SHOP MY HOME WISHLIST



Firstly, can you believe this is the same kitchen? See the before below!


It's seen quite the glow up!

We moved into our new house in October 2020. When I say new, it's a 1887 Victorian semi detached house and it needs everything doing! I'm talking floral wallpaper.. matching carpets - the lot! So, at the moment the kitchen is not a priority for us. We've got the usual victorian lay out, so our kitchen is sat right at the back the house and it is tiny! Realistically we need to add a side extension to extend the width to give the kitchen the space it deserves. However at the moment I think it makes sense to work with the space we already have (the rest of the house.) So, for now the kitchen needed a little "glow up" on a tight budget of £100.

So, armed with a few essentials I got to work!




First of all, the red tiles had to go! I used Ronseal One Coat Tile Paint  whilst It wasn't exactly a one coat job, it did the trick in covering the nasty red tiles - all in all, it took 3 coats. If you have a lighter colour tile you may be lucky and only need 1/2 coats but for a brighter/darker colour the more coats the better coverage in my experience.

I used a small roller to apply each coat which I wrapped up in clingfilm after each use to keep it from drying out between coats. I hate washing brushes and rollers so this avoided having to wash them between uses.


See the difference between coat one and coat two?


The cabinets had a weird vinyl texture to them so to help the paint adhere to the cabinets, I primed them using Zinssser 1,2,3 Primer. This primer is incredible and I know I'm going to be using this on everything going forward. Anything to avoid having to sand! This stuff will prime any surface for painting!

To paint I used a regular black wall paint with a foam roller. I probably should have used a specific cabinet paint to be honest but the Dulux Walls and Ceiling in Rich Black did the job! It was in the sale and has lasted so well considering the daily use of the kitchen, so I don't think It matters too much. Like I said, this is a temporary fix for a year or so so I'm not too worried.


The worktop was in okay condition however it had an off blue tinge to it, so I thought it would be quick and easy to apply a vinyl wrap to the worktops. I purchased three rolls of the DC Fix marble effect vinyl which was more than enough. I purchased more than I needed as I wanted the hob to have an entire stretch of vinyl without any cuts, and the same with the sink. So the only joins are where each side meets the next direction of worktop. This did take time and patience but it was SO worth it. It's a great quick fix if you fancy a change with minimal faff. 


Again, another quick and temporary fix that would work in any room.. self adhesive tiles. They'd look great in a rented bathroom! You simply cut to size if needed, un peel the sticker off the bottom and laid each one down, starting in the corner. They're not an actual tile, more of a thicker plastic material. They're super easy to clean and have held up with all the traffic in the kitchen.

They've really helped transformed the space!


And that's it! All the other accessories I've bought in from other rooms to help style the space.

What do you think?





We moved into our new home back in October 2020, in the midst of a pandemic! Whilst I do not recommend this.. hear me out! We saw this house back in December 2019! Having seen the house on a whim and having no intentions to move prior to viewing the house.. I put our old house up for sale the very same day! I'm very impulsive like that. Our house was snapped up by the first buyers that viewed it - perfect we thought! However, throw Cornovarius, a global pandemic, and sadly probate into the mix.. It wasn't as straight forward as we thought it was going to be. Anyway, 10 months later we finally moved into our beautiful semi detached Victorian house in Brighton, UK.

The first room we are focusing our attention on is the living room! We're living in the house whilst we renovate which I know isn't everyones cup of tea but we've got enough space to shift from room to room and it suits us fine.

The living room is first because we spend most and if not all of our time in here. So in my eyes it makes sense to get one room looking lovely and have somewhere clean and functional to retreat to whilst we tackle the rest of the house.


The living room has some gorgeous original Victorian features - which is what drew me to the house in the beginning! I could see way past the floral wallpaper and interesting.. carpets. We've got high ceilings, a huge bay window, intricate cornicing and a beautiful ceiling rose to work with - the room has amazing bones.

I've attached photos below if you're interested in its current state. It's hard to believe the mismatch of pattern and brick tiles were once on trend!

So, the plan. I'm hoping to work with all the original features we have in the room, including the original wide floorboards we've discovered underneath that questionable carpet. I'm thinking of having them stripped back to their original state and just staining them with a clear oil to keep them looking lovely.

For the walls I'm hoping to find the perfect warm white. Our living room is west facing so we get some lovely sunlight until midday through the bay windows.. and after that its a little dark. So a warm white should pick the light up in the room. I've got testers of Farrow&Ball "School house white" and Little Greene "Slaked Lim Mid'

I've scoured Facebook Marketplace and so far picked up the marble surround for £100. ( I know, I hate me too.) The vintage Younger Toledo cabinet on the left I've picked up more recently for £150 - I'm thinking of stripping back the wood and giving it an Eyeswoon vibe!

I want to add hints of black around the room to really add some interest. So I'd really love to find some reclaimed 4 panel Victorian doors which we can paint black to make a statement in the room.

I think a Sofa will be the last item on my list as we're still in lockdown at the moment, Sofa showrooms are closed for the forseeable. Something neutral in colour, natural in material.. and lastly bloody comfy! A high back.. a deep seat.. something we can really sink into - I can't wait!



I've had short hair for the whole of my twenties, ever since I turned 21 the urge to cut off my dry, dead and lifeless hair was real. I was so into The Hills and The City at the time- so the shoulder length lob was totally inspired by Olivia Palermo. Actually thinking back I probably owe those programmes alot - I'd say that's where my love for fashion came from. (But that's a story for another day!)

I've recently turned 30 and the lob is still going strong! The ombre is still here, however we've grown up a lot since that awful, contrasted dip dye. Instead I'm owning a grown out and more subtle balayage. No more dyed brown roots, instead I'm fully natural and intend to keep it that way.

I often get asked what I ask for at the hairdressers and it's actually really simple. Just a blunt cut, slightly longer at the front but not noticeably longer, I just love the way it sits on my shoulders. You see I have alot of hair, but it's poker straight and super fine. So by having my hair cut blunt it gives the illusion of having thicker hair - well that's what I tell myself anyway.

So, to style my hair I only use two things - a pair of straighteners (the GHD Platinum+ straighteners) and a texture spray (the Sam Mcknight Cool Girl texture mist.)

The GHD Platinum+ straighteners have curved plates so they're so much easier to use to wave and curl your hair vs an older style of straightener - no more annoying lines being left at the roots after attempting waves!

The Sam Mcknight Cool Girl texture mist is another incredible product for waves because it gives the hair the hold and texture without it weighing the hair down. So no crispy and weird to touch texture.. instead if almost gives a second day hair feel if you know what I mean. A bit more grip for the curl to hold onto!

I'm sure you all know how to curl you hair with staighteners so I wont go there.. however a few things I always make sure I do, which turns the hair into a more undone wave vs a tight ringlet curl.

Firstly I section as I go, I don't clip my hair up I just pick random sections of hair and run the hair through the straighteners, turning away from my face. I also make sure I leave out an inch at the end, or I straighten an inch of the end. I think it just gives a more laid back wave. 

Finishing off with a little spritz of the Cool Girl texture mist to the mid lengths and ends. And that's me!





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MY JOURNEY

I've been shooting self portrait on and off since I started my blog back in 2011. More off than on. I remember purchasing my first tripod, taking a trip to a quiet alley and desperately clicking my remote before someone saw what I was doing. I remember having that nervous feeling a lot of you probably have thinking about photographing yourself in public. Although these photos never saw the light of day, they got better, I learnt where I was going wrong and I was proud of pushing myself outside my comfort zone.

Over the years I've roped in my boyfriend, friends and arranged coffee with other bloggers to shoot content together which obviously turned out better than my first tripod experience, so I hung it up for a while. Whilst I do recommend meeting up with other bloggers to catch up and shoot (It's a quiet way to meet others in the field and creating friendships) I've always felt as if I was pestering the ones I love for a "quick shot" I'm sure a lot of you can relate to that!

2019 was the year I really thought seriously about shooting self portrait. I traveled a lot with brands which was incredible, however it really is pot luck if you end up travelling with friends or others you know on these trips to capture the content you envision. I've never wanted to feel like I'm putting someone out, so with content on the forefront of my mind, I packed my tripod in my suitcase and never looked back. If I can photograph myself in another country I can do it back at home.





EQUIPMENT

The camera I shoot with is a Canon 5D Mark IV. It is very pricey, so if you're new to this it might be worth looking into an Olympus Pen, it's a great camera for begginers with interchangeable lenses. I had this model before I invested into a Canon a few years ago. Otherwise it's worth looking into second hand options as you can buy great equipment for a reduced rate in near perfect condition. I bought my first Canon on Camera Jungle (It's Jessops second hand selling site) 

What I love about the Canon 5D Mark IV is that it has built in wifi. Your smartphone becomes your camera remote! You simply download the Canon Connect app, pair it up with your camera and you're ready to shoot. Using the app you can see exactly what the camera sees; adjust the light, change the F stop, check your pose etc. There is also a self timer option so you've got up to 10 seconds to hide your phone before the image is taken. If you're camera does not have a built in wifi option you can invest in an Infrared remote which you point straight at the camera and it'll take the image for you.

The lens I use is Sigma 35mm f/1.4 Art Lens which works perfectly for me. I like to shoot a range of fashion and interior shots, so it's a great lens to be able to do both with. If you're just beginning I'd recommend a 50mm f/1.8, they are relatively cheap as far as lenses go!

I use a tripod with my camera which I can easily adjust higher and lower depending on the shot I want to achieve. I use this standard Manfrotto tripod, however double check the weight of your camera so it doesn't end up toppling over. This has happened to me soo many times! Another factor to consider is how heavy/bulky the tripod is. If you're wanting to travel with your equipment it could eat up some valuable kgs!

Also if you're shooting with your iPhone, there are phone tripods you can buy for your phone with bluetooth remotes, so If you're not looking to invest in a DSLR then these are a great option. I actually use one to film Instagram stories!









LOCATION

I've clocked up some serious miles driving around for the perfect location which I never seem to just stumble upon. It's worth doing your research and deciding where you'd like to shoot and the vibe you want with your images before you set out with your gear. Magazines and even Pinterest are a great source for imagery. Take photos of locations when you're out and save these for when you need them. You never know when you might need that pure white wall!

A question I'm asked a lot is "Don't you get embarrassed that people are watching?" The honest answer is Yes. I do sometimes. Especially if I'm standing on a chair in a white suit, at the beach at 6am.. However this is my job and I'm being paid to take these images so does it really matter in the grand scheme of things? Will I ever see these people again? It's also worth thinking about what time you want to go and take your images. I've shot at the Louvre in Paris at 7am as soon as its opened which means its empty - all the tourists are tucked up in bed, versus getting your camera and tripod out to take your images at 1pm when its rammed. Timing is key.



I think that is everything in terms of how I actually shoot my images self portrait, however if there is anything I've left out do leave a comment below or send me a DM on Instagram! www.instagram.com/hannahcrosskey

It's been super sunny recently which I'm extremely thankful for. It's been so lovely to sit outside in the garden with a podcast. I actually think the day's go quicker when the suns out, not to mention everyone around us is so much more upbeat. 

I've really gotten into my skincare the past few years, and with since becoming more familiar with the risks of sun exposure and the longterm damage it can have on our skin, I decided to limit the amount of sun exposure to my skin. I know I mentioned about sitting outside in the garden.. I still do this, soaked in factor 50, wearing a hat to protect my face and seeking shade between midday and lunchtime.

Even with a limited amount of sun exposure my olive skin soaks up the sun incredibly quickly leaving me with quiet the pale face. I recently reached out to my followers on Instagram to ask them for their recommendations for their favourite facial tanners. Gradual, mists or drops.. I'm all ears!

So, the recommendations are;

Tan Luxe "The Face", Isle of Paradise Tanning Drops, Sisley Paris Tanning Hydrating Facial, Oskia Adaptive Tanning Mist, Tropic Sun Drops, Dior Bronze Self Tanning Mist, Dr Dennis Gross AlphaBeta Glow Pads, Garner Natural Bronzer Face Mist.






Since reaching out to my followers about my search for facial tanners, Tan Luxe got in touch and gifted me with a few of their cult products, the Tan Luxe "The Face" in medium/dark being one of those. I was hesitant to try at first, but after being highly rated by you guys I bit the bullet. I popped two drops (the brand advises 1-4 drops, the more drops the deeper the colour) into my moisturiser at night and was pleasantly surprised by the glow I woke up to in the morning! To maintain the colour I've been adding 2 drops into my moisturiser at night every 2/3 nights!

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