To Do … To Do …To DOO

Where to begin. Life has been getting a little busier these past few months. We were given an amazing opportunity to go overseas for a few years … and we grabbed it with both hands! It was an interesting experience, neither of us hesitated in saying lets go for it and we didn’t think twice about leaving our lovely home for a while.


It’s exciting and scary and  I would be lying if I said I haven’t had heebeejeebee moments like ‘What if the kids don’t settle ‘ or ‘what if I hate it’ or ‘ what food will I be able to buy in the supermarket’ but for the most part I can’t wait to have a big adventure as a family. Making memories together, learning new things and opening the children’s minds is what excites me the most.

If I am completely honest, I thought my travelling days were well and truly locked in a suitcase under the bed … there was definately a little spark reignited at the thought of unleashing the wanderlust again 🙂

Overall I feel grateful to be given the opportunity and it makes me appreciate what we have in our life here all the more. Gulp. It will be hard to say goodbye.


SO . Now that you are up to speed on what lies ahead … this is a pretty good idea of what the chalkboard in our kitchen has been like for the past few months … just when things get knocked off another 10 things are added . It’s been relentless … and that is just what’s been written down .My brain is like a washing machine drum full of ‘I musts’

The crazy part of it all is that we have been finishing off lots of bits and pieces around the house and it is finally coming together. I feel like I am on the last mile of a marathon … gaining momentum only to press a pause button just before the finish.

so here’s a sneak peek at some of the befores in the children’s bedrooms upstairs

remember this from  House Tour … the BEFORE!

gennaio 095

Now One big room has become two rooms . This was very exciting for the kiddies to have their own rooms. It made the pain of all the dust easier to bear.

this was when the partition wall was being put up.



These are probably not the best pictures but the rooms are more spacious than they seem here. When the rooms are tidy enough I will post the afters .. heehee … I promise it won’t be too long … our clock is ticking!!

That’s my lot for today … I hope you are making progress with any projects in your homey homes … or planning a big adventure … please feel free to tell all in the comments below!

ciao for now.


Testing … 1 .. 2

… testing. Please tell me there is no actual tumbleweed in sight. Feeling a little ashamed of myself for neglecting the Blog for so long when I vowed in January I would get back in the saddle.

There are no excuses except for a serious dose of procrastination and lots of busy moments and projects on the go.

The most exciting news from last year is that ‘The Happy Casa’ was shortlisted for the Irish Blog Awards 2015  HURRAY … Super chuffed I was with my new ‘shortlisted’ button which you can check out if you scroll to the end of this post … tis the simple things in life that brings one pleasure!

So with no further ado and keeping it short and sweet we’ll fire this quick update out pronto!

The Hallway has had a little makeover with some floor coverage


hallway before

Remember this …


Some Art has actually been hung


testing one two

After a lot of holding, standing back and ‘umming and ‘awe ing …


This is one of my favourite prints from Bold and Noble, It’s called Nest : I love its simplicity and sentiment. The small colourful painting on the bottom left was done by my eldest girl.

The little Sardinian lady we bought when we went to Sardinia last year for a wedding. It was such a tiny cute piece but I wanted to give her a bit more presence so I picked up a cheap as chips generic high street picture  in my local charity shop… painted it white and mounted the lovely lady giving her the glory she deserves. At least our walls are begining to get some love … 



All in all we’ve been busy. I’ve taken on a few projects and hopefully I’ll share them here  soon!

Sin e an sceal …  (pronounced  ‘ Shin ay on shcale’ for any non irish speakers)

There are a few more before and after updates but I’ll save them for the next post.

Please feel free to comment in the comments below or sign up to receive updates straight to your inbox (consumer beware: you will most definitely NOT be bombarded with too many emails 🙂

Until next time have a great week

Ciao for now,



All photographs copyright of Gill Deriu at The Happy Casa, Feature images courtesy of and pinterest


Operation ‘Open Shelves’ in Kitchen …

open shelves inspirat

So what is the general consensus on Open Shelves in Kitchens? I know some people feel it just creates another dusting job … yeh or neh? I have been going on for ages about this project so it was really time to just go for it. A few months back when my parents in law were here on a visit, my father in law kindly helped us take off the top cupboards in the kitchen. YAH! finally … so what was left … this fabulously ugly blank space but it felt so much more spacious and light filled.



So this was Before the BEFORE!

I have to admit I got a tiny ‘ oh it wasn’t really that bad before I painted the cupboards’ moment !

This was taken when I was prepping it for painting over two years ago.



… and this is the ‘Before’ … and also the ‘During’ 🙂

I’m ok again with the decision to paint the cupboards … although it is up for another makeover … but for now we’ll concentrate on the shelves!

In a moment of panic we searched the shed for our spare tiles and thankfully we have enough to fill the void … ( was secretly peppering as I thought I had returned all the spare boxes by accident)

We have purchased the soon to be shelves (AKA two 8ft Scaffold boards) They are sitting pretty ugly in our shed awaiting to be stripped and dressed back up again fit for human eyes.

This is my vision, or at least a little look at the inspiration from my pinterest boards …

openshelve insp

open shelves inspiration

open shelves inspir

openshelves insp

open shelves inspiration

Stay tuned for progress updates folks and please throw your opinions, thoughts, random observations or open shelf experience in the comments below … will look forward to updating ye soon 🙂

ciao for now,

g x

It’s the lickle things in life …

Big joy from the smallest of things is just the berries! I had been waiting for this frame from Marks and Spencer to come into store for a few weeks ( nerdy I know 🙂 but true) I love its versatility… It could be used for Kiddie’s art in the livingroom as part of a gallery wall ( it is easy peasy to interchange prints or artwork) Or if pressing flowers and ferns is your thing then this frame is definately for you! This one is the large which fits an 8 x 10 print.


The print in the frame is a card I bought in Carewswood Garden Centre ( in East Cork for anyone who’s from around these parts) I thought it was too pretty to use so framed it instead. What do you think?

You can check them out on Facebook at ‘Carewswood Garden Centre & Café’ we had a lovely afternoon coffee there with my parents in law … it was such a lovely find with a gorgeous shop, really helpful and friendly staff … considering we had 3 energetic little people in tow … amazing bespoke furniture in the Cafe and the yummiest scones! ( and no they did not pay me to say this. It’s just all true 🙂 )


This Bell Jar has been hopping around the house of late! Another Marks and Spencer treasure. I am really liking their recent homeware collection. Belljars soo handy for displaying little trinkets, plants, flowers or even use to cover your butter when you’re having afternoon tea!


And last but not least my little ( or not so little) Stag. A few people asked me where I had gotten this from when it was on the last blogpost. Clio from Quay Designs Interiors created this little gem and she also can take custom orders! I think this would be fab in Hot Pink 🙂 check out Clio’s shop on her Facebook page at ‘ Quay designs interiors’. I am a big fan of Clio’s work and you never know what treasures you’ll find in her shop … magpie heaven!

So that’s all from me this week … have been pottering around at a few projects we have on the go here…must get my photos in order. Hope you all enjoying our crisp spring weather.

ciao for now gx

Bathroom envy …

Our Family bathroom is … in two words … pretty miserable. It is dull, unloved and needs a complete overhall. We have been reluctanct to change the floor (even though I really hate it) because you all know what it’s like when you open that can of worms!

First change the floor tiles (which will immediately accentuate the awfulness of the wall tiles) and then you start to really think about what is under that bath… It’s only the dreaded fear stops you from taking a peek for fear of uncovering a black hole of deadly mould. ( cue psycho music )….oh the joys 🙂

Last week I made the mistake of trying to make it look a little better ( we were preparing for visitors). I painted below the bath…then the skirting …followed by the door….and there it remains. I don’t have the pics uploaded yet to enlighten you on the miserableness of the before shots or the progress on the ‘nearly after’ shot , but suffice to say, now the can of worms has been truly officially opened ever so slightly.The walls will need a paint … and even though I swore I wouldn’t paint the floor…I am caving in to that idea possibly… just temporarily.

Here are a few pics I’ve been drooling over using to inspire me for when we really ‘Gut’ the bathroom and start again……

bathroom envy 2

bathroom envy 3

bathroom envy 4

bathroom envy

Please feel free to share any cans of worms you’ve opened lately…or are afraid to open in the comments below….

ciao for now x

Bring on the Guests!



clean image

Time seems to be running away and I can’t catch up with it!! The holidays are over, school and all the rituals that go with it have re-commenced, some projects finished, some nearly done … some still rattling around on a to do list.

We had a busy summer with guests from abroad – some came with children, others came and entertained our children! ( so appreciated )

The best result that came from all the visitors ( apart from their wonderful company and the excuse to drink far too much wine on a weeknight) was that the house never felt so organised. ( now obviously not every single corner ) but It didn’t feel too bad. And when the first lot of visitors sailed off into the sunset I felt ready for the next without the usual cleaning /organising frenzy that breaks out before any kind of social visit or event.

I had a conversation today with a friend who said she went on a mad cleaning frenzy because she had visitors arriving that day and then got another call to say that some unexpected guests would be also arriving the following day … this poor gal had further deep cleansing to do in between school runs and then ( possibly the hardest task of all) was hiding the evidence!

yeah, we always live this way … super organised and sparkly … everything in its place …even the mop and bucket (still steaming) 😉

Been there, done that. Who hasn’t?

It got me thinking though … BRING ON THE GUESTS!

It is indeed the answer to all my prayers … well not really … but if I could get myself into the state of mind that at any moment someone just might arrive on my doorstep … then just maybe…

And then I thought … just do it … stop complaining about the hot press not being organised enough, or the utility room being a mess … just do it. Not for the guests but for yourself.

(god that sounds so corny) but it’s true 🙂

And then I stumbled on this article  … if you’re any way like me and have the vision of the ‘not perfect but organised enough’ home then you have to read this … this lady is inside my head, there is solace in numbers … we are not alone.

Something Old … something new …

nostalgia noun


I have been thinking a lot lately about what fascinates us about old things and how they can be labelled as vintage, retro or antique. I happen to love old things… not ALL old things…I have a weakness for  retro and  I definitely appreciate nostalgic sentiment (without bordering on the ridiculous!) For example I wore my mother’s Wedding dress when I got married a couple of years ago! And to make it even more sentimental my Father’s mother MADE the dress … so it was really sweet that I could dust off a bit of family history and rejuvenate it to wear on our special day!

I was lucky enough to have inherited a sideboard which belonged to my parents and dates back to 1972. Originally it was a wedding gift to my parents and I have vague memories of it in our tiny two up two down terraced house, then it came with us to our three bed semi detached home in 1980. It was then given to my grandmother where it remained in her house until three years ago when my mother wanted to make space in my grandmother’s house so I took it off her hands… et voila!

sideboard before


As you can see in its original state it was brown and cream formica. Prettyyy rETro!

…  Two years ago I decided to give it a make over…well … I trusted my lovely neighbour and owner of Quay Designs Painted Furniture to transform it for our new house! She did a fab job of it and it takes pride of place in our dining room.

blue sideboard

We have since painted the wall in the dining area and I fear the sideboard will be on the move to the living room pretty soon as alas the colours are not living too harmoniously side by side.:(

Another addition to our home of late is this fabulous anglepoise desk lamp .



It sat behind my grandmother’s chair in her living room for many years throwing some light on many craft projects, crosswords, books and in later years her kindle! I was thrilled to have inherited this great piece and it now takes pride of place on my desk. I really love it.

I just couldn’t resist putting in this last photo … I’ve been feeling a little nostalgic of late – as you can tell – our eldest little girl had her sixth birthday last week and it got me wondering where those years have gone … this is a photo which was taken over 6 years ago.

fine Luglio 005

We bought this OLD banjaxed van to put all our worldly belongings in and drive from Barcelona to Sardinia! I thought we had a better photo of it from the outside but this was the best I could do! You get the drift regardless.

And then we fast forward to this NEW ‘van’ being washed by our BIG little girl last week….


Mamamia I don’t know where those years have gone … and how so much can change in such a short space of time!

So all that said and as much as I love the old I embrace the new and allow myself to be just a little nostalgic for times gone by and aware that this NOW will soon be in the past … but not forgotten…





Last weekend I was trawling Etsy for some art to hang on the kiddies bedroom wall..before I knew it I had spent hundreds of dollars in my shopping cart so needless to say I quickly emptied my trolley and decided to do a bit of upcycling myself instead!

I had a few canvases lying around in my front porch..(now nearly new office!!)

I got to work on one of our stormiest and wettest days so far this year… in my kitchen using the floor as my workspace!


I used some testers of Annie Sloan chalk paint and started to slowly transform my discount canvases into kiddy art!


My little man became curious as to what was going on and straight away started putting in requests for some commissions…and here is the final result of a hard day’s work on a stormy day!


….got me thinking…. it’s been sooo long since i took out my paints…i need to get the creative juices flowing again….create a few characters of my own…’s a few more you might recognise… 🙂