants and rocks that I have sourced on our adventures and made home worthy. I have a hippy soul and I’m very in tune with my spiritual side.

Starting my blog was an outlet for my creative side, for my love of interior … that’s what it started with anyway …

My childhood was conflicted, on one hand I had a gorgeous family unit, my mum is and always has been my hero. Myself, my mum and my sister are known as the A team we have always been so close. Unfortunately, I had to grow up very fast and experienced another side to my childhood, I am still not ready to tell the world exactly what I went through but I suffered abuse as a child and then fell into a dangerous relationship and was physically, mentally and emotionally abused. I have also lost two babies, which I found to be the most traumatic experiences of my life.

One day I got brave and I wrote a blog post about myself and what I had been through, it was one of the hardest and scariest things I’ve done. To put myself out into the world was terrifying but it also set a little bit of me free. Since that blog post I’ve posted a lot about domestic violence, mental health and everything in between. It’s become my therapy and my release. I’ve wrote about things people who know me didn’t even know, it’s helped me so much. Then came the messages from people, they flooded in telling me how they had connected to the blogs, telling me what they had been through and saying how much the blogs had helped them. I can’t express how thankful I am that I have this platform to help others going through what I have been through.

And so, our beautiful chaos is now just that … it’s my life, all of it … motherhood, interiors, mental health, it’s the real raw me.

If I can help just one person I know my fight, my pain and my past wasn’t in vain. I’m now happier than I ever thought possible, I have daily adventures with my boys … I’m a mum trying to do this thing called motherhood, sometimes I smash it, sometimes I fall flat on the pile of washing I’ve not done but every second I adore it.

I’d love you to join in my journey, if you want to read more about the crazy life that is our beautiful chaos please come for a read, follow, message … I would love to get to know you too.

Manda xx

Instagram – ourbeautifulchaos__

 

Blog – ourbeautifulchaos.blog

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To read the previous Introducing… article featuring Trust Your Gut Click here.

 

[Written by Our Beautiful Chaos | Edited & Published by Dawson.xo | Photos by Our Beautiful Chaos | Subject to copyright]

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The Bell “Apparently”

So back when I became the boring adult age of 22, where no birthday is ever worth the rave until you reach 30 (which is a terrifying concept), me and john spent a few nights in Ticehurst at The Bell ‘Apparently’.

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We booked two nights in their lodge called ‘between the lines,’ each lodge is completely unique and has a different themed design. Between the lines was centred around literature and classics, the country life of sitting by a log fire playing old board games, (John is going to kill me for not being able to name an old fashioned game he played back in the dark ages when he was a child) and reading a romantic novel. The theme is evident throughout along with a cosy romantic vibe, the place was just immaculately beautiful and I can’t wait to book another trip. If you want to book a night or two at The Bell click here, you can book a room in the main hotel or a private lodge, like the one we stayed in.

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On the first day, after 4 hours of praying that kitty (or Jon snow as I like to call it to piss john off) – the car by the way – don’t ask – didn’t break down (very ironic, but that’s for a different day) we spent the time drinking in their bar and retiring to chill out in the lodge. We started up the log fire and john nipped to the shop to get a bottle of whiskey whilst I ran a bath. Anyone who knows us will know that baths are like the number one on our list of luxuries and one of the reasons we ended up together (besides Craig David – again, don’t ask) and seen as john left his copper, roll top, mother-of-all-luxurious bathtubs in the world behind in Kings Heath this was the best bath experience and we were making the fucking most of it. Like parents who have escaped the children for a night, we enjoyed not having Luna cry every time we kiss, or wipe her dirty arse across the carpet, or sit on our heads whilst trying to watch a movie. I lay in the bath and john sat on the balcony beside it, smoking a cigar (Mostly johns part, sorry mom), drinking whiskey and chatting beside the log fire. (As well as fighting over who’s music to listen to as the lodge had built in speakers all around.) It was perfect.

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When it started to get too chilly we ordered a Chinese to the lodge. I made john do the shame walk into the restaurant to ask for plates and cutlery and turns out beside the fact Ticehurst is the most aesthetically pleasing and beautiful, tiny country village, they also do the BEST chicken in black bean sauce dish I’ve ever had the pleasure of tasting, (and in 22 years ive had a lot). BUT they didn’t do yuk sung so y’know, point down to the beautiful village we wanted to move to. The village was so ‘British,’ the kind of country village that is portrayed to the rest of the world as what England is actually like, amazing architecture, 70’s cars, farmers delivering eggs fresh in the morning, fish mongers weighing out their fresh fish and a butcher on every corner. Instead of the pouring rain, vomit clogged drains and left over Chicken Balti on the pavement with bottles of bud and empty plastic packets of cocaine that is Birmingham.

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On the second day we took a trip to Hastings, where we took a basket of smoked cheese biscuits and selection of pates intending to eat it on the beach like a 1950’s couple, but instead we found a true crime museum and spent hours sitting in an electric chair, marvelling at preserved evidence from big crime scenes and learning how to make weapons out of plastic spoons. So again another perfect day. (More on Hastings another time).

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That night we ate at The Bells Restaurant and it was like a Michelin star, they really pay attention to detail and the décor of the place is just incredible. Morning, Afternoon and evening they have a centrepiece filled with suitable foods. In the morning is a spread of continental goods, pastries, cereals, fruit, and in the evening is a huge meat joint ready to be carved surrounded with various tapas. The menu’s they offer are ever-changing with the seasons and in pure autumnal country fashion we shared guinea fowl, mushroom arrancini, beetroot soup, braised leg and butter poached breast. It was completely different to what I would usually pick, I’m more of a frutti de mare kinda gal but it was divine and I will definitely be ordering it again. As for breakfast, i’m sure judging by my Instagram it was obvious I was going to have the eggs benedict or royale (I can’t remember which is which – the one with the smoked salmon) as that is my go to brekkie and john being john went with the biggest breakfast he could find…every morning.

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The hotel and lodges themselves are honestly phenomenal and well worth the money, the attention to detail is incredible, every document, tour guide, wine list and lodge guide was addressed personally to me, every day they served homemade cookies in bell jars and loose leaf tea of every single variation possible. The quirkiness of the lodge was so intricate I don’t think we even uncovered all of its magic and I cant wait to book again and try a different lodge out as every one has its own secret. Between the lines had a headboard made from novels and hand drawn images from notebooks. It also had a mezzanine floor with chaise lounges and crates full of records. The artwork throughout the hotel is all one off individual pieces with a story behind them and all the rooms boast their own poetry fitting with the ‘storytelling’ theme they have created. It was like the whole of Alice in Wonderland was compressed into a building.

I can’t really say anymore because i’d be here all day waffling on about how amazing this place is. So with The Bell’s motto “I will always love you, my friend” I bid you farewell.

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We Bought A House

So, by the title of this it’s pretty obvious what this little update is going to be about; moving out. It’s been 9 months…not that I’ve been counting every treacherous day being in a conservatory or anything…but we are finally at the day we are leaving what can only be described as what life would be like living in the blitz. I don’t mean that mom and dad are Nazi’s (just to clarify – debateable to Alex probably) but one minute you’re trying to sleep with the sun blazing through your eyelids in a sauna to thunderous bangs of rain on the top of a conservatory roof, wind blowing all the trees onto the windows and a blinding car light every few seconds waking you up like someone’s just shone an interrogation torch into your corneas. Needless to say, I cannot wait for a solid brick wall and a real roof.

I’d be lying if I said I won’t miss being back at home I mean I actually have to make my own cups of tea now, but it’s going to be quite lonely not being woken up at 4am as Alex comes back from some Chav bar, slamming all the doors and complaining about her lack of money despite the fact she has about £300 on her eyelids. I won’t be able to come home to find the front door wide open and my parents passed out on the floor or watch as dad gets so drunk he thinks it’s funny to start setting off paint grenades in the garden or forcing me to sniff chilli until I cry. I won’t have the power of mom to rule the tv for me every time I want to watch EastEnders or go on secret shopping trips where we end up pretending to be sophisticated ladies of leisure drinking prosecco in the middle of the day with john and dad’s bank cards. Then Margo, (who obviously I’ll miss the most) I won’t get to cuddle up to because homeLuna’s the only dog to ever hate affection or have her wipe her bloody bits over my sheets when I’ve just changed them or hump every object I own. I will miss home but knowing me I’ll be back haunting them all every weekend.

First of all, I’ve never known hell like buying a house. It has taken almost 5 months and a shit ton of money to get to the day we can finally move all the crap we (John) have hoarded. We found the house after finding what we thought was the perfect 2 bed home on a quiet road just on the Boldmere/Erdington border but when making an offer of the asking price we got rejected a mortgage. I’ve decided that for the rest of my life I am looking after my credit score more than my own life because one payment of £65 on an old Nokia phone that john lost on my 19th birthday in a drunken gay bar, lost us that house. £65.00 almost 3 years ago. I cried for hours and hours and the struggle for saving enough money for a house the same price was practically impossible, especially when to get a mortgage now we needed 15% deposit rather than the standard 10%, but as a believer that things are meant to be sometimes, it meant we found our house now. When I was in a major strop thinking id be stuck at moms forever being forced to watch Judge Rinder, I looked at houses on the market along the Birmingham train line. A house came up 0.1miles from the train station for cheaper than any house we had been looking at here in Birmingham, it just meant travelling around 10 more minutes to Birmingham centre than we were already doing from Sutton. We travelled to Burton upon Trent kind of defeated, thinking it would be pointless but nonetheless it was an easy way for john to get out of work early. But on the train we started into the countryside and I was just in awe. We looked around the house and it was huge in comparison to what we had been looking at for a higher price, 3 beds and a bathroom as big as the master bedroom, two reception rooms, a hallway, a modern(ish) kitchen, a utility and a large garden, we just fell in love. It didn’t matter that we were 20 miles away from home because the house just felt perfect. We took a whim after talking to our advisor and solicitor and offered under the asking price on the grounds the garden had no grass and there was no parking, and they accepted. I thought now y’know you sign the contract, you hand over the deposit, you get the keys, but no. It has taken so many weeks, so many signatures, searches, surveys, declarations, everything (none of which are free mind) until we have finally got the keys. It has been soul destroying, I didn’t even realise that a mining search was a thing or that you can’t be a homeowner without taking out life insurance? (Not that I’m complaining I mean I’ve watched enough crime documentaries to be able to kill john off now for a healthy profit) but honestly, I’ve never been so drained of words I have no idea the meaning of or money for someone just nodding a head in my life.

salesignThe town we are moving to is small, known as the national forest and on the river Trent, the house is in the town centre next to the church and a farmers’ market every Sunday, 5 minutes from the river Trent and more importantly a giant shopping centre. I’m so happy with the area, not knowing much about it before we took a chance and made an offer but it has definitely paid off. Jaiden loves it and I’ve already taken him to the college there, trying to convince him that it’s the best college in the world and he must attend as a matter of life or death. The house is next door to a café which sells cream teas so I know what I’ll be doing in the daytime and then a traditional old man pub (Like the good old anchor) at the end of the road which no doubt ill spend half my time looking for john in when he hasn’t returned home from work. 

I know a lot of you that follow me are first time buyers also and are into interior design so I plan on doing a post about the house once we have moved in to show you all, but right now there is half ripped up floor and wallpaper, (I’m too impatient to wait till we are actually in to get shit done) boxes everywhere and just junk from like the 1980’s john has decided he must keep.

I never know how to end posts so I’m just gonna put a disclaimer now that most of them are gonna just end abruptly to avoid me sitting here pondering over how to end it.

xo

Repairing

Ok, it was pretty predictable that I was never going to be able to keep up the posts like I said I was, I knew it and you all knew it, I’m just a lazy shit, that’s nothing new. BUT I am going to try to repair this broken thread and attempt to start again, this time in a whole new, different portion of my life.

An alarming and quite overwhelming amount of people have messaged me in the past few months asking when my next post would be and when it would be up and running again. I was quite taken back by the response I got by my previous posts and didn’t realise half of you, like me are a backseat reader, lurking on the post but fully incognito and it wasn’t until you either told me to my face (little scary but appreciated) or messaged me on Instagram that I realised quite how many of you missed it, so I feel quite blessed for that. Also shout out to my mom and all her friends who seem to be my number one fans at the minute, you’re all babes. Feel like I have quite the rally and popularity at yet another doctor’s surgery, this time for nicer reasons.

Anyway, in the last few weeks I have failed at doing this blogging thing but I promise it was with good reason and not just because I decided to binge watch every single season of Game of Thrones and then become so obsessed I needed to read the books…but yeah that’s exactly what I did…

I have decided to try to continue blogging because as a lot of you know I will be admitted into hospital in the next two weeks to have life changing surgery and so I will quite physically be out of action for a long period of time, which gives me a better chance at unleashing my cabin fever on this page. (Hopefully, although I can’t guarantee because the stingy bastards at the hospital charge a fortune for wifi, I could start a fundraising page just to sponsor me getting wifi for the few weeks..? haha).

And secondly because after a very long, very stressful time living in a conservatory me and John will be getting the keys to the house we have finally bought (Unless forces beyond our control fuck us in the ass, but we are quite far along in the process that -touchwood- we are past that). And so will be leaving my hometown for my very own first house and saying goodbye to rentals. Hopefully I will be sharing the progress on the house on the blog as we go along, unless it looks bloody awful and then I obviously wont. Or I get too side tracked with mamasinteriorscrapbook stories, which are quite literally hilarious and is a nicer house for me to dream about than the building site we will be in for a while – (Seriously her hallway tiles are like ultimate tile porn). So hopefully our first home journey will be on here as well.

Thankfully enough I do already have a few posts lined up and scheduled to go live so at least I wont be lying for like, one week?

That’s about as much as I’m going to go into because my fingers are freezing and I’ve got copious amounts of chocolate and Vodka to fit in before it’s hospital time.

 

xxx