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!

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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.


Gallery Wall & Woodstock


mirror image

Summer has been very busy, a lot of rearranging of rooms, decluttering and reorganising. Our upstairs has had a bit of a makeover so  a lot of waiting around for builders and living in chaos was endured during June and July but we are almost at the end of it. Finally the kiddies have their own rooms (well the girls are sharing) but they are all delighted with the new space. That is for another post!


Woodstock in Apple Cottage

Last week we (when I say we … I mean my amazing partner in crime heehee)  gathered,chopped and stacked some trees we had cut back in the garden. They were stacked and arranged with much love and care in the livingroom.

I really can’t post this without mentioning that this beautiful installation lasted all but two days as I noticed the wood wasn’t quite dry enough to be brought inside due to some furry white stuff creeping all over one of the logs … so they were hastily removed and put back outside the back door to dry!!!

photo gallery

Gallery wall is in progress

Am delighted to say that there has been some “Framage” Not quite finished or ready for hanging but there are photos selected, printed and almost ready to go …. it’s hard work … and very time-consuming as you know yourself!

I picked up some frames in Woodies DIY and TkMaxx but have some more to get … am really pleased with them … watch this space It should grow over next few weeks and should manage to make its way to the wall before Christmas if we’re lucky!

Would love to hear if you have made any gallery wall progress or plan to … it’s comforting to know you’re not alone!

Ciao for now,


ps. come find me on instagram @gillderiu 🙂

all photos copyright (C) Gill Deriu of The Happy Casa

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


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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


House Tour … the BEFORE!

be my guest

I was saving this post for when I had all the before and after pics together…and then decided to just go for it and make a start on the makings of ‘The Happy Casa’ casa!

These photos were all taken on the day we moved in. The purchasing of our home – like many other homes- was a long, slow, painstaking,stressful process. Even typing that sentence brought all those memories flooding back!!

When we first viewed the house it was being rented out to a group of single lads – need I say more! It was – for want of a better description – a little lot lacking in some TLC. The lovely owners had moved into another house which they had built in another town and had rented it out whilst waiting to sell.

In order to make a very LONG story short.

We put in a bid. Bid accepted YAH!

Mortgage approval denied NO!

We rented the house while waiting for mortgage approval YAH!

House remained on the market although we were living in it and awaiting approval NO!

We got married and had our reception in the ‘nearly’ our house YAH!

A couple came to view our house a week before the wedding NOOO!!

They didn’t put in a bid YAH!

A Year later we finally purchased our home almost 11months after getting our mortgage approval YAAAAAH!

So now that you’re all up to speed on the very windy rocky road to getting to where we are…this is how it looked before it all began ….

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This is our Kitchen /Dining area the day we moved in …check out this monster of a stove … this has broken our hearts a good few times since becoming acquainted with it but we are finally warm friends a couple of winters later!!

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From the Dining area we move into the old part of the Cottage which is well over 100 years old … lacking in light and love when we first moved in… check out the floorboards in front of the fire …

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This is the view from the corner beside the fireplace … the stairs is in the room ..not fire safe the engineer told us … it’s an old cottage … we told him back !

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This is the door leading to the front porch from the livingroom – now my little office space!

gennaio 093Moving out of the livingroom into a little hallway which is home to the family bathroom and also leads to the playroom – or third bedroom as advertised when it was for sale!

gennaio 089Below is the view from the playroom/third bedroom back into the hallway moving back into the livingroom …

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It’s difficult to see from these photos but there is a lovely view of the countryside from here …



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And up the stairs we go …I don’t seem to have a photo of the landing … I’m laughing here to myself because we don’t HAVE a landing of any description! The Cottage was a one up one down style house which was in turn converted into a two up four down type situation … if there is such a thing … I just made that up!

Anyway if you go up our lovely stairs you are faced by a tiny landing strip with a door in front of you – the hotpress. A door to your right – the master bedroom. A door to your left – the kiddies room. fullstop. C’est ca – as they say ‘en francais’! An Air Steward would feel right at home at the top of our stairs!!

This is the master bedroom. We had no bed for the first few months when we moved in. A Trustee materass on the floor and lots of patience. Note the lack of wardrobes in the room aswell … let’s just say we had a very basic beginning!

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The children’s room is very spacious. I was mapping out where the beds would go and who would go where when we first arrived! This was one of the first rooms we tried to make homey!




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There is a lovely view of the apple trees in the garden from this room … it’s really beautiful in the summertime with the apple blossoms in full bloom.

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So VOILa! That is the official tour of ‘The Happy Casa’ in it’s pre-loved state. Hope you enjoyed the tour and more importantly stay tuned for the AFTER tour!

* well it’ll be the ALMOST after tour as we are still a work well in progress!! but hopefully you’ll notice some small changes!!

Thanks for coming, next time we’ll make you a coffee ..ciao belli …hasta pronto! xxx


Oh where to start! I have (and have had for a very long time) a severe case of Project-itis. In my head there are hundreds. But realistic tangible projects (in the process and in the pipeline) indeed there are a few!

Firstly I have to say that I owe it to my children to paint their bedroom floor! It has been put on the long finger for so long and really I am doing them a disservice if I tell them one more time ‘yep, am going to do that soon….’ My poor son was bursting with excitement last week when they went for a sleepover at Granny’s house…i had told him when I paint the floor that they’d have to sleep in Granny’s house….the pressure in the car on the journey home when I had to explain that I still hadn’t painted their floor! So

Project 1.

Prime and Paint the children’s floor in Little Green French Grey. Stat!


Project 2.

 Finish office space. I have put a second coat of Annie Sloan Yellow on the dormant Front door…it keeps dripping…grrrrrrrr am hoping when it fully dries it will look better and that a coat of clear varnish will finish it off…the jury is out as to whether it is a success or not.


(Toying with the idea of painting the tiles on the floor in the office as well (gulp) would be a very big faux pas if I couldn’t pull it off…i might just hold back on telling Happy Casa Husband about that one for now..Oops… pretend you didn’t read that Sah…erase it from your memory! LOL

Project 3.

Replace overhead cupboards in Kitchen with open shelves. This is a pressing matter due to ridiculously disorganised cupboards. I need to be forced to keep it looking good in order to keep it organised and lookin’ loverly! Am still trying to figure out how to incorporate the under cupboard lighting under the proposed shelf as I would like a clean line … have to think about it Thankfully my lovely marito is a chef so he appreciates good order in the kitchen so not too much persuading going on for this one. Also we realised if we took out the cupboard holding the microwave and drawers we would need to tile that space.


*Note to self. Check number of spare tiles.

*Note to self-2. Locate spare tiles!

Project 4.

Paint our bedroom and Paint our bed. (Yes I said ‘bed’) We bought it new almost three  years ago but I never wanted dark wood  and I compromised as our relationship is a democracy –  and then proceeded to convince the opposition that my visualising powers were far greater than his and made him realise that it totally sucks out the light  and makes the room feel smaller –  The bill was passed!


It fits snugly in the ‘Elle’ part of our ‘L’ shaped room. I am very excited about this one … I also want to paint the wall behind the bed in a deep grey…oh yes, the floors are getting a lick of paint as well….then hopefully our rug can finally get an outing from under our bed where it is ‘resting’ for the past 2 years!

Project 5

Storage (window) seating in the kitchen/dining area. My dream is to have something like this…from …

reading nook

 … where I can lounge with a coffee and a really good book glancing ( occasionally) to observe the birds on our feeder outside the window … cue happy music! 


* These are birds on our feeder … they’re not OUR birds exactly …well, you know what I mean! 

WE NEED STORAGE SPACE. Realistically for school bags, coats, shoes etc. So the reality may not equate with the above but the above is my ideal! I shall endeavour to create the happy medium!

Project 6.

Breakfast Bar in Kitchen.  I am canvasing for some serious DIY’ing to create our own custom made breakfast bar made from reclaimed pallets. I know my partner in crime can do it…I just have to make him believe he can as well! This is our peninsula at the moment peninsula

      I was thinking of something along these lines…no pressure amore mio …!

(photo courtesy of

love this island

On that lovely note I shall toddle off to bed with a satisfied heart and a determined soul to cure this project-itis as fast as I can before the next bout strikes!! … Ciao for now … buona notte agus Oiche Mhaith x