We have been in our new house now for well over a year and whilst it is a working progress, we are very happy in it and settled. We often say that moving was a really good choice, because we love being in the countryside now as opposed to the bustling city (it is so chilled and pretty)! This cute village semi is our second home that we have bought since being married (our first being a back to back terrace in Leeds) and it wasn’t the easiest decision. Not just because it took us ages to decide on where to live, but because are income isn’t massive and whilst we wanted to move, the additional costs that go into buying your own home can quickly accumulate and we wondered how we might afford to move once we found the house!

With savings and stuff we were fine, but if you’re new to the property buying market, and looking at buying a new home too, then the last thing you’ll want is to be caught out by hidden fees and additional costs on what is sure to already be quite a major expense/purchase. To help avoid this scenario when you’re looking to buy, and to be able to budget and factor in these extra costs, What follows below is a list of a few of the hidden costs you can encounter when buying a house.

Legal Fees

There are certain legal processes involved in the sale of a property that include drawing up contracts, transferring deeds between parties and arranging a sale date. More often than not, this is handled by a solicitor on your behalf, and of course you will be charged for this service. Legal fees are typically £850-£1,500 including VAT at 20% though shop around as many do offers and set price packages too. 

Stamp Duty

If you are purchasing a property worth over £125,000, then you will need to pay a tax known as Stamp Duty (legalities but pretty annoying too!). However, the more expensive your desired property is over this figure, the higher the rate of this tax. You can find the rules and breakdowns of these costs and how much you are likely to need to pay by looking on this UK Government page.

Survey Expenses

Before you buy your property, it’s highly likely you will get a survey carried out by a licensed surveyor. This is to make sure that there aren’t any issues with the building you’re buying and you need one in order to have a mortgage approved. These can vary in price though and ultimately the more thorough the survey, the more expensive it is. The mortgage lender will sometimes stipulate the type of survey they require, however usually a basic one will be sufficient. Even so, this can see a bill of around £400. 

Removal Costs

When it comes to moving in, you may well need to pay a removals company to shift all of your furniture, belongings and general tat. Again, this cost can vary depending on how much you need to move, how far you need to move it and how long this will take. If possible, try cutting the costs and move yourself

Parking Charges

This won’t affect everyone, but not all homes will have free parking and you might have to pay a charge to make use of a parking space, or you may find you need to rent a space in a shared car park. This is likely if you are buying an apartment or home in an area that has designated parking. Again it is something you might want to look into and factor in when buying your home! 

Home Insurance

Having home insurance can protect you against any unexpected circumstances like fire, theft and damage, so it’s definitely something you should invest in. It is likely again that a mortgage won’t be released until you have insurance in place.

Like any insurance policy, the cost of this can depend on your circumstances and how much you need to insure, the size of the property and thype of possession you have. This expense is often less substantial than some of the aforementioned costs and could be handled with a one-off or monthly payment. Use comparison sites to find the best deal! 

I hope this post will be helpful in breaking down the cost of buying a home and help you avoid being caught out by any unexpected additional charges. However, it is important to note that this isn’t a comprehensive list and there can be even more costs involved. As a  final piece of advice  seek external financial support if you’re uncertain, or be sure to get your estate agent or seller to carefully go through all aspects of the sale with you first. If you are taking out loans or finance in order to afford these extra costs, please remember to look at the Terms & Conditions and APR! HAPPY MOVING! 

*This is a collaborative post. 


This week, in most ways has been all rather ordinary. We have had a few more mornings of mad dashes to school than I would have hoped for, and we have our usual trips across to soft play and a swim with some friends too, but then in and amongst all of the ordinary day to day stuff of parenting and family life, we have celebrated 9 years or marriage, walked with friends across the Humber Bridge, and on Monday evening I had a lovely evening out to see Fame – The Musical.

This weekend has been another good one, with seeing the kids do a presentation at church, and yesterday we spent the day with friends remembering their baby girl who was also stillborn almost 3 years ago. The weather was lovely and we met on the South bank of the Humber bridge, then in the lovely Autumn sunshine walked across to the North bank. Once there we enjoyed our picnics, chats and a balloon release in her memory. It was a lovely way to spend the day, and they are a truly inspirational family –  we were glad to be able to share in something so special.

Grateful For

This week I feel really grateful and have so many things to be thankful for too! Here goes …

I am grateful for my marriage and to be married to such a wonderful man. I am grateful for all that has been created in life because we fell in love and married 9 years ago and, I am grateful for the love he gives me in life!

As I mentioned, today at church the kids had their annual presentation – It was all about the creation and God Plan for us! I thoroughly enjoyed hearing them all sing and watching each child give a little talk and I am grateful for the confidence of my kids, for their willingness to do things like this, and for the teachers at church that take the time to love and teach them about the gospel. I am also thankful for their simple presentation of things that mean so much to us and the reminders of good things in life! I am grateful for them both and their goodness!

Finally this week I am also grateful for opportunities to be with people that understand loss and talk openly. I am grateful to have gone swimming with friends from the village and I am grateful for my therapist and the great session I had yesterday afternoon! I am grateful for sunshine and beautiful scenery and opportunities to think and understand.

Succeeded At

This week I succeeded at gaining another year of marriage with Mr Smith. I love him greatly and I am so thankful to be celebrating 9 years of marriage! Whilst we haven’t officially celebrated, we did mark the day with some posh food at home (Lidl spec haha) and nice drinks (who says romance is dead?!). We are looking forward to planning a night away together (or 2) once we have half term out of the way and once we actually decide where we want to go!

Found Beauty In

Yesterday was a very beautiful day – the Humber bridge and the autumn leaves were really lovely and I enjoyed walking over the Humber bridge chatting with people! I always find it a little nervy, but it is also an incredibly beautiful and exciting thing to do. It was beautiful to see a family remember their baby and to see balloons a plenty with loving notes attached float off up to “heaven”!

I also found beauty in seeing Megs and Alice play so lovely yesterday in the leaves and in the car, whilst Ethan was out with his Grandma. I found beauty in Ethan and Megs singing today and in the general loveliness of the whole thing!

I have found beauty in driving around where we live this weekend and I have seen beauty in our marriage and lives together. I have also been blessed this week to have opened my eyes to find more beauty in motherhood and that was such a good feeling. I often mix up the mundane house keeping stuff with motherhood and then it doesn’t always feel so great or I find the days unfulfilling. But when I focus more on being a mummy and enjoying my children, then I feel like it is such a wonderful and incredibly thing. I feel far more blessed and it feels a much more beautiful life, than cleaning and laundry!

This week has been especially beautiful and one with much to be thankful for. Six more days to our Italy trip, and I truly am thankful for that too.


The kids rooms, whilst lovely at the moment, also stress me out! I feel I am forever trying to find the balance between practical and looking good/a bit trendy, and also being playful but not too cluttered too!

If you’re looking to give your kid’s bedroom a makeover this season, then it might be useful to be aware of the trends that are big right now, as well as the ones that are timeless. I always love glam, colour and patterns in my interiors, but you may be in need of a little inspiration if like me you have a million ideas but cannot ever settle on just one! As a side note, I do always find that more plain decor and bringing out themes in soft furnishings and accessories for kids, are a way to better switch and change between trends and our kids ever changing interests! 

 The great news is that there’s plenty of inspiration to be found online (especially Pinterest) and in this post I wanted to look at some of the trendiest kids’ bedroom design ideas right now that you might want to consider this season to update their rooms.

Add a velvet touch

OK, so this trend isn’t very practical if you have very young and sticky children, but for an older kids’ bedroom, velvet is definitely something to consider.Just this week I have been eyeing up some lovely velvet curtains in H&M It’s one of the key interior trends this year, adding a more glamorous and elegant touch to your kids’ room.

You could keep it simple and opt for velvet cushions, throws or curtains. But, if you have the time and resources, then live on the edge a bit and go all out and add velvet to the walls!

Another way to bring this classy trend into the room, is by adding a velvet sofa (if you have the space of course) and Homesense have some great kids ones! This is an especially great idea for older kids as they’ll have a more grown up space to relax in with their pals! 

Consider wall panelling?

If you’re looking for an idea that’s both practical as well as super-trendy, consider using wall panelling. This is extremely durable, making it an ideal wall cover for any age and it’s also great for sticking posters onto it. The blu-tac won’t leave unsightly marks behind, so your kids could go nuts decorating with minion, unicorn or their fave star, without the worry of damaging the walls.

Opt for 1950’s glamour

This is by far one of my favourite interior styles (though I do not pull it off very well). It is also one of the more unusual trendy kids room designs featuring heavily this year. 1950’s glamour is great for those who have an older house with a more traditional style décor. Think 1950’s Hollywood style glamour and silhouettes with curved shapes. So, if you wanted to incorporate it into the kids rooms, it could be through a nursery chair with a curved design, or old-fashioned wooden chairs and a table. It is a bit out there for some, but you’d be surprised how many kids actually enjoy this trend.

The nature theme

Another theme that’s remained popular for a few years now is nature and my friend and I were recently discussing this / a camping theme for her sons room. It’s thought that millennial parents may be sparking the trend as they look to escape from the highly technological environment they’ve grown up in.

With a nature theme, it’s basically all about natural materials such as wood and natural textiles too.There are so many lovely nature inspired wall papers or paint colours, meaning it’s one of the easiest themes to go with if you’re looking for something that won’t take too much effort. Start by investing in all-wooden furniture such as wooden cribs, drawers and beds and neutral earthy colours. 

Trendy kids’ bedroom themes are pretty varied, so no matter what your own personal style and preferences are, there’s hopefully an idea above to suit you and your kids.

*Collaborative Post – images taken from Pinterest


To think that I am a mother to an 8 year old is a bit of a scary concept. I know we all say this with each child, on each of their birthdays, but 8 just feels so big – I have an 8 year old – it really doesn’t feel like I have been a mother that long! Last weekend was Ethan’s 8th Birthday, and aside from being weirded out by that fact, we had a wonderful couple of days together (and with friends and family), celebrating him and his choice to be Baptised.

Being members of The Church Of Jesus Christ Of Latter-Day Saints, turning 8 is a big deal! It is the age we believe that children are more accountable and therefore able to understand their choices (and consequences of them).Therefore it is the right time, if the child chooses, to get baptised, and then confirmed (which follows), to help them to make good choices. Ethan loves going to church every week (most of the time) and enjoys learning about Jesus – he believes in him with his childlike faith, and to act on this faith, and with a desire to want to live a christian life, he made the decision to be baptised on his 8th birthday this last Sunday.

Ethan was baptised by his dad and by immersion too. This is a symbol of lying down the old and being born again a new person – washed clean! They wear all white as a symbol of purity, and he wore the same trousers his dad had on his baptism day almost 30 years ago! We were joined by friends from church, most of our family and some of his friends from school. We had a service where we sung his favourite songs, a couple of prayers and heard little talks about Faith in Jesus Christ and why we need to be baptised, as well as one (by me!) about the holy spirit and his confirmation (also by his daddy and assisted by his uncles!). His grandma sang and then his aunties and I sung a song too. Before it ended Ethan too got up and said a few words about why he chose to get baptised (because Jesus is his friend and he wants him on his side!) and then we had a good old buffet and socialised with all of our friends and family, sang happy birthday and ate some cake! It was great!

The whole thing was also rather surreal. It was so spiritual, joyful and just wonderful to be able to see my first child be baptised and take his first steps on a path that both Nathan and I see as being important. We spoke a lot about it that night together and how well it had gone and how lovely it felt too. Seeing one of my kids be baptised is such a big milestone in a parents life (as well as theirs), there suddenly feels way more pressure to help them make good choices and teach them the importance of doing so and I felt both overwhelmed at the concept of this, as well as intense gratitude for this ordinary, and yet very special moment for our biggest boy. I am grateful for Ethan as our son – he is such a good boy and a very deep thinker. I know he thought a lot about this choice and understood the reasons why!

Ethan’s 8th birthday was a lot of fun and very special too – I think we will be talking about it for a while yet! From Saturday, where we had fun at the fair – going on rides and playing “hook-a-duck”, and then Sunday too which was so special with friends and family. He got his mini jukebox that he was so desperate for (the only thing he asked us for), and thoroughly loved his birthday weekend. We had pancakes on Sunday, McDonalds on Saturday, and mini discos ever since.

At 8 years old I want to remember how he has taken to kissing me good night with big puckered lips. I want to remember how he has a gang of friends that call him “Smithy” and who have made our shed their “little lads club house”. I want to remember how they play out every day together and how he has such passion for music, lighting and gardening. I want to remember how much he loves to get his hair done and gel it, style it, and have top knots! I want to remember how he loves to speak in church, how he keeps a cluttered bedroom no matter how much I declutter it. I want to remember how every bedtime I go upstairs to see him sat in his PJs completely engrossed in a lego project, and I want to remember how sensitive and thoughtful he is too. How helpful he can be and how much he enjoys playing with his sisters.

Happy 8th Birthday Ethan – you made us parents and make us laugh, nutty and proud (most days!).