Dining Room Makeover (Part 1)

Our dining room has been a disaster since we swapped it round with the lounge years ago. When this was the lounge I remember it being a bright sunny room, which you had to draw the curtains to watch TV in the afternoon but it was bright in the mornings too and I loved it as the lounge – small and snuggly with my baby girl. Then she became bigger, played more on the seemingly shrinking floorspace so we swapped with the bigger room next door.

When it became the dining room it shrunk, became darker, lighting became yellow and depressing.  No matter what colour I’ve painted it – pale yellow (too jaundice), pale blue (too cold and boring) it’s just not been the room I remember. I’ve filled it with bookcases holding more clutter and rarely used other than for meals.


When I had my cousin over for a coffee a couple of weeks ago, I asked her to cast and eye over the room and see what she thought of it. It’s good to have an extra pair of eyes and she was very kind about all our clutter, but did point out to me that the bookcase in the corner as you walk into the room was casting a massive shadow which just darkened the room no end. It’s the FIRST thing that catches your eye, no wonder it’s felt so dark in there, I didn’t have them when it was the lounge I just had shelves.  So obvious! How had I missed it??

I’d been toying with how to get rid of the now offending bookcase, then Mr VP bought me an iMac for my birthday as my laptop is on it’s last legs. Where to put it….why in the alcove where the bookcase is! I went to Pinterest and literally pinned every desk I could find that I liked the look of onto my Thinkspaces board below.

Follow Liz’s board Thinkspaces on Pinterest.

What I like about having a Pinterest board is eventually you see a pattern of what you really like and in my case – white plain desk, iMac and a chair stood out. One trip to Ikea later – a massive white lightshade, LED light, a £30 white gloss desk, one spun round dining room chair and voila a new room is born!


I don’t even feel the need to re-paint the room anymore.  I swear everyone is using this room now, more than ever. I know there is a new computer, however Miss L now mini teen is in here playing games and Skypeing rather than being holed up in her room. Mr VP came in here for breakfast this morning – unheard of! And it’s 10pm at night and instead of being in front of the TV I’m actually blogging in here. It’s become the hub of the house.

What else is left to do? I hear you ask?

The bookcase has been moved to the other side of the room where I can’t see it anymore and later this week I’m going to restack all the DVD’s on it there – where I can’t see them!.

Meanwhile the other bookcase will become the holder of books and pretties.  I’m thinking at the moment I’m just going to put photos and prints above the computer. I don’t need shelves there and I think it’s quite a good trick of the eye to make this side of the room look empty. Makes the room look and feel so much bigger.

I’m debating painting all the dark wood (except the dining room table) white…not sure if it’ll be overkill though? Maybe I’ll try some chairs first and see what it looks like? I feel the need to add some flashes of colour now, maybe some etsy prints are the way to go? But all in all I’m feeling much happier about our unloved room.

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Etsy Girl Geekery

I’ve been inspired by Abby over at Little Red Buttons who has been making the most amazing Etsy Treasury’s.   So I’ve made one of girl geekery, there’s tech love there for everything from the iPad and iPhone to the Playbook and Blackberry – not to mention the slightly geeky River Song’s journal.

Personally I am desperate for the the Jane Austen book iPhone charger below – that has just shot to the top of my Christmas list!

Thanks Abby for the inspiration, pop over to her’s to see how to make your own Treasury and join her ‘Treasury Tuesday’s’.

UPDATED Macbook Air 11″…


Jane Austen’s Sense and …


Kindle 3 Case Felt and Leath…


iPhone Phone Cases STANDARD …


4GB Princess Leia USB Lego M…


Parudao Wood MacBook Teksure…


Clear iPad stand


iHeart my ipad 1 or 2 —–S…


Apple Love – Inspired by Ind…


Ipad Sleeve — Cute little …


PlayBook Sleeve You Choose F…


Ultimate Stash 15″ lapt…


River Song’s Tardis Jour…


USB Typewriter Computer Keyb…


iPhone 4 case / iPhone 3g ca…


Macbook pro decal mac decal …


Treasury tool by Red Row Studio.

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Our Favourite iPad Apps

Caroline at What’s Happening at My House asked me the other day what my favourite iPad apps were as she’s just got an iPad.  Now this is quite embarrassing,  I only have a couple.  I never get to use the iPad, as either Miss L has it watching CBBC on iPlayer or Paul is playing Scrabble on it.  So this is the whole family’s list – Caroline I hope this helps?


RightMove – Property P*rn – I love looking at houses

Martha Stewart – It’s one magazine sadly but beautifully done.

Angry Birds – I have an addiciton

Tunein Radio – Listen to radio through your iPad

Pottery Barn Catalogs – I can’t buy it but it does give me ideas!

Miss L:

iPlayer – CBBC on tap!

Starwalk – see the universe and learn about stars and planets in ‘real time’ you can point the iPad at wherever you like and it tells you what stars are there.

Harry Potter Lego – because we don’t have that in enough formats  – DS, Wii and XBox as well as iPad last time I checked!

Magic Piano – does what it says – it is a piano and it’s very cool.

iBlast Moki – no idea but it must be a fun game!

Build a Bear – there’s games and you can earn money and transfer it to your Bearville onlne account.

Stick Skater –  fun skating game for little ones.


Scrabble – it seems pretty addictive.

Need for Speed Hot Pursuit – but I think he’s only saying that only to look cool!

Twitter App – I agree pretty good but we rarely get to use it.

What are your favourites – can any of you help Caroline out with a recommendation?

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Best Dressed iPad

It’s official, I have the best dressed iPad in the UK.  Not only do I have the lovely covers Jen made me but I also received this beautiful iPad cover from Natalie at Etsy’s Sea Side Sew It’s just stunning and so well made. Natalie let me choose my fabric from a really gorgeous selection and then this arrived all the way from California about 10 days later.

So prettily wrapped – you should have heard me squealing 🙂

How gorgeous is this fabric?  And it’s waterproofed too.  It’s well padded and protects the ipad really well, in fact it’s swung my Mum from technophobe to iPad wannbe owner 🙂

It also has a closing velcro which is under this pretty tab – the buttons add a really classy touch.

I’m so impressed, I really am, with not only the service but the choice of fabric and the detail that has gone into making such a beautiful handmade item. Please check out Sea Side Sew for their full range if you’re an ipad, iphone or kindle owner there are some great covers on there.   Thank you Natalie x

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What was I thinking?

I am an utter prat.  How long have I worked in IT….forever….

Did I regularly backup my iPhone? No I did not…

Why not? you may ask…..

Because it didn’t do it automatically via bluetooth or wifi like my old Nokia and I couldn’t be arsed is the honest truth.   Plugging it into my computer via a cable seemed so 1997 so I did it maybe 8 times in the 2.5 years I’ve owned an iPhone. The first one (2G) I had was so slow it was like pulling teeth to get it to sync so I left it and it was ok, no dramas.

Bought my shiny 3GS last summer and it’s been wonderful and the syncing was fast, but I still didn’t really do it. I’d gotten out of the habit and I still have to plug the cable which is a pain.  All was fine until yesterday.  I had a weird message the battery told me that it was at 3% so I left it as I wasn’t near the plug and thought I’d leave it to run down.  10 minutes later I looked at it again to plug it in and the battery was telling me 78%.  Odd, so I plugged it in and minutes later it was telling me 100%, I left it on the bedstand until this morning when I went to check my e-mail…IT WAS DEAD.  Dead, totally and utterly not working, plugged it into the mains and the red battery light came on. Fine left it, made breakfast came back STILL ON RED NOTHING HAPPENING!!

By this point I was feeling sick, everything in my life is on that damn phone, photos, video, contacts, diary….everything.  Tried not to panic and left it for a bit longer and went out for the day…7 hours later still on the same bloody red battery light!

So I scoured the web for a way to fix it and get my data back.  I didn’t want to take it to the Apple Store for them to just swap it out and to lose everything. But first I needed to un ‘stick’ it off the battery symbol.  I couldn’t get it working in recovery mode so I had to to a last resort reset.  This site told me how to get it into DFU Mode this resets it but of course it really, really helps if you have actually ever backed it up so you can get all your info back!!

I’ve lost all my Christmas photos, videos of the nativity play, new contacts, diary dates – you name it. I’m so annoyed at myself, so the moral of the story is backup your iphone and don’t be a dummy like me.  Oh and if I’m supposed to meeting you or have your number – please mail me x

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2009 is here

Happy New Year!

Well Christmas and New Year are now over, our tree will be coming down tomorrow and we have a fresh year ahead to enjoy.

After months of brainstorming, I’ve finally figured out what I’m going to do with my Geek Mum blog.  I’d kind of abandoned it as I was so burnt out from dealing with massive IT projects and supporting 300 odd people on my own.  I literally couldn’t imagine ever thinking IT was fun again.

But a year later nearly, I find myself reading technical blogs again and really enjoying them.  So later this month I’ll be relaunching it and I hope you’ll all enjoy it. My focus is going to be technology and how it can make women’s lives easier and simpler.  As well as passing on all the tips and tricks I’ve learnt over the last 15 years of messing about with PC’s and Mac’s, blogging, digital scrapbooking and lots of other fun things you can do with a computer, mobile phones and the internet.

I’ve found there aren’t many ‘everywoman’ blogs about technology, which is amazing considering the biggest users of the internet in the UK are women between the ages of 25 and 40!

I’ll still be blogging here about home, family and all my other favourite things, but I thought my tech interest deserved it’s own home.

But Happy New Year to you all and I hope 2009 brings you everything you want

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Cracked MacBook Casing

Last night I had a disaster. I was typing away when suddenly my wrist hurt like it was scratched.  Thinking that it was a little odd, I looked down and my MacBook casing has completely split for no reason.

Cracked MacBook
Cracked MacBook

I’m furious it’s only 14 months old, so out of warranty.  I spoke to my friend Patricia who had the same problem a couple of years back and Apple apparently wanted $600 to re case it.  Which probably means that it’s £600 here!    I’m going to take it to the Mac Store and see what they say, but if that is the case then I’d rather tape up this one up and save up for one of these as it’s aluminium then there is less of a chance of it cracking.

New MacBook
New MacBook
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